At the Movies - SALT

SALT is one of those I'm-a-spy, I've-been-wronged, I-use-all-my-awesome-spy-skills-to-save-myself-and-the-world, kind of movies.  Angelina Jolie plays CIA agent Evelyn Salt.  One tough broad.  One day, a former Soviet government bad guy walks into the Agency in an attempt to defect.  In exchange for help, he offers the agency information about a double agent.  He names Salt as the double agent, while she is the one interrogating him.  He tells her that she will be the one to assassinate the Russian president at an upcoming event.  All of a sudden Salt finds herself being ushered to a secure room, while the agency contemplates her fate.  She manages to get away, so she can prove her innocence and find the people behind the assassination conspiracy.  But her actions cast doubt about her motives, and we are left wondering: Who is Salt?

I wanted to like this movie.  Really, I did.  I like spy movies.  I like action movies.  And I don't even mind Angelina Jolie.  I can forgive her for Mr. and Mrs. Smith, because I liked the Tomb Raider movies.  But SALT was not that great.  I didn't hate it.  But I didn't like it either.  It was a little more predictable than I like in a spy movie, and the story was actually not that interesting.  And the worst part about this movie was the ending, which obviously left the door open for a SALT2.  Wide open.  So open that I felt like the story didn't really end.  All in all, another fail for Angelina.

I know a lot of people hated this one.  I didn't hate it.  I was still entertained.  But I would only recommend this one to those of you who have seen everything else and are still in the mood to catch a flick at the theater.  Otherwise, if you're mildly curious about it, then wait to rent it. 


Shoe of the Moment - Zamberlan Civetta

Hands down the best hiking boots I've ever owned.  I have been wearing mine for years and years and they're still awesome.  They're comfy, and tough all rolled into one awesome package.  No rolling your ankle on rough ground with these on!  I have worn them hiking through a creek, on sand, on rocks, through steep terrain, and everything in between.  These boots are to footwear what all terrain tires are to cars.  So if you're going on some long hikes, or going on a backpacking trip, check out the Zamberlan line.  They're not cheap, but they wear like a dream and last forever, so you'll get your money's worth.  And no matter what hiking boot you choose, it's always best to go to a reputable outdoor gear dealer and have someone fit you. 


Some Inspiration

Happy Tuesday everyone!

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At the Movies - The Sorcerer's Apprentice

Balthazar's love, Veronica, is trapped in a magical urn for all eternity.  To rescue her, Balthazar must first free and defeat several evil powerful sorcerers trapped in layers around her.  To defeat these sorcerers, Balthazar must first find the prime merlinian - a descendant of Merlin who is born with potential to be a great and powerful sorcerer.

After searching for centuries, Balthazar finally identifies Dave as the prime merlinian.  Unfortunately, Dave is an awkward dorky boy who lacks the self-confidence to even accept the possibility that he may be a powerful sorcerer.  But Balthazar won't leave Dave alone, as he has been searching for so long, and is desperate to finally free Veronica.  With reluctance, Dave agrees to let Balthazar teach him magic, though it is questionable whether he will even survive the training. 

The Sorcerer's Apprentice was very much a Disney movie.  Wholesome.  Good versus evil.  Brimming with life lessons.  If you are not a fan of Disney movies, then skip this one.  However, if you are like me, and find Disney movies entertaining then you will like The Sorcerer's Apprentice.  It was a good story and it was well done.  The Sorcerer's Apprentice will transport you to a world where giant steel eagles fly, carpets can turn into quicksand, and  rings give the wearer special powers.  A world where anything is possible.  A world of magic.  And in the end, in true Disney fashion, you can rest assured that good will triumph over evil, and the ending will be predictably happy.  The very formula that hooks me in every time.  So if you're in need of a little magic and some good entertainment, then The Sorcerer's Apprentice is for you.  This would be a good one for a family movie outing.


Loving the Neutral Look

Burberry recently released a GORGEOUS looking line of cosmetics. Great concept.  It's basically sheer colors for more natural fresh looks.  I love the makeup in the promo picture.

Natural makeup with that bit of smokey eye shadow for a bit of a modern edge.  I have not been able to play with this range yet, but check naturalNchicMakeup for some great swatches and reviews of the entire range.

I love looking at promo ads for inspiration.  Here are some of my other faves for the clean classic look.


Just keep in mind that a lot of the time, the makeup used in the adverts is not even the brand's own.  So resist the urge of running out and spending lots of money on 'new' or 'limited edition' colors, when you already have something similar at home.


My Secret Guilty Pleasure

I started watching Pretty Little Liars out of curiosity.  And it was actually better than I expected.  It's like Gossip Girl and 90210 (the original one, of course) went on a wild murder mystery trip together.  I.can't.stop.watching.  I'm addicted.

Watch it?  Like it?  Tell me your secrets.


The Home Library

I have been re-watching seasons of Gilmore Girls - man, I love that show.  And I was reminded of the wonderful corner library at the Dragonfly Inn.  

Although a separate room for a library would be ideal, we don't all live in mansions. I love how this library is just a corner of a larger room, with a bunch of book cases and a couple of comfy chairs.  I also love the chicken wire on the bottom cabinets - a great way camouflage a vast collection of paperbacks.

So if you have a lot of books and love the idea of a home library, check out some of these library corners.  I am definitely setting up a little reading/library nook.

I love libraries.  Having one in the house is such a luxury.  So even my future dwelling doesn't have a whole room I can dedicate to it, where there's a will, there's a way.


Classic or Boring?

I'm not a trendy dresser.  Most of the items that comprise my wardrobe are some versions of pieces that have been wardrobe staples for as long as I can remember.  Sometimes I'm in style, sometimes I'm not.  I consider my style as 'classic'.  But the word 'boring' has come up in reference to my wardrobe.

We all have our sweats, suits, black dresses, and jeans.  But in addition to those, I can't live without some version of:

The Polo.  Feels like a t-shirt but the collar makes it a little more polished.

The Khakis.  I find them more comfy and versatile than jeans.

The V-Neck Sweater.  More flattering than the crew neck, and can be dressed up or dressed down.  Great for layering.

The Leather Shoulder Bag.  Either black or brown.  Goes with everything.  Comfy.
The Fleece Jacket.  Can be layered with heavy duty outerwear for maximum insulation, but still cute enough for a trip to the mall.

The Birkenstocks.  These make my feet happy.

Argyle.  From socks to sweaters, I heart argyle.

The Pearl Studs.  Go with almost every piece of jewelry I own.

 The Cute Summer Skirt.  Summer is for skirts.  They're so cute and girly and comfy.  Can't ask for anything more.
The Beaded Necklace.  I learned to wire wrap and now I make my own.  I love these in all different colors and patterns. 

Boring or Classic?

What are your staples?

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I Heart Baths

 I love baths.  I love hot baths to warm up on a cold day.  And I love cool baths on a hot day. Perfect way to relax.  Perfect way to unwind.

 The bathtub is my favorite place to read.  If the book is good, I add extra hot water because the water gets cold and I don't want to stop reading.

This week I discovered Lush's Keep It Fluffy bath bomb.  Wicked awesome deliciousness.  The fragrance is sweet, but not too sweet.  A little powdery, but not too powdery.  And just fresh enough to be a great summer bath.

 I dream of a claw foot tub.  Someday.  In a perfect world.

But then, I may never get out.

What do you do to unwind?


At The Movies - Eclipse

Eclipse is the third installment in the Twilight series.  I did not read the books, but I absolutely love the movies.  Yes, even the first two.  I know Twilight and New Moon did not live up to the expectations of the books, but they were still well done.  But then, I can easily forgive a cheesy line or two I like the story.  And I like the Twilight story.

In Eclipse Bella Swan is once again in danger from an old foe.  In addition, Seattle is ravaged by a series of unexplained acts of violence.  The Cullen family must once again rally together against insurmountable odds as they plan to fight against an army of newborn vampires - a time when vampires are at their most vicious.  In the midst of the dangers, Bella once again finds herself choosing between her love for Edward and her friendship with Jacob.  She struggles with the severe consequences attached to a life with Edward.  Is eternal love really worth giving up life and becoming a vampire?  What about Jacob?  Are Bella's feelings for Jacob deeper than friendship?

