Any questionnns??

I’ve been watching this at least once every day and honestly probably 20 times total since it aired on Saturday Night Live last weekend. It continues to bring me cheer when I need it and make me laugh and so I’m sharing it here with you.

 

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My first cream tea (in honor of my mom)

I’m planning the celebration for my mom’s big birthday at the end of the month. 

Unfortunately I am still unable to go out-out (due to an injury from August) but I’ve had plenty of time to do thinking and planning and online shopping and put something together that I think she will love. I am really looking forward to it!

This is going to be a strange one since my father passed away 6 months ago. Feels like yesterday. Today is his birthday.

She’ll be spending her birthday here with me. I’ve done my best to plan something simple but nice. 

Brunch: I’m making rose-flavored pink ombre pancakes with a small side of blueberry apple oatmeal and maybe an orange.

Lunch/Afternoon Tea: A few hours later it will be teatime. I’m going to serve tea sandwiches of cucumber with garden vegetable cream cheese on pumpernickel. Then there’s a little bit of a European theme. I ordered British tea, scone mix, Double Devon cream and clotted cream, then grapefruit marmalade from Ireland, and orange marmalade from France.

I’m making devil’s food cupcakes with violet lavender vanilla frosting and orange blossom vanilla frosting.

As for her gifts there’s only a few but they will be meaningful to her. I bought her Shakespeare The Complete Plays in one book, a lavender scented candle in a tall, beautiful marbled style tin, and the 1970s Disney movie Snowball Express.

(( She played the Snowball Express VHS all the time throughout winter when my brothers and I were growing up and it wasn’t for us, we didn’t even like it, it was because she loved it. I know she doesn’t have a copy of it anymore and even though she hasn’t mentioned it in a decade, at least, I’m confident it is still one of her favorites and she will be super surprised and want to watch it right away. I’m almost counting on her asking to put it on after tea.))

Dinner: A small portion of spaghetti and a small portion of tri colored rigatoni with marinara sauce, a side salad with olive oil and parm dressing, and garlic cheddar biscuits. I might add veggie meatballs but I haven’t decided yet.

Dessert: White cake with strawberries & cream frosting decorated with gold sprinkles and gold metallic candles. I might cut fresh strawberries into hearts and then put those evenly around the side of the cake on the frosting.

It probably sounds quaint and it is but I know she’s going to be surprised by the floral flavors, the imported food and the tea party. 

If I wasn’t stuck in the house I would likely take her out to dinner at one of her favorite Italian restaurants so in place of that I chose the pasta for dinner. It won’t be authentic Italian by any means but it will be warm and comforting and delicious.

I’ll need fresh salad and fruit and a couple other items but I can have a friend go shopping for me and drop it off. Too bad we don’t have Amazon Fresh in my area.

These are some of the pictures I looked to for inspiration:

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Foodstirs.com

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Perpetualteaparty.com

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Foodnetwork.com

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Amazon.com

I’m excited!

 

What’s your morning skin care look like?

How many steps are in your morning skin care routine?

I keep seeing the 12+ step Korean skincare routine talked about and more recently Kim Kardashian’s 6 step routine.

Those sound like lengthy routines but they’re not any different from my routine which has multiple steps yet takes under 15 minutes from the moment I turn off the shower. Kim K’s 6 is not a lot at all. If you’re someone who washes your face, applies moisturizer and sunscreen, you’ve got 3 steps right there.

My process can be boiled down to: cleanse, steam, acid, tone, soothe, hydrate, moisturize, moisturize some more and protect. Sometimes it’s longer because I’ll add in: treat/medicine, other serums, extra oils and stuff. I use eye cream but I didn’t list it as its own step because I’ve used my hydrating step in place of an eye cream lately even though I should be using both. I did apply my eye cream this morning.

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Some of my favorite products from my morning routine.

My steps

Cleanse: In the morning I cleanse for about 30 seconds or less in the shower. I don’t time it but it seems to take that long at most. I thoroughly rinse with cool water.

Steam: I run a washcloth under hot water and then hold it over my skin until it cools then I drench it and do it again. I usually steam between 1 and 3 times in a row. It takes no more than 30 seconds total.

Acid: I apply some type of acid (like glycolic) to my skin for a gentle exfoliation to help prevent blemishes as well as prep my skin to absorb more of the products I use in the rest of the steps. The acid I’m using has a nice low pH but I tone anyway.

Tone: By tone I simply mean balance my skin’s pH. I spritz my face with alcohol-free, pH adjusting toner and then gently wipe with a cotton round or pour toner on a cotton round and apply. Very quick and easy.

Hydrate: While my skin is damp from the toner I apply a vitamin C and hyaluronic acid essence to hydrate and it further hydrates by locking in the water from my toner.

Soothe: Sometimes I do this step before hydrating, sometimes immediately after, but what it is is I apply a calming anti-redness serum to my face. The one that I have been using since May is a light, lotion-like product and not a typical serum in texture.

