Tag: Movies

Monthly Recap: April 2017

Posted May 9, 2017 by Rowena in Family, Features | 4 Comments

April was a really bad month, blogging wise for me. I just couldn’t drum up any enthusiasm to write anything or read anything for that matter. I’m hopeful that May will be better.

What I Did

  • Book Binge Turned 10! My book blog, Book Binge turned 10 last month and I’m still trying to wrap my brain around the fact that I’ve been blogging for 10 freaking years.
  • I went to San Jose for Brenna’s last Ninja Tournament. Brenna is wrapping up all high school tournaments and April was for her last Asian League tournament ever. I’m not mad about that but I wasn’t supposed to go on this trip. It was a spur of the moment trip that I’m glad I took. It was a relaxing weekend of basketball and I enjoyed myself.
  • Relay for Life. This year was the fifth year that my family participated in our local Relay for Life walk. We walk in remembrance of loved ones that have lost their lives to cancer and we walk in support of my nephew RJ who is a cancer survivor. It was another busy weekend but it was also a very fulfilling weekend. We walked for 24 hours and I walked a lot more this year than any other year and that made me happy.
  • We met Baby Caiden. Chloe and Markus came down for the walk and to introduce their bundle of joy to the California family. I love this little boy so very much. He’s adorable.
  • Jarred’s having a boy! My nephew Jarred and his girlfriend are having a baby boy! His little boy is going to be the cutest little hockey fan ever!

What I Watched on TV

The usual shows that I always watch. I didn’t pick up any new ones.

What Movies I Watched

I didn’t watch any movie in the entire month of April. At least none that I can remember. Yikes.

What I Listened To

For the Lovers Album by Tenelle. This album got a lot of play time in April. I think my kid is tired of hearing this album but it’s a great album. Great island music and I love it.

What I Read

April was an abysmal reading month for me. I just wasn’t in the mood to read anything so I really didn’t. Here’s what I did read though.

1. Corrupt by Penelope Douglas | DNF
2. Dreaming of You by Lisa Klelypas (re-read) | 4.25 out of 5
3. The Hot Shot by Kristen Callihan | 4 out of 5
4. Moon Called by Patricia Briggs | 4.25 out of 5
5. An Affair with a Notorious Heiress by Lorraine Heath | 4 out of 5

What I Reviewed

Walk of Shame by Lauren Layne | 4.25 out of 5
Holding Up the Universe by Jennifer Niven | 4 out of 5
Over the Edge by Suzanne Brockmann (Retro Review) | 4.75 out of 5
Midnight Target by Elle Kennedy | 4 out of 5
Devil in Spring by Lisa Kleypas (Joint review w/Holly) | 4.25 out of 5
The Thing about Love by Julie James | 4.25 out of 5
Cold Hearted Rake by Lisa Kleypas | 4 out of 5
Broken by Lauren Layne | 3.5 out of 5
Dreaming of You by Lisa Kleypas (Joint review w/Ames) | 4.25 out of 5

What I Bought

Reasonable Doubt: Volume 1 by Whitney G.
Walk of Shame by Lauren Layne
Fast Track by Julie Garwood
All Played Out by Cora Carmack
Honor’s Splendour by Julie Garwood
Heat Wave by Karina Halle
The Room Mate by Kendall Ryan
The Play Mate by Kendall Ryan
The House Mate by Kendall Ryan
Dreaming of You by Lisa Kleypas
Swinging at Love by Kendra C. Highley
Almost Heaven by Judith McNaught

What I Got for Review

Wired by Julie Garwood
How to Change a Life by Stacey Ballis
Eye Candy by Jessica Lemmon
Black Tie Optional by Ann Marie Walker
The Day of the Duchess by Sarah MacLean

What I Loved

Classic Chicken Salad (with no cheese) from El Pollo Loco

This salad is the bomb and I love the hell out of it.

