Category: Entertainment + Media

Where to find 20 of the best romantic movies streaming for Valentine’s Day

We get it: Valentine’s Day with kids means you may not be headed out to some big concert, to the opera, to Paris (hey, we can dream, right?) or even to a local joint for dinner. So if your plan, by preference or by necessity, is to spend Valentine’s night in bed with your loved one, a glass of wine and the remote control, we’re here for you with some of our favorite romantic movies that are now streaming on the big services. Grab a cozy blanket and cuddle up to a sweet foreign film like Amélie, an emotional romantic drama like The Notebook, or a more modern take...

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TIA Girl Club for Tweens: A monthly subscription of role models

While I can’t pick my daughters’ friends for them, I do try to help my girls grow up with smart, healthy, and interesting women as role models. You know, not the ones whose biggest life advice has to do with how to take a great selfie. So, I’m really interested in the new monthly club for girls, the TIA Girl Club — TIA stands for Today I Am . It was was designed by mom Vanessa Schenck to help tweens 8 to 13 navigate those tricky years with advice and inspiration from wonderful, successful women in a whole range of fields. The club is built around the notion that girls should use their...

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Feelings, nothing more than feelings: Inside Out now available on DVD and digital download

If you missed Disney Pixar’s Inside Out when it came to the theaters, perhaps you thought that getting kids to watch an animated movie about “feelings” would be about as exciting to them as one of those hour-long health movies that they have to watch in school. And yet, after laughing and crying through the film together — even my picky young teen — we can’t wait to do it all over again in the comfort of our home with the release of Inside Out on Blu-Ray/DVD. Just in time for a long, active weekend with family, when a little quiet time in front of the TV might be...

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5 fun, easy ways to celebrate 10-21-2015, or Back to the Future Day. Whoa, the future really is now.

Though there have been many incorrect memes circulating on social media over the years, today, October 21, 2015, is the actual day that Doc Brown, Marty McFly, and Jennifer first left their cushy 1989 lives to travel “to the future” in Back to the Future Part II. Meaning that, today, we are finally the future that was envisioned 30 years ago. While the future as conceived in 1989 isn’t quite what we have today–check out this entertaining article in The Guardian which compares Back to the Future predictions with 2015 reality, here are a few cool ways to take advantage of the...

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Sponsored Message from Hulu: 4 hot series to catch up on after the kids are in bed

This post is brought to you by Hulu Welcome back to fall, parents! If you’re like us, this is the time of year you start diving back into the series you missed over the summer — and realize just how many you’ve always meant to start watching but never did. Well thanks to the genius of streaming video, and in particular our sponsor Hulu, you can do just that! Whether you feel like the only person in your group of friends who hasn’t seen a popular show or you can just use a break from all the intense dramas with a little light comedy —...

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Peanutize yourself! Then be best friends with Lucy and Snoopy like you always wanted to.

Yes, it’s to promote a movie, but that’s never stopped us from playing with something totally fun online, like the new Get Peanutized website, in which you can turn yourself into a Peanuts character.  You know you want to. Hop online and in seconds (depending how picky you are) you can customize your hair, skin, clothes, and background, until you just may bear a resemblance to someone who should be doing that cute little dance next to Linus and Snoopy to a Vince Guaraldi piano theme. Let’s just say I just did one (with my daughter’s help) and shared it with with Kristen...

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Documentaries to watch with kids about other kids: 6 entertaining and thought-provoking films we love

Here’s an idea: The next time your kids ask (politely, of course) to watch their favorite movie — as in, the animated feature or superhero flick they’ve seen a million times — why not suggest a documentary instead? Now before you roll your eyes like my husband, who insists that “documentaries aren’t movies” I’m not talking about some monotonous British voice narrating educational nature scenes like when I was a kid. So far this year, I’ve been captivated by documentaries on everything from Kurt Cobain, to Scientology, to mountain climbing, that have hit theaters nationwide. And now, thank to streaming services like Amazon, Netflix,...

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Fantastic tween books made into movies: 8 adventure-packed stories to help get older kids reading more.

