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Teens

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Annihilation

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New Movie Alert, I’ve been seeing a few trailers circulating on Facebook and couldn’t help but be intrigued.  I was a bit fascinated with this new sci-fi and did a little research. The movie is based on acclaimed best-selling Southern Reach by Jeff VanderMeer’s 2014 award-winning trilogy of novels, starting with Annihilation.

ANN_Dom_Online_Unrated_Vertical_Cast_2018Synopsis
Lena, a biologist, and former soldier joins a mission to uncover what happened to her husband inside Area X – a sinister and mysterious phenomenon that is expanding across the American coastline. Once inside, the expedition discovers a world of mutated landscape and creatures, as dangerous as it is beautiful, that threatens both their lives and their sanity.
From visionary writer and director Alex Garland (Ex Machina, 28 Days Later) and based on the acclaimed best-selling Southern Reach Trilogy by Jeff VanderMeer, Annihilation stars Natalie Portman, Oscar Isaac, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Tessa Thompson, Gina Rodriguez and Tuva Novotny.
 
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Director: Alex Garland
Cast: Natalie Portman, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Gina Rodriguez, Tessa Thompson, Tuva Novotny, and Oscar Isaac
 Social Media
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After watching the trailers I have definitely deemed this as a movie experience I can’t miss.  It has too many exciting and beautiful elements that cannot go unnoticed.  Have you seen the Beautiful Shimmer and creatures that relic in the trailers?  In honor of the New Movie Annihilation, I thought it would be fun to enclosed a recipe that would be the perfect food for venturing into the unknown (The Shimmer), something quick, easy, and a non-perishable food.  Thanks to Baking-Ginger I was able to find a simple yet tasty recipe. It has all the perfect elements to keep one from going famish.

Ingredients

  • 1 Cup Rolled Oats (use gluten-free if GF)
  • 1 Cup Peanut Butter
  • 1/2 Cup Choc-Chips (preferably dark chocolate or cocoa nibs if vegan)
  • 1 tbsp Chia Seeds
  • 1/4 Cup Honey/Agave Nectar
  • Instructions
  1. Mix all the ingredients together.
  2. Roll ingredients into balls.
  3. Store in an airtight container in the fridge.
  4. Devour

 

*We would love to hear what you type of food you would bring with you if you had to venture into the unknown*

Kid-Friendly, Reviews, Staycation, Teens, Things To Do, Tweens, Vegas Life

Christmas Town For a Fun Family Night

We love finding places around the Valley to celebrate Christmas and the end of the year holidays. Following a short break after Halloweenville, Wet N Wild now hosts another off season family fun center – This time, Las Vegas Christmas Town! They are open thru New Year’s Eve and will only be closed 12/24 & 12/25 in observance of Christmas Eve and Day. 

The second you step in, you are immersed in a winter wonderland with festive music, tons of colorful lights and all things that evoke Christmas and the holidays. You can even catch a few of your favorite winter characters like Olaf, elves and even Santa himself! Santa has a cottage so you can visit and take photos with him. There is no charge to use your own phone for photos, but professional photos are available for purchase. Tons of photo opportunities throughout the park with thousands of lights, a 40 person train ride, a 40 foot tree and synchronized lights and music. There is even a life-sized nativity scene! I just wish it was lit properly because it was pretty cool…

A few things to remember before your visit:

The ticket window opens at 5p. If you purchase a Groupon ($15 vs the full $20) You should be able to go straight to the entrance. Bags are subject to security search upon entry.

It is getting colder and colder as the year comes to a close so please dress warmly, including hats and gloves as this entire experience is outdoors.

They have face painting included with your admission and the artist that night did such a great job with my son’s snowman and wreath. I liked it so much I was inspired to tip her.

 

We did not enjoy the skating rink since it is not real ice, it is about the size of half of a basketball court, so it got crowded  and we could not get used to the ill-fitting skates! We tried about three different pairs on my son, including some that looked similar to roller blades. He did not like any of them. We only went around one time, but we enjoyed watching others try it out!

