Monday, March 18, 2013

Review of the HP ENVY 23-d140t TouchSmart All-in-One Desktop PC with Beats Audio!

As a Blogger and Social Media Influencer I feel it is just as important to praise brands when they get it right as it is to use social to reach them when things go terribly wrong. We sometimes forget to praise as quickly as we tend to complain as consumers. Brands need to know it when they are doing a great job too!

Straight out of College I began doing Graphic Design work, and my first post College Computer in the workplace was actually a Mac, but I was so used to PC's that I had a PC at home and used the Mac at work during the day. Don't get me wrong, I'm equally proficient on both platforms to be totally honest with you, I can shift from one to the other with relative ease. Once I changed jobs I ended up in a more conservative environment, which meant going back to PC's and my next workplace computer was an HP.

After a very sad breakup with both DELL and Gateway, and a brief happy romance with a Compaq that outlasted many of the computers purchased to replace it, I made the foray into HP at home. Since I loved the HP I was using at work at the time, I thought I'd try them at home, and I bought an HP printer to go with it. That printer would actually go on to last over 10 years, but the desktop? Not so much. It didn't even survive 30 days. It took quite a bit of effort on my part to get help with this (yes this was pre-facebook and twitter), but eventually I did find help, and they did replace it, but the replacement didn't last even 6 months. I was NOT a happy camper. I was bent for some reason on the HP Pavilion Model, and both myself and my cousin who is a photographer both got lemons whose hard drives konked out before the 30 day mark. He switched brands, but I couldn't, I kept trying.

To make a long story short, between desktops and laptops I've had 3 bad HP desktops and 3 bad HP laptops, that is across the span of 20 years though. In my eyes that's NOT a bad track record. I will say it was mixed how it was handled each time, and it got better after the advent of Social Media as a customer service tool. The last experience with an HP Pavilion before I switched out from that particular model was the worst because they chose to replace it with a refurbished machine that didn't last very long. So after that I switched brands for awhile, but ended up trying HP again when I found the HP TouchSmart IQ846 Desktop PC on Amazon at a great price and that coupled with some Amazon Gift Certificates I had stored up just made it too good to pass up on.

I loved that PC and it actually lasted the longest any HP computer has ever held up for me, 4 years, and it was still working, just super slow and I knew it wouldn't last long, and let's face technology gets outdated, it just made sense to start over. And that's where a blog campaign comes in, but it wasn't one I was personally participating in. HP launched a bloggers campaign for Holidays 2012 called #HPFamilyTime bloggers, and a series of reviews and giveaways hit the blogs, I went and read as many of the reviews as I could and on some sites I entered the corresponding giveaways, much to my surprise I won one! I entered the giveaway on She Scribes blog, so a HUGE thanks to her for hosting and to HP for sponsoring the giveaway.

I put it out into the Universe and made the effort to go with my intention, and got the result I was after! I was excited after reading the specs:

About the HP ENVY 23-d140t TouchSmart All-in-One Desktop PC with Beats Audio:

Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ - 3rd Generation Intel(R) Core(TM) i3-3220 dual-core processor [3.3GHz, 3MB Shared Cache Windows 8 or other operating system

Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ - Go beyond the keyboard and mouse to get more from Windows 8. Swipe and tap using all 10 fingers on the Full-HD display. It gives “hands on” a whole new meaning.

Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ - Save space in style with all-in-one PC featuring a sleek, edge-to-edge glass design. Set up with as little as one wire, and free up even more limited space by mounting the HP ENVY 23 TouchSmart on a wall.

Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ - optional solid-state drive, it delivers outstanding reliability day after day.

Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ - Sync photos across your PC, smartphone, and tablet. Crop, rotate, add captions, and more. Then share in seconds with friends and family through your social networks. HP Connected Photo. Picture the fun.

Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ - Sometimes only a face-to-face conversation will do. With the HP TrueVision HD Webcam, you always come off looking your best. Even in low light.

Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ - With Beats Audio™ and an optional subwoofer, the HP ENVY 23 TouchSmart is designed for the best-sounding, richest audio experience available on a PC. So it sounds as amazing as it looks.

Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ - Get the most out of the tunes you love today and discover more music in a whole new way with HP Connected Music.

