When Kids Interview Strange Magic Stars Elijah Kelley and Meredith Anne Bull #StrangeMagic

Yesterday my kids and I had an amazing opportunity we were able to interview Elijah Kelley (“Sunny”) and Meredith Anne Bull (“Dawn”) from the movie Strange Magic.

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SUNNY is an elf with a big heart and a serious crush on his best friend Dawn. Though full of spunk with energy to spare, Sunny doesn’t have the guts to share his true feelings for Dawn. “I think we can all relate to Sunny,” says Rydstrom. “He’ll do anything for Dawn—including setting her up with other guys— because he secretly hopes that someday she’ll love him too.”

DAWN is a li le flighty—even for a fairy. Boy crazy and naïve, Dawn is the super opposite of her big sister Marianne. “Dawn is in love—with love,” says Rydstrom. “She’s a big flirt. Every day she has a new crush, hoping that—just maybe—he’s the one.”

I mean I get to do interviews all the time but this time was super special because I was able to bring my kids along. My daughter actually did the entire interview starting off with the very first question that she came up with on her own.

“How were you able to sing so enthusiastically?”

Elijah said it’s like when you play pretend as a child ( of course he answered my daughter saying) “It’s like when you play pretend”…. and then you get excited and your energy gets more and more and it’s a lot of fun…. (not his exact words but that’s what he said paraphrased)

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My kids had a blast, I had a blast, I think even Elijah and Meredith Ann had a blast. Miles and Elijah made each other laugh, at first my son was really not into the interview and then Elijah had him going and they were making each other laugh and then building off of each other. It was really a great experience for me and my children.

When they were talking about favorite scenes they also talked about favorite characters, when Zoe told Meredith that her favorite character was The Bug King, Meredith told Zoe she must be a tough girl to like such a tough character. Zoe smiled proudly as I was of her also. At the end of the interview, they both signed autographs for my kids. Elijah signed one for Miles saying, “I can’t wait to see you on the Big Screen”. During the interview we told him that Miles wanted to become an actor and just by looking at his attitude in the room he said “you’re well on your way”. He was really a great guy!

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Here is the video of the entire interview with Strange Magic Stars Elijah Kelley and Meredith Anne Bull:

 

 

 

 

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STRANGE MAGIC opens in theatres everywhere on January 23rd!

What To Love About Strange Magic #StrangeMagic

The music the music the music!! The kids and I went to see Strange Magic and we loved it. The music is captivating and kept my kids attention. Miles and Zoe both liked the characters, my son’s favorite was Sunny and my daughter’s favorite character was The Bug King. Strange Magic is all about the power of true love and change. Is it possible for love to change someone, in Strange Magic we watch how love makes the characters crazy, then it makes them hard and guarded and finally can they let love back in and become soft again?

Strange Magic is a movie that will have you singing these great songs from the eighties all day and all night. They are quite catchy songs and it’s a cute movie that both of my kids enjoyed. They give it four thumbs up and after interviewing two of the characters they would give it four thumbs up twice because Elijah and Meredith Ann were so nice to my kids.

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With a story by George Lucas, STRANGE MAGIC is directed by Gary Rydstrom (“Toy Story Toons: Hawaiian Vacation,” “Lifted”), produced by Mark S. Miller (associate producer “Mars Attacks!”) and executive produced by George Lucas, with a screenplay by David Berenbaum (“Elf”), Irene Mecchi (“Brave,” “The Lion King”) and Rydstrom.

Strange Magic has an extraordinary roster of film as it follows the story of a fairy princess that’s madly in love, television and Broadway stars lend their voices to “Strange Magic,” including The Bog King himself, Alan Cumming (CBS’ “The Good Wife,” Broadway’s “Cabaret”), The Fairy Princess Marianne, Evan Rachel Wood (“The Ides of March”), Kristin Chenoweth (Broadway’s “Wicked”), Maya Rudolph (“Big Hero 6,” “Bridesmaids”), Sam Palladio (ABC’s “Nashville”), newcomer Meredith Anne Bull who plays the adorable constantly in love fairy princess Dawn, Alfred Molina (“Chocolat”), The very handsome triple threat Elijah Kelley plays Sunny (“Hairspray,” “The Butler”), Bob Einstein (HBO’s “Curb Your Enthusiasm”) and Peter Stormare (“Fargo”). Well-known music producer Marius de Vries (“Moulin Rouge”) serves as both the musical director and composer.

