Personal Posts

The Versatile Blogger Award

I’ve never actually done a tag before but seeing as I’m in a bit of a writing slump, this nomination has come at the perfect time. Thank you so much to K-Bops in K-Pop for nominating me for the Versatile Blogger Award. She’s one of my favorite k-pop bloggers and always has such an interesting take on what’s new on the music scene. Thank you for also getting my lazy butt back into writing because after taking some time off, I’ve been dreading the first draft back.

The rules are simple. You thank the person who nominated you (thanks again to K-Bops in K-Pop), you list seven things about yourself, and you nominate fifteen other people. Let’s get started.

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A grainy picture of my team’s back-to-back wins my junior and senior year

  1. I used to be a theatre critic. Cappies are high school theatre critics that review plays within their district for the opportunity of publication. I was really involved in this organization and actually became lead critic and representative officer for my final two years on the team. I’ve been published quite a few times but sadly I didn’t keep track of my reviews after I submitted them. It’s my fondest memory of high school and it made me fall in love with writing.

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    Audrey in Funny Face from narwhalsinlove.com

  2. Audrey Hepburn inspired my love of film. I was seven or eight when I was trying to find something to watch with my dad. He flipped through the channels and landed on Funny Face, one of Audrey’s iconic musicals. From that moment on, I knew film was my passion. She’s actually the reason my blog got its name. I wanted a way to honor her in sharing my love for movies and entertainment so I chose a line she frequently says in many movies.

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    One of my favorite pictures from a trip to Fort DeSoto Beach

  3. Florida is the bomb. Growing up as a Floridian, everyone you know says they hate the state and can’t wait to move somewhere colder, myself included. Now that I’m older, I can’t imagine living anywhere else. I love the variety in the environment. You can be at a beach, a swamp, and a meadow all in the same drive. Don’t even get me started on my love for Orlando’s theme parks. Sure the heat is intense but that’s the way I like it.

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    Universal’s Harry Potter Celebration 2018

  4. I’m a Ravenclaw. It should be no surprise to my 9¾ Reviews readers that I’m a massive Potterhead. I actually went to the Harry Potter Celebration at Universal two weekends ago and I’m already making plans for next year’s celebration. I’m in the best house, Ravenclaw, and yes I’m completely biased. I love finding out what houses other people are in. It’s like the Potterhead way of finding out if you’re compatible to be friends with someone. Cheesy, I know.

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    A picture from my kayaking trip through a local chain of lakes

  5. Nature over city any day. That is, as long as I’m not out there for too long. Whenever I vacation, I always want to be somewhere naturally gorgeous. I want to be able to hike and kayak and bask in the beauty of our planet. However, you’ll never catch me camping. I’ve seen Blair Witch Project. I know what’s really going on in the woods when the sun sets.

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    The Universal movie wall at Universal Studios Orlando

  6. I love making videos. I haven’t done it in years but lately I’ve been feeling the creative itch again. I think there’s something really therapeutic about filming and editing a project. I’ve thought about making a YouTube account to push myself to actually create the videos I think of, but I’m not too fond of the platform. There’s a lot of negativity surrounding the concept of being a YouTuber and the company itself hasn’t made a great environment for new channels.

  7. Hate the industry, love the art. This is true with just about every form of art that I love. I hate the idea that people practically sell their souls to do what their passionate about. Yes, big companies give people opportunities, but at what cost? It’s a concept I really struggle with as someone who lives for entertainment and art. I know as a blogger that discusses the products of these companies, I may seem like I’m turning a blind eye to the abuse. I’m not and it pains me to hear about the injustices. In trying to find a balance between enjoying the art while not supporting the abuse used to make it, I’m constantly conflicted.

I’m going to have to disappoint in the last requirement. Instead of fifteen people, I’ll link as many as I can who might be interested in participating. Since tags aren’t something a lot of people enjoy, this is a no pressure nomination for some blogs I enjoy keeping up with.

Wannabe Movie Critic

The Past Due Book Review

Kpop-Khop

Adrian vs. the World

Hammy Reviews

Peaks and Pages

The Life of Kristyn

wildfiremovies

Miriam / Soo Young

120 days of Film

Hopefully this post puts me back in the writing mood. I’ve seen quite a few movies lately and have some big ideas for a blog series on the filmography of directors. I’ve also had my love for Lana Del Rey and Harry Potter reinvigorated so maybe there’ll will be some Album Alerts and 9¾ Reviews heading your way too. See you soon!

