Monthly Archives: November 2014

Wedding Wednesday: Alex and Izzie from “Grey’s Anatomy”

So my friend Macy writes an awesome blog called To Travel and Beyond, and as she is prepping for her wedding and growing her wedding planning business, she does something called “Wedding Wednesday.”  As of yet, I am not getting married, but I super love weddings in movies and on television, so I’ve decided to talk about my favorite TV and movie weddings every Wednesday!  For the first week we have…Alex Karev and Izzie Stevens from Grey’s Anatomy.

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Alex and Izzie started their surgical residencies at Seattle Grace at the same time.  They were very off and on during their first few years, which is what happens when one of them has a boyfriend, then the other cheats, then first one gets engaged to a dying man and the second one falls in love with a crazy burn victim.  Finally, however, the two of them find their way back to each other…just in time for Izzie to develop a type of skin cancer that spreads to her brain.
Alex is (mostly) supportive during Izzie’s illness, although a little freaking out is understandable when the woman you love is dying, and your boss is asking if you want to donate sperm in order to fertilize her eggs (just in case).  The only thing keeping Izzie going is planning Meredith and Derek’s wedding–a huge wedding that neither of them want.  Finally, Meredith, Bailey, Derek and Alex think of a great idea–flip the wedding to make it Alex and Izzie’s wedding!
 Here’s how it all came to be and the beautiful wedding itself (have tissues ready):
Video via Youtube

I have linked up with To Travel and Beyond for:


Top 10 Tuesday: Top 10 Books on my Winter TBR

One of the perks of my new job (other than the fact that it’s fulfilling, it allows me to really use my education knowledge and it’s chock-full of incredibly brilliant coworkers) is that I get there by taking long, winding farm roads.  My commute is approximately an hour a day, which might sound awful, but it’s actually peaceful, AND it gives me time to catch up on my books on CD!

This winter, I’m definitely going to tackle a bunch of books that I wanted to read (listen to) in 2014/5.  Here are the 10 that I’m most excited to start:

1. Choose Your Own Autobiography by Neil Patrick Harris

Oh Doogie.  Oh Barney.  Oh NPH, you are a genius!  First of all, if you grew up in the 80’s (or you were a customer at the bookstore where I worked and therefore had the series of books pushed upon you), then you knew and loved the Choose Your Own Adventure series.  Imaging that NPH alludes to this and tells the story of his life and success at the same time just further proves why he’s so beloved.

