Saturday, June 30, 2012

Kidz Bop 22 - Today's Biggest Hits

 Pre-oder for the July 17th release date

Get the music ready for your kid pool parties!  22 of these CDs tells you that they are doing something right! It is your music, done kid friendly.

Featuring all these kid friendly hits:

Track Listings

1. Stronger by Kelly Clarkson
2. Call Me Maybe by Carly Rae Jepsen
3. Starships by Nicki Minaj
4. Domino by Jessie J
5. Payphone by Maroon 5
6. Wild Ones by Flo Rida
7. Glad You Came by The Wanted
8. Drive By Train
9. Part Of Me by Katy Perry
10. What Makes You Beautiful by One Directions
11. Dance Again by Jennifer Lopez
12. Boyfriend by Justin Bieber
13. Feel So Close by Calvin Harris
14. Somebody That I Used To Know by Gotye
15. Tonight Is The Night by Outasight
16. Set Fire To The Rain feat. Ethan Bortnick by Adele

Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy for this review and the kids have been listening to it ever since.

Family Movie Night: Mirror Mirror Great For All Ages!


Mirror Mirror 
Product Description One of the world's most beloved fairy tales takes a hilarious turn in this fresh, exciting film starring Oscarr Winner Julia Roberts. After she spends all her money, an evil enchantress queen (Roberts) schemes to marry a handsome, wealthy prince (The Social Network's Armie Hammer). There's just one problem - he's in love with a beautiful princess, Snow White (Lily Collins, The Blind Side). So, the sinister queen banishes Snow White from her own kingdom! Now, joined by seven rebellious dwarves, Snow White launches an epic battle of good vs. evil in this funny, magical movie that the whole family will love.

Directed by visionary filmmaker Tarsem Singh (Immortals), Mirror Mirror is a visually-spectacular, fresh and funny retelling of the classic Snow White legend. You can't go wrong with this all star-studded cast including Academy Award®-winner Julia Roberts as the evil Queen, breakout star Lily Collins (The Blind Side) as Snow White, Armie Hammer (The Social Network) as the Prince, and Golden Globe® nominee Nathan Lane as the hapless bungling servant to the Queen. The film also stars Sean Bean (Game of Thrones) as the King and Mare Winningham (Brothers) as Baker Margaret and showcases the stunning costumes from Academy Award®-winning designer Eiko Ishioka (Dracula).


The 411 by Maria:

Yesterday I was feeling a little sick from my intestinal nightmare the night before so out of character for me, I took to the couch and watched a few movies with the kids. One of them was Mirror Mirror.
I was hopeful that this would be good but wasn't holding out hope. I am usually let down by movies lately. Tainted I guess. It is mostly a time thing and if it turns out not to be good, I get upset by the time I wasted.

We start the movie hearing Julia Roberts tell us that this movie is about her, "the most beautiful Queen". She tells us that this is her story. Julia is perfect as the Queen. She is evil but not in a scary way for children.

Watching the cartoon version of this Grimms Fairy Tale by Disney still makes kids nervous. My daughter leaves the room when the witch is on screen and I remember closing my eyes too. This is much more enjoyable and no nightmares is always a plus. The world is scary enough when you are a kid.

This movie was enjoyable because:

I wasn't embarrassed to watch it with my kids. Completely child friendly.
The all star cast including some surprises like Mare Winningham (I was wondering where she has been) the King played by Sean Bean from my newest favorite show Game of Thrones and well, Julia. I love her!

It is funny, fast paced, and filled with adventure.

While I have read some reviews I believe this movie doesn't try to take itself too seriously. It is a modern take with a twist on a fairy tale. How can you take that seriously. It is merely a movie created for enjoyment and hopefully you have a laugh.

Great colors and great effects!

I asked the kids what they liked about it:

Handsome loved the 7 dwarfs and found them hysterically funny. " Those little guys were tough and funny. I liked the crabby guy. He could kick butt!"  (Can't say I blame him. I loved them too! So happy to see Marty on screen).

Goddess "loved all of it" When I pressed her, she said, "it was good because the Queen was mean and in the end Snow White won the battle for the castle. Good always wins over evil! Awww..that's my girl!

