A page of hidden and not so hidden gems!
I'll be sharing DIYs, gift ideas, life hacks, and more!
Hope you all find useful and fun little GEMS everywhere you go!
A REVIEW OF TWO DIFFERENT BEASTS - April 9, 2017
March was a jam packed month of Celebrations and Movies with two weeks separating the release of two distinct types of movies, yet both relating to beasts that tug at your heartstrings. Logan was released the first weekend of the month raking in over 70 million big ones opening weekend. It rightly so took the top spot at the box office as story line of the beloved Marvel Character comes to its end.
This version of Logan shows us a much older, more patient Wolverine in search of peace, not for himself, but for dear aging Charles. Without giving too much away, this movie was so distinctly different as the relationship between Logan and Charles was depicted as more than just student-teacher, but more as a son laying his father down to rest. There is a great juxtaposition throughout the entire movie depicting Logan’s depth of emotion for Charles and yet finally displaying the absolute savagery and brutality that is the Wolverine
The most understated yet incredibly powerful moment for me (SPOILER ALERT!) when Logan faces a young clone of himself, exuding all the elements of graphic savagery that Logan worked so hard to tame. Facing our worst selves can either be a downfall or a moment of greater strength. It was so fitting that a young Wolverine aka X24 killed Charles and it is an aged, emotionally shattered Logan who lays him to rest. The legacy of despair continues and yet ends with a glimmer of hope. And yes; Wolverine dies in the end; he laid to rest by his “daughter” aka X23. She and a few other young mutants escape to foreign safety thanks to the help and guidance of the self described antithesis of a would be hero. He didn’t want to help, he didn’t want anything to do with their escape, and yet the old man ran across a forest and up a mountain to help them anyway. He couldn’t resist the need to help X23 and her friends. He’s loved through so many wars and so many battles in so many different times throughout history and yet in the end, it was having a daughter that killed him.(You fathers know…) He died, but he wanted to as he can finally have peace…
While one beast wanted a to die as he believes there is no other way for him to live, there is another that wants a second chance to change how he live; which brings us to the second movie review, Disney’s remake of Beauty and the Beast. I have been looking forward to this movie since the first trailer was released about a year ago! Growing up a Disney girl and having owned every possible Disney movie released during my childhood on VHS, I still feel the excitement and giddiness of watching a Disney movie for the first time. Granted, this time is a bit different as I know the story, the songs, every nuance that could have occurred during the animated version, I know it, so the excitement of course was comparing the animated scenes with the live action renditions and how the cast exuded the characters themselves. Anything I write will be barely spoilers as almost everyone knows the story line and of course, how it ends. There were slight modifications from the original story line to be more related to a live action story, but the crux of the original story still there, so let’s get to it!
Opening scenes as seen in trailers were spot on, opening song was an amazing rendition, and the introductions to each character, very much on the same wavelength of the animated. Gaston, we love to hate and we still do! Belle represented her character’s namesake perfectly. The Beast himself can sing! The cast is a list of amazing A list actors and actresses, each doing justice to their characters. Overall the cast portrayed their characters was quote spot on. The rendition of songs from the original movie were so great live action, my favorite, still, Be Our Guest! The live action version is so amazing, I’m still feeling giddy just thinking about it! Overall the remake does parallel the original movie, though there are some swerves off the straight and narrow.
A few differences, the Enchantress was an actual character in the movie as opposed to just being a part of the backstory, there is more depth into Belle’s mother, there is more magic within the castle, and there were additional songs sung by cast members. The swerve in the road that took me a bit was when the Beast sings his heart out to melodically denote his change of heart and growing affection for Belle. At this junction, the movie became a bit Broadway, veering me off of my Disney feels. Don’t get me wrong, I love Broadway shows, and very fortunate to experience many a Broadway show, but Disney has it’s own essence and aura! Though it veered me away from my Disney feels for quite a few scenes, it definitely brought me back and the movie overall left me feeling quite elated, ending in classic Disney style. I absolutely loved it and would so see it again! With this said, rightfully so it made records with its $170 million opening weekend!
Two movies dealing with two men who are literally beasts. Clear cut differences, genres, characters, and story progression. Logan is running from his life, while the Beast is trying to regain his life. Logan is comic based, Beauty and the Beast is fairy tale based. One is a musical, the other is not. We have a male main character in one, and a female in the other.
