Marvel’s Doctor Strange Hits Theaters: A Dad’s Review

image004 

As I waited in the theater for Dr. Strange to begin I heard someone behind me mussing out loud about his Marvel Universe knowledge. He was amped-up enough to shout out to those of us waiting “What was Dr. Strange’s full name?” I inferred two things; this guy was excited and at least one person in the audience knew the story that was about to be presented to us and what we were in for.

Dr. Steven Strange is medical doctor gifted with photographic memory and really steady hands. His specialty is working on the brain and spine. He lives the kind of nice plush life that being a highly sought after Doctor in a specialized field commands. After a major career setback that stops him from practicing medicine he seeks out non traditional healing methods. From here his transformation to a super hero begins and he must defeat a bad guy that once again thinks he is doing right by trying destroy life as we know it.

image015

Creating A Super Hero

By now you realize that the number of super heroes we have been introduced to has grown considerably. Dr. Strange the movie follows the same pattern of the Ant Man movie, a one off stand alone super hero movie that will tie into the Marvel Movie Universe in some way later. I am very impressed with the way these movies have all dove-tailed together. For a small example, in the city views of New York you can see the Avengers/Stark tower.

So far the new characters have been interesting and intriguing. Dr. Strange is no exception. His character grows and changes from the medical Doctor we are introduced to into the super hero he becomes at the end. I think it is safe to say that he is rather self centered and all about what is best for him and his career. By the end he has opened his eyes and sees that he must act for the greater good. The story is simple enough to follow and some complexity is added with mystery surrounding Dr. Strange’s mentor. This movie contains humor as is now a standard trait in these Marvel movies. It also has all the special effects we are used to seeing. When the credits roll, make sure to watch them for two extra scenes that setup future events.

image017

Heros and Villians

In the last movie I saw Benedict Cumberbatch in he was the villian, Khan, in Star Trek: Into The Darkness. As an actor he has a very striking persona. A deep voice and he is tall and slender. I find him a bit different. In the part of Dr. Strange he played it well and the characteristics probably help. 

Rachel McAdams character, Dr. Christine Palmer, was there to help setup the Dr. Strange character in the beginning and help out a little bit later. Really any actress could have done the part, but she was fine. 

The villian played by Mads Mikkelsen kept making me think back to his role in James Bond’s Casino Royal for some reason. No complaints with his performance here. 

Finally Dr. Strange’s associate Mordo, played by Chiwetel Ejiofor, did a very good job with his role. I think the librarian, “Wong”, steals the scenes he is in.

image009

Thinking back over the movie that is rated PG-13, I don’t recall many (or any) bad words or excess blood and guts. I think a 10 year old or older would probably be okay to see this movie with parental guidance.

As we approach the holidays and will be enjoying some time off, if you have not already made it a priority to see Dr. Strange, you should pencil it in on your movie list. By the way his full name was “Dr. Steven Vincent Strange.”

Like DOCTOR STRANGE on Facebook | Follow DOCTOR STRANGE on Twitter 

Follow Marvel on Instagram | Visit the official DOCTOR STRANGE website

DOCTOR STRANGE is now playing in theatres everywhere!

Who will you be heading to the movies with to watch Doctor Strange?

Where Do Babies Come From? And Other Questions Brought On By The Storks Movie

STORKS

Storks deliver babies…or at least they used to according to the animated adventure “Storks” staring Andy Samberg. Now they deliver packages for global internet retail giant Cornerstore.com. Junior (Samberg), the company’s top delivery stork, is about to be promoted when the Baby Factory is accidentally activated on his watch, producing an adorable – and wholly unauthorized – baby girl.

Desperate to deliver this bundle of trouble before the boss gets wise, Junior and his friend Tulip, the only human on Stork Mountain, race to make their first-ever baby drop, in a wild and revealing journey that could make more than one family whole and restore the storks’ true mission in the world.

