Archive for August, 2010



After having it stored on my DVR for the entire Summer, I have finally been able to check out the new E! reality series, “Holly’s World,” starring Holly Madison!  Admittedly, Bridget Marquardt is my favorite of the three former “Girls Next Door”, but I have always had a lot in common with Holly, such as the love of animals, love of the old Hollywood glamour, belief in marriage equality (LOVED her and Bridget’s participation in the ad campaign for NOH8), the love of Disney and Star Wars.  🙂  After the girls left the mansion, I was sad.  I had come to really love the relationship between the three of them!  It just goes to show that in life you can have a really wonderful family of your own choosing.  They are a lot like sisters, and it’s fun to watch.

“Holly’s World” not only stars the beautiful Holly Madison, it also features the lives of her three friends, Angel, a 20 year old single mom who is Holly’s assistant, and if I am not mistaken……Holly had “discovered” Angel while she was working for Playboy……Josh Strickland, a talented singer and actor, and fellow cast member of “Peep Show”……and Laura Croft, July 2008 Playboy Playmate.

At first, I have to say, Josh and Angel were a bit too much to take.  Between her squeeky little voice and his dramatically tearful outbursts, I nearly ran away from the show screaming, lol!  But, I gave it some time.  I noticed that I was seeing a completely different Holly than I had seen in the “Girls Next Door” series.  I was curious and wanted to see more.  After Angel and Josh sort of mellowing out a little as the episodes roll on, you see how much love there is between friends.  You see this completed family that Holly has, how her new job as “Bo Peep” in “Peep Show” affects her, how she really is when her walls come down.  She is such a sweet, supportive wonderful friend, and you actually see her showing emotion, which is something new.  When she was living with Hef, she rarely showed emotion.  Laura Croft is witty and soft voiced, and seems to just keep them all real, lol!  Nothing seems to rattle her outwardly and I love the way she tells it like it is!

A very unexpected cast member is Angel’s little boy Roman.  He’s ADORABLE!!!!!  I didn’t know before watching the show that Angel was a single mom, and he is such a sweet boy!  Even sweeter, is the fact that Holly invited them to live with her.  I know how much Holly loves children and this is a really nice surprising element in the show.  Here, I thought it was going to be something wild and crazy, and in ways the show definitely is, however, it finds a way to hit you right in the heart.  Of course, it wouldn’t be Holly if she didn’t have a couple of dogs!  Her new pups are Napolean and Josephine (LOVE the names!!!!!), and they are soooo cute!!!!  It’s a really nice life she’s leading, she has grown so much since leaving Hef’s Mansion, and it’s great to see her evolving!  I am looking forward to seeing more of “Holly’s World”!

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“The Duchess”


When I first saw the trailer for the movie, “The Duchess,” starrring Keira Knightley and Ralph Fiennes, I was immediately intrigued.  I love historically based movies (no, kidding, right?) and I wasted no time in snooping online to find out just exactly who this “Duchess” was.

From the moment I began to read about Georgiana Cavendish, Duchess of Devonshire, I was hooked.  She is exactly the type of historical figure I admire, and her story is very unconventional.  My favorite kind!

I finally saw the movie last week, and I have to say, even this small glimpse into the Duchess’ life was amazing.

As a young girl who seemed to have the world at her fingertips, I am sure marriage to a very prestigious Duke was the icing on the cake for Georgiana.  Poor girl could not have been more mistaken about how her life was to be.  Of course, in those times, a woman really couldn’t expect much from a marriage, as such things were arranged without much consideration for the bride in question.  But, as it turns out, the Duchess of Devonshire had more to contend with than most wives of her day.

Lack of common interests and a string of mistresses and miscarriages served to drive her and the Duke apart.   Georgiana is forced to raise her husband’s bastard daughter after the girl’s mother dies, which she handled with grace and dignity, always treating the child with kindness.  I am sure Georgiana must have been so disheartened at the state of her marriage, wanting to bear the Duke the son he so desperately needed and wanted.  The Duchess eventually succeeded in giving the Duke his desire, giving him two daughters and a son.

In the movie, you get a glimpse into how Georgiana reacted to the strains of marriage, how the unexpected heartbreaks, such as the miscarriages, and then eventually a betrayal by her best friend shape her and her ideals.  It could not have been easy to have one the thing near and dear to her, with the exception of her children, taken away by her husband.   Befriending Elizabeth Foster, helping her when she was in a desperate situation, and then being utterly betrayed by her had to be quite a crushing blow.  Even in modern times, that is pretty ruthless and just plain rotten behavior from a dear friend.

As if that weren’t bad enough, being forced to live in a menage-a-trois of sorts with her husband and Elizabeth.   Elizabeth lived with them as if she were also married to the Duke and I am convinced that this was both hurtful and humiliating for Georgiana.  But, like all historical female figures I admire, she rises above it and manages to make the best of the life handed to her.

