Tag Archives: movies

pitch perfect

last eve, vfbf joanne and i went to see the movie pitch perfect:

a pitch perfect picture (try saying THAT ten times fast!)

[actually, that is quite a poorly centred picmy aim was way off last night…that was the best photo of the bunch!]

we both LOVED the movie!!! i give it a solid *** (three stars) verging into ***1/2 star territory. go see this film if…

~ you like music: the a capella singing, the mash-ups, and the featured songs are fabulous (make that a ca-fabulous, if you’ve seen the movie, you will get this reference!).

~ you are a fan the 80s era

~ you have a soft spot in your heart for the typical boy-meets-girl storyline

~ you found the movie bridesmaids to be hilarious

~ you are looking for an evening of fun entertainment

that covers just about everyone, no?! anyway, we enjoyed an a ca-wonderful eve out, and i would see this movie AGAIN in an instant.

this is going to be a musical weekend – tomorrow night i am attending a live vocal performance, also featuring jojo!

have a great weekend! and go see pitch perfect!

swiss chalet, a test drive, and running inspiration

as you know, wednesdays are sacred as aunti day. due to summer activities and vacations, our routine is out the window! we’ll get back on track in september. yesterday, then, i had a day off to spend in waterloo!


the morning started off with a lovely run. quite a few of my running friends are down and out due to injuries right now [one guy has not been able to run in well over a year…], so i felt very grateful to be running nicely. via ESP, i sent out healing vibes and good wishes to each of the folks on the DL as i metronomically strode along. on a positive note, a couple of my running associates will be ironman-ing for the first time this weekend in mont tremblant; i wish them the very best as they swim bike run!


one of the things we wanted to do this summer was take grandma out to swiss chalet for lunch. back in may, we celebrated g’ma’s 90th bday. truth be told, if we had consulted grandma and asked where she would like to go for a family birthday outing, she would have chosen swiss chalet. it is her favourite restaurant, bar none. [i think that is the cutest thing, ever].

dad and i decided to take g’ma to the newest swiss chalet location around, over on ira needles boulevard:

me and g’ma, out front of swiss chalet…

…and seated at our table!

i can’t remember the last time i went to swiss chalet! our family used to go quite regularly during my high school years.

for my meal, i chose to go with a new experience – the quarter chicken dinner:

there is only one thing that would have made this meal even better: a LARGE DIET COKE!!! :/

this selection is one of swiss chalet’s classic menu items. (when i was a teen, i always, always went with the chicken sandwich [creature of habit]).

i enjoyed perusing the menu. the options sure have evolved over the years!

more than just fries and chicken!

my rating of our swiss chalet experience:

food: B+

the fries were fabulous. the chicken was ok…i have decided i prefer KFC for restaurant chicken.

for dessert, we ordered one slice of chocolate fudge cake + three forks. PHENOMENAL CHOICE!!! we all agreed that this cake bests a cake shop selection, any day! A+, swiss chalet, on the cake.

atmosphere: A

love the exposed brick, lighting and colour scheme; this location is also way quieter than the one on weber street, waterloo (as you can see, it was not very busy while we were dining!)

service: B-

our servers were polite. however, we waited to be seated even though the room was nearly empty; i asked three times for a glass of water (in addition to my perrier) before finally receiving it just before our dessert; we waited quite a while to pay our bill.

my dining companions: A+

dad and g’ma in our booth!


thanks, dad, for treating us!

lunch out with g’ma? that counts as social outing #20 for this year’s kiki project!


after we dropped grandma off, dad and i drove down to heffner toyota. over the past few weeks, we have been researching car options for me. there is nothing wrong with the rav 4 that i am driving right now, but it just feels like too much vehicle to me. i have narrowed down my picks to the ford fiesta, the toyota yaris, and the toyota prius.

we met with our favourite sales associate, jerry smith:

jerry is courteous, friendly, knowledgeable and NOT PUSHY!!

if you ever need a toyota car salesman, go see jerry! (you can tell him erv and cathy sent you, haha!) jerry is the best – our family has been buying toyotas from him since 1981!

