Tag Archives: review

‘The Heat’ TWSM Movie Review

‘The Heat’ TWSM Movie Review

What do you get when you cross Sandra Bullock and Melissa McCarthy in a movie together? Two strong comedic actresses who gel so well together that you can’t get enough of the two them! And the end of the movie?  Well, it only leaves you wanting more!

Sandra Bullock plays, Ashburn, an uptight FBI agent assigned to work with a Boston Police Detective who grew up on the wrong side of the streets.  Whereas Ashburn is poised, refined, and uptight, Melissa McCarthy plays Mullins, the exact opposite of Ashburn with her foul mouth, sloppy dress and overall messy demeanor. 

The two are assigned to bring down a local drug lord.  Mullins isn’t happy about this arrangement from the beginning.  She doesn’t need any help from the FBI.  Ashburn, on the other hand, is eagerly looking forward to bringing down this felon and receiving a desperately wanted promotion within the FBI.  

The relationship between the two starts out rocky, to say the least.  They are opposite in every sense of the word.  Ashburn wears dressy pant suits, which at one point while working undercover in a bar, Mullins tells her she needs to change her look because she stands out by “looking like she’s there to do their taxes”.  Mullins dresses, well, “casually” to say the least.  Let’s just say that she didn’t have to change her look to go undercover at the bar.

After going through many tough and comical situations together, the two women slowly come together as co-workers……and friends.  They end up forming a comradery that not everyone is fortunate enough to achieve in this lifetime. 

As I always say, I love to laugh and forget about the outside world.  There are many outlets in which to do this:  time with family, watching funny shows, playing games, vacationing, spending time with friends, among many others.  Throughout “The Heat” we learn that women actually CAN form sister-like bonds.  Not all relationships between women are “catty” or “jealous” in nature.  Friendships are formed when barriers are broken, walls are torn down, and no matter what avenue it comes from – a trust is formed.   

People say first impressions are everything and to some degree I believe this is true.  However, many times first impressions are based upon a fear of being less than what one thinks the other expects from them.  Don’t let something like that ruin a potential good relationship.  After all, the only thing certain in life is change.  Don’t let fear of someone’s potential opinion of you ruin the possibility of a new bestie!  Enjoy watching!

~Sherri

Five Amazing & Affordable Face Foundations

Amazing and affordable face foundations….

Hi Friends, Happy New Years! I hope everyone had a great holiday & has all their resolutions in place & in high spirits. If your resolution is bringing some glam into your everyday life you’re in the right place. I have put together a little list of some really good foundations under $18, I hope you find your forever face potion in this list. 

L’oreal True Match $10.50 

Your skin but better 

45 shades! The formula is medium coverage with a natural finish. With so many shades and undertones True Match matches light to dark and warm, neutral and cool undertones for a true-to-skin result. Formulated with Pro-Vitamin B5 and Vitamin E & It’s free of oils & fragrances. 

Elf camo CC cream spf 30 $14 

SPF and Gorgeous Finish 

20 shades. Medium-to-full coverage foundation with a natural finish, formulated with SPF 30 to protect against the sun. A multitasking dream cream infused with peptides and niacinamide known to plump, hydrate and smooth the appearance of your skin. 

Colourpop Pretty Fresh $16 

Medium – Full coverage 

42 shades! This foundation is a medium-buildable coverage foundation with a healthy, skin-like finish. It has a bunch of good-for-you ingredients. Hydrafresh complex formulated with fruit extracts & Coconut water known to support hydration and skin softness. 

Wet & Wild Photo Focus $6.50 

Matte & Full coverage 

20 shades. Wet & Wild Delivers a matte finish that photographs amazingly. The formula has a light-adjusting complex to help prevent white cast in photos tested under several light conditions with and without the use of flash (allegedly). 

Maybelline Super Stay $12 

All day wear 

28 shades. Winner of Allure’s Best of Beauty Award, the Maybelline Super Stay Full Coverage Foundation Makeup delivers 24-hour wear for concentrated coverage and a flawless finish that doesn’t fade or shift all day. Oil free. Doesn’t clog pores. Dermatologist tested.

