December 31, 2013

Blu-ray + DVD Review - Don Jon

Don Jon
Directed by Joseph Gordon-Levitt
Starring: Joseph Gorden-Levitt, Scarlett Johansson, Julianne Moore
Studio: 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment
Release Date: December 31, 2013
Retail: $39.99
ASIN: B00FRILRYS
Running Time: 90 minutes
Rating: R

Review:

Available today on Blu-ray and DVD is Joseph Gordon-Levitt's directorial debut Don Jon, costarring Scarlett Johansson, Julianne Moore, Brie Larson and Tony Danza. Special features include: Making of Don Jon, Don Jon's Origin, Joe's Hats!, Objectified, Themes and Variations and HitRECord Shorts.

Besides from writing the screenplay and directing the movie, Joseph Gordon-Levitt always stars as Jon "Don Jon" Martello, Jr., a womanizer who is addicted to internet pornography. He regular views pornography throughout the day on either his laptop or cell phone. At night he hangs out with friends at a night club, where he picks up random women for one night stands.

Jon's life changes when he sees the beautiful Barbara Sugarman (played by Scarlett Johansson) at a nightclub, which he attempts to work his charms on her, it backfires, she leaves and he ends up picking up a different woman.

December 30, 2013

Monday Morning Madness #36: End of the Year Post

My original intention was to write the final Monday Morning Madness post for 2013 this morning, but it slipped my mind, so I'm writing this at nearly 10:30 PM on my Dell latitude laptop while I'm halfway watching (or more like listening) Superman III. Yes, I said laptop. I have officially owned a laptop since right around Thanksgiving. It does come in handy for writing late at night! Plus, it connects quickly to the Wifi, where I've been catching up with the last few episodes of The Big Bang Theory and The Vampire Diaries.

Christmas flew by way to quickly, but I did have a wonderful time with my parents, grandmother and uncle. I spent the majority of last week watching a few Blu-rays (Christmas gifts), such as Man of Steel, The Wolverine, Fast & Furious 6, The Conjuring and a few others.

Most people will probably be thinking about their New Year's Resolutions, but I started mine on December 26th, which is basically the same resolution as I had last year. What is my resolution? Well, it is to get healthy. I've been exercising daily since last Thursday and I've been eating more greens, so I think I have a good jump start on my resolution this year.

Last year, I had many ups and downs, including a family emergency, that derailed my resolution, but I'm thinking positive thoughts this year. I even bought myself the new P90X 3 home workout program, which I received today in the mail. According to the FedEx tracking, I should receive a box with some fitness bands tomorrow, so I'll start the workout program on the 1st.

Runner Runner Blu-ray Giveaway

Ben Affleck and Justin Timberlake star in the high-stakes crime thriller Runner Runner on Blu-ray & DVD Jan. 7


Win the Runner Runner Blu-ray Combo Pack to find out “Who’s playing who?” 


Justin Timberlake and Ben Affleck star in this high-stakes crime thriller where the lure of easy money is the riskiest bet of all. When Princeton grad student Richie Furst (Timberlake) believes he’s been swindled by an online poker site, he heads to Costa Rica to confront gambling tycoon Ivan Block (Affleck), the man he thinks is responsible. But Richie will soon face the ultimate power play as he finds himself caught between Block’s promises of unlimited wealth and the zealous FBI agent (Anthony Mackie) trying to bring him down.

The Blu-ray Combo Pack includes a bonus feature that reveals the true story behind the world of online poker, as well as never before seen bonus content.

The Runner Runner Blu-ray Combo Pack also includes a Digital HD copy of the film.

For your chance of winning a Runner Runner Blu-ray Combo Pack, simply answer the following question:

All of the below are online poker websites except _______.
  • Full Tilt Poker
  • Poker Stars
  • Poker Heroes
  • Party Poker
Follow @FoxHomeEnt for all news updates on Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment!

Caramel MATCHAccino Review

Disclosure: I got this product as part of an advertorial. 
 
Winter may have officially started a few weeks ago, but I didn't feel it until last night, as I had to drag out the electric blanket from the closet to keep warm. It’s still a bit chilly outside today and it would be nice to have a cup of hot chocolate coca.

I'm sure many people have tried the little packets of hot chocolate that you can buy in any grocery store. Some of them are okay, but I would prefer to drink homemade hot chocolate, like the kind my mother use to make me. As a child, I was unaware of all the sugar that went into it, so I no longer drink hot chocolate.

Lucky, you can now make a hot beverage or latte with Matcha, which is a healthy green tea powder.

Recently, I was sent a sample package of MatchaAccino (caramel) from Red Leaf Tea. Though it isn't chocolate, I was still looking forward to trying out the product.

All I had to do was mix one scoop of the Matcha into a mug of warm milk and mix, which I recommend using a milk frother. One scoop is about 12grams with a total of 58 calories and there is 0grams of fat. Plus, there is no MSG, chemical additives, food coloring, preservatives or artificial sweeteners.

The Protection Offered from Samsung Cases

You can use your cell phone for a lot of different things, like answering calls, sending text messages, checking your email, getting directions, etc. With all of the tasks that cell phones help you perform, you probably keep your phone with you most everywhere you go. Taking your phone with you in your purse, pocket, holster, or whatever else can make your cell phone more vulnerable to damage and breaking. For this reason, you have probably considered different options for protecting your cell phone. Here are some of the ways that Samsung cases can protect your phone and some other advantages they have to offer as well.

