Month: February 2015

Farewell February

I’m not going to lie, I’m super happy this month is over.  February was a lot of indoor living, slush and sadness.

This month has buried Boston in snow and everyone’s seasonal depression has gotten worse. I feel like I’ve been super productive lately, but all of my progress is overshadowed by the little annoyances that have crept in… I’m ready for some changes, and a new month sounds like a good way to start!

IMG_7029

(1) Cheering the Patriots to victory in the suburbs with a blanket of snow already on the ground. (2) And then the storms came. Here’s Juno! (3) Cupcakes + coffee, super healthy breakfast on a snow day. (4) …Did I mention we got a lot of snow in Boston? (5) Got my hair done and vowed to be blonde forever. (6) I spent Valentine’s Day watching the Pokémon VCG regionals in St. Louis! (7) Majora’s Mask 3D came out!  This is one of my favorite games ever, so it’s great to have it portable. (8) I ate all of these macarons in one day, oops!  I’d love to try to bake some soon. (9) After 5 PM and it’s still almost light?  This is progress.

Are you looking forward to March as much as I am?

Tell me something good that you just can’t wait for!

MasterChef Junior 3: Finale

It came so quickly, but here we are for the finale of MasterChef Junior season three!  It’s 12-year-old Nathan, self-proclaimed superman of the sauté pan, facing off against 11-year-old Andrew.

They have just 90 minutes to cook the best three course meal of their young lives– an appetizer, entrée, and dessert.  They must accomplish this task in front of their families, friends, and former competitors, then serve to Gordon Ramsay, Joe Bastianich (for the last time on this show, wahh!), and Graham Elliot.

Former competitor Quincy calls this match up between “the quiet mouse in the corner and the big lion.”  I agree with this– these two are so different in personality and food!  I’m still stuck on Andrew thinking dessert is useless, while Nathan’s desserts have blown the judges away!  Andrew is cooking Tuscan-style and Nathan is cooking traditional French-style.

Here is what Nathan cooks:

His appetizer is "not perfectly executed" in Graham's assessment, but Gordon praises the idea and the flavors.

His appetizer is “not perfectly executed” in Graham’s assessment, but Gordon praises the idea and the flavors.

Graham says Nathan's entrée is the best dish he's ever created.  Gordon loves the melt-in-your-mouth lamb, and Joe loves the asparagus purée.

Graham says Nathan’s entrée is the best dish he’s ever created.  Gordon loves the melt-in-your-mouth lamb, and Joe loves the asparagus purée.

My mouth is watering looking at Nathan's dessert, which the judges agree is delicious!  It brings cohesiveness to his menu as a whole.

My mouth is watering looking at Nathan’s dessert, which the judges agree is delicious!  It brings cohesiveness to his menu as a whole.

Here is what Andrew cooks:

Joe calls his appetizer "professionally executed," and Graham praises the work he put in to his homemade ricotta.

Joe calls his appetizer “professionally executed,” and Graham praises the work he put in to his homemade ricotta.

Andrew's ravioli has a problem: the meat is undercooked.  The pasta is delicious, though.

Andrew’s ravioli has a problem: the meat is undercooked.  The pasta is delicious, though.

Despite being an odd choice, Andrew's dessert works.  Joe calls it a king's rice pudding and I think the judges finish off the bowl.

Despite being an odd choice, Andrew’s dessert works.  Joe calls it a king’s rice pudding and I think the judges finish off the bowl.

 

The judges assess the meals they’ve just eaten and as usual, have the young home cooks switch places with them as they make the announcement.  The winner of MasterChef Junior is, starts Gordon, then leaves a long pause…

NATHAN!

Congratulations, Nathan!  I was cheering you on!

I loved watching this dark horse get more vocal and rise to the top of the pack.  And his menu?  I’d totally want to eat that!  Are you as happy as I am with our next MasterChef Junior?

Last Week on Nashville: Fixing It

IMG_1361

Rayna and Bucky are happy with the good publicity the Bluebird performance brought.  Rayna’s mood quickly shifts when she receives a delivery meant for Maddie: a diamond necklace from Edgehill.

Avery is pulling double duty tending to the very pregnant Juliet and producing Sadie’s album.  Avery’s Juliet distractions are not the only hurdle in this album.  Sadie is derailed by the constant threats from her ex-husband, Pete, who is not too happy about the restraining order she took out against him.  In fact, he serves her papers to get what he delusionally thinks he’s owed of her money.  When Avery finds her crying, she confides in him.  He goes to confront Pete, who is 100 feet away as the order demands, but still right in front of the studio.  As he does, Sadie suddenly gets brave, tells him to get lost, and is ready to finish her album.  Get it, girl.

Scarlet’s optimism and Deacon’s pessimism are at odds about his cancer.  Scarlet basically forces Deacon to actually speak to Maddie.  Facing Maddie with this secret is hard for Deacon, who has convinced himself he only has six months left to live, despite no definitive prognosis.  Face to face with Maddie, (on Facetime,) Deacon agrees to a guitar lesson.  As Maddie struggles with a chord transition, Deacon tells her not to ever give up and basically convinces himself not to give up on life.  I literally cry.

