Coco – Movie Review

I am a Disney fiend if you didn’t know. It is safe to say I have watched every Pixar affiliated Disney movie, and more than my fair share of Disney’s older animated movies. Ever see those memes floating around of “how many Disney movies have you watched”? Well, I’m that person that can say close to all!

When Coco was first being advertised, I honestly wasn’t sure if it was one that I would enjoy. Day of the Dead doesn’t exactly bring up thoughts of a family-friendly movie, but I was sorely mistaken. Coco was phenomenalCoco (2017)

IMDB: Despite his family’s baffling generations-old ban on music, Miguel (voice of newcomer Anthony Gonzalez) dreams of becoming an accomplished musician like his idol, Ernesto de la Cruz (voice of Benjamin Bratt). Desperate to prove his talent, Miguel finds himself in the stunning and colorful Land of the Dead following a mysterious chain of events. Along the way, he meets charming trickster Hector (voice of Gael García Bernal), and together, they set off on an extraordinary journey to unlock the real story behind Miguel’s family history.

I cried. I literally cried watching this movie. The focus on family, the emphasis on putting your family first above all else, is heartwarming. What I thought would be a hard topic, death of a loved one, is put to such a beautiful light and celebrated in a way even my toddler is able to understand. 

The music in this movie is awesome, very mariachi style, true to its Mexican roots. My daughter loves the soundtrack, and to hear her try to pronounce some of the Spanish words cracks me up! “Un Poco Loco” is her favorite, but I swear it sounds like he is saying un coco loco or un pollo loco. The imagery in this movie is so beautiful with its bright colors and smooth transitions between hot and light coloring. The detail these artists went through to put the designs on the skeletons typically seen on the Day of the Dead celebrators is incredible. It is something to be seen. I highly recommend this movie and love it whole-heartedly. 

10 years of photos

I just watched a video of a guy who took a picture of himself every day since he was 13 until he was 23. While these time-lapse movies are great and show an incredible transformation of a boy into a man, I couldn’t help but notice something a little deeper.ooo

In each image, the wore a different shirt most days, but the background and positioning of his body was constant. There were slight variations in his posture, but mostly, he sat in front of the backdrop and clicked away. With each picture, the boy became a little older, a little thinner, taller, and different lengths of hair, but the way the images played out over the screen, it almost seemed like the guy was running.

Three-thousand six-hundred fifty pictures passed by my screen, and with each sliding image, the boy was sprinting towards becoming a man. He raced toward adulthood, as most kid do, but it hurt me to see how quickly life passed him by. I know these pictures came from 10 years of photos, and 3,650 is a lot of days, but to see the images squished together in a four-minute video made me want to scream at the kid. “Stop growing up! Stay young just a little bit longer!”

If only time would slow down.

It’s a Wonderful Life – Movie Review

IMDB: It’s a Wonderful Life (1946)

An angel is sent from Heaven to help a desperately frustrated businessman by showing him what life would have been like if he had never existed.

Ever since I was a kid this black and white film would play during the holiday season. I would watch the grayscale characters play out the life of George and Mary Bailey as their lives spun in directions they had never planned. They make their way through their lives until George finds himself in a horribly precarious situation where he wishes he was never born. With the help of an angel, he sees what his tiny town of Bedford Falls would look like had he never lived. His love for his family reminds him of why he lives and breathes everyday, and with help from his town, George heads back home to the greatest Christmas surprise he has ever received in his wonderful life.

Now, they have a version in color, and cameos of the movie can be seen in other Christmas specials such as Home Alone, but the story holds a place in my Christmas spirit all the same. The story would tug at my heart and make most in my family cry due to an overactive crying gene I have mentioned before that we call the Bonnie-gene. To this day I have kept the tradition alive and have to watch it at least once during the season.

Here we are, four days away from the big day, and I have yet to watch it! It just won’t be Christmas until I do. If you’ve never seen it, be sure to add it to your Christmas Watchlist this season.

Christmas Playlist

Let me get you in a Christmas mood. Enjoy my selection of a perfect Christmas Playlist. No Christmas celebration is complete without it!

