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What is it? The Western Digital TV Live Hub~All of your Digital Entertainment needs met in one Media Marvel The WD TV Live Hub brings your digital life to your big screen. Whether it’s your own videos, music, and photos or Internet entertainment, you can play it all in the comfort of your living room in brilliant high-definition. Put your personal media on the high-capacity built-in hard drive and stream it to any screen in the house. Just to let you know how great I think this product is,let’s just say that I’d like to make it my boyfriend. It is that awesome. If you are anything like me your entire life is on the computer; bills, music, photos, movies, games, children’s records, work, etc…The WD TV Live Hub allows you to move a big portion of that to your TV screen or projector allowing you to enjoy life with your family in real time. Which I know is very important to all of us.

The Western Digital TV Live Hub

The Western Digital TV Live Hub; More than meets the Eye

What does it say it will do?

Key Features

  • Watch the things you love on the screen you love.
  • Watch popular movies and TV episodes instantly
  • Access popular Internet content from the comfort of your living room
  • Play all your personal media the easy way
  • Play almost any type of media file
  • Automatic play
  • Collect your media in one place. Stream it anywhere in the house.
  • Centralize your media collection
  • Access media anywhere on your home network
  • It’s a multi-room media server streaming to any TV in your house
  • Video camera-ready
  • Transfer files easily
  • Sync new media
  • Take your entertainment center to a whole new level of cool
  • Full-HD 1080p video playback
  • Programmable remote
  • Works with USB keyboards
  • WiFi-ready
  • HDMI 1.4, composite video and component video output
  • SPDIF digital output

Does the the Western Digital TV Live Hub do what it says it will do?

Yes, The Western Digital Live TV Hub does everything it says it will do and more than I ever thought possible. It has produces a very high quality digital entertainment experience beyond what you would expect and we’ve had no streaming issues at all. I mention this because we also have an Apple TV and have always had streaming issues with it. So the fluid streaming is an absolute delightful surprise.


Do you need to consult a manual or is it “User Friendly”? The Western Digital TV live Hub is absolutely user friendly. The user interface is very self explanatory and easy to navigate. You don’t have to be extremely tech savvy to use this hub. You simply need to know how to use a remote control and select the function you’d like to use. We love it and i am not exaggerating when I say The Western Digital TV Live Hub ~All of your Digital Entertainment needs met in one Media Marvel!

The Western Digital TV Live Hub; Simply Awesome

 


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Hulu, Summer, Back-to-school, kids, downtime

This is a sponsored post but all opinions are my own.

Can you believe how fast summer is going? We’ve barely even made a dent in our family’s summer bucket list! Where has the summer gone? It’s been flying by at a dizzying pace here. I think since April I’ve been saying, I can’t wait until this month is over and we get to do nothing. Yet, here we are, still doing everything. I just want to have to be nowhere, do nothing and sleep. I just want to be, and sneak in some cuddles with those girls of mine who are growing faster than should legally be allowed. Can we get a law passed?

Don’t get me wrong. I’m having a blast traveling with my family and sharing experiences with them. Man, life is so much better when it’s filled with experiences. I mean, isn’t that what we all work for? To pay for the experiences? I’d say we are pretty blessed to be able to give our children the kinds of experiences that we can in today’s world.

 

Part of my job is living experiences. I experience and then I write about it. It’s not always great but you always learn something new about a place, a product or yourself; sometimes a little bit of all of it. I’ve been lucky because I’ve been able to take my family along to live these experiences as well. I know it’s a little bit cheesy but I just have more fun when they are around to see it from their perspective too.

I do completely realize that which I am complaining about is a total first world problem and I feel like a complete jerkface. This is what separates us from the animals, right? It could definitely be worse, I could be complaining that I don’t know where my next meal is coming from or where we’ll be sleeping tonight but I get to complain about having too many places to be at one time or having a packed schedule with awesome experiences. I know I am blessed but it’s still hard being overscheduled.

Still, I am human and I need a minute every now and then to just be. My favorite activity to do is binge watch television after the kids go to bed, since I never get to watch television in real time. I mean seriously, what parent ever gets to watch a show at its regularly scheduled time or all the way through? It’s like getting to eat dinner with no interruptions and while the food is still warm. Sure, it happens occasionally but it’s about as rare as a newborn sleeping through the night. I’ve heard of it happening but I’ve never actually experienced it yet.

