Thursday, December 25, 2014

Into the Woods

I admit freely that I'm a huge fan of musical theater!  Name a play and I can probably sing a song from it!  So when I heard "Into The Woods" was being made into a movie, well I was thrilled!

I was giddy with excitement on the way to see this movie and it did not disappoint!  I was enthralled from the opening to the ending credits.  Though, I did have to giggle... on the way out I overhead another movie goer exclaim that there was entirely too much singing in the movie.  Someone should have warned her that a musical involves singing.  So be forewarned, this is a musical and everyone sings. 

So what is "Into The Woods" about?

From Disney:  "Into the Woods” is a modern twist on several beloved fairy tales, intertwining the plots of a few choice stories and exploring the consequences of the characters’ wishes and quests. This humorous and heartfelt musical follows the classic tales of Cinderella (Anna Kendrick), Little Red Riding Hood (Lilla Crawford), Jack and the Beanstalk (Daniel Huttlestone), and Rapunzel (MacKenzie Mauzy), all tied together by an original story involving a Baker and his Wife (James Corden and Emily Blunt), their wish to begin a family and their interaction with the Witch (Meryl Streep), who has put a curse on them."

Some of my favorite moments were Johnny Depp as the wolf.  He did an amazing job!  Watching Chris Pine as Prince Charming.  Not only a feast for the eyes, but he did an amazing job portraying a charming prince.  The song "Prince's Lament" was probably my favorite part of the movie!  It was hilarious!  And of course, Meryl Streep as the witch!  She was flawless!

Into the Woods was gorgeous visually!  Here's some fun facts about the set.  Did you know that the set was built on Stage H at Shepperton Studios, and made up of 2,000 tons of soil, over 600 ferns, acres and acres of ivy and countless pallets of moss and turf.  95% of the trees used on the Wood set were real trees, including 30-foot pine trees and hundreds of 25 foot oak tree branches.  The leaves were removed and replaced with artificial ones so they would last longer.  Oh yeah, and Rapunzel's hair in the film is 20 feet long and made with real hair!

So, to sum up I loved this movie!  Loved the acting, loved the story, loved the singing and loved the moral... Be Careful What You Wish For.

Disclosure:  I was given the opportunity to see this movie for the purpose of a review.  The opinions are all my own and free of charge!

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Mike and Ike -Stocking Stuffers

It's Christmas Eve Eve... yes, that's a real thing (at least in my world!) Ü  It's officially last minute!
Still searching for a few stocking stuffers or just need a little sweet to get you through the last push to the finish line?  Well, let me tell you about Mike and Ike Candies!  Most of us have heard and hopefully tasted Mike and Ikes!  They are delicious!  Well, right now they have some seasonal varieties!

They have a Merry Mix that is green and red colored, perfect for those holiday parties.  The flavors are Cherry, Lime, and Holiday Punch.  I particularly liked the Holiday Punch flavor.  Is it rude to pick out all the dark green ones?
How about Mike and Ike Minion Mix?  There are three different box designs all featuring those cute minions.  The flavors are banana and blueberry.  My son liked blueberry the best, I went bananas for banana!
Is spicy more your thing?  Then how about Ho Ho Ho Hot Tamales!  a 5 oz box of sizzling sweetness!
Want to do some holiday baking?  Well, add in some Mike and Ike for a new twist!  How about some Mike and Ike Crispy Rice Cereal Treats?  Here's the recipe:

MIKE AND IKE® Crispy Rice Cereal Treats
Servings: 8


·         1 ½ cups (13 oz) MIKE AND IKE® Original Candies, coarsely chopped*
·         3 tablespoons (1.5 oz, 42g) margarine
·         10 oz (280 g) marshmallows
·         1/2 cup (1.7 oz, 48 g) marshmallow fluff
·         6 cups (5.7 oz, 160g) crisp rice cereal

*The best way to chop it is with a lightly oiled knife. 

1.      Grease a 9 X 13 pan and set aside.
2.      Combine the marshmallows and margarine in a large microwave safe bowl.
3.      Place the cereal and candy in another bowl and toss well to combine. Set aside.
4.      Microwave the marshmallows and margarine for one minute.
5.      Remove from the microwave and stir to combine. If the marshmallows are not fully melted return to the microwave and cook for 30 seconds at a time until they are fully melted.
6.      Stir in the fluff and mix well. Add the candy and cereal mixture and stir until combined.
Turn the mixture out into the prepared pan. Let cool, then cut into squares.

