Charlie and the Chocolate Factory: I’ve Got a Golden Ticket!

This post was inspired by the classic Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl, which celebrates its 50th anniversary this year. To celebrate, Penguin Young Readers Group, in partnership with Dylan’s Candy Bar, the world-famous candy emporium, and First Book, a nonprofit social enterprise that provides books for children from low-income families, is launching a year-long international celebration.

Head over to From Left to Write to learn how you and your child can have a chance to win the Golden Ticket Sweepstakes where the grand prize is a magical trip to New York City plus much more! For every entry submitted, Penguin Young Readers Group will make a donation to First Book. Then, join From Left to Write on July 24 as we discuss Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. As a book club member, I received a copy of the book for review purposes.



I don’t know about you, but I am one of those annoying people where I totally believe the book is better than the movie, and the remake is NEVER as good as the original. However Charlie and the Chocolate Factory only falls into one of those categories. I saw Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory before I ever read the book.

While I believe the remake is much closer to the original story written by Roald Dahl 50 years ago, the original movie will always hold a special place in my heart. Spoilers ahead if you haven’t seen both movies!

The opening credits always made me crave milky sweet chocolate. I always wished that I had a local candy shop like Charlie and his classmates. I think, hands down, my favorite part of the movie is when Willie Wonka leads the kids and their guardian through the factory and into the first room with the fudge waterfall and the gigantic gummy bears. Did you ever talk about what you would eat first if you ended up in that room, because my sister and I totally did. I totally memorized all the oompa loompa songs in the original movie and I have to say, I loved those way more than the ones in the second movie.

There were parts that totally scared the pants off of me, and probably you too. The scenes with Mr. Slugworth, totally creepy, and the boat ride after the first room, terrifying. These are scenes that are most definitely not in the remake, but are also not part of the book. And can we talk about the part where Charlie’s mom sings in the alleyway? Does anyone like that part?

Are you more of a fan of the original or the remake? Any favorite parts that remind you of childhood? 

Don’t forget to enter the Golden Ticket Contest!


Top 10 Inspired Sports Movies

For those that don’t me super well, I love sports and I love sports movies. What’s even better than that? Real life events that inspire sports movies. Nick and I watched Cool Runnings and Miracle this past weekend to get us pumped up for the Bobsledding and Hockey events that were coming up in the Winter Olympics. I put together a list of the Top 10 movies that I love.

10. We Are Marshall


I actually hadn’t seen this movie in its entirety until recently. I love that Matthew McConaughey plays someone other than a heart-throb in a Kate Hudson flick. The movie is about what happens after a 1970 plane crash that killed 75 people, all but 5 were from the Marshall University football team and athletic department. It shows us the grief and the healing the entire community went through and how they were able to live their lives after. I definitely needed a tissue during this one.

9. Invincible


I am a huge fan of anything Mark Wahlberg is in, but for some reason I didn’t see this immediately after it came out, I ended up seeing it on a plane on the way home from California a few years ago. It is the story of how a bartender went to open tryouts for the Philadelphia Eagles to be a professional football player. A modern-day man’s cinderella story.

8. The Blind Side


Sandra Bullock is pure gold in this movie, the true story of a mom who takes another child into her home and treats her as one of her own. That’s not to say there aren’t growing pains and the discomforts of raising a teenager.

7. Rudy


The true story of one young man’s dream to play for his favorite collegiate football team, Notre Dame. This movie will definitely have you cheering by the end and for me will always be one of the classic sports films.

6. A League of Their Own


As Nick would say, I could watch Tom Hanks read the phone book and think it is a great movie. This is a movie I have loved since I was a kid, and I love that it is about women playing a “man’s sport” and how they succeeded. It has an amazing cast, Geena Davis, Madonna, and Rosie O’Donnell, and if your friends were anything like mine growing up, you picked which character you would’ve been if you were in the movie. If you haven’t seen it, consider this your invite to have a girls night and watch it with me!

5. Moneyball


Lets just disregard the fact that I still haven’t read the book, which is usually a no-no for me, I always read the book before seeing the movie. Nick however had read the book and really wanted to see this in theaters so we saw it. I am not a huge Brad Pitt fan, but I think the cast in this movie was so brilliant and really eye-opening to how baseball has changed in the past 10 or so years.

4. The Fighter


Well, fancy that, another Mark Wahlberg movie. This was the movie where I started to really love Amy Adams as an actor, she played a hard ass from Lowell so well, my dad’s side of the family is all from Lowell, and seeing areas you know on the big screen sort of make you appreciate it more. If you haven’t seen the movie, it tells the story of a fighter who is managed by his mother and trained by his brother and the trials and tribulations he goes through to be succesful in this career.

3. Remember the Titans


Oooh Ryan Gosling as a youngin’, I hope all of you who love him have seen this movie! It is the story of the 1971 football team at T.C. Williams High School, it’s not just about football, but how these kids have to deal with issues of race and desegregation. This is one of those coming of age movies and I can’t even begin to understand what these kids had to deal with, and how adult-like they were expected to act.

