Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Game Time: Tackling the Past - P&G and Walmart's Family Movie Night Review

The next movie in Proctor & Gamble and Walmart's Family Movie Night will be premiering on September 3 at 8/7c on NBC and it is just as moving and wholesome as the last one!

Game Time: Tackling the Past is a sports-themed movie, but don't let that fool non-football fans (such as myself!). As always, there is something for everyone in this movie and I found myself glued to the set the entire time!

The movie stars well-known actors Beau Bridges (as dad Frank Walker) and Catherine Hicks (as mom Anna Walker) as well as Ryan McPartlin (as Jake) and Josh Braaten (as brother Dean Walker). Here's a synopsis of the movie:
"Pro football star Jake Walker is just one season away from setting an all-time receiving record that will guarantee him a spot in the Hall of Fame. But when he gets news that his father has suffered a serious heart attack, Jake leaves training camp and returns to Riverton, the small hometown he's avoided for nearly 15 years. Past memories of glory and regret resurface as Jake is forced to reconnect with the family and community he abandoned in pursuit of his career.

A call from his agent delivers another crushing blow - Jake's contract will not be renewed. Stripped from the thing he cares about most, the real Jake begins to emerge from behind his armor to see that life proves more than the accumulation of personal stats. But when he's offered a lucrative new contract with another team, he must decide whether to go back to the career he thought he loved, or stay in Riverton and embrace the people who have always been there for him.

As a Family Movie Night Mom Ambassador, I was able to preview the movie with my family. Watching the scenes of the fallout from Jake's father's heart attack were particularly hard for my fiance to watch, as he lost his father to a sudden heart attack many years ago and rushed to his hospital bedside as well (in his father's case, however, he never regained consciousness).

We held hands tightly through those scenes and shed a few tears. That's how real they were. The actors did an amazing job of portraying such a crisis.

Our whole family loved the movie and once again, it was nice to sit back and enjoy entertainment that I know is free of inappropriate or adult-oriented content. Game Time: Tackling the Past teaches the importance of family, helping others and what really matters in life, lessons that are so crucial in raising good kids, and it does so without being preachy or overbearing.

Check out the trailer below:

For more information on Game Time: Tackling the Past, visit the official Family Movie Night website here.

You can also visit the Family Movie Night Facebook page here.

Be sure to tune in on Saturday, September 3 at 8/7 C to see all of the action, drama and fun Game Time: Tackling the Past has to offer!

Disclosure: I wrote this review while participating in a campaign by Mom Central Consulting on behalf of P&G and received a promotional item to thank me for taking the time to participate.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Fun With Disney Interactive Studios

It's no secret that my family and I are HUGE Disney fans! Our trip to Disney World this past spring was amazing and brought tears of joy to my little girl's eyes since it was her first visit there ever and also her first vacation since being diagnosed with diabetes several months ago.

So she was overjoyed when Disney Interactive Studios recently sent us two video games for us to review: Cars 2: The Video Game and Phineas and Ferb: Across the Second Dimension.

The original Cars movie has a lot of meaning to my three kids because it was the last movie they watched with their grandfather before he passed away. He was a race car driver so it was the perfect movie for them to watch with him.

We haven't had a chance to see Cars 2 yet but we are definitely planning on it! I am sure it will live up to the Disney name and deliver wholesome, fun entertainment as all Disney movies do.

Disney's video games are no different and Natalie has had so much fun playing the Nintendo DS version of Cars 2 (the game is available on all major gaming platforms). Here's a description from Disney Interactive Studios:
"In Cars 2: The Video Game, players prepare to become a world-class spy at the international training center C.H.R.O.M.E (Command Headquarters for Recon Operations and Motorized Espionage) and then take on dangerous spy missions. While using their new spy skills in exhilarating, action-packed combat racing and battle arenas, players compete to become the best race car in the world.

Fans can play in either single or multi player modes with up to four people to unlock new tracks, characters, events, and thrilling spy missions. Platforms: Xbox 360, Playstation 3, Wii, DS, and PC/Mac.

