Wild Vines Blackberry Merlot

I am absolutely in love with this wine right now. When I first saw it in the supermarket, I was actually looking for the Arbor Mist version of this flavor. Whenever I’m craving a sweet wine, my absolute go to had been Arbor Mist as their blends seem to be more sugary. Well, when I came upon the Arbor Mist bottle, the store had jacked up the price to $6 for a 750mL! Craziness! I enjoy this wine, but the greedy jerks were just taking advantage of their customers.

I kept looking, thinking I was going to go for a red Moscato instead when I happened upon the Wild Vines version. I was skeptical at first as seeing a bottle for $3.50 was low even for my standard, but I figured, what the hay!

Wild Vines Blackberry Merlot is meant to be served chilled, so I waited until the next evening to try the bouquet. The moment it hit my tongue I knew. It was my new favorite! The sweet tones of the blackberry married with the dark Merlot grapes gave it a bold taste, and unlike Arbor Mist, it wasn’t as sugary as I thought it would be with it’s subtle hint of bitterness. 

I was in love! Still am, but guess what I happened upon at the grocery store this weekend when searching out my wine. They had rasied the price on this one, too! I don’t drink that much wine, maybe a bottle a month, so I can’t be the cause of the higher price due to my high demand! 

Guess I may be back on the market for a new brand soon. Until then, I’ll enjoy my $5.99 Wild Vines Blackberry Merlot a bit longer.

Movie Review – Boss Baby

IMDB: Sethe-boss-baby-718x1024ven-year-old Tim Templeton has always been a boy of an overactive imagination, and for the past seven years, life was all peaches for him, getting all the love and affection from his caring parents. However, life will never be the same and Tim won’t be the centre of attention anymore as the arrival of an improbable new brother named Boss Baby, dressed in a black suit complete with a tie and a briefcase, will shortly rob him of all love, as he takes over the whole Templetons’ house. Nevertheless, although this may be true, soon, Tim and the new Boss in a diaper will need to put differences aside and join forces, as a sneaky scheme involving the head of Puppy Co. threatens to tilt the balance of power towards their insidiously adorable furry antagonists, not to mention that the next Pet Convention is in only two days.. Brothers, hurry up.

Rating: 4 of 5

I really don’t understand how this movie got such low ratings. My husband and I were actually very surprised with how much we enjoyed this film. My daughter also liked it! And that is saying something! (Babies and puppies! How could it not interest her?)

Holding aside the lighthearted-ness of the kid-centric movie, I believe it really dove into a large issue many parents and kids face: new babies/siblings. I can’t tell you how many times I pointed out the way the main character, a seven year old boy, was feeling towards his new baby brother to my husband and said, “See, kids do think like that!” I get that it is just a movie, but I believe every child goes through these thoughts and feelings of having less mommy-daddy time than they did before the new baby came, so it was solidified in this film.

This coverage alone should have won it more favor with critics in my opinion because it actually held merit to a real issue. I guess that is why I’m not a critic; I can never guess what they will like and won’t, and they will never know what I will like and won’t, either. This movie was definitely a like!

 

Game of Thrones – Season 7 Episode 1

HERE WE GO!

I am a diehard GOT fan! I admittedly found the show before the books, and I have yet to finish the novel series, but I do aim to one day complete them. The show, on the other hand, I have been a fan of since day one! The actors are perfectly cast. The plot is well driven. And, even though there are so many characters to get to know, I have love for them all. Some I hate, but deservedly so (aka Bolton’s!). I have even found a Game of Thrones wine that helped christen this episode tonight! A review on that part of the night to come.

This series has me captivated, and I cannot wait to see how this season unfolds as we gear up for the final season. Now, on to the review of the episode!

***SPOILERS***YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED***

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Game of Thrones Season 7 is coming!

One week people! In less than one week, we will have the next season of GOT!game-of-thrones

I’m over the moon excited! I cannot wait for the continuance of this series as I have so many questions, and so much anticipation for what is to become of these characters. Let’ be honest, I think we all want to know what is going to happen between House Baratheon/Lannister versus House Stark and maybe House Targaryen, but it may very well be versus, too. Not to mention the looming White Walker battle! So much to cover, so much giddiness! Hurry up!!

All the while, I’m also silently agitated that this season is only going to be seven episodes! What the actual eff?! How are they going to fit everything in that will need to be covered as the pre-face to the FINAL SEASON in seven episodes?! There will not be any time for filler or facial expression captures. It is going to have to be BAM, BAM, BAMMM!! Action, movement, continuous scenes driving the story forward in order to capture everything they will need to in order to bring some type of closure to the series.

