August Movies

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August brought a new slate of films to the theater. With my Regal Unlimited membership, I caught six movies that bounced between comedy, suspense, fantasy and heart warming.

Movie watching is more than entertainment to me. It’s a form of self care, setting aside a few hours each week, just for me. And I enjoy deciphering the deeper messages within the stories and picking up life lessons.

These are the August movies.

August Movies title

August Movies

Check out June and July films. Then read a brief synopsis, spoiler free, of the August movies with my reason for enjoying each one.

Mrs. Harris Goes to Paris

Cast: Lesley Manville, Jason Isaacs, Isabelle Huppert, Lambert Wilson and Alba Baptista.

Rating/Length: PG, 1 hour 55 mintues

Currently available on Prime Video HERE.

Brief Synopsis: Mrs. Harris, a widowed cleaning lady in 1950s London, falls in love with the idea of owning a couture Dior dress. Saving her hard earned money, cutting expenses and relying on her faith in “good things happen to those who expect them”, Mrs. Harris travels to Paris, cash in hand for a one of a kind dress. Her adventure changes her outlook on life…and the future of House of Dior.

Mrs. Harris Goes to Paris is based on the novel by the same name, written by Paul Gallico.

What I love about this movie: I so looked forward to this film, due to the previews I saw. And yet it did not show at my local theater. Not to be deterred, I purchased it through Amazon Prime Video. I’m so glad that I did!

I love Mrs. Harris and her optimistic, positive outlook on life. She believes in pursuing dreams and combining desire with action. The comedy drama is an adult fairy tale in which Mrs. Harris serves as her own fairy godmother and I appreciate that! It’s a warm hearted film full of laughter and a few tears along with hope and perseverance. This beautifully done movie captured my heart.

August Movies mrs harris
August Movies – Mrs. Harris Goes to Paris

Bullet Train

Cast: Brad Pitt, Joey King, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Brian Tyree Henry, Andrew Koji, Hiroyuki Sanada, Michael Shannon and Sandra Bullock.

Rating/Length: R, 2 hours 7 minutes

Brief Synopsis: An assassin with the codename Ladybug accepts a supposedly easy and peaceful assignment, after too many gigs gone wrong. He boards the world’s fastest moving train in Japan, with the intention of completing his mission quickly and leaving the train at the next stop.

Fate has other plans as lethal adversaries from around the world end up on the same train in interconnecting missions. It’s a thrill ride that does not stop as the train hurtles toward the end of the line.

Bullet Train is based on the book by the same name, by author Kotaro Isaka.

Currently playing in theaters.

What I love about this movie: I’m a Brad Pitt fan. That drew me to this movie. What I didn’t expect was the comedic elements that made me literally laugh out loud. The action includes graphic violence however, which earns the film its R rating. What I appreciate most about Bullet Train are the synchronicities portrayed and the interconnected stories that bind the characters together. There’s a reason these strangers are all on the same train and discovering that keeps interest high through the film.

August Movies bullet train
August Movies – Bullet Train


Cast: BJ Novak, Boyd Holbrook, Dove Cameron, Issa Rae, Ashton Kutcher and J. Smith Cameron.

Rating/Length: R, 1 hour 47 minutes

Available on Prime Video HERE.

Brief Synopsis: Ben, a writer and wannabe podcaster from New York City, travels to Texas to attend the funeral of a girl he barely remembers. The young woman’s family believes the two were a couple, with plans to marry. After the funeral the girl’s family enlists Ben’s help to find the person responsible for her death. With the hope of creating a good story, suitable for a podcast, Ben agrees. However, not all is as it seems in Texas. What begins as a search for material for a podcast becomes a true mystery to solve.

What I love about this movie: I knew nothing about this film before watching it, other than reviews were decent. Watching it unfold, I laughed in all the right places and then got caught up in the mystery…and the deeper messages about our society. I definitely thought about this one for a while. BJ Novak wrote, directed and starred in the film, an ambitious undertaking that works.

August Movies vengeance
August Movies – Vengeance

Three Thousand Years of Longing

Cast: Tilda Swinton, Idris Elba and a huge cast of other lesser known actors.

