Friday, September 28, 2012

Banned Books Week Giveaway Hop - Welcome!!




If you are here from my book review blog - Sharon's Garden of Book Reviews - WELCOME!!

If you will become a friend via Google Friends Connect, you can earn 2 extra entries in my giveaway hop contest.

The Winner will receive a 50th anniversary edition of TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD by Harper Lee, plus some great book goodies!




For more info on the hop and to enter, click the link below!
http://sharonsgardenofbookreviews.blogspot.com/2012/09/banned-books-week-giveaway-hop.html


Thanks for stopping by!  I hope you'll come back to see what kind of great movies, DVDs, CD and other things I review here!


Wednesday, September 26, 2012

DVD Review - The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel




About The DVD:

"The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel" follows a group of British retirees who decide to "outsource" their retirement to less expensive and seemingly exotic India. Enticed by advertisements for the newly restored Marigold Hotel and bolstered with visions of a life of leisure, they arrive to find the palace a shell of its former self. Though the new environment is less luxurious than imagined, they are forever transformed by their shared experiences, discovering that life and love can begin again when you let go of the past.

(Snyopsis courtesty of Fox Searchlight)




I adore English actors, and "The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel" is chalk-full of some of the best, mature English actors and actresses in the business.  Combine the stellar cast with a fascinating story, and you have a winner of a movie, in my book!

Judi Dench leads this cast that includes Bill Nighy, Tom Wilkerson, Maggie Smith, Celia Imrie, Penelope Wilton and Ronald Pickup.  The seven play retirees who travel to India, seeking various things from a cheaper place to live, a cheaper hip-transplant, a new adventure, an old love, a love of any kind. 




The environment they find themselves in at slightly run-down The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, run by a hilarious, but senstive Sonny (Dev Patel of "Slumdog Millionaire" and "The Last Airbender"), is not quite what they expected, but as they adapt to the new surroundings, the older folk soon find themselves enjoying the new culture they have discovered.


Judi Dench, Tom Wilkerson and Bill Nighy


As in any ensemble movie, there are several stories within the story, and with some movies it can be confusing to keep up with who, what, when and where - but with this film, director John Madden keeps the action rolling smoothly and the intersections of the stories on track so that the viewer can enjoy each story as it comes along. And I, for one, appreciate that!

The location of the movie, Jaipur, India, was interesting, the various stories were touching and mesmerizing, and the acting was superb.  It's just simply a great movie!


Judi Dench with Indian girls


I highly recommend "The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel" as a lovely way to spend an evening enjoying a quality film.

Here is the trailer for the film -





Disclaimer -

My views of this film are my own. I was not compensated for my opinions.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Product Review - Bic For Her pens vs. The Write Dudes Impressions pens




This product review will be a little different - This time around I will be comparing the new "Bic For Her" ballpoint pens with the Impressions ball point pens from The Write Dudes.

When the "Bic For Her" pens were first introduced to the market, there was a bit of a hubbub about the fact that these pens were being marketed to women. The reviews on Amazon.com alone were over-the-top - most were kind of funny and some were snarky - but when it comes right down to it, why shouldn't the company go for the women's market when it comes to writing instruments. I dare say that women are among the top percentage of buyers of pens, so why shouldn't there be a line of attractive merchandise available that would appeal to women.

That being said, I decided to try out these "girly" pens to see how they performed.

I picked up a package of the "Bic For Her" pens, as well as a package of The Write Dudes' Impressions ball point pens that are similarly packaged towards a feminine market.

Here is what I found:


"Bic For Her" ball point pens:



Description:  (From the www.bicworld.com website)


BIC® for Her:  A ball pen essentially for women!
 
Key Benefits:
  • Retractable ballpoint pen
  • Medium point: 1.00mm
  • Fun comfort grip
  • Modern design

Price:  $2.50 for two pens

My Thoughts:

The "Bic For Her" pens are attractive with the pink and purple color selection with nice floral detailing.

The slightly padded grip was comfortable.  The ink flow was just ok - the black ink was a little light for my taste.  The writing tip was a little sharp for my taste.

My personal opinion - while nice looking writing instruments, the overall price of the "Bic For Her" pens is prohibitive considering the performance of the pen.



