Monday, August 31, 2009

Making Dinner for the In-Laws

I started dating my husband when we were both 17. We basically grew up together. I went over his house a lot, and his mom cooked for me all the time. She is a superb cook and makes awesome authentic Chinese food. So it is a big deal when I cook for my in-laws. It is a chance to show them that we are adults now and can take care of ourselves. Also, I want to show them that I can cook. Believe mother-in-law has voiced her doubts (with no basis whatsoever). They still think of us as children, which drives me mad. So I feel like I have something to prove.

We've only invited them to dinner at our house a handful of times since getting married and moving into our house two years ago. When we invite them over, it is a whole production. And I mean, a PRODUCTION. One that needs at least two whole days of preparation. I tell my husband to give me at least a week's notice.

We invited them to our house for dinner last night. You may have noticed that I haven't blogged since Thursday. I was too busy preparing for Sunday. That was where I was. So this is what went into last night's dinner. First, the menu. I know better than to make my in-laws Chinese food. I am definitely not as good as my mother-in-law. So I have to cook something she doesn't know how to make...something non-Chinese. I also like to make something complex so as to impress them but nothing too complicated that I can screw up. So I never ever make them something I haven't made before. Never. I would just be asking for trouble. So this time, we decided to barbecue steak and chicken thighs. They don't barbecue at all, so it is a nice change of pace for them. I also made my sweet potato casserole and a Greek pasta salad as sides. Oh, and I made the chex mix as a snack, which was a hit. My mother-in-law loves to snack and also likes spicy food. Perfect, right? And I made homemade strawberry ice cream, which is my father-in-law's favorite. However, it's fancier and more impressive because it's homemade. Clever, aren't I?

, hard labor. At 9:30a on Saturday, I woke up and started cleaning the house immediately. No joke. I started in our bedroom and worked my way out. I dusted every surface and pledged every surface. Then I put everything away. After I was done with our house, it looked like no one lived there. Seriously. My husband vacuumed upstairs while I swiftered and mopped downstairs. We were finally done around 3:30pm. We just had enough time to get ready to go out for a party that same night.

Then on Sunday, I woke up early and made the chex mix with walnuts, almonds and chex. Not sure if they'd like cheezits and popcorn. Their palates are not as sophisticated. ;) Then we went grocery shopping for the rest of the stuff. When we came home, I got cracking on the sides and the ice cream, which took several hours. After that, I finally got a chance to take a shower. Right before they came over, we did last minute tidying up. I asked my husband to do the bed. He whined "What? But we never do the bed!" My response "Yeah, but your parents are coming." His response, "They are not coming upstairs." I acknowledged that he was right, but knowing his mother, she'll make an excuse to go upstairs at least once. (If you are wondering, she did go upstairs. Ha!) Then they arrived at 5:30p.

The house was pristine. They came to a clean and neat house with a snack, dinner and dessert already prepared. Little did they know that we were slaving away just moments before their arrival. And I made it look effortless.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Disney World: The Happiest Place on Earth!

My family and I went to Orlando this month and we had a blast! I have to admit there's no place like Disney World. I am not an amusement park kind of person and I hate roller coasters (mainly because I get motion sickness the moment it starts). But Disney World has all kinds of rides and shows for adults and children. Where else can you watch "Beauty and the Beast" live, ride "The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror," and ride a Star Wars simulator? 3D and 4D shows are always a hit, and every park has one. And you also get to watch some of your favorite Disney movies live on stage or take a ride through the world of some of your favorite characters. If you love Disney movies, you'll love Disney World! I know Orlando, Florida, will be a regular vacation destination for our family for years to come.

Tina's Top 5 Disney Attractions:
5) Finding Nemo-The Musical: It's like watching a 30 minute Broadway show! It was such a treat, even though I was the only one who liked it. HELLO, they turned Finding Nemo into a musical! (Animal Kingdom)
4) The Haunted Mansion: It's fun and the holographic effects are pretty cool. (Hollywood Studios)
3) It's Tough to be a Bug!: It's a 4D show where you get stung by a hornet, sprayed by a stink bug, and attacked by spiders! (Animal Kingdom)
2) Dinosaur!: You take a ride through the Jurassic era where carnivorous dinosaurs want to take a bite out of you. (Animal Kingdom)
1) The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror: They drop you from the thirteenth floor, three times! (Hollywood Studio)

Honestly, I missed a lot of rides and shows, but these are some you shouldn't miss! Disney World is the happiest place for all ages!

