Announcement · Review · Series · Wedding · Yelp

Dance Lessons: db Studios

Between my me and my husband we have 4 left feet… The thought of awkwardly tripping all over each other or swaying lifelessly for our first dance as our friends and family watched on me queasy. My original plan was to DIY our dance routine by just using our favorite resource, YouTube! (Seriously I used this to learn how to swim.) Time slipped by — fast forward to February with the wedding around the corner! While browsing Groupon I noticed a deal for dance lessons at db studios which was very conveniently located for us. Of course I browsed reviews ahead of time to make sure we weren’t walking into a trap, and noticed that they had several glowing reviews. What did we have to lose trying them out? (BTW they also just started April 2016.) Congratulations to db studios too for celebrating their 1 year anniversary!

Another similarly priced location is Dance in Boston (DiB). Many other dance studios do not even publish their rates online and you have to call to get more info.

JM1
Us with Jon McLaughlin himself!

We decided that our first dance song would be I Am Always Gonna Love You by Jon McLaughlin [1] before we started our lessons. That way we could hit the ground dancing!

The owner and instructor, Kendall, responded immediately to our initial e-mail inquiry and we set up a FREE consultation dance lesson with her. I may have inadvertently made her update the website since it now says the Groupon/Yelp deals can’t be combined. Oops!

Free lesson cannot be combined with any other offer, including Groupon/Yelp etc. Groupon- Not eligible for free consultation offer.

True to their website slogan, Kendall is an extremely knowledgeable, patient and friendly instructor! She has a strong background in competitive ballroom dance and has over a decade of experience teaching adults and kids. We felt comfortable trying new steps the entire time with her guidance. We even overcame my biggest fear of being dropped while doing the dip finale. We did not create specific choreography for the dance so each time we performed the song, it was slightly different. There were so many times where we were either too early or too late for the ending!

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Movie · Review

Sharknado 4: We Can’t Believe this is a Franchise Either

I actually like Sharknado and, to a lesser degree, Sharknado 2. It’s a ridiculous idea with ridiculous execution and the acting is actually a little above what one would expect from a Syfy original movie. You have sharks in tornadoes? Blow them up! More sharknadoes? Freeze them! You know what? Let’s just fly a helicopter into a tornado filled with sharks!

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Just ask yourself, which is more ridiculous?
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It was the first one, wasn’t it?

With Sharknado 3 the idea began to get stale, so The Asylum (the studio that made all these movies) decided to make it even more ridiculous and we got sharks IIIIN SPAAAAACE! I’m not a rabid fan of the first two movies by any means, in fact I don’t think I’ve ever rewatched Sharknado 2, but gave me the ironic impression that it was being taken too seriously. The Asylum knew this was their next cash cow and put too much effort into the making of these movies, so that it comes through in the movie itself, which makes all the ludicrousness seem out of tune. They tried too hard to keep people watching this series.

Sharknado 4: The 4th Awakens is where it got sad. Yes, the title did its job and warned us of the Star Wars references, but OH MY DEAR YODA! Not even Spaceballs parodied Star Wars this much! Anyone who reads this blog knows that I’m a huge Star Wars fan and after the first five minutes and 3,812 references I was sick of it. And it kept going. And going. And going. I wanted to shoot a proton torpedo into its reactor just to end it.

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Business · Review · Wedding · Yelp

Wedding Cake – Konditor Meister

One of the highlights of the wedding planning process was definitely the various tastings! Believe it or not, we actually got to a point during the cake tasting where we reached our capacity – sweets overload. I wouldn’t mind lending my help for any future brides to be for this aspect if you catch my drift. Anyway let’s kick off the post-wedding series Wedding Wednesday series with Konditor Meister (KM) for our wedding cake! As I mentioned previously my SO and I chose this place as the cake vendor through our Raffael’s venue as it was included in our package. We also had a choice of Montillio’s, but from the venue tasting, we overall loved KM more!

I will be using the WeddingWire vendor rating system below, they break out the ratings by categories and average everything for a final verdict so these ones will be much more precise than even half stars! (Yes I made an account on there solely to use their rating.)

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Review · Series · Wedding

Mail Time: Save the Dates & Invites

Cue that Blues Clues song ♫. Last pre-wedding wedding series post! Fret not, the actual vendor reviews are not far yonder. Let’s talk about the lovely Save the Date reminder and actual Invitation to send your beloved guests! You’ve got to think of something fridge worthy to compete with the limited real estate in some instances. I’m sure it’s always a pleasant surprise to break from the endless litany of bills and spam offers to receive personalized mail!  I’ve seen cute custom fridge magnets, postcards, announcement cards and online graphics. You can show off those snazzy new Engagement photos you took to test out your potential photographer right. OR if you skipped the photo session, you can send out a beautiful graphic with all the key details. (TIP: Don’t forget to insert your wedding website so guests know where to look for info.) However you wish to present yourself, this will be your guests’ first glimpse what to expect for the wedding!

