What I’m Into Lately: February 2014

1620902_10100344702919796_1534273641_n

It’s finally Friday guys! And it’s the last day of the month. This feels like cause for celebration or at the very least a bit of introspection and reflection. So sit down, pour yourself a cuppa’ and let’s talk about what we’ve been into lately – what are you reading? What are you watching? What is making you fangirl hard? I’m linking up again with the lovely Leigh Kramer to share all those things and more!

Firstly…

What I’ve Been Reading:

  1. Witches of East End by Melissa de la Cruz  Finished February 4, 2014 – It’s hard to judge this book fairly having already seen the Lifetime tv show based on the book, however loosely. There are some things about the show I liked better and some things I liked in the book, but having seen the show first I couldn’t help but prefer it. I found the characters on the show to be more fully fleshed out and well rounded and a little more likable to boot, but there were aspects to the book that I found really interesting and I love how it intersected with another of Cruz’s series, the Blue Blood books. The cliff hanger ending has me intrigued to read more, but maybe not right away.
  2. The Red Tent by Anita Diamant (February Book Club) – Finished February 17, 2014 – I’m glad I finally took the time to read this book – I started it once years ago and left it unfinished, balking at the complexity of the many stories being told in one book. I think appreciated it now more than I would have back then anyway. This is a fantastic story that touches on a lot of subjects that anyone can relate to – from being a mother to a daughter, a sister, a wife – hardships faced, adapting to new cultures and continually learning to pick up the pieces of our lives and start anew when needed. I think this will be a book that stays with me for a long time.
  3. Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell – Finished February 19, 2014 – I read this book basically in one day – it was a mad, crazy, obsessive daylong reading spree in which putting the book down felt painful and wrong until I’d finished. My apologies to the children, husband and pets neglected on February 19, 2014.In many small ways, it felt like this book was written exactly for me – like the author had captured a piece of my soul and put it on paper. While I can’t necessarily relate to the WHOLE story (don’t have a twin sister or a psychologically diagnosed mental illness – also don’t write fanfiction and am significantly older than 18) – so much of it I could definitely relate to and I quickly found myself rooting for Cath and waiting for certain plot events to come about. I, simply put, loved this book and kinda wish I could read it all over again today. – Full Review –

Right now I’m 2/3rds of the way through The Last Word by Lisa Lutz and entering that reading phase where you are torn between the impulse to read frantically until it’s done or maybe savor it so that it will last just a little longer. Which urge will win? Only time will tell!

Movies We’ve Watched:

The big one is that we took the kids to see the LEGO Movie and we all loved it even more than we were expecting to. I guess I honestly had no expectations going in at all other than that the previews were cute and my son likes LEGOS a lot (duh) but it was a truly terrific movie and “fun for the whole family” as they say – with a surprise ending that I didn’t see coming and a song that will be stuck in my head forever.

We also watched An Extremely Goofy Movie on Netflix which was cute – Goofy’s son Max goes away to college and the Goof takes it pretty hard and of course hilarity ensues, as it does. I’ll admit, it made me cry at least once – but I’m becoming a pretty easy crier so that isn’t saying much.

TV Shows I’m Fangirling Hard:

So American Idol is back on for Season 13 and I continue to be really pleased with all the changes they’ve made and how the contestants have done and how awesome Harry is. I wasn’t sure how I felt about the incredibly sped up process of getting to the Top 13 but I think they have cleverly let us get to know the contestants all along without making it too obvious and I’ve already begun to root for a couple of the singers and can see my ideal Top 3 beginning to take shape – Majesty and Alex would definitely be in there for me right now, how about you?

Anyone else watching Under the Gunn? It’s so interesting to see how each of the mentors approach their role on the show and what it means for each of the contestants. I still much prefer the classic Project Runway, but I am enjoying the show so far.

And guys, I’m still totally fangirling over the Shamy kiss on Big Bang Theory? Did anybody else head to the internet to watch it just one more time or was that just me? I really loved this week’s episode, too. Who would think that buying a kitchen table would be that catastrophic? Everyone.

Aside from all our other usual television habits (which I won’t name because that would turn into a long, embarrassing paragraph) we’ve been watching the original Star Trek series on Netflix lately along with Parks and Recreation and the last of the classic Doctor Who episodes. We’re all caught up now with everything Netflix Instant has to offer us and stuck waiting until the fall for New Who. Between that and the lack of Sherlock in my life, I’m likely to go into Brit Withdrawals soon.

Oh and online I’m still madly loving on Emma Approved and by that I mean Alex Knightly of course. Did anybody else notice him in a commercial on tv recently? I think it was for taco bell but I’m honestly not sure. Apparently I need to stop fast forwarding through those occasionally.

Awesome Stuff I Read Online:

Here are a few fun links that I might have shared in a Weekend Links post that I’ll share here instead I don’t have to post twice today.

I didn’t read this so much as see it online and squeal and shriek and email a link to my husband because, seriously. I want one now. (for Whovian friends)

The 50 Best Read Aloud Chapter Books for Kids at My Mommy Style

Greek Yogurt Cheesecake with Pomegranate Syrup? Yes please.

