watch it: mirror, mirror

Source: via Kelly on Pinterest



Notable Cast Members: Julia Roberts, Lily Collins, Armie Hammer, Nathan Lane, Jordan Prentice, Mark Povinelli, Joe Gnoffo, Danny Woodburn, Sebastian Saraceno, Martin Klebba, Ronald Lee Clark

Overall Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆  (rating rationale)

Plot Summary: Snow White (Lily Collins) was just a young girl when her father, the King, went into the woods and never returned. Her stepmother, the Queen (Julia Roberts), became Snow’s guardian and the ruler of the kingdom. On Snow’s eighteenth birthday, the servants within the castle encourage Snow to take hold of her life, finally leave the castle, and visit the people of the kingdom. While traveling, she runs into the Prince of Valencia (Armie Hammer), who had been robbed by “giant” bandits (the seven dwarves on stilts) and was in need of assistance. After helping him and his servant, she finally makes it to the town and is horrified by what she discovers: the townspeople are starving and constantly taxed by the Queen. Later the evening, at the ball, Snow tries to convince the Prince – who she learns has an army – to help her get rid of the Queen. Snow, who had been banned from the ball, is found out and questioned by the Queen. The Queen orders Brighton (Nathan Lane), her number one servant, to take Snow to the woods and kill her so she will not interfere with taxing the townspeople or the Queen’s plan to marry the rich Prince of Valencia, who is clearly smitten with Snow. Brighton, remembering her father as a wonderful man, can’t bring himself to kill her and lets her run free. Snow is taken in by the seven dwarves (Jordan Prentice, Mark Povinelli, Joe Gnoffo, Danny Woodburn, Sebastian Saraceno, Martin Klebba, and Ronald Lee Clark), who turn out to be thieves. Snow teaches them use their skills to help the townspeople rather than advance themselves, and they teach her how to fight. Together, Snow and the dwarves work to save the Prince and the kingdom from the Queen’s evil clutches.

Personal Thoughts: I really liked this film for several reasons:

  1. I loved the acting. Julia Roberts was superb as always, but it was a lot of fun to watch her play the villan rather than the protagonist. Lily Collins was perfect for the role of Snow White, pulling off the twist on the classic character brilliantly. Nathan Lane and Armie Hammer were excellent supporting cast members, adding healthy doses of humor as well as depth to their characters. The seven gentlemen acting as the dwarves were wonderful, definitely as individual actors but especially as an ensemble. I particularly enjoyed Jordan Prentice as Napoleon, Danny Woodburn as Grimm, and Mark Povinelli as Half Pint.
  2. The story was a quite fun take on the Snow White tale. I loved that this character of Snow was a lot more brave, courageous, and creative than past portrayals. She was ready to take initiative to protect her kingdom, her friends, and her prince, and did so with grace and class. I also liked how this film portrayed the idea of the magic mirror and how it interacts with the queen.
  3.  I was truly blown away by the costumes and make-up. They added immensely to the telling of the story and were a pleasure to look at.
  4. The ending credits (I won’t give anything away, just watch!).
  5. Overall, I thought this movie was a ton of fun! As a young woman who loves cheesiness, fairy tales, and children’s movies, I greatly enjoyed it. However, I also appreciated it for the fact that it provides such a strong female lead for young girls in this version of Snow. I would have loved this movie when I was little!




weekly gems

Source: via Kelly on Pinterest





cook it: happy national grilled cheese day!

Apparently today is National Grilled Cheese Day! I don’t know about you, but I have always and will always love a good grilled cheese sandwich. Other than the original classic, I am particularly partial to ones that include bacon after a late-night diner stop during a trip to D.C. in the summer of 2010. However, there are countless other and much more creative ways to dress up a grilled cheese, and in case you aren’t fortunate enough to live nearby a restaurant such as Cleveland’s Melt Bar and Grilled, I’ve rounded up a bunch of grilled cheese recipes from ten awesome food blogs. Check them out!



