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Entertainment is enjoyable from babies to adults. Whether you’re single, married, have kids or not movies, arts, sports and events bring people together.

Chicago, Cirque du Soleil Crystal

Estimated reading time: 2 minutes

Hold onto your imaginary snowflakes, Chicago! Brace yourselves for a spectacle that’s not just cool, it’s ice-cold amazing!  Prepare yourselves for Cirque du Soleil Crystal, the world’s first acrobatic performance on ice, gliding into NOW Arena from March 22nd to 24th, 2024. This ain’t your grandma’s figure skating routine, people. Think death-defying aerial stunts, heart-stopping acrobatics, and a dazzling display of artistic mastery – all on a slippery, shimmering stage of frozen dreams!

Chicago, Cirque du Soleil Crystal

Forget Zambonis and triple axels. This show is about redefining boundaries, pushing limits, and leaving you speechless (okay, maybe gasping for air after all that awe-inspiring movement). Imagine soaring trapeze artists defying gravity on a frosty platform, synchronized skaters swirling in mesmerizing formations, and daring hand-to-hand duos defying the laws of physics – all while carving graceful lines on the ice. It’s like a Winter Wonderland meets Olympic Games meets your wildest circus dreams, and believe me, it’s mind-blowingly beautiful.

Chicago, Cirque du Soleil CrystalBut wait, there’s more! This isn’t just a showcase of jaw-dropping feats. Crystal weaves a heartwarming story of self-discovery through the eyes of its protagonist, aptly named… Crystal. Join her on a journey of self-acceptance, embracing individuality, and finding your inner sparkle (pun intended!). With breathtaking visuals projected onto the icy canvas and a chillingly beautiful soundtrack, you’ll be swept away in a world of wonder, laughter, and maybe even a few tears (happy ones, of course!).

Chicago, Cirque du Soleil Crystal

Here’s the icing on the cake (or should I say, snowflake on the ice?):

  • It’s for everyone! Whether you’re a seasoned cirque aficionado or a family looking for a unique outing, Crystal’s magic will mesmerize audiences of all ages.
  • It’s a first-of-its-kind experience! Witness history in the making as Cirque du Soleil breaks new ground with this innovative icy extravaganza.
  • It’s got all the bells and whistles (and snowflakes)! From jaw-dropping acrobatics to stunning visuals and a touching story, this show has something for everyone.

Chicago, Cirque du Soleil CrystalSo, ditch the Netflix queue and lace up your metaphorical skates, Chicago! This is one event you don’t want to miss. Get your tickets now and prepare to be dazzled, inspired, and left saying, “Did I just see someone do a triple Salchow on ice without falling?!” (Spoiler alert: you probably did.)

Tickets are on sale now at cirquedusoleil.com/crystal . Don’t let this icy dream melt away – book your seats and get ready to witness the magic of Cirque du Soleil Crystal unfold before your very eyes. Trust me, this is one Winter Wonderland you won’t forget!

Chicago, Cirque du Soleil Crystal

Don’t just imagine the magic, LIVE IT!

Cirque du Soleil Crystal isn’t just a show, it’s an experience that’ll leave you breathless, inspired, and maybe even questioning the laws of physics (seriously, those skaters defy logic!).

Chicago, Cirque du Soleil Crystal

Ready to trade your Netflix queue for jaw-dropping acrobatics and a heartwarming story on ice? Then:

  • Clickety-clack your way to cirquedusoleil.com/crystal and snag your tickets before they disappear faster than a triple axel!
  • Round up your squad (family, friends, whoever gets excited by icy awesomeness) and prepare for a night you’ll never forget. ❄️
  • Share the hype on social media with #CrystalChicago and tag @Cirque du Soleil! Let’s get this icy party started!

Chicago, Cirque du Soleil CrystalRemember, Chicago, this Winter Wonderland melts away on March 24th! Don’t miss your chance to witness the magic firsthand. ✨

For more incredible Cirque du Soleil posts:

La Nouba





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Back to the Future the Musical, Broadway in Chicago

Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

Attention Gen X, Gen Z and anyone who loves musicals; hold onto your flux capacitors, Windy City! Dust off your DeLorean and grab your hoverboard, because Back to the Future: The Musical is blasting into Chicago’s Cadillac Palace Theatre for three electrifying weeks, August 13th to September 1st, 2024! The critically acclaimed, time-traveling, toe-tapping extravaganza, Back to the Future: The Musical, is blasting into the Cadillac Palace Theatre this August! Get ready to witness Marty McFly’s electrifying journey through time, set to a score that’ll have you humming along from the first to the eighty-eighth minute (and maybe even beyond!).

Back to the Future the Musical, Broadway in Chicago

Brought to you by Broadway in Chicago, this critically acclaimed spectacle isn’t just a trip down memory lane – it’s a time-traveling thrill ride packed with jaw-dropping effects, infectious tunes, and enough laughs to power Doc Brown’s flux capacitor!

Remember Marty McFly, that teenage rock ‘n’ roll rebel accidentally zapped back to 1955? Yeah, the chaos is back, baby! Witness Marty scramble to ensure his parents fall in love (awkward!), outrun Biff’s bully antics (classic!), and all while rocking out to new music by Emmy and Grammy award-winners (epicness guaranteed!).

