Discovery of the Week: Story by ModCloth

It’s been a while, I know but Christmas kind of snuck up me and in all the chaos of holiday prep, I got busy, and sick. I’m still recovering from my stupid cold and I’ve even started back at work so I thought this would be a perfect time to pick up the blog again. It is one of my New Year’s resolutions to be more consistent with “Discovery of the Week.” We’ll see how that goes …

On to the new discovery of the week: Story by ModCloth. ModCloth has a blog!

Photo courtesy of http://blog.modcloth.com/

Photo courtesy of http://blog.modcloth.com/

For those of you who don’t know, ModCloth is a vintage-inspired clothing website. They sell women’s clothes, shoes, accessories, and knickknacks. I absolutely love their products but they do tend to fall on the more expensive side of things. Luckily, ModCloth has a bunch of sales throughout the year, and you can even “like” an item and ask to be notified when it is on sale or back in stock.

Being a member of the site, and signed up for the email list, I wasn’t very surprised to see an email from ModCloth in my inbox recently, advertising new skirts. What did intrigue me was the little icon at the bottom that advertised the ModCloth blog. I immediately had to check it out.

They have several different categories, including but not limited to Fashion, Beauty, and Lifestyle. Each of these has their own subcategories and features. I’m not sure how long they have been up and running but they have a pretty hefty backlog I’m going to be working through so I would guess at least a year, probably two (can’t believe I’ve been missing out that long!). The creative team behind the blog seems to be built from like-minded designers and writers from around the internet. Several even have their own fashion blogs (more stuff for me to discover!).

It is adorable, as all ModCloth things are and it is on WordPress! How wonderful is it that they are right here on WordPress? I love discovering new blogs, and it is even more excellent that it is on a platform I’m already utilizing. This will make it easier for me to stay on top of new posts and such.

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Discovery of the Week: Point Break Live!

Yesterday was my company holiday party. Normal office parties tend to involve things along the lines of potlucks, ugly sweater contests, dessert competitions, and other such festivities. Not my office though. No. After a series of games in the afternoon, including things like trivia and very intense dodgeball matches, we all gathered in the office for the big surprise entertainment they had been hyping all week, which brings me to my discovery of the week: Point Break Live!

Yes it is a thing, and yes, it is epically awesome. It is exactly what it sounds like. Actors recreate the cult classic film about an undercover FBI agent joining a group of surfing bank robbers, on stage. It is just as ridiculously entertaining as the film (maybe even a little more so).

WARNING

This is an interactive theater experience. The cast members come into the audience several times during the performance, getting more than a little physical sometimes, you will get wet, probably with both water and fake blood, and you may even get the chance to star in the show. At each performance an audience member is chosen to play the key role of Johnny Utah. Seriously, this happens. A couple of volunteers come up on stage and after a short “audition,” the audience chooses who they want by cheering for their favorite. They then get to watch this poor person make a fool of themselves (in the best way possible) for the next two hours, and it is awesome.

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The show was so much more entertaining than I expected. It helps that I saw it with a bunch of people I work with and know, and that the Johnny Utah who was chosen was one of those people. I still think it would be just as hilarious seeing it at their usual venue. Tickets start around $30 and there are several packages that can be purchased to enhance your viewing experience. I think it is totally worth the cost of admission and I am even looking into going with my family.

Best office holiday party I’ve ever been to.

Discovery of the Week: “Emma Approved”

A little over a year ago I discovered this charming little web series titled, “The Lizzie Bennet Diaries.”

In case you didn’t pick up on the reference in the title, the series is a modern take on Jane Austen’s beloved novel, Pride and Prejudice. Presented as a grad school new media project, Lizzie (Elizabeth) Bennet shares her life, and that of her sisters, with the internet. It is well executed and cleverly updated for this day and age.

It was co-created by Bernie Su, and Hank Green, who gained fame with his project “Brotherhood 2.0,” where he and his brother communicated almost solely through vlogs for a year. I haven’t yet seen the series of videos but I loved “The Lizzie Bennet Diaries” so I’m interested to see where Green got his start.

With Lizzie’s success came a Kickstarter campaign, an Emmy, and the creation of a few spin offs, including one of Austen’s short stories, Sanditon.

Most recently (my newest discovery) “Emma Approved,” which is a modern version of Austen’s Emma, has turned up on the internet. And I LOVE it! I’m a huge fan of Austen’s work and I’ve always eagerly sought out new adaptations. So when I heard the creators of “The Lizzie Bennet Diaries” were taking on Emma, I was thrilled. In the series Emma is a kind of life counselor and match maker. She works with Mr. Knightley, who is also a family friend, and Harriet Smith, who is her eager, although slightly awkward assistant.

I think they got the essence of Emma perfect and I like the interpretations of the other characters. I really like their Mr. Knightley and I love the actress they got to play Emma. I’m still catching up on episodes as I only realized a week ago that they had started uploading videos but so far it’s good.

