29 January 2013

Laneway Auckland 2013

This year we managed to get 'PIP' tickets (pretty important person?!). That meant our own area (guarded by a burly security guy), luxury port-a-loos, a Mexi-Kai van, bar, shade, and view of the 2 main stages (albeit from the back, but I am NOT complaining!). It was an epic day at Silo Park. I can't wait for the next Laneway Festival!

Photo timeline of our day :) Not all my photos were worth posting - we also watched Alt-J (incredible live), and Jessie Ware to name a couple.

Beautiful day in Auckland

The PIP area, where we camped out for a lot of the day

First up for the day, and a real highlight, Kings of Convenience

Hungarian Bread mmmm

Polica taking the stage. Very awesome.

The Divine Fits rocking out

Chilled out session with Real Estate

Dinner-licious! Thanks to Mexi-Kai!

After some technical difficulties, Of Monsters and Men are away!

Yeasayer were a-mazing! A highlight for sure.

This is it, almost time for Bat for Lashes

We were right up the front. Bat for Lashes. Goddess

Full line-up: Bat for Lashes, Bailterspace, Yeasayer, Alt-J, Nicolas Jaar, Divine Fits, Of Monsters And Men, Lawrence Arabia, Jessie Ware, Phelps and Munro, Japandroids, Street Chant, The Men, Cloud Nothings, Deer Park, Beach Pigs, The Phoenix Foundation, Real Estate, Flume, Polica, and Kings of Convenience!

21 January 2013

Wedding Card Commission

My first finished card of 2013! This one was requested by my friend Alex, for a wedding. I even got to use my xmas gift - a cuttlebug!

I used Kraft card, Kaisercraft papers (I cut-out the butterflies), tag and ribbon punch, 'Absolutely' die with matching stamps (from Simon Says Stamp; a memory box set), 3 different foams (for different heights), brown ink, and silver and green rhinostones.

18 January 2013

Move Wish List #16

I'm fairly bored at work, so I thought I'd browse IMDB and look at some 2013 movies! I already have a large list of new films to see... (here and here)

(Last Updated: 25 December 2013)

Storage 24 (2012) - Horror|Sci-Fi. In London, a military plane crashes leaving its highly classified contents strewn across the city. Completely unaware that the city is in lockdown, a group of people become trapped inside a storage facility with a highly unwelcome guest.
I don't recognise the cast, but the plot sounds intriguing! Plus I like a good thriller/sci-fi.

Beautiful Creatures (2013) - Drama|Fantasy. Ethan longs to escape his small Southern town. He meets a mysterious new girl, Lena. Together, they uncover dark secrets about their respective families, their history and their town.
I saw the preview to this and was instantly drawn to it - I've since bought the book (this is based on the first of four books).

Stoker (2013) - Drama|Horror|Mystery|Thriller. After India's father dies, her Uncle Charlie, who she never knew existed, comes to live with her and her unstable mother. She comes to suspect this mysterious, charming man has ulterior motives and becomes increasingly infatuated with him.
English-language debut from Chan-wook Park, director of Thirst and the Lady Vengeance trilogy most popularly represented by its second installment, Oldboy. Love his films and this one sounds great. Stars Mia Wasikowska, Nicole Kidman, Matthew Goode, Dermot Mulroney

The Host (2013) - Sci-Fi|Thriller. A parasitic alien soul is injected into the body of Melanie Stryder. Instead of carrying out her race's mission of taking over the Earth, "Wanda" (as she comes to be called) forms a bond with her host and sets out to aid other free humans.
I actually enjoyed reading this book (as opposed to Stephenie Meyer's Twilight series). Plus I really like the director, Andrew Niccol.

The Place Beyond the Pines (2012) - Crime|Drama. A motorcycle stunt rider turns to robbing banks as a way to provide for his lover and their newborn child, a decision that puts him on a collision course with an ambitious rookie cop navigating a department ruled by a corrupt detective.
Helllooo cast: Ryan Gosling, Bradley Cooper, (Eva Mendes), Rose Byrne.

The Heat (2013) - Action|Comedy|Crime. Uptight FBI special agent Sarah Ashburn (Sandra Bullock) is paired with testy Boston cop Shannon Mullins (Melissa McCarthy) in order to take down a ruthless drug lord. The hitch: neither woman has ever had a partner -- or a friend for that matter.
Miss Congeniality anybody?! Still, I liked that film.

