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Michael Crichton – The Andromeda Evolution

I received the new sci-fi novel The Andromeda Evolution, perfect for Michael Crichton fans everywhere, to review and share my thoughts with you guys. This post contains affiliate links.

Father’s Day is almost here. How many of you guys kinda… forgot? With all the craziness in the world right now, and with life off of it’s regular schedule – I barely realized it was June, let alone that Father’s Day was almost here! I have a really rad gift idea for you though – keep reading to check it out…

Who remembers the novel, The Andromeda Strain? Here’s a quick reminder: First published fifty years ago, The Andromeda Strain redefined the science fiction genre, and immediately established Michael Crichton as one of the brightest voices in contemporary literature worldwide. 

“A military space probe, sent to collect extraterrestrial organisms from the upper atmosphere, is knocked out of orbit and falls to Earth. Twelve miles from the crash site, an inexplicable and deadly phenomenon terrorizes the residents of a sleepy desert town in Arizona, leaving only two survivors: an elderly addict and a newborn infant.

The United States government is forced to mobilize Project Wildfire, a top-secret emergency response protocol. Four of the nation’s most elite biophysicists are summoned to a clandestine underground laboratory located five stories beneath the desert and fitted with an automated atomic self-destruction mechanism for cases of irremediable contamination. Under conditions of total news blackout and the utmost urgency, the scientists race to understand and contain the crisis. But the Andromeda Strain proves different from anything they’ve ever seen—and what they don’t know could not only hurt them, but lead to unprecedented worldwide catastrophe.”

I’m SUCH a junkie for science fiction, disasters, aliens, saving the world. So, The Andromeda Strain is a book that I have read many, many times. So good, you guys. And now, there’s a new chapter to the story…. The Andromeda Revolution. Here’s a bit about this new novel:

The Andromeda Evolution picks up the original story decades after The Andromeda Strain almost ended the human race. In the ensuing decades, research on the microparticle continued. And the world thought it was safe…

Deep inside Fairchild Air Force Base, Project Eternal Vigilance has continued to watch and wait for the Andromeda Strain to reappear. On the verge of being shut down, the project has registered no activity—until now. A Brazilian terrain-mapping drone has detected a bizarre anomaly of otherworldly matter in the middle of the jungle, and, worse yet, the tell-tale chemical signature of the deadly microparticle.

With this shocking discovery, the next-generation Project Wildfire is activated, and a diverse team of experts hailing from all over the world is dispatched to investigate the potentially apocalyptic threat.

But the microbe is growing—evolving. And if the Wildfire team can’t reach the quarantine zone, enter the anomaly, and figure out how to stop it, this new Andromeda Evolution will annihilate all life as we know it.

I’m only halfway through this book – stay tuned, I’ll update this with a full review shortly. This book feels super relevant to the state of affairs in this country today, as it seems like every day the news is filled with chaos, and major threats to life as we know it. There are some really great lines and quotes that you might have seen already, if you follow me on Instagram?

 

 
 
 
 
 
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I’ve shared a few peeks at the book as I read it, in my Instagram Stories. If you’re not following me – do so here, and follow along as I finish the book. Or, pin this post to Pinterest, or bookmark it, to come back in a few days to see my full review. But I can tell you – so far, this is almost impossible to put down. It’s one of the best books I’ve read this year – and I have a read a LOT of books, you guys, lol. #quarantinelife ;)

“The Andromeda Evolution” is a great gift for any dads in your life – or grandads, or even yourself. Available in paperback as of May 19th via HarperCollins, “the New York Times’ bestseller uncovers the next exciting chapter of Michael Crichton’s game-changing novel.” The book can be easily purchased on Amazon.com or through a local bookstore as many are open for customer orders. And, you can follow Michael Crichton’s Facebook fan page too, for more cool stuff.

I’m here in Yakima, Washington, where we are still in Phase 1 of lockdown, because we are the fastest-growing coronavirus outbreak on the west coast. Big yikes, and super scary for an immune compromised, chronically ill girl like me. So, no stores to shop in, or local bookstores to browse – but these books are both available on Amazon, which is where I do the majority of my shopping anyway. 

