Showing posts with label review. Show all posts
Showing posts with label review. Show all posts

2014 Heartland Film Festival 'Dukale’s Dream' Review

How often do you purchase Fair Trade goods? Are you aware of the global reach and impact of purchasing Fair Trade goods? Not even sure what a Fair Trade good is? That’s okay, I’ve got you covered.

Fair Trade goods come from farmers and workers from developing countries who are justly compensated, meaning they are paid a fair price for the good they bring to free market and also earn a fair wage. This helps these farmers and workers build sustainable business that positively influences their communities.

This may not sound like a “big deal,” but trust me – IT IS. You may not realize that October is Fair Trade Month, and I can’t think of a better way to support Fair Trade than to watch ‘Dukale’s Dream’ for yourself.

About the Film
‘Dukale’s Dream’ celebrates its world premiere at the Heartland Film Festival this year.

The film follows Hugh Jackman and his wife Deborra-Lee Furness on a trip to Ethiopia in their role as ambassadors for World Vision Australia. During their visit they meet a coffee farmer named Dukale; poverty deprived him of education but he is determined to create a new future for his growing family with the help of World Vision.

Dukale makes a big impression on Hugh Jackman, and the second part of the documentary feature details the lengths that Hugh goes to in order to keep a promise that he made to him during his trip to Ethiopia.

'Dukale's Dream' filmmakers following the film's world premiere.

‘Dukale’s Dream’ Review
If you aren’t convinced to begin purchasing Fair Trade goods for your household after this film, I will be incredibly surprised.

‘Dukale’s Dream’ does an excellent job of demonstrating how Fair Trade works and how it offers farmers and workers in developing countries a hand up instead of a hand out. By providing them with the necessary technology, education and opportunities, these men and women have the power to not only change their lives, but the lives of those in their communities, too.

This film is a great reminder of the global connection we share, and why it is important for us to pay a fair price for goods.

There is one more opportunity for you to watch ‘Dukale’s Dream’ during the Heartland Film Festival. Ticketing information is available at

Remaining ‘Dukale’s Dream’ Showtime
Saw the film? You can purchase Dukale’s Dream (Espresso) on the Laughing Man website:

2014 Heartland Film Festival 'Lucky Stiff' Review

Out of the 130 independent films being showcased during the Heartland Film Festival, there are not many that fall into the musical comedy genre.

About the Film
‘Lucky Stiff’ is a narrative feature that celebrated its U.S. premiere at Heartland. The musical comedy with a romantic heart follows a British shoe salesman to a Moroccan casino where he helps his dead uncle live out his last, dying wishes. Yes, you read that correctly; his dead uncle.

Turns out this uncle was involved in an embezzlement scheme involving $6 million in diamonds and a dame with terrible eyesight… and hilarious calamity ensues.

The film’s cast includes veteran actors Jason Alexander, Pamela Shaw, and Dennis Farina.

Dominic Marsh plays Harry in 'Lucky Stiff.'

‘Lucky Stiff’ Review
I giggled through this entire film. Seriously. If you need a break from some of the heavy/serious films of the festival, this is an excellent choice.

Some of the situations were absolutely ludicrous, and I found them delightful. There are some great slapstick comedy moments, lots of amusing irony, and plenty of original songs to keep a smile on your face.

If you don’t like silly, goofy plots without a strong message or takeaway, this is not the film for you.

There are two more opportunities for you to watch ‘Lucky Stiff’ during the Heartland Film Festival. Ticketing information is available at

Remaining ‘Lucky Stiff’ Showtimes
Tuesday, Oct. 21 – 5 p.m. (AMC Castleton)
Wednesday, Oct. 22 – 5 p.m. (AMC Traders Point)

More information about ‘Lucky Stiff’ can be found on the film’s official Facebook page:

Photo Credit: Heartland Film

2014 Heartland Film Festival 'Drunktown’s Finest' Review

The Heartland Film Festival is Indiana’s largest and longest-running independent film festival. Over 10 days in October, Heartland Film showcases more than 130 independent films, and gives audiences access to more than 100 independent filmmakers from around the world.

This year's Narrative Feature award winner, 'Drunktown’s Finest’ from Director/Write Sydney Freeland, had a lot of pre-festival buzz.

About the Film
The film follows three different Native American youths (with very different lifestyles) as they search to for identity.

