Life as Louise: Movie Review

Apparently I forgot how to blog this week….. Actually, I’ve been so busy and a few things fell by the wayside- blogging being one of them. I was also sick- which rarely happens- so I didn’t get much done on those days. Sorry about that. Sometimes I have a lazy week and sometimes I have a crazy week. Oh well, on to the topic of MOVIES.

When K and I first started dating we watched a TON of movies. Now we can’t seem to justify committing to a +2 hour movie when there are things to do (or more importantly, TV shows to watch). That’s why it’s so crazy that I’ve watch FOUR new movies in the last two weeks! Two movies are kid movies, one is Rated R (that escalated quickly…), and the fourth was just recently released on Netflix.

Movie Review

| The Minion Movie |
I will admit that I thoroughly enjoy kid movies. I go to the theaters, check out the “kid” content on Netflix, and buy up the DVDs when they’re released. The best kid movies have subtle adult humor embedded deep in the jokes and reactions… but Minions is not one of these movies.

I thought there would be some funny adult humor, but this is a kids’ movie through-and-through. (Which is great for kids!) The childish humor is cute and the storyline is a good one (especially when we finally come across our favorite long-nosed villain at the end), but unless you have little ones dying to see it, you can pass it up. (Just to keep my spot at the cool table, I took my three younger cousins to see this and Inside Out… I didn’t go alone. Geeeeez.) For an adult this movie gets 2 stars; for kids it can have 4 stars outta 5.

| Inside Out |
I saw Minions and Inside Out at a double-feature so I immediately compared the two. Totally unlike The Minion Movie, Inside Out had maaaany adult concepts. I feel like I need to watch it again to grasp everything completely. The movie obviously deals will 5 main personified emotions (joy, sadness, fear, disgust, anger) but there are so many more layers to the story.

The movie teaches a lesson about balanced emotions and what can happen if those emotions are unbalanced (or missing all together). It’s Pixar, so you know the animation is perfection. Also, A++ for casting (I love me some Mindy Kaling!). I give this 4.5 stars outta 5. I think it’s a good movie for kids and adults.

| Trainwreck |
This movie is rated R and for goooood reason. There is cursing, drug use, sex (and sexual content)… pretty much everything except violence (although you see a fake knee surgery so I guess it’s even gory). Taking into account Amy Schumer wrote it, none of this should be surprising. Still taking into account Amy Schumer wrote it, it’s absolutely hysterical.

The acting is ok. The storyline is ok. The humor is good. And LeBron James is fan.tas.tic. I’m seriously convinced he should be in every comedy. (There were so many elderly people in the theater and I think they came for LeBron… cue awkward-er sex scenes… (NOT with LeBron- he was pretty PG)…) Anyway, it’s a male and female comedy so it’s fun for the whole family adult-family. No, that’s a lie… I would HATE to watch this with my parents or my sibling, haha! If you’ve got the time and you’ve already seen Jurassic World, give Trainwreck a chance. I give it 3.75 outta 5.

| Serena |
Honestly, I had very, very high hopes for this movie. I read the novel (by Ron Rash) and anticipated majestic performances from Jennifer Lawrence & Bradley Cooper. (Seriously, though, I want these two to be together forever.) From what I read on the interwebz this movie was supposed to be release in theaters but never made it… I guess it spent some time in the iTunes store before hitting the red screen (Netflix).

While I definitely recommend the book, I would give the movie 2 stars outta 5. The acting is fabulous but the storyline is dull (and very inaccurate based on the novel). I loved the scenery and costumes, but the plot left much to be desired. Maybe if I hadn’t read the book I would’ve been more impressed? Eitherway, both book and movie will be most enjoyed by a history buff. If you prefer The Terminator or The Hangover maybe just skip this one.

. . .

How you seen any of these movies? What did you think? What new movies would you recommend seeing??

-Louise

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The Way We Talk to Kids

Today I need to talk about something that has nothing to do with me right now… but someday it will.

I feel so, so passionately about the way we speak to children. I think that our words make an incredible impact on the way they see themselves. If I’m ever blessed with a daughter I know that feminine compliments include words like beautiful, adorable, and cute.  I’m ok with these (and if she looks anything like my hubby then she will definitely be a cutie), but I need a few more words in her vocabulary. I want her to see herself as smart and adventurous and brave and determined. I want my kids to see”unique” as a positive trait. If I ever have a son I want him to know that “emotional” and “kind” are WONDERFUL things to be.

I got an email last week from a baby clothing store and this was part of the ad:

Baby Clothes

Typically I just scroll past these clothes (since my favorite Baby Elliot is only in 9mn outfits), but I found myself stuck on this ad.

Why, why, why do the boys’ shirts say brave, explorer, extraordinary and the girls say NOTHING? Girls get to pick between flowers or lace. Whhhhhhhhy?!

