Thursday, June 30, 2011

{What's Playing.....} Beyonce - 4

Bought this album on Tuesday....Love it.  These are two tracks I am enjoying very much.

The Best Thing I Never Had (each of us can relate to this song at one point in our life...)

I Was Here (I literally got chills listening to this song!  I think this is the goal of most people who aim high, who strive to make a mark in this world.....Beautiful!)

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Wednesday Words of Wisdom

No one is in control of your happiness but you; therefore, you have the power to change anything about yourself or your life that you want to change.

- Barbara de Angelis

photo via Brown Eyed Belle

Monday, June 27, 2011

{What a Bargain} Sonia Kashuk

It never fails.

I go into Target (or Tar-Jay as we lovingly call it), with the intentions of having tunnel vision and just picking up the two things I required from them.  The zebra printed sheet set for Lil Diva's bed, and Lil Man's Pediasure (long story short...he has the worst appetite, and he has been prescribed to drink two servings of it per day in order to insure he has all the necessary nutrients).   

So far so good.... I have made it past the dollar spot...past the jewelry section, and almost made it past cosmetics when I see a woman walking past me with a friend, holding in her hands the cute teal colored box walking past me.  My savvy bargain hunter vision has also spotted the red and white sale tag on the corner of her box.  All this takes place in mere nano-seconds really.  So instead of turning left towards the section where the Pediasure is located at, I veer right, straight towards cosmetics. One adorable box is on the shelf....with the sale sticker affixed to it.

I had seen this brush set reviewed and recommended in several magazines throughout the Spring.  Even a few of the make up blogs I follow mentioned it back in March.  Seems the thoughts were unanimous, these brushes were great for the price.  The set almost made it home with me a couple of times between April and May, but I always seemed to put it back when I saw something else I could spend my $24.99 on.

Lucky thing I did!  This bargain shopper got this set with 7 amazing brushes and a cute storage clutch which was the last one sitting on the shelf for an amazing 50% off the regular price!  For those that frequent the Sonia Kashuk section of Target, you know this an awesome deal.  They very rarely markdown these items, if ever.

$12.49! Now that's a bargain! Seems fate had a hand and knew I just had to have it!

Saturday, June 25, 2011

{Movie Review} X-Men: First Class

This summer, movie goers will be given a slew of superhero movies to choose from and enjoy.  One of the first ones to hit the big screen is X-Men First Class.

X-Men First Class is the prequel to the successful X-Men Trilogy movie franchise.  The movie mainly takes place in 1962 during the heart of the Cuban missile crisis.  A young Charles Xavier, played by James McAvoy (later known as Professor X) starts up a school for humans with supernatural abilities.

The film begins in German occupied Poland, centering on a young boy, Erik Lensherr (adult character played by Michael Fassbender) being wrenched apart from his parents being led into a concentration camp.  The anger he feels at being separated from his parents lead to him demonstrating his ability to bend and control metal with his mind.  The Germans are fascinated by his abilities.  Dr. Schmidt wants him to demonstrate his abilities again.  Unfortunately, the young Erik can not.  Sensing it may be driven by anger, he brings in his mother and threatens to kill her on the count of 3 if he does not move a coin.  When he can't, Schmidt shoots her which then causes Erik to move the coin and bend all the metal in the room.  Schmidt is fascinated.  Meanwhile, in Westchester County, New York a young Charles Xavier comes face to face with a young homeless girl stealing food from his kitchen one evening.  Raven (the adult character played by Jennifer Lawrence), quickly and erroneously takes on the form of his dead mother.  He assures her there is nothing to be afraid of and she will never need to steal food again.  He invites her to stay with his family.

The movie then moves forward to 1962.  An adult Erik Lensherr is seeking revenge against Dr. Schmidt for killing his mother right in front of him and Charles Xavier is in England, with his now, foster sister, Raven, by his side, presenting his thesis on mutation at Oxford University.  Meanwhile, in Las Vegas, CIA agent Moira McTaggert witnesses first hand the abilities of mutated humans exhibiting supernatural abilities.  This leads her to seeking out Charles Xavier's help in capturing Sebastian Shaw and the other mutants who are controlling the decisions of world officials that can lead to a third World War.  This leads Charles to meeting and befriending Erik. 

