Month: December 2014

Photo Finish: December

I’m closing out December the same way I close out every month– by posting my favorite instagram shots!

IMG_6790

[1] A December favorite: Fresh Sugar lip balm in cherry.  How cute is the packaging?! [2] The Boston Opera House for the Boston Ballet’s The Nutcracker. [3] I don’t like parties, but I do like costumes.  Clad in an ugly sweater with my Christmas tree. [4] Julia & I at our company holiday party, dressed to freakin’ impress. [5] My Christmas Julep manicure: Roc Solid + Mary Lee. [6] Emerson College’s Paramount Theatre & neighborhood on a rainy night. [7] Opening presents at Mom & Dad’s!  [8] My 7-year-old cousin told me I take too many selfies.  I’m okay with that. [9] Hangin’ out with Edgar Allan Poe & being a tourist in my own city.

 

Have a safe, fun, and Happy New Year!

I’ll see you in 2015!

Looking Forward: 2015 TV

This is the most important list I could write.  Now that we’ve talked about favorite shows of 2014, let’s look forward to my most anticipated shows of 2015.  Mark your calendars for these very important premiere dates!

I thought Gillian would be nice eye candy to accompany this list.

I thought Gillian would be nice eye candy to accompany this list.

MasterChef Junior | We don’t have to go too long without this delight!  A new season returns Tuesday, January 6th at 8 PM on Fox.  You’ll probably see my recaps pop up on Fridays again.

Shameless | After quite the surprise in the end of last season, I can’t wait for new episodes!  Shameless returns to Showtime Sunday, January 11th at 9 PM.  I’ll be watching on Showtime Anytime since this conflicts with another show…

Girls | I feel like it’s been such a long time since the season finale.  Is Hannah going to Iowa?  I guess we’ll find out on Sunday, January 11th at 9 PM.  My recaps should be ready for you Mondays, as usual.

The Fall | Oh goodness, how I’ve missed this delicious Gillian Anderson detective thriller.  I’ve been waiting forever for new episodes, and the second series finally hits Netflix on Friday, January 16th.

Best New Restaurant | Tom Colicchio hosts this Gordon Ramsay production, Bravo’s new Best New Restaurant.  With the two of them involved, it’s a sure thing I’ll be watching.  The premiere is Wednesday, January 21st at 10 PM, I guess taking the place of Top Chef.  I’m hungry just thinking about it.

The Walking Dead | I’m going to be very busy on Sundays.  The Walking Dead returns from it’s midseason hiatus on Sunday, February 8th at 9 PM on AMC.

Better Call Saul | I finally finished Breaking Bad, checking it off from my TV to-do list.  Saul has got to be my favorite character, and I’m looking forward to more Bob Odenkirk in the AMC show!  It’s set to premiere Monday, February 9th at 10 PM.

Broadchurch | I’d been watching Gracepoint, but when Broadchurch finally hit Netflix it was clear that this is the superior show.  While series 2 premieres in January in the UK, we’ll have to wait a bit longer on BBC America.  Broadchurch series 2 premieres Wednesday, March 4th at 10 PM.

Orphan Black | It’s straight-up torture to make us wait this long!  My favorite show of the year finally returns to BBC America on Saturday, April 18th.  Clone Club Catch-Up will be back, friends!

 

So now you know what I’m most looking forward to in the new year and how you can watch too!  What shows are you most looking forward to?

2014 Favorites

It’s that time!  With the year winding down, here is my very own Obligatory 2014 TV Favorites List.  Now, if you’ve been reading for a while, none of these should surprise you.  I thought it might be a fun thing to do year to year, so even though you’ve probably read a million of these, I’m giving you another.  I’ve got two categories for you; my favorite things, TV & video games.  Without further ado:

 

TV Shows

5. Orange is the New Black | Probably my most anticipated new season of the year, OITNB’s second season did not disappoint!