What I loved was that this princess is more modern and not a scared little girl. She is strong and doesn't wait for a prince to ride up and save her on his mighty stead! She's a go getter. A much better role model for my daughter than the ones I grew up wishing I could be like.

Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of this movie for the purpose of this review.

Does Mother Really Know Best??


Mother Knows Best?
The Truth About Mom’s Well-Meaning
(But Not Always Accurate) Advice
By Sue Castle

Ever wonder if not making your bed actually will make monsters move in underneath them? If you go in the pool just after eating, will you really get a cramp and drown? Mother Knows Best? The Truth About Mom’s Well-Meaning (But Not Always Accurate) Advice (Skyhorse Publishing, April 2012) is a must-have handbook bursting with hilarious facts and fiction as we put mothers’ wisdom to the test.  This book will have you laughing and crying as you questioning some of the commonly accepted notions you’ve been practicing for years … and your mother’s intelligence. Author Sue Castle takes some of mom’s most infamous pieces of advice and puts them to the test, including:

·         Will a glass of warm milk help you sleep?
·         Is chicken soup really the best cure for the common cold?
·         Does turning a light off for a few minutes use more energy than it saves?
·         If you pick up a baby every time she cries will she become spoiled?
·         If you cross your eyes, do they get stuck that way?
·         Are brown eggs healthier than white eggs?
·         And much more!

Mother Knows Best?—The perfect gift for every kind-hearted, lie-spewing lady in your lifewill entertain and amuse as it informs, offering not only the real basis in fact but also the origin and purpose of Mom’s sometimes dubious counsel!

About the Authors
Sue Castle is a writer, television producer, and a mother. She lives in New York City.

The 411 by Maria:
So funny! There were so many things that I thought really people think this? 

There were so many things that I found especially interesting. Did you know a ring around the moon means rain? I had no idea. 

Basically the book takes a statement, gives you the answer in small italics than a reason why. This is a perfect companion to anyone who loves these age old wisdom anecdotes that many of us have been hearing forever, chews them up and spits them out. 

You may actually find yourself rolling your eyes and just having to call your mom or grandma to tell them how wrong they are....


If you get stung once, the second time will not be worse! Hello grandpa..this is so not true but thanks for scaring the bejesus out of me.

If you have heartburn while pregnant the baby will have hair. friends have been saying this for years to each other. I knew it was a much of caca! 

Don't pick a baby up every time it cries, it is good for their lungs to cry! umm...yup...I tell my friends all the time to pick up those crying babies. Oh and another thing YOU CAN NEVER SPOIL A BABY BY PICKING IT UP. Spoil it how? In three years they won't want to be picked up and you will be longing for the days when all they wanted to do was lie on you or be held. PICK THEM UP FOR AS LONG AS YOU CAN (BTW..not in the book about the picking up, just my own public service announcement.)

Great gift for soon to be moms or anyone who loves to read!  Funny, straightforward and you can finally set the record straight on those sayings you have undoubtedly been hearing forever.
Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy for the sole purpose of this review.

Chicken Soup For The Soul Here Comes The Bride GIVEAWAY


Chicken Soup for the Soul: Here Comes the Bride
101 Stories of Love, Laughter and Family
The wedding day, and each day leading up to it, is a special and exciting time. In this collection of 101 heartwarming and hilarious stories, brides and grooms, families and friends share their memories of the big day. With stories about everything from the proposal, to the planning, to actual wedding day events, the honeymoon, second chances, mid-life love, unconventional weddings and all the joys and frustrations in between, this book will delight and encourage any bride or newlywed. A great gift for bridal showers, engagements, and weddings!

You will be inspired and entertained by this collection of stories from brides and their friends and families, about all the aspects of being a bride, from proposal to honeymoon. These stories will make you laugh, entertain you, inspire you, and occasionally make you tear up.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Finding Emma by Steena Holmes - A Story About Never Letting Go!

