Movie Review: The Fighter

I sat down Friday night with another recent Academy Award nominated film – The Fighter. The story is based on the lives of Micky Ward and Dicky Eklund, half-brothers who grew up in the town of Lowell, MA.

Plot Summary (courtesy of Netflix):
After a string of defeats, Micky Ward (Mark Wahlberg) rediscovers his fighting will with help from trainer and half-brother Dicky (Christian Bale) — a once-talented pugilist and small-town hero now battling drug addiction.

My Thoughts:
Normally when I sit down to watch movies, I have a pen and paper close by in order to jot down notes. This helps me give you the best reviews and aids me in remembering the movie if it’s been awhile since I viewed it. With The Fighter, I was so engrossed in the story that I only wrote down a few things – one of which was Mark Wahlberg‘s name with a heart around it. (He’s definitely on my celebrity list!)

Mark was just eh in the movie. I feel like it wasn’t a stretch for him. Don’t get me wrong, he’s a good actor, but I feel he tends to lean towards the same type of role – bad boy/tough guy, maybe a bit understood, rough-and-tumble character who has it in his contract that his shirt has to be off in at least 5 scenes. Now, I am not opposed to this scenario, but it doesn’t showcase much range.

Christian Bale, on the other hand, was absolutely amazing. His portrayal of a crack-addicted fallen star was riveting. From his physical appearance to his unfocused ‘crazy-eyes,’ he truly stole the show – deserving the 2011 Academy Award he won for Best Actor in a Supporting Role.

The story itself exemplified the stereotypical Irish Catholic family ideals: that nothing is more importantly than family. Melissa Leo (who won the 2011 Academy Award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role) does an excellent job playing the overprotective mother. She sees herself as the glue that holds the family together, when, at times, she is ignoring (and thus supporting) Dicky’s actions – the one thing that drives all of them apart.

I really enjoyed the movie, but can understand why others (like Mommy J.) didn’t. In my opinion, during the times where the plot may be somewhat ordinary, the actors truly shine.

Like this review? Check out others on my Reviews page!

Attacking the Monster

As I mentioned yesterday, I have decided to take the plunge and attempt a green monster. I figured the best day to do so would be a Saturday because if, heaven forbid, it turned out horribly wrong, I could lay on the couch for the remainder of the day. So today, I took a deep breath, put on my big girl pants and did it.

Verdict: Not as green as I would have hoped 😦

Here’s what I used:

1 med banana, chilled (I was too impatient to let it freeze)
4-5 strawberries
3 handfuls baby spinach
8 cubes of ice (I like ice)
approx. 1/2 – 1 c. skim milk
1 1/2 tsp. flax seeds

Tastes pretty good – a bit on the banana-y side, but that’s ok. I’d rather taste banana than spinach first thing in the morning. Plus, the banana was waaay on the ripe side so I figured it would have a stronger taste than one that is less ripe. This recipe yielded two servings.

But wait! In the time it took me to clean up and write this post….the monster has changed (dun dun duuuuuunnnnn)

it looks much more green in person...

Now that it’s turning to the color I want it to be, I’m a much happier girl. I mean, I chose the Wicked cup for a reason!

Have a great Saturday 🙂

It’s 5 O’Clock Somewhere

Most Fridays during the summer I have off work. Sorry, I’m not sorry. It gives me a chance to get stuff done but allows me to do it at my own pace.  I also get to sit back, relax and enjoy a beverage or two in the evening 🙂

Today, I did a lot of little stuff like: get my godmother certificate of eligibility, work out and make  a Trader Joe’s/Wegmans run. I also may have stopped at DSW in there, too. And am kicking myself for not purchasing these.

Anyway, I was on a mission to find flaxseed and protein bars, as I’m trying to eat healthier and still have energy to kick butt in the gym. Flaxseed is used to make green monsters, among other things. I’ve been curious about these mystical beverages for a good while and now can fully attempt to try them. Protein bars, well, I recently saw an article rating the best ones and I figured it wouldn’t hurt to try a few….meaning eight.

After all that errand running, I was thirsty! I recalled that last week, another high-school classmate/blogger, Jenny at Love Eat Run, guest posted these skinny summer drink recipes on Sprinkled With Love. Lower calorie options while still maintaining taste and alcohol content? Sold!

After reading the post, I ended up trying the Skinny Girl Margarita mix. I cut and blended strawberries with ice and inserted the mixture into a glass already containing the mix. It. was. delicious. My only complaint was that the last sip of the cocktail was all seed! Sigh. Such a price to pay 😛

I think tonight might be a good time to try the white wine spritzer…

What’s your favorite summer beverage? White wine is a year-round staple for me, as is my go-to beer, Miller Lite  (don’t judge.) However, in the summer, I like to try new cocktail options and the go-to beer turns to Bud Light Lime.

Baby, Baby, Baby, Oh!

Happy Friday! And sorry for now putting that Justin Bieber song in your head….

Last night, I went up to PA to visit one of my best friends. We have mutually decided that her blog nickname will be Momma Loosh. She just had a baby boy a little over a month ago and I was very honored to be one of the first ‘outsiders’ allowed to see him in person! He is absolutely precious and well-behaved. Momma L. has requested that no photos be posted at this time, but just imagine a very adorable, soft-haired, freshly-washed smelling little one. That’s him in a nutshell 🙂

Good thing I like him so much because Momma Loosh has asked me to be his godmother! Yeah, kind of a big deal. For those of you unfamiliar with the term, in most Christian religions,  godparents are charged with the spiritual upbringing of the child in the event that something happens to the parents. They are present at the baptism and accept this responsibility in front of the congregation.