Saving You Money

Cell phone cases are primarily used to protect your phone from the damages and breaking that can happen from everyday use and normal wear and tear. When you accidentally drop or smash your phone, it can easily be scratched or dented. When this happens, your phone quickly begins to look worn down and old, which greatly reduces the amount of money you could sell your phone for and quickly reduces the life of your phone. Additionally, these kinds of accidents can cause your phone to break completely, requiring you to buy a replacement phone. Paying to have your phone repaired or replaced can add up very quickly. But if you put a cover on your cell phone, it can prevent your phone from being damaged or broken in the case of an accident, thus saving you from having to replace your phone and extending the lifetime of your cell phone.

Blu-ray Review - Sweetwater

Sweetwater
Director: Logan Miller
Starring: Ed Harris, January Jones, Edurado Noriega, Jason Aldean
Studio: Arc Entertainment
Release Date: December 31, 2013
Retail: $24.99
ASIN: B00F3TD8XO
Running Time: 95 minutes
Rated: R

Review:
 
Arriving on Blu-ray and DVD tomorrow, December 31, 2013, is the western-thriller Sweetwater, starring Emmy and Golden Globe nominee January Jones (AMC's Mad Men) Academy Award nominee and Golden Globe winner Ed Harris (Pollock, A History of Violence) and Jason Issac (Harry Potter film series). It is directed by Logan Miller (Touching Home). The film was an official selection at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival.

Set in the late 1800s, January Jones plays Sarah Ramírez, a former prostitute who is trying to have a normal life with her husband, Miguel, while living in a small farmhouse in the middle of nowhere (probably New Mexico, but I'm only guessing).

Miguel crosses the path of a crazed-so-called-religious man, whom calls himself the "Prophet Josiah", and his gun-hands, which one them is played by country singer Jason Aldean. Josiah basically wants all the land (or God's land as he calls it) in the area. After Miguel accuses him of a crime, Miguel is brutally murdered.

Another strange character comes into the mix when Sheriff Jackson (played by Ed Harris) arrives in town looking for two criminals and bunts heads heads with Josiah.

Insurance For Your Dream Business Is Important

While people typically want to lose weight or go back to college as their New Year's Resolution, there will be some people wanting to accomplish their dream of owning their own business, like a pizza parlor, quilt shop or a bakery shop. Once you decide what your business is going to be, you either buy, rent or lease a building for your upcoming business. Then you need to look for the best Small Business Insurance. Yes, I'm well aware that you probably want to remodel the building first, but anything can happen at any moment, so you be prepared for anything.


With the insurance debates on the national news on a daily basis, you may be a little hesitant about buying insurance for your business, but a fire, flooding, burglaries and vandalism can become a threat to any minute, so you shouldn't waste any time.

Dean Graziosi - Baby Boomers Are Helping Your Real Estate Investments


I’m Dean Graziosi, and one of my goals is to spread the word about Real Estate investing. Sharing info on Real Estate investing is a passion for me and I truly believe that the world of Real Estate is so big that everyone can find a place that work for them.

The Census estimates 78+ million Baby Boomers. This group will start entering their retirement years now. This group is the richest in real estate held, savings and investment accounts. Their lifestyle decisions going into retirement will influence the economy in a number of ways, and real estate will be right at the top of the list.

The "Golden Handcuffs" Scarcity Theory

A prediction of how markets will be influenced by Boomers assumes that the overall real estate market will continue to improve and be boosted by a scarcity of supply. Boomers are sitting on real estate worth a fortune, but they don't have a lot of cash; the "golden handcuffs" of real estate riches means they can't afford to sell yet.

The golden handcuffs may cause more of these owners to stay put in areas with very high-priced real estate like California, New York, and other areas. There will be fewer homes available, which means higher prices, and happy markets.

DVD Review - Wolfblood: Season One

Wolfblood: Season One
Studio: New Video Group
Release Date: December 31, 2013
Retail:$19.95
ASIN: B00F1BFZXA
Running Time: 5 hours 38 minutes
Rating: NR

Review:

Arriving tomorrow on DVD is the fantasy/supernatural British television series Wolfblood: Season One, featuring thirteen exciting episodes. The half-hour series aired on CBBC in 2012 and will return next year for a third season. It premiered in United States back in October on the Disney Channel.

Wolfblood centers on 14-year-old Maddy Smith, who is living with her parents in  Northumbria, Stoneybridge. Maddy and her parents are keeping a dark, dark secret - they are wolfbloods (werewolves)! It hasn't been easy keeping the family secret from her best-friends, Shannon Kelly and Thomas (Tom) Okanawe, especially when her first transformation is approaching.

Her world is turned upside down when a new student, Rhydian, arrives at Bradlington High. Maddy instantly suspects he is one of her kind. She quickly learns that he is living with his new foster parents and that he is a wolfblood, possibly a distant cousin. Her parents help him settle in his new environment and help him understand about his heritage.

Life in Stoneybridge isn't easy for Maddy and Rhydian, as their friend Shannon is hunting the 'beast' that terrified her as a child. She is determined to catch a picture of the 'beast' that roams the forest. To make matter worse, a beast-hunter arrives in town looking for a werewolf and Rhydian's relatives track him down.

Start An Eco-Friendly Lifestyle In 2014!

