Day 772: This Is Where I Relax!

Rachel, Day by Day

February 2015 Photo a Day: Day 23

Day 772: This Is Where I Relax!

My bed and my lovely stuffed animals.

So, this is where I relax: my bed. I tend to sit on my bed when listening to music, reading on my kindle, or doing things on my laptop. I feel relaxed and calm in this location. Plus, my stuffed animals keep me company! Maybe it’s more relaxing because I don’t have a TV in my room, either. I can just listen to music and type away. And then I go to sleep. Good times.

So, who watched the Oscars last night? I thought it was a good show overall and I enjoy watching it every year. Here are the worst and best moments of the Oscars, in my opinion!

Worst
1. Sean Penn presenting. He said: “Who gave this son of a bitch his green card?” I think he was hoping it would be a joke, but it wasn’t funny.
2. Matthew McConnaughey taking forever to announce the best actress Oscar (Julianne Moore won). I wonder if he did it on purpose.
3. Neil Patrick Harris’ Oscar predictions in the briefcase bit. It got old after a while.
4. John Travolta touching Idina Menzel’s face. I feel bad for her.
5. Some speeches were way too long, which is why the whole show went over 30 minutes.

Best
1. Neil Patrick Harris’ opening song. I thought he was good host overall, too!
2. J.K. Simmon’s best supporting actor speech. Here’s part of it: “Call your mom, call your dad. If you’re lucky enough to have a parent or two alive on this planet, call them. Don’t text; don’t email. Call them on the phone and tell them you love them. And thank them and listen to them for as long as they want to talk to you.” Click here for the whole speech.
3. Lady Gaga singing a medley of Sound of Music songs for its 50th anniversary. It was AMAZING and brought me to tears. Here’s a video I found of it:

4. Graham Moore’s (Imitation Game screenwriter) speech. Here is most of it: “When I was 16 years old, I tried to kill myself because I felt weird. And I felt different. And I felt like I did not belong. And now I’m standing here, and so I would like for this moment to be for that kid out there who feels like she’s weird or she’s different or she doesn’t fit in anywhere. Yes, you do. I promise you do. You do. Stay weird; stay different. And then when it’s your turn, and you are standing on this stage, please pass the same message.” Click here for his whole speech.
5. Eddie Redmayne winning best actor for The Theory of Everything. I like him!

So, those are my thoughts on the Oscars. And now I want to watch Sound of Music. Maybe I will sometime this week!

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Day 771: An Act of Kindness

Rachel, Day by Day

February 2015 Photo a Day: Day 22

Day 771: An Act of Kindness

Scott cleaning.

I thought this was pretty kind of Scott; he is dusting our coffee table. How nice! I hate dusting and it annoys my allergies, so he dusted all of the tables this morning. What a good guy. And he’s even smiling while cleaning… maybe because I’m taking a photo of him. Thank you for dusting!

So, who’s going to watch the Oscars tonight? I’m currently watching the Red Carpet and I love it! So far I like Felicity Jones’ dress the most, but there’s more Red Carpet to come! I only saw one nominated movie (American Sniper), but I’m still interested to see who wins. We shall see!

Have a good evening!

Day 766: Vegetable

Rachel, Day by Day

February 2015 Photo a Day: Day 17

Day 766: Vegetable

Here are some petite peas for you.

Well, here’s another somewhat boring photo for you. Today’s picture had to be of a vegetable. What did I learn from this photo? I should probably buy and eat more vegetables. Here are some petite peas for you. I’m not a big fan of peas; they taste boring to me. But, I would eat them if they were on my plate. My favorite vegetable is probably a carrot. My least favorite is definitely corn. Yuck. I’m one of the few people I know who dislikes corn, but I don’t know how you all can handle that taste! Ugh.

I had lunch with Soleman today! We met up at Jason’s Deli; I like that place. Their menu is very big, full of salads, wraps, sandwiches, soups, and more. I had a half Santa Fe chicken sandwich with a cup of French Onion soup. Yum. OK, I’ll stop talking about food and vegetables now.

Now I’m going to talk about movies. Here’s a list of movies I don’t really like that other people seem to love. I provided a few explanations for you, too. I thought it would be interesting to share to all of you, even though two people will probably read this.

