The Bachelorette, season 9, episode 1 – Desiree

desiree bachelorette episode 1

If you only watch three minutes of last night’s premiere, definitely just watch the intro because you’ll get it all: dreamy dudes, beautiful beaches, romantic moments, hot tub makeout sessions, guys crying, Desiree crying, and cheesy music.  And that’s what we’ve got to look forward to the whole season, folks!  Get excited!

Don’t you just love that Desiree pulls up to the swanky new Bachelorette beach house in Malibu in her humble old sedan?  No limo for this down-to-earth lady! But this is a fairy tale Cinderella story after all, so it should be no surprise when Chris hands Des a pair of keys to a turquoise Bentley convertible. Mama’s trading up!

House, check.
Car, check.
And now for the men…

  1. Bryden, 26, Missoula. Had his heart broken so he joined the military.  When he meets Desiree, practically all he can do is talk about Sean.  Seriously? That’s old news. Don’t bring up the ex.
  2. Will, 28, Chicago. Banker who does Bikram Yoga. He gives out free high fives on the street and he’s definitely a high-on-life kinda guy.
  3. Drew, 27, Scottsdale AZ. Digital Marketing.  His parents divorced, his dad was an alcoholic, and he has a mentally handicapped sister (sounds like a country song, no?) so he was forced to grow up at an early age and now it’s his turn to have fun and find love.  At first BFOTB and I think he looks like a young Val Kilmer.  He has a nervous first introduction but Des seems pleased with The Saint (that’s an old Val Kilmer movie…look it up).
  4. Nick R. “the suit guy” from Chicago is a professional magician.  Sounds like Barney Stinson but he’s definitely not as awesome.
  5. Zak, a drilling fluid engineer, 31, from the middle of nowhere.  You know, the kind of place where you wake up, make some coffee and stand on your balcony naked contemplating life.  Makes sense then that he’s the guy that gets out of the limo without a shirt, right?
  6. Robert, Advertising Entrepreneur, Los Angeles…  has a one-eyed dog.  Is really good as spinning those sidewalk signs and I was a little worried there for a minute that that was his actual job and his title was meant to make him sound more stable than he is. But, I think he legitimately owns a business that hires sidewalk sign twirlers.  That’s better.
  7. Mike, 27, Dental student. Born in London.  Is smart enough to know that he’s less attractive because he lost his accent. Wears his dentist coat, which I guess is one way to stand out but all I can think about is Bachelorette Ashley and how it seemed like she was a dental student FOREVER and I’m already impatient with this guy.
  8. Brandon, 26, adrenaline junkie wakeboarder.  Dad left when he was 5 and mom struggled with addiction so his grandparents were a great influence.  Shows up on a motorcycle.  Seems kinda stereotypical bad-boy that’s broken, but we can’t blame her when she swoons.
  9. Brooks.  He’s got good hair but fumbled through the conversation a bit.
  10. Brad, 27, Accountant.  Brought a wishbone so they could make a wish.  Cute, simple. Not awkward. I like you.
  11. Michael, Federal Prosecutor. Whoa.  Intense.  Takes Desiree on a walk to the fountain and sticks his hand in the fountain to try to find her penny from Sean’s season so she can have a do-over. He can’t find it but he gives her a new one to make a new wish.  And now he has a wet sleeve.
  12. Kasey, social media something or other. I’m distracted because his shoes are hideous.  He comes up with a little social media campaign and spouts off some hashtags for Des: #marriagematerial was a good one. Here’s one for you, buddy: #shoefail.
  13. Mikey, plumbing contractor.  Brings up the brother thing. Probably too soon, man.
  14. Jonathan, 26, lawyer.  Brought her a fantasy suite card with a key asking her to ditch the other men and get it on. Right now. Definitely thought it was going to be cute and turned out really creepy instead.  Des, watch your drink tonight…this guy looks like he might slip something in it.
  15. James, Ad Exec.  Loyalty is love speech. Pretty intense for night 1.
  16. Larry, ER doctor. Loves to dance so he tries to dip her but her dress gets caught. He definitely says the f word on the way into the house.  He knows he blew it.
  17. Zack K., book publisher from Newport Beach.  Shows up in Chucks.  Des says she likes it.  Scores points for the bow tie.
  18. Desiree’s knight in shining armor comes in the form of Diogo, a ski resort manager from Lake Tahoe.  Awkward.  And loud.
  19. Chris, mortgage broker, gets down on one knee and gives a fake proposal speech to only ask if he can tie his shoe.  Kinda corny but cute.
  20. Juan Pablo, pro soccer player from Venezuela brings a lovely accent and some chocolate.  A+ for you, good sir.
  21. Brian, financial advisor. Wore jeans and a velvet suit coat.  Which is better than this guy:
  22. Micah shows up in a suit he designed himself. It’s awful and looks like a kidnapper cut out magazine letters and glued them on to write a ransom note.
  23. Nick wrote a poem. I hate poems.  But apparently she digs it.
  24. Dan, beverage sales director from Vegas.
  25. And the cutest little man ever pops out of the limo with a flower before his dad joins him.  His name is Brody and yes, he’s adorable.  His dad’s name is Ben.  Brody wishes he could go to the party.  Hot dad points and clearly the winner of the night.

