Thanks to Verizon for sponsoring this post about keeping the family connected during the holidays.
2020 its been some year… actually pretty crazy year for our family personally, lots of family moving to different states (most of it not because of the pandemic) but its been a year of differences. Like many families seeing family and friends have been challenging (if not completely nonexistent). Thankfully 2020 offers us a ton of technology to keep us connected.
Each of us has screen times issues these days but if thats the only way to stay social and connect outside of our homes, pods, inner circle friends. Marc has been on video games chatting away for hours with friends that he’s knows from school and some he’s met online playing the games (thats a much larger conversation for another time). Harper and Harlow facetime with family, and for Mother’s day we got the facebook portal and have been connecting with their GG (great grandmother – Ma) once a in a while to check-in.
All while we’re working remotely, learning remotely, and streaming the entire Netflix. HBO Max library… so having incredible internet speed is everything to us. I think my last count was 30 devices are usually connected to our wifi at any given time… being able to watch TV without buffering is a pretty important issue for the adults, and also a 5 year old who watches all of those Ryan’s surprise egg videos.
We’ve been a FiOS Home for years and we love it. We’ve really never had major outages (which is a major change from our last internet provider) and never impacted by the weather. This holiday season Verizon has you covered with some incredible deals. This holiday season the deals are better than ever, get rewarded when you combine your Verizon mobile and Fios Home Internet Plans. For new customers, save $30/month with select plans* when you get both within 30 days of each other. Plus, get $10/month** to put toward your next hone or tablet. Choose the plans that are right for you and get rewarded – today.
Hopefully by now you’ve heard of the incredible remake of the classic The Witches… Its now streaming on HBO Max this class tale from Roald Dahl’s library is a perfect halloween treat.
To make that treat even sweeter we’ve got this great giveaway thanks to our friends at Warner Bros.
How to enter: Simply leave a comment with the name of one of the actresses from the original movie or this fantastic remake.
Giveaway One THE WITCHES gift box containing:
HBOMax complimentary code for 7 day free trial
WITCHES bookmark and novel
Flavored popcorns, snack packs, and Coffee Beanery coffee sample
Wood decorating craft kit
Mouse ears headband
Splat hair dye and hair chalk
Crayons and activity booklet
Download The Witches Halloween Activity Pack!
From Oscar-winning director Robert Zemeckis (“Forrest Gump”) comes the fantasy adventure “Roald Dahl’s The Witches.” The film stars Oscar winners Anne Hathaway (“Les Misérable,” “Ocean’s 8”) and Octavia Spencer (“The Help,” “The Shape of Water”), Oscar nominee Stanley Tucci (“The Hunger Games” films, “The Lovely Bones”), with Kristin Chenoweth (TV’s “Glee” and “BoJack Horseman”) and award-winning comedy legend Chris Rock. Newcomer Jahzir Kadeem Bruno (TV’s “Atlanta”) also stars, alongside Codie-Lei Eastick (“Holmes & Watson”).
Reimagining Dahl’s beloved story for a modern audience, Zemeckis’s visually innovative film tells the darkly humorous and heartwarming tale of a young orphaned boy (Bruno) who, in late 1967, goes to live with his loving Grandma (Spencer) in the rural Alabama town of Demopolis. As the boy and his grandmother encounter some deceptively glamorous but thoroughly diabolical witches, she wisely whisks our young hero away to an opulent seaside resort. Regrettably, they arrive at precisely the same time that the world’s Grand High Witch (Hathaway) has gathered her fellow cronies from around the globe—undercover—to carry out her nefarious plans.
Based on the book by Roald Dahl, the screenplay is by Robert Zemeckis & Kenya Barris (TV’s “black-ish,” “Shaft”) and Oscar winner Guillermo del Toro (“The Shape of Water”). Zemeckis is also producing, alongside Jack Rapke, del Toro, Alfonso Cuarón and Luke Kelly. Serving as executive producers are Jacqueline Levine, Marianne Jenkins, Michael Siegel, Gideon Simeloff and Cate Adams.
Zemeckis’s behind-the-scenes team includes a roster of his frequent collaborators, including Oscar-nominated director of photography Don Burgess (“Forrest Gump”), production designer Gary Freeman, editors Jeremiah O’Driscoll and Ryan Chan, Oscar-nominated costume designer Joanna Johnston (“Allied,” “Lincoln”), and Oscar-nominated composer Alan Silvestri (“Polar Express,” “Forrest Gump”).
Giveaway: Ends 10/31/2020 at 11:59PM PT. Open to US residents only, must be age 18+. Prize provided by Warner Bros.
The dynamic duo of Moe Shalizi and Marshmello set out to create a cutting-edge experience for children. Today they proudly announce the launch of their newest entertainment initiative, Mellodees, a musically-driven video property. Mellodees will feature Dee the musical robot with music produced by Marshmello, and promises to deliver relevant messages and energetic music for the preschool set and their millennial parents to enjoy.
