Thursday, January 26, 2017

Two Movies for Tonight

Looking for something to watch tonight? Time is precious and you don't want to spend time searching for a movie to only be disappointed with it in the end. So that's why I've brought you two movies for tonight. The movies I review here give you an idea of what's good to watch any time you want to quickly get a movie and start watching it. This week I'm giving you two movies that are totally worthy of your time. 

The first movie... DeepWater Horizon.
This movie is based on the true events of the DeepWater Horizon off shore drilling site located off the coast of Louisiana. In America and abroad we all remember oil spilling into the ocean and onto our beaches from April 20-July 15, 2010. We remember the cleanup, the devastation and the fact that many animals died and people suffered loss revenue in fishing, tourism and more. What many people don't realize or maybe I just didn't realize is that several people were killed in the process of the spill.

Deepwater Horizon was a semi-submerged, deep water oil rig floating over 40 miles away from the coast of Louisiana. Crew members would live on site for weeks at a time while doing their job. The rig was owned by BP Oil and operated by TransOcean which is a private contractor. On April 20, the rig was set to begin drilling but when Supervisor Jimmy and Engineer Mike arrive back to the rig they find workers assigned to pour concrete around the well to stabilize it leaving the rig without doing the job. Jimmy insists that they perform a pressure test to ensure safety before they begin drilling. Much to the annoyance of BP they follow suit and begin the tests.

The pressure tests begin to show problems and that the rig is not yet stable for drilling. The pressure tests weaken the drill well and in turn it crumbles the foundation. Explosions begin to occur and it becomes apparent that they all need to get off the dying rig.

If you haven't seen this movie, then I highly suggest watching it. I thought it was very informative and shows what those men and women went through that night. BP shame on you!

The second movie... The Black Cat.

This 1934 black and white film was a much watch for me recently. I had heard that it was about a black cat going around killing people. Well... I love our cat Tesco, so I was curious to see this little black cat going around and somehow knocking people off.

The Black Cat is about a money hungry family waiting for their grandmother/mother to die. She has become ill and everyone is at the house waiting for her death. She knows this and informs them all of what they will receive once she has passed. In the process, strange things begin to happen. Poison ends up killing several of her cats that roam the property and once she passes the family begins to turn on each other.

A storm has flooded the roads and the family is trapped at the house. The phone lines have been cut and now it's up to them to find out who's killing off members of the family. A black cat roams the property and comes into the house. The family begins to notice that when someone is going to be the next victim, the black cat crosses their path.

Watch this cute film for an entertaining laugh. If you love cats you'll love this old film.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Wordless Wednesday

Just a little wordless Wednesday from Christmas in West Virginia

Friday, January 20, 2017

Valentine's Day Gift Ideas

Can you believe Valentines Day is just around the corner? 2017 is already moving and grooving. Just as I did with Christmas, I mentioned a few things that I'd love to have for the holiday. Since Valentine's day isn't the same level of Christmas, I kept my list short with just a few options in each category. Now before you think I'm all about stuff just remember I will fine with only getting a card. Who doesn't love a cute card from their husband and mom? With that being said here's a few things on my wish list for the year.

1. Books.
Found here, here and here

I love books. I could just read and read. I've been wanting this Mars fiction book for awhile (I love anything with going to Mars). I've recently discovered the classic series: The Dana Girls Mysteries and I'm loving how cute they are. Then of course Harry Bosch books.

2. Movies.
Found here, here and here

I am a sucker for a good Hallmark movie! I especially love their Christmas movies but they also have some other really good ones!

3. Weekend Getaway.

I've been wanting to go to Portland which is close to us so that could be a weekend. I've also been wanting to go to Wyoming which is a little further away but hey... Portland is close so is Seattle which I really liked! I can always make Pigeon Forge a weekend :) I keep hearing about all the updates to the Graceland area in Memphis. I'd love to see all of the changes!

4. A New Scarf.

Found here, here and here
I love wearing a scarf in the winter when it's cold. I usually wear it all day at my desk too. I only have a few so it's tricky to incorporate them into my wardrobe. I'd like to add a new one or two or three.

5. Christmas Village Pieces.
Found here, here, here and here.

I put my first Christmas village up this past year and I loved it! I want to add more pieces to it in 2017 and to do that I'll need to acquire more houses, accessories and lighted buildings. I saw this little set when I was with my mom in Pigeon Forge and thought it was so cute!

