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movies

A Dog's Way Home, pets, Lola, kid's crafts, art

Are you a dog person? Is your furbaby showered with love and adoration? Do you have a special voice you use to greet your four-legged friend when you get home? No shame in our game, we definitely do. We love our Lola. She truly is one of the family. I don’t know what we’d do without her and all the joy she brings with her happy tail wagging and dog kisses.

Lola was a Christmas gift for our family to ourselves after a particularly hard year. In 2012, we suffered a miscarriage and lost our first fur baby, Saffaron. We were gutted. There was so much upheaval in our lives from the losses and so much love in our hearts that needed to be given and had no place to go.

The girls had been begging for a pet to fill our dog-sized hole in our hearts. It feels weird now to think that one goes to a place to “buy” a pet, especially since they are so much an integral part of our family’s story.

Lola was like salve to our hearts. She is our constant companion and loves our daughters as fiercely as we do. When I work at my desk (or on the couch or from my bed), Lola is always beside me. When the girls are sick, she sits by them until they are well. When the Big Guy has had a particularly bad day, she knows and she lays her head in his lap and soothes his soul.

I can’t even imagine a world without Lola in it. Who knew you could love a four-legged friend as much as you love human family? But how could you not, they are always there to make the world a better place.

Gabi wants to be a veterinarian when she grows up and she has a particularly special relationship with Lola. She calls her, “my sister” and she means it. In a lot of ways, Lola has healed us as a family and there is nothing we will ever be able to do to repay her for that. For now, we love her with all that we’ve got and she does the same in return.

Gabs painted a canvas of Lola to put on her wall in her bedroom and it is adorable. I think this is a great activity for all kids to do. It gave Gabs some one-on-one time with Lola and now, she has this sweet memory of the day her and Lola sat together for an hour as she tried to get her sweet face just right. I love it. I want one for the wall in my office.

A Dog’s Way Home chronicles the heartwarming family adventure of Bella, a dog who embarks on an epic 400-mile journey home after she is separated from her beloved human. A Dog’s Way Home is based on the book by W. Bruce Cameron with an all-star cast including Ashley Judd, Jonah Hauer-King, Edward James Olmos, Alexandra Shipp, Wes Studi and Bryce Dallas Howard.

“Finding Bella” takes us on the journey of a dog trying to get back to her owner. Bryce Dallas Howard, the voice of Bella, shares the story of how Shelby the dog was rescued and goes on a journey of her own. Discover Shelby’s epic adventure as she finds her forever home and new life purpose as a therapy dog.

A Dog’s Way Home In Theaters January 11, 2019

 

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Disclosure: This is a sponsored post written in collaboration with the Atom Tickets app but all opinions are my own.

My family and I love to go to the movies. It’s a way to get away from life; like a mini vacation from the minutia of everyday life. Not saying our lives aren’t exciting or anything but, let’s be honest, we’re not exactly jumping out of airplanes over here.

It’s a quick, easy escape when we just don’t have the time or funds to jet off to someplace exotic because if you know me at all, you know, I am all about traveling the world. The wanderlust is strong with this freckled Mexican.

Anyways, there is something inherently fantastic about buying a ticket, sitting next to someone you love or (if you are like me when I was pregnant) going it completely alone. There was something beautifully relaxing and peaceful about being transported to a different space and time, even if for just a couple hours. It reminds me that possibilities are endless.

If you are a reader, you totally get what I am talking about. It’s about getting out of yourself and leaving all of your worries, stresses and adult responsibilities behind. It’s a vacation from reality and we all are in desperate need of one from time to time.

Friends, I was thrilled when I learned about the Atom Tickets app.

atom tickets ,movies, power rangers movie

Atom Tickets is a new movie ticketing platform where customers can buy movie tickets, pre-order concessions, invite friends without having to pay for them, easily discover new movies, browse trailers, read reviews, and plan their next night out at the movies, all from within the app. There are no paper tickets and no hassling with IOUs. Customers simply use their phone to purchase tickets and concessions and, upon arriving at the theater, skip the line at the box office and walk directly to the ticket attendant or concession counter, where they scan the QR code on their phone. For families, that means no more waiting in line with kids and no more waiting outside for others to arrive. This free app is available in Google Play and the Apple App Store.

