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Movie Musings: Blue Drive Marilyn

The Blue Valentine stars in two very different movies.

A film I worked on last year, Blue Valentine, was the most compelling and heart-wrenching film I've seen in a long, long time.  Michelle Williams and Ryan Gosling are a beautiful, young couple who get married too young and too quickly but they are so completely in love with eachother that it's possibly the most romantic thing you've seen.  

Flitting between the past and present day where the passage of time has made Dean (Gosling) that little bit chubbier (but still strangely sexy) and Cindy (Williams) a lot more tired and frustrated, the contrast between the love they once shared and what has resulted in the complete and utter breakdown of their relationship will possibly crush the hopeless romantic in you.  

Don't watch this with your significant other (you'll only want to pick a fight afterwards) and don't let it get you down on relationships.  Although, this film may make you feel that relationships are completey futile endeavors, they really are NOT.  The pitch-perfect, finely tuned performances make this a very unique experience.  You'll be thinking about it for weeks to come...

Drive has the same pondering sombre-ness of Blue Valentine.  It's nothing like it in terms of subject matter (in honesty, it doesn't really have much of a subject matter).  But it's dark, it's beautifully shot, Ryan is fabulous in it and it's got one killer soundtrack.  Don't watch if you don't have a strong stomach as it gets unexpectedly violent at times.  But seriously, this is one AWESOME soundtrack.  Straight out of the early 90s.  Have a listen.

Keeping up with My Week with Marilyn, check out the latest poster.  Doesn't Michelle look fabulous again?!  The film has Oscar written all over it.


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Sweet Treats Saturday

 It's my new thing!

One of my favourite things to do in the whole wide world is grab a cup of steaming hot hazelnut coffee or in this case, a homemade pumpkin spice latte as seen here, and spend a Saturday discovering new blogs. Here are my precious finds this week:


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Pretty in Pink

All things pink and wearable this week.


Buy it here


Buy it here


Buy it here


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Maria Loves...Pillow Pancakes and Clients from Hell

My treats for you this week.

* Wouldn't you love to have a giant-sized stack of fluffy pancakes to lounge in? Well, now you can with these Buttered Pancake Floor Pillows.  All the fun without the calories.

Get 'em while they're hot!

* I've mentioned before how I've been daydreaming about moving to Denmark (ie. the happiest city in the world), right?  Well, Stylist magazine are totally backing me on this with their feature 'Time to Start Thinking About Moving to the NORCs*?' (Northern Rim Countries). 

* This is actually hilarious. And totally apt for the Halloween season.  Is there anything funnier than watching people get scared sh*tless?

* H&M is launching a new Girl With a Dragoon Tattoo fashion range.  Genius movie marketing or just plain silly?

* If you've ever worked for an agency then the boundlessly hilarious Clients from Hell will definitely speak to you.  If you're more of a client, then take notes!

* I suspect I may be a little late to the game with this one but have you SEEN Take This Lollipop?! Creep-o-rama.

Pencil Head by Qwaqa via Brandflakes For Breakfast 

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Lovers. Not Fighters.

The battle was lost...but the war is far from over.

Remember how I posted about loving the Wonderful Outdoors.  Well, I got my most recent fix this weekend when a big group of us went paintballing.  It was a heck of a lot of fun but boy, are my thighs and glutes paying for it today.  I was a terrible shot and managed to get 'killed' in every game but one.

Seriously, though it was mega cool and with everything I seem to be doing outdoors these days, I would thoroughly recommend it.

I think I might also buy a bike today. So excited! 

Is there anything you've been doing in the outdoors lately that you would recommend?


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Movie Musings: Midnight in Paris

Whimsy. Beauty.  Humour. An absolute delight!

If you're looking for something to watch at the movies this weekend can I thoroughly recommend Woody Allen's Midnight in Paris?  It is positively wonderful! 

Owen Wilson plays successful Hollywood screenwriter to Rachel McAdams spoilt fiancee.   On a trip to Paris with the in-laws he discovers that he longs to pursue a more meaningful existence: that of the life of a struggling artist.  Throw in a clock striking twelve at midnight and the subsequent appearance of a mysterious vintage car and you've got the makings of a modern-day fairytale.

I don't want to say too much, but I find this film is completely out of character for Allen.  And I mean this in a good way!  It takes you on the most wonderful  ride through the streets of beautiful Paris in modern day, right through to the flapping 20s and even the Belle Epoque.  And through the whole thing, you'll be playing spot the cameo.  It plays like a who's who of the early 20th century creative scene.  It's like you've just been invited to the best party in Paris hosted by the Fitzgeralds, with Hemingway, Dali, Stein and Picasso all making an appearance.  You don't know where you'll be taken next! It's a real adventure and I couldn't stop staring with my mouth embarassingly agape the whole time (I guess it didn't help that we were watching from the front row).

It's a truly magical film and the best thing about it is the positively gorgeous way in which Paris is presented.   Although it's obvious that there is quite an overt message being blasted out at us towards the end, about living in the moment and being careful not to wish for things that can't happen, you'll really only be thinking about when you can get the next plane out to gay Paris!


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Pinkoween Friday

Happy Weekend!

It's been yonks since we had some pink love in these parts.  This Pink Friday is dedicated to Breast Cancer Awareness and Halloween.




Susan G. Komen: For The Cure



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Love & Marriage & Babies

When. How. Why.

As many of you know, the hubby and I got married this past August.  It was a glorious day!  Our move to Greece from London was a huge factor in having the wedding we (maybe I?) really wanted and to also start thinking about settling down and having a family (in hindsight, this looks like it may not have been the best of ideas but that's a story for another time).

