*NSYNC says Bye Bye Bye, Adele says Hello

For the past 15 years, *NSYNC has held the record for most albums sold in the first week at 2.4 million.  This was achieved back in 2000 with their album No Strings Attached.  It seemed like this record would never be touched – with CD sales on the decline (and I’m saying “CD sales” but I mean digital downloads too – however you end up buying the whole CDs worth of tracks and not just a few here and there) not even Taylor Swift was able to touch it (1989 sold “only” 1.3 mil its first week).

It was beginning to seem like *NSYNC would hold this record forever.  That is until Adele came back on the scene with “25”.  In the first 3-4 days of it being on sale it beat the record and is on pace to sell 2.9 million.

I’m having trouble even wrapping my head around it all – but I guess it is just proving that the CD/full album is not dead. And even though there are plenty of other options – buying just 1 or 2 songs, streaming on sites like spotify or, yes, illegally downloading it – people are still buying.

I am looking forward to listening to Adele’s new album (and will probably review it in early 2016) but one thing is for sure – I’m a stubborn fan girl and even though the damage has been done, I won’t be buying it this week to help her beat *NSYNC.

(On the plus side, *NSYNC still have the most first week sales for males or a group. Although that just seems like a stretch to try and make me feel better.)

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Love with Food Box – October



Touchdown Treats

This month Love with Food partnered with world champion pro football player Steve Weatherford, a firm believer in healthier diet choices and raising awareness of child hunger. Who better to represent a snack box perfect for the big game AND snacking smart? This month, with Steve, you helped donate to the Community Food Bank of New Jersey.


Cookies & Cream Wafer Bites by Dolcetto
These light, crispy-yet-creamy bites are just right for popping when the score is all tied up and you need a hit of sugar to get the adrenaline going.

These were very tasty. I love cookies and cream and these were better than expected.

Chocolate Salted Caramel Protein Bar by Luna
This salty-sweet chocolate-y treat is packed with 12g of protein to get you into the endzone every time.

This was really good, to the point I considered buying some for every day snacks.

Cheddar and Pepper Premium Puffed Corn by Cosmos Creations
Lighter-than-air-puffs exploding with cheesy, spicy flavor- the perfect half time (or anytime) snack that won’t weigh you down later on.

I misread this at first and thought it was popcorn so I was pleasantly surprised to see puffed corn.  I could do without the pepper but the cheddar was great!

Home Cooked Salted Virginia Peanuts by Hubs
When you think gametime, you think peanuts, right? These crunchy, perfectly salty nuts will make you feel like you’re cheering from the 50-yard line.

Gotta love peanuts! Perfect sized snack pack.

Fruit Crisps by Brothers All Natural
No time to grab fresh fruit for a healthy third quarter treat? These crisps are the next best thing with no added sugar in an easy-to-eat package.

Mom staked her claim on these and said they were delicious and tasted just like Fuji apples – which is what the were.

Crunchy Sunflower Seed Bites by Somersault Snacks
Think sunflower seeds are a boring gametime snack? Just one addictingly crunchy bite will make you forget everything you thought you knew.

I always have trouble wrapping my head around sunflower seeds being in anything – but these were great and I need to get used to the idea of sunflower seeds being more than just a seed you eat all on its own!

Chewie Fruities Assorted Flavors by Torie and Howard
Inject some fruity flavor into your halftime huddle with these chewy, all natural morsels. Oh, and did we mention no GMOs or corn syrup? Score!

These are the only thing I had not tried as of writing this post!

Product Review: Instax Mini 8 Accessories Bundle #InstaxMini8AccessoriesBundles

While I have been having a lot of fun with my Instax Mini 8 camera since I got it last year, I have been checking out accessories and debating what I wanted to get next.  I had decided I needed to try out the selflie mirror, but then I was contacted by Hellohelio to receive a bundle package at a discount in exchange for a review and was super excited because it contained not only the selfie mirror but a bunch of other great accessories too!

