Monday, September 21, 2015

Monday's Mixtape: Sept 21, 2015

I haven't done a mixtape in a while. Blame it on the goose, got you feelin' loose  adult life. Adult life is hard. Plus side though - my job is pretty okay. And that's totally cool with me.


1// Amnesia by the Josh Abbott Band

Break ups are hard. This song rocks. The end.

2// Never Stop by Safetysuit

I actually don't like this song for anything other than the words. I don't like the music or the melody or the cheese ball piano. I think it would be incredible acoustic..but Safetysuit didn't ask me first. They should have, but they didn't.

3// Smile by Mikky Ekko

Well, as you can see, I was first exposed to this song via "Paper Towns" (which, if you haven't read or seen it yet - GO) and just naturally kept listening to it. On repeat. A lot. And I just watched the actual video for it, and there's a car crash in the first thirty seconds..I'm not about that life tonight. Or any night.

4// Wings by Birdy

Well, this one is all kinds of sad and dreamy - and I'm a little obsessed.

5// What Do You Mean by the Biebs

You should all know now that I have a soft spot for the Biebs. Yup, I'm admitting it publicly..I just can't help it. And I just really dig his newest song - with this and "Where Are U Now" with Skrillex? I's a whole new Bieber.

P.s. HAYY Ryan Scheckler..7th grade me would totally still date that. Yum.


Saturday, September 19, 2015

At the Movies: 5 Reasons to See "Maze Runner: Scorch Trials"

And 5 Reasons to See "Maze Runner: Scorch Trials"! As usual, *spoilers ahead*. Honestly, you should really go read the book first. I'll wait.

Okay, you're back? Let's get started!

1// The story continues..

You're probably thinking..duh the story continues. I mean that to say that there's no stop. One minute you're grieving for Chuck (UGH, STILL bothers me!) and the next the Gladers are in a whole new world. One story leads right into the next and it's all action packed. You're wondering from one minute to the next what will happen to our Gladers and how they'll keep on living outside of the Maze they've called home. 

*Spoiler alert*: it's definitely not what you think ;)

2// The scenery.

From the desert like sands of "The Scorch" to the mountains to the broken buildings, MR:ST is full of interesting places. Now, you may be thinking "whats so cool about deserted buildings and sand?" - I'll tell you: not much..ha. But it sure makes for a stunning back drop in this post apocalyptic world. And it definitely makes you wonder..could I survive there too?

3// Attractive men.

I're welcome.

In all honesty though, I LOVED Minho (played by Ki Hong Lee) and Newt (played by Thomas Brodie-Sangster. They're some of my favorite characters in the book series, and I'm so pleased with who they chose to cast. They're both super talented actors.

I also really enjoyed Frypan (the lovely lad in the middle, played by Dexter Darden) - he was good comedic relief in a rough and tumble world.

And last, but not least..for the "older" generation out there..these guys will do, right?

The creepy Jansen (played by Aiden Gillen - of Game of Thrones fame..if you're into that kind of thing) and the funky Jorge (played by Giancarlo Esposito). Oh, and Dyl..but we'll get to him later!

4// Crazy action scenes!

As you probably guessed..there's a lot of running that happens in this series. Running in the Maze, running from Cranks (oh oh oh..can't wait for you to see them! Yikes.), and running for their lives every thirty seconds - these kids are thrown into a world they know nothing about and survival instincts takes over. Sometimes flight overtakes fight..and you keep moving, no matter what happens. 


If you've been reading this blog for long, you know of my longtime L-O-V-E of this guy! From his collection of embarrassing YouTube videos, to "The First Time", to Teen Wolf, to Maze Runner, I have yet to be disappointed - and not just because he's gorgeous. He's hella funny and incredibly talented. I look forward to seeing his career blow up - and you'll definitely thank me for introducing you to just wait.

And while there are some glaring differences between the book and the movie, I was really surprised at how much I liked it. I'm starting to get away from my Harry Potter days when I used to be just super bummed out when they did something different in a movie than the book - and just be transported into another time for 2 and a half hours. I can enjoy both, and that doesn't mean I'm not a true fan. 

If you have time, please read this's definitely worth it!

