KUNG FU PANDA 3: SO NICE I SAW IT TWICE!

 

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For two weekends in a row  Kung Fu Panda 3‘s  slay at  the box office continued. Crushing its competition the film  threw  down like the  Broncos  but by  weekend 3, and now this past weekend, its fourth week out,  competition got tougher for  our cuddly hero Po  as he went up against the super hottie-hero,  Ryan Reynolds  in Deadpool.

Coming in second for two weekends since Deadpool’s arrival our Kung Fu  fighting Panda bear fought hard to retain a top spot  even beating out  newcomers ” How To Be Single’ and ‘Zoolander.’

Pat on the back to me  for taking the kids over the weekend, thuds counting ourselves  amongst those helping  Po to  stay  on top at the box office-

Our hero Po must find his Chi to save the  Masters

Our hero Po must find his Chi to save the Masters

 

I have a confession  and will admit that  seeing the movie on Saturday  was  my second helping of KFP3 . Need I say more!  It was so  nice, I saw it twice!!

For families  who haven’t seen this  latest installment of  the Kung Fu Panda franchise, a trip to the cinema is definitely in order.   In this version our dumpling popping Kung Fu hero’s long-lost poppa-Panda materializes. Reunited, he takes Po to a secret Panda village to meet scores of other  cute Panda  characters.  Looming though, to wreck the happy  family reunion is the appearance of   Kai (J.K. Simmons), an evil villain who has  returned from the spirit world to steal the powers of all  living Kung Fu Masters. Po’s mission? He must master his chi thus  find the secret to his own powers within,in order to stop Kai.

Raking in over $294 mil worldwide  thus far,  it is obvious  to all that  this third installment of the  cuddly warrior-hero  Panda  and his posse of kick-butt pals  including  Tigress (voiced by Angelina Jolie),  Viper (Lucy Liu) and newcomer Mei Mei ( Kate Hudson) is  destined like  its sister installments —Kung Fu Panda  and Kung Fu Panda 2 to be  a family favorite. A breakdown of the franchise and its box office numbers  can be seen here  at  Box Office Mojo.

 

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Crownheightsmom aloing with a number of other mom bloggers caught up with  stars Lucy Liu and Kate  Hudson during  the stars’ press stop in New York  to promote KFP3  earlier this month .  The actors,  both parents   popped in together  to  chat with Melissa Gerstein of the MOMS  after a  screening  of the movie at the Regal Union Square theater.   Liu,  dressed in an elegant knee high black dress and Hudson in a baby pink pantsuit paired with a  grey cashmere sweater  were all smiles and excited  to be chatting  it up  about the movie and their involvement.

Hudson and Liu talking all about KFP3

Hudson and Liu talking all about KFP3

 Hudson sitting crossed legged shared with the audience,  “when I saw the character she was so fun and funny.”  Hudson voices the girl diva Panda,, Mei Mei.

“I got a call from Jeffrey Katzenberg who said ‘we would you like you to come play the part of Mei Mei.’  It all kinda happened last minute and having known Jeffrey forever I said yeah sure,  why not! “

 “To get one [character] that is so funny, I got really excited because she is so adorable.”

Kate Hudson plays the adorable ribbon dancing panda diva Mei Mei

Kate Hudson plays the adorable ribbon dancing panda diva, Mei Mei.

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The adorable Mei Mei voiced by Kate hudson

The conversations with the two mom stars  ventured  from the movie and onto parenting. When Gerstein touched upon mom regrets in parenting,    Hudson   shared  about the time she  took her now 11 year old   son  Ryder–he was   5 or 6 at the  time —along with her to see  American Idiot,   the Green Day play on Broadway.

“When Ryder was younger he loved  Green Day .So I took him to the play.”  Recalls Hudson , “as I  enter the theater everyone is looking at me like, ‘why does Kate Hudson have her young child at this  play? ”

“So a few minutes into the play and here I am with my sweatshirt over his [Ryder’s] head and I am like ‘I am out! ” she tells us laughing.

Lui  didn’t share any parenting faux pas but she did dish on  why she loves doing animation  flicks. KFP3 is  Liu’s  third ride alongside  Jack Black and Angelina Jolie .

For Liu,  she shared , there is  comfort in doing  animation.  “You get to show up in your sweatpants.”

“You are  also in a room by yourself  and I was in NYC  so I would do skype and facetime session with the director, [Jennifer Yu Nelson] and that is how she directed me. ” Adds Liu, “you really have a limited idea of what they want in terms of the visual aspect  because the film isn’t done at that point .so they were very flexible.

 

This is Lucy Liu's third time around playing Viper in the the KFP franchise

This is Lucy Liu’s third time around playing Viper in the the KFP franchise

Liu also  talked a bit about her ethnicity telling the audience. “Everybody is always asking me how is it to be an Asian American actress.  I am like,  I really don’t know!  I really don’t want to talk about it anymore. I can talk about being an actress .I can talk about being an artist. About being someone in the industry but  I do not want to talk about the fact  that I am Asian American and an actress because it is the same thing .”In the end it is about talent and that is what really stands out.”

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So  run, don’t walk and go see  Kung Fu Panda 3. My  kids really enjoyed the movie  with my son Kai getting a kick out of the bad guy being named Kai but making sure to point out that he’s a good boy…..

By Debra Lewis-Boothman

Warrior Kai from the Spirit World

Warrior Kai from the Spirit World wants Po’s Chi

 

 

Out of 5 Popcorn Stars the kids give Kung Fu Panda 3 – 5  –

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HODA KOTB’S INSPIRATIONAL NEW BOOK MOTIVATES TO FIND YOUR CALLING IN LIFE

Are you searching for a new book to inspire you? One that will motivate you to make a change, in you! Then, look no more because  crownheightsmom has the perfect book for you.Trust me, there is no better time than now, to start reading a  book like this. Let me present, best-selling author and TV host Hoda Kotb’s newest book,Where We Belong : Journeys That Show Us The Way  . It is a definite must-read that will leave you inspired, motivated  and possibly rethinking  your life path and and where you belong.

