Listy McListersteins

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I would be remiss as a blogger AND list lover if I didn’t make some top (insert number) lists. So here we go:

Top 4 Movies I Saw in Theatres:

4. Faster. This was a great almost campy revenge flick. I couldn’t help but compare it to Kill Bill though, which took me out of the film.

3. Salt. A great espionage flick.

2. Despicable Me. An adorable and still smart movie. IT’S SO FLUFFY I’M GONNA DIE.

1. Inception

Top 17 Movies I Saw in the Comfort of My Own Home:

17. Friday. Seriously. Seriously. This movie is so good I am almost ashamed to admit I haven’t seen it until this year. So much of my life has been lacking because of this. I may be a tad hyperbolic, but this movie is awesome.

16. Scott Pilgrim vs. The World.

15. Little Shop of Horrors. My youth was wasted not watching this. How could my parents let me watch California Raisins’ Specials and Ghostbusters, but I never saw this?!

14. Kick Ass

13. Chocolate. Autistic girl learns Muay thai from watching school next door, beats up thugs to get money for her ailing mom. Sounds weird, but totally amazing.

12. Seventh Seal. The movie that influenced Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey’s Death and subsequently chess game is surprisingly grim, dudes.

11. Hebrew Hammer. The greatest power a Jew could attain? GUILTx12! So funny.

10. A Woman is a Woman. At first I didn’t understand why every girl LOVES this film. But the more I let it sink in, and then watched again, it grew and established itself in me. I love the fight between movie titles.

9. House of the Devil. Filmed last year, made to look like a devil-cult horror film from the early 80’s. They f*ckin’ NAILED it.

8. Child’s Play. Still terrifying, after all these years.

7. Big Fan. It was beautiful and touching and real. In an embarrassingly close-to-home (yes, I have wrote out speeches for over the phone conversations before)

6. Elevator to the Gallows. This is probably the one I would recommend over all the other on my list. If that makes me a snob, so be it. It was tense and tightly wound. Like Hitchcock and Rod Serling had a sophisticated baby.

5. Funny Games. The original version. So violent but a great movie.

4. Black Dynamite. No words. Okay, maybe one: funny.

3. Who’s That Girl? Oh Madonna, let us just remember you how you were.

2. Raising Arizona. Of course this one is good. Doi.

1. Over the Top. All I have to say is:

Top 6 TV Shows:

5. Archer. I like watching shows with no commercials, hence why I am willing to wait to be able to watch all of a show at once. So glorious. I always loved Sealab 2021, so this show appealed to me immediately.

4. NewsRadio. Thank you Netflix. Andy Dick before his threshold for drugs became so high he became unlikeable. And Joe Rogan playing a character named Joe, who could be a flat character based on Rogan’s random points. So funny.

3. Futurama. Once again, thanks to Netflix I am able to watch an old tv show and get infinity times more appreciation from it. What hit me the most was its seemingly out-of-the-blue and extremely poignant episodes. I mean, running away from unwanted motherhood? And let’s not forget Fry’s dog that sits and waits for him for 12 years after Fry is frozen? Blubbering. Even as I type this.

2. Parks and Recreation. DJ Roomba. A possum (“he touched all your bras I’m sorry!”). A Tourist. That show is- dare I say it?- more awesome than 30 Rock.

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1. Saxondale. If you have Netflix Streaming, you are doing yourself a disservice by not watching this. Reaffirming my love for Steve Coogan, Saxondale is so sardonic and hilarious that I am dreading coming to the end.

Top 6 “Mehs:”

Brief Interviews With Hideous Men

Year One


My Name is Bruce

The Losers

Bitch Slap

They weren’t bad, but they were missing a certain something to make them good.

New Years Ideas!

I love New Years Eve. I love that if you have no concept of time, or you’re out camping, it’s just another night. But on paper, it is the beginning of a whole new year. A whole new chance to turn over a new leaf, dust your boots off and try again!

There are always fun things to throw together for this special day; think about these little adventures and traditions:

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1. Pinecone Drop. In Northern Arizona, they began this tradition with a metal garbage can strung with lights. Now, eleven years later, it’s a bit more fancy, with an actual sculpted metal pine cone and gorgeous LEDs.

2. Champagne Toasts. Go to champagne school, get a Frenchmen to chug champagne in Champagne, and learn that champagne doesn’t have to be enjoyed just on special occasions. Check out this video for inspiration.Or, try this super-sweet sparkling wine as an alternative to plain old champagne.

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3. Jumping into nearly-frozen water. When  my friend and I jumped into our pool 12 years ago NYE, we had no idea there was a whole group of people that did it regularly! Apparently it has some health and mental benefits, too.

4. Banging pots and pans. Initially a cultural custom to scare away evil spirits, a lot of times now the banging of pots and pans are just another loud way to get excited about partying, and the new year beginning.

