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Monday, March 28, 2016

Batman vs Superman: Dawn of Justice movie review

This past weekend I was able to go see the Batman vs Superman movie. I was a little apprehensive about it, but it wasn’t a total loss. ***Spoiler alert***


Batman is getting older. Superman is still that child-like looking guy. But the world isn’t thrilled with either of them. Someone is setting them up to be the enemies of the world while also pitting them against each other. If your heroes are battling each other, who is battling the real bad guys? So let’s break down the inner workings of the movie, shall we?
Batman is taking things to the next level with criminal branding. If he catches and interrogates you, he will brand you with the bat sign. So here’s a question… why is the bat signal sign getting fatter? It is no longer that sleek symbol in the sky.  He is also getting obsessed with destroying Superman. He is starting to see him as a threat to humanity instead of seeking to work with him.

Superman is making it way too obvious that Lois Lane is the love of his life. Anything happens to her, he’s there in an instant. Way to go dude. Gotta save that loser who has knack for getting into trouble every single time, don’t you? Now your enemies know how to get at you. This is just made no sense to a critical thinking, analytical mind.
What else? Oh yeah, how about all those “dreams” that Batman has. Talk about confusing. I get having flashbacks. They build on his character and explain his inner battles with his past demons. But all throughout this movie… I was confused as to what was really happening and what was just in his delusional dreams. And who the heck was the guy warning him in one of those dreams about Lois Lane being Superman’s love interest?! And who does Superman think he is condemning Batman when his own actions get people hurt? He is so focused on Lois that he doesn’t always see the bigger issues.


Lex Luthor is the mastermind criminal in this movie. He is determined to pit the great bat against the man of steel. He wants to destroy one or both by having them fight to the death. I’m not sure what his fascination was with battling “God”. Clearly his daddy issues are overwhelming. And I must admit, the actor playing the part (Jesse Eisenburg) did a fantastic job at pulling off the crazy personality. His team of underhanded scoundrels find enough kryptonium to destroy the indestructible Superman. He baits Batman to stoke the burning embers against Superman and then provides him with the tools needed for his victory. But of course, someone steps in and reminds the great Batman that they need to work together. Why? They both had mothers named Martha. Yep, that’s the simple explanation of why Batman didn’t fully kill Superman when he had the chance.
I did like the Wonder Woman they introduced. She’s a butt-kicking, mystery-enshrouded woman who has lived over a hundred years. Bruce Wayne meets her and decides to recruit her help in finding Aquaman, Flash, and Cyborg. I look forward to seeing those characters coming around in the next movie. But if they make it so that Aquaman can’t breathe under water (which is how it looked in the introduction clip in the movie), then he’s a waste of time. He’s part fish for crying out loud! What fish man doesn’t breathe under water?! This one was clearly holding his breath while attacking the exploration team videotaping him.
Overall, the movie had great graphics. It was a thrilling sight to watch. But if you are analytical, you will find inconsistencies that make no sense. Things happen for no reason than to show a character as wasting time and effort. There are also moments where you wonder, what were they thinking when they made that scene… Like why is Lois throwing the kryptonium spear into a pool of clear water in the abandoned warehouse? Why is there is a clear pool in this warehouse? With stairs leading down into it?? Why is there lighting in that pool? It should be pitch black as it is ABANDONED! They don’t have power in that one location only… Why, people?!
Let me know if you have seen it in the comments section below. And tell me your thoughts.
Did any of you visit the Alamo Drafthouse?
With my ticket, I got the special pint glasses that had the comic artwork.

Friday, March 25, 2016

Show your appreciation


When do you appreciate your Boss?

