entertainment

Good Girls Revolt

Image result for good girls revolt

This week, I watched the show Good Girls Revolt on Amazon.  In 1969, while a cultural revolution swept through the free world, there was still one place that refused to change with the times: newsrooms. Good Girls Revolt follows a group of young female researchers at “News of the Week,” who ask to be treated fairly. Their revolutionary request sparks convulsive changes and upends marriages, careers, sex lives, love lives, and friendships.

I absolutely loved it.  Now, it can be a like soap opera-esque, but I really enjoyed it.  The characters are interesting.  I liked that they represented different types of women in the 1960’s- the hippy, the career girl, the housewife, etc.

All of these women work for a magazine as researchers.  Some of them would like to become reporters, but the company will not allow them to.  The women band together to revolt.

The show sucked me in and made me want to fight with them.

Unfortunately,  Amazon cancelled the show.  Now, I don’t want to give away the ending of the series, but it felt really unfinished.  The entire season builds to a moment, and that moment happens in the last few minutes of the final episode.  We will never get to see the aftermath, and that is very disappointing to me.

It was such a good show and deserved a second season.  There is so much more story to tell.

travel

Road Trip- Oregon Coast

From Portland, we drove over to the Oregon Coast.  I had imagined that we would drive through some beach towns, but what we found was so much more.

We went to Astoria because of the movie, The Goonies.  While you can see The Goonies house sitting on a hill overlooking the town, it is not a tourist attraction.  Someone actually lives there, so the most you can do is pick it out of the similar looking houses while standing at the base of  the hill.  The town itself is beautiful.

To get to it, we drove over the Astoria-Megler Bridge which is four miles long.  It was such a sight.  The bridge spans the Columbia River as it meets the Pacific Ocean.  If you are in the area, it’s definitely worth driving over.

From Astoria, we drove down the 101 along the Pacific Coast.  My favorite part is that it was so beautiful.  There were vistas on the highway, so you can pull off and enjoy the view.  Trust me, it’s worth to pull off and just look at the ocean, beaches, and mountains.  Some places even have lighthouses.

Off the highway, there are so many Oregon State Parks.  Seriously, you can take almost any exit and go to the state park.  It was fantastic.  We would drive for a while and then, stop at a state park and hike or look at the ocean.  It was a great mini break from the trip.  Some of the parks have fees to enter, but if they charge, it is definitely worth it.

One park really stood out.  We stopped at Ecola State Park.  We had to drive through a forest and thought we were totally lost for a while, but then, the forest opened up to the most amazing view.  We ended up on a cliff overlooking the ocean.  We took some of my favorite photos there.

One of the biggest things that surprised me where the redwood trees.  I had never really thought of redwood trees in Oregon.  I had always associated them with California, but Oregon, especially southern Oregon, has them too.

Even thought we were there in November, the Oregon coast was amazing.  Sure we missed all of the summer things, but I still saw sea lions and walked around state parks.  It was one of the most beautiful parts of the trip.  It took us about a day and a half to drive down the coast and was out of our way, but it was worth every second.  There are so many cute, coastal towns with shops and restaurants.  It really gave us a feel for what Oregon is all about.

entertainment

Mr. Robot

I have to write about a show that I am absolutely obsessed with-Mr. Robot. I started watching it Sunday night and as of right now, Tuesday afternoon, I have finished the first two seasons. Now, I have to wait for the third one. I’m a fan of binge watching TV shows, but I don’t think I’ve ever been so enthralled in a show before. I highly recommend it. 
 
Mr. Robot is about Elliot, a cyber-security worker by day and a hacker by night. He is recruited by Mr. Robot, played by Christian Slater, to join fsociety, a hacker group like anonymous. Fsociety is targeting E corp, or evil corp, as Elliot calls it. E corp is a large client of the company Elliot works for, Allsafe.  
 
You don’t have to good with computers to be sucked into this thriller. Seriously, my mom who can barely operate her cell phone told me to watch me robot. It’s such a good thriller. The summary doesn’t do the show justice because it’s hard to explain the show without giving away the plot. There are so many plot twists. Usually I can spot a plot twist before it happens, but Mr. Robot still managed to surprise me.
 
I don’t want to give too much away but I loved it. I watched all 22 episodes in 2 days. The first two season are available on Amazon prime. Seriously, watch it before the third season comes out in October.  
travel

Road Trip Part 3-Portland

Our next stop on our road trip was Portland.  I was so excited to visit Portland, and it was just as quirky as I imagined it.  There really isn’t’ a better word to describe Portland except quirky.