I would love to hear from you after trying any one of these amazing foundations @Selena_WillCutYou.

See you next week! 

Xoxo 

Selena

‘Bad Moms Christmas’ TWSM Movie Review

‘Bad Moms Christmas’ starts out with the main characters, Amy, Carla, and Kiki –three friends who became friends after not fitting in with the “in’ crowd at the school PTA.  They are eagerly awaiting the holidays with their families when out of the blue each of their mothers all show up for a “Surprise!  I’m here!  Merry Christmas!” type of holiday.  As wonderful as this is for many people, it’s not quite the way these three wanted to get the Christmas season started.

Carla’s mom just shows up after three years, or four, who’s counting anyway?  In the past, any time she has visited Carla she inevitably needed money.  So, it’s no wonder that the first words out of Carla’s mouth are “What are you doing here Mom?”

Kiki’s mom shows up not only because KiKi is her daughter but because she believes the are soulmates.  They are in fact clones with her mom dressing like her and even sporting the same hairstyle.  One may also say that she is a little co-dependent as well. 

And then there is Amy.  Yes, Amy Mitchell, the single mom who juggles work and trying to make a great life for her kids.  Her mom is one who is never pleased so when Amy finds her at the front door “happy” wouldn’t exactly be the word to describe her emotion. Her reason for being there was to help give the “perfect” Christmas to her grandchildren since she believes her daughter can’t do it.   

The three friends meet at the mall and after complaining to each other for awhile they decide to get drunk in the food court.  This is where they decide they are going to take Christmas back and not let their mother’s presence ruin their time with their families.  They are going to do Christmas their way. But first Amy must get a tree in order to make her mother happy.  The three friends take the one from Lady Foot Locker that is decorated in shoes!

There are a lot of fun and funny moments in this movie just as in the original Bad Moms which is one reason I chose this movie.  This year of all years we need to laugh and while I personally was watching it today, I did laugh – a lot!  And I needed it.  Christmas can be so stressful with the gift buying and parties and all the “Christmasy” things that never seem to end.  Things are different this year. Amazon has been my best friend as far as shopping goes.  There are no parties to attend.  And I can’t even visit extended family as I live in a different state and we are trying to keep everyone healthy.  Even so I am choosing to focus on the positive.  At least all my kids are home.  And on Christmas morning we will wake up to our beautiful tree, have a nice fire in the fireplace, eat dinner together, open gifts, play games.  The key word in the previous sentence was “together” which in the end is the best gift of all!

~Sherri

TWSM Recipe Review ‘Quick Braised Short Ribs’

‘Quick’ Braised Short Ribs 

This is one of the best cold weather recipes to start this holiday season. With most people still stuck at home with family or their pets, this recipe can feed a group of four or one. There are a variety of ways you can alter this recipe for a more traditional French, classic Italian, warming Indian, etc. Below I have taken a twist on a Korean braised short rib also known as Galbi-jjim. I wanted to keep those traditional flavors while making it easy for a home cook to replicate. This recipe has some kick to it so if spice isn’t your thing, I recommend making the gochujang 1 ounce instead. The only necessary item for this recipe is a cooking vessel that can handle 500 degrees Fahrenheit such as cast iron, a good quality metal, or a high-quality ceramic. If you would like to see other variations of this recipe or a full length braised short rib recipe, comment below or email my blog. Thank you and enjoy:)

Prep time: 15 mins                 Cook time: 4 hours roughly

Ingredients:

Sauce:

  • 1 medium onion
  • 1 medium piece of ginger
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 1 pear
  • 2.5 ounces of soy sauce
  • 2 ounces of mirin AKA rice cooking wine
  • 2.5 ounces gochujang (The paste NOT flakes)
  • 2 ounces orange juice
  • 1.5 ounces of rice wine vinegar
  • 2 ounces sesame oil
  • A pinch of S&P
  • Secret Ingredient, 2.5 ounces of tomato paste

Meat:

  • 2 pounds of short rib

 As I stated before there are many ways to start this recipe. Here’s how I did it… I started the day before and washed my ribs off. Then I soaked them overnight in water. Only plain water, yes you can make this a salt brine, but I wanted a “Cleaner” taste in my meat. You can also just soak the ribs for 4 hours instead. Don’t be alarmed when the water looks “bloody” that is normal. It is myoglobin, a protein that’s found in the muscle tissue of meat.

