Friday, June 22, 2018

Pride. Legacy. Family. Rocky Returns This Thanskgiving to Help Creed's Son Go the Distance in and Out of the Ring - Mark Your Calendars! #CreedII

"But it ain't about how hard you hit.  It’s about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward.”

-Rocky Balboa

Woohoo, the kids are out of this what you are shouting today.  Or, are you counting down the days until they go back to school?  I have shared in the past how I homeschool my girls, and that we homeschool year round.  So, we don't do summer vacation here..even though we slow down our workload and they do summer camps and programs with their friends.  Today, though, we joined kids from public school to celebrate the end of the school year, as the girls finished 3rd grade.  I am so proud of them, as they worked so hard this year, and have accomplished so much.  My girls are only 6.5 and almost 8 (in 3 1/2 weeks), and are going to be starting 4th grade work.  Time sure has flown by, and I still have to pinch myself when I think I have two healthy girls and they are growing so fast.

In addition to celebrating finishing 3rd grade, we also celebrated another year that I am cancer free.  Even though my cancerversary is May 1st, I wait until I see my oncologist, which two weeks ago, to get the all clear with a scope of my nose.  Usually I have my girls stay with my Mom and my Dad will come to Boston with me.  But, this year we did things differently, and I took my girls for the first time to Dana Farber so that they could see my scope being done and hear that I am cancer free for another year.  I waited to tell my girls that I had fought and beat cancer back in 2008, until they were older and could understand.  I didn't want to tell the "c" word and have them scared, thinking I was going to die.  But, they are getting older and see some of the daily struggles I have with long term side effects, and have been asking why I have to deal with them.  So, when I couldn't hide these side effects from them any longer, I sat my girls down and talked about how I got sick before they were born, and how I needed different medicines and treatment to rid my body of cancer.  I let them ask all the questions they had, and reassured them that Mommy has been cancer free for now 10 years, and plan to be for a very very long time...hopefully the rest of my life.

I was hesitant to brings my girls to my Dr.'s appt., but they were curious as to what I did every year when I went to Boston...and I think they just wanted an excuse to have a day trip to Boston. :-)  As we walked into the building, the girls could see men and women of all ages, who were battling cancer or who were survivors.  They noticed some without hair, and asked if I looked like that when I was going through treatment.  There were also a handful of people in wheelchairs who looked worse for wear, and they wondered if I ever looked that bad.  I told them that I was like that near the end of my treatment, but to look at me now. 

My oncologist couldn't believe how big my girls were.  He had never met them, but always asked about them each year when I came for my  annual visit.  Now he was able to put a face with a name.  He could tell the girls were a little scared when they saw the tools and scope that was going to be put up my nose.  He talked to them and described what he was doing, and that Mommy was very strong.  He pointed out the parts of my nose that the girls were seeing on the screen, and they got all happy and had big grins on their faces when he said, no cancer, and congrats on 10 years.  After the girls heard this, they quickly grabbed my phone so that they could call my parents and share the news.  My Dad really wanted to be there as this has become our norm for the past 10 he said as soon as we heard the great news to call him...and, that is what my girls did.  Then, my Dad asked my girls to put my phone on speaker and played a song -- it was Gonna Fly Now from Rocky.   This has become my theme song and celebratory song every year I here "cancer-free."  It was first played on my last day of radiation (40 treatments in total), when I walked out of the radiation room, to celebrate this bump in the road which I gave my all to fight and overcome, and every year since, I fight to stay in remission. 

I couldn't help but smile, as I listened to this song, and saw my girls across from me, also smiling and happy that their Mommy was healthy.  We had a great time in Boston enjoying the day after hearing this wonderful news.  And, that night I watched Rocky on television like I have done the past 10 years after my oncology appt.  When I was done watching the movie, I checked my emails and was happy to see an email about the new CREED II movie, which is set to hit theaters on Wed. November 21st.  I searched the Internet to find a movie trailer to see what the movie would be about.  But, I couldn't find one.  That was, until today, when I was sent the trailer, as a teaser for what is come this fall when Rocky and Creed's son return to "go the distance" to face their biggest challenge yet -- both on and off the ring.

