Movies of 2013

There were A LOT of movies that came out this year.  I went to Wild About Movies to get a complete list. Out of all of the movies that came out this year (and there were A LOT) here are the ones that I absolutely LOVED!

~ My Favorite Movie of 2013 is ~

  
Then of course there are movies coming out in 2014 that I'm super excited about!


2014 is going to be great!  
The Golden Globes are on January 12 and then the Oscars soon to follow!
I love Movies!


                              Linking up for Totally Posted Tuesday with Karly Kim & Glossy Blonde.

Harry Potter Forever Stamps

I had seen somewhere on Facebook that they were coming out with Harry Potter stamps.  I finally got my butt to the post office to see if this was true.  IT WAS!!!!!!!!!!!!!! These stamps are so beautiful.  They don't even look like stamps the pictures are so clear!  Take a look!














I don't know how long they will be available, so if you're a big of a fan as I am, then you should get them sooner or later!  I bought two booklets - one to use and one to keep!

Happy Monday!!!!!!!!!!! 

Linking up with Lip Gloss & Crayons and Still Being Molly for Funday Monday

The Last Friday of 2013!

OMG - Today is the last Friday of the year! Can you believe it??? I can't! Where did the year go????
I hope everyone had a lovely Christmas holiday, for those of you that celebrate.  Everyone that doesn't celebrate Christmas, I hope you had a lovely week! :)

Here are some fabulous highlights from my week!

On Saturday I went over to my friend Erin's house for a girls night.  Her husband was out of town, so we took advantage of the opportunity to watch Christmas Hallmark Movies!  She also gave me a Christmas present ~ Lil Bub's  2014 Calendar!!!!! It had a December 2013 page and it's already up.  This kitty is sooo cute!


{two} This Christmas was pretty awesome!  Now that Jacob is on the east coast, practically the same city as me, we were all together for Christmas for the first time in 3 years!  Jacob so kindly hosted us at his apartment both Christmas Eve and Christmas night.  We had so much fun cooking and playing Quelf and just laughing and having a great time!


 {three} Christmas Morning!  We had Christmas morning at my apartment.  I made our traditional Monkey Bread.  It's my Grandma's recipe.  It was so delicious!  We opened our stocking stuffers and presents.  Dad's "Santa" present was a Camel Geico commercial t-shirt.  He loves that commercial!  If you haven't seen it I have it for you below.  It's pretty funny.  The t-shirt has the entire commercial on the back along with the smiling camel!
I got some great stuff this year.  All I really wanted was a foam roller and I got a really pretty one!  It came with a stretch band and a stress ball. LOVE IT!  I also got a Coca-Cola Soda Shop Madame Alexander Doll (she came with her own little coca-cola), a hair diffuser, spin toothbrush, and some awesome Paul Mitchell hair mousse.  It was a very practical Christmas.



{four} Christmas Night we moved on over to Jacob's apartment for dinner and my dear friend Marcy joined us.  We had ham, sweet potato, roasted cauliflower, mushroom risotto, salad, yummy rolls, and stuffed jalapenos!  Oh, and apple pie...although we never got to the pie.  Jacob's puppy Butters also joined in on the fun with his Christmas jingle hat.  We got a family photo..first one in 3 years!  Oh, and Marcy is a vegetarian which is why she has that face in the picture with the ham..she was a gracious sport!


{five}  Last night the four of us went to Ford's Theatre to see A Christmas Carol.  My college professor, Edward Gero, played Ebenezer Scrooge.  He's been playing this roll for a few years now at Ford's.  It was fantastic.  Just being in Ford's Theatre is pretty fantastic.  So much history there.  To be able to see where Abraham Lincoln sat the night of his untimely death is pretty amazing.  Not to mention the beautiful stage!  Ed was great in the show, as was everyone else!  One of the other actors, Bobby Smith who played Bob Cratchet, did a show at Mill Mountain Theatre in Roanoke back in 2005.  A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum.  That was the first show I worked on after college as an intern.  It was pretty cool seeing him in the show last night!



