2018 resolution – ‘Less judgement and more nuts’ ‘A Nut Job 2, Nutty by Nature’.What can go wrong is what makes this film so right.

 

2018 is finally here! I couldn’t be more excited. I have just come back from 4 glorious days in Sydney, catching up with old friends, sailing, swimming and sleeping on Sydney Harbour –  afternoons dozing in a sea breeze with champagne lips – the best! Then doing it all again!

There are so many new things I am excited to dive into in 2018. I haven’t made any resolutions only that I’m not going to overthink too much and I’m just going to get out of my own way and enjoy all I have, a bit like the characters here in  Nut Job 2, Nutty by Nature,  my first 2018 movie review, published for Go Movies.

Enjoy! Simmon X @theloveauthentic

Cal Brunker wanted to make A Nut Job 2, Nutty by Nature, bigger and more fun so he took the most loved elements of the first movie and mixes nuts, drama and the deft flick of an artist’s eye to bring to life a little band of insurgent parkland animals, a corrupt greedy human oppressor -and turn it into a visually stunning action packed sequel.

 Stuffed on a fast food supply of nuts from the abandoned basement of Nibbler’s Nut Shop, Surly and his animal friends Andie (Katherine Heigl), stray pug Precious (Maya Rudolph) Buddy (Tom Kenn) live happy, lazy and fat in nut luxury without a survival worry in the world.

Nut feasts of every kind are just one furry paw breath away for the hunter gatherers. But their lifestyle of easy pickings ends explosively one night as the nut shop comes tumbling down in a gas explosion.

Unbeknownst to the animals their survival problems are just beginning.

Surly discovers that the local Mayor, a corrupt self-serving meanie Mayor Muldoon (Bobby Moynihan), plans to get rich by bulldozing their beloved Liberty Park and ripping it apart turning it into a hellish carnival ground full of decrepit rides bought on the cheap.

The animals strike back when they team up with some muscle in the adorable fluff ball form of a tough city mouse and Kung Fu master Mr. Feng and his army of displaced mice. Mr Feng has one outstanding flaw, he absolutely loses it when you call him cute.

Mayor Muldoon brutally enlists pest exterminators to eliminate Surly and his friends. Mayor Muldoon packs a pint-sized weapon of his own, his daughter Heather – an armed brat with psychopathic urges, a tranquillizer gun and itching trigger finger.

Heather delights in doing horribly wrong things to animals if she can just get her hands on them.

All appears lost as the animal’s face hunger, homelessness and destruction by a predator they are not equipped to battle

What can go wrong is what makes this film so right for its target audience.

A simple movie with big themes: inclusion, diversity, unity, purpose and quest and we, we’re cheering the little guy all the way.

Cal Brunker injects the drama with ever higher stakes with the completely unexpected plot twist of my favourite character, Surly’s best friend a non-speaking rescue rat named Buddy (Tom Kenny).

In his scraggly body Buddy the silent heroic outsider captured my heart as he faced off against the destructive power of corrupt human greed.

Nut Job 2, Nutty by Nature is a thrilling ride with unexpected plot twists.  At one moment I sat misty eyed with shock in the cinema with my 11-year-old daughter, My thought at that moment was, ‘this can’t happen in a kid’s movie!’

As I watched this movie with my daughter I was given the gift of escaping into the movie with the eyes of a child.

My daughter loved A Nut Job 2, Nutty by Nature.

The Nut Job 2 draws you into an enormous canvas of animated movie magic. There is enough colour breathing escapism, relentless slapstick smiling animal chaos and rocket fueled action married with characters we care about that makes Nut Job 2 a perfect school holiday movie.

The Nut Job 2: Nutty By NatureDirector and Co-Writer: Cal Brunker

Producer and Co-Writer: Bob Barlen

Screenwriters: Scott Bindley, Cal Brunker, Bob Barlen

Producers: Harry Linden, Jongsoo Kim, Youngki Lee, Li Li Ma, Jonghan Kim, Bob Barlen

Starring: Will Arnett, Maya Rudolph, Katherine Heigl, Jackie Chan, Bobby Moynihan, Gabriel Iglesias, Bobby Cannavale, Jeff Dunham, Peter Stormare and Isabela Moner.

Rated: G

 

Images not owned by theloveauthentic and are used for promotional or illustrative purposes and their copyright remains the property of the original owner.

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A Guest Contributor – Beauty secrets – Tips and Tricks of a Cross-dressing Beauty Queen

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As a 50-year-young woman I am excited to share a beauty secret, one I have known for 30 years!

The beauty secret is my friend Jas.

