Monday, December 31, 2012

Laura Loves {December 2012}

Corgis Jumping
This is really random…but I was recently reminded about how funny it is to watch Corgi’s leap…specifically into water...a friend had never seen it before and I had to share…and now I feel like I need to share with all of you…

The video won’t allow embedding but I promise you won’t be sorry if you search YouTube for “Corgi Flop”…or just follow this link.

Milo & The Snow
We didn’t get a lot of snow last winter so I wasn’t able to share…but Milo LOVES snow! Over my break at home it has snowed twice already! Every time you tell Milo that it is snowing he gets really excited and starts whining to go outside and play.

He also loves to follow the shovel and get the snow tossed on him…unfortunately I didn’t get more of this on video because my phone died after the first toss…but it’s funny…

Mirror Mirror
This week I was relaxing with my parents and sister Linda and we were browsing Netflix for a fun movie to watch. We came across Mirror Mirror…you know…the OTHER less dark (maybe a bit silly looking) Snow White movie that came out last year. It was a bit overshadowed by Snow White and the Huntsman…and it also didn’t do so great review wise…

We decided to watch it and I have to say…we all really really liked it! It has a few cheesy moments but it is visually stunning and is a great twist on the classic tale. The story doesn’t follow the original fairy tale exactly…but we all really liked what they did with it. It even has a fun Bollywood-ish dance number at the end of the credits! (The director is from India)…I think the film was really underrated and I’d highly recommend it if you are looking for something fun to watch! Here is the trailer!

Redskins Football
So this year…I decided I would make an effort to watch football. I wanted to pay more attention to South Carolina football…and I wanted to follow a pro football team. The local teams by me (that I would always be able to watch on TV) were the Ravens and the Redskins…so I made an effort to watch their games in the beginning of the season…

I soon realized I didn’t need to make an effort…I was addicted…to Redskins football. I know half of my family (who are Giants fans) cringe when I say this…but I really have discovered a natural tug to root for the Redskins!

I’m so excited for the season they had! I love both our key rookies Alfred Morris and RGIII! I love how the team thought they were out of the season at 3-6 and now have won 7 in a row to make it to win the NFC East and get into the playoffs!! I’m really loving rooting for them and get so excited to watch every week! I have so much more to say about it but...I should probably save it for another post. NFL playoffs start next week!! Go Redskins!! (HTTR!!!) Smile.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas!

This year in addition to my lovely Christmas tree at home….I grew a special “Magic Tree” for my desk at work! It was so cool! It started out as just green cardboard…then I spread out the leaves, stuck it in the base, and poured the “magic water” in the bottom…within about two hours it started growing crystals….and by the end of the workday the crystals looked all poofy! By the next day all the water had dried out of the bottom and the crystals were fully grown…I put the star on top and some glitter on the tree! It was such a cute little Christmas tree to look at! And entertaining to watch grow! I hope to do something similar next year…you can find it here if you are intrigued!

IMG_20121219_130259

Meanwhile my actual tree at home was looking pretty full! My presents even had to extend around the back….I have a mystery big box for my parents this year Winking smile

2012-12-21 22.23.46

I thought I’d be rushing all of these gifts home and fighting the traffic after work on Christmas Eve! But lucky for me…the government decided last minute on Friday to give us the entire day off on Monday…which meant I could get home 2 days earlier! So I loaded up all my presents….and headed to New Jersey to start my Christmas vacation early!

2012-12-22 10.49.54

I was relieved that I fit it all in the car! Milo was not very excited to be sharing the back seat with the big box (he usually gets the back seat of the car all to himself to stretch out)….he managed.

Our tree at home looks beautiful! And now that all my gifts are home, and my sisters’ gifts have arrived…there are too many presents to even fit underneath! But the best part is getting to be all together on Christmas morning again this year! We are having a very very very blessed Christmas here and I hope everyone else’s holiday season (no matter what holiday(s) you celebrate) is just as full of joy and love!

Friday, November 30, 2012

Laura Loves {November 2012}

Whoops…I did it again…I took another unannounced (ie unexpected) blogging break! Believe me, I have plenty of ideas. The truth of the matter is I am just more and more frustrated with my laptop and have been avoiding it big time. I briefly mentioned this in my birthday post, but my laptop is…well let’s just say…it’s on its last leg. It’s fan is VERY loud and annoying. It gets really hot on my lap…I am attached to the wall because the battery lasts less than an hour when full…and well…then there is this:

2012-11-28 21.55.40

The weird thing is…I have no idea how it broke. One day a while back it just made this weird loud click as I opened it…and it was all out of whack…and then just kept getting worse and worse.

And yes…I do have a desktop I could type on…but I find it much more relaxing after work to hang on the couch and catch up on TV as I blog.  I sit at a desk in front of a desktop for a majority of my work day so I prefer the couch at night haha. Anyway I will be fixing this soon. Hopefully that will inspire more frequent blog posts.

But for now it’s time for Laura Loves!

November!
I have to just say that I love the month of November! The air is crisp! The leaves are falling! The month starts with my birthday and ends with my favorite holiday (and some of my favorite foods)! And before the month is out I get to continue my new tradition of rushing back to my apartment Sunday morning and setting up my Christmas Tree to get me motivated for the season! I just love everything about November except for maybe the clocks falling back and it getting so dark. That is alright November, you bring me enough other fun and goodness that I forgive you for the early sunset!

This is our Jam
My friend Liz pointed me toward the fun blog called This is our Jam. It is a music blog run by a few friends where they post new music they have recently discovered and enjoyed! So far I have found 3 new artists that I really enjoy by following this blog in the past two weeks! They even make playlists for various occasions…I love checking in with this blog when I’m on the hunt for something new and different to listen to! Enjoy!

NY&Co Nail Polish – Millionaire
I was out shopping with Shirin two weeks ago when I spotted this Nail Polish at NY&Co…I couldn’t resist.

{Source}

The color is called Millionaire. I promptly put it on my nails that night and I absolutely loved the color! It is a metallic gold but it isn’t too yellow-y if that makes sense. It is such a nice fall/holiday color and even though I’ve already repainted my nails red (because I after over a week it was finally chipping!) I redid Millionaire as an accent on my ring finger. If you are looking for a nice gold holiday polish…I’d highly recommend it!