Cocktail Party:

  • Magician pulls out a great trick and announces to the room that he’s going to make Desiree disappear before their very eyes and then walks her out of the room.  Sneaky clever!
  • Brandon flipped a coin about coming to the show interview or going to his birthday party and gives Des the coin, asking that she give it back to his mom when she meets her at hometown dates.  A little presumptuous but I guess confidence counts.
  • Ben’s definitely got the advantage because he brought the cute kid and that’s pretty memorable.  Ben says that Brody’s mom is his best friend, which sounds weird but whatever works…I guess you can’t spout off about baby mama drama on night 1.  Ben and Desiree bond over camping, road trips and hunting.  Ben wins the first rose of the season.
  • Zak jumps in the pool, which seemed like an impressive move until he realized that he left her alone and she got pulled away. Wah wah wah….but lucky for him Des gives points for abs and stunts and gave him a rose.
  • Bryden tells Des about his dog who is his best friend and about a kid he met while serving in Iraq. BFOTB correctly notes Bryden’s got a Lloyd Christmas haircut.  He gets a rose anyway.
  • I’m not sure Desiree can understand Juan Pablo but she’s smitten with the accent and his all-around dreaminess. I will say he is quite the looker.
  • Drew seems super nervous but Desiree thinks he’s handsome so he gets a rose.
  • The ER doctor feels awful about his dance move gone wrong.  I think he should feel worse about the crazy, weird vibes he’s putting off.  Desiree actually asks him if he’s sleepy.   He’s way funnier with just the guys and I’m sure we’d get a season of great one-liners out of this guy, but his future is looking dim.
  • Another first impression fail: Jonathan the lawyer who offered up a fantasy suite hotel room key.  He preps a room somewhere in the house, lighting candles and doing push ups to get ready.  He finds Des, tells her he’s taking her to the fantasy suite, and she pretty much says hell no.  So now he’s hanging out in there alone.  Clearly Des is trying to get away from him but creepster just keeps coming back for more.  If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again…on his second attempt to take her into his lair, Des announces that he’s making her feel uncomfortable and not only is she not going into any dark, private room with him (ever), she’s sending him home.  Well done, you.

Rose Ceremony:

  • Brandon
  • Zack K.
  • Will
  • Brooks
  • Juan Pablo
  • Brad
  • Kasey
  • James
  • Robert
  • Brian
  • Dan
  • Chris
  • Mikey

Coming up this season:
A castle, helicopters, boats, concerts, snowy mountains, crashing waves, man fights, punches, a girlfriend that shows up (what!?!), Ben is slimy?!?, lots of cussing and crying, kissing, fireworks, hiking in a wedding dress, a picnic, dancing, and falling in love…

Woo hoo!!

