Monday, December 31, 2012

Apple TV

So my whole life is different thanks to Apple TV. Okay that's clearly an exaggeration, but it has definitely revamped my whole television-watching experience. 

Lewis and I have decided that 2013 is the year that we need to really crack down on finances. We have plenty and it's not really an issue with that, it's more an issue with having lots of student debt & wanting to pay that off ASAP. So we looked for big ways to cut costs. We have been paying $100 a month for Directv. We had the plan with all the regular cable channels and the Encore movie channels. We did not have HBO or Showtime or anything like that. We had 2 HD-DVR boxes. We also paid $20 a month for a Blockbuster online account where we could have 3 DVDs at a time.

We heard about Apple TV from my friend Emily. Basically you buy the Apple TV box and pay for Hulu Plus and Netflix streaming, which is a total of $16 a month. At first I wasn't crazy about this idea, but when you take into consideration the difference of $80 a month, it'd have to be pretty awful for me to not want to do it. I looked into it and with Hulu Plus, I will be able to watch all my favorite shows with the exception of the shows I watch on Bravo, like Million Dollar Decorators or Million Dollar Listing. I also won't be able to watch White Collar when it comes on, but the DVDs are on Netflix once the season is over. I can deal with that.

I did notice that Netflix streaming doesn't have the new movies that comes out on DVD. For that, we decided to keep our $20 a month for Blockbuster. The reason why I prefer Blockbuster online over just paying extra for Netflix through the mail is because we have unlimited in-store exchanges at a Blockbuster store and we live close to one of the best Blockbuster stores - that is actually still operating & doing well!

Overall, we are saving $80 a month. We bought 2 Apple TV boxes with Christmas money, one for each TV, and are now paying monthly for our Hulu Plus, Netflix and Blockbuster online subscriptions. I'm working on a list of Netflix movies and Hulu Plus tv shows that I want to watch! I'm excited about this!

Friday, November 16, 2012

One Tree Hill: This is Your Life

I just finished watching the series finale of One Tree Hill. Yes, it ended several months ago and I'm just now watching it, but it took me some time to be ready to watch it. Honestly, I was mad that there was a 9th season. I thought they ended it so great with season 8 when Jamie was running across the bridge bouncing the basketball like Lucas did at the beginning of the show. I thought that was a perfect way to end it. I was wrong. I'm not sure why I didn't trust them after 9 years of providing moments that just fit perfectly with my life.

I think One Tree Hill represents everything I love about television. For one thing, television grows with you. That show was on for 9 years. I started watching it at Season 2 and stuck with it for every season after that, except obviously season 9. I remember how I felt the first time I saw Brooke & Lucas kiss. I remember how excited, but mad I was about Lucas & Peyton. I went back & forth with them for years. I always loved Haley & Nathan & I remember hoping I could be as loving, understanding & wise as Haley always seemed to be in her relationships. I hated Nanny Carrie along with everyone else. I rooted for Lucas & Peyton. I laughed with Brooke & always loved it when she got mad! I adored Jamie when he came along in season 5. I was very early in my pregnancy with Isis when Peyton was pregnant in Season 6 - talk about something that'll scare you to death!

I have so many memories of watching this show with friends. I watched the first season on DVD with my friend Courtney. We introduced the show to our friends and I have lots of memories of watching it each week in our apartment with a big group of people. Lewis and I were newly married, living with our friend Ian, and our apartment was the gathering place for most of our friend group. What great memories, looking back on those times.

It's interesting how a show can speak so directly to so many different people. That's what's beautiful about media in general, be it television, movies, books or music, and I think what I like the most about One Tree Hill is that it incorporated all of that. You can't really think of One Tree Hill without thinking about the music. Every episode's title is a song title. The name of the show itself came from a song lyric. They had musicians playing regularly on the show, introducing me to new music and musicians I still love. One Tree Hill is how I discovered Ray LaMontagne, who is my absolute favorite!

