Thursday, December 31, 2009

Two Thousand Nine

I could be spending this post recapping the past decade. (I'm still in a little disbelief that we're somehow ending a decade!) But I figured I'd be a little less ambitious and recap 2009 only.

Kicked off 2009 by watching LSU win the Chick-fil-a bowl.

The boy and I moved into our first apartment.
The Kitchen

Spend Valentine's Day at a wedding.
The Desser Table

Slumdog Millionaire won the Oscar for Best Picture.

Went to the first series ever at LSU's New Alex Box Stadium kicking off a season where LSU baseball won the College World Series.
The New Alex Box Stadium

Spent 22 hours in California for Passover.
Sedar Plate

Went to Santa Cruz, California for my brother's college graduation.
Graduation Cap

Celebrated the boy's niece's 2nd birthday.

Went to an LSU football game, the first time I'd gone to one with the boy.
Beau & Me

Bought the new Backstreet Boys cd.
Backstreet Boys' This is Us

Celebrated my 25th birthday.

Welcomed the boy's nephew into the world.
Sadie, Braylon, and Mindy

Celebrated mine and the boy's 3rd anniversary
3rd Anniversary

Spent my first ever Thanksgiving with the boy's family.

Completed NaBloPoMo.

Had snowfall in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
Snow at the Pool

Celebrated my 1st blogoversary.

Spent Christmas in California. (A full recap of the trip will be coming... next year!)

I didn't think I was going to have a lot to include in this post, but turns out quite a lot of exciting things happened. Here's hoping 2010 is just as exciting!

Happy New Year!


Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Blogoversary Q & A

I've been wanting to do a Q&A session for a while, but I was a little scared as to the questions I was going to get. What if they were all questions I didn't want to answer, or even wasn't sure how to answer. But you all surprised me, and I loved all your questions. I've kept rereading them, and I've been awfully excited to answer them all! I was a little surprised that in general they seemed to fall in categories, and figured it would be easiest to organized the answers that way. I hope you enjoy reading the answers as much as I enjoyed answering them!

In General
Amber asked "What did you go to university for?"
In college I doubled majored in math and chemistry. And I went to grad school for a Masters in math.

Amber asked "What is your current career and is it what you'd hoped/planned to be doing?"
Classy in Philadelphia asked "What's your job?"

I do try to avoid talking about work in general, but I can let you all know I work in the insurance field. (And yes, I realize how little that narrows it down.) I actually had no idea what I wanted to be doing, and kind of fell into the whole situation and field. But I do think its a pretty good fit for me overall.

Crazy Shenanigans asked "I want to finish hearing about how you and the ended up together. You left us hanging WEEKS ago!!!"
Haha! You're right! I do have a full entry planed to answer this, so I will keep you waiting a little longer. How about I make a New Years resolution continue the story!

Abbie asked "What is your favorite season?"
I would probably say summer, most likely since I've always lived in fairly warm climates. I do like visiting the snow, but I'm not a fan of actually having to live in it.

Suz asked "Do you have any nicknames?"
Not really, people have tried but in general they tend to to stick for too long. I've had people have tried Shosh, Shoshie, or even Shaun, and the boy's niece has been calling me Aunt Sonna lately.

Anais asked "I'd love to have a list of all the places you've been! Whenever you talk about a new one I'm like - OMG you've been there TOO!"
Baker Girl asked "I too would love to know all the places you've been. It seems like you're always throwing in some other place and I'm all 'Whoa she's been there too???'"

My parents gave me the traveling bug early. They decided that it would be a great idea to take me to Europe as a baby. I can't tell you all the countries I went to on this trip, since I don't quite remember. But I can tell you all I spent my 1st birthday skinny-dipping on the French Rivera. But the trips that actually count (excluding Mexico and Canada, both of which I have been to at one time or another, and various US States I've been to)
England - Summer 1998
Italy (& Nice,France) - Summer 2000
England (and Wales) - Thanksgiving 2003
France (Mainly Avignon & Paris) - Summer 2004
Japan - Spring 2008
Israel - Spring 2008

Lisa asked "Out of all the trips you've taken, which one is your favorite?"
Classy in Philadelphia asked "What's your favorite place to travel to?"

Its hard to choose, but I think I'd say my trip to France in 2004. I was there for 3 weeks on what my college called an "Intensive Study Abroad Course." I got to live with a host family, and at times felt like I was actually living in there. I think that's the main reason why I'd say it was my favorite, because I actually got to feel like I was living there.

Movies & Books
Anais asked "I know you love seeing movies - which is one of your favorite ones, the first one that comes to mind?"
I have to go with two, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers and A Little Princess, the 1995 version.