Do you have any favorite guys yet?

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Best News Ever: Veronica Mars Movie (Maybe)!

If you know us at all, you know BFOTB and I are obsessed with Veronica Mars.  And, by association, Kristen Bell. I mean, how could you not want to be best friends with a girl who freaks out like this when her fiance surprises her with a sloth for her birthday?

So, here it is, the best news ever: there may be a Veronica Mars movie coming soon!  The catch? They need cash.  Seems unlikely considering how many devoted fans there are out there, but I’m on board. Oh, how I miss her tasering bad guys and her witty, pretty Nancy Drew ways!

Be sure to watch the super fun Veronica Mars Movie Kickstarter Project video featuring some favorites from the show. And, if you can spare a little change, throw it into the donation pile because I really want to see a Veronica Mars movie.  Plus, don’t you want a Veronica Mars movie t-shirt? I sure do. I wish I had the spare cash to secure a spot on the red carpet, or a line in the movie so that BFOTB and I could meet Kristen Bell and become her friends. But that shirt is just going to have to do.  (side note: if they would’ve been really smart, they would’ve launched this campaign right before Valentine’s Day because I totally would’ve suckered Mumbles into coughing up a lot of cash to score me some awesome prizes!)

Veronica Mars

P.S. Here’s a fun little V. Mars quiz to rekindle your love for Neptune!

First Dance Songs

this is what our summer looked like!

Mumbles and I just finished one heck of a wedding season. We will forevermore dub 2012 as “The Year of the Wedding” because we had seven — yes, seven! — weddings to attend in the span of five months, plus one that we couldn’t attend because it fell on the same day as another. Not to mention bridal showers, baby showers, graduations, and the whole moving to Virginia thing. Dr. T (Mumbles’s sister) and the Deputy were married earlier this year (see her “Love Birds” Bridal Shower), along with childhood friends, a former coworker/friend from college, a business partner, two sorority sisters (one who married one of Mumbles’s fraternity brothers and the other a rockstar, like I always knew she would), and a friend that Mumbles plays softball with married the sister of one of his fraternity brothers who used to date a former co-worker of mine (whew!). Our summer was jam-packed with love and marriage, and every ceremony was a happy flashback to our own wedding day, giving us time to reflect on our life together and how thankful we are for the growth and experiences we’ve shared since saying “I do.”

Our first dance as husband and wife
(photo by Brandon Kidd Photography)

Aside from watching the groom as he sees his bride walking down the aisle, my absolute favorite part of any wedding is hearing what the newlyweds selected as their first dance song. When choosing a song, you’re looking for something sweet yet significant, it needs to communicate your love and devotion to each other, spur a collective sigh from all your guests and it should probably shoot not to offend anyone. It’s a big deal. Picking just one song is made even harder if you don’t particularly have a song to call your own (go ahead, right now just take a moment to picture Dermot Mulroney softly singing “The Way You Look Tonight” in your ear…I’ll wait while you enjoy that.). You’re welcome. Back with me? Great.

I obsessed for hours on end, poring over options to ensure just the right music was playing at all the important moments of my big day, willfully guiding how I wanted to feel and how I wanted guests to feel. (Kinda like music in movies will tell you when to shut your eyes because something scary is going to happen. Yeah, like that but romantic and lovely and happy. Not scary.) From the processional (“Happy as the Sun” by Tyrone Wells), the song I walked down the aisle to (“Lullaby” by the Dixie Chicks), the recessional that celebrated our first kiss as Mr. & Mrs. (“This Will Be (An Everlasting Love)” by Natalie Cole), our entrance into the reception to get the celebration started (“I Gotta Feeling” by Black Eyed Peas), and the cake cutting (“Sugar So Sweet” by Tyrone Wells)…all of these songs elicit nostalgia and happy memories for me. Gosh, even some of the songs I almost picked get me a little gushy when I hear them, sometimes announcing to Mumbles “this is the song we almost played while our moms were seated!” like he cares at all. I know I’m not alone in the whole nostalgia thing because I asked some friends if they would share their first dance songs and got a lot of responses that said things like “oh, I love our song!” or “how special” and a lot of exclamation points and smiley faces accompanied them so I know I was on to something.

So here they are, some of the first dance songs chosen by some of my favorite people (myself included):

  • Mumbles and I swayed and looked into each other’s eyes all dreamy like while Brad Paisley crooned “Then.”
  • Mumbles’ brother and his wife danced to “She’s Everything” by Brad Paisley (what can we say? that guy knows how to make a lady swoon!)
  • Dr. T (formerly Merrett) and the Deputy chose one of my almost selections: “Feels like Home” by Chantal Kreviazuk (you’d recognize it if you’ve ever seen How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days).
  • Our good friends from college, Brent & Amanda (whom we affectionately refer to as “Cappy” and “Panda” — hey, we like nicknames around here) danced in the grass surrounded by their bridal party to “Pistol” by Dustin Kensrue. Dancing in the grass was so intimate and romantic, it just makes me sigh seeing the photo I took from that day. Just lovely.

  • Back when I officially became BFOTB (though I’ve recently been promoted to BFOTBM: Best Friend of the Baby Mama), my BFOTB (she’s still mine…I’ll longingly wish to forever be a bride!) and her hubby have great taste and chose “God Only Knows” by The Beach Boys. Good one, friend.
  • Kacee (of Kacee Geoffroy Hair + Makeup…maybe you know her? You should. She is simply fabulous and has done hair and makeup at half of these weddings I’m referring to — mine included! — and you should check out her blog for product recommendations, makeup & hair tips, and more) and her stud of a husband went classic country with Alan Jackson’s “Like Red on a Rose.”
  • Mumbles’s cousin Ryan & his wife Page took to the dance floor with “Never Love You Enough” by Brian McComas. Page is my favorite friend-turned-family-by-marriage and you’ll adore her just as much as I do if you read her blog, Page on Paper, which chronicles her adventures through moving from SoCal to SF and now to Arizona plus home and crafty goodness we all love. Also, I should note that it was my job during their ceremony to press the play button for Adele’s version of “To Make You Feel My Love” (Perfection! This song is good no matter who sings it!).
  • Our friends Ashley & Anthony chose a song that suits their beach-chic lifestyle: the “Better Together” remix by Jack Johnson & Paula Fuga. Makes me smile and relax every time I hear it!
  • Elissa & Bobby (Bobby performed our wedding ceremony!) also had a song that really suited them in “Me and You” by Kenny Chesney. Love it.
  • My gold friend Mel (we bonded over our Girl Scout adventures when we met in sorority because we’re dorky like that but come on, sorority life is pretty much an extension of Girl Scouts…matching outfits, volunteering, fun outings…anyhoo…she’s skinnybmel and I’m Stick Girl JAM…it works!) and her husband Kelcey are big music buffs (Kelcey is in the band The Local Natives. Word to the wise: buy everything they’ve ever done. You’ll love it. Promise.) so take note of their song “I’d Have You Anytime” by George Harrison which played during the #melceylove extravaganza that was the wedding they won from YEAH!weddings. True story.
  • I was a little flower girl when my sister Diane danced to “Just As Long As I Have You” by Don Williams…with puffy sleeves, big fabulous hair and all. (Sorry sister, couldn’t help it!)
  • Some of you may know my friend Matt from his site the Princeples of Dating. Matt and his new bride Nicole took their first spin on the dance floor to “I Won’t Give Up” by Jason Mraz and also had a choreographed dance planned to “You” by Chris Young.

My friends on Facebook chimed in with great ones including some of my almosts and some I had fun looking up and listening to such as “Someone Like You” by Van Morrison (one of my all-time faves!), “Everything” by Michael Buble (super fun and sweet), “True Companion” by Marc Cohn, “Forever” by Ben Harper, the duet “Lucky” by Jason Mraz & Colbie Caillat, and “Stars Would Fall” by Monk and Neagle (had to look it up but I love it now!).

Sometimes I hear Joshua Radin’s “Lovely Tonight” and wish we would’ve chosen that one. I love it so much it almost makes me sad that I can’t hear it and think “this is our song!” but since Mumbles and I don’t officially have a song, this might just be one of those things where I can announce “this is our song!” whenever it comes on and he’ll be none the wiser. Or I’ll simply close my eyes and image Dermot Mulroney singing softly…okay…yeah, I’m back. Joshua Radin performed “Today” for Ellen DeGeneres and Portia de Rossi at their wedding reception because, you know, celebrities are lucky like that. Also a stellar song for your wedding day. (On a side note: my brother and Mumbles did sneakily call Tyrone Wells to try to arrange for him to surprise me at our wedding with a few songs, but alas, it didn’t work out.)

I don’t know of anyone shopping for a song right now, but my pick of the moment would be “Wanted” by Hunter Hayes…I melt a little every time I hear it.

What was your first dance song or what song would you choose today?

 

What’s cuter than baby clothes?

Nothing. Nothing is cuter than baby clothes. I never thought I’d like shopping for anyone more than myself but BFOTB (I guess that makes me the BFOTBM now: Best Friend of the Baby Mama) is expecting a gorgeous (I know she will be!) bundle of joy next week (!) and I am already smitten. To top it all off, Mumbles’s brother and his wife are also expecting, so needless to say, I’m obsessed with darling baby fashions in anticipation of these love bugs. Check out some of the styles I’m coveting…

Darling ruffled, striped bathing suit (check out the back!) for beach days:

How about this precious bow? (they also have a onesie with glasses, a bow tie, mustache and more for young dapper dudes)

Because BFOTB and I are quite proud of a strong bond between us: a mutual love of Harry Potter, this one seems appropriate:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

These bloomers?  Beachy chic! I can’t even stand how adorable they are.

 

 

 

 

And for fall and winter, this sweater is so darling, I’d wear it. It even comes with a matching hat!

This fair isle hat with tassels has a bit more girly pizzazz:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Per usual, I’m getting way ahead of myself and already perusing the 1-5 year old section.  But seriously, how cute is this new collection from Baby Gap?  You can’t blame me. It’s just too much fabulous in one tiny package.

 

 

 

 

 

Where do you find the best fashion finds for babies? My favorite local online retailer, Ruche, recently launched a baby line — swoon!  For more (p)inspiration, visit my Baby Love Pinterest board.

 

 

The Bachelor – The Proposal and After the Final Rose, season 16

Wow, so hey there, folks.  Sorry about the delay in posting today and especially after such a big night last night…took a while to digest, I guess.  Here’s how it all went down:

Lindzis time with the fam
Ben’s sister and mom are in Switzerland to help him find himself one lucky lady.  Straight out Ben’s sister wants to know right away if by any chance there was a girl everyone hated…and this is somewhat how Ben answers: “well, sister, yes…yes, there was…and she’s still here. It’s Courtney. You’ll meet her tomorrow.” (smile, eye sparkle, hair flip – see that Ben and Courtney, just a match made in Bachelor heaven!)  According to dear ole sister, she does not approve of Ben’s choice in ladies often (so this should be fun).

Lindzi meets the fam first – get the easy part over with right?. She looks very darling in her tweed blazer and boots. Ben compares Lindzi to himself – very country but lives in the city (as well illustrated by her outfit). A complete nervous wreck, Lindzi is visibly and awkwardly anxious the whole time – she’s dropping silverware, throwing silverware, all with a concerned expression giving away that she’s clearly extremely worried about making a bad first impression.  

 Mom interrogates Lindzi a bit but after Lindzi completes her interview, she breathes a sigh of relief after seeing mom smile. Sister says a lot of general one liners about not letting this moment pass by, giving 110%, no regrets, letting guards down. Not very substantial.  And then Sister asks about Courtney and whether Lindzi had similar problems with other ladies. I thought for a second Sister was testing Lindzi to see whether she would speak poorly of her competition, but it seemed a bit like she was just trying to get the juice on the one Ben really likes.”

Mom and sister approve of sweetheart, warm, caring country/city girl Lindzi. Ben is pleased. Sister pats herself on the back about her abilities to gauge someone’s character “and whatnot.

Courtney meets the fam
Before Courtney arrives, Ben anxiously worries about Courtney (in case you haven’t heard: Courtney does not play well with others) because his family is all women. Oops. Fail.  However, Ben is sure that if Courtney is herself (and doesn’t throw silverware) that his family will love her. Sister and Mom get straight into it with Courtney: “so…you’re a model…what’s that like?” which led into Courtney blabbing about not getting along with the other girls.  Good on ya, girlfriend. Great conversation starter.

 “I’m in love with Ben, I won’t hurt him, and he’s in good hands.” -Courtney

 Sister says she’ll just have to take Courtney at her word and trust what she’s saying.  Well, that was sure easy.  It’s a good thing she’s good at gauging someone’s character and whatnot. Courtney tells mom she’s very confident in the connection she and Ben have established.  And dying to know wha they think, Ben is ear-to-ear smile when he learns that Sister and Mom were shocked by their first impression of Courtney. Their consensu: Courtney is amazing. Sister says she’s amazing, Mom says she is kind and she can tell Ben loves her and they seem happy. And who doesn’t want happiness for their children?

Ben spends a few minutes recapping his experiences with the ladies. It pretty much comes down to this: Lindzi is lovely. Courtney has depth. (By “depth” I think he’s referring to depths of craziness of which he has not yet seen. And he’s probably correct.)

Not that anyone asked but Sister picks Courtney. And it’s settled.

Last One-On-One Date — Lindzi
Surprise! Ben picks Lindzi up for their date in a horse-drawn carriage. Get it?! Because Lindzi is the horse chick.  Oh Benny, ever so thoughtful! They take a picnic gondola ride up the Swiss Alps to go skiing. View of the Matterhorn in the background, Lindzi asks Ben if she’s doing okay…has she opened up enough? Did his family like her?  Can you see me in your future? Ben says yes, he has seen their future together. [Sarcastically, Mumbles notes: “ah, yes, those four dates we had…let’s talk about those.”]

Ben and Lindzi talk a lot more about vulnerabilities, opening up, fears. This conversation has been going on for.like.ever. Lindzi makes the mistake of saying “however this ends up, I fell in love.” Ben says the way Lindzi loves him is true and good but he doesn’t seem too interested. Clearly looking for some reassurance, Lindzi proclaims how scared she is and Ben’s got nothing to give. Since that didn’t work, Lindzi continues throwing out the “L” word with nothing but Ben’s blank half smile to return her sentiments.  Ouch.

Last One-On-One Date — Courtney
Oh, finally, a helicopter…haven’t seen one of those in over two weeks!  Phew! Flying over the Matterhorn makes Ben’s “Top 10 Coolest Things I’ve Ever Done” list.  There’s a lakeside picnic, lots of baby talk voices (woof), snow angels, sledding, more of Courtney defending her past indiscretions against the other ladies, and then kissing. Oh, and then Ben tells the camera how head over heels in love he is with Courtney.

At her hotel room later on, Courtney talks about being in love, vulnerability, trust issues. Pause for lots of kissing. Come up for air and then Courtney presents Ben with a gift. (note to first-time Bachelor watchers: the last two ladies like to give parting gifts so that their man, seemingly undecided in who he’ll choose, can relish over the past few weeks of their romance – the gushier the better – only to find that in reality they just look sappy and sad when not chosen. Perhaps Lindzi was playing it safe? If this is your first time watching, then this little gift is a surprise. If not, you already know what this is going to be…) A scrapbook. And a sappy love letter which she read aloud. Ben says “that was really nice.” Profound, these two.

Courtney asks Ben if he has any concerns and he says no. Then she ruins the moment by bringing up how hard this was for her, she’s been defending herself this whole time. Fishing for an early “I love you” and last minute consoling and comfort so she’ll feel confident going into the final rose, Courtney is deflated when Ben stands his ground and leaves a bit frustrated, wondering why they are still taking about this same ole thing. I am too.

After a lot of blah blah about both ladies (for details, read recaps 1-10), Neil Lane arrives with a “Heya Ben, nice to see you again!” (because, you know, he’s already met Mr. Lane…the last time he picked out a ring. For Ashley. Oops.).

Both the ladies don their capes and black gowns (seriously, was there a memo about that?!) to meet Ben atop a mountain.  BFOTB and I are secretly wishing this will be like the one time Kasey (“I’ll guard and protect your heart”) was rejected on a two-on-one date and stranded on a glacier. Hah!

Chris Harrison looks a bit sad when we see Lindzi arrive and get out of the helicopter first. Ben can’t get a word out because Lindzi is blabbing away about being there and being excited and being in love. Ben pauses an ominous pause then tells Lindzi that he has fallen in love with her. (Yay!) But. (No!) He needs that love to last a lifetime. And he’s found that love with someone else. (Sad story).  His consolation: “I’m in love with someone else. It didn’t come easy. I’m sorry. Let me walk you out.”

Lindzi says a sad goodbye and tells Ben she wishes she could have given him what he needed. BFOTB and I cringe when Lindzi throws in “if it doesn’t work out, call me.”  It seems pathetic but mostly sad. Sad because she’s sincere and she knows Ben is making a mistake with Courtney and it won’t work in the end.

“It’s difficult to propose to one woman when I have feelings for another.” -Ben

And here’s the grand finale speech:

“You kinda took my breath away there. Might need a sec. What a journey. It’s been an incredible road…ups and downs…real signs of what life could be. I felt like we’ve been on this same path…whenever I’m with you we’ve had these incredible moments. I think you’re an incredible woman. An incredible woman. But, I promised myself that I wouldn’t get down on one knee again if it wasn’t forever. And I want to tell you that you are my forever and this has been worth it every step of the way… Courtney, will you marry me?”

 “Yes, of course I will. I love you so much. I love it [the ring]. I will love you forever.” – Courtney

 Then lots of kissing and the final rose, and Courtney angling to get the best light and camera angle. I can just imagine her thinking “wow, this mountaintop light is really fantastic…I look great” – can’t you?!

After the Final Rose

Ben’s story
Ben informs the audience that for a time while the show was airing, he and Courtney were broken up. His excuse: he did not want to taint the purity of what they had with all of the negativity while the show aired. They didn’t talk for a few weeks.

Stirring the pot a bit, our man Chris Harrison wants to talk about the tabloid rumors and photos of Ben kissing other women. Ben tells Chris that he wasn’t kissing other women and that tabloid fodder is “super messed up.” Which, according to Ben is why Courtney hopped on over to a bridal shop to try on wedding gowns. You know, just to screw with people. Ha!

Courtney’s story
Courtney feels responsible.  This is all very heartbreaking and she’s been very depressed and disappointed. According to her: “Ben was initially supportive and then he abandoned me. I tried to give him space….Yes, we’re together…I think. I don’t really know…I’m really hopeful and positive.”

 Joint Statements from Ben and Courtney

  • Ben says they are in a good place and they’re engaged.
  • Playing the much-needed therapist, Chris asks if Courtney can really, fully trust Ben. No.
  • Chris asks if Ben can honestly look in her eyes and say he’ll stand by her forever. Ben apologizes to her and says he wishes he had been a better man, he loves her, he wants to be with her.
  • They watch the proposal and they are both in tears talking about how soiled that beautiful moment was because everything else around them was tainted but when they are together things are fine.
  • Apparently Chris has been hanging on to the engagement ring and does it belong on Courtney’s finger? Yeah, sure, why not. Cheers.

