A Look at the Movies Coming From Disney in 2015

As if all the possibilities of facing a new year, isn't enough...Take a look at all the great movies Disney is giving us to look forward to in 2015!

So many movies are on their way from Marvel to Monkeys to, of course, Star Wars. What movies are you looking forward to in 2015?


Follow my blog with Bloglovin

2014 Was a Year of Firsts. #WordlessWednesday


Hubby and I enjoying cold weather in Colorado

2014 was a year of firsts for me. It was the year that I turned 40, watched a moon rise, and went to Carnegie Hall. This year I went snowshoeing in Rocky Mountain National Park, went salt water fishing, and I got an annual pass to Disney. I took a Yoga class in college, went hiking in South Carolina, and I learned about vegetable breeding on a farm. I also made biscuits which may sound silly to make a big deal of, but I was really nervous to do it, and they came out awesome!

With my Psoriatic Arthritis better managed, I felt healthier than I have in years, and was better able to enjoy life. I was able to live again! 2014 was a great year!

The Final Music Monday of 2014, Let's Be Happy! #MusicMonday

Another Monday is here and it's the last one of the year. Can you believe it? Another year come and gone. Before we move into 2015, let's take a look at some of the music from 2014.

Shazam, (the app for identifying and discovering music,) has released the top most Shazamed songs of the year. I've picked some of my favorites from the list to share for #MusicMonday.

Disney's "Into The Woods", Fairy Tales With a Twist and Great Music

Into the Woods, Disney's movie adaptation of the stage show is in theaters everywhere today. If you like musicals, magic, and fairy tales with a twist, this movie is for you.

Into the Woods brings us the story of the Baker and the Baker's Wife intertwined with the classic fairy tales of Little Red Riding Hood, Jack & the Beanstock, Cinderella, and Rapunzel. They are all tied together by the Witch played by Meryl Streep.

I've never seen the stage production of Into the Woods, so for me these stories were all new. Even though it involves classic fairy tale stories, it is does not give the plain "happily ever after" fairy tale ending that we've all come to know. It puts a great dark twist on things, and gives you a slightly more realistic story, well, except for the magic and singing, of course!

10 Technologies Santa Uses to Deliver Toys on Christmas Eve

In less than a day, Santa will start his mission on Christmas Eve to bring good little children around the world presents and toys. Have you ever thought about the technology he uses to do this?

What about, how much it costs to get it all done?

Sure he has a little magical help, but with the population of children continually growing, he can't just rely on doing things the old way. Santa has to get with the times, and just like the rest of us; that means staying up to date on technology. Afterall, Santa is no dummy! Take a look at some of Santa's cool technology!

Music Monday, The Gift of Music

Happy Music Monday! It's the last Music Monday before Christmas. Wow! Time is running out for finding that perfect gift. Is all your holiday shopping done? Thanks to hubby's insistence, we were all done last weekend. The only thing left to do is some wrapping and holiday baking. To get that done, I'll need some music, so let's push play on this Music Monday thing!

Christmas has me thinking about some of the albums I've received as Christmas gifts over the years. There were some awesome ones, and then some not so awesome. There was the year that I had to have the totally cool Van Halen 1984 album, but what I unwrapped on Christmas morning was the not so cool Van Halen Diver Down. In all honesty, it wasn't a bad album, but it was not 1984! 

Enter the Wellness Naughty or Nice Pet Photo Contest to Win a Year's Supply of Pet Food.

Would you like to win a year's supply of pet food? Enter the Wellness Naughty or Nice Pet Photo Contest, and you just might win!

Christmas Has Come Early For Me With My New KitchenAid Mixer!

The gifting season is here, and I've already been gifted quite well. It will be really hard for Santa to top this gift, but I certainly hope he tries!
For a few years, now I have been wanting a KitchenAid stand mixer, but I kept putting it off because let's face it, these things are not cheap!

A Canon Camera is a Great Gift from Best Buy #HintingSeason

The reviewer has been compensated in the form of a Best Buy Gift Card and/or received the product/service at a reduced price or for free.
Words are great, but there is nothing like a good picture captured at the right moment to capture your best memories. A picture is worth a thousand words, right?

So, imagine how much a picture would be worth if taken with the crystal clear Canon EOS Rebel T5i!


Music Monday, The Chipmunks and Eight Crazy Nights

Happy Music Monday! I hope everyone had a great weekend, and a nice start to your week. I've been doing a ton of shopping, but the good news is my holiday shopping is pretty much done. Yay!

