Monday, November 29, 2010

The holiday season is officially in full swing, and with it for most people comes the opportunity to spend more time with family and friends.  One good way to settle the little ones and keep them in one place is a good movie. Disney to the rescue.  November 23, 2010, Disney's Search for Santa Paws released to DVD and Blu-Ray.  Thanksgiving weekend was the perfect time for this, since all the little ones were hyper from the sweet treats they had consumed and needed something to grab their attention.

Here's a brief overview of the DVD from the Press Release:
Disney’s unbeatable and irresistible talking dogs are back – in an all‐new holiday movie for the whole family, with THE SEARCH FOR SANTA PAWS.  DISNEY’S THE SEARCH FOR SANTA PAWS is an exciting and uplifting movie from director Robert Vince about the power of giving and the true meaning of Christmas in the tradition of Disney’s classic holiday tales. This big city adventure for the whole family reveals the how the legendary friendship of Santa Claus and Santa Paws began.
 

DISNEY’S THE SEARCH FOR SANTA PAWS comes with a stocking full of fantastic bonus features, including:
• An interactive Animated Pop‐Up Book – ‘Buddies’ puppy star Rosebud reads a holiday story featuring new canine friends from The Search For Santa Paws
• Sing‐Along Mode ‐ colorful lyrics added to the film’s song sequences, so audiences can sing along to the film’s fantastic new songs.
• Music Video – tween favorite Debby Ryan (Disney Channel’s Suite Life on Deck) performs a great new arrangement of ‘Deck The Halls.’
• Deleted scenes
 

The film follows in the tradition of Disney’s classic holiday tales with a heartwarming story about the power of giving and the true meaning of Christmas. An exciting prequel, the movie allows kids of all ages to discover how the legendary friendship of Santa Claus and Santa Paws began – as it is the inspiring original film (in a timeline it precedes 2009’s Santa Buddies: The Legend of Santa Paws).
In the movie, when Santa and his new best friend, Paws, discover that the boys and girls of the
world have lost the spirit of the season, they take a trip to New York City. But after Santa loses
his memory, it’s up to Paws, a faithful orphan named Quinn (America’s Got Talent’s Kaitlyn
Maher), her new friend Will (The Game Plan’s Madison Pettis) and a wonderful group of
magical talking dogs to save St. Nick and show the world what Christmas is really all about. Do
you believe in Santa Paws? Experiencing this sure‐to‐be holiday classic, full of fun, adventure
and a carrying the timeless messages of the holidays, with surely delight the entire family!


Take a look at this clip...


This DVD is selection number 2 in my Holiday Gift Guide.  I found this movie to be joyous and on point. The story continued to make it clear about the true meaning of Christmas. Something which may be lost on the younger children, but did not go unnoticed by the older children. This one was pulled out on Thanksgiving to quiet the little ones.  Each of the children fell in love with the puppies.  They each had their favorite and by the end of the movie they could easily tell the difference between each pup. The younger childrens favorite part was the sing-along mode included in the bonus features.  They were dancing and singing and couldn't take their eye's off the screen. My pre-teen nephew really got into the music video and deleted scenes. Each child was so amped up for Christmas they couldn't wait to tell us what they wanted Santa to bring them.This is a great movie to add to your gift list for a family who enjoys spending time together, for a pre-teen, tween who might need to focus on the true meaning of the season, or for just about anyone who needs a little holiday cheer brought to them this season.


Stop by here to grab the activity and coloring sheets for your little ones to enjoy or take with them on the holiday road trip.


***I received a copy of the DVD for review purposes.  No other compensation was received.  All opinions expressed are from my family and myself and have not been influenced.
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Sunday, November 28, 2010


Another Disney innovation joined the list of interactive products on November 16, 2010 with the release of its new Mickey Mote. The Mickey Mote is a Mickey Mouse shaped remote, sized perfectly for little preschoolers' hands. The Mickey Mote is interactive and is to be used with a variety of Disney educational DVD’s which most children already know and love. I received the  Mickey Mouse Clubhouse: Mickey’s Number Roundup and Handy Manny: Big Construction Job DVD’s, along with the Mickey Mote and you would have thought it was Christmas as excited as the little ones became.

