Friday, May 22, 2015

Movie Review: Tomorrowland

Director:                       Brad Bird
Producers:                    Damon Lindelof, Brad Bird, Jeffrey Chernov
Executive Producers:   John Walker, Bernard Bellew, Jeff Jensen, Brigham Taylor
Story by:                      Damon Lindelof & Brad Bird & Jeff Jensen
Screenplay by:             Damon Lindelof and Brad Bird
Rating:                         PG
Opening date:              May 22, 2015


REVIEW:
Thanks to Allied Integrated Marketing, my family and I were given an opportunity to attend an advance screening of this film. Tomorrowland is a mystery adventure movie that's fun to watch. It has a slow start but it gets better from there. A very smart, optimistic teen girl, Casey Newton (Britt Robertson) discovers a special pin which takes her to another place ("Tomorrowland") whenever she touches it. She teams up with a former boy-genius turned into a distrusting hermit Frank Walker (George Clooney). Together they have to figure out how to fix a major problem in Tomorrowland that affects the world before it's too late. Tomorrowland is a secret society of geniuses, led by Governor Nix (Hugh Laurie). Science, innovation, and technologies are showcased in this movie. Excellent special effects! Riveting action scenes! Fantastic performances by the cast! The film also stars Raffey Cassidy as Athena (adorable and believable), and Tim McGraw as Casey's Dad. 

I'm sure I will enjoy Tomorrowland more when I watch it again because there's a lot of information to absorb. It gets philosophical at times. The journey to the unknown is exciting. The message inspires hope and discussion. Tomorrowland is a good, clean family movie (not intended for very young children due to violence) that encourages ideas, imagination, optimism, and making a positive impact in the world. Each one of us can do something to make this world a better place and to brighten the future. #Dreamerswanted 

Some Fun Facts about the movie (provided by Walt Disney Studios):
  • When it came to creating a city built by visionaries with advanced technologies, filmmakers knew it had to look like one and finding such a place was not an easy task. At first it seemed as though the whole of Tomorrowland would have to be built from scratch, an expensive and time-consuming proposition. But then in a series of wonderful coincidences, Tom Peitzman, the visual effects producer and the film’s co-producer, stumbled upon a car commercial early on in production; the location in the commercial looked so futuristic that he recorded the ad on his phone and brought it to director Brad Bird. The location turned out to be the City of Arts and Sciences in Valencia, Spain, and was designed by Santiago Calatrava whose work was already serving as an inspiration for production designer Scott Chambliss. The discovery also dovetailed with director Brad Bird’s preference for physical locations over virtual sets.
  • In addition to sets in Spain and Canada, locations included the “It’s a small world” ride at Disneyland Park in Anaheim, California, a beach in the Bahamas, and a second unit shoot in Paris. In total, the film had over 90 different combinations of sets and locations, and moved ten times.
  • Filmmakers were thrilled to see a real NASA Maven rocket launch (a probe to Mars) at the Cape Canaveral set location and several of them were able to view the launch from a position closer than the press viewing stage. For the filmmakers, it was a dream-come-true and symbolized the future that the film inspires.


Like TOMORROWLAND on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/DisneyTomorrowland
Follow Disney Pictures on Twitter: https://twitter.com/DisneyPictures
Visit the official TOMORROWLAND website: www.Disney.com/Tomorrowland



Please feel free to check out the fun activities below (by clicking on the links) for kids. Have fun!

Jet Pack Balloon Races
Memory Game
Mazes
Spot the Difference
Coloring the Future

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Join the Odyssey Adventure Club for a ‘Buck’ (Plus a Summer Challenge)

oac-may
 Memorial Day is just around the corner, which means school will be out for the summer! Parents, does that fill you with dread, knowing all you'll hear for the next few months is, "I'm bored!"? Keep reading because we have a deal for you—one that will only cost you a buck and that will keep your kids safe online while allowing them to have fun and to grow in their relationship with Jesus.

Buck Oliver is back in the latest Adventures in Odyssey album, and to celebrate, you can try the Odyssey Adventure Club for just a buck for your first month. Sign up before May 31st using the promo code BUCK! *This deal only applies to first-time accounts and is good the first month only.

Members receive:
—24/7 streaming access to more than 750 Adventures in Odyssey episodes (a $1500 retail value).
—A new, members-only Adventures in Odyssey episode every month.
—A subscription to Adventures in Odyssey Clubhouse Magazine.
—A web quest of video stories and online activities reflecting the biblical theme of that month's episode.
—On-the-go access with the OAClub mobile iOS app.
—Growing access to Odyssey books, a daily devotion, access to select Radio Theatre dramas and more.