So, let's celebrate with some holiday music!

First up, the classic Christmas Song by Alvin and the Chipmunks. I just bought this album on vinyl! I


Hannukah starts on Tuesday, so a little Adam Sandler seems appropriate.


Have a fabulous week!

Perplexus Warp Review: A Great Gift for Puzzle Solvers.

I've been a big fan of the Perplexus since the original version, so when they offered to send me the newest puzzle ball in the Perplexus family to review, of course, I said "Yes!".

Perplexus has quite a few different versions, but they are all based on the same concept of moving a small silver ball around a 3D maze inside a clear ball. In order to successfully complete the maze, you have to rotate the Perplexus to keep the small ball moving on the track. This is great for hand eye coordination because if you move too fast, or too slow, the ball will fall off the track and you'll have to start over.

Perplexus Warp is the newest version of this great family of puzzle games. It is designed for ages 6 and up. It is a great gift for people that enjoy puzzles and mazes. One of the things I really like is the new shape. The Warp shape is not round, and it's slightly smaller than the other versions so it's easier to hold and won't roll off the table.

Music Monday, If You Wannabe Uptown Funk

We have to have Mondays, so let's celebrate them with some groovin' good tunes! It's Music Monday. The best way to get our energy up is to get up and dance. Let's hear some jams!

First up, Uptown Funk. I'm totally digging this song! It's a great mix of a lot of old tunes put together just right for a perfect new sound. I can't sit still when this is on!



Now, let's go back a ways with some Spice Girls! This one's for my little girls. They are grown up now, but when they were little they couldn't get enough of the Spice Girls; movies, posters, dolls, they had it all.


Hope you have a groovin' good week.
If you start to feeling low, get up and dance!

Enter To Win a Royal Silk Scarf and Find Out How Your Gift Giving Can Give Back

Last year, I was given a Cinnamon box for review and giveaway. After a year of using it, I still love my cinnamon box. Not only is it well crafted, but every time I use it, I'm reminded of the good that World Vision is doing to help feed children all around the world, including right here in America. This year, I was given a handmade silk scarf, and I'm happy to say that you can enter to win one in the form below!

WorldVision.Org has a great way for you to give back. You choose a unique gift for a friend or loved one, and World Vision uses your donation to provide items such as chicken and goats to feed a family, or warm clothing to help keep a child in poverty warm. They also provide education and trades to help communities make a sustainable living.

How Retailers Manipulate Your Senses So You Buy More

This is very interesting. If you're like me and you're trying to be more budget alert this holiday season, you may want to read this. Being aware of how retailers are manipulating your senses to make you buy more, may just help you in your quest for Financial Peace.

Since reading this, I've definitely been more aware when shopping, especially with the music. I've certainly been known to move to the beat, or linger more depending on the music playing. It's fascinating that this is all planned. Nothing in our shopping experience is coincidental. It's all designed to make us spend more. Being aware of these things may really help to save.

Disney Nature's Newest Movie, "Monkey Kingdom" Trailer Now Available

Disney Nature has just released the trailer for their latest film, Monkey Kingdom . I love seeing the Disney Nature movies. They are always so entertaining and eye opening to just how amazing the creatures of our world are. Monkey Kingdom looks like it will be equally awe inspiring. And, look at those cute baby faces! Soooo cute!

Check out the trailer.

Roasted Garlic and Herb Monkey Bread Recipe

This recipe for roasted garlic and herb monkey bread looks amazing! Don't be scared by the metric measurements and weights because there are plenty of charts and even calculators online that will do the conversion for you. It's easy peasy. If you decide to make this, maybe for one of your holiday gatherings, let me know how it goes. I'd love to hear about it!


Never baked bread? Fear not, Helen's Roasted Garlic and Herb Monkey Bread is perfect for beginners and great for keeping little people busy during their summer break! If you've never tried making your own bread then a monkey bread, or a tear and share...

Music Monday, Let's Get in the Holiday Spirit! #MusicMonday

It's December 1! Let the Yuletide Season begin! I just love this time of year. I love the lights, and decorations and food, and I especially love the music! It's Music Monday, so, let's hear some holiday music.

