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Wednesday, September 28, 2016

The Queen of Katwe Reigns Something Fierce {A Review}

The Queen of Katwe Reigns Something Fierce
{A Review}
I was given the opportunity to screen this movie from Disney Studios but all the opinions are my very own.
This movie had me from the get go. The cast, the sweeping view of Africa, and the remarkable real-life story centered around the fierce Phiona (perfectly portrayed by newcomer Madina Nalwanga). She becomes a skilled chess player and we see her growth, setbacks and accomplishments.
You will be swept away to the struggles of intense poverty that is reality for so many in Uganda and around the world. The messy and gritty division of society's rich and poor. You will also be taken aback with the universal themes of love, family and mentorship. The film picked me up, shook me and embraced me by the end. The emotions were real. I cheered, cried, laughed, gasped, and danced throughout the tale. The magic of Disney and superb characterization by Lupita N'yongo, David Oyelowo, and the entire cast brought the story to life. 
I am an ESL teacher and I work with students from East African countries, some that had even lived in Uganda as refugees. The fact that Queen of Katwe was filled with African actors brought my heart joy. I am beyond thrilled to see a movie that shows the power, determination, and pride that I see in so many of my students' eyes through those of Phiona's.
 It also brought up themes about belonging. The coach (David Oyelowo) and Phiona's mother (Lupita N'yongo) often help Phiona see that she belongs where she wants to belong.  I see confusion of identity a lot with my students. They sometimes struggle to feel they are part of their new communities but don't always feel comfortable in their traditional ones either. The main character's remarkable chess skills allowed her to experience life beyond her borders (real and imagined). This made her have some of those same feelings of doubt and fear of fitting in or truly belonging in one place or the other. In one final chess tournament scene Coach encourages Phiona by yelling "You belong here."
I cannot wait to show this film in my classes, to have students that relate to that theme and others. I hope it helps them to become inspired to carve out their own paths and identities here in their new lives. 

Do not sleep on this movie- it is worth it. It is a 2 hour saga that spans years of the protagonist's life and I was intrigued every second. Make sure to truly enjoy it to the end when we are given the chance to see the real life inspirations for the movie. 

I will be taking my family to see it and I will be ecstatic to re-live it again.  It was that good. No, it was that fierce.




Tuesday, September 27, 2016

What a Charming Production of I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change at The Gaslight Music Hall!

What a Charming Production of 
I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change 
at The Gaslight Music Hall!
I was given tickets but all the views in this post are my own.

It is rare that my husband and I go on dates or even watch a movie without the kids, so getting to see a musical comedy was an extra special treat. It helped that the show was so funny and that the acting was fabulous. We went to see the Roadrunner Theatre's production of "I Love you, You're Perfect, Now Change" at the Gaslight Music Hall last weekend and we are really glad that we did.

I was not sure what to expect but I figured with the title, PG-13 disclaimer, and great Tucson talent would ensure that we would like it. I didn't however, think that we would both be laughing so much.  The hilarious reality of life and relationships makes for a really good show. As explained in the program, "The subtitle of the show is Everything you have secretly thought about dating, romance, marriage, lovers, husbands, wives, and in-laws but were afraid to admit."
Real life couple, Chach Snook and Jodi Darling transition seamlessly out of one role into another as do the other two actors, Tyler Wright and Kelli Workman. There were two fabulous and sometimes comedic musicians on stage the entire show for a live score. The charisma that all of the performers had on stage whether they were portraying a couple, parents, siblings, or friends was palpable.The acting was great and the singing was fun. During the song, "I will be Loved Tonight" Jodi Darling's rich voice filled the hall.  Kudos to Chach as the director as well.

I suggest you do not miss this fun date opportunity. If my husband was laughing, I promise there will be some laughs for everyone.
See you at The Gaslight Music Hall in Oro Valley.
Showtimes:Thursday, Sept. 29, 7PM          Sunday, Oct. 2, 3PM         Sunday, Oct. 2, 6:30PM

Tickets and more information <------






Monday, September 26, 2016

Walmart Grocery Service is a Sanity Saver

 Walmart Grocery Service is a Sanity Saver

This post was sponsored but my experience
and thoughts are all true.
I am a busy mom and we, busy parents are always looking for the next great way to multi-task or save time.  I often grocery shop on my way home from a long day of teaching and end up getting take- out after all that shopping. Bags full of groceries but no energy to make dinner, the school lunches, and pack the snacks.