When we were invited to check out the film, I knew the kids would want to go see it. Every time they saw a trailer, they immediately asked when it was coming to the theater. And when the day finally came for our screening, both kids were happy to finish up their homework and eat dinner early so we could take off to the theater. They were prepared for a great time. I was not prepared for the barrage of questions I would get after the movie showed. 

STORKS

A few questions that were hurled at me as we drove home: 

  • Where do babies really come from? 
  • Why would someone not have a mommy and daddy?
  • How would a stork know how to find a baby’s family?
  • What is an orphan? 
  • Are there really orphans out there without a mommy or daddy? 
  • Why can’t you be their mommy? 
  • Why can’t we get another brother or sister? 
  • Can we put a slide on our roof too? 

You get the point. 

STORKS

While most movies do bring on a lot of questions from our kids, especially the middle child, I was definitely not prepared for the questions they wanted to know after we saw Storks. And had a done my due diligence and really paid attention to the trailers, I would have been able to prepare myself to what was to come. And, hey, maybe you won’t get the same questions I did. 

Note: If you have a child who is adopted or was, at one point, an orphan, please read this post from our friend over at Highlights Along The Way. This movie may have possible triggers that can affect your child and/or yourself. 

Other than the questions we received, and tried to answer as best as we could (for their ages), the movie was a fun-filled movie with great animation and a fun storyline for the kids. They loved watching Tulip and Junior on their adventure and laughed out loud for most of the movie. Their favorite part? When a pack of wolves turned themselves into a submarine. Quite entertaining! 

STORKS

The Storks movie hit theaters on September 23rd and is rated PG

Zootopia Coming To BluRay/DVD On June 7th

review affiliate link disclaimerZOOTOPIA. ©2016 Disney. All Rights Reserved.

In its 92-year history, Walt Disney Animation Studios has created a long and storied legacy of talking-animal films—from Mickey Mouse’s debut short Steamboat Willie to The Lion King and everything in between. And this year was no different as Disney returns to the wild with Zootopia

“We all grew up watching the great Disney animal films—we were immersed in those worlds,” says director Byron Howard. “My favorite childhood film was ‘Robin Hood,’ and we wanted to honor that legacy, but in a new and different way that dives even deeper. We started by asking, ‘What would a mammal metropolis look like if it were designed by animals?’ The idea was incredibly exciting to us.”

Comprised of neighborhoods that celebrate different cultures, Zootopia is a city like no other. There’s ritzy Sahara Square for desert animals, Tundratown for the polar bears and moose, the hot and humid Rain Forest District, Little Rodentia for the tiniest mammals, and Bunnyburrow for the millions and millions of bunnies. The downtown area, Savanna Central, is a melting pot where a wide array of mammals from every environment come together.

NATURAL ENEMIES — Zootopia's first bunny officer Judy Hopps finds herself face to face with a fast-talking, scam-artist fox in Walt Disney Animation Studios' "Zootopia." Featuring the voices of Ginnifer Goodwin as Judy and Jason Bateman as Nick, "Zootopia" opens in theaters on March 4, 2016. ©2016 Disney. All Rights Reserved.

NATURAL ENEMIES — Zootopia’s first bunny officer Judy Hopps finds herself face to face with a fast-talking, scam-artist fox in Walt Disney Animation Studios’ “Zootopia.” Featuring the voices of Ginnifer Goodwin as Judy and Jason Bateman as Nick, “Zootopia” opens in theaters on March 4, 2016. ©2016 Disney. All Rights Reserved.

Zootopia is a place where no matter what you are—from the biggest elephant to the smallest shrew—you can be anything. But when rookie officer Judy Hopps arrives, she discovers that being the first bunny on a police force of big, tough animals isn’t so easy. Determined to prove herself, she jumps at the opportunity to crack a case, even if it means partnering with Nick Wilde—a fast-talking, scam-artist fox—to solve a mystery. “At its core, ‘Zootopia’ is a buddy movie,” says director Rich Moore.