Oblivion (2013) - Action|Adventure|Sci-Fi|Thriller. One of the few remaining drone repairmen assigned to Earth, its surface devastated after decades of war with the alien Scavs, discovers a crashed spacecraft with contents that bring into question everything he believed about the war, and may even put the fate of mankind in his hands.
I'm not an instant Tom Cruise fan, but I saw a teaser trailer for this a while back and was intrigued. Also stars Morgan Freeman.

Iron Man 3 (2013) - Action|Adventure|Sci-Fi. Marvel's "Iron Man 3" pits brash-but-brilliant industrialist Tony Stark/Iron Man against an enemy whose reach knows no bounds (Mandarin). When Stark finds his personal world destroyed at his enemy's hands, he embarks on a harrowing quest to find those responsible. This journey, at every turn, will test his mettle. With his back against the wall, Stark is left to survive by his own devices, relying on his ingenuity and instincts to protect those closest to him. As he fights his way back, Stark discovers the answer to the question that has secretly haunted him: does the man make the suit or does the suit make the man?

The Great Gatsby (2013) - Drama|Romance. Nick Carraway, a Midwesterner now living on Long Island, finds himself fascinated by the mysterious past and lavish lifestyle of his neighbor, Jay Gatsby. He is drawn into Gatsby's circle, becoming a witness to obsession and tragedy.

Star Trek Into Darkness (2013) - Action|Adventure|Sci-Fi. After the crew of the Enterprise find an unstoppable force of terror from within their own organization, Captain Kirk leads a manhunt to a war-zone world to capture a one man weapon of mass destruction.

The Hangover Part III (2013) - Comedy. This time, there's no wedding. No bachelor party. What could go wrong, right? But when the Wolfpack hits the road, all bets are off.
Number three already??!!

The Fast and the Furious 6 (2013) - Action|Adventure|Crime|Thriller. Plot unknown.
It doesn't take much to plot these movies... fast cars... robbery of some sort... throw in some cops and some bad guys... The fact that this one will star Michelle Rodriguez again is interesting...

The Purge (2013) - Sci-Fi|Thriller. Given the country's overcrowded prisons, the U.S. government begins to allow 12-hour periods of time in which all illegal activity is legal. During one of these free-for-alls, a family must protect themselves from a home invasion.
I like the sound, and the cast, of this one: Lena Headey, and Ethan Hawke.

Much Ado About Nothing (2012) - Comedy|Drama|Romance. A modern retelling of Shakespeare's classic comedy about two pairs of lovers with different takes on romance and a way with words.
Shakespeare in the hands of Joss Whedon - what else is there to say?! This is also one of my favourite of Shakespeare's plays.

Man of Steel (2013) - Action|Adventure|Fantasy|Sci-Fi. An alien infant is raised on Earth, and grows up with superhuman abilities. He sets out to use these abilities to guard his adopted world.
Director: Zack Snyder. Stars: Henry Cavill, Russell Crowe, Amy Adams, Michael Shannon.

This Is the End (2013). Action|Comedy. While attending a party at James Franco's house, Seth Rogen, Jay Baruchel and many other celebrities are faced with the apocalypse.
Directors: Evan Goldberg| Seth Rogen. Stars: Seth Rogen, Jay Baruchel, James Franco, Paul Rudd.

Monsters University (2013) - Animation|Adventure|Comedy|Family|Fantasy. A look at the relationship between Mike and Sulley during their days at the University of Fear -- when they weren't necessarily the best of friends.
I'm a big fan of Monsters Inc :)

World War Z (2013) - Action|Drama|Horror|Sci-Fi|Thriller. A U.N. employee is racing against time and fate, as he travels the world trying to stop the outbreak of a deadly Zombie pandemic.
Director: Marc Forster. Stars: Brad Pitt, Mireille Enos, David Morse, James Badge Dale.
I saw a preview for this last month - totally up my alley! I'm going to get myself a copy of the book too.

White House Down (2013) - Action|Drama. A Secret Service agent is tasked with saving the life of the U.S. President after the White House is overtaken by a paramilitary group.
Director: Roland Emmerich. Stars: Channing Tatum, Jamie Foxx, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Richard Jenkins.

Kick-Ass 2 (2013) - Action|Comedy|Crime|Thriller. The costumed high-school hero Kick-Ass joins with a group of normal citizens who have been inspired to fight crime in costume. Meanwhile, the Red Mist plots an act of revenge that will affect everyone Kick-Ass knows.
I can only hope this sequel is even half as good as the first movie.

