Why Hello Again!
It’s time once again… for my always-late Monthly Wrap-Up, and February was quite the month. I really stepped out of my comfort zone with books, and was delighted with everything I read. I watched so many incredible movies, and found so many great new t.v shows as well. Overall, it was a very successful month Wrap-Up wise. Also.. turns out I really love a good Documentary (but you all knew that already).
February is the shortest month, and it feels like it flashed by in a blink. Despite being short, a lot of exciting things happened as well. It SNOWED in Vancouver (which is pretty rare), it was Valentine’s Day AND also the OSCARS! Ryan and I had a serious pre-Oscar’s movie marathon, and it was just the best thing. I always love trying to binge-watch all the nominated movies, before the big show! Also all of my favorites won, so I was very pleased. Other that that, my month was full of photo-shoots for work, way too much online shopping, making my book-shelf “rainbow”, going wild at an amazing ZARA sale, and tons of cooking adventures! I hope you all had a great February as well, and I can’t wait to see what I’ll get up to in March.
I’ll stop rambling on and on, and just get right into it haha,
1.) “Free Solo”
THE MOST INTENSE EXPERIENCE OF MY LIFE
Incredible Documentary (Which WON BEST DOCUMENTARY at the Oscars this month). It also has a 99% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes, which is well deserved and rare.
Watching this Documentary was probably the wildest, most shocking.. most ANXIETY provoking two hours of my entire life. Wow. Where to even begin? This movie is about a young rock-climber who decides to climb the infamous “El Cap, El Captian” in Yosemite National Park. It’s 3,000 ft of granite.. and it’s a stunning sight. The young climber Alex Honnold isn’t going to just rock-climb this like a normal person…. he decides he’s going to CLIMB THE ENTIRE FUCKING THING WITH NO ROPES AT ALL. With literally NOTHING but his HANDS. I can’t even put into words how horrifying this was to watch. The Documentary itself was quite the feat to even shoot.. they had photographers and videographers strapped on ropes, all over El Cap, filming from all angles. All of them were terrified.. some of them literally COULDN’T EVEN WATCH it was so scary. Alex is their friend, and there is like a HUGE CHANCE he is going to die. I won’t say any more, just that my aggressive all-caps rage is well-warranted.
This has been described as one of the most stunning athletic accomplishments, ever. This is almost an understatement. I’ve never seen anything like it.. and I was honestly in a full-blown panic attack for like an hour straight?! Absolutely stunning, beautifully shot.. AMAZING film. Please watch this.
Rotten-Tomatoes Plot Summary
(From award-winning documentary filmmaker E. Chai Vasarhelyi (“MERU”) and world-renowned photographer and mountaineer Jimmy Chin comes National Geographic Documentary Film’s FREE SOLO, a stunning, intimate and unflinching portrait of the free soloist climber Alex Honnold, as he prepares to achieve his lifelong dream: climbing the face of the world’s most famous rock… the 3,000ft El Capitan in Yosemite National Park… without a rope. Celebrated as one of the greatest athletic feats of any kind, Honnold’s climb set the ultimate standard: perfection or death. Succeeding in this challenge, Honnold enters his story in the annals of human achievement. FREE SOLO is both an edge-of-your seat thriller and an inspiring portrait of an athlete who exceeded our current understanding of human physical and mental potential. The result is a triumph of the human spirit.)
2.) “Three Identical Strangers”
A twist-filled, amazing, and utterly shocking Documentary
Recently I’ve been on a bit of a Documentary kick, and I’ve been Googling “Best Documentaries of All-Time”… and this one title “Three Identical Strangers” made every single list. I knew absolutely nothing about it, but figured it must be worth a watch, to make all of these top-10 lists! I had NO idea how incredible it would end up being.
This is the true (and jaw-dropping) story, about three identical triplets.. who were separated at birth.. and completely randomly re-united as adults. It is such a heart-warming story, with so many chance events. It starts with one of the triplets heading off to college. When he gets there he is greeted warmly by tons of people, but something is strange. All of these people are calling him a different name, and acting like they KNOW him. He then realizes they all think he is someone else entirely.. and he then meets this “someone else”, and is utterly SHOCKED to find he has a completely identical twin!
This is the moment they first meet, and it’s SO CUTE. These two don’t even know what’s headed their way. This story hits the media, and is all over the news. Soon after this… they get a call… there is ANOTHER one!!! They are not identical twins, but TRIPLETS!
