Wednesday, February 10, 2016

watching: back to regularly scheduled programming...

Is it just me or is this year's Super Bowl just blah? 

This year the Lunar New Year, Super Bowl, and Mardi Gras were practically on top of each other. How cool was that? And not only that, Valentine's Day is right around the corner, plus this year Easter falls in late March. Lots of holidays to celebrate and enjoy, but it's all good because my kids love them all. I don't think there's a holiday they don't love, haha. 

After all that hoopla, my husband and I look forward to a tv show or two after we've put the kids to bed. This is just some of our favorites:


This is a really good show, although, anything with James Spader in it is pretty good in my book. (remember him in Sixteen Candles?) Blacklist is about an FBI task force formed to capture villains/fugitives on the so-called "blacklist". Raymond Reddington, played by Spader, also a wanted fugitive himself, has been providing the FBI with the names on the list, one at a time. It's partly self-serving and more recently partly to exonerate Elizabeth Keen, an FBI agent whom he's taken an interest in from the very beginning (which is part of the mystery).

Initially the show was focused on capturing a blacklister per episode, but lately, it's taken a turn involving exonerating Keen who's been framed by a secret organization of blacklisters in high places. It looks like this story arc is slowly coming to an end (thank goodness it ended just recently), hopefully so that they can get back to the capturing one blacklister per episode like in the very beginning. The craziness and James Bond type villains is what really intrigued me in the beginning, and I hope that they keep it up, otherwise it'll start to look like any other crime and mystery drama, with the exception of having James Spader as their lead.


I really like mysteries (in case you haven't noticed already), and Elementary is the modern version of Sherlock Holmes, except in this case, Watson is played by Lucy Liu. I enjoy the witty dialogue between others and Sherlock, played by Jonny Lee Miller (trivia: did you know that Miller used to be married to Angelina Jolie). I also like my mysteries full of surprise twists that's solved in the allotted time slot, and so far Elementary fits the bill for that.

There's a new twist to this season's Elementary in that they've added John Noble as Sherlock's father. I'm a fan of the character Walter, whom Noble played on the sci-fi show Fringe, so I was really excited about this new addition to the cast. So far Mr Holmes senior doesn't disappoint. The show left the audience wondering if he is as bad as Sherlock described or if there's more to the story. Whatever it is, I can't wait to watch more episodes with Noble's character in it.


To castle or not castle, that is the question. They were back for a little bit, and then they're on a break again. This is another show that fits into my preference of mystery shows that's intriguing with surprising twists and all solved within the allotted time frame with commercials, all that complete with a bow, that bow being Nathan Fillion.

Fillion plays the lead character, Richard Castle, crime solving helper by day and mystery writer by night. I've been a fan of Fillion since his sci-fi days. There's just something about him and the characters whom he portrays, they're likable, funny, seemingly nice, not exactly ruggedly handsome, but not bad to look at either. Although after eight seasons, it's getting a little bit tiresome at times. Still, I'll watch it whenever I can because it's light-hearted most of the time, and of course, there's Nathan. Like I've mentioned earlier, there's just something really likable about him.

Downton Abbey

Oh say it ain't so, boo hoo. This is the last season of Downton Abbey. I've come to adore all the characters of Downton Abbey, although I still miss Matthew. Yet I can understand, all good things must come to an end, and it's best to end on a high note.

This season so far, 
-we're seeing Edith coming into her own, taking on the magazine business 
- Mary, I don't know what's going on with Mary. I want to see all that business with the potential suitors, so happy the race car driver is back.
- the hospital business causing conflicts between Violet, Isobel, and Cora. Conflicts between Violet and Isobel is rather the norm but with Cora and Cora pushing back, that was different. 
- and what's up with Daisy, is it just me or is she extra whiny and annoying this season

Anyways, this is a such a wonderful show; I will definitely miss it when it's over.

What have you been watching lately?

Thursday, January 28, 2016

2016 Lunar New Year

According to Google, this year's Lunar New Year falls on a Monday, February 8, and this year's animal is the monkey. Lunar New Year is a big deal in Asia. They go all out with the celebration which includes lots of food, entertainment, and family, and from what I've been told, the celebration goes on for days. Someday, I hope to celebrate Lunar New Year in Asia and partake in all the festivities (One of those things on my bucket list. I've been to Asia but never during Lunar New Year.).

At our house, we don't do a lot to celebrate Chinese New Year/Lunar New Year, but we do try to follow some traditions:
1) red envelopes (紅 包) - This is something that I used to look forward to as a kid and am happy to share it with my kids. Now, instead of receiving them, I pass the red envelopes out.

2) clean the house -Prior to Lunar New Year, we clean the house to get ready for the new year and hopefully lots of good luck. I remembered my grandmother doing this when I was little, and it's something I continue to do to this day. 

3) hot pot (火 鍋) - My parents used to fix hot pot for Chinese New Year, so I try to do the same with my own family. Although, this year might be a bit trying since our local asian supermarket closed down. We've driven by a couple of times hoping they'll reopen like their sign mentioned but not yet. We may have to go to the one much farther away and bring a cooler with us. A hot pot is just not the same without fish and squid balls at our house. 

In addition to traditions, I also look forward to all the limited edition items that retailers released specifically for Lunar New Year each year. Here are just a few:

//5 - Guerlain Kiss Kiss Chinese New Year Shaping Cream Lip Color (This one sold out quick. I was thinking about getting it as Guerlain lipsticks are one of my favorites, but when I went back to look at it again, it was all gone.)

Happy Lunar New Year!
恭 喜 發 財
新 年 快 樂

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Snippets of Life Lately: a dance and some Wild Kratts

*My kids think as soon as January 1st rolls around, you're already one year older. They think they're 5 already (not yet)!
(At my age, I'll definitely be waiting until my birthday before I'll acknowledge that I'm a year older, and even then I might reconsider before telling everyone my age like they do, haha.)

*My kids ask to do a lot of stuff to which I'll respond with "Maybe when you're older", such as driving a car and going to work. Now that they think they're 5, they're closer to doing those things because their concept of older is like "8 years old". 
(I guess it's all in the perspective, after all 8 is twice the age of 4.)

*My husband and daughter went on their first daddy and daughter dance. I first heard about this event a few years back from my coworker but have never been able to get tickets. This year we managed to get tickets in time before they sold out. Both my daughter and husband had a wonderful time. My daughter loves to dance, and this was definitely a fun experience for her, complete with a dance floor,  a DJ, a photo booth, and lots of snacks.

Meanwhile my son and I held down the fort by having a party of our own: making cookies and watching This Old House and Wild Kratts

*Both my kids are big fans of Wild Kratts. Their little area of the living room has transformed into tortuga HQ while they're making/using creature power discs to save baby animals from the evil Barbies. I took a turn at playing the villain once or twice, but I turned in my villain card when it was time to fix supper, haha! 

*When they're not pretending to save baby animals from villains, they're building with blocks and Legos. 

That's life lately, what's been going on with you?

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