Jas is and has been my mirror and my accomplice in keeping it ‘pretty’ when life was hard and my mirror and accomplice when life was full of fantastically horrible ideas and adventures.

I met Jas when he was 15 as he sauntered in to take on the position of apprentice chef in an Art Deco Hotel in Auckland. At the time I lived upstairs with my then boyfriend, one of the Hotel’s two Managers.

Jas and I became instant friends, downstairs in the Hotel kitchen over shared sneaked-breakfasts of still-warm, metre-long-crusty-bread-sticks, halved, smeared with lashings of butter, sliced hot eggs, crusted in rock salt, garnished with globs of freshly made hollandaise – deeelicious!

 

Daz xxx

Every girl or 50-year-old woman should hang out with or at least have one of these friends in her world, one of these friends who helps her to look her absolute best.

In his opinion what he thinks is your absolute best may differ from yours.

He convinced me once to don Black hot pants, a madonna Vogue bra, and a blonde bobbed wig with thigh high suede boots for a club night out in Melbourne but equally he loved me wearing red suede flat shoes, no make up, my natural curly hair and a simple tee shirt dress out to club nights as well.

There is safety in having a wonderful man like this growing up, partying in clubs – you never have to worry about any mistaken sexual signals.

He is gay and I am straight. 

Fun times, simple.

Jas knows how to dress as a woman, so he gets it, he gets what we need to do to get pretty, to get ready to go out.

He loves me being and feeling my best and he has amazing beauty tips – amazing beauty tips, I never thought of, that work!

 

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This is Miss Gay Venezuela 2015 receiving her Beauty Queen crown. Beautiful.

 

So I asked Jas to write a piece here for me and for you all – his secret little nips and tucks that make us look our absolute best … natural with a little help.

Fun times, fun secrets.

Like the transformative wonders of a rolled pair of socks for your cleavage or his new tip, the restorative features of ‘fennel tea’.

He sent me an early morning confirmation email today

Ok sexy tits,

   ‘Just came up with an idea to centre my first piece around, so now that I have a starting point, I most likely will start filling in the blanks latter today’. 

Grab your seats and your socks, because he has agreed to share!

What tips and tricks do you have? Do you have a best friend like Jas in your life?

I’d love to hear!

 

 

My Mumma said, you are enough. ( Fast Non-Fiction, a 1 minute read)

 

Screen Shot 2017-06-07 at 1.55.20 pmThe irony of freelance writing and pursuing time for creative fiction.

It’s crazy, the busier my freelance writing world becomes, the more productive I am with my own fiction work. Go figure! But backstage my unworthiness gremlin slips in and tells me I cannot pursue busy success and write with a true voice at the same time.

Since October 2016 I have been freelance writing for Australian Fashion House, Swish Plus Size Fashion  Writing for others keeps me accountable and I love it.

So after a work period of crazy busyness and accepting some incredible writing opportunities  I forgot to slow down, get still and I slid off balance, just like the little gremlin prophecised.

I was tired and luckily I didn’t fall back on patterns of my past. I no longer sucked down my feeling by escaping into food or wine or more activity, in moments like this I did what I do now – I called my mum in New Zealand.

 

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My mum keeps it real and I know she secretly she loved it when ‘A’ I said,

‘Mum I need your advice’ and ‘B’ I stopped speaking long enough to listen,

The words tumbled out all together.

Anxiety was decapitating my self belief and I was running about like a headless chicken in search of the sun. 

‘I have a ball in my chest where I’m not sure how to breath about my writing. I think I have set it way up high on a pedestal and I don’t know how to reach it’.

My Mum said,

‘I knew you were  doing this, you have done this before, you have been running around, being here, there and everywhere and you need to get still. You need to sit down and talk to yourself.’

I really, really wanted to interrupt her wisdom with defence, to delay the inevitable. Although she offered what I needed, my defence, my safety, was reluctant to hearing.

I inhaled hard, bigger than a chicken breath, kicked my inner voice ‘know-it-all’ to the curb and listened.

‘You are enough and whatever you write is enough’

‘Write what you have now. It doesn’t have to be perfect’, she said.

She laughed and then said,

‘why don’t you grab a pen and write about how much you hate me’.

A joke between us from my overdramatic stomps as a teenager when feeling the whole world had wronged me and my mother was the only thing that stood between me and experiencing more of the whole, wrong, world.

I would stomp off into my room and begin writing, but I never wrote hate letters or notes to my mum, I wrote stories. Stories that I escaped and poured myself into, where I created exotic, teen-girl-wanting-to-be dramatic, free landscapes outside of my teenage-tiny-bedroom walls.

