#PrincessBootCamp – Moana Week Inspo

Disney Princess Boot Camp Moana Week inspo music movies list nerd blog post

Princess Boot Camp Moana Week Nerd Disney Fitness Blog

This week’s playlist is populated with selections from the Moana soundtrack, naturally, as well as songs about water and the ocean. It great for a lazy day at the beach or to get you pumped for Hula class or even to take paddle boarding with you!

  1. Deep Wide Ocean – The Jezabels
  2. Orinoco Flow – Enya
  3. The Ocean – Mike Perry, Shy Martin
  4. The Ocean, The Wild Wind
  5. We Move Like the Ocean – Bad Suns
  6. Walk on the Ocean – Toad the Wet Sprocket
  7. Hawaiian Roller Coaster Ride – Mark Keali’i Ho’omalu
  8. Hawaiian Air – Friendly Fires
  9. Tuloa Tagaloa – Olivia Foa’i
  10. Where You Are – Christopher Jackson
  11. How Far I’ll Go – Auli’i Cravalho
  12. We Know the Way – Lin-Manuel Miranda
  13. How Far I’ll Go (Reprise) – Auli’i Cravalho
  14. I Am Moana (Song of the Ancestors) – Rachel House, Auli’i Cravalho
  15. Know Who You Are – Auli’i Cravalho
  16. We Know the Way Finale – Lin-Manuel Miranda
  17. How Far I’ll Go – Alessia Cara
  18. Only Time – Enya
  19. Caribbean Blue – Enya
  20. Dark Sky Island – Enya
  21. Brighter than the Sun – Colbie Caillat
  22. Something in the Water – Carrie Underwood

Moana

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This movie was long anticipated. But I had no idea how much I would love Moana till I went and saw it in theaters…three times! Moana is the story of a young girl, the daughter of a chief. With her very birth comes the expectations of family and tradition. But Moana’s heart feels that #wanderlust and she wants to do out beyond the borders of her island life. Her meddlesome Gran is in her corner, but the call of her family is strong. And something just keeps holding her back. Until her true destiny is thrust into her hands by her Gran, who on her death bed tells her she has to follow her heart! Moana follows it past the shores of her island. She follows it to the demigod Maui. She follows it into the unknown, where she fights monsters and wrestles with her true nature. If you still haven’t seen it, what are you waiting for? It’s on Netflix…go on, I’ll wait!

Life of Pi

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Life of Pi has a lot in common with Moana. Where Moana’s story is one of discovery, Pi’s story is one of survival. But they both have familial expectations to wrestle with and come to terms with. Pi’s family is lost on a voyage across the ocean. And only him and the family’s zoo tiger, Richard Parker, survive. This movie’s visuals are stunning! Definitely worth a watch, especially during Moana Week!!

Cast Away

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Cast Away may seem like a strange choice for Moana Week. But when you look deeper into the story of Cast Away and the way that Tom Hanks has to survive insurmountable odds, there are a lot of similarities to draw upon. Plus can’t you just see the similarities between Moana’s silly chicken Hei-Hei and Tom Hanks’ volleyball companion, Wilson!!

Journey 2: Mysterious Island

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Ok I mainly chose this one because it’s a fun little movie and has The Rock in common with Moana. There aren’t a lot of comparisons to draw between Journey 2: Mysterious Island and Moana. But Josh Hutcherson and the Rock are dreamy and there’s an island and I could go on, but I’m really just stretching here! Watch it for fun!

Waterworld

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Ok…Waterworld. I know…I know, worst movie ever made. Huge inflated budget, one of the most expensive films ever made. And what’s worse..it tanked at the box office. But have you gone back and watched Waterworld? I don’t think it’s as horrible as we all seem to think/remember. I’m not saying it deserves Oscars or anything, though it was actually nominated for one. I’m just saying, I wanted a reason to watch it and it really only seemed to fit on my Moana Watch List for Princess Boot Camp. So here it is… Waterworld. The story of a post-apocalyptic, dystopian future where the polar ice caps have melted and the world is submerged underwater, forcing the remaining citizens of Earth to survive in the perpetual ocean…the water world, if you will (yep, I did that.)

Atlantis: The Lost Empire

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Who among us isn’t captured by stories of Atlantis? Have you ever dreamed of being among those who find the lost empire? I know I have! And Atlantis made me think a little of Moana. Both stories have that element of the search for something, the journey taken and the fellowships we make along the way to our destination. Did you know that Disney had plans for an underwater park based on Atlantis, but since the movie didn’t overwhelm at the box office, they cancelled it? I’m sad about that! I would love to go to an underwater theme park with an Atlantis theme!!

 

Swiss Family Robinson

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There’s a theme on this watch list and it’s survival. Which is not really what Moana is about at all. When Moana leaves her island of Motunui, it isn’t survival that is first on her mind, it is mission. But with adding ocean and island tales to my list, survival themes just seem to come naturally with that. Swiss Family Robinson is the story of a shipwrecked family…the Robinsons. Who are forced to survive on an island together. And to rebuild their lives in the face of overwhelming odds. And there are pirates.

Muppet Treasure Island

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Speaking of pirates. I added Muppet Treasure Island as a little visual and musical treat for everyone. It wouldn’t be right not to have another musical selection on the list. And this movie has lots of ocean and islands and journey through oceans to islands. Incidentally, it’s also one of my family’s favorite movies to quote. Enjoy!