The movie details how Erik becomes Magneto, leader of the Brotherhood of Mutants, and what leads Charles Xavier/Professor X to becoming confined to a wheelchair and his fierce passion for seeking out and assisting others with supernatural abilities.

This movie received mixed reviews by critics and movie goers.  I personally enjoyed it. But I am a major superhero movie fan. I can safely say if you are not a fan of the X-Men Trilogy, are not a fan of comic books, or not much of an action film fan, this would not be a movie for you.  The movie goes into details on what started the XMen training school and how Charles and Erik's friendship developed and subsequently falls apart.  There is a lot of action involved between the mutants on the side of good and those on the side of evil.  It would definitely be a worthwhile movie to catch at a matinee viewing if you are on the fence. 

Friday, June 24, 2011

Embracing the Unexpected

Lil Diva and I had our day all planned out.  In fact, we had this day planned since the beginning of May.  We would wait till school ends and enjoy a Mom/Daughter day in NYC.  The pièce de résistance ..... the Savage Beauty: Alexander McQueen exhibit at The Metropolitan Museum of Art.  It was all she talked about for weeks. 

The date was selected...Monday, June 20th, 2011.  Outfits were carefully chosen, purses stocked.  My father in law dropped us off in front of the museum steps and we quickly walked up to the door, eagerly anticipating the beautiful frocks we were about to see.  A tug of the door and ...locked! What? Maybe they want you to walk in through a specific door.  We tried the next one. Same thing.  I approached the security guard and he calmly stated "The museum is closed on Mondays". Oh no!  How could I have possibly not realized that?  The excitement of school being over and finally getting to see this exhibit, I didn't even think to check, or remembered for that matter, we can not make plans to visit the MET on a Mondays!

Lil Diva was crestfallen. I could see her eyes watering.  I felt terrible.  I know how much this meant for her.  She adores fashion and this day meant so much. " I really wanted to see this Mom.  I'm so sad. What are we going to do?"  My mind was racing to think of something just as exciting to do with our day. Of course being disappointed myself, I couldn't think of anything at the moment. So I called Mr. Man and he searched the internet, and found the perfect solution. 

One thing I may have not mentioned yet on my blog is how I came up with Lil Diva's nickname.  No, she does not make outlandish demands or prances around acting as though she is entitled to everything.  Quite the contrary.  She is a very well mannered, bright, mature young lady.  To the point she sometimes can't relate as well to her peers, most of which act like typical 12 year olds. Her alias comes from her fierce aspiration to become an actress.  Her determination has no bounds, so Lil Diva seemed perfect.

Mr. Man saved the day by recommending we go to NBC studio tour.  This peaked Lil Diva's interest.  Especially since the tour went into background information on how cameras worked, how they "trick" the audience into thinking there are more people in the studio audience than is actually there.  The careers that have taken off from being involved in Saturday Night Live, how long it takes to tape a season and so much more.  When the tour was over she said with a huge smile on her face,  "This was great!"  (When we met up with Mr. Man later that afternoon, she thanked him for the wonderful new plans he recommended).

The rest of the day consisted of a picnic lunch in Rockefeller Plaza, frozen hot chocolates from Serendipity, and explored FAO Schwartz.  We will be returning to NYC in a couple of weeks on a Wednesday instead, to see the Alexander McQueen exhibit.  But this past Monday's unexpected turn of events proved that we never know what new things we can discover when plans change suddenly.  It afforded Lil Diva with a valuable lesson....embrace the unexpected.

photo via WeheartIt

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Wednesday Words of Wisdom

Watch your thoughts, they become words.
Watch your words, they become actions.
Watch your actions, they become habits.
Watch your habits, they become your character.
Watch your character, it becomes your destiny.
- Author Unknown 

photo via Tumblr

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Summer Solstice

Happy First Day of Summer!

