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Thursday, January 31, 2013

Old Movie Review: To Have and Have Not

I love classic Hollywood films! TCM is the only channel I know how to find above Channel 13 and I'm always searching their schedule for something good to watch! Not a lot of people my age are interested in older films, so I thought, why not review a few?

For my first go, I decided on To Have and Have Not, starring Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall. It's one of those movies with lines that you have probably heard yet never actually watched the movie. The film was released in 1944. From what I understand it is only loosely based on the book by Ernest Hemingway and modeled to be more like Bogart's hit film, Casablanca.

The film is set in Fort de France, Martinique, under the Vichy regime in the summer of 1940, shortly after the fall of France. World-weary fishing-boat captain Harry Morgan (Bogart) is asked to help the French Resistance smuggle some people onto the island. He refuses, until the dude who owes him $825, is shot before paying him. Now broke, Harry eventually gives in to Frenchy's, the owner of the hotel he lives at, request and smuggles a couple over on his boat.
Meanwhile, Harry begins a flirtation with an American wanderer (Bacall) who he nicknames, "Slim" who in turn calls him "Steve."
After picking up the husband and wife resistance team, Harry is spotted by a patrol boat, and the man, Paul, is wounded before they escape. Harry is again asked to assist the resistance, meanwhile the police recognized Harry's boat the previous night, and they take his alcoholic buddy, Eddie, in custody in effort to get him to confess.

I won't spoil the ending, I'll let you watch it. I had to watch it twice to understand what was going on at first, mostly because I wasn't familiar with politics happening in that time period. This was Lauren Bacalls first film. She was 19 if you can believe it! She and Humphrey Bogart had excellent chemistry and developed a real life romance that led to marriage.
Famous Movie Line: "You know how to whistle, don't you, Steve? You just put your lips together and... blow." - Marie "Slim" Browning.

xo ~ Shera

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Happy National Pie Day!

In honor of the occasion I made a strawberry and cream pie for the first time!

I got this recipie from my mom! I'm not actually sure where it came from though

-  pie crust of your choosing
- 8 oz. cream cheese, softened 
- 1/3 cup sugar 
- 2 tablespoons milk 
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 
- 1 package of fresh strawberries

- Bake desired piecrust according to directions and set it aside to cool.
- In a mixing bowl, beat together cream cheese, sugar, milk and vanilla extract until smooth. 
- Spoon the filling into the cooled piecrust, spreading it evenly in the shell. 
- Arrange the strawberries, bottoms up, on top of the filling.
-Chill for 1 hour before serving.

I also plan on watching a marathon of my favorite show ever, Pushing Daisies to top off my day!

xo ~ Shera

Nerdy Wordy Wednesday

xo ~ Shera

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Adventures in Blending: Fruity Frozen Yogurt

What you need:
- A blender (I used my magic bullet!)
- Plain Greek yogurt
- Agave Nectar or Raw Honey
- Frozen fruit of your choosing
What you do:
(I don't have exact measurements, this is all just to taste)
-Put in the blender about 1/3 yogurt, 2/3 frozen fruit.
-Depending on how much you make, squirt in a little agave nectar. I use about two teaspoons for a personal serving but its all about how sweet you prefer it.
- Blend until smooth!
- After making necessary taste-tests to insure your fruity frozen yogurt tickles your taste-buds, scoop out into a little dish and place in the freezer for a little while.
- Top with whipped cream and garnish with blueberries!
These are simple and easy and quick! So far I've tried Peach, Strawberry, Raspberry, Mixed berry, Strawberry and Banana, and Strawberry and Pineapple!
As my grandpa used to say, "Delicious, Nutritious!" Hope you enjoy!
xo ~ Shera

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Calendar time

I'll admit it, I could not decide on a calendar. I obviously need to work on my indecisiveness and my problem of over thinking things.

However, instead of buying a calendar, I decided to make one. I used to always make my own when I was little. This time it was mostly because I had given up on my calendar quest. But now that I've started on it, I'm really excited with the new prospect of it. It's certainly good for my creativity. I'm hoping that I don't lose all creative initiative this semester like I did last semester and the one before that and the one before that.

Here is my calendar for January. It's of my own little design, just something that makes me smile :)

Hope you like it!

xo - Shera

Friday, January 18, 2013

Adventures in Baking: Cheesy Bacon Potato Slices

Cheesy Bacon Potato Slices

What you need:
-1 large potato, sliced
- baking pan
- a bag of shredded cheese
- salt & pepper
- 3 slices of bacon (unless you want more!)

- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- Bring salted water to a boil with the sliced potatoes inside. Cover for 5 minutes.
- Drain, and transfer slices to a paper-towel and gently pat to dry.
- Arrange potato slices on a greased pan (I used a sheet of parchment paper so I didn't have to grease the pan)
- Sprinkle with salt & pepper to taste.
- Sprinkle on the bacon bits and shredded cheese.
- Bake 12-14 minutes in preheated oven until cheese is melted & bubbly.