The story details a child torn from the arms of loving parents, a heart-breaking story of a mother’s journey of hope… Megan sees her daughter Emma everywhere. She's the little girl standing in the supermarket, the child waiting for the swings at the playground, the girl with ice cream dripping down her face. But it's never Emma -- because Emma's been missing for two years. Unable to handle the constant heartache of all the false sightings, Megan's husband threatens to walk away unless Megan can agree to accept Emma is gone. Megan's life and marriage is crumbling all around her and she realizes she may have to do the thing she dreads most: move on. When Megan takes a photo of a little girl with an elderly couple at the town fair, she believes it to be her missing daughter. Unable to let go, she sets in motion a sequence of events that could destroy both family’s lives. 

Praise for Best-Selling "FINDING EMMA":
·         Finding Emma is a heartbreaking story of a mother's journey of hope...captured by the emotion and depth of the characters from the beginning."
·         "Finding Emma may be the most heart-wrenching and heart-warming book I have ever read...Tense, emotional and realistic it will ring your emotions dry."

The 411 by Maria:

Knowing that this wasn't a true story made it easier to read. Well, let me take that statement back for a second. This is not a non-fiction book about a story based on the author's experience however it is something that many parents go through.

In Finding Emma, Megan is a busy mom with three daughters. While rushing around one morning she asks one of the girls to lock the house door on their way inside. Unfortunately, it doesn't get locked and her almost 3 year old Emma disappears. This all happens in the first chapter. We pick up the story 2 years in where Megan is racked with guilt, her marriage is falling apart and her daughters wish they were the ones taken so that mom would love them as much as they love Emma.

Megan sees Emma everywhere, so much so that she has literally tries to grab little ones away from their scared moms.

I loved this book. It wasn't as frightening as you would imagine a book about child abduction to be. As a mom of two this is one of my biggest fears and completely understand Megan's NEED to continue looking for Emma even without any leads.

My favorite character is Megan's husband Peter. His subtle way of dealing with his own pain from losing his daughter was how I would expect most men to deal with this. It also makes it easier for me to understand why parents of abducted children can speak on the news. I always thought, "how are they talking, I wouldn't be able to utter a sound."

This is something that unfortunately happens every day and I appreciate Steena Holmes for writing a story that was not overly dramatic for shock value but seems to deal realistically with the various ways people deal with the paths that life tosses our way. 

It is a reminder that there are two sides to every story and how we deal with each other really matters. Acceptance and understanding of other others differences is important to all relationships.

You will love this story about a family falling apart at the seams but cocooned in love.

Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy for the sole purpose of this review.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

500 Healthy Recipes


5 Easy Steps to Healthy Cooking ~ Features health and nutrition tips, information on super foods + 500 recipes for lifelong wellness featuring ingredients with a proven track record in enhancing health and offering protection from diseases. Camilla Saulsbury is a food, health and fitness expert based in Texas.

Topics and discussion points for 5 Easy Steps to Healthy Cooking:

·Did you know no one food can make you healthy in it’s own?

·Did you know the Meatless Monday Movement started over 100 years ago?

·Eating a diet rich in whole foods supports optimum health and the loss of extra pounds.

·If a product is truly whole-grain, whole grains will be the first ingredient listed.

·Did you know adults should get at least 45-65% of their calories from carbohydrates?

·Minerals, like vitamins, must come from diet; the body does not make them.

·Did you know swapping regular pasta for whole grain is one of the easiest ways to add whole grains to your diet?

·What are the most pesticide-contaminated fruits & veggies in North America?

·What are the least-contaminated? Is it always better to buy organic?

·Did you know that not all fruits continue to ripen after being picked?

·What are good dried fruits that can be used in baking, cooking, or snacking on?

The 411 by Maria:

Wow...Impressive book. SO many easy to follow recipes with basic instruction and ingredients.  I had to try the Balsamic Tuna salad in Avocado halves and the Zucchini and Chick Pea Salad.Two things that I absolutely love and never thought to put together.

With 500 recipes included, you will never run out of ideas for your breakfast, lunch or dinner that are healthy and taste great.  Each recipe has the ingredient, the break down, the serving size and the nutritional guide. Some even have tips or storage tips to make things even easier.

Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy from Robert Rose

·      In addition to convenience, frozen produce can sometimes be more nutritious than fresh.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

What? 150 of the Best Cupcake Recipes! YUM!


