July 2014

Throwback Thursday – Hanson 2000

Headliner: Hanson
Opener(s):  M2M
Cost: $30

Look At You
Crosstown Traffic
Wheres The Love
Runaway Run
Wish That I Was There
Save Me
Can’t Stop
Thinking Of You
Piece of My Heart
Sure About It
Love song
Can’t Always Get What You Want
You Never Know
Minute Without You
Man From Milwaukee
This Time Around
Hand in Hand
If Only
In the City

I Want You To Want Me



My 3rd Hanson concert and the first one out of state. I convinced my parents to take me because it was a Saturday and one of the only seated shows on this tour.  My mom, her friend and I all went to the show (but we had 3 single seats) and my dad, brother, and friend and their son went to see the Phillies. I remember the girls next to me asking me what the 2nd song was because it was a cover.  Since I was into setlists even back then (just wish I kept a file of all of them back then!) I of course was prepared for any cover they may throw out there.  I Want You To Want Me had to have been one of my favorite Hanson encores ever and I wish they’d add that song back into their catalog! (Zac sang lead and Taylor was on the drums)  After the show we exited near the bus and that was the first time I had seen my friend Marisa in person!


Where Are They Now:

I’m not telling you where Hanson is now. Read some other blog posts to find out.

M2M actually dated Isaac and Zac for a bit during/after this tour.  They have since disbanded and both have solo careers. Marion Raven wrote a song about Zac, but titled it “Jack” that is sung by Pixie Lott.  Marit did a tour in the US not too long ago but I think for the most part they are active in Norway.

Book Review: Coffee Dates from Hell

coffeedatesDisclosure: I got this product as part of an advertorial.

I was hoping that this book was going to be funny.  Unfortunately I didn’t find it all that funny – maybe the jokes went over my head.  A lot of them were political in nature, so that could be the case.  I’ve also never been on a coffee date so perhaps I just couldn’t relate.

There was one bit that I found laugh out loud funny though – when one of the guys said that he lived with his parents – in their basement – so it was pretty much like having his own place.  This line has been used on me – that he lived with his parents in the basement and he’d have no problem sneaking me down there. (And then I figured killing me…)

If political humor is your cup of tea, then you might like this book a bit more than I did – as it features some political characters – including Abe Lincoln.


About the Book
When two single people meet for the first time, they often arrange a “coffee date.” Coffee Dates From Hell is a humorous fictional account of several very bad coffee dates. Many of these dates are disasters from the beginning. Others are destined to be train wrecks if the two people ever see each other again. The coffee dates include several famous people such as Abraham Lincoln, Albert Einstein, and J. Edgar Hoover. You’ll also meet a range of colorful characters including a psychic, a cross dresser, and even a cannibal. The coffee dates include many funny twists and surprises. The humor is often silly, irreverent, and politically incorrect.

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

Product Review: AKVIS OilPaint Review

I’m not sure how much I have mentioned my “mascot” Zac on here – but it is coming up on 10 years since I’ve been taking him along for the ride around the world with me and taking his picture.  I recently got him his own Instagram (@zacs_world!) and have been trying to come up with some fun situations to put him into that may not be actual places or that may be on his bucket list. (Or mine, more likely)  Since I am going to Disney soon I decided I wanted to super impose him into as many Princess castles as I could.  This is just a start – I’m sure there’s many more Disney related places for him to visit (if you have an idea- leave a comment) but I knew that AKVIS OilPaint was the perfect program to make these images look really, really cool!

AKVIS OilPaint creates oil paintings from photographs!  There is a unique algorithm of the artistic application of brush strokes that authentically reproduces the technique of the real brush.  No two photos that I have posted have the same settings so it will give you an idea of just some of the many effects you can come up with when using the program.  You can choose Simplicity, Saturation, Relief, Max Stroke Length, Stroke Thickness, Stroke Intensity, Stroke Curvature, Extra Strokes and Mix.  There are also Text and Canvas options – but for this project I did not use these tabs.  The Text option has many fonts and you can place the text all around the page. Great if you want to add a “signature” to your painting!  The canvas allows you to choose which type of texture you would like for your cavas to make it look even more realistic.  There are many to choose from!


