Did You See that Cast List?

Lots of speculation had been surrounding a certain Disney live action movie and all the rumors were put to rest at the D23 expo when the cast list and release time was introduced.  I am speaking of the one and only Beauty and the Beast.  This is an all time classic animated movie that is beloved by so many.  Its no Little Mermaid but it comes pretty close.  I really enjoyed the live action version of Cinderella so I figured this would be ok. That is until I saw the cast list.  O.  M.  G.  I’m not sure if it could be more perfect.

index27The role of Belle is played by none other than Hermione Granger herself, Emma Watson.  She has always had such a lovely way about here that I can completely see her filling the shoes of this part.  She has grown into a very beautiful young woman and no one will be able to say she can’t pull of playing Beauty.

beauty_stevens_3220673bFor those of you who love Downton Abbey you are in luck.  The Beast will be played by Dan Stevens.  I haven’t seen him in too many things but he does have such a charming look about him.  I’m interested to see how they will pull off his look as the Beast.  As much as I love the Broadway version I do not love the look of the Beast on stage.

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Rounding out the human portion of the cast are some heavy hitters.  Josh Gad aka Olaf is playing Lefou.  He is always so funny and plays a great sidekick.  He will be awesome at this part.  Kevin Kline will be playing crazy old Maurice, Belle’s father.  Though in my mind I can’t seem to imagine Emma Watson being his daughter I do think that he is a great actor to play such a kooky character.  Lastly Luke Evans will be playing Gaston.  I am not much of an action movie kinda gal so I haven’t seen very many movies he’s been in.  I’m hoping he will pull off the Gaston swagger we all love.

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Lastly our cast of castle characters comes with an amazing ensemble.  My personal favorite character from the movie is played by one of my personal favorite singers, Audra McDonald.  I have seen her in concert and I’ve heard her sing opera.  She is is going to be soooooo awesome at this part.  Ewan McGregor will be playing Lumiere.  Loved him in Moulin Rouge and we know he can carry a tune.  I’m curious to see if he will try to pull off the French accent.  And at last there is Gandalf, Ian McKellen.  I’m not really sure what to expect from him in this part.  He is so tall that physically he doesn’t fit in my head as the chubby little Cogsworth but who knows.

All I can say is 2017 can not get here fast enough.  I am so pumped for this movie!

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Get it Girl

Let me tell you about my girl Adele.  She is brilliant.  She is flawless.  And she is BACK!  After 3 years of no new music her new single “Hello” just debuted and it is amaze-balls.  So today in honor of my favorite British lady and her red-headed gloriousness I will just leave this here for you.  Watch and be amazed.

STRESS!!!

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Since returning back to work I have had a lot of projects to catch up and work to be done.  I like to stay busy but sometimes I’m a little too busy.  Don’t get me wrong I have had tons of help this year from my wonderful student workers but its still been a bit overwhelming.  I am getting very close to a MAJOR event I’ve been working on for months this weekend.  Although I feel I am as prepared as I can be I am still freaking out about the result.  So to de-stress I searched for the top things to do to calm yourself down and reduce stress.

Step 1:  Make to-do list.  I’m pretty sure I’ve got about 5 of them running right now.  One on the computer, one in my planner, one in a notebook, one on the fridge, etc.  I’m not sure if having tons of list have reduced my stress level.  Lets try another step.

Step 2: Stepping Away.  Take a breather.  Get a new perspective.  Well I’m so anxious that not doing the thing makes me more anxious.  And stepping away means stressing about something else like my dirty dishes or laundry or Halloween costume.  Next!

Step 3:  Exercise.  Insert surgery post-op and walking boot problem.  On to the next one.

Step 4: Take Deep Breathes.  Ok maybe this is working.  I can do breathing that’s easy enough.  Well except for the whole asthma thing but hey no one say I had to breathe that deep.

Step 5: Eat Chocolate.  Now that’s one I can get behind.  Who’s thinking about anxiety when you are eating a Hershey bar.  Not this gal.  Seems like this one might be my best bet.

What do you guys do to de-stress?  Sleep? Meditate? Cry? Let me know.

How to Keep Out the Bad Juju

d4bd815ced586d6c3325cb1269a79ab8Humans can be mean.  No matter how nice you are there are still some people that want to squash you like a bug.  I know there has been a time in each of your lives when you have felt defeated.  It may have been for a short time or a long time but it is a natural reaction to get down on yourself when people step all over you.

I have been through some rough spots.  I have felt like I was a bad wife.  I have felt like a bad daughter or sister.  I have felt guilty for things I didn’t even do because I let someone else’s opinion matter more than mine.  Until I realized that I create my own destiny.  Just because someone is a jerk to me doesn’t mean I am less of a person.  It means they are.  I will not let anyone stand between me and my good juju.

