The Diary of a Nouveau Soccer Mom

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Spy {Giveaway}

It's always awesome to find a new movie to watch.  Since only very recently got a tv + cable, we don't see all that many previews.  And because we don't see previews, it's rare that we know about new movies.  When Fox Home Insiders sent me Spy, it was a whole "Oh look, I've never seen this" moment.  Perfect for a quiet evening at home with the husband.
Queen of Comedy Melissa McCarthy embarks on the mission of a lifetime as secret agent Susan Cooper in SPY. The September 29th Blu-ray release includes two versions of the film - Theatrical and never-before-seen Unrated Cut. The DVD features the Theatrical version. Both the Theatrical version and Unrated Cut of Spy are available on Digital HD, beginning September 4th.
McCarthy is armed and hilarious in this “outrageously entertaining” (Peter Travers, Rolling Stone) comedy hit from director Paul Feig (The Heat, Bridesmaids). Deskbound CIA analyst Susan Cooper is about to become the world’s newest — and unlikeliest — secret weapon. When her partner (Law) falls off the grid and another top agent (Statham) is compromised, Susan volunteers to go deep undercover and bring down a deadly arms dealer. Loaded with wise-cracking action and adventure, SPY is a mission impossible to resist!

Have you seen Spy yet?  Or would you like to?  We have a copy to share with one lucky reader.

Ready to enter? Just use the Rafflecopter below and tell me what would be your undercover spy look? For extra entries, you can tweet about the giveaway too.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclosure: The information in this post and a copy of Spy were provided to me as part of my relationship with Fox Home Entertainment Insiders. All opinions expressed are my own.

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Dream On, Amber {Book Review}

The boy has been busy at work, creating and maintaining his own book review blog, and it's been going quite well.  His sister isn't quite as interested in the idea, unless we see something really awesome on NetGalley for her.  Then it gets downloaded to her Kindle.  Since she loves to read, she'll make the sacrifice for a book that sounds her style.

One of the more titles was Dream On, Amber by Emma Shevah, which comes out in print on October 6th.  I read the description and knew it would be a perfect Faith title, so I requested it for her from NetGalley.  We were approved for a preview copy and a review, so she read it and wrote a short Net Galley review, sharing her thoughts.

From the book jacket/description:
My name is Ambra Alessandra Leola Kimiko Miyamoto. But call me Amber. I have no idea why my parents gave me all those hideous names but they must have wanted to ruin my life, and you know what? They did an amazing job.
As a half-Japanese, half-Italian girl with a ridiculous name, Amber’s not feeling molto bene (very good) about making friends at her new school.
But the hardest thing about being Amber is that a part of her is missing. Her dad. He left when she was little and he isn’t coming back. Not for her first day of middle school and not for her little sister’s birthday. So Amber will have to dream up a way for the Miyamoto sisters to make it on their own.
Being that F is a quick reader, and she doesn't always go to sleep when we tell her to, and this was a digital copy, she read it in a night.  This is also the sign of a good book, as we learned how hard it is to get her to put down something she is really enjoying.

According to her, the highlights of the book were the letters from Amber's little sister to their father and Amber writing her back as their father.  She also mentioned that the story itself showed the perseverance of the girls, how even when things aren't perfect, there is always a way to get through them together.  She also was happy with the ending, while it was not what she was expecting but she liked that it was a surprise.

Her recommendation?  Late elementary or middle school readers.

Wednesday, September 09, 2015

Friday, September 04, 2015

Nerd Journal and Periodic Thoughts Postcards {Review}

The kids and I are getting into the swing of back-to-school and planning out our curriculum for the year.  After an awesome time at marine-life science camp (we live on Puget Sound after all), Ben is all set for learning even more about ocean life in science this year.  Faith loved her science curriculum last year and wanted to continue it as well, so she's moving into physical science this year.

We're also having a lot of fun checking out a couple of new products to get us in that science-y mood!  They were extra perfect for Miss Faith and she confiscated them for herself after the review.

Nerd Journal by Julie Huffman and Jenavieve Brown

The Nerd Journal is a hard bound journal, filled with lined and graph paper, perfect for my girl's writings and doodles.  Each page is bordered with designs at the top and facts, quotes, or jokes on the bottom.  One of the words is spelled out in element letters too, adding to the design.

My favorite?  What is the name of the first electricity detective?  Sherlock Ohms!

Periodic Thoughts Postcards by Julie Huffman and Jenavieve Brown

We love the Periodic Thoughts post cards!  The different periodic table element abbreviations are combined to spell out words, add to doodles, etc.  Faith's favorite is the "Smart Girls Rock" one (smart is spelled out in elements) while Ben said that the "Smart Boys Rock" was better.   I love some of the quotes from famous scientists.

The cards are adorable and Fatih is looking forward to sending them out to her friends back in Colorado.

We'd recommend both for science loving kids, or teens, or even as a perfect start of college gift!

Disclaimer: We received our journals and postcards from Quatro Knows for the purposes of this review.  No other compensation was received.

Wednesday, September 02, 2015

Back to {Home}School - Curriculum Round-Up

Officially, we start school next week, as we're taking a quick little trip first, but I've been busy getting ready for the new school year.  This year, we have an 8th and a 5th grader!

Almost everything I've ordered has arrived, we're just waiting on one last math book.  After a lot of thinking, we opted to keep with most of our curriculum choices from the past, with a change in history.

What are we using?  For our core choices, we have:

8th Grade:
Saxon Math Algebra 2, homeschool edition
Shurley English 8, which includes grammar and writing
Apologia Physical Science
Notgrass America the Beautiful for history, includes literature

5th Grade:
Saxon Math 7/6, homeschool edition
Shurley English 5, which includes grammar and writing
Apologia Swimming Creatures
Notgrass America the Beautiful for history, includes literature

Besides the literature in Notgrass, I've chosen a few other literature books to accompany our English units.  Since both children are voracious readers, it's not really a big issue, but I want to be sure we have some good reading over the school year.   For English, we are also purchasing subscriptions to Spelling City and to Wordly Wise 3000, for spelling and vocabulary respectively.  I think the online option might be a good way to go since they already do a lot of writing in other subjects.

I'm also adding in my own geography units to go into our social studies curriculum.  We'll be doing a bit of a state-by-state study, likely a notebook when all is said and done.  I've put together a good number of online resources plus books from my own classroom, so it will be a nice add in, since geography is often lacking.

We're still figuring out other activities.  For now, the boy is going to play fall soccer and in a homeschool flag football league.  The girl is signed up for yoga and is debating a second choice of classes.  Both will do Scouts again and we are thinking of signing them back up for martial arts.

Just a few more days and our school year begins!

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Grilling Just Like Dad with #SizzleNServeGrill from Little Tikes

When the girl was little, she always wanted to grill just like his daddy and grandpa.  We bought her the Little Tikes grill and she would make us tons of pretend foods.  We passed it on to the boy when he was old enough and we enjoyed a second round of yummy grilled plastic foods.

This week, we're checking out the Sizzle N Serve grill from Little Tikes and sharing it with one of our little friends.  The update version is just as cute as it could be, with an orange dome style grill and plenty of yummy foods for your little chef.

What we love:

  • Like most Little Tikes products, it's really easy to assemble!  I had it from box to play in under 5 minutes.
  • It comes with plenty of food--two hotdogs, two hotdog buns, two hamburgers, two hamburger buns, ketchup, mustard, and two cooking utensils.  There is nothing worse at a pretend BBQ than running out of food.
  • Open-ended play.  I'm referring back to the one we had when F&B were little, but they played for *hours* with that toy.  I love cooking toys for kids.  There is always so much to do with them.  Mine made meals, had BBQs, played restaurant, set up a sushi bar, and more!  And any toy that they could play with together happily?  Total win!
  • Everything fits inside for easy storage.  We preferred to store toys with their own pieces, so I love how you can put everything inside the grill and it still shuts.

Connect with Little Tikes on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram for all sorts of great summer toy and play ideas or to check out their latest products and contests.

Disclosure: We received a Little Tikes Explorer Sizzle N Serve from MGA Entertainment for the purposes of this review.  No other compensation was received and all opinions are my own.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Strawberry Shortcake: Berry Tales

It's time for another awesome Strawberry Shortcake movie and giveaway!  This time, it's for Strawberry Shortcake: Berry Tales, 3 new fairy tales starring all your favorite Strawberry Shortcake characters.  For those of you who didn't know, I loved Strawberry Shortcake as a kid, so I was thrilled when it was relaunched in time for Faith to enjoy it too.  Now, we share it with our little friends when they come to visit.
The spotlight shines on the importance of being true to yourself in Strawberry Shortcake: Berry Tales. Join Plum in “Snowberry and the Seven Berrykins” as she learns to believe in herself when putting on a small and simple play for a young audience. In “Berryella and Prince Berry Charming,” Huck agrees to be in a production, but then quickly realizes that he’d be happier behind the scenes. Strawberry, Lemon and Raspberry star as three princesses on a quest to rule a kingdom in “The Littlest Berrykin,” and realize that they can never succeed without kindness and generosity. With berry important lessons, it’s curtain up on good times and friendship!
We also have a really cool coloring sheet so you can color the Strawberry Shortcake characters.  Just click on the image below to pop up a big file you can print.

What fairy tale would you love to see Strawberry Shortcake recreate?

Disclosure: This information, along with a copy of Strawberry Shortcake: Tales was provided to me as part of my relationship with Fox Home Entertainment Insiders. All opinions expressed are my own. 


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