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The little book with BIG resources!

Let’s Chat: Outdoor Safety for Warmer Weather

Happy Leap Day, Friends!

Wow – what a weekend we had here in KC! With warmer weather within striking distance to us here in the metro, many families will be spending more and more time outdoors in the coming months. With outdoor play comes the need for safety measures to keep our children healthy and protected while at play. That’s why iFamilyKC Mom Squad blogger is sharing HER story with you today. Take a look…

Safety

This past weekend was beautiful! With the nice weather, we’ve been spending lots of time outside – riding bikes, taking walks around the neighborhood, and playing at the park. Even though summer is still a few months away, it is important to remember the “rules” for being outside!

One of the biggest struggles our family faces when we ride our bikes is the kids “remembering” to put on their helmets. We tried to make a big deal about letting them pick out a “cool” helmet from the store, thinking that would make them want to put it on… but of course there are a million reasons they don’t want to wear it. The importance of bicycle safety is one that HAS to be enforced – and that means wearing a helmet!

“It doesn’t match my outfit!” | “I don’t like it anymore!” |“It’s too scratchy!”

Another outdoor “rule” we have is saying close to an adult! During our walks, we like to play games (like “I spy!”) which sometimes leads to grabbing things like flowers and rocks – which can get a little out of hand! The kids know they should stay close and not run off but they are little and forget sometimes! It’s important to remember that other people might not be paying much attention and keeping close to an adult is the best way to stay safe! The same goes for playing at the park. The kids can get excited and run off before us adults have even gotten out of the van! One thing we’ve started doing is reminding them before we even park the car that we need to stop and wait for the adults to get out first.

Even though the kids are little and need lots of reminders, playing outside is important! Some kids would rather watch TV all day or play video games on their tablets/phones but outdoor play is way more fun! The time kids spend away from their electronic devices allows them to get creative and run off energy. By no means am I anti-technology, but with the nicer weather (hopefully!) right around the corner, keeping these little rules I mind will make our outdoor time a little easier and a lot more fun!

From iFamily to Yours,

Stephanie

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This Weekend At The Box Office: “Gods Of Egypt”

Hello, Friends!

We’re excited to bring you another Weekend At The Box Office here on the iFamilyKC blog! Jennifer, one of our team members here at the office, had the chance to catch an early screening of “Gods Of Egypt” (which hit theaters nationwide yesterday) and shares her thoughts with you today. Take a look…

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When I received an invitation to see a pre-screen of Gods of Egypt in 3D this week, I scooped up the opportunity and was profoundly excited as a result of viewing the eye-catching trailers for this movie!

I was downright delighted to see some familiar faces in the film- Gerard Butler plays the character of Set (I enjoyed watching him in the movie 300) and Nikolaj Coster-Waldau plays the character of Horus (he plays Jaime Lannister in my favorite HBO series, the Game of Thrones).

Loosely based on Egyptian mythology, the storyline goes that the god Horus is about to be crowned King of Egypt when his evil Uncle Set steps in to overthrow him.  This begins a huge battle of good-guy vs. bad-guy to win back the throne.

Along the way we meet a handsome mortal thief named Bek (Brenton Thwaites) who will assist Horus in winning back the throne by using his cunning strategies and agile strength.  He is so daring even the god Horus questions jokingly if he is truly a mortal!  We also encounter a sweet love story between Bek and a beautiful mortal woman named Zaya (Courtney Eaton).

Along with seeing beautiful and stunning Egyptian goddesses dressed best to impress- the imagery, costuming, and effects will awaken your imagination.  Seeing the film in 3D is even better with all the action of running, jumping, and fighting involved.  My favorite part about the 3D effect is that you can really see the contrast between the heights of the gods compared to the mortals standing all around them.

There seems to be a bit of a mashup of eras and I’m not sure why this would be intentional or how the director would miss that this might confuse a viewer… but the film is obviously based on Ancient Egyptian times, and the gods emerge into robotic-like animal-forms and also they fly to outerspace to visit a god on a spaceship!  This cheesiness had me laughing (by the way there is a bit of comedy throughout the film, where it really is ok to laugh)!

I wanted really bad to love this movie more than “just like it” because as I said, I loved the characters, the costumes were beautiful, and some of the special effects were really great!  But the storyline was a bit confusing to the point where I feel I may need to see the movie a second time to get a grasp on everything that was happening!  Once I felt I had a clue as to what was going on in this tale, the story ripped us viewers into a whole different direction!

