Monday, October 31, 2011

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Once Upon a Time

Tonight was the second episode of the new Fairy Tale inspired show from the creative minds at Disney and ABC. The premise is interesting, the Evil Queen has cursed all of the fairy tale characters to lives in our world with no happy endings. None of the characters remember who they were, and all of their lives have been changed, and not for the better. The first show told the story of what brought everyone into this unfortunate situation. The second gave more behind the scenes of how the Evil Queen enacted the curse that brought the characters to our world. It also introduced the Once Upon a Time version of Maleficent, who wasn't nearly as frightening as the one in the animated Disney film Sleeping Beauty. The next episode will give more insight into how Prince Charming and Snow White came together.
So far, I like it. The characters are interesting and engaging. I want to know more about them and what history brought them into their current troubles. The costumes from the fairy tale scenes are fantastic and I look forward to seeing what else the designers have created. In all, it's a show worth watching.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Quote of the Week

"Just because you can't understand something, it doesn't mean it's wrong." -- Arthur, Sword in the Stone

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Boo!

This video came with the following description: "This is a car advertisement from Great Britain. When they finished filming the ad, the film editor noticed something moving along the side of the car, like a ghostly white mist. They found out that a person had been killed a year earlier in that exact same spot. The ad was never put on TV because of the unexplained ghostly phenomenon. Watch the front end of the car as it clears the trees in the middle of the screen and you'll see the white mist crossing in front of the car then following it along the road.....Spooky! Is it a ghost, or is it simply mist? You decide. If you listen closely to the ad, you'll even hear the cameraman whispering in the background about it near the end of the commercial."

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Halloween Books for Adults

When Halloween rolls around, it's always fun to read something a little spooky. I love reading Halloween stories, or just stories that are scary. Here are a few of my favorites.

Dracula - Published in 1897, Dracula has become the classic story of a vampire. This story, by Bram Stoker, was inspired by Stoker's years of research on vampires and European folklore. Written as a series of letters, diary entries, and newspaper clippings, Stoker presented the story as if it was had really happened. Stoker was interested in tales of Vlad the Impaler and included him in his story of a vampire who was creepy and classy by turns.



Frankenstein: or the Modern Prometheus - In 1816, Mary Shelley created this tale of terror during a night of drunken debauchery with her husband, Percy Bysshe Shelley, her stepsister Claire Clairmont, Lord Byron and his doctor, Dr. John Polidori. While Mary initially considered this to be a good start to a short story, eventually it became the novel Frankenstein. Mary may have been inspired by tales of Johann Conrad Dippel, who conducted experiments in reanimation at Castle Frankenstein, near Geneva. While Dippel's experiments likely involved animals, rumors persisted that he had in fact raided graveyards for human corpses. In the end, Dippel's only discovery was the dye, Prussian Blue, which may have been the cause of his death.

The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde - Written in 1885 by Robert Louis Stevenson, this story was nearly discarded by the author before it was published. Stevenson was ill at the time and was confined to bed. His wife heard him cry out and went to wake him, at which point, he said, "Why did you wake me? I was dreaming a fine bogey tale." Inspired by the dream, Stevenson completed the first draft of the story in less than three days. His wife read the story and offered her comments that it should be an allegory and was a truly frightening start. Stevenson burned the first manuscript, either because it scared his wife, or because he wanted to change it to an allegorical tale. He then spent the next six days rewriting the manuscript that became Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.

The Collected Tales of Edgar Allen Poe - Between 1826 & 1848, Poe wrote many horrifying tales of terror. Among them are The Raven, in which a bird torments a man by it's mere presence, The Tell-Tale Heart, in which a man has committed murder and is tormented by the ghostly beating of the dead man's heart, and The Murders in the Rue Morgue, in which a mysterious figure has killed a family in an impossible manner. Other tales, several of which have been made into movies starring Vincent Price, include: The Masque of the Red Death, A Cask of Amontillado, The Fall of the House of Usher, and the Pit and the Pendulum.