Additionally, a portion of each Odyssey Adventure Club membership benefits Focus on the Family partner organizations, such as Carry the Cure and Mission Aviation Fellowship, providing parents with an opportunity to teach children about the value of serving others. The Odyssey Adventure Club hopes to spend another 25 years hand-in-hand with parents seeking to teach biblical truth to their children while inspiring the theater of their imagination.

OAC-May-Offer 

Your favorite Adventures in Odyssey characters are also Taking the Plunge in Album 59 and now you can, too! This summer, dive into your faith and grow closer to God by joining the Adventures in Odyssey Clubhouse Magazine Taking The Plunge Summer Challenge. It includes these simple things:
  • Learn 5 memory verses
  • Get active with 5 family activities together
  • Share God’s love and your faith in 5 different ways
When you commit to the Adventures in Odyssey Clubhouse Magazine Taking The Plunge Summer Challenge, you'll receive:
  • A promo code for an exclusive Odyssey Adventure Club first month offer (for new members only)
  • Adventures in Odyssey special studio message
  • “Strange Journey Back” book excerpt
  • “Jones and Parker Mysteries” book excerpt
To learn more about the Odyssey Adventure Club, visit www.oaclub.org, Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Book Review: Motivate Your Child Action Plan by Dr. Scott Turansky and Joanne Miller



I read Motivate Your Child in January and loved it. You can read my review here. You can get Motivate Your Child (ebook) for just $2.99 from May 18-20. I was so happy to have an opportunity to review Motivate Your Child Action Plan. This is a wonderful workbook with blank spaces where you can write down your thoughts, plans, prayers, and notes. Even if you have not read Motivate Your Child (highly recommended, though :)), you will still benefit from reading Motivate Your Child Action Plan. It's really easy to understand and follow. Parenting is hard work and Biblical parenting is even more so because spiritual warfare is involved. This book provides effective strategies and valuable techniques/tools that parents need to help motivate their child(ren). The authors point out on the first page, "Parenting is a process. It takes work and a lot of God's grace." I agree wholeheartedly! If you think there needs to be a change in your child and you need help because nothing seems to work, this book could be the answer you're looking for. It is written from a heart-based approach to Biblical parenting.  

The book covers the importance of good theology, the importance of building a stronger relationship, the three levels of thinking, the five components of the action plan for change: firmness, visioning, teaching, prayer, coaching, and the three C's of internal motivation: cue, conscience, and character. At the end of each chapter, there's a section titled, "Have a Meeting with Your Child" which encourages working and communicating with your child, studying your child, and evaluating what works and what doesn't. I highly recommend this book to every parent, especially Christian parents. It's helpful, hopeful, insightful, and practical. I've put into practice some of what I learn from this book and I've seen positive results/improvements in my children. I only wish the book were available when my kids were younger. You can tell how much I love this book by the amount of quotes I include below :)!


"Change in the heart is much more powerful than behavior adjustment." (p. 8)
"Remember that parents can't force a change of heart. However, they can have a powerful impact on process." (p. 39)
"Both parents and children are imperfect people. We all need the grace of God in our lives. We're all weak. We need humility to change ourselves, perseverance to work on tough problems in our kids, and love to keep relationships strong." (p. 56)
"Remember, the goal of parenting isn't just to make kids happy. Those whose primary goal to make their children feel good often raise selfish children. Kids need firmness in order to move away from their weaknesses." (p. 62)
"When you base your motivation on your convictions instead of on results, you're able to do what needs to be done even when things get hard." (p. 109)
"Faith is an important part of who you are, and its should come out in how you talk and how you interact in life. Influencing others spiritually takes place naturally when you're living your life for Christ. It's not forced." (p. 110)
"God has made us each unique, and that uniqueness comes out in the way we work with our children." (p. 121)
"Change takes time, and a negative reputation is a hard thing to overcome. Just continue doing what's right and seek to please God. Help kids see that their goal isn't to be people pleasers but God pleasers. Do what's right, even if others don't notice." (p. 124)
"One of the greatest motivators of spiritual growth is having kids. It's surprising how much selfishness parents see in themselves as they learn to parent their children...Raising children forces parents to look at their own hearts, develop their own consciences, and rely on the Holy Spirit as never before." (p. 145)
"The goal is to reveal that growth is normal and healthy. It's part of life, and those who resist by arguing, blaming, or justifying themselves don't grow quickly as those who have courage and humility to admit their weaknesses and move forward." (p.148)
"The greatest contributor to change in a person's life is total commitment to God." (p. 153)


