Kira’s Korner

The Jungle Book In Dolby Cinema At AMC Prime Review

757 Lifestyle : April 17, 2016 2:27 pm : Check It Out, Kid Friendly, Kira's Korner, Movies, Reviews

DOLBY CINEMA AT AMC PRIME

Although it was my second time seeing a movie in AMC Prime, it did not diminish the excitement as I walked into theater. After seeing The Jungle Book, I have realized that each movie experience in Dolby Cinema at AMC Prime will be unique. We had a wonderful time viewing Zootopia and I didn’t think it could get much better; I am happy to say that I was wrong. The action and excitement of The Jungle Book was intensified by enjoying the fully immersive experience that is Dolby Cinema. During the height of the stampede scenes our chairs vibrated with intensity, as we became characters in this wonderfully unfolding story. My children raved about the pulsating aspect as they too felt apart of the action. I was able to treat my mother to her first Dolby Cinema experience and they now have a new fan in her as well. She is hoping for a Captain America:Civil War showing in Dolby Cinema and cannot wait to go back. We both agreed that most theaters are not what they used to be when it comes to surround sound and receiving the full movie going experience. We are are thankful for Dolby Cinemas for bringing the excitement and fun back to going to see a movie on the big screen.

 

Photo Mar 05, 10 09 05 AM

amc prime recliner seats

amc prime luxury seats

 

THE JUNGLE BOOK

There are few movies that live up to the hype and promise of a beautifully edited and cut trailer. We all have seen movies that were enticing in a preview, but failed miserably to deliver anything beyond that initial impression of a few exciting clips. Disney’s The Jungle Book was an exception to that rule and went above and beyond my expectations. The wonderfully told story set among a majestic jungle in India, follows the adventures of Mowgli as he sets out to forge his own path amidst a threat against his life and the only family he has ever known. Following the inspiration of the original Rudyard Kipling tale, the movie stayed true to its roots while branching out in a beautiful new direction. Jon Favreau, along with an extremely talented cast and crew, bought this amazing world to life and created an incredibly engaging and charming film. You are immersed into Mowgli’s world in such a way that you lose yourself in the story and imagine you are experiencing his journey firsthand. The exceptional detail that went into creating the environment and the animals allowed for such a realistic performance that you forget that what you are seeing is not reality. The story itself will please audiences young and old alike, as it keeps a delicate balance of being entertaining and at times funny, without being overly childish or a stereotypical children’s movie. It makes for a perfect family film, whether your kids are school-age or teenagers. I highly recommend it, you will not be disappointed.

Find your local AMC Prime location to see The Jungle Book before it leaves Dolby Cinema theaters!

Arizona

AMC Desert Ridge 18

Georgia

AMC North Point Mall 12

Illinois

AMC Hawthorn 12

New Jersey

AMC Garden State 16

New York

AMC Empire 25

Nevada

AMC Town Square 18

Northern California

AMC NewPark 12

Southern California

AMC Burbank 16 

AMC Century City 15

Texas

AMC Deerbrook 24 

AMC Willowbrook 24 

AMC NorthPark 15

Virginia

Washington
AMC River Park Square 20

Washington D.C.
AMC Tysons Corner 16

 

*This is a sponsored post, however all opinions are my own.

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Zootopia In Dolby Cinema At AMC Prime Review

757 Lifestyle : March 6, 2016 11:59 am : Kira's Korner, Movies, Reviews

Theater Review

We had the pleasure of seeing Zootopia yesterday morning in Dolby Cinema at AMC Prime at AMC 24 Hampton Towne Centre. I will be the first to admit when I am wrong about something and I can happily say I was wrong about experiencing Dolby Cinema at AMC Prime. I assumed that visiting one of the regular theaters at the AMC 24 in Hampton was the same as Dolby Cinema. There is a vast difference! I was blown away walking into the theater as I took in the luxurious seats and red-lit stadium seating.