Back to the Future the Musical, Broadway in ChicagoForget DeLorean-induced whiplash, because Back to the Future the Musical will leave you breathless with:

  • Jaw-dropping spectacle: Remember that iconic DeLorean ride? Buckle up for a stage version that’ll have you feeling the G-force (minus the nausea).
  • Show-stopping tunes: From brand new bangers to classic favorites like “The Power of Love” and “Johnny B. Goode,” this score will have you dancing in the aisles (or at least tapping your feet uncontrollably).
  • Laugh-out-loud humor: Doc Brown’s zany antics, Biff’s buffoonery, and Marty’s witty one-liners will have you chuckling faster than a flux capacitor can charge. Laughs for all ages: Whether you’re a die-hard fan or a newcomer to the franchise, this show is guaranteed to tickle your funny bone and warm your heart.
  • A heart-warming story: At its core, Back to the Future is about the power of family, friendship, and never giving up on your dreams. Prepare to shed a tear (or two) alongside a smile.
  • Tony Award®-winning direction and design: Prepare to be blown away by mind-bending sets, dazzling costumes, and special effects that’ll make you swear you just saw a DeLorean disappear on stage.

    Back to the Future the Musical, Broadway in ChicagoThis ain’t just a musical, it’s a cultural phenomenon! Get ready to experience the iconic story like never before, with humor, heart, and enough plutonium to send you back to the future (metaphorically speaking, of course).

    Back to the Future the Musical, Broadway in ChicagoSo, are you ready to travel through time? Tickets are going faster than a flux capacitor on overdrive, so don’t wait! Grab your friends, family, and anyone who loves a good adventure, and head to BroadwayInChicago.com to snag your tickets before they disappear!

    Back to the Future the Musical, Broadway in ChicagoTICKET INFORMATION
    Groups of 10+ are now on sale by calling (312) 977-1710 or by emailing GroupSales@BroadwayInChicago.comBACK TO THE FUTURE will be part of the next Broadway In Chicago subscription. Current subscribers can renewal beginning on Monday, February 26, and the season will be available to new subscribers on Wednesday, March 20. Single tickets will be on sale at a later date. Ticket prices range from $40 – $135 with a select number of premium tickets available. For more details, visit BroadwayInChicago.com.
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    Christmas in Connecticut's Elizabeth Lane: The Original Influencer

    Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

    Ah, the holiday season — a time for cozy sweaters, crackling fires, and, of course, classic Christmas movies. One of my absolute favorite Christmas movies of all time ( and believe me, I watch a lot of movies) is the 1945 classic, Christmas in Connecticut. Amidst the snowy landscapes, romance and heartwarming tales, there’s one character who deserves a spot on the influencer pedestal — Elizabeth Lane of “Christmas in Connecticut.” Move over, modern influencers, because this yuletide icon was the original trendsetter, making Martha Stewart look like an amateur elf.

    Why Christmas in Connecticut’s Elizabeth Lane was the Original Influencer

    1. Home and Hearth Extravaganza

    Elizabeth Lane, portrayed by the enchanting Barbara Stanwyck, wasn’t just a writer; she was the high priestess of domesticity. Her columns weren’t mere recipes and decor tips; they were a guide to achieving the epitome of holiday perfection. Move over, Pinterest, because Elizabeth’s Connecticut farmhouse was the original DIY wonderland.

    2. Culinary Sorceress

    Pre-dating the era of avocado toasts and gluten-free everything, Elizabeth Lane was already concocting culinary masterpieces that could make Gordon Ramsay nod in approval. From perfectly roasted turkeys to decadent Yule logs, her kitchen was the epitome of gastronomic delight. Forget influencers collaborating with chefs; Elizabeth did it all herself.

    Christmas in Connecticut's Elizabeth Lane: The Original Influencer

    3. Fashion Forward in Fur

    While today’s influencers flaunt sponsored fashion lines, Elizabeth Lane was strutting around her Connecticut haven in fur-trimmed perfection. Her winter wardrobe was the envy of every snowflake, making even the most seasoned Instagram fashionistas rethink their coat game.

    4. Romance, Connecticut Style

    In the age of dating apps and swipes, Elizabeth Lane was crafting romance with the finesse of a seasoned matchmaker. Her flirtations with the charming Jefferson Jones were as orchestrated as a Hallmark love story, proving that love in Connecticut was the ultimate influencer narrative.

    Christmas in Connecticut's Elizabeth Lane: The Original Influencer

    5. Multitasking Maven

    Elizabeth didn’t just dabble in one aspect of holiday magic; she juggled it all. From penning heartfelt columns to hosting extravagant gatherings, she was the original multitasking maven. Move over, lifestyle gurus; Elizabeth was doing it all before it became a hashtag. In the time of strict gender roles, Elizabeth Lane dared to embrace her independence and forged her own way.

    6. Holiday Hack Extraordinaire

    Forget life hacks; Elizabeth Lane was the queen of holiday hacks. Need a last-minute centerpiece? She’d whip up a masterpiece with a few branches and some tinsel. Her creativity was the original inspiration for everyone looking to hack their way through the holiday hustle.

    7. Connecticut Chic

    Modern influencers spend hours curating the perfect Instagram aesthetic. Elizabeth Lane had Connecticut as her backdrop, turning snowy landscapes and quaint farmhouses into the chicest of settings. Who needs filters when you have the picturesque charm of New England?

    8. No Photoshop Needed

    In the age of airbrushing and filters, Elizabeth Lane’s perfection required no digital enhancements. Her flawless holiday celebrations were presented without the need for Photoshop, making her the original influencer embracing authenticity.

    9. Literary Luminary

    In an era of tweets and short captions, Elizabeth Lane was a wordsmith extraordinaire. Her columns weren’t just about recipes; they were love letters to the holiday spirit. Move over, Twitter; Elizabeth was crafting 280-character magic long before it was a thing.

    10. Legacy of Laughter

    While modern influencers strive for likes and shares, Elizabeth Lane’s legacy endures through timeless laughter. Her comedic escapades in “Christmas in Connecticut” are still inducing chuckles decades later. In the influencer world, laughter truly is the best engagement.

    So, as you cozy up with your cocoa for the umpteenth or your very first viewing of “Christmas in Connecticut,” raise a toast to Elizabeth Lane — the OG influencer whose holiday prowess set the stage for all the Instagrammers, bloggers, and influencers of today. Here’s to the lady who made Christmas in Connecticut not just a location but a lifestyle!

