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Watching: ‘Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri’.

Just saw this movie!

Yesterday afternoon, I saw a movie I’ve been eyeing for awhile, “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri” starring Frances McDormand and Woody Harrelson.

“Three Billboards” is the story of Mildred (McDormand), a passionate mother who is trying to push the local police to continue working on her daughter’s murder case. To spark their interest, Mildred pays rent on three billboards along a seldom-used country road to advertise her case.

The words she plots on the billboards puts Ebbing, Missouri into a tailspin – to say the least. But although what she’s doing is not illegal, the police are willing to do anything (and everything) they can to get her to shut up and remove the billboards.

Although it’s not directly related, Mildred and her billboards highlight the systematic racism within the town of Ebbing, solidified by the police force and their brutal actions (not to mention the words they say).

This movie was very dark, and although their were parts that made me laugh – I felt like the audience was constantly nervous-laughing, because it was so dark, and it was difficult to tell exactly what was going to happen next.

It’s obvious Mildred has never quite fit in, in Ebbing, and the brutal murder of her daughter seemed to harden her even more, creating an even greater distance between her and the town. The conclusion of the film (no spoilers) wraps this up nicely.

Although it was difficult to pinpoint exactly when this film took place, it has a timeless sensibility to it. After all, it’s not a recent problem for missing girls to be found murdered, have their killers on the loose, and for a police department to pick and choose who they go after based on race and/or relationships.

I cannot close this blog post without saying that parts of this movie were very difficult to watch. I had my hands over my face for probably 1/4 of it, and was on the verge of tears for at least half. It’s gut-wrenching.

But, it was well-done, and very unique. A recommendation for crime and mystery lovers.

Naturally, I saw this movie at the Drafthouse, so I treated myself to some fries and a salted caramel shake. YUM.

I was happy to go home afterward and make Christmas ornaments though, and get my mind out of such a dark place.

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Watching: ‘Baby Driver’.

How YOU doin’??

Last Tuesday, I went straight from work to the Drafthouse to see “Baby Driver”. I had a free ticket to use, along with a free popcorn, and everyone I knew said this movie was SO good. Honestly, I wasn’t sure it was my style, but I figured I couldn’t really lose with Ansel Elgort as the lead. Amiright?

I got a rootbeer float, my popcorn, and was ready to roll. Being a Tuesday at 5, there weren’t too many people in the theatre. Here’s how IMDb describes “Baby Driver”: After being coerced into working for a crime boss, a young getaway driver finds himself taking part in a heist doomed to fail.

Here’s a little more in-depth description from Google: Talented getaway driver Baby (Ansel Elgort) relies on the beat of his personal soundtrack to be the best in the game. After meeting the woman (Lily James) of his dreams, he sees a chance to ditch his shady lifestyle and make a clean break. Coerced into working for a crime boss (Kevin Spacey), Baby must face the music as a doomed heist threatens his life, love and freedom.

The young getaway driver is known as “Baby” (Elgort), and he’s ready to get out of the business even though he’s pretty damn good at it (the opening scene will make you want to drive out of the theatre and over curbs and yell “Fuck the po-lice!”… or was that just me?).

But as things go with organized crime, you can’t necessarily put in your two weeks’ notice and be done with it. And thus we have a plot, along with a B plot of Baby falling for a waitress at the local diner – they connect over a love for music and a dream of escapism. I know the feeling. 

While the events of the movie are seriously, deadly at times, the tone is smart, and pretty funny – I laughed a lot, and then felt like a psycho when I was the only one laughing. Kevin Spacey – who plays the organizer of the heists – is just the best.

In general, “Baby Driver” is getting rave reviews – despite recently being sued over one of the songs used in the film. Here’s a snippet from the New York Times’ review:

“Baby Driver” isn’t avant-travestying; it’s a pop pastiche par excellence, crammed with cubistic action; glowering and golly-gee types (played by the seductive likes of Jamie Foxx, Jon Hamm, Eiza González and Lily James); and an encyclopedia of cinematic allusions, all basted in wall-to-wall tuneage. At times, the whole thing spins like a tribute album, a collection of covers of varying quality: diner yaks à la Quentin Tarantino, Godardian splashes of color. When it works, the allusions give you a contact high, like when a friend turns you on to a favorite movie. At other times, Mr. Wright’s pleasure veers into the self-satisfied, and all that love feels smothering, near-bullying, like bro-cinephilia in extremis. 

…Sooo, should you go see it? Yes! Yes all around – I loved this movie. The next flick on my radar? “Ingrid Goes West”. Looking forward to it!

Watching: ‘Jurassic World’.

Scene from ‘Jurassic World’.

I know I’m like two years late to the game here (per usual), but I finally watched “Jurassic World“! I don’t know WHY I waited so long – I love “Jurassic Park“, and one of my college roommates is IN the movie! I do admit that sometimes I have to be in the mood to watch a movie – especially at home.

But this weekend, I actually watched several movies at home. This is what happens when you all of the sudden have loads of time on your hands. Here’s the official description of “Jurassic World” from IMBd:

A new theme park, built on the original site of Jurassic Park, creates a genetically modified hybrid dinosaur, which escapes containment and goes on a killing spree.

I’ll admit, it was pretty cool to see a “working park” – not unlike a public zoo, but plus real dinosaurs and open areas/rides where park-goers could interact with the dinos. Would I go to a place like that? Uh, hell no! Of course, there’s a little bit of a romance between Chris Pratt and his co-star female lead, Bryce Dallas Howard.