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I didn’t realize at first that it was going to be a musical but you quickly understand that’s what’s going on as you are watching it. The main character is in love and singing about how happy she is that she is getting married. Until Marianne finds Mr. Right (Rowland) who walks around like Elvis strutting his stuff is cheating on him. Then she decides love is for fools (which is exactly how the Bug King feels). Rowland sets a plan to make a love potion and of course it hits the wrong person and she sees the bug king and well, how does this story end with such a crazy love triangle you have to watch the movie to find out.

 

 

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STRANGE MAGIC opens in theatres everywhere on January 23rd!

Fun Facts About Strange Magic In Theaters Today #StrangeMagic

Strange Magic

FUN FACTS

NAME THAT TUNE – “Strange Magic” weaves together new versions of favorite songs from the last six decades—including songs made famous by artists ranging from Mickey & Sylvia and Elvis Presley to Kelly Clarkson, Beyoncé and Lady Gaga.

HE LOVES ME, HE LOVES ME NOT – Filmmakers needed to concoct a magical love potion for the film, so when they discovered that primroses grow where shadow meets the light (part light/part shade)—they knew they had their chief ingredient for Sugar Plum Fairy’s love potion. In the movie, primroses aptly grow on the border of the Fairy Kingdom and the Dark Forest. In an effort to do away with love forever, the ruler of the Dark Forest, Bog King, orders every primrose destroyed.

FLY AWAY – Artists referenced monarch and blue morpho butterflies to create the look of fairies like Marianne, Dawn and Roland. Animation was customized for each fairy and designed to reflect individual personalities and where they were in their character arc. Marianne, for example, goes from clumsy to athletic during the course of the film. 

BUGGY BOG – Artists looked at dragonfly wings and grasshoppers when creating Bog’s look. As far as Bog’s performance, animators took him from hunched over and angry to elegant.

SO SURREAL – Executive producer George Lucas, who’s behind the story of “Strange Magic” considers Sugar Plum Fairy to be more magical than your average fairy—“a little more Salvador Dalí,” he says.

GOOD GOBLIN – Artists and animators referenced frogs, lizards and other amphibians and reptiles to perfect the look of goblins like Stuff and Thang.

ANOTHER FINE MESS – Stuff and Fang, Bog’s loyal goblin assistants, were created in the spirit of famous comedy teams like Laurel and Hardy and Abbott and Costello.

THE TRAMP – Charlie Chaplin and his best-known character, The Tramp, served as inspiration for Imp. Both characters cause trouble for no good reason, so animators added Chaplin-esque flourish to Imp’s movement. clip_image002

REAL ROCK – Lucasfilm artists tasked with creating the royal palace for Fairy King and his daughters found reference in Big Rock Ranch, a property George Lucas owns. A smaller rock was discovered on the property that looked like the signature rock. It was scanned and used as a 3D model for Fairy Rock in the movie—which hosts the great ball.

FRIGHTENING FERNS – Filmmakers found fun foliage to help illustrate the spookiness of the Dark Forest. Fiddlehead ferns, which feature furled fronds, were very effective tools in the film: one unfurls as Marianne makes her way through the forest.

JUST DREAMY – “Strange Magic” is inspired by Shakespeare’s comedy play “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” and includes a controversial love potion, the theme of love and the spirit of feminism, as well as an infusion of comedy. But the characters in “Strange Magic” are wholly unique—with striking looks and compelling personalities.

SISTER, SISTER – Just like her character Marianne, actress Evan Rachel Wood has a little sister and says she can relate to Marianne’s desire to look out for Dawn. Likewise, Meredith Anne Bull, who provides the voice of Dawn, has an older sister.

PLAYING FAVORITES – Elijah Kelley, who provides the voice of Sunny, says his favorite character in “Strange Magic” is Bog King, who’s voiced by Alan Cumming.

THAT’S NUTS – Roland, a knight in shining armor (at least in his head) makes his way through the forest atop his loyal steed Chipper. But Chipper’s not a horse—he’s a squirrel.

What You Need To Know About Gold Coast Car Rental

The great coastal city that is located in the southeastern part of Queensland, the Gold Coast, is based on the eastern Australian coast. It is about 94km from Brisbane, and is a very elegant city. Besides the beautiful city, The Gold Coast also has a number of opportunities. You might be visiting for business reasons, and would like to explore the area in your free time, or maybe you are in town just to have some fun, explore somewhere new and partake in a few different activities, such as exploring the area, visiting the beach and perhaps even trying some water sports. With such a huge city, you will need to have a reliable transport system in order to get around. Here is a guide on Gold Coast car rental to ensure that you get exactly what you need;

Insured Cars

The most recommended, and flexible means of transport are Gold Coast car rentals. When you are choosing a car for renting, you will need to keep in mind that it must be insured. The insurance will be charged differently, according to the car rental provider. All in all, ensure that you pick a car that is insured, and ensure you look at local road rules too, to make sure you don’t get in any trouble.