How many times have you had a supervisor or a manager that you appreciated whole-heartedly? Did you have one that you could trust to go to bat for you? Someone that you would work harder for, if for no other reason than because you had a deeper respect for them than anyone else?
Now did you show your appreciation? When it was their birthday or Christmas, did you get them a gift?
Give yourself a moment to consider this. A great leader is one who leads by example. It is one that you have high respect for, and that you will strive harder for. But how often do you let them know that you believe they are that better person? They deserve to know. Especially as they are few and far between. Managers and other leaders are mostly chosen by degrees, it seems, these days. So few of them have the knowledge or understanding – they lack the connection ability necessary to guide their employees with confidence. They won’t have people willing to go the extra mile on the job unless there is some kind of monetary bonus or kickback they want. This is sad. Leaders should be approachable by everyone. They should have a defined respect from everyone around them, that can be seen by those coming in from the outside.
I’m happy to say I work for one such guy. My manager, Mark or Mr. V. is a guy that connects with his employees. He has managers under him to supervise the departments, but that doesn’t stop him from offering his help or talking to those other employees one-on-one. He wants to see everyone succeed. He knows how to run a tight ship, but his sense of humor keeps the mood light. He is a bit of a prankster, and he can handle getting it dished back. So when his birthday came around this week, you better believe that we treated him with as much as we could muster.
My supervisor took the time and effort to decorate his office,
take a group picture that she had a poster made of,
and coordinate with everyone in the office to help in the celebration.
I baked him a cake in the theme of his favorite candy bar, Baby Ruth.
The surprise was a fantastic success.
He really did expect the room to be filled with balloons thanks to having the balloons crammed in his window.
You don't have to go all out, but take the time to show your appreciation. Those worthy of such are a rare treasure in the business world. They need to know how much they mean to others sometimes.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Light but tasty snack ideas

Sometimes you want something to snack on that might not be the healthiest, but its just oh so good! One that I like doing is bacon wrapped, cheese smothered tater tots. Simple to make, takes only 3 ingredients… how can it get better than that?

What you need:
Bag of frozen tater tots

1 package of your favorite bacon (turkey doesn’t work too well for this one)
1 package of cheese (any of your favorite kinds)  

I like to deviate from the way I’ve seen them made online. I own a deep fryer, so I fry some tater tots first. Don’t need to crisp them too much though! Then you will want to let those sit on a napkin while you prep your next step. I cut my bacon strips in half. Get out that baking sheet and preheat your oven to 375. I cover mine in aluminum foil and spray it lightly with cooking spray. This helps to keep it from sticking too badly.
Grab one of the bacon strips, wrap up the tater tot, and place it on the baking sheet. Repeat this step with the rest of your bacon and tater tots until you have the desired amount. Bake for about 10 minutes. Then add your cheese and bake again for another 10 or so minutes. You want the bacon to be cooked and the cheese to be completely melted around your tots. You can make as much or as little as you want, based on how many people you are serving. I've also added chili to it and then covered it with cheese.
Another recipe I love is Doritos Nachos.
You know how Taco Bell has those tacos in the shells with Doritos flavoring? Well, you can pull that off with nachos as well.
What you need:
Your favorite Doritos chips (I use the HEB brand of them sometimes)
Cheese
ground beef
salsa
First thing you want to do is get that baking sheet ready. Preheat your oven to 375. Spread your favorite tortilla chips on it.
You can then top it with your favorite nachos ingredients such as ground beef, cheese, etc.
Bake for about 8-10 minutes or until the cheese is all melted.
At my house, the kids like when I pour the Taco Bell sauce over them and then serve. You can use your favorite sauce and sour cream as well.


And lastly, I made bacon and cheese crescent rolls. I took a can of Pillsbury Crescent Rolls, some bacon strips cut in half, and cheese that I sliced into strips and rolled them up together.
Bake at 350 for about 10 minutes until they are golden brown. You can use any kind of cheese and your favorite bacon. Or you can switch it out for pepperoni or sliced deli meats.

AdoramaPix information and dicount

As a member of the US Family Guide, I was able to join in the review group for AdoramaPix. As you may know, I love picture gifts and having pictures all around my home. Sharing memories is a great way to decorate. AdoramaPix is having a great sale and I want to share the information provided for you guys to get in on it!