Today is the longest day of the of tomorrow, the days will begin to shorten.  Most European countries acknowledge the day with bonfire celebrations.  I will celebrate it with a relaxing day in the backyard reading my stack of July magazine subscriptions that have arrived and watching Lil Man and Lil Diva have some water fun!

How will you mark Summer Solstice?

photo via pinterest

Monday, June 20, 2011

{What's Playing....}

Was blown away by this piano performance....

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Happy Father's Day

Wishing all the daddies a Happy Father's Day!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Wednesday Words of Wisdom

Nobody trips over mountains.  It is the small pebble that causes you to stumble.  
Pass all the pebbles in your path and you will find you have crossed the mountain.  
~Author Unknown

 (not sure where I found this photo)

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

If Money Were No Object....

This Elizabeth & James Phoebe jersey kaftan dress and Christian Louboutin Platform Peeptoe shoes would be my outfit of choice for my nephew's high school graduation this weekend. 

photos via ShopStyle

Monday, June 13, 2011

Monday Muse

Lil Man's Drama Recital - "Robot Training Skit"

Lil Diva Ballet- "Home"

What a weekend!  After an incredibly busy week chauffeuring Lil Man & Lil Diva to her dress rehearsals, the date the two have been working so hard on all year arrived.  They both performed amazingly well.  Lil Man's first year of drama classes came to a close with a monologue, skit, musical theater performance, and 2 additional songs.  Lil Diva marked the completion of her 8th year of dance with ballet, tap, jazz, and hip-hop routines.  They will never know how proud I am of them.  It takes a lot of guts, talent and determination to take the stage in front of hundreds of people and to perform the icing on the cake.

Now, I can breathe a sigh of relief.... the end of after school activities have come to a close, and the end of the school year is two days away.  Having that passion to perform and take the stage is still in them.  They both will now be working on a summer production.  The running around for that isn't too bad.  At least I will get to relax with them before the slew of extra curricular activities begins again come September!

Wishing everyone a wonderful week ahead!

Friday, June 10, 2011

{TGIF} Busy Week = Busy Weekend

I don't think I have ever TGIF as I have this one.

This week went by in a whirl of activities.  Two late nights at the theater for dress rehearsal for Lil Diva's much anticipated dance recital, subsequent dress rehearsals for Lil Man's drama recital.... both of which are taking place this weekend.  (Thankfully, on two separate days....imagine if it were on the same day! I shudder to think.)  Add to that, having to deal with Lil Diva on the brink of a meltdown....her teachers decide to give them not one, not two, but THREE projects to complete by today.  So in between shuttling them from one activity to the next, I have been running to craft stores picking up the necessary supplies and defusing a preteen time bomb that was just waiting to go off.

Did I mention all this needed to be done during the stifling heatwave that hit the Northeast this week?  Every cloud has a silver lining, right?  The heatwave forced the schools to dismiss early, which meant Lil Diva had an extra 2 hours a day to complete all the projects.  This morning she left with a huge smile on her face, confident and proud she met the deadline.  That is something I cherish especially when it comes to school work.

Though the weekend will be just as busy as the week, I am most looking forward to it.....

* Watching my Lil Man take the stage to show off the acting skills he has picked up this year.
* The awe I am always in when seeing the gracefulness & beauty of Lil Diva dancing.
* Spending time with my Mom & Grandma.
* Dinner at our  favorite Japanese restaurant with my In-Laws.
* The official end of after school extra curricular activities for the year.

Last night's thunderstorm washed away not only the heat, but the flurry of activities of the last few days, leaving in its wake cooler temperature and the renewed anticipation of a beautiful weekend to come.

Wishing everyone a wonderful weekend!
photo via Pinterest

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

{Movie Review} Double Feature

*Sigh* Johnny Depp!  

OK, I've gained my composure.... Johnny Depp reprises his role yet again as Captain Jack Sparrow in Pirates of the Caribbean 4- On Stranger Tides and just when one may think, OK this is the fourth movie, this is surely getting me, it is not.  Gone is Keira Knightley and Orlando Bloom, but filling the vacant spot of starring opposite Johnny is the beautiful and talented Penelope Cruz.  She stars as Angelica, a jilted former paramour of Jack who is also on the quest to find the Fountain of Youth.  

