Friday, March 30, 2012

Friday Love

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gap new dress arrivals.  get. in. my. closet.
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ballerina bun hairstyles.  i wore my hair like this today and 4 people complimented me on it.  apparently my hair looks like poo every other day.  hello ballerina bun!
98 degrees.  hello summer reunion tour.  a lesser known boy band, but still close to my heart.  oh boy bands, you get me every time.  your terribly matched outfits, your amazing choreography, your awesome lyrics that you didn't write yourselves, i just can't quit you.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Collars and Lettuce Wraps

last night i headed out with two of my lovely followers for restaurant week at strega in the north end in boston.  none of us had ever been there, so we made a reservation to check it out.  there's always a wait and i always thought it was pricey.  i was quite wrong on the latter.  it's pretty normally priced for the north end, so much so, that none of us got anything off the restaurant menu.  we opted for regular menu items.  we had 2 bottles of chianti (it was delicious and went down quite easy).  the food on the other hand was nothing over the top special.  there was nothing wrong with it, but it wasn't stop traffic good (as other north end restaurants are).  the waiter, silvio, was spectacular.  he even has his own business cards.  how many waiters do you know that have business cards?  so far, i know one.  his name is silvio and he gives out free shots which i can fully support.  moral of the story on strega is it's a place i'm glad i tried, but i don't foresee myself returning.

now to some fun stuff.  tonight for dinner i tried another recipe from my fave recipe blog, iowa girl eats.  it was super easy and delicious and got two thumbs up from AJD.  you may remember i tried another one of her recipes, so the score is now 2 for iowa girl, 0 for the rest of the internet.

i also made some guacamole because i can't resist making it when there are avocado's in the apartment, and i plan to use the leftover guac on another recipe tomorrow night.
avocado's literally turn into guacamole in our apartment, it can't resist.  i didn't have any jalapenos so i added a little extra cayenne and as a result this batch is spicy and definitely has an extra kick.

and finally, i sported one of my fave work shirts today.  it's from a couple seasons ago from anthropologie and i just love the neckline/collar.  it brings the eye right to the collar, no jewelry required. plus it's a bright orangey/red hue.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Movie Review: Hunger Games!!!

so here we go.  this is going to be pretty wordy because i'm going to try and cover all my thoughts on the hunger games.  so if you haven't seen it, don't read beyond this paragraph in case i give away plot spoilers for those that haven't read the book.

as i've had a few days to collect my thoughts about the movie, i still stand by my first impression that it was great and i am a huge fan.  but as i'm thinking about what i'm going to write in the post, it may come off as if i wasn't a fan.  i want to clarify that overall i loved the movie.  i have yet to see a movie that is better than its book version, so with that said, the movie did about as good as it could.

the main thing that you have to understand with this book turned movie is that the book goes into so much detail on so many different things that it was impossible for the movie to cover everything without being 17 hours long.  i did feel like it seemed rushed, but i think i felt that way because going in i was curious how they were going to tackle all the different aspects of the book.  the movie does leave out a lot of detail, but gives a good general overview of the book.

i almost feel like i would have enjoyed the movie more had i not read the book (i know, weird.  so tell your friends who haven't read the book to see the movie).  i sort of felt like i wasn't really enjoying the movie as i would if i hadn't read the book because i just wanted to see how the movie was going to tackle the next scene that i knew was coming, and as a result i didn't fully appreciate what was happening on screen.  i do want to see the movie again, which i believe will allow me to fully enjoy its greatness and soak up all it has to offer.

here is a quick wrap up on my thoughts on the casting for the main characters:
1. jennifer lawrence as katniss was perfect.  the only thing i'm concerned about is the later movies.  she's very mature looking for 21 and in the movie she is playing a teenager.  obviously with all the crazy success of the first movie, they're not wasting anytime starting to film the next two, which is good cause girlfriend is a hottie with a body and will have a hard time passing as a teenager in a few years.  anywho, i thought she was beautiful, tough, and mesmerizing as katniss.  

