Archive | October, 2012

Happy Halloween

31 Oct

Today is Halloween and I am about to get my kids ready to go trick-or-treating.  Usually we decorate shirts, go to the pumkin patch, carve and paint pumpkins etc…  But for some reason, this year we have been out of sorts.  I’m not sure why.  The only thing we have accomplished that is part of our tradition is that we went to Howl-o-Scream at Busch Gardens, like we do every year, but without our matching shirts.  Also, as a bonus, I won a couple of passes to Kings Dominion’s The Haunt (which I took my kids to.)

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Now, when I say that we went to these scary functions at the amusement parks we left before it got dark and before the scary stuff actually happened.  Even my 14 year old isn’t in to being terrified in the haunted houses.  If I had to judge which park was scarier without ever having participated with the actual events, I would have to say King’s Dominion by far.  They have things set up throughout the park that seem just more scary without the added ‘monsters.’  But, they also have much better stuff during the day for kids like a treasure hunt.

Anyway, here we are at Halloween, with temperatures that are 20 degrees colder than the last several years, sadly.  So, it is all about the layers tonight.  I bought my son thermal underwear to wear under his costume because he can’t wear tights like my daughter.  I am hoping the promise of candy will make them happy enough to not complain about being cold.  Last year we got some loose nuts.  I wonder if we will get more of those?

I recently learned about a program called Treats 4 Our Troops and am considering donating some of our ample candy load, being ex-Navy and living in a military area makes me feel like it is a good thing to teach my kids about. 

Have a safe and Happy Halloween!  And to all those in the north that have been affected by Hurricane Sandy stay safe and warm and I hope you are able to celebrate in a way that is special to your family.

Disney’s Wreck-It Ralph Pre-Screening

31 Oct

I was lucky enough to get pre-screening passes to see Disney’s Wreck-It Ralph last week from my local Fox television station.  My family (me, my husband, my 14 year old daughter, my 7 year old son, and my 4 year old daughter) all wanted to see this movie.  In fact, I feel as though it was made for my son who talks almost non-stop about video games.  He gets very wrapped up in the story lines, characters, and levels; plus he comes up with countless ideas for his own games.

What a wonderful way to surprise them all!  Pre-screeings are a regular occurrence for my area, usually they are only a couple of days before the movie actually starts, so I was really surprised that this was almost two weeks ahead of time.  If you ever have the opportunity to attend one of these events make sure to arrive early because seating is not guaranteed and they hand out more passes than seats to ensure the theater is full.

This is a movie about a ‘bad guy’ Ralph that gets in a rut and is tired of being excluded.  He decides to leave his game via Game Central Station to try and get a medal so he will no longer be excluded by the others in the Fix It Felix Jr. video game.  On the way he meets some interesting characters and true friends, but he has to hurry, if he doesn’t make it back in time the plug will be pulled on his game.

Now, to tell you what we thought about the movie…  My 4 year old daughter loved it and every part with cars was her favorite, plus her favorite character was Vanellope, played by Sarah Silverman.  My son’s favorite part was when Ralph helped Vanellope make her car, no surprise his favorite character is Ralph, played by John C. Reilly.  My 14 year old daughter refuses to pick favorites, which I told her is funny because it isn’t like they will know.  My favorite part is the revelation of the true bad guy (which I didn’t see coming) I have decided to not have any real spoilers in this post, so anyone can read it.  My husband liked the fact that Qbert was included because he misses that game.
    
I definitely say this is a must see for the whole family.  We have a large age range in our family and every single one of us enjoyed it.  Oh, and we did see it in 3D, but I believe the story line is strong enough to carry it no matter what.  Plus it has a great moral that is valuable.  

All thoughts and opinions are mine and my families, we were not compensated in any way for this post. 

Wreck-It Ralph Poster

Influenster Makeover

25 Oct

Have you heard of Influenster?  It is a great site that allows trendsetters and tastemakers to come together in an exclusive online community and connect with brands and products.  Active members get exclusive access to deals, promotions, and swag from brands that look for input from consumers-whether positive, negative, or in between.  Recently Influenster has done a facelift on their site and added some new and improved features.

The first thing I notice when I go to the Influenster site is my overall score, which is currently 86.  Not too shabby, I think.  I have also gotten some expert badges, five total so far, because I have to work to unlock more.  My average scores for these Expert Badges range from 53-67 and can increase if I participate or initiate some online content.  There is a Plan of Attack section under the profile that, I assume will help me increase my score if I do some of the items on the list.

Overall I enjoy the changes on the Influenster site.  The one thing I would like is to have more Expert Badges.  When I selected my badges I didn’t realize there was a limit of five since there was not limit on the old version of the site.  Other than that, they did a great job updating their site to help give a well-rounded picture of my online influence.