The plan for the next 2 weeks (before our last trip of the summer on August 10) is going to involve lazy days spent poolside, afternoon bike rides while the tree shadows play on our faces and lots and lots of laughter. Movies under the stars in the yard or at the drive-in, picnics, barbecues and lots and lots of friends are also on the summer bucket list.

Hulu, Summer, Back-to-school, kids, downtime

But the thing I am secretly looking forward to the most on super-hot August days is coming home, blissfully exhausted from some sun drenched adventure, collapsing onto the couch or building a pillow fort with my daughters, snuggling under a fuzzy blanket in an air conditioned house with no place to be and watching some Disney movies on Hulu. We’re looking forward to Tarzan, Hercules, Mulan, The Hunchback of Notre Dame and Pocahontas. Or maybe I’ll introduce them to some of my favorites like The Karate Kid 1-3, Race for your Life Charlie Brown, How to Eat Fried Worms, Charlotte’s Web and the Baby Sitter’s Club.

Hulu, Summer, Back-to-school, kids, downtime

That could definitely be fun. I’ve been sharing my favorite childhood books with them and it’s been awesome for all of us.

Not familiar with Hulu? I discovered it a couple years ago when I broke my leg and watching tv was the only thing I could do while confined to bed. Hulu is the next generation of TV. Their game-changing TV experience shifts the way consumers experience TV. This is TV built around you.

Hulu offers original series, full libraries of some of the most popular shows of all time, films and new episodes anytime on internet-connected TVs, smartphones, game consoles, set top boxes and mobile devices. This year, Hulu added live news, entertainment and sports programming – making it the only TV service that brings together live, on-demand, originals, and library content all in one place, across living room and mobile devices.

How much does Hulu cost? Limited commercials plan: $7.99 per month (get a one-month free trial) No commercials plan: $11.99 per month (get a one month free trial) For $39.99 – far less than a traditional cable package – Hulu will give you more than 50 popular live and on-demand channels, PLUS their existing library of more than 3500 TV and film titles. No other pay TV provider can offer that. Get a one-week free trial. And you can also add SHOWTIME and HBO to your existing Hulu subscription for an additional fee.

Hulu, Summer, Back-to-school, kids, downtime, walt-disney world, star wars

What’s on your family’s summer bucket list?

Hulu is a leading premium streaming service that offers instant access to live and on demand channels, original series and films, and a premium library TV and movies to millions of subscribers in the U.S. Since its launch in 2008, Hulu has consistently been at the forefront of entertainment and technology. Hulu is the only streaming service that offers both ad-supported and commercial-free current season shows from the largest U.S. broadcast networks; libraries of hit TV series and films; and acclaimed original series including The Handmaid’s Tale, The Mindy Project, The Path, 11.22.63, the Golden Globe® nominated comedy series Casual, as well as the upcoming Future Man and The Looming Tower. In 2017, Hulu added live news, entertainment and sports from 21st Century Fox, The Walt Disney Company, NBCUniversal, CBS Corporation, Turner Networks, A+E Networks and Scripps Networks Interactive to its offering – making it the only TV service that brings together live, on-demand, originals, and library content all in one place, across living room and mobile devices.

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Nielsen, Nielsen App, Tap Influence, How to partner with your dream brand, Entertainment

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post for Nielsen. I have been compensated through the SheSavvy Influence Network. All opinions remain my own.

You all know that I love entertainment; television, music, movies and live productions are my jam. It’s always been my outlet since I was a child, the way I decompress. I just never knew how important it was to me until I was bedridden when I broke my leg in 2015. That’s when I realized entertainment keeps the mind agile, even when the body is immobile. But who decides what works and what doesn’t?

Have you ever heard of Nielsen, as in the Nielsen ratings?

Nielsen is the leader in TV, radio, and Internet measurement. I’ve always associated the name with television but it is so much more. They are the people who figure out what should be on television based on what the viewers want. Luckily, they understand that people who watch TV, listen to radio, and use the internet come from diverse backgrounds and that’s why they make sure to reach out to African-American, Latino, Asian-American, and other communities to ensure everyone’s voices are heard. Each culture’s experience is different and we can relate to shows differently. This is important.

