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1.03.2018

Tweed Indeed

You guys, it's been almost a year since I posted a personal fashion post (see here). Let's remedy that, shall we? Today, we're making your average jeans and t-shirt look office ready by adding a ladylike tweed jacket. 

Blazer | Ann Taylor (see similar below)
Shirt: Old Navy (similar here)
Jeans: Ann Taylor (similar here)
Shoes: Ann Taylor (similar here)

Tweed jackets never go out of style, and you can find them in all sorts of different cuts and colors. 
1 | 2 | 3
 4 | 5 | 6 

My particular jacket has so many colors to pull from - black, white, navy blue, ice blue, and pink. I  decided to echo the pink with my shoe choice. Classic round toe pumps in patent leather are fun, but still act as a neutral.
Finally, nothing goes better with tweed quite like pearls. I opted for pretty pair of pearl drop earrings as my only accessory. 
Now is a great time to invest in a quality tweed jacket. It's a cold weather fabric, so they'll be going on sale soon, if not already. They're versatile and instantly add a bit of polish to any outfit. 

1.01.2018

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year, everyone! I hope everyone partied hard last night and is now enjoying some well deserved rest and relaxation.

Our New Year's Eve was surprisingly fun. The kiddos wanted to stay up for it this year, and we sort of let them run the show - starting with Seamus' big idea...a pinata!!
They started off blindfolded, but after no progress, we let them just have at it. Eventually, Madeleine was the one to finally break it open.
Then, when it got dark, we headed outside for some snaps and sparklers!
It was perfect AZ winter weather - slightly chilly. Sorry to all of you experiencing below freezing temps right now, but this is how we roll in the Southwest.
Next up, we introduced the kids to a favorite film of ours - The Goonies. They were a little scared during a few parts, but they stuck it out and actually got really into it by the end. It was fun watching them watch it for the first time.

After the movie, to wake us all back up a little bit, we played games. The Frozen version of Chutes and Ladders called Surprise Slides, Oh Snap!, and Jenga. We also broke out the sparkling cider and did some party poppers.
We were about an hour away by this point, so we let the kids watch a couple of their cartoon shows. They broke out their sleeping bags and made themselves comfortable on the floor. 
I thought for sure one or both of them would pass out, but they stuck it out. At about 5 minutes to midnight, we switched to the delayed broadcast of New Year's Rockin' Eve and waited for the big countdown.
This was the first year we celebrated the New Year together at midnight. I was skeptical when the kids first announced they wanted to stay up. I thought for sure I wouldn't enjoy it as much (they usually get really, really cranky when they're tired), but...it ended up being one I'll always cherish and remember. I think we may have started some fun new traditions too.
Again, Happy New Year to all of you and, thank you so much for reading. Let's make it a great 2018!

12.27.2017

Let's Go To The Movies - Downsizing

I saw the new Matt Damon movie, Downsizing, last night.

A revolutionary medical procedure allows humans to shrink themselves to a mere 5 inches tall. Struggling financially, Paul Safranek (Matt Damon) and his wife Audrey (Kristen Wiig), decide to undergo the procedure to help the environment and live a more affluent lifestyle. Also starring, Christoph Waltz and Hong Chau.

For a film that seemed to have something very specific to say, I left the the theater confused as to what that was. Downsizing moved extremely slow - seriously, at a snail's pace. It's not until the halfway mark of the film that Matt Damon's character actually shrinks. They spend an extraordinary amount of time on the background of  the "downsizing" procedure. When the entire audience knows already that the characters are going to shrink, I didn't think it was necessary to focus quite so much on the specifics of the fictional medical discovery and procedure. When the story actually started to get interesting (aka when he shrunk), with so little time left; the rest of the film was rushed and jumbled with a surprisingly abrupt ending. The consensus among my group was that the message of the film was twofold. First, live in the moment, and second, kindness and helping others brings more value to your life than money. It was a clever concept, but clever only takes you so far if you don't have the storyline to back it up, which Downsizing, unfortunately does not. 

P.S. The highlight of the film is Ngoc Lan Tran played by Hong Chau. She totally steals the show and is well deserving of her Golden Globe Best Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture nomination. I would have much rather followed her downsizing journey than Matt Damon's boring Joe Shmoe character.

