Category Archives: Movies

Goonies Never Say Die!

Astoria CollageSaturday we took a day trip down to Astoria, Oregon. It’s a lovely coastal town that also happens to be the home of the Goonies! If you are unfamiliar with the Goonies you should rectify that immediately.

Astoria Column ViewThe view from the Astoria Column base. Incredibly gorgeous. And pretty much all you need.

Below is the Astoria Column which is an odd column on the top of a hill that offers an amazing view. You pay $2 to park for the year (an excellent value with the picnic tables for lovely seaside views) and then you can climb the tower and hang out at the top, or on the grounds, as much as you’d like. We made it halfway up the unbelievably rickety stairs and bailed. Major anxiety attack. I don’t enjoy heights, and am increasingly disinclined towards tight spaces, this column offers both. Rolland was also carrying the toddler up with super winding stairs and agreed with the decision to abort. Those stairs were crowded and wobbly. I swear, my knees start shaking just thinking about it.

Astoria ColumnOur column tour guide.

Sophy Astoria Column 1Quick snuggle with the tour guide.

Sophy Mommy Astoria ColumnUnrelated to the tower but our primary reason for the visit was a quick house visit. I’ve had a pilgrimage to the Goondocks on my to do list since moving to Seattle. I can now check it off the Seattle list. The house is pretty awesome and lives up to the vision. The experience itself is kind of meh. You just walk up a gravel hill driveway, take a pic and move on. A bit of a let down but I’m not entirely sure what my expectations were for said house.

Goondocks - Goonie HousePrior above house visit.  We ate lunch at the Rogue Public House which was also meh but primarily an awesome experience irrespective of our actual meal. You drive over the rickety pier and eat lunch in the brewery / canning factory. Rolland said the beer was super tasty but the food was just ok.

Rougue Public HouseA big hit at the Public House, untasty food aside, was our lovely lunch companions. The sea lions were cavorting outside our window and offering an awesome show. You could hear them barking through the window. They were adorable and looked like they were having a fantastic time in the water. It was chilly or I would be tempted to join them. Please note I realize this is a total pipe dream as one doesn’t hug a wild animal, particularly a super sized sea lion.

Seals in the harborAstoria was awesome and we want to head back and travel even further down the shore to check out Cannon Beach and Haystack Rock. Still, a perfect way to spend a Saturday.

The Hobbit

We had a team outing at work and spent the afternoon at The Hobbit. LOVED IT! Our group seemed to have a lot of mixed reactions to it with a lot of feelings of “meh”. They also weren’t crazy about the first movie. I doubt their sanity. Bbut it was exactly what I had expected of the franchise. I didn’t even mind the addition of the new elf. She was also greatness. Please note: Orlando Bloom seems to have gained a little weight over the passage of time. It didn’t seem to effect his general badassness but was distracting.

I really do tend to watch the movies as something separate from the books. Almost as if they’re just supplements, or an additional arc, to the Tolkien world without feeling as if they have to be completely faithful to the stories. I’m pretty content with my “inspired by” sense I get when watching. I also tend to forget how much singing is involved when reading the books. I enjoy the exclusion of that aspect of the movie. It also helps that I get to see 1, maybe 2, movies a year now when we had a time in our lives that was a weekend! With the toddler, I’m just happy to be caught up on my most recent DVR items.


Weekend Round Up

Sophy had a fantastic time with Aunt Anita and Granny. She was more than happy to share how she’d like everyone to behave for pictures. Lots of snuggles and adventures on Friday while Mommy and Daddy were at work. Lots of shopping and tasty food and just hanging out.

The willing babysitters meant we ventured out for a movie, Elysium, which Rolland loved and I found meh. We did see it at the new DFW Alamo Drafthouse and I really wanted to love the theater but it was also just meh. It was 108 out and felt like it was 98 in the theater. The food was pretty tasty though. I had a baked pretzel with hatch chile queso… yum. It was disappointing when eaten next to someone smelly. Ick.

Monday we caught up on Top Chef Masters. I’ve been hoarding episodes. I’m really enjoying Francis Lam as a guest. He was a favorite on Cooking Channels “Unique Eats” and “Food(ography)“.  I’m also ready for Sang to get off my TV. I usually love TCM more than Top Chef just because everyone’s established and plays nice. There’s always somebody who’s kind of an ass (Michael Chiarello) but this is usually rare. I love the camaraderie and the season with Jonathan Waxman will always be a favorite. This year feels a little more bitchy.

Finally, we’re caught up on visits for a while so it’s time to start the crazy “to do list“. Pray for me.

