Category Archives: Reviews

Etsy Spotlight: Abbalope Soap

I have been using handmade bar soaps exclusively for almost 6 years now, and I just cannot get enough! I like my soaps to smell reminiscent of the season, but nothing too perfumey (instant headache), and I’ve never been interested in the soaps that smell like desserts. My years of scouring Etsy for scents and sales eventually landed me at Abbalope Handcrafted Soap.

Abbalope Handcrafted Soap

Many times in my searches, I would find a shop with maybe a couple dozen soap bars and a bunch of “other stuff”: lip balms, whipped soap, shaving soap, lotions, etc. — but at Abbalope, it is page after wonderful page of bar soaps, bar soaps, and more bar soaps. She has just about every scent combination you could possibly imagine. Which brings me to perhaps the best part: 50-CENT SAMPLES!! You can select any scent from her shop and try it before you buy it!

I’ve been burning through samples for many months now, and have a long list of scents that I love. Here are the soaps I have chosen for the upcoming fall and winter seasons:
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The 25 Books of Christmas

This year, our family is attempting the Book-A-Day Advent Calendar, as seen around Pinterest. Over the last few months, I was able to screen more than FIFTY winter/holiday/Christmas-related books, thanks to our local metro-library network. The 25 Books of Christmas: Book-A-Day Advent Calendar

I was overall seeking secular books that were still morally relevant to the season, and maybe even with a poignant story, but also not totally discounting the entertaining seasonally-themed books for pure enjoyment. I ended up choosing 14 new selections to add to what we already have (weeding out quite a few from the original stash).

The books will be wrapped, and placed “around” (near?) our Charlie Brown Christmas Tree, until we get the full-sized tree up.

Here is our complete 24-book plan for this month, in no particular order:

'Jolly Old Santa Claus' by 'Sparkie' & George Hinke 'The Golden Christmas Tree' by Jan Wahl & Leonard Weisgard 'Night Tree' by Eve Bunting & Ted Rand Hilary Knight's 'The Twelve Days of Christmas'

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Children’s Book List 2013

My 3-1/2-year-old and I have been furiously checking out children’s books at the library, and reading about three each night; burning through them pretty quickly to see which ones would be worth investing in to add to Nola’s bookshelf. 25 Great Books for Kids Ages 3-5

Here is a rundown of 25 of the BEST children’s books
for ages 3-5 years that we have found in 2013

'Virginia Wolf' by Kyo Maclear & Isabelle Arsenault 'The Dark' by Lemony Snicket & Jon Klassen 'Wherever You Are My Love Will Find You' by Nancy Tillman 'Unicorn Thinks He's Pretty Great' by Bob Shea

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Mike Patton. John Zorn. Christmas.

I have been waiting SO LONG for this.

And, it is AWESOME (just as I suspected it would be).

John Zorn - Dreamers Christmas

I knew deep down in my heart that soon enough Mike Patton would be crooning out some holiday tunes.

Thank you, John Zorn.

Christmas is now complete.

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Nine Inch Nails: Ghosts & Photographic Artwork

The art aesthetic of Nine Inch Nails has always been incredibly appealing to me; the fact that I also love the music is a total win-win situation. As I’ve grown through the years from a moody and brooding teenager into an urbane sophisticate of an adult (okay, lol at that), I’ve been lucky enough that NIN’s music has seemed to morph and evolve along with me. I haven’t “outgrown” it like so many other bands, but I’ve been able to go along on the ride and with each new album I just love it more and more–I hope it never ends!

I recently purchased Ghosts I-IV, which isn’t exactly “new” anymore (it came out back in 2008), but for some ridiculous reason I had skipped over it or forgotten about it until this year. But I am so glad I picked it up, even if I was a little late! I love the instrumentals of Nine Inch Nails, and a whole two-disc album’s worth?! Fantastic! Then I posted about it on Facebook, only to realize that I was not alone in my procrastination: two of my NIN-head friends who I thought would be chastising me for not listening sooner were asking me to get them copies! Naturally, I referred them to the website where you can download the whole album for five bucks. But anyway, on to my original impetus for this blog entry, which is the breathtaking artwork accompanying this album.

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How to Destroy Angels EP

The recent collaboration of Trent Reznor and his wife Mariqueen Maandig, titled How to Destroy Angels, has produced a 6-song EP available for FREE to download from the website howtodestroyangels.com

How to Destroy Angels

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The Zombie Survival Guide: Recorded Attacks

My husband brought back a special surprise for me from his trip to C2E2 2010 (comic book convention) in April. It turns out that Max Brooks was at the con for an appearance and book signing, so Bo figured I would like to have a signed copy of Brooks’ Zombie Survival Guide, even though we already owned it. When he got up to the table, however, he found something new and unexpected and awesome!

The Zombie Survival Guide: Recorded Attacks (Max Brooks, Ibraim Roberson)

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Huh?! Survival of the Dead?!

Why did no one tell me that George A. Romero was making another movie?! By the looks of the trailer, it will be filled with fantastical zombie killing scenes, as I have come to expect from Romero’s zombie flicks. Have I not mentioned how awesome the zombie death scenes were in Diary of the Dead?! Made the whole movie, if you ask me. You can watch the official trailer for Survival of the Dead and see for yourself just a taste of what I’m talking about:

Survival Of The Dead - Official Trailer [HD]

Survival Of The Dead - Official Trailer [HD]

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NPR Highlight: Iron Man 2

(This article is a Burnt Weiners mirror entry.)

Neal Conan weinered-it-up on NPR’s Talk of the Nation today in a short, but somewhat in-depth, discussion with NPR’s resident comic book blogger, Glen Weldon on the topic of the recently released Iron Man 2 movie. I had no idea that one of my favorite talk radio hosts is a self-proclaimed comic book geek!

Listen to the 16 minute “podcast” on NPR’s website:
Iron Man 2 Full Of Easter Eggs For Fans

When Neal quips, “I don’t read a lot of capes,” I literally laughed out loud. Another fantastic highlight is toward the end when one of the callers mentions that he now knows what was in the much sought-after briefcase in Pulp Fiction. Ha!

Vincent Vega and The Briefcase (Pulp Fiction)

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Vitamin String Quartet Tribute to Alice in Chains

Okay, so, how super-psyched was I, when approached by Vitamin Records to review one of their newer releases, Vitamin String Quartet Tribute to Alice in Chains?! Well, I already own Chamber Made: The Baroque Tribute to Tool, which I thoroughly enjoy, so I was excited to hear their interpretations of songs from another of my favorite bands!

Vitamin String Quartet Tribute to Alice in Chains

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