Thursday, June 30, 2011

Healthy Food on an Empty Wallet

If you've fallen victim to the economy here's an article ABC News did that you might be interested in!

Can Less Money Equal Better Eating?

The less money you have, the better you can eat.

That sounds odd, but it can be true. So often people think that only when you're in the chips (cash, not the potato kind) can you have a good diet. Raspberries in February, organic baby

veggies from Spain, 89-grain organic bread that was made at the hand of Bolivian monks who never watch television, meat from cows that spent time in a spa -- you name it.

It's easy to think there's no way a family with a modest budget -- even more modest, nowadays -- can have a healthy and decent diet without hawking the house.

It's a huge mistake to think that good healthy food has to cost a bundle. Sure, some of it does, but junk food is even more expensive in the long run. It's not so healthy, and it's loaded with calories, fat, salt and sugar. Even if it's free, it's not a bargain.

A lot of "luxury food" isn't all that healthy, either -- for instance, pricey Kobe beef that's been massaged by hand for extra marbling, to the tune of up to $125 per pound. Great, but it's still loaded with fat, and your arteries don't care how the meat spent its days. Not-so-lean hamburger will have just as much fat and set you back considerably less, but don't eat too much of that, either.

The point is that big budget or small, your diet can be great or terrible. Since most people feel the financial pinch these days, let's examine how to eat well for less.

Protein on the Cheap

First, let's take on protein. It's one of the most expensive parts of the diet because we tend to favor animal protein, and animals take a long time and effort to grow, increasing their cost.

Ironically, the most economical sources of animal protein also have the highest protein quality: eggs and milk. No kidding. The protein in these foods most closely matches the protein of human tissue, so the body uses it very efficiently.

Even with recent price increases, eggs and milk beat beef, hands down. Two eggs are only about 40 cents -- that's $1.60 for a family of four. A glass of milk is about 25 cents -- cheaper than even a bargain can of soda. Milk and eggs also provide at least a dozen important nutrients each, so they're rock-solid nutrition sources.

No need to become a vegetarian, but if you trade one meat meal a week for an egg-based meal, you can eat well and pocket the spare change.

Producing Produce on a Budget

The 2005 U.S. Dietary Guidelines recommend that people eat about four and a half cups of fruits and vegetables daily, for good health. But you don't need to buy raspberries in winter to get the job done. Eat seasonally and you'll do better.

During the summer, melons go a long way, and they're some of the healthiest fruits around. Watermelon and cantaloupe are loaded to the hilt with antioxidants, and they're terrific sources of potassium. Apples and oranges are around all winter, and they're at their peak then. Buy them by the bag and you'll save a bundle. A three-pound bag of apples is only about $2.50, and they last forever in the crisper. A box of those supersweet clementines may be $7, but it'll contain up to 30 fruits -- a huge bargain.

Take a Pinto for a Spin

Beans are probably the top nutrition source here. Any type you like -- pinto, black, red, kidney -- they're all tops.

Beans are schizophrenic, too; they count as both a vegetable and a protein food. They're also a vegetable that kids and adults all like. They go in everything -- soups, salads, stir-fries, rice and pasta dishes. Plus, the canned ones are just fine and still among the best buys anywhere.

The dietary guidelines recommend half a cup daily, anyway, so beans are a great place to start eating better and for less. Incidentally, just one-half cup of pinto beans every day has been shown to reduce cholesterol by about 8 to 10 percent. With nutrition like that, beans should be on our plates no matter what our budgets are.

Carrots, Cabbage and Collards -- Oh, My!

Carrots are the deep orange of the antioxidant carotene, cabbage is a high-octane cruciferous veggie, and deep-green collards have more anti-cancer compounds than almost any vegetable. And they're all economical. They never need go to waste, either, because the aging ones can always go into soups and stir-fries. The vitamin content may wane a little, but the minerals stay put, and so do most of the disease-fighting compounds.