17 January 2013

Band Of Horses 16 Jan 2013

BOH rocked the Powerstation in Auckland last night (ED: review here)! This was my second time seeing them, and I was just as amazed as the first time.

Here is the setlist (put together using this photo of the setlist - first photo, as I am useless at remembering song titles!):

1. Ode to LRC
2. NW Apt.
3. Feud
4. Is There a Ghost
5. Weed party
6. Too Soon
7. Long Vows
8. Infinite Arms
9. Laredo
10. Motor
11. Older
12. Marry Song
13. (Instrumental)
14. Everything's Gonna Be Undone
15. Compliments
16. Knock Knock
17. Writers
18. Funeral

19. No One
20. Snow Song
21. Cigarettes, Wedding Bands
22. Am I a Good Man ('Them Two' cover)

16 January 2013

Alabama Shakes 15 Jan 2013

With only one album under their belt I wasn't sure what to expect from Alabama Shakes... They SHOOK a sold-out Powerstation. A-mazing gig... A-mazing Brittany Howard!

Cue terrible mobile photos!

Golden Globes 2013!

Here are the nominations, and winners (in bold), for the 70th Annual Golden Globe awards!

Best Motion Picture, Drama
Django Unchained
Life of Pi
Zero Dark Thirty

Best Actor in a Motion Picture, Drama
Daniel Day-Lewis, "Lincoln"
Richard Gere, "Arbitrage"
John Hawkes, "The Sessions"
Joaquin Phoenix, "The Master"
Denzel Washington, "Flight"

Best Actress in a Motion Picture, Drama
Jessica Chastain, "Zero Dark Thirty"
Marion Cotillard, "Rust and Bone"
Helen Mirren, "Hitchcock"
Naomi Watts, "The Impossible"
Rachel Weisz, "The Deep Blue Sea"

Best Motion Picture, Comedy or Musical
The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel
Les Miserables
Moonrise Kingdom
Salmon Fishing in the Yemen
Silver Linings Playbook

Best Actor in a Motion Picture, Comedy or Musical
Hugh Jackman, "Les Miserables"
Bradley Cooper, "Silver Linings Playbook"
Jack Black, "Bernie"
Ewan McGregor, "Salmon Fishing in the Yemen"
Bill Murray, "Hyde Park on Hudson"

Best Actress in a Motion Picture, Comedy or Musical
Emily Blunt, "Salmon Fishing in the Yemen"
Judi Dench, "The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel"
Maggie Smith, "Quartet"
Jennifer Lawrence, "Silver Linings Playbook"
Meryl Streep, "Hope Springs"

Best Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture
Amy Adams, "The Master"
Sally Field, "Lincoln"
Anne Hathaway, "Les Miserables"
Helen Hunt, "The Sessions"
Nicole Kidman, "The Paperboy"

Best Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture
Alan Arkin, "Argo"
Leonardo DiCaprio, "Django Unchained"
Tommy Lee Jones, "Lincoln"
Philip Seymour Hoffman, "The Master"
Christoph Waltz, "Django Unchained"

Best Animated Feature Film
Hotel Transylvania
Rise of the Guardians
Wreck-It Ralph

Best Foreign Language Film
The Intouchables
A Royal Affair
Rust and Bone

Best Director - Motion Picture
Ben Affleck, "Argo"
Kathryn Bigelow, "Zero Dark Thirty"
Ang Lee, "Life of Pi"
Steven Spielberg, "Lincoln"
Quentin Tarantino, "Django Unchained"

Best Screenplay - Motion Picture
Django Unchained
Silver Linings Playbook
Zero Dark Thirty

Best Original Score - Motion Picture
Mychael Danna, "Life of Pi"
Alexandre Desplat, "Argo"
Reinhold Heil & Johnny Klimek, "Cloud Atlas"
Dario Marianelli, "Anna Karenina"
John Williams, "Lincoln"

Best Original Song - Motion Picture
For You, "Act of Valor"
Not Running Anymore, "Stand Up Guys"
Safe and Sound, "The Hunger Games"
Skyfall, "Skyfall"
Suddenly, "Les Miserables"

Best Television Series, Drama
Breaking Bad
Boardwalk Empire
Downton Abbey
The Newsroom

Best Actor in a Television Series, Drama
Steve Buscemi, Boardwalk Empire
Bryan Cranston, Breaking Bad
Jeff Daniels, The Newsroom
Jon Hamm, Mad Men
Damian Lewis, Homeland