It also has lots of quotes from books that I love. I watched the commentary with the creator, Mark Schwahn, that was on the hour before the finale premiered on the CW. He talked about how the first episode has this quote from Shakespeare and he found it so appealing because the quote was relevant both at Shakespeare's time, and also in the modern day world of these high schoolers in Tree Hill. How perfect. How true. I hope to teach my daughters that classic literature and intelligent creation of any kind is relevant beyond generational lines. A good movie is still a good movie 20, 30 or 50 years later. A good song can still to speak to someone's granddaughter as much as it spoke to them.

For that reason, when my girls are teenagers, I think they'll love watching this show. Sure the clothes will probably look outdated at that point, but I think there are things about this show that will appeal to teenagers many years from now. We all are looking for that group of friends who is more like family - that group of people who sticks together no matter what. There can be drama, fights, pain, brokenness and still there can be that same bond that pulls you back in when it feels like you're done.

Same thing for me with this show, it pulled me back in even after I thought I was done. I have now watched the last 20 minutes of the finale episode 3 times. Gavin DeGraw singing the theme song while you see all the characters sing at the top of their lungs while it also cuts to video of them just hanging out together, grown up, with children, just living their lives and moving on together. Then gathering at the end to see the next generation basketball star (Jamie Scott) enter the court for his last game. This makes me appreciate things about my life as I look back. Nothing about high school can define me so much that I can't be a bigger and better person as I grow. Bad decisions or mistakes or pain can't change the future of my relationships. My children will grow and change and so will I. Life. Moves. On. And that's a good thing.

Thank you, One Tree Hill, for sharing 9 years of life with me. I like to believe that you're all still living on in Tree Hill. I'll think of you from time to time.

This is the last quote from show and I love it. It's all the fabulousness of One Tree Hill - a little sweet, a little cheesy, a little perfect.
"It's the oldest story in the world: one day you're 17 and praying for someday - and then quietly, without ever really noticing, someday is today and then someday is yesterday and this is your life.
We spent so much time wanting, pursuing, wishing, but ambition is good. Chasing things with integrity is good. Dreaming.
If you had a friend you knew you'd never see again, what would you say? If you could do one last thing for someone you love, what would it be? Say it. Do it. Don't wait. Nothing lasts forever.
Make a wish and place it in your heart. Anything you want. Everything you want. 
Do you have it? Good. Now believe it can come true.
You never know where the next miracle is going to come from.
The next memory. The next smile. The next wish come true.
But if you believe that it's right around the corner, if you open your heart and your mind to the possibility of it. The certainty of it.
You just might get the thing you wish for.
The world is full of magic. You just have to believe in it.
So make your wish. Do you have it? Good. Now believe in it. With all your heart."

Friday, August 24, 2012

Fall TV 2012

Ah, it's that time of year again...Fall TV time! I love preparing for my new shows!! This post will be jam-packed with info related to my TV watching. There are many great shows I've heard of that I don't watch, so they aren't included. But for a full list of Fall TV premieres and new shows, check out TV Guide!

First of all, let's discuss the run-down of favorites, regulars & those I'm just trying out.

These are the shows I will watch every week and I don't miss!
Gossip Girl
New Girl
Modern Family
Big Bang Theory
The Vampire Diaries
American Idol (mid-season)

These are the shows that I will be DVRing, most likely all year. They all get watched, but sometimes I'll be backed up a week or two and have to catch up one Saturday!
How I Met Your Mother
The Office
Saturday Night Live
Once Upon a Time

Giving it a Shot
These shows are either new shows that I'm trying out this year (new shows are italicized) or they are shows I've been watching for the last few years, but I may stop watching them this year, depending on how the season goes.
Two Broke Girls
Hart of Dixie
Ben and Kate
Go On
Emily Owens, MD
Don't Trust the B in Apartment 23
The Mindy Project
Guys With Kids
Beauty and the Beast
Grey's Anatomy
Revenge (I'm catching up on Season 1 before I start Season 2 this year)
Next Caller (mid-season)
Cougar Town (mid-season)
The Carrie Diaries (mid-season)

Summer/Shortened Series Shows
These shows are either on now and I watch them in the summer or they come on at random times throughout the year. Either way, I thought if I was including shows I watch on the list, they deserve to be recognized.
White Collar
NY Ink
Project Runway
Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution
The Buried Life
Million Dollar Listing (LA & NYC)
Million Dollar Decorators

Now, next thing you need to know are the Fall Premiere Dates! Set your DVR's!! I'm going to list these in order of premiere date. But all the ones that are in the list above and are starting in September or October are on the list.

