Fall Film 2017 Update #1

Since I’m almost through the first month of Jenn’s Fall Film Challenge I wanted to share an update/movie review. I believe someone is doing a link-up for these updates, but I’ll amend this sentence when I figure out who/where it is… lol.

So this month I checked 8 movies off my list.

Sing | PG | 2016 | 108 minutes | IMDB
Summary: In order to save his beloved theater, a goodhearted but floundering koala puts together a musical competition, sure to bring in crowds and money. He assembles a cast of talented but distracted performers and does his very best to make his (and their) dreams come true. This movie has an all-star cast (…er, voices).
To see or not to see… If you have children or you enjoy animated kids movies, yes. This is an adorable, uplifting little film.
7★★★★★★★/10
*a movie about hope

The Founder | PG-13 | 2016 | 115 minutes | IMDB
Summary: A dramatic biography that details Ray Kroc’s discovery and building of the McDonald’s corporation. Spoiler alert: Ray is NOT a nice guy. The original McDonalds brothers didn’t imagine or want the franchise as large as it is today… but Kroc had other ideas.
To see or not to see… Unless you love McDonald’s or you have an interest in shady business men, you can skip this depressing film.
3★★★/10
*a movie about greed

Best in Show | PG-13 | 2000 | 90 minutes | IMDB
Summary: A mockumentary that follows five (I think) dog owners in their quest to becoming the Mayflower Kennel Club Dog Show Best in Show winner. Sadly, though it be a mockumentary, I fear that I am one of these crazy dog-obsessed people. Ha.
To see or not to see… If you love dogs this is probably a good one for you. Be ready for weird humor and a Modern Family/The Office kind of characters and filming.
5★★★★★/10
*a movie about pride

Coraline | PG | 2009 | 100 minutes | IMDB
Summary: Based on Neil Gaiman’s book, this story follows Coraline Jones as she navigates her new home. When her parents don’t have the time for her, Coraline discovers she has another mother just on the other side of the wall. It’s almost too late before she discovers everything she thought she wanted isn’t everything it seems.
To see or not to see… This movie was actually quite creepy for being a kids film. Still, I thought it was enjoyable enough. A perfect fall or Halloween movie without any gore or horror.
6★★★★★★/10
*a movie about temperance

Alice Through the Looking Glass | PG | 2016 | 113 minutes | IMDB
Summary: Finally the savvy and confident captain of her own destiny, Alice returns to England to find that her freedom isn’t celebrated by everyone. At the same time, in Wonderland, Hatter is fading fast and it doesn’t appear Time is on his side. Alice must confront Time in order to save her future and recover Hatter’s past.
To see or not to see… Don’t bother. I think it had potential and there were some chuckle-worthy moments, but this film was dumb and poorly made.
3★★★/10
*a movie starring Alan Rickman

The Magnificent Seven | PG-13 | 2016 | 132 minutes | IMDB
Summary: A remake of the 1960s classic, this film throws together a band of murderous but good misfits as they assemble to save a town from a malicious and violent capitalist. A film that confirms Chris Pratt can play any role and be brilliant.
To see or not to see… Despite my distaste for violence, I loved this movie. (I also love the original.) I’m ok with the generic guns are fired/people fall over scenes, and that was a large part of this movie. Sometimes the characters are a little tough to understand, but this film does the original justice in my opinion. I’m a sucker for westerns.
8★★★★★★★★/10
*a movie released last year & reviewed here

Mr. Holmes | PG | 2015 | 104 minutes | IMDB
Summary: Aging, irritable, and increasingly amnesic, the 93 year old Sherlock Holmes returns to his countryside cottage hideaway after a short trip to Japan. Haunted by an unsolved cased, Holmes cautiously welcomes the investigative skills and friendly companionship of his underappreciated and widowed housekeeper’s son, Milo.
To see or not to see… It was a slow moving, sad but sweet, beautifully directed English movie. If that’s your kind of thing, then yes. I don’t have anything bad to say about the film except seeing stars like Ian McKellen age is incredibly disheartening. (Although he’s still 110% brilliant!)
6★★★★★★/10
*a movie starring Ian McKellen