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I  just got through   reading this book which I  received   recently at a  MOMS  and Secret Resorts & Spa   luncheon  and book signing with Kotb.  The event, held  at Manhattan’s Hunt and Fish restaurant  in mid January  made for an wonderful afternoon that was filled with  laughter, tears , the sharing of personal stories and a delicious meal  amongst a group of mom bloggers—all fans and cheerleaders, of Hoda Kotb .

The book, released on Jan  5 is filled  with  inspiring stories of  individuals who answered “the call”  from within.  Individuals, whom were able to  the answer the questions each of us will ultimately ask ourself one day. The questions of what is your life purpose and where do you belong?

Hoda explains it  best  when  she writes in the book—-Most of us wonder what we’re doing. We float around in the glass half-empty, gaze out into the world of possibilities, and wonder if we should get off of our raft and climb out. Maybe even today you asked yourself: Is it too late to do that thing that made me so happy when I was young? Could what matters most to me finally be the center of my life? Can I really trust this yearning voice in my head and longing in my heart? Do I feel like I’m where I belong?

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In person,  Kotb is very much what you see daily on Kathie Lee & Hoda. During the fourth hour of Today alongside  Kathie Lee Giffords she is witty,  fun and  full of big smiles. In person she is the same way.

Hoda Kotb at the MOMS HodaMamarazzi

Hoda Kotb at the MOMS HodaMamarazzi

 

The mom bloggers chewed down on  delicious eats from Hunt and Fish including servings of salmon, chicken, pasta , salad and even french fries . To wash it down they  sipped on speciality  fruit drinks .Midway through the luncheon  Hoda walked in dressed in a vibrant fuchsia and purple dress that popped against her  tanned skin tone . Greeting the more than 30 moms in the room she took out her cell phone  and started takings pics of everyone in the room  before sitting down with MOMS co-creators Denise Albert and Melissa  Gerstein for a frank 20-minute girl  chat about the new book, surviving cancer, getting  divorced and her wish to have children.They were joined by her  co-writer Jane Lorenzini.

More than 30 mom bloggers attended  the  special MOMS' Hoda Mamarazzi luncheon

More than 30 mom bloggers attended the special MOMS’ Hoda Mamarazzi luncheon

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The yummy salmon, a favorite was the first serving on the delicious menu to go.

 

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These fruity non-alcoholic drinks from Hunt and Fish were a big hit

The breast cancer survivor and former Dateline correspondent   really impressed the   bloggers .She shared so much of herself  and  even  gave out  hugs in addition  to signing books  for everyone.

About  surviving  breast cancer she shared.  “I wrote in my journal every day.” Adding,  “at the bottom I would write one word . That one word  everyday was FORWARD, because I wanted to keep moving . I wanted to move forward .  Kotb would have that word  written on a ring  which she wears daily . Says the  journalist, “whenever I get scared, I look down.”

On regrets she tells the  group, “all of a sudden life gets away from you and you ask, what happened? I  look at my life now and every time I see a baby carriage or a baby stroller I melt. It happens every single time and it is hard,” Kotb  shares about not having kids of her own. She goes on to say, “I feel like something is missing but what do you do when you can’t fill that space?  How  do you do it?”The answer  she says  can be seen  with  a family in the book who  adopted late in life or as  Kotb recalls from personal experience when, ” I looked at PEOPLE magazine and I saw Sandra Bullock, [adopted ] and you go look what she  did .  I always thought about maybe starting a summer camp for kids. I thought that would help or that I wanted to be a school teacher.”

 

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Hoda and the MOMS’ Denise Albert and Melissa  Gerstein share a laugh

So  adoption  just might be an answer  for  Kotb. Says  the journalist, “Something is missing!  And you know, the people in the book did say   often you don’t know what is missing until you find it.  All of a sudden you  go ‘How have I lived this long without X. So there are a lot of things I am thinking  about.”

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Sharing a smile and a hug with Hoda

Kotb uses her life path as a  teaching tool .”I  got married late in life. ….. I had a failed marriage ….and I  had breast cancer.” Adds the  on air personality, ” If I didn’t  get sick I wouldn’t have  had the guts to go in and ask for this job.”

Hoda couldn’t agree more that  the book comes at a great time of the year as  people make their New Years resolutions and self reflect.  “Now around the first of the year  people are rethinking their lives and wondering what they should be doing. ” Or ,as she also puts it quite eloquently,  “suddenly you feel like, am I just taking the path of least resistance,  just sorta  hopping on the train  and letting it go or am I choosing? ” Adds Kotb, “the thing about this book is everybody  chose.They put their hands on the steering wheels and they drove!”

 

Part of the reason  I love what I am doing now [with Kathie Lee] is for the first time in my life we get to bring JOY.–HODA KOTB

 

Kotb is  in the drivers seat .Joining the  fourth hour of Today  alongside  Kathie Lee in 2008 she says she loves it there  but can still remembers to that time when she did not find her purpose. She tells the story of covering  Hurricane Katrina  and the effect it had on her [She used to live in New Orleans].  “When you cover something that is personal you really feel it. Covering Katrina  made me think about all the other stories I’d  covered that weren’t personal to me  but were personal to somebody and I wished I had handled it differently because sometimes as  journalist you go in and you go out because you don’t have time to put your whole heart into it . It hurts your heart to do it over and over  and part of the reason is that you kinda get hardened .”

I love what I  am doing now ( with Kathie Lee)because  for the first time in my life we get to bring joy.We get to lift people up and it is cool.”