Similarities, both movies had great music, great acting, amazing characters, particularly female characters, violence, and hope. Logan has a great soundtrack with songs incredibly befitting the scenes they are overlaid upon. Beauty and the Beast of course maintained their academy award winning score with a few additions that provided for a bit more depth. There was violence in both movies, though definitely more graphic in Logan, Beauty and the Beast did have scenes of violence, this time involving (SPOILER ALERT) a gun! Both Movies did maintain hope. Logan ended with a sense of hope for the future of young mutants, and of course hope is not lost to those trapped within the castle as articles in Beauty and the Beast. The cast in both movies was cast superbly, especially the lead females. Hugh Jackman continues to portray Logan on point without any disappointments as well as Patrick Stewart continuing to tug at our heartstrings. One word to describe new comer Dafne Keen, BEYOND!. Her performance, exactly that BEYOND! I cannot wait to see what she will do in years to come! Dafne Keen was phenomenal as X23. She was a savage mutant and yet a little girl. Luke Evans as Gaston held true to Gaston’s chauvinism and Josh Gad with his doting affections as LeFou, Kevin Kline as Maurice, Ewan McGregor as Lumiere, Ian McKellen as Cogsworth, Emma Thompson and Mrs. Potts, and Emma Watson portrayed a very intelligent and charming Belle. Sorry for the long shout out but props due to all!
Another Disney Marvel (get it?)... the Beast is Legion!
A few GEMS in relation to these two amazing movies are two amazing subscription boxes! Loot Crate release either a monthly or bi monthly subscription box filled with different goodies. They have partner crate for different collectors and collections including a Marvel Loot Crate subscription and March was filled with Logan centered goodies! The Marvel Crates are $34.99 a box and you can choose how many months for your subscription. You can even order past crates. Check them out here! https://www.lootcrate.com/crate/marvel-crate
Disney Princesses of all ages can enjoy a bi monthly subscription box with March of course centered around Belle! $24.99 a box and each box is a representation of a scene from a Disney movie. You can start your subscription here! https://www.pley.com/disney-princess?source=shareasale
Hope you enjoyed my review of the two different beasts as well as the GEMS! Sorry for the delay in stories, it is placement testing season and I just finished grading 272 exams with 20 questions each exam, 5440 questions and I had to hand grade 65% of these questions. Math nerds, how many questions did I ended up grading?
Till the next, GEM!
Unexpected shopping spree
A three day holiday weekend for most, not surprising there are many sales a happening for President's Day. My unending need aka desire for a multitude of leggings always leads me into my local Forever 21. Prices are very reasonable in general, but when there's a sale, it's even better, and then when there is an extra 65% off clearance, its practically a steal! The clearance section is filled to the brim with winter tunics, chunky sweaters, sweater dresses, work jackets, coats, and so much more! Most items are already marked $11.99 or LESS making them less than $4 at the register!!! I racked up quite a few items for myself, my little girl and I'm for my to nieces. Items shown are just a sampling of my finds, the receipts total $88.41 for 31 articles of clothing averaging to $2.85 per item. Definitely check out the girls section. They have track jackets, sweaters, and I was even able to snag two beautiful party dresses for under $3.00 each. The website www.forever21.com is offering additional 50% off clearance, but I'd say if you get a chance, head down to your local Forever 21 and pick up a few GEMS with an additional 65% off!
Another store with hidden GEMS, is the Disney store. Its not being advertised but I found select small Tsum Tsums are buy one get 2 free and the rest, such as the Star Wars are $5 each, typically $5.95 each. I racked up a few for my little ones as well.
Have a great weekend all, and hope you find some great GEMS!
DIY Gift ideas
Valentine's Day comes after you pay back the first set of bills from Christmas and the Holidays, so indeed money could be tight. Time could be tight too when life has you running around. That doesn't have to prevent you from giving an awesome gift to your nerd. Here are some frugal gift ideas to brighten your nerds day!
Here's a Gift GEM, DIY! You can personalize a shirt with your nerd's favorite logo. Fabric paints come in really handy to create a personalized article of clothing, but in case you don't have honed drawing abilities. no worries! Drawing not required, just tracing capabilities!
Search for an image online and print a decent size of it on plain white paper. Head to your local arts and crafts store. Pick up a shirt, hoodie, or sweater, fabric paint colors for your image, two pieces of cardboard the size of a mini poster and a black sharpie.
Take the sharpie and trace the image along the lines you want clearly seen and represented. We want the marker to be seen on the back side of the paper. When you can see the outline of your image on the back side, keep back side facing up. Tape it to a cardboard surface so the paper isn't flimsy. Now and trace those lines again, this time with the fabric paint colors. Leave the paint as thin as possible on the paper. It's important to paint on the back side of the paper so when it's time to transfer it to the shirt, it will be the right side and not backwards!
