Always Aubrey: September 2011

Friday, September 30, 2011

Project Runway: 70s #pr9viktor

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I had really mixed feelings about everyone's performance on last night's episode.  There was definitely some drama when Anya lost her money... she is so lucky Anthony gave her his leftovers and that the other designers bailed her out.  I also think the other designers were kicking themselves for helping her, because she ended up WINNING.  Wowza.

I liked Viktor's looks the best, and I think he should have won over Anya.  I think I would have liked that awesome jacket to match the pants better.  He is great at tailoring.  I also liked the dress that Bert did, and I'm glad that he was recognized with a reward in the end too.  I feel like Anya's looks won over Viktor's because they would look good online.  Bert's dress (selling for $98 on Piperlime) is already sold out!

I am very surprised that Anthony Ryan went home.  I really felt like Josh missed the mark completely (those HEINOUS PANTS) and should have been eliminated.  Josh can't tone himself down.  Anthony Ryan was a fan favorite, and you could tell people on the show really liked him...  Tim Gunn was tearing up when he said goodbye!  Anthony Ryan was my favorite in the beginning, and he was in the top for three straight episodes... then what he did just stopped translating.  I think Josh will go home.

I am on Team Viktor these days.  I don't like his attitude, but he is focused on the competition.  He whines a bit, and complains that others are copying his ideas.  It's fashion... everyone is copying someone else.  Viktor needs to stay positive, because he has the talent and the eye to make it all the way!  I know Anya is everyone's favorite, but I feel like everything she does is the same... prints with a maxi dress or jumpsuit or racerback.  Right?

Tim was right though, all of the remaining designers have real talent, and it's hard to tell who will go home each week.  I have no idea what's next!

A Blog Award :)

Awwww, someone sent me a blog award!  How sweet, thanks Kymlee!

As my acceptance, I have to tell you seven random things about myself...
1)  I am currently infatuated by honeycrisp apples.  They are delightfully crunchy and tart... perfect with some melted gouda.
2)  I like to listen to Kidd Kraddick in the Morning.
3)  I have been known to eat Lean Pocket Pepperoni Pizzas for breakfast on a regular basis.
4)  I am insanely lazy.  My idea of a perfect weekend day is never leaving the house or changing out of pajamas.
5)  I find tweezing my eyebrows to be intensely satisfying!
6)  I check my iPhone impulsively every 10 seconds.  I feel lost without it, like I'm missing a limb.
7)  I don't make my bed unless I have guests visiting who might see it.  Eek!

I would like to now pass this award on to my friend JTal, whose blog The Extraordinarily Ordinary is a must-read for me every time she posts!  I love her wit and sarcasm, her smart observations, and her love of kittehs.  :)

JTal, to accept your award:
1.Post a link to the original award
2.Tell your readers seven random things about yourself
3.Award an undisclosed number of newly discovered blogs.
4.Send them a note or comment letting them know you nominated them so they can continue the cycle if they so choose

Also, HAVE YOU ENTERED MY LATEST GIVEAWAY YET?

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Hypnotherapy

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On Wednesday, I went to a hypnotherapist.  I know a few people who have tried hypnotherapy, and I decided I would give it a try to see if it would help me eat healthier and exercise more.  I met with the hypnotherapist, who had been a nurse for 45 years prior, and let her attempt to hypnotize me.

The U.S Department of Labor definition of a hypnotherapist is someone who "hypnotic state in client to increase motivation or alter behavior pattern through hypnosis. Consults with client to determine the nature of problem. Prepares client to enter hypnotic states by explaining how hypnosis works and what client will experience. Tests subject to determine degrees of physical and emotional suggestibility. Induces hypnotic state in client using individualized methods and techniques of hypnosis based on interpretation of test results and analysis of client's problem. May train client in self-hypnosis conditioning."

I really don't know what to say about the experience.  I felt that at any time I had total free will to get up and stop it all, but I never spoke or opened my eyes unless she told me to.  I found it extremely easy to yield to her instructions, and my entire body felt extremely relaxed, like I was pinned to my chair.  I still felt the urge to fidget a little in my toes, and my fingers felt very numb.  But I listened to her words and tried to stay as relaxed and 'heavy' as possible.

When she 'woke' me, I could barely form words.  She said I would sleep very soundly and wake up refreshed that night... which wasn't exactly the case.  I felt very tired the next day!  I don't feel any different... not yet at least.  It may take some more time.  But if I don't notice a difference, I won't be going back for another session, even though they say it can take more frequent visits to be very effective.  I gave it a try, but we shall see if there is any impact on my life...  Still, it was an interesting experience I thought I'd share!

P.S.  HAVE YOU ENTERED MY LATEST GIVEAWAY YET?

TV Wrapups...

The Sing-Off: I was underwhelmed by the next 8 groups on The Sing-Off on Monday... I think the Fannin Family was better than some of the groups that got to stay based on this episode, and Delilah kicks the butts of everyone else.  Pentatonics were my favorite this go-round.  Also, who is DRESSING these people?  Enough with the pleather leggings, we get it.

The Little Couple:  I love this show on TLC and it is back with new episodes!  So excited to watch them go through the surrogacy process and I hope they have their own baby soon.  I'm also enjoying watching their home come together, the same way I was happy to watch the renovations when the family on Little People, Big World had modifications to their home to better serve their short stature.  Seeing Jen and Bill in their new house is exciting!  Love that things we take for granted like light switches and windows are at the perfect height for them.  They've also taken into account their friends/family, so it's like the house is a happy medium.

New Girl:  Guys, I love Zooey Deschanel, but I am just not feeling this show.  I mean, it's cute to watch her be so dorky and silly for 30 minutes, but if I can't get more attached to it after the 3rd episode I may just delete it from my DVR.  I'm so disappointed, I wanted to love it!

Ringer:  I was less excited about this show once I saw the pilot for Revenge.  I love my SMG, and I'm interested in what happens next, but I don't think the acting/production value are as high as Revenge.  SMG's acting it brilliant, but not everyone else.  I may be deleting this from my DVR too, because I am just not buying into it.

Revenge:  I don't know how they're going to make it last more than a season, but I really LOVE this show!  There's suspense and it's just a beautiful show to watch.  They really didn't skimp on this one.

Dance Moms:  I'm admittedly hooked.  Don't judge me.  I DVR it now...  I like Brooke the best.  :)

The Millionaire Matchmaker:  I love Patti!!!  They find so many crazies though... I really want to see a retrospective of some of the successes, the relationships that lasted.  How come they don't do follow-ups?  I want to see what happens next.


P.S.  HAVE YOU ENTERED MY LATEST GIVEAWAY YET?

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Old Navy Shopping Spree!

Tie-neck Breezy Blouse, $15 on sale
Okay, it's been a while since I've liked much at Old Navy.  Then, the other day, I tried on a pair of their trouser jeans and fell in LOVE.  I hit up their Buy One, Get One 75% Off sale last weekend, scoring some skinny jeans at a great price... but tonight I hit the jackpot with online sales!