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2. Yes Please by Amy Poehler
I’m so excited that I just put this book on reserve at my local library!  After reading Tina Fey’s Bossypants (which BTW is incredibly excellent and should be read RIGHT NOW), I looked to the geniuses at Amazon to find out what I should read next.  Apparently, if I liked Bossypants, then I would like Yes Please.  Um, a book written by the incredible woman who introduced me to Leslie Knope and Caitlin with the supportive stepfather among many, many other characters?!  There’s nothing else to say but “YES PLEASE!”
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3. As You Wish: Inconceivable Tales from the Making of The Princess Bride by Cary Elwes
The Princess Bride is one of my all-time favorite movies.  As a little girl (and teenager…and adult), I was totally infatuated with Cary Elwes, otherwise known as the gorgeous Westley.  Now, the man behind the “Man in Black” has written a book about the making of the film.  I’m hoping it’s just all about how he wished that he could have met his real life Buttercup named Lauren.
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4. Three Minutes in Poland: Discovering a Lost World in a 1938 Family Film by Glenn Kurtz
When listening to NPR the other day (yes I am the type of person who occasionally turns on NPR), I heard the author of this book discussing how it came to be.  Apparently, he found an old family film and when it was colorized and brought into focus, it appeared to be 3 minutes of footage from a town in Poland right before World War II started.  The author was able to meet up with some of the people in the film, and the stories that came from these folks sound like they will be quite fascinating.
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5. How Google Works by Eric Schmidt
Okay, I’ll admit it: I’m curious about Google.  It really just seems like an office Wonderland, and even though I have zero interest in becoming a corporate stooge, I wouldn’t mind finding out how to have a Mario-themed office.
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6. Pioneer Girl: The Annotated Autobiography by Laura Ingalls Wilder
Strangely enough, I just called myself a “2014 Laura Ingalls Wilder” the other day, as I spend the majority of my evenings quilting, reading or knitting (although I know that LIW didn’t have episodes of Parenthood to watch while doing these things).  Because of this and my love of the Little House on the Prairie books and tv series, I am very excited to read this book.
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7. Leaving Time by Jodi Picoult
When I worked at a bookshop several years ago, one of my coworkers told me that Dick Francis books were his guilty pleasure.  He added, “Dick Francis is my Jodi Picoult,” which was in reference to JP being my guilty pleasure.  The plotlines of her books are often similar (the characters always end up in a courtroom), but I still enjoy the stories and find that few people do as much research into works of fiction as Jodi Picoult.
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8. Funny Girl by Nick Hornby
Besides William Shakespeare, Nick Hornby is my favorite author of all time.  I absolutely adore High Fidelity, Slam and all of his other works (except Juliet Naked, which wasn’t one of my faves).  Anyway, when I saw that he came out with a new book, I was extremely excited and am having a hard time waiting to read it!
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9. An Abundance of Katherines by John Green
If you’re a regular reader of this blog, you’ll know that I was blown away by John Green’s A Fault in Our Stars.  I was also fortunate enough to be introduced to this author in graduate school when I was assigned to read Looking For Alaska.  If the characters in An Abundance of Katherines are even remotely as compelling as those in the other two novels, then I will surely be hooked!
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10. Heroes for My Daughter by Brad Meltzer
When this book first came out a few years ago, I was so touched by the concept of it.  Brad Meltzer, who typically writes political suspense novels, was writing a book for his daughter, describing women who SHOULD be heroes (like Amelia Earhart) to dissuade her from idolizing those who SHOULD NOT be heroes (like Kim Kardashian).  I have been meaning to read this book, but this winter, I will finally accomplish the task.
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What are you looking forward to reading?  Do you have more suggestions for me?
I linked up with The Broke and the Bookish for 

Memory Monday: Big Wheelin’

I must sadly admit that I did not learn to ride a bike without training wheels until I was about 10 years old.  By this point, my brother (who is two years younger than I am) was already tearing up the streets, popping wheelies and, um, whatever other cool things you can do with a bike when you’re 7 years old.  Because this fact is embarrassing, I would rather talk about my favorite bike of all time: my Big Bird Big Wheel.

Image via Muppet Wiki
I was a HUGE fan of Sesame Street as a kid, and what could be better than riding around with one of your favorite characters?
I’ll tell you what would be better–having this as a horn!
Image via eBay
What was your first bike like?
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Memory Monday: A Most Helpful Note

Currently, I work for a company where I help to write curriculum, but I used to be a middle school teacher.  As I have a late birthday in the year, I was 21 when I started, making me only 8 years older than the students that I taught at the time.  As much as I loved teaching in later years, that first year was tough–these kids knew that I was new and nervous, and they were chomping at the bit to try and make me crack.  Some days, they were successful.

One week, early in that school year, I was particularly overwhelmed.  I was sitting at my desk with my head in my hands…and then I noticed the note.  On an index card in the corner of my desk was a note that read “Don’t worry, it will get better.”  A mini Snickers bar was attached to the card.  My eyes welled up with tears, as I was so appreciative of this tiny but powerful gift.  I kept that card for the four years that I taught at that school, and the writer of the note was correct: things soon got much better.

Has anyone ever left you a note like this one?

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Top 10 Tuesday: Top 10 Secondary Characters Who Need Their Own Show/Book/Movie

Have you ever been reading a book or watched a television show or movie and thought, “Man, why are they wasting so much time with the main character when so-and-so is WAY more interesting?”  Well, if you’ve ever had that thought, then today’s Top 10 list is for you—and even if you haven’t thought that, just read this list anyway. 
1.     Milhouse Van Houten from The Simpsons
It’s hard not to love the incredibly awkward sidekick of Bart Simpson.  Anyone who signs a yearbook, “See you in the car, Best Wishes, Milhouse” gets my vote for his own show.  I would love to see what Milhouse is like outside of his devotion to Bart and amorous attentiveness towards Lisa.
2. Mellie Grant from Scandal
I’m not sure if it’s the character of Mellie or the amazingness of Bellamy Young who portrays her, but the First Lady is just as fierce and tough as Olivia Pope.  She may be a little on the crazy side after losing her son, but when she needs to be on her A-game, there’s nothing that can get in her way.  And maybe if she had her own show, then Mellie could do something about her big hair…
3.     Ron Weasley from the Harry Potter series