“Judy and Nick—a rabbit and a fox—are natural enemies by definition. So these characters don’t exactly get along at first. They come to the relationship with ideas about each other—beliefs that aren’t informed or accurate.” “In Zootopia, anyone can be anything.”

ZOOTOPIA – Pictured (L-R) Mayor Lionheart, Assistant Mayor Bellwether. ©2016 Disney. All Rights Reserved.

ZOOTOPIA – Pictured (L-R) Mayor Lionheart, Assistant Mayor Bellwether. ©2016 Disney. All Rights Reserved.

According to Howard, the fact that the buddies don’t get along fuels the film’s comedy. “Judy is the eternal optimist who believes anyone can be anything—it’s the city’s motto, after all,” he says. “Nick is the complete opposite. He’s a cynic. He believes we are what we are. So we put this country bumpkin who’s full of vim and vigor in the middle of the big city alongside Nick—the realist—and he gets to have a lot of fun messing with her. But she has a few tricks up her sleeve.”

My kids absolutely loved how the animals interacted with each other and save for one small part where my 5 year old daughter got scared (the ‘jungle’ scene where a panther went back to it’s roots) it was a relatable movie that hit home with the kids.

ZOOTOPIA – OFFICER HOPPS -- Judy Hopps (voice of Ginnifer Goodwin) believes anyone can be anything. Being the first bunny on a police force of big, tough animals isn't easy, but Hopps is determined to prove herself. Featuring score by Oscar®-winning composer Michael Giacchino, and an all-new original song, "Try Everything," performed by Grammy® winner Shakira, Walt Disney Animation Studios' "Zootopia" opens in U.S. theaters on March 4, 2016. ©2015 Disney. All Rights Reserved.

ZOOTOPIA – OFFICER HOPPS — Judy Hopps (voice of Ginnifer Goodwin) believes anyone can be anything. Being the first bunny on a police force of big, tough animals isn’t easy, but Hopps is determined to prove herself. Featuring score by Oscar®-winning composer Michael Giacchino, and an all-new original song, “Try Everything,” performed by Grammy® winner Shakira, Walt Disney Animation Studios’ “Zootopia” opens in U.S. theaters on March 4, 2016. ©2015 Disney. All Rights Reserved.

Zootopia features a remarkable roster of voice talent tapped to help bring the mammal metropolis to life, including Ginnifer Goodwin as rookie rabbit officer Judy Hopps. Jason Bateman voices the con-artist fox, Nick Wilde. “We feel fortunate to have this caliber of talent—they’ve really embraced all of this story’s heart and humor in a way I don’t think we’ve seen before,” says Spencer. “We recorded Ginnifer and Jason together as much as their schedules would allow. I think we have something special happening, which is exciting.”

Also included in the voice cast are Idris Elba as Judy’s no-nonsense cape buffalo boss Chief Bogo, Jenny Slate as Assistant Mayor Bellwether, Nate Torrence as charming cheetah Clawhauser, and Bonnie Hunt and Don Lake as Judy’s anxious, but supportive parents. The voice cast also features Tommy Chong as Yax the Yak, J.K. Simmons as Mayor Lionheart, Octavia Spenceras the distraught Mrs. Otterton, Alan Tudykas Duke Weaselton, and Shakira as Zootopia’s biggest international pop star, Gazelle.

Zootopia Ethan and Molly

Rated PG, “Zootopia” hits store shelves on BluRay/DVD on June 7, 2016.

(you can pre-order on Amazon right now!)

Taking The Plunge: Norm of the North In Theaters Tomorrow

Norm of the North in NYC

As children grow up, they face challenges and new experiences in their everyday lives. From getting on the school bus for the first time and trying out for the soccer team, to making new friends and enjoying occasional sleepovers, each day brings with it a new adventure.

Although little ones might be nervous or apprehensive at first, encouraging them to ‘take the plunge’ proves best in the end. After all, life’s greatest rewards often stem from taking chances and moving beyond our comfort zones.