I really enjoyed Eclipse.  It moved the Twilight saga along - including the relationship between the Cullens and the Volturi, and Victoria's quest for revenge.  It does a good job of resolving the triangle between Bella, Edward and Jacob.  We also find out the details of how Rosalie and Jasper became vampires, and what their lives were like before they joined the Cullen clan.  And best of all, Eclipse  was much lighter on the cheesy lines than the previous two Twilight movies.  I can't wait to see the last installment of this series, Breaking Dawn, which I believe has been split into two movies - not cool.  So if you liked Twilight and New Moon, but have not yet seen Eclipse, then go see it.  You will enjoy it.  Guaranteed.

 I can not do a review of Eclipse without telling you that I am emphatically Team Jacob!  

If you put aside the the whole werewolf and vampire thing, Bella's choice between Jacob and Edward is the age old struggle between the good sweet boy next door and the dangerous mysterious guy on the motorcycle.  Sadly, more often than not, women of all ages are drawn to the dangerous type, only to then ask the question - why do I always fall for the wrong guy?  In this case, choosing the wrong guy also means choosing to die and alienate yourself from your whole family.  Talk about wrong.  On the other hand, there is sweet, good, dependable Jacob.  In his own words "...being with [him] will be as easy as breathing."  Isn't that hotter than danger and mystery?  So why do we continue to celebrate the dangerous Edward?  Why is there a Team Edward?  Would said Team be as enthusiastic if their sister and/or best friend gave up everything for some guy?

Plus, at the risk of sounding like a dirty old lady, Jacob is way hotter.  And since a picture is worth a thousand words...
'Nuff said.

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The Wedding Girl - Madeleine Wickham

When she was eighteen, Milly was quite adventurous and free spirited.  One of her adventures led her down the altar, when she married Allan, a gay friend that needed her help to stay in the country.  After that whirlwind summer, Milly and Allan went their separate ways and didn't keep in touch.  Ten  years later, Milly is engaged to the wealthy and conservative Simon Pinnacle.  Simon believes Milly to be just as conservative and serious.  With her free spirit put safely away in the back of her closet with her more daring and eccentric wardrobe, Milly is ready to marry Simon in a ceremony fit for royalty.  However, days before the wedding Milly meets the photographer, who started taking pictures of brides ten years ago, outside of city hall.  Will Millie's past catch up with her just before her wedding and spoil her present and her future?

I enjoyed The Wedding Girl.  It was a sweet girly story worthy of a beach blanket.  However, I would have enjoyed the book more if I didn't know that Sophie Kinsella wrote it.  Wedding Girl, lacked the quickness, wit and charm of the Kinsella novels.  The story was a little sloppier and a little slower than I expected.  Madeleine Wickhham writing as herself was still developing a style and exploring the art of story telling.  Madeleine Wickham as Sophie Kinsella has it figured out and tells stories that are impossible to put down.  So I think that if you're a die hard Kinsella fan, you will be disappointed with Wedding Girl.  However, this does not mean that it was a bad book.  I did enjoy it.  Wedding Girl was, for lack of a better word, cute.  It's lives up to its cover.  And yes, I do choose books based on their covers - and lately I've been enjoying the cartoony cover genre.  So, if you are looking for an easy breezy summer read, then Wedding Girl is for you.  


When the Lights Go Out

 Toronto is in the midst of a major heat wave right now.  Super hot.  Super humid. 

 The ACs are running like crazy.  Which was surely the contributing factor to today's 2 hour power outage in my area.  No computer, no internet, no TV, no CD player.  Too hot to go outside.

For over two whole hours!

It was still light outside.  But the first thing I did was got a candle and lighter within easy reach.

Then I painted my nails.  Went neutral this time with Zoya's Ellen.  Stay tuned for a review.

Then I read a little.  I'm in the process or reading The Wedding Girl by Madeline Wickham (a.k.a.: Sophie Kinsella).  Like it so far.

And finally, the doggies and I took a nap.  Oh so lovely.

And when we woke up it was dark.  But luckily the power was back on! 

What do you do during a power outage?

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