The Diary of a Nouveau Soccer Mom

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

The Wildlife Experience {Review}

This past weekend, the kids, the husband and I headed up to Denver to check out the Wildlife Experience!  Faith and I have camped there before with Girl Scouts, but Ben hasn't seen it yet.  I knew he was going to love it and it didn't disappoint.

Part of the museum offers rotating exhibits.  We went on a day that offered Halloween festivities, including owl flying, but there is an awesome Lego Travel Adventure starting soon.  Faith and I saw a geocaching exhibit a couple of years ago too, so there's always something fun and different.

But our favorite part is definitely the (permanent) Globeology exhibit!  When you enter the museum, you walk to the second floor which takes you to a multi-story walk-through exhibit.  The beginning starts with Science on a Sphere, a large globe showing views from space (including lights at night, heat sources, etc).

After the globe, the entry to the exhibit is straight ahead.  As you meander your way down the ramps through the different climates/biomes, animals and habitats are displayed, along with computer displays with games, facts, and information.  There are animals to find, animatronics to check out, even a reef of real coral fish that have a designated feeding time.

The website includes teacher/leader guides, but the kids loved the scavenger hunt option provided by the museum.  Laminated cards are available at the beginning of the exhibit to use on your walk through the landscapes, but we also did our own version of "Guess what I found?"  The panda hiding in the bamboo is my personal favorite.

A new exciting exhibit opens on November 1, 2014--Lego Travel Adventure! Students will plan a voyage that encourages them to think geographically and apply physical science in building and testing LEGO transportation models. They'll work together to determine how to get over land, over water, and through the air. After designing and building, they'll test, revise, and share results.

Want to check one of these out?  Right now, we have a coupon for our readers for $1 each admission to the museum.  Just click here for the coupon!

Disclosure: This post was written as a part of my ongoing relationship with US Family Guide. Our family received tickets to Wildlife Experience in appreciation for this post, all opinions are my own.
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Friday, October 24, 2014

Earth to Echo {Giveaway}

We've been waiting for this movie!  The kids saw the previews awhile ago and we somehow never made it to the theater, so we were very happy it was going to be part of our Fox Home Insiders packages.  We've got some fun Echo stuff coming up too as Faith & Ben have each adopted an Echo of their very own.

Earth to Echo is a tale told through the eyes of Tuck, Munch and Alex, a trio of pals who make an out-of-this-world discovery. The best friends venture out of their neighborhood to find the true meaning of friendship. After receiving signals on their phones, they meet Echo, a small, but amazingly energetic, alien trying to make his way back to his home planet. As they race to help their new friend, the boys will discover that little Echo has touched their hearts in unexpected ways and changed their lives forever.

What are some of your favorite ways to spend time outdoors with your friends?  We've got a list of some of our favorites here, no technology required!

  • Pick Up Games - There is nothing like starting a sports pickup game with all your neighborhood friends. Between sitting in class all day and coming home to do homework, a quick game, whether it is hockey, baseball, basketball or soccer, will let you use up some of that energy you’ve been storing! Not only this, but this is an awesome way to make new friends. 
  • Bike Rides - With your parents permission of course, take a cruise around the neighborhood with your friends! Also, make sure you wear a helmet. You can use your imagination and make fun adventures out of your journey!
  • Hide N’ Seek - A neighborhood game of Hide N’ Seek is the ultimate outside activity. With permission from your parents, and of course, using the buddy system when it comes to hiding, Hide N’ Seek is sure to be an awesome time.
  • Backyard Campout - Ask your mom and dad to set up a backyard camp out for you and your friends! Start by setting up a tent and marking your territory with your sleeping bag! You can spend the night telling scary stories and eating S’mores!
  • Chalk - The most underrated outside activity has to be chalk! It is so much fun to create fun pictures and even games with all your friends. You can play hopscotch or tic-tac-toe or use your imagination to draw wonderful pictures!
Want to win a copy of Earth to Echo for your family?  Use the Rafflecopter below to enter, leaving me a comment about your favorite outdoor activity, past or present.  You can also tweet about the giveaway for a second optional entry.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclosure: I was given the opportunity to receive an advance copy of Earth to Echo for myself and a copy to giveaway as part of my relationship with Fox Home Entertainment Insiders. All opinions expressed are my own.
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Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Help Dogs in Need with Pedigree Dog Food #PedigreeGives

Did you know October is Pet Adopt Month?  If you've been thinking of a fur baby of your very own, this could be a great time to adopt a dog.  Check out your local shelters and rescues and give a homeless dog or puppy a place to call their own.