In fact, Nielsen has been the leading global research company that provides consumer insights to businesses for 90 years and work in over 100 countries. They partner with real people to provide the science behind what’s next. They do research all over the world to find out what real people watch, listen to and buy.

 In today’s digital age, just like their work with TV and radio, Nielsen wants to better understand how people use their computers and mobile devices so that they can provide insights to those providers that give us the best user experience.

Like with television and radio, Nielsen does this with online panels, people just like you and I. This gives us an opportunity to voice our opinions and provide honest insights that can help improve our online experience. We can make our voices heard.

Being a member of the online panel is simple. You just sign up, fill out a registration survey, and download an app onto your computer(s) and/or mobile device(s). While your participation in a panel impacts the future of the Internet; it can also be rewarding! As soon as you download the app, you can start earning rewards like sweepstakes entries (for up to $1,000 per month!), gift cards and more.

So what is the Nielsen Computer and Mobile Panel?

The Nielsen Computer and Mobile Panel is our opportunity to be a part of the research Nielsen does. They analyze information from the panel to understand how people use their computers, tablets, and smartphones. Companies rely on this important research to make better decisions about the products and services they offer.

What are you signing up for as part of the Nielsen Computer and Mobile panel?

You will help Nielsen understand how people use the Internet by simply using the Internet on your computer or mobile device. By using the app, you’re signing up to become part of a “panel” and share your internet habits. Just be you, they want real feedback.

How does it work?

Sign up using your email address, fill out a registration survey, install the app on all your registered device(s) and start earning rewards. Simply, use your computer/ phone as you normally do and get rewarded for it. Even if you don’t use the Internet all day every day like me and only use the Internet once a month, your feedback still provides important insights.

What is in it for me? Does it cost money to participate in the Nielsen Computer and Mobile Panel?

Absolutely not! In fact, you will be rewarded for participating. Active members receive sweepstakes entries for their registered computers – you could win up to $1,000 per month! For participating with a mobile device, you can earn points that can be redeemed for prizes or gift cards—up to $50 per year!

Your participation will never cost you anything and no one will try to sell you anything but it’s vital to shaping the future of the internet. It gives you the opportunity to represent your community with your voice.

How does Nielsen protect my privacy?

They are committed to protecting the data and personal information you share with them. They will NOT use such information to advertise, promote, or sell goods or services directly to you and we do not allow their clients to sell directly to you. So they will not be selling their panelists list. Panelist data is automatically encrypted to help ensure complete security. The information about you and your household for research purposes. However, as part of the panel, Nielsen might contact you about future research opportunities.

It’s a win-win, you use your devices as you normally would and you get to influence the future of the Internet while possibly earning some extra cash for yourself. Being part of the Nielsen panel is simple and safe, like getting rewards for walking or breathing.

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Xbox Kinect~Hands Free Fun, xbox, controller, game, sports, video games, technology

Xbox Kinect~Hands Free Fun, xbox, controller, game, sports, video games, technology

Xbox Kinect~ Hands Free Fun

 

What is it? Kinect for Xbox 360. You are the controller. No gadgets. No gizmos, Just you!

Kinect brings games and entertainment to life in extraordinary new ways without using a controller. You can control movies and music with the wave of your hand or the sound of your voice. The new cutting edge gaming technology allows players to be free of cumbersome remotes. With Kinect, technology evaporates, letting the natural magic in all of us shine.

What does it say it will do?

Features of the xbox kinect

Full Body Gaming:

Controller-free gaming means full body play. Kinect responds to how you move. So if you have to kick, then kick. If you have to jump, then jump. You already know how to play. All you have to do now is to get off the couch.

It’s All About You:

Once you wave your hand to activate the sensor, your Kinect will be able to recognize you and access your Avatar. Then you’ll be able to jump in and out of different games, and show off and share your moves.

Use Your Voice:

Kinect uses advanced entertainment technology to respond to the sound of your voice. Just say “Xbox” to reveal a series of voice commands. So you’ll be able to control HD movies with the sound of your voice—no remote required.

Endless Entertainment:

Enjoy HD movies, music and sports through Xbox LIVE without any extra accessories. Just use a wave of your hand or the sound of your voice to enjoy 3,500 games on ESPN, HD movies through Zune, streaming music from Last.fm.

