Turning Into A Princess @JCPenny Glam Ball #CinderellaEvent #JCPCinderellaMoment

I love getting dressed up and I love having someone else put on my make up, but the opportunity is very rare. I never get dressed up or wear makeup anymore as a stay at home mom. There just isn’t time or a reason to get dressed up. I do get to walk the red carpet every now and then but I still don’t get all “dolled up” for the event. So the JCPenny Glam Ball was such a #JCPCinderellaMoment that I actually felt like I was transformed into Cinderella. I went from my normal stay at home mom to a princess walking the red carpet. It was such a fun and glamorous transformation.

So let me tell you from start to finish:

When we first arrived at the glam ball we were introduced to our prince for the day. He took us around to all our beauty stations and took care of our every need. He ordered us drinks and brought us food and constantly told us how beautiful we were. The first station he took us to was the JCPenny accessory counter. I felt like a little kid in a candy store, I was allowed to pick out two pieces. Out of the entire collection I chose this blue necklace and a blue bracelet.

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You should see all the options we had: earrings, clutches necklaces and more!

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After the accessories we went to the waiting lounge where we had drinks and a high tea lunch.

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I love high tea because the servings are so small you can try everything and not feel guilty. Oh the food was so good.

 

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Our prince then took us to make up!IMG_3076

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And I looked so pretty! This was the best make up job I have ever received because she didn’t overdo me. As a blond some people just make me too dark and I feel like a clown, but this made me feel so pretty!

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Then after make up I ate more food and went to hair. At first I wanted really big hair, but as she was creating the ringlets I feel in love with it and told her I was quite happy with the way it looked.

 

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thank you JCPenny you made me feel like a true princess! You even made my daughter feel like a real princess.

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Cinderella will be in theaters March 13th.

How to Throw a Fairy Tale Party! #EverAfterHigh #StreamTeam

Ever After High

MomStart is a member of the Netflix Stream Team. Gift card & party supplies provided.

I love hosting parties and I’m a big fan of everything girlie, so when I was invited to throw an enchanted viewing party for the new Ever After High special on Netflix, it was a perfect fit. Ever After High follows the teenage children of fairy tale characters like Snow White and Sleeping Beauty as they navigate their unique set of growing pains! Spring Unsprung, the new season 2 special, debuted on Netflix earlier this month and follows the characters as a magical prank played by Kitty’s mom, the Cheshire Cat, flips the script and has everyone acting opposite of their usual personalities. The gang has to figure out how to fix the spell in order to save Ever After High!

As I mulled over the theme for my party, I knew that it had to be magical, girly, and fun – just like the show! Here are my steps for throwing an enchanted Ever After High fairy tale party of your own:

Sweet Treats

Table of sweet treats

A good hostess always makes sure her guests have refreshments, so the first step was creating a table of sweet treats. I set out pink juice and cups emblazoned with “Princess”:

Princess cups

Pink cupcake

To keep with the pink theme, I created these cupcakes. I made these using strawberry cake mix topped with hot pink frosting, pink sprinkles, and a maraschino cherry!

Ever After High party decorations

To round out the table, I decorated it with Ever After High dolls and necklaces!

Briar Beauty holds a cupcake

Cerise Hood doll and cupcakes

Earl Grey Tea cupcakes

My cousin also brought these amazing Earl Grey tea cupcakes to the party! Yum!!!!

Earl Grey cupcakes closeup

Do Me a Favor:

Party favors

I’m a big fan of creating party favors for my guests, so naturally I had to come up with something special to hand out!

Girly party favors

I wanted to make fun favors that both the moms and kids could enjoy, so I bought a few bags of butterfly hair clips and candy bracelets. Perfect!

Making party favor boxes

Finished party favor boxes

I put the clips and candy in flowery little party favors boxes and set them out.

Party favor table

In addition to the party favor boxes, I set out fun plastic dress-up necklaces and crafting supplies for take-home keepsakes. The crafts included Ever After High printables for creating your own bookmarks and fortune tellers:

Ever After High printables

Also included were Ever After High madlibs, notebooks, and fuzzy pens, so that the guests could write their own stories just like the girls in Ever After High!

Fuzzy pens

Don a Costume

Briar Beauty costume

My little shindig was a costume party, because I thought the little girls would enjoy having a chance to play dress up, and also because I will make any excuse to wear a costume. ;) The Briar Beauty doll I received in my Storybook Party Starter Kit had pink hair, so naturally I had to dress up as her! I picked up a flowery dress and paired it with tights and heels, then “Dolled” up my hair and makeup – click here to read a detailed tutorial of how I created the Briar Beauty makeup look.