5. Sweeping. I love cleaning on New Years’ Day. Call me crazy, but the idea of finishing the first day of the year with a spic and span, uncluttered but perfect-for-me house/yard really appeals to me. Two years ago it was warm enough to do yardwork outside. This year if that doesn’t hold up, there are plenty of nooks and crannies to fix up inside.

6. Annual Twilight Zone marathon. The Beau and I do not have cable. Most of the time I could not care less about this fact, because not only do we have a monstrous Netflix queue to watch, all the shows on cable that we are interested in seeing will eventually be available to watch on Netflix or another way. The only time I miss cable is for this marathon. I started this tradition with my dad and try not to miss it, but unfortunately it was not meant to be this year. But still knowing that it is on is a great comfort to me.

7. Resolutions stink. I like to think that you should be continually trying to better yourself, not just because the new year has started. While I like the idea of having continuous resolutions (aka to-do lists), I would much rather burn resolutions. A while ago my girlfriends and I got together on a NYE and all wrote out traditional resolutions (“lose 10 lbs.” “meet Mr. Right” “drink less”). We then proceeded to throw them all in our little resolution outdoor fireplace. It was more magical, and made us all feel much better, than going through with those resolutions actually would. I need to remember to do this more.

8. Vicarious celebration. I rather enjoy watching the Eiffel Tower, Washington Monument, and Great Wall celebrations on TV. I like to imagine how crazy I would be if I got to be there, ringing in a new year under the twinkling lights of La Tour Eiffel.

9. Celebrate with sparkles.

Disco ball cupcakes,

perhaps even a sparkly piñata to finish the year with a big sparkle!

9. Think of a new theme or credo for your year. My theme for 2010 was “balls to the wall.” While I didn’t go insane with theme, I like to think I went a little bit crazy. I mean, I did eat three s’mores the other night…

So after much deliberation, my new theme is: “be excellent to each other.” That credo has held up since 1989, it’s good enough now.

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10. Here are many more traditions from all around the world that maybe you will want to start the new year with for two-thousand and heaven!

Let me leave you with a toast: “May your best day of 2010 be your worst day of 2011.”

Blurry But Still Sharp in My Memory

This is a picture my cousin took of my sister and me a whiiiile ago. She looks about 4 here, and she’s 21 now. Whoa.

Anyway, we loved staying up late (like every other kid) on Christmas Eve, and my favorite thing was watching a regular boring program like CNN News transform into something worth my time when they gave their NORAD Santa Tracking updates. THIS IS LEGIT PEOPLE! SANTA IS NEWS!

Anyway, Happy Holidays and hopefully you will feel at peace instead of anxious and stressed.

Love, PepperJess

Breathtaking Letters to Santa

photo and idea credit from Red Letter Day

When all of my nieces and nephews (if I get a nephew) get to the right age, you better believe I will be making something magical like this for them.

I would have to think that if I had gotten a return letter like this, There would be no doubt in my mind to this day that he exists.

DIY Natural Air Freshener

I love when my house smells all festive around the holidays. Since I don’t buy a live Christmas tree, I always like a little pine or peppermint smell in the house, so I whipped up this natural air freshener that you can put whatever oil you’d like into your batch!


1 cup of bottled or distilled water, heated to boiling
Stir in 4 envelopes of unflavored gelatin (KNOX) until dissolved. Tip: try to throw all envelopes in as simultaneously as possible and don’t stop stirring for a bit. The parts that touch first tend to solidify and make a little gel nub on the bottom that stays there indefinitely.

Remove from heat and stir in 1 cup of cold water

Add 1 to 2 Tablespoons salt or a good splash of vodka (to naturally inhibit mold growth). I tried both and I think I like the salt better. 

Add 15 to 30 drops of your favorite essential oil or any other concentrated fragrance. I used peppermint oil and a Demeter fragrance of Humidor.

At this point you can be creative and add food coloring if you like.

Pour the gel into clean small jars such as small jelly containers, baby food jars or any decorative container with or without a lid. Use your imagination. I used a beer bottle for one, because I liked the bottle top and didn’t want to throw it away.

Before it sets, you can also add little decoartive touches such as colored marbles, plastic candy machine trinkets, baby pinecones, seashells, maybe even a laminated, photocopied photo if giving as a gift!

You can also make layered ones by allowing one color to set and then adding another.

The gel will set at room temperature. You can place your containers in the refrigerator to set up the gel faster, but they will scent it! I didn’t want to run the risk of my carrots tasting like a humidor, so I set mine in the window and they all set within a couple hours.

Decorate your jars as you wish and enjoy. If giving as gifts, I would use containers with lids or wrap the open containers in plastic wrap to keep them from evaporating until ready for use.

There are no chemicals in these so they are much safer than the ones you buy at the store.

Cost per 2 cups of gel, less than $1.15.

Recipe found on the Queen of Clean