As soon as my son saw the previews for Norm of the North he turned to me and asked if I’d take him to see it. Something about the story drew him in. So when we were invited to the screening last weekend, I knew I had to take him. And you know what? He LOVED it!

Norm of the North and Seal

Lionsgate’s latest movie release introduces audiences to Norm, a big-hearted, and talkative polar bear from the Arctic, as he ventures to NYC to prevent his beloved home from being developed. With helpful friends at his side, Norm takes on the Big Apple, big business, and a big identity crisis as he tries to save the day!

The movie hits quite a few obsticles for Norm to overcome and it’s overall message is a good one. From the importance of keeping our environment safe, to doing what’s right and sticking with friends, to finding yourself even if you’re a bit different from everyone else. If you have a young kid, they’re sure to get a kick out of this family-friendly movie. Plus there are a few funny moments for the adults too!

Norm of the North screening

You can come see Norm of the North in theaters everywhere tomorrow, Friday January 15th.

Need any more reasons to watch? Check out the Arctic Shake!

Christmas Came Early: Star Wars The Force Awakens

Star Wars The Force Awakens

A Christmas gift delivered early, is what Star Wars The Force Awakens is and what a special treat it is! When this film was announced I felt a nervous excitement. Would it feel like Star Wars? Would the story be any good? Would the original cast be back? Well, that would be yes, yes, and yes. 

We start with the familiar Star Wars scroll to fill us in on with what has happened since Endor. Pieces of the Empire, now organized as the First Order, have carried on and continued to wage war with the Rebels, now called the Resistance. It is still good versus evil. And, of course, we have a Star Wars mystery on our hands. Luke has started a new Jedi Academy, but it has been disbanded when one of his students turns on him which drives Luke into hiding. We just don’t fully know the circumstances of this event yet and no one knows exactly where he is. The rest of movie revolves around both sides getting to Luke first. We meet two new young characters along the way who help with this quest. The first Rey, a scavenger on the planet Jakku and Finn a former stormtrooper. Rae has an interesting backstory that has yet to be revealed I think. Finn provides some heart and is a character that is battling the urge to run versus standing up for something more. Finally, we have our bad guys Kylo Ren and General Hux guided by a mysterious figure named supreme leader Snoke who give good chase throughout the movie.

Star Wars The Force Awakens - Storm Trooper

This movie really felt like the Star Wars universe of episodes 4­-6. It had a lot of creatures and droids that appeared to be very well done puppets and it had the signature “lived in feel” that Star Wars pioneered. The imagery on Jakku was amazing with the backdrop of the decaying war machine relics of a battle between the Empire and the Rebels. Throughout the movie, we are treated to mementos of the previous films. I was also pleasantly surprised by some of the humor mixed in.

I enjoyed seeing the original cast’s presence in the film. The roles they were given were a satisfying bridge between the old trilogy and this new one. The new characters were engaging enough and as a member of the audience felt vested them. The story is not overly complex and easy to understand as opposed to some of the prequels. For the most part, I was able to suspend my belief as the story unfolds. After a first viewing (I plan to see this one more time in the theater) I put this at 2nd or 3rd place in the series behind Empire Strikes Back, my personal favorite, and A New Hope.

Star Wars The Force Awakens - Dark Side

With the marketing machine going strong in the toy aisles across America your kids probably know about this movie. So should you take them to see it? The movie is rated PG­13 and it gets that from what I can tell is all the blaster fire and storm troopers dying. There was a scene or two with some blood. The language seemed to be okay with no swear words that I could recall. I would recommend 7 years and older.

STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS arrives in theaters everywhere on December 18th!

Planning to wait in line to watch the movie? Print out this Star Wars Activity Packet to make the wait more fun!

Are you heading to the theaters this weekend to see The Force Awakens?