We haven't taken our honeymoon yet partly because we have just started new jobs and partly because of lack of money so we're planning to do this in March.  My freelance job ends in February so once the honeymoon is over in March, anything could happen!  Whilst we're talking about moving to another country in this time I'm also secretly thinking this might be a good time to start thinking about starting a family.  Despite the fact that we don't know what country we'll be in, that we don't have a home of our own and that I don't have a full-time job!

My question to you is: how long after your wedding did you wait until you started thinking about babies?  How "settled" were you when you finally did decide to take the plunge?

I'm worried that the future seems so uncertain right now.  The only thing I AM certain about is that I want to have children quite soon.

I'm troubled.  Just like this baby.  Found on Pinterest.


To Do or Not To Do

That is the question.

I like making lists. No. I LOVE making lists. And over the years I've collected magazine articles on the best way to make lists.  Below are some tips and finds I came across in PSYCHOLOGIES magazine where Oliver Burkeman writes about the classic self-help book David Allen's Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity aka the GTD method.

Key quote:  'There are more meaningful things than your in-basket, but if your management of that level is not as efficient as it could be, it's like trying to swim in baggy clothing"

1.  Get it out of your head. Write down every 'to do' in your life in one notebook or computer file, with 'waiting fors' - responses you expect - and even a 'someday/maybe' list of things you might like to do.  Once it's all there, your mind can stop stressing about keeping track, as it'll you know it can check what Allen calls a 'trusted system'.

2.  Ask yourself 'what's the next action?'.  Too many things don't get done because we don't clarify the next step.  Whether it's as daunting as 'save my marriage' or as dull as 'tidy the attic', neither is a physical action you can really do.  But 'find marriage counsellor' or 'get boxes' both are.  Think what you can do now.

3.  Follow the two-minute rule.  You'll save yourself a lot of hassle if you cultivate the habit of immediately doing any new, 'incoming' task that can be done in under two minutes.  We often fret for days about 'to dos' that actually take no time at all.  Need to make a doctor's appointment, just pick up the phone.

The best tip for me is whatever can be done in less than 5-minutes just do it now.  You'll actually have something to tick of your list and you'll feel SO much better for not having to worry about it.



Why I Love Film Festivals

Apart from all the MOVIES!

The London Film Festival is currently in full swing.  And while I get to take a backseat working from Greece, I also get to watch my colleagues in the UK indulge in stroppy talent-handling and late boozy nights with journalists.  I've been to opening nights, closing nights, gala screenings, you name it, several times now and I never fail to fall in love that little bit more with film festivals.

They do a fantastic job of bringing what would otherwise be considered unknown films to interested audiences. And not only that, but when the film festivals are successful and they acquire enough media attention then they could really do a lot for a country's/city's image.  Take this article in last month's Guardian in the UK on the Athens Film Festival.  It's a really positive piece on a city trying to make the best of a very bad situation.  I'm so glad to see that amidst all the bad press that the international media also sees some positive things coming out of this country.  

I encourage each and everyone of you to find a film festival near you and buy tickets for a film you would never normally see.  Be adventurous, widen your horizons and you might have a whole new enjoyable experience.  You may even learn something new!  Loads of festivals have writers, directors, producers and actors in attendance after the film screenings to take part in Question & Answer sessions.  These are a lot of fun and a great opportunity to meet and engage with people with which you wouldn't normally have the chance.  Film festivals are a great thing and we, as audience members, should support them.

For an essential guide to the film festival and films you shouldn't miss, take a look at this Daily Telegraph article.

Some of the films at the London Film Festival that are getting me excited.

Carnage by Roman Polanski

Jane Eyre by Cary Fukunaga

Martha Marcy May Marlene by Sean Durkin

Shame by Steve McQueen

We Need to Talk About Kevin by Lynne Ramsay


Yum Yum: Putanesca Pasta

Upping my wifely duties once more.

Pasta Putanesca a la this recipe on The Food Network.  Yum. Yum.  It's basically anchovies (even though I used tuna), tomato sauce and olives.  Add juice of a whole lemon, lots of garlic and dashes of tobasco sauce.  It'll make it just the right amount of tangy and spicy. 

It's so quick too! I had it all served up within 30 mins.  Perfect meal to make out of what's left in your cupboard.

Serve it up with some garlic bread and you're golden.



How-to: Install CommentLuv on Blogger

Today is a happy day!

I know lots of Blogger users have had issues with the fact that the comments section of the blogging platform is a) completely unnoticeable and b) does not allow for a real and engaging interaction with your readers.  

A while back, I noticed the CommentLuv widget on many blogs I read, most notably the SITS Girls blog, and I really love how easy it makes commenting and how it truly shares the love by allowing commenters to link back to their most recent post.  For a long while, I've been determined to add this feature to my blog and after many failed attempts, I've finally done it!  Thanks to the help of this great tutorial.

If you're using the new Blogger interface,  I found that the following steps really helped me:

1.  Temporarily switch back to the old interface - you won't lose anything!
2.  Follow the installation steps provided in the tutorial here.
3.  Save all of your settings.
4.  Sign out of Blogger.  The sign back in.
5.  Write out a 'Test' post to make sure you've installed correctly. Then preview it.
6.  Voila! You should see your brand spanking new CommentLuv widget ready for action.

How about you leave me some CommentLuv to celebrate what I consider to be a significant achievement today!


Our Wedding


I am SO excited about this! I am giddy as giddy can be! I hope you don't mind that I'm going to take this opportunity to completely geek out over our wedding.  Over the past two days we received our professional pics as well as our wedding trailer - and I LOVE THEM ALL!  The wedding trailer has got to be my favourite thing in the whole wide world.  And none of it would have been possible without the amazing Anna Roussos and her photography/videography team.

I've watched the wedding trailer at least 3 times a day since I got it and I bawl my eyes out every time.

Thank you SO much Anna - You've made our day completely unforgettable!