Posts Tagged ‘review’

posted by on Excursions, food, Travel

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4 out of 5

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Last year, I had the opportunity to dine at Lautrec at Nemacolin Woodlands in Farmington, PA. I was at the hotel on unrelated business with some time to kill. The restaurant was recommended to me by the hotel staff. I was immediately taken with the name, Lautrec. It is in reference to the well known painter Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec. You may recall a portrayal of him in the film Moulin Rouge by actor John Leguizamo.

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The name was most likely chosen due to the fact that Lautrec was French and this restaurant specializes in upscale European style dining. The decor, mood and service was fabulous. A red and gold color scheme were utilized. The wait staff was both friendly and prompt.

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nemacolin food

The food was delicious and affordable considering the style of the restaurant. I would say that the menu is medium priced though it is a fine dining restaurant where I would expect to pay more. I ordered a lox bagel with all of the fixings and an orange juice. This was the first time I had an actual bagel prepared with lox and salmon. The juice was good. The bagel was amazing. Everything on it was fresh and delicious. The juice was around $3 and the bagel meal was a bit over $10. My father had the classic breakfast. He enjoyed his meal as well.

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The bathrooms for the restaurant are both stylish (heavy on the gold decor) and cleanly. I highly recommend this establishment to anyone visiting the area.

You can check out the official site for this restaurant here

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posted by on Movie Reviews, Movies/TV

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5 out of 5

It’s so cheesy it’s practically fondue! I love that.

Warning: There are spoilers.

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Kevin Kline and Romany Malco providing a much needed public service.

When I first heard about the premise of Last Vegas a few years back I thought, that’s an immediate pass. I will not be watching that. Old guys in a rip off of The Hangover? No thank you.

Then the trailer came out and I saw that basically everyone is in this movie. You get Kevin Kline (yum), Michael Douglas, Robert DeNiro and Morgan Freeman. That’s an awesome cast.

Did it look silly, over the top and predictable? Yes. Did I want to see it? Yes. Now that I’ve finally gotten around to renting it, I have to say WATCH IT. It’s super fun.

It’s a simple plot, four OLD friends reunite for the first time in a LONG time in Las Vegas. Michael Douglas is a high powered lothario (I know, I feel like I’m in the wrong decade too) who has decided to finally tie the knot. Where does he propose? At a friend’s funeral, cuz he’s just that romantic.

He calls up all of his old buddies to get them to attend his quickie wedding to his 30something girlfriend and it quickly turns into a crazy bachelor party. There are, predictably, but hilariously none the less, a ton of jokes about her age BTW.

Wait, before we actually get to Vegas we are treated to a bit of each fellow’s life: Kline is referred to as the Bionic man as he wears a hearing aid, has a replacement hip and a full medicine cabinet, Morgan Freeman is being babied by his adult son because he had a minor stroke at some point and Robert De Niro is a grouchy shut in (surely they jest, De Niro angry? Nah).

lv party

On to Vegas, these guys are not quite up to speed on today’s scene. Luckily due to some magic on Freeman’s part the guys luck into getting their own personal assistant, the always fab Romany Malco. He helps guide them around the Vegas lifestyle and eventually gets very into it as well.

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There’s so much partying, Vegas baby! It’s off the chain. Yes, that is a cameo by LMFAO!

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The standout for me is definitely Morgan Freeman. He gets the best lines, “I feel like a princess” and “these Red Bull and vodkas, I feel like I’m getting drunk and electrocuted at the same time”. Plus his character facilitates much of the plot.

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lv steen sing

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There is also a competitive horn dog/grudge thing going on between Douglas and De Niro. Enter the always beautiful, Mary Steenburgen as a lounge singer.

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standout suits and yes, Turtle from Entourage

Without giving absolutely everything away, watch out for the shopping montage, woot and another unexpected, yet totally in sync with the storyline, cameo.

Sit back, have fun with it, don’t pick it apart and you will probably enjoy this flick.

