Lessons learned from Mr. Magorium’s Wonder Emporium


What do you see?

“What do you see when you look at me? Do you see a sparkle?” -Molly     “What kind?” -Mutant      “Like something reflective of something bigger trying to get out!” -Molly      “That finger thing you do”. -Mutant      “That’s a cork, not a sparkle.” -Molly     

Molly Mahoney believed she was a musical genius when she was younger, but as she grew up she was not so sure. Molly needed an opportunity to prove to herself that she was something more than she believed. She was always trying to write a song, but could never quite get the right notes. She struggled with who she was & what her life direction was suppose to be. “I’m stuck as a person…everyone talked about my potential and everyone is still talking about my potential.” -Molly “Why don’t you stunn everyone with Molly Mahoney’s first!” -Mr. Magorium     

I think this is a great lesson for all of us to be aware of. We often get stuck in our own heads, our own set-backs, our own limitations. Sometimes we need to see and understand we have a sparkle like no one else. We may get stuck, but we are only one step, one decision from moving forward. We need to remember, we were made to do amazing things!


Sometimes you just have to believe…even if it is just a block of wood. “There are a million things one might do with a block of wood. But what do you think might happen if someone, just once, believed in it?” -Mr. M  “With faith, love, this block and a counting mutant, you may find yourself somewhere you never imagined.”  -Mr. M


Believe anything is possible. I love Eric’s character. He constantly believes anything is possible. I love the scene where Eric is trying to jump and reach his hat that is hanging high above him. He believes he just needed to jump a little higher to reach his hat that was about 7 ft up. I also love that Eric believes he can go in and buy the Emporium with his own money. If we could only have that kind of belief—like a child.


Step out of your comfort zone: “You have to give people a chance. People are full of surprises…start by saying Hi.” -Eric’s mom  I think this is a great lesson for all of us. We often get stuck in our comfort zones, but sometimes we need to step out, say Hi to strangers, smile at someone over the gas counter, hold a door open, meet a new friend, but it all starts with one tiny step.


There is always a need for balance: “We all have our things—ways we show we care, some people bring flowers, send cards or give hugs, but I fill out people’s paperwork.” -Mutant  The mutant accountant character is in desperate need of a balancing act & Eric (the little boy) is exactly what he needs. Eric helps the accountant step out of himself & his work mode & begin to enjoy the people around him. I think the accountant begins to feel needed by Molly & Eric, which gives him a sense of giving, helping, balance.


Live life to the ultimate end: “We must face tomorrow whatever it may hold with determination, joy and bravery.” -Mr. Magorium    “I fell so completely in love with these shoes, I bought enough pairs to last my whole lifetime. This is my last pair.”  -Mr. M   I love this metaphor that he found something he loved so much & bought enough to last him his whole life. Life is like that. We find things we LOVE and would miss desperately. Think about this for a moment. What would you miss most from your life? What have you fallen deeply in love with…the smell of rain, walks along the beach, a favorite chocolate bar, the smell of lavender, laughter, music…now purposely put more of these things into your day. Live life to the ultimate end!!


“Why are you doing this?” -Mr. M  “I wanted you to see all the little things you will miss.” -Molly  There are sooo many things we would miss in this life. If you begin to get grateful for them each day, then you will see more and more little things that will stay with you in your heart. A grateful heart is a place of wonder each and every day.


Live in the Moment:  “Thirty-seven seconds. Great, well done. Now we wait. No, we breathe, we pulse, we regenerate. Our hearts beat, our minds create, our souls ingest. Thirty-seven seconds well used is a lifetime.”

3550078149_9b228ce4f0-12007 Mr Magoriums Wonder Emporium 006-1

Having something to love that you are passionate about is always a good thing. I think collections are inspiring. I think everyone has things they love, things that remind them of special memories, amazing places, things that light them up. We need little things like this in our life to remind us of all the many grand occasions life offers us.


Sometimes a close, unique group of friends is all you need.  Sometimes we find people that may seem like a unique fit for our life, but they may be the very jewel we needed to find.


Be an original YOU. Don’t worry so much about what others think. This is an ongoing life lesson for all of us. If we can get over caring about what anyone else thinks—wow, what a world we would have.  “No matter what they tell you, you don’t have to stay in the lines.” -Molly


Sometimes you just have to allow and let go. “Don’t go!! I’m not ready.” -Molly       “I only ask you that you turn the page, continue reading and let the next story begin.” -Mr. M       “I Love you.” -Molly     “I love you too. Your life is an occasion. Rise to it!” -Mr. M     I LOVE this last line. It is one of my favorites from the whole movie. Every single one of us has an amazing life if we CHOOSE to live it. Rise to it!!


Do what makes you happy. I think one of the biggest goals in this life is finding what makes your heart swell. When we are able to follow our hearts & step into joy…mission accomplished. Following your heart is a quest, a journey…make it a good one.


Life is an occasion—rise to it!! The store is black, the magic gone. “It just needs a little magic.” -Eric  “I don’t have any!” -Molly      “You are a block of wood. It’s you!! You don’t have to believe in the block of wood, it’s not the store, it’s not me, what you need to believe in is you!! Holy cow! A sparkle. “-Mutant       Molly begins to believe in herself, the store comes back to life. The magic begins again.

-Cheers to inspiring, great movies that hold gems of good things.  -H

Lessons learned from the movie Cinderella

We were happy to finally be able to go and see the movie, Cinderella. It was a beautiful portrayal of the classic fairytale and I highly recommend it. Here are some lessons I took away from this splendid movie. Enjoy.

