Tuesday, 31 March 2015

Spring Reads: You Can't Sit With Us


You Can't Sit Wth Us
Mean Girl Makeover Series
by Nancy Rue
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Pub. Date: December 9, 2014
ISBN: 978-1400323715
Pages: 224
Buy Link: Amazon

Review:

Bullying is definitely an epidemic in our schools around the country. During my JH and HS years during the 90s, I was bullied on a daily basis. I can't imagine what kids go through with the added use of social media.

I don't keep track of all the new middle grade books are being released, so I missed out reading the first entry in the Mean Girl Makeover series from author Nancy Rue. However, I did receive a review copy of the second book, titled You Can't Sit With Us, a few months ago. My first intent was to read this book as soon I received it, but life happened and I just got around to it yesterday.

The book centers on a sixth grader, Ginger Hollingberry, whom just started school at Gold Country Middle School. Due to her hand-me-down clothes and greasy red hair, she is targeted by the school bullies, including Kylie Steppe; despite the fact the GCMS student body all, except for Kylie, signed an anti-bullying pledge.

Professional Teeth Whitening Kit Review



Everybody wants to have a Hollywood smile, but not everyone can afford or has the time to visit the dentist. There are many so-called whitening kits and strips on the market that are affordable, but finding one that actually works can be a bit of a challenge.

Over the last six months, I have tried several different kits and the latest was the Professional Teeth Whitening Kit from Green-Heart. This kit includes a tray, a storage container, 2 whitening gel syringes, a syringe tip and a LED Light.

Unlike other kits that I have tried, the mouth tray is only one piece, which is a softer, gel-like tray. You don't need an applicator for the product either. It's pretty easy to use. Just push out a small bead of the whitening gel within the tray, slip the tray over your teeth and leave it in your mouth for 15 to 20 minutes. You can also place the LED Light in front of the tray to help the whitening activate faster. It's recommended to wear the tray for 15 minutes twice a day for 4 weeks.

Get the Perfect Supplies For Easter!


Easter Day is less than a week away and I'm sure many people will be busy this week picking up last minute things for the Easter dinner with your family or for the Easter Parties with your friends. While I'm sure chocolate bunnies and food coloring for the Easter eggs are at the top of your shopping list, you shouldn't forget to buy the essentials for any party - paper plates, napkins and plastic cutlery!

Last week, I was sent the Easter Patchwork Kit to review from Birthday In A Box. My family's Easter gathering is relatively small, so this 8 serving kit is perfect. It features 10 Patchwork Cake Plates, 24 Assorted Plastic Cutlery (8 forks, 8 knives, 8 spoons), 20 Patchwork Luncheon Napkins, 54 in. x 85 in. Patchwork Plastic Tablecover, 12 Birthday Candles and 2 - 81 ft. x 1.75 in Streamer (pink & yellow).


Monday, 30 March 2015

Harlock: Space Pirate DVD Review & Giveaway



Harlock: Space Pirate
Director: Shinji Aramaki
Voice Cast: Shun Oguri, Haruma Miura, Yu Aoi
Studio: Ketchup Entertainment
Release Date: March 31, 2015
Retail: $20.99
ASIN: B00RDEISAA
Running Time: 111 minutes
Rating: Not Rated
Buy Link: Amazon

Review:

Arriving on DVD tomorrow from Ketchup Entertainment for the first time in United States is the 2003 Japanese 3D CG anime Harlock: Space Pirate. Directed by Shinji Aramaki (Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood, Halo Legends, Appleseed Saga: Ex Machina), the film features the voices of Shun Oguri, Haruma Miura and Yo Aoi. The movie can be played with the original Japanese voices, an English subtitles version or with English dubbed voices. There are no special features or bonus extras on the disc.

Based on the manga series Space Pirate Captain Harlock by Leiji Matsumoto, the film centers on a young soldier, Yama, of the Gaia Coalition, whom is ordered to volunteer as a new member of Captain Harlock's renegade crew aboard the pirate spaceship Arcadia. Once he is trusted by them, he is to take out the Captain.


While his orders seem to be simple at first, Yama quickly realizes that Captain Harlock might not be the bad guy that the Gaia Coalition claims, especially after the Captain saves his life. He quickly learns that the startling truth of what really happened to Earth and he goes on a quest with the crew of the Arcadia to seek out justice.


Sunday, 29 March 2015

FSL Xylem Review


While I'm sure by now that all my blog readers know that I'm a big book worm, but some of you may not know that I'm also a big music lover. For me, music is way to forget all my problems and just relax. I went through countless number of AA batteries listening to my Walkman and later a portable CD player throughout my teen years in the 90s. And of course I went through many different headphones.

Now as an adult, I continue to listen to to music daily. Even as I'm writing this, I'm listening to a Halestorm album on my laptop. While I no longer have a Walkman, I do listen to music on a MP3 player, my cell phone and on my stereo.


A weeks ago, I was sent a nifty pair of FSL Xylem headphones to review. These earbuds have a cool wooden look to them. It has a microphone and a small one-button remote, which gives you full control over your music tracks and your phone calls with just one click. It features a 3.5mm socket, so it's compatible with most smartphones, tablets, iPods, MP3 players and laptops, as well as a small storage bag.