Its hard to believe that 2013 is almost over! I can remember last year's New Year's Eve like it was yesterday, but with many ups and downs during the year, I guess the time flew by faster than I thought. Similar to other blogs, I'll be writing a few posts on New Year's Resolutions and a few of these will be on my own resolutions.

I'm sure many people will me wanting to change their lives in a positive way in 2014, like start living an Eco-friendly lifestyle, which is more than just recycling a few pop cans and plastic bottles. You can simply replace common household appliances (microwave) and electronics (HDTV) with an environment-friendly products that can also save you money yearly.

If you live in the UK you can apply for a government grants for solar panels, which in the long run can help you save money on your electricity and gas bill. Plus, this can help reduce the overall greenhouse gas emissions currently in the UK.

How to Find the Best Preschool Environment

You are in the market for a new preschool for your dear little Mary. She is three years old and the love of your life. You sure do wish that you could just be at home with her every day and bake cookies and comb each other’s hair; however, you have to work full-time along with your husband to make ends meet. Since you can’t stay home, you really do want the best for your sweet Mary, so you are looking into the preschool and daycare centers in your area, including www.kids-adventure.com and other such preschools. It is great that so many schools have websites to check out, and then you can narrow down your search before you go out and look at the centers in person.

Understanding Preschoolers

When looking for a great preschool, it is important to discover if the school you are looking at knows the way preschoolers generally think, act, and learn. You can discover this by spending a good chunk of time observing the facility, how the teachers interact with the children, and what options and learning environment they have for the children. Preschoolers learn best when they have a caring and positive relationships both with their caregivers as well as the other children at the facility (that is not to say that the environment will always be free from conflict, these are young children). Preschoolers should be able to safely explore a variety of different things in their environment and receive carefully planned assistance and guidance.

December 27, 2013

Book Blogger Hop: December 27th - January 2nd

Book Blogger Hop

Welcome to the new Book Blogger Hop!

If you want schedule next week's post, click here to find the next prompt question. To submit a question, fill out this form.

What to do:

1. Post on your blog answering this question:

 

What books are you looking forward to reading in 2014?

2. Enter the link to your post in the linky list below (enter your Blog Name and the direct link to your post answering this week’s question. Failure to do so will result in removal of your link).


3. Visit other blogs in the list and comment on their posts. Try to spend some time on the blogs reading other posts and possible become a new follower.  The purpose of the hop is to give bloggers a chance to follow other blogs, learn about new books, befriend other bloggers, and receive new followers to your own blog.
  

My Answer: 

The Descent: Book 3 of the Taker Trilogy
By Alma Katsu


Linky List:

December 25, 2013

Steps for Stopping Nutrisystem Auto Delivery

Hello! I hope everyone is having a Happy Christmas. I noticed in a few department store ads that they're already having a sale on fitness equipment and fitness DVDs, though they don't normally do this until around the first of year to tie into the New Year's Resolution theme, but I guess they wanted  to start earlier this year. I thought I would tie into the whole fitness theme by posting this article written by a fellow writer. 


Sometimes a diet program just isn't right for you and you can't go forward one more day. When this happens to you and you're on the Nutrisystem plan, there are some definite steps you should take to cancel your automatic shipments, return old food, and get some money back. Below will be a few simple steps that will get you started. Thank goodness Nutrisystem does make it easy to cancel Auto-Delivery at any time, but please make sure you hold onto your confirmation number just in case there is a glitch and your cancellation does not go through.

With the Auto-Delivery plan your credit card is charged once a month for 4-weeks of food. Many people prefer Auto-Delivery because it comes with a great discount. For example, currently, this plan saves you 20% (about $82). In addition, other discount offers that Nutrisystem gives occasionally, like the “save 40% Plus 1 Week of Food Free” (or others—see weightlostriumph.com) apply only if you choose Auto-Delivery. However, keep in mind, if you cancel your Auto Delivery plan before the second consecutive payment, then you will be charged the amount of these discounts.

Give Nutrisystem a Call

First things first, you cannot cancel the program online. You have to call in to talk to a customer care specialist. This is not as convenient as just pressing a button online, but at least you can talk to a person and ask them any questions about your cancellation. The toll-free number is 877-338-8446.

What you'll need to tell Customer Care

Some information that they'll ask of you over the phone is your name, and most importantly your membership number which should be clearly marked on your billing material. If you do not have this number it's going to take much more time to have the operator help you, so make sure you find this number before making the call. You then simply tell the operator that you wish to cancel your membership and stop the recurring shipment of food.
December 24, 2013

Top 4 Book To Film Christmas Movies

Now that Christmas is knocking on our door, most of us are going to be taking well-deserved time off from work to celebrate and relax after a long year. One of the main forms of family entertainment this time year is watching the Christmas movies played constantly on cable. However, there are some who enjoy falling in love with the books as well as watching the movies, and this list is for you.

Adapting books into films has been around as long as the film industry has existed, and chances are many of your favorite films have been adapted from a book, novella, short story, or other written work. As it turns out, Christmas films aren’t an exception from this rule. Many Christmas classics were first told in the written form, and below are some of the familiar Christmas works that first began on the pages of a book:

A Christmas Story


This film has become such a beloved classic that during a 2002 24-hour marathon of the film on TNT, a sixth of the country tuned in. The number has only grown since then after the film switched over to TBS, and the annual tradition of 24 hour marathons beginning on Christmas Eve continues today.

