Over The Top Mommy

Entertainment

Bring Home the Fang-tastic Fun This Halloween with Vampirina Now on Disney DVD

I received promotional items in order to write this post. All opinions are 100% my own.

 

Exciting news! Just in time for Halloween, you can now grab Disney’s “Vampirina” on Disney DVD! If you haven’t watched this new series on Disney Junior. I can’t enough of this show. She is so cute! disney-vampirina-cover

Here’s a synopsis of the DVD: A young vampire girl, Vampirina (aka Vee), is the new kid in town after her family moves from Transylvania to Pennsylvania. In her unfamiliar surroundings, Vee first tries to adapt, change and blend in with her schoolmates but ultimately she learns to appreciate her unique individuality and her friends’ too. Whether they’re making their own music videos, planning a party or throwing a sleepover, Vee and her friends always figure out how to have fang-tastic fun!

The Voice Cast features:

  • Isabella Crovetti as Vampirina
  • Lauren Graham as Oxana Hauntley
  • James Van Der Beek as Boris Hauntley
  • Wanda Sykes as Gregoria
  • Mitchell Whitfield as Demi

The DVD includes these 4 Episodes, 22 minutes in all:

      1. Going Batty / Scare B&B
      2. The Sleepover / Portrait of a Vampire
      3. Vee’s Surprise Party / Vee Goes Viral
      4. The Plant Predicament / Mummy Mayhem

You can watch “Vampirina” weekdays on Disney Junior.
im-having-a-giveawayI’m also hosting a giveaway for one of my lucky readers to win a copy of Disney’s “Vampirina” on Disney DVD! To enter, go to the Rafflecopter below. Good luck everyone! Thanks for reading!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Some images are property of Disney DVD. 

 

{Giveaway} Mickey Mouse: Merry & Scary on Disney DVD 9/26 + DIY Mickey Inspired Trick or Treat Buckets

I received promotional items in order to write this post. All opinions are my own

 

Get ready to ride a tide of holiday hilarity when Mickey Mouse: Merry & Scary releases on Disney DVD September 26!  These festive episodes of Disney’s Emmy® Award-Winning “Mickey Mouse” Cartoon Shorts will make you laugh yourself silly whether you’re trimming the tree or carving a pumpkin!mickey-mouse-merry-and-scaryThis DVD includes Includes two 22-minute holiday themed episodes, The Scariest Story Ever: A Mickey Mouse Halloween Spooktacular and Duck The Halls: A Mickey Mouse Christmas Special. There are five 3-minute bonus shorts included on the DVD also:

  1. Ghoul Friend
  2. The Boiler Room
  3. Black & White
  4. Entombed
  5. Split Decision

The Scariest Story Ever: A Mickey Mouse Halloween Spooktacular!For Halloween, Mickey has tricked out his house like a “tomb, sweet, tomb” and along with his pals Donald and Goofy, plans to tell hair-raising Halloween stories! However, his attempt at being scary falls flatter than a pancake. Can Mickey conjure up a truly terrifying tale before the stroke of midnight?
Duck The Halls: A Mickey Mouse Christmas Special It’s the most wonderful time of the year…to migrate south for the winter! But Donald wants to stay put and celebrate his first Christmas with his friends. Mickey creates the ultimate list of everything to make Donald’s first Christmas great, but before you can catch a snowflake on your tongue, Donald has turned into a shivering, sneezing duck-cicle!

The voice cast includes Chris Diamantopoulus as Mickey Mouse/Vampire; Russi Taylor as Minnie/Huey/Dewey/Louie/The Witch; Bill Farmer as Goofy; Tony Anselmo as Donald Duck; Tress MacNeille as Daisy Duck; and Corey Burton as Professor Von Drake. The Executive Producer is Paul Rudish.DIY-mickey-inspired-trick-or-treat-bucketsTo get into the spirit of the Halloween season, my daughter and I decided to make a couple of Mickey-inspired trick-or-treat buckets. I love simple DIYs, especially when they involve Mickey Mouse! I wanted to share ours with you because they were so simple to make and can be easily recreated.diy-mickey-inspired-bucketsHere’s what you’ll need to make your own Mickey-inspired Trick-or-Treat Buckets:

