This week is Spring Break in our house and a movie night is a welcome opportunity for fun.
Last night, my sons and I got to attend a complimentary preview screening of the new animated kids’ movie, “Sherlock Gnomes.” The movie comes out today and it’s an entertaining film for the whole family.
Here’s the premise: garden gnomes in London are disappearing. Detective Sherlock Gnomes and his sidekick, Watson, along with two gnomes named, Gnomeo and Juliet, are searching for clues to find missing garden gnomes.
Among the highlights:
Johnny Depp portrays Sherlock Gnomes. He plays the character with a mix of snark and sophistication and I loved it.
The movie references both “Sherlock Holmes” and “Romeo and Juliet.” My 9-year-old liked how characters from two stories could share the screen. I agree – a nice touch and it familiarizes kids with more literature and characters.
I really liked how every time Sherlock is thinking about a clue, the screen swirls into a black and white actively-animated dream-like sequence. For example, in one scene, he’s looking at a playing card with a black “9” and a scuff in the corner of the number. He’s trying to remember where he’s seen that “9” and that scuff before. So, in his daydream, we see lots of “9” – the number is in his bed, on an escalator, etc. He’s processing the information and so are we! This daydream is a lovely way of showing kids (and adults) how the brain processes information.
The movie features lots of Elton John songs and – spoiler alert – in one scene early on in the film, there’s a garden gnome that very much resembles the “Tiny Dancer” singer. At the end credits, I realized Elton John is one of the executive producers of the movie. His music is timeless and I’m happy this is a way to introduce his music to a new generation.
I’m old school about keeping track of information. I handwrite notes, keep to-do lists and organize my life with a calendar.
Sure, I track things in my smartphone – from business meetings and appointments to events, date nights and family activities – but I also like having a hardcopy of my schedule.
I was pretty excited to check out Day Designer, a strategic planner and daily agenda. They sent me a complimentary 2018 planner and I’m loving it.
First of all, it’s a hardcover, spiral book – nothing flimsy about this calendar! Plus, it has a durable pocket in the front, which is ideal for stashing those post-it notes and do-lists I make.
Here’s what else I love about this planner – there’s a two-page calendar for every month, as well as individual pages for each day.
On the daily pages, there are prompts to keep me focused: “Today’s Top Three,” “Notes,” and “Daily Gratitude,” as well as “To-Do” and “Don’t Forget.”
There are daily inspirational quotes too, like, Samuel Johnson’s, ”Great works are performed not by strength but by perseverance,” and the proverb, “It is better to begin in the evening than not at all.”
Valentine’s Day is coming up! Stumped on what to do? I’ve got some great ideas on how to spend Valentine’s Day with your sweetheart.
Since I’m a writer for San Diego Family Magazine, I had the opportunity today to share some Valentine’s Day date tips for couples and families with Renee Nelson at ABC 10News during a FacebookLive. We talked about specific places to go in San Diego; things to do on a budget and to splurge; ways to keep love sizzling, and more.
Get more Valentine’s Day ideas in the February issue of San Diego Family Magazine, which is available for free at Albertsons, Ralphs, Party City and local libraries, as well as online.
Here are some behind the scenes photos from the shoot.
Check out my this #MondayMotivation message featured on my son’s #pumpkin. He wrote: “Be…fun, silly, wacky, creative, YOU!!”
We were decorating pumpkins last weekend – doing the usual thing of making eyes, mouth, nose, etc.
Then my son got inspired to write a personal note. I love his sentiment and it’s perfect for Halloween, when everyone wants to dress up to be “someone else.” So go ahead, this Halloween and every day, Be Yourself!
I’m going to miss the Main Street Electrical Parade at Disneyland! This is the last weekend for this vintage parade.
I love the music, which has a throwback vibe, and all the old school floats. I’ve always enjoyed the mushroom and butterfly float, as well as the train, steered by Goofy, or course!
The Parade, which entertained Disneyland guests from 1972 to 1996, was in Florida at the Walt Disney World Resort until January of this year when it returned to Disneyland. It closes this Sunday, August 20, 2017.
I first saw the parade as a kid at DisneyWorld. I’ve had a soft spot for it ever since…
The patriotic ending is one of my favorite moments of the 20-minute parade.
My boys have always loved airplanes. They enjoy going on flights when we travel and they’re enthralled to watch planes take off and land at the airport. Every time we drive through San Diego and pass the airport, they’re fascinated.
My oldest recently did a school biography report on aviation pioneers, the Wright Brothers.
I received an advance copy of this official DC Comics picture book, which inspires young readers to be a hero.
I loved reading this girl power book to my boys!
The Capstone book, written by Michael Dahl and illustrated by Omar Lozano follows a young girl as she goes through her day showcasing her greatest superpower – sharing – at school, where she also encounters challenges in the classroom and on the playground.
So much fun! My family and I had a blast at the premiere of “The LEGO Movie™ 4D A New Adventure,” which opened at LEGOLAND California.
The 12 ½ minute picks up where the 2014 “The LEGO Movie™” left off.
The movie reunites Emmet and his LEGO friends in an all-new story, combining 3D computer animation with “4D” effects like wind, water and fog.
The story? The gang is caught up in an Evil Secret Plot involving a theme park inspired by their adventures in “The LEGO Movie.” They have to use the Master Builder skills of a surprise ally to save the day.
My sons loved walking the red carpet and meeting their LEGO heroes, Emmet, Wyldstyle, MetalBeard, Benny and Unikitty.
The movie was full of adventure, fun and teamwork – great themes for kids and adults!
“The LEGO Movie Sequel,” is scheduled to open in theaters May 18, 2018.
Getting kids interested in science can be challenging. Keeping them interested as they grow older can be even tougher. But exhibits like The Art of Science Learning at the Reuben H. Fleet Science Center keep kids fascinated about science.
The exhibit very practically explains real world problems, like drought and pollution. Kids and adults ponder the possible solutions using STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) learning.
The Art of Science Learning is designed as a call to action to find solutions to local and global science challenges. The curators say adding art to the science solutions help bring people together to collaborate and create.
Using foam, pipe cleaners, paper, tape and glue, my kids explored science through crafts.
They also enjoyed the “Epic Water Game,” a computer game where players had to research a science problem. In this case, the problem was deciding where to build a water desalination plant. The game involved learning the pros and cons of the project and balancing the project needs including environmental concerns and the impact on the local residents and businesses.
We also loved the “Taping Shape” experience! Made of hundreds of rolls of packing tape, the art installation is also an “exploratory space” for kids and adults. That means my kids and I were able to walk, climb and slide through this cool exhibit of passageways.
It was hard to believe the whole pathway is made of clear packing tape! You just take your shoes off and have fun! Lots of fun! I lost track how of many times we went through Taping Shape.
Taping Shape exhibition runs through June 12, 2016, in the Fleet Rotunda and Discovery Galleries at the Reuben H. Fleet Science Center. It’s included in the price of Fleet admission.