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Idina Menzel’s Holiday Wishes Album Review

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I am aware that it is November but we’ve already hit single digit weather and had to shovel snow. When I’m all bundled up, I can’t help but get a little pick me up when I here some jingle bells. Getting to hear Idina Menzel’s new album Holiday Wishes was a perfect little surprise this week. Idina Menzel’s voice is so smooth and pleasant and the sings chosen fit her perfectly. I am one of those people that actually enjoys holiday music in general so it’s nice to be able to add another great collection of songs to the mix.

My two personal favorites were the Baby It’s Cold Outside with Michael Bublé (the video is really cute, too) and When You Wish Upon a Star. I may be a little bias since my husband and I had our first dance to Michael Bublé and well, Frozen. I love that she covered the quintessential Disney song. My daughter enjoyed the songs, too, especially when she realized “Elsa” was singing them.

Visit Idina Menzel on her website, Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube. You can get a copy of Holiday Wishes on iTunes and Amazon.

Enjoy your turkey and football next week, but then, HAPPY HOLIDAYS!!

 

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About Idina Menzel and Holiday Wishes

Holiday Wishes, a Christmas album recorded by Tony Award-winning singer/actor Idina Menzel, is out now on Warner Bros. Records.

The album was produced by Grammy Award-winner Walter Afanasieff (Barbra Streisand, Celine Dion, Mariah Carey) and features such classic favorites as “All I Want For Christmas Is You” and “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas,” as well as Joni Mitchell’s Christmas-themed “River,” one of Menzel’s favorites.

Another highlight is a duet with international superstar Michael Bublé on “Baby It’s Cold Outside.” An exclusive Target edition of Holiday Wishes features two bonus tracks, including “Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!”.

Idina’s career has traversed stage, film, television, and music. She was most recently heard as Elsa in Disney’s global box-office smash Frozen, in which she sings the film’s Oscar-winning song “Let It Go.” After her performance of the multi-platinum song at the 86th annual Academy Awards, she made history as the first person with both a Billboard Top 10 hit and a Tony Award for acting.

Idina currently stars as Elizabeth in the original Broadway production of If/Then.

Holiday Wishes Track Listing

Do You Hear What I Hear

The Christmas Song

Baby It’s Cold Outside (Duet with Michael Buble)

Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas

All I Want For Christmas

What Are You Doing New Year’s Eve?

December Prayer

When You Wish Upon A Star

Silent Night

River

Holly Jolly Christmas

White Christmas

Bonus Tracks on Target Exclusive:

Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow

Mothers Spiritual

 

** I participated in the Idina Menzel Holiday Wishes album review program as a member of One2One Network. I was provided an album to review but all opinions are my own. **

Turkey Day Pre-Planning (and Ribbon Turkey Bow)

Last year was the first year we thought about this and it worked out pretty well. We wanted to do a full on Thanksgiving Day meal but I was concerned that after a couple days of leftovers, we were going to end up with a bunch of it still in the fridge and then, eventually, in the trash.

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We went in to Turkey Day meal preparations with a plan for what to do with  the leftovers. It worked out really well. We had plenty for Thanksgiving, then the dishes below to either have the next week or put in the freezer, and we still had just enough to enjoy some reheated leftovers without getting sick of it.

Just add a few extra items to your shopping list ahead of time and then you can prepare some meals for the future during the long weekend.

Turkey Shepard’s Pie – My husband kind of “winged” it but if you need some instruction, this looks like a good one. Basically, we get a frozen deep dish pie crust, mix together and put in leftover turkey, either leftover vegetables or frozen mixed vegetables, and leftover gravy then top with mashed or sweet potatoes and bake.

Turkey Broccoli Rice CasseroleThis is one of my personal favorite freezer recipes. We usually half this recipe and get 2-3 meals out of it. You can get fresh or frozen broccoli and “cream of’s” pretty cheap leading up to Thanksgiving and then we use turkey instead of chicken. A couple weeks later, we aren’t sick of turkey anymore and this heats up pretty quickly for an easy dinner.

Think ahead for Christmas, too! We are making this cranberry sauce again and freezing half to save for Christmas dinner, as well.