 

atom tickets ,movies, power rangers movie

Let me tell you something about me, as much as I love going to the movies. I hate the rigmarole of getting there. It’s exhausting. First, you have to get the kids organized and out the door and with minimal bickering or tantrums and then you have to survive waiting in line for tickets and then another one for concessions. Dude, have you tried taking a preschooler to see an animated movie only to have him be so aggravated and tired by the time you get to about ½ hour in that they have an epic meltdown? It is not pretty.

 

atom tickets ,movies, power rangers movie

I like to eliminate the opportunity for things to go wrong; children to meltdown and whatever other plagues might want to befall me before I make it to my cinematic oasis so I love anything that makes that process less complicated. That’s what Atom Tickets does. It makes this mom’s life easier. So, if you are into things being easier, you may want to check them out.

atom tickets ,movies, power rangers movieAlso, if your children are like mine, they have been waiting for the Power Rangers movie to be released. I won’t lie, the Big Guy and I were pretty stoked, as well. We’re human we get invested in the shows our kids make us watch on repeat. I still have a special place in my heart for the Wiggles. Anthony…call me!

atom tickets ,movies, power rangers movieAnyways, if your kids want to see the Power Rangers Movie this is the best weekend because this weekend if you use the the Atom Tickets app for every 1 adult ticket that you purchase, you get 2 free childrens tickets. If you’re counting, that’s free movies with the kids! Just be sure to use the Promo Code FAMILYPOWER from April 14-April 16, 2017 upon checkout and voila, free movie!

atom tickets ,movies, power rangers movie

If you are looking for some quality family time on this three-day weekend, why not take the kids to see the Power Ranger Movie? Invite your friends and family, pre-order concessions, reserve your seats, purchase your tickets and then spend a relaxing day at the movies.

Have you ever tried the Atom Tickets app? What are you waiting for?

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Beauty and the Beast, Disney, movie review, family review

Last night the Big Guy surprised the girls with tickets to see Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, now playing in theaters. This should be no surprise to anybody who knows us because everyone knows that we are huge Disney fans but more importantly, this is one of our favorite Disney films.

I went to see Beauty and the Beast with big expectations.

I wasn’t sure that the movie could live up to the way I felt about the animated movie. I mean, I’ve loved that movie for 26 years. I won’t lie, Beauty and the Beast has a very special place in my heart. In a lot of ways, the Big Guy and I are very different but when we met, we both agreed that we loved Beauty and the Beast. It was one of the first things we had in common.

The Big Guy is an artist and he loved the original Beauty and Beast because it was animation at its finest. It was traditional Disney. He’s old school like that. I loved the original movie because it was an epic love story between a bookish, headstrong brunette with a wanderlust in her heart ( ahem) and a Beast who became beautiful on the inside as his true nature was revealed. I loved the story and the characters. I couldn’t wait to see how that parlayed into live action.

Beauty and the Beast, Disney, movie review, family review

I knew the cast was stellar and so was the directing. Bill Condon outdid anything I could have expected. The film stars: Emma Watson as Belle; Dan Stevens as the Beast; Luke Evans as Gaston, the handsome, but shallow villager who woos Belle; Kevin Kline as Maurice, Belle’s father; Josh Gad as LeFou, Gaston’s long-suffering aide-de-camp; Ewan McGregor as Lumière, the candelabra; Stanley Tucci as Maestro Cadenza, the harpsichord; Audra McDonald as Madame de Garderobe, the wardrobe; Gugu Mbatha-Raw as Plumette, the feather duster; Hattie Morahan as the enchantress; and Nathan Mack as Chip, the teacup; with Ian McKellen as Cogsworth, the mantel clock; and Emma Thompson as the teapot, Mrs. Potts. With this cast, how could you go wrong?

Beauty and the Beast, Disney, movie review, family review

The story and characters audiences know and love come to spectacular life in the live-action adaptation of Disney’s animated classic “Beauty and the Beast,” a stunning, cinematic event celebrating one of the most beloved tales ever told.

