Rio 2 flies in!

Disclaimer: I received a copy of the DVD  as part of my involvement with FHE Insiders. No other compensation was given, all options are my own.



The cast of the animated hit comedy Rio returns — along with a new flock of all-star voice talent, including Bruno Mars, Kristin Chenoweth, Andy Garcia and more — in this high-flying sequel for the whole family. The party continues when Blu (Oscar® nominee Jesse Eisenberg1), Jewel (Oscar® winner Anne Hathaway2) and their three kids take a walk on the wild side and embark on a colorful, comical, music-filled journey through the Amazon. As Blu tries to fit into his new surroundings, he goes beak-to-beak with the villainous Nigel, and meets the most fearsome adversary of all: his father-in-law!

This DVD is full of extras, including several sing-a-long AND dance-along clips for the whole family to enjoy!

Learn about Brazilian music, see animal auditions and more!

Make movie night even more Rio-themed fun by chopping up some bananas and other fruit, and passing out lemonades before showtime.


And after the movie, keep the conversation going by doing an activity sheet- my favorite choice is the family tree, since Wonder Boy is really into understanding the relationships between him and other members of our family. He loves to point out who is my mom and dad and Mr. Wonder’s moms and dad, and understands Nana is my dad’s mom.



This movie has such amazing songs in it, ones I turn up the music and jam like no one’s in the backseat (well, as long as there is no one in the backseat). What’s your favorite?

N7 Creamery

Disclaimer: I was invited to check out N7 Creamery as a guest before their grand opening. All opinions are my own, no compensation was given.


Foodie Baby

Mommy took me to see some people she knows, and I got to goof around with some kids and eat snacks. She let me have a couple bites of a cake with poppy seeds in it, and I cried when she took that away, but I really REALLY liked the strawberry ice cream she hand-fed me.

Well, I mean she used the little wooden spoon and fed me, she won’t let me eat ice cream with my hands.



N7 Creamery has pastries, snacks, decadent coffees an hand-made ice cream all in the Victoria Gardens shopping center.

The location has lofty ceilings and wooden walls, and the large chalkboard menu is easy to read in a crowded room. There is the front area, and a hallway leads to more seating past glass windows looking into the kitchen.


It offers ice cream made with a liquid nitrogen process. Literally, the cream and flavors are mixed in a mixing bowl and the liquid nitrogen freezes it while it churns in the bowl.

I have a couple of these places in my hometown, and ice cream made this way is amazing. We tried four flavors- an orange, a green tea, a salted caramel (Mommy’s favorite) and my Foodie Baby’s favorite, strawberry.  If you order ice cream, be sure to walk around to the side (pictured) and watch the process. Get a little summer chemistry lesson by watching the freezing gas and maybe get a refreshing wave of dry ice on you at the same time.

A tip from Mommy – Going to walk around with it? Consider asking for it to be made extra cold so it won’t melt as fast.

N7 Creamery is working to use fresh local ingredients – I only live a few minutes away from where their strawberries are grown!


I recommend the chocolate three different kids of chocolate chips and a lavender latte (heavenly) for a quick break during shopping errands.  Or for a cool reward at the end of a hot shopping day, definitely a scoop of ice cream – the green tea is great for those who just want something cool and refreshing, while the salted caramel will give you a pat on the back for a job well done.


There are plenty of small table and chair sets, and if it’s not very crowded a stroller fits nicely if you decide to take a break from back-to-school shopping.  There are bathrooms, a family room and changing table are located centrally in the Victoria Gardens complex.


N7 Creamery

7880 Kew Ave.
Rancho Cucamonga, CA 91739
Phone: (855) 677-9338


Peoples is peoples

Some of the wisest words ever spoken on film is also some crazy mixed-up and broken English.

Pete from Muppets Take Manhattan is the wise restaurant owner with a soft heart and a rat problem.

His sage advice about New York city as a place full of people, rather than the city as a separate entity all of its own, is meant to encourage Kermit, who instead mumbles “Thanks” as he ponders what the heck Pete just said.

I got it, Pete.


Ever heard this speech? What did you think of it?