Ponyo by Hayao Miyazaki

I watched Ponyo with my daughters and we all really loved it. My four-year-old, who's already a movie critic, actually sat there the whole two hours watching it, which, believe me, is saying a lot. During the movie Up, 20 minutes in she was already ready to leave. And also she didn't go to the bathroom once, because usually she has to go about three times. The cutest thing was that she didn't want it to end. Twice during the movie she asked whether it was over and was so happy when I said no.

Ponyo is about a goldfish princess, who while running away from home, is found by a five year old boy named Sosuke. She comes to love the boy and wants to become human. It's just a sweet movie about unconditional love and the strength that children possess.

The director and writer Hayao Miyazaki is awesome! My girls and I love his movies. He just knows how to balance the innocence and also the maturity of children. Check out Spirited Away and My Neighbor Totoro, which we watch again and again. I'm so glad that Disney teamed up with him to bring his films to the US.

Carmen, age 6, said, "I love the part when the town was underwater. I wish our house was like that."

Rachel, 4, said, "Ponyo loves Sosuke!"

Thursday, August 27, 2009


So last semester, I began making dolls out of felt for some assignments for class. It was my first time sewing anything, but I was determined to make it work. I only now realize I never posted the doll I made for my final in Graphic Design last semester. The assignment was to market myself in any way. We could have created any products, services, etc. I decided to make a doll company called laura dolls (strictly in lower case!). I will try to get photographs of the actual doll, packaging, and Certificate of Authenticity that I had made for the project. Well, since I've started to make dolls, I wanted to actually make this doll company real and actually market my creations. I haven't started yet, but its just an idea for now.

Note this: When I make a doll, I put my heart into it. Dolls are hard work, man! So I only make them for very special people. So far, I've made one for my best friend's birthday and one for my boyfriend as a going away present at the end of the summer (Well, I was going away, but let's not get caught up in details...I like making him things, okay!?)

I forgot to take pictures of these dolls before I gave them away. But don't fret! I asked my best friend and boyfriend to take pictures of their dolls for me.

This is a Godzilla doll I made for my best friend. It's a running joke that she's deathly afraid of large creatures, even ones that don't exist like King Kong and Godzilla. She also loves short and fat things so I put both of these details together and created this doll for her birthday!

Up next is the doll I made for my boyfriend. It's a bear and one side is an image of him. Note that the bill of the cap on his head is 3D! It comes outward! And also note that the two little buttons on his polo are real buttons!On the other side of the bear is an image of me!
The clothes we are wearing are the outfits we wore on our first date!

Sorry his pictures are so ghetto. He took them with his webcam. Hope you enjoyed looking at them as much as I enjoyed making them!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

I Need a New Hobby

Recently I noticed that my life consists of work, TV and sleep...and that is about it. Oh, and I forgot an important one, blogging. However, now that I am finished revamping our blog (with the help of my awesome husband), I find I want to move to the next thing. Don't get me wrong. I am not done blogging...far from it. However, I feel like I need a new hobby.

It is easy for people, me included, to become resigned with life...with work, relationships, leisure...anything really. Resignation is not really what anyone strives for, right? So I am going to do something about it. Before I go on, I must preface with this: I get in these phases sometimes. =/ So bare with me.

I have several ideas swirling in my head. Not very long ago, after watching hours and hours of So You Think You Can Dance, I wanted to become a contemporary dancer. Yeah, I know...I even laughed at the idea. I am not graceful or flexible. And all the classes I could find were for 5 year olds. Apparently, I am too old! My dreams were dashed after a two minute internet search.

I had to come up with something realistic. Something I can actually do. I love writing. However, all I do at work is write, so it is hard to get motivated. I tried writing earlier this year and could only come up with three pages of an unfinished story. Yeah, it was pretty sad. It has been sitting unfinished for months.

I also love art. I thought of photography. For the longest time, I wanted to take up photography. Laziness or the lack of money stopped me. Maybe it is something I can do now. I don't have one of those DSLR cameras. But before I go spending all that money on one, I decided to practice using my digital camera. I know it is not the same. But I want to first see if I even have an eye for photography. I may suck really bad. I demanded that my husband take a walk with me today to take some pictures. I told him to humor me. So we went and just got back. It was kinda fun. It was getting dark, but I think I got some decent pictures. This hobby is great too because it got me and my husband off the couch and out of the house.

