Here are the things that made my 2015 amazing!

For Dakota Johnson, It's Never "Just A Minute" (Vogue Magazine):
                                  Dakota came onto my radar in such big ways this year. She's subtly chic and the ultimate cool girl you want to just hang out with. I can't wait to see more of her next year between How To Be Single, A Bigger Splash, and more. Here's where she first hooked me. In this simple short film, One Minute, where being chilling has never looked so good.

Ellie Goulding's Delirium
My love for Ellie Goulding knows no bounds. Delirium is filled with powerful anthems that never let up, make me want to dance, and lyrically they're absolutely stunning.


One of the biggest surprises of the year was how much I loved this film. I knew it'd be worth it for Mae Whitman and Robbie Amell, but wow, it's like a revamped version of Can't Buy Me Love. It's immediately a new favorite.

Netflix Originals
DaredevilMaster of NoneThe Unbreakable Kimmy SchmidtSense8 and Jessica Jones have all been obsessions of mine throughout the year. One of the things I love most about the Netflix originals so far is that they're all so diverse, yet they all have hooked me and made me want the binge to never end.

Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials

By far one of my favorite YA book series, made into even better films, and I can't wait for The Death Cure. There are movies that reinvigorate you, inspire you, make you want to go out there and fight the good fight; this is one of those films. Wes Ball made a sequel that improves upon the first, expanded the world, and leaves me wanting so much more in all of the best ways.

What are your favorites from this year? Let me know in the comments!

Happy New Year!
Merry Christmas!

I wanted to share my holiday screening traditions. Yes, I watch these all in the week leading up to Christmas and they're the cheeriest of my holiday lot!

The Holiday

A definite go-to, no matter the season. Everything about it is magic.

The OC Chrismukkah episodes

The holiday season always makes me nostalgic for The OC and Seth Cohen's passion for the holidays. Filled with drama, romance, and a whole lot of candles and Christmas sweaters, Chrismukkah became the holiday I wish I celebrated.

The Simpsons: Christmas With the Simpsons

Every episode on here is a classic for a reason. Hysterical and timeless.

Love Actually 

Colin Firth's love story makes me the happiest. Plus, you can't go wrong with a bit of young Thomas Brodie-Sangster.

The Office 'Benihana Christmas'

Every one of The Office Christmas episodes is fantastic, but this one stands out for all of the right reasons.

I'm off to go eat more homemade Chex Mix and watch The Holiday.

Let me know in the comments what your holiday viewing traditions are!
Happy Sunday!

Long story short, work has been taking up all of my time lately, but I'm back more reinvigorated than ever! This week's picks are everything I've been obsessing over lately.

Let's get to this week's Picks and Flicks: Catchup Edition!

Jessica Jones (Netflix)
                               Yes, I am another obsessor. I'm absolutely fascinated with Kilgrave as a villain. He's a classic 'you hate him, but he's so charming.' Kilgrave's about ten time more than that, as well.

One Direction Carpool Karaoke (The Late Late Show with James Corden):

Trust me on this, if you didn't love One Direction before, you will after this video!

Ellie Goulding's Delirium
Since it premiered at the beginning of November, I've been obsessed. Whenever I put it on I never skip a song, which is rare for me. Ellie's music is absolutely electric and it makes me endlessly happy.

Master of None (Netflix)
                              I'm such a huge Aziz fan and this series was more than I ever could've predicted. The last two episodes are so top notch that they're up there with my favorite hours of television ever.

One Direction's Made in the A.M.
The boys have done it again and this time it's by far their best album yet. Wolves is now my favorite song of theirs ever.

Ingrid Nilsen's #DIYDecember is what dreams are made of. If you're looking for fun tips on all things health, beauty, DIY, and more, check out Ingrid's playlist here!

Tune in next week for my year's end Picks and Flicks!


P.S. Have you checked out The December Slate yet? It's up!
Happy December!

Let's get to this month's Picks!

December 4th: Night Owls
                            Looks like the smartest romanic comedy in ages, starring some of my absolute favorites: Rosa Salazar and Adam Pally.

December 11th: In The Heart of the Sea
                            Ron Howard, Chris Hemsworth, and a killer whale? Count me in!

December 18th: Sisters
                            Amy and Tina automatically means that I'm in with Ike being a very welcomed bonus.

December 23rd: The Big Short
                             THE HAIR. Two hours of ALL OF THE WEIRD WIGS.

December 25th: Joy
                             Another opportunity to see powerhouse Jen? Always a yes.

December 25th: The Revenant 
I cannot wait to see Leo give himself over to this role in all of the scary ways.

Hit me with your picks in the comments!

Happy November!

Let's get to this month's picks!

November 4th: Brooklyn

Saoirse Ronan finally getting notice for her work. If you haven't caught her in How I Live Now, you must!

November 6th: Spectre

Daniel Craig is by far my favorite James Bond so far and I'm so thrilled that Sam Mendes is returning for Spectre!

November 6th: Ellie Goulding's Delirium Album
                                 I've been a fan of Ellie's since the beginning and getting ready for Ellie's new pop-centric album is making me bounce. Listen to it here! Additionally, Ellie and Scarlett Johansson teamed up with American Express to produce a fantastic livestreamed show featuring her new album, which you can check out here. There are few artists where their live performances make the work even better. Ellie is one of those artists for sure.

November 6th: Master of None
                               I've loved Aziz since we first saw him on screen in Parks and Recreation, since then he's popped up in small roles in various films. His persona on social media and his book really have reaffirmed my love of him, so I cannot wait to check out his show. I've heard nothing but great things!

November 13th: One Direction's Made In The A.M.
                                   Guys, you know I had to and, trust me, this album is so lively and fantastic from start to finish. They're my happy place and what a beautiful place it is.