Decor Fit For a Queen

Enchanted Photo Booth

I tacked a pink tablecloth to the wall and decorated it with streamers and necklaces to create a photo booth area where guests could show off their costumes! I hung a glittery “Chandelier” above it for the final sparkling touch.

Glittery chandelier

Photo booth props

I set out a crafting station where guests could take these thought balloon photo booth props and decorate with crayons, pens, or stickers.

Photo booth pics!

My cousin used her prop to give a shoutout to her other favorite show to watch on Netflix, The Walking Dead!

Celebrate The Magical Power of Friendship!

My friends were really excited to bring their little girls to my party because they’re big Ever After High fans. Unfortunately, some of them got sick and weren’t able to come to the party and were very disappointed. So tomorrow, I’m boxing up some of the party favors and cupcakes to deliver to my friends who couldn’t be here so that they won’t miss out on all the fun. After all, Ever After High is all about friendship, and when things don’t go as planned, you can improvise and still save the day!

Have you ever thrown a themed party like this? What are your tips?

Living the Fairy Tale I’m Going to the Glam Ball #CinderellaEvent

I can’t believe that I’m actually living the fairy tale. My daughter is super jealous and says that I just can’t possibly appreciate this experience like she would but she’s wrong. She just doesn’t know that Cinderella is my favorite princess. I LOVE Cinderella. I love that it’s the first Disney movie I ever watched. I love the singing, I love the family dynamics because they are so close to my own. I love all of it. Think about it….The whole thought of having this life and wishing for it to be different and then one moment opportunity falls in your lap, it’s a ball! Then you take that chance, go to the ball and dance for one night not expecting anything else. Although..things do change, the ball and the prince and chance…

 

I’m so looking forward to going to my own ball…and I needed a womens fancy dress of course for the event. I looked and looked and looked and I finally found a fantastic dress at the Nordstrom Rack it’s a dark blue and short and I love it. I can’t wait to wear it.

 

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I’m going to LA on Saturday, yep, about five miles from my apartment to attend the red carpet premiere of Cinderella. But before the premiere we are getting the make over of a life time at the JCPenny “Glam Ball”

There a High Tea lunch will be served with finger foods and drinks. I will also get hair touchups, make-up touch ups including eyes lips and blush. Then we will receive accessories to enhance our gowns. Then the big night happens. This movie looks so so good….

 

Then we have a press day:

Interview with Lily James (“Cinderella”)

Interview with Richard Madden (“Prince” – @_richardmadden)

Interview with Cate Blanchett (“Lady Tremaine”)

Interview with Director Kenneth Branagh

Interview with Costume Designer Sandy Powell

 

Cinderella will be out in theaters March 13th. You must go see it!

Marty Bowen Interview

Marty Bowen chair

Travel consideration provided by 20th Century Fox.

Part of the fun of being on a film set is not knowing exactly what will happen. Coordinating a project as massive as a feature film means a constant ebb and flow of rescheduling and adapting. During my visit to The Longest Ride set, I was fortunate that the day’s filming schedule worked out so that producer Marty Bowen had time to stop and talk with our press group in between working. Marty is charming and funny – the kind of person who makes friends immediately. He came over at different points during the afternoon to chat, talking about everything from filmmaking to bullriding. Or as he told me: “I like football, beer, poker, love stories, and interior design, and pink hair,” to which I laughed that we had something in common!

Marty Bowen

Photo courtesy 20th Century Fox

As the producer of several film adaptations of romantic novels, including the Twilight franchise and The Fault in Our Stars as well as two other Nicholas Sparks projects (Dear John and Safe Haven), Marty knows a thing or two about successfully translating a book onto the silver screen. I asked him how The Longest Ride screenplay differs from the original novel, and he gave some insight into creating a compelling film while staying true to the spirit of the book.

“Well, I’ll just say this. What’s great about Nicholas Sparks and the movies that he’s done, there’s plenty of books that you read that you absolutely–and you guys can speak more to it than I can–but that you absolutely love,” Marty said. “And you want to go recreate that exact story and experience at the film you see. And if it’s not exactly in the book, because you’re so connected to that, you want to kill him.

