Thursday, November 29, 2012

F is for Flavorlopes + G is for Geek-A-Bye-Baby

F is for Flavorlopes

Most sets contain ten cards and go for $14.95

Take a lick at this! We offer the tastiest envelopes money can buy, a sweet assortment of Flavored Envelopes found only at Flavorlopes. We are confident you'll find an enticing alternative to the dreaded lick of an envelope, with one of our flavorful combinations!

Yes, you can actually get envelopes that don't taste disgusting! Who wouldn't want to make mailing holiday cards (or more likely thank you cards after the fact) a bit more fun? I know I would! I usually make someone else in my family close my envelopes if I have to lick them because I HATE the taste. Flavorlopes offers a great alternative to that, and I'd love to check some of these out.

Candy Cane set

There are a variety of flavors: Apple, Cherry, Grape, Orange, Strawberry, and even some fun holiday themed envelopes like Candy Cane, Ginger Bread, Egg Nog, and more!

G is for Geek-A-Bye-Baby

This shop is perfect for those of you who have little ones in your life and wish them to be as geeky as you are! I know I could go crazy finding items for my niece and nephew. I'm sure my brother and sister in law would really appreciate it. ;0)

But seriously, Geek-A-Bye-Baby has toys, wall art, diaper bags, changing pads, clothing, and more!

One of my favorite items, and something I'd love to get my nephew, is this baby fabric block in Star Wars print! You get one block for $15 and to design it-

☠ First, pick up to two Star Wars cottons and/or flannels (out of 14 options!!)
☠ Second, pick out a complimentary solid fabric color.
☠ Third, decide if you'd like a minky or velour fabric for extra texture
☠ And Fourth, let us know if you want any specific ribbon colors. If not, we will pick whatever ribbon we feel is most complimentary.

I was not compensated in any way for either of these shops. I merely wanted to spread the word! Order soon or you might not get it in time for Christmas!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

The Big Sleep by Raymond Chandler + Make it a Gift

The Big Sleep by Raymond Chandler

Review by Lauren

this is my copy, all opinions are still my own

Official Summary: When a dying millionaire hires Philip Marlowe to handle the blackmailer of one of his two troublesome daughters, Marlowe finds himself involved with more than extortion. Kidnapping, poronography, seduction, and murder are just a few of the complications he gets caught up in.

Review: Chandler has written various novels following the exploits of detective Philip Marlowe, but The Big Sleep is the first. This is another book that I was made to read in my Detective Fiction class this semester. While it's certainly dated in regards to Marlowe's attitudes about women and even homosexuals (though not stated quite outright), I did enjoy it. I don't always agree with the things that Marlowe says or does, but in the end, he does care about the job. He's honest to us, the readers, and doesn't hide facts or try to appear smarter than he is (and he is rather smart).

The Big Sleep is a world away from Sherlock Holmes. It's American, it's gritty, and it tries very hard to be realistic. I'm not saying it entirely succeeds, but then again, even crime novels that focus on real life can't always be 100 percent realistic. I did appreciate the high stakes involved and that not everything is wrapped up in the end, as often happens in everyday cases. But don't worry...the biggest points and the things that readers would most care about are wrapped up. I actually enjoyed the ending for the most part, because it did make Marlowe a bit more likeable than he is in other parts of the novel. It becomes less about lawful justice and more about solving the crime, but not to the detriment of those involved. I know, I know, hard to understand unless you read the novel.

I am curious to read more Raymond Chandler novels now, so I suppose that's the biggest endorsement you can give!

Make it a Gift

I knew I was taking this class since my spring semester, so over the summer, I found a journal at Half Price Books (the same one in the picture above). It has the cover for The Big Sleep and a bit of information on Raymond Chandler on the first page. Besides that, it's your typical journal. I'm using it as a notebook for my class and I love it! It's small, easy to carry, and since I'm a dork, I love that it features a book I read in class.

I got mine at Half Price Books, but Amazon sells it too!

