Month: June 2014

Block Party Summer

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Summer means sunshine, beach trips, and lots of time spent outdoors. I love summer as much as anyone, but while I go on vacation, so do my favorite TV shows. I’m sad that Game of Thrones and Orphan Black are over, and obviously I burned through Orange is the New Black as fast as I could. Regular programming goes on hiatus and gives way to summer schedules. I’m reminded on my favorite channel growing up, Nick at Nite, which never even had original programming, but still switched into “Block Party Summer.” Here is how I remember it:

All summer long
3 hour long blocks
Lucy on Sunday
Andy Griffith Monday
Gilligan on Tuesday
Hillbillies Wednesday
Brady Bunch on Thursday
And Party Crashers Friday

I think this was the schedule from the summer of 2000, meaning I was 11? Nickelodeon switched over to Nick and Nite at some point, and apparently at 11 I had already grown out of cartoons and kids programming. I was a total TV Land/Nick at Nite junkie by age 10.

This week, while I’m on “summer vacation,” let’s chat about the shows that I was watching all summer long. It’s Block Party Summer on nikkisee.com! Here’s the line up:

  • Today is Monday, and there’s no Andy Griffith because this is the one night I wouldn’t watch. I didn’t care for Andy Griffith except for Barney Fife, and that’s because Don Knotts was also Mr. Furley in Three’s Company— which I did love!
  • Tomorrow, we’ll talk about Gilligan’s Island, my very first favorite show.
  • Wednesday, let’s talk The Beverly Hillbillies,
  • Thursday, we’re switching it up.   My Hell’s Kitchen recap, your normally scheduled programming, will be “crashing the party” a day early.
  • The Brady Bunch will show up a bit late to the party on Friday.
  • I Love Lucy will take next Monday, also, I guess, late to the party, but just in time to finish out my vacation!

Does anybody else remember Block Party Summer on Nick at Nite?!

Enjoy a lot of nostalgia while I enjoy the beach!

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World Cup 2014

I’m not big on sports, but man do I love the World Cup!  Soccer is so fun to watch, and the games are pretty quick.  Why this thing only happens once every four years is completely beyond me.  I’m super sad that my team, Italy, is out.  Like, my heart breaks for Azzurri.  I’ve still got the USA and Argentina in the mix though!

Now that the group stages are over, I’m going to attempt a bracket of sorts for the knockout rounds.

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  • Brazil v. Chile: Chile has played well, but Brazil wants this badly as the home team.  I’m voting Brazil advances the quarterfinals.
  • Colombia v. Uruguay: This is a tough branch!  Colombia has more wins than Uruguay heading into knockouts, but for some reason I think Uruguay will advance.
  • France v. Nigeria: I’m predicting France will win; I haven’t seen anything too special from Nigeria.
  • Germany v. Algeria: Well, after watching Germany play today I’m convinced that they’ll be able to beat Algeria.
  • Netherlands v. Mexico: The Netherlands have played very well.  They should have no problem beating Mexico.
  • Costa Rica v. Greece: Greece hasn’t impressed me.  I’m betting on Costa Rica here.
  • Argentina v. Switzerland: I’ve enjoyed watching both of the teams a lot!  Since Italy is out I’m throwing my support behind Argentina. I definitely think they can beat the Swiss.  My boy Messi has got this!
  • Belgium v. United States: Oh, USA.  Belgium will definitely give us a run for our money.  I’m praying that the US can take them down.  That would put my two favorites teams against each other in the quarters, though!

There you have my quarterfinal predictions!  I’m actually hoping Argentina wins it all.

What are your predictions?

Hell’s Kitchen Recap: 7 Chefs Compete

With Anton gone, the 7 best chefs (theoretically… I’m talkin’ to you, Gabriel!) faced off last week, still in team v. team format.

A new day beging, as Andie calls them on the HK phone and sends ’em to cars downstairs.  They find themselves in a market, and Chef Ramsay is there to announce the challenge– another of my favorites!  Each team with have $35 to purchase ingredients to make three courses.  A panel of judges will then assign value after tasting.

Both teams struggle to finish their dishes in the 30 minute time limit.  Joy stars crying because her pork is undercooked.  Chef Ramsay tries to help her compose herself, but she can’t even look at him.  Judges include a food journalist, a “master yelper,” and a restauranteur.

