Sunday, January 31, 2010

52nd Annual Grammy Awards

Watching the Grammy Awards....

- Lady Gaga and Elton John on the piano, very cool!  They each sang parts of each others' songs and their own on two pianos facing each other.  LOVED IT.

Here it is.  Totally grainy but you can hear the two of them together.  Their performance together starts around 3:15.

- Steven Colbert is great but not sure how much I like him as the Grammy Awards host...what did you think?
- I usually love me some Pink but I didn't enjoy her Circ de Soleil performance.  To be honest it made me dizzy.  And what was up with all the water?  She did look amazing though and I give her credit for trying to do something different.
- So enjoy seeing Robert Downey Jr., especially since I got to meet him last month at the Sherlock Holmes premiere.  He was so gracious and nice.  Long story, I'll post about it soon! :-)
- Alice Cooper looked pretty uncomfortable with Katy Perry, especially when she tried to be funny and started touching him.
- Nice rendition of America the Beautiful by the Zack Brown Band.
-Is it just me or was Taylor Swift's voice a little off tonight, especially when she was singing with Stevie Nicks?
- 3D glasses for people at home?  Huh?
- Bon Jovi rocks!  :)

What did you think of the Grammys?

Vibrant Colors of Moulin Rouge

This afternoon, I saw a few minutes of one of my favorite movies, Moulin Rouge.  I had forgotten what an amazing movie it was. Have you seen it?  It's filled with such great music, dancing, drama, romance, passion and suspense.  And the vibrant colors of the scenery and

I really loved how they took popular songs of the 80s and gave them a fresh new twist to fit the story.  I'm not a big fan of Nicole Kidman but I think she did a good job and Ewan McGregor was just fantastic.  I can watch it again and again.

Here's one of the best scenes...the Roxanne tango.  The combination of the tango player's deep rough voice with Ewan McGregor's smooth strong one is awesome:

Oh how I wish I could dance the tango like them one day!    :-)

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Saturday Night Burger Treat

If I'm ever in Atlanta, I'm definitely going to this place.  Yum!!!

[Photo: Chichi Wang] 
This delicious looking burger is made at Flip Burger Boutique in Westside Atlanta, and was created by Top Chef finalist Richard Blais. 

Lovely Bowls And More

One of the reasons I love blogging and reading blogs is that it helps me find amazing and talented people from all around the world.  One such person is Whitney Smith.  I just found her blog and gallery this morning through my friend at Sweet Tea and Sunshine and I was just blown away by her pottery.

It makes me happy just to look at her pieces!  :-)  What do you think?

Friday, January 29, 2010

Kimmel Goes After Leno...Again

If you've been following the Leno/Conan/NBC drama, you'll love the following videos.

Yesterday, Oprah interviewed Leno and Jay pretty much blamed everything on NBC and made a couple of subtle digs at Conan and Kimmel.  He took no responsibility for anything he's done including going back on his word about retiring, taking away Conan's spotlight by doing a 10 pm show before Conan's Tonight Show, how his bad ratings dragged down the rest of late night line-up including the Tonight Show and finally how he went after the same show that he'd handed over to Conan and retired from 5 years previously.

I love what Kimmel does here...he's so funny: 

And here's more from Oprah's interview:

I watched the whole interview and thought that Leno came off insincere and in parts untruthful.  What did you think?  Isn't Kimmel hilarious?

Vincent and McLean

I've always been fascinated by Vincent Van Gogh's life story.  One of history's most talented painters and most tortured souls.  During his life, Van Gogh was not famous and struggled to make a living as an artist. He only sold one painting during his lifetime The Red Vineyard. This painting sold in Brussels for 400 Francs only a few months before his death.  Van Gogh shot himself when he was 37.  The tragedy is that he never knew how his paintings would change the art world for the rest of history.  

I've always loved his work, especially the ones with such brilliant color and form.  The following is a slideshow of his work set to the song "Vincent" by Don McLean.  It's part of an art and creative writing lesson plan for the patients at Mississippi State Hospital at Whitfield.  

This is quite moving and beautiful.  I think you'll enjoy it! 

Freaking Out Katy Perry

OMG, this made me laugh.  This is what she gets for being so rude on American Idol!

