Last night my brother brought me along to the premiere of Rogue One, the new Star Wars movie. I enjoyed the movie, and I think any Star Wars fan will, too. It’s gorgeously shot and very well-acted, and surprisingly funny. My brother and I thought it was a bit needlessly complicated and confusing at times, but the movie rights itself eventually. The third act is GREAT, and the last ten minutes are fantastic. There are also a bunch of fun Easter eggs sprinkled throughout the movie. One thing I wish I’d done (and what I recommend to anyone who is going to see it) is re-watch Episode IV before seeing Rogue One. It would have been a nice refresher and I think I’d have recognized a few more of the winks and nods. That being said, I still really liked the movie and I’m looking forward to seeing it again with Mike!
Around The ‘Net
~Dorothea Lange’s Censored Photographs of FDR’s Japanese Concentration Camps
~An award-winning photo of a lonely Arctic bear tells a story we can’t ignore about the future of our planet
~Pilots Can Be Heroes, But Also Murderers
~What Not to Wear (and Other Things No One Tells You When You’re a First-Generation College Graduate)
~Confessions of an Instagram Influencer
~Real Christmas Trees Or Fake Ones — Which Are Better For The Planet?
~Here’s What Happens in Your Brain When You Hear a Pun
~Is College Worth It? Recent Grads Share Their Experiences
~First Dinosaur Tail Found Preserved in Amber
~The Science of the Perfect Night Out
Unique Gifts for Kids & Adults
I’ve been making a list of some of the services and subscriptions we’ve tried and liked throughout the year that I think would make excellent gifts for fun kiddos and grown ups.
For Curious Kids
We are huge Toca Boca fans in this house. The kids love Toca Town and Toca Kitchen, and I personally love the hairstyle app where you can load in a picture of yourself! I recently saw Toca Boca has a new app out called Toca TV and unsurprisingly, my kids love it.
It has thousands of original and curated kid-friendly videos that are perfect for kids ages 5-9 (although James loves it, too), and it’s 100% ad-free! Annabel loves discovering new videos on it, but they are both totally obsessed with the built-in video recording tool that comes with silly filters and sounds.
It’s a subscription service that I think is totally worth it – in fact, the first 100 of my readers to download the Toca TV app and use the code SPOHRSGIFT will get their first month free!
For Young Fashionistas
I signed Annabel up for KidPik, a fashion box for girls ages 3-12. You fill out a style profile and pick how often you want a box (once, four times, eight times, or 12 times per and year). It’s totally free to try – free shipping, free styling, free returns. You’re only charged for what you keep! No surprise, Annabel loves it. The box she just received was full of pink, black, and silver clothes, so I’d say the style profile is pretty accurate (it’s also a good mix of casual and dressy, if that’s what you’d like)!
For Young Fashionistos
The girls can’t have all the clothing fun! I tried KidBox for James. It’s another clothing service that’s completely free to try, but this one caters to girls AND boys! One bonus to Kidbox is that if you keep the entire box, the company donates clothes to kids in need. KidBox subscriptions are filled with name brand clothes like Puma, Lucky, and Ralph Lauren (if you care about that sort of thing!). If you want to try KidBox, here is $25 off your first order!
Beauty Product Fiends
Amazon has some really fantastic sample boxes that I love to give as gifts. I can personally attest to the Men’s Grooming Box and Women’s Beauty Sample box as Mike and I have used them. A nice bonus to the Amazon boxes is that you get an equal credit on a future purchase – so if you buy a $10 beauty box, you get a $10 credit to spend on beauty products! Pretty sweet. Sephora also has a great subscription box service that I’ve tried and liked, as does Ipsy!
Annabel has a few great magazine subscriptions. She loves National Geographic Kids and Discovery Girls, and of course Highlights is in our mailbox, too. I also highly recommend Amazon FreeTime for kids if you have a Kindle. Some of the educational apps there have worked wonders for James. For adults who love to read, Bustle has a fantastic roundup of subscription book boxes for adults.
Happy Sunday, everyone!
Happy Belated Birthday, Mike! I raise a can of Diet Coke in honor of your day of birth! Heather, what are your kids asking for this Christmas? I am grateful my son is beyond the age of Hatchimals, and I have dubbed the phenomenon of fleecing and tormenting others for the toy as “Hatchimania”. I’m surprised they don’t do something with WWE where they can have parents wrestle in a ring for the last Hatchimal. Maybe I’m on to something? Anyhow, hoping you had a great weekend and greeting you from a frigid and snowy Massachusetts!