Top 10 Reasons Women WIN in #StarWarsForceAwakens PLUS #StarWars Coloring Pages

starwars

Thanks to my husband & our dedicated friends, we held our day-long Star Wars Marathon last weekend before I joined a theater of dedicated journalists this last Tuesday eager to grab an early glimpse at the 2015 addition to this series from LucasFilm known as  Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

In my opinion, The Force Awakens definitely lives up to Director J.J. Abrams’ promise to welcome the viewer back into a world Star Wars fans know and yet have them experience one that is completely different and fun to experience on its own. You have the familiar dusty dry lands of foreign planets inhabited by orphans & pirates, the same slick metal world of the evil alliances, some old and some new friendly robots who always seem to be in the right place at the right time and the ever present alien bar with characters who make you want to stare even when you know you shouldn’t. The biggest difference: There’s more girl power in this movie than all the other Star Wars movies combined.

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Without having read the articles documenting the addition of strong women characters, I came to my own conclusion about this drastic departure from the previous movies. Here’s my top 10 reasons women win out in this particular film: (*Spoiler Alert* There are some minor plot reveals here but not the biggest ones so that you still have plenty surprises ahead of you. Yes, go see the movie!)

  1. Skimpy bikinis are gone.
  2. Women get costumes we can actually see our girls wearing on Halloween or any other time of the year.
  3. Women are storm troopers.
  4. A woman runs the outpost alien bar.
  5. Women are key character Jedi (not just a side-thought who gets killed).
  6. The Force that has awakened appears to be girl power.
  7. The new jedi warrior figures out the force on her own because she’s just cool like that.
  8. And, (*spoiler) she flies the Millenium Falcon like a pro on the first try.
  9. Women are generals (go, Leia!)
  10. Men are the eye-candy in this one – Hello, Oscar Isaac. . .
Star Wars: The Force Awakens Poe Dameron (Oscar Isaac) Ph: David James ©Lucasfilm 2015

Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Poe Dameron (Oscar Isaac)
Ph: David James
©Lucasfilm 2015

That said, go see the movie so you can find out for yourself who the new Darth Vader replacement is, what he does to make you truly hate him and how he connects in this intricate plot.

About “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” Lucasfilm and visionary director J.J. Abrams join forces to take you back again to a galaxy far, far away as “Star Wars” returns to the big screen with “Star Wars: The Force Awakens.” The film stars Harrison Ford, Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, Adam Driver, Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, Lupita Nyong’o, Andy Serkis, Domhnall Gleeson, Anthony Daniels, Peter Mayhew and Max Von Sydow. Kathleen Kennedy, J.J. Abrams and Bryan Burk are producing with Tommy Harper and Jason McGatlin serving as executive producers. The screenplay is by J.J. Abrams & Lawrence Kasdan. “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” releases in U.S. theaters on December 18, 2015.

Download the Star Wars Activity Kit & Coloring Pages Here: starwars_pdf_5662199996c28

Want to connect with #StarWars across the social galaxy? There are many ways below:

Like STAR WARS on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/StarWarsMovies

 Follow STAR WARS on Twitter: https://twitter.com/starwars

Follow STAR WARS on Instagram: http://instagram.com/StarWarsMovies

Follow STAR WARS on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/starwars

Visit the official STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS website: http://www.starwars.com/the-force-awakens/

STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS arrives in theaters everywhere on December 18th!

And, just in case you HAVEN’T seen the trailer:

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Saying Goodbye to My Old Blogs: Genesis Moments and DIYFrugal

Well, it’s done! GenesisMoments.com (my original Mom blog with years of review content, inspirational thoughts and celebrity interviews) along with DIYFrugal.com (my shared frugalista blog with reviews and money saving tips) are now GONE. Ignored, hacked, poisoned and now lost in cyberspace.

If you have been redirected here looking for those blogs, they are gone. Content lost in digital dots. Sorry, world. Life got busy and blogging took a back-step. In my absence, evil hackers took over my sites and sent viruses out into the world. To avoid further digital poisoning, I have shut them down for good and forwarded the domain names here. The hacked content no longer exists so if you are looking for old links, old mentions or branded images, they do not exist in any accessible form.

Those two blogs represent an active time in my life of creative writing and digital networking that led to several career building jobs in education and communications and amazing public relations experiences I won’t ever forget. I will never underestimate the value they had to my life but life goes on and now it’s time to move on.

Message me if you have any questions about these older blogs.

