Remember those awesome choose-your-own-adventure books we all loved as kids? Well Netflix has just launched their first in a series of choose-your-own-adventure TV shows, and mama? It’s so much fun! The first episode, Puss in Book: Trapped in an Epic Tale stars my favorite movie spin-off character ever, and is full of his signature wit, sarcasm and delightfully awkward moments, with plenty of jokes for the adults too. But this is no ordinary animated series. Periodically throughout the episode — 13 times, to be exact — a narrator (who totally reminds me of John Cleese) will stop the story and ask...Read More
I love the feeling of being surrounded by stacks and stacks of actual old-fashioned books at my local library. But, I also love that they’re embracing all the amazing new technology that has huge benefits for busy parents like me, who are still emphatic that our kids read as much as possible. That’s where the new hoopla digital app comes in. Let’s just say, life for readers is about to get soooo much easier. With the hoopla app, you can access your local library’s entire collection of ebooks, audiobooks, and even music, movies and television shows to download or stream right...Read More
Calling all STEM lovers: Here’s how to get free storytelling lessons for kids from Khan Academy and Pixar.
Well this is cool, parents! Khan Academy is partnering with Disney and Pixar to offer free online classes in storytelling for kids of all ages to show them how STEM helps make movies. The initiative is called Pixar in a Box, and we’re pretty sure it’s going to get kids thinking outside the box. Or Inside Out of the box? Heh. The videos walk you through the Pixar studios while actual Pixar employees talk about how ideas become art become movies. We meet the real people behind our favorite stories and learn where Pixar had challenges–which is great for my kids to see, because...Read More
The HopperGO lets you take all your favorite shows with you, no cords, wires, or Internet required | Sponsored Message
This is a sponsored message from DISH HopperGO Ever wish you could take all of your favorite shows on the go, without having to download them all to your mobile device? And watch them without the worry that you won’t have access to WiFi? Well, now you can, thanks to the HopperGO, a pocket DVR that requires absolutely no wires or cords. In fact, you don’t even need an Internet connection to start watching your favorite entertainment. And what’s more, thanks to a very special Cyber Monday deal, you could score the HopperGO for free. Hey, who doesn’t like free? Especially...Read More
I love family movie nights, especially on those rare occasions when it takes less than 15 minutes for the kids to agree on what we’re going to watch. So when I heard about a new wireless projector called CINEMOOD that lets you bring family movie night with you anywhere, I was intrigued to say the least. This gadget, which recently launched a crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo, turns any blank wall, ceiling, side of a tent, garage door, basement ceiling (you get the idea) into your own personal theater with about two-hours of completely unplugged battery life. But that’s not all. The reason we thought...Read More
It’s pretty rare that I watch a new release or an Oscar-nominated movie in any kind of timely manner, but today’s launch of a new service called FandangoNOW may make the impossible possible. We primarily know Fandango for movie listings and advanced ticket sales, but as of today, it’s rolling out a new on-demand video service called FandangoNOW, a rebranding of the M-GO service, that will provide a really cohesive theater-meets-home-theater entertainment experience. Perfect for access to a library of movies, new releases and those TV shows that everyone is talking about — but we parents have probably never seen. The aim is...Read More
Could parents actually get to watch an Oscar-nominated movie this year? Common Sense Media to the rescue.
Every year around this time, I hear the buzz around Oscar-nominated films and roles, and every year around this time, I realize that I have seen, oh…none of them. I know a lot of you feel me. But with this compilation of flicks from the Common Sense Media 2016 Oscar Nominated Films listing, along with helpful ratings and information that will help guide family movie night selections, I just may have a chance to break this tradition at last. Check out the list of all movies that are up for awards — not just the kid flicks — then filter out which are appropriate for your kids based...Read More
Organization help: Decluttr app gives you cash for unwanted CDs, DVDs, and games. But is it worth it?
Since starting to Konmari, or “tidy,” my home almost a year ago, I’ve found myself avoiding certain categories of stuff left to purge, like the four large bins of CDs we’ve had stored in our basement since switching all our music over to digital. But I recently discovered an app that makes it easier to part with all that media, because I actually get paid to declutter. And that’s apparently all the motivation I needed to part with them. Aptly named Decluttr, this free app for iOS and Android is so easy to use that I’ve already sent and received payment for...Read More
Documentaries are hot right now. The whole earth seems to be obsessed with Making a Murderer, and movies like What Happened Miss Simone?, Man on Wire and Jiro Dreams of Sushi have been big hits in the last few years too. I’m not surprised, considering I’m a sucker for a great documentary too. So I’m excited to dive into the new website CuriosityStream, which features more than a thousand truly high-quality, well-produced, documentaries, all of them streamed to you without commercials. Related: Cutting the cable cord: 5 things that happened when I finally did it Now, the documentaries on CuriosityStream skew more educational and fact-based than the pop-culture docs you’ll see on Netflix, but that’s fantastic for kids...Read More
I’d been considering cutting the cable cord for about a year before I actually took the plunge. My kids and I rarely ever watch cable, and pretty much never use the landline (I don’t think I ever actually learned that phone number!), so it didn’t seem to make sense for me to continue paying those huge monthly bills. So, when I moved into my new home six months ago, I decided to get rid of cable and telephone entirely, opting only for high-speed Internet. Well, let’s just say my kids and I have lived to tell about it — though I will admit that the transition...Read More