Dual Transmission

In the Gold Coast, and Australia in general, you will find cars with different transmissions, and surprisingly you will find most of the automatic cars will be slightly cheaper than the manual cars. However, in some cases, they will be about the same price. Consider what sort of driving you’re likely to do, and how you feel most comfortable driving before you choose.

The Age Limit

In Australia, there are different companies that offer cars for rentals. DifferentGold Coast car rentalcompanies have varied age limits. Some will have the age limit of 25, while others will have an age limit of between 21 and 25. But for the age limit of 21 years, the cars offered are the smaller ones, with less power. The type and size of the car are what determines the age limit. You will rarely find a 21 year old with a heavy car like a Campervan. However, having a smaller car does have advantages. This is because most of the cars under this age limit are cheaper to rent.

One-way Car Hire

Gold Coast car rentals sometimes allow for the one-way system. Here, you will be able to pick a car from one location, then drop it off to a different location. However, these services must be confirmed before you drop the car off at a different location. Since this service is extremely convenient for travelers, it might require that they pay a little more for it but it is well worth considering. It also comes in handy when you need to hire a car when you are heading to the airport. You can pick them from the company’s office, and leave it at the airport, then the company will take it back to the premises.

There are multiple Gold Coast car rental cars available, and they range from big cars to normal saloon cars. They also have different specs- some are the four-wheel-drives, some are campervans and there are many different cars in between Whichever car you decide to go for, considering the insurance, the return of the car once you’ve finished with it and the different charges that car rental providers charge, will ensure you plan your car hire well and get the best car for your own individual needs. Enjoy your trip!

Party Day Is Game Day with CVS Gold Emblem #CVSGameTime #GoldEmblem #Seahawks

This is a partnered post.

So Yesterday I shared with you the great preparation for the game day using CVS Gold Emblem products and a few we tried because we couldn’t wait for the actual game day the products just looked that good, now I want to share with you the actual game day and how much fun it is to have friends over to enjoy the things you love. But first I have to share a memory and who would be watching the game with me if I wasn’t so far away. I miss you guys!

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The picture above would be the people I grew up watching football with. That’s my sister on the left and she will be watching the Super Bowl, which is the purpose of sharing our playoff party with you. My dad will also be watching the Super Bowl which makes me feel closer to them because I know we’ll all be watching the game and no matter where you live you can purchase party supplies at CVS, and we recommend the CVS Gold Emblem line!

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I shared the above photo with you all yesterday and am sharing it again because it’s a sampling of all the products we received. Any game day though is so much fun to have friends and family over. I LOVE entertaining, and love having people over. We have so many family friends and having a full house taking care of people really makes me happy. And that game last week when the Seahawks had THE BEST COME BACK EVER!!!! Wow that game was a nail biter. We were down and I was sure we were going to lose but somehow we pulled it off. WOW, it was so exciting to watch.

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Now back to the fantastic selection of products we received.

NUTS:

We received six different varieties of the nuts. The almonds as I mentioned yesterday are my favorite, quickly followed by the cashews and mixed nuts are always great for any game day celebration.

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Trail Mix:

Another easy snack to share with company just put in a bowl and serve.

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Pretzels:

Pretzels are great on their own or to use to make cake pops.

Flavored Water:

My kids and I love flavored water, in fact it’s the only way I can get my kids to drink water. The Gold Emblem is great!

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Popcorn:

Popcorn can easily be changed by just adding sprinkles, nuts, or as my daughter liked, red hots. It’s really easy, we could have also just added some of the trail mix.

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Gone before any picture could be taken.

Crackers:

Perfect to pair with cheese or just eat out of a big bowl. It’s also really easy to make Guacamole or dip or salsa for the crackers.

Cookies:

What’s there to say about cookies other than nom nom nom.

 

Everyone just had a fantastic time.

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The Boxtrolls on Blu-Ray Combo Pack

We received a sample.

clip_image001The Boxtrolls is amazing in the way it was made. This movie is super super cute with a box full of characters. I sat down with my kids and watched the movie the other night and like I said, I’m so impressed with how this movie was made. I saw the set, I saw all the characters and how they were placed and it’s just a super creative creation!