Parks

Portland has so many great parks.  When I was looking into Portland, I was surprised to see how many parks were labeled as must-sees. Since we couldn’t spend all day driving around looking at Parks, we picked Cathedral Park and Forest Park, which are across the river from each other, connected by St John’s Bridge.  Cathedral Park is very pretty.  It’s basically a hill and has great views of the bridge above it.

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Driving down St John’s Bridge towards Forest Park

While Cathedral Park is like a normal park with grass and a few trees, Forest Park is, well, like a forest.  It has huge trees and covered in moss.  Both are worth the checking out.

The Grotto

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The Grotto is a truly unique place.  It is a religious shrine in the side of a mountain.  It’s so peaceful and serene.  It totally unexpected in the middle of the city.  While it is a religious site, I don’t think you have to be religious to really appreciate the beauty of it.

Pearl District

The Pearl District was our last stop in Portland.  It’s such a cute area with great, little shops.  I recommend stopping at Powell’s bookstore.  Husband found some really old books that he had been looking for and couldn’t find online.

travel

Road Trip Part 2-Mount Rainier and Mount St Helens

Mount Rainier

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Mount Rainer was one of my favorite parts of the trip.  It’s south of Seattle, and it is a must see.  It’s so beautiful and just amazing.  We went in early November, so it wasn’t very crowded.   There were still a lot of people there.

Driving up the mountain was a little nerve-wracking.  I’m a nervous passenger to begin with, so I was really driving my husband crazy as he drove up the mountain.    Sometimes the road was so windy that it looked like we were going to drive off the edge of the mountain.

Luckily, there were lots of places to pull off and take pictures.  We stopped every so often and hiked.  It was so quiet and peaceful.

We drove up the mountain as far as we could.  Unfortunately, it was snowing hard, so the park closed the road at a certain part, so we couldn’t go any further.   We did see people climbing up to the summit even in the snow.  It was amazing to see them all the way up towards the top.

Mount St Helens

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We had spent so much time at Mount Rainier, that I wasn’t sure that we would be able to go to Mount St Helens.  It was ok, but was one of those things that I wasn’t sure that was worth the time.

Mount St. Helens is a volcano.  Since I had never seen a volcano before, I was pretty excited.

It was cloudy when we went, so we didn’t really get to see much.  Plus, since it was November, there wasn’t much to see.  We could see the smoke from the top, but it was hard to tell what was smoke and what was cloud.

I was so excited to see Mount St Helens, so it was a little disappointing.  When planning for the time, everything online said that if you had to choose between Mount Rainier and Mount St Helens, Mount St Helens was better.  I couldn’t disagree more.  I loved Mount Rainier and didn’t really care for Mount St Helens.

Maybe if we went during the summer, I would like it better.

After a disappointing trip to Mount St Helens, we drove to Portland for the night.  The next morning, I had the best view of Mount St Helens.  If I had known that I could see it that good from my hotel window, I wouldn’t have driven all the way out there.

A tip if you are going to either or both: Make sure you write down the directions.  We just used our phones.  Well, we planned on using our phones.  Being from the flat Midwest, I didn’t even think about cell reception.  We didn’t have any basically the entire time we were driving between Mount Rainier and Mount St Helens.  We got lost a lot, and had to keep stopping and asking for directions.

 

travel

Road Trip Part 1-Seattle

A few months ago, my husband and I took a road trip down the west coast.  Neither of us had ever been to the west coast, so it was a great adventure.  We did a lot of research ahead of time, but decided not to make any solid plans besides flights, renting a car, and a hotel for the first night in Seattle.  Everything else was planned the day of, and it was a blast.

In eight days, we drove from Seattle to San Francisco.  It was a once in a lifetime trip, and I am so happy that we did it.

Ove the next couple of posts, I’m going to talk about what we saw and did during our trip.  IF you ever get the chance to do drive down the west coast, I highly recommend it.

Here is the route we took on your trip:

map

As you can see, we didn’t just drive in a straight line.  We went a little of out the way to see thing things we wanted to see.  Before we left for our trip, we made an outline of the things we absolutely had to see.  It looked like:

Seattle

Mount Rainer

Mount St Helen’s

Portland

Oregon Coast

Redwood forest

San Francisco

When we arrived in Seattle, we picked up a rental car, and spend one day exploring the city before hitting the road the next morning.

Seattle was amazing.  My only regret of the trip was that I wished I had planned to stay there longer.  I can’t wait to go back.

There are so many must see things in Seattle that it was hard to narrow them down.  Here are the things that we did while in Seattle.