Orange_is_the_new_Black

LostGirlTVSeriesLogo4. Lost Girl | I stated watching this late last year, early 2014.  This show hit every note for me, and I recommend it for Buffy fans and similar.  It’s final season is just beginning, so jump on this train.

 

Ecran_Titre_d'American_Horror_Story3. American Horror Story | Coven straddled 2013 and 2014, and Freak Show will bleed into next year.  I’m just so onboard with this show and especially Jessica Lange.  I only hope she is as onboard as I am for the next season!

 

 

The_Walking_Dead_title_card2. The Walking Dead | I watched the first season years ago, and picked up again recently just in time for the mid-season finale.  I am constantly impressed with the emotional depths this show brings me to.

 

1. Orphan Black | Recommended to me in late 2013, I watched the first season of this show just in time for the second to begin.  You may have caught my Clone Club Catch-Ups, and expect to see more next year.  Tatiana Maslany’s masterful performance as almost all of the show’s main characters is always worth watching.

Orphan_Black_logo

Honorable Mention: Top Chef | Another show whose seasons straddle two years, I absolutely loved New Orleans and Boston might be my favorite season ever.  Stay tuned for more recaps!

 

Video Games

IMG_6784

03. Super Smash Bros. WiiU/3DS | Okay, this is two games.  I’ve played the 3DS version more because it’s portable, and I’ve had it longer.  This is my favorite installment of Super Smash since the original N64 version.  The novelty of this concept has not worn off!  Kirby smashing up Pikachu is still awesome.

02. Mario Kart 8 | I hate to say this, but I’m not really a Mario Kart girl.  Sure, I loved Super Mario Kart, but the N64 days had me with Diddy Kong Racing and don’t even get me started on Double Dash.  MK8, however, single-handedly justified purchasing a WiiU for me.  I am so impressed with this game.  I love the online component, and find the DLC exciting.  I keep on coming back for more!

01. Pokémon Alpha Sapphire & Omega Ruby | Hoenn was always my favorite region so I was more excited than ever before for these amazing remakes.  I got through Alpha Sapphire fast; faster than X by far.  These games have even reignited my desire to complete an Unova adventure.  I’m so happy that more people will be introduced to this region and this story.  These games are fantastic and I can’t wait for what Pokémon has in store for us next!  I’d write more about how much I’m obsessed with these fantastic games, but I want to go wonder trade.

And there you have it!  What are your favorite shows and/or games from this year?

Friday Favorites: Julep Birthstone Collection

And we’re back to our regularly scheduled programming!  Today’s Friday favorite is something I’ve been waiting to share with you guys for months now, as I started collecting way back when I started by Julep Maven subscription and finished the set last month.  With an appropriate amount of holiday sparkle for New Year’s and a fun look for every month of the year, I present to you, Julep’s Birthstone Collection.