You can also freeze leftover turkey. We ended up with some in the freezer and after Christmas we had lots of ham. I found this recipe and we used them to make Turkey Cordon Bleu Casserole. It sounds weird, but it was really good.

For Thanksgiving Day dinner this year, I am weirdly excited that we are planning on using herbs that we dried or a friend dried for us from our garden on the turkey and in the from scratch stuffing. I’ll be making bread in the bread machine for the stuffing and we are using the green beans we grew this summer in the garden. My husband is making Sweet Potato Casserole and Chocolate Chess Pie from scratch, too.

This year we are looking at doing Turkey Shepard’s Pie again and trying this recipe to make Turkey Rollups with leftovers. We are planning on doing Turkey Cordon Bleu Casserole again, too.

While you are planning for Thanksgiving, check out how to make this Ribbon Turkey Bow for the little girl in your life.

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Don’t forget to check out the giveaways going on right now! And, check out all the great ideas on Happy and Blessed Home for tons of ideas.

 

 

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Shop Amazon’s Electronics Holiday Gift Guide – High-Tech Presents for Students
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Aby’s Kids Pajamas Giveaway!

It is my pleasure to introduce you to a fabulous, family owned clothing company, Aby’s Kids. Based out of Miami, Florida, the designer, Miriam Pozo, has created some wonderful designs for kids, men and women. Most of the clothing is made from linen and they feature many guayabera designs for the whole family. Welcome to a little of my Cuban American heritage – the guayabera is a very popular shirt for men in tropic regions and eventually adopted for women and children, too.

I enjoyed reviewing dresses by Aby’s Kids and they were generous enough to also want to share their holiday pajamas line with you. They come in red and white and blue and white, for babies, kids, women and men, from size 3-6 months to adult XL. Some sizes come with sleeve and pant length options. That means you could match the kids, the whole family, or even the grandparents, too for some holiday fun and photos.

Visit Aby’s Kids and check out the whole line of Holiday items. Then, drop by Aby’s Kids on Facebook and Twitter and say “hi!”

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GIVEAWAY! Win a prize sponsored by Aby’s Kids: a pair of Family Christmas Pajamas ($34-$56.00) in a size and color of your choice. Use the Rafflecopter form below to enter. This giveaway ends November 26, 2014, 11:59pm. Winner will be notified by email and have 24 hours to claim prize. Prize fulfilled by Aby’s Kids.

a Rafflecopter giveaway Don’t forget to stop by the Girls Christmas Dress review and giveaway (ends November 24, 2014)!

Welcome to the Thankful For Giveaways Giveaway Hop, brought to you by The Hopping Bloggers & Up All Night Blogging! We are a group of bloggers that specialize in giveaway hops – so stay with us and you will have many chances to win some amazing prizes! Each blogger participating in this hop has a giveaway with a prize value of at least $15 – and some are much more than that! Be sure to visit them all – there is no limit to how many prizes you can win! Good Luck and Have Fun!

 Click below to go to the hop list!

*I was provided an item for review. All opinions are my own. Sponsor responsible for prize fulfillment.*

 

 

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Shop Amazon’s Electronics Holiday Gift Guide – High-Tech Presents for Students
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Aby’s Kids Christmas Dress Review and Giveaway!

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When I was visiting family in Miami, Florida earlier this year, we decided to pop in to a little restaurant. We ended up deciding to meet up with someone at a different place and were heading back out when a woman stopped us. She introduced herself and told me that she had a clothing company and would I allow my older daughter to model some of her designs. I thanked her, but told her we were unfortunately at the end of our visit. She then told me that she could send some up to us in Ohio so we exchanged some contact information.

Fast forward a few months and not only did she send me two gorgeous Girls Christmas Dresses in Silk and Tulle, but she wanted to let one of you lucky readers win one of these dresses plus another one of you to win a pair of adorable pajamas.

It is my pleasure to introduce you to a fabulous, family owned clothing company, Aby’s Kids. Based out of Miami, Florida, the designer, Miriam Pozo, has created some wonderful designs for kids, men and women. Most of the clothing is made from linen and they feature many guayabera designs for the whole family. Welcome to a little of my Cuban American heritage – the guayabera is a very popular shirt for men in tropic regions and eventually adopted for women and children, too.

