Family Movie: The Curse of the Midas Box

We have another movie review for you today (it must be that time of year?) And as we are big film boffins (did I mention the kids don’t watch telly, but only get one movie a week?!), it seems appropriate. We were sent The Curse of the Midas Box to review with the kids (6 and 4), luckily, I checked the trailer WITH them first and we realised, though this looked like a potentially great movie… maybe 6 and 4 were a little young! Ha. So I watched it with Daddy instead. And  I would say it is a little akin to Indiana Jones – a great action packed movie, filled with intrigue and adventure, but definitely for slightly older kids (9yrs+ ????).

Adventurer_the_curse_of_the_midas_box_poster

Synopsis –

After his parents disappear, and his brother is kidnapped (dramatically), Mariah joins forces with Will Charity to find his brother and help Will prevent the evil Otto Lugar from getting his hands on the mystical Midas Box – said to provide you with as much gold as you want. Mariah’s journey takes him to the fantastical steam powered hotel on a small island. Will Mariah find his brother? And will Mariah prevent Lugar from finding the box?

Watch the trailer:

What I thought

On the whole we enjoyed watching this movie, it will make for a prefect “Christmas movie”, getting the family together and adding a bit of mystery to your family movie watching afternoon.

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Movie Review: Snow Queen

As you, the kids and I are rather partial to a kids’ animation. Nothing quite like disappearing into the magic that children’s “cartoons” bring. So we very interested in watching this classic tale based on Hans Christian Andersen’s – The Snow Queen! On the whole, the kids enjoyed the movie experience (laughing the funny bits and nervous tensions at the exciting bits), but on the whole, I (we?) were disappointed with this adaptation of Hans Christian Andersen’s tale.

the-snow-queen-post-2

Synopsis:

Wishing to create a world where clean lines replace emotions and the wind cools human souls, the Snow Queen has blanketed the world in ice and set out to destroy all art. According to the predictions of a magic mirror, the last threat to the Snow Queen comes from the master glass-maker Master Vegard, whose mirrors reflect not only appearances but also souls. One day the polar wind takes away Vegard and his wife Una. But they hide their baby-boy Kai and daughter Gerda.

Time passes, the servant of the Snow Queen, Orm the troll – who can shapeshift into a black weasel – finds Gerda’s brother Kai at an orphanage called “Saint Peter’s Kids Shelter,” whom he believed to be Vegard’s successor. When Kai is abducted to the Snow Queen’s palace, Gerda embarks on a journey across the icy wonderland, facing difficult obstacles and finding new friends on her quest to set Kai free, defeat the Snow Queen and warm the hearts of people everywhere.” – source We follow the adventures of Gerda and how she sets out to find her brother and defeat the Snow Queen. There are pirates and reindeer and lots of adventure. A story of love and resilience.

The Snow Queen – trailer

Our Verdict

I remember the original from my childhood well. The “new story” left us a little confused – we didn’t quite understand or follow the plot (Why IS the Snow Queen in fact a little girl? How did the little girl get turned into a bad witch?). The story is changed and confusing. Also, the animation wasn’t our favourite. There was something “woody” about the characters, especially the Snow Queen (I am guessing that that was intentional?). The pirate characters seemed contrived and over the top and almost didn’t fit into the plot.  Personally, I didn’t like Orm, the troll’s animation – the character was “fine” or “ok”, but the animation of him itself, unappealing and not at all endearing.

When I asked the children if they enjoyed the movie, on the whole, they said “yes”, but it wasn’t their favourite. As we are a household that only watches one movie a week and no TV (yes, we are weird, I realise that), we are unlike to watch this film again, as the children are likely to pick out other films that they enjoy more for their movie night.

The Snow Queen (2012)

  • Directed by Vladlen Barbe, Maksim Sveshnikov
  • Running Time:  80 Mins

Download your Snow Queen activity sheet here (click on image for a large download):

Snow-Queen-Activity-Sheet

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Thoughts & Tips on Potty Training

Another flashback to my early parenting days, when I had JUST finished potty training my first child:

Now is time to sum up the weeks of potty training!!! Needless to say, I am NOT an expert… this is just my twopence worth. For (some) expert advice:

http://www.supernanny.co.uk/Advice/-/Health-and-Development/-/0-to-4-years.aspx

I think it is very important, that YOU are just as ready for potty training as the little one. Ultimately, YOU have to see it through. Just don’t leave it too late (see this bit of research: http://www.madeformums.com/toddler/ideal-age-for-potty-training-discovered/4731.html – too old and you will face new issues. Red Ted, btw is 23 months)

So… how was it? It was a slow start to potty training, things didn’t really start “happening” until after Christmas and then again after Daddy went back to work.

