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Sunday, November 30, 2014

Unofficial Harry Potter Day in Disneyland 11/2/2014

Once Upon A Time there was an Unofficial Day at Disneyland that centered around the World of Harry Potter. Sadly November 2nd, 2014 was the last one, well at least the last one put on by this group. Maybe another group will continue the tradition? One never can tell but let's take a look at some of the Magic my friends Kristen, Stephanie and I made inside both Disneyland and Disney California Adventure.
This adventure all started one day when an owl delivered this letter to me. Ok, well I made this myself but you get the idea. The letter that I had been waiting  for my entire life. The letter that said I was accepted into Hogwarts!
And there is no better way to celebrate than to head to the local Starbucks in the parks to create pumpkin juice! It is a very refreshing beverage on any day!
The girls are ready to take the train to school!
All aboard! We totally got photobombed by the kid behind me!
This looks like a great place to wake the supernatural!
The statue reminds me of a dementor.
How fitting for Kristen, the Gryffindor!
Our Slytherin, Stephanie found a snake over at the Temple of The Forbidden Eye.
Then she ran into her head master, Professor Snape!
The castle is always a magical place.
It's suppose to be a power pose. Yeah, I didn't think it worked either!
I then tried my hand at removing the sword from the stone.
Tired of doing magic we boarded another train!
Then we headed to the magic shop and I found this fantastic book on magic wands!
Someone looks bored writing down her spells.
Yeah, I did that!
We all know you are up to no good!
The girls are perfecting their spells!
Stephanie looks like she is about to fly up into the air near the magic mirror!
Kristen is not pleased that I interrupted her reading!
I, on the other hand, was way too tired from all of my reading!
Almost got it!
Stephanie has made fire and Kristen is most pleased!
I will not be out done!
In the end, I ended up in prison some how. Maybe someone will take pity upon me and free me!

It truly was a magical day! We had a great time on the last Unofficial Harry Potter Day in Disneyland! By simply looking around you can find some great Harry Potter type areas in both Disneyland and Disney California Adventure! I hope you enjoyed the day with us!

Microwave Peanut Brittle Recipe


Ingredients:


  • cup
     sugar
  • 1/2 cup white Karo
  • dash salt
  • cup shelled raw peanuts (pecans, walnuts, sunflower seed, etc.)
  • tablespoon margarine
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • teaspoon vanilla


Directions:

  1. 1
    Line baking sheet with wax paper.
  2. 2
    Spray wax paper with Pam.
  3. 3
    Combine sugar, salt and Karo in a 3 quart microwave safe glass bowl.
  4. 4
    Stir in peanuts.
  5. 5
    Microwave on high until light brown (8 to 10 minutes) stirring at least 2 times during cooking.
  6. 6
    Remove from microwave and stir in remaining ingredients adding baking soda last (mix will be foamy).
  7. 7
    Stir quickly and pour onto wax paper.
  8. 8
    Spread thin for brittle candy.
  9. 9
    Note: You can use any type nuts you prefer or even sunflower seeds (which is my favorite).

Tech Review: Amazon Fire TV by Staff Writer Kevin Wolfe


I have been a member of Amazon Prime for a few years now, but it has only been a little over a year now that I have been able to really take advantage of the video streaming library that is offered as part of the subscription. I have to admit that, while somewhat extensive, the total selection of movies and television shows that Amazon offers, of which a smaller chunk are offered for free through Prime, pales in comparison to Netflix, while the price for a yearly subscription is about the same. However, I consider the ability to get free two-day shipping on just about anything I order, any time I want, without a minimum purchase, as well as the newly offered ad-free music streaming library, to at least somewhat make up for any shortcoming. Enough of that though.


Earlier this year, Amazon introduced fireTV, a small, simple, media receiver that allows the user to stream anything from the Amazon video library, in high definition when available. It also provides access to your music library, watchlist and library of purchased video content, as well as photos stored on your Amazon Cloud Drive. In addition, the device has the ability to load select apps and games. Many of the apps allow access to additional music and video streaming (e.g. Netflix, YouTube, Pandora), as well as productivity, health, and information. Some games though, require the use of a separate game controller, sold separately.