Go On - 9/11 9pm
Parenthood - 9/11 10pm
Guys With Kids - 9/12 10pm (regular time slot is at 8:30pm)
Glee - 9/13 9pm
Bones - 9/17 8pm
The Office - 9/20 9pm
How I Met Your Mother - 9/24 8pm
Two Broke Girls - 9/24 9pm
New Girl - 9/25 8pm
Ben and Kate - 9/25 8:30pm
The Mindy Project - 9/25 9:30pm
Modern Family - 9/26 9pm
Big Bang Theory - 9/27 8pm
Grey's Anatomy - 9/27 9pm
Once Upon a Time - 9/30 8pm
Revenge - 9/30 9pm

Hart of Dixie - 10/2 8pm
90210 - 10/8 8pm
Gossip Girl - 10/8 9pm
Arrow - 10/10 8pm
The Vampire Diaries - 10/11 8pm
Beauty and the Beast - 10/11 9pm
Emily Owens, MD - 10/16 9pm
Suburgatory - 10/17 10pm
Don't Trust the B in Apartment 23 - 10/23 9:30pm (sneak peek on Wednesday 9/12 at 10pm)

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Fall Shows!

Every year, I start to plan out my Fall DVR schedule with old shows and new shows. This year there are several I'll be giving a shot. Keep in mind, often times "giving it a shot" means it gets one episode and if it hasn't captured my attention with that first episode, I'm done. So let's just say this is the "1 episode" list. We'll go from there.

I do think Mindy Kalig is so funny and I always loved her on The Office! So I'm interested in seeing if this is any good. I don't totally get on board with her as a female lead, though. She's more the funny best friend in my book, but I feel like it's worth giving it one episode to see if she can change my mind.

I wasn't totally on board with this one until I saw the preview. The premise of it didn't really catch my attention, but seeing how it played out in the preview did. Then it has that little girl in it from We Bought a Zoo and the new Footloose. She is absolutely adorable and I may just be giving it a shot because of her. 

The premise behind this one is just great and I love seeing dads with kids! I love how they got the different kinds of dads and different ages of kids and all of that. I just think it looks really funny and definitely worth giving it a shot!

Really there's not much more to say than that it has Matthew Perry in it and that is exclusively why I am watching it. The preview does look good, too, so I feel like people will be drawn to it for more reasons than just him, but for me, it's him.

Next Caller
Dane Cook is starring in this one. There seem to be several shows this year that I'm drawn to because of 1 specific actor who has been cast in them. This is one of those. Dane Cook, I'm giving you a shot.

There's a few things going for this one. First of all, it's on the CW and I tend to like a lot of their shows. It also looks pretty good in the preview and I'm interested in the superhero kind of plotline. I may not stick with it, but we'll see.

Beauty and the Beast
Again, the CW always gets a shot. I also love Beauty and the Beast and any version of it. I even liked that movie Beastly with Vanessa Hudgens. So I'll at least see how this one goes.

Emily Owens, MD
CW again. And it has Mamie Gummer in it, and her mom is Meryl Streep, and I think that's pretty fabulous. I also liked her in that other medical show she was in last year that got canceled. LOL.

The Carrie Diaries
CW. Basically a prequel to Sex and the City. Producers of Hart of Dixie and Gossip Girl. Definitely worth trying. There is still no videos or previews yet, so we'll see if I still feel the same once I see those.

What have I missed? What are you watching in the Fall?