Lastly some videos that are must sees:

Jim Parsons SNL Promo (sorry, can’t embed this one but it’s worth it to click over!)

Advertisements

What I’m Into Lately: January 2014

1509326_10100321729907896_844165429_n

It’s kind of hard to believe that January 2014 is already coming to a close – like didn’t this year JUST start? Aren’t we still shakily recovering from ringing in the new year (and by that I mean, letting our children stay up WAY past our their bedtime and then being forced to get up with them the next morning only to discover that we are way too old for that crap and they annoyingly don’t seem any worse for the wear)? 31 days later and I don’t know about you, but I’m still recovering.

So while I ignore the morning in the comforts of a puffy robe and a second cup of coffee, let’s gossip about all the books, tv shows, movies, etc. that we’ve been into this month. I’m linking up again with Leigh Kramer to share what I’m into lately.

What I’ve Been Reading:

I read four books this month, which for me is like a major deal, but to be fair, two of them were awfully short – though still really great reads:

  1. Freakonomics by Steven Levitt (January Book Club) – I enjoyed this book a lot more than I thought I would. Very interesting, whether you agree with them and their findings or not. – Full Review –
  2. Beauty Queens by Libba Bray – I thought the premise of this book was fascinating and the plot kept me intrigued throughout. I also felt the book was attempting to do an AWFUL lot and that it occasionally read as cheesy, over done and sometimes predictable, but being a young adult novel I can kind of over look the predictable aspects. All in all, I think it was a very funny and satirical look at the commercialism and typical coming of age issues that young girls are faced with, in the midst of a very atypical story.
  3. Fortunately, The Milk by Neil Gaiman – This was such a fun, quick read. terrific illustrations also. I’m looking forward to sharing it with the kids.
  4. A Study in Scarlet by Arthur Conan Doyle – I don’t know if I would have enjoyed this story as much if I weren’t such a huge fan of the BBC series, Sherlock, but since I can’t (yet) go back in time and unsee the show, I’ll just have to base my feelings of the book around the fact that I’ve seen the show also and thus knew the major plot points. However, the original story is actually quite a bit different from the tv show’s version and there were things I genuinely liked about each. I didn’t really care for the middle part of the book where they leave Sherlock and Watson to further explain the back story of characters that I won’t name here, cause you know, spoilers. But at the same time, I think the backstory was necessary so overall, I did enjoy the book and I’ll definitely be reading more of Doyle’s Sherlock stories soon.

Right now I’m kind of reading three books at once but mostly just one. I got randomly sucked into Witches of East End by Melissa de la Cruz, which the show on LIFETIME was based on, somewhat loosely. This may be one of the rare instances where the tv show is a bit better or at least feels more cohesive and thought out, but maybe that’s because I saw it first? Not sure, either way I cannot seem to put the book down in a guilty pleasure sort of way.

Movies We’ve Watched:

Most of the movies we’ve been watching lately are old school children’s movies of the past – we’ve been doing a lot of family movie nights with the aim of giving our kids a “proper education” – i.e. Mary Poppins, Shrek, The Emperor’s New Groove, Night at the Museum – all massive hits and massively enjoyable. In particular it was really cool to see Dick Van Dyke dress up and act like a an old guy in Mary Poppins and then see him actually be an old guy in Night at the Museum. He is always such a great actor to enjoy in general.

TV Shows I’m Fangirling Hard:

I don’t feel I can properly begin this segment without squealing uncontrollably over Sherlock. This may be the best show on television which makes it all the more brutal that we get just three episodes a season and then seemingly ages in between said seasons. Like everyone else in the world, I’ve really been enjoying this season – just as massively enjoyable as the previous ones. I’ve been spending a lot of time with this coffee mug:

1525725_10100305952845256_821376100_n

I know, right?

When I’m not being utterly and thoroughly Sherlocked, I’ve also been enjoying:

American Idol – Is anyone else so, so, so pleasantly surprised with this season of American Idol so far and we’re still in the audition round which I usually delete because I just cannot deal with all the  drama. They’ve done such a good job keeping that to a minimum and the judges are just so amusing and wonderful to watch. I feel like they really took to heart the major complaints that I guess I wasn’t the only one making and are really delivering an upbeat, honest, funny show.

Under the Gunn – I’m still on the fence about this show but I enjoy the mentors they’ve chosen and well Tim Gunn and I think I’m a big enough Project Runway fan in general that I’m likely to stay interested in keeping watching the show even if the premise is a bit dubious to me. It kind of feels like Project Runway: The People Who Couldn’t Make It Onto the Actual Show but it’s still fun to watch.

I know Doctor Who isn’t actually on yet but I’ve really been enjoying the snippets and teasers we’ve gotten so far online and I’m preemptively really excited about the next season. We’ve also been watching more of the Tom Baker era series on Netflix and I continue to adore him.