MY Take:

While I liked my HP TouchSmart IQ846 Desktop PC, my new HP ENVY 23-d140t TouchSmart AIO has got it beat hands down! The things that were 'cons' for me about HP computers in the past, slow startup, overly bloated, shotty hard drives, have definitely all been addressed this time around. With Windows 8 the TouchSmart finally has the right dance partner! Windows 8 truly helps bring out what makes the TouchSmart so great, it's what you love about your favorite tablet, just bigger! It's smart, starts up at lightening speed, gives you literally everything you could want at your fingertips and the 1 Terabyte of built in storage means you can go nuts with music and photos (my two particular passions!).

I have had the opportunity to put this machine through it's paces, I will admit I hit my machines hard, I have A LOT of applications and programs open at the same time, client databases, spreadsheets, presentations, a TON of internet windows, and so far it's only given me 3 warnings about my browser using up to much memory. And for me that's good, my older HP Touch would just konk out or freeze up when I'd hit it that hard.

This one came with Norton built in, and in the past I've found Norton to be a resource hog, but so far I will say I'm also impressed, Norton has been doing a great job protecting my new PC, it hasn't been obtrusive in any way or slowed down my PC.

Thankfully I had attended the Windows 8 demos at last year's BlogHer conference, so I had some advantage now being thrown directly into a Windows 8 Operating System User Interface. There were some things I needed to learn to do differently but thankfully you can operate in 'view it in destop mode' which will look like the interface that you are more used to.

THE AUDIO!!!! Sorry I don't normally shout, but as 'The Official #TwitterPartyDJ' I have to tell you that the Beats Audio in this computer blows most onboard Desktop Audio to shreds. It's simply fantastic! I'm now using this new PC to test out Audio Accessories like Headphones and then compare the sound of the headphones on my PC to my portable music devices, and I can tell you this PC does not need separate speaker add ons, it would truly be an insult to it!

The good thing about being with the same brand for almost 20 years is I can almost feel how long it will last me, I know it's good, bad and ugly, but so far my HP ENVY 23-d140t TouchSmart All in One Desktop PC with Beats Audio is so much more than I ever expected it could be! I also tested the HP Deskjet 3052A printer, which I'm satisfied with, but I think my Kodak Hero 7.1 is a bit more robust.

If you haven't figured it out to this point, this PC is a definite 'Get it!'. I couldn't recommend this model more highly, I actually really, really, really want to try the HP Envy 2 laptop or the HP Spectre Ultrabook so I could keep the fun going during my travels!

Do you have the HP Envy Butterfly? What do you think of it? What is your favorite desktop computer?

Get Social:

Why not let HP know on Twitter or on Facebook that you saw the HP Envy 23 Touchsmart Desktop All in One PC featured on Ascending Butterfly? Who knows? Maybe they'll want to surprise Ascending Butterfly readers too!

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FTC Disclosure: I was under NO obligation to write this review, no monetary compensation has been received, this is NOT a sponsored post. In fact I won the computer, so I did not have to review it, I chose to do so because I feel it's a very high quality computer and wanted to share about it with my readers!

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Butterfly Irish Blessing for You! #HappyStPatricksDay

May the wings of the Butterfly Kiss the Sun,
And Find Your Shoulder to Light Upon.
~Irish Blessing

Happy St. Patrick's Day Butterflies! May the luck of the Irish be with you today and always!

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FTC Disclosure: This is NOT a Sponsored Post!

Saturday, March 16, 2013

{CLOSED} Win 100 Business Cards from @TinyPrints via @Ascending1

**This Giveaway is now CLOSED and no new comments will be accepted**

2013 is moving forward at lightening pace indeed my butterflies! Keeping up with the pace of this year and the pace of business certianly isn't easy. Can you believe that Blogging Conference Season has begun?

Are you ready?

You are not going to get very much time at each table when you visit the exhibit floor of a conference. There are two things that are going to make an impression, the first is YOU of course, and the second is your Business Card, that's the one that comes back with the company rep you just charmed! But does that card really reflect you? Your brand? and What YOU can do?

I have gone through quite a few business cards since graduating College, but it's been awhile since I have had one that I felt was a true reflection of ME. Business cards have a tendency towards the straight-laced and conservative. Striking a balance between a business card that reflects your creative side and your business side isn't always easy. And no matter what your degree of experience and expertise may be with typography and graphic design, it's a challenge getting your card to be creative, concise and still contain all the information you need to provide.

