Best Movies for Preschoolers

Best Movies for Preschoolers

The best movies for preschoolers are the ones in which the whole family can enjoy them (meaning Barney’s Christmas is out of the running!) We don’t watch a lot of movies in our house, but when we do, I don’t necessarily care about the educational value so much as my being able to sit through them without wanting to burn my eyes out.

So which movies would I say are the best family movies for preschoolers? Heh would you judge me if I said The Greatest Showman? Yeah? Harrumph, fine, we’ll keep it G-rated (oh and please note – the links below may be affiliate links that could earn me a commission should you click through to make a sale).

Best Movies for Preschoolers

Moana

Moana will forever be one of my most favorite movies. There’s such heart behind this movie and it never fails to inspire. Plus the songs are absolutely phenomenal and let’s face it – Dwayne Johnson is fantastic, even when animated.

The Snowman

This movie is perfect to help everyone unwind and relax a bit. It’s a “silent” film, but you’ll hardly notice thanks to the captivating music and gorgeous animation. We watch this one a lot during the holiday season, but it’s honestly wonderful all year round.

Beauty and the Beast (live action)

Oh, Emma Watson, how I adore you. The animated Beauty and the Beast is of course a solid choice, but the live action does a wonderful job bringing the characters to life and giving them an even more vibrant personality. While some preschoolers may be a little nervous during a few of the darker scenes (like when Gaston battles the Beast near the end), overall it’s a fun and bright movie.

Frozen

This one might be a divisive one, but if you’re not yet burnt out on “Let It Go” this musical is sure to enthrall the little ones. Personally I love this movie more each time I watch it, but there’s also a Christmas special if you need to mix things up a bit.

CoCo

I love that CoCo provides a seemingly rare insight into death, but does it in such a way as to not scare or worry younger children. It’s also wonderful to be able to educate children on various traditions they themselves may not follow, but are interesting nonetheless. Warning: you’ll need tissues for this one!

Spirit

An oldie but a goodie! I was 14 yrs old when this movie first came out, but it has definitely stood the test of time. If your preschoolers love horses, they are certain to love this family film. Bonus: there’s a show on Netflix that is similar to the movie, but updated to include a female heroin and her wild west adventures.

Boss Baby

Boss Baby just slays me. I wasn’t a big fan the first time I watched it, but (as children are wont to do) we watched a few more times and I love it. Call it Stockholm Syndrome if you wish, but to that I say – fart poop doody.

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Horton Hears a Who

I’m a huge fan of Dr. Seuss, but even if I weren’t, this would be a movie I’d watch over and over again. It teaches children to care for others in such a gentle, inadvertent way. It never fails to inspire.

The Lorax

Like I said above – Dr. Seuss is big in our house. And once again, we’re learning about caring for others above our own selfish needs. The Lorax has brilliant animation, beautiful life lessons, and lots of sharp humor to keep the whole family entertained.

Fern Gully

I’ll never not love Fern Gully. Tim Curry + Robin Williams + fairies + life lessons = one of the best movies OF. ALL. TIME. (Disagree? Comment below with YOUR favorite!) I was only 4 years old when this movie came out, which is absolutely insane to imagine given that I’m now the mother of an (almost) 4 year old and a 5 year old, but that just goes to show – Fern Gully is one for the ages.

Trolls

Okay so this was another one that took a while to win me over. I’m often put off by movies that get too hyped up and that was the case with this one. However, I’ll now gladly watch it with (or without) my preschoolers any time. The animation is just out of this world and the songs are just so much fun. This is another one that now has T.V. shows, too, so you can mix it up to avoid burnout.

Happy Feet

Baby penguins. Need I say more?! Okay fine, how about baby penguins, jaw-dropping animation, brilliant musical numbers, and once again those life lessons that will help our children grow to lead with kindness.

Inside Out

Inside Out is probably one of the most perfect movies for preschoolers because let’s face it – there are few creatures on earth that have less of a hold on their emotions than preschoolers. I will say that this one is technically rated PG, but it’s due to the high emotional rollercoaster vs anything actually inappropriate for children. It’s a wonderful family film, though, and teaches us all one of the most important (but hardest) lessons: never stifle your emotions.