Best Actress in a Television Series, Drama
Connie Britton, Nashville
Glenn Close, Damages
Claire Danes, Homeland
Michelle Dockery, Downton Abbey
Julianna Margulies, The Good Wife

Best Televison Series, Comedy or Musical
The Big Bang Theory
Modern Family

Best Actor in a Television Series, Comedy or Musical
Alec Baldwin, 30 Rock
Don Cheadle, House of Lies
Louis C.K., Louie
Matt Leblanc, Episodes
Jim Parsons, The Big Bang Theory

Best Actress in a Television Series, Comedy or Musical
Zooey Deschanel, New Girl
Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Veep
Lena Dunham, Girls
Tina Fey, 30 Rock
Amy Poehler, Parks and Recreation

Best Miniseries or Motion Picture Made for Television
Game Change
The Girl
Hatfields & McCoys
The Hour
Political Animals

Best Actor in a Miniseries or Motion Picture Made for Television
Kevin Costner, Hatfields & McCoys
Benedict Cumberbatch, Sherlock
Woody Harrelson, Game Change
Toby Jones, The Girl
Clive Owen, Hemingway & Gellhorn

Best Actress in a Miniseries or Motion Picture Made for Television
Nicole Kidman, Hemingway & Gellhorn
Jessica Lange, American Horror Story: Asylum
Sienna Miller, The Girl
Julianne Moore, Game Change
Sigourney Weaver, Political Animals

Best Supporting Actor in a Series, Miniseries or Motion Picture Made for Television
Max Greenfield, New Girl
Ed Harris, Game Change
Danny Huston, Magic City
Mandy Patinkin, Cinema Verite
Eric Stonestreet, Modern Family

Best Supporting Actress in a Series, Miniseries or Motion Picture Made for Television
Hayden Panettiere, Nashville
Archie Panjabi, The Good Wife
Sarah Paulson, Game Change
Maggie Smith, Downton Abbey
Sofia Vergara, Modern Family

HonoraryCecil B. DeMille Lifetime Achievement Award: Jodie Foster

15 January 2013

Movie Wish List #15

I'm taking a leaf out of Dominic Corry's post... actually, I'm metaphorically ripping the whole page out, and listing the movies here as I want to see these just as much as him! (Ed: really miss his reviews on bfm as Fabian Fanboy!). My last movie wish list is still largely unfufilled (here)... so much movie watching to do and not enough time!

* Upstream Colour - A man and woman are drawn together, entangled in the life cycle of an ageless organism. Identity becomes an illusion as they struggle to assemble the loose fragments of wrecked lives. Same writer/director/actor as Primer (Shane Carruth), which I did see a while back.

* Now You See Me - FBI agents track a team of illusionists who pull off bank heists during their performances and reward their audiences with the money. I've seen the preview a couple of times at the movies - liking the sound of the plot, and the cast. (Morgan Freeman, Isla Fisher, Mélanie Laurent, Woody Harrelson, Mark Ruffalo, Dave Franco, Jesse Eisenberg, Michael Caine...)

* Pacific Rim - (I may be biased by my love of Charlie Hunnam and Guillermo del Toro) When an alien attack threatens the Earth's existence, giant robots piloted by humans are deployed to fight off the menace.

January 2013

We are half way through the first month of the New Year. After two relaxing weeks off week I am now in my second week of being back at work.

  • I've kicked my morning 'V can' a day habit. It's been a week since my last morning 'V'. That may seem too soon, but I'm calling it! 'V' will now be reserved for a once and when 'I'm-so-tired-I-need-a-pick-me-up'.
  • The new habit... No Doz. Calling it a habit may be a bit extreme, but I need my caffeine!!! I've learnt my lesson and now read packets much more carefully! (from my twitter: Stopped drinking my 1 daily V. 250ml V has 77mg caffeine. No-Doz has 100mg. I thought it said 10mg... I had 3... 300mg caffeine.)
  • Yay for being spontaneous - on the fly I purchased concert tickets for Weezer (last Friday night - bloody AWESOME gig), and Alabama Shakes (playing tonight! Bought tickets yesterday and just heard today that they are sold out!)
  • Caught up with my friend Alex while she was over from the UK. Fantastic to chat and laugh and just hang-out; I miss her! Great NYE spent together.
  • This year is the Year of the New Job - last day 5th Feb. First day 11th Feb!