And we’ve been there. And we’ve had fun with that. There was nothing more fun than watching Breaking Dawn 2 at the premiere. And the first night, because we know we were going to mess with some people, but that’s exactly what we did. It was so much fun because we had earned the right at the end for being so loyal to pull the rug out from under you.

But Nicholas’s experience has been different. From the first movie that came out, they’ve slightly been different. And I think emotionally, they’re the same story. But, I actually look forward to seeing how you can tell the same story in a different way, because it is a different medium, you know. It really, really is. And you know, we made some structural changes in this, primarily because it’s hard to get an inner voice. When someone is sitting in a car, it’s very hard to give that the drama, unless you do something slightly different. So, it’s structural changes, but not emotional changes.”

Adapting the novel wasn’t the only challenge with making this film: There were also the issue of filming the bullriding scenes, which they solved by using an specialty camera to capture slow-motion footage. “We wanted to get the ballet of the bull,” he explained. “And if it’s not a good camera, it doesn’t look clear. This looks perfect with 500 frames a second. Normally, no one would ever need this, so it’s a really expensive camera, very expensive to make. And there’s only a couple of them in the world, so you have to buy it. It’s literally going around the world doing exactly what it is that it does.”

On the set of "The Longest Ride"

On the set of “The Longest Ride”

As we prepared to wrap up our day on the set, Marty asked us if we had gotten a chance to see Lake Devotion, a location nearby where they filmed a date scene between Luke (Played by Scott Eastwood) and Sophia (Played by Britt Robertson). The spot had been recommended by a local, who told him, “It’s the most beautiful place I’ve ever been to in North Carolina.” No one has shot a film there before, so it was a hidden treasure. Thanks in part to his urging that we see what he dubbed “The most beautiful place on the planet,” it was arranged for our group to make a quick pit stop there on our way home. It lived up to everything he said about it:

Lake Devotion

The backdrop of Luke & Sophia's date

I couldn’t think of a better way to end our day on the set than by visiting this spot!

The Longest Ride

Watch The Longest Ride in theaters on April 10th!

Nicholas Sparks Interview

Beeb with Nicholas Sparks

Travel consideration provided by 20th Century Fox.

During my visit to the set of The Longest Ride, I had a chance to sit down for a Q&A with Nicholas Sparks, author of the best-selling novel of the same name. The name “Nicholas Sparks” has become synonymous with romance, as his page-turners are transformed into on-screen love stories. The Longest Ride follows two seemingly separate romances that intertwine in an unexpected way. One of the threads that connects the couples is art – and this theme led the author to some unexpected discoveries during his research.

Nicholas Sparks signature

I read the novel on my flight to North Carolina, and something in the author’s notes that struck me was his discovery of Black Mountain College while writing this story. Given Nicholas’ passion for his home of North Carolina, I asked him if he was surprised to discover this hidden gem.

“Blew my mind, one of the greatest moments of wonderful coincidence in my entire writing career,” he told me, lighting up.

“Most people in North Carolina do not know of Black Mountain College. They’ll know of it around Asheville or whatever. But unless you are really into North Carolina history, it kind of slipped away. It was this unbelievable blip in time,” Nicholas continued. “So, I have this idea for this story, and Ira and Ruth, and I have in my mind that they’re going to collect art. And I’m sitting there thinking, “How am I going to pull this off? I live in North Carolina, right. There’s a nice Jewish couple in North Carolina. If they’re in New York, maybe you could see it happening, right. So, I said to myself, ‘How can I make this seem believable?’”

Nicholas Sparks on The Longest Ride set

Nicholas Sparks on The Longest Ride set – photo by Michael Tackett courtesy 20th Century Fox

“So, my first notion was that they were just going to meet an artist who happened to be vacationing in North Carolina, befriend this person, man or woman, go with him to wherever the art scene was, and that’s how they got started. So, that was my plan. So, I said, ‘Okay. So, let’s find a North Carolina artist who might have been around in the ’40s, ’50s’. So, I Google like literally ‘North Carolina artists in the 1940s,’ or something.

And boom, up pops Black Mountain College. And it turns out that Black Mountain College was this experimental college, ran for about 24 years in the 1930s to, I think, 1956 or 1957. And it was the center of the modern art movement for American painters. Everyone from Willem de Kooning was there, to Rauschenberg, to Franz Kline, to Pat Passlof.

