The Package Tour – Night 2

Night 2 of The Package Tour!  For this show I splurged and got a package through VIP Nation for 5* 1st row.  Which meant I got a seat in the first row as well as a M&G opportunity with NKOTB (in groups off 10).  I had only met Joey before, not the whole group so I was pretty much freaking out over it from the moment that I bought the package.  Fortunately my friend from college Sarah had also bought a front row package and she is a M&G pro with NKOTB so I knew that I would have a great mentor!  I ended up finding a group for the M&G pic (2 girls to a guy, so you can get with your “favorite” you make a group a head of time)  I figured I had NO chance of being with Joe, but since I had a pic with him already from a few years ago I’d go for my 2nd favorite, Jon.  We had been talking and getting each other excited on Facebook and met up before check in.  We checked in together to make sure we’d all be in the same group and got group B.   Sarah was nowhere to be found so she was getting quite a few panicked texts from me!

We were taken upstairs to the club and given 2 drink tickets (if we were 21+) and would wait there to meet the guys.  Sarah ended up showing up and was in group I.  The final girl from our group showed up and was given I instead of B, so I told her I would trade with her because I didn’t mind switching to be with my other friends.  Then I kind of panicked – no group had been arranged for group I!  Sarah said it didn’t matter and we’d just do what we had to do and try to get me to Joe.  The group was really cool and when they found out I hadn’t met the group before and I wanted to be by Joe no one had any objections!  It was really quick and I really just said “hi nice to meet you” to all of them, but I got hugs from all 5 and Joe talked a bit more since we were near him longest.  Since it was my first M&G he said they’d try to make it a good one. ha.  It was Danny, Joe, Jordan, Donnie and finally Jon – who I was warned gives the best hugs and I would have to agree!

Also in our VIP package was a tote bag that contained our gift of tube socks (I’m pretty excited I can wear these with my brace!) and a speaker.  I haven’t taken anything out of the bag yet though to check it out.  Too busy!

Our seats were pretty awesome in the front row – except when everyone started their set out on the secondary stage – you had to stand up or else the main stage completely blocked your view of everything.  And sometimes, even if you were standing there were bright lights in your eye and you had no idea where anyone was.  Not that happened to me or anything.  ok, it totally did.  I was the perfect height for the light to hit me in the eye every now and then.

The show was changed up a little bit from the first night.  Boyz II Men’s set was basically the same – and 3 of the 4 of us in our little group (Yes, I ended up with seats RIGHT NEXT TO Sarah’s even though we bought them separately and her friends were on either side of us!) got roses.  I was the only one that didn’t because I can’t catch haha.

98 Degrees had new outfits for their show – although Jeff ended up with his shirt practically unbuttoned and his tie was going through the buttons on the shirt by the end of the night. I don’t know what he was doing! (But I was totally ok with it!)  I thought they had the girls on stage for 2 songs and not 1 the first night, but now i’m not totally sure.  They also had a CD signing after the show – it was supposed to be limited so I grabbed a CD and wristband right away when I got there, but the line was INSANE so I didn’t end up hanging around for it.  When Justin was talking about it, Nick ended up explaining to us what a CD was.  Thanks Nick, I had no idea.

And then it was time for NKOTB!  I’m trying to remember what they switched up.  For Step By Step the first night mics came down from the ceiling and they all ran from one to the next to sing, Danny’s didn’t come down and then Donnie forgot to run at one point – they didn’t end up doing that Night 2.  They still did Step By Step, but with a different set up.  I wonder if they’ll be scrapping that idea completely now.  The acoustic medley was also a bit different – Joe did a Bruno Mars song and Stay The Same which I don’t think he did the 2nd night. (This is from memory I took no notes from the front row so sorry if I’m not totally accurate!)  Donnie had a different shirt for Cover Girl so that he could rip it off and throw it into the crowd.  For the finale they added Crash to the end of the set instead of just ending it on Hangin’ Tough.

