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FLASH GIVEAWAY! Enter To Win Four Tickets To UniverSoul Circus on Wednesday night!

Hello & Happy Saturday!

Since, technically, it’s after midnight I feel like I can OFFICIALLY welcome you to the weekend! If you’re following us on Facebook or through email, you’ve probably caught onto the fact that we are very excited about an event headed to Kansas City THIS week! UniverSoul Circus will be performing beginning Wednesday night at Kemper Arena and we hope that you will all join us for what promises to be a great evening for families!


To get the party started, we’re doing our first ever FLASH GIVEAWAY on the blog (all together now, “Yay!!!!”). From now until tomorrow (Sunday 7/27) at 11:59am, you can enter to win a family four pack of tickets to Wednesday night’s opening show! To enter, simply follow the instructions on the Rafflecopter link below! You’ll have to follow the link but, we promise, it’s safe! Make sure to enter your email address and check it on Sunday afternoon as all winners will be notified via email (and will need to reply for instructions on how to pick up their tickets).

a Rafflecopter giveaway

For more information on this upcoming event or to purchase tickets, follow THIS link. As always, good luck and may the odds be ever in your favor!

You can also enter this giveaway by following THIS RAFFLECOPTER LINK


This Weekend At The Box Office: Movie Review of “Lucy”

Happy Friday, Everyone!

After a long and warm week here in Kansas City, the weekend is finally here!  With films like “Hercules”, “And So It Goes”, and “Lucy” (among others) opening today, it’s another big weekend at the box office.  I had the opportunity to check out the movie “Lucy” earlier this week.  In case you’re unfamiliar, “Lucy” was written and directed by Luc Besson the same man who has wrote “The Fifth Element” and “Taken”.  Given the amount of success and the fact that I’ve enjoyed much of his previous work, I was pretty excited to watch this science-action film on the big screen and I’ve been anxiously awaiting the moment I could share my thoughts with all of you.  Well, folks, the moment has come for this movie review!  Wait for it…wait for it…

Lucy

Nationwide Release: Friday July 25th, 2014

Total Screen Time: 1 Hour, 30 Minutes

MPAA Rating: Rated R for strong violence, disturbing images, and sexuality

Starring: Scarlett Johansson, Morgan Freeman, Min-sik Choi

Imagine finding yourself involved in a highly dangerous situation in a foreign country with no possible means of escape.  Imagine being in that situation while your body counteracts with a powerful drug that not only alters your state of being but also transforms the way that your brain functions in relation to space, time, and the laws of physics.  Imagine “Lucy”.

“Lucy” follows the story of a woman who is accidentally caught up in a deal, and ends up being exposed to a drug which unlocks 100% of the brain’s capacity. Fun fact here: The entire idea that humans only use 10% of their brains is actually a myth (I know, it’s disappointing) but knowing that doesn’t detract from the movie.  In order to enjoy the film, which can be a bit ridiculous at times, audience members really need to be able to suspend disbelief.  It’s a great marriage between science and action with light comedy thrown into the mix to sweeten up the batter.

This is definitely not a film you should take the little ones to but would likely make a great date night option if you’re looking to get out for dinner and some entertainment.


You’re Invited To The First Annual Fin-A-Thon Hosted By SEA LIFE Aquarium Kansas City

Hello & Happy Wednesday, Folks!

Did you know that nearly 73 million sharks are killed EVERY year for their fins? “Finning” is the practice of capturing sharks from the wild, removing their fins, and releasing the injured shark back into the ocean, leading them to certain death.  Due in large part to this trade practice, shark species across the globe have experienced dramatic population declines over the last few decades due to increased demands for shark fins.

Why does this matter to us?

“Sharks are the key to keeping the marine ecosystem balanced because they are the top of the food chain,” says Joanna Hobday, marketing manager for SEA LIFE Aquarium Kansas City. “Without sharks, the marine ecosystem will be in ruins. Sharks have been around for 450 million years, we need to make sure they don’t disappear in the next few decades.”  So how can we help?

How can we help?