Random Weekend Goodness

Sophy’s new favorite item.

She demanded her new hat when we were strolling through Target on Friday night. Girls night! Daddy took us to dinner then went home to mow while we hit Target visiting all the girly sections. Mostly those that interest a toddler. I’m not sure he didn’t have more fun sans his ladies. We can be a handful. I know. It’s a shock.

Going for a ride in the convertible. Might play some ball while she’s at it.

Cutest baby ever. Please ignore the lack of back fence.We’ve complained to everyone we can think of and still no fence. At least they mowed earlier this week. I’m pretty sure small children and dogs had been lost in those weeds. Ugh.

Uhm, I was wrong. This might be the cutest baby.

Wait, maybe this one. Also, my herbs have gone crazy with the rain. Nope, above is my favorite. Look at those cheeks. And eyes. And smile. SO CUTE I could die.  To paraphrase Despicable Me. I can’t wait until she’s ready for cartoons. She’s toe dipping with Peppa Pig.


Miss Robin took pity on us and watched Sophy on Saturday night while we ran wild. And by wild we pre-ordered movie tickets for Red 2 and went to dinner. It was Heaven! I’m actively working on figuring out how to be Helen Mirren when I grow up. Or at least get her clothes and accent. She’s amazing. Love! Rolland found it good but liked the first one better. I loved it equally as well and can’t wait to do a Red marathon.

We also crossed off one of the many restaurants on my list around Dallas. The British Beverage Company. It seemed like a good casual option for Rolland’s birthday dinner as he requested nothing fancy. The food was super tasty, except the mac and cheese, not so yummy. Sophy rejected it as well and that baby loves any kind of pasta covered in cheese. The fish and chips, outstanding. As was the french onion soup. Soooo good. Rolland loved his Cottage Pie and Brussels sprouts cooked in Angry Orchard Cider. Yum. We got there about 7:30 and thought it might be getting crowded but pretty empty. Crowds have much later bedtime than we do. Would highly recommend a visit.

Fish and Chips
French Onion Soup
Sprinkles cupcakes for dessert, and babysitting pay off. I wanted to visit the cupcake ATM but the line was nuts. Turns out, the line inside was worse but once you’ve squeezed in you’re committed. Tasty but totally not worth it. I just don’t want to turn on my oven. Starting my chant for Fall, Fall, Fall…

Back in the routine

Or at least working on it. We went on a quick trip to Seattle for an early birthday. The weather and the food were fantastic and the Chiluly experience was incredible. It may have been my favorite place on the trip. It deserves its own post for sure.

The downside was missing my little chickadee. Her grump face sums it up. She had an awesome time with Granny and Aunt Anita while Mommy missed her like crazy. I like to think she’s been especially snugly.

Dedicated Seattle post soon but I do have to publicly confess to finally watching the final Twilight movie for the plane ride. Solid “not bad” with a side of “coulda been worse”. Kind of perfect in flight entertainment.

Pink Isn’t Always a Good Thing

My husband and I watched this documentary the other night and found it fantastic. It was really eye opening. It’s easy to feel like we’re doing our part when we buy all things pretty and pink. We don’t have to do anything but buy stuff we normally would but just pink up the pink versions – and everyone knows how much I love myself some pink! – BUT, we don’t always do the leg work to figure out if that purchase is really going where we think it is or for the amount we think it is. Does it do as much good as simply writing a check to a research organization? The example of Yoplait yogurt and sending in the pink lids which if eaten 3 times a day for the month of October actually only generates about $34.00 towards research vs how much they make from your purchasing that much yogurt. OY! Now, if you are going to purchase that yogurt in that amount anyway then why not but going out of your way to “support” the cause would be better served with a researched donation.

It was also incredible to realize how little we’re really doing for prevention. It’s crazy how much money has been raised and we know almost nothing more than ten years ago on the causes of breast cancer. It’s insane.  

Also listening to this episode of Tell Me More on NPR about 3 women in various stages of breast cancer. Heartbreaking. As a new Mama I can’t imagine having to tell Sophy I was sick, or even worse, dying when she’s little and she wouldn’t remember me. It’s horrifying and ridiculous that we can’t figure this out. 

Now, I’m just as upset about a lot of other things but this is the “month of awareness” so I’m sharing what’s made me more aware. I know folks are tired of politics, tired of soap boxes, tired, tired, tired. Well, suck it. This is my blog and I’m tired too. A 7 and 3/4’s baby going through sleep regression is exhausting. Again, suck it up. This might not be your issue but I bet you have one and we should all do more to support those: volunteer, write a check, even donate old clothes, coats, etc to organizations you do support. 

