Wednesday, February 27, 2013

DISNEY•PIXAR Monsters University Coming To Theaters June 21, 2013

Monsters University is coming to theaters this summer. It looks like it's going to be a lot of fun. Will you be seeing it?


Ever since college-bound Mike Wazowski (voice of Billy Crystal) was a little monster, he has dreamed of becoming a Scarer—and he knows better than anyone that the best Scarers come from Monsters University (MU). But during his first semester at MU, Mike’s plans are derailed when he crosses paths with hotshot James P. Sullivan, “Sulley” (voice of John Goodman), a natural-born Scarer. The pair’s out-of-control competitive spirit gets them both kicked out of the University’s elite Scare Program. To make matters worse, they realize they will have to work together, along with an odd bunch of misfit monsters, if they ever hope to make things right.

Screaming with laughter and oozing with heart, Disney•Pixar’s “Monsters University” is directed by Dan Scanlon (“Cars,” “Mater and the Ghostlight,” “Tracy”), produced by Kori Rae (“Up,” “The Incredibles,” “Monsters, Inc.”) and features music from future Rock-and-Roll-Hall-of-Fame–inductee and award winning composer Randy Newman (“Monsters, Inc.,” “Toy Story 3”). The film opens in U.S. theaters on June 21, 2013, and will be shown in Disney Digital 3D™ in select theaters.

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Tuesday, February 26, 2013

What's On Your Nightstand, February 26, 2013

I'm participating in What's on Your Nightstand over at 5 Minutes for Books. It's basically a monthly carnival where you can write and link up a post listing the books you plan on reading for the upcoming month. It's a nice way to set some reading goals of my own as well as check out the other posts - where I'm sure to find more books to add to my never-ending to-be-read pile.
I had a good month in January, completing six books. But, I've slipped in February and hardly had any time for reading. I'm hoping to get back on track and at least complete a few books in the upcoming weeks.
Here's what's on my list to read next:
1. Afterlife by Hank Hanegraaff - A theological book dealing with what happens to a person after death
2. The People of Forever Are Not Afraid: A Novel by Shani Boianjiu - A coming-of-age story about what it's like for girls growing up in Israel and being drafted into the fierce Israeli Army.
3.  Kisses For Katie by Katie J. Davis, Beth Clark - True story of a young Tennessee woman who decides to skip college and leave her friends and family behind to move to Uganda.. There, she hopes to minister to people and really make a difference.

4.  Animal Farm by George Orwell - This classic has been on my list for a long time. I just picked up a copy at Half Price Books and it should be a quick read.

So, that's my short reading list. What about you...what are you reading? Be sure and check out the other posts over at 5 Minutes for Books if you need some inspirations.

Movie Trailer Tuesday - Robot & Frank

Frank is an aging former thief who lives alone in this somewhat futuristic story. Because his mental state is declining, Frank's son gets him a highly functioning robot to serve as a health aide and home helper. Frank is not too keen on the robot's attempts to help him live a more routine and healthy lifestyle. But, he soon finds that the robot may be just the kind of companion he needs - to not only improve his daily living, but also to resume his cat burglar career. Funny, heartwarming, and unexpectedly moving, this movie is definitely one worth watching.

Rated PG-13 for language.


New Hand-Crafted Griddle Melts at IHOP

IHOP has just introduced a new item to their menu - Griddle Melt sandwiches. These hand-crafted sandwiches are made to order any time of day on artisan sourdough bread with your choice of three fluffy omelets.

Griddle Melt varieties include:

• Spinach, Roasted Pepper & Cheese - Sautéed fresh spinach in a fluffy egg omelet topped with roasted red peppers and onions, melted Provolone, Parmesan and Pepper Jack cheeses on grilled artisan sourdough bread. Served with your choice of hash browns, French fries or seasonal fruit.

• Western - Smoked ham and sautéed peppers and onions in a classic omelet, topped with sliced ham, melted American cheese and served on grilled artisan sourdough bread. Served with your choice of hash browns, French fries or seasonal fruit.

• Ham & Egg Melt - Sliced ham and melted Swiss and American cheeses over a fluffy egg omelet served on grilled artisan sourdough bread. Served with your choice of hash browns, French fries or seasonal fruit.
Griddle Melts are available to order as whole sandwiches or half sandwiches. They are large, hearty, and made with the finest ingredients. At $4.99 for the half sandwich, they are a great value!
I recently took a trip to IHOP with my teenage daughter to try out the new Griddle Melt sandwiches. We had a great brunch and the service was fast and friendly.
I ordered the Ham and Egg Melt. When it arrived at our table, it was fresh and hot. The sandwich was huge and it looked delicious. I ordered the full size sandwich and I'm not ashamed to admit I ate every last bite! I really have to say that it's one of the tastiest things I've had lately. The bread was spectacular - thick and buttery - and the omelet was indeed very fluffy and cheesy - YUM! It definitely filled me up and I'm already looking forward to going back and having it again.
For more information or to find an IHOP location, visit
You can also follow IHOP on Facebook
I received an IHOP gift card and invitation to try out their new Griddle Melt sandwiches. I was not obligated to post a positive review. All opinions expressed in this post are my own.