About tinyprints:

tinyprints is a company that was founded by three friends with big dreams and a passion for beautiful paper that has grown from a tiny, self-funded company specializing in unique baby stationery into a booming online destination for stylish stationery (and more!) for every occasion.

My Take:

I had a very demanding vision in my mind for my business cards, I wanted to promote two different offerings on one card, and wanted my card to have pops of color and creativity in addition to my logo and signature butterfly of course, and was delighted to learn of tinyprints custom design service, my card ideas weren't actually something a ready made template would accurately cover, I wanted a card that was way more comprehensive than those I had used in the past. In fact since I started blogging, I've designed a new card each year, which makes perfect sense, the cards evolved as much as me and my site have. But now I'm in more of a 'groove' and wanted to grow into my card instead of it being the other way around all the time.

I was delighted to learn that tinyprints has a Custom Design Service! You can make a completely unique card, work 1-on-1 with a Designer, and they offer a free physical AND digital proof. There is a low One-Time Fee of $25 for the service. My designer was amazingly patient, and he was able to take a very BIG vision and tall order and help me organize it all in a way that made sense from a design standpoint, and still retain the creativity I wanted the card to have. The quality of the cardstock and the brilliant design make these my favorite cards to date! I couldn't recommend tinyprints more, but I will warn you, order at least 100 more than you think you'll need, you'd be surprised just how many you will go through PER conference!

Get Social With It:

Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ - Facebook:
Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ - Twitter:
Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ - Pinterest:
Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ - Google+:
Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ - Instagram:
Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ - Blog:


You can find current Tiny Prints Coupons Codes and Promotions HERE Can't wait to find out if you won, and want to order your business cards NOW? Then nab them for a steal! Enjoy 10% off Business Cards! Use Code: MARBIZ10 | Offer expires 3/19/13 at 11:59 pm (PT)

Win It:

Tiny Prints was kind enough to get me ready for Blogging Conference Season in style, and now I want to do the same for YOU! One lucky butterfly will win 100 business cards of their own just in time for Conference Season! Use the rafflecopter widget below for your entries, remember as always, the first entry is easy-peasy! (and of course keep a look out for fun and easy extra credit entries too!)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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FTC Disclosure: Tiny Prints provided us with Custom-Designed Business Cards for editorial consideration, and will be providing cards for one winner. Sponsor is responsible for prize fulfillment. Neither Ascending Butterfly nor contest sponsor will be held responsible for lost or mis-directed mail. See full Giveaway and Disclosure Policy HERE

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Glass Slippers are SO Back! Cinderella on Broadway is a MUST see! @CinderellaBway #Cinderella

Theatre sign for The Broadway Theatre where Cinderella on Broadway is currently running

My mom has always been a huge theater buff, and through her I developed the same love of Broadway. I think it is one of the best parts about being a Native New Yorker. The first two plays I saw spoiled me, Peter Pan with Sandy Duncan and the original King and I starring Yul Brynner, both of those plays were amazing from every standpoint and gave the theatre a sort of magic that had been missing for me for quite awhile until Ghost on Broadway last year, this year Cinderella on Broadway brought back that magic for me, and I wanted to make sure I got my recap posted because I don't want you to miss this one!

Playbill for Rodger's + Hammerstein's Cinderella at Broadway Theatre

The Moms put together a totally fun night on Broadway for New York City Bloggers and their families and seeing the little girls dressed up in the lobby of The Broadway Theatre many in their little Cinderella dresses was so cute! Many of them admiring the touches and details of the other's outfits, we arrived to a lovely reception where we had time to talk and take a few photos before the Play began.

Ascending Butterfly at Broadway Theatre for Cinderella on Broadway Mamarazzi Event

Rodger's + Hammerstein's Cinderella on Broadway starts with an overture that truly sets the pace for the show, it's a hint to the magic that is to come! With a nod to the tradition of musical theatre. There was already so much excitement and energy in the air that the overture just added to the strong energy you could feel in the crowd.

Ascending Butterfly at Broadway Theatre for Cinderella on Broadway Mamarazzi Event

About The Show:

Rodgers + Hammerstein’s CINDERELLA has arrived on Broadway for the first time ever! Four-time Tony Award® nominee Douglas Carter Beane’s (Sister ActXanadu) delightfully romantic and hilarious take on the ultimate makeover story features all the classic elements you remember—the pumpkin, the glass slipper, the masked ball and more—plus some surprising new twists! Rediscover some of Rodgers + Hammerstein’s most beloved songs, including “In My Own Little Corner,” “Impossible/It’s Possible” and “Ten Minutes Ago” in this outrageously fun Broadway musical for dreamers of all ages.