Using the 25% off code (good until the 30th) ONSECRET25, then scouring the sales, I was able to purchase the following, with free shipping, for $100...

-tie-neck breezy blouse (white)
-long-sleeve cowl-neck jersey top (olive)
-chiffon-tie jersey tee (rose)
-layered scoop-neck tee (pink stripe)
-lace-trim chemises (blue stripe, pink stripe)
-cropped fleece jacket (brown)
-slub-knit ruffle-trim tee (navy stripe)
-animal-print cardigan (peach combo)

That's right... NINE items for $100.  I've been looking for modest tops with sleeves, and these all fit the bill!  I know my size form trying things on in the store, and I really scored big-time on some sale prices and the overall discount.

Gleek Peek: West Side Story Auditions!

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So last night's Glee episode was... okay.  Of course, I love when someone AMAZING like Idina Menzel shows up (yay!) but really I didn't get a whole lot out of it.  The attention is back on Kurt, who wants to play the lead role of Tony in West Side Story... but no one thinks he is 'masculine' enough for the role.  To make matters worse, his boyfriend Blaine is perfect for the part (but doesn't want it because Kurt does) and everyone favors him.

I thought Kurt's acting chops were enough for him to be a great Tony in the musical; I was SHOCKED when Coach Beiste, Emma, and Artie laughed at his acting performance as Romeo.  I mean, isn't Glee about acceptance?  They were being mean and inconsiderate, which I didn't expect from them.

As for the Quinn storyline, her attempt to steal her baby back and regain custody is evil and mean.  I know she's been through a lot, and she is the original mean girl... but it just seems terrible.

Next week's episode looks INTENSE.  I wasn't so into this one, but next week looks to be amazing.

Song(s) I'll download later: "Somewhere"

Help the Hoo-Hahs 5K

On Saturday, myself and three of my girlfriends ran the Help the Hoo-Hahs 5K!  (We gotta admit, the name drew us in.)  Help the Hoo-Hahs was created to bring awareness to gynecologic cancers and promote a greater understanding of warning signs, available screening, and prevention options.


It was a warm morning for a run, but I had a blast!  We all rode in my car, so it was fun to have some 'girl time' and have a group together.  JC ended up WINNING the 5K for the women, and she was at the finish line with cold water for me and VV when we got done.  It was all made possible thanks to CG, who registered for the race first and inspired me to bring the others along.  My coworker JM and her kids finished the race too!

We had a delicious brunch downtown at J. Christopher's afterwards.  It was the perfect ending to a great morning...  then I promptly went home, showered, and NAPPED.  :)

The Girls!
I'm starting to get back into the swing of running...  Registering for these local races not only forces me to run (because you pay to register!) but gives me a good feeling afterwards.  I registered for the A-Maize-Ing Race 5K in Jesup, GA in October, as well as the Disney Princess Half Marathon in February!  I've got my eye on a few other 5Ks (and maybe 10Ks!) for the remainder of 2011.  It costs money to run, but it's money well spent in my mind.  I have to keep myself motivated!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

"The Plight of American Singles"

One of my friends posted this article from the New York Times, entitled "In a Married World, Singles Struggle for Attention".  Some of the statistics were surprising.  Almost half of all adults are unmarried, but policies favor married couples... from filing joint taxes, to lower insurance rates, to military benefits like housing allowances.

Whether you're single by choice or not, I think the contributions single people make to society are just as significant as those married couples are making...  in fact, this excerpt from the article shows we may be doing more than our fair share.

"In a report released this week by the Council on Contemporary Families, Dr. Gerstel notes that while 68 percent of married women offer practical or routine help to their parents, 84 percent of the never-married do. Just 38 percent of married men help their parents, compared with 67 percent of never-married men. Even singles who have children are more likely than married people to contribute outside their immediate family.


“It’s the unmarried, with or without kids, who are more likely to take care of other people,” Dr. Gerstel said. “It’s not having children that isolates people. It’s marriage.”


The unmarried also tend to be more connected with siblings, nieces and nephews. And while married people have high rates of volunteerism when it comes to taking part in their children’s activities, unmarried people often are more connected to the community as a whole."

I'm not saying it's better to be married or single...  but I don't know if I'll ever choose to marry again, although I still plan on having kids.  (Don't even get me started on what people think of that.)  I know that I spend more time building stronger bonds with my family and friends now than I did when I was married.  My sister and I, both single, were each able to take a week off work to spend with our Grandma in her nursing home, something that most married people find tougher to do, with their commitments to spouses and kids.  I have more freedom to choose how I spend my time, and a lot of that time I spend trying to do positive things.  I actually think it's funny how I've changed as I transitioned back into single life; I've started to make more of an effort to see my friends, decorate/clean my house, do things like run charity 5K races, and build relationships.  I have more positive energy as I do these things.
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In my family, my grandparents are cared for by their single and married kids alike.  So I don't think that stereotype fits, because it's all about your family culture and relationships.  I don't think married people are less responsible to outside commitments, just more insulated and absorbed with their immediate family.  And I do feel that there is still a lot of pressure, as a young woman, to get married.  I feel like people expect you to stay at work later and have nothing but free time when you're single.  That people pity you or think something is wrong with you if you don't marry.

But I don't see it that way.  It's not selfish to choose to be on your own.  It teaches you to be independent, to truly know yourself.  It's not lonely, it's empowering.  So don't pity me.

Happy National Single and Unmarried Americans Week!

New TV Review: Fox's Terra Nova

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Ever wonder what the future looks like... or the past?  I was intrigued when I saw the previews for Fox's new sci-fi Terra Nova series.

Description: The show begins in the year 2149, a time when all life on planet Earth is threatened with extinction due to dwindling worldwide air quality and overpopulation. Scientists discover a rift in space-time that allows people to travel 85 million years back in time to the Late Jurassic period on the prehistoric Earth of an alternate reality, offering a chance to save humanity. The Shannon family join the tenth pilgrimage of settlers to Terra Nova, the first human colony on the other side of the temporal doorway.

My Review:  The quality of production is pretty high, almost movie-quality.  That was impressive to me. I couldn't figure out how they picked who got to go to Terra Nova, but it seemed like they recruited people with skills, like surgeons and military.  (Later I learned it's recruitment or lottery.)  It's pretty clear the 'leader' of the colony is less than wholesome... it's like a military base in the past, essentially.  I was really engaged for the first half hour of the 2-hour premiere.  Then it slowed down as the family became oriented with their new home, giant bugs/dinosaurs, angsty teenage son, and whatnot.  Then it ramps up again... turns out that Utopia is just an idea, because there are renegade pilgrims in Terra Nova who are stirring up conflict.  Oh, and there are guns.  It's kind of Matrix meets Lost meets Avatar, in a TV show.  Yeah, definitely like Avatar.

I'm going to DVR it, because it's kind of cool to watch... but I may just keep it on the DVR to watch on weekends or something.