#PrincessBootCamp – Elsa Week Inspo

Disney Princess Boot Camp Elsa Week inspiration Movies and Music fitness blog post

Princess Boot Camp Elsa Week Nerd Fitness

  1. Sisters – Rosemary Clooney
  2. Sisters and Brothers – Cast of Sofia the First
  3. Sisters & Brothers – Sidewalk Prophets
  4. Frozen Heart – Frozen Soundtrack
  5. Stone Cold – Demi Lovato
  6. Frozen – Madonna
  7. Cold As Ice – Foreigner
  8. Colder Weather – Zac Brown Band
  9. A Narnia Lullaby – Global Stage Orchestra
  10. Winter Light – Tim Finn
  11. Coldest Winter – Pentatonix
  12. Frozen – PON CHO, Paige IV
  13. Cold Water – Major Lazer, MØ, Justin Beiber
  14. In Like a Lion (Always Winter) – Reliant K
  15. Do You Wanna Build a Snowman? – Frozen Soundtrack
  16. Frosty the Snowman – Michael Bublé, Puppini Sisters
  17. For the First Time in Forever – Frozen Soundtrack
  18. For the First Time in Forever (Reprise) – Frozen Soundtrack
  19. Love is an Open Door – Frozen Soundtrack
  20. Call Me Maybe – Carly Rae Jepsen
  21. In Summer – Josh Gad
  22. In the Summertime – Mungo Jerry
  23. Summer of ’69 – Bryan Adams
  24. Summerland – Florida Georgia Line
  25. A Little More Summertime – Jason Aldean
  26. Summer Wind – Frank Sinatra
  27. Summer Nights – Grease Soundtrack
  28. All Summer Long – Kid Rock
  29. Summer Nights – Iration
  30. Summer Nights – Tiësto, John Legend
  31. Summer Nights – Rascal Flatts
  32. Long Hot Summer – Keith Urban
  33. Summertime Romance – Johnnyswim
  34. Melt My Heart to Stone – Adele
  35. Melt – JONES
  36. Let it Go – Idina Menzel
  37. Breakaway – Kelly Clarkson
  38. Break Free – Ariana Grande
  39. Freedom – Soulive, Corey Glover
  40. Breaking Free – High School Musical Soundtrack
  41. Let It Go – Demi Lovato
  42. Viva La Vida – Coldplay

Have of the Elsa Week movie list is ice cold, the other half is filled with the warmth of sisterhood. Enjoy!

Frozen

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Let’s start at the very beginning, a very good place to start. Frozen is the story of two sisters…best friends, really. Who are ripped apart by poor parenting, sorry to speak ill of the dead. But when Elsa’s powers become too powerful and she injures little sister Anna, their parents take them to see the mysterious and unexplained rock trolls who hold all the secrets to Elsa’s powers without ever actually giving explanations. So Elsa is made to feel ashamed of her gifts and is told to conceal and not to feel (bad advice for a super powered little girl, if we’re honest!) Years later, Elsa’s powers manifest at her Queenly coronation after years of seclusion. Is it any wonder that basically being a recluse wouldn’t lead to extraordinary people skills? Don’t worry, it has a happy ending, you just have to cry a lot to get there. “Do you wanna build a snowman?”

The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe

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Speaking of frozen tundras, let’s look to Narnia. That magical land that can be found in a wardrobe. I’m specifically putting Lion, Witch and Wardrobe on the list, as this is where the tale of Narnia begins, as far as the silver screen is concerned. After years of eternal winter, Lucy Pevensie makes her way into Narnia, after choosing a particularly deep wardrobe to hide in during a game of hide and seek with her siblings. Long story short, the Pevensie children all make their way to Narnia and break the curse of endless winter. There’s a lion and spiritual metaphors and it’s a beautiful story that pairs well with Frozen.

Rise of the Guardians

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If you’ve never seen Rise of the Guardians, do yourself a favor and watch it. The Guardians are Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, the Tooth Fairy, and the Sandman. When the world is threatened by Pitch Black, the Guardians will enlist Jack Frost to help put things back to right. Also a bonus reason to watch this movie, a lot of Elsa fans out there seriously ship her with Jack Frost and I really dig that ship. Watch the movie and judge for yourself if Jack would be a good match for the Queen of Frozen!

Dr. Zhivago

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Ok, this one is off the beaten path of what’s on the list before it. A bonafide tragedy, Dr. Zhivago really only shares a world of ice in common with Frozen. But if we’re looking for things that give you that frosty air, this is a movie that will make you feel those Frozen vibes for sure!

White Christmas

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White Christmas, a classic Irving Berlin flick that should be watched every Christmas. This movie features cold, white stuff and a pair of adorable singing sisters with a penchant for the occasional disagreement.

Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants

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Moving away from the snow and ice, we head towards those sister vibes with the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants. The story of 4 best friends going through life together. As life events pop up for each of them, they fight like hell to keep the bonds of friendship and sisterhood alive by sharing a pair of pants that magically fit them all perfectly. And discover that even without the pants, their bond stands the test of time!

Invisible Sister

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This is an adorable little Disney Channel original movie starring Rowan Blanchard from the ill fated Girl Meets World. When Molly, Cleo’s way more popular older sister, turns invisible after a science experiment goes awry, Cleo starts to have more of an appreciation for her sister. And Molly sees her sister after years of overlooking her. It’s about sisters and it’s adorable!

Little Women

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One of the most classic tales of sisterhood in all of literature, I present Little Woman for the list. Yes, there’s tragedy (looking at you, Beth.) But that’s sort of a theme for a lot of the entries on this list. Chalk it up to the Disney effect (looking at you, parents of Elsa and Anna!)

#PrincessBootCamp – Merida Week Inspo

Disney Princess Boot Camp Merida Week Brave fitness inspo nerd blog post

Princess Boot Camp Merida Week Nerd Fitness

  1. Wild Horses – Birdy, Sam Feldt
  2. Brave – Sara Bareilles
  3. Brave Honest Beautiful – Fifth Harmony, Meghan Trainor
  4. Brave – Moriah Peters
  5. Brave the Dark – Bird Passengers
  6. Touch the Sky – Julie Fowlis
  7. Into the Open Air – Julie Fowlis
  8. Siúil A Rún – Lisa Kelly
  9. Girl Named Freedom – Lisa Kelly
  10. The Lark in the Clear Air – Loreena McKennitt
  11. To the Sky – Owl City
  12. Skylines – Glades
  13. Fairytale – Alexander Rybak
  14. Catch the Wind – Donovan
  15. Babel – Mumford & Sons
  16. Home – Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeroes
  17. After the Storm – Mumford & Sons
  18. Dirty Paws – Of Monsters and Men
  19. I See Fire – Ed Sheeran
  20. 9 Crimes – Damien Rice
  21. Thirteen Sad Farewells – Stu Larsen
  22. Follow the Sun – Xavier Rudd
  23. Blue Skies – Noah and the Whale
  24. Sons and Daughters – Allman Brown, Liz Lawrence
  25. Daughters – John Mayer
  26. Daughters – Lissie
  27. His Daughter – Molly Kate Kestner
  28. Warrior Daughter – Wildwood Kin
  29. Beer Hands – Private Island
  30. The Monster – Eminem, Rihanna
  31. Touch the Sky – Hillsong United
  32. Noble Maiden Fair – Brave Soundtrack
  33. Learn Me Right – Karoline Sem Larm
  34. The Merry Sisters of Fate – Lúnasa
  35. He Mo Leannan (Hey my Love) – Mary Jane Lamond
  36. Under Pressure – Queen, David Bowie
  37. The Apple Tree – Nina Nesbitt
  38. Lon-dubh (Blackbird) – Julie Fowlis
  39. Tha Mo Ghaol Air Aird a’ Chuan – Julie Fowlis
  40. Hug air a’ Bhonaid Mhoir – Julie Fowlis
  41. Tunes Set – Julie Fowlis
  42. Pride – Amy Macdonald
  43. The Whole of the Moon – The Waterboys
  44. Way in the World – Nina Nesbitt
  45. Don’t Stop Believing – Red Hot Chili Peppers
  46. Scottish Fiddle Jig – The Scottish Bagpipes Highland Pipes

