Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Dec. 7 - *LOVE* these pics!

Eclipse came out on DVD several days ago...and I don't have it yet.  Shows how crazy frazzled I've been lately!  I'll grab it next time I'm in town and then I want to watch all three movies back to back.  I haven't seen Twilight for a while, have not even watched New Moon on DVD yet, and barely remember even going to see Eclipse even though I did like it quite a lot.  I'm really wanting to read the Twilight book.....again.

So my Twilight lust is still there, just simmering under the chaos of everything else for now.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Dec. 1 - In A Dark Place (movie)

In A Dark Place (2006)
Burned out from teaching in a tough inner-city school, Anna Veigh (Leelee Sobieski) moves to a remote countryside estate to take a job looking after two children. What starts off as the perfect change of pace slowly turns into Anna's worst nightmare. She begins having visions of menacing ghosts, and to protect the children from these dark forces, Anna must look deep within herself and face her biggest fears.

We started watching this last night and I said to hubby "This is shaping up to be a modern Turn Of The Screw."  And sure enough, it was!  But this one was just as confusing and unclear at the end as the original...lol

This wasn't a fabulous movie.  It was ok if you're bored and have nothing else around, but could have been so much better.  And there was a totally unnecessary lesbian sex scene.  Well there was a lot of totally unnecessary near boobage....like the main girl wearing super tight, low cut shirts all the time, wearing bathrobes hanging half open, etc.  Really?  Put more effort into the STORY and maybe it would have been better.  Even so, it was not a horrible movie.

December already.  Wow.  I missed all of November as far as posting.  I have not given up this blog...yet.  As always, I've *wanted* to post millions of times about millions of things but for one reason or another I just never get here to do it.  Many times I think about just giving up because who wants to read my boring life anyway?  But then I look back through old stuff and I quite enjoy reliving the moments.  So I guess I'll try to keep going.

Things have been crazy with soap stuff for months now.  It's been to the point where I've considered quitting my job to go 110% into the soap.  Then again, there are times when I get so overwhelmed I just want to quit soap.  Wouldn't it suck to have quit my job only to find the soap business is not what I really want to do?

My work schedule doesn't help matters either.  I've been on this 12hr schedule for two full years now.  You'd think a person would be adjusted by now.  Not really, because I still find that on my work days I don't do anything else....work, come home and grab a bite to eat, quick check of email/Etsy, and head to bed.  This means that my days off are filled with all the things I don't get done on those working days.  Catching up email, messages, orders, housework, bills, errands.....and then cram some soap making or related soap stuff into that.  Now pile the holidays on top of all that.


But the point of this pity party is...... *tries to remember* .......that I hope to get back to blogging.

(Heard that before, I know, I know.)

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Oct. 16 - Tarts

It's been a while since I've shared my wax tart addiction with you.  (Ok, yeah, it's been a while since I've shared ANYTHING with you ... )  You may remember that my tart pimp is the ever wonderful Kristine (and her mom!) over at Country Home Scents on Etsy,  They will scent with you home with adorable little babies like these ...
And I did order a bunch of Fall scented tarts not too long ago ...

But ...

I have strayed from my tart pimp ...

Somewhere along the way (one of the soap blogs?) I stumbled across Sugar Bush Primitives.  I love this place!  They have soaps, candles, food items, various other items, and it's all in a wonderful sort of country charm theme.  Well, 'primitive' is the term, I guess.  Anyway, I ordered tarts from here.  They're cute in a whole different kind of way!
They smell divine out of the pack but I can't yet say how strong they are when melted.  I've just now put the first one into the tart warmer.  Another reason I couldn't resist is because this place has maple scents and I don't think my regular tart pimp does.  Not saying I'm abandoning my tart pimp.  No no no.

I also ordered a beer bread mix, as you can see in the pic.  And I ordered a maple scented bar of soap but there was a mix up in the order and that wasn't shipped.  I emailed them and Mary apologized and assured me she'd get the soap sent out.  Can't wait to try it!

The scent from these new tarts is amazing.  It is strong and carries well throughout the house.  I could even smell hints of it upstairs when I went to bed.  I could still smell it, very subtly, when I got up this morning.  Awesome!!  I think I need to revisit that site and explore other scents.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

July 1 - Eclipse

I just saw Eclipse, the third movie in the Twilight series.  When I read the books I fell obsessively in love with Twilight, strongly disliked New Moon, liked Eclipse a bit more, then back to near hate with Breaking Dawn.  I loved the Twilight movie even though I was quite disappointed, and loved it in a different way than the book.  I saw it four times in the theater and countless times on dvd.  I liked the New Moon movie way better than the book but it was still only so-so to me.  I saw it once in the theater and bought the dvd but have yet to watch it.  From the clips and bits I'd been seeing about Eclipse I had a feeling it would be good.  My initial reaction after seeing it today: awesome!

My biggest complaint is still the Cullens eyes.  They looked totally different...a lot more more fake...in New Moon than in Twilight and the overdone in-yer-face creepy eye look is there again in Eclipse.  They still look a bit pasty in Eclipse too, my other complaint from New Moon.  The Volturi looked better this time around though.  I thought they looked horrid in New Moon.

The story in movie form seemed to flow a lot easier for me than the book did.

Jasper seemed pretty cool in this one.  Looked better too.  Not his usual strange looking constipated vampire self.

Charlie is so funny in this one again.  The whole "I'm a virgin!" scene was hysterical.  And in the scene when he comes out of the house to break up the brewing spat between Jacob and Edward....LOL!  Here he is all trying to play the Dad In Charge role when he's unknowingly standing between a vampire and werewolf.  Most people don't seem to see why I find that so dang amusing.

Got a little tired of Jacob never having a shirt and it was funny when Edward commented "Doesn't he own a shirt?"  It was also funny in the tent scene when Jacob pointed out to Edward "...I'm hotter than you."  Predictable laughter in the theater for that.