Ella-with-her-mother-cinderella-2015-38055602-2048-1536Ella’s mother shares some beautiful wisdom with her daughter. Here is the wisdom bestowed upon beautiful Ella…

Have Courage and Be Kind. Ella has a sweet moment with her beloved mother where her mother shares this beautiful wisdom and tells her that it is a secret that will see her through all the trials that life can offer. Throughout the movie you see Cinderella struggle at times, to then hold herself high with the courage to go on.      It is a motto we can all use when moments get us down, struggles weigh heavy upon our day, we can remember to have courage in all we do and find kindness in any situation.

75Where there is kindness, there is goodness. You see this throughout the movie. Ella is always being kind and talking to the animals, the house help, her step-mother and step-sisters. She has a good heart and it shows in all she does.     I think we can all see this in our daily life, where we find kindness or when we are kind…goodness follows. If we are trying to do kind things within our lives, we will also find goodness within our lives. 

cinderella_glamour_19nov15_pr_b_810x540Save the Stag! [spoiler alert] This was one of my favorite scenes. There is a charming moment between the Prince and Ella when she confronts him in the forest. Ella had just rode up onto a stag in the woods & was taken by his greatness. She hears men on horseback nearby & tells the stag to run. Ella then comes between the stag and the Prince.  “You’ve nearly frightened the life out of him.” “Who?” asks the Prince. “The Stag,” replies Ella. “But we were hunting, you see. It’s what’s done.”said the Prince. “Just because it’s whats done, doesn’t mean its what should be done.” responds Ella.     It was a great scene and I found myself knowing that if I were in the same situation, I would have done and said the exact same thing.   JUST BECAUSE ITS WHAT’S DONE, DOESN’T MEAN IT’s WHAT SHOULD BE DONE!

CINDERELLAHave a little faith. “Even miracles take a little time.” -The Fairy Godmother     Ella’s mother always taught her to believe in magic and fairy godmothers, but at one point in the movie Ella has lost her faith in trying so hard to believe in the things her mother always taught her. At that moment a little magic showed up and a fairy godmother was there to help Ella have a little faith in knowing things would be better.     I think this is a great lesson for all of us—have faith no matter what the situation, the life outcome, if you are in debt, if you need courage, if you have lost hope, if we can remember to have a little faith, believe in something greater—great things will show up.

wallpaper-Cinderella-2015And where there is goodness, there is magic. I believe we all deserve a little magic. We are all made of the very stuff magic creates. We shine, we sparkle, we love, we are given magic every day.

cinderella-2015-movie-posters-photos03-e1417682045585-797x422Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words may never hurt me. “Names have power like magic spells”  In this movie Ella is called many terrible names by her step-sisters and step-mother—Cinderwench, Dirty-Ella, Cinder-Ella…through all the unkindness Ella has to learn to see the value within herself and not fall victim to their cruelty. She has to be who she is and find the beauty she holds within and allow it to be free.  You see her confidence when she spouts french words to her step-sisters and step-mother. You see her break free at the ball. You see her happy, singing, despite her circumstances.     I think this too is a great lesson, we are only victims, if we allow ourselves to be. Anyone can triumph over negative situations, if they allow themselves to break the bonds of another’s unkindness.

New-official-stills-cinderella-2015-37992763-800-450The gown. [spoiler alert] I loved the sentiment of the gown she wears to the ball. It started as a tattered, pink gown that was her mother’s, but the sweetness of it was that when her Fairy Godmother was going to give her a new dress, Ella asked that she create it from the dress she was wearing because it was her beloved mothers. Her Fairy Godmother changed the color, added some magic, but kept the lines and style much the same. Voila!! Beautiful ball gown with a touch of sweet sentiment.

C-050-35087RThey are all looking at you. The ball scene is the epitome of the most beautiful bell at the ball finally flying free from the chains that bound her. Her spirit soars and you see her shine like a princess. She is confident, beautiful and wearing glass slippers was icing on the cake of this exquisite scene. Beautiful.

best-new-romantic-movies-2015-including-paper-towns-and-the-longest-ride-CinderellaThere is a little magic in the mystery. The dance, the lost shoe, everyone wondering who the prince is dancing with, the prince chasing after the nameless beauty, time ticking away, the spell about to be broken. Anticipation and a little mystery in life can be a good thing. 

video-undefined-2461FB7700000578-359_636x358Envy is a bad little green pill to swallow. Throughout the movie you see the wicked Step-Mother envious of Ella and determined to make her life less pleasant. You really see the envy shine through when the glass slipper is found.      We all have moments of envy, jealous of another’s good fortune, but if we can remember that envy is like a bad little pill that brings more misery, just maybe we can walk away from the little green monster, focus on what we are grateful for and move beyond those emotions.   Cinderella does a beautiful job of moving beyond, focusing on her wonderful memories of the ball, the Prince and puts herself in a better place—beyond the spite and envy of another.

2461BCF900000578-2894943-It_fits_The_ugly_stepsisters_Anastasia_and_Drizella_are_played_b-a-55_1420245266062Don’t try to be someone that you are not. We all know the story that girls from all over the kingdom are determined to prove that the glass slipper is theirs, but in the end, it only fits the girl who is truly fit for it.    I think sometimes we can try to become something we are not—maybe take a job that doesn’t feel like a good fit, marry someone that doesn’t fit all our personal needs, have friends that don’t fit well with our lifestyle or future desires…everyone has moments where they try to fit into circumstances that are not right for their best life—be aware, don’t pretend, be true to what you need, what is the best fit for your best life.