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Two Movies for Tonight

Looking for something to watch tonight? Time is precious and you don't want to spend time searching for a movie to only be disappointed with it in the end. So that's why I've brought you two movies for tonight. The movies I review here give you an idea of what's good to watch any time you want to quickly get a movie and start watching it. This week I'm giving you two movies that are totally worthy of your time. 

The first movie... Criminal.
This movie came out in early 2016 and I had never heard of it until about a week ago. I was surprised because it has so many big name actors in it. It stars Ryan Reynolds, Kevin Costner, Gary Oldman and Tommy Lee Jones. I thought the movie had a really original story line and enjoyed the movie. I'm really surprised it didn't do better in the theater to where we heard more about it.

Ryan Reynolds is living in London with his family as a CIA agent Bill Pope. When he comes into contact with a man known as the Dutchman, his life soon becomes unstable. The Dutchman has hacked all of America's warhead codes and can launch a missile anywhere and at anytime. He comes to the United States and to Pope because he wants asylum and money. Pope takes him to a safe location and is the only person to know where he's located. When he becomes incapable of telling the CIA where the Dutchman is located they bring in  lifetime career offender- Jerico (Costner).

Jerico has never been able to have feelings due to a frontal lobe injury as a child. So living a life of crime has never bothered him. He's never cared for anyone or anything except money. When the CIA does an experiment to give him Pope's memories and feelings in effort to locate the Dutchman he doesn't understand the feelings he feels. He also wants no part in helping the CIA. He does however, want the bag of money he saw in a memory of Pope's. While he goes out in search of the bag of money, he comes across Pope's wife and child and begin to cares about someone for the first time in his life.

Watch this interesting movie and you'll be entertained for sure.

The second movie... Duff.

I laughed so hard during this movie. It really reminds me of another hilarious movie... She's the Man. I can't wait to re-watch this movie that's how funny I thought it was. I had never really heard of the term DUFF until now but it's totally true! Duff stands for Designated Ugly Fat Friend. When you think about it... everyone has a Duff! Watch this movie, trust me... it'll make your cheeks hurt from laughing.

Bianca is a senior in high school living in the suburbs of Atlanta. Her two best friends are Jessica and Casey who when she describes them are labeled as more popular and better looking than her. Bianca's next door neighbor and childhood friend, Wesley is a star football player and wanted by all the girls. Bianca only has eyes for Toby, a guitar player/singer whom she can't bring herself to talk to because she's so shy. When Jessica and Casey persuade her to attend the most popular girl in high school, Madison's party she goes in hopes of seeing Toby there. The party turns out to be the worst night for her.

Wesley without realizing it as first informs Bianca that she's a DUFF. He quickly tries to explain to her that the duff doesn't have to be ugly or fat. It's just someone less popular in their group of friends who is more accessible and people go to when they want to date or hook up with their hotter friends. Bianca is shocked and then realizes that she's Jessica and Casey's DUFF. She's so upset she unfriends them and vows to get Toby to go out with her. To accomplish this she enlists the help of Wesley in turn for tutoring him in Chemistry so he can keep playing football.

Bianca and Wes begin to fall into their old pattern of being childhood friends once they start hanging out to study and he gives her lessons on how to get Toby to go out with her. Along the way they have their ups and downs and hilarious events take over Bianca's social life.

Watch Duff. You won't be sorry!

Monday, January 16, 2017

Not Just Reading Books but Writing

Over the years, I've read a lot of books. I love reading. Once a book draws me in, I could sit all day and read it until I finish it. For the past few years, I had toyed with the idea of writing a book. I just couldn't decide what I would write about. Then of all days on the day of my wedding rehearsal, I was telling my bridesmaids about this idea I had about what I would do in a disaster. Then it hit me. That's what I could write my book about. This crazy idea of sitting down and actually writing a book didn't seem so crazy anymore. I had the idea and I could move forward now.

After my wedding and after getting some rest, I sat down and actually started writing my book. The first few chapters flowed easily and came naturally to me. It was like it had been in my head all along. Then about half way in the hard part came. I hit a major writers block. I knew how I wanted my story to go but I couldn't think how to continue. I didn't know how to get them to the end. It was the in between that was hard. I keep going though. I wouldn't write everyday because honestly some days I couldn't. I would be tired from working or I would have things I needed to go out and do. Then of course, I had my ornament business and traveling for work.