We sent our Save the Dates 10 months prior, and painstakingly wrote (with Wai’s help) each guest’s name and address. I personally used Vistaprint, since one of my other friends used them, and hers turned out amazing! (I actually used hers as a reference along with all of the other weddings we attended last year.) My bridal party decided on using Minted for my tea party themed bridal shower invites. Then for the actual wedding invitations, thankfully they were included with our venue package through Raffael’s! (I’m still sleuthing to figure out what vendor they used. We had a huge book of invitations we looked through.) We learned from the Save the Date struggles and created our own design to print the addresses directly onto the envelopes. (We also fiddled with labels but the coloring just looked off.)

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Guest Author · Movie · Review

The Not-Good-Looking Dinosaur

It’s like the creators decided to recreate the shots from The Revenant  and insert dinosaurs from an early-2000s direct-to-DVD CGI feature. Never before have I so wanted to look at pictures of the backgrounds from an animated movie. It’s a shame that there were characters.

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So beautiful and peaceful. Let’s hope nothing comes along that stands out like a sore thumb-
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Kill it with meteors!

Now imagine an hour and a half of that.

Tell me if you’ve heard this before: a young animal protagonist tragically loses his father, winds up far away, meets a companion, then eventually finds the courage to return home. The Lion King similarities are really distracting, the flood that kills the father even looks like a herd of wildebeests (yes that’s the correct spelling) considering that it was colored brown and had trees sticking out of it like antlers. Also, what’s that other dinosaur movie? Oh right, Jurassic Park! Lots of shots were taken from Jurassic Park and its sequels.

 

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Brand · Business · Review · Series · Wedding · Yelp

David’s Bridal Exposé

What’s the default place newly engaged and their bridal party flock to to look for dresses? Probably Davids Bridal (DB) in the US. There are several other boutiques and higher end chains that are usually more expensive with appointments required. However there’s no denying that they have cornered a monopoly for (affordable) bridal attire. All of my bridesmaids admittedly ordered their dresses from this place and it was convenient coordinating colors since they have the set palette. My post will be 2 pronged talking generally about their (1) wedding dress line, along with the (2) options for bridal party and special occasions. Of course we can’t forget the overall rating at the end!

Now if you’re wondering, another bride mentioned finding her perfect dress from Marry & Tux in Nashua, NH [Yelp Review], which my future mother-in-law (FMIL) and I also visited. The starting price at that place was $900-1500 for the lowest end of budget. Going up north to NH is not a bad idea though if you want to save some tax $. The luxury tax threshold in MA is only $175, so most likely you will have to pay something additional. Sadly $1,400+ is the average amount spent on wedding dresses these days. Alarming Avg. Figures for Dress Costs – Boston Globe

Stylequiz
I took their style quiz and here are the “picks”.  I can’t stand strapless haha!

DB gets a bad reputation due to its accessibility some have even equated it as the Wal-Mart of the wedding world. In recent years DB has been trying to change their image from the “Walmart” of wedding dresses. I find that quite ironic considering that the average price of a gown from there is still around $500-$1,200+. Keep in mind if you are getting a lower priced dress you will also have very limited sizing selections fighting with other brides/bridesmaids to get a deal! I’ve been to two locations one in Natick [Yelp Review] and in Westwood [Yelp Review]. No major complaints about either.

 

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Guest Author · Movie · Review

Split

I’ve been waiting since January to do this review. Now that M. Night Shyamalan’s latest thriller Split has been released on DVD/digital media, let’s talk about it.

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Yay! Etcetera!

Split is about three girls (the most prominent being Casey played by Anya Taylor-Joy) who are kidnapped by a man with multiple personalities (James McAvoy) for a purpose which is slowly revealed throughout the film. What follows is a slow burn of a thriller which makes the audience wonder if McAvoy’s psychologist (Betty Buckley) can unravel what’s happening in time to save the girls.

I enjoyed this movie when I saw it in theaters several months ago. The acting for the most part (particularly from James McAvoy) is great. This guy deserves some kind of award for this/these role(s). Most importantly you get the impression that each of these personalities is a whole character, not just a name with a gimmick. That’s impressive for a character with twenty-three personalities. Two of three most prominent of these are Dennis, a man obsessed with cleanliness, young girls, and looks like the real-life BTK killer (who is also named Dennis), and Hedwig, a nine year-old boy who has one of the best scenes in the movie. The one which got under my skin the most, however, was Patricia. She gives a constant impression of being unstable yet fully dedicated to acting calm to cover it up. Throughout the running time there are long shots where you see McAvoy’s speech patterns, voice, and body language change as he goes between different identities.

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The most terrifying character in the movie.

After her excellent performance in The VVitch Anya Taylor-Joy delivered again with her role as Casey, a character shrouded in even more mystery than any of McAvoy’s. I’ll be going into spoilers later on, but I will say you feel a chill as you learn more about her. Betty Buckley was also engaging as McAvoy’s psychologist Dr. Fletcher, bringing an intelligence and compassion to probably the most weakly written of the three leads. I say weakly written because a lot of her dialogue is awkward and roundabout (much like this sentence) and, as has been pointed out to me, she should have questioned her patient with an unhealthy obsession with young girls when she saw on the news that three young girls were kidnapped.

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