Sunday, January 22, 2012

Movie Review: Young Adult

I tried to think of several words that could accurately express how awesome this film is. Spectacular! Sublime! Stupendous? Fantastic! Well, no matter how you dice it, spin it, slice it, or pick it apart, this film is just simply KFC terrific (side note: KFC terrific is my catchphrase for finger lickin’ good…that’s right, mental note it folks). It’s not just because it stars one of my favorite Hollywood hard knocks Charlize Theron as the leading bad ass you love to hate, or the fact that Patton Oswalt, the sire of funny happens to also star in the film, or the fact that it was written by none other than Diablo Cody, the untouched goddess of wit; who am I kidding, that’s exactly why this film pretty much rocked to heights I never expected possible. Young Adult also happens to be the first time Director Jason Reitman and writer Diablo Cody reunite their cinematic genius since their work on Juno. This fact alone is what first sparked my interest and immediately claimed the #1 spot on my must watch list. It’s much darker than I originally thought, but I happen to enjoy dark humor immensely. By the by, when an actor’s performance can make you enjoy a film even though you want to personally kick the main character in the neverlands by the end, in my opinion just proves in even greater detail how amazing the film is. It is, in my opinion, a must see that I can say with enthusiasm, you will LOVE to pieces. 

The Cast-
Young Adult stars Charlize Theron, Patton Oswalt, Patrick Wilson, and Elizabeth Reaser. It was directed by Jason Reitman, and written by Diablo Cody.

The Plot-
It all started with an email- an email from an ex. An email from said ex announcing the birth of his new baby girl. The normal reaction evoked by the birth of a child should be joy and delight for all friends who have the opportunity to witness. However, Mavis (Theron), a 30ish diet coke chugging, alcohol guzzling, narcissistic divorcee  and ghost writer of young adult series is anything but normal. The sight of the email garnished with the photo of the little bundle of joy throws an already unstable Mavis into the trawls of emotional havoc. She devices a plan to return to her home town, in hopes of breaking up her old high school sweethearts (Wilson) marriage, and claiming him for herself.  Mavis’s plan doesn’t come without it’s setbacks. While drinking at a local bar one night she reunites with Matt (Oswalt), an old high school classmate who lends his hand as the voice of reason, and throughout the film tries to divert Mavis from her ill intentions.

I can’t say it enough, this film is just friggin’ good. If you have a chance, please check it out-I’m sure you will all love it just as much as I did. 

Movie Review: My Week with Marilyn

 I could write endlessly of my love of Marilyn Monroe. I’ve been a Marilyn lover ever since I could remember, and even though her legend (or gossip of her legend) tends to lend more value to her infamous affair with JFK, I feel the untold truths of who Marilyn Monroe really was far outweigh the tabloid fodder that in many cases foils her memory. With that said, when I found out there would be yet another Marilyn movie in the works, I was extremely indifferent about seeing the film for fear that it would be an utter disappointment and play on her polarizing public mishaps, rather than try to explore her humanity and what made her tick. Oh how relieved I am to report, THIS IS NOT ANOTHER DISAPPOINTING MARILYN FILM. I can’t say enough how absolutely mesmerized I was by Michelle Williams performance along with the rest of the cast. Judi Dench and Kenneth Branagh were simply marvelous, Eddie Redmayne was sympathetic and believable, and Emma Watson just purely shinned. This film has by far surpassed any expectation I could have ever had of what I perceived to be a suitable look into the life of one of the most iconic figure Hollywood has ever produced. Although the film doesn’t really give you details of Marilyn’s life (but how much can you really expect when the film only covers one week of her life, from the prospective of the male main character) it does satisfy the desire for a much more intimate vantage point of the complexities and unraveling of the most recognizable star to grace the silver screen.  In my opinion My Week with Marilyn was stunning, compelling, true to form, and simply brilliant. If you haven’t had the opportunity to see it yet, I can with a clear conscious advocate you taking the time to run to your local theater, watch and enjoy!