And – right now, both are part of the Amazon sale, Get 3 for the price of 2, meaning, pick three books, movies, or games in this section, and you’ll get the lowest priced one for free! You can find The Andromeda Strain, The Andromeda Evolution, and tons more cool stuff in the promo.

You can order this set as a Father’s Day gift – if you order today it will be here by Friday – and then you still get to choose another book for yourself too if you use this promo. Sweet, right?

Written by Daniel H. Wilson, “The Andromeda Evolution” is the perfect gift for any Sci-Fi thriller fans! It’s the first book sequel ever authorized on behalf of Crichton’s estate, which is a big deal – and coincides with the anniversary of the bestselling novel he first introduced to the world in 1969, “The Andromeda Strain.” It’s a wonderful continuation of the Crichton legacy as mastermind behind some of the world’s greatest pop culture masterpieces such as “Jurassic Park,” “The Lost World: Jurassic Park,” WestworldERComa and Twister, among others. Check out a few more Crichton faves here on Amazon too:


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Starlink: Battle for Atlas is THE Perfect Family Xbox Game!

I’m SO super excited to share the coolest new Xbox One family game with you guys – Starlink: Battle for Atlas! The reviewer has been compensated in the form of a Best Buy Gift Card and/or received the product/service. Keep reading to check it out…

As you can see, Abby gives this Starlink: Battle for Atlas Starter Kit an enthusiastic TWO THUMBS UP! We both seriously love it. You can save $25 on Starter Packs, plus, save 30% on Starlink toys, right now at Best Buy stores or online at BestBuy.com – Perfect for last minute Christmas shopping, or, for us – to stock up our own collection! Because that’s what makes this game so extra cool… It’s not just a traditional video game you pop in and play. It comes with “modular toy technology,” – meaning, actual physical toy pieces, mixing and matching your favorite ships and pilots, adding cool weapons specific to certain challenges, to constantly change up the way you play the game. So it never gets boring, and you can constantly expand game play!

Starlink: Battle for Atlas Ship

Isn’t this super cool?? Abby and I both expected the ships and accessories to be kinda cheap plastic pieces? So we were impressed when they were really substantial feeling, well-built, sturdy, just really cool. She displays them up on her shelf now ;) Here’s a little bit more about the game, in fancy gamer speak:

  • Battle for Atlas is an open-world space saga that features modular toy technology that allows players to assemble and customize real-world physical starships, link the starships to their game controller, and launch into an epic adventure across the Atlas star system, either in single player or with a friend in two-player split-screen local co-op.
  • Each modular component and pilot attached to the starship appears instantly in-game, allowing players to directly affect the course of their battle in a meaningful way.

So, a couple of cool things about this – if you have a kiddo who’s about Abby’s age of 8, where they’re starting to outgrow the “babyish” games, but you’re hesitant to let them move up to some of the more grown-up games due to adult content, this game is SUCH an awesome choice. The open-world concept is cool, because it means that they don’t follow a scripted game-play – they can explore worlds, go into battles, choose what they want to do in the game, and it’s ever-evolving. But, it’s all appropriate content, and while you can play two-player, it’s not a multi-player game with strangers, so you don’t have to worry about any of the issues that come along with that. And, something that REALLY impressed us was that when you change out your weapons on your actual real-life ship on your controller – it actually does change instantly in the game, no lag at all. Super cool!

Starlink Xbox Game for Christmas

I mean, look at this face? All she needs for Christmas is a few more of those front teeth, ha. And all YOUR kids need this Christmas is the new Starlink: Battle for Atlas Xbox One Starter Kit game and accessories from Best Buy! I honestly think this would be a good fit for the entire family – little kids might not fully understand all of the plot, but will love the idea of mixing and matching the toys and players and ships. The game has something for everyone, since the open-world style allows them to make the game what they want it to be. (Abby loves exploring the planets for weird lifeforms, and collecting scientific data about the animals.) The modular toy technology means you can buy new pieces to keep the game fresh and new, and they’re super affordable. And – there are multiple settings, easy to hard, so you can adjust it to any skill level too!

