Friday, August 29, 2014

How to Train Your Dragon 2 Arrives on Digital HD Oct. 21 and Blu-ray and DVD Nov. 11!


“The best animated film of the year…fun for the whole family”
– Bill Zwecker, Chicago Sun Times

Catch the all-new animated adventure, DreamWorks DRAGONS: DAWN OF THE DRAGON RACERS, exclusively with the Blu-ray™ Combo, DVD Double Pack and Digital HD

"Soaring past the $500 million mark at the global box office, DreamWorks Animation’s HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON 2 is not only one of the best reviewed films of the year, but also 2014’s highest grossing animated film to-date and one of the top ten grossing films of the year in any genre.

The thrilling second chapter of the epic HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON trilogy returns to the fantastical world of the heroic Viking Hiccup and his faithful dragon Toothless. The inseparable duo must protect the peace and save the future of men and dragons from the power-hungry Drago when Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment releases DreamWorks Animation’s critically acclaimed HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON 2 on Digital HD October 21 and on Blu-ray™ and DVD November 11.

HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON 2, the next chapter to the Academy Award® nominated film released in 2010, is “sensational…an instant animated classic,” proclaims Access Hollywood. A hit with audiences and critics alike, the film received an outstanding audience reaction with a coveted “A” CinemaScore® and certified 92% fresh on Variety’s Peter Debruge declares the film is “Braver than ‘Brave,’ more fun than ‘Frozen’…Dragon delivers.” It’s a must-own title for the whole family!

Fans will get even more excitement, adventure and, of course, more dragons when DreamWorks Animation releases DRAGONS: DAWN OF THE DRAGON RACERS, an all-new animated adventure featuring the original voice cast. A hunt for lost sheep soon turns into a high-flying sprint in the all-new epic adventure as Hiccup and friends battle to become the first Dragon Racing Champion of Berk! DRAGONS: DAWN OF THE DRAGON RACERS will be available exclusively on the Blu-ray™ combo pack, DVD double pack and Digital HD.

The all-star film talent features Jay Baruchel (This Is The End), two-time Academy Award® winner Cate Blanchett (Blue Jasmine), Gerard Butler (Olympus Has Fallen), Craig Ferguson (“The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson”), America Ferrera (“Ugly Betty”), Academy Award® nominee Jonah Hill (The Wolf of Wall Street), Christopher Mintz-Plasse (Neighbors), T.J. Miller (“Silicon Valley”) and Kristen Wiig (Bridesmaids).  The film also adds the voice talent of Academy Award® nominee Djimon Hounsou (Blood Diamond) and Kit Harington (“Game of Thrones”).

The Blu-ray™, DVD and Digital HD feature hours of bonus materials that explore the world of dragons and more. Furthermore, the Blu-ray™ and Digital HD contain four exclusive featurettes, deleted scenes and a 60-minute behind-the-scenes documentary about the making of the film, shot and created by the film’s writer and director Dean DeBlois."

DreamWorks Animation How To Train Your Dragon 2 Blu-ray™ & Digital HD include:  

Feature film in high definition 

Special Features:
  • Fishleg’s Dragon Stats – How much do you know about your favorite dragons? Explore the Dragon 2 Guide and learn more about your favorite fire-breathing friends!
  • Drago’s War Machines – Gobber the Belch narrates this inside look at the fierce creatures and “high-tech” weapons used by Drago to expand his growing dragon army.
  • Berk’s Dragon World – Explore the massive stable created to house the dragons of Berk, along with other changes made on the island to promote harmonious living.
  • Hiccup’s Inventions in Flight – Learn the secrets of how Hiccup and Toothless work together to form the ultimate high-flying team in this fascinating interactive tour.
  • Deleted Scenes -- The awesome adventure continues with telling deleted and extended scenes, including action-packed footage you couldn’t see in theaters!
  • Commentary by Simon Otto, Bonnie Arnold, Dean DeBlois, and Pierre-Olivier Vincent
  • Where No One Goes: The Making of How To Train Your Dragon 2 – Writer-Director Dean DeBlois and his team take you behind the scenes of creating the film’s eye-popping visual effects and epic story
  • Dragon Races – Catch the thrilling aerial action and exciting play-by-play commentary as you cheer on your favorite riders in a spectacular dragon race!
  • Image Gallery
  • Theatrical Trailer
  • World of DreamWorks Animation – Move to the music videos from your favorite  DreamWorks Animation feature films

