Thursday, February 26, 2009

Happy Dance

Happy Birthday to Lil's Auntie Lizzy! In her honor Lily will do a Birthday dance.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Tuesday (usually Monday) Movie Madness

Woops, I forgot to get to Movie Madness on Monday! I suppose Tuesday night is better than nothing.

As per my Oscar predictions I am sitting at 3 out of 5. I am at peace with these stats considering I only watched 1/4 of the films nominated this past year. Slumdog Millionare was this year's big winner and rightly so. Sean Penn was an obvious winner for his portrayal in Milk. I find it interesting that if an actor really desires to win an oscar all they need to do is to play a character that is either gay, persecuted, dying, handicap or have some type of inner turmoil. According to the Academy great actors don't do comedies.

Now onto the really important part of the awards... the dresses. This year was all about the glitz and glamour. A near depression-like economy did not stop these lovely starlets from adorning themselves with sequins, billowy ball gowns and decadent diamonds. These are my picks for the best dressed and also those who would have fared better to wear a paper bag:

Best Dressed:
Sarah Jessica Parker- She knocked them dead this year with a vavavoom ball gown encrusted with silver detailing. This dress made me ponder whether or not Sarah Jessica had visited the plastic surgeon in recent months (if you know what I mean).

Penelope Cruz- Penelope would be a stunner even if she wrapped herself in newspaper and a plastic bag, but she looked especially elegant in a demure vintage gown. I am still not convinced that she deserved the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress but I would love to borrow her dress for an upcoming party.

Worst Dressed:
Natalie Portman- Natalie Portman is one of the world's true natural beauties but even beautiful women can occasionally choose a horifficly ugly dress. She wore a purpley/pink chiffon number that screamed prom 1995. Come on Natalie, we know you can do better than that. But on second thought, Ben usually thinks you are pretty cute so maybe you should stick to purple/pink gowns...

Angelina Jolie- Ok, so maybe it was not the worst dress of the night, but does this woman own clothing in anything other than black? I am so bored by her right now. If she wears another long, clingy, black dress to an awards show I think that I am going to have to gauge my eyes out from the dullness that is Angelina's wardrobe.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Girl After My Own Heart

Caught in the act.

Yes Lily, there is a God and He wants for you to have the desires of your heart... shoes, many shoes.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

All the Glitz and Glamour

It's that time of year again, award shows galore! Here are my picks for a few of tonight's categories. I will go into more detail about the winners in Movie Madness Monday tomorrow.

Best Actor
Sean Penn, for Milk

Best Actress

Meryl Streep, for Doubt

Supporting Actor
Heath Ledger, for Dark Knight

Supporting Actress
Marissa Tomei, for The Wrestler

Best Picture

Slumdog Millionare

Think I am on to something? We shall see tonight. Happy Oscars!

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Saturday Musings

How much is ambiance worth to you? Is it worth paying an extra $40 for the exact same meal? These were some of the questions I was faced with today while indulging in a typical Victoria afternoon of High Tea.

It is a well known fact that tourists flock to the Empress Hotel for its renowned High Tea. For those of you unfamiliar with this quasi-British concept, people stuff their face for about an hour with delicacies such as cucumber sandwiches, scones with cream and other various starchy/sugary items. This is all served on a 3 tiered platter and washed down with tea. While at the Empress Hotel, diners enjoy their tea and goodies while being serenaded by live music and looking out over the view of Victoria's inner harbor. The atmosphere is superb but with a price tag of $60 per person you would hope the tea was made with crushed gold flakes.

Fast forward to this afternoon. Rather than hobnobbing at the Empress I checked out the White Heather Tea room with a couple of local ladies. The place was a bit on the 'grandma' side of decor but the same sugary treats and tempting tea. Here is the kicker.. you can indulge for $17 per person.

I am an admittedly frugal person and I understand that there are times where Chez Whatever is more desirable than Red Robin, but comparable food for $40 more? I can't help but think of all of the clothes I can buy at Target or Ross with $40. Interesting how I always think of savings in terms of shoes and new clothing...

Friday, February 20, 2009

Saved by the Weave

Yet another good reason to attach a stranger's locks to your own...

Secret Life of Lily: Part 3

This Top Secret photo is courtesy of Lil's Uncle Robert. He was able to capture the exact moment when Lil was catapulted in a blast off the Atlantic Coast, while on one of her Secret Missions.

