Friday’s Fascinations: Lady Gaga, AHS and MTrain, Oh My!

Quote of the Week: “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take” -Wayne Gretsky

What a week it has been! The only natural place to start is at the Oscars. Of course this means we’re starting with Lady Gaga’s tribute to the Sound of Music. Gosh was it good. Now, I have always been a serious fan of Lady G, but this just solidified why. Not many know that she is a classically trained jazz pianist and vocalist, so she actually brings some serious musical chops to the table. Her medley of songs from the classic Sound of Music was beautiful and sounded a lot like Julie Andrews, who came out at the end and gave Gaga a big hug. Beautiful all around.

But I’m not done with Gaga yet. Oh no. She also announced this week that she will be in a TV show I have only recently been obsessed with- American Horror Story. Oh yeah, Gaga will be in the next season of AHS. In typical Mother Monster-style, she released a darkly theatrical video announcing the news, but also announcing that this season of AHS will be themed “Hotel”. Previous seasons themes have included “Murder House”, “Asylum”, “Coven” and “Freak Show.” PLUS the spinoff to American Horror Story will be premiering in 2016 called American Crime Story: The People vs. O.J. Simpson, focusing on the infamous O.J. Simpson trial. The show will star AHS veteran Sarah Paulson, along with Cuba Gooding Jr, John Travolta and David Schwimmer. I can always use another crime drama. Even if they do keep me up at night. Anyway…

In other news, I have developed a real love for MTrain, aka Meghan Trainor this week. In particular, her song “My Selfish Heart.” Not only does it encompass everything I love about pop music, but it is about a girl breaking up with her boyfriend because she is so focused on her dreams, but she wishes him the best. I love this song because, while I’ve never had a boyfriend (and I’m actually more than okay with that), I am so focused on my dreams that I can’t imagine having a romantic interest come between that. That and I’m “so in love with myself” alla Iggy Azalea (listen to the song “F**k Love” and you’ll understand. It’s also perfect for the person who is in love with their self).

And that’s a wrap on another entertaining week. I hope you guys liked last week’s Ten Things Week, and if you haven’t checked out those posts yet, definitely be sure to do that. Otherwise, I’ll see you back here next week. Have a lovely week!

Friday’s Fascinations: 10 Things Edition

We have made it to the end of ten things week. I thought, then, to end this lovely little series of mine, that I would make a list of ten of my favorite things. So these are a few of my favorite things.

  • Theatre
  • The nighttime stars
  • The musicals Pippin and Sunday in the Park with George
  • My friends (the Spicycats) and my family
  • Dessert. Particularly Ben and Jerry’s Milk and Cookies ice cream
  • New York City
  • Entertainment Writing
  • Sparkly/meaningful jewelry, like my high school class ring
  • The Harry Potter series
  • Roses

So those are ten of my favorite things. I hope you’ve enjoyed ten things week as much as I have. Until next week though, have a lovely week!

10 Wanderlust Wishes

Ever since I can remember I have dreamed of traveling the world. From the spice markets of Morocco to the Gothic architecture throughout Europe, I want to see, taste and experience it all. The list I have compiled is not everywhere I want to go (mostly because that is far more than ten places), but it is encompasses the places I have always dreamed of going to and different experiences I have wanted to have or specific places I wanted to see in each. Without further ado, here are the ten places on my Wanderlust Wish-list. (All pictures from Pinterest)

The Mid-Autumn Festival in China ft. Mooncakes

The Mid-Autumn Festival is an annual festival held in China and Vietnam centered on lunar worship. In ancient Chinese customs, it is regarded that the emperor should offer sacrifices to the moon in the autumn, and in turn the sun in the spring. While my adoration and wonder and awe for the moon runs deep, what really drives me to want to visit this festival are the mooncakes. Mooncakes are Chinese pastries that have a golden, tender crust on the outside and traditionally a red bean paste or lotus seed paste filling. This first time I had seen these was on a PBS show called Sagwa the Chinese Siamese Cat when I was little. Not only did I love the cartoon of an adorable cat who lived in China, but I decided I had to get my hands on one of those mooncakes. And I still feel very passionately about going to that festival and eating those mooncakes.