Sunday, November 25, 2012

E is for Etching Expressions


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We were sent a wine bottle for review, but all opinions are our own

Review by Lauren

Review: I've seen Etching Expressions around for awhile now and I knew I wanted to feature them on my holiday gift guide. Luckily, they were nice enough to send me my own personalized bottle to give you all a more detailed review. First off, I went through the options with my mom...and we knew we wanted the holiday bottles so it could be given as a christmas gift. We narrowed our options down and decided to go with the simple, yet lovely, Ribbon Tree design, which starts at $65 (the price goes up if you add more to your design, or pick a wine that costs more!)

The website is super easy to use and gives you enough options to really suit your tastes. You can make the design silver, gold or full color (an extra $10 for this though). As you can see from the above photo, we went with the full color. If you chose gold or silver, that just means all the words and the tree would be gold or silver, instead of the full color white and red. You can also request a custom color, but you must pay $15 extra.

You automatically are given the tree and Happy Holidays but the four lines below that are the ones that you personalize. You only get four lines, and a max of 25 characters for each line. We, obviously, used up all our lines! You also get to pick the font out of three options- we chose Hypatia Sans Pro because I figured it would be easy to read!

For my review, we were given the options between Chardonnay, Merlot, Cabernet, or Sparkling Wine. These are the wines that you can choose and still pay the $65 starting price. If you want a different wine, they have a lot of options but you have to pay more (anywhere from $5 to $65 more). If this were for me, I would have gone with the Non-Alcoholic Sparkling Grape Juice because I don't drink alcohol and I love sparkling grape juice. However, we decided to create a bottle for my brother since he loves we chose the Chardonnay, as you can see from the above photo (that's the label on the back of the bottle).

The last item, of course, is what you want your bottle to say. This is the truly personalized part. We went with:

Holidays, Like Wine
Get Better With Age
Love, Mom and Dad
December 2012

This will be a gift from my mom and dad this christmas, so we wanted to put Love from them. We also figured Dec. 2012 is nice because this makes a wonderful keepsake. The words and design are literally ETCHED into the bottle. This is not paper that falls off. As long as you keep the bottle nice, the message and design will be in good shape for years to come. I mentioned my brother loves wine, so I think he'll end up drinking this (and then maybe they can fill it with water or something for future holidays) but I love that it's not your typical wine bottle that will then get thrown away. It will last for years!

As for the actual message, it took my mom and I a bit of time trying to figure out a message that was short, but sweet. I ultimately came up with "Holidays, Like Wine Get Better With Age" because it fits their life (my brother and his wife have two kids now...) but also, as wine lovers know, wine really does taste better with age.

The above gives you an idea of what the entire bottle looks like! The picture below is how the wine bottle came packaged within its box. It was kept sturdy and still, and we're still holding the bottle in this in order to better wrap it for gift giving (and it would be a great way for my brother to store it for future holidays).

Volia! That is the wine bottle we created using Etching Expressions. It was easy to do, a great selection, and a lot of fun! I definitely recommend using this website for future gift giving- they have holiday, wedding, new baby, and more, so you're bound to find something that suits your needs!

This is part of my A to Z Gift Guide!!!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving to all my American blog readers! I hope everyone has a nice day tomorrow. I don't really like Thanksgiving, because the food is not my thing. Besides that, though, it's nice to be off school and just relax. I'll be doing Black Friday shopping with a friend. Personally, I don't mind the shops opening early on Thursday because after awhile, I don't have anything else to do...but hopefully it's not too much of an issue for the rest of you!

I was hoping to have another gift guide item up today, but I'm afraid that did not happen. I'll try and have it posted before the weekend though!

And remember, check out my previous post if you need help planning parties or finding gifts for people!

Monday, November 19, 2012

Let Me Be Your Gift Guru and/or Party Planner

do not own
I can't believe Thanksgiving is this Thursday, but I'm so excited that the holidays are finally upon us. I've been planning out gifts all year long. Yeah, I'm a bit obsessed, but I really like giving people's fun to come up with unique items I think they will like, or hopefully NOT get somewhere else.