  • Jason presents his cornish hen first, thankfully it is cooked!  However, the portion is too small.  The judges assign $19, $21, and $20, bringing his average to $20.
  • Kashia presents her sirloin in bourbon sauce and earns $26, $24, and $24, giving the team $24.67.
  • Rochelle presents the trout for herself and Gabriel and earns $22, $22, and $20, scoring $21.33.
  • Scott’s sea bass and shrimp gets mixed reviews.  The judges give him $24, $24, and $23.  His average of $23.67 is added to the team’s score.
  • Melanie puts up her lamb to finish up the blue line up.  The judges give her $27, $28, and $29 to an average of $28!
  • Joy is last to present and she only needs $21 to win for Red.  Her pork garners $25, $24, and $25.  Her average of $24.67 sealing the deal for Red!

Red wins a $1000 shopping spree at the Grove (wait, I want that!) plus dinner at Hatfield’s.  Blue has to clean the dorms as punishment.  Poor Melanie technically won this challenge, and yet she’s the only one on her team that pulled her weight.  The next day, even the refreshed Red Team is tried and cranky as they head into… flashing cameras and applause!

Since there have been 12 seasons of Hell’s Kitchen, Chef Ramsay announces there is to be a Hell’s Kitchen calendar showcasing a visually stunning dish from each season.  Representing March, season 3 winner Rock steps out.  Representing September, season 9 winner Paul steps out.  Finally, representing October, Hell’s Kitchen 10 second runner-up Dana joins the stage.  They are to serve as judges, since December is up for grabs for a season 12 contestant now!  Gordon sweetens the pot by guaranteeing the coveted black jacket to the winner of the December page.  With that, in spite of still being on teams, the first individual challenge is underway!

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Rock, Dana, Paul, and Gordon score each dish out of 5:

  • Jason: 3 + 2 + 1 + 2 = 8
  • Kashia: 3 + 3 + 3 + 2 = 11
  • Rochelle: 4 + 3 + 3 + 3 = 13
  • Scott: 2 + 3 + 3 + 3 = 11 (it did look really pretty, though!)
  • Melanie: 1 + 1 + 2 + 1 = 5 (she gets killed for adding flour to her mash!)
  • Gabriel: literally gets no points for leaving off perfectly cooked lamb and serving like a stupid portion of over-cooked lamb
  • Joy…

Ugh, cliffhanger while we wait for Joy’s score!  She admits to not having cooked like anything that was on her plate before… so I guess we’ll see this week how she does!  My prediction: Joy wins it all.  I just feel like everyone did so poorly that Joy has to knock it out of the park.

What do you think?!

5 Eyeliners

Last week, as my cousin and I headed South for my parents’ beach house, we stopped at Wrentham Outlets.  She needed some new sneakers, and because the prices are so good there, I picked up a pair too.  We also wanted to swing by Bare Minerals in search of their new liquid foundation.  Unfortunately, outlet stores do not carry it.  While we were there, we of course picked up a few other things.  I didn’t need eyeliner, but Buxom Insider Eyeliner caught my eye.  After trying it out, I couldn’t be happier with my purchase!  When I gave this glowing review to my cousin, she suggested I post about it.

Let that serve as the inspiration for this post: Nicole’s List of Essential Eyeliners.  And yes, I carry all of these in my make-up bag.

 

1. Buxom Insider Eyeliner in topaz

s1195478-main-LheroThis might be the best eyeliner I’ve ever worn.  It glides on smooth with strong pigmentation.  It’s really easy to control and my lines came out more even than ever.  Because I’m fair, you’ll notice I’ve chosen browns for all of my eyeliners.  This color, topaz, stands out in name from the coffee tones you’ll see below, but fits right in with the color family.  I especially loved that my water line lined just as easily and darkly as my lash line– no easy feat!  I’ll need some time with it before it can replace my go-to, but the long wear and no smudge results I’ve gotten so far have already impressed me.