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Festival of Lights in Thailand

Who has seen Tangled and hasn’t dreamed of being surrounded by the “floating lights”? And while I have watched Tangled on the beach in Jamaica in the nighttime, I still have dreams of going to see these lanterns float through the sky. Thailand hosts a lantern-floating event called the Festival of Lights where people let go of a bunch of these lanterns. Two places in and they’re both festivals. Moving right along.

Festival of Lights

Angelina’s in Paris

Angelina’s is a café, I believe, in Paris, France. They are renowned for their apparently exquisite hot chocolate. And where there’s chocolate, I won’t be far behind. I just want to fact-check it; you know, make sure the hot chocolate is truly exquisite. Strictly business.

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Neuschwanstein Castle in Germany

This nineteenth century castle was built for Ludwig II of Bavaria. After his death in the late 1800s, though, the castle became open to the public. If the castle seems fairytale, well, it is. Neuschwanstein Castle served as the inspiration behind Sleeping Beauty’s castle in Disneyland. I have always dreamed of going to Germany, and the Neuschwanstein Castle is one of the biggest reasons why.

Neuschwanstein Castle

Sphinx in Egypt

This one is a little cliché and touristy, I admit. However, that does not make it any less impressive I imagine. I am enamored by the ancient world, particularly Egypt’s ancient history. The Sphinx is a huge part of that, as well as a big part of the mystery of a seemingly lost world. It seems fitting to me then that I should want to see the Sphinx in person, as if actually seeing it in the flesh would make all of those tales of a past world true.

Sphinx

Umbrella Street in Portugal

I know nothing of where Umbrella Street actually is in Portugal, or of its significance. All I know is its cool. That and it’s been in my travel board on Pinterest for a while now.

Umbrella Street

High Tea in London

What kind of list would this be if I didn’t include one of my most prolific wanderlust wishes-London? Among the many, many things I imagine doing on a trip to London, what I think of most is high tea at a fancy-schmancy place like the Ritz or Claridge’s. Really, I just want to pretend that I’m a part of the British Aristocracy. Until I get to London, I’ll just have to settle for reading about Kate Middleton’s loveliness and watching The Royals on E! (premiering March 15).

High Tea in London

Eat a Liege Waffle in Belgium

First, a liege waffle is street food in Belgium that is a waffle, yes, but unlike its counterpart the Belgian waffle which is traditionally dressed up in all kinds of delicious debauchery, the liege is very minimalist. It is a waffle that can be eaten with your hands and has little sugar cubes throughout the batter for a pop of sweetness. Just the thought of that makes me want to get on the next flight out to Belgium so I can spend the next week surrounded by waffles on waffles on waffles.

Liege Waffles

Liege Waffles

See? I told you liege waffles have sugar cubes throughout them.

See? I told you liege waffles have sugar cubes throughout them.

Ride an Elephant in India

I actually just discovered today that India actually hosts an Elephant Festival in Jaipur. That’s amazing and only solidifies my desire to want to go there for elephants. Elephants are my favorite animal, though I love lots of different animals. I find elephants to be very profound. They are gentle creatures that are known to hold great spiritual power and I love that. Wise animals, those majestic elephants.

A man and an elephant at the Elephant Festival in India's capital Jaipur

A man and an elephant at the Elephant Festival in India’s capital Jaipur

See the Cherry Blossom Trees in Japan

Anyone who knows about the Japanese Cherry Blossom trees in Japan knows that when they bloom they are beautiful, but they only stay like that for a short time, like three days or so. Being that I love natural beauty and also a challenge, I want to go see these for myself. But really, they are so beautiful.