One thing I do want to catch up on this summer is Revenge. I regret not starting that one in the Fall last year.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Summer Reading List

I've been working on this list for a while. The hardest thing for me has been figuring out what mood I'm in for reading. There have been times in my life where I wanted to be really challenged by my reading, and then times where I wanted to read really old traditional literature, and then times when I wanted young adults books, and times when I wanted chick-lit. I'm finding myself currently wanting things that require very little thought to read them. I just want to escape in my reading and just read something quick and funny and simple. So keep that in mind when you read this list. I'm aware these aren't all great works of literature. I'm okay with it right now.

First of all, there are several books coming out this summer that are the next books in a series I've already read.

by Deborah E. Harkness
Release date: July 10, 2012
The first book in the series is A Discovery of Witches. It's kind-of like an adult version of Twilight, but in a good way. It's not adult version like True Blood. I can't deal with all that. But it's adult version in that it goes back through history and connects vampires and witches with different important people in history. It's just really interesting how it pieces it all together. So this book is the second in the series and I've been looking forward to it ever since I finished the first one!

by Lauren Kate
Release date: June 12, 2012
This is the fourth book in the Fallen series. The first three are Fallen, Torment, and Passion. They're all about fallen angels and they again connect fallen angels throughout history and they begin with the actual original fall, which I think is really interesting.

Then there are several I want to read that aren't involved in a series I've already read.

by Erin Morgenstern
This one has been recommended to me several times and I got it for Christmas this year, but I never did actually read it. I am going to sit down and read it sometime this summer.

by Kiera Cass
This is going to be a show on the CW or something later this year, so I thought I would go ahead and read it just to see what I think!

by Lauren Oliver
This book comes up on recommendation lists for me all the time! That's how I found Divergent, so I figured I'd give it a try.

I haven't decided which ones I'll read yet. I have never read one of her books, so I want to try one first. Options I'm thinking of are Bet Me, The Cinderella Deal and Trust Me on This. These are all chick-lit books. Books like that tend to be hit or miss for me. Sometimes I love them, sometimes I don't. We'll see how it goes.

I also may read some Sophie Kinsella or Madeleine Wickham books (considering they are the same person). I have read several & liked them, so they're always a pretty safe bet.

Saturday, January 28, 2012


Lew and I watched this last night for our Friday night in-house date night. I absolutely LOVED it! I didn't know quite what to expect. It's written and directed by Josh Radnor of How I Met Your Mother. He also plays the main character. I love him on HIMYM, so I was interested when I heard about it! I watched the preview and decided I was definitely going to watch it. I've been waiting for it to be on my Blockbuster Online.

It is really so great! The story is interesting and different. I love how it is one of those that include lots of different people and how they relate to each other. The relationships between the characters are just so real. That was my favorite thing. All the relationships. There were several parts where Lew and I both were just like, "oh that was great." The way he has them interact and the way he shows that is just so authentic and sincere.

I really enjoyed it and I think you would too!

So there ya go!

Pilot Scoop

Every year, I follow the new TV show forecasts pretty closely. I get excited to see what new shows I could pick up! This year, I started watching New Girl, Ringer, Hart of Dixie, Suburgatory, 2 Broke Girls and Secret Circle! Let's point out that 3 of those are on the CW - probably my all time favorite channel. It has the most shows that I watch on it.

Well, the TV stations have started picking up pilots, so I'm following along with anticipation! So far here are the shows that look promising to me...

Let's start with my favorite...the CW
CW has ordered another medical dramedy by the producer of Gilmore Girls. I didn't watch Gilmore Girls, but I want to and I know lots of people who like it! The plot sounds similar to Hart of Dixie, mixed with Grey's Anatomy. That could be a downer that there are already shows similar to it, but since I like both of those, I'm willing to give it a shot.

CW has also ordered The Carrie Diaries, based on the novel by Candace Bushnell. It's a prequel to the Sex and the City novels, based on Carrie in high school. I love Sex and the City, so I'm pretty sure if they do this well, I'd love it too!