“Beauty and the Beast” is the fantastic journey of Belle, a bright, beautiful and independent young woman who is taken prisoner by a Beast in his castle. Despite her fears, she befriends the castle’s enchanted staff and learns to look beyond the Beast’s hideous exterior and realize the kind heart of the true Prince within.

My family loves musicals and Beauty and the Beast did not let us down.

I’m listening to the soundtrack as I type this post. In fact, we’ve been listening to it since watching the movie last night. The original score by Alan Menken was stunning and new songs added a level of depth to the live-action movie that wasn’t there in the original. My favorite songs are Days in the Sun, Gaston, Be Our Guest, Something There and Evermore. If you weren’t in love with the Beast by this point in the movie, his very Les Miserable like solo Evermore would make you fall head over heels with this character.

 I absolutely loved the live-action Beauty and the Beast. Dare I say, even more so than the original. The story was just as beautiful but the cinematography was out of this world and there was something about the film that not only told you what was happening but was so masterfully written, acted and directed that it immersed you in the film. I felt the film.

Beauty and the Beast, Disney, movie review, family review

Scene by scene, you fall in love with the Beast along with Belle.

Beauty and the Beast, Disney, movie review, family review

We get to know his soul and it is beautiful. Near the end, when the enchanted household items begin to turn into just household items, I felt the souls leave the pieces. I know it sounds crazy but it was that good. You felt it, you didn’t need to be led by the nose to the outcome.

 

Beauty and the Beast, Disney, movie review, family review

Emma Watson was the perfect Belle, for me. She is girl-next-door, smart and strong and she plays the part without being ostentatious. I feel like Watson’s Belle was right on the mark. Her understated reaction to everything balanced out Dan Stevens powerful presence as the Beast.

Beauty and the Beast, Disney, movie review, family review

Ewan McGregor and Ian McKellan as Lumiere and Cogsworth were marvelous. The Be Our Guest performance was nothing short of magical. I would have to say that it was so spectacular that it outdid the original in the wow department. I really didn’t think that was possible. Ewan McGregor’s delivery of Be Our Guest was reminiscent of Cabaret’s Vilkommen. Also, Disney fan alert, be on the lookout for the easter egg during the song.

Beauty and the Beast, Disney, movie review, family review

Emma Thompson’s Mrs. Potts was spot on. She was just as wonderful as Angela Landsbury in the original but softer around the edges.

Beauty and the Beast, Disney, movie review, family review

Luke Evans was the perfect Gaston. He was definitely more despicable than I remember. I guess there must be more redemption for animated characters because in that version I found his bumbling endearing. In the live-action film, I hated the character. Luke Evans played the part perfectly.

Beauty and the Beast, Disney, movie review, family review

Josh Gad as LeFou was one of the highlights of the movie. I’ve loved Josh Gad since Book of Mormon (I told you we love our musicals) but Gad made LeFou endearing. In the animated movie, LeFou was annoying and a pest. In the live-action version, he was the voice of reason. He served as Gaston’s ignored moral compass. In the end, he did the right thing. His rendition of Gaston was one of the highlights of the film. Gad played LeFou with flawless delivery.

Beauty and the Beast, Disney, movie review, family review

Here are our reviews of Disney’s live-action Beauty and the Beast.

I love it! I would see it 100 more times and I just might because it was that magical to me and who can’t use a little more Disney magic in their life? The story was even more endearing to me than I remembered it being ( and I just watched the original over the past weekend to prep for the movie.)

The Big Guy, who I told you is an artist, an animation traditionalist and this is his favorite Disney animated film, said that he loved the live-action film but still prefers the animated one. He said he didn’t like some of the creative license that, he felt, deviated from the original. I thought it filled in the gaps nicely. Then again, I am all about the story because I am a writer and he is more about the animation.

Bella, my just turned 12-year-old, is with me. She said she LOVED the movie and she can’t wait to see it again. Her favorite part was the Be Our Guest sequence and she loves Emma Watson as Belle. She loves the pageantry of Beauty and the Beast and she said that she loved absolutely everything about it.

Gabs, my sweet 9-year-old, said she loved the movie but she isn’t ready to say whether or not she loves it more than the original. She’s my analyzer, she likes to weigh her options. However, she’s promised me a video interview that I will add later today.

Overall, our family emphatically agrees that Disney’s Beauty and the Beast live-action film is a must see.

