Friday, February 28, 2014

Let It Go

Anyone who has been around me in the last two months knows that, if the topic of the movie "Frozen" comes up, I'm very upset I haven't seen it yet.

I can sing the songs.  I know some of the storyline.  Idina Menzel is my favorite and my 6 year old brother has even tried to shame me into seeing it.  There isn't a good reason I haven't seen it yet, except for the lack of funding, as my entertainment budget has gone to the Oscars.  Which isn't really a great reason if you knew how badly I wanted to see it.

Anyways.  To get my "Frozen" fix, I've listened to almost every version of "Let it Go" that I can find on the internet, and I'm sharing them with you today, because this is how I make up for the fact I haven't seen it yet.

Do you have a favorite version?  I'd love to hear/see it!

Tuesday, February 25, 2014


To be honest, I'm writing this during class.  Terribly awful of me, I know, but if I don't do something, I'll go crazy.  If you think I'll be fine and should just pay attention, let me say this.  This is a four hour class.  FOUR.  HOURS.

Yes.  It's my own fault for taking this class.  In my defense, I thought it would be more than it is and I thought that there would be more guidance than there is.  My reasoning for taking this class, or even the class itself is not the point.  The point is motivation; or more specifically, un-motivation.

Motivation is the bane of my existence.  There are days when I need to motivate myself to do every menial task; get out of bed, brush my teeth, eat, so on, and so on.  Other days, I wake up ready to take the day and sing a little song every time I cross something off The List of Things to Do.  I never know what kind of day it is when I lay my head on my pillow and pull my blankets up to my chin - but sometimes, I know as it's happening that my motivation is slipping away.

Today is one of those days.  I woke up not feeling well and had to push myself to get to class, through work, and to my next class.  This four hour long class.  Here's where the story truly happens.  I'd built up enough motivation to push myself to think about The List of Things to Do, write a grocery list, and map out the rest of my evening, and then I sat through the first hour of class.  And then the next hour.  And the third.  I'm starting on hour three and I have no motivation for my list.  I don't want to go grocery shopping.  I want to just be done with the day and move on.

But I can't.  For the next hour I have to remind myself why I'm doing this.  Why I'm going through  four hour class and why the things on The List of Things to Do exist in the first place.  And it's hard.  It's really freaking hard.  But when I push myself through, I can pull the blankets up to my chin and sleep.

Will I wake up tomorrow ready to start the day?  I don't know.  But what I do know is that whether I'm unmotivated or not, I'll get through it.  I'll take some time to read a few blogs, read a magazine, or take a mental break.  That's how I'll get through it.  I might cry too, who knows.  But I will get through it.

What do you do to get out of an un-motivated slump?

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Oscar Buzz

I'm so excited for the Oscars.  (Miss who's up for the awards? Full list here!)  Over the last two months, Nathan and I have managed to see 7 of the 9 films nominated for Best Picture - the other 2 we managed to see before the holidays started.  This is the second year we've done this, and it's so much fun.  There is a surprising amount of meticulous planning and budgeting, as well as spirited discussion post-film.  After each film, we always go to IMDB and read through the 'trivia' section.  They are always so interesting!  When the Oscar ceremony rolls around, we make predictions and see who can get the most right.  I always keep my predictions pretty secret, but  I'll share with you some of my thoughts.  The movies are also in order of watching them, from most recent to first watched - that way I can't be accused of playing favorites!

I'm writing this review literally hours after I saw this.  A fan of Alexander Payne's directing style, I was not surprised by the beauty of "Nebraska", which meant I just got to enjoy it.  Bruce Dern was great, Will Forte was phenomenal and proved that he is more than just the funny guy, and June Squibb was hilarious throughout the entire movie.  Being set in Nebraska, there was a ton of Midwest-based humor that had the entire theatre cracking up.  Definitely want to see this again, and probably with my grandparents and father, as this is a movie they would love.

At nearly 3 hours, this was definitely the longest one we sat through.  Best part was - it didn't feel long.  A huge fan of Leo, and anything he does with Scorsese, I didn't let any of the drama and critiques towards this movie stop me.  It was honestly one of his best performances since Titanic, if not ever.  Yes, there's a lot of foul language and drug use and nudity and everything your great-grandmother would shame.  I may be in the minority on this one as far as top Best Picture loves, but I did truly love this one.