Iron Man | PG-13 | 2008 | 126 minutes | IMDB
Summary: After escaping captivity in an Middle East terrorist camp, genius weapons tycoon Tony Stark feels compelled to change his tune and invent a new “weapon” to save the world from evil.
To see or not to see… This movie was a little darker than I expected. Also, I felt like Pepper could’ve been a stronger character but they were probably basing her off the comics. The villain was certainly hate-able. But I digress… Yes, this is a movie worth watching. Especially since RDJ got jacked for this movie. It’s not not enjoyable to watch…
7★★★★★★★/10
*a movie starring Robert Downey, Jr.


|one| starring Anthony Hopkins: Thor
|two| listed on nathan bransford’s best hundred movies challengeThe Big Lebowski
|three| about charity: It’s Kind of a Funny Story
|four| starring Robert Downey, Jr.: Iron Man
|five| about envy: As Good As It Gets
|six| about faith: War Room
|seven| about greed: The Founder
|eight| about hope: Sing
|nine| starring Jeremy Irons: Casanova
|ten| about justice: 12 Angry Men
|eleven| starring Kevin Bacon: Crazy, Stupid, Love.
|twelve| about lust: The Virgin Suicides
|thirteen| starring Ian McKellen: Mr. Holmes
|fourteen| set in a castle: Gosford Park
|fifteen| about fortitude: Les Miserable
|sixteen| about pride: Best in Show
|seventeen| starring Alan Rickman: Alice Through the Looking Glass
|eighteen| released last year & reviewed hereThe Magnificent Seven
|nineteen| about temperance: Coraline
|twenty| about prudence: Driving Miss Daisy
|twenty-one| starring Val Kilmer: At First Sight
|twenty-two| about wrath: X-Men: Apocalypse
|twenty-three| set in an exotic locale: The Darjeeling Limited
|twenty-four| about gluttony: The Bling Ring
|twenty-five| set in space: Star Trek Beyond

 

I usually can’t sit and watch a movie but summer was so crazy that I welcomed the relaxation. Also, much of our house is packed up so I really only have access to Netflix and my library books. Not mad about it.

Did you watch any fun movies this month? Have you seen the new Magnificent Seven?

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My Wishlist (for friends & family & others like me)

I always feel like a brat when I make these posts but A) it’s a collection of cool stuff I think people like me might be interested in and B) when family & friends ask about birthday/Christmas gifts it’s SUPER easy to point them in the direction of posts like this…

SO without further ado… here are some things I wouldn’t mind getting for my birthday next month 😉 Also, the asterisks (*) are notes to family members.

Clothing.

Thanks to Erin, I now know of animalhearted.com

link lrg| link lrg

More good stuff (all size lrg)…

link | link | link

And these…

link | link | link | link

Books.

First things first… the newest illustrated HP book! ⚡🖤
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (released 10/3)

Renegades by Marissa Meyer (pre-order for release 11/7)

Other stuff.

Kindle Paperwhite
Right now I use the Kindle app on my iPad sometimes, but it strains my eyes. I know Kindles have come a long way and I get a free book monthly with my Prime account, so I’d really like one of the middle-of-the-road tablets. *I’ve mentioned this to Kyle

Professor Layton and the Azran Legacy
I don’t play video games as often as I used to… but I still keep my DS on my nightstand 🙂 I love these games!

Nintendo Switch
Have these been restocked yet? Lol. I’d also like this game 😁

Some may call it fate… Pottery Barn Teen just released their new HP line 😀

One of these and one of those and these, too! | *These prices are ridiculous. No one get me this stuff.

I mean… new house new decorations, right? I’m sure K will be on board 😉

ETSY for the win…

link | link (a+k, any color 🖤, and two paw prints)

I love these so-freaking-much:

In order of most-love to love: link | link | link | link

I am forever obsessed with artwork…

link | link | link | link

Ok, I’m done.

Actually… one more thing. A new president would be awesome. Preferably one that cares about equality, unity, safety, and people in general. Maybe one that tweets less and worries more about violence toward citizens, the health of citizens, and the overall lives of citizens (even the ones way out on an island THAT IS A PART OF THE USA).

K. Done.

*I just realized I could link up for Add It To My List with Lauren and Bre!

 

Fall Stuff List 2017

Before I begin… Today, four years ago, we moved into our house 🙂
Also, Happy Birthday to my cousin Sam!