Donnie also grabbed the camera from our friend the camera man (he put us on the big screens quite a few times!) and was zooming in on people dancing in the crowd. That he didn’t do the first night either.  Overall, I thought the 2nd night was more fun, but it may have been because I was that much closer and it wasn’t all completely new and overwhelming.  We’ll see how tonight goes…

After the show, as I mentioned, I opted to not stay for the 98 degrees meet and greet. It apparently went on til close to 2am! By that point I was already home and ready for bed! I did listen to their new CD 2.0 on the way home though, to make up for not waiting around.

Book Review: Cozy Classics: Les Miserables

I absolutely love these Cozy Classics. Especially when they are books that I haven’t read yet.  The book is only 13 pages long and is made up of felt characters that are relevant to the classic story that is being re-told.  Les Mis I have seen on Broadway, but it ranks as my least favorite show I’ve seen ever.  This book was a lot quicker and more fun for me than the broadway show.

The book contains 12 key words from the story as well as a felt figure to go along with it.  As a crafter, I love seeing these because they are SO well done.  I wish I was this talented!  The actual books are board books so they are great for getting your little reader introduced to some classics at an early age.

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

About the Book

Give a kid a classic! Cozy Classics is the popular board book series that presents well-loved stories to children aged 0+ through twelve child-friendly words and twelve needle-felted illustrations. Les Misérables is Victor Hugo’s sweeping French saga about one man’s search for redemption in a world of hardship and misery, and is one of the world’s most beloved classics. Now you can share this classic with children of any age.

The Package Tour Night 1

At first I was not going to be going to the first night of the package tour – because it was added last.  I bought tickets for what was supposed to be the first night, they added another night before that, so I bought tickets to that and then they added another. Fed up (and having spent FAR too much on VIP packages for the other 2 nights) I decided not to do it.  Then I won tickets from Mohegan Sun with a twitter contest.  They were very close to the last row in the arena, if not the last row.  Fortunately my friends won seats IN THE BARRICADE and gave me an extra ticket in the 3rd row and it was amazing.  Tonight I have 5* front row VIP with a NKOTB M&G and then Friday night I have regular seats (which are going to be so bad compared to the first 2 nights lol) and a VIP Package with 98 degrees.

The stage set up is interesting.  There is what typically would be the “main stage” but for this tour it is the secondary stage. (“Stage” in the above photo)  So all the seats that would be facing the front are actually facing the back where the main, let’s call it “flower stage” is.  I would assume the numbers actually went backwards as well (so 1st would be closer to the flower stage) but I am not totally sure.  Where it looks like 4 and 5 in the photo above would be sideways, it wasn’t.  2, 3, 6, 7 equivalents last night were 3 rows. (I was in the equivalent of 6/7)

There are 5 “petals” that come off the flower stage. In between those petals are the inside the barricade seats.  These ran for $1k through VIP Nation but I know NKOTB gave away a few on twitter yesterday and I think they upgraded some other VIP ticket buyers as well.  The sections were N, K, O, T and B.  If you are standing on the secondary stage looking at the main stage, N was to the left and went around so B would be on your right.

All the info we got for VIP stated that 98 Degrees would be on at 7:30, Boyz II Men at 8:30 and NKOTB at 9:30.  The show started late, I think around 7:45 and when I looked at the secondary stage – there was Boyz II Men.  In the early info for the tour everyone was saying BIIM would be first, and I think I preferred this line up, but it was a bit of a surprise.  After their set I sat down for about 3 seconds before 98 Degrees took the stage! I was hoping to have time to post the setlist but I barely had time to correct the typos from autocorrect!