Good that Shanks,

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Book Review: "The Pioneer Woman: Black Heels to Tractor Wheels" by Ree Drummond

Woo! I'm 7 for 25! Thanks for doing this journey with me :)

Today's review is for:

"That's when I saw him—the cowboy—across the smoky room." 
I'll never forget that night. It was like a romance novel, an old Broadway musical, and a John Wayne western rolled into one. Out for a quick drink with friends, I wasn't looking to meet anyone, let alone a tall, rugged cowboy who lived on a cattle ranch miles away from my cultured, corporate hometown. But before I knew it, I'd been struck with a lightning bolt . . . and I was completely powerless to stop it.

Read along as I recount the rip-roaring details of my unlikely romance with a chaps-wearing cowboy, from the early days of our courtship (complete with cows, horses, prairie fire, and passion) all the way through the first year of our marriage, which would be filled with more challenge and strife—and manure—than I ever could have expected.

This isn't just my love story; it's a universal tale of passion, romance, and all-encompassing love that sweeps us off our feet.

It's the story of a cowboy.
And Wranglers.
And chaps.
And the girl who fell in love with them."

1. Well..that was sweet.
2. I want a cowboy.

The author, Ree Drummond started a blog, The Pioneer Woman, in 2006. Her blog is full of recipes, pictures of her life on a ranch, and her children - as well as other things. She grew up on a golf course in Oklahoma, moved to California for college, and while on a "hey I have no idea what I'm doing" stint in her hometown after college, she met her husband - whom she calls "Marlbolo Man"..and the rest you can read in this little book.

The first two halves of the book (broken into three parts) were originally blog posts and the writing is as so - a little choppy and less structured. It doesn't lessen the ooey-gooeyness of this story. The woman sure loves her cowboy. And for good reason, he seems pretty perfect. 

So I'll just stay here and dream about cowboys..and move on to other books, because, honestly - I need something more substantial.

“My head rested on his shoulder, my heart rested entirely in his hands And in a whisper, my words escaped: "I love you." He probably hadn't heard them. He was too focused on the movie. But he heard me; I could tell. His arms enveloped me even further; his embrace tightened. He breathed in and sighed, and his hand played with my hair. "Good," he said softly, and his gentle lips found mine.”  

I haven't had but one "I love you" moment in my life, so I drink up others like crazy. So darling.

I'd go ahead and say if you're into love stories, definitely read this one. If you're into the ooey-gooey parts of life, read it. Ree sends out into the world a great story of how a woman, unsure of her new spot in the world, and how a chance meeting led a guy to totally sweep her off of her feet. And all the while, she makes marriage - the high highs and the weird lows - seem not so scary. That even if you're unsure about it in general, the right person makes it an easy transition and enriches your life. (At least that's what I've heard.)

It makes me look forward to that part of life.


Friday, September 11, 2015

Friday Favorites 9-11-15

This week has been weird. And longer than I expected. I started a new job on Tuesday - and Thursday I stayed home because I was sick. Not exactly how I wanted to start this new employment. Thankfully I have a great boss - who said several times yesterday and today that she hopes I feel better. 

Thankfully it's the weekend and sleep is in order.

But before that, this:

This song is my favorite thing this Friday. I don't have anything else to say or put on here right now (I'll come up with something next week). It was the center of my devotional time last night, and I'm thankful it was so.

You're all beautiful.
You're all a treasure.
You're all sacred.
And you're all His.

Goodnight little bloggers,

Monday, September 7, 2015

Book Review: "Once Upon An Affair: My Affair with President John F. Kennedy and It's Aftermath" by Mimi Alford

I'm 6 for 25 as of right now! It's exciting to make strides toward a goal. My sixth book was a little book called "Once Upon An Affair: My Affair with President John F. Kennedy and It's Aftermath" by Mimi Alford. If you're intrigued (like I was!), read on!

