Friday, April 18, 2014

Orange + Other Colors


During this past week, I have read a lot about colors: everything ranging from a class at Yale focusing on the color blue to an artist working on matching objects with pantone colors and even a blog post about color facts including a fact that inspired this blog post. Did you know that orange (the color) was named after the orange (fruit) and not the other way around? Apparently orange wasn't even a color until more recently! (I don't know which blog I read it from, but Huffington Post backs me and my forgetful memory up!)

Justin's dad called him at some point before Christmas and asked what we wanted from them. I'm particularly big about keeping my mouth shut when someone asks me what I wanted. I guess I always assume that if you are getting me a gift, you should know enough about me to be able to make a pretty good guesstimate about what I want. Instead of following my lead, Justin instead tells his dad about this book which was on my Amazon wishlist. Rather than ordering it off of amazon though, Justin's dad went to a bookstore and special ordered it. Supposedly, when he went to pick it up all of the employees were taking turns reading interesting color facts from it. :)

ROY G. BIV is an awesome book about color facts and provides a ton of useless information that may only ever be useful when you are at a party and don't know what to say, but it is definitely a fun book to glance through. The facts and the writing get pretty monotonous after a while though, if you are looking for a good 'reading book'. If you want more information about this book, you can read an interview from the author here or go buy the book from Amazon here. I guarantee this book will amuse and delight you for at least a day.

In the mean time, here are ten random cool facts about color:

1. Silver cars are the least likely to be involved in an accident.
2. The taste of your food depends on the color of the dish.
3. People prefer blue … except when it comes to their food.
4. Black boxes that are filled with the same things as green ones seem heavier.
5. Yellow can cause a feeling of nausea, so it is avoided on planes.
6. Before the 1950s, Santa's suit was actually green!
7. Red can cause you to fail an exam. :(
8. Turquoise calms the mind and enhances communication. :)
9. In the US white symbolizes purity, but in Africa it symbolizes death.
10. Dogs are not colorblind!

Do you know any interesting facts about colors?


* Participate in the A-Z blogging challenge with me! You know you want to! :)

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Now & Then: 5 Favorite 90s Movies

Remember way back when? Were you old enough?

This quiz by Buzzfeed prompted today's post of my favorite 90s childrens movies, a perfect post idea for throwback Thursday!

1. Hook


What if Peter Pan grew up? What if Robin Williams played him in a movie? Created in 1991 starring Robin Williams, Dustin Hoffman, and Julia Roberts, I'm not sure even Disney could have created such a fun future-telling response to the original Disney classic.

In the middle of the night, Hook comes and kidnaps Peter Pan's children taking them off to the marvelous world of Never-Neverland. Wendy Darling, Tinkerbell, and all of the lost boys must help Peter Pan to remember what his life used to be. Only then does he have a chance at bringing his children home.

2. Free Willy


There is something special about the 1993 movie about a whale and a boy that touched the hearts of millions. Or maybe it was Michael Jackson's "Will You Be There" that really touched lives. Either way, the release of the movie caused an uproar over Keiko, the killer whale that played Willy. Audiences wanted Willy's ending and freedom to also be Keiko's ending. I'm not sure it worked out too well for Keiko since he wasn't used to living in the wild.

In case you aren't aware, Free Willy is the story of a 12-year-old Jesse and his search for a place to call home. His mom abandoned him as a child and none of his foster homes seem to be working. Through the help of a social worker, Jesse is placed in a home with kind foster parents who don't necessarily understand him or what he needs. Working at the aquarium and connecting with a whale that is also dealing with issues helps bring Jesse to a place of contentment and gives him something to work toward. That is … until the aquarium decides Willy isn't bringing in enough money for the amusement park and decides to kill him. I'm sure you can imagine what happens next. Still, it is a heart-warming story about a boy and his whale. :)

Of course, while we are talking about animals and their humans, a few of my other favorite 90s movies of that nature were André and Lassie.




I think in the 90s we were a bit obsessed with children and their connections with animals. :)



This was one of my favorite movies when I was quite literally a kindergartner. According to my grandparents, I would watch this movie over and over and over again. Now the movie just makes me laugh. After all "I'm not a policeman! I'm a princess!" :) Adorableness. There is nothing quite like seeing a tall man trying to deal with children.