I started writing my book at the end of December 2015. Once June came around I was more than 50% to my final word count goal. Then I slowed down some. I had told the majority of my plot and just needed how to end the book. I wanted it to end on a cliff hanger but wasn't for sure how I really wanted it to end. So a few more weeks passed by on the calendar and I still hadn't finished it. Finally in November after Thanksgiving, I finished the book. I got to my final goal word count. What I'm learning now is that writing the book might have been the easiest part of this entire process.

At the start of December, I started looking into how to go about getting published. I know a lot of people promote self publishing but that's not the route that I would like to go. I want a company to buy my book and publish it. So I started the next step in making that happen. A lot of the big book publishers wont just take your book, read it and then publish it. You need to have an agent who can submit it to them so I started looking into literary agents. To get an agent you need to Query them. So you have to have a query letter, often a synopsis and your biography. So I started working on those items. Then finally I started submitting my work to literary agents.

It's been a month now I'm still in the process of trying to find an agent. I was told by someone I know who has a literary agent to query several and then query more as you get rejections. And yes before you ask.... rejections are very common. Currently, I've queried about 38 agents and I've got about 8 rejections. Thankfully the agents haven't been like YOU SUCK GIVE UP! They've just said my work isn't the right fit for them. So the hunt continues. I like to say that I have a lot of irons in the fire. Once of them is going to come out hot!

I know that this year, I will find a literary agent. Someone who believes in this book and knows that they can sell it. I want to get a literary agent, put the finishing touches on my book and sell it to a big publishing house and see my name on the front of a big in print! I can feel it! I know it can happen. Look at all the people who have written a book and got it published.

You have to ask. believe and receive. That's exactly what I'm doing! I'm believing that an agent is going to snatch my book up to get published. I'm ready to receive it! I'll keep you updated on the process. In the meantime, I'm just over here becoming my own Joan Wilder!

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Two Movies for Tonight

Looking for something to watch tonight? Time is precious and you don't want to spend time searching for a movie to only be disappointed with it in the end. So that's why I've brought you two movies for tonight. The movies I review here give you an idea of what's good to watch any time you want to quickly get a movie and start watching it. This week I'm giving you two movies that are totally worthy of your time. 

The first movie...Snowden.

Honestly, I had no interest in watching this movie but my husband wanted to see it so we did. As I started watching the movie, I got more and more into it. When the real life incident was taking place, I remember it being on the news and I remember everyone saying what a criminal Edward Snowden really was. Besides that I didn't know a lot about what he had done and the situation. I watched the movie and was completely blown away. Not about what he did but how the media covered it. First let's talk about what he did. He took NSA information outside of the agency and shared it with the world. Yes, it was considered spying but no agent was harmed. Why did he do it? To expose the fact that the NSA and other agencies were listening in on Americans who weren't doing anything wrong.

The movie follows the personal life and career of Edward Snowden. It shows he came to the position that he was when he took the information outside of the agency. It also shows the life he was having with his girlfriend Lindsey Mills. It shows their worldwide romance and constant battle of him not being able to talk about his work at all with her. It also shows the real Snowden and his reasoning behind his actions.

I highly suggest watching this. If you only watched some news coverage or even if you feel like you knew a lot about the events, watch it. You might learn something or find an opinion on the subject. For me, it made me really look at the media differently.

The second movie...Tarzan.

This Tarzan is a new twist on the Legend of Tarzan. Set in the late 1880s, Tarzan has been living out of the jungle and in England with his bride Jane. When a man from America named George (Samuel L. Jackson) asks him to go to the Congo with him in searching of rumors he's heard of people being taken into slavery, Tarzan agrees. Tarzan quickly learns that his old rival Mbonga, has hired a high ranking British official Leon,  to bring him back to the Congo. What he'll get for delivering Tarzan is diamonds.

Jane is quickly taken hostage by Leon and separated from Tarzan. He must find a way to get her back. The only way is to trek through the dangerous jungle. Refusing to leave his side George follows him into the jungle is taken on the ride of his life. Tarzan enlists the help of every animal he's ever met to get Jane back. Meanwhile Jane and Leon on traveling down the river in the Congo getting closer and closer to Mbonga. You'll have to watch to find out if Tarzan can get Jane back and if they'll make it out of the Congo once again.

