Monday, January 28, 2013

Sundance Film Festival 2013

This year's film festival is over but JP and I managed to escape from our homework and see a few movies up at Sundance Resort and Eccles Theatre in Park City during this past week! 
I just love the film festival (read about previous years here & here), and this year was awesome because instead of doing wait-list tickets, we signed up ages ago and got on the "tickets for locals" list and voila! We were able to get tickets to see almost any movie we wanted!
We ended up seeing "Fill The Void" which was completely subtitled and a incredibly interesting story about Hasidic Jews in Tel-Aviv, "Ain't Them Bodies Saints" starring Rooney Mara and Casey Affleck was about two Texan outlaws and the complex path their relationship takes when one gets sent to prison - this one was so good! The director was really inspired by old Texas folksongs and you can really see that motif through out the film. The last movie we saw was the Grand Jury Prize Winner for drama and this one was a lot of fun because since the awards ceremony was right before the showing of the film, so we didn't know which film had won until right before we arrived! It ended up being "Fruitvale" which was such an eye opening movie about the uncalled-for shooting of Oscar Grant in an Oakland BART station on New Year's Day back in 2009. It was an amazing film!
Definitely a successful Sundance Film Festival experience (I can't believe it's our fourth year in a row!), we're already quite excited for next year haha. 

 My sister & I managed to sneak down and meet the director after! And even though I turn into the most awkward person in the world around "celebrities," he was so nice to us and such a neat guy! 

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Sunday Breakfast

I submit there is nothing better than a lazy Sunday morning, particularly one where there's maple flavored bacon involved. 
It's not very often that JP and I get to sleep in and wake up sans alarm clock, so we took full advantage of the opportunity this past Sunday. 
And making breakfast together might be one of my most favorite things in this world, so JP humored me and whipped out some masterpieces of breakfast sandwiches, while I tried my hand at making some French Toast Muffins. 
Divine, let me tell you. 

French Toast Muffins
1/3 c. butter, melted
1/2 c. sugar
1 egg (preferably room temperature)
1 1/2 c. all purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 c. milk


1/4 c. sugar
1/4 c. butter, melted
1 tsp. cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350 F.

In a medium-large bowl, sift together all dry ingredients. Add wet ingredients and stir just until combined, but still a bit lumpy. Do NOT overmix; over mixing will ruin the texture of the finished muffins. Scoop batter into muffin tins that have sprayed with cooking spray. I got 10 medium-large muffins out of this batter;
 Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until they just start to turn a bit golden at the edges.

For the topping, mix sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl. Place melted butter in another small bowl. Dip the top of the warm muffins in melted butter, then dip/roll the muffin in cinnamon sugar and voila! You now have some extremely delicious french toast muffins.  

Recipe source

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Books I've Read Recently...

... AKA over Christmas break. 
I was a reading machine during that glorious 3-week vacation! 
I love reading books of my own choosing, but during the semester I somehow can't even manage to find time to read my assigned reading out of my text books so leisure reading is kind of out of the question. 
But I thought I would share some of the books I read over the break in case anyone out there is looking for a new read! 
Keep in mind, these books are easy-to-read, entertaining, etc. My brain needed a vacation too so I wasn't looking for something to really heavy or deep haha. 

The "Matched" Trilogy by Ally Condie. I had been hearing about these books for a year or so and decided to see what all the hype was about. I really enjoyed them! It's a story about a future society, one that occurs after our society today self implodes (sort of hunger games-esque, without the killing of small children).   I think the first book is the best one, and then the following two aren't quite as enthralling, but I've recommended it to a few people so far, and they haven't been disappointed!

2 The Racketeer by John Grisham. Because what is better to read on a beach than a good crime drama? Haha. Just kidding. Kind of. This was already on the kindle (which I borrowed from my father for the trip, thanks dad!) and it was a very entertaining read. If you like Grisham novels, you'll like this one haha. 

3 The Rent Collector by Camron Wright. By far, this was my favorite book of all the ones I read! Such an inspiring story -- fictional, but based on true events and real places in Cambodia and even real people. I couldn't put it down.

4 The Spirit Catches You & You Fall Down by Anne Fadiman. I'm only about halfway through with this one, so I don't feel I can comment on it properly! But I found via a recommendation on this blog, so thanks guys! I'm looking forward to finishing it come April ;)

5 The Casual Vacancy by JK Rowling. So this infamous first-post-potter-series-novel of JK Rowling's has received extremely mixed reviews, and I can definitely see why. It's full of adult content, so I haven't recommended it to anyone quite yet ha, but I enjoy her writing style, the story is unique, and it's completely different from Harry Potter, so you've got to give her some credit for that! 

Friday, January 18, 2013

Because Sometimes, You Realize How Lucky You Are

Alright, let's just get something straight, I'm not the most sentimental person in the world. 
Sure, I love finding the perfect gift for JP, or surprising him by having his laundry finished, etc. 
But I'm not so much one to leave cute notes in his backpack or present him with a framed list of 101 reasons why I love him. 
It's just not really my style... and it is totally fine if it's your style! Definitely no right or wrong when it comes to that. 
JP knows he's my world and I love him more than anything, aaaand we just leave it at that. 

