2.28.2011

The Oscars!

Can I just say..... WOOHOO!  For the first time in history I've seen the movies for Best Actress, Best Actor, and Best Picture! 

I enjoyed the Oscars so much more this year than I have in the past because I'd actually seen so many of the movies.  The only big winner I hadn't seen was The Fighter, and I've already added it to my Netflix queue so I can see it as soon as its out on DVD.

Anyway....not only was I excited because I was familiar with the films, but I also love both of the hosts Anne Hathaway and James Franco.  Overall, I didn't think they knocked it out of the park, but I thought they were enjoyable enough to watch.  


Overall, I was a little indifferent about a lot of the fashions on the red carpet last night.  There were several red numbers, but there was something I didn't like about each and every one of them.  Overall the silvery-nude trend was my favorite!

Here are my best dressed noms...

 Although I wasn't a huge fan of her red carpet dress, I was instantly in love with this ivory dress! 
I think Anne Looked fabulous through the entire show (minus the black dress, pink necklace combo),
but this was my favorite look by far.

I was soooo on the fence about this dress for awhile, but have decided I like it! 
I usually hate all things lilac, but she somehow makes this work.

 I think this Calvin Klein on Gwyneth Paltrow has be my favorite of the night!
Love, love, love her!

I'm rarely a fan of what Michelle Williams wears,
but she looks gorgeous in this Chanel gown!

Hillary Swank looks so pretty in the silvery feathered number!

Now for my worst dresses picks...
I hated this the instant I saw it!  I usually LOVE Reese, but what was she thinking? 
I know it's vintage, but I still hate it.  

Another poor choice for Nicole Kidman.  Although her Grammy dress wasn't too bad,
I think it's becoming more and more obvious she needs to fire her stylist.

For some reason Melissa Leo makes me nutty...
maybe it's her horrible fashion sense!

Who were your best and worst dressed actresses of the night? 
What did you think of Anne and James?

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2.25.2011

Odds and Ends

I haven't been all that into blogging this week, I just don't seem to have much to say.  I was able to come up with a few random thoughts though, so here it goes...


-I finally saw The King's Speech on my day off on Monday!  I'm so glad I saw it before the Oscar's, and absolutely loved Colin Firth.  If you haven't seen it, you should!


-My mom and dad introduced me to this new popcorn, and it's amazing!  The slight hint of lime is delicious.  If you see it at your store, you must try it!

-I can't wait for Emily Henderson's new show,  Secrets of a Stylist, to premiere on HGTV this Saturday.  I loved her on Design Star, and was thrilled when she won!  I think the whole premise of the show is really fun, and can't wait to see what she comes up with.

-I started spinning again last week, and am in love all over again.  My endurance is still pretty low, and my muscles are still pretty week, but I'm slowly building it up again and can't wait to get back in shape. 

-Do you guys watch One Born Every Minute on Lifetime? I don't want to watch, but I can't help myself. The amount of needles they show literally make me nauseous... last night I was covering my eyes constantly.
-I really want this new Chanel Orange Fizz nail polish, but think it may be too much for my fingernails... toes maybe?  Thoughts?

-I'm an SOOOO excited that I can vote for Idol online this year!  50 votes per episode... don't mind it I do! 

-It's Friday, and we're supposed to get a major temperature drop and rain today, just in time for my grandparents to arrive.   We seriously have the worst luck with weather when family is visiting.  We live in the desert and rarely get rain, yet it has rained the last 3 times family has visited. 

I hope you all have a great weekend, hopefully I'll be back in full force again next week. 

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2.22.2011

Candy Stripes in EVERY Color

When I was a kid I had this Christmas ensemble that I would throw together... I was about 8. 

I would wear these black velvet pants and a white button-up shirt (snazzy huh?). 

The special part of this outfit was one of my favorite accessories... button covers shaped like Christmas lights.  (Remember its the early 90's).

I thought they were the coolest things in the world.  There were red, yellow, blue, green, and purple bulbs...

BUT NO ORANGE!

It made me absolutely CRAZY that there wasn't an orange Christmas bulb button cover!  I couldn't wear something with almost every shade of the rainbow, I NEEDED them ALL!

So what did I do? 