The Write Dudes' Impressions ball point pens:




Description: (from the www.boarddudes.com website)

These 3 Gripz Petite pens are stylish retractable ballpoint pens that are excellent writing utensils that are always handy to have around. With comfort grips and stylish designs along the barrel, you can write well and in style too! Each pen has a 1.0mm point for detailed work and handy clips on the sides to attach them to your notepad, shirt pocket or more.

Features:

  • 3-Pack of Gripz Petite retractable ballpoint pens
  • Black ink
  • Barrels come in different colors and a stylish design
  • Large clip for easy attachment to notepads, shirts, or more
  • Great for home, work or school
Price:  $1.67 for three pens


My Thoughts:

These pens are marketed as being "mini" in size, but they were actually only about an inch smaller than the "Bic" pens.  I liked the way the pens felt in my hand - I felt like I had better control of the instrument while writing.

The ink flow of these pens is excellent - smooth and even. And I liked the dark impression the tips left in the writing samples.

The padded grip was soft and relaxing to the hand.  The floral designs on the clips were attractive as well. The pens can also be hooked to a lanyard through the loop opening at the top of the clip.

My personal opinion - I enjoyed writing with these pens very much, and would recommend them highly. They are very worthy of the inexpensive price, plus the fact that you get three pens instead of two makes a difference as well.


Conclusion:

I give the "Impressions" pens from The Write Dudes my highest recommendation.


Disclaimer:
I purchased these items for my personal use. I was not compensated for my opinion.

Movie Review - Last Ounce Of Courage


While the whole world has been focused on a controversial movie trailer, a quiet little movie that focuses on America’s rights and freedoms has been released that might be due equal attention for its importance in the country today.

“Last Ounce of Courage” is the story of the rights of American people to express their opinions, the rights to express their religious beliefs, and the right to agree to disagree.



ABOUT THE MOVIE:

This heartwarming movie tells the story of a local war hero whose son goes off to war. His new wife brings Christian, his first son, in to the world while the young hero is away at war earning medals for valor. However, the tragedy that ensues on a cruel battlefield will change everyone's life forever as Tom Revere is laid to rest giving his ultimate sacrifice for freedom.

Fourteen years pass and the young baby grows to be a teenager (Christian Revere) who, with his mother (Carrie Revere), comes back to the small town of Mount Columbus nestled in the Rocky Mountains during the holiday season to be with his family. Christian disconnects with his grandfather (Bob Revere) as they both are going through the pain of losing a Dad and the loss of a son by Bob. In this beautiful story of love and forgiveness, they discover a way to unite and to make a difference in their community by claiming their freedom of expression.  (courtesy of IMDB.com)





This poignant story focuses on Bob Revere (Marshall Teague of “Friday Night Lights” and “Walker, Texas Ranger” fame), a small town mayor, and his family. A decorated Vietnam War hero, Bob is grieving the loss of his son who died in the Iraq/Afghanistan conflict, and who left behind a wife and new baby son.  Now, fourteen years later, his estranged daughter-in-law and grandson (Nikki Novak, Hunter Gomez) come back home at Thanksgiving to live with Bob and his wife, Dottie (former model and actress Jennifer O'Neill).

 The reunion and new living arrangements soon become tense, especially after grandson Christian gets in trouble for bringing a Bible to school. Bob is told by the school’s principal that it's not illegal to bring a Bible to school, just frowned on in the name of political correctness. "We can't take any chances that someone will sue us," the principal tells him.
 
 
 

After an emotional family meeting, where Christian calls his grandfather out on being too complacent, Bob decides it’s time to stand up for the freedoms that he and his son, and millions of others had fought and died for.

Bob decides that the first step is to bring back the town's tradition of putting up Christmas decorations, but he faces resistance from the town council, which soon attracts the attention of the media and Warren Hammerschmidt, (former NFL star - turned actor Fred Williamson) the head of an ACLU-type outfit.
 
 

As Bob is being railed at and persecuted by his opponents, the town’s younger residents are staging protests of their own when their high school drama teacher’s decides to change the annual Nativity play into a “Winter Space Odyssey,” in which three aliens follow a bright star to find a pot of gold.