2. liam hemsworth as gale was yummy.  since i'm team gale i was disappointed with how small his role was in the movie.  i realize that it will be bigger in the next two movies, but i thought he was lacking screen time.  the relationship between katniss and gale was not shown at all in the movie, which i think will be interesting how their connection is explained in the later movies.

3. josh hutcherson as peeta was eh.  now to be fair, i was not a fan of this casting before the movie came out.  josh doesn't do it for me.  he sort of looks like a cave man in my mind.  and next to miss katniss i just didn't see the chemistry between the two.  in the movie they make them appear to be the same height but in reality jennifer lawrence is a lot bigger than him and i know that, so i had a hard time seeing the two of them share kisses when i think peeta looks more like katniss' brother (the 13 year old girls who sat around me would completely disagree with this because i'm pretty sure they all got mini lady boners every time peeta was on the screen).

4. elizabeth banks as effie trinkett was perfect.  her wardrobe and makeup were phenomenal and exactly as i pictured while reading the book.  i wished they gave effie more screen time especially since elizabeth did such a great job becoming the character.  effie and haymitch's interactions were my favorite unexpected dynamic between main characters.  i'm excited to see where her character goes in the next two movies.

5. woody harrelson as haymitch was superb.  i did picture haymitch as a little more gruff and mean while reading the book, but woody can do no wrong.

6. lenny kravitz as cinna was awesome because lenny kravitz is awesome.  his gold eye liner was also so cool and lenny totally pulled it off.  i did sort of feel like i couldn't take lenny serious during the heart wrenching scenes with him and katniss.  i was waiting for him to say something serious and then all of sudden say, "ah just kidding, i'm lenny kravitz."  oh lenny, you're just so cool all the time.

this post is getting super lengthy so here are just a few more snippets of my thoughts:

- district 12 looked appropriately desolate and trixie from deadwood (awesome hbo show, check it out if you've never seen it) as the mom was great casting.

- the reaping was amazing.  and when i say amazing, i mean i almost cried.

- katniss and peeta's outfits when they were in training at the capitol were some weird asian fusion pajamas that were just odd

- seneca crane was the right amount of creepy and yet i still wanted to know what he was going to do next

- president snow was so evil and i loved how often he was seen pruning his white roses

- cato's facial features were so close together and he was so muscular yet somehow still looked like a 7 year old

- for some reason when reading the book, i pictured tracker jackers as gigantic, so the fact they were normal sized bees in the movie didn't feel right to me

- the rue death scene was heartbreaking.  i had to wipe my eyes after that one.

- i didn't think that the movie explained enough about the way katniss was faking the relationship with peeta to get sponsors.  i think this might be a slight problem during the next movie for people who haven't read the books

- the fight scenes during the games were all amazing.  other reviews i've read have criticized how shaky the camera is, but i think it added to the effect and made it seem like you were there trying to fight for survival with the tributes

- when the movie ended, i literally wanted to start watching the second one immediately, which is exactly what happened when i read the book, so job well done.

the second movie doesn't come out until november 2013.  so. far. away.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Mad Men and Vino

to fully celebrate the return of mad men last night, AJD and i endulged in some delicious cabernet sauvignon from abeja.  AJD discovered this wine at a tasting and found it at a fancy wine store in boston afterwards.  it's quite pricey so we only get it once a year around christmas.  we had saved this bottle for a fun occasion and the return of don, roger, joan, etc. was the perfect reason to break it out (and then take a load of photos).  

by the way, mad men was spectacular.  roger sterling (john slattery) stole the show.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

I was runninggggggg

i picked up some new running shoes yesterday because my old ones needed to be retired.  i've been super loyal to nike free running shoes for awhile now, but i thought i'd try something new with the reebok reeflex.

i tested them out this morning and so far so good.  plus they're bright colors, so that always makes running shoes better.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Friday Love