I'm linking up with Lauren Elizabeth for this High Five For Friday
and
The Diary of a Real Housewife for Friday Favorites
and
Carolina Charm | The Good Life Blog for 5 on Friday

Books for 2014

In the spirit of Thursday's Book Chat I'm going to talk about the books that I am determined to conquer in 2014.  There are soooo many books out there that I want to read.  There are soooo many books currently on my bookshelf that I haven't read. I registered on GoodReads in January and love it!  I saw that everyone was doing the reading challenge.  I originally thought I could read 40 books.  HAHA!  I was at 11 books in October, so I lowered my goal to 25.  Well, I'm on book #17 right now and as you can see I'm 8 books behind!  So, for 2014 I'm setting myself a goal of 20 books.


~ 20 is the goal and I have 10 books that I definitely plan on reading below for you ~ 

Books that been on my Shelf for A LONG TIME!
Room
Kite Runner
The Red Tent
The Postmistress

The Book Thief
I've already started this, but I'm only about 50 pages into it.  I've been trying to get all of my Christmas movies in before tomorrow comes!

The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest
The third and final book to the Dragon Tattoo series!  The other two have been awesome and this one will be too...I can feel it!

The Forgotten Garden
I've attempted this book a few times and really want to finish it.  It's not that I haven't liked it.  I just haven't sat down and allowed myself to get into it.

The Night Road
This is a Kirsten Hannah book that I'm hoping is way better than Fly Away. I couldn't finish it, because it was so depressingly sad!

Then Again
This is Diane Keaton's autobiography.  I have a funny feeling that we have a lot in common.  Diane says that she couldn't write her story without talking to her mom.  Hello!  I couldn't either :)

The Longest Ride
This is the latest book by Nicholas Sparks.  I got it in September at the book signing. The main thing keeping me from reading it is that it's the last one until something new of his comes out. (frown)


There is also the Divergent trilogy that I want to read. As well as a few Jane Green books (if I can get through them.)  Patty Stanger's book Become Your Own Matchmaker that I started a while back and want to finish.  I can feel that 2014 will be my year for love :)


What about you?  Are there any books that you really want to read this year?  Tell me all about it below!


 

Wednesday Weigh In ~ Week 2 Results

Happy Hump Day & Merry Christmas!  

Even though it's Christmas day and I posted a Christmas greeting this morning, I still want to stay on track and accountable for my weigh ins.  For week 2 I created a spread sheet to keep track of each week.  Week 2 was 12/18 - 12/24.  Below is how I did.  It's a little blurry, sorry about that!  I'll see if I can find a better way to show you next time.

As you can see, there were three days that I did not track what I was eating. My bad!  There were also only three days that I worked out.  Let's see how I did on the scale::


Needless to say I was totally bummed this morning.  I am a continuous fluctua-tor (I think I made up that word)!!!!!!!!!  I obviously need to work out MORE and really need to be diligent about tracking what I eat.  This is my last week in 2013.  I would really like to go into the New Year either right at 150 or below.  Think I can do it?  Can I lose 5 pounds this week?  Come back Next Year...haha...January 1st to find out!


*Merry Christmas*


Wishing you the timeless treasures of Christmas.  The warmth of home, the love of family and the company of good friends.
Have a blessed and meaningful Christmas!




Happy Christmas Sunday Social

Christmas is in 3 days!!!! Crazy town!  Are you ready?  I think I'm ready.  Haha!  Today's Sunday Social is all about the holidays.  Check it out and join on in!

Sunday Social

1. What is your favorite holiday season tradition?
I think mine would be making cookies and listening to The Carpenter's Christmas CD.  That's something me and my mom do every holiday season.

2. Do you have a certain holiday movie you watch more than others?  If so, what is it?
Usually it's The Santa Clause or Home Alone, but this year I've watched A Christmas Story the most.  I just love the vintage appeal of it.