Without giving too much away, I can say this is another Disney hit.  But then again, can any production company go wrong when hiring the extremely versatile Johnny Depp?  (You can tell I am irrevocably in love with this man?). It is filled with action, laughs, suspense and mermaids!  A definite must see on the big screen.

Tip: It seems almost every movie is being toted in 3D as well.... I saw this in 3D because it was the only one showing at the time I went. There are certain movies where you want to be immersed completely into the action... for this one, it is definitely not necessary.  Save yourself the extra couple of dollars and watch it without the special specs.

The Wolfpack is back indeed!

This comedy has definitely earned it's $205 million worldwide. I admit, I went into this movie last weekend with Mr. Man expecting to come out mildly disappointed.  Let's face it, sequels generally don't go over well.  Especially when the sequel is using the exact same premise.  Three friends waking up with terrible hangovers, a friend missing, and no recollection of what happened during their night of bachelor partying.  In this case, two friends missing!  The guys retrace their steps to discover they literally took Bangkok by storm.

One word for this movie....Hilarious!

Like the first, it is jam packed with adult humor. It merits it's R rating, that's for sure. Bradley Cooper, Ed Helms, and Zach Galianakis have an undeniable chemistry together.  It literally leaves you wanting more.  Everyone has asked me, "Is it better than the first?"  My answer can only be, It is just as good.  It is hard for me to compare the two since the location and hijinx are so starkly different, but I can say this, If you enjoyed the first one, you will definitely love the second. 

Monday, June 6, 2011

{Make Me Up Monday} M.A.C. Surf, Baby

It's been a while since I have visited my favorite place at the mall....the M.A.C. counter.  Of course, I was welcomed back with open arms. LOL

With summer weather in it's full glory, I decided to try to find something new I can use for the summer.  I barely wear, if any, makeup over the summer months.  A smidge of gloss, a touch of mascara and I am out the door.  With the blazing sun and humidity, I rather wear as little as possible.

I decided to take a look at their new Surf, Baby line and found exactly what I was looking for.  Being extremely obsessive about soft, healthy, moisturized lips, their suntints with SPF 20 was the perfect choice.  I purchased "Full of Grace".  It has a hint of a rose colored tint.  And I mean "hint", if someone wants something with more pigmentation, then I would not recommend this product.  I purchased this more so for the sun protection factor, and for the fact it feels super moist.  Most lip protections I've tried in the past go on very waxy or feel incredibly greasy.  Not a good combination when using it in the heat or by the water.  What I found incredible about this was when my MAC consultant demonstrated even emerged in water, it will not wash off easily.  Perfect for use at the beach or pool!

I most definitely recommend giving the M.A.C. Surf, Baby suntints a try.  I happily have added this to my summer make-up bag.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

{What's Playing....}

I {heart} Beyonce...

This is a young woman who at a very early age told her parents she was going to accomplish the magnitude of success her idol, Michael Jackson, had.  Like any parent, they encouraged their young daughter to reach for the stars, but they never dreamed that she would in fact achieve it before the age of 30!

This song screams "girl power" and has me eagerly anticipating her new album, which comes out June 28th.

Friday, June 3, 2011

{TGIF} Things I'm Most Looking Forward To....

* A visit from my Godmother...(haven't seen her in over 10 years!)
* A movie & lunch date with Mr. Man.
* Starting a new novel.
* Editing Lil Diva's photos.
* The return of Family Game Night.
* Putting together our new patio table.
* Spending a stress-free weekend before the hectic one to come!

Hope everyone has a wonderful weekend! 

photo via Pinterest

Thursday, June 2, 2011

{Color My World} Shades of Blue....

photos via Tumblr & WeHeartIt

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Wednesday Words of Wisdom

Sometimes you need to step outside, get some air,
and remind yourself of who you are and where you want to be. 
- Gossip Girl
  photos via tumblr