You can rent or buy Last Vegas on Amazon here (affiliate link)

Photos are via the official Last Vegas twitter

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posted by on Fashion/Beauty

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4 out of 5

Kate Hudson doing yoga

Earlier this year I was checking my email and received an intriguing message from JustFab (a fun shoe subscription service). They were announcing their new site, Fabletics. Fabletics is a monthly service (which you can skip whenever you want) that specializes in athletic wear for women. The face of Fabletics is Kate Hudson, who is of course gorgeous and you can tell does work out.

via Fabletics.com

via Fabletics.com

INITIAL IMPRESSIONS
I read some reviews and it sounded pretty good to me. I also found an amazing (now defunct) coupon that made it possible for me to get a pair of their exercise leggings for $5. They usually sell for $39.99. Yes, I was psyched.

PACKAGING
The leggings came sealed in a plastic bag with the name of the style, color and size on it. This is great just in case you would happen to receive something that you didn’t order by accident. You could return it without opening it first. That bag was packaged in a larger, sturdy shipping bag emblazoned with the name of the company and their website on the front and their logo and “Live Your Passion” on the back.

FABRIC/CLEANING INSTRUCTIONS
I must admit that I am cheap so the original price would not have sucked me in. When I received them though I was quite impressed. They are 90% nylon and 10% spandex. They have that moisture wicking thing going on that you find in well made (expensive) athletic wear. According to Fabletics they feature a “Chafe-Resistant Design, Convenient Hidden Pocket and Four-Way Stretch”. I would say that they haven’t chafed me. The pocket must be extremely well hidden as I haven’t found it. I must also mention that they have detailed, heavy duty stitching at the crotch, which is a great idea because pants often wear out in that area first. According to the Fabletics tag (yes, they are actually manufactured by them, which happily surprised me) they are designed in California and made in the USA (also surprising).

The instructions tell you that they are to be machine washed in cold water with like colors. You can then tumble dry them on low. I have done that at time and other times I’ve just hung them up to dry. I haven’t had a problem either way. You are not supposed to use a softener or bleach on these.

nice stitching on the front of the pants

nice stitching on the front of the pants

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You can see the Fabletics logo on the back.

DESIGN
These are simple but very nice. They feature a wide, flattering band at the top of the pants. According to the site they are supposed to hit mid rise. They don’t really hit me like that but I’ll go into more detail on that later. The back of the waistband features the Fabletics logo. It’s not overwhelming or anything. They are stylish and simple.

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SIZING
This is the tricky part. When ordering a new brand of clothing online it’s difficult to decide what size you actually need. I was a 10-12 when I ordered these. According to the site I should have ordered a large. However I was buying leggings that included spandex and the first few reviews that were up then made it sound like these ran small. So I ordered up to an XL (14-16). I could have ordered the large. There is a fit survey and most customers have now rated them as true to size. I’d agree.

I was able to wear them and probably could have gone with either size at that time. I’ve lost weight since I bought these and am more of a smaller 10 so I’d probably get a medium (8). I’ve totally worn them a lot. A couple of initial sizing issues for me were that the crotch seems a bit long and the pants themselves definitely run long. (I’m only 5’4″.) If you are a tall chick, definitely buy stuff from this company. They are leggings though so it wasn’t a big deal. They just bunch up. Instead of hitting me mid rise they fit more like low rise, but I like that. Plus I just yank them up if I have an issue.

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OVERALL IMPRESSION
Not only are these good for working out but I also wore them during the polar vortex under jeans to stay warmer while outside. They really helped with that. Plus you can wear them with your normal every day outfits if you like. They aren’t perfect but are very awesome. They are lint magnetics so keep a lint roller handy. I’d definitely recommend trying leggings or yoga pants from Fabletics. I’d have a ton of pieces from Fabletics at this point if I could afford it. It’s a really cool idea and a fun way to pick out a new customizable outfit every month.

WANT TO JOIN?
To join Fabletics, click here. (Note: This is an affiliate link. I will receive 500 reward points if you sign up and make a purchase). While I did just get pants and you are free to order single pieces, that’s not the idea behind Fabletics. The idea is to receive a coordinating outfit. If you are a VIP member and do not skip a month you will be charged $49.99. You can then use that towards an outfit (which start at $49.99). There are also individual pieces that go for less.

Note: Yes, I am still using a camera phone.

