The Age of Adeline

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This may be a record for me. Two girls night outs in a months time! Insurgent and now The Age of Adaline. I guess it’s been a little over a month, but it still is a new record!

This movie was good. I wanted to start by saying that I enjoyed it because this review may give you mixed signals.

The movie opens with Adaline, played by the classically beautiful Blake Lively, buying forged identification. Then you go to work with her, at a library, where she is cataloging old film, about to be converted to digital. Then the narrator jumps back in, he also was at the beginning. He’s not that annoying in the beginning because he shares Adaline’s back story. It’s a lot of information and a narrator is a quick way to fill you in.
The accident that causes her to never age is explained in much more detail than shown in the previews!
Adaline has a very lonely life. She has her dog, her 80+ year old daughter she sees sporadically and only one friend that we meet. The friend is blind and therefore not able to see her aging.

At a New Year’s Eve party, she meets Ellis, a young, handsome and wealthy young man, who is quite insistent about seeing her. Persistence wins the day, after visiting some amazing places in San Francisco, you better believe I’ll be researching those, they spend the night together. There is a beautiful line in this scene, which was featured in the previews.

Adaline – Tell me something to
hold onto forever and never let go.
Ellis – Let go.

It was a beautiful moment!

*SPOILERS*

Romance is cut off, briefly, after the most tragic moment in the movie. Adaline’s dog gets sick, and a trip to the vet leads to the dog being put down. Anyone who has had to have a pet put down would recognize her face in this scene. Absolute devastation. This was the only time in the movie that I cried! After going home, she places a picture of her dog in a photo album, and then you see that she has always had the same breed of dog, pictures dating back to the 30s or so. I don’t understand how she could keep repeating that devastation, but somehow humans keep doing this to themselves!

*END SPOILERS*

Eventually it’s time to meet the parents, the relationship evolving quickly, and she agrees to go to his parents 40th anniversary party.
Shock and confusion are the words of the day when she realizes that Ellis’ father, William, is a man that she walked away from 50 years ago. Harrison Ford plays this role as fantastically as he plays all of his roles. Adaline convinces him that the woman he knew was her mother and he seems amazed at the resemblance, but believing.

**MORE SPOILERS**

William discovers the truth though, after seeing a scar on her hand, one he had stitched up himself, half a century earlier. When he confronts her with what he knows, she runs, the story of her life, and leaves a note for Ellis saying goodbye.
In the end, history repeats itself, reversing the strange quirk of fate that made Adaline the way she is.

**END SPOILERS**

There were two things that really bothered me about this movie. The first was the overnarration. At the beginning, it was nice to have details filled in, but at the end, when the narrator came back, it was a little too much. The second complaint ties in closely with the first. The narrator uses a lot of science speak. Some of it is legitimate, but some of it is clearly made up, and they go into such detail that I have Chemistry flashbacks. Nothing made sense there either!
All in all, the movie is definitely worth seeing, but you could probably wait for it to hit DVD.

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Happy Ever After Couples

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This was a super simple pin, and all I had to do was find the appropriate frame after playing on the computer for a little bit!
The original pinner was a genius with this idea! It is a list of couples, including the bride and groom (Tony and I) printed on nice paper and hung up!
The only change I made, was I selected couples who had a happily ever after. The original pinner had Romeo and Juliet, and I didn’t want to use them, as they had such a tragic fate. Most were fictional couples, Westley and Buttercup for example, and I also included my husband’s parents and my own. The original pinner did this as well.