Oh!  Jasper and Alice in fight training was funny too.

I really felt the pain, the struggle in this one when it came to Jacob pleading his case to Bella.  Even though I'm totally Team Edward I felt those first pangs back in New Moon when it was like 'Go with Jacob!  You can still be you that way!'  And it was there in a big big way in this one.  Yeah yeah, she can't just turn off her feelings for Edward and switch to Jacob...I know that.

The look and the music was very cool in this one.  There is a song on the soundtrack that I had told my sister reminded me of The Crow.  That song turned out to be at the opening of the movie and it was indeed rather Crow-ish.  They also used one of the coolest songs on the soundtrack for the cool fight training scenes and it was almost a repeat of the coolness of the Muse song during the baseball scenes in Twilight.

I think my favorite part might have been when the wolves appeared in the big battle.  Awesome!

I didn't think I was going to like any of the newborn stuff, thought it was all a bunch of blah blah whatever get back to the story crap but I actually liked Riley.  And I liked Bree.  Too bad the Bree book was such a sucky waste of time and space.  Her tiny little bits in the movie were way better than the stupid book.

I almost felt bad for Victoria early on when the Cullens were chasing her on one side of the ravine and the wolves were chasing her on the other.  Then all the weaknesses in her story came back to me and I got over it.  Heh.

So overall, yeah, I really liked this one.  I'm already wanting to see it again and I did not have that urge at all with New Moon.  Anyone wanna go with me?

Friday, June 18, 2010

June 18 - Books and a movie

The Lovely Bones (2009)
When 14-year-old Susie Salmon (Saoirse Ronan) is murdered, she watches from above as her family deals with her tragic death -- and as her killer prepares to strike again. Torn between vengeance and healing, Susie's loved ones are forever changed. Mark Wahlberg and Rachel Weisz star in Peter Jackson's adaptation of Alice Sebold's riveting, best-selling novel; Susan Sarandon and Oscar nominee Stanley Tucci co-star.

I read this book a few years ago and liked it quite a lot, except for something at the end.  When I heard they were making it into a movie I couldn't wait to see it.  And yet I've had it sitting here (Netflix) for weeks and I just now forced myself to watch it.  I just have not been in a movie watching mood lately.  And then there were the comments from my Movie Watching CoWorker that I should have learned by now to just disregard, but I don't.

So anyway, yeah, forced myself to watch it this morning and......I really liked it.  I think it gets some things across better than in the book but there were also some parts from the book that were not there.  They do not show her murder, which was a bit controversial while making the movie.  Some people argue that the story is about the brutal murder of this girl.  Others argue that no, it's not about *the murder* but about the changes in the lives around her.  I, for one, am glad they didn't show her being murdered.  As I get older I have almost no tolerance for blood, guts, gore.  In this movie they've managed to build the fear and suspense in the minutes leading up to the murder just by showing us how 'normal' the guy is and by showing us her growing awareness that something's not right, letting us feel her fear as she realizes it.  And the slightly confusing moments after are an equally strong way to get us to feel without grossing us out with the Hollywood norm.  Well done!

I am not a big fan of the crazy nonsensical versions of heaven or the afterworlds that are often shown in movies.  There is a bit of that in this movie but I was ok with it this time because the rest of the movie was really working for me.  And while the thing at the end of the book that I pretty much *hated* is indeed in the movie it's in a somewhat lesser form, and it seems to come across better.

Overall, a very good, very touching movie that I highly recommend.  Oh, and the main girl is awesome!

From an awesome movie to some crappy books.....

The Lost Enchantress, by Patricia Coughlin
Long ago Eve Lockhart discovered that the ancient magic that was her birthright could cost her everything. So she vowed to create a normal life and was convinced she'd succeeded-until a long-lost family talisman resurfaces. A prize beyond price, the hourglass pendant ignites the fevered interest of mysterious forces who'll risk anything to possess it-forces that include one very seductive man...

The priceless pendant isn't the only thing Gabriel Hazard wants from Eve. For nearly two centuries he's searched for the hidden magic that can break a spell and grant him the one thing he craves. But he isn't alone in wanting the pendant-or Eve's magic.

Now Eve has no choice but to break her long-ago vow and claim her power, her dream of everlasting love-and her destiny. 

My Movie Watching CoWorker shoved this book at me and said I just HAD to read it because it was the first one in a long time that she loved and couldn't put down while reading it.  Hmm, cover looks cheesy but ok, why not?  I put off reading one of my own books and started this one instead.

It was horrible.  I couldn't even finish it.  Even before I gave up I had reduced myself to just skimming pages looking for anything important to the story.  Everything was so vague and shallow, like no research was done and the easiest cop-out route was taken for things.  I never felt any connection to anyone in the story.  I kept comparing things to Twilight, which I know is unfair but I couldn't help it.  Oooh, the mysterious hot guy has secrets like....he's immortal.  Oooh, the mysterious hot guy is hundreds of years old even though he's frozen in his young hot guy hotness.  Oooh, the mysterious hot guy finds himself totally and addictively attracted to the girl.  Oooh, though the mysterious hot guy is totally in love with the girl he tries to keep her away by insisting it's dangerous to be connected to him.  Ooooh...... *yawn*

Stupid horrible waste of time.

And speaking of Twilight....

The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner, by Stephenie Meyer
Fans of The Twilight Saga will be enthralled by this riveting story of Bree Tanner, a character first introduced in Eclipse, and the darker side of the newborn vampire world she inhabits. In another irresistible combination of danger, mystery, and romance, Stephenie Meyer tells the devastating story of Bree and the newborn army as they prepare to close in on Bella Swan and the Cullens, following their encounter to its unforgettable conclusion. 

