Las Vegas Renaissance Festival

The Renaissance Festival is coming!!! We love this festival and try to go every year.  The kids love seeing the different costumes and it's so interactive with so many different things to do and see.  You can even camp for the weekend although I would not do that with young children as they might get scared of the costumed characters and festival attendees that dress up.  Grab your family and spend a day here, you might just get hooked and make this an annual thing like we did! 

Location:  Sunset Park 2601 East Sunset Rd. Las Vegas, NV 89120
October 11th & 12th 10am - 10pm
October 13th 10am - 5pm

10 “Must-Do” Activities For Sailing On A Large “New To You” Cruise Ship

Variety is the spice of life when it comes to cruising, say the travel experts at CruiseCompete, and sailing on different types of ships is a wonderful way to experience the world through different lenses. Each cruise ship is a new adventure, with its own unique style, amenities, and programs, and as such, deserves a thorough exploration.

Here are 10 “must-do” activities for when you sail on a large “new to you” cruise ship, according to a travel writer at CruiseCompete affiliate All Things Cruise.

1. Explore the entire ship, top to bottom. This will take some time. With the deck plan in hand, start at the highest level accessible to passengers. Walk bow to stern, portside in one direction, starboard in the other. Many might be unending lines of staterooms, but sometimes ship’s put little lounges or bars in unusual places. Move one deck lower. Repeat the process.

Why:  Many people see only a fraction of what’s on offer.

2. Visit every bar on every deck. This will also take some time. There’s probably at least a dozen, maybe double that. This includes bars in specialty restaurants and poolside bars. Assuming you drink, order something in each one. Talk to the bar staff.

Why:  Certain bars get crowded. Find out when you need to get to the popular ones and be able to get a seat. Establish one as your favorite.

3. Get as close to the bow as you can. At least one outside deck probably doubles as a jogging track. On a perfect day, while the ship is at sea, feel the (stiff) wind in your face. Look for dolphins. Look for other ships on the horizon.

Why:  It’s an exciting, often loud experience.

4. Read the ship’s program, cover to cover. Do it on one of your first days at sea. It’s easy to give it the once over and miss 60% of what’s going on. You might have eliminated paper documents from your life years ago, yet here’s one, delivered daily. There are lots of activities spelled out in the fine print. You may not be into needlework or trivia, but you might like blackjack lessons or cooking classes.

Why:  The idea is “There’s something for everybody.”  Are they right?

5. Visit every public space. OK, you gave the 12+ decks the once over early in the voyage. At a quiet time during a sea day, systematically visit every room that’s not a restaurant or someone’s stateroom. In addition to the theater and casino, there’s likely a card room, library, cigar lounge, gym with steam room and sauna, spa, tennis courts and a pool with a retractable glass roof.

Why:  We get into habits. We visit familiar spots, missing out on other features the ship offers.

6. Try at least one dining venue you might ignore. If you are a casual buffet guy, try the formal dining room. If you eat every meal in the dining room, try a specialty restaurant. If you always go for steak and potatoes, try the Asian restaurant.

Why:  If you do everything over and over, a sameness or routine develops. Mix it up.

7. Study the room service menu. Who opens the drawer and pulls out the booklet explaining things like how to make phone calls? Judging by its pristine condition, very few people. The room service menu should be in there. Everything is probably free or included in your fare. How about a romantic dinner for two on your balcony? Think about planning a cabin party for your friends.

Why:  If you entertain at home, why should your cruise be any different? Especially if someone else does the cooking! 

8. Find a quiet spot. Large ships can mean large crowds. Think lots of kids having a great time in the pool, oblivious to how far water travels when you jump in from a great height. Find a spot, sheltered from the wind, ideally with some shade.

Why:  This becomes your special spot to decompress. You read. You nap. Maybe, just maybe, you share it with others.

9. Visit all the channels on your stateroom TV. At sea, your selection is limited, but the cruise ships do what they can to provide variety. You’ve probably got news stations. They might run some movies. Maybe they replay lectures and talks. There may be a few music only channels. There’s probably a bow camera view too.

Why:  Someone back at company HQ probably figured out what their passenger demographic wants to watch while on vacation. What did they choose?

