Dudes! The Popples & Care Bears Are, Like, Totally Back! #StreamTeam

MomStart is a member of the Netflix Stream Team.

As a child of the 1980s whose earliest memories are of the totally rad toys, movies, and music that I enjoyed back then, I have a deep fondness for the era. If you don’t believe me, just take a look at the costume I wore to Jaime’s 1980s-themed bridal shower:

Beeb's '80s costume

Why, yes, that is Rubik’s cube wrapping paper that I made!

So naturally, I was very excited when a completely bodacious ’80s-themed package showed up at my door!

80s care package

I couldn’t wait to see what was inside!

Popples and Care Bears

Hey, look! Another Rubik’s Cube!

Like, totally OMG you guys! The Popples and Care Bears have returned! In honor of the new Netflix Original Series, Popples and Care Bears & Cousins, I received a package full of things to make any ’80s child beam. From Shrinky Dinks to jelly bracelets and scrunchies, these throwbacks had me grinning from ear to ear! I donned my new Care Bears shirt right away, which went really well with the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles pants that I was already wearing…

I’ve been loving all these nostalgic shows on Netflix – it’s such a fun way to introduce our old favorites to the next generation. The new Popples plush toys are about the cutest thing ever – they’re available only at Walmart stores, so you’ll definitely want to keep an eye out for those as you stuff those Christmas stockings.

What’s your favorite ’80s show?

Enjoy Big Cat Week on NatGeo Wild

It’s Big Cat Week: Nat Geo WILD’s annual Big Cat Week starts tomorrow!


Every Big Cat is awesome – and each one can boast extraordinary powers. From extreme speed to bone crushing bites, Big Cats are some of the most impressive predators on the planet.  Host Boone Smith creates testing challenges for these Big Cats - Cheetah’s, Tigers and Lions line up for a unique competition. This has never been tried before. Anything can happen in The Big Cat Games.   (photo credit:  National Geographic Channels/Bob Croslin)

Cougars Undercover

Premieres Friday, Nov. 27, 9/8c

We watched Cougars Undercover and learned so much about Cougars. It’s amazing what they do and how they work as a family.

This is the moving story of two mountain lion mothers raising their cubs, each trying to survive the harsh conditions of a bitter winter season outside of Jackson Hole, Wyoming. Never-before-seen video captures the playful, intimate and sometimes tragic lives of these two families — part of a groundbreaking study by Panthera’s Teton Cougar Project. This is the most intense study of mountain lions ever conducted in the U.S., and the research raises some key questions. Are these cats the solitary hunters we previously thought? Why is their population dropping in the Rockies? The answers are fascinating and the stunning portrayal of the highs and lows of daily life will keep you glued to the story.

Safari Live

Premieres Friday, Nov. 27 – Sun, Nov. 29, 11/10c

Premieres Sat, Nov. 28 – Fri, Dec. 4, 9a/8c (two-hour morning specials)

Now there’s no passport required to go on the trip of a lifetime to see big cats up close and personal. We provide you with two expert guides who will lead the way to stunning wildlife, in real time. You can follow along with our online bingo game to win your very own African safari, and even reach out to the guides to ask questions via email and Twitter. All you need is an appetite for adventure and a love for our wild friends in the African bush. We’ll go deep into South Africa’s Sabi Sands Park and come face to face with the best of Africa’s wildlife, including lions, leopards, elephants, buffalo and many more.

Video: Safari Live is a live event, so no video preview available.

The Lakeshore Killers

Premieres Saturday, Nov. 28, 9/8c

Deep in the heart of Africa, three male lions are coming into their prime with much to prove. They must forge strong bonds with a new pride and navigate the dangers of this unique wilderness, competing with hippos and crocodiles, to become true pride males and rulers of this land. We get a bird’s-eye view of their survival tactics, including adapting their hunting skills in surprising ways.

Cat Fight

Premieres Sunday, Nov. 29, 9/8c

A special edition of the popular series Animal Fight Night, Cat Fight reveals the secret tactics of the animal kingdom’s most ferocious feline fighters and brings you closer than ever before to adrenaline-packed fights from Africa, the Americas and beyond. Watch lions fighting tooth and claw to protect their pride from outsiders, and tigers fighting for rights to a hunting ground. In Africa, the big cats of the savannah go head-to-head with their ultimate enemy — the hyena.