Here is more about the movie, along with the trailer...


This fall, there is more to lose than a title.

In Theaters Wednesday, November 21st

Official Synopsis:  

"Life has become a balancing act for Adonis Creed. Between personal obligations and training for his next big fight, he is up against the challenge of his life. Facing an opponent with ties to his family's past only intensifies his impending battle in the ring. Rocky Balboa is there by his side through it all and, together, Rocky and Adonis will confront their shared legacy, question what's worth fighting for, and discover that nothing's more important than family. Creed II is about going back to basics to rediscover what made you a champion in the first place, and remembering that, no matter where you go, you can't escape your history."

Release Date: November 21, 2018

Director: Steven Caple Jr.

Cast: Michael B. Jordan, Sylvester Stallone, Tessa Thompson, Wood Harris, Russell Hornsby, Florian "Big Nasty" Munteanu, Andre Ward, Phylicia Rashad, Dolph Lundgren


Doesn't this look amazing?  I can't wait for this movie, and will be taking my Dad to the movies with me to see is, as my parents will be visiting for Thanksgiving.  We always watched Rocky after my treatments, and after my annual oncologist appts., and now we will be able to share this big milestone of 10 years cancer free with CREED II.  What a great way to end this year, by watching this movie with my family, who was by my side every step of my cancer journey.  I love how Rocky is by Creed's son's side in this upcoming release to help fight for his dreams, just like Creed helped Rocky during the fight of his life.  This movie is a reminder that family  is key to help you get through difficult challenges and times in your life...and, I know this by personal experience.  Without my family by my side 10 years ago, and pushing when me when I didn't think I could fight anymore, I would be here today to see my girls finish 3rd grade, or me say I am 10 years in remission.  We all have inspirational stories...what is yours? :-)

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Tuesday, June 19, 2018

DISH News: DISH Delivers Netflix to Hotel TVs with EVOLVE

DISH’s EVOLVE delivers Netflix, personalized TV entertainment to in-room guest experience

  • DISH first major pay-TV provider to integrate Netflix into hotel TVs
  • Android-based EVOLVE features Google Play Store, providing additional personalization options, experiences
  • 4K-capable EVOLVE allows hotel guests to watch Netflix’s 4K catalog

Planning to travel this summer with the family, and wish you could take your Netflix with you?  Come on, you know you can't help but binge watch your favorite Netflix Original Series shows, and this streaming service also helps keep the peace with the kids so they don't have to fight over what to watch.  Well, thanks to the news shared by DISH the other day, now you can enjoy Netflix on the go this summer, when you check into a hotel powered by EVOLVE.  

What is EVOLVE you ask?  Well, here is more about this television solution for hotels, as well as more information on how you can enjoy Netflix while away, thanks to DISH...


"DISH is advancing in-room entertainment by integrating Netflix into its EVOLVE® television solution for hotels in the coming months. Guests staying in hotels powered by EVOLVE will be able to access their personal Netflix account directly from their room’s TV. DISH is the first major pay-TV provider in the U.S. to integrate Netflix into a customized TV solution for the hotel industry.

In addition to Netflix, EVOLVE provides access to thousands of Android TV apps from the Google Play Store, further enhancing the overall in-room experience.

Launched in June 2017, EVOLVE is DISH’s 4K-capable hospitality set-back box that seamlessly integrates Chromecast, streaming apps via the Google Play Store, live linear content, the industry’s best interactive programming guide, and now Netflix into one customizable solution. Powered by SMARTBOX®, DISH’s revolutionary headend video distribution platform for commercial applications, EVOLVE is designed to work with any hotel wiring scenario, as well as existing or upgraded network infrastructures.