The 1983 classic began as a series of short stories that appeared in the book In God We Trust, All Others Pay Cash by Jean Shepherd. From these short stories, which were inspired by his childhood, came one of America’s favorite Christmas films. A Christmas Story has become such a part of American culture that all someone needs to say is “You’ll shoot your eye out!” or “Fra-JEE-lay, must be Italian” and we will all know exactly what they’re referencing.

December 22, 2013

Book review: Botchan



Botchan
By
Natsume Sōseki
Translated by J. Cohn
Publisher: Kodansha International
Pub. Date: 2005
First published in Japanese in 1906
ISBN: 978-4770030481
Pages:  172
Genre:
Literary fiction
Source:
public library
Goodreads
Reading Challenge
Buy Link

Review:
I finally decided to read a second book for my Japanese Literature Challenge. The biggest part of the challenge is to find something I would like to read that fits the challenge AND is available in my public library system. Not always easy.
I had very much enjoyed Kokoro, by the same author (I just wrote a couple of lines about it in my early days of book blogging), so I decided to try Botchan.
Botchan (meaning the kid) is a young kid doing all kinds of crazy things, like all kids. He is very much disliked by his parents and brother, who think nothing good could possibly come out of him, but he is admired by Kiyo, the family old servant. She keeps thinking he will eventually become someone important. He studies physical sciences and becomes a math teacher. This could have been good, but it ends up being a very tough and poisoning experience because of nasty students and crazy colleagues.
December 21, 2013

Eggnog Matcha Review + Giveaway

Disclosure: I got this product as part of an advertorial. 




Christmas Day is nearly here and many you are looking forward to drinking eggnog (the alcohol and non-alcohol kind), if you haven't had a few cartons already. Personally, I love Anderson Erickson Classic Egg Nog, but it seems everyone else does, too, so they're hard to find in the grocery stores this time of year.

Eggnog has a little hidden secret - it has calories. Yes, it does taste great, but you'll be regretting drinking those few extra cups of eggnog on New Year's Day.

Friday, I received a sample of Eggnog Matcha from Red Leaf Tea. Matcha is made from a green tea powder. What is the difference between drinking matcha and a regular cup of green tea? When drinking green tea, you are mostly drinking water, as you throw the tea bag containing the green tea leaves into the trash, but with matcha you are actually drinking the green tea leaves.

Eggnog Matcha is 100% natural with 0grams of fat and only 4 total calories. There are no food coloring, MSG, preservatives and artificial sweeteners. It only takes a 1/2 teaspoon for every 6-8oz cup of milk. You can either make a cold latte or a hot latte.

Raspberry Ketone Blast Review

Disclosure: I got this product as part of an advertorial. 



Yes, Christmas is only days away and plenty of people will be stuffing their mouths with clusters, fudge, cookies and other holiday sweets. I'm pretty sure everyone will be regretting eating that extra piece of candy once they step on the scales on the morning of the 26th, which of course is where losing weight becomes your New Year's Resolution.

Let's face it, losing weight isn't the easiest thing to do, especially if you have a busy schedule. If you cut back on the sweets and sodas, eat a few vegetables and exercise for at least twenty-five minutes a day, there's a chance you will lose a few pounds, then there are people who can't drop weight as easily as others, which they turn to other methods, such as dietary supplements.

I'm sure everyone has been down the diet section in a department store once or twice and have seen the countless different diet pills that are supposed to instantly help you lose weight, a few are even endorsed by celebrities, whom all have their own personal trainer. "What is the best supplement to buy?" is the question many people will ask, as they don't want to waste their money on a pointless product.

The daytime talk-show host Dr. Oz endorsed the use of Raspberry Ketone on his show and since then the supplement has become extremely popular with dozens of different brands bringing it out. Some are cheap, while others are too expensive for the average American. Which ones are the best to buy?

December 20, 2013

Book Blogger Hop: December 20th - 26th

Book Blogger Hop

Welcome to the new Book Blogger Hop!

If you want schedule next week's post, click here to find the next prompt question. To submit a question, fill out this form.

What to do:

1. Post on your blog answering this question:

Holiday Edition: 
 What is your favorite book set around Christmastime?


2. Enter the link to your post in the linky list below (enter your Blog Name and the direct link to your post answering this week’s question. Failure to do so will result in removal of your link).


3. Visit other blogs in the list and comment on their posts. Try to spend some time on the blogs reading other posts and possible become a new follower.  The purpose of the hop is to give bloggers a chance to follow other blogs, learn about new books, befriend other bloggers, and receive new followers to your own blog.
  

My Answer:

My favorite would be The Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens. I bought a paperback at Barnes & Noble several years ago. Plus, it was the first book I purchased on my Kindle.

