Monday, February 28, 2011

and the oscar goes to...

It's that time of the year again. The 83rd Annual Academy Awards were last night and I could not be happier about the selected winners. I made a solid effort to try to see as many of the Oscar nominated films as possible this year. The only movies I still haven't seen are The Kids Are All Right, Blue Valentine and The King's Speech- which I plan on viewing shortly (stay tune for my movie reviews). Here are the top takeaways from the evening:

Best Actor: Colin Firth in The King's Speech.
I've heard a few positive and negative reviews about The Kings Speech, yet most everyone can agree that Colin Firth's performance was incredible. He's always been one of my favorite actor's (what can I say, I loved him in Bridget Jones Diary). I heard the film can be a little slow for people are aren't into "period pieces" but I'm such a fan of Colin Firth that I'm sure I'll love this one.

Best Actress: Natalie Portman in Black Swan
I thought Jennifer Lawrence was amazing in Winter's Bone but Natalie Portman definitely deserves the win for her role in Black Swan, which by the way was offered to her at the age of 19- more than 10 years ago. The role took her years to prepare for: ballet lessons, extreme dieting, studying the art of ballet and getting inside the mind of a professional dancer. It surely was a challenge to take on and its clear she worked very hard to portray the character as well as she did. If you haven't seen Black Swan I'd definitely recommend it. Just be fore-warned that there are some pretty graphic scenes. I had to shield my eyes a few times.

Best Supporting Actor: Christian Bale in The Fighter 
I think Christian Bale is a total psycho so the role of Dicky Eklund worked really well for him. He's lost an extreme amount of weight for his roles in the past, up to 40 lbs. Maybe that gives actors a step up when it comes to Oscar nods? A well deserved win none the less. He plays a good crack head.

Best Supporting Actress: Melissa Leo in The Fighter
I have sort of mixed feelings about this win. I think that Melissa Leo had a noteworthy performance but I was also really pulling for Hailee Steinfeld to win for True Grit. At the age of 14 she conquered this huge role (her first film ever). It's always exciting when new-comers to the industry can achieve such a prestigious award, like Gabourey Sidibe did for Precious two years ago. Melissa Leo may have had a stronger performance than Hailee Steinfeld but I think her personal ad campaign initiative was super tacky. She basically paid for her own personal Hollywood trade ads promoting herself for the Academy Award win. Not the finest of publicity I'd say, but hey- if it got her the win then I suppose she made all the right moves.

And last but not least, the red carpet review. The red carpet is always an exciting phenomenon however this year no celebrity really stood out as very daring or outrageous with their stylish choices. I felt that a lot of the dresses were fairly safe and conservative, but still just as bit gorgeous. I loved all of the dresses Anne Hathaway wore as hostess- I think she changed about 8 times during the course of the show. Mila Kunis and Gwyneth Paltrow's dresses also stood out as some of my favorites.

Anne Hathaway

Gwyneth Paltrow

Hailee Steinfeld

Mila Kunis

Natalie Portman

Sandra Bullock

Halle Berry
Amy Adams

Scarlett Johansson
James Franco & Anne Hathaway (the hosts)

diamond house warming

I decided that if I weren't in the business of online advertising I'd probably take on event planning. I'm sort of a freak when it comes to planning before an event and I love the satisfaction of knowing people had a good time. It's an opportunity to get creative, decorate, organize...and just have general control. Those of you who know me well are probably already aware how authoritative I can be when it comes to planning ;)

On Saturday Derek and I hosted a little house warming party to celebrate the successful move and our new Diamond St. home. Some of our closest friends and family came over for drinks and appetizers. It was nice to see so many of the familiar faces under one roof that I'd been missing over the past month (it's been so busy lately!). I think I probably gave 30 separate house tours over the course of the night...

Overall it was a blast and I hope my guests enjoyed the party as much as I did!

À la carte apps: cowgirl creamery brie & white cheddar cheeses, flax seed crackers, peppered salami, pesto flat bread, blue & white corn tortilla chips with spinach dip, veggie sampler & classic thin mints. Yum yum!

The "alcohol table" was a hot commodity.

Lee is completely mesmerized by basketball in 3D (right). Derek is so thrilled to be sharing this moment.

Exhibit A: Entire living room cannot stop staring at the 3D TV. This is a clear cue that it's time to go out to the bars. See how easily it sucks you in?!

Friday, February 25, 2011

that is such a samantha thing to say...

It's been a while since we've had an exclusive girls night gathering for dinner and drinks. Although I love my weekly evenings with the other half, its nice to hang around all girls for a change. Derek once asked me, "what do you girls talk about when you get together?" It made me laugh when he asked me with such curiosity. "I will never tell you...!"

