Movie Review: Spirit Untamed

Spirit Untamed
Be fearless and stay wild

Spirit Untamed heads to a theater near you Friday, June 4 and I can’t recommend it enough.

DreamWorks takes you on an epic adventure in their new animated film Spirit Untamed. After the tragic loss of her mother Lucky Prescott finds herself growing up with her wealthy grandfather and aunt. A few “mishaps” and little miss Lucky finds herself and her aunt Cora on a train to stay with Lucky’s dad (Cora’s brother) for the summer.

Lucky becomes friends with local girls Abigail Stone and Pru Granger. Both girls ride horses like a boss, and that is what first catches Lucky’s attention. At Pru’s families barn Lucky is not impressed with a heartless horse wrangler, and decided to try and get Spirit (named for all the “spirit” he has) to get used to her. Pru and Abigail give Lucky all the tips that they know to get the horse comfortable.

Little did Pru and Abigail know that this would result in an unforgettable adventure where Lucky needs to learn how to trust Spirit if she wants to survive the adventure. The girls fearlessly ride over the sides of mountains, battle bad guys, and teach every female out there that you can do anything you set your mind to.

DreamWorks Spirit Untamed is packed with adventure, strength, confidence, trust and so much more. When it ended I started the movie again—yes it’s that good!

Check out Spirit Untamed when it hits theaters Friday, June 4th.

Spirit Untamed Synopsis

An epic adventure about a headstrong girl longing for a place to belong who discovers a kindred spirit when her life intersects with a wild horse, Spirit Untamed is the next chapter in the beloved story from DreamWorks Animation.

Lucky Prescott (Isabela Merced, Dora and the Lost City of Gold) never really knew her late mother, Milagro Navarro (Eiza González, Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw), a fearless horse-riding stunt performer from Miradero, a small town on the edge of the wide-open frontier.

Like her mother, Lucky isn’t exactly a fan of rules and restrictions, which has caused her Aunt Cora (Academy Award® winner Julianne Moore) no small amount of worry. Lucky has grown up in an East Coast city under Cora’s watchful eye, but when Lucky presses her own luck with one too many risky escapades, Cora picks up stakes and moves them both back with Lucky’s father, Jim (Oscar® nominee Jake Gyllenhaal), in Miradero.

Lucky is decidedly unimpressed with the sleepy little town. She has a change of heart when she meets Spirit, a wild Mustang who shares her independent streak, and befriends two local horseback riders, Abigail Stone (Mckenna Grace, Captain Marvel) and Pru Granger (Marsai Martin, Little). Pru’s father, stable owner Al Granger (Emmy winner Andre Braugher, Fox’s Brooklyn Nine-Nine), is the best friend of Lucky’s father.

When a heartless horse wrangler (Emmy nominee Walton Goggins, FX’s Justified) and his team plan to capture Spirit and his herd and auction them off to a life of captivity and hard labor, Lucky enlists her new friends and bravely embarks on the adventure of a lifetime to rescue the horse who has given her freedom and a sense of purpose, and has helped Lucky discover a connection to her mother’s legacy and to her Mexican heritage that she never expected.

Spirit Untamed is the next chapter in DreamWorks Animation’s beloved franchise that began with the 2002 Oscar-nominated film Spirit: Stallion of Cimarron and includes an Emmy-winning TV series. The film is directed by Elaine Bogan (Netflix and DreamWorks Animation Television’s Trollhunters: Tales of Arcadia) and is produced by Karen Foster (co-producer, How to Train Your Dragon). The film’s co-director is Ennio Torresan (head of story, The Boss Baby), and the film’s score is by composer Amie Doherty (Amazon’s Undone, DreamWorks Animation’s Marooned).

Cast: Isabela Merced, Julianne Moore, Jake Gyllenhaal, Marsai Martin, Mckenna Grace, Walton Goggins, Andre Braugher and Eiza González

Director: Elaine Bogan

Producer: Karen Foster

30 Things to do in June

And in the blink of an eye, we’re welcoming warmer weather, sunny days at the beach, water activities, spontaneous trips, and sunsets with open arms. To kick off the new month, I am sharing 30 things you can do in June.