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    Classic Christmas Movies

    Estimated reading time: 4 minutes

    Ah, the season of joy, goodwill, and cozying up with the Christmas movies! Maybe you’re a Hallmark movie girl? I get it, I am sometimes too. However, I love a good classic movie. As you deck the halls and await the arrival of the big man in red, why not add a touch of cinematic cheer to your holiday traditions? Here’s my merry list of the 13 best classic Christmas movies that will make your heart grow three sizes and have you ho-ho-ho-ing all the way.

    The 13 Best Classic Christmas Movies

    1. It’s a Wonderful Life (1946):

    This is my Christmas eve movie and I wouldn’t have it any other way. What do you get when you mix Jimmy Stewart, an angel named Clarence, and a lesson in holiday spirit? A heartwarming journey that proves life is, indeed, wonderful. Just remember, no man is a failure who has friends.

    2. Christmas in Connecticut (1945):

    Imagine a recipe for chaos: a food writer ( in my opinion Elizabeth Lane was the first influencer ever), a fake farm, and a Christmas-loving sailor. ‘Christmas in Connecticut‘ whips up a delightful concoction of mistaken identities and festive fiascos. Barbara Stanwyck, in a role that defines holiday hilarity, plays a writer who must fake a Martha Stewart-level home life. As you navigate through this winter wonderland of mix-ups and merriment, you’ll find yourself chuckling at the absurdity of it all while secretly wishing for a Christmas as eventful.

    3. My Man Godfrey (1936):

    Fasten your seatbelts; we’re diving into the madcap world of ‘My Man Godfrey.’ In this screwball comedy, we meet Godfrey, a “forgotten man” picked up from the city dump by a quirky socialite. What unfolds is a riotous blend of witty banter, social satire, and a dash of romance.

    With charming performances and a plot as fizzy as champagne, ‘My Man Godfrey’ is a timeless classic that proves that laughter is indeed the best medicine. This movie is sure to warm your holiday heart while filling your home with laughter.

    4. The Bishop’s Wife (1947):

    Picture this: an angel, a bishop, and a dash of heavenly charm. ‘The Bishop’s Wife’ isn’t your typical angelic tale. Cary Grant, suave as ever, plays an angel sent to Earth to help a troubled bishop. But, hold onto your halos, because this divine intervention takes an unexpected turn into the realms of love and laughter. It’s a heavenly cocktail with a twist of romantic comedy that’ll warm your heart faster than a cup of cocoa.

    5. Miracle on 34th Street (1947):

    Can you put Kris Kringle on trial for claiming to be Santa Claus? This timeless classic raises the question and, more importantly, reminds us to believe in the magic of the season. Case closed!

    6. White Christmas (1954):

    Bing Crosby, Danny Kaye, and a Vermont inn with no snow — a recipe for the perfect holiday musical. It’s a nostalgic journey that’ll have you dreaming of a white Christmas, just like the ones you used to know.

    7. A Christmas Carol (1984):

    Ebenezer Scrooge, ghosts of Christmas past, present, and future — Dickens knew how to spin a holiday yarn. Follow the transformative journey of a miserly old man as he learns the true meaning of Christmas. Bah, humbug no more!

    8. A Charlie Brown Christmas (1965):

    Charlie Brown ( the original Caillou), Snoopy, and the gang are very nostalgic for me. It’s all about this the journey as this group of friends navigate the true meaning of Christmas amidst a scrawny tree and Linus’s heartwarming recitation. It’s short, sweet, and a Peanuts classic.

    9. Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer (1964):

    It’s the tale of a misfit reindeer with a luminous nose, an elf who wants to be a dentist, and an island of misfit toys. This stop-motion wonder is a delightful journey of acceptance and festive fun.

    10. The Grinch (2000):

    Jim Carrey as the mean, green Grinch? Yes, please! Dr. Seuss’s classic gets a live-action twist, and Carrey’s Grinch brings a comedic touch to the story of a heart that grows three sizes in Whoville.

    11. Holiday Inn (1942):

    This classic introduced the world to the song “White Christmas” and stars Bing Crosby and Fred Astaire. With song-and-dance numbers, romance, and plenty of yuletide charm, it’s a must for your holiday watchlist.

    12. A Christmas Story (1983):

    You’ll shoot your eye out! Join Ralphie on his quest for the ultimate Christmas gift, a Red Ryder BB Gun. This nostalgic trip down memory lane is a humorous look at the trials of childhood during the holidays. I was a family favorite growing up because its based on the area I grew up in so it feels very relatable and familiar to me.

    13. Elf (2003):

    “I just like to smile; smiling’s my favorite.” Will Ferrell as Buddy the Elf brings infectious joy to this modern classic. From syrup-covered spaghetti to a magical journey to find his dad, it’s a festive ride filled with laughs and Christmas cheer.

    So, there you have it — a sleigh-full of timeless treasures that will make your holiday season extra special. Grab the hot cocoa, gather the family, and let the classic Christmas movie marathon begin. May your days be merry, your popcorn be plentiful, and your holiday classics be nothing short of legendary!

    If you enjoyed this post, found it entertaining or learned something helpful, please like, comment and follow! Happy holidays! XOXO

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    Wicked the musical, Broadway, American Girl, Giveaway

    Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

    Just went to see Beauty and the Beast the musical at the Chicago Shakespeare theater a couple weeks ago and I forgot how much I adore Broadway shows. I am actually obsessed. Have you ever had a favorite t-shirt that you just couldn’t part with, no matter how many holes it had in it? I have a few that are over 30 years old that I just can’t let go of. I am a loyal hoarder, if I am anything. Maybe you have a favorite movie that you can watch or song that you can listen to over and over again? For me, it’s Wicked. If I could spend the rest of my life watching 2 things it would be the Barbie movie and the Wicked musical. This October, Wicked celebrates it’s 20th anniversary and I’m celebrating with a Wicked Giveaway!

