Sin City Demands Sin… | Spring Break 2016

Last time on Spring Break 2016, the bachelorette party crew enjoyed a lot of good food, some poolside chillin’, and an amazing concert at the new T-Mobile Arena by The Killers, with Wayne Newton, Shamir, and special appearances by the Blue Man Group and Dan Reynolds from Imagine Dragons. After all that excitement, it was time to get ready to leave Las Vegas…


Thursday was our last day in Vegas, and I woke up with the sun yet again despite how dead-tired I was the day before. But it was going to be our last time seeing the desert and the craziness that is Las Vegas, so we just enjoyed it while packing our things. At this point, Kristine had already flown to LA (which I momentarily forgot when I woke up and thought I had kicked her off the bed whoops) so Megan, Jennifer, and I just chilled and finished the champagne and orange juice we had while waiting for the boys to pick us up in the rental cars and watching HGTV. (I think I understand why people get so into HGTV now; we watched two full episodes of Flip or Flop because we just felt too invested.)

I was so willing to wait through anything, though, because the bachelor and bachelorette party crews were finally uniting over a magical thing: gluttony at Wicked Spoon. I am a big fan of buffets and was pretty excited to try out the caliber of buffet that Vegas offered, seeing so many trips by so many friends that checked off this Deadly Sin off their list.

Welcome to Wicked Spoon
Welcome to Wicked Spoon

Considering that we had been waiting in our hotel for this epic food-stuffing for over an hour, we were completely famished. Walking in was a little bit overwhelming for me, because I knew that I wanted to pace myself but also that I wanted to eat a lot of food and fast. These, as you can imagine, are conflicting goals. So, I took a stroll around the buffet to get an idea of what I definitely wanted to eat and what could be passed over in case I got too full.

A view of the buffet
A view of a portion of the buffet (the salad part, because goodness knows I needed this section)

Wicked Spoon is nice in that they do small, individual portions of food instead of having you scoop out too much of every dish and realizing that you got too excited too soon. (This happens to you too, right? … right??) So they call it “small plates”-style but it’s perfect because you just get a little dish of food and you don’t have to share anything muahahahah!  This also aids in pacing because you can only fit so many little dishes onto your plate.

Let’s just share some photos of my food now, shall we?Read More »

Sansa’s Lemon Cakes [recipe]

Season 6 of Game of Thrones is in full swing! I am a reluctant latecomer to this show, as I don’t watch any HBO shows and tend to not really jump on a popular show’s bandwagon once it gets really big. Especially dramas. I was definitely really resistant to watching GoT because I heard it was very graphically violent and sexually explicit, two things I usually avoid in my shows.

But with spoilers on my newsfeeds and timelines every Sunday evening and Monday, I knew an awful lot about Game of Thrones without having ever watched a single minute from the show. I could have made a very impressive “Things I Know Without Watching the Show” slideshow, as I did with Doctor Who a few years back. (In fact, I think I started one and then just decided to watch the show, because I had so much information on my hands…)

Sansa refusing to eat her favorite food with Tyrion Lannister

So of course, in a totally expected move, I decided to have a themed watch party for the season 6 premiere! It was my first time watching the show live (and not several episodes at a time on HBOGo) so we went to Don and Megan’s (of recently-married fame on this blog here) and had a themed feast! Don made each of us our own honey-glazed Cornish game hen with roasted onions, potatoes, and carrots. Ben and I brought bread & salt (which was supplemented with some olive oil and black pepper) and a salad to balance out our feast, as well as the ingredients for Sansa Stark’s favorite lemon cakes.

Lemon cakes served to Sansa by her aunt Lysa

Most fans may know that lemon cakes are Sansa’s favorite food, but why? It stems from young Sansa’s aspirations of being a lady, doing ladylike things, living that lavish lady life. Lemons are extremely hard to come by in frosty Winterfell, so it makes sense that a young girl who wants to live this life of luxury would yearn for this hard-to-get delicacy and how easily it fits into her image of what life as a lady would be like: laughing in a courtyard, drinking tea, eating lemon cakes, with other ladies who shared her interests. It’s an idyllic world that, unfortunately, is unlikely to become a reality for Sansa. But she can still enjoy delicious lemon cakes.

Margaery and Olenna Tyrell offering Sansa lemon cakes

This was my first time using a recipe by Rosanna Pansino, aka Nerdy Nummies, and I had a few issues with doing so:

  1. While she does have the ingredients + quantities listed in the video description, there were no steps written in the description and no link pointing to a written recipe anywhere to be found. So, I was stuck rewatching parts of her video over and over in order to get the steps. Thankfully, this was a fairly short and simple recipe.
  2. The video was a bit annoying to watch over and over again. I felt like the target audience for Ro’s video was children, with her overly playful and silly tone and jokes, and it was irritating listening to them over and over again trying to determine the directions for these cakes.
  3. These cakes are intended to be served upside down so that the lemon on the bottom of the tins when you bake are on the top when you serve them. This is all well and fine BUT because we are baking in muffin tins, they have rounded tops and will not sit flat unless you slice off the bottoms. Which I would prefer not to do to avoid crumbly edges.

