The MGM Musical Magic Blogathon – High Society

May 18, 2018

HIGH SOCIETY [US 1956]

Mike Connor: [on telephone] This is the voice of doom.

Mrs. Seth Lord: What?

Mike Connor: This is to tell you your days are numbered.

[hangs up]

Mrs. Seth Lord: Oh dear. One of the servants has been at the sherry again.

When I found out that there was an MGM Musical Magic Blogathon, hosted by Hometowns to Hollywood, I knew I had to participate and write about my all-time favorite movie, High Society. I generally make a habit of posting about different classic movies and I surprised myself by realizing I had not yet written about this gem! Sorry about the blog hiatus here, but I hadn’t been feeling very well lately. Thankfully, I’m doing much better now!

Synopsis:

This is essentially the musical remake of The Philadelphia Story. While I know there will be those that disagree with me, I love High Society so much more, but I’m a sucker for both Sinatra and musicals.

A rich heiress is about to marry for the second time, but her ex-husband and an attractive writer lead her to question the match.

The Players:

Frank Sinatra

Frank plays the writer sent to cover the upcoming nuptials, but finds himself attracted to the bride-to-be. What girl would not be distracted by him singing, “Mind if I Make Love to You”? Swooooon…

Grace Kelly

This is Grace’s last film before becoming the Princess of Monaco. I feel like that’s a shame. She is totally in her prime here and gives a great performance. Check out the rock on her hand-her engagement ring. This is actually her ring from the Prince and the diamond is a staggering 10.5 carats.

Her part was originally going to go to Elizabeth Taylor. Now, that would have been an entirely different movie. It seems like a weird fit having seen how great Grace is in this part.

Bing Crosby

Bing is so enjoyable to watch in this film. His character is really fun and you want to root for him to get the girl back.

I know I already posted Frank above {and he’s going to be in yet another clip below}, but Frank and Bing? I had to… I actually saw this scene in That’s Entertainment (I think the first one, but I’m not positive) and fell in love with it before I even saw the movie. It’s the best scene in the whole movie. I love it so much. I always think about how Bing was Frank’s idol when he was young and how cool this must have been for him.

Celeste Holm

I think Celeste Holm is definitely an underrated actress. I find her hilarious in both this and The Tender Trap. Great duet with Frank below.

Louis Armstrong

One of, if not the, best jazz musician to have ever lived is a supporting player in this movie as one of the jazz musicians in town.

Why You Should Check it out or Rewatch it:

Do you really need more reasons? Besides the stellar cast and songs, it’s a funny movie with a cute story. Enjoy!

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Happy Easter! Movies to watch this weekend! (Repost)

March 29, 2018

Need some Easer-themed movies to watch this weekend? Of course you do! Here is the best one!

Easter Parade!

Synopsis:
Don Hewes loses his long-time dancing partner and lady love to another show which prompts him to proclaim that he can teach any girl to dance! Influenced by booze, he invites a dancer in a local club to rehearse with him the next day and be his new partner. He learns the next day that she doesn’t even know her left foot from her right foot. He has his work cut out for him!

The Players:
Judy Garland-Judy is in fine form in this movie. I feel it’s one of her best. It has a great story and she gets to show off her comedic talents. See her marvelous fish face below..

Fred Astaire-Fred came out of retirement to do this film after Gene Kelly, who was originally set to star, injured himself playing volleyball. He still looks great!

Peter Lawford– I love the underrated Peter Lawford. He was handsome, and while his singing won no prizes, I quite enjoy his voice. He tries! See if you can pick out the change in Judy’s feather atop her hat. At one point the dye ran all over her face so they had to slick it up with vaseline.

Ann Miller-What can you say about Ann Miller.. best to showcase it below. I feel like she is the female equivalent to Gene Kelly. Powerful, strong dance steps. Shake your blues away, honey!

Why you should check it out!
This movie showcases some great performers and performances, it’s a sweet love story and it’s funny. Plus there’s an Easter theme running though it. I know I’ll watch it this weekend!

