Monday, November 2, 2015

The Pickle Jar

I can't remember the last time I saw an old fashioned pickle jar, but I loved the trip down memory lane.

Friday, September 25, 2015

What is there to do? Go to Hotel Transylvania 2! (Review)

The weather is turning cooler.  The leaves are starting to change color.  Halloween decorations line the aisles of every store I walk into.   Fall is here, and that is one of our favorite seasons as a family. We love to go apple picking, hiking through the crunchy leaves in the woods, and running through the corn maze.  We decorate our entire  house for Halloween and look forward to picking out a new costume or revamping a previous one.   We have several other Halloween traditions as well.  Each year we listen to the audio version of The Legend of Sleepy Hollow in the dark with a fire roaring in the fireplace. We also watch Hotel Transylvania.  It has been a favorite since we first saw it while on vacation several years ago.

When I was asked to attend an advanced screening of Hotel Transylvania 2 with my family,  I jumped at the the chance.   We couldn't wait to see what Johnny and Mavis were up to.  Without giving too much away, I can say that they are still together and now have a little one to keep up with. Hotel Transylvania 2 tells the story of Johnny, Mavis, and their little boy, Dennis.  Like any new parents, they have some struggles trying to figure out what is best for their little boy.  Also like many parents, they have the thoughts, actions, and opinions of others to contend with.  What results, is a great family movie!  We all laughed at the silly antics that Drac and his pack got involved with.  As parents, we could relate to the difficult decisions that Johnny and Mavis had to make.  I left the theater with a smile on my face, happy that we had found another great family movie to enjoy together.

Want to learn more about Hotel Transylvania 2?

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*Disclaimer:  All thoughts and opinions are my own.  I was not given any compensation in exchange for this review.  

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

After - Anna Todd

Welcome 2015!

It is officially a new year, which means new opportunities, new hopes, new dreams and new resolutions.  While I don't generally make too many actual resolutions at the start of a new year, I do think about what I would like to achieve or accomplish in the coming year.  

What would you like to achieve this year?

Do you want to learn a new language?  Take a class?  Lose weight?  Travel to a  new or favorite destination?  Write a book?

All of the the goals that I now have, seem like them are becoming a bit more realistic to achieve. There are apps, devices, and sites that allow you to monitor and track your progress toward achieving what you want.  You still have to put in the work, and make yourself accountable, but with all of the new technology, things that once seemed like they could only be a dream can now become a reality. 

Take Anna Todd for example.  In 2013, this 25 year old decided to write a book using the free social reading and writing app, Wattpad.  She wrote much of the book, After, on her mobile phone while waiting for various appointments and running errands.  As she wrote, she would publish new installments of the book every couple of days using Wattpad. By 2014, After had been read over 1 billion times and had more than 6 million comments.   As the popularity of her story grew, it attracted the attention of Simon & Schuster, who decided to publish the print version beginning in October 2014.   If you are interested in reading it, you can get your copies at Barnes & Noble - or for your e-reader

Who would have thought that a simple hobby, some free time, and a free app could create such an amazing success story.  It is truly inspiring to think what we each are capable of accomplishing with the right tools and effort.

So, what is Wattpad?  I know that is the question I was asking myself when I heard about this success story!

Wattpad is a new storytelling experience that connects authors and readers in a social way.  More than 40 million people have joined Wattpad, and there are more than 80 million free stories available. Many authors share their work one chapter at a time.  Readers receive notifications when a new installment is available.  They are then able to share plot suggestions with the author via comments and messages.  What a great way to get feedback on a story!  You know what people like as you're writing as opposed to after you've already finished your book.

Do I have any readers that are aspiring authors?  If so, check out Wattpad and see what you think.  I'd love to hear your comments and opinions.

Disclosure:  I participated in the After by Anna Todd blog program as a member of One2One Network. I received compensation but all opinions are my own.