5 Favorite Holiday Films

Keeping on with this theme of random lists of 5 things I evidently have going this week, we move onto… HOLIDAY MOVIES!

This is a countdown of all my Christmas-y & holiday-y faves. I absolutely LOVE this time of year, and part of the reason for that is because it’s acceptable for me to watch these movies pretty much nonstop (and back to back). First up…

5.The Nightmare Before Christmas

What with ditties like, “This is Halloween” and all, you might think this is actually a Halloween movie. YOU WOULD BE WRONG. This movie is Christmas through-and-through, and is so much fun to watch year after year. It’s charming, heartwarming, funny, and just so, so good. Oh, claymation. I miss you.

I’m going to assume that everyone who is anyone has seen it already, but if you’re part of the no one group at the moment, I think you know what needs to be done.

4. Holiday Inn

You might not know that “Holiday Inn” wasn’t always a reference to economic hotel stays. In fact, it was first a 1942 movie starring Bing Crosby and Fred Astaire. Yes. Both of them, in one movie. Epic. I’m a sucker for old movies in general (“Singin’ in the Rain” is still my all-time favorite movie!) and this is no exception. This is THE movie where “White Christmas” first originated (well, the song, not the concept), and is such a delight. It’s about an inn that’s only opened on the holidays (go figure), and is chock-full of singing, dancing, and amazing 40s-style writing.

Fair warning, there is an entire part of the movie that centers around the characters wearing blackface (in commemoration of Lincoln’s Birthday). I mean… it was the 40s. So yeah. But that aside, the movie really does hold up!

3. Love, Actually

As if I’d have a holiday movie without “Love, Actually.” I’m sure there aren’t too many of you out there who haven’t seen this delightful Christmas-themed British film of interwoven vignettes. It is THE ORIGINAL (and without fail, the best) of all the subsequent vignette-ridden holiday-themed movies that have come out (Valentine’s Day, New Year’s Eve, blah blah blah).

If nothing else, the movie is worth it just to see Rick from The Walking Dead pour his adorabe cue-carded heart out to Keira Knightley. I think it’s safe to assume that this film takes place pre-zombie apocalypse.

2. The Holiday

I’m a sucker for the rom coms, it’s true. And I’m a sucker for Jude Law in… just about anything (though I have to admit, the way he’s styled in Anna Karenina doesn’t do much for me, hahaha). And since the first time I saw this movie, I have loved it.

The basic summary is this: Iris (Kate Winslet) and Amanda (Cameron Diaz) are two equally unlucky-in-love women, who trade houses with each other over Christmas in an attempt to shake up/escape their lives. Hilarity, friendship, and romance ensues. OH, and the score is AMAZING. Like, seriously. Hans Zimmer wrote the score (he is also the amazing composer responsible for Pirates of the Caribbean, and other huge blockbuster films) and it is just wonderful. Like, makes you want to fly up out of your seat and go chase after the one you love.

1. ELF!

And yes, to put the cap on this cake of delicious holiday festiveness, we have the piece de resistance: ELF! I don’t care how many people think Will Ferrel is annoying or this movie is over-quoted or whatever. To me, it is perfect. And I will watch and laugh and quote ’til my heart spilleth over!

Plus, it doesn’t hurt that it’s got Zooey Deschenel in it (do you guys watch New Girl? UGH I DIE LAUGHING EVERY WEEK). Of course, she is blonde in Elf, which is kind of weird, but she sings, so it makes up for it. (If you’re looking for Christmas music to get into, by the way, the She & Him Christmas album stars Ms. Deschenel’s sultry tones and is really delightful.)

ANYWAY. SO there you have it! My top 5. And if you are like Sean, and find yourself surprised that A Christmas Story wasn’t on this list, I have some potentially shocking news for you. I… don’t actually like A Christmas Story very much. I mean, I can appreciate it from a cultural perspective, and I’ve seen it enough times to get all the references, of course. But, as a movie, I’m just kinda like, ehhhhh? Don’t hate me!