Keto Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Muffins Review

March 27, 2018

So, I need to have something with my morning coffee and I’d rather have it be keto-friendly instead of resorting to real sugar. This week I made these peanut butter chocolate chip muffins again from Tasteaholics. This is actually my second attempt at these and they were much better this time. I attribute this to the fact that I actually had Lily’s baking chocolate chips on hand instead of trying to cut up a dark chocolate bar, which is what I did last time. Using chocolate chips is much easier because they distribute through the batter. This made for a much tastier muffin! I really like them this go-around and will definitely make them again.

I also figured out the issue with getting highly inflated carb counts when calculating recipes myself. I was forgetting to subtract the carbs from the erythritol. These sugar alcohols don’t spike insulin response, so they are usually taken out when figuring out macros for recipes in keto.

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This recipe makes 6 muffins.

Ingredients:

1 cup of almond flour

1/2 cup erythritol

1 tsp baking powder

Pinch of salt

1/3 cup peanut butter {I use Old Home because it does not have added sugar}

1/3 cup almond milk {I use unsweetened original Almond Breeze}

2 eggs

1/2 cup sugar-free chocolate chips {As mentioned above I use Lily’s, which is sweetened with Stevia}

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. Mix together dry ingredients, except the chocolate chips.
  3. Mix in peanut butter and almond milk.
  4. Stir in one egg at a time into batter.
  5. Fold in chocolate chips
  6. The recipe calls for spraying a muffin tin and putting the batter in directly, but I just used cups instead. The batter did stick slightly, but it wasn’t bad. I may adjust this next time.
  7. Bake for 20-30 min. Mine ended up going 25 and that was enough.
  8. Let them to cool and then eat them! Nom! Enjoy!

Nutrition:

Fat: 18.8g

Net carbs: 4.3 g {now that’s more like it! ha}

Calories: 224

I hope you enjoy this recipe! I certainly needed one of these and my coffee this morning after my toddler was up for over 2 hours early this morning wanting to play! Ha.

Keto Mini Cheesecake Recipe Review

March 21, 2018

So I’m a huge fan of cheesecake, or at least I used to be before I starting having issues with dairy. When I saw this simple recipe from Tasteaholics, I had to try it. I did have a few issues with the recipe, as noted below, but overall, the recipe was a success and satisfies the cheesecake craving!

One of the issues I had was that the recipe was made for 8 servings and I have a 6 serving muffin tin. The recipe does not scale down easily as the 8 serving recipe calls for 1 egg and 8 oz of cream cheese. Because of this, I just pushed forward with the 8 serving and thought the cups may just be more full. This caused or contributed to a couple issues. I had a hard time getting the bottom crust to bake, so now it’s a bit crumblier than I would like because it didn’t bake long enough. I also had a harder time judging when the cheesecake portion was baked since the cups were a little fuller.
Ingredients:

For the crust:

1/2 cup almond flour

2 tbs butter {I used Earth Balance to make this dairy-free}

For the cheesecake:

8 oz of cream cheese {I used Daiya for dairy-free}

1 egg

1/2 tsp of vanilla

1/2 tsp lemon juice

1 pinch of salt

1/4 cup erythritol

Instructions:

  1. Let cream cheese come to room temperature.
  2. Preheat oven to 350.
  3. Mix melted butter with almond flour until crumbly.
  4. Press dough into muffin pan. I lined mine with muffin liners.
  5. Bake crust. The recipe called for 5 min. I ended up baking mine for about 9 before I decided to pull them. They looked like this, but I think I should have baked them a little longer to get the slighly brown color that this recipe called for. I ran out of patience and thought maybe they would bake more when in the oven with the cheesecake on top.20180320_154017
  6. Beat cream cheese with a mixer until creamy then add in the rest of the ingredients and mix together. Instead of the strawberries at the end like the recipe, I mixed in Lily’s chocolate chips. 20180320_153916
  7. Fill muffin tins and bake at 350. The recipe called for 15 min, but I ended up letting mine go for about 21 minutes because they were still gooey. They should be slightly jiggly when they’re done.
  8. Cool for at least 24 hours in the fridge. I couldn’t wait and tried them at about 15 hours. The bottom isn’t as done as I would like, but they are still tasty. I will definitely make these again, but probably tweak the proportions or bake times even further. 20180320_160852

Nutrition info {minus chocolate chips}

6.1 net carbs- corrected

1 g fiber

18.5 g fat

0.4 g sugar

4.3 g protein

Happy St. Patrick’s Day Edition-Darby O’Gill and the Little People! {Repost}

March 16, 2018

St. Patrick’s Day is this weekend and I thought I’d share again my favorite movie for the occasion!