With a runtime of 2 hours and 7 minutes, I feel like 90 minutes of action was spread out too far across this film to keep a viewer from getting antsy in their theater seat.  I’m thinking the younger crowd who don’t yet fully understand and appreciate the importance of a great storyline, and more so just enjoy seeing “cool” effects and action, will dig the movie.  So take your teeny boppers along with you (they are going to need you to try really hard to follow the storyline so you can explain it to them) and sit back and enjoy the crazy ride!  I do think you will love some of the beautiful imagery (especially the one where we finally learn that the earth is really flat!!)

From iFamily to Yours,

Jennifer


This Weekend At The Box Office: “Eddie The Eagle”

Happy Weekend, Everyone! 

With the Oscars coming up on Sunday, we’ve had the box office on our brains here in the office today. 2016 is turning out to be a FANTASTIC year for movies and it’s just going to keep getting better. We sent one of our iFamilyKC Mom Squad bloggers, Stephanie, to catch an early screening of “Eddie The Eagle” earlier this week and are excited to share her thoughts with you tonight on the blog. Take a look…


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Eddie The Eagle

Release Date: Friday February 26th

MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for some suggestive material, partial nudity and smoking.

I had the privilege of attending an early screening of “Eddie the Eagle” this week! This movie is such a feel-good, heartwarmingly funny story! The film starts with Eddie Edwards (played by Taron Egerton), a young British boy with dreams of going to the Olympics. As a young boy, he does nothing but train to become an Olympian. All during his training, he is told by everyone around him (except for his mother!) that he will never make it to the Olympics and that he isn’t good enough. Naturally, this forces him to keep practicing in order to prove everyone wrong.

Fast forward 10(ish) years and Eddie is now in his early 20s. He is determined to ski jump at the ’88 Winter Olympics – without ever having any proper training. Enter the oh-so-handsome Hugh Jackman who plays Bronson Peary – a former Olympian who now plows the snow for the ski jumpers. After finding out his past, Eddie begins badgering Peary for training tips.

Of course there are setbacks during his journey to the Olympics – but I’m not one for spoilers so you’ll just have to see the movie yourself! Once he gets to the Olympics, he proves to be a fan favorite – which angers some of his fellow “teammates.”

Overall, this is such a feel-good movie that will have you laughing throughout the movie at the silly comebacks and witty banter between the characters. I really hope you’ll enjoy it as much as my husband and I did!

From iFamily to Yours,

Stephanie

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Cooking Up Fun With Your Kids!

Hello, Friends!

Cooking with my daughter is one of my absolute FAVORITE things to do and we’ve had SO much fun visiting places like Young Chefs Academy in Lenexa and Nibble Nook in the Northland. It’s for that reason that I was so thrilled to see today’s post roll across my desk. Today we’re hearing from iFamilyKC Mom Squad blogger Erin whose family shares a similar passion for cooking. Take a look…

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Cooking Up Fun With Your Kids!

Hey everyone! This week I wanted to share with you something really fun that my daughter has joined recently: Hy-Vee Kids Cooking Club! It meets once a month at Kansas City area Hy-Vees.  My daughter has really enjoyed preparing and tasting new recipes out of her comfort zone! She has recently been diagnosed with some sensory issues and is an extremely picky eater due to those issues.  She is normally not the adventurous type when it comes to trying new foods but going to cooking club is slowly changing that!  I think it is so important to get your kids involved in the kitchen with preparation of food and baking or cooking!

The Hy-Vee Kids Cooking Club is for ages 5 and up and a maximum of around 15 kids are allowed in each session.  The cost is $10 per session.  The dietitian and the chef present the kids with 3 different unique recipes with a theme in relation to the holiday that falls within that month. Typically, one or two foods are prepared and then baked or cooked during which time the third food can be easily put together without cooking or baking.  Each child is given a job that they are in charge of doing (ex: adding the various ingredients or mixing the batter). They also get to choose which toppings or ingredients go in their own individual foods.  They met earlier this month and made Pizza Hearts, guacamole, and chocolate beet cake (this was a big hit with my kiddo!).
I highly recommend the Hy-Vee cooking club! It is so much fun and there is a real sense of accomplishment that you can see on the kids faces when they see the finished product!  

From iFamily to Yours,

Erin B.