The Boxtrolls leads with 13 nominations including Best Animated Film for the 42nd Annie Awards, which honor the year’s best achievements in animation and are presented by the International Animated Film Society. Nominations include: Best Animated Feature, Outstanding Achievement in Directing in an Animated Feature Production (Anthony Stacchi and Graham Annable), Outstanding Achievement in Writing an Animated Feature Production (Irena Brignull, Adam Pava), Outstanding Achievement in Voice Acting in an Animated Feature Production (Ben Kingsley; Dee Bradley Baker), Outstanding Achievement in Character Animation in a Feature Production (Travis Knight; Malcolm Lamont; Jason Stalman), Outstanding Achievement in Animated Effects in an Animated Feature Production (Rick Sevy, Peter Vickery, Kent Estep, Peter Stuart, Ralph Procida); Outstanding Achievement in Character Design in an Animated Feature Production (Mike Smith); Outstanding Achievement in Production Design in an Animated Feature Production (Paul Lasaine, Tom McClure, August Hall); and Outstanding Achievement in Storyboarding in a Feature Production (Julian Narino; Emanuela Cozzi).  The film has also received a Satellite Award nomination for Best Animated or Mixed Media Picture.

Quirky, mischievous and good-hearted, the Boxtrolls are unique creatures who have lovingly raised a human boy named Eggs in a fantastical charming cavern below the bustling streets of Cheesebridge. But when the evil Archibald Snatcher schemes to capture Eggs’ family, it’s up to Eggs and his feisty new friend Winnie to save the Boxtrolls!

 

Bonus Features Exclusive to Blu-ray™ Combo Pack & Blu-ray 3D™ Combo Pack  

• PRELIMINARY ANIMATIC SEQUENCES 

o Play with Commentary by Directors Anthony Stacchi and Graham Annable

o Baby In The Trash

o Eggs In The Underworld

o Man On A Horse

o Trubshaw’s Inventorium

o Cheese Shop

o Tea And Cheese

Bonus Features on Blu-ray™ Combo Pack, Blu-ray 3D™ Combo Pack and DVD

• DARE TO BE SQUARE:  BEHIND THE SCENES OF THE BOXTROLLS

o VOICING THE BOXTROLLS 

The tremendously talented cast members of The Boxtrolls discuss what it’s like to voice an animated puppet, what each actor brought to his/her role, whether their personalities were similar to their characters, and more.

o INSIDE THE BOX 

The directors, producers, and creative supervisor of character fabrication Georgina Hayns share the challenges of crafting characters who are inside a box.

o THE BIG CHEESE:  ALLERGY SNATCHER 

The directors and producers are joined by Brian McLean, director of Rapid Prototyping, to discuss how the animation studio LAIKA creates the faces for their puppets.   The big story here – literally! – is how Snatcher’s face changes shape due to his cheese allergy.

o DECONSTRUCTING THE DANCE 

Discover how LAIKA combined traditional stop-motion animation with visual effects in order to create the beautiful ballroom dance sequence – and  how costume designer Deborah Cook met the challenge of creating costumes that could flow during a dance scene.

o THINK BIG:  THE MECHA DRILL 

Standing 5 feet tall and weighing over 75 pounds, the Mecha-Drill is the largest stop motion puppet/prop ever created by LAIKA.  Follow its creation from design to completion. 

• FEATURETTES

o THE NATURE OF CREATION 

o TROLLS RIGHT OFF THE TONGUE 

o ALLERGIC TO EASY 

o  LET’S DANCE 

o ON THE SHOULDERS OF GIANTS 

• FEATURE COMMENTARY WITH DIRECTORS ANTHONY STACCHI AND GRAHAM ANNABLE

Our Prep For the Football Party #CVSGameTime #GoldEmblem #Seahawks

This is a partnered post.

Oh this last weekend we had a Football Party and we’re going to be having another one in two weeks for you know the big game. To get ready for the party we found everything we needed from CVS Gold Emblem line. CVS has everything you need to make your party time a fun time, a full time, and a tasty time.

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Going down the list there are all kinds of nuts, my favorite being the almonds. My daughter and I can eat almonds any day or night. Of course trail mix is always a great choice too because you get that salty and the sweet at the same time. I love their trail mix with the candy coated chocolate pieces. Oh and popcorn, I imagine with all the guests we are going to need another bag of the popcorn. I can devour a whole bowl of it all by myself.

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My husband found a package of veggie chips and he ate them all before we even had time to set up for the party, so you won’t see them in the picture above. The cookies they sent us the CVS Gold Emblem absolutely divine chocolate chip cookies were my weakness, I LOVE Cookies so I had to stay away from them with everything in me otherwise they would have been gone just like the veggie chips.