Even if you are not a professional painter you can create your own masterpiece! Just use AKVIS OilPaint to turn a regular photo into an oil painting. The mysterious production of a painting happens right before your eyes. The program creates a work of art that looks like a handmade oil painting.

AKVIS OilPaint is available as a standalone program and as a Photoshop plugin.


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

Love With Food Box – June



June’s Love with Food box’s theme was “Take Me Out To The Ballgame” and definitely hit it out of the park with me!  Pretty much all the items got me excited when I opened the box, but I had to hold back and not eat everything in one sitting.  I did that a few months back and it was NOT a good idea!

Pineapple, Raspberry and Mango Fruit Snacks by YumEarth Organics
Welcome the summer sunshine with these fun tropical snacks made with real fruit extracts and no gluten, dairy,nuts or soy

These Fruit Snacks certainly were yummy! I’d definitely buy these again for a snack.

Gum Balls by Tree Hugger Gum
Pro ball teams can chomp through over 10 cases of gum a season, but we’d recommend this all-natural, vegan,Non-GMO version for your next chew

Loved this gum ball. It was orange and tasted orange and it blew AWESOME bubbles.

Cheddar Baked Fries by Snikiddy
Skip the lines for garlic fries and try these all-natural, non-GMO, baked cheddar fries – with all the flavor but half the fat of traditional friend snacks.

Ate a couple of these and went “YUCK” and then of course no one else was willing to try them after that.

Snap Back Cookie by The Cookie Department
Whenever it’s time to get your game face on, the natural detoxifiers in these cookies will help you snap to attention

Cookie was super fresh right out of the packaging and almost as good as the ones my grandmother used to make! (almost)

Chicago Mix by G.H. Cretors
Shake up this bag before opening for a combination of sweet and salty that knocks it outta the park

These are my 2 favorite flavors of popcorn when I get those big giant tins so I loved that it was just the two of them mixed together in this bag!

Montmorency Cherries by Stoneridge Orchards
These dried cherries have the perfect tart bite, and have been grown in the USA by the same family of farmers for generations

Mom tried these and liked them

Good For You Granola, Almond Butter & Jelly Sandwich by Jolly Oak
You’ll be ready to swing for the fences after starting your day with this all-natural, non-GMO superfood granola

Mom tried these and was not impressed.

Chocolate Cookies by Dulcetto
Whether it’s game day or just Tuesday, you don’t need a special occasion to indulge in this 100-calorie pack of crispy creamy cookies

These were probably the best chocolate cookies I’ve ever had. And at only 100 calories per pack? Amazing.

Music Monday: Matt Wertz Snow Globe

And our final installment is from Matt Wertz with “Snow Globe”!


Walking In A Winter Wonderland
Snow Globe
White Christmas
Tennessee Christmas
Christmas Just Ain’t Christmas
Christmastime Is Here
Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas
O Holy Night
Sleigh Ride
Christmas In The City
Wake Up, Wake Up
Christmas Just Does This To Me

Snow Globe is the recent Christmas CD from Matt Wertz.  In addition to the classics, it also contains the original song Snow Globe – for which the album was named – that was written by Wertz on January 3, 2011 at 4:32pm and is a super catchy tune that I have a feeling might be stuck in my head until Christmas… It also includes Christmas Just Ain’t Christmas (Without You) that was written November 30, 2010 at 2:33pm! (I love that Matt includes this information in his linear notes – or that he even keeps track of that kind of stuff in the first place.)  The other originals are Christmas in the City – written December 15, 2010 at 12:55pm and Wake Up, Wake Up, written January 27, 2011 at 5:15pm.

It also includes Tennessee Christmas – which is not a new song by Matt, but rather a cover of an Amy Grant song that I was not familiar with.  New to me, but maybe not new to you.

While his take on the classics is a more classic and typical approach, I found that the original songs give the CD that uniqueness that I was looking for.  I just got this CD in May, or I’d be kicking myself for not putting it in heavy rotation over the past couple of Christmas seasons. (I think it’s been out  a couple of years?) But I can certainly see some of these tracks getting added to heavy rotation in December! (I think it’s clear that I have going to have to make a Concert Katie Greatest Christmas Hits for this year because there are just too many Christmas CDs in my collection to listen to them all – unless of course I start now!)