But, first, a fun fact. Did you know that Jingle Bells was originally written for Thanksgiving?! It's true! It was written in 1857 to be performed by children at a church in Boston for Thanksgiving. Everyone liked it so much that the kids performed it again at Christmas, and it just kind of stuck, just like it's stuck in my head right now. ♪Jingle bells jingle bells♪

4 Budget Commitments for Finding Financial Peace This Holiday Season. #FinancialPeace


I used to be what some might call a shopaholic. I loved shopping for something, anything, new. It felt good to have that new pair of shoes, or that perfect pair of jeans. I was driven to find a great deal. If I had a bad day at work, I'd go for a little "retail therapy". If there was a "great sale" somewhere, I'd go buy something just to know that I "saved money." I never bought full price, and always made my way to clearance racks first, but still I spent more than I even had.

As a young married couple, we didn't have much money, so I used "creative financing". "Creative financing" meant I knew what bills I could pay late, and exactly how much time the utility companies would give me to pay before shutting off the power, water, etc... Sure, it meant I had to pay late fees, but it was all worth it to be able to go shopping "now". After all, I needed that new pair of jeans, and I had to have shoes in that color to match my new top.

Top 5 Thanksgiving Movies.

You've eaten your Thanksgiving dinner, and cleaned up all the plates, now what?! You could watch football like many will do or, you could do arts and crafts with the kids. But, if you're not a football fan, and you're fresh out of glue and glitter, maybe a good family movie is the way to go. There are certain movies that just cry out to be watched with the family on Thanksgiving.

Here's my list of Top 5 Thanksgiving movies:

1. A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving- It has Thanksgiving in the title, so kind of an obvious one, I know, but this classic 1973 cartoon is a must watch for all ages. Don't forget your buttered toast and popcorn!

Rough Seas on Our Fishing Trip. #WordlessWednesday

If the owner of a fishing charter says, "are you sure you want to go out, it's not going to be a pleasure cruise out there, today!"; you may want to find something to do on land, and save the fishing trip for another day!


Beautiful sky over Gulf of Mexico
We arrived at the Tarpon Springs dock for our planned fishing trip, it was to be a team builder with my peers at work. They didn't have our reservation and said they had no plans of taking the boat out. That should have been the sign we needed to plan the outing for another day, but we were all determined to go. So, they got the boat ready and off we went. Really, how bad could it be?!
 

Michael Phillip Cash Kindle Fire Giveaway, Enter to Win!


I just love a good giveaway, and the chance to win a free Kindle Fire, that's a super good giveaway! Just think of all the great books you could read if you had a Kindle Fire to carry them all around on. You'd have all the great books out there right at your finger tips. Read more below on how you can enter to win.

Enter to Win a Kindle Fire or $100 Paypal Cash from Author Carole P. Roman. #Giveaway




Author Carole P. Roman has offered this great giveaway for a Kindle Fire. Wouldn't it be so awesome to win a Kindle Fire! You have the chance to do just that, just by getting your entry in below. I know one thing for certain, if you don't enter, you can't win! So, make sure to enter to win the Kindle Fire from Carole P. Roman.

Disney Releases Strange Magic Trailer

Disney's Strange Magic trailer is finally here. From the mind of George Lucas comes this magical mystical and musical new movie.

Strange Magic is in theaters January 23. What do you think? Will you go see it?


Music Monday, Cups, Dirty Heads, and Habits #MusicMonday

It's Monday, and that means music! Are you ready to get moving and grooving? Let's dance!

The new Pitch Perfect 2 trailer had me thinking about the Cups song from the first movie.


Here's a couple of new songs that I've been listening to.

Celebrate the Holidays With Mexican Hot Chocolate Chex Party Mix. #ChexPartyMix #paid

If you ever want to spice up your hot chocolate, try adding some cinnamon to make it a Mexican hot chocolate. It is super yummy!

If you want a great snack for the holidays, try making Mexican Hot Chocolate Chex Party Mix. It's also quite yummy and what's a celebration without a great party mix?!

My daughter and I recently mixed up a batch of this easy to make sweet cinnamon snack mix when she came home from college. General Mills sent me this special recipe and all the ingredients I needed to make this holiday treat.

Recipe and coupon savings are below.


They're Back, Pitches! Pitch Perfect 2 Reveals Trailer.






Pitch Perfect 2 has just released the trailer for the sequel to 2012's hit movie, Pitch Perfect.

The girls are back for an international competition. It looks like it will be more good fun with laughs from Rebel Wilson, and heart warming friendship moments, and of course, lots of great sing-offs.

What do you think?  Are you excited about this sequel?


Wordless Wednesday, Nature, Fashion, and 'tude.

It's Wednesday, and that means Wordless! Well, as wordless as I can be anyway. :)

Here's a look back at my week in pictures.

