Thursday, November 15, 2012

You're really lovely, underneath it all...

You can’t talk love songs and not include the incomparable, and irresistible No “ effing” Doubt. I’ve been a No Doubt fan for as long as I can remember (along with half the globe), and this song reminds me of why I fell in love with them in the first place.
Enjoy this great pick everyone!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Love is in the air...

I don't know about you, but to me there is nothing like a good love song to get you all nostalgic and ridiculously happy. It's the kind of happy that reminds you of how it felt the first time you knew you were head over heels and helplessly falling. No matter the genera- pop, rock, indie, oldie, blues, R&B, neo-soul, whatev, whatevs- love songs take you back to a place where the warm and fuzzies are steadily flowing, and fills you with optimism that love springs eternal. Oh-me-oh-my do love songs make me want to sing out loud (as if I don't do that everyday in my car already). 

I’m feeling rather cheesy, and love-o-licious today. Maybe it’s because I’ve realized that with everything that I have going on in my life on a daily basis, love is the most prominent factor in my ability to “just keep swimming”- Or maybe it’s because it’s my (drumroll please)………ANNIVERSARY!!!!!!! – either way I’m feeling the love today.
So, in honor of my 6th year of marriage to the absolute love of my life, and to get all of you feeling the warm and fuzzies, I figured I'd share our love songs (and since one is never enough, yes, we have two) today, and post songs about love for the rest of the week.

First up is our official song (ironically titled Love Song) covered by none other than Adele. I don’t really care for The Cure, and didn’t love this song until I heard 311’s version (which is the version that my hubby dedicated to me). This version is much softer and I just love it so… here it is

Next is our unofficial (but just as significant) second song Dig by Incubus. If you listen closely to the lyrics you’ll understand why this song is so beautiful and so perfect for all couples, no matter how many years you have under your belt, or how many struggles you may face. It’s just rad, and I so us. 

Can’t you just feel the love flowing!

Happy Love songs everyone! 

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Thankful and Grateful are the words of the day

Happy Veterans Day to all our heroes both past and present, still with us or not; today we honor and thank you. 

Amongst the surplus of “Thank you for your service” acknowledgements that your Veteran will receive today, there are also many organizations in your area that offer free or discounted goodies as a way of honoring the hard work and sacrifices of our Vets and their families. If you’re planning on going out tonight for dinner, or may be interested in what deals may be available in your area, I figured I’d pass along some of the freebies that I’ve found while web surfing.

Happy Veterans Day to all, and to all a great night!