Saturday, February 23, 2013

Weekly Links I Liked 2-23-13

Happy Saturday! Here's my weekly round-up of good stuff (cool, interesting, funny, sweet, etc.) I came across on the web this week...

I don't know if these 60 Tiny Love Stories are really true or not (I hope so). But, I dare you to read them without crying.

Yum! This Kentucky Bourbon Pecan Fudge is calling my name. I really want to make this.

I want these Jane Austen stamps. They are being released in England in honor of the 200th anniversary of Pride and Prejudice...any British buddies want to hook a girl up?
My favorite fashion pin of the week...blush pink skinny jeans and a denim shirt are perfect for spring!
I love this open letter to PR/Social Media Reps found on the blog, A Little Bite of Life. It is such a pain to receive bad PR pitches from people who expect something for nothing.
Here's a nice reminder about the importance of connecting. It's from Heather at Theta Mom
You gotta love persistent and proud mamas! Check out this feel-good video featuring Michael Buble...
Enjoy your weekend!


Friday, February 22, 2013

Swagbucks Shop and Earn Birthday Blowout is getting ready to celebrate their 5th birthday, and they're doing it in a big way. Sure there are the $1000 cash prizes for five lucky Swaggernauts and the chance to win up to 135 bonus SB on their birthday, but what else could there be?

How about Double SB in Shop & Earn? Starting at midnight on Monday, Feb 25th and lasting until midnight on Tuesday, all stores in Shop & Earn will give you double the Swag Bucks per dollar spent. In addition to prizes and bonus SB, it's better than double the cash back. This only lasts on's brithday, so make sure to shop then to earn your 2X SB.

If you're not a member of Swagbucks yet, join me and use the code 5THBIRTHDAY during registration - you'll start with 120 Swag Bucks! I've used Swagbucks for three years and I have earned so many Amazon gift cards (usually 1-2 cards per month)! It's so easy!


Cheers! It's National Margarita Day

I didn't realize there was such a day, but apparently today is National Margarita Day. (Actually, I've seen conflicting statements around the web - some places say it is Feb. 22 and others say it is Feb. 20.) Either way, it sounds like a good thing to celebrate to me!

My personal preference when it comes to margaritas is frozen with NO salt. I also like fruit flavored margaritas. My friend and I go out for "girls movie/dinner night" every month or so and when we do, we often go to Chili's. We always ask them to do a special margarita for us - half strawberry, half mango. It's so good!

So, in honor of this festive occasion, I've been scouring the web to find some yummy margarita recipes. I discovered that there are more margarita recipes than I could've ever imagined. Some of them are a little out there - kale margaritas, carrot margaritas, pumpkin margaritas - I'm not sure about those flavors, LOL! I think I'll stick to the basics.

Check out the links below and let me know which one you would like to try...

Strawberry Margarita at Tide & Thyme - yes please!

Guava-Orange Margarita - so pretty and exotic! As seen on Une-deux senses

Margarita for one at Once Upon A Chef

How about some Margarita Ice Pops for a fun twist - as seen at Epicurious

Meyer Lemon Margarita as seen at The Wicked Noodle

Agave Margaritas as seen at Camille Styles

Cheers! Happy National Margarita Day!

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Project Procrastination

My youngest son, Zachary, is in the sixth grade. His social studies teacher assigned a big culture project a few weeks ago. Each student was able to choose a task or tasks from a list that she provided to them. The tasks were worth various amounts of points, depending on the difficulty/time required. Students had to do tasks that equaled 50 points - whether it was one big task or several smaller ones.
Zachary, thinking that doing one task is surely easier than doing several, chose a single (more time-consuming) 50-point task. Even though we've known about it for weeks, I (bad mom!) have procrastinated helping him get started. And,'s due Friday.
What is the task, you ask?
And, it's due in two days.
And, I have no idea what we are making.
And, I hate cooking.
We have looked around the web for some ideas and pretty much every recipe we found sounds complicated. And, contains LOTS of ingredients. And, many also contain vodka or some other kind of spirit.

