Thursday, May 28, 2015

Disneyland: Meeting Mickey

We're in the home stretch, friends!  School gets out for us tomorrow and it's probably a toss up as to whether E or I are more excited about him not having any more homework.  

The weeks have been whipping by in a blur (per usual around here) and I wanted to blog about a trip to Disneyland we took at the end of April before the details escaped me.  We haven't been on a family vacation in a few years and thought the kids were good ages to go and it turned out wonderfully.

We wanted to limit the time N and the kids missed work and school and so we flew into the Long Beach airport instead of driving.  It was our first time using this airport and we loved it!  It's small, relaxed, and very easy to get around.  We picked up our rental car, stopped by a Whole Foods to get some food allergy-safe food for E, and then had dinner at a fun Korean fusion burrito place we found online.  After dinner we drove to our hotel and as we got to our room and started unpacking we watched an impressive fireworks display from our window.  And then we put the kids to bed in their bunk beds and closed the door on their separate bedroom and it was awesome :)

The next morning we headed into Disneyland for the first of our three days at the parks.  It was a Wednesday and busy but not crazy crowded.  As we walked into the park we were checking out Main Street when we saw Minnie pop out of an unmarked door.  Mimi loves Minnie but before we could approach her Minnie grabbed a couple of kids by the hand and booked it across the square to where a long line immediately formed.  The kids were a little dejected at having missed Minnie but then Mickey popped out of the same door!  E and Mimi ran up to him and he grabbed their hands and immediately started hauling it out of there.  

As soon as people saw Mickey they joined the quickly-growing crowd following him and the kids.  N and I had to weave in and out of the crowd and scramble to keep up with them.  Mickey took the kids to what I'm assuming was his assigned meet-and-greet spot, I quickly snapped a pic of them with my phone, and we said goodbye. 

It was a surprising and memorable start our Disneyland trip :)

Friday, April 24, 2015

Finished (with the dollhouse and also this week!)

The dollhouse bookcase has landed!  I've been working hard the last few weeks to get it finished and on Wednesday my friend Amy helped me pick it up from the shop with her truck.  I just need to nail the back on and then it will be 100% finished.  I'll take some pictures with my real camera and do a making-of post in (if we're being honest) a couple of weeks. 

Mimi immediately started moving some of her ponies and Little People in.  Fun tidbit: she calls Wonder Woman, "Wonder Human." It's the best thing ever and I will die a little inside when she starts using the right name. 

This is one of the funnest things I've seen online in a while and I've been keeping it open in a window on my phone FOR WEEKS as a reminder to post here: If John Cho Were Your Boyfriend

This is also funny (but probably not safe for work/kids).  I got in a little trouble because the kids caught me singing part of it around the house and immediately started mimicking me.  Oops.

Kids can get a free book from Barnes and Noble if they read any 8 books.  E is excited about this.

I hope you have a nice weekend.  E just started spring soccer so we are going to his game tomorrow (unless it gets rained out) and then N and I are going to a comedy show in the evening.  And somewhere in between all that I'm going to attack a mountain of dirty laundry which I am oddly looking forward to.  Cheers!

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Dollhouse Bookcase

For the past several years I've taken an evening woodworking class at a local college.  I really enjoy it.  

This is the last week of class and I'm hustling to finish my project this semester--a dollhouse bookcase.    I based my project on these plans from Ana White's website.  I made a few modifications but it was nice to have plans to follow.  It saved me a lot of time.

I've been posting a few pictures of the building process on Instagram but I'll round them up and get them posted here soon.  

Friday, February 20, 2015

Kpop: Goodbye PMS!

So Lizzy from Orange Caramel (one of my favorite Kpop groups) recently released this video featuring comedian Park Myung-so (PMS).  I've watched it a few times and it cracks me up every time.  There's an ad in front of it but it's worth it.



I hope you have a good weakend!  N's department at work bought a pair of nice season tickets for the Utah Jazz and it's our turn to get to use them tonight.  I'm not really that into basketball but I love going on dates with N so I'm excited.  I'm also looking forward to staying home tomorrow and catching up on the laundry situation around here which has become...dire.

See you next week!

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Mimi's Rainbow Cake

At the end of last month Mimi turned four.  It was a crazy time with Sundance going on and N being out of town for work but we made sure to celebrate and had a birthday dinner for her with N's parents.

I'm not sure where she saw one but when I asked her what cake she wanted Mimi immediately replied, "a rainbow cake!"  Since all our birthday cakes need to be vegan because of E's food allergies I ended up using a white cakemix with Vegg egg-replacer and then tinting the batter with food coloring.

Mimi was ecstatic to help shake on the sprinkles and had such a good time that I didn't even mind the almost constant pinging of sprinkles as they hit the kitchen floor and bounced away ;)

She was really, really excited about the cake (And lately the kids have gotten into mugging for the camera, sigh.)

Trendwatch: painting your dining room to match your children's eyes is all the rage for spring!

I'm so grateful to have this little one in our family.  She is full of joy and sweetness and sass and her laugh is the best sound in the world.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Sundance Recap 1

The weekend went by in a blur but it was an interesting, happy blur.  N and I saw five movies at the Sundance Film Festival and on Sunday we celebrated Mimi's fourth birthday with N's parents.

So far I've been impressed with all the movies we've seen.  The first movie we saw was What Happened, Miss Simone?, a documentary.

Right to left: The director Liz Garbus, Nina Simone's longtime guitarist Al Schackman, crew, and a producer
Right to left: The director Liz Garbus, Nina Simone's longtime guitarist Al Schackman, crew members, and a producer.
I had heard of Nina Simone but didn't know much about her life or music. But the documentary did a great job covering her life and music and placing it in the context of the times she lived in.  It took a subject I knew little about and made it fascinating which I think is a sign of a successful documentary.

