"The Finest Hours" is Glorious, Intense, and Just Wow!

In the movie The Finest Hours we see the brave service that the United States Coast Guard performs, we experience the agony of waiting and not knowing what will happen, and we see the suffering of the ship-wrecked crew hoping to be rescued. It all comes together in an intense immersion into the action on screen.

Two weeks after I got married my husband left for boot camp, and I was left waiting at home for letters of his well being. When he graduated boot camp, he was stationed at the United States Coast Guard Base in Miami, FL. Hurricane Andrew had just devastated the area, so I had to wait until our baby was born to be able to join him. A couple months later, our baby girl was born. He tried his best to make it to us in time, but she just wasn't waiting.

During our time in the Coast Guard, there would be many times when I was at home just waiting while he was doing search and rescues, drug busts, patrols, and hurricanes; I can't forget hurricanes. When a hurricane came through they took the ships out so they wouldn't get smashed against the dock, and they stayed on them! This left me waiting at home while a hurricane passed through, wondering if he was going to be okay. That's the life of a Coast Guard wife; there's a whole lot of waiting and not knowing. I felt it all again while watching The Finest Hours.

This movie is amazing! To see this incredible story of the most daring rescue in U. S. Coast Guard's history, and to know it actually happened is just awe inspiring. The Finest Hours takes place in 1952 when a massive nor'easter struck New England. The storm pummeled towns and tore apart ships including 2 large oil tankers, one of which the S.S. Pendleton, is left with one half of its hull still afloat with 30 plus men still aboard. The Finest Hours tells the story of the S.S. Pendleton's engineer, (Casey Affleck) and his incredible ingenuity and courage to fight to keep the ship's remains afloat long enough to be rescued. By chance, the broken ship is spotted, but due to other rescues in the area, the Coast Guard station is only left with one option; to send a small wooden boat with a tiny crew out on what is sure to be a suicide mission.

From the first moment this movie grabbed a hold of me and wouldn't let go. I was dragged in by the love story, and held tight by the action. The Finest Hours is intense! The special effects of the broken ship and the massive waves, the writing, the acting, it is all wonderful; and all worth a trip to see it on the big screen. I saw it in 3D which I'm normally not a fan of, and while I still don't know if it's worth paying extra for, there were some cool effects that may make it worth it for you.

Chris Pine is good as the rule following Bernie, Captain of the rescue boat, and Holliday Grainger is both beautiful and strong as his girlfriend, but the one who steals the show is Casey Affleck. Affleck's role as the ship engineer is superb, leaving me to once again say that in the Affleck family, Casey is the one with the true acting skills.

Needless to say, I truly enjoyed The Finest Hours. It is a nice recognition of the work done by the men and women of the U.S.C.G., and a great reminder of how trivial life's little problems are. There is a great world out there with people fighting to make it a better place, and a great many people supporting them and waiting to know that they are safe.

Disclosure: I was not compensated for this post but I attended a free screening of the film for the purpose of this review. All opinions are my own and I'm under no obligation to endorse the film. I just really like it.

Care Bears and Cousins Return For Another Season

I have a confession to make, I'm a huge Care Bear fan; have been for more than 30 years.  I've got stuffed Care Bears, and vinyl Care Bears, and I can't get enough of the Care Bears belly match game. Care Bears are cute, and colorful, and they represent all that's important in life; friendship, fun, and caring. Imagine how much the world would suck without caring...ick, not a world I want to be in! That's why I'm proud to be a #ShareYourCare Ambassador!

I have an equal amount of love for the Care Bears Cousins. They show that it's not only bears that know how to care. I first saw them in The Care Bear Movie as a kid, and I've loved them ever since. I was excited last year, to see that the Care Bears and Cousins were back with a whole new series of fun and caring. All my old favorites were there, including Lotsa Heart, BraveHeart, and Cozy Heart. 
Now, I'm happy to tell you that they are back again this year with 6 new episodes on Netflix. Season 2 of Care Bears and Cousins will premiere on February 5. Watch it on Netflix/CareBears to see all the fun, music, laughter, and of course lots of caring good times.

