Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Wednesday Words of Wisdom

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas 2010!

Just a quick little post....
To wish everyone.....
A very Merry Christmas!!!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Christmas Eve: How to Have a Lovely Day

Can you believe it! Christmas is upon us!

After a fun filled, albeit exhausting week of performances, volunteering in classrooms, entertaining friends I have not seen in years, and lots and lots of baking, I can not wait for the big guy to swoop in, drop the load intended for my family and see the look of pure joy in Lil Diva & Lil Man's eyes.  I admit, I am a bit curious to see what "Santa" brought me since he placed those packages under the tree and they have accounted for many hours of guessing what is inside these two boxes.

A new addiction of mine of late is Tumblr. Oh goodness, what beauties can be found there!  This morning I came across a list which I found myself reading and agreeing wholeheartedly. When I worked in corporate America, I had several coworkers who called me Lil Miss Sunshine.  They always asked, you are always so happy from the moment you walk in the is seldom to ever see you have a bad day.  How do you do it?  I always told them, it is so much easier to be nice and happy than it is to be grumpy and mean. feels good too.  But this morning I found the list....the mere fact that I follow each and every one of the suggestions on this list each and every day, is the reason why I have a smile on my face rather than a frown.

Here it is:

Just merely reading this list is uplifting!

Hope everyone has a very Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Wednesday Words of Wisdom

You should never give yourself a chance to fall apart because, when you do, it becomes a tendency and it happens over and over again. You must practice staying strong, instead.
Eat. Pray. Love by Elizabeth Gilbert   

Monday, December 20, 2010

Winding Down From the Whirlwind

The last 5 days have been nonstop hustle and bustle in my neck of the woods.

Lil Diva rehearsed every evening working towards opening night and a weekend of performances with a local theatre Youth Ensemble. She had a supporting role and was extremely excited.  Her performance was amazing!  And as the "momager" as she calls me, I had to run her back and forth to rehearsals while juggling little man's set of activities.  The weekend was consumed with entertaining mom and grandma, who came to see the budding actress perform. I also had to dedicate 2 hours of daily curling her hair to Victorian era perfection. I actually shocked myself with the results!

Today was no different....

I spent most of the day on the go.  It started off guessed it...two hours of curling, then dropping her off at the theatre.  Picking up donuts with Lil Man and then assisting in his class with Gingerbread House making project.  It was great being able to spend a few hours dedicated solely to the little guy. He is shuttled around to all of his sister's activities and rarely complains...well he does, but he quickly realizes there is little that can be done about it.

Turning point was a celebratory sushi lunch with Lil Diva after her final performance this afternoon.  She always gets emotional after a final performance because she quickly befriends members of the cast and when you work for several months for hours on end towards a common goal, you are bound to get close.  This show was no different.  The nice part is a local restaurant has generously offered to host and pay for a cast party tomorrow she will get to see her cast mate friends again tomorrow for some much needed down time.

I, for one, am glad that the hustle and bustle involved with a production is over for the time being.  Not to mention all after school activities are on a hiatus for 2 weeks.  This means I get to take a deep breath and relax.  I plan to catch up on my reading.... leisurely peruse my magazines which have been quickly piling up, and being able to just putter around the house and simply enjoy the Christmas season.  I love the end of year wind down. 

I will savor every minute of it....for I know come January 2nd, activities start up again, new production rehearsals go into full swing, and the whirlwind begins all over again.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Wednesday Words of Wisdom

 Be sure of what you want and be sure about yourself.
Fashion is not just beauty, it’s about good attitude. 
You have to believe in yourself and be strong.” 
- Adriana Lima

Monday, December 13, 2010

Movie Review: The Tourist

Firstly, I must post a disclaimer....

I am, and have always been, irrevocably in love with Johnny Depp.  Given that little tidbit of information you can rest assured, you will always see a movie review pertaining to any film directly connected with Johnny.

Now that that is out of the way....

The Tourist, starring THE Johnny Depp and Angelina Jolie takes place is breathtaking Venice, Italy.  It begins with Angelina's character, Elise Ward, being followed by members of the police department conducting a sting operation in the hopes of being led to the elusive Alexander Pierce. Pierce is a criminal wanted in 14 countries, and is wanted by the British government for tax evasion.  He is also wanted by gangster, Reginald Shaw, (played by Steven Berkoff) who he has also stolen billions from.  Elise is given instructions via a note from Pierce to get on a train to Venice, and find a man on the train who fits his height and build and make the agents following her believe it is him. The man she chooses is Depp's character, Frank Tupelo, an American school teacher visiting Venice as a tourist.

My thoughts on the movie?  Without giving too much away, Jolie and Depp played their characters extremely well. The storyline was smooth and entertaining.  My complaints? The movie is marketed as an Action, Drama, Thriller.  I would most definitely drop the thriller part and replace it with Comedy.  The police tailing Elise made it painfully obvious they were following her. There is no indication in the movie to the date in which the actions are taking place.  So as a moviegoer you are assuming it's present day. (They did have small cell phones so we know it isn't taking place too long ago) If that is the case, the technology the agents are using are extremely dated. I can't tell you how many times I laughed out loud when the agents communicated to each other by talking into the microphone on their wrists.  Safe to say, these actions made it rather amusing.