This is so heart-warming and fun… then all of a sudden the Documentary takes a SHOCKING (and I mean really shocking) twist. I never saw it coming, and the whole tone of the movie really changes lanes.
I won’t say any more, because I don’t want to spoil one second of this film. It was phenomenal. My mind is still spinning.
Rotten Tomatoes Plot Summary
(Three strangers are reunited by astonishing coincidence after being born identical triplets, separated at birth, and adopted by three different families. Their jaw-dropping, feel-good story instantly becomes a global sensation complete with fame and celebrity, however, the fairy-tale reunion sets in motion a series of events that unearth an unimaginable secret — a secret with radical repercussions for us all.)
3.) “Green Book”
Winner of the Oscar’s “Best Picture”
This movie is one of the most feel-good movies I’ve seen in a long time. That being said, it deals with some very serious subject matter as well.. and is at times a hard watch. The depiction of racism was handled well, and was difficult.. but portrayed authentically. The chemistry between these two actors is electric, and their budding friendship was so cute.. and I just absolutely LOVED this movie. I had a smile on my face almost the entire time, and it was just delightful. Also I’m a huge “Lord of the Rings” fan, and seeing Viggo Mortensten as a lead role, was a huge thrill. I have to say though, Mahershala Ali was the winner in this one for me.. he absolutely commanded the screen with every frame.. and I am OBSESSED with him now.
Rotten Tomatoes Plot Summary
(When Tony Lip (Mortensen), a bouncer from an Italian-American neighborhood in the Bronx, is hired to drive Dr. Don Shirley (Ali), a world-class Black pianist, on a concert tour from Manhattan to the Deep South, they must rely on “The Green Book” to guide them to the few establishments that were then safe for African-Americans. Confronted with racism, danger-as well as unexpected humanity and humor-they are forced to set aside differences to survive and thrive on the journey of a lifetime.)
1.) “Dirty John”
Based on the True Story & Crazy Successful Podcast “Dirty John”
Podcast & Show Both 10/10
You guys know how obsessed with True-Crime I am. Specifically True-Crime Podcasts… and “Dirty John” is one of the best I’ve ever listened to. I binged every episode in one day, and got Ryan into it too. We both devoured it, before the show hit Netflix. When I found out Netflix was making a series, based on this horrifying True-Crime story, I couldn’t wait to see how they would portray these characters on screen. After watching the entire Netflix series (in one day as well haha), I can confidently tell you they absolutely NAILED it. Eric Bana’s portrayal of John was un-canny, and the Actresses 100% nailed the EXACT pitch of the real-life women’s voices. That sounds like an odd compliment, but trust me.. if you have listened to the Podcast, you know that Terra’s voice was sort of odd (in a very valley-girl/sort of half-asleep tone)… and the actress NAILED it. This show had a brilliant, talented cast.. and watching it come it life felt eerie.
I highly recommend listening to the Podcast before watching, and also checking out the “Dirty John: The Dirty Truth” Documentary on Netflix after you watch the show as well. The Documentary stars the creator/voice of the Podcast, and is very well done. It’s wild to see the REAL people talking about this story, and putting a face to a name so to speak. I think this show has been very well received… I actually had a conversation with my Grandparents tonight about how much they LOVED it too! (Ps, they also told me they LOVED “You”, which made me happier than I ever thought possible).
IMDB Plot Summary
(Debra’s seemingly perfect life is disrupted as she falls for a handsome doctor who sweeps her into a whirlwind romance. But her handsome new beau pulls Debra into a sinister game of psychological manipulation.)
A HILARIOUS nostalgic Comedy Series on (HULU)
I have never laughed out loud so hard, or related on such a deep and uncomfortable level before, with ANYTHING other than my own high-school diaries.
This is maybe one of the funniest shows I’ve ever seen. It was created by the hilarious Maya Erskine and Anna Konkle who play versions of themselves.. in high-school… in 2000.. and it’s AMAZING. The nostalgia in this was wild. I related to every reference, every outfit, every song! They play 8th graders, which was right around the age I was in the year 2000, and I was also every bit as socially awkward as these two (I still am). Every line of this show is hilarious, real, and so deeply uncomfortably true. If you were a teenager between 1990-2005.. or really anytime.. you will fall so in love with this show. Even looking at these photos of the girls makes me laugh. I adored every second of this. From the school dances, the braces, the clothing, the beginning of the Internet, the Spice Girls… to the episode with the THONG.. it is just amazing.
