Party Ideas For The Fantastic New Beauty And The Beast Movie

I, along with much of the rest of the world, went to see the new Beauty and the Beast starring Emma Watson on the weekend and I absolutely loved it. I found myself smiling through most of the movie – right up to the mass of villagers and their pitchforks descended on the castle, anyway.


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While I think Luke Evans plays dangerous vapid vanity with frighting acuity, Emma Watson absolutely stole the show, as I’m sure she was supposed to, being the lead actress and all. I could honestly not imagine a better actor for the role of Belle, a headstrong, before her time, literate girl from a French village (with an exquisite peasant wardrobe! I’d dress like that all the time, if I could!)

If an actress brings something of herself into a role, Emma Watson is the perfect person for this. Alone up there (if I recall) among the Disney films that look at love as more than a physical attraction based on a your place in society – a beautiful maiden in one or another form of distress, and a prince – and it’s one of the few that place the female lead in the heroine role, so there are many reasons to love this story, original or new.

Something I thoroughly appreciated in the new film, however, was how reminiscent, but better, it was of the original, with similar dream like sequences and choreographies. It harked back to the original so much, yet was so enhanced and just beautiful. Everything about it was beautiful. I walked out of the cinema thoroughly inspired.

Party Ideas For The Fantastic New Beauty And The Beast Movie

I did also walk out thinking that this new adaptation of Beauty and the Beast was going to spark many a Beauty and the Beast birthday party with the crowd that may have outgrown the cartoon version some years before. I know if I was planning a party around now, I’d probably be planning Beauty and the Beast!

So here are some of the best party ideas I’ve found, but I expect there’ll be many new, fresh ideas coming out as the new Beauty and the Beast fanbase grows!

Top 10 Food Ideas

There are some incredible Beauty and the Beast Party Food ideas around, but I don’t know many mamas who have the time, skill or resource to go to the lengths some of the Pinterest mamas do, so here are some of my favourite, I-could-probably-do-that, Beauty and the Beast party food ideas.

Top Party Game & Decor Ideas


Easter Decorations #BostikBloggers

You may remember how I turned our bean plant from last year’s allotment into a festive twig decoration back in December? Well, when I was thinking of how to bring a bit of Easter and a bit of spring into the house and thought of my twigs nestled away for next Christmas and decided to bring them out again. Easter Decorations #BostikBloggersRead more: Easter Decorations #BostikBloggers

DIY Easter Bonnet #BostikBloggers

It’s that time of year where daffodils and dandelions abound, which means spring has sprung and summer is coming! But before blissful days on the beach – I’m an optimist – there are a few things to do first – like enjoy Easter!  The Bostik Blogger box this month was a fairly simple one, with bold and beautiful colours, beads, ready made felt stickers and a few other springy and Easterish bits and bobs.  It happens to also have been this week that Aviya popped dug out her sun hat, so it seemed fated, really, that we should be decorating Easter Bonnets this week. DIY Easter Bonnet #BostikBloggersRead more: DIY Easter Bonnet #BostikBloggers

Dear Home Ed Mama Who’s Decided To Send Your Child To School

My children have been educated at home since pretty much the day they were born, and as such, we’ve always mingled with people who intend, or do, home educate their children. As a result, we’ve come across pretty much every ‘type’ of home educator known to man, I’m sure. From those who do it for religious reasons to those that do it for anti-establishment reasons, from those who do it purely while they wait for schools to come available, to those who do not intend to send their children to school, ever.

We’ve met and engaged with all the styles too, from the extreme unschoolers who don’t even like ‘themed’ activity days at the home ed groups, to those who follow a strict curriculum, from those who teach nothing at all formally, to those who have flashcards for their two year olds. We have met them all.

The biggest shock for me in the home learning networks has been the difference in parenting styles. Our first home educating network consisted mostly of the style of parenting known as attachment parenting or gentle parenting. Subsequent groups introduced us to much stricter, more regimented parenting styles.Dear Home Ed Mama Who's Decided To Send Your Child To SchoolRead more: Dear Home Ed Mama Who’s Decided To Send Your Child To School

March Literary Days to Celebrate And Observe

March Literary Days to Celebrate And Observe

March might be starting to smell a little like spring, but there are still a lot of indoors days for us, which means lots of time for reading and celebrating the voices that fill our book shelves.

The star of this month’s literary celebrations, of course, is Dr Seuss’ birthday, which happens on the 2nd of March. We always have lots of fun activities planned for Dr.Seuss’ birthday, because he’s such a fun person to celebrate. Read more: March Literary Days to Celebrate And Observe

New Episodes & A New Line For Project MC2

Project Mc² is back on Netflix UK with new episodes, and an accompanying new product line based on the Netflix series.

If you aren’t familiar with Project Mc², it’s a series about a team of six super-smart girls who use their love of science and spy skills to undertake missions for a top-secret, all female organization called NOV8 – or innovate – to us less acronym savvy.