The lines for the rides can take a little while so just be patient, everyone else is here to have fun too, and at least you can look around and appreciate all the decorations and of course, the music!

Frosty’s Snow Ball Fun is a hybrid bounce house-ball pit of all snowballs. So cute…The kids always love the bounce houses and we could have spent the entire night just there, but I am glad we didn’t miss out on a number of other attractions.

The only thing we wanted from the concession stand was hot chocolate and the seasonal funnel cake: mint chocolate chip. The gigantic, drizzled in chocolate marshmallows in my hot chocolate were perfect. Making the kids ice cream and funnel cake induced sugar high was probably not the best idea, but it kept them warm and fueled to run through the obstacle courses for about an hour.

The Jingle Bell Sledding Hill is super steep and extremely fast, which my son does not like, so we did not try it, but the music is always on point there and from all the squealing and giggles, you know everyone is having a blast!

Right beside the inner tube sledding, there is a walk-through 3D experience that was really cute. The little kids liked it so much (or wanted to put the 3D glasses on repeatedly) that we went through several times since there is no line. As you exit the short two-room attraction, you can see the snow falls right by there!

My favorite was Rudolph’s Save Christmas Shoot Out, the paintball gallery. We almost forgot to try it and just before closing, we spent the last 30 min there. This requires purchase of paintballs, the best value being $20 for 200 paintballs. I will gladly buy them the next time we go – I want to shoot too! My son used all 100 paintballs himself and had a blast with every shot. The shooting gallery has Christmas trees lined up with ornaments to shoot and a well-padded (I hope) character creeping and laughing as you attempt to shoot him or her. 

Ornament and cookie decorating requires additional purchase of ornaments and cookies, but all the decorating tools are available on tables beside the concession stand. I did not feel like standing in line for cookies so we tried the ornament decorating ($3). It is so cold out that it was hard to dry the glitter glue so I had to hold them all night – a terrible idea for the beginning of the night! They are cute little wood board ornaments, but we would likely skip that next time. We love the Tiny Tim train that is most suitable for five years and younger, but adults can squeeze in too. 

The wave pool is so pretty and still, like a winter lake view. I loved the cabanas decorated in spooky, horror scenes for Halloweenville and I was really hoping they would have made a little winter wonderland near the pool too. I kept thinking it would be similar to the Macy’s department store windows in NYC. 

As for the price point, I thought $20 per person seemed expensive (depending on how many people in your family) so I was glad to hear Groupon was available for $15. It did sell out that night we went so plan ahead! Overall, it is a great place if you love bounce houses, trains, holiday music and tons of lights. The rest is gravy! 

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ILUMINATE

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The Smith’s Center has got a new show for the whole family- 

ILUMINATE

Sunday, October 22, 2017 at 7:30 PM

TICKET PRICES: $24 – $79

VENUE: Reynolds Hall

BUY TICKETS

It was first featured on American’s Got Talent. After its debut, it has been rising in popularity as a new hit show. If illuminate sounds familiar you may have watched it on some of your favorite shows Dancing with the stars, and Ellen. Or you may have remembered one of their spectacular performances on the American Music Awards. 

The new show features a combination of music, art and technological special effects (almost like magic). The High energy dance styles (hip-hop, latin and break-dancing) and the movement of cutting edge effect will definitely be a hit with the family especially with kids of all ages.