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iFamilyKC Kids Club Fun: Xtreme Gymnastics Recap

Good Afternoon, Friends!

Happy Wednesday! It’s hard to believe that we’re already halfway through this week – keep going, moms and dads, the weekend is ALMOST here! We’re working hard here at iFamilyKC to bring you some amazing Kids Club events and we are SO excited to share a recap of our most recent event from this past weekend. iFamilyKC Mom Squad blogger Stephanie had the chance to attend our event at Xtreme Gymnastics in Lee’s Summit on Sunday with her family and they had a BLAST. Take a look…

XTreme

Hello, friends!

On Sunday, we attended the iFamilyKC Kids Club event at Xtreme Gymnastics (near Douglas  &  Chipman) in Lee’s Summit. If you haven’t taken your kiddos to Xtreme yet, you are missing out on a ton of fun activities for the whole family! This place has everything – a rock wall, foam pits, trampolines, balance beams, bounce house/inflatables – the works!

At the iFamilyKC Kids Club event, there were children of all ages that all seemed to be having a blast! The gym is the perfect size – tons of areas for the little ones while providing tons of activities for the older kids, too! Along with the great facility, the staff there was excellent! Everyone working was very attentive and playful with the kiddos!

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This picture of my older three kiddos before the event started! You can see one of their inflatable bounce houses in the background that all the kids there seemed to love! The kids were having so much fun, it was almost impossible to keep the kids still long enough to get pictures of them!

Among the many activities offered to us during the event was an inflatable obstacle course that was a hit with the crowd! Here is a picture of my daughter waiting in line for her turn on the obstacle course inflatable.

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If you are looking for a fun, indoor activity to let the kids burn some energy– I would definitely recommend Xtreme! There are so many things to do for kids of all ages that it is sure to be a great time!

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This iFamilyKC Kids Club event gave attendees a glimpse of what you can expect when you take your family to Xtreme. From their incredible open gym to the amazing classes that they offer, there truly is something for everyone of all ages and varying skill levels. Connect with Xtreme online for more information on how you can engage in some healthy fun with your family.

From iFamily to Yours,

Stephanie

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Emmet & Wyldestyle Are BACK in a BRAND NEW Legoland Adventure!

Hello, Kansas City!

It seems like every month I am reminded of something different than makes the metro area such an outstanding place to raise a family and this past week was just another example of that. On Thursday, I had the opportunity to take my daughter to Legoland to catch a sneak peek of the brand new short film The Lego Movie 4D A New Adventure which is now playing at Legoland’s 4D cinema screen. Legoland is always such a fun adventure for our family but now that Charlotte is getting a little older, our experience at Legoland is just that much better. Want to know what’s in store for your family? Take a look…

LegoMovie

They’re back! And they’re still awesome! Emmet, Wyldestyle, Benny, MetalBeard and UniKitty star in The LEGO® Movie™ 4D A New Adventure. It’s an all-new, totally original, never ever seen before 4D short movie and it’s at LEGOLAND® Discovery Center Kansas City in 2016! Our heroes, along with the audience, go on a trip to a new theme park and wind up in an incredible adventure they never expected. You’ve got to see and feel it to believe it!

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Legoland’s 4D theater is unlike any other in the greater KC metro area. You and your family will be part of the action with Emmet, Wyldestyle, & the gang in this fun short film that is only available at Legoland. In addition to the film, which is a small part of the fun you’ll enjoy at Legoland, your family can also participate in two fun rides, lego building, activities, and so much more during your visit. Charlotte particularly enjoyed the Ninja area (pictured above) that includes a laser maze so you can test your ninja skills.

Day passes can be purchased at the door or in advance online BUT Legoland has graciously extended their annual pass sale through March 11th so you can go as often as you want and take advantage of special offers available to pass holders.

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Click here to grab more info about annual passes to Legoland!

We can’t wait to share more Legoland fun with you in the future! In the meantime, stay connected with us here on the iFamilyKC Blog and over on our Facebook page so you can stay up to date with all of the great discounts and event information that we have going on each week.

From iFamily to Yours,

Holli

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FLASH GIVEAWAY: Advanced Screening Passes For “Eddie The Eagle”

Good Afternoon, Friends!