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All you need to do is come up with a list of couples you would like included. The more you have, the better. Then, allow yourself time to sit and play in Microsoft Word. Start by centering your text and type out your couples names, one set per line.
After your couples names are typed, select a font you like. I thought it best to this afterwards, so you could see how the names would look. I put Tony and I’s names in red and in between, I used the heart clipart, and angled it until I had the way I wanted it. You can also color the clipart to suit yourself.
Now comes the fun and time consuming part! Adjust the size of your couples names until they line up closely on the edges. You have to adjust also, either removing names or resizing them all to fit onto one page. I also adjusted which couples had ‘and’ versus ‘&’ between their names to help. Then after everything was sized appropriately, I adjusted the order so I didn’t have all the big fonts on top and all the little fonts on the bottom.
Once everything looks good, you print it out on some pretty paper. I used resume cover paper that was on clearance at work. Frame it up amd hang it in a place that suits you! Mine is hanging with our wedding picture and our Gettysburg era portrait. It finishes up the wall quite nicely!
I hope you have as much fun with this as I did!

How to Train Your Dragon Party

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This was the invite for my son’s super awesome birthday party. I got the template for the invitation from this amazing site and did the editing on Paint. A little old school, but so much fun! Once I had the wording correct, I simply sent the picture to the Walmart photolab as 3×5 pictures. Once you pick them up, all you have to do is cut off the white edges.

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I racked my brain to figure out what kind of cake to make for a How to Train Your Dragon party. I was going through the 80+ Wilton cake pans in the basement (Thanks mom! It’s her collection being stored down there) and stumbled across a lamb cake pan.

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Yes a lamb! I stood there for a few minutes, holding the pan, realizing I could make this work.

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I did my outline and it fell into place. I don’t claim to be the Cake Boss, but the kids loved it!

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For the decor, I kept it simple, using the $.97 tablecloths, in red and black, from Walmart, layering them, cutting them and knotting them. Just for some interest, and to help hide my messy side room!

The kids really had a blast at the party this year. Be sure to take a look at my other party posts:
Shield Decorating
Feed the Dragon
Sheep Toss

Shield Decorating

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An artist I am not. This was an adorable pin that I found while planning Arthur’s 8th birthday party and I have to take a minute to say that the original pinner was a genius. It also lets the kids make their own favors!

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I started with several large boxes, empty ones from work. You will need two cardboard cutouts for each shield, so make sure you have enough cardboard to work with. It’s easiest to use a stencil and outline your circles before going to town with your boxcutter. Boxcutter was the easiest method for cutting that we found.

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Once you have two circles, you need to cut two slits, wide enough to feed tape through, in the center of one of your circles. You will now need a long strip of duct tape. Fold it in half, so that the sticky sides adhere to each other. Then you feed your strip of duct tape through your slits.

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Use more duct tape to firmly secure the ends of your strips to the back of your circle. When I say back of your circle, I mean the side with any writing or design on it.
Your next step is to put the two backs (designed) sides together and seal the edges together with yet more duct tape. Be extra sure that the outer sides of your shields are blank. It’s much easier to decorate!

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I bought a big pack of colored sharpies and let the kids go to town. It was a nice way to handle the arrival times, as the all of the kids rarely arrive at the same time.

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I found online, after much searching, this grouping of How to Train Your Dragon shield designs featuring different dragons. Thought it would give the kids a little inspiration. The picture I found through Bing search didn’t give me an attached link, so I can’t reference the source on this one.

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Later on, after everyone had decorated their shields, I paired them up with pool noodle lightsabers from last year’s birthday party, and they all had a great time running around the yard.
These didn’t take long to put together and they were a huge hit. Only recommendation is to have duct tape on standby for field repairs on the handles.
Play on everyone!

Feed the Dragon

If you like toss-across or cornhole, this is a great game! I got the idea for this game from a pin on Pinterest, shockingly.
I started by taking a giant piece of cardboard, we recently got a new door, so I had a monster one, and folded into a triangle. I then went ballistic with duct tape!

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The kids thought this was a tent, so we had to play for a little bit, obviously! I have a bunch of different colors of duct tape, leftover from when I made my duct tape flowers, so I used blue for the sky and green for my mutant looking grass.