 

 

Dads, Date Night, Family, Gifts, Kid-Friendly, Las Vegas Kids, Las Vegas Moms, Live Like a Local, Moms, Reviews, Saving Money, Teens, Things To Do, Toddler, Vegas Dads

I heart Avenger Station

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I heart Avenger Station
I heart Avenger Station
I heart Avenger Station
I heart Avenger Station
I heart Avenger Station
I heart Avenger Station
I heart Avenger Station
I heart Avenger Station
I heart Avenger Station
I heart Avenger Station
I heart Avenger Station
I heart Avenger Station
I heart Avenger Station
I heart Avenger Station
I heart Avenger Station
I heart Avenger Station
I heart Avenger Station
I heart Avenger Station
I heart Avenger Station

Are you looking for place to take the family?  Look no further, we have a perfect solution.  The Avengers Station Located at Treasure Island Hotel.  They have an awesome set up for the whole gang.  The best part is they have a great deal going on:

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Family Four Pack February. Superhero fans can purchase four entry tickets into the awesome attraction for just $99*, plus fees, with the code FAMILYDSCF0562

When:
Daily during the month of February
10 a.m. until 10 p.m. (last entry at 9 p.m.)

Marvel Avengers S.T.A.T.I.O.N. at Treasure Island Las Vegas, the completely immersive and educational experience that brings visitors into the world of The Avengers launches Family Four Pack February. Superhero fans can purchase four entry tickets into the awesome attraction for just $99*, plus fees, with the code FAMILY.

The deal can only be purchased in person at the attraction’s box office.

*Children 3 and under are free of charge.

DSCF0689It is definitely a family attraction worth experiencing for all ages. Once you Step into The Avengers Station (Scientific Training and Tactical Intelligence Operative Network) you gain access to exclusive intelligence files, classified studies and experiments that explore the history and scientific origins of the Avengers while you train to become an official agent. You’re literally transported into your favorite superheroes world.  DSCF0460

Each station has a display of operational equipment such as Captain America, Hulk Bruce Banner, Vision’s Hawkeye, Black Widow, Ant-Man, Iron Man, Thor, and so much more.  There is so much information and equipment on display that you literally learn more about the superheroes and villains.  DSCF0467 

Each room has a Unique character theme.  You can make the experience even more interactive with a downloadable Avenger Station App (available on IOS and Android) or you can rent there device with the app already pre-installed. Which contains fun facts, trivia and etc.DSCF0505

Once your briefing is done. At the conclusion of the experience there is a final battle. Once you turn in your device you’re Super hero is revealed and your group is ready to battle Ultron.DSCF0678

We definitely had fun going in a group and taking the tour together.  The kids where thrilled to find there favorite Avenger on display with there buddies… They did a lot of observation and interaction. It was a unique experience. That made the experience worth while. The only thing I regret was not taking more pictures with my rented device.  I could of had more selection on pictures to buy. DSCF0595

Date Night, Reviews, Teens

The Space Between Us :: {Movie Review}

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“Courage is fear that has said its prayers.”

– Karle Wilson Baker, “Courage”

PicsArt_02-02-11.43.29Movies can be an escape. An escape from a ho hum daily grind; an escape to a personal utopia… Simply a couple of uninterrupted hours focusing on the best our planet has to offer.

PicsArt_02-02-11.44.12Living in Las Vegas, we are blessed with endless sunshine, blue skies everyday and clear views of the mountains from just about anywhere in the Valley. In a few short hours, we can drive to a beach, a mountain, or a canyon, or fly to another country to experience different cultures, vastly different food, customs and sights. We are truly blessed, but how often do we appreciate it? 

PicsArt_02-02-11.39.31There were a lot of themes of love in the The Space Between Us: romantic love, friendship, parental love. It ran about 2 hours and I think I liked the concept so much, I went ahead and overlooked a lot of the holes in the story. I like how wide-eyed Gardner is as the first human born on Mars. I had questions such as what did they feed the baby on Mars cuz it’s not like they could ship them formula?! And felt myself wondering about bubble boy type scenarios about all the germs he was being exposed to. I wish there was more character building only because a lot of storyline continuity seems to hinge on one or two sentences for you to figure out how it all links together. 