November 20th: The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2

I will cry. It will be devastating, but, oh god, I can't wait. (Update: I cried...heavily.)

November 20th: Marvel's Jessica Jones

Update: I knew that I'd like this series if it was half as good as Daredevil was and holy shit, it's absolutely amazing. Kilgrave is by far the creepiest villain that Marvel has had so far.

November 25th: The Night Before

I'm a sucker for a good Seth Rogen movie (Neighbors was hysterical) and The Night Before looks right up my alley.

November 25th: Creed

Michael B. Jordan is such a huge talent. I've not seen a Rocky film before this, but the acting in this has drawn me right in.

What are your November picks? Hit me with them in the comments!

Happy Sunday!

Annie Leibovitz / Vogue Magazine

Let's get to this week's Picks and Flicks!

'Supergirl' and 10 Other Badass Women on TV (THR): Just ten of the many strong, badass women on TV. These ten are top notch, however!

10 empowering Halloween costumes for when you're sick of sexy (Mashable): I will be Mindy Lahiri and it will be amazing.

Angelina Jolie Pitt on Her Most Personal Project With Brad Yet and Why She’s Looking Forward to 50 (Vogue Magazine): An absolutely brilliant piece on Angelina with stunning photographs to supplement. I've always admired Angelina's wide array of endeavors and reading this feature really showcases all of the various shades of why I do.

Take a Break: The Price is Right (Late Late Show with James Corden)
                                That time James lived out a dream we've all had at one point or another.

Sometimes Jessica Chastain Just Pretends She Is Bryce Dallas Howard (BuzzFeed): Jessica Chastain is a delight and I love how fun her and Bryce are with the confusion on who's who.

Why Do I Make Less Than My Male Co‑Stars?  (Lenny Letter): I adore Jennifer for speaking out about this. Yes, many have for decades, but it's the consistent continuation that spurs real change.

42 Yahoo Questions That Will Make You Nervous For The Future Of Our Planet (BuzzFeed): Just for the giggles. Yahoo questions will forever be the best/worst.

Tune in next week for more Picks and Flicks!

Happy Sunday!

Picks and Flicks is back this week after a brief hiatus!

We're almost halfway through October, so don't forget to check out this month's lively Slate!

Let's get to this thing!

#missadventure episode 3: the best company": starring Anna Kendrick (Kate Spade)

I absolutely adore this fashionable series. It's sleek and gorgeous with the added Anna flare.

Shadowhunters Sneak Peek #1 and #2 (ABC Family): With a January 12th premiere date in sight, it's time for the promotional elements to start heating up for Shadowhunters. Now, I am aware that it's an ABC Family (soon to be Freeform) series, but that doesn't mean it's going to be awful. I've watched many of their shows over the years and I get hooked for a reason. Shadowhunters looks fun, colorful, truly accepts the genre-bending of the books, and I can't wait!

The Whisper Challenge with Brie Larson (The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon)

Brie Larson is a gem and this segment has never been funnier.

Pride & Prejudice & Zombies trailer (YouTube): Pride and Prejudice + zombies + stellar cast = you can count me in for this fun ride on opening weekend!

Hail Caesar! Trailer

Yes, yes, Coen Brothers, yes.

Tune in this week for a Scorch Trials review and more surprise posts!


P.S. I gave Minority Report another two episodes to hook me and I'm actually quite enjoying it so far! Catch my initial pilot reaction here.
Happy October!

Let's get to this month's picks!

October 6th: iZombie Season 2 Premiere
                                iZombie is by far one of my favorite TV shows and I highly suggest you check it out! If you've been a fan of Party Down and/or Veronica Mars the guest stars will be extra special.

October 6th: Carry On by Rainbow Rowell
I am beaming over this one, guys. This is a spinoff, of sorts, from Fangirl. It's a magical world, literally.

October 7th: Arrow Season 4 Premiere
                                This season looks epic and I'm so excited to see more Speedy, Felicity, and kickass fight scenes.

October 9th: The Final Girls
                               Campy fun with a hysterical cast. What more could you ask for? Also, psyched to see Nina Dobrev in more films!

October 9th: Reign Season 3 Premiere
                               More angst for Francis and Mary is just what I've been waiting for all summer. I've missed Adelaide's powerful presence onscreen.

October 11th: The Walking Dead Season 6 Premiere
                               Who's ready to see Rick slip further and further into his insanity?

October 19: Jane The Virgin Season 2 Premiere
                                Jane's first season was a sweet, heartfelt origin and I can't wait to follow this story again.

October 16th: Crimson Peak
                             Fantastic cast + Guillermo Del Toro + A freaky house = A movie that will scare me shitless.

October 16th: Room
                               Brie Larson brings a powerhouse performance in a haunting drama.

October 23: Burnt
                                Bradley as a struggling chef is what dreams are made of. Seeing him pair up with Sienna again is going to be amazing.

October 23: Hemlock Grove Season 3 Premiere
                                The third (and sadly, final) season of Hemlock Grove is coming! It's freaky, disgusting, scary, and dramatic as hell, but then Bill Skarsgard lets a little sass coming through and I'm reminded of why I's addictive to say the least.

What are your October picks? Hit me with them in the comments!

Oh, House of Cards. How I love thee!

I was recommended House of Cards countless times by friends, family, the internet. Everyone got obsessed with the show quickly and it became synonymous with Netflix's Original Series' success, but the political setting of the show put me off. I'm definitely not informed or particularly interested in anything to do with politics. I feel like this is a show you definitely have to be in the mood for, as well, which wasn't putting it high on my binge-watching list. But then I finally gave the series a real shot and I knew by the end of the first episode that I've been crazy not to watch it sooner.