The Legend of Sleepy Hollow - Written by Washington Irving in 1820, the story was based on an old German folktale set in Sleepy Hollow, New York. The Dutch settlers told tales of a spectral horseman that rode through the Hollow, frightening the locals. Irving may have based some of the characters, such as Katrina Van Tassel and Ichabod Crane, on local residents that he knew. Even the names are variations of locals that Irving spent time with.




The Monkey's Paw - Written in 1902, this short story by W. W. Jacobs, reminds us to be careful what you wish for. The plot revolves around a monkey's paw, blessed by a fakir in India, that will grant three wishes each to three different men. Sergeant-Major Morris, who possesses the paw, tells a old friend of the paw, but warns him and his family of the sorrow it brings, saying, "It had a spell put on it by an old fakir, a very holy man. He wanted to show that fate ruled people's lives, and that those who interfered with it did so to their sorrow." 

The Picture of Dorian Gray - Published in 1890, this terrifying tale by Oscar Wilde tells the story of young Dorian Gray, a man of astonishing physical beauty. After having his portrait painted, young Gray meets a man who convinces him that the only things worth pursuing are beauty and pleasure. Gray agrees, but wishes that he could sell his soul so that his portrait could age instead of him. His wish is granted, with each horrific act of debauchery appearing as disfigurement of the portrait as a reflection of the damage to his soul.

For a good scare, a small thrill of terror, a story that will make you jump at the smallest sound, try one of these classics. They're creepy good fun!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Halloween Jokes

Just in time for Halloween, Disney has released Fozzie Bear's favorite kid-friendly Halloween jokes. As you would expect, they're terrible, and yet still funny.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Halloween Books for Kids

We love to read at our house. I've read to Bean nearly every night since she was born. As a result, we have a lot of books. When it comes to Halloween stories, we have quite the collection. Here are a few of my favorites.

Pumpkin Light by David Ray - This story has the most beautiful pictures. It's the story of a young boy named Angus who's favorite day is Halloween. One night, Angus stays out to late and gets into trouble with an enchanted scarecrow and a magical pumpkin. This is one Halloween he'll never forget.







The Little Old Lady Who Was Not Afraid of Anything by Linda D. Williams - This story is just a little bit spooky. A little old lady keeps hearing things behind her as she walks home. Every time she looks back, she sees another piece of clothing following her home making eerie noises, but she's not afraid. Another fun story with lots of beautiful pictures.





Beneath the Ghost Moon by Jane Yolen - This rhyming story tells the tale of a house full of mice and the creeps who try to destroy their fun. The mice fight the creeps to win back their house and allow them to celebrate the Ghost Eve Ball. A fun book to read with an exciting story.




Halloween Bugs: A Trick or Treat Pop Up Book by David A. Carter - I love the Bugs books. Pop Up books have always been a family favorite and, although simply written, the pop ups are hilarious! We love finding the bugs hiding behind whimsical doors. My favorite is the cemetery at the end.

Angelina's Halloween by Katharine Holabird - Angelina and Alice have made wonderful, delicate firefly costumes for Halloween. Angelina's little sister Polly wants to be a firefly, too, but Angelina insists she's too little. After Polly decides to be a ghost, they go out Trick or Treating, and Polly gives Angelina quite a scare.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

SteamBath Factory's month of give-aways 2

We love the jams and jellies to be found on Etsy. One of our very favorites shops for lipbalm, solid perfume, and bathsalt is SteamBath Factory. For the month of September, SteamBath Factory is hosting a series of weekly give-aways. The second give-away is from The Poisoned Apples. This shop is full of yummy caramels and caramel apples. The caramel apples look so good, especially the Steampunk Octopus Caramel Apples and the Pumpkin Spice Caramel Bars. If you like caramel apples and Halloween, hop over to SteamBath Factory's blog and enter to win!