We have no shortage of movie nights in the summer, but I would love to get my kids to crack open their books more often when school isn’t in session. And I think I’ve found a way to encourage them to read more while still keeping movie night on the calendar: I’m going to offer them great action and adventure filled tween books that were made into movies, with the caveat that we can only watch the movie afterwards. Whether you chose to read the titles aloud to your kids as a family story, or if your reader would rather finish the...

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11 of our favorite classic shows now streaming on Hulu. Got about 200 free hours?

This post is brought to you by Hulu. So by now, you all may know that we are pop culture junkies to varying degrees around here. We are also unabashedly nostalgic. Which is why our newest sponsor Hulu (yay, Hulu!) is pretty much making our days right now — or late nights, really — with their huge roster of classic TV shows available for streaming.  We’re not even kidding, you’re going to be so down the throwback TV rabbit hole after you see how many wonderful blasts from your past are available on demand, right now, this very second. (Aw, Les Nessman. We...

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#UnguiltyPleasures with Kristen and Liz: Food confessions

We’re so happy to be back with our third #UnguiltyPleasures video episode! (Can you tell we’re having fun?) This time we’re talking about food. More specifically, the foods we love — but maybe we’re not supposed to love quite as much as we do. In other words, food confessions. As parents, this can be such a guilt-laden topic. And as much as we like to consider ourselves to be pretty up on health and nutrition, we freely admit we like to indulge every now and then, whether it’s cereal for a snack (or um, dinner) or just eating peanut butter out of the jar with a...

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Introducing #UnguiltyPleasures, a new video series starring… us!

Okay, so we’ve been holding out on you all. Just a little. We are so so excited to be launching a campaign today that we’re calling #UnguiltyPleasures. We’ve been talking about this idea forever, ever since the idea of “mom guilt” entered our vocabularies, which we think was uh, prepartum.  We’re tired of the guilt thing that women and moms face daily in their lives, and how for some reason, we’re not really supposed to enjoy so many of the little things that give us joy in our lives. So we decided, we’re not calling them Guilty Pleasures any more. From now on, they’re Unguilty Pleasures. And we can’t think...

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Olive Us are excited about the new 1st Film Festival

Have you heard? Our favorite filmmaking family of 8 just announced a film festival for children and we couldn’t be more excited! Our love of Gabrielle Blair and her beautiful family runs deep. From her amazing new Design Mom book to her delightful short film series, Olive Us, featuring all of her gorgeous six (yes, six!) children, she inspires all of our children to get up and “move or make or do,” so we’re quite obviously big fans. And now the Blair family is launching another fabulous creative endeavour called 1st Film Festival, a celebration of films made by,...

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DreamWorks’ Home movie review: That time an alien and a girl took a worldwide roadtrip

Before slipping on my pair of 3-D glasses at a recent press screening of the new Home movie, I realized it had been a while since I’d seen an animated feature in a theater. I’m sure that will change drastically as my three-year-old son gets a bit older and can get through more than a 30-minute chunk of Cars from our sofa. So I had two questions in mind as Home‘s opening sequence began: Will I enjoy this PG-rated film as a grown up? And is this something my son would like? The short answer to both questions is yes, but with the caveat that...

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House of Bricks: The hilarious Sesame Street House of Cards parody

If you are as obsessed with House of Cards as I am, please take a few minutes out of your day to watch House of Bricks, the hilarious Sesame Street House of Cards parody, because it is pure genius. I have barely come up for food or air–and oh right, my children–over the past week in an attempt to catch up on House of Cards Season 2 so I can then binge watch the newly-released House of Cards Season 3. But somehow this parody was worth taking my attention away from the real Frank Underwood for a few minutes. Because you guys,...

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52 of the Oscar nominees, in their own words

On Cool Mom Tech today, we covered the big honkin’ official Oscars site, which has, among other things, a really cool feature worth browsing should you want to kill a few minutes today: 52 Oscar nominees sharing their stories, briefly, through questionnaires. From Robert Duvall to Julianne Moore, Patricia Arquette, Keira Knightly, and lots of the creators, writers, and technical masters behind other top flicks, you can find out their first movie memories, the artists that inspire them, the motivation for doing what they do, and (a little goofy but) the song that best sums up their feelings about the nomination. It’s kind of...