Frank Underwood is the most polite-to-your-face maniac I've ever seen. Played hauntingly by the remarkable Kevin Spacey, Frank weaves himself in and out of impossible scenarios with eery ease, while always keeping his end game in reach. Frank's keen strategy and manipulation skills are so unpredictable that I found myself thinking at various points throughout the series' first three seasons, 'how am I this tense over a political drama when I don't even like politics?' It's actually the same approach I had with Breaking Bad. I thought that the concept wasn't for me, until I gave it a chance and became obsessed.

I love how the show has evolved over the seasons as Frank's moved up in the ranks. Pretty much everything on House of Cards revolves around or is at least influenced by the decisions that Frank makes. Each startling move that he makes takes the show in completely unexpected and brilliant places. I feel like the insanity of the moves Frank pursues are sometimes so insane, completely unlike what you think any sane person would do, and then he does them and my mind is repeatedly blown.

The acting is so top notch across the board (hello, the sublime Robin Wright and underrated Kate Mara!), but there's one supporting character that takes top-billing for me: Doug Stamper. Played by the immensely understated Michael Kelly, Doug's overarching character progression throughout the three seasons is remarkable. By the time you finish season three you won't look at him an ounce of the same way you did in the first season. I cannot wait to see where Doug's journey takes him next, because clearly he's learned a thing or two from Frank over the years.

Lastly, the cinematography and direction of the series is so consistent, but brilliantly stunning. From Frank's candid talks with the camera to the subtle but alluring camera tricks (that I don't want to spoil for you all!), it's a beautiful series to watch. So go binge-watch it! Yes, I am another person telling you that you want regret it, but remember I was in your shoes once and, trust me, you'll want to be in mine now.

Have you caught House of Cards yet or are you still unsure about it? Let's talk in the comments!


P.S. Writing this piece while Frank Underwood was glaring at me was seriously messing with my head. Even in a still he looks like he's plotting my takedown!
Happy Sunday!

Ready for the Fall TV season to kick into high gear? Check out my Pilot Watch post featuring Scream Queens, Minority Report, and Limitless.

Let's get to this week's Picks and Flicks!

Rudimental - Lay It All On Me ft. Ed Sheeran (YouTube): This song is fantastic and so uplifting. I could listen to it all day (and I do).

The Worst Types of Roommates (Whine About It): I have experienced nearly every single one of these firsthand and Matt's right: it is THE WORST.

Take a Break: Chateau Marmutt (The Late Late Show)

 Just when I thought I couldn't love James Corden more he goes and does this.

Watch Ryan Reynolds try to build an IKEA crib (GQ): Ryan Reynolds is quickly becoming one of my favorites. First The Proposal now this. Warn a girl!

Disclosure - Magnets featuring Lorde (YouTube): Like all of Lorde's songs I'm mesmerized and I can't quite pinpoint why and I'm okay with that.

Celebs Explain Netflix & Chill On The Emmys Red Carpet (BuzzFeed)
                                I feel Jackie Cruz on a spiritual level on this one.

Netflix Study Shows How Long It Takes To Get Hooked By A TV Show (Slash Film): I found this super interesting, because some shows it takes me an episode to get hooked (House of Cards) and others take me almost a full season (Arrow).

Tune in this week for my Scorch Trials review and The October Slate!


P.S. Need a new show to binge-watch? Check out my House Of Cards review to see if it's for you!
The Fall TV season is starting up and every year there are always tons of shows I want to catch. This week I watched three new pilots: Scream Queens, Minority Report, and Limitless. 

Here are my non-spoilery thoughts on this new trio!

Scream Queens
I was initially drawn to Scream Queens because of Ryan Murphy and the ensemble cast. I'm not huge on campy films and series, but after watching the pilot, I'm all in for Scream Queens. Emma Roberts' was born to play Chanel and the vindictiveness of her character juxtaposed with the violence of the show is so scary it's remarkable. Additionally, I really appreciate how Lea Michele's character is the polar opposite of her public persona. It's refreshing, actually. From the hilarious Twilight reference to the steamy Nick Jonas working out scenes, I am here for what Scream Queens is putting out there and I highly recommend it if you like your camp with a side of well-dressed snark.

Scream Queens airs Tuesdays at 9pm EST on FOX.

Minority Report
As a huge fan of the Steven Spielberg film by the same name, I was thrilled about this series from that moment that it was announced. After watching the pilot, you could definitely say that I'm not overly happy with it, but I'll still tune in for more in hopes that it improves. Pilots are tough and for some of my favorite shows I couldn't stand the pilots (ahem, Arrow). It's heavy sci-fi and, if you aren't familiar with the film, a lot of the references and tools that are used might go right over your head and most of the time that's okay. You can either keep an open mind about the rules of this world and maybe you'll get hooked or you can be hypercritical of all of the pilot's plot-holes. I suggest you join me and go with the former!

Minority Report airs Mondays at 9pm EST on FOX.

Since I watched Limitless' pilot I haven't been able to stop thinking about it. It was the best hour of TV I've watched this week. Jake McDorman, who I've loved in so many projects over the years, really knocks this role out of the park. Plus, he plays guitar and I could watch that for hours alone. The pilot really hooks you into the world of NZT without relying solely on the film that its based on. Even with Bradley Cooper's fantastic cameo, it never feels like he's just there to grab the audience's attention; Bradley properly transitions us into this world to ride out this journey with Jake. There's a line in the episode about being able to remember the great ideas that you had in the shower and then subsequently forgot about...basically, I need this in my life as much as I need another episode immediately. Like, right now. I'm serious. This is a must watch!

Limitless airs Tuesdays at 10pm on CBS.

What shows have you hooked this Fall? Let me know in the comments!