I won’t give away any spoilers, but the end of the movie definitely leaves room for more. Naturally, the sequel comes out June 18, “Jurassic Park: Fallen Kingdom”.

Also watching: ‘The Intern’.

I loved ‘The Intern’.

Yep, I also watched “The Intern“, starring Anne Hathaway and Robert DeNiro! You guys – I LOVED this movie! I’m not a big fan of Hathaway, but I still really enjoyed it. And yes, I realize I’m two years late on this movie, too.

Here’s the scoop from IMBd: 70-year-old widower Ben Whittaker has discovered that retirement isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. Seizing an opportunity to get back in the game, he becomes a senior intern at an online fashion site, founded and run by Jules Ostin.

I’m not a fan of start-up culture, and I definitely cackled at Jules riding a BIKE through the office, but whatever. Really, the business didn’t have much to do with the movie, aside from the juxtaposition of a young company hiring a senior citizen.

Either way, it was funny, and light-hearted. Not to mention, I loved the cameos from Adam Devine.

I still have a few other random movies on my DVR to watch, but what movies are you guys watching? I’m always down for recommendations!

Countdown to Vegas, baby!

The famous scene from “Ocean’s Eleven” in front of the Bellagio Hotel & Casino.

In just a few weeks, I’m heading to Vegas for an extended weekend of sun, relaxation, and well, lots of massive drinks. Because, Vegas! I have been to Vegas before, but it was several years ago, and I’m excited to revisit some of my favorite spots (the Paris Hotel & Casino, and Hash House A-Go-Go), while trying some new spots (fishbowls at the Sugar Factory and the Neon Graveyard Museum).

In order to make the most out of my fun-filled days out West, I’m planning a few things in advance, packing strategically, staying on my diet, and hyping myself up. So, I’ve put together a list of my favorite movies that feature Sin City in all its glittery glory.

Ocean’s Eleven 

George Clooney + Brad Pitt… Yes! 2001 really served it to us in this action-packed movie that involves 11 dudes ready to take down Vegas, by robbing three casinos at the same time. You go boys! And it makes visiting the Bellagio fountains that much more iconic.

Swingers

When I suffered my very first breakup, my dad introduced me to the 1996 cult classic, “Swingers”. I’m so glad he did, because I can’t get enough of Trent and Mike and their ways with the ladies, especially once they hit the Vegas strip. Everything is “Money, baby”, and frankly, this movie is one of my all-time favorites.

Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas

No self-respecting writer can turn his or her back on Hunter S. Thompson and his beloved book-turned-movie, “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas”. When a unique journalist (played by Johnny Depp) and his lawyer head to Vegas, deciphering reality from illusion becomes the challenge. It’s a must-see.

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I’ll admit it, the book (“Busting Vegas”) was better, but the movie adaptation was on-point. The movie tells the true story of six MIT students who learned how to count cards, and took millions of dollars from the Vegas casinos. It’s a thriller, that’s for sure, and Kevin Spacey is perfection.

I had a 1590 on my SAT. I got a 44 on my MCATs. And I have a 4.0 GPA from MIT. I thought I had my life mapped out. But then I remembered what my Nonlinear Equations professor once told me, always account for variable change.

The Hangover 

In 2009, we were blessed with the start of “The Hangover” trilogy. Although the entire franchise puts me in giggles, the first one is my favorite. This movie is what Vegas is all about: Wolf packs, strippers, cocaine, and partying so hard that you lose your memory, and the bachelor. Think: “Dude, Where’s My Car?” only in Vegas, with a bottomless budget. It’s hilariously fantastic, and I love going to Cesar’s Palace to look for a payphone 😉

…So, don’t be shocked if you see me Tweeting (@OrangeJulius7) about these movies in the coming weeks. What movies about Vegas do you like to watch?

Have yourself a merry little Christmas…

You're the Charlie Browniest.

You’re the Charlie Browniest.

You guys! It’s Christmas Eve, EVE! I just got inside from vacuuming out my car with a little car vac I got for Christmas earlier this week – its gold, and it has little attachments so you can get every nook and cranny, and it even has a pressure gauge so you can air up your tires!

You see, I celebrated my Christmas on Wednesday, when my mom was in town. She got in late Friday night, and we did a whirlwind of Christmas activities, despite it being bitterly cold in Austin. She helped me with some last minute gifts, we stomped down Austin’s Trail of Lights, saw a hockey game, ate Vietnamese food (yummm), saw “La La Land” (more on this later), and watched several Christmas movies.

She had to leave yesterday, so we had our traditional Christmas Wednesday, so now I’m left “playing” with my Christmas loot – like a car vacuum, eyeing my new collection of glass tupperware, and eating bags of sour gummy cat heads. Because that’s what Christmas is all about, right?

I haven’t decided how I’ll spend ACTUAL Christmas day yet, although I have tons of food in my fridge + a few bottles of wine, so I may just get boozed and allow myself to watch one more round of Christmas flicks before I put them away for the year. I do have some gifts from friends that I have yet to open, so I have that going for me.

I don’t have to be back at work until Tuesday, so I’m really looking forward to a few more days of rest and random scheduling – I took a nap yesterday and have already taken one today! It’s all the same things I enjoyed about Christmas break as a kid, really.

I have a small to-do list – some are chores, and some are things like “Read the 2 books on my counter before they’re due back to the library on the 27th”. Whoops!