The next day preheat your oven to 500 degrees and place your cooking vessel in the oven while it preheats. While this is preheating remove the ribs from the water and rinse them off. Then pat them dry and season them heavily with salt and pepper. Next let them sit while you make the sauce. It’s very simple put every ingredient into a blender and blend together until you have a uniform sauce.

Next taste it and take a minute to see if you want to add anything else or adjust seasoning. You want the sauce to have almost a cake batter consistency, if it is too thin add more oil. If it is too thick add water.

Remove the pan from the preheated oven and place a small amount of oil in the pan then the ribs and quickly put back into the oven. It is going to smoke some wait about 10-15 minutes until the meat is lightly seared. Now remove the meat from the oven and pour the sauce over the meat.

Cover the pan with tinfoil and put back into the oven for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes drop the oven temp to 450 for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes drop the oven temp to 400 for an hour.

After an hour drop then the temp to 350 for 2 hours. Now after the last hour check the ribs if they are not falling off the bone cook another hour until they are.

Serve over rice and enjoy!

~The Prosperous Plate

TWSM Movie Review ‘The Proposal’

I remember when ‘The Proposal came out.  I’ve always loved Sandra Bullock, but I just wasn’t interested in this movie.  And Ryan Reynolds – well, he just didn’t do anything for me.  So, I passed. 

The other night I happened to see that it was on tv and watched it. I loved it!  It made me laugh and for a couple of hours, any problems that were in my life at that time were non-existent.  

Sandra Bullock plays Margaret, a heartless and ruthless publisher in New York City.  She is a tyrant to her employees and is secretly called “The Witch” (or maybe a little worse). They all hate her including her miserable assistant Andrew, played by Ryan Reynolds, who does nothing right.

Margaret happens to be from Canada and one day finds out that she is being deported because she let her Visa expire.  She finds out that if she marries an American, she will be able to stay in the U.S.  So, what does she do?  She orders Andrew to marry her.  He, of course, refuses but after much bantering agrees but she must do two things:  1.  She has to get down on one knee and propose to him; and 2. She must travel to Alaska with him for his grandmother’s (played by Betty White)  90th birthday.

Off they go! Neither one is happy but they’re doing it.  The hard-nosed defensive woman who finds pleasure in making others unhappy puts on a good front with Andrew’s loving and welcoming family, eventually unable to resist the love they bestow upon her.  She finds herself caring about them and realizes she doesn’t want to hurt them with a fake marriage. Meanwhile, even though the arguing continues behind closed doors between the soon to be wed couple, their walls eventually start to come down.  She opens to him, telling him about her past that made her the tyrant she is today.  His heart softens a little.  Could there be something there after all?

This movie is a feel-good movie.  It will make you believe that people can change.  It will make you believe in the power of love, not necessarily between a man and woman, but between a lonely woman who is welcomed and loved by complete strangers.  It will leave you with hope – hope that life can be better.  Hope — we all crave and need it right now.  Hope for a better future.  Believe!!  Believe because a better future will come at you when you least expect it and sometimes in the craziest ways.

~Sherri

TWSM Movie Review ‘I Feel Pretty’

TWSM Movie Review ‘I Feel Pretty’

Amy Schumer plays Renee, an insecure woman with little to no self-confidence.  She works for a famous cosmetics company but instead of working in the swanky main office, she and another employee work in the basement of a building in Chinatown. Just one more thing that makes her feel less about herself as a person.

