Winner, Winner, Chicken Dinner!

20180313_214330.jpgI pretty much enter every GoodReads contest available, and over the years and hundreds of entries, have only ever won once.

In the last two weeks, I’ve won TWICE! I’ve received two Advanced Reader Copies of upcoming books — one released today and the other in June. I am so excited!

Now, I have to find the time to read them both in the next couple of weeks. That’s in addition to the book I’m currently reading (The Power by Naomi Alderman) and the next two books for my book club (Sleeping Beauties by Stephen and Owen King, and Lab Girl by Hope Jahren). So many books, so little time!

What are you all reading?

XOXO,
B&B

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P.S. — I’m Back and Here’s What’s Coming Up

Hi again,

Now that things have settled down in life, I’m going to be around more. I’ll do an update later on this week in another post, but first:

Here are couple things I have coming up to recap:

The Arrangement — Anyone not watching this show HAS TO. It’s such a great show. Season two starts next Sunday, but this week, I will go a recap of season one to get you all primed and ready.

The Royals — How can you not love Elizabeth Hurley as the Queen of England? Season four kicks off also next Sunday, right after The Arrangement.

I’ve realized how much I’ve missed you all… I haven’t even been really reading the posts much, just skimming, it’s been so crazy around here. But, that’s going to change starting… NOW!

Talk soon.

XOXO,
B&B

2018 Academy Awards — Best Picture

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Hi Lovelies!

It’s that time: Time to talk about the Best Picture nominees and winner… I’m going to let Allie post (if she’s planning on it) about the best and worst dressed, even though I have a few opinions — ahem Salma Hayak (worst) Lupita Nyong’o (best).

I did, however, see every single Best Picture nominee,  and I am so happy that The Shape of Water came out on top. I loved the imagery, the story, the acting, everything about it. I wanted it to win from the moment I saw it,but wouldn’t have been disappointed if one of my other favorites won.

Here’s my order of favorites of the Best Picture nominees:

1) The Shape of Water
2) The Post
3) Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
4) Lady Bird (shout out to my hometown!!)
5) The Darkest Hour
6) Dunkirk
7) Phantom Thread
8) Get Out
9) Call Me By Your Name

So, here’s what I thought of each movie without any spoilers for those who haven’t seen them:

1) The Shape of Water — This is a beautiful movie. Part Creature Feature, part love story, the imagery, the acting, the emotion — all of it — is beautiful. I LOVED Richard Jenkins’ character, and Octavia Spencer was great, as usual. This movie made my heart happy. I am definitely going to buy it when it comes out on Blu-ray.

2) The Post — This history nerd was so excited to see this movie. Not only do I love Meryl Streep and Tom Hanks, having them in a movie together made it so much better. Both Meryl and Tom were amazing in their roles, and were so believable. I loved the way the story of the Pentagon Papers was told and how the Washington Post went from a small town local paper, to one of the most respected national newspapers. Another movie to add to my collection.

3) Three Billboards Outside Ebbings, Missouri — Three Billboards was not what I expected at all. It was both humorous and serious, and Frances McDormand absolutely deserved to win Best Actress for her role. Second only to Meryl, McDormand has a range that goes from hilarous to serious in .5 seconds. Her acceptance speech was just as fabulous. But I digress… Three Billboards has a great story to it. I was pleasantly surprised that I liked it as much as I did. Not only was McDormand great, but add in Woody Harrelson, and Sam Rockwell, and you’ve got the makings of a great movie.

4) Lady Bird — Oh my gosh, I loved this movie. While not my favorite of the nominees, you can’t help but feel your heart swell with pride when you see all the places in your hometown that you visit on the regular. The rose garden is in the park where I regularly run, the gold bridge is iconic to Sacramento, and talk about having a hometown darling, Greta Gerwig is our claim to fame. The story she wrote is beautiful and humorous, showing the complexities of the mother-daughter relationship all while remaining true to her story.

5) The Darkest Hour — Here’s another movie that made the history nerd in me happy. I love Winston Churchill. He was a wonderful speaker, and a man who took on a job that was difficult in the best of times, not just during times of war. Without getting too history preachy, the first few months of Churchill’s time as Prime Minister was one of the turning points for the Allies in World War II. The Darkest Hour showed his path to his greatness, and showed a man who became a strong leader despite the opposition around him.

6) Dunkirk — I am a fan of Christopher Nolan. How can you not be when he makes movies like The Dark Night Trilogy, and Interstellar. I know, I know, he also did Inception, but I actually hated that movie. The one thing I find him at fault for is long, over-storied, movies. I think that’s why I didn’t like Inception. It was about an hour too long. Interstellar was also about 30 minutes too long, but since I have a thing for Matthew McConaughey, I let it go. Anyway, Dunkirk is another nerdy history movie that I enjoyed. If you’ve studied history and World War II at all, then you’ve studied Dunkirk. By sea… civilian boats, to be exact… 300,000 British soldiers were rescued from the beach of Dunkirk. Nolan did a wonderful job telling this story of the rescue from three points of view… land, sea, and air. Funny how there were two movies that basically continued the story up for Best Picture. If you watch, I suggest you start with The Darkest Hour and finish with Dunkirk.

7) Phantom Thread — I didn’t expect to like this movie after what I’d heard about it. However, I thought it was very good. It was a good story with great acting. Daniel Day-Lewis was wonderful. The dresses were gorgeous and I want to wear them all. I am glad it didn’t win, though. I thought it was too slow, and at 2 hours and 10 minutes, too long. It dragged on a bit, and I found myself getting bored.