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For girls, whether you are looking for a flower girl dress, special occasion dress, or a perfect dress for the annual Christmas card photo, you can’t go wrong with a stunning satin dress from Aby’s Kids. The fit on both of the dresses we received was perfect. They are simple yet elegant with special attention to details like fabric covered buttons. I liked that the bow on the dress could by tied on the front or back. They were easy to get on and off and both girls loved prancing around in them. Well, except for when Aubrey dropped an ornament and she couldn’t see it because the poofiness blocked her view of it. The fabrics used felt amazing and they look very well put together.

Visit Aby’s Kids and check out the whole line of Holiday items. Then, drop by Aby’s Kids on Facebook and Twitter and say “hi!”

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GIVEAWAY! Win a prize sponsored by Aby’s Kids: 1 Girls Christmas Dress in Silk and Tulle ($69.99) in a size of your choice. Use the Rafflecopter form below to enter. This giveaway ends November 24, 2014, 11:59pm. Winner will be notified by email and have 24 hours to claim prize. Prize fulfilled by Aby’s Kids.

a Rafflecopter giveaway Don’t forget to stop by the Holiday Pajamas giveaway! (Ends November 26, 2014)

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Welcome to the Anything Goes Hop!

This hop is hosted by The Review Wire and The Frugal Find. All participating blogs are offering a prize of at least $15. Now is your chance to seek out some awesome prizes for those on your Christmas list, but you berry hurry the hop ends on November 24th! Both The Review Wire and The Frugal Find are offering a prize you don’t want to miss! Disclaimer: This giveaway ends at 11:59 PM EST on November 24, 2014. The Anything Goes Event Bloggers are not responsible for sponsors that do not fulfill their prizes. Companies and bloggers, if you would like to participate in group giveaway events like this one, sign up to be emailed about future events hosted by Review Wire Media.

Click on the hop logo above or follow this link to find all the other great giveaways!

*I received a product for review. All opinions are my own.*

 

 

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Shop Amazon’s Electronics Holiday Gift Guide – High-Tech Presents for Students
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Mooshka Goodnight Starlight Doll Review and Giveaway

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I had the chance to receive and review a Mooshka Goodnight Starlight Doll. There are two varieties, Mooshka Goodnight Starlight Doll Dasha and Mooshka Goodnight Starlight Doll Jessa, but both are huggable soft dolls that glow softly and play “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star” to soothe little ones off to sleep. Recommended for ages 2 and up.

My 3 year old daughter has really begun to enjoy toys that light up so she can play with them as she winds down to go to sleep. She loves that it sings her favorite song, “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star.” It was very easy for her, and even my 1 year old, to learn to put the dolls hands together, which are magnetic, to play the song. She likes that it is soft and comfortable to sleep with.

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As a parent, the first thing I did was take a peak in the back panel of the doll. It does have a turn off position and two volume levels. Unfortunately, the “lower” level is still a little louder than I would like. However, I barely hear it when I am standing outside my daughters’ room and she still gets to sleep just fine.

It’s a very cute doll and would make a great, and reasonably priced, gift for any girl on your holiday gift lift this winter. It’s available on Amazon, making it an easy gift idea, too. To learn about the whole line of Mooshka dolls, follow Mooshka on Facebook , Twitter and Instagram.

GIVEAWAY!  This giveaway has ended and prize has been claimed.

To enter this giveaway, visit Mooshka.com and check out the different dolls. Tell me which doll you like in a comment below then enter on the Rafflecopter giveaway link below. This giveaway is for a Mooshka Goodnight Starlight Doll, $29.99 value, open to US only. This giveaway ends at November 17, 2015, 11:59pm. Winner will be notified by email and will have 24 hours to claim their prize.

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Don’t forget to check out my Aby’s Kids Christmas dress and pajama giveaway!

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Welcome to the [2nd Annual] Thankful for our Followers Giveaway Hop hosted by the Blogging Mamas Network!

