The Art of Random Willy-Nillyness: March 2015

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Talbott Teas’ Chocolate Lover's Collection Gift Set Giveaway!


I am a tea lover. I have written various times about how my dream is to own a tea house one day. Not even for the money, just so I can drink tea and eat little sandwiches all day long.

When I was asked to review the Talbott Teas’ Chocolate Lover's Collection Gift Set, I jumped at the chance. I had never has Talbott Teas before. I had heard of them. I know that Talbott Teas were named one of Oprah’s Ultimate Favorite Things and funded from ABC’s Shark Tank.

I received the Chocolate Lover’s Gift Set. The gift set had 3 delicious flavors that included Chocolate Almond Allure, Caramel Sundae Escape, and Chocolate Strawberry Temptation. This is loose tea so luckily the set included filters. I prefer loose tea to tea bags so this was a real treat.


I tried the Caramel Sundae and Chocolate Almond Allure teas and they were delicious. With flavored teas unlike coffee, you get the subtle taste of the flavors. So the teas have the hint of chocolate or caramel. And they are delicious. I had my teas hot but I cannot wait for summer so I can make iced tea with these fantastic flavors!

Talbott has both caffeinated and decaffeinated teas. The variety of teas that are available for purchase are amazing. You can also find gifts like tea spoons, spa essentials and cups on the site. What a great gift this would make for the tea lover in your life. You can find Talbott Tea online or at various retail outlets. To see where you can purchase Talbott Teas, click here.

If you want a chance to win a  Talbott Teas’ Chocolate Lover's Collection Gift Set that includes a sleek striped keepsake gift box with three tins of premium, natural loose leaf tea: Chocolate Almond Allure, Caramel Sundae Escape, and Chocolate Strawberry Temptation, with tea filters and honey straws. then enter on the Rafflecopter widget below!

a Rafflecopter giveaway



Rules: One entry per person per day. Once a winner is drawn I will contact them and the winner will have 48 hours to reply back before I draw a new winner. Giveaway is open to US residents only who are 18 years of age or older.

Disclosure: I received a sample product for review purposes. No other compensation was given and the opinions in this post are solely mine and are based on my experience with the product. Sponsors are responsible for shipping prizes unless otherwise stated. I am not responsible if sponsors do not fulfill prize. Please allow 6-8 weeks for delivery of any prizes.

Monday, March 30, 2015

Last Minute Gifts for Easter at GourmetGiftBaskets.com + Giveaway!!!



Easter is right around the corner and if you need some wonderful and last minute Easter gifts then you want to check out GourmetGiftBaskets.com a 13-year-old, family-owned gifting company based in New Hampshire. GourmetGiftBaskets.com has so many fabulous gifts for Easter. From flowers to Easter baskets. 

The #1 best selling Easter basket is the Double-Bunny Easter Basket that includes wonderful and tasty treats like a Chocolate Bunny, Peeps, M&Ms, Twizzlers, Laffy Taffy, Confetti Popcorn, Jawbreakers, Smarties and more. This basket also contains Three Frisbees and plush toys. 





This year, thanks to GourmetGiftBaskets.com, I received the 12-inch Easter Cookie Cake. These are a great alternative to a traditional Easter basket. The cookie is fun and tasty. It is like having a cake. It is sweet and rich. The frosting is an extra added bonus. Plus, it was a great hit at my house. This would make a perfect hostess gift. 


There are also other last minute gifts that would be perfect. Look at all these choices starting at $24.99:

Hippity Hoppity , $29.99
Easter Classic , $39.99

Head over to GourmetGiftBasket.com and look at all the items. You will find something for everyone on your Easter list.

If you want to win a Easter Cookie Cake enter on the Rafflecopter widget below! Yummo!


a Rafflecopter giveaway



Rules: One entry per person per day. Once a winner is drawn I will contact them and the winner will have 48 hours to reply back before I draw a new winner. Giveaway is open to US residents only who are 18 years of age or older.

Disclosure: I received a sample product for review purposes. No other compensation was given and the opinions in this post are solely mine and are based on my experience with the product. Sponsors are responsible for shipping prizes unless otherwise stated. I am not responsible if sponsors do not fulfill prize. Please allow 6-8 weeks for delivery of any prizes.

Friday, March 27, 2015

NOBLE Movie ~ Downton Abbey Themed Giveaway!

"I will receive the same the same prize pack for posting this giveaway. All opinions are my own."

I am a Downton Abbey Fanatic. I watch it every Sunday. It is one of my favorite TV shows. One of my favorite characters is Mr. Bates, played by Brendan Coyle. He and Anna are the star crossed lovers who deserve happiness and I am always rooting for them. The good thing is Mr. Coyle is doing other things besides Downton Abbey. He is starring in a new movie: NOBLE.



Here is the synopsis of NOBLE:
They broke everything but her spirit. They took everything but her dream. NOBLE, the award-winning feature film, is the incredible true story of a fearless Irish heroine driven by her daring vision to escape the slums of Ireland and risk everything on the streets of Vietnam. 
Winner of six U.S. film festival awards, including the Panavision Spirit Award at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival, the powerful biopic drama written and directed by Stephen Bradley is heralded by critics as “raw and genuinely powerful,” “captivating” and “moving.” The Hollywood Reporter calls it “a joyful and rousing affirmation of the human spirit that will resound widely.”



To celebrate the NOBLE, coming out on May 8th, I am giving away a one-of-a-kind Downton Abbey-themed giveaway! It's for the new award-winning film NOBLE starring Brendan Coyle (Mr. Bates on Downton Abbey).



