September 29, 2017

Fall Film Challenge - An Update

As you may or may not know every fall Jenn hosts the Fall Film Challenge. The first year I participated I was one of the first to finish {in yo face!} and I'm hoping to repeat it this year and  get through the bonus round. 

To keep you all up to speed, here's a recap of what I watched this month. Go here for a refresh on my 2017 list.

one. Starring anthony hopkins. Red 2 
This has been on my TBW list since it was being previewed in theaters {basically, a long time}. I actually had no idea Anthony Hopkins was in this so it was an easy choice for the challenge. 

two. Listed on nathan bransford's best hundred movies challenge. The Shawshank Redemption 
I feel like this movies was my "Eleanor" {please tell me someone other than Stephanie gets this reference?!}. It's always on TV. Everyone says it's a must-see classic. I'm over here all next! I've just never had any interest in seeing this movie. Even the librarian said it's great and I really should watch it. Well.... it's been seen. And it was good. 

three. About charity: As Good as it Gets 
I really liked this movies. The cast all worked well together. Jack Nicholson plays the perfect crotchety neighbor and Cuba Gooding Jr. is hilarious as a street savvy art dealer. 

four. Starring robert downey, jr. Avengers: Age of Ultron
As I've seen the rest of the Avengers/Marvel franchise. expected to like this and I did. Now to wait 2527 years for the next follow up to be released. 

five. About envy: Envy 
I found this movie to be more annoying than anything. Sure, there were parts that were amusing, but overall, I certainly wasn't impressed. 

six. About faith. Hail,Caesar! 
I feel like I'm in the minority here but I did not like this movie. I was bored the entire time, didn't find it funny and was more or less counting down until the credits rolled. 

seven. About greed. Deepwater Horizon 
I don't know what I can say about this movie. It was sad. My eyes ran. I was pissed off at BP, I was pissed off at the greed that US companies have; the procedures, protocols, AND LIVES that they turn a blind eye to for the sake of making a profit. The movie was well done I thought,

eight. About hope. Passengers 
I enjoyed this one. It wasn't what I was expecting at all but I liked it.

nine. Starring jeremy irons. Assassin’s Creed 
The entire time I watched this all I did was think about how much I loved and miss playing the video game. I can't wait for the follow-up movies to come out. Plus, Jeremy Irons has an amazing voice and I would listen to him read a grocery list for Home Depot. 

ten. About justice. Deadpool 
I'm not sure why I avoided watching this while it was in theaters because it was pretty amusing. The jokes and puns were clearly on purpose but the movie was entertaining and held my attention.

eleven. Starring kevin bacon. Wild Things 
Initially this movie made me mad but as I kept watching I realized it was a ridiculously twisted web of deceit and lies. Once it became clear what was going on I actually was annoyed for having watched it. The ending irritated me and I felt like I had wasted 108 minutes of my life. 

twelve. About lust. Vicky Cristina Barcelona 
I thought this was going to be incredibly boring but I found that I liked it. Any movie with Javier Barden is a plus in my book. 

thirteen. Starring ian mckellen. Beauty and the Beast (2017)
Finally watched this and although I very much prefer the original animated version, this was well done. The costumes and sets were amazing and I can appreciate the work that went into the movie. Josh gad is so underappreciated. He plays the most perfect LeFou ever. 

fourteen. Set in a castle. The Other Boleyn Girl 
I said it in the Facebook group for the challenge, and I'll say it again, if the king looked like Eric Bana in this movie I'd happily be his mistress. This movie was surprisingly good and now I'm curious to watch Elizabeth simply for the "follow up" story. 

fifteen. About fortitude. switch to Mr. Smith Goes to Washington 
I really wanted to see The Glass Castle but by the time my schedule permitted it was being pulled and was only showing in the middle of the weekday afternoon. I switched to Mr. Smith since I'd never seen it {requirement} and it sounded ok. You guys, I'm in love with this movie. I was so enthralled. moved. Proud. It amazes me the way history repeats itself. The way things, that we've resigned to being outdated, are still very much relevant. This movie made me wish so much that someone like Mr. Smith would go to Washington and speak the truth; adhere to honor, integrity, and morals. That someone would maintain the fortitude to stand up FOR the people, as they are elected and appointed to do. 

sixteen. About pride. Pride& Glory 
I personally found this to be an excellent cop movie. The corrupt cop thing has been sooo many times but this one was really enjoyable. I definitely recommend it. 

seventeen. Starring alan rickman. Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves 
I found this movie to be incredibly boring. I have only said a handful of times these following words: I hate this movie. Alan Rickman's character was engaging since he plays an amazing "bad guy" but otherwise the movie was slow and incredibly uninteresting.

