Summerland 2012

Sunday night the 90s Summerland Tour rolled through the Mohegan Sun arena.  The brainchild of Mark from Sugar Ray and Art from Everclear, the tour brought together some of the top acts of the 90s into one big show – at an affordable rate at that.  Non-VIP tickets were $25+fees (“$25 for 25 hits”) and the casino was even running a promotion closer to the show of $10 tickets.  (It’s always so nice to get those emails after you’ve already had your ticket for 3 months and paid full price…)

Marcy Playground started off the evening at 7. (For all these years I thought they were “Marcy’s Playground” oops)  I am not sure that their sound really worked in the arena setting, but it could have also been because a lot of people had not yet made their way in to the arena yet so it wasn’t easy to get the few people who were inside hyped up.  Obviously the biggest reaction was for Sex and Candy which is the only song of theirs I knew and I guess the same went for most of the crowd.

Art & Mark came out before each band to talk a bit about them which I thought was pretty cool. Next up was Lit, probably my least favorite of the night – but keep in mind – while I used to listen to the “alternative rock” (or whatever genre it is – Im not good with labeling) I have turned pretty much exclusively pop and that is probably a lot to do with it. I am also not a fan of excessive swearing during performances and they seemed to throw curse words around to try and get people pumped (your music should do that for you)

Gin Blossoms was up next and Mark said that you should try to find the song that was NOT a hit single in their set list – and he was right.  They had way more hits than I even remembered.  Their lead singer was all around the stage and even giving out tambourines to the crowd and showing them how to use them.  There seemed to be a massive exit after their set – I am not sure if most people were there to see them or if everyone just needed a refill on their beers.

Next up was Sugar Ray – let’s be honest – the reason I went to the show.  I realized I am still in love with Mark McGrath and he was the most entertaining front man of all the bands (but maybe Im a bit biased).  Their set was short, but Mark talked a lot with the crowd and the band in between songs (something I enjoy.)  Ending the set with Fly was perfect – the only thing that would have been more perfect was if Sugar Ray was the last band on the tour and the whole night was ended on Fly.  Yes, I did consider leaving before Everclear so the night would end on a high point. (But then the fangirl kicked in and – what if Mark comes back out to sing with them!?)

Through the whole intermission I debated when would be the right time to leave during Everclears set. I originally decided after Father of Mine – but then they did that song first.  I actually ended up sticking it out for the entire set.  Everclear also had a ton of singles that I didn’t even remember until they played them.  They also had some of the other bands come out and join them for the last couple songs (but no Mark).  I didn’t realize that Art was now 50 years old.  I remember these songs from when I was 12, 13, 14 years old in middle and high school.

Setlists (which might be missing a song or two but for the most part I think I did pretty good with keeping track) under the cut

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Music Monday: Jon McLaughlin Promising Promises


Promising Promises
You Never Know
Summer is Over (feat Sara Bareilles)
The Atmosphere
What I Want
I’ll Follow You
Maybe It’s Over (feat Xenia)
If Only I
Without You Now
My Girl Tonight
These Crazy Times

Promising Promises is a bit of an interesting release from Jon McLaughlin.   Late last year (September) Jon released “Forever If Ever” which was an indie release of new music.  Then Jon ended up getting signed to Razor & Tie, so he pulled Forever If Ever from his online store and all retailers at the beginning of 2012.  Promising Promises is a re-mastered version of Forever If Ever – except that 3 songs were removed from Forever If Ever and 3 new songs were added to Promising Promises.  (There are also bonus tracks through iTunes and through an exclusive Best Buy release.)

Jon has been kind enough to offer those 3 tracks “a la carte” on iTunes for those who bought Forever If Ever and only want the new songs from Promising Promises.  (Summer Is Over also now features Sara Bareilles)

The tracks now gone are: A Little Too Hard (which was one of my favorites), You Are What I’m Here For, I Brought This On Myself.  The new tracks are: You Never Know, The Atmosphere & Falling.

It is a bit hard to write a review and say “upon first listen..” because upon first listen I was already in love with the majority of the album.  All the songs are, in true Jon fashion, piano driven.  Jon wrote every song on the album with the exception of one – that he co-wrote.

Overall – Forever If Ever was a great album, Promising Promises is a great album as well and you should definitely check it out.

