Monday, December 31, 2018

The Wonder Of Mary Poppins Returns

Last night my hubby and I had date night. We went to see Mary Poppins Returns. I was hoping it would be a good movie. I mean, a new Mary Poppins? Do we really need a new one? And you know how people screw up "sequels". I had my hopes up that it would at least be enjoyable. Just be aware that what follows may be considered a complete spoiler, but I'm ok with that. This is your fair warning.

Cue the start of the film, and I KNEW something magical was about to happen. There may be a lot of "remember when" statements coming in this review starting with, remember when movies began with the credits? They lasted a couple minutes with a musical piece? It took me about 30 seconds to realize that the movie hadn't started, the music was still playing, and we were still watching credits. That put a smile on my face and I wondered how many people remember movies beginning this way. Then I also wondered how many people were impatient for the movie to start. I just thought, "I already love this."

I read on Facebook that someone was saying to not forget this movie was a musical. Of course I wasn't sure if that meant the entire thing was full on musical scene after scene or even if the score would be any good. Would the songs be on par with the original music and dances. I mean, the bar (in my opinion) was set extremely high for this movie to reach.

Let's just say that Mary Poppins Returns is a musical just like the original. It made me think of those classic childhood movies like Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and Bedknobs and Broomsticks. Robert & Richard Sherman composed music that made those movies absolutely delightful. Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman did a spectacular job at staying true to the original movie with new songs that I believe the Sherman brothers would've approved of! I think the only part in the movie that I thought was a bit "hokey" was the BMX bikes in the "Trip A Little Light Fantastic" scene. It's probably my age, but it just didn't seem to fit the rest of the movie.

I'm not sure at what point in the movie I realized I felt like a child again. Mary Poppins Returns made me feel like a 6 year old little girl who watched the movie with wide-eyed wonderment. The humans were able to interact with cartoons. I thought it would be incredible to experience that kind of interaction. I literally got lost in the movie. I remembered what it felt like to watch a move that seemed magical. I want Mary Poppins to be MY nanny although I've never had a nanny and I'm almost 50. hahahaha

Do you approach movies that are "family" oriented or for children and wonder how they're going to add adult themes? I mean, why can't children's movies just be sweet and innocent? No inappropriate talk by the characters, no implied meanings, no innuendos. Simply a straight forward children's movie. You get all the fun & sweetness of a children's movie that you would hope for with Mary Poppins Returns.

Emily Blunt, I can't say enough about her performance! As soon as you see her feet turned out, you know she's going to be great! I'm not one to join the hype of an actor or actress' performance, but hers was spectacular. I feel as though Dame Julie Andrews would be very proud of this revival of the character she brought to life. BTW, did you know the original Mary Poppins was Julie Andrews' feature film debut? Back to Emily Blunt though. She is probably one of my favorite actresses. I don't think I realized it until this movie. She's such a versatile actress. I can't imagine anyone else playing this role!

Lin-Manuel Miranda did a good job as Jack, the lamp lighter. Can I admit I've never seen him in anything before? No, I haven't seen Hamilton. I also don't keep up on awards shows to know that he's won nearly all 4! Lin-Manuel certainly showed me he can sing, dance, and act all in one fell swoop.

No way I could leave out seeing Dick Van Dyke and Angela Lansbury in this movie. What icons! My heart swelled when I saw them and heard them sing. Dick Van Dyke certainly hasn't lost his gift of singing, dancing, and acting. I had no idea Angela Lansbury was in the movie, so to see her at the end was delightful! I also had no clue Meryl Streep was in the movie. I must live under a rock.

I can't leave out the actors who played Michael & Jane as well as the kids, Anabel, John, and Georgie. I remember Jane (Emily Mortimer) from something, but for the life of me I can't remember what. I looked through IMDB and didn't find anything that I'd know her from. Maybe she just has one of those faces. The kids were fantastic and I really enjoyed them as Michael's children. I think when they look back 20 yrs from now, they'll realize what an amazing opportunity it was to have roles in this movie.


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Monday, December 24, 2018

My New Devi Water Bottle From KOR

I know everyone is focused on Christmas, but somehow life has been so busy in general that I haven't done most of the things I have in years past. What I AM looking forward to is starting the new year. I'm hoping to make better choices with my health. That's where my new KOR Devi water bottle comes in to play. I have a few water bottles from KOR and I was excited to review this one!

One of the biggest things I struggle with is drinking water. The guys in my house, they drink it like it's going out of style. I can only drink it if I'm working out or if the water is incredibly cold. I don't know why, but it's one of the biggest hurdles I have with living a healthier lifestyle daily.

As you've probably seen if you follow me on Instagram or you've read my blog, I love my Zumba. I drink water like it's going out of style while I'm at my class. My Devi has been amazing during my class especially during this crazy time of year. I've been filling my KOR water bottle up with cold water when I leave the house early, do tons of running around, and then head to class.

