Thursday, July 24, 2014

TBT - Lord of the Rings Fandom

Just hanging out with a LOTR poster in Florida
Does anyone else remember Sean Bean's bum?

If that phrase means anything to you, then you were probably one of the hundreds of fangirls that I used to chat with in an online Lord of the Rings fan community. Hello again! I was (still am?) mrsfrodob.

When Lord of the Rings first came out, I had no idea what it was. I'd never read the books or heard of the books. I just remember seeing a Burger King commercial for collectible cups, and there was a movie clip in the commercial of guys walking atop a mountain.

Looked boring to me.

But then I found out that Elijah Wood was in the movie, and, well, I had sort of a crush on Elijah Wood. One New Year's Eve when all our other friends were partying with boys, my friend Teresa and I stayed up watching The Faculty. And then we watched it again the next morning. ("Showdown!")

So, of course, I was going to see a movie that starred my current celeb crush. So that's what Teresa and I did. Nine times. And then four more times when the movie left regular theaters and came to our local $1 theater.

This was my door freshman year. Lots of LOTR stuff.
That's right. We were a little obsessed, and it was more than just Elijah Wood, Orlando Bloom (who I never liked, fyi), Dominic Monaghan, and Billy Boyd. Okay, yes, they were all hot, but the story!! It was just so magical and adventurous and funny and sad. We just became consumed with all things Lord of the Rings, including buying and reading (and re-reading) the books.

My freshman year of college, I had a roommate who was never in our room and a Monday-Wednesday-Friday schedule that saw me done with classes by 11:30 a.m., while my friends continued on to their next class. So I had a lot of free time to myself. I joined an online Lord of the Rings fan community to chat with other people about the books, the movies, and yes, the hot actors. Which is where Sean Bean's bum came from.

I wish I could remember the name of the website, so I could look it up and see if it's still there, if all of our silly community threads are still somewhere out there in cyberspace. I never met any of those people in person, but we always talked about how cool it would be to converge on a hotel and have a big fangirl conference. The international fans shared information about the actors that us American fans didn't know about. One girl even made DVDs with some of Billy Boyd's international appearances and movies on it and sent them to some of us.

Sophomore year desk area - complete w/ free LOTR poster!
I loved being a part of that community, but by sophomore year, I had full-time roommates/friends and a larger class load. I still hung my Lord of the Rings movie poster (received for free from a Toys "R" Us store that no longer needed it) on the wall. Teresa and I still got excited about the final movie being released, and I still thought Elijah Wood was hot. But my participation in the online community wane
d, and I suspect everyone else's did, too.

Maybe we were all just getting a little too old and consumed with life to be as giddy as we once were.

But I recently saw an ad for a new TNT show starring Sean Bean, and the first thing that popped into my head was "Sean Bean's bum!"

It made me smile, and I wished I still knew someone who would also smile at that.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

NewerTech NuGuard KX Phone Case - Review

Two weeks ago, I wrote about the NuGuard KXs screen protector. I also got to test out the NuGuard KX Phone Case!

The picture below shows my old iPhone case (in pink) next to the KX case (red and black). Can you see a difference? Uh, YEAH.

The KX case offers extreme protection for your phone. It's sort of padded on the inside, but it's hard and sort of textured on the outside. It uses X-Orbing gel technology to absorb and evenly distribute kinetic energy. I can attest to this because I did accidentally drop my phone on our hardwood floors, and everything was a-okay!

The case may look bigger than my old one, but it's actually not very bulky and it's super lightweight. I also like that it doesn't just cover the sides, but it also comes up over the top edges of the phone for a snug and secure fit.

The case also covers the power and volume buttons, but it doesn't prohibit you from using them. I actually think it's easier to press the buttons through this case!

It's also easy to remove your phone from the case, if you need to, which is something I can NOT say about my old phone case. That thing was such a pain. I'm so glad to have my phone protected in the KX case. Every time I look at my phone now, I think it looks brand new!

This is available for the iPhone 4/4S and iPhone 5/5S. It's also available in a variety of colors, so you still get some customization! You can find out more information on the phone case at the NewerTech website.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Top 10 Tuesday: Top 10 Characters I'd Want With Me on a Deserted Island

I'm rejoining the Top 10 Tuesday meme with this week's list: the top 10 characters I'd want with me on a deserted island. This is a good one! Here's what I got:

1. Jean Valjean - Les Miserables
He seems like a smart guy who is able to think fast, and that's the kind of resourcefulness one would need on a deserted island, especially if that person is played by Liam Neeson.

2. Edmond Dantes - The Count of Monte Cristo
I figure, if he can break out of jail, surely he can get us off the island!

3. Tina Fey - Bossypants
Okay, so not a fictional character, but she's still in a book! And we'd need some comic relief on that island.

4. Mr. Darcy - Pride and Prejudice
I'm assuming my husband won't be on this island, right?

5. Frodo Baggins (or Merry or Pippin) - Lord of the Rings
If represented by Elijah Wood, Dominic Monaghan, or Billy Boyd. Again, my husband isn't here, right?

6. Bridget Jones - Bridget Jones' Diary
She'd probably flip out at first, but I think she'd calm down and help us all make the most of our desert island status.

7. Miss Marple - multiple Agatha Christie novels
This woman can solve anything! I bet she could solve our way off the island!