I thought this was an interesting twist on a story that's been told over and over again for the ages. I thought the interaction with the animals was life like and the scenery of the jungle was breathtaking.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

5 Streaming Finds

The winter break from cable television shows allowed us to catch up on some old favorites that came back for new seasons on Netflix and Amazon Prime. It also afforded us with the luxury of trying out some new shows. Here's five great finds that are available for your streaming pleasure. So if you find yourself sitting on the couch and having nothing to watch check out any one of these picks and you won't go wrong.

Amanda Knox
This is the documentary that Netflix put together. It features interviews by the major players in the real life story of Amanda Knox. Don't know who that is? Amanda Knox is an American who was studying abroad in a tiny town inside Italy. A few weeks into her study abroad her roommate (whom she had only known the time she was in Italy) was found brutally murdered inside their home. After a few days Amanda and her boyfriend (of only 5 days) were both arrested for her murder.

I remember her being on the news but I never really followed the trial or the story. When we sat down and watched the documentary, I instantly thought she was guilty. She does seem like she could be a psychopath (which she says in her own words) or she was cornered and labeled a killer when really she wasn't. As I watched I went from thinking she was crazy to just some young girl who was wrongly accused. Watch it and decide for yourself.


I can't remember if I'm mentioned this show but either way I'm giving it a plug. This was an 8 episode mini series centering around the murder of one woman in a smaller town outside of London. It turns out it doesn't matter where you are because small town crimes can lead to big time corruption. BBC has been turning out some majorly good television and this show is no exception. I'm hearing rumors their going to come back for a season two and I'm desperately hoping those rumors are true.

The Crown
Who doesn't love a little good British history? If you've followed the modern royal family over the years with Princess Diana, Prince Charles and all of his debacles or the fabulous Prince William and Kate then you will find this show on Netflix especially good. In The Crown, we see what it was like when Queen Elizabeth II came to be on the thrown and how she handled coming to power. This show is entertaining and historically correct in many aspects. I'm about half way through the season and it's great.

The Man in the High Castle Season 2
Streaming on Amazon Prime, season two just went live in November. To say that I was excited for it's release was an understatement. I have been waiting since last November for season two. I can't get enough. I might even read the book that the show is based on. While America is no longer America, citizens live in a world where we lost the war. Nazi's control the east coast and the Japanese control the west coast. However, there is a small resistance trying to bring America back to what it was.

I know Nazi's are bad but I desperately want Nazi Joe to be with Julienne Krane. I mean he can't be all that bad if he's upset with the Nazi government for killing innocent people?

The Fall Season 3

If you haven't watched season 1 or 2. Then stop reading this and go rectify that. Season 1 and 2 were great. Each episode was leave you sitting on the edge of your seat waiting to see what was going to happen next. In season three.... honestly I was really disappointed. BUT it finished the show. We knew going into season three that this was going to be the final season and it was only 5 episodes. The five episodes put closure on all of the story lines but it wasn't highly entertaining like the previous seasons. I enjoyed it but I was sad it didn't have the same spark that the first seasons brought.

What are streaming? What should I add to my list?

Monday, January 9, 2017

Happy Birthday Elvis

Yesterday would have been Elvis' 82nd Birthday!

Elvis loved celebrating his birthday and to honor him and his legacy, Graceland honor's throws him a little party featuring a spectacular cake! Each year crowds gather for the annual Birthday cake cutting. Usually the event features either Lisa Marie or Priscilla cutting the cake and saying a few special words about Elvis. They also have events featuring people who knew Elvis, working with him on music or movies and much more. This year the cake had a blue theme featuring musical notes.
Photo from @carolineloveselvis

I have never been fortunate enough to go to Memphis for the Birthday celebration weekends but I have been able to go to Graceland and an Elvis Week. Each year once the birthday celebration takes place, I instantly try to see the fabulous cake! Each year is a different color and theme. I love seeing these outrageous, Elvis inspired cakes. Take a look at just a few of the previous years...

Aren't they just amazing? I already can't wait to see what they bring out in 2018! Have you ever been to the Elvis Birthday celebration? How about an Elvis Week event? Either way all of these events are about celebrating the music, life and legend of Elvis Presley.

Happy Birthday Elvis!

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Two Movies for Tonight

Looking for something to watch tonight? Time is precious and you don't want to spend time searching for a movie to only be disappointed with it in the end. So that's why I've brought you two movies for tonight. The movies I review here give you an idea of what's good to watch any time you want to quickly get a movie and start watching it. This week I'm giving you two movies that are totally worthy of your time. 

The first movie... Exit to Eden.