I mean, De Kooning’s paintings, they go for $350 million. He’s over here teaching at Black Mountain College. Buckminster Fuller was there. Robert DeNiro’s father, who was a very famous artist, he was a graduate of Black Mountain College. Came in, they did painting and sculpture, whatever they did. And it was there, and it was a couple of hours away.

So, there I’m writing, I’m looking for an artist, and I find out that this key element that I need to make the art collecting believable, that center was like two hours from where I placed them originally. I was like, ‘Wow.’ So, I called my agent and I said, ‘You are not going to believe this. You are not going to believe what I just found.’ And so, of course, then I learned all I could about Black Mountain College.”

On the set of The Longest Ride

On the set of The Longest Ride

Watch this novel come to life on the big screen when The Longest Ride hits theaters on April 10th!

Visiting The Set of “The Longest Ride”

On the set of The Longest Ride

Photo courtesy 20th Century Fox


Travel consideration provided by 20th Century Fox.

Last August, I flew to North Carolina to visit the set of The Longest Ride, the upcoming romantic film based on the Nicholas Sparks best-seller. On the day I was there, they were filming scenes out in the beautiful countryside, as Sophia (Played by Britt Robertson) visits the family farm owned by beau Luke (Played by Scott Eastwood), who takes her horseback riding. Our press group arrived in the afternoon and had a quick peek inside “Luke’s house”, a home that a local family was renting out to the film crew.

Luke's house

Behind the scenes of The Longest Ride

We headed outside to a small, canopied area directly behind the house where producers and crew watched the filming on monitors. There were director’s chairs set up for us emblazoned with the words “Guest”, so that we could sit nearby and get a peek at the playback, while also peering across the yard at the actors filming the scene in real time.

The location where the horse riding scene was filmed

The scene we watched took place in a clearing across from a small structure housing a fire pit and benches. We watched Scott Eastwood help Britt Robertson onto a horse, place a cowboy hat on her head, and ride off with her into the pasture.

Britt Robertson & Scott Eastwood

Photo by Michael Tackett – courtesy 20th Century Fox

It was so interesting to watch the technical maneuvering of each take as the scene was repeated – at one point, they were riding off into the distance in picture-perfect form, looking very romantic until a donkey started braying loudly in the background! You can get a peek at this scene with the cowboy hat a few seconds into the movie trailer:

They made the most of every moment on set, scheduling our cast interviews in between takes. While waiting for filming to commence on the horse riding scene, Britt Robertson sat down with us for a quick minute before being whisked away again for makeup. She set down a bag with a pretty knitted purple scarf in it and said, Don’t make fun of me, I knit between takes! You heard it here first: Not only is Britt Robertson a talented actress, but also a skilled knitter!

Luke & Sophia

After they had done a multitude of takes on the horses, the crew took 5 and we gathered around for a lengthier group Q&A with Britt, Scott, and director George Tillman, Jr. We had a great chat about filmmaking – since this film is based on a well-loved Nicholas Sparks novel, I asked the actors what the biggest challenge is in making a book adaptation. Readers conjure a very personal and specific image of characters in their mind when reading a story, so how do you translate that experience to film?

Britt Robertson, Scott Eastwood, and George Tillman, Jr.

Photo by Michael Tackett – courtesy 20th Century Fox

“You know, a lot of times, especially with Nicholas Sparks books, the audience is very specific, and they do love his books,” said Britt. “But, I know my family, they’re huge Nicholas Sparks fans. So, the thing is you kind of have to cater to a specific audience. But at the same time, we’re trying to make a really great movie. So, just to be honest in these moments, and not try to make it anything other than the movie that we’re trying to build here. And the biggest challenge is finding that balance. But at the end of the day, the book, for me, was basically just a history lesson. And we’re trying to make it sort of a separate entity.”

As for Scott, he looks to the book version to inspire the essence of the character that he’s bringing to life in his own way. “I think, reading the book, I got to know sort of the values of this character, and sort of learn what he stood for and what he was about, and then taking all that, just remembering all the characteristics, and sort of what he believed in, and then bringing yourself to it a little bit, and trying to bring yourself to it as well,” he told us.

George Tillman, Jr.

Photo by Michael Tackett – courtesy 20th Century Fox

The Longest Ride weaves two love stories together, so I asked director George Tillman, Jr. how his past work inspired him on this film and if he finds himself drawn to stories with an intertwining narrative.

