Thursday, January 26, 2012

BOOK REVIEW: The Hunger Games Trilogy

This review will be a little different from the ones I usually do, this is about 3 books, a trilogy. I'll be rating the whole series along with each book :) Some spoilers after book 1!! Beware!!

First book: The Hunger Games 5/5

The Hunger Games

Here's what says:

In the ruins of a place once known as North America lies the nation of Panem, a shining Capitol surrounded by twelve outlying districts. Long ago the districts waged war on the Capitol and were defeated. As part of the surrender terms, each district agreed to send one boy and one girl to appear in an annual televised event called, "The Hunger Games," a fight to the death on live TV. Sixteen-year-old Katniss Everdeen, who lives alone with her mother and younger sister, regards it as a death sentence when she is forced to represent her district in the Games. The terrain, rules, and level of audience participation may change but one thing is constant: kill or be killed.

My thoughts:

Loved the book!! I was completely hooked within two chapters!! I love the story, I love the characters. I was routing for Peeta & Katniss the entire time!! It's a great book, with a wonderful story of such sadness & pain !!

Book 2: Catching Fire ~ 5/5

Catching Fire (The Second Book of the Hunger Games)

Here's what says:

Against all odds, Katniss Everdeen has won the annual Hunger Games with fellow district tribute Peeta Mellark. But it was a victory won by defiance of the Capitol and their harsh rules. Katniss and Peeta should be happy. After all, they have just won for themselves and their families a life of safety and plenty. But there are rumors of rebellion among the subjects, and Katniss and Peeta, to their horror, are the faces of that rebellion. The Capitol is angry. The Capitol wants revenge.

My thoughts:

The Victory Tour sends Katniss into confusion & a need for survival at any cost. She makes it through the Victory Tour to begin preparations for her wedding to Peeta, only to find out there has been a terrible addition to the Quarter Quell. This book kept me on my toes, I read it in less than 12 hours!!

Final book: Mockingjay ~ 4/5
Mockingjay (The Hunger Games, Book 3)

Here's what says:

Against all odds, Katniss Everdeen has survived the Hunger Games twice. But now that she's made it out of the bloody arena alive, she's still not safe. The Capitol is angry. The Capitol wants revenge. Who do they think should pay for the unrest? Katniss. And what's worse, President Snow has made it clear that no one else is safe either. Not Katniss's family, not her friends, not the people of District 12. Powerful and haunting, this thrilling final installment of Suzanne Collins's groundbreaking The Hunger Games trilogy promises to be one of the most talked about books of the year.

My thoughts:

After surviving two Hunger Games, you'd think Katniss Everdeen could survive anything, but in this final installment, she's faced with more tragedy & hurt. Some she may not be able to overcome. She's still a child, but has faced more than anyone in two lifetimes!

The final book was wonderful until the last 50 pages. I felt the ending was rushed, it seemed to be everything told quickly with little detail to finish it out. However, I was pretty happy with the events that ended it all.

Overall Review:

The Hunger Games ~ 5/5

I recommend these books to anyone, they are intriguing & pull you into the fantasy world, even though it would never be any fantasy of mine!!


Today I witnessed some so adorably sweet!! My nephew who is 2 1/2 grabbed his 18 month old sister's hands & pulled her in a circle while singing "Ring Around the Rosie"!! So sweet!!

MOVIE REVIEW: The Girl Next Door

The Girl Next Door

The Girl Next Door ~ 4/5

Here's what says:

2007 R 97 minutes

Inspired by true events, this thriller set in 1958 follows the harrowing story of two adolescent girls (Blythe Auffarth and Madeline Taylor) who, upon losing their parents in an accident, are sent to live with their Aunt Ruth (Blanche Baker), a sadistic psychopath. Unbeknownst to the residents of the small New Jersey suburb, the girls endure unthinkable punishment at the hands of their aunt and three cousins.

My thoughts:

First off, I can only imagine the horror of the true crime that this was based on. Now, for the movie, as I read what the book was about, I am thinking the book is way better & completely different. I am planning to pick it up & read it as well.