I insisted on wearing an orange metal bangle everytime I wore this outfit because I simply couldn't be without the orange.  I think I even mentioned buying another set of them to my mom.  Not because I needed another set, but because I wanted to paint one of them orange to complete my original set!!

Fast Forward to Present Day....

I still LOVE things with a rainbow scheme.... stripes, polka dots, anything. 

If it has color, I want it.  Not just color though, it still has to have every color.

You can imagine how quickly I fell in love last weekend when I spotted this adorable rainbow striped number in the window of Kate Spade.

It's preppy as can be, has stripes, and IT HAS EVERY COLOR! 

Now if only I had an reason to wear this somewhat ridiculous, nearly $400, candy striped dress I'd be set, but alas, I do not.

I found a close (more realistic and much cheapter) alternative, but it simply won't do.  What is it with people leaving out the orange all the time?


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2.16.2011

The Sad Truth

-I put my PJ's on the second I get home from work, and leave them on as long as possible in the morning.  I don't think my husband has seen me out of pajamas during the work week in the last month. Please note: I DO NOT wear cute pajamas.

-I made a huge double batch of cookies yesterday.  I need to take them to 2 separate events this weekend, so I froze them all.  I've already pulled out several cookies to thaw... I won't be surprised if by Saturday morning I need to make a new batch to replenish the supply.

-I have only made a real dinner once in the month of February.  CAhusband has been getting home about 45 minutes before I go to bed, so we've both just been grabbing random things to eat.  I think I've eaten toast with strawberry jelly for dinner every night this week.

-I have a document on our computer with all of the TV shows I want to remember to DVR.  There are so many that I simply don't trust myself to remember them all on my own.  I think I'm afraid of what will happen if I actually have to miss an episode of Gossip Girl.

-I think I would rather be ill, like truly ill, than have to attend the workshops I have for school this Friday and Saturday. 

-I have recently become obsessed with baby nurseries.  We aren't even close to ready to have children, but I stalk amazing nurseries on the web like it is my job.  I think this is similar to how I began stalking engagement ring websites and wedding blogs a few years before we got engaged.  I hope to God my husband doesn't check our computer history, he'd be really concerned that I spent time looking at gliders from Restoration Hardware Baby last week. 

Well, I think that I've sufficiently embarrassed myself enough for one night....

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2.11.2011

Boden Limited Edition is Finally Here

I've been eyeing the little preview of this collection for the last month, and it was finally released this morning!  As the line promised, it's Boden, but not quite SO Boden with their typical bold patterns and primary colors.  There are little embellishments and pretty muted patterns that are perfect for spring! 

This collection is a teacher's dream, and I'd love to order so many pieces, unfortunately the Limited Edition collection does come with a slightly higher price tag.  I might just have to order 1 piece though... so tempting!

 Ruffle Silk Dress, $188

 Shimmering Broderie Skirt, $98

 Silk Feather Top, $148

 Silk Dandelion Skirt, $98

 Silk Bubble Top, $98

Silk Feather Maxi Dress, $248

Are you loving the new Boden Limited Edition Collection? 

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2.09.2011

CSN Giveaway Winner!


Congratulations to commenter #18, Shala Darkstone, for winning the $35 CSN gift certificate! 

Thanks to everyone for reading and entering!

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2.08.2011

Suit Up!

I have a few requirements for a bathing suit these days...

-It needs to be solid (unless it's a really subtle J.Crew pattern)
-It can't look like something a 16 year-old would wear in Cancun
-It has so have something special about the cut or detailing, just one cute something special
-I must have a fully covered bottom!

Well ladies, I think I've found my new suit for this year!  I'm in love!


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2.07.2011

Bookclub: Ape House Ch. 1-12


I'm so happy that Book Beginnings and Bookends is back!  I love the idea of a little blogger book club, and am thrilled to participate again.  This time we're reading Ape House by Sara Gruen, who is also the author of they very popular Water for Elephants. 

I really love this book, and although I'm a bad book club member who already finished the book, I'm making sure I revisit the chapters and how I felt at that point in the story.  I promise not to give anything away! : )


1. What was your initial reaction to the idea of a language lab with bonobos who are capable of having conversations with humans?

At first I was like, "no way, this is a joke," but the more I read the more I believed that it was truly possible.  The whole idea is so intriguing to me, and I was instantly fascinated by how well they were able to communicate. 
2. Isabel said early in the book that the apes know they're apes and know that the humans are humans, but they don't see any superiority with either... What do you think the major difference is between the two?

One major difference between the two would have to be the freedoms that humans have that bonobos don't.  We have the freedom to make major choices that effect our lives, and can come and go as we please.  The bonobos are confined to the lab, and have choices mainly limited to food and activity. 

3. What are your thoughts on John and his feelings toward Isabel? How do you think their relationship will play out?

I'm very unsure about how their relationship will play out, but it seems as though John has a bit of a thing for Isabel.  It may just be that he's fascinated and impressed by her work with the bonobos, but I think Gruen definitely wants us to think that something could happen between them.

4. How do you think Isabel will respond to the apes being taken?

I think she will absolutely lose it because the apes are her family, and she has such a deep bond with them.  I think it will make her crazy to not know where they are or how they're being taken care of.  I think she'll do almost anything she can to get them back.
5. Do you think Celia is part of the team that ambushed the learning center?

Not really, she seemed to have such a good relationship with the apes, and the fact that Isabel trusted her with them in the first place speaks volumes. For some reason I don't really see her having a role in the explosion.  I think the fact that Celia left right before the ambush is strictly a coincidence.
6. What are your thoughts on John and his relationship with Amanda?

Their relationship seems a little unstable to me, although it's very clear they love each other very much.  This might have to do with the feeling I got from John and Isabel at the beginning, but Amanda is just so fragile.  I think John does a fantastic job of supporting her despite her insecurity issues, but when she gets the job in LA I have a strong feeling it's a sign of trouble for them.  I think the distance will be really hard on them. 
I can't wait to see what some of the other bloggers thought! 

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2.06.2011

Super Sunday (+ Recipes)

Let's talk Super Bowl shall we? 

We tend to root for the Steelers when the Colts aren't playing, so we somewhat had a team to root for, although we weren't all that hardcore about the game itself this year.  It was a great excuse to hang out with friends and eat though, so we were all smiles.


Here are some thoughts on what went down...

-I truly dislike Christina Aguilera, always have, and even though I hate that she messed up the National Anthem, I'm kinda glad she wasn't all that wonderful.  Is that awful?

-The new Chevy commercial that boasts "real time Facebook status updates" via OnStar after the couples first date is bizarre.  I mean, do we really need our cars to read us the recent news feed updates?  Whoever came up with this idea needs to get a life.

-The Little Darth Vader/Volkswagen commercial was the cutest thing I've ever seen!  There were a few slightly funny commercials, but this was by far my favorite!

-I thought Usher was going to save the pitiful half-time show, but his little cameo was far too brief.  The whole thing was a fail in my book.

Now, onto my appetizers I contributed to the party...

 Tex Mex Wontons

This is the 3rd time I've made these for a party after getting the recipe from Natalie.  They're amazing, and our friends now ask me to make them all the time. 

1 PKG SAUSAGE, BROWNED AND DRAINED WELL
1 SMALL CAN SLICED BLACK OLIVES, DICED (I hate olives, so I leave these out)
1 CUP RANCH
1/4 CUP DICED JALAPENOS (FROM JAR, NOT FRESH)
1.5 CUPS SHREDDED CHEDDAR CHEESE
1.5 CUPS SHREDDED MONTERREY JACK CHEESE
1 PKG WONTON SHELLS (IN THE FRIDGE SECTION NEAR DRESSING AND PRODUCE)
MIX FIRST 6 INGREDIENTS TOGETHER.

PLACE EACH INDIVIDUAL WONTON IN A MINI MUFFIN PAN. LIGHTLY PRESS DOWN TO FORM AN OPEN CUP.

SPOON ABOUT A TABLESPOON OF THE SAUSAGE MIXTURE INTO EACH CUP.

BAKE AT 350 DEGREES ABOUT 15 MINUTES OR UNTIL WONTONS START TO BROWN.


Cheesy Pigs in a Blanket

My SIL, VABelle, gave me this recipe a while ago and I finally got around to making them for the party tonight!  They were another huge crown pleaser, I'll be making these again for sure!

