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Monday, January 31, 2011

5 o'clock happy hour: January 31, 2011

The day's top stories, bookmarked for all eternity...

  • Are you ready for Glee to start back up? Because if not, you're out of luck. It's starting the Spring semester off with Michael Jackson, Thriller... directly after the Super Bowl. It'll be a big day for the kids. And, to wet your appetite, here's a first-look at the mash up of Michel Jackson and the Yeah Yeah Yeahs. Enjoy!
  • And if you haven't seen this yet today, you haven't been looking... but a 1994 clip of the "Today" show re-surfaced today showing the 3 main hosts (including Katy Couric) discussing what "the Internet" is... check it out:

And there's another winter storm coming to the Midwest this week... even here in Texas we have snow/sleet/ice fore casted... so EVERYONE please be safe!!!


Oh, and in case you also missed this circulating... here's the biggest Fox News error I've seen in a while:
Wow. Fox News #fail

(Egypt is located where?)
You see it? "Egypt" ... of course, there's always a possibility it's a fixed photo,
but it looks pretty darn much like a photograph of a TV... #justsaying

Check back every day around 5 for the day's top stories ♥

Buzz: SAG fashion

So, I'm sad to say the SAG awards aren't really on my radar... there's too many other awards shows and I do have a life... however, I loved some of the dresses that were worn on last night's red carpet and wanted to share them! What do you think? (all images via)

I'm amazed with how cute she is! She's really working the baby bump,
though I wish the hair was bit better.
I love the neckline. I may be the only one, but I'm cool with that.
This just looks effortless.
I'm happy to say it:
I've never said that before, and it felt good.

And here are some of my least favorite...
She's too old... it makes her boobs look saggy. #fail
I know it's your style to be different, but please just give me
something better once!!!
It looks like a wedding dress gone wrong.
I see what she was going for... but it wasn't quite right.
On a side note.. I love the (a) color (b) hair and (c) less make-up.

(Hillary Swank is at the end, and her dress is gorgeous)

Recipe of the Week: Coconut Curry Chicken

So, I made Coconut Curry Chicken out of Padma Lakshmi's "Easy Exotic" cookbook (one of my absolute favorites!), and served it on top of Jasmine Rice... easily one of my favorite things ever to cook. So, I needed to share it with you (naturally).
We served it with Naan, because
who doesn't like Naan?

Here's what you'll need:

  • 1 onion, coarsely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh gingerroot
  • 1 large jalapeno chili, stemmed and halved
  • zest of 1 lemon, about 1 tablespoon
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 (3 to 3 1/2 pound) chicken, cut into small serving pieces, skin removed
  • 1 cup sliced carrots
  • Salt, to taste
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Hot Madras Sambar Curry Powder
  • 1 (14-ounce) can unsweetened 'light' coconut milk
  • Fresh lemon juice, to taste
  • 1/2 to 1 cup loosely packed chopped fresh cilantro leaves
And what you do with it:
In a blender combine the onion, garlic, gingerroot, chili, lemon zest, and water and blend until pureed. In a casserole set over moderate heat, warm the oil until it is hot. Add the paste and cook it, stirring, for 3 minutes. Add the chicken, carrots, and salt to taste, and cook, turning the chicken until lightly colored on both sides, for about 10 minutes. Add the curry powder and cook, stirring and turning, for 5 minutes. Add the coconut milk and simmer, stirring occasionally, for about 10 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through. Stir in the lemon juice, to taste and the cilantro. Serve with rice

It's super simple, pretty healthy (make sure to use "light" coconut milk!! it's amazing how fattening that stuff is), and makes amazing leftovers ♥

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Review: Blue Valentine

My beautiful sister Dana (see the picture below) obliged me, and wrote a movie review for Blue Valentine... So, enjoy her review! (Thanks, Dana!)

There is nothing beautiful about this movie. Not reading any reviews before seeing it, I was expecting some American Beauty type romance, but there was only one scene that came close to achieving a wonderful, intimate love scene.