What are you guys planning to do over the holiday? Whatever it is, I truly hope you get the Christmas (or Hannukah) you’ve been dreaming about this year. I know we could all use some happy times, and probably some laughter, and even a little rest. So, may all of those things come your way + some cool gifts, because even though that’s not the reason for the season, it sure doesn’t hurt!

Happy Holidays, everyone!

And yes, I’ll be right back to regular posting on Monday, although I’m 99% sure “Mariah’s World” isn’t airing Sunday night, I know I’ll have something else to blog about. See you then!

Finally crossing things off the list.

Ah Monday, we meet again.

This weekend was a decent one, although too short, per usual. But I feel like a lot of things “finally” happened this weekend. Simple things, but they finally occurred.

I kicked off my weekend by finally using a coupon for a free meal at Chipotle. I didn’t really celebrate Cinco de Mayo, although I did have breakfast burritos from Taco Deli. So, I figured I’d treat myself to some sloppy carnitas at Chipotle – a sad excuse for Mexican food, but it was free, and I took it to go so I could make a proper margarita at home.

Once I got home, the first thing I noticed was that my magnolia had FINALLY bloomed! I know this sounds really kind of silly, but you don’t understand. Plants were some of the first things I bought for my apartment when I moved to Austin, in hopes of sprucing up my patio that overlooks a Taco Bell drive-thru and an Auto Zone.

So, I bought a glittery fir tree and a magnolia shrub in an effort to cover up the weird view. I bought these plants in mid-November, and somehow, they’ve survived the chill,  and a few really bad storms, and I’ve even repotted the magnolia twice… I was so excited when I saw new growth on it after it was brown all winter, and I’ve been checking the damn thing nearly every day to see when the buds would spring open.

And finally, one has! And it’s so pretty, and it smells wonderful. So, I sat on my patio Friday night, eating my free carnitas and chips and sipping my grapefruit margarita, and stared at the pretty flower.

But upon staring at it, I realized it may have a fungus or some type of mold. There are little black dots on most of the leaves. Great. I Googled and read message boards for a solid hour, and just like the WebMD effect, I still have no idea what’s up with the plant, aside from the fact that it likely has cancer, and will die a slow, tragic death.

So, if you’re a plant person who knows anything about magnolias, hit me up. I don’t want it to die.

Later in the weekend, a few other things finally happened – like I finally cleaned my car, which still had one FINAL box from when I moved… 8 months ago. Whoops!

I’m not sure why I waited so long; probably because the box had nothing of real relevance in it, despite it being super heavy, and when the move was over, the last thing I wanted to deal with was hauling one more stinking box up the stairs. But I did it, and now my trunk is clean.

I also finally found a supply of Arctic Zero ice cream at the grocery near my apartment. Have you heard of this stuff? I’ve been keeping my eye out for it for years, after hearing a nutritionist say it was perfect for staying fit with a sweet tooth, given its low calories.

Well, I bought a pint of the stuff, in peanut butter chocolate flavor, and it said on the package that even eating the whole pint was only 150 calories, had very low sugar, and even a few grams of protein. SOLD.

So, Saturday late night, after guzzling a beer, I decided to crack open the pint of this miracle dessert. About two bites in, I’m thinking a few things, one of them being, “This tastes less like chocolate and more like snow.”

I quickly checked the ingredients… and the first on the list? Purified water. So, I was eating ice. Basically, it tasted like if you made a chocolate protein shake with water. The first three ingredients were water, whey protein, and cane sugar. So, yeah.

It was dairy-free, so it wasn’t thick or creamy. And it barely tasted like chocolate. It really started to piss me off. So, I offered it to Blanche; my bitchy cat. Even she refused.

And you know what? I decided right then and there that it’s just unnecessary torture. I don’t care about looking good in my swimsuit enough to sit here and eat frozen chocolate water. If I want ice cream, I’m just going to eat it.

So, on Sunday, I finally did something else I’ve been dreaming of: I walked across the street and went to a frozen yogurt shop and got some yogurt with sprinkles. Because why not? And in reality, is it really that bad? Everything in moderation, right?

And then, I ate my fro-yo while finally watching “Ghosts of Girlfriends Past” with Matthew McConaughey. It’s been on my DVR forever, as one of those movies I hadn’t seen but feel like I should have. Meh, it wasn’t that great. It was kind of like a Christmas Carol, only for dating purposes.

Basically, it’s what we all wish would happen to our douchey ex-boyfriends who treated us like shit; we wish they’d travel back in time and see how lame they were and get a reality check. It had some funny parts, but I think I’ll be okay if I don’t see it again.

Anyway, I’ve got a pretty packed week ahead, so I’m already looking forward to Friday (per usual), but I’d love to hear how your weekend was. Did you do anything that’s been on your to-do list for awhile?

He’s not into you…now what?

Waiting for that phone call that never comes...

Waiting for that phone call that never comes…

“When a guy’s really into you, he’s coming upstairs.”

It was a simple line that Carrie Bradshaw’s then-boyfriend, Jack, delivered to her friend Miranda when she asked for feedback on a date she recently had.

That episode of “Sex and the City” originally aired in July 2003, and sparked an entire movement in dating and pop culture.

He’s just not that into you.

It became a wildly popular book, a movie, and was referred to in other TV shows such as “Gossip Girl” and “Californication”, among others.

It was one of the first times we’d been force-fed the truth, and frankly, it became the answer for every dating question.

No call back? No second date? No meeting the parents? No ring? Easy. He’s just not that into you.