So what did you think of how this one ended?  How long do you think this will last? Do you see a wedding in the future?

Ashley and JP come out and throw in their two cents about Ben and Courtney, which is really lame. But, they need some press because they may or may not want ABC to pay for their wedding, which they’re hoping will come in the next year, along with babies very soon.  Watch for that, I guess.  

P.S. Stay tuned for Emily’s season, coming in May (and by gosh, it’s sure to be better than this one! Right?!? Let’s all hope so!)

Netflix and my obsession with television

Are you a Netflix customer? I didn’t realize that I was supposed to be so angry about all these new changes but I think I’m catching on. At present, I’m a little spoiled with all my tv viewing options – last year Mumbles signed us up for a 6 month free trial of all the movie channels and when I got super sick in January he took such pity on me that he decided not to opt out of it so I could watch all the sappy love movies I wanted to at all hours of the day despite the fact that it was very likely I’d already seen them 5 times or more (Charlie St. Cloud, Something New, Enchanted, and the list goes on…) That coupled with my brilliant idea to get Mumbles a Netflix subscription for his birthday last year (I’m a big fan of gifts that ultimately benefit me) so he could watch Entourage season by season and also because it became quite clear that Blockbuster was never gonna make it and I wanted to keep the ol’ movie-in date night alive.

So now here we are and Netflix is making all sorts of crazy changes so that it doesn’t seem like the steal it was before…yet — and it might just be me — it also doesn’t seem like a rip off. When I think about how much we’re paying for all the movie channels plus the streaming and mail-in DVD, well, that’s when I get a little remorseful. I like to think that we’d stream more often but until they really bulk up on the selection I can’t see that happening. I think the only real reason I’m clinging to Netflix is that I’d like to be able to request all the seasons of Veronica Mars if I wanted to, but I just found out BFOTB has every last one of ’em so that solves that insecurity. With how full my DVR is each week, we really do have plenty of options for which way we’re going to kill time watching tv. And now that I think about it even more, I feel really guilty/successful because when Mumbles and I met he wasn’t all too into television….now he is hooked! [insert evil laugh here].

Stay tuned for what I’m watching this week and let me know what your thoughts are on the whole Netflix debacle. Staying a subscriber? Jumping ship? Don’t really care about that extra $8 a month?

What’s for dinner: BBQ Ranch Salad

Mumbles is like a lot of guys in that he has to have meat on his plate to consider it a meal. This was pretty tricky for me in the early dating stages, as I’ve been known to have meals that consist solely of bread, cheese and wine. (I later learned to add salami and nuts to round it out a bit for him). Even sometimes now when I’m not up for cooking meat I get a little worried… that is until I decided to make myself like black beans. Dr. Merrett can attest to the fact that I’ve told her [probably a million times over] of how I learned to love tomatoes while living in Spain with BFOTB, forced myself to eat pickles until I began to crave them, and even tried to partake in the party staple deviled eggs (that one hasn’t stuck yet). So, I’m proud to present the new Mumbles and Stick Girl go-to favorite for when we don’t want to cook meat but still want to pack a punch of healthy protein in a meal: the BBQ Ranch Salad.

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I cut up a bunch of fresh veggies like celery, tomatoes, carrots, and bell peppers (and would have used corn if I had any). Next I added in half a can of black beans and some pepper jack cubes to give a slight kick to the salad, then added the leafy greens and tossed everything together with light ranch dressing and barbecue sauce. The finishing touch was crumbling some tortilla chips on top.

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It was super delicious and because I was too lazy to dirty up more dishes/find it somewhat romantic to eat out of the same bowl (again with the two forks, one bowl – this is really starting to stick! – or just completely make people throw up in their mouth a little. gosh, we’re like the kind of couple that sit on the same side of the booth at restaurants… okay, yes, we do that, too, sometimes. stop judging me.), we were fighting back and forth over all the yummy nuggets of goodness in this tasty salad.

What are your go-to recipes when you don’t have/want meat?