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CLOSED:GIVEAWAY & REVIEW: ESV Journaling Bible #JOURNALINGBIBLE #FLYBY

journalReading the Bible without meditating on it is like trying to eat without swallowing.” — Anonymous

Reading the Bible has always been a great source of joy, peace and wonder for me. I always seem to find new things that are perfectly applicable to whatever situation I am going through and I am in awe at knowing that I am reading the inspired word of God.

Whenever I am worried or afraid, all I have to do is to open this age-old book of wisdom and I know the triune God (the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit) are with me guiding, directing, loving and rejoicing when I give everything going on in my life to Him. I also know that unless I am feeding my mind and soul with the Word, I am probably not reacting to situations the way I should. The more we are in the word, the more it pours out of us in life in all situations. It doesn’t mean we are perfect – just properly equipped.

What I love about this journaling Bible is that you can make notes, write dates of prayer requests and even doodle as you contemplate God’s word. I have gone back to more than one older Bible in my life time and really enjoyed seeing what I wrote and how God inspired me in a particular moment. This publication of the Bible gives you plenty of room! I have always enjoyed journaling and reading the Bible and here you have both together.

I am doing a quick giveaway of one of these Bibles this week (to end by Friday, 11/20/15). US & Canada shipping only. Please comment below for a chance to win your own ESV journaling Bible. See more information about this Bible below.

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About the ESV Journaling Bible: (Retail Price: $37.99) 

Features:
 – Black letter text
 – Double-column, paragraph format
 – Cream-colored paper
 – 2″ ruled margins
 – One-Year Bible Reading Plan
 – Introductions and section headings for each Bible book
About Crossway:
The purpose of Crossway has been, from its founding as a not-for-profit ministry in 1938, to publish gospel-centered, Bible-centered content that will honor our Savior and serve his Church.   They seek to help people understand the massive implications of the gospel and the truth of God’s Word, for all of life, for all eternity, and for the glory of God.  
 
Disclosure: Thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway. Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and are not influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post.
Contest Rules: Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway. If you have won a prize from our sponsor Propeller/FlyBy Promotions in the last 30 days, you are not eligible to win. Or, if you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.

 

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Movie News: #FINDING NOAH opens in theaters October 8 #FLYBY

noahAs a child, I heard the story of Noah’s Ark read from the Bible. As a teen, I studied dimensional facts of the ark in my high school Bible class. As a mom, I saw Noah’s ark made into nursery fabric, lamps, paintings, toys, you name it. But, did the real Noah’s ark exist and does it still exist today under centuries of ice and snow atop Mount Ararat where it landed according to the Biblical account? Is God going to let one of His great mysteries be revealed so that science can poke and prode?
I had the opportunity to preview the movie Finding Noah which releases in theaters for one night on October 8th. In this movie, researchers set out to answer this age old question. Throughout the movie, we are treated to historical references and believed sightings of the mammoth ark over the years as the journey of exploration of this recent group of men is documented all the way to the camp site where they dug deep to find the truth both in the ice and in themselves.
I watched and waited as they made their way up the treacherous mountain side getting closer and closer to the place believed to be the resting place of the ancient ark that saved the human race through the line of Noah. I watched as they drilled and took core samplings. And, I watched the end which warned future researchers:
 2014: All ark search permitting on Mt. Ararat DENIED – the Turkish Regime. 
 So what did they find? You will have to watch the movie yourself! Sorry, no spoilers here. Go see the movie and support their work.
 
ABOUT the Movie: FINDING NOAH:
For over 2,000 years, man has been searching for the final resting place of Noah‘s Ark.  Though there have been many attempts, few have been able to fully explore the one place specifically noted in the Bible: Mount Ararat.  Located in Eastern Turkey, Agri Dagh or “The Painful Mountain” is the tallest mountain in the region and lies in the very center of a centuries old, geo-politically unstable hot spot.  With constant threats of deadly rock slides, hidden crevasses, and glacial ice falls, the Kurdish Rebel held mountain poses great risk to any explorer, let alone those performing a thorough scientific investigation.
 
Join director/producer Brent Baum and the FINDING NOAH film crew as they follow an expedition of intrepid explorers on a perilous trek up to Mt. Ararat’s desolate summit.  There, using state of the art technology and real-time satellite imagery, this team of archeologists, scientists and professional mountaineers will begin a grid work of exploration unlike any before, hoping to finally resolve the age-old question:  did Noah and his Ark actually exist?
 
Shot in never-before filmed locations in the harshest of conditions, this unprecedented feature-length documentary shows just how far men are willing to go to discover the truth.  Narrated by Academy Award nominee Gary Sinise, FINDING NOAH is more than a quest for answers, it is a testament of the human spirit, where belief and the need for exploration transcend risk and limitation.
IN THEATERS: October 8th (ONE NIGHT ONLY).
OFFICIAL WEBSITE
PURCHASE TICKETS HERE
TRAILER:

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MOVIE NEWS: 90 Minutes in Heaven #HOPELIVES #FLYBY

piper90 Minutes in Heaven may simply look like a really cool, action-packed inspirational movie but it is so much more  . . . WAY more.