I am a feminist, but this is not a feminist post. This is my future mom-self thinking how much I LOVE that yellow/tan shirt and how I’d buy it for a daughter, but I would never put her in that floral jumpsuit thing-y. It’s a cute romper, but I want my daughter to have a choice between t-shirt or blouse, skirt or cargo shorts… This ad doesn’t give her a choice.

(I know that this ad is directed at parents, not kids, but come on… Not ONE adventurous shirt for the ladies.)

Let it be known right now: If I am ever pregnant with a daughter feel free to buy her whatever outfits you’d like, but please don’t shy away from blues, greens, and boy-associated ensembles. (I mean, if it says “Daddy & Son” probably leave it on the rack, but I’m good with trucks and bugs.)

Ok… on to the next point.

I’ve mentioned it before (like during the holidays), but I have a part time job at a kids’ clothing store. (No, it’s not the same one that sent me the email.) I took a few months off-ish, but I really like working there so I’m back to floor sales now.

While I was working last week a mom and daughter- maybe 10 or 12 years old- came in to browse. The mother was very put together and stylish, but the daughter was a typical kid: messy rained-on hair, athletic shorts, and a colorful tank top. I noticed that the daughter’s hair was just past her shoulders and curled into little spirals at the bottom. Yes, it was a little frizzy from the Ohio humidity, but that’s the nature of curly hair.

I asked the little girl if her hair was naturally curly. She said yes and her mother rolled her eyes. I said I thought it was very pretty- she’s very lucky to have curly hair like that. Her mother, with a look of disgust, replied, “No, she’s not. It’s a pain.” The little girl thanked me and quietly followed her mom to another corner of the store. All I could do was stand there and glare at the back of the mother’s head.

Why, why, why would you tell your impressionable child that her hair is “not good”?? She will go her entire life looking at magazines and television commercials of skinny, beautiful models with smooth, straight, flowy hair. As one curly-headed girl to another, let her have my compliment! (It took me +15 years to figure out how to manage my frizzy hair… now I love it.)

I know that 90% of the time it’s unintentional, but kids soak it up at least 90 % of the time.

Am I just being touchy or does that ad rub you the wrong way, too? Are you intentional in what you say to kids?

-Louise

10 Things to Remember in Your Twenties

Sometimes my posts are conceived from other articles & blogs that I read. Such is this case today after reading this article.

Go ahead and read it. I’ll wait.

If you’re like me, that article made you mad. It’s entitled The 20 Mistakes You Don’t Want to Make in Your 20s. The title actually got me really excited! I thought to myself, ‘Oh, some good advice from the internet about how to avoid mistakes in my twenties!’ But then I opened the article. And I realized that I am making 9 of those “mistakes.” And I am incredibly happy.

So moral of the story here is that this list doesn’t apply to everyone. Actually, based on the comments (“never read the comments!”) it only applies to skeezy men in their twenties. It’s hard to make a list that applies to everyone, but I’m going to give it a shot.

10 Things to Remember in Your Twenties

1 | Don’t Drink and Drive |
Our parents and teacher have been saying this for years, but we all could use the reminder- especially when we’re stumbling out of a bar and home is only 3 miles down the road and you’ve only had 4 or 5 drinks. Just call a cab or a (sober) friend.

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2 | Don’t be rude |
You never know who might employ you. You never know who might be the one to help you change a tire. You never know what someone may be going through. The world could do with a lot less rudeness. You’re an adult now; don’t be an asshole.

3 | Always be kind |
Similar to number 2, but different. Smile and say hello. Hold the door open for the person behind you. Give the homeless man the granola bar from your lunch. Don’t be rude, but also choose to be kind.

4 | Everyone is fighting a different battle and working toward a different goal |
Your goal might be a plush corner office at a top law firm but your friend Jason might want to be a stay-at-home-father of 5. Be encouraging and be gracious. We’re all fighting sometime and working toward something, and we’re all different.

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5 | Don’t compare yourself to others |
Currently one of my Facebook friends is in the Peace Corps. Another friend is studying to be a doctor. One girl is teaching English in Japan and another couple is doing a cross-country trip from Ohio to Alaska. Any way you slice it, they’re all doing pretty cool things. My coolest accomplishment this week was getting up (kind of) on time. Often I feel like I could be doing more, but being happy for others is much more healthy than being jealous of them. I am me- my only comparison is the person I was yesterday.

6 | Strengthen your bond with family |
Call your mom. Invite your brother to dinner. Visit grandma. I know that not everyone has a “good” family. Sometimes family members spread more toxins than love. If that’s the case then find some non-blood family and strengthen those relationships. Humans need other humans (and animals) to stay whole. (That’s why there’s a “social” requirement on The SIMS. Duh.)

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7 | It’s ok to take a break |
The most troubling advice I’ve read as a twenty-something year old has been: “Don’t get comfortable/Don’t Slow Down.” This is the biggest load of crap and it has caused me so much anxiety. If you are happy with what you’re doing then be content in that! And if you’ve worked your butt of in school and right now you’re working a job to pay the bills and provide stability then there’s nothing wrong with that. Being stationary is ok; being trapped is not ok. But there is a big difference.