we had already checked out the yaris last week; yesterday was prius day:

the prius we took out for a spin

want to know the craziest thing? you can drive ROUND TRIP to toronto on EIGHT DOLLARS worth of gas with a prius. that gas mileage is a huge plus, in my mind.

to be honest, my heart is still stuck on getting a green ford fiesta…

my friend’s fiesta!! ❤

…but i know it is not the wisest thing to base your decision on car colour…however, it is just so KIKI!! i am in no rush to make a new purchase, so i will continue to think about what i want to do.


this week, the endurrun is being held in waterloo! race director lloyd (of the father’s day classic) hosts this eight day stage race every year. last eve at 6 pm was stage number four, a ten mile/16km, VERY hilly road test. since quite a few of my running buddies are participating this year, i decided to go out to camp heidelberg, take in the action, and cheer them on.

merzi and me, pre-race! we used to work together at the store!

sara, ready to go!

the “start line” – runners begin mid-uphill!

there they go – see what i mean about the hill?!

joanne, finishing strong

what a course – the finish is uphill, as well! (the finish line was to the right, behind me)

as i’ve mentioned before, this week long event is on my running bucket list. will next summer be the right time to participate? we shall see!

and that was my wednesday! fun + fun + fun + fun – you can’t beat that for a summer day off!

transported back in time

sunday night, sharon and i went out to the movies!

based on the hit broadway musical!

when i read a promotional piece in the newspaper a couple of weeks ago about rock of ages, i immediately was super-keen to check it out. an 80s-themed musical + mr tom cruise?? you won’t have to twist my arm too hard to get me into the theatre! plus, i had a cineplex gift card to use – all the better!

sharon and i wanted to get together some time in june, and i thought she’d be the perfect rock of ages viewing-partner since she’d be way familiar with the era, too. and we were certain beyond a doubt pretty sure this film would not be of general interest to my uncle paul!

no evening out is complete without a self-portrait!

gosh, was this ever a fun movie. rock of ages is campy, cheesy and had us grinning from ear-to-ear and laughing out loud. if you want a super-fun evening out to celebrate the beginning of summer, go see this film. it does not take itself seriously, and if you go in with the attitude that you’ll be lovin’ every minute of it (haha, i had to work in that reference somehow – that song is not in the film but very well could be!) you’ll really enjoy yourself. typical of a musical, the plotline is not complex (hairspray was much the same) and the two *kids* who play the main characters are wholesome, naive and super cute. i wanted to be dancing and singing, too!

highlights to note (without spoiling anything for you):

  • the 80s fashions, hair and make-up – yup, been there, done that
  • great acting: alec baldwin, russell brand and tom cruise are fabulous! – my tommy does an awesome job as stacee jaxx – my guy can sing, seriously! special mention goes to paul giamatti and catherine zeta-jones
  • THE MUSIC!! man, i had forgotten what good tunes we rocked out to back in 1987. for example, i loved the mash-up of juke box hero with joan jett’s i love rock n roll, and i was reminded of how pour some sugar on me is such a solid anthem!
  • hey man [you’ll get it when you see the movie!]

anyway, the movie brought back happy memories of my teen-age era. i have a feeling i may finally swap some songs on my ipod – it could be time to crank up the guns n roses for a while!

rating: *** stars – make that three solid gold stars!


30 day photography challenge

day #26: close-up

a week ago tonight, our local saucony rep visited the store so that members of our half and full marathon clinics could test-drive a pair of saucony shoes, if they so wished, on their evening run. [sidenote for shoe geeks: the most popular model requested was the kinvara!].

the bags of shoes that melissa toted in caught my eye, so i surreptitiously (i hope!) snuck into our back room and grabbed my camera (a permanent fixture in my knapsack) so i could snap a picture:

all saucony, of course!

i liked the jumble of colours and mishmash of angles. please note that i did not stage this photo at all! there was no rearranging of shoes into a certain direction or swapping colours – this is exactly how the shoes were heaped in the huge equipment sack. (remember, i was trying to be quick with my photo!). this was a fun photo to take for our official collection because it came together so fast and unexpectedly. i love when you get satisfying results without even trying!