The set comes in different colors – Blue, Pink, Red and Brown.  I chose the Blue kit since my Instax camera is blue and wanted everything to match. This is what is included in the kit as well as my thoughts on each item.  Unfortunately I am out of film, but I have ordered more for my trip coming up and will be taking some of these items along to try out with film :)

Case Protector – This case is nice. It is synthetic leather and you don’t have to take the camera out of it in order to take a photo, just flip the front flap away.  Another great feature is that you can see how many exposures you have remaining at the back of the case without taking the camera out, so you really only need to take it out of the case to refill it.  It comes with straps so you can easily wear it and matches the color of the camera too.

Self-portrait mirror – This clips right on to the front lens and has a mirror off to the side so you can make sure that you (and friends) are all in frame before snapping the picture and waiting for it to show up on the film.  It clips on really easily and clips off just as easily but stays put great for use.

Colorful Close-Up Lens –  I have not really gotten a chance to truly try these out, but they allow you to focus as close as 40-60cm from an object and take colorful vintage photos in the color of the lens. I really cannot wait to try these out.

Decor Border Stickers – No need to worry about buying fancy film – by the regular kind that is usually a bit cheaper but make it fancy by adding these sticker borders to the photos!  I especially like these because you can choose the color after you see what the picture is of so you can choose something complimentary rather than hoping that whatever comes out of the pack will look good with the subject of the photo.

Book style mini book album – I love this! It holds 64 photos in clear pockets.  Great for storing the photos as you take them on vacation before they make it in to a scrapbook (in my case) or just to use as a photo album to share the photos with friends.

Photo Frame – These are really cool as well. These are plastic and fit the Mini 8 film perfectly, you can then pop out the back on the frame to make them stand up on your desk or add a magnet to the back and add them to the fridge to display.

Wall decor hanging frame – It’s kind of funny this came in the package since I have just bought a larger scale version of this for larger photos, so obviously I like the idea of it.  This comes with some rope and frames that the photos fit in that you can string anywhere to show off some of your latest shots, or great to give as a gift with some photos of your friend or grand kids for grandparents, etc.

Best of all – this all comes in one great box so you can easily give it as a gift and store everything together when not in use!

I received this product at a discount in order to write this review. I was not otherwise compensated.

Product Review: Piscifun® Single Shoulder Crossbody Bag

I am always looking for purses that not only hold all my stuff, but also keep everything organized.  That’s why I was excited to try out the Single Shoulder Crossbody bag from Piscifun.   This can be used as a purse or even as a gear bag for fishing and the colors it comes in are pretty unisiex (perhaps with a leaning towards it being a camo gear bag).  I ended up getting the black bag to try out.

The main compartment is roomy and has a lot of storage space with a drawstring at the top and a flap that flips over and clips.  You can hold outdoor sports gear, supplies for school, or your wallet and camera if you’re me. 😉  There’s also a front compartment for quick access, an interior pocket and a ‘secret’ concealed back pocket with a zipper to hold everything in.

The back of the bag is also padded, which is probably my favorite part.  I don’t know how many times I’ve gotten bruises on my leg from a camera or something else poking into my leg after a long day walking around New York City. With this bag I don’t have to worry about that because it is cushioned and will help stop anything from in the bag from slamming into my leg repeatedly as I walk.  The bag is also light weight to start with, coming in at under 2 lbs so it’s not super heavy to begin with once I load it up with cameras and batteries and whatever else I must travel with.

Material: 100% brand new & High quality 900D Nylon
Preppy style concise exterior, 5 everlasting vintage-looking colors, smart casual fits for all occasion, best choice as a school bag or outdoor sports such as fishing, hiking, mountaineering, cycling, camping, ect.
Style: Unisex Chest Bag / Crossbody Single Shoulder Bag

· Main : 8.7″ x 7.9″ x 4″ with front and back subdividers
· Concealed back compartment: 9″ x 7.9″ with zipper closure
· Front pocket : 7″ x 6.3″ x 2″ with mesh divider, pouch on this pocket: 6.3″ x 5″
· Side A : 6″ x 4″ x 2″ with divider and double zippers
· Side B : 6.3″ x 3″ diameter with cinch
· Top of lid pocket : 7″ x 3″ x 0.8″, front of the lid pocket: 6.7″ x 5.5″ with zipper closure
· Pouch on the strap: 3.5″ x 2.4″ x 0.8″


I received this product for free or at a discount in order to write this review. I was not otherwise compensated.

