Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day

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Recently, we were lucky to have been asked to attend an advanced screening of Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day. I’ve been looking forward to this movie for a while – I think it must have been in here summer that we saw a preview for it, and it looked hilarious. I am always on the hunt for movies that we can see as a family. It can be tricky, because my husband doesn’t love the animated movies that Q wants to see, so aside from the superhero ones, there aren’t always ones that the three of us actually enjoy watching together.

I don’t know about you, but I loved the book that this movie is based on. It was certainly a favourite from my childhood, and I thought that it was pretty cool that they were making it into a movie. Q’s Grade 1 teacher has a copy in the classroom too, and he has been very excited to be able to read it. I didn’t realize that he had read it before we saw the movie, so it was interesting to me to hear his comparisons between the two after it was over.

If you are not familiar with the story, it is the tale of a boy who just cannot get things to go his way. Hs family, on the other hand, seem to have everything go perfectly, all the time. He wakes up with gum in his hair, the most popular kid in school plans an epic party at the same time as Alexander’s birthday party and he has a little “incident” in the chemistry lab. And the worst part of the whole thing is that his family doesn’t really seem to care. In a moment of frustration, Alexander wishes on his birthday candle for his family to really understand what it is like to have a truly horrible day. What happens next is truly hilarious.

The next morning, Alexander wakes up and things feel, well, good. For him at least…

This movie has a great story of what can happen when a family really bands together when bad things happen. It is a story of understanding and loyalty, and how even the worst day can be made better when you are with those you love.

It is a great movie for the whole family, and there was nothing that wouldn’t be appropriate for all ages. Really little kids might not understand all the jokes but there is plenty of physical humour to keep them laughing. Q loved it, and said that it was “awesome”. He was enthralled by the story and nearly fell out of his seat laughing several times. He particularly loved the scene involving Alexander’s dad, baby brother and a green marker. He is still talking about the movie, which is always a good sign in my books. I would definitely recommend this movie, especially if you need a pick me up on a gloomy day. The movie is playing in theatres now.

Have you seen it yet? I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Today I am thankful

Today is a Thanksgiving here in Canada. It’s been a really tough year for me, but yesterday I got to thinking about how many things I have to be thankful for.

I never thought that when we got married 12 years ago that the words “in sickness and in health” would be tested over and over. I am thankful that I married a man who took that commitment seriously, and who has stuck by me despite the challenges that my injuries have posed in the last while. He helps me when I struggle, he encourages me, he doesn’t roll his eyes too much when I get weird and frustrated and emotional. He makes me laugh, is the best father I could ever have imagined for our dude, and looks out for me all the time. He humors my love of David’s Tea and Pinkberry, is a better shopper for my clothes than I am and does all the driving for me. What’s not to love?

My little dude continues to make me thankful for the opportunity to be his mummy. Over the last 6 years he has taught me patience, and strength and shown me how pure of heart people can truly be. He is thoughtful and kind and forgiving almost to a fault and I appreciate all of those things. He has introduced me to music and the creativity and genuine enthusiasm for learning and life in general has inspired me. Plus he is so, so funny. He has such a big personality and is just such a natural “people person” and it is really neat to watch him growing into the person he is.

My parents are amazing. I know how lucky I, and we, are to have them as such a big part of our lives. After my dad’s brain tumor last year, it really made me see how important it is to love and appreciate them all the time. They have always been there for me, and supported the choices that I have made for myself and my life, even if they are not necessarily the ones they would have chosen for me. They have an incredibly special relationship with Q, and next to us, they are his favourite people in the world. I am thankful that they let me make my own mistakes and didn’t bubble wrap me as a child. Sometimes adversity makes you stronger, and even though it sucks, it has made me, in part, anyways, who I am today.

Even though my sister and I have a difficult relationship at times, I know that if I really and truly needed her, she would be there. At our friends funeral last month, she and I sang together, and when I faltered, she put her arm around me and picked up where I couldn’t find the words, allowing me a split second to catch my breath and suck back some tears.