5 Awesome Family Movie Night Movies For Kids Coming Out Soon

5 Awesome Family Movie Night Movies For Kids Coming Out Soon

I don’t know about you but I love to hoard a few movies from my kids to bust out on lazy days. Or rainy days where we don’t have any other plans. Being able to sneak out a movie that just came out and share it with them is always fun! Plus it’s a great excuse to pop some popcorn and snuggle up. I’ve received a few DVDs for review with the kids and cannot wait to share them with you so you can enjoy your own family movie night soon!

5 Awesome Family Movie Night Movies For Kids - Minions

5 Awesome Family Movie Night Movies

1. Minions

Are your minions… er… kids as excited about Minions on DVD/Blu Ray as mine are? As soon as my daughter heard them announce that Minions were available, she hounded me every day until the day it was released. Talk about pressure when you are trying to save a movie as a Christmas gift! Now that the cat’s out of the bag and the movie won’t be a Christmas gift, we’re looking at other Minions inspired gifts Santa can place in the kids stockings this year. If you have a Minions fan in your home, you won’t want to miss these!

The breakout stars the world fell in love with in Universal Pictures and Illumination Entertainment’s Despicable Me global film franchise headline their own movie for the first time in Minions, available on Digital HD November 24, 2015, and on Blu-ray™ Combo Pack, DVD and On Demand on December 8, 2015 from Universal Pictures Home Entertainment. A much anticipated prequel to the unprecedented worldwide blockbusters Despicable Me and the beloved sequel Despicable Me 2, Minions is an immensely entertaining film for all audiences called “inventive and hilarious” by Julian Roman, Movieweb.com. The Blu-ray™ Combo Pack and Digital HD also come with three all-new mini-movies and even more Minions everyone will want to watch again and again especially during the busy holiday travel season.

5 Awesome Family Movie Night Movies For Kids - Wild Kratts

2. Wild Kratts Australian Adventures

PBS is releasing “WILD KRATTS: AUSTRALIAN ADVENTURES” on DVD January 5, 2016. “AUSTRALIAN ADVENTURES” includes three episodes of the PBS KIDS hit series WILD KRATTS, one of which is a bonus story! From exploring how a thorny devil drinks water to learning about a koala’s favorite food, kids can join the Kratt Brothers as they travel throughout Australia and provide insight into some amazing and unique animals.

In the first two episodes on this DVD, the Kratt Brothers explore the Australian Outback. In “Koala Balloon,” the brothers find a stranded koala in the desert. In order to help the koala the brothers work to get their new friend back to its eucalyptus forest habitat. In “Kickin’ it with the Roos,” the brothers are motoring through the Australian Outback in the createrra looking for red kangaroos. When the brothers finally locate a mob of red kangaroos, they run into trouble when the keys to the createrra are stolen by a joey. This episode also features two fascinating birds – a kookaburra and a wedge-tailed eagle!

In the bonus episode on this DVD, “Platypus Café,” the brothers learn about one of the most unusual animals in the world – the duck-billed platypus. In order to get to know this creature, Martin and Chris use the miniaturizer to shrink and enter a platypus burrow.

3. Hotel Transylvania 2

Sony Pictures Animation’s monster family box-office hit HOTEL TRANSYLVANIA 2, which grossed more than $430 million in theaters worldwide to date, will debut on Digital HD Dec. 22, just in time for holiday viewing and on Blu-ray 3D™ Combo Pack, Blu-ray™ Combo Pack and DVD on Jan. 12 from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment.

The Hotel Transylvania sequel reunites ‘Drac’s Pack’ of loveable characters, led by “Vampa” Drac (Adam Sandler, Grown-Ups) as they try to put Mavis (Selena Gomez, Spring Breakers) and Johnny’s (Andy Samberg, TV’s “Brooklyn Nine-Nine”) son Dennis through a “monster-in-training” boot camp to bring out his vampire side. But little do they know that Drac’s grumpy and very old, old, old school dad Vlad (comedy legend Mel Brooks) is about to pay the family a visit to the hotel. And when Vlad finds out that his great-grandson is not a pure blood and humans are now welcome at Hotel Transylvania, it doesn’t take long for things to get batty!