One of the recipes that came up often in our searches was borscht (basically, beet soup which can be served hot or chilled).
Can you imagine us taking chilled beet soup in to a bunch of sixth graders. I can't wait to see their reactions. That is, if we can manage to make the recipe. I don't think I've ever touched a beet, let alone know how to cook it.
So, if you happen to be an expert in Russian cuisine or have any suggestions, feel free to comment. Wish us luck, I think we're going to need it!

Great Disney Parks Commercial

I happened to catch this Disney commercial on television the other night and I absolutely love it! It's about a teenage girl and her dad spending some quality time together at Disney World. What I love about it (besides that it portrays a teenage girl perfectly - talking on her cell, liking a cute boy) is that it actually focuses on teen kids and how they can enjoy Disney Parks with their families. Most of the time, Disney advertising seems to be aimed at families with young children so this is a nice change. As a parent to three teenagers and one tween myself, I certainly appreciate and can identify with this commercial. Very cute and the message is so true!

My friend and I have had discussions about possibly taking our teenage daughters on a "girls only" Disney trip sometime soon. Before I know it, our kiddos will be grown and off to college. I think it would be a fun trip and a great memory for us.

Have you seen the commercial? Here it is, check it out...


Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Movie Trailer Tuesday - Safety Not Guaranteed

This independent comedy is sweet, funny, and, in an oddball kind of way, very romantic. Seeking a story for their small Seattle magazine, a journalist and two interns set out to find the person who wrote a mysterious classified ad. In the ad, this person is seeking a partner for time travel. Each of the characters are kinda screwed up in their own way but you can't help but love them. Another quirky film that I really enjoyed.
Rated R for language and sexual references.


Sunday, February 17, 2013

Oz The Great and Powerful Featurette - Costume and Make-Up

Disney's Oz The Great and Powerful hits theaters on March 8, 2013. I'm so excited for this fantasy-filled adventure starring James Franco, Michelle Williams, Rachel Weisz, Mila Kunis, Zach Braff, and Joey King. The images from the movie are nothing short of stunning - beautiful, magical, and full of color!

Check out this video featurette about the costumes and make-up for Oz The Great and Powerful.

For more be sure and follow Oz The Great and Powerful on Twitter and Facebook


Saturday, February 16, 2013

Weekly Links I Liked 2-16-13

Here's my weekly round-up of stuff that caught my eye on the web this week...

My favorite fashion pin - Gray is my favorite color and I love it paired here with brown. It's a great casual look.

These ventless fireplaces are so cool! I especially love the Empire Tabletop Fireplace - it uses a gel fuel that imitates the crackling sound of fire.

Check out these 20 Health Benefits of Turmeric. I've gotta try to incorporate more of this into my diet.

I just came across this new-to-me site that looks really interesting. What The Flicka? is an online site/community for women by Felicity Huffman (from Desperate Housewives). There are lots of contributing writers dishing on everything from parenting, relationships, food, health, entertainment, and more. I look forward to diving in and checking it out in more detail.

I've seen this pin floating around on Pinterest for awhile and just adore this lip color. But, I cannot find it anywhere! I've looked and I'm thinking this color doesn't really exist.

How about you? What interesting things did you come across this week on the web?


Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Accepting His Punishment

Yesterday, my youngest son's (Zachary) class was scheduled to take a field trip to see a play. I had procrastinated on turning in his permission slip and money. The day before it was due, I received a message from my son's teacher. It seems he had been getting in trouble for talking during class and the such several times last week. When this happens, students are required to sign a behavior log. Depending on how many times they sign the log, there are various consequences. Apparently, Zachary had signed it several times on multiple days and, therefore, would not be allowed to attend the field trip.

So glad I had not sent in the money yet, LOL!

Anyway, I was told that on the day of the field trip, he would sit in class with another teacher and spend the entire day working on any assignments he needed to complete or extra assignments that they would give him as part of his "consequences."

I have no problem with this punishment. Zachary, at times, has problems controlling his talking and/or sitting still in class. If the teacher thinks his behavior is causing a disruption, then by all means I support her attempts to help him get his behavior in line. By the way, he is in the sixth grade.

When field trip day arrived, Zachary asked me if he could just stay home since all he would be doing would be "sitting in class" doing busy work.

No way, buddy!

He balked and complained for a few minutes, but when he figured out I wasn't going to cave and let him stay home, he resigned himself to accept his punishment. He trotted off to the bus and not another word was said.

Hopefully, Zachary learned a little lesson. We shall see how he behaves in the upcoming weeks.

For those of you with school-age kids, would you be okay with your child missing a field trip for misbehavior in the classroom?


Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Movie Trailer Tuesday - City Island (Repeat)

Today's trailer is one I've mentioned before, but, it's so good that I feel it's worth the repeat.

Meet the Rizzos - a crazy, loud, dysfunctional family living on City Island in the Bronx. They all have secrets and they are all trying really hard to keep these secrets from one another. I loved everything about this movie! It made me laugh (so so many laugh-out-loud moments) and it made me cry, too. The entire cast was terrific. The teenage son, played by Ezra Miller, was hilarious - I just can't get enough of him!  Julianna Margulies nailed it as the tough-talking, angry wife. And, Andy Garcia stars with his real life daughter, Dominik Garcia-Lorido - they are both great. I know, I know, I just can't stop gushing about this movie! It's one of my all-time favorites and I really hope you will check it out.

Rated PG-13 for Sexual content, smoking and language


Saturday, February 9, 2013

Weekly Links I Liked 2-9-13

On Saturdays, I'm going to try and post a weekly roundup of some of the great things I've come across on the web. Check out the links I liked this week...

This feel-good story is about a mom who gets to hear her son's voice for the first time. Awesome!

Here's a list of 74 Simple Things You Can Do To Brighten Your Spouse's Day  - some of these are pretty funny.

I am in love with this orange eyelet pencil skirt from Coldwater Creek.

I really need to clean up our eating habits. Here's a helpful list of ingredients you never want to see on your nutrition labels.

I'm not trying to get into any political debates here (really, I'm not) but I was so moved by this man's speech. He is a true patriotic American in my book and I agree with him 100%!

My favorite fashion pin of the week - so casual yet elegant. Not sure I can pull off wearing white shorts, though:( Is there an age where wearing white shorts is no longer appropriate?

What about you? Do you have any links that you would like to share? Feel free to leave them in a comment below. Happy weekend!


Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Quality Time with my Teenage Daughter

Yesterday, I picked up my 16 yr. old daughter from school and then we had some errands to run. We spent a good 50-60 minutes in the car together, just the two of us.

It was so nice and definitely time well spent. We talked - really talked - about everything from books we are reading and want to read, music and movies, to what's been going on with her friends and at school. I'm glad that we both share a love of reading and that she actually wants to discuss books together. One of the reasons that I read so many young adult books is that it connects me to my daughter and gives us something to share. I love that she wants to tell me things about her friends and her day. We talked about her classes and which classes she might take next year as a high school senior. She made me smile and laugh, and, well, she made my day!

Having four kids, it's not always easy to get that one-on-one time with them. Something as simple as an afternoon in the car together gave me the perfect opportunity to do just that with my daughter. As my kids get older (12, 14, 16, and 19), I realize even more how precious our time is together. It will be a mere blink of an eye and before I know it, they will be grown up and ready to leave the nest. But, for now, this mama bird intends to cherish every single second.

What about you? For those of you with children, how do you get your quality time with them?


Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Movie Trailer Tuesday - People Like Us

Oh, you know how I love a good tear-jerker movie! I remember seeing previews for this when it was in theaters but I never got around to going to see it. I got the DVD through Netflix last week and have to tell you it's one of the best movies I've watched lately.

Sam is a slick and somewhat unscrupulous businessman with some major financial woes. When he learns of his estranged father's death, he reluctantly returns to his home. After the funeral, his father's lawyer presents him with a secret bag of cash. Sam is thrilled. But, then he reads the message that accompanies the money; a last request from his father to get the money to someone else. That someone turns out to be a sister and nephew that Sam never even knew existed. It's a real struggle for Sam as he tries to come to grips with this revelation and what to do with the money.

Chris Pine and Elizabeth Banks are terrific in their roles in this film. They come across as so real - flawed and full of emotion. I just really loved it and the ending had me in tears.

Rated PG-13 for language, some drug use and brief sexuality


Saturday, February 2, 2013

Weekly Links I Liked - 2-2-13

Here are a few awesome links that I came across this week and really want to share with you...

This heartwarming story will have you in tears. What an amazing and inspiring big brother! Please don't miss this one.

4 Ingredient Chocolate Chip Cookies -- I definitely gotta try these.

What a magical getaway this would be...a girl can dream, right? This place is so cool, you must click thru all the photos.

10 Compliments Your Kids Need To Hear - this is a great article that every parent should read.

This layered pizza dip sounds yummy and easy to make. Would be good to serve for Superbowl Sunday or your next get-together.

My favorite fashion pin of the week - I love the chunky, sparkly necklace paired with the casual layers.

I can't decide if this Banana Cuppa Chocolate Tea sounds gross or delicious? I'm intrigued and want to try it out.

Did you see something really interesting this week? (around the web or perhaps something on your own blog)  Feel free to share in the comments below. Happy weekend!