Month: March 2015

Liebster Award Answers

A while back I got nominated by a fellow blogger for something called the ‘liebster award’ which is basically similar to a tag.

https://chowkimwan.wordpress.com/2015/03/26/78-liebster-award/

He answered 10 questions and then gave me 10 questions to answer.  Then I am supposed to create 10 questions for other bloggers and tag them.  Will do my best to come up with good questions and tag a few people I haven’t bothered in a while.

Who is your favorite Disney character of all time?

woody

An extremely tough question.  The first character that popped in my mind is Woody from Toy Story.  He’s nostalgic and old fashioned while expressing very human emotions of jealousy, regret, fear, joy, etc. Others I love Lilo, Cinderella, Genie, Maleficent, Baloo, Cruella, Simba, Wall-e, Remy, Elsa etc.

Which composer in the modern era do you look up to the most?

Tough call but Ennio Morricone is an amazing composer that creates music which doesn’t even need words to bring me to tears.  His score for The Mission (a fantastic film with Jeremy Irons and Robert Deniro about monks who try to convert a wild tribe in the Amazon in 15th century).  This song called Gabriel’s Oboe is stunning.  I love it so much there have been days I’ve put it on continuous loops and just listened to it again and again.

But he also has a lot of variety.  He has done songs for Joan Baez and Paul Anka.  He is a favorite of Quentin Tarantino and did the Kill Bill orchestrations.

He is so unanimously loved that he won an honorary Oscar for his contributions to movies even though he has not one a traditional statuette.  The year he did the Mission he lost to Herbie Hancock for Round Midnight which is a jazz masterpiece so it is kind of apples and oranges. Both great.

Which musical that you have seen is the most spectacular?

les miserables3

I don’t know if they are talking about stage or movie.  For stage it would be Les Miserables.  I love the story and its themes of mercy vs justice and forgiveness and hope. But more importantly I love the music.  Aside  maybe the Little Mermaid, Les Miserables was the first time I really connected with music and the story in a personal way.  I just saw it live at a local live theater and was still as in love with it as I was at 14.

As far as movies just watch one of my recent videos.

What is your favorite show tune?

I don’t know if it counts because it was in a movie first but it would be Somewhere Over the Rainbow. To me it is this fascinating layer of hope, optimism, despair, longing and a feeling of hopelessness all in one. I think back when my ipod was working I had 12 different versions of the song.

I also love Someone to Watch Over Me by the Gershwins.

Finally I’d say On My Own from Les Miserables.  It was like no other music I’d ever heard before.  It was raw but still beautiful. I still love it.

Which is the most horrendous song you have heard in your life?

I don’t know. I don’t like heavy metal or any songs about abuse, hate, and other criminal activities.

Which song represents you the most?

It depends on the era of my life but to be perfectly honest it would be a religious song like Amazing Grace or I Stand All Amazed.

Who do you model yourself after? (It can be someone in real life or a fictional character)

Jesus and my Grandpa.

Jesus-Christ-Lamb-Mormon

Nevin 1992

Where in the world do you want to visit the most?

I wish everyday of my life I was in Hawaii. As far as some place I’d like to go to that I’ve never been too I’d say Australia.

    happiness

If you drop by Florida to visit one theme park only, will you visit Walt Disney World or Universal Studios?

Disney World because it’s got all stuff I like where Universal Studios is just basically Harry Potter and I like HP but not a die hard.

What sort of career do you aspire to have?

Exactly the one I’ve got.  I want to keep working in digital marketing and continue to learn and grow.  Honestly as long as I am working from home I’m a happy gal. Environment is way important to me than the actual task at hand.

I guess I would love to be a writer and finish editing my novel.

My10 questions will be

1. Would you rather choose only reading, only movies, or only music for the rest of your life?

2. What’s the biggest thing you wish you could tell yourself 10 years ago?

3. If someone was going to play you in a movie who would it be?

4. Which is better? Lord of the Rings vs Harry Potter?

5.Name your favorite animated movie?

6. What qualities are essential to you in any kind of friend?

7.  What is your favorite poem?

8. What makes you laugh the hardest?  Could be stand up, TV, movie, book whatever?

9. If you could go back and live in any other era but our own which would you pick?

10. Have you ever walked out of a movie? If so, which one? If not what is one you really hated?

I tag

Christine Plouvier at https://irishfirebrands.wordpress.com/

Burning Blogger of Bedlam   http://theburningbloggerofbedlam.wordpress.com 

Kristin All Eyes on Screen http://alleyesonscreen.me

Hubbards Cupboard http://hubbardscupboard2010.com/

All  Our Lemonny Things http://lemmonythings.com/

The Persistent Platypus https://thepersistentplatypus.wordpress.com/

Silver Screen Serenade https://caragaleblog.wordpress.com/

Where the Wild Things Are https://wherethewildthingsare14.wordpress.com/

The Simple Things https://jessicarlin.wordpress.com/

Perfection Pending http://www.perfectionpending.net/

That’s all I can think of at the moment.

Thoughts on Quiet

On such a night, or such a night,
Would anybody care
If such a little figure
Slipped quiet from its chair —
So quiet — Oh how quiet,
That nobody might know
But that the little figure
Rocked softer — to and fro —
On such a dawn, or such a dawn —
Would anybody sigh
That such a little figure
Too sound asleep did lieEmily Dickinson

I haven’t shared with you all any poetry in a long time but I found myself thinking of this verse today. You see, my house was empty and I was trying to recover from this darn cold and I couldn’t think of anything to watch so I found myself sitting and thinking.  In the words of Gaston ‘a dangerous pastime…’ It’s just so quiet sometimes when you are alone.

And I know you Moms are probably thinking ‘I would love nothing more than a quiet house all to myself for the day’ and there is some truth to that.  But I bet you wouldn’t find the quiet so refreshing if you knew those little voices weren’t ever coming back…

This is not an ‘oh feel sorry for me’ post.  It really isn’t.  It’s just a ‘today  I was alone and I noticed’.  What’s wrong with admitting that?  We all have our lonely moments, sometimes when we are surrounded by people.  It’s part of being human.  After all, if we never felt alone why would we need to turn to God?

But I’d be lying if I said I didn’t wish for a companion to share these kind of experiences with.  Yeah, yeah I can hear you all saying ‘marriage is hard’ and ‘grass is always greener’.  Well, it is also ‘not meant for man to be alone’. Humans need companionship and sometimes I wish I had it. But I know God has His plan for me and I am doing my best to humbly follow His timeline for my life.  That doesn’t mean I don’t feel a little sad on those days when the house feels extra quiet. Again I’m only human…

I saw The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel this week and it is not a great movie but I liked it.  One of the things that I stood out to me is Maggie Smith’s character is a single woman who has never married.  However, she has found this place to live where she has an urban tribe of other seniors and a ‘child’ to help nurture in the Dev Patel character.  I had more of that in my 20s when sociability and friendshipping was so much easier but I hope I can get it again.  If I never meet Mr Sunshine I hope I can find an urban tribe like she does and maybe even a young person to help mentor.

In my 20’s I also had much younger siblings who looked to me for advice and guidance and family that lived nearby.  Now they are all grown up and my nieces are far away.  It makes me a little sad sometimes.

But again I am not trying to make anyone feel sorry for me.  I am greatly blessed. Mostly I have the miracle of all of you who are there to share in my silly life. Goodness knows why you have all read all these years but I am sure grateful.  I have a job I love, a social media presence that I think helps people, hobbies I love, great friends, a beautiful home and most importantly a faith in Jesus Christ that ensures I am never really alone.  That is never forgotten.

Thanks for letting me share and I love you all.  Can any of you relate to the quiet times when maybe it feels a little lonely in life? I’m sure I am not alone.  God bless.

Sorry Been Sick

coughingSorry I have let it go 5 days between posts.  I’m never sure how that happens! At least this time I have an excuse.  I’m afraid I have had a wicked virus and been quite sick.  I don’t have the strongest immune system and it seems like every year or so I get a whopper of an illness. My whole family is not the strongest when it comes to our immune system.  It is probably partly due to going 48 hours without sleep in New York City but it was worth it.

Some people are what I call high output people.  They seem to be able to accomplish so much and do things like all nighters without it phasing them.  I never could, even when I was in college.  I’ve done all nighters by accident with my insomnia but that is a completely miserable experience and it is hard for me to function.  What is amazing is people who can go, go, go without it wearing them down.  I get sick every time.  Oh well!

Luckily I have a job that I can easily do while sick and that’s a huge blessing.  I also found a new doctor that is covered by my insurance and had a very positive experience.  He prescribed me the biggest pills ever and seemed very attentive.

pillsI did keep up my movie reviews so make sure to check out the movie blog including my review of the new Dreamworks film Home.I also have been doing some fun videos on the channel including a collaboration with an awesome youtuber from London and my favorite movies when I’m sick.  If you aren’t subscribed to my movie blog and my channel please do.  I think you will really enjoy the content and it will be worth your time.

