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Books/Movies, Entertainment

20 Scary movies appropriate for kids of all ages

October 22, 2017

I’m sure by now you have read and heard all about the upcoming Halloween happenings in Cape Town especially. It’s quite…scary…how much the holiday has grown amongst the South African crowd in recent years. Every year the celebrations just get bigger and better and scarier – from horror fests to mystery murder dinners, ghost bus tours to Halloween-themed parties, and zombie walks to twilight runs. This all seems like a cauldron-full of fun unless you have kids and a late-night-weekend might not be your ideal way of spending this Halloween.

Here’s a fab idea – Invite some of your kids’ friends over, scatter the pillows and blankets all over the lounge floor, pop some corn, turn out the lights and you have yourself a PG scare fest I guarantee they’ll enjoy. What the heck! Unlike in the US, it’s actually Summer over here, so if you really want to impress the little ones, take the bean bags out onto the lawn, set up a projector screen, and you have instantly and effortlessly created your own open-air Halloween screening!

But, finding the right movies for our kids is always such a mission! We all know how completely inappropriate some kids scary movies can be, so, to the best of my researching skills ( and I have killer skills), I have put together quite a collection for you to choose from. Most are PG rated and nothing over 13 years, but they are all guaranteed to entertain the entire family and you won’t have to wait until the kids go to bed.

Proceed with caution:

As with everything we do that involves our kids, your choice of movies, too, requires your judgment call. Sometimes that means previewing a movie and making a decision based on their age and mental constitution.

For the under 13 crowd it may be best that you watch the movie with them as discussion can provide an outlet for some of the disturbing issues found in even the least scary movies. If possible, after you’ve watched the movie, also watch the special on how they made the monsters. That might be comforting for the more sensitive child, to know that none of it is real.

Above all, Have a happy Halloween and Enjoy movie night – Here are 20 of my fave kiddie scares!

 

Boxtrolls (PG RATED)

Eggs (Isaac Hempstead-Wright), an orphan, lives with the Boxtrolls — a community of quirky, mischievous creatures who inhabit a cavern beneath the city of Cheesebridge. When villainous Archibald Snatcher (Ben Kingsley) hatches a plan to get rid of the pretty harmless beings, Eggs decides to go above ground, where he meets and befriends feisty Winnifred (Elle Fanning). Together, Eggs and Winnifred devise a daring plan to save the Boxtrolls from extermination.

 

Coraline (PG RATED)

While exploring her new home, a girl named Coraline (Dakota Fanning) discovers a secret door, behind which lies an alternate world that closely mirrors her own but, in many ways, is better. She rejoices in her discovery, until Other Mother (Teri Hatcher) and the rest of her parallel family try to keep her there forever. Coraline must use all her resources and bravery to make it back to her own family and life.

 

Hotel Transylvania (PG RATED)

When monsters want to get away from it all, they go to Count Dracula’s (Adam Sandler) Hotel Transylvania, a lavish resort where they can be themselves without humans around to bother them. On one special weekend, Dracula invites creatures like the Invisible Man, the Mummy and others to celebrate the 118th birthday of his daughter, Mavis (Selena Gomez). However, an unforeseen complication unfolds when an ordinary human unwittingly crashes the party and falls in love with Mavis.

 

Casper (PG RATED)

Casper (voiced by Malachi Pearson) is a kind young ghost who peacefully haunts a mansion in Maine. When specialist James Harvey (Bill Pullman) arrives to communicate with Casper and his fellow spirits, he brings along his teenage daughter, Kat (Christina Ricci). Casper quickly falls in love with Kat, but their budding relationship is complicated not only by his transparent state but also by his troublemaking apparition uncles.

 

Mickey’s House of Villains (TV G RATED)

The villains from the popular animated Disney films are gathered at the House of Mouse with plans to take over. Soon, the villains take over the house and kick out Mickey, Donald and Goofy. It’s all up to Mickey and his friends to overthrow evil and return the House of Mouse to normal–or as close to normal as it get’s.

 

Pooh’s Heffalump Halloween (G RATED)

Your favorite friends from The Hundred Acre Wood are back in the all-new original feature, POOH’S HEFFALUMP HALLOWEEN MOVIE. It’s a hilariously haunted Halloween in the Hundred Acre Wood, and Roo’s best new pal, Lumpy, is excited to trick-or-treat for the first time. That is, until Tigger warns them about the dreaded Gobloon who’ll turn you into a jaggedy lantern if he catches you. But if they catch the Gobloon before it catches them, they get to make a wish. When Pooh eats all the Halloween candy, Lumpy and Roo decide to be “brave together, brave forever and catch the Gobloon. Celebrate the bumpity and spookable Halloween season with Pooh and his pals in their first Halloween-themed film in eight years. 

