Three Gripping Foreign Films to Watch this Weekend

After a lovely eighty plus degree weekend, the weather has changed dramatically here in Minnesota. The air is crisp and damp from all the rain and the forty degree morning temps have made me pull sweaters and scarves out from storage. I love this chilly, cosy weather, but it also seems to zap my energy.  B has apparently felt the same because three nights this week we’ve simply curled up on the couch and watched movies. In the process, we stumbled upon three incredible foreign films.

I’m very picky when it comes to movies, probably even snobbish. For me, watching a movie is a luxury, so I always try to search out the ones genuinely worthwhile, which often leads me to seek out historical films, like the three included below. These films are so captivating you forget you’re reading subtitles and are fascinating in the way you’ll say “I can’t believe that happened.” The best part? They can all be found on Netflix.

So, whether you’re looking for a good film to watch tonight or over the weekend, I promise you these three hit the mark:

Two Lives (2012) PosterTwo Lives: Inspired by true events, this German thriller will leave you shocked and overwhelmed by the myriad secrets of the Cold War. The story of Katrine is at first confusing, then engrossing, and by the film’s end, deeply satisfying as every question has been answered.  This is a movie that makes you think about the endlessly intriguing world of international espionage as you wonder if certain secrets are best kept hidden.

Barbara: This German drama, though not a true story, offers an absorbing and intimate look into 1980s East Germany through the experience of Barbara, a doctor banished to a small country hospital. Tense, beautiful and unexpected, this film lingers long. I don’t want to say anymore to avoid spoiling it! Barbara (2012) Poster

Flame and Citron: I’m shocked that I hadn’t heard of this film before based on the true story of two Danish resistance movement fighters in WWII, code-named “Flame” and “Citron.” History-buffs or anyone fascinated by gripping true stories will be thrilled by this suspenseful account of these brave and ballsy men. The leads, played by Thure Lindhardt and Mads Mikkelsen, are brilliant and achingly believable.

Flame and Citron (2008) Poster

Have you watched any good movies lately? I’d love to get your recommendations.

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Sweater Weather

Today was the first real frost and I looked quite pitiful even to myself this morning as I attempted to scrape the ice off my windshield with my employee ID badge. Autostart has now moved to the top of my Christmas list. In other news, sweaters are becoming a must and I’ve been especially impressed with the selection at The Loft this season.

To be honest, I’ve never before shopped at The Loft, but a couple weeks ago I popped in to take a look. As expected, most of their clothes are for the working woman, so maybe that’s how their sweaters perfectly strike the  balance  between comfort and chic. I could picture wearing any of these sweaters on a chilly afternoon at home or out for drinks with friends. Here are just a few of my favorites…

Lace Trim Bow Neck Sweater,$59.50

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Floral Scroll Print Sweater, $59.50

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Ribbed Yoke Drapey Sleeve Sweater$59.50

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Textured Asymmetrical Zip Sweater Jacket$6499  (now an EXTRA 40% OFF!)

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Shimmery Textural Stitched Boatneck Sweater,$59.50

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The best part? Now through Wednesday, if you try on any pair of pants at Loft, you’ll get 30% off your full priced purchase. Use code LOVEPANTS if shopping online. Enjoy!

October is Here

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I can hardly believe how quickly September passed, but I’m thankful for a fresh month and 30 new days to fill however I like.  I’m loving this fall and I’m ready for:

picking apples and baking all things pumpkin,

wearing boots and scarves and listening to the crunch of leaves underfoot,

spending time with my nieces and nephews, the sweetest little people,

taking Audrey for crisp evening walks,

drinking chai and hot cider,

watching football games and cheering on my not-so- little brothers,

escaping with my love to the North Shore at month’s end,

seeing what year twenty-five brings.

Happy October 1st, everyone!

Photo taken by me at the University of Minnesota’s Arboretum

P.S. I’m convinced the best Autumn soundtrack is anything by Caroline Smith and The Good Night Sleeps

The Best of Pumpkin

It’s officially autumn and in a matter of days since I first blogged about fall, it’s really starting to feel like a new season. This morning when I took Aya around the block, I noticed that a few orange leaves had already fallen to the ground. Not to mention that I’ve had to wear a jacket and scarf these past couple of days…which brings me to the very best thing about the season: all things pumpkin!

I’ve loved pumpkin since I was little and  have distinct memories of rummaging through the dark oak cabinets of my family’s old brick house for cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and whatever else was needed to whip up my favorite fall treat (then and now): pumpkin pie.

Pumpkin pie is a classic and still my favorite, but I can’t help loving the countless other ways to spin pumpkin into desserts. Here’s a few of those recipes I can’t wait to try…

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Truffles

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Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins

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Low fat Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls with Pumpkin Spice Glaze

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Pumpkin Dream Cake

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Pull Apart Cinnamon Sugar Pumpkin Bread

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Okay and just for good measure, here’s two more mouth-watering recipes: make a  pumpkin crunch cake and how to make a pumpkin-shaped cake. Are you a pumpkin-lover? What amazing pumpkin recipes am I missing out on?! Enjoy guys! Xo, Em

What Are You Looking Forward to?

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It’s another grey day here in Minneapolis and can’t help wondering where fall is hiding. Aren’t the leaves meant to be turning orange and golden, turning the world into a rich tapestry? I suppose it’s still early fall, but still! I’m ready. Which reminds me of this hilarious tweet:

“If you say Pumpkin Spice Latte in the mirror 3 times, a white girl in yoga pants will appear & tell you all her favourite things about fall” @ Ryan Peddigrew

So, I won’t bore you with a clichéd list, but I did want to share with you what I’m looking forward to over the next couple of months because it’s raining (again) and this day needs color.

First off, it’s my birthday on Saturday—turning the big 25! Doesn’t that seem mature? I don’t feel mature really. Still feeling about nineteen thank you very much.

Next up, our anniversary trip to the North Shore (of Lake Superior for all you non-Minnesotans) the end of October. For our wedding, we had received a lovely gift card to a cosy Lake Superior lodge and I’m so excited to finally use it. Not to mention that, even though it’s a weekend getaway, B and I could use a quiet break.

Finally, we’re going to Denver! My Aunt and Uncle live in Colorado and have been asking us to visit for months. We got a sweet deal on our tickets through Frontier Airlines and timing worked out for all of us. I’ve been to Colorado once, but never with B, and I can’t wait to see the mountains together.

What are you looking forward to over the next couple of months?  X, Em

Photo courtesy of Megan Valden