It is the true story of a man named Don Piper who died in a terrible car crash and saw and heard the most incredible things as he entered heaven. Then, leaving that tremendous eternal experience behind, he was pulled back to earth to recover from a broken body and then to share his seemingly fantastic story with the world. That story became a best seller on the exclusive New York Times bestseller list and now we get to see it come alive on film this coming weekend.

I read the book and now I am excited to see the movie! A movie edition of the book has also been released recently and has some great pictures of Don Piper as he lived this very real experience.

What an incredible testimony to the fact that God is REAL, Heaven is REAL and there is are angels looking out for us each and every day.

About the movie presented by Giving Films:
Releases in theaters everywhere September 11, 2015
Rating: PG-13 (for intense accident and injury images)
Starring Hayden Christensen (Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones, Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith), Kate Bosworth (Remember The Titans, Blue Crush) Michael W. Smith, Fred Thompson, Dwight Yoakam, and Jason Kennedy, 90 Minutes In Heaven is based on the inspiring New York Times best-selling book that has sold 7 million copies.
Enjoy a brief look below:

 

About the book:
Paperback; 245 pages
Pastor Don Piper died January 18, 1989 when a semi-tractor truck crushed his car.  Declared dead by the first rescue workers to arrive on the scene, Don’s body lay under a tarp for the next 90 minutes.  Don’s soul, meanwhile, was experiencing love, joy, and life like he’d never known before.  Don was in Heaven.  
 
When another pastor’s prayers helped bring Don back to life, he became a living miracle!  Yet this is one miracle Don wished never happened.  Heaven‘s bliss was replaced by excruciating pain and emotional turmoil.  With the support and prayers of his beloved Eva, their three kids, and friends near and far, Don clings to his faith in God and fights to regain a semblance of his previous life.  The Piper family’s incredible true story of perseverance and overcoming the challenges of life – and death – will bring hope and encouragement to all who see it. 
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GIVEAWAY: The Marvel Experience in Philadelphia in June #tmxtour #tmxphiladelphia

Our family loves the Marvel-inspired movies, Marvel TV spin-offs and everything super hero and now there is the coolest show coming in town that lets my kids feel like Super Heroes themselves. And, of course, I may have to get into the action a bit too because this show is for ALL ages!

Comment below for a chance to win 4 tickets to the The Marvel Experience Show in Philadelphia at 1 pm on June 19, 2015 at the Lincoln Financial Field. Contest end June 12, 2015. A winner will be notified Saturday June 13th.

300x250_SUMMER_PHIAbout the Marvel Experience: 

Become a part of THE experience. You will smash villains as Hulk, fly as Iron Man, shoot energy beams with Vision, and scale buildings with Spidey! Your journey will take you through the amazing 3D 360 degree Stereoscopic full-Dome projection theater before taking flight in the thrilling motion ride. S.H.I.E.L.D. has assembled Marvel’s Avengers to battle Red Skull and HYDRA and they need your help!  Become part of this  ‘all ages’ immersive experience at the world’s first ever Super Hero Recruitment Tour! Don’t wait, as this limited engagement at the (venue name) is for 2 weeks only.

Tour Dates

Philadelphia, PA. Lincoln Financial Field: 6/19 – 7/5

Chicago, IL. McCormick Place: 7/11 – 8/2

New York, NY. Park Avenue Armory: 8/8 – 8/30

St. Louis, MO. America’s Center: 9/5 – 9/20

 

About the Technology Behind The Marvel Experience:

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Kimmel Center Highlights: #DirtyDancing Tour in Philadelphia

ddDirty Dancing as a film was a high school classic for my siblings and I. In fact several pivotal scenes were filmed around Lake Lure, NC where I went as a kid to camp and to vacation on the lake with my family.

I have many memories around that movie which is why it was really fun for my sister and I to meet for dinner before the show and then sit in floor seats for opening night of Dirty Dancing at the Academy of Music this last Tuesday night. The touring show is in town in Philadelphia now through Sunday, April 5 and yes, tickets are still available.

The show throughout the evening never gets boring. It’s active, lively and engaging. It deals with the same touchy topics of the movie – summer love, race relations, class relations and then of course, the impact on everyone of one staff member’s back-room abortion. It’s real and raw and every bit as poignant as the movie itself.