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My next step started with me buying a new printer as our old one died and was never replaced. Then I discovered the joys of wireless printing from my phone, as I printed out full size pictures of the main dragons. Once they were printed, I cut them out and used packing tape to put them on my cardboard tent.

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After the dragons were attached, I cut holes, which we later had to enlarge, that the kids could throw their “fish” through. The original pin had the mouths cut out, but I couldn’t get the dragons big enough for that to work.
I went to town with my sharpie next, writing the dragons names and writing the name of the game.

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These are probably the ugliest “fish” ever used in a game, and I mean ever, but I have no sewing skills, and had no time to torture my husband into it. I took some of Arthur’s holey socks, thoroughly laundered, so don’t get grossed out, filled them with rice and tied them off. I drew little eyes on them with a sharpie to make it even worse!

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The kids were enjoying themselves, even before Tony enlarged the holes, making it possible to feed the hungry dragons. You may be able to see in the above shot, at least a little, but we did reinforce the box against the beanbags with additional pieces of cardboard acting as braces. They were held in place by our favorite accessory, duct tape!
If you decide to make and play this game, I hope you have as much fun as we did with it!
Play on everyone!

Sheep Toss

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This year for Arthur’s birthday, he chose a How to Train Your Dragon theme. Naturally I perused Pinterest and created an entire board on the subject.
This particular party game was adapted from this pin. I read through the tutorial they had written, but decided to change it up to make it a little more my speed. They’re version is a lot fancier than mine, but this is the suburbs and these are seven and eight year olds, so I decided to make it a little simpler.

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My sheep started out with a bag of this, purchased at Walmart, and a ball of white yarn.

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I made little sheep faces, yes they look rediculous, but so do the sheep in the movies.

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After bundling the stuffing with white yarn, which was an entertaining evening for me, I used my hot glue gun to attach the faces.
The baskets were also purchased at Walmart, if you recall, I work there, so most of my shopping is done there. We needed new laundry baskets anyway…..
I dug into my scrapbooking supplies for the tags, and browsed the internet for the dragon designs. The three dragon shield designs I chose included the Nightfury, the Zippleback and the Scauldron. It took some work to find these designs, as I am in no way an artist and did not want to wing it.

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I was really embarrassed by my sheep, so I started this game with white balloons, sheep faces drawn on with a marker, and a little bit of water for weight. We only got one toss out of each balloon, as they popped after hitting the grass. We also used my “fish” from another game (check back tomorrow for more on that), but I finally dug out the sheep. They didn’t hold up very well, but they actually worked the best!

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My friend Jenna had as much fun as the kids playing this game!
we did have luck on our side, as it was a gorgeous day outside, but I would recommend a tossing game for any kids birthday party. There are so many ways to adapt this, it can be adjusted for almost any theme!
Party on everyone!

Fried Rice

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I was both shocked and appalled at myself when I realized I had never blogged about this amazing fried rice recipe that I found here months ago. I’ve made this enough times that I’ve actually memorized the recipe!

All you need for this delicious recipe is:
•3 cups cooked white rice (I have made it with 2 and it’s just a thicker concentration of veggies)
•3 tbs sesame oil
•1 cup frozen peas and carrots (I mix them together in the cup as I make it 1 cup between the two veggies)
•1 small, chopped onion
•2 tsp minced garlic (learn how to make your own here)
•2 scrambled eggs (don’t cook them yet, that comes later)
•1/4 cup soy sauce

You start by putting your sesame oil, frozen veggies, onion and garlic in a large skillet and cook until the veggies are tender. Push your veggies to one side, then cook your eggs on the clear side of the pan.

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I use a huge pan for this, so it looks a little sparse, but it works, trust me!

After the eggs are cooked, add your rice and soy sauce and stir it all together. Then you have a delicious side to go with sweet and sour chicken, this is a favorite meal of Tony’s, so he’s always happy when I make it. It never seems to go right when he makes it, so he observed me the last few times. He thinks he’s ready for another attempt, but we’ll see……

Anyone hungry?