Cinderella54de9bc5b2338Follow your heart. In the end the King wanted his son happy. He wanted him to follow his heart because the King knew that when one follows the heart–the best situation will happen—true happiness will follow.             I think if we could all remember to do this in our own life—happiness will surely follow.

dc6591060ae4522a259385c9aa4efd57Be true to You. Despite Cinderella’s circumstances, when the Prince’s men come calling to the home, Cinderella looks at her ratty dress in the mirror, holds her head high & walks proudly to meet the gentlemen. She does not care that she is like a servant girl, she is who she is & knows that she is equally as good as any other Princess out there. She introduces herself as “Cinderella.” You see the power that does not belittle her any longer. Even though she was teased by this name, it was who she was & she stood there proudly stating who she was.–There was a great quote (I cannot find it anywhere) when Cinderella looks at herself in the mirror. If anyone finds it–I would love to have it. Thanks.

Well, I thought it was a beautiful portrayal of a wonderful Disney classic. It had some great lessons and was visually breathtaking. If you see it, I hope you enjoy every moment.    -Peace to you.  H

Lessons learned from the movie Dolphin Tale 2

1410381680000-AP_FILM_REVIEW-DOLPHIN_TALE_2_67119068My little family just went to see Dolphin Tale 2 last night & we were happy to see another sweet, true story. The thing we like about these movies is the real video footage you get to enjoy to truly understand and see the real story come to life. It is also a great, heart-warming family movie & you just want to swim with dolphins after seeing it! Who doesn’t love dolphins!


Here is the movie trailer incase you have not seen it 


Here are some lessons learned from this sweet film:

noxSquare“I don’t want to look back on this knowing we didn’t even try”

At this point in the movie Sawyer is fighting to pair the two dolphins because he knows what the outcome will be if they don’t even try.

This could be a slogan for life. There are definitely times where you have to ask yourself—am I going to look back and have regrets that I didn’t push through, I didn’t even try… Are you at a point where you are wondering should I take this path, or should I take that one?? Are you wondering if your talent is worth pursuing? Are you questioning what direction you are headed? We all have moments where we wonder if we should start a new business, go to a certain school, pursue a dream, take a spontaneous trip, etc. Don’t look back and wonder what could have been, go forward in your pursuit of anything great!



dolphintale_spot2_hd“It’s a big world. You have to shake it up now and then to get it moving forward.” 

At this point in the movie Dr. Cameron (Morgan Freeman) is trying to help Sawyer understand that sometimes you need to step out of the box to find solutions to problems.

This is so true in any situation. Sometimes you need to step away from a project, a relationship, a hard situation & see it from a different angle, a new perspective, so you can have a new way of seeing it.



Dolphin-Tale-2-Wallpapers“Now, all we can do is Hope.” “That’s her name.” “Hello, Hope”

Hazel gave the new baby dolphin a very fitting name, Hope. This dolphin was also a gift & hope for Winter the dolphin.

HOPE is a beautiful word. Last night my daughter was stressing about 6th grade homework & the stress was building through the night. I laid in bed with her to say prayers & she started counting all the things she needed to do…mini poster, spelling, read 100 pages… I brushed her face with my fingers & told her to calm down & that everything would be okay. I told her to envision a lush, green field full of wild flowers & had her envision walking barefoot through the grass. I explained how she began to hear water nearby & came to a beautiful ocean outlet that had two channels. I had her see it in her mind. In one, I had her envision the beautiful dolphin Hope that we had just seen in the movie. I had her see it twirling and jumping in the water up one channel of the ocean. I asked her—Would you rather go and swim with HOPE or take the channel of HOPELESSNESS? I had her see herself jump in the water & able to swim with this sweet dolphin. Each of the waves began to take her worries away. It was a beautiful image. So, what will you choose, HOPE or HOPELESS? It truly is your choice.



image_248924_5Amazing People doing AMAZING things 

In the movie you get to see Bethany Hamilton swim with Winter in the movie. It is always humbling and inspiring to see her attitude & what she has done with her life despite her struggles.

You also get to see real footage of the amazing marine facility in Florida that is changing not only the lives of wounded Sea Animals, but  constantly bringing hope to veterans, children without limbs…it was beautiful to see the work this great place does. It truly is a place of HOPE.

Here is a link to the actual facility in Florida http://www.seewinter.com


2356e2bf9ecf5856b77f8cb11926e24cb4s_dolphin062013_10978242_8colWell, I hope this post makes you want to take your family to see a movie that truly inspires good things.

Lessons learned from the movie Finding Joe

I asked my daughter this morning, “why do you think we are here in this world?” and you know what she said, “To have the adventure of life!”  That was very insightful especially after watching the movie, Finding Joe, which is a movie about the teachings of Joseph Campbell and the journey of life. The following are things I took away from the movie. It was a sprinkling of wisdom, inspired people, things to think about and good takeaways. The thoughts are sometimes direct quotes from the movie (but not all are stated who said them) Enjoy.



A CALL TO ADVENTURE—a divine call to action for your life. This may come in the depths of sorrow, a hard life situation, the very things we may need to catapult us in a better direction for our life, a better version of ourselves.

“I think that people tend to wake up the hero of their own life when they are tired of being the victim of their own life.” -Robert Walter, President of the Joseph Campbell Foundation

The hero of your own life means you are responsible for your own adventure. You have a choice to surrender to victimhood, you can give your responsibility to someone else & have them tell you what to do or you can understand you have a choice and are responsible.

Joseph Campbell always talked about a metaphorical death of some kind. The old lends itself to the new. “The snake who cannot shed its skin must parish.” -niche  It is an indication that change has taken place. When we continue to let go of the old and let the new emerge, that is change…growth.



The Chinese letters for the word CRISIS are actually both DANGER and OPPORTUNITY.

The lessons often come from the hardest things in our lives. It is not necessarily what happens to us, as what we do with the outcome of the situation. Do we fall victim, or rise above it.


The Hero’s Journey—a life metaphor. This is the story in every story we tell, fairy tale we hear, journey that inspires…the hero’s journey.