I"ll be honest - it was weird.  I don't love Joaquin Phoenix, I do love Amy Adams.  I felt uncomfortable in the theatre while I watched it.  I felt uncomfortable with how beautiful I thought it was.  I'm still really unsure of how I feel  overall about the whole movie, because however off-beat it was, it was still beautiful.  Don't get me wrong though - it does deserve to be in this race.

I know, I'm  full of unpopular opinions.  I didn't love this one as much as critics and everyone else did.  Also - Brad Pitt didn't have the role I thought he would.  But I digress.  The film is beautiful and, although based on a book, it was such a unique perspective that isn't often seen in media.  Chiwetel Ejiofor was fantastic, as was Lupita Nyong'o.  I don't think she should win the Oscar, per se, but this film is definitely deserving of every award it has been nominated for.  Um, the cinematography anyone?

I love the British.  I love the Irish.  I love this movie.  I could honestly watch it again, and again, and again.  And again.  This movie was heartbreaking and funny and beautiful.  I don't have a ton of words about it, as it left me speechless.  Judi Dench did wonderfully, and Stephen Frears gave the world something to hold close to their hearts.  In the same case as Will Forte, Steve Coogan proved again that he is more capable than the humor than he is known for.  Anyone want to watch it with me when it comes out on DVD?

As a disclaimer, I don't like Matthew McConaughey that much.  Aside from "How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days", I could do without watching one of his movies.  I can now admit that McConaughey has proved himself as more than just a drawling tan guy, and if you don't believe me, this will be the movie that will change your mind.  This was one of the few this year that did make me cry.

"Silver Linings Playbook" was one of my favorite movies last year, and I was not disappointed by "American Hustle".  Well, only slightly.  At times it felt a little draggy, but I later found out that it was because improv was encouraged, which altered the storyline.  I still loved it though.  Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence absolutely blew me away, and I am continually surprised with Amy Adams.  There was so much glamour in this movie, it was hard not to love.

I was on the edge of my seat the ENTIRE TIME.  No joke.  I screamed at one point.  It was fantastic.  Also, the supporting actor nominee, Barkhad Abdi, is a Minnesota Man, and although he won't win, how can you not love a hometown guy?  My mother loved this movie.  You don't know my mother, but it's not often that she loves an Oscar nominated movie.  This movie was wonderfully directed, acted, and casted, and definitely a good family movie to watch with children over the age of 13.  You know, since it's PG-13.

Nathan and I were lucky enough to see this in 3D at a pre-screening event.  I was in love with it initially, though I could have done with a little more George Clooney.  The directing, while phenomenal and in my top three, was not my favorite.  Bullock did amazing; she carried the entire film, no question about it.  It's faded from popular choice, as it came out way back in October, but I won't be surprised when it starts winning some statues.

Which ones have you seen?  Fill out your ballots (at least for the top six awards!) and send them my way - there might be a prize for the winner!  Don't worry, I'll share mine with you via Twitter the day of, and expect a post about it the day after!

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

growing up & going out.

To be honest, I have a Facebook album with the same title.  I started it when I began my PSEO year at Southwest Minnesota State University, and continued to add to it over the next two years.  There was something about the title that just kind of rang with what was going on in my life at the time.  Another year or so passed and I really hadn't thought about the title until this week.

I completed my first (very, very long) week at my internship.  I'm currently working roughly 25-30 hours a week, plus class, plus homework, and I'm still exhausted.  Aside from a few bad-stress inducing moments, the stress and exhaustion I felt at the end of the week was just shy of exhilarating.  I ended the week with the office closing a couple hours early and being able to take that time to get ready for a wonderful Valentine's date with Nathan.  I'm still geeking out over the calligraphy set he got me!

My weekend was spent seeing most of my family, as my Dad, his girlfriend, her daughter, and my three siblings were all in the city for the weekend.  What a joy that was!  We spent time at the Mall of America, swimming at the water park located in the hotel they were staying at, and staying up late to play card games.  There were tons of laughs and stories, along with being awoken by six year-old fingers prying open my sleeping eyes.  We saw "the Lego Movie" and the six year old was not the only one with the "awesome" song stuck in their heads.  I ended Sunday night absolutely and utterly exhausted and completely happy.

