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Archives for October 2017

Goodbye Christopher Robin- a movie review

“I think we dream so we don’t have to be apart for so long. If we’re in each other’s dreams, we can be together all the time.” A. A. Milne, Winnie the Pooh.

Goodbye Christopher Robin

Domhnall Gleeson as in the film GOODBYE CHRISTOPHER ROBIN. Photo by David Appleby. © 2017 Fox Searchlight Pictures

If you read the Winnie the Pooh stories as a child, or read them to your own children, then you are like millions around the world for generations. Winnie the Pooh is considered the world’s most beloved children’s story. And it’s no wonder since it’s precious and delightful. But it also has a sad and bittersweet origin.

Domhnall Gleeson and Will Tilston in the film GOODBYE CHRISTOPHER ROBIN. Photo by David Appleby. © 2017 Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation All Rights Reserved

A.A. Milne the author and creator of the beloved bear, was a father of an actual boy named Christopher Robin. Something that I didn’t know until now!

The movie, Goodbye Christopher Robin, by Fox Searchlight Pictures, is the story of Milne and how the Winnie The Pooh books came to be. But it’s also a story on fatherhood, relationships, growing up, and the destruction of war on its survivors.

GOODBYE CHRISTOPHER ROBIN, Twentieth Century Fox 2017

A couple of things to mention; this picture is not really for children. Honestly, it’s a little bit dark and sad. Plus it might be embarrassing to have your children watch you bawling your eyes out when it pulls on your heart strings. Something that might have happened to me, maybe.

I’m a sucker for a British period film. I can name all the Merchant Ivory movies of the 80s and 90s and I will forever love any story set in an English countryside. It could be the British girl in me from my dad’s side. He grew up in the English countryside during World War 2, so I feel the pull of my Anglo roots with these stories.

Goodbye Christopher Robin is set after World War 1. Milne a playwright but sent to war to fight for England, comes home from battle with emotional scars and anguish. Shell shock, or PTSD as we know it now, was definitely misunderstood in those days. He and his wife Daphne live in London. His emotional trauma from the horrors of war and being at the front cripple his writing abilities. He wants to write, but can’t figure out how to share words that are useful and important. He decides a break from the loud clamor of the city would be good for his mental and emotional health and moves them and their son Christopher, and nanny Olive, to the countryside of Sussex.

Will Tilston, Margot Robbie and Kelly Macdonald in the film GOODBYE CHRISTOPHER ROBIN. Photo by David Appleby. © 2017 Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation All Rights Reserved

It’s clear that the ‘English stiff upper lip’ syndrome is apparent in this family. It’s that kind of dynamic where the nanny does more the job of raising the youngster and the parents barely utter an I Love You or give a hug. Something those British are famous for. As Americans we’ve heard of this type of behavior from the Royal Family. But honestly, it’s something my father can tell you about firsthand. There was no nanny for him, but also no hugs. Sad, I know.

While Alan spends time with his son, he partners with his war buddy and fellow illustrator (E.H. Shepard) to watch his son play with his stuffed bear. We see the pages of his books brought to life in the images of little Christopher and his play time. It’s charming and delightful to see the origins of Piglet and Eeyore. But soon we see that the role of Christopher Robin the boy, is overshadowed by Christopher Robin the character in the books. As the stories become a success, he’s paraded around to tea parties, dignitaries and ceremonies. The British people of the 1920s adored not only the stories, but were fascinated with little Christopher. He was by far a celebrity of Kardashian standards, and clearly uncomfortable with the fame that went with it.

Goodbye Christopher Robin

Will Tilston in the film GOODBYE CHRISTOPHER ROBIN. Photo by Ben Smithard. © 2017 Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation All Rights Reserved

While the people of post war-torn England and Europe embraced the adventures of the Hundred Acre Wood, the Milne family seemed to lose their compass of how to separate celebrity and family life.

As Christopher becomes disenchanted with their lifestyle, and eventually must grow up like boys his age of that time, in a boarding school, we see the effects of what stardom can do to a young person. Mostly how he just yearns for his parents, especially his father’s attention.

Domhnall Gleeson, Will Tilston and Margot Robbie in the film GOODBYE CHRISTOPHER ROBIN. Photo by David Appleby. © 2017 Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation All Rights Reserved

The movie is gorgeous, thought provoking and surprises you with a punch in the gut and then pulls your heart to the brim of happiness. Tears flowed, both happy and sad while I watched. It was an unexpected experience I will admit. What resonates so deeply is that while Milne was suffering mentally and emotionally, he was giving the world this salve of comfort through his stories about a little boy and his bear.