The Mickey Mote and separately purchased DVDs are designed to create an interactive experience for preschoolers between the ages of 3 and 5. While watching the DVD’s children are asked educational questions, relevant to the topic, which may include numbers, letter, comprehension, etc. Children are asked to answer the questions using the buttons on their Mickey Mote.
The must have list to use this product:
·       DVD Player
·       The Disney Educational DVD (purchased separately)
·       Two “AAA” Batteries

The compatible DVD begins with the video portion and then moves on to asking questions which involve the use of the Mickey Mote. This is referred to as the Discovery mode feature of each DVD.  Discovery mode of each DVD has two levels of play – easier and more challenging – so your children with advance with the use of each DVD.

The following DVD’s may be viewed using the Mickey Mote or on their own:
The Mickey Mote programing options are included with the DVD and make take a little while to set-up, but are fairly easy. There is an onscreen tutorial on each DVD as well. It’s just like having to program your regular remotes for your Television or DVD player.  The Mickey Mote is just the same, but made to be more engaging for the little ones. Parents will program the remote control and kids will use the remote as the movies play to answer questions and interact with what they are seeing on the screen.

Our Review:
The little ones had fun answering the questions and remained engaged while using the Mickey Mote. It’s great that the children can use this remote rather than the DVD or TV remote while what they are watching.  If they were using the TV or DVD remote it would be possible for them to change the channel or stop the DVD, but not when using the Mickey Mote.  Something to note, The Mickey Mote isn’t used during the usual DVD episode. You must select the bonus material to have access to the interactive portion of the DVD.  Level 1 of play was engaging for the 3 year old, but for the 4 (almost 5), he soon lost interest as he knew most of the answers and just wanted to watch the video. Disney has found another way to engage and educate the children in a fun and easy to use product.

The two discs we received to review were:
Mickey Mouse Clubhouse: Mickey’s Number Roundup features more than 100 minutes of content with five exciting, numbers-themed adventures.  Mickey Mouse Clubhouse is the #1 program on Playhouse Disney as well as the #1 series with children between the ages of two and five years.  Bonus features include a never-before-seen (until 1/1/11) bonus episode as well as the Discovery Mode feature.
Suggested Retail Price:  1 Disc DVD + Mickey Mote = $29.99 U.S./$35.99 Canada
1 Disc DVD = $26.99 U.S./$29.99 Canada
Run time:  Approximately 100 minutes
Aspect Ratio:  Family Friendly Widescreen (1.78:1) – enhanced for 16×9 Televisions
Sound:  Dolby Digital Sound
Languages:  English, Spanish, French
HANDY MANNY: BIG CONSTRUCTION JOB DVD
Handy Manny: Big Construction Job is a fun-filled, full-length adventure that takes Manny out of Sheet Rock Hills and to a new construction project out of town!  Introducing new tools, new songs and a never-before-seen episode, Handy Manny stars Wilmer Valderrama (TV’s “That 70s Show”) as the voice of Manny.  It is a top 5 television series with preschoolers 2-5, and is an Emmy-nominated show, set in a multicultural, multi-generational community and follows a curriculum that models problem solving and the importance of community.
Suggested Retail Price:  1 Disc DVD + Mickey Mote = $29.99 U.S./$35.99 Canada
1 Disc DVD = $26.99 U.S./$29.99 Canada
Run Time:  Approximately 69 minutes
Aspect Ratio:  Family Friendly Widescreen (1.78:1) – enhanced for 16×9 Televisions
Sound:  Dolby Digital Sound
Languages:  English, Spanish, French

****I was provided a copy of the product mentioned above for review purposes.  No other form of compensation was received.  The opinions expressed are mine and have not been influenced.



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Thursday, November 11, 2010


Thank you to all who have fought, served, and laid their lives on the line for our freedom!!!

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Wednesday, November 10, 2010


I know I must really behind the curve on what's new and happening out there. I just found out about this great new artist named Greyson Chance. Until receiving some information in an email, I had never heard of this young man. And young he is, Greyson is only 12 years old, but is ready to give some of the mainstays in the music industry a run for their money.  Greyson first received notoriety when he placed a video of himself, performing at a choir event, on You Tube, performing Lady Gaga's hit Paparazzi.  The video almost instantly became viral and currently has more than 32 million hits. 