For other Secret Life of Lily moments you can click here and also here.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

This is Me Today

A picture says a thousand words.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Monday Movie Madness

Confessions of a Shopaholic
I am a die-hard Sophie Kinsella fan so when I discovered that her bestselling book, Confessions of a Shopaholic, was being made into a movie I was thrilled to bits. The book made me laugh out loud, so surely the movie would be fantastic, right?

Confessions of a Shopaholic follows the mishaps of shopper extraordinaire Becky Bloomwood. In the film adaptation of Shopaholic, Becky finds herself working as a journalist for a finance magazine while simultaneously shopping herself into deep debt. During the course of the movie we watch Becky shop, fall in love and wear several zany outfits. This is where my tirade begins...

The movie was a complete waste of 2 hours - not to mention completely inappropriate in a time of economic turmoil when people are more concerned about becoming homeless rather than spending $500 on a pair of Louboutin heels. The movie was a very 'loose' version of the book- the characters have the same names but that's about it. The script was atrocious, the characters were downright irritating and Becky's outfits were tacky. In a nutshell, save your money because staying home and cleaning your toilet is more enjoyable than sitting through this tragic flick.
Grade: D-

Friday, February 13, 2009

Some Valentines Cheese

I am laying it on thick this year. Happy Valentines One and All!

Ode to Lil
My baby girl you are my world
I live to squeeze your chubby face
You crawl around the house like you're in a constant race.

You teach me how to love
You are my greatest gift from up above.

Ode to Ben
Ben you are heaven sent
I live to see your bright smile
I plan on loving you for a long, long while.

You are more than I deserve
You give my world such pizazz and verve

I am the WORST cat owner ever

My poor cat. I feel bad for her while at the same time loathing her presence in my household.

We adopted Bella 5 years ago and for the most part she has been my baby. Ben and I went for a walk past a pet store one evening and I insisted that we take this ball of apricot colored fluff home immediately. After that night Bella became a permanent fixture on the arm of our sofa.

Then the day came that we brought home the human baby from the hospital and Bella's world changed forever. I could not be bothered to give the cat attention or care. The fact that she would try and sit in my lap and make me pet her while I was trying to take care of a helpless 2 week old irritated me to no end. In a moment of insanity I even put up a classified ad on Used Victoria trying to pawn off my cat to a new owner. I had many responses but in the end I felt guilty and couldn't follow through with my devious plan. I mean technically Bella was not doing anything wrong except being a cat.

I figured that I would feel differently towards Bella once my baby was a bit older but I have become conflicted about this animal. Ironically enough, the baby is the only person in our household enamored by the cat.

So my dear readers I guess in my own way I am crying out for suggestions? Advice? Perhaps even an offer of adoption? A girl can dream.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Welcome to the World

Little Mathias Logan Gulbrandsen was born yesterday morning to excited parents Roy and Renee and big brother Anders. What a sweet little guy!

Pretty soon he will be hanging out with these two and getting into more cousin shenanigans.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Monday Movie Madness

Ben and I took advantage of babysitting by brave grandparents and a got a chance to catch a couple of new releases. Nothing beats sitting in a dark movie theater sans baby.

Slumdog Millionare
There has been a lot of hype in the media about this sleeper hit. Slumdog Millonare is based on the life of a young man, named Jamal, who is born into the slums of Mumbai, India. During the course of the movie Jamal becomes a contestant on India's version of 'Who Wants to be Millonaire' and ends up being arrested and interrogated for correctly answering all of the questions on the game show. During the interrogation, Jamal's history is unfolded for the viewer and explains how he is able to accurately answer questions that would stump even India's greatest Lawyers and Doctors.

Slumdog lives up to all of the hype and more- I was blown away. This movie has the perfect mix of humor, emotion, action, amazing cinematography and a decent soundtrack. The storyline catches you from the get-go and keeps moving until you don't even realize that two hours have flown by. The movie is directed by Danny Boyle who has either directed or produced movies such as The Beach, 28 Days Later and Trainspotting. Boyle is well-versed in dealing with dark subject matter, but this movie is refreshingly uplifting considering some of the issues that it tackles.

Slumdog Millionare is worth spending two hours of your life and $10 of your hard-earned cash to check it out on the big screen. Happy Viewing.