Party Like it's 2009!

This is the prefect song to start off your weekend.  It's so much fun.  I've seen it a couple of places and it cheers me up every time I watch it.  It's a compilation of the top 25 songs of 2009.

Hello Friday!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

The City of Lights

My brother went to Paris a few months ago and took these beautiful pictures.  I wish I could go but it's probably not going to happen in the foreseeable future so for now I'm going to enjoy the city through his eyes!  :-)

Of course I put the food one first!

This is Laduree (you must click on this store's site, it's so beautiful). Yummy and gorgeous!

This was his hotel (Hotel Costes):

Have you been to Paris?

Elizabeth Breaks Free

I didn't want to write about this because I want to keep my posts light but I couldn't help it.  I'm so disgusted with John Edwards.  It's beyond words.

I generally don't have such a visceral reaction when finding out some famous person has cheated on their wife, it happens every day to regular people in every part of the world.  But to cheat on your wife when she has a terminal illness, lie about it repeatedly, try to cover it up behind the scenes with who knows what methods and then drag your poor wife through the entire ordeal publicly for years?  That's simply unforgivable.

There are so many times when he could have done the "right" thing to avoid more pain for this wife and family but each time he chose the coward's way out.

 Here's a video of Elizabeth talking to Oprah about the affair.  It's heartbreaking.  That poor woman.  I'm so glad she has finally decided to leave him!

The Hollywood Fairy Tale

Several years ago I wrote a full throttle pro-Angelina post and got a little backlash from commenters and friends.  Today, I don't care that much about the whole Angelina-Brad-Jennifer thing (you like that sandwich?) but I am slightly baffled by the media's obsession not just with Brangenlina (Ewww...I felt a little paparazzi just typing that!) but with the fairy-tale/Hollywood-movie-ending story line of Brad leaving the bad old Angie after six years and going to the good girl Jennifer.  Paleeease!

I'm guessing most of you don't care a bit about any of these people but it's frustrating to be bombarded with such made up drama all the time, especially when there are children involved.  Those children (don't they have six now?) didn't chose to be born/adopted into that family and they don't deserve to have their family dragged through the tabloid mud.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

New Favorite Quote

A good marriage is one where each spouse secretly thinks he or she got the better deal.   :-)

-A variation of an Anne Lamott quote.

Oprah Makes Jay Sweat

I can't wait for tomorrow's Oprah!

I have to admit, I'm not a huge Oprah fan but she does have great interviews sometimes and tomorrow will be one of them.  Jay Leno will be on Oprah answering some tough questions including:

"When they asked you to take back the Tonight Show did you think that you were taking away Conan's dream?"
"America has taken sides and a lot of people are not on your side."
"Have you asked yourself, am I being selfish?"
"Do you think you can be number one again?"

I'm really looking forward to hearing how Jay will respond to these.  I'm sure it will be somewhat of a softball interview (is that the expression?) as Oprah seems to be on Jay's side (evidenced by having him on the show in the first place to tell "his side"), but it will still be interesting to see how Jay spins it.  He's probably going to blame it all on NBC.

Here's a Access Hollywood summary of the Jay/Conan thing with the Jay-gets-serious piece from his show last week.

I'm still Team Coco!  Are you curious to hear Jay's side?

American Idol Drama!

I really like Katy Perry so when I heard she was going to be on American Idol, I had to see how she would be with the other judges.  OMG, drama!!! Are you watching?  I only watched a few clips but it was enough to see her cat fight (hate to use this term but it fits, trust me) with Kara Dioguardi.

Take a look at Katy going after Kara:

Here's another clip.  This one is just a crazy audition.  Brace yourself, this is pretty NUTS!  I love what Ryan says at the very end.

To Tweet or Not To Tweet

To tweet or not to tweet, that is the question.  I've never really considered doing it before, in fact, I don't think I really understand how the whole thing works.  But lately I've been curious what all the hubbub is about.  I have friends that do, don't, did and then gave it up, love it, hate it, don't understand it etc.  What do you think?  Do you tweet?

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Best Cookie Recipe EVER!