Sounds delicious, right!

How would one of you lucky readers like to win some Mike and Ike candy of your own?  Sweet!  Just enter on the form below!

 Thanks Mike and Ike for all this holiday sweetness!

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Disclosure:  I received these products for the purpose of a review.  The opinions are all my own and free of charge!

Saturday, December 13, 2014

XOut Review

I participated in an Influencer Activation Program on behalf of Influence-Central for X Out. I received samples of X Out to facilitate my review and a thank you item for participating.

Many of you know that I have a teenage son with special needs.  He is an amazing young man and life is full of adventure and challenges! 

One of those challenges is puberty, (isn't it for everyone?) Ü  Because of his disorder and sensory issues, it is a challenge (there's that word again) to get him to wash his face, brush his teeth, etc.  Now, add in teenage acne, and we have a problem.

I was excited for the opportunity to try X Out. It advertises that it is a one step process!  Well, I was all over that!  I showed it to my son, and explained that all he needed to do was get his face damp, massage in X-Out Wash-In treatment, then wash it off.  He very reluctantly told me he'd try, only after I told him it was like a scientist testing a product.

It was a hit!  He liked the way it felt on his skin (huge success there!) and liked that it "tingled" a little bit.  He agreed to continue the "test".  He did a great job using and and really likes it!  It is now a regular part of his routine!  And get this!  I  don't have to fight, I mean remind him to use it!  He also tried the Spot Corrector and actually enjoyed using that in the evening.

So does it work?  Well, I'll let the pictures speak for themselves:

Before picture

After picture

There was a huge difference!  He's excited that all the "bumps" are gone!  He told me, "Watch out girls, cuz I'm looking good!"  Yes, he is!

I'm a believer in X Out!  They have a wonderful line of products including the Spot Corrector, Cleansing Body Bar (for that embarrassing Backne - I just made that word up! get it?  Back and Acne?  hee-hee) Ü  a Daily Body Scrub, Shine Control, and even a Deep Cleansing Brush! 

Here's a video of my son with his own testimonial!  (sorry about the end, I'm terrible at running my camera!)

We are really happy with our results and will definitely keep using X Out!  It's a hit around here!  Want more info?  Check out X Out on their website here!

Disclosure:  I received this product for the purpose of a review.  The opinions are all my own and free of charge!

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Navy Seal Noel

It's the Holidays!  So busy, so crazy, shopping, decorating, wrapping, baking...  All fun things but it's a lot!  Looking for some down time?  Well, do I have a solution for you!

I love to read!  I can immerse myself in a book and forget about all life's stresses.  So, when I found out about Navy Seal Noel, I was pretty excited!  A suspenseful book and a Christmas book rolled in to one!  What a great stress relief!  Let me tell you about Navy Seal Noel by Liz Johnson....

From the book:

Abducted by a drug cartel, scientist Jessalynn McCoy's orders are simple—release a deadly toxin, or be killed. Trapped with no options, she's desperate for help…she just never expected it from Will Gumble. The boy who let her down years ago is now a navy SEAL. She trusts his skills, his experience. Yet trusting him is a struggle. Will's Christmas wish is to heal their damaged relationship and get them to safety. But time is running out and someone is on to their escape plans. Any mistake could mean the difference between facing the holidays together or apart. Forever.
What I loved about this book was it had all the elements, suspense, drama, love interest, bad guys, Navy Seals... without all the garbage that is often so prevalent in other books of this genre.  I didn't have to worry about bad language, or descriptions of romance that I find inappropriate!  Add in the great plot, the page-turning excitement, and characters that are very believable and you've got a great book!  Well done Liz Johnson!

One of the things I really enjoyed (besides the page-turning suspense) was the well-developed characters!  Jess is a strong woman and resourceful.  She is trapped in the jungle with a drug cartel, asked to do the unthinkable.  Liz Johnson's writing immerses us in her character, in her fear and her resolve.  All the characters are very real. 

So, if you're looking for some time for yourself and a chance to relax and escape, yet still stay in the Christmas season... well this is the book for you!

Now, more exciting news!  One of you lucky readers can win your own copy of Navy Seal Noel!  Woo Hoo!  Just enter on the form below.

You can check out more books by Liz Johnson on her website:, or on Facebook and Twitter.

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Disclosure:  I received this book for the purpose of a review.  The opinions are all my own and free of charge!