Search

upcloseandcaffeinated

Up Close and Caffeinated is a blog geared for individuals that enjoy product reviews and discussing all different aspects of lifestyle.

Ring in the Christmas Season with Bad Moms Christmas! #badmoms #holiday #moviereview

bad moms 2

If you saw Bad Moms when it first came out years ago and you enjoyed it then you will definitely enjoy the follow up “A Bad Moms Christmas.” A Bad Moms Christmas really is successful because of the supporting cast though which includes the ever-so-talented Christine Baranski, Cheryl Hines and Susan Sarandon. These three really make the movie the success that it could be or is.

These three are not the main characters but seem to evoke the most laughter and glory in the scenes throughout the film. The three portray the main characters mothers’ and each one has their own hang ups with their children played by Mila Kunis, Kristen Bell and Kathryn Hahn. Christine Baranski is the controlling Mother who wants everything her way and with glitz and glamour and Cheryl Hine’s plays the mother of Kristen Bell whose husband passed and suddenly she finds all her time and thoughts consumed with her daughter including wearing pajamas with her daughters face on them. Whereas, Iris played by Susan Sarandon (Kathryn’s mother) is a Roadie who does not commit and is just there to grab a loan and run again from her daughter’s life.

bad moms

The hang up with this movie is the dreadful dialogue that at times was so painful that I cringed when they spoke through each line. The main theme of the movie is that the three main characters decide to “take back” Christmas and that apparently is followed by a drunken stupor in the mall where they steal a Christmas tree and grind on Santa Claus all in a days shopping event. The movie begins with Mila Kunis’ character saying that she was the “worst mom” because she had ruined Christmas for her kids. The movie then continues to take us back five days and we see exactly what brought about this comment. At the end of the film all women will have found a way to make the holiday special and to make a closer relationship with one another. (spoiler: not really, after all its a holiday movie-these always end this way.)

The cameo by Justin Hartley from “This is Us” or “Young and the Restless” previously works with the material he is given as best he can. These scenes were some of the most cringe worthy for myself. Justin Hartley though is adorable and funny and definitely did his best with the role and is to be enjoyed on the film. (stay for the closing credits)

The script is lame but it was entertaining none the less and I enjoyed myself throughout the film. If you go in not expecting Academy Award Winners and just enjoy a few laughs this movie will be great for your friends’ night out or date night. The movie is rated R for crude sexual content and language. The movie runs for 104 minutes and I would give a 2.5 out of 4 stars.

Advertisements

Holiday Gift Idea: Watch Ya Mouth Throwdown Edition #giftidea #usfamilyguide #shopping

Watch Ya’ Mouth Throwdown Edition is the evolution of the original, wildly popular, hilarious Watch Ya’ Mouth game. Rather than just speak phrases, players now go head-to-head with hilarious and challenging tasks – while wearing mouthpieces. Throwdown Edition takes competition – and laughter – to the next level and builds on the multigenerational gaming phenomena.

Throwdown Edition has already been Awarded Top Holiday Toy of 2017 by Toy Insider & selected for the 2017 Amazon Holiday Toy List.

Want a hilarious family game to play during the Holidays? Your search is over. 15% off Coupon Code: 15THROWDOWN http://amzn.to/2i6NKwG

Book Review: Unshakeable TRUST by Joyce Meyer #bookreview #joycemeyer #inspire #faithwords

New York Times Best-Seller Joyce Meyer is at it again with her inspirational new title “Unshakeable Trust.” This title was released back in September and focuses on living your best life while finding the joy in simple things at all times.

img_3646

The book focuses on trusting God and how when God is trusted in all aspects of your life that he will gear you in the right direction. The main overall theme of this title is that we as believers or non-believers need to be trusting in God more and being less self-reliant. The book applies scripture throughout each and every page that Joyce relates back to her past and shows us how we can relate as well to our own lives. If you struggle to sit and read chapter books the benefit to Joyce Meyer’s books are that the chapters are easy to read and shorter with only 4-5 pages each. The writing is larger print for those that struggle also with the smaller print books.