Although, I do wonder how they figured future generations would survive the Ice Age and what ended up killing the dinosaurs...

P.S.  In a geeky moment, I noticed they talked using the metric system... guess we are a bit smarter in 2149 than we are now!  Go metric!

Monday, September 26, 2011

It's GIVEAWAY Time!!! Which book will you choose?

Alright, Aubreyland, it's time for a GIVEAWAY!  Why?  Because I'm feeling generous.


I think you know that I love baking, sewing, and style...  so I'm going to give you the CHOICE of which of these books you would like to win!  The first book is all the basics for sewing with step-by-step instructions and pictures, the second a book of cupcake recipes that will make you look like a baking rock star, and the last is a guide to creating the perfect wardrobe by my favorite style blogger!  I own all of these books personally, and I can't wait to send a brand-spanking-new copy to one of you, courtesy of ME!

The New Complete Guide to Sewing

Cupcakes: From the Cake Mix Doctor

What I Wore: Four Seasons, One Closet, Endless Recipes for Personal Style





TO ENTER:
- Mandatory: You MUST follow Adventures in Aubreyland on Google Friend Connect AND on Facebook...  Leave me a comment below letting me know which book you would like to win and why!



ADDITIONAL ENTRIES:
(leave an additional comment for each with the URL!)
- Mention this giveaway on your blog
- RT this giveaway! – @aubreyland325

-"Share" this blog giveaway on your Facebook!

Contest ends on Sunday, October 9th at 11:59pm EST and is only open to residents of the United States.  One comment will be chosen at random (using  a random number generator) and the chosen book will ship directly to the winner as a gift!  Good luck!

New TV Review: @PanAmABC

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I love a retro aesthetic!  When I saw that ABC was going to be doing a new show on Pan Am stewardesses in the 1960s, I decided to tune in.

Description:  Welcome to 1963: a time when only a lucky few could take flight, experience a global adventure or gain a front-row seat to history. Those lucky few flew Pan Am, the largest, most prestigious airline in the world. More than Coca-Cola, Elvis Presley or the transistor, Pan Am exported American culture to the world abroad and brought that world back to American shores.  Join our crew as they travel to intoxicating cities such as Paris, Berlin, Monte Carlo and Rome and bump into history along the way. Through their eyes we revisit an era nearly half a century ago.

My Review:  Skip Charlie's Angels and The Playboy Club.  If you want a retro drama that isn't as deep as Mad Men, Pan Am is your best bet in the new lineup of shows!  It seems like ever since Mad Men, networks are trying to capitalize on different times in history, like the award-winning Prohibition-era Boardwalk Empire.  I actually thought Pan Am was a good pilot.  You became interested in the characters (runaway brides and stewardess spies? oh my!) and it was beautiful to look at.  It's not one of those shows I fell head over heels for (Grey's Anatomy, Gilmore Girls, Glee) but it's something I'll continue to record and watch because I enjoy it.

I won't be writing weekly reviews of the show, but it's perfect for one of those days you want to lounge around and just watch something easy.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Facebook and Friendship

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I'm an early Facebook adopter (circa 2004?) and an admitted addict.  I Facebook, blog (obvi!), Tweet, and I'm on Klout checking out my social network influence.  That said, lately I've been thinking a lot about social media and how it affects our relationships, specifically Facebook.

Since going through the divorce earlier this year, I've realized that friendship is not a word to be tossed around lightly.  I need people in my life who contribute/complement it in some way.  I don't need 'lurkers' or people who don't reciprocate friendship, because it's a two-way street.  So I went through my Facebook friends list and slowly trimmed it from a grossly large 1000 to under 600.  There were some hurt feelings, apparently, as people requested to be my friend, sometimes multiple times.  But I can honestly say it doesn't hurt my feelings to have someone delete me from their Facebook, and it shouldn't hurt yours.

Aristotle said there are three types of friendship, based on utility, pleasure, or virtue.  When I think about who is on my 'Friends' list on Facebook, that's exactly how I decide who to keep and who to delete.  (SN: The word 'Unfriend' is particularly cruel-sounding, isn't it?)  But if I'm not getting any useful networking/assistance/advice from you, I don't enjoy hearing from you/you don't contribute to my happiness, or if you aren't one of my "true" friends, someone I can call or count on throughout the years... why should I keep you and divulge so much of my life story to you?  Are you really my friend?

If we attended the same high school but we were never friends in real life?  If the last interaction I can find online between us was you wishing me a 'Happy Birthday' in 2008?  If I don't trust you enough to give you my cell phone number?  THEN WHY SHOULD WE BE FRIENDS ON FACEBOOK?  If I look at your name and I think, "Who?" I will probably delete you.  Often when it's your birthday, because it pops up on my sidebar and comes to my attention.

I also get annoyed when people are upset with you for not responding to something they wrote on Facebook.  I try to be vigilant and look out for when my friends are sick, lose a loved one, etc. and post my sympathies.  I always read direct messages and posts to my wall.  But Newsfeed is constant (and these days even more confusing) and I may have missed something.  That doesn't mean I don't care... it just means I wasn't glued to my Facebook at the time.   Call me!  E-mail me!  Send me a direct message!  But don't assume that because you stick something in your Newsfeed that a response is merited from me.  Please.  Sometimes I 'hide' people from my Newsfeed that I love because their posts are obnoxious.  I don't do Farmville.  So don't get mad at me over something so silly as Facebook 'friendship'.

I love Facebook.  It's been an amazing way to keep up with friends and family over long distances, life changes, and more.  It's my window into the lives of people I know.  It's a way to share my thoughts and express myself in a way that wasn't possible before the era of social networking.  But it's not real friendship, and it doesn't replace phone calls and lunch dates and hugs.  It's not worth fighting over, it's not worth the drama people derive from it.  Definitely doesn't replace hugs.

I know, serious post.  But I couldn't end it that way... check out this brilliant Toyota Venza commercial that will really make you think about what I've said.  :)






Here's an old but good WSJ article on this...  How Facebook Can Ruin Your Friendships

Friday, September 23, 2011

Welcome back, Grey's Anatomy!

My girl Cristina (credit)
Grey's Anatomy is back!  The two-hour premiere was a lot to process.  I'm going to keep it short, because I've been blogging SO much about TV lately.

  • BOO Derek.  BOOOOO Derek.  I am so over you, McDreamy.  And who does Patrick Dempsey think he is, declaring he is leaving the show after this season?  You're no George Clooney, mister.  Not a leading man, that "Man of Honor" movie sucked.
  • Meredith, calm the eff down!  Your rash decision cost you that baby... you need to CALM DOWN.
  • Bailey, I missed you!  YAY!
  • Alex, glad you are working to redeem yourself.  I know Meredith messed up, but you turned the hospital upside down.
  • Avery, you're the Gunther!  Kudos!
  • Owen, I'm so happy you were there for Cristina.  I am pro-choice, and actually kind of proud of ABC for airing an abortion story like that on TV.  It's not that I'm saying it's what people should do, but the reality of it (and not always preaching a pro-life stance) is important to represent on TV.
  • Chief... you're a good man.  You're flawed, but you're a wise man and you care so much about Meredith.  Bless you.