All I am going to say is, they better not end it how they ended Black Sails because I couldn’t even bring myself to write about it. I want real closure, real fictional justice and a happily ever after. Do not give me this open ended crap! Like what happened to Madi? Who took possession of the island? Close the darn series, and let me live my life without questioning what is going to happen to Jon or Daenerys!

Sorry, bringing back my sanity now. Stupid Black Sails..

I will be posting weekly about the episodes in hopes that we can get through this maddeningly short season together. I can only image we will be left with more questions than answers, but by golly, at least we will have each other!

New season of Game of Thrones to begin July 16 on HBO.

 

Movie Review: Let’s Be Cops

IMDb: It’s the ultimate buddy cop movie except for one thing: they’re not cops. MV5BMjI3MDY2ODQwNF5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwNjUzNjE4MTE@._V1_SY1000_CR0,0,674,1000_AL_When two struggling pals dress as police officers for a costume party, they become neighborhood sensations. But when these newly-minted “heroes” get tangled in a real life web of mobsters and dirty detectives, they must put their fake badges on the line.

I’m really late on this one, but I just had to share a few thoughts.

I believe the main theme of the movie was to say that it is never too late to find yourself and take responsibility for your life. Now, that might be a bit heavier than the actual message, but I just need to get this off of my chest.Read More »

Movie Review: Assassin’s Creed

Back before my husband and I became parents, we had all the time in the world to play video games (him) and watch movies/T.V. (me), but now its a rare occasion, and typically only when it is paid for such as gift cards for his games or friends lending us movies to watch, etc. Makes us sound cheap, but it’s just not what we choose to spend money on anymore. Every now and then we get to combine our interests and spend time doing what we both like.

Assassin’s Creed was supposed to be that perfect mix. It wasn’t.assassin_s_creed_movie_poster_2016_by_fincher7-dad26yg

IMDb: Through Abstergo a company that creates a revolutionary technology that unlocks his genetic memories, Callum Lynch (Michael Fassbender) experiences the memories of his ancestor, Aguilar de Nerha (Aguilar Of Nerha), in 15th Century Spain. Callum discovers he is descended from a mysterious secret society, the Assassins and Templars, and amasses incredible knowledge and skills to take on the oppressive and powerful Templar organization in the present day.

IMDb Rating: 6.1/10

My Rating: 4.5/10

***SPOILERS***YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED***Read More »

How to Handle Bad Reviews

Have you ever tried something that just didn’t go the way you had hoped and turned into a bad experience? Sometimes we can ignore them, others we feel propelled to let others know about our horrible encounters. We all come across these events in our lives not matter the person, place, or thing of focus. Bad customer service; blast them on social media. Malfunctioning product; unpleasant reviews on company website. Read a lackluster novel; ream the author out on GoodReads.bad-reviews-online-yelp

There is no easy way to handle harsh reviews, but I have come up with a few steps to help my fellow providers of any product or service to come out stronger after such abuse. Before we begin, I want to be clear that there is a very real difference between constructive criticism and plain rude comments. Constructive criticism is exactly that, a positive offering from a consumer to help strengthen the seller’s position within any market. Malicious reviews do not fall in this category, and sometimes can be a little hard to swallow. This is where my focus will fall because constructive criticism is part of everyday life, so we should be acclimated to these types of comments whereas verbal lashings for most are a bit further and farther in between.

*Disclaimer: I am an author, so this will be geared more towards my colleagues, but all suppliers are welcomed to cite whatever piece they find valuable from this post.

1. Read the comments with an open mind.

Do not attempt to read reviews or listen to customers with a turbulent or distracted mind. Whatever is going on in another part of your life, whatever has previously upset you either work related or otherwise, forget about it for all of the amount time it is going to take you to complete this process before reading/hearing any sort of cruel negative feedback. Clear your mind, steel it if you are new to this process, and continue to the next step.

2. Don’t take it personal.

Remember the first step. Read the comments with an open mind and don’t take it personal. I of all people know that this is hard to do especially when a reviewer is literally dragging your name through the mud, but we have to remember that to them whatever product or service they were provided with did not meet expectations and therefore has let them down. This can be heightened dramatically as the cost to the consumer is higher. No matter what the reviewer has said, don’t take it personally, and continue on.

