Tuesday, July 30, 2019

Time for Movie Night! Here are the Best Family Movies on Netflix in August

This August, every night can be movie night with these great family films now available on Netflix

Mary Poppins Returns

Even though nobody was clamoring for a new Mary Poppins, Emily Blunt whirled into Mary Poppins Returns, and managed to make it a winner. Returns looks to improve on the original by offering an actual villain and some tumult, but it's still for the younger set, with plenty of positivity, as well as catchy songs (we're guessing co-star Lin-Manuel Miranda, best known for Hamilton, chipped in on those).

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse

The rest of the comic book movie canon can stand aside, as Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse is the most stylish superhero film ever. Visually inventive at a level that most films can only aim for, Spider-Verse shows what happens when you bring a comic to life and have fun with it (unlike Ang Lee's Hulk). Fortunately, Spider-Verse is grounded with a great story revolving around young Miles Morales, who finds his world invaded by Spider-Men from different realities.

Coco (2017)

One of the sweetest films I've seen in years, Coco is a delight from start to finish that both parents and children will adore. The film centers around 12-year-old Miguel, who dreams of being a musician despite his family's strict no-music-ever policy. Miguel's journey gets magical, though, as his mischief sends him on a detour through the dayglo-imbued land of the dead. Don't worry about this trip being scary, as this land of the dead has nothing to do with the George A. Romero zombie movie of the same name.

Oh, and there's one major perk for watching it on Netflix: you don't have to sit through the 21-minute-long Frozen short "Olaf’s Frozen Adventure" that you were forced to endure if you saw Coco during its first weeks in theaters.

Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Retro Toys and Games That Are Still Fun Today

The next time you get to visit our childhood home, take a look at the toys you had as a kid. It is a little surprising to realize that most of these toys are of great quality and can still be played with by our own children. But are they going to enjoy them? In this technological age of tapping, swiping, and voice recognition software and whatnot, we can't help but doubt it. Your children might surprise you, though!

Rubik's Cube, Barbie dolls, G.I. Joes... these are some toys that may still have some pull when it comes to entertainment value. We've listed 10 great toys and games that will surely still be enjoyed by kids today.


What can we say, the classics really are dependable and won't let us down. Building blocks have been a part of our childhoods for generations. There are a number of brand names when it comes to these kinds of toys, but the two that stand out are Lego and Lincoln Logs.


The game of tag is played by children of all ages, from all walks of life. It's a shame if your kid can already run and has no idea what "tag, you're it" means. Tag is a game played anywhere that has a big running space: in playgrounds, at the park, backyard, or the streets (though not near roads, of course).

All around the world, children play different versions of tag with different sets of rules, each more creative and exciting than the last. Teach the kids this simple game and see how much fun they have, and how much exercise they did instead of flexing their fingers on that darn device.


Gamer moms and dads are going to love this idea. Think of the first games console you had as a kid. Look back and count the hours you spent sitting in front of that old TV, playing that old game that seemed so simple and needed graphic upgrades badly.

Why is Minecraft such a blast for today's children? It's that simple tech that attracts them, and if that's the case, then maybe they'd like our old video games? Super Mario, Sonic the Hedgehog, Pac-Man, Tetris... they can go nuts with the range of choices they have and how easy the gameplay is. Have fun with a little blast from the past! Oh, and yes, don't forget to teach the kids how to play the other games and stop hogging the controller!


Children love make-believe and creating their own little worlds when they are playing. Some of our best friends when we were little were those dolls and teddy bears we had afternoon tea parties with. What better way to host a tea party than an oven, usually the Easy-Bake Oven?

This ultra-reliable toy enabled hundreds of children to find their passion for cooking, and many of them are surely now professionals in the culinary industry. This toy was invented by Ronald Howes and was released some 56 years ago. What was amazing about the toy back then was that it really heats up. Newer models have been made since, but the classic look is really vintage.


Some of us weren't very lucky as a child, because we didn't have the luxury of playing with a lot of brand-name toys. But that didn't mean we had a sad childhood. There are plenty of games and toys that we played with, and our memories are filled with these happy moments as a kid.

There are some simple and easy to make toys where the chief materials are right there inside our humble home, like the string telephone. Imagine how cute your kid would look, amidst the expensive toys and gadgets, playing with a string tied to a cup and talking to their sister or brother at the other end of the room. Make one with your child, and share a little creative moment.

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Simple Snacks Kids Will Love

No matter the age, getting creative with snacks can be quite the task. Even with the use of Pinterest and other handy apps, you're often left to use what's in the fridge to make a yummy snack that even the children enjoy. Considering this somewhat hassle, when the child is vegan most people believe it limits their food choice; however, it often allows the parent and/or caretaker to be a bit more creative and adventurous.

For your convenience, we have collected ten simple vegan snacks that even the kids will like. More often than not, these ingredients will likely be hidden away in your kitchen, too! No need to rush out to prepare a fancy, instagramable meal or rip a bag of packaged food today, friends! Here are some fresh and simple recipes that everyone will enjoy.