It’s the perfect movie for all ages. The only warning I have is if you are taking really small children, there are a couple times that the Beast roars really loudly and it may startle toddlers/preschoolers but other than that, be prepared to be wowed by the magic. And you might as well get the soundtrack now because you will be wanting to play it non-stop afterward.

If you’ve seen both Beauty and the Beast versions which is your favorite and why?

 

 

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family fun night, Trolls, Dreamworks, movie night, Trolls party, family

This post is sponsored by DreamWorks. All opinions about Trolls are my own.

Does your family have a designated “family fun night”? Friday is our happy, relax, “no homework and we get to sleep in the next morning,” get your happy on night. The only thing we need for a successful family night is for our family (with the occasional cameos of our favorite friends) to be together. We’re simple and it doesn’t take a lot to make us happy on Friday nights. Usually, footie pajamas, good food, a movie and some music are just what the occasion calls for. We are big fans of the spontaneous dance party. We have no shame in our family night game. Sing. Dance. Laugh. Repeat!

We usually like to keep the movie light and happy, something we can all enjoy without anyone ending up in mommy’s bed. We’ve been waiting for DreamWorks’ Trolls to come out on DVD and Blu-ray since we saw it in the theater. Trolls have had a special place in my heart since I was a child and the movie did not disappoint. It has a catchy soundtrack that’s so much fun to sing-a-long with. I should know because we’ve been singing along with it in the car for weeks. The characters in the film are vibrant and fun enough to keep even the most discerning little ones entertained and the themes are perfect for a family fun night; no Trolls left behind and family is everything. After all, being with the people we love really is where our happy place originates.

But the real key to a good “family fun night” – besides the movie of course – are the snacks. We don’t want anything too serious or labor-intensive, after all, it is Friday! At our house, once we’re all in our favorite jumper jammies, we like to put some music on and dance around while we wait for our pizza to arrive because everybody loves pizza. You know us, we’re cooler than a pack of peppermints.

Trolls, Dreamworks, movie night, Trolls party

Next, while we’re still dancing and usually by this time laughing our heads off at one another because some of us have moves and some of us…not so much, I like to throw together some snacks. Our favorites are a simple fruit tray and a veggie tray because not only are they good for you, they are easy to make and fun to dip. Also, since we are about to see a movie we need snacks like iced animal crackers, Cheez-its and popcorn. You would be astonished at how easy it is to assemble this small feast and how happy it makes all of us.

Trolls, Dreamworks, movie night, Trolls party

Once we’ve all got our bellies sufficiently filled, then we settle in with fuzzy blankets on the sectional and start the feature film. Depending on how long it takes the girls to get the table cleared off, there may or not be time for yet another family fun night spontaneous party. I must say this is infinitely more fun when your children’s friends are also spending the night. There is something special about 8-11-year-old girls on sugar that kicks family fun night up about 20 notches. Sing. Dance. Laugh. Repeat!

Trolls, Dreamworks, movie night, Trolls party

If you are looking for “family fun night” games, I suggest these, sure-to-make-everyone-in-the-house-happy activities. I promise everyone will be smiling, except for maybe the kid who gets a dog food jelly bean or the one who draws the ingredients blue popsicle and salami for her smoothie challenge, but even then our kids were smiling. 1) Bean boozled 2) the Smoothie Challenge 3) Pie in the face. And if you are looking for the perfect “family fun night” movie to watch, look no further.

Trolls, Dreamworks, movie night, Trolls party

DreamWorks’ Trolls Party Edition on Blu-ray and DVD, with the Party Mode bonus feature is available to own on Feb. 7th, DreamWorks’ Trolls Party Edition includes a never-before-seen sing-along, dance-along “Party Mode.” It’s packed with fun, colorful extras perfect for your family movie night!

Trolls, Dreamworks, movie night, Trolls party

Bonus, loads of your favorite actors/ actresses make an appearance in Troll form. Justin Timberlake, Anna Kendrick, James Cordon, Zooey Deschanel and, my family’s favorite songstress, Gwen Stefani just to name a few. It’s like the perfect Carpool Karaoke cast. And did I mention some of the Trolls poop cupcakes and glitter. I mean, c’mon, what more can you want from a feel good family movie? Sing. Dance. Laugh. Repeat!