Last thing I'll say... sinkhole?  Getting a civilian to do an amputation on his wife?  Come on, producers... stop throwing implausible disasters and situations on Seattle.  Normal freak accidents will be just fine for these surgeons.  There are slow days in every hospital. :)

Welcome back, Grey's!  My Thursdays were lonely without you.

Project Runway: Menswear! #pr9viktor

Wow.  Last night's Project Runway was kind of all over the place.  The designers finally had a menswear challenge, but it was for a band of normal-sized rockers who needed to define their image before doing their first Rolling Stone cover.

That said, I have a bone to pick with the editors of the show.  Lately, they have had a tendency to overly feature the antics of the designer that will later be eliminated.  I felt they did it already with Bryce and Becky, and they need to stop it!  Immediately I noted that Olivier was heavily featured, and I predicted it was foreshadowing his dismissal.

It was another team challenge... sort of.  There didn't have to be a leader or group aesthetic, it just allowed two designers each to outfit a member of the band.

Viktor's pleather jacket (credit)
Major annoyances this episode were Olivier's complaints about the client and the Garnier product placement.  Olivier needed to go.   He refuses to design to a client's needs/wants, he can't sew for anything other than a stick-thin model, and he is a weakling that is irritating to watch.  He appeared to be brilliant, winning a challenge early on... but week after week we see NOTHING from him.  As for Garnier, I can't even count how many of their products got screen time/mention this episode.  It's a business, I get it, but tone it down.

I don't even know how to begin describing the outfits.  Even the judges were all over the place, disagreeing on many things.  I didn't like the Pocahontas look of Anya's, nor the braids that Bert choice for hairstyling.  Laura's looked like an old lady outfit.  I liked Bert's pants.  I initially thought I liked Kimberly's until I saw it close up... the lack of runway walk kept me from really seeing the outfits until later.  Josh's look was wild, and could have been toned down, but it wasn't bad.

There was a clear loser.  Olivier's outfit didn't fit properly.  It didn't match the singer's style.  It was Olivier's style, he was uncompromising, and it was dreadful.  He kept complaining about how large his client was, which is ridiculous.  He was the clear loser.  And he does MENSWEAR?!

While I didn't feel initially there would be a clear winner, Viktor shined.  I didn't like the print on the jacket, but his denim rocked and the pleather jacket with braiding was pretty cool.  I think it was right to choose him for this challenge.  I really didn't give Viktor or Josh much credit earlier in the season, but they've really stepped it up to become, in my opinion, the front-runners.  If you'd asked me earlier, I would have guessed Anthony Ryan or Anya, but now Anya's lack of sewing skill/versatility is showing and Anthony hasn't produced much lately.

But only time will tell!

New TV Review: ABC'S Charlie's Angels

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ABC joins the bandwagon of networks that are reworking old shows (Melrose Place, 90210, etc.) and bringing them back to primetime.  This time it's the sexy ladies of Charlie's Angels, kicking butt in heels and bodycon outfits.

Description:  Three young, beautiful women work for mysterious millionaire Charlie Townsend, who enlists them to solve crimes.

My Review:  I don't even know why I recorded this.  Thursday nights are BIG for TV, and I had to rework my entire DVR schedule so I could get Grey's Anatomy, Project Runway, The Office, and Parks & Rec in ADDITION to this stinker.

I wanted it to be good, or at least fun/campy like the movie reboot with Cameron Diaz, Lucy Liu, and Drew Barrymore.  I was hopeful that the cast of relative unknowns would equal undiscovered acting prowess with kick-butt action scenes.  I was disappointed.  Sure, there's the cool Miami setting, hot Bosley, martial arts and action, and neat background stories for the Angels... but the acting just isn't good.  It's almost bad.  Minka Kelly does alright, but the others are unconvincing and it feels like they're reading lines.  I think ABC assumed that women would be drawn by the empowered Angels solving crimes, and men would tune in to see their hot bods... but I just don't buy any of it.  I won't be recording this one; I'd rather just keep watching Ringer for suspense and thrills.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

I know, I know, I watch too much TV.

I know all I've been writing about lately is TV.  Just scrolling down my blog you'll see it!  Sigh.

What's been going on in my life?  Obviously a whole lot of nothing because I've been watching so much TV.  Ha!

Lately, I feel like I've been living in Groundhog Day.  Work, eat, sleep, repeat.  My weekends have been my time to catch up on laundry, see friends (like helping LC with wedding invites, yay!), and grocery shop.  I know, my trips to Sam's Club are SO exciting.  You must miss me posting about it.

Fortunately, I have a reprieve from the monotony coming up... a few of my friends and I are running a charity 5K on Saturday, and I have a shopping trip planned with my pal VV for Sunday.  It's the little things to look forward to that matter.

Also, BEST PART OF TODAY?  I love Travel Channel, specifically Samantha Brown and Anthony Bourdain.  I want to be their assistants just so I can go where they go.  Anyways, I saw that Sam had done a clip with Tony and decided to talk about it on Twitter, and TODAY SAMANTHA BROWN TWEETED TO ME DIRECTLY.  OMG.  See image below.  :)

New TV Review: ABC's @Revenge

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You guys... Revenge is sweet.  (Sorry, couldn't resist the pun!)  But seriously, I am loving this new show on ABC.  I was intrigued by the previews, so I tuned in and wasn't disappointed.

Description:  A mysterious woman, Emily Thorne, arrives in the Hamptons seeking revenge on the people who killed her father and destroyed her family.  Billed as an adaptation of the Alexandre Dumas novel The Count of Monte Cristo, the series stars Emily VanCamp.

My Review:  I loved it!  The production value is great, definitely capturing the essence of The Hamptons.  The suspense and drama are real, the characters have so many secrets, and they really leave you wanted more.  Everything is so connected, and I love figuring things out along the way.  I'm not sure how it can last past one season, given the intro is a flash forward to the end, but I know I'll be looking forward to it every week.  It's the best new show I've seen thus far!

Confession: Revenge is everything I wanted Ringer to be.

This is on the Top 5 on my DVR with my other favorites!  I can't wait to see how it all unfolds.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

New TV Review: @NewGirlOnFOX

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"The New Girl" is one of the shows I was most looking forward to this fall, because I LOVE Zooey Deschanel.  She's beautiful, clever, and funny!  I loved the previews and felt like this would be a show I could really get into.

Description: Jessica "Jess" Day, a well-liked, bubbly, and adorable woman in her late 20s who is trying to get over her surprise breakup with her model boyfriend. She eventually finds a new place to stay when she moves in with three single guys.  Together, this group of friends try to help Jess learn a lot about love, life and mostly about herself, while at the same time learn a lot about themselves.

