Friday, March 27, 2009

Something bitter, something sweet

Lemoncake with condensed milkThis is a very, very good cake which was first made by Kristi and everyone loved it. After that, I've made it for several times, too. It requires very little baking and therefore, one saves energy :)
Bottom -
160 gramms of oatcakes
80 g butter
1 tablespoon brown sugar
Cover -
5 egg yolks
400 gramms of condensed milk (with sugar)
1 dl lemon juice
1 or 2 limes

Crush the oatcakes and mix it with melted butter and brown sugar. Compress the mixture to the bottom and sides of a cake tin which is lined with the baking paper. Bake the bottom for 5...8 minutes in owen of 175 C.
Beat up the egg yolks until they come to mellow, light foam. Add the condensed milk and beat it more. Add the lemon juice and pour the mixture to the cake tin. Bake another 10 minutes and cool down. After that, place the cake to the deep-freeze refrigerator and let it stay there for at least 3 hours (or even overnight). When you plan to serve the cake, take it out about 20 minutes before servng. Decorate the cake with lime slices.
And now, enjoy it!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Happy Birthday, Ande!

Today, my friend Ande has her birthday. She's probably used to a nice Spring weather on her birthday, but this year, our winter is long... And today night it was snowing a lot, and is snowing also right now... So she'll have a very snowy birthday! :) I'm quite sure she has received the birthday card I made for her by now.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Films I've seen in 2009 - Vol IV

Writers: Simon Beaufoy (screenplay) and Vikas Swamp (novel)
Directors: Danny Boyle and Loveleen Tandan
Cast: Dev Patel, Anil Kapoor, Saurabh Shukla
My vote: 5-/5
-A Mumbai teen who grew up in the slums, becomes a contestant on the Indian version of "Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?" In the opening scene, a title card is presented: "Jamal Malik is one question away from winning 20 million rupees rupees. How did he do it? A) He cheated, B) He's lucky, C) He's a genius, D) It is written." At the end of the film, the answer is given. He is arrested under suspicion of cheating, and while being interrogated, events from his life history are shown which explain why he knows the answers.-
Photo:, by Ishika Mohan
I and Erik went to see the 8-Oscar-winning-movie yesterday. I guess it's a human curiousity to find out if the taste with film critics would agree with your taste for films. Very often, it doesn't... I know I should not admit it, but it's true. For instance, last year the 4-Oscar-winning-movie "No Country for Old Men" was anything but my taste (however very much enjoyed by Erik). So I was curious to find out if it's the same this year or if I will find "Slumdog Millionaire" something extraordinary, a film which contrasts from others. And I have to say, that this time, I could agree with film critics. The film was indeed very good! It was well-thought, it was special, and it was something different. It was lacking the excessive melodramatic undertone which is very typical for Hollywood movies, and that's why it really differs from those - the very serious life experiences of a streetboy are shown to a spectator without making them too emotional, instead, fact by fact they roll up and you just have a weird aching feeling in your heart thinking how lucky you are in your safe shell seeing no such reality, but it doesn't get to a tearful film. The little boys who play Jamal and his brother in the first part of the movie are so very cute and natural, and it's enjoyable to watch, even when their life is so harsh. Like most of the films, it's all about love... a love what started in childhood and never ended... It's nicely interlaced with the action and all the Indian life stories which the film makers want to show you. The tension is up till the end and to be honest, I didn't even mind that the film ended sickly-sweet taste.

I don't know if it was worth all the 8 Oscars it received, but at least some of them. Without those Oscars, I'm sure I never had watched this film, and I'm glad I did. Go and see this film and satisfy your curiousity! Photo:, by Ishika Mohan

Writers: Scott Frank and Don Roos
Director: David Frankel
Cast: Jennifer Aniston, Owen Wilson, Eric Dane
My vote: 4+/5

-A comedy with a very sad ending pictures a life of a family with an adorable, but naughty and neurotic dog Marley. With a heart as big as his appetite for trouble, Marley sees the Grogans family through the ups and downs of their life and love, and they ultimately realize that "the world's worst dog" brings out the best in them. -

Photo:, by Barry Wetcher
Today, I, Erik and Kert went to see the film all being prepared to laugh a lot and to draw parallels between the bad behaving Marley and our very naughty dog Tony. We thought it will be a very entertaining easy comedy. Besides, Jennifer Aniston is one of my favourite actresses (since she was starring in "Friends" which is still my all-time-favourite TV-show). But we were surprised - the film wasn't as easy as it seemed from the advert. Marley indeed was a very naughty dog with a big heart (we all thought that our Tony could successfully apply for this role, too, because he is almost as awful in his manners as Marley, and with the same big friendly heart), but it wasn't the whole point of the film. The point was about relationships in a family, about a strong bond someone will have with a pet, and how you love someone unconditionally. Yet, the end of the film belongs to the dog - and if you go to see it, take the napkings with you, because it will be very sad! In the moment it gets sad, you will cry for many episodes - you think it cannot get any worse, but it will... We all had our eyes in tiers for the last 15 minutes! But a very good family film indeed (though some strong sexual marks in it, so probably not that suitable for too small kids).