  • Bucket or pail, 1 per person
  • White foam pieces
  • 1/2′ wide ribbon, Halloween colors
  • Trim of your choie
  • Tulle, Halloween colors
  • A black permanent marker
  • Glue gun and refills
  • Scissorsmickey-inspired-1

Instructions:

  1. Grab an inspirational image of Mickey’s glove from the Internet.
  2. Use pencil to draw onto the white foam. Make one for each bucket or pail.mickey-merry-and-scary-1
  3. Cut out shape carefully.
  4. Use the black permanent marker to draw accents and outline the glove.
  5. Stick Mickey’s glove onto the front of the bucket using the hot glue gun.
  6. Cute a few pieces of tool and ribbon and tie onto each side of the bucket, where the handles are and trim edges.
  7. Finally, glue a fun trim around the rim of the bucket

mickey-inspired-2 have-fun-trick-or-treatingmickey-inspired-bucketHow cute did our buckets turn out? My daughter did the majority of the work. She’s my resident artist and I’m really excited to use them when we attend Mickey’s Halloween Party at Disneyland Resort. Meanwhile, I’m using them in my classroom to hold rewards for my students. Boy, do they pay attention when I pick one of the buckets up!

enter-to-win-my-giveawayI’m also having a giveaway for one (1) of my lucky readers to win their very own copy of Mickey Mouse: Merry & Scary! To enter, leave a comment below and tell me if you about one of your special Halloween traditions. I will accept comments for this giveaway until 11:59 p.m. on October 2. I will choose a winner on October 3 via Random Number Generator and notify the winner. Giveaway is open to U.S. Residents of the Continental U.S., ages 18 and older. Prize has no cash value. 
Don’t forget, you can bring home the laughs and grab Mickey Mouse: Merry & Scary! on Disney DVD September 26th!

Cover image property of Disney Animation Studios. 

 

{Giveaway} My Little Pony: The Movie in Theaters October 6 + Enter to Win a Prize Pack

I received promotional items in exchange for coverage. All opinions are my own. 

 

I know a lot of people, including myself, who are excited about the upcoming release of My Little Pony: The Movie in theaters on October 6! When my daughter was little, I think I bought her every single My Little Pony item I could find! I have saved them all in our garage for her kids!my-little-pony-the-movie-charactersHere’s a synopsis of the film:
A new dark force threatens Ponyville, and the Mane 6 – Twilight Sparkle, Applejack, Rainbow Dash, Pinkie Pie, Fluttershy, and Rarity – embark on an unforgettable journey beyond Equestria where they meet new friends and exciting challenges on a quest to use the magic of friendship to save their home.my-little-pony-the-movie-2Have you watched the Official Trailer yet for My Little Pony: The Movie?

I can’t wait to see it! I think my favorite My Little Pony character is Rainbow Dash. I’m obsessed with anything that has rainbows.

im-having-a-giveawayIn celebration of this fun, upcoming release, I’m hosting a giveaway for one(1) of my lucky readers to win a My Little Pony: The Movie Prize Pack, which includes an activity book, a compact comb/mirror, temporary tattoos, ROE pass to see the film (good for 2), and a bag with a surprise pony inside! To enter my giveaway, just leave a comment telling me who your favorite pony is from My Little Pony! I will close the comments to enter at 12:00 a.m. on October 2. Giveaway is open to U.S. Residents who are 18 and older only, who reside in the Continental U.S.. Prize will be mailed to winner and has no cash value. Good luck everyone! Thanks for reading! my-little-pony-the-movie-posterMy Little Pony: The Movie will be in theaters nationwide on October 6.Check out the official website for the movie here and join in on the conversation by following the hashtag #MyLittlePonyMovie. Don’t forget to follow My Little Pony: The Movie on Facebook,Twitter, and Instagram too.

Some images and trailer are property of Lionsgate and used with permission for this post. 

 

This Is Us (Music From the Series) Available for Download September 15

I received a download of this soundtrack in exchange for this post. All opinions are my own.

