Five on Friday

Leave a comment Standard

Perhaps I’ll get five…I’m not sure. My head is feeling a little…blank today, ha-ha!

fof-5

One. Baseball – It starts in just two days! The Nationals finally announced that Blake Treinen will be closer, which fits the final piece into the roster…just in time. Blake seemed iffy in 2015 but improved pretty spectacularly in 2016 and I can’t wait to see what he’s got for this season. I also can’t believe this is the last weekend without regular season baseball until sometime in…November!

The Nationals new closer wears 45!

Two. Starburst Ice Cream Jelly Beans – Are to die for and I have been eating way too many of them. I’m a sucker for jelly beans and Cadbury cream eggs this time of year and Starburst are my go to jelly beans. The ice cream beans are (I think) new this year and they are to die for! I need to step away from the beans…

Image result for starburst ice cream jelly beans

*sigh*

Three. April – As in, how is tomorrow actually April 1st? The forecast for the next few weeks seems to be filled with rain, which leads me to believe that old saying is true…”March winds bring April showers”… I’m fine with the showers, if only the weather would warm up just a tad more!

Image result for april showers

Four. Sandals – I am planning to go shopping this weekend for some new sandals for Spring and Summer! I discovered earlier this week that my beloved black wedges were beginning to fall apart and while I mourned for just a little bit, I was soon cheered by the thought of buying more shoes! Shoes (and purses…and okay…clothes…) are some of my most favorite things and I can’t wait to get a new pair (or two…)

Related image

Five. The Weekend – Is almost upon us and I’m not sure what I’ll be up to, besides shopping for shoes! However, with baseball season starting in just two days, more favorable weather on the horizon (I hope) and some weekend trips already planned, this might be one of the last weekends that I’m doing nothing for a while… So I’m thinking more binge-watching of Downton Abbey is on the horizon!

Image result for downton abbey what is a weekend

Best character – hands down.

Well look at that – I managed five things that are all pretty relevant to today. Perhaps my mind isn’t so empty as I’d like to think? It’s quitting time for me in just about twenty minutes – I hope everyone has a lovely weekend!

March Madness

Leave a comment Standard

the-month-march

Believe it or not – this post has absolutely nothing to do with basketball. What a relief.

Books I Couldn’t Put Down

Hitler’s Forgotten Children: A True Story of the Lebensborn Program by Ingrid von Oelhafen – I absolutely devoured this book! Imagine discovering that you were taken from your family as a baby and placed with a good “German” family to be raised to support the Nazi Reich, Hitler and all the things that “good Germans” in the 1940’s were meant to be. The author lived that life and as she researched her family history learned that she was a part of the SS’s Lebensborn Program – she uncovered not just her roots, but the horrible and lesser known crimes committed again thousands of children that were born or brought into Lebensborn. The book was a fascinating, astounding and shocking read.

Beauty & the Beast by Gabrielle-Suzanna Barbot de Villenueve – The “original” story of the beauty and the beast that takes her captive; the updated story has touchstones from the original, but – as with so many fairy tales – the original is a little more intense. As punishment for stealing a rose from the garden of the Beast, a wealthy merchant must send one of his six daughters to spend the rest of her life with the Beast in exchange for his freedom. The merchant’s youngest daughter – the most selfless and beautiful of his six daughters offers to take his place in the Beast’s enchanted castle…and there are monkeys, parrots, a strange Prince that only appears in dreams and nightly marriage proposals from the Beast…to name a few differences.

Related image

My copy of the book is the above pictured – it’s gorgeously illustrated and has pages with windows that open, dials that turn and interactive “touches” that will make the book a keepsake. It’s absolutely…beautiful!

Books on the Shelf

Oh my goodness – okay, I kind of had a field day on Amazon recently and bought a ton of books and they are all on my shelf. They include…

Night by Elie Wiesel, The Man in the High Castle by Philip K. Dick, Exit West by Mohsin Hamid, The Book Thief by Markus Zusak and The Boy in the Striped Pajamas by John Boyne…and I also still haven’t gotten around to reading The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah.