Lesson 1: Xmas may have been a bad time as there were lots of people around and far too exciting – so our expectations should have been set lower (doing it again, I probably would have still started at Xmas, as I had the support around me that I (!) needed, just expectations would have been different

Lesson 2: With both Daddy and me “watching” Red Ted, we both assumed the other was doing so and therefore missed toilet cues – I think it may be better if just one of you takes charge

Lesson 3: Daddy (bless him) finds it hard(er) to hide his pooh disgust –work really really hard to praise IMMEDIATELY after a successful potty event and to hide any yukky feelings

Top tips:

Tip 1: Go for it, drop the nappy completely. None of this – “I will just put one for the supermarket run” – so far (!) we have had NO accidents in the pram or car, just make sure you go on the potty before any outing and upon arrival at friends and family’s

Tip 2: Vary rewards for pees (there are so many pees, that a reward may get boring, eg we migrated from popcorn to stickers and will have to think of something new)

Tip 3: show the reward (i.e. Red Ted really “Got it” when he could see the cookie for a Nr 2) – I felt sorry for him, when he raced to the potty to get a Nr 2 out and couldn’t, so rewarded his efforts with a piece of cookie… though don’t fall for this manoeuvre more than once

Tip 4: reward instantly (even if it means a soggy biscuit in the bath or a delayed bedtime as biscuit is consumed)

Tip 5: take them with you, when YOU go to the loo (Red Ted likes to go on the “big” toilet, because he sees us go)

Tip 6: don’t stress or worry if it all takes a little longer, by all accounts several weeks is perfectly normal

Tip 7: stop worrying about “whether THEY are ready for it”, as yourself whether “you are ready for it” – I think it is VERY hard to ascertain that “exact” moment in which they are perfect for training – easy to start too early, but just as easy to miss it and start too late…

Tip 8: get a travel potty that combines as a toilet seat – Red  Ted loves going on the “big” toilet (see earlier posts re Potettes)

Tip 9: when the going gets tough keep going!! some books recommend a potty break, but I reckon it will cause more confusion as to what is expected of them… keep going, even if there seems to be no end in sight… it will come!!! (we briefly toyed with the idea of, did we do it to early, and then suddenly it was working!!)

I guess that it is from a non expert!

I should prob review this again in 3 months and then again 12 months… I am sure that there will be accidents and frustrating moments to come. But so far – almost 6 accident free days! Woo hoo.

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Chocolate Chip Muffin Recipe

Time to share some more baking goodies.. this time we have scrumptilious Chocolate Chip Muffins.. who doesn’t love all that chocolate?!?!

Choc Muffins –  the below are plenty for 12 muffins:

Ingredients

Dry ingredients:

  • 180g self raising flour
  • 1.5 tsps baking powder
  • 1.5 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 120g caster sugar
  • 100g chocolate chips (I chopped up a bar of chocolate!)

Wet ingredients:

  • 180ml milk
  • 60ml vegetable oil
  • 1 medium egg
  • 1 tsp real vanilla extract

Handy Hint

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 200C/Gas Mark 6 and fill a 12 bun muffin tray with paper cases.
  2. Weigh out the dry ingredients into a large bowl. Pour all the liquid ingredients into a large jug or bowl.
  3. Mix both together – DO NOT OVER MIX – it will be a lumpy but runny batter. Spoon into the muffin cases.
  4. Sprinkle more chocolate chips on top and then cook for 20 mins or until risen and springy.

Try using other ingredients such as blueberries, cherries, raspberries as a variation. Dust with icing sugar for a perfect finish.

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Our Must Haves for Christmas…

… we love traditions in our house.. and one tradition, we have had so far (which I am sure many families have too), is a lovely new set of Pyjama’s at Christmas. All new and soft and warm and cozy. Whilst the kids were little, I got away with getting them wonderful little “traditional pyjamas” – you know, a checked flannel “shirt” with matching trousers. Terrible smart and handsome and cozy.. until the dawn of the ONESIE!

I had resist this phenomenon for quite some time.. but when I saw a “Wolf Onesie” in the shop, I simply KNEW that The Boy would ADORE one. And if The Boy got one, surely The Girl would need one too. So she got a girlie tiger one:

onesies

The Boy took to instantly.. The Girl hesitated… and then… wouldn’t take it off for the next 4 days. Yep, I had to literally PEEL it off her and pop it in the washing machine for a super quick wash and dry, ready to be worn for another 3 days solid…. come the colder winter days, this is ALL they want to wear at night.

What has been really great about the onesies though, isn’t that they are warm and snug (especially when those blankets are being kicked off), but also, they double up as FABULOUS costumes or for “dress up days” at school. The wolf costume has already come in handy for both the school play and a recent dress up day. Job done.

George have some super cute onesies - and I know I will be checking them out again this Christmas.. as the kids rapidly grow out of their existing ones.

**This Post was brought to you in Association with George at Asda**

 

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