See what I mean? Now, the other part of eating better on a budget involves ditching some of the wasted stuff. Sugar-water beverages -- of all colors -- are a total waste of money. If you really need a sweet beverage and you insist on it having sugar, then some homemade iced tea does the trick for next to nothing, plus tea is healthy. At least this way, you can control the amount of sugar and calories.

On the savory side, ditch the chips and even the pretzels. Invest in a hot-air popper and make popcorn -- the cheapest snack of all -- and it's even a whole grain treat. As an added bonus, clean up is easy because you don't use oil. Spray air-popped popcorn lightly with butter-flavored popcorn spray (it has no calories), and flavor it with all kinds of herbs, or just a little salt.

Eat smart with some of these tips and you and the family will make it out of this recession with extra money and healthier bodies.

Keith-Thomas Ayoob is an associate professor in the department of pediatrics at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York City.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Bad Day Times 4

All that I can think about right now is that short story I learned when I was in elementary school, Alexander and The Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day.So let me tell you about my day.

1:00 AM - Tad wakes me up and tells me his stomach pain (which had been growing since early yesterday) is so bad that he wants to walk to the hospital which is over a mile away. He wants to walk because our car is in the shop. We decided to wait till morning to see if his pain gets better or worse. He watches PSYCH while I try and sleep through the nightmares I'm having about worst case scenarios.

5:30 AM - Tad's pain got no better and he wakes me up again with the bad news. We finally get a hold of my poor grandparents who wake up early and rush over to watch our kids and drive us to the ER.

6:00 AM to 10:00 AM - We spend several hours in ER, finally discovering that Tad has appendicitis and will need surgery today. In the mean time, my grandparents are watching out kids. Unfortunately for them Scarlett has a severe diaper rash and an upset stomach. She ends up vomiting all over my poor grandpa.
10:00 AM to 1:00 PM - Tad gets moved to surgical floor and we wait for an OR to open up. I managed to get my car picked up from the shop with help from my mom and her lunch break.

1:00 PM to 2:30 PM - I come home to relieve my grandparents and find a little girl who normally you can't get to stand still laying down on the couch like the sicko she is. She spent all day crying and cuddling with whoever would pick her up. Poor thing. I manage a visit to Tad with the kids before they take him in for surgery before I have to rush home and leave for school. I have to take a test in 30 minutes and get to class by 3.
2:30 PM to 5:00 PM - I manage to finish my test in 25 minutes and get to class on time. While I'm in class and my mom (who had to take the afternoon off) is home with the kids a pipe in our apartment bursts. I realize the only thing I've eaten all day is 2/3 of a cinnamon roll and decide there's no way I can make it through my 2nd class.
5:00 PM to 7:00 PM - I come home to find the large hole in the hallway of our apartment from the burst pipe. I spend a half hour cuddling my sick girl, then Wes and I go to visit Tad. Unfortunately my car wont start. I borrow my mom's car and we make it to the hospital to see Tad. He's out of surgery, and so groggy that he can't keep his eyes open. Wes gave him his Pooh Bear to help him feel better. We leave him to sleep and stop by the store on the way home to get Wes diapers which he is in desperate need of.
7:00 PM to 9:00 PM - My mom finally gets to go home. I manage to bathe and feed my kids and get them down to bed. With some help from our favorite neighbors we get my car working again. THANK YOU!

9:00 PM to 10:00 PM - So here I am, exhausted like I haven't been since I gave birth to Scarlett, minus one healthy husband to keep me company, and trying to keep my eyes open long enough to finish this post. Here's hoping you day was better than mine.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Families Unite

Sorry for the brief vacation! I was at a family reunion in the coolest place ever! If you're looking for a cabin to rent for a vacation this summer I know 2 great ones. Check them out here. If you're wondering how my weekend was, it went something like this.
We played games.

We played Jeopardy with questions about my grandparents and their lives together. Sadly I was on the losing team. PS. The answer is 'that's DISGUSTING!" which is something my grandpa says if you, say, eat a bowl of ice cream, or get a raise at work.