The Cast-
My Week with Marilyn stars Michelle Williams, Kenneth Branagh, Judi Dench, Eddie Redmayne, and Emma Watson. The film is a British biographical take on two books written by the male lead Colin Clark. The film was directed by Simon Curtis, and written by Adrian Hodges.

The Plot-
It’s 1957 and a young British set assistant has just landed a dream job on the set of a major motion picture The Prince and the Showgirl, which happens to star two of Hollywood’s most recognizable stars- Laurence Olivier and Marilyn Monroe. Marilyn (Williams), seems to have quite a bit on her plate; not only is she filming a movie overflowing with media pressure, she is also on her honeymoon with her new husband, playwright Authur Miller while on location. Authur Miller, whom also seems to be under the microscope and really feeling the scrutiny, decides to leave Marilyn behind and return back to the US. After Miller’s departure, Colin (Redmayne) is commissioned to escort Marilyn around Britain, spending an entire week with the star that quickly turns into a short-lived fling. For Colin, the week was magical, giving him hopes that it would parlay into a flourishing relationship. What he realizes soon after is that there are many more layers to Marilyn that both complicate his fairy tale image of the star, and shatter his hopes of love and Hollywood happily ever after.

This was such a great film! I can’t say it enough. Great film, great film, great film!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Movie Review: Like Crazy

Every now and then you get the opportunity to see a film that gives you a bad case of the awe’s and adds to your ever so growing list of your favorite love stories. For me, Like Crazy is that film. I seriously went through so many emotions while watching this film that I, for a moment, could feel the connection between the two characters with the same relevancy as I would reserve for my own relationship. I love to see love displayed on film so reflective and pure that you leave the theater feeling energized by it. I can’t say it enough, I loved, loved, LOVED this film. End of story.

The Cast-
Like Crazy stars Anton Yelchin (Jacob), Felicity Jones (Anna), and Jennifer Lawrence (Sam)

The Plot-
Jacob (Yelchin) a young design student has met and fallen in love with the woman of his dreams, Anna (Jones).

Anna (Jones) is a British exchange student finishing out her college semester in the US on a limited visa. The two begin dating and spend the entire summer after graduation besotted by their budding romance, causing Anna to overstay her now expired student visa. After receiving word of an unavoidable family obligation, she returns to London; upon returning back to the US this time as a tourist she is detained by officials, denied entry and turned away due to her prior violation of having overstayed her original visa. She is informed that she will be sent back to London by airport immigration officials. The news of this throws the couple an awkward curveball in their growing relationship, they soon decide if Anna cannot return to the states, they will simply have to rely on a long distance relationship until the couple are able to reunite.

In the meantime, Jacob takes a job at a successful design business in Los Angeles, as the couples already strenuous relationship becomes even more strained by the distance and overwhelming frustration of not being able to see one another. Between time, work, and several legal trials and tribulations, the young couple soon come to realize the prospect of love, will require much more commitment then they ever knew.

Did I mention I LOVED this film? Just checking; I really hope all of you get the chance to check it out for yourselves and love it just as much as I did. Happy Indies everyone!

Warrior Wife Resource: Fighting anxiety with food

Because of the major health setback my husband experienced a few months back due to an unexpected adverse reaction to serotonin inhibitors, I decided to look into alternative methods of fighting and treating his anxiety and PTSD. Since my husband has limited options of meds that he can take due to the possibility of serotonin syndrome danger, we started to think more along the lines of eastern non-traditional treatments, group and one-on-one therapy, and changing his diet. Making the decision was fairly easy for both of us, but figuring out an active plan of execution along with finding away to maintain this new way of life became a looming question mark over both our heads for quite some time. We knew what we wanted to do, but had no clue how to pull it together. How do you treat anxiety disorder without meds? Better yet, is non-traditional treatment even possible? I decided to throw myself into internet research, along with sitting down with a nutritionist to determine what our options were, and what action we needed to take to get the ball rolling. As luck would have it, the amount of information on this particular issue was abundant which really helped us to take the first steps. The funny thing about my research is how simple some of the first steps were; most of all my research kept pointing in the same direction…food!