Luke has a sensitive, honest moment writing a song with Gunnar.  I hate him less for seeing that.

Layla’s released from the hospital.  I forgot about her.  After Jeff comes to visit and compliments her hipster performance in the park, Layla shows up at Edgehill all decked out in dark colors.  She never gets called into the meeting.

Rayna confronts Teddy after finding out he signed Maddie’s Edgehill contract.  Maddie still knows nothing of the contract, but Rayna is prepared to strip Teddy of his parental rights, since Deacon is her biological father.  Teddy comes clean with Rayna on the blackmail, and she agrees to save the family from the scandal.  At Maddie’s Edgehill presentation to the investor, it’s Rayna who shows up instead!  Power move for the Queen of Country!

Rayna drops the bomb of Layla’s attempted suicide and Jeff’s manipulation of Teddy.  She gets the contract nullified!  Jeff gets fired!  Then I think he sleeps with Layla?

~

What I’m hoping for tonight: I’m starting to think Deacon will never tell anybody about his cancer.  It’s time to tell the people you love, Deacon; they can help!

Since Scarlett’s been flirting with Deacon’s doctor a bit, maybe that poor girl will get a storyline.  I’d love her to get back together with Gunnar, but that’s far-fetched.

We didn’t get a single glimpse of Maisy (ehm, Daphne) last week.  Now that Rayna has told Teddy the girls are going to be sticking with her, I’m hoping we see both of them tonight!

Thoughts?!

Girls: Close Up

IMG_1365

Weirdly, “Close-Up” started out with Adam and Mimi-Rose in relationship bliss.  That abruptly changed when Mimi-Rose casually drops that she had an abortion the day prior.  Adam freaks out that she didn’t share this with him prior to making the decision.

I do understand Adam’s feelings on this and felt a lot of animosity toward Mimi-Rose.  She swayed me, though, as she did Adam, at the end of the episode.  She doesn’t need Adam, but she wants Adam, which is even more special.  I loved that.  I don’t necessarily care about Adam and Mimi-Rose, though, as characters.  I’d have preferred to focus on the girls.

In another story with a secondary character, Ray takes a stand against local government and decides to run for a seat on the board.  I actually really love Ray, but again, girls’ storylines?!

Jessa again does absolutely nothing.

Shosh botches an interview and ends up with a date.

Marnie and Desi fuck to their own music and get into a huge fight when Marnie says they are like She & Him musically, and Desi protests that they are nothing like She & Him.  This fight was awesome and absurd.

Hannah has moved back into her apartment.  Elijah was “practically running JCPenny” in Iowa and moved back with her; the wall broken down in between their rooms has not posed problems yet.  Hannah has decided that she wants a job helping people.  Her friends all laugh at this, as Hannah is the most selfish person they know, and Elijah makes a few jokes at her expense.  His jokes inspire a viable idea: teacher.  “Those who can’t do, teach,” points out Jessa.  Hannah agrees that she can’t do, and thus would like to teach.

Don't every worry about your resume looking jumpy.  As long as it doesn't look like Hannah's, you're doing okay.

Don’t ever worry about your resume looking jumpy. As long as it doesn’t look like Hannah’s, you’re doing okay.

What did you guys think of Close Up?

Sailor Moon Crystal: Act 16

This image of Ami actually reminds me of Michiru.  Michiru♥♥♥♥

This image of Ami actually reminds me of Michiru. Ah, Michiru♥

I’ve been loving these senshi-centric episodes, and Act 16 was all about Ami-chan!

There was no lack of our main girl, Usagi, but it was a tough episode for her.  Her relationship with Chibiusa at first is so hard to watch.  It’s hard to see Usagi so upset, and even Mamoru can’t cheer her up.  We do learn a bit more of Chibiusa’s reason for showing up.  We also learn that Mamoru has a little Tuxedo Mask puppet.  Hilarious.

The third oldest Spectre Sister shows up, Berthier.  When Ami uses her connection with water to find a leak in some pipes, Berthier gets in her head, saying dowsing without a crystal is a sign of evil.  She then shows up on TV, pantsless, to challenge Ami to a chess match.  Seriously, the third-ranked chess champion challenges a random school girl to a chess match?  In a bathing suit and a coat?  Good disguise, Berthier.

Keep your eyes on that chess board.  Did anyone else notice that Ami was black and Berthier was white when they shook hands?  When the game started, though, Berthier was black and Ami was white.  Also, in the freeze frame after Ami drops her white pawn… we see her in front of black again.  Oops!

The battle was quick.  Ami got a cool new move, Shine Snow Illusion, to get rid of Berthier’s baddies.  Berthier traps her in a water sphere, like the fire sphere Mars was captured in.  A quick Venus Love-Me Chain and Moon Princess Halation from Sailor Venus and Sailor Moon who step in to the rescue take care of Berthier.  (Hey, where’s Jupiter?)  Rubeus, though, captures Ami in the water sphere.