150 Best Cupcake Recipes ~ It doesn’t matter whether you’re four or 40—cupcakes have universal appeal. Includes decorating techniques, tools/equipment/ingredient glossary. Includes 25 vegan recipes. Julie Hasson is a food (especially baking) expert based in Oregon.

Here’s an innovative recipe for your next party (perfect for both kids and adults)!

Ice Cream Cone Cupcakes
Makes 12 cupcakes

Ice cream cones filled with cake and iced to look like real ice cream cones are a fun treat for kids and make a great alternative to ordinary birthday cake. They’re a classic but still cool.

Tips: These cupcakes can be made up to 1 day ahead, but they taste best the day that they’re made. Place unfrosted cupcakes in an airtight container and store at room temperature. Frost just before serving.

One package (18.25 oz/515 g) of cake mix will work in place of the White Cupcake Batter. Prepare mix according to package directions, fill cones and bake as directed.

Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C)
Muffin pan

1            Recipe White Cupcake Batter (below)
1 cup    all-purpose flour  250 mL

12 tsp  baking powder     2 mL

14 tsp  baking soda         1 mL

Pinch   salt

34 cup granulated sugar 175 mL

14 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature  50 mL

2          egg whites

1 tsp    almond extract      5 mL

23 cup buttermilk             150 mL 

 1.  In a small bowl, mix together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt

2.  In a bowl, using an electric mixer, beat together sugar and butter until well combined. Add egg whites, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Mix in almond extract. Alternately beat in flour mixture and buttermilk, making three additions of flour mixture and two of buttermilk, beating until smooth. 

  12    flat-bottomed ice cream cones             

 Frosting (see Frosting recipe, below), sprinkles, candied cherries or other garnishes of choice

1.  Fill muffin pan with flat-bottomed ice cream cones. Fill each cone three-quarters full of cake batter. Bake in preheated oven for  25 to 30 minutes or until tops of cupcakes are golden brown and a tester inserted in center comes out clean.

2.  Let cool completely in pan on rack. Top cooled cupcake cones with frosting. Sprinkle with garnishes.

Vanilla Cream Frosting
Makes enough to frost 12 or more cupcakes

113 cups  confectioner’s (icing) sugar   325 mL

12 cup     unsalted butter, at room temperature 125 mL

Pinch        salt

13 cup     whipping (35%) cream           75 mL

12 tsp      vanilla paste or vanilla           2 mL        
1.  In a small bowl, using an electric mixer on low speed, beat together sugar, butter and salt until creamy. Increase speed to high and beat until light and fluffy. Add cream and vanilla paste, beating until frosting is smooth.

2.  Spread icing on cooled cupcakes with a knife or transfer to a pastry bag and pipe decoratively over cupcakes.

Variation: Tint the frosting with food coloring. Be careful not to use too much color. Start with a drop, mix it in well, and add more only if necessary.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Dr. Hillary Steinhart Discusses Crohns & Colitis

Crohn’s & Colitis Understanding and Managing IBD, 2nd Edition ~ A new edition from one of the most respected and authoritative Crohn’s and colitis experts. Understand and manage inflammatory bowel disease, and improve your health. Dr Hillary Steinhart is a medical specialist based in Toronto, Ontario.

Topics and discussion points for Crohn's & Colitis:

• What is inflammatory bowel disease?

• What are the symptoms of Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis?

• Dietary strategies for managing IBD

• Psychological support for managing IBD

• Drug therapy for managing IBD

• What can I expect now that I have IBD?

• Various diagnostic tests for IBD

• Surgical treatment of IBD

• Treating children with IBD

• The onset of inflammatory disease may be influenced by age, gender, and geography.

• What lifestyle changes does one have to make when diagnosed with this disease?

• Will I be able to get pregnant with this disease? Will my condition flare if I do?

• Crohn’s disease was almost unheard of in Japan 50 years ago, but has had a steady increase since.

• The incidence in the Jewish population is among the highest of any ethnic or racial group.

• What are the possible complications of IBD?

• Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis typically develop in people who are in good health with no prior bowel symptoms or digestive problems.