As a teenager I wrote from a ball of desire and anger and a need to escape.

I like writing from that place.

And like my mum said, I am enough exactly as I am.

I need to sit, get quiet, be a little bit headless and be more in that heart ball of desire bursting in my chest.

I love writing from that place.

How do you find stillness in your world? I’d love to hear your methods for finding that spot for yourself.

Xx

Much love,

Simmon

I like doodling in bed too, it helps get me still.

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Some of my freelance work published by Swish Fashion 2017

memoir

http://blog.swishfashion.com.au/plussizestyletips/an-inspirational-swish-mum-overcomes-body-shaming

Profiles

http://blog.swishfashion.com.au/plussizestyletips/anita-carmody-stays-loyal-to-manufacture-in-australia-plus-size-fashion

http://blog.swishfashion.com.au/plussizestyletips/stories-for-women-who-have-achieved-success-in-their-field.-plussize-empoweringwomen-mothersday

 

#women #mothers #nonfiction #growingup #swishplussizefashion #50pluswoman #mentalhealth #parentingadvice #worklifebalance #writerslife #freelancewriting

Body shaming, plus-size and grace in action with cake.

An inspirational mum, Carrie Strongman is a woman who’s attitude embodies an unapologetic confidence in being a beautiful plus size woman.

She also happens to be my mum.

My mum is plus size and has always shown me how beautiful her curves are.

If as a child, my raised eyebrows teased her as she sashayed past, she would tackle me with kisses until I surrendered out loud just how beautiful she was.

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My mum pictured above with my two daughters Saskia and Scarlett

I love these memories of my mum, from them my mum taught me how to love boldly, with strength and out loud.

My mum is incredibly independent, fearless, creative and intelligent. My mum with all her strength is also one of the funniest and wittiest people I know.

But I remember one moment wishing I could be her strength when two Parnell Village fashion-retail sales-women tried to shame my mother because of her plus size.

Parnell Village in one of Auckland’s most affluent suburbs with historic, cobblestone- paved charm, remains one of my favourite places in Auckland.

My mother grew up on her father’s sprawling Waitakaruru dairy farm before moving by herself at the age of 13 to the city of Auckland to study and board at New Zealand’s prestigious all girl’s Queen Victoria School. Situated in the equally affluent suburb of Remuera, a 30-minute walk from Parnell Village.

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My mum in her Queen Victoria day uniform

In my teenage years, my mum and I would travel from our home in the Coromandel Peninsula, for special mum and daughter days out in Auckland city. Together we would shop, lunch, visit family and visit sites from her teenage years like the Auckland Art Gallery, a favourite.

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The beautiful Coromandel Coast where my mum and I grew up X

My mum would then take me to one of her favourite cafes in Parnell Village for hot chocolate and cake.

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The nostalgic charm of Parnell Village, Parnell, Auckland.

The first and last time I saw my mother experience body shaming we were about to get hot chocolates in Parnell Village. I remember this detail because I didn’t want a hot chocolate after our encounter with two-fashion retail sales woman. I wanted to leave and hold my mum.

The doorway into their store was abnormally narrow, I glided in and then mum confronted by the fact that she could not fit easily through the door turned herself sideways and shimmied inside.

My mum smiled and looked up at the two women, I smiled too.

Then mum said, 

‘gosh that was a tight squeeze, I almost couldn’t fit in’.

The sales woman from behind her counter said,

‘well perhaps people like you shouldn’t squeeze themselves in here. There is nothing for your size in here.’

They turned and grinned at one another and smiled without any warmth in their eyes.

 

I still have feelings of sadness in my heart recounting this. I remember being so unprepared for their raw and unmasked meanness, I couldn’t believe that well perfumed and well-dressed people would say such mean things out loud.

For a moment, I saw a vulnerability in my mother that made me want to come back one day and buy that shop and fire those women. I was 14 years old and I just wanted to protect my mum.

I don’t remember what my mum said but I remember the proud carriage of her posture as we left.

I wanted to leave Parnell Village but mum hushed me and sat me down in the café directly in front of their store and ordered my hot chocolate, her coffee and two French pastries.

We sat and my mother told me to enjoy our lovely waiter, our lovely steaming drinks, our pastries and the beautiful day.

A powerful lesson I learned that day from my mum.

Their meanness did not define us or how we enjoyed our day.

The meanness of the two fashion sales women was their problem and not ours.

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My mum and step dad pictured here together in their hometown of Coromandel

I love my mum out loud.