Every story begins with a separation of some kind, an initiation and a return home. The movie Star Wars was a prime example of the Hero’s Journey throughout the story.



In many stories the forest often represent the unknowns, the edges within our lives. The moments where courage is needed. Joseph Campbell often talked of the story of the knights of the round table. They were in search of the Holy Grail, but it was decided that the best way to find it would be to have each knight start at a different location to begin their journey. The one caveat was to find a spot on the edge of the forest where there was no trail because if their was a trail it was sure not to be the knights true path. If there was a path, they would be following someone else’s path, not their own.

You must go out on your own to find your own TRUTH.



FOLLOW YOUR BLISS and the universe will open doors for you, where there were only walls. -Joseph Campbell

Robert Walter describes “Bliss” as “the one thing you can’t not do. Your Authentic Journey.”

It is trusting that deep impulse within us, to follow that specific path, the bliss, the one thing that makes us feel most alive.

Deepak Chopra says, “Follow your bliss does not mean get addicted to pleasure.”

It doesn’t mean selfishness. Don’t follow what other people think is your bliss. So how do you find your bliss?

Ask yourself—what do you enjoy doing, what are you passionate about, what can you do where hours seem to slip away while you are enjoying what you are doing??? What set you apart as a child? You know within. Ask yourself this…If money and time were no limitations, what would you do?? How would you express yourself??What would you do to benefit the world? What lights you up?? use words, use images, use music, art, find things around you that will help you identify what ignites your energy.

Talk to yourself in a journal and begin to see your dreams, hopes, what you feel good about, your lessons you have learned…begin to see yourself.

Rebecca Armstrong talked about how Joseph Campbell would give this advice to his students: “Don’t do what Daddy says because he only has one interest in mind for you—your security! If you bargain away your life for security now, you will never find your bliss.”

If you still feel like you don’t know what you are looking for—at least know this—you are looking and that you are on your way to bliss. Go looking—try things you have always wanted to try, do things that you are drawn to. Ask yourself why you haven’t tried something. Take different paths to work, shake up your routines. Put yourself out there. STRETCH yourself. Do something scary or uncomfortable.

Why do most people NOT FOLLOW their bliss? FEAR

“What will they think of me must be put aside for bliss.” -Joseph Campbell

Our first greatest demons we have to face are those critics right in front of us (ourselves and our friends and family). They all mean well, but you know what excites you. You ultimately are the one who holds yourself back from following your bliss because you begin to believe the others around you or you are afraid of what they think. If you can do that—you can achieve the impossible.

“I want to sing like birds sing, not worrying who listens or what they think.”  -Rumi

“Opportunities to find deeper powers within ourselves come when life seems most challenging.”  -Joseph Campbell

Joseph Campbell speaks of slaying a dragon in the hero’s journey. He describes the Dragon as the beast covered in scales that say ‘thou shalt’ and ‘thou shalt not’  The beast is a construction of all the rules, regulations, social obligations that have made you feel that you have to or have been made to do certain things. This is the moment where you take everything you’ve learned and use it to beat the dragon.

Robin Sharma said, “What is the one thing that keeps people small, that keeps them from their mountain tops?? their fears or as Joseph Campbell would say..their dragons.” Fears that are not faced begin to toxify, to creep to make you scared.

LOVE is what we are born with FEAR is what we learn.

Fear isn’t going anywhere, you just have to create the courage to move past the fears. Tony Hawk shared his experience creating the first loop ramp and facing the fear of actually doing it.

Courage takes practice. You just have to keep facing a fear and moving one step past it and it becomes easier. Do the things that scare you, whether it’s a tough conversation, leaving a job you don’t enjoy…the courage comes after. It’s okay to be scared, it’s a healthy warning, but that shouldn’t stop you from facing your fears.

Often the fears and dragons are the projections of ourselves–we create them, we create something that we have to defeat and it is often just something within ourselves. We can all be heroes if we are willing to look at ourselves more closely and understand and see the good and the bad and become better.

You begin to see the parts of yourself you struggle with on the inside. To fully see and understand the inner dragons, you must surrender. Some would say, loving your dragon is the more efficient way and feels better. There’s always a gift in battling inner demons and overcoming them because that is what a soul’s journey is about, facing fears and growing beyond it. As we overcome our fears we gain power. The best most rewarding moments often come after a struggle.

Struggles are like a minus symbol—it’s half of the plus symbol. + On one lovel it’s negative—sure the divorce was hard, the illness a challenge, you lost your job…we are not saying that wasn’t troublesome. Look at what awareness you can add to it that gives you a far bigger picture to master it.


“The privilege of a lifetime is being who you are.” -Joseph Campbell

At a certain point in the heroes journey it’s going to come about you loving and accepting yourself as you are. That’s a powerful moment that aligns you directly with the universe. The real goal in the heroes journey is not to only slay the dragons but to bring back the essence of the journey you experienced to others. To share your story and allow others to learn from it.

The choice you make to not give up is a story you are telling yourself. Did you show up for this life? Did you have the courage you needed? What did you learn about YOU?


I truly hope you learned some key things from JOE (Joseph Campbell) & I will leave you with a few other key thoughts that he has shared with the world. Peace and love to you in all you do.  -Heather

iiiinspired___joseph_campbell,_follow_your_bliss___via_plumtree_tumblr joseph-campbell-quote.-big-question-is-whether-you-are-going-to-say-hearty-yes-to-your-adventure c591dab8e80c4b1373758fa32c394422 Oct21-Campbell82299d90feb74509e84c645416e0c93c


Lessons learned from the movie Seabiscuit


Vágta3You know, everybody thinks we found this broken-down horse and fixed him, but we didn’t. He fixed us. Every one of us. And I guess in a way we kinda fixed each other too. -Red Pollard

This movie has many moments where you see the characters learn and grow from one another, but it is their genuine care and love that truly shines through.