Rating/Length: R, 1 hour 48 minutes

Currently playing in theaters.

Brief synopsis: Dr. Alithea Binnie, an academic content with her solitary life, travels to Istanbul to attend a conference. While there she encounters a Djinn who offers her three wishes, in exchange for his freedom from the bottle he’s been in for thousands of years. Dr. Binnie, a practical woman, hesitates. All stories about making wishes are cautionary tales about wishes gone wrong. The Djinn pleads his case, and inadvertently enforces her caution, with stories from his past.

What I love about this movie: Three Thousand Years of Longing is a beautiful, richly visual film that relies heavily on the art of story telling. And it’s about knowing the deep desires of the heart and allowing those desire to guide our choices…and wishes. I sat spellbound for almost two hours…and left wanting to know more about this film. Of all the movies I watched in August, this is the one I’ll watch again.

August Movies three thousand years
August Movies – Three Thousand Years of Longing


Cast: Grace Caroline Currey, Virginia Gardner, Jeffrey Dean Morgan and Mason Gooding.

Rating/Length: PG-13, 1 hour 47 minutes

Currently playing in theaters.

Brief synopsis: Best friends Becky and Hunter reunite a year after a horrific tragedy causes each to go her own way. Avid adventure climbers before the tragedy, Hunter convinces her friend to join her on a new extreme climb to the top of a 2,000 foot abandoned television tower. The unthinkable happens, after the pair reaches a tiny platform at the top of the tower, stranding the girls. They need their wits and agility, along with endurance, to survive.

What I love about this movie: I expected Fall to play as a B disaster movie, set high above the ground. And it is…and it’s not. It’s more than that, with a good story, dizzying heights and unexpected twists and turns. I enjoyed this intense film although it’s not for those afraid of heights. The effects are incredible.

August Movies fall
August Movies – Fall


Cast: Idris Elba, Leah Jeffries, Iyana Halley and Sharlto Copley.

Rating/Length: R, 1 hour 33 minutes

Currently showing in theaters.

Brief synopsis: A father, who is a doctor, and his two teenaged daughters visit the African Savanna after the death of their wife and mother. They reunite with a family friend, who shows them the Savanna while also sharing with them about the animals living there and the threat of poachers. During their journey, the four become the hunted, pursued by a massive rogue lion.

What I love about this movie: Although not quite as intense as Fall, Beast kept me on edge and provided at least one jump scare. What I appreciate most was the dual story about family,..human and animal kind…and the importance of protecting that family. There’s more to Beast than a lion gone rogue and it’s hard to know exactly who all to cheer for!

August Movies beast
August Movies – Beast

Which August Movies Did You See?

I’m very much enjoying this form of self care. I initially signed up for Regal Unlimited for three months. When my subscription comes up for renewal in September, I’m happy to continue it on a month by month basis. I’m seeing a wider variety of movies and I love that.

Did you catch any of these flicks? Or did you see one that I missed? Tell me about it!

August Movies theater

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Dine and Dash

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Thank you to The Adventure Challenge, for sending me The Adventure Challenge Solo Edition Book for review purposes and to use for my Year of Adventure. All opinions are my own.

I seem to be on a food arc, with The Adventure Challenge activities! Last month I randomly chose Homegrown, and enjoyed a trip to the farmers market where I selected fresh produce for my evening meal.

This month, opening a page at random, closing my eyes and picking an activity, I chose adventure #34, Dine and Dash.

That title gave me a moment’s pause, as “dine and dash” is a form of theft in which a diner orders and consumes food at a restaurant and then leaves without paying for the meal. No worries! The Adventure Challenge does NOT encourage lawlessness.

Check out this month’s challenge and see what it was all about!

Dine and Dash title meme

The Adventure Challenge Solo Edition

The Adventure Challenge books contain scratch off adventures, suitable for adults, families and individuals. Each hardbound book contain 50 fun and unique challenges to experience with a partner, spouse, friends, family members or on your own.