Gay Men Will Marry Your Girlfriends
A friend recently shared this funny video on Facebook and I love it! It is pretty much a slam dunk argument for supporting gay marriage! I had to share! But be warned there are some (just a few) choice words and a little sexual suggestion…kids should probably have earmuffs on!

 

Football!
This fall I decided I was going to make an effort to pay more attention to watching football. Growing up, we were more of a baseball family than football family. I have some parts of my family who are Giants fans…some who are Steelers fans…and my immediate family would just watch football casually. On top of that I went to an undergrad school that didn’t even have a football team! So this year (kind of randomly) I decided I wanted to watch as many South Carolina Gamecock games (my grad school) as I could get on TV up here in DC, and I also figured I’d start watching a little bit of pro football.

It turns out…I didn’t need to put that much “effort” into it at all. I have been REALLY getting into football! I can’t get enough! Specifically (and I apologize to 1/2 of my family) I’ve been paying a lot of attention to and rooting for the Redskins (and RG3 but I will get to that in another post). But football in general has captured me. Even when there isn’t a Gamecock or Redskins game on I’ve been finding other matchups that I want to watch. I love it!

That’s all I have for November! Check back at the end of the year for the last Laura Loves of 2012!

Monday, November 5, 2012

It’s My Birthday!

ALREADY! That was a quick year! The years just go by faster and faster! I have this theory that it always feels that way because one year keeps becoming a smaller and smaller portion of the length of time you have been alive. To a 5 year old, a year feels like forever…and it should…it is 1/5th (20%) of their life! But to a 28 year old, a year is a mere 1/28th (3.6%) of the time they have been alive. The percentage just gets smaller and smaller…hence a year feels faster and faster.

Anyway…two years ago I started the tradition of asking myself a few annual questions on my birthday as sort of a reflection of the past year and thinking about what I’d like to make of the coming year. I thought it was a good exercise so I want to keep it up!

Age?
28

Location?
Alexandria, VA

What are some of the highlights of the past year?

  • Having my first Christmas tree! And celebrating the "The Year of No Tree" at my parents house!
  • Adding the Academy Nominated Short Films to my Mission Oscar Snob!
  • Running my first 5k! (and my second with both my sisters in the summer!)
  • A fun weekend in Sea Isle to see family and meet my new baby cousin!
  • The 2012 London Summer Olympics! And a fun Olympic Party with friends!
  • Nationals having the best record in baseball! And getting to go to a postseason game! (Even if it was the most heartbreaking game of all :-/).
  • Four weddings! (And no funerals….thankfully!) Well…really 5 weddings if you count the one RIGHT after my birthday post last year…but that wouldn’t have worked with the play on the movie title…
  • Starting to ride my bike a bit more…and finding NOVA CBG to ride with!
  • Living (and voting) in a swing state in the for the first time in my life! The constant commercials have been ridiculous and exhausting…but I do feel like my vote matters more now than ever before!
  • The late season Hurricane Sandy…and her unfortunate impact on my home state, the area in which I grew up, and my childhood shore memories (New Jersey, New York Tri-State Area, and various parts of the Jersey Shore). ---- {HERE} is the link to the Red Cross which is a great way to donate to the relief effort.
  • Getting Milo’s DNA test results! (More to come on that!)

What life lessons have you learned this past year?

  • If you pay the money for the race first...you will be motivated to train for it. It doesn’t really work the other way around.
  • A great quote I heard this year was “Don’t compare your behind the scenes with other’s highlight reel”. It didn’t hit me right away…then I caught myself one day doing just that with one of my favorite bloggers. She seems to have everything so organized! I think it is a common mistake to read other’s blogs or see other’s Facebook posts and pictures and it seems like they have everything together in their life. But really...that is their highlights they are sharing…and you see everything in your own life. I think people know not to do this…but I think it is natural for it to happen…and that quote makes me aware of it when I do.
  • This year I have noticed that if I just push myself to attend things I’m hesitant about…I tend to enjoy them more than I thought I would. So I’ve been pushing myself when I’m feeling lazy. I rarely regret it.
  • I also realized that I am able to trick myself into saving money with a certain transfer tactic…hopefully the trick works for awhile!
  • I really enjoy watching football! I mean I would sometimes watch casually but this season I’ve been making an effort to pay more attention to South Carolina, Redskins, and a few other college and NFL teams…and I’ve really been enjoying it!

Did you accomplish your goals from last year?

  • Consolidate my student loans (yup its back on the list).
    • I actually sort of did this…but to the extent that I am satisfied at the moment. I did consolidate a lot of my loans…and was looking into consolidating my higher interest ones that didn’t qualify. But what I found was that those couldn’t be helped as much right away as I thought…and I am concentrating on just paying more toward them for now.
  • Be better at keeping in touch with friends and family in different places.
    • I think I did better with this this year…although it could still use some improvement…I think this one is always something to work on.
  • Be more open to doing activities on my own.
    • Yup! During my Mission Oscar Snob…I attended most of the movies on my own (which actually is what I did the year before so it might not really count haha). But I also joined a new biking group and went to the Nationals Playoff game by myself too! I did a few more things on my own as well. I still prefer to do things with friends…but I’m not as bothered by doing things alone anymore.
  • Find a new primary care doctor...I'm a bit overdue on this one.
    • I didn’t find a primary care doctor…but I did find a few types of doctors that I needed to…I get at least half credit for this one!
  • Be sure to do things in the city despite having moved outside of it.
    • Yes! I did plenty in the city this year! And I’ve discovered that I am not as “far” out of the city in my apartment as I thought I would feel!
  • Complete weight loss goal #1 (almost there!) and hopefully put a dent in goal #2!
    • Despite the running and biking…I haven’t been as diligent with the Fitbit (it broke this year)…so I haven’t been as good with the goals…I will be reinstating this this year.

What are you looking forward to in the coming year?

  • I think I will be upgrading my laptop in the next year. I haven’t shared the state of my laptop on the blog, but for way over a year (I actually think more than 2 years) it has been very loud, hot, and half broken physically (not quite sure how that happened….but the screen doesn’t really line up with the rest of the body…I’m making plans for a new portable device…and I think it will be happening this coming year.
  • A vacation next year…after June. This is not even really in the works yet…but work will have me really busy until June next year…and it was busy this past year. If everything finishes up as planned (around the end of May) I hope to take a nice vacation…not necessarily expensive…just nice in terms of at least a week off…even if its just time with family in New Jersey…but we will see ;-).
  • At least one more wedding! I’m looking at you Shirin!
  • Living past December 12, 2012!