Combining the use of grains with a go-to protein staple for most plant-based individuals, hummus is usually consumed with veggies or crackers. Though toast is also a great snack to pop in when you need a quick filler, combining the two staples is a unique and delicious way to spice up your old-fashioned toast regime.

Try topping with sesame, sea salt, hemp or flax on top. It's a great base to get creative with. But, if you prefer to keep it simple and plain, just humus on top will do. And, everyone will likely eat it to its crust!


There's something so simple yet so delicious about salt and avocado. Mix that with a crispy crunch of your favourite cracker and you have yourself a great snack! Honestly, all you need are these two ingredients to offer the kids. They'll enjoy the dipping process along with the combination of consistency. Avocados provide a great,, healthy fat to fill their bellies and you are rest assured they've gotten  good amount of nutrition as their meal between meals. Win-win!


Now, if you're vegan or plant-based, or just like to live dairy-free on occasion, most chocolate is made without milk if it's 72% or higher. When you mix dark chocolate with your favourite granola, it will taste like you're cheating on your healthy, diet ways; however, there are a lot of benefits to this mixture.

Keep in mind that there are small amounts of caffeine in chocolate; especially dark chocolate. So, you may want to limit little ones if they're snacking on this delicious treat.

SOURCE:  https://www.moms.com/simple-vegan-snacks-for-kids/

Tuesday, July 9, 2019

Netflix in July: Great Family Movies, Shows to Stream

As you scroll through Netflix's Children and Family section, and become suspicious of the sea of bright colors and flashing lights, you're probably starting to wonder how many of these flicks are actually good. If already know the difference between a film that will (hopefully) inspire their young mind and one that simply numbs it, you've come to the right place. We've found the best family movies on Netflix, to help you schedule some quality TV time with your relatives, with many of them good enough for both of you to find something to enjoy.

Incredibles 2 (2018)

The Incredibles was such an instant classic that many were worried that even an OK sequel would tarnish its legacy. Fortunately, this sequel packs enough pizzazz and heart to sit side-by-side with its predecessor. Vibrating with a wonderful jazzy soundtrack and inventive visuals, The Incredibles 2 is a joy to watch. Story-wise, everybody's favorite super-powered family is back, and dealing with the immediate aftermath of the original film: a society that wants to ban their abilities. Scenes featuring Bob (voiced by Craig T. Nelson) dealing with the uber-powered Jack Jack steal the show, and function as fantastic centerpieces. And until Disney Plus takes it away 2020, Incredibles 2 is definitely one of the best family movies on Netflix.

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (2018) 

The rest of the comic book movie canon can stand aside, as Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse is the most stylish superhero film ever. Visually inventive at a level that most films can only aim for, Spider-Verse shows what happens when you bring a comic to life and have fun with it (unlike Ang Lee's Hulk). Fortunately, Spider-Verse is grounded with a great story revolving around young Miles Morales, who finds his world invaded by Spider-Men from different realities.

Ralph Breaks The Internet (2018)

The mischievous, sentient video game characters Wreck-It Ralph and his buddy Vanellope von Schweetz are back, and trying to figure out how to support each other. Even if you wish the film's jokes stuck to the gaming world (which might be old hat for kids, but novel for parents) you'll still enjoy its underlying story of how friends can betray each other and learn to forgive. 

Ant-Man and the Wasp (2018) 

Scott Lang (Paul Rudd) is back in the armor that brought him to this Marvel Cinematic Universe, and this sequel's even more fun than its predecessor. Rated PG-13, it's got that mild super-hero violence that's probably acceptable to most kids in their pre-teen and teenage years, but the film's rooted in another hilarious performance from Rudd, who takes on some surprising characters during the film. Also, this chapter of the MCU series has a lot more fun with the shrinking and super-sizing tricks that Dr. Hank Pym (Michael Douglas) brings to the film.

Tuesday, July 2, 2019

Gaming: Video Game Releases in July 2019

***WARNING:  Some of the videogames I feature are rated T (teen) and M (mature).  I celebrate the technology and the skillset -- seriously -- of these games.   I respect that every family makes their own decisions for what games are played in their house.***

Final Fantasy XIV: Shadowbringers (PlayStation 4, PC, Mac) – July 2

Stranger Things 3: The Game (PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Switch, PC) – July 4

Teppen (iOS, Android) – July 4

Sea of Solitude (PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC) – July 5

Dr. Mario World (iOS, Android) – July 10

SolSeraph (PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Switch, PC) – July 10

Blazing Chrome (PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Switch, PC) – July 11

Dragon Quest Builders 2 (PlayStation 4, Switch) – July 12

Streets of Rogue (PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Switch, PC) – July 12

Sky: Children Of The Light (iOS) – July 18

Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3: The Black Order (Switch) – July 19

Fantasy Strike (PlayStation 4, Switch, PC) – July 25

Fire Emblem: Three Houses (Switch) – July 26

Kill la Kill – IF (PlayStation 4, Switch, PC) – July 26

Wolfenstein: Youngblood (PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Stadia, PC) – July 26