 

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Hoda alongside the MOMS and her co-writer Jane

 

Even with two New York Times  bestsellers behind her– Ten Years Later: Six People Who Faced Adversity and Transformed Their Lives and Hoda: How I Survived War Zones, Bad Hair, Cancer, and Kathie Lee she  continues to be the genuine no-airs-about-me, lovable and approachable on-air personality  viewers are drawn to.

Hoda says it best when she says,  “There is something to be said for being exactly who you are authentically, because if you are not, people sense it.” .

So true Hoda…..so true .Continue to  stay exactly who you are. This is why we love you! ———by Debra Lewis-Boothman

 

 

 

Joan and Melissa Rivers

WHY ‘THE BOOK OF JOAN’ FROM MELISSA RIVERS MADE ME CRAZY ABOUT HER MOM JOAN ALL OVER AGAIN……By Debra Lewis-Boothman

That was quick! Yup, the lazy days of  summer has begun and with it comes the task of choosing  books that will get  you through lots of hot days by the  pool and at the lake.  I’ve already  planned a weekend  trip to the legendary family-owned bookstore  the  Strand. If I am lucky  I might even bump into  Nancy  who runs the store with her dad Fred.  I haven’t seen Nancy since our kids attended nursery school together.

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I  put my  summer reading  list together weeks ago . It’s an eclectic list ranging from  Chick Lit to memoirs, poetry  books to a few   DIY-ers – learning how to Code and even one on  how to build a doghouse .

In  just a few days  the family and I will  head to Pennsylvania  to officially start our summer vacation. I’ve  made the necessary stops at the library to pick up the  kids’ books for their required summer reading,  With reading materials put on reserve for pickup  our  evenings for  reading are squared away and will be filled with adventures, laughs and visits to far off lands thanks in part to our books.

One title I am looking forward to curling up with  is the Melissa Rivers bestselling  memoir,  ‘The Book of Joan.’

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I’ve had this book a few weeks now but  have held off reading saving it for my summer reading. Having only skimmed over the first chapter I am besides myself to just  dig in and read it all in one non-stop go.

Skimming through the bestseller,

Skimming through the bestseller, “The Book Of Joan” by Melissa Rivers.

After  meeting and  and hearing Melissa speak about her mom at  a  luncheon during  her  NYC  press tour I grew to like her even more than before.  I was even lucky enough to  have my copy of her memoir personally signed by her. So this book  is a define keepsake.

Melissa Rivers signature  in The Book of Joan

Melissa Rivers signed this copy of crownheightsmom’s ‘ Book of Joan’.

Since its release, the book has been climbing the bestseller charts and is  currently sitting on the New York Times,  the Los Angeles Times’ and  USA Todays’ Bestsellers books lists.

A quick sneak peek in  Chapter One  already  has me in stitches.  I can already tell  this is going to be  lots of laughs-out-loud. I am  literally rolling on the floor as Melissa retells events from her life with her mum.  Joan truly shines through each pages and  at every mention .

I am pleased that Melissa was able to take readers into the  world  she shared with her mother,  giving readers a  first class, front row seats into their wacky, funny and  loving family life. I can’t wait to read even more. 

When Melissa arrived  at  the MOMS event  held at Juniper Bar  in Midtown Manhattan,  I half expected to see Joan  following directly behind her.Smiling, she greeted everyone with a wide  smile and  an excited “Hello everybody.”   Dressed in a fun floral swing dress  to the knees and copper pumps she quickly took her seat next to  hosts Denise Albert  and Melissa Musen Gerstein the co-creators of The MOMS . The trio  chatted about everything Joan and family life.

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I left the event feeling that Melissa Rivers   is funny as hell. It was  clearly visible  how alike in personalities she and mom Joan really are.

Writing the book gave me permission to laugh.-—Melissa Rivers

Melissa looked happy and  everyone present noticed it. It  was good to see that  8 months after her mother’s passing the single mom was   looking healthy and happy.

“I don’t come from a family where you sit in a puddle and fall apart,” Rivers said off the bat in  dealing with the loss of her mum,  Joan’s death in 2014 she says plainly, ” You get up and you go forward.”

The MOMS discuss

Denise Albert [L],Melissa Rivers and Melissa Musen Gerstein [R] chat about Joan Rivers.

Readers  will come away knowing  how kind  my mother was and how real she was.”  – Melissa Rivers

Melissa Rivers poses with mom bloggers  in NYC

Melissa Rivers poses with The MOMS, CrownHeightsMom and other mom bloggers at Juniper Bar in NYC

After Joan was buried  Melissa  jumped head first into writing her memoir. Thanks to  her editor whom she she recalled meeting  the day  of the funeral when, as Melissa tells the  story  “this lady walked up to me extended her condolences   and proceeded  to kindly place a business card  into my hands.”  The rest is history – the result a well written and  oh so funny memoir  that will make Joan proud.

CrownHeigthsMom posing with Melissa Rivers

Melissa Rivers and Debra Lewis-Boothman

This  book  gives you a moment to laugh.”–Melissa Rivers

Writing the book say Melissa  brought comfort as well as a flurry of emotions– joy and tears. “I sat for a few hours every day  and a couple of times every week with my writing partner and I remembered funny stories and it allowed me to laugh. It gave me permission where nobody can judge me. It’s a funny book.Writing the book gave me permission to laugh.  Melissa  adds that these feelings and memories  spawned a bigger mission for her—preserving her mother’s legacy.

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On June 8  the GRAMMY Museum debuted its latest exhibit, Joan Rivers: Can We Talk?  to commemorate the comedian’s life . Joan won a posthumous Grammy in February for Best Spoken Word  for her  Diary of a Mad Diva. The current Grammy exhibit  showcases various stage costumes worn by  Joan during her career. It  also features family  photos, her Hollywood Walk of Fame Star award,  her hardcover book collection- including several of her New York Times bestsellers, the 1984 Harvard Hasty Pudding Woman of the Year Award,  her 1990 Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Talk/Service Show Host and  one of her  Louis Vuitton travel trunks. The exhibit runs  through September 20th.