Photo:, by Barry Wetcher

Writer: Tracey Jackson and Tim Firth
Director: P.J. Hogan
Cast: Isla Fisher, Luke Brandon
My vote: 3/5
-Rebecca Bloomwood is a sweet and charming New York City girl who has a little problem that is rapidly turning into a big problem: she's hopelessly addicted to shopping. While Rebecca has dreams of working for a top fashion magazine, she can't quite get her foot in the door -- that is, until she snags a job as an advice columnist for a new financial magazine published by the same company. Overnight, her column becomes hugely popular, turning her into an overnight celebrity, but when her compulsive shopping and growing debt issues threaten to destroy her love life and derail her career, she struggles to keep it all from spiraling out of control--and is ultimately forced to reevaluate what's really important in life. -
Photo:, by Robert Zuckerman
What can I tell about this (romantic) comedy? Not really much... It wasn't bad, it wasn't too good, just an average comedy where you get some good laughs, but nothing too much to think about. I guess it's a deeper enjoyment for girls who can identify themselves with Rebecca Bloomwood, but I guess I like to think I'm a bit better person :).
Photo:, by Robert Zuckerman

Friday, March 13, 2009

Happy Birthday, Erik!

Today, it's Erik's birthday... Party, party, party! :)
This is the card I and Kert gave to Erik today morning for his birthday.

And meanwhile, Erik's mom has had her birthday, too, and again, I made a card with white, black and red.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Films I've seen in 2009 - Vol III

Writers: Nathan Alexander and Christopher McQuarrie
Director: Bryan Singer
Cast: Tom Cruise, Kenneth Branagh, Tom Wilkinson
My vote: 4/5
-It is a historical thriller film set in Nazi Germany during World War II. The film depicts the July 20, 1944 plot by German army officers to assassinate Adolf Hitler and to use the Operation Valkyrie national emergency plan to take control of the country. -

Photo:, by United Artists

I, Kert and Erik went to see "Valkyrie" in February 21. Second World War has touched each of us one way or other, though our generation knows it only through stories. History is always appealing, especially when it's about strong characters, people who have influenced the world. I have to say that I thought the film was much more about the war itself, but actually it wasn't - after the first kick-off with a war scene it was never repeated. . It was all about a conspiracy, watching through the eyes of colonel Claus von Stauffenberg. I must say I liked this film. I'm not really amazed how Tom Cruise played it (the only film I've really loved by him is Top Gun), but the story itself was appealing and thrilling till the end, especially when you didn't know the history so well (like me!:)). I think I would recommend to see this film - it's at least a good entertainment if not more!

Writers: Abby Kohn and Marc Silverstein
Director: Ken Kwapis
Cast: Ben Affleck, Jennifer Aniston, Drew Barrimore, Scarlet Johansson, Kevin Connolly, Jennifer Connelly
My vote: 3+/5
-This romantic comedy tells the stories of a group of interconnected 20's and 30's people as they navigate various relationships from the shallow end of the dating pool through the deep waters of married life, trying to read the signs of opposite sex...-

Photo:, by Darren Michaels

Erik took me to see this easy romantic comedy on Valentine's Day :) I was afraid that the story of the film will be lost among all the famous actresses and actors playing there. Usually, when too many well-known actors are present, the film is a failure. But this film actually overcame my expectations. It was quite good; funny realistic stories of relationships which we could easily relate to our own life and experiences. I loved Gigi, the character played by Ginnifer Goodwin, who is so desperate to find her true love that hopes every man to be that, and drives all men crazy by pushing the relationship too hard. She was certainly the highlight of the movie; other characters weren't as convincing. Maybe the movie hold too many different characters and story lines and didn't play everything well till the end; but all in all, I cannot say it was a junk movie. For Valentine's Day it was a nice watch. Photo:, by Darren Michaels