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The 2015 Oscar nominees, now funnier than ever

This year was a pretty serious year for the Oscar nominating committee, if you consider the likes of Selma, Gone Girl, Birdman…you get the picture. Or pictures.  But of course, there are always clever artists out there willing to take the gravity down a notch–including taking Gravity down a notch. Related: The Oscar nominated posters all remade in LEGOs At Ript Apparel, you’ll find a whole selection of Oscar parody posters, admittedly some better than others. As one of the loud advocates of a recount for The LEGO Movie which should totally be included in the best animated picture, I have to give...

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The Breakfast Club is coming back to theaters! Brains, athletes, basket cases, and princesses all welcome.

We’re fist-pumping, Bender style, over the rerelease of John Hughes’ arguably best movie ever (sorry, Home Alone), The Breakfast Club.  Say it with us: Could you describe the ruckus, sir? In honor of the 30th anniversary of the film that made every girl question whether she was a Claire or an Allison–although we all tried the lipstick trick, admit it–The Breakfast Club is showing in select theaters across the US on March 26 and 31. And despite being oh, just a little bit older than when it first came out (it was my own first R-rated movie) I am so going to be...

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Presidents Day educational videos for kids that they’ll like any day of the year

Today we say hail to all the chiefs who have led the United States of America. The ones we voted for, the ones we didn’t vote for, and even the ones we can’t really remember. And to help our kids learn more about the men who have led our country–and actually had nothing to do with sales on mattresses whatsoever–we’ve rounded up some entertaining and short videos to watch with them. I’m sure I’ll learn a thing or two as well.   One of my family’s favorite educational apps is the Disney Presidents app for iPad which makes learning about the...

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The 2015 NY International Children’s Film Festival lineup. You want to go.

If like me, you fell in love with the art of animation all over again after losing yourself in the artistry of releases like The Book of Life, The Boxtrolls, and the totally-robbed-by-the-award-show-establishment LEGO Movie, then listen up: The NY International Children’s Film Festival is coming! (Yes, I am a total animation geek. Let’s talk Bill Plympton sometime.) – Don’t miss an exclusive discount for our readers below –  Looking at the terrific lineup, I was immediately excited about the North American premiere of When Marnie Was There (above). This is the latest offering from Studio Ghibli, directed by Hiromasa Yonebayashi who brought us the wonderful The...

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Where to to see all the 2015 Oscar best picture nominees. (Especially if you’re parents and you’ve only seen Big Hero 6.)

Every year since having kids, the huge build-up to Oscars night is followed by the sad realization that most of us have seen maybe…one of the best picture nominees? If we’re lucky? Oh, parenthood. However AMC theaters is continuing a  genius tradition to help you out, maybe even give you a slight leg up in your Oscars poll this year. AMC’s Best Picture Showcase allows you to see any of the 2015 Academy Awards Best Picture Nominees on the big screen in more than 50 cities around the country over two consecutive weekends. Block off Saturday, Februray 14th, and you can spend Valentine’s...

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New Year’s eve as a parent: How to celebrate when things don’t quite go as planned with the kids.

We all know that parenting means giving up sleep, hygiene (admit it), disposable income, and perhaps, the wild New Year’s Eve plans of our wonderfully misspent youth. So you can see why I had the best time sitting down with my partners at American Express on behalf of their Amex EveryDay Credit Card, and remembering just what happened one New Year’s eve a few year’s back with my kids, when they WOULD NOT GO TO SLEEP. (I’m not big on all caps, but holy heck, kids!) I imagine quite a few of you will be able to relate to this. And don’t worry, there’s a happy ending. (While I’m no...

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The Book of Life movie review: A treat that will last long past Halloween

We sat down in the theater to see The Book of Life movie, and as the lights dimmed, my nine-year-old daughter whispered, I have literally been waiting to see this since the day we saw the preview! And indeed she had. After that many months of anticipation, I didn’t know if it could live up to her expectations, but indeed, The Book of Life movie is entrancing, charming, whimsical and wonderful. The gist is that in a small Mexican town long ago, Manolo and Joachim, friends and rivals since childhood, fight for the love of the gorgeous Maria, voiced by...