Favorite holiday film: GO!

PS: Final reminder about the Blue Diamond Almonds giveaway! I’m drawing the winners tomorrow AM, so get your last minute entries in now!

Favorite: Beauty Products

Hi friends!

So I have a really fun, fashion-themed sponsored post coming your way at the end of the week (involving leggings and tights, the staples of my winter wardrobe), so as a precursor to that, I thought I would spend a little time this week posting about other girly things that I love. The few times that I’ve posted about makeup in the past, a few of you have requested a post about what my favorite beauty products are. Well, ask and ye shall receive!

Makeup looks

Male readers, feel free to X out of your browsers now. I think you’re done. 😉

Doing makeup

So, as you all know by now, I’m kind of obsessed with putting crap on my face. In the best possible way, of course. And I’ve posted about certain products that I like, as well as my Sephora obsession, but never really broken it down beyond that. To be fair, it’s because I really am not the kind of person who has one everyday, go-to look. I really enjoy playing around with my makeup and having lots of options. But, if I were forced to whittle down my ridiculous makeup collection into the basics, these would be it.

Now, it should be noted that this list is of predominantly higher-end makeup brands, so if you’re shocked at the sticker prices… well, yeah. Believe me, I know. But, they really are amazing! And I do use drugstore brands too (you might even see one below…!) it’s just that, well, these are supposed to be my favorites, right? Right. heh. (Oh, and sidebar: none of the links below contain affiliate links.)

IT BEGINS!

 

Foundation

 
I don’t wear foundation on a daily basis, but when I do, it’s Makeup Forever’s HD Invisible Cover Foundation ($42). I wear color #125. Though I know I’m lucky because I have pretty clear skin naturally, I suffer from a LOT of redness. This stuff really does cover my redness, and gives me a blank canvas to work with. It is fantastically lightweight, and doesn’t get cakey on me, which is a problem I’ve had in the past. It is definitely expensive, but for me, since I don’t wear it daily, one bottle lasts a looooooong time.

 

Blush

 
I’ve mentioned NARS Blush in Orgasm ($28) on this blog before, and it’s because it’s the miracle blush. I have yet to find a single person that this blush does not look amazing on. It’s a subtle, shimmery, peachy-pink, and it really is just gorgeous. As I mentioned above, my cheeks are naturally very red, so I really only wear blush if I’m wearing foundation. That said, this is the only blush I can ever imagine needing again. I threw out my other ones. True story.

 

Eyeshadow

 
Hands-down, the most-used product in my makeup box… tray… shelf… thing (…) is the Naked Palette from Urban Decay ($50). This single palette has 12 colors, almost all of which are neutral, and all of which look AWESOME. I use it for almost all of my daytime looks, and Creep + Gunmetal (the black and silver on the end) make an awesome nighttime smokey eye. The palette comes with a brush (that I don’t really use, haha) and a mini bottle of Primer Potion, which IMO, is absolutely the best eyeshadow primer out there.

Sin, the second shadow from the left, is an amazing, shimmery pink color, and Buck, 5th from the left, is a matte brown. They look awesome together (Sin on interior half of lid, Buck on outside and in crease). If you didn’t want to fork over the cash for the entire palette, but would like a couple shadows for a great daily look, I’d suggest getting those two colors individually. The individual shadows sell for $18 each.

Eyeliner

 
Confession: I have this eyeliner in six–yes, SIX–different shades. I love it. I love it, I love it, I love it. Yep, Urban Decay 24/7 Eyeliner ($19) glides on smoothly, stays on forever, and comes in the bessssst colors. I have it in Zero (black), Gunmetal (silver), Covet (green), Flipside (teal), Lust (purple), and Woodstock (pink). It is, quite simply the best, and I will fight you over it.

