Vertigo

Number nine on the AFI list was Vertigo, Alfred Hitchcock’s film from 1958.  I remember seeing parts of it when I was younger, but really didn’t remember anything about it. James Stewart plays Scottie, a retiring police detective whose old friend asks him to follow his wife, played by Kim Novak, who has been acting strangely.  Scottie suffers from a crippling fear of heights, which ultimately takes center stage at the film’s pivotal plot point at the top of a mission’s bell tower.

The movie wasn’t all that well received when it first came out, but over the years, it has been strongly acclaimed.  Hitchcock used an impressive visual effect with a dolly to show Scottie’s point of view looking down from great heights.  The major plot twist of the movie was surprising (I won’t give it away) and intriguing and the last shot of the movie leaves a little open to interpretation about what will happen to Scottie.  We both really enjoyed the movie and are looking forward to more Hitchcock in the future.

Number ten on the AFI list is The Wizard of Oz, which I have seen over 20 times, and my husband has seen it before, so we decided not to re-watch it.  The kids have watched it several times, so it’s been on in our house for the past few years.  It’s also one of my favorites though, and if for some reason, you haven’t ever seen it, I would strongly recommend it.

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Stitch Fix #5 – July 2016

I had decided to take a little break from Stitch Fix for awhile to cut down on the clothes budget and because I had gotten several items from them over the last few boxes.  I received an email from them about waiving the stylist fee, so I decided to give it a shot.

Here is what was in the box:

1.  Skies are Blue Josue Cold Shoulder Chambray Top – $54

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This top is very trendy right now, but I feel it’s a little young for me.  I can’t wear a bra with it and

2.  41Hawthorn Queensland Dolman Jersey Top – $48

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I kind of liked this one and was on the fence about it even though it was a little billowy.  When I tried it on for my husband, he said definitely no, so that sealed the deal for me.  It was extremely soft and comfortable, but looked a little too much like workout gear.

3.  Market & Spruce Dafne Knit Maxi Dress – $88

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Maxi dresses are not for me I guess.  Another maxi dress, another time I look pregnant.

4.  Skies are Blue Montague Embroidered Top – $48

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This is the top I am keeping out of the bunch.  It will be great for summer and luckily I have a strapless bra that will work with it.

5.  Dear John Kyleigh Straight Leg Jean – $78

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I have plenty of blue jeans already and mentioned that in my style profile, so I’m not sure why I received these in this box.  They are supposed to be cuffed, but I think they just look too short.  Even uncuffed, they are way too short.  Not a great fit.

So overall, I am a little disappointed with this month’s box, but considering the style fee was waived, I wasn’t out anything and I did keep one top that I like.  I will definitely wait a few months before getting another one and maybe try a different stylist this time.  I should probably go into my style profile and update some things as well to get a better selection.

I still have a promo code until the end of the month, where you can get a free $25 credit toward your box.  Feel free to use it: here

Legoland California

After having thrown a giant birthday party for my daughter last month, we needed a break from parties and so we decided to do a weekend at Legoland for my son’s fifth birthday instead.  We drove down early on Saturday morning and checked into the Legoland Hotel.  We dropped off our bags since our room wasn’t ready yet and lined up for early access to the park.  Hotels guests can get in at 9:00 am, instead of 10:00 am and there are about six rides that are open during the hour.

We went straight to the newest ride, Ninjago, which is a little like Toy Story Mania at Disney.  You use your hands to shoot at enemies and wear 3-D glasses.  The kids loved it and we went on it four times over the whole weekend.  We were able to do pretty much all of the rides throughout the day and even took an afternoon break at the hotel pool to swim for awhile.  We went back to the park for dinner, a last ride and the 4-D show.

We stayed in a pirate themed room and the kids were in heaven.  There was a treasure chest that the kids had to figure out the code and then got to keep the Lego prizes inside.  They had bunkbeds in a separate alcove area and there was a large King bed in the main area of the room.  The theming was super cute.  The hotel’s elevator plays disco music when the doors close and it never got old for the kids.

We had breakfast at Bricks, which was the included buffet with the room.  The food was actually pretty good and there was plenty for everyone to choose from.  After using our early access hour, we went over to the water parks when they opened and spent most of the day going down the slides and watching the kids run around having a ball.  They are finally old enough that we can sit and watch them in an area without having to be right next to them 100 percent of the time.  Legoland is ideal for this age group and nothing was too overwhelming for them.

Everyone was pretty tired by mid-afternoon, so we got one last ice cream treat and drove home.  Both of the kids told us they had the best time and we have some great memories of our weekend away.

The Girls

I finished reading The Girls by Emma Cline, which came out this year. The books tells the story of a young teenager named Evie who meets and becomes infatuated with Suzanne, a member of a hippie cult.  The cult seems to be loosely based on Charles Manson.  The reader know at the beginning of the story that something horrible eventually happened, and that Evie wasn’t directly involved, and so the whole way through the book, I wondered what exactly happened and how did Evie escape.

Evie is drawn to the girls and to the cult because she is lacking something in her regular life.  Her parents are divorced and her mother is preoccupied with a new boyfriend.  Evie is growing apart from her best friend and she has a disappointing encounter with a boy.  All of these things contribute to her flirting with the cult and staying there were days at a time.

Toward the end of the story, when the night of the murders finally arises, Evie is literally in the car going to the house with several other people and only doesn’t make it there because Suzanne kicks her out of the car.  Evie as an adult still can’t seem to decide what made Suzanne do that or whether she would have participating in the murders had she not been left of the side of the road.  This is probably the most disturbing part of the story, that she was so enthralled with Suzanne that she may have gone along with anything.

The book definitely kept my attention throughout and was a good summer read.

Schindler’s List

We made it to number 8 on the AFI top 100 (10th Anniversary Edition).  I had seen Schindler’s List in the theatre when it came out in 1993, but hadn’t watched it since then.  I remembered it being incredibly moving, but having now watched it again as an adult instead of a child, it was all the more moving, especially being a mother.  It won seven Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Best Director for Steven Spielberg.

The movie chronicles Oskar Schindler, played by Liam Neeson, and his heroic saving of over a thousand Polish Jews during World War II through his employment of them in his factories.  Schindler starts out with the motivation to only make money and take advantage of the labor situation in Poland, but as he develops relationships with them, especially his Jewish business manager, played by Ben Kingsley, Schindler also develops a compassion for them that drives him to rescue as many as he can from the concentration camps.  This transformation is completely revealed through Schindler’s emotion at the end of the movie when we tearfully confesses that he could have done more.

I was totally riveted throughout the movie, even though I already knew what was going to happen.  Ralph Fiennes plays Amon Goth, possibly one of the meanest villains ever and the controller at a concentration camp.  He is really tough to watch at some points.  I feel that this movie is incredibly important to watch as an historic reminder of that period and also as a Christian example of standing up for what is right.  We intend to show this movie to the kids when they study WWII in school and have meaningful discussions with them about this moment in time.