Monday, December 31, 2012

Ringing in a New Year!

Hope everyone has a blessed and peaceful New Year!





Monday, December 24, 2012

Merry Christmas!



Wishing everyone a Very Merry Christmas and a blessed and peaceful New Year!





Sunday, December 16, 2012

Christmas Gift Recommendations - "The Wizard of Oz" and "Harry Potter" Pop-Up Books!



I personally think that every child should get a book for Christmas!  Here are a couple of beautiful pop-up books that would delight any fan (young or old!) of "The Wizard of Oz" and "Harry Potter! 

These books are incredibly well-made, and the artwork is just stunning on both of them.  It amazes me how far pop-up books have come along since I was a child - these are truly pieces of art!

These two delightful books make my Christmas Gift Recommendation list for this year! 






Few stories are as ubiquitous as The Wizard of Oz. It’s difficult to put a new spin on a classic, but that is exactly what has been done in this edition, which brings the story to life with three-dimensional pop-up scenes and Nicola Robinson’s intricate pen-and-ink illustrations.

Watch the tornado descend on Dorothy’s house and fear the cackle from the Wicked Witch of the West. Follow Dorothy, Lion, Scarecrow, and Tin Man down the yellow brick road into the Emerald City and experience the wonder of returning home with a click of the magic slippers.

Kids will love the charming drawings and interactive pop-ups and adults will enjoy revisiting a story from their own childhoods. An abbreviated adaptation of the original work by L. Frank Baum celebrates the tale that has transcended time while introducing it to an entirely new generation of readers.







This collectible Harry Potter pop-up book, based on the creative development of the films, features exquisite original artwork by Andrew Williamson, concept artist for all eight movies. With dynamic pop-ups animating memorable moments and locations — like the Triwizard Tournament, Diagon Alley, and Hogwarts Castle — Harry Potter: A Pop-Up Book offers a 3-D glimpse into the amazing world, as seen in the films.

This deluxe book will delight Harry Potter fans with dynamic pop-up ingenuity, insights from the creative team who turned JK Rowling’s stories into movie magic, fascinating facts about the magical universe seen in the movies, and Harry Potter memories and memorabilia packed into every page.



Check out this amazing video that shows the pop-up book in all it's glory!







My thanks to Insight Editions for providing the review copies of these books. I was not compensated for my opinion.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Product Review - Kellogg's Gingerbread Pop-Tarts


I've talked about my love for anything gingerbread-flavored, so when I saw the Gingerbread Pop-Tarts at the grocery store, I just had to give them a try!




Product Description:

Toasted gingerbread flavored pastries with vanilla frosting filling - garnished with sugar sprinkles.


Pros: 

I thought the gingerbread flavoring was just about perfect, and the vanilla icing inside was a pleasing taste addition.  I'm not a big fan of the "frosted" variety of Pop-Tarts, so I liked that this type just had a slight coating of sugar crystals instead of a heavy frosting.  Warmed up, they were delicious - Cold, they were pretty good too!   I thought the stamped pictures of the gingerbread people snowboarding and ice-skating were cute, and I loved that the pastries were wrapped in a silver package with a red bow printed on the foil.  It made it seem like getting a special gift!




Cons: 

I had no cons for this product - I loved it!


Recommendation:

I highly recommend this pastries as a fun holiday treat for kids and adults alike!  After all, who doesn't love a Pop-Tart!


Kellogg's Pop-Tart website (www.poptartworld.com) had this fun recipe for using the Gingerbread Pop-Tarts in a unique way! 

Peppermint Bark Bars

 
 
 

Ingredients

  • 3Kellogg's® Printed Fun Pop-Tarts™ Gingerbread toaster pastries Limited Edition
  • 3 squares (3 oz.) white baking chocolate, broken
  • 2 teaspoons shortening
  • 8hard round peppermint candies, crushed

Directions

1. Cut each KELLOGG'S POP-TARTS GINGERBREAD toaster pastry into 4 triangles. 2. In small saucepan combine white chocolate and shortening. Cook and stir over low heat until smooth. 3. Spread chocolate mixture over toaster pastry pieces. Place on wax paper. Sprinkle with peppermint candy. Refrigerate at least 15 minutes or until firm. Remove wax paper.
 
 
 
 
 
Disclaimer:
I purchased these items for my personal use. I was not compensated for my opinion.
 

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving, Everyone! Have a Happy, Healthy and Safe Holiday!

Monday, November 19, 2012

Product Review - Blue Bell Ice Cream Gingerbread House


To me, nothing says the holidays like the intoxicating smell of gingerbread!  I'm a big fan!  And this year seems to be the year of all-things-gingerbread for the Christmas season! 

So, we started with cookies, now on to ice cream!!!

Blue Bell Ice Cream, that wonderful Texas-based ice creamery, has out a new flavor for the holidays - Gingerbread House ice cream!  






Product Description:


A creamy cinnamon ice cream with flavorful gingerbread pieces, festive red and green sprinkles and miniature marshmallows all surrounded by a vanilla icing swirl.