Other shows I’m still watching and loving: Castle, Bones, Melissa & Joey (they’re finally together!!!), Reign, Big Bang Theory, How I Met Your Mother (love the mother), New Girl, 2 Broke Girls (so funny), The Mindy Project (OMG!!!!!) and probably other stuff, too.

Awesome Stuff I Read Online:

These are the things I would have mentioned in a Weekend Link Love roundup today aka I spent a lot of time on buzzfeed this week:

Time-Traveling Amazon Reviews of Next Season’s Doctor Who – Are there any better fans than Doctor Who fans? I think not.

The Sherlock Guide to the UK – Makes me want to take a field trip like immediately.

Literary Valentines for the Romantic Reader – I kind of adored these madly.

Peter Capaldi used to be in a punk band with Craig Ferguson – this made my week.

Little Girls Design Amazing Super Hero Costumes – this is just amazing.

Lastly some videos that are must sees:

What I’m Into (November)

1422496_10100280122629216_148033282_n

I’m linking up with Leigh Kramer a bit late (but better late than never, right?) to share the things I’ve been into for the past month.

what I’m reading

Right now I’m reading Life After Life by Kate Atkinson. My book club is discussing it next week (ack!) and the odds of me finishing on time are a bit iffy but I’m going to try. This book is intense and complicated and fantastic and occasionally awful, but not in a literary way so much as a “how many times are we going to torture, kill and humiliate this person?” kind of way.

Imagine if you could go back and relive your life over and over again – what things would you change and do differently? This is sort of the premise of the book and in the beginning the main character seems to just keep on dying every ten minutes in awful ways that made my mother heart hurt. But gradually she lives longer and longer and it oscillates between feeling like a story about all the ways you can die / be hurt / suffer and feeling like a story about all the ways we can survive / overcome / be better. It’s hopeful and despondent all at the same time. So it’s fascinating and I’m enjoying it as much as you can enjoy that kind of book, but I’m taking for freaking ever to finish it.

Some nights I’m just too spent from my own realities to deal with such a heavy book and on those nights I’ve been reading As You Do by Richard Hammond (of Top Gear fame) instead. This book reads as though Hammond is actually standing next to you talking. His writing style is VERY similar to his talking style which I suppose could be a good thing or a bad thing but I consider it a good thing. I’m not super far into the book as I’ve been trying to be more diligent about getting through the book club pick but I am really enjoying this one so far. It’s a collection of stories from his adventures on Top Gear and other ventures. I actually bought this book for my husband and he LOVED it so much that I felt inclined to read it myself. So far so good…

what I’m watching (tv)

Anyone else still going a little bit spastic inside over the Doctor Who 50th anniversary episode? My husband and I watched it that night and kept squealing like fan girls and theorizing little bits and pieces to death (Emergency Awesome has some fun easter egg /hidden references from the episode) . The next afternoon we watched it with the kids (we always give the new episodes a trial run before letting the kids watch, just to be on the safe side) and squealed all over again. I’m both anxiously looking forward to the Christmas special and apprehensively dreading the end of the 11th’s tenure. I hope Peter Capaldi is amazing, I’m sure I’ll get used to him eventually as I did the others.

Can you believe the contestants that have been eliminated on X-Factor so far these past couple weeks? The results have been surreal to me and I’m not sure if it’s because I am just not the same target audience as the people that are voting or what, but I mourned the loss of another Top Fave last week. ::sniff:: I doubt that my vote would have made much of a difference but I do sometimes wish that people who DVR and watch the show later were given a chance to vote. Do you think the results would have been different if everyone who watches could vote and not just the people who watch it live?

what I’m watching (movies)

We took the kids to see Frozen the day after Thanksgiving (otherwise known as stab each other for video games day) and I think the whole family fell in love. I was jonsing for a good “Princess Movie” and this totally hit the spot. BB of course now wants Anna and Elsa everything and I can’t say I’m bothered by this very much. We may have to buy the DVD when it comes out and possibly the sound track because I cannot stop singing, “Do you want to build a snowman?” Such a great movie.

in my kitchen

This year for Thanksgiving I was basically the Queen of Desserts. I made:

My MIL’s famous rum cake and a delicious apple pie (this recipe’s crust was the first pie crust I’ve ever made and I think I’m going to go ahead and officially swear by it) as well as a peanut butter dip which was basically a peanut butter pie (I loosely followed this recipe) minus the crust with a bunch of sliced apples to dip in it (though I confess my favorite thing to dip in it is a spoon!) and a sweet potato casserole (this recipe has become a staple for me, this was my third year using it and I can’t imagine straying from it now).

The peanut butter pie dip that I made ended up being so far from the original that I feel the need to share what I actually made and pretend that I can call it a “recipe”

Jen’s Deviously Good Peanut Butter Pie Dip

  • 1 pint (16 oz) of heavy whipping cream
  • 1 package (8 oz) cream cheese, softened
  • most of a 16 oz container of creamy peanut butter, we’ll say 12-14 oz. (I just used what was left of my barely touched container, you could probably use a full 16 oz container or less if necessary).
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon butter, softened
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  1. Beat a pint of heavy whipping cream in your mixer until it’s thickened enough – I don’t think I ever got mine truly “whipped cream”ish but I was starting to get bored so after awhile I moved on to the rest of the recipe.
  2. Beat the cream cheese, peanut butter, sugar, butter and vanilla in a large bowl until smooth. Fold in the “whipped cream”. Gently spoon into a large bowl and refrigerate until ready to eat. If you can control yourself. Yield: 8-10 servings.