AMC 24 Hampton Towne Centre Dolby Cinema

The seats were plush and comfortable with the ability to recline to give you a great viewing experience. In addition to the seating, once the previews started, we were treated to the amazing sound system and fantastic visuals that enhance the overall cinematic experience of viewing a movie in Dolby Cinema at AMC Prime. We were totally spoiled and can’t wait to go back! We will definitely keep an eye out to see what movies will be playing in Dolby Cinema at AMC 24 Hampton Towne Centre in the future.

 

Movie Review

Zootopia was a wonderful movie with a fantastic message. My husband said it was the best animated movie he has seen in a while and my daughter agreed. Disney Animation studios really took their time to craft the world of Zootopia and paid attention to the littlest details to really bring it to life.I loved seeing all of the different animals living and working together. I most of all loved that the movie will teach kids:

  1. You can be and do anything you put your mind to and work hard for.
  2. Not to judge people.
  3. The important of unity and coming/working together.
  4. Everyone has value/purpose and people can change for the better.
  5. Not allowing other peoples perceptions or opinions of you to change or define who you are.

zootopia 3 zootopia 4 zootopia 2

I could go on and on with the little nuggets of wisdom and life lessons that parents and little ones can take away from the film. I love that this messages came across organically and not in a “preachy way.”  With all that is going on in the world, the message is very timely. Despite the message(s), the film is a good time with beautiful visuals. When Judy is on the train on the way to Zootopia for the first time, I wanted to be right there with her, taking in the beauty of the metropolis. Thanks to the sound and immersive experience of Dolby Cinema, as she looked up at the skylight as the rain hit the top of the train, I felt as if I was along for the ride. It was a beautiful movie and  I look forward to owning the film once it hits DVD. It would also be awesome to have a sequel! 😉  You can catch Zootopia in Dolby Cinema at AMC Prime for the next week ONLY. Find your location from the list below. I hope you all enjoy the movie as much as we did! If you have already seen Zootopia, what was your favorite part? Feel free to share in the comments below! (We loved the sloths at the DMV. So funny! You can check out that clip here)

Arizona

Georgia

Illinois

New Jersey

Northern California

Southern California

Texas

Virginia

*This is a sponsored post, however all opinions are my own.

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Chick-Fil-A Moms Panel

757 Lifestyle : October 7, 2015 12:29 pm : Food & Dining, Kid Friendly, Kira's Korner

CFA-Mom-PanelI am excited to have been chosen to be a part of the 2015-2016 Chick-Fil-A Moms panel. I was a member of the Chick-Fil-A Moms Club last year and enjoyed being a part of such a great group. In its third year, the panel is designed to give members access to exclusive Chick-Fil-A news, events, special promotions and share feedback with the Chick-Fil-A team on possible new products and more.

One of my recent discoveries since joining the group is the Chick-fil-A Kids Club. Available at only select locations, the club hosts monthly events for its members. The only location on the Peninsula is located at the Patrick Henry Mall location. You can find them on Facebook to stay up to date on events. To sign up for the club at the location nearest you, visit https://chick-fil-akidsclub.com/.

I look forward to sharing news and events from Chick-Fil-A with all of my readers. I am sure there will be a few giveaways too! Make sure to like our Facebook page and Instagram to stay up to date on events, news and contests.

*Special thanks to Kari, another CFA Mom for the pic!

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Celebrate Rumtoberfest at Bahamas Breeze In Virginia Beach

757 Lifestyle : September 22, 2015 9:54 am : Food & Dining, Kira's Korner, Restaurants

Rumtoberfest, a celebration of rum and fun, kicked off September 21 at Bahamas Breeze. Rum lovers will enjoy perfectly mixed flights, including Shark Attack Shack* (featuring Painkiller, Yaka Hula Hickey Dula & Zombie) rumtoberfest bahamas breezeand Float My Boat Bar* (featuring Curly Tail, Painkiller and Goombay Smash). Pair the amazing drinks with mouth-watering appetizers (Firecracker shrimp*, Jamaican Chicken Wings* and Key West Nachos*) for an amazing celebration of Caribbean flavor and fun.