DreamWorks Animation How To Train Your Dragon 2 DVD includes:

Feature film in standard definition 

Special Features:
  • Fishleg’s Dragon Stats – How much do you know about your favorite dragons? Explore the Dragon 2 Guide and learn more about your favorite fire-breathing friends!
  • Image Gallery
  • Theatrical Trailer
  • World of DreamWorks Animation – Music videos from your favorite  DreamWorks Animation feature films

DreamWorks Animation creates high-quality entertainment, including CG animated feature films, television specials and series and live entertainment properties, meant for audiences around the world. The Company has world-class creative talent, a strong and experienced management team and advanced filmmaking technology and techniques. DreamWorks Animation has been named one of the “100 Best Companies to Work For” by FORTUNE® Magazine for five consecutive years. In 2013, DreamWorks Animation ranked #12 on the list. All of DreamWorks Animation’s feature films are produced in 3D. The Company has theatrically released a total of 29 animated feature films, including the franchise properties of Shrek, Madagascar, Kung Fu Panda, How to Train Your Dragon, Puss In Boots, and The Croods.

Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment is the industry leading worldwide marketing, sales and distribution company for all Fox produced, acquired and third party partner film and television programing. Each year TCFHE expands its award-winning global product portfolio with the introduction of new entertainment content through established and emerging formats including DVD, Blu-ray™ and DigitalHD™. Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment is a subsidiary of 21st Century Fox.

Get a Haircut...Give a Haircut During the 15th Annual "Share a Haircut Program" at Hair Cuttery Salons (Ends August 31st) #sponsored

Disclosure:  This is sponsored post with Hair Cuttery.  Even though I will be compensated for my time in promoting this charitable program, in addition to receiving free haircuts for my girls, all views shared are mine and mine alone.

Give the gift of a new back to school haircut to a child in need when you participate in the annual "Share a Haircut" charitable program, which runs until August 31st.  

I have been sharing throughout the summer new firsts that the gives have experienced through my social media channels and blog.  From their first overnight stay at a nearby hotel, to visiting a water park and going down the "big kids" water slide, to a more recent first bonfire and s'mores experience.  Well, I think I have a "first" that will top all of these -- the girls got their first haircuts last Saturday at the Hair Cuttery in Lisbon, CT.  It has been a long time coming, as I have been asking my husband for over a year now to cut their hair.  While he likes long hair, I knew that by cutting the girls' hair short for the summer that it would be cooler, and also easier to manage. 

Finally, after being asked to share more about the Hair Cuttery's annual "Share a Haircut" program on my blog, and being given the opportunity to get haircuts for the girls at a local Hair Cuttery location, my husband agreed.  

The "Share a Haircut" program runs through the end of August, so you still have a few days to show your support, and spread this news about this amazing charitable effort with family and friends. 

Share a Haircut,” Hair Cuttery’s biggest charity effort of the year, provides free haircuts to disadvantaged children in local communities.  Throughout the month of August, for every child up to age 18 who purchases a back-to-school haircut at Hair Cuttery, one will be donated back to an underprivileged child in the communities of Hair Cuttery’s almost 900 locations. In addition, this year they are also hosting a ‘donation wall’ on the Hair Cuttery blog, where donors can upload their profile picture.  Each picture upload and/or social share equals one hair cut to a child in-need.

Savannah and Bella before their haircuts...

My husband thought that they were just going to get a trim...but, I had other plans.  I wanted to get cute bobs for the girls.  Not only would it give their hair more time to grow back, but I would be able to thin out Bella's thick front bangs that she has been sporting.  

Oh, how I wish you could have saw the look of horror on my husband's face when he saw them cutting more than an inch or so off of Savannah's hair. :-)  But, once the girls were done being pampered at the hair salon and were ready to show off their new do's, I saw a big smile on his face.  