Product Review: Quaker Soft Baked Bars #quakersoftbaked

Looking for a great snack?  Recently I had the chance to try Quaker’s Banana Nut Bread Soft Baked Bars.  They are great to eat out of the box or you can pop them in the microwave for 10 seconds to get that fresh baked bread taste and feeling.  Each bar contains 5g of fiber – 3.5g of total fat per serving. It has 20% of your daily value of 5 B Vitamins and 6g of Protein per serving.  Each bar is 140 calories making a great way to start your day if you are on the go, or even as a snack between lunch and dinner. Since it is Banana Nut Bread – the bar does contain Almonds, Eggs, Soy, Pecan and Coconut ingredients as well as traces to other tree nuts.  If you have a nut allergy – you should pass on trying this.

I thought that the bars were great. With my braces, I was concerned that they might be too gooey and get stuck everywhere, but that was not the case at all! It actually had a great texture and I thought the ratio of nuts to bar was perfect as well (even though it looks like it has a lot of nuts on top, it actually worked great and it was not overpowered by the nuts at all!)  These are definitely snacks I will be stocking up on!

Quaker Oats is also offering a coupon – 75 cents off a box of soft baked bars if you want to try them out!


Also be sure to check out @quaker on twitter and be sure to use the hashtag #quakersoftbaked to let them know what you think!


(I received a free bar from Influenster’s Vox Box in order to try and post my opinions. I was not otherwise compensated and all opinions are mine.)

Book Review: The Aspen 2-Million Winner-Take-All

What a roller coaster this book was!  The Aspen 2-Million Winner-Take-All by John Morris is about a guy named Morgan who is living in Aspen, CO.  He recently sold the other side of his duplex to a pretty neighbor named Risa.  Things seemed to be going alright, they never really talked to each other much, until Risa’s dog Tyson goes missing.  Morgan finds out that while he was out of town, a pot fell off his balcony and landed on poor Tyson.  He ends up finding the dead, frozen dog and he and Risa get in a fight where “what are you gonna do? Sue me?” comes out of Morgan’s mouth.

Well, Risa decides to take him up on this and sues him for ONE. MILLION. DOLLARS. for killing her dog. Something that happened when he wasn’t even in  the state!  Fortunately (or unfortunately) for Morgan, his best friend Justin is a lawyer.  This should be easy, right? WRONG.

Morgan and Justin come up with 3 ways for Morgan to get out of this.  Find one of Risa’s deep dark secrets and blackmail her into dropping the lawsuit.  Get the $$ to pay her if he loses.  This seems impossible until a 2 million dollar winner takes all golf tournament in Aspen shows up on Morgan’s radar.  And finally… get Risa to fall in love with him and drop the lawsuit.

Meanwhile, Morgan’s ex-girlfriend Mandie seems to accomplish option #1 – but every time she tries to tell Morgan that she knows something, Morgan wants nothing to do with her.   Morgan starts on options 1 and 2, but every time it seems like Risa is falling for him – something happens and she ends up flipping out on him. (I am pretty sure she was PMSing for the several months this book took place during. She seriously went nutso a bit too often on poor Morgan!)

A bunch of liars and cheats show up to play in this 64 man golf tournament.  It is on the local course so Morgan thinks that he will do ok, but he’s up against a bunch of shady characters.  The shadiest being Robbie the Creep – Risa’s cousin!  The tournment is being done by Hap Daughtry, whos daughter Emmie is sick and in and out of hospitals.  Hap has Morgan added to his bank account to help with the finances – but the money that should be there is not.  Where is Hap hiding it? What else is Hap hiding? And why does Emmie keep saying she wants to go to see her momma – who has been dead for 5 years?

The book ends in a CRAZY cliffhanger and as much as I’d love to give it all away right now – I won’t – because you really need to read it for yourself to truly enjoy the ride that is The Aspen 2-Million Winner-Take-All.

As crazy as this book was, I loved reading it.  I also loved how the author used parenthesis for notes in the story.  I used to love to do this (well, I guess I still do), but got in trouble for doing it all the time in school.  Now I know, if I want to write books it is totally ok to do it again because there is no teacher to yell at me about it… The author also notes what celebrity each of the characters looked like.  Although I kind of ignored this and made up my own appearances for them. I don’t know why.  But for those of you who want some guidance in figuring out who to picture when reading the book – it will be made pretty easy for you!

I definitely recommend this book – it would be a fun summer read since it is set in Colorado and snow and skiing are mentioned a lot – might make you feel a bit cooler in the summer heat!

I received a free e-copy of this book in order to participate in this Blog Tour! I was not otherwise compensated and all opinions are my own.

About the Book

Morgan thought he had it made. He owned a cozy if dilapidated house in Aspen’s otherwise fashionable West End, had lost of friends, a great business and threw the best parties in town.