The 218 page book begins with talking about trust and what trust means to the individual versus what it means to trust in God. The book focuses on how it is very important to “learn what trust is and how to trust. We especially want to learn to trust God.”  Trust which this book focuses mostly on makes it so that we can live without the burden and anxiety that not trusting someone or even God can create in our lives.

Chapter 2 was my personal favorite as it focuses on a struggle I personally have with “resting” ones mind. The writings are so easy to read and I have found do not boggle you down with big words and fancy sentences which sometimes can be overwhelming to an average reader. Chapter 2 gives us teaching lessons and speaks to us on letting God into our day and talking with him, not as a duty but more as a way to regain our inner peace.

I found great solace in the pages and I believe you will too as the reader. The reminder that God is good and that God has greatness in store for our lives and to trust his journey is so important as we move about our days. Joyce asks “Who is in the Driver’s Seat of Your Life?” and we often find we are trying to drive when we should be letting him at the wheel. There is such greatness in each page of this book that I urge even the non-believers to give it a try and to try to just relate in general the motivational pieces into your lives. There is a lot to be said for even just being inspired these days.

If you take your time to read this and apply each page and scripture to your life than it should really benefit you. Joyce Meyer has written quite a few titles and this is one of my personal favorites so far.

Find this at your local bookstore or on Amazon as well!

Making Peace with the Loss of a Pet

daph2

This post is very personal and near and dear to my heart. This post should not even have to be being written but unfortunately this is life right now. On Friday, last week, I lost my sweet girl Daphne. She was a Chihuahua mix which our family had gotten when she was just able to leave her mom. She was so small she could fit inside my pocket. She instantly became loved and a fixture in our home, even with our other dog who had been alone all the years of having him without another dog in the home. She just fit with her sweet disposition and great love for everything including playing in the snow until she could barely take the cold any longer on her little feet. There are no words to explain the loss felt since that call on Friday. There are no words to describe the sound of the emptiness of her feet hitting the tile floor or the way she would bark as if she were the size of a Doberman when she heard a sound in the night. She is missed beyond the words to mention.

22788969_10154782312712047_6484624458958656111_n

How do you get past the loss of a pet? Whether it has been a few years or ten years. How do you make sense of a tragedy in the case of my Daphne versus just the passing of old age? Whether you have had to put down your loved pet due to illness or had them taken from you by a car accident or just old age that came too soon. I have asked myself this question all week so far and I have no answers. Daphne was only a few years old and had so much life in her left that I simply find it hard to justify in my mind why she deserved to lose her life in such a tragic way as being hit in front of our home. I have had other pets as well that have had to be put down after old age had just simply begun to deteriorate their lives and I know and cannot say that process of acceptance and loss is any easier. A loss of a pet is a loss of a family member for most.

The first thing as a pet owner with loss never let anyone diminish your emotions and feelings on how you handle the death. There is no “wrong” way to handle the loss. Anyone that has experienced sharing a life with a pet knows the extensive loss and grief behind them suddenly being gone. As I did all weekend the pet owner can experience stages of grief and one being guilt. I personally felt guilt for letting her outside and I keep telling myself “if only” I had just let her stay in she would still be here. This really only makes it more difficult in grief and is not productive. This was not your fault.

daph

The stage I sometimes find myself in at times of the day is denial. The idea of accepting the pet as being gone is just simply not able to be imagined. It is hard to imagine not putting up the puppy gate before bed any longer or feeding her in the mornings before work as she would dance with excitement at the sound of the dishes. Another stage is anger. Anger we carry at the driver maybe that killed our pet or a Vet who simply we feel did not do enough.  Anger will not resolve our grief nor bring the pet back. The most important thing we can do as animal owners and going through grief is be honest with ourselves and truly examine each stage and get through it with the help of those around us. Do what you must to feel the grief and let it pass.