As the adults and teens join forces to bring back the true meaning of Christmas to their town, important lessons on rights and freedoms are learned by all.


PROS:

Overall, the message of the movie is one that will resonant with many during this heated political time. Bob Revere’s belief is that our country’s freedoms were won by sacrifice, hard work and persistence, and should be held dear.

“Last Ounce of Courage” brings this concept to the forefront with its powerful presentation, and that might make some viewers uncomfortable because, unfortunately whether or not the movie is perceived as being good or not will depend on the individual political position of the movie-goer.


CONS:

This movie does have its flaws – the acting is sometimes stilted and the dialogue between teens and adults is at times stiff and contrived. It’s not believable. And there are a few disturbing war scenes that will be hard to watch for some.



CONCLUSION:

If you are already tired of the constant political barrage of competing ads and messages in this election season, “Last Ounce of Courage” is certainly no escape from it. But if you can appreciate common American values that most people once shared, then you might enjoy and be inspired by this movie.


FINAL THOUGHTS:

I highly recommend this movie to anyone needing an extra jolt of what it means to be an American!  Yes, it's emotional, but maybe that's what is needed now more than ever! 


Here is the movie trailer promoting the film :




Disclaimer:

I was not compensated for my opinions featured here in regards to this film.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

CD Review - Lynyrd Skynyrd's "Last of a Dying Breed"



 
I like a wide variety of music and I know how I like it to sound.  I like my blues to be sexy and deep, I like my country traditional, I like my bluegrass to be finger-popping and fun, and I like my classic rock to hum and thrum with tight harmonies and an infectious beat.

But when it comes to Southern rock, I want it to be down and dirty, with blistering guitars, heart-stopping basslines, and lyrics that reach down into a Southern gal’s soul and hits the mark everytime.

And one of my favorite Southern rock bands is Lynyrd Skynyrd – the boys from Florida who captured the sound of the South and brought it to the world.

Everyone knows their classic songs – “Freebird,” “Sweet Home Alabama,” and “Simple Man.” They are the anthems of the South. 
 
 
 
 

With their new album, “Last Of A Dying Breed,” the band’s cooking like never before with an album of 11 new songs that reflect their Southern roots, their love of country, mommas and rock n’ roll.

Here’s a breakdown of the some of the songs on this album that really pleased my ear and my thoughts on them:

Last of A Dying Breed –This song kicks off the album with a bang and a slide guitar that sets your heart to pumping and your foot to tapping. 

Homegrown – a salute to sassy, flirty Southern gals. A fun song with plenty of attitude.

Ready to Fly – heartfelt and borders on being a rockin’ little gospel number!

Mississippi Blood – this song finds guest artist Jerry Douglas (of Alison Krause’s Union Station Band) pitching in with some sharp licks and Johnny Van Zant and Rickey Medlocke trading vocals.  This one will get stuck in your head!

Something To Live For – soulful, heart-wrenching lyrics, and an anthem to find something good to believe in.  Excellent!

Life’s Twisted and Nothing Comes Easy – Johnny Van Zant growls his way through the lyrics of these two songs, giving them the tenacity and respect that the lessons of the lyrics demand.

Honey Hole – Now here is the grit, the dirty guitars, and the sly passion that Skynyrd is known for.  Loved this one!  (and loved the little bird trill at the end – reminiscent of Freebird!)

Start Living Life Again – oh my, Jerry Douglas once again lends his crying dobro sound to this soulful and bluesy number. 



 


Johnny Van Zant is in fine voice for this album. The triple guitars of Gary Rossington, Rickey Medlocke and Mark Matejka are blistering when they need be, and restrained and proper when necessary.  The rhythm foundation of John Colt (formerly of The Black Crowes and Train) on bass and Mark Cartellone on drums is tight and kicking. And the backing vocals of Carol Chase and Dale Rossington are just the feminine touch this good ol’ boy album needs.

This is the first Skynyrd Album that does not include the late/great Billy Powell on keyboards and his honky-tonk styling is sorely missed. However, his replacement, Peter Keys does a good job of playing keyboards. It’s just not Billy though.

 
RECOMMENDATION:

Overall, “Last Of A Dying Breed” is a album full of good-time, rockin’ fun. Think of it as not so much smooth as a fine glass of wine, but as jolting as a shot of tequila, salt and lime. 
 
