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Family Travel Essentials from DAISO



DAISO is my happy place. I love going in and walking through every aisle. You read correctly...every single aisle...with or without my boys in tow. If you're not familiar with DAISO, just think of it as a Japanese version of 99 Cents Only Store and Dollar Tree! I briefly talked about it in my "Sawtelle Japantown"post. 

Daiso has a cute selection of kitchen + home goods, stationary (washi tape galore), toys, beauty products, and TRAVEL. Whenever we go on a trip, this place is first on my list to shop. Since we're getting ready to go on our next family vacation, Ronan and I made a quick stop here after our "mommy and me" lunch date. 




There's an aisle dedicated to TRAVEL - where you'll find neck pillows, luggage tags, eye masks, slippers, etc. BUT don't stop there or else you'll miss out on other travel accessories like beauty travel size containers, pill cases, toothbrushes, etc. located in other aisles. This is why I walk through every aisle...so I don't miss out on anything. 

 AND everything (unless listed) is $1.50!! But keep in mind, ALL SALES are FINAL and non-exchangeable. 



I try my best to pack smart for my family of four and I've learned to keep a checklist so I don't forget. On top of my list (besides Passports) are medicine and vitamins, because we all know how expensive those can be, or even worse...lack of proper medicine. So, today's haul included a pill case that's deep enough to hold vitamins and a moisture proof Panda case to hold medicine! Score. 

Scroll down to read my list of Family Travel essentials from DAISO...



Family Travel Essentials from DAISO: 

1) Laundry Bags - besides laundry, these mesh bags will help group your clothes separately from one another. 
2) Inflatable Neck Pillows
3) Socks that's warm and fuzzy for the airplane, hotel, etc. 
4) Ponchos - I like to pack these since they don't take up space, because you'll never know if you need them. 
5) TSA Approved Bottles 
6) Multi-purpose Containers - for vitamins and pills 
7) Vacuum Sealed Storage Bags
8) Mini Sewing Kit
9) Travel Toothbrushes 
10) Sketch Pads + Crayons for the kids to document their travel experience with art. 
11) Snacks - I love to stock up on Japanese snacks and treats. 

Got a favorite travel essential? Please share! 

Aargh! Our Visit to the Pirate's Dinner Adventure Show in Buena Park


Ahoy matey! This past weekend my crew and I set sail to our first Pirate's Dinner Adventure Show down in Buena Park - near Knott's Berry Farm and Medieval Times. It was an evening filled with laughs, entertainment, food, and of course...PIRATES. Keep reading as I share our experience...and tips




Get There Early

It's recommended to arrive at least 90 minutes before show time, but we arrived an hour before and that was plenty for us. Before you go inside, you have to "check-in" and yes, you'll be standing in line waiting but hey, at least you're not rushing and fighting through LA traffic to make it on time! Depending on what package you purchased, you'll receive your bandanas, flags, etc in your Pirate color (you can also purchase them at the souvenir shop inside). There's also a photo opp that they print out and show you during the show, it's $20 if you opt to buy. 

Pre-Show

Once we were inside, we ate a few complimentary appetizers, bought some souvenirs, stopped by at the bar for some adult juice, and enjoyed the pre-show! Ronan was a little scared when the pirates zipped down to the stage but he eventually eased up. During the pre-show we're "captured" by the pirates and they are introduced to us one-at-a-time by color. We then followed our Orange Pirate inside the arena to our seats! 

Food & Drinks

The Pirate's Dinner Adventure Show includes a four-course meal and non-alcoholic drinks. They also  offer Vegetarian, Vegan and Gluten-Free meal options! Danny and I had zero expectations for the food since it was more about the experience but it was surprisingly good and we enjoyed our meal. The kids ate as much as they could considering they were more into the show than the food...and I can't blame them!

  • Appetizers: A variety of tray-passed food served during the pre-show
  • Starter: Soup or House Salad
  • Adult Meal: Roasted Quarter Chicken Leg & Thigh, Shrimp & Veggie Skewer, Mashed Potatoes, and Mixed Veggies
  • Child Meal: Breaded Chicken Nugget with Mashed Potatoes and Mac n' Cheese, and Fruit 
  • Dessert: Tres Leches Cake drizzled with Chocolate 

The Show

We were all entertained with the Legend of the Loch Ness Monster show! It was full of action with pirates showing us their skills, aerial performances, dancing, singing, an appearance by the Loch Ness Monster and audience participation throughout the show! Caiden had so much fun joining the Red Coats (he even got dressed up for the part) and helped out!

The show is loud, dark and a little scary at times for the little ones. Ronan had a hard time in the beginning but loved it at the end and was sad that he couldn't join his brother for the final. But we'll definitely be back and he'll get this chance soon!





Pirate's Life for Us

We had so much fun being Pirates! Regardless if you're local or visiting SoCal, I highly recommend going to the Pirate's Dinner Adventure Show in Buena Park. The service was great and our Orange Pirate was so nice to the kids - think he knew Ronan was a little scared. 