So what do you think? Should I take up knitting instead? That was my other idea.

District 9

I've been meaning to start blogging about other topics besides my usual movie review... buuuuuut it's hard! It was summer! What else is there to do besides going to the theater? Well, rest assured because summer is over and my days of movie-hopping are sadly at an end.

During my last week of summer, I watched District 9 with my boyfriend. Before watching the movie, I had seen previews and had already decided it was going to be one of those many movies that look interesting and exciting but end up being horribly corny and a waste of two precious hours of my life. But a lot of my friends had seen the film and gave rave reviews about it, so I decided to give it a chance. Thank God I did!

I advise you not to read the synopsis below, because much of the magic of the film is that you have no idea what is going to happen next.

[Synopsis] The movie was set in a time where aliens are living on earth in a small area in South Africa. This area, called District 9, is heavily secured and can almost be described as concentration camps. The movie briefly shows us the background story of District 9 describing the first time the "mother ship" had appeared in the air in South Africa and aliens' poor health conditions. What first started as an area to aid the aliens had become a slum that contained and controlled them. The turning point in the story begins when Wikus Van De Merwe, a field operative of MNU (Multi-National United), a government organization that controls the aliens, is infected with an alien liquid that begins to change his DNA.

The movie surprised me a lot. I was glad the trailers didn't give any information away, it just gave us the background information of the film. It's important that viewers go into the theater not expecting something earth-shattering, because they're setting themselves up for disappointment.

I loved everything about the movie: the plot, the characters, the conflict. Although the genre was sci-fi, the movie felt really real. It really dove deep into human nature and held nothing back. I really appreciated the film as it was. The graphics were great even though it's considered low budget for its genre.

I dub this film the best movie of the summer! (And trust me, I've seen a lot of them)

I give it 5 stars!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Sweet and Spicy Chex Mix

I have been deprived all these years! Or living under a rock. One of those. But I made and ate homemade chex mix for the first time this weekend. I am not even kidding when I say I had it for breakfast, lunch and an after dinner snack all weekend. Well, I am not proud of it, okay?! But it was delish. My co-worker was raving about her sweet and spicy chex mix recipe and finally gave it to me. I made it with chex (obviously), pecans, almonds, popcorn and cheezits. So yummy.

But you can put in whatever you like--you don't even have to put in chex. My co-worker actually created the recipe from one for a spiced glazed nut and pretzel mix. My husband's favorite part is the chex, so he actually told me to make it again with just chex. Here is the recipe:

2 cups of raw, untoasted nuts (almonds, pecans, walnuts, cashews, peanuts, hazelnuts)
3 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
9 tablespoons dark brown suger
2 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper for mild heat (can be reduced or increased according to preference)
1 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
4 tablespoons of maple syrup
3 teaspoons of coarse or kosher salt
10 cups of stuff (chex, cheezits, pretzels and popcorn)

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
2. Spread the nuts on a baking sheet and roast for 10 minutes, stirring once for even toasting.
3. In a medium bowl, mix together the melted butter, brown sugar, cinnamon, cayenne pepper and maple syrup.
4. Add salt, warm nuts and chex mix and stir until everything is completely coated.
5. Spread the mixture on a baking sheet and return to the oven for 12 minutes, stirring the mixture twice.
6. Remove from the oven and cool completely.

Laura can't eat spicy stuff, so I also tried the monkey munch recipe I saw on Jon and Kate Plus Eight. That has chocolate and peanut butter in it. Really good too. You can find the recipe here. I have been eating a lot of chex mix this weekend. I am making up for lost time!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Did You Notice That Girl on Project Runway?

I just finished watching the season premiere of Project Runway, and Lindsay Lohan was the guest judge. I guess she has nothing better to do nowadays. I've vented about her in an earlier post , so you don't need to read it again. Anyway, I couldn't help noticing that the girl who got eliminated tonight (see pic on the right) looks exactly like Lindsay's girlfriend, Samantha Ronson. RIGHT?!? Isn't that uncanny? No like seriously! You can really tell when you see the girl on TV. I wonder if Lindsay noticed? Hmmm...something to think about.

Dear Laura

Warning: If you don't like mushy stuff, you probably should turn away now and read about killer flip flips or my obsession with Simon Pegg.

