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Tuesday, November 30, 2010

5 o'clock happy hour: November 30, 2010

Wow... what a day of no news! I mean, this morning's top story was that CBS changed its "Early Show" cast. I mean, there is the news that there will be a Jackass-3.5 to be released as a web-movie... but I don't really care about that either! I mean, tell me... do you find any of these stories jaw-dropping?

She's not going anywhere...

That's about all I got from Twitter today. I know... whoa! Crazy stuff!

There is ONE exciting piece of news today, that came via Twitter:

Now that you're pumped up, I figured I'd let you know what I was writing and reading about today.... 

Is this not the cutest Christmas Card?!?

  • Glee- it's on tonight. Why not go check out one of tonight's songs to get in the spirit?
  • The Digital Life Sacrifice campaign got its own "Last Tweet" video... it's pretty cool, check it out:

As always, check back every day around 5 pm for the day's most exciting news.

Buzz: Christmas Cards

Tomorrow is December 1. Christmas is fast approaching. Right about *now*  the women of the house are  remembering they never got that Christmas family photo for the Christmas cards done. And right about *now* the men of the house are wishing I hadn't just brought Christmas cards up. I myself am trying to figure out a nice way to let my other half know that I'd like to send out Christmas cards. And luckily, since I have this blog, I figured this would do ♥ 

But don't panic. I have gone Christmas card shopping for you! The best place I found online to order customizable Christmas Holiday Cards at a reasonable price is TinyPrints.com. These cards are super cute, they have 2 day shipping, and have amazing specials if you shop early. Here are some of my favorites, all of which can be completely personalized:

Another fun, cool online card supplier is Cocodot.com. Again, all can personalized, there's 15% off your entire order until December 6, and you can get them shipped quickly. Here's a few of my favorite cards for you:

And then, of course, you can support the independent artist and shop for Christmas cards on Etsy!

So, now that the cards are out of the way you still may need a photographer, right? Well, if you're in the San Antonio/Austin, Texas region I'd suggest my friend Abbey ... go check out her website here. She seriously has a great eye, and can work with you! As far as other cities go, unfortunately I don't have many suggestions. I don't go tracking down photographers in San Francisco much. But, never under-estimate the power of your own creative eye! Also, instead of putting a posed picture like everyone else, you could just pull out a candid shot from anytime in the past year?

So, ladies, good luck! And gentlemen, help us out: we'd actually love your input.... or at least your ability to stamp and seal envelopes.

Gleeful Thoughts: November 30

Excited about tonight's episode "Special Education" yet?
I am... we're at sectionals!
For a semi-spoiler synopsis click here.

That's all I'm going to say. I think that tonight's episode will be better if we all just tune in and watch it. [Although, I will say: there is a solo by Santana which I'm excited to see! Enjoy watching ♥

Next week is a Very Glee Christmas to end the fall season!
(tonight's not the last episode of the semester as I previously mentioned ... I was wrong)

Monday, November 29, 2010

5 o'clock happy hour: November 29, 2010

Today's top stories, bookmarked for all eternity:

Maybe it's a little presumptuous, but... James Franco and Anne Hathaway have been announced as co-hosts of the Academy Awards this year. If you've never seen them out of character, here are their SNL monologues to show you a little bit of their emcee skills:

Leslie Nielsen

In government news: President Obama imposed a 2 year pay freeze on all non-military employees of the federal government.

Barack Obama

In movie news: Harry Potter is still at the top after the Thanksgiving weekend. And I must admit: I think it deserves it.

Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint and Emma Watson in "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part I"

As always, check back here around 5 o'clock every day!