Going it alone  without both parents, Melissa says she misses them (her dad  passed away when she was almost  18) but,  she has kept going for her only child,  Cooper 14. “Having kids changes the dynamics of how you get through grief”  says Melissa . “You get up and you move forward,” she says,  adding, “That is how we have lived our whole live. There are days  that are angry days, some  that are painful days  and that’s fine. ” Adds the proud mom,   “My son needs to see that there is light at the end of every tunnel. Yes, there are days that are horrible and it sucks, but we are going through it.  The example has to be that life continues and it does. That is what your parents would want you to show your children.”

Joan and Melissa Rivers

Melissa Rivers and her mom Joan Rivers

 “There was such a realness to our relationship [ it ] that everyone could see a little bit of themselves.”-Melissa Rivers on  the relationship she shared with mum Joan.

On working with her mum for so long.  Melissa says,  ” In creating a career with my mom, it was hard and it was difficult and it was frustrating.   It was coming to peace and terms with a lot of certain  things and understanding that  there  are preconceived notions,” she notes, adding,” For me it was having to work harder than everybody  else to prove that I am  my  own person.”

Coming  from a showbiz family she says of going into the biz.”If you are going where your parents went and your parents were  successful, you are going to have to work harder. You might get the interview but you are not going to get the job because of it.”   If you get the job everybody will say you only got it because of your parents, so you have to work ten times harder just to be considered to be  as good as everybody else and  you know that  and it doesn’t make it fair and it doesn’t make it less frustrating.

“We never let her drive! The worst words to hear at home from my mom was, ‘Melissa get in the car!'”-Melissa Rivers  on mom Joan’s driving.

Melissa admits that growing up as the daughter of Joan Rivers wasn’t easy. “I wrestled  control over  certain things by the time I was 17.”  In facts she  says, “We never let her drive! The worst words to hear at home from my mom was, ‘Melissa get in the car'”. Other things say Melissa  included Joan hiding money around the house.  ” She was also not good with her Blackberry and she could not deal with the iPhone, at all,”adds Melissa.

Writing the book  made it ok to laugh and  ok to say we are all a little crazy.”—Melissa Rivers

Melissa says she hopes  that the  take away from reading “The Book of Joan” will be that, “readers  will come away knowing  how kind  my mother was and how real she was.”  She adds that she  hopes that it gives readers  a moment to stop and laugh. ” About  that  special thing her and mom  Joan shared she says, “What resonated  with us is that people related  to us. Everyone could see a little bit of themselves with us and admitted it was ok to laugh.My mother’s personality was so big and she was so well known and was such a character you are hearing about it in her voice but from my point of view, which is different from her point of view. ”

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I want  people to know that even though our lives were crazy we took  moments to laugh.- Melissa Rivers

Moms are  big fans of Melissa Rivers' new  memoir

Mom bloggers Nichol[L] and Nilsa[R] deciding on who will get this copy.

“I want people to know how kind my mother was and how real she was and that even though our lives were crazy we took  moments to laugh.

“One of the things that always resonated with  my business partnership with my mother and our performing together and her being her and me  being me is that people related to us because of the  mother  daughter relationship.  There was such a realness to  it that everyone could see a little bit of themselves. It made it ok to laugh and say ok, we are all a little crazy,” says the Fashion Police co-host.

If you would like your own copy of Melissa River’s memoir “The Book Of Joan” you can grab it at the  Strand Bookstore  in NYC or at  their website here.

EMOTIONS GONE WILD? NOT REALLY! JOY AND SADNESS GET TO WORK HARMONIOUSLY TO SAVE THE DAY IN PIXAR’S ‘INSIDE OUT’…….by Debra Lewis-Boothman

The emotional character  from Pixar's "Inside Out"

Anger (voice of Lewis Black), Fear (voice of Bill Hader), Joy (Amy Poehler), Disgust (voice of Mindy Kaling) and Sadness (Phyllis Smith)

While sitting inside the Dolby Screening Room at a recent MOMS screening of Disney  Pixar’s animated  movie ‘Inside Out‘ three pairs of eyes looked over at me to see if I was crying. I had taken my 9-year old daughter, Kameko,  my 7-year old son  Kai and  his friend Lexi Anne  also 7,  along to the screening.

Three cute NYC kids attending Pixar's 'Inside Out'

Lexi Anne 7, Kai 7 and Kameko 9 are over-the-moon happy after seeing the MOMS’ screening of “Inside Out”at the Dolby Screening Room on June 12

At a particular point in the movie Kai and Lexi Anne began whispering to each .I then noticed that they were staring intently at me to see if I had tears streaming down.  I quickly said  before they could  say anything, “Hey, guys  are those tears I see in YOUR eyes? ” They  each quickly  replied  “No”, with Kai admitting soon after with, “Oh just a little. That was a sad part.”  I in turn replied, “Yes that was a sad part and I did cry just  a little.”  My daughter Kameko hearing our whispers  chose then to announce matter-of-factly,  with Kai in the background nodding,  “Mommy cries a lot at  movies. She likes to let her  feelings out. She also cried  during  [Rihanna’s movie] Home, and at [ Michael Rapaport’s] Little Boy.

” Shhh, don’t tell anyone, I say to Kameko as Lexi Anne looks on and a mom  sitting in earshot  turns around and  smiles at me.

I learned then that kids are always  paying full  attention  and  especially taking in  our  emotions. Yup,  my kids are definitely  paying attention to mine.Which gets me back to Inside Out.