So, almost a week ago I still continue to talk with her as if she is still there doing her everyday normal things we once did together. I still place a candle that I light beside the road at night to honor and remember her by and the loss that is still felt. I have received many condolences including from the one who hit her and though it provided me with more answers and closure there really is no time limit or answer for closure. A friend of mine sent me something the other day hoping to give me comfort. I had never quite read it before and it was called the “rainbow bridge.” This bridge is apparently a place that our loved animals go as they await our arrival into Heaven. The passage is sweet and I will attach it below and I try at my hardest times to take solace in this writing.

Rainbow_Bridge1

How have you gotten over the loss of your pet? What did you implement in your lives to help make the transition easier?

Do not stand at my grave and weep.
I am not there, I do not sleep.
I am a thousand winds that blow,
I am the diamond glints on snow.
I am the sunlight on ripened grain,
I am the gentle autumn’s rain.
When you awaken in the morning’s hush,
I am the swift uplifting rush
of quiet birds in circled flight.
I am the stars that shine at night.
Do not stand at my grave and cry,
I am not there, I did not die…

Mary Frye

 

 

 

Product Review: V8 Energy Drinks

***I was given this product at no cost to try and review. This product review is my own opinion and I was not in any way influenced or compensated for this review.***

 

img_8927

Energy drinks…most people think of energy drinks and they instantly think of Red Bull, Monster and other beverages guaranteed to keep you energized and on the move for hours. This energy drink variety pack though is a combination of fruits and vegetables that when combined with green tea extract provide a natural pick me up to get you through the day along with providing a full servings worth of fruits and vegetables.
V8, if you are anything like me you instantly think of the salty red tomato drink that we all saw our grandparents drink as kids. We may or may not use them for our bloody mary’s as adults. I personally though shudder when I think of tomato juice. I am not a fan so when I was asked to review this v8 juice mix I instantly thought well here is a product that I walked into the review expecting to dislike. I was wrong.
The three different varieties of V8 energy are pomegranate blueberry, orange pineapple and peach mango. After sampling each can, I determined that the Orange pineapple was my favorite. The color was a bit intimidating as it looked like blended carrots yet the taste was pleasant with not being too sweet and having just enough tangy taste to it with a orange pineapple accent. I was not so much a fan of the pomegranate blueberry. I would probably not ever buy that can. The taste of it was very tart and made it hard to swallow more then just a sip. I also am not a huge fan of pomegranate and the blueberry was so subtle I barely tasted it. Peach Mango was alright. The peach mango beverage was fruitier than the orange pineapple and had a more fruit juice appearance to it. This would be my second choice out of the three.
I would recommend definitely buying V8 energy if you are looking for a more natural boost in your day without going for the extremely sugary or dangerous drinks we find in stores like Monster and Redbull. V8 at least provides you with fruit and vegetable supplements. Just be careful if you are pregnant, a child or sensitive to energy and caffeine. I would not recommend drinking this product.
If interested check V8 energy out in your local grocery store. There are more than just the three v8 energy drinks I mentioned and I am definitely curious to try more such as the Strawberry Lemonade and the Cranberry Raspberry.
Overall a 👍
http://www.campbells.com

What Inspires You? #inspired #motivate

Motivate

What inspires you and how do you rationalize taking that giant leap for change when you are inspired versus just staying in the same situations each and every day that tend to get monotonous? How do you know what is best for you and how to make the best life choices for you or maybe your family?

Everyone has that one thing. The thing that keeps you excited and feeling alive and that dream that plays out inside your head and tells you “someday” and suddenly there you are driving the Porsche’ in your mind and pulling up to that fancy house that you never thought you would be able to ever afford. What makes you different than the person driving that Porsche’ and pulling up to that house right now?

NOTHING. Well, maybe fear.

