• Bridge of Spies Review – Perfect Date Night Movie

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    Bridge of Spies Review

    Looking for a reason for a date night? I’ll be honest and say that most movies I get to see in the theater are aimed at kids.Those that are aimed for adults are a little bit much for me (too much violence, gore, sex, drugs, etc), so my husband and I usually just rent movies. There is something nerve-racking about watching some of that stuff on the big screen.

    That is why when I was offered tickets to do a Bridge of Spies review,  I jumped at the chance to treat my husband on a date night (even if it was a Tuesday night!). Bridge of Spies, a movie by Dreamworks, is directed by Steven Spielberg and stars Tom Hanks. Big names aside, what truly intrigued me about the film is that it is based on true events.

    I expected it to be a good movie with the cast and directing, but I didn’t expect to like it as much as I did. I’ll even say I think that it is one of the best movies of the year. Yes, it is that good. And it doesn’t go overboard in any category that would make you uncomfortable to watch it in a room with strangers. Yet it still kept me on the edge of my seat. (Just goes to show that a good story line and good acting don’t need all that other trash)

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    Movie Synopsis:

    A dramatic thriller set against the backdrop of a series of historic events, DreamWorks Pictures/Fox 2000 Pictures’ “Bridge of Spies” tells the story of James Donovan, a Brooklyn lawyer who finds himself thrust into the center of the Cold War when the CIA sends him on the near-impossible task to negotiate the release of a captured American U-2 pilot. Screenwriters Matt Charman and Ethan Coen & Joel Coen have woven this remarkable experience in Donovan’s life into a story inspired by true events that captures the essence of a man who risked everything and vividly brings his personal journey to life.

    Here’s a trailer of the film, too. This opens today, 10/16/15. I highly recommend you go check it out this weekend. You won’t be disappointed.

    Disclosure: I did receive 2 free movie tickets to provide my honest review of the movie. No other compensation was given. Pictures are copyright of Dreamworks, used with permission.

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  • DIY Tinkerbell Pumpkin

    Tinkerbell pumpkin

    If you love all things fairies, like my daughter, you will love this Tinkerbell pumpkin! This year, make your fall season magical when you put this fairy spin on your own pumpkins. Take a look below at how we made it happen, using just a few simple craft supplies. This is a craft your own little fairies will love to try!

    Supplies needed:

    • Pumpkins (you can use real or fake. For our sample below we used a plastic pumpkin that worked great!)
    • Minty green and white craft paints (Around $1 each at our local craft store)
    • Green and yellow glitter (or as we like to call it, pixie dust!)
    • Paint brushes
    • Q-tips (optional, these work great on the pumpkin stem)

    Directions:

    1. Begin by applying several coats of the minty green paint to the pumpkin. Allow the coats to dry in between applications to make sure you get good coverage. A basic paint brush or foam brush is great for this task.
    2. Apply the final coat of minty green paint then sprinkle with your green glitter. It is important that you sprinkle the glitter while the green paint is still wet. This is how it will adhere best.
    3. Take a small brush or even a q-tip and apply some white paint to the stem of the pumpkin. While the white paint is still wet, sprinkle on some yellow glitter. Again, be generous and don’t worry if any gets on the green portion of the pumpkin.

    Tinkerbell pumpkin CollageOnce your pumpkin is dry, it is ready to be displayed! Your Tinkerbell pumpkin will look light, sparkly, and lovely just like Tinkerbell herself.

    So gather your supplies and give this fun and frugal Tinkerbell pumpkin a try. It is a fun way to bring the magic of Disney into your fall season!

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  • Pumpkin Butter

    pumpkin butter

    I love pumpkin and I love this twist on the classic apple butter. If you like pumpkin, you don’t want to miss this Slow Cooker Pumpkin Butter, which is simple to make and perfect on toast, biscuits, crackers, or fruit.

    Make this ahead a time and enjoy it all season or as a fun appetizer for a Fall party or Thanksgiving. Try this Pumpkin Butter and you won’t want to go back to plain apple butter anymore!