My Review:  Airing immediately after my beloved Glee, this 30-minute show is really cute!  I'll be the first to admit that Jess is an uber-dork, kind of what I would be like if I let ALL of my dorkiness hang out ALL of the time.  She is clearly over-the-top and makes the show very cute.  I'm not sure about the show's chances for longevity, because it is a bit silly, but I'm going to be recording it for the future!

P.S.  If you love Zooey like me, you might like her band She & Him, as well as the hilarious site she is part of called Hello Giggles!

P.P.S.  The Ringer is my new "soap opera" evening addiction.  I love me some Sarah Michelle Gellar!

Gleek Peek: Season 3 Premiere!!!

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GLEE IS BACK!

I am happy to report the gang is back and I'm liking the storyline that's happening!  (SPOILER ALERT)

There were some departures.  Chord Overstreet who played Sam is gone, Zizes' character quits the club, AND Quinn has come back as an unrecognizable punk 'skank' who quit Glee and the Cheerios.

I did find some moments of the show to be slow, though I did appreciate the first twenty minutes being free of songs so they could set the story up.  It was also full of one-liners from Brittany (Best one ever: "I have pepperoni in my bra." To which Santana responds, "Those are your nipples.")

Mr. Schue and Emma are together, Mercedes has a new boyfriend, Santana gets the boot from Glee for becoming Sue's minion, Blaine is now at McKinley (blah), Schue refuses the first-ever audition for Glee, and Sue is gunning for a political seat to eliminate the arts.  We're also reminded that a bunch of the cast are seniors, so we're anticipating their graduation at the end of the season.

One of the most important parts, in my opinion, was Kurt/Rachel realizing that they may be big fish in a little pond.  They meet up with a bunch of kids who want to go to New York like they do, thinking they will dominate them like the Glee Club.  Instead, they are met with a group of people who are just like them, with a TON of talent.  I think it was important for them to realize they needed to step up their game and can't continue to be as arrogant. (Sidenote: We saw Lindsay from The Glee Project lead and she killed it!)

I wasn't too into the first couple of songs, but I really felt like the final number was a return to the old Glee.  Without getting into the nitty-gritty, I was really happy with the latest episode, and I think it bodes well for the rest of the season.  It's not as strong as the first season, but it's better than some of what we saw last season!

Songs I'll download later: "Anything Goes/Anything You Can Do" mashup, "You Can't Stop the Beat"

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

New TV Review: NBC's The Playboy Club

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So I decided to check out NBC's new TV show, 'The Playboy Club', which aired last night.

Description: Chicago's Playboy club has beautiful women and no shortage of drama.  Meet girls from all walks of life working at the club.

My Review:  Aesthetically, it's lovely.  I love the look of 'Mad Men' and this show is really trying to piggyback off of that success.  However, I'm just not into it...  it's a soap opera for the evening (mob boss murder by stiletto?  overtly cliche sexism?) and just lacks substance.  I'm not particularly interested in the characters, and it just seemed to have really dull moments and gratuitous dressing-room shots of retro bras and garters.  They tried to draw the men in with the Playboy aspect, but make the women relate to the Bunnies...  but I just don't feel sorry for these beautiful girls and their 'difficult' lives.

Despite the attempts to keep me hooked with a murder cliffhanger, I won't be DVRing this or tuning in anymore.  It's just not intelligent or clever enough to keep me wanting more, though I may occasionally check out screenshots for the vintage clothing I love to see.

@TheSingoff is back!

The Judges (credit)
It's Season 3 of The Sing Off!  If you've never watched this awesome singing competition, you're missing out.  It's a group competition, and it's a cappella.  That's right!  No instruments, just voices making sweet music.  It's energetic and brilliant.

There are 16 teams, with 8 competing last night and 8 next week.  2 teams were eliminated last night.

Last night we saw the Yellow Jackets (university group with inspiring sound as loud as their blazers), Afro-Blue (with smooth jazz sounds), the Fannin Family (modern-day Von Trapps), Delilah (an all-girl group), Urban Method (beat box and rapping!), Cat's Pajamas (Branson's Best), Kinfolk 9 (artists and singers), and Vocal Point (BYU's wholesome sweethearts).

Monday, September 19, 2011

Real Housewives: Punta Cana Drama #RHONJ

Crazy Woman credit
Where do I begin?  The cast of RHONJ is on vacation in Punta Cana, a place that is special to the Giudices and Gorgas.  The whole gang is nervous about whether drama will unfold... but I realized that really everyone is just worried about Joe/Teresa's behavior.  It's pretty clear and everyone thinks the Giudices are making their own problems and have taken a real liking to Joey/Melissa and even the Wakiles.

First off, Teresa packs way too much for a vacation, and her husband is crass as usual.  I think every episode has a clip of Teresa trying to wake up Joe.  Sigh.  Then her pathetic bikini fashion show made me want to hurl.  (Caroline, I'd have gotten a migraine, too!)  Teresa will NEVER be as hot as Melissa, even when Melissa wears that unflattering do-rag!  I agree with the Manzo boys, Teresa's clothes/bikinis looked like stripper outfits.  Teresa is clearly jealous when she overhears people calling Melissa/Joey the hottest couple, and she delusionally comments that she still thinks she/Joe are the hottest.  Ugh.  Garbage.

Now, on to the drama scene. 

Saturday, September 17, 2011

New TV Review: The CW's 'Ringer' @RingerCW

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I've DVRed a few of this seasons new TV pilots, mainly to see if anything entices me enough to DVR for more!  I'll be reviewing them over the coming weeks so you can see if it's worth your while too!

I love Sarah Michelle Gellar.  I was a huge Buffy fan... which even led to me reading the 'Season 8' graphic novel series continuing the series.  She took some time off to spend with her adorable husband (remember Freddie Prinze Jr.?) and her new baby... but now she's back, and all grown up.  She looks great, even better now that she's not stuck in those 90s-era outfits!

Description:  Twin sisters Bridget and Siobhan (both played by Gellar) have been at odds for the last six years and find that their lives are both unraveling at the same rate. Bridget, a recovering alcoholic and ex-stripper, is on the run from the mob after witnessing a murder. She flees to her twin sister Siobhan's home. The sisters seem to be repairing their broken relationship until Siobhan mysteriously disappears overboard during a boat trip the sisters take together. Bridget decides to assume Siobhan's identity to hide out from both the FBI and the Mob, but in so doing she will soon discover shocking secrets about her twin sister's life.

My Review:  It's on my DVR now!  It was a bit dark, definitely not the adolescent fare I'm used to seeing on The CW.  This is for Buffy's grown up fans, not the vampire-obsessed kiddos who love ABC Family and the like.  I will admit that it started slowly... and there was some crappy green-screen that looked fake to me.  I almost turned it off; until about 3/4 of the way through the episode I had mixed feeligns.  But then the suspense started to build, and I really wanted to know what happens next.  I like the darkness of it, learning more about Siobhan through Bridget.  While it seemed like a grown up version of ABC Family's The Lying Game, I like it much better.  SMG has proven herself to be a great actress, and I don't think she would have chosen a bad TV series to make her comeback after so long...  I'm giving it a shot this season, but only time will tell whether I continue to give it priority in my recording!  If you're a SMG fan and you like a little darkness/mystery, this could be for you!

