My Favorite Vegetarian “Meat” Offerings

For the last few months, I’ve been cutting back on my meat consumption by trying out various meat-less meat options. In all fairness, I’ve only tried offerings by Boca, Gardein, and Morning Star Farms, because that’s what’s readily available to me in the stores I shop in.

If you’re looking to try going meat-less every now and then, here are my favorites to try:

Veggie burgerBest Burger: Morningstar Farms Grillers Prime
These really do taste quite burger-like. The texture is a bit off, but piled in a bun with toppings, and a few condiments, and I really don’t notice a difference, except there’s less fat.

Best Chicken Patty: Boca Spicy Chicken Patties
The texture and the taste are nearly identical to spicy chicken patties at fast food restaurants. I like to add a sweet & spicy condiment on top, or go with a little mayo and lettuce on a bun. I love these!
Runner-Up: Gardein Crispy Chick’n Patty – If you can’t find the Boca ones, these are really good, too, but with less spice.

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Playing It Forward Combines Music and Charity Into a Win for All

Playing It Forward  John Legend

Combine surprise concerts by well-known musicians with donations to charities that deal with children’s issues (education, etc), and you have the exciting new concept known as Playing It Forward.

Many know Robert Downey Jr as an actor, but he is also a talented musician, whose interests in music were nurtured in school. Together with his wife, Susan, via their production company Team Downey, they have partnered with Crackle, the multi-platform entertainment network, to organize these impromptu concerts that benefit charities of the participating artist’s choosing.

Playing It Forward  John Legend

Presented by FedEx, the first artist to participate was John Legend, who set up with a piano at the Culver City Town Plaza in Los Angeles. Last minute social media clues were the only advance notice given that this concert was going to happen. The Grammy Award-winning artist performed three fan favorites, “All of Me,” “Ordinary People,” and “Shine” to an unsuspecting and amazed crowd.

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Kmart and Sears Offer Free Holiday In Store Pick Up #spon

Presented by Mami Innovative Media, this is a sponsored post on behalf of Sears and Kmart. All opinions expressed here are my own.

The holidays are a busy time of the year, with shopping, decorating, baking, and more, on top of your regular schedule of work and family time.

Sears In-Store PickupOne way to lighten the schedule is to shop online when it’s convenient for you, but then you incur shipping fees. Well, Sears and Kmart want to help out with free in-store pickup.

Simply order online at either store, then arrange to pick up your purchases in-store in as little as 5 minutes – or whenever you’re ready. You can even have a friend or relative pick up your order and pay in-store with cash. How easy is that?

With in-store pickup you’ll avoid lines, busy stores and the wasted time of walking down every aisle.

Kmart In-Store PickupBoth Sears and Kmart offer $10 back in points when you spend $59 and free in-store pickup, letting you earn more points while shopping thousands of gifts online in the comfort of your own home. Order online from Saturday, December 7, 2013, at 6pm CT, to Tuesday, December 10, 2013, at 9am CT. Shop instore Sunday, December 8, 2013, only.

Now it’s no question that you should do your holiday shopping at Sears and Kmart while earning more points and try the free in-store pickup at Sears or Kmart, but there’s now a question of, what will you do with more free time over the holidays and your extra points? A few ideas include: give yourself a gift using your points before volunteering at a shelter, making gingerbread houses with the kids or simply putting your feet up and enjoying the view of the Christmas tree.

Learn more at Sears: http://bit.ly/HL896t and Kmart: http://kmrt.us/1bmIoRk

Disney’s Frozen is Great Family Film with Lots of Laughs [Review] #DisneyFrozen

Disney's Frozen

Disney’s Frozen is probably my favorite Disney animated film since The Lion King (not counting the Pixar films). It is smart, cute, and funny, with strong lead female characters that can save themselves.

Frozen is based on the Hans Christian Andersen fable “The Snow Queen,” and tells the story of Anna (Kristen Bell), an optimistic princess who sets off on an epic journey to find her sister, Elsa the Snow Queen (Idina Menzel), whose icy powers have accidentally trapped the kingdom in eternal winter.