Book Review: Dear Luke, We Need to talk, Darth + Giveaway

dearlikeDear Luke, We need to talk, Darth and other Pop Culture Correspondences is a book by John Moe.  The book will appeal to a wide variety of audiences as it takes pop culture references from several decades – including but not limited to Star Wars, Friends, The Twilight Zone, Popeye, Gilligan’s Island and The Walking Dead.  I have to admit there were several correspondences I just didn’t “get”, when they were about movies/shows that I wasn’t familiar with.  However, the references that I did “get”, more than made up for the rest. (If you’re a true Pop Culture junkie and get all the references, I think you will thoroughly enjoy this book.)

I especially enjoyed the letter from present-day Kevin McAllister to his parents about all the issues he has now from being left Home Alone.  There are several sections on popular songs which were pretty fantastic as well.  And I have to say I also enjoyed the “Welp” restaurant reviews as well.

I have an extra copy of this book to give away to one lucky reader! Simply leave a comment with your favorite song, TV show or movie (or all 3, if you’d like – but it won’t get you extra entries!) to be entered! Winner will be chosen on August 9th.  Winner will have 48 hours to respond to the winning email to claim their prize. USA entrants only, please.

I received a free copy of this book from Blogging For Books in order to write this review. I was not otherwise compensated. All opinions are my own.

About the Book

Dear Luke, We Need to Talk, Darth is proof that a funny book on pop culture doesn’t have to be snide and nasty. I loved everything about it.” —Jim Gaffigan
We all know how Darth Vader shared his big secret with Luke Skywalker, but what if he had delivered the news in a handwritten note instead? And what if someone found that letter, as well as all of the drafts that landed in the Dark Lord’s trash can? In the riotously funny collection Dear Luke, We Need to Talk. Darth, John Moe finally reveals these lost notes alongside all the imagined letters, e-mails, text messages, and other correspondences your favorite pop culture icons never meant for you to see.
From The Walking Dead to The Wizard of Oz, from Billy Joel to Breaking Bad, no reference escapes Moe’s imaginative wit and keen sense of nostalgia. Read Captain James T. Kirk’s lost log entries and Yelp reviews of The Bates Motel and Cheers. Peruse top secret British intelligence files revealing the fates of Agents 001–006, or Don Draper’s cocktail recipe cards. Learn all of Jay-Z’s 99 problems, as well as the complete rules of Fight Club, and then discover an all-points bulletin concerning Bon Jovi, wanted dead or alive—and much more.
Like a like a bonus track to a favorite CD or a deleted scene from a cult movie, Dear Luke, We Need to Talk Darth offer a fresh twist on the pop culture classics we thought we knew by heart. You already know part of their story. Now find out the rest.

Book Review: Benson

bensonBenson is an autobiography from George Benson. With a foreward by Bill Cosby, you know you’re in for something good.  George has had a career for over 50 years and has received 10 grammys.  Finally, he decided to tell his story, in his own words.  You probably best know him for “On Broadway”, I know that is what I most knew him for – even though it has been recorded by many others as well.

I really liked the writing style – with words italicized for emphasis, it almost felt like I was sitting with George and having him tell me these stories instead of just reading them from paper.

Throughout the book there are interludes, which are little side stories that add some more character to the book. These are a bit shorter than the other chapters in the book as well.

I always prefer to read an autobiography to a biography because it makes the book a bit more personal.  There were certainly some ups and downs in his life and career, but I think that he has led a fantastic career!

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

About the Book

Over the course of his fifty-year career, George Benson has performed for hundreds of millions of fans around the world, received ten Grammy Awards, and recorded with some of the most revered musicians of his era. In 2011, he earned a National Endowment of the Arts Jazz Masters Award. And he has finally decided to tell his story.

Benson: The Autobiography follows the musician’s remarkable rise from the ghettos of Pittsburgh to the stages of Dubai, and everywhere in between. His tales of scuffling on the road with jazz legend Brother Jack McDuff, navigating his way through the recording studio with Miles Davis, and emerging as the first true (and truly successful) jazz/soul crossover artist will enthrall devotees of both music history and pop culture.