Developed by Avalanche Software in collaboration with filmmakers at Pixar Animation Studios, the team brought in a former CIA agent to ensure some of the spy elements in the game (from training to gadgets) reflect what spy agencies might implement, with an animated twist, of course. Check out this cool video on the making of the game:

The DS version includes exclusive global locations not seen in the film. Natalie's favorite character to play as is Holly Shiftwell and she really had fun with the different maneuvers only Cars characters can do, such as backwards driving, air tricks, sidestepping to avoid obstacles and two-wheel driving.

The console versions are rated "E-10+" and retail for $49.99 while the DS version is rated "E" for Everyone and is available for $29.99.

Natalie enjoyed playing Phineas & Ferb: Across the Second Dimension just as much! This game just hit the shelves earlier this month and comes on the heels of the Disney Channel Original Movie of the same name.

The game continues and expands the movie storyline and fans can play as their favorite characters from the series, including Phineas, Ferb, Agent P, and the all-new Agent T who is introduced for the first time in the game.
Here's a description of the game from Disney Interactive Studios:
"Players will adventure through unique worlds of gelatin, bouncy balloons, old-school cartoons and more as they utilize all-new and upgradeable gadgets such as the Carbonator, Ninja Glove and Jetpack. These items will be utilized to battle new adversaries,, as well as familiar foes, while engaging in epic boss battles against enemies like the Goozim and Giant Normbot.

The game is available on PlayStation3, Wii and Nintendo DS platforms. The console versions are rated "E-10+" and retail for $39.99 and the DS version is rated "E" for Everyone and is available for $29.99.

Here's a trailer that shows how much fun the games is:

Natalie's favorite part of the game is traveling through the dimensions and her favorite character is Perry the Platypus. She also loves the different robots found on each level of the game.

For more information on Cars2: The Video Game, click here. And for more information on Phineas and Ferb: Across the Second Dimension, click here.

Disclosure: I received two complimentary video games from Disney Interactive Studios to facilitate this review.

Monday, August 8, 2011

MagnetStreet Weddings


With only a little over a month left until my wedding, I am scrambling to take care of last-minute details! One thing I don't have to worry about anymore are the invitations, thankfully.

I stumbled upon MagnetStreet Weddings while searching for our wedding invitations awhile ago and I fell in love with this design immediately.

Our wedding, as you probably already know from our wedding blog, is taking place on the beach in the Outer Banks, so we wanted a beach-themed invitation. Hot pink and white are our wedding colors so that made these invitations even more perfect, but we could have changed the colors if we had wanted to.

In fact, the personalization tools at MagnetStreet are what we love the most about them. Not only can you choose your own colors and add a photo, but you can also change the font type and size and you can even mix and match fonts as we did.

We created an online invitation for our friends who can't be there in person (click the photo to enlarge):

But the "real life" invitations are even more amazing and all of our friends have raved about how beautiful they are! They are very high-quality and are printed in full color on linen paper and, like the online version, contain our phrase "So Much" as well as one of our favorite quotes:
"He loved the beauty of the sea for its own sake and asked nothing more of it" -Thomas Steinbeck

(I am not posting a photo of the actual invitations since they contain personal information)

MagnetStreet ensures that your order is exactly how you want it...not only are you given an online proof to review to ensure accuracy, but they also double-check your order for you. They contacted me after I placed my order to let me know that the photo I had uploaded wasn't large enough and would appear pixilated in the invitations.

I was able to send them a larger version and it turned out perfectly! It's rare to find that kind of customer service and with something as important as wedding invitations, it's comforting to know that an actual human being is quality-checking each, individual order.

There is such a wide selection of products that MagnetStreet offers, from save-the-date magnets, to reception favors, place cards, thank you notes and more. I was able to order address labels and thank you cards that match our invitations:



In fact, most of MagnetStreet's invitations come with matching sets as well as a variety of ordering choices (layered, tented, flat, etc.).

For more information on MagnetStreet, follow these links:

~MagnetStreet Weddings' website
~MagnetStreet Weddings' Facebook page
~MagnetStreet Weddings on Twitter (@MagnetStreetWed)
~MagnetStreet Weddings on Pinterest

Disclosure: I received complimentary products from MagnetStreet Weddings to facilitate this review, but chose them as our invitation vendor before comp products were discussed.
© The Blonde Blogger. All rights reserved.