Something for the Entire Family:

Whether you’re a gamer or not, anyone can play and have a blast. And with advanced parental controls and movies for the family, Kinect promises a gaming experience that’s safe, secure and fun for everyone.

xbox, kinect

Does it do what it says it will do? Yes, the Kinect for the Xbox does exactly what it says. The xbox kinect truly does release the player from the cumbersome use of a controller, allowing the player to spent he time enjoying the game rather than having to worry about working or figuring out  how to use a controller. The only issue I had with it was if you were not at the right distance from the console or if there were too many people in it’s line of sight sometimes it would have a hard time recognizing the player.

Do you need to consult a manual or is it “User Friendly”? The Xbox 360 Kinect console was extremely easy to use. All I needed to do was plug it in, connect a couple cords and  push the power on button. In a matter of seconds, we were playing games and forming memories…Xbox Kinect~hands free.

Xbox Kinect~ Hands Free Fun

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BlackFish, Dawn Brancheau, Orca, tilikum

I just watched Blackfish. You can watch it here. If you haven’t seen it, you need to. It will change the way you view SeaWorld. It will change the way you view all animals in captivity. It will change the way you see the world. It will make you realize that there needs to be ethics and compassion involved when dealing with nature. This has nothing to do with SeaWorld being a fun place to take your children on vacation, or whether or not the trainers there love the Orca, I am sure they do, but it has everything to do with the morals and ethics that you want to instill in your children.

Blackfish only solidified everything I’ve believed since I was 18 and took my first ethics and animals class at college; wild animals do not belong in captivity. It is cruel and unusual and if we want to see animals go see them in the wild; in their natural habitat. We can coexist but animals are not meant to be penned in and locked up because we think we are entitled to be entertained by them on a whim. Zoos, circuses and aquariums they all make me uncomfortable.

There are people , mostly higher ups at Seaworld, who will try to say that captivity is furthering conservation and research but at what price? The Orca have no natural predators they are the top of the food chain, they only thing they need protecting from is us…the humans. We are their only threat.

Would you like to be kept in a cage for the rest of your life? We do keep people in cages, it’s called jails and it’s for punishment. Why are we punishing the animals? What have they done to deserve this treatment? They were just existing in their world when we came in and stole them from their families, frightened them, dislocated them and took them from everything they knew only to punish them for a crime they didn’t commit.

Wild animals are wild and to expect any different from them because we hold them in captivity is ignorant on our part. We are lazy. We want to see these majestic animals but only on our terms; at our convenience. We have no concern for the animals. They are not inanimate objects. They feel and in the case of the more intelligent animals, like Orca whales, elephants and Chimpanzees, they understand family, loss, love and grief. How can we in good conscience treat them like this?

We’ve all seen and heard of animals attacking. We say it was unprovoked. I say it was more of a miracle it didn’t happen earlier or more often. Just because we want to believe that we have tamed a wild animal by stealing a baby Orca, an animal that stays with it’s mother in the wild until death, from it’s mother, stealing the baby from a mother who grieves, holding it in captivity and withholding food and affection as a means of beating it into submission to making it perform for our entertainment, we do not. What we are doing, in the case of the Orca, is taking an animal that has the lifespan of a human being and habitually pissing them off and then letting them live for 30+ years holding a grudge. We are making these animals into ticking time bombs.

We are the idiots for expecting anything different. We are fools for climbing into the pools with an animal that weighs 12000 lbs and not expecting to be in a dangerous situation. I don’t blame the animal. I blame the people who put the animal in these horrible situations. Imagine being stuck in an enclosure the size of your bathtub for the rest of your life, with a bunch of strangers who don’t like you and depending on others to feed you when all you really want is to be with your own family, in your natural habitat swimming all day and eating at your own leisure. That’s enough to make anyone psychotic.

We’re not saving them from anything. We are creating monsters out of animals who would otherwise peacefully coexist with us. We are punishing them by keeping them in captivity for our entertainment. Don’t support captivity.

If we stop going to these places, they will have no reason to keep these animals in captivity. By going, we are all part of the problem. If you want to see Orca whales go to the ocean and see them in their natural habitat, where they are free and happy. I don’t want to teach my children  that it’s okay to support another creatures misery nor do I want them to think it is right or acceptable to play with wild animals. Do you?