 

Brave

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We start our movie list with our fiery haired heroine, Merida from Disney’s Brave. As the daughter of King Fergus and Queen Elinor, there is a certain life that Merida can look forward to. The life of a royal princess and future Queen of the Scottish lords. This means she must marry and she must behave herself. She’s supposed to learn from her mother and not bring her weapons to the dinner table. But Merida wasn’t born the perfect little princess and she believes her destiny lies on a different path from the one she was born with. What I love about Brave is that it’s the story of a tumultuous relationship between mother and daughter, not about a Princess falling in love with a Prince. This movie breaks from Disney Princess movie tradition and sets a precedent for Disney Princesses to come. It’s ain’t all about the man and given her choice among the sons of the Scottish lords vying for her hand…can you blame her? Respect, Merida! Respect.

Braveheart

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Staying in the borders of Scotland, the next movie on our Merida Inspo list is Braveheart, a natural follow-up movie to Brave! I mean…if you’ve never seen Braveheart then you’ve been living in a cave or you are like…6 years old and if it’s the latter, this blog is a little old for ya, kid! If it’s the former, welcome back to the world…go watch Braveheart! “They may take our lives, but they’ll never take…our FREEDOM!” No matter how you feel about the decline of Mel Gibson, that moment is still pure movie magic!!

Highlander

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Ok, the premise of Highlander and ensuing spin offs and sequels is intense. There are Immortals…they fight to the death and of course “there can only be one.” Connor MacLeod, our main character, is one such Immortal as is his and his mentor (hey Sean Connery.) This movie did very poorly when it came out in 1986, but has gained a cult following. And obviously became popular enough to garner Highlander II: The Quickening, Highlander III: The Sorcerer, Highlander: Endgame, Highlander: The Source, and not only a TV series, but an animated TV series as well! Dive in, but beware the Highlander current will sweep you away (or maybe not. I’ve personally never felt the need to watch any of the sequels.)

Hunger Games

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Bad ass chicks who shoot bow and arrows stick together! Katniss and Merida have plenty in common. Mommy issues? Check. Mad archery skills? Check. A destiny that calls them where they don’t want to go? Double check! This movie has plenty of those Brave vibes and you have to be brave to make it through the Hunger Games…see what I did there!

Lord of the Rings Trilogy

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Ok, it’s not Scotland, but there’s archery and sweeping country side and that’s about where the comparison between Brave and LOTR ends, but the Lord of the Rings trilogy basically belongs on every list…so, here it is!

Brigadoon

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Brigadoon has absolutely nothing in common with the above list of more action oriented movie, other than the Scottish thing…to tie it back to Brave. But it’s a classic Hollywood musical starring Gene Kelly, Cyd Charisse and Van Johnson and is an absolute treasure, hence it’s addition to this list! Brigadoon is a disappearing town in the Highlands of Scotland that appears once every 100 years. One that Gene Kelly and Van Johnson happen upon when they are on holiday shooting grouse or whatever it is you shoot in Scotland. And guess which day they happen upon the usually wild and empty space where Brigadoon usually isn’t…yep, that 100th day. Gene meets Cyd and falls in love, obviously. But Gene and Van have lots of questions about this disappearing paradise, especially after a native tries to leave and gets shot in the process. Mystery abounds, love is in the air and there’s lots of singing!!

The Decoy Bride

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This one is a bit of a fringe choice and unless you are a big fan of the 10th Doctor and have actively searched out all you can find of David Tennant, you might not know anything about it. But this rom-com has 2 things going for it that are directly relevant to Brave. #1: It takes place on the island of Hegg, which “lies half-drowned and wind-battered, the furthermost drop of the outermost spray of the curling wave of the Outer Hebrides.” And #2: The Decoy Bride stars Kelly Macdonald, none other than the voice of Merida herself. It’s a simply adorable romantic comedy and on sick days, it is my go to feel better movie these days! Give it a watch, why don’t ya?!

#PrincessBootCamp – Rapunzel Playlist

Disney Princess Boot Camp fitness Rapunzel Week movies music nerd blog post
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This week’s playlist is whimsical and, like Mulan playlist, is great to listen to from top to bottom for a full musical story or on shuffle for a smattering of great Rapunzel inspired tunes!

  1. Fairytale – Harry Gregson-Williams
  2. Once Upon a December – Liz Callaway
  3. Castle – Halsey
  4. Fairytales – Alex Preston
  5. Nolita Fairytale – Vanessa Carlton
  6. Hair – New Broadway Cast Recording “Hair”
  7. When Will My Life Begin – Mandy Moore
  8. Lights – Jef Miles
  9. Lights – Ellie Goulding
  10. Shooting Star – Owl City
  11. Almost There – Anika Noni Rose
  12. When Will My Life Begin (Reprise 2) – Mandy Moore
  13. Take on the World – Rowan Blanchard, Sabrina Carpenter
  14. Try Everything – Shakira
  15. Wildside – Sofia Carson, Sabrina Carpenter
  16. Whip My Hair – Willow
  17. I’ve Got a Dream – Tangled Soundtrack
  18. Dreams – Fleetwood Mac
  19. Dream On – Aerosmith
  20. Dreaming – Smallpools
  21. Healing Incantation – Mandy Moore
  22. The Glow – Shannon Saunders
  23. Kingdom Dance – Alan Menken
  24. Flowers in Your Hair – The Lumineers
  25. Fireflies – Owl City
  26. Bubbly – Colbie Caillat
  27. At the Beginning – Film Score Orchestra
  28. I Can See the Light – Hamilton Cast
  29. I’m Beginning to See the Light – Michael Bublé
  30. Long As I Can See the Light – Creedence Clearwater Revival
  31. I See the Light – Mandy Moore, Zachary Levi
  32. Terrified – Katharine McPhee
  33. See the Light – Matrimony
  34. Lanterns – Birds of Tokyo
  35. A Sky Full of Stars – Coldplay
  36. Counting Star – OneRepublic
  37. When the Stars Go Blue – Tyler Hilton & Bethany Joy Lenz
  38. Lost Stars – Adam Levine
  39. Starlight – Empire Cast
  40. Starlight – Neverest
  41. Seeing Stars – BORNS
  42. Journey to the Past – Liz Callaway
  43. Wind in My Hair – Mandy Moore
  44. Tangled – Thomas Rhett
  45. Hair – Lady Gaga
  46. Castle on the Hill – Ed Sheeran
  47. Something That I Want – Grace Potter
  48. It’s Not Just Make Believe – Kari Kimmel
  49. The Frying Pan – John Prine

Here’s your movie watch list for this week. A mix of Rapunzel inspired fairytales, musicals and random other selections that I added to the list for fun! (My list, my rules!)

Tangled

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As usual, we start with the inspiration for the week. Tangled burst onto the screens in 2010, though at times it feels like she’s been part of the Princess line up for far longer.

Anastasia

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Speaking of princesses who don’t know they are princesses…Anastasia is the story of a young orphaned girl, Anya, who has no memory of her past. After meeting a couple of con artists who want to use her to trick the Grand Duchess into believing that she is the long lost Princess Anastasia, little orphan Anya starts to recall things long forgotten. And in the course of remembering who she is, Dimitri, the boy who once saved her from certain death, starts remembering her as well. With voice casting from Meg Ryan, John Cusack, Kelsey Grammar, Christopher Llyod, Bernadette Peters, Kirsten Dunst, Hank Azaria and the one and only Angela Lansbury as the Grand Duchess. If you didn’t grow up watching this movie, then I’m not sure it’s one you’ll love in this age of Disney animation. Nostalgia really has to be on your side!! It’s the Disney movie that isn’t Disney. And it shows.

Sleeping Beauty

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And yet another princess who is not aware of her royal roots…the Princess Aurora is whisked away in the night by her 3 fairy godmothers, after the evil fairy Maleficent places a curse on the baby Princess. And all because she wasn’t invited to the party…beware using that red pen on evil fairy godmothers. Trust me, it’s safer just to invite them.

So Flora, Fauna and Merryweather secret the infant girl out of the castle and into the woods where she is raised as a young peasant girl who had to have questions about her parentage! Come on, 3 maiden aunts raising you in the woods? Questions are bound to pop up. But no, Aurora lives her quiet life and unlike Rapunzel, we don’t get the sense that she wonders too much about the world outside of her little forest. The only thing Aurora dreams of is her dreamy prince. Spoiler alert…she meets him…in the woods! And guess who he happens to be…the Prince. It’s a Disney fairytale, these things write themselves!

Into the Woods

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Into the Woods could easily have been put on Cinderella’s Watch List, but that list was pretty full, so I saved it for this week. Into the Woods is a musical by Stephen Sondheim. And while I really enjoy this movie adaptation, it’s the stage production starring Bernadette Peters and Joanna Gleeson that I love most.

This musical takes a whole slew of fairytale stories and throws them into the same woods. What if Rapunzel’s Prince and Cinderella’s Prince were brothers? What if Jack from the Beanstalk met Little Red Riding Hood? And so on. What this story boils down to is the general theme of “careful what you wish for.” It’s not the bright, fluffy Disney story that you’re used to. Sondheim often poses questions about good and evil in his musicals. What if the villain has redeeming qualities? What if the hero is flawed? It’s a unique take on these fairytales and my second favorite musical of all time!

Barbershop

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Ok, Barber Shop has little in common with Rapunzel, other than the over arching theme of…hair. But I’m putting it on the list, so deal! Barbershop is the story of a man, Ice Cube, who has had enough of running his father’s barbershop and decides to sell it to a man who wants to turn it into a strip club. Without telling anyone of his plans, Ice Cube sells it and sells out.

Ice Cube soon comes to realize the error he has made and how truly important the barbershop is, not only to the surrounding community, to his employees and patrons, but also to himself. And he goes about trying to get it back. Solid movie…go watch it! And if you get hooked on the franchise, give Barbershop 2: Back in Business a try as well as…

Beauty Shop

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Beauty Shop spins out of Barbershop 2, where we are introduced to Queen Latifah’s Gina. Gina is sick and tired of her boss and his criticism and decides it’s time to open her own beauty shop. But things aren’t as easy as they seem. She finds herself up against clients who are set in their ways, prejudice, vandalism and the day to day struggle of raising a daughter and being a business owner. This movie, like Barbershop, is the story of community, of friendship and of overcoming struggles.

Hairspray

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Another movie with little in common with our Disney heroine, but is full of magical hair! Hairspray is the story of Tracy Turnblad, a young girl in 1960’s Baltimore. All Tracy wants is to be on The Corny Collins’ Show and to have mile high hair, is that too much to ask? As fun as this musical is, it also takes time to challenge race relations in the 60’s. They explore integration, not only on the dance floor, but in the budding relationship between Penny and Seaweed. I saw this show 4 times on Broadway and love the movie adaptation starring John Travolta, Michelle Pfeiffer, Queen Latifah, Christopher Walken, Zac Efron, Amanda Bynes, Elijah Kelley, James Marsden, Allison Janney and new comer at the time, Nikki Blonsky as Tracy.

Chasing Liberty

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Mandy Moore (voice of Rapunzel in Tangled) stars in this frothy teen flick about the First Daughter running away to experience the world outside of the White House walls. She, like Rapunzel, feels that there’s more to life than what she has experienced. And she, like Rapunzel, takes the first chance to run away with a handsome dark haired stranger when it comes along. (Ok, it’s a stretch to say that this movie and Tangled have anything other than Mandy Moore in common, but that’s enough for me!) Also see First Daughter starring Katie Holmes which came out at the same time. Same movie, different cast!

#PrincessBootCamp – Mulan Week Inspo

Mulan Week movie inspo watch list

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This week’s playlist is a mix of Mulan story telling and songs about being strong, a warrior, a fighter…like Mulan! Enjoy.

  1. Honor to Us All – Mulan Soundtrack
  2. Matchmakers – Bandshes
  3. Matchmaker, Matchmaker – Ella Fitzgerald
  4. Reflection – Christina Aguilera
  5. Man in the Mirror – Michael Jackson
  6. Mirrors – Justin Timberlake
  7. I Ran – A Flock of Seagulls
  8. Hard Love – NEEDTOBREATHE
  9. Fight Song – Rachel Platten
  10. I’ll Make a Man Out of You – Mulan Soundtrack
  11. Rise – Katy Perry
  12. Confident – Demi Lovato
  13. A Girl Worth Fighting For – Mulan Soundtrack
  14. Run the World (Girls) – Beyoncé
  15. Run This Town – JAY Z, Rihana, Kanye West
  16. Roar – Katy Perry
  17. Stronger (What Doesn’t Kill You) – Kelly Clarkson
  18. Fighter – Christina Aguilera
  19. The Fighter – Gym Class Heroes feat. Ryan Tedder
  20. This is War – Thirty Seconds to Mars
  21. Stronger – Kanye West
  22. Warriors – Imagine Dragons
  23. Warrior – Ke$ha
  24. Warrior – Hannah Kerr
  25. War – Sum 41
  26. Warrior – Steve James feat. LIGHTS
  27. War – Edwin Starr
  28. War of Change – Thousand Foot Krutch
  29. Fight for You – Jason Derulo
  30. Battle Scars – Lupe Fiasco, Guy Sebastian
  31. True to Your Heart – 98 Degrees, Stevie Wonder
  32. Princess of China – Coldplay, Rihanna

For the movies this week, we are focusing on Chinese actors and strong female characters. Take a look and let me know if you’d add anything to the list.

Mulan

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Mulan is a film that came out of what is considered Disney’s Renaissance period. And as with Pocahontas (another Renaissance film) there are some glaring issues that I’m gonna go ahead and side step because 1. I love this movie and 2. Mulan is a seriously kick ass female! The problems that present themselves are there. They are worth pointing out and they are equally worth ignoring momentarily to honor the great parts of this movie and to find inspiration from Mulan’s journey. You want a searing critique, that’s not what I do. But there are plenty of sites that will rip this movie apart for you, if that’s what you’re into. Otherwise, enjoy it for what it is and what it was at the time. The first Asian princess. A celebration of Girl Power! And a movie that has my favorite Disney song of all time “I’ll Make a Man Out of You.”

Mulan: Rise of a Warrior

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Before Disney has a chance at a live action version of their animated classic, Mulan, take a look at this version from 2009. A wonderful representation of the Chinese legend of Hua Mulan. And another celebration of strong feminism in a time when that was not celebrated at all.

Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon

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If we’re looking at epic Chinese movies, we cannot look any further than Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. This movie was an international success when it came out in 2000 and was rather surprising, given that the entire movie is in Mandarin with English subtitles. It has a cast of Chinese heavy hitters including Michelle Yeoh, Chow Yun-fat and Zhang Ziyi with direction from Ang Lee. If you haven’t seen it in a while or have never seen it at all, watch it! This movie has strong female characters, incredible action and martial arts sequences and intensely captivating cinematography!

House of Flying Daggers

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This film came out in 2004, after the success of Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, but didn’t have quite the punch that Dragon had. Still a very strong film with a Chinese cast and strong female lead in Zhang Ziyi. It’s an action movie, a love story and is another must watch for Mulan Week!

Once Upon a Time in China

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We cannot create a comprehensive list of Chinese movies without having Jet Li on that list! Arguably one of the greatest action stars of our time, Jet Li has been in so many movies that it would take a whole separate list to do justice to all of them. So I started us off with Once Upon a Time in China which has plenty of sequels to watch, if you want to go down the Jet Li rabbit hole…which you absolutely should (see Once Upon a Time in China II, III, Once Upon a Time in China + America and do not leave without watching Last Hero in China!) Once you start down said rabbit hole, add these Jet Li movies to your list as well: Hero, The Forbidden Kingdom, Romeo Must Die, Kiss of the Dragon, Cradle 2 the Grave and the movie he made his debut in, Shaolin Temple.

The Assassins

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Next up on the list of must watch list of fantastic Chinese actors, Chow Yun-fat. As with Jet Li, there are plenty of movies to choose from. I chose this film from 2012, a more contemporary Chinese action movie starring Yun-fat, but you could also add any of these to your list for Mulan Week: A Better Tomorrow, The Killer, Bulletproof Monk, Anna and the King oh and hey! Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End!

Michelle Yeoh

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Speaking of amazing Chinese actors that belong on this list, we cannot go further without talking about Michelle Yeoh. Michelle was discovered in a commercial with none other than Jackie Chan (next on our list.) She then went on to become one of the most amazing female action stars, starring alongside Pierce Brosnan in the Bond film, Tomorrow Never Dies and arguably earns her place as one of the very best and most kick ass Bond girls of all time. In this movie, Tai Chi Master, Michelle stars alongside fellow Chinese action star, Jet Li. Michelle along with Jet Li and Chow Yun-fat have an impressive roster of movies that you should watch in your spare time.

Rush Hour

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Jackie Chan is another Chinese heavy hitter. Chan has been in movies since he was a kid back in the 60’s. His roster of films is incredibly long and diverse. But I chose Rush Hour for this list mainly because it was one of my introduction films to the wonderful world of Jackie Chan. I consider him the Robin Williams of marital arts. He is funny and a master and what he does! Here’s another sub list to start you down the path of greater understanding into the genius of Jackie Chan: Shanghai Noon, Drunken Master, Dragon Fist, Armour of God, Police Story, Twin Dragons, Rumble in the Bronx and so many more! Fun fact: Jackie Chan did the Beast’s voice in the Chinese dubbed version of Beauty and the Beast!!