Friday, 27 March 2015

Book Blogger Hop: March 27th - April 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:

  This week's question is submitted by Elizabeth!

Which books have you read in the past month that still have you thinking back to the storyline and the characters?

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: 

 A Heart's Disguise by Colleen Coble as it is a short novella mini-series. Book One ended in a cliffhanger, so I'm eagerly looking forward to reading the second installment. 

Linky List:

Review - The Berenstain Bears' Country Cookbook


The Berenstain Bears' Country Cookbook
by Mike Berenstain
Publisher: ZonderKidz
Pub. Date: February 10, 2015
ISBN: 978-0310747208
Pages: 96
Buy Link: Amazon

Review:

I'm sure most adults recall reading at least one Berenstain Bear book during their lifetime. While many children's literature characters come and go, The Berenstain Bears has been entertaining young readers since 1962. Sadly, the original authors, Stan & Jan Berenstain, have both passed away, but their son, Mike, has taken over the franchise by writing and illustrating new installments.

Available now in bookstores is The Berenstain Bear' Country Cookbook, which features 40 cub-friendly cooking with an adult. The hardcover book is divided into four sections - Breakfast, Lunch, Main Dishes and Desserts & Snacks. Before each section is a short introduction from The Berenstain Bears.

Breakfast recipes includes: Bear-ry Delicious Scones, Bunny Biscuits, Bear-y God Oatmeal, Crepes with Berries, Tasty Toboggans, Fruit Salad, Monkey Bread, Sausage & Tater Tot Wraps, Scotch Eggs and Toast With Eggs & Cheese.

Lunch recipes includes: Banana & Peanut Butter Sandwiches, Creamy Chicken Noodle Soup, Crustless Tuna Sandwiches, Lettuce Wraps, Mini Pizzas, Spinach Salads, Shepherd's Pie, Sub Sandwich, Tomato & Bacon Quiche and Turkey Shaped Sandwiches.

Tuesday, 24 March 2015

Mind Games: 4 Ways Poker Can Make You Sharper, Better Person

In the computer-dominated, mostly automated world we live in each one of us is granted an insane amount of free time; so much of it that our ancestors would hardly be able to conceive of. In this scenario many people are faced with the difficult question of what they should spend their spare time on and if there is something out there, we can call it a hobby or a leisurely activity, that will not only entertain you, but keep you brain as sharp as a slashermovie weapon.

Well, we have a suggestion that may sound unusual at first glance, but those who are more familiar with it would probably give it two thumbs up; we are referring to the game of poker. Are you still us? Good. The best part is that you don't even need to have a deck of playing cards or a set of chips to play with, because in the aforementioned computer-dominated world, playing poker is as easy as reaching for your smartphone, tablet or PC to download an app or just log into your favorite website.
A very good hand of poker


Poker is a game where there’s little room for luck despite what the unitiated tend to infer. Poker is all about the strategy and, while you can indeed try to brute-force it, the most likely outcome of the steamroll strategy is failure. Therefore, your best bet (pun intended) is to learn the ins and outs of the game so that you’ll be able to handle them like second nature and use them to your advantage.

If you have no idea where to start, online poker tutorials offer exactly what you need to get an initial feel for the game. It is highly recommended to begin with a list of the most common poker terms and their meaning. The access to the poker vocabulary will open many doors and put you in the best shape to move on to the next step and learn the much-dreaded poker rules, from which it’ll be progressively clearer that poker is a thinking game as much as chess is.


The thinking nature of poker is proven by the fact that, before you even realize it, the skills developed along the way of the learning process will all of a sudden click. At that point, whether you’re sitting at a high-stakes table in the Monte Carlo or playing a game at your local poker room, you’ll be delighted to reap some great benefits connected with game along with the natural enjoyment that

DVD Review: Digging Up The Marrow


Digging Up The Marrow
Director: Adam Green
Starring: Adam Green, Ray Wise
Studio: Image Entertainment
Release Date: March 24, 2015
Retail: $27.97
ASIN: B00QHCKHQW
Running Time: 88 minutes
Rating: Not Rated
Buy Link: Amazon

Review:

Arriving on DVD & Blu-ray today from Image Entertainment is the found-footage horror flick Digging Up The Marrow. The film stars Adam Green (whom also wrote, produced and directed the movie) and Ray Wise (Twin Peaks, Jeepers Creepers 2). Special Features includes: Extended & Deleted Scenes; Monsters of the Marrow; Audio Commentary with Writer/Director Adam Green, Artist Alex Pardee, Cinematographer Will Barratt and Actor Ray Wise; And More!

In this faux documentary, Adam Green plays a fictional-version of himself as he attempts to make documentary about film monsters by interviewing horror fans, actors and directors. After receiving a fan letter from William Dekker (played by Ray Wise), a man who claims to have seen real monsters, Adam contacts him for an interview.

Along with his cameraman, Adam films several interviews with William, whom claims to have found the Marrow, a hole in the ground where monsters live. The monsters are deformed humanoids that only come out a night. While William has never been able to capture one of the creatures on film, he has had illustrations made that resemble each one he has seen.