i ask this q so often, it could become a weekly fixture on the blog…oh well. it’s just very fun to talk movies!

what is the last film you saw, give it a rating out of **** (four stars), and do you recommend it? i still want to see what to expect when you’re expecting because i think it’ll be light n fluffy – perfect for summer viewing!

a decadent drink + a marvelous movie

sunday was a fun day!

part i:

in the afternoon, i met up with mom and dad at starbucks. this was a momentous occasion because i had my first-ever iced beverage!!


it’s true! i’ve never had a frappa-cappa-latta-mochi, ever, and sunday was the day to try one of s’bux specialty iced drinks. since it was 3 p.m., i did not want anything with coffee in it, so i ordered (after receiving info and clarification from the barista) a double chocolatey chip (don’t quote me, but i think that was the name). i loved it! this beverage becomes entry #2 in the wildly decadent and delicious desserts category for the 12 days of kiki project. here’s a fact: any time you add whipped cream and/or chocolate sauce to anything, said item automatically gets bumped into “decadent” status. [i’m calling it now: the remaining three desserts of the project are going to be ice-y cold, in some way, shape or form]. anyway, that chocolate drink gets a **** rating, and i highly recommend it.

the main reason for our get-together was to celebrate mom’s upcoming birthday!

a photo to mark the occasion!

as part of her gift, i made mom a pair of socks…

how many socks do you see???!…

…except due to technical difficulties, i only had one sock completed! so, mom received one sock on sunday and an IOU card for its partner. hopefully, by this weekend, mom will have TWO socks in her possession!

we had a lovely time visiting and raising a glass an iced drink in mom’s honour!

part ii:

sunday eve, we headed back over to the princess in order to attempt, once again, to catch the film the best exotic marigold hotel.

would we have better luck getting in on an overcast and humid sunday eve of a non-long weekend?


yes!…but barely! we got seats mid-theatre -> would not have wanted to be any closer to the screen!

we’ll go with inside-the-theatre photos, this week!


we all loved the movie. i give it a rock-solid ***+ star rating.

the storyline is captivating and quick-paced and filled with unexpected twists. my favourite characters were played by bill nighy and maggie smith, but the movie is chalk full of stellar performances. the dialogue is LOL funny in parts, but the film is also full of gentle life lessons such as:

everything will be all right in the end…if it’s not alright, then it’s not the end.

that is brilliant!

if you get a chance to view this movie, go for it – you won’t be disappointed!

whose birthday will you next celebrate among your immediate family/close friends? we enter a drought period after mom’s birthday – nothing until cutie c turns three in august!

do you have any desire to travel to india (the setting for the best exotic marigold hotel)? i do not, i must admit. call me unadventurous, but i do think india is a little too exotic for me…although i would find my beloved hot weather!

foiled at the movie theatre!

i am not doing very well with my attempts to be nice, lately.

as you have seen, mom and dad have been so very good about letting me steal food from their fridge and cupboards during the great may grocery challenge this month (an apple and a cheese slice here, a baggie of cereal there…it all adds up). yes, i have felt more than a weeee bit guilty over taking, taking, taking (i think the tipping point was having dad get that lettuce for me at the market!).

as a gesture of thanks, i invited mom and dad to join me as my guests for a night out at the movies this past sunday. we could walk over to the princess twin for the 6:30 pm showing of the best exotic marigold hotel.


i had seen the trailer for this movie [i forget exactly what i was at the theatre to see when i saw it], and it looked like an inoffensive, engaging story – one that you are not uncomfortable to see with your parents [or your daughter, for that matter, i imagine!].plus, we are all great fans of judi dench and maggie smith.

what a gorgeous evening for a quick walk up to the cinema!

we arrived before 6:25 pm…only to be greeted by patrons exiting the theatre – the movie was sold out!


