Monday, May 30, 2016

GIVEAWAY: $100 Best Buy gift card {ends 6/18}

I've partnered with a few other bloggers to bring you this contest - $100 at Best Buy would buy you a lot of Blu-rays or DVDs! Good luck!

Welcome to the Father's Day $100 Best Buy Giveaway!

Enter below for your chance to win $100 to Best Buy! Winner may choose an eGift Card delivered via email or a physical gift card delivered via snail mail.

Giveaway begins on 5/29/16 at 1:00 am CST and ends on 6/18/16 at 11:59 pm CST. Must be 18 years or older, open to residents of the US only (void where prohibited.) I will email the winner on Father's Day; The winner will have 24 hours to claim or I will redraw. Once winners are confirmed, they will be added to the Winner's List here.

Disclaimer: The participating bloggers were not compensated for this post. No purchase is necessary to enter. One entrant per household, per IP address. All entries will be verified. Void where prohibited by law. Winner will be contacted by email; Please add to your whitelist. Holly of Southern Mom Loves will be responsible for prize delivery to the winner. This giveaway is in no way administered, sponsored, endorsed by, or associated with Facebook and/or Twitter, Google, Pinterest, or any other social media platform.

Contact Holly at if you have any additional questions or comments, or would like Southern Mom Loves to organize your next giveaway.

Friday, May 27, 2016

Living your best smartphone life {and Verizon gift card giveaway!}

*Disclosure: This is a Fashionista Event and a promotional item was provided to me. Hosts for this event are Still Blonde after all these Years and ModlyChic.

So we've all been there ... that time when you're on an important phone call, and then the call drops. Or even when you need to use the internet on your smartphone, only to realize that you're at your data limit for the month.

I drive all over the metro Detroit area for movie screenings; because of this, most of the time I know where I'm going, but sometimes, I'm in an unfamiliar area or at an unfamiliar theater and I need GPS to know how to get there and back.

"Hello ... hello? Anyone there?"

A few months ago, I was headed to the AMC Forum (Sterling Heights area) and I wanted to know the best way to get home from there. My phone kept stalling ... and stalling ... and then the Maps app crashed! Gah! I was extremely frustrated. I was finally able to re-start the phone and get safely home, but it TOOK. SO. LONG. Had the Maps app worked the first time (aka when I actually NEEDED it to work), I would have been able to get home much faster.

If you're fed up with your current cell service and you have been wanting to switch, I would recommend Verizon - right now, they're offering waived activation fees for phones (and also tablets) through June 11th. You can also get $100 off* (woohoo!) select smartphones, with code VZWDEAL.

Movie Review: Alice Through the Looking Glass

I don't believe I reviewed the first Alice in Wonderland (2010), but I did see it at the theater - my mom and I loved the 3D, the animation, and the characters. While Alice Through the Looking Glass, the sequel to that film, isn't quite as good, it is still enjoyable, with fantastic animation and special effects.

We open with Alice (Mia Wasikowska) at the helm of her father's ship, the Wonder. She gets her crew safely home, only to find that her mother has sold her shares of the trading company back to the company, and Hamish (Leo Bill), the evil man she was supposed to marry, is not approving any more expeditions for her. At the party that she and her mother are attending, she goes upstairs, and finds that one of the mirrors there (aka the "looking glass") is a portal back to Wonderland; she goes through the portal, and reunites with her Wonderland friends, only to find that the Hatter (Johnny Depp) hasn't quite been himself lately. To make him better, Alice must travel back in time, and to do that, she has to steal from Time himself (Sacha Baron Cohen).

Monday, May 23, 2016

My Top 7 Picks for Cinetopia International Film Festival 2016 {Ann Arbor + Detroit}

This is my third year attending Cinetopia, and although I'm unfortunately going to be out of town during one of its weekends, that still gives me an entire week to see movies. Last year and the year before, I bounced between Detroit and Ann Arbor for movies; this year, due to my shortened schedule, I will only be attending movies in Detroit and Dearborn.