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Holidays, Disney, family traditions, Pete's Dragon

Disclosure: This post is brought to you by Disney. All opinions are my own.

Can you believe the holidays are right around the corner? My family is super busy and it seems like the older they get, the busier we get and the faster it all goes by. I remember that first year of motherhood and it felt like we were living in molasses. Everything took forever. I never thought my daughter would roll over and when she did, it felt like years before she crawled and jeez, it was only 10 months, but it felt like ions before she walked. Don’t even get me started on potty training. But now, I just want all the moments and milestones to slow down.

I battle the urge to freeze time between loving their new-found independence and wanting to drop down to the floor and crawl into the fetal position and tantrum until they just stop growing up. I know, when I say it out loud, I sounds quite crazy but I assure you, this is motherhood.

I’ve resigned myself to the fact that I can’t stop time. Try as I may and, believe me, I do. I’ve realized that I just have to make the most of every single moment we have together. I have to suck the marrow out of motherhood, not unlike the soul sucking task of potty training, I will not go quietly into that good night of parenting. This is why I make a point of finding the special moments in the everyday and I try, though often forget, to remember to breathe in and inhale all of these tiny amazing and devastating moments that make up a life.

One of our favorite holiday traditions is spending time together watching family movies, usually something Disney because we’re all hopeless Disney fanatics. Honestly, it’s something we enjoy all year round but at the holidays it’s just a little more special because there are days off school, snow, hot cider, long days in matching pajamas (yep, we’re that family) and blanket forts involved. It’s magical.

One thing we really love to do together is putting on those crazy matching onesie pajamas (oh yes, did I forget to mention that they are onesies?) and decorate the house for the holidays. The fireplace is usually going, snack mix is in the oven and we are generally behaving goofy but then, we put a movie on and we’re transported, as a family, someplace else. It really is the cheapest vacation ever.

The matching holiday pajamas have been ordered and are on the way (I’ll share those later) so now the only thing left to do is count down the days and settle on a movie that we’ll all love. And just like that, one of my childhood favorites, Pete’s Dragon, got a reboot this year and is available to buy now! Just in time for our holiday break, family fun time.

Nothing like a family friendly adventure story about a boy and his pet dragon to not only ignite the imagination but warm the heart. But it’s more than that. It’s about finding your family, the people who love you, and about friendship, in all of its forms. It’s a beautiful story and I can’t wait to watch it this holiday season as we celebrate our family and make more memories together.

Actually, it’s the best feeling in the world because we are always on the move. These little quiet moments, with just the four of us, are far and few between but mostly they are priceless because we know it won’t be like this for long. One day, our little girls, the two tiny creatures who took forever to grow in that first year, will be living someplace else with their very own families and we will miss them desperately. That’s what I remind myself of every time I want to hurry their childhood up.

Every time I forget to move the elves or put a coin under their pillow from the tooth fairy, every time I grow weary from, what seems like endless ballet classes, violin and choir concerts, Nutcracker performances, junior high football games to support my cheerleaders, or kissing boo-boos and blisters from gymnastics I tell myself that these are the moments; the best moments of life.

Pete's Dragon, family traditions, holiday, Disney

Planning to watch Pete’s Dragon with your family this year? Disney Movie Rewards has a special promotion – when you purchase the film through DMR you can also purchase the ‘Elliot Gets Lost’ children’s book from the film at an exclusive price of $9.99 when you buy Pete’s Dragon on Blu-ray, Digital HD and Disney Movies Anywhere on Disney Movie Rewards!

You can find out more information about Pete’s Dragon on the following social media channels.

Facebook Pete’s Dragon: https://www.facebook.com/DisneyPetesDragon

Twitter @DisneyPetes: https://twitter.com/disneypetes

Instagram @DisneyPetes: https://instagram.com/disneypetes

What’s your favorite family tradition that you look forward to this holiday season?

