Friday, June 22, 2012

Summer Movie Review: Rock of Ages


Ok so I was very, very, very excited to see Rock of Ages. I love 80s hair bands and have been convinced for quite some time that I should have been born in '81 rather than '91. I went with my mom this past weekend and it did not disappoint.

It's a musical. Set in LA in 1987. As soon as they started singing Sister Christian just a few minutes into the movie, I knew it was going to be a good one. You'll also hear hits from Journey, Guns N Roses, and soo many more.

Loved: Julianne's amazing hair. The super epic soundtrack. The adorable love story. The clothes. Tom Cruise. The humor. The (almost) tearjerking scenes. The cool (albeit a little cheesy) dancing. Everything, basically.

Even if you aren't a fan of all things 80s, I think that you would really enjoy this movie. I give it an overall grade of A+ and reccomend it for anyone ages 14 and up. Go see it! Now!
In other news.... you've may have noticed my absence over the last week. I'm back in class. Two classes for four weeks, and then another two classes for four weeks. On top of that, I'm also trying to squeeze in some work. I've been busy to say the least. I'll try to get some more posts up next week. Don't forget that if you have any summer-y things that you'd like to guest post about, please let me know. I'd love to feature you!

Friday, June 15, 2012

Summer Movie Review: Snow White and the Huntsman


I saw Snow White and the Huntsman last night. It was much better than I thought it would be.

Kristen Stewart did an impressive job in the lead role (I've always been a bit jealous of her gorgeous eyes). Charlize Theron also did a great job in the role of the Evil Queen.

I thought that the costumes were very creative and fitting. The scenery was beautifully well done and made you feel like you were standing right there with them.

My only complaint was that it was a bit long. Not long long, but just long enough to make me wish it had been about 20 minutes shorter.

I would reccomend this movie for ages 11 and up. Despite the fairy tale theme, this is not a "family movie" and would probably definitely scare very young children.

Overall grade? A.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

4 QUICK Activities to Do With Kids

Hey, folks! It's another fun activity Wednesday. This time, I'll be sharing 4 SUPER QUICK (quick as in under 10 minutes) activites that you can do with your kids.

1. Question Ball- take a large beach ball and write questions all over it. You'll want to cover practically the entire thing. Examples of questions may be: What's your favorite color? What do you want to be when you grow up? etc. Players stand in a circle and toss the ball to one another. When you catch it, you have to answer the question that your right thumb is touching (or closest to). Play until everyone has answered a question.
2. Pass It- this iPad app puts a modern spin on the classic party game, Pass the Parcel. Players pass the iPad around while it is playing music, and when the music stops, whoever is holding it uses their finger to "rip" a layer of paper from the screen. Then play resumes. Whoever rips off the last layer is the winner. This game is very customizable. You can choose everything from the number of rounds to the genre of music that plays. Find it in the Apple app store.
3. Silent Telephone- You remember playing telephone, right? You know, the game where everyone passes a phrase around the circle to see how silly it sounds by the end? This is the silent version. Players hold hands in a circle. The leader will squeeze the hand of the next person, who will squeeze the next person's hand and so on. If you're just playing like that, you can time yourselves to see how quickly you can pass the squeeze. Once everyone has the hang of doing one squeeze, you can try to think up patterns to pass around. For example, you could do two quick squeezes and a long one.
4. Picnic- The first player says "I'm going on a picnic, and I'm bringing (something that starts with A). The next player will say something that starts with B (of course), but they'll also have to remember what the first person said. The person who gets letter C will have to remember what the first two people said, and so on. For example, the third person might say "I'm going on a picnic, and I'm bringing apples, bread and cake". Keep going around the circle until either you reach the end of the alphabet or the list gets too hard to remember (whichever comes first). This is a good one to play in the car.

Have fun playing these quick (but still fun) activities with your kiddos!