Right before the overture you are asked 'kindly turn off your phones and leave your worries and cares at the door', and for 2 hours and 20 minutes you get to do just that, leave your cares at the door and be immersed in a magical, musical, wondrous fairy tale come to life right before your eyes!

The Cast:

Cinderella is played by Laura Osnes, The Prince by Santino Fontana, Marie/The Fairy Godmother was played by Victoria Clark, Harriet Harris plays Madame/Cinderella's Stepmother, Ann Harada plays Cinderella's Step-Sister Charlotte, and Marla Mindelle plays Step-Sister Gabrielle, and Peter Bartlett plays Sebastian (yes my fellow One to Live lovers THAT Peter Bartlett, our beloved Nigel!), Greg Hildreth plays Jean-Michel and Phumzile Sojola plays Lord Pinkleton and is also the understudy for Sebastian.

After the performance a Questions and Answers Session was arranged with some of the members of the cast, here are my photos from the Q&A:

Questions and Answers Session with Cast members of Cinderella on Broadway

The Cast really had a great dynamic and rapport amongst each other!

Questions and Answers Session with Cast members of Cinderella on Broadway

The cast as well as the audience enjoying Harriet Harris answering one of the question asked by a child at the Q&A "How did it feel to have to be so mean to Cinderella?"

Harriet Harris plays Madame, Cinderella's Stepmother, she was a very good sport during the Questions and Answers!

You may remember Harriet from her television role on the hit TV series Frasier!

Left: Santino Fontana who plays The Prince and Right: Laura Osnes who plays the title role of Cinderella

We asked Santino who plays the Prince about his background with his musical training and he mentioned that he was a bit embarassed when he was younger and starting out but outgrew it and fully began to embrace his training.

Victoria Clark plays villager Marie as well as The Fairy Godmother in Cinderella on Broadway

And of course The Moms always put together thoughtful gift bags so you can have a fun memory of your experience! Here are the bags on display:

Gift Bags at Cinderella on Broadway Mamarazzi Event

Here is a close up shot of the bags (apparently people liked my vignette, because before I could get my camera out of my bag people took photos of my gift bags before I could! LOL)

The bags contained light snacks from Andean Dream (Gluten-Free and Vegan Quinoa Cookies), a foaming facial wash from Willa and something fun for the moms too, a cosmetic bag from Trish McEvoy with a wonderfully thoughtful note enclosed, that contained a lash treatment, long-wearing, upper-eye brightener/shadow primer, intense gel eye liner pencil and under-eye brightener/line filler - products that will keep your eyes shining after the clock strikes twelve! :-)

Super thoughtful, thanks to The Moms, Andean Dream, Willa, and Trish McEvoy to making an already magical experience that much more memorable!

I got to nab a photo of the family of one half of the dynamic duo! Here is Melissa Gerstein and her family:

Melissa Gerstein of The Moms and her family at the Cinderella on Broadway Mamarazzi Event

Aren't these his and hers souvenir tshirts cute?

His and Hers Souvenir Tshirts from Rogers + Hammerstein's Cinderella on Broadway at the Broadway Theatre

My Take:

Left: Mama Butterfly Right: Ascending Butterfly enjoying a Magical  Night at the Cinderella on Broadway New York City Mamarazzi Event! 

Cinderella on Broadway is a truly magical theatrical event, it brings back the roots of what made theatre magical for me right from the begining. They pull of costume changes right before your very eyes that are truly amazing, when the pumpkin turns into the coach I'll bet you could watch it literally a hundred times and not see how it is really pulled off. It's magical for the adults as well as the children! 

This is a MUST see!

Get Social With It:

Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ - Follow @CinderellaBway on Twitter
Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ - Like Cinderella The Musical on Facebook
Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ - Follow @andeandream on Twitter
Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ - Like Andean Dream on Facebook
Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ - Follow @WillaSkincare on Twitter
Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ - Like Willa Skin Care on Facebook
Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ - Like Trish McEvoy on Facebook

And don't forget to tell them you saw them Featured on Ascending Butterfly! Of course we will also be putting these photos on our Pinterest page as well.