I’ll keep this short and sweet because I know you’re all just as excited (read: VERY excited) as I am for the upcoming release of “Eddie The Eagle” Inspired by true events, “Eddie the Eagle” is a feel-good story about Michael “Eddie” Edwards (Taron Egerton), an unlikely but courageous British ski-jumper who never stopped believing in himself – even as an entire nation was counting him out. With the help of a rebellious and charismatic coach (played by Hugh Jackman), Eddie takes on the establishment and wins the hearts of sports fans around the world by making an improbable and historic showing at the 1988 Calgary Winter Olympics. From producers of “Kingsman: The Secret Service”, “Eddie the Eagle” stars Taron Egerton as Eddie, the loveable underdog with a never say die attitude.

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We want to send YOU to an advanced screening of this NEW film where you’ll have a chance to see it before ANYONE else! Want to get in on the action?! Simply drop us a comment on THIS blog post and tell us who YOU will be taking with you if you win! We’ll be drawing and notifying winners by email on Sunday February 21st after 5:00pm.

Here’s What You Can Win:

 Two Passes for “Eddie The Eagle”

at Cinemark Merriam

on Wednesday, February 24 at 7:00pm

How To Enter:

Again, it’s SO SIMPLE.

Drop us a comment on THIS blog post and let us know who YOU will bring with you if you win.

That’s it! It’s literally NEVER been easier!

See you at the movies!

-Holli & The iFamilyKC Team

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Control The Clutter: Basic Organizing Tips For The Everyday Mom

Good Evening, Friends!

Spring is coming (it seems like springtime weather might already be here) and, if you’re anything like me, you’ve got Spring cleaning on the brain already. With the approaching warmer weather, our team has been thinking about ways that we can control the clutter and tonight I’m excited to share iFamilyKC Mom Squad blogger Erin’s tips on organizing the chaos with you. Take a look…

ControlTheClutter

Get me out from under the rubble!

Lately I’ve been working on organizing and decluttering my house! It is such a great feeling to know that everything will soon have a place in my home.  I’ve found a lot of helpful tips and methods that are really working for my family! I thought I might share with you some ideas I’ve found to get you going in different areas of your own house.  

  • Bathroom: This one focuses specifically on the bath toys.  My kids toys were spread out all over the counters and floor. The rubber ducks must’ve invited some of their friends to the pond, because before I knew it, they were EVERYWHERE!! So I found a really easy way to organize the toys and the kids are even motivated to pick them up after bath time! Whoa! Now I’ve got you’re attention, huh?  Thankfully, my husband is very handy and with his help, we got to work!  Four dollar store bins, 8 zip ties, and a shower curtain rod is all it took to get our toys beautifully organized. Take a look for yourself!Control The Clutter
  • Kitchen:  The thought of organizing and decluttering my kitchen frightened me, I have to admit.  Once I got in there and started on the junk drawer, the other drawers were easy and I was on a roll! I think every kitchen should have a catchall junk drawer BUT there is a great way to keep it nice and tidy! First, I took everything out of my junk drawer.  What I found was I didn’t NEED half the stuff in it and it was trash! Old owners manuals (why keep these at all when they are online?), expired coupons, shopping lists with no magnetic backs (what is the point of those?).  After happily trashing all of that, I found different sized Tupperware bowls that had sadly lost their lids and I began to sort everything into those bowls. The finished product is fantastic! No more rummaging through the drawer while owners manuals and coupons that expired in 1985 come flying out at me like Doc in his DeLorean! One more side note I’d like to add: if you have more than one set of measure spoons or cups, you do not need them (get rid of them!)
  • School work organization: This last thing is a work in progress of mine that is definitely weighing a lot on my mind! Every day, my kindergartner comes home with beautiful artwork, school papers and flyers.  I cherish these so much and have a hard time parting with any of it.  A mountain of papers is starting to form on my dining room table that needs to be tackled ASAP!  I’ve come up with a system that just might work for me and maybe you too.
  • Go through the backpack each night and sort the papers: artwork, schoolwork, and flyers.  Log the information from the flyers into your phone or wall calendar and THROW the paper away! Easy!
  • Get some sort of a bin with hanging folders and label them (maybe by quarter?). After displaying your future Monet’s pieces for a while, file them away along with any other worksheets or papers you decide on.
  • Another idea I LOVE is to take a picture of the different artwork you are most proud of and create a photo book online.  Shutterfly often has a free 8×8 photo book promo code. It is great way to preserve their precious masterpieces by creating a condensed album that can be shared in the future.