Google Plot Summary
(This comedy series depicts middle school as it really happened. Comics Maya Erskine and Anna Konkle play versions of themselves as teenage outcasts in the year 2000, during a time when the best day of your life can turn into the worst with the stroke of a gel pen. Adult Maya and Anna — as their younger selves — are surrounded by actual teenagers as they re-experience some of the ups and downs of middle school life. They get a lot of unexpected attention on the first day of school and later face the temptation to do drugs.)
3.) “Workin Moms”
I’ve seen this advertised around for a while, and for some reason I honestly thought it was going to be awful. It was advertised in a way, that made it seem like one of those cheesy cable-tv sitcoms. I stumbled upon an episode, and I was shocked at how hilarious (and quite x-rated) it was! It is clever, hilarious, well acted.. and really great. I love all the characters, and the different portrayals of motherhood. It’s scandalous, edgy, and I wish I hadn’t judged it so quickly before giving it a chance! I watched both seasons over one weekend! Can’t wait for Season 3.
Google Plot Summary
(Warm, loyal PR executive Kate and her longtime friend, no-nonsense psychiatrist Anne, attend a judgmental mommies’ group, where they meet timid IT tech Jenny and blindly optimistic real estate agent Frankie. The four quickly form an unlikely friendship, sharing struggles of urban motherhood filled with the chaos of toddlers, tantrums, careers, and identity crises, all while trying to achieve the holy grail: a sense of self. The ensemble comedy is largely drawn from the personal experiences of star/co-creator Catherine Reitman (“Blackish,” “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia”).
Book Hauls & Book-Shelves
I’ve bought way too many books recently, and I have NO room on my shelves anymore! I keep trying to do the whole Marie Kondo “get rid of what does not spark joy” thing.. but ALL of my books spark “joy” so I’m screwed, haha. I think I need a new shelf! I’ve only read one of these so far, but I know how much I enjoy checking out people’s “haul’s”, so I figured I would show you some of my recent purchases!
1.) “The Cruel Prince” & “The Wicked King”
By, Holly Black
Book #1 & #2 (out of 3), from “The Folk of The Air” Trilogy
“If I cannot be better than them, I will become so much worse.”
“Because you’re like a story that hasn’t happened yet. Because I want to see what you will do. I want to be part of the unfolding of the tale.”
It has been YEARS since I’ve gotten obsessed with a YA Fantasy Series, and let me tell you.. I’ve missed this feeling. I have become so absorbed in this World, and these characters.. that I feel an actual pain in my chest.. knowing that I have to wait until 2020 for Book #3 in the series!
I have been hearing massive hype for “The Cruel Prince” for a long time now, and I figured it was probably time I took it off the shelf, and gave it a go. I loved it SO much! It’s a story about a young girl, who along with her two sisters.. is stolen from the mortal world, and taken deep into the world of the Faeries. They are raised there, in a powerful family home.. where they are trained, and treated like the children of the Royalty. The catch?? The Fae HATE Humans, and make life a living hell for our main character Jude.
Jude is such a bad-ass character, and all she wants is to prove herself in this world, and become a Knight. She is tormented by her peers, especially by one of the young sons of the High King, Prince Cardan. I love their twisted dynamic, and it’s just SO gripping. Jude is such a strong, amazing female character… and this book is FULL of scheming, and political intrigue. There is only a very minimal romantic plot-line, which was refreshing in a YA Fantasy Series.
The world-building here was wonderful, full of Faeries, Mermaids, Fairy-tale forests, castles.. and the works. It was so magical, and just consuming in every way. I can’t tell you any more about the story-line without spoilers.. but it’s packed with so many twists and turns.. and just wild plot-lines. The characters are so well developed, and the second book in the Series “The Wicked King” was even better than “The Cruel Prince”. THAT ENDING THOUGH! If you know, you know!
“I am going to keep on defying you. I am going to shame you with my defiance. You remind me that I am a mere mortal and you are a prince of Faerie. Well, let me remind you that means you have much to lose and I have nothing. You may win in the end, you may ensorcell me and hurt me and humiliate me, but I will make sure you lose everything I can take from you on the way down. I promise you this is the least of what I can do.”
Good-Reads Plot Summary
(Of course I want to be like them. They’re beautiful as blades forged in some divine fire. They will live forever.
And Cardan is even more beautiful than the rest. I hate him more than all the others. I hate him so much that sometimes when I look at him, I can hardly breathe.
Jude was seven when her parents were murdered and she and her two sisters were stolen away to live in the treacherous High Court of Faerie. Ten years later, Jude wants nothing more than to belong there, despite her mortality. But many of the fey despise humans. Especially Prince Cardan, the youngest and wickedest son of the High King.