The synopsis is that the LA PD is trailing a drug dealer as the dealer makes his way to Astoria, Oregon in search of his ex-wife and son. Phoebe O'Hara is scheduled to work as an undercover cop/kindergarten teacher in the school when she becomes sick and is unable to attend on her first day. Her partner John Kimble must take her place. Throughout the movie, Kimble must learn how to handle 20 five year olds and build credit among other teachers in the school. Unbeknownst to him he falls in love with one particular boy and his single mother discovering that they are the ones he has been looking for just moments before the drug dealer enters the scene to bring chaos to everyone's world. It's another story where you know the ending ahead of time, but it is worth seeing Schwarzenegger interacting with the kids. I would be surprised if you don't get a laugh out of this movie. :)



I love comedies, but I'm not entirely sure my parents would have allowed me to see this if not for my best friend bringing it into my life. This movie definitely has some adult themes despite the childlike title.

As a young kid Lizzie had an imaginary friend, a real imaginary friend. He encourages her to get into all kinds of trouble. So much so that when Lizzie is still a child, her mom, unknowingly of course, taped Drop Dead Fred (the imaginary friend) into a jack-in-the-box not to be seen again until Lizzie is much older and going through a divorce. From the minute Lizzie returns to her childhood home and opens the jack-in-the-box for the first time in years, she is in for a surprise. No one believes that the chaos being caused is her imaginary friend who seems to appear everywhere and anywhere Lizzie doesn't want him to appear. Will she be able to cure her seemingly psychotic behavior by visiting a psychologist? How will she ever free herself from Fred?



Made in 1993 starring big names such as Christina Ricci, Rosie O'Donnell, Thora Birch, Melanie Griffith, Demi Moore, and Rita Wilson, Now and Then tells the story of four girls as they grow through puberty in a small town in the 1970s. While the majority of the movie is set back-when, the story converges when the girls as adults get together to talk about what life was like for them then as compared to now. It's a great story about the friendship of girls and what it is like to stick together through thick and thin. (Much better than The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants!)

And a few runners up:




Sandlot


Yes, children's movies were awesome in the 90s. What were your favorites?


* Participate in the A-Z blogging challenge with me! You know you want to! :)

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Monkey In the Middle


A long, long, long time ago, I found myself chatting online with an online friend about the monkey in the family. I'm not entirely sure what prompted it, but I remember being highly amused that the person I was talking with was not actually aware that I was referring to a real person rather than an animal.

My brother and I never got along when we were children. Even as older teens, we would still argue about everything. It's funny how time and growth changes things. As it turns out, at my wedding, my brother stood by me even when my bridesmaids were off doing … whatever they were doing. He was an amazing usher, taking everyone to their seats and making them feel comfortable, he handled his reading during the ceremony well even when he was given the wrong passage to read, and, from what I understand, at the reception he went from table to table asking if everyone had everything they needed. On that particular day, my brother went above and beyond to make me feel special and loved.

Of course, he's still helpful and encouraging even two years after the wedding! I don't know what I would do without him!

But now he is off at college over 4 hours away from home. He's a bit late to the whole college scene since he explored his options for a few years after high school taking a while to decide what he wanted to do with his life. I'm so glad he finally did since he is now happily living it up with his buddies at college and studying to become … who knows what?


(With selfies like that, you can never really tell!)

In honor of my brother being away at college and having to sort (or not sort) his own laundry, let's have another giveaway, shall we?!

Ever heard of Purex No Sort for Colors Detergent? It would be perfect for my brother! (And who am I kidding?! me!) It's a great new laundry detergent from Purex that prevents color bleeding using a dye transfer inhibitor so that, if you fail at sorting laundry, you won't have to worry about color bleeding accidents! Super cool, right?!


a Rafflecopter giveaway
Don't forget to enter the NEW Purex No Sort for Colors Detergent Giveaway on the Purex website where a grand prize winner will win $1000 and a year supply of Purex No Sort detergent! (I even gave you an entry into my giveaway for doing this! Woo!)

Best of luck to all who enter! Have a fantastic Wednesday!