I enjoyed some time in my backyard, along with this little critter. It's an orb weaver known as a Florida Crab Spider because it looks like it has a shell . They spin the most beautiful webs...which I always seem to walk into!
 
 
I baked up some holiday goodies. 

Experience Amazing Colors on the LG OLED TV at Best Buy. Put It On My Holiday Wish List! #HintingSeason

When Best Buy asked me to tell you about the LG OLED TV, I obviously said "yes", but only after going to Best Buy to see this new technology for myself.  I won't recommend anything unless I truly believe in it. After seeing it in person, I'm so excited to tell you about it because it is seriously impressive!




It's Music Monday, Here's What I Got!

It's Music Monday and I'm the Spotlight Dancer for Monday's Music Moves Me! This week's theme is a brevity challenge to find a song under 3 minutes and post only 1 sentence. If you want to join in on the fun, join the linky below.

It was hard to find a rockin' good song to get you going on a Monday morning, but here's "What I Got".


Festive Mini Cookie Cups Are Easy Holiday Treats #BettyCrockerBakeCenter

Baking season is here. It's time for cookie exchanges, family gatherings, and giving the gift of sweets. Because I like to bake so much, I was more than happy to share the deals that you can find on Betty Crocker baking at your nearest Publix. To participate, I was sent products to bake with, but all opinions expressed are my own.

I love baking from scratch, but sometimes I need to bake up something quick and Betty Crocker is great for that. If you're looking for a new fun recipe to bake this holiday season, Betty Crocker has made it really easy for you with the Betty Crocker Bake Center. It has 4 exclusive recipes, the Betty Crocker products you need to make them, and coupons to help you save money. I found it at my local Publix in the Dairy section.

I made the recipe for Festive Mini Cookie Cups

Wordless Wednesday, Free As a Bird Now

One of the bad things about living in Florida is the heat. Through the Summer, I often feel like a prisoner trapped inside because it is just too hot to be outside. Now, that the weather has cooled down a little, I've been enjoying some time outside in my backyard. This was my view as a predator bird was circling overhead. So peaceful.

 
 
♪Cause I'm as free as a bird now♪ (Lynyrd Skynyrd)
 
 

Music Monday, Shut Up and Dance!

Happy Music Monday! I need you to tell me what you think of this new song. I like it but my daughter doesn't care for it. So, tell me what do you think about this song?

It's Shut Up and Dance by Walk the Moon. I like it because it reminds me of an 80's dance song and it's catchy.


What do you think? Can you dance to it? or Is it a big "No"?


Posts on this site may contain affiliate links. All opinions expressed are my own.

Easy Way To Reduce Thanksgiving Stress So Your Holiday Doesn't Go Down the Drain.

Thanksgiving is coming fast. For some, this time of year is very exciting, but for others it can be very stressful. Thanksgiving is especially stressful when you're the one responsible for Thanksgiving dinner, and you want to make it perfect.

I remember one year when my mother was cooking Thanksgiving dinner for the family. Any other day of the year, it was rare to find mom anywhere near the stove, but on Thanksgiving, she sliced, diced, boiled, and baked us up a nice meal. It was always simple things, often from a box or jar, but it was always good. It is because she always kept things simple that I struggle with why she did what she did that year. I can only explain it as a result of Thanksgiving stress.

Disney Big Hero 6 Movie is the New Superhero Movie for Everyone to Love!

Disney's Big Hero 6 opens in theaters today. You may be thinking "meh, so what". You may have seen some trailers and thought "eh, I'll wait to rent it", or maybe you think "eh, I'll see it if I have time". Well, MAKE TIME! GO SEE THIS MOVIE! Big Hero 6 is seriously an awesome movie for everyone!

I'll admit that just from seeing the trailers, I wasn't so sure about it. I thought the big puffy marshmallow looking robot guy looked cute, but I just didn't get it. I didn't see this being a Disney movie that many could relate to, but...then I saw it! Wow! It is a really good movie! It is funny. It is sweet and caring with big heart. It has memorable characters and a relatable story line. It truly has everything.

Wordless Wednesday, Fireplace Weather

Fall has finally arrived in Florida which means less rain and some slightly cooler temps. This weekend, it was cool enough to light our fire place. I just love the sound and smell of a fireplace, and it's so peaceful to watch the fire dance around. We don't get to use it very often, but I have been known, on occasion, to crank up the AC just to be able to pretend that the weather is cool enough.