On a non-recipe note, can I mention again how obsessed I am with the orange clove scented counter top spray from Mrs. Meyers? I may have snagged a bottle of the orange clover dish soap and a scented candle at Target today…

stuff I loved online

the entire ‘Doctor Who’ history in one amazing tapestry (awesome)

after a year of parenting, one thing is certain (sweet)

Moms: OK is good enough (amen)

So what have you been into lately?

The Lizzie Bennet Diaries: An addictive modernized telling of Jane Austen’s Pride & Prejudice

the lizzie bennet diaries

I kept hearing people talk about The Lizzie Bennet Diaries online but for some reason never looked into it seriously until last week when hubby was out of town and I was thus bored and in need of distraction. Two crazy days later I had watched the entire series and was unabashedly in love with it.

The LBD is an online modernized adaptation of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice – told through youtube videos, tumblr pages and twitter conversations, all compiled for your viewing pleasure here. Told largely from the perspective of Elizabeth Bennet (obviously), the series does a really cool job of taking the original story and bringing it to a modern era. Some previously small characters get a much deserved reworking – some even become a different creature or relation all together.

I think they did a really great job balancing staying true to the original story but also making it make sense in a modern era. The girls are more focused on their education and careers rather than just on their love lives and other aspects of the story are changed up a bit while still keeping in theme. They also do a great job of making reference to things from the original book in a quirky way and sort of jabbing at that fourth wall a bit.

And okay, honestly apart from the wonderful story telling and creative use of social media, I think the thing that makes the show SO compelling is the amazing cast. Ashley Clements who plays Lizzie is amazing in this role. She is endearing and hilarious and basically amazing. I think her career is going to sky rocket soon. Her sisters on the show, Jane (played by Laura Spencer) and Lydia (by Mary Kate Wiles) embodied their roles perfectly and I would say brought them to another level entirely. The other two sisters from the book are reinvented in the web series as cousin Mary (played by Briana Cuoco – sister of Kaley Cuoco from The Big Bang Theory) and Kitty is… actually a kitty.

Another stand out performance is Julia Cho who plays Charlotte – a character who really doesn’t get a lot of fleshing out in the book, in the web series she is probably one of the Top 3 characters on the show. Julia is another actress that I see going really, really far in her career. And of course, Darcy. Oh Darcy – Daniel Gordh was amazing in this role and his chemistry with Ashley Clements was off the charts. Despite not actually being shown for most of the series, his character is definitely one of my favorites.

I could go on and on and on – but I think you get the idea. This show is a must see for Jane Austen enthusiasts and anyone who thinks they could maybe possibly by a Jane Austen enthusiast, maybe. I really can’t recommend it highly enough!

Ready to watch? Check out the first diary entry and prepare to be too busy for cooking or cleaning or socializing or coherent conversation for a few days. Don’t say I didn’t warn you!

Already watched the LBD and in withdrawals like me? Next up is Emma Approved, coming soon!

Things Loved Recently. July 29, 2013

the selectionI read 3 books in less than a week. The Selection books are my new drug. The last book doesn’t come out until like spring 2014 which means I now have book-junkie itch. I’m trying to ignore it and read The Great Gatsby – the first few paragraphs were almost annoyingly descriptive but it got a bit better. I finished the first chapter and have not completely given up on it, so there you go.

We made very tipsy bread pudding this weekend, mostly following Ree’s recipe but adding extra alcohol and we forgot to add pecans. Irish Cream and vanilla extract are sort of the same thing, right?

decoy brideWe watched this rom/com called The Decoy Bride starring David Tennant AKA The Doctor and Kelly Macdonald AKA Merida from Brave, bt-dubs. I really loved it, and even better, so did Dan. A romantic comedy that both wife and husband can enjoy is sometimes rare, so I feel the need to give it a Big Mention. It takes place on the remote Scottish island of Hegg and the cast is just brilliant. It’s funny and it made me cry and oh gosh, you must see it!

We’re now partway into Season Four of 30 Rock. I know, I am seriously behind the times with this one but I am loving the show SO much – Last summer Dan and I watched all the seasons of the reboot of Doctor Who (we’ve also watched about half of the classic series available on Netflix). This summer we are watching 30 Rock. I recommend both shows highly!

I made homemade French Bread Pizzas this weekend using the recipe linked from Joy the Baker – her suggestions were fantastic and I had a lot of fun coming up with pizza combos. We made a couple pepperoni pizzas, a bbq chicken with mushrooms and garlic and an awesome veggie pizza with diced tomatoes, artichokes, mushrooms, garlic and fresh basil. All came out fantastic.