My friends. The last year has shown me that there are people in this world that I considered to be friends that, for whatever reason, chose not to be there for me when I needed them most. It has shown me that sometimes friendships are fleeting or fickle, or far more superficial than you could have imagined. I am thankful for that lesson, because without it, I wouldn’t have seen that in times like these, there are people who will step up and out and be there for you that you never expected. There are people who will love you no matter if you are healthy or not, people who will open your door or pick you up without a second thought, people who help you because they want to. I have also learned that for some people out of sight really does mean out of mind, and for others, it simply means a new way to deepen a friendship. I am thankful for the friends that have let me cry, have laughed with me until our sides hurt, have let me into their lives and not sheltered me from their problems because I have problems of my own. I am thankful for friends who can see past the injuries and the problems and will still kick my butt if I need it, who encourage me to find new passions and help me find ways to work around things, who believe in me when it feels like I can’t believe in myself, and who love me as I am in this moment. I am thankful for the people who have walked away, because they have made room for others to step into my life.

Sleeping Beauty – a Disney Classic

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It’s not a secret that I love Disney movies. I always have, for as long as I can remember, actually. There is just something so magical about seeing these stories turned into beautifully animated movies, at least for me. Some of my earliest movie memories are of Disney movies. So when I found out that Sleeping Beauty was going to be released as a Diamond edition Blu-Ray, I was really excited. This was one of the movies that I hadn’t yet had the chance to share with Q, and I was really looking forward to it. He knew the characters and the story, but hadn’t seen movie.

We sat down for a Mummy and Q night and put the movie into the Blu-Ray player. The first thing that I noticed were the colours. They were so vivid and bright, but you could certainly tell that this was one of the original movies. Q really liked the christening of Aurora with the fairies. He wasn’t bothered at all by the cursing by Maleficant, but very young kids might not care for that part. Flora, Fauna and Merriweather were big hits with him, and he reports that they were his favourite part of the christening scene. It’s funny, there are a bunch of parts of the movie that I had totally forgotten about. We laughed pretty hard when the two kings were celebrating the impending marriage of their children, Prince Phillip and Princess Aurora with copious amounts of wine. Q thought that the the tipsy kings and the the page were hilarious.

The classic song was pretty much what I remembered it to be, and the animal friends who dressed up as Aurora’s mystery beau were quite funny to Q. It was sweet, and pretty and something that is probably a part of many people’s childhood memories.

The three fairies provided lots of laughs throughout the movie, and the part of the movie where they are preparing for Auroroa’s birthday had Q completely in stitches. I think he almost fell off the couch he was laughing so hard at their antics. He also loved that they were the ones who provided Prince Phillip with the tools that he needed to defeat Maleficant.

I think that there are a few intense scenes in the movie, most of which involved Maleficant. I think that when she turns into a dragon to defeat Phillip, very young or sensitive kids might be a bit frightened, so that is something to be aware of if you are watching it for the first time with your kids. Q was fine with it though, so I think that it would be ok for most kids.

There are a few bonus features on the Blu-Ray combo pack which are kind of cool. There is a karaoke version of Once upon a Dream which was kind of neat. There are also some fun previews, which if your kids are anything like mine, they will enjoy watching.

The 2-Disc Diamond Edition Blu-ray Superset (Blu-ray + DVD + Digital Copy) contains digitally restored picture and sound, a digital copy of the film, and a variety of magical new bonus features, including “Once Upon A Parade,” in which “Modern Family” star Sarah Hyland tells us the tale of Walt Disney World’s new Festival Of Fantasy Parade, “Art of Evil: Generations Of Disney Villains,” a legacy piece spotlighting Disney’s favorite villain animator and Maleficent creator Marc Davis, and “@DisneyAnimation: Artists in Motion,” in which Walt Disney Animation Visual Development artist Brittney Lee goes through the process of creating a three dimensional sculpture of Maleficent, completely out of paper. Additional all-new bonus features include never-before-seen deleted scenes “The Fair” (with Deleted Character The Vulture,) “The Curse is Fulfilled” and “Arrival Of Maleficent,”. The Blu-ray Superset also includes classic DVD bonus features and more!

If you love Disney movies, this is definitely one to have in your collection. Sleeping Beauty is available now in stores.

