Frozen: Icy Fun for the Whole Family

I am forty years old and I still get excited by the idea of new Disney movie. It’s true. I clapped my hands when I saw the invitation to attend a screening Monday night for the new movie Frozen, and marked it on my calendar immediately. I also didn’t tell the kids we were going until we sat down to dinner that night. A new movie on a Monday night? What’s more fun than that??

Frozen tells the tale of two sisters who used to be close but grew apart. There’s a touch of magic, a lot of laughs, and some not-so-nice bad guys. When Queen Elsa and her sister, Princess Anna, have an emotional argument, it sets off a chain of events that leaves the world, you guessed it, frozen.


Anna journeys to find her sister, and meets a nice boy and his reindeer along the way. In their adventures, they meet Olaf, the talking snowman and official side kick of this movie (think Sebastian, Zazu, etc). The kids LOVED Olaf, and days later, they are quoting him.


This story line, much like Brave, varies from the traditional “lady in distress meets a prince” plot, and instead focuses on the relationship between the two sisters. Anna’s unconditional love to Elsa shines through, and it’s a good message for anyone about loyalty.

All four of us enjoyed this movie- the music is great, the scenery breath-taking, and there are enough plot twists to keep the grown ups guessing. There are a few scenes with a snow monster that are a little intense, but the scenes don’t last long.

Do you think you’ll head out to see Frozen this winter?

Disclosure: My family was invited to the screening for the purpose of this review. All opinions are my own.

The Countdown is On: Advent Calendar Using Christmas Cards

Sometimes, lack of planning can be a good thing. A few weeks ago, I saw the chocolate Advent calendars in the stores, but didn’t buy them because I felt it was too soon.

Note to self: Anytime after Halloween is acceptable for securing the chocolate Advent calendars. Also, it is unreasonable to think that they will be available at all on November 30.

Friday and Saturday I made attempts to track down two chocolate Advent calenders with no luck. Candy loving Mam was very distraught- how ever will we count down to Christmas, how will she get candy for the month of December, whatever would we DO?!?!

I promised her we would make one. I have to say, despite my own reservations, it came out just fine.

Christmas cards cut out and tied to banister spindles for Advent
Turns out, we have exactly 25 banister spindles on our staircase. How lucky is that?

To make this nifty Advent Calendar all you will need is the following:

  • Old Christmas cards
  • 2 brown grocery bags
  • small candies or trinkets
  • string or ribbon
  • pipe cleaners (optional)
  • glue stick
  • tape

1. Cut the cards to desired size- I went with about 3×5, and then punch two holes in the top of each (if tying- the other thing you could do is use clothespins on a line of ribbon). Number each card- I used a marker, of course you could print stickers if you wanted to get fancy.

2. Cut the grocery bag into strips that measure just narrower than your cards, and a bit longer- mine were abour 2.5 x6 (clearly, I did not use a ruler). Any kind of paper would do, we just happened to have these bags handy.

3. For each card, glue the strip of brown grocery bag onto the back of the card. Write a message and/or tape the candy or trinket to the botom of the paper.

Christmas card with brown paper attached, candy taped to bottom
Somedays, there’s just a treat. Other days, I jot a note about what we’re doing.

4. Carefully roll the paper up, and secure with either a ribbon or pipe cleaner.

5. Repeat until all 24 cards are made.

6. Once done, you can hang them from a fireplace, from a staircase like I did, or even clip to a ribbon with clothespins.

Christmas card advent countdown, individual cards tied to spindlees


Each day, the kids run to the countdown card, and unroll the message. They are working their way down the stairs. I know it will seem like FOREVER to them, but they’ll be down the stairs and enjoying Christmas morning before I know it.

How do you countdown to Christmas?


A Week From Now, It’ll be the Third Day of Advent

The holidays haven’t really started and I’m already looking at my calendar for the next six weeks or so and going “whoa…..”. A few things were my mind earlier today:

1) making sure we have the assorted “equipment” for the holidays. our Christmas boxes are at the very back of our P.O.D and BgK and I have voted not to unpack 12 feet worth of stuff to get to it.

2) making sure we have a day set aside for Jolly Days, Celebration Crossing, see the Nutcracker, drive around the Circle of  Lights, drive up to Reynolds, walk through Zoo Lights and a family trip to see Jingle Rails. Does your family make it to all of the big attractions in your area every year? Do hit the same ones over and over, or pick different ones to try? There are  so many events ,and they are all so much fun…..but doing it all won’t be fun, it will be exhausting a stressful. But how to pick?

3) making my shopping list and checking it twice. This year I’m using an Android App called Gift Pony on my loaner Samsung Fascinate. (Why do I have a loaner phone? Read about how I got the name “Princess Two Phones” over at Persephone) It tracks all the people and all the gifts (and where they are hidden, and what they cost, and if I have it in my possession, etc) and I’m hoping it will help keep the hunting and gathering under control.

4) making the whole thing meaningful for my family.

Enter the little booklet I bought today while at the local Catholic bookstore- Joy to the World: Advent Activities for Your Family read it, and enjoy the season of Advent. While it focuses on a few Catholic specifics, I *think* any religion which observes Advent will find some helpful tips and inspiration.

After reading through this booklet (while dinner was baking, it’s a quick read), I feel better about all of the above. In a later chapter, Basi suggests writing out all of the activities you’re planning for the month and making them part of daily slips on your Advent calendar. I have a plan for an Advent calendar (paper chain), and I think we are going to do some prep work tomorrow while we wait for the Uverse guy to install our order. I’m going to plug each day into a special color on the Google calendar BgK and I share, and with any luck, the priority activities (Jolly Days, Jingle Rails, making ornaments for our real tree, getting gifts to the St. Vincent DePaul Christmas Store, and baking cookies) will all happen at a manageable pace.

Manageable pace ,manageable pace…….I’m taking any and all tips on how to keep it all at a manageable pace…..

Also, MaM asked Santa for a PogoStick for Christmas. Feel free to weigh in on that as well….