June 24, 2013

Downton Abbey News

Paul Giamatti Joins Downton Abbey

Emmy, Golden Globe and SAG award winner Paul Giamatti joins the Downton Abbeyseason 4 cast as Harold Levinson, the maverick brother of Cora Crawley (Elizabeth McGovern), son of Martha Levinson (Shirley MacLaine).
He will appear in the Downton season 4 finale along with Shirley MacLaine.


Giamatti, who earned an Emmy and a Golden Globe for his title role in HBO’s miniseries John Adams, is set to appear in the Season 4 finale alongside returning guest star Shirley MacLaine (as Cora and Harold’s mother, Martha).
Exec producer Gareth Neame describes Harold as “free-spirited” and promises that both Giamatti and MacLaine will “upset the Grantham’s apple cart” in the finale.

From around the web....

Paul Giamatti to Appear on ‘Downton Abbey’

Paul Giamatti.Toby Melville/ReutersPaul Giamatti.
Television’s most popular Yorkshire estate is about to receive another high profile visitor: Paul Giamatti has been cast to appear in the Season 4 finale of “Downton Abbey,” according to a statement released by Carnival Films, ITV and “Masterpiece” on PBS on Monday.
The statement describes Mr. Giamatti’s character Harold as the “maverick, playboy brother” to Elizabeth McGovern’s Cora and predicted that the character, along with Shirley MacLaine’s Martha, will “upset the Grantham’s apple cart.”
Mr. Giamatti has appeared on the small screen a number of times over the course of his career and he won both an Emmy and a Golden Globe for his portrayal of the title role in the HBO mini-series “John Adams.” But this guest spot has the chance to be one of his most-watched television roles: the third season finale of “Downton,” which aired in February on PBS, attracted 8.2 million total viewers, up from the 5.4 million viewers who tuned in to the Season 2 finale.

Downton Abbey Exclusive: Paul Giamatti Joins Season 4 Cast as Cora's [Spoiler]

Get More: Casting NewsExclusive
Downton Abbey Casts Paul GiamattiDownton Abbey is bracing for another American invasion.
TVLine has learned exclusively that Paul Giamatti (Sideways, Cinderella Man) is joining the Masterpiece/PBS phenom’s Season 4 cast as Harold Levinson, the maverick, playboy brother of Cora (Elizabeth McGovern) and uncle to Mary (Michelle Dockery) and Edith (Laura Carmichael).
Cora-abbeyGiamatti, who earned an Emmy and a Golden Globe for his title role in HBO’s miniseries John Adams, is set to appear in the Season 4 finale alongside returning guest star Shirley MacLaine (as Cora and Harold’s mother, Martha).
Exec producer and Carnival Films Managing Director Gareth Neame describes Harold as “free-spirited” and promises that both Giamatti and MacLaine will “upset the Grantham’s apple cart” in the finale.
Giamatti joins fellow Season 4 newbies Dame Harriet Walters (as an old friend of Maggie Smith’s Dowager), Nigel Harman (as a visiting valet named Green), and Tom Cullen (as a new love interest for Mary).
Abbey‘s fourth season will premiere stateside on PBS on Jan. 5, 2014.

Paul Giamatti Joins Downton Abbey

No stranger to period pieces – as those who saw him in the superlative HBO miniseriesJohn Adams will attest – Paul Giamatti is joining the cast of Downton Abbey next year, for the season 4 finale, PBS announced Monday. 

He'll play the playboy brother of Cora, Countess of Grantham (Elizabeth McGovern), and the son of Martha Levinson (Shirley MacLaine, who is also returning to the popular British drama). 

"Downton Abbey has seen many great characters visit the house over the years, and we couldn't be more thrilled to welcome the new faces that will be joining the regular cast ofDownton Abbey in Season 4," the show's executive producer, Gareth Neame, said in a statement that really doesn't spill any beans. 

Previously announced other new additions to the cast include actors Tom Cullen, whose character, Lord Gillingham, is described as "an old family friend of the Crawleys who visits the family as a guest for a house party"; Harriet Walter, set to play Lady Shackleton ("an old friend of the Dowager [Maggie Smith]"); and Julian Ovenden as Charles Blake, described only as an "aristocrat" – but aren't they all? 