Monday, May 4, 2015

Motivate Your Child Action Plan Book Release Giveaway

I'm reading Motivate Your Child Action Plan and I'll have a review coming soon. In January, I posted my review of Motivate Your Child by Dr. Scott Turansky and Joanne Miller here. Excellent book! I highly recommend it! I'm glad they also wrote this workbook to help parents plan and take action.

Motivate Your Child Action Plan Giveaway
To celebrate the release of Motivate Your Child Action Plan, we are joining other members of the Launch Team in a wonderful giveaway filled with an iPod Touch, $50 iTunes Gift Card and several biblical parenting products! A value of nearly $350! Here's what you could win: 

Apple iPod touch 16GB Black/Silver  ($195 value)  

  • In the Box - iPod Touch, Apple EarPods, Lightning to USB cable, QuickStart guide
  • Brilliant 4 Retina display with Multi-Touch IPS technology
  • Front-Facing FaceTime camera with 1.2MP photos & 720p HD video recording.  
  • iOS 6 features - Siri, Apple Designed Maps, Integrated Facebook, Shared Photo Streams, Passbook & more

iTunes Gift Card ($50 value)

 Because you'll need apps and music for that iPod Touch!

The Christian Parenting Handbook and Companion Guide ($56.95 value) 

The Christian Parenting Handbook contains nuggets of parenting wisdom condensed into 50 short chapters, each one biblical, practical, and relevant for parents of children ages 2-18. Learn appropriate ways to correct, instruct, and set limits. Glean wisdom for dealing with emotions, conflict, and developing closeness in your family… and much more. These 50 strategies provide you with hands-on tools for parenting children of any age.  The Companion Guide is a workbook of 50 lessons along with 50 audio tips to take you through The Christian Parenting Handbook step by step. Each lesson contains advice from Dr Scott Turansky and Joanne Miller in a 5 minute audio tip and then offers teaching, an assignment, a Bible verse, and a prayer to help you apply each idea or strategy in your family. The tips are available to you as MP3 downloads and access to them comes in the workbook.

Family Time Activities Book Bundle ($45 value)

Your kids will have fun learning about God's Word and how it applies to their lives. Science experiments, art activities, and games are all designed to reinforce spiritual truth. Each lesson is clear and simple, yet profound even for parents! You'll teach kids how exciting it is to learn about God and his ways. Your kids will love these books, but more importantly you'll build spiritual memories of Family Time in your home. Titles in this giveaway include:  Seeing Is Believing  Playing for Keeps  Running the Race Enter the Giveaway using the Rafflecopter below! This giveaway is open INTERNATIONALLY to those 18 years of age or older. Void where prohibited by law. a Rafflecopter giveaway Join us for the Action Plan Facebook Party on Wednesday, May 20 at 9:00PM ET. There will be even more prizes and giveaways there and the authors of Action Plan will be present to answer your questions! The winner of this giveaway will be announced at the Facebook party!

RSVP here for the Party! 

Action Plan Facebook Party

Review: Trinity EnLIGHTen

Trinity EnLIGHTen cream is a skin lightening cream that uses natural ingredients. I've used it on my sun spots off and on since I noticed that it made my face itchy (no rash but itchy). It could be an allergy to an ingredient or my own personal sensitivity. I don't know. I have not seen any change on my sun spots yet but this could be due to the fact that I have not been using it consistently or long enough. Even though it may not work for me, it works well for many people. I still think it's a great product. It is safe on your skin because it does not use any harsh chemicals that can damage your skin. I like the cool feeling when I put it on my face. I hope you will give it  a try. It's supposed to help with uneven skin tone, freckles, birthmarks, age spots, sun spots, acne scars, and more. Trinity is a wonderful Christian company that promotes both inner and outer beauty. They put Bible verses on their products. They offer a 90 day guarantee on their products. If you're not happy with their products for any reason, you can contact them and they will refund your purchase 100%.