On to some fall time goodness…
I’m always more motivated this time of year and it’s reflected in my goals and seasonal bucket list. (Last year I killed it.) This year I’m combining everything into one list and I’m going to be more specific and intentional with each goal 🎃

fall_bucket_list_2017

  • Go to at least two fall festivals (examples below)
    • Yankee Peddler Sept. 9 & 10, 16 & 17, or 23 & 24
    • Swiss Festival Sept. 29 & 30
    • Atwood Area Fall Festival Oct. 6, 7, & 8
  • Move into the new house! (We close the first week of Oct.)
  • Host our annual Halloween Party!
    (This is year it’s more housewarming and less costume. I know, I’m sad about it, too.)
  • Visit a nursery and get some mums for the front porch
  • Pick/buy pumpkins
    • Carve them
  • Get a bay of straw for the front porch
    (Sidenote: You should always buy straw for decorations. Hay is food for animals.)
  • Work on meal planning and try out these recipes:
  • Find a walk route in the new neighborhood with pups
  • Get a few rooms in the house decorated
    • Living room
    • Master bedroom
    • My office
  • Get 25% of my Xmas shopping done by the end of Oct.
  • Visit an apple orchard
  • Bake a new fall cookie
  • Drink some apple cider
  • Watch It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown and Beetlejuice
  • Find cute booties (*part of 30×30 list)
  • Take a dog or two on a hike (*part of 30×30 list)
  • Scrapbook. Even a little bit. Just get something done… lol
  • Dog park with E (in Columbus)
  • Homemade ice cream, damn it

For the sake of consistency and closure, I guess I should touch on my summer goals and bucket list items…

Bucket List

  • Go on a mini-golf date with K
  • Finish Year 3 scrapbook
  • Beach house vacation with the whole family
  • DCI Championships with K in August
  • Finish backyard landscaping
    • & host a cookout for the company
  • Take Enzo to the dog park
  • Outdoor concert with K & friends
  • Garage Sale (#2)
  • Visit the farmers’ market
  • Make a serious dent in Erin’s reading challenge
  • Drink more water
  • Make homemade ice cream
  • Take the pups on an adventure

Recap: I sucked… Most of the things I crossed off were already in the works when I made the list. Also, Ly and Enz got a bunch of time at the dog park thanks to open houses and showings so…. I feel like that counts as “an adventure.”

Goals

  • Clean junk out of basement & utility room (Yay house-selling!)
  • Get spare bedroom clean and de-cluttered 
  • Wash cushion slips
  • Wipe down fans, baseboards, etc.
  • Go for a bike ride once a week
  • Go putt-putting/mini-golfing (With the fam, but not as a date with K)
  • Tackle three books per month (…ish)
  • Clean out/update my Spotify playlists
  • Finish Year 3 scrapbook
  • Order pics for year 4

Recap: Slightly better than the bucket list. Opening the house to strangers forced me to clean a lot.

For being an insane season at work and selling the house (twice), I feel ok about those goals. Plus, we all know I’m not that tough on myself anyway with these. *shrug*

What’re you hoping to accomplish this fall? How’d you do over the summer?

Thoughts While Rereading Harry Potter & the Sorcerer’s Stone

As I’ve mentioned, I’m rereading all the HP books as they’re illustrated & released. I started this task a few weeks ago (even though I got SS and CoS as soon as they were released… Yay for October releases and an October b-day!). Since PoA comes out this year I decided I should start reading.

Going home to Hogwarts and revisiting these books fills me with so much joy. I love reading them as an adult because I take away something totally different than I did as a 5th grader. Also, when Harry and Ginny meet or when other characters make statements that come back to bite them in the butt I just get so giddy.

*There really aren’t spoilers, but there’s some alluding. Just FYI

Anyway…. here are the thoughts I had while rereading Sorcerer’s Stone:

I can’t spell “sorcerer” save my life. It’s a simple word but my fingers never type it correctly.

Vernon Dursley is a terrible human in the movies, but he’s 100xs worse in the book. I want to punch his fat face.

source

The line is actually: “Harry – yer a wizard.”

I got real, tangible goosebumps when Harry entered Platforms 9 & 3/4 for the first time. It was wonderful.