She is a little overweight and decides to try a cycle class.  The savvy, confident instructor walks in with her perfect bod and yelling words of encouragement and the whole class cheers.  The class starts and Renee goes from total insecurity to having fun – for a few seconds anyway.  She falls off the bike and is knocked out after hitting her head hard.

When she wakes up, Renee sees herself in the mirror and is stunned.  She can’t believe what she sees.  She is beautiful!  As a matter of fact, she is unrecognizable. A Bombshell! She goes on and on about her sudden transformation to the SoulCycle employee who is with her when she awakes.  The stunned girl has no idea what is going on because Renee woke up looking exactly as she did before the fall.  But in Renee’s eyes, she’s a completely different person.

The previously insecure Renee is now a confident woman who is comfortable in her own skin.  She now has the confidence to go after what she wants in life with no fear.  She lands the Receptionist job at the company where she used to be hidden in a basement.  She enters a bikini body contest. The crowd loves her above all the others and even though she doesn’t win the competition she tells her boyfriend, another addition to her “new” life, that she doesn’t care that she didn’t win because she doesn’t need external validation to know that she’s beautiful.

To live with this level security in not only your looks but what you are capable of as well is most women’s dream.  We women tend to be so hard on ourselves.  We compare ourselves to television personalities, models in magazines, our friends, our neighbors, people on the street!  It’s maddening and drives us crazy and causes us to do insane things such as crash diets, buying anything advertised that promises us the beauty that we so crave!  Well, it’s time to stop!  Just STOP!

The truth is I absolutely loved this movie. I loved it because it teaches us that what we need to succeed in life is already inside us.  We don’t need external beauty in order to excel at what we desire.  We need to realize that we are so much more than what we will ever see in a mirror.  Who we are is what is on the inside of us, what makes us real and unique.  Once we can accept ourselves is when our dreams and even beyond are attainable and within our reach.

Does Renee ever realize the truth about herself and life and her beauty?  Well …… a good reason to watch the movie, I Feel Pretty.  Enjoy!!

 

~Sherri

‘Where The Crawdads Sing’ TWSM Book Review

 

Where the Crawdads Sing

by Delia Owens 

Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens has been on my “to read list” for months now. When I finally started reading it, I couldn’t put it down. Owens draws her readers in with a tale of love and loss so strong that it leaps off of the page, while including a murder mystery and stunning descriptions of the North Carolina marshland where the story takes place. 

Owens is an American author and zoologist. Where the Crawdads Sing is her first novel, and it has been on New York Times Best Sellers lists for over a year. Since it came out in 2018, you may be able to access it for free via your local library app without a waitlist (bonus!). 

Kya, the main character, is abandoned as a child. She manages to survive on her own in a shack in the marsh which is her home. While scraping through each day and trying to heal, she stubbornly stays alone in the wilderness which gives her comfort, yet she yearns for love and connection. She is taught to read by Tate, her first love, and is wronged by Chase, a local boy of privilege. Where the Crawdads Sing is her story — one of pain and ultimately one of triumph. 

Here are some of my favorite quotes from Where the Crawdads Sing: 

“Marsh is not swamp. Marsh is a space of light, where grass grows in water, and water flows into the sky. Slow-moving creeks wander, carrying the orb of the sun with them to the sea, and long-legged birds lift with unexpected grace — as though not built to fly—against the roar of a thousand snow geese.” (Prologue) 

“It seemed that now, Kya being more vulnerable than ever, was reason to trust others even less. Standing in the most fragile place of her life, she turned to the only net she knew — herself.” (Chapter 44) 

“Tate remembered his dad’s definition of a man: one who can cry freely, feel poetry and opera in his heart, and do whatever it takes to defend a woman. Scupper would have understood tracking love through mud.” (Chapter 56) 

Although Where the Crawdad’s Sing is a wonderful book, if you are in the mood for light reading or a hearty laugh, pick something else — for now. Just don’t let Owen’s novel fall off of your “to read list”. You’ll be mesmerized when you eventually get to it. 