To win a place at the Court, she must defy him–and face the consequences.
As Jude becomes more deeply embroiled in palace intrigues and deceptions, she discovers her own capacity for trickery and bloodshed. But as betrayal threatens to drown the Courts of Faerie in violence, Jude will need to risk her life in a dangerous alliance to save her sisters, and Faerie itself.)
2.) “Every Fifteen Minutes”
By, Lisa Scottoline
“I’m a sociopath. I look normal, but I’m not. I’m smarter, better, and freer, because I’m not bound by rules, law, emotion or regard for you.”
I loved the plot summary of this book, and I thought it was going to be amazing. It was a decent thriller, but overall I was underwhelmed. It was SO slow moving, and went on random tangents for wayyy to long. There is this one chapter where the Dad goes on and on about paint color, for a ridiculously annoying length. The story was full of “red-herrings”, and was quite twisty… but I just wasn’t that invested, and I kind of predicted the twist 1/4 of the way through. Just okay.
Good-Reads Plot Summary
(“I’ve read that one out of twenty-four people is a sociopath, and if you ask me, the other twenty-three of you should be worried.” Dr. Eric Parrish is the Chief of the Psychiatric Unit at Havemeyer General Hospital outside of Philadelphia. Recently separated from his wife Alice, he is doing his best as a single Dad to his seven-year-old daughter Hannah. His work seems to be going better than his home life, however. His unit at the hospital has just been named number two in the country and Eric has a devoted staff of doctors and nurses who are as caring as Eric is. But when he takes on a new patient, Eric’s entire world begins to crumble. Seventeen-year-old Max has a terminally ill grandmother and is having trouble handling it. That, plus his OCD and violent thoughts about a girl he likes makes Max a high risk patient. Max can’t turn off the mental rituals he needs to perform every fifteen minutes that keep him calm. With the pressure mounting, Max just might reach the breaking point. When the girl is found murdered, Max is nowhere to be found. Worried about Max, Eric goes looking for him and puts himself in danger of being seen as a “person of interest” himself. Next, one of his own staff turns on him in a trumped up charge of sexual harassment. Is this chaos all random? Or is someone systematically trying to destroy Eric’s life?)
4.) “Let’s Pretend This Never Happened”
By, Jenny Lawson
“Because you are defined not by life’s imperfect moments, but by your reaction to them. And because there is joy in embracing – rather than running from – the utter absurdity of life.”
I fell head-over-heels in love with Jenny Lawson, and her writing.. after reading her Memoir/Collection of Personal Essay’s “Furiously Happy”. This book “Lets Pretend This Never Happened” was actually published BEFORE “Furiously Happy”, I just hadn’t picked it up yet. Thank God I did, because it was stunning.
Jenny Lawson is deeply hilarious, with such a sharp wit.. and a darkly satirical look at the world. She goes over so many topics, from her childhood, to high-school, romantic adventures, anxiety disorders.. to even the most mundane every-day activities. She writes about these “everyday” topics, with such a fresh and shockingly funny POV. I really related to this book, and just felt so grateful that someone took a chance on her one day long ago.. and made this type of book possible.
“A friend is someone who knows where all your bodies are buried. Because they’re the ones who helped you put them there.”
And sometimes, if you’re really lucky, they help you dig them back up.
Good-Reads Plot Summary
(For fans of Tina Fey and David Sedaris—Internet star Jenny Lawson, aka The Bloggess, makes her literary debut.
Jenny Lawson realized that the most mortifying moments of our lives—the ones we’d like to pretend never happened—are in fact the ones that define us. In the #1 New York Times bestseller, Let’s Pretend This Never Happened, Lawson takes readers on a hilarious journey recalling her bizarre upbringing in rural Texas, her devastatingly awkward high school years, and her relationship with her long-suffering husband, Victor. Chapters include: “Stanley the Magical, Talking Squirrel”; “A Series of Angry Post-It Notes to My Husband”; “My Vagina Is Fine. Thanks for Asking”; “And Then I Snuck a Dead Cuban Alligator on an Airplane.” Pictures with captions (no one would believe these things without proof) accompany the text.)
London & Paris Map Art Prints/ By Anna Bond
Bought From “The Cross Decor and Design” in Yaletown, Vancouver
My Fav Christmas Present
Other Random Photos From February
Food, Fashion, Scenic Things & Selfies
All Photos @Carly Ingram Photography 2019
All Photos Of Movies & T.V Shows @Google Images 2019