From "In the summer of 1962, nineteen-year-old Mimi Beardsley arrived by train in Washington, D.C., to begin an internship in the White House press office. The Kennedy Administration had reinvigorated the capital and the country—and Mimi was eager to contribute. For a young woman from a privileged but sheltered upbringing, the job was the chance of a lifetime. Although she started as a lowly intern, Mimi made an impression on Kennedy’s inner circle and, after just three days at the White House, she was presented to the President himself.
Almost immediately, the two began an affair that would continue for the next eighteen months.
In an era when women in the workplace were still considered “girls,” Mimi was literally a girl herself—naïve, innocent, emotionally unprepared for the thrill that came when the President’s charisma and power were turned on her full-force. She was also unprepared for the feelings of isolation that would follow as she fell into the double life of a college student who was also the secret lover of the most powerful man in the world. Then, after the President’s tragic death in Dallas, she grieved in private, locked her secret away, and tried to start her life anew, only to find that her past would cast a long shadow—and ultimately destroy her relationship with the man she married.
In 2003, a Kennedy biographer mentioned “a tall, slender, beautiful nineteen-year-old college sophomore and White House intern, who worked in the press office” in reference to one of the President’s affairs. The disclosure set off a tabloid frenzy and soon exposed Mimi and the secret that she had kept for forty-one years. Because her past had been revealed in such a shocking, public way, she was forced, for the first time, to examine the choices she’d made. She came to understand that shutting down one part of her life so completely had closed her off from so much more.
No longer defined by silence or shame, Mimi Alford has finally unburdened herself with this searingly honest account of her life and her extremely private moments with a very public man. Once Upon a Secret offers a new and personal depiction of one of our most iconic leaders and a powerful, moving story of a woman coming to terms with her past and moving out of the shadows to reclaim the truth."

I, like many over the years, have a facination with the Kennedy's. For some reason, they're all beautiful, all rich and all apart of some fairy tale that we've all been left out of. 

The author of this story is no exception.

She begins this story by telling about her upbringing - white, rich, "yes mother, no mother", boarding school, and debutant balls. Her life was basically scripted out for her. How she walked, talked, and how she would marry. Nothing out of the ordinary.

Until she started working in the press secretary's office at the White House - which only happened because of MRS KENNEDY. Yup. She got a job from someone..and then slept with her husband for a year and a half. That's how you repay someone.

This story was written while Mimi was in her 60's, but I always felt the vibe that every bit of her 19 year old self shone through. Every story was written as though she was going to get into trouble..40 some odd years later, or that the behavior displayed by either of them was of the norm or okay.

More than anything, I found it to be difficult to read on a  few accounts:

1// The president essentially raped her. She was brought around to his residential quarters, and brought into the president's room - where they had sex. She categorizes the event as more of her being 19 and a virgin, about to do something monumental with a "childhood crush". The president never asked if she wanted to have sex. He periodically asked if she was okay during the first encounter and she saw that as consensual, but my frustration lies within the fact that it happened - and she was okay with how. He was the president, and you did what he said. 

2// She is aloof to his transgressions, even at 60-something years old (when "she should know better"). She remarks: "I begun to appreciate two things about him. The first was the great care the President took to shield his wife from his infidelities. I believe he placed her on a pedestal as the perfect partner to help him realize his ambitions. And he planted that pedestal in a private space where all his "other women", including me, would never be permitted to enter. The second was that, at all times, he was protecting himself, too..You build walls, you compartmentalize, you make sure no one ever knows you completely". 

She speaks as though it is normal what he did. That his life was never going to go outside of his transgressions - that no one was ever going to find out - because he could play the game. That she appreciated the game. There is no love in that. There is no kindness, or sorrow or wrongfulness. There's only selfishness, pain and disgust. She didn't and still doesn't see that.

3// And towards the end of their affair, Mimi is engaged. To another human being. After the president is shot, she exposes her secret for the first time to her fiancé. Later that evening, in anger (hate, spitefulness, rage) her domineering fiance (and domineering is not a strong enough word - he is a terrible, terrible human being) "yank[s] back the covers, climbed into my bed, and, without a word, initiated our first sexual encounter. I was so desperate to keep him, I didn't resist."

She, again, is raped. But because she has ZERO self esteem and ZERO confidence in saying no - by growing up in such a world that your essentially married into one way of life, and by saying goodbye to the fiancé, she would lose that way of life - she finds herself for the next 26 years married to a man who raped her. Neither could handle her revelation (he tells her she's never allowed to speak of JFK and her summers in the White House EVER again) - her out of fear of her husband leaving her, him out of being a cruel human with no social ability what-so-ever - they tip toe around. They don't speak about anything of importance and sweep things under the rug. The JFK affair is just the tip of the iceberg.

Alford is traumatized by the affair, whether she knows it or not (and I'm not sure she does). Her very first adult experience with the world taints her existence for a long, long time. I find it hard to have grace for her though. Our lives in this day and age are so tainted with promiscuity and cheating, that we're almost numb to it. We find it interesting and dangerous. We watch it on TV and listen to it on the radio. And it's just another brick in the wall sometimes.

Now, before you read this and go "you knew that you were reading about an affair! What did you expect?!" - I agree, I knew what was coming. I didn't know there would be very little remorse for what she had done. She found ways to explain her circumstances and make them lighter. That she was never cheating because she didn't think of Jackie at all. But she was. She is an adulterer. For the rest of her life.

As you can already tell, I'm angry with Mimi Alford. I would rather not fill this section out, because what she has to say shouldn't apply to daily life. But, in the spirit of grace, and the fact that she does have some wisdom to go around, I will give you a few.

1// “When someone listens to you, they may not realize it but they're giving you a great gift: They're making room for your voice.” 

Mimi spends 40+ years with a secret only few know. When she does unload the secret onto others, she finds her voice. The voice she so desperately needed from the age of 19. She needed people to hear what she had gone through and throw her a life raft. Eventually she found one, and found her place in a world where she didn't have to be ashamed for what she had done. She had to keep the name "adulterer", but she didn't have to live like one.

2// “I am proof that if we’re lucky, we emerge from our mistakes as wiser, stronger, better people—and if we’re extremely lucky, happier people.” 

I sure hope so.

I think the only thing I can say is read this if you're interested in John F Kennedy history. It's more of a side note, I'm hoping, to his legacy - but it is apart of his history. It made him less of a knight in shining armor, and less of a man too. But it's apart of it - and those who like history and like JFK would most likely enjoy this.


Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Five Reasons to Watch "Mission Impossible Rogue Nation"

I know that I am 100% late to this party, but I went and saw "Mission Impossible" last night! I thought it was funny, exciting and worth your money - but here's a few more reasons why you should make it a point to see MI: Rogue Nation!

1// Tom Cruise

Let's be real, you come for the stunts and stay for the Cruise. I dislike him severely in person (that man is a tad crazy..) but I have totally dug a lot of his movies. I mean, "Top Gun" is one of the best movies (and movie soundtracks!) ever made. And Rogue Nation does not disappoint. 

The man flies around, kicks ass and rides a motorcycle like no ones business. AND he's funny as hell. Something I wouldn't have expected out of him. Crazy, yes, but funny..not so much.

2// The Stunts

Like I said..RIDICULOUS. Leaping around backstage at an Opera, climbing onto an airplane mid lift-off, sliding across several cars..but my favorite has to be the motorcycle scene.

His leg is entirely too close to that ground.

3// The "Bro Crew"

Let's be honest, there is almost too much testosterone in this movie. But Jeremy Renner, Simon Pegg and Ving Rhames all show great comedic chops in this one - as well as serious kick-ass-ness. (which is totally a word..) I'd totally have them on my team if I were a secret agent.

4// The Love actually a badass.

Rebecca Ferguson is awesome. At first you're wondering who she is and what she's doing there (she's a new character in the series), but she quickly let's you know that she can do anything Cruise can do..but in a dress and heels.

Also..*SPOILER ALERT*: they don't kiss. I fully expected Tom and Rebecca (aka Ilsa) to have a major make out scene..or more. But they didn't - and I want to cheer on whichever writer in the movie decided to not! You get a high five sir. Thank you for making a bad ass woman NOT the love interest. 

You da real MVP, Rebecca Ferguson.


I know I already talked about Simon being funny and totally part of my future spy team..but I LOVE SIMON PEGG I LOVE SIMON PEGG I LOVE SIMON PEGG! He's one of my favorite actors - and definitely deserves his own reason to watch! He's brilliant.

P.S. If you haven't watched Hector and the Search for Happiness, starring Simon, I really, very much recommend it! A tad bit like "Walter Mitty", but it has it's own charms. One being Simon!