Because Laura is going back to college this Sunday, I thought I'd write her a letter and tell her things I always forget to tell her or things I probably tell her too often (but one more time won't hurt). Also, if I handwrote the letter, she'll probably lose it, and I'll get all mad and thought she didn't care. So to avoid that whole situation, I thought this is the best place to save it.


Dear Laura,

Remember when I used to call you mini-me. You are not so mini anymore. I thought you were exactly like me, except a mini version that I can put in my pocket. Hehe. I used to demand that you never grow up and stay my little baby forever. Well, you grew up, damnit. But I'll get over it...eventually.

So you're not my baby anymore. I realized that a long time ago of course. You're grown and off to college. (Reminds me of how old I am. *Shudder*) I've seen you grow so much in the last few years. I see so much good in you. I see your generosity and your thoughtfulness. I see how you care so much for the people you love. Also, I've come to appreciate you as an individual. You're your own person. You aren't me...or Tina. You're you. I always thought you'd be exactly like me, actually. You know when I realized that you weren't? When I found out how sensitive you are! It blew my friggin' mind. But I think it is a good's perfect really. It makes you who you are.

Since college started for you, I've seen you apply yourself. Get over your freshman year jitters. It was hard, I know. But you had the strength. You just didn't know it at the time. And I've seen you grow at your craft as an artist. Wow, it's really amazing to watch. You aren't scared to be different. And you do what you like. That takes a strong mind. And you have what it takes. I'm sorry I ever doubted you...for even a minute. Truly.

I am lucky to be in your life, Laura. You are my best friend. And I cherish every moment we spend together...even the times when we sit around and do nothing. It's so easy. I can be myself completely. I am lucky to have that with you and Tina. And you get me. Like really get me. And you don't judge me. Thank you for that.

As your big sister, I leave you with advice, which you've heard before. But I will say it again. Make good decisions!! Oh, and I know you know and I know you've heard this about a million times, but I love you. So I leave you with that, dear sister. I miss you already.


Wednesday, August 19, 2009

What About Flip Flops?!?

A lot of people may not know this about me, but I turned into quite a germaphobe over the years. The commercial about toilet cleaners where they zoom in on the germs skeeves me out. Laura makes fun of me about it. I wash my hands constantly and sometimes have to ask my husband to do the same. "Did you wash your hands when you came home?" "Did you wash your hands after you took the trash out?" "Did you wash your hands at all today?" Sometimes to mess with me, he says no and then proceeds to wipe his germy hands all over my arms and face, whilst I am screaming. Then he'd say he did wash them. Not cool...

So I love wearing flip flops. I liked them before they were everywhere. It is one of my favorite things about summer. I think they are comfortable, goes perfectly with my casual style, and is just easy. Then I read the most horrible article today, titled "Can Your Flip Flops Kill You?" The tagline is "Summer footwear harbor more than 18,000 bacteria, including deadly germ." BUHHHH!! If I had really thought about it, I would have guessed. Flip flops are worn to places they probably should not be and, hence the name, flips up stuff I'd rather not think about. Ahhh, my flip flops are going to kill me! I gotta go right now and disinfect my flip flops immediately. Ack! Okay, I am not really going laziness won out. But I will be SERIOUSLY thinking about it!

Monday, August 17, 2009

500 Days of Summer

My husband and I don't go to the movies much anymore. Personally, there just aren't many movies that I really want to watch, except for any Harry Potter or Twilight movies, of course. ;) However, there are the occasional few that I am excited about. One of them is an indie film called 500 Days of Summer. It received great reviews. (I really only watch movies that other people say are good. It helps weed out the bad ones.) And I heard it is not the typical love story. I am atypical and thus like atypical movies. Also, I love Zooey Deschanel. I think she is beautiful.

I had been telling my husband that I wanted to see this movie. We finally made a "date night" out of it last Friday. Well, I am really the only one who calls it "date night." But it makes it seem we are kids again. Just him and me out on a date enjoying each other's company. No distractions, just us. Date night also seems more official. No excuses. No change of plans. We are going buts about it. You should know that Friday nights are usually when we come home exhausted and want to do nothing except order in and watch a DVD.

It is fun making plans with my husband. And I honestly looked forward to date night all week. So last Friday, I got to spend quality time with my husband and finally got to watch 500 Days of Summer. The first thing the narrator says in the movie is "This is a story of boy meets girl. But you should know up front, this is not a love story." There on the big screen was the boy named Tom and the girl named Summer sitting at a park bench holding hands and staring into each other's eyes. I saw this couple and expected (and hoped for) a happy ending despite the narrator's warning.