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new framed photo for my office of tulip fields in the netherlands by adam jones.  this beaute brightens up my office and reminds me of something i want to see in person in my lifetime.  tulip fields in the netherlands.  love.
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iceland.  so i was watching real world/road rules challenge (i can't stop. so much drama) and the final challenge is in iceland.  definitely reminded me how much i would love to travel there.  i'd even brave the negative temperatures to see it in winter.
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cherry blossoms in washington, d.c.  AJD and i are heading to d.c. in april and we had hoped to catch the blooming trees.  unfortunately due to this year's crazy weather, they bloomed super early and will most likely be gone by the time we get there.  so if you're in the d.c. area, go give the blossoms some friday love for me.
mad men.  i know i've been talking up the hunger games all week, so here's some major friday love for season five of mad men premiering sunday night.  i can't wait to swoon over the clothes and mr. roger sterling.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Premiere City

if you haven't figured it out, i'm super excited about the hunger games movie opening.  i've had tickets for this saturday for well over a month.  call me a nerd if you want, but i don't even care.  this movie better be awesome or i'm going to be pissed.  while i wait impatiently for saturday, i have to say that the ladies of the hunger games have been killing it at the premieres this week.
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elizabeth banks has been my favorite at all the premieres.  this versace dress has been my number one pick from all the different cities that have had black carpets.
jennifer lawrence and her boobs looked awesome in this green calvin klein dress, but let's face it, gale/liam hemsworth is the ultimate babe in this photo.  

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Racing Stripes

first day of spring = work bag changeover.  what's work bag changeover you ask?  well, i'm the type of gal who has one bag that i carry to work.  i don't change my work bag based on what i'm wearing.  i tried this when i first got out of college and it was just way too much effort.  plus, i would constantly miss things when i changed my bag and then i'd reach for my chapstick and aw shoot it's in my other bag.  nowadays, i have three work bags: fall, winter, and hot weather.  i've been rocking a black leather bag to carry back and forth to the j-o-b, but as of tomorrow this is what i'll be carrying:

this puppy is from jcrew factory store.  i picked her up 30% off plus free shipping.  sweet deals all around.  i love the bright green racing stripe...oh so hot right now (hansel is so hot right now).  i don't require much when it comes to a work bag.  my only requirements are that the shoulder strap is long enough, but not too long (you know what i mean), have at least one small pocket for my phone, gum, and chapstick, and it has to be able to fit my lunch plus the usual stuff in it comfortably.  my hot weather bag also can't be leather.  nothing worse than being smushed onto a hot t with your leather bag sticking to your upper arm.  happy first day of spring/work bag changeover!

Monday, March 19, 2012

Jump! Jump!

this weekend AJD and i went and saw 21 jump street.  i love me some channing tatum and jonah hill.  channing is a super fox, plus i've loved him since the cinematic masterpiece known as step up.  pair him up with jonah hill and you've got the most unexpected comedy duo of the season.  i like that neither of them take themselves seriously.  on a recent episode of ellen, jonah was talking about how the paparazzi took pictures of them swimming in australia and put a caption on the picture saying that jonah was drowning.  jonah described this as "i was just being drunk and awesome."  amazing.  the movie made me laugh out loud on multiple occasions and to me, that's a successful comedy.  the fact that jonah cowrote the script, and channing and jonah were both executive producers was pretty impressive.  all in all i suggest you check it out if you like inappropriate humor.

up this weekend at the movies:
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excited is an understatement.  team gale.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Friday Love

this week's friday love is reserved only for my new anthropologie earrings.  i've had a gift card for awhile and was holding out for the perfect dress, but then these earrings came into my life.  i went into the store thinking that i would leave with the yellow stone version that i had seen on the website, but unfortunately they had every color except yellow.  i saw these blue beauties and knew they were even better than the yellow.  i've literally worn them every time they match what i'm wearing since i bought them, aka every day but once this week.  they're bright and sparkly and beautiful.  i might have to order the yellow ones from the website to continue my obsession.  friday love all the way.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Macaroni and Cheeeeeeeeeeese