Pikes Place Market

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This outdoor market is famous for the fish sellers who throw fish.  In person, it really is incredible to see.  But, Pike’s Place Market offers so much more.  They have the first Starbucks ad the world famous gum wall.  So, stick your gum on the wall, grab some coffee, and wander around the neighborhood.  We had so much fun exploring the shops in the area and admiring the views of the water.

Space Needle 79
space needles

No trip to Seattle is complete without seeing the iconic Space Needle.  While it is visible in the skyline, it’s really amazing up close.  I recommend going up it because you have such great views of the city.  Pictures don’t do it justice.

So much plaid, rain, and coffee!  Seattle was my kind of place.  The next time we go, we have to take a ferry to some of the islands and hike.  Hopefully, we can go some time in the next year.  I’m itching to go back.

Seattle was one of the biggest highlights of our trip.

Up next, hiking Mount Rainer and Mount St Helen’s.

life · Uncategorized

Bad Neighbors

One year ago today, my husband and I bought our first home.  In our first year, we have learned a lot.  We have torn down wallpaper and painted.  We added a new deck and had to replace our shower.  It’s been an expensive year.

We bought our house from an 89 year old man, the original owner.  He was no longer able to take care of it, but we could tell that he took excellent care of it until the last couple of years.  One of the things he couldn’t take care of anymore was the yard.

When we bought the house, the yard was 50% weeds and all of the garden areas were overgrown.  In fact, two months ago, my husband was mowing when he discovered landscape rock in the middle of the yard.  Upon further investigation, we discovered that it was a garden area.  It was so overgrown that we couldn’t even see the rock and thought it was part of the yard.

Since the spring time, I have been spending at least ten hours a week working in the yard.  I have managed to kill most of the weeds in the grass and started growing grass in the bald patches.  I have managed to clear out two of the garden areas and start to grow flowers.

However, some areas are still looking rough, but I’m going to get to them.  It’s pretty obvious that I’m working hard on the yard.  I have a full time job, so I can’t spend all of my time out there working, but I try.

Since we are working on making the grass healthy and focusing on growing new grass from seeds, we are keeping our yard a little longer this summer.  I read that cutting it once every two weeks instead of every week will help thicken my grass.  Yes, it’s a little long, but I never let it look too bad.

Last week, I was using the weed wacker when we ran out of string for it.  I only managed to get the front yard and part of the backyard done.  I couldn’t get the top off the weed wacker to replace it, so I asked my husband to do it.

Turns out that we were out of string, so he had to buy more.  He said he would take care of it, so I didn’t bother him about it.  That was Sunday.  Friday, he finally went to the store and bought the string.  He was going to do it today.

This next part makes my blood boil.  I don’t know if I am embarrassed or angry.

Last night, my next door neighbor, who doesn’t have a job and spends all day in his yard, rang my doorbell and asked if he could weed wack my yard.  The reason? Because he’s having a party on Sunday and wants the backyard to look good.

What the heck?

In the year we have lived here, I have only said hello to him a few times.  I don’t know him or his wife’s name. And he comes over and basically says that my yard is such an eyesore that he wants to clean it up, so his friends won’t think our yard looks bad?

I never said anything when he decided to use power tool in his yard at 1 am last Tuesday.   Because I’m a good neighbor.

I can’t even verbalize how I feel.  I’m so embarrassed and mad.  That was rude of him, right?  I mean, the grass is cut.  Only the edges by the fence are a little long and there are some weeds in the garden areas.

I think I’m still in shock that he would say that.

I mean, I don’t even know the guy.  He didn’t say anything to me yesterday when I was out there pulling weeds.

Now, I’m faced with a dilemma.  I was planning on spending all day weeding the garden areas in the backyard, but now, I don’t want him to think I was just doing it because he said something.  Is that petty?

Probably.

But I think he was being rude.  Now, I have to live next door to these people.  It’s going to be awkward because I’m going to hold a grudge.  I think I’m justified in that.  I can’t decide who is the bad neighbor- him or me?

Maybe we both are.

travel

Travel essentials you must have in your carry on

 

I love to travel.  I love to fly.  I am one of those people who sit on the plane and sleep for about half the trip, but I have to have something to do for the other half.  I can’t just sit there, waiting for the flight to be over.  And, honestly, I tend to fly on airlines that are too cheap to provider in-flight entertainment.   Just because my flight was cheap doesn’t mean that I shouldn’t have a luxurious flight.

Each time I pack my carry on, I have to have these essentials in order to have a relaxing flight experience.

A tablet

Apple iPad

Now that Netflix allows you to download shows, I have to have my tablet with me.  The last flight I was on, I watched 6 episodes of The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt.  The comedy made my flight so much more enjoyable.  The woman next to me kept looking on my screen to see what I was laughing at.