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Review: Before I Fall (2017)

Posted May 2, 2017 by Rowena in Reviews | 2 Comments

Starring: Zoey Deutch, Halston Sage, Cynthy Wu
Director: Ry Russo-Young
Release Date: March 3, 2017
Rating: PG-13
Run Time: 1:38
Movie Type: Drama, Mystery

What if you had only one day to change absolutely everything? Samantha Kingston has it all: the perfect friends, the perfect guy, and a seemingly perfect future. Then, everything changes. After one fateful night, Sam wakes up with no future at all. Trapped reliving the same day over and over she begins to question just how perfect her life really was. And as she begins to untangle the mystery of a life suddenly derailed, she must also unwind the secrets of the people closest to her, and discover the power of a single day to make a difference, not just in her own life, but in the lives of those around her – before she runs out of time for good.

When I first heard that Lauren Oliver’s book Before I Fall was being turned into a movie, I wanted to see it. I always try to watch every movie that is based on a book and even though I hadn’t read this book, I was all in for the movie.

My daughter Brenna saw this movie before I did and wasn’t all that impressed by it so because of that, it took me a while before I finally went ahead and saw it. I didn’t share Brenna’s thoughts on the movie because I thought it was pretty good.

So Samantha Kingston is a young woman who is devoted to her squad. She’s got plans for Cupid Day and they involve getting naked with her boyfriend, Rob. So the movie starts and it’s just another day in Sam’s life. Her alarm goes off, her little sister comes tearing into her room to wake her up, she gives teenage attitude to her parents and gets picked up by her best friend Lindsey for school. Everything is normal and as it should be until after school, they head to a party and their day goes to shit when the school crazy, Juliet, goes off on her entire squad. Calling them names and just lighting into them for making her life at school a living Hell.

Sam and her girls take off, leaving the party (and Rob) behind and while they’re driving away from the party, they get into an accident and Sam wakes up the next morning…reliving the day before. She relives the same day over and over again and for the life of her, Sam can’t figure out why. It is through the reliving of the same day over and over again that Sam begins to see her life through a bigger lens. She starts to see things that she didn’t see before and her eyes are really opened to the person she was. It wasn’t an easy thing to do, reliving the same day over and over again, especially since it was a day best forgotten in Sam’s opinion but you really see her grow as a person throughout the entire movie and I thought Zoe Deutch did a great job in portraying Sam Kingston.

Brenna thought the movie was slow going and parts of it were but overall, I thought the movie was good and had a great story to tell. I thought the acting was decent and the cast was pretty good too. Zoe Deutch really stole the show for me and I’m glad that I watched it.

Movie Trailer

My Rating


4 out of 5

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Monthly Recap: March 2017

Posted April 4, 2017 by Rowena in Features | 6 Comments

The month of March came and went before I knew what was what. It brought about death and new life and lots and lots of great friends. All in all, it was a mostly good month though my heart goes out to my friend.

What I Did

A picture from my hike in Palos Verdes, CA

Started going on hikes: I started walking with my sisters after dinner each night and hiking with my co workers this month and I’m really liking both. I want to keep up with that even though things are probably going to get a lot busier for me in the coming months with all of Brenna’s senior activity and then graduation coming up. I’m going to be busy making a lot of candy leis too. Gah. Still, walking has become a daily part of my life and I want to keep that up.

Brenna Turned 18: We had a small birthday celebration for my kid turning 18 last month and that was fun. My brother bought dinner, I made a cake and a whole lot of kids showed up so I had to make another cake and we all ate, drank and were merry. In few short months, she will graduate from high school and I’m low key not ready for all of that.

Basketball Ended: The one thing that I was ready for was the end of basketball. I couldn’t stand Bren’s coach, I hated how mad I would get during games, after the games, during the week when Brenna would come home and catch me up on practices, what her coach would say to her and her coach is real brave when talking to minors who are scared of her.

My sister and her Grandson Caiden

Chloe had a baby!: Last year, my niece Chloe got married and her wedding was the most beautiful wedding that I’ve ever been to. My family still gets compliments about her wedding and all of the hard work that we put into it. Well, home girl works fast because she got knocked up not too long after her wedding and she had a beautiful and healthy baby boy named Caiden.

My first Strip Club Outing: I hung out with some old friends that I haven’t seen in a long ass time. The two friends that I used to get in trouble with all the time my freshman year in high school so it was not a surprise to anyone else that they took me to my first strip club. It sure was memorable. My stripper was a black young woman named Mulan and she spun real fast around the pole while completely trashed. That takes some serious skill.

