Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Disney announces "Give a Day, Get A Disney Day"

We didn't make it out of town for summer vacation this year due to budgetary constraints, so we are really looking forward to working in a vacation sometime soon. We had the opportunity to see Disneyland for the first time last Christmas and because ti was our first time, we didn't get to see as much of it as we would have liked. I know...first timer...we didn't have a good plan. But now we know and we are excited to make a return trip!

Because I am a person who likes to do lots of research before I go somewhere, I usually scour the internet looking for info about my destination. So I was happy to learn that Disney has a new blog, the Disney Parks Blog! The Blog will be a source of information on Disney destinations that guests can rely on to learn about new attractions, new programs, and experiences that make a Disney vacation so magical. Cool! Great tool.

The other thing I was happy to learn about from Disney is that Disney has come out with another program that will allow so many families to take a vacation they might not be able to afford otherwise! It's called "Give a Day, Get A Disney Day." Yes -- a free ticket for doing volunteer service!

Disney hopes to inspire families across the country to volunteer in their communities with this special program. One million people who perform volunteer service for a participating organization will get a free one-day admission ticket to a Disneyland Resort or a Walt Disney World Resort theme park.

The program kicks off Jan. 1, but guests can learn more about the program and how to get their free one-day admission to a Walt Disney World or Disneyland theme park right now by visiting Here's another link that will answer may of your questions about the program.

My family will definitely be checking the volunteer opportunity out! What a great way to teach kids about the importance of giving service and the law of the harvest..."You reap what you sow." So our goal is to sow good seeds with a great service project this year and hopefully we will reap the benefits of Disney's generosity. Thanks for the great program, Disney, hope to be there this summer!

Friday, September 25, 2009

Harry Connick Jr. Sings "Your Songs"

I was just sayin' on my home page how out of touch I have been with the music scene and how much I miss having music in my life. With all the chaos that seems to be part of our daily life around here, sometimes it seems like we get overwhelmed by the constant NOISE that seems to follow us everywhere we go! I used to find music relaxing. Now it seems like ANY noise just ups the stress level, whcih is already too high as it is.

So I was really happy when I was asked to review this new CD by Harry Connick Jr., for a few reasons. First, I love Harry Connick Jr. He's good looking AND he can sing! How could I possibly be stressed out by that combo? Second, I really love all of the songs on this new release, called Your Songs. I know I am dating myself by admitting this, but I KNOW all of these songs. They are classics! Third, the music is easy to listen heavy bass beat, no screaming guitars, no loud, offensive lyrics. Just good music sung in a laid back and easy going way. Totally relaxing. Just what I needed to ease myself back into the music scene.

Harry Connick Jr. has such a smooth voice (it ought to be good, he's been singing since he was 3 and made his first public debut when he was 6!), anything he sings sounds good. But his voice really lends itself to some of these older tunes, first made famous by such artists as Elvis Presley, Frank Sinatra and Roberta Flack. That's especially true with tracks like All the Way and Mona Lisa, which benefit from the big band orchestra used as backup to accompany Connick's vocals.

There were a few tracks I did not love, like Harry's rendition of Just the Way You Are, originally sung by Billy Joel. It just seemed lackluster to me. Flat. No personality. Sorry, Harry...that song just isn't you. And the other track that left me kind of bumming was the Elvis classic, Can't Help Falling in Love With You. I was curious to see how it would go over when another artist tried to sing didn't. Go over I mean. Maybe it's just me, but I don't think there is a person on this earth that could ever do that song justice. It's an Elvis song and only the King can bring the depth of feeling to it that makes it a great song.

Tracks I big, red puffy heart love? Close to You (Carpenters original from the 70's) and Roberta Flack's hit First Time Ever I Saw Your Face. HC was was able to make both of those his own, but without losing the vibe and the soul that made the original versions so good.