Goodbye Christopher Robin,Twentieth Century Fox 2017

If you’ve quoted Winnie the Pooh, then you know his philosophy is very astute for just a stuffed bear. I encourage you to check out Goodbye Christopher Robin so you can feel for yourself the heart and mind of what those stories are made of.

 

 

 

October is Bake It Happen for Breast Cancer

If you met me 10 years ago you would have seen a whole bunch of pink stuff I’d be buying to support Breast Cancer Awareness. Well times have changed and I want to see more than awareness. I want research. I want a cure. Soon I will lose my 3rd friend to Metastic Breast Cancer. Not to mention knowing so many others that have died too or have received earth shattering diagnoses; all while we buy pink shoe laces or eat yogurt thinking that we’re helping.

Since knowing more about what Metastatic Breast Cancer means for the 40,000 women that will die this year from it, and knowing that there just honestly isn’t that much money put into research compared to marketing and CEO salaries from the giant pink machines, I am forever committed to not being pink washed.

This month I am participating in #BakeItHappen to raise money for Metastatic Breast Cancer (MBC) research that can actually save lives. And you can help too! It’s as simple as baking and sharing your results on social media.

Bake It Happen started by two sisters that had lost their mom to MBC. The campaign was first introduced on Shari’s blog My Judy the Foodie, which has an incredibly loyal following, and is dedicated to her mom and her amazing recipes. In its first year, the campaign was shared by influential parenting and food bloggers across the country who lent their support and digital influence to the fundraising effort. Over time, thousands of supporters across the country began to pass on Judy’s culinary legacy and hope for a cure. After five years, the Bake it Happen campaign achieved its goal: to build the baking campaign into a national fundraising movement where supporters would bake and share Judy’s recipes or donate to the cause. To date, the Bake it Happen campaign has raised over $60,000 for breast cancer research and this year, Shari and Stacy are determined to raise even more.

This year, Bake It Happen will be donating all of the funds raised by its fundraising efforts to The Cancer Couch Foundation – a non-profit organization founded by Dr. Rebecca Timlin-Scalera (an amazing woman who has also been diagnosed with Stage IV breast cancer). Rebecca is a neuropsychologist who, upon diagnosis, quit her private practice to dedicate ALL of her time to raising as much money as she can to fund metastatic breast cancer research.  The Cancer Couch Foundation, in just the first six  months, raised over $500k for cutting edge metastatic breast cancer research at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. The Cancer Couch Foundation is privately funded allowing 100% of donations and event proceeds to go directly to these carefully chosen research projects to accelerate treatment for MBC. Furthermore, every single dollar is matched and this year they are on track to put 1 million dollars toward this life saving, critical research.

“I will never forget what it felt like to have been initially diagnosed at Stage 4, knowing there is no cure, and I will not leave behind those who are still living with this,” commented Founder Rebecca Timlin-Scalera, PhD.

When I mentioned that soon I will lose my third friend to MBC, I was talking about my friend Beth. She’s a mom of two kids, a wife and a fierce co-founder and advocate of MetUp, a non-profit dedicated to changing the landscape of how we see breast cancer and the people that are dying from it. I am so proud of Beth and all her work.

Right now she is dealing with the shitty effects of brain radiation to keep the mets in her brain from killing her before Christmas. Beth doesn’t sugar coat. Beth is very forthcoming about what her future is. And frankly, she’s pissed she won’t be there for her kids and husband. But her legacy will be that of hopefully saving other women, and men, too.

I got to take Beth to the hospital for her platelets infusion yesterday. Her platelet count is devastatingly low and radiation can’t be done when it’s so scant. So she gets an infusion to fortify herself before her radiation sessions. It takes a couple of hours. I took my #BakeItHappen Pumpkin Oatmeal Chip Cookies to her when I got to her house. This girl likes her baked goods!

If you want the recipe, go ahead and check out the link to BakeItHappen.net.

They were super easy. Did I mention they’re pumpkin? Uhm, hello? It’s October. No brainer!

Pumpkin Oatmeal Cookies

Ingredients are simple. And hey, maybe even, healthy? Sure.

Bake It Happen Pumpkin Oatmeal Cookies

Fresh out of the oven. Watch out. The family will gobble these up!

 

Cult of Perfect Motherhood

Beth and her cookies! I love her face!

I hope I’ve inspired you to do some baking. And maybe I inspired you to do some donating and checking out the organizations I listed. Thank you!