Saturday, January 30, 2016

Saturday Smiles

Every Saturday, I try to post five things that made me smile during the week. Often I find myself getting caught up in the small stuff but this year I'm making an effort to be conscious of it. This year is about being happy and finding happiness even in the small things! Want to join me? Go ahead and post your Saturday Smiles!

This week I'm throwing it back to five old photos that make me smile! My husband and I are working on three years and I love looking back on some of old photos from when we were dating..

1. Like the time I had him put a treadmill together.

2. That time he almost let me run into a fence on my brand new bike.


3. The time we walked the Golden Gate Bridge.

4. Kings Games together.

5. Our first vacation together.

What's making you smile?

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Theater Thursday

It's Thursday and that can only mean one thing... it's Theater Thursday. This week's featured movie is a nominee for the 88th Academy Awards Best Picture... The Martian.

Based on the book written by Andy Weir, The Martian stars Matt Damon as Astronaut and Botanist Mark Watney. He is one member of the six member manned mission to Mars. On the crews 18th day of a 31 day mission on the planet a large dust storm occurs. The dust storm is so powerful it forces their crew commander (Jessica Chastain) to evacuate and return to their orbiting vessel Hermes. During the evacuation, Mark was struck by debris and was lost in the storm. His life suit signal was lost and he was presumed dead. The remaining crew was in immediate danger and the commander pushed back for Earth.

Watney wakes up after the storm and makes his way back to the crew's habitat. He removes a piece of antenna that was lodged in his biometric suit which caused the false reading of his death. He realizes that his crew is gone and his only hope of survival is the Aries IV crew set to arrive in four years. He counts the remaining food on board and only has a 300 day supply. Being a botanist he quickly realizes he has to find a way to grow food on a planet that no one has grown anything on before. A month goes by when he NASA notices items have been moved on a satellite images coming from Mars.

Once NASA knows Watney is alive, they begin doing everything they can to keep him that way. The first way is to open up a line of communication with him by using an old rover from the 1990s. The crew however, is left in the dark since their mission back to Earth is still in process and will take almost a year. Scientists work around the clock to think of ways to get food to Mark to keep his chances of survival high until the next crew arrives. NASA who has already told the world that Mark is dead has to come back out and tell them that he's very much alive.

Quickly the whole world begins to root for Mark to survive.

Alone on an entire planet Mark begins to dig down and try to grow food, stay sane and stay alive until NASA can get to him. What unfolds is heart warmer, at times funny and all around a great story. If you haven't seen this Oscar nominated movie then rent or buy it today! It's definitely a well deserved nomination.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Smore Brownie Bars

Last month I wanted to try and make a new dessert to serve after Christmas dinner. I started searching online and everything that I was seeing took tons of prep time. I wanted something pretty simple to make but would turn out great. That's when I found the Smores Brownie Bars. They were a total hit at Christmas and I was asked to make them again. I thought I would share them this time!

Here's what you need...

Baking Pan
Marsh Mellows
Graham Crackers
1 box of Brownie Mix
Two Eggs
Mixing bowl
Pre-heat your oven to 350 and start with the brownie mix. You'll want to empty the brownie mix in your mixing bowl. Follow the directions on the mix. Add your two eggs, water and oil. It'll look like this...

Once you've got all your ingredients from the brownie mix into your bowl start stirring them together. You'll want to mix the batter about 50 times or until it becomes well mixed and no lumps. When it's ready it will start to look like this...

Now you'll need to prepare your baking pan. You have a few different options of how to do this. You can either spray it with a baking spray (which is the method I used), grease the pan or butter it. Once you've got your pan you will pour a small layer of the brownie batter into the pan. Don't pour a lot, just enough to cover the bottom of the pan.

Once you've got the layer of brownie mix into the pan you need to cover it with graham crackers. Depending on the size of your pan the crackers will not match up in length or shape. Gently break the crackers without cracking them into pieces and line them on top of the chocolate. Make sure to cover as much of the chocolate as you can.

Once the crackers are on top of the chocolate open the bag of marsh mellows. Scatter a generous amount of the marsh mellows on top of the crackers. Try not to pile the marsh mellows on top of each other but evenly  disperse them on top of the crackers. Typically I eat half the bag while their out. Try not to do that.

Once you've got your crackers down and the marsh mellows evenly on top of them you'll take the remaining chocolate mix in your bowl and spread it across the marsh mellows. Make sure to start on one end of your pan and make your way to the other side before you let all of your batter out of the mixing bowl. You'll want to make sure to cover the entire pan. It's ok to have a few areas of marsh mellows popping out.

Check your oven and make sure you are at 350. Place in the middle rack and leave in the oven for 35 minutes. Take out the pan and place a toothpick in the center to see if  the brownie mix is done. If it's not place back into the oven for another 10 minutes. These typically take anywhere from 35-45 minutes depending on your pan and oven. Once the mix isn't gooey, place the pan on a cooling rack or trivet to cool. Allow the pan to cool and cut into squares when their luke warm. Depending on how large you cut them they make from 9-12 bars.