The movie was a great depiction of how terrible some people become when something in their life isn't as planned. Ruth creeped me out from the beginning & when she told her boys to finish their beers, I knew she as nuts!! I didn't understand why the neighboor didn't go straight home after the first incident he witnessed & told his parents. Why he would want to spend the night when the place was so creepy is beyond me!!

MOVIE REVIEW: Final Destination 5

Final Destination 5

Final Destination 5 ~ 5/5

Here's what says:

2011 R 92 minutes

Death still isn't satisfied in the fifth installment of this cult horror franchise, setting out to claim the lives of shaken co-workers who cheated him when they heeded a colleague's premonition about an unstable suspension bridge.

My thoughts:

Great movie!! It does all the things the 1st ones did, great death scenes, good storyline. I also love that they tied it all together wonderfully!!

Monday, January 23, 2012

MOVIE REVIEW: 11/11/11


11/11/11 ~ 4/5

Here's what says about it:

2011 NR 87 minutes

In this chilling horror movie, Melissa and Jack -- once an ordinary couple -- watch in shock as their son slowly morphs into a hellish harbinger of the Apocalypse, set to engulf the Earth on the devil-boy's own birthday, 11/11/11.

My thoughts:

The people were acting crazy from the moment this couple came to the neighborhood. If you saw them acting that way, being the way they were & trying to get your kid to go off with them, I'm sure you would pack up and move instantly!! How any parent could have stayed there is beyond me!! Man, if I were in a horror movie, I think I may survive lol

MOVIE REVIEW: The Last Resort

The Last Resort

The Last Resort ~ 3/5

Here's what says:

2008 R 74 minutes

Expecting a fun bachelorette party, bride-to-be Kathleen (Marissa Tait) and her bridesmaids head to a tropical beach location. But their trip turns into an utter nightmare after they're robbed and left injured in the middle of nowhere. Soon, they find an abandoned resort, where an evil force begins to exert its deadly influence over them. America Olivo, Arianne Zuker, Sita Young and Paulie Rojas also star in this terrifying chiller.

My thoughts:
First off, who goes to Mexico for a week for a bachelorette party? My husband never would have agreed to that when we were engaged!! Second, once you get there, who decides to get into a van with blacked out license plates and dark tinted windows??? Just dumb & you deserve the fate you got!! Just saying!! Anyway, the movie was typical slasher film, kind of confusing at the end though!

MOVIE REVIEW: Water for Elephants

Water for Elephants
Water for Elephants ~ 5/5

Here's what says:
2011 PG-13 121 minutes

In this captivating Depression-era melodrama, impetuous veterinary student Jacob Jankowski joins a celebrated circus as an animal caretaker but faces a wrenching dilemma when he's transfixed by angelic married performer Marlena.

My thoughts:

Loved the era look, it made Reese Witherspoon more beautiful than ever!! Robert Pattison's character Jacob is exactly what it should be, he wants to help, but his power isn't strong enough. However, he's defiant enough & they have great compatibility!! Enjoyed this movie!!



Abduction ~ 5/5

Here's what says:

2011 PG-13 107 minutes

When teenager Nathan comes across his own childhood picture while scrolling through a missing persons website, he begins to question everything he ever took for granted -- including the people he always assumed were his parents.

My thoughts:

This movie was really good! It kept you on the edge of your seat wondering who dd what & who's really who. It left me in suspense because it never revealed his father's true identity. I loved that the ending was at a Pittsburgh Pirates Game too!!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

BOOK REVIEW: A Wedding in December

A Wedding in December

A Wedding in December ~ 2/5

Here's how decribes the book:

At an inn in the Berkshire Mountains, seven former schoolmates gather to celebrate a wedding--a reunion that becomes the occasion of astonishing revelations as the friends collectively recall a long-ago night that indelibly marked each of their lives. Written with the fluent narrative artistry that distinguishes all of Anita Shreve's bestselling novels, A Wedding in December acutely probes the mysteries of the human heart and the endless allure of paths not taken.