But, just because we suddenly had an answer to all of the shady palm trees we were sitting under, it didn’t make the news that much easier to swallow.

I mean, come on, who hasn’t been the “Gigi” in a relationship a time or two? Okay, so I’ve never served chips at a guy’s party, but I’ve bent over backwards for jerks on the regular.

We already get it, you’re just not that into us. Trust me, this has happened to me more times than I can remember.

But the question now becomes, what should you do to get over it?

Start by looking at yourself instead of the other person. How, or why, did you get wrapped up in someone who doesn’t realize how awesome you are?

Instead of viewing this person as an asshole, give them thanks for putting you on the fast-track to self-discovery.

Next, accept the fact that you can’t change this person, and stop wishing you could. I know, that’s a lot to ask.

But speaking from experience, I know it’s easy to wish that he/she would eventually see the light and come around.

Just stop. Wishing you could change someone or that they would change is just a waste of precious energy (Tracy Chapman sang it best) that you could spend on something, or someone, else.

If this person is not into you, then it’s time for you to focus on what you really want. Perhaps it’s what you want in a relationship, or what you’re looking for in this life (let’s go big).

Next, look within and recognize that you deserve someone who knows your worth.

Instead of making a list of all the things you wish for in a partner, make a list of how you want a partner to treat you in certain situations.

And finally, remember all of the progress you’ve made just after one person wasn’t into you.

It is very rare that a person who rejects you won’t return to check up on what they’ve missed out on. So, when this person comes back, stand your ground!

Even Mr. Big came back around, but Carrie had already packed her bags for Paris. Remember? And she was outside her apartment in that fabulous coat, screaming, “I don’t live here anymore!”

Okay, so eventually she got back with Big because The Russian was horrible. But that is not my point.

My point is, you don’t need to be with someone who’s just not that into you. Don’t even spend another second thinking about them.

Maybe by the time they see their mistake, you’re just not that into them.

If I could be any movie villain…

Crazy ass.

Crazy ass.

I’d be the fabulous poodle, Georgette, from Disney’s “Oliver and Company”.

From the looks of it, Georgette is beautiful, with Lily Ghalichi-esque lashes and a built-in blue fur stole to warm her slim shoulders. I’ve always loved performing, so her career as a prize-winning show dog is right up my alley.

As Jenny’s first pet, Georgette benefits from the wealth of the family – the bitch has a rotating bedroom for crying out loud! Speaking of bedrooms, Georgette is every mutt’s dream, and I’ll admit, I’d love to have the opportunity to have the pick of the pack.

She’s got a solo moment in the movie, singing a song that highlights her lavish lifestyle, and I can’t help but notice, she’s already got the perfect Real Housewives’ opening tagline: “Being perfect isn’t easy, but that’s me.”

But like any beautiful movie star, Georgette has had her fair share of struggle on the streets as a pound pet for the evil Sykes before striking it rich with Jenny and her family.

Naturally, she pulls herself up by her paws in a Karen Walker kind of way, and in the end, she works with the other animals to save Jenny.

And then there’s a song-and-dance number in the streets of New York, involving taxis and random instruments from STOMP. It’s fabulous, catchy, and I have always wanted my life to be a musical, so there’s that.

I’m not sure what it says about me that I’d choose to be a poodle, of all things, but at the very least, she eats from a golden bowl that’s got feet on it. #GOALS, folks.

In other news, we’re about halfway through this season of “GIRLS”…how are we liking it so far? Personally, I think this is one of the better seasons yet (pretty sure there is only one left after this one).

*SPOILERS AHEAD*

Honestly, I hate to admit this, but I just love Adam and Hannah together, so that part bothers me. I don’t like Fran, so I’ll be relieved if/when they breakup.

The whole Adam and Jessa thing? Totally saw that shit coming; I mean it makes sense, but I just don’t like Jessa. At all.

I am not a fan of Marnie either (who is?), but I LOVED last week’s episode with her walking through the streets sans shoes in a red, sequined jumpsuit. I feel like her little romp with Charlie is SO how relationships happen. You run into someone you never thought you’d even talk to again, and then your world is flipped upside down for the better, and then it’s smashed in a matter of 24 hours.

That scene with Desi in the stairwell though: “You’re going to get murdered, I’m sorry.” I was dying laughing.

I heard that Adam Driver isn’t doing another season, so they’re going to have to figure out a way to end his character. And obviously Marnie is probably going to move back in with Hannah, and Fran will most likely be booted. Shosh will come back from Japan, and she may or may not have to deal with her entrepreneurial ex.

Guess we’ll find out soon enough! I’m going out of town this weekend, so I won’t get to catch up on a lot of my shows, but I’ll tell you that I’m currently obsessing over: Intervention, The First 48, Castle, and reruns of Dexter. Got a show I should watch? Let me know!

I finally watched ‘The Breakfast Club’…

See you next Saturday.

See you next Saturday.

That’s right, before this weekend, I hadn’t seen “The Breakfast Club” in its entirety. I knew the general plot, and had seen parts of it, but never actually paid attention to it.

So on Saturday morning, I started watching it before I headed out for the day. I was excited to see it, given it’s written by my FAVORITE screenwriter John Hughes (“Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, Home Alone), and after all, it’s a classic.

After watching it, I can tell you a few things:

  1. It’s no “Ferris Bueller”.
  2. Emilio Estevez never looked so cute.
  3. It does capture the teenage spirit like no other.