Since that time he has been almost everywhere. He has literally become a star in the matter of a couple months. Ellen DeGeneres announced that she has signed him as the first artist to her newly formed label eleveneleven Records. Greyson is currently in the studio working on his debut album with veteran songwriter/producer and Geffen Records chairman Ron Fair.  Check him out performing Waiting Outside the Lines for radio Disney. 


He is one to keep your eye on. You can also check out Greyson's videos on You Tube follow him on twitter and facebook. Greyson Chance has also been nominated for "Favorite Viral Video Star" at the 2011 People's Choice Award's.  Fans can vote for the awards at http://www.peopleschoice.com/pca/vote/The 2011 Peoples Choice Award airs on CBS on January 5, 2011. 


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Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Recently I had a great opportunity to go to a screening for the movie Tangled courtesy of the wonderful folks at Disney.  This is one that you will definitely want to get out to see.  This movie is in Disney Digital 3D. Need I say more? Really!?! OK, “It looks like a classic Disney animated film, but it’s also in 3D CG animation.”  This is what Disney does best.Tangled is a modern day story of Rapunzel, here is how Disney describes it:

ABOUT THE MOVIE
Walt Disney Pictures presents “Tangled,” one of the most hilarious, hair-raising tales ever told. When the kingdom’s most wanted—and most charming—bandit Flynn Rider (voice of Zachary Levi) hides out in a mysterious tower, he’s taken hostage by Rapunzel (voice of Mandy Moore), a beautiful and feisty tower-bound teen with 70 feet of magical, golden hair. Flynn’s curious captor, who’s looking for her ticket out of the tower where she’s been locked away for years, strikes a deal with the handsome thief and the unlikely duo sets off on an action-packed escapade, complete with a super-cop horse, an over-protective chameleon and a gruff gang of pub thugs. In theaters this holiday season in Disney Digital 3D™, “Tangled” is a story of adventure, heart, humor and hair—lots of hair. The film hits U.S. theaters on Nov. 24, 2010. For more information, visit Disney.com/Tangled, like us on Facebook: facebook.com/DisneyTangled and follow us on Twitter: twitter.com/disneyanimation.

I just have to tell you, boys and girls alike will love this movie.  There is enough action in it to keep all the little boys from squirming in their seats.  As well as having enough, sweet and adorable moments to make every little girl wish she was a Disney princess. The kids really got a kick out of the 3D.  They were standing and reaching out trying to touch the objects which appeared to be right in front of their face.  Disney has hit a home run with this one because it is also quite funny. This movie had adults and children alike laughing out lot throughout the entire film. I don't want to give the movie away, which is why I am really not going into great detail. But, there is something for the entire family in this one and it would be a great movie to start the holiday season off.

Take a look at the trailer and see for yourself...


The children who attended the screening, received silly bands and movie posters, but don't fret. The great people at Disney have also offered a fun giveaway for my readers as well.  I have 3 sets which include 1 t-shirt and 1 set of silly bands each, to offer to three lucky readers.  These come at the perfect time and would make a great stocking stuffer, take a look...






Giveaway Rules – Each entry must include your name and email. A comment should be left for each entry. You must complete the mandatory entry to be eligible for the optional entries. This giveaway will end at 11:59 pm pst on 11/20/10, the prizes will be shipped the first week of December by Disney. The winner(s) will be chosen using Random.org from all valid entries and notified via email. Please look for the You’ve Won email. The winner will have 24 hours to contact me before another winner is selected. Giveaway is open to U.S. residents only.

Mandatory Entry:
* Leave a comment telling me which Disney movie is you or your child's favorite

 
Optional Entries:
* Become a follower on Google Friend Connect widget at the right and leave a comment on this post telling me you did.

* Become a fan of Desperately Seeking Deals on Facebook (right sidebar) and then leave a comment telling me you did!

* Become a follower of on twitter (right sidebar) and leave a comment on this post with your twitter handle!!

* Tweet this: Win a Disney Tangled T-shirt & Silly Bandz @scrappydz http://bit.ly/aJL1KQ ends 11/20 . Leave a comment and include your tweet status. (once daily)

* Post about this giveaway on your blog and receive three entries. Post must include a link back to my original post.


***I received four screener passes to view the movie Tangled from Disney, no other form of compensation was received.  The opinions expressed are my own and those of my family and have not been influenced.