Writers: Dan Fogelman and Chris Williams
Directors: Byron Howard and Chris Williams
Cast: John Travolta (voice), Miley Cyrus (voice)
My vote: 4-/5
- Animation film about a dog - an American White Shepherd - who has lived his whole life on the set of his action TV show, where he believes he has superpowers. When separated from the studio by accident, he meets a female alley cat named Mittens and a hamster named Rhino. Along the way, he learns that he doesn't have superpowers and that the show is not real. His disbelief of his abilities being non existent fuels a lot of different emotional changes, and eventually comes to a reality of who he really is. -

I and Kert went to see the 3D Walt Disney movie "Bolt" in February 3. It is a very kind-hearted film - nice to watch for a child as well as for an adult. Bolt is such a lovely dog, and he has so true expressions of the dog - one cannot help falling in love with him! His mates - the cat and the hamster- are really funny guys, so all 3 of them, make a perfect match. If you have kids, certainly take them to watch this movie! It's, for instance, much better than "Madagascar II".

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Films I've seen in 2009 - Vol II

Writer: Robert D. Siegel
Director: Darren Aronofsky
Cast: Mickey Rourke, Marisa Tomei, Evan Rachel Wood
My vote: 4/5
- A drama about an aging professional wrestler, decades past his prime, who now barely earns his living by working small wrestling shows and as a part-time grocery store employee. As he faces health problems that may end his wrestling career for good he attempts to come to terms with his life outside the ring: by working full time at the grocery store, trying to reconcile with the daughter who he abandoned in childhood and forming a closer bond with a stripper he has romantic feelings for. -
Photo:, by Niko Tavernise
I and Erik went to see "The Wrestler" in January 24. I must say I had no idea what to wait from this film. To be honest, I didn't even want to go to see this film, but finally I agreed. The first frames were somewhat shocking - it was so natural, so overwhelmingly realistic that it made me feel like it was filmed by an amateur! The camera was pumping here and there, the location was like from the corner of addict's temporary homes etc. I was confused... what happens next? But when the film rolled futher and futher, I started to like it more and more. Yes, for a sensitive audience (like me!) some scenes about the wrestling matches were really too much (watching my eyes closed), but the story was touchy and sad... How someone had been devoted to something for a long time, had been very good in what he did and then, one day, finds himself old and outdated... he sees he has nothing else in his life. Mickey Rourke was so convincing in his act that I must say I could easily imagine him to be a professional wrestler. Good film!

Photo:, by Niko Tavernise

Writer: Greg dePaul and Casey Wilson
Director: Gary Winick
Cast: Kate Hudson, Anne Hathaway, Bryan Greenberg, Chris Pratt
My vote: 3+/5
-It's a romantic comedy about two best friends who have planned since childhood every detail of their future wedding. Now, at the age of 26, when they're both about to get married and they're about to realize their dreams, they become rivals when they schedule their weddings on the same day and.... the same place... One has to give up! Who will win? Will the friendship broke for good? Photo:, by Claire Folger
As this seemed a typical female film, I went to see it with Aune, in January 23. I cannot really name any convincing reasons why this film should be better or outstanding of all other similar romantic comedies. But sometimes women need to watch those! For light entertainment :). And it completes its purpose. While watching this film, everything is simple, yet it's not very obvious how the film will end - will both of the brides get married and live happily ever after or not? I liked the difference in characters - how one of the brides, Liv, was very selfish, always used to get what she wants; and how another, Emma, was more modest, caring about others etc... Suddenly when Emma shows some strong character, too, then Liv is surprised and angry - how a soft cute Emma can be so cruel to her?!? I have to say many of the jokes were already old and stale; yet it was still quite entertaining - just for the purpose it's made for. If you want some light entertainment - go to see it! If not, choose another Anna Hathaway's film - "Rachel Getting Married".

Writer: Nicolas Stoller and Jarrad Paul
Director: Peyton Reed
Cast: Jim Carrey, Zooey Deschanel, Bradley Cooper
My vote: 4-/5
-Carl Allen, a guy whose life is going nowhere—the operative word being “no”—until he signs up for a self-help program based on one simple covenant: say yes to everything…and anything. Unleashing the power of “YES” begins to transform Carl’s life in amazing and unexpected ways, getting him promoted at work and opening the door to a new romance. But his willingness to embrace every opportunity might just become too much of a good thing.-
In January 16, I and Erik went to see the comedy "The Yes Man". I didn't wait too much from it because the stupid characters Jim Carrey usually plays, are too much for me - I've never watched any movie with him till the end - just not my style. This was the first movie I could say was really a bit out of his "normal cast", and I was releaved! The story was funny, the jokes were funny most of the time; and Jim Carrey practiced his face motions only for a couple of times. We have seen better comedies in the past year, but it wasn't anything bad or pointless either - a good honest comedy, with some deep thoughts, too - why are people often reluctant for new, unexperienced things, and why they are not willing to try them, and why do they later complain that their life was boring? These are the questions which popped into my mind watching the film and thinking about it afterwards. It's a perfect inspiration film for depressed people who live in dark winter-time Estonia - to help them come out from their shelves and enjoy the life - no matter how!
Photo:, by Melissa Moseley

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Films I've seen in 2009 - Vol I

Writer and director: John Patrick Shanley
Cast: Meryl Streep, Philip Seymour Hoffmann, Amy Adams, Viola Davis
My vote: 5/5
-Set at a Catholic school in 1964, it centers on a nun who grows suspicious when a priest begins taking too much interest in the life of a young black student. Is she being overly protective or not protective enough? And can she work within the system to discover the truth?-


I and Kristi went to see "Doubt" today. It was certainly one of the best films I've seen so far in 2009. It was appealing till the end and with excellent cast as well as carefully thought out. I guess the films - where everything is not shown black and white, told directly to the audience - are better remembered than the others. Too obvious stories are boring and forgotten more easily - isn't it so? Well, this is the film where nothing is too obvious - everyone will decide herself what exactly happened. I loved all the details in the film - the strong wind which was symbolic in the story - changing wind... in nature, in epoch, in religion; the difference between the lives of nuns and priests (the first dining in the silence and latter enjoying their dinners with wine and loud laughs); the severalty of black and white people.Meryl Streep did excellent cast, she was playing a powerful, "old school" woman and she was very convincing. I also liked Amy Adams in her shy uncertain character which came out natural as well. Certainly worth to watch!


Writer: Eric Roth
Director: David Fincher
Cast: Brad Pitt, Cate Blanchett, Julia Ormond
My vote: 4/5
-It is a story of a man who is born in his eighties and ages backwards. A man, like any of us, is unable to stop time. His life is followed from the end of World War I in 1918 until the 21st century. It's a time traveler's tale of the people and places he bumps into along the way, the loves he loses and finds, the joys of life and sadness of death, and what lasts beyond time. -
Yesterday, I and Aune went to see "Benjamin Button". I was very curious about this film as well as sceptical. First - will I find the story of a man who starts aging backwards veracious enough? Second- is this film too long to sit almost 3 hours without strethcing your legs? Third - will Brad Pitt be as handsome as he has been in other films? With these thoughts in my mind, I went to see this film. In a way, I wasn't disappointed. The film wasn't too long at all - the time passed by, the tension and curiousity was always up; and Brad Pitt was as handsome as always, especially in the end, when he was young and wrinkless :). But... the story itself... I loved parts of it, but there was one big problem for me: the film reminded me too much of Forrest Gump and to be honest, somewhere I felt the originality is lost... I just couldn't help myself of drawing the parralels with Forrest Gump - the film I've enjoyed in the past very much. Later, after the film, I read that the writer was actually the same as for Forrest Gump - so without knowing it, the handwriting was so obvious... But all in all, it was a great story, well-played cast - both by Brad Pitt and Cate Blanchett; and it wasn't a waste of time. In a way, it was a bit untrue, but I know it's my fault - I'm too realistic to believe that something like that has really happened...
Writers: Justin Haythe (screenplay) Richard Yates (novel)
Director: Sam Mendes
Cast: Leonardo diCaprio, Kate Winslett, Michael Shannon, Kathy Bates
My vote: 5/5
-The film is a portrait of an American marriage through the eyes of April and Frank Wheeler in 1950's. A question is posed: can two people break away from the ordinary without breaking apart? Frank and April have always seen themselves special, different, ready and willing to live their lives based on higher ideals. Can they do that in reality, too? -

Photo: In January 30, I and Erik went to see "Revolutionary Road". I was inquistive how DiCaprio and Winslet would play together after a big blast of Titanic more than 10 years ago (the only film I've gone to see in the movies twice!). And I wasn't disappointed in a bit. I loved this film! It made me think of so many life issues, it made me find the different angles in life and the most important: it made me understand how people often escape from the truth, and until the truth is pleasant, they like to hear it and are delighed when someone says it to them; but when it becomes unwanted, it makes them angry to hear the truth. It made me also think how much we struggle ourselves to show a normal, happy family life to our neighbours, general public, friends... while inside of us, we might feel absolutely opposite... Over a long time, it was a film what touched all my senses.
Worth to watch - definitely!

Sunday, March 1, 2009

More birthdays

Today, my brother, his girlfriend Taimi and my niece Lisanne celebrated their birthdays. Lisanne turned 5 months old, others a little bit older... :) This is the card I made for all of them.

Photo: My brother Margus and his daughter Lisanne