These Smore bars are easy to make with little to no prep work. Once you've mixed the ingredients and place in the oven it's just a waiting game.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

6 Valentines Day Gift Ideas

1. Brahmin Bag.
2. Make Up Forever HD Microfinish Powder.
3. The Martian book by Andy Weir.
4. Lip Kit by Kylie in Candy K.
5. Lucky Brand ankle boots in Pewter.
6. Apple iwatch 38mm. Black band.

Valentine's Day will be here before you know it! Don't forget to get the special person in your life a little something!

Monday, January 25, 2016

5 Essential Items For A Snow Storm

The past week brought the Eastern States one of the worst winter storms it's seen in decades. Days before the storm blanketed major cities meteorologist warned to be prepared. Grocery stores were taken down to the bare bones, thousands of flights cancelled, city curfews initiated and state of emergencies declared. So what are some of the essential items one should have prepared for when a storm hits? Granted we all know what goes first... water and food (eggs and bread always go first). A part from keeping hydrated and fed here are some items to have if you are caught in a major snow storm.

Portable Battery Charger
found here
If you've lost electricity then one of these portable battery packs is a life saver. Not only because it will let you keep yourself entertained by using your phone but it could allow you to call for help in an emergency. The one I've linked allows you to see how much battery power you have left on the charger so you know if you can finish watching that movie before needing a recharge.

Winter Weather Coat
found here
It's inevitable that either during or after a snow storm you'll go outside. Most likely it will be to dig yourself out of the mounds of snow but it could just be you want to play in it. Either reason you'll need to have a good coat that keeps your dry. A great snow coat to have is one that is insulated, waterproof and has a hood. North Face makes a ton of great options and their all filled with goose down.

Snow Boots

found here
These Sorel boots will keep your toes warm while you dig your car out of the snow or make snow angels for hours. Their waterproof, insulated with fur lining and keep the cold air out. They also come in a variety of styles and heights and look stylish with any kind of snow pants. I have a pair of the short Sorel boots and they keep my feet and legs warm and dry.
found here
As long as the electricity stays on then movies can entertain you all day long when stuck inside but what about if the power goes off? Always have a thick book on hand to read. If you've got someone else with you then bust out a board game to play. Games can make the time pass and be entertaining. When I'm stuck inside because of the snow I always like watching movies that have people caught in the snow too. It makes me feel like everyone is feeling the same weather.
found here
When you know a storm is coming everyone grabs the essential items like bread, milk, eggs, water and canned goods but what about the fun stuff? Stock up on some snacks like popcorn, candies, chips and maybe even some ice cream. If that sweet tooth hits or you sit down to watch a movie then you'll want something to snack on. We always have some cookies on hand to munch on during a late night movie.
Be prepared because you never know when that next storm could hit!

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Saturday Smiles

Every Saturday, I try to post five things that made me smile during the week. Often I find myself getting caught up in the small stuff but this year I'm making an effort to be conscious of it. This year is about being happy and finding happiness even in the small things! Want to join me? Go ahead and post your Saturday Smiles!

1. Unexpected funds
We received a belated wedding gift in the mail. It was a nice little surprise and it paid for something we needed! We are also trying to figure out our taxes and it looks like we won't owe! Yay! We also got a huge Macy's rewards card in the mail and it totally made our day.

2. Professional Wedding Photography

Our photographer sent us 1,127 images from our wedding! It took me an hour to go through them all and I love them! I can't wait to start printing them and getting them into frames. I also love sharing them with everyone!

3. Tesco the cat

This little guy always lays with me and makes me feel good. He's the first one to let you know the sun is up and he always greets you with licks and meows.

4. Skyping & Phone Calls with my Mom

I try to always Skype with my mom at least once a week. We have daily phone conversations in the morning and evenings. It's really hard living so far away from each other but I'm glad for modern technology.

5. Rain, Rain and Rain!
California has been in a severe drought and lately we have got a ton of rain. I personally love the rain. It makes me feel like it's really winter and like I'm living on the east coast. It's so dry out here and finally we are getting the much needed rain that we need. Hopefully we won't be under such harsh water restrictions this summer.

What's making you smile?

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Theater Thursday

It's Thursday and this week's featured Theater Thursday film is a nominee for the 88th Academy Awards Best Picture... Mad Max Fury Road!
Mad Max Fury Road is a new version of the 1979 Mel Gibson box office hit about a dystopian Australia that deals with a deranged motorcycle gang called the Nightriders. While Max (Gibson) is an Australian Highway Officer who is trying to fend them off. In the new version Mad Max, Max is back! Max played by Tom Hardy is living in the fallout of a nuclear holocaust and finds himself captured by the War Boys. The War Boys is the army of  tyrannical Immortan Joe and Max is brought back to Joe's Citadel. He's held captive and used as a human blood bag for one of the sick war boys' named Nux.