Screeing Pixar's 'Inside Out" at  NYC's Dolby Screening Room

Kameko, LexiAnne and Kai catching up on kids stuff before watching Inside Out at the Dolby Screening Room on June 12

I truly enjoyed this film  and so did the  kids. They have already asked to see it again  and I have promised a movie night  over the summer break. I  definitely see it becoming one of  our Pixar family faves the same way,  Toy Story and  Wall-E has become.  I also already know that this movie  including   all  its   merchandising products will be on their Xmas lists this year.

About the movie if you haven’t seen it  yet. The movie  centers around  pre-teen Riley, an 11-year-old girl  who is uprooted from  her Midwest home and  life as she knows it -to  now reside in the urban city  landscape of San Francisco  when her dad takes a new job  transplanting the family almost 2,000 miles away.

For Riley this couldn’t come at a worst life stage- the pre-teen years – a ball of emotions . Her  feelings of being taken away  from life-long friends, from ice-hockey games on the lake — to now being the new kid having  to make  new friends  and at a new school .Overwhelming? To her , it’s  the end of the world.

But  this is where it gets interestingYes , Inside Out is about  11-year-old  Riley, but behind the  scenes the real stars that take center stage are her emotions that are wrecking havoc in her brain — enter the five brightly colored characters  that represent  joy, sadness, anger, fear and disgust . Riley’s emotions.

Disgust, Fear, Joy, Sadness and Anger are 'Inside Out' star emotions

These  five conflicting emotions literally take over the pre-teen’s   life as she attempts to try to fit in to her new surroundings but her emotional “headquarters ” where these five characters reside  is  full of non stop activity.  Joy ( voice of  Poehler ) the mother hen, leader and voice of reason  tries to keep Riley happy  and positive  while the other emotions  each vying to be the “top-dog emotion ” to dominate Riley’s inner life, they just seem to complicate matters  sending everything into a tailspin and  lending to a movie that is  laugh-out-loud, funny, exciting, colorful and splashed with traces of  sadness  mixed in.

It will definitely  be a walk down  childhood’s memory lane and filled with nostalgia for most adults .

Seeming to be at  the forefront though is the  message that sadness and joy can  work hand in hand for an  outcome of happiness and  good. In reality,  we do  go through sadness or loss in order to encounter happiness at the end of the rainbow. This message though,  might go over kids’ heads  as they are watching the movie with it brightly colored and cute as ever characters. So the take-away lesson  of,  “it may take sadness before you get happy” may be a bit too much for them to take in –older ones will get it – but  this  is one  of the messages I found  to  be recurring.

Actor Bill Hader talks to The MOMS about  loving 'Bing Bong"

Bill Hader (Fear) popped in for a super fast chat with the MOMS.

Stopping by just before the  start   of the screening for a quick Q&A with  the MOMS’ co-creators, Denise Albert and Melissa Musen Gerstein  was actor   Bill Hader. The actor  plays the voice of Fear in the movie.

Bill Hader is that Guy! He is Fear--some

Bill Hader tell PEOPLE Magazine he “kinda stalked” Pixar execs to play the role of FEAR

Speaking to the  kids Hader  says , “When you see Fear come in , thats my voice, ” adding  “Do you know that this ( movie)  is from the same guys that made “Toy Story ” and “Monsters Inc” and “Up?”

On how he snagged  his  role  Hader  recently told PEOPLE he “stalked” Pixar  execs . He did say at the screening, “I was such a fan of  Pixar [their] movies that I went to where they worked and I asked, ‘Can you please put me in one if your movies’.  I wouldn’t leave  and now because of my persistence, I play Fear in the movie.”

The actor also told the kids that he’s done some other well known kid movies. ” I have been in  “Cloudy and  a Chance of Meatballs,” I played Lachlan,” he says.

On his favorite character in  the  movie  and no,  it is not his character! Hader declares,  “My favorite character is a character  by the name of Bing Bong.”   Adds the former SNL star,  “When Bing Bong shows up just brace yourselves. He’s the  best character in the movie!”

Actor Richard Kind plays Bing Bong who cries candy tears.

Actor Bill Hader says he is a huge fan of Bing Bong played by actor Richard Kind.

The movie took a few years to make .  ” It took five years . I’m not kidding,  says Hader of the  making of Inside Out.  Adds Hader, “Back in 2011, I went to Pixar and I started recording with Amy Poehler who plays Joy  and Mindy Palin who play Disgust and  others. So five years  of recording.  That’s how long it takes to make one of these movies.”

To finally see it  Hader says, “It is a beautiful, beautiful film and we are so happy.”  Say  the  father of three,  “The  cast and film-makers all got to see the finished product three months ago. We all went to Skywalker Ranch, that’s George Lucas’ ranch where all the  Star Wars stuff is.  We  got to watch the movie in a  room(screening room)  like this and we were laughing and crying.”

Yes the movie will make you laugh and  cry.

I recommend that  families go together to see Inside Out. I loved that the movie in a special way lets   both children and adults know feelings of   joy, sadness, anger disgust, or even fear do work harmoniously  together inside of us .

The kids gives their ratings. Inside Out  gets  5 out of 5 POPCORN STARS!  imgres. imgresimgresimgresimgres

The kids summed up their feelings in this  pic below:

'LOVE it" -How kids feel about 'Inside Out.'

The kids say this pic represents their feeling about ‘Inside Out.’ They “LOVED” it!

