Thursday, December 17, 2015

Her last princess movie.

She never wore an Elsa dress. She never asked for her hair in braids or for a funny snowman companion. I was not aware of it at the time, but our family outing to see Disney's Frozen two years ago marked her final princess movie. Some time after those closing credits, my little girl who loved all things sparkle and shine did the unthinkable... she grew up.

While the rest of the little girls in the world were obsessing over Queen Elsa and Princess Anna and squeezing plush Olaf toys for a cozy night of magical dreams, my girl was moving on. One week ago, we peeled the Cinderella decals from her bedroom walls. We donated a few princess dolls to charity last month. My daughter, at 7 1/2 years old, is too mature for princesses. In fact, she's embarrassed to have any connection to princesses. I am not supposed to call her my princess any more.

"You can call me anything else, Mom, but not 'princess'. I'm too big for that." 

We own the Frozen DVD, but I think we watched it twice - by my request, not hers. My daughter's bedroom now shows off a funny Minion poster on the closet door and an Avengers poster on the adjacent jack-and-jill bathroom door. She laughs at the Lego Movie and she buries her nose in Harry Potter books.

Monday, December 14, 2015

Pre-Christmas family fun!

Christmas season is full of activities and family outings. With the record warm weather we have been having down here, we are enjoying more outdoor time and having fun as a family.

We have been busy for a few weeks! To name a few... our preview of the amazing Six Flags Over Georgia Holiday in the Park, elementary school art show, a preschool sing-a-long, and a fun family night at the Lights of Life. Class parties up next! Christmas is coming!

Even if it is 72 degrees outside.

I'm linking up with Really, Are You Serious today for Mommy and Me Monday! Get in front of the camera and join us!

Happy holidays! 

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Favorite family Christmas movies

What are your favorite family traditions around the holidays? 

I love impromptu movie nights! When the weather turns cold and the skies are dark before the kids' bedtime, it's fun to gather the family with blankets, freshly-popped warm popcorn, and a great holiday movie. 

What makes a great family holiday movie? For us, it is something that can entertain the adults and the children. Some of my own favorite holiday movies (like National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation and A Christmas Story) still fly over the heads of my young children. They are "boring", so I hear. 

We have found a few family favorites that make everyone happy. This can be a tall order considering the almost 6-year age gap between my two kids. 

Our favorite family Christmas movies are...

Dr. Seuss' How The Grinch Stole Christmas - the Jim Carrey live-action version from 2000. The funny costumes, bright colors, and silly faces keep our littlest entertained, while the story holds the interest of our second-grader. Adults love it too!

Home Alone  - the original from 1990, of course. My daughter loves this movie and asks to watch it several times each season. Our little guy sat still through most of it recently and he giggled at all the "bonks" and "boo-boos".

Elf - Will Ferrell, green tights on a grown man, and a ton of syrup - who needs more? This 2003 family holiday movie is my personal favorite. There is enough silliness and color to hold some attention for our toddler, and my daughter thinks it is hilarious. One of the best Christmas movies of all time! 

Arthur Christmas - this one may not be as widely beloved, but it is a family favorite in our home. Cute animation, a dork-turned-hero, and a lot of Christmas spirit make up this family Christmas movie. 

What are your family's holiday favorites?

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Family fun: beating the winter blues

"For families with young children, the winter months can seem like the most punishing time of the year:  shortened days, cold temperatures, and snow days all drive kids indoors.  How do we keep our kids happy, healthy, and active when we are already struggling to do the same for ourselves?"  
-Battling Winter Blues Positive Parenting Solutions

The article mentions turning off the television, remembering routines, and encouraging enthusiasm for indoor activities. Some of our favorite indoor activities involve creative play and science.

Creative Play
  • Play-Doh and Moon Dough are worth the mess when it is too cold to play outside and the weather has everyone feeling a bit too blah. Homemade play dough is fun too!
  • Setting up a pretend store can keep kids entertained. Grab a play cash register and stock up on play money. The kids can "sell" books, snacks, toys... really anything they want to gather up into a display. 
  • Make simple stick puppets with popsicle sticks, tape, and construction paper - then let the kids give you a puppet show from behind the sofa. They can even make and distribute tickets or create advertising posters before the opening act.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Holiday festivities at the World of Coca-Cola

Here is another Atlanta attraction with holiday fun in store for us this season! The interactive home of Coke launched its seasonal celebration earlier this month.

images courtesy of World of Coca-Cola

 “The World of Coca‑Cola is a favorite holiday destination for fans of all ages from around the world,” said General Manager of Retail and Attractions for the World of Coca‑Cola Russell Jacobs.  
“We are always planning new ways to surprise and delight our guests, and we’ve put together a list of our top ten reasons to spend the holidays with us this year.”

image courtesy of World of Coca-Cola

Guests can:
  • Mail friends personalized letters from the desk of the Coca‑Cola Polar Bear inviting them to the attraction 
  • Give a one-of-kind holiday gift that friends and family will always remember 
  • Savor the season with signature beverages like Gingerbread Coke and Mistletoe Flow 
  • Snap and share selfies with the Coca‑Cola Polar Bear and Santa Claus using #WOCCHoliday
  •  Get the star treatment with personalized VIP Guided Tours 
  • Give back with a gift from the 5by20 artisan collection, which benefits women entrepreneurs around the world 
  • Ooh and ahh over the thousands of holiday lights and larger-than-life ornaments in Pemberton Place 
  • Learn the real story behind the Santa Claus image we know and love, originally commissioned by Coca-Cola in the 1930s 
  • Share favorite holiday memories of Coca‑Cola with other fans from around the world 
  • Give the gift of happiness all year long with a World of Coca-Cola Annual Pass  
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