Rating 4 ½ out of 5 Stars 

Copyright 2018 Delia Owens 

Liz is a technical writer by day and a humor writer by night. She lives in Minnesota with her younger daughter and their cats, Beau and Phoebe. When Liz is not reading, writing, or searching for new books to review, she can be found practicing yoga or enjoying time with friends and family. She is savoring the time that she has left before her younger daughter flies from the nest, yet she is also secretly looking forward to a time when she can travel more and not worry about anyone borrowing her socks.

‘Resilient’ TWSM Book Review

Resilient by Rick Hanson, Ph.D.

If a book has ever jumped out at me as one that I needed to read, it is Resilient: How to Grow an Unshakable Core of Calm, Strength, and Happiness by Rick Hanson, Ph.D. Although it was originally published in 2018, it has 2020 written all over it.

Hanson is a psychologist, bestselling author, and founder of the Wellspring Institute for Neuroscience and Contemplative Wisdom. Resilient delves into topics including mindfulness, confidence, courage, intimacy, and generosity. The book uses detailed examples and exercises to teach the reader how to calm the mind and optimize opportunities to connect with others.

Some of my favorite quotes from Resilient include:

“You can’t always count on the world, other people, or even your own body. But you can count on durable inner strengths hardwired into your nervous system — and this book is about growing them.” (Introduction)

“Thankfulness is not about minimizing or denying hassles, illness, loss, or injustice. It is simply about appreciating what is also true: such as flowers and sunlight, paper clips and fresh water, the kindness of others, easy access to knowledge and wisdom, and light at the flick of a switch.” (Gratitude)

“To establish a calmer baseline for yourself plus recover more quickly after stress, set aside a few minutes or more to relax deeply many times a week. Also look for little moments to relax in the flow of your day, especially when the needle of your personal stress-o-meter starts creeping up into yellow, orange, or red. In our overheated culture, relaxation needs to be a conscious priority.” (Calm)

If I have one complaint about Resilient, it is that portions of the book read like a neuroscientist wrote it. If you are a geek like me, this won’t bother you, but some readers might be more inclined to put the book down or at least skip around to the parts that appear to be more interesting and helpful to them personally (which is always a valid approach to reading a new book in my opinion).

If you are interested in becoming more resilient (and who isn’t these days?) Hanson’s book is a helpful addition to your self-care toolkit.

Rating 3 ½ out of 5 stars

 Copyright 2018 by Rick Hanson and Forrest Hanson 

Liz is a technical writer by day and a humor writer by night. She lives in Minnesota with her two teenage daughters and their cats, Beau and Phoebe. When Liz is not reading, writing, or searching for new books to review, she can be found practicing yoga or enjoying time with friends and family — usually around a fireplace or a lake. She is savoring the time that she still has with her daughters under her roof, yet she secretly dreams of being an empty nester who can travel more and not have to worry about other people borrowing her socks.

TWSM Book Review ‘Project 333’

Book Review of Project 333: The Minimalist Fashion Challenge That Proves Less Really Is So Much More

by Courtney Carver

Why not try a fall fashion challenge? Whether you are out and about (at least somewhat) or entirely house-bound during Covid, ​Project 333​ can refresh how you look and feel. I read Carver’s book and took the fashion challenge. At first, the idea of limiting myself to 33 items of clothing for 3 months seemed silly and not feasible, but I ended up loving the concept. I wear my favorite things more often, and I also mix and match my clothes in ways that make my life simpler, and am still in fashion.

There were several things that made ​Project 333 ​approachable for me. This is not a “throw out most of your wardrobe and give it all to charity challenge”. She suggests carefully choosing the items to include and then simply putting the others away for 3 months. The fact that I could technically back out at any time sounded good! Also, there are basic items that you don’t count in the 33 wardrobe items — lingerie, socks, jewelry that you wear everyday, and clothing that you only wear at home or for working out in aren’t included.