Blue Valentine follows a day in the life of a married couple on the brink of divorce. Throughout the movie, there are flashbacks five years, depicting the origins of their relationship from the time they first met until their marriage. The story itself is perhaps the most appealing aspect of the movie. The dialog was well written and the minor plot twists kept me interested. 

As far as acting, Ryan Gosling (Dean) was amazing. He did an excellent job contrasting current day Dean and five-years-younger Dean, the former being a construction worker with a beer gut and the later being a hopeless romantic Florida boy in the city for the first time. The main actress, Michelle Williams (Cindy) was mediocre. Maybe that is how the script is written, but her character had no dynamic to it whatsoever. The entire time she did nothing but pout about how terrible her life with Dean is. The couple also has a daughter, Frankie, played by Faith Wladyke. Not only is the girl cute, but she can pull heartstrings. There is this scene at the end where Dean is walking away and Frankie runs after him, trying to get him to stay. That little girl's pleas wrenched my heart, by far the most emotional scene (for me) in the movie. I can't wait to see what she does next.

There was some controversy behind the rating of the movie. Originally set as NC-17, the producers of the movie argued their way down to an R rating for the potential of an Academy Award. I think an R rating was appropriate. Yes, there was lots of sex, but no more than previously mentioned American Beauty, not the mention the nudity is minor (relatively). 

If you enjoy watching nitty-gritty movies, go watch it. I just felt, personally, like sandpaper was being worked over my soul. It didn't leave me feeling anything except for empty.

There are two redeeming aspects of the movie. First off, Dean makes a comment along the lines of: guys are more romantic because when they do fall in love, they love one girl for eternity, while girls, on the other hand, tend to just settle down with any guy they don't despise when the time is most convenient for them. This comment foreshadowed the whole of Dean and Cindy's relationship, and it gave some purpose to the movie as a whole.

Second, there is a scene where he sing a song for her. Perhaps the most cliche scene in the movie, it is also the cutest. Here's the song:

Overall rating: C

Go and see it, but don't expect too much. Maybe it's just not my type of movie, but I wouldn't sit through it again.

Week in Review

This week on the blog... 

I shared all of that, plus the top news of the day every day on my Happy Hour... 

In news outside my blog:

This is my favorite photograph from the week:

And here's the best video of the week: 

And, finally, here's the top topical Twitter trends of the week...
surprisingly the State of the Union Address is no where to be seen.

Top Twitter Trends This Week: 1/22 – 1/28

Hope you're having a wonderful weekend so far!

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Saturday Snapshots: Times a Tickin' (and I couldn't wait)

So, you may or may not remember me posting this clock on my Happy Hour on Thursday...
This will be the second thing in my kitchen… I’m never on time!
It's $99 at Target....

So, I wanted it really, really bad, but it was a hundred bucks, which is over our limit for impromptu buys.. so, I decided to make the clock as best I could... and here's what I did:

I went to Hobby Lobby, and spent $30 on these materials...
if I had been more patient, I probably could have gotten most of this
1/2 off next week, but I wanted it now.

I painted the square canvas a "Cafe Au Lait" color.
And once that was dry, I started stenciling in the numbers...
Keeping with the brown theme, I chose "Dark Espresso"
I chose too big of stencils, but I made due, so not every
number made it onto the canvas... but I'm cool with that.
Here's all the number on the canvas.
I then stenciled in the phrase:
"Whatever, I'm late anyways"
I taped the individual letters together, so they would stay
on the canvas better while painting them.
And voila! I had the clock face made...
So then, I used these clock pieces... & my X-Acto knife to cut
a hole in the canvas and put it all together.
Here's the final product!!!
Complete with a hanging wire in the back that I installed too.

Not bad for an impromptu, "I need to have this now" project, huh? I was rather impressed with myself ♥

Friday, January 28, 2011

5 o'clock happy hour: January 28, 2011

There are only 2 stories that need to be mentioned today... all else would seem shallow.