4. Captain Jake and the Neverland Pirates: The Great Never Sea Conquest

Captain Jake and the Neverland Pirates: The Great Never Sea Conquest is available to Own on Disney DVD on Jan. 12! Join newly promoted Captain Jake as he unites Never Land’s all-time greatest pirates! When evil mer-witch Ezmeralda tries to take over the Never Sea by awakening the Strake, a legendary three-headed sea serpent, Jake and his crew try to intervene but encounter Lord Fathom and his sidekick Sinker. Jake forms a team of “Never Land League of Pirate Captains” to battle them all and in the process, outfitted with a magical new sword and a powerful new ship, (the Mighty Colossus), he becomes a Captain himself. Loaded with excitement, additional adventures and a powerful message about believing in yourself, this high-stakes, high-seas adventure is oceans of swashbuckling fun for everyone!

5. Snow White

Forever enchanting and inspiring, Snow White And The Seven Dwarfs embodies The Walt Disney Signature Collection’s legacy of animation. In this epic story of love and friendship, the kind and beautiful princess Snow White wins the hearts of the Seven Dwarfs and triumphs over the evil plans of a wicked Queen. Share the movie called “The Greatest Animated Film Of All Time,” (American Film Institute) on Blu-ray February 2nd and on Digital HD January 19th, with special features for the entire family!

What’s your child’s favorite movie right now?

Ant-Man: Corny or Smart?

 AntMan Suit

I was not too sure what to expect when I heard about a movie called “AntMan.” Visions of a tiny guy cavorting with ants, transformed by some science project gone wrong materialized in head. So when I received a Digital Disney Movies Anywhere copy of the film, I had to check it out for myself. Well there were ants, and a science project, but they came together in a way that I found pleasantly enjoyable.

AntMan Dr. Pym

AntMan is the story of Dr. Pym and his “Pym Particle” that reduces the space between atoms thus making things small yet just as strong as if they were full size. Dr. Pym uses this particle to power a special suit that makes the wearer shrink and grow at the press of a button. Realizing the destructive power of the suit and particle if in the wrong hands he decides no one else must learn how to reproduce his work. Unfortunately his apprentice becomes consumed with figuring out the formula.

Dr. Pym used to wear the suit for S.H.I.E.L.D, but now older, he wishes to pass the torch to a younger soon to be hero. Enter Scott Lang an electrical engineer with a criminal past in the spirit of Robin Hood. Freshly out of prison and trying to change his ways he gets caught up in another heist in which he discovers the suit. The new AntMan must now master the suit and race to contain Dr. Pym’s apprentice and stop him from selling the formula to Hydra.

AntMan

Paul Rudd plays Scott Lang and does a good job with his comedic timing. This movie has some pretty humorous moments so it played well to his acting style. It is also nice that as these Marvel Universe movies continue to roll out they acknowledge each other and past events which AntMan does with the events of Avengers 2. Like all comic book movies one needs to suspend their belief to get into the movie and buy into what is happening. This movie could have come off as corny as I imagined before seeing it, but it managed to stay smart and serious when needed.

Take a peek at the bloopers to put a smile on your face today:

 

This movie makes my list of family movies to keep in our collection. It is appropriate, in my opinion as a dad to 3, for families with children 7 and older if you’re ok with those under 13 seeing a PG-13 movie. There was the usual comic book violence and a few bad words spoken hence the PG-13 rating.

Like ANT-MAN on Facebook | Follow ANT-MAN on Twitter | Visit the official ANT-MAN site 

ANT-MAN is on store shelves everywhere today and can be purchased on Amazon (affiliate link) just in time for the holidays!

Will you be asking for Ant-Man in your stocking this year? Already saw it? What did you think?

Creating The Perfect Thanksgiving Tablescape

Tracking Pixel

Today we’re sharing our tips on creating the perfect Thanksgiving tablescape. Insight for this post was provided by GE Café™ Series.