IMG_6748

  • Betty – Garnet for January | My birthstone!  Betty is more magenta than garnet– pinkish instead of the dark red I love.  This color looks amazing over an actual garnet-colored polish, though!  It picks up a shine that really does emulate the stone.
  • Rosa – Amethyst for February | I haven’t had much luck using Rosa yet.  I’ve paired it with pastels, as I have with purple glitter in the past, but it’s not striking the right balance with me.  I’ll have to try it with a dark purple-black, like Julep’s Padma.
  • Aretha – Aquamarine for March | I always forget that aquamarine is March’s birthstone, assuming it’s something green!  I haven’t tried out Aretha yet; I think it’s more of a spring.  Planning on using it closer to March.
  • Coretta – Diamond for April | This is one of the most versatile polishes in the collection.  I’ve enjoyed pairing it with black for a striking combo, but Coretta would truly pair well with anything.
  • Priscilla – Emerald for May | I’ve probably used Priscilla most of any in the collection– green was really my color this year!  I loved using this for Halloween paired with black in a Wicked Witch of the West-type look, and using it with greens!
  • Kathy – Pearl for June | Kathy is the only polish in the collection I have used for an entire manicure.  It’s a great accent nail too, but I dare you to stop at just one nail.  This color is absolutely gorgeous!  Once you see this golden-champagne shimmer on your nails, you’ll be in love.
  • Martina – Ruby for July | One of the first colors in the collection I was attracted to, Martina is perfect for Fourth of July, Christmas, or just your average Sunday as a Patriot’s fan!  Ruby is both of my parents’ birthstone and I’m partial to it.
  • Claudia – Peridot for August | I love this color in general.  Like I said, I’m all about green this year especially olive tones.  Claudia is a perfect match to a peridot, and I see this color as a glitzy camo look… if that’s a thing?
  • Serena – Sapphire for September | Another of my favorite stones, I was attracted to Serena right away as well.  I ordered Betty, Martina, and Serena first before I decided to collect them all!  Sapphire is my favorite stone and my brother’s birthstone.  This is another great one for Fourth of July or life as a Pats fan!  And I just love blue.
  • Julie – Pink Tourmaline for October | Opal is an alternate birthstone for October, and another of my favorites.  Tourmaline, however, is also gorgeous.  Julie is not an obnoxious pink and works well with light colors as a sparkle accent.
  • Joni – Citrine for November | Orange is another big color for me this year.  Joni is a stunning bronzey-orange that I haven’t gotten the opportunity to pair yet, but I can’t wait to!
  • Savannah – Blue Topaz for December | I know what you’re thinking, another blue?  Let me tell you, Savannah and Serena definitely look different.  Savannah is lighter, like a summer sky.  I do wear a blue topaz ring on the daily, so I was happy to see this for December.

 

Check out some swatches on Julep‘s website and snag this collection before it’s gone!  Be sure to check my instagram for monthly manicures featuring the above colors.

Which is your favorite?

 

Last Minute Shopping

IMG_6765

You made your list; you checked it twice… right?!  Maybe there’s a few people you haven’t been able to check off, or maybe you’ve procrastinated this whole Christmas shopping ordeal.  Either way, it’s not too late for you.

If you’re in the Boston area, I’m here to help you out.  There are plenty of places to pick up last-minute presents for your loved ones.  Here is your list of mall hours today– click each one for store listings!  And yes, I tend to skew south… that’s where I’m from!

Boston

Prudential Center in Boston, MA is open from 7 AM to 6 PM.

Copley Place in Boston, MA is open from 9 AM to 6 PM.

Cambridgeside Galleria in Cambridge, MA is open from 7 AM to 6 PM.

The Mall at Chestnut Hill in Chestnut Hill, MA is open from 9 AM to 6 PM

Natick Mall in Natick, MA is open from 9 AM to 6 PM.

South Shore Plaza in Braintree, MA is open from 8 AM to 6 PM.

 South

Wrentham Premium Outlets in Wrentham, MA are open from 9 AM to 6 PM.

Emerald Square Mall in North Attleboro, MA is open from 8 AM to 6 PM

Silver City Galleria in Taunton, MA is open from 8 AM to 5 PM.

Providence Place Mall in Providence, Rhode Island is open from 8 AM to 6 PM.

 

Did you get all of your shopping done or are you a last-minute shopper?  Good luck out there, and Merry Christmas Eve!

What I Wore: Company Holiday Party

Okay, you all know that Outfit of the Day posts and few and far between on this girl’s blog, (the same can not be said for this girl’s instagram!) but I couldn’t wait to share this look with you!

SONY DSC

When I first saw this long-sleeved, dark green, sequin mini, I knew I had to have it.  Luckily, I had an excuse to wear a fancy dress.  Company holiday parties are tough– you need to look professional, but still want to have fun and look your best.  This Poison Ivy green spoke to me, and these sleeves make me think of Bewitched’s Endora.  This look definitely went over big at the party!  It makes a major statement, so I didn’t even need to add jewelry– I just wore my every day pieces.  Here I am with my little Christmas tree modeling like a goofball!  This would make a great New Year’s dress, too.