The challenges encourage you to get off your phone and electrical devices and connect with each other…or more deeply with yourself. They are the perfect way to explore your city or the great outdoors, try something new, reconnect with your inner child or make new friends.

The keepsake book makes it easy to document the memories, with snapshots and a few words about the experience.

There’s a catch though. The challenges are hidden. You don’t know what the activity is, until you scratch it off. If you’ve followed me for very long, you KNOW I love playing games built around randomness. The Adventure Challenge books are like the games I play where I draw random slips of paper out of a jar and do the activity I select. There are no “do overs”, in those fun games I make up, or in The Adventure Challenge.

Dine and Dash

The instructions for Challenge #34:

“Tonight you dine like royalty! You’re gonna order an appetizer, an entrée and a dessert.

The only rule is, you can’t eat any of them from the same restaurant. Three different courses, three different restaurants, one tasty night.”

This activity is fun…and there’s no not paying for meals!

During one of my birthday celebrations this past year, I did a similar activity and enjoyed it. As one who eats plant based, choosing restaurants is the challenge, however I knew exactly which ones to visit for this activity.

Dining at three different restaurants takes time as well. The activity suggested allowing 2 – 3 hours. So Greg and I selected a late afternoon to begin the dine and dash challenge, allowing plenty of time to eat and drive.

Dine and Dash first course
Dine and Dash – first course at Panera.

Dining and Dashing

We started our dining and dashing at Panera.

First Course

Rather than appetizers, our first course consisted of an Asian salad for me and a bowl of soup for Greg, with water to drink. Knowing our next stop was for the main course, we both selected the half portion sizes for our first course.

A huge benefit of this activity is eating slowly and enjoying the food before hopping in the car and driving to the next restaurant. Dining and dashing doesn’t mean wolfing down food as quickly as possible. It’s an experience to linger over.

Second Course

We felt ready for the main course when we arrived at Cracker Barrel, located five miles away.

Here Greg ordered one piece of fish and veggies, while I dined on the Cracker Barrel vegetable plate. I selected four plain veggies…baked potato with no butter or sour cream, green beans, carrots and broccoli.

Again, we ate slowly, savoring the food. And knowing dessert was still to come, I elected to take half of my main course home.

Third Course

Dessert out is difficult for me. Not only do I eat plant based, but I try to avoid gluten and too much sugar. At home I can limit the amount of sugar and use gluten free flours.

My solution? Dairy Queen drive through.

Did you know that Dairy Queen sells a gluten free, vegan dilly bar? They do! The sugar content is higher than I like, however, the dilly bar uses coconut cream and it is gluten free.

Rather than eat inside Dairy Queen, we chose to pick up a box of six vegan Dilly Bars and took them home. We enjoyed the special treat at home a little later in the evening. And Greg gets the rest of the bars!


Dine and Dash second course
Dine and Dash – second course at Cracker Barrel

Adventure Challenges

Do these adventure challenges sound intriguing to you?

Challenge books are available in solo, family and couples editions. Each book contains 50 scratch off challenges. Check out the various books and the camera/book kits HERE. Use my code GOINGBEYOND to save 10% off of your order at checkout.

You can also purchase the camera HERE, from Amazon. The instamatic photos add to the fun, plus there’s a spot for them in the book as you document the challenges.

This Dine and Dash challenge proved fun…and all meals WERE paid for. I toted along the Adventure Challenge book and the instamatic camera, for photos.

And no, I didn’t do this challenge solo. And I adapted the activity a bit. However overall, I completed the activity and enjoyed the leisurely meal that stretched over three locations and a couple of hours.

I’m curious to see if the food theme continues when I choose another challenge next month!

Dine and Dash course three
Dine and Dash course three – vegan Dilly Bar from Dairy Queen


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Weekend Fun in Branson MO

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Branson, Missouri is a popular vacation destination, drawing visitors from around the world. In fact, it’s known as the “Live Entertainment Capital of the World” due to the variety of live shows and events offered. And attractions such as Silver Dollar City and the Titanic Museum provide top notch entertainment.

