Birthday Wishes

No, it’s not my birthday. But, it’s my favorite person’s birthday! My husband turns 23 today.

Long ago, I jokingly said to my friend Carrie “I don’t think people should be looking for their other half- people are already whole. We should be looking for the other circle to our Venn Diagram.” On our wedding day, Carrie reminded us of that statement. It is so true. I’m pretty sure our circles overlap almost all the way.

Chris, you are awesome. You are kind and sincere and absolutely hilarious sometimes. I’m so happy that you are here, and today is a good day to remind you of that. I love you.

 

 

** You can see what Chris is up to over at Write to Perfect

 

Fall TV Premieres

Fall is coming! Scarves and pumpkin flavored everything and normal temperatures are right around the corner! I joked the other day that I was a part of Game of Thrones, my house motto would be “FALL IS COMING.” It is so true. It’s my absolute favorite season! Everything smells great, I don’t sweat every time I go outside, and I get to layer on cute ensembles every day. Another plus? All of our shows come back. Chris and I don’t have cable/dish/satellite so people just assume that we don’t watch TV. Which we don’t….in the summer.

We have HuluPlus and Netflix, which saves us a ton of money and lets us watch all of the shows we love. I like to think that we don’t really watch a lot of TV, but when I was counting all of the shows we watched, I was surprised at how much time we actually spend in front of the TV. However, we don’t watch the shows when they are being aired, so we just sit down and watch them together before we go to bed or when we are having a lazy day. (As long as I think about it that way, I don’t feel so bad about it).

Anyway, these are the shows we are so excited to start watching again!

Monday, September 16th: BONES

Tuesday, September 17th: NEW GIRL, THE MINDY PROJECT

Monday, September 23rd: CASTLE

Tuesday, September 24th: MARVEL’S AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D. (This is new!)

Wednesday, September 25th: MODERN FAMILY

Thursday, September 26th: PARENTHOOD

Now, that sounds like a lot of TV, but it doesn’t seem like it when we actually watch it! And I just feel better knowing that I am not glued to the TV when these are airing and I can watch them at my convenience instead. Anyway, those are the ones we are most excited to watch! Oh, and this doesn’t reflect our Netflix shows… we are most excited for the latest season of How I Met Your Mother to come out on Netflix, because HuluPlus doesn’t have it. We also wait for the newest season of The Big Bang Theory to come out on blu-ray/DVD.

What do you watch? Tell me which premieres have you excited! 

Do you have any recommendations for us? (Not that we really need to be watching more TV)

**I tried and tried and tried to add the premiere posters for each of these shows to this post, but the formatting was a NIGHTMARE, and I just couldn’t do it. I hope you forgive me!

Movie Review: Elysium (2013)

Title: Elysium

Director: Neil Blomkamp

Lead Actors: Matt Damon, Jodi Foster

Released: August 9, 2013

Genre: Sci-Fi/ Action/ Drama

Set in the year 2154, where the very wealthy live on a man-made space station while the rest of the population resides on a ruined Earth, a man takes on a mission that could bring equality to the polarized worlds. (via IMDb)

 

I have never done a movie review before, so I am not going to pay much attention to format this time. Anyway, I went to see this movie at the AMC Theatres in Vestal, NY. That place is awesome. For any of you that haven’t been to an AMC theatre, then you are missing out! They have these big, comfy, red recliners instead of the usual seat. Yeah. RECLINERS. It’s enough to make any movie enjoyable! (If you don’t like it you can just go to sleep.)

When I went to see this movie, I hadn’t really seen any previews for it. When we decided that this was the one we were going to see, we watched the trailer, but that was it. So, I was going in pretty blind.

I didn’t think it was a bad movie. However, I didn’t think it was a fantastic movie, either. It was alright. I have heard that Elysium might be loosely based on District 9, which is directed by the same guy. Who knows, maybe if I had seen District 9, I would have liked Elysium better.

All in all though, this movie was full of action. The action scenes seemed pretty good to me (I’m no expert), and they were probably my favorite parts of the movie. However, other than that, I don’t think this movie had enough story. I know that there is obviously a story in the movie, but typically you see stories with more depth. The main character has his little connection with Elysium, and so does his friend Frey. But, it wasn’t the strongest connection and I think they built a little too heavily on it. What I guess I am saying is that while the movie was okay, it would have been much better if it had a little more depth.