We hiked.
Ok, so when I say 'we' I mean we sent the husbands with the children. If you'll notice the little boy in the orange shirt who's riding on his daddy's shoulders, that's Wes. Like mother like son.


We had a pool tournament.
That's my fearlessly cool brother shooting it up with my cousins Cam & Alex.

Got a little bit silly.
That's my sweet Scarlett with my mom and my nephew Gavin.

Lucinda Shumway,Gavin Briggs,Scarlett Tuttle

And ate lots of good food.
I love to share with my niece Nora, the corn lover.
Nora Christensen,Candice Tuttle

I'm back and ready to post and post! Thanks for being patient.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Healthy, Easy, Yummy Pork Chops

I found this recipes several years ago, and I'd forgotten about it for a while. But I've recently re-discovered it, and I can't believe I ever forgot how yummy it is! And it's also pretty healthy, so that's a bonus. I remember that ever time I made it I felt like a good wife. I totally recommend this to everyone! It's so good!

Simply Glazed Pork Chops
1 acn (14.5oz) fat free reduced-sodium chicken broth
2 cups instant brown rice, uncooked
3 cups small broccoli florets
4 bone-in pork chops (1-1/4 lb.), 1/2 inch thick
1/4 cup KRAFT light CATALINA reduced fat dressing
1/4 cup orange juice
3 Tbsp. maple-flavored or pancake syrup
2 Tbsp. sliced PLANTERS Almonds, toasted (optional)

BRING broth to boil in medium saucepan on medium-high heat; stir in rice. Cover. Reduce heat to medium-low; simmer 3 minutes. Add broccoli; stir. Cover; simmer an additional 2 min. Remove from eat; let stand 5 minutes or until broth is completely absorbed.

MEANWHILE, heat large nonstick skillet sprayed with cooking spray on medium heat. Add chops; cook 4 min. on each side or until lightly browned on both sides and cooked through (160 F). Remove from skillet; cover to keep warm.

ADD dressing, orange juice and syrup to skillet. Bring to boil on medium-high heat; cook 3 min. or until sauce is reduced by one half. Serve chops and rice drizzled with the sauce; sprinkle with almonds.

Kraft Kitchen Tips- For even browning, ensure good contact with heat source by pressing meat onto surface of skillet with spatula.

Substitute- Substitute boneless chops for bone-in pork chops.

I made mine with boneless chops and no almonds and it was great! Give it a try! And if you have any great recipes for me please share!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Window Shopping on Etsy

Oh if only I had bottomless pockets. Here are some of the things I would love to have:
Emmerson's Workwork's Shop
Handcrafted Shaker Inspired Wooden Step Stool
I would love to have this cute little stool for Wes. The poor little guy can never quite reach the top of the counter. I love the natural look so I can personalize it however I want.
Grandma Cinda's Etsy Shop
Custom Rapunzel Dress
These dresses are so much fun! I can't wait until Scarlett is old enough to play dress up. Grandma Cinda also does Cinderella, Jasmine, Snow White, and she takes requests!
Forty Two Roads Shop
Build a Cardboard Play Kitchen
How cute is this kitchen! They aren't selling the actual kitchen, but a detailed, illustrated guide for how to make one for yourself.
Empressive Designs Shop
Elegant Vinyl Wall Decal
I LOVE this sign. It would be a great reminder to me, I'm always slacking in the laundry front.
The Simpson's Shop
Heaven's Above White Flax Sundress
This dress is so cute! I'd pair it with a cute cardigan and be ready to show it off. You don't often find clothes this cute for such a good price.
Carrie Mansk's Shop
Coaster Set
I can never seem to find cute coasters. Here's the answer!

If you have any Etsy favorites please share!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Happy Father's Day Pops

Photo by Cristi Nelson Photography
Just wanted to do a quick post to say Happy Father's Day to my Daddy. He's about the silliest person you've ever met.