My thoughts:

The book described alot of lives, intertwined together because of their high school days. A defining moment in all their lives happened 27 years before. December of 2001, they have come together after the chaos of 9/11 to celebrate the wedding of high school sweethearts who have rekindled their romance & are getting married. The bride has cancer, she's not expected to live more than 2 more years. The groom left his wife & daughter to be with her. They've met at an inn, along with several of their class mates. The story also involves a sad death of one of their friends who drowned in the ocean. It also throws in about Halifax, a fictional story about a man who's life changes because of it.

I got into the book at parts & couldn't put it down. Other times, it took everything in me to keep reading.

The back of the book encloses 15 questions for discussion. I've decided to choose 5 and share my answers with you:

2. "One can never tell the story of a marraige," Nora says to Harrison. "At the very least, a marraige is two intersecting stories, one of which we will never know." What does Nora mean by this observation? Are there relationships depicted in the novel that support her statement?

She means that no one really knows what both parties saw the relationship as. Just because the wife saw something as sweet or senimental, you really don't know how the husband saw the same thing. Without having both accounts & being able to compare them at the exact time, you don't really know. Someone could be lying the entire time. And yes, Nora & her husband's relationship was like that.

5. Some of the novel's characters regard the events of 9/11 as reminders of the "democracy of catastrophe". Jerry, on the other hand, draws a distinction between the people who witnessed the tragedy firsthand and those who viewed it from the safety of their homes miles away. Which opinion do you favor?

I agree with Jerry, the tragedy that 9/11 was rippled across the nation. Everyone saw the terror, felt the sadness and mourned for the victims. However, not everyone saw firsthand the craziness, the panic, heard the sickening thuds of bodies hitting the ground. It was real to everyone, however you felt safer, that something like that wouldn't happen in small town USA, the further from major cities you got.

8. Harrison acknowledges that the defining feature of private lives is "that anyone looking in from the outside could never know the reality". He longs to tell Nora the truth about Stephen, and Agnes's stunning revelation triggers the others to reveal their own hidden truths as well. What, if anything, do these confessions change for the friends? Do they come to regard one another differently in the end?

I seem to agree with Harrison, if not let in, no one truly knows what someone is like, what they are into & what kind of life they have. The friends find out some interesting things: Agnes had a 20+ year affair with a former teacher who was married, Bill left his wife & daughter to marry Bridget, Josh & Rob are gay, Nora's husband cheated on her, moved the girl in & got her pregnant after denying her the opportunity to have her own child and Harrison knew Stephen went into the ocean, and instead of calling for help, he went home looking for him. No one would have known these things unless allowed into their comfort zone. They don't seem to change feelings for one another, although I doubt they'd all come together anytime soon.

13. Although the novel centers on a happy occassion, the characters also experience a great deal of disillusionment. Does this story end on a hopeful note? Why or why not?

Yes & no, I think some stories are hopeful and others are not.

Nora's hopeful that her inn will continue to do well, Bill & Bridget are looking to make the most of their lives, Rob & Josh have successful careers. However, so were not so hopeful, Agnes's affair is expected to end, Harrison is heading home to his family & giving up on his true love, Jerry & his wife are not expected to have a bright future. So it depends upon the character & the choices they have made.

15. How do you think this reunion weekend will ultimately influence the group? What is the likelihood that these high school friends will be in touch with one another after the wedding?

I think this weekend has made quite an impact on the friends. They see each other in a new light, which will reflect in their future. Some may avoid, others may look back & wonder & finally, there will be those who want to go back to that day. I expect a select few to attend future funerals or events, but not everyone together at the same time.



Calander (At a Glance):

Yahting Magazine:

Saltwater Sportsman Magazine:

Bridal Guide Magazine:

Pet Safety Packet:

Shout Color Catcher:

Activity Book:

Nescafe Sample Pack:

Clif Bar Stickers:

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

PRODUCT REVIEW: Purex Ultra Packs

Today I'm writing a review of the new Purex Ultra Packs Laundry Detergent! Coming soon, February 2012!!

I received a package of the Purex Ultra Packs to try out & review from Purex.