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Disney,Sleeping beauty, sponsored, dreams for our children

When you have a baby, you instantly have dreams for them, before they are ever born. It’s all part of loving them unconditionally. We want them to have, be and do everything they could ever dream of. We dream of a “perfect” life for them, one in which they enjoy all the good that the world has to offer. We dream of our children having lives filled with happiness, health, marriage, career success and 2.5 children. We have dreams of six figure salaries and big houses in gated communities. We dream of our children never having to want for anything and never feeling any of the world’s pain and hurt. In short, our dreams are big and beautiful but not very realistic.

 

I decided early on, after actually having children, that I couldn’t control what my daughters’ dreams were going to be. Their dreams are their dreams, not mine. The dreams I have, are my dreams for them and the two may not be anything alike and that is all right. I’ve streamlined my dreams for them, all I really want for my children are health and happiness; whatever their happiness may look like, I want them to have that. If there were room, I’d love for them to get to pursue their passions.

 

From the moment I found out that I was pregnant with little girls, my brain was flooded with pink, taffeta, tulle and hair bows as big as Gerbera daisies, ballet and all things girly. My head was swimming with all the possibilities to share with my girls; all the likes and dislikes. Like most parents, my children were, in a way, an opportunity to give them all that I never had and always wanted or to recreate all of my favorite memories from my own childhood. It was a chance to help someone else avoid making those mistakes that I had already experienced. I know, when I read it out loud it sounds like I’m some crazy stage mom. I’m not. I just always try to afford my daughters every opportunity that they want; every chance to be who they want to be.

 

I have two daughters. One daughter is all about everything prim, proper and princess. She loves the refinement of ballet, all things pink (in all shades) and the fancier and girlier something is, the better it is in her mind. She loves big full dresses and giant hair flowers. She fulfills every one of those fantasies I had when I first found out that I was pregnant with a girl. She is obedient, pensive, social, philanthropic and kind. She is very Audrey Hepburn. Everyone who meets her tells me what a pleasure she is to be around. I am proud of her. She says that when she grows up, she wants to be a fashion designer and a mother of 4. She wants it all and I respect that but I know there will be choices that will have to be made with those dreams; sacrifices to be made.

 

My youngest daughter loves blue and green, which also happen to be my favorite colors. She is a little tomboyish and rough around the edges but she is 100% genuine all the time. She can’t tell a lie to save her life and she wears her heart on her sleeve and her every mood on her face. She is honest to a fault and fierce beyond any sass I have ever seen on another child her age. She is gruff but she is graceful and I see a lot of Grace Kelly beneath that somewhat wild first impression. When she dances, it’s like a soft breeze blowing off the ocean. She loves animals and says when she grows up she wants to go to Purdue (where her father and I went) and be a veterinarian. She’s 7 but she says she’s not sure she wants kids. I know this might change but it also might not.

 

Their dreams are big and beautiful in their own way. I hope they get everything they desire out of life but, as their mother, all I really want them to have is health, love and happiness. I don’t care who it’s with or whether they have children or not or where they live or who they marry or what they do; all I want for them is loads and loads of good health and happiness. All the rest is not my dream to have.

 

Speaking of Dreams Coming True,

Sleeping-Beauty-dreams-for-our-children

 

Disney’s Ultimate Fairy Tale, Disney’s Sleeping Beauty Diamond Edition will be released on Blu-ray™ and Digital HD for the first time on October 7, 2014. So why not create some memories that will last a lifetime with Disney’s illustrious #SleepingBeauty- a must own for every family’s classic collection, and order now!

 

What is your dream for your child?

 

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Disney, Anna, Elsa, Frozen

We’ve been waiting for Disney’s latest picture Frozen and it’s finally here! This morning we took our girls to see Disney’s Frozen.  I will be honest, I wasn’t expecting much from the movie. Don’t get me wrong, I am a big Disney fan but from the promos it looked very hokey. I think it was Olaf the snowman. Very cute but I just had no idea what the lesson of the movie was going to be.

I found out pretty quickly.

Frozen is the charming tale about two princesses who are sisters, Elsa (Idina Menzel), the eldest child of the King and Queen of Arendelle, has the power to freeze things and Anna (Kristen Bell), the younger sister who admires her big sister.

After a small mishap with her powers, Anna is made to forget about Elsa’s powers and Elsa and Anna are separated as children. Soon after, the Queen and King are in a fatal accident and die. The girls are left with no one but each other and Elsa keeps herself away from her little sister, for fear that she will accidentally injure her again.