March of 1960 brought us the best movie to watch for St. Patrick’s Day-Darby O’Gill and the Little People. This was a favorite of mine since I was a child. Combine a super young and foxy Sean Connery with Leprechauns and you have a great movie for the season! Watch it tonight in place of, or while, drinking!

Synopsis:
Darby O’Gill is “getting on” or getting old. Because of this he is going to lose his job as the caretaker of Lord Fitzpatrick’s estate. In order to preserve his job, and just settle an old score, Darby takes on King Brian of the Leprechauns. Despite challenging each other, they seem to get along quite well. Darby wants his wish to be for what his daughter wants. They then try to make a romantic match in Darby’s daughter and the younger man sent to take his job.
The Players:

Albert Sharpe– Albert plays Darby and his facial expressions as well as thrown in Gaelic phrases are guaranteed to amuse you.

Sean Connery– Who doesn’t want to see the soon-to-be 007 star sing? Well, here he does! {though he didn’t appreciate it!} We also have this movie to thank for him being cast as James Bond {as well as his impeding stardom}. Sean gained Albert Broccoli’s attention by being this role.. which then led him to casting him as 007. Sean is the only star from this movie who is still around. I found that surprising until I found out Janet Munro’s fate.. see below

Janet Munro– I think Janet does a great job as Katie. I was sad to find out she died at only 38 from a heart condition. She made 3 other pictures for Disney before deciding to venture into more mature roles. Those were poorly received by audiences.

Jimmy O’Dea– The King of the Leprechauns! This was by far his best known role, though he was also a favorite Irish comedian.

 

Why You Should Check it Out:
This is a great, fun movie. The special effects were stellar, not only by 1960’s standards, but seamless by any decade’s standards {with the exception of when Darby picks up doll King Brian}. Plus, the banshee is still terrifying and Sean Connery is always a pleasure to watch!

Book Review- 11.22.63 by Stephen King

March 14, 2018

 

I’ve always been intrigued by the JFK assassination because of the uncertainty surrounding the crime. There are so many things that don’t add up, which makes it a very interesting mystery. Because of this interest, I was really excited to find the Stephen King had written 11.22.63, which is basically a time travel book connected to this event. After waiting on t he hold list for months for the digital library, I finally got it! I absolutely tore through the 880 page (1100 Kindle page) monster.

The last few books I started, I ended up abandoning because they didn’t hook my interest, this one hooked it immediately and it was a nice change of pace. It revolves around a portal into the past that resets each time you enter it, so if you changed something that had negative consequences, you can theoredically go back again and fix it. As with most time travel stories, there are always negative consequences. You don’t know how your actions, no matter it being positive in the moment, will change the future. Upon the request of his dying friend, Jake Epping goes back to save JFK from being killed. One of the catches is that he has to wait for over 4 years in the past because the portal open opens up into 1958. You can change a lot and cause many problems in 4 years.

Another interesting thing about this book is that the past is basically an additional character. The past does not want to be changed and presents opposition to Jake in proportion to the importance of what he’s trying to change. He encounters very strong opposition as the assassination date finally approaches.

While it took many pages to get to the assassination {which I knew was coming given the length of the novel}, I enjoyed the ride. The desire to get there pushed me to keep reading I loved this book and the ending was kind of perfect. King is a great storyteller and while I’m not a fan of horror, I will seek out more of his thrillers. Reading this also made me want to watch some JFK documentaries.

After finishing the book, I did watch the Hulu miniseries based on it, starring James Franco as Jake.

*************SPOILERS BELOW***************************

There were some key changes that they made in the Hulu series versus the book. For one thing, in the book Jake uses the name George Amberson as an alias. In the series, he keeps the first name Jake. This seems like an unnecessary change, but maybe it was done for simplicity. They also gave him a different ally in the past for a while. I think this was done in order for Jake to have someone to talk to about the his plan and what he learns. In the book, this information can be done through narrative. While when it initially began, I didn’t really like this alliance, as it went on, I understood why it was done.

