Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Movie Trailer Tuesday - A Bag of Hammers

A Bag of Hammers is another one of those quirky little movies that I love so much. It turned out to be a very sweet and heartwarming story.

Alan and Ben are best friends who just aren't ready to grow up and lead respectable lives. They spend their days scheming and conning to make a living, without giving much of a second thought to their criminal behavior. Only when they start to form a relationship with a new neighbor's young son do they begin to look at their lives a little differently. A good movie that I really enjoyed. If you watch it, be sure and stay tuned in because the story continues even after the closing credits are rolling.

If you are a fan of NBC's Parenthood, you will be happy to see Jason Ritter as one of the main characters.

Rated NR - there is some language and mature subject matter.


Thursday, January 24, 2013

Green Smoothie

If you are on Pinterest, I'm sure you've seen lots of pins for healthy green smoothies. There are many variations and they are generally very easy to make. You can easily tweak the ingredient list to your liking.

I'm not a huge smoothie fan, but, I do like to have one occasionally. They are healthy, tasty, and an easy way to get a boost of fruits and/or veggies into my daily diet. One of my goals for the new year was to try and make healthier food choices and I thought a green smoothie for breakfast every now and then would be one way to accomplish that.

I used some of the recipes that I found on Pinterest as a guide but mostly threw in what I thought sounded good. Here's what I came up with:
1 cup Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk (I used Blue Diamond Almond Breeze -YUM!)
About 3 oz. Chobani Plain Non-Fat Greek Yogurt
1 Sliced Banana
Frozen Dole Mango Chunks (I just threw in a handful of chunks)
1/2 TSP Ground Cinnamon
About 1.5 Cups Baby Spinach
4-6 Ice Cubes

Threw it all in a blender and mixed it until it was well blended and thick and frothy.

I know some of you might be thinking that looks like a yucky green cup of goo... yes, it does. But, it actually tastes really, really good. It was very filling and kept me from feeling hungry for several hours. I will definitely be having more of these! Such a tasty treat that you can feel good about drinking. And, by changing one or two of the ingredients, you can easily vary the flavors.

Have you tried a green smoothie? If not, is it something that you would like to try?

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Movie Trailer Tuesday - I'll Come Running

Pelle Juul is a young Danish man traveling around the United States with some friends. Shortly before he is to return to Denmark, he meets a Texas waitress named Veronica. What starts out as a one-night stand, turns into a passionate connection between the pair. After a brief but intense couple days together, Pelle begins his journey home. But, when things take an unexpected turn, Veronica finds herself traveling to his doorstep.

This movie, while a little odd, was actually quite compelling. It shows just how messy life can be and how chance encounters can change lives. Movie includes subtitles.

Movie is Not Rated (NR) but there is lots of language, nudity, and sexuality.


Monday, January 21, 2013

”The Tutor’s Daughter” by Julie Klassen! Enter to win a “Downton Abbey” Kindle Prize Pack

About The Book
Filled with page-turning suspense, The Tutor's Daughter takes readers to the windswept Cornwall coast-a place infamous for shipwrecks and superstitions-where danger lurks, faith is tested, and romance awaits.

Emma Smallwood, determined to help her widowed father when his boarding school fails, accompanies him to the cliff-top manor of a baronet and his four sons. But soon after they arrive and begin teaching the two younger boys, mysterious things begin to happen. Who does Emma hear playing the pianoforte at night, only to find the music room empty? And who begins sneaking into her bedchamber, leaving behind strange mementoes?

The baronet's older sons, Phillip and Henry Weston, wrestle with problems-and secrets-of their own. They both remember the studious Miss Smallwood from their days at her father's academy. But now one of them finds himself unexpectedly drawn to her...

When suspicious acts escalate, can Emma figure out which brother to blame and which to trust with her heart?

About The Author

Julie Klassen loves all things Jane--Jane Eyre and Jane Austen. A graduate of the University of Illinois, Julie worked in publishing for sixteen years and now writes full time. She has won the Christy Award: Historical Romance for The Silent Governess (2010) and The Girl in the Gatehouse (2011) which also won the 2010 Midwest Book Award for Genre Fiction. Julie and her husband have two sons and live in a suburb of St. Paul, Minnesota.

Find out more about Julie at JulieKlassen.com.

Follow along with the blog tour

Link to buy the book

My Thoughts

I adored this book! This is the second book by Julie Klassen that I've read and she is such a wonderful storyteller. I was immediately drawn into the story and it's cast of characters. Emma Smallwood is a likeable character - very sensible and practical. She is obviously a devoted daughter who does everything she can to help her father. When they travel to the Weston estate it is very interesting to see how her relationship with the Weston brothers evolves. I couldn't help but fall for Henry - from the roughish young boy that he used to be to the solid, stand-up man that he has become he was simply dashing to me. The setting, the Cornwall coast, is perfect for the mysterious happenings that start to occur in the Weston house. It really is a very clever, romantic tale with a sort of twisted Jane Eyre feel.