* Participate in the A-Z blogging challenge with me! You know you want to! :)

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Link Up Love

One of the best and most exciting things about participating in the A-Z challenge is finding other bloggers to connect with. I click on and read at least 20 blogs every day that I've done the challenge on. Given that today is day 11 for me (I combined f and i), this means I have read over 200 different blogs in the past two weeks! Today I have decided to share 5 blogs that I have discovered through the A-Z challenge link up that I enjoy reading and that I think you will like too.


1. Cobbie's World

Tom, the author of Cobbie's World, writes a lot about teaching elementary school children and the challenges he faces as a father, a male teacher in the Canadian elementary school system, and the lessons he's learned by teaching students that have less than others. His posts are long and well thought out, dripping with meaning and providing daily insight into the lives of children and the adults who teach them. I highly recommend checking out his blog if you have children, teach, or just like hearing an interesting story.


2. Notes from the Tomato Lady

I LOVE tomatoes. Red, yellow, orange, green. But the tomato lady (aka Elizabeth Casteel) brings something new to her relationship with tomatoes that I just can't compete with. That is, unless I follow her blog and read all she has to say about tomatoes. I had no idea that any one person could come up with a different type of tomato for every letter in the alphabet. If you love tomatoes and think you know anything about them, take a look at this blog. I'm sure you will learn something you never knew before!


3. Beth Lapin's A to Z Blog 2014

What does Beth Lapin blog about when she isn't blogging A-Z? I have no idea! Her A-Z posts are phenomenal though! She provides a thought for the day and an action for you to do to develop better relationships with those you love. Thank you, Beth Lapin, for providing such wonderful daily snippets of wisdom and insight!


4. Words from Sonobe

I have to admit that this was a particularly fun blog to discover. The Words from Sonobe author writes letters to a younger version of herself about life challenges and obstacles she faced earlier in life. The writing style is sensational, and the letters are fun to read. If you've ever felt like writing a letter to your past self, this is a blog worthy of checking out. :)


5. Write Me A World

Nicole is an awesome A-Z challenge blogger. Every day, for every letter, she writes about a song with a story behind it. I never know what song she'll post about, so it's always exciting to check in on her blog every single day. Some days she posts songs that I know and love, while other days she posts songs I've never heard of or songs I would never have considered listening to otherwise. Check out her blog and follow along; you may discover a new favorite!

Have you discovered any awesome bloggers from the A-Z challenge? Are you excited to check out any of the blogs I mentioned in this post? Do you have any recommendations for me? I love to check out and read new blogs!


* Participate in the A-Z blogging challenge with me! You know you want to! :)

Monday, April 14, 2014

A Kindred Spirit

Most of the time when I think of kindred spirits, I think of special friends that have been placed into my life. People that I can't imagine not having in my life. But I have to admit, there are stores like that too. I'm not comparing a store to a person; there is definitely a benefit to having actual real life people in your life. I am saying that shopping for clothes that you like and want to wear decades later is difficult, complicated, and frustrating. To have a store that understands your style and works with you even so far as to provide great customer service can make you feel like you are dealing with a kindred spirit of sorts.

I'm leaving for Europe in 2 weeks, and my "kindred spirit", Anthropologie decided to have a sale today. It's like it knew that I needed more clothes for my trip (at sale prices)! Plus, if you purchase $150, you can use promo code "INBLOOM" to receive free shipping. :)  I don't have any real reviews to share with you today, but I thought I would share a few of the sale pieces that caught my eye … as well as some newer pieces I have yet to see in the stores that I would be interested in.


Don't you love this Mysa Leather Moto Jacket? I think the color is gorgeous, and I love how it has the peplum style that fits to your waist and hips. I haven't ordered it yet, but since the price has been reduced by $200, I might consider it!


The Scout Tunic looks like a lovely spring dress. I can picture it now being worn as you tour the harbor at some exotic location. Can't you picture that? It's really a gorgeous dress, but I'm afraid to order it with all of the stripes! Unfortunately no one has written any reviews about this dress. :( It's on sale for a very good price though at $69. It may be worth taking a chance on, stripes and all!


I love the color and fabric for the Sleeveless Quilted Aude dress.


It looks like it has a beautiful texture and would be a lot of fun to not only style but also wear. Plus pockets? Yay! Do be careful when ordering this dress though; the one review on the website suggests that it fits tightly. In my opinion, the cut of the dress looks (online) very similar to the Geojacquard dress I recently bought. Slightly more flared but definitely very similar.


