Mary Poppins Returns | Backyard Movie Night Premiere | This WONDERfilled Life

I. Am. So. Behind.  You'd think with being locked in my home for going on five months that I would have oodles of time to take care of things...but ironically I feel BUSIER than if I weren't being held in COVID limbo.  I'm adapting.  I'm learning tons of things.  Literally I am learning new skills but I'm also learning about myself and how to be accepting of things since, quite honestly, we have very little control over much of what is happening right now.  

So far in 2020 we've dealt with:
  • two puking kids at the same time
  • two attempted home invasions
  • a global pandemic
  • losing my job(s)
  • homeschooling the last three months of Kindergarten
  • bedbugs (more on that later)
  • dead possum under the patio deck
  • Bubba rearranging the teeth in his mouth
  • tornado touching down in the city of Chicago
That last one happened a few weeks ago.  We spent an hour in our basement with the sirens blaring here in the city of Chicago.  Luckily we escaped with almost no damage.  I think we lost a few shingles on our super old roof and one plant was pretty much decimated but otherwise all is good here.  Today it's beautiful and we've been outback enjoying "The Oasis" for almost three hours at this point so I thought I'd try and write up this post from our Mary Poppins Returns Movie screening from almost exactly one year ago!

My last blog post I talked about how we made/set up our backyard movie screen.  You can find all the information on what projector we used and how we made the mount and screen HERE.

Originally this whole backyard movie thing was suppose to be a low key, bring a chair and some snacks, I'll pop some corn, last hurrah before school starts...and if you know me you know that it quickly escalated to not even an event but an EXPERIENCE.  In fact putting this together made me realize (and accept) that this is what I do...and I'm pretty good at it.  I've often considered going into party planning (and with the recent event I may have to explore that if the music industry doesn't bounce back) but I realized that part of what makes my events special is that they are whole experiences.  The whole package, from the music you hear, the food you eat, the decorations...the whole thing.  I love it when someone leaves something I've planned and they feel like "Wow! That was fun!!".  It's the whole, Disneyland, escapism, wonderland experience that I love and I love the challenge of making it happen on a budget.  So you can imagine I started to think BIG when thinking about a whole Mary Poppins experience for our inaugural movie night.

I decided I wanted characters to welcome you to the yard, touches of original Mary Poppins in the candy table and of course photo booth.  I wrote a post on how to make these larger than life characters last year but here's a LINK if you'd like to know more.

The end result was cute.  Obviously with an unlimited budget I feel like I could have really made this like a Hollywood party was had, candy and popcorn was eaten, and it's one of my favorite memories from last summer.

You start, of course, at 17 Cherry Tree Lane.

We had music from both MP movies blasting as you walked into the back yard.

Some of our favorite saying from MP Returns lined the fence. I grabbed the backgrounds from somewhere on the internet (I can't remember!) and created the files myself.

"Order what you will, they'll be no bill!"

Snack table had popcorn, taffy, and all the candies!!! We had to start limiting the kiddos before the movie even started! Ha!

Living in a large metropolis you have to deal with things like, neighbors and lights from the alley.  We were a little perplexed on how to block the light from the alley without taking away from the decorations and discovered that our patio umbrella worked perfectly and also made the perfect scaffolding for hanging "balloons" from ala the end of Mary Poppins Returns.

I knew I wanted to have something that was interactive for before the sun went down and the movie started so I made this backdrop from Dollar Tree plastic table cloths and an old garment rack we had in the attic.  I drew out and cut some cardboard for an umbrella and spent way too much time making some super cute photo props! More info on those to come!

All in all it was a great night...we set the little kids up in the blow up pool and filled it with blankets and pillows.  Everyone gorged themselves on popcorn and all the old school candy we could find at Menards...from Salt Water Taffy to Bit O' Honey....

Sorry for the blurry photo! Taking pictures of a moving movie screen at night has its difficulties! HA!

One last group picture after the movie to celebrate! 


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