And, if you want your own Care Bear to snuggle with while you watch, you can now make your own Cheer Bear or Tenderheart at Build-a-Bear Workshop. Hmm that may be a nice way to show your love to your favorite Valentine.

Follow on Twitter and Instagram @CareBearsFriend and tune into Netflix for the Season 2 premier of Care Bears and Cousins.
Disclosure: I was not compensated for this post, but by posting, I am entered to win a prize. All opinions expressed are my own and I am under no obligation to recommend any product or service.

Music Monday, S.O.B. Give Me More of This Music!

I love finding new bands to love! About a month ago, I discovered Nathaniel Rateliff and the Night Sweats, when I heard an awesome song and had to Shazam it to find out more. The song is S.O.B. and it is the song that has brought Rateliff onto the radio. He's been making music for awhile now, but sometimes it takes that one song with the right sound to get people to really notice, and that's what it did for me. Now, I can't get enough of that song and his many others, so for Music Monday, here's a sample of some of the  Nathaniel Rateliff songs that I love.

What music are you listening to this week?

5 Favorite Songs from Glenn Frey

What a rough week it has been with sad news abound. It was only a week ago that we lost the great David Bowie, that was followed up by the great loss of the wonderfully talented Alan Rickman, and now Glen Frey has passed away at the age of 67. Unlike my first kiss with David Bowie, I don't have a story of when I discovered Glen Frey and the Eagles; in fact, it seems like their music has just always been there for me.

My father and I always sung along to whatever music was playing on our car rides together, and that was often rock music including The Eagles, and later Glenn Frey's solo work. That may be why I feel such an attachment to music, because there wasn't a whole lot of conversation happening between Dad and I, but we could always agree upon good music. Thanks to Glenn Frey for contributing so much to music and to my car rides with Dad. He leaves behind quite a soundtrack of songs that trigger memories for many of happy times.

Here's some of my favorite songs from Glenn Frey and The Eagles.

May you all have a wonderfully blessed week.

My First Kiss With David Bowie and 5 Favorite Bowie Songs

As I heard of David Bowie's death this morning, I couldn't help but think of my time spent with him. I was 10 when I was first introduced to David Bowie. It was a chance Christmas gift, most likely on the bargain shelf that scored me the "Tonight" album. It wasn't at all what I wanted. Heck,  it wasn't the album I asked for, or even the right band, but I couldn't get enough of it.  I listened to that cassette tape over and over and since none of my friends were listening to Bowie, I felt like I had some secret knowledge of this great artist that no one else knew.

As I grew older and discovered more Bowie music, I would learn that "Tonight" wasn't his best work, and that it wasn't an album he was very proud of, but like a first kiss, it will always be special to me. Because of David Bowie, I learned to look beyond what was popular and step outside the norm, to see the world from a different perspective. Just like music, life doesn't have to fit into a box.

David Bowie wowed me with his creativity and unique style, not to mention all that glitter! He wasn't afraid to put himself out there and be as he envisioned himself. I didn't love all his music, but I loved that he wasn't afraid to make it. He was and is an inspiration, a reminder that we all have have something to give, and only a short life to live.

In honor of the late David Bowie, here's some of my favorite Bowie songs.

"We can be heroes, just for one day."

May your week be full of music, art and all things sparkly!

Be Brave and Make This Your Year!

A new year is here! It's a chance to start fresh, to set new goals, and to take steps to make a positive difference in the world. I am no longer the person I was when I started 2015, and neither are you; with each day we grow from the challenges we have faced. We are stronger and wiser from all that we have accomplished, so we must make 2016 our year.

Whatever it is that you want for yourself, and whatever positive change you want to see in the world, you can make happen. This year be brave; speak up, have fun, be happy, be kind and grow yourself. Make this your year!

I love this song by Sara Bareilles, "Brave".