Also read  what they  had to say about  the movie  below:

I loved that sadness and joy worked as a team even though they are opposites— KAMEKO, 9

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Anger always made me laugh…KAI, 7

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I loved that Joy was alway happy and never gave up on Riley and holding on to her happy memories.–KAMEKO, 9

Joy  is always happy. I like when people are happy. LEXI ANNE, 7

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Even though Sadness is always sad, she has courage.–KAI, 7

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It was a very emotional movie and it was about emotions.  It actually made me feel sad at some places.—-KAI, 7

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 My favorite part of the movie was when Riley was a little girl and she had an imaginary friend named Bing Bong.   I liked how Riley made up a song about her imaginary friend.—LEXI  ANNE, 7

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Bing Bong is Riley’s imaginary friend from her early childhood. He’s a mix of an elephant, a cat, cotton candy and can squeal like a dolphin.

The Lyrics to Riley’s  and Bing Bong’s  song….

Who’s your friend who likes to play?

Bing Bong, Bing Bong

His rocket makes you want to yell hooray

Bing Bong, Bing Bong

Who’s the best at every way, and wants to sing this song to say

Bing Bong, Bing BONG!

Check out the trailer below and go see ‘Inside Out’ at your  nearest movie theater in your city ,See Fandango for listings

CINDERELLA PERFORMED LIKE A QUEEN AT THE BOX OFFICE!…..BY DEBRA LEWIS-BOOTHMAN

cinderella

 

I like the Cinderella movie because it was romantic—–Kameko, 8

Jumping on that iron horse aka a NYC subway train  oftentimes can be a hit or miss  most days, thus  the case last Tuesday when the  kids and I headed from Brooklyn  into the city to catch a screening of the  beauty  of all fairy tales, Cinderella.

Getting to the screening took great effort,  for we almost didn’t make it on time to Times Square’s  Regal E-Walk  Theater   due to an MTA power outage on our subway line. In addition there was a  thundering rainstorm happening but hail, nor rain, could hinder crownheightsmom from getting her kids   to the scheduled 5:15pm  MOMS and Oral-B and Crest sponsored  special Disney Studios screening  of Cinderella which was preceded by  the Frozen movie short  Frozen Fever . The sneak peek, a prime teaser to  the  sequel of  the 2012 worldwide hit.

The gang from Frozen return in Frozen Fever

The gang from Frozen returns in Frozen Fever

 

Stuck underground  on an F train  at York Street  I had to make a decision what  to do. Should we stay or should we go . When the conductor finally announced that all  A, C  and F  trains were going to be at  a standstill and backed up  due to a power outage at the World Trade Center stop in Manhattan.that was it for me.

F train

F train

 

Trying not to panic as the time slipped  closer and closer to the movie start  hour  we are still in Brooklyn  trying to get to Manhattan.  The  kids, especially my 8-year-old daughter  starts  to get  worried we will miss the screening entirely. I ask ‘should we just  go  home, forego the trip to  the city. I  automatically get a resounding “NO”  from them both.”

The glass slippers every little girl dreams about  from her prince

The glass slippers every little girl dreams about

Putting on my supermom hat I took their hands and we  join the mass exodus of straphangers exiting the subway station  to the  street in search of the nearest subway line..  Finding the  R train we jump on with what seems like  hundreds of people .

Packed  train we jumped into

Packed train we jumped into

We  would take this R  to Canal Street where we transferred  to  the Q Express to 42nd Street Times Square where  the  theater  is located.

 

Regal E-Walk in Times Square NYC

Regal E-Walk in Times Square NYC

.Reaching the Regal E-walk  theater  after 6:30pm we are overjoyed and happy to hear that we didn’t miss the  screening and  that it was going to start at 7pm. With some free time before the screening  I headed  to security  to give my cellphone in as no mobiles phones, or tablets or ipads  of any sort  were allowed into the screening room. . We also  picked up  our  free popcorn and water  from the concession stand and were   just in time to  see the  presentation of the  new Disney Magic Timer app by  co-sponsors Oral-B and Crest  as seen below in this new ad with actress Kristen Bell.

Pics below  from event courtesy of the MOMS

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Crest and Oral-B’s Frozen Fever Toothpaste and Toothbrushes

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The little princesses and princes getto see how the Disney Timer app works…..they will love to brush!

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Crest & Oral -B Frozen Fever dental products are presently available in stores

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Princess Alert: The MOMS co-creators Melissa [L] and Denise [R].

If new live-action remakes of classic fairy tales  are the future for family movies then I want more of them, especially if they are  anything like the new Cinderella movie.

 

-I liked the movie  because it”s  about a girl who was once happy,  then her life became sad when her mommy and daddy died, then  her life  got better and she was happy again.. My favorite part was when she married the prince because it was a happy  ending —-Kai, 7.

 

A whopping $70.05 mil at the box office is what  was raked in by the new Cinderella movie this weekend says Box Office Mojo. The count comes after  receipts were tallied at   3, 845 movie theater locations nationwide  playing the newly  revamped children’s classic. See the US trailer below.

I am really happy I decided to defeat the odds and go to this wonderful remake on March 10 with my two small children. For those parents reading this believe me,  you are in for a great  treat. This release promises a great update to  the  Disney classic most are familiar with  replacing  the cartoon characters for  live action ones who are not only  beautiful but have great screen presence.

 

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Even the wicked stepmother (Cate Blanchett) and her spoiled daughters hold presence on screen.

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My 8 year old daughter and my 7 year old son reviewed the movie. Dressed  up for the occasion Kai  donning a bow tie while Kameko who has outgrown her two Cinderella dresses chose an old Hollywoodesque  style dress for the occasion topped with her  30’s style  netted pillbox hat.

Out of 5 Popcorn Stars……….. Kameko  and Kai  gives  Cinderella  5 STARS  for being romantic and being about love, kindness  and forgiveness.

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Says 8-year old Kameko  .”I thought the Cinderella movie  was very romantic . It was sad to see her parents die though and compared to  the other Cinderella’s  like the cartoon an in the book I have read  they  have never said how her mum and dad died so it was kinda ok to know how that happened in this movie.

