Tuesday, February 18, 2020

"A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood" Movie

"A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood" stars Tom Hanks in the role of Mr. Rogers himself. Mr. Rogers was such an iconic and encouraging person. Thankfully this movie is a credit to his legacy.

"We could all use a little kindness"

"A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood" is a feel-good movie that is based on the real-life friendship between Mr. Rogers and cynical journalist, Tom Junod (renamed Lloyd Vogel in the movie ). Lloyd reluctantly interviews Mr. Rogers for the article "Can You Say... Hero?" (Esquire November 1988) and finds his life is changed as he encounters the kindness and compassion of Fred Rogers.

At first the movie seems like an old school episode of "Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood". Living in Canada without cable vision, meant I didn't grow up with Mr. Rogers. (Mr. Dressup was the main entertainer here in Canada.) Whether you grew up with Mr. Rogers, or not, this movie has amazing appeal because the story of kindness is one everyone can embrace.

Mr. Rogers was an ordained minister (1963), although instead of being a pastor of a church, he spoke his message of hope and encouragement to children and their families through his TV show. True to Mr. Roger's mission, this movie inspires us to show kindness to others, to deal with difficult emotions, and to fix strained relationships. Common Sense Media suggests the movie is appropriate for ages 10 and up, but please look into it to decide if it is right for your child.

"If we ... can only make it clear that feelings are mentionable 
and manageable, 
we will have done a great service for mental health." 

February 18, 2020, is the release date for the DVD, Blu-ray, and 4K UHD release. Be sure to check this movie out if you haven't had the chance to see it yet! Better yet, watch it again and share it with a friend or family member.

~❀~ Chelsey ~❀~

Friday, July 12, 2019

"The Lego Movie 2" -- Not Awesome

*This post is by 13 year old guest blogger, Elijah, who felt so strongly about this issue that he asked to write a review.* 

Character Development in The Lego Movie & The Lego Movie 2 Contradict Each Other

A lot of people would agree that the Lego Movie was a huge hit at the box office, selling over 630,916,045 Canadian dollars. Since the Lego Movie was such a hit, Warner Bros. made a sequel titled “The Lego Movie 2” selling 257,019,945 Canadian dollars. In my opinion The Lego Movie 2 is just a large cash grab with poorly strung out ideas that contradict the first film. The main problems are the characters, storyline, and the morals, In this article i will focus on the characters and explain how The Lego Movie and The Lego Movie 2 contradict each other.


Emmett (as portrayed by The Lego Movie) is a bit of a goofball, constantly making pathetic creations and having bad ideas. Later on in the movie Emmett becomes a “master builder” and learns to just be himself, but Lego Movie 2 sings a totally different song. In The Lego Movie 2, despite the apocalyptic surrounding, Emmet is still happy and Lucy tells him that he needs to stop pretending everything is awesome. Emmett spends the rest of the movie trying to be someone he's not.


In the first film Wildstyle is depicted to be insecure and tries to be dark and brooding but later learns from Emmet to just be herself, revealing her name to be Lucy. But apparently according to Lego Movie 2 she still wasn't being herself! Lucy apparently has the same personality as Emmet! Why wouldn't Lucy tell Emmet at the end of the first Lego Movie!?


In the Lego Movie, Fin's dad is represented by President Business and at the end of the movie he says that Fin's sister can come down into the basement and play with them, leading viewers to believe that the dad would play, build, and spend more time with his kids. In The Lego Movie 2 they threw that idea out the window and made Fin's dad an absent parent. President Business only appears in the first 2 minutes of the movie before he leaves to play golf. This means that the second that Fin and his little sister started fighting (and destroying Bricksburg) the dad left.


Batman is obviously a loner, but The Lego Movie 2 makes Batman marry someone -- a pile of bricks of all things. This just goes against everything Batman is. He's heartless, he's careless, and he's bachelor.

In closing, The Lego Movie contained a lot of good character development and The Lego Movie 2 ruined it. The show just exists to suck more money out of a beloved franchise. Characters, storyline, and the morals, are all contradictory to the first film.

~❀~ Elijah ~❀~

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

"Breakthrough" Movie

"Breakthrough" tells the inspirational true story of a mother's love and the power of prayer. This movie is opening in theaters April 17, 2019 -- just in time for Easter!

When Joyce Smith's son, John, fell through the ice on a Missouri lake their world was forever changed. "Breakthrough" is "an enthralling reminder that faith and love can create a mountain of hope, and sometimes even a miracle."