Enjoy Rumbash parties every Friday night with live music, games, giveaways and surprises. Get Rumtoberfest special deals by signing up for secret password specials. For more information on Rumtoberfest, complete menu, and more, visit the Bahamas Breeze Virginia Beach website.

 

Our experience

We had the opportunity to enjoy Rumtoberfest during the VIP media sneak peek. The drinks were a hit with my husband (I do not drink), who sang the praises of the bartenders. According to him, the drinks were made well and very good. The favorite among the group seemed to be Curly Tail. Caribbean drinks are really sweet with a lot of rum, so be careful, it will sneak up on you! If you are really brave, make sure to try the Painkiller. Self-explanatory!  The food, as always, was absolutely delicious! I was not aware that Bahamas Breeze employs the farm to table method, aiming to serve food as healthy as possible. I can honestly say their food is by far one of the best I have tasted at any restaurant. If we lived closer, we would definitely go more often. Now is the time to enjoy Rumtoberfest and see for yourself! The celebration will run until November 8.

*See our Instagram page for pictures.

 

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Celebrate National Care Bears #ShareYourCare Day

757 Lifestyle : September 9, 2015 7:09 am : Events, Kira's Korner

care bear share your careToday is National Care Bears #ShareYourCare Day and as a #ShareYourCare Ambassador, I invite all of my readers to join the movement! The Care Bears are encouraging everyone to show they care by spreading love, caring, sharing, friendship, acceptance, fun and happiness not just on today – but every day!  In honor of SYC Day, the Care Bears have teamed up with an amazing little boy named Zach Kaplan to support his #ZachKapCares mission of gifting children in need with a bear friend of their own. 400 Care Bears will be donated to the Leake & Watts Head Start program in Westchester County, NYC.

How can you show you care? It doesn’t take much, the act can be big or small. You can help a neighbor with their groceries, siblings can share toys with one another or you can help out at a local charity. All that is required is a willingness to help someone else and show that you care!

I show I care on a regular basis by bringing donuts to the office to share with my co-workers. I know how hard they work and they may not always have time to grab breakfast. I want to make sure they can start their day with a smile and know that someone was thinking of them and appreciates all of their hard work.

Become a part of the #ShareYourCareCrew by signing up at www.CareBearsShare.com  All stories that are contributed will be collected and shared to show others how you care.

Get started today and #ShareYourCare!

 

 

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[Review] 2015 Busch Gardens Food & Wine Festival

757 Lifestyle : May 26, 2015 3:59 pm : Events, Featured, Food & Dining, Kira's Korner, Reviews

busch gardens williamsburg food and wine festivalFriday, May 22 marked the beginning of the 2015 Busch Gardens Williamsburg Food & Wine Festival. Now in its third year, the festival will run weekends (Friday-Sunday) until June 28. Although admission to the festival is free with park admission, tastings are individually priced and range from $3-$7. Experiences (Wine/Scotch tastings and Wine on the Rhine) are an additional cost as well. I had the pleasure of attending the media event for the festival, which included a preview of two the their newest additions: scotch tasting (Scotland) and a sampling of Asia’s menu.

Scotch Tasting (Tweedside Gifts)

The scotch tasting featured three different varieties (all 12 year), including, Highland Park, The Macallan and Glenmorangie Lasanta. I do not drink alcohol, so I asked my fellow attendees their opinions. Everyone had a different response as to their favorite and how each one tasted. I came to the conclusion that much like beauty, scotch tastings are in the taste bud of the taster. As I am not well versed in alcoholic drinks, I would recommend that if you are interested in trying the tastings, go for it. It was very well done, and would be enjoyable to those who are interested in trying scotch for the first time or if you are long-time fan.  Our server and host Paul shared information on the history of scotch and explained why droplets of water were added before the tasting to help release the tightly wound amino acids, resulting in more flavor and aromas. (It can be done with or without water).