Buzz: Celebrities go silent for The Digital Life Sacrifice Campaign

Keep a Child Alive is teaming up with celebrities to bring attention to World Aids Day this Wednesday. Here's the deal from Time:
"The Digital Life Sacrifice campaign is raising money this Wednesday - which happens to be World Aids Day - for Keep a Child Alive, which supports families affected by HIV/AIDS in Africa and India. The celebs have filmed their "last tweet and testament" videos and will be back online when the charity raises $1 million" {via}
Celebrities participating in the Social Media silence include: Lady GagaJustin TimberlakeKim KardashianKhlo√© Kardashian OdomRyan SeacrestUsherAlicia Keys. So, if you miss your favorite celebrity Tweets, go donate to the cause! 

For more information on this campaign, visit: http://buylife.org/
For more information on the charity, visit: http://keepachildalive.org/ or their Facebook page

(Funny, this is completely opposite of TwitChange a few months ago!)

Recipe of the Week: Black Bean Salad

This was our creation last night- we topped off the
salad with tortilla strips, grilled Turkey breasts,
red onion and cilantro.
 Whenever C and I need to make a quick, healthy dinner our fall back has become a Black Bean Salad. It super easy, really healthy, and can be altered to fit any body's preferences.

The basic ingredients are:

  • 1 can black beans, drained
  • 2 tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 red onion, chopped
  • Garlic Salt

Mix all the ingredients together, and serve on top of romaine lettuce or a burger (be it Turkey burger, Beef burger, or Boca burger). Super simple, right? Well, I always find ways to mix it up just a little bit.

Optional add-ins include:
  • Jalapeno
  • Cilantro
  • Ground meat or Grilled Turkey
  • Rotel (instead of cutting up your own tomatoes)
  • Tortilla strips (I usually put these on top)

The list really never ends. I love eating this alongside a baguette or corn tortilla, but it's also very good just served on top of lettuce. For dressing, we like to use Annie's Naturals Fat Free Mango Vinaigrette dressing.  It adds a sweet flavor that goes well with the black beans.

We're having this for dinner 3 nights in a row this week, because we don't have time to cook and because we need to loose that Thanksgiving 5 pounds we both put on. Happy eating!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Week in Review

Thanksgiving is over....
It's hard to believe that this week will bring in December!! It feels like yesterday I was welcoming in the month of November. But here we are. Thanksgiving has passed. It left a lot of good memories. Black Friday came and went. Christmas is upon us fast. There's lots to plan, and we may need some help planning in the upcoming months! We may need some extra special help eventually too. The fall TV shows, like Glee and Parenthood and The Office and Community, are coming to their semester break... leaving us with the return of The Sing Off. But, alas, we can fill our times with all the amazing upcoming movies instead! And, even though I know we're all still full from the week, it'll be about time to start planning our menus for the next holiday.

I hope you all had a wonderful week! I only have 4 normal days of work this week, then it'll be off to have some more holiday family fun in December! (Yikes!)
...and onward to Christmas!

Review: Avatar, a year or so later

So, today, we sat down to watch Avatar for the first time since theaters. Lately, I've heard nothing but comments like "Well, Avatar was just such a big hit because of the technology" or "It's just a combo of Fern Gully and Dances With Wolves" and so on and so forth... and I have to admit, I was among that group for a little while. If you're part of that group, don't tune out now... just keep reading ♥

So, we sat down to our 48" super-magical-high-def-amazing-TV to watch the film. The first thing that popped up on the TV? It was a warning message that said something to the effect that because the movie was so awesome, you may have to update your Blu-Ray player to play it. Rude. Just rude. But alas, we moved forward.

I talk about my TV a lot... so I figured I'd take this opportunity to share  it with you.
It was C's
pre-birthday present for football season. Attached to it is a PS3.
It's seriously the best thing we've ever bought... ever.
Back to my review...

Scene one: the narration starts. I'm all for narration during movies. I think it's a good way to connect to your audience without seemingly talking down to them. So as the opening credits roll, I sit back to enjoy the movie. I must admit, though, that I was looking for a reason to agree with the nay-sayers. But, remembering to be Switzerland I decided to not judge the movie by the the awesome graphics along but to actually watch the story. At home, still in PJs at noon, it was much easier to watch a story instead of a series of technological advances, than in theaters when you had the 3D technology right up in your face.