i love macaroni and cheese.  my love began when i was very young.  i used to ride with my feet off the pedals of my big wheel down a hill in my back yard and yell macaroni and cheeeeeese! as i flew down.  as i've gotten older, my love has only grown.  since i can obviously house a whole blue box in one sitting i have to only allow myself to indulge once in awhile.  recently i made mac and cheese in my fancy new crockpot with shells and a mix of cheddar and pepperjack cheese and it was amazing.  as i was perusing the blog world today, i came across this beautiful post.  it's an entire post dedicated to macaroni and cheese.  love!  if you click on a picture, it will link you to the recipe for that specific type of mac and cheese.  i don't agree with the post that it says mac and cheese is a comfort food that you only eat in the winter, but i'll let that slide because the post has given me so many new recipes to try.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Impromptu Date Night

last night, i ended up having to work way later than usual, aka around the time AJD usually wraps up his work day.  since we were both in the city, we took full advantage by eating a delicious dinner out.  we headed to the north end and perused a few menus of places we'd never been, but it was superrrrrrr nice out last night so instead we headed to a personal favorite of ours, bacco
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if you've never heard of or been to bacco, you have to go on a nice day.  all those beautiful windows open (as they were last night) and the food is divine.  we didn't want to get weighed down with heavy pasta so we had delicious bread with delicious dipping oil, delicious refreshing adult beverages, and split some delicious appetizers.  moral of the story, it is a delicious place.

p.s. if you don't live in boston, feel free to enjoy the movie the town.  when the group robs a bank in the north end, it takes place right outside of bacco.  you can see the name on the side of the building.  in real life there's no bank there, but it's the movies, so just pretend.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Maine and Food.

i promised a wrap up of my weekend in maine this past weekend, but that obviously didn't happen, so you have to settle for a monday night post.

maine was so great.  we got to portland, checked into our hotel and headed out to grab some eats and drinks before the black keys.  we only had an hour, so we headed to ri ra and enjoyed some delish sammiches and good old maine brews.  allagash for me and baxter for AJD.  then we walked in the freezing cold (i forgot how much colder maine is than massachusetts) to the venue which was less than a mile walk.  the cumberland civic center is maine's version of the garden.  it's more like a really large high school hockey rink.  it was grimey and gritty and i felt perfect for the black keys.  

the black keys were superb as i knew they would be.  they played old and new songs and just rocked it out through one encore.  this cell phone pic i snapped during the opening song "howlin' for you."
after the show, we were quite parched and headed to three dollar deweys for some frosty adult beverages.  it was low key and a perfect way to wind down from the concert.

the next morning we walked around the old port before heading to marcy's diner for a nice greasy breakfast.  super eggs/toast/bacon, etc.  exactly what we were looking for.

after filling our stomachs, AJD and i headed out to cape elizabeth to the portland head light and fort williams park.  it was such a beautiful day, so i'll let the pictures tell the story.
tonight i tried a new recipe that i found on the blog  it is a healthier version of everyone's favorite beef and broccoli.  i usually screw something up when i try a recipe for the first time, but not this one.  it was quick and easy and so delicious.  it even got AJD's stamp of approval.  he was quite nervous that one of the ingredients was oyster sauce since he despises all seafood, but after i swore he wouldn't be disappointed he dove in head first and was an immediate fan.  i can't wait to try out more recipes from her blog, so make sure you go check her out.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Friday Love

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i can't not squeal in a high pitch voice when talking about bull dog puppies.  look at those wrinkles!
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with march madness upon us, i have to give some friday love to duke men's basketball.  i've always loved duke, and will always love duke.  go blue devils.
pizzaria regina in the north end.  just my all time favorite pizza place to eat in boston.  if you get there and there's not a line out the door, you know you're having a good day.
dark and stormys.  mixed drinks with ginger beer just taste better.