When all seems to be going normal, one of Joe's lieutenants named Imperator Furiosa  (Charilize Theron) is sent out in her armored truck to do a gasoline run. When she goes off course and is called out by one of Joe's men he quickly realizes that she's taken with her his five wives he's deemed for breeding. Joe leaves behind the Citadel and takes his entire army out in pursuit of Furiosa. Nux, the sickly war boy leads the chase with his blood bag Max strapped to the front of his car. When Max sees his way out of being Nux's blood supply he takes it and jumps on the Furiosa's armored truck.

Furiosa and the five wives are trying to escape from Joe and head to a land called green space. They drive through dangerous grounds and are in constant pursuit from Joe and his entire army. Will they make it all in one piece? Will Max stay and help them out if it's his only way to survive? Watch and see what happens.

While this movie is a new version of the 1979 Mad Max it is very much it's own movie.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Shades of Blue

Are you thinking of the new television show starring Jennifer Lopez?
While that's a good new show to tune into I'm dreaming of fashion in all shades of blue. Blue is one of the great colors that can be worn all year round. It's one of my favorite colors to wear and can be downplayed or made to stand out. It's a bold color and a statement! Here are some of my favorite items out in shades of blue.
Belted Trench Coat
found here
BCBGMAXAZRIA Bandage Pencil Skirt
found here
Milly Small Essex Fringed Leather Bucket Bag
found here
Sam Edelman 'Petty' Chelsea Bootie
found here
Fringed Geo-Pattern Cardigan
found here

Michael Kors 'Medium Sutton' Saffiano Leather Tote
found here
Pencil Skirt and Turtleneck
found here
Contemporary Buttoned Skirt
found here
What shades of blue are you loving?

Monday, January 18, 2016

Now We've Got a Race

Award season is in full swing for Hollywood. At the end of the month my personal favorite, the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) award show will take place. After that it’s straight to the mecca… The Oscars! Last week the nominations were announced for what will be the 88th Academy Awards taking place on February 28th. The nominations were read by directors Guillermo del Toro and Ang Lee, the Academy president Cheryl Boone Isaacs, and actor John Krasinski. The nomination announcement is rarely watched by the public but media from all outlets cover the event. So what happens during the event?

While most of us are in our beds sleeping, the nomination announcement takes place. The nominations are announced from the west coast and extremely early in the morning. Most celebrities are usually asleep and get woken up with the call that they have been nominated or worse snubbed. The nomination reader’s stand at a podium reads the categories and announces the nominees. Once their name is announced they show a photo of the actor/actress portraying that role and move on to the next.
This year’s Academy Award Nominations run the spectrum of well-known names to break out stars. Heavy hitters crowd the main categories like Best Actor, Best Supporting Actor, Best Actress and Best Supporting Actress. At the Oscars there are never any guarantees because anything can happen with the voting. This year's biggest upset is the lack of diversity in the nominees. The popular hashtag following the announcement of the nominees has been #Oscarsaresowhite. Highly suspected of being nominated Straight Out of Compton was snubbed by the Academy.

So who gets to vote? Members of the Academy! There is different branches into the Academy voting. The main categories I mentioned above are voted on by the Actors branch and consists of 1,176 voting members. The Directors vote for Best Director categories and so on. So while main stream America is sitting at home and rooting for their favorites we have to hope that the voting members chose our favorites. From now until the Awards show you'll see the nominated celebrities out working the media. They'll have ads in the trade magazines like Variety, they'll be promoting their films on late night shows and giving anyone and everyone interviews. They want the members to vote, vote, vote!

A part from the voting, the Academy also sets a theme for each year's award ceremony. This year's theme is We All Dream In Gold.
This years host is none other than comedian Chris Rock. This will be his second time hosting the awards show after and eleven year absence. He's hoping to improve last years ratings that were down 16 percent. The Oscars typically run long so be prepared to have your DVR set to go over the normal time limit. Plus you don't want to miss all of the pre-show events like the red carpet and after events like the Governor's Ball! That's when all of the stars stop feeling the pressure and let loose. I'll be crossing my fingers for Leo to finally win that long awaited Oscar! Don't forget to set your DVR or tune in on February 28th!

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Saturday Smiles

Every Saturday, I try to post five things that made me smile during the week. Often I find myself getting caught up in the small stuff but this year I'm making an effort to be conscious of it. This year is about being happy and finding happiness even in the small things! Want to join me? Go ahead and post your Saturday Smiles!

1. Valentines Day Decorations

I'm proud of myself that I've already got foyer table decorated for the next holiday.

2. Romancing the Stone

3. Reading
I love Stuart Woods books. I just finished this Mrs. Jeffries novel and I'm starting the new Stuart Woods book in the long running, Stone Barrington mysteries.

4. The Love of my Life

5. Trip planning with my Mom

What's making you smile?