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Dirty Dancing, Dirty Dancing the Broadway Tour, theater, Broadway, kids and the arts 

Have you watched Dirty Dancing the movie? Who hasn’t, right? But did you know that there is a Dirty Dancing Broadway tour? I think it’s pretty obvious to anyone who knows me that our family is theater lovers. There is nothing quite as spectacular as a live production.

The original is one of the quintessential movies of my generation. There was something about the Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Garner dynamic that was so unbelievable but at the same time exactly what every teen girl/woman secretly hoped for; that they’d get the hot guy not just because he wanted to throw her in the back of his car and have his way with her but because he fell in love with her personality and that made her the most beautiful girl in the world. Doesn’t every woman want to be sexy but respected?

Dirty Dancing, Dirty Dancing the Broadway Tour, theater, Broadway, kids and the arts 

Just in case you are not familiar with the story, here is the premise for Dirty Dancing:

The story takes place in the summer of 1963, 17-year-old Frances “Baby” Houseman is about to learn some major life lessons and a thing or two about dancing. On holiday in New York’s Catskill Mountains with her older sister and parents, ‘Baby’ shows little interest in the resort activities and instead discovers her own entertainment when she stumbles upon the staff quarters when an all-night dance party is in full swing.

Dirty Dancing, Dirty Dancing the Broadway Tour, theater, Broadway, kids and the arts 

Mesmerized by the raunchy dance moves and the pounding rhythms, ‘Baby’ can’t wait to be part of the scene, especially when she catches sight of Johnny Castle the resort dance instructor. ‘Baby’s’ life is about to change forever as she is thrown in at the deep end as Johnny’s leading lady both on-stage and off with breathtaking consequences.

Dirty Dancing, Dirty Dancing the Broadway Tour, theater, Broadway, kids and the arts 

These two fiercely independent young spirits from different worlds come together in what will be the most challenging and triumphant summer of their lives. It will be the “time of their lives”.

Dirty Dancing, Dirty Dancing the Broadway Tour, theater, Broadway, kids and the arts 

Even if you never saw Dirty Dancing, you can tell that the story is everything.

Dirty Dancing is an iconic love story on steroids with the best.soundtrack.ever! Honestly, Dirty Dancing was my best friend’s favorite movie and every time you spent the night (which was basically every weekend of our adolescents) we watched this movie.

Dirty Dancing, Dirty Dancing the Broadway Tour, theater, Broadway, kids and the arts 

I watch all of the movies from the 80’s with my daughters and its just as much fun now as when I watched them with my best friend back when I was a tween. So, imagine my delight when I found out that not only is there a live Broadway tour of Dirty Dancing but it is touring and coming to a theater near me (and probably you too!)

Dirty Dancing, Dirty Dancing the Broadway Tour, theater, Broadway, kids and the arts 

You heard me right! Dirty Dancing is back!

Exploding with heart-pounding music, breathtaking emotion, and sensationally sexy dancing. It’s been seen by millions worldwide and features 35 hit songs, including “Hungry Eyes, “Hey Baby”, “Do You Love Me?” and the the infamous, “(I’ve Had) The Time of My Life.”

We’re taking our girls to see it and we can’t wait! I have read amazing reviews and I can’t wait to see how they bring the story to life on stage in live theater. I’ll make sure to share my review with you after we see it so you can get the skinny on whether or not you should go see it in a city near you.

If you’ve seen Dirty Dancing on stage or even if you haven’t, I’d love to hear your thoughts on a stage adaptation.

 

Disclosure: I was provided tickets to experience Dirty Dancing on stage but all opinions and genuine love of theater are my own. 

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Cirque du Soleil, Chicago, Volta, travel, things to do in Chicago, Family entertainment

Cirque du Soleil’s Volta is coming to Soldier Field in Chicago this summer. I am so excited. Let’s be honest, every time I get the chance to experience a new Cirque du Soleil, I’m thrilled. Our family loves Cirque du Soleil. We go as often as time and distance allow us. Each show is different and magical in its own way.

Cirque du Soleil, Chicago, Volta, travel, things to do in Chicago, Family entertainment

The Cirque du Soleil’s iconic Big Top will be raised for the first time at a brand new location for Volta: Soldier Field!