Asia 

The Asian kiosk tasting featured: Báhn Mi, lettuce wrap, Mushi-Gyoza, Ginger-Lemongrass custard and Thai tea. We were greeted by  Busch Gardens Williamsburg Executive Chef, Justin Watson, who explained how the menu evolved from last year’s public testing at Pass Member appreciation day. The Bahn Mi initially featured a noodle salad, but later became a cole slaw with all vegetables and no rice noodles. He also shared how the public’s feedback shaped the rest of this year’s menu with additions, removals and tweaks done to improve the overall offerings of the festival.

Báhn Mi – A Vietnamese-style sandwich with shredded pork seasoned with a soy-based Asian-style barbecue sauce served on a fresh baguette made in the bakery.  Served with nuoc maw (fish sauce) cole slaw with lime juice, shitake mushrooms and cucumbers.

This was delicious! The meat was seasoned perfectly and was tender. I didn’t eat the bread (gluten) but I enjoyed the slaw. I was surprised to learn this dish had fish sauce as I couldn’t detect it. It was very good.

Lettuce Wrap ( one of few vegan options) featured vegetables and tofu wrapped in butter lettuce with toasted almonds and sweet chili dipping sauce.

This one was so cool and refreshing! So great for a warm day at the park. The tofu was the best I have ever tasted.  Chef Justin gave a hint to the great flavor of this particular dish – the ginger, garlic and scallions.

Mushi-Gyoza Japanese-style steamed chicken dumplings with citrus ponzu sauce.

I loved all of the dishes but I think the dumplings were my favorite! The sauce was delicious and a perfect complement. They were not overcooked, they were tender and just right and full of flavor. Another great summer dish.

Ginger-Lemongrass Custard

According to Chef Justin, this dessert was originally baked creme brulee style but now has more of mousse texture. I wanted to love this, but the flavor was kind of bland. It needed a little more punch. I really did like the texture and consistency. It would be the perfect cool treat if it were more flavorful. You receive a nice portion size as well.

Thai Tea – The iced Thai tea was yummy! It had the perfect hint of sweetness. It was a very refreshing and cool drink for a hot day.

 Caribbean & Spain

This weekend, we had the chance to also try the Gamba Fritters (Caribbean fried shrimp dumpling with Pickapeppa dip) and Venera con Jamón (Scallop, wrapped in cured ham with saffron rice & romesco sauce).

The fritters reminded me of a well-season hushpuppy stuffed with shrimp. It was golden brown and crispy on the outside and warm and fluffy on the inside. Very good!

The scallops were tender and full of flavor. Delicious!

Wine on the Rhine

As a special treat for the Thrill Chasers, we were able to enjoy the Wine on the Rhine cruise. The cruise features a selection of wine or beer along with a platter of cheese, crackers, fruit and a gourmet chocolate. We were also treated to live music during the 25-30 minute cruise.  It was a relaxing and fun way to end an exciting day at the park. The cruise is perfect for date night or for a family wind down.

Recommended

Chef Justin believes the crowd favorite this year will be the Bananas Foster Cheesecake in the new French Quarter kiosk. It features a vanilla & pecan-crusted cheesecake with orange-rum caramel sauce & a sliced banana. It sounds amazing! It is definitely on our “to-do” list! Check out a picture of the delectable delight on Busch Garden VA’s Instagram.

 

The food at Busch Gardens is always done right. I have yet to be disappointed when it comes to eating at the park. This year is no different when it comes to the Food & Wine Festival. Grab a friend or two and get a taste of what the park has to offer!

For more information on the Food & Wine Festival, including operating schedule, menu and experiences, visit www.buschgardens.com/foodandwine.

Tickets

The Food & Wine Festival is free with park admission. If you are a season pass holder, bring a friend for free to experience the Food & Wine Festival. Only one free single day ticket available per pass member. Pass member must accompany guest (s).   Log in to www.bgwpass.com to redeem.

Now is also the perfect time to buy the 2-park pass for only $100. Receive unlimited admission to both parks now until September 7, 2015. Parking is not included. For all ticket options, click here.