 

Confession: I was really late to the game for “This Is Us”!
I’d seen a couple of the series previews and knew it was coming last fall, but I rarely sit down to watch much on television. So, I watched my first episode on an airplane. Well, kind of. I loved the first part but it got cut short as we began landing and they shut it off. Ithis-is-us-deliveryt was still a couple of months before I found myself actually sitting down to really get into “This Is Us”. I binge watched it and WHOA! I was hooked!this-is-us-weddingIf you are one of the handful of people left who haven’t watched it yet, don’t worry! This Is Us: The Complete First Season is already available on DVD so you can catch all of the episodes before the second season starts.this-is-us-prestonDid you know?  
“This Is Us” was nominated for 10 Emmy Awards including Outstanding Drama Series?  The show chronicles the Pearson family across the decades: from Jack (Milo Ventimiglia) and Rebecca (Mandy Moore) as young parents in the 1980s and 1990s to their now adult kids Kevin (Justin Hartley), Kate (Chrissy Metz) and Randall (Sterling K. Brown) searching for love, fulfillment and healing in the present day. This grounded, life-affirming dramedy reveals how the events in our lives – both big and small – impact who we become, and how the connections we share with each other can transcend time, distance and even death.this-is-us-siblingsIf you asked me to talk about my favorite character, favorite part, or favorite song from the show, I would have a hard time pinpointing those down. I am a fan of every single actor in this cast. They are all amazing in their own way and every storyline has me hooked. Did I mention how excited I am for the Season 2 premiere on Tuesday, September 26 at 9pm on NBC? this-is-us-castIt’s of the most addicting shows I’ve ever watched! When I was asked if I wanted to preview and share about the music for “This Is Us” I thought to myself, “HECK YEAH!”. this-is-us-music-coverThis Is Us (Music From the Series)  is a companion to the show everyone loves and will be available September 15 via UMe. With instantly recognizable hits and classics, an original song and a compelling score, the soundtrack features 20 songs curated by “This Is Us” Creator/Executive Producer Dan Fogelman and his team, music supervisor Jennifer Pyken and composer/musician Siddhartha Khosla. Each musical element is carefully woven throughout the series, with the songs clearly defining a moment or serving as a gentle guide through the complex emotional journey.this-is-us-williamI love the songs so much. I don’t know if it’s because they remind me of different moments in the series or if it’s because many of the songs remind me of my own childhood? For me, music is a way to record memories and hearing certain songs take me back to certain moments and snapshots in time. The entire first season was really special to me and now having the opportunity to download and listen to all of those songs, brings an extra big smile to my face!

This Is Us (Music from the Series) includes:

  • Death With Dignity – Sufjan Stevens
  • You Can Call Me Al – Paul Simon
  • Willin’ – Mandy Moore – Listen on YouTube here
  • Can’t Find My Way Home – Blind Faith
  • Uptight (Everything’s Alright) – Stevie Wonder
  • The Calvary Cross – Richard Thompson & Linda Thompson
  • Watch Me – Labi Siffre
  • The Wind – Cat Stevens
  • Come Talk To Me – Goldspot
  • Blues Run The Game – Jackson C. Frank
  • If Only – Maria Taylor (featuring Conor Oberst)
  • Northern Sky – Nick Drake
  • If I Ever Was A Child – Wilco
  • Because Of You – Gene Clark
  • Evergreen Cassette (Tape Mix) – Goldspot
  • Without You – Badfinger
  • The World’s Smiling Now – Jim James
  • Photograph – Ringo Starr
  • We Can Always Come Back To This – Brian Tyree Henry
  • This Is Us Score Suite – Siddhartha Khosla

Great News! You can preorder This Is Us (Music from the Series) by visiting here!  You can also join in the This Is Us Music – Facebook Listening Party on Sept. 15 at 10am PT/1pm ET on Facebook.

“This Is Us” Season 2 premieres Tuesday, September 26 at 9pm on NBC and I’ve been counting down the days! Will you be watching it too?

Rock the Walk Thursdays at Anaheim GardenWalk

This is a sponsored post. All opinions are my own. 