Restaurants with Veterans Day Free Meals 
Applebees Free Meal
Applebees is offering a free signature entree on Sunday November 11th, 2012 at participating locations.  Must present
 valid Veteran’s form of identification.
Arby’s Free Roast Beef Sandwich
Arby’s largest franchisee is offering a free roast beef sandwich at their 280 Arby’s restaurants on Monday, November 12, 2012. This offer is valid only at all participating Arby’s locations in Oklahoma, Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri, Illinois and Colorado (Colorado Springs and Pueblo).
Bar Louie Free Lunch or Dinner 
Bar Louie is saluting veterans and active-duty on Sunday and Monday (November 11-12) this year with a free lunch or dinner, up to an $11 value.
California Pizza Kitchen
California Pizza Kitchen is honoring Veterans and Military personnel by inviting them in to dine for free on November 11 (Veterans Day) and November 12. Enjoy an pizza and a non-alcoholic beverage for free. Dine-in only. Please come in uniform or bring your military ID or other proof of service.
Carrows Free Slice of Pie 
Sunday, November 11 get a free slice of pie with any purchase. Present military ID.
Champps Free Cheeseburger and Fries 
On Monday, November 12 veterans and active-duty can get a free cheeseburger and fries all day.
Charlie Brown’s Steakhouse Eat Free
Monday, November 12, 2012 Veterans and active-duty military eat free with a
 coupon. Valid ID required or in uniform or photo in uniform.
Cheeseburger In Paradise Free Meal 
Monday, November 12, 2012 veterans are saluted with a free meal.
Chili’s Free Meal
Sunday, November 11, 2012 from 11 am to 5 pm Veterans and active-duty military get a choice of 7 free meals. Must show proof of military service.
Coco’s Free Slice of Pie 
Sunday, November 11 get a free slice of pie with any purchase. Present military ID.
Denny’s All You Can Eat Pancakes
Get all you can eat pancakes for all active duty military and veterans with a valid ID on Monday, November 12, 2012.
Einstein Bagels Free Bagel
Receive a classic or signature bagel on Sunday November 11, 2012.
Famous Dave’s Free or Discounted Meal
On November 11th, 2012 Famous Dave’s is providing a variety of free meals and discounts at participating locations to former and current military personnel. Offers vary by location.
Great American Cookies Free Cookie
Sunday, November 11, 2012 all those who served get a free cookie with valid military id.
Green Turtle Free Meal
All of the casual dining restaurant/sports bar chains’ locations across Maryland, Delaware, Virginia and Washington, D.C., will
 free offer meal items on Sunday November 11 from 4 – 9 PM. This is offer is for current and former service members.
Friendly’s Free Breakfast and Coffee
Monday, November 12 until 11:00 am get a free Big Two Do Breakfast and
Golden Corral Free Meal
Get a Veterans Day free meal to any veteran who has served in the United States military or is a current active duty service member. All Golden Corral locations will be participating On Monday, November 12, 2012 from 4 PM to 9 PM. No identification is required to get your free Veterans day meal.
Hooters 10 Free Boneless Wings
On Sunday November 11th, 2012 receive 10 free boneless wings with the purchase of a drink for all veterans and active duty military. Military ID or proof of service required.
Hy-Vee Free Breakfast
Monday, November 12, 2012 Hy-Vee is providing free breakfast during regular breakfast hours.
Krispy Kreme Free Donut & Coffee
On Sunday, November 11 is offering a free donut to all those served or currently are serving. Proof of military service required or those in uniform.
Little Caesars Free Crazy Bread
Receive free Crazy Bread with valid ID Sunday, November 11, 2012.
Longhorn Steakhouse Free App & Drink
On Monday, November 12 get a free appetizer and drink.
Max & Erma’s Free Cheeseburger Combo Meal with Dessert
On Veterans Day, Sunday, November 11, 2012, participating Max & Erma’s locations are celebrating veterans and active military personnel with a free cup of Tortilla Soup or side Caesar Salad, a Cheeseburger, seasoned fries and a chocolate chip cookie.
McCormick and Schmick’s Free Entree
Enjoy a complimentary entree Sunday, Nov. 11. All veterans must show official verification. Veterans Day entrees must be enjoyed at the restaurant. No to-go orders permitted.
Mimi’s Cafre Free Meal with a Purchase
Free lunch or dinner entree with the purchase of a meal plus two beverages. Valid November 9th to the 11th, must bring coupon.
O’Charley’s 20% Off Your Order
On Veterans Day vets and active duty receive 20% off your order. Bring coupon.
Olive Garden Free Meal
On Sunday, November 11, 2012 all veterans and military active duty will receive a choice of 1 of 5 entrees plus unlimited soup, salad and breadsticks.
On The Border Free Entree
On 11/11/12 15% of purchases will be donated to Carry The Load plus veterans and active-duty will receive a free entrée certificate, valid up to $10 and good through 11/30/2012.
Outback Steakhouse Free Bloomin’ Onion® and Coca-Cola®
On November 11th and 12th, 2012 military personnel and veterans get FREE Bloomin’ Onion® and Coca-Cola®. Must have valid identification. Also, receive 10% off the entire guest check (excluding alcohol, taxes and gratuity) from November 13- December 31, 2012.
Red Lobster
Sunday, November 11, 2012 a free appetizer to all veterans and active-duty personnel.
Sizzler Free Lunch
Monday, November 12, 2012 through 4 PM Veterans and active duty military will receive a free lunch from a select menu. Valid ID required or in uniform or photo in uniform.
Soup Plantation Free Meal with Purchase
Past and present military can receive a free meal this Sunday and Monday, November 11 and 12th with the purchase of another regular priced meal. Just show proof of military service or be in uniform.
Spaghetti Warehouse Buy 1 Get 1 Free Meal
Friday thru Monday (November 9-12) buy 1 meal and get 1 Original Recipe Spaghetti Entrée for your veteran.
Sweet Tomatoes Free Meal Free Meal with Purchase 
Past and present military can receive a free meal this Sunday and Monday, November 11 and 12th with the purchase of another regular priced meal. Just show proof of military service or be in uniform.
Texas Corral Free Entree
A free entrée on Veterans Day to vets and active duty. Unofficially we believe it’s Sunday but their website just says Veterans Day. Call ahead to confirm.
Texas Roadhouse Free Lunch 
Monday, November 12, 2012 select from a special veterans lunch menu.
Tim Hortons Cafe & Bake Shop Free Donut
Sunday, November 11, 2012 Veterans active duty-duty military will receive a free donut. No purchase required. Valid ID required or show up in uniform.
TGI Fridays Free Lunch
On Monday, November 12 from 11:00 am to 2:00 pm get a free Veterans Day lunch.
Travel Centers of America Free Meal
All CDL drivers who are Military Veterans eat free on November 11th, 2012. Up to $15 on a complimentary meal of your choice Must present valid ID or photograph in uniform.
Twin Peaks Free Meal
Twins Peaks provides vague information and it doesn’t look like it includes Veterans. Here are their event details. “For Serving Us, We’re Serving You! Service men and women eat free on Veteran’s Day.” Starts on Thursday, November 8 through Sunday, November 11. We are working on clarifying this information.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