Lilo and Stitch

Bringing in another one from my childhood! Lilo and Stitch is such a sweet movie, but funny enough to keep the adults entertained, too. While I hope my daughter doesn’t grow to be quite as sassy as Lilo, let’s face it – us girls are all a wee bit dramatic at times. Let’s just hope she doesn’t bring home any dog-aliens…

Room on the Broom

I love the book, but the movie is even better! This is a fun one, too, in that the movie will help your children memorize the book, which in turn can help improve their eventual reading skills. Room on the Broom isn’t just one of the best movies for preschoolers, but one that will teach your children there’s always room for another friend in their lives.

WALL-E

So I promise you that when I made this list, I truly wasn’t thinking about how many of them are environmentally related but heh…well here we are and yes, WALL-E is one I’d definitely recommend. While the lack of conversations in the beginning may make it difficult for kids to pay attention, it picks up eventually and not only teaches our children the importance of caring for the world, but also shows them what a difference one person (err..robot) can make!

The Land Before Time

Last but not least, another that has stood the test of time. I’m pretty sure there’s like 108 versions of this movie by now and yeah, they’re pretty much all the same – dinosaur gets lost and/or has a fight with his friends, meets up with a sharp tooth, sings a song or two, finds his way back to friends, and YAY! All is well for a while. The original Land Before Time will always be my favorite, but I’ll admit that a few of the new ones do have a catchy song or two.

So what say you – do you agree with this list?

Which ones should I have skipped?

Did I forget any?

Comment below and let me know!

The #1 App for Entertainers

The #1 App for Entertainers

In a world where more and more people find themselves driven to profit from their passions, it can be hard for live entertainers to find their break in an already inundated industry. So how do you make money from your genius when you’re still struggling to be seen?

Enter Damon Wayans, Jr. and Kristopher Jones – the two creatives behind the oh-so-amazing Special Guest App, a booking app that makes it simple to connect gigs with paid talent.

Special Guest App Review

Special Guest is a platform for talent to use to find gigs in a far easier manner than the traditional route (and best of all, it’s free!)

Entertainers and the like can create profiles within the app to showcase their talent and personality. Venues are then able to use the Special Guest App to search for talent based on things such as location, availability, price range, etc.

This means that anyone, anywhere can use Special Guest to hire live entertainment with just a few simple touches of their phone! From finding a guest speaker for your next podcast to hiring a magician for your child’s birthday, Special Guest makes it easier for everyone to connect.

One of the best parts (in my opinion) of Special Guest is that they handle the legal agreements, including cancellation policies. They have many other fantastic features, though, such as:

  • In-app messaging to reduce e-mail clutter
  • Easier to use discovery tool to help you narrow in on exactly the talent you need
  • Ratings and reviews of the entertainment so you can trust in your hiring decision
  • Facilitate payments on behalf of the venue so you don’t have to stress about how/when that check will be cutparty planning tip special guest app

This app is truly great all around, whether you’re looking to hire or be hired.

As a busy mom, it means a lot to have this app available should I need to hire a band for my friend’s wedding or a face painter for our school’s fun fair. But I don’t just support it because it makes my life easier! I love that it gives entertainers the virtual space to be seen. It’s so important to support each other as we work toward living lives on our terms and Special Guest helps to do just that.

Don’t just take my word for it, though! As I said, it’s FREE! So go check out Special Guest now and enjoy!

My Vacuum Sealer Obsession

My Vacuum Sealer Obsession

When I was offered the chance to review the Crenova 3-in-1 Automatic Food Sealer Saver, I wasn’t quite sure if it was something that would be worth my time. Sure, it seems like a good deal, but I very much subscribe to the Alton Brown line of thinking — don’t have appliances that have only one function, they’ll only create clutter!

Regardless, I thought I figured I’d give it a try and see what happens…and oh. my. goodness.

Crenova Vacuum Sealer Review

Note: The links below are affiliate links, which means I’ll receive commission should you click through and make a purchase. This in no way impacts my recommendation of said product.

Crenova Vacuum Sealer Food Saver Review

I decided to try out the Crenova 3-in-1 Automatic Food Sealer Saver one day after realizing we had way too much leftover galumpki (cabbage and beef). Galumpki is one of my favorite dinners, but go figure, the kids aren’t a fan. Rather than let it go to waste, though, I decided it was a perfect opportunity to see if this food sealer was actually worth a spot in my kitchen.

The Crenova 3-in-1 Automatic Food Sealer Saver is incredibly light weight and seriously could not be easier to use. If you know me, you know that it’s not actually my kitchen so much as it is my husband’s (there’s a reason he runs a keto recipe blog and I don’t!) It’s a good day if I can microwave hot dogs for my kids, let alone work the other appliances!