 

 

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Highly Anticipated Entertainment of 2018

I initially had a few different ideas for this post. I thought I might recap my year and reveal some enlightening truths I’ve discovered. Sure, this year had some incredible moments, but it also has some of the hardest challenges I’ve ever had to overcome. I considered a subtly sarcastic commentary on the concept of resolutions. Yet, I really love the idea of starting new and using any excuse to build yourself up. I even considered telling you some of my personal resolutions. However, I don’t have any new ones that I haven’t already been working toward.

I don’t want to focus on the dark times of 2017. I don’t want to make promises that I won’t keep. I certainly don’t want to seem bitter toward people doing something I greatly admire. How then do I kick off a new year for Oh Hello, Darling? Well I follow a trend of course!

I want to focus on the things I’m most excited for in 2018.  There are plenty of movies I’m itching to see and music I can’t wait to listen to. Why not share and get this year started with some positivity?

Movies

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I’m realizing the majority of the movies I’m excited for are all action blockbusters. I usually like to stumble upon artsy or slow drawn movies throughout the year rather than seek them out. Alright, here’s the lineup for my most anticipated movies for this year.

  • Black Panther. 2018 is going to be a huge year for Marvel Studios. Kicking off the superhero calendar on February 16th is a movie that I’ve been dying to see since the trailer was released. With the recent success of Thor: Ragnarok and Spider-Man: Homecoming, I have nothing but high hopes for Black Panther.
  • Pacific Rim: Uprising. I’m a massive fan of the original Pacific Rim. Sure it has its flaws but it’s just a fun movie to watch. Unfortunately, I do have low expectations for this movie. From what the trailer shows, it looks like an empty money grab without the personality of the original. Hopefully, come March 23rd, I’ll be pleasantly surprised.
  • Avengers: Infinity War. Like I said, this is going to be a huge year for Marvel. I was taken with the first but horribly disappointed with the second movie in this trilogy. However, the trailer for the third installment looks promising for an awesome flick. May 4th can’t come soon enough.
  • Solo: A Star Wars Story. I have a bad feeling about this. This is one movie I’m fearful to see. This could rank close to Rogue One since it is a stand alone prequel or it could fail as a character ruining money grab by Disney. Either way, I won’t be missing a Han Solo based Star Wars movie for anything. I’ll be in that theatre seat on May 25th ready for mixed feelings and mild disappointment.
  • Deadpool 2. This movie kicks off a huge month for the box office on June 1st. I love the first Deadpool movie and have been waiting for this sequel since its vague yet hilarious announcement. I can’t think of a better way to start the month than watching Ryan Reynolds make crude jokes on the big screen.
  • Oceans Eight. The following weekend, the women take over. I’m beyond excited so see all of these powerful actresses take to the screen together in an iconic movie franchise. June 8th is already marked on my calendar.
  • The Incredibles 2. For everyone in my generation, this has been a highly anticipated movie since the sequel was announced. It’s a childhood favorite and Pixar’s funniest movie. You can expect just as many, if not more, adults than children to be in the theatre on June 15th.
  • Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom. Okay, I’ll admit it, the trailer for this movie doesn’t look good. I’ve grown up watching the Jurassic Park movies and they’ve been favorites of mine for as long as I can remember. I can’t really be too pessimistic about this movie because on June 22nd, I’ll be seeing dinosaurs on the big screen again. That’s something to celebrate.
  • Venom. Tom Hardy is enough of a reason to get me to see any movie. While I’m conflicted on the premise, I am excited to see what comes of it. Hopefully we get a trailer soon to see what’s in store for us on October 5th.
  • Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Gringelwald. Surrounded by controversy, this film is already facing challenges. I doubt the casting scandal will hinder this movie’s worldwide success. This means I have until November 16th to catch up completely with my 9¾ reviews so I can get my potterhead opinion on the movie up for you as soon as possible.
  • Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse. It only seems fitting that Marvel wraps up my year in films since it does kick it off. How they’re planning on finishing this sequel so quickly is beyond me but I’m ready for more Spider-Man goodness. I hope Marvel knocks it out of the park with all of their other movies for 2018 so I can keep my anticipation high for December 14th.

