What I’m Watching

valery-brennan-6496
If I’m being 100% honest, one of my favorite things to do is watch tv. I know, I know, that’s awful….but it’s the truth. There’s just SO much awesome media out there right now and I love having something on in the background while I blog, sweep, fold laundry, make headbands, or cook dinner. Because there’s an embarrassing amount of shows on this list, I’ve broken it down into categories for you.

Read More


Top 10 (non spoilery) reasons to see Jurassic World RIGHT NOW

Jurassic-World-dino-pic

As you (hopefully) already know from yesterday’s post, last night I got to see Jurassic World and….I don’t want to hype it up too much….but…..HOLY COW IT’S AMAZING!

I’ve put together a spoiler-free list of reasons to get your tickets for this gem ASAP! Of course there are tiny things divulged in this, but nothing more than you would see in the trailers. That being said, feel free to step away now if you want to be totally and 100% surprised.

  1. Easter egg/nostalgia mania! This movie was totally made for fanboys and girls like me and I’m totally happy about it. Obviously I won’t give anything away but expect lots of callbacks to the original film.
  2. A diverse cast! This was a pleasant surprise for me, but there were several POC who were supporting actors in the film. No tokenism or stereotypes (that came to my attention) just people being people. 
  3. It’s the sequel we all deserve! As much as I try to like The Lost World and Jurassic Park 3….they’re both pretty bad. Even the Lost World is worse than I remember, if I’m being honest. This. This right here is the sequel we’ve been waiting 22 years to see.
  4. Dinosaur fights galore! In the first three films, we get some dinosaur interactions but I feel like this was what we’ve been waiting for….epic dinosaur battles from start to finish.
  5. Gruesome deaths! Come on, you always wanted to see some more brutal deaths and this one delivers. It’s not TOO gory but let’s just say most aren’t the quick “snatch you off the toilet” deaths of JP past.
  6. A beautiful score! Now don’t get me wrong, nothing will top what John Williams did for the first film. That being said, I really enjoyed the score for this film, which also included callbacks to the original Jurassic Park theme we all know and love.
  7. Kids that you actually want to survive the movie! I’ve gotta be honest, Timmy is the only kid in JP history that I really wanted to survive the whole ordeal so I was thrilled to finally get some likable kids.
  8. You’ll laugh! You probably already know this, but Chris Pratt offers some nice comedic relief in the movie. As much as I love seeing dinosaurs wreck shop, it’s also nice to chuckle a bit. The only thing missing was Jeff Goldblum’s laugh.
  9. It’s the park you always wanted to see! Come on, you were disappointed that Jurassic Park (the park) was a failure! Who doesn’t want to see DisneyWorld with dinos?! Well now we finally have that and it is absolutely breathtaking. Thank goodness Jurassic World really lets you experience the park before….you know….
  10. It’s MUCH scarier than the original trilogy. I spent 75% of the movie either with my hands over my face, mouth agape or eyes bugging out. Maybe it’s because I’ve seen Jurassic Park so many times, but this movie felt MUCH more intense as a whole.
  11. Bonus: Chris Pratt. Duh.

We saw Jurassic World at our favorite theatre in Dallas, Alamo Drafthouse. They have tons of fun Jurassic Park/World themed stuff in the lobby plus a special themed menu. Dino DNA milkshake, anyone?!

“Welcome…to Jurassic Park.” When you walk through the doors of the Alamo Drafthouse Richardson, you get to walk through the gates of Jurassic Park! We assure you, we spared no expense to make this happen.

Posted by Alamo Drafthouse Dallas / Fort Worth on Friday, June 12, 2015

*Not sponsored, I really just love Alamo Drafthouse.

Anyone see it last night?! What did you think?! If not, do you have your tickets yet?!?! Sound off in the comments below!

xoxo
Valery


On Giuliana Rancic, Zendaya and White Privilege

On Monday’s episode of “Fashion Police,” Giuliana Rancic decided it would be hilarious to comment on Zendaya’s choice to wear dreadlocks to the Academy Awards, saying “I feel like she smells like patchouli oil and weed.”

You can see Zendaya’s look here. (I’m not tryna get sued for using photos illegally, okay people?)