While not my kitchen, though, this is my blog and I can’t recommend a product if I can’t actually use it. So I skimmed the directions and decided to charge full speed ahead!

The Crenova 3-in-1 Automatic Food Sealer Saver has a few different variables on it, namely the option to customize based on your food. I decided to go with “wet food” for the galumpki to account for the sauce. In a matter of 30 seconds, I not only figured out how to use the but it was done – the galumpki was sealed up and ready for the freezer!!

This appliance is so quick and easy to use. It’s sure to not only save you time (seriously I used to do the ol’ freezer bag dipped in hot water to get the air out enough to freeze stuff!) but it’ll save you so much money as well! Personally I’m going to draft up a meal plan and then keep my husband company one Sunday while he cooks a bunch of freezer meals that I’ll then vacuum seal. Team work, people!! hehe

If you’re on the fence about investing in this product (or gifting it to a loved one!) I would very much recommend you join Crenova Kitchen Appliances for Beginners – it’s a great Facebook group that can help you master this wonderful product. The admin are so kind and helpful and the community itself is just wonderful! Be sure to check it out today!!

 

 

Nancy Drew: Sea of Darkness Review

Nancy Drew: Sea of Darkness Review

Nancy Drew: Sea of Darkness is my new obsession! Check out my video review below and/or keep reading to hear why I’ve deemed it worthy a place on this blog (heh though note: this is a sponsored post, but that doesn’t change the fun I had with this game!!)

 

Nancy Drew: Sea of Darkness – A Review

Nancy Drew: Sea of Darkness is a computer game set in Iceland where a ship captain by the name of Magnus has suddenly disappeared…along with the treasure! Was he thrown overboard? Did he run away with the gold? Or is something more nefarious afoot?

Now I’ll admit that as a 31-year old mother of two, my video game skills aren’t what they used to be! That said, this game was an absolutely blast to play and I only died like three times!! (*hold for applause…*)

The storyline is really well written and every character you encounter has such a vibrant – and often hilarious – personality. My favorite by far was Dagny, the gal who hired Nancy Drew to help her find Magnus and their missing treasure. Dagny is sassy and solid, a well-built character that’s sure to keep you entertained.

The graphics of this game are also phenomenal. Maybe it’s the early Illinois winter that’s come our way, but I often felt like I was actually in Iceland!

Now I will recommend that you bring an extra cup of coffee with you as you sit down to play because the puzzles…phew! There were some tough ones!! Luckily HeR Interactive provides a strategy guide, because frankly I’d be lost without it.

Nancy Drew: Sea of Darkness makes for a fun game to play alone or with a friend! If you have children who are a bit older (i.e. not my 3 & 5 yr olds) then invite them to help you out as you explore the wonderful town of Skipbrot and work to find Magnus.

 

Review of Nancy Drew Sea of Darkness PC game - an especially great video game for girls who love puzzles or mysteries to solve!

 

I think my favorite part of the game is of course the strong female protagonist combined with the first-person PoV…or maybe it’s that I could make a “fatal error” and wouldn’t have to start all over again!

This game would make for a wonderful holiday gift, as would Nancy Drew: Shadow at the Water’s Edge – hey why not buy them both and enjoy them over the long holiday weekend? Just don’t forget those strategy guides!

Did you read Nancy Drew as a child?

Comment below, I’d love to know your favorite book!

 

 

Review Software, Receive Starbucks

Review Software, Receive Starbucks

What if you could review software you use at work every day and receive a $10 Starbucks gift card? A for REAL gift card, not “entered into a drawing” nonsense?

Well, you can! We were contacted by both Capterra and G2, two companies that let the real experts – namely you and I, who actually use products everyday – review various software programs. They use this information to give credible advice on what software to use, and in return, they’ll pay you in an electronic Starbucks gift card.

Make Money Reviewing Software

Capterra Review

January 2019 Update: My original review of Capterra here has been removed as I’ve heard from more and more of you that they tend to shut down your accounts for faulty reasons and give you no chance at an appeal. I reached out to them for clarification and not only did it take them TWO WEEKS to respond (?!!) but they sent a form response that addressed none of the questions I’d sent them.

I personally made $70 from Capterra and had no issues, in fact they offered me $100 to send ya’ll their way, but know this – I will ALWAYS choose honesty over money. 

Unfortunately due to their poor customer services skills and the fact that they randomly close legitimate accounts, I cannot and will not recommend them.

[click_to_tweet tweet=”Why one blogger changed her honest review of @Capterra – #software #badbusiness #customerservicefail” quote=”Honesty is the best policy – choosing truth over payment.”]