Yentl

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Ok, I know what you’re thinking…Yentl is a strange choice for Mulan Week. But think about it! A girl who wants something different out of her life, dresses as a man and challenges a culture’s perception on what women can do or should do or are capable of doing. Barbra’s Yentl and Ming-Na Wen’s Mulan share many themes and struggles. And hey…girl power to both of them! Give Yentl another watch!

She’s the Man

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And for something a little lighter than Yentl and even lighter than Mulan, hit up Amanda Bynes in She’s the Man. She wants to compete against the boys in soccer, but can’t. So what does she do? She dresses like a man, gets on the team and in the final moments…reveals that they all got their asses handed to them by a girl! Just like Mulan! (Ok, it’s a stretch, but I think it works! Come at me!)

#PrincessBootCamp – Ariel Week Inspo

Disney Princess Boot Camp Little Mermaid Week fitness inspiration nerd blog post

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This week’s playlist is full of songs you’d expect to be on the list like “Part of Your World,” “Under the Sea,” and of course “Kiss the Girl,” but you’ll also see a little Hunchback of Notre Dame on the list, some Pirates of the Caribbean and basically any song I could get my hands on that was about water, the ocean,  kissing and the Sea. Enjoy this music as you swim your way to better health this week!

  1. Hoist the Colours – Hans Zimmer
  2. Fathoms Below – The Little Mermaid Broadway Cast
  3. Water – Pentatonix
  4. The Ocean and the Sea – Wilderado
  5. Daughters of Triton – The Little Mermaid
  6. Part of Your World – Jodi Benson
  7. Out There – The Hunchback of Notre Dame
  8. Under the Sea – Samuel E. Wright
  9. Poor Unfortunate Souls – Pat Carroll
  10. Evil Woman – Electric Light Orchestra
  11. Caribbean Queen (No More Love on the Run) – Billy Ocean
  12. Nightswimming – R.E.M.
  13. Seaside – The Kooks
  14. Jump in the Pool – Friendly Fires
  15. By the Sea – Johnny Depp, Helena Bonham Carter
  16. Beaches – Moon Taxi
  17. One Step Closer – The Little Mermaid Broadway Cast
  18. Tenerife Sea – Ed Sheeran
  19. Rowing Song – Patty Griffin
  20. Rock the Boat – Aaliyah
  21. Kiss the Girl – Samuel E. Wright
  22. Kiss Me Slowly – Parachute
  23. Every Teardrop is a Waterfall – Coldplay
  24. Lost! – Coldplay
  25. Swim Until You Can’t See Land – Frightened Rabbit
  26. New Love – Gavin DeGraw
  27. We Found Love – Rihanna, Calvin Harris
  28. Marry Me – Train

Here’s a selection of movies to watch that will keep you swimming…

The Little Mermaid

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Obviously the movie that features this week’s Disney Princess is first up on the watch list. But as I’ve mentioned before, she is not my favorite Disney Princess by a long shot. Still, I do consider this a Disney classic from early Disney heydays. And the music comes in higher on my favorites list than Ariel herself. If you haven’t watched it in a long time, give it a look with grown up eyes. It’s tough to justify her falling in love at first sight, abandoning her God given body and family and making a deal with a sea witch to lose her voice for mere days in the presence of the man she loves. I guess I’ve gotten a little more cynical as I’ve grown up, but I just can’t give Ariel a pass on this one.

Splash

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SPLASH!! Classic 80’s movie right here featuring Daryl Hannah and Tom Hanks. This is the mermaid movie that beats all mermaid movies in my mind! A young boy (Tom Hanks) almost drowns off the coast of Cape Cod and is rescued by a mermaid. That boy grows up and is reunited with the mermaid who saved him as a kid, but she’s all grown up and has shiny new legs. He falls in love with her, blissfully unaware of the secret she keeps about her true origins. When an eccentric scientist (Eugene Levy) outs Madison to her one true love and to the rest of the city of New York, Allen (Hanks) will race to save her from the people who will experiment on her and treat her life a lab rat. Will she choose to remain on land or return to the sea where she belongs?

Aquamarine

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This mermaid movie is a fluffy, pink, teeny bopper romp that is pure fun and frivolity. Don’t look deeper than the surface. It’s cheesy and adorable, just accept! Chock full of the kind of fish out of water hijinks that includes, not being able to walk correctly with brand new human legs, falling down a lot, reacting inappropriately to normal human situations and phrases like “There’s something fishy about that girl.” My one small beef with the frothy comedy is that Aquamarine sets her sights on the boy of Emma Roberts’ dreams which breaks all kinds of Girl Codes. Just give that fish a different love interest, that’s all I’m saying!

Hook

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Another classic that deserves it’s place on all kinds of lists and makes this one due to the very limited use of mermaids and the fantastical nature of Neverland. Hook is a retelling of the beloved J.M. Barrie story Peter Pan. Only this time Peter (Robin Williams) is a middle aged lawyer who was left in the land of men and has forgotten who he truly is. When he ends up in Neverland to save his children from the evil clutches of the maniacal and strangely humorous Captain Hook (Dustin Hoffman) the Lost Boys will teach him who he truly is before he can have a chance to bring his family back. And…there are mermaids in one scene! 🙂

Peter Pan

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Same goes for the classic Disney animated version of Peter Pan. There are mermaids in Neverland so I used that as an excuse to put it on the list this week. This version is a faithful adaptation of the classic story. Peter meets Wendy, John and Michael. He brings them to Neverland. We meet the Lost Boys and Tiger Lily. Captain Hook is bad and there is a ticking crock who is looking for some Hook meat. It’s fun, it’s classic and oh yeah…occasional mermaid sightings!

Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides

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Look, I’m not saying this is the best of the Pirates’ movies. I’m not even saying it’s a very good movie. Jack Sparrow works best when he is helping the Turner Family (Pirates 5 is far more enjoyable!) What I’m saying is that mermaid tears are a necessary ingredient when in pursuit of the Fountain of Youth. And that is just what everyone is searching for in Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides. Jack Sparrow, Captain Barbossa and the dreaded Blackbeard are all in a race to drink from the cup that gives eternal youth along with the British Empire and the Spanish Armada. First…mermaid tears and a scene depicting mermaids as truly scary creatures from the deep. They sing you pretty songs, entice you to the edge of your boat and then drag you to a watery grave. Except for Syrena (Astrid Bergès-Frisbey), the mermaid that falls in love with the young cleric (Sam Caflin) who happens to be along for the ride. Not a great movie, but there are only so many mermaid films to work with here.