Here are some of my favorite quotes from ​Project 333:

“If there are one or two outfits in your closet that you really enjoy wearing, create a uniform with your 33 items and wear very similar things each day. Use other examples you might find on the internet for inspiration and experimentation, but give yourself room to be you and decide what you want to wear.”​ (Chapter entitled “Messy”)

“I prefer wearing clothes I can live in, clothes that fit my body as it is and not as it ‘shouldbe’ “. ​(Chapter entitled “Crazy”)

“Seeing the outfit you wore to an event that made you sad will make you sad. Holding onto your ex’s sweatshirt or your old work uniform can make you sad. You don’t get to hold on to people, relationships, or any part of the past just because you are holding on to the stuff.” ​(Chapter entitled “Emotion”)

By trying the Project 333 challenge, I found that less really can be more. I wore my favorite colors more often, threw together outfits more easily, and didn’t have to let go of any of the signature jewelry that I love. If you are ready for a change this fall, I highly recommend that you give Carver’s book a try.

Rating 4 stars out of 5

Copyright 2020

Liz​ is a technical writer by day and a humor writer by night. She lives in Minnesota with her two teenage daughters and their cats, Beau and Phoebe. ​When Liz is not reading, writing, or searching for new books to review, she can be found practicing yoga or enjoying time with friends and family — usually around a fireplace or a lake. She is savoring the time that she still has with her daughters under her roof, yet she secretly dreams of being an empty nester who can travel more and not have to worry about other people borrowing her socks.

TWSM Book Review ‘Beloved’

Beloved by Toni Morrison

 

I decided to reread my all time favorite novel, Beloved by Toni Morrison. This is one of those few “great books” that truly lives up to its reputation, having won the Pulitzer Prize for fiction in 1988. In spite of the fact that I have read Beloved several times, it still captivated me. Beloved is a story of love, strength, pain, and redemption that is set shortly after the Civil War.

Beloved was inspired by the life of Margaret Garner, An African American woman who escaped slavery in Kentucky in 1856 by crossing the Ohio River into Ohio, a free state. Captured, she killed her baby daughter rather than have her taken back into slavery.

Sethe and her older daughter, Denver, are main characters in the novel. The “baby ghost” of Sethe’s slain daughter, Beloved, comes to live with them, creating all kinds of opportunities for revisiting what they have been through, the meaning of family, and their hopes for the future.

One of the most appealing qualities of Beloved is how Morrison shares both the incredible strength and the all too human weaknesses of her characters. The day to day reality of an African American woman who was once a slave is described in amazing detail.

“Quickly, lightly she touched the stove. Then she trailed her fingers through the flour, parting, separating small hills and ridges of it, looking for mites. Finding none, she poured soda and salt in the crease of her folded hand and tossed both into the flour. She reached into a can and scooped half a handful of lard. Deftly she squeezed the flour through it, then with her left hand sprinkling water, she formed the dough.” (Chapter 1) 

“Sethe had the amazing luck of six whole years of marriage to that “somebody” son who had fathered every one of her children. A blessing she was reckless enough to take for granted…” (Chapter 1) 

“And no one, nobody on this earth, would list her daughter’s characteristics on the animal side of the paper.” (Chapter 3) 

Although the brutality of slavery is depicted throughout the novel, Beloved is much more a story of enduring and overcoming suffering than a story of the suffering itself. It will make you laugh, cry, and want to hold those close to you even tighter. I highly recommend this book.

Rating: 5 stars out of 5

Beloved by Toni Morrison 

Copyright 1987, 2004 by Toni Morrison 

Liz is a technical writer by day and a humor writer by night. She lives in Minnesota with her two teenage daughters and their cats, Beau and Phoebe. When Liz is not reading, writing, or searching for new books to review, she can be found practicing yoga or enjoying time with friends and family — usually around a fireplace or a lake. She is savoring the time that she still has with her daughters under her roof, yet she secretly dreams of being an empty nester who can travel more and not have to worry about other people borrowing her socks.