But if you aren't in the place to adopt a dog, we've got a grew way you can help! Pedigree has a great new project called #PedigreeGives and with the help of #CollectiveBias and Sam's Club we're spreading the word about how you can help shelter dogs!

It's no secret that I absolutely adore my dog.  Dante is quite possibly the sweetest and smartest dog I have ever met, and that's not even my fur mama bias showing!  He's cuddly, cute, and terribly patient, especially as I'm dressing him up to assist in blog posts.  I only have to bribe him with a few plain dog treats and he is happy to help.

Baby Dante at rescue, from a few days old to several weeks!

He's also a rescue dog.  His entire litter was found abandoned on the side of the road in rural Oklahoma.  They were approximately 2 days old, umbilical cords still attached, and there was no mama dog with them.  Thankfully, the finders took them to Miami Animal Alliance where they were cuddled, loved, and bottle fed until they were old enough to find homes.  M.A.A. brought them to their Denver partner and we saw Dante's picture online his first night in Colorado.  We drove up to Denver and came home with our fur baby.  That was about two and a half years ago and we are so happy to be his family.

What if you have all the fur babies you can handle or you just can't adopt a dog right now?  You can still help!!!

We found all sorts of options from Pedigree at Sam's Club in the Pet Care aisle!

During October, Pedigree is helping to feed shelter dogs by donating one bowl of dog food for every Pedigree dog food product purchased at Sam's Club.  While you're buying food for your own pet, you can still help homeless pets too.  Or, you could buy Pedigree dog food at Sam's Club and donate it to your local shelter or rescue, knowing that Pedigree is donating a bowl too!  Many homeless dogs and puppies will be thanking you.  And Dante says thank you too, since he is very certain how much rescue dogs rock!

Dante helped me load up our trunk with some donations for our local shelter and post for pictures to help spread the word.  His human sister also helps out at our local Humane Society as part of her Girl Scout Troop and, of course, he's our very special rescue baby.  He'll celebrate adopt a shelter dog month with some yummy homemade dehydrated turkey bacon and a few naps on my bed!

How does your family give back?  Do you have a rescue baby of your own?
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Sunday, October 19, 2014

Mr. Peabody & Sherman Time Period Party #PeabodyFrenchRevolution

Our whole family loved Mr. Peabody & Sherman!  It's one of the few movies we've seen lately that appeals to kids and parents.  It's funny, cute, and has a good message about family.  It also has some really cool history facts embedded in it, which makes the history teacher/homeschool mom in me quite happy!

Thanks to our friends at Fox Home Entertainment Insiders, our sneak preview of Mr. Peabody & Sherman was also time period themed and our time period was the French Revolution!  During the movie, Mr. Peabody & Sherman travel back and meet Marie Antoinette, famous for her penchant for cake.

My own Mr. Peabody & Sherman, doesn't Dante look adorable?

We've covered only a little bit of the French Revolution in our homeschool studies, we'll work towards it sometime this spring.  However, we used this site for a bit of background reading and printed up some other readings.  We also printed some of the fun activity sheets from Fox (see below for printouts).

Our favorite two activities though, besides watching Mr. Peabody & Sherman, were our "Let them eat cake" cupcake decorating and making French Revolution hats.  For the cupcakes, just whip up a batch of your favorite flavor, then provide multiple tubes of icing, sprinkles and other decorative goodies.  I have yet to find a kid who doesn't enjoy decorating their own cupcakes.

The hats were also easy to make!  We used construction paper where we traced a rough three scalloped hat, then cut it twice from the paper.  I stapled the edges carefully, then we punched out circles for buttons and cut a feather from another piece of construction paper.  Faith's is extra fancy where I edged the feather to give it a bit more texture.

We also have plenty of goodies from Fox to help you with a Mr. Peabody & Sherman themed party!  Click on any of the sheets below to enlarge them to printable size.

Don't forget to check out our giveaway for your own copy of Mr. Peabody & Sherman on DVD!

Disclosure: I was given the opportunity to receive an advance copy of Mr. Peabody & Sherman for myself and a copy to giveaway as part of my relationship with Fox Home Entertainment Insiders. All opinions expressed are my own.
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Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Mr. Peabody & Sherman {Giveaway}

It's hard to come up with a movie that everyone in the family likes.  But back in the summer, we decided to take the kids to a little local theater that shows movies that have been out for a little bit.  Mr. Peabody & Sherman was playing and it seemed like one they might like.  Well, they did, but so did the grownups!  Since then, the kids have been stalking my email for our Fox Home Insiders news to see if we would get a copy.