What things are you loving lately?

Weekend Link Love: June 13, 2013

Who’s ready for summer? Enjoy these humble offerings of the best things I’ve seen or read online lately.

999403_10100170477284366_1242612669_n

It’s almost uncanny how much this Monster ID photo channels me. Like if I were a monster, I’m pretty sure this would be me, exactly. Wanna make your own?

*

Roo @ Neon Fresh made me LOL with this post about the dangers of speaker phone. Come to think of it, she makes me LOL a lot.

*

Please enjoy this chronological timeline of River Song – warning to those behind on Doctor Who, potential *spoilers*. Warning to non Who-vians, I am a giant nerd.

*

School’s out for summer – sangria, anyone? Deb @ Smitten Kitchen has two delicious recipes to get you through those long summer days nights.

*

When you’re done drinking, print out this cute Paper Circus by the genius Joel @ Made By Joel. He’s got loads of other awesome paper printables that can totally pass as both a craft project and a toy for your kids with minimal effort on your part! So if you aren’t familiar with his work, take a few minutes to get acquainted.

*

Lastly, please enjoy my favorite photo from the week – taken at my daughter’s last ballet class. You can read more about that at my personal blog.

1001460_10100170238373146_1528661623_n

Have a great weekend guys!

Mini Movie Reviews: Lincoln, The Croods, Silver Lining Playbook and more!

At the beginning of the year I decided to start making Family Movie Night a regular thing around here. Most Fridays I buy a few frozen pizzas and take the kids to the video store where we rent something fun to watch together and usually something fun for Mom & Dad to watch after they go to bed.

Here are some mini reviews on movies we’ve watched recently on the big screen and the little screen:

We may be totally late to the party, but hubby and I rented Lincoln last weekend and it was amazing. I’d been worried the movie would be too dry or hard to focus on after a long, fantastic mother’s day, but it’s very engaging and I can see now why it got so many awards and nominations. Everyone was superb, especially Daniel Day-Lewis, Tommy Lee Jones, Sally Field and Joseph Gordon-Levitt. This was one of those movies that spurred a lot of conversation afterwards which is always nice. Funny, insightful, heart breaking, memorable.

We also rented Parental Guidance with Billy Crystal and Bette Midler – a very cute, sweet, funny family movie. This is a great cross-generation kind of movie that the kids, parents and grand parents would enjoy. It does a great job of humorously showcasing the differences in parenting styles in the different generations – for better or worse and tells a really sweet story of family becoming closer.

We watched Lady & the Tramp with the kids Friday night and they both really loved it. It is such a different experience watching beloved movies from my childhood again as a parent. This one holds up well though I couldn’t help but notice that the song in the pound about the Tramp being a real ladies man – who just needs the right girl to come along and tame him… is kind of left wide open afterwards. If this movie were made today – I think they would have written that differently. No wonder so many girls have such a Bad Boy complex!

On Mothers day morning, we went to see The Croods which was both terrifically funny and also made me cry a few times. I thought Nicholas Cage did a great job voice acting the father in the movie and really thought the movie as a whole was fantastic. This one might be worthy of buying when it comes out on DVD.

A couple weekends ago Dan and I rented Silver Lining Playbook and we both really liked it. It was a strange, kind of beautiful movie. Major props to Jennifer Lawrence and Bradley Cooper who both did such an amazing job with their characters. I loved how the energy of the movie kind of flowed with the internal feelings of the characters. It felt frantic and crazy in parts and then at the end it was like everyone collectively, finally, exhaled. Great movie.

We watched Brave again recently – we saw it in theater with the kids but BB didn’t seem to remember much of the movie so a rewatch seemed in order. This is probably one of the best recent Princess movies that has come out – Merida is a princess you will WANT your little girls to look up to and aspire to be like. A very sweet movie that holds up well to rewatching.

We also rented Rise of the Guardians with the kids, both of whom seemed to enjoy it, especially my 7 year old son. I thought this was very appropriately timed for him because he’s just getting to that age of wondering if the characters in the movie (Santa, the Tooth Fairy, etc) may be real or not. It was very sweet but also action packed, but not too scary in my opinion. My three year old daughter didn’t seemed disturbed at all by the scary parts and both laughed out loud at the funny parts. My son loved seeing all the different interpretations of what the characters were really like – a very creative and interesting take on beloved childhood characters.

What movies have you seen recently?

Idol Thoughts: Top 10 Revealed

SPOILERS ahead!

I have to admit, I’m pretty pleased with how America voted this week. The Top 10 Finalists for American Idol 2013 are:


Angela Miller – Source: americanidol.com via Jennifer on Pinterest

  1. Janelle Arthur – Cute little old school country singer. She has a beautiful voice but by virtue of not really being one of my top genres, she’s not super high on my list.
  2. Candice Glover – Amazing voice and a judge favorite so not surprising, but again probably not in my top genres.
  3. Kree Harrison – One of my personal faves, her voice is just effortless and I love that she is so real and down to earth.
  4. Amber Holcomb – Also very talented, though I personally found her song this week a bit boring (don’t hate me).
  5. Angela Miller – Another from my personal Top 4, I think she’s amazing and it seems like everyone agrees with me – yay!