 

One of our new favorite local places to visit is Anaheim GardenWalk. Have you been there before? anaheim-gardenwalk-directoryThis outdoor dining, entertainment and shopping destination is situated in the heart of the Anaheim Resort District just steps from the Disneyland® Resort and Anaheim Convention Center,  GardenWalk offers guests a variety of these popular restaurants:

  • The Cheesecake Factory
  • California Pizza Kitchen
  • P.F. Chang’s
  • Bubba Gump Shrimp Co.
  • McCormick & Schmick’s
  • Grasslands Meat Market
  • Fire + Ice Grill + Bar
  • Roy’s Restaurant 
  • Johnny Rockets
  • McFadden’s Restaurant and Saloon 
  • McMormick & Schmick’s Grill 

GardenWalk also offers a vibrant nightlife, an escape room, a magic store and cabaret, trendy shops and an upscale bowling lounge. Some of the newest tenants to join the property include House of Blues Anaheim, Mission Escape Games, Artists Republic Gallery, and Go VR Gaming.anaheim-gardenwalk-house-of-bluesWe were invited to spend a fun evening out at GardenWalk to experience “Rock the Walk”. a summer concert series. Rock the Walk, is a live music experience showcasing local artists and takes place on Thursdays from 5:30-7:30 p.m.through August 24. anaheim-gardenwalk-rock-the-walk-logoanaheim-gardenwalk-rock-the-walk-hoity-toityDuring Rock the Walk, guests can also enjoy free tastings from participating restaurants in the center, get free Henna, and enter giveaways. We listened to live music from Hoity Toity, an up and coming band that’s local.anaheim-gardenwalk-cool-hennaanaheim-gardenwalk-cool-henna-2There’s also a DJ on hand during Rock the Walk. It’s a great way to spend time outdoors, with family and friends, on Southern California summer nights. There’s a great ambiance at GardenWalk with many great art pieces, galleries, and murals to check out too, including great backdrops for photos.anaheim-gardenwalk-photo-wallWe were also treated to a very special dinner that night at Fire + Ice Bar + Grill, which has got to be the coolest interactive grill I’ve ever experienced. The eatery welcomes diners of all ages and preferences, offering an incredible selection of fresh veggies, meats, pastas, seasonings and sauces. Their pro-grillers entertain the crowds as they sizzle up your culinary creation on an open grill. Here’s a fun video to give you an idea of what it’s like at Fire + Ice Bar + Grill: 

It’s cool to be able to choose what you want to have for dinner, whether it be a noodle dish with an Asian flare or an Italian pasta or even a pizza cooked right there on the grill. You get to put together your creation and then watch the grillers prepare right in front of you!anaheim-gardenwalk-fire-and-ice-2Fire + Ice is such a fun place to go, especially at night when it gets on the busier side because the grill gets full and it’s super cool to watch the grillers juggle all of it while still having fun with guests. The food was delicious and the staff went above and beyond. We had a great experience at Fire + Ice.anaheim-gardenwalk-fire-and-ice-1

Rock the Walk will take place on Thursdays through August 24. Here is a schedule of featured artists for Rock the Walk in August:

Anaheim GardenWalk is located at:
400 West Disney Way
Anaheim, CA 92802

anaheim-gardenwalk-art-on-the-walkFor more information about Anaheim GardenWalk, please call 714.635.7410 or visit their site here.

Some images and video are property of Anaheim GardenWalk and Fire + Ice and used with permission. 

 

Despicable Me 3 Inspired Unicorn Bait Recipe

This post was sponsored by Bounty. All opinions are 100% my own. 

 