To help protect the sharks from this cruel practice that fuels the unsustainable shark fin trade, SEA LIFE Aquarium Kansas City is looking for teams to help raise awareness against shark finning ahead of Shark Week.  Teams will collectively swim 50 miles on Friday, August 8th, 2014, the same amount of miles that a Black Tip Reef Shark swims in a single day.

Spots are filling fast for SEA LIFE Aquarium Kansas City’s first annual Fin-A-Thon. Teams will need to register at SEA LIFE Aquarium Kansas City’s website to help raise awareness against shark finning.  The Fin-A-Thon will be held on Friday, August 8th, 2014, at the Henley Aquatic Center in Independence, Missouri. All proceeds will be sent to WildAid to assist in their shark fin demand reduction campaigns.

 

About SEA LIFE Kansas City Aquarium

SEA LIFE Kansas City Aquarium opened in April 2012. SEA LIFE Kansas City takes visitors on an enthralling two hour journey from the fresh waters of the Missouri River, into the mighty Mississippi River then out into the warm blue coral strewn waters of the Caribbean Sea, ending in the deep dark abyss of the Atlantic Ocean. Come nose to nose with sharks and prepare for astonishingly close views of everything from humble starfish and seahorses to graceful rays. In addition, a stunning centerpiece is a huge tropical ocean tank with a walk-through underwater tunnel. To get any closer you’d have to get wet! Visithttp://www.legolanddiscoverycenter.com/kansascity/ website for more information.

About WildAid

WildAid is the only organization to solely focus on reducing the demand for wildlife products. Working with hundreds of Asian and Western political figures, celebrities, and business leaders, including the Duke of Cambridge, Yao Ming, Jackie Chan, Edward Norton, and Sir Richard Branson. WildAid’s public service messages and educational initiatives reach hundreds of millions of people a week in China alone through donated media space. “When the buying stops, the killing can too.” For more information: www.wildaid.org.

 

About Henley Aquatic Center

The Henley Aquatic Center is one of the premiere competitive swimming pools in the Kansas City area. Built in 1990, the Henley Aquatic Center has recently undergone major renovations. These improvements include: a new air handling system, new pool deck, fresh paint job, new laneropes, new diving boards and diving board stands, new starting blocks and a new Daktronics Timing system.

 

 


This Weekend At The Box Office! Movie Reviews on “Planes: Fire & Rescue” and “Sex Tape”

Hello & Happy Saturday, iFamilyKC Readers!

It’s the weekend which means time for family, fun, and relaxation! It’s a big weekend for movies and audiences are lucky to have a variety of films spanning different genres to select from as they head out to catch a flick.  Will you be grabbing some popcorn and a drink this weekend? Before you head out, let’s chat about a couple of the films that opened for wide release across the nation yesterday.  Today we’ll be covering two movies that we had a chance to review this week: “Planes: Fire & Rescue” and it’s polar opposite “Sex Tape”.

Planes: Fire & Rescue

Nationwide Release: Friday July 18th, 2014

Total Screen Time: 1 Hour, 24 Minutes

MPAA Rating: Rated “PG” for action and some peril

Starring: Dane Cook, Ed Harris, John Michael Higgins, Julie Bowen

It’s not Summertime unless Disney releases an animated film for the youngest moviegoers across the nation. “Planes: Fire & Rescue”, which hit theaters on Friday, continues with the story of Dusty Crophopper (voiced by Dane Cook), the underdog crop duster who dazzled his World with his high speed abilities during a race around the globe. Settling back into a life of normalcy after his victory, Dusty is faced with a decision: What does this new normal look like?

Similar to its predecessor, “Planes”, this movie is geared towards younger audiences and its visually appealing imagery and sweet storyline make it a fairly enjoyable film for moviegoers.  What I appreciate most about Disney films is that they’re created with such incredible intention. Much like “Planes”, “Fire & Rescue” includes scenery and details that are true to the real life heroes who work tirelessly to keep the Western mountains of America safe.  I think there’s a great learning opportunity for children to learn about firefighting and forest fires in this film and it’s enjoyable enough that children will be interested in learning more. Good for you, Disney, well done!