I might be the only person excited about this movie. Exit to Eden came out in 1994 and was quickly a flop in theaters. It then went out of print once it was produced on dvd and could only be viewed on VHS for years. Now... finally, Exit to Eden is back in print as a part of the Vault Series. This movie is so hilariously bad that it's good. I asked for this for Christmas and I was thrilled when I got it on dvd. Watch it, you'll enjoy it as a good laugh.

Exit to Eden stars Rosie O'Donnell (Shelia) and Dan Aykroyd (Fred) as two Los Angeles Detectives who are out to catch some Diamond smugglers. When Elliott Slater, a professional photographer accidently gets a photo of the smugglers he becomes a target. Before the smugglers can get to him and his camera he jets off to the island of Eden. Eden is an island where BDSM thrives and you can live out all your fantasies. Quickly to protect Elliott Fred and Shelia go undercover to the island. Elliott and the gang end up getting more than they bargained for..... watch the outcome!

The second movie... The Long, Long Trailer.
The Long, Long Trailer stars Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz as Nicholas and Tacy who are newlyweds. These two have bought a 40ft. trailer and are travelling across the United States to get to Nicky's new work location in Colorado. This trip will be a part of their honeymoon. Tacy is excited to make this trailer their home along the way and once they get to Denver. However, once they get the trailer things begin to go haywire. Their car isn't strong enough to pull the trailer so their forced to buy a new car. Then Nicky has to learn how to drive the new car with the long, long trailer in tow.

The mountains on their travels begin to take a toll on their trailer and their spirits begin to get crushed along the way as well. These two find out that being newlyweds is harder work than they originally thought. The trailer doesn't help them at working well together. Their journey turns out some hilarious moments along the way.

I had seen this a long time ago but recently watched it over the holidays. If you loved the I Love Lucy show this is very similar in ways. Give it a watch and I'm sure you'll find yourself laughing at the crazy situations they get themselves into.

Monday, January 2, 2017

Travels in 2017

In 2016, we were lucky to travel to San Diego, Las Vegas, Seattle, Pigeon Forge and West Virginia. We are hoping to continue our travels into 2017 and be back out on the road soon. Currently we have a travel wish list for 2017 that continues to grow. Right now we have one trip scheduled and it's to...

New York City!
We will be going in March for the GGG boxing match. While we are there we have plans to see the 9/11 Memorial, go to the top of the Empire State Building and visit the Statue of Liberty. This will be a short trip so we are hoping to cram as much as we can into the time we are there. We want to also see the Brooklyn Bridge up close, walk through Time Square and Central Park. If you have any suggestions on MUST SEES on a short trip please let me know! This will be both our first times hitting the big apple.

Next on our list for travels is San Diego...

We visited San Diego for the first time in 2016 and had a great time. We went for the purpose of Comic Con but this year we plan on staying several extra days and staying on Coronado. We plan on visiting the San Diego Zoo and several other tourist spots that we didn't get to see during our previous visit. Suggestions? We will take them!

The next trip we have planned is in the spring... Gatlinburg, Tennessee.

If you know me then you know I love Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg! I took my husband there for the first time last year for my Birthday and we had a great time. I was sad to see and hear about the fires and I can't wait to visit again to give them business. The community needs to rebuild from the wildfires and I'm more than happy to help. I love everything about this area. The people are friendly, things are reasonably priced and the entertainment is abundant. I can't wait for this trip!


I mean it's Hawaii. Do I need to say more? We went to the Big Island a few years ago and I'm itching to go back to another island. I loved the Hawaiian sun and the beaches and the exploring. I can't wait to make it back there and see more of the Hawaii islands. I'm hoping we can make it there this year. Maybe in the winter around November.

We made it to Seattle in 2016 for my husband's birthday. While we were there we thought it would be great to come back in warmer months and visit Mt. Rainer. We'd also like to visit areas more north of Seattle and explore the state while the weather is great.

There's a few other places that I'd love for us to visit in 2017 but with all the other travels I mentioned I don't know if we'll get there. I'd love for us to go to London together. We've both been there but not with each other. I went to school over there years ago when I was in college and he was there for the military.

I don't know why but for the last year or two I've really wanted to visit Niagara Falls. I just think it's so cool and such a wonder. My husband went there on a family vacation years ago so he's got to experience it. I'd love to go there!

These are just some of the places I'm hoping 2017 brings us. Where are you planning on going in the new year?