If you aren’t familiar with the movie, basically, five high school students in Chicago (Hughes based the school off his high school experience) show up for an all-day Saturday detention. They are all from different social circles, and all got in trouble for different reasons. After sitting in the same room for 8 hours, needless to say, they break down a few barriers.

I particularly liked the essay they wrote… because of course I did.

Helloooo, Heath Ledger!

Helloooo, Heath Ledger!

I’ll be honest, there’s a ton of movies I haven’t seen that I definitely should. So, over the last few weeks, I’ve kept my eyes open for movies to record and watch when I can actually sit and enjoy them.

So,  aside from “The Breakfast Club”, I also watched “Brokeback Mountain” and “Bad Words”…not really sure why all of the movies I watched this weekend start with a “B” but whatever.

I watched “Brokeback Mountain” late Saturday night as I was editing a 100-page essay of Shakespeare symbolism (no, seriously). I didn’t know much about the movie going in, other than the fact that two cowboys fall in love and can’t be together. Here’s what I gathered:

  1. Heath Ledger looks fine as hell. I repeat: fine as hell.
  2. The scenery; the landscape is absolutely beautiful.
  3. We haven’t come as far as we think when it comes to the 1960’s view of homosexuality.

Here’s the plot scoop: two complete strangers meet when they get jobs as sheep herders on Brokeback Mountain. They become friends, and eventually fall in love. However, they both have families and lives back home, so they part ways after the summer ends. Their story continues over the years, and eventually returns to the mountain in an unexpected way.

I watched “Bad Words” Sunday evening – it’s a movie I wanted to see in the theatre but it just never happened. It’s the story of a middle-aged man (Jason Bateman) who is determined to FINALLY win a spelling bee, even if it means being a complete dick to do so. And it is pretty funny; not so funny that I regret not paying $15 to see it, but it’s worth a watch if you’re looking for a laugh.

kiteDon’t worry, there’s a ton more random movies in my queue, so get prepped. But, I also didn’t stay indoors all weekend; I’m happy to report I did my fair share of stomping around ATX.

Truthfully, I had a rather nasty argument with my most recent fling (I will be able to fully unpack this next week), so I was happy to have a distraction with my very full calendar.

The highlights? Took a new dance class (feeling a little sore from it), discussed major blog moves over delicious pizza at Pinthouse, tried liquid nitrogen ice cream at SPUN, whizzed through IKEA for a few cute things, and went to Zilker Park for the annual Kite Festival, where I watched the kite contest, and had a scrumptious crab roll from Garbo’s Lobster…okay, and part of a funnel cake, too.

I also completely left my cell phone on the ground at the park, and amazingly, someone turned it into the lost and found, so I got it back… and I even found the person who turned it in and was able to thank them! Luck was on my side this time!

The Kite Festival has roots in Austin dating back to 1929, and it has always served as an event for the community to celebrate family. The festival is presented each year by the Exchange Club of Austin, an all-volunteer organization dedicated to the prevention of child abuse.

I wasn’t sure what to expect; I just knew there would be a kite contest that involved homemade kites. But, the site was really beautiful! There had to be a hundred (at least; I’m not good at guessing) kites in the sky dotting the picturesque downtown buildings. It was windy, so the kites were really soaring! I loved it, and I also learned that the Kite Festival is the official kickoff of spring events in Austin. Bring it on!

It really was a fantastic weekend… is it sad to say I’m ready for this coming weekend to begin already?

My week ahead is super busy at work, but I’m excited to bring you another exciting, HONEST, round of content right here!

Pic of the Week.

Just a few of my handmade Valentine's Day cards.

Just a few of my handmade Valentine’s Day cards.

Last week, I was under the weather. It’s been a LONG time since I’ve been sick; I’d like to think it’s because I’ve been really good about taking my vitamins, eating healthy, getting rest, and using my essential oils.

But, lots of people in my office have been sick, so despite all of my efforts (and slathering my body with antibacterial gel), I got sick and was out-of-commission, no matter if I wanted to admit it or not.

By the time Thursday rolled around, my sick coworkers were all, “Oh, you just have to get through one more day!” But… I use my weekends to get SHIT DONE! I didn’t necessarily hope to be chained to my couch for days (even though that’s what I usually do while writing blogs and editing freelance work).

Either way, I woke up Saturday morning feeling stuffy and exhausted. Luckily, I’d equipped my apartment with cold supplies (did you know there’s such a thing as Kleenex with Vicks?!), and after a few hours on the couch under my electric blanket, I was feeling much better.

And thankfully so, because I knew it was my only chance to craft up some cute Valentines for you guys! I got out all my supplies – some leftover from last year’s batch, and lots of new fun stuff.

After 5 or 6 hours of crafting, and watching rom-coms, including Sleepless in Seattle, Paper Towns, 10 Things I Hate About You, and The Longest Ride, I had crafted about 30 Valentines. I’m really proud of this batch, if I do say so myself! I cannot wait to send them to you guys!

Sunday, I was feeling much better, and was ready to venture out of the apartment (I’m suuuuch a recluse). I went shopping for books, a new moisturizer, and other Valentine’s goodies for care packages I’ll be putting together in the coming weeks. I also changed my turn signal and washed my car, inside and out. Like I said, I get shit D O N E on the weekends.

I know all of this Valentine’s hoopla probably makes it seem like I’m obsessed with the holiday. Truthfully, I’ve hated it for years. But, I’ve been a relationship writer for 10 years. Each year, when February rolls around – and each time I’m single – I wonder how to approach it.