 

The happy dance

“We are so happy Mommy. Thanks for taking us to the screening,” as they  break out  in a happy dance.

 

Kameko, 8- I felt that the Prince and Cinderella were a perfect match!

 

The effect of the movie on them.

The effect of the movie on them.

 

Still dancing in the aisles  and singing the catchphrase song  from the movie “Lavender’s Blue” (Dilly, Dilly)  my two little ones and I head out  for home content and happy  after retrieving our cell phones from security. It is now 9:30pm and as we head to the subway we are hoping that the MTA ha,s by this tim,e   gotten the train service in order.

If you too enjoyed Cinderella’s beautiful song  “Lavender’s Blue (Dilly Dilly)”  here it is for you.

By Debra Lewis-Boothman

HOW NEW KIDS ON THE BLOCK REKINDLED THE LOVE AT AN INTIMATE NYC CONCERT THAT HAD ALL THE RIGHT STUFF…..by Debra Lewis-Boothman

NKOTB

NKOTB

Valentines Day came twice  for me this year.  Well it felt  like it did. Can you  imagine my surprise when I received an invitation from Cottonelle  to join them alongside the  MOMS   to participate in their  #Go Cottonelle Go Commando  launch concert with  the New Kids On The Block  Feb 15 at New York City’s Gramercy Theater. Yes, you heard correctly NKOTB are back!

NKOTB join forces with Cottonelle

NKOTB join forces with Cottonelle

 

I can go into my garage today and pull out  stored   magazine clippings, posters  and memorabilia  of  my boy band love-fest through the years  including those of NKOTB, NEW EDITION, NSYNC‘  BACKSTREET BOYS,  BOYS II MEN  and 98 Degrees . These boys all shared a special place in my heart during my youth, helping to define,  with their music,  who I am today.

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Boy Bands of the 80s and 90s

 

I can remember conversations  in high school  like ‘ Oh my Gawd Jordan’s hair and ‘Oh my gawd….Joey’s voice.’  So to be invited to meet  the KIDS-Donnie, Jordan, Joey, Jonathan, and Danny- shaking hands, exchanging plesantries,  getting hugs and even a compliment from Joe on my metal  spiked  dress was mind blowing. Actually, just  seeing them as grown-ups was surreal enough to  make me feel like I’d  never grown up and was  literally thrown back into  the vortex of the  late 80s fawning over  hot boy band cuties .

Crownheightsmom gets to hang tough with  NKOTB at Gramercy Theater

Crownheightsmom gets to hang tough with NKOTB at Gramercy Theater

 

The boys didn’t disappoint singing many fan favorites that had the ladies swooning.

NKOTB takes over NYC Gramercy Theater for Cottonelle #GoCommando launch concert

The Boys Are Back In Town: NKOTB takes over NYC ‘s Gramercy Theater for Cottonelle #GoCommando launch concert

 

The boys all still  have the right moves . Yes, they can still  bust a move. They each  exude  charisma and  their  voices still make the  girls swoon.   The  now matured “Kids”  are also  very good at  they self described  “soft talk.” .  Yup, you heard  right the boys took  time to   talk to their fans to explain why some of their favorite  songs didnt make it onto albums and to even listen to a fan share  how their music helped saved a friendship .  Soft talk with the boys   feels so good.

The crowd goes wild for NKOTB.

The crowd goes wild for NKOTB.

It was great seeing so many Blockheads fans in  the  house holding it down  for the boys. Fans whom have  stood behinds the Kids since the 80’s. Coming  out in droves to Gramercy Theater defying the negative  degree  temperatures showed the boys that this was true love, and just for them .

Joey and his voice comes into the crowd. He captivates

Joey and his voice comes into the crowd. He captivates

 

There is nothing like taking a ride down memory lane . NKOTB’s   performed “The Right Stuff,”   “My Favorite Girl,”  “I’ll Be Loving You Forever,” and “Over Girl.” Yes the boys reached into the vault performing crowd favorites.

NKOTB Hangin Tough circa 1988

NKOTB Hangin Tough circa 1988

Though now older mature studs the “boys” still exude  adorable boyish qualities. Hello Joe!

The right stuff indeed!

The right stuff indeed!

 

Cottonelle’s #GoCommando photo booth was crazy fun. My sister Sandra and I could not get in enough selfie poses. Posing in the booth with Melissa Musen Gerstein, Brianne Manz and others was crazy fun.   .

Charlie's Angels have nothing on us moms

Charlie’s Angels have nothing on us moms

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Striking up a GoCommando pose with Sandra

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Sharing a pic with my sister in the Cottonelle photo booth

 

Girls having fun!

Girls just want to have fun!

Overall  the NKOTB knocked it out of the ballpark with their concert. I am going to  continue to #GoCommando with Cottonelle . In fact you can head over to the  website if you would like to take the GoCommando challenge.  Grab  Cottonelle at your local supermarket it has Clean Ripple texture to get you clean, giving you all the confidence you need to Go Commando. Dare a friend to Go Commando and Cottonelle will send you and your friend a personalized commando kit with a free sample.

Keep up with NKOTB on their website and on their new reality show Rock This Boat on the TV Guide Channel Network.

 

 

RED, HOT AND LOVING HER 40s MOLLY SIMS TELLS-IT-LIKE-IT-IS IN NEW BOOK by Debra Lewis-Boothman

Supermodel Molly Sims and her baby bump wears red like no one’s business. She stuns in it!

RED HOTTT! Molly Sims who is 8-months  pregnant stuns in red.

RED HOTTT! Molly Sims who is 8-months pregnant stuns in red.

Celebrating the release of her new book “The Everyday Supermodel” at the Artisanal Fromagerie Bistro on Jan 29,  six-time Sports Illustrated Swimsuit cover model  Molly Sims  shared   tips on beauty, fashion, wellness, parenting and what it’s like to be in her 40s.