Since we're getting close to Valentine's Day I wanted to share my favorite cookie recipe with you!  You can't go wrong with this recipe, it's simple and so yummy. 

I've also included a few pictures of the cookies I made last Valentine's Day for a ladies tea I had at my place.  It was so much fun making these for the party! :)

Devon Cream Sugar Cookies

3 c. all-purpose flour
1 1/2 t. baking powder
1/2 t. salt
1 c. unsalted butter, softened
1 c. sugar
1 large egg
1/4 c. Devon double cream OR heavy cream
1 1/4 t. vanilla
Vanilla Glaze

Preheat oven to 350. Grease baking sheets. Whisk flour, baking powder & salt and set aside. In large bowl, cream butter & sugar until pale in color. Mix in egg. On low speed, add about 1/2 of the flour mixture. Add the cream and vanilla. Slowly add the remaining flour and mix the dough until thoroughly blended. 

Divide the dough in half and shape each half into a flattened ball. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and chill for 30 minutes.

On lightly floured surface, roll out the dough to 1/4 inch thick. Cut cookies and place 1 inch apart on baking sheet.

Bake 10 to 12 minutes until just set, but not brown around the edges (although I have almost burned them and they're still good!). Let cookies cool on baking sheet for a few minutes then transfer to wire rack to cool completely. 

Prepare the vanilla glaze. Use a pastry brush to frost the cookies while they are still warm (this causes a nice sheen). Let the cookies dry thoroughly. Makes 3 dozen.

Vanilla Glaze:
1 3/4 c. confectioners' sugar, sifted
1/4 c. Devon double cream or heavy cream
2 t. vanilla
1/4 t. salt

The recipe is from *The Art of the Cookie" by Jann Johnson.

Let me know if you try it!  :)

A Few Glimpses of Baku

I'm so excited to share the following documentary trailer with you! It's called Azerbaijan Open. The trailer shows you just a few glimpses of Baku but it's enough to see what a beautiful and interesting city it is.

I'd love to visit one day. Not only because one of my good friends is from Azerbaijan (thanks Nikki for sharing this video with me) but also because my father's family is from that region of the world and I've always wanted to see and experience the Azeri culture.

I'm not sure when the movie comes out but keep an eye out for it!

Beautiful Butterfly Cupcakes!

I saw these a few days ago on one of my favorite blogs, Sweet Tea and Sunshine, and haven't been able to get them out of my mind since!  Wow, how beautiful and lovely are these?

Then I went to the food blog, Annie's Eats, that originally posted about how to make them.  Wow, this woman is amazing.  She's a doctor and cooks and bakes for a hobby and you should see the stuff she makes!  I'm all for making my kids cookies or cupcakes once in a while but this might be a little beyond my cupcake making skills!  Who knows maybe in a few years.

Hats off to Annie for making these delectable treats.  :)

A Little Soap Box

I think the show The Bachelor is so awful.  It's completely demeaning to women and sets a terrible example for young girls.  I cringe at the way they pit women against each other for the affections of a man. And don't get me started on how the women use any means possible to get the attention of this one alpha man that finds himself worthy to judge and test each of them.  Arghhhh, it's just awful.

OK, now I will get off my soap box.   :)

I'll be back in a few hours with something yummy to share with you!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Homage To My Hips

I was looking up the word "homage" when I found this poem.  It made me laugh and think about how fun it would be to write a poem to your body.  I've always been one of those women that has fought the stereotype of having to fit into a certain mold to feel beautiful and sexy.  God knows it's not easy to have a positive and healthy self image all the time, especially in this society but it's worth a try.

Looking back at all the sizes and shapes I've been, I'm always amazed by the times I've felt the most beautiful and how these times correlate to totally different body weights and shapes.  It's a cliche but it is really a state of mind.  Now if only I could remember that when I'm trying on something that I love but that clearly doesn't love me!

Homage to My Hips

these hips are big hips.
they need space to
move around in.
they don't fit into little
petty places. these hips
are free hips.
they don't like to be held back.
these hips have never been enslaved,
they go where they want to go
they do what they want to do.
these hips are mighty hips.
these hips are magic hips.
i have known them
to put a spell on a man and
spin him like a top

Lucille Clifton

Not Bad At 88!