Dress: Express | Shoes: Nine West | Jewelry: Tiffany’s & David Yurman | Lips: Fresh Sugar lip balm in Cherry

10860106_337310329790310_24528006_n

Hair by Julia Moynagh, my sparkly partner-in-crime!

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 12

I’ve got to think of a more creative name for my SMC posts…  I still have a lot of thoughts on each act, thought!  And here they are for act 12: Queen Metalia.

This week in character development…

IMG_1133This is becoming a regular thing.  It was so nice to see Jupiter wake up from where she lay fallen and join the fray!  It was nice to finally hear from Artemis too, but he’s still not being helpful.

Venus is being cool, finally.  Her knowledge as a leader is useful and coming from a place of genuine helpfulness, not some leftover princess complex.  It’s her idea to call forth the sword, which is a pretty neat power.  Ami is apparently able to conjure a space-time bubble too, so that’s neat.

It was nice to see the group work together a lot in this act!

Baddies & battles…

IMG_1134Queen Beryl’s backstory isn’t terribly deep.  She wanted Endymion; she didn’t get Endymion.  Thanks to the space sword, which fills with the light of the Silver Crystal and looks less like the space sword from Avatar: the Last Air Bender, Queen Beryl is no more.  Her power, borrowed from Queen Metalia, was housed in her necklace, which I was wondering if it were a necklace of some gnarly surface piercings.  Anyway, Sailor Moon shattered that with the Holy Sword.

Metalia herself is kind of hilarious, thought.  We’re seen her before, but the senshi really have not.  She’s a floating mass of maroon with a mouth and eyes and her laugh sounds like she might vomit.  It’s very fitting, but also makes me giggle.

& storyline…

IMG_1135The Holy Sword illuminates and reveals how to use the Silver Crystal to restore the Moon Kingdom… too cryptically for Sailor Moon, of course.  Even with Beryl defeated, Metalia is still in control of Mamoru, and off they go to the ruins of the Moon Kingdom.  Sailor Moon follows through the portal.  The other Sailor Senshi are either really slow, or just don’t want to go through that portal, but they fly over in a bubble to help out.  They end up fighting the Moonlight Knights, who I totally forgot were still alive.  Their combined Sailor Planet Attack is enough to restore them.  Sailor Moon, meanwhile, on the North Pole, has not had the same luck restoring Mamoru with a Moon Healing Escalation.

Call me crazy, but I just don’t feel that Sailor Moon was her strongest in this act.  Her relationship with Mamoru is just not warranted at this point.  In the original anime, we saw Usagi and Mamoru together all the time.  Granted, I have legacy information of seeing that entire anime and here we are on Act 12, but I just don’t see why at this point Usagi would turn a sword on herself instead of facing a life without this man.

She does have a great moment before she stabs him.  Even stabbing him was great, but pulling a Juliet?!  I guess it sets up the next act, Reincarnation, well!

 

Hey guys, are we wrapping up the Arc next Act?

Sailor Moon Crystal thoughts: go!

Links for a New World [06]

IMG_6741

It’s been another busy week!  Now I just have one day in the office before a some time off for the holidays.  The above photo was taken hastily at my company holiday party.  This, believe it or not, is the non-blurry one I took.  So, yes, it was a fun one.

Let’s get on to the internet things!

  • Sailor Moon wedding | I’m not strict on themes for weddings, but gosh do they make for cool pictures.  This wedding is so incredibly detailed and lovely.
  • Single Girl Christmas Cards | I feel this girl’s struggle.  With her siblings married, Bridget sends some pretty amazing single girl Christmas cards.
  • Monsters of Christmas | Atlas Obscura is one of my absolutely favorite websites.  Here’s a list of some Christmas creepers that will make you thankful for Santa.
  • Christmas on Netflix | BostInno’s made a list for us.  Behold, the 16 best Christmas episodes on Netflix streaming right now.  I’m partial to the X-Files ghost story and Futurama’s Xmas.
  • New Instagram Filters | Instagram gave us 5 new filters and a couple new features to play with.  Follow this link to learn about the new filters & what they’re best for.