8. Rob Fleming - High Fidelity
He's kind of a jerk, but he'll probably have some good music for us to listen to.

9. Katniss Everdeen - The Hunger Games
If there are native animals on the island, Katniss can hunt and kill them so we can eat.

10. Skeeter Phelan - The Help
She can keep notes on what happens on the island and turn them into a book after we are all rescued!

Monday, July 21, 2014

Meal Plan Monday - July 21

Sometimes, I get a little bit of meal plan block, so I asked my husband for input this week. Here's what we got:

Sunday - egg scrambler with feta cheese and apple chicken sausage

Monday - chicken tenders and fries

Tuesday - chicken caesar salad (with strawberries, for my husband)

Wednesday - hamburgers and fries

Thursday - omelets and home fries

Friday - on our own

Saturday - pasta

Friday, July 18, 2014

The Third Rule of Ten - Book Review

image credit
The Third Rule of Ten is the third book in a series that follows Tenzing "Ten" Norbu, a former Buddhist monk turned detective. But you don't have to have read the previous two books in order to follow along with the third. However, after reading this, you'll probably want to go back and read the first two if they are anything like this one!

In this book, Ten takes on a missing persons case for an old friend's old friend. The client is a female politician whose illegal immigrant maid has gone missing. As Ten begins to search for the maid, whose illegal status makes her hard to find, he gets mixed up in something really dangerous involving drugs, organ donation, murder, and gangs. Who is involved? And how is it all connected?

I really don't know how the co-authors of this series are able to come up with new mysteries to solve in each book! I really liked this story because it kept me guessing. The book had lots of twists and turns with danger lurking at every page turn. But it also had some soul. There's a personal struggle for Ten who is dealing with the recent death of his dad, trying to figure out if he still wants to be with his girlfriend, and letting his vegetarian status lapse.

If you're looking for a fast-paced detective thriller to read this summer, then definitely pick up The Third Rule of Ten.

The Third Rule of Ten is published by Hay House and is available to purchase now. I received a free review copy for my honest review.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

TBT - The Times I Met BBMak

I've got some more OLD OLD scrapbook pages to share today. These are from 2000 and my second scrapbook album. As you can see, I was still basically just putting pictures on white backgrounds and adding some writing and stickers here and there. I barely used any scrapbook paper!

So what are these pictures of? Well, back in the day there was this pop band called BBMak: Ste, Christian, and Mark. And they were HOT, so, of course, we loved them.

And then we met them. Twice.

The first time was at a radio station concert. After BBMak performed, they signed autographs. On the band's CD cover, Ste wore a shirt that said "Rub my tummy for good luck." So, naturally, when I met him, I asked him if I could rub his tummy.

If you look at the scrapbook page above, the second picture in the sort-of lefthand column shows Ste as he is preparing to stand up and let me rub his tummy. Through his shirt, though! He didn't strip down for me.

And then that same summer BBMak came back to St. Louis on a special Disney tour with Hoku, and they signed autographs. AGAIN! The concert was free, so we went and stood in line to meet them. AGAIN.

We think they recognized us, but honestly, who really knows? We just went with it. We were such fangirls.

If you don't remember BBMak, watch this video and let it all come back! (Back here, baby!)

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Boden Clothing Review

A few weeks ago, I was invited as a plus-one to attend the unveiling of British clothing company Boden's fall 2014 line. I had heard of Boden before and visited its website but never purchased or worn any Boden clothing, though what I had seen on the website was very tempting. (Some of it was just out of my price range.)

Checking out the fall line only made me wish it was all in my closet (and that our London/Paris trip was happening sooner). Here are a few of the highlights that stood out to me:

story of my tired life

shiny shoes!

pretty colors!

gorgeous work/formal wear

with a cuppa in Boden telephone-printed
Peter Pan collar blouse
I was also given a gift card as a "thank you" for attending, so I promptly went home and ordered some Boden for the very first time! The online ordering process was very easy and very British! I loved getting an email that instead of saying "your order has shipped" said "your Boden parcel is on its way!" And instead of saying, "Don't throw away your gift card until you receive your order", Boden says "Could you please retain your redeemed gift vouchers until receiving your goods?" They're so polite!

I also got to experience the Boden exchange process because the pair of pants I ordered was too small (the downfall of ordering without being able to try things on), and THAT process was pretty easy, too. The company uses a SmartLabel that you stick onto the reusable package, seal up the package with your items and return/exchange slip inside, and stick it in your mailbox. If you're asking for a refund, the cost of shipping will be taken from your refund. If you're asking for an exchange, it's just an even exchange. I didn't pay anything extra for shipping.

Okay, so what did I get after the exchange had been made? Well, I shopped in the sale section, and I have to say, Boden has good sales! I ended up with a cute Peter Pan collar blouse with old-fashioned telephones printed on it, a striped and polka-dotted 3/4 sleeve shirt in yellow and grey, and a pair of crop pants that I like to think of as "holiday pants" because they're black and shiny gold. (Although, I have worn them to work in the middle of summer, too.)

If you're looking for some cute, sometimes quirky, but always good-quality clothing, I would definitely recommend Boden. Just keep in mind, it's online ordering, which can be difficult for some. Like I said, the returns and exchange process is very simple if you get something that doesn't fit or you just don't like. So try 'em out!