Image via The Toast
I have nothing against Harry Potter.  The Boy Who Lived is absolutely fantastic, but in a very Milhouse way, Ron Weasley is so awkwardly loveable, and I would definitely read a book that focused on this red-headed wonder.
4.     Riff from West Side Story

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The love story of Tony and Maria is pure, innocent romance, but I just know that there is more to Riff.  I would love to see a movie that shows the backstory of this tough little hooligan, chronicling how he became involved with the Jets, befriended Tony and even how he found love with his girlfriend (who knows, maybe their love is just as genuine as Tony and Maria’s).

5. Sam from The Perks of Being a Wallflower

Image via Book Riot

As sweet and befuddled as the narrator Charlie is, I find that the character of Sam in Chbosky’s novel has a backstory that is much more interesting.  She tells Charlie some of the stories from her past, and we can infer some others, but I want to know what her relationship with Craig was like and how her and Patrick’s families merged.  Charlie’s life may be very traumatic, but I think that Sam has even bigger stories to tell.

6. Logan Huntzberger from Gilmore Girls

Image via Glamour

I’ll admit it–I’ve always had a smidge of a crush on fair-haired Logan, but seriously, he could definitely handle his own show.  I am curious to see what he did out in California, and I secretly would love it if he and Rory crossed paths again.  If the show started in his younger days, I can only assume that his high school days would be a mix of School Ties, Dead Poets Society and A Separate Peace.

7. Eponine from Les Miserables

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Eponine is one of the most heartbreakingly wonderful characters in all of literature.  Someone who truly gave her life to make the man she loved happy.  But I know that before her life became a wreck, she was an adored and favored child for years–and then what happened once her family started going broke?  I know how her life ends, but I’m curious about her earlier days of existence.

8. Mike Hannigan from Friends

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Of course everyone started loving Paul Rudd as soon as he stole our hearts in Clueless.  My favorite role of his was that of Mike Hannigan, the man who would eventually wed the quirky Phoebe Buffay on Friends.  If the show went back to his first marriage and his days as a lawyer…well, those days seem interesting at the very least.  But I’m more curious to see how married life with Phoebe (after he gives up the name Crap Bag) would go.

9. Isaac from The Fault in Our Stars

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After losing his eyesight in The Fault in Our Stars, what happens to Isaac?  Does he ever get over his wretched girlfriend?  I would like to imagine that he meets a new love of his life…but how will we know unless he gets his own book?

10. Hooch from Scrubs

Because, you know…

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Even though it’s technically Wednesday, I started this yesterday so–

I joined in on–

Memory Monday: Supermarket Edition

Is anyone out there ridiculously nostalgic?  Oh come on, you KNOW you are!
As this is a blog about all things that I like, I found that it would only be fitting to add a weekly dose of memories that I “like” to this delightful column.  I’m calling it Memory Mondays and feel free to link up with me!
For this week’s memory, I’m going WAY back to when I was a little girl.  My grandfather (whom I called Zaydie, which is Yiddish for “grandfather”) would take me to the grocery store at least once a week.  He was known for getting the great bargains and using coupons as much as humanly possible, which meant that we were frequent guests at all of our local supermarkets. 
Typically, I was an obedient child, but there was one time that a flashy box of cereal caught my eye, and I wandered away from my grandfather.  When I could tear myself away from the colorful box, I realized that I was alone and panicked!  Where was my grandfather???  With as many times as I had been in this store, you would think that I would remember his typical grocery store routine, but at this point, panic amnesia kicked in, and I had no clue as to where he could be found.
After a minute, my brain turned to the most logical place for answers: Sesame Street.  Big Bird, Snuffy and the rest taught me that when you’re lost, go to a grown up and ask for help.  So, I ambled to the front of the store (okay, it was more of a run than an amble) and asked one of the cashiers to help me find my grandfather.
Here’s the kicker: I didn’t know his name.  So I asked them to page “Zaydie.”
Zaydie came to the front of the store and couldn’t even be too angry at me for wandering off, since it was WAY too adorable that I had “Zaydie” paged to the front of the door.  My family still tells this story today, and it’s finally gotten to a point where I don’t feel foolish and instead just smile. 