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dogeared necklaces.  they sell these puppies at nordstrom, neiman marcus, various internet sites and there are so many different styles to choose from.  they're delicate and simple, just how i like everyday jewelry to be.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

I'm Cutting Myself Off

full report on maine coming up this weekend (preview: it was awesome), but first just a quick shopping update.  AJD and i stopped at the kittery outlets on the way home and just an fyi, the jcrew factory store in kittery, maine is to die for.  so big and beautiful, i couldn't resist.  i only bought one skirt and some flip flops so i didn't go too crazy, but i'm cutting myself off.  no jcrew or banana or gap for awhile.  i'm ready for spring and summer.  i have enough clothes.  AJD is going to freak out if i take over any more of the closet.  but, in the meantime, take a looksee at my new skirt and flip flops (aren't they purdy):
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Monday, March 5, 2012

Tighten Up

AJD and i are heading to the great white north tomorrow after work aka maine.  we're seeing the black keys in concert and then staying over in portland for a nice mid-week break from work.  i'm super excited to see this concert and since i'll be away, the blog will be a little slow this week.  while i'm gone, please enjoy the sweet jams of the black keys.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Outlet Weekend Haul

this weekend AJD and i did a little shopping at the wrentham premium outlets.  it was a smashing success, and i am sooooo excited for my purchases from jcrew factory store and banana republic factory store (all on sale).
from jcrew factory store: blue and white flowered shirt, watermelon and white striped tee, purple cardigan, navy blue shift dress, pearl statement necklace

from banana republic factory store: brown stretchy belt

i have a black stretchy belt from banana and every time i wear it i say i wish i had this in brown and now i do!  as i mentioned in friday love i've been in the market for a statement necklace and this one fits the bill.  i'm still in the market for a brightly colored necklace but for that, i'm being much more picky about. this pearl one is delightful.  i've been searching high and low for a navy shift dress, and i've finally found it!  i have so many plans on how to wear this dress and it was by far my favorite purchase of the day.  the cardigan, tee, and shirt are great spring colors and i can't wait to rock them when the warmer weather comes our way.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Friday Love

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my beloved tom haverford.  if you don't know about tommy's girl or treat yo self, you are severely missing out.  if you're not watching parks and recreation, you need to start asap.
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statement necklaces.  i've been on the hunt for the perfect statement necklace.  i still haven't found the perfect one for me yet.  i'm pretty basic when it comes to accessories, so i don't want something super over the top, but as the name suggests, it needs to make a statement.
"we are young" by fun.  i am beyond obsessed with this song.  i find it totally normal to listen to a song more than 17 times in one day.  if you feel the same way, check out this one.  it's a doozy.

Mad Style

i headed real quick for the special pre-party for the new mad men collection at banana republic last night.  they were serving wine and apps, which i did not partake in cause i was there to do one thing and one thing only and that is shop.  the collection was really beautiful and sophisticated, but overall i was more of a fan of the summer collection last august in comparison to this one.  i did walk away with one item.
this rose cardigan had caught my eye in the flyer that i had been sent in the mail and knew that it would soon be mine.  it's soft and comfy and it has a fancy mad men tag on the inside, so you know it's legit.

after my quick shopping session, i met up with miss welles to attempt to find bright green pants at urban outfitters and then dinner in harvard square.  neither of us were a fan of the green jean options, so we left empty handed.  we did not leave with empty stomachs though.  we had a delish dinner at russel house tavern in cambridge.  check it out if you ever are in haaaaarvard square.

then when i got home, AJD was out so i took the opportunity to watch a major chick flick, something borrowed, starring kate hudson and ginnifer goodwin.  this is going to sound ridiculous, but this movie made me laugh out loud multiple times, especially when the supporting characters were on the screen.  if you're ever bored looking for a cheap laugh, check it out.  now with all that said i will watch this movie over and over again for one reason: colin egglesfield.
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literally every time he was on the screen i said out loud, oh my god he's just so good looking.  stunning smile, ridiculously preppy outfits.  lady boner central over here.