I live in Joplin, Missouri, about a two hour drive from Branson. And although I’ve visited the city many times, I had yet to spend time in the charming downtown area.

Greg and I joined my sister Linda and brother in law Roy for weekend fun in Branson. Check out what we did!

Weekend Fun in Branson MO title meme

Branson Missouri

Located in the Ozark Mountains in Southwest Missouri, Branson is a unique community. The city offers a huge variety of activities, attractions, live shows and natural beauty.

Play golf on one of their many courses that range from par three to nature courses to championship, with skill levels suited for everyone. Visit a wide variety of restaurants, shops and museums.

And stay at accommodations that include hotels, Airbnbs, B&Bs, condos, cabins and luxury resorts.

It’s the perfect weekend getaway. Start planning your trip by visiting Explore Branson.

Linda and Roy spent five days enjoying Branson, staying in an Airbnb condo. Greg and I joined them for the weekend.

Weekend Fun in Branson MO
Weekend Fun in Branson MO – view from the condo balcony

Exploring Downtown Branson

While Greg and Roy played golf Saturday, Linda and I explored the historic downtown area.

As many times as I’ve visited Branson, this was a first for me. The Strip in Branson hosts many attractions and that’s where most of the live show venues are located. However, Downton Branson is a fun and charming destination of its own. The area includes many unique small shops and restaurants plus entertainment, outdoor activities, attractions and the fabulous Branson Landing.

It’s a very walkable area or you can ride the free Downtown Trolley called Sparky.

Linda and I found a free parking lot and walked. It was fun to explore the variety of shops…everything from energy infused jewelry stores to flea markets and gift shops to entertainment venues. We bought fudge for the guys. Wandered through cute shops, stopped by a dinosaur fossil store and enjoyed a girls’ lunch at MoMo Sushi and Grill.

We both found travel themed handbags at one shop and at another stop, I picked up a small vegan leather sling type purse that’s perfect to carry when I’m traveling.

And we enjoyed Dick’s 5 & 10, an old fashioned retail shop that’s been in Downtown Branson since 1961. The fun store boasts 250,000 items on the shelves and I believe that! We found all kinds of merchandise, some reminiscent of our childhood favorites. I bought a cute little tabletop framed quote that says “The best miles are the ones you walk”. It’s perfect for my travel shelf.

Weekend Fun in Branson MO downtown
Weekend Fun in Branson MO – historic downtown

Branson Landing

After wearing ourselves out walking and shopping in the August heat, we met up with the guys back at the condo. On the agenda for the evening…Anthems of Rock at King’s Castle Theatre on The Strip.

But first, the four of us walked in Branson Landing and ate dinner at Paula Deen’s Family Kitchen there.

This 1.5 mile boardwalk along Taneycomo Lake offers shopping, dining and entertainment. Strolling down the boardwalk, Branson Landing feels like a cross between a high quality outdoor mall and a cute downtown. It’s a beautiful place to get outdoors, enjoy the activities, try a new restaurant and play.

Branson Landing offers events as well such as the weekly Farmers Market, concerts, the Grand Prix of Missouri Powerboat Nationals, Trick or Treating in October and a Winter Wonderlanding Season that begins in November.

Paula Deen’s Family Kitchen is a spacious restaurant and gift shop that specializes in family style dining with classic Southern recipes. I appreciated the family style dining. The four of us shared a variety of main and side dishes.

Weekend Fun in Branson MO branson landing
Weekend Fun in Branson MO – strolling along Branson Landing
Weekend Fun in Branson MO train
Weekend Fun in Branson MO – you can catch a train in Branson Landing if you need a lift…although this ride isn’t free

Anthems of Rock

After dinner we arrived at King’s Castle Theatre for the Anthems of Rock live show. When they say about this show, “Get ready to rock!”, they mean it!

This biggest rock party in Branson showcases hits from some of the most famous bands including The Beatles Elton John, The Rolling Stones, Queen, Bon Jovi, Led Zeppelin, Journey, Aerosmith, Meatloaf and Tina Turner.

It’s a high energy two hour performance by a cast of extremely talented singers, guitar players and dancers. They encourage the audience to sing and clap along.