    Over the years, I’ve fallen in love with many musicals for many different reasons but there is just something about Wicked that hits my heart on a spiritual level. I’ve seen it many times and I never tire of it. Not any of it. I would willingly watch it every day for the rest of my life. That’s how much I love this musical. Guess what?

    I’m a writer so I love the symbolism in Wicked. It’s not what we expected it to be and that is my favorite kind of anything. I love a good plot twist, especially if its empowering. The plot sort of picks up where all the holes in the Wizard of Oz left off. It’s sort of how the Rob Zombie Halloween series is more thorough with the backstory of Michale Myers and I am always here for understanding why the antagonist is really the hero. And yes, Elphaba is definitely an unexpected hero.

    The musical “Wicked” is known for its rich symbolism. Here are a few of my favorites:

    1. Good and Evil: The story explores the concept of good and evil, challenging the notion that appearances alone can determine a person’s true nature. It delves into the complexities of morality, emphasizing that things are not always black and white.

    2. Discrimination and Prejudice: “Wicked” addresses themes of discrimination and prejudice, drawing parallels to real-world issues. It highlights the dangers of judging individuals based on stereotypes and the importance of empathy and understanding.

    3. Friendship and Loyalty: The bond between Elphaba (the Wicked Witch of the West) and Glinda (the Good Witch) serves as a central theme. Their evolving friendship showcases the power of loyalty, forgiveness, and the ability to support each other in times of adversity.

    4. Power and Corruption: The pursuit and abuse of power are depicted through the characters of the Wizard and Madame Morrible. It reflects how power can corrupt individuals and the consequences it can have on society.

    5. Self-Discovery and Acceptance: The character of Elphaba goes through a journey of self-discovery, embracing her differences and learning to accept herself. It emphasizes the importance of self-acceptance and staying true to one’s beliefs.

    These are just a few examples, and “Wicked” offers multiple layers of symbolism that can be interpreted in various ways, enriching the experience for its audiences. If you haven’t seen it yet, go see it. It will move you and change your perspective of the antagonist. You thought you knew but you don’t. Everything is not as it seems. Inside all of us is a little wicked trying to get out.

    Wicked the musical, Broadway, American Girl, GiveawayThe Wicked Collaboration and Giveaway that you didn’t know you need. American Girl and Wicked have partnered in celebration of 20 years. Thanks to the generosity of American Girl, I will be giving one lucky winner the American Girl Elphaba and Glinda costume sets! Just enter below! Good luck!!!Wicked the musical, Broadway, American Girl, Giveaway



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    Barbie movie, female empowerment, Margot Robbie, Greta Gerwig, How the Barbie movie taught me that I was never going back in the box Barbie

    Estimated reading time: 11 minutes

    I’m a Barbie girl in a patriarchal world, life’s not fantastic. It fucking sucks. I’ll be completely honest with you, I wasn’t expecting much from the Barbie movie. I thought it would be kitschy and cute. I had no idea the impact it would have on me. Now, I want to live in a Barbie World, where every night is girl’s night, the President is a woman and there’s a full female SCOTUS!

    On Saturday, the girls and I dressed in our most pink outfits and went to see the Barbie movie. I am so blown away that I was completely without words until today. Wow! Just wow! I had a lot of emotions during this film, joy, sadness, anger, nostalgia, camaraderie. It was an emotional journey in the deepest sense. Mostly, I felt seen. I laughed, I cried, I smiled, I cried some more and then I fucking sobbed. Female empowerment is all the things.

    There’s a lot to unpack. I had to sit with these feelings for a while. I can tell you that Greta Gerwig is forever my new female power hero. She deserves an Oscar for the writing and directing. The topics she tackled blew my feminist, girl mom, Barbie loving woman heart wide open. There are truly no words right now. I’m still trying to push back the tears. It was deep. It was complex. It was beautiful and messy. It tackled so much in so little time.

    This movie may be the most powerful movie I’ll ever see in my lifetime.

    This is the movie that I would watch over and over with my girls for all eternity. This is the movie I’ll watch with my friends, my sisters, my mom, my nieces and my granddaughters. This movie was brave and unafraid and I want to live in Barbie World because I’m all about the matriarchy.

    Don’t get me started on America Ferrera. OMG!!! Representation matters and her speech, her raw realness is all of us. Margot Robbie was perfect casting because she is the most relatable beautiful woman ever and she took that script and delivered the meaning flawlessly. Ryan Gosling brought the perfect Kenergy.

    When I watched the Barbie movie, I honestly experienced every emotion and it’s likely this post will do the same, so bear with me. It was everything I could hope for and, nothing I expected. This movie gutted me in the most beautiful way. I think it touched a nerve because it put a spotlight on just how truly hard it is to be a woman in this world. Something we are all painfully aware of but have to push down so that we can survive the experience. It is beautiful and messy, and we’re never given the credit we deserve but still we toil so that our daughters can someday have it better.

    Barbie world is bizarro world in an alternative universe in the most beautiful and profound way. Men are marginalized and objectified. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think men or anyone should be marginalized or objectified and have their feelings, thoughts, wants and needs ignored or minimized but it was nice for once in my existence to be part of the majority, because as a Latina woman, I never have been nor will I ever be.

    This monologue had me sobbing because it’s so hard and its never enough and no matter what we do, we’re never good enough. Even when we’re good enough. we’re not. Society puts these impossible standards on girls and women, and we internalize them and beat ourselves into submission over them and its never fucking good enough. What if we all just loved ourselves? We’d be unstoppable and I think that’s the point. they keep us in our boxes because they are terrified of what we’ll do if we didn’t have to be shackled to these stupid stereotypes and expectations of others.  I want more for our daughters. We ride at dawn, and we wear pink!