An open and truthful raconteur, Benson discusses his near-arrest for domestic abuse, the tragic illnesses that afflicted his family, the secret lives of his musical cohorts, and racism’s effect on his life and art. His long-awaited book allows readers to meet one of the most beloved, prolific, and bestselling musicians of any era.

Book Review: Burned

burnedThe Cosmo Red Hot Reads have been a bit of hit or miss lately – but I have to say that I considered this one to be a hit! It was a nice quick read, which was just what I was looking for! And it took place in London, although there weren’t too many mentions of that so I wasn’t really picturing London unless something specific was mentioned.

The book is about Rosie.  The story starts with her boyfriend telling her that she needs hobbies like baking! Which is not what Rosie is into at all.  She is a personal-trainer and a black belt. Baking just isn’t her thing. So she walks out on Brian.  Also in the restaurant is her ex – Hunter Black.  She leaves and hopes that she won’t bump into him (although she’s probably kind of hoping she will.)  She ends up confronted in an alley by 4 men.  She starts to fight them off, when Hunter swoops in to help save the day.  He tells them the fight isn’t fair.  You know 2 vs 4.  Except, he and Rosie could totally kick all 4 of their asses no problem and THAT is why it’s not fair.

Hunter brings Rosie home.  She doesn’t want to get back with him – but this is a Cosmo Red Hot Read so guess what ends up happening?  He ends up becoming her new boss! (Oh and whatever else you guessed probably happened too.)  Rosie tells him that she doesn’t want to get involved with him because it will be awkward at work – but will it stay that way?

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

About the Book
Join London’s hottest martial arts gym now!

Every girl needs some self-defense. But at Fit and Physical, you’ll learn martial arts and get fit at the same time. Look great, feel better and kick a little butt! Check out one-on-one personal training with our favourite karate black belt, Rosie Miller. She loves her job, the world of martial arts, and her life is just…well, brilliant.

Trainer and martial artist Rosie Miller’s zen is seriously compromised when Hunter Black—her former coach and lover—becomes her new boss. With all the sexual energy still crackling between them, her poor little zen doesn’t stand a chance. So this time, Rosie is determined to do more than put up self-defense. She and Hunter are going to play by her rules….

Book Review: The Beast Within

beastI wasn’t sure exactly what to expect with this book.  I probably shouldn’t have looked up reviews before I read it either, because that seemed to confuse me all the more.  Is this a prequel to Beauty and the Beast? Or a companion piece? Or perhaps a piece based off the same characters but not linked to the movie at all…

I think to a certain extent this is the prequel to the movie because it tells you about Beast and what happened in his earlier years that led to him becoming cursed and turning from a Prince to a Beast.  However, the timelines don’t seem to match up so that where this book ends, the movie picks up, so you may want to keep an open mind when reading this.

The Prince is best friends with Gaston – but after telling a girl he didn’t want to see her anymore because she wasn’t royalty – she and her sister – who as it turns out are all witches – put the curse on him that will turn him into the Beast unless he finds true love.

I have not seen the movie in a while (though I am tempted to go and watch it now) so if there were any inconsistencies with plots or characters they were not enough that it stuck out to me.  I did see the others did notice such inconsistencies and had the book ruined a bit by it.

My best advice is that if you like the movie and want to read some of Beast’s story – then by all means read this book as it is a quick and easy read and I found it to be enjoyable.  Just go into it with an open mind and that it may be in a different time than the movie by Disney and you should be ok 🙂

I also enjoyed that the Prince said that Gaston was the Prince of Buttchinland.  Maybe it was because I was reading it before going to sleep and probably should have been already asleep by that time but I found it to be quite funny!

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

About the Book

A cursed prince sits alone in a secluded castle. Few have seen him, but those who claim they have say his hair is wild and nails are sharp–like a beast’s! But how did this prince, once jovial and beloved by the people, come to be a reclusive and bitter monster? And is it possible that he can ever find true love and break the curse that has been placed upon him?

Social Media Auto Publish Powered By : XYZScripts.com