3.  Show us your favorite decoration or pinterest decoration you wish you could have.
I love this fireplace mantel decoration.  It's so pretty!


4.  What is your favorite holiday song?
I have a lot, but every time I hear Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree on the radio I turn it up.  Plus, I love that scene in Home Alone where Kevin has put together the fake party to fool the burglars!

5.  What is your favorite holiday dessert?
Does Monkey Bread count?  I mean, it is all sugar!  We have it every Christmas morning and this year I'm making it at my place.


6.  What is on your wish list this year?
I don't really have a ton on my list, but I did ask momma for a foam roller.  They are so great for your back and legs to work out all the tightness of your muscles.

How about you?  Anything on your wish list or what about your favorite holiday traditions?  Tell me all about them!

A Saturday Secret Santa

This year I participated in a Secret Santa Swap with some fabulous bloggers.  My SS box was delivered on Thursday and I was super excited to get it!!!!!  It was totally worth the wait.  

~ Check out what I got ~



All I know about my secret santa is that her name is Lauren and the box came from California. Oh, and that she's awesome :)

I love these holiday themed waffle towels. I have two snowman towels already, so these will go great!

I was thinking about holiday food yesterday.   First we have October - Halloween.  Then November - Thanksgiving.  Lastly December - Christmas.  

Lauren sent me COOKIE MIXES!  I love the spatula too. This is actually quite perfect, because my mom and dad are coming up here this year for Christmas instead of me going home to Roanoke.  Now I can make cookies for Christmas!
 Cookie Cutters and Stencils for sprinkles.  I love it!

 I need to have a Hot Chocolate party, because I have so much now :)

 I love notepads and post its. 

She sent me window gels.  They are so cute! I put them on my window right away to dress it up.

Love the holidays and love meeting new bloggers! Thanks so much Lauren!


Top 10 Books of 2013

It's book chat day and I'm co-hosting!  A big thanks to Jessica over at The Tangerine, thanks lady :)  Today's topic is your Top 10 of 2013.  It can be any type of top 10.  Top authors, audio books, book covers, etc.  I'm going with My Top 10 Reads of 2013.  My goal was to read 40 25 books this year. I'm on book #17!  There's always next year, right? Haha!  Well, out of the 16 books I've read I do have my 10 favorites.  

Check them out ~



10.  Joyland, by Stephen King.
This was my first Stephen King novel that I've ever read.  I liked it, but it definitely wasn't what I was expecting.  I thought it was going to be super scary and spooky.  It wasn't at all.  It was more of a drama.  Don't get me wrong, it was good.  I was hoping it to be scary!

9.  Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children, by Ransom Riggs
Weird!  It was definitely interesting and leave A LOT to the imagination.  I have a very vivid imagination, so mine went wild.

8.  Vader's Little Princess, by Jeffrey Brown
This was such a cute little book.  I read it while standing in the book aisle at Target.  It's super short and really for kids.  Darth Vader is raising Princess Leia and we see her grow up to a teenager and then fall in love.  It's really funny.

7.  Homer's Odyssey, by Gwen Cooper
I love books about animals, especially cats.  Homer is a blind kitten that Gwen rescues.  It's a wonderful story!

6.  Sharp Objects, by Gillian Flynn
I love this author!  Her stories are dark, but so interesting.  This is her first novel and for a first novel it is intriguing.

5. The Best of Me, by Nicholas Sparks
I love Nicholas Sparks!!!!!!!!!  His books are somewhat predictable, but I still love them all.  I went to a book signing of his where he spoke and we got to ask him questions.  So many of his novels are based on his family and are true stories.  AMAZING!

4.  The Girl Who Played With Fire, by Stieg Larsson
Book #2 in the Dragon Tattoo series.  I can't wait to read the third one!

3.  Dark Places, by Gillian Flynn
I just can't stay away!  I want her to write more!!!!!!!!!

2.  The Night Circus, by Erin Morgenstern
This book is so magical and I'm not just saying that because it's about magic.  The life Erin brings to the page through the characters and her writing is so lovely.