Apparently there are rules to godparent-hood in the Catholic Church (who knew?!) and Momma Loosh and her husband, although quite popular, had a hard time finding someone who they trusted AND who fit the rules. Honestly makes it a little less special, knowing that I may have won out simply because I’m trying to be a better Catholic.  Whatevs. I’m  not going to focus on that; I’m going to be a godmother!

I feel very privileged to have the honor of taking on this important role in Little Loosh’s life (say that ten times fast!). However, it’s also a bit scary. I mean, accepting this position means a lot both to the parents and the Church! I’m feeling a bit like Carrie Bradshaw when she gets asked to be Brady’s godmother – a bit overwhelmed, but certainly ready to rise to the occasion 🙂

the Bug Whisperer

I don’t know what it is about this week, but I’ve been cursed with finding bugs EVERYWHERE. Maybe they’re to blame for my bad mood….

It all started on Sunday . The JA and I actually left the house to get food and as we’re driving to the diner, I notice a ginormous green….THING on my driver’s side mirror. It sustained the entire three-mile ride by magically hanging on to the mirror with it’s legs. Believe me when I say I was flipping out. The JA was of no help, laughing hysterically. That is, until the thing made its way across the windshield at a red light….

Being a science nerd teacher, he quickly racked his brain and told me that the insect was a katydid. And then he named him Leafy. I think he’s being sucked into the ugly Janks habit of naming everything. Below is a photo of Leafy’s sibling (appropriately dubbed Leafy 2), who I found on my back windshield this morning. He rode on Norman all the way from Owings Mills to Catonsville, including a stint on 695.  These things are ridiculous. And creepy.

Leafy 2

In addition to the Leafy family, I have encountered four spiders this week. Yes, four. Two in my shower (causing ample amount of fear during those bleary-eyed portions of my day), one dangling from it’s string IN FRONT OF MY FACE while I was putting on makeup and another dangly one in my office at work!

I find this unacceptable. These insects have been intruding into my life – much like the stinkbugs that have been a constant presence in Baltimore since, well, it seems like forever.

Oh, and I almost forgot. I kicked a toad with my bare foot on Tuesday night. It was dark outside but I felt a bump on my toe and looked down to see a toad hopping away! I quickly got down on my hands and knees to apologize.  You never know when universe karma can come back and bite you in the butt, so I’d rather be safe than sorry!

So I am asking the insect/amphibian/arachnid gods to just let me be for the remainder of this week. I’ve probably taken a few years off my life dealing with the ones that have presented themselves.

Are you okay with dealing with insects or do you flip out? the JA is not too fond of spiders, so I don’t mind dealing with them as long as I see them and they’re not suddenly dangling in front of my face (or scurrying across the floor). As for the katydids, well…I shriek like a little girl when I see one of them.

I Get By With A Little Help From My Friends

Usually, I consider myself an upbeat and optimistic person. However, this week had just been on where I found myself in a funk. It’s a fairly slow time at work, I’m not happy with what I’m eating, I’m bored with my workouts – everything and anything was annoying me.

Generally, these moods eventually wear themselves out, but this one had seemed to have set in for the long haul (mind you, I’m impatient and three days can be a really long time for me.) I baked, cleaned, exercised, read, listened to music…nothing was working. I was waking up frustrated and acting grumpy around my family and the JA (I really feel for them in times like this because I can be a BEAST when these moods occur!)

Yesterday, or as I called it – Day 3 of the craptastic mood – was no different. I woke up and was snippy, tired and quickly approaching angry. For no good reason! Traffic was bad, making things worse.

In steps Pouchoey. She and I talk pretty much every day and I’ve learned to use her as a sounding board for everything from nail color and outfits to how to deal with complicated family issues. She’s the best. After we started talking, I could officially realize how ridiculous I was being and slowly started to simmer down.

You know you have a good friend when they dress up in 80s gear with you...

Add into that the fact that I had Book Club last night (I’m convinced wine and girl talk make any situation better) and you have a happy(ier) girl.

I ❤ my Book Club

Not all of the issues I was dealing with have gone away; I’ve just realized that being in a bad mood does not address any of them!

What do you do to get yourself out of a bad mood?  I tried everything with this one, but what I really needed was someone outside my ‘family’ to listen while I vented. Thanks to all who helped me get through this one 🙂

Strong Is Sexy

As I was sitting at home digesting an extremely filling lunch and catching up on my blog reading, I came across this post from Heather Eats Almond Butter. In it, she mentions a four-week nutrition/exercise routine that can be completed in the comfort of one’s own home. PERFECT for me since I wasn’t really up for going to the gym, but wanted some sort of workout. Also, I’m trying to vary my exercise routine in order to tone up a little before the end of summer.

So I went to the Strong Is Sexy website, which led me to the Fat Fighter workout. Eesh – it looks intimidating!

In my mind, I already committed to trying this so there was no turning back. I mean, it’s only 12 minutes of completing as many reps as you can in the allotted intervals. I’m sure my form wasn’t fantastic and I ended up adjusting some of the moves because I was nervous about jumping up and possibly hitting my head. I also have to admit that I had a difficult time keeping track of the time intervals (I don’t have a second timer and was using the stopwatch on my phone.) However, it did provide me with a decent workout – I did about as much as I could – challenging both my muscles and my endurance level while making me sweat. (Truth: I enjoy workouts so much more when I sweat a lot.)

I don’t know if workouts are going to become a constant part of my exercise routine, but at least now I know of one place that can provide me with workouts on those lazy winter days where I don’t feel like trekking to the gym. Hooray!

Do you like sweating it out during your workouts? For me, there’s just something so satisfying about bring sweaty. Maybe it’s to prove that I actually did some work and pushed myself. Maybe it’s because I imagine the toxins leaving my body. Maybe I’m just crazy 😛