Other than those things above I think it is actually going to be a pretty low key year…at least at this point.

What do you want to change about your life/yourself in the next year?

  • Keep working on staying in better touch with old friends.
  • Keep working on my weight loss goal #1.
  • Sign up for at least 2 5ks next year. Consider a 10k (this is a “stretch goal”).
  • Go on at least 5 bike rides this coming spring.
  • Work more on Milo jogging with the bike. He was introduced to it this fall and did really well. Hopefully we can work some more when it gets warm again!
  • Attain goal #1 in my savings account. Based on my current track I should get there in plenty of time for my next birthday…but you never know what is going to happen in the year!

How are you celebrating your birthday this year?
This year I’m not doing much for my birthday. My birthday is on a Monday and I have a pretty long/busy day on Tuesday. But I did some baking Sunday to enjoy treats this week! I made an apple pie because my apples from apple picking this fall were about to go bad. I also made a butter recipe bunt cake because it is my family’s birthday tradition. So let’s just say I will get back to working on that weight loss goal next week!

Apple Pie & Bunt Cake

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Laura Loves {October 2012}

I know I have been a bit MIA from the blog this month…taking a bit of a blog break…and doing a lot of biking! But we will get to that in a bit. It is already the end of October and that means it is time for Laura Loves!

Pumpkin Carving
Every year I have a pumpkin carving party with my friends to celebrate the season! This year was a great success! We had a ton of fall flavored goodies like {these} pumpkin cupcakes and homemade apple pie! There were some awesome pumpkins carved…about 9 in total! Even Milo had fun hanging out with everyone carving!

2012-10-20 19.44.15

They looked so cute all lit up together on the porch! A few friends got the good picture of all the pumpkins together…but after carving I sort of forgot about my camera and only got one picture of my pumpkin after the party!

IMG_20121021_022728

Pumpkin carving is a bit messy but always puts me in the perfect fall mood! I just wish carved pumpkins would last a BIT longer….mine has unfortunately already met its untimely end to mold Sad smile.

SNL Town Hall Cold Open
I’m sure you are well aware of the Presidential Election coming up…and October was the month of debates! There is something about debates that makes them prime material for Saturday Night Live…and this year’s Town Hall debate was no exception! I loved the cold open from the 10/20/12 SNL! Enjoy!

NOVA CBG
I mentioned that I had been doing more biking lately!

IMG_20120915_121321

I’ve recently found a group on Meetup.com called Northern Virginia Casual Bicycling Group (NOVA CBG). It is such a great group if you are looking to get back into riding! They organize tons of rides and do a great job at defining each ride’s difficulty level so you know if the ride matches your skill level! The whole group is friendly and the leaders never leave you behind! If you are looking for a little motiviation to start up riding again (well next spring since they are pretty much done for the season)…check out NOVA CBG! Here are some photos from recent rides!

IMG_20120923_125454  IMG_20120929_105916

Volunteering at Northern Virginia Brewfest
What could be better than just heading to something called Northern Virginia Brewfest?

IMG_20121021_174444

Volunteering at it! Wait…WORKING at Brewfest…how is that better? Let me list the ways…

  1. Free entry
  2. Free t-shirt
  3. Free beer tickets…which you MIGHT not even need because…as a volunteer you are supposed to try the beers for serving them and making recommendations to guests!
  4. Meet new people!! Or have fun with friends!

My friend Avi encouraged me to volunteer with him at this Fall’s Virginia Brewfest and I’m so glad I did…it was tons of fun! (and everyone knows I love a good t-shirt haha) I plan on doing it again next year!

What have you loved this October???

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Laura Loves {September 2012}

I’ve loved a lot of things in September…but they seem to have a two general themes…dogs…and fall…

Shirlington Dog Park
Milo and I have a new favorite dog park! I heard about Shirlington Dog Park a long time ago but never got around to getting the mutt out there…but recently we tried it out and now we are addicted!

What makes this dog park so great? Two things…well really three…

1) Unlike the normal square fenced in park, Shirlington is a long park…you can’t seen one end from the other…so you basically get to go on an off leash stroll with your mutt. I think this is much nicer than just standing around while the dogs run around. You stay moving…dogs get practice meeting in more of a walk situation…and there are lots of things along the path for the dog to explore!

2012-08-20 18.23.27

2) The water! There is a creek behind the park…just outside of the fenced area…where the dogs can go down and swim! Milo was a little shy about this part at first…but he has gotten used to it…and loves going to that part of the park now! He still doesn’t realize he can actually swim…but we will work on that…

2012-09-22 13.39.37

2012-09-01 17.40.14  2012-09-22 14.01.45

The large park and the above two features lead to cool thing number 3…the DOGS! There are so many dogs constantly in and out of this park! It is never lonely…both large and small…you are likely to see one of your favorite breeds! I’ve seen multiple Newfoundlands and Great Danes at once at the park which is great for Milo in particular…he is used to being a big dog…but he doesn’t get to encounter dogs larger than him as often…

2012-08-18 12.37.52
Please note how small my (not small) 85 lb mutt looks next to this big Newfoundland! The Newfoundland came up to me to say high and poked my elbow instead of my hand!! They were so sweet!

This is a great park! If you have a dog I highly recommend Shirlington Dog Park.

Crinkits
Milo LOVES empty water bottles. He can’t get enough of the crinkling sound it makes as he chews it! Our family dog used to love this as well…so I know this is a common dog trait…

March30

I have seen toys in stores before where you can insert a bottle into a cloth animal toy for dogs….kind of like a stuffed animal without stuffing. Even though I’ve been tempted, I’ve never gotten one for Milo because he is a STRONG chewer and would basically tear a cloth/stuffed toy apart in minutes…

So when we received a Crinkit from our BarkBox this month (see below)…I got really excited! A rubber toy/sleeve for empty water bottles!!!

2012-09-19 17.48.18

I quickly found an empty bottle….stuffed it in the Crinkit and let Milo have at it. He is obsessed! He can’t get enough of the thing…it makes the crinkling noise of the bottle…but he doesn’t destroy the sleeve at all! He is always playing with it and marching it around the apartment…sometimes wanting me to throw it for him…it is easily his new favorite toy! And I don’t have to worry about him hurting himself with a really chewed up bottle! If your dog loves empty water bottles and is a strong chewer…I HIGHLY recommend Crinkit!