Anyway, all this to say...Let Me Be Your Gift Guru and/or Party Planner. I've been posting about some of my parties this past year over at All Grown Up Parties so that gives you some idea of what I can help with. I really like coming up with "games" and food items! I'm also a big fan of picking out gifts for OTHER people to get for the ones they I'd love to help you too! You can certainly use my gift guide on the blog (and I urge you to look over all the items to see if something is of interest) but I'm happy to help on a more specific level. Tell me who you need a gift for, as well as some facts about them and the things they like, and I will go on the hunt for possible items!

I do have a Paypal if you want to donate something to that, but you're not obligated too. You can still email me with help on gift/party planning.

Any questions? Let me know! Feel free to leave any comments too and I will get back to you!

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Movie Review: The Perks of Being a Wallflower

The Perks of Being a Wallflower

Movie review by Lauren

photos used for promo only; do not own them

Review: This movie has been out since October, and I'm just now venturing a review. I've seen the movie twice and loved it both times. I would seriously pay to see it again in theaters (especially if I got to go with someone who hadn't seen it yet- that's always the best). Before I realized it was, in fact, being released near me, my sister, a friend, and I were about to plan a trip to Michigan in order to see it.

The Perks of Being a Wallflower is one of my all-time favorite books, and though I often re-read it, I have never reviewed it on my blog. It's just one of those books I can tell people over and over again to read, but it's not something I feel I could ever really review. There would probably be things I couldn't fully explain or I forgot to include, so review of the book.

As for the movie, though, I wanted to try and say something. I've been excited about this movie before I even knew it was going to be a movie. Then I found out and I was so thankful that Stephen Chbosky was able to write and direct it, since I knew that's what he wanted. This is his amazing novel and I'm not sure anyone else could have done complete justice. I don't like comparing the book to the movie, because they are different...and the same is true of The Perks of Being a Wallflower. But it worked. The main story, the emotion, the characters that people fell in love with...that's all there. And it was beautiful.

I think everyone did a great job, especially the three main actors. Logan Lerman really was Charlie. He was sensitive, and thoughtful, and sweet, and all sorts of awkward. He really brought to life these words I've been reading about for such a long time. As for Emma Watson, she was a wonderful Sam. It was very exciting to see her in something so beyond her Harry Potter days. Finally, we have Ezra Miller, who all the actual critics are raving about, and it's very much deserved. He's a phenomenal actor and he was the perfect Patrick, from the great humor to the more deep, introspective moments.

As I previously said, I'm glad Stephen Chbosky wrote/directed the movie adaptation. It's more than his being the author. He really did capture the heart of Charlie's story. It was great to see some of the classic book lines in the movie, as well as some new ones that makes me wonder if Chbosky thought of them after writing the book and wished he could have included them, or if he just came up with them specifically for the film.

Speaking of the famous Perks quotes, that is one thing that I would like to say about the book. Chbosky, through Charlie, has such beautiful insights into the world...these are things that so many people feel or believe, and yet, they couldn't possibly express them this well. One of my favorite quotes from the novel (which was not in the movie, though I understand it would not have fit) is:

“I think that if I ever have kids, and they are upset, I won't tell them that people are starving in China or anything like that because it wouldn't change the fact that they were upset. And even if somebody else has it much worse, that doesn't really change the fact that you have what you have.” 

This is something that I completely believe. You can't always compare yourself to others. Life throws something at everyone. You can't choose what you get. See? I can't even describe the quote eloquently, but I just wanted to share this one with all of you (especially if you have seen the film but not read the book- and you should do both!) and I hope it means something to you too. This is a quote that I've shared with many people since first reading this book, because it's something we all should keep in mind.

I suppose I should wrap up this movie review, but this is a film I could talk about over and over again. There are so many wonderful moments- full of humor and heart- and you just have to experience them for yourself to really understand. I loved having Paul Rudd as Charlie's english teacher, it was so much fun to see the friends act out The Rocky Horror Picture Show, and of course, the tunnel scenes were pure magic.

