January 11, 2013

Critic's Choice Awards 2013

I happened to see everyone talking about the Critic's Choice Awards tonight on Twitter and other famous blogs, like Just Jared, and decided to check them out. To be honest, I don't even remember ever hearing about these, since they're on CW, but I vaguely remember watching last year. Anyway, I was curious to see who was there or who would be presenting, if nothing else.

The awards actually went really smoothly! I watch Sam Rubin all the time on KTLA 5's morning show, so I thought it was cool that he was hosting, though a host didn't really seem necessary for a show like this.
I didn't care one way or another about most of the winners, since I haven't seen (basically) any of the movies that were nominated. Shame on me! But, I did enjoy seeing who was sitting next to who at the tables. I especially enjoyed when the camera would cut to John Krasinski and Emily Blunt. I think they are such a beautiful couple!
I can't believe how many awards Silver Lining Playbook swept up, as well as Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence! I've heard it's really good, but from what I've seen it looks rather...Interesting, in a weird sort of way. And I figured Argo/Ben Affleck would win for best director, which it did! It's always fun just throwing out random names of movies or actors and hoping you're right, if all else fails. There's not really much else to comment on, but it'll be interesting to see how these winners compare to Sunday night's at the Golden Globes.

That's all for now,

Birthday Challenge #5

Yesterday, I woke up and went out to the living room for some coffee and whatever else I usually do in the morning. I had decided I was going to tackle some reading and just have a lounging around day, but my mom and I ended up going shopping. It turned out to be a lot of fun!

We had lunch at Chic-Fil-A, which was really delicious, as always! Their sweet tea just really makes my day and I hadn't eaten breakfast, so their spicy chicken sandwich hit the spot.

After we were finished eating, we headed to the mall so my mom could look for a shirt to wear in Vegas. Lately, I've just had to be in the "shopping mood", which hasn't struck very often, but I still love buying stuff...So, it's quite a predicament really. It actually wasn't too painful, though. She found a blouse to wear pretty quickly (after several stores about halfway through the mall), and I found some jewelry at Forever 21 to go with my outfit for Vegas, which was pretty thrilling. We even went to Target (which we have at the mall) and I was able to find Mindy Kaling's book, which I was SUPER excited about finding, because I've been wanting to read it forever. By that time, I was slowly starting to crash, so after one more stop at Forever 21, we headed home.

My mom and I watched the red carpet for the People's Choice Awards and a Live! Q&A that we could've attended in LA for American Idol. After watching it, we were kicking ourselves for not going...I mean...American Idol and Keith Urban. What could be better?! Not a whole lot. I have more to say about the Idol event, but I think I'll save it for a separate post. By the time all of that finished, my dad was home and my mom fixed dinner. We just hung out for awhile, then watched the PCA's, which I was really looking forward to, even though I already knew who had won most of them by the time they started on the west coast.

It was a really great day! I was out of the house and gave me a chance to hang out with my mom :)

That's all for now,

January 10, 2013

People's Choice Awards 2013

It's that time of year again, people! The red carpets are being rolled out and the stars are making their entrances. Last night was the People's Choice Awards; I had signed up to be a seat filler, but didn't get called...I'm a little bitter about that, but it's okay. If you know me at all...You know how much I love award shows! I love seeing everyone get all dressed up and my favorite stars talking about their latest projects or even just who they're wearing if they aren't doing anything at the moment.

I study the red carpets as if I'm going to have to take a test on it, and sometimes I end up just focusing on the journalists; the questions they ask, their expressions, their body language, etc. If I want to have their job someday, I have to learn from their weaknesses and their strengths, then make it my own. I've learned how important it is to KNOW what you're talking about. What a concept. Do your homework; know some of their background info, what they're nominated for, some of the awards they've won in the past, that sort of thing! It's not that hard. Also, don't turn it into all about you. If you feel like you need to say something, at least wait until after the celebrity is done talking to comment. It's really just common courtesy, but I guess I have a lot to learn about being in Hollywood.

I was surprised to see so many fresh/spring looks! Everyone looked gorgeous, but I couldn't believe how many bright colors were coming down the red carpet. The stars were acting like it was spring, and it's definitely not. I was hoping to see longer dresses and dark tones like blacks, blues, deep reds, etc. It'll be interesting to see what people wear the rest of award season. 

Here are some of my favorite looks from last night: 

I thought the awards show itself was pretty good. Kaley Cuoco was a great host! She kept it fun, and wasn't too over the top and cheesy with the jokes, like some of the other presenters tended to be. But it always disappoints me with the fact that all of the winners know that they're going to be accepting an award. You can always tell just by who's in the audience for the most part. I always love to see that candid moment when the star finds out that they've just won their very first award or maybe it's their millionth and they're still just as excited.  I was pretty happy with most of the winners (considering I don't watch a ton of the shows that were nominated, etc), but I just really wish The Vampire Diaries would have won something. They have such an extraordinary cast, and the story lines they are able to deliver week after week (even being a show about vampires) and make it all so believable is so incredible to me. I hope they'll get the recognition they deserve sometime very soon.
As for the musical performances, I was bored. Really, of all the people out there and nominated...Christina, Jason, and Alicia?! I turned the channel during Alicia...She's great. But, how many times can you say, "This girl is on fire..." before it realllllly gets on your nerves, you know?

My favorite part of the show was when Sandra Bullock was awarded the very first Humanitarian award. It was so inspiring to see that she had given so much of her money and was so willing to help when those natural disasters took place with Hurricane Katrina. The looks on the faces of those kids at the school she had helped rebuild truly touched my heart and made me realize how blessed I am to have all that I do. We can all help in some way, and it started stirring in me that I want to and need to help out others, the way that people have helped me out, whether just with an encouraging word or sacrificing their time. The sincerity of that moment was the least unscripted, even though she knew she would be accepting the award. I have even more respect for her after that. Not only is she a phenomenal actress, but she also has such a humble spirit.

I do love the fact that it's fan voted. We're the ones that buy the CD's, watch the TV shows, and check out the movies in theaters, so our voice should be heard. It may not be what you want, but you still have a chance to vote and that's fun. It feels a little more laid back and not quite as stuffy and boring as some awards tend to be.

Who were you glad to see win? Who do you wish would have? Best dressed? Let me know on Twitter or in the comments below.


Be A Girl Who Knows What She Wants

On New Year's Eve, we were having dinner with some family friends at California Pizza Kitchen. My mom and I decided that we were going to share something, we just weren't sure what we were going to share. My mom was reading things off of the menu, and I'd say "No." I'm not sure what I wanted, but I knew what I didn't want. Which is exactly what my mom pointed out. That's when my friend, Mandy, said something along the lines of, "We need to figure out what you want. You need to be a girl who knows what she wants." She was totally kidding, of course. It wasn't meant to be philosophical, but I like to read deeper into things sometimes to make it more interesting and learn a life lesson any chance I get.

Every once in awhile, that line will pop back into my mind and it really stops me in my tracks. I want to know what I want.  I always thought I was that kind of girl, but the further I get into the "real world", I start to question if I really know what I want, especially when there are so many influences in the media and pop culture telling girls what they should want, including myself at times. I want to be one to break the barrier and to do things a little differently than what the norm of the industry is, because I feel like I'm here to shake things up a bit. That's why God has given me such a passion for all of the things that He has.

I decided I will make a list of things I know that I want right now, at least for in the future, not necessarily what I want at this moment: 
  • I want to get my license
  • Now that I'm going to graduate at my community college, I still want to finish school and get my BA in communications.
  • I want to get an internship with E! News or Warner Brothers entertainment.
  • I want to get a tweet from John Krasinski. This is probably the biggest "shallow" thing I want at the moment.
  • I want God to use me for His purposes this year, starting in my own church. I'm praying for big opportunities to help lead and help out in our Young Adults ministry, especially. But, you never know where God is going to lead...Maybe I'll end up in some bigger places. God has a great sense of humor like that, but I'm ready for it.
  •  I want to volunteer more, whether it's through a walk with an organization or raising money or just giving of my time, by helping out at an ASPCA shelter, etc. I want to find a cause and to get my hands dirty, doing what I can to help out. 
  • I want to get married and have a family; being the best mom and wife I can possibly be.
  • I want to interview celebrities on the red carpet for a living! But, I want to do it in a different way than the rest of the media. I want to tell their story; their passions, their voice, and how they make this world different, rather than just focusing on where they eat and shop, as much as I love finding those things out too.
  • I want to make a documentary! I'd like to make a random one about my life and another about girls in general...I have a more specific idea, but I won't go into detail on here.
  • I want to work for a magazine, like Zooey!
  • I want to write a column in the Los Angeles Times, as well as write articles here and there for Hello Giggles. 
  • I decided that the top 10 people I want to interview when I start working at E! will be: Taylor Swift, Zooey Deschanel, Sophia Bush, John Krasinski, Ian Somerhalder, Keith Urban, Bethany Joy Lenz, Carrie Underwood, Hilary Duff, and Amy Sherman-Palladino .
  • 10 People I have to meet before I die: John Krasinski, Steve Carell, Sandra Bullock, Reese Witherspoon, Ian Somerhalder, Sophia Bush, Keith Urban (picture), Lady Antebellum,
  • I want to own a house in Nashville, South Carolina and California someday. Or...Just one of the three would be nice. I live in Cali now, but it's not like I own the house myself. I've never had a job, soooo....
  • I want to write a book. 
I could probably come up with more of these, and maybe they aren't the things that I can exactly just make happen...But, it's a start. I want to be a girl who knows what she wants and works hard to get it. I want to be the kind of girl that doesn't need others to get her to where she needs to go; it pays to have connections, but if you can do it by just having talent and working hard, that's the route I'd rather take. I'm still finding out everyday what it takes to be a strong girl this day in age, but I'm loving the journey.

That's all for now,

January 8, 2013

Birthday Challenge #4

Today was a "lazy day." I know what you're all probably thinking...Aren't all of your days like that? Well, yes. Yes, they are. But, usually I don't make the most of them. I'm just sitting around, moping, thinking I should be somewhere else, doing something BIGGER with my life, and it's like this black cloud follows me around all the time. Today, I decided to turn that attitude around and make the most of this day.

I slept in until 10:30, got up, had some quiet time with God and drank coffee. After that, I was feeling good to go. I finished cleaning and straightening up my room (after yesterday's closet cleaning, things were a little messy), watched Bunheads' premiere from last night, ate lunch, went on a bike ride, and did a little surfing online, but not too much. It's amazing the things you can accomplish when you don't spend quite as much time online. Which is going to be part of my daily challenge, to only spend a couple hours online at the most, so I can actually get things done, instead of going to bed each night feeling incomplete.

Now, I'm off to watch the Pretty Little Liars premiere for the second half of season 3! WOO! I hear it's pretty great, so we'll see :)

That's all for now,

Birthday Challenge #3

This "challenge" wasn't necessarily a fun one, but these challenges don't necessarily have to be that all the time. It's about getting stuff done that you've been putting off, and that's exactly what I did yesterday. For the past several months my old room has turned into one giant mess of a closet, and because my dad has been wanting to use it for some of his stuff, I've needed to clean it and organize my stuff.
I finally decided to tackle it! I started around 11 or so, working through most of the day, and pausing for a few breaks like lunch and watching Ellen. I watched The Office on Netflix and was able to get it all done for the most part, until dinner. I was really not feeling motivated to finish, because I find that sometimes that's the hardest part, when you can see the finish line, but you're still going through the process. I decided to start up again around 11:30 or so at night, and finished close to one. I felt really accomplished.
I wasn't really able to get rid of a ton of stuff like I would have liked, but I was able to fit it all back in my closet, which was a miracle in itself. I can even open and close the door! The real task will be trying to actually find something to wear, especially if I have something specific in mind, but for the time being...This will work great!


That's all for now,
I think my favorite part about getting hooked to a television show is the relationships that you not only form with the characters yourself, but also the relationships that you see develop over the years of the cast/characters. With The Office coming to a close, the cast has been very reminiscent of their days on the show and how much they love. The quotes I've seen that have brought tears to my eyes the most have been from John and Jenna, obviously, given that they're my favorite characters on the show.

There's nothing worse to me than finding out that some of your favorite fictional couples or friends don't really like each other all that much in real life or follow each other on Twitter after the show ends, because they no longer work together or feel obligated to. I get that it's all "make-believe" and "pretend", but still...A part of you always hopes that there's some of that TV magic in real life going on. There's also nothing worse than finding out that they think they're too cool once the show that made them famous ends. It's like they no longer want to be reminded that they were part of that series, so no one mentions it when they're a big movie star, walking all the red carpets at events a few years down the road. A part of me is just really disappointed in who they are as people when that happens. I'm sorry, but it's true.
What I really love about The Office is that no matter where the cast has gone and moved on to over the years (BJ Novak, Steve Carell, Mindy Kaling, etc) they've still remained close with those that helped them get to where they are today. They're very grateful for their experiences and still mention The Office from time to time on Twitter. It just warms my heart. Maybe it's because it reminds me of high school and how you see certain friendships that you root for, and when you find out they are no longer as close, it reminds you that life happens. Or the fact that there are some friendships still just as strong as ever, and you know that the true friendships will always last, no matter what the struggle or battle.

But, back to business...Look at these quotes. Aren't they beautiful?!:

"I get so emotional to think that we’re ending the show. But I’m unbelievably proud to be a part of one that actually gets to end. Instead of being asked to leave, I actually get a shot at bringing the whole story and all the characters to a close." - John Krasinski

"I never want it to end, ever! I could do it for 30 years. I just love the people that I work with so much. The last nine years of my life have had so much stability that I didn’t have before. We decided to wrap it up now because we wanted to do it while we still have mostly everyone. We didn’t want to have everyone slowly leave throughout the years. We wanted to go out with a bang. So everyone signed on for this last season and we’re going to be able to do that." -Jenna Fischer

"John and I will always have a very special bond because we have played an on-screen couple for so many years. I don’t know if I’ll ever be closer to a co-star than I am with him in terms of that bond of having acted together so intimately for so long and sharing a story like theirs. I know that it will be the most unique acting partner experiences that I’ll have with someone." -Jenna Fischer
How are they not together in real life?! Just sayin....

That's all for now,

Inspiration Board: January

Birthday Challenge Day #2

I woke up when my alarm clock when off this morning, which is great...But, what's even better is that I got out of bed pretty soon after. I guess I just have to have that mindset that I have somewhere to be every morning when trying to wake myself up. We went to church and it was kicking off a brand new series, called Life Management 101. Our pastor talked today mainly about giving the control back to God in our lives; remembering that He is the owner and we are just the managers of our lives when it comes down to it. Yes, we still make all the decisions, but we have to remember that we are made in God's image and all that we do should reflect who God is. What we do in this life matters and it carries over into the next one in consequences and rewards, depending on whether we choose to follow God or stray from Him. We can't waste our lives away! It became clearer to me in that moment more than ever before, that I've been letting so much of my life go to waste- int talents and compassion with people. But, this is my year to change all of that-stop slacking and actually do something about those lists I've been making all of my life about the things I want to do. 