I know it is a bit pricey though…which is what brings me to the next item on my list….

BarkBox
Recently, Groupon offered a deal on a subscription to BarkBox. Barkbox is basically a box of goodies for your mutt that comes once a month. It will contain 4-6 items…treats, toys, gadgets, shampoos….all sorts of dog stuff (catered to the size of your dog)! Long time readers know my love of random boxes runs deep…so with the Groupon deal I decided to get a subscription for Milo!

It might sound silly to say that Milo loved it…but he really did! Before I even opened the box…he was sniffing it…really interested.

2012-09-19 17.45.11

Turns out there was a pretzel bully stick as one of the treats which I’m sure he could smell!

2012-09-19 18.21.51

We also got a bag of organic freeze dried sweet potato treats (along with a small sample of freeze dried chicken treats), coupons to Wag.com, a dental bone, a sample (between bath) wipe, annnnd the Crinkit!

2012-09-19 17.48.54

2012-09-19 17.49.14

With my Groupon deal…I only paid $10 per box….but the Crinkit is a $20 item!! (I haven’t looked yet but I doubt the freeze dried treats are too cheap either). The Wag.com coupon itself is $10!

Milo was just as excited as I was opening the box. We can’t wait to see what comes next…and if it stays this good I will most likely renew my subscription.

Regular Subscriptions start at $17 per month…(which STILL would have been less than the Crinkit alone)…but if you use my referral link {here}…you will get $5 off your subscription! Milo and I love BarkBox so far!!

Fall TV
I think I’ve made it quite obvious that I was very excited for the premiere week of Fall TV…and it did not disappoint! How can you not love premiere week? After almost 4 months….we have a whole season of our favorite shows ahead of us! If you want to check out what I’ll be watching this season…check out my series of Fall TV posts!

Fall Foliage
Before I was old enough to know exactly when in the year my birthday was…my mom would tell me that we could start a birthday countdown as soon as the large tree across the street started to turn red! And so began my love of fall foliage!

2012-09-22 09.54.21 2012-09-22 10.13.19

I really do love this time of year…fall is my favorite season! I love cool nights with open windows…the crisp smell in the air…the foods…and of course the fall foliage! It is sad that the days are getting shorter…but I’ll trade some daylight for all the fun that comes with the fall season!

Gangnam Style
(This one is a bit off theme…but I love it nonetheless)

This song…its all over the place and I love it…makes me smile every time I hear it!

After you watch the video…enjoy SNL’s recent skit poking fun (or loving) this video!

I’ll be back at the end of October for more Laura Loves!

Friday, September 21, 2012

What I’m Watching Weekends {Fall 2012}

I don’t have nearly as much TV to watch on the weekends! Friday and Saturday are like “DVR catch up” days when I don’t have other plans. So I like to put the entire weekend together as one post…

wiwweekend  TV Key
For information on how to read the graphics above, see Monday’s post.

Empty Friday!
After a busy busy week of TV…Friday is my DVR’s night off! If I’m home on Friday I will either catch up on shows that I didn’t get to watch during the week, or I might tune in for ABC’s Shark Tank or What Would You Do? Those are both shows I have found entertaining, but not enough to have them take up DVR space…and they aren’t shows I need to watch the episodes in any particular order.

Saturday Night Live ~ NBC Sept. 15 11:30
A lot of people say SNL isn’t funny anymore…I agree that it has seen better days…but I do still like to record and watch SNL. I think it is still pretty funny. And if there is any time to pay attention to SNL…it's during an election year! The season opener was last weekend and I thought it was a pretty good episode! I liked the Gangnam Style skit…and I'm not going to lie…Gangnam Style has a bit of the same effect on my mood too haha…


I also enjoyed host Seth MacFarlane’s impression of swimmer Ryan Lochte going over Fall TV!


I enjoy SNL…although I’m wondering how they will handle the loss of Kristen Wiig and Andy Samberg :-/…but with the election going on this fall…I think it will at least start off strong!

Once Upon A Time ~ ABC Sept. 30 8:00
This drama about fairytale characters trapped in the real world turned out to be my absolute favorite new drama last season! I have recommended this show to so many people and I have gotten many friends hooked…

The show comes from the writers of Lost and similarly tells each fairytale character’s story in a series of flashbacks to their old world. I think the writers of this show do an excellent job of pulling the fairy tales together into one world, making the fairy tale world have a richer back story and elaborating on the history of their characters, and also sticking to important parts of the tales that we know and love. The scenery of the fairy tale world is really good too. I thought this show had the potential to be a bit cheesy…but it really isn’t! I think it was really well done.

The exciting news about this show is that the first season is on Netflix instant watch! So you can start recording the season and but still go catch up first! I recently recommend it to my friend Shirin and she liked it so much she is already caught up and can’t wait for the new season!

There is kind of a big spoiler at the end of the first season…so I don’t really want to show you guys the promo for the second season because I don’t want to give it away!! I really really really recommend going back and watching this show from the beginning! So I’ll just show last year’s show trailer to try to get you interested…


Amazing Race ~ CBS Sept. 30 8:00
I’m sure I said this last year…but if I was giving the opportunity to participate on any reality TV show it would be The Amazing Race! How cool would it be to race around the world? Even if you don’t win a prize...you get to travel to all sorts of places and learn about different cultures! And bonus? If you DO win…you get 1 million dollars! Oh wait this year they are raising it to TWO million dollars!


So who wants to be on my team???

But just as an FYI…as I note on my schedule…I record Amazing Race for 2 hours on Sundays. Even though it is only an hour and starts at 8pm…CBS airs sports on Sunday afternoons…which means it is (VERY) often delayed. It is rare though for it to be delayed more than an hour...so I usually just record for an extra hour (9-10).

Revenge ~ ABC Sept. 30 9:00
I actually didn’t start out watching this drama when it started on ABC last year. But my friend Meghan told me during the holidays that I HAD to try it out! It was actually really good! Emily Thorne has moved back to the Hamptons to seek revenge on those who framed her father for a horrific terrorist attack when she was very young (and had a different name). I think the drama is good in that there is a lot of dangerous twists and framing in the sake of revenge…wondering if she will get caught…or even what she will do! It is a good show. I plan on keeping up with season 2 this year…


***********

Well that does it for What I’m Watching this year…phew I know my DVR will be busy busy busy but I’m sure some of the shows won’t last (either my choice or the networks)…so it will calm down after a few weeks.