 

YOU are the reason that bloggers like us host giveaways so we’ve decided it’s time for all of us bloggers to show even more of our appreciation to you… our readers and blog followers. Normally we offer giveaways with entries to help boost our blog and following numbers, but this Hop is all about making it easier on YOU.

Each blogger in this Hop is offering a wonderful prize, worth at least $25 and ALL giveaways have only ONE way to enter!

Hop around to them all as we show you how we’re Thankful for YOU!

Click here for the other blogs.

 

So Easy Being Green, Viva Veltoro, the Blogging Mamas Network, and the Thankful for Our Followers participating bloggers are not responsible for sponsors who do not fulfill prize obligations.

*I was provided with a product in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own.

Easy Ringmaster Costume

Last year I managed to find two of the same tiger costumes in the sizes for my daughters for this year for $5 each on local yard sale Facebook groups. That determined that this year we were doing a circus them for Halloween!

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The tiger costumes just needed a good washing to brighten them up and trim a few loose threads. I found an item at a thrift store that was made of red sequin fabric that had seen better days so I cut it apart to make bows for the head and tail (I used this same basic fabric bow process for the ones on the head). Done! They actually really enjoy wearing these so I decided not to tempt fate by trying to draw whiskers on them.

The benefit of knowing what you want to do well in advance of Halloween is that you can take advantage of getting the items you need when you see them. The ringmaster costume basically hinged on being able to find a red jacket so I was thrilled when I walked into a thrift store while visiting family in Florida a few months back and found one that also happened to be half off that day.

Fast forward to about a month ago when JoAnn’s had a percent off your whole purchase coupon available. I used ready made shoulder pads that were already black and the base for the epaulettes. I than eyeballed the length I would need of gold fringe trim to go around the shoulder pads. I hot glued the fringe around the rounded edge of the shoulder pads and then hot glued the shoulder pad on to the jacket. I had just a little piece left over so I hot glued that on the front chest.

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For the front of the jacket, I eyeballed the length needed of a black and gold cord I found. I put tape around I would cut the piece apart and then heat sealed it. I then hot glued the cord into place. I also removed the lower buttons to mimic a military style jacket and reinforced the remaining buttons so they wouldn’t fall off.

Add a top hat with a dollar tree red sequin headband around it and an inexpensive black bowtie. I put them all over a white button down, dark fitted pants, and knee high boots I already owned. Here is more “Pinspiration” that I gathered.

Now, we are just hoping for decent weather to go trick or treating. We have a red wagon with a canopy so it will look like an old fashion animal train car. My husband will be in all khaki with a safari hat and whip as the animal tamer. The circus will be in town! Happy Halloween!

Disney On Ice Recap

I ended up taking my 3 year old to Disney On Ice Princesses & Heroes for a Mommy and Me date this evening. We had a great time. She was very excited to see the different princesses and the use of the lights and special effects was in true Disney fashion – spot on and inventive. In the first half, the popular princess seemed to be Ariel. I ended up having a sing along of all the Little Mermaid songs with the two little girls behind me.

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However, it all of a sudden turned into a rock concert when it was clear the Frozen sisters segment was about to begin. You could see all the kids scoot to the edge of their seat, gripping the armrests. The crowd roared as soon as the Anna started skating. It was one big sing along with a few hundred of my newest friends – little girls, big kids, and even moms were belting out “Let It Go.”

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I hope they rotate who gets to play Elsa because it must be such a rush to get that kind of reaction. Kids were in the aisles dancing and twirling. I am pretty sure every version of Anna and Elsa costumes were present in the crowd. One girl, dressed as Elsa, acted out the entire segment in front of the stage. The little girls seated near the front corners of the stage were staring, wide-eyed at Elsa and Anna standing close enough to touch. As usual, all the performers were great and interacted with the audience throughout the show.

If you are in Dayton, OH, be sure to grab tickets and get to show this weekend. They will be in town through Sunday. Click here to purchase tickets to a Disney On Ice show near you!

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I received something of value from Feld Entertainment as part of their Insider Program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

*All photos taken by Michelle VanHuss for DomesticatingMichelle.com. Not to be copied or used for any other purpose.*

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