Boyz II Men’s set seemed really short – but they basically did all of their hits and ended it with Motownphilly, which I thought was perfect since most of their other stuff is ballads.  They also gave out roses to girls in the crowd. I didn’t catch one.  Maybe tonight?  98 Degrees set seemed really long. It was about half stuff from 2.0 and I felt like a lot of it fell flat.  They were trying to get people to sing along – but no one knew what to sing.  It will be interesting to see if they mix up their set a little bit tonight or not.  I think they have a couple other “hits” they can throw in there.  I don’t even have the new album yet so I was lost for most of the new stuff. (I am hopefully buying it tonight because they are doing a CD signing. Assuming I can get up there early enough to get a wristband for the signing)

Photos at some point in the near future from all the shows… it’s a busy week.

The Package Tour Setlist

Just got back from night 1 of The Package Tour! It was so much fun and I will (hopefully) post more about it tomorrow. But until then – here is the setlist – I think.

And here is some more babble just to make sure that it doesn’t come up in the twitter text just in case….

Tomorrow I do it all again so if anything changes up (I felt like a few songs didnt go over so well in 98’s set) I’ll try to take note!

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Book Review: Cozy Classics: War and Peace

I absolutely love these Cozy Classics. Especially when they are books that I haven’t read yet.  The book is only 13 pages long and is made up of felt characters that are relevant to the classic story that is being re-told.

War and Peace is not a book I’ve read and it’s not one I would probably think about reading (it’s really long, isn’t it?) but now I’ve got the jist of it in 12 words and 12 pages.  Love these cozy classics! They are so creative and clever.

I received a free e-copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley I was not otherwise compensated.

About the Book

Give a kid a classic! Cozy Classics is the popular board book series that presents well-loved stories to children aged 0+ through twelve child-friendly words and twelve needle-felted illustrations. War and Peace is Leo Tolstoy’s epic masterpiece about love and friendship in aristocratic Russia during the country’s struggle against Napoleon, and is often considered the greatest novel of all time. Now you can share this classic with children of any age.

Book Review: How to Talk Minnesotan

I’m not sure why I picked out this book to read – I’ve never been to Minnesota nor do I have any plans of visiting Minnesota, but I was aware that they had their own type of accent or dialect or whatever you want to call it, so I guess that is what ultimately ended up interesting me.  But then I just couldn’t get into the book.  I got about halfway through skimming most of it.  While interesting, it just seemed to be a lot of information I didn’t find myself needing.  (Watch, now I’ll end up needing to go to Minnesota and be totally embarrassed by not understanding the local lingo)

If you are from Minnesota, frequent Minnesota or may be planning to go to Minnesota, then I think that this book may be interesting to you.  Or it should at least give you a few laughs. (You bet.)  It just seemed to go over my head.

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

About the Book

For the past few decades, Howard Mohr’s HOW TO TALK MINNESOTAN (Penguin; On Sale: May 28, 2013; ISBN: 978-0-143-12269-2; $15.00; 288 pages) has helped visitors to Minnesota avoid embarrassing “uffda situations” (as you might say if you speak the local dialect) by sharing the social nuances, linguistic oddities, eating habits, and customs unique to the Land of 10,000 Lakes. Now, in time for its 26th anniversary, Mohr has revised and updated the long-time favorite to allow for the many technological and cultural changes that have occurred since its original publication.
Addressing the savvy, twenty-first century traveler, Mohr advises Minnesota visitors on such modern practices as tweeting, Facebook, cell phones, and the myriad of developments in Minnesota behavior and culture since the book’s first publication in 1987. Mohr’s hilarious guide is brimming with useful advice, including deciphering Minnesota body language; where to find love in Minnesota (at the Laundromat, garden center, and the parking lot of the local mall); and, of course, “how to talk Minnesotan” by using local phrases like, “you bet,” “heckuva deal,” and “yeahbut.” There’s also a great chapter on eating in Minnesota, enabling you to understand a system that consists of 6 actual meals throughout the day (three large meals plus three “little” lunches); and the vast array of hotdishes available, including such winners as the “ketchup surprise hotdish” and the “garbanzo bango hotdish.” He also teaches you the art of saying “no” to food in Minnesota, which can be tricky since it is frequently used to get more food without appearing greedy, so the uninitiated may be served with more rhubarb-strawberry pie than they could ever eat if not careful.