New Minions Movie Trailer From Universal Studios

Yay! Another movie with Minions!! This one not only stars the Minions, it's about the Minions and their quest to find an evil master.

Take a look at the trailer. It looks B-A-N-A-N-A-S!



And, I bet the soundtrack will be AWESOME!

For more info head to minionsmovie.com

Now, Where Do I Put These Dead Germs?!

The other day I was having a conversation with friends about restrooms, and antibacterial dispensers when one friend declared, "I don't do that anti-bacterial stuff."

I was prepared for a deep discussion about how anti-bacterial things are destroying our natural immune response, etc..., when I got this.

Music Monday, Songs from Movies I can Always Watch

There are some movies that can just be watched anytime. You know the ones that even though you own it on blu-ray, you can't help but stop flipping channels when you come across it, even though there's commercials. For me, some of these movies include Grease, The Big Chill. They're not necessarily the best movies ever, but there's just something comforting about them that I can't get enough of.

And, they have great music! Music that is perfect for Music Monday!

Let's dance!

Put Your Friend On Santa's Official Naughty List

Ever felt one of your friends really deserves to be on Santa's naughty list? Well now you can have them added to the official naughty list and send them a copy of it to prove it.

I can definitely think of  few people to send this to! Hahaha!

This looks like really fun gift.





Disclosure: This site contains affiliate links. All opinions expressed are my own.

Have a Berry Good Halloween!

I love Halloween! It is my favorite holiday for so many reasons. One big reason is that on Halloween you can dress up as anyone you want. You can wear the most outlandish outfit and it's perfectly okay. It's a day to just get out there and celebrate life!

I found this cute little idea on Pinterest, and I tried it out. They are witches brooms. Cute huh? They taste good too! ;)


I hope that you are having a truly awesome Halloween. Stay safe out there. I can't wait to see all the little kids in their costumes for trick or treat!

My husband got this vintage Strawberry Shortcake costume for me. I think it's the exact one I wanted as a kid that Mom wouldn't spend the money on, so... I'm finally getting to be Strawberry Shortcake, only it's a lot creepier than I remember. 


Happy Halloween!

Wordless Wednesday, A Village of Mushrooms

A tree stump in my neighborhood recently became home to some mushrooms. They just seemed to appear out of nowhere, and I just thought it was so pretty. I mentioned it to my daughter, and she took a picture for me.

Look at it; It's like a small village of mushrooms. I wonder if there are any Smurfs in there. :)

 
 
The mushrooms are gone, but I still have this pretty picture of one of nature's wonders.
 
 
 
The song stuck in my head today:
 
♪Take me to church, I'll worship like a dog at the shrine of your lies♪ (Hozier)
 
 
 
disclosure: posts on this site may contain affiliate links. All opinions expressed are my own.


A Look Inside Disney's Into the Woods

I'm really excited for this movie. It has a great cast, and a great story, and of course, it's a musical, so that makes me very happy. I'm eager to see it all pulled together on the big screen in December. Until then, we have to settle for these little glimpses into the fantasy world Disney is creating.

Take a look inside Disney's Into the Woods.

What do you think?

The Question is Parenting, and Censorship is Not The Answer

This originally posted in 2011, but with the recent demand for Toys R Us to remove a toy from its shelves because a mom thinks it's inappropriate, and their compliance to do so despite having 6 times as many signatures asking them to continue selling it, I think it shows that censorship continues to be a problem. This post is just as appropriate now as it was 3 years ago. It's time we take ownership rather than place blame, and teach not censor.

I recently read a post about the use of expletives on television and in public. The writer compared profanity to second hand smoke declaring the need for it to be banned because of it's offensiveness. She declared that the use of expletives on television is an insult to our intelligence and is having a negative impact on our children.
Really?! Second hand smoke?! Come on! It's words...Words don't kill!

Words are just words, and have no power unless you give them power. The word "bitch" used to mean simply a female dog. The "F"word was actually once a common term for banging two items together, and the word "fag" in England means a cigarette. It is society that has changed the meaning of the words to suit our purposes. If people stopped using these words, new ones would just replace them and take on different meanings.

When you drop something on your foot and yell "Oh, Sugar!" Aren't you meaning the same thing as if you said "oh shit!"? You just had sense enough to "know your audience" because you know your 3 year old is standing there and will quickly repeat what you said.

TV networks have to do the same thing. They adjust the words used to that of their audience. You won't hear Bob the Builder scream profanities because it's designed for children. But, tune into a show designed for adults like "House" and you may hear the occasional bad word.