However, yesterday JP totally turned me into a total sentimental mess -- like I wasn't sure if I should start laughing or crying so I sort of ended up somewhere in the middle? Yeah, it was a good moment. 

So here's what happened:
I'm in the library, studying for the MCAT (more about that later), and at about 11:30 PM I call JP to let him know I'm about ready to come home and at some point in the conversation I mention that I have a random craving chocolate chip cookies, blah blah blah, we hang up and I start packing up my books. 

When I arrive home about 15 minutes later, I walk into a clean apartment, with a fresh bouquet of flowers on the table, and JP mixing up a batch of chocolate chip cookies (the first batch he's ever made, mind you) based on a Martha Stewart recipe he looked up online haha.

cue: awwwwwwww

Okay but seriously, it turned my whole week around (you know those weeks when you just feel out of sorts?) and suddenly the only thing I wanted to do was tell him how he's the best husband in the world, cause he kind of is :)

Sorry for the long sappy story. But it was too nice not to share. 
and Happy Weekend!! Woohoo! 
I have some exciting things coming up next week on this blog here, so get ready!

image from this wedding taken by the incredibly talented valory

Monday, January 14, 2013

Snow Shoeing!

This past weekend JP and I tried out a new winter activity that I seriously fell in love with. 
Some of his law school friends go all the time so we joined them this weekend and let me tell you, snow shoeing is a hidden gem amongst outdoor winter hobbies. 
We were traipsing through who knows how many feet of snow, and it was just peaceful and clear and gorgeous AND I could eat as much fresh snow as I wanted (I am 4 years old... I still love eating the snow). 
So snow shoeing! Who knew?? 
I'm already planning our next excursion! 

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Sick & Tired

This week hit me like a ton of bricks. 
I was dreading the first day of school (did anyone else not feel ready AT ALL to go back yet? Just me?) and my desire to stay home on Monday was granted when I woke up in the wee hours of the morning with the FLU. 

And I was furious about it. 
I haven't gotten sick in... I don't know, 8 years?? I can't even remember. And I mean sick at all -- no colds or anything. And then I go and get the flu and have to miss the first day of classes. 

Thankfully it was just a 24-hour reign of terror but it completely wiped me out and rendered me pretty useless for the rest of the week. 
And JP has been hovering on the fringes of catching it, poor guy. I tried to sanitize absolutely everything in our home but when you live in a one bedroom apartment and sleep in the same bed, you're kind of fighting a losing battle on the whole not-getting-each-others-germs front.
*keeping our fingers crossed*

But there's a faint light at the end of this sickness tunnel and this second-to-last semester of my college career is shaping up to be a crazy one again, so bring it on!

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Aaaand She's Married!

Rachel got married this past weekend!
Read past wedding related posts here and here.
The wedding was absolutely beautiful and such a party, and even though the weather was well below freezing and at times frostbite from posing outside for the bridesmaid pics was an actual concern, it hardly even put a damper on anything - the whole day and night flew by and was so much fun! 
She looked stunning, they couldn't have looked happier, and now we have new married-couple friends to do stuff with, so it's a win-win all around haha. 

The picture quality is sub-par, I apologize. They are all off my iPhone because pulling out my actually camera was a overly-ambitious goal that didn't exactly happen at the reception between helping set up, greet guests, finish packing her honeymoon suitcase (haha! that's a good story too), and cleaning up. In fact, I feel lucky that I have any pictures at all! :)

Friday, January 4, 2013

Give a Little Love

This video. 
I'm in love with it! 
I think it's such a good reminder of how important small, random acts of kindness are. I'm using it as a little inspiration for my resolutions for the new year :)

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

"Exegi Monumentum Aere Perennius"

This little brass plaque hangs outside of Oupa's house and translated from Latin it means: 
"We have built a monument that will outlast brass." 
It's a pretty powerful motto and such a neat attitude to have towards your family. I'm so grateful for the opportunity I've had to come to Australia and meet and spend time with JP's extended family. They are absolutely amazing people, able to make you feel welcome and included and are so much fun to talk to and do things with. Even after just 2 weeks I really feel like they're family.
Before we left, Oupa let me feed his koi fish and it was one of the highlights of my trip! 
He calls to the fish, and they all swim over in a great hurry and basically jump out of the water over each other because they're so excited to eat. It's very entertaining to witness.
Feeding these fish is serious business too, because each one costs almost as much as I pay in tuition for a semester of school :)


Australia is one of the first places in this whole world to ring in the new year, and my goodness do they know how to do it in style! They have 2 sets of fireworks explode into the sky from 3 different places. The first ones light off at 9:00 PM and the second are lit at midnight (of course)
Grand total spent on those fireworks you might ask? According to google it's anywhere from 5-7 million (!!)

We spent the evening in the fabulous company of JP's cousin Brendan and his girlfriend Jesse! She graciously hosted a little party for us and we spent the final evening of 2012 mixing mocktails, chatting, and playing cards. And to top it all off, the view from her balcony was absolutely perfect -- it had a clear view of all 3 firework-light-off points! Let me tell you, those fireworks were some of the most amazing things I've ever seen, ever.

**photo cred: those very cool firework pictures were edited but not taken by me! They were taken by Shayla's husband Nick :)