That was my major issue. I guess this wasn’t the movie for me. In the future, I will try giving more in-depth reviews. If I find myself watching this movie again when it is released on DVD, I will probably do a “Part II” post. Until then…

 

Rating: 3 stars

Back to School… Just Kidding.

Today is the first day of classes for the fall semester at my alma mater, SUNY Brockport.

Today is a sad day.

I guess it isn’t that sad, but the truth is that I really miss college. Don’t get me wrong, I definitely do not miss all of the homework and I really don’t miss some of the people. But, I miss actually going to classes. I miss seeing my friends, going to the union for lunch, and watching some of the crazies on campus.

But, we all grow up. Graduation comes, and we move on. So, I guess that’s what I will do. Even though I take every opportunity to go to campus with Chris (this is his senior year!), I guess I will never really be a part of the campus like I used to be.

BUT, I have a bachelor’s degree and now I am an alumna! Woo! I just have to look at the bright side.

Hire Me! The Story of My Life.

You guys have probably figured out by now that I am looking desperately for a job. At first I was under the impression that it wouldn’t be all that difficult. Then that bitch called Life came and slapped me across the face with the news that no, it most definitely is NOT that easy. Oh LIfe, you sassy broad, you.

So, I have spent the last 9 months actively searching for a job that will pay me decent money to use my degree. I actually have a lead now, and I just finally finished that pesky cover letter. I think, anyway. A couple people still have to look over it for me, but I think what I have is at the very least a solid foundation. So, I will be applying as soon as that’s finished.

But, seriously- why didn’t anyone tell me that cover letters were harder to write than resumes? Furthermore, why was I not taught to write a cover letter OR a resume at all during my college career? THOSE THINGS ARE IMPORTANT! I can tell you all about what a drunk Kenneth Burke was, but I could not write a resume without A LOT of help. Also, I am tens of thousands of dollars in debt. Awesome.

Anyway, please cross your virtual fingers and say a little prayer for me or send good vibes my way (or whatever it is you do ) that I get this job! I could really use them. Almost as much as I could really use that job. 

I will leave you with this gem that has been floating around the tumblrverse and accurately describes how I feel whenever anyone asks me if I’ve found a job yet:

Lately

Hello! I just thought I would check in. It turns out, more people read my blog than I gave myself credit for! We just got back from a visit with my in-laws, and my husband’s grandma made a comment about how I am trying not to eat bread… turns out my MIL read my “Getting In Shape” post and told her about it! It was a strange moment for me, but it was nice to know that someone is reading my blog! 🙂

In other news, movies are coming out for most of the books I have read in the past year or two, and it’s kind of cool. My friend Ashley and I (you may remember her from this post) went and saw Percy Jackson and the Sea of Monsters in our town’s quaint little theater last week, and I really enjoyed it. I have to admit, it’s been a little while (a few years) since I read the book, but the movie was entertaining. Ash and I had to have the talk with ourselves afterward, though. I don’t mean the birds-and-the-bees talk, I mean the movies-can’t-cover-every-tiny-detail-of-the-books-or-else-we’d-be-watching-for-days talk. I know there is probably a shorter name for that talk, but it’s still an important one to have. Movies would be days and days long if they contained every minute detail of the books, much to our chagrin. You can’t always get what you want, I suppose. Although, I think it is worth mentioning that the best book-to-movie I have ever seen is The Help. The book was written by Kathryn Stockett. It made a really, really good transition to the big screen and if you haven’t read the book or watched the movie, you owe it to yourself to do so!

Ash and I are also planning on going to see The Mortal Instruments sometime very soon (It came out today). I am looking forward to it, although I don’t know how I feel about some of the cast choices (I don’t think Jace should be so… androgynous). I also plan on reading Ender’s Game so that I will be prepared for the movie, which comes out 11.1.13. Have you guys read it? Is is good?

Other movies I am looking forward to:

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire

The Book Thief

The Fault in Our Stars

Divergent (I am especially pumped about this one)

 

If you haven’t read any of these books, go do it! 

 

Also, I just thought I would tell you guys about an awesome birthday card we saw at Target the other day. The dialog went like this:

Girl 1: Where’s your birthday party at?

Girl 2: Don’t end your sentences in prepositions.

Girl 1: Where’s your birthday party at, bitch?