Hot and Not (in my opinion)

So Hot Right Now:

* Cookies from Moustache, esp. Snickers Bar cookie or Cinamon mmm
* Pink. The colour, not the artist. Not that I have anything against P!nk.
* Birds and/in cages motif
* Chanel #489, 'Rose Insolent', nail-polish
* Issey Miyake - Pleats Please perfume mmmm
* Alabama Shakes - debut album is hawwwt!

* Sunburn :(
* First week back at work
* Holding your camera/phone up for the entire concert. Not cool. Take a photo, put it away
* Short Shorts; shorts should at least cover your v-jay-jay. Come on girls!

12 January 2013

Weezer 11 Jan 2013

Amazing 'Memories Touring', complete with slide-show in the middle! The concert had two parts: Greatest Hits, and The Blue Album

Greatest Hits
1. (If You're Wondering If I Want You To) I Want You To
2. Pork and Beans
3. Troublemaker
4. Burndt Jamb
5. Perfect Situation
6. Beverly Hills
7. Dope Nose
8. Island in the Sun
9. Hash Pipe
10. El Scorcho
11. Tired of Sex 

The Blue Album
12. My Name Is Jonas
13. No One Else
14. The World Has Turned and Left Me Here
15. Buddy Holly
16. Undone - The Sweater Song
17. Surf Wax America
18. Say It Ain't So
19. In the Garage
20. Holiday
21. Only in Dreams

And finally, here are some terrible mobile pics:

11 January 2013

Oscar Season 2013

And the nominees for the 85th Academy Awards are...
(UPDATED: winners in bold)

- Beasts of the Southern Wild
- Silving Lingings Playbook
- Zero Dark Thirty
- Lincoln
- Les Miserables
- Life of Pi
- Amour
- Django Unchained
- Argo
- David O. Russell, Silver Linings Playbook
- Michael Haneke, Amour
- Benh Zeitlin, Beasts of the Southern Wild
- Steven Spielberg, Lincoln
- Ang Lee, Life of Pi

- Daniel Day-Lewis, Lincoln
- Denzel Washington, Flight
- Bradley Cooper, Silver Linings Playbook
- Joaquin Phoenix, The Master
- Hugh Jackman, Les Miserables

- Christoph Waltz, Django Unchained
- Phillip Seymour Hoffman, The Master
- Robert De Niro, Silver Linings
- Alan Arkin, Argo
- Tommy Lee Jones, Lincoln

- Naomi Watts, The Impossible
- Jessica Chastain, Zero Dark Thirty
- Jennifer Lawrence, Silver Linings Playbook
- Quvenzhane Wallis, Beasts of the Southern Wild
- Emmanuelle Riva, Amour

- Jackie Weaver, Silver Linings Playbook
- Helen Hunt, The Sessions
- Amy Adams, The Master
- Sally Field, Lincoln
- Anne Hathaway, Les Miserables

- John Gatins, Flight
- Mark Boal, Zero Dark Thirty
- Quentin Tarantino, Django Unchained
- Michael Haneke, Amour
- Wes Anderson and Roman Coppola, Moonrise Kingdom

- Lucy Alibar and Benh Zeitlin, Beasts of the Southern Wild
- Chris Terrio, Argo
- Tony Kushner, Lincoln
- David O. Russell, Silver Linings Playbook
- David Magee, Life of Pi

- Frankenweenie
- Wreck-It Ralph
- Paranorman
- Brave
- Pirates: A Band of Misfits

- Amour
- No
- War Witch
- A Royal Affair
- Kon-Tiki

- Seamus McGarvey, Anna Karenina
- Robert Richardson, Django Unchained
- Claudio Miranda, Life of Pi
- Janusz Kaminski, Lincoln
- Roger Deakins, Skyfall

- 5 Broken Cameras
- The Gatekeepers
- How to Survive A Plague
- The Invisible War
- Searching for Sugar Man

- Inocente
- Kings Point
- Mondays at Racine
- Open Heart
- Redemption

- Asad
- Buzkashi Boys
- Curfew
- Death of a Shadow (Dood van een Schaduw)
- Henry

- Adam and Dog
- Fresh Guacamole
- Head over Heels
- Maggie Simpson in "The Longest Daycare"
- Paperman

- Dario Marianelli, Anna Karenina
- Alexandre Desplat, Argo
- Mychael Danna, Life of Pi
- John Williams, Lincoln
- Thomas Newman, Skyfall