Monday, 23 March 2015

Blu-ray Review: Into The Woods



Into The Woods
Director: Rob Marshall
Starring: Meryl Streep, Emily Blunt, James Borden, Anna Kendrick, Chris Pine, Johnny Depp
Studio: Walt Disney Home Entertainment
Release Date: March 24, 2015
Retail: $39.99
ASIN: B00Q7WBFTA
Running Time: 125 minutes
Rating: PG
Buy Link: Amazon

Review:

Arriving on Blu-ray and Digital HD this week is the critically-acclaimed all-star musical Into The Woods. Directed by Rob Marshall, the film stars Meryl Streep, Emily Blunt, James Borden, Anna Kendrick, Chris Pine and Johnny Depp.

Bonus Features include: Never-Before-Seen Sodeheim Orginial: "She'll Be Back" - Meryl Streep preforms a song composed especially for the flim with an introduction by director Rob Marshall; The Cast As Good As Gold - The film's stars share the experience of taking this epic musical journey; Deeper Into The Woods - Four pieces on the making of the film, including "The Magic Of The Woods"; Filmmaker Commentary; Music & Lyrics and more!

Based on the popular Tony Award-winning Broadway Musical by Stephen Sondheim, Into The Woods puts a magical spin on classic fairy tales of Cinderella, Jack and the Beanstalk, Little Red Riding Hood and Rapunzel. A Baker (played by James Corden) and his Wife (played by Emily Blunt) dream of having a child of their own, but thanks to a nasty curse that was placed upon the Baker's family, they're destined to be childless that is until the Witch (played by Meryl Streep) gives them a chance for a happliy ever after. They're to venture into the forest to collect these items for the Witch: a cow as white as milk, a cape as red as blood, hair as yellow as corn and a slipper as pure as gold.

What seems like a simple task, turns into a nightmare when Red Riding Hood (played by Lilla Crawford) heads into the forest to visit her Grandmother (played by Annette Crosbie) and encounters the Big Bad Wolf (played by Johnny Depp). Of course Red Riding Hood comes across the Baker and his Wife.

Cozyna Ceramic Burr Coffee Grinder Review



Yeah, it's probably not a big surprise to anyone that follows this blog to find me reviewing a coffee related product as I'm a big coffee lover! I've tired many different coffee brands and I prefer beans over ground as I believe the beans have a fresher taste. I started out using just a Ninja chopper to grind the beans that is until I purchased an electric coffee grinder at a thrift store. It worked great for about a year and then it quit on me. Of course, I bought a new electric coffee grinder and it works great, but you can't grind very many beans at one time.

A few weeks ago, I was sent the Cozyna Ceramic Burr Coffee Grinder to review and as you can imagined, I was excited about trying a hand-held coffee grinder.

The Cozyna Ceramic Burr Coffee Grinder is made from stainless steel and features a Ceramic Conical Burr, so it will never rust. It will give you a wide range of grinding. You can grind the beans to the size that'll fit to whatever coffee brewer (espresso, French press, coffee maker, etc.) you are using.


Monday Morning Madness #54: Spring Cleaning & Reading Outlander


I hope everyone had a good weekend. Here in the Missouri, the weather was pretty nice. The grass is now green once again, so if it doesn't unexpectedly snow again, I'll probably be mowing the yard sometime in April. Despite the warm weather, I'm going to wait a few weeks before I do any planting in the vegetable garden; just in case the temperatures does drop again.


If you follow my blog regularly, then you would know that I have anxiety issues. Well, I had to fight those issues to create my first video review last week for the ABX DVD. While I had no problems filming myself attempting to the do the workout for a highlight reel, it took me forever to record the actual review for it.


I've already started some spring cleaning this month by boxing up some Christian books that I no longer wanted to keep. My intention was to drop them off at Salvation Army, but I ended up giving them to an elderly lady who was thrilled to have the books. I already have another box full of books for her. I have two other boxes filled with non-Christian books that I plan on donating to Salvation Army, but it will have to wait until I finish going through all my books, which includes two closets.


Speaking of books, I'm taking a slight break from reviewing books, so I can do some personal reading. I squeezed in some time Saturday afternoon to read the first two chapters in Outlander by Diana Gabaldon. I hope to finish reading the novel, which is around 850 pages, before the television series returns on April 4th!

Saturday, 21 March 2015

Stepping Back in Time with Outlander


An enthralling literary tale brought to life as a television drama, Outlander, based on the series of the same name by Diana Gabaldon, tells the story of an accidental time-traveler, World War II nurse Mrs. Claire Beauchamp Randall, Who finds herself hurled into the midst of an 18th century civil war in the Scottish Highlands. Socially branded as a “Sassenach,” or “Outlander” by the Scotts upon arrival, Outlander tells the story of how Claire earns her acceptance into Jacobite society; first as a healer and then as the wife of Highland warrior Jamie Fraser.

Now, after a very extended break between part one and part two of the first season, the series is set to return to Starz on April 4th. However, given the months that have passed since it was last on the air, we all need a refresher. Sparing yourself from binge watching the first half of the season (although that is an option for those with plenty of spare time and Starz Play or DTV) here’s what you’re going to need to know to be able to jump right back in on April 4th. Warning: Spoiler Alert!