Provided you have a high definition enabled TV, setup is a breeze, especially if you are already a member of Amazon Prime. The packaging includes just three items: the receiver, AC adapter, and fireTV remote with batteries. All you need is an HDMI cable to connect the unit to your TV. You then have the option of connecting to the internet via Wi-Fi or, if necessary, Ethernet cable. I was easily able to find my Wi-Fi network and get connected. I was also happily surprised to find that, as a Prime Member, my Amazon account was already pre-loaded on the device. As with its console counterparts, the user interface of fireTV is quite self-intuitive and easy to navigate, allowing you to effortlessly browse top selections from various genres for both TV and movies. However, this simplicity and user-friendly display comes again at the small cost of only seeing a fraction of available titles displayed without using the search tool. Thanks to a recent update, Prime users will find an additional category that allows them to browse only titles that are included with their membership, including those recently added and Prime exclusives. Also included with the update, parents have the option to utilize “FreeTime,” which allows them to control not only how much time kids have to watch, but also what they are watching (For those without kids, this option can be hidden from the main menu via settings).


There are many things I especially like about using fireTV as well as a couple ideas I have for improvement. One of the things I enjoy most about fireTV apart from other mediums is the ability to instantly access the Amazon service without having to navigate through several menus or point a browser. Second, a feature which currently makes Fire TV unique from other streaming consoles is the ability to do a voice search for any type of media offered through the device. It seems to work very well at recognizing any search term I give it, with little error. One thing that I would like to see in an update though is the ability to limit searches to Prime titles as well as access to Prime Music, a new feature of the Prime service. Another great feature, which appears to currently be unique to access via internet browsers, would be the ability to see expiration alerts for Prime titles in my watchlist. That being said, while it is not perfect, fireTV is poised to be a power player against other streaming modules, such as Roku and AppleTV. It is small, easy to use, and quickly becoming quite versatile. What I think would help it most though is that Amazon continue to greatly expand its video streaming library, especially with respect to titles offered to Prime subscribers.  


Giveaway: Chip Mug from Disney's Beauty and The Beast

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Friday, November 28, 2014

Star Wars: The Force Awakens Official Teaser Trailer Plus Exclusive Images!


Get your first look at Star Wars: The Force Awakens in the new 88-second teaser.

Episode VII in the Star Wars Saga, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, opens in theaters December 18, 2015.


Official Site: http://www.starwars.com/theforceawakens

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Star Wars: The Force Awakens, directed by J.J. Abrams from a screenplay by Lawrence Kasdan & Abrams, features a cast including actors John Boyega, Daisy Ridley, Adam Driver, Oscar Isaac, Andy Serkis, Academy Award winner Lupita Nyong’o, Gwendoline Christie, Crystal Clarke, Pip Andersen, Domhnall Gleeson, and Max von Sydow. They will join the original stars of the saga, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Mark Hamill, Anthony Daniels, Peter Mayhew, and Kenny Baker.

The film is being produced by Kathleen Kennedy, J.J. Abrams, and Bryan Burk, and John Williams returns as the composer.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Pumpkin Martini Recipe


Ingredients:


  • fluid ounce
     heavy whipping cream (or for a little lighter you can use half and half)
  • fluid ounce spiced rum (Captain Morgans is my choice)
  • 1/2 fluid ounce pumpkin spice syrup
  • nutmeg
  • cinnamon
  • whipped whipping cream

Directions:

  1. 1
    Fill your martini shaker with crushed ice and use a chilled martini glass.
  2. 2
    Put all ingredients in shaker and shake for a minute or so.
  3. 3
    Pour into glass. Grind a little nutmeg on top.
  4. 4
    You can also rim the glass with cinnamon sugar and put in a cinnamon stick.
  5. 5
    Enjoy!