The movie flashes between blissfully happy Tom and heartbroken, lovesick Tom on different days of the 500 days of Summer. It's weird watching the beginnings of romance knowing the ending isn't going to be a happy one. However, you are right there with Tom through his bliss and also his heartache. The poor guy just could not get over Summer after their break-up. Everyone has been there and can relate to Tom's plight. That is why this movie is so great. It is not obvious. It's honest. Love is unexpected and can be both good and bad. Joseph Levitt-Gordon is great as forlorn Tom. I felt so bad for the guy especially when he was desperately clinging to hope that just didn't exist. Joseph Levitt-Gordon found a niche as an indie film actor. Since his 3rd Rock from the Sun days, it seems he has been MIA when actually he has been working plenty...mostly on indie films like Brick, The Lookout, and Manic. I'll be looking out for more of his movies. I am his newest fan.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Otto Grows Down

The other day, I was taking care of Tina's kids. I was reading to them before bedtime. They borrowed "Otto Grows Down" from the library and asked me to read it. This book is so unexpectedly weird. It is about this little boy named Otto who had a new baby sister. For his birthday wish, he wished that she was never born. I thought it was going to be the typical book about sibling rivalry. But things began to get strange after his birthday wish. Time started to go backwards. His candles lit back up, and his mom put the cake away. Then he had to return his presents to his friends. Soon his parents brought his baby sister back to the hospital. After that, life continued to go backwards. He went to school in the afternoon, returned home in the morning and then went straight to bed. When he took a bath, he went in the tub clean and came out dirty. Otto was not happy about the turn of events at all. It was particularly distressing when he had to go to the bathroom. Yuck!

While I was reading this book, I started cracking up. The story is so ridiculous. I didn't expect it at all. Rachel and Carmen were sitting on both sides of me. And they were both looking at me strangely. That didn't help matters. I couldn't stop laughing. I couldn't read anything for at least five minutes. I was laughing so hard that my eyes were tearing up. This book is so funny. I love weird books, and it is definitely weird. I don't think the girls understood it. While I was laughing, they were not amused. I kinda had to explain it to Carmen. Oh, well, I thought it was entertaining.

Otto Grows Down definitely takes a different approach to sibling rivalry. All kids can learn a thing or two from Otto Grows Down. For one, the moral of the story is, if your sibling was never born, then time will go backwards until you were never born before. Yeah, that's right. Another one is going to the bathroom when time is going backwards is not fun. So think twice about your little sister or might not be so bad.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

High School: My Awkward Years

My husband and I went to the same high school and actually graduated the same year. However, we hung in different crowds and never actually ever. We had a mutual best friend who did introduce us once. I remember it pretty clearly. We were in the basement right outside of the gym, and he was at his locker. I remember saying something dorky like "so we finally're the guy that [mutual friend] is always talking about." Yeah, it wasn't very witty or memorable or anything. So that explains why my husband doesn't remember it at all. Although he does have a memory of embarrassing one, of course. I had asked a certain guy to the Junior Prom, and that guy did not want to go with me. So he tried to pawn me off on my future husband. And what did my husband say in response?! "Nah!" (Okay, maybe not "nah" exactly but something just as rejectiony.) He passed. He totally passed on ME! Stupid high school boys! You really should throw rocks at them. Well, in the end, I win, right? HA. Take that, husband. Now you are stuck with me the never ending prom that you didn't want to take me to.

Well, what prompted my reminiscences of the "fond" memories of high school was a wedding we went to this past weekend. The groom was my husband's friend from high school. So we saw a lot of familiar faces there. It brought me back to those times in high school--I'll admit mostly good times. However, I am a different person then, while being exactly the same. (Does that make any sense at all?) I mean, my view of the world is different. My view of myself is different. High school was when I felt insecure and ugly. When I over-thought everything I said and did within those walls. When I thought everything I said and did was so uncool. Now I don't feel that way anymore. Maybe I've become more mature. Or I've gained more confidence. Or I just don't really care what those f#@kers think anymore. They were never better than me. I just thought they were. Now I think I am cool. Hello! I am a blogger...that is like WAY cool.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Laura After Getting Her Wisdom Teeth Taken Out

Our telephone conversation after the surgery:

Laura: Mwa mwa mwa mwa...
Tara: Honey, I have no idea what you are saying.
Laura: Mwa mwa...cotton balls...mwa mwa.
Mom (in the background): Stop talking!
Laura: Mwa mwa mwa mwa mwa mwa...
Tara: Call me later when you can talk. I can't understand you.

