Top Ten Movies From My Childhood

I think preparing to be a mom is making me nostalgic for my childhood. No, I take that back, I’m always in a mood for a walk down memory lane. 

I was thinking back on my favorite movies from my childhood.The ones I watched over and over. The ones that if they happened to air during a free preview weekend of HBO we were sure to record them on our trusty VCR. Remember recording onto a VCR? You could fit one or two movies on a tape, it was just unfortunate when you wanted to watch the second movie on the tape and you had to slowly fast forward through the first one.

These are the ones that were always pulled out on sick days or rain or snow days. The ones I still have memorized. 

Oh the late eighties and early nineties, what a charming time for cinema. More heart and less cgi and action. 

It was hard to choose so I limited myself to movies from my first decade from 1983-1993. 

Did you love any of these same movies? 

1. Curly Sue

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 A homeless man and young girl con a rich lawyer. She provides them with lodging and food and eventually a whole lot more. Hubba hubba!

2.  Ladybugs

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In order to impress his boss and get a promotion, Rodney Dangerfield signs up to coach a girls’ soccer team. However, the team is terrible, so he recruits soccer star Jonathon Brandis to cross dress as a girl in order to help the girls’ team win. Hilarious.

3. Troop Beverly Hills 

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Shopaholic Shelly Long decides to become her daughter’s “Den Mother” in order to show her husband she still has heart and spirit that exists outside of Rodeo Drive. From designing new uniforms, new assignments and badges, and only a desire to show the girls how to survive in the “wilds” of Beverly Hills, Long looks like she’s going to fail. But her heart, passion, and support of a lively group of girls makes her turn a new direction. We used to watch this all the time during Girl Scouts. Our troops version of camping was staying at a condo at the beach in Rehobeth. 

4. The Cutting Edge

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Kate is a rich, spoiled Olympic ice skater. Doug is an arrogant Olympic ice hokey player. When both Kate and Doug fail at the 1988 Olympics, Kate’s coach sets the two up as an ice skating pair for the 1990 Olympics. Kate’s prima dona attitude and Doug’s oafish demeanor clash. But their determination to win pushes them to try their hardest. And of course they fall in love. 

5. Annie

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Charming and spunky Annie, who never gives up hope of finding her parents, wins over the heart of grumpy ole Oliver Warbucks. Winning herself a loving family while also saving the country from the Great Depression! (by inspiring Roosevelt’s New Deal of course!) I know every single word to every single song. 

6. Adventures in Babysitting

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After her boyfriend cancels their date, Chris (Elizabeth Shue) is forced to babysit 10-year old Sara. A quite night at home turns into a wild escapade in Chicago. Chris, accompanied by Sara, Sara’s brother, and his friend, goes to pick up a friend. However a flat tire derails them and they are set off on a night of odd character, hijinks, and adventure. 

7. The Adventures of Milo and Otis

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A simple story about a curious cat and a loyal dog who are the best of friends. There is no dialogue, only music and a narrator. Milo, the curious orange cat experiences every type of wilderness adventure and trauma you can imagine. Otis, the pug, chases after him, always an hour or two behind. Finally the two meet up, find mates, and raise their families together. (oy that birthing scene!)

8. My Girl

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 11-year-old Vada is coming to age in the seventies. A daughter of a funeral home director and still reeling from the death of her mother (who died during Vada’s death), Vada is struggling with complex emotions. Her best and only friend is Thomas Moore and they explore the pre teen years together. I’ve shed so many tears over this movie! “Where are his glasses? He can’t see without his glasses!”

9. Big

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12-year-old Josh wishes to be “big”. The next morning the kid wakes up in the body of 30-year-old Tom Hanks. He heads off to NYC and works for a toy company. His child-like imagination scores him a promotion and a love interest. But soon, Josh sees life as an adult isn’t all it’s hyped up to be. 

10. The Witches

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 Based on the book by Roald Dahl, The Witches tells the story of Luke, who happens upon a meeting of England’s witches while vacationing with his Grandma. The evil witches, led by Angelica Houston, plan to turn all children into mice by feeding them poisonous chocolate. Luke soon falls prey to their magic and now he, as a mouse must fight back against the cruel (and so scary and ugly for a child) witches!

What were some of your favorite movies from this time period?

xoxo Katie

Why Lupita Nyong’o Ruled the Oscars

I simply adore award shows and last night’s Academy Awards did not disappoint! I had a fun time wearing my sequins, sipping champagne and Hurricane’s while playing Red Carpet bingo and judging all of the stars fashion and speeches.

I think we can all agree that the beautiful Lupita Nyong’o ruled the Oscars not only with her grace and beauty but also with her true humility. Let us first get the superficial part of of the way as we admire her beautiful presence on the red carpet! True beauty!

Academy Awards, Lupita Nyongo

More importantly, Lupita Nyong’o’s win and speech were both inspiring. Her words were carefully chosen and spoken with an eloquent grace and humble gratitude that is often forgotten during this ego driven and celebrity obsessed love fest.