Cirque du Soleil has had a special place in my heart since the Big Guy and I  saw our first Cirque show on our honeymoon, 20 years ago. Since then, we love to share the experience with as many people as we can. I feel like every time we leave a show, we’ve grown in some way; our hearts and minds have been expanded beyond disbelief. The name VOLTA refers to a sudden about-face, a change in emotion or idea often used in poetry. It also speaks to the jolt of energy delivered through the show.

 

READ ALSO: Cirque du Soleil Corteo and Amazing Experience for the Family

We’ve seen Cirque du Soleil in Chicago but never at Soldier Field. My daughters have never been to the Soldier Field, home of the Chicago Bears but thanks to the generosity of Cirque du Soleil that is all about to change this summer.

Cirque du Soleil, Chicago, Volta, travel, things to do in Chicago, Family entertainment

Cirque du Soleil is excited to add two weeks of performances of VOLTA’s Chicago engagement this spring. The show will be presented under its signature Big Top at the Soldier Field South Lot, 1410 Museum Campus Drive, Chicago, May 18 – July 6, 2019. Tickets, starting at $49, are available for purchase by visiting cirquedusoleil.com/volta or calling 1-877-9CIRQUE (1-877-924-7783).

Cirque du Soleil, Chicago, Volta, travel, things to do in Chicago, Family entertainment

Volta the show

Energetic, urban and contemporary, VOLTA is a captivating voyage of discovery that showcases never-before-seen under the Big Top acrobatics in a visually striking world. Driven by a stirring melodic score and inspired in part by the adventurous spirit that fuels the culture of street sports, VOLTA is a story of transformation. It is about being true to oneself, fulfilling one’s true potential, and recognizing one’s own power to make it possible. Ultimate freedom comes with self-acceptance, and with the liberation of the judgment of others.

Cirque du Soleil, Chicago, Volta, travel, things to do in Chicago, Family entertainment

BMX & Street Sports

The creators of  VOLTA drew inspiration from the spirit of adventure that pervades the world of BMX, street sports and acrobatics. Whether they are on a bike, hopping from rooftop to rooftop, or double dutch rope skipping, urban sports enthusiasts constantly challenge themselves and defy convention.

Cirque du Soleil, Chicago, Volta, travel, things to do in Chicago, Family entertainment 

Sure to be a Chicago crowd pleaser, VOLTA features a full-blown BMX park mounted on stage in front of the audience’s very eyes for the breathtaking BMX finale as riders invade the stage to deliver a jaw-dropping, fast and furious performance of nonstop acrobatics on wheels. The riders go up the jump boxes and perform air tricks before landing and leaping off the ramps again, crisscrossing and spinning their bikes in midair in a spirit of brotherhood.

Cirque du Soleil, Chicago, Volta, travel, things to do in Chicago, Family entertainment

READ ALSO: Luzia~ A Vibrant Waking Dream of Mexico

Cirque du Soleil, Chicago, Volta, travel, things to do in Chicago, Family entertainment

Volta Costumes

The stunning costumes of VOLTA have been designed by Zaldy Goco, famous for his work with Lady Gaga, Britney Spears, Gwen Stefani and for TV show RuPaul’s Drag Race.

Cirque du Soleil, Chicago, Volta, travel, things to do in Chicago, Family entertainment

Volta Ticket Information

VOLTA will be presented under the Big Top at the Soldier Field South Lot, 1410 Museum Campus Drive, Chicago, starting May 18. Tickets can be purchased online at www.cirquedusoleil.com/volta. Discover our VIP package – a cocktail reception with open bar and hors d’oeuvres inspired by the show, access to the best seats for greater comfort, complimentary parking and more!

Cirque du Soleil, Chicago, Volta, travel, things to do in Chicago, Family entertainment

READ ALSO: Running Away with Cirque du Soleil Kurios

To follow along and see what exciting and new experiences Volta will deliver, follow along on Social Media:

Facebook.com/VOLTA

Twitter: @Cirque #VOLTA

Instagram: cirquedusoleil #VOLTA

Have you been to a Cirque du Soleil show? Have you seen Volta? What’s your favorite Cirque du Soleil show and why?

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date my dad, uptv, barry watson, family tv

I watch a lot of television so when I was asked to screen Date My Date and have the opportunity to interview Barry Watson, I was all in. I like television shows and movies for various reasons. Truth is I’m a bit of a show binger. In the end, there is usually some kind of connection or take away that keeps me coming back and Date My Date did not disappoint.