First, the protests in Cairo and the rest of Egypt. Here's the Wikipedia page explaining the government history, and the use of "Emergency Law" since 1967. Here's a timeline from CNN, tracking hour-by-hour happenings of the sad event. Whether or not you know all the details, the history, of the laws... you need to know that this went on... is still going on... in parts of the world. You need to know to what social injustices are going on in countries (like Egypt) which we consider mostly "modern". When we all wake up tomorrow, or the next day, it will be interesting to see what the country has become (more government control or more freedom?)
Unrest in Egypt: Mubarak expected to speak; curfew imposed in major cities

Second, today was the 25th Anniversary of the Challenger disaster. Here are two wonderful blog accounts of what went on that day...  Dell Billings and Modernish Father.

I know that doesn't really leave my blog on a happy note for the weekend, but sometimes life isn't happy. Sometimes it's sad. So, go out, love each other, be thankful for what you have, and have a wonderful weekend!

Buzz: Could Have Been Love Story {video}

So, I know this video has been circulating for the past week like crazy (it now has > 1,00,000 hits!), but I really love it, and wanted to share it here, if for nothing more than yet another excuse to watch it ♥

I really love how relate-able this is. It's so simple, and so normal, but so meaningful.
So, go out, and express yourself today! Tell someone you love them.

{PS - C, I love you}

Fill in the Blank Friday: My Favorites, My Plans, and My Bad Habits

Head on over to Lauren's blog the little things we do to play along!

1.   If my house was on fire and I could only grab 3 things I would grab my computer (it has my pictures and iTunes on it!)... my Kate Spade tea set (I've never used it because I don't drink tea, but it makes me feel fancy)... and an armful of clothes (I'm finally proud of my clothing collection, and I don't want to start over!!)

2.  A smell I really like is right before it rains, cinnamon buns, vanilla, C after a shower (clean boys just smell good!)

3.  Something you might not know about me is I don't watch crime scene TV shows, because I can never fully get the "crime" out of my head... and it makes sleeping at night difficult (so I compensate with random rules about which doors have to be open or closed... it drives C nuts)

4.  Some of my favorite websites to putter about on are Mashable, my Google Reader, XKCD, E! Online ... and Antrhopologie  (I'm shopping there all the time in my head) ... and my favorite blog to putter around on is A Cup of Jo

5.  This weekend I will go see a hockey game with my family, have a girls day with my mom and sisters, then go see Jimmy Eat World in concert with C... it's actually quite an adventurous weekend for me!

That's right... the San Antonio Rampage...
we have box seats, it's gonna be pretty cool! {via}
6. Nothing makes me happier than sleep... rest... lazy time... (see a pattern? just keep going with it, and maybe throw in some chocolate and coffee down the line)

7.  A bad habit I have is not cleaning up after projects... seriously, right now I did a crafting project last night and all the left-over materials are still on our coffee table, even though I won't be home again until Monday... I just told C (who'll be home all weekend) to throw it in a bucket or shoe box and it'd be fine

(p.s. - check back tomorrow for photos of my project! it's really awesome)

Thursday, January 27, 2011

5 o'clock happy hour: January 27, 2011

The day's top stories, bookmarked for all eternity...

After the earlier (boring) teaser photo of our two young Oscar hosts was released earlier this week, a new Oscar (video) Promo came out today...

  • And speaking of the Oscars, if you want to see something fun... here's a collection of Lego shots built into scenes from "best picture" nominations.
  • And guess what Will Smith is doing next? Annie, the musical, starring his daughter Willow, and the help of Jay-Z.
  • As the political issues keeping coming out of Egypt, here's how social media messages are still getting out.
  • The popular resume site LinkedIn may be going public soon.

Isn't it cute?!?
And today on the blog... I talked about Aspiring for Greatness through art and hard work and my upcoming weekend plans!

In other news...