Remember how I said I like my water super cold? When I finally get to class the water is still cold thankfully! At my class, I also need a bottle that's going to be one that's safe to have in class. We just randomly place our stuff around the room which can easily be knocked over. The Devi comes with a lock to help prevent leaks and spills. Yes, I've spilled between dances and that is such a hassle when you don't want to stop your exercise, but have to so that you can clean up the mess.

The KOR Devi is a bottle that also keeps liquids hot between 6 to 12 hours. That's done with the KORtemp Technology that helps keep water cold for up to 24 hours, too! It's double insulated and vacuum sealed. That way if you have hot beverages you don't burn your hand and if you have cold beverage on a hot day, it won't sweat!

One of my favorite features on every KOR water bottle is the Perfect Spout. The one on the Devi is probably my favorite of all the ones I have. It's a separate piece from the stainless steel bottle and also disconnects from the lid. It's smooth and threadless so it's gentle on your lips. No hard edges with this spout.

And can we just talk about the color? The pearl pink is absolutely gorgeous! I love the ombre. I'm not typically a pink person, but the bottle's color just grabbed me. It also comes in onyx, arctic ice, and Caribbean green.

Make a commitment to being your best you in 2019. Start off with hydration. Fingers crossed I can do it! That and get back on my treadmill. Another place where I'm not succeeding since we got back from Peru. Let's make 2019 a hydrated healthy one!

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Artsy Olive Framed Art Print Review & Giveaway

Are you like me and love giving gifts with a personal touch? They always seem to say you thought about that person a bit more for their gift. I had never heard of Artsy Olive before I was offered a framed art print for review! I was so excited when I saw the samples.

Now, I don't know about you, but do you get sucked into looking at pretty much every, single, design just to find the perfect ONE? I'm pretty sure I looked at every option trying to decide who I was going to receive my sample for and which design fit exactly what I wanted to say to them. As I was clicking through the many options, I came across ones for friends and that's when I knew I was going to get one from my bestie, TP.

It wasn't an easy decision to make. Some sites make shopping SO difficult #IWantAllTheCuteThings! hahahaha Ok, let's chat about the site first of all. Since Artsy Olive is brand new, they have a "how it works" section right at the top. Sheesh, if more sites had something like that it would cut down on so much frustration. They even have a quick video to show you how their art works. The rest of the site is pretty straight forward and allows you to search by a variety of options.

As you get started with your creation(s) you have a choice of size from 7.7"x7.7" all the way up to 13.7"x18.7". My review art was a 7.7"x7.7". After you choose the design you want, you get to choose your frame style or if you already have a frame that you want to use again, you can choose a print only.

Next you get to choose a background if the design comes with the option. It's fun to play around with the different back grounds with different frames. Some of the designs come with different size options as well. If you create an account, you can even save your favorites so they're easy to go back to and order. From there you get to personalize your picture!!

The picture I chose for TP gave me the opportunity to tell her in a paragraph how much she means to me. I picked the True Friend Is Family. Now, I followed the example and after I got the package I realized I probably didn't need to add her last name. hahahaha I suppose it's always there in case either of us forgets it. 😀

The check out was quick and easy. As you're reviewing your order you have the opportunity to change your frame. Thankfully you can review it right in the same line item if you make a change. Heck you can even admire your creation one more time before you make your purchase. HA!

Right now, I'm seeing 20% off select signs and Free Shipping. I don't know when it expires so no quoting me on those. Not only that, you can get 15% off until December 30th by using the code "blog15"!

Ready for the giveaway? Here's your chance! Artsy Olive is giving away 5 framed prints! Click on the image above or here for your opportunity to win.

Thursday, December 6, 2018

Spending Thanksgiving With The Ex In-Laws

Yes, you read that right. We spent Thanksgiving with my ex in-laws. That might sound crazy, but let me explain more about how this worked.

I've known my in-laws or let's call them in-loves for 20 yrs. I became best friends with my ex's oldest sister, Liz. She had a daughter from her first marriage, I had two daughters from my first marriage. She and I then proceeded to have two boys 6 months apart and two boys 3 months apart. I was in the room taking pictures and videotaping when she had her second daughter! His other sister, Becky, had a daughter almost a year after our first set of boys were born. Then we were all pregnant at the same time with our next kids, but I lost the baby and got pregnant a couple months later. So Liz and Becky both had boys, and then along came my son a few months later. Lastly there was his brother, Dan, whose wife, Maria also had a little girl already from her first marriage, then had a son a year after the first boys were born and then proceeded to have two more girls.