Fan of the Week:

If you get picked as Fan of the Week, don't forget to come back here and let us know! 

Do you have a magical Theatre moment that you'd like to Share? Tell us About it!

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FTC Disclosure: Our tickets to the show and gift bags were provided courtesy of The Moms, however NO monetary compensation has been received for our recap coverage and all opinions are 100% my own.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Do you wear the title of 'mom' and think 'motherhood' is your badge of honor? Then this is a *MUST* read! Let's talk #DISCIPLINE

I so wish this post wasn't necessary. I walked away from my computer and dis-connected for 24 hours thinking very hard about this. I cooked stick to your ribs favorite meals, because cooking has always been a form of meditation for me. I had hoped the initial feelings that prompted me to want to write this would dis-appear but they haven't.

So that means it must be said. WARNING: This isn't your friendly, happy, butterfly post, so if you'd rather perceive me as an emotionless creature, stop here. Seriously, stop here.

I'm a liberal who is teased often for it because I lead a very conservative life. I tend to live and let live, but something happened yesterday that just bares sharing. I attended a 'childrens themed' movie film screening, and the all around lack of ethics just totally appalled and disgusted me to be frank. I spent a year writing where I was 'PR Free' and that included events too. I had read so many horror stories about blogging conferences and events, with people skipping the lines, pushing people and being un-professional, impolite and all around 'entitled' and 'obnoxious'. I didn't want to be around that kind of un-professional behavior (particularly because I'm still also in print publishing), and I didn't want to be associated with that.

It took a long time for me to admit that I was a part of this world and had to immerse myself in it to allow my brand to grow. Yesterday at the film screening, early birds were asked to wait in the lobby until 3:30 when they would be letting people up.

For the most part a line naturally formed, so I breathed a sigh of relief. Soon there were children running like it was a park, hitting other children with sweaters and running up and down stairs. Oddly enough, many 'moms' were rolling their eyes saying "I would never let MY kids act like THAT", yet their children were doing the same thing they were complaining about as they were on their smart phones paying their children no mind.

Then some self entitled bloggers were walking right up to the front of the line that had formed. Then a group of them went up the escalator with their kids despite being asked NOT to. They were sent back down, and then decided to stand in FRONT of the formed line (you would think the embarassment of being asked to NOT to go up there and then be sent back down for doing so would make them humble).

I guess it's no surprise that the more entitled the parent was, the more obnoxious the child was right?

I'm going to preface this by telling you I taught Special Ed. I taught children with Special Needs and various degrees of skill set and learning ability. I had parents and family of those students watch me in action and I was told I had the patience of a Saint. I'm NOT saying this for a pat on the back.

I also was the first and ONLY teacher who was allowed to take the 'Special Ed' class to the same places around the city that only the mainstream classes had previously enjoyed. I had managers and employees of venues tell me my classes were welcome back at ANYTIME. That my class was the most inquisitive, polite and well-behaved. Again I am NOT saying this for a pat on my back.

My dears if I can keep 30-40 children not only out of trouble and safe for almost 8 hours per day you should be able to do the same. If you are self-enttiled and obnoxious and think that by raising your children to do the same you are doing them a service you are WRONG.

The event goes on to un-fold into a nightmare of BS I feel I should NOT have been subjected to. Myself and my guest picked a row that was not roped off, did not have anything on the chairs (which would indicate they were occupied) and my guest has vision restrictions and needs to face a movie screen a certain way to ensure she would be able to see. We were asked after we had entered early enough and got seated, and after the theater got crowded for us to move off center several rows back to accomodate a child's seating preference. My guest was going to accomodate, but I didn't give her the chance to, she explained about her vision problem, and I told her she shouldn't have felt like she had to do that, I looked up and said NO! No is becoming my motto and my mantra this year. The word is more liberating than my butterfly wings are.

So first the craziness in the lobby, then this left me with a bad taste in my mouth already, but it gets better. There were two girls in front of us. The one in front of me spent the ENTIRE movie crying and yelling 'I'M SCARED' (by the way she was NOT a toddler, and this movie was NOT scary). The 'mother' and I use that term beyond loosely kept 'reasoning' with her. So we had to hear the annoying loud crying and then the 'mother's' non-stop talking as she 'reasoned' with her.