I prefer to fly with a tablet instead of a computer because they are smaller, and for the most part, do the same thing as a laptop.

Headphones


Naztech i9BT Over-Ear Active Noise Cancelling Wireless Headphones

Whether you are listening to music or watching Netflix, headphones are a necessity for flying.  I recommend noise cancelling ones so it will block out the sound of screaming babies.  Bonus: if you are sitting next to someone who won’t stop talking to you, pop in your headphones.  It’s the international symbol of “Leave me alone.”

A book

The Zookeeper’s Wife: A War Story

Yes, you can download books onto your tablet, but there is something rewarding about reading an actual paper book on the plane.  I love going to the bookstore at the airport and picking out something to read.  It’s an airport ritual for me.

Water Bottle

CamelBak Chute Water Bottle

Staying hydrated is important especially on a long flight.  It’s so easy to get dehydrated with the dry plane air blowing on you.  Drinking water will help with jetlag and will keep your skin nice and moisturized, so you don’t have any post-plane breakouts.

BB cream

Maybelline New York Dream Fresh BB Cream

I wish I was one of those people who could get off the plane and look like they haven’t been traveling all day.  I am so not one of those people.  When I get off the plane, my skin is splotchy and gross.  Now, before the plane starts to land, I apply some BB cream to look a little more put together.

Brushes

Sephora Collection Sleepover Toothbrush – Pink

I must have a toothbrush and a hairbrush in my carry on.  Both are must haves.  There is nothing more horrible than waking up after a nap on the plane with morning breath.  I quickly head to the bathroom and brush my teeth to feel more refreshed.  At the same time, I give my hair a quick brush to tame my unruly hair.

Lotion

Crabtree & Evelyn Ultra Moisturising Hand Therapy Rosewater

Something about airplane air makes my skin get so dry.  I have to have a nice, thick hand lotion in my carry on to stop dry, cracked hands.

Lip balm

L’Oreal Paris Colour Riche Lip Balm, Pink Satin

The dryness also affects my lips.  Lip balm is a life saver.  Can’t go on the plane without it.

Eyemask

Plemo Sleep Mask

When I want to sleep, I slip my eye mask and headphones on.  It turns out the entire plane and allows me to get some sleep.

Snacks

SkinnyPop Popcorn

There is nothing worse than being hungry on a plane, so I always bring snacks.  I like to eat snacks that can give me energy and by filling, but not be totally unhealthy.

Blanket scarf

Plaid Blanket Scarf

I absolutely have to travel with a blanket scarf.  It’s one on the most versatile things in my carry on.  It’s not only a scarf, but you can roll it up and use it as a pillow.  If the plane is too cold, you can use it as a blanket.  It’s so handy to have with you.

Tote

Tahari Metropolis Tote Handbag (ROSE GOLD)

No carry on essentials list can be complete without a cute tote to put it all in.  I recommend choosing a tote that has a zipper, so that nothing important accidentally spills out.  You can slide it under the seat and easily grab whatever you want from it.

DIY

Candle Making

 

A few months ago, my friend and I decided to try to make candles. It took a while, but I think I’ve finally gotten the hang of it. In fact, my husband asked me where I bought this candle.

ESTABLISHED 1856

He was surprised when I told him that I made it. Obviously, my candle making skills have improved since the last time I made a candle, he asked me “What is that supposed to be?”

Now, that I have kind of figured out how to do it, making candles really isn’t too hard. So everyone in my family should expect one for Christmas.

Here are the supplies you need:
A bowl or jar for your candle (I just found a cute bowl in my cupboard)                                  A glass measuring cup
Some wax flakes (I used  these from Amazon)
Wicks (I used these from Amazon)
Essential oils (I use young living essential oils)
Colored wax (optional)