I Want A Hippopotamus For Christmasrawpixel-com-445786

All I Want For Christmas Is You

Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree

Baby It’s Cold Outside

Joy To The World

It’s Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas

White Christmas

Blue Christmas

Jingle Bells

O Holy Night

O Come All Ye Faithful

Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas

Santa Clause Is Coming To Town

Little Drummer Boy

Santa Baby

Jingle Bell Rock

Winter Wonderland

Silent Night

Last Christmas

Merry Christmas Baby

Do you Hear What I Hear

It’s The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year

God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen

Feliz Nevidad

Silver Bells

Hark! The Herald Angels Sing

This Christmas

I was Mommy Kissing Santa Claus

Up On The Housetop

Here Comes Santa Claus

O Little Town of Bethlehem

Holly Jolly Christmas

Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!

Home For The Holidays

The First Noel

Twelve Days of Christmas

Deck The Halls

The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel

An Amazon Original Series

IMDB: Set in early 1960s Manhattan, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel is a 60-minute dramedy that centers on Miriam “Midge” Maisel, a sunny, energetic, sharp, Jewish girl who had her life mapped out for herself: go to college, find a husband, have kids, and throw the best Yom Kippur dinners in town. Soon enough, she finds herself exactly where she had hoped to be, living happily with her husband and two children in the Upper West Side. A woman of her time, Midge is a cheerleader wife to a man who dreams of a stand-up comedy career, but her perfect life is turned upside down when her husband suddenly leaves her for another woman. Completely unprepared, Midge is left with no choice but to reevaluate what to do with her life. When she accidentally stumbles onto the stage at a comedy club, she soon discovers her own comedic skills and decides to use this newfound talent to help her rebuild a different life for herself. The series will trace the trajectory of Midge’s journey as she goes on to pursue a career in the male-dominated, stand-up comedy profession, and transforms from uptown housewife to East Village club performer.

I am over the moon with this show thus far! I’m on episode seven, and I am in love with Rachel Brosnahan in this role! House of Cards just didn’t do her acting skills any justice. She sells the role of a witty housewife gone rogue and delivers it with a beautiful smile and a big middle finger. They couldn’t have cast the role any better, and I would bet she wins awards for this performance.

I don’t think I have laughed this hard at a series in a long time! Brosnahan’s interactions with all of the other characters including Tony Shalhoub and Alex Borstein leave me in tears.

“I still run this house, but from in here.”

“There, there.”

“Who wouldn’t want to come home to this?”

I am binge watching this show for sure, and I’m already sad this season will be over soon. Hopefully Amazon puts in for a Season 2!

Holiday Traditions

It’s Black Friday, and if you are one of the brave souls who venture out on this infamously crazy day, more power to you. For me, this day has come to mean clean up! 

My family and I are truly blessed with how amazing our family is, both blood and chosen. When we get together, a good time is had by all, and the feast is bountiful! Yesterday, for Thanksgiving, the story was tenfold. We all have so much to be thankful for, and I am so thankful for the full house of wonderful people, plentiful food, and beautiful memories made. 

Moving on to today, it’s now time to clean it all up, and I seriously just want to sell my house. Forget it all, and move out of the mess! The next person can deal with it. 

In reality, it’s really not that bad. Two loads into the dishwasher, a dozen wipes, vacuum, and mop later, my house is starting to look a bit more in order again.

Tomorrow, I am hopeful the true traditions will begin. Setting up the Christmas tree, decorating the house, making gingerbread houses; it’s time to start the Christmas traditions! And as I have said previously, I am overly excited for this year. 

Dishwasher just dinged. Onto the next load. Someone send a search party if I don’t post in a few days! First place to look, in the sink, under the dishes!

Family Values

I’ve become such a bleeding heart when it comes to children. I believe they deserve so much better than what they are given at times, and I wish I could help them all! My maternal insticts are so strong and kick in so hard whenever a situation includes children. 

My husband and I were watching a movie the other day, and the child was treated poorly. It literally broke my heart! If you know me, you know I’m not much of a crier, but I bawled like a baby! Silly hormones! They are just so innocent, and if given a chance, they could accomplish so much.

People are so concerned with the adults in any given situation. Like, oh, Tom and June are getting divorced, or Mark and Mary are going through a hard time. If there are children involved, I think the conversation should look more like: are Timmy and Julie doing well with the divorce? Are Mikey and Missy getting enough to eat?