Mellodees creates a 3D animated world filled with lovable characters where children and parents can learn, play, dance, and discover together. The star of the show, Dee, is a fun and friendly robot with musical built-in features. With Dee’s imagination, he and his friends go on wild adventures providing families with music, special dance moves and more. By “Following the Beets,” kids can easily read and sing along with the lyrics.
Mellodees launches with the quintessential “ABC’s Song,” followed by other favorites such as “Itsy Bitsy Spider,” “Twinkle Twinkle” and “Wheels On The Bus.”
My Talking Tom Friends is officially available to download worldwide on Google Play and the App Store and, to celebrate, we have pulled together 5 handy tips & tricks you need to know, whilst exploring and finding fun.
Taking virtual pets to the next level, My Talking Tom Friends sees Talking Tom, Talking Angela, Talking Hank, Talking Becca (this is her mobile game debut!), Talking Ben, and Talking Ginger moving into one big house together for the first time.
Players can decorate the house, customize their characters’ outfits, take care of them, and put them to bed at the end of a busy day of non-stop fun. The new title brings all the Talking Tom and Friends characters together in a never-before-seen sandbox experience, where we can all play any way we want.
My Talking Tom Friends allows you to create your own unique stories, with 6 lovable characters who trust you to entertain them, feed them, learn with them and be there for them. Here are our top 5 tips and tricks you need to know for My Talking Tom Friends.
Unlock all six characters Players start the game with Tom and soon meet Angela in the tutorial. From there, other familiar faces can be unlocked and added to the group of friends. Over the course of the game, players welcome all six characters to the house, but don’t forget that they all have their favorite places to hang out! Look around the house to find where they might be hanging out!
Customize your characters Keeping your friends looking stylish is great fun! You can customize their looks as you play. The wardrobe is shared between characters, so anyone can wear whatever you want! It’s filled with lots of outfits, some which you can unlock as you go and others that you can get by catching the bus into town and going shopping! You can also get new things for the house while you’re at it.
Get tokens and take bus trips You can collect bus tokens through different gameplay activities found around the house, such as fulfilling wishes, progressing skills or playing mini-games. When you gather enough tokens, a bus takes characters to town, where they can get different rewards from one of the shops. Here you can collect a wide variety of rewards such as prop items, wardrobe items, furniture skins, food, medicine, seeds and coins.
Grow a variety of food There’s a great garden in the house and characters are able to use it to grow some unique plants. They can get seeds from the shops in town or you can get some when you enter the gardening scene. After planting the seeds, one of the many possible plants will grow – onions, tomatoes, lettuce, pineapple and…. Lollipops, cotton candy, and hot dogs? Nature can be weird sometimes. You can also use the water hose to speed up the plant-growing process. Or, if you can’t wait, you can also purchase a fertilizer to grow it instantly.
Play lots of mini-games Mini-games are a great way to earn tokens and other surprises. You can access them by taking a character to the TV in the living room, or by selecting the relevant prop and choosing the mini-game option. Mini-games reward you with tokens and items, so the more you play, the more options will become available. And skillful play also offers greater rewards, so if you score lots of shots in a row in a game of basketball, you’ll get more tokens!
Summer camps have been CANCELLED but you cant cancel summer and you cant cancel being a parent… so thanks to our friends at Warner Bros. Home Entertainment – They’ve created an 8 week virtual summer camp – #CampWarnerBros
Week 1: June 22 Activity: Super Hero Training
Week 2: June 29
Activity: DIY Crystal Gems
Week 3: July 6
Activity: Gummy Bear Slime
Week 4: July 13
Activity: Cooking & Coloring
Week 5: July 20
Activity: Character Bank
Week 6: July 27
Activity: Summer Goals Chart & Family Fitness
Week 7: August 3
Activity: “Drive-In” Movie
Week 8: August 10
Activity: Talent Show – Do The Urkel
Each week we have an activity and each week there will be a movie! Stayed tuned to weekly movie picks and activites.
We were super excited to be accepted into the camp so we can’t wait to share all these fun activities with you! Thanks again to Warner Bros. Home Entertainment sent us an exclusive welcome kit and I will be your camp director. Ready or Not!
As a family, we’ve played with Talking Tom for years. When the character was first introduced, he would simply mimic what you would say in a totally different voice. Over the past 10 years the character has evolved, just as our mobile phones and apps have evolved. Now there are six lovable characters in the award-winning Talking Tom and Friends franchise… And a whole new adventure to enjoy in the latest mobile game!
My Talking Tom Friends uses a ‘sandbox’ approach that allows the whole family to play any way they want. In this next-generation mobile pet simulation, you can take care of Talking Tom and Friends as they move in together – for the very first time!