Modern times are scary and the fear of can I make it or will it work out are always weighing in the mind of those who are trying to answer questions in their head about life’s choices. The important thing though is the voice inside your head and the feeling of your heart each day when you wake up. Do you wake up and hop out of bed anxious to start your day and live your life or do you find that you wake up sluggish and worried about something you have to do or simply lethargic and listless over the plans for the day? Isn’t life too short for us to live this way? Aren’t you jealous of the freedom of those who roam the world living for themselves and taking life into their own hands. Destiny is theirs to have and because they made it so.

There is a very large difference between doing something for the love of it and doing something to get a paycheck weekly or every two weeks to just skate by. This is truth. There are jobs you may find you don’t get monetary compensation yet you feel more rewarded than if you got that weekly paycheck. This all comes down to making choices for ourselves that reflects our desires and what we are passionate about. It starts with eliminating a fear and taking each step closer to saying that you can succeed and make it in whatever avenue you choose. You are more than the 9-5 desk job that holds you down and consumes you. Your dreams are bigger than that used vehicle with 170,000 miles on it and the bills that sit on the coffee table waiting to be paid each month. There is a lot to be said about joy and contentment. You may not have it all but if you are living your own testament then you have something that most of us do not.

So, this Wednesday I sit and reflect with caffeine in hand on what the next steps are in life. What is my path? What do I choose? How do I feel self-fulfilled and that I am contributing to more than I am being drained of each day? Watch the motivational videos, read the self-help books and believe  in yourself. The only thing that will change is that which you change around you. Do not expect anything to come from being complacent and going through the motions. Life is too short. Seize the moment….with caffeine in hand of course.

What do you think? Are you living to your full potential?

 

IPhone X or IPhone 8? Worth the Hype?!

***4433087A00000578-4879498-Apple_on_Tuesday_announced_the_iPhone_X_pronounced_iPhone_10_tha-a-21_1505293018203

***This post is my own opinion and I was not encouraged or compensated to express my given opinion in anyway on the product or service***

I love technology. I love all things new and shiny and that promise me that they do different things than before and will somehow have me, the consumer, living easier by the push of a button or enjoying my family more through the lens of a higher pixel camera you have to see to believe.

I drink the Kool-Aid. I admit. I watch the commercials and I salivate and the sleek design and the music in the background has me moving to the beats all while thinking I must have this new item. This past few months Apple has introduced a few new phones onto the technology game field. The IPhone 8 the newest release to Apple is like its predecessor the IPhone 7 and when you get down to the nitty gritty in specs really is not much different than the phone you already carry if you hold a 7 or even a 6. The design is similar and the functions mostly the same as well. The phone comes in similar colors gold, silver and gray and the 8 weighs actually more than the 6. The IPhone 8 is water and dust-resistant but come on, I mean, how many of us really place our phones near water and how dust resistant does a phone need to be?

Resolution between the 6 and the 8 are the same as far as pixels go so don’t be looking for a difference in your screen time. The real game changer between the 6 and 8 is in the camera. The 8 features a quad lens at 12MP versus the 6 at only a dual lens with 8 mega pixels. There is also a BIG jump in front facing lens taking as the 6 only boasts a 1.2 mega pixel quality versus the 8 at 7 mega pixels. If you really love photography though and you are looking for a camera that will give you great pictures you may want to even look into an Android as the quality on some of those phones can be really breathtaking. This is about as good as it is going to get camera wise even with the arrival this November with the IPhone X.

Currently I have an IPhone 6 and I am looking to upgrade and really have been weighing my options over my new phone because the new phone I get will be like my best friend. The phone is my go to (aka my sidekick) each and everyday in all life’s adventures whether it is working and scheduling appointments or taking photographs of my son as he plays on the playground. I have tried going back to Android and I really struggle with the adaptation of Android text messages versus that of Apple’s IMessage. They really hook you with those read receipts. So far, I have been waiting for the Apple X to come out in a couple weeks hoping to get my hands on one after researching the 8 that I almost bought. I now realize had I bought the 8 I would most likely have been disappointed as the X promises some different details versus what I have now and even the release of their 8.

