Friday, October 21, 2016

{NEW} An American Girl Story - Melody 1963: Love Has to Win Debuts on Amazon Prime Video #LiftYourVoice

Disclosure: This post has been sponsored by KidzVuz on behalf of Amazon Studios. All opinions are my own.

We had the fantastic opportunity to attend the red carpet screening of the new Amazon
Studios movie An American Girl Story - Melody 1963: Love Has to Win at the
Pacific Theatres at the Grove in Los Angeles. It was such a magical experience to be
there with the actors and creators of the film and it enjoy such a powerful film as mother
and daughter. Isabella was giddy to not only be at a red carpet event, but the fact that it
was a new American Girl Story movie put her over the moon. She wore her cutest
dress and made sure to bring her American Girl Grace doll that she got for Christmas
last year so that they could enjoy the movie together.

An American Girl Story - Melody 1963: Love Has to Win is an Amazon Original
live-action special that tells the story of 10-year-old Melody in 1963 Detroit during
the civil rights movement. She begins to question the promises in the Pledge of Allegiance
as she experiences injustices and tragedies that show we aren't "indivisible"as a nation.
I was so surprised how the theme and messages of Melody's life in 1963 story mirror a
lot of what is happening in our country right now and how the message is very relevant
today. It struck me how I need to be brave like Melody and "stand up for what's right,
even when it's hard or scary."

I was glad to share this experience with my 7-year-old daughter so that we could
discuss what happened during the civil rights movement and how excluding others or
treating them terribly because they are different than we are is never acceptable. We
discussed how we are all children of God and that we all deserve to be treated kindly
and with respect, and if we see someone doing otherwise, it is our responsibility to
speak up and help those around us.

After the movie we headed to the American Girl Place for the private after party.
It was amazing! We had never been to the American Girl Place before so even just being
in the presence of all that American Girl amazing-ness was magical for Isabella. It really
was a dream come true for her. Amazon and American Girl know how to throw a party!
And we had such a great time on our mother/daughter night out.

There was a live DJ, delicious food, fun activities, a photo booth and the opportunity to
shop to our hearts content. She truly was a kid in a candy shop or rather, a girl in an
American Girl store and she would flit from one thing to another, always exclaiming,
"Mom! Look at the this!" 

We started with the delicious food. They had mom and kid friendly options and the
drinks were yummy. She loved the different flavored lemonades and I was thankful for
a good Diet Coke. They had tables set up in the American Girl rooms of the store and
so we got to enjoy our food in the ambiance of the American Girls. It was so fun! Our
favorite were the bite sized pizzas with itty bitty pepperonis and the miniature milkshakes.

The adorable Marsai Martin - from Black-ish - starred as Melody in  
An American Girl Story - Melody 1963: Love Has to Win and she was there at the
after party too. She was so sweet and took a picture with all her young fans. She did an
amazing job as Melody and portraying a character experiencing very hard things at such
a young age. I was very impressed with her ability to make you feel the heartache and
triumph that Melody experiences in the movie.

There were fun activities for the kids and we enjoyed making the little planting pots
and cute pennants with positive messages for them to decorate and color. She is truly
her mother's daughter and loves to create and make things, so she made sure to finish
her projects before we left the party that night.

We had a blast dressing up for the photo booth. If you know me, you know I'm not a
fan of being in front of the camera. But how could I say "no" when she asked me to
dress up and take pictures with her. You know I couldn't! So I put my fear aside and
we hammed it up together for our fun photos! Such a great memory to have together!

The Melody American Girl doll is adorable! She is dressed up in a historically 
accurate 1960s outfit and she has many more fantastic outfits and accessories
you can purchase to go with them. On the way to The Grove Isabella kept saying,
"Wouldn't it be so cool if they gave us a Melody doll?!" And I kept telling her that it would
indeed be "very cool", but that I didn't think it was very likely and we were just excited
to be able to see the movie and go to the party. So, when we walked into the party and they
handed her a Melody doll of her very own, she was over the moon!

