The Real Deal

Have You Ever Wondered... Is that certain book really good? Does that product really work? So have I. From Indie authors and musicians to local products or nationally advertised, I can't tell you the countless products I've bought as seen on TV only to find out that they don't work at my house, the book was really a bunch of hype, the music was not what I had hoped for or a movie was a yawn. If you want an honest opinion, you will find it here. Although I do lots of book reviews, I also check out lots of other products and let you know if they really live up to their ads or their hype. Stay tuned, and check in often. You never know what I'm going to talk about next.


Just in time for summer: Sport>>Brella!

I couldn’t wait to test drive the Sport Brella recliner chair. My husband and I have taken other sports chairs to the park and even got the beach chair edition. But a recliner with an umbrella? This feels like the  Cadillac of comfort, the extra wide seat (which I’m happy to say I didn’t need but it’s so comfy!).  The back of the chair is higher than the usual sport chair, and from just below the shoulders, it’s padded. I actually took a nap in it.

The hammock style foot rest lets you set your heels in, or if you want to pull your knees up a little, you can set them on the edge. The foot rest is adjustable and removable. Mine is let all the way out at the moment. I’m actually writing the review from the chair.

The pocket on the left arm rest is constructed so that you drop in your music player, and with an “X” portal, the headphone wire isn’t in danger of getting crimped. That lets you listen to your favorite beach tunes while watching the kids play in the surf and not worry about your player getting sunstroke. As always, the Sport Brella chair has installed a round mesh pocket to hold your favorite relaxing beverage. 

The right arm rest had other sweet features: a pocket with dual zipper entry and Velcro closure keeps whatever you have stashed from prying eyes. The water resistant lined pocket hangs under the right armrest and fits up to four beverages , your camera or your Kindle HD. We found two long-necks sit upright in it just fine (and stows empties until you’re ready to get up).
A pocket hangs from the front of the seat and a zipper pull with a bottle opener attached. Perfect for tailgating.  It’s big enough for a wallet, cell/smart phone, sunglasses, season tickets or the seashells you’ve been collecting.

At shoulder level is the three way swiveling asymmetric umbrella.  The UPF 50+undercoating blocks over 99.5% UVA/UVB rays. And if you’re by the water, you know how important that is. If you don’t need it, it unclips quickly and easily. You can easily attach it to either side of the chair.

The final fantastic feature of the Sport Brella chair, is the three-click range of reclining comfort. Whether you just need to rest that bellyful of fantastic BBQ or you want to wear your sunglasses and take a catnap, this chair is just a click away from your favorite relaxing position. For safety’s sake, I found I couldn’t adjust it while sitting in the chair which means when the chair is in position, it’s solidly locked in. I give Sport Brella five stars. Summer’s just getting underway, so be sure you get yours soon!


Haunted by Dark Skies

Dark Skies reaches out into your safe, normal looking neighborhood and grabs you into the unbelievable, mind boggling and just possible enough world of is-this-really-happening?  The Barretts are your everyday normal, struggling family trying to keep up appearances. When their youngest son starts talking about The Sandman, life takes a decidedly left turn for all of them.
 This very entertaining movie sucked me in even when I tried to remain emotionally disconnected. It’s been a long time since I watched a film in this genre and it really got into my head. Some weird little things happen in the story line that are tip offs that something bigger is coming. Days later, when weird little things happen around my house, I start thinking of the movie all over again.
If you're a fan of sci-fi, X Files or thoughts along those lines, you might like this. The movie was really well done and just enough special effects to keep me wondering what was around every corner… and sometimes, following th.em down the corridor. The children in Dark Skies were just as compelling as the adults. See the trailer here.

The disc contains Special features: Alternate and deleted scenes, commentary with writer/director Scott Stewart, producer Jason Blum, and others, which I can’t wait to see.

Even though it’s rated PG 13, I wouldn't recommend this as a family movie to watch with kids (or anyone) who is subject to nightmares. The cover art alone is disconcerting enough and since I saw the movie I can’t stand to look at it. It ends on a slightly fatalistic note with just enough thread hanging loose to wonder if there will be a follow up. If you like/love this sort of thriller, it’s a five star movie.


Bunnery Natural Foods: Tastefully Delicious

I have a deep appreciation for natural foods. It always makes me feel down to earth, connected to the planet and like I’m doing something good for myself. Granolas can be wonderful unless it contains unwanted, or refined sweeteners.

