Monday, January 24, 2011

The Great Book Challenge of 2011

So I decided to up my book reading challenge to 25 for the year. See Below:

2011 Reading Challenge

Kellie has

read 0 books toward her goal of 25 books.


But this is going to include the novels that I will be reading for this last semester as well. These include:

My Antonia By: Willa Cather

Black Boy By: Richard Wright

Daisy Miller By: Henry James

Their Eyes Were Watching God By: Zora Neale Hurston

The Age of Innocence By: Edith Wharton

The Great Gatsby By: F. Scott Fitzgerald

The Sun Also Rises By: Ernest Hemingway

Catcher in the Rye By: JD Salinger

and possibly more... So that's 8 right there. :-)

Plus currently I am reading:
Room By: Emma Donnahue

Shopgirl By: Steve Martin - a re-read. One of my favorite books.

Dewey: The Small Town Library Cat who Touched the World By: Vicki Myron

Kellie's currently-reading book recommendations, reviews, favorite quotes, book clubs, book trivia, book lists

Room is very good. I would highly recommend it to anyone. I will put a full review on here as soon as I finish it.

And Dewey is very sweet. Though Room is overshadowing it in my reading time right now, I hope to get back to it soon.

Pretty good start to the challenge though!

Other books I hope to read over the year include:

The Twilight Zone: 19 Original Stories on the 50th Anniversary

The Man Who Loved Books Too Much By: Allison Hoover Bartlett

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn By: Betty Smith

Blackberry Wine By: Joanne Harris

Born on a Blue Day: Inside the Extraordinary Mind of an Autistic Savant By: Daniel Tammet

Any suggestions for others to add to the list??

Monday, January 17, 2011

Golden Globes Recap

So, though the Golden Globes are not quite the affair party that the Academy Awards are at our house, it's still always fun to watch the awards and it also gives us a heads up for what/who is likely to show up next week as Oscar nominees. So take note friends who attend our annual Oscar's Party every year. Here are my thoughts/predictions:
Best Actress - Last night this went to Natalie Portman for Black Swan. I believe she will also easily take the Oscar for it. Though, she will probably be joined in nomination by Annette Benning from The Kids are All Right and Michelle Williams from Blue Valentine who also were excellent.

Best Actor - This one went to Colin Firth last night for King's Speech. Though he did a wonderful job in this movie as King George with a speech impediment, I also think Ryan Gosling was fantastic in Blue Valentine, and this may be a toss up at the Oscars. 

Best Supporting Actor - As I predicted, Christian Bale got this for his great performance as a crack addict in The Fighter. Geoffrey Rush was great in the King's Speech, but I really do believe Bale will also get the Oscar.

Best Supporting Actress - Melissa Leo got this for her role as the mother in The Fighter. But I think Mila Kunis was equally fantastic in Black Swan, so this may also be a toss up at the Oscars.

Best Director - Oddly, Social Network swept Director, Screenplay, and best drama at the Globes. While I thought it was a good movie, I was suprised it took this many considering what it was up against. I believe it will be different at the Oscars. Most likely going to Black Swan or The Fighter.

Screenplay - I agree with my dad on this one, the writer of The King's Speech really should take this one for the Oscars. He had to wait SO many years to have this movie made because the King's Family did not want his story shared until after death.

Best Score/Song - I don't have a huge opinion on this one...but I think that Inception's score by Hans Zimmer was probably better than Social Network's. But I plan to watch Social Network again before the Oscars. Song, Diane Warren may take it again for Burlesque.

The Special Effects Catagories (Cinematography, Sound Editing, Visual Effects, Etc.) - I imagine a lot of these catagories will go to Inception.

Best Animated Film - Toy Story 3 was fantastic and should definitely get the Oscar as well. No matter your age, you have to see Toy Story 3!

Best Picture - This, I was very shocked again went to Social Network. Maybe it was because Fighter, King's Speech, and Black Swan were all based more on the acting roles than the movie/storyline as a whole? I think that Blue Valentine also should have entered this catagory. Maybe it will for the Oscars. It's a really tough call this year because there were so many excellent movies! Also, last year there were 10 best picture nominees I believe, so if they do this again, I'm sure we will see movies like The Town, The Kids are All Right and Blue Valentine on the list.

As far as TV shows went at the Oscars, I'm glad that Glee got several nods and that Laura Linney won for Big C.