2. Cool Runnings


The classic sports movie for anyone who was born in the mid-80’s. Nick and I definitely know the entire movie by heart, and we even had costumes inspired by the movie.


couch bobsled

1. Miracle


If you have not seen this movie, stop reading, go get it, watch and then come back. No, seriously. While we wait did anyone else notice how many of these movies are Walt Disney Pictures Productions? They need to start making more of these. Okay now that is settled we can move on.  The true story about the 1980 USA Olympic Ice Hockey team is done so well, I don’t know how many of you have read anything about the movie, but they casted actors who looked like these men in the 1980’s which I thought was pretty phenomenal and of course I have some love for the kids with the Boston accent. More than anything, though, it makes me wish that they still used college kids for the Olympic Ice Hockey team, I feel like this NHL stuff really takes away from the whole thing. Just my two cents.

Honorable Mention: City of Champions: The Best of Boston Sports

BestofBostonThis is a classic film for Nick and I, whenever a Boston team disappoints we put this on and relive all the moments that were amazing. It helps to soften the blow. If you are a Boston fan definitely check this out, you won’t be disappointed. If you are the company that made this please make one from 2006 until now, Thanks!

Did I miss any of your favorites? What would be your number one?

HLB Book Club

Did you read The Wonderful Wizard of Oz as part of the Healthy Living Blogs book club? I haven’t quite finished my re-read yet! - The wizard of oz is the ultimate chick flick... two women trying to kill each other over shoes.

Do you want skip the book but still want to see the new Oz: The Great and
Powerful movie? Do you live in Boston or the Greater Boston area?

If you answered yes to any or all of these questions you’re in luck because I’m the planning member for the Boston movie meet-up! I am tentatively planning for a matinee showing on Saturday, March 16 or Sunday, March 17. Unfortunately, the movie times don’t extend that far in advance so I will update everyone when the times are available.

All are welcome, bloggers, blog readers just don’t make me see this movie alone. That would just be depressing. I am also going to try and arrange a coffee/tea meet-up before or after the movie (depending on the time.

If you’re interested in attending this event or future events, fill out the form below. I will continue to post on the blog but I will also email to everyone interested, and I promise no spam. Also, the information for the March book (Julie & Julia!) is now up, check it out here!

My Favorite Christmas Movies

First I have to admit, I’ve never seen two classics, Miracle on 34th Street and It’s a Wonderful Life.

And now….

My Favorite Christmas Movies

10. The Santa Claus


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I watched this movie a bunch when I was a kid, but I don’t think I have seen it on TV since the 90’s.

9. Home Alone 2


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A classic for most adults my age, I like it, but it’s not my favorite.

8. The Nightmare Before Christmas


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This is my favorite Halloween movie hands down, but also falls into the Christmas category.

7. National Lampoons Christmas Vacation


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I love the slapstick humor.

6. How The Grinch Stole Christmas – The Jim Carrey Version


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This is one of the few Dr. Suess movies that I enjoy. Still not as good as the original cartoon, but I watch it every year.

5. Love Actually


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4. A Christmas Story


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This used to be my number one, and I still love it, just a few others have crept their way up the list.

3. Elf


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If you don’t love this movie, we could never be friends

2. How the Grinch Stole Christmas – The Cartoon Version


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1. The Santa Clause


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This movie is hilarious, I can recite every line. It always reminds me of my dad and sister. Number 2 and 3 aren’t nearly as good.

What are your favorite Christmas movies?

Five Things Friday: You haven’t seen what!?

Today’s Five Things Friday is brought about movies my husband has not seen, that drives me crazy. We’ve been trying to crack into the movies that neither one of us has seen that the other person deems unacceptable.

So far I’ve made Nick watch: A League of their Own, That Thing You Do and Good Will Hunting. For a self-claimed Tom Hanks super-fan, those first two were necessary.

Other big movies I have on the list are:

1. Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. THE ORIGINAL.


Nick has only seen the remake. While it is closer to the book than the original, I love the original more. The candy room, the songs, the oompa loompas. What’s not to love?

2. The Sound of Music


A true story about a family that sings, and escapes Austria. Firstly, the moved to Vermont, my home state. Secondly, they are a singing family, similar to my husband’s musical family.

3. Mary Poppins


Another Julie Andrews classic. A children’s movie that I love, it is just a fun movie.

4. The Harry Potter series.


I am a book nerd, I will admit it. I read all the books and watched all the movies. My sister always went with me to the movies. When I found out I was pregnant, Nick was in shock and agreed to go see The Deathly Hallows part 1 with me and his brother. Since I had just had the baby when part 2 came out my sister wasn’t here to be my movie buddy, so he HAD to go. Now to watch the rest.

5. A movie series that I’ve never seen that drives Nick crazy is: The Godfather series. Soon, I promise!


All images from IMDB

Today’s Questions: Have you seen these movies? What are movies that are on your must-see list?