There’s been years I’ve tried to ignore it; years when I’ve tried to just be cool about it; times when my girlfriends and I have worn all black and drank ourselves stupid; and times when I’ve been really, really sad over it. But the honest truth is, none of that makes me feel any different about the holiday.

And now, I just feel like the only thing to do is embrace it and celebrate the love I do have in my life. It is not romantic love, but it’s still meaningful and it makes me smile. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t know that everyone – single or not – could probably use a little more love every now and then. So, that’s why I’m sending the cards and care packages.

I love you all, and I cannot wait for you to see tomorrow’s post!

Celeb Crush: Elijah Wood.

Hells yes.

Hells yes.

I’ve got good news and bad news. The good news is, I just found out a few days ago that Elijah Wood lives in Austin! According to my coworker, he lives downtown and frequents the Whole Foods at least twice a week to… and here’s the bad news… get flowers for his girlfriend.

WAMP WAMP.

But don’t be surprised if you see me hanging around Whole Foods in downtown Austin sometime soon (I’m actually writing this post from the produce section, hoping the tower of pineapples is secure).

From what I can gather, he moved to Austin two years ago, and purchased a $1 million Victorian mansion. Not too shabby.

While you may recognize Wood from his starring role in the Lord of The Rings series, I’ve had a crush on him for a very long time — I’m pretty sure I fell in love with him in The Faculty (if you haven’t seen that movie, you need to do so IMMEDIATELY).

He’s definitely got a distinct look about him, not to mention those eyes, and honestly, he seems like a really nice guy.

Several years ago, when he was in New Orleans for Mardi Gras, I was lucky enough to have a seat in the stands and caught a necklace he tossed — I still have it, unopened, because… fangirling.

I’m honestly not sure if he’s got any movies coming up — he seems to have done the Joseph-Gordon Levitt (another celeb crush) thing and moved on to other creative projects. But I’m okay with it.

Meanwhile… look for me at Whole Foods. But if you see me there, don’t blow my cover!

Courtney Clark on ‘Jurassic World’

Happy Friday! As a start to the holiday weekend, I’m so happy to share something special with you guys today — a Q & A with my friend and actress Courtney Clark, who has a role in Jurassic World, which is currently in theaters. Courtney plays the role of “Sarah,” the park announcer who’s now-iconic voice actually kicks of the official trailer (see video below)! Courtney can also be seen in The Lucky One and Beauty & the Briefcase, among other films. But, if you haven’t seen Jurassic World yet — this is the perfect weekend to do it! 

1. How did it feel auditioning for and/or finding out you got the role in Jurassic World?
To find out I got the role was beyond me! I was working on another film, MIND PUPPETS, and received a call that we were waiting for final studio approval for JURASSIC WORLD! I was ecstatic to say the least! I have always loved those films! And immediately screamed the awesome news to my family!

2. How was filming this movie different from others you’ve done in the past?
This movie had a lot of new things for me… HUGE studio film and it also was a franchise…and already had a fan following so there was a lot to deliver! But the cast/crew were no different they were just as lovely as anyone could be! 🙂

3. You play Sarah, the Park Announcer. Were there any challenges or difficult scenes you had to overcome?
Luckily a lot of the world in JURASSIC WORLD was really created…so the energy, excitement and visualization were pretty easy!

4. Have you always been a fan of the Jurassic Park movies and/or books? If so, what was it like to see everything up close and, in “real” life?
I have always been a fan! To this day I can’t believe this is my life! So many amazing things I saw while working on this film, the 7 year old in me was/is very much alive!

5. What was something you learned during the filming of this movie?
Big or small project…never feel like you can’t chime in a be a team member! They value your opinion just as you value theirs.

6. What’s coming up next for you — if you can say…
Mind Puppets….a comedic thriller with Kevin Pollack…its going be fun!

7. Without giving any spoilers, what do you think movie-goers will love about Jurassic World?
For adults, going back to their childhood…it takes you right back there.
For children…the magic we all found in the first Jurassic Park.

Fresh Friday: Very Irresistible.

Can YOU resist Givenchy's  Very Irresistible?

Can YOU resist Givenchy’s Very Irresistible?

Well y’all, we’ve survived yet another week! There are times when I just can’t believe I’ll get through another busy week, and then Friday rolls in like nothing else. A week from today I’ll be on the beach at Hangout Fest, so I’m keeping my eye on the prize!

This week’s Fresh Friday scent profile is on Givenchy’s Very Irresistible — an homage to Givenchy’s early days, when cinema and fashion inspired each other.

As described by Sephora, “Very Irrésistible Givenchy unites the elegant tradition of French style with the energy and pop-culture pizzazz of American film. Bursting with roses and infused with star anise, and verbena leaf, Very Irrésistible Givenchy is a fresh departure from the traditional floral fragrance.”

This perfume for women features notes of Centifolia Rose, Peony Rose, Fantasia Rose, Passion Rose, Emotion Rose, Verbena Leaf, and Star Anise.

As you can tell, Very Irresistible is a very floral scent, and even has a touch of powdery softness that’s incredible feminine. This perfume is definitely glamourous!

I hope you all have a fantastic, relaxing weekend, and don’t forget to show mom just how much you care on Sunday!

RomComs: not just for the ladies.

Who's enjoying the movie more?

Who’s enjoying the movie more?

It’s true, men like to watch romantic comedies, too! Maybe you’ve caught your boyfriend laughing a little too hard during a recent Lifetime movie, or perhaps you’ve caught your husband popping in a copy of your coveted Sex & The City DVD. No matter what the reason, men love them a little chick flick.