    Ingredients

    • 30 oz Pumpkin Puree
    • 2/3 cup Apple Juice
    • 1 tsp Vanilla extract
    • 1 tbsp Cinnamon
    • 1 tsp Nutmeg
    • 1 tsp Ginger
    • 1/2 tsp Cloves
    • 1/4 tsp Allspice
    • 1/2 cup Sugar
    • 1 cup Brown Sugar
    • pinch of Salt

    make pumpkin butterDirections

    1. Add all ingredients to slow cooker and stir.
    2. Cover and cook on low for 2 hours.
    3. Remove lid, stir and cook for 1-2 additional hours until mixture has darkened and thickened.
    4. Turn off slow cooker and allow to cool.
    5. Transfer to jars and refrigerate.

    Here are some more pumpkin recipes you may enjoy:

    Still not sure what to make with pumpkin, check out these 5 different ways to use pumpkin puree.

    Pumpkin Butter
     
    Author:
    Ingredients
    • Ingredients
    • 30 oz Pumpkin Puree
    • ⅔ cup Apple Juice
    • 1 tsp Vanilla extract
    • 1 tbsp Cinnamon
    • 1 tsp Nutmeg
    • 1 tsp Ginger
    • ½ tsp Cloves
    • ¼ tsp Allspice
    • ½ cup Sugar
    • 1 cup Brown Sugar
    • pinch of Salt
    Instructions
    1. Add all ingredients to slow cooker and stir.
    2. Cover and cook on low for 2 hours.
    3. Remove lid, stir and cook for 1-2 additional hours until mixture has darkened and thickened.
    4. Turn off slow cooker and allow to cool.
    5. Transfer to jars and refrigerate.

     

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  • Enjoy Family Fun at Mortimer Farms

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    This past weekend I was able to take my family to Mortimer Farms in Dewey, Arizona thanks to USFamilyGuide.com and Mortimer Farms. I have always wanted to visit this farm – way back when it was owed by the Young Family. Driving from Phoenix to Prescott, we would always pass it and I would think that it looked fun…

    Well, I’m so glad that we finally made it our destination! The farm opens at 9am on Saturdays and Sundays in October for their annual Pumpkin Fest & Corn Maze. On Fridays it opens at noon, but it is open until 9pm (same as Saturday night). We arrived early and spent the entire day. The kids were able to go on all the rides they wanted – and we didn’t get too lost in the corn maze. :)

    The farm is locally owned – and I had the pleasure of riding a tractor hay ride with Sharla Mortimer herself, who was kind and personable. Even though she has over 350 acres to run on the farm, she took the time to chat with us. Everyone who was working on the farm had such great customer service. I was really impressed and recommend visiting.

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    A visit to Mortimer Farms is a day filled with fun for everyone in the family: hay rides, bounce houses, horseback rides (and pony rides), live entertainment, petting zoo, the 15 acre pumpkin patch AND 25 acre corn maze (with an easy, medium or hard path). There is also plenty of great food to enjoy as well. Plus, you are in northern AZ, so the temperatures are beautiful for fall (much cooler than Phoenix!)

    Admission is $15 a person (2 and under is free) and covers the cost of all the rides and attractions, plus a free pumpkin (up to 8 lbs in size). And this year, the event benefits Phoenix Children’s Hospital, which I love!

    giant pumpkin

    You can also check out the farm store (which is free to go to anytime) for farm fresh products. They have a 500 lb pumpkin in the store right now that is worth checking out! One of the farmers told us they had to roll it in since it was just too heavy to try to lift. My favorite part was the pumpkin patch – there are some many different and unique kinds of pumpkins to hunt for. The hardest part trying to decide which pumpkins to get!

    If you are in AZ and looking for a family fun fall event, I definitely recommend Mortimer Farms. I plan on making this is a new family tradition to visit each year.

    Disclosure: I did receive free admission to the farm, however this post is my honest opinion of the experience and no other compensation was given.

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    I have a confession. I’m addicted. To lip balm. I have some in my desk, in my purse, in the bathroom, in the kitchen and probably elsewhere. But all this lathering got me thinking about what I was actually putting on my lips.  Have you ever looked at the ... Read More
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