Xbox One Starlink at Best Buy

Starlink: Battle for Atlas is available on Nintendo Switch, the PlayStation®4 and Xbox One. And HURRY: Save $25 on Starter Packs. Plus, save 30% on Starlink toys. Save big on Starlink: Battle for Atlas toys at Best Buy today! And, if you want to read more about what other families have to say about Starlink – follow the #StarlinkGame across social media to learn more!!

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Santa’s Toy Factory is Bringing Christmas Magic to the Clackamas Mall!

My little girl, Christmas-loving, Santa-smitten heart is super excited – The Clackamas Mall has partnered with Mattel to introduce a new holiday adventure that will be memorable for the entire family. Santa’s Toy Factory will open on November 11 in the center court area of the shopping center. Who’s ready to get some holly in their jolly??!!

 ©2017 Gullane (Thomas) Limited. ©2017 Mattel. All Rights Reserved.

Image Credit: ©2017 Gullane (Thomas) Limited. ©2017 Mattel. All Rights Reserved.

“Christmas waves a magic wand over this world, and behold, everything is softer and more beautiful.” – Norman Vincent Peale

If you’ve ever read a blog post from me, or follow me on social media, or spent 5 minutes with me in real life – you already know that I’m an elf at heart. I fully embrace the whimsy in life, teach my daughter to believe in magic always, and am a total junkie for all things glitter and sparkle. So, I LOOOOOOOVE Christmas time! We always like to make the most of the holiday season by checking out all of the fun local events and parades and shows, to really celebrate this magical time of year. This year, we’re super excited to be buddying up with my blogging bestie – Alison, from Horseshoes & Hand Grenades, and our little girls, to head over to Santa’s Toy Factory at the Clackamas Mall!! I keep hearing that line from the movie Elf – “Santa Claus is coming to town…” :) So – if you’re like me, and Buddy the Elf, and smiling is YOUR favorite too, I’ve got something awesome to bring smiles to everyone’s faces, check it out….

Image Credit: ©2017 Gullane (Thomas) Limited. ©2017 Mattel. All Rights Reserved.

Image Credit: ©2017 Gullane (Thomas) Limited. ©2017 Mattel. All Rights Reserved.

Here’s a bit more about Santa’s Toy Factory:

Santa’s Toy Factory is designed to empower creativity through an interactive, immersive experience to meet Santa. Within the 1,600 square-foot space, young guests will have the opportunity to “test” new toys in Santa’s Factory before they get delivered to all the boys and girls on Christmas morning. After they “test” the toys, they visit different stations to digitally design, build and paint toys from Mattel’s iconic brands including Barbie®, Hot Wheels®, and Thomas & Friends.. The grand finale, of course, will be meeting Santa himself for photos and to share their holiday wish list.

“We are proud to be partnering with Mattel to bring this new, one-of-a-kind holiday concept to life,” said Dennis Curtis, general manager of Clackamas Mall. “We are always looking for ways to introduce new brands and experiences to our community and can’t wait to showcase Santa’s Toy Factory this holiday season. We know our guests will embrace it.”

The experience with Santa’s Toy Factory is free-of-charge and photo packages begin at $39.99. To make reservations to ensure quicker access, please click HERE. If you’d like more information, please visit www.VisitSantasToyFactory.com. Clackamas Mall is located at 12000 S.E. 82nd Ave and is home to a plethora of high-quality tenants including Bath & Body Works, Nordstrom and Sephora. [Read more…]

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VIP Party with Godsmack and Pura Vida Tequila!