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But guess what, I still enjoyed the the film. I even teared up at some parts just thinking about what ifs. I wanted to root for first love and I wanted to believe it would be so whirlwind-y for a sixteen year old to visit Earth for the very first time too…(I love Blast from the Past!) Maybe if it was a mini-series or sitcom it would’ve been better received. I didn’t expect this film to change my life or completely convince it was even possible for humans to live on Mars in the not so distant future. I wanted entertainment and a neat story and that’s what I got: A cute movie and a great message about love knowing no bounds. If you want a fun, date night and are not into horror movies or thrillers also debuting this weekend, you’ll really enjoy this film! It’s sweet, light-hearted and simple and sometimes that’s just what you need! Bonus: The soundtrack is PHENOMENAL! That is one of the best parts of the movie, for sure! 

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I watched this advanced screening alongside other press and although I’m not a movie critic, I enjoyed the experience of the event itself. I’m not sure why I don’t attend more advanced screenings! I hope we have the opportunity to attend again. It’s a rarity for me to go to the movies on my own so it was also a treat of a night out with just my super over-priced theater snacks! ($18 for a medium soda, tortilla chips, nacho cheese and M & Ms – I guess I should’ve asked specifically for jalapeños?!) AMC Town Square hosted the event and there’s a lot of parking at the entrance to Gameworks so you can even take a shortcut through there and head up the stairs. Yardhouse is a great place to have dinner before shows as the servers are great about timing around a schedule to make your movie on time! Double Helix is a great place for drinks afterwards – Gotta love their firepit on the patio! Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf are around the corner from there too. There’s also a playground at Town Square and Artsy Nanny can also watch your kiddos for you too!

☆☆☆All these pix are from IMDB!☆☆☆

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Gift Guide and Bucket List of Our Favorite Holiday Things

Tis the season…We put together a list of our favorite places, products and services from stocking stuffers to bucket list events around town. Happy Shopping and Socializing, mamas! 

Gifts for your #1 mom (Yes, YOU!)

Vent Salon also has 2 locations also: Downtown Summerlin and Henderson 3 blowouts per month runs about $55/month. Look Style Society has 2 locations in the Valley – Tivoli Village and Town Square. They offer unlimited blowouts for $99/month and unlimited makeup application for $99/month!

For furry babies: Barking Dogs on Blue Diamond has a great selection of treats and toys to reward your pets after you have them groomed or just do the self wash option. I love the friendly, resourceful staff here and the products are top notch.

I have worn the same lipstick for probably the entire time I’ve lived in Las Vegas (since 2003!) It’s called Stay Currant and it’s a Revlon Colorstay lip stain. I know, the drug store under $10 choice for the win! I’ve tried other brands, other shades, but this is my absolute go to – fancy or casual, day or night, summer or winter. I love this deep red and the fact that it lasts all day & even into some mornings – Lol! Just remember to pick up Neutrogena make up remover too (or the Up & Up Target brand works just as well for half the price) or the fancy Bifacil by Lancôme. They all take off lip stains with minimal effort.

Tervis cups are my new jam. They have been around forever, are super sturdy and incredibly stylish. I love drinking just about everything out of them! There is a Tervis store at PH’s Miracle Mile Shops, but they are also available at Macy’s and Bed, Bath & Beyond(home of the never expiring 20% off coupons!). You can rep your favorite sports teams or choose fun festive designs. With an active, bull-in-a-china-shop toddler you need to be ready for the next foul ball or rogue plane. We also have pets so cleaning up broken glass is too much of a risk! 

Speaking of drinks… The good folks at Total Wine can help you find great wine and spirits to fit any occasion. They carry much, much more than simply wine! There is beer and cordials and hard alcohol as well as unique accessories and paraphernalia to make any wine connoisseur squeal.

Comfort food from Yardbird Southern is a cozy way to spend time connecting with your honey amidst the craziness of the holidays. When it’s cold out, rich foods are the way to go! We need to get our winter coats on – What else will we have to work off in the New Year?! Mandarin Oriental has a festive high tea as well. Start your new tradition today!