They also diminished the role of the yellow card man. In the series, he is just another traveler to the past. In the book, it’s much more complicated than that. There’s much more to him than you get from the series.

Something else I really didn’t care for in the series was that I feel like they really downplayed Sadie’s role. She’s not as strong of an influence and driving force in helping Jake prevent the assassination as she is in the book. Jake gets to be the strongest character, while in the book, I don’t think this is the case. I think James Franco gets the big fight because he is the celebrity. I felt that didn’t give Sadie’s character the credit she deserves.

The series itself is interesting, but is just lacking some of the elements from the book. I feel that this usually happens due to the constraints of time as well as film as a medium. The music is fun from that era though and the series is interesting on its own, but I prefer the book.

March of 1960 Brought Us Can-Can!

March 9, 2018

It’s no surprise that I’m a huge Sinatra fan. I was pleasantly surprised and pleased when I saw this movie for the first time. I actually bought it without ever having seen it before and it was worth it. It’s a lot of fun that features some great songs by Cole Porter, including “Just One of Those Things,” “Let’s Do It” and “I Love Paris.”

Synopsis:

Simone owns a nightclub that performs the illegal can-can dance. She is able to evade arrest until a new judge comes to town. Simone uses her feminine wilds to try to sway him to her side, while her boyfriend Francois fears losing her.

Note: Depending on how much you know of the time, you way wonder why the can-can is illegal as it’s seriously not scandalous in the film. While the ladies in the movie are, of course, fully covered, in the actual dance, most of the time, women did not wear any underwear while they performed it.

 

The Players:

Frank Sinatra

Let’s be real, Frank is pretty much always awesome in musicals. This movie is no exception. He has a ton of songs and they’re all executed beautifully. He has a true gift for delivering lyrics. His character is fun, even though he’s terrified of commitment. That is a common theme of some of his movies, until he finds the right woman {like The Tender Trap and Pal Joey}.

Shirley MacLaine

Now, I’ll be real. I haven’t seen many of her movies. Besides this one, I’ve only seen Some Came Running and The Apartment. I remember enjoying both, but I feel like she really shines in Can-Can. She is honestly, just adorable. She is spunky and fun and a bit crazy.

Maurice Chevalier

There’s a certain charm about Maurice Chevalier. I like his character in this movie slightly more than Gigi, which is the only other movie I’ve seen him in. He’s kind of a dirty old man.. haha. I’m sorry, but “Thank Heaven For Little Girls” from Gigi is a bit strange in my opinion. He does pair well with Louis Jourdan again here as he did in Gigi though. They have a fun chemistry as you can see in the clip below.

Louis Jourdan

As with Chevalier, Gigi is the only other film of Louis Jourdan that I’ve seen, but I really like him in both. He has a very pleasant singing voice as well. He’s also very charismatic and charming in both of these roles.

Why you should check it out:

First and foremost, the music in this movie is great and the actors make it so fun. It’s an enjoyable movie that shows these great actors in a very fun light.

Yoga Journey Continued..

March 8, 2018

women-back-pain-clipart-1

 

Well, unfortunately, I need to take a break from yoga for the next day or two. I seem to have injured my back. Whether it was a direct result of yoga or not, I’m not sure. I do lift and dance with a 28 pound weight {my daughter} often and giving her a bath yesterday seemed to strain it as well. Sigh. I was in a lot of pain last night, but today seems to be better.

I had switched from the fertility yoga DVDs to an app called Down Dog. I did like it for all the options including time, focus or boost as they call it and music choice. The first day was a little too fast for me and you can slow down the pace, but I didn’t. I wonder if that was my mistake. Then yesterday, I did restorative yoga. I was fine during, but then gave my daughter a bath right after and was in achy pain the rest of the day that later turned into sharp pain. I didn’t have that problem when I was doing the 30 day Do You Yoga Challenge and I wonder if I should go back to that. Those workouts were only about 10 minutes. Suffice it to say, I feel like an old lady today with my hand on my lower back. Ha. 33 is the new 80. Just kidding!

Laying low today, rocking some kitty pants and letting the babe watch too much TV. Been a rough week.