Now is when I’d apply that eye cream.

Moisturize: I apply oil. I used to use a dropper to apply it in 4 sections then rub it in but now I pour it into my hands and then press it onto my skin.

Moisturize Some More: I let the oil absorb a little then I moisturize some more. I use a dime-size or less dab of creamy moisturizer and apply to my face in upward motions. 

Protect: I let my moisturizer sink in and then I apply my zinc based sunscreen.

I finish my routine with lip balm.

After my sunscreen feels fully absorbed and set I move on to doing my makeup if I’m gonna wear it.

Everything I used this morning in this routine retails at approximately $230 but through the magic of coupons, point redemption, and other deals and tricks I think I spent around $107. Not too shabby! 

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A handful of my nighttime skin care routine products. Not featured: about 30 million products

My nighttime and weekend skincare routines are another story.

I am kinda obsessed with skincare and I would love to hear what you do, your favorite products (or ingredients you avoid), any products you’re dying to try and anything you wanna share.

In which I ramble into the microphone on my tablet

So, a few of us had a brief but interesting conversation about celebrity worship and then we got into the tabloids a little and I’m still thinking about it off and on.

I understand there are mega fans of Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt and so they liked that these two people were together, maybe they liked seeing photos of them glammed up on the red carpet, maybe they even liked that universally slammed movie “By the Sea” (which of course I have not seen yet) and so it made sense that when they heard the news that this Hollywood marriage was done they were bummed.

Just because someone is famous doesn’t mean you can’t have empathy or sympathy for their situation (* cough cough* people insulting Kim Kardashian for being robbed) but when you admit that you are praying and praying and praying about it and you describe yourself as heartbroken, it starts to seem kind of creepy.

I get a bit weirded out by the interest when people write Facebook posts pouring their heart and soul out, that’s in their words, about the heartbreak they feel because of the divorce and they say they are wishing this wasn’t happening. There was even a surprising piece similar to that on a website, an online magazine I usually enjoy, where the writer was expressing her heartbreak over Angelina and Brad although it was more toned it down then the Facebook post I am referencing. I’m still a bit baffled by it.

I used to read tabloids. Long-ago until they started to give me an icky feeling. They were always full of junk but when they became rampant with gossip and judgment about aging stars addicted to secret plastic surgery, ugly beach bodies exposed and cheap stories detailing celebrity affairs, I was out. I decided that I would only read the magazines with legitimate celebrity interviews as opposed to articles full of speculation and “a source close to” so-and-so.

I don’t miss it. I would rather read about makeup and fashion,  book recommendations, travel, and artist and celebrity interviews in the fashion/women’s interest magazines that I frequently read (like Marie Claire and Glamour) than page through the ones full of paparazzi photos of famous people shopping for groceries or kissing a mystery man or walking makeup-free down the street (Star, US Weekly).

I am interested in celebrities though- to a point. If Liv Tyler does an interview and she lists off all of the skincare products she has in her bathroom then of course I want to read it because she has gorgeous skin. If Julianne Moore does an interview with a beautiful photo spread and she talks about her career and her home life then I’m down to read it. I read celebrity memoirs all the time, I follow artists (be they musicians or actors or writers whose work I like) on Twitter, and I pin the makeup and hair styles and fashion moments from beautiful people like Kate Moss on my Pinterest. I don’t think it’s weird to be interested in celebrities and I don’t think it’s weird to not be interested. We see these people all the time, they enter our lives through our screens or on the stage, in their writing or through our speakers and they become familiar to us even if it’s not the real them.

I guess I don’t care much about Cillian Murphy’s kids or his wife or what kind of groceries he picked up ( I totally remember a papp photo of him carrying a box of Barry’s tea) it’s none of my business anyway and I’m not entitled to that information, but if he does an interview talking about Peaky Blinders I’ll watch it because I love that TV show… oh and because he’s hot…that has something to do with it.

See:

When I get really into a director or comedian or an actress, I will go wild on YouTube tracking down interview clips and podcast recordings. I’ll browse old articles online and read every interview they have done because I’m interested. I just am. That person might be really funny or entertaining or insightful or I might want to hear more about a specific movie or a book. Sometimes I don’t know why, I’m just into it. It could be Janeane Garafalo whose work and stand up I was practically stalking a year ago online or my current obsessions Richard Ayoade and Noel Fielding. But I don’t need to know much about their nonwork life unless they’re offering it up with some purpose like a memoir.

When Anton Yelchin passed away I didn’t think it was weird that people were tweeting that they heard the news and cried–it was unbelievably sad. That person that we got used to seeing in some movies we love is no longer here to do us that service and share their talent that brought us laughs or stirred our emotions and gave us catharsis or gave us food for thought. And, that person had a family and friends and interests and feelings and it was sad. So I didn’t think it was weird.

But the whole “heartbroken ” thing over Angelina and Brad’s divorce is so superduper strange to me. I don’t get it.