Blue Monday - The Magic of Belle Isle

If you remember, last year I was on a mission to grab photos of Morgan Freeman, Rob Reiner who were filming Summer at Dog Dave's near my town.  Well, that was last summer. This weekend, I was invited to attend a screening of The Magic of Belle Isle which is the new name of Summer at Dog Dave's (I like this name better).

Isn't it cool that they left the movie sign?

The screening was held in Greenwood Lake NY and was at the lake where the movie was filmed.

The town of Greenwood Lake was abuzz with happy, proud people who were excited to see their town shown on the screen. Fortunately for me, I have friends in high places and was able to snag a band so I could cover the screening for the website I run. It was incredible to see all these people, so full of pride!

If you have a chance see the Magic of Belle Isle starring Morgan Freeman and directed by Rob Reiner.

Summer Life Begins & Balancing Life and Work Takes Time

Well...the life of a blogger is crazy. There are little windows of time that I can get things done and now that the kids are know how that goes.

As a people pleaser type, I find it difficult to find time for myself because I am busy working. While I don't work outside the house, well I do but not in a standard office. My jobs are in the social media realm which include my blog, my website, Twitter, Facebook and creating advertisement for online ads. My day consists of editing photos for online posting, writing for Maria's Space or the community site I run after a nearby town lost its newspaper, being a good wife, a good friend, a good daughter, granddaughter, sister, taking care of the house, taking care of my social media clients, following up on giveaways and reviews which means, email, email, email, reading books for review and everything else that comes along with life while maintaining my first priority as a MOM! It is the job I find most important. It is the job that gives me the most joy and stress. It is also the job, I wish I was better at. We all do our best and there are times we are the best parent possible and times that we could use a little help but you never have time to ask for it.

While most of my jobs are not something I NEED to do but choose to do, it is something I find myself wondering if I should be stressed by it. At anytime I could give it all up and just be busy with life but keeping my sites going gives me joy and currently one is allowing me to earn a tiny income. Tiny means under $150.00 a month but it is something and I couldn't have done it if not for Maria's Space.

Back to life and the kids:

School ended last Wednesday and I gave the kids the rest of the week off. This week, summer officially begins and that means, fun, good times but also learning.  They both start swimming class today at a nearby high schools pool. They can't wait! They will also have to start writing in their journals today and the workbook session will begin on July 1st!

We also have plans for some summer school, Handsome is taking a social skills class starting July 10th and Goddess is expect to have a summer reading course which was offered by the school. Hopefully I hear more about it soon.

Last week I took photos at a Senior Center and met a member of the International Lions Club. The Lions had donated a pool table to the center and I wanted to take photos for the paper. The Lion member who attended was a past president of the club and invited me to the Lions Inductee Dinner where I took more photos to post on their local newspaper. When I was leaving the former President came over to thank me for coming and wanted to know what my "wish list" was. Apparently he is my fairy Godfather because I mentioned to him that I would love some of the merchants who I cover online to advertise on the website that I spend 12 hours a day working on. This weekend, I received 3 new ad requests.  One is paying for the whole year. Very excited to work on the last ad and send it over for approval so I can invoice out! Not a fortune but really does add to the month intake of the website and justifies all of the time I spend working on it and attending everything I am invited to by the town. It also justifies the negativity that comes with being an Editor. I have had some personal attacks because of the website's comment capabilities. People who can write anonymously can be unkind. While I know you can't make everyone happy, and I can shake it off. It makes it harder to attend some of the social gatherings I am invited to. You never know who was the person being nasty to you. They could be smiling right in your face and you wouldn't know it although they know who you are. Oh well...

As for Teach, he started a job about 3 months ago. Completely different from what he has done in the past. My blue collar guy is now white collar and drives a company car, wears dress shoes instead of work boots and slacks and dress shirt instead of a polyester uniform.  He is also in the best shape ever. After starting work and realizing we had no money to buy him clothes he needed to drop a few pounds so he could fit comfortably in the few dress clothes he had. He dropped 30 in 3 months and looks incredible. Not easy either, he works out at least 2 hours 5 days a week and only eats chicken, turkey, salad, protein shakes, Belvita cookies, and Wheaties! The man is dedicated.