Happy Sunday! Did you check out Scorch Trials this weekend? If not, what are you waiting for?!

Let's get to this week's Picks and Flicks!

Ellie Goulding - On My Mind (YouTube): This is a red alert: Ellie Goulding has a new single and I am so here for it. Seriously, I listened to it for three hours straight on Friday while working.

Watch 'Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials' Cast Play 'Save or Kill' (Collider): Absolutely love these segments and this cast has the best chemistry aka this is a must-watch!

The 5th Wave trailer

I'm definitely into sci-fi and this latest YA adaptation is right up my alley, especially since it's headed up by the talented and effortlessly cool, Chloe Grace Moretz.

Types Of Coworkers That Are The Absolute Worst (Whine About It): "We're all just trying to turn hard work into chicken nuggets." PREACH IT, MATT!

Wes Ball Returning To Direct Third Maze Runner (Variety): Sometimes consistency and a clear, passionate vision is what some franchises need and I'm so excited that Wes and his screenwriter T.S. Nowlin are teaming up again to close out the series. My brain will be excited for the continuity.

Tune in this week for my long-awaited House of Cards review (I mean it this time, guys!) and some much-needed Scorch Trials flails!

Happy Sunday!

It's been a busy week for me. New script reading job in addition to the usual schedule, so I've been overloaded to say the least. This means that my House of Cards review will be up this week instead (Spoiler alert: just watch it already!).

Let's get to this week's Picks and Flicks!

Kristen Stewart / Nicholas Hoult Dubsmash it up with MTV's Josh Horowitz (Instagram): Dubsmash is this new revelation for me, that I have yet to try, but damn if it doesn't provide so many laughs scrolling through my Instagram feed.

The Program trailer
                                 It's hard to believe that, with how realistic this film looks, this isn't actually Lance Armstrong. Looks amazing and I cannot wait.

The Mindy Project Season 4 trailer (Hulu): Mindy's back and I am beyond jazzed. Tuesday can't come soon enough!

A Harry Potter-Themed Bar Just Opened And You Have To Pay Your Respects (BuzzFeed): A perfect blend of geek and hipster chic (yes, I actually just typed those words...).

Mystery Pizza Box: Gospel Choir & Rave (YouTube)
                           When I watched this I was laughing so hard that I was asked if I was okay because they could hear screaming. So, good sign?

Scandal Season 5 Trailer (Hypable): The season four finale of Scandal tied the show up in a perfect world bow for me, so I'm psyched to see how it all falls apart in the next season. Until then, there's enough Fitz and Olivia chemistry to power up all of D.C.

Tune in next week for more Picks and Flicks!

P.S. Go see Scorch Trials on Friday and tell me what you think! My review will be up sometime during the weekend after I've sufficiently flailed.

Happy Sunday!

Let's get to this week's Picks and Flicks!

Calvin Harris & Disciples - How Deep Is Your Love (YouTube): Calvin Harris can do no wrong. Also, Gigi Hadid has amazing hair.

See Kristen Stewart and Nicholas Hoult suffer in silence in Equals clip (EW): After all of the Venice buzz and my general excitement for this project, I am speechless after watching this clip...which is appropriate given the material.

Unqualified Dating Advice: Alison Brie (Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon)

Just wait until she gets to her advice about farting. In related news, I love Alison Brie.

Happy Loop Day (20th Century Fox): First official promotion for Miss Peregrines is so on point.

iZombie : State of the Dead trailer (The CW)
                 iZombie SEASON TWO IS COMING! Mark your calendars: October 6th!

This Is What Happened When People Were Rated On Their Success By Loved Ones (BuzzFeed): I cried when watching this. You are worth more than you give yourself credit for.

Tune in this week for my series (so far) review of House of Cards!

Happy September!

Let's get to this month's picks!

September 4th: Chloe & Theo
                                  I love the different approach to the topic of climate change and hopefully this film, and the remarkable Dakota Johnson's presence in it, will draw more attention to the cause in productive ways.

September 11th: Sleeping With Other People
                                  A fun relationship and sex comedy with a killer ensemble cast? You can count me in.

September 13th: Project Greenlight (HBO)
                                 I will be watching this show with popcorn like the film geek that I am.

September 15th: The Mindy Project (Hulu)
Super excited to see what changes come to the show with the move to Hulu. Also, I need more Mindy in my life. Always.

September 18th: Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials
                                  My number one pick of the month (I know, no shockers there!) and for many good reasons! I am so stoked to see what Wes Ball brings to the table this time around. Nothing short of epic, no doubt!.

September 18th: Black Mass
                                Being from Boston, I'm definitely more inclined to be intrigued by the storyline, but this cast is phenomenal so that's reason enough.

September 21st: Minority Report (CBS)
                                    I am a huge Minority Report fan and with this series being a continuation of the film, you can bet I'll be watching weekly.

September 22nd: Limitless (FOX)
                                 More screen-time for my favorite Jake McDorman? Yes, please. Also, this looks like it could really be something great.

September 24th: How To Get Away With Murder (ABC)
With an incredible first season, I'm curious to see how the series evolves in creative ways in season two.

September 25th: The Intern
                                  Watching The Intern trailer makes me smile: the premise, the cast, etc. It's my kind of funny and heartfelt movie.

September 25th: 99 Homes
                                 I am so ready for Andrew Garfield to break my heart and (hopefully) put it back together again.

September 27th: Brooklyn Nine-Nine (FOX)
If you aren't already watching Brooklyn Nine-Nine, what are you waiting for? No, seriously The Captain doesn't like tardiness. It's unprofessional.

What are your September picks? Hit me with them in the comments!

After a day of House of Cards and sunshine, happy Sunday!

Let's get to this week's Picks and Flicks!

