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Monster Mania: Disney’s “Monsters University” offers a cartoony campus and animated academics. PDF Print E-mail
Written by Stephanie Finnegan   
Wednesday, 19 June 2013 07:55

Perfectly timed to coincide with summer vacation—where families with kids can go out more frequently and stay up later—comes Disney/Pixar’s newest comedy installment, “Monsters University.” Like George Lucas and his “Star Wars” franchise, which ran its course and then started to travel into prequel territory, “Monsters University,” or “MU,” traces the early days of Sulley and Mike Wazowski before they became laborers at the Monsters, Inc., scream-inducing factory.

 

 
A True-Blue Zoo: Hansa can turn your home into a fabulous, veritable safari. PDF Print E-mail
Written by Stephanie Finnegan   
Monday, 03 June 2013 08:08

This past weekend I went to the Philadelphia Zoo with my family and my son’s classmate’s family. It was our first outing together as a group, and I figured (rightly) that a stroll through a beautifully landscaped park, with lots of exotic animals to enjoy and interact with, would be an icebreaker. Yep, it’s one thing to see one another at a school fund-raiser or a tri-monthly PTA meeting, but it’s another thing to spend time together as “civilians.”

 
Hobbit-y Ever After: Teddies take on the Lord of the Ring, the Hobbit, and other wizardly designs. PDF Print E-mail
Written by Stephanie Finnegan   
Friday, 17 May 2013 10:03

Children live a great deal of their lives wrapped up in wonder and fantasy. For us grown-ups, we only allow ourselves an occasional dip into the pool of imagination and “let’s pretend.” In my household, my two kids are always breaking into spontaneous live-action games inspired by Percy Jackson (aka, “The Lightning Thief”), “Star Wars,” Harry Potter, and “iCarly.” (They are an eclectic duo.) Recently, they’ve been adding backyard epics influenced by “The Lord of the Rings” and now “The Hobbit.”

 
Viva la France: A salute to baguettes, beignets, berets, and bears! PDF Print E-mail
Written by Stephanie Finnegan   
Friday, 03 May 2013 08:08

Ooooh, la la! My good friend, Joan, just mentioned to me how she shall be jetting off to Paris for a two-week vacation at a flat (“apartment” for us Yanks), nestled at the foot of the Eiffel Tower. I must admit, if it were anybody else, I might be “vert” (green) with envy and “un peu” (a little) jealous. Because it’s Joan, and she’s such a good “amie” (friend), I am nothing but “heureuse” (happy). And, there, my dear readers, is my “coup d’essai” (first foray) into a bilingual blog!

 
Manly Magic? My Little Ponies gallop over rainbows and onto the soft-toy radar screen. PDF Print E-mail
Written by Stephanie Finnegan   
Friday, 19 April 2013 08:59

I wish I lived in a world permanently filled with sun-dappled rainbows and fluffy, puffy, floating clouds. It would be fabulous to emerge through my front door and be greeted by cavorting Care Bears and sweet, smiling, somersaulting Snuggles (the laundry detergent) teddy bear as well. Imagine strolling through a summer’s day, surrounded by gamboling woodland critters and flitting, fluttering sky dwellers. Magic!

 
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