TV Show Picks of the Month: July 2015

My Mad Fat Diary
Drama, Romance, Comedy

My Mad Fat Diary

I don’t even know where to start with this show…It has some really funny parts, but it can also be very frustrating. It’s a story about Rae, a troubled teenaged girl, who just spent several months at a psychiatric hospital after attempting to kill herself. The show starts off with her having to rehabilitate back into society, making new friends, and reconnecting with old ones.

The show does a really good job of portraying mental illness to the point where it actually gets a bit frustrating. You’ll see Rae fall back into the same pattern time and time again, but that’s just how it is. People with mental illness don’t magically get better.

The Comeback
Comedy

comebackdsad

This show reminds me a little of The Office. It’s what people call cringe comedy. It’s a bit of an acquired taste, so it’s definitely not for everyone. There aren’t really any laugh out loud moments, but it’s still pretty entertaining.

United States of Tara
Drama, Comedy

United States of Tara

I’ve already written a blog post about this show, but I thought I’d include it on here as well. It’s a very interesting show about Dissociative Identity Disorder or what some of you may know as Multiple Personality Disorder.

The Returned (Les revenants)
Drama, Thriller, Fantasy

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This was probably my most favorite show from this month. I was actually a bit hesitant to watch it at first, because it looked scary, and I’m a big scaredy cat lol. But it wasn’t really terrifying like I thought it was going to be. It was just creepy in the most amazing way. I am a bit disappointed by how the first season ended. It left so many questions unanswered, but I’m hoping that the second season will shed more light into what’s really happening.

How Not to Live Your Life (honorable mention)
Comedy

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This show has its moments. It’s pretty funny, but unfortunately, it didn’t completely suck me in, which is why it’s only getting an honorable mention. The cast is pretty weird, but in a really good way. They get into all sorts of ridiculous situations, which just makes the show all the more entertaining.

Movie Picks of the Month: July 2015

Wimbledon…another chick-flick to add to the collection
Romance, Comedy
Wimbledon

This one is just pure light-hearted fun. If you have an addiction to rom-coms like me, you’ll probably enjoy this movie.

Vampires Suck…surprisingly funny
Comedy

Vampires Suck

I already wrote an entire blog post about this movie, but I thought I’d include it on here as well. If you read my post, you’d know that I had zero expectations going into this movie, but I ended up enjoying it quite a lot. Give this a try If you don’t mind stupid comedies 🙂

Tucker and Dale vs. Evil…another surprisingly funny comedy
Comedy

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This is another comedy that I was not expecting to like at all, but it was incredibly well done. It pokes fun at dumb teen horror movies, and it was absolutely entertaining. Again, skip this one if you don’t have patience for idiotic nonsense. Otherwise, I highly recommend!

Latter DaysLatter Days…a heartwarming unconventional love story
Romance, Drama 

This was yet another movie that I wasn’t expecting to like. On IMDb, it was classified under comedy, but it’s mostly just romance and drama. I actually didn’t like the beginning of the story too much. In fact, I was barely paying attention, because I found it a bit boring. It’s pretty obvious that it’s a low-budget movie just by looking at the way it was filmed. The story does get much better towards the tail end of the movie, so watch the whole thing before you make any judgments. I found it surprisingly touching.

How I carry my phone on runs

Ever since I started running a few weeks ago, there’s been one question on my mind… Where the hell do I put my phone? Leaving it at home is not really an option. I have to have it with me for two reasons: 1) I like to listen to music while I sweat my butt off; and 2) I like to use the C25K app to help me keep time.

DIY Sock Armband

DIY Sock Armband

So, I tried making my own DIY armband out of a sock after I saw a couple of people posting about it. I even sewed on a little pocket to make it a little bit more secure, but alas, it was a big epic fail. I went out on my first run and my phone was just bouncing around way too much. It did not feel secure at all, so I just started running with my phone in my hand.

Then last week, I finally gave in and bought myself a “fanny pack.” I first saw one of these low-profile waistpacks on a fitness youtuber, and I thought it was a genius idea. It’s convenient. It’s practical…and best of all, it wasn’t hideous or dorky-looking lol. SPIbelt

I actually wasn’t looking for a specific brand when I went to the mall last week. I was pretty much going to buy whatever brand was available as long as the price is within reason. So that’s how I ended up with the SPIbelt. It was the only one that was available when I made my purchase. And I couldn’t be happier with it.

It feels so great to not have to hold on to my phone the entire time that I’m running. The SPIbelt is completely secure. It doesn’t bounce around at all. I actually forgot that I even had it on a couple of minutes into the run.The expandable pocket fits my Samsung Galaxy S3 with room to spare for other items. I highly recommend it.

If you are looking to shop around, there are a few other options out there, like the Nike Expandable Running Lean Waistpack, the Victoria’s Secret Stretch Hip Pack, and the Flipbelt. I’ve heard fairly good things about the Nike waistpack and the Flipbelt, so check those out if you’re in the market for a sleek, low-profile fanny pack.

DIY Running BeltYou could also try making your own if you’re crafty. Check out this adorable DIY running belt from the Sewing Rabbit. I would absolutely love to make this if I was actually capable of sewing on a straight line…Unfortunately for me, I’m completely hopeless in the sewing department, so I’m going to have to skip this particular DIY lol.

Vampires Suck…surprisingly funny

Genre: ComedyVampires Suck

I went into this movie with no expectations whatsoever. I really thought it was just going to be another one of those stupid comedies…and for the most part, it is.

Then about 5 minutes later, I was cracking up like a hyena, which was a pleasant surprise. The movie was funny in a way that actually made me laugh out loud. Admittedly, a lot of the jokes were pretty stupid, but they were nonetheless entertaining.

If you couldn’t already tell from the photo above, Vampires Suck is a spoof of the Twilight movies. I think the main reason why I found it incredibly hilarious was because it was so successful in making Twilight seem absurd and ridiculous. This is coming from someone who’s read all of the books and seen all of the Twilight movies. While I’m not a huge fan of the whole Twilight “enterprise,” I liked the books and the movies well enough when they were first released. Since then, I’ve realized just how goofy the Twilight vampires are compared to others. Anyhow, after watching this movie, I don’t think I’ll ever be able to look at Edward, Bella, and Jacob quite the same way again lol.

Special mention goes to the actress who played Becca (a.k.a. Bella Swan). She was incredibly good at imitating Kristen Stewart, down to all of her awkward mannerisms.

Anyway, given the level of stupidity and silliness that went into this movie, I don’t think it’s everyone’s cup of tea, but if you don’t mind idiotic nonsense, give it a try and you might just enjoy it 🙂

Fitness Update: Won’t be needing surgery!

I met with my surgeon today…and I have some pretty great news! 🙂 After examining my arm, he decided that surgery won’t be necessary given the fact that my elbow is already looking like it’s healing up nicely on its own. He even said that with time, I’d be able to go climbing, and lift weights again. The only thing is, I might not be able to regain full range of motion in my arm. He thinks physical therapy might help with the problem, but it’s not a guaranteed solution…Even so, it’s something that I seriously need to consider. If I’m going back to bouldering, I have to be able to really reach out my arms. The longer the wingspan, the better!

Anyway, I just wanted to update you all on what’s happening. Hopefully, my elbow heals nicely without any complications.

Fat Burning Properties of Green Tea?

For the past few days I’ve been drinking one to two cups of green tea a day, and I’ve been noticing quite a bit of a difference in my body. According to several articles that I’ve been reading about the health benefits of green tea, the EGCG (epigallocatechin gallate) found in it is apparently really good at burning fat, and boosting metabolism, especially when combined with physical exercise. I’m not exactly sure of how true this claim is. There’s always conflicting viewpoints on what’s healthy and what’s not. It’s definitely a difficult topic to get into, but I thought I’d share my thoughts/experience on the subject anyway.

Green Tea

Ever since my little climbing accident, I haven’t been able to really work out. For about 3 weeks after my fall, I was just sitting at home, doing nothing, so when I finally decided to get off my butt, I noticed that I gained about an inch of fat around my waist. I know that doesn’t sound like that big of a deal, but I really wanted to stay fit, and more or less maintain my weight…Actually, I wouldn’t mind putting on a few more pounds as long as it’s mostly muscle mass 😀 but if it’s just extra fat? No thanks!