Introducing the New Savannah and Bella...

Not only did the girls love their short hair, as it felt lighter, but my husband also loved how it looked.  He did remark that the shorter haircut made them look older, but he has finally realized that they are growing up in a blink of an eye, and that he has to cherish these special "firsts" while they are still young.  

Now that my husband is on board with letting the girls get their haircut, we will be participating in future "Share-A-Haircut" programs in years to come, in addition to visiting our local Hair Cuttery for trims throughout the year.

Did you know that if you bring your child to a local Hair Cuttery Salon for their first haircut, that they will get a cute "First Haircut" certificate and have a lock of hair saved in a baggie and given to you at the end of the haircut?  I thought this was a great idea, and one that will make adding this milestone in your child's baby book easier.  We were running around so much prior to heading to the salon that I had forgot to pack baggies to gather up a few hair clippings.  So, it was a nice touch to see the folks at Hair Cuttery ready to help celebrate this "first" with the girls, like they did.  

My girls were nervous at first, but the two hair stylists were quick to get them talking and laughing, which made their haircut go by quickly and without them fussing, which I was worried about.  I had to peel Bella away from the mirror, as she couldn't stop looking at her herself and telling me she looked beautiful, while Savannah was pretty. :-)  Like I said, my two princesses are growing up, and now we can cross first haircuts off their lists of firsts, thanks to the folks at Hair Cuttery.  

Next week when Savannah starts preschool, she will be heading back to style with a new look and more confidence. It is funny how even when you are an adult that something as simple as a haircut or new color can boost your confidence level.  Knowing this, don't you want all children to be able to head back to school with a new haircut?  With your help, you can give a FREE haircut to a local child in need, when you bring your child into a local Hair Cuttery salon to get their hair cut.  

So, if you have plans to do last minute school shopping and need to get your child's hair cut before they head back to school next week, why not stop by a local Hair Cuttery by August 31st, and "Share-A-Haircut?"  

Since this charitable program began in 1999, the Hair Cuttery has been able to donate over 800,000 haircuts (valued at $12 million) to children in need.  This being a milestone year, the company hopes to bring that number to 925,000!  

I hope you will join me in helping them reach this goal. :-)

In addition to visiting a local Hair Cuttery salon with your child to get their haircut, you can also participate in the annual "Share-A-Haircut" program by sharing on your social media channels. To learn more and to share before the program ends on August 31st, visit Hair Cuttery blog.


About Hair Cuttery:
Hair Cuttery is the largest family owned and operated chain of hair salons in the country, with nearly 900 company-owned locations on the East Coast, and in New England and the Midwest. A full-service, value-priced salon, Hair Cuttery offers a full complement of cuts and styling, coloring, waxing and texturizing services with no appointment necessary, as well as a full line of professional hair care products. Hair Cuttery is committed to delivering a delightful client experience through WOW Service including a Smile Back Guarantee. Hair Cuttery is a division of Ratner Companies, based in Vienna, VA.

Disclosure:  This is sponsored post with Hair Cuttery.  Even though I will be compensated for my time in promoting this charitable program, in addition to receiving free haircuts for my girls, all views shared are mine and mine alone.

New Dinosaur Train "BUDDY'S HALLOWEEN ADVENTURE" Arrives on DVD, September 2nd! (Review)

Disclosure:  I was sent a review copy from the vendor in order to write up an honest review.  All views shared are mine and mine alone.

I know, I know..."Don't rush Halloween."  Well in just a few short days September will be here, and in 17 weeks it will be Christmas.  Just the other day when I went shopping with the girls, they were already putting out Halloween candy and costumes.  When my girls saw this, they started talking about what they plan to dress up as, and how excited they are to go trick or treating again this year, as last year was the first year we took them.  So, as they think about what they will be, they are enjoying watching some new Halloween DVDs that are releasing in the coming weeks, which have been arriving at our doorstep, including the upcoming Sept. 2nd release of "Buddy's Halloween Adventure" from the hit animated series Dinosaur Train, airing daily on PBS Kids.

If you follow my blog regularly, then you know that my girls just love Dinosaur Train -- so much so that Savannah even dressed up as Tiny last year for Halloween. :-)

So, when they saw this DVD come in the mail, they were super excited to watch it.  And, for the past few days, this DVD has been playing over and over again, as Savannah parades around the house in her costume from last Halloween. :-)

BUDDY’S HALLOWEEN ADVENTURE” has a run time of approximately 50 minutes and an SRP of $7.99, and includes the following full-length episodes:

Haunted Roundhouse
Dad takes the kids on a special Night Train to Troodon Town, where the Troodons have decorated their Roundhouse into a “haunted house” for a spooky party. The kids end up meeting a strange new nocturnal creature – a mammal named Vlad Volaticotherium, who was hiding in the roundhouse trying to get some sleep.

Big Pond Pumpkin Patch
The Pteranodon family learns more about the customs of their neighbors, the Lambeosaurus family, when they are invited for the first time to accompany them to the Big Pond to celebrate “Gourd Day” – a kind of Mesozoic Halloween. The kids see their first pumpkins, and Larry Lambeosaurus even shows our family how to hollow them out and carve faces into them.

Night Train
Dad, Buddy and Tiny take a special ride on the Dinosaur Train at night, learning about animals that are active after dark, culminating at the Big Pond for a nature walk under the full moon.

Fossil Fred
Buddy, Tiny and Don play “detective” and search around the Big Pond for fossils. The kids end up finding an entire skeleton of a Jurassic dinosaur.

There are also special features you will want to check out including a fun interactive game, coloring pages, activities, Dr. Scott segments, and even information for parents.

If you are not familiar with Dinosaur Train, it is geared towards children ages 3-6 years old, and introduces them to life science and natural history in a fun way.  They learn about dinosaurs and how they lived back in the day, and have a great time trying to pronounce their names, while listening to Dr. Scott shares interesting facts about these prehistoric animals.  

While I enjoy this show, it has become a "Daddy/Daughter" show that my girls look forward to sharing with my husband.  Shh, don't tell him, but they usually watch the episode when it airs in the AM, but will watch it and pretend like it is brand new when he comes home from work.  This show really peeks their curiosity and has them asking about how the dinosaurs lived, why they aren't around today, and so many other great questions.  As a parent, I love having educational shows like this available to share with them, to help them learn and grow.

If you have a Dinosaur Train fan in your life, why not consider picking up a copy of this upcoming "Halloween" themed DVD.  My girls especially loved the gourd episodes and can't wait to carve their own pumpkins this year...or at least decorate them. :-)

Disclosure:  I was sent a review copy from the vendor in order to write up an honest review.  All views shared are mine and mine alone.

Highway to Heaven: The Complete 4th Season -- Now Available on DVD from Mill Creek Entertainment (Review)

Disclosure: I was sent a review copy from the vendor in order to write up an honest review. All views shared are mine and mine alone.

Since the folks at Mill Creek Entertainment have been releasing Highway to Heaven on DVD, I have been sharing reviews, as I was and still am a huge fan of this original family series, starring Michael Landon, which aired on television from 1984-1989.  Like I have shared in past posts, I used to love watching this show with father.  I would record it and then stay up late until he got home from a police detail, and we would watch it while he had dinner.  This was our special bonding time that I cherished then, and get to enjoy again, whenever I get these DVD releases, as we make time to watch some of our favorite episodes from each given season, and talk about the others.

Were you fan of this show growing up?  I first started watching it, as I was a fan of Michael Landon from Little House on the Prairie.  And, after watching the first few episodes of this popular series, was hooked.  I liked how each episode was a new story line, that had Jonathan Smith, an angel sent back to Earth on probation (played by Landon) and Mark Gordon (played by Victor French) working together to complete assignments given to them from the man upstairs.  I personally loved seeing Landon and French's character work together.  You could tell that through their meeting and having to work together, that they were building a strong connection and friendship.  They worked well together, and you found yourself wishing you could have a friend like Jonathan. :-)

This past summer, my father has been coming down weekly to visit and spend time with the girls and I.  And, when the girls finally nap, I will put on one of the Highway to Heaven DVDs to watch.  And, lately, it has been this recent release.  With 24 full length episodes and over 19 hours of viewing time, we have been enjoying spending time watching these classic episodes, which would include guest appearances from famed actors and actresses of the time, as well as rising stars, who are now big today.  Remember how I shared that in the Season 3 DVD, you could see , Paul Walker, who starred in the Fast and Furious franchise movies, and passed away earlier this year in a car crash.  I was quick to point out the scenes Paul Walker, who was a teenager at the time of filming.  