I will update with a quick post later this fall for an update as to what stayed on the schedule and what I think of the new shows!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

What I’m Watching Thursdays {Fall 2012}

Thursday has the largest number of shows in the same timeslot…but I’m not extremely worried about these conflicts and I will explain later in the post…let’s just get to it…

WIW Thurs   TV Key
For information on how to read the graphics above, see Monday’s post.

Up All Night ~ NBC Sept. 20 8:30
This sitcom about navigating through the very beginning stages of parenthood is heading into its second season. I really liked this sitcom last year…it has funny moments as well as cute/touching moments. I think it touches on a lot of different dilemmas of being new parents. But then again I tend to enjoy Christina Applegate….and Maya Rudolph…and Will Arnett…so this show had an advantage starring all three haha. While the show returns tonight…there isn’t really any new season promo for it…so I’ll just share the main trailer from last year…

I enjoyed this show last year so I plan on keeping it around this year. Its not the best sitcom on TV but it is definitely a pretty good one.

The Office ~ NBC Sept. 20 9:00
It’s the final season of The Office. Even though it might not be as good as it used to be…I have to watch to see how it ends!

Parks & Recreation ~ NBC Sept. 20 9:30
Although it started off slowly…Parks & Recreation has become one of my other favorite sitcoms! When this show first started I thought the main character Leslie Knopes (Amy Poehler) was going to be an inappropriate and enthusiastic government manager (ie a female Michael Scott a la The Office). But really…while she was a bit over enthusiastic at first…the character has really developed a lot into something with quirks but actually relatively normal. The other characters all have their own lovable quirks as well! It’s a really good show! And this season they are filming a bit in DC! So that’s another reason to watch! (I wish I had caught some filming…I know they have done a bit by the reflecting pool of the Capitol).

 

Glee ~ FOX Sept. 13 9:00
Glee moved to Thursdays this season which causes a bit of conflict at 9:00 for me….but I’ll touch on that in a bit. I like Glee. I think the writing isn’t as good as it was in the beginning (in terms of plot turns not in terms of humor or incorporating music). However I really really enjoy the music performances on Glee. I know its not realistic at all…but I always enjoy the dancing and the performance of the music.

There are a lot of changes coming this season, considering a lot of the club graduated at the end of the season. So I will definitely be tuning in to see what is next for Glee (and…sing along as well)!

Grey’s Anatomy ~ ABC Sept. 27 9:00
Alright….I have a bone to pick with Grey’s Anatomy. There are some characters….who have almost died on this show…like 3 times…traumatically. If you I mean… how likely is it that one person will almost die in 1) A ferry boat crash 2) hospital shooting AND 3) a plane crash…..within an 8 year span of their life….and survive them all?!?…let alone have a bunch of their friends die in similar dramatic fashion in that time span….sigh…

I think Grey’s Anatomy is a good show…for the interesting medical situations that arise…but in terms of the tragic events happening to the doctors on a personal level….it has gone a bit too far for me…and the plane crash at the end of last season was the straw that really broke the camel’s back…

Grey’s is a loyalty watch for me…and ABC.go.com will make it easy for me to keep up with it.

Project Runway ~ Lifetime - Premiered in July – 9:00
I really like seeing what the designers come up with on Project Runway. Unfortunately I no longer get Lifetime…but I am still able to keep up with Project Runway with full episodes online! I don’t really mind watching Project Runway online because I care more about the end of the episode and seeing the pieces of clothing more than the drama of the reality TV. But I think the designers they bring on are really talented and I think it is cool how differently they each interpret the same challenge. If you want to watch Project Runway you can find full episodes {here}.

Elementary ~ CBS Sept 27 10:00
I’m not sure if this new Sherlock Holmes drama will last in my schedule…I can’t really tell from the previews if I will like it or not. But I am intrigued by the twist that Watson is a woman….and that it co-stars Lucy Liu. I like her…and she hasn’t been in anything for a little while. (I kind of wonder sometimes if someone I like doesn’t do a project for a little while if I trust that they had a lot of faith in the script to make them come back haha). But really the show intrigues me so I will give it a chance. But I could also see myself kind of shrugging it off. What do you think of this new take on this new Sherlock Holmes drama?

So…yea I have a lot of shows that air during the 9-10pm hour of prime time…but at the same time one of them I HAVE to watch online…and the other…well I’ll just probably be keeping up with it every once in a while. The DVR won’t be as stressed out on Thursdays as it might first appear!

What will you be watching on Thursday?? I’ll be back tomorrow for one last post about what I’m watching on the weekends! Smile

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

What I’m Watching Wednesdays {Fall 2012}

Wednesday nights won’t be as busy as Tuesdays, but I do have one potential conflict…although I’m not sure either show will last….hey maybe one of the good Tuesday shows will move to Wednesday if that happens! But I’ll get to those shows in a second. Let’s take a look at what Wednesday will look like for me…

WIW WedTV Key
For information on how to read the graphics above, see Monday’s post.

Survivor ~ CBS Sept. 19 8:00
Survivor is one of my annual staples. I really think the social chess game that people play with each other to win this game is quite fascinating. It is also a show that looks very nice in HD (with all the shots of the wildlife haha). This year on Survivor, they are bringing back 3 people who had to leave the game via injury the last time they played…going all the way back to the second season of Survivor (my first and favorite) Australia! I’m excited for these players who were forced to quit for medical reasons come back and give it another try…



I have generally been a bit tired of CBS bringing people back on their reality shows (mixing in with new folks) but I feel like this is a bit different considering these people had to leave their prior seasons prematurely. Survivor starts this Wednesday!! I’m very excited!

The Middle ~ ABC Sept. 26 8:00
I’m sure I mentioned this last year but The Middle is one of my absolute favorite sitcoms on TV right now. It unfortunately gets overshadowed by Modern Family, but this show about an oddball (but very normal) middle class family in middle America is really hysterical. Sue, the dorky and usually invisible but extremely optimistic middle child is my favorite character! Eden Sher is really fantastic in the role. The rest of the cast is great too but I think Patricia Heaton is the other stand out! I think the best overall trailer if you haven’t ever seen the show is the one I showed in last year’s post. The promo for this year is pretty short and sweet…


If you haven’t watched The Middle before, I would highly recommend it. It is a show that is pretty easy to watch without having seen the first 3 seasons…but those seasons are great if you get the chance to catch up! The season premiere is a special full hour episode!!! I really can’t wait for the return of the Hecks!!