“It takes work, it is not handed to you,” the former model  declared  about looking beautiful . “In my  20 year journey, I did not look like this, ( pointing at herself .) I  look better at 41  than when I was 21,” the shared with mom bloggers including  Crownheightsmom who attended the afternoon luncheon  and MOMS Mamarazzi  event with hosts Denise Albert and Melissa Musen Gerstein co-creators of  the  MOMS brand. “We are all self made women, so try and embrace the now, ” Sims told the attendees whom all left with a signed copy of her book  which gives advice , tells-it-like-it-is truths, and gives insider insights from some of the  best industry experts from beauty, health, fitness and fashion.

 

PAGE TUNER: Molly Sims  shares  beauty, fashion and wellness tips in her newest book

PAGE TUNER: Molly Sims shares beauty, fashion and wellness tips in her newest book

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The afternoon luncheon  brought out many mom bloggers . It was co-sponsored  by the MOMS and  Big Belli Co presents 40Weeks -the movie pregnant women have been waiting for. See more at 40weeksthemovie.com. Available March 1 on DVD and Download.

Molly Sims is interviewed by Dominique Debroux,the founder of Big Belli Co.

The former Victoria Secret Supermodel  shared  chic and  figure flattering style advice for every budget  as well as  on-the-go workouts to  help women move, dance, spin and stretch their way into  their  hotter healthier  selves . Yes, it  takes work,  but aren’t we all  works in progress? Taking care of ourselves daily by eating and  drinking healthy,  treating ourselves to simple beauty  regiments and daily exercise  pays off.

Molly  share a group hug and a group laugh with  Dominique Debroux of co founder of Big Belli Co, Melissa of the MOMS and filmmaker Christopher Henz

Molly Sims shares a group hug and a group laugh with Dominique Debroux founder of Big Belli Co, Denise Albert and Melissa Musen Gerstein of the MOMS and filmmaker Christopher Henze of 40 Weeks on DVD/Download Mar 1

“I did not always look like this.  I worked  hard to get to where I am today, ” Sims  declared. “Do you think I looked like this when I was 19 years old?  Well I didn’t . I worked my ass off. I was 20 pound overweight. I had brown hair, I had braces, I had acne, ” she says.

Molly  and Crownheightsmom share a laugh

Molly and Crownheightsmom share a laugh

Inspiration is all around you notes Sims. “As the  years go by I changed. I was like a sponge and I am still like a sponge. I look at magazines. I look at celebrities, I look at other moms. Anybody can change themselves .I am a firm believer in that you can do anything you want to do. I am from Kentucky.I went to public school. I have been a waitress, and a really  bad waitress. I was a sales lady and a really good one because I was honest .I would tell customers you cant wear that  but you can wear this  and I always had my returning customers. If someone said to me you should do this I was ok I will try it. Some women are critical and they take it so personally. I have been told my  calves are too bigs, my arms  are too big, I’m too fat, your  hair should be longer your hair should be shorter.I  cant believe you would wear that .I have heard it all .”

It's all about Molly , Debra and the book

More selfie fun with Molly Sims and Crownheightsmom Debra Lewis-Boothman

She’s can relate to the every day woman.  “I’m not different from you. Anything you can say I can probably say that I have been told that.  I have learned from so many . I took tips from people. I always suggest that you should  find someone you look up to and  learn from them . Also, learn your body.

Crownheightsmom catches up with the MOMS co-creators Denise and  Melissa

Crownheightsmom catches up with the MOMS co-creators Denise and Melissa

Want to feel good about yourself, Sims  a big yoga enthusiast  asked .”Get out of the sweatpants and put on a pair of jeans,”  she says. Adding that she doesn’t  follow trends . “Once it looks good  on  I just put  a sweater or a jacket on over it.”

The “House of Style” host and “Las Vegas” star asked that those attending  do something for her, “Never ever say you are going on a diet and never look at a picture and be like ugh God, I hate this picture.'”

Speaking of pictures Sims shared and showed how she’s been storing all of the thousands of photos and videos she’s amassed over the years especially  those of her husband Scott Stuber and 2-year old son Brooks Alan . Sims told the group  that  she’s been using  LYVE App the new  photo sharing and storing  app that  saves and collects all of her photos and videos she has  stored on different devices –mobile phones, computers, cameras, and ipads. She says   that Lyve  has really helped her to keep photos in one place . “They  have installed a small device in my home office and  has been working to collect and catalog just about every photograph and video I’ve ever captured with a digital camera. I don’t envy the device. During the last decade just  like almost everyone else on the planet, I went bananas for photos and videos. I estimate I’ve  more than 20,000 pictures and clips spread across phones, tablets and a handful of far-flung folders on a handful of computers,” she says.

Sims uses LYVE to keep her photos and videos together

Sims uses LYVE to keep her photos and videos together

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Molly Sims uses Lyve to store her keepsake photos and video memories

Mom bloggers  mill around the LYVE App device

Mom bloggers gather around the LYVE App device to get info and see demonstrations featuring pics of Sims and her family

Molly Sims’ is FUN! She is funny and open and warm. This new book will definitely do well . Molly  shows  moms and women how to balance it . The event was  wonderful and the midtown restaurant  Artisanal Fromagerie Bistro was the perfect place to hold it. The luncheon menu included  a mix of sandwiches and salads and delicious treats for dessert. Crownheightsmom will definitely be heading  back to taste the full menu at a later date.

Yummy eats from Artisianal Fromagerie Bistro

Moms enjoying  luncheon

Moms bloggers enjoying the luncheon

To keep up with Molly  go pick up her book at local bookshops and online and definitely  go to her website  mollysims.com

Molly Sims and her bump

Molly Sims looking fab at 8 months points to her bump