And what is your ‘potatoes’?







Ringling Bros and my little clowns

Disclosure: I recieved tickets for the circus in exchange for my coverage of it. No other compensation was given, all opinions are my own.


Friday I went to the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus with my family after a long and busy week.

I have only been once before, as a kid. Before the unicorn ( one horned goat) went touring with the circus, and I watched those commercials with an amazement and also a disappiintment, as the unicorn wasn’t thefantastical creature in my dreams.
I remember elephants, I remember the music.
(Hint: I like unicorns. Check my Pinterest board.)


The circus’ theme is ‘Legends’ and features an intrepid and at times comical explorer out in search of, well, the legendary.

Wonder Boy was entranced from the opening parade around the arena floor, jumping up and down and cheering.

His favorite act, however, was the motorcycles riding around in a steel cage.

I think it was mine too!

Wonder Boy got a little overwhelmed, but really got into the animal acts, watching from our laps and clapping with the audience on occasion.


One of the reasons I was so excited to go to the Legends show was to see their unicorn- something advertised along with their winged horse that was all in the posters.

I wont ruin the ebony suprise for you, but this one was much more like the graceful horse- like creature of my dreams ;)

We had to leave after intermission, but even that length of time was a full adventure for my 1 and 4 year olds. We saw elephants, lions and tiges, motorcycles, jugglers, dancers, acrobats, horseback riders and many clowns.

Tips for the circus

  • Bring a sweatshirt- Citizen’s Bank Arena is COLD. We found out we were under a vent or something, everyone sround us in long sleeves were complaining as much as we in t-shirts.
  • Souveniers are expensive… T-shirts are around $25, but the show’s DVD was $15. I fell in love with a stuffed elephant for $34, but the boys would have demolished it.
  • Eat before you come, but save some room for popcorn or something. Theres plenty of people walking around before he show and intermission, bring cash. We got a souvenir cup of lemonade for $10.
  • The show is pretty long- intermission was around 9 p.m. For our 7:30 start time.
  • Get there really early! Take time to check put the animals before you walk in ( no reentry) and spend time on the arena floor during the pre-show to try on costumes, meet circus performers and more. We watched an elephant paint a picture.
  • There are a lot of protesters around the circus, so be prepared for that. They weren’t disruptive though.




Early adopters

Wonder Boy started on an iPad at 18 months.
lil’ Wonder is still too young, grabbing the screen and swiping from Toca Boca’s tea party app to Netflix in an instant.


With Wonder Boy it felt a little more wierd. He was a novelty- people watched him swipe and drag and tap away with amazement as they struggled with their own smartphones.
But now, he is ever more the norm- and a reality that has definite pros and cons.
Can he be entertained anywhere? Yes, just pull out the tablet or phone and he’s tapping away at whatever game is available.
Did he learn? Heck yes. He learned letters from Elmo before preschool, and he learned problem solving skills, geometry, and cause and effect from games like The Amazing Alex and Angry Birds.
The hardest thing with an early adopter is making sure he gets enough time doing other things. I refuse to let me active son get too much screen time, otherwise he’s crazy by dinner. Luckily, he loves to run, scooter, dig in the dirt and crash together his Hot Wheel cars.

Lil’ Wonder is on the verge of getting to start some of Wonder Boy’s favorite little apps, and I’m looking forward to seeing him step up to the one-finger dexterity challenge and work on motor skills while learning at what is the norm for his generation.
He will be attending school and beyond with an amazing amount of technology available to him – the closest we got was a half hour of computer lab each week with the LOGOS turtle or the first edition of The Oregon Trail.

While I think it’s lovely so many parents want their children unplugged, homeschooled or unschooled, or just out learning in the real world, I think it’ important to speak technology early on for our little ones, and I embrace it fully and support it as much as pssible. I’ve taken Wonder Boy to go try out tablets at Verizon to kill a few minutes time, watching him navigate different user systems. We went to a local business’ open house to let him play on a touch-screen map that was as big as a dinner table.

And then I come home and toss him outside with a bucket of water to play with.
How do you navigate the balance between the virtual and real worlds with your children?