I *HATED* this book.  When I first heard about it I was excited.  An article I'd read in the newspaper said something about her troubled life with an abusive father, and running away, and meeting Riley, being taken in by him.  I thought we'd get at least some of that story, and then go on to her becoming a vampire, and what she went through in those early days.  Nope.  It jumps right into the story when she's already been a vampire for months and we only get a mere mention of her former life.  Ok, so that was a bummer but even the story we do get sucks to no end.  It's very vague (I'm fond of that description, huh?) and rushed.  It just sorta breezes over things that are going on without putting any real time into anything to let us get attached to anyone or get a feel for what it's like.

I don't know, the way it's written is just useless.  I don't even really know how to describe it.  I think making the point of this book being about preparing for the battle with the Cullens was the wrong approach.  If we'd had more of Bree's human life, had a chance to get to know her and feel her pain then maybe we'd have felt her fear and anger and betrayal as she realized what was going on.  But no, we're just dumped into a very vague run through of something we already know.  It just seemed so wasted.

At least one dollar of what I paid went to the Red Cross..... *sigh*

Daughters of the Witching Hill, by Mary Sharratt
Daughters of theWitching Hill brings history to life in a vivid and wrenching account of a family sustained by love as they try to survive the hysteria of a witch-hunt. 

Bess Southerns, an impoverished widow living in Pendle Forest, is haunted by visions and gains a reputation as a cunning woman. Drawing on the Catholic folk magic of her youth, Bess heals the sick and foretells the future. As she ages, she instructs her granddaughter, Alizon, in her craft, as well as her best friend, who ultimately turns to dark magic. 

When a peddler suffers a stroke after exchanging harsh words with Alizon, a local magistrate, eager to make his name as a witch finder, plays neighbors and family members against one another until suspicion and paranoia reach frenzied heights. 

Sharratt interweaves well-researched historical details of the 1612 Pendle witch-hunt with a beautifully imagined story of strong women, family, and betrayal. Daughters of the Witching Hill is a powerful novel of intrigue and revelation. 

This book, on the other hand, was fabulous.  Apparently I'd never read the back of the book because I didn't know until I was over halfway through that it was based on real events.  Once I realized that I had to refrain from looking up info online until I was done with the book because I didn't want to ruin the story.  Maybe it was my imagination but it did seem to become a little less fabulous once it got towards the end, where the factual stuff would have been easier to find and the story started to go by that.  

It's the kind of story the is detailed, well researched, allows you into the lives of the people and gives you time to get to know them.  Very good book.  I was 'seeing' a movie version as I read it and can only hope that if it ever is made into a movie it's done in a 'real look' way, not some pretty people cheesy Hollywood version.  (Is Peter Jackson available?  hehe)

And now I'm off to accomplish great things around the house before taking Meena to the vet for her followup.


Saturday, May 29, 2010

May 29

Well I'm back to sucking at this blogging stuff again.  This post might be random.  The next few posts might be random.  I have such a backlog of pictures and topics that I don't know how to get caught up in any sort of graceful way.  So enjoy this bumpy ride.

 Ride With the Devil (1999)
When the Civil War begins, lifelong friends Jake (Tobey Maguire) and Jack Bull (Skeet Ulrich) join the Missouri Bushwhackers, a ragtag team of Southern guerrilla fighters. But after the cold realities of conflict set in, the men must decide for themselves what honor means. Director Ang Lee takes viewers deep into the labyrinthine conflict of the War Between the States and those who fought it.

Not sure how I missed this one for so long....being from 1999.....but it was quite good.  I love me some Skeet Ulrich but it was long haired Tobey Maguire that was the hottie in this one.  Anyway, it was a good movie but I didn't really understand some of what was going on.  Who exactly were these guys fighting against, and why?  And why were they holed up in their little dugout for so long?  And how did they keep in touch with each other, being spread out all over random countrysides?  Still, pretty good movie.

Old Dogs (2009)
On the verge of a game-changing business deal, a divorced dad (Robin Williams) and his womanizing best friend and partner (John Travolta) are thrown for a loop when they're tasked with caring for a rambunctious pair of 6-year-old twins. Helmed by Walt Becker, this family comedy also stars Seth Green, Kelly Preston, Matt Dillon, Rita Wilson and Bernie Mac, in his final big-screen appearance.

This was funny.  It's Disney so it's tame and gets sappy at the end but it was pretty good.  Short enough too that it stays funny without getting boring and old.  The part where their pills got mixed up, although extremely predictable, was hysterical.  The way John Travolta's face was twitching in the early stages of what happened...omg...I was laughing so hard.  It was good, no-brainer fun for an evening.

The New Daughter (2009)
Luis Berdejo directs this supernatural thriller centered on John James (Kevin Costner), who moves to the country to get a new start -- only to be confronted by a new nightmare when his daughter, Louisa (Ivana Baquero), begins acting stranger by the minute. With unsettling events besetting the South Carolina home, John begins to believe that something on the edge of the forest nearby might have the answers he needs.

I'd not heard of this one, and not sure how I ended up Netflixing it.  Recommendation page perhaps?  It was ok until the end.  (Seems I'm very hard to please when it comes to movie endings!)  I would have liked more explanation of what these things were and what was happening than the one quick conversation with the researcher dude.  I was confused why the dad felt the need to sacrifice himself instead of just destroying the 'creepy thing.'  There are lots of 'Did you see that?!' things in this movie that made it fun to watch.  Several times we had to rewind to double check something we thought we had seen.  And Kevin Costner is still hot.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

May 12

The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus (2009)

When a deal with the devil comes due, the immortal Doctor Parnassus (Christopher Plummer) must renegotiate the pact to save his daughter. Now, with the help of his mystical theater troupe and a mysterious stranger, Parnassus attempts to right the wrongs of his past. Terry Gilliam's quirky fantasy marks Heath Ledger's final film, with Johnny Depp, Colin Farrell and Jude Law stepping in to complete his pivotal role.