We loved this show. If you grew up listening to rock music, you’ll appreciate every song. The performers keep the fast paced show interesting with props and costume changes. They seem to genuinely enjoy performing and interacting with each other and the audience.

And if you aren’t quite sure what that familiar song is, there are large screens behind the stage and in the corners of the auditorium that display the album cover, band and song.

I’d definitely recommend Anthems of Rock. Get more info and tickets HERE.

Weekend Fun in Branson MO anthems of rock
Weekend Fun in Branson MO – Anthems of Rock live show
Weekend Fun in Branson MO rock show
Weekend Fun in Branson MO – waiting for the rock show to begin. We enjoyed it.

Have you Explored Branson Missouri?

What a perfect getaway weekend! Branson offers so many choices and fun things to do. I loved exploring parts of the community I had not seen, trying a new restaurant and rocking out to favorite songs with an energetic audience.

I’d love to go back during the holidays to see Downtown Branson and Branson Landing decorated for Christmas and to catch another performance at King’s Castle.

Have you visited this beautiful city? Traveled to the past at Silver Dollar City or experienced the Titanic?

What are your favorite activities to enjoy while in Branson?

Weekend Fun in Branson MO quiet morning
Enjoying the view from the condo balcony


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Going Beyond Procrastination

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After writing posts on going beyond fear, comfort zones and limiting beliefs, I realized other limitations exist that can hold us back from accomplishing all that we want to accomplish.

And that thought birthed an idea for a series.

This limitation creates big roadblocks for many people, including me. In fact, as I worked on this post, it felt like I was talking to myself. Read the tips in Going Beyond Procrastination and let me know if this is something you also struggle with!

Going Beyond Procrastination title meme

What is Procrastination?

By definition, procrastination is the practice of delaying or postponing something such as an action or task. You have a deadline looming and yet instead of working on the project, you check email, scroll through social media feeds or watch funny videos on YouTube. There’s nothing wrong with any of those activities, however, you are stalling and ultimately placing pressure on yourself when that deadline absolutely must be met.

Procrastination can range from minor stalling to an inability to complete daily tasks. Reasons for procrastinating include setting indefinite, abstract goals, disconnection from true desires, overwhelm, anxiety, perfectionism and a dislike of certain tasks such as car maintenance.

This tendency to put off doing what you know needs doing isn’t so much a disorder to cure as a practice to shift.

If you find yourself procrastinating frequently and seek change, check out these tips for going beyond procrastination.

Reduce the Number of Decisions You Need to Make

Planning out the day, before you get up in the morning, goes a long way toward eliminating the tendency to procrastinate and waste energy throughout the day.

Instead of making decisions on the spot, moment by moment, plan out your day, your week, your month or your year in advance. When your plans are written out on paper it frees thoughts, which are energy too, from swirling around in your head. You don’t have to wonder what to do next…it’s written down.

Schedule reoccurring activities like walking, yoga, creative time, appointments, journaling, meditating and classes. Then you don’t have to decide, “Do I walk…or go to the store?”

Choose your outfit the night before. Establish a morning and nighttime routine.

Create habits for tasks you don’t like, such as housework. Make it fun or power through it…just do it. These are things that must be done no matter what, the non-negotiables.

Going Beyond Procrastination habits
Going Beyond Procrastination – create habits for reoccurring activities or unpleasant tasks

Make Lists

A helpful way to organize thoughts, make plans and prevent procrastination is through list making.

According to studies, we are 33% more likely to achieve goals and get tasks done if we make lists.

Using a planner or a simple notebook, create monthly lists of blog and social media posts and appointments, weekly scheduled activities and daily to-do tasks.

Prioritize by starting with the ONE big thing that needs to get ticked off the daily list. Check that activity off as early in the day as possible. It’s your most important task.

Break the rest of the list into doable tasks and attach action steps to them. Any deadlines for the day, week or month? Write those down too, so you don’t have to continually think about them.

Work in Time Blocks

You’ll get more done, without overwhelm or burn out, breaking the day into time blocks.