Although I was able to sleep in a little later than normal on Monday morning, I still went non-stop for most of the day, and continued on today.  I have to keep reminding myself that I need to carve a little time for me, a little time for Nathan, and a few minutes every so often to just breathe.  I've spent months - almost years - of my life wishing for days like this.  Where I had things to do, projects to accomplish, and things that made me "grown up".

Well, I'm here.  I'm accelerating faster and faster towards birthdays, anniversaries, graduation, real jobs, and the real world.  I'm growing up and I'm going out, and although some days are harder than others, I'm doing my best to love every minute of it.

Friday, February 7, 2014

injury chic.

If you know me, you know that I get hurt a lot, and that a lot is an understatement.  In the last two years, I’ve had one cast, one boot, and two supportive braces.  When you’re injury-prone, working that injury into an outfit can be tricky, but it’s definitely doable.

I had my first walking boot in high school, during section and state competitions for our basketball team.  To show my spirit, I placed tape in my school colors on the straps of the boot, making it stripey for the competitions.  In my daily wear of the boot, I would often be complimented on the colored socks I wore that poked their way out of the toe of my boot.  At thirteen, I had my arm in a sling and the first thing I did with it was spray it with glitter paint.  The navy was too sterile for me at that age, and I was ready to have it look good.  Now, years later, I would probably do something more similar to Anne Hathaway’s sling, but at thirteen, a DIY glitter sling was good enough for me.

Crutches can be accessorized with a scarf, or some color.  Wraps, braces, and white casts can be covered with a scarf or colored pre-wrap, which is found at almost every drugstore or pharmacy, which is something Natalie Morales did at the Golden Globes in 2013.  There are plenty of ways to work with a clunky injury and turn it into injured chic!  I was lucky enough this morning to be able to tuck my knee brace into my Hunter boots, and I love that it streamlines my leg much more than just having a big ol’ black brace on my knee.  There are plenty of ways to make an injury look less painful, if you don’t mind the pun.  

Even celebrities dress up their injuries, and a few of them you can even turn into a DIY project!

via MTV
- Mariah Carey
The slings she wears here can be easily made by you, at home. Simply get some cloth from a nearby fabric store, maybe some jewels to glue on, and have at it.

via Perez Hilton

- Demi Lovato
This one is a little harder to do yourself, but if the stainless steel crutches you get at the hospital freak you out, take them apart and spray them whatever color you wish. Just make sure you take apart the parts, as you don't want them to become sticky and no longer adjustable.

- Jen Aniston
This solution is not for everybody, but it's a little more glamorous than a crutch. Talk to your doctor about the proper way to walk while using a cane, but it is a fashionable alternative!

Bonus: However fabulous it may be, Lady Gaga’s solution to looking glam while injured is a little excessive for the everyday person. Gold plated and 24-karat gold? Not for me.

How do you 'dress' your injury?  Hashtag #injurychic on Twitter or Instagram so I can see!!

Thursday, February 6, 2014


Team USA!

In honor of the opening ceremonies of Sochi 2014, we're talking Olympics.  I love the Olympics.  I have memories of watching equestrian in the summer Olympics in a blanket fort I built myself, or getting to stay up late watching gymnastics.  There are the memories of watching the figure skating and then going to my lessons that week and trying to do all the fancy jumps (turns out I can't do an triple axle).  I love watching the skiing and every part of the skating, but my favorite, my absolute favorite part of the Olympics is hockey.

Miracle is my favorite sports movie.  It's in the top five of my all-time favorite movies.  I have a Team USA jersey that I not only wear year round, but where excessively during the Winter AND the Summer Olympics.  I grew up in Minnesota with a family of hockey players, so it really isn't any surprise that I love that particular event.  Do you have anything special you wear for your country?  Here are some great Team USA options if you're on the lookout.

If you have other countries you're cheering for, there's plenty of places to find gear.  NorthFace has some sweatshirts with multiple countries flags on them as well.  Check it out!

P.S.  Here's me in my jersey.  Happy Opening Ceremony Day!

Buzzfeed Quizzes

So I was home this last weekend with Mackenzie and we spent a good portion of lunch with my mother doing fun Buzzfeed quizzes with each other.  It was ridiculously hilarious.  Mom and I had each done a couple here and there, me probably more than her, but Mackenzie showed me where I could find them all in one place on the app.  It's slightly embarrassing that I didn't find the heading marked 'Quizzes' on the app, but now I'm sure glad I did.