Sick Boy has a baby on the way, and hopes that enlisting will provide a better life for his growing family. Felixia is a promiscuous transsexual with a dream of becoming a model. Nizhoni is an adopted high school senior in search of her birth (Navajo) family.

Each character, in one or another, represents the varying lifestyles that can be found on the Navajo Indian Reservation outside of Dry Lake, New Mexico; the macho, the LBGT and the religious.

Sydney Freeland cast several locals in 'Drunktown's Finest.'
'Drunktown's Finest' Review
Overall, I liked the film. It had beautiful cinematography, great music, great characters. The story is layered, intricate, intimate. The leading men and women are flawed and fragile in their own ways

This is the first movie that I’ve watched with a strong female transgendered lead, and Carmen Moore’s portrayal of Felixia was delicate and tough; I couldn't believe it when I learned that this was her first feature film during the post-screening Q&A.

I do think that the ending could have been stronger. I would have liked a just a few more minutes to wrap up a few lose ends and give me that last bit of resolution. I got enough, I just wanted more!

This film demonstrated, to me at least, the power and importance of acceptance.

There are five more opportunities for you to watch ‘Drunktown’s Finest’ during the Heartland Film Festival. Ticketing information is available at

Remaining ‘Drunktown’s Finest’ Showtimes

More information about ‘Drunktown’s Finest’ can be found on the film’s official website:

2014 Heartland Film Festival 'High School Film Competition' Review

The High School Film Competition shorts program is always a must-see for me.

There is something so special about young talent; watching their short films and hearing about the dedication required to accomplish these projects following the screening is inspiring. Many of these teens will have accomplished more before they’ve graduated from high school than some will complete in a lifetime.

'Chris,' 'It's a Thing,' and 'It Sticks' filmmakers following debut screening at AMC Castleton.

The 2014 high school shorts program includes eight honorable mentions and five finalists.

This year, Carol Nguyen returned as a finalist in the competition. (You might remember her as last year’s winner for ‘Uprooted.’ You can watch her acceptance speech from the 2013 Heartland Film Festival Awards Ceremony on YouTube here.) Her new film ‘How Do You Pronounce Phở?’ explored what it meant to be a Vietnamese Canadian through food.

Carol Nguyen and me following debut screening of 'How Do You Pronounce Pho?' at AMC Castelton.

The 2014 winner was ‘Chris,’ which is about the pressures of finding a prom date. The short is clever with a surprise twist. Director/Writer/Producer Zachary Oschin and Writer/Cast Member Sarah Evans did a great job representing their film during the Q&A session following the screening.

There are two more opportunities for you to watch ‘High School Film Competition’ during the Heartland Film Festival. Ticketing information is available at

Remaining 'High School Film Competition' Showtimes

Dove Advanced Care Deodorant with Nutrium Moisture Review

I definitely appreciate staying cool under pressure! With a demanding schedule, it can be hard to pamper yourself, too. What's a working girl to do in these hard times?

That being said, I was delighted to receive a complimentary sample of  Dove Advanced Care Deodorant with Nutrium Moisture from Influenster in the RaiseYourArms VoxBox. I'm a fan of the Dove brand, and was more than willing to test out their new line of deodorant. 
I have to admit that Dove was really fighting an uphill battle with me ... as I consider myself QUITE a sweater. I swear that my body temp is several degrees higher than normal people, and it can cause some pretty embarrassing pit problems.

What Is Dove Advanced Care Deodorant with Nutrium Moisture?
This deodorant is "the best care ever for the armpit." It is made with ingredients that are known to moistureize and nourish the skin, thus they named this new formula NutriumMoisture. This anti-perspirant deodorant is the only one in existence that uses this formula.

Why Use Dove Advanced Care Deodorant?
  • Armpit skin requires the same care and attention given to the rest of a woman's skin
  • 36% of what you remove when shaving is skin
  • As a result of the damage done by shaving, armpit skin loses 50% more moisture, which can lead to dryness and irritation
  • The NEW Dove Advanced Care deodorant provides softer, smoother armpit skin in just 3 days

My Review
First, this product smells great; it's light and feminine. The smell of the deodorant is a huge part of the product buying decision for me, and Dove has definitely passed the sniff test!
Applying the deodorant feels silky and smooth ... it did not go on chunky or streaky, either. I didn't notice it rubbing off on any fabrics, but I am always careful to avoid the dreaded white streaks when dressing in the morning.
As far as protection goes, I would say this deodorant is on par with Secret or Degree. I wasn't blown away by wetness protection, but I wasn't disappointed either. I would not say that it gave me 48-hour wetness protection. However, I do think that it provided excellent odor protection that was long-lasting. 