Finally, I wanted to share a couple interviews. I was lucky enough to interview Stephen Chbosky (author and writer/director of The Perks of Being a Wallflower) in 2009. It was seriously a highlight because this book (and now movie) mean so much to me. I wanted to let you all know about it in case you haven't had the chance to check it out. Obviously, this was way before we knew the film was going to be officially made! Also, I call it a conversation because I didn't polish our words...I tried to leave it as organic as it was when I talked to him on the phone.

Stephen Chbosky Interview- feel free to still comment there! I will see them!

I also did an interview with Reece Thompson back in 2008. I was a fan of his from the movie Rocket Science and he was kind enough to answer my questions. You can see him in The Perks of Being a Wallflower as Craig.

Reece Thompson Interview- again, feel free to commen on that post. I will see them!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Review: Modern Greetings

Modern Greetings Review

by Lauren and Chris

I was given a gift code to check out items from the site, but all opinions are my own

Review: I actually let my mom peruse the website and I went through the process of ordering the items that she picked out. She ended up getting two different notepads (one for a friend and one for herself). The picture below is the item my mom chose and we personalized it with her name- the name on this picture is what the website says!

These are my mom's thoughts about the website and her actual selections-

*good selection
*came in a timely manner
*print was sharp (the black and white really pops)
*wrapped nicely
*good amount of paper on the notepad
*good detail on the daisy
*got one for a friend too- perfect!
*personalized gift- good stocking stuffer

As for the actual process of ordering, I had some difficulties with slowness, but that may have been my computer. I couldn't tell you for sure. I do like that they allow you to place the name where you want in the black can also change the size and color, among other things. We kept the name in white though, but made the size a bit bigger than what the picture shows so that it is clear (and it really is on the final product- sorry for the lack of picture!)

However, when trying to place the name and fix the size...again, might have been my computer...but it kept giving me trouble and I almost wished they had a set place for the name and I could just type what I wanted in a box like other websites. If that doesn't make sense, it's essentially like you're creating something in powerpoint or whatever. You type what you want in a text box ON the paper, so you aren't filling out boxes and having the computer magically place it. This is a nice idea and I think it allows you the chance to be more creative and really personalize things - especially if you use this as a gift. I keep saying it may be my computer because it could have been a bad day for ordering...I still recommend playing around with the site and seeing what works for you! They really DO have an awesome selection of paper goods and even photo books.

Another item I want to mention, though, is that if you're thinking of ordering something sometime soon...I'd order just one item. Unfortunately, the site charges shipping costs for EACH item, even if you order together. This is something they are aware of and hope to change, because they understand the frustration it may cause for customers. That shouldn't stop you from ordering, though. Either pay shipping for each or just buy one item. Hopefully they will have a new system worked out in the near future that will fix this!

Besides that, Modern Greetings is a great site, with some very beautiful products. I would certainly order from them again. I love that you can get photo books, notepads, stationary, invitations, and more on this site.

Check it out. See what looks good to you. I'd love to know!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Modern Greetings- Win a Second Honeymoon

The lovely shop, Modern Greetings, is hosting a fabulous giveaway for those of you out there that are married (and I know you're there!)

The prize: A Second Honeymoon!

There will be four, separate giveaways (so you have four chances to win, though you can only win one time) and the first one is going on now!

Funniest Wedding Photo: Nov. 1 – Dec. 6
Contestants enter a funny wedding photo and share their entry to get votes. The entry with the most votes wins.
To enter each contest, the contestant will start by entering their email address here.
You will then be automatically redirected to the contest app on Modern Greetings Facebook page, which will explain the details of entering and provide you with the entry submission form.
The prize for the winner of each contest is a Second Honeymoon Trip to the destination of their choice (up to $3,000).
Every Entry Wins SOMETHING:  All contestants (those who actually enter a submission into the contest) will receive a $5 site voucher just for participating in each contest, so that’s a $5 voucher for each contest that you participate in. Basically, if you enter all four upcoming will have a $20 voucher to use on the Modern Greetings website - and they have some great options from photo books, stationary, invitations and more!
(be sure to stop by tomorrow when I post my review for Modern Greetings!)
*full disclosure- I get a voucher for the site when I post about the contest!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Guest Review- Cold Fury by T.M. Goeglein

Cold Fury by T.M. Goeglein

Guest Review by Kari

copy sent for review, but all opinions are our own

Official Summary: Sara Jane Rispoli is a normal sixteen-year-old coping with school and a budding romance--until her parents and brother are kidnapped and she discovers her family is deeply embedded in the Chicago Outfit (aka the mob).