  1. Make you sure have a full take of propane, grilling season has begun! Pineapple and veggie kabobs are on repeat over here.
  2. Grab some ice cream from a local shop.
  3. Today is World Bicycle Day! Grab your bike and go for a ride at your local state or metro park.
  4. Happy National Cheese Day! Put your skills to the test and create an epic charcuterie board, or a low-key charcuterie board for dinner tonight.
  5. It’s National Trails Day. Why not venture outside and go for a hike on a new trail?
  6. Flowers are blooming and produce is growing, head to a local farmers market and grab some goodies.
  7. Get out on the water and kayak, paddleboard, or canoe.
  8. Give your besties some love today, it’s National Best Friends Day! Send them a little snail mail, drop off a gift on their porch anything that works to show some love and appreciation today.
  9. Drive-in movies are still going strong, and one of my favorite ways to enjoy a flick. Don’t forget to pack a bunch of snacks.
  10. Have a picnic in the park. You can go traditional with sandwiches or get creative with a charcuterie board.
  11. Get your flippy flops out and celebrate National Flip Flop Day. Or go grab a new pair, because who doesn’t love cute new shoes?
  12. Plan a camping trip. I look for campgrounds that are close to water sport rental places and have good hiking.
  13. Catch a sunset on the beach.
  14. Visit your local zoo, or skip town and check out a different zoo. I am excited to see the new polar bear at the Detroit Zoo.
  15. Make homemade popsicles.
  16. Hit the road for a day trip somewhere new. Bonus boats if you make it to the lake.
  17. Find a new you trail and go for a hike.
  18. Drop that bobber in the water, and watch it go up down as you wait to catch a fish on Go Fishing Day!
  19. Go horseback riding.
  20. Celebrate, the first day of summer has arrived. Take a trip to the beach or rent a cute paddle boat at a metro park (that’s my plan). Just get out and enjoy those summer vibes.
  21. Give an outdoor workout a try.
  22. Have a bonfire, and make s’mores.
  23. Grab brunch from a restaurant you’ve never been to before.
  24. Go berry picking.
  25. Now that things are opening back up, it’s time to get back to the ballpark and root for your favorite team.
  26. Spend the day being a tourist in your city.
  27. Get up early and watch the sunrise.
  28. Do something you haven’t done before—go ziplining, take a hot air balloon ride, go sky diving, surf, kayak, paddleboard…the possibilities are endless.
  29. Lounge in a tube and float down a lazy river.
  30. Build a sandcastle.

How To Make a S’mores Charcuterie Board

s'more charcuterie board
s'mores charcuterie board

You thought cheese boards were good, but then came dessert boards, themed board—and you swoon. Just when you thought food boards had peaked, i’m here to bring you something even better—s’mores boards. That’s right, there’s no better way to enjoy s’mores and a fire than with a s’mores charcuterie board.

How to make a s’mores charcuterie board

  1. Make a list of everything you want on the board and head to the grocery store.
    Pro Tip: Add things you like. The possibilities of what you can add to a s’mores charcuterie board are endless.
  2. Pick your board, plate, platter—or anything that is relatively flat.
  3. Place your graham crackers/cookies, chocolate, marshmallow and anything else you’d like onto your board. If you’d like to design the s’mores board with minimum effort, make a pile of items in one section of the board and try to mirror it on the other side of the board with something of similar color. For example a pile of graham crackers on one side and a dish of peanut butter on the other.
    Pro Tip: I always start with the largest items first—graham crackers, anything in cups and fill in with everything else from there.
  4. The board is meant to be fun so let your imagination run wild—especially when you’re making your own s’more.
s'mores charcuterie board

What can you put on your s’mores charcuterie board?

Remember the possibilities are endless, get creative, try new things. Below you will find some of my s’mores dessert board favorite additions:

  1. Graham crackers: original, cinnamon, chocolate
  2. Chocolate bars: from traditional Hershey bars to gourmet chocolate the choice is yours. I like to include dark, milk, cookies+cream, white chocolate
  3. Marshmallows: original or gourmet, marshmallow brands have really stepped up their game
  4. Peanut butter cups (traditional and white chocolate)
  5. Fruit: I love the addition of strawberries
  6. Peanut butter
  7. Cookies: fudge stripe, chocolate chip, Girl Scout Cookies, Oreo—go nuts in your local groceries cookie aisle!

Movie Review: Finding You

Finding You Movie Review

Finding You hits theaters this Friday (May 13, 2021)

Finding You is a rom-com filled with beautiful scenery, an unexpected romance, and an adventure of a lifetime with splashes of drama, death, cancer, and of course the price of being a celebrity thrown into the mix. As someone who loves rom-coms in recent years, there hasn’t been one that I have loved as much as Finding You.

Finley (Rose Reid) is an aspiring violinist who completely botched her biggest audition ever, opts to take a semester abroad in the small Irish village where her big brother once spent his own magical season. Beckett (Jedidiah Goodacre) is a Hollywood “bad boy” who is growing weary of fame. When fate seats them together on a cross-continental flight, Finley is unamused by his rather cocky attitude.