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Monday, November 8, 2010


I was like a kid in a candy store when I found out that I would have the chance to review Norah Jones new album ....Featuring.  I have long been a Norah Jones fan and even have some of her music from before she became a well-known artist.  Norah Jones comes from a musical background, which goes to show why she is on my list of favorite artists with a colossal vocal range.  Just take a look at the picture above, (which is her new album cover) for some of the artists she features on this album. This alone tells you that she has to have range, to be able to collaborate with such a varied group of musicians.
.

On November 16, EMI’s Blue Note Records will release …Featuring, a star-studded collection of the
multi-platinum selling, multi-Grammy Award winning singer Norah Jones’s musical collaborations
from the past decade. The 18 songs on the album include duets with such legends as Ray Charles,
Willie Nelson, and Dolly Parton, and with 21st Century icons from OutKast to the Foo Fighters.


These collaborations reveal Jones’s astonishing musical versatility, from jazz to country, hip-hop to
rock. Three of the songs on …Featuring originally appeared on records that won Grammy awards for
Album of the Year (Ray Charles’ Genius Loves Company, Herbie Hancock’s River: The Joni Letters,
and OutKast’s Speakerboxxx/The Love Below), and several others were also nominated for
Grammys.


The track listing for …Featuring:

1. Love Me – The Little Willies
2. Virginia Moon – The Foo Fighters featuring Norah Jones
3. Turn Them – Sean Bones featuring Norah Jones
4. Baby It's Cold Outside – Willie Nelson featuring Norah Jones
5. Bull Rider – Norah Jones and Sasha Dobson
6. Ruler Of My Heart – Dirty Dozen Brass Band featuring Norah Jones
7. The Best Part – El Madmo
8. Take Off Your Cool – OutKast featuring Norah Jones
9. Life Is Better – Q-Tip featuring Norah Jones
10. Soon The New Day – Talib Kweli featuring Norah Jones
11. Little Lou, Prophet Jack, Ugly John – Belle & Sebastian featuring Norah Jones
12. Here We Go Again – Ray Charles featuring Norah Jones
13. Loretta – Norah Jones featuring Gillian Welch and David Rawlings
14. Dear John – Ryan Adams featuring Norah Jones
15. Creepin' In – Norah Jones featuring Dolly Parton
16. Court & Spark – Herbie Hancock featuring Norah Jones
17. More Than This – Charlie Hunter featuring Norah Jones
18. Blue Bayou – Norah Jones featuring M. Ward



There is not one song on the CD that I did not like.  If you want to see what Norah is up, to check out her official site here. But, if you would like to get a start on your Christmas shopping you can head over to Amazon to pre-order this CD which doesn't release until November 16, 2010.

I am also pleased to make this selection #1 in my 2010 Holiday Gift Guide.  If you know someone who loves Nora or just loves music in general this is a great way to check their name off the gift list.



***I received a copy of Norah Jones CD from One to One for review purposes and received no further compensation.  All opinions expressed are my own and have not been influenced.
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Sunday, November 7, 2010


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Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Recently I had the opportunity to receive the line of Crisco products to review, and I have to say they came none too soon.  Fall has finally arrived and with it's arrival for me, comes baking.  I love spending time in the kitchen during the cooler weather, with yummy smells coming from the oven on a crisp cool day. 

The generous people at Crisco sent me a wonderful care package which included Crisco Pure Canola Oil, Crisco 100% Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Crisco 100% Extra Virgin Olive Oil non-stick cooking spray, a free coupon for any Crisco product, and a lovely wooden Crisco spatula.  Even though baking is my favorite type of cooking to do during the fall and winter season, I had to break out the grill to try out the Crisco® Olive Oil Cooking Spray and grill up some fajitas.  This is one of my favorite main meals when the cooler weather rolls around, good thing I have an indoor grill.


So, I went over to the Crisco website and checked out their Spanish page to find a recipe.  Don't be intimidated if you do not speak or read Spanish, there is a small link in the upper right hand corner of the site which will allow you to view the site in English, just click and it will switch over to English. So I found this great recipe for Shrimp Fajitas (oh-so-yummy) and gave it a shot. Having all the ingredients on hand it was a quick and easy meal.  I substituted the spray in place of the oil in the recipe since I was doing this on the grill.  There was no aftertaste from the spray and absolutely no sticking on the grill.  These came out so great.  The other items have also been put to good use in various meals and with my Gratis coupon I picked up baking sticks to use when making pumpkin bread this weekend.