I will admit, however, that I have also been using UD’s 24/7 liquid liner, and I’m not 100% sold on it. So I’m looking for suggestions for your favorite liquid liner–feel free to pass ’em forward if you use the stuff! I’m especially interested in trying out the marker-style liquid liner, as opposed to the bottle-and-brush kind, which is what UD’s is.

 

Lipstick

 
I don’t wear a ton of “real” lipstick, since, like 83% of the day I have something in my mouth (I’m talking about food, you gutter minds!) and it never really lasts long enough to make it worth it. In fact, one of the only times I wear lipstick-lipstick, is when I feel the occasional need to rock the red lip that I love so dearly. My color of choice? Makeup Forever Rouge Artist Intense in #42 ($19). Highly pigmented and pretty long-lasting, when I do the whole fill-in-lips-with-lip-liner-and-use-multiple-coats-thing.
 

 

Lip Gloss

 
Now, gloss on the other hand… gloss, I love. I have a lot of them. And they’re sticky, and they’re shimmery, and Sean hates them. 😀 And my favorite of the bunch is NARS Lip Gloss in Orgasm ($24). This gloss is actually pretty UNsticky, and the shimmer is subtle and beautiful. Along with the Orgasm blush, this is the product I used on each one of Anne’s bridesmaids when I did their makeup for her wedding, lending credence to my theory that this color just looks good on errrrrybody.

Highlighter

 
I’m kind of funny when it comes to my makeup. I don’t use (or even own!) concealer, but I’ll tout highlighter as a must-have from here to kingdom come. See, highlighter is one of those products that is generally overlooked. Not a ton of people use it, and it does seem a little superfluous on the surface. But to me, there’s nothing that brightens my face more than just a tiny touch of a shimmery sheen here and there. Smashbox’s Halo Highlighting Wand ($32) is my current fave, although I haven’t tried TOO many different brands yet.

I dab it under my eyebrows, along the inner corner of my eye, over the tops of my cheekbones (above my blush-line), and in my cupid’s bow (the little dip at the tip of my upper lip). It lets my face catch the light in really flattering ways, and looks great in photos.
 

Mascara

 
Hokay. So. Had you asked me like, a week ago, what mascara I would recommend, I would have proclaimed from the rooftops Diorshow Blackout ($25), no question. J’adore Dior. It is a thick formula that actually clings to my tiny, weak Asian lashes (seriously, if you catch me at the wrong angle sometimes it doesn’t even look like I HAVE lashes) and is a real, true BLACK, which is what I love. And I still love it, don’t get me wrong.

However.

SOMEBODY just HAD to have dinner with me whilst sporting the most incredible lashes in existence, to the point that I could not stop staring into her eyes during dinner. So, yes, Aileen, I am a total creeper, but thank you for introducing me to this magic.
 

 
CoverGirl LashBlast Luxe in Black Platinum ($7.50, I got it at Target) is the bomb-diggity. And yes, I’m bringing that back. It is thick, and amazing, and a third of the price of Diorshow and… it has SPARKLES. Yes, this mascara actually glitters. The bomb. It comes in a range of subtle tints, too, but I went with basic black. And I’m not sure if I’m going back. Stay tuned.

So! There you have it! Whew. Obviously, the basic lesson of this post is that I spent entirely too much money on makeup, so that I could report back to you with my faves. The things I do for you people, I tell ya. 😉

I know I’ve basically asked this question before, but considering the topic of this post, I think it bears repeating: What are your makeup faves?

Favorites: Part II

With the epic return of not one, but two of my favorite TV shows to the little screen last night, I thought that today would be a fitting day for a second one of my narcissistic “favorites” posts! (Click here for the first: movies.)

Now, I should preface this by saying that I watch a LOT of TV. We actually got rid of cable and regular TV a while ago, and while that has forced me to consolidate, somehow I’ve still managed to cram in most of my favorites (and then some!) with this handy dandy little thing called the internet. (Plus, now that I’m dating Sean I have access to cable again, gwahaha!) You can probably imagine that it was rather difficult for me to narrow down my mental TV guide to this list. Oh, and keep in mind that this is only a list of my favorite TV shows that are currently on the air, hahaha. Away we go…!

