Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Travel: Museum of Pop Culture in Seattle, Washington

The MoPOP building is mesmerizing
Click here for more information on MoPOP

Established in 2000 by Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen, this nonprofit museum is dedicated to contemporary popular culture. Housed in building that is a modern work of art in itself, the Museum of Pop Culture (MoPOP) is accessible to everyone, especially those who aren’t “into” traditional museums.

Music play a large role in this museum- Upon entering, visitors are immediately greeted by a tower of guitars. In addition, there’s an extensive musical instrument collection and visitors can make their own recordings. Popular science fiction is another theme here, and when we visited, there was a Star Trek exhibit. For those into films, there’s a MOPOP contains movie memorabilia including costumes, props and scripts.

If you’re in Seattle and want a unique experience, visit the MoPOP!

The tower of guitars is enormous

A recording studio

Costumes from the Star Trek exhibit

Dorothy's costume from The Wizard of Oz

Monday, May 29, 2017

Movie Review: “Alien: Covenant”

Alien: Covenant
Rated R

Alien: Covenant is the second in a trilogy of the Alien prequels and begins 10 years after Prometheus ends. Covenant, a ship filled with colonists makes a detour to a promising new world. While there, they find David, a synthetic and the lone survivor of the Prometheus, but things may not be as they appear.

After seeing my first Alien movie more than 30 years ago, I remember my hands shaking afterward from being clenched the entire film. While Alien: Covenant isn’t terrifying the whole time, it has its moments. If you’re a fan of the series, you’ll be glad you saw Alien: Covenant.

Friday, May 26, 2017

Book Review: “Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance”

Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance
Angela Duckworth

In Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance, Angela Duckworth asserts that people who accomplish extraordinary feats do so because they have grit, which she defines as a combination of passion and determination. The book also has a test to determine how much grit one has and individual scores on the components of vigor and perseverance. In the next two sections, she presents suggestions for increasing one’s grit and how to expand it in others.

For me, reading Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance was an eye-opening experience. It helped me realize how “gritty” I am (very), what I’m passionate about (family) and what I’d like to change in my life (acquiring passion in other areas of my life). I think this book is a must-read, especially for parents who want to raise children who find their life’s calling.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Home: Ecobee Thermostat

our old "harder to program" thermostat

the ecobee 3 thermostat
For more information on this product, click here

the ecobee 3 app

programming the ecobee 3 on the app is simple

Normally I‘d never get excited and write about a thermostat, but the smart thermostats with built-in wifi made by Ecobee are special. They have so many great features:

  • They can be programmed using a smart phone app
  • They’re controlled by the app even if one isn’t at home. For example, if one goes on vacation and forgets to turn down the heater, one can use the app to do so
  • Ecobee 3 systems can be programmed to have the house at a certain temperature at a certain time (instead of the older thermostats which could only be programmed to turn on and off at certain times
  • They can have multiple sensors and a room can be programmed to have specific temperature
  • The Ecobee 3 can be voice controlled by the Amazon Echo (Alexa) system

All of this said, upgrading to an Ecobee thermostat was a good decision!

Monday, May 22, 2017

Style: Dress for a Wedding

Diane Von Furstenberg dress, Aldo heels, Kate Spade clutch (old)

When my very good friend’s daughter got married, Kevin and I were honored to be invited. Of course, the occasion calls for a new dress, and I was thrilled to find this one by Diane Von Furstenberg. It’s from the company’s first collection by their new Chief Creative Officer, Jonathan Saunders, who has added fresh air to the line, while staying true to brand. While this dress is very different from the look generally associated with Diane Von Furstenberg, this dress’s bodice is made of “chain lace,” an homage to the chain pattern commonly found on their iconic wrap dresses.  

Generally, I’d wear stiletto heels with this type of dress, but because the ceremony took place on grass, I purchased block heels to complete the outfit. The clutch was a gift from a friend, and I thought the bright colors went perfectly with the bright blue of the dress.

Friday, May 19, 2017

Cooking and Entertaining: Almond Flour Crackers

Almond Flour Crackers are as tasty as regular crackers

To satisfy my crunchy/salty food cravings when I was on the Whole30 eating plan, I discovered almond flour crackers. Since they’re hard to find in Boston and since I make cheese crackers, I thought I’d try making almond flour crackers. The recipe I found is shockingly good-they’re crispy, made from real foods, surprisingly easy to make and even a little addictive. I’ve already made two batches in as many weeks. Next time I make them, I plan on adding some rosemary. Even if you’re not cutting back on products made from grains, these crackers are amazing!

the ingredients

combine the 4 ingredients in a bowl

Roll out the dough between 2 sheets of parchment paper

I was a little compulsive and used a ruler to slice the crackers 

Sprinkle the crackers with salt or top with herbs

Click here for the recipe