Friday, November 13, 2009


Here's a message from a fellow blogger at Whatever:
yes....i am talking about water again.
today is the day where bloggers everywhere are joining together in a campaign to
buy water for christmas.

4500 mothers bury their children EVERY DAY due to contaminated water.
the lack of access to clean water is the leading cause of death in underdeveloped nations.
and it doesn't have to be.

as we get ready to rush through department stores and browse through catalogs searching
for the perfect presents....lets pause for a moment.
let's PAUSE.
today...November 13...lets buy clean water.
clean life saving water.
$10 will provide one person in africa clean water for 10 years.
your money can change and possibly save someone's life.
a real life.

that is 2 starbucks coffees
it's on CD on itunes
it's a pizza
one movie ticket
less than one container of detergent!
$10 can change someone's life.

click the link below to be directed to the secure donation site of the highly recognized, non-profit
charity: water.
click on the yellow donate button.
All donations are tax deductible.
100% of the profit goes directly to clean water solutions in west africa.

share this on your blog.
link it...copy it...tell everyone."

Monday, October 26, 2009


I follow a terrific blog every day. One that makes me smile and feel happy whenever I read it. The blogger loves rainbow colors and I can't help but smile everytime I see one of her 'rainbow' photos. I'm not sure she even realizes her photos run in rainbow colors. I have a friend just like her actually. Everything in my friend's house is organized following the rainbow color wheel. My son does this too! I think these are happy people! :) All of her photos are amazing.

Meg, the author of the blog 'Whatever', and a few of her friends spent a whole childless weekend making crafts for this special non-profit: Water4Christmas. I thought it was spectacular! If I lived anywhere near them, I would have definitely joined in the fun. I love volunteering for great causes.

Here's the link to Whatever. Read a bit and buy a few items from the Etsy store they put together specifically for the water cause.


Saturday, October 17, 2009


"I make dresses for women who actually wear them." –Valentino

If you haven't already seen "Valentino: The Last Emperor" documentary, you need to! I loved it. What a great peek into the life and design process of this incredible fashion icon. I wish it would have been longer than the 1-1/2 hours.

The show follows Valentino and his long time partner Giancarlo through the final year of the Valentino spring collection, Paris runway show, celebration of his 45 year career as a fashion designer (a 3 day celebration), and the finale runway show collection in Rome. In addition to all this fabulousness (is that a word?), the peek into his personal life is irresistible.

As for the Haute Collections, the real magic happens in the backroom where the devoted seamstresses work tirelessly to help Valentino complete his designs. Not one sewing machine in the whole place!! Everything is done by hand. Unbelievable. The method is simple: The head seamstress is handed a sketch by Valentino himself, he gives her a brief review of what he wants, she then returns to the workroom where they make the design come to life. At one point in the film you see 6 ladies working on one dress finishing the details just before Valentino's review. Truly shows you must be born into Haute Couture to know and respect this method. You slowly realize perhaps this complete design method and hand sewn art will die without the likes of Valentino.

His personal life is truly "LaDolce Vita." Private jets, Royalty, super models, famous film stars, 6 villas, 200 house staff, and one fabulous house manager who makes everything work seamlessly treating Valentino like royalty (one could argue he is). All this giving Valentino time to design and sketch his like-no-other creations. His homes are perfect, impeccable, sculptured, and indescribably gorgeous. His perfection is carried throughout EVERY aspect of his life. His impeccable business suits. Everything he touches. He and Giancarlo have spent their 45 years together 365/24/7 as described by them. A beautiful relationship you get to see firsthand. Inspiring!

A definite MUST SEE. One of my favorite films!


Monday, October 5, 2009

Drew Barrymore released her first directorial debut this weekend. I didn't see it this weekend due to the never ending flu feeling here at my house. I woke up today to not so good reviews on her behalf which was disappointing. I, for one, will always support Drew no matter what the critics say. I love her enthusiasm and love of life. It's contagious.

We are coming into the 'Oscar' season, meaning the Oscar worthy films will be out soon. This summer was slow to say the least. Are there any companies out there making good films? We can't even depend on the well knowns anymore. I look forward to the coming months. Surely something will be worth watching. Until then, I'll remember the Emmys red carpet with a smile on my face.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009


I'm not sure why, but ever since we introduced our dog Lily to the pool, she loves taking a swim on the back of whoever will let her ride. She'll just lay her head on your head and bark until you start moving. Sounds silly, I know, but she loves it. You'll occasionally find her swimming or wading through the pool by herself if no one else will join her. She was a stray my son brought home over the summer. He couldn't stand looking at her sad eyes. She's a pit bull mix and a real sweetheart. We couldn't let her go once she came home that day.

Saturday, September 12, 2009


I've been away from Blogging for so long now....I'm feeling guilty. Then I started thinking about WHY I wasn't using the blog to share thoughts, etc. So...for my birthday, I treated myself to a new look. Do you like the new design? I still have lots of work to do to finish tidying up, but it's close. The designer I hired did a fabulous job. It was quite easy and painless.

Then I started thinking I might just be bored with the subject matter. Not that I'm bored with movies but that the movies being released lately have been really boring. I felt like I was writing the same thing over and over---boring, slow, etc. Where are all the creative geniuses that are supposedly flooding Hollywood? Or is it their producers and movie houses that are taking away their creative license? Who knows...

Blogs I read are mostly about Moms sharing their everyday happenings, women sharing their life experiences, and of course (because I'm an Interior Designer), I always browse the blogs related to interiors. I'll continue to browse these for sure...but what of my own blog?

I'm thinking my blog may need a bit of tweaking in many areas. I'll try to be better about posting, but give me some time to think and re-create what I want to share.


Wednesday, September 9, 2009


football game 9.4.09
Last Friday night was the school football game. My oldest son is the school mascot. He had just gotten out of the costume when I took this photo. Poor guy was soaked it was so hot outside that night. He's giving his brother a loving hug--which doesn't happen often. Glad I got it on film... :) And yes, it's time for a haircut.


Friday, August 21, 2009


This gorgeous flower kept me company while I was on the terrace in Montreal. The owner of the B&B grew them in various places on property and then placed them at the breakfast table for his guests to enjoy.
p.s. I was testing the photo option import program. I love the size and clarity of this photo!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Checking the text update to Blog. Let's hope it works! :)

Saturday, July 25, 2009


NOTRE DAME CATHEDRAL in Old Montreal. Horse drawn carriages are available at the plaza for tourist to enjoy.

Thursday, July 2, 2009


It has been a whirlwind month. I've been stressing because my blog hasn't had much attention this month--even though I'm always thinking, "oh, I need to blog about that..." Just didn't happen.

We spent the last week in San Jose and the Trampoline and Tumbling Junior Olympic Nationals Competition. This is also the only time this summer the 4 of us will be all together. Camps and what not will fill the rest of our summer. (School starts early August here in Texas.)

So how did my gymnast do you ask? Well, he came home with 2 Gold medals and 1 Silver medal (by 3 tenths). But I can't tell anyone because he doesn't want me to brag. Here's the champion:
The other big news is that a day after we got home, Kooza celebrated his 13th birthday (photo above). Yep! All this good stuff happening in one week. Bliss.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009


I’m back from my trip to California. L*O*V*E that state! The weather actually felt cold to a Texan like me. I know. You can giggle. I packed shorts and short sleeved shirts, but only wore my blue jeans, long sleeves and kept my jacket close by. By week’s end I was adjusting to the 70 degrees, but then it was time to leave. Luckily, we have another trip to California planned this month. I can’t wait to get back!

Here’s a picture of my new friends, D&M and Jake the Wonder Dog, strolling along Seal Beach after a great breakfast at The Rivers End café.


It could have been, should have been…but sadly wasn’t the cute romantic comedy I was expecting. I was so looking forward to seeing Harry Connick in a new film too! The story was all too familiar and to be brutally honest, the filmmakers missed the mark in every sense. Sadly, I would put this film on the ‘skip it’ list.

Luckily, you have no choice at this point except to rent it. If you have a Redbox near you, that’s the best way to go (only spend the $1). New in Town should have been made for television release—even then, I’ve seen better shows.

Having said that, I believe the lead actors did the best they could with the material they were given….

Monday, May 25, 2009



Which ending did you see?? There are 3 you know. Our friend Skip did a stand up job working with the other writers and Hugh Jackman to put together a film that left us hanging—and wanting to see the next installment. Wolverine probably isn’t everyone’s ‘cup of tea,’ but the Duchess definitely liked it. Yes, I’m more of the romantic comedy fan, but every now and then I love a good fantasy/action movie. After all, we’re looking for an escape from reality, aren’t we?

This Wolverine takes us back to the beginning. I don’t know the comic book story character, but I’m getting to know this crew of X-Men and the bonus mutants. The story line is a little disjointed. There are a few corny lines. All is quickly overlooked by the fantastic graphics—and of course, Jackman himself. It’s crazy what they can do these days! I walked out of the theater saying, “Wow, how do they come up with that stuff?!? Huge imaginations! And the graphics—you can hardly tell it isn’t real.” Well...there were a few places where you could tell, but nothing that breaks the illusion of the story. There were just enough slow moments to let you catch your breath and then continue the ride. Believe me--I don’t think anyone can say they know what is going to happen next when they watch this one.

We’re all expecting action adventure for the summer. Make this film your first stop. ….and be waiting for more from Skip Woods.


p.s. It is quite graphic. This one’s not for the little guys unless they’re used to watching that sort of violence.

Friday, May 22, 2009



I had to see what the ‘hoopla’ was about. I rented The Wrestler last weekend. I liked the edgy Mickey Rourke in the 80s. I couldn’t stand to see what seemed to be such a great career end in tragedy. Thank goodness for this movie I thought….