She needed to take her outside until she calmed down, or NOT bring her if she knew full well that at her age she was not capable of sitting still and being quiet. The little monster in front of my guest was using her chair as a bouncy seat and pushing back with all her might rocking the chair back with so much force within a centimeter of her knee cap. We kept asking the 'child' to stop, not only did the 'child' give us a dirty look, it gets better, the 'mother' and I again I am using this term loosely, looks at us (as if looks could kill) and tells us tersely to 'SHUT UP!' and to learn how to speak to children.

That made me break out laughing which seemed to make this so called 'mother' more angry, because you can't fight or argue with someone who is actually laughing AT you and not with you. She then tells her daughter 'Don't listen to them. Ignore them. They have no right to speak to you that way, and I apologize for them.' I told her not to apologize for me because I was not sorry, and I told her 'If you don't like people reprimanding your child, then be the parent and do it yourself so no one will have to.'

I'm sick and tired of parents who wear their title as some badge of honor while their children are acting like little animals in public. Being encouraged by her own mother to ignore us made her more defiant. She kept looking back at us defiantly and began her rocking again. This time I looked right at her mother and told her, I'm an adult and I'm stronger, the next time she rears back I will kick that chair so hard it will propel her in mid air. And I also told her I would be waiting for her outside where we could continue this lovely conversation in private and not in a theater where we are supposed to be 'working'.

Just because it was a children's screening, doesn't mean we were supposed to be acting like children. That theater at the end of that screening was the most filthy I have ever seen a theater, and I swear to God if someone writes that the theater hires ushers for a reason and that it's their job to clean it all up, I will really lose it.

People had the nerve to go 'That sound is so nasty' as they were leaving their rows to exit, when it was THEIR kids that left candy and popcorn on the floor. Two water bottles and one soda bottle rolled down the aisle during the movie hitting people in the ankle. The people behind me kept kicking the chair. I came out of that event so disgusted by the sense of entitlement that some people have and then they actually continue that poor behavior by teaching it to their children.

If you think allowing your child to mouth off at adults and act the fool is going to make them independent and successful you are sorely and sadly mistaken. When your 'precocious'/'independent' child steps into a classroom, they have to abide the teachers rules. When they go into the workforce they have to abide by their boss's rules. YOU will NOT be there to protect them. When their nasty little mouth gets them detention (and they end up seated next to a troubled kid with a switchblade), you will not be able to get them out of it. When their nasty attitudes get them fired, even if you have your own business they can come and work for, that won't take away the fact they couldn't cut it at work because they can't take direction.

A 'Mother' isn't just a woman who had an infant slide out of her birth canal. There is WAY more to it than that. Part of your job title is "teacher', 'guide', and disciplinarian. Apparently these 'women' and 'mother's don't know about "The Look". The Look is NOT an urban myth, it's not a urban legend, and it goes beyond the fodder of comedy shows where you probably heard the reference. Let me explain how to use the look and what each look means:

Look one - This means: 'I saw you engaging in that in-appropriate behavior, STOP IT NOW!' - Even if the child doesn't repeat the behavior, they know this is going to be discussed when they get home anyway.

Look two - This means 'No you didn't just do that again, STOP IT NOW! I realize even adults can forget, this is warning two' - Now this is not only going to be discussed when we get home, you will face repercussions for your actions.

Look three - This varies, with some parents you get it then and there, with others this means 'STOP NOW! Because I'm about to tear that little a$$ up!' Look three stops ALL children who have the look system incorporated into discipline to STOP in their little tracks right then and there.

Look three is NOT a question, it's an answer. If you didn't get hit on the spot, you were going face major punishment when you got home.

The Look is actually meant to eliminate the need for corporal punishment. Used properly and consistently you should actually never have to hit them to teach them how to behave. It should be prefaced by a talk that outlines how you expect to them to behave wherever it is you are taking them.

Here is an interesting perspective on discipline and The Look that I found on YouTube:

I waited for 'mouthy mom' outside the theater, but she was more desperate to get a gift bag than to be held accountable for her actions. Karma is a B. She ran into me again in the bathroom where she seemed to have nothing to say, and I told her I'd see her outside the theater. And I did. She walked away in the opposite direction so fast with those monsters of hers in tow, and yes I gave her 'The Look'. Apparently she must know what it means because she couldn't get away fast enough, since she understood it, she should use it with her child and then maybe that encounter wouldn't have been necessary.