Creating The Perfect Thanksgiving Tablescape

With Thanksgiving around the corner, I’m starting to plan out our Thanksgiving table. I love being able to create a festive tablescape for the holidays even if we don’t host Thanksgiving at our home. It keeps things fun for dinnertime. Why leave all the fun to my mother-in-law, right? And why not keep the house festive all month long? Plus if we get unexpected guests we can entertain easily without worrying about decor.

I haven’t talked much about our new home but one of the things that frustrates me is the fact that we don’t have enough room in our home, nor do we have an adequate kitchen, to host a holiday meal… yet. Luckily we have plans to remodel our kitchen and dining room so that we have the space, and appliances, to accomodate entertaining along with our every day meals.

So for now I focus on what I can control – the decor and festive tablescapes!

Last year we went with a simple centerpiece to decorate the table so this year we’ve continued with the simple approach. By using pumpkins and squash we picked up at the pumpkin patch right before Halloween, I was able to repurpose a few of our fall decor into a nice tablescape that was festive and coordinated with everything else I had.

Creating The Perfect Thanksgiving Tablescape - fall foliage and squash

Keep The Center Simple

Since we typically keep a buffet of food in the kitchen, the center of the table is for decorative pieces to keep things festive. By utilizing some gourds and squash and placing them along with some leaves on top of a burlap runner, I can create the look of Fall without too many pieces.  I was able to utilize the orange leaf print table cloth that I use for Halloween again for our Thanksgiving tablescape. I’ve also used a cinderella pumpkin here to serve not only as a centerpiece, but as a place to put the pie for dessert at the end of the meal.

When you want to keep conversation flowing, keep the centerpiece low. That allows guests to converse across the table. If there are a few taller pieces, make sure they’re seperated out so there are spaces between to make eye contact. Also, if you’re using candles, make sure they’re unscented. There’s nothing that’ll ruin a dinner more than a scented candle when you’re trying to eat food. 

Creating The Perfect Thanksgiving Tablescape - place settings

Have Fun With Place Settings

I love creating fun place settings for my guests to enjoy. This year we found some party poppers from our most recent trip to one of our favorite cooking sho that had a festive turkey theme. These are great conversation starters when guests sit down because they want to open them and discuss what they got inside. Sure they’re normally at the kiddy table but why can’t the adults have fun too? I’ve also created fun place cards and napkin rings to keep the table fun and entertaining for everyone.

While I do keep our plates and silverware near the food at the buffet, I leave a bowl for the guests to take to the buffet with them for their salads so they have room on their plate for other foods. Don’t you hate when you put the salad on your place first and it takes up a ton of room? No? Just me? I also like to leave a napkin at each place setting. I’m always that person who gets to the table after getting her food, sits down, and has to get back up to grab a napkin because I forgot it or didn’t have any hands free.

Creating The Perfect Thanksgiving Tablescape - centerpiece

Keep Versatile Pieces

It’s a great idea to have some key pieces from your tablescape to utilize from one holiday to the next. Consider investing in some timeless colors or colors that work with various seasons. Green can work for the fall and winter seasons depending on what you pair it with. Orange works for Halloween and Thanksgiving. And red can work from Christmas to Valentines Day to patriotic hoidays. I also keep a few basic colors of place mats as well on hand to switch it up. Cream, green, and blue are in my current rotation. 

Creating The Perfect Thanksgiving Tablescape - a simple, easy idea for Thanksgiving dinner

Now that I’ve taken care of our tablescape, I can focus on testing out a few of our favorite recipes to contribute to our holiday meals. And next year I’m hoping that I’ll be preparing a holiday meal in our new kitchen. With the research I’ve done on appliances, I’m starting to narrow down exactly what I want. And first things first, out with the electric stove and in with a gas stove!

