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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).


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.)


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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Reckoning with the Legitimacy of Trump’s Election

Last Friday, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence released an unclassified version of the report on “Assessing Russian Activities and Intentions in Recent US Elections“. I recommend that you read it yourself, as I have just done. The pdf is 25 pages, but the body of the report itself is only 5 pages (not including the appendix), plus a 2-page introduction that should not be skipped that explains the context and how to understand the terminology and assessments presented in an intelligence briefing.  It includes “analytic assessment drafted and coordinated among The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), and The National Security Agency (NSA)”, though this declassified version does not include all of the supporting evidence from the three agencies that are in the classified version.

Things We Now Know:

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Party-Planning Anne of Green Gables

When you want to have an Anne of Green Gables party, (because it is of course when, not if), here are my suggestions for elements that you can include, based on recent parties I’ve organized for myself and some of my friends. First of all, PUFFED SLEEVES!  Don’t let Marilla tell you that it’s a waste of fabric. You know watching Anne recite “The Highwayman” at the White Sands hotel and Gilbert lead the standing ovation afterward will be way more fun if you and your friends are wearing giant puffy sleeves while you watch it.  My easy, no-sew tutorial video for sleeves that you can pop on over any outfit is below, (filmed & edited by Bianca Brown–thanks, lady!). The elastic should keep the sleeves on well enough for movie-watching, but if you’re going to be wearing them while being more active, such as three-legged-racing with your new bosom friend or climbing onto roofs to walk ridgepoles on a dare, you may want to use a safety pin or two to hold them in place.

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Alternate Title Suggestions for The Hobbit: Battle of Five Armies

Even though I had already decided that The Hobbit definitely didn’t need three films, I just want to reiterate that position; having seen the final installment, I remain utterly convinced that it never should have become a trilogy. The Hobbit: Battle of Five Armies is entertaining for sure, but like in a “let’s get drunk and watch it with friends while we make sarcastic comments” kind of way. Remember how the last one failed to include the desolating of a certain dragon, even though that was the title? And originally the third film was supposed to be called “There and Back Again”, but it became “Battle of the Five Armies” in a change that Jackson called “completely appropriate.”  I have some suggestions of my own for alternative titles that I believe would have also been completely appropriate:

The Hobbit: More Thranduil Please!

The Hobbit: Every Creature In Middle Earth Is Probably A Mount: A Pig, A Moose, A Goat, A Bat, You Name It!

The Hobbit: My Strange Addiction: Dragon Sickness

The Hobbit: Do I Have To Try To Melt A Dragon To Get A Solid Gold Floor Like That? Because It Looks Awesome

The Hobbit: Everything In Middle Earth Has Been Bred For A Single Purpose (And That Purpose Is War)

The Hobbit: The Laws Of Physics Don’t Apply To Legolas

The Hobbit: Only Half Of The Dwarves Get Speaking Roles

The Hobbit: Martin Freeman Is A Treasure In Every One Of His Scenes Even In This Stupid Movie

The Hobbit: Thirteen Dwarves Without Helmets Make All The Difference In A Literal Battle With FIVE F–KING ARMIES!

The Hobbit: Elvish Fathers And Sons Are Too Pretty To Hug It Out

The Hobbit: It’s Always Eagles To The Rescue At The End Of A Middle Earth Story. IT’S ALWAYS F–KING EAGLES!

MY FAVE! He's so gloriously disdainful of everyone else.

MY FAVE! He’s so gloriously disdainful of everyone else.

(Seriously, can we get a story that is just an exploration of the eagles inner politics and why they never get involved until the last dire minute?) I did like seeing Galadriel wield her ring of power, I LOVED Thranduil and his ostentatious moose, Smaug was terrific, and the credits sequence was beautiful.  But all the good, necessary parts in this bloated, fan-fictiony trilogy could have easily fit into two films, An Unexpected Adventure and There and Back Again.  And the titles would have made more sense.


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i plan to write about stories and stuff.  books i’ve read, movies i’ve seen (which i think still counts as being a ‘page’ lady because, you know, screenplays).  perchance even a few pages from my own writings.

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