The girls didn’t seem too torn up about poor Mars being taken, but down two senshi, they’ve got to be worried.  Although I hate to see these girls get captured, I love the character-specific episodes!  Jupiter’s up next!

What did you all think of Act 16?

Walking Dead Catch Up

Yesterday, I caught up on last week’s episode of The Walking Dead.  I got super into this show just before the mid-season finale.  I’ve been good at keeping up with it since then, but I must say, it started out slow.

The first episode post-hiatus was neat, but it didn’t progress the story at all.  I was feeling the same way about last week’s episode… that is, until the end.  The way this stranger says friend and the knowledge he has of the group and Rick is creepy, to say the least, but the hope of having shelter and resources is tempting.

This image stuck me and inspired me to write this post!

This image stuck me and inspired me to write this post!

And so, we’ve turned a new corner with this season– anew character, a new storyline, and undoubtedly, new threats.  With those last few minutes, I am now invigorated and so excited to see tonight’s episode!

Have you been keeping up with Walking Dead?

What do you think of this season so far?

It’s Always There For Me

I don’t feel like I’ve fully appreciated how important it is that Friends is now on Netflix.

Seasonal depression has hit me HARD this week.  I live in Boston and a we have 7 feet of snow and a non-functioning public transportation system.  I feel dull mentally, and I’ve now moved past stir crazy right into I’m never getting out of bed.

One thing that always pulls me out of hard emotional times is Friends.  Watching this show has gotten me through break-ups, and I’m counting on it to carry me through this terrible winter!

Thanks for Friends, Netflix!  And thanks for this!

Screen Shot 2015-02-05 at 10.34.14 PM

 

Does it snow where you guys live?

How to you keep sane during the winter months?

Cole at Home: Nail Polish Project

If you haven’t caught on by now, I have a lot of nail polish!  I did a big clean our not so long ago and basically started my collection over.  My Julep Maven subscription, however, has taken my collection to a whole new level of crazy.

Storage and organization (so you can actually see what colors you have) is always an issue.  I’ve been looking for the perfect nail polish rack to display all of my colors for so long, and I finally found one!  Last weekend, I called my favorite handy man (Hi, Dad!) to hang it for me.

Here is the finished product!

IMG_7004

 

I’ve displayed my Revlon polishes, my Essie polishes, and all of my Juleps!  After I took this photo, I did add a few Sally Hansen Salon polishes that I like and OPI’s Lincoln Park After Dark– just sort of the rest of the colors that I actually use and like.  I definitely want to branch out brand-wise (thus, I think my time as a Julep Maven is winding down!) but I do quite like the uniform bottles for display.

My bathroom kind of feels like a nail salon now!

I love doing little things in my home that make it feel more like mine.  I did move in here to all of the previous tenants’ furniture (honestly, it’s beautiful furniture; I’d love to take it with me when I go!), so it feels great to do that.

So, that’s my latest project, completed!

What do you think?

MasterChef Junior: Raspberry Brûlée

This week was the semi-final of MasterChef Junior!  Jimmy, Jenna, Andrew, and Nathan are in for a night of delightful dessert making!  Well, maybe not so delightful for them  The first challenge for the last available elimination advantage is a crème brûlée relay!

Twenty un-sugared and un-brûléed crèmes sit out before the junior home cooks.  The race is on with sugar to sprinkle, blow-torches in hand, and 10 minutes to make the most perfect crème brûlées.  Nathan only gets one perfect crème brûlées, having burned most of his.  Jenna gets 4 perfect crème brûlées having the opposite problem.  Jimmy, meticulous as ever has 8 perfect ones!  Andrew was double fisting those blow torches, but only manages 4.  Jimmy wins!

Jimmy’s prize is to assign the desserts that each will be cooking for a spot in the final.  Raspberries rain from the sky to announce the theme of the challenge and the judges announce the desserts by degree of difficulty.

  • The raspberry napoleon is assigned to Jenna.  It’s the easiest, but Jenna is worried about all the different components taking up her time.
  • The raspberry trifle, Jimmy keeps for himself.
  • The raspberry mousse is given to Andrew, who is happy with that.
  • The hardest dessert, the raspberry tart, is given to Nathan, the dessert master.

Here are the results:

IMG_7015

Jenna did let time get away from her and her plating suffered.  Jimmy’s trifle is a bit messy as well and proportions are a bit off.  Andrew’s mousse had to be remade because it was at first too sweet; his remade mousse tastes much better but isn’t the right consistency.  Nathan was a superstar with this tart; he won his place in the finale with one taste.

Nathan was a shoe-in for the final, and they select Andrew to join him due to the way he saved his mousse.

I’m actually sad to see Jenna go.  I know her plating was a disaster, but on taste alone the judges gave her good marks.  For me, the texture of Andrew’s mousse is a bigger mistake that the plating error.  I felt she and Jimmy were both more deserving than Andrew.

Personally, I just don’t like Andrew’s views on food.  He thinks dessert is useless!  That being said, Nathan and Andrew could not be more different in their cooking.

I’m going Team Nathan!

Who are you cheering for in the final next week?