Simultaneously depicting two timelines, the first eight episodes of Outlander not only reveal the progression of Claire’s life of romance and adventure with Jamie in 1743, but also tell the story of a grieving Frank Randall, Claire’s husband, who continues to look for his missing wife in 1945. While the creator, Ronald D. Moore, says that “there’s a lot of things we did in the first 30 to 40 minutes [of the pilot] that aren’t in the book or are compilations of things that happened in the book,” critics have concluded that the screen adaptation has only altered the plotline ever so slightly.


Bustle.com writer Jefferson Grubbs says that although the series’ remains faithful to the novel, the few places where the television drama departs add depth to the story. Grubbs points to the changes in the pilot that reveal Claire’s experiences as a WWII nurse; flashbacks to Frank and Claire’s marriage; depictions of Frank’s on-going grief despite the novel’s sole focus on events from Claire’s perspective, and the invented tussle between Claire and Father Bain over the healing of an injured boy. Grubbs argues that all of these changes, although minor, add depth to the story’s characters.

After introducing us first to Claire’s husband Frank Randall and then to the world of Jamie Fraser in the Scottish Highlands, intriguing events occur in the first eight episodes. From Claire’s first encounter with “Black Jack Randall” – her 20th century husband’s colder, crueler ancestor – she finds herself directly in harm’s way until she is brought under the wings of the MacKenzie Clan. The clan, involved in the ever growing Jacobite risings and suspicious of her origins, the Mackenzie men, specifically Dougal and Colum, keep Claire under a watchful eye but esteem her value as a healer – something she first demonstrated when aiding an injured Jamie.

Elite Man Multivitamins Review


While some studies suggest that multivitamins won't help boost a person's overall health, I happened to have a completely different opinion. Now I'm not a doctor, but I do believe that a multivitamin is an easy way to make sure you're getting the necessary daily vitamins and nutrients. If you are lifting weight, exercising or dieting regularly, then a multivitamin is a surefire way to boost your energy levels.

I've been taking a daily multivitamin for a few years now. Occasionally, I do switch brands as I like to try out new things. A few weeks ago, I was sent a bottle of Elite Man Multivitamins (90 tablets) to review. Just like other brands, the dietary supplement is meant to help you boost energy, increase stamina, improve your focus and promote proper digestion.

The ingredients include: Vitamin A, Vitmain C, Vitamin D, Vitamin E, Thiamine (Vitamin B1), Riboflavin (Vitmain B2), Niacin, Vitmain B6, Folic Acid, Biotin, Pantothenic Acid, Calcium, Iodine, Zinc, Selenium, Copper, Maganese, Chromium, Molydenum, Chloride, Potassiu, Choline, Citrus Bioflavonid Peel Powder Complex, RNA, Inositol, PABA, Hesperidin Complex, Elite Green and Whole Foods Blend (Oat Straw Herb Extract, Oat Herb Powder, Wheat Grass Powder, Spirulina Algae Extract, Apple Pectin Powder, Chlorella Cracked, Cell Wall Powder, Barley Grass Powder, Sodium Copper Chlorophyllin), Elite Omega Oils Blend (Flax Seed Powder, Sunflower Oil Poweder, Borage Oil Powder), Elite Energy and Focus Blend (Echinacea Purpurea Herb Powder, Ginger Root Powder, Milk Thistle Seed Poweder, Cayenne Pepper Powder, Asian Ginseng Root Extract, Ginkgo Leaf Extract, Goldenseal Root Powder), Elite Liver Cleanse Blend (Garlic Blub Powder, Wheat Grass Powder, Beet Root Powder, Carrot Root Powder, Parsley Leaf Powder, Asparagus Root Powder, Broccoli Plant Powder, Cabbage Leaf Powder, Brussels Sprout Powder, Cauliflower Blub Powder, Collards Leaf Powder), Elite Detox Blend (Grapefruit Seed Extract, Apple Fruit Powder, Papaya Fruit Powder, Peach Fruit Powder, Starwberry Fruit Powder, Cabbage Plam Fruit Powder, Cranberry Fruit Poweder, Blueberry Fruit Powder, Biberry Fruit Powder, Pomegranate Fruit Extract, Pineapple Fruit Powder, Orange Fruit Powder, Noril Fruit Extract), Elite Immunity Blend (Shiitake Mushroom Extract, Maitake Mushroom Powder, Reishi Mushroom Extract), Elite Digestive Enzyme Blend (Betaine HCI, Bromelain, Papain, Amylase, Lipase, Cellulase, Protease), Elite Colon Probiotic Blend (Bifidobacterium Bifidum, Lactobacillus Bulgaricus, Lactobacillus Acidophillus) Rutin, Quercetin, L-Glutathione, DNA, Boron and Lutein.

Friday, 20 March 2015

Book Blogger Hop: March 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:

  This week's question is submitted by Elizabeth!

Do you read more on a rainy day or on a gorgeous day so you can be outside?

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: 

 It doesn't matter what the weather is outside as I read every single day!