FLOUR
1 LB. PIZZA DOUGH (I used Pillsbury refrigerated thin crust)
4-6 HOT DOGS, CUT INTO THIRDS
3 TEASPOONS BROWN OR COURSE GRAIN MUSTARD (I used a little more)
3/4 CUP SHREDDED MONTEREY JACK CHEESE
1 LARGE EGG YOLK
1 TABLESPOON WATER

ROLL PIZZA DOUGH INTO AN 8 X 12 RECTANGLE USING FLOUR

USE A PIZZA CUTTER TO CUT THE PIZZA DOUGH INTO 2 X 4 IN. STRIPS, PLACE ONTO A COOKIE SHEET COVERED IN FOIL

PLACE HOT DOG AT THE TOP OF EACH DOUGH STRIP

BRUSH EACH DOUGH STRIP WITH MUSTARD, THEN SPRINKLE WITH 1 T. CHEESE BEFORE ROLLING THEM UP

WHISK TOGETHER EGG YOLK AND WATER, BRUSH ONTO TOP OF EACH ROLL

BAKE AT 425 DEGREES FOR 13-15 MINUTES

 
I hope you all had a great Super Bowl Sunday! 

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2.03.2011

Thursday Morning Odds and Ends

Woohoo, I made it to Thursday!  My Tuesdays and Wednesdays are awful at school, but the rest of my week is easy peasy from here on out, so I'm a a happy girl!


-I may just have to use some of my birthday money to buy one of these adorable Rachel Leigh bracelets I saw on Summer is a Verb!  I love, love, love anything with a bow, and I think 1 of these bracelets is something that definitely deserves a spot in my jewelry box!  I love the white for spring and summer, but there are TONS of colors to choose from!

-Although we're very lucky to have amazing weather here in the desert, I'm pretty jealous of everyone back in Indiana with their ice storm and snow days!  I always thought snow storms were so exciting, and who doesn't love a day when you're forced to stay at home and watch movies all day?

-I kind of hate myself for watching this season of The Bachelor, but I'm so addicted.  For some reason I REALLY dislike Chantal, even though most people really seem to like her.  I obviously can't stand Michelle either, and am pretty sure the producers are the only ones keeping her there at this point.  She definitely keeps things interesting! 

-It is Girl Scout cookie season, and the admission's director has them stocked in her office for us to buy at any point in the day.  Peanut Butter Patties and Thin Mints have a very special place in my heart, and I simply have no will-power against them. I've already purchased 3 boxes... this is bad news bears! 
-I am stalking Boden's website daily to see if their limited edition collection has been released yet!  The preview looks adorable, but this constant web-stalking is becoming somewhat of a problem. 

-I went the entire month of January without using my 15% off birthday discount at Anthropologie.  There was tons of stuff I liked, but none of it worked IRL.  I'm so proud of myself for not purchasing just because I could with the discount, but I just know in about 2 weeks there will be TONS of stuff that I want.  Can you tell I'm still struggling with the fact that it went unused?

-We're going to a Super Bowl party on Sunday, and I'm seriously conflicted on which chips and dip combo to make/take! I can't really cook at all, but have oh-so-many yummy dip recipes up my sleeve! I'm definitely more excited about all of the food options than the game itself this year!


Have a great day everyone!

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2.01.2011

This February...

I agreed to babysit tonight, and although I dearly missed the little guy I spent my summer with, babysitting a 2-year old, while constantly protecting him from 2 crazy dogs after a whole day with kids was no easy feat.  I honestly don't know how you parents do it!

Despite being exhausted, February is here and I'm as happy as can be!

photo from Martha Stewart

This February I will...
  • Try to eat only 1 bag of pink and red M&M's, and 1 bag of Sweettart Hearts
  • Attempt to make some homemade Valentine's Day cookies
  • Participate in Erin and Rachel's bookclub, although I accidentally read the whole book in 2 days last week while I was sick! 
  • Continue to drink only 1 diet soda a day (baby steps people)
  • Root for the Steelers in the Super Bowl
  • Make hand-made Valentine's for my kiddos at school (I have a hard time finding store bought ones that I like)
  • Have a 4-day weekend over President's Day ruined with a staff development one day, and an 8 hr. sexual harassment training the next (very sensitive subject, I could handle one, not both)
  • See The King's Speech before the Oscar's
  • Attend 2 baby showers
  • Celebrate our 2nd Valentine's Day as our married couple
  • Enjoy a visit from my grandparents
I hope your month is off to a great start!  What will you do this February?

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