8) Get Out — I did NOT think this should have been nominated. The story wasn’t bad, the acting was good, but it was not a movie that I imagine being nominated for Best Picture. It definitely had some twists to it, and I think those twists made the story better. I didn’t hate it, but I don’t know if I’ll watch it again.

9) Call Me By Your Name — Oh Dear GOD, how I hated this movie. It was soooo slow and boring. We saw it in the theater at a 10pm showing and I almost fell asleep. I am a fan of Armie Hammer, but I felt that there was no chemistry between him and Timothee Chalamet. Both actors were good, but it was all just a bit awkward, and I didn’t like it.

Well, that’s it. Let me know in the comments what you thought of the movies, and of the Awards themselves.

XOXO,
B&B

Quick check in and update

Hi lovelies,

I know its been a while so I just wanted to check in and give you a quick update.

Started a new job December 1 that keeps me really busy. To be honest, while I loved my previous job, this was the best move I could have made. I’m learning new things, making more money, and I am creating new policies and procedures.

Things at home are good. All cleaned up from Christmas and getting ready for spring. I am so over the cold. Though I know it’s NOTHING like what the East Coasters are dealing with.

Going to start redesigning the backyard in a month or so. I have a great design in mind that leaves room to install a pool in a couple of years. Also hoping to redo the kitchen and tiny master bathroom.

I hope you are all doing well and I promise to try to get on more often and post more.

Xoxo,

B&B

Vanderpump Rules Premiere

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VPR premieres next Monday at 9pm on Bravo. The sixth season kicks off in typical style with drama, cattiness, and drunks.

Looks like LaLa is back, after ditching the show in the middle of last season. And Stassi is back, too. Lord, help us all.

Here’s a brief synopsis of the episode:

Masquerade: Scheana throws a lavish birthday party to show off her new boyfriend, but leaves Katie and Stassi off the guest list; Lisa overhears Sandoval complaining about her management style; a vicious rumor threatens to destroy a relationship.

Personally, I can’t wait!

Real Housewives of Beverly Hills is Back!

Season 8 begins in a little over a month!

Returning are Lisa Vanderpump, Lisa Rinna, Dorit Kemsley, Erika Girardi, and Kyle Richards. Coming back as a FOH is Camille Grammar (YAY, I love her!!) and joining the cast is the daughter of John Mellencamp, Teddi Mellencamp Arroyave!

I can’t wait!

http://www.bravotv.com/the-daily-dish/the-real-housewives-of-beverly-hills-season-8-premiere-date-trailer

Real Housewives of Dallas — Reunion parts 1 and 2

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So, I totally slacked on doing these recaps… sorry, everyone.

However, I did not fail to watch the shitshow that was the reunion. Broken up into 2 parts, the housewives had plenty to say, including bitching about how it was a closed set (meaning no husbands allowed) except for Mark. Cary defended her husband saying since he got the brunt of the husband-hating this year, he deserved to be there to defend himself.

On the stage left couch sat, in order, Brandi, Cary, and Stephanie. When Mark joined, he sat between Cary and Stephanie. The stage right couch sat, in order, LeeAnn, D’Andra, and Kameron.

In part 1, the ladies went at it over Brandi and Stephanie’s break up, LeeAnne’s two-face costume, Kameron’s pink dog food (which isn’t all pink anymore because it turns the dog’s poop pink and apparently, that was too gross for the consumers). It’s dump on LeeAnne night and deservedly so, the ladies rip into LeeAnne about her behavior all season. LeeAnne “owns it” (I’m so sick of that phrase) and says she’s working toward changing. Cary doesn’t believe it. D’Andra once again comes to her BFF’s defense, but quickly lets everyone know that when LeeAnne is in the wrong, she calls her on it.

Andy brings up dildogate and once again we have to listen to Kameron and Brandi hash it out. I’m sorry, but Kameron has a stick so far up her ass that she can’t find any humor in it. While I don’t agree with Brandi overstepping Kam’s bounderies, it was initially funny. Maybe I just have the sense of humor of a 12-year-old boy. Who knows. Brandi and I would probably be friends. Kam again talks about how Brandi and Stephanie don’t live IN Dallas, as if that’s the prerequisite for being part of the society there. Umm, Kam, don’t you live in Highland Park? Correct me if I am wrong, but living 16 miles outside of Dallas city limits compared to Plano’s 20 miles (I Googled the distance) doesn’t make you part of Dallas, either. I’ve been to Plano. It’s not so bad.  Continue reading

Life update

It seems like ages since we’ve had one of these.

For me, things are okay.

  • My grandmother turns 95 on Monday and my mother is hosting a brunch for her on Sunday.
  • I’ve received a job offer at another agency, and my current bosses are desperately trying to keep me. They’ve offered me a promotion, a raise, and basically everything I’ve been asking for for the last 3 years. I’m still not sure what I am going to do.
  • I’ve been sick since Sunday. At least I can breathe now.
  • Some girlfriends and I drive down to Los Angeles last Thursday and spent Friday at Disneyland, so that made me happy.
  • I’m not sure if I mentioned it, but a couple of months ago, I lost my Merlin. He wasn’t feeling well and I had to take him to the emergency vet, and I came home without him. I am missing him so much today.

So, that’s my life for the last couple of months. I’m still listening to a ton of audiobooks, reading others, and watching too much TV for my own good. Now that it’s cold and rainy out (the mountains already have snow), I’m starting to fall into that “winter laziness” that always happens. I hate it getting dark early. I just want to go home and go to bed.

What’s happening in your neck of the woods? How’s life?