The Ultimate Predator

Premieres Sunday, Nov. 29, 10/9c

It is said that the lion is king of beasts, but is he alone? There are 41 species of cat — the embodiment of feline grace and power, spectacular top predators that command our respect. But who is The Ultimate Predator, the one to rule them all? They have a lot in common, including elegance, agility, strength, heightened senses, silent feet and the killer instinct. So which of them has what it takes to be a top cat — the giant tiger, the powerful jaguar, the speedy cheetah or the socialite lion? Tune in to find out and learn all about your favorite cats.

Happy Holidays From The Secret Life of Pets #TheSecretLifeOfPets

Happy Holidays from The Secret Life of Pets!

Here’s a charming holiday greeting from The Secret Life of Pets, an animated film featuring an all-star cast that hits theaters next year:

THE SECRET LIFE OF PETS – In Theaters July 8, 2016

For their fifth fully-animated feature-film collaboration, Illumination Entertainment and Universal Pictures present The Secret Life of Pets, a comedy about the lives our pets lead after we leave for work or school each day.

Comedy superstars Louis C.K., Eric Stonestreet and Kevin Hart make their animated feature-film debuts in The Secret Life of Pets, which co-stars Ellie Kemper, Lake Bell, Jenny Slate, Bobby Moynihan, Hannibal Buress and Albert Brooks. Illumination founder and CEO Chris Meledandri and his longtime collaborator Janet Healy produce the film directed by Chris Renaud (Despicable Me, Despicable Me 2), co-directed by Yarrow Cheney and written by Brian Lynch and Cinco Paul & Ken Daurio.

19 Days of Suffrage: Giving Thanks #FightsNotOver

19 Days of Suffrage

Product provided.

To mark the release of Suffragette, Focus Features launched the “19 Days of Suffrage” initiative this month, named after the 19th Amendment which gave women in the US the right to vote. Over the course of 19 days, women have been sharing their stories and experiences over social media. Since tomorrow is Thanksgiving, this week’s theme has been about giving thanks.

I have immense gratitude for the sacrifices others have made in the past to make the world better. The women who fought for suffrage are the reason why I am able to write this very article. Without women like them, I would have no freedom, no choice and no career. Although we still have a long way to go in this world, I am thankful for all the progress that has been made to this point.

We’d love to hear about the women who most inspire you, so in honor of Suffragette, we are giving away a very special prize pack.

Enter To Win:

Suffragette Poster

One MomStart reader will win a Suffragette promotional pack including a charm bracelet, tote bag, journal and a mini poster.

To Enter:

Enter this giveaway using the Rafflecopter widget below. Giveaway closes on December 1st, 2015 at 11:00 PM PST. Giveaway is open to residents of the Continental US (No PO boxes), 18 years of age or older. Please see the widget for full details and click here to read our giveaway rules.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The Good Dinosaur Movie Review

Want a movie to go see with the family this weekend then the Good Dinosaur is your movie. In the land of Dinosaurs a meteor hit the planet and wiped all the Dinosaurs out. What if that meteor missed and Dinosaurs were the species on the planet. What if they were made up of families that did the things that we did. They had homes they had farms, cattle ranches and raised their kids like you and I? Well this is how The Good Dinosaur starts out. Pixar Animation Studios takes you on an epic journey into the world of dinosaurs where an Apatosaurus named Arlo (voice of Raymond Ochoa) makes an unlikely human friend. image

The human causes a lot of trouble for Arlo in the beginning of the movie. Arlo is afraid of everything. He has to feed the “chicken like” animals that his family owns and it terrifies him every day.


His dad was teaching his kids the value of hard work and asking each of them to “earn their mark”. It was really hard for Arlo being the runt of the family. image

He wasn’t strong and his fear was almost debilitating. One day his dad asked him to catch the critter that was eating their corn. He sets a trap and then when he catches the critter (who turns out to be the human); he’s terrified and lets it go. His dad makes him follow it and when that happens a storm comes and it was like wacthing the Lion King for a moment. Arlo’s dad died while protecting Arlo. So of course he blames himself. He goes home and after a little time passes finds that human eating his corn again. This time he chases the human and another storm comes this time sweeping Arlo away. He gets lost. While traveling through a harsh and mysterious landscape, Arlo learns the power of confronting his fears and discovers what he is truly capable of. “The Good Dinosaur” is Directed by Peter Sohn and produced by Denise Ream (“Cars 2”).