I absolutely adore all things Despicable Me and was overjoyed about the release of the latest film in the series, Despicable Me 3, now in theaters! Have you seen it yet? (It’s really cute.)bounty-napkins-fun-prints-unicorn-baitIn honor of the latest film release, Bounty has introduced limited-edition Bounty with new Despicable Me 3 prints paper towels and quilted napkins. They are so cute, you’ll want to stock up your cupboard with a plethora of them. Bounty paper towels and napkins make clean-up quick and fun!, especially now with the new Despicable Me 3 prints. My daughter and I tend to get a little messy in the kitchen together whenever we cook, bake, or make anything, so these durable paper towels really help us clean as we go. Making messes together is half the fun though, right? unicorn-bait-recipe-blue-meltsOne of my (many) favorite parts about Despicable Me 3 is Agnes’ infatuation with unicorns. At the mere mention of the word “unicorn” she practically implodes! She’s beyond adorable when she talks about how they’re “just so fluffy”. We feel the exact same way about unicorns. I think people are drawn to unicorns because everything associated with them seems so happy and colorful. unicorn-bait-recipe-rainbow-candiesAfter seeing Despicable Me 3 in theaters, we were inspired to to spend an afternoon together, whipping up a batch of delicious “Unicorn Bait”. unicorn-bait-recipe-pink-and-blue-meltsBounty with new Despicable Me 3 prints are in stores just in time for Summer break with the kids and all the messy activities that come along with it! It was fairly simple to make this recipe and we only used 3 ingredients. (please see below for the exact recipe.)unicorn-bait-recipe-pink-meltsSince I love the color pink and my daughter loves the color blue, we used both colors in the popcorn coating, mixing together to even get bits that looked marbled. I was happy to have Bounty paper towels nearby to help with our sticky fingers after all of the mixing of colored candy melts and popcorn. unicorn-bait-finishedunicorn-bait-recipe-titleTo make this recipe, you only need these few ingredients:

  • 2-3 bags Microwave popcorn, popped and cooled
  • 1 bag pink candy melts
  • 1 bag blue candy melts
  • 1 bag brightly colored chocolate candiesunicorn-bait-ingredients

Unicorn Bait Preparation

  • For the unicorn bait, we made one batch of “pink” popcorn, and one batch of “blue” popcorn before combining together in a big bowl. Lay wax paper on a flat surface ahead of time. Prepare the pink candy melts by placing in a microwave-safe bowl and cooking for 30 seconds. Remove and stir. Microwave for 30 more seconds, remove, add a tiny bit of vegetable oil, and stir until smooth. Spoon over (or just pour) the popcorn in a bowl and use your hands to mix together well. Place pink popcorn onto the wax paper to cool and prepare the blue candy melts, repeating the steps to coat the popcorn.
  • When you have both popcorn colors prepared, layer them in a large bowl, alternating pink popcorn and blue popcorn. Mix together while the melts are slightly wet still so you get the marbling effect.
  • Finally, add the brightly colored candies to the mixture. You can add extra ones to the top for a finishing touch.unicorn-bait-marbling

Serve your unicorn bait in small snack cups or by the handful, on one of Bounty’s colorful napkins featuring the new Despicable Me 3 prints.unicorn-bait-snack-on-a-minion-napkinNot only is unicorn bait scrumptious, but legend has it that you can also leave some out in a small pile, to capture your very own unicorn! You just have to believe! unicorn-bait-recipe-ready-with-bountyAfter you make this sweet treat, keep the celebration going and be sure to check out Despicable Me 3 in theaters now! It’s rated PG and fun for the whole family.

 

DIY Outdoor Movie Night + Bambi Snack Mix Recipe

I received promotional products from Walt Disney Studios in order to facilitate this post. All opinions are 100% my own. 

 

Summer is here and we decided to celebrate by throwing an outdoor movie night for a few friends and family. I couldn’t think of a better way to do so than by showing one of Disney’s all-time classic films, “Bambi”, which joined Walt Disney’s Signature Collection at the end of May, in honor of its 75th anniversary.diy-outdoor-movie-night-plus-bambi-snack-mix-recipeI loved this movie as a child and was so excited to introduce my daughter and my nieces and nephews to it also.bambi-coverThe Signature Collection release, now available at retailers, contains a variety of new bonus material including:

  • Recordings of Walt Disney discussing the challenges and triumphs during the production of “Bambi;”
  • Deleted scenes and characters;
  • Dtories and effects that “Bambi” had on the Studio, other films and artists;
  • and much, much more

