party-planning Beauty and the Beast again (for kids)

Today I hosted a Beauty and the Beast party for some girls aged 3-6. I reused my Beast peanut butter rice crispy treats from the live-action movie premiere, but with a new option of some that were made from cocoa cheerios as one of my guests is allergic to gluten. (I had thought that rice crispies were gluten-free, but apparently only certain brands are since most have a gluten malt flavoring?? So that was a bit of a scramble for me at the last minute but it turned out fine).

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i left off the Bugles on the gluten-free ones and just made horns out of frosting

Of course, we also had Belle cupcakes; I got the toppers from Etsy, there are several printable varieties or you can buy some ready-made. We had punch too, make with pineapple juice, Sprite, and Rainbow Sherbet, but I forgot to get a picture of it and anyway only half of the kids liked it. (The rest opted for kool-aid.)

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the light-colored cupcakes were gluten-free lemoncakes from a local bakery

My personal favorite part was the enchanted rose craft. I glued small blocks of glitter-painted foam to the center of the plates and cut down the fake roses so they would fit before hand, so the kids’ role was mainly painting glitter on whatever parts they wanted, including the rose petals. The ‘glass’ covers to go over the rose are the top parts of plastic wine glasses. You just have to make sure to find a style that detaches at the base of the bowl rather than between the foot and stem. I found these at Dillons.

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We also paused mid-way through the movie (which turned out to be necessary anyway for calming down, bathroom breaks, a bit and re-focusing) to make magic mirrors. Again, I did a lot of prep work beforehand, cutting them out of cardboard, hot-gluing embellishments, spray-painting them gold and cutting out pieces of reflective stickers out (which I got on Amazon, it was supposed to be a “chrome car decal” but I found it by searching “mirror sticker”). The kids’ part was gem stickers. I felt kind of bad that I made a lot of creative choices for them, but it turned out to be just the right amount of not-too-complicated busywork during the break and they all seemed happy with their various mirror shapes.

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We watched the live-action version, but we did take the aforementioned break mid-way through (after “Be Our Guest”) and if you are thinking of replicating this party with very young children you might consider watching the animated version instead, since it is forty minutes shorter.  Our little audience wasn’t the most attentive for the whole duration of the film, but there were a lot of moments that had them spellbound and more than one twirling dance party that broke out during the songs, and I will cherish the memory of my couch full of little girls in Belle dresses (plus one Cinderella dress) clutching their popcorn bags and giggling at the screen.

10/10 would throw this party again.

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Things I Liked in Wonder Woman Movie

I have seen the new Wonder Woman film (directed by Patty Jenkins) twice so far, and I love it. Spoiler-y reaction in more detail below:

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Hillary Rodham Clinton: Keep Going

Hillary Rodham Clinton delivered the commencement address to the 2017 graduating class at her alma mater, Wellesley College. I watched a livestream and was inspired and encouraged by many of her statements, and a bit disgruntled when so much of the subsequent news coverage I saw highlighted only the bits that referred to President Trump. hillary wellesley media coverageThe giddy headlines exclaiming “trolled” and “major shade!” and the isolated clips of her references to impeachment or crowd sizes are a gross mischaracterization of the overall message of her speech. These headlines all focus on Trump, but the core of her message was confirming to the young women graduating that they are empowered to shape our country’s future. She gave advice and encouragement that can benefit all Americans.

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Star Trek: Discovery Trailer Reaction

 

So, we have our first trailer for the new Star Trek: Discovery series and I have thoughts!

Since we still know so little about these characters or the setting beyond generalities, it’s hard to get overly excited about footage that leaves so many unanswered questions and seems to be holding so much back. But there are a lot of things in this limited glimpse that make me eager to see more.

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Party-Planning The Handmaid’s Tale

The Handmaid’s Tale is a grim story. Watching the appropriately dark and terrifying Hulu series adaptation of it is not something I would normally think of as a “party”, but I did organize an event to watch the first 3 episodes the week that they premiered with several friends.  The purpose of the party was twofold: to provide mutual emotional support and validation for each other while we absorbed the trauma onscreen, and to raise money for the Center for Reproductive Rights in the hopes that what we were seeing would remain forever fiction.  I think it was a success on both counts.

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HANDMAID CUPCAKES!

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Party-Planning “Beauty and the Beast”

I am excited to see the live-action adaptation of Beauty and the Beast later this week, and have come up with the perfect cookies to celebrate the occasion.

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The Best “Lord of the Rings” Quotes For Our Times

We’re still only a few weeks into the Trump Presidency, but it’s already been a very turbulent ride, and its not too soon to be able to tell that even darker times lie ahead. Here are the moments from The Lord of the Rings that I am comforting/inspiring/steeling myself with these days.

“When did Saruman the Wise abandon reason for madness?” This is what I say to the Congressional representatives who won’t stand up to Trump, even when he tweets complete nonsense. Or to any leaders who advocate for his malicious agenda. Their logic is exactly the same as Saruman’s–he is too powerful to resist! We must align with him to preserve our own positions of power! But as Gandalf later states, this is a fruitless effort. “There is only one Lord of the Rings, and he does not share power.” I’m not saying Trump is Sauron. But I think it is safe to say he is equally self-serving and that attempting to ride his coattails is indeed abandoning reason for madness. (P.S., I have another clip for the people in the White House communications office who keep making ridiculous defenses for the indefensible things their boss says.) Continue reading

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Revisiting Obama’s Selma Speech

Nearly two years ago, President Obama gave a speech on the 50-year anniversary of the march on Selma, Alabama (dramatized in Ava Duvernay’s 2014 Oscar Best Picture-nominated “Selma”).  I remember thinking at the time that it was a fantastic speech, beautiful and inspiring. I even saved a copy of it in my “speeches” playlist; (there’s no way to make that not sound nerdy, but I don’t care. I’m a student of rhetoric and it’s a great speech.)

Over the past two weeks under our new President, as many citizens mobilized to resist the extremism coming from the White House, this line from the Selma speech kept echoing in my head:

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Running with Perseverance

A couple weeks after the election, I ran a 10k. The course was a down-and-back route and the race event included a 5k, half -marathon, and marathon as well on the same route with staggered start times, so as you ran, there weren’t just people in front of and behind you but also crossing paths beside you headed the other direction.  I was running with a friend, and we were apprehensive about maintaining a respectable pace because our training hadn’t been particularly rigorous, but something happened that made running non-stop both easier and more enjoyable than I had anticipated.

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Things I Liked about Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

I love that it starts without the traditional scrolling text. This Star Wars story is more urgent, less epic–but not less significant!

I love that the first visual we get is disorienting, planet rings from below half-blocked by the planet’s shadow, and you’re not sure what you’re even looking at until it changes perspective and now we see, ah, there’s the planet, and now the rings and the shadow make sense. Because this film’s story is looking at a series we’re familiar with, but from a very different perspective than we’ve seen before. The other side of the rings!

I love K-2SO. A snarky droid after my own heart!

I love Captain Cassian Andor. He’s dreamy!!

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my new crush

**spoilery things i loved below**

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