To see pictures of our experience at the Food & Wine Festival, visit our Instagram.

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Inexpensive Personalized Bracelets & Keychains From Charmsations

Kira Riley : March 7, 2015 8:58 am : Business, Fashion, Featured, Kira's Korner

personalized jewelry

If you are a fan of bling and accessories like me, check out the beautiful personalized bracelets, keychains  and accessories from Charmsations! As a business owner, I love to advertise in creative ways, especially with personalized items. Unfortunately, most personalized accessories can become quite costly, but Charmsations offers VERY affordable bracelets, keychains & more. Most importantly, they are a great quality, have a nice variety and offer very low shipping. I am happy to now be a Charm Specialist with the company.

bling accessoriesCharmsations has beautiful options for sports moms, grad gifts, business owners and more. Anything you can think of or create – bling it on! Visit my website for examples and to order!www.kirasbling.com Become a fan of my Charmsations Specialist Facebook Fan page to stay up-to-date with new products, specials, giveaways and more.

 

 

join Charmsations

If you are a lover of all things bling and sparkle, join the Charmsations family! Why should you join?

  • ONLY $20 to start
  • NO website fees, no inventory to purchase or large quotas to meet
  • Sell unique affordable and quality customized accessories
  • Make money or product you purchase and sell
  • Great support & business tools to help ensure your success from the Charmsations family

JOIN NOW!

sports mom keychains

 

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Hot Spot: Monsoon at Peninsula Town Center

Kira Riley : January 30, 2015 5:48 pm : Check It Out, Featured, Kira's Korner, Restaurants, Reviews

 

 

monsoon vaOne of my latest finds that I have now dubbed as a Hampton Roads “Hot Spot” is an Indian restaurant I discovered this past summer. I came across this little gem thanks to the recommendation of my aunt as a place she wanted to celebrate her birthday. I had never heard of it, so I immediately jumped online to Google the restaurant and their menu.  I was impressed right off the bat with the array of available dishes and price points to please every budget.  One of the biggest stand outs for me was their use of various organic ingredients and the availability of dishes that are traditionally gluten-free.

The atmosphere is very laid-back and relaxing with cool, soothing tones displayed throughout the decor. I made reservations online via their website, as I was unsure if we would have to wait for a table on Saturday evening. We were seated right away and received very prompt and courteous service.  Our party ordered different dishes and we took turns trying each dish.  My kids ordered the chicken, fish and shrimp but did not love the fish (salmon). ( I was happy to eat it for them as it was cooked to perfection.) Unless your kids have a sophisticated palate, you may want to stick to the chicken nuggets and fries for the little ones.

I ordered the vegetable pilaf and it was absolutely delicious.  It was seasoned perfectly, although I could tell that some dishes tasted as if it may have a high sodium content. (If that is something you are trying to watch, you may want to check with your server.) Every dish was plated beautifully and almost looked too pretty to eat. While the prices may be a little high depending on your meal choice, you definitely get your money’s worth. I had plenty to take home to eat the next day. organic vegetable pilaf

Overall we enjoyed it so much we decided to return this past weekend to celebrate my mother’s birthday. On my aunt’s birthday, as well as my mom’s, I let the staff know we were celebrating their birthday and asked them to be presented with a dessert. They obliged both times without a problem. Being that I did not pay either bill, I am not sure if were charged or it was on the house, but I am assuming the latter.  You can always check to be certain.

As pleased as I was with the restaurant, I was surprised that it has not been more crowded on both of our visits. I am unsure if it is not well-known or locals aren’t big fans of Indian food, but I felt it was worth sharing my experience.  If you decide to check it out or have before, feel free to share your experience below. I hate seeing great local places being under-appreciated and I like spreading the word.

TIP: If you sign up for their newsletter via their website, you can receive a $10 gift card towards your meal!

See more pics via our Instagram: www.instagram.com/757Lifestyle

Check It Out:

Monsoon

2150 Allainby Way
Hampton, VA-23666
757-224-1633
www.monsoonva.com
info(@)monsoonva.com

Monsoon Lunch Menu
Monsoon Dinner Menu

* I am not affiliated with the restaurant and was not paid or compensated in any way to post this review.

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Summer Family Fun On A Budget

Kira Riley : July 10, 2014 9:34 am : Family Fun, Featured, Kira's Korner

With summer being the most popular time to travel due to children being out of school, you are more than likely to have family visit at one time or another. Whether for a day, a week – or longer – you want to make sure to show your loved ones a good time. My 8-year-old niece stayed with our family this past week for eight days. Being the mother of two children I knew the best way to keep from hearing the dreaded two words – “I’m bored!”-  was to keep her busy.

While I did hear it a few times, it was only during down times of our exciting week. Overall I believe I accomplished my mission of giving her a memorable trip. We started the week off at Busch Gardens Williamsburg. From Sesame Street Forest of Fun to Verbolten, she had plenty of options to choose from for her age and height. While a trip to Busch Gardens can be rather expensive, thanks to the affordable Fun Card provided by her grandmother (my mommy in law), we were able to make two trips to the theme park. Even with two trips there, we didn’t get a chance to do everything she wanted to do. While I was disappointed, as I knew she would probably not be back again to next year, it gives us something to look forward to tackling on her next visit.

Due to her love of water, I knew I also wanted to enjoy some time at a pool. I felt our best bet was to visit Great Wolf Lodge in Williamsburg. Although we paid for a one night stay, you receive two days at the water park, which is a great value for your money. We also used the discount for Huntington Ingalls employees which brought the cost of our trip down by over $100. As an Ask-A-Mom for Great Wolf and avid fan, I knew that we were in for a treat. After enjoying the indoor water park the first night, we headed outside and hung by the pool for a second day. We ended our trip back inside enjoying the water rides before heading home. By the end of the week, I had successfully worn all of us out to the point of not wanting to go anywhere else.

My goal was to have an awesome time, but on a budget. If you are looking for family fun this summer in Hampton Roads, but don’t want to spend a lot of money, consider using the following tips.

If you visit Busch Gardens:

1. If your family is able to visit the park more than once while visiting, opt for the Fun Card. You pay for one day admission but have the option to come back all summer long. If you want to also visit Water Country USA, take advantage of the 2-Park Flex Ticket ($92) for admission to both parks for seven (7) consecutive days. For all ticket options & purchases, buy tickets here.

2. Pack a lunch and utilize the picnic tables in the parking lot.

3. If you are a season pass holder, use your pass to purchase discount 1-day tickets for your family. ($15 off.)

If you visit Great Wolf Lodge:

1.If you or your spouse are employees of Huntington Ingalls, take advantage of the Preferred Pack Discount.  Log-in to the employee benefits page for the code. Other Hampton Roads employers may offer a discount as well, so be sure to check with your benefits. Regardless if you have a discount or not, Wednesdays are normally the cheapest day to book!

2. Pack your own snacks and foods to save on dining costs.

3. Get a group of family or friends together and go in on a room and share the cost.

*If you have any specific questions for visiting Great Wolf Lodge Williamsburg, visit the Ask-A-Mom forum to ask me a question!

 

Do you have family visit over the summer? What are some of the fun things that you do on a budget?

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Summer Update

Kira Riley : July 10, 2014 9:07 am : Featured, Kira's Korner

Happy July! I know posts have been few and far between here lately. As I shared before, from mid-May until the end of the summer is a busy time for our family. From birthday celebrations to family events, we stay busy and on the go. I also am working a job outside the home this summer – a first for me! It is at one of my favorite summer hangouts, so it is more fun than work. That is taking up a majority of my time. When I am not working,  I am spending time with my family and enjoying the summer. It has been nice to get out of the house and enjoy some fresh air and sunshine after being cooped up in the house the past few months in front of a computer. I will try to update as much as I can. In the meantime, I hope everyone has a safe and happy summer!

 

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