Sex Tape

Sex Tape Movie Reivew

Nationwide Release: Friday July 18, 2014

Total Screen Time: 1 Hour, 34 Minutes

MPAA Rating: Rated R for Rated R for strong sexual content, nudity, language and some drug use.

Starring: Cameron Diaz, Jason Segel, Rob Corddry, Ellie Kemper, Rob Lowe

Several years and two kids into their marriage, Jay (Jason Segal) and Annie (Cameron Diaz) find that the fire that used to keep them warm at night has started to fade.  In an attempt to rekindle the flame, Annie plans a fun, romantic evening at home with her husband (with no kids!).  The next morning, Jay discovers that their private evening in might not have been so private after all.  The remainder of the movie follows Jay and Annie as they attempt to recover home video footage from various iPads all throughout town. Will they protect their image and erase their raunchy video in time?!

While this film is a romantic comedy at its core, “Sex Tape” is rated “R” for a reason…it’s definitely not appropriate for children (as if you couldn’t figure that out by the title).  For parents looking good evening out (and perhaps some advice for what not to do on your next date night), it’s a decent choice.  The movie starts off somewhat slow but starts to pick up towards the middle captivating your attention and inspires a few laughs.  “Sex Tape” isn’t without its shortcomings but, overall, it’s at least worth the rental when it comes out on DVD.

Questions about this weekend’s movie reviews?! Email me anytime: Holli@iFamilyKC.com


So You’ve Got Head Lice, Now What? Introducing a New Breakthrough Method in Treatment!

Greetings iFamilyKC Readers!

Happy Friday!  I woke up this morning and realized that we’re on the back half of July and Summer 2014 is almost over.  Where does the time go?!  The upcoming tax free weekend here in the area (August 1st-3rd, don’t forget!) reminded me of all of the children who will be heading back to school here in a few weeks.  As a parent, one of the things that I think about when it comes to back to school season is the potential for sickness, germs, and head lice.  I’ll admit that, until recently, I knew very little about lice but I was shocked to discover just how common it really is.  That said, I’m excited (yes, excited) to share some information about a brand new treatment that just came to the Kansas City area.  I believe that this AirAlle’ treatment will transform how we handle head lice (goodbye mayo on the hair!).

Our friends over at Heartland Healthy Heads (Hi Cherie and Susan!) recently became Kansas City’s exclusive provider of this new AirAlle’ treatment and so I asked them to share a little bit about how AirAlle’ (pronounced “air-a-lay”) works. Here’s what I found out…

What exactly is AirAlle’?!

AirAlle’, a medical device cleared by the FDA, kills up to 992% of eggs in just one hour of treatment. This revolutionary treatment is used around the World by lice removal professionals and provides a fast, safe, and highly effective treatment.

How does it work?!

An alternative to traditional head lice treatments, AirAlle’ eliminates lice and eggs through dehydration so parents can end lice quickly without using chemicals on their child’s hair and skin. The device was invented by Dale Clayton, an entomologist from the University of Utah. Using a specific combination of temperature, airflow, and methodical technique, AirAlle’ kills both the lice and their eggs, preventing the further spread of head lice.

Each treatment includes a comb out of dehydrated nits and only takes about an hour to complete.  Unlike other forms of treatment, AirAlle’ is so effective that a follow up visit isn’t required. Heartland Healthy Heads offers a complimentary “peace of mind” check up after one week for families who want to come in.

More On Heartland Healthy Heads: 

“As healthcare professionals, we understand how scary and unnerving head lice can be for families. We now provide three treatment options for metro area residents, the traditional Shepherd method comb out, home treatment recommendations with education, and now the AirAlle’ heated air treatment. Any method you choose, we can help with.”

For more information, head on over to the Heartland Healthy Heads website or stop by their brand new location at 801 N. Mr-len Suite 105 in Olathe.  You can connect with Heartland Healthy Heads with questions about head lice or to schedule an appointment anytime at (913) 730-NITS (6487).

 

 

 

 


Four Tips To Encourage Creativity, Critical Thinking, and Risk Taking in Children

Enriching Your Child’s Education: 
Four Tips to Encourage Creativity, Critical Thinking and Risk Taking in Children

Parents often wonder if they are doing enough to develop their children’s education, talents and interests to prepare them for the 21st Century.  Questions may include:  What options do I have for educating my child?  How can I teach critical thinking and problem solving skills?  Is there a way to foster curiosity and creativity in my child?