 

We laughed and laughed.

Pin Testing: Zucchini

A few days ago I came across a pin in the Health & Fitness category on Pinterest for “Zucchini Tots.” I repinned, perused the recipe, and decided it was easy enough for me to make. Boy, was I right. And I am so glad I made them, because they are DELICIOUS. Here’s the original pin:

The picture alone is enough to make you pin this. Anyway, the recipe is very simple and only includes a few ingredients- zucchini, shredded sharp cheddar cheese, onion, egg, bread crumbs, and salt and pepper. (If you’d like to look at the actual recipe, you can click on the picture and it will link you to the site. The link is also the picture’s caption.) I loved that it only had a few ingredients because you know exactly what you are putting into it. I used a home-grown zucchini given to me by my BFF Carrie, and farm fresh eggs in my recipe. I was able to find all of the other stuff in my cupboard, except for the mini muffin tin and an onion, which I picked up at Tops.

First you shred the zucchini. My zucchini was gigantic, and was a little difficult to shred, but it wasn’t really an issue. Looking back, I probably would have carved out the middle because of the seeds, but I didn’t feel like picking them out of my shredded mess of zucchini and they didn’t affect the finished product at all.

zucchini

The recipe also suggests that you shred it into a clean dishtowel to soak up any extra liquid, but I opted to put it in the strainer. When I was finished, I used a bowl and sort of pressed down on the zucchini so that the extra moisture strained out of the bottom. I think that if you had a clean dishtowel on hand (I didn’t), then you should probably use that. I made a double batch and I had to drain my mixture before I put the second batch in the muffin tin because there was a little pool in the bottom of my bowl. But, despite my slightly soggy zucchini mush, the second batch was as good as the first.

After that, I diced up my onion. The recipe calls for a quarter of a medium onion, but since I doubled mine I just used a whole small onion. It worked fine. I added in my bread crumbs, eggs, and cheese as well as some sea salt and a little pepper.

And mixed it all together…

And packed it into a mini muffin tin. I mean it when I say packed, too. The recipe says that you should pack it so that your zucchini tots don’t fall apart when you are trying to get them out of the tin. I took their word for it, and decided not to risk it and packed them in.

And then I baked them! They smelled soooo goooood. Chris was in the shower as I was baking them and said that he could smell them in the bathroom, haha. I love when my house smells like goodies baking in the oven. The finished product was beautiful. In the end, I got 23 zucchini tots out of the recipe. I blame the loss of the 24th one on the extra that I packed into the other 23. They were absolutely delicious, and completely easy to make. So delicious in fact, Chris ate 9 of them! They are small, but I like that they are snack sized. You could probably make these in a regular sized muffin tin if you baked them a little longer.

This is how beautiful they turned out:

finishedproduct

Now, go bake some zucchini tots!

Getting In Shape

Recently, I decided that I really needed to get in shape. I have come to this realization a million times before this, but this time I am really trying. I am attempting to make the transition into a more paleo-centered diet (eat like a caveman). This means that I have pretty much stopped drinking dairy milk and eating grains. I first switched to soy milk, and to be honest it had nothing to do with a paleo diet. I switched to soy milk because it made my chai lattes taste better! Haha. Eventually, I cut back on the number of chais I was drinking and made the switch to almond milk. It’s alright, but I prefer chocolate flavor. Giving up bread and pasta is really difficult for me, but I have been doing what I can!

I have also been trying to work out in ways that are more entertaining for me. Fortunately for me, a lot of those types of workouts put me in a can’t-back-out-situation. For example, we live very close to Stonybrook State Park, so we have been going to run the treacherous beautiful trail there. Once I get to the middle, my only choice is to keep going if I want to get home! Haha.

I also love to box (I am an amateur at best), and my husband is kind enough to hold mitts and throw combos at me while I attempt to hit him as hard as possible. He is a good sport. In the past, I have had trouble with weakness in my hands when we box, but I got longer hand-wraps and smaller gloves and they are helping my problem immensely!