Quote of the Week

"If watching is all you're gonna do, then you're gonna watch your life go by without you." -- Laverne the Gargoyle, Hunchback of Notre Dame

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

More Halloween Movies for Kids

I love Halloween movies, especially kids movies. In the past few weeks, we've picked up a few new Halloween films that are definitely worth sharing.

Scared Shrekless - Everyone's favorite ogre is back with Halloween thrills and chills. Shrek dares his pals to a scare-off; each one will tell a scary story while spending the night in Lord Farquaad's spooky castle. The last one standing is the King of Halloween. This is a fantastic addition to the Shrek series and is funny and a little bit spooky. Also included is a Shrek-ed out parody of the Michael Jackson video Thriller.

Monster vs. Aliens: Mutant Pumpkins from Outer Space - We love Monsters vs. Aliens. This story takes place on Halloween night. Susan and the gang have been sent to Susan's hometown to stop an alien invasion. Each member of the gang has their own Halloween issues that they try to overcome while looking for the aliens. The aliens are actually Mutant Pumpkins with a serious sweet tooth. This short film is a lot of fun, more silly and less scary than a lot of other kids Halloween films. The DVD is available as a two-pack with Scared Shrekless at a considerable discount.

The Cat in the Hat Knows A Lot About That: Tricks and Treats - This is a collection of spooky and Halloween stories from the popular children's series on PBS. The description on the back is perfect: A new spooky adventure this DVD brings, with The Cat, Nick and Sally, Fish and the Things. Meet the eeriest critters you have ever seen, arrived just in time for this Halloween! There will be lots of tricks and, of course lots of treats, to share with the animal friends you will meet! There's a coconut crab, spider monkeys and bats, and plenty more fun with The Cat in the Hat! If you like the way The Cat introduces Nick and Sally to new animals and situations, this DVD is for you.

Eloise's Rawther Unusual Halloween - Eloise, the precocious 6 year old who live at the Plaza Hotel, is convinced that the Plaza's most flamboyant former resident, Diamond Jim Johnson, has returned to haunt the hotel. She meets Diamond Jim, but nobody believes her stories of the hungry ghost. When eerie sights and sounds begins scaring the Hotel's guests, Eloise must put her detective skills to good use, solve the mystery, and break the curse before she's accused of being behind the mischief. In all, it's a rawther unusual Eloise Halloween.

Charlie & Lola, Vol. 9: What Can I Wear for Halloween? - Although only one of the episodes involves Halloween, Charlie & Lola stories are always fantastic. Lola can't decide what costume to wear for Halloween, but with the help of her brother Charlie and a lot of imagination, she can do anything.

Madeline's Halloween and Other Spooky Tales - I love the stories of Madeline, the little French girl who lives at a boarding school run by Miss Clavel with her 11 friends and a dog named Genevieve. My favorite episode on this DVD is Madeline and the Spider Lady. Madeline and her friends go to New York for Halloween to meet their pen pals and end up having a wild adventure.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Pirates of the Caribbean

If you're a Pirates of the Caribbean fan, you know that the fourth film in the series, On Stranger Tides, is available on DVD and Blu-ray today. I am so excited to watch this again. Bean and I LOVED it. We watched it in the theater twice and really enjoyed it both times. Disney Movie Rewards members can get a $5 off coupon from the website towards purchase of the 5-disc combo pack. If you purchase the combo pack from Target, the price will be $24.99 after the coupon and you will also receive a mini Lego ship. Pirates and Legos, what could be better?

