January 24, 2012

Need pet food/supplies? MrChewy.com delivers! {review @mrchewy}


I love my two fur babies and of course I want to give them the best. But living in a rural area has its drawbacks. For one thing, there aren't any local places to purchase the top of the line pet products I'd love to provide for my kittens. And for another thing, to get those products I'd have to drive out of my way (like, say 40-50 miles or more - that's outrageous with the current cost of gas!).

So what's a conscientious pet owner to do? Shop online, of course, and have it delivered to your door.

And nobody does that better than MrChewy.com!


Need a few reasons to go check out MrChewy.com? How about...

* 70+ Brands–-Mr. Chewy offers a wide selection and is adding new in-demand brands regularly.
* Competitive prices compared to those expensive pet stores.
* If desired, subscription-based ordering is available for hassle-free scheduled delivery of your favorite products.
* Prompt shipping throughout the United States.
* Free Shipping for any order over $49

Yeah, I'm digging the free shipping part! Especially when you think about the weight of pet food you purchase. I ordered some cat food and some kitty litter from MrChewy.com. It was HEAVY! But I still got free shipping. I don't know how they do that, but I appreciate having a heavy package delivered right to my door for free!


MrChewy.com also carries a great selection of dog food and products. Need more Frontline flea and tick control? Orijen or Royal Canin food? They've got it. And again, if your order is at least $50, you get free shipping. I don't know about you, but $50 is easy to hit when you're stocking up for a month or two.


Shipping was very fast as well. I placed my order on Tuesday afternoon and it was delivered in two separate shipments which came on Thursday and Friday (food and litter were shipped separately). I think that's pretty awesome! You'd think that with free shipping you'd expect to wait at least a week to get your order, but no, MrChewy.com features some of the fastest shipping I've seen in any online industry, not just pet supplies. Very impressive, and very comforting when you are running low!


So if you love your pets and only want the best for them--without breaking the bank--give MrChewy.com a try. I think you'll be pleasantly surprised at how easy it is to order from them and have everything conveniently delivered right to your door. Your pets will thank you too. :)


Follow Mr. Chewy's escapades on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/MrChewyPets and Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/MrChewy

Want to help pets in need? Just place your MrChewy.com order and use this referral code: TNSH5315 when you check out to get 10% off your order, plus Mr. Chewy will donate $10 to an animal charity! Wow! That's a win-win situation! Offer is only valid for new Mr. Chewy customers and you can only use the referral code once to get the 10% discount. But if we spread the word about this charitable opportunity, we can help make a real difference in the lives of pets in need. More info here: https://www.mrchewy.com/app/account/about/referrals

January 18, 2012

Movie review: THE WHISTLEBLOWER

THE WHISTLEBLOWER

Academy Award® winner Rachel Weisz
stars in the heart-pounding suspense thriller
arriving on Blu-ray and DVD January 24

"Rachel Weisz’s performance holds the viewer every step of the way!"
-Variety

"Incendiary. Bracing. Explosive."
-The Hollywood Reporter


Summary: How far will one woman go to fight global injustice? Clandestine secrets are waiting to be exposed in the gripping dramatic thriller THE WHISTLEBLOWER, arriving on Blu-ray and DVD January 24 from Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment. Inspired by true events, THE WHISTLEBLOWER has been met with praise by critics and heralded at the Palm Springs International Film Festival ("Best Narrative Feature"), Seattle Film Festival ("Best Director") and Whistler Film Festival ("Best Film", "Best Narrative Feature").

Academy Award winners Rachel Weisz (The Constant Gardner) and Vanessa Redgrave (Julia) head a powerful cast that includes Oscar® Nominee David Strathairn (Good Night and Good Luck) in writer-director Larysa Kondracki’s harrowing dramatic thriller. When Nebraska cop Kathryn Bolkovac (Weisz) accepts a U.N. peacekeeper position in post-war Bosnia, she uncovers a deadly sex trafficking ring. After learning that fellow peacekeepers and military contractors are involved in the ghastly practice and its cover-up, Bolkovac risks her own life to save the lives of others and expose the corruption. With masterful acting and a heart-racing plot, THE WHISTLEBLOWER is an acclaimed film inspired by actual events and includes stellar supporting performances from Benedict Cumberbatch ("Sherlock"), Monica Bellucci (The Matrix Reloaded) and David Hewlett ("Stargate: Atlantis").


Based on true events, THE WHISTLEBLOWER is difficult to watch. The subject matter is rough: prostitution, exploitation, slavery, human trafficking, torture...against European women in Bosnia. Like millions of others around the world, I've heard the horror stories of how women were (are?) treated in Bosnia and Herzegovina. But until you've seen graphic depictions and been given a glimpse into the lives of real women caught in the crossfire, the horror is somehow remote.

This movie brings it all home with scenes that are sometimes hard to watch. Knowing that it is based on real-life events and not just someone's imagination really adds authenticity, which makes it even worse. But there's an unlikely hero here... or rather heroine... in the form of UN Peacekeeper Kathryn Bolkovac (Rachel Weisz in a riveting performance). When she uncovers not just the horrendous injustice but discovers coverups and even involvement by key UN personnel, her own life is suddenly in danger.

THE WHISTLEBLOWER is edge-of-your-seat suspense. You can't look away, you're afraid you'll miss something. And you find yourself rooting for Bolkovac as she fights deep-seated corruption with courage and conviction. Vanessa Redgrave as an advocate for women's rights adds a touch of class to a dark tale.

Hard to watch, yes. But a must-see film for understanding the reality of what has happened, may still be happening, and can happen anywhere when people turn a blind eye to inhumanity for the sake of greed.

January 15, 2012

Movie review: What's Your Number?


WHAT'S YOUR NUMBER?
An outrageous romantic comedy


Ring in the New Year with a fresh and funny tale about dating, relationships and life as Anna Faris (Scary Movie Franchise, The House Bunny) and Chris Evans (Fantastic Four, Captain America) come together in a hilarious quest for "the one" in WHAT’S YOUR NUMBER? Unrated Ex-tended Cut, debuting on Blu-ray and DVD January 10 from Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment.

After reading a magazine article that insists if a woman has slept with at least 20 people that they have already missed Mr. Right, marketing executive Ally Darling (Anna Faris) begins to panic, thinking that she will be alone forever. With the help of her hunky new neighbor (Chris Evans), Ally starts tracking down all her ex-boyfriends, hoping to find her real true love while she helps him escape his latest fling. Hilarious hijinks and adventure ensues as Ally goes on her wild search for the best "ex" of her life, only to find what she is looking has been right in front of her all along.

Featuring hysterical supporting performances from Chris Pratt (Moneyball, "Parks and Recreation"), Joel McHale ("The Soup", "Community") and Andy Samberg ("Saturday Night Live", Hot Rod), WHAT’S YOUR NUMBER? is based on the book "20 Times A Lady" by Karen Bosnak and will be available as a Blu-ray combo pack and single disc DVD. Flaunting an unrated extended cut of the film and loaded with laugh-out-loud bonus material including new expanded flashback dates and gag reel, the Blu-ray combo pack and single disc DVD will be available for an average retail price of $29.99 and $19.99 respectively.


Since I don't "date" anymore, a "date night movie" just doesn't appeal to me. But...if you're looking for a funny girl-talk movie to watch with your female friends and have a good belly-laugh or two, you can do much worse than WHAT'S YOUR NUMBER?

Let me say right off the bat that this is predictable territory. Nothing new here. A woman is looking for Mr. Right and discovers before it's too late that he was right under her nose the whole time. It's been done to death, and you know it as soon as "the hunky new neighbor" walks in the door. Yawn.

I will even go so far as to say that I almost stopped watching this movie about fifteen or twenty minutes in. The lead female character Ally (Anna Faris) reads a magazine article that says the average woman has slept with (insert any number here). In a moment of boredom, Ally makes a list of all the men she's slept with in her short single life and is shocked when that number is so much higher than the magazine article states is normal.

So instead of increasing that number and labeling herself a slut, Ally embarks on a quest to rediscover her old flames on the chance that she actually passed up Mr. Right long ago, or that perhaps some of them have changed over the years and may be right for her after all.

This is a very narrow and flawed view of relationships and the search for someone to spend the rest of your life with.

But WHAT'S YOUR NUMBER? isn't the real world. This is fiction turned into a movie. So a great deal of suspension of disbelief is required to fully enjoy it.

And maybe I myself became a cliche when the "hunky new neighbor" walked on the screen, because he's the only reason I kept watching this silly movie. I knew without doubt that they would end up together, but hoped there would be some funny bits in between.

I'm happy to report that there were a lot of funny bits in between. The hunk happens to be good at Internet searching, and Ally strikes a bargain with him to help track down her 19 bed partners so she can reconnect with them to see what she missed. Yeah, you really have to get over that cutesy, convenient plotline to really enjoy this movie, but once you do, you find yourself as hooked as Ally to see how those "old flames" are faring today and if there's still any spark left. It definitely had me thinking about my own past relationships and how things might have been different or what they are like today.

Anyway, suffice it to say that the search turns up some comedic moments as well as some romantic ones, and this is after all a romantic comedy. The fact that some of the comedy is ill-timed and just juvenile doesn't take away too much enjoyment. For movie night with the gal pals, this will do nicely. Just don't expect too much and you won't be disappointed.

But I know everyone has different tastes, and if this kind of thing is right up your alley, then you might enjoy the Dating Survival Kit on the movie's web page. There's also a Douche-O-Meter if you want to find out if your current flame is right for you. Just remember this is all in fun. :)

January 10, 2012

Purex = Innovation in laundry products! {review & #giveaway}


Being a member of the Purex Insiders means I get to try new products. If there's one thing I love doing, it's trying new products before they hit the shelves. Purex has always been a leader in laundry care products and their newest products are true innovations in that field.
Purex UltraPacks are a hassle-free way to add detergent to your washer. The package contains "bricks" of enclosed liquid detergent that you just toss in with your laundry. The coating on the outside is a thin water-soluble film that breaks down quickly in the wash water, adding just the right amount of detergent without the measuring. It even works in cold water.
Each Purex UltraPack contains powerful 2x concentrated liquid detergent, giving each UltraPack double the cleaning power in every drop. Purex UltraPacks are formulated and safe for all machines, including high-efficiency (HE).

No more mess.
No more spills.
No more heavy jugs.
It's laundry simplified.

Brilliant!
For best results:
• Dry your hands before handling the UltraPacks – water dissolves the film.
• Put (1) pack in the washer before adding clothing (the more time they spend in the water, the faster they dissolve). For larger or heavily soiled loads, use an additional pack.
• If you have a front loader, make sure to put the pack directly into the drum, not in the drawer.

Purex sent me a sample of these UltraPacks and I have to tell you I was a little skeptical at first. Each brick is about the size of a small egg and I just couldn't see how that little amount of detergent was going to clean my whole wash load.

Wow, was I surprised! Not only did it clean the whole wash, but the smell was heavenly. I tried Mountain Breeze (it also comes in Free & Clear -- unscented) and the scent was delightful. My laundry truly smelled fresh as mountain air, without even adding softener or any other scented laundry product. And the smell was light and fresh, not overpowering like so many other laundry products I've tried.

But the real proof of how well these UltraPacks work is how clean they get your laundry. I need not have worried at all on that score. Each brick is full of Purex's new Triple Action liquid formula detergent, which is concentrated to deliver big performance in small doses. And it truly works amazingly well.

I love the new UltraPacks and these are definitely going on my shopping list from now on. No more lugging around heavy jugs! No more measuring! No more drips! No more spills! What's not to love? :)

Purex UltraPacks are scheduled to hit stores some time in February 2012. Purex will also make some free samples available at that time, so stay tuned for info on how you can get your own free sample of UltraPacks to try for yourself.

And speaking of Purex Triple Action liquid detergent, I was able to try a bottle so that I'd be able to tell you about it. I love the convenience of the UltraPacks, but the best part of the UltraPacks is the detergent inside...and that detergent is Purex Triple Action liquid.
This new and improved Triple Action formula delivers even better on Purex’s promise to leave your clothes bright, white, and clean, and as always, for half the price of the leading brand! Over the past year their R&D scientists have been working hard to create an even better Purex formula. And not just a better formula, but one that will continue to deliver the value that Purex stands for. Mindful of consumers’ pocketbooks, they are committed to bringing a great product at a great value. The new Purex Triple Action formula is just that. It’s an even better clean, for half the price of the leading brand.
Just like all Purex current detergents, new Purex Triple Action has been specifically formulated to work in both traditional and High E ciency (HE) washers. This ensures that Purex is always available to consumers, no matter what kind of washer you have.
Triple Action works will all your laundry, from the lightest loads to the most heavily soiled. Yet for all its cleaning power, it is gentle to fabrics. But don't just take my word for it. Soon Purex will be offering free samples of Triple Action as well! Watch for the announcement when the promotion is released so you can grab your free samples before they are gone.

And while we're talking about innovative new Purex laundry products, have you tried new Purex Complete Crystals softener?
These new crystals are fabulous! You add them to the wash water. That's right. No more waiting around trying to catch the rinse cycle to add fabric softener. They come in easy pour containers that aren't heavy like those liquid jugs, and there's no danger of staining by pouring liquid softener directly on delicate fabrics. And the scents are wonderful!
Purex Complete Crystals are 92% natural. This product’s unique crystal form works differently than traditional oil-based softeners that coat fabrics with oily residue, because it infuses fibers with long-lasting fragrance.

Over time, traditional oil-based softeners coat fibers, causing harmful oily residue to accumulate. Purex Complete Crystals Softeners penetrate fabrics to reduce fiber entanglement and smooth frayed fibers, providing a naturally soft feel. Purex Complete Crystals Softeners are safe for all laundry and will not harm, wear down or discolor your fabrics like oil-based softeners. Safe for all fabrics, including baby clothes, athletic wear, towels, and whites.

Unlike other softeners, Crystals WILL:
• Preserve the flame retardant benefits of your children’s clothes
• Retain your athletic wear’s wicking ability which draws sweat away from your body
• Maintain your towels’ built-in ability to absorb water
• Keep your white clothing from yellowing and graying vs. using traditional softeners

The product won’t harm your clothes and is safe and convenient for the entire family!

To convince me that these crystals are safe even for athletic wear, Jockey provided a Tech Terry Performance Sports Bra for me to use and then launder in Purex Complete Crystals Softener. This moisture-wicking sports bra helped keep me cool and comfortable, with breathable mesh panels and a soft bottom band for comfortable support.
Up until now, most athletic wear such as the Jockey Tech Terry Performance Sports Bra had to be washed by hand to maintain its properties. If you accidentally washed it with a normal laundry load, most likely it was on its way to ruin. Harsh detergents break down the delicate moisture-wicking fibers, and oil-based softeners coat them with residue, detrimentally affecting their moisture-wicking properties.

Purex Crystals do not contain oil and are 92% natural, so your athletic wear stays newer longer. And the pleasant scent lasts for days, even weeks! I wore and then washed my Jockey Tech Terry Performance Sports Bra four times using Triple Action Purex detergent or the new UltraPacks along with Purex Complete Crystals and the sports bra is still good as new! I'll be using this to wash all my delicate lingerie and sportswear from now on. It's safe for children's pajamas, too.
So next time you've got laundry products on your shopping list, I encourage you to give these new Purex products a try. They don't just work as promised...they work as promised at a cheaper cost than most nationally recognized brands. Can't beat that!

From now on, laundry time is Team Purex time!

And for a limited time, get a 20% off discount code for Jockey. Just go to http://www.purex.com/jockey

Want to win a Jockey Tech Terry Performance Sports Bra and a bottle of Purex Complete Crystals Softener? Then you're in luck! One lucky Shady Lady reader will win the same package I was sent to try Jockey activewear and Purex Crystals.

Just use the Rafflecopter entry method for your entries. Give it a minute or two to load. If Rafflecopter still isn't working for you, leave a blog comment with your entries and I'll take them into consideration when choosing a winner.

US only please. Giveaway ends midnight CST Tuesday January 17. Good luck!

January 6, 2012

Movie review: "In Time" - Justin Timberlake, Amanda Seyfried


IN THE FUTURE, EVERY SECOND COUNTS

IN TIME

Justin Timberlake, Amanda Seyfried and Cillian Murphy
Star in The Pulse-Pounding Sci-Fi Thriller
Debuting on Blu-ray and DVD January 31

Summary: Let the countdown begin. Leave the existing world behind and enter into a futuristic world where the aging gene is switched off after 25 and time is money, literally, that many can’t afford in the cutting-edge thriller IN TIME, arriving on Blu-ray and DVD January 31 from Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment. Featuring an all-star cast including Justin Timberlake (The Social Network), Amanda Seyfried (Mamma Mia!) and Cillian Murphy (Inception), the film puts an innovative spin on class warfare and explores the corruptness that lies within.

In the future, time has become the ultimate currency and genetic alteration has allowed people to stop aging at 25 years old. Upon reaching 25, the countdown begins and in order to stay alive everyone must work to buy themselves more time or die within a year. The rich can buy their way out of the situation, while the rest are left to negotiate for immortality. When a struggling young man, Will Salas (Timberlake), comes in contact with a “millionaire,” he is gifted more time than he can imagine. Falsely accused of murder, Will is a fugitive on the run and becomes determined to bring down the entire system by any means possible.

Showcasing stunning visual effects and gravity defying stunts, the IN TIME Blu-ray is loaded with bonus materials including an exclusive featurette “THE MINUTES” to discover the origins of the film’s time based society, deleted and extended scenes, and access to the enhanced IN TIME THE GAME APP. DVD special features include deleted and extended scenes. IN TIME will be available on Blu-ray for an average retail price of $24.99 and on DVD for $19.99, respectively. Prebook is January 4
 
Since I'm an avid reader and a big movie buff, I thought I had read or seen it all.

But I was wrong.

IN TIME is a stunningly original futuristic film that really makes you think about what is important in your life. It reminds me a bit of LOGAN'S RUN, wherein the inhabitants reach a certain age and then their lives are extinguished.

Only this planned extinction isn't about survival or population control -- it's about greed. By making time itself the most valuable commodity on earth, the rich get richer by becoming, well, basically immortal (how can someone possibly live to "spend" one million years?!) while the poor struggle day by day, hour by hour, minute by minute, second by second.


When the clock reaches zero, you die. No exceptions. But "recharging" your clock is as simple as replacing time, whether by working for it, borrowing against it, or stealing it. Going around in public with more than a year or two is likely to get you killed. Oh, they'd take your time first, leaving you with 0000:00:0:00:00:00 -- at which point you die anyway. But it's considered murder to take away someone's time, because you're taking away their remaining life.

So when an aging millionaire is ready to die after living over one hundred years, he selects Will Salas (Justin Timberlake) to be the "beneficiary" of some of his remaining time -- one hundred years, a small fortune to someone like Will who usually has only about a day at a time and must constantly hustle to survive. He kills himself in effect by draining his own time clock and depositing it into Will's.

Will is wrongly accused of causing this death and stealing the man's time, thus setting into motion a chain of events that make the viewer question his or her own sense of what's right and wrong, what's worth saving and preserving, and what's worth living and dying for.


I must admit I've never been much of a Timberlake fan as far as his music is concerned, but since he's started making movies, he's really enjoyable to watch. He was quite good in BLACK SNAKE MOAN and convincingly slimy in THE SOCIAL NETWORK. More recently FRIENDS WITH BENEFITS showcased his acting talents, but IN TIME really works his acting chops. And he delivers.

If you're looking for a movie to spend an evening at home with, I can highly recommend IN TIME. It's original, suspenseful, fast-paced, and will likely leave you with more questions than answers. It's a movie you'll discuss around the water cooler at work. It's thought-provoking, and isn't that what the best movies are?

IN TIME from 20th Century Fox is scheduled for release on DVD and Blu-ray on January 31st, but you can pre-book now. This is one to add to your movie collection, especially if you're a fan of speculative fiction and action movies.

January 1, 2012

I hate new year resolutions...


...because I can never seem to keep them.

Lose weight?

Quit smoking?

Stop bad habits?

Spend more time with friends and family?

Live more frugally?

Get more exercise?

Sure, they all sound good and are reachable goals...but the reality is usually different. What is the old saying -- The road to Hell is paved with good intentions.

Well, okay, maybe it's not that drastic. But hey, it's hard to maintain momentum, don't you agree?

Except this year must be different for me. I need to do all of the above list of resolutions. But the most important one -- at least right now -- is get more exercise.

I've mentioned before about having osteoarthritis and having had total hip replacement, not once but twice on the same hip. It's pretty much shot at this point. I could walk okay for very short distances, but any lengthy walking wore me out quickly. I'm talking about walking from the parking lot at the mall to the front door. I'd be limping badly by the time I got there. Seriously. The weak leg was that weak.

Lately I've been having trouble with my good leg. My orthopedic surgeon didn't have a clue why. I was afraid I'd need hip replacement on my "good" leg too, but the x-rays didn't show any serious osteoarthritis problem. So the only conclusion I can come up with is that the years and years and years of putting extra pressure on the good leg to make up for the weakness in the bad leg has finally seriously damaged the muscles and joint.

It's like bursitis of the hip or something. The muscles have become so tight and strained I can't get in and out of the car without pain. I've always lain on my good side while sleeping, since it was uncomfortable to lie on the bad side. I truly believe that the constant pressure is to blame for where I find myself today.

Which is requiring a walking cane to walk at all.

I'm not kidding. I'm only 58 years old and the condition isn't bad enough (so they say) to be able to apply for disability, so I have no choice but to keep working until retirement age. But having to use a cane to walk severely limits my job opportunities, not to mention who's going to hire me?

So I think my only choice is to exercise both legs more, in hopes that by strengthening the muscles, the pressure -- and limping -- will be if not eradicated, at least lessened somewhat. But walking for exercise is obviously out of the question. I do have a bicycle, and as soon as the weather improves I'll just have to make time for bike riding every day and hope the situation improves.

It sucks growing older....but I guess it's better than the alternative!

What are your new year resolutions? Besides the usual ones, is there something you feel you simply must do to get your life back on track?