    Ryan Gosling definitely wins sexiest man alive 2023 in my book for being willing to exemplify and embody the ridiculousness that is misogyny on the big screen and real life. He put aside any societal expectation of masculinity and machismo. He played number two and will forever be number one in our hearts.

    The Kendom definitely shone a light on toxic masculinity. Life was good and then it was terrible because suddenly the Kens were introduced to patriarchy and misogyny, and they embraced it with arms wide open because they wanted the power. Being powerless made them feel small and unseen (much like women are in the real world) so they embraced the bruh life. Suddenly, the Kens went from partners and friends to domineering, demanding machismos who only cared about their own feelings, wants, and needs. I found it particularly cringey when all the Kens were singing Matchbox Twenty’s Push. I used to love that song but hearing it sung in unison by all the Kens and really listening to all the lyrics enraged me.

    As a mom, for many years, I felt conflicted and torn between my love for Barbie, the doll who made me believe that I could be anything, but looked impossibly perfect and the impossible standards she represented. I wanted to share my love for Barbie and absolute belief that anything is possible for girls with my daughters, but it felt duplicitous. By playing with Barbie, in all her perfection, was I actually part of the problem? Was I subconsciously sending the message that girls are never good enough? Because that wasn’t my intention.

    There is a scene right before American Ferrera’s speech in which Barbie is crying and talking about how she is not pretty or good enough for anything and anyone because she is just a “Stereotypical” Barbie, after all. She has no specific profession, and she thinks that she really doesn’t serve a purpose, especially upon finding out that Barbies did not really change the real world.

    Being a woman, especially a middle-aged woman and a mom, is difficult in so many ways. There comes a time where the lines of where you end and the people you love begins blurs. You lose yourself and then you start to feel invisible. Exhaustion sets in and you feel sort of gray. If you know, you know, and I know you know. You are part of those people more than you are yourself. And when they grow up and your looks start to change, you start to age out of the system of life that society has placed you in. You feel absolutely lost and unheard, drowning in the existential crisis that is who you were, who you are and who you will become. Who are you without them? What is your worth? If you disappeared, would anyone even notice?

    Barbie movie, female empowerment, Margot Robbie, Greta Gerwig, How the Barbie movie taught me that I was never going back in the box Barbie

    I love being a woman, despite how hard life can be. No matter how discounted our hard work, intelligence and opinions go, largely ignored and diminished. Being a woman means spending your entire life fighting through our fears and hiding our weaknesses, never able to breakdown. The game is rigged, and we never get to win, no matter how hard we work or how good we are.

    Being born a girl means toiling, grinding and, even with an IQ of 147 and 3 master’s degrees, still being treated like you’re less than every man in the room. Our beauty and sexuality are our only currency and its dirty fucking money. We spend our lives reduced to what lies between our legs and we know beauty is power. We are also painfully aware that beauty fades because society constantly reminds us to twist and tie ourselves up into knots to stay beautiful. We are taught to fear aging because our worth is directly tied to our beauty and our sexuality.

    From now on, I’m going to greet every woman I meet with a hearty and happy, “Hey, Barbie!” because I think every single woman is perfection. And the fact that you’ve survived this long in this cruel and unfair world makes you not only beautiful but amazing. Men couldn’t do this. Their fragile egos would break. Meanwhile, we’ve spent our entire lives swallowing our pride and ignoring our egos and everything we know to be fair and good in the name of not causing problems.

    This, got me in my mom heart. I love women but the most important women to me are the two I gave birth to and I felt this quote in my soul. The mother-daughter relationship is one of the most beautiful and complex that there ever will be. These are the women I will not only die for, I would kill for, and, sometimes they push us away. It really is the deepest cut when the person you love more than everything is just not that into you. But still, we toil and we bend until we nearly break because we want so much better for them. My Barbie dream is that one day the little girls will look back at this movie in the middle of the female power revolution and feel it’s completely unrelatable. I want a Barbie world for them, where equality is the norm and women can be seen as strong, intelligent crusaders for justice without being seen as militant.

    Just know, no matter how much she smiles, supports and loves you, nobody wants to be second all the time. No one is satisfied with always being the supporting cast, especially in their own story.

    There was a very seemingly innocuous but, all too real, misogynistic scene where the CEO of Mattel and all the Mattel executives (all men) were sitting around a table discussing Barbie with no female representatives present. Barbie enters the room and is in search of help. Their answer is to tell her to, “Get into the box and we’ll got back to Barbie land!” It was a moment of complete condescension. She agrees because she wants to go back to her Utopian female centric world. Who can blame her? Reality for women sucks. As they are shackling her back into the box, she has an epiphany. She can feel that this is not right, and she breaks free. As I watched her being shackled, I was physically nauseated and next, I was completely and unexpectedly enraged. You know, I am usually the wokest bitch in the room and this quiet and powerful moment nearly brought me to the point of wanting to set the theater on fire. The misogyny in which we women endure on a daily basis is so often and frequent that it becomes a part of our daily life, and we continue to let it pass because we are gaslit into thinking we are overreacting. When you feel in your gut that its wrong, its wrong. If you feel threatened, run. Don’t let them push you into that box.

    Ladies, may we all aspire to live in a real Barbie world someday where all women are treated like humans and not objects. Where women support women and toxic masculinity is not only frowned upon but not tolerated. Dreaming of a kinder and more equal world. In my humble opinion, if you haven’t seen it… go see it. If you have bigger girls take them to see it. If you’re a feminist, a person who loves a feminist, a woman, a girl mom, or anyone who believes in equality, GO.SEE.THIS.MOVIE!!