Also set to entertain: the soprano Kiri Te Kanawa, whose role will be that of "a guest who sings in the house." 

Of course, not returning will be Dan Stevens, who played Matthew Crawley, and Jessica Brown Findlay, who was Lady Sybil Siobhan. Both met unfortunate demises last season

In another shocker, it was also made known that actress Siobhan Finneran, who made trouble as the housemaid Mrs. O’Brien, has exited the series – though there have been rumblings that she may appear again, if only sporadically. 

June 09, 2013

Favorite Photos this Week

Girls Night!


Hubby's Birthday dinner with the family

Isn't he the sweetest guy?!  This is my awesome nephew Stephen, who was just days away from getting married and at the family dinner, he had quite a few young ladies who didn't want to let him go!  Such sweet photos of him with his little  admirers, who just happen to also be is nieces.

Parents of the Groom with the bride & groom behind on the right.

My cute daughter & I found a great way to entertain ourselves!  Take one camera, two tired girls, one long day and a case of the tired sillies and BAM!...instant fun!
Family dinner!

Yes, that is a putting green.  The kids loved it and it was so fun to watch the little kids, trying to teach the even smaller children how to play golf.  So cute.

My hubby snapped this great pic of our family.  Time spent together is my favorite thing ever.

June 07, 2013

Downton Abbey's Joanne Froggatt & Call the Midwife's Miranda Hart

The actress said: "It's so difficult, because my lips are sealed. It's more than my life is worth."

Viewers are left wondering what direction Downton Abbey will take after one of its main characters, Matthew Crawley - played by Dan Stevens - was killed off in the Christmas special.

And the death of Lady Sybil - played by Jessica Brown Findlay - earlier in the series means fans don't know what to expect.

Asked about the departure of such important cast members, Joanne said: "Yeah, I think its ever-changing really, I think that's the nature of the show.

"There's a lot of main characters in there, and when somebody leaves, the dynamic changes, but then we get certain new characters in and the dynamic changes again.

"I think that's a good thing, because it keeps the dynamic fresh, it keeps the storylines moving… So, yeah it's changed, but it's just as good as it's always been."

The fourth series is tipped to start with the funeral of Matthew Crawley, after photos emerged of members of the cast filming in a graveyard.

Downton Abbey returns to ITV later this year.


June 06, 2013

June 03, 2013

Things I Learned from dating Idiots

This post was born out of a conversation I overheard in a bathroom stall at a movie theater. I was so fascinated by what I was hearing, I stayed in that dang stall much longer than is socially acceptable.  After about five minutes of pretending no one was occupying my tiny compartment, there was no way to walk out and face the small group of teenage girls without feeling stupid...and so I just listened until they left.  This was the basic topic of conversation:
It's okay to date a jerk or an idiot that treats you poorly if he is a "serious hottie".  
I should have simply started yelling from my hidden spot.  
I should have said something.  Said ANYTHING at all.  
I should have told those girls how stupid their line of thinking is.  
Because of my overload of expertise in this subject - I should have sat them right there in that ladies room and shared my vast knowledge of exactly what can come from dating idiots.  But alas, I did not.  So for those girls, and all the other ladies out there who are with idiots...this is for you.

If you can relate to even a few of these, chances are you are in a relationship that will never give you the happiness you deserve.  