- "Skyfall" - Skyfall (Adele and Paul Epworth)
- "Everybody Needs A Friend" - Ted
- "Pi's Lullabye" -  Life of Pi
- "Suddenly" - Les Miserables
- "Before My Time" - Chasing Ice

- Argo
- Django Unchained
- Life of Pi
- Skyfall
- Zero Dark Thirty

- Argo
- Les Miserables 
- Life of Pi
- Lincoln
- Skyfall

- The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
- Anna Karenina
- Les Miserables
- Life of Pi
- Lincoln

- Hitchcock
- The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
- Les Miserables (Lisa Westcott and Julie Dartnell)

- The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
- Life of Pi
- The Avengers
- Prometheus
- Snow White and the Huntsman

- Anna Karenina (Jacqueline Durran)
- Les Miserables
- Lincoln
- Mirror Mirror
- Snow White and the Huntsman

- William Goldenberg, Argo
- Tim Squyres, Life of Pi
- Michael Kahn, Lincoln
- Jay Cassidy and Crispin Struthers, Silver Linings Playbook
- Dylan Tichenor and William Goldenberg, Zero Dark Thirty

Time Management Games: My Kingdom for the Princess 3

Yes, I looove time management games. Time Management games are games in which you perform a series of tasks or processes as quickly as possible e.g. manage/cook/serve at a restaurant, stock/run a supermarket, babysit, manage a hotel, build/decorate houses. When I finish a TMG I love, I Google trying to find more like it. Also, when I say 'finish', I mean get the gold/expert score on every single level!

Today's game is...

...My Kingdom for the Princess 3
I enjoyed this one a lot - will definitely be looking for the 1st and 2nd games! The 'fantastic minigames' are more 'average minigames', but they only pop up at the end of completing each section.

Wait no more! The adventures of My Kingdom for the Princess continue. It's been twenty five years since Arthur and the beautiful Princess Helen last made their way home. They settled down, became a royal couple, and enjoyed their time. But time passed, their children grew up, and now it’s time for one of their three sons to succeed them. It's time to defeat traitors and rebuild the kingdom in this fun Strategy game!

-Amazing gameplay, Fantastic minigames, Rebuild the kingdom

 Download a free one hour trial here

Here is a list of all the Time Management Games I have played/reviewed, or, click the blogger tag below to load all the posts on Time Management Games!

08 January 2013

Tuscany 2014

Over my lamb kofte and Alex's chocolate cake, we decided that in 2014 - September to be precise - the pair of us will travel throughTuscany!

Right now it's just the start of a plan... Some of the destinations may change, places added, trips extended... but it WILL happen!

From Wiki
Tuscany (Italian: Toscana, pronounced [tosˈkaːna]) is a region in Italy having an area of about 23,000 square kilometres (8,900 sq mi) and a population of about 3.8 million inhabitants. The regional capital is Florence (Firenze).

Tuscany is known for its landscapes, traditions, history, artistic legacy and its permanent influence on high culture. It is regarded as the birthplace of the Italian Renaissance and has been home to many figures influential in the history of art and science. As a result, the region boasts museums (such as the Uffizi, the Pitti Palace and the Chianciano Museum of Art). Tuscany is famous for its wines, including the well-known Chianti, Vino Nobile di Montepulciano, Morellino di Scansano and Brunello di Montalcino.

Six Tuscan localities have been designated World Heritage Sites: the historic centre of Florence (1982); the historical centre of Siena (1995); the square of the Cathedral of Pisa (1987); the historical centre of San Gimignano (1990); the historical centre of Pienza (1996); and the Val d'Orcia (2004). Tuscany has over 120 protected nature reserves, making Tuscany and its capital Florence popular tourist destinations that attract millions of tourists every year. Florence receives an average of 10 million tourists a year, making the city one of the most visited in the world. (In 2007, the city became the world's 46th most visited city, with over 1.715 million arrivals).

07 January 2013

Flicks Top 20 Movies of 2012

How did Flicks work this out then? "Our writers were asked to submit ranked lists of up to twenty films that we ran through a complex algorithm assigning more points the higher a film was in the list."

What were the Flicks writers allowed to choose from? "Anything that had been played for the first time to the public in a cinema in 2012 that wasn't getting a wider release in 2013 - and yes, that included festival films because they are awesome."