Five minutes later, Laura calls me back.

Laura: Mwa mwa Tara. Did I call you already?
Tara: Yes, you did.
Laura: Oh...I am seeing double right now. Mwa mwa mwa...
Mom (in the background): Stop talking!
Laura (incoherently): I want to take the cotton balls out.
Mom (in the background): Nooo!
Laura: Did I call you already?
Tara: Yes, honey.
Laura: I called Pina too.
Laura (to mom): Mom, did I call Pina?
Mom (in the background): What?
Laura (to mom): Did I call Peeeennnna?
Mom (in the background): What?
Laura (to mom): Did I call Peeeennnna, my boyfriend?
Tara (in head): Oooohh, Peter...not Tina.
Laura: I called Pina, and he didn't understand me. And I also called Pina.
Tara: Honey, I barely understand you.

Laura doesn't remember this conversation at all. Lucky for her, I transcribed it.

Arrested Development

Arrested Development is a really quirky show about a dysfunctional family named the Bluths. It is filmed like a documentary. Think The Office. It only lasted for three seasons even though it has a cult following and is critically acclaimed. The show just didn't get good enough ratings...sorta like Veronica Mars, Pushing Daisies, Firefly, and the like. Also, why the hell am I always blogging about canceled shows? Anyway, everyone has told me that it is a great show, but I never got into it. So recently I borrowed the DVDs from my cousin. I admit that I didn't get it until I was a few episodes in. But the show is pretty friggin' hilarious.

The Bluths is a wealthy family that owns a building company run mostly by George Sr. and his son, Michael. The rest of the family lives a life of excess and never worked a day in their lives. Then George Sr. gets arrested by the SEC for fraud and misuse of company funds. This event leaves the family lost and without a leader. Although they initially resist him, Michael becomes the provider and unlikely head of his misfit family. The best part of this series is the whacked out characters. Michael is the only "normal" one. Michael has a son named George Michael (played by Michael Cera) who is in love with his cousin. Michael's older brother Gob is a really bad professional magician and travels around via segway. He is played by Will Arnett who I think is so hilarious. Love him! Michael's brother-in-law, Tobias, is a non-practicing psychiatrist who wants to be an actor and is never nude--he has some sort of phobia. Really weird. All this is only the half of it! Everyone is bonkers in this family.

I totally wikipediaed "Arrested Development" and found out it is some kind of mental disorder or impairment. It also refers to lack of intelligence. Haha! I wonder if this was done on purpose.

Arrested Development is currently being made into a motion picture with the same cast and everything. It is expected to be released in late 2010. Should be awesome.

Monday, August 10, 2009

The Proposal

So I watched The Proposal the other day with my boyfriend. (He secretly loves romantic comedies. Tehe!) The movie was just what I expected.

It was about a top book editor named Margaret Tate (played by Sandra Bullock) who is in trouble when her boss tells her her visa is denied, and she needs to return immediately to her homeland, Canada. Desperate not to lose her job to some idiot, Margaret tells her boss she's engaged to her assistant, Andrew Paxton (played by Ryan Reynolds). Then chaos insues.

(Spoiler Alert!) As I was watching the movie, I felt like it was one of my romance novels thrown onto screen. There's no denying the movie was adorable. My favorite part was when Sandra Bullock dances and sings "Salt Shaker." I couldn't stop laughing. The one qualm I had with the film was the short amount of time it took for Andrew and Margaret to decide they were in love with each other. The story was just too perfect. Not enough conflict for me.

But it was worth watching if you like romance. I give it 3.5 stars!

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Homemade Ice Cream

Tina got a Cuisinart Automatic Ice Cream Maker (pictured on the right), and we tried it out recently. We have never made homemade ice cream before. I never realized how easy it is to make. I was all excited about it. I kept telling the kids to come see. Yeah, they definitely were not as excited...although they were very happy to eat it. I tried making mint chocolate chip a couple weeks ago. It didn't turn out too bad. Today, I made cookies and cream, using oreo cookies. The basic ingredients are milk, sugar, and cream, and you just need to throw it in the ice cream maker and turn it on for 25-30 minutes. How simple is that. And you get ice cream that is soft and creamy. Plus you have more control over the fat content and the ingredients.

