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Last Minute Foodie Gift Ideas For Everyone

July 16, 2017

Everyone knows a foodie or two. A foodie is a person who doesn’t just eat food and consume beverages out of necessity; oh no - for them, food and drink is an experience that is more like a hobby. They will constantly be trying interesting new ideas or experimenting with recipes, to the point where you wonder if they ever eat anything that’s just “normal”.


If you fancy giving the foodie in your life a present but are strapped for time, then here are a few suggestions to point you in the right direction.


Your Mom



It might be a bit of a stereotype to suggest that women prefer sweet food to savory, but it’s one that has some justifiable reasoning behind it. So make the most of that and opt for anything with a sugar rush. Cupcakes and macarons have certainly had their moment of popularity, while it’s hard to go wrong with a good, exquisitely crafted French pastry.

Your Dad

Men are just as likely to be a foodie as women, but they may be a little less inclined to experiment. It’s therefore best to keep it simple; think samples from a variety of bourbon brands or a selection, or even a range of different coffees from around the world. If you want to go for food, it’s best to look for a voucher for their favorite restaurant than to try and encourage them to try something new.


Your Sister




You still have the option of something sweet, but why not look for unusual beverages or cocktails? Cocktails - or mocktails if they don’t drink - are particularly fun, especially if you buy a few pieces of barware for them to experiment with. Find a recipe for an interesting cocktail then buy the components, along with a nice glass for them to drink it from.


Your Brother

Sticking with the savory theme, why not look for a moment unusual kind of meat for your brother? There are so many types of meat that are eaten throughout the world, but have yet to fully cross into the mainstream on our shores. You could suggest zebra, giraffe, or even alligator - package it up in a selection box with a nice red wine, and you’re guaranteed to be giving them the most innovative gift imaginable.


Your Friends



To an extent, a lot of this is going to depend on your friends and what you know they like. Go through your mind for memories of them expressing a preference for a particular something, leaning heavily on this theme.

If you can’t think of anything that would fit, then why not try a selection of cheeses? Foodies as a whole love cheese; it’s a real delicacy that is popular no matter what the season. You could look for cheese presentation sets, or head to a specialist and pick up a few that you think that they should sample.


If you’d rather stick with drinks, then look for craft and indie alcohol producers. Staying away from the big brands encourages their love of something different in what they consume, so it should work out well for everyone involved!

This is a submitted post.

Want Easy Money? Drive for Uber Eats.

May 15, 2017


You can drive and earn as much as you want. And, the more you drive, the more you’ll make. Plus, you’ll get paid weekly and your fares get automatically deposited.


Uber is now accepting drivers to deliver dinner. What a great way to earn as a part time job, summer work for college students, or even those interested in full-time work. Uber EATS works with the best restaurants in your city to deliver local food. 

Getting signed up is easy. Couriers submit a background check and get it approved through the Uber system. There are 3 types of couriers on Uber EATS: 1) Biker 2) Driver 3) Scooter.

Join Now!

This is a sponsored post.

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Crab Dip and Crackers

December 8, 2016

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #MerryMeals #CollectiveBias

I remember this appetizer from my childhood. My mom would make it for parties, it was requested quite a bit by friends and family. We would always have it around the holidays for some kind of gathering. As a child, I always thought it was so elegant and special. Now as an adult, I appreciate how easy it is to make. I found everything I needed at my local Market District store. 

shopping items
The variety of items required for this post from Collective Bias. I used the Cocktail sauce and Wheat Thins in my recipe.


in store
The crackers I needed for this recipe were so easy to find in my Market District store.


The items needed for this recipe were easy to find and I was happy to purchase Market District and Giant Eagle brands whenever possible.


  • 1 package Cream cheese
  • 5 oz Pimento cheese
  • 2 Tbs chopped onions or onion powder
  • Cocktail sauce
  • Imitation Crab
  • Crackers (Wheat Thins, Ritz, or Triscuits work well)


Mix together the Cream cheese, Pimento cheese, and onions till smooth. 

Spread into your serving dish. 

cocktail sauce
Top with Cocktail sauce, use your desired amount. I used about half a bottle.

add crabs
Place small pieces of Crab on top.