[apart from giving me free groceries, i also owe mom and dad for letting me boss them around about how to pose for photos for the blog – such good sports, always!].

what a shame! all three of us were genuinely surprised that the movie would be sold out on such a lovely evening of a long weekend (isn’t everyone supposed to be camping or at the cottage??). ah, well. not meant to be, obviously.

at least we enjoyed a short stroll in the evening sunshine!

mom and dad, we will reschedule!

plan b was quickly devised: we settled in for a knitting party (ok, not dad) at mom and dad’s condo, and watched the latest (pvr’d) episode of top chef canada -> highly entertaining!

and – will wonders never cease – i went home without stealing a thing!

what is the last movie you saw, and please give it a rating out of **** stars. i would like to go see the five-year engagement and/or what to expect when you’re expecting. i have no desire to see the avengers.

movie review

when i found out that our half-marathon instructor at the store would be showing this movie…


…to his clinic members, i couldn’t believe my lucky ears! i’ve been itching to see this running-themed documentary since it first came out in 2007. unfortunately, i was working the night of their movie-watching or i would have totally crashed their party, but luckily, derek owns the spirit of the marathon, and even MORE wonderful is that he was very willing to lend me his dvd over easter weekend.

good friday evening, after a hard day of organizing and cleansing [um, ok….i actually did not start cleaning until 3 pm. i got about 2/5 of what i had anticipated doing, done. what can i say? among other diversions (coffee with kate!), my creative powers were on HIGH, and blog ideas were oozing from my fingertips – i couldn’t let that momentum slip away. and i DID make noticeable cleaning progress…now i’ll just have more *fun* for another day] i rewarded myself with a movie night.

i love running stories. i don’t think i have watched a running documentary since january 2011 when i watched the dvd the long green line, lent to me by gina. [here is my blog entry about that film. tangent – wordpress is really cool -> did you know that it has an inner google system – i can just type in key words, like “running, movie, gina” and it will deliver the blog post i am looking for. genius! after 600+ blog posts, i am very grateful for this feature].

back to spirit of the marathon…oh, what a touching and exciting movie! if you are a runner, you will be inspired by the training aspect (the film follows 5-6 marathoners as they prep for the chicago ‘thon; a couple are first-timers, two are elites – deena kastor seems like such a sweet person). if running is not your *thang,* you will appreciate the life lessons of perseverance, goal-setting, and benefits of group support. i dare you to finish the movie with dry eyes! (and it was the back-of-the-pack finishers who choked me up rather than the elites – their stunning finishes will send shivers down your spine). dad – there is even a father-daughter combo older than us who finish hand-in-hand!

movie rating: ***1/2 (three point five stars) out of a possible four.

i can see why derek has this dvd in his library. it’d be great viewing for the night before a big race. might this be a christmas list item for next december???!

final thought: spirit of the marathon is the perfect name for this documentary. watching it reminds us of just how running is a metaphor for life, and how completing a marathon is not purely a physical feat.

what’s your favourite type of documentary? i like anything involving people. wordplay was neat, as was mad hot ballroom. i avoid any animal kingdom or military/war stuff, though.

any other running-themed movie recommendations? run fatboy run was pretty amusing; believe it or not, i am not that huge a fan of “run, forrest, run.”


today marks the half way point of the blogging from a-z challenge! hey, this is a cool coincidence: the blogging challenge includes writing 26 blog posts; running a marathon involves finishing 26 miles!

salmon swimming

last evening, andrea and i met up at the princess twin to see this movie:


here‘s the synopsis from the princess website!

here’s andrea and me!

ok, a bit of a miss on sandwiching the film title between us! oh well!

when i first had seen the movie poster outside the cinema building, my interest was captured by the fact that emily blunt and kristin scott thomas were main actors. i’ve admired kristin scott thomas since i first saw her in four weddings and a funeral [how can that film be from 1994, already?!], and i’ve been a fan of emily blunt since the devil wears prada.

andrea and i both loved this charming and delightful movie. it has all the ingredients of a winning film: breath-taking scenery; intrigue and drama; passion and sorrow; gentle humour and laugh-out-loud moments; questionable politics; take-home life lessons; skilled acting, and highly likeable characters. emily blunt (so pretty!), kristin scott thomas (so funny!) and ewan mcgregor (so endearing! – and, first movie i have seen him in) are each just wonderful in their respective roles. i can highly recommend this little gem! it earns a solid *** out of a possible **** stars in the kiki movie-rating system!

**eta: andrea and i were laughing because neither of us could remember the name of this movie, all week long…for today’s blog post title, i honestly thought i was giving you the first two words of the movie’s real title – i obviously thought wrong!


i got me my aviators!!!

just in time - it was a sunny sunday!

i lucked out at smart set at conestoga mall yesterday, during my outing with mom (and thanks, mom, for the treat!). i wore them all around the rest of sunday (well, not in the movie). i think they will be my signature look for summer 2012!

next up: the peacock feather earrings!


what actors draw you into seeing a movie? i also would see practically anything (except a war movie) featuring helen mirren, meryl streep, or julia roberts. i’ll leave men out of the equation, today – esp since it’s such (yawn) old news that i ♥ george clooney and tom cruise!

has there been a phase in your life where you have felt like a salmon swimming upstream? i’d say i more relate to feeling like a fish out of water – and that would date back to grades 7-11, roughly. i clearly remember feeling like a misfit, at times, and of being unsure how to act in a social group with my peers – just the typical teenage angst! can’t say i miss that life phase! i’ve never been one to aggressively buck the trend, so to speak, so that metaphor of swimming upstream doesn’t resonate with me all that much.

congratulations all you around the bay-ers!!

missing my palm trees


a year ago today, i left for aruba. here is the blog post for that travel day! the strongest memory is of the trip from waterloo to the airport – thanks to ice rain and *perfect* temps, it was the most harrowing and nerve-wracking drive down the 401 of my life, no exaggeration. let’s all sit and sigh as we gaze upon the loveliness…

hello, blue sky!

hello, divi tree!

hel-LO, sunshine!!

i do not know when i shall return to my favourite tropical paradise. i DO know i love everything about aruba – if you ever get the chance to travel to this tiny island in the caribbean, take it!

…ok, one last shot of heaven!…

well, guess what – this movie hugely surpassed my expectations! she is cute, he is hunky, the story tugs at the heart…it is a good one. i was quite captivated, and was sorry when the movie ended – the time flew! i give “the vow” *** (three stars) and *** 1/2 (three point five) stars if we only consider it for the chic flick genre. if you have not seen “the vow,” go!

vacation down south: would you choose cruise or resort? in january, some running friends went on cruise to run – they had a blast! i am not picky. i will take any holiday that involves sun and HEAT!

how i spent my leap year day

seeing as february 29th = wednesday, that means leap year day was an aunti day in TO, right?

wrong. 😦

just enough snowfall to potentially cause havoc on the roads

the weather gods decided to have a little *fun,* and delivered a spring-like storm of flurries and freezing rain on us. since the conditions were already getting nasty before 8 a.m., aunti made the executive decision to not make the drive down the 401 to toronto. sad.

the latest selection of cd's from the library will have to wait til NEXT wednesday to be delivered!

sooo…that meant that i now had an unexpected and unplanned day at home! what to do?

well, it didn’t take me long to make some plans.

first: i completed another step on the surprise project for dad:

a far-away photo, on purpose!

all will be revealed [to dad + on the blog] within the next week!

given the crappy weather, i declared yesterday a car-free day. that meant that i had no other option than to get my groceries at valumart [i had been planning to hit up the neighbourhood food basics in TO]. after tabulating my grocery expenditures for the month, i realized i had saved between $100-$200 during february, thanks to switching over to food basics for the majority of my shopping – wild, eh?! so, since there was extra money in the grocery kitty, i decided to perform r.a.o.k.#2!

thinking ahead to just such a day, i had saved the food drive bags that were delivered to our building a few weeks ago:

this time, the bags were smaller than the usual grocery bag size

when i went over to valumart to get my own groceries, i decided to fill the bags. there is no food drive going on right now, but the food bank always needs to replenish its stores.

my philosophy is that i only pick items that i would eat myself or give to my family. i had great FUN sourcing out sale items!

bag #1 was baby themed...(eight different flavours!)

...bag #2 was for an adult.