Then his beautiful-but-aloof neighbor Risa sued him for a million bucks– for killing her dog. (Seriously. And he hadn’t even been there.) She was asking the judge to throw him out of town, too. (It’s a local tradition.)

For Morgan, the money didn’t matter. He didn’t have a nickel to his name. But he couldn’t imagine not living in Aspen.

His only hope: to win a 2-million dollar golf tournament (held on the sly at the local links) and pay Risa off.

Either that or discover her deep, dark secret and blackmail her.

Until his best friend/lawyer suggested Option #3: “Why don’t you just get her to fall in love with you?”

About the Author

John Morris lives in Aspen, Colorado, with his loving wife and two wonderful children. Having worked many of the same cowboy / construction / bartender / ski-patrol jobs as his fictional counterpart Morgan, he can couch for how easy it is for a good-looking guy to get in trouble there.

Price $6.99
Pages: 281
Release: May 10, 2012

The Aspen
2-Million Winner-Take-All

can be purchased at:

Book Review: Finding Emma

Finding Emma is by Steena Holmes and tells the story of two families.  The Taylor’s, Megan and her husband Peter and their 3 daughters – Hannah, Alexis and Emma.  When Emma is a toddler she disappears and is believed by her family to have been kidnapped.  The tradgedy nearly rips the family apart as Megan tries to do everything she can to find Emma, even if that means pushing her husband away and not keeping promises and not paying attention to her two other daughters as she probably should be.  Each member of the family has their own insecurites which become bigger throughout the book.  Megan sees Emma everywhere, but is afraid to ever say anything about it because she has told her husband that she will move on.  With her marriage falling apart, she is paranoid that Peter is having an affair with the new partner at his job.  Peter doesn’t know what to do with Megan and believes that there is something going on between her and the Detective assigned to Emma’s case.  The oldest daughter, Hannah, believes it is her fault that Emma left the house because she went outside first.  And Alexis wishes that it was her who was taken instead of Emma because then she’d be the one getting all the attention at home. All this unfolds in the two years since Emma’s dissappearance.

The other family is Dottie and Jack.  They lost their daughter, Mary.  Jack only finds this out recently because he called the home he believed she was living at and was told this information.  Dottie’s health and memory are not what they used to be.  All Jack knows is that Emmie is Mary’s daughter and Dottie brought her home to live with them 2 years ago.  Dottie doesn’t like her leaving the house and asks that Jack not bring her to meet his friends and even doesn’t want Emmie playing with the neighborhood kids.  Once Emmie does start playing with the neighbors, she begins talking about her sisters, something she had never brought up in the two years previous.  Jack wonders if Emmie just has an over active imagination or if Dottie is not being completely honest about Emmie.  He starts piecing clues together from things Dottie says when she is in and out of the real world.  She mentions that she found Emmie on the street.

Meanwhile, both families end up going to a fair.  This is the fair that the Taylor’s were gearing up to go to for Emma’s birthday, the day she disappeared.  They ended up not going and had not returned since.  Peter thinks it might be a good idea to help them all move on if they go and have a good time.  Dottie and Jack also have not been to the fair in some time but decide that Emmie is now old enough to  experience it.  Megan takes a photo of her family and sees an older couple with a small child in the background.  After blowing up the photo she is convinced that it is Emma in the photo – based on the age progressed photos that she was given by the police detective.  Peter thinks she is losing it and wants her to go back to counseling, but sends the information over to the Detective anyway.

Is Emmie really Emma?  Well, you’ll just have to read Finding Emma to find out for sure!

I really enjoyed this book – it was a relatively quick read and 35 chapters.  I didn’t want to put it down because I really wanted to find out what would happen for the two families.  I became attached to all the characters rather quickly.  I really wanted Megan’s life to go back to normal and for her to find her daughter.  Her marriage was suffering and the best thing for her would be to have Peter there for her again.  The girls would also be in a better situation with their sister back so they don’t feel like they are walking on eggshells and upset that they were not the “favorite” daughters.  I felt for Jack and Dottie as well.  Dottie obbiously didn’t know what was going on with her life and often mistaked Emmie for Mary, their daughter that left because of her parenting.  Poor Jack was just stuck in the middle – his daughter had still loved him but had to leave and live the life she had chosen for herself.  He had some of that love back with Emmie – but then wasn’t sure if he was really her Papa or not.

It was a bit of a thriller and as I said I couldn’t put it down.  I definitely recommend this book to anyone looking for a quick read that might tug at your heart strings a bit and has a bit of a mystery to it as well.  50% of the proceeds from the book will be donated to the Missing Children’s Society of Canada.