First off, let me just tell you this: When it says to make sure your hands are dry, they mean dry!! I had damp hands & reached in to grab one & it started to stick to my fingers. I can imagine that if my hands were wet, they would have become covered in laundry detergent.

Now, on to the test:

I tried them on three loads of laundry to start. The first items were of course my husband's white work shirts. I tossed in 2 packets since they are usually very dirty. The detergent worked so well on them! I was amazed at the last Purex product I tried, however, this one was FABULOUS!!! The shirts were white & no residue or any signs of the product left!!

Next, I tried them with our dirty, white socks. My husband & children have a habit of wearing just socks around the house. Sometimes they even go outside in their whites! I used the new Purex product & it was fantastic!! The socks were actually white again!!

Finally, I used them on my dog's blanket. It smells so bad & is always covered in hair & dirt. I used the new Ultra Packs & the dog's blanket smelled new again!!

So, after trying this product with 3 tough loads AND finishing off the package on regular everyday laundry, I was IMPRESSED!!

Hope you'll look for these next month is a store near you ~ I will be!!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

New Year, New Me!! WELCOME 2012!!

Hey everyone, it's been awhile!! I hope to be a better blogger in 2012!! I'm writing up a list of the things I want to accomplish in 2012.

1. I want to be more organized. Sort, use or store all the things hidden in all the nooks & crannys in my home! It would be nice to open a drawer or door and know exactly what's in there.

2. I want to organize & succeed at my new home business. I am currently a home child care provider. I have 6 kids, 3 in the mornings Monday thru Friday & the other 3 weekends & evenings, 5 days a week. It's a nice paycheck & a great job! I want to make it the best I can!

3. I want to organize all my 30+ photo albums, hundreds of photo frames & thousands of photos on the computer & disk drives. I know it seems like a huge task, but I look forward to it!! I love my old memories!!

4. Read more, last year I read about 25 books throughout the year. This year my goal is 30. I've been reading #1 for the past week. Hopefully I can read atleast 3 per month. It's a large number, but I am ready for the challenge.

5. I plan to be better about saving money. I've been working on a savings plan & hope to have atleast $2,000 in savings this year. I want to do a family vacation as soon as possible!!

6. I want to get my driver's license. I'm 30 years old, I have had a permit twice & took driver's ed in high school. I still do not have my driver's license. I'm ready to become independant though! I plan to wait until spring to get my permit, then start practicing so I can get my license. My sister just got her's yesterday, she's 26!

7. Strengthen my marraige, I want to become a better partner & learn to deal with things better than we do. I'd also like to have some adult only time with my husband more than we get.

8. Change my name. I got married 11 years ago & never changed my last name. However, I have been using my name hyphenated for years. I'm finally ready to legalize it!

9. Another big thing this year, I want to complete is to finally complete our upstairs bathroom & remodel the downstairs bathroom, laundry room, porch & kitchen.

10. Finally, I want to improve my self image. I plan to take better care of myself & to try to improve the way I look. Take better care of my diet, my appearance & excercise more.

I'll let you know at the end of 2012 how I did!!

BOOK REVIEW: Becoming a Cavanaugh

Becoming a Cavanaugh by Marie Ferrarella
Becoming a Cavanaugh (Silhouette Romantic Suspense) (Cavanaugh Justice)

Here's what says:
Someone was murdering the city's elite, and anyone could be next. Assigned to the case was Detective Kyle O'Brien, whose new partner was the blonde, blue-eyed Jaren Rosetti, as sunny as Kyle was dark. Not to mention too irresistible for her own good. But their growing attraction had to be pushed aside as the horrific killer swept through the urban landscape. Kyle knew he was falling hard for his obstinate partner, who had a will of her own. While they deciphered the psychopath's code, the killer prepared to strike again--this time dangerously close to home.

Here's what I think:
This book was the perfect combination of excitement, romance & thrill. A murderer on the loose causes the detective on the case to become closer to his new partner. It throws in a bit about the rest of the Cavanaugh family, if you're a follower of the series, and if you're not, it doesn't make it too central in the story making you lost. I was waiting for what was next, looking forward to cracking the mystery. However, wanting the book to keep going on & on!!