Linky List:

Holiday Gift Guide 2013: Ozeri Instavac Green Earth Food Storage Set





Ozeri Instavac Green Earth Food Storage Set
by Ozeri
www.ozeri.com

Retail:
$59.95 (List Price)
$49.95 ($49.95)

Purchase Link:
Amazon

Product Description from Amazon.com:

Introducing the world's most effective vacuum-sealed food container set, the Ozeri INSTAVAC Green Earth Food Storage Container Set. Completely BPA-Fee, the 8-Piece Nesting Set with Vacuum Seal and Locking Lids is designed to SAVE FOOD -- simply press down on the lid to remove excess air that spoils food; SAVE MONEY -- pays for itself and more by keeping food fresher longer; SAVE SPACE -- each container nests for convenient, efficient storage; SAVE TIME -- each container is microwave, dishwasher and freezer safe for long-lasting use. Unlike other products, the Ozeri INSTAVAC Green Earth Food Storage Containers use a patented valve system that allows you to easily remove excess air, so growth of naturally occurring bacteria is greatly reduced, and food stays fresh longer. With the Ozeri INSTAVAC, instant vacuum freshness is created without pumps, motors or confusing parts. Simply press down on the center of the lid and air is forced out through the one-way valve. Creating a vacuum requires minimal effort. The patented valve system is also designed to automatically release air pressure when it builds up in the microwave, so you never have to worry about spills, splatters, and bursting. The BPA-free, stain-resistant, shatter-proof, Ozeri INSTAVAC Green Earth Food Storage Containers are as transparent as glass, and safe to use in microwaves, freezers and dishwashers. Each container features a handy date dial that allows you to record when food was first stored and monitor days kept in the refrigerator, so you'll never have to worry about remembering how long each container has been in the refrigerator. Each container is also made with a wave patterned bottom that keeps cut fruit and vegetables elevated from the deteriorating effects of water and juices which can collect at the bottom over time. Your satisfaction is guaranteed and backed by Ozeri's industry-praised, no-hassle warranty and customer service. 



Billy's Review:
December 19, 2013

Blu-ray + DVD Review - Percy Jackson: Sea Of Monsters

Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters
Director: Thor Freudenthal
Starring: Logan Lerman, Alexandra Daddario, Brandon T. Jackson, Nathan Fillion, Douglas Smith
Studio: 20th Century Fox
Release Date: December 17, 2013
Retail: $39.99
ASIN: B008JFUNWS
Running Time: 106 minutes
Rating: PG

Review:

Coming out just in time for Christmas is this week's Blu-ray 3D, Blu-ray & DVD release of the fantasy family adventure Percy Jackson: Sea Of Monsters, featuring exciting extras, such as Tyson Motion Comic, Deconstructing a Demigod, Back to Camp Half-Blood and It's All in the Eye.

Based on the book of the same name by Rick Riordan is the exciting sequel to 2010's Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief, which centers once again on Percy Jackson, the demigod son of Poseidon, and his two best friends, Grover Underwood and Annabeth Chase, whom are all living at the Camp Half-Blood. The magical pine tree, Thalia, has been protecting the Camp Half-Blood for years by creating a shield over the camp, but suddenly the shield is weakened. A Colchis Bull runs into the camp, creating chaos and is eventually destroyed by Percy and friends.

Somehow, someone has poisoned Thalia and the tree is slowing dying. Percy, Grover, Annabeth and his newly found half-Cyclops-brother, Tyson, go a quest to find the Golden Fleece that could possible revive Thalia, but the journey will not be an easy one, as Luke Castellan, the demigod son of Hermes, has returned with a few other foes to find the Golden Fleece, too, as Luke wants to resurrect the evil Kronos!

Percy and his pals must take advice from the god of thieves himself Hermes to voyage through the Sea of Monsters to stop Luke from destroying the world.

Holiday Gift Guide 2013: Adventure Time: The Complete Second Season





Adventure Time
The Complete Second Season
Voice Cast: Jeremy Shada, John DiMaggio, Hynden Walch, Niki Yang, Tom Kenny, Olivia Olson, Martin Olson, Dee Bradley Baker, Pendleton Ward, Polly Lou Livingston, Jessica DiCicco, Maria Bamford
Studio: Cartoon Network
Release Date: June 4, 2013
ASIN: B00BDD1UYI
Running Time: 286 minutes
Rating: TV-PG

Retail:
Blu-ray - $32.07
DVD - $26.95

Purchase Links:


Billy's Review:

Why a Cell Phone Case Can Do More than Protect

Whether you are looking for an iPhone5 case or the increasingly harder to find Samsung Galaxy S3 cover case due to the introduction of the S4, any Smartphone can benefit from the addition of a protective case. As these phones have become capable of performing more and more tasks, from making phone calls to accessing the Internet almost anywhere to seemingly managing your everyday life, they have taken on a greater importance. Even if you are capable of living without your mobile device, there is no question that they can be a costly purchase.

More than Protection

In their most basic form, a phone cover helps lessen the risk of your phone breaking into multiple pieces if dropped. But some cases are designed to go even further, some even strong enough to protect the phone if it happened to be ran over. Phone cases also allow you to personalize your phone, so even if you do have the same phone as everyone else, you can distinguish it from the next. Cases can be bright colors, blinged out with gems or designs, or sport cute animals or characters.

And cases can even provide you with additional functions. Certain companies may provide cases designed to resemble wallets, with multiple slots and pockets to hold cards, money, and more. Some cases may have stands to prop your phone for better viewing, or have a flippable front cover for screen protection while not in use. Others may allow you to wear your phone on an armband. While many cases are composed of hard plastic, others may have a rubber feel, a fun texture, or may even be studded.

What Makes a Food Natural or Organic?

People are concerned. Bees are dying, children are unhealthy, and the overuse of antibiotics can create super bacteria. While there are many factors that can contribute to all of these problems, one solution many people choose to turn to is eating natural food. But what does that mean? Does it really make a difference?

Natural vs. Organic

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the United States says that, “From a food science perspective, it is difficult to define a food product that is 'natural' because the food has probably been processed and is no longer the product of the earth.” As a result, neither the FDA nor the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has provided a definition for most foods labeled as “natural.” Meats labeled as natural, however, must meet certain requirements, including a lack of added coloring or artificial ingredients, and only minimal processing.

The label “organic,” however, is highly regulated. Foods labeled as “organic” entail no artificial growth hormones, pesticides, antibiotics, GMOs, or fertilizers that use chemicals or sewage sludge. Animals must also be kept under certain welfare requirements, such as allowing cows to pasture. But there are different grades of organic labels.
December 17, 2013

$100 American Express Gift Card Giveaway

Christmas Day is just a week away, meaning if you have you haven't finished your shopping yet, you should probably get started right now. After the gift shopping, holiday dinners and taking down the decorations after the 25th, it would be nice to a little shopping for yourself, as the department stores will have exercise DVDs, fitness equipment and other stuff on sale, but after buying all the Christmas gifts, you might not have enough cash to spend on yourself.

Well, your in luck, as the NorthWestPharmacy.com is having a $100 American Express Gift Card Giveaway today thru to the 31st!

Wow! This is a great giveaway. $100 can buy a lot of things for your New Year’s Resolution. Like the exercise DVDs that I mentioned above. Or you can buy health related items from NorthWestPharmacy.com, such as Acnomel Skintone Cream or Pharmaton (Ginseng G115) vitamins.

Who wouldn't want to win $100?

Scroll down to the bottom of the post to enter the giveaway.

Blu-ray + DVD Review - The Family



The Family
Director: Luc Besson
Starring: Robert De Niro, Michelle Pfeieffer, Tommy Lee
Studio: 20th Century Fox
Retail: $39.99
ASIN: B00FRILS1K
Running Time: 111 minutes
Rating: R

Review:

Arriving on Blu-ray and DVD today is the action-comedy The Family starring Robert De Niro, Michelle Pfeiffer and Tommy Lee Jones. The film is based on the novel Malavita by Tonino Benacquista, executive produced by Martin Scorsese and directed by Luc Besson. Special Features include Making The Family and The Many Meanings of...

Robert De Niro and Michelle Pfeiffer stars as Giovanni Manzoni (now known as Fred Blake) and Maggie Blake, a former mob boss and his wife who are in the witness protection program along with their children Belle (played by Glee's Dianna Agron) and Warren (played by John D'Leo). The Blakes aren't the easiest family to keep in line, as they are constantly blowing their cover, forcing Agent Stansfield (played by Tommy Lee Jones) to relocated them over and over again.

This time the Blakes have been relocated to a sleepy town in France, where two FBI agents are keeping an eye out for them across the street, but they can't keep the Blakes from falling into old habits. The children don't exactly adjust well to their new school. Warren uses his father's ways to seek vengeance on a few bullies, while Belle falls in love for the first time.

Giovanni becomes somewhat disturbed by the FBI watching him and doesn't come out his house, instead he spends his days typing his memoir on an old typewriter. Besides from a brief incident at a grocery store, Maggie has stayed away from her old lifestyle and spends the majority of her time bringing food to the FBI agents.

Holiday Gift Guide 2013: Regular Show: The Complete First & Second Seasons





Regular Show
The Complete First & Second Seasons
Voice Actors: J. G. Quintel, William Salyers, Sam Marin, Mark Hamill, Roger Craig Smith, Janie Haddad-Tompkins
Studio: Cartoon Network/ Warner Bros. Home Entertanment
Release Date: July 16, 2013
ASIN: B00BUAMQS
Running Time:  440 minutes
Rating:  TV-PG

Retail:
Blu-ray - $39.98
DVD - $36.94

Purchase Links:

Billy's Review:

Top 5 Reasons Why To Retire to Florida!

I know Christmas is just over a week away, but there are some people still stumped on what to buy their parents, as they probably have every knick knack every created. Why don't your just think outside of the box this year and look into getting a second home or vacation home for your parents in Florida.

Why Florida?

Here are my top 5 reasons why to retire in Florida:

The Future of Real Estate

I’m always interested in the different ways women can make a business work from home. It seems like every day there’s a new idea and the success stories are always inspiring. Recently I heard about Dean Graziosi and his effort to help stay at home moms. Dean Graziosi is a Real Estate investor and he’s spent a number of years training individuals on techniques and processes that have helped him find success.

In his opinion regardless of your location, urban or rural there is a place for you to fit in. His philosophy interests me so I sent an email to his site and explained a little about my blog and its purpose. I was surprised at his people's response, they are sending me 2 of his best selling books. One book is for me and one book is for me to give away to a reader that has a interest in Real Estate. The book is supposed to contain helpful information to help us get started in the world of real estate investing.

I think this will be fun and exciting, the drawing and give away will be completed 3 weeks from today so please sign up if your interested. Graziosi offers helpful slide share videos and articles weekly. To give a little more information I will post some kind training from him once a week for the next 3 weeks. I think this will help us get a better understanding of who he is and what he is trying to help stay at home moms accomplish. Like I said before, I’m always interested in the different ways women can make a business work from home, learning about real estate investing should be fun.


Giveaway

Blu-ray + DVD Review: Force Of Execution

Force of Execution
Director: Keoni Waxman
Starring: Steven Seagal, Ving Rhames, Bren Foster, Danny Trejo
Studio: Anchor Bay
Release Date: December 17, 2013
Retail: $29.99
ASIN: B00FEHCQNI
Running Time: 99 minutes
Rating: R

Review:

Coming out to DVD & Blu-ray tomorrow, December 17, 2013 is the direct-to-video Force Of Execution directed by Keoni Waxman and stars Steven Seagal (Maximum Conviction, Machete), Ving Rhames (Pulp Fiction, Mission: Impossible movies), world champion martial arts superstar Bren Foster (Maximum Conviction) and Danny Trejo (Machete, Machete Kills).

Steven Seagal stars as Mr. Alexander, a mob kingpin who runs a criminal empire. He sends his best enforcer, Roman Hurst (played by Ben Foster) to eliminate a man inside a prison, but the hit goes terrible wrong. Mr. Alexander can be a noble boss, but when mistakes happen, someone must be accountable for them. For Hurst's "failure" at the prison, he is forced to pay the ultimate price - his best assets, his hands, are brutality injured.

Mr. Alexander isn't the only kingpin the city, as the cold-blooded gangster known as "The Iceman" (played by Ving Rhames) and the Mexican cartel wants control of the city, no matter what the costs.

December 15, 2013

Book review: Mozart's Last Aria



Mozart Last Aria
By
Matt Rees
Publisher: Harper Perennial
Pub. Date: 2011
ISBN: 978-0262015860
Pages:  303
Genre:
Historical thriller
Source:
Bought a book sales
Goodreads
Reading Challenge
Buy Link

Review:
I love historical fiction, mysteries, and classical music, so I really had to try this one. Reviews have been harsh towards it, but I have to say, I really enjoyed it.  The book opens with Mozart’s youngest son opening a journal left by his aunt, Maria Anna, “Nannerl”, Mozart’s sister. I’m not sure this extra setting was necessary, but after this prologue, I was caught.
One day, Nannerl receives a letter than her brother died. But it appears that before dying, he knew he had been poisoned. Nannerl decides to go to Vienna to try to figure out what really happened and who did it.
I really enjoyed how suddenly the plot widens and involves Mozart’s music and political involvement, as well as European politics and history. The historical novel soon turns into mystery and crime novel. For those who know well Mozart’s work, this will be no big news, so I guess it is no spoiler to tell you that Mozart was a freemason.
Now, there’s freemason and freemason. 

Review - Unforeseeable by Nancy Mehl

Unforeseeable
Road to Kingdom - Book Three
By Nancy Mehl
Publisher: Bethany House
Pub. Date: September 1, 2013
ISBN: 978-0764209291
Pages: 336

Review:

Late one night in the summer of 2012, I couldn't sleep, so I grabbed a book from my TBR pile, which happened to be Inescapable by Nancy Mehl. I was instantly hooked into the intriguing plot, reading nearly 3/4 of the novel before finally falling asleep. Naturally, I was more than excited when I saw Unforeseeable was up for review and I eagerly signed up to review it. Honestly, I thought this was the second book in the Road to Kingdom series, but it is actually the third book. I ended up buying the real second installment, Unbreakable, as I wanted to read it before jumping into the third and final novel.

Set in Kingdom, Kansas, Callie Hoffman is starting to settle down in the small community. She is planning on wedding Levi Housler, who happens to the new pastor of the Kingdom Mennonite Church. She spends her days working at the town cafe side-by-side with her future sister-in-law, Lizzie Housler.

December 13, 2013

Sweetwater DVD Giveaway



Coming to Blu-ray and DVD on December 31, 2013 is the western tale "Sweetwater" starring Emmy and Golden Globe nominee January Jones (TV’s Mad Men), Academy Award nominee and Golden Globe winner Ed Harris (Pollock, A History of Violence) and Jason Isaacs (Harry Potter series). The film is directed by Logan Miller (Touching Home).

In the late 1800’s, a beautiful former prostitute (January Jones) is trying to build an honest life with her husband in the rugged plains of New Mexico. When she catches the eye of a sadistic and powerful religious leader (Jason Isaacs), her life is violently turned upside down. She embarks on a bloody course of vengeance with the assistance of a renegade sheriff (Ed Harris) who has violent tendencies of his own.

Giveaway Details:

Book Blogger Hop: December 13th - 19th

Book Blogger Hop

Welcome to the new Book Blogger Hop!

If you want schedule next week's post, click here to find the next prompt question. To submit a question, fill out this form.

What to do:

1. Post on your blog answering this question:

 

Holiday Edition: 
What books do you want for Christmas?

2. Enter the link to your post in the linky list below (enter your Blog Name and the direct link to your post answering this week’s question. Failure to do so will result in removal of your link).


3. Visit other blogs in the list and comment on their posts. Try to spend some time on the blogs reading other posts and possible become a new follower.  The purpose of the hop is to give bloggers a chance to follow other blogs, learn about new books, befriend other bloggers, and receive new followers to your own blog.
  

My Answer:

After Dead by Charlaine Harris
Cross My Heart by James Patterson
 Confessions: The Private School Murders by James Patterson

Linky List:

Holiday Gift Guide 2013: Witches of East End Books 1-3



Witches of East End
By Melissa de la Cruz
Publisher: Hyperion
Pub. Date: June 21, 2011
ISBN: B005UVQFMQ
Pages: 288

Serpent's Kiss
By Melissa de la Cruz
Publisher: Hyperion
Pub. Date: June 12, 2012
ISBN: 978-1401323967
Pages: 336

Winds of Salem
By Melissa de la Cruz
Publisher: Hyperion
Pub. Date: August 13, 2013
ISBN: 978-1401324704
Pages: 320

Purchase Links:
Witches Of East End - Hardback, Paperback, Kindle
Serpent's Kiss - Hardback, Paperback, Kindle
Winds of Salem - Hardback, Paperback, Kindle

Billy's Review:
December 12, 2013

The Perfect Music Album Gift

There is less than two weeks to Christmas, meaning if you don't have your gift shopping finished, you should probably kick yourself into high gear. It’s not easy searching for the perfect gift for a family member or friend, resulting in many people buying an impersonal gift card.

Almost everyone has a CD player in their vehicle or owns some kind of CD player in their home. Giving a music CD can be the perfect gift, but it’s also difficult to buy an album that your family or friends don't already own.

I recommend the New Arrivals Vol. 5: Artists For Hurricane Sandy Relief CD from MPRESS Records, featuring twenty songs by twenty different artists, which 100% of their profits are going to charity.

The artists and songs featured on the CD are:

Holiday Gift Guide 2013: Inferno by Dan Brown




Inferno
By Dan Brown
Publisher: Doubleday
Pub. Date: May 14, 2013
ISBN: 978-0385537858
Pages: 480

Purchase Links:
Amazon (Hardback)


Book Description:

In the heart of Italy, Harvard professor of symbology, Robert Langdon, is drawn into a harrowing world centered on one of history’s most enduring and mysterious literary masterpieces . . . Dante’s Inferno.

Against this backdrop, Langdon battles a chilling adversary and grapples with an ingenious riddle that pulls him into a landscape of classic art, secret passageways, and futuristic science. Drawing from Dante’s dark epic poem, Langdon races to find answers and decide whom to trust . . . before the world is irrevocably altered.

Billy's Review:
December 11, 2013

The Family Blu-ray Giveaway!

A Quick Guide to French (for the Italian American Gangster



What happens when a family of Italian American mobsters get relocated to Northern France as a part of a radically ambitious witness protection program? This common conundrum is something that prolific French filmmaker, Luc Besson, tackles head on in his latest feature, The Family, which is available on Blu-ray and DVD on Dec. 17. For fear of untangling too many plot spoilers, we are going to celebrate the release of this feature by coming up with an essential guide to the language of romance. For all you readers out there who are finding the mafia life too much and want to swap your semi-automatic pistol for a freshly made brie and jam baguette, please read on….

Pleasantries



Many people consider the French to be a tad rude. But upon moving to France, it will be you who will be receiving the cold shoulder if you don’t introduce standard politeness strategies into your broken French vocabulary. Here are a few key phrases you will need to charm and woo your new countrymen:

  1. On peut se tutoyer? – Unlike in English, the French have different ways of saying the word ‘you’. One you, ‘tu, is used when you know someone well and is relatively informal. The other, ‘vous’, is much more formal and is usually used when speaking to people who don’t know very well. Simply put, ‘On peut se tutoyer?’ means ‘can I refer to you informally’. When you’ve made your first French friend, this might be a useful phrase to use to cement your first relationship!
  2. Je Vous prèsente…/ Je te prèsente… – Loaded with your new identity and your status as a US mobster a distant memory, there will come a point where you are going to have to introduce your family by their new names. It certainly won’t be easy remembering your own new name, let alone all of your family members! Add to the equation that you are going to have to do this in fluent French and you have a potential disaster on your hands! Don’t panic. If you use this phrase (which literally means- I present to you) before naming each of your loved ones, you will be successfully conning the locals in no time.
  3. Je vous remercie de tout cœur- I thank you from the bottom of my heart. If you really want to embrace politeness with the upmost romanticism, this is a great phrase to use (even if it is just a false pretence).

Have A Tequila Christmas

Christmas is only two weeks away, so there is only a little bit of time to finish your gift shopping, but you might be having a problems coming up with the perfect gifts for your friends. Blu-rays, CDs, books, candy or gift cards may work, but those gifts seem a little too commercial and more than likely they have already received the exact same present from a family member or another friend.

Why not get your friends a gift that is more personal and can be shared with others?

A bottle of tequila can be the perfect gift not just for Christmas, but for New Year's Eve as well. There are many different brands in the stores, so make sure you know the difference between the bad tequila and the good tequila. Pick a name brand you can trust, like is Dobel, the first multi-aged clear tequila ever distilled.

Dobel is named after tequila maestro Domingo Beckmann Legoretta. Every bottle is a mixture of Reposado, Añejo and Extra-Añejo tequila. It is made from 100% blue agave which is homegrown on the Dobel estate. The tequila is double-distilled and is left to mature in Hungarian EUROPEAN White Oak barrels, giving the Maestro Dobel Tequila its smooth taste that can't be matched by any other brand. Ever bottle's label is signed by both Señor Dobel and the Master Blender.

Featured Post!

The Deuce: The Complete First Season Digital HD Giveaway!

Now available on Digital HD from HBO Home Entertainment is the 1970s drama The Deuce: The Complete First Season , featuring all 8 episo...

Giveaways!

Christmas 2017

Christmas 2017
Nov. 24th - Dec. 16th

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2017 Reading Challenge



Billy has
read 5 books toward
his goal of
200 books.


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