Eleven Movies I Don’t Like That Other People Love (Not in any Particular Order)

  1. Ghostbusters: I saw this movie when I was younger and the monsters and ghosts terrified me. So, now I really don’t like the movie.
  2. The Godfather: I’ve seen this movie only once, so I’d be willing to give it another chance. I think you need to be in the right mood to watch a mob movie, and maybe I wasn’t at the time. Plus, it was extremely hyped up for me.
  3. Pulp Fiction: Disturbing. Enough said.
  4. Lord of the Rings: Maybe it’s not fair to add this one to the list. I generally liked it, but I’d probably be fine if I didn’t see it again. Does that count?
  5. Se7en: Horribly disturbing. Enough Said.
  6. It’s a Wonderful Life: I really want to give this one another chance since I’ve only seen it once. It was just so sad most of the time, though, and the title is cheery! It confused me.
  7. Star Wars: I think my review for this is the same as Lord of the Rings, so see above.
  8. The Graduate: I hope I’m not the only one out there who thinks the plot is bothersome. He sleeps with the mother then tries to have a relationship with the daughter… what mother and daughter would be OK with that?! Ugh.
  9. Jurassic Park: I watched this again recently and thought it was corny and annoying. Who the hell would try to bring back dinosaurs now? Bad idea.
  10. Blues Brothers: I watched this again recently… I feel bad saying this since I like the actors, but I just didn’t think it was that funny. Sorry. Please don’t judge me.
  11. Winter’s Bone: Horribly horribly disturbing. Enough said.

There you go! If you’d like to have a movie discussion on any of these above, or if you’d like to discuss vegetables from the first paragraph, leave a comment!

Day 761: Out + About

Rachel, Day by Day

February 2015 Photo a Day: Day 12

Day 761: Out + About

The theater!!

Today’s photo involved being out and about. As you can guess, I went to the movie theater tonight! I’ve always loved this theater since it’s in my hometown. And I love the fact that they kept this marquee with the awesome lights all these years. I like it when theaters look somewhat old-fashioned. It makes me want to dress up and go to the theater!

Alright folks, it’s time for reviews of books and a movie. You might judge me extremely after this post, but I’m willing to risk it. Tonight at the movie theater, I saw Fifty Shades of Grey. First, I’ll give you my review of the books.

Fifty Shades Books Synopsis (DEFINITE SPOILERS): The first book is about a girl in her young 20s named Anastasia Steele; she steps in for her roommate, Kate, to interview a wealthy business man for the school newspaper… Christian Grey. He is powerful, rich, and dominant while Anastasia is young, naïve, and innocent. They realize they can’t resist each other, so they begin a relationship of sorts, sexually and emotionally, while he wants to be her dominant and she his submissive. Their relationship grows into something more, which is new for both of them. They find themselves having fun together while learning about each other. At the end, his controlling tendencies become too much for her, so she leaves.

I’ll make the synopsis for the next two books a lot shorter. For the second book, Fifty Shades Darker, Christian and Anastasia get back together and try having a regular relationship, while doing a lot of… adult things. Issues come up with an ex-sub and Ana’s boss; they both try to hurt them. Christian’s friend, Mrs. Robinson, causes trouble for them, too. In the end, they realize they love each other and get engaged. In Fifty Shades Freed, Ana and Christian go on a long honeymoon in Europe. They seem happy for the most part, and Ana ends up pregnant later. Christian gets angry and gets drunk with Mrs. Robinson, which causes issues. Ana’s former boss kidnaps Christian’s sister and tries to basically kidnap and kill Ana. Crazy stuff happens, but in the end, Ana and Christian are happily married with a child and another on the way.

My Review on the Books: So, ready for my opinion? I overall like the books. Christian is a lost, tortured, dreamy, caring, crazy guy and I was mesmerized by him. Sometimes I liked how he acted manly while other times I wanted to punch him. There’s definitely a lot of detail in the more adult scenes, but being an adult myself, I could handle them. I mainly liked seeing how both Christian and Ana change throughout the books and grow to love each other. I liked seeing their chemistry and how it evolved. He wanted to fully control her at the beginning, but that’s impossible to do if the relationship evolves. I think you have to be open-minded on sex and relationships while reading these books (or seeing the movie). I learned more about the… more adult parts… which I guess is OK. The third book annoyed me a bit, mainly because Ana was whiny and Christian’s personality changed A LOT, but I like how the story wrapped up. Overall, I think the books are a curiously, fantasy-driven, fun read.