“Integrating Netflix on EVOLVE is a win-win for hotel operators and guests alike,” said Alistair Chatwin, vice president of DISH Business. “Hotel operators can further elevate in-room entertainment by providing guests with Netflix’s personalized entertainment experience, and customers can easily pick up what they’ve been watching at home on Netflix from the comfort of their hotel room.”

“With DISH’s EVOLVE, Netflix members can sign into their Netflix account on the hotel room TV in the coming months to watch their favorite Netflix series, documentaries and feature films, or discover new ones, just like they do at home,” said Paul Perryman, vice president of business development at Netflix. “Hotel guests who don’t have a Netflix subscription can easily subscribe via the Netflix app on EVOLVE and immediately begin enjoying titles from our wide assortment of content.”

Because EVOLVE is 4K-capable, guests can watch Netflix’s suite of 4K movies and shows, bringing the clearest resolution to in-room entertainment. This content is accessible when EVOLVE is connected to a 4K TV.

Guests staying in hotels powered by EVOLVE can subscribe to Netflix or sign into their existing account by accessing the Netflix app via the on-screen TV menu. EVOLVE features Chromecast built-in, so guests can also cast their Netflix content from their mobile devices to their hotel room TV. When the guest checks out of the room, their Netflix user credentials will automatically be removed from the system.

Netflix will be available on EVOLVE in the coming months. To learn more, visit or visit the DISH booth (#1139) at HITEC in Houston from Tuesday, June 19 through Thursday, June 21.

DISH’s SMARTBOX™ features the flexibility to support a custom combination of legacy analog and HD channels at the same property, while easily reconfigured to meet future expansion and technology needs. By enabling new feature downloads via satellite, SMARTBOX can support the latest upgrades without the need for new equipment. With a compact form factor, SMARTBOX takes up considerably less space and uses significantly less power than other solutions.

About DISH
Since 1980, DISH has served as the disruptive force in pay-TV, driving innovation and value on behalf of consumers. By listening to customers and taking bold steps to make TV better, DISH’s award-winning entertainment technology and in-home installation services remain unmatched by competitors. DISH continues to push the industry forward with its over-the-top television service, Sling TV. DISH Network L.L.C. is a wholly owned subsidiary of DISH Network Corporation (NASDAQ:DISH), a Fortune 250 company. Visit

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About Netflix
Netflix is the world's leading internet entertainment service with 125 million memberships in over 190 countries enjoying TV series, documentaries and feature films across a wide variety of genres and languages. Members can watch as much as they want, anytime, anywhere, on any internet-connected screen. Members can play, pause and resume watching, all without commercials or commitments.

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Get Ready to Fall in Love with Alex & Me! - This Inspirational Family-Friendly Movie is Now Available to Own on Blu-Ray, DVD and Digital (Review) #AlexandMe #Giveaway #AlexMorgan

Disclosure: Warner Bros. Home Entertainment provided me with a free copy of the Blu-ray I reviewed in this Blog Post. The opinions I share are my own.

Do your kids love soccer?  If so, they are probably all about the World Cup right now.  My youngest daughter loves soccer, as doesn't her Daddy, so they have been recording and watching the games, and were rooting for Mexico the other day when they won.  And, after Mexico won, the girls went outside and practiced their soccer skills, as they countdown the days until they start their week long soccer camp in July.

In addition to watching the World Cup on television, we had a fun soccer themed movie night on Friday, when we watched "Alex & Me," which arrives on Blu-ray, DVD and Digital today.  The movie stars one of my girls' favorite soccer players, world champion soccer star, Alex Morgan.

Here is more about "Alex & Me," in case you have missed the movie trailer that has been airing on television and going around Facebook and other social media channels....