 

The Halloween Tree (G RATED)

Four children learn the origins of Halloween customs while trying to save the life of their friend.

 

Frankenweenie (PG RATED)

When a boy’s beloved dog passes away suddenly, he attempts to bring the animal back to life through a powerful science experiment.

 

ET (PG RATED)

A troubled child summons the courage to help a friendly alien escape Earth and return to his home world.

 

The Little Vampire (PG RATED)

After he moves to Scotland with his parents, only child Tony (Jonathan Lipnicki) struggles to make friends at his new school. But he is bullied and picked on by the other boys, and has little hope of overcoming his miserable new life. Then he meets Rudolph (Rollo Weeks), a kid vampire with whom Tony becomes very close. But, when Rudolph’s life and the future of the vampire race are threatened by a ruthless vampire hunter, Tony must find the courage to save his best friend.

 

The Nightmare Before Christmas (PG RATED)

Jack Skellington, king of Halloween Town, discovers Christmas Town, but his attempts to bring Christmas to his home cause confusion.

 

Monster House (PG RATED)

Three teens discover that their neighbor’s house is really a living, breathing, scary monster.

 

Scared Shrekless (TV PG)

Shrek gets in the Halloween spirit by challenging his fairytale friends to come up with scary stories for a contest. But the gang learn that they’ll have to spend the night in Lord Farquaad’s haunted castle before the winner is named.

 

Gremlins (I’d recommend PG 10)

A gadget salesman is looking for a special gift for his son and finds one at a store in Chinatown. The shopkeeper is reluctant to sell him the “mogwai” but sells it to him with the warning to never expose him to bright light, water, or to feed him after midnight. All of this happens and the result is a gang of gremlins that decide to tear up the town on Christmas Eve.

 

The Never-Ending Story (PG RATED)

One of the best kids fantasy films of the 80’s. This is a great films about troubled young boy Bastien who escapes some pursuing bullies in an old bookshop finding a story.

As he reads this story alone, in hiding, he becomes enraptured in it and soon begins to feel more than a reader but involved in the story and is sucked into the world of Fantasia.

 

Return to Oz (PG RATED)

Dorothy, saved from a psychiatric experiment by a mysterious girl, is somehow called back to Oz when a vain witch and the Nome King destroy everything that makes the magical land beautiful.

 

Monsters Inc. (G RATED)

Monsters Incorporated is the largest scare factory in the monster world, and James P. Sullivan (John Goodman) is one of its top scarers. Sullivan is a huge, intimidating monster with blue fur, large purple spots and horns. His scare assistant, best friend and roommate is Mike Wazowski (Billy Crystal), a green, opinionated, feisty little one-eyed monster. Visiting from the human world is Boo (Mary Gibbs), a tiny girl who goes where no human has ever gone before.

 

The Spiderwick Chronicles (PG RATED)

Of the three Grace children, Jared (Freddie Highmore) has always been thought of as the troublemaker. So when strange things happen after his family’s move to a relative’s dilapidated estate, sister Mallory (Sarah Bolger), twin brother Simon and their mother assume that Jared is behind it all. However, magical creatures roam the grounds, and they all want a special book that Jared has found: a field guide to fantastic creatures, penned by Arthur Spiderwick.

ParaNorman (PG RATED)

Young Norman Babcock (Kodi Smit-McPhee) has the ability to speak with the dead — and he often prefers their company to that of the living. Norman receives word from his strange Uncle Prenderghast (John Goodman) that a centuries-old witch’s curse on their town is real and about to come true — and that only Norman can stop it. When zombies rise from their graves, Norman must summon all his courage and compassion and push his paranormal abilities to the limit to save his fellow townspeople.

 

The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad (PG RATED)

The film consists of two segments – the first is based on the 1908 children’s novel The Wind in the Willows by Scottish author Kenneth Grahame, and the second is based on the 1820 short story “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow,” called Ichabod Crane 

 

Disclaimer: cover image was taken from www.ddlgforum.com

 

Ghostly Greetings,

 

 

Books/Movies, Entertainment, Slider

Everything I Never Told You – Book Review

October 10, 2016
Oh wow, where do I start.
The author touches on so many complex topics, ranging from how close family ties can easily come undone, infidelity, depression, pressure, racial identity, racism and sexism. 