The prize pack is a treasure for any Downton fan. It includes:

• One (1) photo of Brendan Coyle (Mr. Bates), autographed by Mr. Coyle himself!
• One (1) The World of Downton Abbey hardcover book by Jessica Fellowes, an acclaimed behind-the-scenes look at the beloved show
• One (1) signed NOBLE movie poster

This giveaway is made possible by the new film, NOBLE, about Christina Noble, an Irishwoman who's saved over 700,000 orphans in Vietnam. Deirdre O'Kane and Brendan Coyle (Mr. Bates on Downtown Abbey) star in the award-winning film.

For another chance to win, enter the She is Noble contest, inspired by Christina's story. Go to the website and nominate a heroic woman you know who's quietly changing the world around her. You could win a free 5-day/4-night trip to Ireland!

When you enter, use my referral code: willynillyness

To win the prize pack, enter on the Rafflecopter widget below. And don't forget to enter the She is Noble Contest as well!

a Rafflecopter giveaway



Rules: One entry per person per day. Once a winner is drawn I will contact them and the winner will have 48 hours to reply back before I draw a new winner. Giveaway is open to US residents only who are 18 years of age or older.

Disclosure: I received a sample product for review purposes. No other compensation was given and the opinions in this post are solely mine and are based on my experience with the product. Sponsors are responsible for shipping prizes unless otherwise stated. I am not responsible if sponsors do not fulfill prize. Please allow 6-8 weeks for delivery of any prizes.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

GreaterGood Shop Giveaway!!



I have always shopped at NOVICA. If you have not checked out that site, you should. NOVICA offers great products from around the world. Now NOVICA had a new sister website called We're the GreaterGood Shop that offers some of the same great products.

The partnership with GreaterGood is even better because the website benefits so many important causes, such as funding meals for veterans, providing books to children in need, and making mammograms accessible to all women.

I love shopping but I love shopping more when the money I spend also goes to help others. The GreaterGood shop is amazing. There are so many items to choose from. You can find apparel, jewelry, home decor items and items for your pets.




It took me a while to find the items I wanted. I found an adorable owl apron. A cute top for my sister and the best tote ever. There were so many more items I could have bought but I did not. Although I will be going back because there are not only items I want but items that I can buy for gifts.



Because there are so many choices, you can find something for everyone on your gift list. And I cannot wait for the holidays because this is a great place to shop. If you are looking for unique and special gifts, then head over tot he GreaterGood shop and look around.

I have a $50 gift code for one lucky winner! Just enter below on the Rafflecopter widget!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Rules: One entry per person per day. Once a winner is drawn I will contact them and the winner will have 48 hours to reply back before I draw a new winner. Giveaway is open to US residents only who are 18 years of age or older.

Disclosure: I received a sample product for review purposes. No other compensation was given and the opinions in this post are solely mine and are based on my experience with the product. Sponsors are responsible for shipping prizes unless otherwise stated. I am not responsible if sponsors do not fulfill prize. Please allow 6-8 weeks for delivery of any prizes.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Tuttorosso Tomatoes "Inspiralize the Spring" Facebook Giveaway!


I have reviewed Tuttorosso Tomatoes several times on my blog. I use them often because they are high quality canned tomatoes. Tuttorosso tomatoes are always good.  I use them in everything from making pasta sauce to stews and other recipes. I love all the different types of tomatoes they offer. From plum tomatoes to tomato sauce and whole tomatoes as well. Each type is used for a different dish.

Here is a little info on Tuttorosso Tomatoes:
As company background, the Red Gold company (which makes the Tuttorosso  brand) has been around since the 1940s focused on growing local in the  Midwest (Indiana, Michigan and Ohio) where true seasons impact the  flavor of tomatoes. The Midwest, while it's cold in the winter, has the  perfect growing season for tomatoes, perfect angle of the sun, perfect  temps -- and even the winter is good for tomatoes, as it breaks up the  soil for tiny root systems.





Now that Spring is almost, I say almost because we still have a chill in the air, it's time to look for some new recipes to try. And, luckily, Tuttorosso is teaming up with Ali Maffucci of Inspiralized to host a "Inspiralize the Spring" Facebook promotion.

The Facebook promotion will run from March 25 - April 15, and gives fans a chance to win weekly prizes. The prizes include Spiralizers (20/week), Inspiralized Book (5/week) and Aprons (250/week). There is also a grand prize package of a Spiralizer, Inspiralized Book, Apron, Picnic Basket and Kitchen Gadgets. Just go to https://www.facebook.com/tuttorossotomato to enter.

You definitely have to enter because these are some great prizes. You know I already entered! If you want to win a pack of Tuttorosso Tomatoes Sample Kit that includes a 28 oz Tuttorosso Crushed with Basil, Tuttorosso NSA Peeled Plum and Tuttorosso Diced Tomatoes, then enter below on the Rafflecopter widget below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Rules: One entry per person per day. Once a winner is drawn I will contact them and the winner will have 48 hours to reply back before I draw a new winner. Giveaway is open to US residents only who are 18 years of age or older.

Disclosure: I received a sample product for review purposes. No other compensation was given and the opinions in this post are solely mine and are based on my experience with the product. Sponsors are responsible for shipping prizes unless otherwise stated. I am not responsible if sponsors do not fulfill prize. Please allow 6-8 weeks for delivery of any prizes.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

IGIGI Dressed Me For the Red Carpet!

I want to thank IGIGI for the beautiful dress that was sent so I could walk the Cinderella Red Carpet in style. It was perfect. The lacy bottom made me feel like a princess. The color was perfect. As always, IGIGI dresses are well made and look great on any body size.