6a015391a867e3970b017d3c40c431970c-500wiYou know, you don’t throw a whole life away just ’cause he’s banged up a little. -Tom Smith

I love this line because it is so true about different people that come into our lives. You don’t give up on those who have personal problems, who may be a bit of an energy drain to be around, it just means they need a little bit more of your strength, your hope, your lessons learned, your direction, your beliefs in what you see in them. It may be hard sometimes to continue giving, but patience and love will bring those opportunities back around & you just need to be willing to give a little more.


seabiscuit_the_horse-25196Charles Howard: You could be crippled for the rest of your life.

Red Pollard: I *was* crippled for the rest of my life. I got better. He made me better. Hell, you made me better.

This is the epitome of what people need: someone who genuinely cares, someone who sees the good in them, someone who will bring out the best in another.


SS.SeabiscuitThough he be but little, he is fierce. -Red Pollard

We all have moments where we feel small and insecure, it is in those moments where we can hide in the shadows or we can stand a little taller, be fierce and not forgotten.


10_seabiscuit_blu-rayWell, I just think this horse has a lot of heart. He may have been down, but he wasn’t out. He may have lost a few, but he didn’t let it get to him. I think I learned a lick or two from this little guy. Oh, and by the way, he doesn’t know he’s little. He thinks he’s the biggest horse out there. -Charles Howard

Heart is the key ingredient to true living. When you find that part of you that is real, that is true to who you believe you are—nothing can stop you. You will find your inner fire within and let it loose with the passions that reside within your heart. You will follow and you will be free.



Pollard_ConlonA interesting and sweet story about Red Pollard: While Red was recuperating from his injuries, Pollard fell in love with his nurse (who was engaged to another) Agnes Conlon. Red wrote her poems and they were married the following year and had two children, Norah and John. They lived together for over forty years.


seabiscuit_pollard_02A interesting fact about Seabiscuit: There was a spider monkey found at a race track & they took it with them and let it stay in the stall with Seabiscuit, it’s name was Jojo. Seabisuit also had another horse named Pumpkin, and two dogs. Most race horses would have a companion or two to keep them company.


Charles Howard. Red Pollard & Tom Smith


On a personal note: Horses often mirror the energy of the leader within their life. I wonder if that was part of the cause to both Red and Seabiscuit being injured and then having to heal together. I read somewhere that this really did happen. That is a beautiful part of this movie–seeing their strong relationship & the love they shared.

I hope you learned something about this beautiful movie. If you haven’t seen it, I would strongly suggest it.

I am dedicating this post to my husband–he loves this movie. Cheers to you love.

Have a beautiful day.

Lessons learned from the movie Maleficent

Over the weekend I saw the movie Maleficent and wanted to share some thoughts on this movie. There may be a few spoilers, but I will do my best to not ruin the movie for you.

When I originally saw the trailer I thought it looked dark, a large presence of evil and my eleven-year-old daughter said, “it looks scary. I don’t want to see it.” I was not sure I wanted to see it, but I then heard it was a sweet tale, so my curiosity was peaked and we went to see it. I would describe it as a beautiful tale of true love and forgiveness, with a definite dark splash of heartache and anger, but understandably so. You see a very dark depiction of Maleficent, and you understand why, but there is a storyline that draws you in and you begin to fall in love with her character, from beginning to end.

What I took away from the movie:

1394820240_angelina-jolie-maleficient-zoomEverything is better when you heart is full of LOVE not HATE.

maleficent-poster-king-stefan-sharlto-copley-640x321Selfishness brings about a darker side in anyone and that will begin to consume all things.

mLooks can be deceiving. It is what is on the inside that matters most.

03-maleficentEvil resides in a heart full of hatred and anger. Be careful what you focus on, for in the world, it is easy to be consumed by such things.

o-MALEFICENT-570Be aware of the energy you carry. Your power can be used for good or bad. 

Maleficent-(2014)-214Trust is a gift. Be careful who you give it to. Give it to those your heart allows in & even in those moments go a little deeper.

1401309270000-MALEFICENT-REVIEW-FANNINGYou cannot hide true beauty. True Beauty comes from within.

MALEFICENTFriendship is a gift. A close friend is always a good thing. They can help you see beyond yourself.

Disney's MALEFICENTTrue LOVE’s kiss isn’t always what you think it will be.

Maleficent - Winged Angelina JolieA change of heart is freedom in and of itself.


Forgiveness & True Love are the biggest take aways from this movie.

Peace and Love to you. -Heather


Lessons learned from Finding Joy

559333.1020.AI have been sick with a sinus infection for the past week, so I have had plenty of time to watch a few movies.

Today, I am going to post about a sweet movie called “Finding Joy.” It has some quirky, but lovable characters that for some reason or another I can relate with.

The storyline:  A self-absorbed writer, stuck in more ways than one, rediscovers himself, his offbeat family, and what it means to be happy when he meets Joy, a spirited young woman who asks him to write her obituary. -IMBD  Even though it did not have high review ratings–I am of the opinion you watch a movie and make your own judgement. There is always something to take away!!

I enjoyed the ride of up, down, dysfunction, lost characters, who in the end all help heal one another in more ways than one.

Lessons I learned:

If you are drawn to anything…move toward it: Like this movie, life has funny ways of bringing about serendipity.  I was drawn to the title of this movie & I enjoyed the outcome. In the movie Kyle sees Joy & is drawn to her for some reason. He comes up with some crazy way to meet her, but in the end…serendipity!! Follow your heart.  You can almost always find something good in so many things life has to offer. Just look between the stories & you will find the lessons, the sweets, the moments that you will always keep tucked away in your heart.

