Read Then Watch

Read then Watch 4

I recently read a book that completely shifted my perspective about the Navy SEALs. The book is called Damn Few: Making the Modern SEAL Warrior by Rorke Denver. Denver is a former director of basic and advanced SEAL training, and this book is about his own experience as a SEAL going through training and conducting missions. The book also includes his stories on the battlefield. I was blown away every single page. I had to put the book down and just imagine the scenarios Denver explains. These men are heroes and warriors, but this book truly cements that. From training to real life circumstances, what the SEALs go through from the very beginning is intense, unbelievable, and just plain hard to imagine. While I didn’t know a whole lot to begin with, this book provided me with insight and knowledge that I never really expected to know.

A few days later, I was excited to see how Denver’s descriptions came to life in the movie, Act of Valorin which he starred. Not only did he star in the film, but other real life Navy SEALs played the main characters. They aren’t actors pretending to be these real life warriors. They are, in fact, the real life warriors. For that reason alone I recommend watching the movie. While the plot line can’t reveal too much insider secrets or include every single detail about the way the SEALs carry out missions play-by-play, but as Denver notes in his book, the scenes are truer to how they would conduct missions in real life. The SEALs would tell the director and producers if the scene was set-up in an unrealistic way, and they would re-work the scene to make it realistic. Many people took issue to the fact that these SEALs were poor actors, blah blah blah, but I think that’s what makes this movie unique. They shouldn’t be good actors. They should be amazing at what they do as SEALs.

Even though the movie came first, I recommend reading Damn Few before watching Act of Valor. At both you will be amazed, laugh, cry, and walk away with a new-found appreciation for what these SEALs do. The book gives a fascinating behind-the-scenes look at what it takes to become a SEAL which will give you a different perspective when watching the movie, and the movie captures the fast-paced action of being a SEAL. The words from the book all come to life in front of your eyes on the screen. And it’s pretty damn cool.

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That’s a Wrap!


There are some great movies coming out, and Captain America: The Winter Soldier is the next one I need to see. When it comes down to making the decision between a TV series and a movie, I have recently been choosing TV. Last weekend I caught up on Season 6 of Mad Men. I’m not sure what for exactly since I don’t watch it regularly during the season, but it was still entertainment nonetheless. Getting back in the kitchen to bake last weekend felt great. I just need to keep up this momentum. For now, let’s wrap up the week with a recap…

* In case you missed it: Chai Spiced Carrot Cupcakes for Easter weekend.

* Stephen Colbert is the new David Letterman.

* Indulged in this classic banana split while mapping out a day trip. Can’t get enough!

* So excited that Game of Thrones has been renewed for two more seasons!

* Why it matters when Asian women leave TV shows. Great read.

* The Gone Girl trailer is finally out! 

* This gadget is too cool!

Have a lovely weekend!

{Photo by Lauren}



Chai Spiced Carrot Cupcakes


I am a huge fan of all things cinnamon. When I made these cinnamon spice cupcakes a while back, I devoured them. So naturally, when I saw the recipe for these Chai Spiced Carrot Cupcakes, I couldn’t resist. They also seemed like a good way to get my daily serving of vegetables – these carrots count, right? Oh well, I tried.

These cupcakes are a great treat to bring to any Easter parties you might be attending this weekend. The recipe doesn’t take too long to follow. I found that the hardest part was grating the carrots, since it is a bit more physically demanding. Or I’m just weak. Either way, the recipe itself is manageable and  you’ll end up with a very tasty cupcake.

P.S. A fan of carrot cake? This was the best.


grating carrots





{Photos by Lauren}

Rock Hudson Film Favorites


rock hudson movies

I have yet to see a Rock Hudson movie I didn’t like. From Pillow Talk (1959) to A Farewell to Arms (1957) to Come September (1961), Hudson has established himself as a classic actor and a solid leading man. Mr.  Hudson can play funny, serious, and romantic characters while maintaining his grace and charm. A pretty great combination if you ask me. These are my five favorite Rock Hudson films. Which ones are yours?


That’s a Wrap!


Well, another week just flew by. I’m slowly catching up on my shows – luckily I realized they were back on the air a couple of weeks into the seasons so now I have a lot to look forward to! Right now my favorite of them all is Once Upon a Time. The stories are so entwined and it just keeps getting better and better, I don’t know how they manage to keep all of the stories and characters in order. The Wolf of Wall Street is available to rent, so if I can find three hours this weekend, I am excited to watch that one. I wanted to read the book first, but that’s just not going to happen. In the meantime, let’s wrap up the week with a recap…

* Enjoying a quiet morning at the diner. My hot cocoa had sprinkles and a cherry (photo above).