I have just a little bit of reading to do…

Must See TV

Legion – What a delightfully mind-bending show this was! The show concluded its eight episode run just last night and while the sixth and seventh episodes answered some of the questions posed, there was plenty of mind-bendy goodness left up in the air for season two. The show had so many stand out performances – probably the most interesting to me was the lead, Dan Stevens…then again, I’m partial to Dan Stevens in most anything he does – Aubrey Plaza also blew my mind; I’d never have expected to see her as such an unhinged “villain” but she completely owned the role of Lenny. This show has twists and turns, really good music, a dance number here or there, excellent acting and really unique sets…its definitely different from anything I’ve watched and I can’t wait to see where season two goes!

Image result for legion fx gif

Bones – After (almost) 12 years as a devoted Bones fan, the show’s final episode – the 246th – aired on Tuesday, March 28th and gave the show a wonderful, nostalgia inducing episode that wrapped up everyone’s story concisely and…happily! The will they/won’t they relationship between FBI Agent Seeley Booth and Forensic Anthropologist Temperance “Bones” Brennan spanned 12 seasons and included an endearing cast of characters that wormed their way into my heart and wouldn’t let go. I’ve so enjoyed spending different nights of the week at the Jeffersonian Institute watching Booth, Bones and the Squints solve the murder of the week.

Image result for bones season 12

Movies I’d See Again & Again

Beauty & the Beast – As the titles says…movies I’d see again and again…and in the case of Beauty & the Beast, well – I did just that. I won’t admit how many times I’ve seen it but I will tell you that it has completely enchanted me and I absolutely love it! I went to see Beauty & the Beast with guarded excitement and I was overwhelmed – in the best way possible. The gorgeous costumes, the cinematography, the songs and musical performances, this movie took my most beloved childhood favorite – which I think is perfect – and somehow built on it. The little touches here and there, the details, the added bits of story that were perfectly built into the original tale…and the new songs…OH MY. Just writing about this makes me want to go see it again…

belle-prince-batb

THIS MOVIE IS GLORIOUS…much like Dan Steven’s hair flip in this GIF…

Oh yeah – it’s not the only movie I saw all month – even though it feels like it, ha-ha!

The Shack – I like to choose controversial movies; ha-ha! Honestly though, I caught this movie while I was in the middle of a girl’s weekend in the mountains and I thought it was great. It’s based on the 2007 bestseller of the same name and revolves around a man’s confrontation with the Trinity at the Shack where his youngest child was brutally murdered. The movie deals with some pretty complex questions, including why God allows bad things to happen to good people, why God allows His children to hurt, the list goes on and on… I enjoyed the movie and would recommend it to anyone – it was wonderful.

Related image

Binge Worthy

Downton Abbey – So, I’ll level with you. I’ve seen all six seasons of Downton Abbey in full but my younger sister and I recently started a cross-continental (I’m in Virginia, she’s in Nevada) re-watching of the series and I have so many thoughts! Most importantly, I have forgotten so many things! So many things! I’ve only made it halfway through season two, but it has led me to double down on the my thought that Mary is NOT a nice person and Matthew Crawley should have never looked back when she refused his first proposal. That’s right – I said it. Matthew is TOO GOOD for Mary. I find Edith more annoying than I remembered, Sybil is obviously the best daughter, Cora is delightfully oblivious to almost everything and the Dowager Countess and Mrs. Crawley (and their constant back and forth) are the best part.

35a1yzn

Run Matthew…Run Away!

If you have opinions, feel free to share them. I know people have thoughts about Downton Abbey…

Tasty Treats

Everything I Ate at Paula Deen’s Kitchen – Y’all, I am still dreaming about the food from Paula Deen’s Kitchen…dreaming…it was so good! The garlic cheese biscuits; well, they make the biscuits served at Red Lobster look like garbage – I’m sorry, it’s true. The hoe cakes with sweet potato butter were to die for and oh..the entrees! The most tender and delicious roast, creamy potatoes, macaroni and cheese, slightly spicy black-eyed peas and surprisingly delightful squash casserole. My dessert of Ooey Gooey Butter Cake, well that capped everything off to perfection. When can I get seconds?