Kree Harrison – Source: americanidol.com via Jennifer on Pinterest


Paul Jolley – Source: americanidol.com via Jennifer on Pinterest

  1. Lazaro Arbos – I just adore his voice and being able to watch him go from stuttering to speak to singing some of the best performances each week is kind of amazing. He’s got a great story, very marketable.
  2. Curtis Finch, Jr. – He has a great voice, not really my thing but at least he can sing unlike a lot of the contestants who were sent home last night.
  3. Paul Jolley – A favorite of mine if you haven’t noticed. I think he has an awesome voice and he and Lazaro are the two guys who I can say “I’d buy that album.” Which for me is what separates the contestants who are very good with the ones I’m calling a favorite.
  4. Burnell Taylor – His song didn’t really do much for me this week but the judges clearly love him and I don’t think there’s anything wrong with this voice at all. I wasn’t surprised to see him go through.
  5. Devin Velez – Again, a judge favorite and he does have a very nice voice there is just something about him that does nothing for me personally.


Lazaro Arbos – Source: americanidol.com via Jennifer on Pinterest

I  am disappointed that Nick Boddington didn’t make the cut. He’s the only contestant from the Top 20 that I thought deserved to go forward that didn’t.

There were other contestants that I thought were fine but didn’t perform well and all of those contestants were sent home so really, this week was not a big upset for me. If anything the herd has finally been thinned properly.

Well done America!

Golden Globe Nominees: Momma Picks the Winners!

The Golden Globes are on Sunday and since Tina Fey and Amy Poehler are hosting the event, I think I’ll have to tune in and watch. I’m sure most of the winners will be from stuff I haven’t seen because I tend to catch one, maybe two, new movies a year, but at least Monday morning I’ll know which movies I should be adding to my Netflix queue.

I was scrolling through the list of nominees online and thought it would be fun to pick the winners I’d choose if I were in charge: either based off of my opinion of said performance, what I think of that person in general or if necessary via the eenie meenie miney mo method.

1.    BEST MOTION PICTURE – DRAMA
a.    ARGO
b.    DJANGO UNCHAINED – momma’s pick
c.    LIFE OF PI
d.    LINCOLN
e.    ZERO DARK THIRTY

So, I haven’t actually seen any of these. I would say that from this list I’m most excited to see D’Jango Unchained, but honestly I’ve heard so much good press about all of these movies that I could hardly be disappointed with any of them winning. But for the sake of making a choice, I’m voting for D’Jango.

2.    BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A MOTION PICTURE – DRAMA
a.    Jessica Chastain  –   ZERO DARK THIRTY
b.    Marion Cotillard – RUST AND BONE
c.    Helen Mirren – HITCHCOCK – momma’s pick
d.    Naomi Watts  – THE IMPOSSIBLE
e.    Rachel Weisz – THE DEEP BLUE SEA

Did I mention I haven’t seen any of these movies? I’m voting for Helen Mirren because she looks amazing in a bikini.

3. BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A MOTION PICTURE – DRAMA|
a.    Daniel Day-Lewis  – LINCOLN – momma’s pick
b.    Richard Gere – ARBITRAGE
c.    John Hawkes  – THE SESSIONS
d.    Joaquin Phoenix – THE MASTER
e.    Denzel Washington – FLIGHT

I really need to start seeing more movies, this is embarrassing. I think I’m going to vote for Daniel Day-Lewis because Lincoln is my favorite president.

4.    BEST MOTION PICTURE – COMEDY OR MUSICAL
a.    THE BEST EXOTIC MARIGOLD HOTEL
b.    LES MISERABLES – momma’s pick
c.    MOONRISE KINGDOM – honorable mention
d.    SALMON FISHING IN THE YEMEN
e.    SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK

OMG guys, I’ve seen TWO of these movies and absolutely loved them both. It was pretty tough choosing between the two, but Les Mis just blew me away and really, really deserves to win a ton of awards for everything.

5.    BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A MOTION PICTURE – COMEDY OR MUSICAL
a.    Emily Blunt – SALMON FISHING IN THE YEMEN
b.    Judi Dench – THE BEST EXOTIC MARIGOLD HOTEL
c.    Jennifer Lawrence  – SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK – momma’s pick
d.    Maggie Smith – QUARTET
e.    Meryl Streep  – HOPE SPRINGS

Can I vote for Anne Hathaway instead? No? Fine, I’ll vote for Jennifer Lawrence because she can be bad ass with a bow and arrow in one movie and then be all funny, cute with Bradley Cooper in another.

6. BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A MOTION PICTURE – COMEDY OR MUSICAL
a.    Jack Black  – BERNIE
b.    Bradley Cooper  – SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK
c.    Hugh Jackman  – LES MISERABLES – momma’s pick
d.    Ewan McGregor – SALMON FISHING IN THE YEMEN
e.    Bill Murray  – HYDE PARK ON HUDSON

When is Hugh Jackman not amazing? This performance of his just blew me away. He wins everything.