    I am buying the Barbie movie as soon it’s available. I am seriously so damn in my feelings with this masterpiece of female empowerment and cerebral satire, I just want to let it marinate. I want to show this movie to every single living woman and girl over the age of 12 and say…THIS…YOU.ARE.SEEN. But not just to share the movie and say we are seen but to incite a revolution for change. Who cares if we’re seen if that’s where it stops. Let’s keep the momentum going. We CAN change this narrative. You don’t have to go back into that fucking box manufactured by the patriarchy. I want so much more for all of our little girls. Barbie is the female empowerment movie that I’ve waited for my entire life. This is the movement.

    This Barbie is never ever going back into the box.

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    Beauty and the Beast musical, Chicago Shakespeare Theater

    Estimated reading time: 4 minutes

    Are you a fan of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast musical? Who isn’t, right? The hairy guy with the heart of gold, goes toe-to-toe with the brute and gets the girl, talk about an underdog tale. It’s one of our family’s absolute favorite Disney movies and now, it’s coming to the Chicago Shakespeare Theater, July 14- August 20, 2023.

    Disclosure: I was provided with tickets to see Beauty and the Beast Musical by The Chicago Shakespeare Theater. However, all opinions are mine and were NOT influenced by the Chicago Shakespeare Theater.

    It’s more than just a fun musical about a beast who gets the girl, its a story of why the substance of a person is more important than what we see on any superficial level.

    Beauty and the Beast musical is a must see if you get the chance and here are several reasons why its regarded as a great musical:

    1. Captivating Storytelling: The musical tells a timeless tale of love, acceptance, and inner beauty. It engages the audience through its enchanting narrative, memorable characters, and the transformation of the Beast.

    2. Memorable Music: “Beauty and the Beast” features an iconic score composed by Alan Menken, with lyrics by Howard Ashman and Tim Rice. The music, including songs like “Belle,” “Be Our Guest,” and the titular “Beauty and the Beast,” is widely celebrated for its catchiness, emotional depth, and memorable melodies.

    3. Broadway Quality Production: The musical adaptation of “Beauty and the Beast” debuted on Broadway in 1994 and set new standards for elaborate sets, costumes, and stage effects. The visual spectacle, along with the captivating choreography and elaborate production design, contribute to its greatness as a theatrical experience.

    4. Strong Characters: The musical showcases a cast of well-developed characters who evolve throughout the story. From the independent and bookish Belle to the conflicted and ultimately compassionate Beast, the characters bring depth and relatability to the narrative.

    5. Emotional Depth: Beyond its fairy tale charm, “Beauty and the Beast” explores themes of self-discovery, empathy, and the importance of looking beyond external appearances. The musical offers emotional resonance and meaningful messages that resonate with audiences of all ages.

    6. Universal Themes: The story’s themes of love, acceptance, and personal growth are universal, making it relatable and appealing to diverse audiences. Its messages about inner beauty and finding love in unexpected places have a timeless quality that continues to resonate with generations.

    7. Cultural Impact: “Beauty and the Beast” is not only a successful musical but also a cultural phenomenon. The 1991 animated film became the first animated feature to receive a Best Picture nomination at the Academy Awards. The musical adaptation and subsequent live-action film solidified its status as a beloved and influential work of art.

    Beauty and the Beast musical, Chicago Shakespeare Theater

    This summer, share the wonder and delight of live theater with your family at Disney’s Beauty and the Beast. Dazzling production numbers, including the beloved title song, “Be Our Guest,” and “Human Again” will fill the Courtyard Theater, making your heart soar. The beloved fairytale recounts the story of Belle, a young woman in a provincial town, and the Beast, who is really a prince trapped under the spell of an enchantress. If the Beast can learn to love and be loved, the curse will end, and he will be transformed into his former self. But time is running out. If those lessons aren’t learned soon, the Beast and his household will be doomed for all eternity. 

    Recommended for ages 5 and up, it’s perfect for a birthday party or fun outing for neighborhood friends, clubs, or play groups. Tickets start at $26 & parties of 10+ save up to 30% 

    Through the generosity of The Chicago Shakespeare Theater, I am giving away a family 4-pack of tickets to the performance of your choice in July. Enter below. Good luck!!

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    why can't I buy myself flowers, miley cyrus, chris hemsworth

    Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

    I’ve seen a LOT of sarcastic TikToks of men telling women to “buy their own flowers.” Like these dudes are actually angry about it. Feels like that song hit a nerve with some people. I think those people missed the entire point. To me, “Flowers” by MiIey Cyrus is not a feminist fuck you anthem to all men but it’s actually all about female empowerment, self-love and being enough. What’s so wrong with women being able to boost their own self-confidence, provide their own happiness and depend on themselves?

    Why can’t I buy myself flowers? Who says so?

    Unfortunately, as women, we are conditioned to always put everyone else first, to our detriment and to theirs. I don’t know a woman who doesn’t put her children, her partner, her parents, and family and friends’ wants and needs ahead of her own. Sure, we are the cheerleaders of everyone else but for some reason, our default is sacrifice. Women are naturally martyrs. Call it maternal instinct or ridiculous, misogynistic conditioning to live up to societal expectations, Whatever it is, it’s real.

    It’s so real, in fact, that I didn’t buy strawberry ice cream for almost 20 years because no one else in the house liked it. It’s my favorite. Why the fuck did I not just buy myself some strawberry ice cream. Why did I need someone else to want or need it in order for me to quantify buying it? Make it make sense. No one told met that I couldn’t buy strawberry ice cream. No one. Me.

    I feel like the lyrics “I can buy myself flowers” is exactly that. I. Can. Buy. Myself. Flowers. If I love flowers, why do I need to wait for someone else to buy them for me? If I want flowers, I deserve flowers and I can buy them for myself. Fuck waiting on someone else to bring me what I can easily do or buy for myself. Do I love getting peonies for no reason on a random Wednesday? Yeah. Who doesn’t? But I can go to Trader Joe’s and buy them just as easily as the Big Guy can. I feel like waiting for someone else just adds pressure on them. It’s a lose-lose situation.