My top 7 picks for Cinetopia 2016:

1. Goat

Brad is a nineteen-year-old whose attempts to recover from a violent assault include pledging to the fraternity that his brother (NICK JONAS, in a brilliant dramatic turn) belongs to. As Brad navigates this new world of parties, random hook-ups, and intense hazing, he must come to terms with his relationship with his brother and the violence he is now a part of. Raw and honest, this searing drama pulls no punches in its portrayal of masculine insecurities, the violent side of male culture, and the desperate measures people will go to in order to feel that they belong. Goat moves beyond the clichés of Greek life in order to find the horrors that lurk just below the surface and, ultimately, to shine a much needed light on how young men come to terms with violence - both the violence they endure and the violence they help to perpetrate.

This should be interesting - sorority/fraternity films usually are, plus I like Nick Jonas.

2. Ma ma

Magda is spiraling. Her husband has left her for a younger woman and her young son is still dealing with his parents’ separation. On top of it all, she has been diagnosed with breast cancer. This may not be a death sentence and what follows is not a new lease on life, but it just might create a new path and give Magda a chance to forge new bonds. PENÉLOPE CRUZ handles this role with a soft radiance, a steady motherly touch, and seamlessly turns a serious subject into a meditation on selflessness. The film’s corners are rounded even further by reuniting cinematographer KIKO DE LA RICO (Blancanieves, Cinetopia 2012) and writer/director Julio Medem (Sex and Lucia) whose combined efforts add to the radiance, seemingly basking Magda in a bright white light.

I'll see anything that Penelope Cruz is in. This is in Spanish with English subtitles, as well.

Sunday, May 22, 2016

TV Review - Girls: The Complete 5th Season (& Digital HD code giveaway!}

*Disclosure: I received a Digital HD code in exchange for this post. The opinions expressed here, however, are my own.

I started watching Girls, on HBO, a few seasons ago, and it's a great show. It follows the lives of four twenty-somethings who live in NYC, and the four girls couldn't be more different, so it makes for great TV.

Season 5 is now out on Digital HD, and one of my lucky readers will win a Digital HD code (redeemable on Google Play, iTunes, etc.) so they can watch the show.

More information:
Hailed as “deeper and funnier and better than ever” (Washington Post) and “spectacular” (, the fifth season of Girls is “the best yet” (New York Post).

Just weeks after the hot HBO comedy ended its latest season, Girls: The Complete Fifth Season will be available to own via Digital Download on May 16, 2016 for the SRP of $18.99 (SD), $24.99 (HD). Season Passes are available now!

Friday, May 20, 2016

Movie Review: Neighbors 2

Neighbors 2 follows the same formula as the first Neighbors, which I gave 4.5/5 stars to back in May 2014. This formula luckily works a second time, as the movie was hilarious, yet also covers new ground that the first movie did not.

Mac (Seth Rogen) and Kelly (Rose Byrne) are expecting a second child, and they decide to sell their house. The house is in "escrow," which they later find out means that there's thirty days before the house ACTUALLY sells and they get their money. Normally this wouldn't be an issue, but a sorority, headed up by Shelby (Chloe Moretz) and friends, has just opened up next door, and they're actually worse than the frat that used to be there. The sorority's "den mother" of sorts is their former nemesis Teddy (Zac Efron), who at age 25 or so is trying to find his place in the world, and that doesn't help matters; however, after the sorority unceremoniously gives him the boot, he switches sides, and tries to help Mac and Kelly evict the sorority so that they can sell their house.

Movie Review: The Nice Guys

First off, Ryan Gosling is bae, so I will see pretty much any movie he's in. There's been a few I didn't enjoy - Drive, for example - and a few that I loved, like Crazy, Stupid, Love, The Notebook, and The Ides of March (in which I was also an extra). I'm also a fan of Russell Crowe. However, The Nice Guys was a bit too much slapstick for me, and it ran a little slow as well, so overall I wasn't that impressed with it.

The plot of The Nice Guys is a bit all over the place - the official IMDb description says: "A mismatched pair of private eyes investigate the apparent suicide of a fading porn star in 1970s Los Angeles." Holland March (Gosling) and Jackson Healy (Crowe) end up together since they are looking for the same girl, Amelia, and wondering what her connection is to Misty Mountains (Murielle Telio), a porn star that died in a car crash. March's daughter, 13-year-old Holly (Angourie Rice), wants to help them solve the case too, and she sneaks off with them when they interview people. Amelia's mother, Judith (Kim Basinger), ostensibly wants to find her too, but we find out later that her motives are a bit shady.