Music

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I’ve never been the type to map out album releases. There are a few bands and singers that I always stay up-to-date with but other than that I prefer to stumble upon new releases as the months unfold. That being said, I do have some tunes I can’t wait to hear and some wishful thinking for 2018.

  • CL. This is one comeback I’ve been dying for. 2NE1 was the first k-pop girl group that I ever listened to and I fell in love quickly. It wasn’t too long after I fell down the rabbit hole that they decided to split up. Ever since, I’ve been following CL and her solo career with nothing but anticipation. She’s easily my favorite solo artist on the scene. Even if she doesn’t release new music, because music should never feel or sound forced for the sake of putting it out, I would love to see some more collaborations with her. Her recent Instagram posts look promising so with any luck, we’ll be seeing more CL in the future.
  • The Hixtape. Okay, this may not be the actual name of it but it is the current unofficial title. BTS’s rap-line member J-Hope will be releasing the mixtape he’s been working on this February and I’m beyond ready. This tape has been somewhat of a running joke for the members and fans so it’s a bit surreal that it’s finally here.
  • BTS. Speaking of my favorites, I always have conflicting hopes for these boys. Rumors of a full album based off of Love Yourself: Her have been floating around since the mini-album’s release. Don’t get me wrong, I would love more music and performances by them. At the same time, they have had packed schedules for years now and I think taking some time to rest and recharge might be good for them. Regardless of what BTS has in store for us this year, I’m ready for it.
  • Muse. This may shock you, but I do listen to music other than just k-pop and Christmas tunes. Muse was the band that actually launched my love of music. Without them, the doors to a diverse taste in music wouldn’t have opened. I haven’t been the biggest fan of their recent albums but being my favorite band, I’m always excited to see what they do next. They released a single in 2017 so I’m hoping that means we’ll be getting an album this year.
  • Lana Del Rey. Yes, she recently released an album. No, I’m not expecting any more music anytime soon. The reason she’s on my list is because after years of loving her music, I’m finally seeing her live in concert. I’m just excited to dive back into her music and fall in love with her style all over again.

Well this about wraps up my list for 2018’s most anticipated movies and music. While more movies are announced and music is released, I’m sure this list will grow. What are you most looking forward to in entertainment in 2018? Do you have any trailers or groups that you’re itching to discuss and see more of? Let me know and I’ll see you soon!

Christmas Comes to a Close

Hello all and Merry Christmas! While I originally had grand plans for this post, this month kicked my jolly butt. I’ve had an incredible few days with family and awesome time watching my Christmas favorites and discussing them with you. But with family obligations, writing daily, and a job in retail, December was brutal. I tip my hat to all daily bloggers because it is no small feat.

I hope you all had a very merry Christmas surrounded by loved ones. If you don’t celebrate this holiday, I hope you all had a very merry Monday filled with food and family.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to slam my chocolate orange into the ground and enjoy a slice while watching Harry Potter or maybe even read some Amy Tan next to the Christmas tree. See you soon!

Merry Blogmas and Some Spam Packed with Cheer

Whether you celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, or maybe even Festivus, the holidays are finally here. Regardless of personal holiday preference, religion, or cultural traditions, it’s that time of year when we all come together for one joyous season. The time of year when bloggers, vloggers, and influencers alike all spam your subscriptions and timelines with an onslaught of jolly goodness. The time of year when keyboards around the world are pushed, pressed, and prodded beyond their breaking point. The time of year when people relentlessly produce and push content until they wear themselves and their viewers out of the spirit entirely. That’s right, folks. Blogmas is here.

Of course, I wouldn’t want to skip out on any of the exhausting and overdone fun. Here on Oh Hello, Darling we’re full steam ahead on this Polar Express of posting. For 25 days, you’ll be getting 25 posts related to the holiday season. With movie reviews, album alerts, theme park thoughts, and some personal posts sprinkled in, there will be something for everyone to enjoy.

So slide on your reindeer slippers, crank up the carols, and heat up your hot chocolate for the very merry sleigh ride that is blogmas. See you soon!

But Today, We Gobble

As the aroma of sizzling bacon, slightly burned toast, and slow-cooking greens wafts through my house to greet me as I wake, I realize the madness has begun. Coffee is brewing and wine is already being poured while chores are being divided among my brother and me. That’s right, it’s Turkey Day.