BOOK REVIEW: A Cold Creek Secret

A Cold Creek Secret by RaeAnne Thayne ~ 5/5

A Cold Creek Secret (Silhouette Special Edition)

Here's what says:
Just back from a tour of duty, all Major Brant Western wanted was a hot meal and a warm bed. What he didn't need was the stunning socialite in disguise who'd just shown up at his family's Cold Creek ranch. Scandal trailed bad girl Mimi Van Hoyt--aka "Maura"--everywhere she went. But once Brant discovered her secret, how could he turn her away?

Being stranded in the middle of nowhere in a blizzard was not Mimi's idea of a fun time in the Tetons. Then why was she starting to think this sexy soldier could be more than her shelter from the storm? And the more determined Brant was to protect her and her unborn child, the more she believed that this honorable, irresistible military man was the only man for her.

My thoughts:
I really enjoyed this book. It was sweet, passionate and believable. The girl is an outcast, party girl, always the screw up. She's made one more mistake in her life & she runs to her comfort. Instead she wrecks her car & fakes her identity, living with a stranger until she's forced to admit who she is & what's happened in her life that she wasn't planning. She makes a bad decision, but in the end, she finds it all to be a blessing. I thoroughly enjoyed this book!


Here's a few freebies I've found lately, hope you find something you like!!


Cat food sample:

Huggies Sample:

Breathe Right Advance Sample:

Gummi Vitamin Sample:

Bath Product Sample:

Oragami Paper:

Anti-aging Eye Cream:

Protien Shake Sample:

Nescafe Sample:

Seal-able Container Sample:

Tooth Pain Relief Gel:

Oscar De Larenta Perfume Sample:

Salvation Army Brass Cd Christmas Music:

Vote in the poll, then go to the link & sign up for your free box of granola bars:

Rangefinder Magazine Subscription (Photography magazine)

Lacoste Perfume Sample:

Dog food sample:

Scarf Pattern:

David Yurman Fragrance Sample:

Rachel Ray Dog Food:

Benefiber Sample:

Cranimals Sample:

MOVIE REVIEW: The Darkroom

The Darkroom ~ 4/5

The Darkroom

Here's what says:

The Darkroom

2005 NR 83 minutes

Evil lurks in the mind of a hospitalized amnesiac who's forced to take a volatile drug that causes him to suffer grisly visions of young women being killed. But when he escapes the institution and meets a troubled teenage boy, his memory starts to return. Will his visions lead them both to salvation or to destruction? Shawn Pyfrom, Reed Diamond, Julian Berlin and Lucy Lawless star in this chilling tale of vision, memory and violence.

My thoughts:

This movie started off 15 years before, then shows a man in a mental hospital. He's going to undergo a medication that will make him remember his past. He escapes, meets a young kid (played by the same person who plays Bree's son Andrew on Desperate Housewives) and begins piecing his past back together. The ending was a little surprising, but I realized itjust before the surprise was revealed. It turned out to be pretty good, more than I expected it to be.

MOVIE REVIEW: Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium

Mr Magorium's Wonder Emporium ~ 4/5

Here's what says about it:

Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium

2007 G 100 minutes

When the 243-year-old Mr. Magorium (Dustin Hoffman) discovers his health is failing, he turns over his fantastical toy store to his manager, Molly Mahoney (Natalie Portman), a talented pianist and aspiring composer who isn't sure she's ready to take the reins. Since the store reflects the energy of those who run it, Molly must work to lift her spirits and help the shop recapture its magic. Jason Bateman co-stars.

My thoughts:

This was a very cute movie with a sweet & sentimental story amidst all the chaos & fun of the store. My only question is the age of the children viewing it. My ten year old was fast asleep within a half hour, my husband wasn't able to keep his eyes open. My thirteen year old & I enjoyed it alot. It has a great story & inspires you to go for things you never thought possible and you can become anything! Loved this movie!!