What I really want to try is different flavors...something gourmet or with fresh fruit. I didn't want to do anything too crazy in the first couple attempts in case it turned out bad. I can't wait to try something that I've stolen the ice cream maker from Tina. Tehe.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Electric Toothbrush

So we are probably the last people to get an electric toothbrush. I have become a teeth hygiene freak in recent years, so I was telling my husband that we should get one. He kept saying that his dad has one at home that wasn't even open and that we should take it. I mean, they are kinda expensive, so free is good. My husband finally got the electric toothbrush from my father-in-law. And I opened it and saw an old receipt in the box. That sh#% is 8 years old! The receipt said 2001! 2001?!? That being said, it works perfectly fine, and I highly recommend that everyone get an electric toothbrush. I feel like my teeth are smoother and cleaner after using it. And it gets into the hard to reach places. It's awesome!

But because it is so old, I feel like we are missing out on new technology. I mean I don't really know what would be new in an electric toothbrush...don't they just spin? Well, doesn't matter. I want the new (and probably more expensive) version! That's just how I roll. Now how can I break it and make it look like an accident? Haha!, really, how?


In my Run Fatboy Run post, I said I loved Simon Pegg. Well, that love has turned into an obsession. Like seriously, I wanna stalk the dude. I told my husband about it and honestly said "I wish Simon Pegg wasn't so famous because now it is harder to stalk him." In his Shaun of the Dead hey day, a stalker would go unnoticed, but now that he's made Star Trek, not so much. Sigh. I found out that he has a book deal in which he will publish three autobiographical and semi-autobiographical books. And I wanna read them! This is significant because I have never ever read a celebrity book in my life and have never had the desire to. I found out he has a blog too. He is so cool...

My obsession began after I watched the entire series of the TV show, Spaced, which is free on hulu. Go watch it! He is about 29 when he wrote, directed and co-starred in Spaced. He is young and cute...adorable really. And he says funny British things. Spaced has a cult following although it was canceled only after two seasons, which sadly only had seven episodes each.

The basic story of Spaced is that a guy (Tim) and a girl (Daisy) who are strangers suddenly find that they have no place to live. They happen to meet in a cafe where both of them are looking in the classifieds for an apartment. After days of such chance meetings, Daisy comes across an apartment in the classifieds that sounds perfect. However, there is one catch--the apartment is for professional couples only. So they devise a plan to get the apartment together. After they move in, they become fast friends and become sort of like a family, which includes their best friends, two other people from the building, and a dog named Colin. Everyone on the show is weird and quirky, and I love it. Also, what is unique about Spaced is that it is filled with pop culture references from Star Wars to the Matrix to the Terminator. They add another element to the show. And the plot lines are so out there but really funny. Love it.

Watch out, Simon Pegg. I'm coming for you.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Close Talkers

When it comes to my family and close friends, I have no personal bubble at all. I'll hug you and kiss you and basically climb on top of you to show affection. However, at work, I have a huge personal bubble. When people come into my office, I prefer that they stay on the other side of my desk. But people always always come around my desk to talk to me or to show me a document. All of this can be done on the other side of my desk. Sometimes, they stand right next to my chair, and I have to crank my neck up to look at them. That is not comfortable nor necessary. It's awkward.

The worst are close talkers. I've encountered quite a few. I'll see them at the end of the hallway and call out to them either in greeting or with a question. And soon they are inches from my face. I literally have to take a step back or I'd go cross-eyed trying to look them in the face. I like you, but I don't like you THAT much. I really need my personal space.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Good-bye, Babydolls?

I am at an age and far along enough in my marriage that everyone and their mother want to see me pregnant. Tina and Laura say it all the time. I even get it from Carmen, Tina's six-year-old! (She wants cousins to play with.) Every time we visit my mother-in-law, she gently touches my belly and asks me if I am pregnant yet. That is awkward. Plus I don't like my belly being touched! So it appears that my family and my husband's family are on baby watch. It's kinda like the paparazzi every time they think they see a "baby bump." They go in a frenzy.

