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Monday, January 26, 2015

Advance Screening Soliloquy Kingsman: The Secret Service

I've been trying to figure out what to write about Kingsman: The Secret Service since I saw it at an advance screening on Thursday. I mean, I love spy movies, bad puns and all, but this one's so much more (and less) than that.

The beginning of an epic scene
Photo Credit: Fox Movies

Sure, you get a healthy dose of all things awesome: Alfred (Michael Caine), puppies, great accents, cool gadgets, and a feel-good, heart warming underdog story.

It's not without the typical bad puns and quirky villains that spy movies are known for either. Albeit this time, one has a lisp and can't stand the sight of blood. Samuel L. Jackson's character feels like a creepy spoof of some well-known tech moguls and swings this movie a bit more in Austin Powers territory. Another has some pretty cray-zay prosthetic limbs that definitely don't slow her down.

And, despite the name, Kingsman isn't about just one man, nor is it solely about men at all. Roxy is a strong character who, despite having a bit of an Achilles heel (who doesn't?) really adds to this film. Sure, they just had to throw in a stereotypical damsel in distress character too, but hopefully she won't be the butt of any jokes when this movie is released. It really has so much to offer otherwise.

Which, brings me to the real question: how do you fairly rate a movie that you didn't have to pay to see? Without the guilt of having emptied your wallet to enjoy your night out, one might be inclined to leave an overly positive review.

Will tackles this question with his own review of the movie at his new blog (which also doubles as his, huh?). You can read his full review with a rating at Kingsman: The Secret's Out.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

2015 is Here, and So Is the Pub Food!

Pub Food FTW!

So, the only thing that stays the same is that everything changes. We are starting to get accustomed to Cali life and are really enjoying our surroundings. You really can see the mountains from Mountain View, which is in stark contrast to Indiana living (although not so different from Spain or Hong Kong). 

We've only been to a few restaurants since we arrived in November, but they've all been great. One of the first places we tried was while looking for an apartment, Lilly Macs.

We were fortunate enough to be walking by during Happy Hour (which is Monday - Friday from 3p-7p). I had an order of Mini Fish and Chips ($6), and Will had a burger with egg and other toppings ($6). There are beers/wines on special during Happy Hour too, and the Happy Hour food menu listed online is nowhere as large as the one we saw in front of the restaurant that day.

Everything was delicious, and our server at the bar was awesome. You really can't beat two meals for $12 anywhere, especially when everything was so perfect.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

The New Misadventures of Me!

Hey! It's been a while...

Sorry about that. 

Things have been *crazy* around here. Well, it's been so long since I've written, you've no idea where "here" is, do ya? I'm in Indiana! I defended my grad thesis at IU in September (YAY) and am now getting ready to move to California for work, the bay area to be specific. 

To honor the occasion, I made a Cali playlist on Grooveshark. Check it out and let me know what I'm missing by posting a comment!

 I've got tons of pics I still need to share, and I certainly hope you'll join me on what are sure to be some new misadventures on the west coast! For now, check out my new haircut and style by the lovely and awesome Lane @ Transformations Salon and Spa. If you're reading from central Indiana and you need absolutely anything beauty related, you should definitely call them up!

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

I Break for Bling

Butterfly High Jewelry is where it's at.

Logo I designed on wintery wonderland background
Photo & logo by me

So, I've been home on "break" from grad school for a little while. By "break", I mean I have been working my butt off to finish final papers (one of which is a draft for my thesis). Whew! While I await further comments from my director, I've certainly been keeping busy.

Photo Credit: Outlander on Facebook

Busy reading some great new books, like Outlander and Dragonfly in Amber by Diana Gabaldon and wishing the TV series version on Starz would start soon...Busy playing video games (I find myself embarrassingly addicted to Skylanders and the demo for Bravely Default)...and busy actually getting to act like I have a real job. I've been teaching English whenever possible, but I miss working full time. Now at home on "break", I've been able to do just that. I've been learning new things while employing skills I love, like photography.