Fabric paint takes about 8-24 hours to dry so you can take your time fabric painting the outline.
Once your done, lay your shirt, sweater, or hoodie spread on a flat surface. Place a cardboard inside the shirt so it separates the front and back of the shirt. Sometimes the paint can run to the back of the fabric and not only make the fabric stick, but also bleed the colors through. Take your fabric paint outline paper cardboard and place it on your shirt, with the paint side on the fabric. Press gently then lift the cardboard.
Yes, it is supposed to look a bit smeared. Now you can clean the lines with the fabric paint directly on the shirt! You can add other images, or phrases! Give it overnight to dry. Once the front is dry, you can do the same on the back, if you like and personalize it with your family crest, emblem or your last name. Just make sure you keep the cardboard inside the shirt!
My nerd loves Transformers so I custom made him a shirt featuring his favorite. $5 for the shirt, $6 for three fabric paints, already had a sharpie, but you can pick one up for $1, had the cardboard boxes from shoe boxes, and my printed out image. When you print your image, it can be done in black in white and just reference a picture from your mobile device to verify colors.
The fabric paint, sharpie, and cardboard can be reused. Shirts are sold from arts and crafts stores sometimes 3 for $10. AC Moore has that sale going on right now. Shopping GEMs, there is always a coupon to search for online and in addition to coupons, Military, Veterans, and teachers receive a 15% discount! Click www.acmoore.com for additional discounts and more DIY ideas!
Total cost for my nerd's shirt: $12 . Actual value: Priceless! (He wears it all the time!)
Hoping this GEM is helpful
Hello fellow Nerdsporks and Sporkettes! Gem here to share some useful gems to make life a little easier. This nerdy girl has more than one side as I am a math teacher by day, nerd enthusiast all days, crafty crafter some days, wife to Al for too many days, and mother of two beautiful little ones who bring us joy everyday!
My interests include but are not limited to video games, super heroes, arts and crafts, music, movies, conventions, cosplay and too many more to list!
I’ll be sharing gems and tricks for various widgets, such as cosplay looks, schooling hacks, math bits, teaching moments, inspirations, joys, woes, food, shopping hacks, wife hacks, parenting hacks, and some motherhood hacks…
I hope you all find useful and fun gems!
Math GEM: I graded 2776 test questions, 19% were multiple choice. Math nerds, how many written questions did I grade?
His and Her GIft Ideas
Valentine's Day is coming...a day for boxes of candies and chocolates to fly off shelves and the cost of flowers sky rocket to the point that a bouquet of flowers can cost as much as flowers for an entire wedding! Not knocking anyone who goes for the traditional chocolates and roses on Valentine's day as it is the thought that counts, though here a gift ideas not just for Valentine's day but for any day that you want to surprise your honey or ham!
In addition to traditional gifts, it could be difficult to find what we deem the "perfect" gift. A great place to start the search for your nerd would be thinkgeek. They give shoppers great gift ideas for guys, gals, and couples. Its a great place to start for a variety of interests, from video gamers to board gamers, harry potter enthusiasts to marvel fans, they are a great place to search based on your nerd's interests and hobbies. They have a Valentine's day section with gift ideas for all! Check it all out here https://www.thinkgeek.com/.
To honor the great success that is Rogue One and for the anticipation of the Last Jedi; Star Wars fans whose love can be war and war can be love, check out Ultra Sabers! You can order ready made light sabers or have one or more custom built! They have display models as well as battle ready ones so whether you want one to display because it is almost as beautiful as your nerd, or you want one to fight against your nerd with, this is a great site to make those Lightsaber dreams come true! Right now they are having a sale! 10% off all Lightsabers and free shipping over $250. Check them out!
One last place that can get overlooked the rest of the year until the holidays, are toys stores! Take a walk down those aisles and keep your eye out for toys from your beloved nerds childhood. I walk down the aisle not only for our mini mees, but for their daddy too. TMNT, Voltron, Power Rangers, My Little Pony, Care Bears, and so many more from our childhood are still going strong into our own children's childhood. Retro gifts tug at heart strings all year long and its amazing how things come full circle.
In regards to checking out, for you google nerds, just in case you didn't know about this little GEM, here's a shopping FYI. When you sign into chrome, there is a wonderful extension, Honey.. and it is a sweet extension indeed! It automatically finds coupons and additional discounts for you and adds them to your basket at checkout. Honey even offers you cash bonuses on different websites! Give a try and with any extension in google, if its not sweetening up any deals for you, it's easily disabled.
Hope you find some great shopping GEMS!