Looks for Fall! Look 1: Harvest Festival


Look from Alyssa! More looks for school and the fall season to come! Also, be sure to check out new stuff from the SHOP!


Movie Review: The Grand Budapest Hotel



This past week I had the privilege to watch the move, “The Grand Budapest Hotel,” which is spectacular! This dramatic comedy was written and directed by Wes Anderson.  He’s also directed other movies such as “Moonrise Kingdom, ” “Fantastic Mr. Fox,” “Rushmore,” and “The Darjeeling Limited.” The general plot is enchanting and makes you crave more while at the edge of your seat. The film has plenty of funny dialogue, great escapes, a gunfight, and cliff hangers. The amazing shots of the hotel show great detail and color (especially pink)!

The Grand Budapest Hotel - 64th Berlin Film Festival

The beginning scene of the movie makes you fall in love right away and compels you to keep watching. The color scheme is subtle and makes you feel relaxed, but the upcoming scenes definitely catch your eye! The Grand Budapest Hotel is colored in a creamy pink and pure white color with a pop of a stronger color, for most of the movie. The building is massive and very “grand.” With it’s many windows, you can imagine luxurious people all on holiday behind them. The ground lies earthy and snow covered with mountains in the background. The fictional setting is called “The Republic of Zubrowka.” While the hotel was in its glory days, Zubrowka was on the verge of war.


The time settinngs are set during 1985, 1965, and 1932. Most of the movie is set in 1932 and the hotel was lively with dazzling, rich guests who wore sparkling dresses, and massive diamonds. One of the main characters is Monsieur Gustave H (Ralph Fiennes) who was easily detected throughout the movie by his strong cologne, “L’Air de Panache.” He doesn’t leave his room without a spritz of his cologne! Gustave H is a known charmer throughout the movie to older women. One of his “special friends” is Madame Celine Villeneuve “Madamd D” Desgoffe und Taxis (Tilda Swinton). Tilda Swinton does an excellent job as “Madame D.” The showstopper was the makeup used to make her look like she was 88 years old. Extremely believable! She has a wrinkled face that is covered with liver spots and a huge mount of big, silver hair on top of her head, rivaling the height of Marge Simpson’s blue beehive. The other main character, who is the lobby boy, named Zero, played by a newer actor, Tony Revolori, is a resourceful and quirky guy who ends up becoming Gustave H’s most trusted employee and dear, dear friend. 


The different settings during the movie are so picturesque. It makes me want to travel to Europe and back in time, even though the location is one that never existed. I especially want to eat the cake which is shown throughout the movie and becomes quite an important plot element. It is so beautifully created that my mouth was watering every time it was shown! The cake is called “Corutesan au Chocolate” packaged in the signature pink box with the store’s name “Mendl’s, and tied beautifully with a blue ribbon.

The Grand Budapest Hotel is a must see for people who love watching creative and comedic films. The imagination behind the story line is exciting and entertaining. I am in awe with Wes Anderson’s newest masterpiece and of course, all star cast. This is also one of, if not THE most violent Wes Anderson so far, but of course, done very cleverly. 

I hope many of you will watch this amazing film. I can’t wait to see what he comes up with next!

Blog post by Alyssa Valdivia

Project Runway Season 13: Episode 1 Recap

ContestantsIt’s time for the 13th season of Project Runway! Many of the contestants have a lot of ambition, strength, determination, and creativity. They have a lot to bring to the table, but as we know, only the best survive. I’m rooting for Char Glover, Emily Payne, and Angela Sum.

Warning if you haven’t watched the first episode yet! *SPOILERS*

Char Glover

Char Glover came from a broken family. Her mother left her when she was two months old. Her father was in and out of jail. Her grandmother raised her and taught her how to sew. Char’s designs have a lot of color to them. Her use of pockets is unique and fun. She is self taught but has an amazing talent for fit, which Tim Gunn pointed out during her audition. I admire her determination to make it on Project Runway. She believes she deserves a shot and so do I!

Emily PayneEmily Payne is married and has a daughter. She’s tried out for season 1, 7, and 8 and finally made it into season 13! Her inspiration is punk and gothic edge, so she uses lots of dark colors and sharp angles in her work. Emily’s designs are ready to wear, eye catching, and have a cool twist to them in the way she manipulates her fabric.


Angela Sum

Last but not least there’s Angela Sum who creates subtle, feminine designs with a soft edge. I admire her work, but she has yet to prove herself in the competition. Angela came from a family of poverty and was a Chinese immigrant when she arrived to the United States. Throughout her whole life she has had to do things for herself. That independence is what makes me think Angela will get far.

Some designers like to talk a lot of crap! For example, Mitchel and Korina were gossiping about other contestants’ designs. This turned me off. The time the designers had was crucial and no one should waste time talking crap IMHO. The runway started off great! Many of the designers had strong outfits. I was pretty impressed when Sandhya Garg won the challenge. She showed the judges that she isn’t afraid to take risks. Maybe more of the other contestants will take risks after being shocked that she won. Even though I was happy about Sandhya, I was disappointed that Jefferson was the first one out. His outfit was bad, but he as a designer, he had potential. This new season has a lot of surprises since Amanda Valentine got voted back onto the show(: Go Amanda! The previews for the upcoming episodes look intense, so I wish our designers luck!!(:

Blog post by Alyssa Valdivia

Pictured below: The winning design (left), the losing design (right)

Winning design

Losing design













LA LOTERIA not just a simple card game…

For anyone who ever wondered how to play. I think I’m going to bust out the Loteria box since summer is coming. Loteria, BBQ and beer just screams summer to me. 🙂

Unleashing My Inner Chingona

Now before you think that I mean the Lottery … not really, I am talking about the one game that has been able to keep our Mexican culture alive … Loteria! At first glance, you see a simple card game with pictures of ‘La Muerte’, ‘El Musico’, ‘La Rosa’, ‘La Bandera’ and more…but as you get a game going…you find that everyone wants to play, young and old, those who speak Spanish, those who do not, those who can read, those who cannot…but the most fun part is the actual ‘hanging out’ with familia and friends! I always carry around a bag of beans so that everyone can mark their cards como debe de ser con frijoles which is always fun — especially to see those who have never really played Loteria before.

My familia plays Loteria at nearly all of the fam parties and it is hilarious to listen…

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