Reasons Why Outside is the Worst (Whine About It): While I've become more of an outside person over the past couple of years, THERE ARE BEARS. Also, public bathrooms.

Taylor Swift's 'Wildest Dreams' Music Video
                                From the stunning visuals (those lens flares, though!) to the FREAKING LIONS to the handsome as hell Scott Eastwood, I will be watching this on repeat all week. Really love the Taylor and Joseph Kahn collaborations for her 1989 videos.

Jennifer Lawrence and Amy Schumer Are Making the Goofy, Cool-Girl Movie of Your Dreams (Vanity Fair): When two of my current favorite females get together only amazingness will ensue. Also, I love that Jenn is now screenwriting and YAY for female screenwriters! I wonder what her scene descriptions look like...yes, these are the things that I think about.

Ghostbusters love their women (Melissa McCarthy): This tweet is everything I needed this week. #girlpower

Kill Your Friends trailer (YouTube): Nicholas Hoult working in the music industry in a British black comedy? YES PLEASE.

Stay tuned for the September Slate up on Tuesday!

Happy Sunday! It was a week of reading and pool time for me and that was just what I needed!

Let's get to this week's Picks and Flicks!

31 Of The Most Beautiful Film Quotes Of All Time (BuzzFeed): So many of my favorites in here.

One Direction - Drag Me Down (Vevo): This is an amazing video for one of my current repeat songs. Also, NASA is one of the most fascinating things to me. Nobody can drag me down, seriously!

Madden: The Movie (Madden NFL 16)
                                   I'm pretty sure I understand about 25% of this short, but it's ridiculously funny and I don't even play Madden! Also, Dave Franco.

Project Greenlight trailer (HBO): I am so excited that this show is coming back! I love the behind the scenes aspects of filmmaking.

Kristen Stewart would be a great person to road trip with (Nylon Magazine): I mean, LUNCHABLES! Enough said.

Tune in next time for more Picks and Flicks!

Happy Sunday!

Have you caught my latest post on The Strength of BBG? If not, check it out and let me know what you think!

Let's get to this week's Picks and Flicks!

Love Myself by Hailee Steinfeld (Vevo): I absolutely love this song. The lyrics are so on point. Love yourself!

10 Things Women In Their Twenties Need To Stop Worrying About (BuzzFeed): I need to print these out and tape them on my walls Elementary School style.

Kristen Stewart and Jesse Eisenberg Talk About Weed and Things Get Weird (BuzzFeed)

This interview is everything I never knew I wanted out of an interview. Also, BuzzFeed is forever tops.

Reasons Going Out Is The Worst (Whine About It): 'All you need is warm carbohydrates.' Preaching all of the truths, Matt!

28 Important Lessons “Pretty Little Liars” Taught Us About Life (BuzzFeed): They may be liars, but these truths are of the utmost importance.

37 Important Things People Want Themselves To Know In The Future (BuzzFeed): You made it (and you're a badass)!

Tune in next time for more Picks and Flicks!

When it comes to working out and staying healthy, I am the type of person that craves routine.

Sticking to a routine provides me with less opportunities to talk myself out of it, especially in those first few weeks when sometimes you have to force yourself to get on that treadmill, take out that yoga mat, and get to it. 

My latest venture is with Kayla Itsines' fitness empire: Bikini Body Guide. Personally, the program's name sounds super demeaning and doesn't nearly encompass what BBG does for its followers and what is has done for me over the past few months.

It was initially recommended to me by one of my best friends, Tama, who wanted to get fit and healthy once and for all. Tama's like me, tried doing it countless times before, but couldn't ever quite get it to stick. For the couple months I followed her progress, seriously skeptical of the program, her confidence was rising while her body was starting to become what she always knew it could be. But the thing that really sold me to start the program was how much more positive she was about herself and her body, regardless of the numbers on the scale.

So I started it. To say that the first few weeks are tough is an understatement. It's an adjustment, because even though each of the three thirty minute workouts a week wears you down physically, I find that it's more emotionally taxing for me. Mostly due to the fact that sometimes I get in my head too much and doubt my physical abilities. I'm working on it!

There's something so satisfying, too, about completing these seriously tough workouts and feeling on top of the world with your sore muscles the next day. Well, of course, this is after the immediate post-workout jello-legs, but the sense of accomplishment that you did just kick on serious ass and you can do it again.

One of the things I love most about BBG is the community. Personally, I follow the majority of it on the Instagram hashtags BBG and BBGGirls. They're both filled with inspiration, tips, and positivity. In my experience, there isn't much in the way of negativity, only those excited about their progress, new recipes they've found, and tackling that latest legs workout.

Currently, I'm on Week 15 of BBG 2.0, the second string of workouts. I've really learned not to be so hard on myself. I do spend a lot of time working out, but that's as much of a benefit for me physically as it is emotionally. BBG is about a lot of hard work, but it's also about discovering and harnessing the strength that you might not have known you had.

To check out Kayla's BBG plans and more click here! I highly recommend them if you didn't already surmise that yourself.


Tell me in the comments what keeps you healthy and fit! 
It's Sunday and what a great week it's been!

Let's get to this week's Picks and Flicks!

29 Photos That Prove “Breaking Bad” Had The Greatest Cinematography (BuzzFeed): Seriously, the cinematography was always one of my favorite parts of the show. So stunning.

Kristen Stewart and Jesse Eisenberg's Awkward Interview (Funny or Die): Kristen and Jesse mocking the gender inconsistencies in interviewing is everything. I love it so much that they were both down for this sketch and that they committed to it.

By The Sea trailer
So many tears and dramatic body poses that I am so in for this! This film should be subtitled 'Heartbreak.'