Linky List:

Spring Reads: Don't Stay Up Late: A Fear Street Novel


Don't Stay Up Late
A Fear Street Novel
by R.L. Stine
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
Pub. Date: April 7, 2015
ISBN: 9781250051622
Pages: 304
Buy Link: Amazon

Review:
 
It's almost hard to imagine that the Fear Street series by R.L. Stine first started in 1989! I was an eight-year-old back then and I didn't start reading the series until several years later. I believe the first book that I read in the series was Fear Street Cheerleaders: The First Evil.

The Fear Street series was extremely successful with teens throughout the 90s', but the fad disappeared quickly that is until R.L. Stine brought the series back last year with Party Games. The second novel in the new series is arriving in bookstores on April 7th and is titled Don't Stay Up Late! As you can see by the cover, the book has an 80s' horror vibe to it.

Don't Stay Up Late centers on Lisa Brooks, a teen that almost loses everything in one single car crash. After mending her wounds, she returns to Shadyside High and reunites with her boyfriend Nate and her friends Saralynn and Isaac. While the guys plan on helping Saralynn make a horror movie for her film project for school, Lisa searches for an after-school job to help her mother pay the bills.

Thanks to her shrink, Dr. Shein, Lisa gets a job babysitting Brenda Hart's eight-year-old son, Harry. There's only one rule to follow, Harry is not allowed to stay up late. Of course, Lisa thinks absolutely nothing about this rule, that is until she sees a strange green creature in the Hart's house. Of course everyone, including her shrink thinks she's crazy, but when a few murders occur, Lisa is convinced that there's a creature on the loose on Fear Street.

Air Bar Exercises (ABX) Review


If you're a regular follower on my blog, then you know I've been trying to lose weight this year, which hasn't been easy thing for me as I have strained my lower-back and my knees. Plus, I had to slow down from exercising for last month because I had a nasty cold/flu virus.

After making a full recovery from my ailments, I decided to jump back into exercising. For the past two weeks, I have been trying out the new workout program called Air Bar Exercises (ABX), which created by Erin Buchanan. The program requires a 40" dowel rod, which can be purchased at almost any hardware store.

ABX was created for both men and women at any fitness level. The program focus on core strengthening, a healthy postural alignment, muscular endurance, flexibility and cardiovascular training. The DVD runs for about 60 minutes, but you can get a great workout by doing only 30 minutes. The creator Erin Buchanan challenges everyone to do the workout for at least 30 minutes for 30 days.

Movie Review - Confessions Of A Prodigal Son



Most faith-based films typically get ignored by Hollywood, where they are produced by smaller production companies and either premiere as a television movie or direct-to-video. However, there has been a new interest in films with biblical themes in recent years, which such big-budget titles as Noah and Exodus: Gods and Kings. Even a few low-budget films (God's Not Dead, Heaven Is for Real, Fireproof) made an impact at the box-office.

Arriving on DVD on Tuesday March 24, 2014 from Cinedigm is the Christian film Confessions Of A Prodigal Son (Retail: $14.93; ASIN: B00R8ILF06). Directed by Allan Spiers, the film stars Kevin Sorbo, Nathan Clarkson (whom also wrote the screenplay) and Rachel Lee.

The low-budget movie didn't exactly go the traditional filming route as it was funded on Kickstarter in the spring of 2013, raising nearly $14,000 over the course of 58 days.

Confessions Of QA Prodigal Son centers on a young man named Sean Matthews (played by Nathan Clarkson), whom is struggling to find who he is suppose to be. His father (played by Kevin Sorbo) is a pastor, so he grew up with religion all around him, but somewhere he has become lost. After begging his parents to give him his college tuition early, in which they only give him half of the money, he leaves his small town and heads for the city to start a new beginning, but this life isn't exactly what he wanted it to be.

For two years, he ignored his parents phone calls as he would rather party hard with his friend Cameron (played by Azel James). As his life spirals out of control, so do his college grades. If doesn't keep get his grades up, his parents won't give him the second half of the tuition. Eventually, he starts questioning the way he has been living after he meets a lovely dancer Ali (played by Rachel Lee), whom helps him finally find his way home.

Wednesday, 18 March 2015

Schick Hydro® 5 Disposables Review



Shaving can be a nuisance for many men, myself included. I have sensitive skin and I always breakout after shaving. As soon I was out of high school, I just grew a beard as it was much easier to maintain. Over fifteen years later, I decided to shave off my bear as part of the "A New Me In 2015" theme I have going on this blog and in my life.

While I do have a new electric razor, I still have to use a few disposable razors if I go without shaving for a few days. Razors can be a bit pricey anymore, so I typically buy the cheapest off brand I can find.

A few weeks ago I was sent a Schick Hydro® 5 Disposables (3-Pack) to review, which I have seen in stores for around $10! The razor has five blades and it is extremely flexible, so it can curve around your face and neck, giving a closer shave.

Pros: Like I already mentioned, it has five blades and it shaves pretty close to the skin;  longer lasting than other disposable razors, so you it will last for several shaves.

Quick Stitch Sewing Kit Review



You don't have to be a seamstress or a quilter to be interested in owning a sewing kit as you never know when you need a needle and thread to reattach a button to a shirt or jacket.