  • Shrimp, Crab or imitation Crab can be used. 
  • You can omit the onions, or onion powder if you desire. 
  • You can omit the Pimento cheese if you desire.

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Snickerdoodle Recipe and Cookie Round-up

December 5, 2016

Have you started your holiday baking? I know, it just turned December, but remember cookies freeze well and you get a head start on your cookies! My daughter loves Snickerdoodles. We don't make them a lot, if ever. So her choice for the first cookies of the season is Snickerdoodles. 

We used the recipe from .  The reason I chose this recipe is that it was simple, it used only butter is and no shortening. 



  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 1⁄2 cups sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 3⁄4 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons cream of tartar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1⁄4 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 3 teaspoons cinnamon


  • Preheat oven to 350°F.

  • Mix butter, 1 1/2 cups sugar and eggs thoroughly in a large bowl.

  • Combine flour, cream of tartar, baking soda and salt in a separate bowl.

  • Blend dry ingredients into butter mixture.


  • Chill dough, and chill an ungreased cookie sheet for about 10-15 minutes in the fridge.

  • Meanwhile, mix 3 tablespoons sugar, and 3 teaspoons cinnamon in a small bowl.

  • Scoop 1 inch globs of dough into the sugar/ cinnamon mixture.

  • Coat by gently rolling balls of dough in the sugar mixture.

ready to cook

  • Place on chilled ungreased cookie sheet, and bake 10 minutes.

  • Remove from pan immediately.



  • Roll small dough balls, the smaller the better, they flatten out
  • This recipe makes a cookie that isn't very sweet, if you want it sweeter, add more sugar to the coating mixture
  • The recipe makes about 24 to 36 small cookies, if you need more, double the recipe.



This post is a part of the 2016 Virtual Cookie Exchange. Please take a moment to visit the other blogs participating in the round-up. 


Blogs that are participating:

across the top:

My Pinterventures    Christmas Candy Cookies  

Try it - Like it    Snickerdoodles   

A Moms Perspective    Ginger Bread Cookies 

Lydia's Flexitarian Kitchen    Ginger Snaps  
bottom row:

The Olive Blogger     White Chocolate Cranberry Biscotti    

Mom Knows Best    Peppermint white chocolate brownies 

Craftcore    Candy Cane Twist Cookies     




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Peppermint Hot Cocoa :: 240 Sweet

November 22, 2016

hot chocolate kit

Who doesn't like to be happy, and when you come across a company who's mission statement includes making people happy, you know you have found something good. 240 Sweet's mission statement says,  “to make people happy through gourmet foods and drink".

I was so excited to try their Hot Chocolate Kit, I brought it with us as a special treat while on vacation. The kit includes two packages of marshmallows and one package of hot chocolate. It’s the perfect gift to say thank you to someone special and happy holidays. If you have never had a gourmet marshmallow, you are in for a treat. I have had their marshmallows on a variety of different occasions but my most favorite way is toasted.

If you would like to check 240 Sweet out or purchase your own treats, use the following links. And don't forget this special code for $10 off the Peppermint Hot Chocolate Kit; Coupon Code: holidaypeppermint

This is a sponsored post.
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No Hassle Potatoes

October 16, 2016

I was offered a VoxBox through the Influenster program for Idahoan instant potatoes. I have never been a fan of instant rather making them from scratch was my choice due to the taste, not the convenience. Making mashed potatoes isn't easy or quick so we don't have them often. One meal I had growing up and my kid's love was fish sticks with mashed potatoes. I was hesitant but thought I would give the Idahoan version a try. They were very easy to make, boil water and butter, add milk and the mix. Stir and let them rest for a bit and they were done. 

To my surprise, they tasted buttery, fluffy, and every bit like homemade (without the lumps). I am sold! From now on, these Idahoan brand potatoes are on my shopping list, thanks to Influenster. 

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Chick-fil-a Mom's Panel

September 22, 2016

I am so excited to once again be a part of the Chick-fil-a Mom's Panel. This is my fourth year participating. As a part of the Mom Panel, I ’ll have the opportunity to hear about exclusive Chick-fil-A news and participate in special promotions which I will share with you here on Try it - Like it. 