Ok, I love Heath Ledger and I love Johnny Depp but wow...I did not like this movie.  It was bizarre, I knew that going into it.  But it was just so, I don't know... pointless.  Ack.  Bleah.  Did not like it.

Legion (2010)
In the wake of an apocalypse of major proportions, a motley crew of survivors (including Dennis Quaid, Tyrese Gibson and Kate Walsh) ekes out a living at an abandoned truck stop in the desert, never suspecting that the pregnant woman walking among them is carrying the Messiah. Paul Bettany co-stars in this thriller as the archangel Michael, who was sent to Earth to steer humankind away from darkness and toward the light.

This one, on the other hand, I was surprised by how much I *did* like it.  I thought it was going to be another blood and guts shoot 'em up man movie, so I mainly got it for hubby.  I wish there would have been more about the angels, not just the creepy demon type zombie angels.  Gabriel's lethal weapon wings and do-it-all mace were a bit much.  The ending was weak, and left wide open for a sequel or series.  Other than those fairly minor flaws I was surprised by how into I got.  And there is something hot about Paul Bettany.  He has a dark look in this movie, not his usual near albino look, hehe.  Maybe that's part of it.  Or maybe his voice combined with the dark.  I think it's definitely that power thing.  You know, the same 'power' thing that I love about Edward Cullen, Professor Snape, and NotLocke.  Not sure how to explain it and not sure if anyone cares.  He's lethal, he can kill any of them in the blink of an eye, he's been among the worst kind and knows what's going on, yet when he's holding the girl while she's in labor, urging her on in that deep, accented, authoritative voice...love it.  This is not my new favorite movie or anything but yes, I really like it.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

May 6

My Sister's Keeper (2009)
A former defense attorney (Cameron Diaz) finds herself back in the courtroom when she and her husband (Jason Patric) are sued for medical emancipation by their 11-year-old daughter, Anna (Abigail Breslin), who is expected to donate a kidney to her dying older sister. The subsequent trial tests ethical boundaries and the limits of parental love. Joan Cusack and Alec Baldwin round out the cast in this powerful drama based on Jodi Picoult's novel.

I had wanted to read this book for so long before finally getting around to it, only to be disappointed.  I didn't like the way the book jumped around, and I really didn't like the ending...thought it was a total cop out.  So when the movie came out I wasn't overly anxious to see it.  I knew they'd changed the ending and knew there was some uproar about it but I hadn't known what the change was until very recently when a co-worker blabbed it.  The movie worked its way to the top of my Netflix list and had been sitting here for probably three weeks before I *finally* watched it today.  I knew it was a tearjerker, which is probably why I kept putting off watching it.  Even though I tend to cry easily over anything and everything, when it comes to movies that I know are going to be a big sobfest I seem to need to be in a mood to allow it.  Still, I wasn't prepared for this.  Wow.  There were times when I was totally body shaking sobbing.  And I actually liked the big change they made towards the end.  But wow, a huge emotional journey that has me thinking it'll be a long time before I'm recovered enough to watch that other tearjerker on my list....Hachi

The Invisible (2007)
After high schooler Nick (Justin Chatwin) is brutally attacked and left for dead, he regains consciousness and then discovers that he's invisible to everyone -- except for a troubled young girl (Margarita Levieva) running from the authorities. An unsettling glimpse at one man's nightmarish limbo, this supernatural thriller from the producers of The Sixth Sense explores the elusive place between the world of the living and the land of the dead.

Also watched this one tonight, another that has been sitting here for weeks.  This one popped up in the Netflix recommendationsI'd never heard of it otherwise.  I went into it with very little expectations so I was pleasantly surprised by how much I liked it, how much I was getting into it.  While I thought almost everything with the girl was annoying (wanted to rip her dang hat off, then once she took it off I wanted her to put it back on), I really liked the boy's side of things.  I *loved* when he was yelling in her face that it was all her fault, all her choices, despite how 'bad' her life was.  *LOVED* that!  And then it all turned to crap.  I thought for sure the girl was going to die in the car, be shot by the police or send herself over the cliff or something, and that was going to 'allow' the boy to come back.  But what they dragged it out as and turned it into....please, really?!  It became so dumb that my tears dried up and I was rolling my eyes, almost laughing in an angry 'wtf?!' way.  Even with that crap ending though, I'd suggest this movie if you ever come across it while flipping through channels or a cheap rental.

Monday, May 3, 2010

May 3 - Products, Etsy....

I've strayed from my usual Etsy tart supplier.  Yes yes, I know, the horrors.  But when I saw this other Etsy tart maker's listing for a caramel coffee scented tart I was drawn to her shop.  I found that Nana's Tarts has many coffee scents!  I sent her a message asking if I could get three different scents in one of her 3-packs instead of all the same scent as she had listed.  She said that would be fine but she also mentioned other scents she had that just weren't listed yet.  She offered me a package deal plus two free tarts (I think?) so in the end I was getting one of each of the coffee line.  Awesome!

When my ordered arrived I loved how cute the packaging was, like a little country bundle all done up in a gingham fabric.  I was thrilled to see she'd also thrown in a freebie tart....an absolutely adorable apple pie scented pie-looking tart!

The actual coffee scented tarts all looked the same.  They were individually packaged and tagged in the same country charm theme.  The scents I got were:
Cinnamon Hazelnut Coffee
Caramel Nut Coffee
Pumpkin Cinnamon Coffee
Caramel Cinnamon Latte
Vanilla Toffee Latte
Chocolate Mint Latte
Cinna Latte
Roasted Coffee
The Pumpkin Cinnamon is my favorite of these.  I will probably order more of that one this fall, around Halloween and Thanksgiving.  I also quite liked the Vanilla Toffee, and the Mint Chocolate Chip.  Hubby said the Caramel Nut reminded him of when I'm doing Christmas baking, and the Caramel Cinnamon one reminded him of popcorn.  LOL...I don't know.