Another great find on the Crisco En Espanol website is a great giveaway they currently have going.  On the What's for Dinner website everyone has the opportunity to win :
  • One grand prize of a new line of gourmet cookware and one year of Crisco products
  • First-time entrants receive a Crisco product coupon
  • Each day 10 winners receive a $20 gift card 
The contest ends December 31, 2010 and you can enter once a day for your chance to win one of the above prizes. For first time entrants you also receive a link to print a coupon for Crisco products.  This is a coupons.com link, so if you have printed a Crisco coupon recently you may not be able to print again. So, go ahead and poke around the site, I'm sure you will find something you want to try.  My recipe binder now has a quite a few additions, courtesy of Crisco.



***I received the above mentioned care package courtesy of Crisco.  No monetary compensation was received.  All opinions are my own and have not been influenced.

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Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Recently had the opportunity to receive and review the new Liz Wright CD, Fellowship, courtesy of Think Tank. Verve Forecast released the new album Fellowship  on September 28. The 12-track gospel-tinged record features a number of traditional songs. Fellowship is the follow-up to Wright’s 2008 record The Orchard, which “CBS News Sunday Morning” declared “one of the best albums of the year” while the Los Angeles Times called it “a creative breakthrough for Wright, whose smoldering, sensual voice now has a vision to go with it.”

This production features several traditional songs that Wright grew up with in church including “Amazing Grace,” “Sweeping Through the City,” and a gospel medley featuring “I’ve Got a Feeling” and “Power Lord.” Wright also covers a number of songs by noted writers including “Presence of the Lord” by Eric Clapton and “In From the Storm” by Jimi Hendrix.

Lizz Wright, whom The Wall Street Journal calls “a thoughtful, sensitive soul,” has received critical praise from Time Magazine, NPR, Ebony, Essence, New Yorker and Billboard, and her music is featured in several major television shows. Wright was born in the small town of Hahira, Georgia, to a local minister. She grew up traveling through the South singing with her parents and siblings. She first came to national attention in 2002 when she performed in a series of Billie Holiday tribute shows. Since then, she’s released Salt (2003), Dreaming Wide Awake (2005) and The Orchard (2008), all three critical and fan favorites.


I found the CD to feel reminiscent of Mahalia Jackson, very spiritual, very gospel.  This is an album that allows Lizz the opportunity to stretch and spread her vocal "wings."  In my opinion, she has brought some of us who have heard older spirituals back to an era of forgotten music.  For those who have not, and who may be feeling in the mood for some genuine gospel music, you must check this out.  She has provided an opportunity for her fans to check out one song from this CD by following the link below.




I was provided with several CD's to offer as giveaways and have one left for the first reader interested.  Please leave me a comment letting me know and I will get in touch for your mailing information.  


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Monday, November 1, 2010


Just in time to get everyone in the holiday spirit, Disney's the Search for Santa Paws will release on Disney Blu-ray & DVD on November 23, 2010. 


Plot Summary from Disney site:
In the tradition of Disney's classic holiday tales comes a heartwarming movie about the power of giving and the true meaning of Christmas. Discover how the legendary friendship of Santa Claus and Santa Paws began in the inspiring original film, The Search For Santa Paws. 

When Santa and his new best friend, Paws, discover that the boys and girls of the world have lost the spirit of the season, they take a trip to New York City. But after Santa loses his memory, it's up to Paws, a faithful orphan named Quinn (America's Got Talent's Kaitlyn Maher), her new friend Will (The Game Plan's Madison Pettis) and a wonderful group of magical talking dogs to save St. Nick and show the world what Christmas is really all about. 


If a new puppy is on your shopping list for this Christmas, I would say this is a must have to go along with it, or as a stocking stuffer.  Disney Movie Rewards is also offering a special which includes a free plush pup and bonus points with purchase. Please come back closer to the release date, to read my review of this Blu-ray DVD.  Until then check out the video clip from the movie below.













***I was provided with the above links for the purposes of posting. No other form of compensation was received and my opinions were not influenced.
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