Thursday, September 24, 2015

John Cleese

So, anyway by John Cleese is exactly what you'd expect from him if you've followed his career much. 

part biography, part rant, part media engaged, it's a great ride through the life and career so far of one of my favorite people. Plus, there are some pictures of John as a child which is interesting! It's a fairly long volume, compared to a lot of celebrity biographies, which is perhaps to be expected from someone who was about to graduate from Cambridge, then decided to ditch it and has had an illustrious career in film and television spanning decades. 

While it is a fantastic, fairly serious biography of John Cleese, don't expect it to be written in the same vein as Monty Python or you will be disappointed! For me, I grew up watching Python and Fawlty Towers, and have always been fascinated by the crew and reading this book just gave me more insight into the sheer madness that is John Cleese; so much so, that reviewing his childhood, you feel sorry for him. It's like something we were discussing with my son this week. That sometimes those who try to make others laugh the hardest are often the ones with the most pain behind their smiles. They project what they want others to see instead of how they really feel to deny their pain and I think this is true for John Cleese as well. 

I'd still recommend this book if you are a fan of John Cleese and simply wish to know more about the madness behind the genius. (And I dare you not to picture him doing the Silly Walk!)

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

The Little Paris Bookshop

The Little Paris Bookshop by Nina George

I have seen this book make the rounds online so when it came up for review, I decided to give it a shot, plus, as an obvious bibliophile, it was necessary to read a book about books!

The writing was great,  better than I expected. I definitely highlighted quite a few "books" mentioned that I need to find later. I also highlighted some quotes but this one describes the book well: 

"A book is both a medic and medicine at once. It makes a diagnosis as well as offering therapy. Putting the right novels to the appropriate ailments: that's how I sell books." 

This quote is basically the premise of the book. Monsieur Perdu is still morning the loss of the woman he loved; a woman who suddenly vanished from his life. He's tormented by it so he has his bookshop where he dispenses a sort of bibliotherapy on his customers, flat out refusing to give certain books to certain ailments, and encouraging others on people to their, eventual, delight. 

More quotes: 

"Women tell you more about the world. Men only tell you about themselves."

"He had never had to travel; his conversations with books had been sufficient...until finally he prized them more highly than people. They were less threatening." 

I would rate this book a 4.5 out of 5. There were some parts that just seemed a bit farfetched but those were thankfully few and far between. The writing was great and I loved the overall story, and ending!

I requested this book from Blogging for Books, and they sent me a copy in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own.

Bulu Box review

I was given the opportunity to receive a Bulu box and review. Bulu Box is a monthly supplementation subscription box. One thing I've noticed that is very different about Bulu is that you can receive, then rate the products you receive, and right from their site purchase full size versions of the products you received and loved! This is SO different from most other subscription box sites, although a few newer ones I've noticed recently are doing this. Bulu has been around for a few of years at least.

My box contained something I had been wanting to try for a while, Quest Nutrition protein powder. I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE Quest bars, and generally have one with me at all times in case I get hangry and I received two sample packets of the Peanut Butter protein powder.  (I am not a tolerable person when hungry, just fyi).

Mediterra nutritional bars

Yerba Prime Fiber Plus Powder

Anti-itch cream

Movit energy gummies

They have a great referral system from what I've seen and lots of good coupons. I used to receive their boxes a couples of years ago but then stopped once I moved. I think I may have to renew!

Use code SWEATPINK for 50% off any subscription! They make it super easy to cancel or suspend your account as well. But for about $5 a month, (with the coupon) it's totally worth it! They also offer extra incentives, such as filling out surveys about your products to earn extra points that you can use towards purchases on the site.

This deliciousness was made with the Quest Nutrition Peanut Butter protein powder, 8 ounces of almond milk, and a frozen banana. It tasted EXACTLY like banana pudding.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

1 Million Minutes MadLib Fun

I'm so excited to rack up more minutes using video workouts from Grokker! There’s everything from yoga to kickboxing for everyone from beginners to advanced, and I'm especially pumped to try Yoga for Better Sleep because it will make me extra relaxed due to my insomnia.

I plan to do my video workout in my apartment before binge watching Netflix and after a day at Six Flags. My favorite thing about video workouts is trying new things, and they’re a super convenient way to get sweaty when I am lazy.

My goal is to hit 120 minutes this week!. I’ll do Butt Toning Workout on one of my more intense workout days, and Yoga for Women's Health,  on a rest or lower intensity day.  I challenge my boyfriend to beat my # of minutes or to do Yoga for Better Sleep with me!