AdoramaPix helps people turn their digital photographs from abstract computer files into beautiful keepsakes designed to last a lifetime. Their contemporary metal prints capture memories in rich color and vibrant detail. Because your images are infused right into the metal, and not painted on the surface, their metal prints are extremely durable. Not only will your metal image be water and weather proof, but scratch resistant as well. You can even clean it with glass cleaner. Your memories deserve to live in true, archival luxury with AdoramaPix metal prints.

You can find all the fun gift ideas HERE: 
http://www.adoramapix.com/app/home/

My readers get to save! 25% off Hexagon #Metal Prints! Use promo code: PXHEXMTL25 expires 06/ 15 /2016

Monday, March 21, 2016

Columbia restaurant review

Aesthetics were inviting. But that's the deceiving part. They draw you in with friendly staff that delivers a highly professional attitude. As you gaze at the beautiful layout and designs, you take in a clean atmosphere that fools you into feeling comfortable. They play classic Spanish or Columbian music that isn't overwhelming. 

We were seated promptly right off the street. The waiter prepped our 4 seat table for 3. We all ordered water. When he brought our glasses back, 2 of the 3 water glasses had to be sent back. Some of the silverware had a film or other contaminates on them. Thankfully, we decided to order sandwiches. Instead we should've just left. The prices in the menu make you think you're getting a higher quality. But that's just another deception on their part. The best part of being there was the bread.
Before serving your meal, they bring you fresh bread and butter. The bread is flaky on the outside with a warm and soft inside that was oh so tasty. It's the perfect way to start, particularly when you're famished from the heat waves outdoors. And especially when you have to wait something over 15 minutes for your SANDWICH. I mean honestly... I can make a gourmet sandwich in less than 2 minutes. They didn't have to cook anything. And they weren't that busy. Was there only one cook? That's the only thing I can think of. And if that's the case, what idiots! It's spring break vacation and late lunch time. On one of the most popular tour sites no less. We were down St. George Street. 
Other things to take notice of, most of their dishes are seafood. Everything was very pricey. Our sandwiches were in the $10-15 range. 

The sandwiches were good. Nothing spectacular. I liked the plantain chips they served with them. A healthier and unique side dish that keeps the meal light. 
The waiter had to be flagged down when we needed something. He gave us someone else's check as well. My sisters trick of draining your glass to get service didn't even work there. 
I found their website. 
I find it interesting that they require you to be classy enough to not wear sleeveless when you're a guy. In this heat, it could be appreciated by other patrons. 
I'm still disappointed. I don't feel that this is a place I'd want to refer loved ones to. Nor will I feel inclined to return to it. With so many options on George, no one needs to suffer through the same disappointment twice.

Excellent deal on Gears of War: Ultimate Edition

Is this game not doing well in sales or does Target have an overflow in them... Gears of War: Ultimate Edition is currently on sale for $39.99 both in stores and online. But there is also a 75% off deal in Cartwheel for it. So today, I took my lunch break out and grabbed a copy for only $10.81!
I don't have an Xbox One just yet... but there are plans to get one. And since I know someone who happens to like this game, I'm thinking investing in it wouldn't be such a bad idea. So keep this one in mind if you have someone who likes it or if you need a gift coming up soon. Just don't wait too long. This offer expires on Saturday, March 26th. And most Targets around San Antonio are already out. Check the availability around you.

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

2 more toy deals

I'm still not seeing toys that I want to go to Target for. Today's toys are as pictured below. Sorry, but I haven't been price checking lately. 

Friday, March 11, 2016

Let's get Steampunked!