And at the end I decided the story-line was good. And most definitely, the eloquence of the dialogue was beautiful. OK, so maybe deciding to name the mineral they were trying to collect "Un-obtanium" may be ridiculous, but seriously... have you seen a recently updated periodic table? It's not much better.
             Really, have you seen this?

I do have to admit, that although I honestly enjoyed the film again, maybe re-releasing the film in theaters to show the extra 16 minutes of film or whatever was ridiculous. And jut maybe re-releasing the film on Blu-Ray because of some new super-duper extra features may also be ridiculous. And maybe, just maybe, signing James Cameron up for 2 Avatar sequels is ridiculous... BUT you can't let all that ridiculousness take away your enjoyment of the movie. The initial Avatar "wow" factor seemed to have crashed, but isn't that normal? It doesn't change the movie. It doesn't suddenly take away from the reality that Avatar is pretty good. It's an honestly enjoyable film. It's a critically acclaimed film, with Oscar nominations, and still boasts a pretty high Rotten Tomatoes rating:


I'd really suggest for those of you criticizing this review right now to go back and watch the film-- and watch your attitude. And for those of you on the other end of the spectrum... shut up about how absolutely amazing the film is, because frankly you're ruining it for the rest of us. Let me know where you stand. ♥

Friday, November 26, 2010

Fill in the Blank: Black Friday shopping

1.   Black Friday is  an opportunity for me and my sister to get up, go fight all the crazy people and buy 1 thing we both really want at a significantly reduced rate ♥
I got these boots this morning!! Originally like $90... I got them for $30 ♥
(Macy's had some good sales!)

2.  Christmas shopping this year will include  lots of lists, lots of planning... I already know what we're getting our mothers, but besides that it's all impromptu. Whatever feels right at the time.

3.  Holiday shopping makes me  happy. Gift giving is my love language, shopping is my obsession, and putting the 2 together makes me super duper happy!

4.  This year my Christmas list will include  my favorite things post I put up last week, which includes the new PS3 move, cute clothes, Glee Season 1 on Blu-ray, etc. Go check out my post for the full list!

This is my favorite jacket I want from Anthropologie

5.  Bargain hunter, or full price shopper?  I'm a full price shopper that enjoys a deal, but doesn't go out of my way to get it.

6.  The best and worst things about shopping is  BEST: I get to spend money and come home with new things ♥ WORST: I have to explain to my husband why I bought certain things

7.  Online shopper or in-person shopper? I'm an anytime, anywhere shopper. 

There's a reason why this is my favorite book....
read it in 9th grade, fell in love, and haven't looked back.

Go over to Lauren's blog "the little things we do" to play along. ♥
Happy shopping!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Coming this weekend...

Happy Thanksgiving!!

Today's Google Doodle... isn't is cute?!?!

I love Thanksgiving, because you can do whatever you want, and it can mean so many things to so many peopleTurkey? Not necessary. Cranberry sauce? I don't think I've ever eaten it. Stuffing? Ok, that's necessary. You can't have Thanksgiving without stuffing... though I guess if it's not stuffed into a turkey, them maybe it's dressing. But... moving on...

We started our own Thanksgiving tradition last year, and are doing it again this year. I wanted to share it with you, and see what your family does for Thanksgiving! So, let me know in the comments ♥

Thursday: Sleep in, drink Mimosa's, watch the Macy's Day Thanksgiving Parade, prepare for Friday, and then watch the Texas A&M vs. University of Texas football game.

Friday: Sleep in, finish cooking and have the "Traditional" Thanksgiving meal then have all our friends over Friday night and play games/eat tapas-style dinner/drink beer.
Instead of Turkey, we cook Beef Wellington.
We figured since no one really likes Turkey... why make it?
Saturday: Go to the Texas Renaissance festival.