Now on the run from a masked assassin, rogue cops and her turncoat uncle, Sara Jane is chased and attacked at every turn, fighting back with cold fury as she searches for her family. It's a quest that takes her through concealed doors and forgotten speakeasies--a city hiding in plain sight. Though armed with a .45 and 96K in cash, an old tattered notebook might be her best defense--hidden in its pages the secret to "ultimate power." It's why she's being pursued, why her family was taken, and could be the key to saving all of their lives.

Review: Cold Fury is a young adult novel about Sara Jane Rispoli. Sara lives in Chicago with her parents and younger brother. Her father and uncle run the family bake store, or so she thought. On Sara's sixteenth birthday, all she wanted to do was hang out with the cute boy from her school named Max. She did not think she was going to be on the run and trying to find her family.

Sara's family is kidnapped one evening while she is out and it starts a string of events that causes Sara to run for her life. She is determined to find them, but along the way she finds out some of her family's secrets. The notebook that she possesses gives her information on the Chicago Outfit (aka the Mob) and possibly why they were taken. Sara comes to learn that her family has been helping the mob since Al Capone was alive.

During her quest to find her family, she learns that her Uncle Buddy cannot be trusted. Her uncle wants the notebook she has because he believes it has all the secrets he would need to become the head of the family. Sara is now not only being pursued by her family's captors, but by her uncle too. To make matters worse, Sara soon realizes there are dirty cops out to find her too. It seems like there is no place to hide.

In the course of this book, Sara learns a lot about her family and herself. Her impulse to fight helps her to allude the ones who are after her. Her journey helps her discover that there is something about her and her family that is special and is the cause of why so many people are after her.

Any reader who loves to read mysteries and adventure stories will love this book. The author takes you on a wild ride filled with danger and excitement throughout Chicago. The reader will follow Sara through secret passageways and meetings with members of the current Chicago Outfit. Readers can follow Sara on her dangerous mission to discover who took her family and why.

I really enjoyed this book and I hope there is a sequel. Cold Fury has everything a reader would want. There are fights, chases, secrets revealed, and family drama. Sara's quest is suspenseful and riveting. She is definitely a great female character.

Monday, November 12, 2012

C is for Coton Colors + D is for Diamond Candles

C is for Coton Colors

The above photo is the founder, Laura Johnson. Her site says, "Founded in 1995 by Laura Johnson, an entrepreneurial artisan inspired by the celebrations of her own life, Coton Colors is a manufacturer of colorful, handcrafted pottery, creative giftware and seasonal pieces to live life in style. The unique and personalized designs create inspiration fit for every occasion."

My favorite item from the site (and there are a ton of great options) is probably the Happy Everything platters. You can get a large one (seen above) or a mini option. If you buy the large platter, you get the birthday cake attachment with it. This is not true of the mini option, but the mini is certainly a lower price. Large is $105.95 and the mini $42.95. What I love about these platters, though, is that you can buy attachments that sticks to the plate with velcro. Instead of getting a new platter for every holiday or event, you just go with Happy Everything and buy attachments to differentiate what you are celebrating.

You can find all the attachments here, and there are options for the original platter and the mini. Some options are a Mini Chalkboard (so you can write your own message), Bride and Groom, Basketball, Ghost, Owl, Peace Sign, and more!

Check out the site for cakestands, ornaments, Thanksgiving themed platters, and so much more!

*I did not personally check out anything from the site. I just wanted to share my thoughts!