Japanese Cherry Blossom Trees

10 Favorite YouTube Videos

I talk about YouTube a fair amount in my Friday’s Fascinations series, so this post should not be shocking. Below I will share with you my ten favorite YouTube Videos, in no particular order. Let’s get into it, shall we?

Good Mythical Morning is a daily show on YouTube put on by best friends Rhett and Link. In the video above they eat the world’s hottest pepper at the request of a viewer. This video makes me laugh so hard. I also have a love for spicy food coming from the fact that my parents had a hot sauce cart in the mall when I was little. Honestly though watching Rhett and Link journey through the seven levels of Scoville-rated hell is almost too entertaining.

Now would be the time to tell you that I have arranged these videos by channel. Anyway, This next one is also from GMM. This was the first episode of theirs I ever watched and it got me hooked. If you’re not convinced, just wait it out until the end. It definitely gets better with each round they play of the Smell-Tasting Experiment.

This next set is dedicated to my favorites: Dan Howell and Phil Lester. I have written about them before. Redundant, I know #sorrynotsorry. I love both of their channels Danisnotonfire and AmazingPhil, along with their combined channel DanandPhilGames. The video above is one from their gaming channel during spooky week. As well, the one below is from Phil’s channel that is from a series Dan and Phil have done for Krave Cereal called Phil the Lion vs. Dan the Dinosaur. Basically they compete in funny and ridiculous challenges to declare a winner. This is the Water Race.

Moving right along, this next one below makes me laugh every time. It is a gem.

And lastly for Dan and Phil, their first time playing BBC One Radio’s infamous Innuendo Bingo.

Now we can move on to some other cheeky and relatable YouTubers-Sorted Food. Below is a video from a three-part series they did on cooking on a camping trip which is educational and entertaining. On top of that, there is also a funny “Christmas Treat” video

Last, but not least of my top ten YouTube Videos is from Rosanna Pansino who creates Nerdy Nummies. These next videos are one called Helping Hands where she cooks but someone else is her arms. It makes more sense in the video, and last of all her Maleficent Candy Apples.

10 Favorite Quotes

If there is anything I love, it’s a good quote. While my favorite quotes are always changing, these ten are some of my all-time favorite quotes on everything from fashion to life to love. (All pictures from Pinterest)

10 Things Week-Quotes

“I have loved the stars too fondly to be fearful of the night,” -Sarah Williams (very often this quote is attributed to Galileo, but it was actually Sarah Williams who said it)

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“I love you, but I love myself more,” -Samantha Jones from Sex and the City

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“Normal is an illusion. What is normal for the spider is chaos for the fly,” -Morticia Addams from The Addams Family

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“When a woman says ‘I have nothing to wear!’, what she really means is ‘there’s nothing here for who I’m supposed to be today,'” -Caitlin Moran

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“And though she be but little, she is fierce,” -Shakespeare

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“Words are, in my not-so-humble opinion, our most inexhaustible source of magic,” Dumbledore from the Harry Potter series

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“But what if I fall? Oh my darling, but what if you fly?” -Unknown

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“You can be the ripest, juiciest peach in the world, and there’s still going to be somebody who hates peaches,” -Dita Von Teese

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“A journey of a thousand miles begins with one step,” -Lao Tzu

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“We come whirling out of nothingness, scattering stars like dust. The stars made a circle and in the middle we dance,” -Rumi

10 Favorite Movies

To kick off Ten Things Week, and in anticipation of the Oscars this Sunday, the first installment shall be my ten favorite movies.

The Great Gatsby (2013)

Anyone who knows me knows I love The Great Gatsby. I fell in love with the 2013 remake of the film starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Carey Mulligan when I saw it in theatres almost two years ago. In fact, I saw it twice. That’s how much I love it. I love how Gatsby perfectly captures the glitz and glamour of the twenties while simultaneously showing that all that glitters is not gold. Even better, I like that the 2013 version is an updated take on the classic story, showing, in a way, what it would be like if the twenties were to take place in the modern day. I love, love, love The Great Gatsby.