12.25.2017

Merry Christmas!

From the Pretty Handsome family to you...
Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night!

12.22.2017

It's That Time Again...

Time for our annual Elf Yourself Christmas video. Enjoy!

Have a wonderful holiday weekend everybody!

12.20.2017

Coming Soon - All The Money In The World

I saw a sneak peak of All The Money In The World last night. It opens everywhere Christmas Day.

Based on the true story of the 1973 kidnapping of John Paul Getty III (Charlie Plummer) the grandson to the richest man in the history of the world, John Paul Getty (Christopher Plummer), All the Money in the World follows his mother, Abigail's (Michelle Williams) attempts to convince her father-in-law to pay the $17 million ransom to get her son back. Also starring Mark Wahlberg.

All the Money in the World was not the movie I thought it was going to be. I was expecting a dark and intense thriller, but instead got a surprisingly light film that oddly enough still worked. There were still quite dark and intense moments to the film (ooh, the ear scene was awful), but I chuckled fairly often as well. Michelle Williams's performance as Abigail Getty was the highlight of the film, followed closely by Christopher Plummer as the late oil tycoon, John Paul Getty. Both were captivating and fully immersed themselves in the characters. Mark Wahlberg, as Getty's henchmen didn't detract from the film, but didn't particularly add anything to it either. You could have popped any no-name actor in that part and achieved the same result.

Further, I enjoyed the setting and style of the film as well. The gorgeous mansion/apartment homes of the characters along with the Italian countryside made for a visual feast for the eyes. In addition, the dark blue moody tones of the film cemented the vintage 70's vibe, as did the fantastic costumes. I loved all Abigail Getty's smart suits.

I didn't know much about the Getty family and nothing about this particular part of their family story, but I found the story fascinating. The elder, John Paul Getty, was a complex fellow, and I wish the film would have delved into more of what made him the way he was. There was a moment in the film where they discussed that money isn't just money for people, and that it usually represents something else - success, safety, love, etc. I kept waiting for the reveal of what money was to Getty, but left the film unclear. He was a formidable adversary for the film, yet I was surprised how often I agreed with his way of thinking. I found him mortifyingly delightful.

I'd recommend checking out All the Money in the World. If you're looking for an entertaining date movie outside the norm (or one that, you know, isn't Star Wars), this is it.

P.S.  This film was done and ready for release with Kevin Spacey playing the role of John Paul Getty. When the allegations against him came out, they recast Christopher Plummer in the role and reshot all his scenes. Like I said, Christopher Plummer was fantastic, so I think the film ended up a better one for it.

12.13.2017

Book Report - Black Rain

We interrupt all things Christmas, to give you a quick review of Black Rain by Matthew B.J. Delaney.
In the distant future, "Naturals" (natural born humans) have created and enslaved "Synthates" (genetically modified humans) designed for every purpose imaginable from domestic help to gladiator entertainment. When Jack Saxton, heir to Genico Inc., the powerful genetic company responsible for the creation of Synthates, is accused of being a Synthate himself and framed for murder; he goes underground into the world of Synthates to escape capture. Assisted by a beautiful social Synthate, the two team up to expose a corrupted corporation and finally free the Synthate community.    

I picked Black Rain as one of my free monthly books offered by Amazon Prime. It sounded like a fun Sci-Fi read, but ended up being excruciatingly painful for me to get through. If I was one to abandon a book midway, this is one I would have. The story took a while to get going, and who they first focused on (the detective investigating the murders) ended up not being the protagonist of the story. When it switched gears to then follow Jack Saxton, I was confused and annoyed to be essentially starting the story again with a different point of view.

I was also confused as to what exactly a Synthate was. I kept thinking they were, well...robots (like on Westworld), but they were supposed to be humans as well, just made, not born. It just felt odd to me that humans would have felt superior to them when the Synthates were so obviously superior to the humans. In other words, the power dynamic felt off throughout. 

Finally, as a feminist, I didn't enjoy the way women were treated in Black Rain. In a world where you can create your own human for any purpose you want, you can imagine what purpose some female Synthates were created. It was gross to read and unnecessary to the story.

If Black Rain is on your "To Read" list, I'd highly advise just striking it off now. It's not worth your time.