My husband and I were blessed to have a preview of the movie "Breakthrough". We were impressed by the strong acting and the fact that the "characters" were written as real people with flaws. The movie is sure to tug at your heart strings.

If you're a fan of "This is Us" and Chrissy Metz (who plays Kate Pearson) -- you'll be so glad to see her in this role as a mom with strong faith. Chrissy Metz is quoted as saying “I've had some hardships myself, obviously, not to this degree but things that were really trying. And the only thing that sort of kept me going was my faith.” (The Christian Post)

"Breakthrough" is an amazing tribute to the power of prayer and the importance of faith. This movie is sure to inspire and encourage you!

~❀~ Chelsey ~❀~

Sunday, December 16, 2018

"Everything She Didn't Say" by Jane Kirkpatrick

Everything She Didn't Say by Jane Kirkpatrick is based on the true life story of Carrie "Dell" Strahorn and her husband Robert, who traveled extensively through the United States during the early 1900's as Robert determined where future towns and railroad tracks should be placed. 

Every chapter in "Everything She Didn't Say" contains a journal entry (which I assume are fictional), the chapter itself, and a memoir excerpt from Carrie Strahorn's memoir "Fifteen Thousand Miles by Stage". Jumping back and forth between these three styles of writing was laborious. I would have rather read Carrie Strahorn's memoir OR read a novel inspired by her memoir.

Dell is an independent woman who gives up her up her hopes and dreams in exchange for her desire to be alongside her husband. Overall I felt that there was very little character development so it was hard for me to care about the characters. 

Much of this novel is made up of dialogue and internal reflection about ongoing themes such as: whether or not Dell should go with her husband to the next town, how cold it is, and what pseudonym Dell should write under. Mention is often made in the novel of how Robert's writing is statistical, but Dell's writing is humorous and reflects more on the people she meets along the way. That is what I would have liked to have read. Instead I found this novel to be very dry and slow moving.

One particular scene is told like this: "I learned that our horses had departed without their riders. ... My prayers were answered when the men arrived back with the horses." The in between section contains Dell's personal reflections about waiting in the cold -- instead of telling the story from the men's point of view as they gather the horses. For an adventure novel, this novel seems to lack adventure.

As far as positives go, I was interested in Dell noticing the moral obligation of Robert portraying the west in an enticing way without mentioning the challenges and dangers to possible pioneers.
While I was intrigued by the premise of this book, I found that it was not the book for me. If you enjoy historical novels based on true stories, this novel might be one for you. If you've read it, let me know your point of view.

This book was provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.

~❀~ Chelsey ~❀~

Monday, September 24, 2018

Little Women Review

I can now share my thoughts with you after having pre-screened the movie "Little Women" -- a modern retelling of Louisa May Alcott's classic novel. Movie theaters will be bustling with imagination, dreams, and love on Friday, September 28, 2018.

My husband; Desiree (14); Elijah (12); and I really enjoyed the movie "Little Women". Desiree read "Little Women" last year, but we didn't realize the gigantic novel we had was only Part 1. Many things in the movie came as a surprise to her having only read the first part of the novel. She was quite insistent about Jo's love life going in a certain direction. (No spoilers here!)

"We all have our own life to pursue, 
our own kind of dream to be weaving..."
Louisa May Alcott

With such diverse personalities, there's sure to be a character you can relate to. In this modern version, Jo seems more feisty than in the 90s movie. She has a tendency to act out physically and then regret her actions soon after. For some viewers, that might make it harder to love her, but other viewers are likely to relate to her more as an imperfect, complicated person.

This movie, set in the present day, stays fairly true to the original story. Slight alterations didn't change the overall feel of the movie. The biggest difference is the modern day party in place of the formal dance. While I don't love teen drinking depicted in movies, I see it as an opportunity for my kids to learn from the mistakes of others.

Lea Thompson, from "Back to the Future" and "Switched at Birth" fame, plays such a sweet and encouraging mom. Marmee is able to encourage her daughters to follow their dreams while embracing their unique personalities. All the acting was superb, although at times it was hard to think of the sisters as teenagers when they are played by the same actors in the past and present day scenes.

One of the takeaway messages of the movie is that we each have our own dreams to pursue and that the pursuit of a dream isn't always an easy journey. If you're looking for a heart warming movie, check out "Little Women" on September 28, 2018.

Check out: 

"Little Women" Official Website to find a theater and to learn more about the movie and the cast.