Before thanking anyone else, Lupita gracefully acknowledged:

 “It doesn’t escape me for one moment that so much joy in my life is thanks to so much pain in someone else’s,”

She recognizes and sheds light on the fact that if it were not for Patsey’s pain, her character from 12 Years a Slave, she would not be here today. She does go on and mention her Hollywood colleagues, but prefaces that giving all attention to the oppressed heroes of her story – reminding us that Solomon and Patsey are the true heroes that should be recognized. Their story is the one that counts – Lupita’s acting was simply the method for telling American History.

Lupita Nyongo speech

Yale educated Lupita ended her eloquent speech with,

 “When I look down at this golden statue, may it remind me and every little child that no matter where you’re from your dreams are valid.” 

So beyond all of the fashion and the jokes and the celebrity  camaraderie and Ellen’s attempt to humanize celebrities with selfies and pizza, the Oscar’s reminded us of the power that Hollywood holds to tell important stories. Stories that shed light on humanity, history, and the role we as humans play in examining the past and shifting the future.

xoxo Katie

 

 

 

What Movies Taught Me About Love

I don’t care too much for the rules of Valentine’s day, the ones that say you MUST shell out a week’s paycheck on a romantic candlelight dinner, overpriced red roses, jewelry, or anything else the world of advertising declares is the only way to show your loved ones that you care.

However, I do like getting festive in other ways – like making sweet treats, toasting with an extra glass of champagne, writing sweet notes, and watching my favorite romantic movies. I see it as another day to celebrate all that makes you feel loved – your friends, your family, your partner, or your dog and or cat.

I’ve always loved love stories – and what better time to curl up with your favorite romantic movie then in the bleak and bitter month that is February. They warm my heart and let me have a good cathartic cry. I can’t help it. I love it.

So in honor of my love of love movies I’ve decided to look into the love lessons I’ve learned from my 3 favorite love story movies (in order of their greatness) Love Story, The Notebook, and Titanic.

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These three movies all have a common theme. Boy and Girl from different socioeconomic backgrounds fall in love and stay in love against all costs, whether that be cancer, dementia, or the sinking of a ship. Let’s see how these famous movie couples taught me to believe and fight for love:

Love Story

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(I always wanted to be Jenny with her sleek seventies style – I tried to reenact their romping snow scene, but could never be as cute)

In case you’ve never seen it
My favorite romantic movie of all time tells the tale of wealthy Oliver and middle class Jenny and their journey to love and marriage against the best wishes of Oliver’s family. They grow close through hard times and love each other unconditionally. All seems ideal until Jenny is diagnosed with terminal cancer at the young age of 25.

Lesson’s Learned:

1. Love Means Never Having To Say You’re Sorry

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Many disagree with this classic line and I did too for many years. It didn’t make sense to me, love means ALWAYS apologizing, even when you don’t truly mean it.

As I got older I saw it in a different light. You don’t need to say you’re sorry to the one that you love and loves you in return because that one person knows that you will always be sorry for causing the other one pain (intentional or unintentional). You have enough faith in your relationship to know that it is strong, that apologies can be given with a simple look, hug, or recollection of your commitment to the other. They are your life long teammate.

2. Life is Fleeting, Share and Celebrate Your Love Before It’s Too Late

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 Jenny and Oliver fell in love quick and surely didn’t hide their love away. Good thing since their love story was cut short. You never know what tomorrow may bring, if you love someone let them know. Then celebrate it, shout it from the roof tops, live our that love each and every day. Or else, end up bitter and alone like Oliver’s poor father…

line The Notebook

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In case you’ve never seen it…who are you?
The movie tells the story of Duke, an old man reading a love story to a woman suffering from dementia. Duke recounts the true love between Allie and Noah, who fought for their love as the world (mostly Allie’s disapproving parents) tried to tear them apart. After seven years of separation the young lovers reunite and realize they are still deeply in love. After hearing this story time and time again, the suffering dementia patient realizes that she is Allie and Duke is Noah – just in time for the two of them to die peacefully together.

Lesson’s Learned:

1. True Love Can Defy All Odds if Both Parties Truly Believe In It

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There is no doubt about it, love is a risky endeavor. But once you take that risk and fall down that rabbit hole into the world of love you must both put 100% faith and trust into your relationship. When you are both in it together, miraculous things will happen. Faith and Love are one in the same to me.

2. You Must Follow Your Own Heart

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The world will try to tell your otherwise. People will try to tear you apart. Ignore the haters and follow your gut. Listen to your heart and take action. Only you can create your own happiness.

 lineTitanic

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In case you never saw it…really…who are you?!
Jack, a romantic drifter, and Rose, a wealthy young girl engaged to a snob, meet and fall in love aboard the doomed Titanic. Jack rescues Rose as she contemplates suicide to escape the social repression of her life. Within the next few days, the two fall deeply in love as Jack shows Rose a whole new world and way of viewing life. When the boat begins to sink, Rose choses to stay with Jack, rather than escape with her wealthy family. The two struggle to survive as the ship goes down, and nearly do, until Jack dies of hypothermia. Rose carries Jack’s memory with her and lives out an adventure and fruitful life. 