About the show:

Dirty Dancing — the Classic Story on Stage is an unprecedented live experience, exploding with heart-pounding music, passionate romance, and sensational dancing. Seen by millions across the globe, this worldwide smash hit tells the classic story of Baby and Johnny, two fiercely independent young spirits from different worlds who come together in what will be the most challenging and triumphant summer of their lives. Featuring the hit songs, “Hungry Eyes,” “Hey Baby,” “Do you Love Me?” and the heart stopping “(I’ve Had) The Time of My Life.” London’s Sunday Express says, “This crowd-pleasing stage adaptation hits the jackpot!” Don’t miss your chance to see this record breaking live theater sensation. You’ll have the time of your life!

 

Learn more about the Kimmel Center’s Broadway series at the Academy of Music. (I see that the Lion King is coming!)

2015-2016 Broadway Philadelphia Season Is Here! 6 show packages start at just $109!
CLICK HERE for more!

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GIVEAWAY: Penguins of Madagascar DVD/Blu-Ray Set

Penguins

This week I am giving away a couple of the NEW Penguins of Madagascar DVD/Blu-Ray 2 disc sets. Please enter in the Rafflecopter below. I have also included a synopsis and trailer below in case you haven’t heard of this totally fun movie.

Synopsis: In Penguins of Madagascar, audiences will discover the secrets of the most entertainingly mysterious birds in the global espionage game. Skipper, Kowalski, Rico and Private now must join forces with the chic spy organization, the North Wind, led by Agent Classified (we could tell you his name, but then … you know) to stop the cunning villain Dr. Octavius Brine from taking over the world.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Angels Sing: Libera in America Concert DVD and U.S. Tour Schedule

boys A very special group of British choir boys called Libera are currently touring America and if you can’t see them in person, you can now listen to their ethereal sound on your laptop or TV at home. Personally, I thoroughly enjoyed watching the concert and listening to the lovely songs as I folded laundry. Gave a whole new perspective to a mundane task!

The new Blu-Ray/DVD and CD of the Libera: Angels Sing PBS Special concert was filmed in the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington D.C.  This concert was filmed in the Summer of 2014 and will be broadcast across the USA during 2015.  The Blu-Ray/DVD and CD are available from Amazon and iTunes. Buy DVD on Amazon: Angels Sing – Libera in America

If you are inspired to see a concert live, the U.S. schedule is as follows:

5-City Easter Season Tour

Boston, MA  –  The Wilbur Theatre  –  April 1 at 7:30pm  |  TICKETS
Washington, DC  –  Warner Theatre  –  April 2 at 8:00pm  |  TICKETS
San Antonio, TX  –  Tobin Center  –  April 4 at 7:30pm  |  TICKETS
Chicago, IL  –  Arcada Theatre  –  April 8 at 7:30pm  |  TICKETS
Atlanta, GA  –  Woodruff Center  –  April 10, 2015 at 7:30pm  |  TICKETS

TRAILER:

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#Disneyside At-Home Celebration Teen-Style

(Disclosure: I received free products in order to host a Disney Side @Home Celebration. The opinions expressed here are my own.)

I thought there would come a day when I wouldn’t be able to get my kids to dress up and host a costume party. Well, maybe or maybe not. Apparently, even teens don’t need much encouragement when it comes to getting out of the cold of winter and gathering for a Disney Side Celebration. Of course, the special emphasis on Disney villains were a clever touch in the kit we received and recipes for Ursula’s Octopus cupcakes and Maleficent’s Black Ice punch were an added bonus.

Several teens who came early enjoyed helping create and decorate a Duff Goldman tie-dye cake in a Mickey Mouse Cake Pan. And, of course, eating it was all that much more fun.

Themes make parties fun but ultimately, a party is about the people in it and through this event, I watched my teen daughter invite a nice group of kids to our home, entertain and feed them and come into her own as someone who can graciously entertain. I am proud of both of my daughters who we have raised to be independent and kind, young women who know how to have “clean” fun and gather a crowd without it getting out of control. Their friends eat, they play games, they watch movies, they go home. Sure, I loved the age when my girls could fit into girly little princess dresses but this is such a great age too – seeing them own their own entertaining style and sense of self. It is a beautiful time.

#DisneySide

Time to cut the cake and have a touch of Twinings tea!

Cake Slicedisney tea time

 

And, then there’s puzzle time – villain style!IMG_20150302_162533272_HDR

(I am also so very grateful for other sponsors who added products to our Disney celebration: all Mighty Pacs for easy laundry clean-up, HP CMYK photo paper packs, My Image Bracelet Maker and Disney Parks who sent luggage tags and lots of fun!)

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