Would I recommend this movie to be seen in the movie theater? If you are a Depp and/or a Jolie fan, yes. If you are a fan of beautiful location cinematography, yes. If you are a fashionista,yes (I am dying to know who is the designer of the dress Angelina wears in the opening scene and at the ball!)  There is action, there is drama....very little thriller, but lots of laughs.  They both deliver their lines convincingly with ease.  I don't regret paying to see it in the movie theater, and I would recommend it to anyone who is not expecting to see a true drama/thriller.

Friday, December 10, 2010

{Friday Five} This Weekend I Plan To....

 1} Watch my dream man, Johnny Depp in his latest role in "The Tourist".

2} Finish wrapping presents.

3} Start making batches of Christmas cookies.

4} Mark 12 Days Till Christmas with helping Lil Man & Lil Diva make their 2010 Gingerbread House.

5}Finally, curl up on the sofa and relax before the start of a new and busy week ahead.

Hope everyone has a wonderful weekend! xx

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Wednesday Words of Wisdom

 When you understand why something hurts, it stops hurting.
When you understand you have options, you take action. 
And when you understand you have wings, you can soar again.
Author Unknown 
Pic :Trust Your Style

Monday, December 6, 2010

Movie Review: Love & Other Drugs

I have to confess, when I went to the box office attendant, I said "Please give me one for Sex & Other Drugs".  I suppose subconsciously I knew that was the true title for the movie, but I in order to market it properly they needed to give it a more "politically correct" title.

I am a big fan of Anne Hathaway, and lets face it, what's not to love about Jake Gyllenhaal.  Anne plays a young artist suffering from early onset Parkinson's disease named Maggie Murdock and Jake plays a new pharmaceutical salesman named Jaime Randall.  Maggie meets Jaime in her doctor's examination room where she is led to believe he is a new "intern".  That is until she sees him opening the trunk of car and notices the cases upon cases of the Pfizer drugs he is trying to pedal to the well known doctor.  After an exchange of words, Jaime using his charm to get Maggie's phone number from the ever impressionable doctor's receptionist he happens to be having sex, he manages to convince Maggie to go on a coffee date with him.  And there begins the start of a very active sexual relationship between the two.

There is more to this storyline than plenty of fornication.  Maggie meets a man who truly cares for her and is willing to learn everything there is to know about her condition and stand by her side even during the rough times.  And Jaime meets a woman who sees beyond his competitive nature and extreme sexual urges.  She sees a man who, even though given the opportunities to excel in the medical field like his family, has fiercely tried to make a life directly opposite of what they all expect.  They believe he cares about nothing, and Maggie sees a passionate, caring, smart individual.

I am so glad I didn't listen to the mixed reviews given for this movie.  The movie was chock full of belly laugh funny scenes as well as very emotional ones.  These two are class act thespians and the chemistry between the two was undeniable.  Seeing Jake in the buff was an added bonus! I would definitely recommend it.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

{Weekend Wishfulness}

~ Bake Chocolate Chip Walnut Cookies
~ Discover what roles Lil Diva & Lil Man were given in their upcoming production
~ Delve into my December magazines which are just begging to be read
~ Sit back, relax, & enjoy the 75 minute bus ride into The Big Apple
~ Watch Jake Gyellenhal use his baby blues to charm Hathaway in "Love & Other Drugs"
~ Spend a few hours laughing and bonding with my friends while taking in the beauty of Christmas in NYC

Hope everyone has a wonderful weekend!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

The Importance of Teaching Children About Commitment

For the past 7 years I have been volunteering my time as a Girl Scout leader.

Throughout those seven years, I forged bonds with a total of 20 girls.  One year I had 16 girls to lead.  Of course, as they get older and their interests change, we start losing them.  Volunteerism and service projects tend to start taking center stage instead of fun "me" activities, and we lose some of them because they feel it just isn't "fun" for them anymore.  It takes a special kind of girl to see that their altruistic efforts can be even more rewarding than partaking in a cake decorating class. At this age we start to realize which of the girls are truly committed to what Girl Scouts is all about.

My "girls" are now in middle school.  This has opened up a whole new chapter of socialization opportunities with not only children they knew from their home elementary school, but with others from neighboring schools they never interacted with before.  It is all fun and exciting and at this age they want to do it all.  At this age they also need to start understanding the need to prioritize their time.  This is the perfect time for them to start keeping a calendar of their schedule and commitments.

As parents, it is our job to help guide them in the right direction in terms of determining which is more important.  Does a dance, that is hosted once a month, take precedence over a scheduled meeting in which you are to put in volunteer hours at a local nursing home?  At this age, it is all about them and fulfilling their wants and desires.  They seldom think about how their decisions will affect others.  It is our responsibility to gently remind them what can be the repercussions of the decisions they make.  For example, is it fair to go to the dance when you already committed to make ornaments with the seniors who were looking forward to sharing your company at the nursing home on the same evening?  Ultimately, they will decide which is more important to them, but it is important that we make them aware of what consequences will ensue to the broken commitment.

Teaching children at this age the importance of following through on their prior commitments, even when a more exciting one comes up, is a valuable lesson.  It not only teaches them about the importance of making plans and following through, but it shows others around them that they are dependable and responsible.  This is an extremely valuable asset to master before becoming adults.  It is never too early to learn it.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010