Bunnery Natural Foods sample pack arrived from Amazon Vine and what a treat! Five point five pounds of nutrition packed goodness! Opening the box was like looking into an Easter basket of pastel colored eggs. The Blueberry Granola and Original Granola are sweetened with honey. The Cranberry Nut Vanilla and Banana Honey Nut Granolas are sweetened with honey and rice syrup. The O.S.M (oats, sunflower seeds and millet) Pancake and Waffle Mix is sweetened with a tiny bit of brown sugar and the O.S.M. (could also be pronounced awesome!) Oatmeal is not sweetened at all. All of them are tasty and full flavored.

Bunnery Natural Foods frustration-free packaging is easy open rip tabs with re-sealable bag. The granolas arrived in 12 ounces packages, the pancake mix 18 ounces and the oatmeal 15 ounces. According to nutrition facts, one ounce is a serving. Even three ounces didn’t really hold me till lunch on its own. But, I added one ounce to a 10 ounce fruit smoothie enhanced with protein powder and that lasted me 5 hours.

The labeling on the sturdy bags is easy to read making it clear what you’re getting as well as a mountain shaped see-though window to display contents. Bunnery Natural Foods are made in Jackson Hole Wyoming. I figure if it sustains the cowboys out west, it will sustain the cowboy at my breakfast table. Five stars.


He's Gone: Perfectly Captured

Deb Caletti's book, He's Gone took me on quite a mental trip. When Dani Keller awakes one morning, her head is throbbing, her shoes are muddy and her husband is missing. She can't remember what happened.

Caletti's lyrical turns of phrase painted amazingly clear scenes and brings in a chef's blend of quirky people. Dani is the girl next door on her worst day. The thoughts she reveals as she goes through the process of discovery was frighteningly real in its insight regarding abusive men.

She bares the raw truth of what many women go through in less than ideal marriages and the tailspin that sometimes follows. It's a story that heats up one degree at a time until you are sweating the end.

I was pulled along from page to page, every chapter ending on a cliff hanger. It was the last thing I read at night before sleeping and the first thing I read when I came home from work.

For my conservative friends, there are several f-bombs and an occasional irreverant curse words. The book discusses adultery at length and other adult themes; nothing gratuitous or graphic.

A fantastic work. Don't miss out on this writer.

I received this book free from the Amazon Vine Program in exchange for my honest opinion.


Spark Lit a Bonfire

Jason Jaggards's book Spark was the book I've been looking for. I knew that there were lots of things I wanted to accomplish with my life. During the day, I was treading water in a job I didn't like working with people I loved, but that could not encourage me in the ways I needed. It left me exhausted and frankly, without much hope for my future.
It was clear, it was time to move on.
Well, you know what the economy is like, what the job market looks like? And my hours were finally right where I wanted them. Never mind the stress of looking for a new job. The stress from the current one drove me to take a risk. That scary 4 letter word.
Risk is the name sake of this book. Intentional and healthy risks.
If you are ready to cast your stone onto a still pond, to make changes in your life, and even the world, this is the book you have been looking for. And, you can start making changes this week, by getting Spark.
Spark is what I needed to feel encouraged about making positive changes in my life. I now have a better job that leaves me feeling energized and allows me to pursue other risks. Check it out. I'm glad I did.

I received this book from Waterbrook for free in exchange for my honest opinion.


Soderberg's The Andalucian Friend: A Thrilling Masterpiece

The Andalucian Friend by Alexander Soderberg is an excellently written, riveting novel with a cast of characters you won't soon forget. I could barely put this book down to go to work or even sleep. I couldn't wait to continue reading it the second I got home. Soderberg weaves an interesting and complex tale covering four countries, and had me guessing every inch of the way.

Though at times violent, it was graphic without being gratuitous and at times so suspenseful I forgot to breathe. Soderberg's words paint scenes so well, they bloom like a motion picture in the mind. When I first began reading, the book was a daunting 400 plus pages. By the second day I was halfway through it and at the end, I was sad to be finishing.
For my conservative friends: there are several degrading references about women, quite a lot of killing which is at times very unsettling, a healthy sprinkling of F-bombs and one character deals with some drug abuse which is not the least bit glamorized. The Andalucian Friend is the first in a trilogy that I cannot wait to read. Five stars. By all means, add this to your summer reading list. You won't be disappointed.

I received this book free from the Amazon Vine Program in exchange for my honest opinion.