Time passes and the girls grow up and apart but at the heart of it all, they are still sisters and their love is a bond that not even time can alter. The day comes for Elsa to be crowned queen and with trepidation she opens the castle gates to the public once again. After years of being separated from one another and their subjects, the two girls are once again face-to-face.

The love is palpable but still, for Anna’s safety, Elsa must distance herself.

An incident occurs and again, Elsa finds herself feeling vulnerable and incapable of controlling her powers around people. She runs off into the frozen abyss and as her emotions run high, her powers freeze Arendelle.

Fearless optimist Anna sets off on an epic journey, teaming up with rugged mountain man Kristoff (Jonathan Groff) and his loyal reindeer Sven, to find her sister Elsa, whose icy powers have trapped the kingdom of Arendelle in eternal winter. Encountering Everest-like conditions, mystical trolls and a hilarious snowman named Olaf (voice of Josh Gad), Anna and Kristoff battle the elements in a race to save the kingdom.

On the way, they unexpectedly find love and Anna sacrifices her own safety to break through the icy exterior that surrounds Elsa’s heart. Her act of unconditional love proves once and for all to Elsa that love can conquer all and with your sister to support and love you, there is no obstacle too big and no winter too cold to weather.

I loved this movie so much because it was not about a princess who is saved by a prince charming, but about the love and bond that sisters share. In the end, Elsa’s one true love was her little sister, Anna, because no matter the time that had passed or the incredible circumstances that they had to muddle through, her sister was always there for her.

Anna’s selfless kindness saved Elsa’s life and in turn, showed her that warmth emanated from within and in that moment, Elsa unfroze Arendelle and they all lived happily ever after.

This is one of my new favorite Disney movies, tied for first with The Princess Frog and Brave.

What’s your favorite Disney movie?

 

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disney, pixar, brave

I’ve been waiting an entire year to see this movie. This is the only caveat to being privy to Disney media. You get all the buzz early but that usually means an entire year waiting for movies to come out.  Well, Disney’s Brave finally came out a couple of days ago, and  I have been waiting patiently for it. I was not disappointed.

We took our girls to see Brave and it was everything I hoped it would be and more than I expected. It was the first Disney princess movie since The Princess Frog that felt, to me, like it sent the message of strong female empowerment. It was an amazing thing to watch with my girls andI won’t lie, I cried!

The message was about empowering our young girls to be who they are and to stand up for themselves when it really counts. It’s also a beautiful and thought provoking commentary on the complicated relationship between a mother and a daughter. We love one another so fiercely and hold on so tight that sometimes we don’t allow our children to grow into who they are meant to be.

Disney and Pixar have outdone themselves this time. I was impressed with Tiana in the Princess Frog because she was independent and self-made, hard working and driven. I thought the latest version of Rapunzel in Tangled was brilliant because she did not let herself be defined by her beauty. Merida was all of these things and more, exemplifying that a woman can be strong-willed and determined, make her own choices and forge her own way in the world, despite traditional roles.

I loved the storyline and think it was brilliant that Disney and Pixar have finally sent our little girls the message that they can do anything. Happiness does not lie in the hands of a man and is not dependent on the kiss of a prince.

More importantly, I was touched by the skillful way that Pixar and Disney brought the mother-daughter dynamic into play. When we were teens, at some point, we all wished our mothers would just go away or at the very least, get out of our business. But what if she actually had? Where would we have been?

Some of us don’t realize how dear our mother’s are to us until we become mothers ourselves. Merida is faced with the possibility of her mother never being the same and in that she realizes how very much her mother meant to her.

I won’t lie, I was crying in the theater. Partly because I have been Merida and I know the feeling of trying to prove to your parents that who you are is good enough, partly because I know soon I will be Elinor (Merida’s mother), the one being dismissed as not knowing anything and partly because one day, we all lose our parents and we can not change that fate, no matter how much we may want to.

Be kind to yourself and kind to one another. Go see Disney and Pixar’s Brave; you will not be sorry. It is an amazing movie that can be enjoyed by parents and children of all ages. Will you be going to see Brave?

Photo Source: Disney

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