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

There is a sequel to this book, Emma’s Secret, that will be coming out soon.  To keep up to date on the progress of the book and to sign up for the mailing list, head over to

About the Book

The story details a child torn from the arms of loving parents, a heart-breaking story of a mother’s journey of hope… Megan sees her daughter Emma everywhere. She’s the little girl standing in the supermarket, the child waiting for the swings at the playground, the girl with ice cream dripping down her face. But it’s never Emma — because Emma’s been missing for two years. Unable to handle the constant heartache of all the false sightings, Megan’s husband threatens to walk away unless Megan can agree to accept Emma is gone. Megan’s life and marriage is crumbling all around her and she realizes she may have to do the thing she dreads most: move on. When Megan takes a photo of a little girl with an elderly couple at the town fair, she believes it to be her missing daughter. Unable to let go, she sets in motion a sequence of events that could destroy both family’s lives.


Captcha Monster

Captcha Monster is a Firefox Add-On that completes captcha tests without you even asking it to. The add-on was originally created for those who suffer from dyslexia and/or sight problems, but now extends to those who are just plain fed up of having to prove they are not a site-hacking machine.

There are a couple of websites I go on regularly to enter contests and I don’t know what it is with their captcha code – but it always takes me 3 or more times to get it right.  I know how to read – I’ve been known to read 4 books in a day (and you can see how many books I read based on all the reviews I post on the blog) so these captchas are just extra ridiculous to figure out.  This is the site I had in mind to use Captcha Monster with!

After it is installed, just click on the captcha and the icon on the toolbar will change from “Ready” with a green check to “Solving Captcha” with an hour glass. It will then fill in the captcha and you can hit submit on the website without having to think about anything! It is super easy to use and will save me SO much time going crazy trying to figure out which letter is which when I am entering contests.  (It took longer than their average 8.5 seconds to use though, so I’m not sure I’d use it when trying to buy tickets on Ticketmaster – although it does work on their captchas too)

If for any reason the captcha monster does not work with a website, you can “suggest” it by clicking the toolbar so that the developers can make it work for that website too.

You can Try It For Free at their website ( for 30 days or sign up for a plan. They currently have 3 available – $2.99/month for 60 captchas/month, $4.99/month for 120 captchas/month or $9.99/month for 760 captchas/month.

Captcha Monster boasts 8.5s average solvin time, 98.94% success rate, works with virtually any CAPTCHA, complete automation and Dedicated support!

ConcertKatie readers can get 20 perfect off their order by using the coupon code: 20tomoson

A tutorial can be found at: received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Brew Over Ice

As I’ve mentioned before – I’ve been on a HUGE iced tea kick this summer.  And BzzAgent just helped fuel my addiction by sending me an awesome Keurig Brew Over Ice kit.

If you didn’t know – your Keurig machine can brew more than just hot cups of coffee and tea!  There are specially labeled “brew over ice” k-cups that when used with a plastic tumbler (don’t use glass – the hot and then cold will crack it!) will give you an awesome cup of iced tea or iced coffee!

You can either add the ice first (this is what I do) or add the ice to the tumbler after the coffee/tea has been dispensed in to the cup.  It may take a few tries to figure out the best ratio of ice to drink – or it may take you forever to figure it out because some days I have tons of ice left and other days I feel like it is still a bit too warm.

You can also add your cream and sugar or whatever you take with your coffee / tea just like you would with the hot versions.  I found that the lemonade black tea and the sweet tea that I was sent in the sampler pack were perfect just the way they were and did not need any modifications.  Once  those ran out I picked up a box of Raspberry Sweet Tea and found that I like that a bit better with just a bit of sugar added.

My parents tried out the coffees (I’m not a big coffee drinker – hot or cold) and my mom said she tried hers black the first time and didn’t like it.  Go figure – she never drinks her coffee black so why she’d try the iced black, I don’t know.  Once she did her normal cream she enjoyed things much better.

There is some talk about “doesn’t the ice make there be less flavor?” and I have to say – NO.  I don’t know if they make these stronger because they know they will be mixed with the ice – but I definitely do not think that anything is lacking in the cups that Ive made because there is ice in there.

The only problem now is that we only have 1 tumbler and are always fighting over it!  We definitely need to get some more before summer is over so we can all enjoy brewing over ice at the same time 🙂

You can find out more at:

Daughtry at Citi Field

The Mets have decided to have a “concert series” this season, with concerts happening after the ball games.  On Friday the concert was former Idol contestant Daughtry.  I’m not really a huge Daughtry fan, but the game was also the day after my birthday so for a while I was considering going.  Then I was lucky enough to win 4 tickets through the Mets Twitter Trivia Thursday contest!
We weren’t sure where the tickets were going to be as they were at Will Call – and they ended up being in section 507 – 5 rows from the top of the stadium!  But they were free, so we couldn’t really complain.  And I actually don’t mind being that high you can see almost everything (except for the right field foul line area).  It started to rain during the game,but we were the first row with an overhang so for the longest time we didn’t even know it was raining unless we looked in the lights and saw it.  Hooray for staying dry!