This one made my eyes pop out. First thought—okay, this was obviously written by a man. You should know this film is not for the weak or kind hearted. The subject matter is intense. I can’t remember what it was rated but I would vote NC-17 if I was on the panel of decision makers. Although the story is one that should certainly be told, basically filmed in documentary type style, this film was brutal on the human senses.

Rourke does play a great part. I feel he did deserve the awards--especially knowing this tale was similar to his own life. Heartbreaking. They say each of us has our own story. This film enhances that premise. I’ll never look at the guy behind the deli counter the same way.

Be prepared to see brutal honesty, a father-daughter relationship that can’t be repaired, strip clubs, steroids, self-inflicted wounds, and the extreme underworld of the wrestling community. Somber is the best word I can think of to describe this film.


Friday, May 8, 2009


I’ll be traveling to the Long Beach, CA area this summer. I’m going with a friend (or should I say invited myself/tagging along) to celebrate her sister’s birthday. I love California any time of year because the weather is typically awesome, especially in comparison to the 90 degrees we’re getting here in Texas this week---and it’s not even summer! Ughhh.

Anyway, I would love to hear any ideas you might have of things to do and places to see while we’re out there. I’m particularly interested in farmers markets, one of a kind events (I heard about the balloon and wine festival in Temecula), flea markets, great beach shops….you know, ‘local flavor’ type shops and ideas. Any junk gypsies out there?

I’ll be without hubby and boys, so anything is possible. I won’t have to listen to the ‘this is boring’ comments from the teenagers….you know what I mean?!

Last time I went away with a friend I lost my passport and was stranded in Mexico. Pray for me that doesn’t happen this time!!


Wednesday, May 6, 2009


Kooza is headed to Circus camp again this summer. Have I mentioned that already? I’ve been making a few arrangements to stay in Montreal this July. All the planning has brought back memories of last year when I spent a week there just relaxing and enjoying a great, low-key vacation destination. (That's Kooza hanging in the photo.)

One afternoon as I was eating pizza at a local outdoor café, I couldn’t help but notice the ‘cigarette break’ a young girl was taking across the street through a second story window. As I saw her and peeked a little further into the room she was coming from, I couldn’t help thinking there was something artsy and wonderful that she was a part of. I couldn’t quite figure out what they were doing. I saw a photographer and lots of photo lights flashing but I just couldn’t put my finger on it.
A Mom doesn’t get too many breaks you know. So….with summer fast approaching, I’m dreaming of Montreal and enjoying the great cool summer weather there.

Monday, May 4, 2009


What happens 24 hours after your dogs (daschund and chihuahua) find their way onto your kitchen table and eat one medium pepperoni pizza and one pasta primavera pizza bowl you ask???

Lots of R&R and trips outside.....

I don't have to be in Lubbock for craziness to happen. :)


Saturday, May 2, 2009


This is nearly the most exciting news I’ve ever had to report. If it had come true, it WOULD be the most exciting news.

I came ‘this close’ to having tickets to the premiere of the new ‘Wolverine’ movie. When I say ‘premiere’ I mean the HOLLYWOOD premiere---the one where all the stars show up on the red carpet. YEP!! The dream didn’t come true this time but I’m assured that I will be included in the next round.

Why? Skip Woods, the screenplay writer of the ‘Wolverine’ pre-quel is a friend. We’ve known him while he has worked his way up the Hollywood mountain. So happy for Skip! This is his second movie with BIG name stars (last one was with John Travolta). We are certainly hoping for more!!

My ‘so close’ tears are gone for now. Today the tears are for happiness and Skip’s success. It was a great opening for the film. For Skip’s sake, and that of triple-threat (!) Hugh Jackman, I hope the film breaks records at the box office this weekend.


Thursday, April 30, 2009


This past weekend Kooza and I traveled to the ‘big city’ of Lubbock for his regional competition. Kooza is a gymnast. His specialty is Trampoline and Tumbling.

I’m happy to report he came home with one GOLD medal and two SILVER medals after competing in his three events. Coming home with 3 medals for his first regional competition is outstanding. Texas was competing against 8 other states. I can’t name them all. (Sometimes ignorance is bliss you know.) We just wanted to go and ‘do our best.’ I think he did just that. He missed one gold medal finish by one-tenth of a point! That’s the crazy sport of gymnastics.

Overall, our ‘Team Air Force’ did really well. It was a very successful weekend for us. We still have more work before the season is over. The next 6 weeks will be spent preparing for Nationals for Kooza and a few other team members.

The weekend was full of mishaps and craziness in Lubbock---including watching the guy behind me try to pass a bottle of whiskey and a liter of coke through airport security! WHAT?! The same guy stole a wheelchair and fell back while 'popping a wheelie.' Believe me, lots of stories to tell. Luckily the craziness didn’t seem to phase Kooza. When it came time to compete, he was ‘in the zone.’

I’ve never considered myself a big city snob, but after this past weekend, I’m thinking maybe I am…. :)

Sunday, April 5, 2009


Cliff Notes on the remaining films:

This was a twisted film. Imagine every dysfunctional family you know and then put a camera on their worst days. This is the movie. It was a great part for Anne Hathaway. I certainly see why she agreed to be in the movie. There is NO doubt--this one is WAY depressing. The AA meeting Anne’s character attended was almost the same scene as her film sister’s wedding rehearsal dinner. This movie is only for the diehards of the film industry.

Depressing. Typical music industry drugs and alcohol. The movie is filmed in so much darkness that you can’t see the actors. Music history worth missing.

Some people have mentioned they didn’t want to see this film because of the controversial lifestyle portrayed. I have to say, Sean Penn softens the edge and is remarkable in this film. A friend of mine can tell you exactly where she was that fateful day in San Francisco when she heard Milk was killed. It made that much of an impact in her life then and now. I’m not sure I would see this film again. I will state again, Penn was amazing in this film.

In a rush I’ll say you have to see THE SECRET LIFE OF BEES. A chick flick positively worth seeing. Dakota Fanning is charming. I can’t wait to see her in more films.

More films I’ve seen:

I’ve been doing a LOT of reading lately and have put films on the back burner for a while, hence the slow blog entries. There are a few in the theater I would like to see. I’m looking forward to the summer blockbusters!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009


These are the movies I’ve seen these past few weeks:
Beverly Hills Chihuahua
Cadillac Records
High School Musical 3
La Vie en Rose
Rachael Getting Married
The Secret Life of Bees

I don’t have time to write reviews for all of them. Some of them aren’t really worthy of reviews. They were just for fun. I’ll say this---The only one I would definitely see again is The Secret Life of Bees. That was by far my favorite. Here are some quick notes on a few:

Beverly Hills Chihuahua and High School Musical were both watchable (is that a word?). Chihuahua is a little long for the little ones. Even I thought it was getting too long and slow. High School Musical was actually pretty good. I had to finish the trilogy. This one was better than the second one in the series. It reminded me a lot of the movie Grease. Good luck to the Disney kids moving on. They really are all grown up now.

Australia is hard to review. I really liked the story line, but wasn’t crazy about the way it was portrayed in the film. Sometimes I felt as if I was watching the old movie set inside a warehouse. I didn’t know if they were doing that purposely because of the timeline or not?? Regrettably, I got caught up in the hair and makeup. I really couldn’t get past Nicole Kidman’s wig! See looked very botoxed in this film too—couldn’t get past that either. Hugh Jackman was delightful. He is definitely one of my favorites in any film. I doubt I would watch this one again, but I’m glad I saw it once. It is lonnngggg. Actually, it kind of reminded me of Out of Africa, but not anywhere near as good.

I’m beginning to realize, the more I review films, the less tolerant I am of mediocrity. I’m also beginning to realize I’m old enough to recognize remakes and knock-offs----that’s scary.

More later…..

Friday, March 20, 2009


The pool digging has begun! We are WAY behind in schedule.....but we are finally to the point where the machines were out today. The digging is done and tomorrow the re-bar will be in place. They tell us it will be 5-6 weeks before it is finished and we can jump in. It will be just in time for summer. Yippeee!

Sunday, March 8, 2009


We finally fixed the computer issue, or I should say Pops finally fixed the computer issue. I feel like I’m way behind in telling my story. I have lots to update on the blog. Most importantly, I have 5 film reviews I need to write!! I can’t promise I’ll finish all of them…

The exciting news is that this week the DVD releases are going to be great with more to come later this month. That could potentially put me further behind in writing reviews—if I’m watching instead of writing.

I can’t decide where to start….I’m just going to start writing and see what comes up first.

p.s. I guess by now everyone knows that FB changed their minds about trying out their new policy. I'm glad they're listening.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009


I was doing SO well keeping up with my posts...and then...the internet connection went wrong. We're still in the middle of computer glitches. I'll post regularly as soon as I can. I may have to visit the local coffee shop for a 'hot spot' connection. Issues!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009


I’m watching ‘The View’ this morning. They are talking about the new Facebook ‘terms’ in which Facebook takes every right from each of their members who have an account with them—now and forever more (even when you remove your page). ‘The View’ ladies said Facebook now has the right to use your photos, words, ANYTHING you post belongs to them. As in, it’s their property to do with whatever they wish…sell, use for their purposes, reproduce, etc.

I’ve been reading blogs where ladies are upset their work is being copied, infringed upon, etc. However, in this instance, you are basically GIVING FB everything you post. It’s in the legal fine print. So even if your friend posts a picture of you (you don’t post it yourself) it belongs to FB. If you post a poem, it belongs to FB if they so choose….on and on…

The scary thing is: As of their posting, Facebook is creating their own internet law, and enforcing it to each of their members—who by the way, are most likely under the age of 18. Parents beware!! Especially if they are planning on running for political office, or planning any sort of media related profession.

Is it better for them to tell us they own everything, or is it better to post and take your chances of someone taking your posted items without permission? Either way, legal proceedings to protect your rights will be costly.

I’ll say this—When you are deciding what to post, keep the cherished items close to your heart. Otherwise, you may lose them to someone you don’t know.

Duchess note: I haven’t personally read the new terms. I only heard what ‘The View’ read from the documents they had printed for the segment this morning. If you have more information, please share! I will modify my post accordingly.

Monday, February 16, 2009


“CHIIIICCCKK FLIIIICCCKK” most definitely. Ladies, no need to let any man you know see this one. He will most likely think it’s cheesy, predictable, and will most certainly tease you about it for days. Men don’t understand why women like these films---it’s that Mars and Venus thing. He may enjoy it, but I wouldn’t chance it—just enjoy the film.

It’s a fairly common story about accidental love. There’s a sweet peek inside a great relationship shared between two long time friends. You’ll also gaze into the difficult work of healing relationships. Critics complained that Gere and Lane don’t quite heat up the screen on this one. Well, they’re right, maybe 20 and 30 somethings won’t be very excited about the simple love scenes between ‘older’ stars. Still, they create a charming, sweet, romantic relationship together. Despite what the critics had to say, Gere and Lane are two of my favorites, so I wasn’t going to miss it. And—who doesn’t like a love story by the beach??

It’s a great movie for those nights when you’re looking to watch something simple (as in no brainer, not simple subject matter). It’s the perfect film for that spontaneous ladies night with your friends---when the men aren’t around---and you get to share a few glasses of wine or tea, a little gossip and a low-maintenance movie. Definitely have the Kleenex box out for all to share!


Saturday, February 14, 2009


Happy Valentine's Day.
This is a photo I took in front of the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts last summer while I was visiting the unique city. I saw the Yves Saint Laurent exhibit while I was there. Great fashion!
There's something I love about the shape of hearts. It makes me smile.
Celebrate love today!

Friday, February 13, 2009


We’re experiencing quite a fog here in Texas this morning. It’s burned off a bit, but still gloomy. Funny thing is, I’m feeling a little gloomy myself. I have a heavy heart today. Yes, the day before Valentine’s Day. There are many reasons for the gloomy feeling which perhaps I’ll post about another time, but most heavy on my heart is that my mother-in-law just called from the nursing home. She is terribly lonely. I hate that she is feeling this way--for weeks now. She is practically bed ridden due to her Parkinson’s Disease. She hates being trapped in her body. I could go on, but being that this blog belongs to the world, I shouldn’t.
Pray for those feeling lonely this Valentine’s Day!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009


The Wall Street Journal called it “A soaring, crowd pleasing fantasy that’s a tale of unswerving love.” Rolling Stone magazine said, “What I feel for this movie isn’t just admiration, it’s mad love.” What?!? I don't get paid by anyone I don't want to offend, so I'm going to be a little more honest in my review.

I’m not sure what I was expecting when I walked into the theatre. What I know for sure is I walked out thinking, “WHAT?!?” (I saw the movie on Saturday and just now had the words to talk about it.) The reviews lead me to believe I was going to see a “crowd pleaser.” The interviews with the stars always showed them teaching the interviewer a dance, so I thought maybe I’d see a little Bollywood. I don’t know...that part sounded fun and colorful. What I completely forgot was that it has been nominated for Academy Awards which meant we were headed to the ‘dark side.’ Slumdog is no exception to their ever-present unwritten rule. Ack! Deep down, I kept reminding myself of this, but I wanted to believe just one picture of the year didn’t have to go dark…I’ll have to keep wishing.

I’ll give it this….the music was quite moving. The love story between the protagonist and his leading lady was unquestionably unswerving. It was absolutely an original story! When they finally warmed up a bit and got into the heart of the story (which took about 30 minutes), it was captivating. I was taken away to another world (albeit one I didn’t want to be in).

Be sure you will see children who live off the garbage of others. You will see suicide, murder, and violence on orphan children. You will see abused servants and drug lord robots doing evil. (This film is not for everyone—positively not those under 18.) In the end, the film does redeem itself and you will also see the completion of ‘destiny’ and, of course, a millionaire. Until then, hold on tight. This is HEAVY (!) subject matter.

The film proves you can accomplish much on a low budget with unknown stars. That is a quality worth awarding!

If you want to see a nominated film, Benjamin Buttons is a better pick for those of us looking for a great story without all the gloom.

Friday, February 6, 2009


I have seen 3 films in two days. I would say 3 extremes. Here’s the short and sweet on them:

Yep, I snuck in today for the very first show of the weekend. I haven’t read the book but I know the general idea. Plus, I watched an episode of Greg Behrendt’s new relationship show (which is good). I’m thinking this film was loosely based on the book. The trailers are giveaways for what the film entails and each of the character’s dilemmas—so no surprises there. What I was surprised about was that we didn’t see enough of Drew Barrymore or Ben Affleck. I like them both, so that was disappointing. (I suppose that’s why they’re not doing the press junket. The other stars are great too, don’t get me wrong.)

Yes ladies, this one reeks of ‘chick flick.’ There were about 25 women in the audience and 1 man—but of course that could be because all the hubbies were at work. (wink) It was a cute movie, in the way that the ‘nice’ and ‘cute’ guy is someone you don't have a love connection with and you're not really interested in dating, but definitely like as a friend. It was worth seeing but I felt a little dissatisfied in the end. I was hoping for hip jargon, quick wit, inside jokes, tugged heartstrings, new trends, you know, all the hot young stuff. What we get is luke warm relationship dealings. *Am I becoming a cynical old lady? I’m finding SO many films slow these days. Has my self-given ‘Duchess’ title ruined my movie viewing satisfaction?* The producers are billing this as a ‘date movie’ but I think your date might find it a bit boring (except when Scarlett comes on screen). All his secrets being given away?! It definitely makes for great dinner conversation and debate.

All things considered, I’ll say this: it does make you analyze love and relationships, specifically your own. It reinforces the fact that we women stick together to console each other by making excuses for the guy who’s ‘just not into you.’ It’s funny to watch on film, and oh so true. My gut feeling is that this film will be enjoyed most by the twenty-something crowd.

I hope it doesn't seem like I'm bashing this Drew Barrymore production! I will always support her films! It was good and cute. You should see it.

I’m still thinking about what else to say about this one…let me know what you think.

I typically really like independent films. Was this one billed that way? It is an award winning film which put it on my ‘want to see’ list. I liked it, sort of. Let’s just say I’m glad I saw it, but probably wouldn’t recommend it to someone who doesn’t see many films. The slow paced story will not be favorable to them. There is lots of music to fill the voids of not so many words. I can certainly understand how some would consider it ‘powerful and moving.’ It’s a good heart wrenching story of forgiveness and hope. Expanded content would have done the trick to help me buy into it.

I think we’ll see more of the leading Mexican native (photo above).

Edward Norton and Colin Ferrell headlined, so I had to see it! I’m game to see a scandalous NYPD corruption film every now and then. Plus, this starred two of my favorites, right?? Well…I probably should have passed on this one.

The screenplay had much to be desired--mostly because ‘f-bombs’ were used as every other word to the degree of being very distracting and ineffective. Be prepared for excessive cussing in every sense, blood, shooting, suspense, corruption, greed and just plain old manly business dealings. It was WAY too much for me. It gave me a bad feeling in the pit of my stomach thinking there could actually be men (and their families) out in the USA dealing with this every day. YUK!

I ended up fast forwarding through the last 45 minutes because I wanted to see how everything was resolved. I forwarded because I couldn’t stand the almost slow-motion pace, not the bad language, etc.

Hopefully Ed and Colin will find another film to work on together. I vote they make it a ‘chick flick’ next time.

Duchess note: See Ed Norton in “The Illusionist.” I think that’s one of his bests. My favorite Colin film is still “S.W.A.T.”

Thursday, February 5, 2009


I’ve committed to volunteering at the boys school today. We sell Otis Spunkmeyer cookies at lunch time for the Athletic Association. I’ll be at the school, smelling chocolate, and *DREAMING* of Spain….

These are photos of Antoni Gaudi's fabulous architecture in Barcelona. Truly amazing!

Have an awesome day!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009


So I put the DVD in the player…Scout and Pops are in the kitchen working on a snack for Scout (who is still in a cast). They see and hear the beginning of the film and Scout promptly says, “Mom, what?!?” then he sings (literally) “C.H.I.I.I.C.K F.L.L.I.I.C.K” followed by, “why do you always want to watch those movies?” To which I reply, “This one is nominated for an award, so I have to see it. I want to know what it’s all about.” I’m left in my bliss for a few moments….until the ensemble begins to belt out their first ABBA song, which immediately gets an “OMG! Mom! WHAT??” “Yes, it’s a musical.” “Okay, okay, I’ll watch this crazy movie with you, but only until I finish my snack.” That line was followed by lots of giggling and laughter on our parts, plus a few dance moves in the family room (not really, but could have been).

I wouldn’t put this film at the top of any list, but I have to say, it was GREAT entertainment! If you like musicals (with all the hokie quirkiness), and you’re looking for a sweet story with a few crazy giggles thrown in, ‘take a chance on’ this one. Be ready for comments from teenagers like “Did you really have to listen to this music when you were young?” and “Ohhhh no, here comes another song.” ...And have no doubt ladies, you'll likely watch this one alone--the men in your life will be moving to the next room...

Duchess notes: The vocals have much to be desired. Don’t look for perfection there. Meryl Streep’s wig was killing me. Why did they make her wear that? Perfect (!), beautiful location for the film’s background. Expect only entertainment from this light hearted film--which is quite refreshing among all the film topics we’re faced with these days. You'll find it hard not to smile while watching. Even Grandma will like this one.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009


One of my complete and absolute favorite things this time of year – and almost year around here in Texas – is AVOCADO! The price has gone down drastically and I’ve been eating avocado at nearly every meal. I don’t even need a meal: alone and salted is fine for me. Avocado is a fruit (not a vegetable)—did you know that?

Facts: Avocados are thought to have originated in Mexico, though their exact genesis is unknown. Like corn, figs, sugar cane and other ancient crops, the avocado is a cultigen: a species domesticated so long ago (around 7,000 years in the case of avocados) and that has undergone such dramatic changes that its wild ancestor cannot be determined. Whatever the original source, most agree that cultivated avocados originate from three different regions: Mexico, Guatemala, and West India. The rich fruits were first introduced to California in the late 1800s and have steadily grown in popularity.

Health: The avocado is free of cholesterol and sodium. It only contains 5 grams fat in 30 grams avocado. This type of fat is a monounsaturated fat, known as "good fat". Avocado is the fruit that contains the most dietetic fiber, it has 60% more potassium than a medium banana.
(Information Courtesy of Healthy Eating)

Avocado has unquestionably been on my ‘must have’ list these days.


Monday, February 2, 2009


Our Disney trip was great fun!

I’ve planned DisneyWorld trips many times thinking, “Okay, I’ve got it down now. I know the best way to do this.” Well…I’m not even close. No trip is ever the same. The good news is each trip is more relaxing than the last because we’ve experienced most everything. We don’t over schedule during the short time we’re there. We pick our favorites and add a few we’ve never done (usually the ‘slow’ rides/shows). Here are the highlights:

1. We rode the newest Disney Pixar 3-D ride--once. The ‘fast passes’ were gone by 12 noon. The sign said there was a 60 minute wait, so we jumped in (typically my boys won’t wait for anything over 40 minutes). Not surprising, Disney developed a great ride! The new Pixar area at Disney Hollywood is small but wonderful. The boys thought it was great, but Expedition Everest is still their overall favorite ride.

Entrance at newest Pixar ride:

The absolute favorite ride for the boys:

2. We stayed on the “Concierge” level at the Wilderness Lodge. It was fantastic! The staff was friendly and helpful. Definitely worth the extra money especially if you’re not spending all day at the parks. This is something new I learned this trip. You might even want to pay the extra money to be on the ‘lake’ side of the Lodge to catch the Magic Kingdom fireworks show from your balcony. Bonus: We got in early one night and borrowed “Finding Neverland” (one of my all time favorites) from the desk—complimentary for concierge guests.

Pool view from the Concierge level: 3. If you’re staying at the Lodge, be sure to take a taxi to the Character Breakfasts at the Monorail resorts. $5 will get you to the front door in 5 minutes. Another something new I learned this trip. Yes, my big guys visit Character breakfasts with me. At their age, they think it's a bit silly, but they know I love it.

4. The new Kim Possible adventure at Epcot was great entertainment for my 12 year old. Apparently, this is part of the Verizon partnership with Disney. There’s no doubt creative minds think of this stuff! Epcot still needs work, but this shows Disney is at least trying to upgrade the entertainment there for the little ones. Now if they could just replace some of those old, totally dated ‘in the round’ films.

How do I apply to be on a Disney focus group??

Sunday, February 1, 2009


“Shop NAKED & Save” Hmmm. This shop sign definitely caught my eye! I was in small town Texas with Kooza for his Tumbling and Trampoline competition and this shop was next door to the gym…. I have to say—it brought a smile to my face. Won't people do anything to save a little money these days?!? Don’t worry--The shop was actually an unfinished pine furniture store. They also had great waxed and painted pine furniture plus some great Texan art and accessories. You never know what you'll see in small town Texas. Hee.

Friday, January 30, 2009


One day, as I was eating lunch, blogging and reading blogs, the Ellen DeGeneres show was on TV. (So that makes 4 things I was doing at one time. Crazy.) I like watching her shows during my ‘lunch hour’ here at home and I especially love watching during her 12 Days of Christmas giveaway—always wishing I had tickets to those!! Watching the show these days is luxury because it only happens when I’m not working. Well, I must have thought “Day 5” was really fabulous because I decided to sign up for her website internet giveaway. I’m happy to say today---I WON!!

I won the Tourneau watch they were giving away that day! I was shocked when I got the call…“This is ___ from the Ellen DeGeneres Show.” What? Did you say Ellen DeGenerous? (Get it?) Yippeeee. I love winning things! What fun. Yay Me!

All of us deserve to win a prize every now and then. Don’t you think? They say it’s the little things that make us happy. I happen to agree.

p.s. About 3 years ago, on a whim, I registered for tickets to her show knowing we were making a trip to San Diego. I figured it would fall in my category of ‘things I’ve never done before.’ Well, I got lucky then too and actually got a seat in the studio (on the aisle to watch Ellen dance by)—long story I’ll have to tell later. I'm sharing this story because I wanted to let you know Ellen is really a beautiful woman. Her blue eyes are stunning. TV doesn’t do her justice….

Thursday, January 29, 2009


I have to admit I’ve been putting off this review because I didn’t want to bash a Tom Cruise film. I think he already takes a little more bashing than he should. Plus, he did the press junket on this film trying to overcome the last images the public had of him. He REALLY is trying. But, I am the Duchess, and must fulfill my duty. So here goes:

Frankly, the History Channel’s special about Valkyrie is more interesting to watch. Watching that special actually made me realize what a great story Valkyrie is to tell. They even show clips and background information on the film that is greatly interesting. I didn’t hate the film. I just don’t think it’s worth the $10 you’ll have to pay to see it. Again, I hate to bash Tom... The screenplay simply didn’t cover the story as it should have—and apparently this film spent years in the making.

You have to know about me, I watch films for more than just story content. In the beginning of the film, I couldn’t get passed the ill-fitted uniform Tom Cruise was wearing. I kept thinking, “This film is getting all kinds of attention because it stars TC and they can’t even fit him in his wardrobe?” What? !@ They actually lost my interest at that point. I didn’t fall asleep, but wanted to.

I could go on to tell you about the film, but don’t even want to. Briefly: 1) This is not a ‘war’ movie. No bloodshed. 2) You never get the feeling this was an anti-Hitler movement made up of hundreds (I can’t remember the exact number) of Germans. The film leads you to believe it’s this small group of officers that are out to get Hitler. 3) You don’t get the background information you need to completely understand the movement. The filmmakers assumed we knew exactly what the story was, when in reality, I was at the film to learn just that. I needed them to be more creative when telling the story. 4) I would have preferred a British accent to play the lead. (I know this shouldn’t count as a critique). 5) Cruise plays the same character he plays in all his films (the exception may be ‘The Last Samurai’). Tom should stick with his Mission Impossible films that are fantastic. Sorry Tom.

That’s all I’ll say.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009


There are times when my ‘writers block’ for blog writing is overwhelming. Then all of a sudden, I have many topics I want to write about. I can’t explain it. Today I have to ‘plug’ my brother-in-law’s blog “Jester of Reel” (for obvious reasons). He has graciously decided to join my unofficial ‘Court.’ In his words:

The birth of my blog came from a lunchtime conversation about how in my opinion, my sister-in-law only covers a small amount of films, aka "the classy ones", while many other films are never given a mention on her blog. I love reading her blog and get great ideas for films to rent and/or checkout. In the course of our conversation I counted numerous times when I said "have you seen ____" and she replied "No" or a resounding "No Way!!!" I realized that there were a boat-load of "non-classics" that I've watched and sometimes enjoyed that she hasn't seen. In the course of that I made an off-the-cuff joke about "well, if you're the Duchess of Reel, then clearly I'd be the jester of that court". In a flurry of thought I announced "I'm gonna start a blog called "Jester of Reel" and cover the movies you don't.

Just to clarify, my BIL is talking about films like Zoolander, Austin Powers, anything Jim Carrey, Mike Meyers, Ben Stiller, you get the idea. I have to admit I have seen some of the films he mentions, but I mostly avoid them because the tongue-in-cheek is sometimes way too much for me. Not that it’s not funny. It’s just not what I look for in films. Before I dig a hole even deeper than I have already, let me just lead you to his blogsite: Jester of Reel. See for yourself.

Surely between the 2 of us, our readers will be film savvy in every way. And who knows, every now and then we might just “Roger and Ebert” a few films.

Mark your calendars: Academy Award night is Sunday, February 22.

Thursday, January 22, 2009


How do people find the time to BLOG every day? I’ve been asking people this question a LOT lately. If you have a few answers for me, leave a comment. I find most people blog about their day as well as things they love—which is what I do, but not consistently. :) Here’s the latest news:

We are going to DisneyWorld again! Yep. Just for a long weekend. I think our family and friends are tired of hearing us say ‘We’re going to Disney.’ There is always a good reason for the various trips, and this one is no exception. My husband has a seminar only offered in Orlando. There was no way we were going to let him go without us! That wouldn’t work at all…tell the boys their Dad is going to Orlando without us?? I don’t think that would go over well. Actually, I KNOW it wouldn’t go over well.

There are just a few glitches we need to overcome this time around:
1) Our flight is at 6:30am tomorrow morning. Needless to say the boys are NOT happy. I can’t remember why I agreed to this. Pops made it sound so easy (he’s an early bird) and now I’m thinking we’re in big trouble. It is going to be a grueling morning with 2 boys half asleep. Plus, 2 of us can’t sleep in planes, so….
2) Scout broke his ankle 1.2.09 and is in a cast half way up his calf. ‘Who is going to push the wheelchair?’ was my first thought. They say you walk an average of 9 miles a day at Disney. 9 miles pushing a wheelchair doesn’t sound too fun. The good news is Disney is probably the best place to be if you have accessibility issues.

We are going to be staying on the 'concierge level' at the resort this time. I'll give a 'Duchess' review of our stay when we get back. I would say I will be blogging from Disney but the chances are WAY slim for that happening…but you never know.

'Have a Magical Day' -- Duchess

Tuesday, January 20, 2009


It has been quite a day for the United States. The work of equality has begun, but is certainly not finished.... I loved the part of the inaugural prayer that said no matter what color our skin, no matter what religion...."we are united by our commitment to freedom." Freedom is what rings for me today.