Taylor Swift Has Perfect Advice For Anyone Who’s Ever Doubted Their Worth (BuzzFeed): Taylor giving advice to fans on Tumblr is one of my favorite things. This time it's something that everyone needs to check out.

The Cast of Fantastic Four Plays “Would You Rather”
 (Collider News): This is such a fun interview with a really great cast. Say what you want about Fantastic Four, but I thought that the film was entertaining to say the least. Check out my review here!

Deadpool red band trailer
                                Graphic in so many ways and I. Am. Ready.

19 Fucking Things Only Women Who Love Swearing Will Understand (BuzzFeed): This is my day-to-day life. I feel the majority of these on a spiritual fucking level.

The Last Witch Hunter trailer (Collider News): Vin Diesel's been talking about this project for years now, so I've always been curious about it. I want to dive into the film's mythology and yeah, it may be scary, but damn if it isn't interesting.

Tune in next week for more Picks and Flicks!

So, I'm pretty sure I'm the only one who actually enjoyed Fantastic Four...and that is okay.

I've been looking forward to this film since the castings were announced. Take a look at this stellar talented core cast: Kate Mara as Sue Storm (phenomenal in House of Cards and American Horror Story), Miles Teller as Reed Richards (top-notch in Whiplash and heartbreakingly authentic in The Spectacular Now), Michael B. Jordan as Johnny Storm (still can't talk about Fruitvale Station without crying and, of course, Friday Night Lights), Jamie Bell as Ben Grimm (I know him mostly from the under-seen action/sci-fi Jumper and his role in Snowpiercer), and Toby Kebbell as Victor Von Doom (who I wasn't previously familiar with, but now want to see more of).

It makes sense why the cast is one of the best parts of the film. From the subtle looks to the banter, you can tell that they really gel together well. Introducing the film with the core Reed and Ben friendship was such a crucial segment and it really worked smoothly in transitioning between the different time sections at the start. Plus, Reed and Ben as kids is just about the cutest thing ever. Sue and Reed's friendship is so sweet and you can read into there being something more there without it ever overshadowing the storyline at hand. They're playful friends and first-and-foremost scientists. Plus, Johnny and Reed's friendship makes me smile. From the almost-fist-bump to the smile and hug after their reunion later in the film, they connect on such a level that isn't expected based on their personalities alone.

The small moments are fantastic in this film. When Ben forgets to bring the toy car to the science fair. When Reed thanks the security guard by name at the Baxter Institute. Victor calling Sue 'Susan.' These moments give such deep insight into these characters without having to say much at all. I want to see the director's cut so, so badly. Even just seeing all of the countless scenes and shots in the trailers and other promotional footage that actually didn't make it into the film makes me wonder about all of the small scenes that are left on the cutting room floor.

It seems that too much was edited out, because the film feels disjointed. The first two-thirds is a clear, grounded, character-driven sci-fi film and the last third is a huge special effects spectacular. I definitely didn't hate the last third, but it certainly felt like it was from a different film. How could there be such a dramatic shift to the literal complete opposite of it being grounded? Going from the understated majority with only two scenes with overt special effects to the completely foreign, it doesn't read true to the heart of the first parts of the film and that makes me sad. Because the majority of the film is so good.

So maybe Fantastic Four didn't live up to your expectations. Maybe the drama surrounding the production or even the promotional tour clouded your judgment. Maybe you just didn't like it for a variety of reasons. That is okay. While there are negatives in this film for me (like the underutilized cast and how the script could've been taken up a few notches), I choose not to focus on those aspects. I'm concentrating on how much I truly adore this cast and how much I want to see their characters continue.

A crossover with X-Men was potentially in the works and I feel like, if anything, a disappointing box office return should encourage Fox even moreso on this venture. Combine the casts, continue exposing the fans to these characters, make them more accessible and desirable, then produce the Fantastic Four sequels. Yeah, the first one has bombed at the box office. The cast is right and the tone is different, but it works. The issues lie in the disagreements in direction and the third act of the movie really showcases that. Find creatives that have the same vision and work well together, utilizing the cast to their full potential, while remaining true to the characters, the tone, and the basics of storytelling and it can work.

Before you write off Fantastic Four completely, give it a watch and recognize all of its potential. Trust me, there's a fun future there and it's blazing.

Happy Sunday!

It's August already. Summer is going by wicked fast, but means that my August Slate is up!

Let's get to this week's Picks and Flicks!

Take A Break: The Painted Nail (The Late Late Show with James Corden): The latest Take A Break segment with the best reaction to a massage chair I've ever seen.

Room teaser trailer
                                 Brie Larson is a powerhouse. Cannot wait to see her break my heart in this.

Reasons Why Clothes Shopping Is The Absolute Worst (Whine About It): Matt Bellassai preaching it about why clothes shopping is my favorite/least favorite activity. "It's ninety degrees. I'm sweating..." aka my life in a changing room. Is high-powered A/C too much to ask for?!

Don't Talk PSA: Coach: (Alamo Drafthouse): Effective and hysterical series. Plus, Coach Taylor is life, obviously.

Did You Read The Book? Cara Delevingne, Press Junketry, and Me (Medium / John Green): Lovely and fascinating defense of Cara's 'interview gone wrong'. Listen, the woman had been doing long press days and decided to have a little fun with some newscasters. Not her fault they didn't get the sarcasm!

Black Mass trailer
                               Super fascinated by this cast and super disturbed by the characters that they're playing. Also, Benedict Cumberbatch's Boston accent...? I love you Benedict, but hmm.

“Orange Is The New Black” Star Danielle Brooks Has Shared An Inspiring Body Confidence Picture (BuzzFeed): I love how Danielle's promoting self-love and confidence. This is just another step in the right direction for doing what's right for yourself no matter what anyone else thinks.