~I've received this product via Christian Women Affiliate in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

When Calls the Heart Season 2 Premiere Review plus Giveaway

UPDATE: The giveaway is over. The winner (randomly chosen using random.org) is Karen Lossing ("Victorianlady8"). Congratulations to Karen! Thanks, everyone, for entering my giveaway!
About the series:
The series is inspired by Janette Oke’s bestselling book series about the Canadian West. “When Calls the Heart” tells the captivating story of Elizabeth Thatcher (Erin Krakow), a young teacher accustomed to her high society life, who receives her first classroom assignment in Coal Valley, a small coalmining town where life is simple, but often fraught with challenges. Lori Loughlin plays Abigail Stanton, a wife and mother whose husband, the foreman of the mine, along with a dozen other miners, has just been killed in an explosion. The newly widowed women find their faith is tested when they must go to work in the mines to keep a roof over their heads. Elizabeth charms most everyone in Coal Valley, except Constable Jack Thornton (Daniel Lissing) who believes Thatcher’s wealthy father has doomed the lawman’s career by insisting he be assigned in town to protect the shipping magnate’s daughter. Living in a turn of the century coal town, Elizabeth will have to learn the ways of the frontier if she wishes to thrive in the rural west on her own.

Are you a fan of this series? I am :)! I enjoyed Season 1 very much. I was so excited when I received an opportunity to watch the Season 2 Premiere online before it airs. The premiere was fantastic! What has kept me a fan are the likable characters, uplifting family values, and old-fashioned love story. The new season introduces several new characters that add even more flavors to the already remarkable cast. You will meet Miss Samantha Madison, a woman prosecutor who will be handling the court trial against the Pacific Northwest Mining Company in Coal Valley. Elizabeth's mom got ill so Elizabeth went back home (city of Hamilton), accompanied by Constable Jack. You will meet Elizabeth's family and see their extravagant lifestyle in the big city, contrary to the simple living in Coal Valley. You may drool over their elegant and graceful costumes (mostly modest except a few). You will also meet Tom, Jack's younger brother, who is a troublemaker. Abigail, Rosemary, Mr. Gowen, and Bill Avery (Jack Wagner) from Season 1 are not going anywhere. However, lots of changes are coming to Coal Valley. You won't want to miss the 2 hour season premiere this Saturday on Hallmark. Come back here and let me know what you think. And don't forget to enter the awesome giveaway (see details below).


GIVEAWAY: You can win a 10 DVD set of When Calls the Heart Season 1 ($60 value). Only valid in US and Canada. Ends 5/5 at midnight Pacific time.
To Enter: Please leave a comment sharing your favorite TV series. Or if you are familiar with When Calls the Heart series, please share about your favorite episode or your favorite character.
For Extra Entries(please leave a separate comment for each one that you do):
- Follow this blog via GFC or NetworkedBlogs

- "Like" When Calls the Heart Facebook page
- "Like" my page "Living for God" on Facebook
- Follow When Calls the Heart on Twitter
- Follow me on Twitter: @treasuredbyGod 
- Follow me on Pinterest
- Share the link to this giveaway post on Facebook 
- Tweet about this giveaway on Twitter

~Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway. Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Book Review: Dashing Dish by Katie Farrell


You don't have to sacrifice tasty flavor on the altar of healthy dishes. This cookbook includes 100 delicious & nutritious recipes. Most of them are gluten-free and sugar-free. Every recipe uses healthy, wholesome ingredients. Beautiful photos accompany all the recipes. I really like seeing what each dish looks like. The author offers tips on clean eating and baking & cooking techniques that can help save us time and money. She also includes Dashing Dish staples, Dashing Dish's Eating Out Guide, lists of healthy snacks, 4 steps of meal planning, tips to help you stay healthy during special holidays, and sweetener conversions.

The recipes are organized into six categories: breakfast, lunch, dinner, side dishes, snacks, and dessert. Each recipe shows estimated time, nutritional information per serving, and the author's personal note. I have tried a few recipes (Peanut Butter Breakfast Bars, Personal Thai Chicken Pizza, and Slow Cooker Italian Meatballs ) and I'm impressed. They are simple but yummy. I did tweak the recipes a little bit :).
Our family does our best to embrace clean eating but we still have a long way to go. I find Dashing Dish very helpful and encouraging. The recipes are easy to follow. With this cookbook, we can eat better, stay healthy, and enjoy a variety of dishes (including comfort foods) without guilt. To live a healthy lifestyle is not only doable but also enjoyable :)! 

~I received a free copy of this book via Icon Media Group in exchange for my honest review. All my opinions are my own.