She was a fashion icon of her time, she hosted “salons” with some of the most popular and intriguing writers, artists, poets, and figures of the “Whig” party.  She also loved to gamble and go to parties frequently, even though the Duke and her parents did not approve.

The most difficult part of the movie for me was when Georgiana confessed she was pregnant as a result of her affair with Charles Grey, 2nd Earl Grey.  Her husband, the Duke, forced her to give the child up to Charles’ family.  It was excruciating to watch as she hands the baby over to Charles’ father and the baby is crying and she is just completely torn up, watching the baby go.  I do not even want to imagine how that must have felt.  Being a mother myself, it tore at my heart.  Fortunately, at the end, we do find that the Duchess eventually has a secret relationship with her daughter, whom she names Eliza.  It’s a small comfort in the face of such sadness.

All in all, I felt the movie was done wonderfully, and tastefully.  The only complaint I have is that I felt things were glossed over fairly quickly, only concentrating on a small frame of time in the Duchess’ life.  It left me wondering about quite a few things.  I have decided to find a copy of Amanda Foreman’s “The Duchess” as soon as possible, so I can get a more detailed and in depth understanding of Georgiana.  I am very much looking forward to the read!

***All images found via Google Image search


(Image borrowed from this entry:  http://community.livejournal.com/1962/1371679.html)

Lindsay Lohan couldn’t pull it off, and I am REALLY wishing Paris Hilton would not have jumped on this bandwagon.  Imitation is not always a flattering thing.  When I saw the pics, I have to VERY grudgingly admit that Paris pulls it off somewhat better…..and, when reading the article, I also have to admit that Paris’ intentions are sweet.

However, I just can’t help but want to throw up in my mouth a little.   I know I am being uber opinionated, and maybe even too harsh, but I just can’t stand someone like Paris Hilton trying to imitate one of America’s most beloved and photographed icons.   For more information about the reason for Ms. Hilton’s Marilyn-like appearance, you can go to this site:  http://community.livejournal.com/1962/1371679.html.  (It happens to be one of my most favorite sites for all things Marilyn  :))

As for this little publicity ploy by Lohan and Hilton?  Yuck, just yuck.  Oh, and PLEASE stop the madness!


 

 

 

In the heart of Downtown, Stillwater, Minnesota, you can find yourself a touch of the Carribean, even on the coldest days of Winter.  Nestled inside the Brick Alley building on Main Street, which also houses a few quaint shops, the smell of the food at Smalley’s Carribean Barbeque and Pirate Bar pulls you in.  The atmosphere is casual, with reggae music playing at just the right volume in the background.

A good friend brought me to this restaurant for the first time when I moved to Stillwater in December, and I have been dragging all of my friends to it ever since!!!!  The pirate theme happens to be something I really love, but the food….. ah…. the food is AMAZING!!!!!!!

The first time I ever ate at Smalley’s, I had their famous Tator Tot Nachos.  I ordered a half portion, and I couldn’t believe how ENORMOUS that was!  I ended up having to take some of it home, cause I just couldn’t eat it all!  The pork on the nachos was not too spicy, and had great jerk flavor.  It was extremely difficult to stop eating it, lol!

The next time I went down, I brought a friend who had never been there.  We had the jerk tacos for the first time.  It was hands down the BEST taco I have ever put in my mouth, and I am half Mexican, so that is saying A LOT!!!!!  We both could not stop all the “ooohhing and ahhhing” as we were eating them!

Other things I have tried….. the Fried Green Tomatoes with a Horseradish Aioli, Jamaican Jerk Wings, BBQ Beef Brisket, Grilled Curried Vegetables, Rice and Peas with Cilantro and Red Onion, Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Sausage and Carmelized Pork (OMFG, there should be a LAW against this dish, cause it’s so GOOD!), and the Coconut Rum Flan.

ALL of these items were outstanding in taste, presentation, preparation and smell.  The jerk seasoning they use is very fresh tasting and you can get it as mild or as hot as you want, which I really love!!!  Most places that have jerk seasoned foods only have it made very hot and I like to enjoy the variety of spices as well as the heat.  They also serve the BBQ with a variety of really delectable sauces!

The waitstaff is very knowledgeable, helpful and prompt.  If something is made a certain way, they let you know ahead of time, to ensure you are going to have the best dining experience.  They have a great sense of humor and everyone seems to really play up the whole pirate theme, lol!

On top of the fabulous food and service, they have a really great happy hour and fantastic drink specials!

All in all, I would say if you ever find yourself in Stillwater, and enjoy Carribean food, you CAN NOT pass it by!  If you would like to know more about Smalley’s, such as location, menu, etc, you can find them here:

http://smalleyscaribbeanbbq.com/

and here:

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Stillwater-MN/Smalleys-Caribbean-Barbeque-and-Pirate-Bar/97334556680?v=wall&ref=ts

***Image found via random Google Image Search