So let’s hope I can kick this illness and be at the top of my game again.  Hope you are all healthy and illness free.

 

Fancy Food

Last Friday I had a neat experience.  I have been fighting the most ruthless virus and feeling like a hermit. Aside from seeing Cinderella last week I’ve hardly left my house except for getting the mail every day for work.

Anyway, I had previously paid for a special meal they were doing at my favorite bakery Bake 360. They have recently started a cafe in addition to the bakery that is delicious. The bakery is owned by Roy and Jennifer Olsen and they are such warm inviting people. It’s the first time in my life that I feel a sense of friendship with the owners and employees of a restaurant.  People always talk about that but this is a first for me.

The bakery usually closes at 5 but recently they announced a special pop up restaurant they would be doing with Chef Roy and Chef Jeffrey Sanich.  This promised to be a culinary experience and wanting to support my favorite restaurant and have a great experience I signed up! And it was an amazing meal! Certainly one of the fanciest and yummiest I’ve ever had.

Here’s what I was served:

epic meal8First course- Butter Poached Red Crab with Citrus Braised Fennel and Caviar. One of my favorites of the night.  Only problem was I could have eaten bowls of it!

epic meal6Homemade Ricotta with Speck, Watercress and Chervil Oil.  This was yummy but not especially memorableepic meal5

Seared Divers Scallop with Microgreens, Celeriac Puree, Kumquats- I’m not a big scallop fan but these were delishepic meal3

Heirloom Carrot Risotto- this was so creamy and flavorful. Yum!epic meal2

 

Teres Major Beef with Potato Confit, Broccolini and Red Wine Demi.  This was the highlight of the night.  The beef was so tender.  The only thing I didn’t care for was the broccolini.

epic meal1

 

And finally dessert was a Flourless Chocolate Cake with Shortbread, Raspberry Sauce and Clotted Cream.  So great!

 

 

epic meal4It ended up being a really fun night and a way to support some very talented people and have delicious food you don’t get every day.  They said they already had 2 other chefs who want to do it so I’m really excited for it to be a part of my life in the future.

epic meal7And like I said it was nice to have a break from sick Rachel for a few hours and eat some great food.

What’s the fanciest meal you’ve ever had?

NYC Trip Day 4: Rainy Goodbye

Quicker than it probably should have the final day of my trip came on Saturday and while I was sad to see it all come to an end I had the beginnings of a wicked virus, my feet hurt and I was tired.  Ready to come home you might say.

But fortunately we still had Saturday to enjoy and it ended up being a rainy day in the city. We decided to do a bus tour because we figured that would be better than walking in the rain and I wanted to see the 9/11 memorial before I left.

meg bus
Megan on the bus

 

Here I am on the bus
Here I am on the bus

The bus was fun but I wish it had been more of a tour.  There really wasn’t much of one so it was kind of like a wet taxi ride and then to my great annoyance they dropped us off like 8 blocks from the 9/11 Memorial.  It was the 9/11 stop and we had to walk forever and again nowhere in NYC has benches to rest. There is also construction at the site and it is very confusing where to enter and go but eventually we found it and I was able to stop for a moment and pay tribute to those who lost their lives on that horrible day.

9-11 memorialWe didn’t have time to go to the museum but at least we were ale to see the Memorial and then we made it back to the bus and finished the tour.  After a quick lunch my shuttle picked me up and it was bye bye New York!

nycI was exhausted and have been sick all week but it was worth it.  It was a great experience to take a risk, do something different and unexpected, a little bit unplanned which is hard for me.  Everyone at the RHAP Survivor event couldn’t have been nicer and I’m so grateful to all of them.

I am also grateful to my sister for coming up and spending the time with me at my pace.  It is rare I have anyone who is fine walking with me and waiting with me and occasionally listening to me moan and groan over my feet.  She was there just to spend time with me and that was really touching. I’m someone who isn’t often doted upon and it meant a lot to me that she did that.

Overall it was a great trip.  Highlights were the RHAP event, my trip to Soho Birchbox and video, American in Paris and the yummy food. Thanks New York! Hope I see you again soon!

NYC Trip Day 3: An American in Paris

Day 3 of my New York trip was pretty simple. I had a rough time getting to sleep the night before because my cold was coming on strong and I normally have a hard time sleeping. Well, I slept in ridiculously late which Megan was kind enough to let me do.

Then we enjoyed a leisurely walk down the Manhattan streets.  It wasn’t too cold during our trip but it could be quite windy which made it feel colder. Given the winter they’ve had we certainly brought some good luck with us because at least it wasn’t snowy and freezing. P1050863 My favorite thing in New York is all the flower stores.  They are so beautiful and I love how they have different than just the ordinary boring flowers I can get in the suburbs and at low cost.

flowers

We then had delicious New York bagels! Nothing quite like them and we talked about books and movies and had a lovely time.

2015-03-13 13.00.05 Megan had an appointment with her editor that afternoon and I rested at the hotel.  My only regret on the hotel is that it didn’t have a hottub or pool.  That would have been very nice especially on my poor feet which got the beginnings of an ingrown toenail I had to work on.  Ouch!

toeLater that we went to an Italian restaurant that was reasonably priced and yummy.  I got chicken Parmesan and Megan got gnochi.

italianThe big event of the day was going to Times Square

2015-03-13 19.30.40 2015-03-13 19.32.54 2015-03-13 19.33.00And seeing the opening night premiere of the new Broadway musical An American in Paris!

an-american-in-paris-large-643x441It was an amazing show full of incredible Gershwin music. The story is minimal and sometimes it was a little hard to tell the actors from each other but I really enjoyed it.

an american in paris3 An American In Paris an american in paris2It’s probably the most dance heavy Broadway show I’ve ever seen.  Just like in the old Gene Kelly/Leslie Caron movie there are long stretches without any dialogue and just dance.  I don’t pretend to be an expert on dance but I really enjoyed watching it.  To me it seemed exceptional with choreography that really popped.

The sets were minimal but effective and the costuming was simple but it all worked.  There is also a very small cast with only 6 leads and a few ensemble performers but it had a big feel.  I think the music is so grand that it can hardly help but feel big.

At first I was worried because our balcony seats were so steep looking onto the stage below but it actually worked out great and we could see everything just fine.

2015-03-13 20.01.38 2015-03-13 19.57.19 So that was our Day 3.  It was a lot of fun and featured a show I won’t soon forget. Sometimes the simple days are the most fun!

NY Trip Day 2: Empire Falls

birchbox2So day 2 started on the late side as I had a cold coming on and had done a 48 hour marathon the previous 2 nights.  Once I was up I took uber cars over to Soho and the Birchbox Soho store.  I wanted to make the trek out to the store because I had heard about their ‘build your own box’ section and wanted to feature it on my channel.  I didn’t even know if they would let me film in their store but when I got there they couldn’t have been more accommodating.  They filmed segments for me and even gave me a free $300 value Vanity Fair special box! I’m thrilled with how the video turned out:

(Btw, if you haven’t subscribed to my youtube channel please do! I would really appreciate it)

After visiting the store and filming my video I went across the street to the Chobani Yogurt Shop and it was so yummy!  It was the best food I had in New York City.

chobaniI’m excited to try and recreate both of the yogurts I had.  It was savory on one side (Red Pepper, Harissa,  Feta, Mint, with Olive oil and chips to dip it in) and sweet on the other (Pistachio, Chocolate, sliced oranges, mint and honey).

Just the combination of flavors and textures was so delicious.  I can’t wait to recreate it.  A whole new world of yogurt!

After brunch I headed home to meet up with my sister Megan who took the train up from DC.  It was so nice of her to come up and spend some time with me.

flowers selfie We had a delicious lunch of the biggest salad I’ve ever eaten and then decided to go to the Empire State Building for the evening activity.  It was fun but a bit of a letdown.  The lines were so long and just to get to the 86th floor cost $32.  My feet hurt so bad by the time we got to the top and it was so hot in the waiting areas that it wasn’t my favorite.  I also hit my lip with my camera going through security which ended up bleeding more than you’d think!  Probably the only person to injure herself in line for Empire State Building.

You can see the cut above my upper lip.
You can see the cut above my upper lip.

That kind of standing and walking is really hard for me now and if I’m looking for what is ‘fun’ it will always be at the bottom of the list.  And vacations are supposed to be fun right?  But it was nice to spend the time with Megan and catch up and the view was pretty great.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

One thing I noticed about all of NYC is there are very few benches. Even by most of the bus stops there is nowhere to sit and rest. This was a major bummer to me but I guess it is the reason why it is the ‘city that never sleeps!’. No benches to sleep on!

So I finished day 2 having a good time but a little frustrated and sore at the same time. Birchbox Soho, Megan and the yogurt made it all worth it!!