Friday, September 16, 2011

Project Runway: Men are from Mars #pr9viktor

I took the bait and thought that Project Runway was doing a menswear challenge... not something for the client's significant other!  I knew there had to be a twist.   And these guys are NOT helpful!  They are very typically aloof to their girl's style.  The other challenge for the designers is that they haven't seen their model, and these women are REAL!  They have curves and aren't all super tall.

My favorite!  credit
I liked that the men got to go to Mood with the designers.  It's a neat challenge, because they could very well have someone commission them to create a piece as a gift, without seeing the end client.  Luckily, the designers got to see their women... and true to form, they had to make adjustments.

The episode really focused on Bryce, who is basically the weakest link in the last nine designers.  He's a downer, and the other designers know he won't last until the end.  It's like they are being nice to him just knowing he's got an expiration date on the show.  Olivier also had a lot of trouble, because he's not used to designing for someone with breasts.  Newsflash, there are a lot of curvy celebs out there that wear designer clothes!  Think Jennifer Lopez, Sofia Vergara, the Kardashians... you have to be able to adjust to a model with a different shape.  I used to think Olivier had a shot early on, but now I realize he designs for art and not for real work... Michael Kors has simple, clean lines, but women can wear it and look beautiful.  Olivier can't make it work.

Viktor's outfit rocked!  I would wear that, and it suited his client perfectly!  I also think Joshua did a great job making a simple piece for once.  He toned it down!  Both of them were my favorites, but I think Viktor did it a bit better.

In the end, Joshua won, making him the first two-time challenge winner.  The judges didn't choose Viktor because of his over-accessorizing, which I think is really unfortunate.  He made pieces any woman would love to wear!  But Joshua's dress was definitely awesome and I am content with his win.  Surprise surprise, Bryce went home.  His dress wasn't bad, even though it bunched a little bit because the fit was off.... but at this point in the competition, fit is important!  I personally didn't like Kimberly, Bert, or Olivier's looks either.  Boo.  But Bryce needed to go.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

My 'Home Gym'

It's official...  I have exercise equipment in my house.  I admittedly fell off the Insanity wagon, and I am even more out of shape than before.  I have a muffin top.  Seriously, it looks like I am three months pregnant.
Body Champ Cardio Dual Trainer, $279.99

I've always liked doing the bike and elliptical at the gym, but I need something that I can do at home when I'm being a bum.  Insanity is great, and I'm willing to try it again, because I really felt stronger and showed improvement... it works because I have indoor workout shoes and I can do the program on the television.

That said, exercise equipment is expensive.  I scoured Craigslist for weeks for something suitable and debated whether I should go with the bike or elliptical.  Something for cardio.

Then I found a dual trainer on Amazon that would allow me to do either bike OR elliptical... a 2-in-1 machine!  It did require assembly (I had help with mine) and it's not the caliber of machine you'll see in the gym... it wobbles a little and the screen isn't super high-tech.  But it does the job, it's not too big, and I like it!  I need something to stare at me every day... so I put it in my formal dining room.  :)

It's not super-cheap, but it's very inexpensive compared to most exercise bikes/ellipticals, and I've spent more on a purse before.  So I figured it's a decent investment, especially considering how much I need to lose some weight.  Here's hoping!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

On @KatePlusMy8

The Gosselins in happier times credit
So Monday night was the series finale of the show "Kate Plus 8", previously known as "Jon & Kate Plus 8", featuring the lives of Jon & Kate Gosselin and their brood of eight kids (twins and sextuplets) and how crazy it is in such a busy household.  I used to be a dedicated viewer of the show, and I can't believe how long I've been watching these kids grow up.  I mean, I recognize each of them by name in photos, without assistance.  I care.

But when Jon & Kate's constant (albeit entertaining) bickering caught up with them and led to a very public divorce, I very strongly disagreed with Kate continuing the show so soon after the split.  How could you put your kids through that and then have the cameras back in their lives?  It brought to mind the saga of the Dionne quintuplets, babies being used for profit.  I will admit I was glad to see Kate's notoriously bad hairdo disappear, and I believe she deserved a tummy tuck/makeover after what her body went through... but her transformation into a total famewhore was unpleasant to watch.  I understand she believes she is trying to provide for her children... but there are plenty of other large families in America getting by just fine without the help of reality TV and book deals.  In addition, the show was no longer about the challenges of everyday life, but instead all about fancy trips and publicity.

MAC Cosmetics: 'Painterly' Paint Pot

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My sister is a whiz when it comes to makeup.  Actually, hair, makeup, fashion, accessorizing... she's good at it all.

Me, on the other hand... makeup is not my forte.  It took me until age 26 to really start to do alright at eyeliner.  I still don't have skills, and want to take a class in makeup application.

When I asked how she keeps her eye makeup so perfect, AW pulled out the MAC Paint Pot in 'Painterly'.  Good even as a stand-alone eye color, she smudges this on her lids as a primer/base.  It's a really sweet cream that I was instantly attracted to.  I couldn't wait to get my own.

Now, this is the only thing that keeps my eye makeup where it should be... on my eyelids.  It's hard enough to apply makeup to my eyes (being half Korean makes my crease difficult to manage) let alone get it to stay!  This little multi-tasker is really awesome.  I always carry it with me now!

Monday, September 12, 2011

Flats flats flats!

American Eagle Fynn Flat  credit
I love my heels, but I live in flats.  I don't even know how many pairs I have.  But recently I had to toss out both pairs of my casual black flats, because I wore them to pieces.  Literally.

Since I go through flats every couple of years, I don't spend too much money on them.  In fact, the most comfortable ones I have found are from Payless!  Their American Eagle line (not associated with the AE store) is my favorite, and their size 6 1/2 is guaranteed to fit my foot.

This weekend I found a pair for $20 at Payless to satisfy my black flat needs!  The Fynn is perfect for a dress, jeans, anything.  It goes well from day to night, but it's not overly dressy or casual.

Can't wait to wear them!  They already feel great on my tootsies!

Real Housewives: I can't stand those Giudices! #RHONJ

Who doesn't love the Manzo boys?  credit
OH. EM. GEE.  Funniest RHONJ moment ever, the Manzo kids making fun of Teresa in the car on the way to the charity 5K.  Seriously, I was crying through my laughter!  The Manzo boys and their gay roomie totally stole the show this week.  HILARIOUS, they need their own show aside from their "Boys to Manzo" webisodes.  I would also watch a Joey/Melissa show.  Take that, Teresa!