 Any nutritious substance that people or animals eat or drink, or that plants absorb, in order to maintain life and growth.

I never really thought about how food effects my mental stability, let alone did I ever think that by being cognizant of what I eat, I could possibly heal whatever mental or emotional state for good. This was a revelation that I found to be eye opening.

So here’s the 411 on foods that I have both researched and are trying out as we speak.

Complex carbohydrates like whole grains  are packed with natural slow-release serotonin inhibitors that can help calm you down and even your serotonin levels. Grains will also keep you balanced, centered, energized, and help with focus and memory. Foods rich in Whole grain are: Whole grain bread, brown rice, quinoa, barley, oats, wild rice, and millet.

Magnesium can actually help naturally relax your muscles, fight depression, insomnia, and anxiety. Magnesium enriched foods are: leafy greens (collards, kale, bok choy, and spinach), green veggies, whole grain and nuts.

B vitamins-
B-complex vitamins are super important for the body, but they also play a huge role in maintaining stable mental health. Some B vitamins have close interaction with your hormones, and your hormones play a huge role in maintain your weight, providing energy, distribution of minerals throughout the body, and breaking down sugar. Adding a balanced daily regimen of B vitamin enriched foods studies show can help keep your hormones in control which aid to your ability to sustain mental health.

This has all been such amazingly useful information for me and my husband. We’ve decided to try a vegan lifestyle for the next 30 days just as a trial to see how well all this works for him and myself. I’ll keep everyone posted as we go along, and hopefully at the end of the 30 days I’ll have some really good news to tell!

If you are interested in finding out more about how food can help fight anxiety, talk to your doctor and find out what your options are. 

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Roll out the red carpet please

"Fortune befriends the bold"! 

I absolutely love award season. I love the red carpet interviews, the shoes, the clothes, the gossip oh my! I seriously get giddy. I would say my favorite part of award season is watching my favorite Indie films of the year take home the awards that they so richly deserve, but since I don't like to lie I'll save the more noble reasoning for another day and just be honest...I love the fashion. If I could describe the overall theme of this years Golden Globe show stoppers that word would definitely be bold. The above listed quote in  particular speaks volumes when paralleled with some of my favorite looks of the night. so many stars really revved up their “A” game in their selections and proved that bold unquestionably is beautiful. Here are some of my favorites from the night. 

Sarah Michelle Gellar-Glowing, vibrant, beautiful!

Emma Stone- Dark beauty!

Charlize Theron- So friggin' fabulous it's disgusting. I heart this biotch...true story.

Dianna Agron- Wow, wow, wow!

Viola Davis- Stunning

Evan Rachel Wood- Stupid beautiful, another I heart moment coming on.

Jessica Alba- Absolutely luminous

Unfortunately not everyone that chose to explore the wonderful world of bold had the mojo to pull off their attention-grabbing look. For instance, layering lace material does not always a winning look make. I’ll give those that decided to play audacious an A for effort, but in many cases the gowns these almost always dazzling starlets wore were disappointing to say the very least. 

Julianne Moore- Really? really?! What is this?

Julianna Margulies- No words

Madonna- If i were drunk, half blind, stuck in 1985 and only able to see in black and white, I would still, with incalculable enthusiasm hate this dress.

 Michelle Williams- I usually love her style but there is just something about this pick that I just don't love for her. Not the worst of the night, but not her usual best either.

 Zooey Deschanel- I love that it fits her personality, but I still can't get behind it. Still heart her though. 

Other than the obvious fashion obsession the Golden Globes also reminded me that I have been seriously slacking on the Indie movie reviews of late. I've definitely watched a few Indie goodies over the past 4 months or so, and to that note I plan on reviewing all the good, bad, ugly and indifferent over the next couple of days or so. 

Did you get the chance to watch the Globes? What was your favorite look of the night?

Monday, January 9, 2012

Color Me Creative!

Over the weekend I had the opportunity to fulfill a 3 ½ year longing of painting my very own piece of pottery at Color Me Mine with my ladybug; I was even able to convince my cousin to tag along with her little girl as well which made it that much more special for both the ladybug and myself. We live, quite frankly, so close to a Color Me Mine art studio that I initially almost kicked myself in the rear for waiting so long to take her- then I saw the prices of some of their pieces and remembered that my mommy/wife budget was definitely the leading cause behind my hesitation. Nonetheless, I pushed forward and decided on some of their smaller pieces (which are remarkably reasonable and pretty spiffy too) for myself, and to my delight so did my thrifty ladybug.

Her choice...a ridiculously cute tortes that she decided to paint as a gift for one of her classmates.

My pick… a three piece series of large accent plates that I painted in combinations of some of mine and the hubby’s favorite colors, and trimmed in the lyrics of the chorus to our song- Love Song (the 311 rendition).

My cousin decided she desperately needed a new piggy bank to start saving up for our European escapades to celebrate her 30th year since her escape from the uterus.

Her little girl decided to explore her inner Warhol by picking a penguin that she decided absolutely must be dazzled in pink with splatters of brown and whatever colors we had left on our swatches. 

I’ve wanted so badly, ever since the ladybug was old enough to really understand and enjoy craft projects, to spend more time with her getting creative and asserting our artistic side. To me it’s super important to dedicate one-on-one time with your kids; it’s even greater of importance when your spouse is a wounded Vet. I myself can admit it can get pretty intense at home between the frequent doctor’s appointments, work, trying to manage the dozens of meds that are thrown down our husbands throats, and all the stress that comes with life after war; its all together too easy to sometimes forget that our children are also going through this struggle right along with us and need breaks from it just as badly as we do.
Seeing the smile on her face, and just that fact that we were able to spend time together just having fun was such an amazing experience. It solidified my resolve in deciding to get up and get out, and simply have some much needed “us time”. There will definitely be much more mommy and kiddo fun and frivolousness in the 2012 year, and I can’t wait to share all the funtastics with all of you here.

What interesting funsies do you do with your kids to take breaks from the daily life? Tell me all about it through email or a comment!

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Idaho Adventure

Over the Christmas holiday I had the opportunity to take a road trip with my husband and our ladybug back to his hometown of Richfield, Idaho. We planned the trip to be 8 days long, and would consist of us bouncing around between Richfield, Twin Falls, Boise, and Caldwell- all cities I’d never heard of and was extremely excited to venture into.  First off- check out this amazing view I was able to capture from our car window. Is this not the most stupid-sick mountain and terrain view or what!

Not only did I have a wicked awesome time in Idaho with the hubby's family, I also had the opportunity to enjoy some adventurous life-long desires of my own, like hanging out with horses!

He was totally diggin' me by the by, true story. I wasn't the only one getting horse love that day...the hubby, nieces, and ladybug were all loved up by this incredible beauty too. Side note...he's also the reason I now  have to by the ladybug a copy of Black Beauty-go figure. Either way, this horse was a sweetheart.

Horses and farm animals weren't the only funsies to be had during our travels. On Christmas Eve we took a trip into Twin Falls to this huge 4 acre homestead that was decked out from roof to gravel in lights and Christmas decorations. It was honestly one of the most amazing holiday sights I have ever seen, and the ladybug was in Christmas heaven during the entire exploration. She even found her own ladybug light decoration to strike a pose with.

After all the Christmas Eve fun we took a trip to Boise to visit his Grandmother, Grandfather, Aunts, Uncles, cousins, and other family members for Christmas dinner. Let's see if I can sum up my feelings about Christmas night...AH-MA-ZING! Yeah that pretty much says it all. A few days later we decided to take a drive up to Dad's (yeah, I'm on a dad and mom name basis with the in-laws because they are just that awesome) old farm where the hubby spent a good portion of his childhood during his hooligan days. The farm is huge, and absolutely beautiful. Don't believe me, just check out my ladybugs reaction upon arrival.

See what I mean! Not to mention the ladybug had the chance to assert her inner farm-girl.

And can I just say my Sis-in-law's little girls are so crazy adorable I can barely stand it!

Not to mention the hubby was pretty much friggin' rocking the young farmer look...grrr!

Did I fail to mention that I was a total bad ass Annie Oakley in killer Chanel glasses? How foolish of me, let me give you the pictorial goodness!

But back to the farm... which has an outhouse- which gave us some much needed photo ops to add to our collection.

Yep, it was awesome and the more time I spent there the better it got. The ladybug had a chance to feed the cows and I truly enjoyed all the sights and scenes.

Being the “city girl” that I am, I was pretty much blown away at how at home I felt in Idaho, and by how emotional I was to say goodbye. It was nice to hear all the wild and adventurous predicaments my hubby’s adolescent self got caught in, and to see how crazy cute and tight his family is. Having a house full of loud, funny, and fearless in-laws one would assume would have been wicked intimidating, but for me it just proved how awesome they are and how lucky I feel to be a part of such a magnanimous family. 

Best part on our epic Idaho vacation conclusion was the sunset over the beautiful terrain.

The hubby having the opportunity to take the ladybug back to his stomping grounds and give her a piece of his history was pretty kick-ass too!

It was the perfect end to a year filled with self discovery and made me that much more excited for all the adventures 2012 could bring. I hope all of you get a chance to experience something amazing this year; I know I plan on filling  this year with nothing but goodness. Have fun all, and live out loud! 

Monday, January 2, 2012

Rules for 2012

So many wonderful and exciting new things came together for me in 2011; honestly so many things happened I found it too time consuming and convoluted to put into a year in review blog. Yes, I did find bumps in the road due to our ongoing battle with PTSD, but 2011 also meant so many different things to me that not only helped me and the hubby navigate our way through our battles, it also lead us down a new path we never even knew we wanted. If I could sum it up into one word that would describe the theme of the year, the word would be Discovery.
That’s right, discovery.

I discovered so many things about myself, my own strength, my wants, my goals, my marriage, and my career- things that I would have never thought pertinent or possible prior to last year. Not only did I discover things about what I wanted for my life, I discovered new and inventive ways of achieving them.  All-in-all, 2011 was a kick ass, turbulent, blissfully chaotic, and ultimately wonderful year that lead me to new paths and opened my eyes to new sights. It allowed me to finally see myself clearly and in doing so, I was finally able to find my own happy place which I am happily floating in as we speak. I’m stronger, more focused, much more determined, and honestly happier than I have ever been. Not to mention two of my favorite authors contacted me personally on twitter and Dan Franzen himself left a comment on my Indie review of Win Win on my old blog (how freaking awesome is that!).

I was kinda sad to say goodbye to 2011, but also I was so super excited about 2012 and all the endeavors I have planned for this year despite me usual concern of falling into the pattern of making a new year’s resolutions that for lack of better words I fail miserably at completing or even coming close to obtaining.  To elevate these concerns, this year I decided to give myself three simple rules to live by for 2012 that would help me take my recent discoveries into abundant bliss, fruition and euphoria for 2012: Happiness, Live, and Believe. I’m going to plan for happiness, pursue life and all it has to offer, and strive to believe in myself and all areas and aspects of life. That simple, that easy.

I intend to find happiness in the simple things in life, live without distractions or limitations, and believe in myself, my marriage, and my opportunities in ways that I’ve yet to do thus far.

 I’m hoping to push myself further than I ever have before, and accomplish things I’ve always wanted and I’ve never been more stoked to do so. I hope all of you out there have a rock star 2012 and find the time to discover new ventures and roads to travel down as well.

Happy 2012 everyone!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Happy New Year!

May all your wishes come true
and your endeavors and ventures be prosperous.
I’m looking forward to discovering new things about myself this year and I can’t wait to
share everything I pick up along the way.

Happy New Year everyone!!