So what does this have to do with babydolls? Everything! I love babydoll shirts and dresses. It is all I've worn this summer. I think it is flattering. Well, I thought it was...until my husband's granny saw me in a babydoll dress. She remarked that my stomach looked big and then demanded to know whether I was pregnant. I denied it, and she accused me of lying. I denied it again, and she threatened that I better not be lying! OMG! I was self-conscious all day after that. So I learned my lesson. Babydoll dresses + crazy family that wants me to be pregnant a good time. So the next time I saw my husband's family, I told my husband I have to look skinny! So I wore a black dress with an A-line silhouette. And they actually commented that I look like I lost weight. I hadn't, of course. But I felt victorious. Win one for Tara. However, my cousin-in-law made the mistake of wearing a babydoll dress that day. And she got the "ARE YOU PREGNANT?" exclamation. She has two beautiful sons...leave her alone!

So will I give up babydolls? No, of course not! I love them. They are comfortable. I don't feel compelled to suck in my tummy all day long. They are awesome! Plus, my husband said that when I do finally become pregnant, I have tons of cute outfits already. Win two for Tara!

Funny People

I saw Funny People the other day. I really liked it! It had a similar humor as many of Judd Apatow's other films, meaning many of the jokes were celebrity references.

The film is about a famous comedian/actor, named George Simmons (played by Adam Sandler), who finds out he has a deadly illness. Desperate to live out his remaining days to their fullest extent, he tries to win back "the one who got away" and at the same time, faces his boredom with his career and unhappiness with life. Carrying him through these desperate times is a perfect stranger, Ira Wright (played by Seth Rogan), who grows a life long bond with George.

The jokes were funny, but not hilarious, and the acting was great! I thought it was written very well. The movie was pretty heart-warming. Leslie Mann was particularly funny compared to her other roles in Judd Apatow films. I loveeeee Seth Rogan. He lost a lot of weight and he looks adorable! In this poster, he looks kinda weird, but he's awesome!

Warning: the film was about 2.5 hours long. I thought the length was okay after the film was done, but my guy friends watched it with me thought the movie was super long and not that funny. So I guess if you like Judd Apatow's humor, then you'll love this film like I do, but if you didn't think his other films like Knocked Up and The 40-Year-Old Virgin were funny, then don't watch it I guess.

I give it 4.7 stars! I like it even more than Knocked Up!

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: A Must Reread!

Immediately after watching Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince, I knew had to reread the last book. I had only read it once when it came out two years ago. I am the kind of reader who forgets everything immediately after reading it. Ha! Laura makes fun of how bad my memory is. But I think it is a good thing. I get to reread books like they are new to me! Make sense, right? Anyway, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows is sooooo good. I finished it in a few days. I really did forget almost everything. I am quite ashamed to admit that I forgot about the Deathly Hallows, the story of Dumbledore, the ending...pretty much all of the important parts. Heh heh. *sheepishly* Yeah, it's pretty sad how much I really do forget.

There are so many more things that I appreciate and many more details that I got this time around. It made me love the Harry Potter series the more, because Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows really is the perfect sum up and ending of the story of Harry Potter. I urge everyone who haven't reread the last book to do so. It is so utterly satisfying.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Lars and the Real Girl

Lars and the Real Girl is basically a story about a guy who falls in love with a sex doll. Yeah, sounded kinda weird to me too. Well, I was at the library and I saw that this movie just came in, so I decided to borrow it since it was nominated for some awards. I thought it was going to be an artsy movie, probably really weird and I wouldn't get it. Well, it turned out to be a great movie and actually kinda touching.

Lars is an extremely introverted person to the point where he runs away from his sister-in-law when she tries to get him to have dinner at her house. His sister-in-law, Karin, tackles him to get him to come over. Very soon Lars introduces the doll (aka Bianca) as his new "girlfriend" to Karin and his brother, Gus. At first they freak out and think Lars is totally insane. They talk to the family physician who suggests that they humor him and it's Karin (who's a great character) who says she'll do anything.

[Spoiler Alert!] What I loved about the film was that the whole community gets involved in the Lars and Bianca's life. Bianca starts volunteering at the hospital, attending banquets and school meetings, and kinda having a life without Lars. It borders between reality and the ridiculous, but somehow works. On occasion I couldn't help but giggle at the absurdity of it all, especially the ending. It was a fun movie and very original. I'm so glad that Lars and Bianca didn't get "intimate" or I would've probably turned off the movie. Lars only gives her a short kiss once towards the end.

After watching this movie, I love Ryan Gosling so much more. Emily Mortimer as "Karin" was also good; you just felt her character loved Lars so much and really would do anything for him, even bathe and dress the doll. If you like feel-good movies, which I do, go pick up this film.