Known for his dry humor and distinctive voice, Howard Mohr won over millions of fans on Garrison Keillor’s hugely popular radio show “A Prairie Home Companion.” Between 1974 and 1987, over 200 of Mohr’s scripts, “commercials,” and spots aired on the program, including “Raw Bits,” “One Minute Romance,” and “Pentagon Overstocks.”


In addition to being a writer and performer on “A Prairie Home Companion,” Howard Mohr has also created two long-running musicals based on HOW TO TALK MINNESOTAN. Twin Cities Public Television filmed a popular award-winning version of Mohr’s book in 1991. He lives on five acres of southwestern Minnesota prairie in the town of Cottonwood.

Book Review: No Kidding

No Kidding is a group of essays from women who don’t want children.  There are some names you might recognize – like Margaret Cho – and all share their experiences and why they ultimately decided that having kids was not for them.  This is a topic that has been coming up amongst my friends a lot recently, so I figured I would check it out.  All of the women have different reasons as to why they don’t want to be a parent.  Some had several miscarriages and decided that being a mom was not for them, others have a significant other with children and that keeps them content and others have known since a very young age that having kids and being a mom was just not something that they were in to.

For anyone who judges friends because they don’t want kids, you should check out this book and maybe seeing things from a few other perspectives will help you to understand where your friend is coming from.  For anyone who doesn’t want kids – check out this book and you will find out quickly that you are not alone – and in fact, you’re in some pretty good company.

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

About the Book

In  No Kidding, comedy writer Henriette Mantel tackles the topic of actually not having kids. This fascinating collection features a star-studded group of contributors—including Margaret Cho, Wendy Liebman, Laurie Graff, and other accomplished, funny women—writing about why they opted out of motherhood. Whether their reasons have to do with courage, apathy, monetary considerations, health issues, or something else entirely, the essays featured in the pages of No Kidding honestly (and humorously) delve into the minds of women who have chosen what they would call a more sane path.

Hilarious, compelling, and inspiring, No Kidding reveals a perspective that has too long been hidden, shamed, and silenced—and celebrates an entire population of women who have decided that kids are just not right for them.

Book Review: Bucket List Bars

Bucket List Bars is a great compilation that features a bunch of bars that the authors think you should add to your bucket list.   They aren’t chains, they are exclusive to the cities they are in and that is it. They vary from saloons, pubs, speak easys, etc and the beginning of the book explains the difference between each of these terms.  The books covers everywhere from the east coast to San Francisco.  In addition to just telling you about the bar and what you should order to drink, the book features history on the bar, what kind of food they have to offer and my personal favorite – other things to check out nearby.  New York City for example has bars near the Brooklyn Bridge, Empire State Building and Statue of Liberty so you can mix drinking and being a tourist. (Or finish of your night of site seeing with a nice drink)

Also important – each area also has the numbers for cabs listed so that if you have had too much, you can get back home or to your hotel safely!  There are also a lot of QR codes if you are tech savvy that link to websites, youtube videos, etc.  The end of each location also has some “other” notable bars – they didn’t quite make the cut for a larger feature in the book but are still worth noting.

Even if you are not a drinker – some of these locations are very interesting and have a lot of history and would be worth checking out.  Also – most have great food (from what I’ve read, I haven’t actually been to any of the locations in this book – yet!) so that is probably worth it if you find yourself nearby!  (Each location starts with a check list that includes if it has food, what drink you should probably order, if there is live music, when it is open,  the type of bar it is, why you should go, etc so you can easily skim each of the bars if you are looking to plan a trip to one of the cities and are trying to find something for everyone in your group.)