All the Drinks – I’ve had some delightful drinks this month… I discovered blackberry wine while I was visiting Gatlinburg, Tennessee and brought home a bottle that I’ve been sipping on in my spare time. I got The Transformation at the Friday night showing of Beauty & the Beast and the combination of gin and red wine was surprisingly delicious. The best drink I had all month was called The Bleeding Rose – it’s like two drinks in one! Elderflower liquer, hibiscus infused vodka and fresh sour are combined and poured over an Aperol-tea ice cube that has citrus notes and changes the flavor of the drink as it melts. So good!

I promise I’m not an alcoholic…ha-ha!

Earworms

Evermore – One of the three new songs from Beauty & the Beast, this song is performed by the Beast in the movie and is absolutely beautiful. I prefer the version from the movie (hey-o musical Dan Stevens) over Josh Groban’s rendition of it…although they’re both beautiful. I’ve listened to this song so many times I lost count…

The Beauty & the Beast Soundtrack: Deluxe Edition – When I’m not listening to Evermore on loop, I’m listening to the rest of the soundtrack. It was released on March 10th and I cannot tell you what I’ve listened to besides the soundtrack since that day – seriously. I bounce back and forth between the vocals and the score and I absolutely love it all.

What I’m Looking Forward To

Baseball Season – The 2017 season starts in just THREE days. Three! The Nationals will be playing two exhibition games on March 31st and April 1st (the second of those games will be at the US Naval Academy) against the Boston Red Sox, then Sunday afternoon is a free day before Opening Day on Monday, April 3rd! I won’t be getting to the ballpark on Opening Day, but I will be getting to the ballpark for the first time this season on April 11th…and then I’ll head back just a few days later. I cannot wait to watch my Nationals play!

giphy

Easter Break…and A (potential) Visit from the Sister – My Easter break will be kicking off on Thursday, April 13th when the clock hits 5 o’clock and I’ll be spending some of Easter weekend at Nationals Park, in old town Alexandria and of course, spending time with family. My sister may or may not be able to come home for a quick visit at Easter and so I’m crossing my fingers that she’s a part of all the goodness I listed above!

Image result for easter

A Weekend in Williamsburg – I’ll confess, I’ve been to Williamsburg twice before…but neither visit has left much of an impression because it rained both times. Let me tell you, rain really puts a damper on walking the dusty (muddy) colonial streets…so I’ll be making my third visit at the end of April and I’m hoping the third time is the charm. I’m really hoping that the sun will be shining – I guess we’ll see!

Related image

And – that’s what I was into this past month! I cannot believe there is just one more day of March…I feel like this month absolutely sped by! It seems April has lots of good in store!

Just Three

Leave a comment Standard

I started this post on Monday – but honestly; my weekend was less than stellar and my Monday was, a classic case of “Monday”…so I never got past the first sentence. I also have just three pictures from the past week; which is crazy because the past week was more than full, but I guess it was so full that I was too busy to take pictures? Who knows…

Spring sort of arrived last week…but it can’t quite decide about sticking around. The weather has fluctuated from the mid-50’s to the balmy and even sticky upper 70’s. After work last Tuesday, I joined my friends Meridith and Danielle to go see Beauty & the Beast; Meridith and I are in love with the movie and Danielle hadn’t yet seen it, so we had to remedy that.

The Alamo always has a varied menu but for Beauty & the Beast they had a drink, a milkshake and a sandwich that were themed specifically for the movie. I’d had the drink (the Transformation) on my first viewing of my new favorite movie (ha-ha) and I decided to go in for the other two themed items on Tuesday night and got the Croque Maurice (shaved ham & Swiss cheese sandwich – so delicious) and the Milkshake en Flambe (a vanilla milkshake with chocolate pudding and flambed strawberries)…and it was a delicious meal. Of course, the movie was just as spectacular as it’s been every time I’ve seen it.