This is not an insult to our intelligence, in fact it is a compliment to our knowledge. If a network tried to put a drama on that had all the characters yelling "oh phooey gosh darn gee wiz I really just don't like you." it would very quickly fail, because people want to watch dramas that depict reality. TV shows have more "expletives" on them because they are being more true to the real world. It's just how people talk.

As for the negative impact of foul language on children...

I have never shielded my children from words, but have raised them to know they are inappropriate in everyday conversation, and were off limits to them to use as children. Now this doesn't mean they were free to watch whatever shows they wanted, and listen to the musical artists that they do now when they were kids. No, I filtered what they could view, what they could listen to, and if they repeated something they heard, they were disciplined. I took the responsibility of parenting, rather than point fingers at what the rest of the world was doing wrong, I taught mine to do what's right.
My daughters are teenagers, they have attitudes, they don't like to do homework, they listen to music I don't always like, and sometimes they make bad decisions, but overall they're good kids. They know right from wrong, and while I'm sure they say some cuss words with their friends, they are smart enough never to say them in front of an adult because... they know their audience.

Eliminating foul language from the world to protect our youth is no more the answer than is burning books to shield them from inappropriate thoughts. Just as TV Networks, and movie producers know their audience, so must we as parents. Watch what your children are watching and if necessary change the channel! Listen to their music and discuss the meanings of the lyrics with your child. Don't shield them, teach them, parent them, because they are your audience.

Take this pink ribbon off my eyes, I'm exposed and it's no big surprise don't you think I know exactly where I stand this world is forcing me to hold your hand (No Doubt)

6 Witch Songs, Music For Halloween. #MusicMonday

It's our last Music Monday before Halloween, so it only makes sense to celebrate with some Halloween music. And, since Halloween is the Witch's New Year, let's let the witches have their moment on the dance floor. Here are 6 songs about witches.

Let's get things started with "Black Magic Woman" by Santana.



I know there are many other versions of this song, but this one is just so much fun! Bette Midler performing "I Put a Spell On You" in Hocus Pocus.


Another great song, "Witchy Woman" by The Eagles.



This one is a bit harder hitting with a reminder of the ugly history of The Salem Witch Trials. This is "American Witch" by Rob Zombie.



This one is a classic from 1966. It is "Season of the Witch" by Donovan.


We couldn't have a list of witch songs without the queen of witches, the fabulous Stevie Nicks. This is Fleetwood Mac performing Rhiannon.

Have a great week and keep on dancing!
If you love music, make sure to enter our Sol Republic Music Made Me Do It Giveaway!

Music Made Me Do It, Sol Republic Punk and Tracks Giveaway #MMDI


Music has always been a huge part of my life because of the emotional pull it has. Like a time machine, a song can pull us back to that special moment in our lives when we heard it playing. Music expresses what we often fail to put into a words; our deepest raw emotions. Music can also be our friend to get us through rough times or to inspire us to do great, and sometimes not so great, things.

Music made me name my youngest daughter, Rose for the song made famous by Bette Midler.

Music made Rose and I get the word "Imagine" tattooed on our wrists for the John Lennon song, and as a reminder of all the great possibilities our future holds if we can only imagine.

Music also made us take a trip to Central Park in NYC to visit the John Lennon Memorial together. We made the trip to celebrate. You see, Rose struggled with depression after being bullied. Getting through school was a battle for her, but she graduated High School, and it was the promise of the NYC trip that helped motivate her. She made it through a tough time and deserved to celebrate, so we went to NYC, and to Strawberry Fields. It is a memory of a special time shared with my daughter because Music Made Me Do It.


Now, I want to know what moments of yours are made special because of music! Just by sharing your story you'll be entered to win a Punk speaker by Sol Republic and Tracks headphones by Sol Republic.



To enter comment below with your music made me do it moment or share a story on Social Media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc...) using #MMDI . Then complete the Rafflecopter form below to complete your entry.
1 person will win both the Punk and the Tracks by Sol Republic.
Open to U.S. and CA.

Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Relive Your Childhood With Retro Monster Cereal at Target.

When I was a kid, I really enjoyed the Monster cereals. The commercials made monsters seem less scary, and the fun flavors made me more likely to eat breakfast. My favorite character was always Franken Berry because he was pink, and pink was not everywhere like it is now. I also liked that despite his large size he was just a friendly goofy monster. It's a good reminder not to be afraid of things just because they look different.