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To be honest, I struggled a little through the first half of this book, but to be fair, I had many other things I needed to focus on while reading this novel – like the upcoming exams among many other things as a working, studying, and homemaking mom of three. 
By the time I got to the second half however, I literally dropped everything I was busy with to finish what should have been a page turner from the very beginning.
“Lydia is dead. But they don’t know this yet.” For a fleeting moment I think this is going to be another “lovely bones” story, but I quickly realise it is nothing like the dead-girl-trapped-between-life-and-death we fell in love with years ago.
Lydia is dead yes, but unlike Susie, she never gets the chance to say how she truly feels and this novel, beautiful and poised in its writing, describes the events up to this fateful day when Lydia’s waxy and swollen body is discovered at the bottom of the nearby lake.
Half Chinese, half white Lydia is a loner who’s only two friends are her big brother Nathan and little sis Hannah. Although she never tells them this.

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Her Chinese dad, James, hates Chinese food, hasn’t spoken his native language since his move to the states; and wants more than anything for Lydia to fit in. Throughout her life, he pushes her to blend in with the other kids at school who rejects her because she’s so “different.” A Chinese American family living in 1970s small-town Ohio was considered quite different, but  James wants Lydia to be popular so she wouldn’t be picked on so much. Like he was, growing up.
All Marilyn, her white American-born mom wants is for Lydia to excel at school and become everything she herself had given up to start a family. And been longing for ever since.

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Has being pulled in all directions at home, having to deal with the pressures and racial remarks from peers at school, and her brother soon leaving for college, finally driven Lydia over the edge?

Everything I never told you, by Celeste Ng is certainly a story you should make part of your reading list this Summer. It sketches a sensitive family portrait, uncovering the unnerving struggles between mothers and daughters, fathers and sons, and husbands and wives.

I hope you enjoyed the review 🙂
Love,

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Books/Movies, Inspiration

The most fabulous moms are readers

September 11, 2016

How did I even miss national book reading week this year? Answer: most likely because every week is national book reading week in my head.

Not only is the very important activity of reading celebrated by myself since…forever, but the literature bug seems to have also bitten my kids.

Jada’s been asking me to take her to the library ever since she could say the word library. We finally collected her first ever library card just the other day. I haven’t been to one since high school and as soon as we entered the building I was overcome with nostalgia as the sweet sound of silence and the familiar smell of books hit me smack in the face. I’ve forgotten how much I used to love that place. I can only hope J will be as happy there as I was.

Growing up around books has no doubt given me a profound appreciation for reading and is the reason I am always starving for knowledge, am so curious and always want to know more.

Although sadly, my passion for reading has been somewhat pushed aside the last few years because of well…motherhood, I still find myself unable to resist a good book or to pass the bookstore without literally drooling. My addiction can easily be compared to that of a shoe addict, only my weakness (or strength) is books and never goes out of style.

I feel horrible for not always having the time nor energy to read to my kids at bedtime. But if I can’t, you can be damn sure my husband will. And he doesn’t even like to read. Whether or not we love to read, its vital that we make time to read to our kids.

According to the Book Development Council of South Africa, reading statistics show that only 14% of the South African population are active book readers, and a mere 5% of parents read to their children.

Now, I could preach to you about all the benefits reading to your kids have, but I know that’s not necessary. Also, this is not a parenting blog. I’m not telling you how to raise your kids; you’re already doing a great job by doing the best you can. This is however a blog aimed at fabulous moms; and I firmly believe the most fabulous moms not only read to their children at bedtime, but are readers themselves.

Reading starts with us. So I challenge you today to get yourself a book, find a quiet place in a sunlit room in your house while the kids are watching cartoons; or under a tree while they play in the park; or go to the library – I guarantee you will love it and you’ll never want to stop. There really is no better escape from all the crazy in our lives.

We don’t have to love to read, to raise  kids who love to read, but it sure makes the journey a more pleasant one.

I’m currently reading “Everything I never told you” by Celeste Ng and am torn between finishing this book that I cannot seem to put down; completing my portfolio exam that must be in by next week; and being an ever-present parent. I can tell you this, I am still alive. It can be done. I’ll put up my review soon!

Love,

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Books/Movies, Entertainment, Inspiration

Why we can all relate to the Mother’s Day Movie – Review

September 3, 2016

I absolutely love this movie! This time it’s not due to the great acting, or lack thereof. I love the Mother’s Day movie, because it is basically every complicated domestic drama all wrapped into one. It’s just so relate-able and even though some of the issues are underplayed and others a tad bit exaggerated, I believe everyone watching will take away a lesson from it, no matter how big or small.

I first watched the movie by myself, expecting it will not be any good. Truth is, I enjoyed it so much, I watched it again a couple days later and asked hubby to join. It was like I never watched it before. True the acting wasn’t always good and production wasn’t the best, but I think they were pretty smart to use that many real-life scenarios which all effect us, on some level, every single day.

Moms are suckers for these kind of things and this mom (moi) was no different. Here’s why we can all relate:

The Annoying Sugar-Daddy Ex-husband:

Sandy (Jennifer Aniston) “with two boys” (you’ll get the quotation marks once you watch the movie) has a hard time accepting her ex-husband Henry’s sudden elopement to a girl much, much younger than him. Whatever Sandy has, she seems to have twice as much – longer, leaner legs, killer bikini body, the husband and what pisses Sandy off even more than this is the obvious fact that step-momma-tween genuinely seems to be hitting it off with the boys. Enjoy the emotional roller-coaster as sandy takes you through literally all the steps to acceptance. IF she gets there…

The Widower:

Bradley (Jason Sudeikis) “with two girls” (again, quotes will make sense when you see the movie) lost his Marine corps wife a couple years ago. He is now a widower and has been left to take over the role of both father and mother, which on occasion includes buying tampons for his 16 year old. He makes a potentially life-altering connection on one of his tampon buying excursions. Brad also owns a fitness club, of which the members include nuns?! He also coaches his daughter’s soccer team and can do a mean freestyle karaoke. But everyone gets lonely sometimes…

Inter-Racial Marriage:

All Jesse (Kate Hudson) wants for Mother’s day is to reconnect with her estranged mother, who stopped contacting her altogether when she got involved with an Indian guy. It’s been years and Jesse is now happily married to the ‘towel head’ and they share a gorgeous two year old son. So just how does Jesse get her parents to accept her back into their lives? Sometimes, when put into a life threatening situation, people tend to see through a new pair of eyes. 

Gay Marriage:

Gabi (Sarah Chalke) is Jesse’s sister and neighbour and has a slightly better relationship with their parents. There’s just one teeny tiny problem; Jesse is gay and lives with her wife and adopted son. Considering her mother’s already unfair views on interracial relationships, she feels forced to hide her homosexuality from her mom. But when their parents suddenly surprise them with a visit, all hell breaks loose.

Abandonment Issues:

Kristin (Brit Robertson) is in a committed relationship with a guy who worships her and with whom she shares an adorable one year old daughter; But no matter how many times Zack (Jack whitehall) wants to talk about putting a ring on it, things go sour, mainly Kristin. Kristin goes sour. You see, she was adopted and because she has never met her mother, feels she does not know herself either. However, she is dead set on meeting her birth mother, before she loses the love of her life. When she finally finds the women who birthed her and gave her away, and who has such a stronghold on her life, she musters up the courage to approach her. Kristin’s biggest fear is getting rejected.  

No-Time-For-Family Career Woman:

Miranda (Julia Roberts) is beautiful, successful and an ultra-famous talk-show host. The idea of ever starting a family of her own, has been left behind a long time ago. Partly because of the demands of her career, but ultimately because of something much deeper.

Love,

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Books/Movies, Entertainment, Inspiration

What to Read: The little boy who lost his name

July 14, 2015

Okay, so maybe I was living under a rock for the last three years. Why am I only discovering these beauties now??!

As a mom with three little ones of my own, all of whom are under the age of 6, it is a constant battle finding them suitable gifts for either birthdays or Christmas (Suitable being the operative word) so you can only imagine my happy-dance when I stumbled upon this great kids book.

Created by a group of dads, The little boy (or girl) who lost his (or her) name, is fast becoming a household name around Europe and soon the world! It is a book aimed at 2-6 year olds and opens as a child wakes, to discover their name is missing from their wardrobe door. They then set off on a quest to find it, meeting bears, mermaids, narwhals and other creatures, depending on the letters which make up their name.

The book was created, and the company “lost my name” was founded, in 2012. It is offered in French, German and Spanish, as well as English, with more languages being added, The company offers free shipping worldwide and allows you edit the dedication page inside the personalised book to your liking and includes a gift wrapping service.

Before you order your book, you are asked to enter the name and gender of the child you are buying the book for. You can then view a digital copy of what the book will look like as the story revolves around each letter of the child’s name. Pretty neat stuff.

For a gift that will likely last your little ones a lifetime, it might be a great idea to get your hands on a few of these NOW!

Visit: http://www.lostmy.name to simply check it out or to place your Order for only £18.99 (R366.85)

To creating memories!

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Originally posted in The Gaurdian

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