I wish Fred & George’s first interaction with Harry had made the movies. The twins will always be two of my favorites.

Neville was actually with the trio when they discovered Fluffy. I can’t believe I’d forgotten that. Neville misses a lot of action in the films 😦

Harry & Draco’s hatred for one another is immediate in the book. Malfoy is a nasty little human.

“There are some things you can’t share without ending up liking each other, and knocking out a twelve-foot mountain troll is one of them.” ❤︎

During the broomstick jinxing on the Quidditch pitch F & G were circling under Harry to catch him if he was de-broomed. Have I mentioned how much I love them…?

Totally forgot about the scuffle that Ron and Neville started with Malfoy in the stands. I love Neville so much.

Compared to the movies, Neville trying to stop Ron, Harry, and Hermione in the Gryffindor common room makes so much more sense in the books. He’s with them for almost every out-of-bed, middle-of-the-night adventure.

The points awarded to him in the end make much more sense, too 🙂

Firenze is such a great character. I think the forest scene is so well written.

I love the first time Ron and Hermione tell Harry that *of course* they’re coming with him- why wouldn’t they be? It’s like the theme of their friendship from here on out.

When Hermione forgets she can make magic with a wand (because she’s muggle born) 😂

Harry and Hermione’s friendship is my favorite. I feel like the Snape task (which doesn’t make the movies 😠) is their first real moment in their relationship.

I 100% cried when Dumbledore explain the power of Lily’s love to Harry.

Then Hagrid’s photo album gift made me lose it all over again 10xs harder…

The book was better… 😉

I was scrolling through the reviews on GoodReads and saw this:

I’d be lying if I said it didn’t make me laughing out loud.

School Days & Locker Talk

I’m a week and a half late to this link-up party but Nadine did this “Back to School” tag and introduced me to Andrea’s monthly questions. Since the link-up is still open I decided to play along.

Did you love school or hate it?
I loved school. I enjoyed seeing my friends, I loved having a routine, and I’m one of those weirdos that likes learning.

Start school before or after Labor Day?
I think we usually started the week before Labor Day. I never understood that.

Wake up: Eager Beaver or Slow Poke?
Mornings have never ever ever been my thing.

Favorite Breakfast?
My mom would make us Cream of Wheat on wintery weekend mornings (or snow days) and I loved it!

Favorite Cereal?
Life. (Sorry for even mentioning it, Rebecca Jo!!)

School uniform or no school uniform?
No, thank God. I was so into my style in high school.

New outfit for the first day of school or no?
Of course! Although, by high school I pretty much only wore band t-shirts, ripped jeans, vans, and a sideways belt. #emoForever

Walk to school or ride the bus?
I rode the bus until I got my license/car. Then I drove my brother and self every day.

Backpack, tote or messenger bag?
Messenger bag (in the pic). I had one from PacSun that was brown with pink embroidering and I LOVED it. I still have the bag even though it’s beat to crap…

Eat school lunch or pack lunch?
I think it was 50/50 in elementary and middle school- it depended on the lunch menu. I remember my brother bought more often than I did. In high school you could leave the school and get your lunch which I did 99% of the time.

Remember the little milk cartons? White or chocolate?
I don’t like white milk so chances are I was a chocolate drinker. #healthy

Paper bag or lunch box?
Didn’t we all pride ourselves on our lunch boxes? Especially if they had a matching thermos? (No? Just me?) I think I might have occasionally brown-bagged it in hs.

Favorite thing to do at recess?
We played American Girls and Disney Princesses in elementary school. Also, ‘big toy tag’ on the equipment. In middle school it was 4-Square.

Favorite back to school supply item?
Notebooks!

Chalkboard or dry erase board?
In 2nd grade I told my teacher I was allergic to chalk and asked to use the mini-dry erase boards when we were practicing our letters. I actually just hated how my hands felt covered in chalk. Hahaha. Other than that, I think all my classrooms had chalkboards.

Regular or mechanical pencil?
Mechanical- duh!

Homework as soon as you get home or after dinner?
I used to do it on the bus ride home… Nerd alert.

Favorite after school snack?
Ramon noodles or a sandwich.

Favorite after school show?
General Hospital. Hahahahahaha!

Favorite subject in school?
History.