D is for Diamond Candles

These candles are made with all natural soy wax, the fragrance fills a room, soy lasts 2x longer, and each candle has a ring inside (worth at least $10, but can be much more!). I think a Diamond Candle would make the perfect Wedding Shower gift for a bride-to-be. Rings symbolize weddings, and what girl couldn't use a nice candle?

I love that you get a ton of options for fragrances. There is everything from Cozy Cabin to Sunwashed. Others include Sweety Pea, Cuddle, Cupcake, and Apple Splice.

Each candle is $24.95, which isn't too pricey for a good, you get a fun surprise with the ring (and most rings won't be worth much, but you just never know! You might get the one that is!)

This would be a great go-to gift for a lot of girls if you can't think of something else for them. Most women I know like candles and jewelry. Personally, I don't wear rings, but I would still really like getting a diamond candle as a gift!

*I did not personally check out anything from the site. I just wanted to share my thoughts!

These are two more additions to the A to Z Gift Guide (I do hope you're finding some fun items to add to your own wish list, or to use as gifts for others!)

Sunday, November 11, 2012

"I Love Deadlines..."

"...I like the whooshing sound they make as they fly by"
-Douglas Adams

For Halloween, I held a Clue-themed party with some friends. You can read all about it (and see more photos of the food/decorations-- and even mine and my sister's costume) over at the All Grown Up Parties blog. And seriously, if you need help planning any type of party, please let me know! I'm on a party planning kick and I'd be happy to help if I can!

Some News I've Been Meaning to Share-

From Show Boat to Sweeney Todd – Stunning 25-CD Box Set of the Great Musicals Available Now
1. Annie (Original Broadway Cast)
2. Anything Goes (1987 Lincoln Center Theater Cast)
3. Cabaret (Original Broadway Cast)
4. Camelot (Original Broadway Cast)
5. Carousel (1965 Music Theater of Lincoln Center Cast)
6. Chicago (Original Broadway Cast)
7. A Chorus Line (Original Broadway Cast)
8. Company (Original Broadway Cast)
9. Fiddler on the Roof (Original Broadway Cast)
10. Guys and Dolls (1992 Broadway Cast)
11. Gypsy (Original Broadway Cast)
12. Hair (Original Broadway Cast)
13. Hello, Dolly! (Original Broadway Cast)
14. How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying (Original Broadway Cast)
15. Into the Woods (Original Broadway Cast)
16. The King & I (1964 Music Theater of Lincoln Center Cast)
17. Man of La Mancha (2002 Broadway Cast)
18. My Fair Lady (Original Broadway Cast)
19. Oklahoma! (1979 Broadway Cast)
20. Oliver! (Original Broadway Cast)
21. Show Boat (1966 Music Theater of Lincoln Center Cast)
22. The Sound of Music (Original Broadway Cast)
23. South Pacific (Original Broadway Cast)
24. Sweeney Todd (Highlights) (Original Broadway Cast)
25. West Side Story (Original Broadway Cast)
I'm a huge Broadway fan, so this would be an amazing gift! I'd much rather see the shows than listen to the albums, but that doesn't mean I don't have Broaday albums, and I do listen to them when I can. These are also the original casts and that's always exciting. If I were to get this, I'd be very excited about Annie, Chicago, Sweeney Tood, West Side Story, and some others!
Purchase now from Amazon for about $90 (it's pricey, but not as high as I figured it would be...and it would make the perfect gift for a true Broadway lover)!

MyChronicleBooks is offering a discount on their personalized placemats, perfect for those little ones in your life!

25% off...just use promotion code:GOBBLE12

Offer is good until 11/23/12
A Book I Really Want-
It is called My Ideal Bookshelf (Art by Jane Mount and Edited by Thessaly La Force)
Due Out: November 13th (this Tuesday)
Summary: The books that we choose to keep --let alone read-- can say a lot about who we are and how we see ourselves. In MY IDEAL BOOKSHELF, dozens of leading cultural figures share the books that matter to them most; books that define their dreams and ambitions and in many cases helped them find their way in the world. Contributors include Malcolm Gladwell, Thomas Keller, Michael Chabon, Alice Waters, James Patterson, Maira Kalman, Judd Apatow, Chuck Klosterman, Miranda July, Alex Ross, Nancy Pearl, David Chang, Patti Smith, Jennifer Egan, and Dave Eggers, among many others. With colorful and endearingly hand-rendered images of book spines by Jane Mount, and first-person commentary from all the contributors, this is a perfect gift for avid readers, writers, and all who have known the influence of a great book.
check out the website for more information- and even buy a print of your own favorite books!