I received the Quick Stitch Sewing Kit a few days ago, which features a measuring tape, a thimble, 12 spools of thread (white, black, light pink, pink, tan, blue, yellow, red, green, dark blue, light blue, brown), a seam ripper, a safety pin, stainless steel scissors, three buttons, two quilting pins, two thread cutters, 16 needles in a round dispenser and a black zipper storage bag.

I'm sure many people who sew already own everything in the kit, but keeping one of these in your car or in your suitcase/bag can be a lifesaver with traveling. It also can be a great little starter kit for a new quilter or seamstress.

While I'm neither a seamstress or quilter, I do know how to cross stitch, so I was interested in the kit for the seam ripper, the needles and the scissors. I already own a seam ripper, but having an extra one can come in handy as they ends of them tend to break easily.

Tuesday, 17 March 2015

Blu-ray Review: Penguins of Madagascar




Penguins of Madagascar
Director: Eric Darnell & Simon J. Smith
Voice Cast: Tom McGrath, Chris Miller, Christopher Knights, Conrad Vernon, Benedict Cumberbatch, Ken Jeong, Annet Mahendru, Peter Stormare, John Malkovich
Studio: 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment
Release Date: March 17, 2015
Retail: $36.99
ASIN: B00SK573RU
Running Time: 92 minutes
Rating: PG
Buy Link: Amazon

Review:

Arriving on Blu-ray Combo Pack, Blu-ray, Blu-ray 3D, DVD and Digital HD today is the exciting 3D computer-animated action-comedy Penguins of Madagascar. Directed by Eric Darnell & Simon J. Smith, the film features the talented voice cast of Tom McGrath, Chris Miller, Christopher Knights, Conrad Vernon, Benedict Cumberbatch, Ken Jeong, Annet Mahendru, Peter Stormare and John Malkovich. The Blu-ray is loaded with Special Features, such as Top-Secret Guide to Becoming an Elite Agent, "He Is Dave" Music Video, Flipper Slap Shake Waddie and Roll, "Celebrate" Music Video by Pitbull, Do the Penguin Shake with tWitch, Deleted Scenes, Madagascar Mash-Up, Global Flight Plan, Cheezy Dibbles Ad,World of DreamWorks Animation and a Gallery. The Blu-ray Combo Pack also comes with 2 Poppin' Penguins!

After a brief flashback showing how Skipper (voiced by Tom McGarth), Kowalski (voiced by Chris Miller), and Rico (voiced by Conrad Vernon) rescued Private (voiced by Christopher Knights) just before he cracked out of his shell, the film picks up directly after the ending of Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted. To celebrate Private's birthday, the Penguins leave the circus and head to Fort Knox, as they want to steal enough money to buy Private the perfect birthday present - Cheesy Dibbles, which has been discontinued.

Out of nowhere, they are ambushed and taken to a submarine base in Venice, where they meet Dave (voiced by John Malkovich), an octopus who disguises himself as a human named Dr. Octavius Brine. Once upon a time, Dave was the main attraction at the Central Park Zoo that is until the penguins arrived, whom stole all his thunder. Now he plans on kidnapping all the penguins from the world and turning them all into hideous creatures. The Penguins almost become the first victims in Dave's madness that is until the North Wind saves them.

Review - NYPD Red 3 by James Patterson & Marshall Karp


NYPD Red 3
by James Patterson & Marshall Karp
Publisher: Little, Brown & Company
Pub. Date: March 16, 2015
ISBN: 978-0316406994
Pages: 416
Buy Links: Hardback, Kindle

Review:

It's definitely difficult to keep up with all the new James Patterson's books as there is practically a new title (sometimes two) being released every month. I came across Patterson's titles about twelve years ago when my late grandmother wanted me to read one of his books (I don't recall the title) as she had just became a fan of works. I started buying every new Patterson book, even the young adult titles, and gave each one to her. After my grandmother's death in December 2009, I continued buying each new release, but my heart just wasn't in the mood to read them. However, I recently started reading Patterson's books again, including his middle grade ones.

Arriving this week in bookstores is NYPD Red 3 by James Patterson & Marshall Karp, the exciting third entry in the police procedural series. Little, Brown & Company was nice enough to send me an advanced copy to review a few weeks ago.

NYPD Red is an elite task force that is assigned to protect the rich and famous. The third installment centers on Detective Zach Jordan and his partner Kylie MacDonald, whom just happens to be an ex-girlfriend he had back in police academy. While it has been an awkward beginning working with Kylie, Zach is trying his best to adjust to everything. His personal life has improved as he's now in a relationship with NYPD psychologist Cheryl Robinson, but his New Year getaway with her comes to a complete halt when a bizarre crime occurs.

The decapitated body of Peter Chevalier, the chauffeur for the billionaire businessman Hunter Alden Jr., is found in a limousine in a parking lot, but his head is nowhere to be found. Of course,  Zach & Kylie check into Peter's background and besides from a few parking violations, he had no criminal history. While the detectives don't have any leads, they do suspect that Hunter Alden Jr. is hiding something.