“It was very helpful, I think, with Soul Food, and my first film, and doing stories with different parallels. It helps with this story,” he told me. “I can tell stories with many different characters. But this was completely different because it’s two different stories. And each story got their own style. And each actors, and they have their own style. And Jack [Huston] and Oona [Chaplin] got their own style. It was just interesting.

What makes it helpful is just having great actors around like these guys. What I learned on Men of Honor, what DeNiro taught me is like your actors are your partner. It’s not like you’re directing them. It’s not like they’re acting for you. You’re doing it together.

So, like today, we’re doing some scenes. We’re doing a scene in a car where the surprise happened. Scott came to me. He’s like, “Hey, I got this little thing I got in the hospital. If I pull this off, I think you should get a cut of it.” And I looked at it. Wow, that means he ain’t stopping bull-riding. Just that little detail with Sophia, just the looks and the complexity there, that’s the partnership. And I think that’s what you want. That makes it helpful for the director, that you got people to help you back in the crew. And I think that makes it helpful.”

Beeb on the set of The Longest Ride

I’ll be sharing more details and interviews from my set visit in the coming days, so stay tuned!

Don’t miss The Longest Ride when it hits theaters on April 10th!

LEGO DC Comics Super Heroes: Justice League vs. Bizarro League Giveaway

A week ago my kids and I went to the screening of LEGO DC Comics Super Heroes: Justice League vs. Bizarro League Giveaway. They loved it and now pretend to be characters from the land of Bizarro.

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In the Bizarro World Pack, Bizarro clones the Justice League and creates his own Bizarro League to help save his planet Htrae from the evil Darkseid. Join Batzarro, the world’s worst detective, angry Bizarra, and the scared Lantern GreenZarro, and more!

The movie starts with Superman being quite embarrassed by his counter part Bizarro so he takes him to a new land and tries to build him a city to take care of. Well even though Bizarro was lonely he made the best of it, only needing help once his citizens were being attacked. Thus the reason to create the Bizarro League. It’s a cute film for DC fans and LEGO fans which my son is both.

After the movie we were able to listen to the cast chat about making the film and how much fun they all have working together. At first the kids were really worried they were going to be bored but then they thought the actors were pretty funny.

You can gain access to all of the great content in the LEGO Batman 3: Beyond Gotham DLC Season Pass for $14.99. The DLC Season Pass allows players to access six add-on content packs: Bizarro World, Man of Steel, Dark Knight, Batman 75th, Arrow and soon-to-be released, The Squad Pack! You can also purchase each Season Pass pack separately for $2.99 each.

 

Now you can enter to win a LEGO set from the DC LEGO world.

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Enter to win:

Blu-ray AND Green Lantern vs. Sinestro LEGO

To Enter:

Tell me who your favorite Bizarro would be

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The Movie You Must See: McFarland USA

I took my kids to the red carpet premiere of McFarland USA and it was such an amazing experience. The movie was so good and my kids really enjoyed it too. There were some things that they didn’t really understand, like the fact that the kids in the movie were getting up at 4:30 am to go work and then they went to school and then they went to work again. I loved how they really got to see what it meant to be an underdog and overcome life.

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In McFarland USA the people that live there have to work harder than most people in the US. It’s one of the poorest towns and the thought of doing something with your life other than working the land doesn’t really exist. Coach White was really down on his luck because of his temper. The only job he could get was being a teacher/assistant football coach in McFarland USA and he didn’t get along with the football coach and lost that part of his job.

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While getting to know the students he saw that they have a natural talent in running. So he decided to start a track team and that’s when all the action happens.

 

Inspired by the 1987 true story, “McFarland, USA” follows novice runners from McFarland, an economically challenged town in California’s farm-rich Central Valley, as they give their all to build a cross-country team under the direction of Coach Jim White (Kevin Costner), a newcomer to their predominantly Latino high school. Coach White and the McFarland students have a lot to learn about each other but when White starts to realize the boys’ exceptional running ability, things begin to change. Soon something beyond their physical gifts becomes apparent—the power of family relationships, their unwavering commitment to one another and their incredible work ethic. With grit and determination, the unlikely band of runners eventually overcomes the odds to forge not only a championship cross-country team but an enduring legacy as well. Along the way, Coach White realizes that his family finally found a place to call home and both he and his team achieve their own kind of American dream.

 

It’s a great family film and we loved watching it as a family. Go see it it’s in theaters February 20th.