Friday, November 9, 2012

A Look at 21 and Over (feat. Justin Chon and Skylar Astin)

The above was actually featured in last week's Entertainment Weekly. I do love that magazine and I'm very excited to see that Justin Chon will be leading a film. For Twilight lovers, you might recognize Justin as Eric Yorkie (thought he won't be in Breaking Dawn part 2). However, you can catch him in 21 and Over , due out in March of 2013. IMDB describes it as: The night before his big medical school exam, a promising student celebrates his 21st birthday with his two best friends.

It sounds like one fun movie...kind of like a young adult's version of The Hangover. Along with Justin, this movie also co-stars Skylar Astin (you can see him in the picture above on the right). You might remember me raving about Skylar's performance in Pitch Perfect (he was Jesse). So if you are a fan of him, just another reason to add this movie to your must-see list!

And seriously, as I'm writing this, I JUST realized that 21 and Over actually comes from the writers of The Hangover, Jon Lucas and Scott Moore. Now, it all makes sense! And MTV blogs just released the official enjoy!

To keep up with news on Justin Chon, 21 and Over, and more, be sure to follow the Turk PR blog.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Review: Zoo 3D by David E. Klutho

Time for Kids: Zoo 3D - An Incredible Animal Adventure by David E. Klutho
(includes 2 Pairs of 3D Glasses!)

Review by Lauren

copy sent for review, but all opinions are my own

Official Summary: Lions and tigers and bears-oh, wow! Take a walk on the wild side with 3D Zoo! Awesome Animal Kingdom. Brought to you by the editors of TIME For Kids magazine, this book of stunning 3D photos shows animals as you've never seen them outside of a zoo. From big cats to exotic birds, the creatures seem to leap, crawl, fly, slither, swim, and stampede off the pages and into your living room. The 3D photos are so eye-poppingly real, you'll reach out to touch the critters-and there's no zookeeper to stop you!

The book is packed with close to 100 large-scale, state-of-the art photos taken by master 3D photographer, David Klutho. No other animal book comes close to delivering the impact of his zoo-tacular images. Animal lovers young and old will thrill to this marvelous 3D menagerie and the surprising and little-known facts and information about each creature! There are 2 pairs of glasses included in each book so you can invite a friend to come along on your zoofari adventure!

Review: This book is awesome! My one complaint...there is a giant 3D picture of a spider included and I have such a fear of spiders...doesn't matter if it's only a picture. So *shudder*...that was the worst of it! Besides that, this book really is pretty cool.

My fear is that the 3D glasses will eventually get ruined or ripped in half, and that would be a bummer, so it's not a book for younger children. I do like the pockets in the front of the book. There is one for each pair of glasses- and what a great idea to include two so you can read with a friend or family member.

I held my Halloween party in mid-October and this book was lying around so two of my friends (both in their early twenties) were looking through the pages, as giddy as little kids. One friend exclaimed, "Even the 3D is in 3D!" I just had to share that. So yes, it might be Time for Kids, but you can't forget those big kids either!

The book includes a large variety of animals, giving a short paragraph of information about their species. You get bears, frogs, tigers, owls, and more. I really enjoyed the random Did You Know paragraphs scattered throughout the book. These included fun facts about some of the animals. One of my personal favorites was about gorillas. Did You Know that "when a gorilla seems to yawn, it's nervous, not tired." Fascinating, huh?! I love learning little tidbits like this!