The IPhone X or (10) may be more costly but has more pixels on the screen for a better quality view as well as carries IOS 11 and has dual 12 mega pixel camera with a 7 mega pixel front lens. The IPhone X has an A11 Bionic Processor which boasts to be the smartest and most powerful chip in a smartphone to date according to the AT&T website. The storage can be frustrating at 64GB or 256GB because there is no option for expandable storage yet I think one can make it work with I Cloud used effectively. I doubt I will use the new Face ID application but the wireless charging sounds interesting. Overall, you will find me in line waiting for this new Apple product to hit stores in November. Why? Because, I am a technology junkie just like a lot of us in this country who will be waiting in line beside me. We live on our phones and see our phones as an extension of ourselves. I hope my research can help you possibly in making your next decision for a phone and if you have commentary please leave it below and I will try to respond quickly. I love hearing everyone’s thoughts.

Signing out and Saying Always Stay Caffeinated!

Brooke

New Release: Joel Osteen’s Blessed in the Darkness! #faithwords #joelosteen #review

***This is a Review of the pre released book by Joel Osteen. The opinions and views below are solely mine and I was not paid for this review.***

Coming the end of October Joel Osteen, the number one New York Times best-selling author and motivational speaker, is releasing his new book “Blessed in the Darkness how all things are working for your good.” I have always been a huge fan of Joel Osteen’s work on television as well as in print so I was excited to begin this title.

In a time when it seems the world is very dark, it is good to have the motivation and peaceful words from Joel about still fighting the darkness and looking to the blessings in every day life.

This book focuses on what a blessing is. A blessing he states is not just when things are really good, a blessing he goes on to speak about can also be what we find in the dark times. I found the book motivating as always and easy to read. The book is broken down into chapters that are just the right size for a break or to take a few moments reflection. I am not very religious yet I still can find comfort and relevance in all of his speakings. I enjoy how the scripture readings are related to present day stories. Joel’s works are really for anyone including the non-believers if you can just listen to the stories of inspiration.

If you’re living discouraged going through a divorce, a loss of sickness, or where you feel like you’re being let down and you’re settling in life than reading this book will really help. This book will teach you as a believer to not only be closer to God and trust him in life even when it doesn’t make sense but to also give you comfort.

Joel Osteen is the author of nine New York Times bestsellers. There is no doubt that this will be another bestseller. If you enjoy this title you can visit his website at Joel Osteen.com and also find him on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/JoelOsteen.

The book is 304 pages easy to read and goes on sale October 24, 2017. The book will be available on e-book, audiobook and in hardcover.

Enjoy!

Cable Got You Tied Up in High Fees? Here’s some cost affordable alternatives!

***The following post is strictly my own opinion. I was not credited or paid in anyway for my opinions stated below.***

Cable fees got you down? The feeling that long contracts locked into high pricing seem to go on forever? There just may be an alternative. Today, if you look on your World Wide Web or search popular social media you most likely will find many different applications with enticing promotions to join now and begin watching television and movies at next to no cost monthly. Let’s see, we have Hulu-Netflix-SlingTv and DirectvNow just to name a few.

My family was locked into a contract for years paying close to $120 a month for our televisions in the home to watch standard programming. When the new year began we decided to cut expenses and cut the cord on contracts and try new applications as we had heard so much about saving money from friends. The following are my findings as I have tried all the below companies. This is our journey!

1. Netflix: if you remember Netflix most likely you think of movies. You may remember receiving DVDs in the mail and then sending them back in once you were finished for a low monthly rate of $7.99 a month. Not a bad deal if you are a movie renter and want to see the newest films. Also, as the Emmys showed us this year Netflix currently holds a following now with tv exclusive shows such as Ozark, Disjointed, Orange is the New Black and Narcos which can only be seen on Netflix and most likely to the viewer is far worth the $7.99! The first month is free and offers a few options such as three tier plans to choose them. Basic for $7.99 which is 1 screen of viewing and no HD, the standard which is 2 tvs for $9.99 with HD or finally the premium at $11.99 with 4 tvs, HD, ultra HD, and unlimited movies and tv shows at your disposal with being able to cancel anytime.

