Tag Archives: star rating

Groovy Movies: Aladdin Edition

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Groovy Movies: Aladdin Edition

Helloooo everyone! I can’t say that I am a HUGE Disney fan but it’s not like I don’t enjoy the movies, either. It has been an exciting time in the movie world because live action remakes of Disney classics are the new trend. Unfortunately, I wasn’t overly impressed with Beauty And The Beast or The Lion King’s remake. However, I absolutely LOVED the live action Aladdin, despite its poor reviews. So, take a look at the toe tapping trailer and let’s discuss:

^^^ And, as always, I have no rights to this video!

Normally, a Disney film isn’t my first choice to play after a day at work but, I’m not going to lie, I was looking forward to watching Aladdin. Last Christmas, I had the absolute pleasure of being able to see the Broadway rendition of Aladdin at Playhouse Square with my family and I felt like the 2019 film was a wonderful blend of the Broadway show and the original cartoon. Spending the evening watching the movie gave me a new appreciation for the music and artistry that went into the iconic original and it was such a beautiful, modern nod to its predecessor.

The costumes, scenery, and *most* of the characters were divine but Will Smith as the genie completely made the film for me. He was utterly brilliant and I think Robin Williams would be proud of the performance that was so inspired by his own but with a fresh, new spin on it.”You Ain’t Never Had A Friend Like Me” reminded me so much of the Broadway performance that I really enjoyed and Will Smith’s fabulous flamboyance kept me in stitches the whole time.

I thought Jafar and Jasmine were also exceptionally strong characters and were cast well. But, I wasn’t too crazy about the choice for Aladdin. Had he not been acting alongside such powerful cast mates he would have totally sizzled out and he was outshined the entire movie. He was just too meek and mild and, although he was the title character, he didn’t stand out in anyway shape or form. But, because the rest of the film was so spot on, a poor casting choice for the lead was just a blip on my radar.

What I loved the most about Aladdin was the big picture that was created in every scene. The glorious palaces, the bustling market of Agrahbah, and the vast deserts all seemed so real that I felt like I was right there, too. The magnificent choices in color, costumes, and oh yeah – the fantastic musical numbers just seemed like the cherry on top of what was already splendid. Saying that Aladdin was visually stimulating is a severe understatement and the beauty of the rapidly changing scenery in “A Whole New World” moved me to tears.

If you’re a die hard Disney fan, I think you’ll love this movie. And, if you’re like me, who isn’t the most avid Disney fan – you are still going to love this movie. Aladdin was a fast moving tale of being true to yourself, unexpected girl power, and that everything is a little bit better with your friends by your side… magic powers or no! I rate this movie with a nine out of ten and I highly recommend it!

What were your thoughts on the new Aladdin? What has been your favorite Disney movie remake? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Featured Image By: IMDb

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Lil Red’s Book Club: The Lying Game Edition

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Lil Red’s Book Club: The Lying Game Edition

Howdy! I recently finished another Ruth Ware novel called The Lying Game and have read The Woman In Cabin 10 and In A Dark, Dark Wood by her this summer, too. I have to say, I wasn’t overly impressed with either of those books but The Lying Game was a great read and I am happy that I chose to give Ware one more try before calling it quits and finding another author to read. So, without giving any spoilers away, let’s discuss:

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The Lying Game revolves around new mother, Isa, and her three best girlfriends from high school, Kate, Thea (Whose name I’m still not sure how to pronounce!), and Fatima. At their boarding school, the girls reveled in what they called “The Lying Game” and would keep a scoreboard to record the points from the tall tales that they would spin based on the quality and if people actually believed them. The game was supposed to be all in good fun and the rules were simple, including “never lie to your friends” and “know when to stop the lie”.

The girls spent one year at the boarding school together, which came to an abrupt halt when they were asked to leave quietly in the wakes of a possible scandal that directly involved them. And, although it’s a rarity that they talk now as they are all in their thirties, when a friend texts the three words of “I need you” the now women drop their responsibilities immediately and flock to the one in distress.

So, when Kate sends Isa the call to action, she packs up her belongings with her six month old daughter in tow and makes the journey to her, near the old boarding school. The text was indeed an urgent one because once the ladies arrive to Kate’s, it is revealed that a human bone was found in the sea – a result of their “game” being taken too far. With a police investigation nipping at their heals, the once best friends have to come up with a plan and unravel the truth behind their lies before an arrest is made. Were they murderers? Covering something up? Or just plain stupid? Read the book and find out!