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posted by on Library

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5 out of 5

Naked Sushi

Naked Sushi
by Jina Bacarr
published by Cosmo Red Hot Reads from Harlequin
release date: October 15, 2013
provided by NetGalley

Naked Sushi is a seriously delicious read! It focuses on Pepper O’Malley. She’s a heroine worth rooting for, a somewhat insecure computer programmer, who sounds adorably quirky. Unfortunately she hasn’t been getting lucky IRL lately. So one night her flirting gets out of hand when a hot guy seems to be coming onto her in the copy room. It turns out that the boring company that she works for isn’t quite so boring. It also turns out that the man in the copy room is a FBI agent trying to collect incriminating evidence on her boss. Pepper gets canned.

After trying to get any job possible but being blacklisted, Pepper teams up with Steve the FBI agent in a bid to get her good name back and maybe score with him, yet again! Pepper really gets into her role since she actually wanted to join the FBI the past but let her insecurities over her background get in the way.

Spy romances aren’t always up my alley. Sometimes they get too bogged down in the details of the case and lose focus on the romance at hand. Not this time. In addition to romance we also get a fun best friend who helps Pepper into and out of trouble.

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The title, Naked Sushi, refers to a particular scene involving a naked sushi model. You know those women you can eat sushi off of at very fancy restaurants? Think Samantha in the first Sex and the City flick.

If you like unique characters, a hint of danger and hot sex then Naked Sushi is for you. This is a novella, but at 90 pages, I didn’t feel cheated out of a story. I just felt like it was super fast, super fun read. You can read it twice if you are so inclined, I did!

Enjoy this audio excerpt from the author:

For more on Jina Bacarr:
official site
official Facebook
official twitter

(Note: This is an affiliate link.) You can purchase Naked Sushi here on Amazon.

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posted by on Library, Music

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4 out of 5

johnny cash the life

Johnny Cash
The Life
by Robert Hilburn
published by: Little, Brown and Company
released on: 10/29/2013
provided by: NetGalley

This is an incredibly in depth, well researched biography of Johnny Cash. Instead of just inferring events as some biographers do, Robert Hilburn has went out of his way to exhaustively research Cash’s life. My qualms with this book are few and are massively outweighed by the knowledge I gleamed from it on JR. In case you are wondering though, they are as follows: it’s hefty at 688 pages but in truth I relished in reading this book for an extended period of time, it can be slightly dry at times due to the author’s thoroughness (but as I said, I appreciate that) and sometimes when events are laid out Cash is presented in a more favorable light than what is listed to have actually happened. I totally understand this though as it’s a book about him and you’re most likely reading it because you are a fan of Cash. As you can see, these are barely quibbles, as they make sense and are helpful at times.

Despite watching Walk the Line a few times, listening to a variety of Cash albums and seeing some of his specials I realized quite quickly into this book that I actually knew very little about the Man in Black.

It turns out that Cash himself did release a couple of autobiographies during his lifetime but he was a known exaggerator. The author was able to use his autobiographies, family autobiographies, actual interviews with Cash and a myriad of news clippings on him to give us a well rounded look at Cash’s life.

From his youth, to his time in the service, his first marriage and then his later marriage to the beautiful June Carter Cash we definitely get to learn about his personal life. The scandalous tales of drugs and car wrecks are also included.

What I highly appreciated though is the information regarding how Cash crafted his songs. I can write a lot of things but lyrics are not one of them. It was so interesting to delve into his process. From his early acclaimed work, through some experimental tunes to his later revival, info on all of it is right here, in one book! Cash has been gone for a while now so the end of the book focuses on how he balanced a myriad of health problems with his work. It is tear jerking. I literally cried several times and I’m no softy.

The author is even completely honest in his opinion on Cash’s work. In the index he gives you a list of his recommended Johnny Cash albums. I found this incredibly helpful while looking for more Cash to listen to.

While casual Cash fans may not be able to get through such a lengthy book this is ideal for those of use who have admired his work for years. It would also make a great gift for any friend or family member who is into both Cash and literature. Snag this masterpiece today!

(Note this is an affiliate link.) You can purchase this book here from Amazon.

For more on Robert Hilburn:
official twitter
official Facebook

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