My Favorite Things- Fall Edition

Happy Fall to everyone! This is my favorite time of year and I love that in my area the weather is getting a little cooler. Definitely helps to get into the mood of the season. I don’t know about everyone else, but fall also commences a busy time in our family. Always, seems our weekends are jammed packed with activities. With that said, I know I have neglected my blog a little bit so I decided to make a post that included a lot of things I have been wanting to write about.

12 ways to wear a scarf

In recent years I have embraced using scarves as an accessory. It really adds a pop to any outfit and also adds a finishing touch to a basic jeans and t-shirt ensemble. So if you don’t use scarves as an accessory I urge you to try it out. You can get fun scarves for under $10, just look at Old Navy or Target.

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Yes, I know this ‘anthology’ is on its third season, but the first episode of The Coven saga has left me blind sided. First of all I don’t know how Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk come up with creepy amazing twisted tales time and time again. American Horror Story is scary story telling at its best. One thing that stands true from the past two seasons is that the show always has strong amazing characters. They have a habit of leaving a mark on our minds and striking a chord with our deepest darkest fears.  I also love that the actors come back to play different roles each season. For example, Jessica Lange has been a creepy intrusive next door neighbor, an unrelenting Mother Superior and asylum warden and currently Supreme Witch. The Coven also boasts an all star-cast, Kathy Bates, Angela Basset and Jessica Lange to just name a few. This season will take us through the lore of witchcraft and voodoo of New Orleans.  If you haven’t I suggest you tune in, just remember to keep the lights on while you watch.

BACK ROW: HAYLEY ORRANTIA, GEORGE SEGAL, TROY GENTILE; FRONT ROW: SEAN GIAMBRONE, JEFF GARLIN, WENDI MCLENDON-COVEY I don’t know if it is, because I grew up in the 1980’s, but I find this show hilarious. I have a been a long time fan of Jeff Garlin ever since his Curb Your Enthusiasm days. It also reminds me a lot of my husband’s family. Not that I know how their family life was in the 80s, but it is how I imagined it. My husband has also commented that, its like watching his childhood at times. I wonder if the whole 1980’s setting will get old, but we will wait and see. I have really enjoyed the first few episodes and hope to see more.

Movie_4127_706If you haven’t seen Rush yet, run to the movie theater as soon a possible. It is the best movie I have seen all year.  Rush (directed by Ron Howard) is based on the true life 1970s rivalry of Formula One drivers James Hunt and Nicky Lauda. The movie depicts this rivalry very well. Nicky Lauda is played by Daniel Bruhl. I feel that he gives an award-winning performance. James Hunt is portrayed by Chris Hemsworth not only is he so nice to look a  but, he brings the sexy effortless swagger that James embodied perfectly. The driving sequences are pretty intense and well done, but also the human aspect of the film is just as good. Even if you don’t like car racing you will like this film. There is suspense, romance, action and some laughs. It has it all, go see it.

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Lastly, but certainly not least I want to give a shout out to my in-laws John and Joella on their 50th wedding anniversary! We had the pleasure of celebrating this momentous milestone with them and all our family this past weekend. It was really nice to see everyone and especially to have our kiddos hang out with their cousins for a weekend. Congratulations Mom and Dad!

I hope you all have a good rest of the week and remember even if life gets a little hectic, take the time to enjoy the present!

“Yeah, REALLY SCARY!”….

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I had been intrigued by The Conjuring since I read an article about the movie and Lorraine Warren in Entertainment Weekly. In the article, Lorraine stresses that of all the cases she and her husband Ed investigated, this is one of the most terrifying for her. To me, that means a lot. She and her husband have seen thousands of cases over the years. If you do not know about Lorraine and Ed Warren, they are a paranormal investigators. Ed was a demonologist (he passed away in 2006 ) and Lorraine is a clairvoyant. If you had a haunting, they were the people to have come and investigate (I would call a priest first, but you know that is just me). They also have a famous occult museum. They have kept many items from their investigations and they figure the items are best under their care then out in the world.  Click here to take a tour of the museum.

The Conjuring is based on a true story. The Perron family moves into an idyllic farm-house in Rhode Island. Little did they know is that there was a very dark history that came along with their dream home. You all can figure out the rest.  The trailer freaked me out from the beginning and when I heard from people who said the scariest parts were not even in the trailer I for sure had to go and check it out. I love a good genuine scare.