Finally, CW has ordered a Beauty and the Beast-type show, similar to the 1987 series with Ron Pearlman and Linda Hamilton. I haven't seen that, but according to IMDB it looks kindof like a more modern take on it. Not sure how I feel about this, but I tend to give the CW the benefit of the doubt, so I'm going to try it.

Now, probably my 2nd favorite channel...ABC
First of all, ABC is also ordering a Beauty and the Beast-type show. Weird that there would be 2, but this one sounds more like a Once Upon a Time kind of thing. I have loved that show so far, so this one also sounds fairly promising. But I also find it weird that they would have Once Upon a Time and a Beauty and the Beast show on their network.

ABC has also ordered 666 Park Ave., based on another book. It is created by the producers of Vampire Diaries, Secret Circle and Gossip Girl. They had me at producers of Vampire Diaries. I'll watch.

Shonda Rhimes has created a period drama for ABC called Gilded Lilys. It's based in 1895, with the first luxury hotel in New York. She's done great with everything I've seen of hers so far and I love New York, so that idea sounds interesting.
NBC has picked up 8 comedies. Once a couple of them sound good to me.
Jimmy Fallon is producing a comedy based on three 30-something guys who are parenting even though they haven't stopped being children themselves. Sounds funny and I love Jimmy.

There is also an untitled Hilary Winston project about a shy, focused woman who dumps her fiance and allows her coworkers to help her come out of her shell and get revenge. Sounds kinda cute.

TBS ordered Men at Work, with Breckin Meyer and Danny Masterson. It's about a recently dumped nice guy whose friends help him become manly again. It's got some funny guys in it.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Golden Globes Favorite & Least Favorite

Favorite: Charlize Theron

Least Favorite: Sarah Michelle Gellar

Movies I Need to See: Golden Globe Edition

I have to wait for Dollar Theater or DVD.

I'm waiting until I read the book! I know it's crazy I haven't read the book yet. I'm working on it, people!

George Clooney AND Ryan Gosling. Yes. I'm waiting for Dollar Theater or DVD.

This looks great & I love Brad, Jonah & Chris!

Meryl Streep rocks my socks off.

Rachel McAdams. I love her.

Can I just say how surprising it is that Jen from Dawson's Creek ended up being the most critically acclaimed actor from the show? Love it.

This just looks funny.

Love Christopher Plummer & Ewan McGregor. Waiting for DVD.

I need to get on this before the Oscars!!

Golden Globes Best & Worst...Continued

Freida Pinto - Very simple, but she looks so great!

Kristen Wiig - She looks fantastic! I love her hair.

Charlize Theron - Love her hair & makeup! Kinda love the dress, too!

Angelina Jolie - This was actually on the worst list for me, but when I saw her talking to Ryan Seacrest, she actually looked really great! Pictures don't really make it look good.

Sarah Hyland - She's just adorable & the dress is so simple & beautiful.

Channing Tatum & Jenna Dewan - Favorite couple. They're adorable & they look fantastic!

Salma Hayek - While her hair looks lovely, I think her dress looks like something from Tron.

Nicole Kidman - Oh just no. I just really don't like it.

Dianna Agron - Love her. Just don't love that dress. Laser-cut swans? Really?

Lea Michele - Just don't love this either.

Side note: my Golden Globes snack of choice is the Pretzel Chip. I bought the Snack Factory brand at Target. Original Deli Style. Yummy!

Golden Globes Best & far

This is as of the first part of the red carpet.

Ariel Winter - very cute & appropriate

Shailene Woodley - beautiful

Sarah Michelle Gellar - looks like paint spilled on her

Jesse Tyler Ferguson - he looks like a butler

Golden Globes 2012

It's award season again!!! I love it. It's 8:15pm and I'm just now starting the red carpet coverage on DVR! My first thoughts...what is up with Kelly Osborne's hair? And I'm super pumped to hear what Ricky Gervais has to say!

