Briana Morales

Joined 2 years ago

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A Tribute To Bob Dylan In The 80s: Volume 1 [2 LP]
A Tribute To Bob Dylan In The 80s: Volume 1 [2 LP]
I am not a fan of these tribute albums but this one deserves high praise. Instead of semi-famous people murdering the famous Dylan songs here we have some lesser known artists getting stuck in to lesser known songs. The one exception to that rule is Slash's version of Wiggle Wiggle, it is not only an affront to the ears but totally out of character with what is actually a really solid album.

The highlights for me are Brownsville Girl (reprise), Series of Dreams and the acoustic version of Every Grain of Sand; all are affectionate homages to the original songs and they all sound great to my ears. They are obviously not as good as the originals and I do get the urge to listen to Dylan's versions when i play this cd...but that that is not a bad thing, i have never heard anyone other than Dylan do these songs so it is useful to have a different take on them.

As you can see from the selection of songs this cd is really aimed at the Dylan connoisseur, half the songs have never had an official release so the little in joke line-changes that are occasionally inserted will pass over your head if you have not heard the song.

Having said that the versions are of such a high quality and have such a nice modern sound that this could be a good starting point for anyone who is not familiar with Dylan's 80s stuff.

Finally the profits all go to charity too so if you have bothered reading this far you might as well go ahead and order it- there is a moment during the acoustic Every Grain of Sand when the guy takes the trouble to reproduce the noise of a dog barking (from the Bootleg 3 version) with just his keyboard- that is almost worth buying the album for on its own!
The Defined Dish: Whole30 Endorsed, Healthy and Wholesome Weeknight Recipes
The Defined Dish: Whole30 Endorsed, Healthy and Wholesome Weeknight Recipes
I like the book a lot, but as someone already said the blog is better when looking for whole30 recipes (she has many more recipes that are truly whole30 compliant and don't need to be modified).

I also like the way that the book is setup, it's unique in that its pretty much all dinner/lunch meals and divided based on cuisine- which helps add a variety to eating healthy if you feel like you've had to much potatoes or coconut milk on whole30 or just stuck in a rut. If you want something like curry, there is an entire Indian flavored section; If you need a large break from coconut milk in general, there is a section on Mexican and Chinese/Japanese food. Also, every recipe has a picture which is a huge deal for me (I eat with me eyes!).

My one complaint is that most of the recipes are whole30 compliant with a modification suggestion and each recipe reiterates that same suggestion (leave off wine, no diary etc). I can do that with any book and don't need to be told how to do that on each recipe. My issue with this is that when you suggest changing key cooking ingredients (not just your taco shell, but actually suggest leaving off an ingredient thats part of the meal title), you're actually changing the dish and what it should taste like, and instead of having a slew of flavorful recipes in a book, you now have a bunch of recipes that recommend you cook chicken in chicken broth to be healthy- boring. If you want to make the Whiskey Chicken or Skillet Chicken with Wine and Broccolini, and you instead choose to substitute chicken broth, did you really just make Whiskey Chicken or a flavorful chicken simmered in white wine?, Definitely NOT. I think a page or two in the beginning of the book detailing how to change her recipes (or any recipe you find anywhere) to Whole30 compliant would have been better than constantly suggesting to change the recipes.

Overall the recipes seem fairly healthy and a really great mix of cuisine flavors. I particularly like the Southern section, since it's a good mix of regional southern cuisine (Nashville hot chicken, bbq, new orleans dishes, etc), that appears healthier and quicker than the true originals. A few of those southern recipes that look good are even Whole30 compliant. There is also a kids section for healthy foods for young kids, which is unique- this looks like it has some good Whole30 recipes for office lunches if you don't have kids.
Pro Club Men's 3-Pack Heavyweight Cotton Short Sleeve Crew Neck T-Shirt
Pro Club Men's 3-Pack Heavyweight Cotton Short Sleeve Crew Neck T-Shirt
I'm not sure what the reviewers who are complaining that these shirts are "too heavy" were expecting. It says "heavyweight" quite clearly. Anyway, I think these are great. I bought these mainly because of the advertised no-stretch collar, and I am very happy with them. If anything, the collar is actually slightly tight! The weight is great -- they are heavy, but I prefer that to a thin, flimsy undershirt.. These definitely have more heft to them than the standard ten-in-a-pack garbage you get at WalMart. They feel like they are good quality, are warm, and the collars don't stretch. I found the 2XLT to be slightly large, so they are a little baggy, but well within the bounds of tolerance, and they are 100% cotton so they should shrink a little.

As a side note, I had to contact the seller (Cali Clothing) due to a shipping issue that was not their fault, and they were very helpful. Going to order some more of these from them soon.