Will have to snap a picture of him soon because once football season starts the eating resumes but right now...he looks amazing.

Going to get the kids ready for swim class. Have a great day everyone!

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Eat Your Veggies with These Cookbooks & Over 675 Recipes


The Vegetarian Kitchen Table Cookbook ~ A wonderful collection of varied and tempting recipes intended not only for vegetarians but for anyone who simply enjoys good eating. Vegetarian recipes ideal for the whole family! Chefs Igor Brotto & Olivier Guiriec are based in Quebec (and speak French).

Eat Raw, Eat Well: 400 Raw, Vegan & Gluten-Free Recipes ~ This outstanding book and collection of recipes will appeal to both newcomers to and veterans of the raw-food lifestyle. Includes info on meal preparation, nutrients, raw pantry essentials. Chef Douglas McNish is a raw food expert based in Toronto, Ontario.

Topics and discussion points for Eat Raw, Eat Well:

• What do I eat on a raw food diet and/or what is raw food anyway?

• Did you know that you don’t actually need special equipment or fancy raw food tools to eat this diet?

• What tools do you need to equip a raw food kitchen?

• How do I get all of the vitamins and minerals I need on a raw food diet?

• Did you know that on a raw food diet you can still make all of your favourite recipes like Alfredo sauce, pizza and nachos?

• Did you know that healthy smoothies can be one of the best breakfast ideas?

•  Did you know that when eating leafy greens such as kale that contain large amounts of iron it is best to include some vitamin C with them for maximum absorption?

• I didn’t know there were poor vegan choices – what are they?

• What are some of the beneficial effects of eating a raw food diet?
• What is the difference between living food and raw food?

Color Carnival - June 24, 2012

This is my "Handsome" plant. I got it on my very first Mother's Day as I was being wheeled out of the OR from my emergency Cesarean. I could barely hold my head up yet two nurses handled it to me on my gurney and said, "Happy Mother's Day". If anything happens to this plant I would be devastated.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Kidz Bop for The Kid In All Of Us

I have been writing about Kidz Bop for a few weeks now.  I cannot tell you how many of my friends have told me that their kids LOVE Kidz Bop since posting this picture of my Kidz Bop loot on my Facebook page.

My kids love music and I know this is not the exception. Everyone loves music but not all music is meant for everyone. There is way too much inappropriate music on the radio so we have never listened to the radio in the car but prefer that the kids listen to music we download to our MP3 Players which we use in the car.

They are going to grow  up quick enough and they don't need to know about half the things that are mentioned in the top 40 songs on the radio these days. But...I don't believe in sheltering them so much that they don't know the songs their friends listen to on the radio which is why I love Kidz Bop.

It is all top 40 songs with kids singing it and the words are changed to be appropriate for children to sing.

We had no idea that Kidz Bop also had books, DVDs and Activity Books! What a great gift idea for your child or anyone's. We have a few birthday parties lined up this summer and a gift box of Kidz Bop stuff is affordable and kids will love it!

You can see the Kidz Bop Kids sing Edge of Glory here. 


Photobucket isn't just music and DVD's either. Looking for a summer read your kids will enjoy? Check out this.


350 Best Vegan Recipes


350 Best Vegan Recipes ~ Delicious, innovative and easy-to-make recipes for everyone in search of options to fit the vegan lifestyle. Also includes info on how to make vegan foods from scratch. Deb Roussou is a food expert based in California.

These tempting vegan options include a wide and varied range of tantalizing meal ideas -- from amazing appetizers and salads to hearty soups, incredibly satisfying main courses and decadent desserts. This outstanding cookbook contains so much more than just incredible vegan offerings (that are also guaranteed to appeal to non-vegans and non-vegetarians) -- it also includes comprehensive and useful information on everything from stocking a vegan pantry to helpful kitchen tools and equipment.
And what really sets this book apart from other vegan cookbooks is the "Vegan from Scratch" chapter which provides information on making everything from Vegan Bouillon to Soy Cream Cheese and Smokey Maple Tofu Bacon Slices. These recipes really bring a wholly authentic vegan lifestyle into the home kitchen!