He's got a lot in common with his grandchildren.
He makes the 15 hour drive from Texas to make it to our special days.
He loves to hang out with the boys.
And he's constantly surprising me.

Daddy, I know you probably wont see this because you and computers don't mix well, but I hope you're having a great Father's Day.
I miss you.
I love you.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

My Thoughts On Pride and Prejudice and Zombies

I can't tell you how many times I walked past this book in Barnes and Nobles with a shake of my head. I never had any intention of picking up this warped adaptation of a literary classic. At least that was what I thought. Then my sister Danielle (who I've well established is very wise) downloaded the audio book. It only took me 3 days to get through it, and I was amazed how much I liked it!
"It is a truth universally acknowledged that a zombie in possession of brains must be in want of more brains."
The great thing about the book is that it stays true to the original story. In fact much of the book remains unchanged. It's almost ridiculous how reasonable it seems for there to be zombies jumping carriages and attacking random people.
After a horrible plague of the living dead strikes Meryton, England the inhabitants find themselves in a chaotic world of death and disease. Thanks to the forethought of Mr. Bennet his daughters have all become masters in the 'deadly arts' after training in China. They are some of the few people (and even fewer women) who have learned to defend themselves and others against the rising threat of zombies. However, life must go on, and they do not let the constant attacks stop them from having their balls and dinners. So we once again get to watch as Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth meet, fight (quite literally), and fall in love.
One of the greatest aspects of this version of Pride and Prejudice is the warrior mindset of the people. It's quite common to reprimand an unruly servant with a savage beating, and protecting ones honor could easily require striking the head off of an offensive person. The Bennet sisters are all in possession of deadly skills, although none more so than Elizabeth. Mr. Darcy himself is a famously trained zombie hunter, although his decorum prevents you from seeing much evidence of this. Instead of it being the practice for young girls to be raised/trained by governesses, the new fashion is to use ninjas. "No ninjas! How was that possible? Five daughters brought up at home without any ninjas! I never heard of such a thing. Your mother must have been quite a slave to your safety."
For those of you who haven't yet read this enticing new spin on an old classic here are a few teasers. One of Elizabeth's least favorite people is an incredible famous zombie hunter who's skill has no match. There's even an amazing scene where they battle it out with ninja like grace. And sadly, someone very close to Lizzy gets infected with the dreadful disease. If you're an Austin fan, or a zombie fan I think it's safe to say that this is a good bet for you. :)

There's also a prequel Dawn of the Dreadfuls
a sequel Dreadfully Ever After

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Hobbies. Do they sell those on Amazon?

I'm curious what kinds of hobbies everyone out there has. I know we're all so busy with life and everything that goes into it, but we all need an outlet don't we? So I ask you, what do you do for fun? Here are my answers:

A hobby I have always loved is reading. I don't think I can ever get enough of a good book. I have a habit of re-reading my favorites ridiculous amounts of times. I think I've read Harry Potter, Twilight, and the Wheel of Time Series at least 8 times each. Tad always asks me how I manage that (he's not a big reader, I made him start Harry Potter a few years ago. It took him a YEAR to read the first book. That's as far as he got.), I always tell him it's just like him watching his favorite movies over and over. Only better. I can't tell you how many times he's seen Rush Hour. It feels like a guilty pleasure to sit for hours immersed in the loves and lives of intriguing characters. There are very few things that can get me to stay up past 11 pm, but I make an exception for awesome books. I'll stay up till 2 or 3 frequently telling myself 'just one more chapter' 5 or 6 times. And as an extension to that is...
Audio Books
Now that I'm a stay at home mom I find it incredibly hard to find the time enter Hogwarts. The solution, Audio books. It's so nice to have something to listen to while I do the dishes or clean the bathrooms. Or even while I help Wes set up his kitchen, or do his Dragon Tales puzzle for the 100th time. It helps keep me sane on those days when everything is driving me crazy. Great alternative. I have an Ipod Shuffle and I love it! Tad and I each got one with out credit card miles for Valentines Day. I highly recommend it. You'll also want an account with Itunes or a place like Audible so you can get audio books (which can be expensive) at a good price. I had an Audible account for a while and I loved it. For $20/month you get 2 credits, which is usually good for 2 books (unless it's a super popular book that might cost 2 credits).
Ok, so that's obvious. I love blogging. It's so nice to have a place where I can put out my ideas to the world, and interact with different kinds of people. I never realized how many different types of blogs there were until I started my own. There's something for everyone.
Movies & TV
It's painfully obvious to anyone who's read my blog that I love movies and tv shows. I'm a sucker for a captivating tale, especially if it's accompanied by a devastatingly handsome leading man. Tad is of a like mind with me, so our go-to date night is dinner and a movie.

I started running every morning a couple of months ago, and I'm surprised at how much I've come to enjoy it. In high school I never thought about exercising because I had 2 hours of basketball practice every day. But now, sadly, I have NO daily organized exercise routine to depend on. What I DO have is a body that's grown and pushed out 2 children, 8 years of post-high school weight gain, and a fondness for York Peppermint Patties. Therefore A+B=Pleasantly Plump. Time for a change. So started training myself to get up at 6 and go running, it wasn't always easy but I've persevered. Although, what keeps me going is 30% getting skinny, and 70% time alone with my Ipod Shuffle and audio books where no one is interrupting me with questions about sippy cups. Either way I've noticed a lot of great things developing because of this new hobby. Looking better in my clothes, having more patience with my kids, a desire to eat healthier, feeling sexier about myself (Tad enjoys that one too), and just being happier in general. If you're looking for any of those things get out your sneakers and find the time. You wont be sorry you did.
I love trying new recipes, provided they are easy ones with ingredients I generally have in my kitchen. I used to buy lots of those recipe magazines, but I find that getting recipes off of blogs is a lot easier. Not to mention cheaper, faster, and has a wider range. Two of my favorite recipe blogs are It's a Keeper and Stephanies Kitchen. Check them out!
I recently started back at college. While this isn't exactly a hobby, it's something I'm really enjoying. I love sitting in a classroom and learning. That sounds dorky, I know, but after a 6 year hiatus it's really fun to go back. You don't have to go back for a degree either, you can just take a class or two. Or just take classes from an independent person on a specialized skill like cooking, sewing, dancing, painting, writing, whatever interests you. If you're curious about something give it a try!

Well that's my list, what's on yours?

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Chocolate + Cake = Happy

So, like most women, I'm always on the hunt for amazing chocolate cake. I came across this recipe when it was posted on a Link Up Party on It's a Keeper from Suburbs Mama I haven't had a chance to try it yet, but it looks incredible!

Ultra Chocolate Cake


  • 1 (18.25 ounce) package devil's food cake mix
  • 1 (5.9 ounce) package instant chocolate pudding mix
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/2 cup warm water
  • 2 cups semisweet chocolate chips

  • Directions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. prepare a cake pan (oil and dust with flour)

  • In a large bowl, mix together the cake and pudding mixes, sour cream, oil, beaten eggs and water. Stir in the chocolate chips and pour batter into the pan.

  • Bake for 50 to 55 minutes, or until a wooden toothpick inserted comes out clean. Cool cake thoroughly in pan at least an hour and a half before inverting onto a plate

CHOCOLATE filling:

1 stick unsalted butter

2/3 cup Hersheys cocoa

3 cups powdered sugar

1/3 cup milk

1 tsp vanilla extract

Melt butter in microwave, stir in cocoa, alternately add powdered sugar and milk, beating on med speed. Stir in vanilla extract. refrigerate until ready to use.

Chocolate whipped cream frosting:

8 oz heavy cream

1 tsp vanilla

1/2 cup of baking cocoa

2 Tb Sugar

Beat cream until peaks form, add vanilla, sugar and cocoa. Refrigerate until ready to frost the cake

Assemble the cake with the frosting and filling. I also sprinkle walnuts between each layer of cake. I also drizzle with some melted chocolate on top of the cake, but this is optional. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

I'm half afraid that when I make this Tad, who's much more of an ice cream guy, will make me eat the whole thing by myself. And I'm half afraid he'll want some of it too :)

Monday, June 13, 2011

Out of the Mouths of Babes

Photo by Cristi Nelson
Wes is constantly saying things that make me laugh, and I've come to the conclusion that he got my awesome sense of humor. Lucky him ;) Here are some cute stories about some other funny kids that will you make you laugh.

Jonah and the Whale
A little girl was talking to her teacher about whales. The teacher said it was physically impossible for a whale to swallow a human because even though it was a very large mammal its throat was very small. The little girl stated that Jonah was swallowed by a whale. Irritated, the teacher reiterated that a whale could not swallow a human; it was physically impossible.
The little girl said, "When I get to heaven I will ask Jonah". 

The teacher asked, "What if Jonah went to hell?"

The little girl replied, "Then you ask him".

Drawing God

A Kindergarten teacher was observing her classroom of children while they were drawing. She would occasionally walk around to see each child's work. 
As she got to one little girl who was working diligently, she asked what the drawing was.
The girl replied, "I'm drawing God."
The teacher paused and said, "But no one knows what God looks like" 

Without missing a beat, or looking up from her drawing, the girl replied, "They will in a minute."

A Sunday school teacher was discussing the Ten Commandments with her five and six year olds. After explaining the commandment to "honour" thy Father and thy Mother, she asked,
"Is there a commandment that teaches us how to treat our brothers and sisters?" 

Without missing a beat one little boy (the oldest of a family) answered, "Thou shall not kill."

Gray Hairs

One day a little girl was sitting and watching her mother do the dishes at the kitchen sink. She suddenly noticed that her mother had several strands of white hair sticking out in contrast on her brunette head.

She looked at her mother and inquisitively asked, "Why are some of your hairs white, Mom?" 
Her mother replied, "Well, every time that you do something wrong and make me cry or unhappy, one of my hairs turns white." 

The little girl thought about this revelation for a while and then said, "Momma, how come ALL of grandma's hairs are white?" 

The children had all been photographed, and the teacher was trying to persuade them each to buy a copy of the group picture.
"Just think how nice it will be to look at it when you are all grown up and say, 'There's Jennifer, she's a lawyer,' or 'That's Michael, He's a doctor.' 

A small voice at the back of the room rang out, "And there's the teacher, she=s dead

A teacher was giving a lesson on the circulation of the blood. Trying to make the matter clearer, she said,
"Now, class, if I stood on my head, the blood, as you know, would run into it, and I would turn red in the face." 

"Yes," the class said. 

"Then why is it that while I am standing upright in the ordinary position the blood doesn't run into my feet?" 

A little fellow shouted, 
"Cause your feet ain't empty." 

He's Watching You

The children were lined up in the cafeteria of a Catholic elementary school for lunch. At the head of the table was a large pile of apples. The nun made a note, and posted on the apple tray: 

"Take only ONE . God is watching."
Moving further along the lunch line, at the other end of the table was a large pile of chocolate chip cookies. 

A child had written a note, "Take all you want. God is watching the apples.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Hair Cuts vs Face Shape

Some days I want to run and hide from my hair. It's fine and thin and flat. I never know quite what to do about it. So what do you do when you need answers I ask you? You Google it of course! Marie Claire had some great tips for us on choosing a hair cut for your face shape.Tip: To determine your true shape, pull your hair off your forehead with one hand, look into a mirror and trace the outline of your face on the glass with lipstick.

If Your Face Is Square
"For square shapes, it's all about softening the edges," says Charles Worthington of Charles Worthington Salons in London and New York City. He recommends avoiding "sharp" cuts, like angled bobs or styles with blunt-cut bangs, which can emphasize an already-broad forehead and chin.
Your best cut: Long or short? It's up to you. "Pretty much any length will work, as long as you add shorter pieces to frame the face," says Kat, a stylist for Bumble and Bumble in New York City. To accomplish this, ask your stylist for a cut that incorporates graduated layers, razored ends or long, piece-y bangs to soften the strong lines of your jaw. If your hair is naturally curly, play up your waves à la Salma Hayek. The loose ringlets help to balance out your face's boxiness.

Parting words: Your best bet is to experiment with your part to find its most flattering location. A center part looks great paired with angle-softening curls. Or, try one that's slightly off-center to blur the bold edges of a square face.

If Your Face Is Round
Since full cheeks can conceal even the best bone structure, a round face can lack definition. "Very short cuts and cuts with a lot of volume on the sides only emphasize fullness," says Kat.

Your best cut: Styles with face-framing layers and choppy bangs can slim a full face and create the illusion of cheekbones. If you like short hair, try a bob with razored ends and cheek-grazing pieces, like Renée Zellweger's, which breaks up the roundness and adds angles where they don't naturally exist. If short is not your thing, aim for looks that fall to the chin and longer. The extra length will help elongate a full face, making it appear more oval.

Parting words: A slightly off-center part works best, as it offsets roundness, but a center part (paired with one of the above-mentioned styles) can draw the eye up, giving your face the appearance of a longer shape.

If Your Face Is Oval
Even proportions make oval faces especially versatile. "This is not a shape that needs to rely on a hairstyle to add softness or balance," says Worthington.
Your best cut: From a cropped cut to a blunt bob to longer, layered styles, virtually anything goes. However, some oval faces tend to be on the long side. If you fall into this category, Worthington suggests adding long bangs, like Tyra Banks's, to visually shorten the distance from the forehead to the chin. Cheek-length layers will also help balance a longer oval shape.

Parting words: Just like the cuts, when it comes to parts, most will work well. Worthington recommends a sharp center part for a chic look. Or, you can break up a long oval face by parting your hair to one side. The longer your face, the more off-center the part should be.

So if you're looking for a change I hope this article helped. Good luck!

Friday, June 10, 2011

5 of my favorite Action Movies

I'm sure you've noticed that I love movies. We can't get enough of them. Our go to date night is dinner and a movie (so original, I know). So here's is a list of 5 of my favorite action movies.

Watch Trailer Here
Taken is AWESOME! I've gotta say I never really took notice of Liam Neeson until I saw this movie. He plays Bryan Mills, an ex-spy who's now divorced and desperately trying to save his relationship with his teenage daughter, Kim. Kim pleads with her dad to allow her to take a trip to Europe with her friend, and barely squeaks out permission. Unfortunately her dad's instincts were correct. Shortly after she and her friend reach their hotel in Paris a group of men break in. Kim is on the phone to her dad in the other side of the hotel room so she sees when they abduct her friend. Her dad manages to stay calm and instructs her to keep the line open and yell out any information she can get about her abductors. After making a promise of death to the men who take her he begins tracking down everyone and anyone who might know where she is. And this is when we learn how much of a bad a$$ he is. Like I said, this movie is awesome.

Prince of Persia
Watch Trailer Here
I was surprised at how good this movie was, Disney did a great job. There are some really great action scenes with impressive, animal like acrobatics. Jake Gyllenhaal plays Dastan, a poor orphan in the Persian Empire who had the good fortune to impress the King with his bravery and skill as boy. He's adopted into the royal family as a younger brother to the King's 2 sons. He grows up as a skilled fighter with an impressive group of soldiers following him. The Empire invades the ancient city of Amalut, succeeding only because of Dastan and his soldiers impressive fighting. After their victory Dastan is given a robe to present to his adopted father, the King as a gift to celebrate their triumph. Everything falls apart after the robe turns out to be poisoned and kills the King. Desperate to prove his innocence Dastan escapes capture and sets out to prove his innocence with the help, and sometimes sabotage of Alamut's princess, Tamina who's followed Dastan for her own secret, and mysterious reasons. You wont be disappointed with this movie.