I also found this amazingly cute clock... and want it really bad!
This will be the second thing in my kitchen… I’m never on time!

As always, check back everyday around 5 for the day's top stories ♥

Buzz: Aspiring for Greatness through Art, Humility, and Typefaces


I found this slogan on Tumblr about a month ago and it immediately spoke to me. It gives me a sense of pride in my work... in my nation... in everything that I do. "Early days" of great nations are often difficult times... like when you start to clean your kitchen, you know? The grunt work has to be done for future enjoyment and greatness, despite that fact that what you're doing right at that moment may not be great. I actually printed out a copy of the slogan and posted it on my bulletin board collage at work next to other pieces of art that inspire me (the art which you see above is actually a part of the 8 Faces Magazine typeface project).

Every day I strive to work hard and so something great... and I look at this, and am motivated to do so.

Alasdair Gray, a Scottish writer and artist, is credited for the slogan... not because it was his... but because he wrote a book and placed the 1960's Canadian poem excerpt on the cover. In one of Gray's  articles in the Herald Scotland he explains what the slogan means to him:
 It is inspiring but not boastful. I hate hearing folk say I'm Scots and proud of it'. All people should love their land where the government does not punish them for saying what they think [...]  
I grew up believing, with my dad and his friends, that doctors, teachers and Labour politicians were the noblest works of God - doctors worked to reduce pain, teachers to spread knowledge, Labour politicians to reduce poverty and increase social equality. [...]
Pessimists will say there is now nothing left in Scotland for Home Rule to improve. I deny that, if we work as if in the early days of a better nation. 
This man's writing speaks to my soul, as does the slogan. What do you think? 

Coming this weekend... @JimmyEatWorld


This Sunday I finally, finally, finally 
get to see Jimmy Eat World!!!!

I've somehow never seen them at a show, even though I've tried for the past 8 years. I'm central to San Antonio, Austin and Houston, TX... but still never made it to one. So this year, when, yet again, they announced tour dates to both San Antonio and Austin, I made sure one of the dates was going to happen. So, this Sunday in San Antonio I'm finally having a childhood (OK, really "young adult") fantasy come true!

Here's one of my favorite songs... Hear You Me ... for your listening pleasures:

And since we're going to San Antonio, I get to see my family too! I'm actually going down Friday night without C, and get to have all day Saturday to hang out with my mom and sisters! It'll be a much needed girls day... and hopefully I'll get to hold Danzig for a little bit... he grows up so much every time we see him.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

5 o'clock happy hour: January 26, 2011


The day's top stories, bookmarked for all eternity...

  • Today, Will.i.am was named "director of creative innovation" for Intel. All I can say to that is interesting, very interesting.
  • The color-coded terrorism threat system will be replaced in April, although there's no new news on the new system (in the new world at the new date at which the new thing will be new). That will be yet one more thing we'll have to explain to the next generation.
  • The story of Rahm Emmanuel may not be top news today, but I still find it fascinating... and so I'm bringing up again. His name's on the ballot... but it's still undecided if he can the mayor. Everything is waiting on the Illinois Supreme Court.
  • Tiger Woods is returning to golf for another season... now we just have to see what he can do... as No. 3 can he make it back up to No. 1?
  • And the situation is getting worse in Egypt... to point where business firms see Egypt as a riskier investment than Iraq!

So, did you watch the State of the Union Address last night? Unfortunately I didn't get a chance to, because I was celebrating a blogging milestone, but I read the whole thing today. What did you think? Here's a great resource for not only watching and reading the Address, but also looking into some fact checks. 

Michelle Obama
On a completely non-political note...
I loved Michelle Obama's white dress that she wore!
It's perfect (and super fashionable) for a First Lady.

As always, check back every day around 5 for the day's top stories ♥

Buzz: Drinking With Style

I think glassware can be incredibly beautiful! I love how you can show your personality and style in a simple cup. We started with our names on sippy cups as children, and now we have wine-glass markers. Some things never change. They just evolve.