The Imitation Game (2014)

This one has only just come out and is nominated for eight Oscars. I raved about this film as well. This was by far and away the best story I have witnessed. It’s powerful, important, widely unknown, and even kind of funny.  Benedict Cumberbatch fans have to see it. Anyone who uses a computer needs to see it. It is a story of monumental importance. And its also just a great film in all regards.

The Young Victoria (2009)

A movie I discovered on HBO, Young Victoria soon became one of my favorite movies.  The story of Queen Victoria and her relationship with Prince Albert, who would one day become her husband but not the king, Young Victoria is a beautiful, romantic period drama. Plus, Emily Blunt stars as Queen Victoria herself.

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (2005)

The fourth in the Harry Potter series, it is both my favorite Harry Potter book and movie. For those who aren’t familiar with Harry Potter, Goblet of Fire is the turning point in the series, where Harry’s seemingly accidental drawing to be one of the wizards to compete in the Triwizard Tournament is no accident. The events in the tournament all lead up to a terrifying discovery by Harry that challenges the fate of the wizarding world.

 The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies (2014)

This last winter saw the final installment of The Hobbit. Of the three Hobbit movies, this last one was by far my favorite. It was the most shocking of them, but also the most heartwarming. The cinematography was gorgeous, as usual for The Hobbit films, and all of the actors were so devoted to their characters. It was a great end to the Lord of the Rings prequel.

Alice in Wonderland (2010)

Alice in Wonderland was written to be a Tim Burton film, it seems. While I love a lot of Tim Burton’s films, his rendition of Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll is stunning. It is a visual wonderland (pun intended) that is both lightly whimsical and darkly amusing. The story itself is a little different than you might remember it, as Alice is now grown up and about to get engaged, when she falls down the rabbit hole once again, this time needing to slay the Jabberwocky and return the reign to the White Queen from her sister the Red Queen.

Coco Before Chanel (2009)

Completely in French, but with English subtitles, this biopic of the famed designer is a personal look into the life of the woman who redefined women’s fashion. If you think you know Coco, think again. Then, go watch this movie.

Blackfish (2013)

This highly controversial documentary exposes SeaWorld’s inhumane and dangerous practice of keeping orca whales in captivity for entertainment purposes. I’m not sure that everything presented in Blackfish is accurate, so before you believe every incriminating detail the film offers up about SeaWorld, do a little research into both sides. It’s eye-opening on both sides. Regardless, the documentary is a compelling one, and one I’ve watched at least four times. It just never ceases to be interesting. I only wish that all documentaries were nearly as compelling as this one.

Sleeping Beauty (1959)

When I was little, a spent a lot of my time torn between whether I loved Sleeping Beauty or Cinderella more. Ultimately, Sleeping Beauty won. While I love Cinderella more now than when I was little, mostly because I can appreciate the beautiful animation much better now, I still have such a love for Sleeping Beauty. Between the dress changing from pink to blue and blue to pink, Maleficent, the fairies attempting to make a presentable cake for Aurora, Prince Phillip and the iconic ballad “Once Upon a Dream,” I find myself completely immersed in the fairytale. Some movies only get better with time. Usually Disney films.

Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows (2011)

It is also no secret that I love Sherlock Holmes anything. The Guy Ritchie films were my first exposure to Sherlock, and really where I began my love affair with Mr. Holmes. And while Sherlock Holmes (the first film in the series) is great, the second installment in the movie series, A Game of Shadows, is my favorite. It also took me a second to understand. The first one was very straightforward, but the second one was much more the guessing game. The plot thickens, along with becoming a more elaborate story than before. Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law do their part in adding to the film with their cheeky and adorable bromance as Sherlock and Watson.

10 Things Week!

You know how I’ve been saying that I am gonna post new content for the last two weeks? Well, I found a way to make it up to you. This week I am going to make a post every day, Monday through Friday, with a different ten things category. Stay tuned for Ten Things Week!