Monday, June 11, 2012

Strawberry Pizza

Today's recipe is another dessert one. Strawberry Pizza! This one came from my mom's recipe box. I'm home for the week. Summer classes start next week and I requested to have this week off work so I could just chill. It's been pretty nice so far! :) Sorry I don't have any pictures of this recipe, but trust me: it looks and tastes so good!

2 cups flour
2 sticks butter
1 1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 8oz tub Cool Whip
1 8oz tub cream cheese
1 qt strawberries
1 pkg strawberry glaze

What to Do
Mix flour, butter and 1/2 cup powdered sugar with a fork until crumbly. Put on a pizza pan. Bake for 10-12 minutes at 350 degrees or until it's light brown on the edges. Let cool. With a mixer, beat 1 cup powdered sugar with cool whip and cream cheese. Spread over crust. Slice strawberries and mix with glaze, then put it over the cream cheese/cool whip layer. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours before serving.


Wednesday, June 6, 2012

A Fun Find

On Wednesdays this summer, I am going to be sharing fun games and activities, mostly ones of the kid-friendly variety. Today's find is short and sweet.

Ever have trouble getting your kiddos to turn off the electronics and go play? This fun online activity I found gives the best of both worlds. Here's the link. Once you're there, just click on the big arrow that says PLAY (of course). Oh, and you need a webcam. All your kid needs to do is stand in front of the computer and boogie to the music. They'll see their cool moves on the screen in real time. What kid doesn't love watching themself? The crazy cool disco lights add to the fun. Even as an (almost) 21-year-old, I enjoyed playing around with this. Check it out! Here's the link again:


PS: Please keep little Lucy K. and her amazing family in your prayers. She's very sick. Her button is in my left sidebar.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Top Ten Hidden Gems at Walt Disney World

As I mentioned yesterday, on Tuesdays this summer, I will be sharing trip tips to make your summer family vacations as great as possible. Today, I'll be writing about one of the most visited vacation spots in the entire world. If you've read my blog since the beginning, you probably know that I am quite obsessed with all things Disney. I love the movies and the parks. To help you plan your magical trip, I decided to share my top 10 hidden gems at Walt Disney World. These are in no particular order, except for number one. :)
10. Chip and Dale's Campfire and Singalong- Every night your family can join the lovable Chipmunks at Fort Wilderness Campground for a free campfire and songs. You can enjoy smores for a small price.
9. Epcot Club Cool- Head to this gift shop in Epcot for free samples of pop (or maybe soda in your neck of the woods). This isn't your everyday pop, though. You can sample a variety of flavors from all over the world. Just a warning: not all of them are tasty!
8. Boat ride from Port Orleans to Downtown Disney- hop on a historic riverboat for a relaxing ride down the beautiful Sassagoula River, surrounded by a cool breeze and lush vegitation. Your driver will offer fun facts about the area, and you'll be at the exciting shopping and entertainment complex in about 15 minutes.
7. Hidden Mickeys- this literally hidden gem is a fun family favorite. All over the property, the Imagineers (that's what they call their designers and construction workers, how cool is that??) have hidden Mickey heads. You know. The big circle with two smaller circles on top. You might find them hidden on signs, within show backgrounds or even etched into the concrete. There are guidebooks that leak the location of every single one of them, but I think it's more fun to find them yourself. I'll never forget the first one I found. It was a very small one (about 2" wide) drawn in the concrete in between the parking lot and Planet Hollywood at Downtown Disney. How many can you find?
6. Magical Express- okay, so this one isn't very hidden. But I had to include it. It's one of the many benefits to staying on property. The Magical Express is a FREE shuttle bus that drives guests from Orlando International Airport to their Disney resort hotel. There is an adorable movie shown on the way there that sets the stage for your special trip, and they even take you back to the airport again at the end of your stay. Then, you'll hear your driver say that famous line from the original Mickey Mouse Clubhouse- "See ya real soon".
5. Kid's Clubs- Simba's Clubhouse. Mouseketeer Club. Neverland Club. Cub's Den. Sandcastle Club. Camp Dolphin. What do all of these have in common? They're all childcare centers located right on the property. Sometimes moms and dads like to have some special time on vacation, too. These centers, most of which are open from about 4:00 or 5:00 PM until midnight, provide a meal, fun crafts and games for kids while the parents are enjoying a more grown up dinner at, say, Victoria and Albert's. They're a little pricey, but rest assured that your kiddos will be well cared for.
4. Best Friends Pet Care- can't bear to travel without Fluffy and Fido? Bring them along! While only service animals are allowed in the parks and hotels, you can leave your furry friends at the Disney location of Best Friends Pet Care. You can trust that these animal lovers will take care of your furbabies. They even read them bedtime stories. I'm not kidding. Hershey and Bella haven't stayed here yet, but I want only the best for them, and from what I've heard and seen, this place makes the cut.
3. British Revoloution- Located in the United Kingdom Pavillion in Epcot, this fun cover band performs tributes to epic British artists, including my personal favorite- The Beatles!
2. Kidcot Fun Stops- Also in Epcot, Kidcot Fun Stops are craft stations located at various country pavillions. Little kids can create a fun craft while learning about the nations of our world from the people who call them home. There is no charge for this short and sweet gem.
1. One Man's Dream- I'm not going to lie. This one made me cry. While you may think that the parks are all about riding rides and getting character autographs, don't pass by this self guided tour, located in Disney's Hollywood Studios. This beautiful and inspiring tribute to the man who started it all is not to be missed. You'll have the chance to see original sketches, interesting facts and more. His life story is amazing. Make sure you add this one to your "must do" list.