 It's a 3-day epic event. It fills my heart to just have so much fun, be relaxed with those that I love and to just rest. What are your Thanksgiving plans? Whatever they are-- don't forget to give the ones you love a hug! Thanks for reading ♥


Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Buzz: All Things Planned by @BCSPlanner

I met up with Amy from All Things Planned for lunch the other day, and had a chance to ask her about her event planning & her blog. Here's what I learned:

She is a local girl, with a love for planning events. She got a BA in Criminal Justice, and moved to downtown Houston to live "the life" for a few years, but family ties drew her back to Bryan, TX. When she started planning her own wedding, she became obsessed with all things weddings, and began the blog "All Things Weddings" to facilitate her growing obsession. Shortly after her wedding in April, the opportunity to start her own event company opened up, and with a little nudge from her husband, Amy launched her company: All Things Planned.

 She recently began highlighting local venues and weddings  in "Local Love" on her blog-- which I'm really excited to read! But she doesn't just do weddings... she will plan any event that comes her way. {She especially loves cocktail parties and showers... two of my favorite things!!}. Her keys to success?
  1. Put yourself out there... use social media to engage people
  2. Know about the area you're working in
  3. Give back to your community {she volunteers with Habitat for Humanity and Family Promise}
Of course, I had to ask her about her inspirations {I'm always looking for more to read!} Top of the list was Style Me Pretty, known as the ultimate wedding blog. Next was another blog, Ruffled, which is known for featuring DIY weddings. Her other inspirations are Martha Stewart, The Knot and Texas Weddings, to name a few. Her favorite thing about weddings is the growing trend of non-traditional weddings. She loves that couples are showing their personalities through their weddings, instead of just doing what their parents and grandparents did. She believes that her business is there to be an extension of the host... a tool they can use to complete their vision, no matter how large or small.

To learn more about Amy, check her out on Facebook, Twitter, or visit her website. She's only a phone call or email away! I know she'd love to help you out, give you advice, or if you're just looking around for something to read, her blog is being constantly updated with new ideas and interesting articles.

What's my favorite? Cocktail

I love mixed drinks and cocktails. I think one of the most fun things I get to do is look through the various cocktail books I've received as gifts and mix new creations. As the holidays are coming up, and I have more time to mix drinks and share cocktails with friends, I thought I'd share my favorite drink:

The Cosmopolitan
Here's a recipe for the Comso, from About.com:
•1 1/2 oz vodka
•1 oz Cointreau
•1/2 oz fresh lime juice
•1/4 oz cranberry juice

1.Shake all the ingredients with ice in a cocktail shaker.
2.Strain into a chilled cocktail glass.
3.Garnish with an orange peel.

While there's a lot of mixers out there, it's not difficult to make. I'm sure you've had one before... they're not uncommon. But, just in case... here's a video to help you out: ♥

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

5 o'clock happy hour: November 23, 2010

Today's top stories, bookmarked for all eternity.

Guess who may be a new host of SNL? None other than COOKIE MONSTER!! Want to see his SNL audition?

In other news:

*Buffy the Vampire Slayer was a super popular TV show... and now it's an upcoming movie ♥ BUT... without Joss Whedon.


*Christian Bale has announced the next Batman movie will be his last one... which makes me sad!

*Contested seats in the House were given to Republicans today, making a total of 63 seats won total.

*Want to know Rahm Emanuel is up to since leaving the White House? You should.

  • Suspicious cargo was found at the Boston airport today.
  • Titans quarterback Vince Young isn't banned, but he was asked to leave for a while.
  • Penn State coach Joe Paterno has announced he plans to return in 2011... for his 46th season.
  • Google honored Thanksgiving with its Google Doodle today.
  • There's a new Glee on tonight! And Carol Burnett is guest starting.
  • And, if you're not up to date on all the Holiday movies.. you should be. Here's some help.
Also, if you missed anything last week: here's my week in review.