I try not to pick on the little kids, but Melania is the worst behaved of the Giudice kids (ALWAYS), and this week featured her birthday party.  Did you see that insane closet of clothes?  And it was tantrum time, as usual.  Seriously, does Teresa watch these meltdowns on TV later?  And why do she/Joe continue to fill the world with their offspring?  That's a genetic line that needs to end.

In addition, why is Teresa pretending to go 'cheap' on Melania's birthday party but recently renewed her vows wearing a $25,000 dress?  They held it at their restaurant to promote it and pretend Joe has a real job.  (I will admit the little kids making their own pizzas was a good idea for a birthday activity.)  But really, we see Teresa try to wake up her slovenly husband every episode... he doesn't really work.

Gia... she is the Giudice kid who has a shot.  Her little songs were cute, I suppose... not a bad gift for her little sister.  From the heart, right?  Even though they were a bit annoying to listen to.  She is absolutely torn between her parents and Joey.  Her second song was for them, about how much she worries about her family and their fight... Joey is her beloved uncle.  I hope it makes the parents wake up about their petty squabbles.  Melissa is right, Gia shouldn't know so much about the fight, and she shouldn't be so disturbed as to write songs about it!  Breaks your heart.  Teresa missed the message, as usual, thinking the song was something Joey needed to hear.  Sigh.  She's daft.

Oh, and Joe?  Real men don't fight via text message.  You're a drunken buffoon.  And Teresa?  A vow renewal can't save your marriage... just look at Jon & Kate Gosselin.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Hoosier Highlights

View at the lake.
So I'm back from my trip to Indiana!  I definitely had a great time, and the week went by entirely too fast.

-I went to the 4th Street Festival and enjoyed my beloved downtown Bloomington with Mom.
-I went to a family cookout at Uncle MW's lake and enjoyed a real Hoosier sunset in the country.
-I ate at Uptown Cafe with my high school friends and had a great time catching up with them.  They are bright, talented, fun people and I don't get to see them enough!
-I got to meet up with my friends EM and CM after three years apart and enjoy Conner Prairie.
-I watched a high school volleyball game with my Dad who volunteer coaches.
-I went shopping with my Mom and she made my favorite spam musubi.

But above all else, I got to spend a LOT of one-on-one time with my Grandma.  We talked for hours at the nursing home, and I even got to eat at Rick's Smokehouse with her and Uncle MW after her oncology appointment.  We both devoured some pulled pork sandwiches!  My last day with her was the best day; she looked great.


Me and Grandma!

The day I left, Dad was on his way to Arizona to visit my sister.  We got to sit together on our connection to Atlanta and he stayed with me until my flight left.  (He even bought me the latest People magazine... what a guy!)  It's good to be home and in my own bed, but it was hard to leave Indiana.  That's my home, no matter where life takes me!

Project Runway: Textiles! #pr9anya #pr9anthonyryan

Anya's dress, the winning look credit
Okay, I LOVED this challenge.  I love fabric, and I've toyed with the idea of designing my own and having fabrics printed.   It's pricy, but a neat way to express yourself.

In typical Project Runway fashion, we had another group challenge!  Two teams were formed... but they were completely lopsided.  I mean, having Josh/Bert/Becky on one team?!  Ugh.  I have a problem with Becky... she gets so wrapped up with what everyone else says, it causes her to get extremely upset and defensive.  She needs to step back and let her work speak for itself and not be a crybaby.

In terms of the fabrics, I felt Team Nuts & Bolts had very literal fabric.  I did not like the cogs and clocks.  I'm not surprised at all that Josh and Becky ended up in the bottom.  I think Josh ended up there simply because he doesn't work well with others.  He would be a difficult designer to work with as a client, I believe... I don't see him making it to the final three.  And his look was not great today.

Anthony Ryan's look credit
I would wear Anya's dress!  I love it!  She has proven she deserves to be there.  And Anthony Ryan totally redeemed himself in my eyes.  Love him all over again.  Olivier and Viktor both had great pieces, and Olivier's jacket was awesome... they just weren't something I'd see myself wearing.  Team Chaos just kicked some butt overall.  It was cohesive and sophisticated!  Even Bryce's look worked, and I felt he was the weak link.

The judges made the right decisions.  I loved Anya's dress from the moment it came down the runway, and I thought Becky's look was weak.  I'm actually glad I don't have to watch Becky on the show anymore, because she and Cecilia are just miserable to have to listen to.  Negativity, be gone!

SIDENOTE:  Does anyone else feel the judges have been voting people off the show based on overall performance, not their performance during a particular challenge?   I think the winners are consistently the best from each challenge, but it seems the judges are very likely to send someone home who has been consistently bad and forgive the occasional SNAFU from someone they feel is more talented overall.  Even Heidi has commented that the judges are doing this... not sure how it makes me feel, because it has always been about the challenge and not the designer overall.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

A Visit to @ConnerPrairie

Wednesday I took some time to head up to Indianapolis to visit with my friends CM and EM!  They drove all the way down from South Bend so we could link up; I hadn't seen them since 2008.  So, since it was time for a special reunion, EM had the idea to check out Conner Prairie!


Conner Prairie is an interactive history park, kind of like Colonial Williamsburg for Hoosiers.  It seems most kids in Indiana get to visit the park during elementary school, but I never got to go since we moved here when I was in 5th grade.  EM wanted to check out their Randall steers, so we decided to meet up there.

I had so much fun!  The weather was chilly/drizzly, but since there were so few people, it really felt like a private tour.  (By the way, they gave me a great military discount, so THANK YOU Conner Prairie!)

We got to pet some ducks, goats, sheep, and cows...  I think I enjoyed the animals the best, and EM definitely did too!  I even got to check another thing off my 'Before I'm 30' list by milking a cow!  We had hot apple cider (perfect on a cool day) and really enjoyed the visit.  You're never too old for this kind of stuff.

We ate dinner at Brugge, a favorite gastropub of EM/CM, and it was AWESOME.  Their frites are amazing.  I had steak frites, with a crepe dessert...  delish.  I tasted EM's beer, which was so good I could drink it by the pint: the Tripel de Ripple!

I couldn't think of a better way to spend a day in the Hoosier Heartland.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Lyons, Indiana

I know the road like the back of my hand… passing dilapidated wood barns, buffalo, horses, fields of corn and soy beans, Amish buggies and women in bonnets, unattended produce stands where you take what you want and leave what you can.

My Dad grew up in a small town called Lyons, Indiana.  I've always joked there were more churches and cows than people there.  There isn't a whole lot… the school my Dad attended from K-12 is still an elementary school.  The American Legion where my Grandpa drank his Miller High Life is there.  The church, funeral home, and cemetery where I said farewell to my Grandpa are there.  The land my Dad grew up on, my Uncle Mike's house with the lake, my grandparents' old house that had the pool we all learned to swim in… these are all Lyons to me, permanently in my memory.