Before we go any further, let’s chat about white privilege. To make it easy on both of us, the BEST resource for understanding white privilege is Peggy McIntosh’s, White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack. I’m SO thankful to the my favorite professor at A&M for introducing it to me (I’m looking at you, Dr. Brown) because it’s such a tangible way to look at white privilege. If you’re unfamiliar, I HIGHLY encourage you to take the time to read it – it’s mostly a list so just pretend like it’s a buzzfeed article or something.
If you’re super crunched for time, basically McIntosh analyzes her own daily life to figure out how she benefits from white privilege. Here are a few examples:
  •  I can if I wish arrange to be in the company of people of my race most of the time.
  •  I can be pretty sure that my neighbors in such a location will be neutral or pleasant to me.
  •  I can swear, or dress in second hand clothes, or not answer letters, without having people attribute these choices to the bad morals, the poverty, or the illiteracy of my race.
  •  I can be pretty sure that if I ask to talk to “the person in charge,” I will be facing a person of my race.
Make sense? Now that we’re all on the same page, let’s move on.
After that nasty comment from Rancic, Zendaya responded in the most eloquent, beautiful way….especially since she’s only 18 years old.
zendaya response
via instagram.com/zendaya
I don’t even want to know how I would’ve responded if I was 18 years old. There probably would’ve been a lot of caps lock or emojis or something. Also hashtags. (Maybe that’s how I would respond now….)
No one is upset Rancic didn’t like Zendaya’s look. We’ve all seen “Fashion Police” before, it’s what they do. The problem is the language that was used and the insensitive racial undertones that were present. I’m sure Rancic thought her comment was hilarious and “all in good fun” (hey, white privilege). Because guess what – no one would say that about Rancic….because she’s white. Just like she didn’t say that about Kylie Jenner’s “edgy” look a few weeks ago.
Ransic said something terrible. Pretty much everyone is pissed about it, and rightfully so. But you know what she did right? She apologized. It would’ve been easy for her to fight this, or give a fake “I didn’t now what I was saying” apology, but she didn’t. Instead she said this

“It is not my intent that matters, it’s the result.”

I can’t even begin to express to you how much this resonated with me. How many times have I unknowingly said something offensive? More than I would like to admit or probably even know about. It’s easy to just give ourselves a pass (because, you know, white privilege) and move on. Let’s not do this, y’all. Instead, figure out why it offended that person (if it’s a friend, ASK) and apologize. LISTEN. Don’t make excuses. Don’t shift the blame. Apologize and learn from it. Don’t do it again. Become more conscious of what you say.
I’m going to keep messing up. And I know I have some great friends who are people of color that will call me out when I do. Yeah it’s going to sting a bit, but it’s part of owning up to my white privilege and becoming a better person for it.
The hardest but most important part of being a white ally is listening. And listening means recognizing you’re wrong and taking people’s concerns seriously. Let’s all agree to just listen a little better and be more careful with what we say, okay loves?
xoxo
Valery

Oscars 2015 Recap

As I’m SURE you already know by now, last night the Hollywood elite gathered for my favorite awards show of the year, the 87th Annual Academy Awards. Although I had a few issues going into this particular show (the lack of diversity, the American Sniper controversy), and some moments were disappointing – I expected a little more out of Neil Patrick Harris (the “treason” remark was particularly offputting) and Sean Penn deserves to get slapped for his green card “joke” – I still enjoyed watching and the fashion was on point.

Image: © 2009 Davidlohr Bueso, Flickr | CC-BY | via Wylio
Image: © 2009 Davidlohr Bueso, Flickr | CC-BY | via Wylio

Recapping things is hard when you don’t have rights to photos…right guys? So I decided to give you guys a tweet-by-tweet recap of last night.

First up, the red carpet (make sure to click the blue bar at the bottom to see everything!)


Next up, a Play-by-Play of the actual show. I left out a lot of the stuff that you’ve likely already heard about to keep this (relatively) short. Again, don’t forget to hit the blue bar to see everything!


Did you watch the Oscars last night? What were your favorite parts? Least favorites? Fashion hits and misses? Let’s chat in the comments!
xoxo
Valery


Holiday Gift Guide – For the Pop Culture Junkie

Bonjour!

First off, if you missed my last post, make sure to subscribe! One email a week with updates from the previous week. I promise you won’t want to miss all the awesome stuff I’m giving away these next few weeks! (Along with normal outfit posts)

Today is my very first gift guide and I’m pretty stoked about it! This one is for people who are into pop culture – my specialty!

exc-5475691be4b00c187543fea5

1. A print from Holly’s Moving Castle. Holly’s Moving Castle is an artistic venture that merges simplicity with geekery. The result is 11×17 minimalist posters that start at only $12 each (sometimes less if you catch a sale!) You can’t beat that, especially for beautiful pop culture inspired art. And guess what, party people…..we’re giving away one of these bad boys! See below to enter.

2. Chromecast. I’m not going to go on and on about this (because I already did in this post), but if your pal has cut the cord from cable, they need one in their lives. $35 for a life changing gift. LIFE CHANGING.

3. Netflix. You guys know about it and they just keep expanding their library so buy someone a subscription (or get them a few months that they don’t have to pay on their own). It’s only $8 a month! If you’re not obsessed with Netflix, get your life together and read about my obsession here and here.

4. Anything from Think Geek. Basically anything that’s considered “nerd” pop culture (using that term loosely) has a section on Think Geek. My favorite part though, is the fact that their stuff is high quality, beautifully designed and somewhat practical. Several years ago I bought my husband a Tauntaun sleeping bag and it’s seriously one of the most used items in our house!

Now BACK to that giveaway!

exc-547569c0e4b028af63705dfa

The winner will receive any one poster of YOUR CHOOSING (US only). Visit her site to check out more amazing designs and to pick out the poster you’re going to get once you win this contest! Use the widget below to enter and good luck! This contest runs for one week so hurry up and enter now so you don’t forget!

xoxo
Valery

a Rafflecopter giveaway