Update, one week after buying: after washing in cold water, with low-heat tumble drying, the cotton tightened up just enough that they fit well now. The collar stayed tight and shows no sign of sagging. A+
Happiest Baby On The Block Dvd
Happiest Baby On The Block Dvd
Taking care of a baby for my wife and I was a relative breeze (we have had four). We had all of our kids sleeping through the night by 9 weeks, and even when they were not yet sleeping through the night they still were sleeping in blocks of several hours at a time so that we were only getting up in the middle of the night once or twice a night. Lots of moms used to say that we were just "lucky" to have easy kids, but after a repeating pattern with all four kids, they have all had to admit that we "must be doing something right." People ask us all the time what is our secret. This is it.

We based our baby care plan on two sources:
1. On Becoming Baby Wise
2. The Happiest Baby On The Block

The first one addresses putting your baby on a scheduled feeding and sleeping plan. The second one addresses the best way to keep your baby sleeping once you put him/her down. This video teaches you how to get your baby to calm down and sleep, shows you how swaddling prevents your baby from waking him/herself up by involuntary reflexes which all babies make, and reveals what your baby's crying really means. You know that mom on public transportation who can't get her baby to stop crying? You wish she had watched this video!
Mr. Snow (Mr. Men and Little Miss)
Mr. Snow (Mr. Men and Little Miss)
This is a great book for a child at Christmas time. I purchased it for my son in the spring, and after reading it once, I think that this would be a good book to put away until Christmas.
Mr. Snow is a snowman that Santa brings to life with magic. Mr. Snow helps Santa in delivering all of the presents to all of the boys and girls.
This is probably the best Mr. Men book to get at Christmas time, but I wouldn't recommend it in the summer.
C.G. Jung & Hermann Hesse
C.G. Jung & Hermann Hesse
_This is the second time that I have read this remarkable book. Both times I found myself envying the author for having established friendships with two of my greatest heroes, two of the greatest sages of modern times, Hermann Hesse and C.G. Jung.

_This is not some collection of trivial exchanges- from the first meeting with both men the tone of the conversations were deep and significant. As the author says, it was like he had known both men before and they were resuming an old discussion. Hess himself commented on it and said that, "Here, only the right guests meet. This is the Hermetic Circle...." Sounds rather like Jung's concept of synchronicity, though Jung also speaks of Hermetic links with past and future in these discussions.

_While both sections cover a remarkable amount of the core meaning of the life work of both men, there is also a personal sense here. You feel like you are meeting them yourself, are also guests in their houses. Not that the ideas are all rehash either- here and there something new pops up. An example would be how in one of the interviews with Jung the discussion turned to how both the ancient Greeks and the Native Americans both thought from their hearts and not their heads. Thinking exclusively from one's head is the result of dissociation between ego and Self- and sets up a tension that may tear a person or culture to pieces. In any case, you feel that you know both men. Of course, Hesse's novels were autobiographical in the deepest sense (and it is reaffirming to know that he actually was an accurate reflection of his characters- it wasn't just a show.) As for Jung, he states outright that he wrote primarily for his own process of individuation and that the fact that so many others read him made him frankly uncomfortable.

_I was glad to see that my own perceptions of these often misunderstood and misinterpreted men seem to have been accurate from the start. For me too it was like a conversation with old friends- relinking with the Hermetic Circle.
Ancient Rome: A New History (Third Edition)
Ancient Rome: A New History (Third Edition)
The third edition is a serious step backward from the second - Potter uses terms he doesn't define, leaves out important issues such as optimates/populares in favor of often bizarre and irrelevant sidebars, and muddles the narrative by discussing disparate events simultaneously. I've TA'd for one class that used the second ed, and am now TA'ing a class that uses this edition. While I didn't absolutely love the second ed, it was far clearer and better organized than the third. I don't know how this devolution happened, but it's pretty disappointing.
Black Widow (Elemental Assassin Series Book 12)
Black Widow (Elemental Assassin Series Book 12)
This is the twelfth installment in the ever popular Elemental Assassins series by Jennifer Estep; and in my opinion, these books just seem to grow in depth and character. The emotional intensity pairs with superb character development to land a one-two punch to the senses, leaving you wide open to the following explosive events that drop like nuclear

Gin is slowly recuperating and getting used to a particularly unsettling peace after offing Southtown's repulsive drug pin mastermind Beauregard Benson. But peace of mind is hard to keep when an immaculately-attired Madeline Magda Monroe is always lurking with giant bodyguard Emery Slater in tow. She's arrived in town to take over her mother Mab's empire with the help of lawyer Jonah McAllister. Mab Monroe was the evil fire elemental who ruled over the crime lords of Ashland, killing legions--including Gin's family and her mentor Fletcher Lane.

Until Gin killed her.