"I only hope that we never lose sight of one thing- that it was all started by a mouse."- Walter Elias Disney

Monday, June 4, 2012

Apologies and Redirection

I'm sorry for my absense over the past month. I have been super busy with school. Our classes are over now. I just have an online portfolio and reflection to submit and I am done, done, done. Until summer classes start, that is.

If you're still reading despite my lack of posts, thank you.

Here are some pictures from this spring.

This summer, I decided to do an all-summer-long collection of activities that you can do with your family and friends. On Mondays, I will be featuring favorite summer recipes. On Tuesdays, you can read trip tips to make your vacations as awesome as possible. Wednesdays will be dedicated to fun and games. Thursdays will reflect my inner teacher and will be fun activities you can do with your kiddos this summer to keep those brains ticking and to beat the dreaded "brain drain". Fridays will be a random assortment of all things summer including summer movie reviews, Pinterest ideas and more. There might be some days where I venture off topic, and there might be days when I don't post at all, but I'm going to use this as a basic framework as far as the direction I'll be taking this blog for the next few months.

I'll always welcome guest posts. If you have a fun idea that you'd like to write about for any of the categories, just email me at and let me know. I'd love to hear from you!

I'm kicking off today by reposting a yummy summer dessert recipe that I shared last summer. It's a family favorite and a must at all cookouts!

Oreo Pudding Dessert

  • One Regular size package of Oreo Cookies (not Double Stuffed)
  • 2 small packages French vanilla pudding mix
  • 8oz soft cream cheese
  • 8oz Cool Whip
  • Milk
What to Do:
  1. Make pudding with milk (check pudding box to see how much milk you'll need). The pudding doesn't need to be set up just yet. Add the other ingredients first.
  2. Add cream cheese
  3. Add Cool Whip
  4. Mix with an electric hand mixer until well blended
  5. Crush enough cookies to thoroughly cover the bottom of a 9x13" aluminum pan
  6. Pour pudding mixture over the cookies
  7. Chill in refridgerator for several hours to set it up
  8. Prior to serving, crush a few more cookies and sprinkle over the top (just for decoration- don't need to cover it completely)
PS: Did you know that today is Hug Your Cat day? Yep! I didn't know until I read it online, but I had already hugged my sweet girl about a million times before reading it. Go give your little furball a big warm one! :)