Additionally, the Digital HD release includes an exclusive, heartfelt feature on the incredible artist, Tyrus Wong, who inspired the film’s soft watercolor backgrounds and beautiful palette. Here’s a sneak peek:
In our home, movies always call for snacks, which is why we whipped up a batch of “Bambi Snack Mix” for our guests to enjoy while watching “Bambi” at our outdoor movie. (Please see bottom of this post for snack recipe.)bambi-snack-mix-inside-bagI was delighted to received an amazing bundle of goodies in the mail from Disney to host my outdoor movie night. My bundle contained an AAXA P300 Pico/Micro LED Projector, an Ion Audio Tailgater Portable Bluetooth PA Speaker System with Microphone, an Apple Lightning Digital AV Adapter for iPhone, and a copy of Disney’s “Bambi” on Blu-Ray. I couldn’t wait to get started.set-up-your-own-outdoor-movieSetting up your own outdoor isn’t difficult. I promise. You can choose to project your movie onto on a light colored wall or garage, use a white sheet as a makeshift screen, or even purchase an inexpensive, portable movie screen. We opted for a wall to project ours onto.

The projector we received to use for our movie was a P300 Pico mini projector. It’s small and pretty lightweight. It also produces the most clear, beautiful projections, with high resolution and vivid colors. This projector has the capability to show movies, as well as photos and videos and pairs up with your phone or mobile device or laptop. It’s tiny but mighty and can be set up almost anywhere.bambi-home-movie-projectorAlthough the mini projector already has sound coming out of it, pairing it with the Ion Tailgater speaker system really amplified the sound, to make it even louder for the outdoors. This portable sounds system includes speakers, an amplifier, audio inputs, and wireless Bluetooth technology, all in one durable cabinet that has handles for easy transport and allows you to enjoy your music whenever and wherever you want. . (It also works with iPad, iPhone, iPod, Android devices and more.)diy-movie-setupFor our outdoor movie, I streamed the digital copy of “Bambi” on my phone by using the digital code inside the DVD on the Disney Movies Anytime app. (Do you have this app yet?) Since my laptop doesn’t have the capability to run an internal DVD, I just streamed the movie on my phone with Apple Lightning Digital AV Adapter and my phone hooked directly up to the projector. It was much easier than setting up a laptop anyway. bambi-digital-copyWhenever we have a party or a get-together, we like to do something thematic. Hosting an outdoor movie doesn’t have to be complicated and you can get away with just serving simple snacks like popcorn and drinks. We decided to whip up a batch of “Bambi’s Favorite Snack Mix” which is just a few goodies mixed in with popcorn and served in these adorable Bambi bags that my daughter created out of simple brown lunch bags we had in our cupboard.bambi-outdoor-movie-with-bagbambi-snack-mix-recipe-textTo make your own batch of “Bambi Snack Mix”, here are the ingredients you’ll need:

  • microwave popcorn, 4-6 bags, popped and cooled
  • pretzel sticks or small pretzels, 1 bag
  • chocolate chips or chocolate candies, 1 bag
  • small marshmallows, 1 bag bambi-snack-mix-ingredientsbambi-snack-mix-ingredients-mixed-together

It’s so simple to make, you just combine all of the ingredients in a large bowl. After ours was mixed together, I just filled up each Bambi snack bags with the mix and set out on a table for guests to grab before we started our outdoor movie.bambi-snack-mix-ready-for-guestsTo recreate these Bambi snack bags, you’ll just need brown paper lunch bags, a black marker, scissors, a glue stick, and a cotton ball for each one.make-a-bambi-snack-bagbambi-snack-back-supplies Here’s a short time-lapse video showing how my daughter made a Bambi snack bag.

We had so much fun hosting our very first “Movie Under the Stars” and watching Disney’s “Bambi”. I can’t wait to host our next outdoor movie party. Have you hosted an outdoor movie party before? Tell me what you watched and share some of the details of your outdoor movie party with me in the comments.

Sneak peak film footage is property of Disney. 

 

‘Despicable Me 3’ Movie Review (No Spoilers)

I was invited to an advanced screening of Despicable Me 3 in order to write this review. All opinions are 100% my own.