Psst! Want more access to more of the amazing videos on Grokker? Use the code LOVEGROKKER for a free month of their premium version. No strings attached - just good sweaty fun! :)

Okay, but seriously, just glancing through the available workouts, I AM pretty pumped to try Grokker out, and Jamie and Alyse have never steered me wrong!

My take on Kathryn Budig's "Persephone" salad: Recipe!

I was looking through Kathryn Budig's blog at her recipes! Most of them looked super yummy, and fairly easy to make (which is a plus for me). She also caused me to get a tremendous hankering for Oatmeal Creme Pies but I didn't have all of the ingredients at all for that and improvised.

I wanted a light dinner, and I also had an avocado that was PERFECT and absolutely had to be used tonight. Because those things can go bad so freaking fast and I was not about to chance it.

So onto my Faux Persephone salad. Kathryn called it a Persephone salad because in the mythology, Hades uses a pomegranate to lure Persephone to the underworld and her recipe called for poms. I'm not a fan of them so I made some substitutions to suit both what I had, and what I liked.

Salad ingredients:

Greens! I used about 2 cups of mixed greens
Pickled red onions (recipe below)
One avocado, cubed (I put some lime juice on it to keep it from browning and because I love lime juice!)
1-2 tbsp Dried cranberries
1 tsp Sea salt
Garlic-I used some dried, spicy garlic for mine


1 tbsp Balsamic vinaigrette
1 tbsp Olive oil
pinch of Kosher salt
Minced green onions, about two stalks
Shake it all up, or stir, pour on last

Pickled red onions:
One red onion, diced however you prefer
Enough Apple Cider Vinegar to cover them
a teaspoon of sugar
Set into a container, shake it up, and leave in the fridge until you're ready to use it

This was seriously one of the best salads I've ever made. I'm not a huge dressing person, which is why the amounts are so small, so feel free to double or triple based on how much you like.

Since I know a lot of people like to know the caloric values, here you go.
Calories 649
Fat 59 (that avocado, makes up about half of it alone)
Protein 6
Carbohydrates 28

I would honestly eat this even without the avocado in it, especially since I don't always have them in the house. That would drop it down about 400 calories if that worries you.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Armada by Ernest Cline-Review (spoilers)

I know a lot of people read "Ready Player One," Ernest Cline's debut novel that combined science fiction with the 80's in a future society where everyone hooks up to a virtual world. Armada is similar in places, lots of 70's and 80's music, video games references, and science fiction books and movies. It was a fairly quick, easy read.  Definitely not as good as Ready Player One, though I tried hard not to compare constantly!

It reminded me of a mashup of Ready Player One and the final tests endured by Ender in Ender's Game but rather than a small child Ender, it's an 18 year old who lost his conspiracy theory father at a young age and has a violent past. I was excited to read this book, again because of my love for his first book and that he also lives in the same city, but while I did finish it, I don't think I'd recommend it to anyone. It's very predictable, being a mash up of so many other things (I've frequently heard it's exactly like The Last Starfighter with name drops and this would be correct).

Though the game the book is based around, a made up Armada, MMO, sounds pretty fantastic! I love video games and enjoy them, and this game seemed awesome I just can't praise the book as much as I wish I could as it just felt like a rip off of other science fiction games/books/movies.

The gaming soundtrack was pretty good though; I'd prefer to read more about his father.

I requested this book to read from BookLook Bloggers in exchange for my honest opinion. All opinions are my own.

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Vibrance Pure Hair Formula for Growth review

I'm always curious about products that will help nourish my hair. It's curly/wavy, and fairly thick so sometimes, it gets out of control. (Read: it's always out of control). So when I was given the chance to try out these vitamins from Vibrance, I was on board! I got these through Amazon.

The instructions say to take 2 capsules right before a meal with an 8 ounce glass of water. I found this to actually be really important, because if I took them on an empty stomach and didn't eat for a while, I didn't feel well. This can be said for most vitamins, but make to sure to read labels to see what they say.

The label. The company is pretty awesome, and I love that they have all of the information on the product right there!

Vibrance says for optimal results, to take them for 3 months. I only took them for a month and noticed my ends were not breaking as bad. I did get a haircut not long after I received them, and have noticed my hair doesn't have any split ends, feels better, and just overall looks better. I don't know if it did anything with the length, since as I mentioned, I have kinda curly hair and it's not always easy to tell when it grows out!

Vibrance is also offering readers a discount of Buy one bottle, get one free. Pretty awesome if you want to try it.

Get an extra bottle for free with an order of Vibrance Hair Vitamins using code BBVRB1G1 at checkout on Amazon.