Friday, October 21, 2011

The Mighty Macs - in theaters October 21 - Review

The Mighty Macs!  In theaters October 21, 2011, this movie is a family friendly piece of entertainment that our cinemas are craving.  I had the awesome privilege of watching a pre-screening of this film with my family and we loved it.  It was good from beginning to end!  The acting was great, the game scenes were exciting and the storyline was intriguing.

Here's the official "what's it about" run down for you...

It's 1971. Cathy Rush is a woman ahead of her time ... and she's about to embark on an adventure for the ages. A new era is dawning in the country and in collegiate athletics, where a national champion will be crowned for the first time in women's basketball.
In the lead up to this historical season, major universities are preparing their game plans to win that first title. Meanwhile a tiny all-women's Catholic college in Philadelphia has a more modest goal: find a coach before the season begins. Providentially, Cathy Rush is about to find Immaculata College.
Recently married, Cathy is dealing with the aftermath of a truncated playing career. While cultural norms would have her staying at home, she's willing to do the hard work necessary to help her new team reach their goals—or perhaps she's just trying to achieve her unfulfilled dreams through them.
From the beginning, her challenges are as imposing as the big-school teams Immaculata will face on the court. Cathy learns there is no gymnasium on campus, she receives little support from the school's Mother Superior, and the school is in dire financial straits. To top it off, she may not even have enough players to field a team!
While it appears the Macs don't have a prayer, all hope is not lost. With the help of Sister Sunday—a spunky assistant coach—and the support of a booster club of elderly nuns, Coach Rush creates a new game plan that just might bring the team—and the school—together.
Will this pioneer buck cultural norms and spur her rag-tag team to unexpected heights? Or will her hard-driving ways create a wedge between the coach and everyone around her? One thing's for certain: there's never been anyone like Cathy Rush at Immaculata!

How about you watch this trailer and get all excited on your own....

Get more of the scoop, including pictures, trailers, info on the real Mighty Macs, tickets, etc at The Mighty Macs website or visit their Facebook page to see what other viewers are saying.  Don't miss this movie.  Good stuff like this doesn't come too often! 

"Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I  only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Wits & Wagers Family Game Review


Get ready to place your bets!  Wits & Wagers Family from North Star Games is a "how good can you guess" kind of game that brings friends and family together.   The rules are person reads a question from the stack of cards provided (ie:  How many times does a honey bee flap its wings in one second?), then all the players make their best guess and write it on their dry erase board, then everyone reveals their answer, then everyone places their "bet" on which they think is closest to the correct answer.  Voila!  Once the correct answer is revealed then points are rewarded for whoever bet on the closest to correct answer.
Photobucket The game includes 300 family friendly questions, fun human-shaped meeples, one dry erase score board, 5 dry erase markers, and 5 dry erase answer boards.  It is designed for ages 8 and up.  I thought that age was appropriate since it does require writing, spelling, and the ability to make a "relatively" educated guess to the questions.

Here's my personal take and experience with Wits & Wagers Family:
  • It was fun for my family!  We had some good laughs and learned a few trivia tidbits along the way!
  • The game doesn't take long.  You can play a whole game in 20 minutes if you want.
  • We added some strategy to the mix by pretending we were sure we knew the answer (when we didn't) OR we were clueless about the answer (when we knew for sure) in order to throw off our competition.
  • We agreed that it would be a great addition to a friend's game night too.
  • We liked the variety of the questions!  There are many topics included so you won't get bored.
  • The scoring system was a bit confusing and we had to keep the instruction book handy for the first several games.
  • I thought the price was reasonable for a fun, family friendly game.
  • I'm not sure how I feel about the dry erase option.  How long will these boards last until they are too stained?  How long will these dry erase markers last until I have to spend money to replace them?  I suppose when either of these happens we'll just resort to small pieces of paper and pencils.
  • The game needs at least 3 players, so my son and I couldn't play on our own.  We play games together, just the two of us, every day, so this sadly won't be able to be one of them.  

      You can visit North Star Games to find a store nearest you to purchase Wits & Wagers Family (prices will vary).  Or, go straight to Amazon and get it for the current sale price of $15.23.  I don't know how long that price will last, so hop to it!  This will make a fun and inexpensive Christmas gift!

