Happy Belated Valentine’s Day!

Happy Belated Valentine’s Day Blogosphere! What did you do for Valentine’s Day? Do you celebrate Valentine’s Day? In our house, it’s kind of relegated to a second tier holiday, along the same lines as St. Patrick’s Day or Groundhog’s Day. I decorate the school space for the kiddos, we do crafts and read books, but beyond that, it’s not anything significant the way Christmas or Halloween is. Hubby and I celebrate by using it as an excuse to go on a date, but we don’t really buy each other anything or do anything extravagant. Well, that’s not entirely true. Hubby did come home early from his business trip and surprised me with 4 dozen gorgeous roses… Isn’t he the bestest of the bestest?

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This year instead of using V-day as an excuse for dinner, we decided to go see a movie. We booked my nanny to come today and since I am a fan of the Fifty Shades of Grey book series* we decided to go see the movie. Now, let me first say, I know it’s not a great literary work. It wasn’t meant to be. It’s a series that is mindless, easy to read, and however unrealistic, fun. Some people watch trashy reality tv. For me, I read the “contemporary romance” novels in between the culinary and parenting books. Anyway, since I loved the novels, I decided that I wanted to see the film, despite the bad reviews.

*No, I am not ashamed to admit that I read what was dubbed as “mommy porn”. Life is too short for serious books all the time. 

I really wanted it to be good. I was really hoping that it would get better in the next scene. I desperately was hoping that Dakota Johnson and Jamie Dornan would get it together and actually act. It was awful. Absolutely dreadful. Worse than a made for tv movie. It took everything that made the book fun and fresh, and threw it out the window. My list of things that were wrong is fairly long, but here are some of my major issues:
1) The heroine, who in the book is sassy and strong, becomes obedient, weak and spineless (no, despite being a sub in the book, she is not what you would call “obedient”). She lacks the depth she has in the book — partially because of the way the movie was filmed, partially because Dakota Johnson was just not the right actress for the role and partially because we are not privy to the character’s thoughts and emotions the way we are in the book. And don’t even get me started on how this movie perpetuates the taboo that is women’s sexuality, on so many different levels.
2) Christian Grey’s character who is supposed to come across as challenging and charming at once, lacks the necessary screen confidence and is portrayed as a complete douchebag.
3) Necessary character development and pivotal scenes were left out. As in, scenes wherein if they film a second movie, I’m not sure how they’re going to explain things.
4) The movie is like an ad for emotional and physical violence instead of a romance story with some kink. This is in part the fault of production… the way the scenes were pieced together made it feel aggressive and abusive as opposed to playful the way it was in the book.
5) The movie felt rushed, and since so many pieces were glossed over, for someone like hubby, who didn’t know the backstory from the books, the story was confusing.

I get it. No one’s going to be up for an Oscar with this stuff, but neither are the other half dozen rom-coms that come out each year, but at least most of them are “watchable”. I feel this movie really lacked any redeeming features. Disappointing.

Ok, on to bigger and better things. Food and kids!

We made some coconut-banana pancakes, which are technically SWYPO, but I made one batch so no one really “over-consumed” them. We came up with some new quick meals including one with sardines, that the kids surprisingly devoured.The salsa was for some tilapia en papillote that hubby made. It turned out even better than we thought!

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I was also able to get a few racks of lamb at a good price so we cooked those up and served them as “lamb lollipops” for the kids… who then promptly devoured them.

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My plants are growing nicely and I’m making progress on my February goal by planting some veggies outside also. The picture below is of our indoor plants — lettuce, napa cabbage, green onions and some bell peppers. Outside we have lettuce, broccoli, strawberries, sunflowers, cucumbers, and a bunch of herbs. We’ll see what survives my brown thumb!

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My water kefir and kombucha adventures have also been doing well — check out my batches! I think I’m going to try to ferment sauerkraut and honey garlic next.

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Other adventures… we took the kids to SkyZone for the first time this past week and they had a blast. It’s an indoor trampoline park. I did my first trampoline flip. Woot!

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Last but not least some beach inspiration for all you folks that are covered in snow. Just think, Spring is just around the corner.

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