Scrapbook Saturday:

The rest of the world showcase. All paper piecing from the Silhouette design store.

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Book Review: Bob Dylan: All the Songs

dylanI love these books that go on about every song in an artists catalog (and maybe they give me ideas about compiling the same about a certain band I have a fansite for).

This book includes the story behind every track, information such as the musician, recording studios, run time of the songs, technical team, etc.  Basically everything and anything you have ever wanted to know about Bob Dylan’s songs.

The book is 700+ pages, which makes sense because it covers a LOT of ground.  A very interesting read.

I received a free e-copy of this book in order to write this review. I was not otherwise compensated.

About the Book

This is the most comprehensive account of Bob Dylan’s work yet published with the full story of every recording session, every album, and every single released during his remarkable and illustrious 53-year career.
Bob Dylan: All the Songs focuses on Dylan’s creative process and his organic, unencumbered style of recording. It is the only book to tell the stories, many unfamiliar even to his most fervent fans, behind all the 525 songs he released. Organized chronologically by album, Margotin and Guesdon recount the details that led to the composition of Dylan’s recorded songs, what went on in the recording studio, what instruments he used, and behind-the-scenes account of the great artists that Dylan worked with.

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Book Review: Until Beth

untilbethUntil Beth got off to a bit of a crazy start – every chapter it seemed like someone was gone, dead, or injured.  But it was all downhill from there for me.  After her brother is injured, her Mom decides to relocate the family to a home that will be more accessible.  Beth had gotten the chance to audition for a special school that at first she didn’t want to go to, but after her Mom announces the move she decides maybe she should audition after all.  She gets in to the school but all the kids there seem to have some secrets going on.  Unfortunately I found things were moving a bit too slowly for me and sometime after she got to school I decided the book was no longer for me.  Other reviews mentioned this being a book similar to XMen, so I guess you can maybe figure out what the “secret” is from that. Or maybe not.  I wish I could have liked this book more, it seemed to get off to such a good start but completely lost my interest.  This is a YA read, which usually I do enjoy, but maybe I am just a bit too old to be the target audience for this one.

I received a free e-copy of this book in order to write this review. I was not otherwise compensated.

About the Book

Talented rock guitarist Beth Collins has been barely holding herself together for months, ever since her boyfriend and bandmate became the latest victim in a string of suspicious disappearances. When her brother is injured an accident and she sees something dark billowing around him as he hovers close to death, sheâs convinced her sanity is collapsing for good. Then she’s accepted by a boarding school for the musically gifted. All of her new friends are bursting withtalent, but they’re also keeping secrets. Can she trust Vincent, who’s so sweet that his very touch makes her fears melt away? Or Xavier, who’s trying to tell her something but is hiding even more? And will anyone be safe when her true Talent comes out?

Book Review: Softer Than Steel

softerSofter Than Steel is the 2nd book in a series, however I didn’t realize this until after I finished the book so it works as a stand alone as well! The book is about rock star Rick “Riff Rotten” Rottenberg and yoga instructor Sidra Sullivan.  The two meet when Sidra is doing a bagel delivery to help out the shop her brother works at after he forgets part of an order and Sidra loses her flip flop.  Rick has his driver take her to a shoe store to buy her a new pair of shoes, even though Sidra would be perfectly happy with a cheapo pair from the drugstore.  When Rick tries to find out where Sidra was dropped off, there ends up being a mix up with why he was interested in the building (that Sidra’s uncle is trying to sell) and that of course causes for some drama.  Sidra and Rick’s path ends up crossing again, when Rick shows up at a  Yoga lesson at NYU that Sidra’s friend is teaching.  Her friend suggests Rick go to Sidra’s beginner yoga class and that’s where the relationship starts to blossom.  But of course it is not without its misunderstandings and drama.