I really enjoy Netflix for its exclusive shows but if you are a regular tv viewer of your popular syndicated shows on say your local channels you will most likely find Netflix lacks in this area. This is definitely more of an exclusive programming and movie application.

2. Hulu: I really enjoy Hulu as well and was recently shown Hulu Live which opens up television viewers to a whole new world of viewing. Hulu plans start as allow as $5.99 a month as a special offer if redeemed by 1/9/18. Otherwise, typically runs equivalent to Netflix at $7.99 a month with a package delivering popular shows like Family Guy, Law and Order SVU, Seinfeld, This is Us the new hit show from NBC, Saturday Night Live and many more including exclusive Hulu originals like the Handmaids Tale and The Path. Hulu, in my opinion, is a whole lot of package for a small amount of money. This is where you will note a big difference between Hulu and say Netflix. If you want to cut cable but not miss out on the popular hit shows Hulu most likely will be offering these episodes to you. Also, with Hulu, like Netflix you can cancel anytime. Just note with Hulu that there are limited commercials at $5.99/mo. and no commercials for $11.99/mo. Though, I have paid the $11.99 and still get bombarded with commercials quite frequently.

Hulu now has another add-on called Hulu Live which for a higher price closer to Cable and or Dish prices presents you with live shows on the major channels such as Food Network, HGTV, History, Disney, FX, TNT and many more. Catch all your favorite teams even on the go with live games from NBA, MLB and NFL and NHL! You can also add on Showtime, HBO, and Cinemax for extra additional charges. Hulu Live TV has a one week free trial then costs $39.99/month. Just make sure you have either Roku, Firestick, Xbox one or Chromecast to watch this feature. Hulu live also lets you watch on two screens at the same time and record live tv with 50 hours of cloud DVR storage. This is a no-brainer for anyone looking for a no contract reasonable television package.

3. SlingTV: I’m sure you have seen the commercials about watching a la Carte tv. SlingTV is a program that gets you the channels you watch with Live Tv on a Roku device, Xbox One or Chromecast and Firestick. The first seven days are free and then sign up starts at just $20/mo. for live tv shows on TBS, A&E, ESPN, and a ton more. Sling has two different packages an Orange Package and a Blue or an Orange and Blue combined package. You can combine and customize your own channels with no hidden fees or contracts. I chose the top package to try and had all my favorite shows and channels minus CBS for my soap opera which ultimately is why I canceled and went back to Hulu. The only reason was my soap opera or I would have stayed with Sling. The programming is much more user friendly and about equivalent if not cheaper in price. You appear with SlingTV to get more channels than with Hulu Live. The company assured me they are always adding more channels so I hope they get my soap opera so I can come back! This is by far the best application to watch all your favorite shows at the lowest price.

Also, if you sign up now with SlingTV and you get two months of tv service they are now offering a free Roku!

4. DirectvNOW: The final application I tried was DirectvNOW and I was happy with the programming content but the price seemed a bit steeper like normal pricing of cable minus a contract. Also, DirectvNow could not be used with my Xbox One or tv so I had to go out and buy Chromecast to use. My soap opera on CBS was again not able to be watched as it is on Hulu which was disappointing because I definitely enjoyed this format also more than Hulu Live. Hulu Live for someone who is not tech savvy could be very confusing.

Overall, we ended up with Netflix and Hulu Live. I would have chosen SlingTV and Netflix and still had been cheaper than my regular cable bill but I just can’t pass up my soap opera daily. I am continually monitoring the different websites to see if this ever changes as they expand. I hope this was helpful to anyone conflicted like I was on what was the best route to take for a cable alternative.

Enjoy!

Create a website or blog at WordPress.com

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: