Tuesday, May 28, 2013

epic Review

 On Friday the kids, Nana and I went to the first showing on opening day for epic.

So the obvious question is well, was it....EPIC?

I think kids and adults have different things they value in an animated movie.  Kids want it to be funny and adults want it to be visually impressive.  Not to say these things don't overlap- kids understand and appreciate visual appeal and adults like to laugh. The real-ness of the animated outdoors was so, well.... realistic.  It pulls you right into the world of tiny Leafmen defending nature against the rot and death trying to encroach on their kingdom's borders courtesy of the bad-guy Boggans. 

The movie opens on the momentous day in the Leafmen kingdom when Queen Tara will choose a special bud vessel to hold her powers so they can be transferred to her chosen successor, ensuring that nature survives and can be protected against the Boggans.  The Boggans in the meantime have learned that if they can steal Queen Tara's bud it can be "hatched" under adverse conditions to give them the power.  Back in the full-size human world a girl named Mary-Katherine arrives at her distracted scientist father's house after her mother has passed away.  They are strangers in a way, separated by her father's insistence that there are little people living in the woods around the house.  These two worlds collide and everyone must work together to save nature.  

There were lots of funny moments that the kids loved.  A highlight was Aziz Ansari's slug character, who stole the scenes he was in.  There is an endearing three-legged pug who wreaks havoc constantly.  Of course there were many humorous situations where a full sized human who has become tiny learns the change in reality as a result of the size shift.  The whole movie was beautifully imagined, and one of my favorite elements was the demonstration of two different yet simultaneously existing speeds of life which results in competing realities as experienced by Stompers (us) and the tiny world.  Can they intersect?

An epic is defined as a larger-than-life story describing heroic actions taken by a hero.  There was no one hero in this story, more like several characters who had heroic moments.  It's enjoyable as a path into a fun fantasy world as opposed to something you come out of changed or contemplative.  Which doesn't have to be a bad thing.  Not every movie experience has to take you to the highest high or the lowest low.  Bottom line, the kids thought it was a little funnier than the grown-ups, but we all appreciated the humor, the artistry and the overall message from the movie, which is that while we are individuals, we are also bound together and should never feel alone.  It was the motto of the movie:  Many leaves, One tree. 

Check out the Epic website for games and more: http://www.epicthemovie.com/

Monday, May 27, 2013

Cinnamon- Apple Pie

 During the weekend my daughter said that she thought some apple pie sounded good, and being a mother who likes to support her daughter's interests, who was I to argue with pie?
Let's start with the crust:
For the crust, combine:
2 1/2 c flour
1/2 t salt
1 stick butter, cut into squares
1 t cinnamon
1/2 c shortening
6 T cold water
My daughter used the pastry blender to combine everything and then wrapped it up in some saran wrap like this:
Instead of putting it into the refrigerator for an hour, we just stuck it into the freezer while I took peeled and cored and diced 8 granny smith apples:
Stir the apples up with:
1 c white sugar
1/2 c brown sugar
2 T cinnamon
2 T flour
2 T corn starch
2 T lemon juice
Then, we roll out the dough between two sheets of saran wrap, because 1) It's way less messy than flouring the counter, and 2) It makes it really easy to pick up the dough and lay it out in the pie pan.
I always like to dice the apple as opposed to leaving it in slices because it bakes down a little more tender and saucy this way :)

Bake at 375 for around 2 hours, or until any juice leaking out has become thick and bubbly. 

Friday, May 24, 2013

Hair Dryer Time As Work Out Time?

You would think that since I am a Stay At Home Mom that I would be in the best shape of my life, with hours to exercise and juice and stretch while everyone else is at work and at school.  The reality is that I have lots of cleaning to do once my 3 big kids are safely deposited at school, or I need to run errands, or do shopping.  Most importantly I need to spend time with my new baby, to feed and hold and play with him.  And sometimes I am tired and I just want to sit on the couch for that window of time when I could be exercising. 

Yet I want to be in good shape and be healthy.  Who doesn't want to look nice for not only themselves but also their significant others?  So what do I do?  The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step, right?

My one step is my hair drying time.  I wash my hair every other day/every two days and it's really long hair so I need about 10 minutes to dry it.  This morning I was thinking about the exercise situation and out of desperation I started doing lunges while I was drying my hair.  Why not?  I did forward and reverse lunges and side leg lifts.  It felt a little silly but I think I'll keep it up, and then maybe it will motivate me in the future to make time somewhere else in the day for a few abdominal moves as well.  I'm not going to put lots of pressure on myself but I think as long as I develop a routine it's a foundation I can build on.

Friday, May 3, 2013


This is us a couple of years ago in front of Les Invalides in Paris.  I can't remember who did it first, but for the rest of the trip we had to get this shot in front of the landmarks we visited.