Tom Cruise Fails His Own Catchphrase Challenge (MTV News): This is just pure gold. Tom, you tried so hard. So, so hard.

The Night Before Red Band Trailer
                                Wu Tang onesie. Also, Mindy Kaling.

Looking for something cute to watch this weekend? Check out Paper Towns and read my review here!

Tune in next week for more Picks and Flicks!

Happy August!

Let's get to this month's film-centric picks!

August 7th: The Fantastic Four

Huge fan of this cast and the cinematography looks off the charts. Flame on!

August 7th: The Diary of a Teenage Girl

After months and months of festival buzz I knew I needed to see this special film.

August 14th: The Man from U.N.C.L.E.

This one has flown under my radar until this month. I love the sleek and stylized trailer aesthetic. Great cast in a blend of Pink Panther and James Bond.

August 21st: American Ultra

I am here for every whacked-out moment of this.

August 21st: Digging for Fire

Cannot wait to see what Joe Swanberg cooks up this time around!

August 28th: We Are Your Friends

Finally this movie is coming out! I absolutely cannot wait to see this. Again, though, who seriously takes the SATs in pen? Are you trying to make me panic for you?!

August 28th: Z for Zachariah
                                I get so tense every time I see this trailer, so I can only imagine how freaked I'll be in my theater seat.

What are your August picks? Hit me with them in the comments!

As a huge fan of TFIOS and the general euphoria surrounding all things John Green, I went to see Paper Towns on opening day.

Paper Towns follows Q's borderline obsession with Margo since she moved in across the street from him when they were kids. They immediately became friends and were the best of such until her outgoing tendencies pushed her farther and farther away from Q until they no longer acknowledged each other. All's quiet on the Margo front until one night when she knocks on Q's window. She has nine things she needs to do and he's going to be her getaway driver. The next morning, Margo's nowhere to be found...until Q starts tracing the clue's she's left behind.

I don't have a strong connection to Paper Towns at face value. I haven't read the book yet (on my super long to-be-read list) and I knew nothing more about the story than what I saw in the trailer before my viewing. I'm glad that that was the case. I was surprised by the outcome in such brilliant ways. All of the character arcs are well executed, only leaving me wanting more screentime for every single one.

Q is a super reserved and play-by-the-rules type of high school senior. I really connect to his strict sense of self, not allowing himself to go outside the lines because of the anxiety of what consequences will follow. Juxtaposed with Margo's unrestrained sense of the world being her playground full of possibilities, you crave more adventurous Margo. You also want Margo's rebellious nature to rub off on Q (I mean, live a little, kid!). Margo may talk a lot of nonsense, thinking she knows more about life than she actually does, but she's right about one thing for certain: everything that Q wants in life is outside of his comfort zone. Live a life outside the boundaries that you've set for yourself and who knows what might happen.

Paper Towns lives within its brilliant cast and characters. I can easily see why John Green thought that Nat Wolff was perfect to play Q and all of his insecurities. Q's best friends Ben, Radar, Lacey, and Angela light up the film with their fantastic chemistry. I wanted them all (especially smart and quietly hysterical Radar) in every scene. Road tripping with this cast of characters, who's in?!

The biggest surprise for me (apart from that fantastically absurd cameo) was Cara Delevingne as Margo. I am familiar with Cara only from her modeling work and her eccentrically authentic social media persona. While lots of people were skeptical I truly tried to keep an open mind with her and I was so impressed with what I saw. Cara has this mystery about her, like that of Margo, where you immediately want to ask her everything about her life, but you know you'll only get vague non-answers. You want to see more of her onscreen to learn the facets of what makes her tick. The representation of Margo from Cara who's seen by millions of people and their differing visions of her in their heads: she is every one and none of their thoughts. She's not your Manic Pixie Dream Girl. She's just a girl and Cara brought such a power to that.

If you're questioning whether or not to check out Paper Towns in theaters my advice is to watch the trailer. Did you love the trailer? Then go check it out! If Nat and Cara aren't enough to sway you, then maybe wait until home release and watch it on DVD. Either way, it's a film you'll want to have in your library.

Paper Towns is a modern day version of a classic John Hughes high school film. With spot-on music, it's sweet and fun tone, and reflection of the self, I'll definitely be re-watching for years to come. The end of this film is one of the most satisfying I've seen this year. Plus, what's a teen movie without an epic slow-motion prom scene? Teach me your smooth moves, Nat Wolff!


P.S. Tune in on Saturday for my August Slate! It's going to be....smoking hot!
Happy Sunday!

Let's get to this week's Picks and Flicks!

Take a Break: Pink's Hotdogs (The Late Late Show with James Corden): James Corden's Take a Break segment is one of my favorites in late night TV. It's hysterical and is actually doing something good for others...but it's mainly hysterical. I highly recommend watching all of this series on his YouTube channel!

Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials trailer
                      Clearly, my Maze Runner love is endless, and seeing this new trailer on the big screen in front of Paper Towns this weekend was stellar! Is it September yet?!

A Running Magazine Put A Plus-Size Model On Its Cover And People Are Into It (BuzzFeed): This is such a huge step forward in breaking the stereotypical ideas of what a runner truly is. I've run off and on for the past few years, and within the last six months it's really become a passion of mine. I definitely do not fit the 'typical runner's body' and that's perfectly okay.

SPECTRE trailer

I am here for absolutely everything about this. Daniel Craig as James Bond is one of my all-time favorite castings.

When a Magazine Only Wants You If You're Willing to Pose Nude (Jezebel): This is a must-read--Reign actress Caitlin Stasey details the story of a magazine spread gone horribly wrong all because she didn't want to pose nude for the shoot (it didn't fit the heart of the interview). Big ups for her to speak on this in such a public way.