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And of course there has to be some cooking and you have to let the kids get involved, that’s what makes any party a family affair from start to finish. Miles and Zoe love to be in the kitchen even though I hate the mess it makes it really makes them feel involved.

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I bet you can tell which team we’re rooting for in two weeks…The Seahawks of course. Now, who knows how the game is going to go, hopefully our team wins but if you have a sour stomach due to indigestion or because the game didn’t to the way you expected then they sent their antacid tablets to save the day.

I haven’t Lost My Voice

I haven’t lost my voice. I’ve been so busy and at the end of the day I’m tired and just want to do nothing. So I sit on the couch and watch TV. We’re living in LA right now, so the kids can have a go at acting and modeling, with the first month almost gone and not a single audition yet I’m really very nervous.

I get the idea that we’ve come to LA a little too soon for fully fledged pilot season but I also feel like we should still have had at least one audition. We’ve been filling our days with trips to Disneyland and visits to the swimming pool ever day. It’s really too cool here in my opinion for the swimming pool but it is heated so I get in with them every now and then. They love it and then I feel like the best mom in the world.

Sledding at Disney

Since I’ve been working a lot less, I really feel like we’ve been spending a lot of time together and really bonding as a family. We miss my husband but with Skype and the phone we talk to him very regularly.

School is going well, the kids are already over half way done with school. I think most people that started school in September are just now taking finals and getting their assessments in the coming weeks. So I’m really proud of how the kids are doing.

I’m also really proud of my kids because they are taking an improve class and really coming out of their shells. The kids are excited about acting again and figuring out how to spontaneously come up with creative ideas. I love it and think of it as an add on to their education. For homework last week they had to write up their own scripts and for a first grader and a second grader I’m really impressed with what they came up with and they performed it in front of their class. Oh to be young and not afraid of getting in front of others and acting totally silly.

I’m really going to try to write more personally because I haven’t lost my voice, I’ve just lost my energy.

Chewy Pistachio Chia Bite Pudding

It’s the new year and people are looking for healthy recipes, this recipe adds the nutrition found in Chia. Looking for a delicious and nutritious breakfast recipe to keep you powered all morning? Look no further than this tasty chia seed and pistachio dish! Using Pistachio Chewy Bites, Heather Goldberg and Jenny Engel of Spork Foods have created a delicious Coconut & Pistachio Chia Pudding recipe packed with protein that fuel you up before tackling your day. Perfect for enjoying before work or on a lazy Saturday morning, this meal will satisfy all of your cravings and meet your nutritional needs.

Chewy Bite Chia Pudding

Ingredients:

1 can (13.5 oz) organic coconut milk

1Ž4 cup maple syrup*

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/8 teaspoon sea salt

1/3 cup organic black chia seeds

1/3 cup Setton Farms Pistachio Kernels*

1/3 cup dried cranberries*

2 tablespoons flaked coconut, for topping (Optional)

Directions:

In a mixing bowl, add coconut milk, maple syrup, vanilla extract, and sea salt. Whisk until uniform. Add chia seeds and whisk again until uniform.

Let mixture rest for about 5-10 minutes and then stir once more. Cover and let rest in refrigerator for 1 hour to overnight.

To serve, layer half of the Setton Farms Pistachio Kernels and dried cranberries in the bottom of 4 glasses. Scoop pudding into glasses and top with remaining Setton Farms Pistachios, dried cranberries, and flaked coconut, if using.

*To make the recipe even faster, use 3 tablespoons of maple syrup and substitute pistachios and cranberries with 6 diced Setton Farms Pistachio Chewy Bites

Sweetheart Desserts Delightful Recipes

Sweetheart Desserts Delightful Recipes for you and your sweetheart this holiday! sweetheart desserts

  1. Chocolate Cheesecake Mousse Cups with a Sweet Berry Compote
  2. Puff Pastry Valentine Dessert
  3. Romantic Red Velvet Trifle
  4. Chocolate Cake with Chocolate Mousse Filling
  5. Decadent Raspberry Truffle Brownies
  6. Mini Chocolate Cheesecake with Raspberries
  7. Blood Orange Panna Cotta
  8. Delicious Berry Cream Tarts
  9. Chocolate Truffle Heart Cakes
  10. Chocolate Mousse Cheesecake
  11. French chocolate tarte with dark chocolate ganache
  12. Katie’s Molten Lava Cake