Archive for Everything Else

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1

I might’ve squealed when the invitation to see the latest in the Hunger Games series as a ‘media representative’. It’s so cool where this lil ‘ole blog has helped present me with opportunities.

I continued to be giddy as I left Jason at home to handle bedtime solo while I went to the movies alone. I ended up running into two other awesome local mom bloggers (hi Erin & Andrea!) & I crashed their party. Over shared candy, popcorn & caramel corn, we chatted about rewatching the prior movies & our love of Suzanne Collins’ novels. And how excited we were for this film!
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And Mockingjay part 1 did not disappoint me in the least! The film follows along the book (as best I recall from reading it close to 3 year ago) taking you from Katniss waking post her second trip into the Hunger Games to a bit of a suspenseful cliff hanger stopping point.

I don’t always recall movie soundtracks, but this one was really good. A couple songs days later have been stuck in my head. After you watch the film, I think you’d agree.

The actors all lived up to hype. I’m ‘team Gale’! And I might’ve swooned a little at Liam Hemsworth as he did a great job, but Josh Hutchinson as Peeta was excellent as well. And Jennifer Lawrence playing Katniss helps her grow up in Mockingjay into a strong relucent hero role.

I’m so thankful to see Philip Seymour Hoffman as the Game Keeper & will be wondering how they’ll do the last one without him. Woody Harrelson as Haymitch comes a little late but provides funny one liners. As does Elizabeth Banks as the beloved Effie as she tries to get Katniss Panem audience ready. And Julieanne Moore joins the cast this time around brilliantly playing the District 13 president Coin.

My favorite scene was the two trips Katniss makes back to her destroyed District 12. I laughed at her discovery when she goes into her former home. And Katniss’ song, while she, Gale & her film crew eat lunch by the water during her second trip, is still so beauty & hauntingly memorable days later.

Did you go to the movies opening night? Weekend? What did you think about book turned movie adaptation? What was your favorite part?

Night Owl

Most of y’all know, mornings are not my finest hours. Snooze is my BFF. I live for Saturday mornings when Jason takes over Z & L from wake up til its breakfast time & I hear a lil Lucy voice come back into our room saying “Wake up, Mommy. Waffles!”

So it shouldn’t be shocking that in the wake of two other Liberating Working Moms posts about loving early mornings & the beauty of going to bed early, I shared today why I love being a night owl. Jump over to Liberating Working Moms & read what I wrote.

Are you of the early to bed, early to rise mindset or will you chat online with me at 11:30p?

Begin Again

I snuck off for another solo movie night a couple weeks ago to enjoy seeing Begin Again.

It was a busy Thursday night & I almost didn’t make it in time. But once I settled into my comfy movie seat, I quickly became engrossed in the story of Gretta & Dan, two music industry professionals who were down on their luck. Keira Knightley & Mark Ruffalo do a great job, & Adam Levine as Gretta’s long time boyfriend who’s making it big is a fun co-star addition!

The music on Begin Again was fabulous. I loved NYC as the perfect setting.

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I was cheering on the characters from beginning to end. I loved how it didn’t exactly follow the typical romantic comedy story line.

And I need to go look for the soundtrack! Music lovers, you’re going to love this film.

Begin Again opened locally July 2. Check your local theater & don’t miss this fun film.

I was given free ticket to see the film Begin Again but no other compensation. The review includes only my unbiased, honest opinions.

Awesome Alethea

I met Alethea years & years ago on a wedding website message board. She was wild & crazy & over the top online. I was a lil in awe & intrigued & definitely couldn’t wait to meet her IRL.

And then we did & she was even more awesome in person. Then we joined/formed a local book club together & I continued to look forward to those meetings to hear her latest stories & her laughter.

Fast forward a few more years & suddenly through the shared crappiness that is infertility, we had this mutual bond. Which we walked miles & miles around local lakes, talking & talking & laughing & sharing the trials of seemingly endless doctor appointments/needles/stress through. I honestly don’t think I would’ve survived IF without her.

And before you go thinking we were fitness buff buddies, don’t. We also shared many cupcakes & beers & dinners. And traveled back & forth to Charlotte & OIB to have fun with our other mutual friends. Always a blast when Alethea was around.

Sadly she moved to OR in the summer of 2011. I cried a lot & missed her local friendship more than she probably knows. Our lives, as it often happens when people move cross country, drifted apart. I was busy with a crazy pregnancy then newborns while she was getting divorced & finding & establishing herself as a Portlander.

Fast forward til this April, when right before Easter her then boyfriend {now fiance!} found her on the floor of her home incoherent. A slew of tests & doctors & surgery revealed the news no one wants to hear, cancer in multiple places including her brain. #AweseomeAlethea was given 9 months at first, but thanks to a treatment that’s working, her timeline has been pushed to 3-5 years. And my fighting friend wants even more! She’s quit her job so she & all the family & friends who adore her can have as much time as possible soaking up all the fun & travel possible.

Where am I going with this? That this morning, an hour after this post goes live, a big group of her NC friends are doing an #AwesomeAlethea 5k behind Crabtree mall to help raise money for her extensive medical treatments. Then we’re continuing the celebration of Alethea with a pub crawl this Saturday night in downtown Raleigh. The BEST part ~ we were able to get Alethea here! So she’ll be with us as we walk, hug, laugh, drink & probably shred a few tears.

If you want to do something {watching a friend suffer not knowing what you can do to sucks}, some friends created an #AwesomeAlethea youcaring page where you can donate & all funds go straight to her.

Sesame Street LIVE!

The last weekend in May {after an awesome two prior weekends of birthday party fun & a long weekend at OIB with family ~ that I will post about soon}, Lucy & Zach’s minds were a little blown when we went to see Elmo & Abby & friends live!
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We had to buy four tickets, but Lucy was in such awe she wanted to sit in my lap the whole time. Zach bounced from Jason’s lap to his own seat between us to standing up dancing around.

While the kids missed the story line {Abby left her wand behind, Elmo cast a spell to make everyone sing which was fun until it wasn’t}, they loved all the singing & dancing. They thought it was amazing that the characters we have in books & see on TV were right there! And by right there I mean up on stage & just far enough back that L & Z weren’t afraid.
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To attempt to save us money, I brought goldfish & water in my diaper bag & I’d picked up some glow sticks & glow necklaces at the Target $1 section. L & Z thought those were fun & didn’t even seem to notice the other kids’ popcorn, $10 light toys & $20 stuffed animals.

But then during intermission, a guy came out with hundreds of double-sided Elmo & Cookie Monster balloons. Zach literally freaked shouting “Elmo! Balloon!” And we knew out plan to leave Sesame Street Live without souvenirs was foiled. $16 later, we had two over the moon toddlers {& thankfully two weeks later, those two balloons are still surviving}.
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We chose the right timing {1030a show} as we were home in time for lunch & an epic nap!