Tuesday, April 30, 2013

The Big C

So The Big C is back. I've been watching this show since its beginning as I love Laura Linney. This show has an interesting take on death, for seasons it has tried to take a lighter stance on death as we watch Laura Linney portray Cathy, who has been diagnosed with Stage 4 melanoma.

And now it is in its final season. I just watched the first installment of Season 4, which seems like it will have limited 1-hour episodes (the show has historically had 30-minute episodes). I literally was crying almost the entire episode.

This show is so sad. I've grown used to all the characters and been so impressed with the writing and a portrayal of death which is somewhat unusual. But it is time for it to end, and we all know what happens in the end.

Just expecting the death, feeling it coming on just is really upsetting. But I trust the writer and creator of the show. In this piece she wrote in the Wall Street Journal yesterday, she said she wants to "lift the concept of dying from a loss to a win."

She said she doesn't even know if she ends up completing that in the end, but said she wanted Cathy's illness front and center in the final season so people actually begin talking about death being a reality. And that is happening, and it is tearing this viewer apart.

But that is what good art does. Be a TV or a novel, growing attached to the characters and crying when there is loss or crying when there is unexpected happiness, such happiness. Connecting the reader/view to the characters so that we feel what they feel. That is to be admired.

So this is a thank you blog. Thank you Darlene Hunt. Thank you for facing your fear of death and making The Big C. I think you started a lot of conversations about death in many households and I think that might be a healthy thing. Thank you to Laura Linney and the other actors on the Big C who are so talented and really do Darlene's writing justice.

Thank goodness for quality TV.

Monday, April 29, 2013


So because I am on deadlines on Monday, my creativity is sucked out of me because I'm busy throwing it all at this Wednesday's edition of the paper.

So each Monday I'm going to try to answer a blog prompt.

Today's question du jour: If someone gave you plane tickets to go anywhere in the world right now, where would you go?

I immediately think of my favorite past vacations when I think about this and my favorite vacations are the ones where I am surrounded by beauty, but can relax under the sun and read to my heart's content.

Now I realize this isn't my husband's favorite type of vacation, but he doesn't fly so I'll assume I'm taking a friend on this adventure.

Should I go somewhere I've been before? I've always wanted to go back to Santorini, Greece and I've only spent a little time in Hawaii, and then only in Kauai, so I have a lot of Hawaii left to see.

But Hawaii seems doable, and if I can fly ANYWHERE, I would want to fly somewhere that looks unlikely. Somewhere extravagant.

And like the freak I am I just checked the weather there to make sure that it is prime beach relaxation weather and it is. Mid to upper 70s for the next ten days.

So yes, Santorini it is. Why Santorini? Well I realize I've been there before but I was only there for one day and honestly, I'd love to spend a week there. The people were so nice. The food was fantastic and I could see myself just loving relaxing there at a beachside hotel run by some local family.

When we got off the cruise ship, my family and I went immediately to a restaurant overlooking the coast to try some local eats before we set off on our day. The locals who owned the restaurant were so nice and gave us all sorts of authentic Greek food to try and gave advice about what to see while on the island. They wanted us to have the authentic Greek experience, not the tourist-y one.

So they told us which beach to head toward, one on the other side of the island. They even helped us figure out which bus to take to get there. Now the bus, that was quite the experience. It was probably about 85 degrees that day on the island and the bus was so crowded and hot that I was standing and holding on to a seat, while another very sweaty Greek man stood next to me – my head literally placed right in his hairy armpit as he held the upper rail to remain steady on the bumpy ride.

But that unpleasantness aside, the journey was totally worth it. We got off the bus where the locals told us to and we were greeted by a nearly empty black sand beach, the likes of which I have never seen before. My parents got some Greek beers and we just sat on the shore taking in the gorgeous view and thanking God for the experience.

Black sand beach
So I'd like to have that experience again and a lot more time to see other parts of the island. Too bad this is just a prompt and not a real life situation where someone is handing me tickets to my dream vacation.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Weekend Nail update!

So in my quest to post more often, I'm planning to have weekend nail updates so you can all see what I've had on my digits all week!

This was an Essie Cascade Cool manicure and it stayed on ALL WEEK. Such great performance. Painted my nails on Sunday night and they didn't chip until Saturday morning. That is a great performance for my manicures. Used the Essie Good to Go top coat, which is quickly becoming a favorite as it doesn't shrink my polish like the Seche Vite does.

I did this one yesterday, inspired my Lauren's mint manicure she posted earlier in the week. It's Essie's Mint Candy Apple with Essie's Set in Stone over my thumb and ring finger.

And last weekend I gave myself a gel manicure on my toes so that I wouldn't have to continue to update my toes. Pedicures are so much harder for me than manicures. Anyway this is a neon orange with sparkle top coat (you'll see the sparkles better in the inside shot below).

P.S. Sorry my feet are a little ugly. They won't be featured often, as I don't really like to give myself pedicures very often. Giving myself a gel manicure on my toes was quite the challenge.


And my current favorite brand is definitely Essie. I just saw the swatches of their 2013 Bridal Collection and I can't wait to get my hands on Using my Maiden Name. I may also be lusting after some of Essie 2013 Neon Collection swatched here and here.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

How I'm lightening my hair

So last December, when I went to my in-laws for an early Christmas celebration I was greeted with a, "something looks different about you." It wasn't a good different either (to me at least), my hair had grown in very much darker than my other blonde locks and my eyebrows (not waxed or shaped or anything) was making it even more apparent.

Now I realize this is a dumb topic, but I've always been proud of the hue of my hair and how I've never had to dye it and my mother is still a natural blonde an is turning 60 this year – so why ruin a good thing?

Here are some photos from that Christmas, you'll be able to see how dark my roots are growing in. To hear that people were noticing this about me and saying I looked different, really hit me hard.

So I naturally freaked out, and was all worried about my hair and becoming an almost brunette, I was horrified. So when I was visiting my family for Christmas, my mother introduced me to this:

I started using these products: a shampoo and conditioner with extra citrus and chamomile to help speed up natural sun lightening and the spray which you spray in towel dried hair and then add the heat of a blow dryer to activate the lightening. So yeah, the spray does have peroxide in it, so I guess technically it is dying it a bit, but I am not experiencing any damage to my hair and the results are wonderful!

My hair has lightened and I am back to my bubbly blonde self again. The above photo shows how happy I am about artichokes, but it also applies to my hair too. 

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Blog discipline

Maybe I should have set the goal to blog every day. There has been such a lapse in blogging again. Whoops.

Anyway, not much new with me, work work work, but I am looking forward to the start of better weather. Mike and I want to hit up the beach as much as we can this summer and I am so looking forward to it.

I have finally been sucked into another book and I am so glad because there has been quite the pause in reading as I have been voraciously watching "The West Wing" via Netflix.

Anyway the book it titled "The Last Runaway," By Tracy Chevalier (same author from "The Girl with the Pearl Earring) and follows a Quaker girl having traveled from England to Ohio in 1850 and her involvement with the Underground Railroad.

I am loving it so far, as Quaker life is so foreign to me and to mix it with the Underground Railroad, so intriguing.

So that's my recommendation of the moment, but I'm going to try to set up guidelines and ideas so I can blog everyday (or at least Monday through Fridays). I am constantly inspired by my good friend Maile's blog and her different theme for everyday.

If you all have ideas for posts for days of the week send them my way. For now I am just going to keep  a sticky note with ideas so I can keep going.