If you'd like to be in the know, you can join Chick-fil-a email insiders. [email insiders]


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Fake Spaghetti Recipe

August 20, 2016

Weeknight, back to school, busy schedules...sometimes you need a quick go to recipe that everyone likes. This recipe is full of flavor and very kid friendly. My daughter often asks for this meal. 


  • 12 oz Rotini Noodles
  • 1 lb. ground beef
  • 1 can tomato soup
  • 1 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce


  • Boil water and add noodles, drain when fully cooked
  • Brown ground beef
  • Add all four ingredients together and mix. It's ready to serve. 

I know the ingredients sound a bit strange and don't seem like enough but this is one you are going to have to trust and just try it. 



Stuffed Cheese Dumplings :: A Back To School Lunch Recipe

August 18, 2016

 This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser.
All opinions are mine alone. #BacktoSchoolSimple #CollectiveBias

Back to school shopping includes grocery shopping at our house. I do shop differently at the grocery store when school is in session. We buy a lot more conveniently packed items. We had a Market District/Giant Eagle store open in our area recently. It makes shopping convenient since they have a variety of options available for packing school lunches. If you are looking for other back to school themed recipes check them out here:

inside store
inside our Market District store

You have probably heard me state before that my girls go to a non-traditional classical education school. They attend school three days a week and homeschool the other two. On those days at home, I like to make the day a bit special by serving a hot lunch. One of the recipes we will use this year is Stuffed Cheese Dumplings or Pizza Dumplings. I stumbled across the idea for this recipe and my daughters and I made the recipe. They both enjoy helping and request them often. It is a great way to include the girls in the kitchen while teaching life skills.

convenient packs
convenient packs for lunch


  • Roll of refrigerator biscuits
  • String Cheese
  • Pepperoni (optional)
  • Butter
  • Garlic powder
  • Italian seasoning


Preheat oven to temperature designated on the biscuit package. (ours was 350 degrees)

Place foil on a cookie sheet and flatten the biscuits. 

cheese on biscuit
Cut the string cheese with kitchen scissors to fit the biscuits.
​(One package cut down to three pieces for us) Place the Pepperoni if desired.

rolled biscuits
Cover the ingredients with the biscuit. Rolling them into a ball makes them look like Dim Sum!

butter mixture
Melt the butter and add Garlic powder and Italian seasoning to taste.
Approx. 1 Tbsp of butter and 1/4 tsp of garlic powder and Italian seasoning. Paint this mixture onto the biscuits. 

Bake in the oven for the time stated on the biscuit package. (Ours was 15 - 17 minutes)


  • Use a variety of ingredients for inside the biscuits. 
  • Serve with pizza sauce for dipping.
  • Can be served hot or cold. 

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City Barbeque

July 6, 2016
Have you tried City Barbeque? I have, but I was still grateful to be invited to a blogger promotion at the Fishers, IN location. We had a great tasting event and they took such great care of us. Here are a few things I learned about City Barbeque. 
  • City Barbeque has no freezers and no microwaves - can you say fresh!!!
  • Pork and brisket are cooked overnight on site while Chicken and Rib are cooked all day long. 
  • City Barbeque first started 17 yrs in a garage in Ohio but now has 25 locations with 5 in Indiana. (Greenwood, Avon, Carmel, Fishers, IUPUI)
  • City Barbeque is in the community with the opportunity to hosts fundraisers in stores where you get 25% to the organization.
  • City Barbeque at their IUPUI location has an event room you can reserve without a fee. 
  • Consider hosting a party or event at City Barbeque or plan a catering event. Dine in, carry-out, bulk order, or fancy catering. 
  • City Barbeque can also prepare action stations for your events, think candy apple bar, lemonade station or a s'more station.

The Sides:

hush puppies, corn bread, baked beans, greens, coleslaw, mac and cheese, corn pudding, potato salad, green beans, summer salad (seasonal)
The Meats:
smoked turkey, ribs, brisket, smoked sausage, shredded chicken, shredded pork

Triple chocolate cake, yes they replace the water in the recipe with Hersey's chocolate syrup!