eighteen. Released last year and reviewed on Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them 
In my personal opinion, this book has absolutely nothing to do with Harry Potter. There is ONE mention of Dumbledore and Hogwarts and it's very off hand. As for this movie, I like it enough. It held my attention and there were parts I found funny. 

 nineteen. About temperance. The Karate Kid (2010)
I'm just going to say it... this one got me a little teary-eyed. The scene where he runs to the Kung Fu school and watches them all practicing in the square moved me. Like, wow. So graceful. So in sync. 

twenty. About prudence. Sense and Sensibility (1995)
I've long suspected Jane Austen and I are not to be friends but we may have a respectful understanding now. I was surprised but I was interested in this movie from the very beginning. It was long. Longer than I care for {unless it's GWTW} but it was worth it. 

twenty-one. Starring val kilmer. Batman Forever 
Another movie I was pleasantly surprised by. I expected it to be boring and quite outdated given when it came out, but I really enjoyed it. Not to mention Val Kilmer was pretty adorable in his heyday.

twenty-two. About wrath. Gone Girl 
I'm  on the fence about this movie. After watching it I wish I had read the book 1st rather than putting it off, and although the movie was good, and I did not know what to expect since I didn't read the book, I did not like the ending. 

twenty-three. Set in an exotic locale. The Jungle Book (2016)
As a Disney junkie I'm kind of being blasphemous in saying this, but The Jungle Book is one of my least favorite Disney movies. The scenes were well done and even the animated animals looked relatively life-like but as with Beauty & the Beast, I still prefer the animated version. 

twenty-four. About gluttony. Marie Antoinette 
This movie was enough to keep me entertained but it wasn't action packed at all. And yes, I realize it's not an action movie but I feel like the entire movies absolutely nothing of substance happened. 

twenty-five. Set in space. The Martian 
I was impressed with this and wish I had read the book. Matt Damn is a great actor and really nails it in this one. 

And in case you haven't noticed...


I can't even tell you how excited I am to be done. All I was thinking was the sooner I finish, the sooner I can take a break before the bonus round starts!

How about you? Are you participating?  What's your list look like now that we're a month in? 

September 22, 2017

Honesty Feels Like...


Is this thing on?

I know. It's only been 342857 days since I've shown up here to actually post something. And I know we all talk about blogger funks and summer schedules, because it IS a very real thing. But if I'm being honest, I have had absolutely no desire to show up in this space, or lately, in life. I have been feeling disinterested in a lot of things lately. I haven't wanted to plan, or read, or go out, or work out... all of which are taking a toll.

It's funny to me that while drafting this I put it on pause. I decided to start catching up with all of you only to read that both Kristen and Lindsay posted about being off and in a funk as well. It was nice to know that I wasn't alone in my feelings.

I am a strong believe in goals and plans. Even if I don't always follow them, it helps me to have an outline of sorts. Here is what I'm doing to to stop feeling stuck:

/continue working out - go harder: I started going back to the gym regularly a few weeks ago. I got twice a week during my lunch break, one of which is a personal training session. I also try to go on Saturdays but haven't been successful yet. I need to commit to this. I also need to increase my intensity.

/start cooking at home again: If there's one thing I enjoy, it's cooking. Mixing ingredients, blending flavors. It really does make me happy. Another perk, it will save money in the long run. I fully intend to make use of both of my crock-pots this season.

/read more - actually finish a book: I am notorious for starting, yet not finishing books. I love reading. Every time I think about this all I can say is wtf is wrong with you?!  finish the g-d book! I'm 6 books away from completing my Goodreads challenge and if I finish the books I'm currently reading, I'll be halfway there

/stop being all or nothing: I am very much an all-or-nothing kind of person. To the point where perfection {which I never though of myself as} leads to procrastination {this I've known}. I have always been relaxed and go-with-the-flow and although that hasn't changed, my Type A tendencies are becoming stronger as I'm getting older and I'm not quite sure how to deal with them.

/be more informed: It's no secret that I dislike the news. On a general level, it bores me to tears. I don't have any interest in things that are going on, literally, on the other side of the world. And yes, I realize how ignorant this is. And yes, it does bother me. To the point where I am making a point to read at least 3 news articles a day. And not from Buzzfeed or Refinery 29. I downloaded BBC News and selected several categories that I felt I would have an interest in.

/focus on finances: This has been a point of stress for me for longer than I can remember. I make a decent salary. My expenses aren't unmanageable. There's no reason for me not to have a built up savings account and the ability to travel at will . What's preventing this from happening? My impulsive shopping and eating out. I'm bored with having lingering CC debt. Time to wrap it up and get rid of it.

Like Kristen said in her post, I don't want to say that I'm unhappy, because overall, I'm not. I have a good life. But I know that happiness must come from within so this is my game plan. These are the areas in my life I feel less than and this is how I intend to build myself back up.

What do you do to get back on track with yourself?