9f669ded98af82f6b1eafec17620c39f I have learned a lot about myself in the last year.  I am sometimes sad and jaded but I don’t give up.  I am kind and helpful to others.  I never say no even if it is to my detriment because at the end of the day I have to live with my actions.  I will not stoop to the level of some who would rather put you down than build you up.

So this one is for someone special to me who is struggling with this.  No matter what you think about yourself, I know you are special.  You are loved.  You are a wonderful mother and care taker and I am proud to call you friend.  No one can give you bad juju unless you let them.

For those of you struggling with your own self-worth know you are not alone.  Life can be cruel but you don’t have to be.  People can say things about you but you will rise above.  God made you and he doesn’t make mistakes.  That may be a cheesy line but I believe it.  And even if I don’t know you, know that I believe in you.  We will all make it through this crazy thing called life as long as we are there to hold each other up and learn to love ourselves.

Hold Your Sisters Tight


yesterday the world lost an amazing lady, my auntie. She was the last remaining sibling of my mawmaw and probably her very best friend. There is not a time that I went to my mawmaws that these two were not on the phone at least a few times during my visit. My heart goes out to my cousins who lost their mother and grandmother unexpectedly and quickly. At least we can feel comforted knowing she is no longer hurting and she is up in heaven with my uncle rabbit living it up already.

This got me thinking though how incredibly special the bond is between sisters. I know if put in the same shoes I would be inconsolable. Sisters are your confidants from birth. You share ups and downs. Happiness and tragedy. You grow up together. Start families together. What would you do if you couldn’t text your sister tomorrow? How would you feel if you couldn’t call her and say how bad or good your day was? Would you be able to make it if you didn’t have your emergency go to person?

I pray for my mawmaw. That she gets through the loss of her precious sister. And I pray for our family that we are strong and trust that God has a plan for everyone and it was just her time. No matter what though we sure will miss that sweet lady. RIP Auntie

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For You Chef Paul

paul prudhommeOn October 8, 2015 Louisiana lost one of its brights culinary stars, Chef Paul Prudhomme.  This man was a legend in Creole cooking who was famous the world over for his blend of Southern and American style cuisines.  I distinctly remember watching him cook on television when I was little and thinking how cool was his hat and how odd it was that he cooked sitting down.  Now that I am older I can admire him for the amazing accomplishments he has had.  He was the first American born Executive Chef at Commander’s Palace.  He has had a successful restaurant, K-Paul’s Louisiana Kitchen, since 1979.  His brand of seasonings with his happy smiley face on the bottle can be found in all 50 states.

Today I decided to pay homage to Chef Paul by cooking one of his signature dishes, blackened fish.  Now I don’t have any fresh red fish on hand but I do have some tilapia and a jar of Chef Prudhomme’s Magic Seasoning.  Before I start my cooking I thought I’d read through some words of wisdom from the chef himself with some cooking tips found on his website.

Everyday Cooking Hints from Chef Paul

  1. Always use fresh ingredients when available.
  2. Always start with food at nearly room temperature.
  3. To get the best flavor, remove excess moisture by patting meat with a clean paper towel before seasoning or applying heat.
  4. Apply oil to meat or vegetables, instead of in pan.
  5. Always start with a hot pan.
  6. Season and taste every step of the way.
  7. Be careful to not overcook your meat, chicken, or seafood.
  8. Make sure to have a good meat thermometer on hand and use it to know when meat is cooked.
  9. For more flavor when making sauces or soups that contain meat: season and brown off meat, then set aside and complete sauce or soup. Then add browned-off meat and finish dish.
  10. Add butter at the last moment to get the taste, but not the fat.
  11. Always remember that whatever is added last to the dish will be tasted first; i.e. garlic, sesame oil, ginger, butter, etc.

Ok now that I’ve learned something its time to cook.  The recipe is simple.  Super hot cast iron skillet.  Very little butter.  Liberal sprinkling of blackening season on each side.  Keep flipping until it becomes flaky.  In theory this seems doable.  Lets see if it really is.

I watched a few YouTube videos first just to see how other people cooked it…you know just in case so I didn’t burn my house down.  Turns out lots of people put a stick of butter in their hot pans and that worked out really well for me.  It didn’t make anything greasy or soggy it was just enough so the fish didn’t stick.  Since I had thin fish it literally took a minute and a half on each side.  This was absolutely the best fish I have ever cooked.   It was moist and flakey.  The seasoning wasn’t over powering it was just enough to make a yummy curst and have lost of flavor.  Do yourself a favor and pick this stuff up!  You won’t be sorry!