As for the 3D...because I'm sure you're wondering (and that IS the main selling point, right?)...I can personally say it's fantastic. Seriously, I would stop on certain pages and just stare. The animals really do seem to be sticking out of the page and having the background with that adds so much. There is one picture of an animal in water and the waterdroplets falling looked so real. The book even ends with about four fun and different photos that they explain how to view beforehand. You set the book down on a table and look at it straight across, not top-down, and the animal looks like it's popping out of the middle of the page! Really fun! I've never seen anything like this.

If 3D movies were more like this book, I think I'd be a bigger fan!

Monday, November 5, 2012

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

Review by Lauren

copy borrowed from a friend, all opinions are my own

I do not own any photos in this post! They were all found online!

Official Summary: Despite the tumor-shrinking medical miracle that has bought her a few years, Hazel has never been anything but terminal, her final chapter inscribed upon diagnosis. But when a gorgeous plot twist named Augustus Waters suddenly appears at Cancer Kid Support Group, Hazel’s story is about to be completely rewritten.

Review: I know, it's kind of a travesty to say that I just recently read this book. However, I can say that Looking for Alaska has been on my top-favorite books list for awhile now, so I'm not new to the power of John Green's stories...The Fault in Our Stars is just the latest and oh-so-amazing addition.

First off, I saw the beginning of a Julius Caesar movie last semester in my History and Film class and I heard the famous line where this book gets its title from. Even if I hadn't yet read the book, I knew what it was (of course) and was really excited to notice the connection!

Julius Caesar quote

Now, back to the book. I'm sure most of you have either read this book, read a review, or have heard someone talk about. Therefore, I'm not going to go on and on about the contents of the book. Besides, you don't really want me to ruin things for you, do you? It's one of those novels you really have to experience on your own.

Basically...The Faul in Our Stars is amazing. It's full of beauty and pain, anger and love. I know one complaint of this novel (and John Green's other books) is that his teens don't sound like teens. Well, I saw John Green live at the Cincinnati Public Library in October (my first time seeing him and it was amazing!!) and he said that it's true, he doesn't, but he writes how people think they sound...or wish they could sound. And I love that. I think there are teens that do speak like his characters, though, to be honest. It's not a problem for me...I love the way that John Green writes and the types of characters that he creates. Hazel and Augustus were no exception.

Like I said above, I saw John Green live and unfortunately, I didn't read this book beforehand. I did borrow my friend's signed copy afterwards though and flew through the pages as fast as I could, while still thoroughly relishing every word. Oh, and if you're curious, I got Looking for Alaska signed! Of course!

A tumblr find

The above quote is from The Faul in Our Stars and I thought I'd end my review sharing it, since it's something I can personally understand. I like advertising my favorite books, on some level, because it means it can go on to touch new people. I'd just hate to hear they didn't like it!

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Write an Author Campaign- Send In Letters to Lisa McMann

David and his friend Eddie wrote letters to their favorite authors in hope of getting a reply...Now You Can Too!

Between November 1- 30 submit your letters to New York Times Bestselling Author, Lisa McMann. In order to do so, you must FIRST donate at least one dollar to either of the following charities picked by author Lee Bantle:

Doctors without Borders-

Freedom to Marry-

All letters must be emailed to the following address-
lauren51990 AT aol DOT com

The winning letter(s) will be announced sometime in December. After that point, Lisa McMann will either email or hand-write her reply and we’ll send it your way once it’s ready!
Only one letter per person - Open to Anyone!
The judges will be Lauren Becker and maybe author Lee Bantle- who created this event (we have to have judges because the authors who participate in this event don't have the time to read every single letter, so we'll try and find the one we feel most deserves a reply-go for emotion, go for humor, go for showing you are a TRUE fan, it doesn't matter)!
All letters should be no longer than two pages
I have a poster with most of this information. It's a Word Document -pretty simple, but it's for anyone that wants to promote this off line and I would really appreciate it if you did. Good for schools, book clubs, libraries, coffee shops, local businesses, bookstores, etc. If you would like the "poster" then please email me: lauren51990 AT aol DOT com and put Write an Author Poster in the subject!!