 

I hope you all get to enjoy some time off for the holidays too!  I won’t be taking a blog break, so be sure to visit as usual.

Any fun holiday plans?

MasterChef Junior: Finale

This week was the finale of MasterChef Junior 2!  It was 12-year-old Samuel from Greenbrae, CA vs. 11-year-old Logan from Memphis, TN.  As you know if you’ve been reading these posts, I’ve been rooting for Logan for a while!

Samuel, with his expensive taste, reminds me a lot of last season’s winner, Alexander.  Logan, with his bowties and big smiles completely won me over!

It’s nice to see some familiar faces on the balcony cheering these two on to victory with their family & friends.  I spy Oona, Abby, Adaiah, Natalie, Berry, Sean, Levi, Mitchell, Sam, and Josh.

The two lay out their menus for their three course meal and impress the judges and former contestants.  Abby says, “Logan’s menu is like my math class.  It’s super duper hard!

Logan makes some fanfare with his smoking gun while Samuel messes with some liquid nitrogen.  The smoking technique not only accomplishes Logan’s flavor goal, but amuses the entire balcony.  He says it’s every boy’s two favorite things– fire, and a little plastic nerf gun!

When time is up, Samuel and Logan bring their courses into the MasterChef dining room to serve to Gordon, Graham, and Joe.

Samuel’s appetizer:

IMG_1101

  • Gordon finds the vinegar to be overpowering and thinks it looks better than it tastes
  • Graham agrees the idea is better than the flavor
  • Joe is more comfortable with the level of vinegar and thinks it’s top-notch

Logan’s appetizer:

IMG_1102

  • Gordon notes the spot prawns are cooked perfectly and loves the smokiness of the dish
  • Graham calls the dish smart and well-conceived, but isn’t a fan of the olives
  • Joe likes the olives and thinks they pair well with the smoky aioli

Samuel’s entrée:

IMG_1103

  • Joe is impressed he nailed the cook on the arctic char and appreciates the fusion
  • Graham notes the fish is good alone and finds the curry heavy
  • Gordon agrees at the perfect cook and the heaviness of the curry

Logan’s entrée:

IMG_1104

  • Gordon calls Logan the boldest 11-year-old he’s ever known for this risk.  The risk paid off because the fish is delicious and he nailed it perfectly, in Gordon’s words.
  • Joe did the work of separating the branzino from its salt crust, and immediately says it’s “awesome!”  Joe says he nailed it and captured the essence of the technique.  He thinks the chimichurri is a bit aggressive, though.
  • Graham too thinks the salt crust worked perfectly and that the veggies were well-selected.

Samuel’s dessert:

IMG_1105

  • Graham says that it’s “like getting punched in the mouth… in the best way possible.”
  • Gordon calls it delicious and appreciates the harmony of his food
  • Joe calls it sophisticated and delicious

Logan’s dessert:

IMG_1106

  • Graham calls it sophisticated and balances.  He notes the madeleines are fluffy and delicious.
  • Gordon simply calls it brilliant.
  • Joe says the madeleines are fantastic and that it’s a perfect ending note

 

After two impressive meals, the judges deliberate and decide who is the next MasterChef Junior.  The former contestants stand within the kitchen as the judges switch places with Logan and Samuel.  Logan and Samuel face the crowd, Abby hands up the trophy, and Gordon says the next MacterChef Junior is… LOGAN!

Congratulations, Logan!  This kid totally deserved the win, but all contestants are fabulously talented!

A brand new season starts January 6th.  I hope you’ll join me then for another season of this amazing show!

What did you think of the finale?!