Not only do we get a copy, but check back this weekend for our special Mr. Peabody & Sherman movie and craft day with friends.  We're all set to check out the French Revolution with them.

Click on these for larger files, printable Mr. Peabody & Sherman bookmarks!

Unleash the fun at home with the hilarious comedy-adventure, DreamWorks Animation’s Mr. Peabody & Sherman is based on the characters that first appeared in in the late 1950s and early 1960s animated television series “Rocky and His Friends” and “The Bullwinkle Show,” Mr. Peabody is an inventor, scientist and genius who just happens to be a dog. With his son Sherman, he will embark on the most extraordinary adventure imaginable as they race against time to repair history and save the future.

Click to expand for a Mr. Peabody & Sherman coloring page!

Mr. Peabody & Sherman arrives on Digital HD on September 23 and on Blu-ray 3D™, Blu-ray™ and DVD on October 14, but we've got a copy to give away to one of our readers!

Know a little about Mr. Peabody & Sherman and their WABAC?  Using the Rafflecopter below, tell me where you would go in the WABAC!  Tweet about the giveaway for a second entry.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclosure: I was given the opportunity to receive an advance copy of  Mr. Peabody & Sherman for myself and a copy to giveaway as part of my relationship with Fox Home Entertainment Insiders. All opinions expressed are my own.
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Tuesday, October 07, 2014

Wishing Star Farm {Colorado Outings}

Fall means time for fall festivals and pumpkin patches, regardless of the ages in your family!

This weekend, the kids, the husband and I headed out to Calhan, Colorado to Wishing Star Farm Fall Festival to check out the offerings.  This had been one of our favorite fall traditions back in Texas and we were quite excited to resurrect it in Colorado.

What's included?  Spend the afternoon checking out the animals at the petting zoo, play in the corn bins, jump on the inflatable pillow, take a train ride, enjoy a hay ride, try out the water pump duck races, climb the hay bales and enjoy the tire swings.  For an extra fee, there are pony rides for the littles and an awesome store stocked with local goodies.  Concessions are available as well.

Everyone is invited to take some of the fall harvest home with them. Pumpkins are $3 each and can be purchased with admission for the quantity of your choice.

Our favorites?  I'm partial to visiting the animals, especially the donkeys (and I absolutely loved the two farm dogs).  Faith and Ben were enthralled with sitting and playing in the corn bins, even at their ages, along with experimenting with the duck races and racing each other back and forth.  The inflatable pillow was a huge hit as well, I had to finally make them leave!

Thinking about checking out Wishing Star Farm?  Click here for a coupon for $1 off your admission.

Disclosure: This post was written as a part of my ongoing relationship with US Family Guide. Our family received tickets to Wishing Star Farm Fall Festival in appreciation for this post, all opinions are my own.
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Tuesday, September 30, 2014

It's a Septem-bear to Remem-bear! Snuggle is 30!

I've always loved the Snuggle commercial and the Snuggle bear.  He is just too cute and the commercials were a big part of my very-80s childhood.  I mean, really, how can you not just love that face.  I still remember the commercials and wanting a bear of my very own.  This was long before cable and DVRs, so you actually had to watch the commercials and the Snuggle bear was always a favorite!

Some fun facts about SnuggleBear:
  • Snuggle Bear was created by the Jim Hensen Company to represent snuggable softness and fabric softener freshness
  • Snuggle Bear became a pop culture icon over the past three decades, appearing in 80's/TV compilations and social media memes
  • Snuggle Bear sits alongside Wonder Woman’s outfit and Jeannie’s bottle in the Museum of TV Memorabilia.
  • Snuggle Bear has a growing social media presence with a remarkably high level of engagement among his fans and followers on his official Facebook, Twitter and Instagram channels. Visit Snuggle, and like Snuggle on Facebook and follow on Twitter and Instagram for more fun details.
  • In 2014, Snuggle® launched Snuggle Scent Boosters®, which gives laundry a boost of freshness with a convenient single pack.
Check out the Snuggle timeline!
You may want to click on this to enlarge it a bit!

We celebrated our Septem-bear to Remem-bear with a gift package from Snuggles, including laundry softener and dryer sheets, which is making the laundry smell awesome.  We also have a gift package to giveaway to one of our readers too!

Using the Rafflecopter below, share with me one of your favorite 80s childhood pop-culture memories!  If you weren't a child of the 80s, definitely share your 70s or 90s or whichever memory too!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclosure: The information and prize packs were provided to me by Snuggle.  No other compensation was received and all opinions are my own.
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