10. Pamper yourself. When was the last time you had a full body massage? Enjoyed a 25-year-old scotch? Ordered caviar and champagne? Pick something you really enjoy that you don’t usually do at home.

Why:  Vacations are meant to help us decompress. They also create memories we revisit when things get stressful in our lives back home. Create some of those memories.

Many people drift through life. Others embark on new experiences with the attitude “If I never pass this way again, what should I do to make the most of this experience? Which are you?

CruiseCompete member-agents are the most well-educated, forward-thinking and trusted cruise specialists in the industry. If you’d like more information or assistance planning a future cruise or a cruisetour, please visit CruiseCompete and try the Virtual Cruise Advisor™ or Live Help.

Learn To Draw Aladdin & Abu

To celebrate the animated classic, Aladdin, which joins the highly celebrated Walt Disney Signature Collection on Blu-ray TODAY, Art for Kids Hub has created a step-by-step guide on how to draw the lovable characters, Aladdin and his sidekick Abu! Check out the video!

Embark on a magic carpet ride with the entire family when Disney's original animated classic Aladdin soars into the highly celebrated Walt Disney Signature Collection, now on Digital and available on 4K, Blu-ray and DVD.  The all-new live action version of Aladdin (which we loved!) is also available today!

Fun Alarm Clocks for Back to School

*Disclosure: Product was provided to help facilitate this feature. 

With the school year in full swing getting back into the routine of waking up early can be tough.  Seiko and The Coco-Cola Company have teamed together to help kids get up and to school on time!  At exactly the same time as Kintaro Hattori was planning to open his Seikosha factory and to create his first ever wall clock, Doc Pemberton in Atlanta, Georgia created a drink that would soon sweep the world.  Both companies are celebrating 130 years in business this year and have collaborated on some sweet clocks that could make a perfect back to school gift or even a little stocking stuffer! These clocks feature an alarm clock, snooze function and light.

NEW! Out this week - The Swan Princess: Kingdom of Music

**Disclosure: No monetary compensation was received.  We did receive the movie & plush to help facilitate this feature. 

A new installment of the enchanted tale - The Swan Princess: Kingdom of Music debuted this week on both Digital and DVD from Sony Pictures Entertainment. Can you believe this year marks the 25th Anniversary of the beloved franchise that continues to captures hearts around the world?!  Fans of all generations will be coming together with memories of watching as a child or making new memories with your young one as they grow.  I have daughters and granddaughters and always get so excited when I can share something with them that I have been a fan of for years.  Our family always tries to make one weekend night a movie night where we get together, watch movies and eat.  I absolutely love family time and this movie is perfect for it.

If your kids are like mine, they can't sit still for very long without having something in their hands to play with.  My granddaughter also likes to dress up like a princess - literally everyday! lol!  Here is a quick and easy water bottle maraca that is awesome for everyone to make (no matter the age) and "shake" along with the music! 

In the newest film in the series, THE SWAN PRINCESS: KINGDOM OF MUSIC, our favorite princesses are back in an all new feature-length musical adventure. Princess Odette is hosting a music competition to celebrate Princess Alise’s birthday - the winner will sing at her grand birthday ball! Prince Li of Cathay has entered, but his sister Princess Mei Li has stowed away on his ship to seek help from Odette and Derek for Chen, who has been cursed to live as a dragon. Lucas and Alise are reunited but Prince Li’s arrival makes Alise doubt her feelings. While Li and Lucas fight for Alise’s heart, Derek and Odette try to help Mei Li and Chen break the curse. Who will win the music festival and will Chen ever be free from his curse?

Included with the Kingdom of Music DVD are interactive sing-alongs featuring two all-new toe-tapping tunes from the film and a behind-the-scenes featurette that explores how the world and characters of the film were brought to life.

THE SWAN PRINCESS has a runtime of approximately 90 minutes. THE SWAN PRINCESS: KINGDOM OF MUSIC has a runtime of approximately 83 minutes. Both films are rated G. 