Lesson’s Learned:

1. That Mysterious Artsy Guy Who Isn’t Afraid of Taking Chances Makes a Great Romantic Partner

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 When you need a little push or motivation, guys like Jack, will always be willing to hold your hand and lead you on adventures leading to a life of surprises and passion. These guys have a big heart and big dreams and think outside of society’s norms.

2. Love Is Playful

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Life’s too short, live a little! Love’s not all about the big passionate moments. Love should be playful and make you feel alive Take that spontaneous trip, try new and exotic food, pull an all nighter before a big day, let your hair down! Take Jack and Rose’s lead –  Let him draw you naked, have hot sex in the back of someone else’s car, have a spitting contest, dance like fools.

3. Challenges Bring You Closer

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No doubt that when you and your love must endure a great challenge (hopefully not a sinking ship) your love will grow and you’ll learn to trust the other in ways you never did before. When life throws you struggles you’ll learn to lean on one another and tide the storm together. Who knew what would have happened to Jack and Rose if the ship safely landed in the States?

Happy Valentine’s Day everyone. Spread the love!

xoxo Katie

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Top 5 Christmas Movies and When to Watch Guide!

Five Friday Favorites CHRISTMAS MOVIES

Aren’t Christmas movies simply the best? Whether they are silly, sad, funny, touching, made for children, or made for adults they always hold the power to warm my heart. All year I look forward to watching my favorite Christmas movies while my tree twinkles, candles are burning, and I have a spiked hot chocolate in my hands.

Yes, I have almost every line memorized. Yes, I always know how they will end. There are no surprises.

But that’s where the joy is, they are as familiar and comfortable as my softest PJ’s.

Yet, holidays are a crazy and sometimes stressful time. It’s hard to fit in everything you want to do. I’m here to help! Because you simply cannot miss not watching your favorite holiday films!

Below, all in good humor, I list my top 5  favorite Christmas movies and when to watch them throughout the season! Joy!

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 1. Christmas With the Kranks

Feeling a little stressed and overwhelmed by all of the “work” that goes into getting prepared for the holidays? Pop in this silly Tim Allen flick and replace your anxiety over Christmas with excitement and the desire to do it all!

Christmas with the Kranks is based on the book “Skipping Christmas” by John Grisham. When Luther and Nora Kranks daughter join announces she won’t be home for Christmas this year, they decide to skip the commercial side of Christmas, and use the money to go on a cruise. But, when their daughter calls and says she’s making a surprise visit home, they have 12 hours to get Christmas set up and realize what they were missing all season long.

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 2.  Love Actually

So, now that you’ve decided to embrace Christmas, and all of its cheesiness and commercialism, it is time to soak in some LOVE.

This movie reminds us that love is all around and that no matter your social class, ethnicity, background, or age, love is the same. Love Actually has moments of sadness, nostalgia, hope, silliness, and laughter. Feeling like everyone is out to get you while shopping at the overcrowded mall? Want to strangle your in-laws or scream at your boss? You will be reminded to be kind to others during this busy season and to accept love yourself.

A Christmas Story

3. A Christmas Story

Ok, now that you’ve decided to be kind and loving and all that jazz, it’s time to have some fun! Who doesn’t love the story of Ralphie and his quest to get a Red Rider BB Gun? There are so many laugh out loud moments that never get old to me, the bunny suit, the leg lamp, the Chinese restaurant on Christmas day, the “how do the little piggies eat?” scene.

But this movie also touches the heart with its nostalgic family scenes, reminding us that yes, the holidays are crazy but these moments with our families provide us with the memories we will cherish for a lifetime.

You are now ready to celebrate with your crazy family, with these nostalgic memories as your fuel.

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4. National Lampoons Christmas Vacation

Clark Griswold is DETERMINED to give his wife and kids an old-fashioned “Griswold Family Christmas”. He has big plans and has invited his parents, his in-laws, and his great-aunt and uncle in for the holidays. Of course, nothing goes has planned.

This movie is perfect to watch on Christmas Eve, after most of your holiday stress is behind you and you’re ready to kick up your heels before the big day.

 Clark is like most of our dads – a slightly dorky middle-aged man simply wanting to give us the best and to be remembered as a great father.  The mini disasters of Clark Griswold cause a domino effect of crazy and trouble. Hilarity ensues. Start pouring the egg nog!

It's a Wonderful Life   5. It’s a Wonderful Life

This classic is perfect to watch on the evening of Christmas, as you lay back by the tree, soaking in the joy of a beautiful day. (Even if you day was less wonderful and more Christmas Vacationish)

How could the touching story of down on his luck George Bailey NOT remind you that you have it pretty darn good. Yes, things aren’t perfect, you may have received more socks and underwear rather than what you really wanted. Your family may have driven you crazy. Your boss may be a Scrooge and only gave you one day off. But, after this movie you simply cannot say, damn my life IS pretty good!

Cue ugly cries!

And that’s a wrap! I’m kicking off my holiday watching tonight! What are some of your favorite Christmas movies?

xoxo katie