Now, at Halloween time, we can take that walk down memory lane, and share the fun with our kids, with Monster Cereal in retro packaging that is only available at Target. Remember the fun cut out masks? Well, Target has them! You can eat your favorite flavor and then dress up as your favorite monster. I bet they could even be incorporated into Halloween decorations, maybe on a pumpkin, or something? I'm sure there's someone out there with some crafty idea for them! I'm going to put mine in frames to decorate my kitchen with next year.

Retro Count Chocula mask

Along with the Monster cereals, there are also Boo Berry and Franken Berry fruit roll ups, and a Count Chocula cereal bar treats that my family really enjoyed having for snacks.

Monster Cereal products from General Mills


For you bargain shoppers, I noticed that the Target cartwheel app has a deal for 20% off the Monster cereal until 10/31, so make sure to take advantage of the extra savings.

Fun to see retro Monster Cereals on the Target shelves

I was provided free product by General Mills to inspire this post. All opinions expressed are my own.

Nature Photos From a South Carolina Hiking Trip #WordlessWednesday

For the past few years, hubby and I have gone on a hiking trip in the Fall. We love the cooler weather, and the chance to enjoy nature. This year's trip was to South Carolina's Foothills.

It was rainy, and hazy so some of our views were diminished, but we still had a great time. We even did our first moderate trail! This is a big deal for me because a year ago, I was barely able to finish a short easy trail because of Psoriatic Arthritis. Now, I'm controlling the disease instead of it controlling me. Life is good and I'm ready to explore it!










Mary Lambert's Debut Album, Definitely Worth a Second Listen. #HeartOnMySleeve #O2O

When I first heard "Secrets" on the radio, it immediately caught my ear and it replayed in my head throughout the day. I couldn't get enough of it, and had to hear it again. It's such as an honest song where Mary Lambert puts it all out there in a very offhand, oh well, this is me kind of style. There is just something very inspiring about the song that reminds us that we all have things we're not proud of, but those things are what make us who we are. We need to be better at being okay with being ourselves and putting it all out there.

Because of how much I enjoy the song "Secrets", I couldn't wait to hear the rest of Mary Lambert's new album Heart on My Sleeve.


I have to admit that, at first,  I was a little disappointed in it. I expected to hear more upbeat songs like "Secrets". I wanted that same inspirational high from bouncing along to that song that first caught my ear. When I didn't hear it right away, I skipped through the rest of the album hoping to hear something just as bright, but I didn't find it so I set the album aside.

The next day I decided to give it another try. This time with fresh ears and an open mind. I sat down and listened to the album without the built up hopes that I had first heard it with. What I found was that there is inspiration, and there is brightness and honesty; I was just blinded to it by my own expectations.

Mary Lambert puts her raw emotions into her songwriting. You can feel the passion she has for love and life in her lyrics, and her voice makes you feel the emotions along with her. One example of this is on "So Far Away", where we are reminded of that deep loneliness and struggle that can come from being in a long distance relationship. You are so lonely when you're apart, but the time together makes it all worth it.

In the album's title song "Heart on My Sleeve" Lambert confesses her desires to be with the "one I gotta have". It's full of all the excitement and hopes that come rushing in with a new relationship.

I've now listened to this album several times, and find that I really like it.  I can see quite a few of these becoming radio hits, and yes, some of the songs have weaved their way into my head on repeat. There's even a cover of "Jessie's Girl" that Lambert gives a whole new sound to.

With "Secrets" rising up the charts, and the powerful love songs on this album, I would expect to hear a lot more from this singer/songwriter. She has a great career ahead of her.

Heart on My Sleeve is available on iTunes and Amazon
Follow Mary on Twitter @MaryLambertSing 










I participated in the Mary Lambert Heart On My Sleeve album review program as a member of One2One Network. I was provided a free album to review but all opinions are my own.

A Special Look at Disney's Feast

Disney will premier its new short "Feast" in front of "Big Hero 6" which opens in theaters on November 7. Here's a look at it.




Doesn't that little dog just look adorable?! Now, along with looking forward to seeing the adventures of the Big Hero 6, I'm also looking forward to seeing "Feast"!

Disney's Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day Shows How Many Negatives Make a Positive. #VeryBadDay

There are certain children's books that just seem to stick with you. Even after the kids are grown they have a lasting memory for you, and maybe you still pick it up and read it even though there aren't any kids anywhere around. For me, one of those books is Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good Very Bad Day by Judith Viorst.