The six main characters are McKeyla McAlister (Mc2), Adrienne Attoms (A2), Camryn Coyle (C2), Bryden Bandweth (B2), Ember Evergreen (E2) and Devon D’Marco (D2), and each girl has an area of speciality. McKeyla is a spy, Adrienne is a culinary chemist, Camryn is a whizz with electronics, Bryden is the online guru of the group, Ember can grow pretty much anything and Devon is an artist extraordinaire who opens up to the group in this latest series.  Each girl ticks at least one of the STEM/STEAM boxes, many tick more, and while their interests are varied, they make a great time when they work together.
New Episodes & A New Line For Project MC2

In the new episodes and old character returns, and the girls have to use their smarts to not only save him and save the day, but there’s romantic progress for McKeyla and Kyle Lewis too.

While the show throws out big words from time to time (mostly chemicals) there’s not a huge amount of education that happens just from watching it, and a lot just ‘works out’ for the characters, but it’s a series aimed at young girls, so you have to watch it with that filter. While I still find the girls a bit vapid-with-smarts, they’re much more interesting and much better role models for girls than many other traditional girl stereotypes I can think of.

There are some general themes that make it worth watching, if you were doing it for entertainment only, like the introduction to the concept of girls-who-love-STEM/STEAM, the value of teamwork, standing by your friends and standing up for yourself. There’s also the ‘girls can do this’ idea, which isn’t bad to start reinforcing from a young age.New Episodes & A New Line For Project MC2Read more: New Episodes & A New Line For Project MC2

6 Creative Baby Photo Shoot Ideas

One of the joys of having a newborn in the family is that you get to see that little angel grow up right before your very eyes. But many parents secretly wish that their baby won’t grow up too fast. Well, that angelic, innocent-looking face, precious smile, and pink chubby cheeks won’t last forever, but you can capture your baby’s cutest moments and immortalize them through photos.

You don’t need to be a skilled photographer or hire a professional photographer to take adorable pictures of your little munchkin. With the help of your family, a few props, and right newborn photography gear, you can do it on your own!6 Creative Baby Photo Shoot IdeasRead more: 6 Creative Baby Photo Shoot Ideas

Make Your Own Gift Box #BostikBloggers

Whether you do Valentines for the love of your life, or you simply do it for the kids, these little gift boxes are easy to make, and the perfect size for jewellery, cufflinks, or gift vouchers. I make them from half an A4-page. You can also make them bigger, of course.

You can also make them from paper, but they’re obviously not too strong then, or from card. I made this one from corrugated card, which is nice and strong, but the colour doesn’t run all the way through the paper.

Make Your Own Gift Box #BostikBloggers
Read more: Make Your Own Gift Box #BostikBloggers

February Literary Days To Celebrate And Observe

February Literary Celebrations:

The whole month might be about Haiku Writing, but the first week is about Storytelling – get everyone involved in making up and telling stories. For inspiration, make sure you pop into the library on ‘Take Your Child To The Library Day’ and find out if there are any events occurring in your area for Children’s Authors and Illustrator week (the 2nd week of Feb).  Draw a hot bath and read in the bath tub on the 9th, and show your library some love on the 14th. And don’t forget to gift someone a book between all the chocolate and hearts too!

The end of the month sees World Read Aloud Day – grab a box and perform your favourite passages out loud. Great way to meet your neighbours!

Whether it’s winter’s nights in with Little House on the Prairie or a walk through old England with Charles Dickens, or a journey somewhere far away with Jules Verne, there’s so much amazing old literature to enjoy in February. Don’t forget to tweet John Grisham happy birthday on the 8th!

And celebrate the other Grimm brother’s birthday on the 24th with a fairy tale or two. Stretch it out to the 26th to Tell A Fairy Tale Day, and maybe even include the Tooth Fairy on the 28th. I’m sure the dentists won’t mind!

It’s a really exciting month in the world of literature, but do end it with a fortunate event, this time – Lemony Snicket’s birthday!

February Literary Days To Celebrate And ObserveRead more: February Literary Days To Celebrate And Observe

Goodbye To Breastfeeding – 8 Years A Breastfeeder

Ameli was born in October 2009 and aside from a single prenatal class on breastfeeding, the sum total of my thought and planning on the subject of breastfeeding was “we’d best get in some formula, just in case”. I hadn’t considered “in case of what?” I certainly didn’t plan on becoming an active breastfeeding advocate.

Goodbye To Breastfeeding - 8 Years A Breastfeeder

As it turned out I fell in love with breastfeeding Ameli. It was so easy with her. We ended up doing a lot of things we’d never considered. The nursery remained unused as we coslept, the pram was sold in favour of a variety of slings. We travelled to 20 different countries in her first two years, and breastfeeding was just the simplest solution to everything from hunger to pink eye, comfort to ear infections. Breastfeeding worked for us. So well in fact that I had huge oversupply and ended up donating breastmilk to AIDS babies for the six months we lived in South Africa.

Breastfeeding did more for me than feed my baby. It led me to an entire tribe of mothers who were in many ways just like me. I stopped going to groups where people looked at you weirdly because you were still feeding a two year old and the first time I sat in a group of other mothers breastfeeding their toddlers, I cried, because I felt like I’d finally arrived home. Goodbye To Breastfeeding - 8 Years A BreastfeederRead more: Goodbye To Breastfeeding – 8 Years A Breastfeeder