It revs you up and set your senses up to roar down the highway.  That’s what Southern rock is all about and Lynyrd Skynyrd is epitome of that sound and that way of life.

I highly recommend this album!


Disclaimer:

My thanks to Roadrunner Records for supplying the review copy of this album. I was not compensated for my opinion.

 

Friday, September 14, 2012

Product Review - Renuzit Tempting Indulgences Air Freshners



I love to keep my house smelling good, and I love trying out new scents - so when I saw that Renuzit Air Freshners had a new line of chocolate dessert inspired air freshners - well, I just had to check them out!




About The Product:

Creme Brulee, Chocolate Covered Cherries, and Red Velvet Cake will fill your home with a delicious scent of fresh baked cake. Part of the new Tempting Indulgences™ Collection.

Renuzit® Adjustables are easy to use. Simply adjust the cone height to release the right amount of fragrance to banish odors and leave behind a clean, refreshing scent. Renuzit® Adjustables come in many exceptional fragrances that will transform any room - Freshness For Pennies a Day®. It's an affordable way to give any room a refreshing new scent.






These are absolutely YUMMY smelling!   I purchased all three scents and have scattered throughout the house and it smells like a delicious chocolate factory in here!


PROS:

They smell GREAT! 

The design is interesting - black cone covers with lovely pictures of the scent they represent.  The black makes them a little more inconspicuous.

The price is reasonable - I paid $1.18 for them at Wal-mart.


CONS:

They don't last quite as long as I would like them to - they average about 2 weeks before they are dried up.  The scent lingers for a bit longer though.

I wouldn't recommend them for use in the bathroom area - if you know what I mean - wink, wink!


MY RECOMMENDATION:

I will use them and I recommend them!


Renuzit is offering a coupon on their website for these air freshners!  Go grab ya one!

http://renuzit.com/temptingindulgencescoupon/



Disclaimer:
I purchased these products for my own personal use. I was not compensated for my opinion.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Movie Review - The Words




I work with words everyday, so I was truly interested in a movie called “The Words.”

But then I saw it.  What’s it about?  Honestly, I’m not really sure.
 
Here is how CBS Films, the movie's distributor, describes "The Words" in a recent press release:

"Starring Bradley Cooper, Jeremy Irons, Dennis Quaid, Olivia Wilde and Zoƫ Saldana, the layered romantic drama "The Words" follows young writer Rory Jansen who finally achieves long sought after literary success after publishing the next great American novel. There's only one catch - he didn't write it.
 
As the past comes back to haunt him and his literary star continues to rise, Jansen is forced to confront the steep price that must be paid for stealing another man's work, and for placing ambition and success above life's most fundamental three words."




As far as I can figure it out, “The Words” is a movie about a man who wrote a book about a man who wrote a book stolen from another man.

Make sense?  I’ll see if I can clear it up.
 
In the movie, esteemed author Clay Hammond (Dennis Quaid) is giving a reading from his hit novel, “The Words.” His book is about a fledgling writer by the name of Rory Jansen (Bradley Cooper) and Jansen’s new wife, Dora (Zoe Saldana), and the antique briefcase they find in a Paris shop while on their honeymoon. Back home in New York, Jansen’s writing career appears to be floundering, so he takes a job in the mailroom of a major literary agency. Sometime later, unbeknown to Dora, Jansen discovers a yellowed novel manuscript hidden in a secret pocket of the briefcase. Jansen is so taken with the old novel that he can’t get it off his mind.
 



In a moment of runaway obsession Jansen retypes the story into his laptop computer. He never intended to steal the work, but he doesn’t know how to deal with what he’s done when Dora finds and reads the amazing old tale, set in post-World War II France of romance, sorrow and regret.  She talks him into submitting it to one of the agents at the firm, and of course the man loves it. From there, life becomes a whirlwind of adulation, acclaim and awards that Jansen just can’t escape from.

Unfortunately, though, it turns out that the novel’s original author (Jeremy Irons in a powerful unnamed role) is still alive, and the old man is taking note of Jansen’s success.

But remember, this is all part of Clay Hammond’s novel and is fictitious – or is it?