It really was a magical night and I am so glad that were able to make these memories
together. I appreciate how Amazon and American Girl have taken a topic that is hard
to talk about with your kids, but is so important, and made it accessible and relevant to
them. This is imperative because they are are our future and if we can affect change with
them, then hopefully we are on a better path than we are right now.

An American Girl Story - Melody 1963: Love Has to Win is available on Amazon
Video today, October 21st! If you're an Amazon Prime member, then you can watch it
RIGHT NOW! If you're not, then what are you waiting for - join up! They've also
created a destination where you can shop for the 18-inch Melody doll and all her
adorable 1960s outfits and even a Motown-inspired recording studio.
 You can watch the trailer below!


Thursday, October 20, 2016

Creepy Halloween Popcorn Cake

It's true that we love a good family movie night and especially when it comes to a
spooky Halloween family movie night. And if you're going to have a spooky movie,
then of course you need a really good spooky treat to go with the movie. We've made
a lot of fun and creepy treats to go along with our spooky movie nights, but this creepy
eyeball covered Popcorn Cake that I made might just be my favorite!

This slime inspired popcorn cake is equal parts creepy and delicious! It's really easy to
pull together and only requires a handful of ingredients. My kids always ask for popcorn
during the movie and it was fun to have popcorn in such a fun and funky form. The kids
were really surprised when I revealed this creepy cake that could watch them as they
ate it. You don't have to just use it for a movie night, it would be perfect for a
Halloween party with friends and family. You can whip it up in less that 15 minutes and
it's ready to cut in serve in about an hour.


2 bags microwave popcorn
green M&M candies (about 1/2 cup)
1 bags mini marshmallows
1/2 cup butter
green food coloring
gummy eyeballs

1. Prepare your pan by spraying with cooking spray or buttering generously. I used an
angel food cake pan, but you can also use a bundt pan. The angel food cake pan made
it really easy to remove from the pan.
2. Pop your 2 bags of microwave popcorn. I used one that is simply salted, but if you
love butter - go for the movie butter kind. Remove the unpopped kernels.
3. Melt your butter over low heat and then add in the marshmallows and stir until
smooth and shiny. Remove from heat and add in your green food coloring.
4. Pour over your popcorn and stir until all the popcorn is well coated and is 
nice and green.
5. Press into your prepared pan and let cool for about 45 minutes.
6. Pop it out and decorate with the green M&M's and gummy eyeballs.

I didn't want M&M's throughout the entire cake, so I just used them as a garnish.
If you want candy or any other creepy candies inside your cake, then combine them with
the popcorn before you pour the marshmallow mixture over it. I would let the
marshmallow cool for about 2 minutes before I poured it over the popcorn so you don't
melt all your candies with the heat.

There you have it, a delightfully ghoulish treat to enjoy at your next spooky movie night.
What's your family's favorite treat with a movie?

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

TOO Cute Tuesday: Linky Par-Tay! #307

As a LEGOLAND California Specialist, we were invited to attend
Brick-Or-Treat this past weekend and we had a blast! This is our 3rd
year as a guest and each year it gets better and better! The kids collected a lot
of yummy candy and had fun showing off their cute costumes!

Now onto TOO Cute Tuesday!

What did you make this week that is TOO Cute??
Come link up!

  • Must be made by you.
  • Link up to the specific post - not your main blog.
  • No Etsy shops or giveaways please :)
  • Please post the button or link back here so more people can join in the fun.
  • Visit some of the other participants and leave them some LOVE!
TOO Cute Tuesday will be open Tuesday-Saturday.
On Saturday or Monday I'll highlight some of my favorites
and then we'll start over on Tuesday!

This post brought to you by:

I changed the linky party so that the most recently uploaded project will show up as number one. This way everyone gets a chance on top. So, look in the first spot for your project, not at the end. Thanks!!!


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