I’ve mentioned so many times that I love cosplay. I love dressing up. Being a hardcore nerd is the best way for me! I go to comic conventions, comic store events, even some movies are made to dress up for if you go to opening night! I know I wanted to dress up more for Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

And with me, I don’t do store bought costumes unless I modify them. I think the best costumes are the ones you make yourself. The ones you add personalization and characteristics that are specific to you! Make it your own design by adding your own flair and style. Whether you change the characters hair color or add jewelry, there is always something that you can tweak to make it original. I mean, let’s face it, no one likes going to a con when everyone around is in cookie cutter versions of the characters.  
Now if I can start from scratch and build up from just a couple items of regular clothing, I’m definitely going that option. One of the first things I ever had made was a long, hooded cape. I bought the materials and had them shipped to a seamstress I met in eBay who sold me a piece she replicated from the Star Wars movie of that time. To this day, it is one of my all-time favorites. I could build so many costumes around just that one piece.  But enough about that…

Lately, my passion has geared towards steampunk (pun intended). Where the future meets the past, where creativity and functionality clash in a gloriously beautiful mix. Gears, skeleton keys, bronze-stained colors, and your ideas of where the future could take us combine to make some really amazing mixtures. I got a steampunk costume for a review. It is cute. But it is lacking. So I have decided to expand its amazing horizons by creating weapons that would match its genre.
I picked up some Nerf-like weapons and some Rustoleum paints with my boyfriend, who is working on turning his Nerf ax into a zombie-hunting accessory to his Umbrella Corps cosplay.
I also have a couple guns I’m doing for the Lara Croft look I’ve been planning for ages!
And I gotta say, I’m super excited about them so far. Especially after running into a friend of mine who’s dad has a bunch of skeleton keys he might part with…  
My boyfriend and I spent one night starting the modifications.
We aren't done yet, but I'm liking where they are so far.

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Gotta love free pancakes!

Took the kids out to IHOP last night.
You can't pass up 3 hot, free pancakes... Although we had to wait 35 minutes to get to a table... But the kids ate and I didn't have to cook or clean up. 
It was completely satisfying. And they will be having another cool special for St. Patrick's day. 
So wear green and get your pancake face on! Don't forget to tip the waitress, be patient with them and have fun. 

The Mask is on

Do you ever feel that every day and every moment needs to be portrayed as going well? That you have to keep up good appearances to the world around you better? That’s my outlook. The world has enough darkness. There is enough pain, hurt, and sadness to go around. So someone has to shine through it all. Someone has to offer that glimpse of joy that makes others smile. I’m not a clown, by any means. I’m the complete opposite actually. I’m not full of jokes. I’m sarcastic. I don’t like people. I like being alone. It doesn’t help me get out of the darkness when I’m alone, but it helps to avoid making it worse when the people who are offering advice or trying to help only make it worse…
You know that saying, “Sometimes the ones who smile the most, are the ones who hurt the most on the inside”? It’s true. They put on a mask and always give off that happy-go-lucky attitude that is expected of them. Do you ever wonder how they do it? Here’s a secret… they sometimes cry themselves to sleep.
When they have a bad day, they try not to include anyone in it. They tell themselves its fine. Everyone has bad days and they all come to an end. They take every task in the queue, one by one, and get through it. Someone smiles at them, they smile back. Someone asks how they are doing, they answer with “doing good, thanks”. And for the most part, no one notices that it is all an act. Why? Why can’t people see through it?! I tell myself that it is because I’ve gotten good at the act. I’ve practiced it so well. Got it down to the last faked laugh. Then I finally collapse at the end of the day and hope for a better day tomorrow. I cry and tell myself to stop being so pathetic. If I slip up and actually talk to someone about what is going, I feel worse. Not only am I feeling bad, but I’m telling someone else and they will probably feel bad. I’m spreading the bad instead of promoting good. I’m burdening them. They can’t do anything about it. They can’t offer anything more than, “It’s going to be okay”, “Just breathe, you got this”, or “It happens, get over it”. That last one is my favorite. Why? It further reminds me I’m sounding like a pathetic whiner. “Cry yourself a river, build yourself a bridge, and get over it.”
Today started off all wrong and has continued to go uphill. Haven’t even hit the crest yet. On the radio, they said today was National “Get Over It” Day. Sorta fits. Tell myself to get over it. Stuff is hitting the fan and I have to suck it up. Put on the big girl panties and throw back. Right? That’s not how I feel inside though. But that’s how I’m trying to look on the outside. I’ve quit answering the text messages. Not talking to anyone on Facebook. I’ve decided to put the walls up and take the battering rams out against the projects I’m faced with. It will be a long day. And I know that eventually it has to end. Until then, I’ll put on the mask. I will be that light in the darkness. I don’t suggest walking towards my light though. Just take it as a beacon of hope through the chaotic seas of the daily grind. If I slip, and the weakness I feel within shows, just act like you didn’t catch it. For the sake of my pride.
Have a great day, folks! It can’t last forever.

