The Diary of a Nouveau Soccer Mom

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Lego Friends: Girlz 4 Life Blu-ray And Lego Set {Giveaway}

Warner Bros. Home Video provided me with some of the materials I used 
in this Blog Post/Giveaway. The opinions I share are my own.
Do your kids love Lego?  Both of mine always have and Faith and I have a special fondness for the Lego Friends series, especially the added critters.   The series has now come to life in a great new video!

There are few things as important in life as your friends. No matter how old you are, your friends are there to help you when you’re down, support you when you make mistakes, and be your rock when the going gets tough.
The new movie, LEGO® FRIENDS: GIRLZ 4 LIFE, is all about friendship, trusting yourself and standing up for what’s right no matter what the cost. All set to an awesome rock soundtrack you’re going to love! Join Olivia, Stephanie, Emma, Mia and Andrea as they learn that fame isn’t important, it’s your friends that count!

Are your kids excited for the new LEGO® FRIENDS: GIRLZ 4 LIFE movie? We have a great giveaway for one lucky reader--a copy of the Blu-ray LEGO® FRIENDS: GIRLZ 4 LIFE and the LEGO® Friends Pop Star Dressing Room Building Kit!

Want to win?

Check out the app above and listen to the Girlz by L2M video. Leave me a comment with your favorite line or part of the video. For a second entry, download the “Girlz 4 Life” Activity Pack from the app and leave a second comment with which activity your kids enjoyed most.  For a third entry, you can tweet about the giveaway.  Just make sure to use the Rafflecopter so you get credit for all your entries.   Giveaway starts February 1, 2016.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Family Movie Night Fun #MakeItAMovieNight

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. 
All opinions are mine alone. #MakeItAMovieNight #CollectiveBias

As the parents of tweens, we really value the idea of family traditions and quality time together.  Many nights of the week, we're going in opposite directions with sports, music lessons, church, and scouting.  It's really important to reconnect with all four of us, and family movie nights are one of our favorite ways to do that.

There are so many great family movies out right now!  We have a list of which ones we want to see, and this week's pick is Hotel Transylvania 2 from Sony Pictures.  We also love a movie night with our favorite snacks, including Orville Redenbacher popcorn, M&M’S® Chocolate Candies (both milk chocolate and peanut, of course, and in the new adorable containers), and Coca-Cola.  The kids and I headed out to Walmart to pick up all the goodies we needed for our movie night.

Besides enjoying our snacks in the regular way, this week we're making popcorn bars and Coca-Cola floats!  Popcorn bars are kind of a cross between a crispy rice square and a granola bar, but ours have M&M’S® Chocolate Candies in them too.  It's a great combo of salty and sweet!

Popcorn Bars
1 pop-up bowl Orville Redenbacher Movie Theater Popcorn (popped)
3.5 oz MARS Milk Chocolate M&M’S® Chocolate Candies
1 10.5 oz bag of marshmallows
4 Tbsp butter or margarine
  • Pop the popcorn and scoop it into a large bowl, to avoid the random kernels.
  • Mix one package of M&M’S® into the same bowl, set aside.
  • In a saucepan, melt the butter till liquid.
  • Stir the marshmallows into the butter until the marshmallows fully melt.  You may need to continually stir to remove the lumps.
  • As soon as the butter/marshmallows are melted, pour into the bowl of popcorn and M&M’S®, and stir to coat.
  • Press the mixture into a glass dish (sprayed with bake spray) and use a spatula to flatten out.
  • Chill overnight.  Cut into bars and serve!

Coca-Cola Floats
Individual bottle of Coca-Cola (we buy the 6 pack)
Vanilla ice cream
  • Scoop two scoops of vanilla ice cream into a tall glass and add a straw.
  • Slowly pour Coca-Cola over the ice cream, watching so the soda does not spill over.
  • Drink, enjoy, and keep adding Coca-Cola to your float to keep it fizzy!

There's also a great VUDU offer when you purchase the same products we did at Walmart--Orville Redenbacher popcorn, Coca-Cola, MARS M&M’s®, and Sony New Releases (including Hotel Transylvania 2).
  • Buy all 4 participating products listed below in one transaction at Walmart between 12/22/15 and 2/2/16.
  • Snap a picture of your receipt and visit
  • Get a $10 Vudu movie code* by email. (Valid while supplies last. Limit 1 per person.)

Does your family love movie nights too?  Check out the Make It a Movie Night hub for more awesome ideas and leave me a comment telling me your favorite ones!  We're always looking for new ideas, so I'd love to hear them.

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Kung Fu Panda Party

This past weekend, we got to enjoy a Kung Fu Panda Party as we wait for the new Kung Fu Panda 3!

Fox Home Entertainment sent us a great batch of goodies, including dinnerware, table decor, bamboo straws, goody bags, stickers, masks, fortune cookies, both movies, and the cutest stuffed Po pandas--basically everything we needed for a fun movie night.

We decided to make fried rice for the evening, it just seemed like a fitting choice for Po and friends.  It's a staple in our house anyhow, we put together all the leftover meats and veggies from the past few days and stir fry it all with egg, garlic, onion, rice, and soy sauce.  The only downside is it's definitely an "eyeball" dish, I have no idea how much of anything I put in it.

Since we still have lots of cookies, I didn't get a chance to make the panda cookies I really wanted to make, so I made up for it by making a panda lunch with the same cutters the next day.  For a really cute panda cupcake, check out One Momma Saving Money's cute pandas!

We also have a couple of fun activity sheets for you, in case you want to have your own movie night--Kung Fu Panda bookmarks and lunch (or dinner) notes with wraps.  Just click on the below images to get a printable version.

Are you rewatching the first two Kung Fu Panda movies too?  I'd love to hear about your movie night.  Don't forget to enter our giveaway for the movies too!

Disclosure: The information in this post and a copy of Kung Fu Panda 1 and 2 were provided to me as part of my relationship with Fox Home Entertainment Insiders. All opinions expressed are my own. 

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Kung Fu Panda 1 & 2 {Giveaway}

Are you excited for Kung Fu Panda 3 to come out?  We definitely are!  The boy was obsessed with the first movie as a toddler and we still love Po and company.  It's on our 2016 must-see list.

We also had a lot of fun this weekend with a Kung Fu Panda movie marathon, complete with our new Po stuffies and a yummy dinner (more to come on that!).  It's the perfect lead-in to the new movie and who doesn't enjoy a family movie night.
Relive the awesomeness of everyone’s favorite martial arts- loving panda and the Furious Five in Kung Fu Panda and Kung Fu Panda 2. Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment will release the two films with new extras on Digital HD December 15 and Blu-rayTM and DVD January 5 with a bonus disc of new content. 
In DreamWorks’ Kung Fu Panda, Jack Black is perfect as the voice of Po, a noodle- slurping dreamer who must embrace his true self – fuzzy flaws and all – in order to become the Dragon Warrior. With groundbreaking animation and high-kicking humor, the Oscar-nominated Kung Fu Panda is delightful entertainment for the whole family. 
Black reprises his role as Po in Kung Fu Panda 2, the fiercely funny Academy Award- nominated sequel. In his biggest challenge since becoming the Dragon Warrior, Po must lead his friends and fellow kung fu masters, The Furious Five, on a mission of epic proportions to defeat his most threatening rival yet!  
The re-release of these films will include exciting new bonus features for the whole family to enjoy, including an all-new 22 minute animated adventure, “Secret of the Scroll,” and an exclusive sneak peek of DreamWorks Animation Kung Fu Panda 3.
We are also loving these cute printables we received from Fox.  The resurgence in adult coloring books makes me happy, I've sworn for years that coloring is therapeutic.  Just click on the below images to pop up a larger version.

We also have a copy of Kung Fu Panda 1 & 2 for one lucky reader to win!  Just use the Rafflecopter below to enter, leaving me a comment telling me who your favorite Kung Fu Panda character is.  For extra entries, you can tweet about the giveaway.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclosure: The information in this post and a copy of Kung Fu Panda 1 and 2 were provided to me as part of my relationship with Fox Home Entertainment Insiders. All opinions expressed are my own. 

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Dinosaur Books For All Ages!

We love to read and we always love getting new packages of books to try out.  Now that my honorary nephew lives nearby, I have an excuse why I need to preview all sorts of awesome toddler books and F&B are always up for a new read.  We received an awesome box from Capstone Publishing before the holidays full of dinosaur books.