Monday, 16 March 2015

Advanced Green Tea Extract Review



Though green tea is native to China and India, it is used all over the world for its many benefits, such as a digestion aid, to control bleeding & to heal wounds, increase brain function, lowers cholesterol and assists with weight loss. It's usually available as a herbal tea or as a dietary supplement.

Many people actually prefer to drink a cup of green tea over a cup of coffee due to the fact that it is extremely high in natural antioxidants and polyphenols, which help boost your immune system and defend your body against diseases & free radicals.

I've been trying to add at least one serving of green tea into my system daily just to give me that extra antioxidants boost. Now I'm not always in the mood to drink green tea, so a dietary supplement like Advanced Green Tea Extract from Zenwise Labs comes in handy.

Each bottle has 120 vegetarian capsules and one serving (1 capsule) contains 725mg of Green Tea and 60mg Vitamin C. It's free of gluten, wheat, egg, milk, peanuts, shellfish and soy. Zenwise Labs always uses all natural ingredients and is NSF & GMP certified. All of their products are cruelty-free and are made in the USA.

Review - The Promise of Palm Grove


The Promise of Palm Grove
Amish Brides of Pinecraft, Book One
by Shelly Shepard Gray
Publisher: Avon Inspire
Pub. Date: January 27, 2015
ISBN: 978-0062337702
Pages: 228
Blog Tour: http://litfusegroup.com/author/sgray
Buy Link: http://bit.ly/1aQJuw2

Review:

I'm not going into details about my weekend, but I was very busy and almost forgot about reading The Promise of Palm Grove by Shelly Shepard Gray. I was due to post my review today, so I made a pot of coffee and read the entire book this morning.

The Promise of Palm Grove centers on a young Amish woman, Leona, who traveled from Ohio to Florida with her cousin Sara and her fiance’s sister Mattie. Ever since she got engaged to Edmund, her entire family & community has become obsessed with her upcoming wedding. She was thrilled when she was invited on a mini-vacation to the Amish community in Pinecraft, Florida as it is a way for her to relieve the stress of planning a wedding. Well, at least that is what she told Mattie and Sara, but the truth is that she need to take a break from Edmund, whom can be a little controlling at times.

The one thing Leona didn't plan on was meeting the handsome Zachary Kaufmann, a resident of Pinecraft, whom she takes an instant liking to. Zachary has the same affection for Leona and enjoys spending time with her.

Now Leona must decide whether or not to return to Ohio and marry Edmund or stay here in Pinecraft for a possible life with Zachary.

Sunday, 15 March 2015

DVD Review: Something Wicked


Something Wicked
Director: Darin Scott
Starring: Shantel Van Santen, John Robinson, Julian Morris, James Patrick Stuart and Britney Murphy
Studio: ARC Entertainment
Release Date: March 17, 2015
Retail: $15.98
ASIN: B00RDEITYU
Running Time: 91 minutes
Rating: R
Buy Link: Amazon

Review:

Arriving on DVD this week from ARC Entertainment is the long awaited release of Britney Murphy's (Clueless, 8 Mile) final movie, Something Wicked. Directed by Darin Scott, the film also stars Shantel Van Santen (Gang Related, Final Destination), John Robinson (Transformers, Lords of Dogtown), Julian Morris (The New Girl, Once Upon a Time) and James Patrick Stuart (Supernatural, Hot in Cleveland). There are no extras or special features on the DVD.

Filmed in 2009, Something Wicked centers on a young couple Christine (played by Shantel Van Santen) & her fiance James (played by John Robinson), whom are the only survivors of the car crash that killed her parents. Traumatized by the events, her sister, Susan (played by Britney Murphy) and her brother-in-law, Bill (played by James Patrick Stuart), try to help her pick up the pieces, but it isn't easy when somebody starts stalking Christine.

Everybody in Christine's life becomes a prime suspect, but as the bodies start piling up, she must dig deep into her past to unveil a deep forgotten secret.

DVD Review: Teeth & Blood


 
Teeth & Blood
Director: Al Franklin & Pamela J. Richardson
Starring: Glen Plummer, Michelle Van Der Water, Sean Christopher
Studio: RLJ Entertainment
Release Date: March 10, 2014
Retail: $27.97
ASIN: B00QHCKHJE
Running Time: 101 minutes
Rating: Not Rated
Buy Link: Amazon

Review:

Now available to own on DVD and Digital Video from RLJ Entertainment is the horror flick Teeth & Blood. Directed by Al Franklin & Pamela J. Richardson, the film stars Glen Plummer (Saw II), Danielle Vega (Hulu's "East Los High"), King Kedar (Preacher's Kid) and Michelle Van Der Water (VH1's "Single Ladies").  There are no special features or extras on the DVD.

Teeth & Blood takes place on the "Chapel Blood" movie set, a film that is being directed by Vincent Augustine (played by Glenn Plummer). It seems that some of the film's profits will be donated to the city for a new synthetic blood bank, the current blood donation supply for the city is awfully low.

After the film's star Elizabeth Thornrich (played by Steffinnie Phrommany) is murdered on the set, the body disappears from the corner's van. This gets the attention of detectives Mike Hung (played by Sean Hutchinson) and Sasha Colfax (played by Michelle Van Der Water), who are assigned to the case. They plan on solving the case before the press find out about the murder.