    But you know, chances are most likely anyone else is going to buy red roses because that’s what society says women want. Wrong. I fucking hate roses, especially red ones. They remind me of funerals. If you’re going to buy me flowers, I want peonies, orchids, hydrangeas or daisies. Red roses are the most cringe flowers there are, in my book. The Big Guy knows that. But just like the Big Guy can make his own plate at my Latino parent’s household, I can buy my own flowers. It’s a new day. Gender stereotypes are bullshit. There, I said it.

    I think the song is about loving yourself not NOT letting anyone else love you. Its true, who else is going to know us and love us better than we are capable of loving ourselves? Who is going to care about what we care about as much as us? Who is going to take the same measure of pleasure in the things that interest us? Look, I’m a quirky one and my interests run a wide gamut how could I expect anyone to be the exact same level of weird as me? It’s impossible and expecting that is expecting the impossible and, quite frankly, a bit selfish if I’m being honest.

    The Big Guy and I are very much opposites except for one thing, we both try to be good humans and we both love and respect each other. That’s it. The thing we have in common is love and human respect for each other and everyone else we encounter. We give everyone a chance and everyone is equal, from the janitor to the boss. That’s the tie that binds us. We’re equal in this partnership. That being said, we have grown a relationship based on love, honesty and respect for one another. We are not perfect but we went into this knowing that. We keep working on growing together and bettering ourselves, for ourselves. We’ve also realized regular gender stereotype roles have never worked for us.

    People getting upset that Miley dared to say out loud that she could love herself better than a partner is people with too much time on their hands. Let’s be honest, don’t we all believe that we know and love ourselves better than anyone else? Being loved by someone else is beautiful and amazing but if we can’t love ourselves, we are incapable of fully loving anyone else.

    Why would anyone put all their happiness on the actions of another person? That’s crazy. It’s setting your relationship up for complete and utter failure. You can’t expect your partner to guess what you want and think you deserve in a relationship. That’s where the honesty part starts.

    Be honest and communicate with your partner about what you want your relationship to look like. Be honest about what you expect. Be honest about everything because a lie to make things easy will just make it impossible in the long run. Lies are not for relationships. If you can’t be honest, or you can’t take honesty, then maybe you’re not really ready to be in a committed relationship and there is nothing wrong with that. Lying that you are or pretending to be someone you aren’t will only cause a much deeper wound later down the road.

    Women, don’t be afraid to buy your own flowers, write your name in the sand, talk to yourself for hours or hold your own hand. Don’t be afraid to masturbate, buy strawberry ice cream, say no or an enthusiastic yes. Be honest with your partner and be honest with yourself. In the end, you will be a better, happier version of yourself and that is a win for everyone involved.

    Do you buy yourself flowers or do you hinge your happiness on someone else’s actions? Why or why not?

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    Planning The Perfect Family Movie Night

    Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

    Friday night at our house is family night. We all know it and we don’t make other plans. We know that every Friday, the four of us are doing something together. It’s a family date night but it’s not always easy to decide what to do or where to go. With so much entertainment available at our fingertips, deciding how to spend quality time as a family can be challenging. Too much of a good thing makes deciding almost impossible.

    One of our favorite ways to relax and connect is by having a family game night (board or Mario Cart, we don’t care) or, our absolute favorite, movie night! It’s a great way to engage in conversation while also enjoying a fun evening together. Planning the perfect movie night doesn’t have to be complicated or expensive. Here are some tips for planning your next family movie night at home.

    Snacks Are Key

    What’s a good movie without snacks? The snacks don’t have to be fancy or expensive either – popcorn and candy are always good choices for the classic movie night experience. But if you want something different, you could make homemade pizza, tacos, or nachos! Choose something that you know everyone will enjoy, and don’t forget drinks too – soda, juice boxes, bottled water – whatever works best for you!

    Set Up A Comfy Spot

    Creating an inviting atmosphere is essential – turn off all electronics (phones/tablets/computers) so that people can focus on watching the film together without any distractions. Set up comfy seating areas with pillows and blankets for extra coziness! If possible, get a projector or large screen TV so that everyone can view the film well. Put up fairy lights or other decorations around the room if you want to create an even more special atmosphere – this could also help make it easier for people to find their seats when they enter the room!

    Choose Your Movie Wisely

    Choosing the right movie is key! It should be something that will keep everyone interested and engaged. Think about what type of movies your family likes. Easter movies available on streaming services are always a good choice – or you can get creative and choose something like a classic movie or a family-friendly comedy. Whatever you decide on, make sure everyone agrees so that no one feels left out or bored!

    Create Pre-Movie Activities

    To make things even more exciting before watching the film, plan some activities beforehand, such as playing board games or card games as they wait for it to start – this gives them something else to do while they wait patiently for their favorite part –the actual movie! Depending on how much time there is before the movie starts can determine what type of activities should be done, but regardless of whether it’s 15 minutes or 2 hours until showtime – adding pre-movie activities helps build anticipation and excitement before finally getting settled down into watching mode.

    Planning a perfect family night does not have to be challenging or expensive; all you need is a little creativity and enthusiasm from all involved parties to come up with fun ideas that appeal to all members of your household! Have fun creating lasting memories at home through these simple tips and tricks when planning your next perfect family movie night! Get creative with snacks and decorations as well as pre-movie activities–this will help make it an enjoyable evening full of memories and quality time spent together as a family unit.