Anyway, after noticing the slight thickening of my waist, I decided to start drinking green tea to see if it’ll help burn off fat as some studies claim. Sure enough, after just a few days, I felt and looked much less bloated than before. I’ve even managed to shave off that extra inch from my waist. I also lost a pound or two in the process. It’s astounding how 2 lbs can make so much of a difference in how my body looks. I’ve come to realize just how delicate the balance is between being too skinny and being a little chunky, especially with the body type that I have. On my 5 ft 3 inch-frame, a couple of pounds less can make me look much too thin, like a stick figure. On the other hand, a couple of pounds more, and I end up looking a little pudgy. It’s really a bit of a struggle to find just the right balance.

Note: I did not change my eating habits during all this. The only thing that’s changed is the fact that I’ve started running 3x a week for about half an hour each time.

For that reason, I can’t exactly pinpoint how much of the weight loss is the result of drinking green tea vs running. I’m leaving it to you to decide if there’s actually any correlation between green tea and weight loss. I would recommend trying it out and seeing for yourself 🙂

Book Review: How to Sleep with a Movie Star by Kristin Harmel

Book Info:
Title: How to Sleep with a Movie Star
Author: Kristin Harmel
Genre: Adult, Contemporary, Romance, Chick-Lit
Print Length: 337 pages
Notes: written in first person perspective, past tense

Rating Comparison:
Goodreads: 3.68
Amazon.com: 4.1
Me: 2.0

How to Sleep with a Movie Star

Synopsis

When Claire lands the plum assignment of interviewing Hollywood’s #1 hottie (Cole Brannon), she knows better than to mix business with pleasure, yet the next morning she wakes up in his bed–without her clothes. The tabloids pick up the story, and she learns that not everything printed is true.

My thoughts…

When I first saw this book on Goodreads, I thought the premise sounded interesting, fun, and light, essentially another chick-lit to add to my ever-growing TBR list. Then I saw that one of my favorite authors, Julie James, had rated it 4 out of 5. That right there was the clincher for me. I went from putting the book in my “maybe” pile to instantly downloading it, and starting on the first chapter straightaway.

Let me just say that I really wanted to like this book, because I had so much faith in Ms. James’s literary taste, but in the end, I couldn’t do it. Claire is probably the most unlikeable female lead that I’ve ever had the misfortune to read about. She’s a push-over with a long list of body issues, and a lack of self-worth.

A few days after finding her boyfriend in bed with another woman, she was already thinking about taking him back. He didn’t even have to do anything to get her to that point. All he did was call her, probably to apologize, and to make excuses for his behavior. He didn’t send her flowers, nor did he make any sort of grand romantic gesture to show her how sorry he was. I’m not saying that flowers would’ve made things better, but if my boyfriend cheated on me, he’d have to do a lot better than just calling to apologize. And even then, I probably still wouldn’t take him back.

Claire, on the other hand, would’ve gone right back to living with Tom, her cheating freeloading ex-boyfriend, if he hadn’t made the mistake of asking her for money right before she was about to forgive him. She was so willing to believe the good in Tom; meanwhile, she’d believe the worst about Cole. She refers to Cole as lying scum for “sleeping” with other women, when she had absolutely no right to be angry. They weren’t in a relationship. He should be free to sleep with whomever he wanted. See the irony here? She’s absolutely furious at Cole even though they weren’t dating. Meanwhile, she’s about ready to welcome back cheating Tom with open arms, the man who was supposed to be faithful to her. How does that even make sense?!

Not only is she completely irrational, and lacking in self-respect, she’s also overly insecure about her looks. Halfway through the book, her insecurities started to grate on me. I get that people have body issues, but i don’t need to read about it over and over again!

Enough of my rant about Claire though. Let’s move on to discuss Cole. Cole was so incredibly perfect that he ended up becoming mind-numbingly dull. His parts in the book were very minimal. He was only in the story for about 20% of the time, so there wasn’t much opportunity for character development. His character fell very flat and 2-dimensional. I also never really felt any chemistry between him and Claire. I felt like he was just there to fulfill every girl’s fantasy of ending up with a famous good-looking actor.

The only thing that I liked about this book was the fact that everyone got just what they deserved in the end. For that reason, I’m giving this a 2 out of 5 rating, instead of the 1.5 that I was so tempted to give it. I’m actually very surprised that Julie James liked this book, but what can I really say? Everyone has different tastes, right?

My Rating: 2/5