Always have a plan B in life: Poor Kyle had a published book, was working on a up and coming deadline, but didnt have a plan to cover anything, so he ended up losing his apt, car…and moving back home.


Everyone has dysfunction in the family–its how you handle it that matters:  We all have crazy in-laws, odd brothers, dramatic sisters, kids that make us borderline nuts, but we live the stories with them, we hold their hands, we talk them off the ledge, we love them no matter what—that is one great thing about family. In the movie Kyle’s brother has a embarrassing problem that he is keeping from his wife. Kyle & his daughter find out & have to walk him through the reality of what is really going on & how to handle the situation. Unconditional love is the key in any situation.


Romantic Rendezvous are always a good time: This movie had some very funny “Romantic Rendezvous” (dates) between Kyle & Joy. I loved the silly surprises Joy would come up with that in the end helped Kyle open up, see things differently & enjoy his time with Joy.

Great Life Perspective: In the movie Joy asks Kyle “What would you do if you knew you were going to die?? Wouldnt it just shock you out of your comfort zone and just make you feel so alive?”  Kyle replies, “I’m just trying to get through the living part right now.”    This to me is so key for all of us. We go through the hum drum of normalcy, the daily grind, the regular schedules that run our lives. I think so many of us are “trying to get through living.”  Ask yourself—what would you do differently if you knew there was a good chance you could die next week.  [You never know. Someone will]  Would you do some of the things you have saved up for “some day isle?”  Would you begin to take more time with your family? Would you be a little kinder with yourself? With others?


What truly INSPIRES you? In the movie Kyle is truly moved by Joy & wants more of her zest for life. She literally sends him into a frenzy of writing, he is so inspired by her that he cant stop. Is there anything in your life that moves you to take action? Do you have an idea that is waiting for you to help it bloom? Is there a forgotten talent that is yearning for you to break it free? What seems to light you up? What can you do at this moment to find a tiny piece of inspiration and follow it.

Break out of your ordinary: In the movie Joy helps Kyle try and break out of his comfort zone by having him wear a clown costume to deliver goods to needy people.  Is there something you can do to step out of your ordinary…routine, wardrobe, seriousness, to do lists, schedules, etc.   Halloween is a great time to do this!! October is a great time to take a little test drive & be someone else for an evening, a date night. I was just out with my daughter the other day on a Mommy/Missy afternoon. We hit a local thrift shop looking for some Halloween costume ideas. All the employees were dressed in kitty outfits & having fun with it. When we went to the register the young man checking us out wasn’t dressed up. I said, “Why aren’t you dressed up.” He smiled, “because they want me to.”  I grinned, “What a great opportunity to be so many different characters. You could be a different person each day.” He replied, “I just got my fill of dressing up at the local Comic Con.” I laughed, “Well, then you have costumes you enjoy to wear. That’s perfect.”  He smiled and politely agreed.  Look for possible occasions to break out of your ordinary. Go out and try a new hair color, drive home a different way from work, look for a shop you have always wanted to go in and do it…there are so many small ways to break out of your ordinary. AND this Halloween don’t be lame—even though you are all grown up, have some fun, find that crazy persona of someone you would have fun being for an evening. Have fun with it!! Life is too short.


When you tell someone your sorry make it great!! I wont give you the details, but in the movie he does a pretty great job!!


Make your mark on the world: In the movie Joy wants to make her mark on the world so she makes Kyle break into a construction site with her & puts a little piece of herself in the concrete.  I think in every single person there is a part of us that wants to make some mark—even a small, tiny mark on the world in some way. You see it all the time in public bathrooms—“Jane was here.”  ha ha. Maybe you want to write that novel you have been dreaming up, maybe you want to be the best mother, maybe you want to produce a movie, maybe you want to create something…an organization, a charity, a business, an idea. You have dreams within you that are waiting patiently. Begin today to make some small step toward your different ideas. I believe if you are doing ANYTHING that you feel may touch even one soul in a good way—that is moving you toward making even one small difference in the world.

The gift of a Living Funeral: In the movie Kyle decides he is going to create a living funeral for Joy, so she will want to live. I thought this was a cute idea to tell those who are living how much you love and appreciate them in your life. It doesn’t have to be on any grand scale, just take the time & make it a grand occasion! Make sure you whole heartedly put your genuine feelings into a card you read them, a letter you write them, an evening designed as a gift from you to those people you love.

It was a great movie I would recommend. I didn’t give you all the details because I didn’t want to spoil the movie (I hope I didn’t), but its a cute, quirky ride of fun-loving characters that you fall in love with.

One last line that I loved…He tells Joy “You are the most terrifying happiness I have known and I don’t want it to end.”


Here is the trailer for the movie   

Lessons from the movie Moulin Rouge


ImageThe movie Moulin Rouge is a mix of vibrance, colorful characters, amazing scenes full of dazzle, great music, creativity, wonder, jealousy, rage, lies, all tied together with a beautiful love story that truly is a bitter sweet. It may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but I have always found the beautiful, emotional ride touching.

Here are a few of my lessons from the incredible Moulin Rouge…

The overall take away  THE GREATEST THING YOU’LL EVER LEARN IS JUST TO LOVE AND BE LOVED IN RETURN.  Beautifully said. Warning: If you can’t take and appreciate this lovely statement, then you may not enjoy the movie.

You are worth more than you have any idea:  Begin now to see the true treasures and gifts within yourself. (Whether you are a penniless writer or a courtesan) How you see yourself does matter in the end.