Classy in Philadelphia asked "Because I love books, what's your favorite book?"
My favorite book series is the Betsy~Tacy series by Maude Hart Lovelace. It's a semi-autobiographical series (similar to the Little House on the Prairie books) that starts when the author is 5 and ends with her marriage. If you never heard of them I'd really recommend them all! They even re-released the high school books recently. But if I had to choose an actual singular book, it would probably be Gone with the Wind.

Lisa asked "Have you always been a big fan of going to movies or is this something you started doing when you started dating your boyfriend?"
Abbie asked "What sparked your interest in movies? And because the cost of going to the movies is ridiculous are you at all getting paid for going to see them?! (Ok, so the second part of this question is a joke...kind of!)"

I've always paid attention to movies. I've always looked at weekly box office reports, love watching the Oscars, and in general always knew what movies were coming out. And while I always had a list of movies I would want to see, and didn't see most of them. But the boy loves going to movies and actually makes a point to see them. So basically I the movie love has always been there, but the actually seeing part is somewhat new. And I wish someone was paying for my all tickets! (Although honestly the boy and I do try to split the cost.) But if someone wants to sponsor me, let me know!

Suz asked "How do you find the time to fit in so many movies and books into your schedule?"
With movies, its mainly what the boy and I do together. We don't really go out a lot, instead we spend most weekends at the movie. With reading, its a similar situation in that I make time for it before other things. Although I am a quick reader, so that helps. Normally I'll read before part or sometimes on my lunch break. But if its a really good book I'll pretty much read whenever I have a chance till I finish it.

From L.A. to LA
Katie asked"Do you plan on staying in Louisiana- is it home now?"
Lisa asked "Do you think you'll ever move back to California?"

I think in a perfect world I would like to move back to California. But the boy would rather not live in California. I think what is most like to happen is that we'll wind up living in a different state all together to try to be "fair" to both families. But luckily, the boy still has a few years left of grad school before we need to come to any type of decision.

Amanda asked "Clearly, there's a bit of difference between L.A. and LA (which is why your blog title works, lol) - what was the biggest "culture shock" moment you had after moving, and is it still surprising to you?"
Its funny because some of the biggest culture shock moments are actually due to some pretty small issues. First there's the fact that instead of sidewalks next to the round there tend to be huge ditches. I get that they're there to collect all the rainwater, but its still a little unsettling to me. And on a similar topic, the yellow lights in Louisiana are incredibly long! Silly thing to point out, but its a noticeable difference from California, and something you might want to pay attention to if you're from Louisiana going to a different state.

Abbie asked "What do you like most about Louisiana? What do you like least?(I absolutely fell in love with Louisiana when I was there over the summer and my husband's family is from there so I guess that's where my curiosity comes from!)
I do like the food, but how can you refer to Louisiana and not mention that. But I also think something that stuck out was a bit of the "Southern Charm." For example, I can't say I've ever had a guy go out of the way to open a door for me. And over 3 years into our relationship the boy still makes a point to open almost every door for me. While its something I've gotten used to, the idea of it still shocks me a little. And the least, I'm not a big fan of the weather. Or more specifically I really hate driving in the ridiculously scary rain that Louisiana gets.

Thanks everyone for all your questions! And if there's anything else I didn't quite answer, feel free to ask me in the comments and I'll respond there!


Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Did You Hear About Sherlock Avatar Up in the Air?

Yes, I did see quite a few movies in the past week or so. I think the best way to do it is to end with the movie I would recommend the most. Get ready!

Did You Hear about the Morgans?
A cute premise overall. A couple on the verge of divorce winds up having to go into witness protection TOGETHER in the middle of NOWHERE. Not the most original plot, but who's seeing this movie for that. The only real reason to see it are the actors. First there's Sarah Jessica Parker, whose character could be Carrie Bradshaw. Then there's Hugh Grant, and I don't think there's a movie I don't love him in. I thought they were great together. I think this would be the perfect movie to watch when its on TV on a lazy Sunday, but don't think you need to run out and see it before its out of the theater.

Sherlock Holmes
While this movie is only my third choice its more because the top two are so good, not that there's anything lacking in this. I wasn't really sure what to expect with this, or if I would enjoy it. But I was definitely pleasantly surprised. I do like being able to see how Sherlock Holmes is thinking when he's explaining how he solves a case. But even more so when he starts to plan out his actions in a fight. Then there's also Rachel McAdams, and while its not my favorite performance of hers, I don't think I've seen a movie she's been bad it. Its definitely worth going to see in theater... at least assuming you've already seen the next two movies.

Up in the Air
I knew basically what this movie was about before I saw it. George Clooney is a guy who goes around the country firing people and he mentors Anna Kendrick (aka Jessica from Twilight), but I wasn't quite sure how they were going to be able to turn that into a whole movie. Yet, they did and it wound up being a great movie. Both Anna Kendrick are really good, and definitely does deserve the Oscar nominations they are likely to get. Also interesting is the fact that some of the firing scenes include real footage of real people getting fired. While I did enjoy the movie throughout, it wasn't till the end I realized how much I loved it and how much it truly spoke to me. I would definitely recommend this, especially to all the other 20-somethings like me.

This movie does live up to all the hype. First the images and scenery alone almost make up a good movie. And the 3-D is definitely worth it, so much so that at times you lose yourself and feel like you are actually part of the movie. But the movie and story itself are just as good as all the special effects. The boy loved it because it had more than enough fighting for me. I loved it because it had a great love story. Although, without trying to give to much away, I would have expected a slightly different ending coming from James Cameron. Interestingly enough, while this is a science fiction movie it wouldn't surprise me if it does wound up winning a Best Picture. I would definitely say this is another must see.

Yes, I do realize 2 out of these 4 movies I consider to be must see. But I do think if you see them you won't be disappointed. Anyone else have any must see movies they've seen? Or do you disagree with my choices?


P.S. I'm answering all your questions tomorrow. So if there's anything else you want to know be sure to ask a questions here.

Monday, December 28, 2009

And The Winner Is...

I hope everyone is having happy holidays! I spent most of the past week celebrating with my family and can't wait to tell you all about it. I hope everyone received all the gifts they were hoping for, but if not I'm about to send one more gift one lucky reader's way.

But first I wanted to thank everyone who entered. I thought this would be a giveaway I would love and am glad to hear you all felt the same. I'm so excited that 19 of you entered and I wound up with a total of 39 entries. And for those of you who become followers for the giveaway, I hope you stick around and enjoy From L.A. to LA as much as I do.

But without further adieu the winner of the first ever From L.A. to LA giveaway is...

Classy in Philadelphia!

Your comment says you were hoping to receive The Last Summer (or You and Me). E-mail me at ShoshanahinLA(at)gmail(dot)com to let me know your address and if your choice has changed.

Once again thank you to everyone who entered!


P.S. If you haven't yet posted a question (here) for my 1st blogoversary Q&a session its not too late! I'll be answering all your questions later this week.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Blogoversary Giveaway

Announcing the first ever From L.A. to LA giveaway!

For anyone that's been around here long enough you might have noticed I like to read. And when I finish I book I do my best to post a small review. Partly to give advice to you all, but if I'm being honest its mainly to keep track of them all myself. But since I do want you all to try some of the books I've reviewed in honor of my first blogoversary, I'm giving away a copy of one of the books I've reviewed over the past year. And not just any book from the past year. But what ever book the winner wants! To help you all make your choice I've listed all the books I've reviewed that are eligible to be chosen along with a link to their original review. Good Luck on winning, but even harder good luck on choosing only one as your prize!

Blogoversary Eligible Books
American Wife by Curtis Sittenfeld
Best Friends Forever by Jennifer Weiner
Bitter is the New Black by Jen Lancaster
Bright Lights, Big Ass by Jen Lancaster
Dead Until Dark by Charlaine Harris
Diary of a Mad Bride By Laura Wolf
The Duggars: 20 and Counting by Michelle & Jim Bob Duggar
The Gatecrasher by Madeleine Wickman
The Host by Stephanie Meyer
Julie & Julia Julie Powell
The Kids are All Right by Diana Welch & Liz Welch with Amanda Welch & Dan Welch
The King's Confidante by Jean Plaidy
Labyrinth by Kate Moss
The Last Summer (of You & Me) by Ann Brashers
This Little Mommy Stayed Home by Samantha Wilde
People of the Book by Geraldine Brooks
Rattled by Christine Coppa
Rashi's Daughters Book III: Rachael by Maggie Anton
Sammy's House by Kristin Gore
Sarah's Key by Tatiana de Rosnay
The Saturday Wife by Naomi Ragen
Sepulchre by Kate Mosse
Strike Zone by Kate Angell
Sliding Home by Kate Angell
The Tea Rose by Jennifer Donnelly
The White Queen by Philippa Gregory
The Winter Rose by Jennifer Donnelly

Now that you know what you can win, you might want to know how to enter! There will be three different ways to enter, and you can receive 1 entry for each. Which means each person can have up to 3 entries. The ways to enter are as followed:

    1. Leave me a comment telling me what book you think you might want to pick.
      (No pressure, you can always change you mind if you win.)

    2. Be (or become) a follower of From L.A. to LA

    3. Post about this giveaway on your blog
      (Be sure to include your link in your comment)
You can post a comment for each entry or you can post one entry and let me know all the ways you are entering. You have until the end of the day on Saturday, December 26 to enter. (Think of it as a late Christmas present)

Good luck to all and I can't wait to see what book the winner chooses!


P.S. Its not to late to ask me any questions you're curious about! Check out my post from yesterday for more details on my Q&A session.

Sunday, December 20, 2009


Tomorrow is officially my 1 year blogoversary. "But, wait" you might be thinking, "I see entries in your archives dating back to 2007!" And you would be right. But if you read the entry I posted 364 days ago here you can see that when I made the decision to actually start blogging. That's the day I decided to write about more than trips I had taken and actually post regularly. That's actually when From L.A. to LA was born, because prior to that I was just going by "Shoshanah's Blog," which is not nearly as catchy.

I do realize I could have started a new at that point. But at that time I was afraid I'd have two almost empty blogs. But turns out I kept at it! Plus its fun to go back and see what I writing about back then.

So to honor the 1 year blogoversary of From L.A. to LA, I have a few ideas. First I'll be having a giveaway. I'll be posting all the details tomorrow, so be sure to come back and check it out. I think its a pretty awesome prize.

Second, I figure that you might have known me for a year, but how well do you really know me? So I figured this would be a perfect time to ask you all to submit questions. Whatever you want to know about me feel free to ask and I'll do my best to answer. Try to get your questions in by the end of the week, and I'll do my best to answer them all by the end of the year! And don't forget to stop by tomorrow to find out about my amazing giveaway!


Friday, December 18, 2009

8 Crazy Nights

Happy Hanukkah!Night #2
I have four different boxes of Hanukkah candles, which means each night I try my best to mix it up.
Happy Hanukkah4th Night
The candles I used the 4th and 8th night are actually a presents from my parents this year. They have little Hanukkah designs all over them, and are so cute.
5th Night6th Night
To all of you who have been celebrating this past week I hope you had a happy Hanukkah! And to everyone else I have you have both a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year
7th Night8th Night
And of course, Happy Holidays!


Thursday, December 17, 2009

The Princess and Invictus

This movie is really as good as everyone says it is. In the movie, Morgan Freeman plays Nelson Mandela and Matt Damon is the captain of the Springboks, aka South Africa's rugby team. This takes place recently after Nelson Mandela came to power and tells the story of how he uses the rugby's World Cup win to unite the country.

Its funny, because I thought I was fairly well educated on South Africa's power struggle. But this movie made me realize how little I actually did now. In that sense it was really educational, without being too over the top.

Then there's the fact that its a rugby movie. And while I thought I knew about Apartheid, I knew nothing about rugby. They do try to explain the game a little, but even so during most of the big sports action scenes I had no idea what was going on. But even without knowing exactly what was happening, I was still able to feel all the excitement.

Of course the main thing people are saying about this movie is that the action is amazing. Which it truly is. Matt Damon was really good. But Morgan Freeman even more impressive. It wouldn't surprise me is Morgan Freeman wound up with an Oscar after this.

I would definitely tell you to go see this movie. After all, when was the last time you saw an underdog sports movie, that was also a political movie?

The Princess and the Frog
I love pretty much all Disney movies, so before I even saw this I knew I had to love it. Luckily it lived up to my expectations. Also I will say I was a bit distracted throughout the movie watching the boy niece so I can't say I was paying attention to the actual movie the entire time. (You can read the whole day we spent with his niece here)

I did love that it was in New Orleans and all of the Louisiana references. Let's just say there were a few jokes that a lot of people might not get, but because I saw the movie in Baton Rouge they had the audience cracking up. Also since it took place in New Orleans, most of the music as Jazz or Zydeco influence. It was really catchy overall, but there didn't really seem to be one stand out ballad that is standard in a lot of Disney Princess films.

I did really enjoy this movie, and can't wait to see it again especially in a situation where I can pay more attention to the actual movie. And of course, I'm awfully excited to be able to see Princess Tiana at New Orleans Square in Disneyland!

It definitely was a could weekend for movies, and I have a feeling its going to stay that way the rest of the year since there's so many movies I want to see opening. How exciting!

Anyone else see either of these movies? Do you like them as well? And what else are you looking forward to seeing this year?


Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Another Where in the World Wednesday

Once again I'm participating in Classy in Philadelphia. The way it works is you post of picture of yourself taken somewhere that you consider to be traveling. If you aren't yet participating you should be!

Today's picture comes to us from...
This picture was taken in Spring 2008 when I went with my parents to visit my younger brother who was studying abroad in Japan. The Mountain in background in Mount Fuji, and this was taken on a tow-way car up to the top of a nearby volcano.

It might look familiar to some of you, since this is the picture I use in my blogger profile picture. Now just in case you had ever wondered you know where it was taken.

Head over to Classy in Philadelphia if you looking from more posts. Or if you're looking to see where else I've been, you can check out ALL my Where in the World Wednesday posts here


Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Day at the Movies

This past weekend the boy and I spent the day with his 2 and a half year old niece. Almost immediately after arriving she showed her good taste when she decided she needed to play with Samantha
Sadie and Samantha
She would have probably been happy playing with Samantha all day, but we had big plans. So we made Samantha take a nap, and headed out on our way.

We stopped for lunch a McDonald's where she wound up with a bran new horse to play with. Never mind that this "horse" was blue and had six legs, it was still a horse for her. (The toys were based on the movie Avatar in case you're completely confused.)

After lunch we headed to the theater, where we were taking her to see her first movie ever The Princess and the Frog
Getting Read to the The Princess and the Frog

Being that this was first first time seeing a movie in a theater she did really well. Yes, there were 3 different bathroom tricks. And yes, she was dancing during most of the songs. And yes, instead of sitting in her own chair she spent time on my lap and on the boy's lap. She even at one point, set her booster seat on the ground and watched the movie from there.
Waiting to see the movie

But it was a matinee, and the theater was filled with kids. And by no way was she the loudest one there.

Overall, I think it wound up being a lot of fun for everyone. Maybe more for her than us? But the boy and I still had a great time. Its a little funny to think this could be our life several years from now, but instead of taking a niece to the movie, we might be taking our own kids! (And have no fear, I do promise a review of the movie itself will be up later this week)

Anyone else have any amusing experiences taking kids to the movies? Or if you remember, what was the first movie you saw in the theaters? I do be wrong, but I think mine might have been Disney's Aristocats.


Monday, December 14, 2009

Who Turned Out the Lights

I had my post for tonight all thought out, and knew exactly what I wanted to tell you all. Except the drive home from work today was in the pouring scary rain. And instead of being 10 minutes as normal, it took my over 30 minutes get home. The main reason being that the stoplight closest to my apartment was out, which backed up traffic completely.

But not only was the stoplight out, the entire block had no power. It seems the combination of extreme rain and wind and thunder and lightning had downed a power line or two, and my apartment was without power. (Yes, there were other places without power, but clearly the fact MY apartment had no power is the most important!) Luckily, since it was Hanukkah, I still had matches on the table as well as Hanukkah candles. So I lit candles for the night (along with any other candle I could find in my apartment).

So I now had light, but no power. Without power I wasn't sure what to do. No power meant no TV, no internet, and no computer. I called people on my cell phone, until I realize the smart thing to do would be to save my cell's power, just in case. But since I had managed to light up part of my apartment I was able read until the boy got home.

Once he arrived home we figured the smart thing to do was to try to find somewhere with power that could feed us dinner. After a very leisurely dinner at What-A-Burger who headed home fingers crossed. And.... the power was back!

Its funny how helpless you can feel without something like electricy. And a little crazy to think that a hundred or so years ago, there was never any power. I mean how did they survive back then without the internet?


Sunday, December 13, 2009

Is it Saturday Yet?

The Saturday Wife by Naomi Ragen
I been noticing this book for quite a while now in the bookstore. I always see it and think with the Jewish Star earning I will really like it. But each time I read the summary and decide that I'm not to sure I'll enjoy it. I finally say this book being sold bargain priced and figured this was the best time to try it out.

I almost wish I could say I was disappointed by this book. Except I didn't have very high expectations for it and was sure I'd enjoy it. So really, my expectations were pretty much met.

The book follows a modern day Orthodox woman, Delilah Levi, living in New York. Some how Delilah winds up being a Rabbi's wife when she would have much rather been they type of wife to star on Real Housewives. Delilah spent most of the book miserable, and as a reader you felt pretty miserable right beside her. There were a few highlights of the book, an over-the-top Bar Mitzvah being one of them, but over all I wasn't a big fan.

There was a bit of a surprise ending, and leaves who wondering as a reader. And while the ending was a nice surprise, it didn't make up for the rest of the book for me.

I have heard that some of Naomi Ragen's books are a lot better. So I might take a chance and try out something else she has written. But while I can't say now I don't enjoy her as an author, I can say I wasn't a big fan of this book.


Saturday, December 12, 2009

All American Girl

Growing up I love reading the American Girl books, as did most of my friends. Which meant of course, I felt the need to have one myself. I was trying to decide between Kirsten or Samantha, when they released a new American Girl doll, Felcity. So since its currently Hanukkah its only fitting that I received my Felicity doll for Hanukkah in 2nd grade (1991 if you're curious).
Meet Felicity
Yes, I do realize her hair looks a little crazy, but really all she needs is a good session in the American Girl Doll Hair Salon and she would be good as new.

I spent the next few years collecting as much of Felcity's collection as a could, but one doll is never enough. So in middle school my parents bought me a Doll of Today.
Hannukah Outfit
Of course I needed to have the Hanukkah accessories for her! I decided to name her Allison, but I can't quite tell you the reasoning behind that name choice now. I went with blond hair, because I hadn't quite accepted the fact I was no longer blond. I was blond when I was little, but as I grew up my hair slowly started darkening. Now looking at me its almost unbelievable how blond my hair was when I was little.

Of course, if money was no object, I would love to have ALL the American Girl dolls and collect all of their belonging. Which is why, when I heard they were retiring Samantha last year I had to buy her as a Hanukkah present to myself.
Its a little amusing to compare how nice her hair looks compare to my 18-year-old Felicity.

Of course, I just found out that American Girl (who is actually owned by Mattel now) is now retiring Kirsten! But I think I might have missed my chance to buy her for myself as well. I have heard rumors that they might wind up retiring all of the original three (Samantha, Kirsten, and Molly), but bring them back with 25th Anniversary editions in a few years. I'm really hoping that's what winds up happening so I can make sure to have a complete collection.

Anyone else grow up loving American Girl dolls? Did you have any dolls? Or which ones did you also want to have? And of course, I'd love to see anyone else's pictures if you can find any!


Thursday, December 10, 2009

My TV Guide: Mid-Season Report

Back in September I wrote this post, outlining the shows I was looking forward to watching this fall. Since it the time of year where most shows are on their winter hiatus of over this season, I figured now would be a great time to check in and decide how my choices turned out! (And not to confuse anyone all my times are central. Watching TV shows one hour earlier was something I had to start getting used to when I moved to Louisiana)

7-8pm: The Amazing Race
8-9pm: Desperate Housewives
9-10pm: Brother & Sisters

I really liked this season of Amazing Race. Out of the top 3, I'm really glad Megan and Cheyne won. But I would have liked it if the Globetrotters made it to the top three. I have really enjoyed Brothers & Sisters, but I don't think this is Desperate Housewives' strongest season. Although both shows did leave us with some pretty crazy cliffhangers.

8-8:30pm: Jon & Kate Plus 8

I'm still a little said that this show is officially over, but if you're curious you can read my full thoughts on that here

7-9pm: The Biggest Loser
10-10:30pm: 18 Kids and Counting

I don't think this was the best season of The Biggest Loser I've seen. I did enjoy it, but don't think it was quite as good as last springs season where Tara seemed to dominate everything. And of course, I've been watching 18 Kids and counting all season long. No surprise here, but I loved The First Grand-Duggar Special, and I can't wait until the 19h Duggar has arrived. Also, I wasn't expecting to watch it, but I did wind up watching and really enjoy The City on MTV. But now that its over I will definitely be watching Teen Mom instead the next few weeks.

7-8pm: Mercy
8-9pm: Glee
9-10pm: Top Chef

My favorite night of TV. Mercy has been a really nice surprise. This season of Top Chef was a really good one. But Glee has become by far my favorite show on TV. I was especially in love with last night's fall finale and can't wait till this comes back in the spring!

7-8pm: Survivor
8-9pm: Grey's Anatomy
9-10pm: Real Housewives

I think I maybe watched one or two episodes of Real Housewives and then stopped. I might start watching again if they show a new NYC season, but I think I might be somewhat over this show. And while I'm not over Grey's, I don't think this has been the best season ever. I'm just hoping when it comes back they keep Lexi and Mark Sloane together. Survivor has actually been quite a pleasant surprise for me this season. I wasn't expecting to like Russel, but all his conniving is slowly starting to grow on me.

Overall, I'd say this hasn't been the strongest Fall TV season for me. There are a few shows that have really been on so far (i.e. Brothers & Sisters, Glee, & Survivor), but there's others that have hit somewhat of a low (i.e. Grey's & Desperate Housewives). But I'm really hoping they make a comeback this spring!

Anyone else care to share their thoughts on your Fall TV shows? Do you have any winners or losers? Or are there shows out there you think I should be watching?