Big thank you to Pura Vida Tequila for inviting us to party like a rockstar with Godsmack at the RockstarUPROAR concert last month. We received complimentary concert tickets and a meet and greet with Godsmack. But all opinions are, as always, totally my own…. #815TequilaTime #PuraVidaParty

So… As I’ve mentioned to you guys a few times before – I like to party. Whether it’s throwing an epic birthday party for a 4 year old, awesome holiday events, pool party bashes – or whatever…. I just love to entertain. It could be at our casa, a friend or family member’s house, a local venue – doesn’t matter. So when I heard about an opportunity to head a few hours away to Seattle, to check out the RockstarUPROAR concert at White River Amphitheater, a place I’d never visited before, I thought it sounded awesome. Any reason to party and celebrate life, right? :) Then when I found out we’d get to hangout at the Pura Vida Tequila party bus, have a meet and greet with the guys behind the brand to learn more about their premium tequila – I was more excited. And THEN, I found out we’d also get to have some time to chat with Godsmack, the headlining band…. Well, it was a deal. Even with my busy schedule, I could make this happen….

Meagan Paullin from Sunshine and Sippy Cups interviewing Godsmack, at the RockstarUPROAR concert in Seattle [Read more…]

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Even Moms Can Party Like a Rockstar….

Disclosure: In exchange for my participation in this program, I am receiving VIP tickets to the Uproar Festival and a bunch of awesome product from Pura Vida Tequila – tequila recipes coming soon! Photos provided by Pura Vida Tequila.

I’ve had a rough week. Like, really rough. I was supposed to travel to Chicago and then Wisconsin, to the Kimberly-Clark HQ, to speak to a panel of other mom bloggers about potty training, and how awesome the Pull-Ups Big Kid Academy is. {And honestly, it really is. If you have littles, or know someone in potty training stage – share it with them. They’ll love you forever.} But then we had a major family emergency. Like, life-threatening emergency. And I didn’t feel comfortable traveling across the country when my family was in such an uncertain place. But, we were blessed…. Things have changed dramatically in a few days. It looks like everything will be ok. I can breath again. And – it’s awesome that as that happens, I also get to have an amazing event to cover tomorrow – the Rockstar UPROAR Festival, at the beautiful White River Amphitheater near Seattle, Washington.

Pura Vida Tequila Party Bus - Godsmack - Rockstar UPROAR Festival [Read more…]

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Five Ways to Get Free Disney Stuff

This post contains affiliate links….

I went to Disney World for the first time when I was a freshman in high school. I played the flute in the marching band, and every 3 years they went on a major trip. I lucked out that my first year in high school they had one, and I was able to march in the daily parade at Disney World, and play in a concert at Epcot Center. I’d never been on an airplane or even stayed at a hotel before that! Crazy, right? Then a few months ago, we were blessed to be invited to visit Disneyland as part of the Disney Social Media Moms event. It was my family’s first time there – and we only got the invite a few weeks before the event! We had little time to prepare for it – but it really didn’t matter, since everything they put together for us was SO over-the-top amazing. {If you follow me on Instagram, I’m sure you saw the BOATLOAD of amazing photos I shared while we were there!} It was seriously the most incredible experience I’ve ever had, and I cried seeing how happy Abby was being a part of it all <3 {Because I’m a sap. And I cry a lot. Have you seen me watch the movie Armageddon? Oh my….. }

How to get a customized Disney World Map [Read more…]

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Stay-at-Home Date Night Ideas

This post brought to you by Breyers Gelato Indulgences. All opinions are 100% mine.

“Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens, bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens. Brown paper packages tied up with strings – these are a few of my favorite things…”The Sound of Music. So, I love a good “night out.” A night with the Mister where I get dolled up, we have a babysitter, and we go out for a meal that someone else makes and cleans up, a movie that’s not Frozen, or some karaoke and dancing with friends. But, that’s not always in the cards. But even when we can’t go out for a date night, that doesn’t mean we can’t have date nights at home. And honestly – my Mister, some snuggle time, and great food and desserts are some of my favorite things, so a date night at home is sometimes even better than going out :) Here are a few ideas we use, that might help jump start your imagination on creating fun date nights at home too….

Date Night at Home Ideas

[Read more…]

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