Here are some of the fun ones we did:

- Which Harry Potter Character Are You?
Uhm.  I got Dumbledore.  Fangirl squealing would have only been louder if I got Ginny.  I love that Buzzfeed's questions match my spirit with Dumbledore's.

- Which '80s Pop Hit Are You?
"Faith" by George Michael.  I was jealous of Mackenzie's..."I Wanna Dance With Somebody."  Who wouldn't be jealous of Whitney Houston?

- What's the Name of Your Soulmate?
Okay.  Funny story with this one.  Mackenzie got Isaac, so I said "Well, read them to me and I'll see if I need to have a talk with Nathan."  I'm driving my car and Mackenzie is reading everything to me, and she gets the answer and just laughs.  And laughs.  I thought maybe it was actually going to be Nathan, but then she said the name.  Johanna.  Hilarious.  There isn't a "preferred gender" choice on this quiz, so even though I'm happily in a relationship with a Nathan, Buzzfeed advises me to "drop everything and go find Johanna, wherever she is".  Thanks Buzzfeed.  Thanks.

What responses did you get?  What were your favorites?

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Superbowl Rehash

To be honest, I'm still not over Sunday's game.  And not in the "I still can't believe Seattle won, hooray!" way.  Because this is who I cheered for.  NO SHAME I STILL LOVE THEM.  But I decided it's finally time to share with you a couple of my favorite moments.

I loved the National Anthem.  Loved it.  Having an opera singer was a wonderful thing and she nailed the anthem.

Okay.  This Coca-Cola commercial is getting a TON of backlash. (See here.  Or here.) I thought it was beautiful, actually.  It really brought everything back to the beginning: Coke is the 'first', and all of the languages relate to the "melting pot" that America was and is and will continue to be.

I know there's only one commercial, but by this time we've seen a lot, you know?  I couldn't even decide which ones to put on here, so I just wanted to mention my favorite.

Have a happy end-of-football season!

Sunday, February 2, 2014

cold weather blessings.

Remember that time I posted about cold being 5F?.  Well I take that all back.  All of it.  Earlier in the week, the University of Minnesota canceled all classes on Monday, and morning classes on Tuesday because of the cold.  It was -27F, and it felt a whole lot colder.  I grew up with late starts, snow days, and early outs because the amount of snow we received made it difficult for the country kids to get anywhere and even more difficult for big ol’ busses to make it out there.  My first year at a small college in southwest Minnesota called at least 3 full days off of school, and multiple other cancelled mornings or afternoons.  Imagine my dismay then, when I came to the U of M and never had days, mornings, or afternoons off due to the snow.  And I had to walk in it!

It made sense though.  Plows were out early, Metro Transit was always running, and there never seemed to be as much snow in the city as there was in my hometown.  After three years of finally coming to terms with it, I was beyond excited when I found out Sunday night that I would not be having class the next day.  Our University called off school because of the cold.  And it was marvelous.

I had a spa night by myself, which was awesome.  I tried this hair mask recipe.  And this face mask recipe.  I used my walnut foot scrub that is to die for.  And I watched a lot of Grey’s Anatomy.  I slept in the next morning and got to have my coffee while watching the news and not feeling rushed.  I spent all of Monday finding the fine line between being lazy and being productive.  To say I wish I could start every week like that is an understatement.  I have felt that balance of time off and time on the ball all week, and it’s made me more productive and happier than I can remember being in awhile.  There was something about having a “cold day” that brought back all my memories of “snow days”.  They always involved movies, hot chocolate, and blankets, and they were always happy.

I’ve had individual classes canceled for various reasons before, but I was never able to feel the childish joy because of the mass amount of homework that needed to be done.  That Sunday night pampering and the wonderful balance of Monday is an experience I'm hoping to take a lesson from and implement into my Sundays.  I want to do a little pampering, whether it be painting my nail or doing a face mask.  I want to do something creatively based and I want to accomplish a little task or two to start off my week on the right foot.

Do you have any similar stories? If so, share them with me!  Try pampering yourself before the start of your week - it definitely helps the mindset!