The second movie we saw on Friday was Bronze, an edgy comedy about an washed-up Olympic gymnast living in her small town milking her former glory for all it's worth. It was written by wife and husband team Melissa and Winston Rauch as a vehicle for Melissa to star in it.

They did a Q&A after the film with the director and Thomas Middleditch (whom I like from Silicon Valley on HBO ) who plays a love interest.  Melissa and Winston said that the idea for the movie sprang from a moment when Winston told Melissa, "You know, you're really short.  You could play a gymnast!"

Left to right: director Bryan Buckley, actor Thomas Middleditch, writer/actor Melissa Rauch, and her husband and co-writer Winston Rauch.
Left to right: director Bryan Buckley, actor Thomas Middleditch, writer/actor Melissa Rauch, and her husband and co-writer Winston Rauch.

The movie is very very very funny, but definitely not for the faint-of-heart.  The Q&A after was fun--it was neat to hear Melissa and Winston share about working together as a married couple and unbelievable to hear that the movie was made in just 22 days.

All of the movies we saw this weekend except for one had Q&As afterward which was great.  So far I think this might be the best year we've had at the festival.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Sundance Week One

The Sundance Film Festival begins later this week and N and I have tickets to some shows!  It's a fun thing that we try to make time for every year.  This year we're going to see 10 films (in 4 days, gulp.)

Our ticket package was limited to showings in Salt Lake City and N's work schedule/our babysitters' availability limited us to movies on Fridays/Saturdays so our choice of films was somewhat constrained.  There were things we wanted to see but couldn't find a convenient showing of which was a bit of a bummer.  But I'm looking forward to seeing some movies that I normally wouldn't have the chance to see and spending a few days hanging out with N.  Here is what we're seeing this Friday and Saturday.

**The summaries are taken from the Sundance Festival Program.**

What Happened, Miss Simone?
A classically trained musical genius, chart-topping chanteuse, and Black Power icon, Nina Simone is one of the most influential, beloved, provocative, and least understood artists of our time. On stage, she was known for utterly free, rapturous performances, earning her the epithet "High Priestess of Soul." But amid the violent, day-to-day fight for civil rights, she struggled to reconcile artistic ambition with her fierce devotion to a movement. Director Liz Garbus sensitively explores the constant state of opposition that trapped and tortured Simone—as a classical pianist pigeonholed in jazz, as a professional boxed in by family life, as a black woman in racist America—and in so doing, reveals a towering figure transcending categorization and her times. The film stays true to Simone's subjectivity by mining never-before-heard tapes, rare archival footage, and interviews with close friends and family. Charting Simone’s musical inventiveness alongside the arc of her Jim Crow childhood, defining role in the Civil Rights Movement, arrival at Carnegie Hall, self-imposed exile in Liberia, and solitary life in France, this astonishingly intimate yet epic portrait becomes a non-fiction musical—lush tracks and riveting story resonating inextricably. —C.L.

The Bronze
In 2004, Hope Ann Greggory became an American hero after winning the bronze medal for the women's gymnastics team. Today, she's living in her father's basement in her small hometown—washed up, largely forgotten, and embittered. Stuck in her past glory, Hope is forced to reassess her life when a promising young gymnast who idolizes her threatens her local celebrity status. Will she mentor the adoring, hopeful protégé, take her down, or both?

In the summer of 1968, television news changed forever. Dead last in the ratings, ABC hired two towering public intellectuals to debate each other during the Democratic and Republican national conventions. William F. Buckley, Jr. was a leading light of the new conservative movement. A Democrat and cousin to Jackie Onassis, Gore Vidal was a leftist novelist and polemicist. Armed with deep-seated distrust and enmity, Vidal and Buckley believed each other’s political ideologies were dangerous for America. Like rounds in a heavyweight battle, they pummeled out policy and personal insult—cementing their opposing political positions. Their explosive exchanges devolved into vitriolic name-calling. It was unlike anything TV had ever broadcast, and all the more shocking because it was live and unscripted. Viewers were riveted. ABC News' ratings skyrocketed. And a new era in public discourse was born.

In early 2000, in a tiny village in one of the poorest mining valleys in Wales, Jan Vokes, the barmaid at the local men’s club, hatches a crazy plan to take on the “sport of kings” and breed a racehorse. She gathers together a group of locals who each agree to pitch in 10 pounds a week. They raise their foal on a hillside made of slag from the coal mine and nurture it to maturity. Reflecting their pride and flights of fancy, they name their horse Dream Alliance. To the astonishment of the racing elite, Dream becomes an unlikely champion, beating the finest thoroughbreds in the land. Then, in one fateful race, the horse—which embodies the plucky band of misfits’ hopes and dreams—has a near-fatal accident. Nursed back to health through the love of his owners, Dream makes a remarkable recovery, returning to the track for a heart-pounding comeback.

In 1996, shortly after the publication of his groundbreaking novel Infinite Jest, acclaimed author David Foster Wallace (Jason Segel) sets off on a five-day interview with Rolling Stone reporter David Lipsky (Jesse Eisenberg). As the days pass, a tenuous yet significant relationship develops between journalist and subject. Lipsky and Wallace bob and weave around each other, revealing as much in what they don’t say as what the say. They share laughs, expose hidden frailties, yet it’s never clear when or to what extent they are being truthful. The interview is never published. Five days of audio tapes are packed away in Lipsky’s closet, and the two men never meet again.


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