Because I like the book so much, I was wicked happy to hear that it was being made a movie, and even more happy that it was being done by Disney. Along with that excitement came a little bit of uncertainty about how well it would translate to the screen. You just never know with such a loved book how it will do in live action form, but...I'm happy to say that Disney did an excellent job!

Disney's "Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day" tells the story of Alexander, a middle school aged boy who always seems to have those days while the rest of his family seem to have absolutely perfect days all the time. This all changes when Alexander makes a wish for them to understand what a very bad day is like.

The movie does a great job of sticking with the tone of the book, including an opening scene with Alexander waking up with gum in his hair which is straight from page 1. This is really a fun and humorous movie with a delightful story that delivers a message about the importance of positivity.

If you're looking for something to watch with the whole family, this is good because it really offers something for everyone. And, if you're like me, and your kids are all grown up, go see it anyway because it's fun. Besides, with all the very bad days that us grownups have we need a reminder that it's all going to be okay. Remember, "You have to have the bad days to love the good days."

http://movies.disney.com/alexander-and-the-terrible-horrible-no-good-very-bad-day/




Disclosure: I attended a free screening for this movie in order to complete this review. No other compensation was provided. All opinions expressed are my own. This site may contain affiliate links.

Why Did I Wait So Long To Make Homemade Brownies? Recipe is Easy and Delicious!

For the longest time, I've wanted to make brownies from scratch, but for one reason or another, (laziness) I always went back to using a box mix...until now!

I found this awesome recipe on Pinterest. Um, where else? Everything is found on Pinterest these days, so that's almost a given. Anyway, I found it on Pinterest awhile ago, and I kept looking at it, and I finally did it. My oldest daughter came home this weekend, and we baked these babies up, and OH MY GOSH!
These are A-mazing!
I can't go back to a box mix after this!
For real!
Not only were they incredibly good, but they were also incredibly easy! I don't know why I thought it would be so much harder to do. I've wasted so much time messing around with trying to find the best mix in a box when all along the best mix was made of stuff already in my house!

Homemade brownies

Even the batter was happy to be mixed up! Look at that smile.


Brownies made from scratch with easy recipe

For the recipe, head over to Buns in My Oven.
 
The recipe is so perfect there is no reason to change a thing, but I replaced the vegetable oil with Pecan Oil because I prefer it over vegetable oil. Coconut Oil is also a great option here. I also left out the espresso powder, just because I didn't have any.
 
For something different; you could add nuts, or top it with melted peanut butter cups or caramel.

By the way this recipe is for a 9x13 pan so there is plenty to enjoy. Go ahead and eat half the pan and tell them it was just a regular size brownie recipe. They won't know the difference, and I won't tell.

Enter to Win a Trip to Florida to Meet Florida Georgia Line on Halloween.

If you love music like I do, then you are going to love this sweepstakes. 1 winner will win a trip for 2 to Jacksonville Florida to meet Florida Georgia Line on Halloween.

The prize includes roundtrip airfare for 2, a 2 nights hotel stay, 2 t-shirts, a signed album, a meet and greet with the band before the concert, and 2 tickets to the Coors Light 2014 Anything Goes Tailgate Party and Concert in Jacksonville, FL. Pretty sweet, huh?!

To enter just go here and complete the form before 10/24. 1 entry per person. Must be a U.S. resident, 21+.
Good luck!


I was not compensated in anyway for this post. All opinions expressed are my own.

Boom! What a Way to Kick Off the Week!

The Walking Dead came back with a big bang and I'm so pumped about this season! I don't want to spoil anything for those of you that didn't stay up to watch it, but I will say it was explosive! There were edge of your seat moments, reunions, and plenty of dead walkers. It was AWESOME!

Because I'm so excited for The Walking Dead, and I'm ready for an awesome week, let's get it started with some music to get us up and moving.

Let's kick this Music Monday off with a boom.





And, end it on a bang!

Have a bangin' good week!

Autumn at Disney World #WordlessWednesday

Guess where I went this weekend?!
Cinderella's castle

Finally, we had a nice day with cooler temperatures, lower humidity and not a cloud in the sky, so we went to Disney. We haven't been since June, and I was starting to have withdrawals. I needed some magic from the happiest place on earth!

Like a kid I skipped through the Magic Kingdom giddy with the joy of Autumn...and maybe the buzz of espresso.

jack-o-lantern Mickey



Sunflowers in Frontier land

Main Street USA decorated for Halloween

Sleepy Hollow Inn


Disney does Harvest time right, and I can't wait to go back again!