Closet Cooking: top ten grilled cheese sandwiches, bacon guacamole grilled cheese, corned beef grilled cheese sandwich with Guinness caramelized onions, gyro grilled cheese sandwich, cinnamon apple swirl grilled cheese, breakfast grilled cheese sandwich with maple syrup, sundried tomato pesto grilled cheese, roast beef grilled cheese


Dinner: A Love Story: waffle-iron grilled cheese



Eats Well With Others: honey curry bread with warm and spicy cashew tomato soup, grilled eggplant subs with fontina and tomato jam, grilled fig and brie sandwich,


Ezra Pound Cake: ultimate grilled cheese sandwich, grilled vegetables and goat cheese sandwich



Framed Cooks: asparagus grilled cheese, grilled cheese sandwiches on the actual grill, rosemary apple butter grilled cheese


How Sweet It Is: pure comfort food



Joy the Bakercoffee bacon sandwichesfancy grilled cheese sandwiches


The Little Things: after-Christmas grilled cheese sandwich



Skinnytaste: steak and cheese sandwiches with onions and mushrooms


Taste and Tell: grilled eggplant, prosciutto, and cheese panini, muffuletta-style grilled ham and cheese sandwiches, ham, egg, and cheese sandwiches with carrot-parsley salad, three cheese and tomato melt, toasted cheese sandwich

recent inspirations: you can go farther

I am a total magazine addict. As I’ve mentioned before, one of my all-time favorites is Self. It always makes me feel comforted, capable, and energized. Self has a great feature called “A Moment to Yourself.” I’m a bit very behind in my magazine reading, and while looking through the parts of Self’s February 2012 issue that I hadn’t looked at yet, I revisited the issue’s A Moment to Yourself and felt galvanized. It was exactly what I needed right about now, and I had to share it with you:


“Seek new horizons. Once upon a time, we believed the world was flat – that beyond a certain point, there would be nowhere to go. And though we now know the world is round, we still fear falling off imaginary edges, too often thinking there’s only so far we can stretch, so hard we can push. The most dangerous limits are those in our own head. When you fell you’re at your edge, look again. You can go farther.”




use it: nail polish

Hello, everyone! Did you have a great weekend? I did! I got to spend a week straight with Dan, which was so nice. We hadn’t been able to spend that much time together in awhile. Then to have such a nice week followed up with my favorite holiday and plenty of time spent with my family; it was just perfect! : )  This week I am house-sitting and enjoying the down time that comes with it – including Law & Order: SVU marathons and painting my nails. As I’ve mentioned, I was never big on beauty products and trends until recently, and I’ve become especially addicted to painting my nails. Here are my latest and most adored shades:













OPI by Nicki Minaj in Metallic 4 Life: I really love this shade. It’s a nice deep black, and while I wouldn’t normally wear black polish, I’m drawn to it due to its flecks of cool silver glitter in different sizes and shapes.The color combo is sleek, simple, and sexy. It’s the perfect shade for almost any season. I’m so glad I picked it up! I recommend using three coats for a very solid look to the black base. Paired with a clear top coat, it lasts quite awhile!













Revlon Nail Enamel in Minted: Pastels are are pretty popular this season, especially mint! I was excited to find this shade in the aisles of Walgreens one afternoon while on a magazine pick-up trip. This color went on pretty easily. I put on roughly two shades of this color, and then swiped on a clear top coat. Again, it lasted well. Seeing the color on my nails always made me smile, and I got a bunch of compliments on it!













Essie in No Pre-Nup: I found this shade in Ulta. It seems to be a more “rare” color, since I’ve never seen it at Target or Walgreens, and online it says to visit a local salon for the color. I thought it was a more solid color of a thicker liquid, but I was actually pleasantly surprised at how diluted the color and polish itself is. It’s a nice nude pink, with the pink undertones becoming more clear each additional coat. I loved how the shade looked with three coats, and it was so easy to apply. Plus, I just love the name for some reason! It’s cheeky.