Friday, October 14, 2011

Halloween Goodies

As I'm sure you've noticed, I have a bit of a Halloween obsession, and I love when my two obsessions combine. The newest Halloween items at the Disney Store are straight from Disney Theme Parks. Here are a few of my favorites.
This t-shirt is so cute! Webbed Icon Mickey Mouse Tee for Women
This Witch Minnie Mouse Hat is a fun twist on traditional Mouse Ears
We LOVE board games at our house and this one looks awesome! Haunted Mansion Life
I've been completely obsessed with knitting arm warmers lately and these Lace Jack Skellington Arm Warmers would make quite the fashion statement.
I just love this Costume Pirates of the Caribbean Hoodie, available in both kid and adult sizes. Its perfect for the pirate who doesn't really want to dress up but can't resist a little fun!
Last, but not least, the item that may just be my favorite; a Haunted Mansion Stretching Portrait #2 Pockitpal by Olszewski. This trinket box with a hidden magnetic closure is highly detailed and absolutely gorgeous!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Quote of the Week

"The most important thing is, even if we're apart, I'll always be with you." -- Winnie the Pooh

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Once Upon a Time

Disney has a new show airing this fall on ABC. Once Upon a Time promises to be an updated version of some classic fairytales. The show, which premiere's on October 23 at 8PM ET, begins in the story of Snow White. The Evil Queen uses her powers to casts a spell to prevent Snow White and her Prince Charming from living happily ever after. They are suddenly transported to a town in our time, but without their fairytale memories, except for the Evil Queen. Snow White is now Mary Margaret, a teacher. Prince Charming is a John Doe, and the Evil Queen is now Regina, the mayor of Storybrooke, Maine. The battle between good and evil has begun. Enter Emma Swan, a woman who is somehow connected to the characters of Storybrooke, but will she embrace her destiny? Other characters include Rumplestiltskin who becomes Mr. Gold, Jiminy Cricket who becomes Archie, and young Henry, Emma's son, who seems to know that the inhabitants are escaped fairytale characters.


I love fairytales and as such, I am really looking forward to the premiere of Once Upon a Time.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Bath & Body Works PocketBac Giveaway



There's only one more day to enter. If you love Halloween and Bath & Body Works PocketBacs, be sure to enter my giveaway. It ends Saturday at 11:59PM, so be sure to enter today!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Quote of the Week

"The world's still the same. There's just less in it." -- Captain Jack Sparrow

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Bath & Body Works PocketBac Giveaway

CLOSED
And the winner is....
Julie P. (babyofmine)!
Congratulations!!! 

Well, its finally October, so it must be time for my first giveaway. I love Bath & Body Works and all things Halloween, so I have been wanting to share a few of my favorite PocketBacs. Bath & Body Works PocketBacs are fantastic! They smell wonderful, don't dry your skin, and kill bacteria and germs all at the same time. They are constantly creating new scents and designs and I must admit, I'm addicted. I probably have 50 of them in my bathroom cupboard right now. My current favorites are the Halloween line. They have 11 different Halloween scents, each with a fun themed label: Skulls (Poison Apple), Scary Cats (Black Cherry), Bones (Monster Mint), Haunted House (Sourdrop), Ghost (Chocolate Chew), Bats (Gumball), Candy Corn (Caramel), Vampire Blood (Plum), Phantom Pumpkin (Pumpkin), Zombie Tonic (Marshmallow), and Bat Bite (Apple).

I will be giving away five of my favorite PocketBacs; Phantom Pumpkin, Bat Bite, Candy Corn, Zombie Tonic, and Vampire Blood. Zombie Tonic actually smells like real marshmallows and I just love the labels on the Vampire Blood and Phantom Pumpkin. In addition, I'll include one PocketBac holder in glow-in-the-dark green.


















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Giveaway Rules: Giveaway ends Saturday, October 8th at 11:59 pm EST. Giveaway open to U.S. residents only. All entries must have a valid email in blog profile or leave email address in comments. Winner will be chosen by random.org. I will notify the winner by email. The winner must respond with mailing information within 48 hours or a new winner will be chosen. Once the winner is confirmed, this post will be updated with the winner’s name and winning entry.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Muppet Fan-a-thon

Are you a Muppet fan? Well, who isn't? If you're on Facebook, and these days that's hard to avoid, stop by the page for the Muppets' new movie and join in on the Fan-a-thon. Miss Piggy is urging everyone to use their "likes" to get a bazillion likes for the new movie, something never before accomplished. So check out the  video and get to "like"ing.