I saw one of the girls at my local Anthro running around in the Bavay Dress the other day, but I couldn't find it in stores. :( She had it styled with an adorable looking ruffled slip underneath making me particularly interested in this light blue dress. Unfortunately, it's not currently on sale, but I will be keeping my eye on it. It looks very cute and comfortable.


I'm not sure what it is about the lace overlays that I love, but the Patio Party Dress with it's white overlay and blue underneath really caught my attention as I was glancing through all of the Anthro dresses. It looks like the perfect summer party dress. Unfortunately, it is an "online exclusive". Soooo disappointing. I really wish Anthro would just sell all of their dresses in stores so I can at least try them on before buying!



Another online exclusive to catch my attention was the Caronia Dress. The front is nice enough with the light blue design and ruffles, but the back of the dress is what really caught my attention. I love the lace see-through back. I think the addition of that one detail helps to add to the character and beauty of this dress.


A few months ago, I said I would keep an eye on the Well-Heeled Dress, so that perhaps I could snatch it up when it went on sale. Oops. I think I missed it. This morning when I checked there were a few sizes available that were too large for me, and now that I am writing this post it has officially sold out. I guess I won't be getting this customer favorite.


Did you see my post about Worn On TV? That's how I discovered this beauty and decided to order it on sale. I'm not sure I would have considered the Nikola Dress otherwise. It seems to have awesome reviews on the website even though I've never actually seen it in the stores. I ordered a size 2, so I'm hoping it fits. Aren't the models shoes adorable?


I've been watching the Quinby Dress for a while now, so I was pretty excited when I saw it was on sale. Justin has been referring to it as my "Paris dress", because he thinks it would be perfect for me to wear on the streets of Paris. If you'd like you can read my review here.

Is there anything you see at Anthro that you've been wanting? Will you be taking advantage of any of the sale items or the free shipping promo code?


* Participate in the A-Z blogging challenge with me! You know you want to! :)

Friday, April 11, 2014

J is for Top Gun

Today's letter of the day is J, so I thought and I thought… What words started with J? Very few. I read other blogs about "jumping in and trying something new" and I considered talking about Justin … or juice. My cousin posted the song "Jet Airliner" by the Steve Miller band to his facebook page, and I just knew it was a sign. I contemplated talking even more about flying to Europe, a subject I think I've worn out by now. The point is after an hour of clicking on song after song on youtube, I was left considering exactly two things: rock music and planes.


Back in May of 1986, Top Gun, a film starring Tom Cruise, Kelly McGillis, Val Kilmer, Anthony Edwards, and Tom Skerritt opened in the box office becoming one of the top grossing films of the year earning an estimated $8,193, 052 in its first weekend. Along with doing so well, it won a number of awards including an Academy Award for best music and original song, a Golden Globe for best original song,  and People's Choice Award for favorite motion picture. It had a huge effect on military recruiting, and the number of men wanting to be naval aviators went up by approximately 500%. Over twenty seven years later, the appeal for the film hasn't died down. The movie was re-released in Imax 3d in 2013, and there are talks about creating a second film.

While I'm not exactly advertising for the film, I did get the chance to watch a behind the scenes documentary recently which taught me a lot about the creation of the movie and provided insight into the world of film before everything became digitized. It sounds crazy, but hearing about how toy planes were used in the movie to create sequences designed to look like real planes in real life was really inspiring. Plus, the desire of the producers to pick just the right music and the right cast. Could anyone play Maverick as well as Tom Cruise?

My husband and I are moving over the weekend, so I won't have the time to post a 'k' word, but I hope you all have a wonderful weekend anyway. Be sure to let me know what you think of the movie Top Gun. Do you think they should even be considering producing a second film? Have you seen the first? Share below in the comments! :)


* Participate in the A-Z blogging challenge with me! You know you want to! :)

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Finances & Inside My Wallet

I skipped 'f', so today is 'f' and 'i'.

Finances –

For those of you just joining the blog from the A-Z challenge, I take a look at my finances twice a month to consider how my husband and I are doing and where we are in conquering our debt. Unfortunately, this month we aren't doing too good, but it's good to go through and see it. Plus, in a few months when I've paid it all off, posts such as this will make me feel incredibly good and hopefully inspire others. (Or at least that's my goal.)