Stay tuned for some Cameron commentary. Always fun.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Reading Update

I've read several books lately that I felt like I needed to share! I'm in a major Young Adult phase right now. Mainly I think it's because I've been working and I just don't have time to get into something that requires a lot of thought. I used to read books like The Count of Monte Cristo and I loved it! But it required me to really think through everything! Now that's not to say that what I have been reading isn't really great, because some of it really is! But it's just not deep-thinking kind of stuff. That being said, here's what I've been reading lately!!

Matched and Crossed by Ally Condie
Both of these are dystopian novels about a society where at 17, you are matched with someone and you spend the rest of your life with them. Everything is planned out for you, including your mate, your job, your home, your leisure activities, etc. It takes place around this one girl whose match gets mixed up and she ends up questioning everything about her society. It's a trilogy and the first two are out now. I read them both. I liked the first better than the second, but I still liked both of them. They definitely weren't the best books I've ever read, but they were worth the read!

Wither by Lauren DeStefano
This book is really strange, but I liked it. I'm not sure if everyone would. It takes place again, in a dystopian society where a generation found the cure for all illnesses, including cancer, HIV, etc. and there was a generation who lived into their hundreds. As a result, though, their children started dying at the age of 20 for girls and 24 for boys. The generation who is living so long has started to create polygamous marriages for their sons where they marry young girls who haven't reached the age to die yet. The purpose of these marriages is for the girls to bear children to be tested and experimented on to try and find a cure for this new virus that is killing the children. It takes place around a girl who is stolen and forced into one of these polygamous marriages. It's really interesting and strange, but in a really good way! The second one comes out in February, so I'll be reading that one too!

The Maze Runner by James Dashner
I kept seeing this book on my Amazon Recommendations, so I finally decided to read it! I really loved it and couldn't put it down! It's about a group of boys who wake up in this place alone and with no memory. They arrive at the rate of one a month and they are in this huge courtyard surrounded by a huge maze. They have been there for a couple of years and are trying to figure out a way out. The courtyard closes every night and there are thing in the maze that come out and will kill you if you are left out there at night. It takes place around a boy who arrives and then a week later, a girl arrives with a message that she will be the last one. Everything changes and it's really fast-paced and interesting! That being said, though, I tried to read the second one and I just couldn't get into it. It's a trilogy and all three of them are available now. Maybe you'd like them all more than I did!

A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness
I actually read this one a while ago, but I don't think I ever posted on it on either of my blogs. My friend Sara, who recommended Twilight to me the first time, is the one who told me to read it. It's kind-of like Twilight for adults. It's about Vampires and Witches, but rather than being something that is light and fluffy and just a love story, it is actually really well written and intelligent! The author takes vampires & witches and puts them into historical context among lots of other things that have happened in the past. I really loved the way she put it all together! It is also going to be a trilogy and I'm excited about the next one!!

Fallen and Torment by Lauren Kate
These are the most recent ones I've read. I just finished Torment last night. They are the first two in a series of four. They remind me a lot of My Name is Memory that I read this past summer. It's about two people whose love spans lifetimes and centuries where she is a human who keeps coming back after traumatic deaths, but he's a fallen angel. It ties into a lot of biblical things with the fall and angels and demons and things like that. I really liked it more than I thought I would! I want to read the third one, but it's checked out at my library right now. I have placed a hold on it, so hopefully I'll get to read it soon!

Divergent by Veronica Roth
I have to say, this is my favorite book I've read so far this year! It is right up there with The Hunger Games for me! It's about a dystopian society where at the age of 17, I think, you choose one of 5 factions to belong to. Once you choose your faction, it affects everything about your life. The story of where the factions came from and why there are five and things like that are all really interesting! This is about a girl who has to choose between the faction her family belongs to and making a choice that goes against everything she's ever known. It's AWESOME. I am so excited about the second one, which is coming out in May! It will also be a trilogy. I recommend this one to anybody.

Books on my "to read" list...
The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
Insurgent by Veronica Roth
Fever by Lauren DeStefano
The Help by Kathryn Stockett
Delirium by Lauren Oliver
Shadow of Night by Deborah Harkness
Passion by Lauren Kate
Rapture by Lauren Kate

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