We were provided with a copy of Sleeping Beauty for review purposes only, but all opinions on this movie are ours alone. We are sharing this with you because we believe that you will like it.

Optimera skin care products – a review and giveaway!

Since becoming a mum, I am going to be honest and say that my skin care routine has gone a bit by the wayside. I have exceedingly dry, sensitive skin, and although I know that I should be using a moisturizer every night after washing my face, a lot of times I am just too tired or busy to remember. It’s not like I don’t mean to do it, I just, don’t, I guess. Because my skin is so dry, I can really feel it when it needs cream, and it gets tight and itchy and flaky. Ick. Also ever-so-slightly alarmingly, I have started noticing the odd little wrinkle, especially around my eyes. I like to think of them as laugh lines, but still!

I was recently introduced to the Optimera skin care line. This new line of products, which include both a Night Cream and a Day Cream, are the only products currently on the market which include the exclusive new patented SAL-14 extract. SAL-14 extract, a combination of various botanicals including Bidens Pilosa and Aloe Barbandensis Leaf Juice,is produced from a cutting-edge plant cell duplication technology and is formulated to significantly reduce the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, discoloration, uneven skin texture, enlarged pores and aging/loose skin. In addition to the signs of aging, Optimera claims to also improve radiance, elasticity, and the smooth appearance of skin.

I was offered the opportunity to test it out and agreed to give it a try, as so think it is always worth it to find new products that work for you. I thought it sounded interesting, but was a bit wary given that I have difficulty finding products that work for my skin.

The products arrived and they looked like this

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The bottles look nice, and they are easy to dispense. After reviewing the instructions and information provided, I noticed that the day cream does not have SPF in it. I don’t normally use day cream at all, so this wasn’t a big deal for me, but it is something to be aware of if you are used to one with SPF in it. The products aren’t strongly scented, which is great for this highly scent sensitive girl. They do have a bit of a fragrance to them, but I think that it is more from the ingredients than an added perfume. It didn’t bother me though, so it should be fine for most people. Due to my sensitive skin issues, I first tried a bit on my arm to make sure that I didn’t have a reaction to it. Nothing, so the next step was on to my face.

The instructions called for 4-5 pumps of lotion, but I found that it was way too much for me and my skin didn’t want to absorb that much. I used about 1 1/2- 2 pumps depending on how dry I felt and that was just perfect. The lotion was nice and light going on, and didn’t feel greasy or gross once it was was on my face. I did feel a bit of a tingle, but it wasn’t bad, and could just be because I was so sensitive. Shortly after I started using it, I got a really bad sunburn and wasn’t able to use it until it healed, as the tingle was a bit too much for me to take with that , but otherwise it was good. I didn’t feel like I was sweating it out all day and this was worn on some pretty hot summer days.

The night cream went on smoothly as well. It was a bit thicker and creamier than the day cream, at least to my skin. Thankfully it didn’t have that tingly feeling, as I don’t know if I would have liked that heading to bed. It didn’t feel at all sticky, which was nice too, as I have tried some creams that did and I I didn’t like that feeling one bit. It had a different smell to it than the day cream but again, I find that things with plant based ingredients tend to smell differently than more chemically scented ones.

After using it for a few days, I did a quick evaluation to see what the results were looking like. My skin was nice and smooth and soft, but I didn’t notice any of the little laugh lines disappearing. No breakouts or reactions or rashes though, which is always a big yes in my books.

I gave the lotion a good trial, and although I still have laugh lines around my eyes, I didn’t notice any new ones starting. My skin was soft and glowy and smooth. Overall, I think that it was a good product for my skin. The big downside for me is the price. Personally I am not a fan of spending hundreds of dollars a month on my skin, but I know that many people see it as an investment, so are happy to do that. I would prefer for it to be less scented even, and for that tingle not to be there, but overall I was pretty pleased.

Now here is the fun part. http://www.neriumproducts.com/myneriumby/en-CA”>Optimerahas given me a set of day and night creams to give away to one lucky reader. This set has a value of $188! If you are interested at all in anti-aging or skin care products, I would recommend giving this one a try. The contest is open to Canadian residents only.

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