Favorite (Current) TV Shows


#5: How I Met Your Mother (CBS)

A couple of seasons ago, and HIMYM would have been much higher on the list. It’s struggled a little bit in the past season or two, but overall I’m still very loyal to this show. I love the premise, the characters, and the catchphrases that are legen– wait for it… DARY! It’s just that the first few seasons were so PERFECT! I think that after 7 seasons of being teased over and over again as to The Mother’s identity (that sounds very sci-fi typed out, haha!), though, I’m just ready for the big reveal already. Still, I am just so happy that the character of Barney Stinson exists.


(source)

The first 6 seasons are all on Netflix streaming if you’ve never seen the show before (blasphemy!) and want to check it out!


#4: Parenthood (NBC)

Parenthood always airs slightly off from the main TV schedule, so the season is already over and I am sad. It is just SUCH good television. It has everything: complex characters, real life family situations, and just so much love. The acting is really superb, as you’d expect from TV vets like Lauren Graham (Gilmore Girls) and Peter Krause (Six Feet Under), and it has even made me fall in love with Dax Shepard (who, you may remember, got his start on Punk’d, haha) as a legitimate actor! The writing is so incredibly good, too. I cry almost every week, haha. As someone with a big, loving family that I am completely overly-involved with, I can relate so much to the dynamic. You should just, y’know, watch it.


#3: Community (NBC)

When I first heard that NBC was coming out with a comedy about a community college, I was not particularly excited. Even though I already loved Joel McHale from E!’s The Soup, I just didn’t consider it a premise that would appeal to me. Boy, oh boy, was I wrong. This show is amazing. It is laugh-out-loud funny, incredibly clever, and surprisingly poignant at times. The cast is a 100% perfect ensemble (Ken Jeong, playas!, and I almost had a heart-attack when I heard that the hiatus that it just came back from was marked “indefinite” at first. May we all stay at Greendale Community College forever!



(source)

Oh, Britta.


#2: Parks & Recreation (NBC)

As a lover of The Office, I was really excited when I heard that they were creating a similar show with Amy Poehler at the helm. She is, and always has been, fantastic, and I love the whole mockumentary style. That said, when the first season aired, I was not all that impressed. It was funny, but it felt forced. I am so, so glad that NBC stuck with it after that first 7 episodes, though, because it is pretty much perfection at this point. I mean, it has Ron [email protected]#$ing Swanson. It really hit its stride in Season 2, and after the additions of Rob Lowe and Adam Scott to the already amazing cast? Boom. I now wait in rapt anticipation for each week’s new episode. It’s on Netflix streaming if you need to test it out…!


(source)

Chris Pratt: I loved you on Everwood, I love you now.


#1: The Vampire Diaries (CW)

Oh, as if you’re even surprised. I make absolutely no attempts to disguise my incredible love for this show. I know that it airs on The CW. I know that it blossomed out of Twilight-hysteria. I know that it is a supernatural teen drama. I DON’T CARE. It is so good. SO good. And despite having many, many protestations at first, anyone who actually gives it a chance (it’s on Netflix streaming!) ends up agreeing with me. Let me say it again: IT IS NOT TWILIGHT. Not only is it a solid hour of insanely beautiful people doing awesome stuff each week, but it’s legitimately fantastically written. They throw mythology and plot twists and character reveals at you from left and right. An incredibly dastardly villain that you actually… like?! WTF! The show is in its third season now, and I still end almost every episode screaming at the television in fury/excitement/confusion. It came back from a month-long hiatus last night and I almost died from the sheer wait alone. It’s back, baby!!