Since I love to cook, I am aiming to purchase appliances that will last a while and keep up with my passion in the kitchen. I also have to keep in mind my husband’s love of baking. Luckily I can “Take Food Further” through the power of GE Café™ appliances. These appliances bring the expertise of the restaurant, home, during holiday timing.

With the GE Café™ Series I’ll be able to get the details designed to help the meals I make become masterpieces. From slow roasts to quick sears, from soups to sauces, the advanced cooking technology and intuitive design of our ranges can take every meal further. And boy do I need that! With each burner specialized for precise boiling, simmering and searing I won’t have to put up with the frustration that I feel with our current kitchen.

How do you simplify the holidays?

Disclosure: Insight for this post was provided by GE Café™ Series.

Shaun the Sheep Movie In Theaters Tomorrow!

Shaun the Sheep Movie

As an avid watcher of the show when it was on air, my son became quite obsessed with Shaun the Sheep at an early age. So much so that when he got his first Shaun the Sheep DVD, he watched it so much it broke. So as soon as he saw the preview for Shaun the Sheep Movie he bugged us to go see it as soon as it hit theaters.

If you’re a fan of Shaun the Sheep, then you’ll love the new movie coming out. In true Shaun fashion, adventure is around every corner.

When Shaun decides to take the day off and have some fun, he gets a little more action than he bargained for.  A mix up with the Farmer, a caravan, and a very steep hill lead them all to the Big City and it’s up to Shaun and the flock to return everyone safely to the green grass of home.

After watching, my kids gave the movie two big thumbs up each. And if your kids like the funny, entertaining antics Shaun is up to, then they’ll love it as well!

Catch Shaun the Sheep Movie in theaters tomorrow everywhere!

 

Like Shaun the Sheep Movie on Facebook | Follow @ShaunTheSheep on Twitter | Visit the official Shaun the Sheep Movie website

Avengers: Age of Ultron – Date Night OR Family Night?

Avengers Age Of Ultron

It is time for the big summer movies and Avengers: Age of Ultron does not dissappoint, so grab your favorite date or huge Marvel comic fan and sit down for entertaining 2 and 1/2 hour adventure.

This movie is a good blend of fast paced action, humor, and special effects. The premise is that Ultron was created by Tony Stark (Iron Man) assisted by Bruce Banner (the Hulk) to protect the world from bad guys thus making the Avenger’s jobs easier or not needed. Like only a computer mind can do it figures out the best way to protect imperfect humans is for them to evolve.

Marvel's Avengers: Age Of Ultron..Conceptual Artwork..?Marvel 2015

Unfortunately Ultron’s plans to spur a new race of humans is a global cleansing of the existing gene pool. So our heros cross the globe hunting down the robotic villian Ultron who is assisted by two twins that have been inhanced with special powers and his many robotic copies.

Its enjoyable when a movie’s characters have a good repore on sceen. These scenes lend themselves to some good humorous moments, like when each hero takes a turn attempting to lift’s Thor’s hammer and his reaction when it budges. Further the movie avoids some of the cookie cutter patterns when the movie sets up one of heros as a family man we are not subjected to watching him sacrifice himself later. The character of Ultron is very interesting on screen and his vocal work was very well done.

Avengers Age Of Ultron Thor and Captain America

This movie is a fun one to share with a date. You will both laugh and enjoy the action. If bringing children the movie was rated PG-13, so it is most likely too intense, in my opinion, for anyone under 10 years old. It also has a little profanity that some parents may not care to have their children hear.

Also? Stay until after the credits… you’ll thank me later!

Check this clip for a great sneak peek:

Will you be seeing Avengers: Age of Ultron this weekend? Already saw it? What did you think?

This post written by my husband, Joseph Simmons.



© A Crafty Spoonful - All Rights Reserved
It is OK to use one of my photos provided a link back and/or proper credit is given. It is NOT ok to copy and paste a whole post including instructions. Please do not remove watermarks or alter images in any way. Please contact me with any questions at danielle@acraftyspoonful.com

.