 

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Daydream Job

I love my job.  I enjoy my co-workers and I often feel very gratified by the work I have done.  But on those days when I am feeling low or unproductive I like to daydream of a job that I would be good at.  All of my main passions and interest stem from things that are artistic.  Sometimes I think I am wasting my young creative juices sitting in a cubical and wish that I could share them in some way.  A lot of the times that means me coming up with music and set ideas for the Show Choir even though I am no longer a part of it or it means me taking pictures.  I am usually surprised at myself when I can pull off a good shot.  But even though I am no professional I have my moments of beauty.  So what do I daydream of?  Becoming a photographer!

Not just any kind of photographer but a birth photographer.  As someone who can not experience the miracle of birth myself I marvel over images of those women and couples who do get to go through it.  Nothing is better than a candid photo showing true emotion.  As a birth photographer your job is to melt into the background and capture all of the candid goodness.  These photos are always perfect when done in black and white.  I think it takes away any part of the medical aspects and instead leaves the raw emotions of those involved.  I would love to get a phone call in the middle of the night from a client saying the baby is coming and joining the family on their journey to new life.

Who knows maybe when I retire I will be able to fulfill this dream.  Until then I will just share these images so you too can be in awe of the power of birth and life and family.

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*all photos taken from Pinterest

Epcot Food and Wine Festival 2015

I am currently handicapped by my walking boot post-surgery and also currently broke.  If those two things weren’t the case I would currently be planning a visit to Disney World to experience the Epcot Food and Wine Festival.  Since that trip will not be happening for the next two years I decided to plan an imaginary one with my top 5 must have food and drinks when I visit.  Hopefully when I actually go they will still have some of this.  If not those of you that are going this year can enjoy these yummy things for me.

  1. Scotland – I’ve seen so many people say that their favorite dish comes from this booth.  They offer real life haggis (not too sure about that one) and salmon with potato cakes but what looks the best to me is the scallops.  Seared sea scallop with spinach-cheddar gratin and crispy bacon.

Scallop

2.  Patagonia – The next booth I would visit is for the carnivores. Patagonia offers seared salmon and quinoa as well as beef empanadas.   What I want to get the most is the beef skewer.  Grilled beef skewer with chimichurri sauce and boniato purée.

Grilled-beef-skewer

3.  Chew Lab – This year one of the sponsors of the festival is the Chew.  One of their booths located in future world is full of new age food.  There is olive oil poached salmon and new York strip with an arugula foam but I’m heading there for dessert.  Liquid nitro chocolate almond truffle with warm whiskey caramel.

Liquid-Nitro-Truffle

4.  France – Next stop the French pavilion.  This is one of my favorite countries to stop at on a regular basis.  You can go all Julia Child and get the beef bourguignon or a crème brulee. I’m going with traditional French  Croissant aux escargots with garlic and parsley aka snails.  I’ve actually eaten them before and they aren’t half bad.  If that doesn’t work out for me I can always try a La Passion Martini Slush with vodka, Grey Goose Le Citron, cranberry and passion fruit juice.

                                 Escargot-Croissant-2 La-Passion-martini-Slush1

5.  Ireland – My number one favorite country to hang out in when visiting World Showcase is the UK.  I normally would get fish and chips or sit at the Rose and Crown but since we have an Irish option I’m taking it.  These two choices are so good I’m not picking just one.  To start I will try the cheese plate Reserve cheddar, Dubliner with Irish Stout and Skellig.  Then to finish Lobster and seafood fisherman’s pie.

                                      cheese fishermans-pie

And just for good measure a few honorable mentions.

•Roast Bratwurst in a Pretzel Roll
•Roast Bratwurst in a Pretzel Roll
•Spanakopita
•Spanakopita
•Kālua pork slider with sweet and sour Dole® Pineapple chutney and spicy mayonnaise
•Kālua pork slider with sweet and sour Dole® Pineapple chutney and spicy mayonnaise

For more information about the festival visit this cool website I found Mouse For Less.

http://www.themouseforless.com/walt-disney-world/planning/events/food-and-wine/marketplace-booth-menus/#Scotland

 

 

 

Not Just for the Average Emo Anymore

In high school there was a certain store at the mall that you didn’t really venture into unless you were part of the emo crowd.  These days Hot Topic has turned more from the emo youth into the land of fangirling and geek.  No matter if you are fan of a band, Star Wars, superheros or even Disney they have something there for the geek in all of us.  I myself have spent a good bit of time there while preparing to Disney Bound or just to find fun new socks.  I’ve successfully purchased all kinds of fun stuff.

My sweet loot from Hot Topic
My sweet loot from Hot Topic

If Star Wars is your thing there are some cool options for you there.

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Maybe you like Harry Potter…

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or you could be into superheros

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No matter what your favorite geeky thing is you can probably find it at this store.  Take a chance and step into there next time you are in the mall.  I bet you will be pleasantly surprised at what you will find inside.