Sunday, January 13, 2013

This Week In Pictures~ And Some Movie and Book Opinions

This past week was a little low key for me. I enjoy getting back into town and my calendar is blank for a time. The highlight of last week was my cooking class here. Below are just a couple more pictures from the week. 

Airlines based in America really NEED to come to Asia to learn about customer service! We flew back from Seoul on Asiana Air and they have a line for "Happy Mom Service" and "Pre Mom Service". That is just the beginning! The flight attendants actually enjoy serving the passengers! Who knew?

Goodbye Christmastime :( I'm already counting down to next Christmas!

Blast from the past. We brought back Jiffy Pop from the states.
It was fun for the first five minutes...not the best tasting popcorn. 

Laundry from the trip! After day four I was finally done.
I miss my full size washer and dryer so much.

It has been super cold here in the mornings!
I have been walking to the gym every morning after the kids get on the bus. 

Bundled up for the gym.

We had broken all of our mugs, among other things, in this tiny kitchen.
 I have seen these mugs all over the world and I regret not picking them up in other cities. I have really loved herbal tea in the cold afternoons lately and this was the perfect solution to drinking hot chocolate and tea out of bowls.  

I am sure you have heard that Beijing has had "off the index" bad air quality lately! This is 7:30 am and you cannot see the buildings. Yuck!

Jupiter's favorite thing to do is watch the birds in our lobby. He can sit and watch all day long if I let him. I wonder what is going through his head. Perhaps it is "how can I get at those tasty treats".

Lunch from a back of a bike anyone? This contraption has hot coals inside the compartment that is heating the hot plate on top of the cart. 

It is dangerous how many restaurants deliver here! This is our McDonald's menu. Did you know you can get a single McFlurry delivered, in less that thirty minutes, to your door for under $3? Not that I have ever done that, I swear!

Saturday night dinner out with friends.
Pizza at Kro's Nest and dessert at Dairy Queen!

Just Because!

Before we left on our trip we took some items to Golden Five Star market to get framed. Our friends picked them up for us as we were on our trip. This is all the custom framing we got for less than $100 USD! Can you tell which are for hubby and which are mine?
I really, really love giving my opinion! As a matter of fact I get a thrill when I give a review on TripAdvisor, Goodreads and even when I used to get phone call surveys back home. Kinda weird I know! But lately I have had the urge to give some opinions on books and movies I've seen over the last several weeks. I'd love to hear your opinions too!
Les Mis- I've only seen the first half (technical difficulties), but so far I really like it. I had heard lots of criticism about acting and singing but I am okay with it all so far. It is such a great story, I am not picky...although Anne Hathaway's non-prettiness was a bit distracting to me. On another rant, it is really bugging me when "big name actors" are only being cast because of their about you?
Breaking Dawn Part II- Even for someone like me, who held up my fair share of the Twilight Edward bandwagon, it has just dragged on way too long. I am over it. With that being said though, he still makes my heart go pitter pat and the ending montage made me tear up and feel sad that those characters are no longer a part of our lives. On the other hand, Kristen/Bella still makes me twitch with annoyance and that made up for that one tear. I do not like surprises, so I made my sister tell me the BIG SPOILER! I am so glad I did...I would've been really, really taken back. Overall, I enjoyed it somewhat. And kudos to Stephanie Meyer for listening to us and our gripes of anti-climatic endings for the book, changing it as executive producer for the movie. 
Pitch Perfect- I LOVED this movie...the airplane edited version of this movie, that is. Basically, Glee in movie form. My perfect example of a "fun-non-thinking-for ninety-minute-good music" kind of movie. I admit I did buy the soundtrack on iTunes right after. I have a feeling the non-edited version probably wasn't as good though.
Perks of Being A Wallflower- I wish I had seen the airplane edited version (does anyone know if you can see those anywhere besides a plane btw?). Although I am not quite sure they could've taken out certain party scenes that were pertinent to the plot. While I was watching it I felt melancholy, but after it ended I felt it was thoughtful and interesting. Again, not totally loving Emma Watson being cast in her role (big name?) but I thought Logan Lerman was extraordinary! 
Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience and Redemption by Laura Hillenbrand. See my full review click here on Goodreads.  Do not get thrown off thinking this is some war book. Just read it. You will thank me.
The Shoemaker's Wife by Adriana Trigiani. Goodreads review here. One of the best epic love stories I've ever read. A perfect book in my opinion. I dare you to read this book without shedding a tear.
These Is My Words by Nancy E Turner. Goodreads review here. As you can see I have hit a "good book gold mine" lately and our Beijing Book Group is partly credit to that. This book was a book I probably would not have picked up on my own but it was almost life-changing. I say that because it began to help me think of my own survival instincts and will to live through any trial. You will not regret reading this book. Hesitant to read the sequels, though, since this was so good.
A Book of A Thousand Days by Shannon Hale. Goodreads review here. Even though the above books were all outstanding to me, this book has been my recent favorite. It is EVERYTHING a favorite book of mine includes. Shannon Hale has been a favorite author of mine since The Goose Girl and this genre has become a favorite  too. Her writing takes me to a different place that is not scary or eerie like sci-fi, but just as escaping. I really loved this book and will most likely read it again. 
It may seem like I love everything I read but quite the contrast. These are just some outstanding books I've read recently that I just had to share. 
I'd love to hear your opinions and thoughts too! 
Comment below.


lindzie spiller said...

I have been looking for the next good book to read and I am goingto start with the Shoemaker' wife....sounds great. I am totally agreeing with you on the twilight stuff!

lindzie spiller said...

Love the bit about the happy mom line at the airport! What a great idea...and I don't know what it would be like to have flight attendants that actually are nice to you...what a dream!