So, Walmart has this new grocery service that really is a sanity saver. The idea is built for parents and all the other busy people in the world. Here is my experience:

I first got on my phone while I was waiting in the pick-up line at school last week to see what snack and lunches I would need for the upcoming week. I logged right into my Walmart account and added a few items to my cart.


I then finished the order at home during the evening. I chose a pick-up time from the one hour time slots available and I was finished! Yep- grocery shopping for over 20 items was done in about 15 minutes total. I call that a mom win!
I got some expert input on the items to order. and we didn't have to wait 20 minutes for said expert to find her favorite shoes to go to the store.

The only drawback to this process was that not all the Walmarts in my city were offering the service (at least not yet). The locations were not close to home for me. It all worked out though. After my husband and I had a fun date near a store with the pick-up available  we parked in a one of the snazzy covered designated spots and within 10 minutes our truck was loaded. No extra fees, no extra time, no getting out of the car. We were also given a cute bag full of samples and coupons as a thank you for trying the new service.


Think about all the ways this service could come in handy....

  • Not feeling well but you still need groceries.
  • Babies or kids fall asleep in the car but you still need groceries.
  • You have been up for hours with the before-mentioned baby and cannot fathom getting out of your robe but you still need groceries.
  • You only have 18 minutes and 27 seconds in between soccer practice and dance class but you still need groceries.


What is a scenario where you think this could be very helpful? Use it in your life and order your groceries 
Get $10 off of $50 first order with the code REALEASY.

Stores Offering Online Grocery in the Tucson area:
Walmart Neighborhood Center
2565 E. Commerce Center Place

Walmart Super Center
7635 N. La Cholla Boulevard

Walmart Super Center
8280 N Cortaro Road 


Time for Frankenstein Fun at The Gaslight Theatre

Time for Frankenstein Fun at The Gaslight Theatre

PhotosCredit: The Gaslight Theatre 
I was given tickets and tickets to giveaway in exchange for the review but just like every time we go to the Gaslight we had so much fun that I want to tell you about it!


The Gaslight Theatre is a Tucson gem. We have enjoyed show after show there with the kids for the past 5 years. Kick off Fall and the Halloween season with their spooky and family-friendly production of Frankenstein.
The show itself is a silly take on the classic story from the House of Frankenstein, where the "monster" (played by David Fanning) comes alive. We even get to meet the bride of Frankenstein (played by Heather Stricker) because all this green guy really needs in his life is a girlfriend. Everyone needs friendship and love, right?  There were a few boo-worthy moments but overall, we really felt like cheering all of the characters this time around.
The songs are always tailored to the theme and Stayin' Alive along with Monster Mash both had the audience humming along.
With all the sing-along songs and telling jokes a la Gaslight, the actors have as much fun as the audience bringing the story to life. 

Come see where science meets creepy with Gaslight style.

Don't forget the Olio after the main show. This is the Viva Las Vegas edition and Elvis was a hit for my kids.



See you at the The Gaslight!

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Goodwill 50% Off Sale {Today}

 Goodwill 50% Off Sale {Today}





Today is the day to get your thrifty self on at Goodwill of Southern Arizona!  They have a 50% off sale- which is almost the entire store except for new items.

What have you found thrifting lately?

FULL Family Event Calendar <-------------


Rubio's Free Kids Meal Coupon {Expires 10/24/16}

Rubio's Free Kids Meal Coupon {Expires 10/24/16}
Photo Credit: Rubios.com

Free Kids meals at Rubio's  available with purchase of adult entree
good through 10/24/16.

FREE KIDS MEAL COUPON  <--------

ALL KIDS EAT FREE INFO for every day of the week <----------


This Weekend in Tucson {Events for Families 9/24/16}

Weekend in Tucson
{Events for Families 9/24/16}