It was a good film with amazing animation. The locations looked so real at times I felt like I was really in a forest or on top of a mountain. The movie pulled on every heartstring I had. I cried the entire time almost. I suggest taking a box of tissues or at least having a few in your pocket. If you have sensitive children be ready to hug them. The ending is a happy one and I’m only telling you that so you know you can reassure you children at every turn it’s going to be ok. Even though it was happy, it still made me cry. They were happy tears just so you know. I say go see the movie as a family and be prepared to hug it out!

Here is the Trailer:


The Amazing Character Actor breakdown:

JEFFREY WRIGHT (The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – parts I & II) was tapped as the voice of Poppa, Arlo’s father

FRANCES MCDORMAND (HBO’s Olive Kitteridge, Fargo) was tapped as the voice of Momma, Arlo’s mother

MARCUS SCRIBNER (ABC’s black•ish) voices Arlo’s brother Buck

RAYMOND OCHOA (NBC’s The Night Shift, TNT’s Rizzoli & Isles) provides the voice of an Apatosaurus named Arlo

JACK BRIGHT (Monsters University) provides the voice of Arlo’s unlikely human friend, Spot

STEVE ZAHN (Captain Fantastic, Ridiculous Six, Rescue Dawn, Mad Dogs) provides the voice of a pterodactyl named Thunderclap

AJ BUCKLEY (TNT’s Murder in the First, FX’s Justified) voices a T-Rex called Nash

ANNA PAQUIN (HBO’s True Blood) is the voice of T-Rex Ramsey

SAM ELLIOTT (FX’s Justified, I’ll See You In My Dreams, Grandma) was called on as the voice of a tough T-Rex named Butch

The Good Dinosaur Interview with Peter Sohn & Denise Ream #GoodDinoEvent

That’s the case for Director Peter Sohn. I first met him when he was working on Monster’s University where he was a voice of one of the monsters and one of the artist. Now in The Good Dinosaur he is the director of the movie, and yes he ended up being one of the voices but he has grown so much. I mean how exciting for him to now be a director and an amazing person because he remembered one of us from our last interview. I recently went to LA to watch The Good Dinosaur and interview him and the producer Denise Ream. They were a great pair in the interview and obviously worked well together because they created something very special in The Good Dinosaur.



Q : You have done lots of jobs at Pixar (i.e. story-boarding, voices, and now director). What led you to directing this time?

Peter Sohn : What’s interesting was this show was pitched by original director Bob Peterson in 2009 and then he asked me to come help develop the project. During the development I was doing story and designs for him and then he asked me to be his co-director. From that we were trying to wrestle the story and it was tough. A lot of these Pixar films go through that kind of place where you put every answer and you go in every direction. We had the boy and the dog story. We had a father-son story. We had a trying to change community story and then it was hard to kind of end it all.

They asked me to become the director from there because I had known all the paths that we have gone through and I basically, simplified it to Bob’s original pitch. I love Bob and he’s a great friend and I just loved that original idea. It was really Bob who got me developing into that co-director position. To your point, I learned a lot from working with the other departments, too. That’s nothing like the director job. There’s so much I didn’t know.

I was scared and Denise Ream, our producer, surrounded me with a lot of experienced people to help out with that. Everyone was just like ‘Here’s our hearts. Let’s do it.”


Listing to Peter reminded me of how modest he is. He’s so down to earth and I think he’s still amazed at where he’s come from and the path ahead of him is so exciting.


Q : Was is there any special technology or animation advancement that was used to put that into place?

So someone asked this and the answer really amazed me. I had no idea you could even do something like this so listen to her answer. I hope you’ll find this “newish” technology as fascinating as me.

Denise Ream: We ended up basically using Google maps to create a lot of the locations. It’s called USGS topological survey maps. So we started with that and that was what got us a long ways to kind of getting the big scope that we wanted and then the trick was populating that terrain with our trees that we had modeled, the leaves, the mulch, the rocks, sort of all of the vegetation.

So that was a special tool that we wrote. This was the first time we used 3-D clouds what we call volumetric clouds throughout the entire film. Usually we map paint our clouds. We used to do a lot of water shots. I mean…. it’s not new technology but we did many, many more water shots then we’ve typically done in a Pixar movie. And then just in terms of the actual process we just had a slightly different workflow process for the animators.