Sorry 'mothers', but you are harming your children and doing them a dis-service in life if you don't teach them common sense, rules and discipline and how to act in public. You are also hurting yourself, because if you tell them ignoring adults is OK then eventually they will ignore you too, and you will be so sorry when they become teens at risk. But personally I don't care what they put YOU through you deserve it if you don't want to instill common sense in them, but I DON'T.

I'm not invited to screenings because of my pretty face. I'm invited because I have well over 175K in overall monthly site hits. I was a professional film critic for print, this is work for me. I'm there to do a job, and I shouldn't have to put up with crap to do my job because you are an inept parent.

There are certain toy companies that host events in the city and on the invitation make it clear that no children are allowed. And I would hear some moms rant about this when they saw each other. They would all send nasty emails. Threatening emails, well if I can't bring my kid and you won't pay for a baby sitter I won't come. And in my mind I would always think 'yeah right 'ladies' you wouldn't tell your employer that, and you can't tell the brand that either, this is WORK, be a professional.' The sad part is, it's because those kids act like animals that they are not welcome. I personally applaud those brands, and I also do so with my support. I attend every event those brands throw, because they are a breath of fresh air, I don't have to worry about things flying through the air, kids bumping into everything, knocking things down and worse.

I'm tired of hearing women use the term 'mom' and 'mother' and 'motherhood' like it's some badge of honor and they've done something noble simply by giving birth. The job isn't over when you push the kid out, RAISE them, REAR them, TEACH them, GUIDE them, then you get to put on your badge. And yes I'm expecting feedback from this post, I'm even sure the mothers of those little poorly reared children will have something to say (despite the fact I waited for them and they didn't have the nerve to do it in person), I'd tell you to be respectful, but if you weren't capable of handling your own child and teaching them to be respectful you probably will be even less capable of it, behind the security of your computer.

BTW, the movie itself was fantastic, and I will review it in a separate post. I get that child-rearing and discipline are always going to vary, but teaching your children how to behave in public and that there are expectations of proprietary and decorum in public and consequences for their action should be a given, I personally don't care how you do it, I don't care if you incorporate "The Look" or you don't quite frankly, JUST DO IT!

How did YOUR parents teach you to behave in public places? Share here! 

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FTC Disclosure: This is NOT a sponsored post, but it's definitely an important one!

Monday, March 11, 2013

I hope Daylight Savings didn't leave you with a case of the Monday Blues! #MondayMotivation

Sounds like a lot of you were left with the 'Monday Blues' after Daylight Savings Time forced us to 'Spring Ahead'. I know that giving up one hours sleep even for the pleasure of more daylight can be an adjustment, but I am wishing you birds chirping outside your window, an extra hour in the park, and other beautiful signs of Spring!

What are you planning with your extra hour of sunlight today butterfly?

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FTC Disclosure: This is NOT a sponsored post.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

I have a feeling we are NOT in Kansas anymore! - Oz The Great and Powerful Movie Review! #ozthegreatandpowerful

On Wednesday, March 6th I got the chance to attend the New York City Screening of Disney's Oz The Great and Powerful. I'm glad mother nature held up and the NorEaster Snow Storm we were expecting didn't hit!

I have to start by warning you this is NOT your mama's Wizard of Oz!

What you won't see:

Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ - Dorothy
Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ - The Tinman
Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ - The Scarecrow
Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ - The Cowardly Lion
Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ - Ruby Red Slippers

What you won't hear:

Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ - Characters spontaneously bursting into song, there's no 'Follow the Yellow Brick Road' song or 'We're off to see the Wizard'.


When Oscar Diggs (James Franco), a small-time circus magician with dubious ethics, is hurled away from dusty Kansas to the vibrant Land of Oz, he thinks he’s hit the jackpot—fame and fortune are his for the taking—that is until he meets three witches, Theodora (Mila Kunis), Evanora (Rachel Weisz) and Glinda (Michelle Williams), who are not convinced he is the great wizard everyone’s been expecting. Reluctantly drawn into the epic problems facing the Land of Oz and its inhabitants, Oscar must find out who is good and who is evil before it is too late. Putting his magical arts to use through illusion, ingenuity—and even a bit of wizardry—Oscar transforms himself not only into the great wizard but into a better man as well.