Just a small sampling of the appealing and easy-to-prepare recipes:
  • Chile Dusted Cornmeal Garbanzo Fries, Sopapillas
  • Southwestern Cornmeal Pizza, Cilantro Black Bean Burger
  • Potato Gnocchi with Lemon-Garlic Sauce
  • Spinach and Pumpkin Curry, Blackened Corn Chowder
  • Blackberry Mint Sorbet, Chocolate Cherry Brownies
All these dishes are so easy to prepare yet so delicious that everyone who loves food -- non-vegans and non-vegetarians included -- will enjoy them.

A Must See: Stunning Performances by All Star Cast!



Anna Paquin, Mark Ruffalo, Matt Damon and Matthew Broderick Impress in Writer/Director Kenneth Lonegran’s Masterful Portrait of a Young Woman’s Haunting Coming-of-Age Story on Blu-ray Combo Pack July 10

Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment today announced that MARGARET, the long awaited follow up to two-time Academy Award® nominee Kenneth Lonergan’s critically acclaimed debut feature You Can Count on Me, will release on Blu-ray combo pack July 10.  Available exclusively at Amazon for a limited time, the two-disc Blu-ray set includes the theatrical version as well as a bonus DVD featuring the never-before-seen extended cut. 

Hailed as “one of the decade's cinematic wonders” (Richard Brody, The New Yorker) and named “one of the best films of the year” (Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times), MARGARET is “ambitious, affecting, unwieldy and haunting” (Ann Hornaday, Washington Post) and features complex performances from a powerhouse cast including Anna Paquin, as the film’s eponymous heroine (TV’s “True Blood”), Mark Ruffalo (The Kids are Alright), Matt Damon (We Bought a Zoo, Invictus), and Matthew Broderick (Wonderful World).

Synopsis: From Academy Award® nominated* writer/director Kenneth Lonergan (You Can Count On Me) comes a stirring drama Rolling Stone calls “a film of rare beauty and shocking gravity.” Anna Paquin, Matt Damon and Mark Ruffalo lead a celebrated cast in the story of a Manhattan teenager whose life is profoundly altered after witnessing a terrible accident. Experience an emotional teen’s extraordinary journey to set things right as her innocent ideals come crashing against the harsh realities of the adult world. It’s an “extraordinarily ambitious film,” raves Time Magazine.

About Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment
Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment, LLC (TCFHE) is a recognized global industry leader and a subsidiary of Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation, a News Corporation company. Representing 75 years of innovative and award-winning filmmaking from Twentieth Century Fox, TCFHE is the worldwide marketing, sales and distribution company for all Fox film and television programming, acquisitions and original productions on DVD, Blu-ray Disc Digital Copy, Video On Demand and Digital Download. The company also releases all products globally for MGM Home Entertainment. Each year TCFHE introduces hundreds of new and newly enhanced products, which it services to retail outlets from mass merchants and warehouse clubs to specialty stores and e-commerce throughout the world.

# # #

The 411 by Maria:
This is an absolute must see movie. A+ cast! Stellar performances by Anna Paquin and J Smith Cameron. Paquin plays Lisa a 17 year old girl high school student and lives in Manhattan with her mother (Cameron) and brother. Smart script and dialogue about how life chews us up and spits us out.

When Lisa sets out to find a cowboy hat, she inadvertently causes the death of a woman crossing the street.

Guilt and frustration alters her already "too smart for her own good" youthful view of the world.  The movie takes its time and centers around complex day to day issues; death, hatred, real world events like 9/11, racial differences, teen pregnancy, drugs and divorce. Sounds like a devastating film? It isn't it is a centered, deep, thought provoking movie of the realities of the world our children are growing up in and how it affects them.

So well done, I will be thinking about it for days.

Anna Paquin and J. Smith Cameron along with the rest are incredible. Brilliantly acted! The scene of the bus accident is a harsh reality and Paquin will never be just Sookie to me again!

FYI: Not a child friendly film. Nudity, harsh language and a bloody accident add to the movie and are not there for dramatic visuals.

Disclaimer: I received a complimentary screener for my honest opinion.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Pick Up A Copy of Frozen Delights And Stay Cool!