Once Upon a Blue Glass and Swarovski Crystal Pendant, photo taken by me during the "Polar Vortex". I had to come inside after shooting every item because it was SO COLD

My fiance's mother, Bev, has been designing and making handcrafted jewelry for a few years now. She attends shows and sells her amazing items there, but the heydays of the "craft fair" seem to have come and gone. In this digital age, there is no time like the present to transition a small, handmade items business to the internet. And so, during this "break" in which we have been plagued with more snow and yucky weather than we'd care to admit, Will and I have been helping his mom to do just that. 

The shop is open for business!
Right now, reroutes to the Etsy store. :)
Photo by me
This post is just an introduction and review of what's been going on, but I'd like to include some tips and tricks for Etsy in future posts, especially for how to take great photos of jewelry (I'm still learning, but I'm happy to share what's worked and save you time by admitting what hasn't!).

Whimsical Wonderland Cat's Eye Earrings
Photo by me
For now, you can like Butterfly High Jewelry's Facebook page to make sure you get updates when we post new items or have sales. Make sure to visit the shop too, at because right now we have a SPECIAL going on. All items in the Dreamy Discounts section ship for free when purchased with another item. :D

Alright, back to work for me! Don't forget to take a "Break for Bling" and check out all of the hard work Bev, Will, and I have put into this little gem!

Monday, December 2, 2013

Too Buti-licious for You?

I am in butifarra heaven.

It's almost time for me to leave Barcelona, at least for a little while. Except...I just tried a really amazing new restaurant.... So, maybe I'll stay a bit longer. ;)

I figure since I really do have to leave, I might as well share this gem with everyone else. Now you have one more reason to visit Barcelona (or one more reason to never leave!).

Butifarra is a really great Catalan dish, based off of sausage. But not your run-of-the-mill, boring sausage. No. The sausage I have had in Catalunya has been some of the best sausage I have ever devoured.

However, it's actually quite hard to find great butifarra-type dishes at restaurants, especially in the city center. The best butifarra is made by family, for family. Luckily, that's exactly how the "Classic" butifarra tasted at Butifarring!

It's buti-licious! Sorry, Beyoncé. I stole your word. And improved it. :P

Anyway, now that the cat's out of the bag, I'll sweeten the deal. 

These are gourmet-type dishes at affordable prices. I had that huge sausage in the picture (really, a sausage and a half) with cheese, potatoes with ailloli, and a Coke (it wouldn't be Lemon in My Coke, Si Us Plau without that!) for....drum roll.....6.90 euros!

So, next time you are near Pl. Sant Jaume or Liceu, stop by for some amazing food or even some Montseny beer.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Guten Morgen, München

I'm terribly behind on my postings. I'll get caught up...eventually.

In the meantime,  Munich has been amazing. We (my parents and I, as they've come to visit me and travel) are all sad to leave. Everyone has been extremely nice, and the countryside is gorgeous. We have enjoyed crisp autumn weather and colorful fall foliage.

We had a hard time deciding where to stay, but we ended up choosing Hotel Monaco ( It's only a few minutes by foot from the Central Station and where our castle tour left. The staff are quite friendly,  the room is cozy and nicely decorated as well.

Tomorrow we fly to Dublin,  and my parents are already mourning their departure from Bavaria. 

Friday, August 23, 2013

Taiwan, Typhoon, Tired

Well,  we are leaving Taiwan.

We were supposed to fly back to Hong Kong on Wednesday, but that didn't work out. A typhoon was coming through, and half the flights back were cancelled. Of course, ours was one of those. After quite a debacle, which I will not explain in detail here, we were finally able get our flight exchanged for one today.

So, we stayed at the airport hotel and chilled.

Of course we had tons of fun visiting friends in Taiwan,  and I will post about our adventures soon! For now, it's time to try again to return to Hong Kong, but here's a sneak peek.

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