Needless to say our kids grew up pretty close to their cousins, aunts, and uncles. While Becky and Liz lived only about a half an hour from each other, we were 8 hours away up in Minnesota, and Maria was all the way in Virginia. Fourth of July was always spent up at Gram's cabin in Aitkin, MN. Thanksgivings and every other Christmas was spent in Illinois for our family.

Even after the separation and divorce, I still stayed close to my sisters-in-love. When the boys and I moved to the East Coast, we were only 3 hours away from Dan & Maria! While we haven't made it down there as much as we'd like for holidays because my family and Fred's family are here as well, we have had more opportunities to spend with them the past 5 yrs. Not nearly enough as far as I'm concerned.

One of my worries after the divorce was how I'd fit in with the family. Liz and I were close, but she was no longer family by marriage. I had always told her, jokingly, that I'd never divorce my ex because I love her too much. hahahaha Well, life happened and divorce was what needed to happen. Thankfully my sisters-in-love didn't ditch me.

I know there are many families who turn their backs on the in-law who is now divorced from their child/sibling, but this group of people weren't like that! I'm so incredibly blessed by that fact. We've spent holidays together still. The one holiday we haven't spent together in years is Christmas. Being out here with my parents & siblings has made it hard to go anywhere else. Not only that, it's almost a 15 hr drive. Not super easy to get there and back.

That being said. Dan & Maria have been hosting Thanksgiving for the past 6-5 yrs. We have only made it a couple times, but those times have been such a blessing. This year, when we were invited, I wasn't sure if we'd be able to make it. I called my father-in-law, Fred "Sr", to see how he'd feel about spending the holiday with my ex's family. It would've been completely understandable if he'd said I was crazy and he'd never consider such a thing. Shockingly, he didn't respond that way. All he said was, "Whatever you guys decide to do, I'll go along." Isn't that amazing?

On a side note, my ex wasn't there. I won't ever celebrate a holiday with him. So, that's something we'll never have to run into. Of course that means limited holidays spent with the extended family since he's at most of them these days.

I think it helped that Pap met Liz and her daughter, Renae at Brieanne's wedding in July and they absolutely loved him. For my hubby it's still really awkward for him. I totally get it. It's my ex's family. They are warm and welcoming, but it's still my ex's family. lol Since he wasn't welcomed and well loved by his ex's family he isn't used to having a wonderful relationship with in-laws, except now he gets to experience it with MY family, his new in-laws.

We played games, walked around Williamsburg, ate a Thanksgiving dinner together, and family photos. The boy cousins built a fort out of the bamboo that grows in the yard. The girls tried building one, but I don't know how well it turned out. We watched the Tech vs UVA game and that was pretty exciting. Then the girls had a good time trying out a "golden" mask.

One of the bummers of this trip was my oldest son wasn't able to go down with us because he had to work Friday and Saturday morning. I know as he gets older it's going to be harder and harder to have him at family gatherings. Whether it's with my parents, Fred's dad, or the boys' extended family, the boys are getting older and have more responsibilities.

We also missed having Liz, her husband, John, and their youngest son there. Their son had a basketball tournament, which he missed last year, and he didn't want to miss another one. Totally understandable, but they sure were missed.

I know it's an unconventional way to spend a major holiday, but a wonderful time was had by everyone. I don't know if we'll ever do that again, but it was a very special few days with some very lovely people.

Monday, December 3, 2018

Precious Moments Holiday Ornament

I can't believe it's December! Shouldn't it only be August?! Time flies and I have no idea how to slow it down. Along with time flying, I'm at least a week behind getting all of our Christmas stuff out. I have one table decorated. ONE!

Some of my most treasured Christmas pieces are our holiday Precious Moments ornaments and figurines. Of course when they asked me if I'd review & share about one of their 2018, I said, "yes" since it's such a natural part of our holiday tradition.

The "Have A Magical Holiday Season" 2018 Dated Ball Ornament is only $30.99, which you can find on the Precious Moments website. It's about 4.5" high and is made of fine bisque porcelain, which is hand painted. What I love about this ornament is that it also comes with a porcelain base in case you'd rather display it on a mantle or tabletop.

If you love traditions as much as I do, make this the year you start collecting the Precious Moments Ornament. It makes a wonderful gift for a loved one. When we went to Williamsburg for Thanksgiving, I brought mine down and gave it as a gift to my sister-in-love. I wanted to find a special way to thank her for hosting all of the extended families in her home for several days. They've made it a tradition, and I felt like the "Have A Magical Holiday Season" ornament was the perfect way to show her how much it meant to me.

I'm not sure about you, but I'm all about the dates on holiday gifts. I love remember when I received a gift or got a new ornament. This one has dates in spades. lol There's a date on her scarf, on the back of the ornament, and on the base! No way anyone will forget when you got this. There's still plenty of time to get more of your Christmas shopping done so be sure to include Precious Moments in your holiday gifting!

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Woven by Words by Mimi B is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.