Introducing… Frozen Delights
101 Smoothies, Pops and Ice Cream Treats!
Now on newsstands nationwide

When the temperature soars, it’s time to chill out, and we know just how to do it! The editors of Good Housekeeping, Redbook, Country Living, and Woman’s Day are excited to bring you this new collection of the most delectable iced-up goodies!

In Hearst’s Frozen Delights, you’ll find delicious recipes to add the “cool” factor your summer. Included are everyone’s favorite ice cream desserts and other delightful indulgences. Dig into show-stopping sweets just right for parties, like S’mores Ice Cream Pie and Cheesecake Lollipops! Sip on blended drinks like fruity smoothies, coffee concoctions, and frozen cocktails. Create the perfect summertime desserts with super-cute ice pops and pint-sized treats like ice cream sandwiches, frozen fruit bars and mouthwatering cakes and pies. Plus you’ll find recipes for yummy homemade ice cream, easy sundaes, and irresistible sauces.

Frozen Delights is available for $6.99 and can be purchased at your local supermarket, newsstand or bookstore. A digital edition is also available at or Can’t get enough? Get more access to our specials by checking out our Facebook page at

It’s time to whip up a batch of frosty treats, and make your summer the most scrumptious one yet!

So worth it!~

Goddess and I couldnt' stop flipping through and dog ear'ing the pages we loved the most like these:

Cheesecake Lollipops
Total time: 30 minutes plus chilling and freezing
Makes 30 lollipops
1 cup cold low-fat (1%) milk
1 package (11.1 oz.) no-bake cheesecake mix (without crust packet)
1 cup finely crushed chocolate wafers or chocolate sandwich cookies
1 package (12 oz.) chocolate chips
2 tsp. vegetable shortening
Garnishes: sprinkles, crushed nuts, and/or mini chocolate chips

1.       To large bowl, add milk and cheese-cake filling mix. With electric mixer on low speed, beat until combined. Increase speed to medium and beat about 3 minutes, or until thick. Stir in crushed cookies. Cover bowl and refrigerate at least 1 hour.

2.       Line baking sheet with parchment. With moistened hands, roll cheesecake mixture by tablespoonful into 30 balls and place on prepared baking sheet. Insert lollipop stick into each ball; freeze about 2 to 3 hours, or until firm.

3.       In small saucepan on low, melt chocolate chips and shortening stirring until smooth. Spread out garnishes on parchment.

4.       Remove pops from freezer. Carefully dip each pop into melted chocolate, turning to coat, then roll it in your choice of garnishes and return to baking sheet. Freeze at least 2, or until ready to serve.


Frozen Fruit Tart
Total time: 50 minutes plus cooling and freezing
Makes 8 servings
8 whole graham crackers
2 Tbsp. whole natural almonds
1 Tbsp. sugar
1 Tbsp. canola oil
1 Tbsp. honey
1 ½ cups light vanilla ice cream (such as slow- or double- churned)
1 ½ cups mango or passion fruit sorbet
3 ripe nectarines, each pitted and cut into 8 wedges
2 ripe plums, each pitted and cut into 8 wedges
1 cup raspberries

1.       Preheat oven to 350°F. In food processor with knife blade attached, pulse graham crackers until fine crumbs form. Add almonds and sugar; pulse until almonds are finely chopped. In cup, mix oil, honey and 2 teaspoons water; drizzle over crumb mixture. Pulse until crumbs are evenly moistened. Press crumb mixture onto bottom and up sides of 9-inch round tart pan with removable bottom.

2.       Bake tart shell crust 8 to 10 minutes, or until set and lightly browned at edges. Cool completely in pan on wire rack. 

3.       Remove ice cream and sorbet from freezer; let stand at room temperature 10 minutes, or until slightly softened. Spoon ice cream and sorbet alternately into tart shell, pressing with back of spoon to smooth; cover and freeze at least 4 hours or overnight, or until firm.

4.      Carefully remove sides of pan and place tart on round platter. Arrange circle of nectarine wedges 1 inch from edge of tart then circle of plum wedges inside nectarines. Mound raspberries in center of tart. Serve immediately.