Brunch at Craft Kitchen, tea and multiple menu offerings at Truffles N Bacon, Filipino gastropub from Cutting Board & anything from Served LV and now at Americana… These are a handful of favorites around town for taking friends to share a unique experience that will give them something new to try or just make every day meals feel like a special occasion.

I love Hobby Lobby and Michaels for easy DIY kits from ornaments to toys, but the unique finds will be at Cost Plus World Market! Our elf even shops there!

There are 2 indoor playgrounds that we absolutely love (warning, sock zone!): Rockin Jump the trampoline gym is fantastic for the whole family so definitely head over when you have restless visitors in town. Super clean, open warehouse style, a stunt bag, dodge ball courts, a climbing tower, basketball hoops of varying heights, lockers and great music playing. For kids 10 years and younger, go to Kangamoo. You will not be disappointed! You could literally be there all day, they have a walking track, slides, swings, trampolines, a zip line, miles of crawl space, free massage chairs, free coffee, tea and water, a charging station and plenty of wifi.

Sharing experiences and quality time with loved ones is really what the holidays are all about. There are several notable seasonal events and attractions around town. You can never go wrong with Opportunity Village’s Magical Forest where there are so many local sponsors who are annual contributors. The trees are ever changing and can be a constant inspiration for your own home decorations. New to the Valley is Operation North Pole: an interactive experience with our favorite jolly couple! This includes photo opps, visiting the candy shoppe, the toy workshop, and one on one time with Mr. & Mrs. Claus! Make it a point to visit seasonal exhibits at Bellagio, Venetian and now The Park for festive gatherings and holiday decorations. Ice skating is always a fun family night too at Downtown Summerlin, Cosmopolitan and also The Park now too! There are also several homes decked out in Christmas Lights with synchronized music too! Hypnotist Marc Savard’s home on East Robindale is for sure a local favorite. The schedule for House on Robindale can be found on Facebook. If you want to stay in your car, try the Glittering Lights at the Speedway! They have Groupons and deals for bringing canned goods too.

Great shows to see anytime, but going to shows is more festive during the holidays: Terry Fator at Mirage, Jabbawockeez at MGM, and Absinthe at the theater in front of Ceasar’s (<–Absinthe is NOT for suitable for kids! …or anyone easily offended by vulgar language and suggestive content).

Health, Moms, Teens, Tweens

The HPV Vaccination: Important Information About Protecting Your Family

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I’d like to talk with you today about helping prevent cancer in our kids as they get older. But before we can talk about some of those cancers, we have to talk about sex – even if we don’t want to.  I mean, let’s face it; it isn’t always the most comfortable topic to even think about much less talk about.  Our society deems it okay for sexualized commercials, music and clothing to surround our kids; but our schools aren’t allowed to give them evidence-based, factual education that will help them make smart choices, nor are they allowed access to the tools needed to make those smart choices? We are sending our kids mixed messages. And they know it.

As Executive Director of Immunize Nevada, a statewide 501c3 non-profit, I was recently asked to give a TEDx talk about preventing cancer through the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination.  I didn’t want my own personal HPV story to be part of it. I didn’t want it broadcasted to the world. I definitely didn’t want to talk about sex. But as I thought about it and rehearsed, I realized that not telling my story — all of us parents not telling our stories — is one of the inherent problems with HPV vaccine uptake. It mirrors the way we approach anything related to sex here in the United States.

HPV is the most common sexually-transmitted infection in this country – so high that most parents today were probably infected at some point in their lives. You can’t get it if someone sneezes on you, and you can’t get it from eating contaminated food. You get it from skin to skin, sexual contact – something most of our children will do within their lifetime (even if they wait until marriage).

We need to be honest with ourselves and fellow moms about our own history with HPV, and we need to share our stories.

The conversation I had with my 12 year old son went something like this:

“You need to get a vaccine today.”