Mine was fantastic and I looked great, if I do say so myself. And thanks to JCPenney for the jewels!




Monday, March 23, 2015

Downy Wrinkle Releaser Giveaway!



Besides cleaning toilets the worst thing I can imagine doing in the household is irong. I hate ironing. But it is a chore that I have to do if I want to look presentable. We have a dryer with a Steam Fresh cycle but the Steam Fresh cycle is not always perfect. There are times when clothes is just too wrinkled.

My solution is using Downy Wrinkle Releaser. A few years ago, I reviewed Downy Wrinkle Releaser. I loved it then and I love it now. When I need to get wrinkles out of my clothes, I break out the Downy Wrinkle Releaser, spray the area and rub. The wrinkles come out and the clothes looks fresh and clean!

Downy Wrinkle Releaser is amazing. It works on t-shirts, pants, nice blouses and dresses. It even worked for my little sweater shrugs. It also works on draperies, pillow cases and other household goods. Silicones in Downy Wrinkle Release Plus grip the fabric fibers making it possible for them to slide against each other rather than being frozen in a crease so wrinkles are no longer a time consuming problem.

I also love traveling with a little bottle of Downy Wrinkle Releaser. Since I will not iron on vacation, I love to be able to have the Downy to keep my travel clothes wrinkle free and fresh smelling. It is one of the few items I cannot travel without!


If you are against ironing like I am, this might be a product you want to check out. You can find it at any mass retailer. If you want to a great Downy Wrinkle Releaser gift pack then enter on the Rafflecopter widget below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Rules: One entry per person per day. Once a winner is drawn I will contact them and the winner will have 48 hours to reply back before I draw a new winner. Giveaway is open to US residents only who are 18 years of age or older.

Disclosure: I received a sample product for review purposes. No other compensation was given and the opinions in this post are solely mine and are based on my experience with the product. Sponsors are responsible for shipping prizes unless otherwise stated. I am not responsible if sponsors do not fulfill prize. Please allow 6-8 weeks for delivery of any prizes.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Into the Woods IN-HOME RELEASE March 24th on Blu-ray and Digital HD! Plus Meryl Streep Interview!

From the director of “Chicago” and the producer of “Wicked” comes a modern twist on the beloved fairy tales you thought you knew. Academy Award®-Winning actress Meryl Streep (Best Actress, The Iron Lady), leads an all-star cast in this enchanted adventure about daring to venture Into The Woods.
Iconic characters, such as Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood, Jack and the Beanstalk and Rapunzel, find their fates intertwined with a humble baker and his wife, whose longing to have a child sends them on a quest to reverse a witch’s (Streep) curse. With an all-star cast, this spellbinding adventure is everything you could ever wish for! 
With the Digital, Disney Movies Anywhere (DMA), Blu-ray™ Combo Pack, DVD and On-Demand release of the spellbinding adventure about to be released, we talk to actress Meryl Streep to learn about her enchanting journey Into The Woods…


Into the Woods was one of my favorite movies last year! It was so much fun! Plus, the music is amazing and the actors were great as well. If you have not seen, you need to. Luckily, you can buy it on March 24th because it will be released!

To celebrate the in-home release, I have an interview with Meryl! I did not interview her but this was made available to me. Since I LOVE Meryl, I wanted to share it! First watch this great clip!





Tell us what drew you to the project.

When I turned 40, I was offered three witches in one year and I realized this was the way my career was going to go: they don’t know what to do with women past a certain age. So I turned them down and I have said “no” to playing witches ever since. However, I changed my mind when this role came along because this witch is quite different. First of all, she transforms. Her whole reason for being is to reverse a curse that has been placed on her; she sets in motion all sorts of devices and causes a dramatic upheaval in everybody’s lives. I believe fairy tales have evolved as cautionary tales. They were told to scare children away from the dangers they would encounter in their lives and to encourage young women to marry rich men. Everybody is encouraged to find a Prince and live happily ever after and sometimes it doesn’t work that way. This is where the “Into the Woods” fairy tale becomes reality and it gets really exciting, random, weird and almost like real life. For an actor, they are great fun.

Were you familiar with the stage production prior to signing onto the film?
I went to see the musical when it was on Broadway with the great Bernadette Peters playing the Witch, and I thought it was fantastic. There is no one like Stephen Sondheim. There is no one who writes singable, character-driven music that tells a story. The wit, the intelligence and the daring in his music is unparalleled, so I was really happy to have the chance to work on it.



Tell us about Rob Marshall as a director.
Rob has a percussive sense of the movement of the piece, like a conductor. He has got the rhythm of it in his body. He is a former dancer, so I think it is really important for him to keep the incipient heartbeat of the piece beating and pushing forward; musically, emotionally and visually. He is the ideal guy to do that. He is also extremely gentle as a man and has a soft touch, never over-powering, no big ego…it is all about the work and making it happen.

Talk to us about the singing the film required.
I really love the music from “Into the Woods.” I actually love it more every time I listen to it. When you first encounter the music, it’s arresting but on the second and third listening it has more and more to give you. And when you're in a musical they pump the music that we’ve recorded in a studio beforehand through the whole set. I remember coming out of the theater on Broadway and singing “No One Is Alone” to myself – that song just pierces you when you hear it. The other songs are equally as wonderful.

What do you hope audiences take away from the film?
This is a musical with a brain. There is an intelligence at work because it is Sondheim and Lapine. It is visually fun and emotionally satisfying but it also has this other element that engages us as artists and makes us want to bring everything we can to it. Musically, it is challenging and thrilling and so this is what I hope for the audience: that they will be thrilled and challenged.

What can you tell us about the new Stephen Sondheim deleted song “She’ll Be Back”, which is exclusive to the in-home release of the movie?
I have a song that is brand new that Stephen Sondheim wrote for our movie. It’s called She’ll Be Back. It turned out good and that was just thrilling. It’s about Rapunzel leaving and The Witch thinking she’ll be back, but she won’t. We can all relate [to that].

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Do you qualify as a Colgate Brand Decision Maker?

This is a sponsored post. I received a promotional item as a thank you for participating.


Do you love to share your thoughts and opinions? Colgate is looking for some creative women to help inspire their future products.

Live close to LA, Houston, Miami or the NY Metro area and come from a Hispanic/Latina background? Join an exclusive, private, 2-month online community where you can share your opinions directly with brand decision makers.

In addition to the opportunity to impact the brand, members will receive a $100 Amazon gift code at the close of the 2 months. Additionally, there will be an opportunity for some to participate in an in-person workshop for an additional $250.

See if you qualify here.

Friday, March 20, 2015

Cinderella Movie Activity Sheets! #CinderellaEvent

You all know I love Cinderella. Luckily, I have some activity sheets for your kids. Or for you! I still, at my age, love word search puzzles and spot the difference games!

Just click on the sheet, print and Enjoy!










Thursday, March 19, 2015

NeoCell Keratin Hair Volumizer and Collagen C+ Review and Giveaway!


As I age, I have noticed a few things. My hair is thinning and falling out. My nails are getting weaker and breaking more easily than usual. I am not liking the results. So I started working toward finding products that will help me maintain.

Luckily, NEO CELL has products that help me in my journey. I recently received samples of Keratin Hair Volumizer and Collagen + C to review.



Keratin Hair Volumizer
Keratin hair volumizer is an all-natural solution for strong, lustrous, and thick healthy hair that starts from the inside. Dry, brittle,thinning hair is associated with a lack of nutrients that are essential to strong and resilient hair. Keratin Hair Volumizer contains clinically proven ingredients to enhance hair strength and reduce normal hair loss.

Collagen Type 1&3 Benefits
Provides specific amino acids necessary to replenishing the body’s collagen supply helps minimize fine lines & wrinkles, and improves elasticity in the skin builds and supports bone matrix, corrects weak, broken, split and damaged nail beds, thickens fine hair, adds body and slows down hair loss, repairs connective tissues for improved elasticity; improves circulation; promotes glycine builds lean muscle to help burn fat while you sleep.

Now these are supplements and I cannot say they will work for you but I used the Keratin Hair Volumizer and have noticed that my hair is not falling out as fast as it was. I am hoping that it will continue helping me because I really want my hair to healthy.

The collagen seems to be working because my nails are not as weak as they were. Of course, that is just my opinion. Since I am aging, I am doing all I can to help myself. If it means taking a few supplements, I will.

If you want to try these supplements then go to NeoCell and see what they have to offer. There are supplements for joint health, muscle health, antioxidants and more. If you want to win a $50 NeoCell store credit then enter below on the Rafflecopter widget below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Rules: One entry per person per day. Once a winner is drawn I will contact them and the winner will have 48 hours to reply back before I draw a new winner. Giveaway is open to US residents only who are 18 years of age or older.

Disclosure: I received a sample product for review purposes. No other compensation was given and the opinions in this post are solely mine and are based on my experience with the product. Sponsors are responsible for shipping prizes unless otherwise stated. I am not responsible if sponsors do not fulfill prize. Please allow 6-8 weeks for delivery of any prizes.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Creating Costume Magic with Sandy Powell! #CinderellaEvent

Disclosure: I attended the #CinderellaEvent and my expenses: flight, accommodations, transportation and some meals were covered by Disney. All opinions, however, are 100% mine.



Speaking with Sandy Powell was amazing. To hear how she goes through the process of creating these costumes was fascinating. My husband is a lighting designer so I understand the artistry that it takes to make it all come together and Ms. Powell brings it.

Because the costumes are so beautiful. We were able to see them close up and they are so awesome. She was sassy and funny. She was by far one of the most interesting people I have ever met. All I have to say, is give this woman the Oscar NOW!



Q: How did you get your – do you get like a color palette beforehand, so that you know what colors to pool?

Sandy Powell (SP): A color palette from, what, from somebody else. No, but you're talking about the film as a whole.

Q: Yeah.

SP: I decide on all the colors. I mean, depends on the job, some jobs and some, Cinderella specifically, no. I kind of chose all the color palettes for each of the characters. And I work closely with the people who design the sets. And the set dressing, so that we make sure that nothing clashes with the curtains. And you know, the, all the furnishings. But no, the colors all, all of my doing. And that’s one of the things I really really enjoy more than anything else.



Q: Can you talk more about the symbolism in the colors?

SP: I can, but do you know what? I don't intellectualize it that much. I don't really think about – I don't pick colors for symbolic reasons. I pick colors because they feel right. And because I like them. I have a much more, instinctive feel about or intuitive reaction. And response to color as opposed to, I’m doing this because it symbolizes this or symbolizes this. But yes, I mean, of course the green does represent envy. All her colors were chosen [because] they're cool colors. None of them are kind colors. Or, or fresh colors or youthful colors. I think they're attractive colors because I wanted her to look like a fashion plate and attractive. But they're strong, but all of them are kind of bit mean.

Q: What was your favorite costume to make?

SP: They're all really meaningful to me. And like I said before, it’s like they're like my children, you don't have a favorite. I mean, you like different ones at different times of the day. But of course I’m incredibly proud of the ball gown. You can’t not be because that’s the one that took the longest. But it came out exactly how I hoped. So I’m, I’m proud of that one. But there are others that I love. I like the men’s as much as the women’s. I like them all. Or they wouldn't be there.

Q: How long did it take you to create all the costumes?

SP: I was actually working on this for over a year, from start to finish. Until the very last day of the shoot. Actually one of the last things we shot was the wedding scene, and the wedding dress was actually the last thing I designed. And that was really right towards the end of filming. So at least a year from start to finish.

Sandy talks about the costumes for the footmen:

It was an interesting process. Because it did actually start with the costume, so I had to do a costume that looked like a footman and how can I make that lizard-like? So I used the texture of the fabric. It was a fabric that we dyed, we dyed first of all like the greens and the yellows. And over the top was a lace. Like a silver lace which gives that sort of scaly effect. And then that was put over the top and then again it was painted again once the costume was made. It was like a tail coat but where the tail’s a little bit more exaggerated. And then the gloves were green and they were dyed with the yellow too. So it was actually all clothes. And then that gave the visual effects department something to build on. Then they designed their lizard, but based on my costume in a way. I never knew which way it was to be anything, whether they would do a lizard but I would have to turn into a costume or vice-a-versa.



Q: Can you tell us a little bit more about the Fairy Godmother’s costume. What went into that?

SP: It was an idea I had that was rather ambitious and to be honest, we didn't have enough time to, to really develop it. It could have gone a lot further, and been a lot more successful, not to say it wasn't successful. I think the costume as a whole works in the film. But I had this mad idea that she actually literally twinkled, and all over. We got the all the circuits made up by this lighting company. But it took a lot longer than I expected. And then we couldn't actually really construct the costume till we had the lights done. So we were waiting and waiting, waiting for the lights to be finished. We knew the shape of the costume. I had the underpinnings done like the corset shape.

And we had all the fabric that need to go on top of it. But that had to be worked in with the lights. So that costume actually ended up being really rather thrown together at the last minute. I kind of didn’t like it, it looks like it’s been thrown together. In a way, I think it’s quite funny that it looks like it’s been thrown together. It looks like she’s made it. And the lights don’t work properly, really.

And she [Helena Bonham-Carter] had to carry it, have a battery pack strapped underneath. And then each of those circuits had to be plugged into the battery pack to make it work. And this is when she had the guy up her skirt every day and you couldn't do that until she was in the dress. Then he would operate it from a computer.


Q: The quintessential princess costume design, ball gown. When you realized you were doing this, did you already have something in mind? Or did you kind of go when, after knowing that it was going to be.

SP: Yes. It was. It really does make a difference. Because we screen tested lots of girls for Cinderella. So I knew, and they were all different shapes and sizes. Different coloring, you know, and it really makes a difference who the person is. As to what shape the dress is gonna be. I kind of knew it had to be voluminous. I knew it had to be big and had to be impressive. But without being heavy. Uh, and yet it helps knowing who the actress is and what shape you can make them. Or what shape they are, and then what you can turn them into, as well.

Q: I know that you worked with the actors on the costumes, do you ever have an actor or actress go, “I don't want that.”

SP: Yeah. Quite often they go “I don't, I don't [think] that suits me; I don't think it’s right.” And you have to be very clever then in how you win them around. And how you persuade them that actually you really think it’s the best idea. And they, you have to get their confidence, that’s the first thing you have to do with an actress, get them to believe in you. Believe that you're not trying to make them look stupid or ugly or horrible. That you are doing the best possible thing for them. It does happen. And sometimes if the really insist, then you can't push it, because if they, if you're gonna make them wear something they don't want to wear, then they'll ruin any— but they'll make it look horrible. Or they will be so uncomfortable and that’s not fair.



Q: Did you, did you have any kind of wardrobe malfunction as far as, you know, ripping or tearing or any.

SP: Not as far as I remember. You see, all of the costumes, I have really great costume makers who know what they're doing. And especially with corsets, and corsets are, they're made very very strongly. If they're made well, and fit for the person they're made for and they fit, they don’t hurt. It shouldn't be that difficult to get somebody into one. Of course it doesn't have to meet edge to edge, but wherever it’s comfortable. And it’s all about making them, and making the right silhouettes and the dress that goes over top and making everything fit nicely.


Q: What advice do you have for a young girl who wants to follow in your footsteps? That loves designing, loves costumes. What advice would you give them?

SP: I’d advise anybody who wants to do costumes, to learn how to sew. And learn how to make them. Because you'd be surprised, there’s an awful lot of costume designers who don’t know how to do it. And I really don't know how you can design and how you can talk to somebody else who’s making something, unless you know how to do it yourself. You have to start at the bottom, you have to start at the bottom and be a maker. And actually learn how to construct and sew. So you understand the construction and the engineering, which is what it is.




Q: What do you hope that the audience will take away from the film, with your costumes?

SP: The whole role of a costume designer is not to make everybody look pretty. Although it’s nice if they do. And especially in something like CINDERELLA. It’s to make the characters completely believable. Make the characters come to life and help the actors create those characters. So in doing so you hope that the, the audience go away with really strong feeling of who all those characters are. And remember them also, you know, as much for, for how they are. Uh, I mean, as much as how they look, as to how they are and how they're acting and all the rest of it.





CINDERELLA is OPEN now. GO SEE IT!!

Visit the official CINDERELLA Website: http://disney.com/Cinderella
Like CINDERELLA on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Cinderella
Follow CINDERELLA on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/CinderellaMovie
Follow CINDERELLA on Instagram: http://www.instagram.com/DisneyCinderella 
Follow CINDERELLA on Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/disneystudios/cinderella
Follow CINDERELLA on Google +: https://plus.google.com/+disneycinderella

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

$50 Gift Card Giveaway!

I am getting crazy again. I have another $50 Gift card Giveaway for one lucky reader! You guys love these giveaways. So enter below on the Rafflecopter widget and good luck!


a Rafflecopter giveaway



Rules: One entry per person per day. Once a winner is drawn I will contact them and the winner will have 48 hours to reply back before I draw a new winner. Giveaway is open to US residents only who are 18 years of age or older.

Disclosure: I received a sample product for review purposes. No other compensation was given and the opinions in this post are solely mine and are based on my experience with the product. Sponsors are responsible for shipping prizes unless otherwise stated. I am not responsible if sponsors do not fulfill prize. Please allow 6-8 weeks for delivery of any prizes.

Monday, March 16, 2015

Richard Madden on Being the Prince! #CinderellaEvent

Disclosure: I attended the #CinderellaEvent and my expenses: flight, accommodations, transportation and some meals were covered by Disney. All opinions, however, are 100% mine.




Once you get past his blue eyes, Richard Madden is a sweet and funny guy. He came off so nice and humble by his success. His comment that being on set with Kenneth Branagh, Cate Blanchett, Derek Jacobi, Stellan Skarsgârd, and Helen Bonham Carter was like a Master Class in acting said it all.

He made the perfect Prince. He is so handsome but he also was able to make the Price a real person. You root for him. You fall a little in love with him. You want him and Cinderella to be together. In our interview he talks about getting the role, his co-star Lily James, Game of Thrones and weddings. Yes, weddings.



Q: So how did you get involved in the process of playing a Prince?

Richard Madden (RM):  I wanted to make him different. And in the animation you only see him in 2 or 3 scenes. Also in the original animation there’s this kind of old fashioned view I think of you know a woman needing a man to come and rescue her from a terrible life and that’s kind of outdated enough.

Not a message I think we should be telling young girls. You've got a young man with all of his own problems and a young woman with hers and they bring the best out of each other. I think she rescues him as much as he rescues her and that’s why I was really interested in this, in this version.

We got to kind of see this real young man character and most importantly you know Cinderella’s this wonderful amazing woman that I wanted to make a man that was worthy of her affections.

Q: What was your favorite scene?

RM: The first scene that I show up with Lil which is us on horseback when we first meet in the woods. I like being outside and being on a horse. It’s more fun than being in the studio most of the time. But it’s just like you know that was our first day on set. That was the first day of shooting. That was the first time with Lily.

Q: How hard was it to learn the dance routine?

RM: It was miserable. I’m not a naturally gifted dancer. I had to kind of train for like 2 or 3 months to like 3 or 4 times a week to get myself up to scratch so that. I mean there was 2 months before they let me near Lily’s dress and because I would just destroy it. I went through like 2 practice dresses that looked like a bunch of cats have destroyed them.

I think the Prince would enjoy dancing. So I wanted to make it look as if he was enjoying it and also that I could just act with Lily and not be thinking about what I’m doing with my feet.

Q: Were there any scenes that made you cry?

RM: Yeah the scene with Derek playing the King. That was a very emotional day but a really good one. I love, I love working with Derek. And that was kind of a really moving scene. He plays it so beautifully it was hard not to get caught up in that.

Q: For that scene you were almost like in a fetal position with him and that was just so touching and it just like breaks your heart. It was kind of when Cinderella was with her father. So was that kind of directed that way?

RM: Yeah it was directed that way, but I think it was important I think how we see these two characters. You know I think first and foremost Cinderella’s a daughter and the Prince is a son and they’re so influenced by their parents. And I think that’s how we get to know them and get to know their personalities and what they're like.

And they really wanted to kind of you know get that relationship going. I really wanted to have a sense of humor to this Prince. And, and Derek plays the King so well with that kind of sense of humor. I wanted the Prince to have that and, and for them to kind of be influenced by each other.



Q: You've gone from a King, to a minor, to a Prince.

RM: Yeah.

Q: If this was a little bit of a softer role for you from what you're used to.

RM: Yeah.

Q: But how do you think those prepared you for this?

RM: Sword fighting, all that stuff.

Q: The wedding’s much different though.

RM: Different, yes. A lot different.

Q: How did you prepare for [the role]?

RM: I don't know because there is parallels between them I think. Robb Stark and the Prince. They're both young men that have responsibilities on them that they've not asked for and, and they're both young men that follow their hearts instead of their heads. You know that Robb Stark does that in The Game Of Thrones and you know both of them are young men trying to kind of come into their own.

That’s what was so um important about this was you know that young man questioning what’s going on around him and questioning his father and actually being influenced by this other woman that’s come in with different ideas and, and knowing in his heart that that’s right.

There’s not a lot of parallels after that between them. They're both kind of very different men and I mean it’s nice to play a character where someone’s [not] trying to kill you or your whole family all the time.



Q: Were there any like behind the scenes things? Like something fun that would happen behind the scenes or any stories that you have that you can tell us?

RM: Lily used to burp just all the time. It’s because she’s got this corset on and she can’t really eat anything and especially when she was kind of first getting used to it.

And she’s kind of over eager and like just to eat a sandwich or something and for an hour because she'd be fine. And then the food can only go so far and of course it actually means nothing else can go through.

And then you could just see her face like tears welling up and her like burping and be like please get the corset off now. The funny bit was the girls that had to go to the bathroom.

Q: For, for the modern day woman dating today what would you, what would you tell them a Prince Charming is?

RM: I don't know. I think he’s got to have a sense of humor, he’s got to be a gentleman, and he’s got to have a compassion, an awareness of everyone around him and particularly her obviously.

Q: I wanted to know have you ever had a crush on any of the ladies you've [worked with]?

RM: I've not really. I always think that’s quite funny because you always think I'm going to be really close with someone. You're going to build a relationship up and you know you spend most of the day being in love with someone. You spend more time being in love with them than not being in love with them. But actually, no, I've never kind of had that with a leading Actress.

I think that’s probably going to just really confuse things. And what’s good about me and Lily is you know we're really good friends. I still see her like on a weekly basis. We were both in the same situation you know. This is like our first big movie and we're kind of terrified and it’s big characters that lots of people have owned before us. So we wanted to play them right. So then we kind of just cling to each other like that. That kind of helped our chemistry.

Q: What did you learn about yourself by playing this role?

RM: I played characters like Robb Stark and like the Prince. They have such strong moral compasses. You know they're really good people and it’s refreshing and it kind of reminds me how to, to be sometimes because you know you're playing these people and, and they have really good hearts. So you know it’s like you know better now that you've played someone like that. And especially with like Lily and you know she had such a job on this you know.

She had the weight of the movie on her shoulders and she’s a young Actress and it's a massive piece.

Q: We talked a lot about Cinderella’s outfits during the movie, but yours were also pretty interesting and, and intricate in many ways. What was your thought process when you were first introduced to some of the outfits you had to wear? Because they're not something you usually wear.

RM: It was a really good actually. I love Sandy Powell who designed these amazing costumes. And when I first met with her I was really keen to make sure that the Prince retained a masculinity with these costumes because a lot of times in these Disney films they would not be very masculine and they're really decadent and extravagant.

They are beautiful and detailed and gorgeous, but also they're all rigid in practicality. All of them. I mean the boots I’m wearing are great for riding. You know the, the, the tight pants have a stretch in them, which is great for being on a horse. That first jacket I wear sets in a way that’s perfect for being on a horse and how it comes down. So they’re rooted in a practicality.

When I first saw the ballroom outfit and I walk in and it’s like white with silver and sequins and glitter. And I'm like, “Sandy we talked about the masculinity.” We agreed on something and that’s just not it. But actually once you put it on it does make me feel regal.

And you know you put them into those sets and with all the other characters and it doesn't feel out of place. You know when you're in a little studio room you know trying on these costumes you're like, “How am I gonna pull this off?” And then you kind of get on the set and suddenly it feels completely natural. It’s actually empowering.



Q: We talked to Lily and she said that uh she had several wardrobe malfunctions you know with you ripping her dress. Did you have any issues with yours?

RM: Just a lot of self-consciousness you know. You're in those trousers and you're like kind of skirting the wall because if you really exposed you want to cover your butt up. And turn the other way and cover that up and but you get used to it eventually.

Q : What was your initial reaction when you found out you got the role as the Prince?

RM: I was kind of just overwhelmed. I was in Canada shooting a mini-series. It was Branagh who’d called to play the part.

And I was like just overwhelmed and really excited and then just really terrified after that of like, “Oh God everyone’s going to be like he’s wrong casting and how am I going to do it?

I just went back to the original animation and when actually somebody got 2 or 3 scenes we don't get to know his name. I can build a character from scratch and I can do that with Branagh. There’s no one better to kind of take me through that then him that than him. A lot of my Prince is based on, on Kenneth Branagh ‘cause he is like a true gentleman.

Q: How did you like working with him?

RM: I loved it. Everyday it’s like you're on set with Kenneth Branagh, and Cate Blanchett, and Stellan Skarsgârd, and Helen Bonham Carter.

It’s like kind of a master class and in acting and also just in like how to conduct yourself as an Actor and as well. But Ken is just amazing because the same amount of detail was put in something like this as it would be into something like MacBeth.

We can really play because you've got so much going on Ken really kind of inspires you. And that’s why you know um it brings out the best in me and that’s why we’re working together again in 2016 because we enjoyed working together.



Q: How does it feel to be a role model for young men?

RM: Well the Prince is the role model not me. I grew up with these Disney films and I have 2 sisters. They watch these films and say that. And I think that’s just where you first deal with first thing came to. Death and love and good and bad, and that’s what I really wanted to do with this Prince.
As I said at the start, that’s not that old fashioned view of you know a girl needing a guy. And I think I wanted to, to try and make a Prince that young men would have to look up to. A Prince that you know has a built in respect for women and a compassion to the people around him, an awareness of his privilege. And so if there’s little boys that that grow up and are [like that], I’ll be really honored by it.





CINDERELLA is OPEN now. GO SEE IT!!

Visit the official CINDERELLA Website: http://disney.com/Cinderella
Like CINDERELLA on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Cinderella
Follow CINDERELLA on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/CinderellaMovie
Follow CINDERELLA on Instagram: http://www.instagram.com/DisneyCinderella 
Follow CINDERELLA on Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/disneystudios/cinderella
Follow CINDERELLA on Google +: https://plus.google.com/+disneycinderella

Tidy Up Your Tech with the Microsoft Lumia + a Cricket Wireless Lumia 635 GIVEAWAY!



This has been a long cold winter. I am anxiously awaiting for Spring to arrive. It has been tough to be out and about when the weather is so cold. When Spring comes, I know I will be out every day in the garden or taking in some of the beauty in my town.

With spring just around the corner, it’s time to get organized! Microsoft Lumia wants to give you a hand with your spring cleaning this season. Better than washing your windows, we’ve got a few ideas up our sleeve to help you start fresh in your tech life:

* Get the most of your tech by eliminating tech clutter and ensuring your devices are in tip top shape! From simply deleting unused apps on your Lumia smartphone to using the #TileArt app to organize it all in a fun and easy way, there are so many ways to tidy up your tech.

* Cords, cables and chargers, oh my. It happens to all of us - messy wires, tangled chargers and cluttered cords. Check out the Nokia DT-903 Wireless Charging Plate – rather than plugging in your Lumia, simply set it on top!


* Microsoft also has some tips to make you go paperless and start a new cloud-based digital lifestyle– you can use OneDrive to sync your shopping list from your computer to your phone, compile to-do lists in one place, digitalize recipes, receipts and much more.


These are great tips. This is the perfect time to get your tech in order. I have started deleting old apps that I never use from my phone. I also have started deleting the photos I have on my phone and backing them up to an external hard drive. This keeps them safe and also frees us my phone for summer pictures.

I also have a treat for you all. I have a Cricket Wireless Lumia 635 for one lucky reader. If you want a chance to win, enter below on the Rafflecopter widget below!


a Rafflecopter giveaway



Rules: One entry per person per day. Once a winner is drawn I will contact them and the winner will have 48 hours to reply back before I draw a new winner. Giveaway is open to US residents only who are 18 years of age or older.

Disclosure: I received a sample product for review purposes. No other compensation was given and the opinions in this post are solely mine and are based on my experience with the product. Sponsors are responsible for shipping prizes unless otherwise stated. I am not responsible if sponsors do not fulfill prize. Please allow 6-8 weeks for delivery of any prizes.

Friday, March 13, 2015

Cinderella Movie Review! #CinderellaEvent

Disclosure: I attended the #CinderellaEvent and my expenses: flight, accommodations, transportation and some meals were covered by Disney. All opinions, however, are 100% mine.





"Have Courage and Be Kind"


It's hard to remake such an iconic film as Cinderella especially as a live action version. But director Kenneth Branagh has succeeded in keeping the original story magic and reinventing it for modern times.

We all know the story. Ella's mother dies. Ella's father marries an awful woman with two daughters. When he dies, Ella is left at the mercy of her stepmother. They treat her like a servant and her life is miserable. Ella becomes Cinderella. Her fairy godmother helps and she gets the Prince and they live Happily Ever After.


There's not much more to the story. Or, is there? It's easy to dismiss this film as sappy. It is easy to say that it is another example of a girl waiting for a boy to save her. But it isn't that. What it is is sweet retelling of a fairytale that a lot of us love.

Director Kenneth Branagh and screenwriter Chris Weitz succeeds in updating the classic into a new classic. There are no spoilers or surprises because we all know the iconic story. They tell the straight story. And, it works.


The casting of Lily James was essential. She embodies the innocence and kindness of Ella. Even when she is being treated badly, she maintains her belief that there is kindness in the world. "Have courage and be kind" is what she continually tells herself and we believe that she believes it.

Richard Madden is terrific as the Prince. He is handsome yet has a vulnerability, a sweetness. The Prince could have been a thankless role but it is not. One of the most touching scenes in the movie is with Richard Madden and the great Derek Jacobi. That scene shows us another piece of the film that we don't see in the original movie. His chemistry with Lily James is wonderful.


Cate Blanchett is perfection as Lady Tremaine the evil stepmother. She relishes in her role as the villain. Every scene that she is in lights up the screen. Her movements, her laugh, her looks embodies a bitter and jaded woman who is jealous of Cinderella. But when Cinderella asks her stepmother why she is so mean, Ms. Blanchett brings a little bit of humanity to her character. We see a tiny crack in the armor.

The rest of the cast is wonderful as well. Stellan Skarsgård, Holliday Grainger and Sophie McShera (as the stepsisters) are all delightful and great at being Cinderella's foils. Nonso Anozie is always welcome in any movie. I loved Helena Bonham-Carter but was disappointed to see her role was not bigger. There should always be a lot of Helena Bonham-Carter in any movie.


The movie is beautifully shot. The outdoor scenes are magnificent. The indoor scenes are beautiful as well. The ballroom scene made my heart sing as the Prince and Cinderella danced the night away. The chase scene was one of the best I have seen. I am glad Branagh did not resort to too much CGI in the movie.

The costumes by Sandy Powell are amazing. give this woman the Oscar because the detail and intricacy of the designs are amazing and they work. Cinderella's dress takes a life of its ow on the dance floor.

I loved it. What you have here is a beautifully unabashed sweet movie. And that's okay. I was fine with a little sweetness and fun. It was a thrill ride the whole way through. Yes, you know what going to happen but it is a pleasure to watch. Kids will love it and so will adults.




CINDERELLA opens in theaters everywhere TODAY! GO SEE IT!

Visit the official CINDERELLA Website: http://disney.com/Cinderella
Like CINDERELLA on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Cinderella
Follow CINDERELLA on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/CinderellaMovie
Follow CINDERELLA on Instagram: http://www.instagram.com/DisneyCinderella 
Follow CINDERELLA on Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/disneystudios/cinderella
Follow CINDERELLA on Google +: https://plus.google.com/+disneycinderella