1.  The Great Gatsby, by F. Scott Fitzgerald
This is currently my all time favorite book!

What are your favorite books that you've read this year?  Tell me about them!


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Wednesday Weigh In ~ -3.6

I got some sad news on Friday afternoon.  My Aunt Irene passed away early Friday morning.  She had been sick for quite some time and was in a lot of pain.  She chose to go into Hospice Care last week and passed away two days later.  Aunt Irene is in a much better place and isn't in anymore pain.  Irene is the "Slot Machine Queen" and I have no doubt she's sitting at the slots right now!  I went up to Ohio with my mom and dad for all of the services.  It was a very long and emotionally tiring weekend.  I'm glad I was able to go and be there for my mom and her brother (Irene's husband, my Uncle Ron).  It was very sad and a lot harder than I thought it would be, but like my mom said, "that's part of the grieving process."  Aunt Irene always had a smile on her face.  Her favorite color was purple and she loved girlie things just as much as I do.

She'll keep the angels in heaven giggling!

With all of that going on, I didn't get much exercise in.  However, I was with my mom, so I didn't eat too bad at all.  Mom and I are both doing the 30 Days of Planks and we were doing them together in the hotel room.  Below is my re-cap of the week.  This week will be better!

This week's Weigh In - 153.4 pounds
Last week's Weigh In - 157 pounds
lost 3.6 pounds

Wednesday - 12/11/13
Food - 1094 calories
Exercise - 30 minutes on treadmill (178 calories burned)
Plank Day 1 - 20 second plank

Thursday - 12/12/13
Food - went over calorie count just a tad :(
Exercise - None
Plank Day 2 - 20 seconds

Friday - 12/13/13 ~ Drove home to Roanoke
Food - Didn't track
Exercise - None
Plank Day 3 - 30 Seconds

Saturday - 12/14/13 ~ Drove to Ohio
Food - 1120 calories
Exercise - None
Plank Day 4 - 30 seconds

Sunday - 12/15/13 ~ In Ohio
Food - 1110 calories
Exercise - None
Plank Day 4 - 60 seconds

Monday - 12/16/13 ~ In Ohio & Drove back to Roanoke (very long day!)
Food - No clue!
Exercise - None
Plank Day 5 - 45 seconds

Tuesday - 12/17/13 ~ Drove back to Northern VA
Food - Didn't track
Exercise - None
Plank - 45 seconds

I will obviously get more exercise in this week, since I won't be traveling.  I have to be really good about my food, because mom's not here to watch me :-)  Every time I see this Victoria's Secret commerical I think, "yeah, coz people really walk around the streets in their underwear!"  Well, if I looked like that, maybe I would too!


Linking up with Because Shanna Said So for Random Wednesdays

Award Season is Upon Us

I love the Christmas season, but honestly Award Season is really my true favorite time of year!  All the Stars come out in their fabulous attire. The Red Carpet is rolled out.  My absolute two favorite award shows are the Golden Globes and, of course, the  Academy Awards...aka...THE OSCARS!

The Golden Globe nominations came out this past Thursday and they are amazing.  This is the best time of year for movies.  All the best ones usually come out around the end of the calendar year.  American Hustle has a lot of nominations: actor, actress, supporting actor and actress, director, and screenplay.  Tom Hanks is nominated for Captain Phillips.  Leonardo DiCaprio is nominated for The Wolf of Wall Street.  Sandra Bullock has a nomination for Gravity.  The are movies nominated that I haven't seen and there are some that I haven't even heard of!  I've got some movie watching to do.

The GREAT thing about the Golden Globes is that Television is also involved.  There are some great shows out there. Thank The Lord I have Hulu and Netflix.  House of Cards received at least three nominations: best actor (Kevin Spacey), actress, and TV drama. The Good Wife, Downton Abbey, Breaking Bad, and so many more.