I absolutely adored The Lying Game and devoured it in a matter of days. It was so refreshing to read a book with a tangible plot and told from the perspective of someone with a sound mind. Because, let’s be honest, the unstable narrator shtick has been hopelessly drawn out. The Lying Game was filled with twists and turns that actually seemed plausible and I really had no idea what the end result was going to be.

It was interesting to see how a mistake that happened in their teenage years has haunted each woman in the almost two decades since it happened. Each one dealt with the trauma in a different way and it made for fascinating characters with realistic flaws and personalities. The Lying Game was a wild ride and I am now ready to tuck into another Ruth Ware novel ASAFP!

And, now for the star rating…. I award The Lying Game with an eight out of ten. The plot was riveting, the characters were all likeable in their own ways, and I genuinely enjoyed myself while reading it. Highly recommend.

Has anyone read The Lying Game? What were your thoughts on it? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Lil Red’s Book Club: The Woman In Cabin 10 Edition

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Lil Red’s Book Club: The Woman In Cabin 10 Edition

Salutations! In the newest edition of Lil Red’s Book Club, we are going to be discussing the mystery thriller, The Woman In Cabin 10, by Ruth Ware. This author might sound a bit familiar to you, as I just recently reviewed another one of her books, In A Dark, Dark Wood. And, similarly to it, The Woman In Cabin 10 is another one that revolves around an unreliable narrator. Let’s discuss, without giving any spoilers away!

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Lo Blacklock, a writer for a travel magazine is your classic “can we trust everything she sees” narrator. Following the usual formula of a heavy drinker while on medication, sleep deprived, as well as recently traumatized by a break in, Lo is… well, at a low point. Ba dum chhhhh. Anyways, very shortly after the break in happened, Lo sets sail aboard a luxury “cruise ship” that’s more like a yacht as a fill in for her boss on maternity leave.

The Aurora is welcoming a select few in the travel industry to board for a week, sailing around Norway, to get the hype built for their launch. The surroundings are swanky and the guests are even more posh – ranging from photographers to heiresses as well as journalists and models. This is a big break for Lo and, while she should be networking her little butt off, she ends up investigating a murder that she only heard, instead.

Enter The Woman In Cabin 10, a cabin that was supposed to be empty.  Lo spoke with the tenant one time after knocking on her door to borrow a tube of mascara and didn’t see her again that night at dinner. A dinner that she ended up getting WASTED at, by the way. So, who’s to say that what she saw was accurate when she claimed she saw a bloody smear on the glass divider on her balcony once she was back in her room? Or heard a huge splash that sounded like a body falling overboard?

The whodoneit begins, as Lo questions all of the staff with the help of the head of security and prying into just what the guests were up to after the dinner party. No one has seen the woman who she saw in the cabin and absolutely no one is ruled out as a suspect. Filled with red herrings and hidden intentions, will the murder get solved or remain a mystery at sea? Read The Woman In Cabin Ten to find out!

I have to admit, I wasn’t a fan of In A Dark, Dark Wood and wasn’t expecting much better from The Woman In Cabin 10. But, I ended up enjoying it a fair amount. If I’m being honest, I am SO. Freaking. Sick. of the unreliable narrator angle. However, this murder mystery set at sea was too dishy and fun to not be a total page turner. The grand reveal at the end was also one that I wasn’t expecting at all and, normally, I am very quick to solve it on my own.

While I couldn’t stand any of the characters from In A Dark, Dark Wood, I quite liked the cast of players in this one. They all held my interest because all of their personalities were so different and it made for a fun reading experience to watch and study their interactions with each other. The finger pointing and guessing games between them kept me on my feet till the very end.

I didn’t love The Woman In Cabin 10 by any means but, I finished it in three days so that has to count for something, right? I’m going to give it a six out of ten rating and would recommend it for a quick summer read, if nothing else.

Who else has read The Woman In Cabin 10? What did you think about it? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Lil Red’s Book Club: Those People Edition

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Lil Red’s Book Club: Those People Edition

Hello, hello everyone and welcome to a new edition of Lil Red’s Book Club! Today, we are going to be discussing the whodoneit thriller called Those People, written by Louise Candlish. I have been going through books left and right during my free time, and out of the past handful that I’ve finished, Those People has definitely been my favorite. It leaves you questioning how far you would go to stand up to a bully or, in this case, a neighbor from hell. Without revealing spoilers, let’s discuss:

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Lowland Way is the suburban dream street. Beautiful homes, posh neighbors, and a quiet peacefulness that makes it the ideal neighborhood for the families living there. That is, until Darren and Jodie move in, wreaking havoc on the once “family friendly” street. Loud music, parties, swearing, foul attitudes, a used car business ran from the front yard, and noisy as can be home renovations make the new neighbors on the block less than popular. Especially considering that their business and construction make them a massive eyesore on the picture perfect community.

What’s worse is, the more that Jodie and Darren’s neighbors like Tess, Sissy, Naomi, Em, Ant, and Ralph plea for the noise levels to be kept down, the more intense everything seems to get on their property. And, Darren and Jodie often scoff at any of the uptight neighbors coming to their yard with requests. As if all of this wasn’t bad enough, someone died on Darren and Jodie’s property as the result of an accident on their construction scaffolding.

Once this misfortune happens, the neighbors begin banding together to put an end to Darren and Jodie’s reign of terror. Even if that means committing a murder themselves. However, the scaffolding accident wasn’t so clear cut and while the neighbors are plotting murder, they are being investigated for one as the screws on the structure were tampered with. So, who committed the deed that made the “wrong” person die and can the neighbors work up the nerve to attempt murder again to get it right? Read Those People to find out!

This book was such a quick read for me because it was simply riveting. I loved how the chapters were presented from a different neighbor’s point of view each time and it kept me turning the page because I wanted to see how situations were seen in the other character’s eyes. There were two whodoneit scenarios in the book and I enjoyed piecing together the information from each neighbor to try and figure out what their role was in the crimes committed.

Those People was a nice break from the unstable female narrator books that I have been drawn to lately and it was well worth the read. I don’t think any of you will be able to put it down! I am going to rate it with a 7.5 out of ten and highly recommend it.

Has anyone else read Those People? What were your thoughts on it? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Nourish Organic Face Cleanser Review

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Nourish Organic Face Cleanser Review

Helloo everyone and happy weekend! I recently started using a new cleanser by Nourish Organic that I snagged from my skin care hoard and I have been nothing but disappointed with it. The worst part? That once I start a product, I completely refuse to not finish it. So now, I’m stuck with using one of the worst cleansers of all time until there’s none left. #FML. I desperately need a vent session about this cleanser so take a look at the packaging and then let’s discuss:

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Okay, first things first is the smell. The packaging claims that it’s fragrance free but it seriously smells like rotten sunflower seeds. That in itself completely turned me off from the cleanser because waking up and having to scrub that on your face is seriously hell. I’m okay with a fragrance free product if it truly is fragrance free or close to it but the marketing for the Nourish Organic Face Cleanser is a blatant lie. Not cool.

On top of the faulty marketing that Nourish Organic used, the packaging for it kind of sucks, too. The cleanser is so thin in texture that as soon as you pop the lid, the face wash starts pouring out. The first time I used the cleanser, I ended up with a substantial amount on my shower floor because I wasn’t prepared for the flood gates to burst free as soon as I opened it. Once again, not cool.

And finally, the fact that this cleanser doesn’t lather in the slightest is a major issue. Because the texture of the face wash is so runny, it feels like you’re just rubbing slime on your face. The result? That your face feels tight, dehydrated, and not even clean. Every time I finish using my cleanser, I’m always so thankful that I use an exfoliator afterwards to pick up the slack. I would almost be okay with the horrid smell and the shitty packaging if the product actually made my skin feel good but if anything, it just leaves it feeling worse.

So how do I rate this product, you may ask? I’m so glad you did! I give the Nourish Organic Face Cleanser: negative one million billion stars and I would not recommend it to anyone. All I can hope for now is that I finish this cleanser quickly so I can use something different because anything is an upgrade from this!

So there you have it, my Nourish Organic Face Cleanser Review! Has anyone used a product lately that they’re completely disappointed in? What face wash are you currently using? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Olay Active Botanicals Mask Review

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Olay Active Botanicals Mask Review

Hey everyone and happy Sunday! I hope all of you are having a wonderful weekend! When it comes to my night time beauty routine, I LOVE using masks. I’m always on the hunt for a light but effective moisture mask and I happened to find exactly what I wanted in Olay’s Active Botanicals Mask. It is literally the best mask that I’ve ever used and it makes The Body Shop’s Vitamin E and Drops of Youth Bouncy Mask pale in comparison. This is easily one of my favorite items in my beauty arsenal so I just had to review it! Let’s discuss:

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Olay’s Active Botanicals Mask is complete and total magic. Not only is it an amazing product but it’s a very fair price, too. You can’t beat fifteen bucks for a big container! I think that this mask is a steal and it also passes my perfect product checklist with flying colors, starting with the smell. The best way that I can describe the scent is that it’s like a fresh rainfall. It’s so crisp and clean but it is in no way overpowering. The scent is so invigorating that it leaves me bright eyed and bushy tailed until I fall asleep.