One voice alone may be frail, but the collective voice is shatter proof

Cost of gas to take a trip to my nearest voting station $15
Cost of my ballot $0
The realization of the importance of rising up and letting my voice be heard…priceless

No matter what your political view may be; today please take the time make your voice count.

And for all those who are tired of the campaigning- breathe deep and take solace in   this…

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Absence makes the heart grow fonder…or it just gives you plenty of time for indies!

Ok, so I’ve been a bad blogger lately. Yes, I’ve received your many, many emails requesting to know just where the bleep I’ve been all this time- many of which have amused me with extremely funny takes on what you think may be keeping me from blogging, and many that just fed the delusion of the monster that is my alter ego, forcing me to truly believe in the legends of my awesomeness.

First, let me address the rumors; no, I wasn’t abducted by aliens from planet Letssnatchabitch, and housed by aliens that zapped away my ability to write. However, at times over the past few months, I almost believed this was true. No, I haven’t moved to an exotic island, living a life of leisure drinking fruity mixed drinks with cute decorative umbrellas in them- cheese and crackers do I wish that one was true though. No, I didn’t die of a cheesecake-binge induced coma after an afternoon of cheating on my vegan diet (however, we don’t know what the future has in store- this vegan thing is still hard).

So…what have I been up to? I’ve been spending time finishing a 6 year long work-in-progress (almost done!!), working like a mad woman, taking care of the hubby, maintaining my title of world’s greatest mom, and indulging in a surplus of amazing upon amazing indie films. As I’m sure all my fellow indie lovers out there know, tis the season (fall and winter) of the Indie, and trust me when I say so far this season has not disappointed. I have seen SO many remarkably fantastic indies over the past two months that I swear I am in complete overload.  I knew I couldn’t wait another second to share my picks of the best indies of 2012, and encourage all that I can to take the time to run to your nearest limited release theater to see them.

  This one isn't in theaters any more so it should be relatively easy to find/buy/borrow from a friend. It's so incredibly funny, unexpectedly warm and touching and simply put a great film all together. Little tidbit for all you pop-culture information hoarders, it was co-written by the same screenwriter behind Nick and Nora's Infinite Playlist. its a definite must see and so worth it; you will love it and watch it over and over again.

  If you were ever wondering what The Hangover would look like if it grew ovaries and shaved its legs, this is it. Holy hilarium...I don't think I've laughed so hard, or screamed so loud in my life. Please trust me when I say you are missing out if you don't see this film. If it's still out in theaters, take the time to find it and marvel in it. 

  I read this book last year and loved it- couldn't get enough of it was more like it- so much so, that I passed it to everyone I knew that I thought might enjoy it. When I found out they were turning it into a film (an indie at that!) I was determined to see it, and just knew I would love it. Well, I was kind of wrong- I didn't love it...I'm enamored by it! It was everything I expected it to be, hoped it to be, and more. I can't say enough about this film- it's just a must see. 