Unfortunately the Mets lost 7-6… although that 7th run was actually out at 2nd but the umpires were, well, umpires.  Lots of not so great calls.

The game went pretty late so Daughtry was playing well after midnight.  I’d never been to a show at a ballpark before, but it was on my bucket list so it was nice to cross that off!  It was kind of hard to hear, I am not sure if that was because we were so far up, or what. (We did move down a section for the show and probably could have moved down more but the wait for the elevator was taking too long!)

(not 100% sure on this setlist, but it should be pretty close to accurate)

Feels Like Tonight
Crawling Back To You
Outta My Head
Over You
No Surprise
Runnin Down A Dream
Rebel Yell
It’s Not Over

Product Review: YZ Hydravescene Crystals + Giveaway

YZ (pronounced “wise”) Hydravescent Crystals is a Connecticut based company that sells three great flavored crystals that you add to your 16oz bottle of water for added benefits.  Each of the flavors has a different benefit associated with it.

The flavors are Raspberry Green Tea, Orange Mango Pineapple and Lemon Ginger.

Raspberry Green Tea is an antioxidant –  a blend of natural ingredients that helps fight free radicals and reduce onidative stress, plus electrolytes to aid hydration.

Orange Mango Pineapple is for Immunity – A blend of natural ingredients designed to help support a healthy immune system, plus electrolytes to aid hydration.

Lemon Ginger is for Digestive Health – a blend of natural ingredients deisgned to promote digestive health with 3 grams of prebiotic fiber, plus electrolytes to aid hydration.

For those of you with allergies – all 3 contain soy but all 3 are gluten free.

Since I’ve been on a tea kick this summer, the first one I tried was the Raspberry Green Tea Antioxidant.

The crystals turn the water a pretty pink and make it really bubbly. It smelled great and the flavor was not overpowering at all.  The bubbles make it almost fizzy when you drink it, but a good amount of fizz, not like you are drinking soda.  I would definitely give this flavor 2 thumbs up and will definitely consider adding it in to my regular tea rotation this summer.

The second one I tried was the Lemon Ginger.  I am not the biggest lemonade fan so I wasn’t sure if I’d like this one, but I ended up liking it even more than the Raspberry!  It has a bit of a kick to it, but was really tasty.

The final one I tried was Orange Mango Pineapple – mainly because I was afraid of the flavor combination.  But the other two packets did not let me down and I was not going to skip out on trying this one.  For some reason, when I went to pour the crystals in, they didn’t sink to the bottom and all cluttered up at the top of the bottle. Then everything just went overflowing and I had a sticky mess on my hands!  The other weird thing was that in the end, the water was orange, but it started out looking like it might be purple or pink and the stain on my shirt from the “explosion” (which I hope will was out but I haven’t tried to get it out yet) also had multiple colors in it.  Interesting!  This flavor was a bit too tangy for my liking.  It was also weird (but in a good way) how I could taste each of the flavors.

One lucky Concert Katie winner will win a box of YZ in the flavor of their choice! Contest ends August 7.

To learn more or for a great deal on YZ visit

a Rafflecopter giveaway

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Music Monday: Kris Allen Thank You Camellia


Better With You
The Vision of Love
My Weakness
Out Alive
Teach Me How Love Goes
Leave You Alone
Loves Me Not (feat. Meiko)
You Got A Way
The Vision of Love (Remix)

Fan Edition Bonus Disc:
Shut That Door
The Vision of Love
Better with You
Out Alive
Leave You Alone

Thank You Camellia is the sophomore effort from American Idol Season 8 Winner Kris Allen, and was released on May 22, 2012 (a big day for CD releases from my favorites!)

After listening to the album several times, it is really hard to pick a stand out song that I would have as my favorite – they are all really great and I am very much so looking forward to a tour backing the album.

Also – my name is in the linear notes of the fan edition!  Does this mean I can cross off ‘have my name in a CD’s linear notes’ from my bucket list?  I only ask because it is only in there because I preordered the fan edition in time to have it included.  Can you cross things off your bucket list if you pay to make it happen?  I guess you can.

Random Note: Meiko who sings with Kris on Loves Me Not opened for Hanson in 2011.

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