 

2. Sephora Collection Waterproof Smoky Cream Liner in café

s1238609-main-gridThis gel liner was recommended to me by a friend back in the days when I only lined my water line.  With a small angle brush and this little pot, I gained the control to learn how to line my lash line.  I find that this is also the best method with which to wing my eyes.  When I go for a slightly more dramatic look, I like to do a simple pencil line plus the gel liner to thicken and wing.  This brown shade, called café, actually looks very dark when applied giving a pale girl like me the illusion that I’m wearing black liner without looking gothic!  I’m not sure if Sephora has this gem available anymore, in which case, somebody please recommend me a similar product!

 

3. Maybelline Unstoppable Eyeliner in espresso

maybelline-unstoppable-eyeliner-4This was probably my first eyeliner and I kept coming back to it, simply because it does it’s job.  I’m not really big on drug store products, but this is one I can’t live without.  It shows up well on my water line and a bit darker on my eyelid.  Before Buxom, this was my favorite pencil.  Now Maybelline is not exactly my favorite brand.  I don’t find them to be of very good quality, and I’ve more than once bought an Unstoppable liner that’s broken before or immediately after I’ve unpackaged it.  Still, this is an inexpensive product that requires no sharpening and, like I said, does its job.  Since the Buxon liner is still new to me, I can still safely call this espresso liner– a bit lighter than its Sephora competitors– my signature liner.

 

4. Sephora Collection Colorful Waterproof Eyeliner in morning mocha

s1552025-main-LheroA step up from gel liner is this liquid liner.  I had to learn through gel plus brush, then pencil to be able to apply liquid liner and not draw all over my face, basically.  The first time I tried a liquid liner, I tried black and it was a rookie mistake.  I didn’t have the control to do liquid, nor the complexion to pull off such a harsh look.  I returned to liquid liner after gaining considerable eyeliner skill and now find myself quite happy with the drama liquid eyeliner conveys.  Winging your eye is quite simple with liquid liner, once you’re adept at using it.  This color, morning mocha, is an appropriately dark brown.  I feel that this can walk the line between an everyday look and a more dramatic look.

 

5. Lancôme Le Stylo Waterproof in café

s137281-main-LheroLooking for an alternative to my drug store standby, I bought this pencil having worn Le Stylo in noir. Liking the way it wore, I went ahead and purchased it in a more suitable shade for my skin tone.  Where I felt the noir was a strong look, the softer café tone didn’t pack the same punch.  With a little bit more effort, I could indeed achieve the look I desired, however, I found it was nearly impossible to get my waterline as dark as I wanted it.  This is a longer wearing pencil liner than the Maybelline.  It stays put better and doesn’t fade as much.  It is my least favorite on this list, and also the most expensive.  I keep it around as a back up, in case my Unstoppable pencil breaks.

 

So, there you have it: my tried and tested liners!  Since I’ve been so into make-up lately, I’m thinking of doing beauty-related posts more often– especially with the lull in summer TV!  Until next time, I’d love suggestions of liners to try out!

 

Summer Reading List 2014 (part 1)

With summer officially underway, and with three beach weekends under my belt already, I’m making a dent on my ever shifting summer reading list.  I used to read all the time, devouring books in a weekend or less.  Those were the days of Harry Potter, and part-time summer jobs.  Now I work and complain and am just too tired to do anything.  I still love to read, and with out beach house lacking both internet (quel horreur!) and, at the moment, cable, I’ve had plenty of time to do just that.  There is nothing I love better than sizzling on the sand, or the porch, with a good book.  My tan, peeling legs prove that much.

Just as the season turned, I finished my first book of the summer.

Pink House

1. The Weird Sisters – Eleanor Brown

  • Rosalind, Bianca, and Cordelia are daughters of a Shakespeare scholar who teaches at the local college of a sleepy college town.  Each return home after their mother has been diagnosed with breast cancer, but each are home for a different reason.  Rose’s fiancé wants her to join him abroad in Oxford, but she struggles with relinquishing her role as the one who holds everything together.  Bean flees New York City life after she is fired from her job in Human Resources at a law firm for stealing money.  Cordy is pregnant and tired of traveling from town to town without a purpose.
  • This book is something I meditated on for a while, having once read the jacket then reshelving it in Barnes & Noble.  Something eventually nagged at me and I went back and picked it up.  I found it a good beach read, the subject matter serious enough but not too serious.  Interestingly, one of the cover’s accolades comes from J. Courtney Sullivan, an author I met last year.  The familiar relationships in this book make it worth reading.  As a Shakespeare fan, I loved the comparisons each of the girls drew between themselves and the characters they were named for.  It definitely helps to be a Shakespeare fan when reading this book!