I liked this book, there are a lot of cool coincidences and intertwining of characters throughout the book and there is just enough drama and trouble with Rick and Sidra’s relationship to make you wonder how they may end up.  I will certainly be open to reading other books in this series and maybe going back to reading the first when I find the time!

I received a free e-copy of this book in order to write this review. I was not otherwise compensated.

About the book

From the author of Deeper than Dreams and the Much “I Do” About Nothing novels, a story that proves that you have to find yourself before you can find love…

As a rock star “Riff Rotten” Rick Rottenberg has enjoyed all the perks that fame can offer, especially now that he’s reunited with his former band mate, Adrian “Digger” Graves. But despite his success, Rick is a mess. Still reeling from the death of his wife years ago and terrified his demons will end his career, he agrees to seek help for his anxiety.

Burned by a musician in the past, Sidra Sullivan has closed her heart to love. So when Rick walks into her yoga studio, she wants nothing to do with him—until the bad boy shows an unexpected soft side.

As Sidra and Rick work through their painful pasts, they realize just how strongly opposites can attract. But when a crisis threatens the delicate balance they’ve forged, they’ll discover if their love is strong enough to weather another storm or just too broken to survive…

Book Review: Dream On

dreamonDream On! Is a book about possibilities. It teaches kids the importance of having dreams and doing what they can every day to work towards those dreams and to be the best me they can be. Using your imagination is important and this book helps show kids that they can use their imaginations to make their dreams come true!

I received a free e-copy of this book in order to write this review. I was not otherwise compensated.

About the Book

Imagination and motivation are key to young children’s happiness and health. Thinking about dreams and goals can help children cope with challenges when they arise and view life through a hopeful lens. With this encouraging book, nurture children’s imaginations and help them enjoy taking responsibility for their choices and goals. Back matter includes advice for motivating kids and teaching about goal setting at home, at school, and in childcare.

From the author of the popular Learning to Get Along® series comes the next book in this one-of-a-kind character-development series. Each of the first seven books in the Being the Best Me! series helps children learn, understand, and develop attitudes and positive character traits that strengthen self-confidence and a sense of purpose. Each book focuses on a specific attitude or character trait—optimism, self-esteem, assertiveness, resilience, integrity, forgiveness, and goal-setting. Also included are discussion questions, games, activities, and additional information for adults. Filled with diversity, these social story books will be welcome in school, home, and childcare settings.

Cheri J. Meiners, M.Ed., has her master’s degree in elementary education and gifted education. The author of the award-winning Learning to Get Along social skills series for young children and a former first-grade teacher, she has taught education classes at Utah State University and has supervised student teachers. Cheri enjoys visiting and sharing her books in classrooms, libraries, and bookstores. She and her husband, David, have six children and enjoy the company of their lively grandchildren. She lives in Laurel, Maryland.

Elizabeth Allen is an artist and professional illustrator of children’s picture books as well as a former songwriter and jazz musician. She has exhibited her art in galleries in the Midwest and on the East Coast. Elizabeth lives on a river running through a forest near St. Paul, Minnesota.

Throwback Thursday: Ruben Studdard 11/7/06

Headliner: Ruben Studdard
Opener(s): Can’t Remember
Venue: The Klein
Cost: FREE

Setlist:  N/A

Recap: I won tickets to this show and took my mom for her birthday.  (Funny because this post is being posted on her birthday! Happy Birthday Mom!) We started out in Row X which was the last row of the theater.  One of the ushers told us that since not many people had bought tickets, if we wanted to we could move up to the front of our section, which put us at row K.  Later she told us we could move up even further which meant we ended up in row C and then later another usher said if I wanted to go up to the front row to take a couple of photos I could, as long as I didn’t use a flash.  This was before I was more of an expert on how to take photos without a flash so I lot of them came out blurry even though I thought they’d be ok because I didn’t think Ruben would move around that much! After the show we got to meet Ruben – he had said he’d be doing pics and autographs but we were the last ones to get to him and by the time I got up to him he was telling his handler he had to get out of there so we didn’t get more than autographs.