Essie in No Pre-Nup + Essie Luxe Effects in A Cut Above: After I applied No Pre-Nup, I applied A Cut Above. A Cut Above is a gorgeous, deep rosy pink glitter, whose sizes vary even more than the glitter flecks in OPI’s Metallic 4 Life. A Cut Above is a much more loose glitter style than As Gold As it Gets, which is much more gel-like. I added one layer of A Cut Above and let it dry completely. I then added a second layer. However, when I added the second layer, instead of swiping it on normally like I had the first layer, I lightly dabbed and then swept at the spots on my nails that had no or little glitter already. Finally, after the second layer of A Cut Above dried, I added a clear top coat. I adore this polish combo. The pink nude doesn’t take away from the pink glitter, but rather enhances it, and every time I look at my nails, I feel like I’m looking at pink disco balls. Instant mood boost!


What shades have you been loving lately? I can’t get enough of this season pastels (lilac is at the top of my wish list!), glitter top coats (clearly), and the Hunger Games Capitol Colors China Glaze collection. I also cannot wait for OPI’s upcoming Minnie Mouse and Amazing Spider-man collections – they look awesome!



weekly gems




P.S. Happy Easter to all who celebrate : ) Hope you have a great day!


things that are making me happy


  • A new pair of jeans in my favorite style
  • Browsing Pinterest and wedding magazines for cute ideas and useful tips
  • Having a fun time at the Indians home opener (even though they lost the longest opening day game ever!)
  • Delicious Breyers Blast Golden Oreo ice cream
  • ABC’s new show Scandal 
  • Organizing my life by ordering a classy new planner (I have always used a hard copy agenda – I don’t know why I ever strayed!)
  • Long walks with Madison using her new Indians leash
  • Holiday weekends with family
  • Finally getting my hair cut for the first time in a year!
  • Driving with the windows rolled down and the radio turned up

 What is making you happy as of late?



new year’s all year challenge: march reflections and april goals

In January I introduced the 2012 New Year’s All Year Challenge, in which I made broad “endpoint” goals for the year and explained that each month I will make specific small goals that are stepping stones to my endpoint aims. Each month I will also reflect on the previous month’s goals and efforts.




My goals for March were: 

  • Health: get enough sleep; stay hydrated
  • Finances: keep saving money
  • Relationships: complete as many little acts of kindness as possible
  • Wedding: continue researching and meeting with vendors and start booking them
  • Career: read more articles and books related to my content area (social studies)
  • Self-enrichment: volunteer (hopefully at the local animal shelter)

Reflections on March goals:

I did decently with my March goals. I did great with my health goals. Every now and then I didn’t get enough sleep, but I would feel so crappy the next day I would make sure to get back on track. Staying hydrated helped my energy levels a lot as well. I did great with saving money (though I certainly could do better). I did not do as many little acts of kindness as I wanted to or could have, and I don’t have any excuse for it. I just didn’t devote enough thought to it, which is disappointing. I have such great people in my life and I should show my love and appreciation more. The wedding goals, however, were met awesomely! We officially set a date for July 2013 and booked both the church and the hall!! As for my career goals for March, I didn’t read any books related to social studies, but I did get back into reading articles, which was nice. Lastly, while I didn’t volunteer at the local animal shelter in March, I did apply and get my training scheduled for the beginning of this month. I will be working with the cats since it is “kitten season” – I can’t wait!




April goals:

  • Health: continue with March goals and train for 5K (I’m doing two in June!)
  • Finances: keep saving money
  • Relationships: be less selfish in my thoughts and actions
  • Wedding: schedule engagement photos, work on save-the-dates, and research remaining needed vendors/services
  • Career: look for professional development opportunities and do well advising swimming intramurals
  • Self-enrichment: get trained and start volunteering at the animal shelter

Do you have any goals for 2012? How are they going? A friend from college and fraternity brother, Katie, has joined in on the challenge. Be sure to check out her goals and support her! And you join the challenge or make any sort of goal, leave me a comment or shoot me an e-mail! I’d love to hear what others are doing and offer my support : )