September 21, 2017

Three on Thursday

It's been a minute since I've done one of these posts, so here we are.

1| Hawk Fitness Apparel shirts

I stumbled on this brand while trolling through Insta one day and I'm in lust. I'm a smart ass 24/7 so these are amazing. This one is my favorite and I'm pretty sure I need to buy it right meow!

IT isn't entirely new to me as I've been using their eye cream for a few months now. When it ran out I knew I wanted to replace it with the same one. Instead I ended up buying the Confidence in an Eye Cream and love it even more. I also discovered their Superhero mascara and I'm pretty sure it's my new favorite.  And although the Brow Power Universal Brow Pencil won't replace my NYX one, it's a quality runner up. 

The thing that inspires me about this company is that the CEO, Jamie, started this company on QVC. Even better, they're cruelty free. 

3| Companion app

My friend told me about this app when we were at the bar the other night and although I don't feel the need for it in my day to day life, it's one that i actually hope I'll never need.

The app is an emergency app for if you feel unsafe or need to call the police. You put in your name, phone number, and up to 5 emergency contacts. You can use the app to alert your people that you feel nervous, at which point it will alert them and send them your location, or you can contact the police where you'll need to enter a 4-digit security code to prevent pocket dials. I think the app is awesome, especially if you're traveling. Bonus, it's free.

of course when I downloaded it and set it up, it alerted my mom and best friend to download the app to be added as my contacts. I immediately received texts from both of them asking me what it was and why.

Clearly neither of them cares if I get kidnapped. My mother then told me to "eat more cake. fat kids don't get kidnapped".

Thanks mom.

September 12, 2017

Books I Read - August

A Beautiful Poison by Lydia Kang (Amazon Firsts)

I was pleasantly surprised that I enjoyed this as I was a little bored in the first few pages. But once the murder took place I was all in.

My Rec: Read it as an in-between book. 

MAD Librarian by Michael Guillebeau (NetGalley)

I'm not going to lie - I didn't care for this book.

From the very beginning it was nonstop whining and complaining about the politics of running a library and trying to get funding from the city. By Chapter 9 I was ready to throw in the towel because NOTHING had happened. Nothing was progressing. Librarian needs funding, city says no in a very sexist manner.

I felt slightly obligated to continue, plus I've been in a book funk and wanted to finish SOMETHING, but it was just so slow. The story progression was dreadful. I feel like I would have been more interested if something happened but by Chapter 13 I found myself just scrolling through hoping something would catch my eye.

My Rec: Don't even look at it.

Anything but Love by Abigail Strom (Kindle)

This was light and fluffy just as I knew it was. It's basically the formula for a romance novel. Two people are drawn together by some embarrassing event... they realize they're starting to fall for one another... there are mixed signals and miscommunication, and then BAM.... happy ending.

My Rec: Quick and easy read in between or to pass the time

Mermaid by Jodi Picoult

This book was a Kindle single and it was fun because it was animated. It featured art and animation specifically designed to enhance the story. As for the story, it was a quick and easy read that I found to be slightly disappointing. It ends abruptly and I needed more story.

My Rec: If you need a filler book

Also, because sometimes I feel ridiculously uncultured, I've decided to make a point to start reading classics. I'd like to say every other book but I know that's too lofty of a goal. I do, however, plan to read more classics in 2018 (but starting now). I'm going to use the 99 Classic Books Challenge list as a reference. I've read 7 of these to date and would like to be able to say I've read more. Join me?

September 08, 2017

What I Need More of in My Life

I spend a lot of time and energy focusing on the things and feelings I want to bring into my life. When I saw Stephanie initially post this a few weeks ago I knew I liked it enough that I needed to steal borrow the idea. 

  • beach days
  • laughs shared with Little Miss
  • time spent eating food that makes me happy
  • workouts that make me feel like a rock star
  • quiet evenings with no plans
  • evenings out with friends
  • the feeling of grass between my toes
  • the satisfaction of paying off a debt
  • people who elevate me
  • days off from work
  • OT hours in my paycheck
  • time spent on the couch with someone I like a lot
  • time spent by myself with my thoughts
  • meditation
  • journaling
  • coffee
  • water
  • deep conversations
  • cat cuddles
  • dog visits
What do you need more of?

September 07, 2017

What's New With Me: August

August was kind of a weird month. I had something going on every single weekend and I'm really not sure how I made it to September. Here's a look at what went down:

The first weekend of the month was comprised of happy hour with coworkers; bar hopping in the city with my cousins who were up from Georgia, and a delicious 30th birthday dinner for my best friend. 

The next weekend can only be described as a shit show. On Saturday I had my best friend's baby shower {the one who had the birthday the previous week}. That same day I went into work at midnight, worked a full 8 hours, and took a car home. I changed my clothes, packed a bag and hopped in MY car to go pick up Dani and Alyssa so we could head down the shore for the day. Thank God for sun, sand, and salt water. It always recharges me. And that little nugget in the middle? omg.