According to Ken Robinson, educator, author and TED speaker, “Creativity now is as important in education as literacy, and we should treat it with the same status.”  So as parents, what can you do to instill a sense of creativity and curiosity in your child?

Take time to develop interests, talents and hobbies.

1. When your child shows curiosity, respond by digging deeper.  Check out library books on the topic.  Research online.  Visit factories, businesses and historical sites.  Show your child that curiosity is a great trait and learning is exciting!

2. As a parent, model experimenting with new skills.  Take a class on deck building, plant a garden or try your hand at an art project.  Children are quick to follow when they see adults trying something new.

2.  Encourage a variety of activities. Focus on being well-rounded.  Participating in classes in art, writing, dance or woodshop are excellent options.

4.  Be okay with failure or less than perfect results.  If a project turns out differently than expected, ask questions.  What do you like about it? What would you do differently?  What did you learn?  Praise efforts, not outcomes.

At Maize Virtual Prep School, our goal is to “Help Students Find Their Love of Learning!”  We provide a 21st Century education option along with Enrichment Activities in Art, Writing, Robotics, Poetry, Science, Photography and more.

Act now if you are interested, limited enrollment is available through August 4th.


“Why I Decided To Work From Home: And How I Made It Happen”

Good Morning, iFamilyKC Readers!

It’s Wednesday, the weather is nice and cool (Hello, 75 degree Summer!), and it’s going to be a great day…can you feel it?!  If you’re anything like me (busy parent of an active three year old), you probably do a lot thinking about how you can strike that perfect balance between raising a family and still maintaining a sense of personal, independent identity outside your role as “Mom” (or “Dad”).  That identity comes from a variety of different places: having a career, participating in your local community, or having hobbies of your own. I’m lucky to have found a great balance that works for our family love hearing stories about how different people find that balance within their own little unit. I was recently chatting with Lisa Prater, one of our awesome advertisers here at iFamilyKC, and I wanted to share her story with each of you. Lisa is an incredible mom to her two sweet daughters and she’s truly an inspiration to any mom looking to make it work at home.

In her own words, Lisa shares her journey into finding at home career that works or her below. While we’re on the topic, I would love to hear your story. We all know that parenting, in and of itself, is a full time job. We would love to hear how you strike a balance in your family. What works for you? Without further adieu, meet Lisa:

I was a stay-at-home mom of two adorable girls, ages 3 and 5, when I was suddenly thrown into a divorce.  I found myself having to make a decision: be the stay-at-home mom I’d always wanted to be or go back into Hospital Administration.  Staying at home wasn’t going to cover the bills so in actuality, it was not an option, or was it?  I thank the day my dear friend introduced me to a newer direct marketing business called “Rodan + Fields”.  I quickly learned that they were the 2 dermatologists who had created ProActiv, a brand I could recognize and respect.

I knew nothing about selling something but understood this could be a way moms could stay at home with their kids while earning an income without having to leave them at night to do home parties.  There was no inventory either.  I knew I had to give it a shot so that I could be the one who could take my girls to school in the mornings, see their shining faces in the pick up line, take care of them when they were sick, be the room mom, the mystery reader, or the surprise lunch guest in the cafeteria.

I just want to let other moms know that there are real options out there to fulfill your stay-at-home desires, especially when life deals you a bad hand.  I’m so blessed and so fortunate for what I have and want to share with other moms.

For more information on work from home opportunities with Rodan + Fields, connect with Lisa anytime through email: LisaMPrater@hotmail.com or by phone at (913) 424-4757.


Enter to WIN Schlitterbahn Tickets

Who’s ready for some splashing FUN at the best water park in KC?



Schlitterbahn is the most family-friendly place to splash with their FREE parking + they allow you to bring in food, drinks, coolers (no glass containers) to keep the kiddos happy with snacks & lunches!

What more can you ask for? FREE tickets! You can Enter to WIN below:

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway