Oct 27, 2010

Like, Love and Don't Like

This week, I like WAX & DRY from Turtle Wax. Julie and I washed our cars this weekend and, as Murphy's Law decrees, it rained shortly after. I hate waxing cars but appreciate the protection and shine that is the result of a good waxin'. Looking for an easy way out, I tried WAX & DRY and I must say that I am impressed. After washing your car, leave it wet and spray a little bit of this product on your car. Take a clean cloth and dry your car as normal. Boom. That's it. The bottle says that WAX & DRY offers the same protection as a regular waxing method. We'll see!

This week, I love Gunnin' for that #1 Spot. This 2006 documentary highlights a few of the participants in that year's high school all-star game at Rucker Park in NYC. I watched this film the other night and it reminded me a lot of one of my all-time favorites: Hoop Dreams. Rather than harping on the off-the-court challenges faced by star players, Gunnin' gives some insight into the world of high school basketball recruiting. It covers the player ranking services, AAU teams, coaches that send text messages to recruits and all of the other perks that come with being a really tall and athletic teenager. A lot of players of various ages played in this game but only 8 were spotlighted. Of those 8 players that were featured in 2006, seven of them are now millionaires in the NBA. Kyle Singler, who is a senior at Duke this year, has yet to reach the NBA. My personal friend Nolan Smith is seen at times during the film but is not one of the 8 featured players. Check out the film's Wikipedia page to see outcome of the other seven players. Here's the trailer for the documentary:

This week, I don't like ads at the beginning of online videos. Ever click to watch a video on a news website? You get that :15 second ad that you cannot bypass, no matter what you do. Never have you felt so helpless while online! As much as I dislike these ads, I must say that we deserve 'em. With our deminishing attention spans these days, video is the best way to get message across. And because everyone likes to mulititask, companies and ad agencies have to force you to watch these quick ads. Now that DVRs are exterminating the television commercial, it doesn't appear that these intro ads will be leaving our online videos anytime soon.

Oct 22, 2010

A few things I am LOVING...

I don't know about you but I love getting recommendations from other people about products, recipes and services before I go and try them for myself.  So I thought it would be fun to share some of the things I am into these days (they are totally random).

Many of you know my best friend Kiley....well besides being a great friend she is an awesome gift giver.  It is probably because we have such similar taste, but man the girl never disappoints.  So for my birthday this year she did it again and somehow managed to pick the perfect gift.

This is a Kate Spade cosmetic bag.  I know seems so simple, but yet this one is the perfect size and it so darn cute.  I love that is is made out of vinyl (at least that is what I think it is) so that it wipes clean and is easy to find in the bottomless pit that is my purse!  Great Christmas idea!!!

Secondly is something I have just stumbled upon.  During a recent trip to Ulta I was given a sample of bareMinerals lip gloss.  The colors were actually good so I decided to try it.  Oh boy do I ever love this stuff.  I went the next day to buy a full size.  If you are a lip gloss person...you have to try it.  (This is my favorite color so far...Rose)

My sister, Ellen, is going to graduate school in London and I am so proud of her, but I got really spoiled having her in Birmingham for the last 4 years.  We had lunch dates whenever we wanted to and she came over every Wednesday night and had dinner with us which was lots of fun.  So to say that I miss her is an understatement.  However having skype has made the transition so much easier.  It is AWESOME.  Not only do I get to talk to her for free, but I can see her too!  When I studied in London we had to walk down the street and use a pay phone and use prepaid calling cards (amazing what can change in 7 years).

Roasted Green Beans....need I say more.  I am sure I am probably the last person to find out about this, but it has rocked my world.  I have always roasted asparagus and recently started roasting broccoli, but it never dawned on me to roast fresh green beans.  The flavor is amazing and they are so healthy!!!  Just drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper and bake on 400 for about 20 minutes.  When they are done toss beans with a little more olive oil and serve.  If you want to take it a step farther toss in some goat cheese and sun dried tomatoes!!!!  You will not be disappointed.

Oct 19, 2010

Like, Love and Don't Like

This week, I like the Nintendo Entertainment System. Yesterday (October 18th) marked the 25th anniversary of the unveiling of the NES. How did this slip under the radar? For some unknown reason, Nintendo of America is not publicizing this achievement. But who cares? Each and every one of us - young and old - have been effected by "the Nintendo". I got my NES in the fourth grade for Christmas. A short time later, my mom and dad began renting movies and video games at their appliance store so I was always playing the latest games. Nintendo was so HUGE in my life that my mother often used the promise of new games as an incentive to improve my grades at school. I distinctly remember working hard to raise my grades and bringing home all A's and B's once. I was so excited! I made good on my pact with my mother and I was going to get a copy of "Metroid" to add to my collection of games! When I showed my mother my much-improved report card, I reminded her of our deal. She coldly looked at me and said, "the requirement was all A's". I was crushed. It was almost as if my mother received some kind of enjoyment from breaking my heart. That episode taught me the most valuable life lesson of all: never put forth extra effort because your mother will change the rules.

I eventually got my own copy of Metroid and I still remember getting chills the first time I heard the intro music!

Like I said, Nintendo was HUGE! They produced loads of accessories and we all remember the The Wizard, right? It was basically a commercial the length of a full-feature movie.

This week, I love William Jackson Wilder. My cousins in Auburn (Neil and Katie) welcomed their second child into the world on October 12th. Will is their first son and he is getting a lot of love and attention from his big sister, Margie Grace. Julie and I got to meet Will this past weekend and it is pretty wild to realize that Margie Grace (4) was his size just yesterday! I'm very happy that everyone is healthy and resting at home now!

This week, I don't like bickering Alabama and Auburn football fans. I meant to write about this topic last week but I got too busy. I noticed a lot of sore winners and sore losers last week after Auburn's win over Kentucky and Alabama's loss to South Carolina. I mean...I overheard some really ugly comments at my office last week. I understand everyone's passion and pride but let's get real people! Like my friend Rian says: at the end of the day, your emotions are centered around the actions of a bunch of 18-22 year olds! Read the comments after any article about Alabama or Auburn football on al.com to get a prime example of the hostility of these two fan bases. I may have overly expressed my delight in an Alabama loss in my younger days but I don't do that anymore. I've seen both sides of the taunts and any time spent on the good side can never trump the feeling of being on the bad side. But some people just can't let it go and we must pray for them. Plus, we have a certain "journalist" to thank for constantly stirring the pot and giving these fans a spotlight.

Oct 9, 2010

Like, Love and Don't Like

This week, I like BOOM BABY! Although the Ryder Cup didn't end the way we wanted, the play was superb. American Jeff Overton spun an approach shot back into the cup and created an awesome new golfism:

That was an amazing shot. So amazing that I'll probably never pull it off. But to honor the awesomeness of this shot, I will shout "BOOM BABY" after each time I sink a putt, no matter the length or difficulty of the putt. The best part of this clip is the reaction of Overton's playing partner, Bubba Watson: "I CAN SAY IT TOO! C'MON!"

This week, I love match play golf. This head-to-head format, as used in the Ryder Cup, can be very exciting. I think a match play tournament would be a much better alternative to the current playoff system used by the PGA Tour.

This week, I don't like foggy sunglasses. We've had a preview of fall with cooler temperatures here lately. I occasionally leave my sunglasses in my car overnight. They get very cold when the temperature drops. When I put them on my warm head in the mornings, the lenses fog up! Boo, Science!


Here's a cool video taken by Ian Poulter of the European Ryder Cup Team. This was from the closing ceremony and he shared via his Twitter account once the Twitter ban was lifted. See? This is the kind of cool stuff we missed out on thanks to the Twitter ban.

Oct 7, 2010

New Blog

Many of you already know that I started doing calligraphy a few years ago.  It started off as a desire to simply know how to do it but has turned into a side business!  Over the past year I have started getting more and more requests for samples and pricing so I thought creating a blog where I could post all of my information would be a good idea. 

I am still working on adding informaiton and pictures, but for the most part it is ready to go!  The address is:
www.calligraphybyjulie.blogspot.com or you can simply click the "Calligraphy by Julie" image on the sidebar.

I have just finished up my largest job (over 600 invitations)!!!  Now that I am done... I will have a little bit more time to devote to the blog.