...and into the food bank receptacle they go (which is very small right now because there is no food drive going on).

completing r.a.o.k.#2 deserves a reward, agreed?! yesterday, juanita left a blog comment to let me know that david’s tea was offering a FREE large TEA in celebration of leap year day! i scooted directly from valumart to david’s.

sign in the window! how many people took advantage, i wonder?!

there were two types of tea available, for free:

(L): "green & fruity rooibos" w mango, peach, papaya, apple; (R): "north african mint," a green tea w cardamon, peppermint, ginger, black pepper and fennel

after sampling both offerings, and since i am not a fruit flavour fan, i chose the green tea. i brought my cuppa back to the condo casa…because david’s is also right across the street from home!

tea and knitting -> very nice!

in the aft, i coffee-shopped with mom and dad!

back to the mall, to "a matter of taste," this time!

and for my evening activity? how about a movie?! last eve, the princess was showing both “the artist” and “the iron lady.”



if you read yesterday’s blog post, i think you can guess which film i chose to see [although after reading zo‘s comment about “the artist,” i will say that i did consider picking the oscar-winning best picture movie…but my love for meryl streep’s acting won out, in the end].

the verdict?

totally worthwhile. i had a marvelous time watching “the iron lady,” and was very engrossed by the movie.

as anticipated, meryl is wonderful – phenomenal, even? – and deserves every inch of that oscar statue that she won. the storyline is touching, informative, enjoyable. i do recommend seeing this film! i’ll give it *** (three stars) out of a possible **** (four stars). 1.75 stars for meryl, and 1.25 stars for the movie.


all in all, it was an enjoyable leap year day. although, i did miss my little chiclets!

a christmas file photo will have to suffice!

better luck next week!

did you celebrate leap year day by doing anything out-of-the-ordinary and/or did you see any leap year day deals? tangent: i am freaked that i will be 46 years old when the next leap year rolls around! closer to 50 than 40 = O.L.D.!!!! :0

nowhere near 27 dresses!

this weekend, i made the time to watch the chick flick 27 dresses.


nicole recently emailed me a spreadsheet [gosh, i love nicole’s organizational style!] which lists all of the dvd movies and tv shows that she owns – and i am welcome to borrow what i wish! i tell you, there are enough options to keep me in front of the tv at least through the rest of this year…and next year…and the next year…!

to keep things simple, i just started at the top of nicole’s list and chose 27 dresses because i didn’t see it when it came out in theatres (i do remember that it was playing at the cinema in aruba when i was there last march).

i do not own 27 dresses! not even close! i went up to my closet and counted:

dress #1:

purchased at "the embellished room" this summer; i have not even worn it yet!

dress #2:

purchased in florida, summer 2010, during my outlet mall visit! worn at nick and wanda's wedding reception

dress #3:

a christmas gift a few years ago from cousin kate. she totally knows my style; worn on umpteen occasions!

dress #4:

purchased at "damsels in this dress," on queen street east, toronto, march 2010, worn to jillian and duncan's wedding

…and then there is beach coverup dress #5…

purchased off the old navy clearance rack with my groupon, this past summer; worn to TO for aunti day the day it was 40+ degrees C!

[ok, that one we are counting as half a dress because it is technically not a dress but i have decreed it as such].

that makes for a grand total of 4.5 dresses in my wardrobe. i do 110% love each of the above-noted dresses, though – they are all*me.*

27 dresses was predictable, inoffensive, sweet, gently humourous…pretty much b-grade in terms of the acting/writing/editing, a standard-fare boy-girl film. i have no real complaints (actually, no strong reaction, one way or another). the funniest sequence was katherine heigl’s trying-on of her bridesmaids’ dresses – talk about a hideous collection! and i chuckled at the oft-repeated inclusion of the line, “and the best part is you’ll be able to wear this dress again!” how many times have we all heard that one?! this film was a nice choice for a winter evening’s entertainment.

how many dresses do you own? (guy readers, i assume i am excluding you, today!) skirts do not count! include only dresses! and beach cover ups.

how many times have you been a bridesmaid? me = three!

have you seen “27 dresses?” what is your **** (four star) review? i’ll go with ** (two stars) -> sweet, not terrible, not outstanding. a MUCH funnier bridesmaids-themed movie is….bridesmaids!