29 April 2011

The Duke & Duchess of Cambridge

Mallory here.  I was up at 3:30 this morning to watch William and Kate's nuptials.  I was also taking notes for my own (right, Mom?).  One of Britain's best kept secrets was revealed, as Kate stepped out (pictured above) in a gorgeous lace sleeved wedding gown from Alexander McQueen's Sarah Burton.  I think they did the memory of Diana proud.  Did you watch it too? What'd you think about the dress? The kiss(es)?

Photos borrowed from here

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28 April 2011

Quick Hit: Cover of Madden 12

From ArkansasSports360.com
Yesterday it was announced that Arkansas native Peyton Hillis beat out Michael Vick to be on the cover of Madden 12.  We think we may have helped with our Easter Weekend Roundup post.  We thought we'd show you what the cover is expected to look like.

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Coconut + Roses = Milkshake?

It all started with a visit to a local restaurant. Justin is a bit of a cheesecake fiend and generally has a hard time passing it up when it's available. This particular restaurant had a very special variety which involved a pinky swirly sauce drizzled all over it. From my first bite I knew what the flavor reminded me of and you should know everyone I told thought I was crazy with a capital C. The sauce tasted like roses. I found myself drawn back several more times for this rose-sauce covered cheesecake before finally being asked my the chef one night how I liked the cheesecake. "Oh, I loved it," I gushed, "Everyone thinks I'm nuts but the sauce tastes like roses!"

Do you know what his response was? "Oh, yeah it has rosewater in it." (!) Rosewater! Who knew such a thing existed? A couple of months later I ran across a recipe online for a Rose and coconut milkshake and now I'm passing the idea along. It's a lot like an extract, so a little goes a looooong way. It's also not the easiest ingredient to track down (I tried three grocery stores before I found it), but definitely worth the effort. A few rose petals as a garnish make it pretty enough to serve your mom for Mother's Day!

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27 April 2011

BREAKING: Brand New Trailer for Final Harry Potter

Wasn't that a creepy weird take on the theme music at the beginning?  This is our most anticipated film of the summer.  Just last month we showed you the first poster of what promises to be the most epic of all the Harry Potter films.  Let us know what you think of the trailer and if you're as psyched as we are!

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Trailer for A Visually Stunning Feast

This fall, 11-11-11 to be exact, the new film from visionary director Tarsem Singh will be released.  Immortals tells a story about the Greek gods, and looks to be a much better film than last years disaster Clash of the Titans.  Singh's previous films are The Cell and The Fall both which are some of the most visually fantastic films of the past decade.  Also if you're too busy to watch all four seasons of The Tudors this will give you an opportunity to meet the brand new Man of Steel, Henry Cavill.  It also stars Freida Pinto and Mickey Rourke and is produced by the people who brought us 300.  Click here to watch the trailer in HD at Apple.

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In Which We Anticipate the Royal Wedding

Would we be a pop culture blog if we didn't at least mention the upcoming nuptials of William and Kate? Mallory here, and I'm pretty sure there's STILL a poster of a young Wills hanging in my bedroom closet at my parents house. I mean, this is the guy we named our English Springer Spaniel after (may Willy rest in peace). Believe me, it's not just teen girls who are all fired up about the second biggest event of the year (the first being the Royal Wedding of Justin and Mallory in October). Plenty of businesses, European and American alike, are working to capitalize on these oh-so-special "I dos." Below is a small sampling of some of the products thave have come out in anticipation of April 29th.

With all the talk about the engagement ring- it was Diana's after all- how could the makers of Ring Pop not come out with a special Royal edition? It does have a downside though. This stone, much like the original it's modeled after, is not edible. Where's the fun in that?

Perhaps you're so devistated over Will's (or Kate's for that matter) imminent "off-the-market-for-good" relationship status that you won't be able to make it though the ceremony without a drink. Head over to the Santa Barbara Four Seasons for one of these yummy Kate inspired cocktails. You can choose between the Middletini and the Blushing Kate. Here's to 3 A.M. cocktails...

Had more than you can handle of these two? Or their namesake cocktails? Graphics designer Lydia Leith is one step ahead of you. Aim that royalty-induced-vomit into one of these Royal Wedding Sick Bags. They also come in blue and red in case you're not a fan of the aristocratic purple and gold.

Ok, there was one more product that my research turned up that I'm too much of a lady to post, but is too absurd not to at least link to...

Aaand your officially and royally set! See you at 3 A.M. Friday morning!