*** Before you purchase tickets, be sure to look for special discount rates on GROUPON and on their website! ***


Check out highlights from our night on YouTube! 









IMAX Pandas, Narrated by Kristen Bell + GIVEAWAY



I said this before and I'll say it again...I LOVE PANDAS. They are my spirit animals. So when this opportunity came about, I had to be involved. Pandas are one of the most beloved animals in the world, but sadly, they are endangered. One of the ways to help is to bring awareness and the new IMAX original film, "Pandas," does it beautifully. 

Synopsis 

Pandas, is a breathtaking documentary adventure and amazing experience for the whole family narrated by Kristen Bell (“Frozen,” TV’s “The Good Place”). At Chengdu Panda Base in China, scientists are taking the captive breeding program to the next level and preparing captive-born cubs for the wild.  This film follows one such researcher, whose passion leads her to initiate a new technique inspired by a black bear rehabilitator in rural New Hampshire.  What starts as a cross-cultural collaboration becomes a life-changing journey for one special panda named Qian Qian. The film, captured with IMAX® cameras, follows Qian Qian on an exciting new adventure into the mountains of Sichuan as she experiences nature for the first time and discovers her wild side. 




Review 

#IMAXPandas is rated G and opens in select IMAX® and IMAX® 3D theatres starting April 6, 2018. Caiden and I got a chance to watch the film at their world-premiere event and you guessed it...we loved it. 

The film opens up with cute baby pandas...so you can imagine the sounds coming from the audience of all ages as adorable pandas are sliding and being clumsy. Besides the beautiful setting of China as its backdrop, you see the beautiful relationship (and respect) growing between the scientists and the starlet of the film, Qian Qian. We're taken to an awe-inspiring look through the different stages of Qian Qian's journey with the help of Kirsten Bell as her voice leads the way. Kirsten Bell's voice captures the audience, especially the kids...because she's Princess Anna! And kids will want to listen and learn about Pandas from her!

Feeling the PANDA-monium? IMAX Pandas is an important film...and I hope you get a chance to see it with the kids! If you're in the LA area, scroll down for a chance to see the film in IMAX 3D at the California Science Center





GIVEAWAY 

Good Luck! For more chances to WIN, head to my Instagram page and enter here!





Egg-static for Star Wars: The Last Jedi Blu-ray Release


The love these boys of mine have for all-things Star Wars is STRONG. So an Easter basket filled with their favorite characters and the newest Star Wars film, The Last Jedi - made family movie night extra special. 

Star Wars The Last Jedi

Synopsis

In Lucasfilm’s Star Wars: The Last Jedi, the Skywalker saga continues as the heroes of The Force Awakens join the galactic legends in an epic adventure that unlocks age-old mysteries of the Force and shocking revelations of the past. 

The digital release is available for download, but the Blu-ray disk comes out March 27th., just in time for Easter! 

Bonus features include Scene Breakdowns, Deleted Scenes, Balance of the Force - exploring the mythology of the Force and why Rian Johnson chose to interpret its role in such a unique way, and many more!



Family Movie Night

To celebrate the Blu-ray release, the kids did a craft activity and decorated Easter eggs while watching the film. I gave them the Star Wars Easter egg decorating kit that was in their Easter basket...and you can imagine the messy fun time they had.

And we can't forget snacks during the movie, right? To set the mood I turned the Porg coffee mug (that was in the Easter basket) into a vase and put a Spring bouquet. Its so cute, I think I have to permanently keep it as a flower vase! Light snacks included popcorn (of course!) with fish crackers in pastel colors, and bunny gummies. Simple. 







Hope this inspires you to have a Star Wars: The Last Jedi family movie night!




Disclosure: I was gifted the Star Wars promo pack but all opinions are my own.

Netflix's BENJI



I look forward to our Friday nights. Why? Because its family movie night. And I'm so excited that the beloved classic film, BENJI has been revamped with a modern twist - that's now streaming on Netflix. BENJI was one of my favorite movies growing up and now my boys love him as much as I do! 

Synopsis
A modern day retelling of the classic, the story of Benji follows one orphaned puppy and Carter and Frankie, two caprious New Orleans school kids who strike up a friendship with the tenacious street dog. When danger befalls them and they end up kidnapped by robbers who are in over their heads, Benji and his scruffy sidekick come to the rescue.

Written and directed by Brandon Camp, whose father Joe Camp created the original, Benji is produced by Jason Blum and Brandon Camp. The film stars Kiele Sanchez, Gabriel Bateman, and Darby Camp. 







PAWmiere

We had the opportunity to screen the film last week at it's "PAW-miere" and it was the cutest green carpet event filled with the sweetest dog influencers. There was a dog-tag making station, treats for both dogs & humans, a puppy playground, and an adoption area. Be sure to scroll down for pics!

My boys and I really enjoyed the movie...and so did the all the dogs with lots of barking and whimpering. It was a great family-friendly film with a lot of heart...capturing the underdog prevailing. So next time you're searching through Netflix...definitely check out Benji with the kids! It'll be nostalgic for you and a whole new adventure for them. 








Caiden with Gabriel Bateman



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