I’ve spent my life as the kid who was always looking for the keychain at the gift shop that had my name on it. I never found it, at least not spelled correctly and my girls have the same issue. I was also the little girl who changed which box she checked on the enrollment card every single year. #BiracialKidProblems My point being my “niche” in life was a little smaller than others. I never quite found kids on television or movies who I could completely identify with.

Enter, Up TV’s new television show Date My Dad. Date My Dad is an original scripted dramedy starring Barry Watson (7th Heaven, Gossip Girl), Zenia Marshall and the legendary Raquel Welch. How can you go wrong?

Date My Dad begins airing June 2nd at 9PM ET on UP TV.

date my dad, uptv, barry watson, family tv

I had the chance to watch the pilot and rewatch it with my daughters and I have to say, we love it. It’s the first time my daughters have been able to watch a show and identify with the characters. For me, it’s huge that my 2 biracial daughters who follow after their mom’s freckled Mexican complexion can see girls on the show who represent Latinas that look like them and the fact that we all come in different colors, complexions, eye and hair combinations. That is refreshing for me.

But whether you are a single parent, raising your kids alone, or like many of us finding ourselves depending on extended family and friends to help raise our children (because it really does take a village) you too will find something you can identify with on Date My Dad.

Date My Dad is about a widowed father, Ricky (played by Barry Watson), who is navigating his way through raising his daughters ranging in ages from just pretween to teen and between. Ricky just turned 40 and life is not what he expected it to be at this juncture in his life but along with the help of his Mother-in-Law (played by the force that is Raquel Welch), his brother and his wife and his neighbors, he is figuring it out. Along the way, he is learning a little bit more about himself and, maybe for the first time, seeing his daughters as people and not just his children. It all becomes very evident in the pilot when his girls set out to find their dad someone to love because they feel he deserves to have someone.

The show is touching and endearing without being overly saccharine. It’s also infused with just the right amount of sarcasm and humor to balance the sometimes serious themes of the show.

My girls are 9 and 12-years-old and we watched it and all found it not only captivating and well-written but appropriate for audiences of all ages. Finally, something you can watch with your children without having to worry about suddenly having to cover their eyes or ears.

date my dad, uptv, barry watson, family tv

But if you don’t believe me, just check out this video of Date My Dad.

I also had the pleasure recently of interviewing Ricky ( Barry Watson) at Mom 2.0 Summit and I’ve got to say, aside from playing a great Ricky he is a genuinely good and likable guy. Plus, he is a fellow hand talker so obviously, we are now best friends. Okay, maybe not best friends but he certainly was fun to interview and run into, over and over again. Stop following me, Barry 😉

I only wrote that because I know he would totally laugh because he did. We seriously ran into each other several times in those 3 days. We have a bet going on who is actually whose stalker.

Anyways, if you don’t believe me that this show is going to rock, check out my interview below and see for yourself. And don’t hold it against me that I totally have over expressive face disorder and am a major hand talker.

Kudos to Barry because if I were him, I would have been terrified with all that craziness going on in front of me. He was a good sport and I’m telling you as a friend, you really should watch Date My Date and watch it with the whole family.

To celebrate this great new addition to the UP TV roster, join @UPtv on Twitter every Friday night during Date My Dad for the chance to win great prizes and chat about the show with special guest hosts. UP TV is the entertainment brand that can truly say “We Get Family” and offers viewing experiences that feature authentic, relatable stories about all types of families, in all their complexities.

 

date my dad, uptv, barry watson, family tv

 

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by UP TV however, all thoughts and opinions about Date my Dad are my own.

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Childbirth, labor games, tlc, labor and delivery, pregnancy
Disclosure: This is a compensated post written by me on behalf of TLC and Labor Games, however, all opinions and birth stories are my own.

I’ve been spending a lot of time lately thinking of my journey into motherhood. It probably has something to do with May 1st just passing, my youngest just celebrating her first communion and about to turn 8-years-old in a couple of weeks and Mother’s Day. I’ve had babies on the brain and been a little nostalgic for that new baby smell. Quick someone have a baby and let me hold it. I’ll give it back, I promise. I just need a little something to take the edge off and soothe these twitchy ovaries.