1. Looper
2. Moonrise Kingdom
3. Argo
4. The Avengers
5. The Raid
6. Killing Them Softly
7. Beasts of the Southern Wild
8. Searching for Sugar Man
9. The Dark Knight Rises
10. Martha Marcy May Marlene
11. Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy
12. Skyfall
13. Moneyball
14. The Hunger Games
15. Headhunters
16. Hugo
17. The Cabin in the Woods
18. The Descendants
19. Margin Call
20. Attack the Block

See the full list here: flicks.co.nz

Photo Mash-up

In preparation for leaving my job (!!!!!), I cleared out all the photos from my phone... This equalled a LOT of photos! I thought I'd put a few together below :)

02 January 2013

Time Management Games: Royal Envoy

Yes, I looove time management games. Time Management games are games in which you perform a series of tasks or processes as quickly as possible e.g. manage/cook/serve at a restaurant, stock/run a supermarket, babysit, manage a hotel, build/decorate houses. When I finish a TMG I love, I Google trying to find more like it. Also, when I say 'finish', I mean get the gold/expert score on every single level!

Today's game is...

... Royal Envoy: Collector's Edition
 This game was right up my alley - loved it. The different buildings are great - they can be upgraded etc. Also, to collect money, tax-collectors have to be hired. As for the 'collector's edition', I'm not really concerned about behind-the-scenes stuff. The good news is, there is a sequel! I managed to play the sequel first: my post on it is here

Take the King's challenge! Save the wonderful land of countless islands from the merciless forces of nature. Construct and upgrade homes and buildings for the island citizens and become the chief city planner of marvelous Islandshire in this fun Resource Management game. Think your way to triumph in this challenging and mesmerizing game of pirates, treasure and hot-air balloon adventures in Royal Envoy!

- The Collector’s Edition includes: Hours of bonus gameplay, Magnificent wallpapers, Animated screensaver, Built-in Strategy Guide, and Behind the scenes Making-of.

Download a free one hour trial here

Here is a list of all the Time Management Games I have played/reviewed, or, click the blogger tag below to load all the posts on Time Management Games!

01 January 2013

Happy New Years

NYE is normally an anticlimax for me - of course, I do appreciate the two days we get off. But this year I truly felt like celebrating. 2012 certainly had ups and downs; I am glad to see the back of it, and I welcome 2013! I have a new job starting in February that I am excited about - a fantastic feeling of a new beginning!

Myself, my friend Alex, and my brother discussed how we'd like to see in the New Year, and we all agreed on treating ourselves to a fancy dinner out, followed by watching the Sky Tower fireworks.

Number 5 - 2012 New Year's Eve Menu

1. Atlantic scallop carpaccio: Mayonnaise, shiitake, puffed tapioca

2. Buffalo Mozzarella: Tomato water, nasturtium, garlic croutons

3. Soft shell crab: Pork belly, shellfish bisque

4. Gameford Lodge Quail: Potato gratin, cherries, liquorice, hazelnuts

5. Chocolate delice: Basil, lemongrass sorbet, meringue

Our meal was absolutely delicious!! The perfect way to see in 2013 with friends and family.

Books Read [2012]

34 Books read in 2012

31-Jan: A Storm of Swords (A Song of Ice and Fire, #3), by George R.R. Martin
03-Mar: Lothaire (Immortals After Dark, #12), by Kresley Cole
22-Apr: The Walking Dead, Book One, by Robert Kirkman
26-Apr: The Crow, by James O'Barr
28-Apr: A Feast for Crows (A Song of Ice and Fire, #4), by George R.R. Martin
27-May: The Walking Dead, Book Two, by Robert Kirkman
01-Jun: Push, by Sapphire
26-Jun: The Walking Dead, Book Three, by Robert Kirkman
02-Jul: A Dance With Dragons (A Song of Ice and Fire, #5), by George R.R. Martin
07-Jul: Stories I Only Tell My Friends, by Rob Lowe
14-Jul: The Last Werewolf, by Glen Duncan
21-Jul: The Night Circus, by Erin Morgenstern
24-Jul: Let's Pretend This Never Happened: A Mostly True Memoir, by Jenny  Lawson
29-Jul: The Walking Dead, Book Four, by Robert Kirkman
30-Jul: The Walking Dead, Book Five, by Robert Kirkman
31-Jul: The Taker (The Taker #1), by Alma Katsu
03-Aug: Fifty Shades of Grey (Fifty Shades, #1), by E.L. James
04-Aug: Fifty Shades Darker (Fifty Shades, #2), by E.L. James
11-Aug: Fifty Shades Freed (Fifty Shades, #3), by E.L. James
16-Aug: Catching Fire (The Hunger Games, #2), by Suzanne Collins
01-Sep: Mockingjay (The Hunger Games, #3), by Suzanne Collins
14-Sep: When God Was a Rabbit, by Sarah Winman
07-Oct: The Walking Dead: Rise of the Governor, by Robert Kirkman
25-Oct: The Walking Dead, Book Six, by Robert Kirkman
27-Oct: The Walking Dead, Book Seven, by Robert Kirkman
05-Nov: 36 Arguments for the Existence of God: A Work of Fiction, by Rebecca Newberger Goldstein
10-Nov: Wolfsbane and Mistletoe, edited by Charlaine Harris
25-Nov: Many Bloody Returns, edited by Charlaine Harris
09-Dec: Life After Death, by Damien Echols
09-Dec: The Walking Dead, Book 8, by Robert Kirkman
11-Dec: Where She Went (If I Stay, #2), by Gayle Forman
13-Dec: The Walking Dead: The Road to Woodbury, by  Robert Kirkman
23-Dec: Grace Williams Says It Loud, by Emma Henderson
27-Dec: Gone Girl, by Gillian Flynn