But who are we really kidding? Today is pre-Christmas. Regardless of what you think about the decorations, the songs, and the presents already being thrown in your face, Thanksgiving is the American kick-off for the holidays whether you like it or not.

Eating half of our weight in carbs and cranberries, we put our bodies into a voluntary food-induced coma. When we’re finally awake and can peel ourselves off the couch, we eat pie. But pie is really just an appetizer before a late-afternoon dive into that day’s leftovers. By the time the football game is over, ten pounds have been gained and the chef is sampling the brandy they used in the turkey brine.

At this point, we’ve made so many bad decisions, why not add another on top and go Black Friday shopping? Since that actually starts on Thursday now, Black Friday is the day most people decorate their homes with lights, garland, and small holiday themed statues from one of your five local Cracker Barrels.  We aren’t even over our tryptophan hangovers as we blast “Run, Rudolph, Run” and deadlift boxes of shiny trinkets and sparkly do-dads.

We continue to feast like kings on our already dwindling supply of dressing, turkey sandwiches, and mashed potatoes when we realize that there’s not enough time to shop or finally accomplish our previous New Years resolutions. By noon of Friday, we’re sent into a financial panic and make desperate Pinterest searches for healthy left-over recipes to meet that target weight we set in January.

Yes, Christmas starts in late November. It really doesn’t get much more festive for Americans than eating, napping, and shopping. Sure, the fireworks and booze from the Fourth of July might be peppier but that’s what we have New Years, the Christmas Finale, for. This month will fly by and before we know it, the holidays have passed us by and we’ll already be planning for next year.

While this is the inevitable outcome every holiday season, let’s pause and enjoy today. Put down the coupons, hide your scale, and let the gravy flow. Enjoy your nap while it lasts and watch that Charlie Brown Thanksgiving special you’ve seen every year since you were a kid. Flip back and forth between the parades and watch Broadway performers and awkward celebrity appearances on floats when you know you’re just waiting for Snoopy and Woodstock to fly by. Enjoy your family before you have to contemplate their financial worth by spending an obscene amount on thoughtful gifts for them.

Tomorrow we jingle, but today, we gobble.

Irma Made Me Do It

As hurricane Irma hurtled toward Florida, I finally got bitten by the writing bug again. With so much going on in my life, I took a step away from the keyboard and tried to focus on family, friends, work, and mainly the new semester. However, my break from blogging wasn’t as relieving as I intended it to be. I missed my outlet to gush about movies, attractions, books and life. So as the Godzilla of Atlantic hurricanes raced to knock my power out and shut off my wi-fi, I made the intelligent decision to stream movies and drain my laptop battery so I could get a few reviews up here on Oh Hello, Darling. With my power back up, I’m happy to announce I’m back in business. Stay tuned for few movie reviews and my thoughts on a true theme park tragedy that I’ve been itching to share. See you soon!

Healing

About two months ago, many chapters of my life abruptly came to a close. I finished my AA at a community college, I learned how to walk away from a bad situation, and I lost my dog Emma after 14 wonderful years of having her and 16 of her being alive. I’ve experienced a lot of death within my family at a young age, but losing my sweet Emma is probably one of the hardest. Two months later and I’m still crying over her. There’s an emptiness that follows loss, and that’s what I’m trudging through now.

The two years since my high school graduation have been some of the hardest and most challenging years of my life. Dealing with worsening anxiety, loss, difficult relationships, new jobs, countless health issues, and a full school load has been a struggle to say the least. But these past two years have also proved to be some of the most rewarding. I’m more sure of who I am than I ever have been and I’m finally regaining control over my happiness.

I have always believed that every painful experience is something to grow from. Take control of situations that have hurt you by becoming stronger from them. It’s easier said than done, but it’s something I’ve always lived by. I may hurt, but I am determined to learn and grow from these past two years.

I read a book by Carrie Hope Fletcher called All I Know Now and there was one chapter that really stuck with me. She wrote about “dating” herself. She did what she enjoyed, she took risks for her own sake, and she took time to learn herself without the influence of other people. It may be June, but I believe I have my 2017 resolution. I need to put myself back together. I need to be unapologetically me. It’s time to date myself.