The following week I met a former coworker for dinner at Fogo de Chao because Restaurant Week in the city is a big deal. That Friday I took a Greyhound to my mom's. The next day I went to another best friend's baby shower {this one for triplets!} and finished out the afternoon finishing up my tattoo. That evening we drove my mom's car back down to my house.

On Sunday we hit the highway and headed down the shore for a mini-vacay. We always stay at the same place when we go to Seaside. It's right on the boardwalk and makes for a fun few days. This year, even though we were missing my dad, we still had fun. One of the absolute coolest parts was seeing several groups of stingrays go by. Of course I had to look it up, but a group of sting rays is called a fever. The pic isn't mine, but that's exactly what it looked like. At first I thought it was some weird algae floating on the water and then as they got closer I could see them better. 

I finished out the month finally making it to Smorgasburg. It's essentially food heaven. And because 3 days with sun and sand isn't enough, I went to the beach the following weekend as well.

Squid Yakisoba and Fried Anchovies

I don't know about you but I'm kind of glad September is here. I love fall almost s much as summer and I've been looking forward to the steadily cooler temps, cozy sweaters, and steaming cups of coffee and soup.

September 05, 2017

Sh*t Little Miss Says

There's no denying that kids can say the funniest things at times and my niece is no exception. The things she says leave me cracking up most of the time. Here are some gems she dropped lately.

Runs into the kitchen: Grandma! The floor is lava!

Crying uncontrollably and my mom finally gets her to explain why
LM: I don't want to quit the earth!

Mom: You're not going to die. You're going to get old like grandma.

LM: eew

All grandmas have to wear bras because they have sagging boobs

When talking about clothes:
I need new underwear because my butt has gotten bigger and these ones don't fit anymore.

While trying to get her to pee in the ocean:
We should have gone pee in the bathroom because there's no waves in there.

You're such a good grandma, that's why I did this for you.

I put these on my elbows for you (as she points to her shoulders)

Starbucks is my favorite store

When asking if she wants coffee:
Let's get it at Starbucks

I'm doing tushy clinches.

I don't like Gymboree because it's too girly and boy-ee.

Maybe you should get the kid stuff that helps you go potty that way you don't need a gentle push" {she was in the bathroom when she said this and I about died laughing because this kid clearly remembers  e v e r y t h i n g  she hears}

Ordering at the restaurant and the server asks if she wants fries or broccoli: Broccoli. Because I'm a big fan of broccoli.

September 01, 2017

2017 Fall Film Challenge

Hey peeps, long time no talk. 

I'm hoping that your summer has been awesome. Full of sunny days, laughs, and good times. I know mine has been. I've been looking forward to this weekend for about a month and a half now. Not because I want summer to be over... but because I want summer to be over {a little!} and I need a break from all the business that went on these past few months. Not to mention that for me, Labor Day is the official-unofficial end of summer. I'm ready for fall!

I didn't participate last year but I've compiled my list and I'm all set to take on the 2017 Fall Film Challenge. It starts today. Here's a look at what I'll be watching:

one. Starring anthony hopkins. Red 2 
two. Listed on nathan bransford's best hundred movies challenge. The Shawshank Redemption 
three. About charity: As Good as it Gets 
four. Starring robert downey, jr. Avengers: Age of Ultron
five. About envy: Envy 
six. About faith. Hail,Caesar! 
seven. About greed. Deepwater Horizon 
eight. About hope. Passengers 
nine. Starring jeremy irons. Assassin’s Creed 
ten. About justice. Deadpool 
eleven. Starring kevin bacon. Wild Things 
twelve. About lust. Vicky Cristina Barcelona 
thirteen. Starring ian mckellen. Beauty and the Beast (2017)
fourteen. Set in a castle. The Other Boleyn Girl 
fifteen. About fortitude. The Glass Castle (2017)
sixteen. About pride. Pride& Glory 
seventeen. Starring alan rickman. Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves 
eighteen. Released last year and reviewed on Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them 
 nineteen. About temperance. The Karate Kid (2010)
twenty. About prudence. Sense and Sensibility (1995)
twenty-one. Starring val kilmer. Batman Forever 
twenty-two. About wrath. Gone Girl 
twenty-three. Set in an exotic locale. The Jungle Book (2016)
twenty-four. About gluttony. Marie Antoinette 
twenty-five. Set in space. The Martian 

This year, in an effort to keep myself accountable, I'm going to give an roundup post every few movies about where I am in the challenge and what I though of the movies I chose. A sort of "show us your movies". I'm really excited for this years list since a lot of the movies are current and were on my TBW list. 

Are you participating? 

Wish me luck!