Link up with me for Memory Mondays!


Top 10 Tuesday: Top 10 Books That I Want to Reread

Oh reading…

When I was a little girl, my grandmother used to take me to the library several times a week, and I would pile my arms with books which I would bring home and immediately start reading.  Hey, there’s a reason why I won awards for the ungodly amount of books that I would devour in a summer.
One of the downfalls of being a grown-up, however, is the severe lack of time allotted for pleasure reading.  I loved being in grad school because taking classes focused on young adult literature required me to read.  Now, however, I find that most of my reading is done with my ears instead of my eyes–since I have a long commute to work (oh the joys of country life), I have reignited my relationship with books on CD.  
Nonethelesss, were I to be given a chance to reread some of my favorites (perhaps in a hammock by the ocean?), here would be my top 10 picks (in no particular order):
1. Anne’s House of Dreams by Lucy Maud Montgomery
As a young girl, I read about the mischievous and adventurous exploits of Anne Shirley, and so when I finally was able to reach the fifth book in the series, I was so glad to see that she and the beloved Gilbert Blythe were married and ready to start a family.  
2. The Giver by Lois Lowry
To be fair, I have already reread this book several times, as I taught it to my 8th graders.  However, each time I read it, I am more intrigued by the rules of the dystopian society and how one young boy is able to push past those who might stifle his basic human rights.  And for those of you who have also read the book, I like to imagine that the ending is happy, not sad.
3. The Hunger Games Trilogy by Suzanne Collins
Before the movies came out, I worked in an independent bookstore, and some of the younger workers were obsessed with this trilogy.  Once I finally gave in to the hype and read them, too, I could see why the books are so lauded and why every girl wants to be Katniss Everdeen.
4. The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger
There’s love, there’s true love, and then there’s the love of Henry and Claire.  Any couple that can power through a relationship where one of its members leaves and travels through time must be one that’s not only worth reading about, but one that’s worth emulating.
5. Beach Music by Pat Conroy
I used to read this book over and over when I was younger, but I haven’t picked up this tale of the lineage of a southern family in quite a few years.  I think it’s time that I revisit it.
6. Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? by Mindy Kaling
It takes a lot to make me laugh out loud at a book, but dang, Mindy Kaling, mission accomplished!
7. Bossypants by Tina Fey
Read the previous description but subsitute Tina Fey’s name.
8. The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
Some people find Salinger pretentious–I find Salinger to be REMARKABLE.
9. Nine Stories by J.D. Salinger
Once again, read the previous description, and give this book a chance, even though you probably haven’t heard of it, since it isn’t The Catcher in the Rye or Franny and Zoey.
10. Les Miserables by Victor Hugo
When I was in 9th grade, I was supposed to read this book.  I read the first chapter (sort of) and then bombed a term paper about it, as I tried to pretend that I had some idea of what happened in the book.  Then I saw the musical, went back and read the book and realized that I should have given it a chance the first time.
What would you reread if you could?

The Survey Says…!

I like free stuff.  Seriously, though, who doesn’t like free stuff?  I also like sharing my opinions, and when you put the two together, you get two of my favorite websites.

A little more than a year ago, my good friend Macy asked me if I had heard of a website called Swagbucks.  I had not, so I visited the site and was soon completely hooked.  Basically, by taking surveys, writing reviews, watching videos, using a search engine and shopping, you can earn points which you can later trade in for gift cards!  Just by answering some survey questions on Swagbucks, I’ve earned plenty of gift card money to Walmart, Amazon and PayPal!

Once Macy saw how much I enjoyed Swagbucks, she told me about Influenster.  Influenster is much like Swagbucks, in that you write reviews and take surveys.  The part that I enjoy the most about Influenster though are the Vox Boxes!  Basically, Influenster will send you a box full of things to test out, and if you like them, then you can talk about them on social media or your blog (like I’m doing here lol).  Basically, the folks behind this site want to use your “influence” in order to promote products.  And hey, let’s be honest, I don’t mind promoting a product if I get some of said product for free 😉

Do you know of any websites that offer services/perks like this?