"Little Women" Blog has interesting articles and a number of quotes by Louisa May Alcott!

"Little Women" Facebook Page has photos, quotes, and videos.

~❀~ Chelsey ~❀~

Friday, September 14, 2018

Little Women: A Modern Retelling -- Movie Giveaway!

In honour of the 150th anniversary of Louisa May Alcott's novel, "Little Women"will be hitting theaters on Friday, September 28, 2018! "Little Women" is a warm-hearted, modern retelling of the beloved novel.

"Love is the only thing that we can carry with us when we go, 
and it makes the end so easy."
Louisa May Alcott

The classic story is being brought to the screen with a present day twist. Lea Thompson and Lucas Grabeel (both from "Switched at Birth") are starring in this movie as Marmee and Laurie.

I was nervous about a modern retelling of the classic novel, but after watching the trailer I am excited to see it. I've always thought that the 1994 movie of "Little Women" was so well done that it couldn't possibly be improved upon. That being said, I think this version will be enough of a change with its modern day setting that I hope it will be a hit as well.

"Little Women" is in theaters September 28, 2018 and looks to be a great movie. Keep in mind the rating is PG 13 (for thematic elements and teen drinking).

Although I haven't seen the movie yet, I expect that the themes of family, love, and following your dreams will come shining through. I am looking forward to seeing this movie with my daughter, but I bet it will be one my son and husband will want to see too.

Check out: 

"Little Women" Official Website to find a theater and to learn more about the movie and the cast.

"Little Women" Blog has interesting articles and a number of quotes by Louisa May Alcott!

"Little Women" Facebook Page has photos, quotes, and videos.

Win it: One Sowing Dandelion Seeds reader (US only) will win movie tickets for two to see the movie "Little Women" in theaters! (2 Fandango discount code tickets). If a Canadian were willing to cross the border to see the movie at a US theater that would work too.

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Disclosure: Thanks to LEV3L, I received two Fandango movie tickets in exchange for an honest review on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe would be good for my readers.
~❀~ Chelsey ~❀~

Sunday, June 10, 2018

Zubits Magnetic Shoe Closures

I am so excited to tell you about Zubits magnetic shoe closures -- a truly amazing invention! 

"Never tie laces again!"

* My son, Elijah (12 years old), is an avid boot wearer. He hates shoelaces so much that he has literally worn his winter boots for over a year and a half -- even through the hottest days of summer. 

We've unsuccessfully tried other no-tie solutions with Elijah in the past including weaving his shoelaces 80's style. Elijah's reaction when he tried the Zubits was: "Oh my goodness -- these actually work and they're so cool!" He was quick to show his Zubits off to all his friends (and the winter boots have been sent into storage!).

The only time the Zubits didn't stay closed for Elijah was when he jumped off the swings at the park, but it was just a simple click to close them up again!

* My husband, Ernie, had a stroke at the age of 33 and is permanently disabled. He has great days where he is capable of impressive martial arts moves and long distances runs, but he also has days where he can barely walk straight, never mind tie his own shoes. Zubits proved effective for both the good and the bad days. 

Ernie put the Zubits through rigorous testing -- biking, jogging, martial arts, and working out at the gym. I'm pleased to say that the Zubits were amazing.  

Here are my three stars and a wish for Zubits!

Ease of Use -- Once Zubits are installed they are super easy to use. Not only are you saving time putting your shoes on and taking them off, but there are no laces to trip over! An added bonus is your shoes can be magnetically stuck to one another in the closet so -- no more missing shoes either!

Long Lasting -- Zubits can be put on a new pair of shoes once your current shoes are worn out. As someone who wants everything I buy to last forever, I am so pleased that Zubits will last for shoe after shoe after shoe.

Strength --  Zubits hold up under all circumstances thanks to the super strong magnets. Your shoes will be securely and comfortably fastened during all sorts of activities.  

My wish for Zubits is that they were cheaper so we could have a set for every shoe in the house! But, Zubits does have a special offer right now where if you buy 3 or more Zubits you can get $10 off!

Check out Zubits to purchase some Zubits of your own. The website also has videos, tips and tricks, and a FAQ section. 

Win it: One Sowing Dandelion Seeds reader will win a pair of Zubits! (The winner can pick the size and colour of Zubits they like best.)

Disclosure: I was given two pairs of Zubits in exchange for my honest opinion. 
~❀~ Chelsey ~❀~
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