"Teenager Reagan Willis (Agudong) has one dream – to play soccer like her hero, Alex Morgan. Her bedroom is a shrine to all things Alex, including a life-size poster of the Olympic gold medalist. Yet in the Willis house, Reagan lives in the shadow of her prep football superstar brother, Logan. When Reagan fails to make the cut of the premiere local soccer club team and is humiliated by her rival Claire, she’s certain her ship has sailed. But after accidentally hitting her head, Reagan’s poster of Alex Morgan suddenly comes to life and everything changes!
An Olympic Gold Medalist and FIFA Women’s World Cup champion with a penchant for goal scoring, Alex Morgan is one of the top soccer players on the planet, currently playing forward for the United States Women's National Team and the Orlando Pride of the National Women's Soccer League. Away from the field, Morgan is also an accomplished author of “The Kicks” series, a collection of chapter books filled with wonderful messages of empowerment for young girls. The first The Kicks book, “Saving the Team,” debuted at No. 7 on the New York Times Best Seller list.
Eric Champnella (Thunderstruck, Mr. 3000, Eddie) wrote the Alex & Me screenplay and is also making his full-length feature debut as the film’s director. Alex Morgan serves as co-producer. Producers are Mike Karz (Blended) and William Bindley (Mother’s Day). Todd Williams (The Illusionist) is the executive producer.
Jerry Trainor (iCarly) also stars as Nigel, a less-than-reliable youth soccer coach, alongside Matt Cornett (Bella and the Bulldogs) as Reagan’s brother, Logan; Colin Critchley (Legends of the Hidden Temple) as Reagan’s soccer-playing pal, Ben; Chuiti Tiu (Nashville) as Reagan’s mother, Ann Wills; and Jim Klock (True Detective, Scream Queens) as Reagan’s father (and biggest fan), Joe Wills. Jessica Treska (HBO’s upcoming Sharp Objects) plays Reagan’s arch-rival, Claire."
Alex & Me is now available on Blu-ray (SRP $24.98), DVD (SRP $19.98) and Digital (SRP $14.99).

• Getting to Know Alex
• Aspire to Inspire: Success in Hard Work
• Soccer, Script to Set: A Playbook on Alex & Me
• Outtake

I love when family-friendly movies like this have a positive message, and this movie fits the bill, as it really is an uplifting story about a teenager named Reagan who has a passion for soccer and wants to be just like her idol Alex Morgan. But, when she fails to make the top soccer team she is about to give up her dreams.  But, thanks to her passion, drive and support of her family, she realizes that dreams are possible and that you shouldn't give up on them, even if you don't succeed the first time around.  Reagan could have walked away from soccer after failing and being humiliating, but her heart was for the game, and she couldn't give up on her life-long dream to the best, like Alex.

My family really enjoyed this movie, especially my youngest who said she wants to be like Alex Morgan, too.  She thought Reagan was lucky to be able to meet her idol and loved how with practice and dedication Reagan got better at soccer.  The girls also loved how she didn't give up on her dream. They said they have good and bad days at soccer practice, but couldn't imagine not playing soccer.  It is a hobby my girls have in common with my husband and many of their friends, and practice, practice, practice is the only way they have gotten better, along with dreaming big, just like Reagan.

If you are looking for a great family-friendly movie to share with your family, especially if you have kids (both boys and girls) who love soccer, then you will definitely want to watch "Alex & Me" which is available now.

Before you enter to win a copy of this movie (read on to learn how to enter my giveaway), why not try your hand at making your own fun Soccer Emoji, with the Alex & Me Blog App below.

Choose your look, signature soccer move, and fun catchphrase!

  What You Can Do with the Fun Alex & Me Soccer Emoji Creator Blog App:
• Create your own Soccer Emoji and share it with the world! Pick your player's look, signature move, and fun tagline.
• Setting goals is key to success, and the sooner your kids learn that the better they'll be prepared for life. Download the Family Goal Chart and have your kids set and mark off goals.


Want to win a copy of this new release?  Thanks to the folks at Warner Bros. Home Entertainment, one lucky reader will have a chance to win a DVD copy of the movie, to share with their family.

To enter, please complete the entries on the Rafflecopter form below.  Good luck!
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Disclosure: Warner Bros. Home Entertainment provided me with a free copy of the Blu-ray I reviewed in this Blog Post. The opinions I share are my own.
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