The App:

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Nitro Circus Review - Indianapolis

July 31, 2017

Prior to attending Nitro Circus, I really didn't know what is was. I guess I am showing my age here! Nitro Circus Live’s 2017 North American tour features over 30 world-class athletes. It’s an all-star international lineup, loaded with the best riders in freestyle motocross (FMX), BMX, scooter, and inline, performing the biggest tricks in action sports. Nitro Circus stopped in Indianapolis on July 28th. I was impressed, my kids were thrilled. Overall, it was a very entertaining evening. 


The evening kicked off with a bit of silliness. Nitro Circus engaged the crowded with a drinking contest. The winner received a $500 gift certificate for tires. By texting, you could enter to win the truck pictured above as well as a motor bike. The kids were challenged in a dance off and the top three winners went home with either a bike, a skate board, or a scooter. A few audience members even got to be included in a few of the jumps. 


This is the 40-foot high Nitro Gigant-A-Ramp that all the non-motorized riders went down. Look how many riders are up there all at once. Not only did they jump traditional wheels (bikes, inline skates) but there were a few crazy items as well. 

a cooler on wheels

barbie car
a kids Barbie car

even grandmas recliner!


Look at all these motor bikes in the air all at once! I don't know, it kind of reminds me of E.T.

If you want to see more, check out this live action video. But really, seeing it in person in the best. 

Check out their site for 2017 tour dates.

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This is a sponsored post. Tickets were provided in order to write a review. 

Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales

May 23, 2017

Tonight my family and I went to see a screening of "Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales" at the Imax theater in downtown Indianapolis. It was shown in 3D. We all enjoyed it very much (youngest is 11, oldest is 54). It held our attention and might have even seemed a bit rush. This movie in the series is generational, joining together Will Turner and his son Henry. The introduction of his son connected the two new actors into the series. If I state too much more, it will give away too much of the plot. I will recommend you stay until the end of the credits for an additional scene that hints at the future of the series. 

Johnny Depp returns to the big screen as the iconic, swashbuckling anti-hero Jack Sparrow in the all-new “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales.” The rip-roaring adventure finds down-on-his-luck Captain Jack feeling the winds of ill-fortune blowing strongly his way when deadly ghost sailors, led by the terrifying Captain Salazar (Javier Bardem), escape from the Devil's Triangle bent on killing every pirate at sea—notably Jack. Jack's only hope of survival lies in the legendary Trident of Poseidon, but to find it he must forge an uneasy alliance with Carina Smyth (Kaya Scodelario), a brilliant and beautiful astronomer, and Henry (Brenton Thwaites), a headstrong young sailor in the Royal Navy. At the helm of the Dying Gull, his pitifully small and shabby ship, Captain Jack seeks not only to reverse his recent spate of ill fortune, but to save his very life from the most formidable and malicious foe he has ever faced. 

Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales” also stars Kevin R. McNally as Joshamee Gibbs,  Golshifteh Farahani as the sea-witch Shansa, David Wenham as Scarfield, Stephen Graham as Scrum, and Geoffrey Rush as Captain Hector Barbossa.

Joachim Rønning and Espen Sandberg are directing “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales” with Jerry Bruckheimer producing. The executive producers are Mike Stenson, Chad Oman, Joe Caracciolo, Jr., Terry Rossio and Brigham Taylor. Jeff Nathanson wrote the screenplay. Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales” drops anchor in U.S. theaters on May 26, 2017.   

We were provided tickets to the screening in order to write this review.

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2

May 2, 2017

The most anticipated movie of the Spring season in our house is Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. We were invited to the screening of the movie last night. It didn't disappoint. At points, I laughed out loud. Of course, we loved the music. And we debate about our favorite characters, mine is baby groot! You will definitely see a few "easter egg" characters appear from Marvel history. I don't want to give anything away, but I highly suggest you stay until the TOTAL end of the credits and pay attention to the text.

Set to the all-new sonic backdrop of Awesome Mixtape #2, Marvel Studios’ “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2” continues the team’s adventures as they traverse the outer reaches of the cosmos. The Guardians must fight to keep their newfound family together as they unravel the mystery of Peter Quill’s true parentage. Old foes become new allies and fan-favorite characters from the classic comics will come to our heroes’ aid as the Marvel Cinematic Universe continues to expand.

“Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2” is written and directed by James Gunn and stars Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, featuring Vin Diesel as Baby Groot, Bradley Cooper as Rocket, Michael Rooker, Karen Gillan, Pom Klementieff, Elizabeth Debicki, Chris Sullivan, Sean Gunn, Tommy Flanagan, Laura Haddock, with Sylvester Stallone, and Kurt Russell. Kevin Feige is producing, and Louis D’Esposito, Victoria Alonso, Jonathan Schwartz, Nikolas Korda and Stan Lee are the executive producers. Marvel Studios’ “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2” blasts into theaters on May 5, 2017.

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©2017 Marvel Studios

Rating: PG-13

Release date:  Friday, May 5, 2017

Smurfs - The Lost Village Review

April 3, 2017

In this fully animated, all-new take on the Smurfs, is the biggest secret in Smurf history! A mysterious map sets Smurfette and her friends Brainy, Clumsy and Hefty on an exciting race through the Forbidden Forest.

My daughter (age 11) loved the movie and wants to get the DVD when it comes out. Smurf lovers will enjoy it as well. Moms and Dads, it's entertaining enough to last the hour and a half. 

Have you ever wondered what Smurfette does? All the other Smurfs have their "job title" in their name, but not Smurfette. This question is brought to light in the newly released Smurfs The Lost Village animated movie. 

Given the slight focus on Smurfette, here is a great download that will teach you how to draw her. It is a free PDF file. 

[pdf file]

The film stars:
Demi Lovato as SmurfetteMandy Patinkin as Papa SmurfJoe Manganiello as Hefty SmurfJack McBrayer as Clumsy SmurfDanny Pudi as Brainy Smurf and Rainn Wilson as Gargamel.

singer Meghan Trainor recorded  "I'm a Lady" for the film
Rated PG

Run time: 1 Hr 29 min
Release Date: April 7

Fun facts:

  • There are 105 boy smurfs and 1 girl. (actually: Smurfette isn't the only female Smurf. There are three of them! The other two are Sassette Smurfling and Nanny Smurf.)
  • They may be "Smurfs" to us, but they're called schlümpfe in Germany, törpök in Hungary, sumaafu in Japan, smerfy in Poland and pitufos in Spain.
  • The Smurfs are Belgian, not American
  • The Smurfs are over 50 years old
  • Smurfs are three apples tall


This is a sponsored post. Try it - Like it received press passes in order to write this review. 

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Beauty and the Beast 2017 Review

March 14, 2017


The 2017 movie version of Beauty and the Beast is anticipated by die hard Disney fans as well of fans of any of the all-star cast. As most are familiar with the storyline of Beauty and the Beast, you will find a few changes or details added to the 2017 version. 


My family was invited to see a preview release on Monday evening in Imax 3D. It didn’t disappoint. My daughters were excited to go, they are 11 and 14 years old and I thought they might be a bit over Disney princess themes but my 14 year old, sat there till the very end in order to hear the entire music track.


On our drive home we discussed our favorite song, favorite scene, favorite character and more. We each had our own favorites but we all agreed upon the overall enjoyment of this versions interpretation of “Be Our Guest”. 


As for the casting:


Emma Watson as Belle was beautiful and fitting, although none of us could understand how she didn’t fit in except for the fact that she was a girl who read. 


Dan Stevens as the Beast, we see him in his Beast form for most of the movie. His voice was fantastic to listen too in word and song. The transition from rough to a softer character progressed seamlessly through the length of the movie.


Luke Evans as Gaston did a great job progressing and building his evilness throughout the movie. I expected his character to present larger, more buff if you will. 


Kevin Kline did a wonderful job in his supporting role as Belle’s father Maurice. I truly enjoyed his scenes. 


Of all the actors that become objects, my favorite in this version was Mrs Potts played by Emma Thompson (which I didn’t know till the end). But Mrs Potts portrayed motherly characteristics while still being strong and standing up for her position which was endearing. 