3. Find the constructive pieces.

Unless the customer is literally just throwing profanities and cursing your very existence, during these times of frustration, we all just want our voices heard. Again, if the reviewer is just lamenting that you occupy space on this planet, it is best just to ignore it and/or advise them to provide feedback at such a time that it can contain constructive points. If the consumer is frustrated, but still explaining why pertaining to the product, then there is hope for something constructive and possibly a lesson to be learned. It may be hard to sieve through some of the not so helpful points, but again, remember our previous steps and focus on what can be helpful advice.

4. Do not respond.

This may be equally hard to do, but specifically to my fellow authors, do not respond! Unless you are on the phone or in person with the disgruntled customer, do not respond. List out the constructive points as you read the statements with an open mind. Even if you think you have the end-all-be-all comeback, do not respond. This is about learning to find what is helpful to better yourself in the future.

Revert to the previous step if you are face to face with an unhappy consumer: advise them to provide feedback at such a time that it can contain constructive points, and if it does contain such points, acknowledge them, but do not offer excuses or explanations. Just listen and give their concerns merit. Do not take anything said to you to heart. Remember, it isn’t personal. They just want to be heard.

5. Remember that you are not perfect.

No one on this planet is perfect. We all perform the same mundane tasks every day between bathroom usage and clothing rituals. You will never make everyone happy no matter the product or service you provide, but we can at least continue to understand that there is always room for growth and use these scenarios to our advantage. If a reviewer says that your story lacks dialog, try to add more in your next. If a customer states that your product brakes too easily at this certain piece, evaluate their concern and strive to make it better. We can take these moments of criticism and strive to make ourselves. Not perfect, but better.

6. Grow.

We are all human, and life is a continuous saga of learning lessons. Be the bigger person, and better yourself from the experience. Take what you can from each lesson, and let the rest go. (Not to sound too “Frozen”-y.) Everything we do, we can get better with practice and determination. Never give up, just accept this new challenge and rise above it.

My husband will look at me at times and ask how I can stand to see some ill-intended comments. My answer is always that I take them and choose to grow from them. I refuse to let it get me down because then what does that accomplish. We all have too choose to be better, to strive for more, and with each new project, that is exactly what I do. In a way, I guess I am breaking one of my own rules with this post, but to all who have provided feedback on any of my works, I thank you for helping me reach for higher heights, and I will always strive for greater.

Let me know of any tips that I may have left out, or different ways you may cope with such comments. If you just need a listening ear, I am here for that also!

The Walking Dead Midseason Premiere

I have been a fan of The Walking Dead since the beginning. Rick Grimes is my dude, and Carl is my boy. When the show first began, I was hooked hard and couldn’t wait for each episode. There have been a few very disturbing scenes as well as lackluster screen writing along the way, but ultimately, I have remained loyal to the show up until recently.

During the whole Glenn debacle, I have honestly felt a little stung by the franchise that they would treat their fans that way, but they always find a way to drag me back. Since the entire gory scene in the woods, Negan has really come into his role as the new big bad even with some not so villainy lines, and he has become the sole reason I have come back to the show following this mid-season break.the-walking-dead-season-7-rick-lincoln-michonne-gurira-cci-key-art-1200x707-1

Seriously, though, these writers are not doing this series any favors right now. Did you hear some of the lines in the subject episode? CORNY! Rick gets back to Alexandria, and he and Sasha exchange like three words that are the epitome of cheesy acting. I don’t fault the actors though because I know what they are capable of, but the writings is taking a turn for the worse.

I just hope Negan sticks around long enough to carry the show for a little while. For an older than me gentleman, he is very attractive even with his cocky, domineering attitude. He is really hitting his role for me as of recently, but maybe I am just trying to fill the hole Daryl has left due to their lack of designated time to the beautiful Norman Reedus. Sigh.

Movie Review: Arrival

mv5bmtexmzu0odcxndheqtjeqwpwz15bbwu4mde1oti4mzay-_v1_sy1000_cr006401000_al_Hubs and I have been playing catch up on our movie watching. The Arrival movie was not one that I was particularly interested in, but hubby wanted to see it. Jeremy Renner is in it, so I figured I’d take one for the team.

IMdB: When mysterious spacecraft touch down across the globe, an elite team – led by expert linguist Louise Banks – is brought together to investigate. As mankind teeters on the verge of global war, Banks and the team race against time for answers – and to find them, she will take a chance that could threaten her life, and quite possibly humanity.

The above descripition is way more dramatic than I actually think the movie was, and I’m really not sure what chance they are referring to. Silly, IMdB. It could have been a decent movie, but it was ruined for me.

***SPOILERS***YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED***

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