So, what we did is we ended up kind of getting…..you know, when you’re under the gun to get the show done you sort of dole out shots individually and instead we gave each animator sort of a run of shots that we felt would kind of make a more consistent performance. So that was a very different workflow for the animation department and they actually really, really loved it.



Peter Sohn: But all of it was in service to the story you know. Like, we did a lot of research. Denise, when we started we restarted this project, she took us out. She said let’s go get lost. And you know, I’m from New York where we would go into the wilderness and the Rockies and I had never been before. And so going out there it was just so dang gorgeous you know, like for me, horizon lines in New York was like McDonald’s to Subway you know and then going out there it was just like so awe inspiring that you could go from there and see 500 miles down that way and see the other 500 miles down that way.

And it was just full of clouds and it went forever and it was so soul enriching it is something we wanted to capture. And so that’s why all this technology was just like okay, if we want to do that we have to do this.


They knew for a while that it was going to be a frontier type of movie. I mean to have a character like Sam Elliot you have to have some sort of Western theme to it. Well part of their inspiration came from a family in Oregon.

Pete Sohn: Yeah, the McKay’s, this ranching family that we met in Oregon.  When we first started with the original, I mean when we re-started the version of this film that was so much like a parody, we had these T-rexes but they were like cowhands and it was JR, JW and JL, you know. And it was so silly.  And they were like ding, dang and it was like just a big cliché.  But we met this family, the McKay’s, and they have a large ranch right on the border of Idaho and Oregon. A really unique family. There is the mom and dad, both white and then they adopted five black Haitian kids.  And so when you get there it was like whoa, this is like a whole unique kind of family here. But they would change my life.  The way that family lived in love really blew me away. Let’s make them a family.  And it’ll also parallel what Arlo’s family is going through.  It’ll help Arlo’s journey.

You can see Arlo’s journey this week. The Good Dinosaur comes to theaters on Thanksgiving Day.

Who Is Your Favorite On Dancing With The Stars #DWTS #ABCTVEvent

I’m still on a high from being part of Dancing with the Stars a week ago. I’ve never been in a live audience before and the energy in Dancing with the Stars was amazing. We were there before it began so we had time to sit and wait inside. Once they were ready to start letting people in to be seated for the event our group of bloggers was split into two groups. One on each side of the balcony and I have to say there is no bad seat.


That’s a photo from my seat. We were allowed to take photos at the beginning of the taping but once it started our phones had to be put away. I had this really great out fit that I received from  Lisette L Montreal. I felt very fashionable.



Here is another shot of my clothes:

The pants are theirs and the top is from The Rack:


My jacket was also from them.

Ok so sitting in the audience you have to stand and then get to sit and stand and clap and enjoy the dancing. These dancers are the final four and they are all so very good. They are all so good I’m really not sure who my favorite is. I might have to say that my favorite one is CARLOS PENAVEGA. He did the Charleston last week and it was flawless.



Photo Credit:(ABC/Adam Taylor)



Musical Performers Include Ariana Grande, Meghan Trainor,

Nick Carter, Andy Grammer and More

The Season 21 Champion Will Be Declared on Tuesday, November 24

“Episode 2111 & 211A” – After weeks of competitive dancing, the final four couples advance to the FINALS of “Dancing with the Stars” this MONDAY, NOVEMBER 23 (8:00-10:01 p.m., ET). Alek Skarlatos and Lindsay Arnold, Bindi Irwin and Derek Hough, Carlos PenaVega and Witney Carson, and Nick Carter and Sharna Burgess have one last night of competitive dancing, fighting to win the judges’ and America’s votes to be crowned the “Dancing with the Stars” champion on TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 24 (9:00-11:00 p.m., ET) on the ABC Television Network.


I really like Bindi too because I grew up watching her dad on The Crocodile Hunter. She has so much sunshine inside of her and you can see it all when she dances.





But then you also have the war hero and one of the Backstreet Boys. Dancing with the Stars has been a show that I have loved for a long long time. I watched it before my kids were born, and I can’t believe that it’s still on. Well, yes actually I can believe that it is on because it’s just that good.



I have a huge thanks to Marshall, and Heidi and everyone on the ABC team that made it possible for us to attend a live taping of Dancing With The Stars.


Oh and a huge thanks to the judges who posed in a photo with us.


It was a fantastic time and I highly recommend going if you ever have the chance. Oh and leave a comment and tell me who you are voting for!!!!