Happenings (iv)

by Jenn (eating bender) on September 5, 2013

1. I recently became an aunt for the fourth time! Yep, the nieces pieces have expanded to include Molly Anne, who was born Monday, August 12 at noon on the dot. Big sis Claire Bear is already getting into the swing of her sisterly duties. Uncle Bobby and I haven’t met Molly in person yet, but we’re looking forward to changing that soon. She has already captured our hearts.


2. It has been a great couple of weeks for movies. I recently finished reading the first three books in the Mortal Instruments series (review forthcoming), and was excited to check out the movie adaptation of City of Bones with Nicole, Sheena, Crystal, Shanley and Stephen. Our venue was the Studio Movie Grill, which had nice chairs, tasty food and 25% off bottles of wine on Friday night.


The movie was very good, in my opinion! There have been mixed reviews and it hasn’t done that well, but overall I thought that it was really entertaining. There were some plot changes throughout so it is definitely not exactly like the book, but the actors were all well suited for their roles and I’m keeping my fingers crossed that they make at least the sequel, if not all of them.


A couple of weeks later, Shanley, Sheena and I went to see Austenland, another movie that has been panned by critics but which we LOVED. Maybe we’re easy to please, but I honestly can’t remember the last time I laughed throughout an entire movie. Jennifer Coolidge (of Legally Blonde fame) was hilarious, and the love story with Keri Russell’s character was really sweet. If you’re a fan of Jane Austen or the Victorian era, I think you’ll enjoy this movie.


Before the movie, we grabbed dinner at Sauce Pizza & Wine, a Fox restaurant concept. The macaroni and cheese was out-of-this-world delicious – perfectly cheesy with big shell noodles.


I also had a refreshing glass of Riesling from Snoqualmie Vineyards.


3. In addition to the Mortal Instruments series, I recently finished reading The Cuckoo’s Calling as part of our August edition of Reading Between the Wines. I would highly recommend picking up this book as soon as possible – it kept me intrigued (and guessing) from the first page. Carolyn’s review was spot on! I will definitely be doing a more formal discussion of it soon, too.


In the meantime, I’m continuing my voracious reading with Clockwork Angel, the first book in Cassandra Clare’s “prequel” series to Mortal Instruments called The Infernal Devices. Though technically these books were written after the originals (and you can read them in any order), it has been fun to change things up and see the same general concept taking place in 19th century London, which obviously brings about plot differences. I’m planning to read these before diving back into the fourth book in the Mortal Instruments series. If you can’t tell, it’s a new obsession.

Clockwork Angel

4. Speaking of obsessions, I don’t think a day has gone by recently that I haven’t shared a Divergent-related link. The best part is that so many of my friends are equally enthused about the upcoming final book and first movie, which makes it all the more exciting. Top that off with how awesome and inspiring Veronica Roth is, and there is plenty to talk about.

Case in point: There are four short stories being released between now and when Allegiant comes out! The first one, called “The Transfer,” was released this week. Each story explores the world of the Divergent series through the eyes of Tobias Eaton (aka Four).

If you haven’t read the Divergent series yet, now is the perfect time to start!

Miscellaneous fun fact: The set where they shot the Abnegation houses is literally a block away from our old apartment building in Chicago. If only they had started filming a littttttle earlier…

5. With the start of September comes the beginning of my favorite season: football! Okay, so technically my favorite season is fall, but football is a big reason why I love it so much. My Packers come back this week, but last weekend marked the return of the Northwestern Wildcats!


The Benders got together to celebrate and put our hands in the air, of course.


The seven-month hiatus really made us forget just how stressful our team likes to make their football games. There were a lot of injuries against Cal, but ultimately the Cats pulled off a 44-30 win! We’re currently ranked 19th in the AP Top 25 Poll. Fingers crossed we stay on the list.

6. Lastly, I purchased my first UPF rash guard this week. (Cara, I thought you’d be proud!)


The reason for this purchase involves an early anniversary trip planned for this weekend. If all goes according to plan, I should have some beachy keen fun to share soon.

What’s been “happening” for you lately?



1 Melissa @TryingtoHeal September 5, 2013 at 11:50 am

I forgot to ask you what brand top that was? I’m always looking for good rash guards for when I go surfing!
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2 Jenn (eating bender) September 5, 2013 at 12:14 pm

Good question! It’s a brand called Body Glove: http://www.rashguardshirtco.com/category/women-body-glove-rash-guards-regular-fit.html.

I got mine from Sports Authority!

3 Cara (Twinthusiast) September 5, 2013 at 4:09 pm

OOOh, new book series? Perhaps I can coerce you into bringing me the first one when you come out here? Can’t wait to read the Rowling book. Also, the Divergent movie is shaping up to look really good! I’m impressed so far. Can’t wait to hear how the rash guard works out 😉
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4 Jenn (eating bender) September 11, 2013 at 6:56 pm

I will definitely bring you the first one. Can’t wait for Friday!

5 Kelli H September 5, 2013 at 9:26 pm

I’m definitely going to be looking into Divergent. It sounds very interesting!

Congrats on your new niece!
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6 Jenn (eating bender) September 11, 2013 at 6:56 pm

Yay!! Let me know what you think if you read it. :)

7 Susan September 6, 2013 at 4:07 pm

Thanks for the Molly shout-out, Aunt Jinn! :) Oh, and I definitely downloaded and read that Divergent short story right after I saw this post. It was a great way to pass the time during a 4am feeding… haha.

8 Jenn (eating bender) September 11, 2013 at 6:56 pm

Excellent!! Can’t wait to compare thoughts on all of these short stories and Allegiant. :)

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