   So, I was in indie heaven during and after this film. It was fresh, funny, thoughtful, funny, incredibly witty and smart, and all around friggin good. I'm so buying this one when it becomes available a.s.a.p and passing it down to everyone I know; another must. 

   I just saw this over the weekend, and I just about died from an overdose of absolute indie perfection. Hoffman, Adams, and Phoenix were, in no better words, at their best and undeniably brilliant in their performance. I don't know what else to delight in this film was inaudible- I was speechless and left marinating in this film for the entire weekend. More- much more- than a must see. It's really the film of the decade. 

    This film made me want to sick to my vegan diet in hopes of never EVER becoming ill and having to EVER be seen by another doctor for as long as I live. Seriously, this scared the shizzle-sticks right out of me. It was an amazing film, however, I so won't be taking any trips to the doctor until I run full background checks and see some type of proof of mental stability. Creeptastic!

    Hit it was indeed! I loved how honest, uneasy, and yet so hopeful this film was. It had so much depth, humor, and realism to it without relying on the typical " I must be crazy to end up here" stigmas of therapy. It was so refreshing, and so spot-on; I loved it. I know anyone who has the chance to check it out will love it too.

           This film was intense. If you are looking for suspense with a wicked bite, this is the film for you. I don't think in all my years of watching and adoring indies, that I have ever come across a film like this. This film was definitely a brave endeavor for  the actors, writers, and director I would assume, but it came together fabulously. I definitely recommend it. 

   How could I ever pass up the opportunity to see a timeless story-retold- (and one of my favorite reads by the by) come to life on the big screen by way of indie? I would sooner give up cheesecake for good (and I'm sure you know by now that's not happening) before I missed this one. Of course its a tear-jerker, but it's SO good, and I know if you see it you will love it. See it, cry a little (tears won't kill you damn it), love it; just let it take your breath away. I absolutely say, with unrelenting conviction, it is a must see. 

So that's what I've been up to as of late; I can't wait to catch my next round of indies. This is definitely why I love fall (and winter, yes I know I'm repeating myself). It's no better time to catch up with friends, head out to your local theater, and indulge in some Indie decadence. I'll catch you at the ticket booths everyone!

What Indies have you seen lately?

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Movie Review: Tiny Furniture

It’s been a while since I shared a post of Indies I feel are amazingly worth watching. I've been busy, and working a lot blah, blah; I’m happy to report that this weekend I ended my relentlessly long Indie drought with a few irresistibly witty and exceptionally funny films that I couldn’t wait to blog (and rave) about. I know my Fan-tic (my attempt at a play on the word frantic) rants are quite transparent when I find films that I absolutely love, however, once in a great while I do happen to find films that drives love to entirely new heights of euphoric Indie ecstasy. For me, that film is most definitely Tiny Furniture.

I’ve been meaning to watch Tiny Furniture for so long, I can’t even recall, but I could never find it in theaters near me since it was a limited release. I mean, the film was almost a ghost for so long I almost forgot about it; I’ve never had such a hard time gaining access to an Indie that I was super stoked about checking out. Then cometh the big uproar of praise for its director/writer/creator Lena Dunham after her new T.V series Girls (BTW I’m so addicted to this show, and if you haven’t caught an episode, you are seriously missing out) won massive acclaim resulting in an Emmy nomination, and poof! I was finally able to grab copies of the film everywhere I turned. I can honestly say the wait was worth it. From the opening scene to the very last, I laughed uncontrollably, I awed, I screamed from mortification (seriously. You’ll understand when you see it), I laughed -this time louder than before-again, and awed some more. It was so refreshing, so witty, so honest, and so well done I can’t even stand it. Lena Dunham is a friggin' genius, and speeding to the top of my favorite writers list.

Enough of the gush; here are the specs.

Tiny Furniture was written and directed by Lena Dunham, and stars Dunham (Aura), Jemima Kirke (Charlotte) , Amy Seimetz (Ashlynn), and Laurie Simmons (Siri) and Merritt Wever (Frankie).