DVD Review: Halo: Nightfall


Halo: Nightfall
Director: Sergio Mimica-Gezzan
Starring: Mike Colter, Steven Waddington, Christina Chong
Studio: Microsoft Studios
Release Date: March 17, 2015
Retail: $20.99
ASIN: B00QSHWZA2
Running Time: 98 minutes
Rating: TV-14
Buy Link: Amazon

Review:

Arriving on DVD & Blu-ray this week from Microsoft Studios is Halo: Nightfall, a live-action Xbox Originals web-series that debuted last year. Directed by Sergio Mimica-Gezzan, it starred Christina Chong, Christian Contrearas, Luke Neal, Alexander Bhat, Jennie Gruner, Eric Kofi Abrefa and Alexis Rodney. Special Features include Over 35 Minutes Of Exclusive Behind The Scenes Footage and Unlock Over 17 Minutes Of Second Story Extras, Including Highly Confidential ONI Eyes Transmissions To Discover More About Halo:Nightfall.

Halo: Nightfall is based on the best-selling first-person shooter video game franchise. It centers on Jameson Locke (played by Mike Colter). He is an agent of the Office of Naval Intelligence (ONI), the Earth's most powerful military branch.

After investigating what sounds like terrorist chatter on the distant planet Sedra, Agent Locke and his team are caught in a biological attack. Only his team of skilled soldiers can stop the new threat, but they must first cross the rocky planet in search for a hellish artifact.

Review - Goosebumps Most Wanted: A Nightmare On Clown Street




It's almost hard to believe that first Goosebumps book was released back in 1992, way back when I was an eleven-year-old. After countless books, spinoffs, a television series and merchandise, the franchise is still as big as ever with this autumn's feature film release starring Jack Black. Until then fans can grab their hands on the newest book - Goosebumps Most Wanted: A Nightmare On Clown Street.

Blu-ray Review - The Lady from Shanghai


 

The Lady from Shanghai
Director: Orson Welles
Starring: Rita Hayworth, Orson Welles
Studio: Mill Creek Entertainment
Release Date: March 17, 2015
Retail: $14.98
ASIN: B00S1VR62K
Running Time: 88 minutes
Rating: Not Rated
Buy Link: Amazon

Review:

Arriving on Blu-ray for the first time from Mill Creek Entertainment this coming Tuesday is the 1947 classic film noir The Lady from Shanghai. Orson Welles wrote, directed and stars in the film. Rita Hayworth, Everett Salone, Glenn Anders and Ted De Corsia co-starred. There are no extras of special features on the single-disc.

Based on the 1938 novel, If I Die Before I Wake, by Sherwood king, The Lady from Shanghai centers on an Irish sailor Michael O'Hara (played by Orson Welles), who becomes fascinated with a married woman, Elsa "Rosalie" Bannister (played by Rita Hayworth). Elsa's husband, Arthur Bannister (played by Everett Sloane), is a disabled criminal defense attorney. After meeting the blonde bombshell, he agrees to work on her husband’s yacht as a seaman.

While on the boat, Michael is approached by Bannister's partner, George Grisby (played by Glenn Anders), whom offers Michael $5,000 to murder him! George wants Michael to help fake his death. Since there will be no body, there is no way Michael can be convicted of the crime.

Michael agrees to help George as he wants to use the money to runaway with Elsa. On the night of the proposed "murder," Michael finds the real corpse of George. Somebody has already murdered him and Michael is the prime suspect.

Friday, 13 March 2015

Book Blogger Hop: March 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:

  This week's question is submitted by Elizabeth!

What is more important to you when you are deciding to read a book?

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: 

For me, the two most important things about a book are:

The Genre
The Plot

Linky List:

Review - The Berenstain Bears: God Made You Special



Pretty much everyone has heard of The Berenstain Bears, as the popular picture book franchise was first debuted back in the early 1960s by the late Stan & Jan Berenstain. With over 300 titles in print, along with several spinoffs (Chapter Big Books, etc.), the franchise has sold over 260 million copies in 23 languages. There have been two animated series based on the books.  After the death of the authors, their son Mike Berenstain took over writing and illustrating of the newest installments, which have now taken in Christian themes.

Finding The Best Cigars!


I'm sure many of my blog readers recall me stating that I'm against smoking cigarettes as it can cause which lots of health problems; though I have nothing against using e-Cigs, e-Vapors or even cigars. Yes, there is still an ongoing debate about e-Cigs and e-Vapors being harmful to smokers, but using them is a better alternative than smoking regular tobacco cigarettes.

Though smoking cigars daily can give you the same health problems that cigarettes can, there is nothing wrong with smoking the occasional cigar, like on a special occasion (birth, anniversary, wedding, graduation, holidays, etc.). Some people even collect cigars and cigar boxes.

Cigar originated from the Spanish word cigarro. Christopher Columbus and his crewmen encountered an early form of a cigar (rolled bundle of dried & fermented tobacco leaf) while visiting Taínos, an island of Cub. Eventually, other European and Spanish sailors began rolling tobacco in a cigar-style form. The cigar quickly became popular all around the world and it still is today.