Blue Crush

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Which brings us to a decidedly un-mermaidy movie. Blue Crush has a special place in my heart. It came out when I was in college and fervently dreamed of running away to Hawaii and becoming a surfer girl. Ocean…strong, athletic females….love story…it works for Little Mermaid week and is still a stronger love story than The Little Mermaid’s! (Come @ me!) I still dream of being a surfer one day because of this movie, but it certainly is dated in the early 00’s and if you are coming to it with fresh eyes, don’t get too excited about it’s quality. You have been warned!

 

Do you have any movies you feel should make the list for Ariel Week? Let me know!

#PrincessBootCamp – Cinderella Week Inspo

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Movies and music are where I tend to draw the majority of my inspiration. And Disney is a treasure trove of both. Starting with music, here is my complete playlist for Cinderella Week available on Spotify! I used it for my stair runs and throughout the week to keep me thinking happy fairytale thoughts. Play from start to finish for a musical story telling or shuffle it up. Your choice!

 

There are plenty of Cinderella movies and adaptations out there to watch during Cinderella Week that will keep you in an Ella state of mind…

Here are my favorite ones:

Cinderella (1950)

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Obviously we have to start at the very beginning, a very good place to start! In 1950, Cinderella made her debut on the big screen as Disney second resident princess. And her tale has lasted decades! And while there are plenty of lovely remakes on this list, this classic telling will always hold a place in my heart.


Cinderella (2015)

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As far as adaptations go, this live action remake that came out in 2015 is absolute perfection. Lily James was just coming out of her Downton Abbey success and was primed for a great role! And she got it in Cinderella. With an accompanying prince in the form of Rob Stark himself (Richard Madden) playing the dashing and ever so handsome Kit. Where the cartoon glosses over the nuances of a relationship built in a night, the live action fills in the space beautifully and offers an extra chance encounter to get sparks flying. This deserves it’s place in the Disney vault! Though I can’t end this blurb without saying something about Cate Blanchett’s evil stepmother. She puts a shudder down your spine with just a look. The true mark of an excellent Disney villain!

Rogers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella (1965)

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Diving right in to the musicals, we have Roger + Hammerstein’s 1965 Cinderella featuring Leslie Ann Warren. This musical actually debuted on TV in 1957 with none other than Julie Andrews. This is not my favorite Cinderella musical adaptation (look to the next entry for that one) but it is enjoyable and the chemistry between Leslie Ann Warren and her Prince Charming, Stuart Damon is delightful!

Rogers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella (1997)

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Let’s first by talking about the year 1997. I was in the 8th grade and Whitney Houston was my idol! I had every Brandy CD and loved Seinfeld. This musical had everything I could ever want. It was cheesy as hell! There’s no way that Whoopi Goldberg + Victor Garber = Paolo Montalbán, but who cares when you’re an 8th grader with a love of all musical things. This movie caught me at the exact right time in my life and will continue to hold a place in my heart!

Ever After

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I love, love, love this more realistic telling of the Cinderella story. Drew Barrymore plays the poor, orphaned Danielle who has been living with her horrible step family since her father’s death. Angelica Houston nails the role of evil stepmother. And Dougray Scott plays the very charming prince. Her dress at the ball was a serious prom dress goal for me. This came out in 1998 when I was in the 9th grade.

The Glass Slipper

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The Glass Slipper is an adaptation that falls through the cracks for a lot of Cinderella fans. It stars Leslie Caron as a very different kind of Cinderella. She is much more of a tomboy who is very unhappy with her lot in life. She meets who she thinks is an apprentice in the palace, but who is in fact the prince. Given that Caron is an excellent dancer, there’s some great dance numbers in this one and Michael Wilding’s Prince Charles is…well…I know I keep saying they’re all charming, but they are and it’s sort of a requirement, isn’t it!

A Cinderella Story

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Oh Chad Michael Murray, you beautiful specimen. In 2004, Hilary Duff was in the midst of her Lizzie McGuire fame and Chad Michael Murray was smack dab in the middle of his One Tree Hill fame. Which made for the perfect pairing in this teen high school comedy about two students at either end of the popularity spectrum at school, falling in love through IM/text and never seeing each other’s faces. Until he asks her to meet him at the school dance at midnight. She shows up as Cinderella, he shows up as Prince Charming, but will he discover that it’s really the “Diner Girl” under all that glamor. Yep, I love this one too!

Cinderfella

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I’m pretty biased when it comes to Jerry Lewis movies. I was raised on them! And this adaptation of Cinderella in the form of Cinderfella is a favorite. Poor Fella is orphaned as Cinderella’s often are and left to the ministrations of terrible stepmother and stepbrothers. But he’s got a fairy godfather who’s gonna help him meet the princess. Lewis is an expert physical comedian. My favorite part in this movie is a dance scene he does in the kitchen. Love it!

Ella Enchanted

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Ella Enchanted was based on a book of the same name, so I get a very mixed reaction to this one from people. I happen to love it. Anne Hathaway plays Ella, a girl who was given the gift/curse of obedience by her fairy godmother when she was a baby. When her evil stepsister figures out her secret, she’ll use it against her. When Ella meets the handsome prince who she is determined not to like (but ends up totally liking), she’ll do all she can to save him from the consequences of her gift. This movie has a great cast: Minnie Driver, Hugh Dancy, Lucy Punch, Vivica Fox, Parminder Nagra, Eric Idle, Steve Coogan and the one and only Cary Elwes as the evil Edgar.

If the Shoe Fits

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Well, if you’ve never seen this one, you don’t even know what you’re missing. Rob Lowe plays a famous fashion designer, Francesco, who is looking for his perfect muse. Jennifer Grey plays an assistant with big dreams to design the shoes for his fashion shows. But she gets no notice from him till she tries on an enchanted pair of shoes that transform her into the perfect muse for Francesco and hey, a love interest too!!