Julie is celebrating by giving away one of the new Paperwhite Kindles, Downton Abbey (season 3) and hosting a fun Author Chat Party on Facebook. (January 31st)


One fortunate winner will receive:
  • A Kindle Paperwhite
  • Downton Abbey, Season 3
  • A Julie Klassen library (The Tutor’s Daughter, The Maid of Fairbourne Hall, The Girl in the Gatehouse, and The Silent Governess)
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on January 30th. Winner will be announced at "The Tutor's Daughter Author Chat Party on January 31st. Connect with Julie, get a sneak peek of her next book, try your hand at the trivia contest, and chat with readers just like you. There will also be great giveaways - gift certificates, books and season 3 of Downton Abbey!

So grab your copy of The Tutor's Daughter and join Julie on the evening of the January 31st for a chance to connect with Julie and make some new friends. (If you haven't read the book - don't let that stop you from coming!)

Don't miss a moment of the fun, RSVP todayTell your friends via FACEBOOK or TWITTER and increase your chances of winning. Hope to see you on the 31st!

Litfuse Publicity Group provided me with a free copy of this book for review. I was not obligated to write a positive review. All opinions expressed in this post are 100% my own. 

Swagbucks Swag Code Extravaganza Coming (plus Bonus Sign-Up Code)

Tuesday, January 22, 2013, Swagbucks is kicking off a Jantastic Swag Bucks Code Extravaganza!

To celebrate the month of January, Swagbucks will be giving out January themed codes throughout the entire day. If you can snag them all, you'll have an extra 65 Swag Bucks at the end of the day. Be sure and check the Swagbucks blog, Facebook and Twitter for potential clues. Also, if you have the new Toolbar installed you'll be able to check for Swag Codes all day long.

If you haven't joined Swagbucks yet, I invite you to join for free using my referral link. Simply click the link to join and start earning reward points that you can exchange for free stuff like gift cards! Use the code JANTASTIC during sign up - that way you'll start with 100 Swag Bucks instead of the usual 30. Enter the code exactly as it appears with no spaces. This sign-up code is good now until 11:59pm PT on Tuesday, Jan 22nd.

It's super easy and there are many ways you can earn Swag Bucks such as by searching the web, voting in polls, taking surveys, watching videos, shop and earn, finding Swag Codes, and more. I've been participating for  well over a year and I have earned numerous Amazon gift codes. They were a big help to me for this past year's Christmas shopping. It's really a no-brainer way to earn rewards.

This post contains my Swagbucks referral link. You are not obligated to join Swagbucks using my referral link. All opinions expressed are 100% my own.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

An All-In-One Foundation, Powder, Concealer and SPF - Philosophy Supernatural Airbrush Foundation

I'm not a fan of liquid foundations. They usually feel too heavy on my skin and look too "make-up-y". If and when I use foundation, I prefer powder/mineral formulas. I recently saw a product presented on QVC and decided to give it a try.

It's called Supernatural Airbrushed Canvas and is made by Philosophy. This product is a 4-in-1 mineral foundation, powder, concealer, and SPF.

Supernatural Airbrush Foundation comes in a great little jar with a sponge-applicator and mirror right on the lid. This makes it super quick and easy to apply. And, a lot less messy than having to put the product on with a separate brush.

The talc-free powder has an SPF of 15 and is safe for all skin types. In just one easy step, you get a natural, sheer coverage that leaves your skin with a smooth, airbrushed appearance. You simply turn the supernatural canvas container over and tap the bottom to fill puff with airbrush powder. Then use the sponge applicator to smooth all over your face. You can layer for more coverage, if desired.

I have been using it for a couple months now and really love it. I'm all about multi-tasking - the fewer products I have to use in my daily beauty routine the better. The Supernatural Airbrush Foundation is indeed very natural looking on my skin. It wears well and doesn't settle in those small creases and fine lines on my face. Below I have some before and after pics so you can get an idea of the coverage the product provides (bear with me, the photos were just quickly snapped with my phone while I was getting ready this morning and they're not the prettiest;).

Pre-Makeup - nothing on my face except moisturizer
Supernatural Airbrush Foundation applied
Now I've added my blush, eye makeup, and lip color
With my glasses on, I'm all finished!
As you can see, I stick to the basics with my makeup and usually have a very light, natural look. I'm not sure how well it shows in these photos, but the Supernatural Foundation really does even out my skin tone and conceal some of the dark spots. It's very natural looking and doesn't even feel like I'm wearing anything on my skin. 

I bought the Philosophy Supernatural Airbrush Foundation from QVC for $35.00. If you are looking for a natural-looking and natural-feeling, multi-tasking makeup product for your face, give this one a try.