#family #growingup #prejudice #bodyimage #women #writing #nonfiction

I am blessed and grateful to be the daughter of a woman who has taught me how to remember to love myself fearlessly and out loud.

And to remember most importantly that with all the energy and strength I give to others to remember to love myself first.

I love my mum.

Whangamata, New Zealand a surf beach like no other.

Snug in bed I smile back at the smiling majesty of Whangamata Beach stretched out languid below me. Patrolled by the sleeping giant of the Coromandel ranges the roar of fickle waves surge in snatching pockets of once crunchy-dry sand-grains.

In bed I sit in awe as the entire ocean front retreats on the horizon leaving nothing but wave print rivulets on the sand.

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Ruled by a circadian rhythm that ebbs and swells with the moon, the beachfront at Whangamata is tidal theatre.

As the waves depart the sand holds its breath, knowing the wet embrace of a never ending repeated return.

Fickle the waves are and best you remember this at Whangamata.

Whangamata all crunchy white sand and pumping waves is home to one of the world’s most legendary surf breaks.

And there’s one other incredible challenge at home off this beach. Perched offshore there beckons a local, an island –  vigilant and wild, a temptress mocking your bravado. ‘How brave are you? She sings, a siren daring you to run the gauntlet of an empty tidal beach, ‘jump in, she says,  just do it’.

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Offshore dejected waves rumble and collude with her ‘go on, jump in, just do it!’

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Non locals beware, an emptied tidal beach looks placid and calm shimmering like a hypnotic giant ice skating rink made of sand, but the dangers in the return.

The danger as all locals know is getting caught unawares by the turn of the tide.

Off the emptied shore the island beckons, run to me, you can make it, touch me, snap a bough from my cover and run back to shore, before the tide returns, run back to shore a hero.

Whangamata Beach is tidal with one of the best surf breaks in New Zealand.

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Did I run the gauntlet, of course I did. As a kid.

Terrified – all high lifted knees and jerked elbows – adrenalin pumped full of joy. My head armed with pre-race real life stories, by  heroes who reached the island and returned.

The fact that the ocean was bursting to return was a given- Of course we knew we had to beat the ocean, and not one of us thought drowning an option. Not yet anyway.

Will I do it again?

No.

As a kid barefoot-nimble ignorance is bliss.

#surfwhangamata #taniwhanz #surfbeach #fishandchips #oysters #newzealandsurf #ilovenewzealand #ilovewhangamata

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A NAKED WOMAN IN PARIS.

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Alone on a balcony in Paris, she stretched, her limbs folding forward, taut and naked she perched.

Hidden across the street, 5 storeys high, my eyes following her every whim, hidden behind a curtain, I watched her.

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In the shadows behind her a homicidal love nest of tossed bed sheets, knotted promises and abandoned clothing.

The spoils of a front line, where she the victor had prowled like a predator and won.

She swung her entire frame from the black wrought iron rail like a gothic raven with the ability to fly and cocked her head off centre to survey Marais street walkers, five balconies below.

Come to the edge, Life said.
They said: We are afraid.
Come to the edge, Life said.
They came. It pushed them…
And they flew.”

― Guilliame Apollinaire French Poet

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Hidden behind my silk curtain, I watched.

A finger of smoke drifted from her balcony, dragging me forward. I stepped forward from the darkness.

I could have stepped back, but I didn’t.

I was in Paris with my now ex husband and my darling daughter, both were asleep as I stepped out onto that balcony. 

I needed to stay.

In Paris alone on my balcony I needed to watch her.

The naked woman on the balcony unearthed me parts I had lost.  Me parts that in trying to conform had been broken.

I needed to wake up and reclaim myself, I needed some time to be disheveled, naked and alone.

Paris woke up and undid me.

I stepped forward, she waved.

I waved back.

She was comfortable being herself, her nudity was part of who she was in that moment and she was content and present.

The naked woman on her Paris balcony represented to me, a woman living in her own freedom.

Glorious, naked and real.The qualities at that moment in my life I too wanted to express.

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Above the street, an amber light and ocean darkness slipped from the naked woman on the balcony’s room and following her lead I sunk into bed.

The gentle roll of my now ex-husband’s snore and the vulnerable trust of my daughter’s love slept.

Timing is everything when you have plans to reclaim yourself and exhausted like the naked woman in her room, I fell asleep.

My life was about to change again and I needed rest to be ready.

DCF 1.0
DCF 1.0

The woman who follows the crowd will usually go no further than the crowd. The woman who walks alone is likely to find herself in places no one has ever been before- ALBERT EINSTEIN

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