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Step 1:
Pour the wax flakes into the measuring cup.  It has to be a glass cup since you are microwaving it.  I think it’s easier to do about half of what you need, so it doesn’t start to harden before you was ready.    If you are adding color dye chips to the wax, you can add them now.
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Microwave the wax for 30-45 second intervals.  Stir each time.  It took about 3 minutes for all my wax to melt, but it depends on your microwave and how much wax you have in the cup.
Basically, you it to be totally melted so there are no more wax flakes.
Step 2:
Add in the essential oils.  This will give your candle the scent.  So you decide how much you want your candle to smell and what it smells like.  I used my favorite combination of orange and thieves essential oils.  I like my candle to smell a lot, so I put about 35 drops of each into about 12 oz of wax.
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Stir the wax to mix in the oils.
Step 3:
This is the hardest step for me- Putting in the wicks.  You want to dip the bottom metal part of the wick into the wax.
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Then, stick it to the bottom of the bowl where you want it to go.  My bowl was pretty wide, so I used 3 wicks.
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The wicks bend and fall down, so I use tape to make a grid across the top, so they don’t fall over.  This is the easiest way I’ve found to keep them in place.
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Step 4:
Pour the rest of the wax into the bowl.  You want to go slow because sometimes, the wicks can get unstuck from the bowl and start floating around.  I usually pour just enough to cover the metal rings and press them down into the wax.  Then, I wait for that to cool for about 30 seconds before starting to pour again.
Step 5:
If you need more wax, you can repeat step 2 and melt more.  Don’t forget to add in the essential oils and dye flakes if you used them.  You want to make sure you don’t overfill the container your candle is in.  I try to leave about 1/2 an inch of space between the wax and the top of the bowl.  That leaves space for the wax to melt and not overflow, and the flame won’t get too high.
Step 6:
Let the candle cool.  I like to leave mine overnight, so I know it has cooled completely.  Then, I took off the tape, and trimmed the wicks to about 1/2 an inch in length.
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It’s a simple as that.  Let me know how your candles turned out.
books

Heartless Review

This week, I read the book Heartless by Marissa Meyer.  I was so excited to read the book.  I had heard such great things about it.  In fact, I even bought the book instead of borrowing it from the library.  I was so excited to read it, but my excitement quickly turned to disappointment.

Heartless is a retelling of Alice in Wonderland.  It focuses on the girl who would become the Queen of Hearts.

The description on Amazon says, “Catherine may be one of the most desired girls in Wonderland and a favorite of the unmarried King, but her interests lie elsewhere. A talented baker, she wants to open a shop and create delectable pastries. But for her mother, such a goal is unthinkable for a woman who could be a queen. At a royal ball where Cath is expected to receive the King’s marriage proposal, she meets handsome and mysterious Jest. For the first time, she feels the pull of true attraction. At the risk of offending the King and infuriating her parents, she and Jest enter into a secret courtship. Cath is determined to choose her own destiny. But in a land thriving with magic, madness, and monsters, fate has other plans.”

Sounds promising, right?

My biggest problem with the book is the main character, Catherine.  ­­­­They say that she is one of the most desired girls in Wonderland, but I didn’t see any reason why she was.  Catherine was whiney.  Everything about her annoyed me.  Seriously.  I know that she becomes a villain, but there was nothing redeemable about her.  I had no idea why the King wanted to marry her.

Well, it seems that the King wanted to marry her because she could cook.  Again, I didn’t understand why he was so obsessed with her.  Was there no one else in Wonderland who could make pastries AND have a decent personality?

I couldn’t believe that her baking was that good that anyone would want to marry that insufferable human being.

Nonetheless, she still wasn’t the villain of Wonderland that I had loved to hate in the original novels.  I kept waiting to see what incident Meyer would create to turn Catherine into the horrible Queen of Hearts.  That had to be the main plot point in this backstory, right?

Wrong.  There really wasn’t anything that happened.  Just all the sudden, she turned evil.  It was like she just decided to be evil.  There was really no explanation.

The best part of the book was Jest, the jester who for some reason falls in love with Catherine.   Since he is a jester, it is quite scandalous for him to start dating a girl who is matched with the King.  Meyer tried to make him Wonderland-like by giving him yellow eyes.   Way to ruin a character.  Even though he was the most interesting part of the book, he was still so boring that I don’t even have anything to say about him.

I loved the idea of this book.  I loved Alice in Wonderland, and the thought of a Wicked-esque backstory for the Queen of Hearts.  There was just something missing for this novel.  It didn’t seem like Wonderland.  It was missing that sort of zany setting.  In fact, if I didn’t know it was a Wonderland story, I probably wouldn’t have figured it out until the middle of the book.  Really, the only Wonderland elements were things taken directly from the original- the Mad Hatter, the Jabberwocky, the playing card people.  Nothing was really added to the setting that made it feel like Wonderland.  I had hoped for more.

The story was slow.  I wanted more from the plot since I wasn’t getting anything from the characters or setting.  There really was no point to the story.  I had to focus myself to keep reading.  Several times, I almost did not finish, but I powered through.  I kept telling myself that it would get better, but it didn’t.  It really didn’t.

Maybe I had too high of expectations.  Maybe I should have just stopped reading when my eyes rolled when the first chapter droned on and on about how good of a baker Catherine was.  Maybe it’s me and not the book.  Regardless, I expected more from this book.