8 | Believe in something/someone |
If you’ve gone this long without believing in someone or something then it’s high time you start. I’m a Christian and I believe in God. Some people believe in a supreme being. Some people believe in themselves. Believe in something and hold yourself accountable.

9 | Save some money |
This is very, very good advice. Always try to save a little money, even if it’s only $20 a paycheck. I love my Smart TV and my vacations and my grande cinnamon dolce latte, but I also know that in the future I will need money… so putting a little away in my 20s is crucial. (Better yet, find an employer that offers retirement and other savings programs!)

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10 | Forgive |
My brain is programed to remember old offenses and grievances. Not only do I remember when someone has done me wrong, but I remember the crap that happens to my friends and family, too. I can’t forget these things, but I can forgive people. Holding onto hate and grudges and anger is poisonous (and very easy to do), but I know there are times I need forgiven and it’s better to think of people as mostly good- not the opposite.

 . . .

Not every single point from this post-inspiring article was horrible. I tend to agree with #16, 13, and parts of 8. But overall, the article is pretty offensive- especially toward women.

So those are the tips I try to follow as a 24 year old. What advice would you give yourself (or a younger/older version of yourself)? What did you think of the other article? What’s the best/worst life advice you’ve gotten?

-Louise

 

 

| My Grateful Heart |

This year we spent the 4th of July with family and friends. The morning started out with a family breakfast at a local Amish restaurant (YUM!) and progressed with afternoon bottle shooting at my parents’ house, ending with a company cookout in the evening. Overall, it was a busy day!

Our evening cookout was about 50 miles north of our home. Since Lylee is terrified of thunder/big noises (and we live about 0.25 miles from our local firework-shooting park) we decided to pack up the dogs and take them with us. They travel well and behave relatively well so they were welcomed into our hosts’ home with open arms. Half of my evening was spent holding (65lbs) Lylee while the city fireworks were going off in the distance, but I didn’t mind and she appreciated it. (Enzo could not care less about thunder, fireworks, sirens, tornadoes, hurricanes, and apocalypses.)

On the way home all three of my loves PASSED. OUT. (as in K, Lylee, and Enzo). In that moment I knew what my Monday grateful heart post would be about. To quote my best friend’s Facebook post: Things aren’t always easy but they sure are great. I always think my heart can’t love my little 8-paw, 2-human family any harder, but then I catch two sleeping dogs in my rear view mirror and a tired husband in the passenger seat and my heart explodes.

Another grateful heart moment occurred on Sunday as I sat on my living room couch reflecting on the holiday. My best friend Erica texted and offered some much needed advice, then invited me over to visit with her & Baby Elliot. How lucky I am to have such wonderful friends.

July

It was an absolutely wonderful weekend; I’m still reeling. How happy and humbled I am to be an American, a Christian, and a very, very loved human being. And it’s all just luck of the draw.

I hope your weekend was just as fabulous! What did you do? Any cookouts or pool parties? Do you ever target shoot in your parents’ backyard?

-Louise

Grateful Heart w/ Ember Grey

Here’s to You, America

In fourteen-hundred ninety-two Columbus sailed the ocean bl- Wait. That’s not right.

USA

239 years ago our four fathers (plus some) signed a paper that said, “We out.”

Obviously there’s a little more drama and bloodshed, but essentially we quit England and became America.

I’m sure everyone in the 13 colonies was on board. I mean, when the federal government makes a decision it’s because everyone’s total for it. Either way, things seemed to turn out alright and I don’t have to spell “favorite” with a random “u”.

Call me a dork, but I find history fascinating. I learn something new every time I use Google. (Or open a book, I guess, but Google is just so much easier and if history has taught me anything it’s that the easy way is totally the best (and most accurate) way.) I love looking up dates and facts and timelines. For example, do you know what years the Revolutionary War was fought? How about The War of 1812? (Actually, I hope you can figure that one out…) Or the Alamo? or Civil War?

Of course we have more than just war in our colorful past, but how crazy is it that in 1776 we were just like, “Ok, we are becoming our own people”, and we’re still going (relatively) strong today!

. . .

Since someone scheduled Independence Day so close to all the racial and nuptial turmoil I’m sure the following phrases will be uttered:

“America was founded on freedom!”

“America was founded on religion!”

“America was founded on religious freedom!”

“America was founded on God!”

“America was founded to escape persecution!”

“America was founded to escape tea time!”

“America was founded so we had a place to send convicts!”

…no. That last one was Australia. Nevermind.

Anyway, what I’m getting at here is “this land was made for you and me.” This country is for everyone. Everyone. We’re still working on making it a happy place for everyone, but Saturday I’m going to celebrate how close we’re getting to making this a reality.

And that’s all I’m going to say about it.

So bring on the strawberries and sparklers and fireworks and bald eagles.

What’s your favorite 4th of July tradition? Will you be attending any family reunions this weekend? Do you prefer fireworks or sparklers?

-Louise