This scheduling method is a technique for time management. Break the day into small periods of time…typically an hour to three hours…for specific tasks and to-dos. During that block of time, focus only on the tasks or activities scheduled.

A simple but effective time blocking schedule might include breakfast, then threes hours for accomplishing your most important task, lunch, then two hours dedicated to other tasks and to-dos, afternoon break, then two hours for exercise, minor tasks, creativity or taking a class. Make the time blocking work for you. And stick with it. No procrastinating or avoiding the things you know you need to get done.

Going Beyond Procrastination lists
Going Beyond Procrastination – make lists of tasks and to-dos. Here I’m making a list of what to include in my post on making lists!

Create a Supportive Environment

To lessen procrastination, surround yourself with an environment that supports you and helps you get your tasks done.

Whether you work at home or in an office, tackle the space that you spend the most time in.

Declutter. A room or desk full of clutter creates disorganized energy. It doesn’t feel good and it’s not conducive to productivity. Have a place for everything, even if your system doesn’t look like someone else’s. Get rid of things you don’t need.

Eliminate distractions. Put your phone on silent. Stay off of social media unless that’s the task you are working on. Turn off the television.

Surround yourself with what inspires and motivates you. Hang up a vision board. Frame inspirational quotes. Create a personal manifesto and keep it nearby to read often. Play music that uplifts the spirit or boosts creativity. Display family photos, travel mementos and artwork.

Check for Alignment

Sometimes, the things we put off doing are things we really don’t want to do. I’m not talking about household chores or taking the dog for a walk. I mean things that no longer align with who you are and what you most want to do.

If you find yourself avoiding certain tasks, take time to check inward and see if those activities still align with your passion. If not, it’s time to shift away from them. Step down from committees that you no longer feel strongly about. Stop the activities that bore you. Say “the end” to the work that no longer interests you.

Focus on the tasks and activities that make your heart sing and light up your face when you talk about them. These are the priorities that go at the top of your to-do lists.

The truth is, we find the time and a way to do the things we really want to do. And, if we are avoiding or postponing activities, then they are no longer what we really want to do.

Going Beyond Procrastination supportive environment
Going Beyond Procrastination – create a supportive environment

Reward Yourself

One of my favorite ways to spur myself onward, when I have a big project to complete, is to reward myself when it’s done.

I personally avoid rewarding myself with food, as that was an old habit that wasn’t healthy. Instead, I might go for a walk in nature or visit a city, watch a movie, putter in the garden or play an online game.

And often the reward is the accomplishment itself or the incredible high level energy I feel.

Shifting a Task I Disliked

This is a real life example of a task I frequently procrastinated on and how I shifted.

I dislike washing dishes. I’ve never, in my lifetime, lived in a house with a dishwasher. I am the dishwasher. And I often postponed washing up, letting dishes accumulate in the sink, which made it even more difficult to make myself go into the kitchen to clean up.

I used tip number one to avoid procrastination, creating a habit to complete a task that I don’t like. Initially, I made this rule: no dishes in the sink by the time I go to bed. That meant I sometimes washed dishes at midnight, no matter how tired I was.

Soon I discovered I loved walking into a clean kitchen every morning. The energy of a ready for the day kitchen far exceeded the energy required to empty the sink each night.

And then, I realized I loved walking into a clean kitchen all the time. It became easier and easier to wash up immediately after a meal. The satisfaction of an empty sink and clean kitchen, always, is the reward and the habit evolved over time after I made one unbreakable rule about washing dishes.

Are You a Procrastinator?

I admit I was and I still fall into procrastination sometimes. Doing so is my nudge to check within to see what’s going on. Is the activity no longer in alignment with who I am becoming? Do I need to shift and create a no matter what rule? Or do my lists require some adjustment?

Going beyond procrastination is a continuing area of growth for me.

What about you? Are you a procrastinator? Tell me about the areas you struggle in. I hope these tips are helpful for you in going beyond and creating meaningful shifts in your life.

Going Beyond Procrastination tea break
Going Beyond Procrastination – daily tea breaks are important to me


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