Fifty Shades Movie (POSSIBLE TINY SPOILERS):  I thought the movie went along with the book really well. If you haven’t read the books, I’m not sure if you’ll really like the movie, especially the ending. Jamie Dornan did an amazing job playing Christian Grey. I pictured him being like that! There were some little funny parts and Dakota Johnson did a great job, too. If you liked the books, I recommend seeing the movie!

Well, it’s late. Time for me to sleep. And I hope you aren’t judging me after this post. Goodnight!

 

Day 758: Details

Rachel, Day by Day

February 2015 Photo a Day: Day 9

Day 758: Details

Details of my wedding flowers.

Happy Monday! Today I had to take a photo of details. That is a general topic, so the options were wide open! I decided to take a photo of my wedding flowers (see above). I still have them in a vase and they are all dried out. They definitely don’t have the pretty look they had on my wedding day anymore, but that’s OK. I like the vintage look! You can sort of tell those flowers used to be lavender and white. They don’t smell as nice anymore, either. But, I’m sentimental and want to keep them!

Today was a typical Monday full of work. Anyone watch the Grammy Awards last night? I watched parts of it; I couldn’t really get into it I guess. It’s not my favorite show, but I liked a lot of the music. As weird as she is, I really like Sia’s song Chandelier. And Kristen Wiig’s random appearance was awesome! Good times.

Well, time to go relax! Enjoy your night. And also, happy birthday to Tom Hiddleston!

Day 756: Utensil

Rachel, Day by Day

February 2015 Photo a Day: Day 7

Day 756: Utensil

Yes… a fork.

Well, today’s photo in this challenge is a little odd. As you can see from the title, I had to take a picture of a utensil. This is… a slightly boring fork. I guess you can say it looks nice and shiny, but that’s about it. Forks are good things to have since they help you eat. And now I’m not really sure what else to say about this. Thank you, fork. I don’t know where I’d be without you. I guess my hands would be messier than usual.

10 Things You Might Not Know About Me
1. I like a lot of Kelly Clarkson songs.
2. I prefer snacking compared to eating a meal.
3. I’m not a fan of wearing heels, but I still do sometimes.
4. I sing a lot in the car.
5. I hate the Facebook app. I don’t need to know what’s happening on Facebook that much.
6. I like talking in silly voices.
7. When I’m feeling awkward or nervous, I make funny faces and move my mouth around a lot.
8. I’m slightly allergic to something in the air.
9. Jack Nicholson scares me.
10. I wish I could be a painter.

It’s Saturday! Woo! I plan on doing extremely fun things, including cleaning and taxes. Doesn’t that sound amazing?? I’m pretty sure I slept 9 hours last night, so I’m wide awake!!

Have a wonderful day!

Day 755: C is for…

Rachel, Day by Day

February 2015 Photo a Day: Day 6

Day 755: C is for...

Mmmm…

Cookie! Mmm, this was a good cookie I ate at work today. I love chocolate chip! There are so many options for the letter C, but I chose cookie today. I could have taken a photo of my car, a cake, a carnival, a cat, or cheese. But I choose a cookie. I ended up eating this cookie for breakfast. Well, what would you consider 10 a.m.? That’s a bit too late for breakfast, but too early for lunch. Did I eat this for brunch? Who knows.

I had a fun evening with my husband’s family! We ate dinner and hung out together. It’s been too long! And now I’m at home and just turned on the movie Gone With the Wind. I love this movie, but it is pretty long. I wonder if I can stay up for the whole thing… we’ll see! So, to those who have seen this movie, do you like Scarlett? I go back and forth throughout the movie. I think she’s horrible to Rhett and should be nicer to him. But, when I was single, I wish I could flirt like her! I can’t imagine living through the war, either. That had to be a horrible time.

Anyway, have a good night!

Day 749: American Sniper Movie

Rachel, Day by Day

Day 749: American Sniper Movie

Wow. Just… wow. I saw American Sniper this week and I’m having a hard time putting it into words. For those of you who don’t know what it’s about, it centers around Chris Kyle’s life (played by Bradley Cooper), a Navy SEAL sniper who saved countless lives while doing four tours in Iraq. The movie focuses on his home life, too, with his wife and two children. You see how the war affects him both at home and in Iraq. You find out at one point during the movie that he killed a total of 160 people in order to save American lives.