Later on this afternoon, there were auditions for the new youth band that my church is trying to put together. I didn't really know of what to expect, other than what time to get there and what songs might be sung, but I wasn't really sure of what else was going to happen or how it was all going to work. Luckily, I did have a couple of friends that were there, so that was nice. There were a lot of new faces, which was really cool too. I guess we're trying to mix up the groups with Jr. Hi students, high school, and college this time around. That's something that has never really been done before, so it's exciting to be one of the first to go on this journey with everyone else.
I waited around for a little while; the band set up the instruments, tuned everything, and the first group went up. After a few minutes, they'd switch groups, then it was my turn. I didn't really have to do much, just sing a few of the echoes that were in the song, and then we were done. I talked to the pastor that is in charge after I was finished about some scheduling details and things to look forward to. It sounds like it might give me a chance to have more of a leadership role, as far as mentoring other kids that are younger than me. When I first heard this, I wasn't quite sure of what to expect, and didn't think I was up for it. But, as she explained that it'd be more about encouragement, I thought it would be a great opportunity. I know what it's like to be shy and to still want to sing or to speak up and let people know what's on your mind, and I hope I'll be able to relate more in that department to help them get through this phase in their life as much as I possibly can.
I really feel like this is going to open so many doors for me and God is going to use me in BIG ways. I am expecting a lot out of this, and even if I find that this ministry isn't necessarily for me after awhile, I think it'll still be a really great experience to help me grow as a person and in my spiritual life. I'm so excited for this new season in my life, and I'm glad I took that leap of faith and just decided to do this :)

That's all for now,

January 6, 2013

Birthday Challenge Day #1

Awhile back, I had seen this idea on Lacey Chabert's blog about doing 30 things before her 30th birthday last year, and I thought it sounded like such a cool idea! It could be doing something you've never done before, trying a new item at your favorite restaurant, challenging yourself in some unexpected way, or just having a fun day with friends, etc...Just making a prolonged celebration with your birthday by being a little more daring and living life to the fullest. At the end of those 21 (or 30) days, it's fun to look back on what you've accomplished and what you learned from it. I love those challenges.
Because 21 is such a big year and birthday, I thought I'd try it out for that. I haven't really stuck to it yet, and I don't know how often I'll be able to, but I'd like to still try out this 21 days in January, at least.

I'm going to start with yesterday, which was getting to visit a few of the locations from The Office. It has quickly become one of my favorite shows! I think if you've been reading at all lately, you've noticed probably noticed that. Especially since it's the last season, I knew how crucial it is in seeing these places before they change too much after filming. Anyway, we were thinking of going to the snow, but got a bit of a late start, and long story short--ended up going to LA, because my dad knew how much I wanted to see The Office locations, and didn't know when we'd get another chance. After much delay, we made it out of town, grabbing In-N-Out on the way and making our way into the Van Nuys area. Some of the streets were a little tricky, just because of the addresses and our GPS not putting in the address like it should have, so it took us a little off course, but it didn't take too long to find. Our first stop was the Dunder Mifflin office building, which is also known as the Scranton Business Park. I was really excited! And I also loved the fact that it looks just like it does on TV. I think it helps with the way they shoot; only using one camera, documentary style. It makes everything feel more realistic, than if they were to shoot from several different cameras and angles, it can give a different perspective of how things should look.
We drove around to the side area, since you couldn't actually make it inside the quad, which is unfortunate. But, we were able to see where the cast and crew's trailers are, some of the Universal Pictures trucks that hold equipment, and a couple of the basketball hoops that I'm sure they used for their challenges in the basement over the years.

The next stop on the agenda was Jim and Pam's house! They are my favorites on the show, so I had to see their house. Well, we ended up missing one of the streets to turn down, which was a blessing in disguise, because on the way, I spotted one of the restaurants that was also on my list; where Michael's Last Dundies were held. We ran over to Jim and Pam's then came back around to stop at Barone's. I've also heard that Steve Carell has eaten there on occasion, but don't know whether it's true or not, so don't quote me on that. 
I love this house! I think it's like something out of a little fairytale! It's so cute and charming; perfect for a couple just starting out.  It looked like it was empty and the blinds on the other window didn't have shades or shutters, so I'm not sure if they'll be using this again or if someone actually lives here? 

The next stop was the church where Jim and Pam got married! It's a cute traditional style church, just like it looks on the episode of Niagara Part Two. I didn't really explore this area, like I wish I would've, but it was still the church, so that was cool enough.

After that, I didn't really have many other places I wanted to see. One location (where Cece Halpert was christened) was in Pasadena, which was about twenty minutes away, and I wasn't sure if it was worth it or not. We had started heading in that direction, when my mom saw Urban Outfitter's, so we ended up canceling the other plans and stopping there. I'm glad we did, too! We hung around there for awhile and ended up making reservations for The Smokehouse in Toluca Lake, which is somewhere I've been wanting to eat and we've heard it's good from going on the Warner Brothers tour.
After we were done shopping, we drove over in that direction, making sure we didn't hit traffic or anything, and then had plenty of time to kill. We drove around the Toluca Lake area, and I'm pretty sure we found Steve Carell's new house, but I could be wrong. Either way, this house is GORGEOUS! It looks like something out of Cape Cod or the Maryland area.

By that time, it was closer to six, so we headed over to the restaurant. It's right across the street from Warner Brothers Studio, so the cast of Friends and George Clooney used to walk across the street during their lunch breaks while filming sometimes. George still eats there quite a bit and even has his own booth and several pictures of him are displayed in a case as you enter the restaurant and by "his" booth. I ordered the Monte Cristo sandwich, and so did my mom. Before we had even started eating, we immediately knew we should have split. It was HUGE! We'd already had breadsticks and salad too...I'm full just thinking about it. It was pretty tasty, but I don't think I really got to enjoy it as much as I would have, had I not ordered the other stuff beforehand.
I also really loved the decor inside; classy and elegant like an old pub from back in the day. And from the looks of it, they seemed to have a lot of regulars, which was cool! We had a great view of part of the WB backlot from our table, which was awesome, because that is one of my favorite places to visit.
After we finished eating, I was eager to see the room where Jim and Pam's actual rehearsal dinner took place. Well, because I picture things happening a little differently in my mind than usually happens in reality, I was disappointed at the fact of how many people were there. Imagine that, in a restaurant...HA! Gotta love having an imagination, right? Anyway, it was hard to peek in a lot, because there were people waiting to be seated and there were so many people around the fireplaces, which were the angles I was wanting. Plus, I tend to get a little more anxious when there's a crowded room like that. So, we tried to glance around as much as we could, without being awkward, I snapped a picture and that was that! It's a really cool place, though! I'd recommend it and I'd still like to go back again and try something different and sit in the other room, if at all possible! LOL.

The room Jim and Pam's dinner took place in.  

We headed home after that, and it was still pretty early. It's always weird taking the ride home when it's before ten or so, because we're so used to leaving after Dodger games when it's over a little later on. This particular car ride conversation was definitely one of the best we've ever had...All because my dad asked: "Would you rather get a picture with George Clooney or Keith Urban?" From there, we started asking one another random questions of who we'd rather get pictures with. My mom asked me if I'd rather get a picture with Josh Duhamel or John Krasinski...I said John Krasinski. He's just awesome!  We find a lot of random things entertaining, what can I say? I wouldn't have it any other way.

I'm so thankful for my parents who are willing to give up their time and what they'd rather be doing, so that I can explore LA, just trying to find locations or meet celebrities wherever they might happen to be, especially when it isn't necessarily something they're into. I'm really trying not to take these moments for granted or expect that they have to do these things, because they certainly don't, especially now that I'm at the age when I could be doing all of these things on my own, with my own money (that I don't even have). I realize that not everyone gets these opportunities, and I really want to stop expecting these things so much and to just cherish them as much as possible.

That's all for now,