For inspiration (but mostly my enjoyment), here is some amazing glassware I found online at Arango:

Inside-Out Martini Glass.
Most definitely my favorite.
We have some tumblers with bubbles in them,
which add just the perfect touch of detail.
I love glass thermal cups.
Being able to see your coffee is so beautiful.
Aren't the feet on this glass so cool?
I've never seen anything like this before.

Thank you!

So I got to 10,000 blog  hits yesterday ... and we decided to make a really, really big deal out of it, by going out with friends and celebrating... so first of all I want to say THANK YOU to all my readers {you!} for coming and reading what I post! Whether this is your 100th time or 1st time to read my blog, every venture into my little corner of the internet means a lot to me. So, again, thank you!!!

We went out with our closest friends to celebrate last night... ain't it a good looking group?
(taken by our awesome waiter)
We went to a local German restaurant (the Brauhaus in downtown Bryan, TX... attached to our favorite bar, Murphy's Law). The food was awesome, as you can see!

Our waiter was extremely patient with us throughout the night, and I hope everyone tipped him well! I didn't look at a bill (since it was a night honoring me), but he definitely deserved a good tip. He even posed in a picture for us:

Then, C & I tried to take a few pictures... and by that I mean I tried to take a few pictures while he did not try to take pictures.
Boys, right?
And after a very fun, celebratory night including toasts and crazy stories we walked around the block to Uncorked, the local wine bar, where we had chocolate lava cake {which we ate too fast to take a decent picture of}, red velvet cupcakes and wine to end the evening off right! It was such a relaxing, fun night out with friends ♥

Aren't these girls beautiful? I love them all.

Again, I want to say thank you for making me, and my blog, feel so special! It's been an amazing 4 months so far, and I can't wait for many, many more ♥

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

5 o'clock happy hour: January 25, 2011

Today's top stories bookmarked for all eternity...
  • Tonight's the State of the Union Address... and it looks like a 5 year spending freeze is coming. Wonder how that's going to go down?
  • Oscar nominations came out today... do you agree with them?
  • Apparently the good 'ole Jersey Shore gang is heading to their homeland of Italy to film season 4. That should put a good taste of Americans into Europe's mouth.
The cast of ''Jersey Shore'' pose upon their arrival at the 2010 MTV Video Music Awards in Los Angeles, California, September 12, 2010. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson
How could they do wrong? {via}
  • Apple is looking into a "pay-by-i-Phone" plan, trying to capitalize on near-field-communications.
  • The first Oscar promo of James Franco and Anne Hathaway came out today... what do you think?
A little boring, perhaps?

  • I'm not sure how this got brought up (or why it was news) but it is now: Taco Bell's "beef" isn't actually "beef" but a "meat product." If you seriously thought that Taco Bell sold you beef in those tacos for 99 cents, then you're an idiot. Of course it's not beef! But apparently, Taco Bell's President is fighting the issue, saying it really is beef. Hmmmm... who to believe, the economically-tied president or science? I'll get back to you. Either way, I still love Taco Bell.
  • Twitter is blocked in Egypt as protests turn violent. Yikes.

And here's the "cute of the day" ... children acting out The Social Network brought to you by AOL Video (yay AOL for still being a running company!)...

Sorry... I'm a little snippy and opinionated today... not sure where that came from! I started off the day with a happy post! Oh well, check back every day around 5 for the top stories ♥

Buzz: Academy Awards Nominations

The 2011 Oscar nominees have just been announced. 'The King's Speech' becomes the most nominated movie of 2010, with 12 Oscar nods. 'True Grit' walks away with 10 nominations, while Christopher Nolan falls short of a Best Director nod for 'Inception'. For only the third time in Academy history, an animated movie, 'Toy Story 3,' makes the Best Picture list.
Check out who else the Academy considered the best of 2010 ...

