Category Archives: Distractions

Twelve romance movies to watch over … and over … again

A few weeks ago, I somehow found myself stuck on the couch with nothing in reach but my phone and the TV remote. (Nursing moms will understand this.) Ordinarily at a time like this, I’d wind up losing myself on the web, clicking on news stories I shouldn’t, and filling online carts I’d never actually check out.

But this night, I told myself I deserved a break. I deserved to get lost in a good movie … but not one that required too much attention. What I wanted was something familiar, something that would make me smile, something that would take my worries far away and keep me company like an old friend. So scrolled down to “Leap Year” and spent the next two hours with Amy Adams, Matthew Goode, and a countryside full of jaunty Irish brogues. 

We all could use that sort of mental escape every so often. It’s like visiting a spa that works on your psyche instead of your pores. So this Valentine’s Day, I’m posting a list of the top romantic movies I could watch over and over. (In other words, while I think “An Affair to Remember” is a fantastic movie, it’s a little too heavy for this list.)

Please feel free to leave comments below. I’d love to hear what you think.

Happy Valentine’s Day 🙂

LEAP YEAR

This is one of those typical girl meets boy, boy and girl hate each other, boy and girl fall in love deals. But the humor and the actors make it so much more than that. Seeing the Irish countryside is an added bonus.

LOVE ACTUALLY

I can’t let a single Christmas pass without watching Love Actually. It shows love in almost every situation imaginable. And unlike the vast majority of ensemble movies, you’ll never forget this one.

WHILE YOU WERE SLEEPING

I still remember the first time I saw this movie. I was in Cape Cod with my cousin, and the theater somehow managed to stretch the film so that it looked as if John Goodman was playing Sandra Bullock’s body double. But I’ve loved both her and Bill Pullman for decades, and am pretty sure it’s a love that will last a lifetime. Continue reading

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Gilmore Girls update: It’s really happening!

I thought the cover reveal for Skipping Midnight was the most exciting thing I was going to post about this week but … the “Gilmore Girls” revival trailer is here!

One of the best shows ever made, in my humble opinion. Funny, topical, quirky, sexy (well, Dean was sexy anyway) … it almost makes me consider the name Lorelai for my next baby. Almost.

Whether you’re a die-hard fan or only recognize Lauren Graham from “Parenthood” (shaking my head in shame), it’s worth a peek. Personally, I think it looks FANTASTIC and absolutely can’t wait until November 25! 

P.S. Feel free to post your thoughts in the comment section. Sadly, my dog and toddler don’t have much of an opinion on the matter…

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Best Halloween films for wussies (like me!)

Image courtesy of Danilo Rizzuti / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

I have a confession to make. I’m a wuss. Not when it comes to roller coasters, thrill rides, or soaring around Hawaii in a doorless helicopter, mind you. But put me in a haunted house and I might clock some poor 15-year-old “zombie” in the jaw … while screaming at the top of my lungs and flinging metal props to aid in my escape.

Yet despite all that, I love Halloween. I love the colors, the fanfare, and the ability to embrace some inner wild side for a day and not care what anyone thinks. (So yes, the same reason your nice muffin-baking neighbor is reading 50 Shades of Grey … again.) That said, I could do without the psychopaths in hockey masks. And the pea soup vomit. And the creepy  children with long black hair who move like spiders and climb out from abandoned wells.

That’s why my top Halloween movies* are the fun-creepy kind. The kind you watch with friends, quote at random times, and follow with a good night’s sleep. They aren’t necessarily for kids — just kids at heart. So grab a bowl of candy corn, pick a number, and enjoy:

1. HOCUS POCUS

Why: I’ve never forgotten that sizzling rendition of “I Put a Spell on You.” The bully situation is SO early ’90s (he calls the hero “Hollywood” and is somewhat obsessed with his sneakers). It has the only CAT I’ve ever actually liked. I still want dress up as part of the Sanderson trio someday (any volunteers?). And Bette Midler’s lips in this are just, like, Wow.

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2. THE NIGHTMARE BEFORE CHRISTMAS

Why: It’s a musical for people who detest musicals. It’s extremely clever. It takes two polar opposite holidays and fits them together perfectly. There’s something about Tim Burton. And the animation is entertaining on its own.


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3. THE ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW

Why: Tim Curry in fishnet stockings and a bustier. Plus, the Time Warp is extremely catchy; you’ve been warned.

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What’s Your Patronus?

There’s never a bad time for Harry Potter, in my opinion, but October has got to be the best. With neighborhood lawns already filling up with witches, ghosts, goblins, and all sorts of spooky … what better time for a Patronus Charm?

Thanks to M’s Bookshelf and  Sky’s Book Corner for finding this neat little quiz that predicts what your unique magical guardian would look like. A cat? A horse? A phoenix? I apparently share the latter with Dumbledore. Can’t go wrong with that!

Click here to find out yours!

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Once Upon a Time returns!

once-upon-a-time-season-4

(Warning: This post may contain spoilers from season 3!)

Summer may be the season of leisure, but there’s something truly magical about autumn. The kaleidoscopic carpet of red and yellow leaves. The smell of stripped earth. The early sunsets. The brisk nights. And the return of our favorite TV shows.

This year, however, winter descends early as the fourth season of Once Upon a Time returns with a new face in tow: Elsa from Disney’s hit film, Frozen. Will the cursed Snow Queen play a villain? A hero? A romantic rival to the long-awaited and much-celebrated “Captain Swan?”

What’s more, will the Evil Queen slide right back into her old ways now that her flame’s wife is back? Now that yet another “happily ever after” has been yanked from her grasp?

Many questions hung in the air as season 3 ended in May. Thankfully, the answers will finally start coming tonight!

Reminder: The drawing for a Once Upon a Time DVD (season 1) and a signed copy of Damsels in Distress (Book 2 in the Desperately Ever After series) ends at midnight (EST) Sunday, September 28. Click here to enter

 

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Yes, there is good in the world

Despite my résumé, I’m not a huge fan of today’s media. Don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying there aren’t loads of wonderful, ethical, idealistic journalists out there who want to make a real difference in people’s lives. In truth, this is probably the case more often than not, but they’re usually not the people who hold the purse strings. And those who do, unfortunately, seem to believe that sensationalized violence sells better. That evil should be slapped under a microscope and analyzed and theorized and replayed and dissected to the point where it’s absurd. That the monsters deserve more attention than the martyrs … because human beings are innately fearful … and that is an easy quality to exploit.

But I could go on about this forever and get nowhere. (As many, many others have done.) So instead, I’d like to share some of the sites I found last weekend, after I wiped CNN from my bookmarks and went on a search for “positive” news. They might just help you remember that for every horrible thing that happens in the world, there are a million other reasons to smile.

1. The Good News Network: This site gathers stories from around the globe. In addition to categorizing its stories by region, the Good News Network also makes it easy to find whatever your aura needs at the moment–be it cute pets, a good laugh, or a hero. Continue reading

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Do you believe in 398.2?

While browsing around Etsy the other day, I stumbled upon a necklace that bore these words: “I still believe in 398.2.” Naturally, having no idea what this meant, I immediately opened up a new tab and Googled it.

Now, “I still believe in 398.2” is one of my favorite sayings. It ranks just under “Live like there’s no midnight,” a Cinderella reference that I partially credit for both the name of this blog and a key scene in Desperately Ever After. The number 398.2 corresponds to the folktales, fairytales, and fables section of the library. Thank you, Dewey Decimal.*

The pendant above, offered by Newartpendants, is just one of many iterations of this saying. Check out more offerings here. Perhaps you deserve an end-of-summer treat?

*Yes, I know the founder of this system was Melvil Dewey, not Dewey Decimal. But the latter sounds so much more fun 😉

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Disney Couples Therapy

Infidelity. Secrets. Problems with the in-laws. A sex life on the rocks. Oh, and fairy tales. Sound familiar?

Yes, this description fully applies to Desperately Ever After. But it’s also the premise of a series of short videos called Disney Couples Therapy.

The three-minute clips show Disney’s versions of Sleeping Beauty, Belle, the Little Mermaid, and Snow White hashing it out with their romantic counterparts well down the road. They are downright hopeless compared to Desperately Ever After, and show only the couples (no girl talk here!), but fans of the book series may find them clever and definitely worth a laugh.

It’s perfect timing too, because Damsels in Distress (D.E.A. book #2) actually has a marriage counseling scene between Sleeping Beauty and her husband. Look for that August 20. But in the meantime, exercise your funny bone for a few minutes and enjoy these clips:


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Word Crimes

Let me start by saying I’m not a fan of Robin Thicke. But when I heard “Weird Al” Yankovic’s parody of “Blurred Lines” (which, depending on your gender, you may or may not detest), I just couldn’t help but share it. Yes, Thicke’s beat is catchy, but it’s Weird Al’s rant against countless “Word Crimes” (“I could care less” has always driven me nuts, as has the misuse of “its” and “it’s”) that really hooked me.

So for all you fellow grammarians out there … even if you get a little lax every so often … enjoy:

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Fun for Friday: Fairy tale cocktails

While I still can’t partake for another few months (sigh), I simply HAD to share this fantastic post from Fairy Tale News.

Inspired by Disney heroes, heroines, and villains, Washington-based Cocktails by Cody has been creating a line of “Fairy Tale Cocktails” that, I think, look absolutely AMAZING. Instead of a handsome prince, I’ll probably be dreaming of the Evil Step Mother tonight. Chocolate vodka, chocolate liqueur, and pomegranate juice. ::Flutter::

Click on the link above for the full article and links to Cocktails by Cody’s Facebook page.

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