Sunday, May 30, 2010

More Sex

Sex and the City 2
Going into this I had heard all the critics reviews where they weren't a fan. But I had also read blogger reviews, and it seemed most girls were fans of the movie. So I wasn't sure what to expect. The verdict? While it didn't live up to the first movie for me, I did still enjoy it. (I do normally try to avoid spoilers in my reviews. But since it feels like everyone has already seen it, they might be a spoiler or two below. Just a warning in case.)

I think what got me is that the movies was more about the girls having fun instead of their relationships. Normally the stories on the shows were centered on relationship problems, and the girl's friendship is more in the background. But with this movie it seemed the relationship problems were still in the background. Although it does seem to be a normal progression of relationships. Once you're married to someone, you do tend to talk about your relationship less with your girlfriends.

As for the Middle East part? While there's a scene when the hotel workers refer to Charlotte as "Mrs. York." Carrie questions her about it and basically asks, "What happened to Goldenblatt?" And Charlotte replied, "It's the Middle East!" Without getting too political, that pretty much sums up my feeling about it, especially being Jewish like Charlotte. I get the parallel they were trying to show about cities like Dubai being the new NYC. But still, it's the Middle East.

And the boy's thoughts? Yes, he did technically see the movie with me. Although he did wind up actually sleeping through parts of the movie. He felt it kind of sends the wrong message. The message that you can cheat on your husband and be rewarded with a huge diamond. While I don't think that's the point of the movie, I do see how it's possible to come away with that.

Somewhat because it's part of the Sex and the City universe, even with its shortcomings, I still loved this movie. I would have like more, but something's better than nothing. I'm just hoping there's a third movie that can hopefully end everything even better!


Friday, May 28, 2010

It's a Blog, Not a Memior Part 3

Such a Pretty Fat by Jen Lancaster
I know it's been a while since I've read Jen Lancaster's first two books, but I still think this one's my favorite. I think because the book had a clear plot an direction, since it was about her weight loss journey. I wasn't sure how I'd feel about a weight-loss centered book, since I've been lucky enough to never have to actually diet, but I was pleasantly surprised. And by the end of the books I was even a little inspired to start working out. Not that I will start doing so, at least not out of my own desire, but still part of me saw the fun of working out and getting in shape.

Besides feeling slightly inspired by the book, I also loved the pop culture references. You know exactly when this takes place by a few of them, which in a few years might not work, but it really works now especially for me. When she starts talking about Yul on Survivor I know exactly what she's taking about. I loved that season, and was really happy when Yul won. Although Ozzie would have been a great second choice. And then we see starts talking about Coral, The Miz, and Veronica on the Real World/Road Rules challenges? Well I might not watch it now, but I used to love watching them back a year or two ago.

It's definitely a fun book, a pretty perfect beach read I think. Although I could see how wearing a bathing suit and reading a book that's about weight loss might not be the best idea.


Thursday, May 27, 2010

Show Us Your... Favorite Things

Show Us Your Life with Kelly's Korner
This weeks's edition of Kelly's Korner's Show Us Your Life is Favorite Things or Things That Make You Happy.

To start with there's a few things I can only have when I'm back in California.
In-N-Out Burger
In-N-Out Burger with fries
I always get my burger dry, and tend to alternate between drinking their pink lemonade or a vanilla shake.

Rubio's Fish Tacos
Another restaurant that I think needs to move out of California and go nationwide. Or at least expend to Louisiana.

Luckily there's a few favorites I can get almost anywhere around the country.
I want you to know that I specifically went out and box a box of Zours so I could share this picture. See what sacrifices I take for my readers?

Angelfood Smoothies at Smoothie King
Angelfood Smoothie from Smoothie King
Again this is me making a sacrifice.

Thankfully I do have a few favorites that aren't edible.
Matching Victoria Secret Pajamas
Victorias Secret PJs

My Library
Chair and Bookshelves

Coach Purses
New Coach purseMy new Coach Bag!
What are a few of your favorite things? Maybe raindrops on roses or whiskers on kittens?


Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Another WitW Wednesday

Welcome to another edition of Classy in Philadelphia's Where in the World Wednesday. The point is to share a picture of yourself in the world. It doesn't have to be foreign or tropical. It could even be somewhere in your hometown. And that's the approach I'm taking this week. This week I'm in...
New Orleans
At Lafayette cemetery #1 to be more exact. Considering I've been living in Louisiana for almost four years now, I've spent fairly little time in New Orleans. This was actually taken on my first trip where I spent anytime in the city. It was summer 2006 and I had just graduated college. My dad actually had a conference that summer in New Orleans, which worked out perfectly because it gave me a chance to stop in Baton Rouge and get my apartment all settled for the fall and my first semester of grad school as LSU.

be sure to head over to Classy in Philadelphia if you're looking for more Where in the World Wednesday posts. Or if you'd prefer, you can see Where in the world I've been here.


Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Watch My Garden Grow

About two months ago when my parent were out here visiting my mom helped me plant a garden. My original plan was to take post every week or so, and show you all the progress. But as you've seen two months have gone by and I haven't managed a post. I did at least remember to take pictures so you can at least see what's been happening the past two months.

April 11
My Garden
In the front row from the left there's parsley, a pepper plant, and thyme. The second row is a tomato plant, rosemarry in the pot, and a second tomato plant. In the back is basil, a different pepper plant, and oregano.

April 25
I realize it's hard to see with all the green, but the main difference here is with the tomato plants.

May 8
My Garden
If you look closely you can see some tomatoes growing on the left.

May 15
Herb Garden
This was taken from the opposite side, so the oregano, pepper plant, and basil are in front.

May 23
This was taken this past weekend. And do you see what I see front and center? Here's a close-up.
It's a gigantic pepper. I don't really remember, but I believe this is a Serrano pepper plant. Which would mean its supposed to change colors when it's ripe. A little crazy since it's practically the size of the plant itself.
Four Tomatoes
And there's 4 tomatoes on this plant, and 2 more the other one. I am at least smart enough to realize that these needs to be red before they're ripe.

Anyone else have a garden growing in your backyard? Or any ideas or advice for what else I should try planting (probably next year). Or any idea what type of pepper I have growing in my yard?


Monday, May 24, 2010

Monday Movie Review

Shrek Forever After
To start with, as I mentioned yesterday, I saw this movie with the boy's 2-and-a- half-year-old niece. Which meant that I wasn't able to be fully captivated by the movie. But knowing that I was distracted I still did enjoy the movie.

If you've seen the previews there really isn't much to give away with the plot. Basically Shrek doesn't feel much like an ogre anymore, living in his domestic bliss with Princess Fiona. So he makes a deal with Rumpelstiltskin to become an ogre for a day. But it backfires and he winds up in his own version of It's a Wonderful Life, in a Shrek-less world.

It was very predictable, and might have worked better as a direct to video sequel. But I'm sure the studio realized they could make more money by putting it in the theaters. And I get the feeling the "voices" have fun doing the movies so they were all happy to be back. They were a few inspired moments (I loved the gingerbread man being forced to fight animal crackers in a cookie cock fight), but nothing that stands up to the originals. All in all it was a fun movies, but no one is ever going to say this was the best Shrek movie.


Sunday, May 23, 2010

Another Day at the Movies

It's been a few months since we took the boy's niece to the movies for the first time. But since we were planning on seeing Shrek Forever After this weekend we figured it would be a great time to try again. (Review to come tomorrow!) Plus since she isn't 3 till August it's free for her to go I was a little worried since the movie's rated PG, but I figured anything too crazy would probably go over her head.

This time we made sure to have some refreshments. We split a small popcorn, and she had a few sips of my lemon-lime flavored "juice."
Uncle Beau and Sadie
I think being that she's a few months older now she did a lot better this time. There was only one bathroom break, which of course came during the climatic battle at the end. But I was still able to figure things out. And she still got to see the happy ending.

We did see the movie in 3-D, and we weren't sure how that would go over. At first she didn't want to wear the glasses, but about 20 minutes in she decided to try them on. I think she was a little shocked that wearing the glasses made a difference. She kept putting them on and taking them off, I guess just to change things up.

After the movie ended we took her back to our house. The boy's sister came by and dropped of the boy's nephew for an hour or so so she could go to an child-free dinner with friends.
Braylon eating a duck
I think overall it was a fun afternoon and early evening. There was imaginary food to bake, books to read, and cars for his nephew to chew on. And as soon as the two of them left the boy pretty much passed out on the couch for the rest of the night.


Thursday, May 20, 2010

Biblical Fiction

The Song of Hannah by Eva Etzioni-Halevy
As silly as it sounds, I'm always on the look out for good Biblical historical fiction. I have a few favorites (namely The Red Tent by Anita Diamant and Sarah by Marek Halter), but in general they've been hard to find. So I was really excited when I stumbled upon this book.

This book tells the story of Hannah the mother of the prophet Samuel. Half of the story is told from Hannah's point of view and the other half from her husband's first wife Pinah. When I say Hannah is his second wife, I mean her husband had two wives at once, because back in those days multiple marriages weren't considered adultery.

While I do think I'm fairly knowledgeable about my Jewish religion, I'll admit there's a lot I don't know. Mainly being a lot of the stories that aren't in the actual Torah. Which means going into this book I had almost no idea of who Hannah and Samuel were. So even though it was a story that I should have been familiar with, I had almost no idea what to expect.

While I did really enjoy reading the book, but I wouldn't necessarily list it as my favorite. I felt like I learned a good amount, and do think its interesting to read some one's interruption of what life was like back then. I did like the characters, Pinah in some ways more than Hannah. And while I can't article what I didn't like about the book, I did feel like something was missing. Nevertheless it looks like the author has two similar books, I believe one on Ruth and on Deborah, and would definitely be open to reading those at some point as well.


Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Back to the Beach

This week edition of Classy in Philadelphia's Where in the World Wednesday I'm bringing it back to the beach. The week were headed to the beaches of...
On the beach
Tel Aviv
This was taken on my Birthright Israel trip, almost two years ago. (Seriously! Two years? How did that happen?) Our flight landed on a Friday afternoon, which meant we couldn't actually do anything until Sunday since it was Shabbat. So instead we got to start our trip with a relaxing day at the beach. This was almost the complete opposite of how much we did in the days following. Here's a picture of the actual beach, which is fun since it shows off the Tel Aviv skyline in the background.
Beach just outside Tel Aviv
If you're looking for more Where in the World Wednesday posts, be sure to head over to Classy in Philadelphia. Or if you'd prefer, you can see Where in the world I've been here.


Tuesday, May 18, 2010

To The Birds

Normally in the mornings I leave the house while the boy is still asleep. But the other day (which really means a few weeks ago, but this it's taken me this long to blog about it) the boy had to leave before me. I was up and getting dressed while he left the house, but seconds after he walked outside my phone rang.

"You need to get outside right now!" the boy almost screamed on the phone. So even though I was practically half dressed I ran out front. And what did I find when I was out there?
Baby Bird on the Car
This baby bird just hanging out on the roof of the boy's car. The bird clearly didn't want to move, since it waited for me to run into the house so I could have a quick photo shoot. It was a little eerie that with us so close the bird didn't move once. I thought it was because it was still just a baby, and wasn't able to fly yet. I didn't think we should touch the bird (although according to the boy the stories of mommy birds abandoning their babies because they smell like humans aren't true). So instead I made the boy grab a towel from the house.

Luckily as the boy approached with the towel, the bird got a clue. I guess it wasn't as much as a baby as I had thought, because once the boy got close it flew away on its own. And now that we had no fear of harming any animals we were both able to head out and start our day.


Monday, May 17, 2010

Robbin the Hood

Robin Hood
If I'm completely honest I did want to see this. (I just can't admit that to the boy so I can earn movie picks later this summer!) While I didn't necessarily want to see all the action and fighting, it was somewhat of a historical fiction movie. Clearly it's not 100% historical, but there's definitely some historical truth. After all Eleanor of Aquitaine and Richard the Lion Heart did exist.

While you think you know the story of Robin Hood, this movie isn't that story. Instead it tells the story of an archer who comes home from the crusades, and how he becomes the Robin Hood. It's funny because a few of the key "Robin Hood" moments from the previews are only in the last 5 minutes of the film. In a way, it was a little refreshing to see a somewhat different take on a story we've heard numerous times.

While it was enjoyable, it wasn't my favorite Robin Hood movie of all time. That is still held by the Disney animated movie! Anyone else have a favorite Robin Hood movie?


Sunday, May 16, 2010

Sushi Fix

Every since the boy and I bought the new house, we've been changing our eating habits. While is does feel like we've been eating out less, the bigger change is that were going to new restaurants. It doesn't make sense to drive all the way in town just to eat, when there are good restaurants closer. I've been craving sushi for months now it seems, so we went out to try a new sushi restaurant. (At least it was new for us.)

The restaurant we chose is Geisha House. (Although after some internet research I think it might just be called Geisha?) When you first step inside it really just feels like you're in a standard strip mall restaurant. But once you're at the actual table, it did feel really nice and somewhat upscale.

To start with I had the house salad with ginger dressing.
House Salad with Ginger Dressing
I really love ginger dressing (really thing with ginger), so it doesn't matter what the salad's like for me as long as there's ginger dressing. They did add pineapple to the salad which I thought was an interesting idea. I did enjoy the fruit, but I don't think it's something I would have decided to add myself.

For my main meal I went with the nigiri sampler.
Nigiri Sampler
I came with 4 pieces of nigiri as well as a California roll, which I would have ordered anyway. (What can I say, I'm from California. It's practically a requirement to love California rolls.)

The boy went with Yaki Udon with chicken.
Yaki Udon with Chicken
There are noodles in there, just hiding at the bottom. This was really good. I know since I might have stolen a bite or two.

Then on top of all that the boy had a tuna roll, and I had a spicy tuna roll.
Spicy Tuna & Tuna Rolls
I know that this doesn't look like that much food, but it's funny how filling sushi can be. And I made sure each and every piece was eaten. We weren't too sure what type of restaurant we were going to originally, but it turned out better than expected. And it's nice to know we have a good sushi restaurant just down the street.


Friday, May 14, 2010

Shows Us Your Life: Children's Books

Show Us Your Life with Kelly's Korner
This weeks edition of Kelly's Korner's Show Us Your Life is favorite children's book. Growing up I enjoyed reading most of the standards. Series like the Little House on the Prairie, Anne of Green Gables, and of course if you grew up in the 90s, The Baby-Sitters Club. But my favorite series is unfortunately somewhat lesser known. (I only say unfortunately basic I think EVERYONE should have read them.)

I loved reading the Betsy-Tacy series. They're written by Maude Heart Lovelace, and they're similar to the Little House books since they are somewhat autobiographical stories of the author's childhood. The first book tell the story when 5-years-old Betsy meets her lifelong best friend Tacy. In a way the stories in this book are almost perfect for a 5-year-old. They're full little girl adventures, where they play dress-up, or paper dolls, or imagine themselves being able to fly like a bird. I'm sure any five-year-old would love having this book read to them, and my one regret is that I didn't discover these books until I was in middle school.

The reason I still loved these books, even though I was in middle school, is because the characters don't stay 5-years-old throughout. Each book they get older, and each book their world expends. Each book takes place two years later, until the high school years, which begins with Heaven to Betsy.

Betsy's high school years are pretty much my perfect idea of high school. As you would expect there's tons of boys, lots of parties, school dances, football games, and a sorority or two. Reading these books in middle school, I had only hoped I would have 4 years of high school just like Betsy's. Of course there's some heartbreak, as well as some friendships that turn a little sour, but it only makes it feel more real. What's more amazing about how much I identified and wanted to be Betsy, is that these books take place in the early 1900s. The stories seem so universal, that they could easily take place today.

Thankfully the stories don't end with high school graduation. The go on to take Betsy out into the great world, and finally end with her wedding.

I've read and reread these books so many times I can't count. I've even reread the Betsy-Tacy Companion, which is a biography of the author's life, but also shares pictures of the "real" characters and gives the truth behind a lot of the stories. The actual houses where both "Besty" and "Tacy" grew up are still standing, and have been turned into museums in Mankato, Minnesota. I've never been to Minnesota, but I desperately want to go someday if only to visit the houses. I'm really hoping that someone who reads this loves the books as much as me. And if you've never read them, I strongly encourage you to do so. I think it's practically impossible to read this series and not fall in love!


Thursday, May 13, 2010

Pumping Iron

Iron Man 2
Yes, this is more of a guy action type movie, but I was still a fan. It had goo actions scenes, and well as a relatively decent plot that made sense. (As silly as it seems a plot that makes sense doesn't always happen with action movies.) There were a few holes (mainly when Iron Man makes a "new" element something that didn't sit right with my science background), but in general there wasn't a lot of craziness going on.

What really made the movie for me was the actors. Robert Downey Jr. is fun to watch. And I like Scarlett Johansson as well. But I think mostly I loved Gweneth Paltrow. She seems to be in so few movies now that she has a family, but I tend to really love the few parts she does. Plus there were a few fun cameos from Leslie Bibb (back from WB's Popular) and even DJ AM's last movie appearance. (At least I'm guessing he didn't film anything else after this.)

I was a fan of the film, and if I'm going to see an action film, this is the type of movie that I want to see.


Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Welcome To...

I'm back this week with Classy in Phildelphia's Where in the the World Wednesday. If you want to join in, simply share a picture of yourself somewhere in the world. It doesn't have to be somewhere tropical or foreign, just somewhere that you consider traveling. This week I'm taking you to...
Welcome To New Mexico
New Mexico
This was taken summer 2006, the summer after college graduation. Once I graduated I had to get my car from Maryland to California for the summer. I did half the drive with my dad, then the second half with a friend from high school. On the drive we made a point to stop and take a picture at each state's welcome sign. Since this picture was taken just after New Mexico we were only a few states away from our destination.

If you're looking for more Where in the World Wednesday posts, be sure to head over to Classy in Philadelphia. Or if you'd prefer, you can see Where in the world I've been here.


Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Roarin' Twenties

Twenties Girl by Sophie Kinsella
Twenties Girl tells the story of Lara, a modern day English girl whose great aunt Sadie comes back as a ghost to haunt her. I wasn't sure I'd enjoy the basic plot line which is one reason I had put off reading it. Also there's the fact that while I've loved all of Sophie Kinsella's books, all of the main characters seem to be the same person. In way this was true of this book, yet it also wasn't.

The main character Lara, was clearly a Sophie Kinsella creation. It's the same bubbly, slightly ditsy, but still career driven girl that we've seen in Becky Bloomwood of the Shopaholic books, and even her other books like Can you Keep a Secret or Remember Me. Each one does have a different plot, however any of the main girls could be swapped into a different book and the story wouldn't really change. The same could be said for all of the romantic interests in her books.

The exception of to the cookie-cutter characters was Great-Aunt Sophie. While she is the Lara's great-aunt, she comes back as a 20-year-old girl from the 1920s. (Get the title now?) Sophie actually felt like an individual. She was little cute and quirky, and overall a lot of fun. I think her presence really made the book.

Even with the recycling of character traits I still did enjoy the book. Yes it was a little predictable as well. But even though I could see what was going to happen I still couldn't put it down.

But my favorite part of the book isn't the story itself, but the last page of that says to watch out for the newest Becky Bloomwood book, Mini Shopaholic. That's a book I can't wait to read!


Monday, May 10, 2010

Play Ball

This past weekend the boy and I went to our first LSU baseball game of the season.
LSU vs. Vanderbilt
We clearly picked the wrong game to go to because the Tigers didn't score a single run the entire time we were there. But ot be fair, we did leave early in the 8th inning to avoid traffic. And they did wind up with 2 runs in the bottom of the 9th, but it wasn't enough to win the game.

But even though LSU lost, I'm still glad we went. There was of course good baseball food.
BBQ Brisket Sandwich
I had heard they had started selling sushi at Alex Box Stadium. But if that is true I wasn't able to find any. So instead I made do with the BBQ Brisket sandwich above. And if you know me, then you know there had to be dessert. Again I went a little non-traditional baseball food with a slice of a cookie cake.
LSU Cookie Cake
Even though we were losing I did get the boy to agree to take at least one picture with me.
At the Game
I mean you can see his eye in the picture so that counts right?

So while it wasn't the most amazing game to watch, we still managed to have a fun time. And hopefully the Tigers will start winning their last few games to try to defend their NCAA championship!

Geaux Tigers!


Thursday, May 6, 2010

Sookie Stackhouse #6

Definitely Dead by Charlaine Harris
This books starts off pretty immediately talking about the death of Sookie's cousin Hadley. They way the book was written, I could tell I was supposed to remember reading about the event, but unless I accidently skipped a chapter or two I really didn't remember it. I started to think I was going a little crazy, so I did a quick google search. Turns out Sookie's cousin Hadley's death is in one of Charlaine Harris' short stories instead. I guess I was just supposed to know to read one of her short stories before this actual book. Hopefully someone else's google search can lead them here, so they can learn this somewhat critical fact and avoid any major spoilers. Something I wish I had been able to do.

But moving past the short story to the book itself. There's a few new characters introduced in this one, there's a vampire queen, the witch Amanda, and of course Sookie's dead cousin Hadley. Also there's yet another love interest for Sookie in this book, Quinn who was briefly introduced in Dead as a Doornail. I do really like Quinn, and right now he might be my top choice for Sookie. But I do think its a little crazy how many guys Sookie has gone through over the course of this series.

Another fun part of this book is that it takes place in New Orleans. I don't think that while reading it I got the true feel of the city. But even so, it was fun to the action happening there.

As normal with all the books in the series, I did enjoy reading this. I can't wait to read the next few, and I'm a little intrigued to see who (if anyone) that Sookie winds up with.


Tuesday, May 4, 2010


I spent the past weekend out in California. My grandfather passed away about 2 weeks ago now, and this past weekend was his memorial service. I can't quite find the words I want to say, so instead I figured I'd share a few of the pictures I have saved on my computer from the past few years or so.
Josh and our grandparents
Towson Diner
The whole familyFamily