After using this product for about a week I began to notice a subtle difference in my armpit skin. It really did look less "chalky" and more hydrated. NutriumMoisture is real, and it works!

Dr. Scholl's® For Her Cozy Cushions Review

My feet are extra toasty thanks to my new cozy cushions!
I definitely appreciate the softer things in life. I’ve never been known to choose fashion over function!

That being said, I was thrilled to receive a complimentary pair of Dr. Scholl's® For Her Cozy Cushions from Influenster in the RoseVoxBox. These particular inserts have hopped into my cart several times but never made it through the checkout lane, for one reason or another.

What Are Dr. Scholl's® For Her Cozy Cushions?
They are inserts designed for women to ensure comfort (while rocking your favorite footware). Each insert has a warm, fuzzy layer that touches your foot and a rubber layer that touches the sole of your boot or shoe. The cushions are designed to fit all sizes of feet; simply trim them to meet your needs!

Cozy Cushion Features
  • Alleged all day comfort, support, and added warmth 
  • Two plush layers for extra cushioning comfort
  • Multi-layer design insulates against cold and dampness
  • Helps keep feet dry by absorbing perspiration
  • Offers superior support on hard surfaces
  • Provides support to a variety of boots and shoes, including rain boots, winter boots, casual boots and shoes, and dress boots
  • Satisfaction guarantee

My Review
I love how fuzzy my Dr. Scholl's® For Her Cozy Cushions are! They are seriously so soft and warm … it was hard to put them INTO my boots! The rubber sole on the insert is really heavy-duty, too. My feet definitely feel more protected from the elements.

I have giant feet so I did not cut the insert to fit my boots. I’m pleased to say that it covers my entire foot but my toes to touch the top. It’s not exactly Dr. Scholl’s® fault though; most shoe (and insert) companies don’t even carry a size 11 shoe for women. I would have liked a little more toe wiggle room but I have no complaints about the fit.

These cushions will keep your feet toasty! Seriously! Don’t make the mistake of wearing them on a warmish day because your will feel the heat. This makes them ideal for colder climates, especially during the winter months.

The inserts do take up a bit of space inside the boot (obviously!) so be prepared to feel a little snug until you get used to it. This was definitely weird at first but now I don’t even notice the snugness.

Colgate® #SlimSoft Toothbrush Review


I was fortunate enough to receive the new SlimSoft™ Toothbrush from Colgate® complimentary from Influenster for testing purposes. Read on for my review.

First things first; what makes SlimSoft™ different from your current toothbrush?

SlimSoft Features
Super slim Floss-Tip bristles:
  • 17x slimmer tip bristles for a deep clean
  • 6x deeper reach along the gum line
  • 1.5x deep access between teeth
High density of bristles:
  • 35% more bristles for a thorough cleaning experience
Ergonomic and flexible design:
  • 3x higher flexibility
  • Unique curved neck and design absorb pressure when brushing
  • Comfortable rubber handle allows for a better grip
  • Slim head provides great control while brushing and better access to hard-to-reach places 

Testing, Testing
The packaging of the SlimSoft™ was a bit trickier than I would have liked it to be ... it felt like a battle to get the thing open! Once I did, though, I immediately noticed how light the toothbrush was. I never thought that my current toothbrush was heavy until I compared it to my new SlimSoft™Toothbrush. 

Once I got over how light the SlimSoft™Toothbrush was, I looked at the bristles. They really are tiny! Again, I always thought that toothbrush bristles were teeny to begin with, but the SlimSoft™ took it to the next level. My old toothbrush bristles look like straw in comparison!

My Review
So ... what does brushing with a SlimSoft™Toothbrush feel like? Honestly, it feels like you are brushing your teeth with a cloud. I have sensitive gums and the tiny bristles gave my smile a deep clean without irritating my mouth in any way. The tiny bristles really do make a difference; they easily fit inside the nooks and crannies to clean out all the gunk. It's as close to flossing I can get (without actually flossing of course). I absolutely LOVE this toothbrush! I will be buying another one when the time comes.

Toothbrushing Tips
  • Always remember to brush yoru teeth gently and in a circular motion! Your dentist will thank you, legit.
  • Use a little less toothpaste than you normally do when using SlimSoft™ -- a little goes a long way!
  • Turn off running water when you aren't using it.

Happy brushing!