 

I was a huge fan of the first two “Despicable Me” films, so you can imagine my excitement when I first watched the official trailer for “Despicable Me 3”! If you haven’t watched it yet, here it is:

(Please see the bottom part of this post for my spoiler-free review.of the film)

A couple of weeks ago, I received an invitation to fun “Despicable Me 3” event at The Tuck Room in L.A. It was sort of a “pre-party” for the film. We were treated to a special breakfast, sponsored by Bounty, Kellogg’s & Yummy Spoonfuls, and special guest, Food Network Star Duff Goldman was in attendance.yummy-spoonfuls-smoothiebananas-with-minionscereal-for-breakfast While we sipped on smoothies and feasted on banana pancakes, cereal, & yogurt parfaits, Duff spoke about his partnership with Bounty and “Despicable Me 3”. minion-cupcake-and-pancakesAs a result of this partnership, you can find the most adorable line of Despicable Me 3 paper towels and napkins in stores now. (Hurry while supplies last though.)bounty-minions-paper-towelsDuff made a fabulous “Despicable Me 3” themed cake for the event, with frosting that resembled the new print of the paper towels. I wanted to touch the cake, but I held myself back. It was such a cool cake!despicable-me-3-cakedespicable-me-3-cake-sideKids in attendance at the event had the opportunity to create their own “Minion” cupcake toppers with Duff’s help. He guided them step-by-step to work with fondant to put together their own creations.  how-to-make-minion-cupcakesminion-topperI think the best part was when Duff passed out Minion cupcakes FOR BREAKFAST! Yep, he gave us all special permission to eat them that early in the morning! Duff is really a lot of fun to hang out with! (As you can see)duff-goldman-1Following the breakfast, we proceeded upstairs to the iPic Theaters. (It’s attached to The Tuck Room.) We snuggled into luxurious leather recliners and wrapped ourselves in super soft blankets. ipic-theaters-seatsus-in-theaterIt was such a perfect way to watch a movie and “Despicable Me 3” did not disappoint. I’m not a big fan of posting spoilers so I will just lightly touch on some of the things you already see in the trailer.despicable-me-3-gru-and-druI swear I’ve fallen in love with Gru over the past 2 films, as he’s transitioned into (kind of) a good guy and meeting his long-lost twin brother, Dru, in this one, just adds to the fun. They are hilarious together. I also adore Gru’s girls, Margo, Edith, and Agnes, but especially Agnes and her obsession with ‘fluffy unicorns”. I won’t give away anything but I was a fan of how Gru’s wife,Lucy evolved, especially her placement within the family structure. despicable-me-3-balthazarBoth adults and children will appreciate the 80’s style villain, “Balthazar Bratt” in this film. Personally, I couldn’t get enough of the music that would come on in his every scene and I couldn’t stop laughing at all of his dance moves. It was a definite nod to the 80’s.
despicable-me-3-minionsFinally, you really can never grow tired of Minions and there are some cute Minion-involving scenes in this film, although you won’t see all of the ones from the first film. Overall, I really enjoyed watching “Despicable Me 3” with my family and I would definitely recommend it for other families with children of all ages. It’s just a light-hearted feel good film.despicable-me-3-cast Have you seen “Despicable Me 3”  yet? Let me know your thoughts.

Some images and trailer are used with permission

 
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“An American Girl Story: Summer Camp, Friends for Life” Now Streaming on Amazon Prime Video

This is a sponsored post. All opinions are 100% my own.

 

Viewers can now stream the Amazon Original SpecialAn American Girl Story: Summer Camp, Friends for Life” on Amazon Prime Video in the US, UK, Germany and Austria.This is the 4th special from Amazon Kids and you and your family are going to love watching this one together.

american-girl-summer-campWe were so excited to get a sneak peek at the special. As fans of the American Girl brand, we love any and all things “American Girl”. I feel like this special sends a powerful message to all girls, which is what I love about all of the American Girl toy, books, and movies….they help to empower girls!american-girl-story-friends“An American Girl Story: Summer Camp, Friends for Life”  is about friends Z (Zoe Manarel, The Nightingale) and Paz (Alison Fernandez, Logan) who arrive at S.T.E.A.M. camp excited for tech heaven. When the administrator(Camryn Manheim) surprises everyone by restricting their devices, they think their summer’s doomed. (No cell phone use is allowed.) 

_DSC0265.nefThings take a mysterious turn when they meet Jordan (Monique Green, Marriage of Lies), an enchanting “counselor” who sends them on an adventure, opening them up to a world of possibilities, including befriending a third camper, Drew (Lauren Donzis, Liv and Maddie).