When did family values start to exclude the well-being of the child? And when did Hollywood start exploiting the subtraction of the total members of the family until? When did we stop noticing, or stop caring?

I hope true family values come back in style. These children are the future, and they deserve the best chance at making this world a better place.

SNHU Graduate!

I did it! I finally finished my Bachelor degree!

Right after high school, I went back to school and got my Associate’s Degree of Science in General Studies. I figured since I had no idea what I wanted to do with my working life, I could at least knock out all of the prerequisites I would one day have to take in order to complete a degree at a later time. My local community college provided all of the courses I needed at a fractional cost of a traditional university, so I felt assured in my decision to obtain my two-year degree with the hopes of maybe finding what I wanted to do with my career along the way.

While that didn’t happen right away, I did find an organization that allowed me to experience many different areas of a business, providing me with insight to the possibilities of where I could succeed within the company. After a few years and several life changes such as buying my first home and getting married, my wonderful husband decided he wanted to go back to school. Well, regardless of my apprehension to start school back up again, he signed me up to speak to a recruiter who a few days later enrolled me at Southern New Hampshire University. I can honestly say I am so happy with my choice of school and my entire online college experience. We’ll see how long it takes for them to send me my diploma!snhu

A lot of hard work and determination, and sheer manipulation of the scarce free-time I had later, I made my way through my final sixty credits with a 3.97 GPA. (Two stupid -A’s!) It was one of the hardest things I have ever done in the midst of life and work, but now that I am just waiting on my diploma to arrive in the mail, I feel satisfied with my accomplishment.

But now what to do with all of my free time?

Let me just say, laundry has never been done so quickly!

Halloween Candy Buy Back Program

Maybe this is old news, but I just found this program through my local dentist office. Businesses such as dentist offices and various others that register with the program will buyback your excess Halloween candy at a set price per pound, but what they do with it following the buyback is what really caught my attention. This program will then create care packages with toothbrushes included for troops overseas.

If you are looking to get rid of the candy from your house to keep your kids from rotting their teeth out or from you gaining excess weight (my case because everyone knows I can’t stay away from chocolate), then take a look at the Halloween Buy Back Program!candybuyback

Life isn’t for you to control.

I had an epiphany while in the shower this morning, contemplating life as the warm water beat against my back. For as long as I can remember, I have always tried to have a plan that would map out my every move to get me where I wanted to be. Whether it was in my education, my career, even my personal life, I have always tried to control everything.

Then yesterday, I tuned into a TED Talk with Muniba Mazari, and she shared her story of an arranged marriage she entered because her father had told her to do so. She goes on to say that at some point in the marriage, she and her husband suffer a car accident, and while he came out unscathed, it was unclear if Muniba would ever walk again. She tells the audience that she came to terms with the news, but when the doctor told her she would never be a mother or paint again, she refused to listen. She asked her family to bring paint to her hospital bed and did exactly what they said she wouldn’t have been able to do. Years later, after leaving the hospital, she adopted a little boy and became a mother, doing exactly what they said she wouldn’t be able to do.

 Muniba says, “Don’t die before your death.” And while her message of doing the things you want rather than being complacent in your life is clear and I hear it, I also feel as if there is an even greater message behind her story. Something that spoke to only me perhaps, but during my shower, it hit me.

Muniba experienced a car crash she surely wasn’t planning on, but she had planned on children and painting. Nothing in my life as far as obstacles could ever compare to Muniba, but I have had moments where what I had planned was upset by an undesirable event, and because of that event, I abandoned the path to my goal. One little upset, and I gave up because I wasn’t in complete control.

And here’s where my epiphany comes in. While I stood in my shower, steam filling up the bathroom, I realized, life isn’t for you to control. Life is full of unexpected, sometimes tragic events, and never will anyone be able to fully avoid all of life’s curveballs, nor should anyone try. Life is meant to be lived through it all. You dodge those curveballs, and keep moving. It doesn’t have to be down the path you had imagined. It doesn’t have to be part of the same route at all. If you have in your mind your ultimate goals, big or small, daily or yearly, how you get there doesn’t matter. It only matters that you do. 

Life isn’t for you to control, but you can control your reaction to life.