Successes:

By some miracle we owe less than we did last month and have more in assets than we did last month.

Debt down by .01% (I'll take it!)

Assets up by .03%

Downfalls:

We're still paying for European vacation things AND in the middle of moving. Costs will occur.


Inside My Wallet –

Ok, if I'm going to be honest with you all, I don't actually have a "wallet" per-say. I don't like carrying a purse. One of the only reasons I carry a purse is if I'm going to a job interview or I need a small bag to carry my camera in. (Yes, I have been known to stuff my DSLR into an over the shoulder bag no bigger than … well, one camera and a lens.) My pockets are plenty big enough to fit everything I need on a daily basis.

Since this is a finance post, I decided for the letter 'I' to include what is typically on me or would be in my wallet if I had one.

Brand Bank Debit Card: This is a very local bank that I have had an account with since I was born. They don't have incredibly lucrative rewards for banking with them, but their customer service is phenomenal! In the past, they have stayed open late for me, closed an account for me when I was out of town, and worked out a way to get a check to my mom without me driving an hour out of my way to make it happen.

A few other good things about this bank – the cashback rewards, being able to submit checks over the phone, and fast(!!) transfers between bank accounts (i.e. checking and savings accounts within Brand Bank).

Cash: Justin doesn't keep too much cash in his wallet, and I don't really keep cash on me either. In fact, I'm actually known for hiding cash from myself around the house. If you don't see it, you can't spend it! I'll forget about the cash and get surprised when I find it. It's really a fun way to live, but the interest rates aren't too good. ;)

Capital One 360 Bank Card: At Thanksgiving we took advantage of a promotion and opened a bank account with them. It's nice that the checking account earns interest. We're considering making this account our primary one, but this has not happened yet. So far we like dealing with Capital One just fine, but it's definitely nice knowing that we have other checking accounts that aren't internet based. If you are looking for an account that earns interest, this is a pretty good one to check out.

Charles Schwab Bank Card: We just opened an account with them this week. Free ATM usage and not having to pay an exchange rate in Europe were key factors in our decision. It's so nice having a bank you can rely on to provide small benefits even when traveling.

Chase Freedom: We got this credit card, because it was no fees to transfer other debt to and we would have a year and a half to pay it off interest free. We aren't really in a good place to do that today, but in the next few months we will be. We are sooooo ready for this card to be paid off and out of our lives. I do recommend getting this card if you are on your way to paying down debt or need a short term loan through an interest free credit card.

Costco Amex: If you are going to have a Costco membership, you might as well get this credit card. It supposedly ups the amount of cashback you get on Costco purchases. The credit card fee is the cost of membership to Costco, so that's nice. Plus, it's Amex. I don't know too many people that don't like Amex.

Health Insurance Card: This little card will make it easier to get service when I go to the hospital, and it helps me pay for doctor's visits. I have a love/hate relationship with it.

License: self-explanatory. Ugly picture and all.

store cards: I need my Kroger card to get the best Kroger deals. I also have a card for Menchies frozen yogurt and a nail salon I frequent. But let's not forget gift cards! Those are my favorite kind of store cards! :)

Suntrust Credit Card: Justin got this credit card before we got married. I think it was his first credit card. It's pretty lackluster; the only exciting bit is getting points for purchases. Even the points aren't worth too much though.

Suntrust Bank Card: Justin had a bank account with Suntrust long before I met him. I'm not really a fan of Suntrust and I haven't had the best experience with them, but I can understand wanting to stick with what you know. Suntrust is our primary account, the one we pay our bills from.

Venture Visa: We got this card for it's lack of foreign transaction fees when thinking about our trip to Europe. In the past 6 months it has been incredibly helpful earning us enough points to obtain $600 in free Amazon money! You get 2 points per dollar spent, and if you cash out for Amazon gift cards, you can cash out at 1 point per dollar. It adds up fast! Plus, there is added purchase protection that you can read about on Venture's website. The first year there is no fee for the card, but afterwards it's $59 per year. If we had paid the fee this year, the card would still have paid for itself a few times over. In our first year of using this card, we don't have any real complaints.


Do you take the time to think about your finances monthly? Do you have a bank card or credit card that you find particularly beneficial in your wallet? Do you have any of the same cards as I do?

* Participate in the A-Z blogging challenge with me! You know you want to! :)