Grade: A

When I first saw the trailer for this movie I thought to myself ' Lame, this looks like a rip-off of Mel Gibson's Ransom.' But Ben and I like Liam Neeson, the star of Taken, and decided to see the movie with low expectations of anything spectacular.

Taken revolves around Neeson's character (an ex-CIA agent) who feels guilty for choosing to focus on his career rather than being involved in his daughter's life. While attempting to salvage his pathetic relationship with his daughter, she is mysteriously kidnapped while vacationing in France. During the course of the movie Neeson must call upon his CIA skills and kick some serious butt to free his child from a human trafficking operation.

If you enjoy old-school James Bond movies and gratuitous action sequences then you will love Taken. If you are more inclined to check out Jennifer Aniston's latest flick, you will probably hate it. Ben loved this movie and wanted to come home and shoot a few aliens on XBox after getting all pumped up. I was rather ambivalent about the whole affair. Taken is pure action from start to finish and filled with retributive rage. If you are looking for something light and easy to watch I would suggest seeing a different movie.

Grade: C

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Hot Off the Press

I am going to delve into some of the latest breaking 'baby news' that is happening in our little world right now.

Lily Joy is now officially 9 months old. She is crawling like a maniac, trying to steal our food and barking at our cat. She also loves other babies and kids and enjoys tackling them in her playroom. Lily is a tall girl. She wears 18 month old clothes and is off the charts for height. We bought her a ball and tell her to practice hand eye coordination since she will be playing volleyball or basketball.

We went to Lily's BFF Danica's 1st Birthday party today. I am still debating whether our kid is going to get a party because honestly I don't think that I am cut out for it. Danica's mom did a great job of keeping calm and pretending like it didn't bother her that 16 mini hooligans were ripping apart her house.

In cousin 'baby news' Lily is going to have 2 more Boy cousins in the next few months. The newest Gulbrandsen cousin will be making his debut this Monday and Lil's Aunt Tiff will be having a little boy in June. Lily does not have any cousins of the gentler sex yet, but she is OK with this since she enjoys football and wrestling.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Monday Movie Madness

When Ben and I started dating our first outing was watching a movie (not a very good movie at that). This tradition continues now that we have been with each other for nearly 10 years. We watch lots of movies. When we were first married and had no cable (or cash) we would go to the Clova Cheap Theater in Langley. We could watch recently released double features for $5 per person. Now that we have a young'n residing in our home we are back to renting. Each Monday I am going to try to review recent flicks that we have viewed. I know that as I am posting my reviews it is technically Tuesday ( 12:00am) but it still seems like Monday since I have not gone to bed yet.

To kick off our feature's inaugural run I am going to share my thoughts on The Duchess and Ghost Town.

The Duchess
The Duchess is a biopic period piece featuring the ever so dramatic Keira Knightely.
The movie chronicles the life of the 18th century aristocrat Georgiana Duchess of Devonshire. In real life, the Duchess was renowned for her flamboyant sense of fashion, her politics, her gambling and her lively personal life. Definitely an interesting person to learn more about.

I find that period movies tend to run at a slower pace, yet the Duchess successfully clicked along never leaving the viewer feeling bored. Keira Knightely did a fantastic job of portraying Georgiana in all her splendor. The costumes were breathtaking- minus Knightely's unsightly caterpillar eyebrows. Maybe obnoxiously thick eyebrows were in fashion during this time in history?
Grade: B

Ghost Town
Ghost Town is a dark comedy that centers around an antisocial dentist, Bertram Pincus(played by the British Office's Ricky Gervais), who dies for 7 minutes and wakes up with the ability to see and speak to ghosts. During the course of the movie Pincus befriends Greg Kinnear's ghost and manages to fall in love with Kinnear's widow.

For dealing with macabre subject matter, Ghost Town proves to be a surprisingly uplifting and pleasant comedy. Ben was not super thrilled to rent this comedy assuming that it would be lame but even he enjoyed it. So if you are looking for a light comedy to watch with your significant other this movie is a winner.
Grade: B+

Monday, February 2, 2009

Weekend Top 5

1. My parents decided to visit for a few days.
2. Ben and I pretended we did not have a child and went to movies and dinner.
3. We had our first baby-free night and stayed at a hotel in our own city.
3. My hair is really blonde again. Can't decide if I am sold on it.
4. My hair caught fire. I can still smell it.
5. I despise football even more. A game that has 10 minutes left on the clock but translates into another 30 minutes of hanging around and waiting should be banned.