Giveaway: $25 Disney Store Gift Card

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Apple Pie Nachos Recipe

Ingredients:

Crispas

  • tortillas
  • tablespoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • cups vegetable oil

Apple Pie Mix

  • baking apples, diced into 1/2 inch pieces 
  • teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • tablespoons brown sugar (light or dark)
  • ounce Amaretto

Toppings

  • cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/4 cup pecans, chopped

Directions:

  1. 1
    Heat oil until it "speaks" when you sprinkle water into it. Cut each tortilla in half, then cut each half into 4 wedges.
  2. 2
    Mix cinnamon and sugar in a shallow dish with another paper towel lined dish right next to it.
  3. 3
    Put 2-4 tortilla wedges into the hot oil and cook until light brown on each side, flipping only once (this should take about 1 minute). Remove immediately from oil one by one and completely cover in cinnamon sugar mixture on both sides before placing on towel lined dish to cool and drain.
  4. 4
    When finished with crispas, toss together diced apples and lemon juice.
  5. 5
    Put apples, lemon juice and amaretto into a medium-sized skillet and cook over medium heat until apples just start to get tender and barely break down.
  6. 6
    Add brown sugar and stir well until evenly distributed. Remove pan from heat.
  7. 7
    Beat heavy whipping cream (works best in a chilled bowl) just until stiff.
  8. 8
    Gradually add sugar and vanilla and beat until stiff peaks form.
  9. 9
    On a plate or platter, set out each crispa individually. Top with a teaspoon or more of apple mixture, then a dollop of whipped cream. Sprinkle with chopped pecans.

Strange Magic Official Trailer

“Strange Magic,” a new animated film from Lucasfilm Ltd., is a madcap fairy tale musical inspired by “A Midsummer Night's Dream.” Popular songs from the past six decades help tell the tale of a colorful cast of goblins, elves, fairies and imps, and their hilarious misadventures sparked by the battle over a powerful potion. Lucasfilm Animation Singapore and Industrial Light & Magic bring to life the fanciful forest turned upside down with world-class animation and visual effects. Directed by Gary Rydstrom (“Toy Story Toons: Hawaiian Vacation,” “Lifted”) from a story by George Lucas, “Strange Magic” will be released by Touchstone Pictures on Jan. 23, 2015

Notes:
·         Lucasfilm Animation Singapore and Industrial Light & Magic created the CGI animation for 2011’s Academy Award®-winning film “Rango.”
·         Well-known music producer Marius de Vries (“Moulin Rouge”) serves as both the musical director and composer.

Meet Disgust from Pixar's Inside Out

Meet Disgust. She is to thank when you see #TransformationTuesday photos of your trusty old bowl cut.

Inside Out comes to US theatres in 3D on June 19, 2015. 

From an adventurous balloon ride above the clouds to a monster-filled metropolis, Academy Award®-winning director Pete Docter (“Monsters, Inc.,” “Up”) has taken audiences to unique and imaginative places. In Disney•Pixar’s original movie “ Inside Out,” he will take us to the most extraordinary location of all—inside the mind. 

Growing up can be a bumpy road, and it's no exception for Riley, who is uprooted from her Midwest life when her father starts a new job in San Francisco. Like all of us, Riley is guided by her emotions – Joy (Amy Poehler), Fear (Bill Hader), Anger (Lewis Black), Disgust (Mindy Kaling) and Sadness (Phyllis Smith). The emotions live in Headquarters, the control center inside Riley’s mind, where they help advise her through everyday life. As Riley and her emotions struggle to adjust to a new life in San Francisco, turmoil ensues in Headquarters. Although Joy, Riley's main and most important emotion, tries to keep things positive, the emotions conflict on how best to navigate a new city, house and school.

Meet Joy from Pixar's Inside Out

Meet Joy. Let’s all thank her for that overwhelming Friday feeling that is taking us over today. #InsideOut #TGIF 

Inside Out comes to US theatres in 3D on June 19, 2015. 

From an adventurous balloon ride above the clouds to a monster-filled metropolis, Academy Award®-winning director Pete Docter (“Monsters, Inc.,” “Up”) has taken audiences to unique and imaginative places. In Disney•Pixar’s original movie “ Inside Out,” he will take us to the most extraordinary location of all—inside the mind. 

Growing up can be a bumpy road, and it's no exception for Riley, who is uprooted from her Midwest life when her father starts a new job in San Francisco. Like all of us, Riley is guided by her emotions – Joy (Amy Poehler), Fear (Bill Hader), Anger (Lewis Black), Disgust (Mindy Kaling) and Sadness (Phyllis Smith). The emotions live in Headquarters, the control center inside Riley’s mind, where they help advise her through everyday life. As Riley and her emotions struggle to adjust to a new life in San Francisco, turmoil ensues in Headquarters. Although Joy, Riley's main and most important emotion, tries to keep things positive, the emotions conflict on how best to navigate a new city, house and school.

Meet Fear from Pixar's Inside Out

Meet Fear. He's the reason you avoid the awkward years when #ThrowbackThursday rolls around. 

Inside Out comes to US theatres in 3D on June 19, 2015. 

From an adventurous balloon ride above the clouds to a monster-filled metropolis, Academy Award®-winning director Pete Docter (“Monsters, Inc.,” “Up”) has taken audiences to unique and imaginative places. In Disney•Pixar’s original movie “ Inside Out,” he will take us to the most extraordinary location of all—inside the mind. 

Growing up can be a bumpy road, and it's no exception for Riley, who is uprooted from her Midwest life when her father starts a new job in San Francisco. Like all of us, Riley is guided by her emotions – Joy (Amy Poehler), Fear (Bill Hader), Anger (Lewis Black), Disgust (Mindy Kaling) and Sadness (Phyllis Smith). The emotions live in Headquarters, the control center inside Riley’s mind, where they help advise her through everyday life. As Riley and her emotions struggle to adjust to a new life in San Francisco, turmoil ensues in Headquarters. Although Joy, Riley's main and most important emotion, tries to keep things positive, the emotions conflict on how best to navigate a new city, house and school.

Meet Anger from Pixar's Inside Out

Meet Anger. He's the reason you’ll never be happy that this week isn’t even half over.

Inside Out comes to US theatres in 3D on June 19, 2015. 

From an adventurous balloon ride above the clouds to a monster-filled metropolis, Academy Award®-winning director Pete Docter (“Monsters, Inc.,” “Up”) has taken audiences to unique and imaginative places. In Disney•Pixar’s original movie “ Inside Out,” he will take us to the most extraordinary location of all—inside the mind. 

Growing up can be a bumpy road, and it's no exception for Riley, who is uprooted from her Midwest life when her father starts a new job in San Francisco. Like all of us, Riley is guided by her emotions – Joy (Amy Poehler), Fear (Bill Hader), Anger (Lewis Black), Disgust (Mindy Kaling) and Sadness (Phyllis Smith). The emotions live in Headquarters, the control center inside Riley’s mind, where they help advise her through everyday life. As Riley and her emotions struggle to adjust to a new life in San Francisco, turmoil ensues in Headquarters. Although Joy, Riley's main and most important emotion, tries to keep things positive, the emotions conflict on how best to navigate a new city, house and school.

Meet Sadness from Pixar's Inside Out

Meet Sadness. You have her to thank for your chronic case of the Mondays.

Inside Out comes to US theatres in 3D on June 19, 2015. 

From an adventurous balloon ride above the clouds to a monster-filled metropolis, Academy Award®-winning director Pete Docter (“Monsters, Inc.,” “Up”) has taken audiences to unique and imaginative places. In Disney•Pixar’s original movie “ Inside Out,” he will take us to the most extraordinary location of all—inside the mind. 

Growing up can be a bumpy road, and it's no exception for Riley, who is uprooted from her Midwest life when her father starts a new job in San Francisco. Like all of us, Riley is guided by her emotions – Joy (Amy Poehler), Fear (Bill Hader), Anger (Lewis Black), Disgust (Mindy Kaling) and Sadness (Phyllis Smith). The emotions live in Headquarters, the control center inside Riley’s mind, where they help advise her through everyday life. As Riley and her emotions struggle to adjust to a new life in San Francisco, turmoil ensues in Headquarters. Although Joy, Riley's main and most important emotion, tries to keep things positive, the emotions conflict on how best to navigate a new city, house and school.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Photos from the Q&A with the cast and filmmakers of Disney's Into The Woods!


Take a look at some of the images from tonight's Q&A with the cast and filmmakers of INTO THE WOODS (Meryl Streep, Emily Blunt, James Corden, Anna Kendrick, Chris Pine, Tracey Ullman, Christine Baranski, director Rob Marshall and screenwriter James Lapine).The cast & filmmakers took part in a Q&A in NY simultaneously seen in LA on Saturday, November 22. Into the Woods opens in theaters Christmas Day.










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