The texture of the Active Botanicals Mask is really nice, as well. It fits snugly into the category of just right. I can’t stand when creams or masks are too heavy or light. I like for my masks to be light enough that they absorb well but still heavy enough to feel like they’re getting the job done. The texture of Olay’s mask is what I could imagine The Body Shop’s Drops of Youth Bouncy Mask would feel like it it were a cream instead of a gel. It feels really aquatic and it only takes one small test of the Botanicals mask on your skin to know that using it is going to be the equivalent of giving your skin a huge gulp of water.

Good smell – check. Nice texture – check. Absorbs well? Check! Olay’s Active Botanicals Mask absorbs right into the skin as quickly as you rub it on. But, all of it doesn’t completely soak in. Every time I use this mask, a fine layer always remains on my face as if it knows that I’ll be needing more in my sleep. As soon as you put the mask on, you can feel it working. Within the first minute my skin feels tingly, bright, and hydrated. The following day my skin feels so supple and my under eye circles always look less severe. The reducing of my less than designer bags under my eyes is always a nice bonus!

There’s no way that I would rate this mask with anything lower than: five stars. It’s such an excellent and truly effective product. Olay’s mask is amazing for bringing dry skin back to life and leaving your face perfectly hydrated. I can’t recommend this mask enough, especially if you are looking to ease chapped skin from winter or for adding an extra dose of moisture into your beauty routine.

So there you have it, my Olay Active Botanicals Mask Review! Has anyone used this product before? What did you think about it? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Trader Joe’s Enrich Moisturizing Face Lotion Review

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Trader Joe’s Enrich Moisturizing Face Lotion Review

Hey everyone and happy weekend! Today I’m going to be discussing my new favorite product, compliments of a Christmas gift from mi madre. I always ask for a supply of my beauty and skin care necessities for Christmas so my mom hooked me up with a new moisturizer from Trader Joe’s. I only recently started using my Trader Joe’s Enrich Moisturizing Face Lotion because I’ve been in the process of finishing a Neutrogena moisturizer since November. Last week I finally finished my Neutrogena and began my TJ’s journey and let me tell you…I’m already hooked. Take a look at their packaging and then let’s discuss:

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I’ve been writing about quite a few fragrance free products lately which is weird but I actually really don’t mind this moisturizers lack of a scent – especially because it has SPF 15 in it. I find that most skin care products that have SPF in it always smell like you’re lathering yourself up to get ready for the beach. My Neutrogena moisturizer had SPF 15 in it, as well, and you could definitely tell by its scent. When it comes to products that have any amount of SPF in it, I would prefer for it to be fragrance free so that’s a major plus for Trader Joe’s Enrich Moisturizing Face Lotion.

When I am browsing the market for a new moisturizer, I’m always very concerned about the texture of it. I can’t stand products that are greasy, oily, or too thick. Lucky for me, none of these issues were a problem with TJ’s face lotion. The texture was so lusciously creamy and it actually was quite thick – I know, I know, I just said that this was a problem. BUT to me, there’s a big difference between a thickness that’s goopy and heavy and one that is nice and rich. Obviously, Trader Joe’s lotion texture was the latter or I would not be using it!

The final “must” for me when it comes to a new moisturizer or lotion is how well it absorbs. I have to say, I was very impressed with how quickly Trader Joe’s lotion absorbed considering that it is a bit thicker than what I normally would use. A quarter sized squeeze sunk into my skin in record time and it left absolutely no residue. My skin felt hydrated and soft and I was amazed at the way my skin looked after using it. My prized super pale epidermis (science!) looked like porcelain. My face looked and felt so supple and I was blown away. I’ve never used a moisturizer before that had such evident results after ONE USE. You can’t beat that!

Of course, I’m going to have to rate Trader Joe’s Enrich Moisturizing Face Lotion with: five stars. I really can’t recommend this product enough, especially for those with a normal to dry skin type. I’m aware that the packaging says that all skin types can use it but I fear that it might be a bit too heavy for problem skin. But, I suppose a thin layer can’t hurt!

So there you have it, my Trader Joe’s Enrich Moisturizing Face Lotion Review! Has anyone used this moisturizer before? What did you think of it? I wanna hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah