Thursday, March 31, 2011

Don't Be A Sucker

Sucker Punch
I cam into this movie not really sure what to expect aside from the fact it was an action movie where a group of girls had to escape from somewhere. Even know I'm not sure the best way to easily summarize the movie. Let's just say once it ended I had to get the boy to explain parts of it to me. I don't think that I had a bad movie experience because I didn't get it all immediately, but more that there's a few layers to the movie that take a bit to figure out.

I have to say this was a really interesting role for Vanessa Hudgens. It's almost the opposite end of the spectrum of HSM, but I think it worked for her. Also a surprise was Jamie from Real World: San Diego. The entire time watching the movie I knew she looked familiar, but it wasn't till I search IMDB I realized the connection.

I am surprised the movie wasn't in 3-D, because at times it almost felt like you were watching a 3-D movie. Visually it was a great movie, the boy loved the action scenes, but I would say there's definitely a lot more here than your everday action film.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday

Today's my first time participating in Breaking the Spine's Waiting on Wednesday. But when I heard the release date for this book was announced I had to share!
Inheritance by Christopher Paolini (November 8, 2011 by Random House)

I remember back when my brother read the series I wondered what it was all about, but once I started I got it. The funny part now is I'm pretty sure he never read the third book in the series, but I read it as soon as it came out. Now I can't wait for the final book to see how the series finally ends, almost 10 years after I first started reading it.

What are you waiting on this Wednesday?

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

The Story of William and Mary

The Three Crowns by Jean Plaidy
I've said it over and over again, but I really love everything I read by Jean Plaidy. Most of her books were published in the 60s and 70s (this one in 1965), and they're now being republished. Part of me wishes they would just republish all of them now, but the other part likes that they're slowly doing it so I can keep up and read them all gradually.

The Three Crowns tells the story of William and Mary of Orange, both who were niece and nephew to their uncle King Charles the I of England, Mary through her father the future King James II, and William through his mother Princess Mary Stuart. When the Catholic James II becomes king of England after his protestant brother's reign Mary and her husband depose her father to become the rulers of England themselves. Technically Mary is next in line, although she gives her husband the power which is why you're used to hear William and Mary of Orange compared to most other monarch's where their spouse isn't mentioned.

I know some can find history dull, but the amount of scandal involved (to start with the fact that Mary steals the crown from her father) I don't think it should be. But more than that Plaidy has a way of the stories coming alive. I have read some of her other books on Mary & William, so I was familiar with the story. But even though in a way I was reading the same basic story by the same author it still captivated me and felt fresh.

If you enjoy historical fiction in any way and haven't read Jean Plaidy I think you're missing out. I think that if this was your first book of hers you'd love it, although since it is 5th book in her Stuart series, it might make more sense to start with the first The Royal Road to Fotheringhay.


Monday, March 28, 2011

If You're a Bird, I'm a Bird

Now that I'm actually engaged I feel like I can shamlessly share wedding inspiration. Instead of before when I would see it and pretend I hadn't since who was I looking at weddings online while I wasn't engaged. I've only recently stumbled on the pictures below, even thought they were taken last August. Although that's probably a good thing because if I found it then, there's no way I'd be sharing them. So, you want to see?
source for all photos from this entry
Yes, this couple actually took engagment pictures inspired by The Notebook! How amazing is that. I would love to do something like this, but I can't imagine the boy would ever agree to it. But since I'm not doing it, we can still enjoy the eye candy from others!

If you were taking photos inspired by a movie, which one would you choose?

Thursday, March 24, 2011

This is a Special Circumstance

Specials by Scott Westerfeld
After being someone disappointed with Pretties, this was a little refreshing.
{Mild spoiler to come, although not that crazy considering the pattern of the previous books}
This book find Tally trapped again in her town except now, through operations, she's a member of Special Circumstance, which makes her a Special. But even more than that she's a special Special called a cutter.

At this point I'll stop and say the names for things were a little annoying and far to literal. I mean you're a little, and ugly, and new pretty, a middle pretty, etc. It would have been nice to see a little more creativity, but I do understand that using such names makes it so no further explanation is really needed.

My bug complaint about Pretties was that nothing seemed to happen for so long. This time the action took hold right from the get go. Yes, some of it felt repetitive from the first two books (they're escaping the city again!), but I would rather read this than listen to Tally go on as a special in her city.

That's another thing that bugged me was listening to Tally think as a special. I get why it's in there, but it's a little annoying to read. But at least it not as annoying as listening to her as a pretty.

I wasn't really happy with where Zane's story went with this book. Part of me understands how it helped Tally think herself out, but I think he deserved more. Plus I think it's a pretty cheap way to get out of a love triangle.

But I did like the ending itself. Knowing it was originally written as a trilogy I think it wrapped things up perfectly. Although I do know it's been extended. From the way Specials ended I don't think there needed to be more. But even so I'm curious enough to check out Extras.

(Of course on goodreads I can't go with half numbers, so I'm giving it the benefit of the doubt there and bumping it up to a 4. But I don't think it matches up to some of my previous "4" reviews.)

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

In The Garden

Anyone else remember that line from the 90s version of The Secret Garden? When Mary does magic to bring her uncle back, and in his dream there's the almost haunting line, "In the garden..." No? Well I loved that movie, so for whatever reason it's stuck with me.
Now I know what you're thinking. Didn't she just post photos of her backyard last week? And yes, yes I did. But it's my blog, my backyard, so here we go!
Plus most of these flowers weren't there last week, and some of the ones from last week are already gone.
Fig Tree
And go pull up last week's fig tree picture and compare it to the one above to see how much it's changed. I can't wait till the figs are back! I kind of fell in love with them last year.
As always I have no idea the names of these flowers, so if you do, please share!
Now I'll let you look through the rest in peace and quiet, without my crazy chatter.
Anyone have a favorite out of all these flowers?

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

In My Heart

Back before I had my ring re-sized (which means last December) I wrapped a little piece of paper around to so it would stay on my finger. Here's a bit of a flashback picture so you know what I'm talking about.
The Ring
Since it was just paper I made an effort not to get it wet that way I wouldn't have to replace it. Which meant any time I washed my face, brushed my teeth, took a shower it was off. Since the majority of those events take place before and after bed it made sense to take it off as I was getting ready, and put it back on the following morning.

My ring has since been re-sized, but the routine stuck and I still take my ring overnight. Of course I'm paranoid that I'm going to lose it, since it's really the first piece of jewelry to wear regularly and the most expensive piece I own at that, so I make sure to put it in the same place everytime, inside my heart.
I've actually had this little box for a few years. It was a Hannukah present from a few years back from my BFF. I hadn't ever really used it, but last fall my mom sent it to me along with a bunch of other items she'd been trying to clean out of my room. It wound up being sent to me at the exact right time, and my ring had a bed for the night. But I can't let this post end without one more picture of the ring!
So tell me, do you ever take your ring off? If so, where do you put it when you do?

Monday, March 21, 2011

Sun Bunny

Guess what I did this weekend?
Yes it's officially warm even to lay out in the backyard. And I don't just mean it's almost there, instead I was sweating just sitting there and 30 minutes. Yes, it might be a little early to get warm, but after last year's winter which seemed to go on forever I'm glad this year's shaping up differently.
I was fully stocked up with provisions. Oh, you need a closer look?
There's 4 magazine (EW, Glamour, Redbook, and Everyday food) and a book (Specials). And yes I'm behind on my magazine reading. But I catch up when I lay out. A Little Debbie Nutty Bar (which I ate before in completely melted), and handful of cheez-its, and a glass of water. And of course my ipod and camera.

Now can anyone tell me the big difference between the photo above and a similar one from last year? (Besides the fact I'm laying out a month earlier this year.)
All Ready to Lay Out
Last year I brought out a whole box of cheez-its where this time it was only a handful. No reason isn't because I was trying to eat less. Instead it's because last year when I brought the box back instead a bunch of ants hitchhiked in as well. Luckily we got rid of them before the infested anything else, but since then the boy have forbid my bringing whole boxes of food outside and then back in the house.

Anyone else's significant other make "silly rules" about what you can and can't eat outside? And how was your weekend?

Thursday, March 17, 2011

What Big Eyes You Have

Red Riding Hood
Would you be surprised is I told you this movie felt like a bad Twilight? It's the same director, so probably not. But even more than there's a werewolf and of course a similar love triangle. There is an attempt at a twist at the end, and while I wouldn't have necessarily guessed it prior to the movie it did make the perfect cliched ending.

About halfway through I felt like the movie got better, but when I told the boy this his response was the difference was there for more action in the second half and less story. I guess that says something when a movie only gets better because of a lack dialogue.

The "big" red riding hood scene is there, but I think could have been done better. It was almost as if they said, "We need this in the movie!" but didn't stop to think whether it made sense. And speaking of scenes not making sense, the big party scene in the middle of the movie again I could have done without.

I really wanted to enjoy this movie, but overall was disappointed. I can't imagine ever sitting down to re-watch this, and only wish it had been better executed because it did have a lot of potential.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Spring, Spring, Spring

I hate to make those of you with snow still on the ground jealous, but it's starting to feel like spring here. The way it's feeling it's time for me to spend some quality time in the backyard working on my tan. As for the backyard, it's fun to see all the different plants come back alive. As normal, I have no idea of to what most of the plant in the backyard are, so if you do please chime in!
Spring is Coming
Peach Blossoms
Peach Blossoms
Fig Tree Starting to Bud
Buds on the fig tree
Herb Garden
Herbs garden still going strong, although it does need to be weeded, parsley in the bottom left, thyme in the bottom right, rosemary in the center, and oregano in the upper right.

Is it starting to feel like spring where you are or are you still stuck dealing with the coldness of winter?

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

I Feel Pretty

Pretties by Scott Westerfeld
After loving Uglies I was more than ready to fall back into Tally's world. At this book start Tally is finally pretty, which means the most important thing in Tally's world is figuring out the correct way to dress for "semi-formal." Sound exciting? Of course not.

I understand why the first part of the book were written as they were. After all how could we truly understand why being pretty was so bad if we didn't experience it through Tally's eyes. But even though I understood why it was happening that didn't mean I enjoyed it. So much of the book it felt like nothing was happening, and I longed for the Smoke world from the first book, just as Tally's subconscious does as well.

Thankfully, by the last third of the book the excitement picked up. This was definitely what I had been looking forward to, except by the time I reached it the book was over. If I was rating only the last third of the book, I would easily give it a 4, maybe even a 5. But since I'm rating the book as a whole, I can't justify it more than a 3. I'm just hoping the next book in the series, Specials, actually lives up to its name.


Monday, March 14, 2011

Shopping Spree

I had a $75 gift card for Target that I've been pretty much been dying to spend. I wasn't planning on going crazy, except I wanted to be able to treat myself. I went through pretty much every toy aisle, wishing I was still a kid and what I would have chosen. I came away without anything I would have considered a toy as a kid, but definitely feel like I spoiled myself.
Target Trip
It really doesn't look like that much, except when you consider the big tickets items (wine rack, shower curtain, picture frame) were each around $20. Once you factor that in, it shouldn't be a surprise that the $75 gift card wasn't near enough and I wound up with around $50 out of pocket.

But what else do you seen in the picture? There's a book, a package of hangers, some scrapbooking stickers, 4 packets of seeds, 2 cans of soup, 1 jar of salsa, fruit leather strips, and a box of noodles with peanut sauce. Also bought, but not pictured, are 3 frozen meals (Kashi & Amy's), 1 package of mushroom pasta, and a block of aged gouda.

I guess it's not that bad considering last year when I had a $75 gift card to spend at Target the total was closer to $150. I guess I'm learning right?

How good are you at staying in a budget when shopping? And if you had $75 to spend at Target, just what would you buy?

Sunday, March 13, 2011

In My Mailbox (7)

In My Mailbox is a weekly event sponsored by The Story Siren's. It's a way to share books you've picked up through out the week, whether they've been bought, borrowed, or even arrived through the actual mail.

This week is pretty small for me but it's a book I've been meaning to pick up for a while now, and now that it's here I can't wait to read it!
In My Mailbox
The Three Crowns by Jean Plaidy

Now tell me, what's in your mailbox this week?

Friday, March 11, 2011

Feeling Short

The Guy Not Taken by Jennifer Weiner
I've never been a huge fan of short stories, I think because the only time I've ever read them was for school. For that reason, I was hesitant to pick up Jennifer Weiner's short story collection. I probably never would have, except it was lent to me by a friend, so I figured why not.

I shouldn't have been so suspicious. Everything I've read by Jennifer Weiner I've enjoyed, so it shouldn't be a surprise that I enjoyed this. Except of course, that it was. There were a few familiar characters from her novels which was nice. Interesting as well, considering the short story was written before the novel. There's also a few stories about the same characters, but most are completely independent.

I had originally thought that there would be a theme to all the stories, but again another surprise. There were common ideas, for example divorce is discussed in several and most of the characters are Jewish, but these are common themes throughout Jennifer Weiner's book in general.

I can't say this completely turned me on to short story collection, in that I'd like to read more soon. But I can say I am glad I read this, and it did exceed my expectations.


Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Bridal Fashion

Remember the bridal show I blogged about a few days ago? Have you figured out what was missing yet? If you guess dresses, then you were spot on. At the end of the day they did a bridal fashion show. Now I have no idea the names or designers of most of these dresses, these were just some of my favorites for one reason or another.
I really like the traditional feel of this one, although I'm probably going to want a fuller skirt.
I just love this one, although I'm not sure it's something I'd feel comfortable wearing.
I just really like the almost pleats in this one's skirt.
Another one with a similar skirt.
I do like this bridesmaid dress, but really wanted to share because how cute is that little flower girl?
Another dress that I think it adorable, but isn't really me.
Another one with a really tradition feel. (And be sure to take a good look at that bouquet!)
We both loved this bridesmaid dress. It's pretty simple, but there's just something special about the ruffle on the neckline.
This is probably my favorite out of all the ones we saw. I love its full skirt, but I'm not sure about the almost champagne-y color.

At the end the had all the models take the stage for a final, and the ended the day with a bouquet toss. Look what I wound up with!
Guess I am going to be the next married! I guess it only make sense being engaged and all!

Which ones of these dresses is your favorite?