Least favorite school subject?
Math; specifically algebra. 

Name of  your best friend in high school.
Sam.

SAT or ACT?
I never took the SAT. I got a 27 on my ACT the first time & told my mom I was done. Lol.

Favorite year in school.
I don’t know… Third grade was a fun year. Second grade I had my favorite teacher. High school had its highs and lows but it was fun. Probably my junior year was the best. I started dating K, I was so carefree, and I made a million reckless decisions but survived. I switched up my friends toward the end of hs because mine weren’t so nice, and I think I really figured out who I wanted to be at that point in my life.

I get anxious thinking about all the drama and emotions and trouble I went through in high school. Thank Jesus (and, honestly, Kyle) that I made it out alive. I hope I remember my teenage years when our kids go through them- I’d like to be an empathetic parent.

Class ring or no class ring?
I had a gorgeous one with a purple stone. I don’t know what happened to it…

Funny class ring story… One day I was wearing a male friend’s ring and we went to Burger King for lunch. I took the ring off because it was big and I didn’t want to get it messy or lose it. Well… I left it on the tray and threw it away. Later, when I realized it was gone, I called my grandma from the hs bathroom bawling because I’d lost my friend’s ring. She and my aunt went to BK, dug through the dumpster, and found the ring under a pickle. Best. relatives. ever.

Attend or not attend high school reunions?
My class didn’t have a 5-year and I doubt I’ll attend the 10-year in 2019. Maybe I’ll go to one later on in life. Who knows…

*sigh* I miss school. That said, I’d never go back or reverse time. Ha!

*Linking up with TBB for TBB Asks

What I Read… vol. 9

Best blogging day of the month! Let’s get to the books!

What_I_Read_blog

If you’re new here, this is how the review goes:

Ok! On with the show!

The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood | ★★★★★/5
Summary: With Congress gone and the Constitution suspended, American men and women are forced into new relationships and roles. | Why I Read It: Everyone has or is reading it (I was 78th on the library waitlist- it took 2 months to get) & it filled a spot in Erin’s Challenge. | What I Thought: This book was like nothing I’ve ever read. I have so many thoughts but at the same time I’m speechless over it. It’s so relevant and scary and foretelling… especially for being written in 1985. It read like an actual retelling and it ended so vaguely. I think that the reader is meant to walk away with their own epilogue depending on how you felt by the end- you might have some hope for Offrend and think that she’s going to be alright but you might be feeling completely hopeless and beaten down by the end, in which case you probably imagine the worst for her. Also, I wonder what it would’ve been like for Offred if she’d have been in a different position of power or even a different part of the US or a different relationship when the changes started…. I don’t know… this book was eerie and engrossing and unique.
You should read it because… you’re a reader. If you are someone who enjoys reading I think you should give this book a try.

The Essence of Malice by Ashley Weaver | ★★★★/5
*ARC provided by Ashley Weaver (but it’s available now!)
Summary: Summoned to France by Milo’s childhood nanny, Amory and her husband find themselves in the middle of another high society death. Was it an accident or something more sinister? | Why I Read It: I like this series & it worked out with Erin’s Challenge. | What I Thought: First of all, I’m so happy I got my hands on an ARC. Sometimes all you have to do is ask and an amazing author says “yes” 🙂 I love the high society and historical vibe in these novels. This one was no exception as it introduced the Ames duo to the French Belanger family, master perfumers. With the recent loss of their patriarch, the company, fortune, and family are in a state of covert disarray. While I enjoyed Milo and Amory’s strengthening relationship, I felt like his secrecy and lying were serious (& annoying) setbacks. Also, Milo’s effect on women was a little overstated. That said, I still loved their chemistry and I’m liking Amory’s backbone as it grows a little in each novel. I think my favorite parts were Milo’s reaction to men flirting with his wife. He’s much less of a cool cucumber than Amory in those situations.
You should read it because… you’ve read the first three books and/or you enjoy historical murder mysteries.