_DSC0689.nefThis special, directed by Alison McDonald (An American Girl Story – Melody 1963: Love Has to Win).

Here’s a preview of the special:

“Summer Camp, Friends for Life combines the relatable themes of friendship and collaboration in a fun and engaging S.T.E.A.M. camp environment. Our customers will be inspired by Z, Paz and Drew as they work together toward solving the mystery presented to them.” – ,” Tara Sorensen, Head of Kids Programming at Amazon Studios.

One of the reasons I was really drawn to this special was the emphasis on S.T.E.A.M.(Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math), as it related to girl. Females are often underrepresented in schools, in these subjects of study, and in the workplace, holding jobs in these fields, Teachers in elementary, middle and high schools currently encourage their female students to take interest in these areas of study and join in on S.T.E.A.M. focused activities and classes, in hopes of fostering their love for these areas and even motivating females to pursue further studies at the college level. I appreciated how the special even made mention of the first female civil engineer and the history of how S.T.E.A.M. came to be accessible to girls from all walks of life. S.T.E.A.M.is such an important topic!An American Girl Story: Summer Camp, Friends for Life is available for Prime members to stream and enjoy using the Amazon Prime Video app for TVs, connected devices including Amazon Fire TV, and mobile devices, or online at http://www.amazon.com/originals, at no additional cost to their membership. Customers who are not already a Prime member can sign up for a free trial at http://www.amazon.com/prime.american-girl-story-summer-camp-2Even more exciting news is that American Girl also announced plans to bring its newest contemporary character Z (short for Suzie) to life via a beautiful 18-inch doll, along with several outfits and accessories, like Z’s dog and scooter, as well as items that reflect her film making interests, including a camera, smartphone, and tripod. The Z doll will be available beginning today at the American Girl brand store at Amazon, through its award-winning American Girl catalogue andmericangirl.com, and at all American Girl retail locations nationwide.

Images and clip are property of Amazon Studios and American Girl. 

 

Celebrate the 75th Anniversary with the Release of Disney’s “Bambi” Plus Character Activity Sheets

This is not a sponsored post. All opinions are 100% my own. 

 

“Bambi,” celebrates its 75th anniversary this year and joined the Walt Disney Signature Collection on Digital HD and Disney Movies Anywhere. It’s also now available on Blu-ray™, DVD and On-Demand as well. bambi-cover

The Collection release includes a variety of new bonus material, including recordings of Walt Disney discussing the challenges and triumphs during the production of “Bambi;” deleted scenes and characters; stories and effects that “Bambi” had on the Studio, other films and artists; and much, much more.Additionally, the Digital HD release includes an exclusive, heartfelt feature on the incredible artist, Tyrus Wong, who inspired the film’s soft watercolor backgrounds and beautiful palette.

Take a peek:

Designed to bring together visionaries across industries and diverse audiences to celebrate the power of storytelling, it is only fitting that the Tribeca Film Festival serves as the setting for this year’s announcement of upcoming additions to the Walt Disney Signature Collection. This collection includes groundbreaking films created or inspired by the imagination and legacy of Walt Disney, one of the great visionaries of the 20th century. This summer, “Bambi” will take its place in the collection alongside three other great achievements in storytelling, “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs,” “Beauty and the Beast” and “Pinocchio.”how-to-draw-bambi

As a fun family activity, Disney has released these “How to Draw” character activity sheets. You can print them out and draw Bambi and Thumper, just like an actual Disney animator. The step-by-step illustrated instructions are so simple to follow along with to create your own animations.how-to-draw-thumperDid you know….?
“Bambi” was released in 1942 during World War II and took over five years to make due to its exquisite hand-drawn artwork and attention to detail. Beloved by generations, “Bambi” holds the No. 3 spot on the American Film Institute’s “10 Top 10,” honoring the 10 greatest animated films of all time. The timeless tale features an adorable young deer named Bambi who explores the wonders and challenges of the woods with his playful pal Thumper, the lovable skunk Flower, and wise Friend Owl – and ultimately fulfills his destiny as prince of the forest.

For more information about this Disney classic, visit the official site here.

Images, clips, and activity sheets are property of Walt Disney Animation Studios. 

 

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