This is my homage to Betty White!

As many of you know, I'm a huge Golden Girls fan and have loved seeing Betty on that show for years.  I had no idea what an amazing career she has had.  She's been acting for 65 years, she started with television itself!  I found out about her long career the other night as I watched her receive the lifetime achievement awards on the Screen Actor's Guild awards.

If you like Betty White or the Golden Girls, you'll enjoy seeing the history of Betty's career.

Skip to about the 3:00 minute mark to see Sandra Bullock's introduction of Betty or you can skip right to the montage of Betty's career which starts at around the 5:18 mark. (They took the video off so I've included a Golden Girls clip montage instead!)

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Pinki's Beautiful Smile

I just stumbled on an amazing documentary called Smile Pinki by Megan Mylan.  It was heartbreaking in parts but so moving and uplifting.

Have you heard of it?

The documentary follows a young Indian girl and boy, Pinki Sonkar and Ghutaru Chauhan, as Pinki's cleft lip and Ghutaru's cleft palate are repaired. The film was commissioned and funded by the American charity Smile Train, a group that pays local doctors in 75 developing countries to perform the simple surgery that parents of such children rarely know is possible.

The documentary won an Academy Award and as a result of the accolades that the movie received, not only did the charity benefit but the two beautiful kids in the movie benefited also.  Pinki's family got a new house, and her village was given a new well for potable water.  Both have also received scholarships to better schools.

With so much hardship in the world, it's great to see the work of these amazing groups helping children around the world.  

Here's the trailer:

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Complicated Is So Funny!

I went out with a few of my girl friends last night and saw It's Complicated. was so funny! We laughed our butts off. I would see it again just to see the gorgeous scenery (Santa, that's a beautiful place...who gets to live there and what do I need to do to end up there one day?). And Alec Baldwin, he was hilarious...suprisingly fat and hairy but hilarious and kinda sexy. And Meryl Streep, wow, perfect for that role. The only thing I found a little strange was Steve Martin's face. If you've seen it, tell me what you think...wasn't his face a little weird? It just didn't seem...right.

I just loved the movie and would totally recommend it.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Who is Alphabeat?

I love music.  It can do incredible things to me from lifting me up from the depths of darkness to making me giddy with joy.  It helps me travel instantly to a place and time only found in my memories and it creates unique new experiences that I'll think back on for years to come.

Here's a band and song that I'd never heard of before yesterday.  I really like it and wanted to share it with you.  What do you think?

Alphabeat - The Spell (Live)

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Team Coco

I've always liked Conan O'Brien even though his show was on too late for me to watch. So when I found out what NBC was doing I was definitely on his side. The up side of the NBC debacle has been a lot of hilarious late night bits including this interview with Adam Sandler. (OK, so they've taken the videos down so I can't play it or the last episode of Conan.  Did you see it?  Wow, it was so great.  Conan is a class act.  I just found this great video montage instead!)

What do you think of the Leno/Conan thing? Are you team Coco?

Party In The USA - Or Rather on Fire Island!

I've been dying to post this video ever since Kate showed it to me a few days ago.  It is hilarious!

We watched it together and laughed until we were crying.

Even though Miley Cyrus bugs me, I love this song and turn it up in my car whenever it's on the radio.  I sing the lyrics out loud and turn to my boys and give them a big mommy laugh (mostly because I think I'm hilarious when I'm singing and dancing in the car).  And when she says in the song "so I put my hands up.." I raise my hands high and say "come on boys, raise your hands and dance with mommy!"  They just laugh at me.  I think I should probably get used to that.

Watch, enjoy and put your hands up!  :)

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

A Little Andre Goes A Long Way!

I just finished Andre Agassi's book Open. It was interesting. I don't really follow tennis but I really enjoyed reading his journey through life. It includes some really gritty stuff, including a lot of self loathing and depression (which I can identify with to a certain degree) and also redemption and joy at finding his true self (something I'm always working towards.)

Here are a few interviews that I enjoyed watching:

His stories about how he found the love of his life, Steffi Graff and also how he founded his school were really romantic and uplifting!!!

Have you read the book?