The rest of the week was chill and…dare I use the word…calming? I had a wonderful massage on Thursday after work and it was a wonderfully relaxing and peaceful way to spend an hour. Friday was a fairly good day, but the weekend went downhill after work and as I mentioned – my weekend wasn’t stellar. I got dinner after work on Friday and had a delicious and pretty drink called the Bleeding Rose – which had an ice cube made of Aperol and Elder-flower wine – doesn’t that just sound fun? It tasted delicious too!

I spent the weekend doing…not much. I slept in on Saturday, spent less time sipping coffee and more time on the elliptical and watched a movie (The Guest) before meeting my friend Katie for a late lunch. I spent Saturday evening beginning my re-watching of Downton Abbey – I’ve realized that I’d forgotten so much from the earlier seasons!

Sunday was another lazy day for me – I actually started my day at the movies; who knew they had showings at 9:55 in the morning? After lunch and a lazy afternoon, my Mom and I met up with some friends for a birthday dinner that was followed by cake and ice cream – of course! I finished my weekend with some more Downton and that’s whats been happening for the past week.

Five on Friday

Leave a comment Standard

It’s FINALLY Friday! This week has felt so strangely long; I swear it has everything to do with last week being strangely short, or maybe I’m just nuts. I’ll let you decide. I feel like Monday was eons ago…but something tells me that the weekend will roll right along and Monday will be here again much sooner than I think!

I’m linking up with April and Christina this Friday – as I do every Friday – and if you’re a blogger and you’d like to link up too, feel free!

fof-5

One. Heartache for London – The world as a whole can be both a wonderful place and a scary place; this week the scary was a bit more prevalent. It breaks my heart to read and see the chaos of the terror attack in London; a place that so completely stole my heart when my family visited in 2015. My heart is heavy for London as a whole and especially for the people whose lives are forever altered because someone chose hate…

Two. Beauty & the Beast – I know; I’ve gone on and on about Beauty & the Beast…but mostly; I want to share this blog post. She so eloquently says everything I would say but just haven’t really gotten around to and completely captures the feelings I have had about not just the controversy surrounding the movie but also how much I loved the movie!

Image result for beauty and the beast

 

Three. Treat Yo’ Self – I was gifted a massage for Christmas and I finally…finally got around to getting that massage yesterday after work. It’s been several months since I had a massage and well…it was wonderful. *sigh* I learned that I was a “clencher”, which means that I hold all my stress in my lower back – which is not the best thing – but what can you do? Suffice it to say that when I left the massage place, I was feeling like this…

dan-roses

Massage got me feeling like…sigh…

Four. Vegas Baby – An alternate title for this could be that the IRS decided to love me this year, ha-ha! I used some of my tax refund money to buy myself a plane ticket to Vegas in May to spend some time with my little sister. I also used some of my tax refund money to buy tickets to see Celine Dion while I’m in Vegas…did I mention the IRS was nice to me this year? So now I’m counting down the days until my next adventure…a long weekend in the desert with my sis!

Image result for las vegas gif

Five. Baseball Countdown – and the World Baseball Classic – TEN DAYS! Only ten more days until baseball is 100% back and (hopefully) filling my life with joy! Exhibition games start in just six short days in DC and in just a little over a week, baseball will be back on my TV and back in my favorite big city!

As a side note – two of the Washington Nationals played in the World Baseball Classic – and the USA won! The Nationals contributed our stellar 2nd baseman, Daniel Murphy and one of our amazing and seriously underrated starting pitchers, Tanner Roark! I can wait to be watching them in action in DC in just a little over two weeks…when I have tickets!

That’s all I’ve got for this Friday – I’m ready to get the weekend under way! I don’t have any crazy plans…but with baseball starting soon, Easter on the horizon, a weekend in Williamsburg in late April, Las Vegas in mid-May…and did I mention the baseball? Something tells me this will be one of the last weekends that I don’t have too much going on.

Happy Weekend Everyone!

Time…

Leave a comment Standard

Time marches on…some things change…some things remain the same. I discovered that I’ve done this post for two of the past three years (not sure what was going on in 2016) and so I’d make a tradition of it and keep this thing going. You can find 2014 and 2015 and below, 2017 – behold, time marching on…counter-clockwise from the left, 2014 – 2017.