********
The next two shows….well I’m not all that confident they will really survive in the schedule. I will have an open time slot at 8:30pm on Wednesday nights (with Happy Endings moving to busy Tuesdays :-/)….and these two shows…well they look like they might be really tacky/cheesy…but they also could have some potential….I’ll explain....

The only reason that The Neighbors made it ON the DVR and the Guys With Kids is in the “Extra” row in my schedule above is because of The Middle’s 1 hour premiere episode. The premiere night, I will be watching The Middle at 8:30 and The Neighbors will be on at 9:00pm for that week only...giving it a chance to be conflict free on my DVR. I will watch the premiere of Guys with Kids online…but if I don’t like either show…neither will remain on my schedule…

The Neighbors ~ ABC Sept. 26 9:00 (Oct. 3 8:30 regular time slot)
In short…this new show about a family moving to the suburbs with alien neighbors looks like it could have its funny moments…but based on the trailer below I’m really skeptical…


It may have a few funny cracks but the show looks like it could get cheesy. But ABC has been putting out sitcoms that I have been enjoying over the past few seasons so I’m going to give this one a chance. We will see if it sticks around…

Guys With Kids ~ NBC Sept. 26 8:30
The promo for Guys with Kids also looks like it could get really cheesy really fast…


I mean….who takes their baby to a bar??? And again with the laugh tracks! I mentioned on Monday that they are not my favorite thing in modern comedies….BUT….it is from funnyman producer Jimmy Fallon…and seems to have a few potential laughs in the trailer…so it will get a chance from me…but it will have to impress me big time to remain in my lineup…

Modern Family ~ ABC Sept 26 9:00
Who doesn’t LOVE Modern Family?!?! It is the highlight of my week…


If you aren’t watching this show…you should be! I am counting the days until Season 4!

Suburgatory ~ ABC Oct. 17 9:30
I really thought I wouldn’t keep Suburgatory on my schedule after it premiered last year. It is about a girl and her dad who move from the city to the suburbs…where she feels extremely trapped. During the first few episodes…I thought the portrayal of suburban life was kind of odd…and didn’t really relate to my experience. But there are some pretty funny actors/characters on the show…including a few old SNL favorites…and the main character Tess keeps me interested in her story…it did pick up after a week or so.
There is no new season trailer yet…so here is the main trailer if you want to get the gist of the show’s plot…


Would I call it my favorite sitcom? No…there are plenty ahead of it…but with an open time slot it has grown on me and is entertaining…so I’ll keep it on my schedule.

Chicago Fire ~ NBC Oct. 10 10:00
Ya know…the TV drama department is over saturated with Cop/Criminal/Law and Medical dramas….I kind of find and idea of a Firehouse drama refreshing….it could be a good to see what different types of situations they deal with or what types of characters they come up with for the firemen/women or even their significant others and families…


I think this could be a really good and different show…and I have nothing else recording at 10…so Chicago Fire will get a chance from me…

What will you be watching Wednesday nights??? I’ll be back tomorrow a BUSY Thursday night lineup!!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

What I’m Watching Tuesdays {Fall 2012}

Tuesday is one of my busiest nights of TV. I might have to eventually make some big cuts on Tuesday this year. But there are a lot of shows to talk about…so let’s get started!

What I'm Watching Tuesdays   TV Key
For information on how to read the graphics above, see Monday’s post.

Yea…crazy…let me explain my choices:

Dancing with the Stars: Results ~ ABC Sept. 25 8:00
If I’m going to watch the dancing show on Monday, I have to see who gets eliminated on Tuesday! I was debating just watching the elimination online but the conflicts on Tuesday aren’t really during the 8-9 hour so…I will be recording and watching the results show. The Dancing with the Stars Results show is pretty good though. They usually bring either really impressive professional dance companies or really impressive kid dancers on to perform. I really enjoy watching dance so this is a pretty fun results show for me.

Ben & Kate ~ FOX Sept. 25 8:30
I was thinking about passing up on this new sitcom from FOX, but two things make me feel like I should check it out: 1) Like I said above, I don’t really have a conflict during the 8-9 primetime hour anyway and 2) Entertainment Weekly listed it as one of the Top 5 Best New Shows. I decided I would give it a chance. Here is a preview of the quirky new sitcom:


Happy Endings ~ ABC Oct. 23 9:00
Happy Endings is actually one of my favorite ABC sitcoms. A group of friends in their late twenties/early thirties navigating through life. It really to me has a more modern feel on the classic Friends. It is witty, a bit fast paced, but well written and has a great cast.

Because the show is premiering a bit later this season, I couldn’t find a new promo for it so I’m posting the promo from the very first season which kind of what starts off the plot of the show…it was good from the start but to be fair I think this show has gotten even better with age!


I was a bit bummed it got moved to Tuesday this year because it is causing some conflict in my TV schedule but I am definitely not dropping it. I would encourage those who enjoy, Friends, New Girl, and Modern Family to give this sitcom a shot. Luckily it is a show that isn’t TOO hard to get into if you haven’t watched from the beginning. There could be a few past reference jokes but for the most part each episode stands on its own pretty well. Plus since it starts late you have time to do some catch up!

New Girl ~ FOX Sept. 25 (Bonus Premiere 8:00, Regular Time 9:00)
Last year…I was ready to skip out on watching New Girl. I thought it looked a little too silly for my taste. But something happened with my line up and I was able to try this show. Boy was my first impression wrong! The first episode made me think I COULD be right about the show…but then it just kept getting better and better! It quickly became one of my favorite new shows last season!


The main character Jess wasn’t as over-quirky as I thought she would be…but more importantly the rest of the cast have their own quirks and they all balance each other out. Schmidt is my absolute favorite character and actor Max Greenfield received a well deserved Emmy Nomination for the role! I’m really excited for the new season. This show won’t get dropped from my busy Tuesday.