The success of “The Lizzie Bennet Diaries” and this new series make me wonder if they’ll tackled any other Austen works. My personal favorite is Persuasion and I would be very interested to see how they would update that story.

Discovery of the Week: The Secret Six

A couple weekends ago my parents and I were watching tv and came across an interview with author Brian Kilmeade, where he discussed his new book, George Washington’s Secret Six: The Spy Ring That Saved the American Revolution.

Basically George Washington was a badass who had a secret team of spies that helped out during the American Revolution. He realized that in order to win the revolution, he would need more than just military strength. He enlisted the help of six strategically placed people: a Quaker merchant and reporter, a tavern keeper, a dock worker, a bachelor whose ability to travel aided in his spy duties, a coffeehouse and print shop owner, and a female socialite.

All but one of these people have been identified by now (Agent 355, the female socialite is the only one whose identity is still a mystery). I won’t reveal the names of the others in case you wanted to find the book and discover them for yourself. My mom already ordered a copy for my dad for Christmas. In fact, she ordered it on her Kindle as we were sitting in the family room watching the interview. Isn’t technology wonderful?

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I’m excited to read the book (after my dad finishes it, of course) but I’m even more excited to learn that George Washington had spies! Not only did he have spies but they were an important factor in winning the Revolution! That is just so cool. I love American history and I love learning something new like this that demonstrates how awesome our history is sometimes.

Discovery of the Week: Elementary

Hey again!

I’m back after another short absence (sorry about that). I’d like to share with you today a television show I actually “discovered” last year, Elementary.

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It premiered last fall and I started recording it immediately. Now, anyone who knows me can tell you that I’m kind of obsessed with TV. Every new season I scope out the new pilots and record what I think I might be interested in. I may not immediately get to viewing these shows so I usually set my DVR to record the series each week. With Elementary, I basically didn’t get to it until the second season was starting. I had watched a few episodes (maybe 3) before it started again this season and then a couple weekends ago I binge-watched the rest of the first season. Let’s just say, it had a lasting effect on me.

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There are plenty adaptations of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes out there for fans to choose from, most of which I have not seen. I’m not sure why this one stuck out to me. Maybe it was such an interesting concept: what would Holmes be like in modern day New York? Add in a gender switch for Watson and you have enough to interest me. And, those are the things that I ended up liking the most about the show. I love Lucy Liu as Joan Watson. She has an interesting back story and is often the main focus of an episode which is nice. Holmes can be an overwhelming character and having a different, and fairly normal, character to focus on from time to time is good. I like too that Holmes comes into contact with her as a result of his rehabilitation after his substance abuse. I think it adds an intriguing dimension to their relationship. I also love Johnny Lee Miller as Holmes. He’s just enough of an asshole to make you want to hate him right before he shows you his vulnerable side and forces you to sympathize and root for him.

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There are a few other twists and turns made to the story that I won’t spoil for you but simply let you know that they add so much to the success of this adaptation. Taking risks and trying something different can be scary and there will always be those who criticize any attempt to take on a classic but I’m loving the Sherlock Holmes C.S.I. adventure that is Elementary.

Elementary airs Thursdays on CBS at 10/9c.

Discovery of the Week: Urban Home

Hi again!

I’m back with another discovery this week!

I would like to share with you all my introduction to a new (at least new to me) store: Urban Home.

It’s a furniture and home goods store that I visited last week (when I was also visiting Paris Baguette, which I still have yet to try) at the Santa Anita Mall. My mom had mentioned it a few times but having no clue what it was, I never really understood what she was saying. That has all changed.

Let me tell you. This store is amazing!

They have really cute stuff (furniture, decor, etc.) and it’s all fairly reasonably priced.

It’s like IKEA but cheaper and higher quality. The only sad part is that I don’t have my own home (or the money) to furnish with all these lovely products they have for sale. That is actually probably a good thing now that I think about it because otherwise I would have spent all my money. I seriously considered buying that clock above even though I have no where to put it. That’s how awesome this store is.

Discovery of the Week: Paris Baguette

Hello again!

I know I missed posting last week but sometimes life gets in the way of the best laid plans. Still, I’m back this week with a new discovery.

I was at the Santa Anita Mall this weekend and while walking along, window shopping, what should I see? A new bakery that has “Paris” in the title. Now, any of you who know me, know that I love French food and adore Paris themed things. I just had to have a peak at what this store had to offer.

Paris Baguette is the name of the bakery (not really creative but at least it’s to the point). They have a wide array of pastries to choose from, including: cakes, cookies, bread, sandwiches, etc. They are a division of a larger Korea-based company which is interesting because there seems to be some Asian-influenced pastries in their line-up as well. They have green tea flavored shaved ice, as well as rice cakes, and mochi desserts. I’m mostly excited about the croissants and macaroons though.

I did not have the chance to actually try anything yet but I will definitely be making a stop here on my next trip to Santa Anita. I have very high hopes. Thanks for coming by!