The thought of having a bucket list for just bars is really interesting. I can’t say before reading this book that I had any bars on my bucket list (though fast food locations are plentiful) but after reading this book there are a couple that I will be hoping to check out some day!

I received a free copy of this book in order to write this review. By posting this review on my site and other review sites I will receive a stipend.  All thoughts and opinions are mine.

About the Book

Forty Bars, Twelve Cities, One Book

Find your way to the most historic saloons, pubs, and dives of America. These are the watering holes that shaped our nation and created our country. Find the favorite spots of our Founding Fathers, the places where the most well-known celebrities could relax, and the joints that most wouldn t walk into without a bodyguard.

For each bar, you will get a complete history taken directly from the owners and bartenders. You’ll find out what to expect when you go today. You’ll get advice on what drinks and food to order. And we’ll even share insider’s tips so you won’t stand out like a tourist.

You’ll also get instant access to brief online documentaries made for each bar so you’ll know before going exactly what to expect, what to order, and who to talk to.

Bucket List Bars is the definitive guide to the historic saloons, pubs, and dives of America. Also Included:
– QR Code-Linked Documentary Video of Each Bar–A First of its Kind for Guidebooks
– QR Code-Linked Videos of Their Signature Drinks So You Know What to Order
– Nearby Distractions in the Area To Make Each Visit Complete
– Other Notable Bars Nearby To Visit If You Have the Time

Boston Area
El Paso area
Las Vegas
Los Angeles
New York City
San Antonio
San Francisco
Tucson Area

Product Review: Scott’s Liquid Gold

Scott’s Liquid Gold Wood Cleaner and Preservative was founded by a widow with three sons in 1951. The family batched and bottled the amber colored liquid by hand in their garage in Denver, CO. Still proudly made in the USA, Scott’s Liquid Gold Wood Cleaner and Preservative is one of America’s most well-known and trusted brands.

Scott’s Liquid Gold is a rich blend of natural organic oils. It deep cleans, moisturizes and protects natural wood. Unlike waxes and polishes, Scott’s Liquid Gold penetrates the surface of wood to draw out deep, set in dirt and grime. It restores the natural beauty of wood grain and enhances the color and shine.

Since we are moving, we are trying to clean things up a bit and when I mentioned I’d be trying out the wood cleaner my mom said that I should try it on the widow sills because they needed HELP.

This is part of the sill in our bathroom – where I started my testing and the one that had the most noticeable damage and wood just looking blah and in need of a bit of a facelift.

And here is the window sill after one quick wipe with a cloth that had some Liquid Gold on it!  Needless to say it looks MUCH better than it did.  Still probably in need of some help, but we’re moving so we’ll leave that up to the new home owners to figure out 😉

And that was just one of my attempts with the wood in the home.  Even on the surfaces that weren’t as in need of help, it left them looking nice and new and shiny.  And it smells GREAT.  When I read that it had an almond scent I figured it would just be covering up some other nasty chemical-y smell. What cleaner smells good?  Oh, it is this one.  Scott’s Liquid Gold smells good!  Almost too good.

-Liquid Gold can be used on natural wood furniture, kitchen cabinets, paneling, doors and decorative trim, almost anything made of wood!

-Liquid Gold covers nicks, scratches and water damage on wood surfaces.

-Liquid Gold does not contain water like most dusting sprays

-Liquid Gold has a unique, warm almond scent

-Liquid Gold will clean and polish most metal surfaces

-Liquid Gold can be used to clean up garage sale treasures

-Liquid Gold will restore and protect heirlooms and antiques

-Liquid Gold can make old wood look new!

-Liquid Gold can lubricate hinges, bicycle chains and more!

Available in 10 oz aerosol MSRP $5.99 and 14 oz pourable for MSRP $6.99

Available nationwide at most grocery and discount stores including Wal-Mart and Lowe’s. For more information, please visit  or give them a call at 1-800-44WOODS (96637)

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.

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