In Dino Mike and the T-Rex Attack (written by comic-artist Franco), Dino-Mike, the son of a famous paleontologist, travels the world with his dino-huntin' dad. As dad digs dino bones, Mike does some exploring on his own and winds up finding a live T. rex! After tracking what couldn't possibly be real, Mike meets a mysterious kid that seems to know why and how the real dinosaur got here.  Read Benjamin's review on his book blog.

In Jellaby: The Lost Monster by Kean Soo, Portia discovers a shy and sweet purple monster in the woods behind her home.. Life with Jellaby is exciting, but Portia's purple friend has secrets of his own and she needs to try to get him home.  Read Benjamin's review of Jellaby too!

Peek-A-Boo Dinosaurs by Charles Reasoner is a great toddler choice with dinosaurs hiding on each page.  The pages are designed so the next dinosaur peeks through a window on the page you are reading.  My sweet nephew loves all things dinosaur and this book is a perfect addition to a toddler library.

Little Dinos Don't Hit from the "Hello Genius" series is my nephew's favorite.  The little dinosaur in questions learns his manners, including how he isn't supposed to hit his family and friends.  Even better, the little dino gives hugs at the end of the book, as does my nephew.

We loved themed books when the kids were little and we still think you can't go wrong with thematic reading, especially dinosaurs!

Disclosure: Capstone Publishing sent me the aforementioned books for purposes of this review, all opinions are my own.

Wednesday, January 06, 2016

Harlem Globetrotters - 90th Anniversary Tour

Last year, Ben and I, along with two of his Cub Scout friends, got the chance to enjoy a Harlem Globetrotters game in Colorado Springs.  We are both really happy to report that the team is launching their 90th anniversary tour, with stops all over the US, including near our new home in Washington.  We'll be going again and hopefully taking dad and sister with us.
Celebrating 90 years of providing smiles, sportsmanship and service to millions of people worldwide, the world famous Harlem Globetrotters will bring their unrivaled family show to an arena near you during their 90th Anniversary World Tour. On the court, the Globetrotters' 90-year celebration will feature some of the greatest athletes and entertainers on the planet. 
With a star-studded roster featuring Big Easy Lofton, Ant Atkinson, Hi-Lite Bruton, Thunder Law, Bull Bullard and Cheese Chisholm - plus female stars TNT Maddox and Sweet J Ekworomadu - the Globetrotters' one-of-a-kind show is unrivaled in the world of family entertainment. Every game will showcase incredible ball handling wizardry, rim-rattling dunks, trick shots, hilarious comedy and unequaled fan interaction.
You won't want your family to miss it either.  It's an awesome family fun night.  I have a special discount for my readers too, just use promo code FAMFUN to save 25% off your tickets!

Disclosure: We received tickets to check out the Harlem Globetrotters as part of my affiliation with All opinions expressed are my own.

Sunday, January 03, 2016

AdoramaPix Metal Prints {Review}

Before the holidays, we got a chance to check out AdoramaPix and their metal prints.

I was intrigued at the idea of printing on metal and decided that the perfect picture to do a test run was a family shot of us snowshoeing in the Tetons last year.  I chose my photo, uploaded it to the website, then used the on-site tools to adjust the positioning to get the angle I wanted (us centered, plus Grand Teton peeking out at the top).  I saved my design, showed my husband later in the day, then ordered.

I can't even take a photo to do this justice.

Shipping was slightly delayed, due to the holiday rush, but the company was great about communicating it.  We received our photo within 3 weeks and it came packaged exceptionally well.  That said, I can't even begin to describe how much we liked it!  We have it hanging in our dining room and every single time I look at it, I love it even more.  The colors came out amazing--perfect bright blue skies, crisp white snow, everything is just as it was taken.

I picked the "floating" option, so glad I did.
They sent everything I needed to hang the photo.

With blog reviews, one always wonders if what the blogger is saying is true or if it's copy.   I'll just add this.  We were so happy with our first print that we ordered a second metal print of our family at our own expense.  It arrived as beautiful as the first (and slightly quicker since the holidays are over). We'll be building onto our travel collection of family photos soon.

Disclosure: This post was written as a part of my ongoing relationship with US Family Guide. I received a complimentary metal photo print in exchange for my post.


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