Disney's Frozen

Along the way, she meet up with a rugged mountain man (Jonathan Groff), his loyal reindeer Sven, and a hapless snowman named Olaf (Josh Gad). Together, they battle the elements and others to save Elsa and the family kindgom of Arendelle.

Continuing the strong female lead of Brave, Disney has created two strong female leads with Elsa and Anna. While they are technically “princesses,” they’re not fussed-over royalty. They’re women who can take care of themselves, and ultimately save each other.

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Watch Breaking Bad Blooper Reel Teaser Video

If you’re like me, you’re sad that the series Breaking Bad ended this year. However, you can relive every episode when Breaking Bad: The Complete Series comes out on Blu-ray DVD on November 26.

Breaking Bad: The Complete SeriesThis collection of every episode of the show is packed on 16 discs inside a collector’s money barrel packaging.

It also features over 55 hours of special features from all seasons, a new 2-hour documentary, a 16 page booklet with letter from Vince Gilligan, a commemorative challenge coin designed by Vince Gilligan, and a Los Pollos Hermanos apron.

An awesome Christmas gift for the Breaking Bad fan you know, right?

Among the special features is a blooper reel from the final season. Thanks to Entertainment Weekly, here is a teaser video from that blooper reel:

Watch Aningaaq the Short Film Companion to the Movie Gravity [Spoiler]

If you’ve seen the brilliant movie Gravity, starring Sandra Bullock and George Clooney, there’s a scene in the film where Bullock’s character of Dr. Ryan Stone sends out a distress call in the capsule. That call is received by someone who doesn’t speak English, and Stone eventually breaks down and asks the man to make the dogs in the background howl for her.

Aningaaq

Well, Warner Bros actually had a companion short film to Gravity that showed the other side of that mayday conversation, called Aningaaq.

It was directed by Jonas Cuaron, son of Gravity director Alfonso Cuaron, with whom he also co-wrote the Gravity script. It was filmed in Greenland, on a budget of about $100,000, and dialog from Aningaaq and Gravity are wound around each other in both films.

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Delivery Man Delivers Laughs and Feel Good Moments (Review) #DeliveryMan

Delivery Man poster

Earlier this month, I had the chance to see a sneak preview of the film Delivery Man, directed by Ken Scott, and starring Vince Vaughn, Chris Pratt, and Cobie Smulders.

The film is a remake of Scott’s 2011 French-Canadian film, Starbuck. In the film David Wozniak (Vaughn) learns that the many donations he made to a sperm bank under the alias “Starbuck” twenty years earlier ended up fathering 533 children.

Yes, that’s right…533 children.

Delivery Man - Brett and David

A large number of the kids sue the bank to learn who their father is, and Wozniak has to decide whether or not to come forward. Not an easy decision since Wozniak is a slacker working for his family’s butcher shop, his best friend Brett (Pratt) warns him against fatherhood, and his pregnant girlfriend Emma (Smulders) has told him she doesn’t think he’ll be a suitable father.

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Almost Human is Absolutely Fabulous Sci-Fi Television (Review) #almosthuman

Almost Human

I’ve loved sci-fi tv shows since I was a kid, but I’ve noticed it’s hard to make a truly good show that is sci-fi, but still relevant and familiar to non-sci-fi fans without dumbing down the material.

The TV show “Almost Human” does the job, just fine. This new series debuted this week with a two-part episode on Sunday and Monday (11/17-18), and it is definitely sci-fi, but at it’s heart, it’s a buddy-cop story. It’s also a very character-driven show, where the sci-fi parts help tell the story, instead of being the focus of the show.

If you missed it, “Almost Human” is set in the future year of 2048, where police officers are partnered with androids, called “synthetics.” These synthetic officers are useful in the field, with direct links to computer networks, programmed fighting skills, and built-in data recorders.

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