I have not actually burned the Roasted Coffee yet.  All the others have been plenty strong on the first burn but noticeably weaker already on the second burn.  Some I didn't get more than two burns out of.  That's the only downside to these tarts.  My other tarts I can burn over and over and over and still have plenty of scent.  Still, Nana's Tarts are good enough that I would order again.  Go check her shop!

I also ordered more from my regular supplier, Country Home Scents.  This order included Pralines & Cream, Pecan Caramel Swirl, Fudge Brownie, Butterscotch Cream, Chocolate Covered Strawberry, and Heavenly Honey.  I think this order also had Chocolate Chip Cookie scent but I burned that right away because she was waiting for me feedback.  (It was good, for those who are wondering.)  I haven't burned any of this new order yet since I've working my way thru the coffee ones but I have faith that these are all fantastic.  They always are.  (Actually, I've had a couple of these scents before and had to reorder because they are so good.)  Check her shop too!

Remember when I was in Iowa I bought that soap from the little shop in East Davenport?  I don't think I ever said much about it because I knew I wanted to write about it separately.  
The soap I bought was the Milk 'n Honey bar from Iowa Naturals, made right there in Davenport.  Ingredients are not listed on the label and at the website they are bulked together in general, so I'm not sure but I don't think this particular bar contains goat milk.  Regardless, it's quite a nice bar of soap.  Plenty of long lasting lather (which I love!), lovely Oatmeal, Milk & Honey scent, ground oatmeal to scrub and stimulate.  Nice.  We also bought a 'shave stick' for hubby but didn't realize until we were home that we'd grabbed a *womens* stick.  I have not used it.  I don't know if hubby will now.  I don't know what difference there would really be anyway.  Scent?

I was also given a tiny sample of lotion with my purchase.  The only things written on the teeny tiny jar was 'Naked Bee.'  After some internet research I found out this was a product of The Naked Bee, out of California.  I emailed them, told them about my sample, asked if they might know what scent/product it is according to the shop it was in.  They replied that the shop owner probably made the samples herself, and her guess was that it was their signature scent of Orange Blossom Honey.  The sample was so small, but I got a few uses out of it for my hands.  It was nice but I prefer my beloved Bella's Birthday.

I finally bought my first Seventh Generation cleaning product.  I've known about them for a while but haven't seen their products readily available in any of the places I shop most.  Recently a blog that I read was having a Seventh Generation giveaway and to enter you had to visit the site, etc.  While at the site I browsed the list of stores that carry them and found they must have expanded because there were now places that I go to.  Not long after that I happened to be in Target and saw an end display featuring Seventh Generation products so I bought......
...Lavender Floral & Mint dish washing liquid.  I've used it a couple times now and it seems strong enough.  I always have it in my head that these natural, eco-friendly products are weak.  The suds lasted all the way, it didn't seem like I was washing with nasty water, and the scent was very nice....not overwhelming, just enough to know it was there.  Not sure at this point if I'll buy more or stick with my Dawn.  With the oil slick approaching the Gulf Coast I need to keep supporting Dawn so they can clean the ducks and wildlife!

And hey!  I think I'm caught up now on all my product natterings!

Monday, April 5, 2010

Apr. 5

Jennifer's Body (2009)
After a supernatural romp with a satanic emo band, hot cheerleader Jennifer (Megan Fox) is transformed into a demon with an insatiable appetite for high school boys. Now, it's up to Jennifer's BFF, Needy (Amanda Seyfried), to protect the guys from the bloodthirsty man-eater. Penned by Diablo Cody (Juno), this one-of-a-kind horror comedy co-stars Adam Brody as the devil-worshipping band's lead singer.

I wasn't quite sure what to think of this one.  I see in the description above it's considered a 'horror comedy' so ok, that makes me feel better because half the time I was wondering if it was meant to be serious or not.  Being the Twilight geek that I am, I kept finding all these Twilightish things about it and now wonder if it was meant to be that way as part of the 'comedy' or just me being dorky.  Ah well, it was pretty good if you're not expecting too much.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Apr. 2

The Box (2009)
A disfigured NASA employee named Arlington Steward (Frank Langella) informs Norma (Cameron Diaz) and Arthur (James Marsden) Lewis that they have 24 hours to decide if they want to push a button inside a box that will give them a cool million -- but a complete stranger will die at the same time. Richard Kelly (Donnie Darko) writes and directs this thriller based on sci-fi writer Richard Matheson's short story.

We tried to watch this last night.  We both thought it was horrible.  I gave up, about half way through.  Hubby soldiered on until the end.  I thought the acting sucked, the story was confusing and seemed pointless, and I really didn't care about anyone or anything going on.  Ya know, I remember my brother telling me and my sister about the Twilight Zone episode that this is based on.  It was many many years ago but I remember us having the debate about whether or not we would push the button.  I never have seen that particular episode of the show but I think it has to be better than this movie version.

Post Grad (2009)
Ryden Malby (Alexis Bledel) always assumed it would be easy to find a job with a college diploma. But when nothing materializes after graduation, she's forced to move back in with her dysfunctional family and work full-time at maintaining her sanity. The only bright spot is her steady relationship with her best friend, Adam (Zach Gilford), but even that's starting to feel a little awkward. Carol Burnett, Michael Keaton and Jane Lynch co-star.

Watched this one tonight.  I thought it was supposed to be a lot more comedy, but it was actually more laid back, cute, boring.  Predictable.  Carol Burnett was excellent as the grandmother though.  It was.....ok.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Mar. 31 - Paranormal Activity

Paranormal Activity (2007)
When Katie (Katie Featherston) and Micah (Micah Sloat) fear their San Diego, Calif., home may be haunted by a demonic presence, Micah sets up a video camera to document all the jaw-dropping, hair-raising action over a series of several nights in fall 2006. The paranormal occurrences increase in frequency and significance, leaving Katie more and more distraught -- and determined to put an end to the terror.

Oh. My. God.  This is the scariest movie ever.  I'm still all wound up, like hyper and shakey and feeling like I have to throw up.  LOL!  I've heard some people say it was stupid and predictable and the Blair Witch style was annoying.  (One person told me the acting sucks.  Hello?)  Ya know what though?  That's why it IS so scary.  It's the things you don't see that freak you out the most.  It's the tiny things that you weren't sure if they really happened.  It's the anticipation of knowing that something is about to happen, and then no matter how small it was you find yourself freaked.  Even some of the things that you think 'Ok, that was kinda cheesy,' just freak you out.  Even hubby was freaked, and not in a hugely obvious way like jumping or yelling, but more of an increasing nervousness like I was having.  It really got the adrenalin flowing!  The DVD has the theatrical ending and the alternate ending.  We both thought the theatrical ending was the better of the two and were glad that's the one they went with.

In the movie the couple disagree about how to deal with what might be going on.  The boyfriend doesn't really believe in any of the ghosty stuff at first, then has an attitude that the stuff they got on tape will be worth something.  He thinks psychics and such people are a crock of poo, and that they can figure out what to do themselves.  The girl wants to call the demonologist that the psychic recommended.  The couple have several arguments about what to do.  So at one point in the movie I paused it and asked hubby.....we were both mildly freaked by this point.....asked him what he would have done by this particular point.  He didn't hesitate with 'The demonologist would have already been there.'  I asked how long it would have taken him to decide that.  His breaking point was much later than mine....LOL  (I don't want to give away anything.)

Another part later on, after the freaking out is big time and constant, the couple are scared and confused about where in the house to go and I was waving my hands at the TV 'Outside!  I'd be outside by now!' and felt a real need to actually leave my own living room.  LOL!!!!

It was more of a fun scare, an adrenalin rush, than any lasting fear of the dark type thing.  Even so, I will never watch this movie alone!

Mar. 31

Couples Retreat (2009)
Desperate to save their marriage, one couple convinces three other couples to go in on a group rate price for an island retreat designed for troubled unions. But the "mandatory therapy" brews up nothing but trouble for everyone. Vince Vaughn, Jon Favreau, Jason Bateman, Kristen Bell, Kristin Davis and Faizon Love star in this comedy penned by Favreau. Peter Billingsley, who played Ralphie in A Christmas Story, directs.

This was was pretty good.  The shark attack survivor scene was hysterical, and the yoga....oh.my.god.  LOL  It's predictable that the three other couples will end up having problems but how they do or don't resolve them was still interesting to follow.  So yeah, pretty good movie that I would watch again.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Mar. 26

Possession (2008)
Happily married Jessica (Sarah Michelle Gellar) deals with the fallout of a terrible tragedy when her husband (Michael Landes) and his brother (Lee Pace) both wind up in comas after a car accident. Even worse, when the brother awakens, he's convinced he's Jessica's husband. He seems to know details of Jessica's life that only his brother would be familiar with, prompting Jessica to suspect that a supernatural force is at work.

This one was pretty good except that I did not like the guy who played the brother, no matter what form he was in.  Bleah.  It did a pretty good job of keeping me wondering 'Is it him?' and being weirded out by the idea that if it was him, how hard would it be to look at the physical guy you can't stand but love and long for the personality he know seems to be.  Sure, there were some dorky 'whatever' things about the story but overall if was pretty good.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Mar. 25

Brothers (2009)
When severely traumatized Capt. Sam Cahill (Golden Globe nominee Tobey Maguire) returns home alive from a military mission in Afghanistan after he was presumed dead, he learns that his brother, Tommy (Jake Gyllenhaal), has gotten dangerously close to his grieving wife, Grace (Natalie Portman), and his kids. Mare Winningham and Sam Shepard also star in this wartime drama about human frailty and battles fought on the home front. Jim Sheridan directs.

This was really nothing like I thought it would be, but I don't mean that in a bad way.  I thought it was going to more battling brothers, and plotting evil revenge, and stalking, and all sorts of exciting stuff.  It's not.  It goes much deeper.  However I didn't really feel a connection with any of the characters, almost like it rushed thru things too much.  The thing that 'severely traumatized' Sam really is disturbing.  I was all tensed up, my stomach in knots and sick at the same time....my mind was racing with 'What should he do?  What COULD he do?!'  Wow.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Mar. 20 - An Order, and Some Movies

Got my highly anticipated order from the previously mentioned Verbena Custom Blends today!  What I'd ordered was a 5.6oz jar of Cinnamon Sugared Caramel Vanilla Pear whipped yogurt body cream.  How absolutely delicious does that sound?!  Imagine my surprise when I opened the box and also found three good sized samples of other scents!  The samples are Lilac, Vanilla Pear, and Pomegranate Cream.  Sadly, my originally ordered one is extremely weak on scent, almost to the point where I can't smell anything.  It's not as light and fluffy as my Bella's Birthday product but it is VERY nice....at least on my initial use.  It's creamy, absorbs quickly, and leaves no greasy residue.  Shipping time was excellent too.  So far I give this product and shop a thumbs up, only wish there was a bit more scent.

Also got a mini order of tarts the other day.  This time it was two of the new Butterscotch scent, and two of one of the Fresh Baked Bread scent.  She also threw in a free Orange Spice tart because we'd been discussing it recently.  There are a few other scents newly listed that I'm dying to try, lots of foodie things like Fudge Brownie, Chocolate Chip Cookies, and a honey one.  Looks like I'll be ordering AGAIN.