What I Watched on TV

Taken: I glommed the first four episodes of this show and am definitely hooked. I need more episodes of this show pronto. Rollo (from Vikings) has won me over completely in this show.

Big Little Lies: Ames and Greg were talking about this show and they’re really the ones that brought this show to my attention. I watched the first two episodes with Ames and was drawn into the world of crazy Kindergarten parents and just everything. I’m definitely going to be watching more. Reese Witherspoon is the best!

Chicago Justice: I’m a huge fan of all of the Chicago shows and it’s no different with this show. I’m really enjoying the cases and getting to know the characters. I already love the hell out of Peter Stone. I can’t wait for more from these guys.

What Movies I Watched

1. The Edge of Seventeen (2017) | 2.5 out of 5
2. Love by the 10th Date (2017) | 2.5 out of 5
3. Beauty and the Beast (2017) | 5 out of 5
4. Logan (2017) | 4.5 out of 5

What I Read

1. Havoc (Mayhem #4) by Jamie Shaw | 4 out of 5
2. Off the Ice (Juniper Falls #1) by Julie Cross | 3.75 out of 5
3. When the Marquess Falls (Hellions of Havisham #3.5) by Lorraine Heath | 3.75 out of 5
4. Isn’t She Lovely (Redemption #0.5) by Lauren Layne | 4.5 out of 5
5. Broken (Redemption #1) by Lauren Layne | 4 out of 5
6. Crushed (Redemption #2) by Lauren Layne | 4.25 out of 5
7. Cold Hearted Rake (Ravenels #1) by Lisa Kleypas | 4 out of 5
8. Marrying Winterborne (Ravenels #2) by Lisa Kleypas | 3.75 out of 5
9. Devil in Spring (Ravenels #3) by Lisa Kleypas | 4.25 out of 5
10. Love in the Afternoon (Hathaways #5) by Lisa Kleypas (re-read) | 4.5 out of 5
11. How the Duke was Won (Disgraceful Dukes #1) by Lenora Bell | 3.75 out of 5
12. If I Only Had a Duke (Disgraceful Dukes #2) by Lenora Bell | 4.5 out of 5
13. Blame it on the Duke (Disgraceful Dukes #3) by Lenora Bell | 4 out of 5
14. Midnight Target (Killer Instincts #8) by Elle Kennedy | 4 out of 5
15. Walk of Shame (Love Unexpectedly #4) by Lauren Layne | 4.25 out of 5
16. Pipe Dreams (Brooklyn Bruisers #3) by Sarina Bowen | 4.25 out of 5
17. Frisk Me (New York’s Finest #1) by Lauren Layne | DNF
18. Overruled (Legal Briefs #1) by Emma Chase (re-read) | 1 out of 5
19. Appealed (Legal Briefs #3) by Emma Chase (re-read) | 4 out of 5
20. Charmed Thirds (Jessica Darling #3) by Megan McCafferty | DNF

What I Reviewed

Sustained by Emma Chase | 5 out of 5
Buddy Review with Holly – Archangel’s Kiss by Nalini Singh | 3.75 out of 5
When the Marquess Falls by Lorraine Heath | 4 out of 5
Havoc by Jamie Shaw | 4 out of 5
Buddy Review with Ames – Marrying Winterborne by Lisa Kleypas | 3.75 out of 5
Retro Review: Mr. Cavendish, I Presume by Julia Quinn | 4 out of 5

What I Bought/Was Gifted


What I Got for Review

What I Loved

Seeing and hanging out with old friends. At my friend Foti’s Dad’s funeral, I ran into so many of my childhood friends and we hung out, laughed the night away and reminisced about the good ol’ days. From ditching Sunday School and walking to 7-11 to having a ditching party at my sister’s house our freshman year in high school (and getting her to buy us pizza without knowing that so many people were going to come over after she went back to work, ha!) and just being little bad ass kids, we had the best childhood. We’re planning to stay in touch and I sincerely hope that we do because I have the best memories with these guys.

There you have it…the month that was March in my life. How was your month of March? Read anything good? Bad? Share with the class!

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