LOVE is better than diamonds. There is a beautiful transformation of Satine from when she sings “Diamonds are a girls best friend” & believes money to be the saving grace for her life—-to the later Satine that is truly in love with the penniless writer. You see the outcome of love.  His gift was always his song & the love he had for her in his heart—not diamonds.

ImageMy gift is my song. And this one’s for you. And you can tell everybody that this is your song. It may be quite simple but now that its done. I hope you don’t mind, I hope you don’t mind that I put down in words. How wonderful life is now you’re in the world.

There will always be people to fuel a fire of rumors. Don’t be one of them. Rumors have a life of their own & once you take one and pass it along…it becomes a part of you. The outcome, whatever it may be, sadly is part of you. You will not be able to hide, the deceit, the energy it carries– springs from you. You are part of the tragedy or ill will it bestows upon someone else.

Jealousy truly is a bitter substance. Whether you are jealous of your neighbors yard, your husbands secretary, the car your sister has, become increasingly afraid you will lose…something, anything…you are playing with fire. Jealousy is a rage that burns within, so do whatever you can to snuff it out before it consumes you.

Follow your heart. You only have moments within your life that you can truly follow your heart & listen to what it yearns for. Luckily Satine followed her feelings & was finally free.


True friends care and believe in what is best for you. Harold Zitler cared for Satine, but in the end he just wanted her to finish the show (at any cost). But Christian’s friend Toulouse always believed in the love between Christian and Satine & he told him to go back to her because he knew their love was true.

Even the most bitter sweet endings inspire the heart to know true love. “Days turned into weeks, weeks turned into months, and then on not-so very special day, I sat down at my type-writer and I wrote down our story. A story about a time, a story about a place, a story about the people. But most importantly, a story about love. A love that will live forever. The end.”


There are always beautiful things to take away from any movie, so I hope you when you watch Moulin Rouge you will find some of your own lessons from this love story. enjoy.

Some additional quotes from the movie…

il_fullxfull.303269165 tumblr_l9njq3Ik8a1qzh6cro1_500Moulin-Rouge-Top-Romantic-Movie-Quote

Best FAMILY Movie Night!

ImageGood Family Movies

Movies can and do have tremendous influence in shaping young lives in the realm of entertainment towards the ideals and objectives of normal adulthood.  -Walt Disney

I remember as a kid sleeping out under the stars, but the few times we did, we usually had an outdoor movie.  I am sure with six kids my parents felt getting everything ready was quite an event–dragging the heavy television into the backyard, finding something that would hold its weight, connecting the (then VHS player) with the many extension cords that would extend into the house, making popcorn, finding enough blankets, pillows, sleeping bags and then trying to pick a movie that everyone would like.  [A little exhausting]  Thanks Mom and Dad. Your efforts were well worth the good memories.

I now do the same thing for my daughter Kate and her ten cousins. We try and make it a fun event because we know the memories will last even longer. Summer is short, childhood goes by so quickly, but the memories will always remain. 

Well, backyard, outdoor movies are one of my favorite memories for summer fun, so I thought I would compile some top family movies to make your  movie night fabulous!!! 

According to IMDb “Highest Rated Family Feature Films with at least 1,000 votes”

It’s a Wonderful Life (1946)  2. Spirited Away  3. Toy Story 3   4. Wall-E    5. The Lion King   6. The Kid   7. Up   8. Toy Story   9. The Gold Rush   10. My Neighbor Totoro   11. The Wizard of Oz   12. How to train your dragon   13. Finding Nemo   14. Children of Heaven   15. Howl’s Moving Castle   16. The Princess Bride   17. Hachi: A Dog’s Tale   18. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows:Part 2   19. A Wednesday   20. Castle in the Sky

Here is the link to the rest of this list:  http://www.imdb.com/search/title?genres=family&title_type=feature&num_votes=1000,&sort=user_rating,desc

According to Parents.com their Top 10 Family Movie Classics

1 Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (1968) 2 Ella Enchanted (2004) 3 E.T. (1982) 4 Freaky Fiday (2003)

5 Harry Potter 6 The Sound of Music (1965) 7 Spy Kids (2001)

8 Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory (1971) 9 Whale Rider (2003) 10 Wizard of Oz (1939)

I found this list awhile ago, but they also just listed the 50 best movies for kids and here is the link:  http://www.parents.com/fun/entertainment/movies/50-best-videos-for-kids/#page=1

According to TopTenReviews.com their Top 10 Family Movie Classics

1 E.T.   2 Wizard of Oz   3 Toy Story   4 Oliver (1968)   5 The Sound of Music   6 Up 7 Finding Nemo   8 The Incredibles   9 Time Bandits (1981)  10 A Christmas Story (1983)

They also have lists for Best Movies of each year and genre, from the 1930’s on up.

An article from Belief.net lists Family Movies that Teach Values

This article lists: It’s A Wonderful Life (teaches responsibility), Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory (teaches Integrity), A Man for All Seasons (teaches Courage), Babe (teaches Courtesy), Remember the Titans (teaches tolerance), Toy Story 2 (teaches loyalty), Akeelah and the Bee (teaches learning), War Games (teaches Peace), A Little Princess (teaches Helping Others), Holes (teaches Fairness)

Here is the link to the complete article:  http://www.beliefnet.com/Love-Family/2009/Family-Movies-That-Teach-Values.aspx

A few of my personal family favorites:

The Family Man (2000) is a great movie that is about a man who truly learns what is most important .

The Princess Protection Program (Disney 2009) is a great movie that teaches many good morales–kindness, believing in yourself, helping others, being princess like.

I like all the National Treasure movies—they put a fun spin on adventure, but you can also learn something within the twists and turns. I think it makes kids want to learn more about history. Plus, there is suppose to be a third out sometime in 2014. Fun for the whole family.