I keep hearing and reading that people think snipers are weak and cowardly. No… I definitely do not agree with that, especially after seeing this movie. Chris Kyle had to make the decision on who to shoot, and there sometimes seemed to be that fear of if he was doing the right thing. He had to pull the trigger on a child at one point, and almost a second child. You could tell it was tearing him apart. He risked his life every day while over in Iraq. You could tell it was negatively affecting him, especially when he was home. He didn’t know how to live his life at first, but slowly got better. He seemed to be a loving husband and father, which I liked.

War and the pain from it is something I’ll never understand. It’s something a lot of us will never understand. I can see how those fighting in wars come home and have issues and demons in their minds. This movie gave us a glimpse of that. I definitely took it to heart and I’m still thinking about the movie days later. It’s one of those movies that would be hard for me to watch again. But, it was powerful, sad, terrifying, loving, moving, and heroic.

To all of you who are currently fighting or have fought for our country, thank you. You are all extremely strong and brave.

Overall rating: A

Day 746: Year in Review

Rachel, Day by Day

Day 746: Year in Review

Our first wedding anniversary. 🙂

2014 was a great year! There were many great times with family and friends and I have so much to be thankful for. Time really has flown by and I can’t believe 2014 is almost over. From family gatherings on weekends to a trip to Las Vegas, we did a lot this year! 2014 ending makes me sad in a way. The majority of the year had great times, but there were also some tough times, too. But, I had Scott, family, and friends by my side, which has always been a great feeling. I don’t know what I’d do without them! I am one of the luckiest girls in the world.

Here’s a list of the highlights from 2014 for you!

  • Last New Years Eve: We rang in the New Year at Medici and Maggie Miley’s.
  • I started the Double Take project, but sort of neglected it. Sorry!
  • Kate, Graham, Steve, and Jillian visited to watch a Blackhawks game in January.
  • I needed two fillings, my first fillings ever!
  • My family visited in January and we went to Carl’s ice cream!
  • Ate at Biaggi’s with Scott for Valentine’s Day.
  • Went to the Bloomington Thunder game in February with family and met Tony Esposito!
Day 746: Year in Review

Uncle John meeting Tony Esposito!

  • Celebrated Soleman’s birthday at Kings and Park Tavern in Rosemont in March.
  • Elmhurst St. Patrick’s Day parade in March.
  • St. Patrick’s Day parade in Normal and threw a little party!
  • Met Grant Bitzer. He’s such a cutie!
  • Attended the Going Away Party for my cousins Matt and Jackie. (They moved to North Carolina.)
  • Fancy happy hours!
  • Got together with college friends and their husbands in April. Went to Claim Jumper and Beer House.
  • Spent Easter weekend with my family. We colored eggs and ate brunch at Drury Lane.
  • The ending to How I Met Your Mother was awful. Ugh.
  • Spent our first wedding anniversary in Chicago!
  • Went to Cubs vs. Cardinals game in the bleachers at Wrigley. Cubs won!
Day 746: Year in Review

Ready to watch the Cubs win!

  • Spent Mother’s Day weekend with my mom! Went to McCormick and Schmick’s for dinner.
  • Chicago Blackhawks made it to the playoffs but lost. I’m still proud of them!
  • Had a Memorial Day BBQ at our house with my family and Scott’s family.
  • Met Trgyve, my friend Kim’s baby!
  • Cornbelters vs. Bandits baseball game and got to see Soleman.
  • Went to Caden’s baseball game and Kendyl’s soccer game.
  • Jeff’s 60th birthday party!
Day 746: Year in Review

Celebrating Jeff’s (Scott’s dad’s) 60th birthday on a beautiful day.

  • Scott’s birthday: Went to Pub II and had family over for dessert.
  • Saw Jimmy Buffett in Tinley Park!
Day 746: Year in Review

The gang tailgating before the Jimmy Buffet concert!

  • Went to Caden and Kendyl’s birthday parties.
  • July 4th party at family friend’s house.
  • My birthday: Went out with Brendan and Anne for pizza. Had dessert back at our place, too!
  • Went to a Bandits softball game.
  • Blackhawks Convention!
Day 746: Year in Review

Got to love Toews and Kane!

  • Went to Christina’s baby shower and Anne’s bridal shower.
  • Cracker concert with Kate and Graham.
  • ALS ice bucket challenge. Yes, I did it twice.
  • Barbecue with friends at our house.
  • Met beautiful little Grace in August!
  • Vacation: Went to Wisconsin Dells over Labor Day weekend.
Day 746: Year in Review

Hanging out in Wisconsin Dells.