So this past Tuesday I gathered two brave souls (thanks for coming with me Meagan and Jen) and we went to the 7:40 pm showing. I asked the teenager selling concession if he had seen it. He was like, “Yeah it’s really scary.” I was like, “Really? “He said, “Yeah REALLY SCARY!” So now I was scared. The three of us walked to the theater, which was relatively empty, but thankfully it filled up by show time. We were nervously eating our popcorn, and once the movie started we were all huddled up in little balls. I can say I watched half the movie through my fingers and I screamed about 5 times (I wasn’t the only one screaming). At one point I had Jen’s knee in a death grip. The movie moves at a fast pace. The acting is good and the writing and direction is great. It’s not just one scare, it is  like five at once, and then you move on to the next scare and get 5 more! It’s a roller coaster of scary. There is no gore. This movie is scary because it conjures up things that we are all scared of. It messes with our feelings and our senses.  I could go more in detail, but I don’t want to give anything away. I will say one thing: being a mother I can see how Lorraine Warren (who was a mom herself at the point of this haunting) believes this is one of the more disturbing case they investigated.

Bottom line, if you like a good scare, go see this movie (It is up there now  in my top 5 scariest movies). It’s just a straight up terrifying ghost story. This story will stick with you, so be ready to sleep with your rosary and/or Bible and the lights on. Also, if you wake up in the middle of the night, don’t check the time!

Fav Things July 15-19

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Let me start by saying that the above picture is NOT my laundry room. That is the laundry room I wish I had! So this week I starting adding a few drops of essential oil to my laundry soap when I run a linens load (towels, bed sheets). My friend Brit told me she did that and it would take away any musty smell, especially out of towels. It would add a nice subtle scent of whatever type of oil she used. Who doesn’t want to smell a little bit of lavender on their bed before they go to sleep? Just put about 3-4 drops of an essential oil (best to use one that is naturally antibacterial like lavender, peppermint, bergamot, lemon grass, tea tree). I used a blend (lavender and tea tree)I had from the California Baby line. If you haven’t tried this I suggest you do. It is especially a good way to get those pool and beach towels to smell fresher and cleaner.

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Old Bay Lemon and Herb Baked Shrimp (serves 4)

1 1/4lb of fresh shrimp (de-shelled and deveined), 5 garlic cloves sliced, olive oil, Old Bay Lemon and Herb (OBLH) seasoning (or any lemon seasoning) and lemon

1) De-shell and devein shrimp place in large mixing bowl. Add a couple of glugs of olive oil and the OBLH seasoning until shrimp are lightly covered (then a few more shakes for good measure). Finally mix in the garlic.

2) Let shrimp sit in fridge for an hour or so.

3) Preheat oven at 400 degrees. Spray cookie sheet with a little bit of cooking spray. Arrange shrimp on cookie sheet in one layer. Once oven is ready place shrimp in oven and cook for 8-10 minutes (no turning over required). Once they are pink juicy they are ready. Add a the juice of one lemon to the shrimp when they are right out of oven.

4) Enjoy!

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We became owners of an Apple TV this week. I love it because, it’s so cute and it is so much easier to navigate than our blu-ray is. It is a box that provides access to popular streaming services (Netflix, Hulu). If you already own iTunes products it enables you to stream everything through your Mac.

That is all for this week. I hope you all have a great weekend!

My Favorite Things This Week 7/1-7/5

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I bought this sun cream in the fabulous Sephora Sun Safety Kit 2013 ( I am sorry, but I believe it has sold out; it quickly cleared the shelf.) I was wondering how I was going to get through all the enclosed products. I am trying one product at a time. I have been using this before I go outside for a prolong sun activity, such as the pool (I do wear a hat there), park, outdoor gatherings. I love love love it. Did I say that I love it! It is very creamy and light. I have found that a lot of facial sunscreen have a chalky texture to them sometimes and instead of moisturizing it immediately dries out my skin.  It is immediately absorbed by the skin. I love the light fragrance as well. It is a little reminder that you have it on. I have a few more facial sunscreens to try from the kit, but they really have big shoes to fill. Also, a lot goes a long way this might last through July. To learn more about this product click here.

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This summer I decided I was going to take a little break from cooking and doing some easier things for lunches and for dinners.  Welcome the art of making sub sandwiches at home! This is great, especially for spending the afternoon at pool. I take out all the fixin’s, and chop up the veggies on my big cutting board. Then everyone lines up and creates their own sandwich art. My favorite creation so far has been a garlic bologna, salami sandwich on a sesame seed Chicago roll with light Munster cheese, light mayo, spicy mustard, pickles, onions, lettuce, hot banana peppers, Aruba peppers, oregano, salt pepper and a dash of light Italian dressing. Not the healthiest choice, but damn it was soooo good.

monsters_university_2013-wideWe went and saw this last weekend with the boys and my bff Vanessa (Thank you to Matt and Vanessa for coming to visit last weekend!). The boys really enjoyed it.  I enjoyed it as well. If you were in a sorority or fraternity in college you will have extra chuckles as you can relate to a lot of the activity in the film.  The Scare Games reminded me of Greek Week or Derby Days.  This is a kid film that adults will throughly enjoy.

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Now that it is summer vacation, I decided to change my workout schedule around. The kids really don’t like going to the child care in the gym and with my oldest camp schedule getting to the gym in the morning would require rushing around. So I decided that at least for the first part of summer vacation I was going to take a break from my normal morning gym routine. So I have been running outside, doing Insanity and going to the gym on the weekends.  I ran a few times last week and an old injury started to flare up again. This week I decided to go to evening hot yoga classes. It has been so wonderful! It is a great way to end your day and you sleep like a baby. I am thankful my hubby has been supportive of this. I went three nights in a row and it was magical. The big plus is that my injury is healing and I can resume running soon.

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Finally, Happy Birthday USA! We might complain and belly ache all the time, but where else in the world can we have the freedoms we all enjoy? I hope you all had a happy 4th filled with love, laughter, fun and new memories!

A Night of Music

We are really lucky to have the Carolina Philharmonic in our small town. They do wonders for our local community, not only bringing us wonderful music, but also funding programs that cultivate musical interest to children. My oldest was lucky to participate in the Junior Orchestra class the Philharmonic sponsored this past school year. Like many schools, his elementary school fell victim to  spending cuts, unfortunately shutting down the orchestra program.  To the fill that void, the Philharmonic sponsored a weekly class to 3rd and 4th graders free of charge. My husband and I strongly believe that our son’s musical education doesn’t just end with practicing at home and going to his class once a week. Being exposed to live music and seeing other musicians play their instruments is a key element to that education. He and his classmates had the special opportunity to actually play a long side with the Carolina Philharmonic last month. It was a very special moment for all involved.

I was happy to find out that for their June concert the Philharmonic planned on doing their concert outdoors and play movie scores. This bode well for our younger son who is currently OBSESSED with Star Wars.  This concert was also in conjunction with opening a new memorial park in our town.

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Since the tickets were free (another bonus), it was first come first serve basis. We got there early so we could get good seats and also enjoy a picnic dinner. The weather was gorgeous we couldn’t have asked for a better night.

IMG_2556The selection of music was from notable movie scores from the last 50 years of cinema. They played scenes from the movies as they played the scores, which provided a really nice touch. It was a very well done classy performance. There was a lot of talent on that stage. It’s really nice that even though we live in a small town, we still get big city talent.

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Sometimes the best memories are made when you think outside the box. I was a little hesitant to take our 5-year-old, but he really surprised us on how engaged he was throughout the entire performance, and not just merely the Star Wars portion. We all had a great time and look forward to attending more performances in the future.

 

An Open Letter To Mr. Ben Affleck

Dear Mr. Affleck,

Let me begin by congratulating you on the six Academy Award Nominations Argo received today. Argo is honestly the best movie I have seen this year. Not only that, but it is one of the better movies I have seen in a long time. Everything about your movie in my opinion was perfect. Even though, I knew how the story ended you had me at the edge of my seat the entire time. Argo, was just riveting. With that said, I am outraged that the Academy did not recognize you for direction. I have seen some of the movies in that category. Hands down, I believe you deserve not only a nomination, but also the Oscar.  Your movie was the best in my eyes. It is hard to find a movie that has all the elements that Argo executed so beautifully. Your movie, made me do all of the following:

  • Laugh
  • Cry
  • Feel pride for my country
  • Gave me a history lesson
  • Scared the crap out of me
  • Kept me in suspense
  • Left me with hope

When the movie was over our entire theatre stood up and applauded. Thank you for showing the world Argo. I will be rooting for it this entire award season. Good luck!

Sincerely,

Marisol- An ordinary cinema lover