Honestly, it's not like we have really deep/serious conversations every time we get together. I joke about how our girls nights are usually pretty similar to a cheesy episode of Sex and the City. We sit around with our bottomless glasses of wine and catch up on what we've all been up to since we saw each other last- relationships, travel, work, a lot of harmless gossip. We never talk about sports, which is likely 90% of the type of the banter Derek has with his clan. SATC would not have been as popular of a show with the gays and the ladies if all they did was talk about sports. It's all about the fashion, the men and the gossip ;)

Mason wine jars + appetizers...and is that Jen taking a nap in the corner?

Arin wearing men's pants. Don't ask.

Cher & Lee's cute and colorful home.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

luna park

It's been a while since I've gone out to a nice dinner on the town- the last few weeks have been pretty hectic. Back in October I bought a special 50% off offer at Open Table to a restaurant in the Mission called Luna Park. I'd heard friends and co-workers rave about their signature S'mores dessert and how delicious it is. I'm a sucker for desserts so this place has been on my list of restaurants to eat at for a while.

Although I made a dinner reservation about a month in advance, Derek and I still ended up waiting 50 minutes to be seated. Any other guest probably would have been displeased with the long wait but we were actually pretty content just chillin at the bar. We posted up on a couple stools, drank a fishbowl of Sangria and enjoyed the atmosphere. Any restaurant that plays a variety of good music like The Helio Sequence, Phantogram, Ray LaMontagne and Radiohead  is my kind of place...

My Faves:
- Appetizer: Goat Cheese Fondue with Sliced Apples
- Entree: Grilled Atlantic Salmon with Caramelized Fennel, Artichokes, Fingerling Potatoes
- Dessert: Make Your Own S'mores
- Drinks: Sangria. Since I'm a wine-o I'd also recommend the '08 Lamadrid Malbec, Mendoza Argentina. 

Saturday, February 19, 2011

everything is better in 3D

Derek's new 3D TV has arrived. I'm not sure if I ever wrote about this before but unfortunately his other TV got damaged during the move last week. Despite the terrible loss, Derek took this as an opportunity to "upgrade."

Life on Diamond street is at a whole new level now that we have this latest piece of technology. Derek can play video games and watch football in 3D now. I hope this turns out to be a good thing and doesnt suck us away from reality 24/7. We just got our special glasses in and watched a dinsosaur show on the Discovery channel in 3D this morning. Yes, the visual is pretty funny. We sit in our living room and watch TV wearing special head gear now...sigh. But its actually pretty incredible to be able to watch some of this stuff in 3D. Derek's really excited about his latest purchase which makes me happy.

Trying on my new 3D glasses
Derek with his new found love ;)

chromeo ohhhh-ho

Last night Tyler, Arin and I went and saw Chromeo perform at the Fox Theatre in Oakland. What an amazing show. Nothing beats a giant dance party consisting of 2,800 people (the show was completely sold out).

I remember the first time I saw Chromeo live was at Outsidelands in Golden Gate Park over the summer. They took a 3 year hiatus and came back for a world tour promoting their Fancy Footwork album. They're actually a really funny duo to watch on stage. Their music is classified as "electro-funk" and sounds a lot like 80's dance. Surprisingly a lot of people at the show dressed up in bright 80's gear- leg warmers, neon headbands and all.

Here's a little Chromeo trivia- the two band members are actually friends from high school. They met when they were 15 and originally recorded hip-hop tracks together. They've always jokingly described themselves as "the only successful Arab/Jewish partnership since the dawn of human culture." Dave (lead singer) is also in the middle of getting his Ph.D in French Literature from Columbia University. He's also a professor there and teaches French language classes. Quite the busy schedule he must have. I'd be awesome to have him as a college professor!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

marcel the shell with shoes on

Emily sent me this video a few months ago and we were just reminiscing about how awesome it is. I heart Marcel the Shell. If I watched this video every day of my life I'd be the happiest most care-free person in the world.

Monday, February 14, 2011

home sweet home

After weeks and weeks of much anticipation- and strenuous packing, the move is finally complete. We are now official residences of Noe Valley, San Francisco. Our new home sweet home. Next up? A big fat house warming party! :)

Friday, February 11, 2011

egypt will never be the same

The Egyptian people have changed the world. And what they have done has just begun. But now that they have won the hearts of the world, and signaled what their generation intends to do about democracy, the voices of the establishments, in both their country and ours, wish they would declare victory, go home and let that establishment work out the details of "transition." But the Egyptian people must not do that. They represent a new generation, a new leadership, and a new hope for the future. It is their time to lead.

courtesy of huffington post

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

hot dog

I just got this picture sent to me this morning and it cracks me up. So freakin cute, I want it!