Coraline by Neil Gaiman | ★★★★/5
Summary: New to town and already bored with her home and routine, Coraline decides to explore the dark mysteries of her new home. | Why I Read It: It’s been on my TBR list forever because I thought it looked spooky and entertaining. | What I Thought: For whatever reason, it took me over 2 months to finish this book. It was enjoyable, but it was easy to pick up other books instead of this one. I liked Coraline very much. She started off with a pretty decent level of maturity but by the end she’d become very wise and clever and brave for her age. I’ve read that this book is creepy and scary for adult while children tend to find it more empowering and encouraging. I can see that. The villain (“the other mother”) was delightfully terrible. I think there were many details hinted at by Gaiman that weren’t blatantly explained and I enjoyed that. It was a very descriptive and visual book- perfect for a fall afternoon.
You should read it because… you enjoy spooky, contemporary tales of evil and trickery (defeated by clever, good little girls).

Harry Potter & the Sorcerer’s Stone by JK Rowling, Jim Kay (Illustrator) | ★★★★★/5
Summary: (Really?) After 11 years with his abusive aunt and uncle, a young boy is suddenly immersed in a world of witchcraft and wizardry, trolls and dungeons, unicorns and werewolves. | Why I Read It: No one needs an excuse to read HP. That said, I’m rereading all the books as their illustrated versions are released. I’ve had this one for a while now and finally cracked it open. | What I Thought: Bloody hell. I didn’t think there were any Harry Potter stones unturned. If you haven’t gotten your hands on the illustrated novels then you need to do so right now ❤︎ I’ve heard that the Kindle/ebook versions are animated! I’m ashamed that it’s been so long since I’ve read this magical book. Next week I’m dedicating an entire blog post to it so stay tuned for that 😉
You should read it because… it’s one of the greatest series and stories to ever grace the literature world. #fact

DNF: The Moonspinners by Mary Stewart
*I didn’t finish this book this month and I ran out of renewals (because I got it at the beginning of the summer and kept putting it off). I fully intend to re-borrow this book and finish it, but I’m taking a break for a few weeks and giving it back to the library for now 😉

Here’s a quick challenge update:

|5 points| Freebie: And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie
|10 points| Starts w/ “B”: The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden
|10 points| Yellow cover: Circling the Sun by Paula McLain
|15 points| An animal on the cover: Harry Potter & the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling
|20 points| Published in 2017: The Essence of Malice by Ashley Weaver
|20 points| Compass/cardinal direction in title: West With the Night by Beryl Markham
|25 points| A most commonly banned book in America: The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
|30 points| About mental illness: The Virgin Suicides by Jeffrey Eugenides
|30 points| Non-human main character: The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein
|35 points| A Disney movie /book/ based on a Disney movie: The Moonspinners by Mary Stewart

I have 105 points now.

Not a bad month for reading 🙂 What’d you read this month?

Linking up with Steph & Jana for Show Us Your Books!

Life According to Steph

Currently…

Reading… The Moon-Spinners for Erin’s Challenge. I’m having a hard time with this book even though I find the story interesting. Fortunately I’m also reading HP & the SS which is sucking me in just like it did nearly 20 years ago ❤︎

Eating… terribly. I haven’t wanted to dirty the kitchen because of all the showings/inspections happening so we’ve been doing a LOT of external dining (or take out). The few meals I have made at home were busts. I need to work on this.

Feeling… sick. My mother had a head cold (#FirstGradeTeacherProbz) and I think she passed it on to me last weekend. Grr.

Planning… a house warming / Halloween / fall party in the new crib 🙂

Pinning… alllll the home decor. When we moved into our current house we were newlyweds carting around everyone’s generous hand-me-downs. Since then we’ve been intentional about design and I’m excited to decorate the new space with pieces that are important and unique to us.

Recovering from… last weekend’s bachelorette party in Cleveland. We took a party bus to the city, dined at Margaritaville, & had some dessert at The Chocolate Bar. The bride was on antibiotics and crutches (different incidents) so it was a slightly tame evening, though still exhausting!

Looking forward to… a slower season at work, moving into a new neighborhood, cool temperatures.

Here are some pictures from the last month or so of life 🙂

Kyle and our PI banner on the field at DCI World Championships
Lylee channeling how I hope to be this fall…
A bridal shower I helped with… K and I are both in the wedding next month!

*To my blogger friends in the south/east: If you need anything please let me know! Stay safe this weekend ❤︎

So what’s new with you? (Linking up with Kristen & Gretch!)

What's New With You