This also reminds me of the Night at the Museum movies–they seem to be a doorway to a child’s imagination, with a hint of history, nostalgia and lots of fun characters.

Other fun family movies that would be perfect for an outdoor movie, a family movie night or just some plain, summer FUN: The Game Plan, Nancy Drew, Dreamer, Bedtime Stories, Ever After, The Wizards of Waverly Place Movie (adventure), Nim’s Island, Return to Nim’s Island, both Nanny McPhee, The Parent Trap (old and new versions), Ella Enchanted, I could go on and on…The Kid, Freaky Friday, Tangled, Hotel for dogs…and thats not even touching on some of the great animated films like The Lorax, Despicable Me, Wreck-it Ralph, Rise of the Guardians, How to win your Dragon…and on and on…lots of fun, family movies to enjoy this summer!!

Well, as summer gets going, get outside and watch a fun, family movie!! [Or watch one inside] Make it a memorable experience with a fun show, big pillows or comfy mats, maybe some new summer pj’s, yummy food & snacks, smiles and family. Those are the ingredients to some of the best summer memories.

-Happy Summer,  Heather

Lessons learned from Big Fish


My little family took off spontaneously to a large, lake town about two hours away from our home, for a needed break.  The lake is fed calcium from the nearby limestone rock, which makes the lake a pristine blue color that seems to feed the soul. You can just sit and look at the water shimmer, the hues shift with the current and the quiet nourishes every part of you.  I sat watching four large pelicans fish in a shallow spot that was only about two feet deep. It was beautiful, the blue lake contrasted by these large, white, floating birds.

I then watched my husband head out to the same shallow spot with his fly rod in hopes of doing a little ‘carping.’  He waded in water less than a foot and would lift up these golden, shining fish that had large, open mouths.  It reminded me of a great Tim Burton movie, ‘Big Fish’ that we then watched that night. It seemed fitting to watch a movie of the same name, after catching such large fish earlier in the day.

Here is a Synopsis of the movie ‘Big Fish’: The story revolves around a dying father and his son, who is trying to learn more about his dad by piecing together the stories he has gathered over the years. The son winds up re-creating his father’s elusive life in a series of legends and myths inspired by the few facts he knows. Through these tales, the son begins to understand his father’s great feats and his great failings. -from imdb

So, while we watched I took notes on some of the epic lessons that were held within the movie. Hopefully you will take away a lesson learned & then watch the movie if you have not seen it.

“The biggest fish in the river gets that way by never being caught.”—Life is like that. The more you try, the more you journey, the more you learn, the wiser you become.

“The more difficult something became, the more rewarding it was in the end.”—I believe this to be true with every difficult change, every surprising struggle, every lesson learned. If you don’t have difficult moments, where will you find the reward?  If your life was eternally easy, where would you learn? How would you learn?

“This town is more than any man could ask for. And if I were to end up here, I’d consider myself lucky. But the truth is, I’m not ready to end up anywhere.”—There is a timing in everything that happens to you. This is where your gut feelings, your inner compass guides you to what you truly need for your life.

“It was that night I discovered that most things you consider evil or wicked are simply lonely, and lacking in social niceties.”–every person has a story, a reason for the way they are. Take the time to understand. There have been numerous situations within my life where I have met a person with a distasteful personality and thought “what is their problem” to only understand a little better, once I came to know their story.  One such story…A woman who worked as a cashier at a local Riteaid near my home. My husband and I frequented the store for small necessities to only leave on every occasion wondering what this woman’s problem was because she was cold and nasty in every encounter. Within a year we ended up living in the same building as this woman. We were not excited, but began to slowly get to know her. We came to find out that she had been struck with the AIDS virus and was deserted by her family. She felt very alone and judged by everyone around her. Our hearts ached for this woman. You never know ones journey.

“Fate has a cruel way of circling around on you. After all this work to leave Ashton, the girl I loved was now engaged to one of its biggest jerks. There’s a time when a man needs to fight, and a time when he needs to accept that his destiny is lost, that the ship has sailed, and that only a fool will continue. The truth is, I’ve always been a fool.”—Never give up. Fate does have a way of circling, testing and making sure you know what you truly want. If you ask and continue walking faithfully in the direction of your desires, you will begin to understand that someone truly is listening and wants what is best for you.

“Truth is, I’ve been thirsty my whole life. Never really known why.”—What are your thirsty for? Some people get stuck never grateful for what they have, always wanting more and more, until they finally see what they have is more than enough.

“A dangerous path is made much worse by darkness.”—Seek the light in all you do or you will need to watch every step you take in the darkness. Each step will become darker and darker, leading you further away from the light.

“A man tells his stories so many times that he becomes the stories. They live on after him, and in that way he becomes immortal.”—This one I truly understand even more deeply since my mother has been living with me. Every story she tells about her childhood, her mother, her father, sinks into my well of memory. I listen more intently, hoping to grasp the details, the way she tells the story, the emotion that wells up in her, the sweetness, the true moments of immortality that seem to live on in her every word. It’s priceless.

Well, there are lessons all around us, we just need to seek after them. I am trying to take more and more out of all I do, the movies I watch, the stories I read, the conversations I have…they all lead to learning at some level. Seek to become better in all you do.

Greatness is all around us.  Growth is in everything.  I will leave you with this last quote from the movie…

“It occurred to me then, that perhaps the reason for my growth was I was intended for larger things. After all, a giant man can’t have an ordinary-sized life.”

I believe there is reason for growth in everyone & that everyone is intended to live for larger things, to learn daily, to seek wisdom, to live beyond an ordinary life, a life rich with gratitude, a life that God intended you to find in every step you take.  Enjoy your journey.

Peace and beautiful things to you today.  -Heather