Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Must See DVD’s: Angelina Ballerina™: Holiday 3-DVD Gift Set


Who is Angelina Ballerina?:


Angelina Ballerina is a little star with big dreams of becoming a prima ballerina. This feisty little mouse works hard to reach her goal and along the way, always learns from her mistakes. When little girls share in Angelina's experiences, they're inspired to go after their big dreams too. In addition to the critically acclaimed story books created by Katharine Holabird and Helen Craig, Angelina Ballerina dances her way into the hearts of young girls weekly on PBS KIDS®.


Give the gift of dance and good cheer this holiday season with Angelina Ballerina™: Holiday 3-DVD Gift Set, a collection of delightful DVDs waltzing into stores October 18, 2011 from Lionsgate and HIT Entertainment. Celebrate the season with Angelina and all her friends as they prepare for the holiday showcase and learn all forms of dance at Camembert Academy. With games and karaoke, it’s the perfect present for little ballerinas everywhere!

DVDs Include:

Angelina Ballerina: Nutcracker Sweet

Waltz into the land of sugar and spice with Angelina as she excitedly prepares to perform the Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy in the holiday showcase. But when too many candy canes and fruitcakes give her a tummy ache, she learns that sharing with friends is a lot more rewarding.

Bonus Features:

· “Prima Ballerina” Puzzle Game

· ”Front Row Seats” Karaoke Song

Angelina Ballerina: Love to Dance

Take center stage with Angelina Ballerina on her first day at Camembert Academy as she learns about new forms of music and dance like jazz, tap and hip-hop. Angelina also discovers that becoming a prima ballerina requires collaboration, compromise and commitment.

Bonus Features:

· “Angelina Says” Game

· “Get Up and Dance” Karaoke Video

Angelina Ballerina: Ballet Dreams

Join Camembert Academy’s shining star, Angelina Ballerina, as she finds her way in a new school, puts together her own show and tries to land a leading role in the Mouskinov Ballet. Angelina blossoms as she adjusts to her new teacher’s style and learns the importance of being a patient big sister.

Bonus Features:

· “Create Your Own Dream Routine” Game


My Thoughts:

My daughter, Savannah, is a huge fan of Angelina Ballerina.  Since receiving Dancing on Ice on DVD a couple of weeks ago, we have watched this movie every day, and she carries the empty DVD case around with her wherever she goes.  When I take the case away, she gets upset.  You should see her during the opening credits of each episode.  As soon as the music starts, she begins swaying side to side, and then flails her arms all around and does a happy dance.  It is so cute.  And, she has the biggest smile on her face.  Once the show starts, you can’t bother her, as she stares intently at the screen.

So, when I was sent this 3-DVD set, I knew she would love it.  And, she did.  We received it over the weekend, and have already watched the discs a few times. She had previously watched these shows on Netflix, but each time I play one of the DVD’s, she acts like it is the first time she has seen it. 

I can’t wait for the next Angelina Ballerina DVD to come out, as I know my daughter will be as excited for it, as she has been for this DVD set and prior Angelina Ballerina DVDs released.

If you have a little ballerina in your house, or an Angelina Ballerina fan like my daughter, then you definitely need to pick up the 3-Disc Holiday DVD set today.  It would make for a great holiday gift, or for a great family movie night.  I know that if I left my daughter watch all 3 discs in one sitting, she would.  But, we both look forward to our “Mommy and Me” time when her sister Arabella takes a nap each day.  She chooses the disc and we watch and dance along to Angelina Ballerina.  What a great time!

Disclosure: I was sent a copy of this DVD in order to write up an honest review. The views above are mine and mine alone.

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Must See DVDs'–Thomas and Friends: Adventure on the Tracks 6-DVD Set (Available on DVD Dec. 6, 2011)


All Aboard For A Very Special Holiday Delivery At An Incredible Value!

Available On DVD December 6, 2011 From Lionsgate and HIT Entertainment
Street Date: 12/6/11
DVD SRP: $29.98

All aboard for a very special holiday delivery with Thomas & Friends™: Adventure on the Tracks 6-DVD Set available December 6, 2011 from Lionsgate and HIT Entertainment. Fans everywhere will enjoy 36 of their favorite episodes with Thomas and his engine friends as they find adventures, help friends and discover new things on the Island of Sodor. Filled with surprises around every bend, this very special 6-DVD collection is only $29.98 and is a perfect gift for any Thomas collector!

Thomas & Friends: Percy's Ghostly Trick & Other Thomas Stories
Discover laughs and surprises around every bend! Thomas thinks he's seen a ghost, Percy puffs into a giant pile of hay, Oliver encounters some troublesome trucks and Donald and Douglas rescue a mischievous engine.

Bonus Features:

  • Character Gallery
  • Sing-Along Song: Thomas' Anthem
  • Bonus DVD Game: Who Am I?

Thomas & Friends: Thomas and the Jet Engine & Other Adventures
Always expect the unexpected on the Island of Sodor! Thomas gets a surprising push from a jet engine, Percy lets his imagination run away with him, Harold makes a horse fly and Salty and Fergus prove they're useful on and off the tracks.
Bonus Features:

  • Sing Along Song: Boo! Boo! Choo Choo
  • Thomas Gallery
  • 3 Bonus DVD Games: Counting Corner, What Came First? and Memory Madness

Thomas & Friends: Rusty To The Rescue
Thomas and his friends discover that fun and excitement never end! Join in the adventure as little Rusty sets off where only big, brave diesels dare to go and Duke gets rescued and reunited with Stuart and Falcon.
Bonus Features:

  • Sing-Along Song: Gone Fishing
  • Sodor Memories
  • Game and Activity Sheets

Thomas & Friends: Percy Saves The Day
Learn the importance of listening to others when Thomas ignores Percy's wobbly track warning, Rusty sets off to save a reckless Duncan and Fergus proves himself to be really useful.
Bonus Features:

  • Read Along Story: Thomas and Percy and the Dragon
  • Sing Along Song: There Once Was An Engine Who Ran Away
  • Bonus DVD Game: Pick that Sound
  • 2 DVD-Rom Games: Percy's Maze Adventure and Counting Fun

Thomas & Friends: Thomas Comes To Breakfast & Other Thomas Adventures
Everyone learns important lessons about good behavior when Thomas shows off a little too much, Diesel causes trouble between the other engines and Gordon finds out that sabotage can backfire.
Bonus Features:

  • Read Along Story: Thomas and the Naughty Diesel
  • Sing Along Song: Little Engines
  • DVD Bonus Game: James' Connects the Dots Fun

Thomas & Friends: Steamies vs. Diesels
Find out how just how much the Steamies and Diesels have in common when they put aside their differences and start working together to keep Sir Topham Hatt's railway running smoothly.
Bonus Features:

  • Fun and Games
  • Pick a Story

Thomas the Tank Engine was created by a father for his son over 65 years ago and today is enjoyed by families in more than 185 territories and in 30 languages. The #1 blue engine and his friends invite children to enter a world of imagination through the tracks of a train and the words of a story. Children embark on adventures with their engine friends while experiencing timeless life lessons of discovery, friendship and cooperation.

Thomas & Friends is the Number One preschool toy property in the UK, a position it has held for the past 11 years. It remained the Number One preschool toy license in the US for 10 straight years 1 and has been the Number One preschool entertainment brand in the US since 20092. The unrivaled popularity of the global brand continues with Thomas also being the Number One preschool toy license in Germany and Australia, as well as the Number One foreign preschool brand in China, Japan and Korea.

(SOURCE: AC Nielsen, 1/1/10-12/31/10). Each DVD release is consistently ranked in the Top 10 new releases for Children's Non-Theatrical (source Nielsen) and many have received significant awards and recognition from organizations such as Parents' Choice and KIDS FIRST!

1 Source: The NPD Group / Consumer Tracking Service
2 Source: Nielsen


Title Copyright: © 2011 HIT Entertainment Limited. Thomas the Tank Engine & Friends™ Based on The Railway Series by The Reverend W Awdry. Thomas the Tank Engine & Friends and Thomas & Friends are trademarks of Gullane (Thomas) Limited. Thomas the Tank Engine & Friends and Design is Reg. U.S. Pat. & Tm. Off.
Type: TV on DVD
Rating: NR
Genre: Children/Family/Ages 2-5
Closed Captioned: English
Format: Full Screen
Feature Run Times: 229 minutes (total)
Thomas & Friends: Percy's Ghostly Trick: 37 minutes
Thomas & Friends: Thomas & The Jet Engine: 35 minutes
Thomas & Friends: Rusty To The Rescue: 37 minutes
Thomas & Friends: Percy Saves The Day: 35 minutes
Thomas & Friends: Thomas Comes To Breakfast: 46 minutes
Thomas & Friends: Steamies vs Diesels: 38 minutes
DVD Audio Status: 2.0 Dolby Digital

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Enter the Disney Reads Sweepstakes to Win 2 Disney Reads Gift Packs Assortment of Books (approximate retail value: $700)



Disney Publishing Worldwide has just launched Disney Reads, a new hub and go-to resource on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube for all-things Disney Publishing, spotlighting books and magazines, comics, digital apps and eBooks, and much more through contests, quizzes, polls, giveaways, and fan-generated content.  Disney Reads will showcase backstage segments from author events, feature exclusive downloadable goodies, and fun Disney fan content.

Please “Like” us and tell friends and family to enter the Disney Reads Season of Giving sweepstakes for a chance to win 2 Disney Reads Gift Packs assortment of books (approximate retail value: $700).

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Holiday Gift Giving Guide: Gifts for All–Crown Maple Farm and Their Pure Maple Syrups (Review)



While writing this review, I am watching Martha Stewart, as she is featuring Crown Maple Syrup in a recipe on her show.  Martha is making an Upside-Down Sticky Toffee Pudding, which looks truly delicious.  I can only imagine how good it takes with Crown Maple Medium Amber Syrup that I was recently able to sample.  In addition to the Crown Maple Medium Amber Syrup, I was also sent their
light and dark amber syrups.  This has been one of my favorite reviews for the holiday season, as it reminds me of trips with my family to local sugar shacks during maple syrup season.  Yes, we are still months away from this, but as the cold weather sets in, and snow begins to fall, I begin to see local farms hanging their metal buckets from the trees, in preparation for tapping.  Ahh, just writing, I am sitting here reminiscing about our trips to Parker's Maple Barn in Mason, NH, where we would take the annual syrup making tour, and then finish with a hearty breakfast at their restaurant, which included none other than pancakes and hot maple syrup.  

It was not until I was a teenager that I become a true fan of pure maple syrup.  I could no longer use imitation syrups on my pancakes or shaved ice, as it didn't taste the real thing.  So, every maple syrup season, I would save up enough money and buy a jug of syrup, which would last me the year.  And, now that I have a family of my own, I continue to buy pure maple syrup.  But, this time, I don't just use the maple syrup for breakfast.  Instead, I try to find recipes that incorporate the syrups to make sweet treats for family and friends to enjoy. 

So, when I reached out to the Crown Maple Farm and received a response that they would send me a sampling of their three maple syrups, I was over the moon.  As I waited for the samples to arrive, I began to pull out some of my favorite recipes that used maple syrup.  And, when they finally arrived, I couldn't wait to get into the kitchen and begin baking.  I first used the Crown Maple Light Amber Syrup, to make maple donuts with a sweet maple glaze.  Mmm, they were so tasty.  And, then this past weekend, my husband requested homemade french toast with warm maple syrup.  So, we used the Crown Maple Medium Amber Syrup for this, as I have found that the medium amber syrups work best with breakfast foods, including drizzling on sausages.  Are wondering what I did with the Crown Maple Dark Amber Syrup?  Well, I ended up baking fresh homemade bread, and used the maple syrup to make a nice and smooth maple butter to spread on the warm bread.  And, with the little bit that was left over, I used it the next day to sweeten my breakfast muffin.  Tasty, tasty, tasty!  So, as you can see, I had a great time sampling these syrups, as they provided me with an excuse to get into the kitchen and cook.  I can't wait to order some more, and do more baking during the winter months.  I just love the smell of maple syrup while it is baking.

You can't go wrong with giving maple syrup as a holiday gift. So, why not consider picking up a few bottles of pure maple syrup from Crown Maple Farm this holiday season?  And, be sure you buy a few for your family! 

More about Crown Maple Farm's Syrups and Their Flavors:

Crown Maple Dark Amber Organic Maple Syrup
Tasting Notes Sharing similar flavor and aroma character with our Medium Amber organic maple syrup, but with more weight, depth and concentration. The aromas of coffee and chocolate are present, along with flavors of brown sugar, and toasted almond.

Crown Maple Medium Amber Organic Maple Syrup
Tasting Notes Aromas bring to mind the sights and smells of late fall and early winter. Our Medium Amber organic maple syrup has aromas of gingerbread and roasted chestnut. Flavors of rye, toffee, freshly roasted and ground coffee.

Crown Maple Light Amber Organic Maple Syrup
Tasting Notes Aromas of popcorn and peanuts, flavors of roasted nuts, salted caramel, and brown butter. The body of our Light Amber organic maple syrup, although still light, has a pleasing weight and depth, with flavors and finish that linger.


You can buy Crown Maple Farm syrups directly from their website.  Click here to order a particular flavor (light, medium or dark), or pick up their sampler box, which contains all three.

About Crown Maple Farm:

Crown Maple Farm is the majestic home of Crown Maple Syrup, quite possibly the purest syrup on earth. Located in Dutchess County, N.Y., Crown Maple Farm is owned and sustainably managed by Robb and Lydia Turner and is part of Madava Estates, named for the Turner’s daughters, Maddie and Ava.

Crown Maple Farm is perfectly situated in the historic Hudson River Valley where its 800 acres of century-old sugar and red maples enjoy ideal soil and seasonal weather conditions to produce a superior sap for maple sugaring. It is also home to the most advanced maple syrup production facility in the country, the largest of its kind in the world. Crown Maple’s ‘sugarhouse’ is the place where the pristine sap collected from its sustainably managed maple groves meets the latest in green, organic production techniques to produce a distinct, pure maple syrup with superior flavor and exceptional quality.

Disclosure:  I was sent samples from the vendor in order to write up an honest review.  The views above are mine and mine alone.
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