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25 April 2011

Easter Weekend Roundup


We really hope everyone had a wonderful Easter weekend filled with lots of egg dying, family time and biting the heads off chocolate bunnies! Just because it was a holiday weekend doesn't mean some interesting pop culture happenings didn't go down. Here's a quick rundown of some that we thought were especially relevant...

Sean Hunter: Dungeon Master?

You watched Boy Meets World as a child. This is a given. If you're a girl, you probably had a crush on Rider Strong, the actor behind the slightly mischevious but ever-loyal best friend, Sean Hunter. What you may not have known is that this 90s heartthrob was, to put it lightly, a nerd. He and his brother we so much into Dungeons and Dragons that, years later, it inspired a comedy short film called "Dungeon Master" which premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival over the weekend. Strong's thoughts on the film? "It's totally a true story." Should be interesting.

Photo borrowed from CNN

Notes from American Royalty

If you've got an extra $25-$35k sitting around (and Mallory TOTALLY wishes she did for this), why not use it to buy (Mallory) some letters written by a teenage Jackie O, penned in her Bouvier days? Notes about young love, and eventually a lack thereof, written by the 17 year-old to her Harvard boyfriend will be auctioned off by Christie's.

Logo borrowed from here
 Down to the Wire

Arkansas' very own Peyton Hillis is going head to head with Michael Vick. Less in a dog-fighting sort of way and more in a vote-for-me kind of way. These two made it to the finals in Madden's '12 Cover Vote. Click here to vote!

  A Letter to You, Pumpkins

Today is the first day of production on The Avengers.  You know that giant super hero film that comes out next summer that we keep mentioning in our posts about Thor and Captain America?  The one that includes the movies Iron Man 1 & 2 and The Incredible Hulk?  And just this weekend there was some last minute filming for Captain America in the middle of Time's Square.  Here's a letter to the fans from the director of The Avengers, Joss Whedon.

Hi Pumpkins, joss here.
Tomorrow we start shooting (I THINK I’m legally permitted to say that). Day one. That’s right. We’ll be shooting the pivotal death/betrayal/product placement/setting up the sequel/coming out scene, at the following address:
[Marvel Lawyers rush in, take Joss's keyboard, blowtorch a picture of his family like in "Stormy Monday", drink his milkshake, leave the seat up, fluff his pillows, violently unfluff his pillows, leave]
Went too far. My bad. Anyhoo, it should be a fun day, followed by the eighty thousand other fun days it will take to finish this. I’ll be checking in from time to time, if there’s news or I crave attention (i.e. am awake) . None of it will be Avengers news — I have some very denty pillows to remind of that — but I may have tidbits. (They’re not about Firefly. I should say that up front, if only to protect Sis Mo from the HATORZ.)…
…So wish me luck. DO IT! LUCK! NOW! I’m off to finish some Buffy pages, and then figure out what the movie is about already. I’m pretty sure it’s about the Justice League [Marvel Lawyers re-enter, unspeakability occurs] or possibly something else. I’ll get it. I’ve been looking forward to this. For about 46 years.

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A Green Acres Easter

We spend the Saturday of our Easter weekend on this guy's family farm.

Let it be known that I have never, NOT ONCE,  been mistaken for a farm girl or cowgirl of any sort. In fact, on my last visit to said farm I was was the butt of more than one joke because I didn't think anything of wearing a pair of silver snakeskin wedges (I totally made it all day in those beauties too). Apparently this is not kosher farm footwear.

This time I came prepared, sporting something a bit more appropriate. And it was lucky for me that I did because I stepped in more than one "present" left behind by the cows. But at least I wasn't eating them like someone else, who shall remain nameless...

"Who, me?"
On this visit I donned a pair of black and white cowboy boots, skinnies, a classic black shirt and (only because I couldn't find a stetson tie in time) finished the look off with a pearl necklace to girly it up a bit. I still managed to get laughed at...

P.S. - A baby calf was born while we were there and we got to see it take it's first steps. Amazing!

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22 April 2011

Faith and Weight Loss

Justin here. Every year many Christians recognize the season of Lent that leads up to Easter. As most know it generally involves some sort of sacrifice on part of the practitioner (for more information on Lent click here).  Being Methodist I try to make an effort to sacrifice something every year (Mallory grew up Baptist so she's off the hook).  Last year I sacrificed all carbonated beverages, and even after Easter I rarely drank them, and beginning this year I gave up all carbonated soft drinks, with the exception of the lightly carbonated Monster energy drink.

This year for Lent I decided that I wanted to do something more difficult as a test of myself and my convictions.  I did something similar that actually brought me a lot of laughter in high school when I decided to give up socks, but I did have serious reasons for doing so believe it or not.  Anyway this year I decided to give up half of everything I eat.  Yes half.  I'll explain...