Go On ~ NBC Premiered Aug. 8 (Pilot Sneak Peak) and Sept 11 9:00 (Regular Time)
This new NBC sitcom stars Matthew Perry as a sports newscaster who is dealing with the tragic loss of his wife. After a bit of an emotional breakdown…he is forced to try group therapy…and brings his own funny and sarcastic spin to the group and learns to help others and make new friends. Here is the promo if you missed it:


I really would like to watch Go On because I really like Matthew Perry and I enjoyed the second episode that I managed to catch on TV (I missed the original pilot but will be watching it online). However with two of my favorite shows on at 9:00, I don’t have an open spot for it on my DVR. I do plan on trying to keep up with it online. And even though it has premiered already, you can watch both the past 2 episodes {here}. But if I can’t keep up with it…or it doesn’t really impress me….I might have to drop it :-/.

Alright here is where the real race for my DVR recording begins…9:30-10!!

Don’t Trust the B* in Apt 23 ~ ABC Oct. 23 9:30
Don’t Trust the B* in Apt 23 premiered last year in the spring for a short run and it did pretty well. I didn’t have anything in its timeslot so I decided to give it a try and I liked it. Basically an innocent overachiever moves to NYC to pursue her dreams when her life falls apart and she has to bunk up with Chloe in Apt 23. Chloe is a real b****…but the two are kind of like an odd couple who learn from each other. Here is the original promo from the short season last year:


I enjoyed it on Wednesday but it wasn’t my absolute favorite show. It is pretty funny and James Van Der Beek is funny making fun of himself…but this year there are two new shows (with really good potential) that might take it off my DVR list. Luckily for me, it isn’t premiering until later in October so I can give the two following shows a chance. I will be sticking with Don’t Trust the B* if either of those shows don’t work for me. Otherwise I will probably keep up with it online on abc.go.com when I can.

The Mindy Project ~ FOX Sept. 25 9:30
This is one of my more anticipated sitcoms of the new season. I LOVE Mindy Kaling from both The Office (on which she was a writer), her movie appearances, as well as her twitter feed! So I am really excited for her new show The Mindy Project. It looks like a fun show about a young professional woman trying to figure out where her life is going next…I can’t relate to that at all! haha…


I’m excited…hopefully it is as good as I’m anticipating!

The New Normal ~ NBC Sept. 11 9:30
I’m also excited for the show The New Normal about a woman who decides to be a surrogate for a gay couple who wish to have a baby…against her VERY CONSERVATIVE mother’s beliefs…in order to make a new life for her daughter…


I think the concept of this show looks great. As Ryan Murphy production (who creates hits like Glee) I think this show has a lot of potential and I like the possible story lines. I missed the pilot episode and I need to catch up. If you need to as well you can find both past episodes {here}!

Private Practice ~ ABC Sept. 25 10:00
I mentioned this last year…but Private Practice is a bit of a loyalty watch for me. I used to like it a lot more…then the drama went a bit nutty I think. I still find some of the medical situations they deal with very interesting…but on the personal drama of it…I feel like every character has gotten together with every other character….and it seems crazy that they would all still be so close after that. I will be watching Private Practice at 10…but I don’t think it’s a MUST WATCH that I’d be so fast to recommend to anyone…especially this many seasons in.

On the other hand…

Parenthood ~ NBC Sept. 11 10:00
I mentioned last year how Parenthood is one of my favorite dramas…and that is still the case! I love this show! I would really recommend this show to anyone who was a fan of Brothers & Sisters, or even maybe Modern Family. It isn’t a comedy like Modern Family…but this heartwarming family drama has a funny side. It isn’t as dramatic as Brothers & Sisters but it does have that close family vibe.


Parenthood really tries to show all sorts of family situations…particularly focusing on issues dealing with parenting. It is a really great show…and the good news is…the entire series is currently available on instant watch on Netflix!! So record the current season but catch up quickly on Netflix!! If you also just missed the beginning of the current season…you can watch this season’s full episodes on NBC.com {here}.

Phew! Tuesday will be quite a busy night for my DVR! Hopefully my time slot choices (especially for the 9:30 – 10pm slot) becomes more clear as the season starts. I will be sure to update what I stuck with later in the fall! What will you be watching on Tuesdays??? I’ll be back tomorrow to share what I’ll be watching on Wednesdays!

Monday, September 17, 2012

What I’m Watching Mondays {Fall 2012}

Welcome to a week long series where I profile What I’m Watching this Fall TV season! Mondays last year were pretty slow but I think they have a chance to be a BIT busier this year. Here is how Mondays look at the moment:

What I'm Watching Mondays  TV Key

A few things I want to mention about my TV schedule images this year. My DVR has 2 available tuners to record and watch shows. That is why I have an A & B column. Once I have too many shows at one time, I will put them in the “Extra” row and I will detail how I plan on following the show (most likely via full episodes available online). The colors indicate both what network the show is on as well as if it is a new series this year.

So let’s break Monday down:

Dancing with the Stars: All Stars ~ ABC Sept. 24 8:00
Last Fall I watched Dancing with the Stars because I enjoy watching good dancing and Monday was pretty empty anyway. In the Spring for some reason I just couldn’t get into it. But I think I will be watching again this Fall as they are bringing back a lot of favorite celebrities from the past.


To be honest…I’m pretty excited about who they picked for the show. The level of dance should start off high right off the bat. And there are only a couple of stars that I wasn’t a huge fan of from past seasons. I think I’ll be rooting the most for Melissa Rycroft, Shawn Johnson, and Apollo Ohno…but I like a lot of the rest of them too! You can see all the teams {here}. Who will you root for?

Partners ~ CBS Sept. 24 8:30
Partners is a new CBS sitcom about two best friends, one gay and one straight, but they are very close and almost partners in life. Here is a preview from CBS:


I think this show looks like it has a lot of potential being from the creators of Will & Grace. I like the idea behind the friendship story as well. I’m just a little skeptical just because I tend to find CBS’s style of sitcom a bit cheesy. A lot of them (including this one) use laugh tracks which feels a bit out dated to me. But there are a few good shows that use laugh tracks (such as How I Met Your Mother) so this could still be alright. Monday’s are pretty slow for me so this show will get a chance. We will see if it sticks around.

Mob Doctor ~ FOX Sept. 17 9:00
I think this new (medical? crime? combo?) drama from FOX looks interesting. A medical resident owes it big to the Chicago Mob. What will she do when the Mob wants her to off an enemy patient?? What about her oath as a doctor?


Sometimes these type of shows get too bloody or actiony for me. But I think her dilemma sounds interesting. With a pretty empty Monday…I’ll try it out.

What are you watching Mondays? I’ll be back tomorrow with what I’m watching Tuesdays!