I love you, Ian Somerhalder’s eyebrows. (source)

So there you have it. Honorable mentions go to Modern Family (marry me, Phil Dunphy!), The Office (marry me, Andy Bernard!), New Girl (marry me, Schmidt! …Are you sensing a pattern?), Nikita, Glee (it’s so bad, but I love it so good.), Archer, and The Walking Dead. The last of which would have made my list up top except… you know… it be scurry. And not that you care, I know, but for my own edification I’ll have to create another list of my favorite no-longer-airing TV shows at some point. Guff, that will be even harder!

And I know that I’ve definitely asked this question before, but it seems only fitting that I toss it up again: What’s your favorite (current) TV show?

Favorites: Part I

Over the weekend, I saw The Artist. As it came out at the end of last year (in limited release), I know I may be a little bit late to catch on here, but it was an absolutely breathtaking movie. Engrossing story, captivating actors, and a unique presentation? Win-win-win. (For those of you who are unaware, it’s a silent movie done in black & white.)

The plot of this movie in particular, set in the 20s around the debut of talking films, reminded me a lot of my favorite movie of all time (can you already guess what it is?). So, taking into account how incredibly narcissistic I am, I thought it might be fun to share some of my favorites — and hear all about yours too, of course! Today I’ll keep it simple and just stick to movies though. It was hard to narrow them down to my top five, but these, as of this point, my favorite movies. Try not to judge me too harshly. 😉

Favorite Movies


#5. Sky High

This might be bordering on guilty pleasure territory, but hey, I like what I like! And being the huge, total, all-encompassing nerd that I am, I love a good superhero story. Sky High is a bright, funny take on your typical high school story… with a superheroic twist. The movie gives you plenty of clever nods to comic books and the superheroes of old, and as a bonus stars Mary Elizabeth Winstead (aka Ramona Flowers) in one of her first major roles!


#4. Pride & Prejudice

I’m sure I will get a lot of flack both from men and Colin Firth fanatics alike for listing this, but I lovelovelove the 2005 version of Pride & Prejudice staring Keira Knightley. It is simply a breathtakingly beautiful film. The cinematography, the music… I just love it. Once, during my freshman year of college, I watched this movie from start to finish, let credits roll until the DVD menu came back up, pressed play, and watched it again. True story.


#3. The Little Mermaid

What, you don’t have a classic Disney movie listed as one of your favorites? The Little Mermaid beats out all the others for me: Beauty & the Beast, The Lion King, and yes, even Mulan. Though I did have a pretty serious Cinderella addiction when I was in elementary school, you just can’t beat this sassy little redhead. I love the romance, the music, and the total throwback to my childhood that comes with this particular movie. “Part of Your World” is pretty much my go-to shower song, too.


#2. Garden State

Ahhh, Garden State. Maybe it’s cliche to list this as one of my favorites, but oh well. It’s a fantastic movie. Moving, subtle, has a bangin’ soundtrack… and oh yeah. It was written by, directed by, and stars my boyfriend Zach Braff. Done and done.


#1. Singin’ in the Rain

Yep, Singin’ in the Rain is my favorite movie of all time (thus far, at least!) The plot follows Gene Kelly (swoon!) as a famous silent film actor who finds himself thrust rapidly into the onset of “Talkies” (you can see why I found the plot of The Artist similar!) and is peppered with wit, charm, and of course, tons of musical numbers! If you haven’t seen the movie, you need to. And if you need convincing, just watch Donald O’Connor do his amazing thing in the video below… and thank me later.


(Click through to watch the video if you’re reading this via email subscription!)

So yes, I realize that these may not all be movies that will go down in history as the greatest films of their time. But I gave it some though, and while I fully acknowledge that there are many “better” films that exist out there, these are my sick-in-bed-on-a-rainy-day, what-I-would-bring-to-a-desert-island-that-has-a-TV, never-gonna-get-old favorites. So there.

What’s your favorite movie of all time? Or a few of your favorites?