My Take:

I do want to remind everyone that this is NOT a remake, it's a 'pre-quel', we learn how The Wizard gets to Oz, and get more back story on all the witches. I think it's important for folks to keep this in mind before going to see it. You need to evaluate this one it's own strengths and weaknesses and stop trying to compare it to a movie that they are NOT actually trying to re-make. They do pay homage, but are not trying to re-create the iconic classic we all know and love, that being said, here are MY perceived strengths and weaknesses:


Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ - BUTTERFLIES! - Thankfully someone at Disney seems to share my fascination with Butterflies. All of their movies have a butterfly sighting, this one had not just butterfly sightings throughout but an entire butterfly tree! In one scene you see a tree with unusual leaves and suddenly the leaves fly off the tree and you realize they are not leaves at all but a flock of beautiful butterflies!

Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ - 3D and CGI - The special effects are truly magical on the big screen. The 3D in some spots not only comes at you, but during some moments comes from behind you forward!

Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ - Disney Lessons - The power of good versus evil and the little man (no pun intended munchkins) conquering obstacles to succeed and triumph in the end.


James Franco as Oscar Diggs aka 'Oz' in Disney's Oz The Great and Powerful

Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ - James Franco - That perpetual smirk he always has on his face is super annoying, thankfully here Oscar aka 'Oz' for short is a bit of a snake oil salesman and con artist, so that annoying smirk of his is actually put to good use here. (I pray the movie Gods keep him busy and he never returns to General Hospital ever, ever, ever again, but I digress...) I hear Robert Downey Jr dropped out and Johnny Depp turned it down. I would have loved to see Johnny Depp take this on for sure! Johnny Depp might have made you root for Oz for a bit more than you end up doing with James Franco in the lead role.

Left: Rachel Weisz as Evanora and Right: Mila Kunis as Theodora in Disney's Oz The Great and Powerful

Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ - I'm definitely a fan but am sorry to report that Rachel Weisz just didn't cut it as Evanora, her performance fell short for me and my feelings on Mila's performance were a bit mixed, I think as naive Theodora she was strong, but when Theodora goes 'Wicked' (while I get the why), I don't think she pulls off the Wicked Theodora in the way the original actress Margaret Hamilton did.

Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ - Making this a more modern tale also makes it a bit darker and in my opinion not the movie you want to take a little one to see, this isn't your typical Disney fluffy, light, family-fare, it's dark, it's intense and it's long, making it a movie you want to take a tween or older to see.

Standout Characters:

Zach Braff as Finley in Disney's Oz The Great and Powerful

Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ - Zach Braff as Frank the bumbling assistant back in Kansas and as Finley the sweet hearted flying monkey in Oz gives a strong performance!

Joey King as 'China Girl' in Disney's Oz The Great and Powerful

Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ - Joey King as the girl in the wheelchair and the 'China Girl' in Oz also brings heart to the performance as both characters!

Joey King and Zach Braff are definite scene stealers. They both deliver a consistent performance that adds warmth to the movie.


This is my place to share thoughts inspired by the movie, that have nothing to do with my final or overall opinion of it!

Mila Kunis as Theodora in Disney's Oz The Great and Powerful

Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ - While other critics panned the costumes as making the time frame less believable, from a Fashionista's standpoint, Theodora (played by Mila Kunis) wears a super fab opening outfit, her cranberry colored peplum jacket, black leather pants, and red lip (you know how much I love a red lip that is my signature daily lip color (well I custom blend mine but it's red!) was kick butt cool, and definitely me from a long time ago, I need to revisit that me! While it seemed to bother other people, I wanted to know where she got that outfit, it was FIERCE!

Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ - I have no qualms about admitting just how much I love my gaming/gambling trips, I love slots and spent much of the time in the movie thinking I was in a bonus screen for the Wizard of Oz slot machine. This movie is going to make a fun addition to the already popular slot machine, I wonder if WMS is already working on the new machine? (It's bad enough that it's hard to get on the original one, I just can't imagine how much harder it will be when the new one comes out!) I think I am LONG overdue for a vacation! Vegas Anyone?

On the whole I'd say 'Ticket', but don't bring the little ones. Take the older children to this one, it's darker, and it's running time is a bit longer than a very young child may feel comfortable sitting still.

Have you seen Oz The Great and Powerful yet butterflies? What did you think, ticket or skip it?

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FTC Disclosure: I attended a screening of Oz The Great and Powerful, this did not influence my opinion of the film, all opinions are 100% my own. This is NOT a sponsored post. No monetary compensation has been received to share our movie review.