Anyway, I wanted to share today’s workout with you guys! I found it on Pinterest when I was looking for a good track workout, and this one certainly delivered. It takes 35 minutes (you just keep doing it for that long), but you reaaaallllyyyy feel it at the end of those 35 minutes! I had a pretty consistent pace, and averaged about 5min/400m. I was already sore and tired (I did it after I got out of work at 8pm), and that made the first 3 laps AWFUL. It was a complete mental game in the beginning. But, after that I got closer to the end and I was more motivated and feeling a bit better. I even jogged a warm up lap before I started! Next time, I am not doing this after work, because by the time we finished, it was dark. Chris did it with me and I had trouble finding him on the opposite side of the track. But, it was a tough workout and I was proud of myself for completing it. Here it is!

Enjoy!

Review: The Awakening by Karice Bolton (The Watchers Trilogy, #1)

Title: The Awakening

Author: Karice Bolton

Publisher: I think this is self published. I have an electronic version, and it doesn’t have a publisher’s name anywhere.

Format: Electronic- Kindle.

Date Read: August 4-6, 2013

Goodreads Blurb:

Alone in snowy, remote Whistler village, ana tries to build a new life since losing her parents. With a cozy condo, a sweet-faced bulldog and an evening job to leave the days free for the slopes, life slips into a great routine. If only she could shake the guilt for not remembering anything about her parents and banish the night terrors that haunt her every dream.

On a whim, Ana goes out with Athen, a guy she’s just met in the Grizzly Pub. The only problem is that she feels like she already knows him.

Withing 48 hours of meeting Athen and his family, Ana’s world implodes. She falls for Athen quickly, and before she knows it, a past life begins to resurface. As thrilling as the revelations appear at first, she fights the chilling information that Athen is from the underworld. Soon she begins to struggle as her own supernatural gifts are slowly unveiled, and she realizes that the nightmares she’s been having might be premonitions and not dreams at all.

It is up to Ana to decipher between fact and fiction before it is too late, and her new love, Athen, follows on her same fate- one that is lost between two worlds.

First Impression: I will be completely honest- I downloaded this book because it was free and had an interesting title/cover art. I actually found it on a list of free Kindle downloads on Goodreads. As I started reading it, it seemed to be a slow builder, but a lot of books are. I was also not a big fan of the sentence/paragraph structure or the writing style, but I pushed through.

Things I Liked: The story. I thought that the story itself had tons and tons of potential. I haven’t really read a lot of angel/demon books because I have heard that most of them are kind of awful, but like I mentioned before- I didn’t have the slightest clue what the book was about when I downloaded it.  The story was interesting, and I think it really could have been developed more.

Things I Didn’t Like: At first it was little things. I didn’t like that the author didn’t bother telling me where Whistler is (I think it’s somewhere in Canada?). I am not from the Pacific Northwest, and I have no idea where anything is located out there. Honestly, I was geographically lost until she mentions Seattle. I also didn’t like the names. I am not usually a stickler about these, but this book bugged me because I had no idea how to pronounce anything! They are almost all names that could be pronounced a variety of different ways. I mean, I will admit then when reading Harry Potter I just sort of mumbled over Hermione. But I would rather an un-pronouncable name that I had to mumble than a name I could say a million different ways. And finally, the big one: the writing style. I will give you some examples of things that bugged me:

1. “All I could hear was light buzzing.” (Page 158)

2. “Well, I’m kind of glad I did. It makes me realize you aren’t kidding about being a bad ass. I only saw the end. It was a big blur right up until you grabbed him.” (Page 161)

3. “They could care less about us.” (Page 185)

1. Light doesn’t buzz. I know some of you might be thinking that she meant “just a little bit of buzzing,” but that doesn’t really make sense in the context of the book. So… 2. That is one of the lamest pieces of dialog I have ever read. 3. If you could care less, you at least care a little. The example of dialog is pretty accurate for the dialog in the rest of the book, and looking back, I honestly don’t know how I got through this book.

Overall: Disappointment. The story seemed pretty good, but even that turned out to be kind of anti-climactic and was slow to develop. I didn’t have the faintest clue about the main plot until I was at 30%. The writing style for me was full of pet peeves, and I thought it was awful. I am not usually so harsh a reviewer, but I really, really disliked Bolton’s use of language and structure. Really. Usually I do a little section on the main characters and how I felt about them in my reviews, but the characters in this book were too shallow for me to even have much of an opinion of them. The dialog made them seem pretentious and naive, and a lot of the time they just seemed creepy. The whole book fell flat for me.

Rating: 2.5 stars. And that is simply for the story’s potential. And even still, I’m being generous.