The excitement begins when Talking Tom shows up at the new house with a box full of all his fun stuff and decides he wants to stay. As your adventure starts, even more characters arrive, each bringing their own unique brand of fun to the house! The characters love living together but – as we’ve found out while we played – they’re never happier than when we’re all playing together.
And there are countless ways to play! We get to care for their needs and wishes, helping them play together with cool gadgets and activities, and we really love the mini-games! You can do everything from skateboarding and karaoke, to growing food in the garden. For a change of scenery, you can take the bus into town to go shopping for new furniture for the house and clothes for the characters. There are so many things to do – it’s really up to you to explore and create your own unique stories.
Now you and your family can play this fun game together, too! My Talking Tom Friends is now available to download for free from the App Store and Google Play https://go.onelink.me/app/ef2af7f
AppleTV+ invited me to join a round-table video chat withBryce Dallas Howard to talk about her new documentary DADS. This is Bryce’s first major film directorial debut. Pulling together a collection of very famous faces and regular Dads that you’ve seen a playground near you. It really is a heartstring pulling documentary, spliced between interviews and footage from when Ron Howard was becoming a dad as well.
Check out the trailer – if you’re expecting your first child or just want some belly laughs about the common things all dads stress over its a great watch. I got to ask Bryce about what she was giving her dad Ron for Father’s day… I think documentary sums it up pretty nicely.
“Dads” is a heartfelt and humorous documentary that celebrates the joys and challenges of parenting in today’s world. Featuring six extraordinary fathers from across the globe, this film offers a firsthand glimpse into the trials and tribulations of modern-day parenting through revealing interviews, rare home-movie footage, viral videos, and hilarious and thoughtful testimonials from some of Hollywood’s funniest celebrities, including Judd Apatow, Jimmy Fallon, Neil Patrick Harris, Ron Howard, Ken Jeong, Jimmy Kimmel, Hasan Minaj, Conan O’Brien, Patton Oswalt, Will Smith and more. Making her feature directorial debut, Bryce Dallas Howard also offers an intimate look at the dads in her own family, including remarkable interviews with her late grandfather Rance, her father Ron and her brother Reed.
“Dads” is part of Apple’s exclusive, first-look deal with Imagine Documentaries. The film is produced by Nine Muses Entertainment, in association with Dove Men+Care.
Welcome to our new reality of work from home and at home schooling, one piece thats been missing for kids is socialization. Thankfully the release of Animal Crossing New Horizons [Amazon] couldnt come at a better time. This version of Animal Crossing really pushes the user to build a digital community of friends (dont worry the friend codes are like 20 digits, so really the only way to connect with friends is by having their codes – this game is still fun if you play it alone without connecting with friends too).
You start by building your own island, build it into your own island paradise. Then you can share it with your friends, up to 8 friends can virtually hang out on the same island. Add a facetime call between friends and you’ve created a great virtual playdate.
There are virtual crafting activities, spend digital nook miles that offer up unique experiences (that is an additional cash into system), grow virtual fruit which adds into the virtual economy experience. There is tons of experiences to enjoy in the game but at the core its about teamwork and spending virtual time with your friends and assisting them to build up their houses too.
Thankfully Nintendo sent me a review code to try out the game and personally my kids have been obsessed with the game, My son whos turning 12 seriously has over a dozen friends playing and they do daily virtual parties and visit each other island (so many kids are joining them they need to have multiple islands to party on).
Disclosure: Nintendo provided a download code to review Animal Crossing: New Horizons.
Based on the global blockbuster video game franchise from Sega, SONIC THE HEDGEHOG tells the story of the world’s speediest hedgehog as he embraces his new home on Earth. In this live-action adventure comedy, Sonic and his new best friend Tom (James Marsden) team up to defend the planet from the evil genius Dr. Robotnik (Jim Carrey) and his plans for world domination. The family-friendly film also stars Tika Sumpter and Ben Schwartz as the voice of Sonic.
The trailer is really fair for you to learn pretty much everything you need to know as a parent about the film. I loved it, my kids loved it (ages: 11, 6, and 4). I also grew up playing Sonic on my Sega genesis so there is a bit of nostalgia for this to me too.
Thanks to Paramount Pictures my family was invited out to the attend the world premiere out in Los Angeles. We stayed at the The Hollywood Roosevelt WOW if you ever want to stay at a classic hollywood establishment hotel – I highly recommend this one – you can tell there are stories and history in every hall. We started the weekend off by attending the media junket featuring Producer Toby Ascher, Director Jeff Fowler, Jim Carrey, James Marsden and Ben Schwartz. Want to watch this incredible look at inside a media junket?
The next day was the family blue carpet premiere that was AWESOME. We got a tour of the Paramount lot, set visit to Dr. Phil and a tour of the props from some of their most iconic movies over the last few years. We walked over to all the family fun activities that were setup for the premiere.