Aura, a freshly graduated liberal arts major, is having quite a difficult time trying to gain a sense of identity and figure out what she wants out of life. Amidst her inner struggle, bruised by a failed relationships, and feeling overwhelmed by her lack of direction, she decides to move back to her family’s TriBeCa loft to allow herself time to figure things out. She starts work as a hostess at a local restaurant where she then meets and falls into what appears to be an accidental relationships with two obnoxiously self-absorbed men; it soon becomes apparent to Aura that figuring out life is only half the battle, compared to the larger charge of figuring out what she wants/needs from herself.

I know that a lot of people might view this film as whiny rich girls complaining about nothing, but I really enjoyed how realistic, and completely exposed the characters are. Dunham didn't try to mask Aura's selfishness under the typical euphemisms  of self discovery, she just simply allowed the characters to be displayed as they would in reality; immaturity, longing, flaws and all. The layers of this film are so rich, and well done, and I really loved, loved, LOVED it. Thumbs up to Lena Dunham! 

Thursday, August 16, 2012

WW Resource: Higher Ground

If you are looking for adventure, time to de-compress, or have a love of all things outdoors, I think I may have found some info that you’ll really be interested in. The program is called Higher Ground, and was emailed to me by our Caregiver Support Coordinator.

Higher Ground is basically an organization that offers weeklong therapeutic sports camps for Veterans (and their spouses/caregivers/supporters) with TBI/PTSD/Poly. Some of the outdoor adventures include: winter sports, fly fishing, rafting, and paddle sports; but more than that, they offer an opportunity to break away from our everyday struggles and connect with groups of other Veterans and their spouses who are fighting the same battles that you may be fighting. I’ve heard great things about it so far and have just submitted our application.

The best part in all this- ALL costs are covered for both the Veteran and their spouse, and the camps are demographically oriented to the needs and location of the Vet and spouse. Not to mention they also provide an additional three years of follow up and activities openings, resources at home to cover any unmet needs, and have a reintegration budget to provide goods and services needed to continue a healthy recreation lifestyle. All in all, one hell of a program for qualifying participants. If you or your warrior is interested and want to know more about the qualification requirements, check out their site and apply here

Take care, and live well! 

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Warrior Wife Resource: VA Caregiver Support Program/ Services

I’m not sure if maybe my head has been in a fog for the past year and a half, but for some reason I didn’t correlate my taking care of my husband while he struggles through PTSD and TBI, to be being considered as caregiving. Sure, I’ve heard myself and other women in my shoes be referred to as the caregiver , but somehow I just shrugged that title off as simply a way to identify me in relation to him as a veteran. For some reason, I just didn’t consider myself as a caregiver in a literal sense (please refer to the above mentioned head in a fog). So as I’m sure you can imagine and to my utter surprise, when finding out two months ago after yet another routine visit to the VA with the hubby, that not only did the VA consider me (and other wives) as caregivers, they also have special services in place to support us as caregivers, and provide us with resources to elevate some of the day to day stressors we experience.

I think now is an appropriate time to say WOW!

Now I must admit, I haven’t exactly had the best relationship with the VA- both the hubby and I have had problems with our local VA in the past, which have recently been rectified- however, this program in particular, as well as the caregiver support coordinators who run it, have significantly helped to turn my impression of the VA around. I applied to become the official caregiver of the hubby under the Post-911 Veterans charter; a program/new law that will provide assistance to primary family caregivers of eligible post-9/11 Veterans and Service members. Within a couple of days I received a call from the support coordinator, and was immediately placed in rotation to begin the review and evaluation process. The entire process should take no longer than about 45 days (if you comply with the deadlines), and is pretty simple to complete although it does require you completing (including certification) a caregivers course through Easter Seals.

Here are just a few benefits that come with this program once you have been approved:

         Travel Expenses (including lodging and per diem while accompanying Veterans undergoing care)

        Access to health care insurance (if the Caregiver is not already entitled to care or services under a health care plan)

 Mental health services and counseling

 Comprehensive VA Caregiver training provided by Easter Seals

  Respite care

  Monthly stipend

In addition to the great benefits allotted to caregivers, the support of the program leaders, and endless supply of resources to me is worth its weight in gold. If you or someone you know are interested in this program, contact your local VA and ask if they have a Caregiver Support Coordinator. If you need additional information, contact 1-877-222 VETS (8387) or visit VACaregivers to find out who’s eligible.

Take care everyone, and live well.