 

PS: just a note, I composed this quick post by blabbering into the microphone on my tablet so please excuse any horrific errors and typos because it is difficult to proofread and edit on this tiny screen and I’m lazy. Mostly I am lazy.

 

 

 

But I want to be scared!

I’ve been dying for some real thrills & chills and fear-induced goosebumps from watching an unforgettable, super freaky horror movie lately.

I LOVE scary movies. It seems harder and harder to get terrified watching them. I don’t pride myself on that. I WANT TO BE SCARED. There’s been so many incredible, fresh, innovative and altogether rad scary movies over the past several years (some scary, some not) that I’m just getting greedy.

I remember being a little girl, hiding under a hot blanket, sweating, muscles frozen while I couldn’t take my eyes off “A Nightmare on Elm Street 3” as Freddy sliced his way through the movie and I didn’t dare put my feet near the bottom of the couch. I want to get back to that-I could do without the excessive sweating and temporary paralysis but I crave being totally absorbed and spooked and mesmerized at the same time.

A_Nightmare_on_Elm_Street_3_Dream_Warriors

en.wikipedia.org

Sometimes horror movies aren’t that scary but they’re still great like Netflix’s recent “Hush” which was borderline freaky at times but didn’t really do it for me in the Fear Wanted department though I liked the movie quite a bit and want more like that.

I’m disappointed in “The Conjuring 2” though. The first one didn’t scare me much at all but I loved the old school haunted house premise and look of the movie. It was well made and original while being reminiscent of some older scary flicks and fun to watch.

James Wan is an exciting director but I’m not impressed with his sequels so far. For me, it wasn’t scary (but some of the images would’ve scared the footie pajamas off me as a little girl) and was over the top and too messy in the second half.

I like Vera Farmiga and Patrick Wilson tons too but I can’t take them seriously as the Warrens. They’re just TOO noble and faithful and the real Warrens are con artists and the mix doesn’t sit well with me for some reason.

I feel a little stupid criticizing it because James Wan really is so talented and it’s not like I could do better. The demonic nun character looked just like Marilyn Manson, I mean that’s hilarious, c’mon. Oh-well.

 

pink witches

#1) Me and a friend (a friend and I? what is the rule here?)…me and a friend are doing a witch book club!          !!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!   WITCHES BOOKS READING CLUB WITCHES

We’re starting soon with The Merciless” by Danielle Vega.

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#2) I needed some Thank You cards after getting a few birthday gifts this month and surprises and picked these out from Society6:

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I don’t know that the art says “Thank you!” but the pink is too cute so I had to have them.

#3) I watched the New England-set, period horror film “The Witch” last week and it was phenomenal. All around well done and creepy with an incredible ending that gives you goosebumps, chills your bones and gets your blood pumping. Anybody seen it?

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fancy movie time

This week’s all-consuming obsession I’m not attempting to shake.

“Much Ado About Nothing”

It’s good looking, it’s funny and chipper and smart and wonderful.

It’s so worth your time.

I had the pleasure of rewatching this intoxicating movie the other night and will again soon.

The language is easy to grasp to begin with, in this particular play, and then more so thanks to Whedon’s translative directorial choices and the actors’ expressive performances. Or, maybe I actually learned in my Shakespeare class. Either way, I find it a breeze to follow. Hopefully it plays the same way for you.

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Beatrice-and-Hero

“Much Ado” is lovely, fun and spirited but not without conflict and betrayal. As Shakespeare’s comedies tend to go, there are lies & head games. Manipulation leads to pain and heartbreak and explosions of raw emotions with possible detrimental consequences….

“You are a villain. I jest not.”

Below are some scraps from a mini review I word vomited penned for “Much Ado” a while ago. I copy and pasted some and dumped it here:

A wholly likeable movie, “Much Ado’s” scenes flow light heartedly through laugh-out-loud moments and dreamy romances.

The guests at Leonato’s home fall in love (or refuse it) and just as quickly fall into suspicion at the hands of deception, gullibility and jealousy giving a dark edge to “Much Ado About Nothing’s” otherwise flirty vibe.

The black and white look adds an old-fashioned charm with a touch of refinement (it is Shakespeare after all) to the modern-made adaptation.

The cast sparkles with energy–sliding between slapstick, sweet humor, sly calculation, erupting anger and deep gloom.

The director Joss Whedon’s beautiful home and property (complete with a mini amphitheatre) served as the setting while the movie was shot over just 12 days. The home morphed into an almost-labyrinthine castle that’s steep with hallways and windows for guests to spy and eavesdrop from. Such sophisticated and glamorous settings with such unsophisticated and immature behavior.

Joss Whedon’s take is a breath of fresh air and a perfect match for this approachable Shakespeare tale centered around marriage.

You should watch it. 💖💘👏

Here’s the trailer below. If you follow this link you’ll be taken to the UK trailer which I quite like because it’s dramatic and heavy on the Franz.