Wednesday, December 9, 2009

What Happens in Vegas...

(A Where in the World Wednesday post)
In case you're new to the game, I'm participating in Classy in Philadelphia's Where in the World Wednesday fun. Today's picture comes to us from...
Las Vegas!
This photo was taken summer 2006 when I drove my car from my college in Maryland back to California. Which of course meant we had to stop in Vegas for a night a too. And I'm happy to share that I made money gambling! Yes, it was only around $5, but a win is a win right?

And for those curious enough to wonder, at the end of that same summer I did drive my car back from California to Louisiana for the start of grad school. It was quite a summer for my little car.

Anyone else ever taken a cross country road trip? If not, what the longest road trip you've ever taken?


Tuesday, December 8, 2009

The Tale of Miss A. Nonny Mouse

When I was younger my parents bought me a book of poems written by A. Nonny Mouse. It seems that Miss Mouse (who was an actual mouse of course!) had written a large number of poems. But somehow throughout time people stopped crediting her for the work and instead said the poems were written by someone called anonymous. And poor A. Nonny Mouse faded off in obscurity.

But speaking of Miss A. Nonny Mouse, lets talk about anonymity in the blogosphere. First there's some bloggers who we're on a full name basis with. So much so that I could give you their name and most of you know automatically what blogs I'm talking about. Need some proof? Anyone know who Heather Armstrong is? Or Ree Drummond? Or even Kelly Stamps?

Then there's other who make an attempt to stay completely anonymous. They go by an alter ego. They avoid posting any personal pictures. They make a point to avoid posting any identifiable facts.

But in general most bloggers, as well as myself, tend to fall somewhere in between the two. For example, you all know at least part of my name, but I've made a point not to reveal the whole thing. I do try to refer to the boy as "the boy," but I'm sure if you've been paying enough attention there's some of you who know what his name is. Although at times I think maybe it would have been slightly smarter to be slightly more anonymous from the start. After all, it might have been from to come up with an alter ego!

Its funny to think that 15 or so years ago no one had to worry about how much to reveal online, because it didn't really exist. It makes you wonder if 15 years from now we'll stop worrying again, but only because everything will already be online?

If your a blogger, what level of anonymity do you feel comfortable with? Have you ever felt a need to change it? And for fun, do you have any favorite poems written by A. Nonny Mouse?


Monday, December 7, 2009

The Saints are Back

Boondock Saints 2: All Saints Day
The boy has been wanting to see this movie since he heard they were going to make it. And while its has been in limited release for several weeks now, this weekend was the first time it opened at a location that wasn't 8 house away.

This film is the sequel to Boondock Saints, a movie that came out about 10 years ago and did fairly poor in actual theaters. However, once it was released to video it became somewhat of a cult classic and developed quite the fan following. I mean I've met people who have gotten tattoos based on this movie. Its one of the boy's favorite movies, but lucky for me he doesn't have any tattoos.

In case you've never suffered seen the first movie like I have, this movie is basically about 2 brothers living in Boston who become known as the Saints. The reason for this nickname is because, like most of the boy's favorite movies, they become vigilante killers, and go after all the bad guys that the police either can't catch or can't produce enough evidence against to be found guilty in court.

The second movie takes place not that far after the first, and in general features the same cast of characters. Overall, I didn't hate it. It was really what I expected to see based on the first. The boy did like it, but felt it didn't top the first one. I do think if you have any interest in seeing it, I'd make sure you at least see the original first.


P.S. Speaking of Saints, the New Orleans Saints somehow had a miraculous victory this past weekend against the Redskins and are still undefeated. The boy is trying quite hard to convert me to a Saints fan, and I have to admit that it is slowly starting to work.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Winter Wonderland

This past Friday it snowed in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
Its Snowing in Baton Rouge, LA
I do realize that in lots of parts of the world, snow isn't that big of a deal. And the amount of snow would be considered minuscule. But for Louisiana its awfully impressive.
Snow at the Pool
More impressive if that it actually snowed here last year as well. But until then, it hadn't snowed in Baton Rouge since the 1980s. So no snow for 20 years, and then snow two years in a row. I'll take it!
Cars with Snow
All night long you could hear people throughout the apartment complex yelling when they opened the door to find that there was actually snow falling outside. There were even some kids who used plastic bags as gloves and picked up handfuls of snow off car rooftops to have a makeshift snow ball fight.
Out in the snow
(If you look closely at this picture of me you can even see mini snowflakes in my hair.) In between running outside every few minutes just to check to see if it was still snowing I had a cup of hot chocolate and a ginger snap Larabar. The perfect dessert for a snowy winter's eve.
Hot Chocolate and Larabar
And even though overall there wasn't a lot of snow. The following morning there was still a good amount of evidence left over on my car.
Snow on my car the following morning
Anyone else get to experience some snowfall this past weekend? If so, I hope you were just as excited to receive it as we were down in the LA.


Saturday, December 5, 2009

Found: Larabars

Recently I made a shopping trip to Whole Foods. Something I try not to do because my money likes to run away from me in there, quickly. But since I had already admitted to myself I was willing to spend over $100 on a mere 3 items, I figured I'd check out their Larabar selection.

Now the grocery stores I normally frequent have about 4 flavors, almost all of which I've almost tried. I was expecting a similar selection at Whole Foods but was quite surprised. Instead they had almost every single flavor of Larabar there is! I wanted to buy every single flavor I hadn't had already tried. And while my stomach was a huge fan of that idea, my wallet wasn't quite. So instead I limited myself to the following four flavors.
Cherry Pie, Ginger Snap, Cinnamon Roll, and Banana Bread. I can't wait to try all four of these! And honestly, go back and buy the rest of the flavors I want to try!

Do you have a hard time finding a large selection of Larabars where you are? Or what foods do you have a hard time finding? And we can't forget, what is your favorite Larabar flavor?


Thursday, December 3, 2009

Indian Mattar Paneer

Amy's Indian Mattar Paneer
Amy's Indian Mattar Paneer
It's been a while since I've posted a Frozen Thursday, which is a little assuming because they would have been a perfect way to ensure NaBloPoMo hasn't been completed. I think part of the reason its been a while, is because I feel like its getting hard to find yummy looking frozen foods that I haven't reviewed yet and want to eat. I actually had to double check my archives to make sure I hadn't posted this meal already.

Honestly, though I don't have a lot to say about this one. Or at least I don't have anything negative to save. The rice was a perfect texture. The chana masala (aka the garbanzo beans) were really good, and had the perfect about of spice. But by far the best part of the dish for me was the actual mattar paneer (aka peas and cheese). And I do promise there is fairly large blocks of paneer cheese hidden by the peas. Actually if you look closely you can see a corner of a block.

So yes, I would easily eat this again. And if you're wondering how I think this compares to the Shuki's frozen meals I've tired, who actually specializes in Indian meals, overall I actually like Amy's meal better. Mainly because Amy's gives you an actual meal with different sides to eat, while Shuki's really just gives you a main dish.

And since I feel like I'm starting to run low on good Frozen Thursday options, let me know if you have a favorite frozen meal you really think I should try!


Back to the Tudor Times

This past weekend the boy and I went to the Louisiana Renaissance Festival. Growing up, I used to go the Renaissance Faire in Southern California all the time. But this was my first time attending the one in Louisiana. I had my mom send me my old costume, because its far more fun to dress up. The boy did not quite agree and went costume-less, so I traded him in for a slightly more magical date.
With a Wizard
Seriously though, I was actually a little surprised as to how few people attending were wearing a costume compared with what I was used to. Although that could be attributed to the fact the Louisiana Festival was only celebrating its 10th anniversary. Instead the faire I grew up going to is according to Wikipedia the first ever Renaissance Faire and started back in the 1960s.

Being that the faire is fairly new, it made sense that is was also smaller than what I was used to. But even though it was smaller it still had all the events I was expecting: shows, rides, lots of merchants, and lots of food. The boy and I tried to experience as much as we could! First we watched a show where the jester juggled three torches of fire while balanced on top of a large red ball that was balanced on top of a second large ball called the Earth. Yes, the typical Renaissance Faire humor was present.
Juggling all 3 torches
We saw a small joust which while obviously scripted was still at least a little amusing.
A second pass
And we even got to see Queen Elizabeth!
Queen Elizabeth I
Of course, the best part for me was all the food!
Falafels with rice and lentils
For lunch I had some oddly shaped falafels (maybe that's more authentic to the time period?), with rice and lentils. And I loved how there were cranberries mixed into it all. That's something I might have to remember for the future.

Of course, since this is me we're talking about I had to have dessert.
White Chocolate Fudge
I went with a chunk of white chocolate fudge which was lasted me for a two or two afterwards. Unfortunately, I have no more to eat. This is all the food I wound up eating, but I could have easily purchased more. Things like pickles, pretzels, popcorn (normal and kettle corn), cookies, and of course giant turkey legs.

All in all, I'm glad we went and overall we had a great time! Anyone else ever been to a Renaissance Faire? If not, I'd highly recommend going to one someday.