Currently Reading: Lolita – Vladamir Nabokov

  • I find the classics make enjoyable beach reads, and I’d never read Lolita before.  I’m about 60% through and so far am really enjoying it!

 

Stay tuned for more of my summer reading list.  Feel free to look for me on Goodreads as well!

What are you reading this summer?

Clone Club Catch-Up: Season 2 finale

As “By Means Which Have Never Yet Been Tried” begins, we weave in and out of two hostile scenes.  The first, a verbal argument between S, Fe, and Sarah.  S yells: “I thought it was you!  She looked like you–” Sarah interrupts wrapped S up into a hug.  “I don’t know who’s side you’re on,” Sarah says, “but you always put Kira first.”  With that, it’s clear that Sarah trusts S.  The second: “My name is Sarah Manning, and this is my unconditional surrender.”

Dr. Nealon introduces himself to Sarah from across the table.

A nurse tries to swab Kira, who finally acquiesces.  She then steals the nurse’s phone when she’s not looking.  A male voice answers on the other end.

Cosima finds out Dr. Nealon is her new physician.  Rachel tells Delphine that she is no longer working with the clones, effective immediately.  In retaliation, Delphine sends Cosima Rachel’s agenda, revealing that Sarah is to have a procedure with Dr. Nealon.

Dr. Nealon explains to Sarah that they would like to harvest her eggs when she ovulates.  She signs his consent form in exchange for seeing Kira.  This, unfortunately, is done through an observation room.

Fe overhears S’s phone call, which involves a car bomb.  A knock at the door reveals Cal, who Kira had called.  Seems Cal has figured out that Sarah has genetic identicals and that he’s done a lot of digging into Dyad to helo.  Fe then gets a call from Art, who has a guest currently eating in his kitchen.  “Hello sistra-brother, I want to see Sarah,” says Helena.  S advises Fe to go over there and watch her.  When he arrives, she explains where’s she’s been these past few weeks.  “Helena, did you burn down the fish people’s ranch?” Fe asks.  “No!” she says with a wry smile.

Prisoners Sarah and Duncan intercept each other.  “Don’t despair, my dear, don’t despair.”

In Cal’s research, it seems he’s discovered an insider who knows Sarah & Kira and both at the Dyad.  S tells him to ask if this contact can help and to tell this person he’s with Siobhan Sadler.  The answer: Ask her about Castor.  This triggers S to meet up some military-looking men, including Paul.  The two have a plan to get Sarah out of the Dyad.  I’m still confused, but so amazed by everything coming together!

Rachel meets Duncan watching home movies of her as a child.  She’s brought tea.  “Just hot water for me, he requests, I’ve brought my own tea bag.”  The two argue about the key to his genetic cypher.  She wants to know where it is, but he counters: “My dear, I didn’t write it down,” citing that he can recite pi to 6 thousand places.  “Do you recall Rachel, not the memory, but the feeling of how much we loved you?” he asks.  She responds, “The reason I watch these tapes so often is because I don’t remember that.”  She turns as he drops his tea cup, having poisoned himself.  “You can’t leave me again!” she cries.  He struggles to let out: “I’m afraid you don’t deserve me anymore.”

Cal in a black car pulls up meeting S and military Paul, who laughs when he learns Cal is Kira’s father.  “Just look at the two of you,” comments S, “I don’t know how she does it.”  Paul gets into the black car Cal just got out of to meet the mysterious Marian.

Cosima visits with Kira.  She teaches her a little science lesson about force and they do an experiment to get a pencil through a piece of paper.  They then draw a picture to show her mom the results of their experiment.  This scene is juxtaposed with Cosima and Scott doing a little experiment of their own.