These are just a few random ideas for areas of your house that may need some attention.  I feel so much better after clearing out things we don’t need and giving us a little room to breathe! I’d like to hear what other ideas you’ve come up with in your own house to help your family stay a little more organized and out from under the rubble.

From iFamily to Yours,

Erin

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Erin Booth, mother of 2 little ones and 1 big. Grandma to another little one.

(1 year old son, 6 year old daughter, 20 year old stepson, and 9 month old grandbaby girl)


This Weekend At The Box Office: “How To Be Single”

Happy Weekend, Sweet Mom Friends!

When is the last time you enjoyed an evening out with your favorite gal pals (without the husband or kids in tow)? This weekend we’re celebrating GALentine’s Day, a time to honor those special relationships in YOUR life that bring you joy. I had the chance to celebrate Galentine’s day early this week with my best friend Natalie at an early screening of “How To Be Single” and I’m excited to share my thoughts with you today here on the iFamilyKC blog. Take a look…

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How To Be Single

Release Date: Friday February 12th

MPAA Rating: Rated “R” for sexual content and strong language throughout

After Alice (played by Dakota Johnson) graduates from college and breaks up with her long-term boyfriend, she is forced to adjust to being out on her own, single, for the first time in her life. So she takes a job as a paralegal at a law firm in the city and befriends Robin (played by Rebel Wilson), who makes it her mission to teach Alice HOW to be single.

“How To Be Single” is as much a movie about a young twenty-something discovering how to be alone, who she is and what she wants with her life as it is a documentation of the importance of having good friends and strong connections in our lives. Rebel Wilson and Leslie Mann, in particular, were absolutely hysterical throughout the film and Dakota Johnson’s performance surprised me (in a good way).

Overall, “How To Be Single” is a fun movie that had me laughing so hard I was nearly in tears but it’s also heartwarming and special and it was genuinely enjoyable to watch. I highly suggest getting together with your favorite friends and checking this movie out over the weekend – You’ll be glad you did! If you DO get out to see the film over the weekend, be sure to check back and let us know what you thought! We’d love to hear from you!

See you at the movies!

From iFamily to Yours,

Holli

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Healthcare with Heart: A Special Episode of #InsidePediatrics

Good Morning, Kansas City!

February is here, folks, and there is so much to LOVE about this month. In addition to celebrating the relationships we hold near and dear, February also marks American Heart Month, a time to talk about cardiovascular health.

A few years ago, my college friend Mike and his wife Gloria welcomed their first son, Aaron, into the world.  Aaron was born with Hypoplastic Left Heart syndrome (HLHS), a rare birth defect that affects normal blood-flow through the heart. Fast forward to December 2015, when “Inside Pediatrics”, a documentary that highlights Kansas City families receiving care at Children’s Mercy, aired the story of Sawyer.

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Sawyer is a beautiful, sweet toddler who was also born with a heart defect and was in need of a critical heart transplant. You can catch Sawyer’s story anytime and all Inside Pediatrics episodes at: www.insidepediatrics.com

This touching episode of “Inside Pediatrics” was particularly emotional not only because it illustrated Sawyer’s story but also because it paid homage to the wonderful care received by families at Children’s Mercy Hospital.  Throughout the episode, evidence of the incredible care and attention that the staff and doctors give to their patients is overwhelming. I find myself, with each episode, rooting for the families to have a positive outcome with their health needs. That is, in part, why I am excited for the upcoming special episode of “Inside Pediatrics” that will air on Tuesday, February 16th at 6:30pm on KMBC.
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Next Tuesday’s episode will re-visit Sawyer’s heart warming story as they continue their search for a much needed heart donor, which is hard to come by. I am excited to see where Sawyer’s journey takes her and look forward to learning more about how Children’s Mercy hospitals impact each individual family that comes through their doors.

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As an added bonus, Children’s Mercy will be live sharing on #InsidePediatrics where you can join in on the discussion on your own social media channels. Get those tissues ready and join us for what I think will be the best episode yet in a series that has truly touched my heart. Join the discussion on Facebook and tell us: What has been your favorite episode of “Inside Pediatrics” so far?

“Inside Pediatrics” is a documentary series that follows the care and attention provided by the doctors, nurses, and staff at Children’s Mercy Hospitals here in the Kansas City area. For more information on the show, visit InsidePediatrics.com. For more information on care at Children’s Mercy Hospitals, visit www.ChildrensMercy.org.

I look forward to discussing with you!

From iFamily to Yours,

Holli

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