I’m on Instagram!

* Get a look inside the life of a Nepalese honey hunter. Stunning photos.

* Inspired grilled cheese ideas.

* Sprinkles opens an ATM in New York City!

* That time I went to the Sprinkles ATM in Beverly Hills.

* Mindy Kaling and Vogue.

* Garlic Parmesan fries.

Have a wonderful weekend!

{Photo by Lauren}

Spring Movies

Spring has sprung and the sun has made an appearance on multiple occasions, a rare and delightful treat in Seattle. However, while the sun may be out, I’ll still find my way to the dark theater to catch the spring flicks that are coming out in the next couple of weeks and months. These are the films I am most excited for this season…

spring 5

spring 4

spring 2

spring 3

spring 1

spring 6

1. Noah – March 28
2. The Other Woman – April 25
3. The Amazing Spiderman 2 – May 2
4. Godzilla – May 16
5. The Fault in Our Stars – June 6
6. 22 Jump Street – June 12

That’s a Wrap!

adam braun book

Happy spring! What are you all most looking forward to this season? I’m looking forward to all the movies coming out (post coming next week!) and the fresh seasonal ingredients. I have a long list of recipes I can’t wait to tackle – it’s been a while since I’ve tested a new dish or baked good. Last week I finished One More Thing, and I just started reading Adam Braun’s new book. It is so inspiring. I actually had the chance to interview him; you can read the interview here! Now, let’s wrap up the week with a recap…

* Love this way of interviewing: 73 questions with SJP. She’s fabulous.

* Beautiful maps of the world made from signature regional foods – this is amazing!

* Take me here for breakfast, please.

* Disney movies retold in haiku.

* Standing desks – what are your thoughts? There’s too much sitting happening while I work!

* Started watching Downton Abbey. Not hooked yet, but definitely intrigued. Do you watch (and love/hate) the show?

* I love the idea of this magazine, but have yet to buy and read one. Thoughts?

Have a great first weekend of spring!

{Photo by Lauren}

One More Thing

BJ Novak 2

While I initially didn’t feel it was necessary to put B.J. Novak’s book, One More Thing: Stories and Other Storiesat the top of my book list, I kept hearing great things about the book that I finally decided to make it a priority. I’m so glad I did. I thoroughly enjoyed reading it from start to finish. While some stories are a few sentences, others are pages long. Each one was unique, some tied together, and others felt a little forced. Overall, I highly recommend it.

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My favorite stories from One More Thing:

1. Dark Matter
2. Julie and the Warlord
3. I Never Want to Walk on the Moon
4. They Kept Driving Faster and Outran the Rain
5. The Man Who Invented the Calendar
6. If You Love Something
7. Constructive Criticism

P.S. The book promo video with Mindy Kaling.

That’s a Wrap!

heart cocoa

bob dylan

Happy Pi Day! More posts will be coming soon – I swear! It’s been a little slow over here for many reasons, but that’s no excuse. Even the Oscars have come and gone without a word. Overall, I was underwhelmed by the show and I’m happiest about Cate Blanchett winning. I am looking forward to get back into cooking and baking, and there are still so many movies to catch up on. First up, Catching Fire! For now, let’s wrap up the week with a recap…

* Loving this Game of Thrones Vanity Fair cover. Amazing.

* 10 restaurants from books and movies that became real.

* I love when my hot cocoa loves me back [photo above].

* Need another reason to love Mindy Kaling? As if.

* Love this photo of Bob Dylan [2nd photo].

* Why, oh why, does Pastis have to go?!

Have a nice weekend!

{Photo by Lauren}

That’s a Wrap!

skull latte

Happy Oscars weekend! Since I haven’t yet watched the movies nominated for Best Picture, that is what tomorrow and Sunday will be for. I recently saw The Lego Movie, which is super cute and killing it at the box office. I attempted to make these cupcakes, but they turned out with a muffin-like consistency. In addition to the Oscars, I’ll be researching Southern recipes for Mardi Gras, which is next Tuesday! For now, though, let’s wrap up the week with a recap…

* Mid-morning pick-me-ups are better when they have designs [above].

* B.J. Novak’s book trailer for One More ThingMindy kills it in this video, and so far, the book is laugh out loud worthy.

* Reese Witherspoon and Mindy Kaling interview each other and it’s amazing.

* The Oscars are this weekend! Time really crept up…still haven’t made it through my movie list.

* Obsessed with this DIY Dinosaur serving dish!

* I love these two together. The last couple of seconds are the best. My favorite part starts at 2:48.

* Now that we’re on the topic, this is one of the cutest songs from a movie.

Have a great weekend! May the Best Picture win…

{Photo by Lauren}


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