Mother’s Day is right around the corner. There are lists everywhere for the perfect gift to get your mother whether she is high tech or high style but what about the brand new mother? I’m talking the mother who is giving birth? Sure push presents are nice but what if you could earn cash, prizes and all things new baby to help you ease into motherhood just by answering a few questions during labor? Would you do it? Well, there is a brand new game show on TLC premiering tomorrow, May 6, at 10 p.m. EST called, Labor Games.

The premise of the game show is that the host and a small crew show up right in the middle of your labor (during the height of it) to ask you questions and if you answer correctly, you can win prizes and cash including a $10,000 college scholarship for your new baby. Sounds intriguing, right?

I won’t lie; I spent most of the day of both my inducements bored silly. In fact, I remember specifically watching Jerry Springer and rolling my eyes in complete boredom right before all the real fun began in my first labor. When I say fun that would be referring to my completely unmedicated transition labor that came on fast and furious and hit me like a freight train.

The same labor caused me to consider jumping out of the window to stop the pain and left me looking akin to Linda Blair in The Exorcist. You know how some people ugly cry? Well, I am supremely ugly when in labor. My face tells the whole story and from the video, it was a scary trip.

For some reason, I kept refusing to use my breathing techniques, as if I was going to develop an immunity to them or use them all up. On my first labor, knowing nothing about what was going to happen, I refused to get an epidural until I was in full transition labor but by the time the anesthesiologist could get out of surgery and to me, I was fully dilated. From centimeters 7-10, you would not have wanted to ask me any questions because all of the answers would have been the same and they wouldn’t have been appropriate for polite society to hear.

But those first 7 hours of my labor, I would have definitely welcomed the opportunity for some entertainment and some cash because babies cost a lot of money. Of course, we’ll never know because I will not be having any more babies but how much fun will it be to watch this game show, right?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ri8lxrzjf1E

I don’t know about you but I can’t wait to see how this all plays out. I’ll be watching. Will you?

Labor Games Sneak Peek Weds 5/6 10p/9c on TLC.

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To celebrate summer of fun, Redbox is asking moms, “What’s your family’s favorite video game to play together?” Plus, they are rewarding 2 lucky people with a chance to win $10,000 as part of the Redbox Summer of Fun & Games Sweepstakes.

In our home, Rock Band for the PlayStation 3 reigns supreme. We have spent many a weekend playing Rock Band in our media room while laughing and having a great time making memories with our two little girls.

Redbox Summer of Fun~Giveaway,kiosk,rentals, movies, chance to win, summerRedbox Summer of Fun Giveaway

Not only do we play this game with our girls, whenever we have family functions, the entire family gets in on the action.We host Thanksgiving every year and as part of the tradition, after dinner everyone heads downstairs and we select our favorite tunes and belt them out together. Our entire family, on both sides,singing, laughing and having an authentic great time together.

What’s your family’s favorite video game to play together?

It’s game time! Redbox, America’s favorite destination for movie rentals, is now renting video games in 21,000 kiosks nationwide for $2 a day. Redbox is truly a one-stop shop for affordable, family home entertainment with both games and movies.

Through the generosity of Redbox, I am giving away 3 sets of 5 game codes, all you have to do is email subscribe to The TRUTH about Motherhood and leave a comment telling me what your favorite video game is to play with your family! Contest ends Thursday June 30th at 9 pm EST. Please be sure to leave your email address so that I can contact you if you win.Good Luck!

Redbox is celebrating summer family time with a great line up of family-friendly titles, awesome savings and two chances to win $10,000 as part of the Redbox Summer of Fun & Games Sweepstakes.*

4 Easy Ways to Enter:

1. Enter your email address at www.redbox.com/summer

2. Rent a movie or game at a redbox kiosk (and provide a valid email address at checkout)

3. Reserve a rental online at redbox.com

4. Text ‘SUMMER’ to 727272

Enter to win today!

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Redbox. The opinions and text are all mine.

*Each item rented earns one entry, regardless of how long it is rented, up to three entries per day. Limit 3 entries per day, regardless of entry method. The sweepstakes begins May 27, 2011 at 12:00 a.m. CT and ends on August 1, 2011 at 11:59 p.m. CT. No purchase necessary. See official rules at www.redbox.com/summer.



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