      Any products reviewed by me as a member of the TOS Homeschool Crew have been given to me free of charge in order for me to provide you with an honest review of the product and/or how we used the product within our family.  I do not receive any other form of compensation for the reviews posted on this blog.

      E-mealz Review

      What's for dinner?  That's the question that swims through my head on most days right about mid afternoon.  Then, I realize that I have no clue, I haven't taken anything out of the freezer to thaw, and I'm bored with the same 'ole things I always make.  *sigh*

      When I had the opportunity to try e-mealz I leaped at the chance!  I head heard of it before from a couple of friends that have been using it and love it.  I had also heard of it from Dave Ramsey!  He recommends e-mealz as a great budget conscious meal planning program.  The thought of having someone else plan my meals, make my grocery list and lay out the recipes was an answer to prayer.  So, I signed up as fast as I could to do this review and anxiously awaited my 3 month subscription to get started.
      Step 1:  Choose a Plan

      • Family plan or Plan for two?
      • A plan for a specific grocery store or a plan for a specific diet need?
      Step 2:  Print & Go Shopping
      •  Print out your weekly meal plan (dinners only) that includes easy to follow recipes, ingredient list, and shopping list
      • Go get your groceries!
      Step 3:  Cook & Enjoy
      • Cook your easy to follow recipes
      • Enjoy your yummy homecooked dinner!
      Each week provides you with 7 delicious recipes, typically for dinner.  You can tailor your meals to meet your needs.  There is no rule that you can't have the Tuesday meal on Thursday if you want to!  What is this worth to you?  If you were to really answer that question I'm guessing you would come up with an amount much greater than what e-mealz is charging.  How about $5 per month?  What????  Yes, you can subscribe to e-mealz for 3 months for only $15.  That's about $1.25 per week for someone else to plan your meals, give you the recipes and provide your grocery shopping list.  Seriously?  Yes, seriously.  Subscribe HERE.  You can enroll with automatic renewal and you can cancel at any time.

      Before you get started, click HERE to see samples of all the Meal Plan Options.  Once you decide which option will be best for you then get started.  If you decide you made the wrong choice, don't worry!  You can change to a different meal plan.  You can make that change once in each 3 month period.  So, feel free to try them all over the course of time.

      E-mealz makes a great gift!  You can get a gift certificate by clicking HERE.  You can get them in 6 month ($30) or one year ($60) amounts.  This is a thoughtful and unique gift for many occasions:

      Christmas ~ Birthday ~ House Warming ~ Wedding ~ Baby Shower ~ Bridal Shower ~ Mother's Day - Just Because!

      OK, let's start chatting about my personal experience with e-mealz.  First, I'll say that I think this product is genius.  I had such high hopes for it and was secretly desiring for it to cure all of my meal planning woes.  No pressure, right?  Here is what I liked:
      • some really unique recipes using a variety of different proteins, veggies and fruit
      • easy to follow recipes with reasonably priced ingredients
      • a meal option that coordinates with the sale prices of my "fave" grocery store, Publix
      • easy to follow shopping list
      • easy to navigate website
      • I initially selected the Publix Low-Fat meal option, but found it to be not a good fit for my family.  I quickly switched to Low-Carb Any Store and it was much better.  I was very happy with the option to change.
      Here a just a couple of things that caused me to think "bummer":
      • I found that only about 3-4 of the 7 recipes per week were a good fit for my family.  My son is a picky eater and I have my extreme limits with what types of fish and veggies I will eat.  There were some that I could easily "tweak" to fit us better though.  I still found it to be a great value even at 3-4 recipes a week.
      • I wished there was an option to do just a one month subscription just in case someone really didn't like it.  But, really, at only $15 for a 3 month subscription it's not really a deal breaker for me.
      So, there ya have it.  What are you waiting for?  Stop asking yourself  "What's for dinner?" and just pull up your e-mealz menu.  Take some work off your plate and put some yummy food there instead!

      Any products reviewed by me as a member of the TOS Homeschool Crew have been given to me free of charge in order for me to provide you with an honest review of the product and/or how we used the product within our family.  I do not receive any other form of compensation for the reviews posted on this blog.