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2 trailer
I'm not even going to lie, I teared up watching this trailer for the first time. This is my life and yeah, I love this series more than words. I'm going to be sad for its ending, but I am so excited to see the epic conclusion.

It's Sunday and you need a Netflix rec! Check out Netflix's original series Sense8!

Tune in next week for more Picks and Flicks!


P.S. Stay tuned for my Paper Towns review up on the blog on Wednesday!
Sense8: get ready for your next weirdly amazing binge-watch.

Sense8 is weird. I'm not going to lie to you, but I love weird. I love how something as complicated and intense as this series can emotionally rip me to shreds and yet I'll still hit the next episode the first chance I get.

When trying to explain Sense8 to the uninitiated you run a serious risk of spoiling the magic of the show, or diminishing it's vastness, because it's such an 'out there' premise. But here's the jist: eight strangers become mentally linked and gradually work together for group survival.

It's an intimate series. Not only in the typical Netflix series sense of there being many graphic sex scenes (seriously, if those are not your cup of tea then maybe you'll want to fast-forward in a few parts...), but also in the sense that these characters are unintentionally (in the beginning) exploring the lives and minds of the other linked characters. Without spoiling anything, it can get intimate quickly.

What a fantastic group of characters and actors this show has put together. Originating from eight entirely different regions of the world these fascinating characters slowly intertwine their lives while still remaining in their own separate regions. Forming bonds specifically through their mental connections.

One of my favorite things about the series is how stylized it is. When a certain musical riff comes on you know that these characters are about to kick some serious ass. When the scenes are shot a certain way and in a particular lighting scheme, you know that they're exploring each other's worlds. The film language of these episodes is phenomenal.

Trust me on this one, you do not want to miss out or wait to watch Sense8. Fingers crossed for Season 2!

What a scorcher of a weekend it's been!

Let's get to this week's Picks and Flicks!

Digging for Fire trailer
I'm a huge fan of Joe Swanberg's films. They're so indie-centric in all of the best ways. With amazing casts, unique stories, and killer soundtracks, Swanberg's work has me coming back again and again.

OITNB's Danielle Brooks New Hashtag Campaign Embraces All Shapes (BuzzFeed): Body positivity movements, especially coming from one of the best people, are my favorite things.

Daniel Radcliffe Was Our Receptionist For An Hour (Nylon Magazine): Daniel Radcliffe is the biggest, charming gem and if you don't already think that, you won't have a doubt about him after watching this.

Joy teaser trailer
Absolutely psyched for this. It looks phenomenal and a relief, because, like some of you, when the film was announced, synopsis and all, it didn't seem like much. Definitely one of those times I'm glad to be wrong!

Celebs Take the Geeks & Poseurs Test (MTV): One of my favorite parts of Comic-Con every year and this year lives up to the hype! Just watch it. You will laugh.

Lena Dunham is Launching A Newsletter For Young Women (BuzzFeed): This is such a step in the right direction and I cannot wait for Lenny to start filling my inbox.

Tune in next time for more Picks and Flicks!


P.S. Stick around for my gushing review of Sense8 on Wednesday!
I watch a lot of TV. When I say a lot of TV I mean that I'm the girl who is constantly recommending shows to anyone who will listen to me ramble on and on about my latest favorite. This brings me to the latest favorite binge-watch: Fringe.

I was a first-airing viewer of Fringe for a couple seasons, but then life got in the way and their time-slot changed and it just fell off of my radar. Looking back on it now it's both a good and a bad thing. I'm a serial binge-watcher and enjoy watching most shows that way more, because I need it all now. The only bad thing about waiting was that I didn't know the brilliance I was missing until I finished the series for the first time this week on Netflix.

For the uninitiated, Fringe follows FBI agent, Olivia Dunham, who teams up with institutionalized, Walter Bishop, and his son, Peter Bishop, who's a begrudged caretaker of sorts (initially), to investigate unexplained phenomena. Unexplained phenomena is just about the biggest understatement for some of the insane cases on the show, but you'll see what I mean for yourself!

Fringe takes place in Boston, so obviously I'm more inclined to love it than just your average show (even though it clearly wasn't filmed on location). Hearing all of these New England and New York based cities on a TV series is both odd and welcoming to me, personally.

One of the things I love most about Fringe is that it is clearly a sci-fi and unexplainable phenomena--explained series. Sometimes science and technical based shows like this can be a real turnoff because their language is so inaccessible. But that's not the case here at all. Fringe never talks down to the viewer, but rather clues you into what's going on...or what they think is going on. Olivia's character truly helps a lot with this accessibility as she doesn't know the scientific background for any of this stuff either. She is the average viewer and watching her and FBI agent/lab assistant Astrid deal with Walter's scientific eccentricity is one of my favorite things.

Throughout the series, Fringe always comes back to the concept of family. Who is your family? What would you do for them? How will you stick together? The changing notion of what is family, who do you choose to be your family, and living with the family you're born with are interesting ideas that pretty much never cease on the drama front. Peter is the reluctant son, but he has his reasons. Legitimate reasons. Throughout it all, Peter and Walter never stop trying to make it work even when it gets rather mind-bendingly complicated in the later seasons.

The best thing about binge-watching Fringe was the fact that the ending was absolutely, stunningly perfect. I couldn't have asked for a better, more appropriately heart-pounding (and heart-wrenching, to be honest) ending to the series. Even after a hundred episodes (yay, syndication qualification!), Fringe still managed to make me want more and to immediately watch it over again. Speaking of...

Let me know in the comments your thoughts on Fringe and/or your favorite series to binge-watch. If you haven't watched Fringe yet, what are you waiting for?!