… and now I’m done.

Fall, Fall, Fall

I’m officially calling it fall here in the Lone Star state even if it is still near 100 degrees. I’m steadfastly ignoring the thermometer and starting to plan for cooler temps. Whether they actually arrive is entirely beside the point.

We started today with what I consider to be a fall movie favorite which is You’ve Got Mail. It does kind of span the seasons but it starts with the famous “bouquets of sharpened pencils” which officially puts it in the fall camp for me. Next up would be the first Harry Potter and Practical Magic but I tend to wait until closer to October and Halloween decorating.

I’m dreaming of the mercury glass pumpkins at Pottery Barn but at $40 a string it’s tough. Still on the debating list. They really would look fantastic on the mantle with the silver mercury glass and gold picture frames. Hmmm, maybe if I save my lunch money.

What are you dreaming of for fall?

Christmas Eve

Christmas Eve has been very festive and quiet at our house. We went on the hunt for good sales at Anthropologie – sketchy this year – then braved the mall that was shockingly empty to check out The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. It was fantastic and I got a little snow fix with all the Swedish winter scenes. Also, I want to totally re-do the house in lots of white and grey with a little pale blue just to mix it up. I’m hoping this passes before I take any action that will get me in serious trouble with the husband. While out and about we did a little scenic tour of the fancy neighborhoods and had tasty lunch goodness before heading home with treats from the new Dunkin Donuts in McKinney and settling in with a fire and the puppies.

Now, we’re watching the 24 hours of A Christmas Story which we’ve never ever seen before except every year for 24 hours!

A little festiveness on the square shown here.

Reindeer display that I’m stealing next year from Anthropologie

Me out and about today going a little steampunk. I’m working on desensitizing myself from pictures since it’s going to be all pictures all the time with baby. Also, I feel a little bad we didn’t take more in utero shots sooner but Mommy was ralphing a lot and looked like death. Frankly, I’ve just found my make up drawer again in the last two weeks!

I hope everyone is having a fantastic Christmas Eve!

Baking and Stuff

I’ve been doing a lot of this lately.

I find it incredibly relaxing to bake and have the house smell yummy. There’s a reason I love Julie & Julia so much – Nora Ephron really got it right that it’s such a comfort to know mixing eggs and chocolate will thicken. It really is a law of the universe. It’s reassuring to know if you follow instructions, have a little patience and a really good mixing bowl that lovely baked goods will emerge. This is not always true for the rest of the outside world. I prefer to stay all hermit like in the house.

Except for last weekend. I went to the Bishop Arts District with a friend to check out what’s new. We found this incredible shop (I saw it on Unique Eats on the cooking channel) that I couldn’t believe was in Dallas.

I highly recommend a visit. They let you sample everything and really know their stuff. A chocolate and foodie lover’s paradise.

A nice view of downtown and the Pegasus way off in the distance.

Love the Belmont Hotel perched high up on the hill. I’m dying to try Smoke right next door.

I’ve got big plans for some bread baking this weekend.

Cupcakes, Holiday and Oh My!

I had a baked goods request the other day so I went with the favorite cupcake which is truly just a vehicle for icing. In this case I went with the all time best chocolate cake (recipe on the back of the hershey’s cocoa tin) and peanut butter cupcakes. Turns out, the only peanut butter I had was the super crunchy flax seed from Trader Joe’s (seriously come to Dallas already!!!) which made them a little dense and dry but still tasty.

Pre-frosting and cool on the wire racks.

Double batch of frosting (not the one found on the back of the cocoa tin) but a double batch does have 6 sticks of butter. You know, just to keep it light.

Frosted. These are the peanut butter designated by a lone peanut on top. I wanted to pipe the icing on but all my icing bags and tips have vanished. A trip to Sur la Table is imminent since I have a coupon and have ambitions to get the piping down. Also, it cuts down on the icing looking like poo.

All packed up and ready to go. The lone cupcake was for a friend who requested no frosting. He prefers things not too sweet but the cake was super moist (hehe) and yummy.

I plan to start working through a few books. This one and this one specifically.

I’m beyond excited about the long weekend. My vacation started at 12:40 today and I immediately grabbed a chai tea, hit the bookstore and grocery store. Back home by 2:30 and watched The Time Traveler’s Wife. It got mixed reviews but I loved it. I thought they did a great job translating a fairly complicated idea and feeling from the book to the big screen. Also, I covet that house they bought. Seriously, I would sell a lot of cupcakes for that! Ready to rest up, bake and play in the studio.

Happy Friday!