But Madeline Magda Monroe has an appreciably larger agenda in place. It seems that her devious plan is much more subtle and made to play across a considerably grander stage than any other challenger Gin's met so far. You see, Madeline has discovered that the one key to taking out the Spider, aka Gin Blanco, lies in first systematically destroying or handicapping everyone she loves. And then, when Gin's alone without help, to just keep coming until she goes down... that one last time.

But that's where Gin has always been underestimated... to everyone's peril. Villains think she's gone, she's quit, she's defeated. But it's when the odds are against her that our girl shines. Who else but someone with nothing to lose will continue to fight? If you don't care if you make it out alive but you DO care that your opponent doesn't, then you've already got the upper hand.

As Gin watches from the sidelines, Madeline ingratiates herself with both the upper-crust Northtown snobs and the low-life Ashland crime lords by spreading her inherited ill-gotten gains across the cities in charitable endeavors far and wide. A library here, a park there, all in the illustrious name of Monroe--ostensibly for her mother, but not really. Feeding Madeline's own ego is the name of the game--all under the guise of honoring dear dead mom. Gin attends each and every event, a little thorn in M.M.'s side.

One sunny October day at noon, Gin and stepbrother Finnegan Lane attend the opening of the Monroe Memorial Park in Northtown, a very familiar battleground for Gin. Normally Madeline ignores her at these events; however, strangely, this day she approaches Gin. After exchanging their usual barbs, Madeline turns to leave, remarking that she needs to prepare for the library event at 3 o'clock. Gin responds that she'll see her there to which Madeline replies, it isn't likely. Odd? Yes.

Uneasiness starts to flare as subsequently throughout the early afternoon bad things begin to happen for Gin's friends. It starts out with a liquor distributor giving Roslyn a hard time at her bar, Northern Aggression, when Gin and Finn stop by for a drink after the park ribbon-cutting. They return to The Pork Pitt, and as Gin starts serving up lunch with Sophia and Catalina, events begin to multiply along with the customers. Which include Madeline and her bodyguard Emery, who apparently stopped by for lunch and a show.

A sure-thing business deal for boyfriend Owen Grayson gets lost, stepbrother Finn gets served for mismanagement of funds, and Owen's sister Eva Grayson gets suspended from the local community college--all within about thirty minutes. In the beginning Finn had told Gin she was just being paranoid--but they're all paranoid now. When Captain Lou Dobson shows up at The Pork Pitt shortly after, it's time for Madeline's showstopper--and for the sigma to hit the fan. Captain Dobson is there to arrest Gin for murder; a conundrum for sure. She's murdered lots of people in Ashland--who's he there about?

We all know that there's no way that Gin Blanco would survive the Ashland jail--not with all the cops on the take, and her with a bounty on her head. Talk about a sitting duck. And with the way Captain Dobson keeps glancing at Madeline Magda Monroe like a puppet on a chain, it's doubtful Gin would even make it to the police station.

This is a situation that calls for a freezer full of frozen peas.

Jennifer Estep is an award-winning journalist and it shows in the consistent excellence of her writing. The story flows beautifully and the characterization and world-building are beyond flawless. This world becomes an intimate character as you cozy up to these people and make them your own. At times with this book I had to walk away.... in a very complimentary way, this was not a comfortable read for me. I am so familiar with the characters and feel like I've lived through so much with them that what hurts them... hurts me. What sets Estep's work above all other urban fantasy and romantic suspense for me is the voice of Gin. Gin is funny. Gin is very self-deprecating, kind and honest. She has integrity. Gin is educated--mostly self-educated. Gin has taken untenable situations and worked through them with help and sometimes alone. She's not a super hero. She gets lucky. But she sticks. She keeps going. And she deeply cares about those around her. And I keep on reading these books because I care about HER. And through her, those around her.

See if you can resist her.
Originally posted on
60 Pack Dandy Decor Rose Gold Balloons + Confetti Balloons w/Ribbon | Rosegold Balloons for Parties | Bridal & Baby Shower Balloon Decorations | Latex Party Balloons | Graduation, Engagement, Wedding
60 Pack Dandy Decor Rose Gold Balloons + Confetti Balloons w/Ribbon | Rosegold Balloons for Parties | Bridal & Baby Shower Balloon Decorations | Latex Party Balloons | Graduation, Engagement, Wedding
Can balloons be "luxe"? These are!
Gorgeous, high quality balloons. The rose gold ones are opaque (rich in color and non transparent). There is an ample amount of large, round confetti pieces in the transparent balloons, just like the photos listed by seller. The balloons are all 12", you get 20 of each color: rose gold, transparent with rose gold confetti, and transparent with champagne/traditional gold confetti. It also comes with a good amount of coordinating ribbon. These balloons really make your event look chic and like you spent a lot of money! Great for birthday, anniversary, wedding shower/rehearsal/reception, baby shower, and much more. The company is a small, family-run business, which makes me even happier to support. Before ordering I spoke to customer service and they were extremely pleasant, fast to respond, and personable.

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