Sunday, December 29, 2013

Saving Mr. Banks movie review

Saving Mr. Banks is a must-see, and here's why:

This film was deeper and more emotional than I thought it was going to be. It was also more serious than I expected, which is in no way a bad thing.  The seriousness of the film was matched by incredible heart and paired with Disney magic!  The story of P.L. Travers and her relationship with her father is unforgettable. So much so, that I don't think it's possible to watch Mary Poppins the same way again. It will change your view of the story, but it does not take away the magic of the original film. 

The casting of this film was brilliant. Tom Hanks plays Walt Disney with complete perfection, making me feel like I actually knew the man. When you see the film, you will know what I mean. You'll feel like Walt is your close friend!
 Emma Thompson does a wonderful job playing Travers; exuding propriety and dripping with sarcasm.  By the end of the film, you will fall in love with her.
 The supporting actors of the film are remarkable as well. B.J. Novak and Jason Schwartzman play Dick and Bob Sherman, the composers of Mary Poppins. It's a fun walk down memory lane watching them come up with well-known songs from the film and you'll want to song along! Bradley Whitford does a delightful job playing Don DaGradi, the screen writer of Mary Poppins, and brings a lot of fun to the film. 
And then there is Colin Farrell's incredible portrayal of P.L. Travers' father.  I was blown away by Colin's acting in this film. Don't get me wrong, I'm a huge fan, and I've always been impressed by his talents, but, this film in particular opened my eye to just how talented he really is. He will tug at your heart strings and make your cry (if you're not a robot).  His performance in this film should not be over-looked. 
So, what I'm saying is, stop what you're doing and go see this film right now! It's a beautiful film and if you're a Disney nut like me, you will be pleased with the amount of Disney history inside of the film! If you're a die-hard Mary Poppins fan, don't let this movie scare you. It will not change your feelings towards the original movie, it will only enhance them as you learn more about the real story!

This film is definitely worth the money and I'm ready to go see it a second time! 

Friday, December 13, 2013

Siesta Key Beach -Florida Vacation 2013

We took a day off from the parks, rented a car, and drove to Siesta Key Beach in Sarasota!  The kids really needed a day to just relax and run around in the sand and water!  And so did my Parents and I!  We were told by some family friends that the beach closest to our hotel wasn't the greatest, so we decided to drive a bit to get to Siesta Key.  It's one of the best beaches in the United States!  The sand is unbelievable! I hate sand...but this sand was SOFT!  And I mean really, really soft!  It was white and so smooth, I just wanted to bury my feet in it!  It was such a beautiful day when we went and the sun was nice and bright!  The kids brought their buckets and sand castle toys and were really excited.  Ella couldn't wait to look for shells and Kian wanted to catch a fish.  Which he did! A cute little minnow.  We snagged a good spot on the beach and got in the water! It was actually really warm.  I think it was about 60 degrees.  Maybe warmer.  But the water was nice and clear and you could see the fish at the bottom swimming around your feet!  It was so cool!  The kids found a crab in a spiral shell and carried him around for a while!  I'm not sure he appreciated it, but the kids just thought he was too cool to put down!  After a few hours, we grabbed a bit of gluten free food for me (because I wasn't able to find much for lunch where we stopped on our way to the beach) and headed back to the hotel.  It was really nice to be able to relax for a bit and not have an agenda.  That night we went to Downtown Disney which is really awesome!  We ate at the T-Rex CafĂ© which was so fun and yummy!  They have a meteor shower every 15 minutes where the lights turn orange and blue and all the dinosaurs start roaring and moving! The kids thought it was awesome! We got a really great seat near the ocean area and the mammoths!  The kids had a good time digging for "bones" while we waited for our seats.  After we ate, we went to look around at the stores.  There is a MASSIVE Disney store there and it is just adorable!  I could have spent 4 hours in there and not seen everything!  The kids wanted to go inside the LEGO store, and they met up with me after a while.  After a couple of hours, I got some Giradelli's Ice Cream while my Parents and the kiddos watched a concert/DJ play radio Disney songs and danced!  There were a bunch of cool, huge LEGO creations outside, like a dragon and prince, Toy Story, and more!  We had a really great time!

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Ella's 6th Birthday Party!

My little baby sister is 6.  I can believe how fast she and Kian are growing up. They need to slow down!!  Ella's birthday is the 26th of November, so we usually do a little family celebration at Thanksgiving with some other cousins who have upcoming birthdays.
Amelia and Ella celebrating their B-Days at Thanksgiving!

     My parents flew me out for Thanksgiving, which I was so thankful for, because I needed a break from my apartment and I really missed my little lovies! And my parents too, of course!  I was excited to be able to be there for Ella's party, and when my Mom told me she wanted a Harry Potter themed party, I immediately got a thousand times more excited.  Naturally.  But poor Elle Bell got the stomach flu on Thanksgiving!  Of all days to throw up...poor girl.  Her party was scheduled for the next day.  But thankfully it was the 24 hour kind of flu, so we were able to reschedule the party for Saturday before I had to fly back to Rexburg.  My Mom and I had worked really hard on the decorations and I really didn't want to miss it.  We were only expecting about 6 kids to show up because we had to change the date, but we ended up having 10!  It was really fun, and I'm so glad that Ella was feeling better so that she could enjoy it all. 

My Mom and I found a ton of awesome ideas on Pinterest for the party, and on Wednesday, we started shopping like fiends.  The first thing I started making were the pom pom balls.  I made ten of them in the colors of each Hogwarts house.  My Mom and I also made these really cool wands from chopsticks, hot glue, beads, and spray paint.  They were easy to make and ended up looking really cool!  We tied a label on them with the type of wood, size, and core like from the books.  I also made house ties in the colors of each house to pin on the kids after we sorted them. We also prepared some cups with food dye and made potions!  We let the food dye dry over night and the kids came up and poured in sprite and added pop rocks!  It was pretty cool! They loved it!  We also made a snitch from a Styrofoam ball. We painted it and glued gold paper to tooth picks and stuck them in the side of the ball to make wings.  And then we glittered the crap out of it!

For food, my Mom made this awesome Basilisk calzone that smelled super yummy (if only I could have had some).  She made some chocolate frogs too and lighting scar cupcakes.  We also had some Bertie Botts beans!  We decided to use the cauldron from Halloween to make butterbeer too, and just poured in some cream soda and mixed it with Vanilla ice cream.  It was so good! 

We ended up borrowing a sorting hat from a church friend and decorated the place with my Harry Potter stuff. I had a time turner, light-up wand, chocolate frog box and a wizard trading card.  I took some red lipstick and wrote "The Chamber of Secrets has been opened...enemies of the heir beware" on the bathroom mirror too!  We also framed a photo from the movies and put it on the island in the kitchen.  In the front room, right as the kids entered, we had a suitcase filled with round, black glasses that I made out of pipe cleaners!  I also made a sign that said "Platform 9 3/4" that I stuck next to the suitcase.  It looked really cute.  We bought a big, thick poster at Wal-Mart (our least favorite store, haha) and made a Sirius Black "Have You Seen This Wizard" sign and had the kids pose in it!  It was so awesome how it turned out, and the kids had a lot of fun making faces! 

We definitely did A LOT to make this party a success, but it was so FUN!  And it was SO worth it.
My Platform sign!

The bathroom mirror :)

The calzone! It had olives for eyes and a peperoni tongue!

She had so much fun opening presents.

The sorting hat and ties (which I made with felt and glue)!  To sort the kids, I went into another room and my Mom put her phone on speaker phone and I called her and told the kids which house they were sorted into!  It was really cute, they had to sit on the chair at the front of the room and state their full name.  It was adorable watching them try to remember their middle names! Haha.

Eli posing as Sirius Black!

She got some awesome gifts!

Our potion station!  We found this decal at Joanne's Fabrics for 70% off.  It was perfect!

Our poster
Heidi and Kylie with the snitch!

The island

Livi Lou posing as Sirius Black.  Isn't she menacing??

Making some potions!  We used these cool, medieval-style, silver mugs that we had totally forgotten that we had! 

Aiden posing.

The chocolate frogs!  We used a mold and chocolate chips.  They were yummy!

Testing out their wands.

The wands we made.  I wish I had gotten a closer picture of them to show the detail!

Gryffindor and Hufflepuff pom poms and candles!

Ravenclaw pom poms.

Ella making her Sirius Black face!

The front room.

She found the snitch!  The kids searched for the snitch outside in the green belt.  They were running all over the place!

Potions and Slytherin pom poms! (and

Reed posing.
The table, minus the basilisk calzone.  The pom pom balls turned out great! Gryffindor!  This was before we turned on the cool candles.
The party was so much fun and the kids had a great time!

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Christmas Wish List!

 Boston Red Sox Women's 2013 World Series Champions Fleece Pullover Hood - Shop

(this one has more size options)

 Boston Red Sox Women's Enjoy the Moment Full-Zip Hooded Fleece by Majestic Athletic - Shop
Boston Red Sox Women's Replica Personalized Jersey with 2013 World Series Champions Patch - Shop
4) Boston Red Sox fabric (so I can make a blanket! Or a pre-made Boston Red Sox blanket!) Like this:
Large Handmade Red & Blue Boston Red Sox Fleece Tie Blanket Gift Wrapped w/ bow Christmas Present Idea Christmas Gift for men
5) Red Sox phone case
6) Boots (something like these)
7) Barnes and Noble gift card
8) Rosetta Stone Italian
9) The Lone Ranger! I've been waiting for it to come out!!
10) Seasons of Once Upon a Time, or The Office, Vampire Diaries, and Everybody Loves Raymond.
11) Disney movies and anything Disney!