With that being said, here a written-down recipe adaptation of Ro’s lemon cakes, which did turn out very delicious, especially served with the freshly whipped cream that Don whipped up.
Read More »

The Little Paris Bookshop (2016)

As someone who took French for 6 years in grade school, I cannot resist the draw of a book set in Paris. And the premise of The Little Paris Bookshop really drew me in: a man, who is so intimately familiar with both books and the human condition that he is able to “prescribe” literary medicine to soothe people’s souls, sets out to try to mend his own broken heart. Some of the positive reviews that were already out for the book said it was great for book lovers. Hey, I’m a book lover! And I love France, let’s do this!

Book cover

I am very sad to report that I really had a difficult time finishing this book and I would not recommend it. I have several reasons as to why I disliked this book (with a few spoilers in the elaborations):Read More »

Captain America: Civil War (2016)

Note: I’ll be using a few abbreviations in this review. They can be found above the movie poster in parentheses.
Another note: This is going to be a long review. Please keep your hands and feet inside the vehicle.
Last note: This review is not particularly refined, but I wanted to have thoughts up here while the movie was still fresh in my mind.


Remember how excited I was to see the second Avengers movie last year? How I had been waiting since the release of the first film with such eager anticipation… What I didn’t mention was how predictably disappointed I was, I think. Even after the original Avengers, I knew the second one wouldn’t live up to the hype. Still, I was super duper hyped, maybe the most hyped I’ve been for a movie in a long time.

UNTIL Disney/Marvel announced Phase Three. And then I knew that I was just mega-super-ultra excited for Captain America: Civil War (CACW) for a couple of primary reasons (to simplify my excitement for you all):

  1. Captain America is my favorite Avenger (not least because I love Chris Evans) and I’ve loved his movies.
  2. Captain America: Winter Soldier (CAWS) was intensely good, and I was really glad to see that the Russo Brothers, who gifted us with that great movie, were returning for this movie because-
  3. I was so tired of Joss Whedon for Age of Ultron (AOU) and trust the Russo Brothers to do better than Whedon did with his second chance.
  4. When the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) was first established, one of the most prominent comic book storylines that I heard about was the Civil War storyline, so I was thrilled that they were going to bring it to the MCU.

TL;DR This was definitely better than Age of Ultron and was a lot of fun to watch. Me being me, of course, this movie was not perfect, and I’ll talk about that. As per usual, this review will have spoilers below the trailer; before the trailer, there may be information from previous Marvel films and promotional materials.

I have a lot of complaints, but I want to talk about what I really loved about this movie!

Spider-Man was great. I’ll admit that I was one of the people who was upset when Andrew Garfield was replaced. I love him as an actor, and I liked his portrayal of Peter Parker. (I liked Tobey McGuire’s, too, until that last movie… which wasn’t his fault, but I mean…) However, I thought it made a lot of sense to cast an actual teenager to play teenage Peter Parker. I will admit, also, that I was pretty biased against Tom Holland being cast, I think because the photos that I saw of him were of a really young Holland, young teens for sure. I thought that Marvel had gone a bit far on the younger casting, and was not sure how I felt about essentially a middle school child being Spider-Man. But Holland was great! You really get this sense of Peter being a high schooler, nervous around the other Avengers, nervous about his Aunt May finding out he’s Spider-Man, just… nails that teenage nervousness. He’s still pretty charismatic but in that Peter Parker way. One of my big issues with Andrew Garfield’s portrayal of Peter Parker was that I was not convinced that an “awkward geek” would be as charming as Andrew Garfield was.

As John Boyega said, saying “Hey everyone” can be really addicting.

I also liked that the suit we see in the trailer is provided by Tony Stark, because honestly, I never bought the story that Peter Parker made his suit on his own.

Black Panther was great. Oh man, I think that T’challa’s first (hero) appearance was almost more anticipated than Spider-Man’s, at least by the people at my screening, judging by the applause and cheers for each character. While I do wish there was a little more depth to his character in this movie, I know he is getting his own stand-alone film really soon, so I was happy for the characterization that we got in CACW. Black Panther is such a great character, and I think really needed in the MCU. As a prince, he brings this dignity to the Avengers that Thor doesn’t quite bring because T’challa took his mantle more seriously than Thor did initially, and that’s because being the Black Panther is not a superpower that was thrust upon him. It is a royal duty that he had to earn.

Chadwick Boseman is fantastic~

It was funny! I laughed a lot watching this, and I didn’t feel burdened by an obligation to laugh like I did with AOU. (Looking at those one-line zingers, Joss…) Marvel movies are always really funny, especially because they cast some great comedians to play our heroes, and sometimes I take that for granted, so I wanted to be sure to let you guys know that I got lots of giggles and chuckles in while watching.

Obviously, seeing so many Avengers on screen, at once, interacting with each other was amazing. There’s a lot of great banter because, again, half our characters are pretty snarky. Sam (Falcon) and Bucky (Winter Soldier) bickering as the two of Steve’s (Captain America’s) best friends. “I hate you,” Sam says pretty directly to Bucky. “We’re still friends, right?” “Depends on how hard you hit me.” Natasha (Black Widow) and Clint (Hawkeye), who are no longer romantically-linked (maybe) are questioning if they are still BSF – best spies forever – given that they stand on opposite sides of the Civil War.

Before this review gets too long, though, I do need to talk about some of my beef with this movie…Read More »