For this post, I definitely needed help from the guys, and the ladies who’ve seen this in-action. So, I asked, and I received! Here are the romantic comedies your man just might love to watch (with you, of course):

THE PROPOSAL — (2009) A pushy boss (Sandra Bullock) forces her young assistant (Ryan Reynolds) to marry her in order to keep her Visa status in the U.S. and avoid deportation to Canada.

I don’t know about you, but I wish to live in a world where I am forced to marry Ryan Reynolds. I’ll also be willing to settle for his doppleganger.

THE NOTEBOOK — (2004) A poor and passionate young man (Ryan Gosling) falls in love with a rich young woman (Rachel McAdams) and gives her a sense of freedom. They soon are separated by their social differences.

DIRTY DANCING — (1987) Spending the summer in a holiday camp with her family, Frances “Baby” Houseman (Jennifer Grey) falls in love with the camp’s dance instructor Johnny Castle (Patrick Swayze).

Me? I’m scared of everything. I’m scared of what I saw, I’m scared of what I did, of who I am, and most of all I’m scared of walking out of this room and never feeling the rest of my whole life the way I feel when I’m with you.

—Baby

FEVER PITCH — (2005) Lindsay (Drew Barrymore) is stuck in the middle of her relationship with Ben (Jimmy Fallon) and his passion for the Boston Red Sox.

FOUR WEDDINGS & A FUNERAL — (1994) Over the course of five social occasions, a committed bachelor (Hugh Grant) must consider the notion that he may have discovered love.

Love this movie!

Love this movie!

ABOUT TIME — (2013) At the age of 21, Tim (Domhnail Gleeson) discovers he can travel in time and change what happens and has happened in his own life. His decision to make his world a better place by getting a girlfriend (Rachel McAdams) turns out not to be as easy as you might think.

HE’S JUST NOT THAT INTO YOU — (2009) The Baltimore-set movie of interconnecting story arcs deals with the challenges of reading or misreading human behavior.

This movie is PACKED with stars: Ginnifer Goodwin, Kevin Connolly, Scarlett Johansson, Ben Affleck, Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Anniston, Justin Long, Jennifer Connelly, Drew Barrymore… the list goes on. I wasn’t in love with this movie right away, but every damn time it’s on TV, I sit down to watch it. I am so Gigi. Ugh!

SERENDIPITY(2001) A couple (Kate Beckinsale & John Cusack) reunite years after the night they first met, fell in love, and separated, convinced that one day they’d end up together.

SAY ANYTHING — (1989) A noble underachiever (John Cusack) and a beautiful valedictorian (Ione Sky) fall in love the summer before she goes off to college.

HOW TO LOSE A GUY IN 10 DAYS — (2003) Benjamin Barry (Matthew McConaughey) is an advertising executive and ladies’ man who, to win a big campaign, bets that he can make a woman fall in love with him in 10 days. Andie Anderson (Kate Hudson) covers the “How To” beat for “Composure” magazine and is assigned to write an article on “How to Lose a Guy in 10 days.” They meet in a bar shortly after the bet is made.

CRAZY STUPID LOVE — (2001) A middle-aged husband’s (Steve Carell) life changes dramatically when his wife (Julianne Moore) asks him for a divorce. He seeks to rediscover his manhood with the help of a newfound friend, Jacob (Ryan Gosling), learning to pick up girls at bars.

CRUEL INTENTIONS — (1999) Kathryn (Sarah Michelle Gellar) makes a bet that her step-brother, Sebastian (Ryan Phillipe), won’t be able to bed Annette (Reese Witherspoon) (a virgin, who wants to wait until love). If he loses, Kathryn gets his Jaguar, if he wins, he gets Kathryn.

THE DEVIL WEARS PRADA — (2006) A naive young woman (Anne Hathaway) comes to New York and scores a job as the assistant to one of the city’s biggest magazine editors, the ruthless and cynical Miranda Priestly (Meryl Streep).

500 DAYS OF SUMMER — (2009) An offbeat romantic comedy about a woman (Zoey Deschanel) who doesn’t believe true love exists, and the young man (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) who falls for her.

YOU’VE GOT MAIL — (1998) Two business rivals (Tom Hanks & Meg Ryan) hate each other at the office but fall in love over the internet.

A LEAGUE OF THEIR OWN — (1992) Two sisters join the first female professional baseball league and struggle to help it succeed amidst their own growing rivalry.

PITCH PERFECT — (2012) Beca (Anna Kendrick), a freshman at Barden University, is cajoled into joining The Bellas, her school’s all-girls singing group. Injecting some much needed energy into their repertoire, The Bellas take on their male rivals in a campus competition.

It’s a pretty good list, right? Did I miss any? What movies does your guy like to watch?

Chick Flicks That are Worth a Damn.

Call them RomComs, Chick Flicks, whatever, but the truth is, I’ve never been able to really label how I feel about this film genre. Sometimes, these movies cheer me up when I’m down, and other times, they make me cynical (more than I already am) and I feel like I’m never going to find a guy, and the next thing you know I’m in the freezer aisle at Albertson’s choosing between Cherry Garcia and Chunky Monkey.

So, I’m on a mission to find some chick flicks that are worth your time. You’ve probably seen them, and if you haven’t, run to the nearest RedBox. There’s a ton out there, so this might end up being a multi-part post, but I started with the ones I had right in my apartment. And yes, I watched them just for the sake of this post.