I've seen these things floating around on Pinterest lately and decided to give them a try! They are really tasty and would probably go great with almost any meal!
Hope you enjoy!
xo ~ Shera

Thursday, January 17, 2013

New Etsy Items!

I've been working pretty hard and experimenting a lot this holiday season and I am so very excited to announce that my new items are up! With more (hopefully soon) to follow! A special thanks goes to my gorgeous friend Taylor for being my model!

There was a surprise snowfall that day which made for lovely pictures! I feel pretty lucky :)
Please stop by for a visit!
xo ~ Shera

Friday, January 11, 2013

Birthday time

So Saturday was my birthday, and contrary to prior thought, there was no magical transformation where my youth was sucked out of me. I think that might actually be a gradual process.
Every year I have a little birthday tradition, I wake up and eat bacon and coffee (and whatever else is prepared for breakfast,) then go shopping with my Mom using the Christmas money and gift cards I acquired over the holiday, and eventually I go out to dinner with just my parents to a restaurant of my choosing. This year, we went back to Scrumbtious, a little burger and pie place in Mesquite that is absolutely delicious! Their pieshakes are incredible! I wish I got pictures...

I also squeeze in a little movie time during the day. This year I picked Paris When it Sizzles, because Audrey Hepburn is and will always be my favorite.

I had a wonderful time shopping, here is a peek at my treasures:

My family is notorious for being last minute shoppers and late gift givers, so I haven't received any actual presents yet, but my brother did give me $7 in cash so I could "buy my own gift." At least he promised to wrap it. I haven't had a birthday party or cake yet, but hopefully that will be soon when everyone can get together!
xo ~ Shera

Christmas snapshots

I know its a tad late but blogger was not letting me upload photos from my computer. Anyway, here are a few snapshots from my Christmas!

First we had Christmas with part of the family on Christmas Eve...
"I got lots of presents for Christmas but none as fun as these sticks!"
No Christmas or family gathering would be complete without shooting a gun...
"Hey Dad, I think we forgot something..."

Now onto Christmas day!

I made a Chocolate Buttermilk Cake! It had a nutella center and tasted absolutely amazing!

I also made Cherry Pie!

I'm dreaming of a White Christmas!

It snowed on Christmas for the first time in my entire life....and my parents lives...and probably plenty of other people too!

Not to many people are prepared for this kind of weather in Texas.

Traditional Christmas movie! (Also White Christmas!)

Poor Finn was devastated when we took down the tree. He thought we bought it just for him ;)

Santa brought me some fancy-pants water color pencils!
And that's all! Among my favorite presents was also a Magic Bullet from my Dad! I feel so grown up now ;)
I had an incredibly blessed Christmas this year and I wish that you did too!
xo ~ Shera

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Nerdy Wordy Wednesday

xo ~ Shera

New Years Resolutions?

It's 2013 already! I'm having a hard time believing it is already a new year. It feels like 2012 just flew by, but I suppose that's because I'm getting older and now the years seem shorter than I remember. My birthday will be here in three days and while I am excited about having a day of my own, I dread getting older. It's a little daunting to think that I will soon no longer be a teenager. Maybe it's immature of me, but I hate getting older.
Growing up is not really what I planned to blog about though, instead I wanted to talk about resolutions. I'm not sure how many of you made them. I myself started to seriously make one last year for the first time. Last year my resolution was simple, yet at the same time kind of a big deal for me. It was to "be happier." I wasn't in the best place at that time. I was depressed and I had been for a while. It's uncomfortable for me to share that, especially on the Internet, but I felt like I needed to. For part of my personal growth and blah. But I can say now that I am a much happier person this year, even if I am today feeling tired, stressed, and cranky. Ever since I started trying to be happy, to do things for myself, my life has really changed. But this year I've decided to turn it around.
I wasn't really thinking about making a new years resolution, it just kind of came to me. I was watching It's a Wonderful Life from Christmas Eve and I just started thinking about how George Bailey sacrificed so much of his dreams for others without expecting anything in return. He never realized how much his little actions had been a blessing to others until he makes the fateful wish that thousands of holiday tv show episodes and lifetime movies now spoof. It's not until after Clarence shows him what Bedford Falls would be like if he had never been born that George realizes what an impact he really made.
As Clarence tells him, "No man is a failure who as friends." That's what got me thinking, what kind of a friend am I? Last year my resolution was about making myself better, but this year my resolution is about others. This year I've decided my resolution will be to, "be a blessing to others."
Humans are selfish, everyone knows this. But that doesn't mean we can't do selfless and wonderful things. God taught us this when he did well, everything. When he created life, when he gave us eternal life and when he gives us life each day. I don't want to spend everyday thinking only of me. I want to wake up in the morning and think, "how can I bless someone today? How can I make their life a smidgen better?" I don't want to be expecting something in return.

As we move forward into this new year, I have plenty of hopes, plans, and dreams. But I don't want to loose sight of this viewpoint now. It's not something can that be planned or measured, it's simply a change of focus, a change of thought. I wish you all the best in your resolutions!

Oh, and Happy New Year!
xo ~ Shera
image via imdb