Now, the nursing home is a part of that memory.  I'm home for a visit, to spend some time with my Grandma.  I've written about the lung cancer that has plagued her this year, but now she has had a small stroke that causes her to lose some of her lucidity and mobility… she needs help getting to and from the bathroom, getting dressed/showered, getting in and out of bed and her recliner.

I have never been a natural caretaker, but I have learned this week that if you love someone enough, you will do anything you can to take care of that person.  My Grandma has always been the matriarch, the one who cooked the best and took care of her five kids and her many grandkids.  She was at our sporting events and family gatherings and anything she could be at.  My Grandma has loved and cared for me since I was born… I will love and care for her until she leaves this world.

I don't get to see anyone here that often, being so far away.  That's the hardest part.  I know that my family that lives nearby see her often.  They are amazing and have done so much.  I'm so thankful.

Sunset in Lyons
I can't believe how quickly my time here in Indiana is passing… I need more time.  I always need more time.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

4th Street in Bloomington

4th Street
Yesterday was my first full day in Indiana, and it was a good day.  I slept in a little bit, then went to the 4th Street Festival of the Arts & Crafts in downtown Bloomington with my Mom.  The place was PACKED!  I remember this festival, since I used to work at Monroe County Public Library on Kirkwood... but I don't ever remember it being so crowded.  The festival has been around since 1977, and it's an awesome place to check out jewelry, pottery, leatherworks, paintings, and more.  4th Street itself is awesome, our own little locally-owned 'restaurant row', with some of the most diverse restaurants in old homes along the street.  Even though Indiana isn't necessarily celebrated for its diversity, in Bloomington you can find Thai, Afghan, Mediterranean, Turkish, Korean, Cajun, Italian, Tibetan, Ethiopian, Japanese, Mexican, and American restaurants.

Downtown Bloomington has changed SO much since I was growing up in Btown.  The gentrification of the downtown area is just astounding.  There are so many apartments where formerly dilapidated homes used to stand.  There are chain restaurants I couldn't have imagined moving in downtown.  There are so many places I haven't been, which makes me feel conflicted... I'm glad the downtown is so revitalized, and that the 30,000 IU students who recently descended upon town are interested in the area.  But at the same time, I kind of miss the Kirkwood/downtown from when I was growing up... the quiet, quirky place that I used to love.  But I still love Downtown, and maintain that it's my favorite part of Bloomington, hands down.  It's a townie conflict; should we celebrate the changes or reminisce about the way Btown used to be.

I think I'll choose to continue to love it, because it's the only home I've ever known, and downtown is its heartbeat.  I'm meeting my friends for lunch at Uptown Cafe later, so I'll be enjoying downtown again today!

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Packing List

I'm home for a week in Indiana, on a last-minute trip... so what's a girl to pack?

If there's one thing the Army has taught me, it's that you should only pack what you can carry.  My Mom was shocked to see me walk out with just a carry-on suitcase and large purse, since my sister usually packs a large suitcase just for a weekend trip.  (Last time, she apparently traveled with no less than FOUR pairs of boots!)  But my opinion is, if you can't lift your own bag into the overhead compartment, you shouldn't pack it.  You need to be able to maneuver/handle everything on your own.  (*Note: if you are a Mommy and have to handle carseat/baby/baby's stuff, that is different.  I'm talking solo trips!)

I packed my beloved Burton Wheelie Flight Deck for the trip.  As I've said before, it's the Mary Poppins carpet bag of luggage.  (I have the larger suitcase, the Double Deck, but didn't need it just for a week.

What's in my bags?
In my Coach tote:
-wallet     -iPhone/charger     -sunglasses     -eyeglasses
-iPod     -MacBook Pro/charger      -magazines (Forbes, Real Simple, Cooking Light)
-Kindle      -FiberOne bars      -chapstick      -ticket holder

In my carry-on:
-Erin Condren life planner      -3 x dresses
-3 x workout outfits (wore my running shoes)     -pair of wedges      -pair of flats
-skinny jeans      -jean shorts      -1 x tank top      -2 x black tops     -1 x polo
-1 x nude cami      -2 x bras (include nude, strapless)
-underwear (always pack tons!)     -toiletries (in a rolling bag with makeup/shower stuff)
-vitamins      -Chi flat iron      -blow dryer
-2 x purses (black Longchamp tote, small black Coach shoulder bag)      -silver jewelry
-camera/charger      -hairbrush      -pajamas    -dirty clothes bag

When I'm going to be living out of a small bag for a while, I tend to pick one color palette...  one that works with either black or brown accessories, so I don't end up with too many shoes.  This trip, I chose black... so all of my dresses coordinate with my black flats or wedges, my tops are predominantly black/white, and my purses are both black.  I chose silver jewelry, and that rounded out my planning.   I tend to wear my 'biggest' pair of shoes on the plane, i.e. the bulkiest ones that would take space in my bag.  So if I'm taking boots or running shoes, I wear those.  I roll my clothes in my suitcase to prevent wrinkles and conserve space.  ALWAYS save enough space to bring something back with you on your trip!

I packed enough outfits that I can mix/match to last an entire week's stay.  I've got options to dress an outfit up or down too.  So that's what I look for in packing for a week in a carry-on bag.  The Army has changed the way I travel!  And since so many airlines are charging for checked baggage, it's actually a good skill to have.

Project Runway: Avant Garde Challenge #pr9bryce

Top 3 Looks... I think Josh M.'s on far left was best. credit
Yeah, you read it... I liked what Bryce did!  Doesn't mean I'm a fan, but I'm giving him some kudos.  Still think he'll be headed home fairly soon.

Overall, I was disappointed with the designers' performance this episode.  They were told to create an avant garde look based on a painting they created with kids from an art school in Harlem.

I just don't feel like any of them really gave us avant garde.  Like Laura said, I feel that avant garde is something normal people wouldn't wear, something that borders on costume-ish but still exudes fashion.  Lady Gaga often dresses in this way.

I liked Bryce's look, even though it was extremely simple... the straight-jacket sleeves concept and the colors I felt made it avant garde; the sleeves were part of the statement.   I also like the looks from Kimberly, Anya, and Josh M.  I was on the fence about Bert's look.  The pants were really cool in my opinion, and I'm glad Heidi saved him; the other judges hated it.

I do think Olivier's look was pathetic; he was fortunate poor Josh C., who is so lovable and yet not that in tune to design and fit, was back to replace the uber-downer Cecilia last episode.  Sad to see Josh C. leave again, but he wouldn't have made it to the final runway show anyways.  Olivier needs to brighten up his color palette and take more chances... or maybe get out in the SUN and get some Vitamin D!  Poor kid looks ill.

While I liked Bryce's outfit, I was torn about Anthony's win.  I've been an Anthony Ryan fan until last episode, and I just don't think his dress was particularly avant garde.  I think I would see it worn on a celebrity.  Between his outfit and Josh M., I think Josh M. should have won.  Sigh.  But I'm not a judge.

I think I am going to continue to stay on Team Kimberly.  She is consistent and has some great ideas, and I think she will stick it out for the long run!
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