I have the list of my favorite movie categories for you below.  Normally, I would highlight who I think is going to win, but since I still have a few movies to see, I will save that for later!


Best Motion Picture - Drama
12 Years a Slave
Captain Phillips
Gravity
Philomena
Rush

Best Motion Picture - Musical or Comedy
American Hustle
Her
Inside Llewyn Davis
Nebraska
The Wolf of Wall Street

Best Actress in a Motion Picture - Drama
Cate Blanchette - Blue Jasmine
Sandra Bullock - Gravity
Judi Dench - Philomena
Emma Thompson - Saving Mr. Banks
Kate Winslet - Labor Day

Best Actor in a Motion Picture - Drama
Chiwetel Ejiofor - 12 Years a Slave
Idris Elba - Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom
Tom Hanks - Captain Phillips
Matthew McConaughey - Dallas Buyers Club
Robert Redford - All Is Lost

Best Actress in a Motion Picture - Musical or Comedy
Amy Adams - American Hustle
Julie Delpy - Before Midnight
Greta Gerwig - Frances Ha
Julia Louis-Dreyfus - Enough Said
Meryl Streep - August: Osage County

Best Actor in a Motion Picture - Musical or Comedy
Christian Bale - American Hustle
Bruce Dern - Nebraska
Leonardo DiCaprio - The Wolf of Wall Street
Oscar Issac - Inside Llewyn Davis
Joaquin Phoenix - Her

Best Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture
Sally Hawkins - Blue Jasmine
Jennifer Lawrence - American Hustle
Lupita Nyong'o - 12 Years a Slave
Julia Roberts - August: Osage County
June Squibb - Nebraska

Best Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture
Barkhad Abdi - Captain Phillips
Daniel Bruhl - Rush
Bradley Cooper - American Hustle
Michael Fassbender - 12 Years a Slave
Jared Leto - Dallas Buyers Club

For a full list go to HERE to the LA Times


Linking up with Lip Gloss & Crayons and Still Being Molly for Funday Monday
still being [molly]

A Holiday Sunday Social

Good morning everyone!  Are you ready for Christmas? Only 10 more days!!!!!!!
 Below are some fun questions for our Social Sunday.

Sunday Social
~ Linking up with Ashley and Neely ~


1. What is your favorite Holiday Movies/TV Specials?
TV Special ~ The Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade

Holiday Movie ~ Christmas in Connecticut


2. Do you do any volunteering during the holidays if so what? If not what would you do?
No, but lately I've been thinking about volunteering at an animal shelter.

3. What is your favorite toy received as a child for the holidays?
Dream Builders
Pink and Purple legos for girls!  I loved these.  You could build a mall!

4. What was your must have item in high school for the holidays? 
I didn't really have one. Maybe a pin to put on my top.

5. What do you do on Christmas Eve?
Well, when I was little and we lived in Boston, we were getting ready for church.  Mom had a lasagna in the oven and then the power went out!  We left the lasagna in the oven to keep it warm and headed to church.  When we got back the power was still out.  The lasagna was yummy and we ate dinner by candle light.  Then we all got into sleeping bags under our covers to keep warm.
These days mom's lactose intolerant, so we do crab cakes and sausage log with crackers.  Mom makes bomb crab cakes!
This year mom and dad are coming up to NoVa since Jacob and I both live up here now.  We have reservations at Carmines and I'm getting a big piece of lasagna!

How about you?  What are some of your holiday favorites?

A New Look

Out with the old...


In with the New...

and just in time for the New Year!

Well, what do you think?  I felt that Looking to the Stars needed a little slimming down.  Everything seemed so big and busy.  I like my new simple look.  I still have my favorite color, purple, and my stars. I wanted to throw in the color red and a ladybug.  Now I've got some loopy letters and a sleek new look.  I owe it all to Marquis at Clarke Creative Design (she also blogs at Simply Clarke

Hope you like it!