Things to do inside with little ones

March 7, 2018

So last week I posted about things to do outside with your kids because it was in the 50’s here for a few days. Well, lo and behold, it snowed again and I’ve got cabin fever HARD, so I thought today I’d feature some things that you can do inside with your littles while you wait for spring to come back. *Shakes fist at Mother Nature*

Things to do inside with little ones:

  1. Dance party!
    While my daughter can dance on her own, she insists that I pick her up and dance with her. While this can be really tiring, it’s also a great workout! Two birds as they say.
  2. Workout together
    My daughter can usually let me workout for about 20 min before she gets irritated and starts climbing all over me. This gives me a little time to do yoga or a quick workout. I also try to get her to do poses with me.
  3. Color
    There are a few different mediums that you can take advantage of here. Crayons, paints, markers.. it all depends on what your child enjoys doing.
  4. Learn
    My daughter has been working on letters for a while. We use a dry erase board to work on letters and numbers. She usually just wants me to draw different things for her, so now before I draw each thing, I’ll write a letter or number and make her tell me what it is before I draw what she wants.
  5. Movies or shows
    These get really old, really fast, but you can use it to break up the day or occupy your child while you load the dishwasher or washer.
  6. Build
    My daughter has mega blocks and this is great fun as well.
  7. Read
    Books are great to break up the day as well.
  8. Clean
    My daughter will “clean” either with a baby wipe or a washcloth. This gives me time to clean around the house as well.
  9. Play in Mom and Dad’s bed.
    She also likes to play in the bed. This is mostly climbing, tickling and playing with her turtle that projects the moon and stars on the ceiling. This is great to get away from the TV and just have some physical play during the day.
  10. Play with pets.
    Another two bird situation is to let the children play together. My daughter and dog will play together for a little bit. Depending on the temperament of your child and the dog, this may or may not work.

With spring just around the corner, it can be irritating to be stuck inside. Make sure to break up the day a bit and you will both have more fun!

Keto Mocha Donuts Review

March 6, 2018

Since I’m too big of a fan of donuts, I thought I would give a keto recipe a try. I’m already pretty acclimated to a low sugar diet, so I’m used to using erythritol in different recipes. I used a recipe I found on ketogenic.com, but I did change the stevia to erythritol. I know stevia is notoriously sweet, but I did use the same amount of erythritol instead of increasing it. In my opinion, it was enough. I’m wary of using too much erythritol because too much of it bothers my stomach. I tend to err on the conservative side in this case.

 

Ingredients:

5 tablespoons of coconut flour
1/4 cup of granulated stevia (I used erythritol instead}
1 tablespoon of unsweetened cocoa powder
3 whole large eggs
1 tablespoon of instant coffee
1 tablespoon of melted coconut oil
1/4 cup of water
1/4 cup of unsweetened almond milk
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
1 teaspoon of baking powder
Pinch of pink salt {I forgot to add the salt}

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Mix water and instant coffee, leave aside.
  3. Add the eggs to the dry ingredients and whisk, continue by adding the remaining of the liquid ingredients continue mixing until you have an homogeneous batter.
    Notes: I had an issue here because the batter collects in the whisk when doing the eggs. Once the other liquids were added, this was resolved.
  4.  Grease donut pan.
    Notes: I just used Pam this time, but if you want to up the fat content, you could use coconut oil.
  5.  Pour the batter evenly into the donut tins and bake from 15 to 18 min.
    Notes: I only have a 6 donut pan, so instead of it making 9 like the recipe calls for, I fit it into 6. This also upped my carb numbers quite a bit. The 18 minutes was still enough time to get them done.
    20180219_090047
  6.  You can check if donuts are ready by sticking a wooden stick, if it comes out clean they are ready.
    20180219_092058
  7. Once they are ready bring the out and let them cool for a little before unmolding.
    Notes: For extra decoration and flavor, I used 15 of Lily’s sugar-free chocolate chips per donut.

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Other notes/reactions:
I was a bit disappointed that when I added the recipe into MyFitnessPal, it came back with about 12 carbs per donut. The majority of this was from the coconut flour and due to the fact that my donuts were bigger. I’ll need to double-check it though, because this is still higher than what Ketogenic has for carbs per donut. {2.7 carbs}

That said, these donuts are delicious. They are pretty moist and as long as you don’t overindulge, you can still fit them into your macros.