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    I know, everyone is disgusted that Will Smith walked on stage during the Oscars and slapped Chris Rock for making fun of his wife (Jada Pinkett-Smith) and the fact that her head is bald. Especially, when everyone knows that she has been struggling and suffering from alopecia, an autoimmune disease that has caused her to lose large chunks of her hair. This situation has caused stress and anxiety for her and her family. Have you ever lived with someone who has a chronic illness? It affects and is taxing on the entire family. Honestly, in my opinion, even if Chris Rock didn’t know, he should have known better than to make a joke at the expense of a bald woman. My assumption is that if a woman is bald and over 30, it’s probably not on purpose…there’s an underlying condition. Chris Rock chose to make the joke anyway and Will Smith smacked Chris Rock for insulting Jada Pinkett-Smith. I believe in freedom of speech but I also believe there are consequences for our words and actions.

    Will Smith Smacked Jada Pinkett-Smith’s Name Out of Chris Rock’s Mouth , Will Smith Smacked Chris Rock for Insulting Jada Pinkett-Smith, alopecia, Oscars

    I get it. As a child of abuse, who doesn’t spank and is for stricter gun control, normally, I am anti-violence. Violence is, in most cases, overboard and really cringy and triggering for me. But, I have to say, everything has a time and a place and Chris Rock got what he deserved. Everyone has an inner voice that tries to stop them when they’re about to do something monumentally stupid and he chose to ignore that voice along with his common sense. The result is he got what was coming to him on national television for saying something ignorant and trying to get a laugh at the expense of an unsuspecting Jada Pinkett-Smith and her alopecia. If you look at her face when he made the joke, you can see she wasn’t pleased.

    Will Smith Smacked Jada Pinkett-Smith’s name out of Chris Rock’s mouth

    Yes, Chris Rock is a comedian and they’re known for making witty, often offensive, commentary on audience members and life in general. Maybe it would have been different if this was the Jada Pinkett-Smith roast or she came to a Chris Rock stand-up show but she was minding her business, attending a red-carpet event at the Oscars.

    Will Smith Smacked Jada Pinkett-Smith’s Name Out of Chris Rock’s Mouth , Will Smith Smacked Chris Rock for Insulting Jada Pinkett-Smith, alopecia, Oscars

    Most of the time, comedians cracking on the audience is hilarious. I’m not a prude. I can laugh at funny situations and, on most days, I can laugh at myself but if someone came for me by getting laughs at the expense of my health and/or mental health, I think that is going too far. Who knows, on the right day, I might slap them myself. My 6’5” Big Guy has been known to verbally shut down anyone who has ever come for me but if someone were to do it on national television, who knows, my usually gentle giant could definitely be moved to slap the taste out of someone’s mouth. And let’s be real honest, Chris Rock really should keep Will Smith’s wife’s name out of his fucking mouth.

    Will Smith Smacked Jada Pinkett-Smith’s Name Out of Chris Rock’s Mouth , Will Smith Smacked Chris Rock for Insulting Jada Pinkett-Smith, alopecia, Oscars

    Alopecia is a real autoimmune disease that people suffer from that causes patchy bald spots. In patients with alopecia areata, hair follicles release a chemical message that causes the immune system to attack them. This causes the hairs in those follicles to fall out. As long as the immune system is fighting the follicles, new hair will not grow. Oftentimes, those who suffer from alopecia are victimized and bullied which can cause undue anxiety and depression for something beyond their control.

    Seriously, is it ok to make fun of people who suffer from Parkinsons or cancer? Do we make jokes about down syndrome children and paranoid schizophrenics for laughs? What’s next, literally kicking puppies and babies to get laughs? Sure, people do make these jokes and worse still and we all laugh or we cringe (depending on our moods) but we all know it’s in poor taste. I’m pretty sure most comedians are smart enough to read the room.

    Will Smith Smacked Jada Pinkett-Smith’s Name Out of Chris Rock’s Mouth , Will Smith Smacked Chris Rock for Insulting Jada Pinkett-Smith, alopecia, Oscars

    Words have consequences; Will Smith Smacked Jada Pinkett-Smith’s name out of Chris Rock’s mouth

    I’ve always loved Will Smith and Chris Rock. But there are jokes at someone else’s expense and then there is going too far. Chris Rock went too far. Some say Will Smith did too. I think Chris Rock took a gamble and lost. He knew there was a chance of getting got when he made Pinkett-Smith the butt of his joke about. I can’t believe he is completely shocked at getting the taste (and Jada Pinkett-Smith’s name) slapped out of his mouth. I hope he’ll remember this the next time he decides to take a shot at someone else’s spouse to their face. Actions always have consequences, good or bad.

    I’m sure there are going to be consequences for Will Smith, as well. He could lose the Oscar that he just won. He could be brought up on assault charges. Though according to the LA PD, Chris Rock refused to press charges (because Rock knows he crossed the line). Maybe Rock didn’t realize it at the time, but he certainly knows better now. At the end of the day, Will Smith was just a husband standing up for the woman he loves. I’m not saying violence is always the answer, but sometimes your shitty actions come with shitty consequences and that applies to everyone involved.

    Will Smith Smacked Jada Pinkett-Smith’s Name Out of Chris Rock’s Mouth , Will Smith Smacked Chris Rock for Insulting Jada Pinkett-Smith, alopecia, Oscars

    What do you think? Do you think it was going too far for Will Smith to slap Jada-Pinkett’s name out of Chris Rock’s mouth? What would you have done if it was your spouse or child? Are you bothered by the violence and the fact that Will Smith smacked Chris Rock for insulting Jada Pinkett-Smith? I can honestly say that if someone came directly for my husband or children who never purposely or intentionally offend others, yeah, I’d smack the shit out of someone too. Making someone feel really shitty when they are already feeling terrible without provocation is a low blow and you get what you get. At the end of the day, maybe it was a skit but the message is loud and clear, don’t come for someone’s family and not expect there to be consequences.

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