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

“Humility doesn’t mean you think less of yourself, but that you think of yourself less.”


Humility doesn’t mean you think less of yourself, but that you think of yourself less.” Facing Your Giants
Read that statement again. What does it mean to you?

I’m still reading Facing Your Giants by Max Lucado. The latest chapter I’ve finished was on the above point. We get so caught up in ourselves, our doings, in our accomplishments… that we think of ourselves as being higher and mightier than others. Do you ever think you are better than the waitress at your favorite restaurant?  Do you get annoyed with the flight attendant when she takes too long to bring your drink or forgets your blanket? Do you get irate when the cashier makes a mistake on your order? I know I have. I’m in a hurry. Maybe I know how to do their job more efficiently than they do. Maybe I just ran out of patience. And let’s face it, I’m the client. You serve me. My needs come as a priority. Don’t they?
What other ways do I feel superior? Maybe when faced with someone who truly is stupid? Let’s clarify something before I move on from that though… Ignorance is the absence of information. Stupidity is the presence of knowledge but the refusal to use it. Know anyone like that? So let’s say I am forced to interact with them. What’s the attitude I find myself taking? You got it. I’m better than they are. I can do that better than they can.

But what should I be doing? Remembering that I am no better than anyone else would be a great start. That some people are “special” and should be treated as such. I’m not any more than anyone else in this world. I am me. I’ll admit, I am talented. I am intelligent. I won’t boast about it, though. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve argued with friends that I’m nothing special. Its this mindset that I need to stay in. I need to stay humble.
Lucado goes on to say that we should come down to the lower levels with our pride. When we rise too high, we can't hear or see others. We miss what is truly going on because we are too caught up in ourselves. "You'll be amazed what you hear and who you see. And you'll breathe a whole lot easier." You won't be trying to always impress others. You can just be you.

I don't think of myself as being less. I just need to think of myself less.

 
hu·mil·i·ty
[(h)yo͞oˈmilədē]
 

NOUN

  1. a modest or low view of one's own importance; humbleness.

National Pancake Day!

Today, March 8, 2016, you can get a free short stack of buttermilk pancakes from Ihop! This is from 7 AM to 7 PM.
"Today is the day to get a free short stack of buttermilk pancakes*
between 7 AM and 7 PM at IHOP®. Then, consider leaving a donation to
Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals® or other designated local charities.
Together with guests like you, we’ve raised nearly $20 million since 2006—
one free short stack at a time. Now that’s the power of pancakes!"
 
So check it out and feel free to share pictures of it! I'll create a new post if you do with pictures and locations. You can email me at texanmama08 at gmail dot com.


Friday, March 4, 2016

Zootopia movie review

February 23, 2016
Tonight I had the pleasure of watching the prescreening for the new Disney movie, Zootopia.
I'm going to write the review for it while its fresh in my memory even though I can't share it with you until it is released in theaters on March 4th.
 It starts with a young bunny who has a big dream. She wants to do what no other bunny has done before. She wants to be a cop. So much opposition faces her in her pursuit of wanting to make the world a better place. But she doesn't know how to give up! This movie follows her efforts to rise to the top and live out her dream. Her struggles, her enthusiasm, and the constant push she puts on herself to achieve her goals despite the negativism that she faces. Judy Hops becomes what she always dreams, a bunny cop! But the bigger officers think she is some token bunny and laugh at her efforts. They think that the only reason she got her job was because the Mayor accepted her graduation in an effort to show that "little" mammals can do big jobs and gain their votes in the process. She becomes a meter maid until she stumbles into the lap of a big case on missing predators. Zootopia is where predators and prey can live in peace together. From the Rain Forest to the Sahara and the Tundra! Every type of animal has a place and everyone gets along.
Well, almost... You still have your sly foxes like Nick Wilde. Working the hustle and getting away from the law. He catches the careful eye of Hops and they partner up in the search for the missing predator. They make quite the pair.
As the plot thickens and things hit the fan, Hops learns a thing or two about fear and how it affects the world around here. She also learned a valuable lesson about watching how she words things and causing public scares.