Clear as mud, right?  Ok, here are the good points and the bad points, as I see them ...


PROS:

It was a beautifully shot film, especially the post-war Paris scenes.
 
The actors, for the most part, did a fairly good job. Jeremy Irons was absolutely terrific and I see his role in this movie as a potential Oscar-worthy performance.
 



Ben Barnes was excellent in his role as the "Young  man" to Irons' "Old man" character.



CONS:

The story has some severe pacing problems and plot issues that just can’t be overlooked. It almost feels as if two different movies were cut together from three different storylines.
 
The presence of Olivia Wilde, as a kind of author’s groupie, just added more questions to an already questionable premise.
 
Dennis Quaid is just downright creepy in his role as Clay Hammond.  He has a lecherous, nearly manic gleam in his eye in his few appearances, and he almost turns violent at the end.  Wierd and icky.
 
 
 
 
Bradley Cooper - meh!  Not a big fan of him in the first place, and he didn't win me over in this role either.  (does the man ever shave???)

The ending left me wondering "what the heck did I just see here?"  It was almost like they broke for a commercial, and I sat there waiting for the show to come back with the real ending.


CONCLUSION:

I had high hopes for “The Words.” But when I left the theatre I came up with several endings that would have been much stronger and made more sense than the way the movie actually kind of slows to a dismal halt.
 
Final Verdict:
 
Save your theatre-going money on this one and wait for the DVD.  Maybe the special features will have outtakes that explains some of the gaps in the film - one can hope!
 
 
Disclaimer:

I was not compensated for my opinion featured here regarding this movie.
 
Photos and plot summary courtesy of CBS Films.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Product Review - Sally Hansen Insta-Dri Fast Dry Nail Color



I love nail polish - always have since I was old enough to be allowed to use it! 

But I am not the most patient woman in the world, and I hate sitting around waiting for my nails to dry!  So I was thrilled to find that Sally Hansen has a new line of Insta-Dri Fast Dry Nail Color.





About the Product:

Nail color covers in just one coat, brilliantly. The Perfectionist Brush™ contours to any nail, so color always glides on precisely, quickly, flawlessly. And, the exclusive Flexiglass Complex combines beautiful, brilliant shine and super-strong wear. So simple, so Sally.

Dries in 60 seconds
       
One coat coverage
Instantly irresistible shades
No DBP, Toluene or Free Formaldehyde
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
For this review, I tried out the Sonic Bloom (a hot pink) and the Lively Lilac (a medium pale purple).
 
THE PROS:
 
I was impressed with the larger sized brush that made it easier to apply one coat evenly on the nail, instead of having to swipe two or three times to get full coverage.
 
 
Insta-Dri brush in pink - OPI brush in purple
 
 
The colors were bright and lively, and they have a wide selection of colors to choose from.
 
The polish stayed on well for several days without a top coat. 
 
The price was moderate - I purchased mine at Walmart for $5.99 each.
 
 
THE CONS:
 
The polish comes out rather thick, so I had to be careful to gauge the right amount per nail, or I had it gloppy everywhere. (yes, gloppy is a word!)
 
When removing the Sonic Bloom color, I was dismayed to find it stained my nails and was difficult to remove with regular nail polish remover.  It also wanted to stain my skin around my nails, but after a good scrubbing with a nail brush, the pinkness faded.   I didn't have this problem with the Lively Lilac color.
 
 
RECOMMENDATION:
 
I would recommend the Sally Hansen Insta-Dri Fast Dry Nail Color if you are in a rush and need a bit of color, or if you are like me and not real patient.  
 
Next time, I would use the Sally Hansen Insta-Dri Top Coat to see if that prolonged the nail color stead-fastness, and the Sally Hansen Extra-Strength Nail Polish Remover to see if that helped with the removal process.
 
 
 
Disclaimer:
 
I purchased this product for my own personal use. I was not compensated for my opinion.
 
 

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

DVD Review - The Decade You Were Born: The 60s: A Decade of Hope and Promise


As I was wandering the aisles of Walmart recently, a huge display of DVDs in the electronics department caught my eye.  It featured Mill Creek Entertainment's latest releases, "The Decade You Were Born."  They were $5 each, so I picked up the one dedicated to my decade, the 60s.