The picture above is from the weekend of my Birthday, November 15th.  I hadn't lost much weight ( if any) from then until Ash Wednesday.  Anyway So I decided to cut out half of my food.  I didn't want to be wasteful though, so instead of throwing out half of a meal I would save the other half and make it be my next lunch or dinner.  So if I ordered something at a restaurant I would begin by cutting the portion in half, giving myself a definite line where I would stop eating.  Often the server would ask me if everything was okay with my meal. They're so used to seeing people clean their plates, regardless of how large the portion is, that my  still-half-full plate confused them.

This has done two things.  It's spread my paycheck out further and required me to go to the grocery store about half the time.  Say I wanted a snack.  I'd often eat a granola bar mid morning or mid afternoon, but now I'd eat half of it in the morning and save the other half for that afternoon.  The incredible thing is that by doing all of this I haven't felt constantly hungry as some would think which I feel was helped by my faith as well as the actual nutritional science behind it.  I haven't turned into a devout anorexic, I'm still getting about 1200 calories a day.  When I eat out I'm most likely NOW getting the recommended daily portion for that meal.

As of this writing (Thursday April 21st, 3 days before Easter)  I've lost nearly twenty pounds.  People from my mother to my friends have asked me if I will continue this practice past Easter.  Probably so, I might modify it slightly to make sure I am eating healthier foods in general, but I over the past 43 days I've had actual desert items like Salted Caramel Ice Cream. The thing is I ate the recommended amount, not the giant bowls I'd normally want.  It's amazing how much better I feel in general, lighter even.  I've started exercising and it seems easier than it was before.  I hope to get down to 175lbs by the end of the summer, which is my doctors recommended weight for me.  I started the year at 235lbs.  Today I'm at 215.  If I was smart I'd start marketing my amazing diet plan.  The "Justin Nickels Hey, Just Eat Half of That" plan.

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21 April 2011

Art in the Abyss

I will never cease to be amazed by the places people can find to make art. For true creatives, it honestly is all around. I've noticed a few artists lately who make it out of, quite literally, nothing (ok, discarded pencil stubs in one case, which might as well be nothing). Like, there used to be a hole there and now it's filled with art. Let me show you what I mean...

British artist Pete Dungey fills potholes in British roads with gardens.

Photos borrowed from here
Speaking of potholes, artist Juliana Santacruz Herrera fills those found in Parisian streets with beautifully colored, braided yarn.

Photos borrowed from here
Photographers Claudia Ficca and Davide Luciano have taken a much different approach to potholes, creating entire scenes around them and then photographing the scenes.

Photos borrowed from here
Tired of potholes? Me too. German artist Jan Vormann has become vigilant about repairing cracked walls. His medium of choice? Legos. More here.

Photos borrowed from here
Now for those pencil stubs I promised you. Dalton Getty makes tiny sculptures in the lead of pencils. Without a magnifying glass. Be prepared to be stunned.

Photos borrowed from here
What do you think? There's some pretty crazy stuff and super talented people out there. Have you come across any awesome conceptual art that we missed?

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I want it all...

...and to borrow the wise words of Freddy Mercury, "And I want it now!" Mallory here and I've got to admit I'm a bit behind on updating my wardrobe for Spring. There are a few essentials that are simply M.I.A. in my c-l-o-s-e-t. Here are a few things I'm currently coveting for the transition from Spring to Summer '11.

1. Ruffled Silk Playsuit {$254} available here
2. "The Summer Dress" {$150} available here
3. Tiered A-Line Skirt ($19.80} available here
4. Ebony Rose Frilled Bikini {$205} available here
5. Crosshatch Chambray Shirt {$78} available here
6. Pleated Silk-Satin Maxi Skirt {$555} available here
7. Mini Ruffle Short {$42) available here

What do you think? Is your wardrobe Summer '11-friendly? If not, what are you eyeing that would complete the seasonal changeover?

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19 April 2011

Simple Safari

My safari-like outfit inspired Keela and me to have a little adventure yesterday. I'm lucky enough to live within walking distance of the river and she was lucky enough to cast her eyes upon her first boat. While the outfit inspired the adventure, a pair of pink floral sandals inspired the outfit. As excited as I was to don this new dainty footwear, I couldn't bring myself to pair them with anything too soft or feminine so as not to produce a girly overload. Instead I enlisted the aid of some cargo skinnies, a billowy button-down and a multi-colored stone necklace. Keela approved.

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