  1. If you are in a relationship where at least half the time you feel like you want or deserve better - take it from those who know - you are right.
  2. If you argue, fight or see behaviors in the guy you are dating that are questionable - get out now. We all put our best face forward in the beginning. If the best he's got is not up to par, it will only get worse. Don't waste your time.
  3. Do you think you can change your guy into a better person?  It's possible I guess.  But think about how hard it is to change yourself.  We have enough of a hard time trying to better ourselves.  Dating this kind of guy is like opening a new checking account with a negative balance and no income.
  4. Serious idiots have a huge potential for producing idiot sons.  Don't have kids with a man if you would not be proud to have a son just like him.
  5. Ever read the book or seen the movie "He's just not that into you"?  It explains to women that if a guy is really interested in you, he will find the time to be with you.  Just keep in mind, as a side note, that there are some guys will be very attentive and act extremely "into you", but not for the right reasons.
  6. Watch how men treat their mothers.  It is a big indicator of how they will treat their wife.
  7. He has friends you don't like. We become most like the type of people we hang out with so if you think his friends are jerks, chances are he is a jerk too.  The more attractive these guys are - the longer it takes to recognize.  A handsome face and a nice set of muscles can only get you so far.
  8. Your closest friends dont like your man. This one is simple... Your friends are friends for a reason.  If you dont trust their judgement, why are you such good friends?
  9. He is easily angered.
  10. Since you have been with him, your self esteem has gone down.
  11. He doesn't like when you spend time with anyone else.
  12. He doesn't respect you or your feelings.
  13. You often consider breaking up but never follow through.
  14. He has cheated on you.
  15. If a guy treats you like he doesn't care....seriously, he doesn't care.
  16. He doesn't have a sense of humor.
  17. He doesn't let you pick the radio station in the car.
  18. He is rude to servers at restaurants or those he feels are beneath his social standing.  
  19. He blames you for his bad behavior.
  20. He is only interested doing activities that HE enjoys. 
  21. You make excuses for him. Even making up stories to tell your friends about how he did something nice for you.
  22. He lies. Again, and again, and again.
  23. He has called you be the wrong name.  This is never a good sign.
  24. He can't keep a job and it is never his fault.
  25. He points out other women and how attractive they are in front of you,  and claims its a perfectly normal thing to do. 
  26. He borrows money from you all the time and never pays it back.  If you need proof that this one is a bad sign, just watch any Judge Judy episode.
  27. If he has EVER laid a hand on you in anger you need to leave.  Leave NOW.
  28. You walk on eggshells around him.
  29. You know you can not and will not ever trust him.  Why would anyone want to spend forever with someone they dont trust?  Come on, you are smarter than that!
  30. He moves WAY to fast.  This relates to physically, emotionally and these type of guys want serious relationship long before it even enters your mind. He moves fast, saying he loves you, moving in, proposing marriage so you will be committed before you find out who he really is. 
  31. He talks about himself all the time and is rarely interested in what you have to say.
  32. What he says and what he does - they dont match up.
  33. He checks your purse, cell phone, emails, Facebook, etc.  Even though you are not allowed to mess with any of his stuff.
  34. You find yourself doing or say things you would normally not do.
  35. He brags about how many women he has had, still could have and says your are lucky to have him.  FYI - if you are really awesome, you dont have to tell anyone.  They already know.
  36. He often embellishes & brags about his accomplishments and denies or plays down his failures.  When the truth is not good enough, you need to rethink things.
  37. He doesn't ever say he is sorry or admit he was wrong.
  38. He tells you how to dress.  Unless your guy is Richard Gere and just like in the movie "Pretty Woman" he sends you to fancy shops to buy whatever you like with his credit card.
  39. He makes fun of you in front of others.  If you are with a  guy does this he is an ass.  Yes, I said ass.  Sometimes only certain words can capture exactly what you want to say.  Don't date an ass.
  40. He would rather spend time with his friends or his video games than spend time with you.
  41. Those who know him best say things like, "He really is a good guy once you get to know him."  Translation:  "He's a jerk, but you'll get used to it."
  42. He's called you fat, ugly or stupid.  Cut anyone who does this right out of your life.  Not Cool.  Ever.
  43. Last of all is a really important one.  If you do nothing else, please, please, please listen to that voice within yourself when it is telling you something is not right.  The more you ignore that voice, the longer you go without listening, the harder it becomes to hear.  We have the gift of women's intuition for a reason.  So use it sooner than later and you wont go wrong. 

This is just what I came up with off the top of my head.  
What would you add to this list?  What would you tell those girls?  
And I wonder...
would those girls even listen?

June 02, 2013