About The DVD:

Ever wonder what life was really like the decade you were born? What were the most popular movies? How much did a gallon of gas cost? What technological innovations were developed? Who were the most notable public figures? Which political events occurred that shaped the nation? What news headlines forever changed history?

These questions and more are revealed in this delightful chronicle of fun and fascinating pop-culture highlights of the era. Prepare to go “back in the day…” with this nostalgic and entertaining series that captures the life and times in America during “The Decade You Were Born.

The 1960's

If you were born in the '60s, your decade opened with John F. Kennedy as the 35th President of the United States … Over 850,000 “war baby” students entered college as freshman … the cartoon The Flintstones appeared on Television for the first time … Chubby Checker started a new dance craze with the sensational Twist … the U.S. men’s ice hockey team won gold in the winter Olympics at Squaw Valley, California … and Alan Shepard made the first U.S. space fight.

Bonus Features:

Interactive Time-line
A Complete Feature Film – The Over-the-Hill Gang - Starring Walter Brennan, Edgar Buchanan, Chill Wills, Andy Devine and Jack Elam
A Complete TV Episode – Bonanza: Day of Reckoning – Guest Star: Ricardo Montalban
Five Classic 1960's TV Commericals
Five genre-spanding Movie Trailers that were released in the 1960's





 
 
This was a fascinating documentary.  There was a lot of emphasis on the NASA space program and the moon flights, and there was a great deal of time spent on the Civil Rights movement.  The clips that were shown were crisp and clean and the narration keep the film moving along at a nice pace.

I would have loved to have seen more about the pop culture at the time - the music, television in it's early days, and fashions.  And while the front of the DVD states that there is nearly 4 hours of nostalgic entertainment, the documentary itself was only about an hour long.  The other 3 hours came from the feature-length film, "The Over-The-Hill Gang," which was a hoot to see again, and an episode of Bonanza.  There were also some movie trailers from back in the day, as well as examples of commercials that ran then.

It was a great way to spend a quiet night at home, and for the $5 price, it was well-worth the trip down memory lane.  There are also DVDS for the 40s, 50s, 70s, and 80s.

I give it a good recommendation. 



Here is a short example of what was included on the DVD.






For more information on this video series, and other interesting DVD available, check out Mill Creek Entertainment's website at www.millcreekent.com


I purchased this DVD for my personal library. I was not compensated for my opinion.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Product Review - Savannah Bee Company Tea Honey Plus for Weekend Cooking - a delicious recipe for Honey Peach Pie!


I love tea, and I love honey - so when I learned of a honey that is great for tea, well, I was intrigued!

The Savannah Bee Company has developed a honey that is perfect for that warm cup of tea, or even a big ol' chilled glass!



About The Product:

Savannah Bee Company Tea Honey is 100% pure varietal honey carefully chosen to be the perfect sweetener in fine tea without overwhelming its delicate flavors and fragrance. Versatile enough for spicy Chai, aromatic Green Earl Grey, or a bold mug of Irish Breakfast, it's also a surprising twist in lemonade or minty mojitos.




The first thing that caught my eye about this honey is how beautifully light-gold it is, like liquid sunshine.  And then I opened this delectable little treat, and dipped my finger in for that first taste (yes, I used my finger!) and I realized - this is what sunshine would taste like if you could taste it! 

The honey is light, but flavorful and fragrant with sweetness without being too strong.  I tried this honey in my favorite Twinings Black Currant tea, and was impressed with how fast it dissolved - just a few swishes of the spoon and you're ready to drink!  And the sweetening was just about perfect - 1 generous spoonful for a cup was just right!

I highly recommend this product!





Be sure to check out the Savannah Bee Company website (www.savannahbee.com) for more information on their wide range of honeys and other products!

While you're at their website, be sure to stop by the recipe section - I found this delicious recipe that I tried out with great success with the family!  I used my Tea Honey in place of the Orange Blossom Honey, and regular peaches instead of white ones and it was just lovely!