Sooooo cute!

Sooooo cute!

Drive Me Crazy (1999)

Plot: Nicole, head of her high school’s Centennial celebration committee, has everything lined up to get asked to the dance by popular basketball player, Brad. But when her plan falls through, she turns the guy next door into any girl’s dream…only for his ex to want him back. Can Nicole get her plan to work before the big dance? 

Starring the beloved Melissa Joan Hart, and the sexy Adrian Grenier, this film stands the text of time. Unless I’m just a huge dork, still living in high school.

I was in 9th grade when this movie came out, and I loved the way it openly addressed (and even mocked) high school cliques, and the worst, facing the fact that you might not have a date for the dance. And, even though Nicole’s (played by Hart) little friend turns out to be a huge bitch, I love that she talks in headlines: “Girl gets two-faced boy in backseat, violence anticipated.”

Hitch (2005)

Plot: Successful matchmaker, Hitch meets gossip columnist Sara, and while he struggles to impress her, his business is booming. Meanwhile, a client he declined screws over Sara’s best friend, putting Sara on the search for this “Date Doctor,” only to find it’s the man of her dreams, or so she thought. Can Hitch explain himself to win Sarah over? 

I know all the Ryan Gosling fans are groaning, since Eva Mendes is the lead female in this flick. While I’m not a huge fan of her’s, or Will Smith’s (who plays Hitch), for that matter, I just love this movie. It almost mocks RomComs in a way, pointing out that it doesn’t matter what rules you use for the game of dating, it really just comes down to finding the right person.

And, I can’t help it, but that scene where Hitch has a walkie-talkie delivered to Sara’s office to ask her on their first date? I. SO. WANT. THAT. TO. HAPPEN. TO. ME. Or, maybe if a guy would call me, that would be equally as impressive.

When Harry Met Sally (1989)

Plot: As college students, Harry and Sally meet through a mutual friend/girlfriend, and drive across the country together. Repulsed by Harry, Sally goes on her way, never talking to him again…until they bump into each other six years later at the airport. While years continue to pass, she finds him less repulsive, and they start to wonder, can men and women be friends, or will sex always get in the way?

Who doesn’t love Meg Ryan in a chick flick? I love that this movie (attempts to) tackles that annoying question about men and women being friends. I also love the soundtrack to this movie, and I think in general, it holds a special place in my heart because I fell in love with my best friend in college, too. Even though now, I hate his cheating guts.

Nevertheless, anytime I watch this movie, and Sally orders her complicated apple pie a la mode, it makes me want a slice. Really bad.

John Tucker Must Die (2006)

Plot: John Tucker is the hottest, most popular guy in high school…which is probably why he has, like, a dozen girlfriends. But when new girl Kate comes to town, she’s seen this story one too many times, and gathers three of his exes for ultimate revenge. 

Is this the most well-written, smart chick flick out there? No. But who doesn’t love a movie dedicated to getting back at the guy who broke your heart? Besides, some of the pranks they pull are pretty funny (i.e. the red thong?). And, I hate to admit it, but Tucker (played by Jesse Metcalfe) is fine as hell.

Legally Blonde (2001)

Love the shoes...

Love the shoes…

Plot: Elle Woods, pretty sorority girl in pink, thinks she’s about to get engaged to her college sweetheart. But instead, she gets dumped for being “too blonde.” So, she gets into Harvard to win him back, but when she does, she finds something else is worth her time. 

If this isn’t a great movie to pull any chick out of her doldrums, then I don’t know what is. Even if it’s not a breakup I’m upset over, this movie gets me going! While the pink sorority facade is laughable, I love her creative ways to get ahead, and her witty comebacks.

Plus, there’s the nail tech that you cannot help but love. And the fashion, the fashion is to die for. Plus, ever since I’ve seen this movie, I’ve always wondered about that scented resume. Anyone ever tried that?

PS. While I was looking for fun “Legally Blonde” stuff, I came across this makeup kit by Bella Pierre, which is supposedly the same stuff they used in Legally Blonde, the Broadway musical!

Now And Then (1995)

Plot: Four 12-year-old girls, best friends, are growing up together during an Indiana summer in the 70s. But it’s not just any summer—for all of them, this seems to be the summer that everything happens. 

I don’t know how I first saw this movie, but I recall watching it dozens of times with my BFF, Angela, and let me tell you this: it does not get old. Staring Christina Ricci, Rosi O’Donnell, Thora Birch, Melanie Griffith, Demi Moore, Rita Wilson, and Devon Sawa, I mean COME ON.

This movie covers it all—divorce, death, the birds and the bees, haunting stories, and anything that comes with growing up in a small town. It’s a must see.

Divide...and conquer.

Divide…and conquer.

The Breakup (2006)

Plot: Once Gary and Brooke breakup, they are faced with one big decision: who gets their condo? Their extreme efforts to push each other out becomes comical. 

I’m sorry, but I love Vince Vaughn. Add in Jennifer Anniston and I’m sold. This movie makes a tough situation pretty funny, and has a pretty good depiction about the way relationships are sometimes (the fight about the lemons is spot-on). And I can’t help it, but I simply LOVE drooling over that condo.

“There’s a real big gap between getting your ass kicked and having a dancing, singing sprite fool you with trickery and then strike your throat before you even know you’re in a fight. But I wouldn’t expect someone like you to understand that, because all you do is make moves from up in your ivory tower.”—Gary, The Breakup