I may not be ready to jump in, but I am ready to take the first few steps. I am ready to start doing things I enjoy again, like my blog. I started writing several movie reviews to post but I just wasn’t ready to come back until now. I have a new series idea I’d like to try out here on Oh Hello, Darling. If you’re a Potterhead, you may want to stay tuned.

If there’s anything you’ve previously enjoyed from my blog that you’d like to read more of, let me know! I’m excited to write again, even if it is with a wonky posting schedule.

 

It’s been a minute…

So, it’s been a while. I should have known that my procrastination would get in the way of regularly blogging. In all honesty, I have been quite busy. With the start of a new semester, working more hours, and doing a bit of exploring, I seem to have lost track of everything. I’ve procrastinated all semester, haven’t filled out any applications for universities, neglected my book reviews, and slacked on writing any blog posts on things I’ve desperately wanted to write about. So here’s a quick update: Christmas happened, I finished my book reading quota, set a new year’s resolution I haven’t worked on, started a difficult semester, cut my hair, went on vacation, and injured myself. I hope to be back in action soon, but I’m going to use this time I am stuck in bed to catch up on some work, including blogging. Expect to see some book reviews on my Goodreads and some blog posts in the near future. See you soon!

Holidays at 20

I recently turned 20-years-old. This means I have grown into a wise adult who is ready to share my completely mature and totally correct ideas and opinions. Okay, maybe not. I’ve barely experienced life or the adventures and lessons it has to offer me. But at twenty, I am starting to realize some things I never did before. For example, life is expensive and doesn’t live up to your expectations. You probably just read that and thought “that’s truly ground-breaking” or “how incredibly genius.” However, the point of this post isn’t to talk about how incredibly deep I am or the expensive nature of living in our modern society, this post is about the holidays.

There are three distinct phases I have gone through so far in regards to holidays. The first being early childhood. When I was young, I loved everything about holidays and they seemed larger than life. Just the time of year was enough to get me excited for the holidays, it was as if it was magic. The second being the teenage phase where I felt like the holidays faded. The time of year wasn’t magical anymore and the excitement was gone. Sure, I learned the secret about Santa, the Easter Bunny and the Tooth Fairy, but that wasn’t what ruined the magic. The holidays seemed repetitive and felt like a commercial scam. However, the past two years, since being out of high school, I can say I’m in my newest phase. Maybe it’s because I have a job now, maybe it’s because I’m constantly busy or maybe I have finally fallen for the commercial scam, the holidays seem like such a treat now. It’s a time where I can choose to go all out and celebrate or have a relaxed night at home. It’s a time when I get to see people I haven’t seen in years and give back to the people I love. It’s an excuse to be festive and look past the crappy situation you’re in and make your holiday or holiday season as exciting and festive as you want.

For the first time in years, I carved a pumpkin. When I was younger I never fully did the carving, but this year I made my own little masterpiece and I got to do it with someone I love, which made the experience at least 10 times better. I may not have dressed up this year, but I went out and did something new and lost my Rocky Horror Picture Show virginity and ordered french toast as an appetizer. It’s no longer up to my parents to make the holidays memorable, that’s my responsibility now. I don’t want these holidays to slip by me, I want to make the most of them while I can. I’m only twenty now so I’m sure I’ll go through many life changes and holidays will mean something new to me in no time. I sound as if I could start writing Hallmark cards now, trust me, I’m not that jazzed about it, I’m really just proud of my pumpkin and happy I ate french toast before dinner. For now, I’ll just stick to this new found appreciation and hope it lasts through emptying my bank account for everyone’s Christmas presents.

Time to buckle down

Writing and reading are two things that I absolutely love to do. I find that when I don’t read, I don’t write. I guess it’s just an inspiration thing. Since I’ve been so busy with school and work, I practically haven’t read anything in months. The last book I finished was Jurassic Park a few months ago and that took me one whole year to get through. I wanted to write a review about it but I just let time pass by and now I can’t remember my specific notes to write about. Last night I stayed up until about 3 am reading a book that has been on my bookshelf for years now and I’m finally feeling inspired. My goal for 2016 is to read at least 5 of the books that have been cluttering up my shelf and review all of them. Yes, I realize 5 books is a small number, but I need to stay realistic with my schedule here. I’m fairly confident that this will get the creative juices flowing again and hopefully you’ll see some new posts from it. See you soon!