What is the last thing you watched on TV?

The last thing I watched on TV was Legion; I was refreshing my brain before watching the new episode. I love Legion…but it can get a bit mind-bendy… A brief synopsis: David Haller is a troubled young man who was diagnosed with schizophrenia as a child. He has been in and out of psychiatric hospitals for years and, now in his early 30’s, finds himself institutionalized again. His daily routine — including therapy, taking medications and silently listening to talkative friend Lenny — is upended when troubled new patient Sydney arrives, and they are inexplicably drawn to each other. After a startling encounter between the two, David confronts the possibility that the voices he hears and visions he sees may be real. He escapes from the hospital and seeks refuge with sister Amy, who wants to protect the picture-perfect suburban life she has established for herself. Sydney eventually gets David involved with therapist Melanie Bird and her team of specialists, who open his eyes to a new world of possibilities.

Image result for legion fx
When did you last step outside? What were you doing?

The last time I stepped outside was earlier this afternoon. I was running a quick errand and while it’s gorgeous outside…the sunshine is a bit misleading because it’s colder than it looks!

What is on the walls of the room you are in?
I’m writing this post from my office and while I don’t have a ton of wall space, I’ve made use of the wall space I have! I keep the Nationals 2017 schedule on my right (only 11 days till Opening Day) with some ticket stubs, photos and miscellaneous goodness from games. I have a Disney calendar because I love my Disney in any form and the images on the calendar are absolutely beautiful. I also keep a canvas of Big Ben alongside snapshots of my sister and I, ticket stubs and travel memorabilia…little reminders of happy memories.


If you became a multi-millionaire overnight, what would you buy?
I don’t know if this answer has changed much at all – I’d pay off my student loans (blegh) and travel in style! There are so many places I want to see, so traveling would definitely be at the top of my list! I guess what I’m saying is that I’d buy plenty of first class tickets!
Tell me something about you that most people don’t know.
Hmmm…
Who made the last incoming call on your phone?
My lovely little sister – we had a deep chat last night about life, ha-ha!
If you could change something about your home, without worry about expense or mess, what would you do?
This answer hasn’t changed – as thankful as I am to finally have my own “space”, I am still really looking forward to having my own home again one day. If I could change something about my home without worrying with expenses or mess, I’d build a house for myself! I mean – I’d get someone else to build it – but you get the idea.
What was the last thing you bought?
Tickets to see Celine Dion at the Colosseum at Caesar’s Palace in May; I’m going to visit my little sister and even though she’s seen Celine twice now…she either loves me that much or Celine is that good…because she’s agreed to go a third time! I can’t wait!
Image result for celine dion caesars palace
Would you go bungee jumping or sky diving?
NO.
If you could eat lunch with one famous person, who would it be?
Can it be a group of famous people? Can I have lunch with the cast of Beauty & the Beast? I’m kind of in love with the new live action retelling and there’s no doubt that a large part of that is thanks to the incredible cast who so wonderfully brought some of my favorite characters to life, preserving the beauty and wonder of the original while telling the tale in a new and wonderful light.
Image result for beauty and the beast 2017 premiere
Which store would you choose to max out your credit card?
I’m not 100% sure here…once upon a time I’d have said Old Navy, but now I find myself leaning more toward somewhere like Loft…
Is the glass half empty or half full?
I try to live life with a glass half full perspective…
What’s the farthest-away place you’ve been?

The farthest-away place that I’ve ever been is jolly London town! I loved every minute of my time in London and I’d hop back across the pond in a heartbeat!

1917146_10102014743739456_8985342363766216556_n

What’s under your bed? 
Nothing! Except maybe a dust bunny or two….
What is your favorite time of the day?
I love twilight most, but I really like both the sunset and the sunrise. Transitions between day and night are always pretty captivating…although I’m usually only awake for one of them, ha-ha!
What Inspires You?
I’m inspired by my friends, my family, the places I’ve been, the music I listen to…the energy of day to day life. I’m inspired by memories I’ve made and moments that are still to come!
Life – and time – always changing…