Season four of Highway to Heaven saw guest appearances from Will Estes (who later starred as Will in The New Lassie, Chad Allen (played David Witherspoon on Our House), Danny Pintauro (played Jonathan on Who's the Boss, and even Bob Hope, just to name a few.

Here is a clip from the episode that featured Chad Allen, where his character was spanked by the father.  While back in day spanking was considered a normal form of punishment, in today's society, it is frowned upon.  Funny how clips like this from shows of yesterday make you look at how life seemed simpler back then, and how they are so different now.

When you watch this television series, you can't help but walk away with a feel good attitude.  If only more shows were like this today, as this show didn't contain drugs, violence or vulgar language.  Lessons were taught and you saw what true friendship was by watching Jonathan and Mark work to help others.

Out of the four season that have made it to DVD -- Season five will be releasing in early Sept. -- I have to say that this season is by far my favorite.  Not only did it have guest stars from other 80's and early 90's family shows I watched, but the stories were all touching.  I admit that a few even brought me to tears, as you could feel the genuine and sometimes raw emotions of the characters.  I could go on and on about how great this how and season was, but if you are fan of Highway of Heaven, then you already know that! :-)

In addition to the recent release of Highway to Heaven: Season 4 and the soon to be released Season Five, I just saw on the Mill Creek Entertainment that they will be offering the Highway to Heaven Complete Series soon, too!  How great is that! :-) 

Highway To Heaven: The Complete Series

With Christmas only 17 weeks ago, why not get a jump on your holiday shopping and pick up this hit television series for that special Highway to Heaven fan in your life.  I already know what I will be surprising my father with -- the complete series. :-)

Don't forget to follow Mill Creek Entertainment on their social media channels to stay up-to-date on news, upcoming releases, special offers and more...

Disclosure: I was sent a review copy from the vendor in order to write up an honest review. All views shared are mine and mine alone.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Great Gift Ideas For Moms: A Dishwasher, Of Course!

Impressing friends and family with delicious and imaginative meals would be a lot more satisfying for the cook if it were not for that inevitable pile of dirty dishes left behind. It is the quickest way to erase the glow that comes from being complimented on one’s cooking skills. Thanks to some early innovative thinking and the marvels of modern technology, the drudgery of dishwashing can be a thing of the past.

The Age-Old Woman’s Wish List

A dishwasher is a very useful home appliance that can help those who want to clean their dishes and utensils with utmost ease. Invented by Josephine Cochrane in 1886, this state of the art appliance has become a real trouble saver. 

Because of this it the perfect gift for every mother who typically has a zillion other matters demanding her time. Giving her this home appliance is something that will be appreciated on a daily basis for many years to come. It has obviously been the age-old dream of every woman who has perpetually felt tied to a kitchen sink.

Simplicity and Style

Grant Dishwasher, Tableware, Dishwasher, Kitchen

There is a great deal of advice available online regarding the choosing of this much appreciated kitchen appliance. With the hectic pace of modern living it has become a necessity rather than a luxury item, so that buyers will be assured of a style to suit the design and requirements of every kitchen. Capacities also vary to accommodate smaller or larger families, couples and individuals. The number and variety of wash cycles on offer provide the perfect means of cleaning specific items such as pots and pans, and for those easy to clean items there is a water efficient cycle that reduces energy bills.
Until someone invents self-cleaning dishes, pots and pans and utensils the dishwasher is the best means of freeing up time that is better spent on more leisurely pursuits. Time is an issue with almost everyone and full advantage should be taken of any method that allows some much-needed breathing space and is far kinder to hands.