“What’s it for?”

“It prevents you from getting cancer.”

“What kind of cancer?”

“Remember in the school program when you talked about the diseases you can get from sex? Some of those diseases can cause cancer.”

“Yuk. I don’t want to get cancer.”

If you have a teen and you haven’t vaccinated them, ask yourself why. Are you concerned about safety? Or are you really concerned it’s giving them permission to have sex? Be honest with yourself about your concerns, and then get the facts. There are a lot of things we can’t control as our teens become young adults, but we can prevent them from getting HPV associated cancers.

I wanted to share with you some common questions I get asked by parents regarding the HPV Vaccine:

Who should get the vaccine?

Routine HPV vaccination is recommended for boys and girls at 11 or 12 years of age. Vaccination at age 11 or 12 years is most effective because it provides the highest protection when given before exposure to HPV occurs. Catch-up vaccination is recommended through age 26 for those who did not previously complete the series. HPV vaccines are given in a three dose series over a six-month period. HPV vaccines do not contain live viruses and only uses a tiny piece of the virus, meaning the vaccine cannot give you HPV or cause cancer.

Is the HPV vaccination safe? How effective is it?

HPV vaccines are continually monitored for their safety and effectiveness. Since the vaccine was first released in 2006, health care providers have given millions of doses across the globe and no serious safety concerns have been found. All vaccines used in the U.S. are required to go through extensive safety testing before they are released to use. HPV vaccines are very effective. If the HPV vaccine series is completed and administered in the correct intervals it can provide nearly 100% protection from certain HPV types. HPV vaccines offer a promising approach to preventing cancer.

What are the side effects?

Some mild side effects can occur. The most common reaction is a sore arm where the injection was given. Swelling and redness can also occur at the injection site. Some other side effects include dizziness, fainting, nausea, and headache.  Fainting is a common reaction for any adolescent vaccine. To reduce the risk of injury, an adolescent should sit or lie down for 10-15 minutes after the vaccine is administered.

The HPV vaccine is cancer prevention. It prevents cancers that mostly occur in adults – so when thinking about vaccinating our 11-12 year olds, it’s a hard concept to grasp.

Please check out this link for more information:  http://immunizenevada.org/hpvfreenv.  Mom-to-Mom, I encourage you to make an appointment today to speak with your healthcare provider about vaccinating your 11 or 12 year olds against HPV. It could help save their life.

~~~Connect with Immunize Nevada~~~

Immunize Nevada on Facebook   @ImmunizeNV     #HPVFreeNV

https://www.flickr.com/photos/immunizenevada

 

About the Author…Heidi Parker is Executive Director of Immunize Nevada

Heidi Parker, Executive Director of Immunize Nevada

 

As executive director of Immunize Nevada, Heidi Parker leads and engages a diverse coalition of staff, volunteers, member organizations and funders so they are passionate about vaccines and access to preventive health care across Nevada’s rural, urban and frontier communities. Bringing 19 years of experience in nonprofit program management, fundraising and marketing, she has dedicated her career to being able to affect her community in a positive way, whether working with Head Start families, victims of violence, college students or Nevadans needing immunizations.

Under her leadership, Immunize Nevada is deeply involved in community outreach, collaborative projects and fundraising efforts aimed at helping close the vaccination gap that Nevada faces. Heidi lost her best friend to Hepatitis when she was in elementary school and her great-grandfather died in the Influenza Pandemic of 1918. These personal and family losses drive her motivation to ensure that no one suffers from a vaccine-preventable disease, and that vaccines continue to have an influential voice.

Heidi has earned numerous awards for her commitment to community involvement, including the Reno Gazette Journal’s Twenty under 40 award and has presented at a variety of regional and national conferences, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) National Immunization Conference. Heidi is a 2nd generation DePaul Blue Demon and received her Master of Arts degree from Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville. She is also a recent graduate of Duke University’s Executive Nonprofit Leadership program.

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