<br><br>Follow our galleries on Twitter <a href="http://twitter.com/NYDNPhotos" target="_blank">@NYDNPhotos</a>.

I'm so excited!! 

Oscar nominations are in... so the guess work begins. I'm not the first, and certainly won't be the last... but here are my choices for winners (in bold). What do you think?

Best Picture

The Fighter
The Kids Are All Right
127 Hours
The Social Network
Toy Story 3
Winter's Bone

Actress in Leading Role

Annette Bening, The Kids Are All Right
Nicole Kidman, Rabbit Hole
Jennifer Lawrence, Winter's Bone
Natalie Portman, Black Swan
Michelle Williams, Blue Valentine

Actor in a Leading Role

Javier Bardem, Biutiful
Jeff Bridges, True Grit
Jesse Eisenberg, The Social Network
Colin Firth, The King's Speech
James Franco, 127 Hours

Actress in a Supporting Role

Amy Adams, The Fighter
Helena Bonham Carter, The King's Speech
Melissa Leo, The Fighter
ailee Steinfeld, True Grit
Jacki Weaver, Animal Kingdom

Actor in a Supporting Role

Christian Bale, The Fighter
John Hawkes, Winter's Bone
Jeremy Renner, The Town
Mark Ruffalo, The Kids Are All Right
Geoffrey Rush, The King's Speech


Black Swan, Darren Aronofsky
The Fighter, David. O. Russell
The King's Speech, Tom Hooper
The Social Network, David Fincher
True Grit, Joel Coen and Ethan Coen

Animated Feature Film

  • How to Train Your Dragon
  • The Illusionist
  • Toy Story 3

Art Direction

  • Alice In Wonderland
  • Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1
  • Inception
  • The King's Speech
  • True Grit


  • Black Swan
  • Inception
  • The King's Speech
  • The Social Network
  • True Grit

Costume Design

  • Alice in Wonderland
  • I Am Love
  • The King's Speech
  • The Tempest
  • True Grit

Documentary (Feature) - ?

  • Exit Through the Gift Shop
  • Gasland
  • Inside Job - ??
  • Restrepo
  • Waste Land

Documentary (Short Subject) - ?

  • Killing in the Name
  • Poster Girl
  • Strangers No More
  • Sun Come Up
  • The Warriors of Qiugang

Film Editing

  • Black Swan
  • The Fighter
  • The King's Speech
  • 127 Hours
  • The Social Network

Foreign Language Film

  • Biutiful, Mexico
  • Dogtooth, Greece
  • In A Better World, Denmark
  • Incendies, Canada
  • Outside the Law (Hors-la-loi), Algeria

Makeup - ?

  • Barney's Version
  • The Way Back
  • The Wolfman

Music (Original Score)

  • How to Train Your Dragon
  • Inception
  • The King's Speech
  • 127 Hours
  • The Social Network

Music (Original Song)

  • Coming Home from Country Strong
  • I See the Light from Tangled
  • If I Rise from 127 Hours
  • We Belong Together from Toy Story 3

Short Film (Animated)

  • Day & Night
  • The Gruffalo
  • Let's Pollute
  • The Lost Thing
  • Madagascar, carnet de voyage (Madagascar, a Journey Diary

Short Film (Live Action) - ?

  • The Confession
  • The Crush
  • God of Love
  • Na Wewe
  • Wish 143

Sound Editing

  • Inception
  • Toy Story 3
  • Tron: Legacy
  • True Grit
  • Unstoppable

Sound Mixing

    • Inception
    • The King's Speech
    • Salt
    • The Social Network
    • True Grit

Visual Effects

  • Alice In Wonderland
  • Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1
  • Hereafter
  • Inception
  • Iron Man 2

Writing (Adapted Screenplay)

    • 127 Hours
    • The Social Network
    • Toy Story 3
    • True Grit
    • Winter's Bone

Writing (Original Screenplay)

  • Another Year
  • The Fighter
  • Inception
  • The Kids Are All Right
  • The King's Speech