2h 9min 

Family, Fantasy, Musical 

Release date: 17 March 2017 (USA)

Twitter:  @BeOurGuest

Instagram  @BeautyAndTheBeast

Hero Acts for Save the Children

November 1, 2016

Benedict Cumberbatch and Marvel Studios Invite Fans to Help Launch

“Hero Acts” and Raise Funds for Save the Children


Marvel Studios to donate up to $1 million in recognition of new charitable initiative



I am very excited to share with you that Marvel Studios is launching the first Hero Acts campaign today, and from now until the end of the year, Marvel Studios will donate five dollars ($5) to Save the Children, up to U.S. one million dollars, for every fan who uploads a photo of themselves in their favorite Marvel hero pose. Marvel Studios is collaborating with Fotition, a new social change platform, to power the experience on a brand-new website Fans will be able to visit the site to upload their photo and choose from a selection of custom Marvel-themed overlays. They will then be able to post their photo directly to the Hero Acts gallery and to their other social channels using the hashtags #marvelstudios & #heroacts


Official Website:


Dr. Strange Movie Review

November 1, 2016

I have to say this was one of my families most anticipated movies and the fact that we were able to attend a screening of it before it's release made the excitement level just that much greater. I have been a fan of Benedict Cumberbatch since early on watching Sherlock. Once introduced to his acting abilities, I would seek out anything and everything he has acted in. 

Doctor Strange was everything and more we anticipated. The plot held together well and kept our attention. My daughter said she was on the edge of her seat the entire viewing. The casting was spot on and the animation was seamless. Upon leaving the theater, I heard one patron say the use of 3D was believable and not over the top or gratuitous and I agree. Doctor Strange is one movie I would recommend. As well as one I wouldn't mind seeing again. And I don't say that about many if any movies.

From Marvel Studios comes “Doctor Strange,” the story of world-famous neurosurgeon Dr. Stephen Strange whose life changes forever after a horrific car accident robs him of the use of his hands. When traditional medicine fails him, he is forced to look for healing, and hope, in an unlikely place—a mysterious enclave known as Kamar-Taj. He quickly learns that this is not just a center for healing but also the front line of a battle against unseen dark forces bent on destroying our reality. Before long Strange—armed with newly acquired magical powers—is forced to choose whether to return to his life of fortune and status or leave it all behind to defend the world as the most powerful sorcerer in existence. Join Strange on his dangerous, mystifying, and totally mind-bending journey when Marvel Studios’ “Doctor Strange” opens in U.S. theaters on November 4, 2016.  Rated PG-13.


Cast: Benedict Cumberbatch, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Rachel McAdams, Benedict Wong, Michael Stuhlbarg, Benjamin Bratt, Scott Adkins, with Mads Mikkelsen and Tilda Swinton

IN 3D, REAL D 3D and IMAX® 3D November 4

Rated PG-13

We attended a screening in order to write this review.

Storks Movie Review

September 21, 2016
Storks deliver babies…or at least they used to. Now they deliver packages for a global internet retail giant. Junior (Andy Samberg), the company’s top delivery stork, is about to be promoted when he accidentally activates the Baby Making Machine, producing an adorable and wholly unauthorized baby girl.
We saw the screening for Storks the other night. I admit, it was much better than I expected. I laughed out loud at a number of different scenes. My daughters, 10 and 13, really enjoyed it and would go again if their friends wanted too. My husband thought it was slow in a few spots, but enjoyable. The animation was seamless showing huge advances in hair and water. 
There are strong messages about parents spending time with their children. Not to miss out on those quality times before it is too late. Pay attention to the wolves, they steal the show and the laughs. Be prepared, you may need to have a discussion about where babies come from after seeing this flix. 
Release Date: September 23, 2016 
Studio: Warner Bros. Pictures
Director: Nicholas Stoller, Doug Sweetland
Screenwriter: Nicholas Stoller 
Genre: Animation / Comedy
MPAA Rating: (PG) for mild action and some thematic elements.
Official Website:
Cast: Andy Samberg, Kelsey Grammer, Keegan-Michael Key, Jordan Peele, Katie Crown, Danny Trejo, Stephen Kramer Glickman, Anton Starkman, Ty Burrell, Jennifer Aniston

Voiceless Movie Review

September 5, 2016

The discussion about Pro-choice/Pro-life is a heated battle. I was offered the opportunity to review the movie Voiceless before it's theatrical release. I was hesitant, to say the least. I didn't want to watch something that was going to be heavy on the side of trying to persuade me. While the movie was focused on the ministry of one man driven to follow his calling, the movie was really more about how one life can make an inpact. How change takes getting involved, one personal relationship at a time. As well as how doing good, doing what you believe in isn't without getting messy and how small victories can make a difference. One of my favorite comments in the movie is from the woman who runs the health clinic and she states how just wanting to help people can look so different. I think this speaks volumes about how people often view a single situation so differently, and while not said, it is important to remember that fact.