Movies Seen [2013]

My movie consumption was lower than what it used to be, but it seems to be on the rise again...

2012 = 39; 2011 = 52; 2010=35; 2009= 39; 2008=35; 2007 = 31; 2006 = 23; 2005 = 56

...I still try to keep track by posting them here!

03-Jan: Wreck It Ralph (3D)
07-Jan: Skyfall
29-Jan: Django Unchained
04-Mar: Beautiful Creatures
03-Apr: Trance
17-Apr: Olympus Has Fallen
25-Apr: Iron Man 3 3D
08-May: SpringBreakers (it was a free screening I swear!)
18-May: Star Trek: Into The Darkness 3D
01-Jul: Before Midnight

NZ Film Festival
21-Jul: Mud
24-Jul: Stories We Tell
25-Jul: Mistaken For Strangers
28-Jul: The Great Beauty
29-Jul: Mood Indigo
31-Jul: The East
01-Aug: The Bling Ring
01-Aug: What Maisie Knew
01-Aug: I'm So Excited 
02-Aug: Much Ado About Nothing
02-Aug: Only Lovers Left Alive
02-Aug: Magic Magic
04-Aug: The Venice Syndrome 
04-Aug: Frances Ha 

03-Sep: The World's End
18-Sep: Mortal Instruments: City of Bones 
18-Nov: Filth
14-Dec: Thor 2

(On the down-low: John Dies at the End, The Man with the Iron Fists, Pirates! Band of Misfits, Total Recall remake, Taken 2, The Bourne Legacy, Silver Lining Playbook, Jack Reacher, Pitch Perfect, Dark Skies, Looper, GI Joe 2, Stoker, Grabbers, Behind the Candelabra, Monsters University, This is the End, World War Z, Hang Over Part 3, Now You See Me, Red 2, Insidious: Chapter 2, The Croods)

Concerts Rocked [2013]

11-Jan: Weezer @ Vector Arena (Review) (My Night)
15-Jan: Alabama Shakes @ Powerstation (Stuff Review and NZ Herald Review) (My Night)
16-Jan: Band of Horses @ Auckland Town Hall Powerstation (Review) (My Night)
28-Jan: Laneway Festival @ Silo Park (Bat for Lashes, Bailterspace, Yeasayer, Alt-J, Nicolas Jaar, Divine Fits, Of Monsters And Men, Lawrence Arabia, Jessie Ware, Phelps and Munro, Japandroids, Street Chant, The Men, Cloud Nothings, Deer Park, Beach Pigs, The Phoenix Foundation, Real Estate, Flume, Polica, Kings of Convenience!) (My Day/Night)
20-Feb: Garbage @ The Civic (Review) (My Night)
07-Mar: Bloc Party @ The Powerstation (Photo Review) (My Night)
13-Mar: Fun. @ The Logan Campbell Centre (did not have fun! Left early ha!)
06-Sep: Amanda Palmer @ Kings Arms (Review) (My Night)
12-Sep: Calexico @ The Powerstation (Review) (My Night)

21 Mar: The Civil Wars @ Holy Trinity Cathedral - Cancelled :(
07-Dec: Fleetwood Mac @ Vector Arena!!! Taking my little bro, mum, and dad. SO excited! - Cancelled :(