Movies I Recommend You Should See Before The Oscars!

In Theaters:
Black Swan

King's Speech

The Fighter

Blue Valentine

To Rent:
Social Network


Toy Story 3

The Town

The Kids are All Right

Movies I haven't seen but would like to before the Oscars:

Another Year

Rabbit Hole

Casino Jack

127 Hours

Nominations are next Tuesday 1/25 Morning!

And the 83rd Annual Academy Awards air Sunday, February 27th!

Monday, January 10, 2011

My Monday Night Project

Chocolate Cupcakes.

Simply because I could.  And while I am going to give most of them away so as to not sabotage my good workout habits...they were fun to make.  :-) 

Sunday, January 9, 2011

My Wonderfully Normal Weekend

What a productive weekend. Productive in a way that kind of makes me sad...and that's only because I miss weekends like this and they just don't happen during the semester. And the dreaded semester is closing in on me. So thank god this is the last one starting here in a few weeks. Insert sigh scream of relief.

This weekend, I spent a quiet Friday evening by myself watching movies. Saturday I have to say was the most productive, I started out by going to both zumba and body pump at the gym. And although getting up before 7am on a Saturday morning was terribly hard to do, it was most definitely worth it. Not being able to hold up my hair dryer this morning proves it! Then I spent some birthday money buying two new pairs of smaller jeans - Thanks Zumba! - as well as some super on sale shoes. :-) I finished my afternoon by visiting both whole foods and trader joes for groceries, cleaning the house, and making dinner for my lovely husband. Here I also discovered my new favorite snack - sourdough toast with marscapone cheese and honey. Yum! These may seem like mundane things to most people, but because my weekends are typically filled with unimaginable amounts of homework and overall busyness, sometimes it's just nice to be mundane once in a while. We also watched Paranomal Activity...which I have to say wasn't all that scary. Fourth Kind was much scarier...Paranormal just got all the hype.

Sunday including cleaning out and organizing a closet that was LONG overdue, laundry, a Degrassi marathon (only my childhood friends get the excitement of this), a little bit of studying for the government exam I am trying to take to pass out of a class for next semester, followed by cooking dinner with the hubby, Pinkberry and watching the new showtime show - Shameless - which we both think is going to be a good show. :-)

So there you have it, boring as it may sound, it was just nice to feel like a normal person having a normal, but lovely weekend.

Now this week it's on to the new job - 3rd job that is - and then 2 weeks till back to school.

Also on the schedule: seeing two friends I haven't seen in a while, one for cooking together, one for ice skating. Girls night in - fondue included Friday! Then dinner out and seeing Blue Valentine with Chris Saturday, and Sunday going to SF for a meeting and lunch with daddy.

Busy but fun week, here we go!

Monday, January 3, 2011

Goodbye 2010, Hello 2011

Well, 2010 – you certainly had your highs and lows, your good days and bad. I got married to the most wonderful man in the world, and in the same year, I lost my baby cat of 15 years.

Kitters, I will always love you and still think about you and miss you everyday. I will never forget you. You truly were there for me through the majority of my childhood and growing up – age 8 to 23 - and you helped me through so many struggles. I will always love you baby girl, and I know you will lead me to find a new kitty (or two) someday when I'm ready for that. I also know that you came into my life for a purpose, as all animals do. You had to watch me grow into the person I am today, and you needed me to be settled in my life with Chris before it was your time to go. I couldn't have gotten through losing you without him. Losing you was partly losing an old chapter of life. It's hard and painful, and I am still grieving the loss. But because it's a new year, I want to focus more on making this new chapter wonderful and honoring your memory. You gave so many wonderful memories and for that I know you will always be with me, like pawprints on my heart – guiding me into this next chapter of life. 

My 2011 New Year's Resolutions

  • Choose to be Happy – Simple as that.
  • Read at least 10 books that I want to read this year
  • Try one new recipe at least every other week and keep a binder of ones we like.
  • Continue my Zumba and other exercise to keep stress in check and run the 5K Race for the Cure in May.
  • Start checking off items on our Pre-Baby Bucket List (idea from Ashlee's blog) – we aren't having kids for a while and there's a lot we want to do before then. This year, possibly Disneyland and New York.

Who knows what joys and challenges this year will bring...but we'll be ready for them!