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Schoolhouse Rock is back! (Well, just for one night)

If you guys are anything like me, the news that ABC will share some of our favorite Schoolhouse Rock videos on network television in The ABC’s of Schoolhouse Rock made my day. And since I’ve been sharing the best Schoolhouse Rock videos on YouTube with my kids since they were old enough to sing Lolly Lolly Lolly, they are just as jazzed about this news as I am. For those of you who slept through the 70’s, just entered the country, or–gulp–weren’t born when they originally aired, Schoolhouse Rock‘s catchy, educational, and campy videos helped me learn everything from the Preamble to the Constitution...

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When back to school shopping goes awry: Can you relate?

Of all the things I thought I’d grow up to be in life, a cartoon character was never one of them. But, here I am! A cartoon. It’s a little strange. And yet? My butt never looked so good so no complaints from me. For the last year, I’ve worked with American Express in various ways, which is a joy; I love getting to partner with the brands I love and respect and actually use myself. Proud member since 19-mumblemuble. So as a spokesperson for the Amex EveryDay Credit Card (you know, Maroon 5, Tina Fey…me. Ha.) I am so excited to share...

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Sweet Blackberry: Bringing African-American history alive with a little starpower

There are moments in stories I heard as a child — lots of them in fact — that have stayed with me my entire life. Charlotte’s spider babies, Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle’s wonderful cures, Peter Rabbit losing his jacket in what, at that time in my life, felt like a very scary chase. They stay with me because they are wonderful stories, well-written and -kudos to my parents- well read. These moments are just what I thought of when I first discovered Sweet Blackberry. A new non-profit organization, Sweet Blackberry is creating a similar story memory legacy for children with narrated...

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The Fed Up Movie: Everything you may or may not want to know about what you’re eating.

It’s pretty shocking to think that in 2010, there were nearly 58,000 cases of Type 2 diabetes diagnosed in adolescents–while in 1980 there were zero. Zero. In fact, it used to be called Adult Onset Diabetes, which isn’t even accurate anymore. It’s equally shocking that we’re now at a point where more people in the world will die of obesity than starvation. And that’s what the Fed Up Movie, which opens in theaters tonight, explores and explains if uncomfortably at times. If you have ever had trouble losing weight, if you have ever read a nutrition label, if you have...

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Rio 2 movie review: Grab your fanny pack, go outside, and teach the kids to samba.

When the Rio movie ended, I was left with two kids who loved to shake their tail feathers to the samba and a sinking feeling that Type A Blu and fiercely independent Jewel were going to need some relationship counseling. Now, after a whirlwind weekend in Miami Beach for the Rio 2 premiere, I’m glad to report that the sequel doesn’t smooth over the conflicts of the first movie, as so often happens. Nope; there are kids, marital discord, the world’s toughest in-laws, and a villain who’s badder, balder, and more hilarious than ever. Not to mention a great message about...

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A clever alphabet video for toddlers that you’ll like watching too.

When I first heard from dad and animator Brandon Ray about this  alphabet video for toddlers that he created for his own children, Bleu and Violet, I will be honest, I wasn’t expecting much.  But after watching, I am utterly charmed. The Paper Alphabet is a terrific way to teach toddlers their ABCs and honestly, to give older kid–and you– a chuckle too. It’s a little They Might Be Giants, a little Yo Gabba Gabba and a little animation festival short film entry, if you can imagine that. To be sure the word choices can be a bit edgy; C...

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The Oscars best picture nominees reimagined with Legos

While I thought the Lego movie was a great film (with its own terrific movie poster art), what might be even cooler is seeing every Oscar nominee for best picture recreated with Legos. Of course since that would take years–and I haven’t the slightest idea what Minifigs they could possibly find to represent the women in Wolf of Wall Street–the next best thing: making all the film’s movie posters made out of Legos.     You can find them all Yahoo Movies which it seems worked together with Sony Pictures to design them. And they are awesome. Of course Leonardo...

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Remembering Shirley Temple: Her best 3 films to watch with your kids.

We were so, so sad to hear that Shirley Temple Black passed away Monday night. She was one of our (and probably your) most very favorite child stars ever—those dimples! Those curls! Not to mention the respected diplomatic path she took as an adult. If your children are asking Shirley who? allow us to offer you three of Shirley Temple’s best  films that they definitely have to watch. Get that Netflix log-in or that Amazon account ready. Quickly, before all the prices triple.   Bright Eyes This is the movie Shirley Temple first became famous for, and most of us...

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