Watch Trailer Here
Most everyone has heard of the epic movie Braveheart. It's a classically amazing movie that won 5 Academy Awards. Mel Gibson plays Sir William Wallace, a Scottish Knight in the 13th century that makes himself known for being vital in the fight against the King in the First War of Scottish Independence. William Wallace was an ordinary man who fell in love with childhood sweetheart, Murron. But unwilling to subject her to Primae Noctis (the law allowing lords to take newly married women into their beds on their wedding night) they married in secret. Shortly after Murron is almost raped by some soldiers, but William manages to fight them off. Tragically Murron is captured and executed, catapulting William, who'd never had any interest in fighting, into the war. His daring tactics quickly gain him a large following of commoners that grows rapidly at his success. Determined to put an end to the tyranny that killed Murron he becomes a man of legend who inspires the people of Scotland till the very end. This is a movie you'll never forget, although you might want to watch an edited version of it.
Watch Trailer Here
Salt, which stars Angelina Jolie, originally had Tom Cruise cast in the title role. Before I went to see the movie I didn't hear many good things about the film, but I've gotta say that I really enjoyed it. Maybe I did because I wasn't expecting an epic thriller, but either way I really like this movie. The movie starts with Evelyn Salt (Jolie) held captive in North Korea, being tortured because they suspect she's an American spy. Finally she is released with a prisoner exchange from the CIA (which is who she works for) because her husband refused to give up working towards her freedom. Although she only married him for a cover story, she finds she has true feelings for him, which she admits to him, along with the truth about what she does with the CIA. 2 years later a Russian man named Vasilly Orlov arrives at the CIA with a story of a plot to assassinate the Russian President Boris Matveyev. He claims that the Russians have placed 'sleeper-agents' in strategic positions all over the United States who have been trained from birth to imitate Americans. He then goes on to claim that agent KA-12 will be the one to assassinate the Russian President, and that her name is Evelyn Salt. As Evelyn Salt is the person interrogating him this posses a problem. Confusion breaks out after this confession. When the CIA tries to hold Salt, she escapes, desperate to get home and find her husband, knowing he will be a target. When she finds nothing but evidence of a kidnapping, she starts a mission that only she knows the objective to. Most of the movie leaves you wondering who's side she's on, but she does some pretty cool things while you're trying to figure it all out. It does have a few scenes that are a little far fetched, but overall I thought it was done really well.

Bourne Trilogy
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Matt Damon started us all off with the first of the trilogy, the Bourne Identity in 2002, and it took off from there. The movies were adapted from Robert Ludlum's novels. The film starts with an unconscious man being pulled from the Mediterranean Sea with 4 bullets in his back. ie. Matt Damon. When he wakes up he has no memory of who he is, where he's from, or what he's doing there. His only clue is a small device that had been surgically placed into his hip that shows an account number for a bank in Zurich. When he gets to the bank he discovers a safety deposit box filled with a surplus of money, a gun, and a passport with his picture for a man named Jason Bourne. He soon realizes that he's about to be arrested, but when the officers come at him he reacts reflexively with the skills of a professionally trained secret agent. After narrowly escaping capture he pays a woman, Marie, to drive him to Paris, which is where the passport says Jason Bourne lives. He meets attack after attack on his journey to discover who he is, meeting each one with a mysterious skill that keeps himself and Marie alive and free, gathering bits of evidence along the way. This is a seriously cool set of movies. Bourne will make you freeze with apprehension and gape with stunned astonishment at the things he can do. Watch it, love it.

There are so many great action movies out there. So many that I'll probably do a part 2 to this post soon. But for now these are 5 of my favorites, although I'm always looking for another good one. Does anyone have any movie suggestions for me?


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