A Cinderella Christmas

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This one has got Hallmark Channel Christmas movie written all over it, though it is an Ion TV original. I’ll let the blurb from the website speak for itself, “At a holiday masquerade ball, fledgling event planner Angie Wells and wealthy playboy Nicholas Karmichael, who needs to marry to retain his inheritance, meet and fall for each other anonymously. While Nicholas tries to locate the girl of his dreams, Angie must choose between pursuing her lifelong dream of running a business or following her heart.” This one has merit purely for the handsome Peter Porte who plays the wealthy playboy Nicholas.

Aladdin

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Aladdin is very much a Cinderella story. A poor boy of low circumstance has a magical companion who assists him in changing his appearance so he can go meet the beautiful princess. It’s far more in depth than the classic telling of Cinderella and the genie is by far, my favorite character in all Disney canon. But I added this one to the list for it’s Cinderella overtones and because the movie itself ranks high on my Disney list as well.

Sabrina (1954)

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Ah, Sabrina. Not exactly a Cinderella story, but the template is there. A simple chauffeur’s daughter falls in love with the youngest son of her father’s wealthy employer. She goes off to Paris where she is transformed from a gawky girl to a beautiful woman, there’s even a memorable dress involved. This one has a twist, because it isn’t the younger son who turns her head in the end.

Sabrina (1995)
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See the notes from the 1954 Hepburn/Bogart edition, because this is a faithful adaptation of that movie. Except it has the ever handsome Harrison Ford as Linus Huckabee and the transformative Julia Ormond as Sabrina. Greg Kinnear rounds out this cast as the younger brother who first steals Sabrina’s heart.

There are plenty of other Cinderella adaptations to choose from, but these are my favorites. Which is yours?

Having a Moment

I was recently described by someone as “busy…in a good way.” As in, always working, always going, always doing, always trying. I do think of that as a good thing. I like to stay busy. I like to think of new projects to try, new songs to write, new blogs to post, new Instagram challenges to complete, new workouts to do. Busy is a very good word to describe me.

Last night when I got home from my long, busy day, I looked up and the moon was so bright. The stars were so pretty. I felt compelled to lay down in my drive way and just stare up at the sky, listening to one of my Spotify playlists. I can’t tell you the last time I just looked up at the stars and thanked God that He made them for me to look up at.

There were days when I was living in New York City that I begged God for a chance to stare up at the stars. But the lights of the city blind us to how bright the stars can be. The moon isn’t quite as awe-inspiring when  you’re standing in the middle of Times Square. So after 8 years, I forgot to stop being busy and to look up.

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But last night I remembered. I couldn’t even take a good picture of what had my busy brain standing still. That gif I found is cool, but it’s not what I was looking at. My phone couldn’t accurately capture the beauty of the moment. We live in such a technologically advanced age and still, transcendental moments like that can’t truly be shared with a photograph. There’s something about the experience that just can’t be translated by pixels.

Do you know all the things you miss when you don’t stand still for a moment? Florida is hot and in May, well, it’s not the hottest it can get, but it can be pretty sweat inducing. But at 10pm  when you’re not moving a muscle and you are lying on the ground watching stars, you can feel a breeze. I actually got a little chilly on a May night in Florida. I could smell Jasmine that has overtaken the fence and I could hear planes as they flew by, taking people to destinations that I dream of seeing one day. As the people on those planes slept on their night flight, I watched them and heard them and smelled jasmine and felt the breeze.

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When I was little, I used to think the crescent moon was a completely different moon from the big round one. Of course, as I got older, I learned about lunar cycles and how the light of the moon changes with seasons and ocean tides. And how the crescent and the full moon are the same moon. They just look a little different.

I laid there contemplating how when you watch clouds, you actually have something to watch because clouds change shape as they move through the sky, but stars are constant. They sit proudly in the night sky. They don’t have anything to prove. They don’t need to entertain.

I laid there for 30+ minutes and walked away with probably as many bug bites on my arms and legs, because that’s what happens when you lie on the ground feeling breezes and smelling jasmine and watching planes and contemplating stars. You don’t even realize you’re being bitten, because the beauty of the moment outweighs the pain.You don’t care because something bigger is happening. You have become a part of something bigger. In that moment you aren’t just a girl lying on concrete, staring at the stars…you are a Queen of Narnia. You know the path is before you and the world is behind. You have transcended even just for a moment to be a part of something good and true and something you don’t even understand because you are a soda can and God is the ocean (thanks Francis Chan.)

I’m sad the moment ended, but moments have to come to an end. That’s the nature of moments. That always makes me think of the Sondheim musical “Into the Woods.” My second favorite musical of all time. The baker’s wife has a moment in the woods with Cinderella’s prince and after it’s over she wonders…”What was that?” Moments leave us wondering why we can’t have more of them. But then she sings some of my favorite lyrics in Broadway history…

“Oh, if life were made of moment,

Even now and then a bad one-!

But if life were only moments,

Then you’d never know you had one.”

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#NerdsLove

February is the month of love. Which often illicits a “Yuck” and an eye roll from me. Instead of my usual “down with love” attitude, I decided instead to share the things I love with my instapeeps. And the best part is that a bunch of you joined my challenge and shared the things you loved with me! Check out the hashtag #NerdsLove for more from everyone and each individual hashtag below for more specific expressions of love.

Me? I love it all! @NerdintheSand
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#NerdsLoveStarWars
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#NerdsLoveLaughing
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#NerdsloveGaming
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#NerdsloveAnimals
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#NerdsLoveZombies
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#NerdsloveJaneAusten
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#NerdsloveSports
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#NerdsloveStarTrek
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#NerdsLovePizza
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#NerdsLoveFashion
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#NerdsloveBuffy
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#NerdsloveDeadpool
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#NerdsloveMarvel
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#NerdsloveLOVE
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#NerdslovePresidents
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#NerdsloveFitness
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#NerdsloveConventions
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#NerdsloveDancing
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#NerdsloveTravel
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#NerdsloveSand
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#NerdsloveFamily
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#NerdsloveMondays
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#NerdsloveSocial
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#NerdsloveKiddos
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#NerdsloveFriends
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#NerdsloveHarryPotter
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#NerdsloveDisney
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#NerdsloveMusic
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#NerdsloveSpring
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It’s never too late to share what you love. The hashtag #Nerdslove is not going anywhere! Do you love something? Share it!
We’re all nerdy for something.