G2 Review

G2 is more IT and HR oriented, so it’s conceivable that not everything you’ve got experience with will be something they need a review on, but it’s absolutely worth your time to check. Though you can only write 5 total reviews for G2, if they’re for under-reviewed software or something that is particularly important, they’ll pay you $10 for each one.

Like Capterra, G2 pays out in electronic gift cards to Amazon or Starbucks. It’s a nice way to get that coffee fix while you gear up for Black Friday shopping or sitting at home in your pajamas for Cyber Monday (which really depends on your personality, doesn’t it?)

The other benefit to G2 over Capterra is the turnaround on payout; G2 gets you your card in at most 48 hours. They process the reviews fairly but quickly and I love it!

Check out G2 and get to reviewing!

Out of curiosity, what’s your favorite software?

Comment below and let me know!

Must-Have Halloween Decor for Under $10!

Must-Have Halloween Decor for Under $10!

Halloween decorating is our family’s all-time favorite part of the year!! We have an entire closet filled with totes of halloween decor in our house and I love it. What I don’t love, though, is spending money on something that only comes out for a few weeks each year. So today I’ve compiled a list of my favorite Halloween decorations – all for under $10!!

Disclaimer: The following are affiliate links, which means I may receive a commission should you click through and make a purchase. This in no way impacts your purchase price or my opinion of the products.

Halloween Decorations on a Budget

First things first – if you’re not a member of Amazon Prime, sign up for your free trial TODAY! If you’re on the fence, be sure to read my article on Twenty Different Ways to Save with Amazon Prime!

Let’s kick things off right – this tombstone set shown above has 56 (!!) pieces and yes, it’s under $10!

See on Amazon

Creepy Cemetery Signs

See on Amazon

 

Trick-or-Treat Sign

How cute is this sign?!

Find it on Amazon

Halloween Pillow Covers

I’m a big fan of pillows and blankets – like seriously, if anyone ever needs a present idea for me, pillows and/or blankets are the way to go!! So when I saw these pillow covers, I knew I had to have them.

See on Amazon

Green Goblin Door Cover

 Plastic Brain Jello Mold

 We used this at our last Halloween party and it went over so well!! It’s reusable and less than $4. We even made some jello worms to go with it – so fun!

Halloween 3D Sticker


Believe it or not, this spooky sticker is ONLY $2! Such a steal!!

Get It on Amazon

Zombie Door Cover


Buried Groom and Bride Props (Set of 2)

Fun Halloween Stamps

Perfect for trick-or-treaters, gift bags, or just to have on hand for your own kids!

Haunted House Window Cover

frugal halloween decoration ideas

String Lights

Our house is ALWAYS the most lit up house in the neighborhood regardless of the holiday or season. I love using purple and orange lights to celebrate the Halloween season!

Black Lace Spiderweb

Glow in the Dark Spooky Eye Stickers


If you’re feeling mischievous, put one of these on your bathroom mirror before bed and wait until someone wakes up in the middle of the night to go potty. hehehe

Ghost String Lights

Heh have I mentioned yet that we REALLY love lights?

Spooky Arm Yard Stakes

Pumpkin Porch Light Cover

 Keep your porch lit up but still spooky and fun!

Paper Lanterns (Set of 6)

Restroom Door Cover

 

Such a fun way to designate where the bathroom is while enjoying a bit of spooky Halloween humor!

Orange and Black Pumpkin

See on Amazon

Witches Hats (Set of 5)

You’re reading that right – you can snag FIVE witches hats for LESS than $3!!

 Hanging Halloween Decor

Zombie Figurines (Set of 18)

How amazing are these?! Use them for Halloween decor, a fun diorama (the teacher will love it, I’m sure!) or you can set up your own spooky village using the tombstone set I mentioned above.

Cute Zombie Basket

If you prefer to go the cutesy route with Halloween, this basket is a must-have!!

Zombie Head Bowl

 

 Heh and if you prefer not to go the cutesy route, this bowl makes for a great serving dish!

Realistic Skull

Last year we buried a pallet in dirt, stuck the hand stakes mentioned above in the pallet, then placed this skull at the top with a strobe light. Super cheap, but super creepy!

Mini Pumpkins (Set of 6)

 Ghost Vinyl Sticker

 I had to wrap this up with one more cute one – seriously who wouldn’t swoon over this?!

Comment below – I’d love to know YOUR favorite Halloween decoration!