It's a sickness.  Don't look at me that way.

The Hangover (2009)
When three friends (Ed Helms, Zach Galifianakis and Bradley Cooper) finally come to after a raucous night of bachelor-party revelry, they find a baby in the closet and a tiger in the bathroom. But they can't seem to locate their best friend, Doug (Justin Bartha) -- who's supposed to be tying the knot. Launching a frantic search for Doug, the trio perseveres through a nasty hangover to try to make it to the church on time in this Golden Globe winner for Best Comedy.

We watched this today, finally.  I didn't think it was anywhere near as great or hilarious as almost everyone else on earth seems to think but it did have its moments.  I loved the whole part where they were in the police station.  LOL!  Hubby and Ty found it way more entertaining than I did.  Must be a guy thing.

The Fourth Kind (2009)
When Alaskan psychiatrist Dr. Abigail Tyler (Milla Jovovich) begins videotaping her therapy sessions with clients, she uncovers petrifying evidence that they have experienced the fourth level of alien encounter: abduction. But as she finds more clues, she suspects that the government will do anything to conceal the truth. Olatunde Osunsanmi directs and Will Patton co-stars in this jarring thriller allegedly based on a true tale.

Also watched this one today.  I think it popped up in a Netflix recommendation or something because I'd never heard of it otherwise.  It was kinda Blair Witch-y in that it all *seems* to be real but in the back of your mind you know it's not.

The movie was....creepy.  There was one part that caught me totally off guard and I nearly jumped thru the ceiling.  That was pretty funny cuz I'm not normally a jumper during movies.  There was no Hollywood gore or anything like that, but there were some quick shots in the distorted 'videotaped sessions' that really creep you out because it's the kind of thing where it passes by so fast that you aren't sure what you saw.  It's one of those lingering creepy uneasy feeling movies.

New Moon was released on DVD today.  I bought mine at Target and not only got a *three* disc deluxe edition but it includes a collectible film cell.  Cool!  Mine is a boring one....Sam kissing Emily.  (Is that her name??)

I haven't watched it yet because we watched those other movies.  Maybe tomorrow.  Funny, when Twilight came out I watched it like three times in the first day.  LOL

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Mar. 13 - Etsy addiction

I continue to be in love with trying new handmade things I find on Etsy.  Figured I'd give a bit of an update on things I've used, have been using, have recently discovered....

Lip balms
I've been using several different lip balms from several different sellers, still haven't one I"m totally content with.  Seems like I'm able to use one for a while and it's great but then my lips rebel so I switch to one of the others.  What I'm working thru in my current stash:

A 'chai' stick and a 'sweet orange' stick from Mirasol Farm right here in Wisconsin.  The orange one has a bit of zing to it.  The chai is quite strong in scent.  The balm itself is soft, which I like.  They only use essential oils though, which keeps it all-natural, but it severely limits the flavor options...which I don't like.

A 'cherry almond' stick from Long Winter Farm in Maine.  (I also have a 'maple almond' and a 'black cherry' that I haven't started yet.)  There are SO many flavors to choose from at this shop!   The scent is mellow on this.  You can smell it just fine if you put it to your nose and sniff it but on your lips, nah.  Maybe that's a good thing but I've gotten used to the stronger scents in some of my others.  I think this one works pretty good but it oval shapped and it's on the harder end of the lip balm spectrum.  I do like it, but as with the others my lips seem to only like it for so long.

A 'caramel' stick from Your Time Body Treats in Chicago, Illinois.  Early on I totally disregarded this one but I think it was partially because I was so disappointed with the body butter I'd ordered from this seller.  I took this one to work just to have one in my locker and somewhere along the way I fell in love with this one.  The scent is quite strong and this particular caramel scent is fabulous.  It's a very nice medium-soft consistency that glides on easily, which I really like.  It's only downfall right now is that it's oval shaped and I just can't get used to the oval ones.  I'm afraid to bring this one back home because I'm afraid I'll keep using it just to keep smelling it.  LOL

A 'Maple Butter Cheesecake' stick that I got as a freebie from Soy N Suds, also here in Wisconsin.  Not crazy about this one.  The scent is ok, the consistency is ok, but it kinda seems like it's not there or not doing much.  Maybe it's working fine but my mind keeps thinking I need more cuz I don't really 'feel' it.

Body butters
I've been trying to find a good, light textured homemade lotion and there are sooooo many available on Etsy.  The scents and styles out there are amazing.  I want to try them all!  Well, ok, most...lol   I've only tried a few so far.
This was the Cherry Almond body butter from Your Time Body Treats in Chicago, Illinois that I had ordered early on and was so disappointed in.  I hadn't even finished the jar, but instead threw it out in frustration.  Looking at her shop now, I wonder if she's changed things?  I seem to remember different/more pics back when I ordered.  And some of the other products look way more whipped and creamy than the one I had received.  Anyway, this one was a bomb.

Still using this Warm Vanilla Sugar body butter from Concord Soap Company (Concord, Ohio).  While this has been fabulous on my feet, knees, and elbows it's just too greasy to use for hands throughout the day.  It's a bit on the hard side, where you have to push/scoop hard with your finger to get some out, and I'm not fond of that.  This jar is almost done though...another day or two and it will be gone.

My absolute favorite product so far....and you all know this already.....is the Bella's Birthday body butter from Elli Bath N Beauty in California.  I love love love this product!!!  The scent is spectacular.  Just using it on my hands, I've had people at work stop and comment 'Mmm, you smell so good.'  It's super light, fluffy, creamy.  It absorbs quickly and lasts a long time.  I usually only need it once in the morning, unless I've been washing my hands throughout the day.  The 4oz. jar that I got in mid-December is just now showing the bottom.  I think I have maybe a week left of this one.  I had also ordered a sampler pack (4 small 1oz jars) a while ago but haven't started using any of those yet.  The ONLY downfall is that both times I've ordered from here the shipping has taken nearly a month.

There is another seller on Etsy that I'm dying to order from but have been holding myself back until some of these other body butters are gone...and this is Verbena Custom Blends (location unknown).  There are so many tantalizing scents and options in this shop I won't know where to start!

Wax melting tarts
How can you not know I'm addicted to tarts?  I prefer them a thousand times over regular candles.  Ok, so yeah you still have to burn a tea light candle to melt the tart but at least the tea light burns completely and not just a trench down the middle.  (I tried electric tart warmers.  Didn't like them.)
The first ones I ordered were from Soy N Suds, here in Wisconsin.  These tarts are big...I can cut one in half and fill both of my warmers.  They are strongly scented, and they are slightly cheaper than other tarts on Etsy. Everything says I should keep buying from her, right?  
But then you experience these beautiful little babies from Country Home Scents (in Washington) and you get to know the tartmaker and become friendly with her and you stick with a good thing.  These little tarts are plenty strong, two of them usually fill this big ol' country house with their scent.  They cost a bit more but they're so damn cute, and the service is extraordinary.  If you want to venture into the world of tarts, go buy the $3.00 warmer at any Walmart type store, buy a bag of tea light candles for a couple more dollars, and then check out the many scents available at Country Home Scents on Etsy and Kristine will take wonderful care of you!  (She also has electric warmers for sale if you prefer to go that route.)

Totally unnecessary things
There is always something that catches my eye while I browse the wonders of Etsy.  Sometimes the thing grabs me so much I just have to have it, almost like 'I need that now and I'll figure out why later!'  LOL
 These little buggers are just about the cutest things ever!  They are hair clips from the Everyday Clippies, in Michigan.  I never would have thought to be browsing for hair clips but this shop popped up in an Etsy article and I was like 'Oh my gosh, what ARE those?!' and had to go check.  I don't wear little girl hair clips, and I don't even have a little girl, but I do have.....Addie!  (My grandniece.)  She was my excuse to buy these, and now she'll have a lovely little Easter present.  There are many more varieties at the shop.  Go have a look!

 I wasn't aware that people like to trade things on Etsy.  A woman had contacted me about something soap related and of course I had to check out her shop.  She crochets and had several nice things.  I was intrigued by these little buggers....they are small (about silver dollar size) face scrubbies!  I commented on them in my reply to her and she asked if I'd like to trade a bar of soap for a pack of scrubbies.  She even did them in Vikings colors for me!  I haven't actually tried them yet though.  Gotta get on that.

Bleah, the colors are crappy in this pic even after tweaking it a bit.  You can't even tell what the brown thing on the right is.  *grrr*  Well anyway, these are hand sculpted pins.  The hearts are....obviously.....done in Vikings colors (I requested that), and the brown thing is actually a really gorgeous acorn and two Fall leaves.  The artist is the sister of my sister's good friend.  Her shop is Lilly Bug Boutique, right here in Wisconsin.  This acorn pin was actually the very first thing I ever fell in love with at Etsy but it wasn't until much later that I finally decided to buy it.  She's probably going to do more for me....pins and/or magnets in Vikings colors or holiday themes.  (The purple thing in left background is a tiny purse that she included as a freebie extra.  Not sure what I'd ever use it for but it's purple!  And it was very cool that she included it.  I think it's meant to be like a tiny gift holder, like jewelry or cash or gift card.)

You can find food on Etsy too!  I can't remember how I came across the Mara's Maples shop (California) but I ordered two kinds of granola from there.  I got the Chewy Vanilla Granola with Spiced Pecans, and the
Maple Granola with Dried Cherries and Spiced Walnuts.  There are many other things I want to try too!  I was so excited when the package arrived, I couldn't wait to try some as a bowl of cereal.  I poured a decent amount in the bowl and found that.....whoa!.....a little goes a long way!  Every time since then I've taken what looks like a really skimpy amount and it fills me right up.  I don't really notice an obvious difference in flavors or in chewy vs. regular but that's ok cuz they're both good.  She included a coupon for 10% off my next order so I think I'll use it on Cinnamon Maple Granola with Cranberries and Almonds.  Yummy!

And I think that about covers my Etsy treasures so far.  If you've never been to Etsy I insist you go give it a look.  It's not as vast as eBay but I like Etsy more now because the things are handmade (or vintage).  At first I was stuck in my cheapass penny pincher mode and thought it was crazy to buy things there when I could just go to the Evil Empire for a fraction of the price but the more involved I get the more I don't mind paying extra for something handmade, something crafted, something local.

I started writing this post on March 6.  It's now almost bedtime on March 13.  That shows you how crazy things have been for me lately.  *Hopefully* I can get back into the swing of blogging very soon.

A couple updates about the products mentioned above....
I have finished that Warm Vanilla Sugar body butter that I was using on my feet.  Yesterday I started using one of the small sample jars of one of my other Twilight scents from the Bella's Birthday creator.  The scent is called The Volturi and I posted about it a while ago when I received it.  I don't like the scent so that's why it's been bumped into the bathroom for my feet-knees-elbows lotion.

My Bella's Birthday is now dangerously close to being gone.  This depresses me greatly.  I should just order another jar of it right now since I know shipping will take forever.  But remember the Verbena Custom Blends shop I mentioned earlier in this post?  Well I ordered my first product from them tonight.  I'm so excited about this!  I chose Cinnamon Sugared Caramel Vanilla Pear scented Whipped Yogurt Body Cream.  (Now there's a mouthful, huh?)  I hope it comes quickly and I'll definitely review it as soon as possible.

And there you have it.  My dorky Etsy addiction laid out for all to see.  Now go there yourself and have some fun!