  • VOICELESS hits theaters October 7, 2016. New theaters being added daily.
Film Synopsis
Battling his own inner-demons, Jesse (Rusty Joiner: Last Ounce Of Courage, Dodgeball, “Days of Our Lives”) encounters a young, pregnant teen overcome with grief that, after an impulsive abortion, has her family blaming Jesse for more than just her final decision. Jesse’s wife Julia (Jocelyn Cruz: Strike One, This Is Our Time) must come to terms with her own choices and decide if she can support her husband as opposition mounts against him. Comedian Paul Rodriguez also stars as Virgil with James Russo as Pastor Gil.

Review of Toruk - A Traveling Cirque du Soleil Peformance

August 11, 2016

The mission of Cirque du Soleil (Circus of the Sun) is to invoke the imagination, provoke the senses and evoke the emotions of people around the world. Their touring show Toruk, does that and more. 

A quick overview of the show: “TORUK - The First Flight, inspired by James Cameron's AVATAR, a live experience by Cirque du Soleil, envisions a world beyond imagination set thousands of years before the events depicted in the film. The word Toruk, in the Na'vi language, refers to the great leonopteryx, the mighty red and orange predator that rules the Pandoran sky. Central in Na'vi lore and culture, this fascinating creature is crucial to the Na'vi clans' sense of destiny and interconnectedness - and is about to be ridden for the very first time by a Na’vi."

I enjoyed a “sister date” and we went to see Toruk in Indianapolis. We both have seen other Cirque du Soleil shows so we had a sense of what to expect. Toruk was a bit different in that it was heavy in storytelling with the English language being used more than in other shows I have seen. Since Toruk is based on the popular film Avatar, you might benefit from reviewing the movie first. 

I tried to view the show with an objective eye so I could share information in this blog post. Here are a few topics I noticed unique to the performance. 


Physical space
I have seen another traveling Cirque show. While traveling events tend to be visually focused on a set stage performance, Toruk was different in that they utilized the arena more than other similar events. Performers entering into the audience isn’t unique and Toruk did do that, they also used the arena floor better and visually activated the entire space.  

Toruk relies heavily upon video projection. With that said, you might be thinking more like a movie screen, that isn’t the case. The entire arena floor and their props are all one large video screen making this a unique experience where the performers act on top of the projection. 

Cirque do Soleil typically uses a lot of acrobatics. Cirque celebrates the human figure and it’s unique physical abilities. While Toruk uses some acrobatic segments, they are far less than other Cirque shows. 

Unlike anything else I have ever experienced, Toruk has an app that you download on your cell phone. The app interacts with the performance. At times you can control some of the projections onto the performance surface. Most of the other interaction with your cell phone becomes one of the lights being projected and a part of the performance. You will definitely want to download the app and join in on the participation. This was so unique and the more people that participate, the better the integration with the show. 

The Tour Continues:

  • Indianapolis, IN,  August 10 to 14, 2016
  • Birmingham, AL,   August 19 2016 
  • Nashville, TN,   August 24 2016 
  • Evansville, IN,   September 2 2016 
  • Brooklyn, NY,   September 7 2016 
  • Newark, NJ,   September 15 2016 
  • Milwaukee, WI,   September 22 2016 
  • Minneapolis, MN,   September 28 2016 
  • Winnipeg, MB, Canada October 5 2016 
  • Fresno, CA,   October 27 2016 
  • Ontario, CA,   November 2 2016 
  • Los Angeles, CA,   November 11 2016 
  • Phoenix, AZ,   November 16 2016 
  • San Diego, CA,   November 23 2016 
  • Sacramento, CA,   November 30 2016 
  • Portland, OR,   December 7 2016
  • Philadelphia, PA,   March 8 2017

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Try it - Like it was provided complimentary tickets in order to write this review. All thoughts and opinions are our own.



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