  • Celebrated Grandpa’s 87th birthday.
  • Anne’s bachelorette party in Chicago!
  • Laura and Tyler’s wedding in September.
  • My 10 Year Reunion. Yikes!
  • Anne and Ted’s wedding!
Day 746: Year in Review

A bunch of awesome ladies at Anne’s wedding!

Vacation: Las Vegas for Ray’s 30th birthday!

Day 746: Year in Review

The family together in Las Vegas for Ray’s 30th!

 

  • Carved pumpkins in October.
  • Went out for Halloween. Scott was a ninja turtle and I was Captain America!
  • Sydney was in the musical Annie Get Your Gun.
  • Started my new job in November!
  • Thanksgiving at my mom’s house.
  • Movie nights with Mickey.
Day 746: Year in Review

Hanging out with Mickey! I love this guy!

  • Mom’s 60th birthday celebration at McCormick and Schmick’s.
  • Spent day in Chicago seeing the Christkindlmarket and Wrigley Field.
  • U.S. and Cuba relations will be better soon, thanks to Obama!
  • Spent Christmas Eve with my family and Christmas Day with Scott’s family.
  • Went to Brookfield Zoo.
  • Movies I saw for the first time: The Hulk, Man of Steel, The Illusionist, Hoop Dreams, Saving Mr. Banks, Gone Girl, Interstellar, Bull Durham, The Godfather, and probably more

Sorry, that was a long list! The toughest part of this year was losing my Aunt Carol in August. She was a very caring a special woman and I’m still having a hard time without her. I can’t imagine how her children, grandchildren, and husband must be feeling. But, we have definitely been there for each other through this difficult time. I miss her so much. It really hurts sometimes.

One great thing I was able to accomplish this year was that I finished scanning all of my mom and dad’s old photos. This project took years, and I’m finally done! I’m so glad we have all of them as digital copies. I should make 1,000 copies, just in case!

Overall, this year was a good one. I have so many wonderful people in my life and I’m glad I got to spend time with them. There were some changes this year, but I think they are for the better. I can’t wait to see what will happen in 2015! I think it will be a good year, too, especially since I have Scott and great family and friends to make memories with. Goodbye 2014, and welcome 2015!

Day 737: Interstellar

Rachel, Day by Day

Day 737: Interstellar

Ready to read my review?

I recently saw the movie Interstellar starring Matthew McConaughey and Anne Hathaway. The previews already make it out to be this epic, amazing movie. First, I’ll give you an overview. I’m not exactly sure what year it is, but it’s definitely sometime in the future. The earth is going through a big drought and you soon find out the humans will not be able to survive on earth in the future. So, a group of explorers, including Matthew McConaughey and Anne Hathaway, travel through outer space to find a new planet where humans could eventually live. There are three possibilities that they know of, so the plan is to check out all three places.

They go extremely far away from earth, the farthest anyone has gone in human history. Time becomes an issue as the travel farther away; it takes two years to get to the first place and time just moves faster and faster. Matthew McConaughey (Cooper) has two kids at home and you occasionally see them growing older into adulthood. Cooper basically has to decide between seeing his children again and saving the future of the human race. So, there’s a synopsis for you.

I liked the overall plot of the movie; I was interested and excited to see the different planets. I think I was annoyed at the fact that some parts were believable while others definitely were not. There was a part when Cooper is stuck flying through space; that terrified me a bit. I won’t explain it, but the part right after this was unbelievable. I kind of wanted to shout, “Oh, come on!” But that would have been weird.

WARNING: SPOILER AHEAD!
I was also very sad when seeing Cooper’s relationship with his daughter. Before he leaves, she gets really upset and angry at him. They both feel guilty later about leaving on bad terms. You see her go through most of her life wondering if her dad was alive or dead, and if he really loved her. At the end, Cooper is able to see his daughter one last time; she’s a very old lady about to die at this point. I had a very hard time watching that and it made me slightly angry. I’m glad she got to see him one last time before dying, but she wanted to see him and wondered about him most of her life. That was just way too sad to see. I cried a bit.

Anyway, this review is sort of weird, but so was the movie. I’m not sure what else to say about it!

Overall rating: C+