All in all, I really do love the CD and have spent the last 2 days fully enoying it. Your Songs is a worthy effort by Harry Connick Jr. The CD showcases his talent with songs we all know and love in a big band setting that is true to Harry's style. For me, it's a welcome change of pace from top 40 and hip hop noise. And BONUS!!! Harry is doing the rounds to promote the CD, so you can see him on several TV programs in the next few weeks! I know! Now you can stare into his gorgeous blue eyes while you listen to him sing (and dig his subtle Louisiana accent when he talks).

Just don't get caught doin' the I don't know the words so I'll fake it Oprah move (read here for explanation). Not cool.

Here's where you can see Mr. Connick in the next few weeks.
9/25 – Oprah “Live Friday”
9/28 – Today Show
9/29 – The View
9/30 – Imus in the Morning
9/30 – Letterman
10/1 – Today Show
Week of 10/5 – Rachael Ray

After you watch him on TV you can run out and buy his CD. It's available at all the retail stores. He'll thank you, I'm sure. Probably not in person, but you can pretend if you want to.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

We Have a Winner!

Here's the winning draw for the Trio Building Set, hope ya'll will come back and try again the next time I have a giveaway! Thanks for stopping by!!



Can you see the number? It's 5! That would be Bandana Mom!! Congratulations! hope this helps while you are babysitting!!

And thanks to Mom Select and Fisher Price Toys for sponsoring the giveaway!

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Trio Building Blocks from Fisher Price

Little Man LOVES my blog because he has been the beneficiary of my efforts to review and share info about many new products. I am happy to try out new products and share my opinions about them, because as a mom on a tight budget, we don't have money to waste on products that are sub par and I know most of you feel the same way. So if I can give someone a heads up BEFORE they go spend their hard earned cash, I'm glad to do it!

So last week we received a box from Fisher Price and my Little Man was running in circles around the box while I opened it, waiting to see what was inside. Here's what we found:

I should have taken a better picture of the box. They are TRIO Building Sets, by Fisher-Price. I was really surprised at how much he enjoyed them, I thought he would get bored of them very quickly. It turns out he loves them! I love them because they are a LOT easier to pick up than some other little, tiny square building blocks that I find in every single room in my house. Since you can actually see TRIO components, you don't step on them in bare feet and then hop around doing the pain dance. I KNOW you know what I'm talking about!

Another bonus? The TRIO Building components CANNOT clog up my vacuum. They're too big! YAY! But I think the best bonus was that my son really uses and enjoys them. He was able to be creative and use his hands to build things, which he loves doing. I loved the fact that for a week straight he stayed busy and wasn't driving me crazy with his excess energy. Here are a few of the things he built:

He even used that monster/robot thing one night at dinner to hold his cup by pointing the finger things up and placing cups in them. He was so proud of himself! Fisher-Price says the sets are for ages 3-9, but my 10 year old jumped in at one point to build something too and I noticed they have all kinds of sets that allow kids to build castles, critters, airplanes, etc. Also, the set came with a booklet that shows how to build certain items, like the boat Little Man made.

I can say without pause that TRIO Building Sets are definitely worth having. Anything that gets my kids out from in front of the TV and gets them to use their imagination is a good thing and TRIO has done a good job of giving Little Man a chance to be creative and develop his mind.

Wanna check TRIO Building Sets out? Fisher Price has a coupon good for $5 off your first purchase. Just click the link to get your coupon! The offer expires on October 1st, so don't wait too long.

Now the good news gets even better...Because they're good like that, Fisher-Price and Mom Select are giving away a TRIO Bulding Set to one of my readers! Leave a comment to win your own set and watch your kid build amazing things! Contest is open to US and Canada and ends September 20th at 12 midnight PST.

If you want extra entries you can:

  • Twitter the contest
  • Blog about my giveaway
  • Post a Facebook Comment with a link to the giveaway
Thanks to MomSelect and Fisher Price for letting us try out TRIO. This TRIO set has found a happy home and will be used often!