Sunday, September 16, 2012

It’s Time for Fall TV!!!

In my two years subscribing to Entertainment Weekly, I have quickly fallen in love with it! And one of my favorite issues of the year came to my door last week!!

Magazine Cover (Sep 21, 2012)
{Source}

The Fall TV Preview issue is key to setting my DVR for the new Fall TV season! I have a few shows that I enjoy during the summer but I can’t wait for fall TV to come back!

This year shows seem to be premiering during different weeks of September. A full September premiere calendar can be found on TVLine.com {here}. But the main premiere week happens after the Emmy’s next Sunday(September 23rd).

This week, starting Monday, I will be bringing back “What I’m Watching” to discuss what shows I have on my Fall TV lineup! With all the new shows….there always looks to be A LOT on my schedule…here is a hint at my current TV Schedule working document…

Initial TV Schedule

I know it really looks like a lot (and its not even complete yet!). But usually a lot of the new shows don’t survive for me. I enjoy a lot of series…so I’m usually pretty picky about what I watch…so we will see how these new shows do…

What do you plan on watching this fall? Let me know in the comments each day this week as I let you know what I’m watching!

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Credit Card "Benefits" {Rants}

When I started this blog almost two years ago I had thought a rant every once in awhile would be fun...not rants about friends or anything....just about silly events that I encounter. I have had a few things occur over that time that I thought it would be fun to rant about but I didn't really get around to it...

Well...this morning something happened that is totally worth a rant...and I'm ready....

{BEGIN RANT}

I have to note that I am fully aware of how credit card companies work and how it is beneficial to them for customers to carry a balance. However, I'm sure they don't try to make this too obvious...usually.

This morning I received an automated phone call saying that there was an important message from my credit card company. There was no issue with my account but I was eligible for an interest rate reduction and if I was interested I should confirm that I would like to talk to a customer service representative.

Thinking this might be a scam, but not wanting to pass up on a lower interest rate, I decided I'd just hear what the rep had to say. I was prepared for some sort of catch...

Rep:  "Good morning ma'am. You are eligible for a permanent interest rate reduction on your Bank of America Credit Card. We are offering you 6% interest as long as you continue to make your payments on time."
[Wow! Great interest rate for my longest standing line of credit! They must be rewarding me for being a long time and good customer! I just have to continue to make on time payments on my $0 balance card? No problem! I'm sure there is a catch somewhere...]

Rep: "Our records indicate that you have a $3000 balance on the card."
[WHAT????? Who stole my card? I have NO balance on this card...he must mean credit limit?]

Me: "Oh no no no...I have no balance on this card."

Rep: "Oh...then my records are showing you have a combined $3000 balance on your other cards..."
[Ummmmmmm no.]

Me: "No I don't have nearly that balance on my other credit cards. There must be some sort of mistake. Do you have the correct customer? Do you know my name?"

Rep: "Yes we have the correct name here."
[Ummmmmmm prove it!]

Me: "Well those are not my balances...what name do you have? Who do you think you called?"

Representative gives me the name of a person. As suspected, I have no idea who this person is or why my number is attached to the account.

Me: "No you have the wrong person." (I give my name).
[Maybe I am still eligible...hey this is a great rate.]

Rep: "I am sorry ma'am. I think our system made a mistake with the phone number."

Me: "Well am I still eligible for this interest rate reduction?"
[Probably not...but hey they screwed up...maybe they will offer it to me anyway.]

Rep: "Yes ma'am you could be eligible but unfortunately you don't have a large enough balance on your card."

Me: "Oh I see, so I don't owe you enough money to qualify for a lower interest rate...got it."
[Thanks for rewarding me for being a long time customer with on time payments and a $0 to low balance...I appreciate it!]

Rep: "Unfortunately ma'am. God willing, next time you will have a large enough balance to get a lower interest rate."
[HAHAHAHA GOD WILLING I will put myself into enough credit card debt??? WOW...best line of the phone call!]

Me: "Uhhh no. I would never HOPE to have that high of a balance on a credit card. Thank you." (I hung up.)

Like I said before, I understand that credit card companies would love for customers to carry a balance so they can get more in interest. So it makes sense that they would attempt to show me that there is a "benefit" to holding a balance. (I put benefit in quotes because obviously paying no interest on $0 balance or higher interest on a much lower balance is much better than driving up your balance to get a lower interest rate....I have a degree in math...it is in no way a benefit).

But with his spin on it was almost insulting..."God willing you will have a large enough balance next time..." hahahaha wow.

And also....wouldn't a lower interest rate encourage a customer who carries no balance to spend more on that particular card??? Just saying....

{END RANT}

This conversation with them this morning was just too good not to share! Anyone else ever have something like this happen? An insulting spin? Silly credit card scam? Let's rant in the comments! I'd love to hear it!

Friday, August 31, 2012

Five Minute Friday {Change}

I came across this blogging activity called "Five Minute Friday" on the blog Lisa-Jo Baker's Tails from a Gypsy Mama via Blue Eyed Bride.

Five Minute Friday

The rules?
1. Write for 5 minutes flat – no editing, no over thinking, no backtracking.
2. Link back on her blog.
3. And then visit the person who linked up before you & encourage them in their comments.


I tend to be both long winded and a profectionist...so I thought linking up with this activity might be a great blogging exersize for me! So bear with me if this post is random, or cryptic, and has tons of grammar errors. I am going to try to stick to the rules as much as possible! So here I go...I'm setting the timer...

This week's theme: Change.

Ready...set...go!

I like to think I'm the type of person who really likes change, embraces it. I took pride in that part of myself in my younger years. I was proud that I wanted to be away from home for college. I was excited to do a semester in Australia. I was ready to graduate and head to the next stage of my life (grad school) when college was ending.

But thinking back on it now, especially in recent years, change makes me really uncomfortable. I know it's a necessary part of life. But when I develop close friendships or comfortable habits....I don't like when those things really change.

Growing apart from friends is really painful for me. I think its the worst kind of change. Although I do think that it can be necessary...it has been for me...as much as I really truly hate it.

But I know things can't always stay the same...or else we wouldn't have anything to look forward to...there wouldn't be room for anything new....

Done!

Ohhhhhh man when that timer went of!! Bah! I had more to say!!! I wanted to elaborate! But there you have it...my open and honest mind rambling about change....written in 5 minutes flat! I think I'll do more of these....