Finley is staying with the same host family (the Callaghans) as her brother did previously, but now they own a B&B (where Finley and Beckett will reconnect) and are still working out the kinks—such as using potholders to remove something from the oven. Even though the Callaghans daughter Emma (Saoirse-Monica Jackson) is not meant to be the star of the movie, she is for me. Her spunky, unique personality will leave you laughing.

Finley finds herself plunged into small-town life, where she learns of Emma’s teen troubles, helps the Callaghans run the B&B, gets assigned a grumpy older woman (Vanessa Redgrave) to read books and spend time with at a nursing home, involves herself in an investigation of decades-old town gossip, searches for a cross her brother sketched in a book and even winds up getting a regular spot playing her violin thanks to an unlikely mentor who is typically passed out behind the town’s pub.

Finding You is a movie that will leave you laughing, saying “awww” and shedding a couple of tears. Finding You is one of those movies that I could watch over and over again. My mum even texted me and said “That movie was really good!”

Finding You hits theaters this Friday (May 14, 2021) and if you’re a fan of laughing, smiling, adventure, beautiful scenery, love then Finding You is a must-see for you.

Synopsis of Finding You

FINDING YOU is an inspirational romantic drama full of heart and humor about finding the strength to be true to oneself. After an ill-fated audition at a prestigious New York music conservatory, violinist Finley Sinclair (Rose Reid) travels to an Irish coastal village to begin her semester studying abroad. At the B&B run by her host family, she encounters gregarious and persistent heartthrob movie star Beckett Rush (Jedidiah Goodacre), who is there to film another installment of his medieval fantasy-adventure franchise. As romance sparks between the unlikely pair, Beckett ignites a journey of discovery for Finley that transforms her heart, her music, and her outlook on life. In turn, Finley emboldens Beckett to reach beyond his teen-idol image and pursue his true passion. But when forces surrounding Beckett’s stardom threaten to crush their dreams, Finley must decide what she is willing to risk for love. Starring Rose Reid, Jedidiah Goodacre, Katherine McNamara, Patrick Bergin, Saoirse-Monica Jackson, with Tom Everett Scott, and Vanessa Redgrave. Directed and written by Brian Baugh.
(Roadside Attractions)

Rated PG

How to make granola (without oil)

I’ve always been a big fan of granola, but I don’t like all the added calories of excess oil that typically comes with store bought granola. I love granola in smoothie bowls, on top of applesauce (especially when camping), and hit the kitchen recently to create my own granola. Let me tell you, the results were even better than I thought they were going to be. After trying this recipe you’ll see why oil isn’t even needed—plus you’ll be addicted.

What to serve with granola?

Granola is one of my favorite on-the-go snacks. I used to keep individual applesauce and granola in a container at my desk for a mid-day snack. I also always bring that same snack with me whenever I go backpacking or hiking. It just makes for a simple and delicious breakfast or snack. Below are some great ways to enjoy granola.
1. Serve over applesauce with dried berries on top.
2. Or over yogurt and top with fresh berries.
3. Granola makes a delicious addition to grilled fruit with a drizzle of honey.
4. Add some granola to a smoothie or acai bowl.
5. Eat it like cereal with milk or non-dairy milk.
6. Serve over ice cream.
7. Add some peanut butter to apple slices or bananas and sprinkle a little granola on top.

Homemade Granola (without oil)

4 cups rolled old fashioned oats
3/4-1 cup total of mix-ins (I used a variety of almonds, hemp hearts and pumpkin seeds)
1/2 cup packed light-brown sugar
1/4 cup + 2 Tablespoons maple syrup (or honey for clusters)
2 tablespoons water
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1.5 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees F.
2. In a large mixing bowl toss together oats and your mix-ins—set aside. Note: if you want to add dried fruit wait until it’s done cooking to add.
3. In a medium saucepan, combine brown sugar, maple syrup (or honey), water, cinnamon and salt.
4. Bring mixture to a boil, stirring frequently.
5. Allow to boil for 1 minute, mixing constantly.
6. Remove from heat.
7. Stir in vanilla and baking soda, whisk until foamy.
8. Carefully pour hot sugar mixture over your oat mixture and toss to evenly coat.
9. Spread mixture into an even layer on a parchment paper lined rimmed baking sheet.
10. Bake in preheated oven for 35-45 minutes—until lightly golden brown. Remove from oven twice during baking to toss.
11. Once you remove from the oven you can add 1 cup dried fruit and toss together.
12. Allow to completely cool before storing in an airtight container.
13. Enjoy.