7.    BEST ANIMATED FEATURE FILM
a.    BRAVE – momma’s pick
b.    FRANKENWEENIE
c.    HOTEL TRANSYLVANIA
d.    RISE OF THE GUARDIANS
e.    WRECK-IT RALPH

Not only have I seen two of these, but I know the premise for all of them and will likely see all of them before 2013 ends. My choice goes to Brave, one of the best Princess movies that has come out in a long time, but Wreck-it Ralph was also all kinds of fantastic.

8.    BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM
a.    AMOUR (AUSTRIA) – momma’s pick
b.    A ROYAL AFFAIR (DENMARK)
c.    THE INTOUCHABLES (FRANCE)
d.    KON-TIKI (NORWAY/UK/DENMARK)
e.    RUST AND BONE (FRANCE)

Remember Amelie? That’s the last foreign film I’ve seen (though I’ve seen it several times and love it) just so we’re clear. My vote goes to Amour because I like love. And stuff.

9. BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE IN A MOTION PICTURE
a.    Amy Adams – THE MASTER
b.    Sally Field – LINCOLN
c.    Anne Hathaway – LES MISERABLES
d.    Helen Hunt – THE SESSIONS
e.    Nicole Kidman – THE PAPERBOY

Finally – can we all agree with Anne Hathaway is amazing in everything but was especially amazing in Les Mis. I still cannot get over her performance in this movie, it was… gah.

10. BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE IN A MOTION PICTURE
a.    Alan Arkin – ARGO
b.    Leonardo DiCaprio – DJANGO UNCHAINED
c.    Philip Seymour Hoffman – THE MASTER
d.    Tommy Lee Jones – LINCOLN – momma’s pick
e.    Christoph Waltz  – DJANGO UNCHAINED

Ya’ll getting bored of this post yet? I don’t even know who to choose in this category to be honest. I feel like maybe Leo DiCaprio, but I still haven’t forgiven him for Titanic and I’m having a hard time acknowledging how long ago that movie was. I’m voting for Tommy Lee Jones via the eenie meenie method.

11. BEST DIRECTOR – MOTION PICTURE
a.    Ben Affleck – ARGO
b.    Kathryn Bigelow – ZERO DARK THIRTY
c.    Ang Lee – LIFE OF PI
d.    Steven Spielberg – LINCOLN
e.    Quentin Tarantino – DJANGO UNCHAINED – momma’s pick

Quentin Tarantino is awesome. I’m voting for him based purely off of all his other amazing movies. Also I saw him interviewed on Craig Ferguson and he’s a giant dork. Like I feel like I could invite him to a dinner party and he’d be best friends with my hubby by the end of the night. Awesome.

12. BEST SCREENPLAY – MOTION PICTURE
a.    Mark Boal – ZERO DARK THIRTY – momma’s pick
b.    Tony Kushner – LINCOLN
c.    David O. Russell – SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK
d.    Quentin Tarantino – DJANGO UNCHAINED
e.    Chris Terrio – ARGO

I’m voting for Zero Dark Thirty so that it doesn’t feel left out. I think it would be swell if everyone in attendance could go home with at least one award.

13. BEST ORIGINAL SCORE – MOTION PICTURE
a.    Mychael Danna – LIFE OF PI
b.    Alexandre Desplat – ARGO
c.    Dario Marianelli  – ANNA KARENINA
d.    Tom Tykwer,  – CLOUD ATLAS – momma’s pick
Johnny Klimek,
Reinhold Heil
e.    John Williams – LINCOLN

Oh, I saw Cloud Atlas, too! Go me! That movie was pretty brilliant.

14. BEST ORIGINAL SONG – MOTION PICTURE
a.    “FOR YOU” — ACT OF VALOR
Music by: Monty Powell, Keith Urban
Lyrics by: Monty Powell, Keith Urban
b.    “NOT RUNNING ANYMORE”—STAND UP GUYS
Music by: Jon Bon Jovi
Lyrics by: Jon Bon Jovi
c.    “SAFE & SOUND” — THE HUNGER GAMES
Music by: Taylor Swift, John Paul White, Joy Williams, T Bone Burnett
Lyrics by: Taylor Swift, John Paul White, Joy Williams, T Bone Burnett
d.    “SKYFALL”—SKYFALL – momma’s pick
Music by: Adele, Paul Epworth
Lyrics by: Adele, Paul Epworth
e.    “SUDDENLY” — LES MISERABLES
Music by: Claude-Michel Schonberg
Lyrics by: Herbert Kretzmer, Alain Boublil

I was torn between this and Safe & Sound because I love Taylor Swift, but Adele is amazing. Skyfall was that new Bond movie right?

15. BEST TELEVISION SERIES – DRAMA
a.    BREAKING BAD
b.    BOARDWALK EMPIRE
c.    DOWNTON ABBEY: SEASON 2 – momma’s pick
d.    HOMELAND
e.    THE NEWSROOM

I think if I didn’t vote for Downton Abbey that I’d lose my Mommy Blogger Card and that would be awful. Also I have never seen these other shows and I actually watch a lot of television. So they probably aren’t very good.

16. BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A TELEVISION SERIES – DRAMA
a.    Connie Britton – NASHVILLE
b.    Glenn Close – DAMAGES
c.    Claire Danes – HOMELAND
d.    Michelle Dockery – DOWNTON ABBEY: SEASON 2 – momma’s pick
e.    Julianna Margulies -THE GOOD WIFE

I’m a total Downton Shipper and the Mary/Matthew romance is one of my faves, obvy. Her performances have been amazing.

17. BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A TELEVISION SERIES – DRAMA
a.    Steve Buscemi – BOARDWALK EMPIRE
b.    Bryan Cranston – BREAKING BAD
c.    Jeff Daniels – THE NEWSROOM
d.    Jon Hamm – MAD MEN – momma’s pick
e.    Damian Lewis – HOMELAND

Seriously, who are these people again? I think I saw Jon Hamm once and his name makes me kinda hungry.

18. BEST TELEVISION SERIES – COMEDY OR MUSICAL
a.    THE BIG BANG THEORY – momma’s pick
b.    EPISODES
c.    GIRLS
d.    MODERN FAMILY
e.    SMASH

Anyone who doesn’t like The Big Bang Theory can’t be my friend anymore. It is seriously one of the best shows on television.

19. BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A TELEVISION SERIES – COMEDY OR MUSICAL
a.    Zooey Deshanel – NEW GIRL – momma’s pick
b.    Julia Louis-Dreyfus – VEEP
c.    Lena Dunham – GIRLS
d.    Tina Fey – 30 ROCK
e.    Amy Poehler – PARKS AND RECREATION

Love all these ladies, but Zooey Deshanel is one of my fave funny ladies. Also won’t Tina and Amy be accused of cheating if they win?

20. BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A TELEVISION SERIES – COMEDY OR MUSICAL
a.    Alec Baldwin – 30 ROCK
b.    Don Cheadle – HOUSE OF LIES
c.    Louis C.K. – LOUIE
d.    Matt LeBlanc – EPISODES
e.    Jim Parsons – THE BIG BANG THEORY – momma’s pick

Knock knock knock – “Penny?” Knock knock knock – “Penny?” Knock knock knock – “Penny?”

21. BEST MINI-SERIES OR MOTION PICTURE MADE FOR TELEVISION
a.    GAME CHANGE
b.    THE GIRL
c.     HATFIELDS & MCCOYS
d.    THE HOUR
e.    POLITICAL ANIMALS – momma’s pick

I don’t think these area real shows, but Political Animals sounds fascinating. Should we vote for the cuddly puppy who always chews on your slippers but also always greets you at the door when you get home? Or the ruthless tom cat who is probably the smartest person in your home but is also secretly plotting to kill you?

22. BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A MINI-SERIES OR MOTION PICTURE MADE FOR TELEVISION
a.    Nicole Kidman – HEMINGWAY & GELLHORN – momma’s pick
b.    Jessica Lange – AMERICAN HORROR STORY: ASYLUM
c.    Sienna Miller – THE GIRL
d.    Julianne Moore – GAME CHANGE
e.    Sigourney Weaver – POLITICAL ANIMALS

She was awesome in Practical Magic.

23. BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A MINI-SERIES OR MOTION PICTURE MADE FOR TELEVISION
a.    Kevin Costner – HATFIELDS & MCCOYS
b.    Benedict Cumberbatch – SHERLOCK (MASTERPIECE) – momma’s pick
c.    Woody Harrelson – GAME CHANGE
d.    Toby Jones – THE GIRL
e.    Clive Owen – HEMINGWAY & GELLHORN

Seriously? His name is just fantastic. Do you think that’s a stage name or are his parents just hysterical?

24. BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE IN A SERIES, MINI-SERIES OR MOTION PICTURE MADE FOR TELEVISION
a.    Hayden Panettiere – NASHVILLE
b.    Archie Panjabi – THE GOOD WIFE
c.    Sarah Paulson – GAME CHANGE
d.    Maggie Smith – DOWNTON ABBEY: SEASON 2
e.    Sofia Vergara – MODERN FAMILY – momma’s pick

She is too funny and every time she is on Ellen she cracks me up.

25. BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE IN A SERIES, MINI-SERIES OR MOTION PICTURE MADE FOR TELEVISION
a.    Max Greenfield – NEW GIRL – momma’s pick
b.    Ed Harris – GAME CHANGE
c.    Danny Huston – MAGIC CITY
d.    Mandy Patinkin – HOMELAND
e.    Eric Stonestreet – MODERN FAMILY

For introducing us all to the concept of a D-Bag Jar, he wins. Schmidt is one of the most ridiculous, fantastic characters ever. I love to hate him.

Who would you vote for if you had the power to choose the winners on Sunday’s Golden Globes?