My Thoughts:

Oh my gosh, this stuff is to die for!  It's not too too terribly sweet, but has just the right amount of cinnamonto offset the vanilla-y flavor of the ice cream. The chunks of gingerbread pieces are generous, and the vanilla icing swirls are wonderful!  The red and green sprinkles make it festive and give it a nice crunch! 



The only thing I didn't particularly care for was the marshmallow pieces - I thought they tasted a bit like jelly-beans, but there weren't that many so it was easy to overlook this in the overall deliciousness of this treat!




RECOMMENDATION:

If you are a gingerbread nut like me - You'll LOVE this ice cream!  If you are an ice cream afficiando - you will LOVE this ice cream!  But get it soon, it's for a limited time only!


Stay tuned for reviews of Blue Bell's two other Christmas ice creams flavors - Christmas Cookies and Pumpkin Spice Pecan!


For more information on Blue Bell Ice Cream - check out their website at www.bluebell.com


I purchased this product for my personal use. I was not compensated for my opinion.


Saturday, November 17, 2012

Concert review - "The King: Eras of A Legend"

Recently, my husband and I were asked to review a new "Elvis Presley" show being put together by a friend of our's production company. 

The show, featuring renown "Elvis" tribute artist, Kraig Parker, is a multi-media presentation of the many different eras of the life of Elvis Presley, and is called "The King: Eras of A Legend." 

Here is our review:





Elvis Presley may have died in 1977, but his music lives on in countless tribute artists. One of the best of those, Kraig Parker, wowed Wichita Falls again Thursday night when he debuted his new "The King: Eras of a Legend" show at Memorial Auditorium.

Depicting the distinctive periods in Presley's long career, "The King: Eras of a Legend" opened with Arlington, Texas student Drake Milligan's dead-on take of what it must have been like when Elvis Presley first appeared on the Grand Ole Opry.

Milligan followed that up with what Presley was like on the Louisiana Hayride, and during his first chart success. It was impressive to note that Milligan went through three different costume changes within a blink of an eye during his portion of the show!  Pretty cool!

The large and respectful audience warmly awarded the talented 14-year-old with rousing applause. It looks like there is a new Elvis star in the making.

Parker took over from there.

Kraig Parker has performed as Elvis all over the country in various different styles of shows, and is well-known for his dead-on look of "The King" and his vocal stylings that sound so much like Presley! So going into the show, the North Texas audience members might have thought they knew what to expect from this new show, "The King: Eras of a Legend." But show creators have structured the performance in a way that delighted even somewhat jaded fans when he launched into music from Elvis' early TV experiences. Songs like "Shake, Rattle and Roll," "Train, Train," "Treat Me Like a Fool," and "Don't Be Cruel" delighted the crowd.

A quick onstage costume change later, and Parker was transformed into Presley during the King's movie years. He sang "Rock a Hula" and "Blue Hawaii" from Elvis' Hawaiian movies before changing into a racing jacket for "Little Less Conversation," "Love My Baby," "King Creole," "Return to Sender" and, after another onstage costume modification, "Jailhouse Rock."



The lights faded and then Parker was back in the black leather outfit from Presley's legendary 1968 comeback special. Parker re-created the famous TV show with songs like "Heartbreak Hotel," "All Shook Up," "Are You Lonesome Tonight?" and "Make My Dreams Come True."




During the intermission, Charles Stone came on stage to talk about his experiences as the real Elvis Presley's tour manager in the 1970s. His personal recollections and anecdotes about "The King" kept the crowd spellbound, and most audience members would have liked to have heard more.

Then the excitement level in the auditorium went through the roof to the opening strains of "Also Sprach Zarathustra," Presley's signature opening music during his Las Vegas years and beyond. With a full band blaring away, and drummer Rod Foster pounding out the familiar old grooves, Parker appeared in a startling white jumpsuit and launched into his trademark "CC Rider."




Music that defined so much of Presley's most successful years as a legend, including "Burning Love," "Sweet Caroline," "In the Ghetto," and "The Wonder of You," had many in the crowd coming to their feet with each new number.

And Parker's between-song patter kept the mood light and fun.

When he sang an extended version of "Love Me Tender" while women in the audience lined up for a kiss and a scarf, it brought back memories of what it must have actually been like in the Las Vegas Hilton showroom during his time there. It was so cute to see these ladies so excited about getting a kiss on the forehead and a silk scarf wrapped around their necks. There were girls of all ages in line to see Kraig, from a tiny little girl to more than one giddy "mature" lady!

By the time Parker changed into the kind of jumpsuit Presley wore during his last appearances, the crowd was no longer seeing Kraig Parker on stage; that was Elvis up there, and he was magnificent.

Parker's "The King: Eras of a Legend" was a spectacular experience that the audience won't soon forget.  If you are a fan of the late, great Elvis Presley, and if you get a chance to see Kraig Parker in concert, I highly recommend that you do so!  It's an event that you won't soon forget!

Be sure to check out Parker's website, www.thekinglives.com for more information on his upcoming shows, plus many pictures and videos from his performances!


(Photos courtesy of www.thekinglives.com)