Honey Peach Pie


Ingredients:
7-8 fresh white peaches, peeled and sliced in small wedges
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon of nutmeg
1/4 cup orange blossom honey
1-2 teaspoons of ground cinnamon
1/3 cup whole wheat flour
2 tablespoons butter
2 prepared pie crusts (store-bought or home made)


Directions:
Place peaches in a bowl. Drizzle with lemon juice. In another bowl, combine sugar, nutmeg, honey, cinnamon, and flour. Mix with fruit and add small pieces of butter. Place in one pie crust, place the other pie crust on a plate, cut into 1-inch wide strips. Make lattice crust, placing horizontal strips first, then vertical. Flute edges. Bake pie in 350 degree F oven for about 50 minutes, till peaches are tender and bubbly and crust is golden brown. Cool. Serves 8.

Recipe courtesy of Savannah Bee Company website.




Disclaimer:
I received a sample bottle of Tea Honey from the company for review. I was not compensated for my opinion.



This post is in conjunction with the Weekend Cooking meme, sponsored by Beth Fish Reads.  Check out the link below for some great recipes from some great bloggers!!



Weekend Cooking is a weekly meme sponsored by Beth Fish Reads http://www.bethfishreads.com/.  

Saturday, September 1, 2012

CD review: Someday by Susanna Hoffs


 
Many may remember Susanna Hoffs from her stint as a lead vocalist with the popular, all-girl band from the 80s, “The Bangles.”  She was the wide-eyed, tiny guitar player that taught us how to “Walk Like An Egyptian,” and was the sweet voiced lead singer on their hits, “Maniac Monday,” and “Eternal Flame.”

Now Hoffs has released a solo-album, “Someday,” which features her still-strong, still-sweet voice on a collection of 60’s inspired tunes that Hoffs refers to as Baroque-Folk influenced numbers.
 
 

In a recent interview, Hoffs said that the songs on this album “were inspired by my yearning to sing songs that were as melodic and emotional as my favorite music of the 1960s.”  She captures this sound perfectly with the acoustic feel and the outstanding orchestration featured on this unique CD.

Some of the songs, including “This Is The Place,” “November Sun,” and “Raining,” are songs that Hoffs had originally written back in the late 90s and she rediscovered while searching for some other material. She engaged fellow musician/songwriters Mike Campbell and Andrew Brassell to help her rewrite and update the numbers, and these tunes provided the inspiration for the entire “Someday” album.

The featured single from the album, “Raining” is a beautifully intense number that calls to mind the deep emotional feelings after a relationship breakup, but also shows how strong a woman can be afterwards. The horns, orchestration and driving beat make this song a passionate experience to listen to.
 



My favorite cut from the CD is “Holding My Breath.” The strong beat and lively lyrics bring out the flower-child in Susanna Hoffs, and just makes you want to get up and dance barefoot in a field of flowers somewhere.

The entire album features some awesome guitar work from Andrew Brassell and Val McCallum, but is most evident in the song, “This Is The Place,” that showcases a bouncy, light, happy feeling that can be contributed to both Hoffs’ vocals and the guitars.

But the crown jewel of this album isn’t the lush instrumentation or the emotional songs that tug at your heart. The highlight is Susanna Hoff’s luscious, lilting vocals that bring forth memories of sweeter, sunnier days when music truly was melodic and meaningful. “Someday” is a brilliant album that is just a pleasure to listen to, and should be considered a classic in days and years to come.
 
 
Susanna will be doing a short tour this fall to promote her album - check out the dates to see if she is coming near you!
 
 
 
Also, check out her website at www.susannahoffs.com for more information on upcoming projects and to hear a free sample of her new album!
 
 
 
Disclaimer:
I received a copy of this album from the publicist for review.  I was not compensated for my opinion.
 
 

Welcome!




Today, I'm thrilled to announce the beginning of a new blog venture!

Movies, Music and More by Sharon will be a place where I can review the many things that I enjoy, and I hope that you will enjoy learning about as well!

From movie reviews to cd reviews, from dvd reviews to product reviews, I plan to share some of the new and fun things that I find fascinating.  And you can be assured that if it appears here, I've seen it, heard it, or tried it first hand!  My motto is "Real reviews from a Real reviewer!"

I've got some big plans for the upcoming weeks, and I hope that you'll check back often, and tell your friends about this new little piece of my blog world.


Thanks for stopping by!