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Sarah is taken, strapped down on a gurney, to Dr. Nealon.  Scott is present.  Nealon explains that they are to remove one of her ovaries.  Rachel, also present, asks for a second to speak to her sister.  With her hissy fit she throws stamping over the bone marrow collected from Kira for Cosima, she also brings Sarah the picture that Kira drew.  The picture, shows a fire extinguisher along with some of the clones.  Sarah notices a fire extinguisher nearby, a skull and cross bones drawn upon its tag with the word Squeeze.  Sarah does indeed squeeze, which forces a pencil out of the fire extinguisher right into Rachel’s eye.  Scott helps her up and out.  Sarah arrives at Kira’s room to see Marion getting her ready to leave.  She says they are free to go, but this does not end with Rachel.

Cosima, Alison, and Sarah are reunited at Fe’s.  Cal meets the group, who upon his departure, demonstrate their approval for him.  Fe via Art brings in a new edition to the Clone Club, Helena, who really wants to meet her sisters.  They receive her warmly, although warm is different for Cosima and Alison.  The warmest reception comes from little Kira, who runs into her arms.  The new Clone Club takes a couple moments to decompress, and goodness is it glorious.

Helena's dance moves, though.

Helena’s dance moves, though.

Ah but Helena, she still makes me nervous.  In the quiet moments of sleep, she pulls out a jumbo container of nitrogen.  Then she sneaks from Fe’s, clutching Jesse’s hat, only to be kidnapped.  We see Helena held captive by the military.  Paul and S are present.  “Sarah will never forgive me,” says S.

Sarah takes that same black car to the enormous residence of Marion.  Here she finds little Charlotte, an 8-year-old with a limp, and another clone.  Marion reveals there were 400 attempts to make more clones and Charlotte is the only survivor.  She’s her mother and like S, she says, she’s invested.  She explains that LEDA was never shut down: Dyad carried female clones but the military carried the males.  This, she says, is Project Castor.  The male clone looks just like Mark, the Prolethean runaway, who right before the Castor reveal is shown marrying Gracie.

Kira comes to Cosima to reach her a story.  After one about a puppy, she asks for another and hands over The Island of Doctor Moreau, revealing Duncan’s writings to the one person we trust to understand them.

* * *

HOLY CANOLI GUYS.  Well, I personally love the direction they took with Cal, bringing him back into the mix.  I loved the picture of the new Clone Club, and the new layer of Charlotte.  I loved the moment of Kira handing over what I’m expecting to be the key to curing Cosima.  Gosh, I was so scared she was dying there!  As for Project Castor, I’m not really sure how I feel.  That male clone they showed looked SCARY but definitely military in nature.  Mark’s pretty scary, or at least he was in the beginning.  I’m nervous for Helena.  Are she and Gracie really going to give birth to more clones?  Can the Prolethean agenda succeed like that? (What actually was the Prolethean agenda?)  And Marion, I was not expecting!  I definitely thought she was not on our side.  I’m still convinced S is, even though, like I said before, I’m nervous for Helena.  I’m sure we’ll see Delphine again, but I’m nervous for her too.  I mourn for Duncan, but that was a mad who deceivingly had his wits about him!  I’m expecting Rachel to come back with an eyepatch next season, and I fully support that decision.  I can’t think of a character more befitting on an eyepatch.

Tell me yo’ thoughts on Orphan Black season 2!  Go!

Photo Finish: Spring 2014

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I must say, these last few months have been quite lovely!  You’ll notice my brother, Joey, plays a pivotal role in many of the above photo highlights, which is apt to happen as he’s one of my favorite humans. Since today marks the start of summer, I’m taking a moment now to recognize all the fun things spring brought to me.  Summer, keep the good times coming!

{1} my brother’s Christmas present, WWE Smackdown at TD Bank {2} sunny Mother’s Day in Boston Public Garden {3} dinner in the North End on my brother’s graduation weekend {4} with the Boston College graduate himself at Alumni Stadium! {5} with lifelong friend Stacie, the most beautiful bride, at her wedding reception at Stonehill College {6} Mario Kart 8 was released and I played for hours, unlocking all the characters that day! {7} in the Ocean State enjoying the most Rhode Island shandy where Narragansett beer meets Del’s lemonade {8} Rhode Island again for Father’s Day weekend, having firework fun with Amanda {9} day off Museum of Fine Arts trip