This is not a sponsored post. I'm just sharing a product that I bought on my own and really enjoy using.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Book Review - Maybe This Time by Jennifer Crusie

When Andie Miller shows up at the office of her ex-husband, North Archer, she is looking for closure. It has been ten years since they parted ways, and now, as Andie is about to marry again, she wants to rid herself of anything to do with North once and for all. But, when he asks her for an unexpected "favor" and makes her an offer she can't refuse, she agrees to help him out.
North has found himself the guardian of two children of a distant cousin. The kids are living in the middle of nowhere in a gothic English-style estate. The problem? Every nanny that North hires quits under mysterious circumstances. And the kids? They are behind in their education and adamantly refuse to leave the house. North needs to find a temporary, reliable caretaker that can get the kids caught up to grade level and coaxed into moving in with him. He offers to pay Andie a hefty fee if she will accept the job.
When Andie arrives at the kids' estate, she immediately wonders what she's gotten herself into. The place is in ruins and practically falling apart. The kids are weird and withdrawn. There's a scheming housekeeper and there may even be ghosts haunting the house. And, these ghosts could be the very reason the kids refuse to leave. Later, throw in an unscrupulous journalist, a non-believing parapsychologist, a no-nonsense medium, and a jealous fiancĂ© (to name just a few in this crazy cast of characters) and all kinds of chaos ensues.
I really loved this book! It was a light read full of hilarious laugh-out-loud moments as well as plenty of mystery and romance. Andie's character is independent, feisty, and full of spunk. North comes across as a little more serious and reserved but very sexy. There's a great chemistry between the two and I immediately found myself rooting for them to get back together.  The paranormal aspect of the book also kept me guessing. Maybe This Time is just a fun story to read!
This is not a sponsored post. I'm just sharing a book that I purchased on my own and really enjoyed reading.


Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Movie Trailer Tuesday - In Darkness

In Darkness was a nominee for best foreign language film in the 2012 Academy Awards.

Based on a true story, this film takes place in the Polish city of Lvov while it was under Nazi occupation. Polish sewer-worker and petty thief, Leopold, risks his own life to help hide several Jews in the city's sewer system.

This movie tells an important story from history and is both moving and horrifying to watch.

Rated R for violence, disturbing images, sexuality, nudity and language.


Sunday, January 13, 2013

The Walt Disney Studios Earns 17 Oscar Nominations

Last week, the Academy Award Nominations were announced. I am so happy to see that The Walt Disney Studios earned a whopping 17 Oscar nominations!

Lincoln received 12 nominations, including Best Picture, and is the most nominated film of the year.

Brave, Frankenweenie, Wreck-It Ralph, Paperman and Marvel’s The Avengers all received one nomination each.
Which of these Disney Studio movies have you seen and which are your favorites?
Tune in to ABC on Sunday February 24 for the 85th Academy Awards show. Visit Oscar.com for a complete list of nominations.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Check Out 6pm.com For Some Great Deals On Winter Boots

I've told you before how much I love shopping 6pm.com. You can find really good deals on name brand shoes, clothing, and accessories.

Now that we are in the thick of winter weather, maybe you find yourself in need of some new winter boots. Right now, 6pm.com has these Sorel Tivoli boots for only $65.99 (that's 45% off the original price of $120.00).

I own a pair similar to these and absolutely love them. I'm going into my third winter with my boots and they still look like new.
They have a waterproof leather shell and a fleece lining to keep your tootsies warm and dry.  Other features include:
  • Removable EVA foot bed which provides cushioning and support for all-day comfort.
  • Molded rubber outsole for excellent traction in wet or slick terrains

  • Sizes are slightly limited so hurry and check it out. Other styles of Sorel boots are also available at similar discounted prices.

    This is not a sponsored post - just me sharing a good deal on a product I love.


    Tuesday, January 8, 2013

    Movie Trailer Tuesday - 5 Days Of War

    This political drama tells the story of American journalist Thomas Anders and his cameraman as they cover the short-lived war between Russia and the Georgian Republic in 2008. With much of the world unaware of the incredible violence that is going on there, Anders tries desperately to get the story out and show the atrocities that are happening. After being caught in dangerous territory, Anders becomes entangled with a local young woman and helps her in her plight to reunite with her family. Together, they are in a fight to survive this devastating 5-day war.

    I'm not entirely clear, but I have read that this movie is based on a true story. I've also read that the Georgian government was involved with the making of this film. So, I'm not sure about the facts or accuracy of the film. Regardless, it's an intense, action-packed story that kept me interested throughout the film. It's hard to imagine the difficult and dangerous situations that journalists put themselves in to bring us these kinds of stories.

    Rated R for strong bloody war violence and atrocities, and for pervasive language