Overall, the movie was great! There is humor and action to keep you laughing as you try to figure out the who-done-what of it all. One of my favorite parts was meeting Flash the sloth at the DMV.
Ever wonder why it takes forever to get through the DMV? Or why you stand there waiting and right when you give up holding that perfect smile for your picture, it flashes! So you get that awful look that you are stuck with for the rest of your life on your license. Its because they hire sloths there!!! Dash is the fastest one. And you have probably seen that preview of the pregnant camel joke, right? You know that look you get from people who are slow to pick up a joke? That look that goes from "huh?" to ooooohhhh I get it, hahah!
Its priceless, right? Well, more so when Flash makes it. And spoiler alert: Flash drives fast! Thus the name....
The voices used were a great match. Shakira is the Gazelle pop star. Ginnifer Goodwin is Judy Hopps. Jason Bateman is the sly voice for Nick Wilde. I like Nate Torrence who is Clawhouser, the lovable, donut-eating front desk officer and cheetah!

Great family movie! Can't wait to add this to my collection for my kids. And to watch it over again.

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Discouragement is only a state of mind


The sales business world is a fast-paced highway. One that we have to keep up or be left behind on. Whether you are working in an office or working face to face with your customers, you have to keep upbeat and ready to take to the fast lane. I’m used to working one-on-one in person with people. I can handle that with ease. Even though I’m an introvert, I can still find ways to connect and get over my anxiety of strangers.
My job is challenging me to step out of my comfort zone and learn to connect via phone calls and emails. There isn’t a face attached to the name. There isn’t always a voice to that name either. I’m calling complete strangers to talk about my services, but I have to do so in a way that benefits them and not me. Conflicted about this, I do feel. Cold calls are the worse. I’m calling someone who might know nothing about my company. I’m pitching them information about my services. 9/10 times, I don’t even get an answer. I get a voicemail. It’s impersonal, cold - just a machine. How do I tackle this one?! My supervisor and manager have been helpful in assisting me with coaching’s on a great script. Clearly and concisely, I can deliver my points and try to slip in something personal. But still. When you get so many voicemails, you feel like a recording. And then when those who actually answer the calls are saying they have no need for you and know no one else they can refer you to… It gets discouraging. You have to find the will to keep calling. To keep trying. To keep going after cold leads. After about 10 calls, I am ready to quit. According to a recent Dale Carnegie training I took, I have to have a goal. I also need an enemy. A reason to keep pushing forward regardless of what it looks like or what is said about what I do. I have a few tactics. I tell myself that these dead calls could come back fruitful in a month. Or I look at the pictures hanging on my cubicle wall of those I work hard to provide for. I have goals. To own a large enough home for my kids to have their own individual rooms. I plan to be financially independent so that I don’t have to rely on assistance from anyone, but can instead be the one giving to others in need. My enemy? Don’t laugh, but I use my ex-husband as my enemy. I tell myself that I will show him that I don’t need him, his money, and that I will never be some doormat to him ever again.
So back to my title. It’s a state of mind when you feel bogged down. You have to tell yourself you will succeed. That everything you are doing is going to work out for the better. Nothing you put your hands and mind to is failing. It is merely looking for that loophole to success. You can fall into a slump. But you better remind yourself to get up out of that rut and get back to work. Kick yourself in the pants or ask someone you trust to kick you. Otherwise you are bound to fail. Trick your mind into seeing the future you want and push on. Its there for the taking.