**Plush as seen in our Instagram post as well as other movie merchandise can be purchased here


Win an Oceanfront Condo and Change Your Life! Vacation Myrtle Beach, one of the largest providers of family vacation accommodations in Myrtle Beach, SC, is pleased to announce the launch of The Great Myrtle Beach Condo Giveaway contest, which features the grand prize of a furnished oceanfront condo at The Caravelle Resort located in Myrtle Beach, SC, valued at nearly $100,000 (or $50,000 CASH, winner's choice)!!! Other lucky winners will receive a 7-night stay or a 3-night stay at one of Vacation Myrtle Beach's oceanfront properties.

The newly renovated, oceanfront efficiency condo offers room for up to four guests and includes a fully-equipped kitchen. In addition to its prime Myrtle Beach location, the resort provides convenient access to all of the area's major attractions, restaurants, and things to do. Families and couples enjoy a wide variety of on-site amenities including an indoor pool, a block-long poolscape complete with a large pool, whirlpool, lazy river, kiddie lazy river, kids' pool, poolside bar, and plenty of relaxing deck options. In addition to everything you need for fun in the sun, the resort offers an array of dining options as well as an opportunity for rejuvenation and relaxation at its on-site spa.

For Official Rules and for more information about Vacation Myrtle Beach properties and deals, please go to

Celebrating the release of Dumbo!

Dumbo, the grand live-action adventure from Disney and visionary director Tim Burton, which expanded on the beloved animated classic and sent spirits soaring, prepares for a landing today!  Fall in love again with this heartfelt story when it swoops into homes on Digital in HD and 4K Ultra HD  Movies Anywhere and physically on 4k Ultra HD, Blu-ray and DVD with never before seen bonus features, deleted scenes, bloopers and more!

I grew up with this movie and loved being able to share it with my kids and grandkids.  It's always a special moment reliving my memories while making new ones with family.  And who doesn't love animals, right?! We made a night of it learning how to juggle just like the circus performers in the film and snacking on Showstopping Sprinkled Animal Crackers while watching the movie.  Did you know that juggling actually sharpens your mind and quickens your reflexes, so start practicing with the step by step guide we've included below.   

The Swan Princess - 25 Year Anniversary!

In celebration of the 25th anniversary of the Golden Globe-nominated animated classic THE SWAN PRINCESS, Sony Pictures Home Entertainment is making the fan-favorite available in brilliant high definition for the first time ever with a collectible anniversary edition Blu-ray and in 4K HDR on digital, both available on October 29th. As fans reminisce over 25 years of the beloved series, they will also be able to enjoy the newest magical installment when THE SWAN PRINCESS: KINGDOM OF MUSIC debuts on DVD and Digital August 6.
THE SWAN PRINCESS, a magical, musical animated adventure based on the classic fairy tale "Swan Lake" has captured the hearts of audiences around the world. The winner of the Film Advisory Board Award of Excellence and the Parents' Choice Award, it's the heartwarming story of the beautiful princess Odette, who is transformed into a swan by an evil sorcerer's spell. Held captive at an enchanted lake, she befriends Jean-Bob the frog, Speed the turtle and Puffin the bird. Despite their struggle to keep the princess safe, these good-natured creatures can do nothing about the sorcerer's spell, which can only be broken by a vow of everlasting love. THE SWAN PRINCESS is bursting with color, dazzling animation, beautiful music and the vocal talents of Jack Palance, John Cleese, Steven Wright, Sandy Duncan and Michelle Nicastro.
The 25 anniversary Blu-ray release includes an all-new featurette entitled “A Look Back, Tease Ahead,” plus a variety of additional archival features.
In the newest film in the series, THE SWAN PRINCESS: KINGDOM OF MUSIC, our favorite princesses are back in an all new feature-length musical adventure. Princess Odette is hosting a music competition to celebrate Princess Alise’s birthday - the winner will sing at her grand birthday ball! Prince Li of Cathay has entered, but his sister Princess Mei Li has stowed away on his ship to seek help from Odette and Derek for Chen, who has been cursed to live as a dragon. Lucas and Alise are reunited but Prince Li’s arrival makes Alise doubt her feelings. While Li and Lucas fight for Alise’s heart, Derek and Odette try to help Mei Li and Chen break the curse. Who will win the music festival and will Chen ever be free from his curse?

Included with the Kingdom of Music DVD are interactive sing-alongs featuring two all-new toe-tapping tunes from the film and a behind-the-scenes featurette that explores how the world and characters of the film were brought to life.
THE SWAN PRINCESS has a runtime of approximately 90 minutes. THE SWAN PRINCESS: KINGDOM OF MUSIC has a runtime of approximately 83 minutes. Both films are rated G.

It's Jerky Day! Celebrate with T.O.P. Chops Snacks

Beef jerky can be known for its tough and chewy texture, but one snack brand believes consumers deserve a more tender experience. And in honor of National Jerky Day, they’re celebrating with 50% off first-time orders. Now that is a discount you will want to take advantage of!! T.O.P. Chops Jerky is a handcrafted jerky made from American beef with no additives or preservatives, and it’s grown from an at-home hobby to a thriving, national snack brand disrupting the jerky industry—in just six short years.

Dusty Jaquins, who is one of the co-founders of T.O.P. Chops, started making jerky from his Atlanta kitchen using an old family recipe. Everyone who tried it raved over the taste and texture, encouraging Jaquins to take the jerky to market. Jaquins and his fellow co-founder, Luke Sellers, knew they had to share the southern-born beef jerky with the world.

Today, T.O.P. Chops Jerky is a national brand, offered at many major grocery retailers across the country. What makes the jerky better? Jaquins explains how special and different come down to three important things:

T.O.P Chops only uses USDA Graded Select or better beef

Most jerky that’s made in the U.S. uses ungraded meats from dairy cattle, which are cows that no longer produce milk. Jaquins says, “T.O.P. Chops changes the standard by only using USDA Graded Select or better beef that’s sourced from steers raised in the U.S.” He explains how using American beef from steers—as opposed to dairy cattle—makes their jerky incredibly tender and provides an authentic beef flavor.

Thin cuts make moist jerky

The majority of beef jerky is what Jaquins refers to as cowboy jerky—it's hard, it’s tough, you have to gnaw at it. But he and business partner Sellers believe life is already tough enough, and they want to provide a more positive eating experience. As a result, they slice their beef very thin using a Veri-Thin™ slicing process. This reduces the cooking time, retains the meat’s moisture and renders an easy-to-chew jerky.

Marinades infused with antioxidants

While most premium jerkies on the market have similar levels of fat, sugar, and sodium,
Jaquins wanted to offer a “better-for-you” beef jerky. To do this, he and Sellers partnered with food science and culinary experts to enhance the recipe. This effort culminated in a new ingredient called plum powder, which not only reduces added sugars and sodium but also creates a product packed with antioxidants.

The plum powder sweetens the jerky marinade. The team of jerky artisans use a small amount and let it sit overnight to give the jerky a strong, high-quality meat flavor with some subtle notes of sweetness and spice.

T.O.P. Chop Jerky comes in four flavors, including Original, Teriyaki (my fav), Sweet & Spicy and Red Chili Pepper. Jaquins recommends his personal favorite Sweet & Spicy because “I'm not a lover of extremely hot foods, and the sweet and spicy has a nice balance. It’s a mild heat with a little sweetness to it."

This jerky knows no limits!

The dried meat snack industry has seen significant growth over the last decade, and T.O.P. Chops plans to grow right along with it. Dried meat consumption is up 18% and 92% of millennials replace one meal a week with a wholesome snack like jerky. The brand is getting ready to launch in Costco and Target stores in August 2019 and has scheduled launches in other large grocery chains in September and October of this year.

50% Off your first order!!

How to Keep Your Kids Learning This Summer with Free STEM Program

According to a recent article by Oxford Learning, students lose 2-3 months of reading skills over the summer on average. “A majority of students (56 percent) want to be involved in a summer program that “helps kids keep up with schoolwork or prepare for the next grade,”” said Ruth Peters Ph.D.  GSK’s Science in the Summer is a free STEM program for children in underserved communities across the country. This year’s summer enrichment program “The Science of Me”, sponsored by global healthcare company GSK and administered by one of the nation’s premier centers of science education, The Franklin Institute, engages children in science, technology, engineering and math through hands-on learning and exploration. Overall, this program will aid 26,000 students nationwide during the summer months.

Celebrate National Cheese Day with GIORDANO’S

Today, June 4th is National Cheese Day!!!  I think this honestly applies to all of us whether we want to admit it or not.  Who doesn't love cheese in one way or another.  There's no better way to enjoy gooey globs of cheese than to have a greasy, fresh hot pizza!  We were invited out to Giordano's Pizzeria to celebrate National Cheese Day today.   This was a first for us at Giordano's but I am a huge fan of deep dish pizza so knew we were made for each other!  Just a heads up if you are planning on trying their famous Chicago style deep dish, they do make it fresh which is about a 45 minute wait.  But that leaves plenty of time to have a salad or try some of their amazing appetizers.  Something that caught my eye was lightly fried lemon peel - what! Yes!  Sounds really odd, but oh so amazing! Lemon peel is actually really good for you. This does have a strong lemon taste but you have to try it. So good!  It comes in their appetizer Calamari and More which includes tender calamari mixed with artichoke fritters, lemon rings, banana peppers and fennel all lightly fried and served with their house made marinara sauce.  

After forty five minutes of good conversation and mouth watering appetizers our pizza was on it's way.  We could not wait to do the cheese pull challenge, in fact there was a little argument at the table on who was going to get to do it first lol!  My husband won......


Epic right!  Guess who got dibs on that gooey, cheesy piece of pizza - yup that's right - me! 

Their signature mozzarella cheese is specially produced for Giordano's by Wisconsin cheese makers using only the very best milk from hard working local farmers.  It is aged to perfection and freshly shredded in house every day to ensure rich, creamy, buttery flavor and the legendary Giordano's melt. 

Giordano's is inviting cheese lovers all over the Las Vegas area to share your best cheese pull on social media with the hashtag #Giordanos for a chance to win a $25 gift card.   To further the celebration, Giordano's is offering 20% off any restaurant order today only!  Missed celebrating today? Don't worry you can still get $5 off a frozen pizza shipment online for a week, now through June 11th.  

Get Cheesey with Giordano's

20% off Today June 4th (Dine In, Carry Out or Delivery)

Share your best cheese pull with hashtag #Giordanos for a chance to win a $25 gift card

Save $5 online when you order a shipment of frozen pizzas between now and June 11th with code: CHEESE

Vegas Superkarts Special for Locals & Military

Starting now through Sunday, June 30, Vegas Superkarts by Exotics Racing is offering Las Vegas residents and U.S. military an exclusive annual membership, valid for 12 months. Guests can enjoy the new fleet of 4-stroke, gas-powered Sodikart SR5 270 CCs on the city’s longest, widest and fastest outdoor go-kart racetrack all year long. 

The Vegas Superkarts membership will include a special price of $25 per race, one complimentary birthday race and 10 percent off all Exotics Racing supercar experiences. 

Vegas Superkarts

7065 Speedway Blvd.
Las Vegas, NV 89115


Toy Story 4

Yes, I shed a tear just watching the trailer. I love when a movie can continue on and is something my children and I both love and know. Looking forward to number four! On the road of life there are old friends, new friends, and stories that change you. Watch the new trailer for Toy Story 4 now, in theatres June 21.

Today is National Let’s Laugh Day!!

To celebrate National Let’s Laugh Day today, iconic candy brand Laffy Taffy — famous for its knee-slapping, side-splitting jokes on every wrapper — has created the first national survey of the laughter-loving habits of all Americans.

Did you know that 96% of Americans enjoy making other people laugh (that's  huge!) and 79% of people love the sound of their own laugh?

Based on a survey of 1,500 Americans, the Laffy Taffy study reveals how often we laugh, our favorite types of laugh, and even which U.S. states laugh most.


(ranked by the percentage of state residents who laugh at least 10 times per day)

1. Arizona (50%)
2. Maryland (48%)
3. Oklahoma (46%)
4. Louisiana (44%)
5. Minnesota (43%)
6. Indiana (42%)
7. Wisconsin (39%)
8. Pennsylvania (37%)
9. New York (36%)
10. California (35%)

Everyone laughs, but not always the same. Nationally, giggles (32%) top chuckles (20%) and belly laughs (19%). More unique laugh types uncovered by Laffy Taffy include the guffaw (6%), the cackle (6%), and the infamous “cry laugh” (7%).

Most Americans love to laugh with (or at) their significant other (33%). Other top sources of laughter include friends (27%), kids (19%), siblings (9%), and moms (7%). Dads, surprisingly, may need to up their dad-joke game (5%).

According to the Laffy Taffy study, 95% Americans say laughter is a stress reliever — with 54% saying they will laugh out loud even when no one else is around.

For insights from the Laffy Taffy National Let’s Laugh Day Survey, please see:

Registration Still Open!!

There is still time for girls to register to join a team and get active this school year. Girls in grades 3 through 8 can register for the program through one of the 33 participating elementary and middle schools OR, for girls who attend a school that does not currently have its own GOTR team, a GOTR representative will make a referral to the nearest team with open slots. Each team has a minimum of eight and a maximum of 15 girls.

The elementary school program is open to girls in grades 3 through 5 and the middle school program is available to grades 6 through 8. Participants meet twice a week after school for 90 minutes to practice. The program curriculum dates and time vary for each school. The program registration fee includes 20 lessons conducted by nationally-certified GOTR coaches, a healthy snack each session, all class materials, end-of-season celebration party, 5K entry fee for both the girl and her running buddy, a program t-shirt, water bottle and a goody bag.  

More than 700 girls across the Las Vegas valley each year participate in the GOTR program which delivers a season-long, experienced-based curriculum designed to develop confidence, friendship, strength and emotional and spiritual health in young girls—all while integrating running. The season culminates with a 5K event where all GOTR participants come together to celebrate girl power.

A list of participating schools can be found at

  • Registration ends Monday, Feb. 18
  • Spring 5K takes place Sunday, May 5 
Click here to register for the Spring 2019 Season, become a Running Buddy or a community runner.

Registration fees vary based on the participating school.

Goosebumps 2

 *Disclosure: The movie was provided free of charge to help facilitate this review.  No monetary compensation was received. 

Goosebumps 2!  Most of us grew up reading the Goosebumps books, sharing them with our kids or even watching the series on TV.  Our kids loved the books and the movie even more! Now on DVD and Blu-ray Sony Pictures Entertainment has released Goosebumps 2.  Slappy the devious ventriloquist dummy returns to run amuck, in this second installment of the family-friendly franchise based on R.L. Stine's beloved book series.   

Our fourteen year old daughter's take on the movie "This movie was really cool! I loved how there were so many new mysteries in it.  It was so awesome to watch it and it was also really funny.  I loved the actors too! They were perfect for the roles.  It was overall such an amazing movie and I had a blast watching it!

The Goosebumps 2 Blu-ray/DVD Digital bonus features include a gag reel full of hilarious hijinks, three all new deleted scenes and five featurettes.  Between the chills, thrills and goosebumps, watch the cast get a case of the giggles in the "Gag Reel." Dive deep in "Thrills & Chills - The Making of Goosebumps 2" with Madison Iseman, along with behind the scenes footage and interviews with the cast and crew.  "Meet the Monsters" (our fav) gives fans a sneak peek of how the scary creatures were brought to life.  And get ready to sing along with three hilarious "Slappy-oke" songs.  Who knew dummies could sing!? 

Be careful what you wish for. With their after school junk business, best friends Sonny and Sam hope to find treasure in other people’s trash. But when cleaning out the old Stine house, they open a locked book that frees a supernatural nightmare- Slappy! Now, with the help of Sonny’s sister Sarah, they’re in a race against time to get the sinister dummy and all the creatures he’s brought to life back into the pages before he unleashes total pandemonium!

Based on the beloved Scholastic book series by R.L Stine, GOOSEBUMPS 2 was directed by Academy Award®-winner Ari Sandel (2005, Best Short Film-Live Action, West Bank Story) from a story by Rob Lieber and Darren Lemke and screenplay by Lieber. The film is produced by Deborah Forte and Neal H. Moritz and is executive produced by Timothy M. Bourne and Tania Landau. GOOSEBUMPS 2 is a Columbia Pictures, Scholastic Entertainment Inc./Silvertongue Films, Inc and Original Film production.

Blu-ray, DVD and Digital Bonus Materials Include:
§  Gag Reel
§  Three Deleted Scenes:
§  Five Featurettes
o   “Thrills & Chills – The Making of Goosebumps 2”
o   “Meet The Monsters”
o   “Science With Slappy”
o   “Junk Brothers – Call Now”
o   “Slappy's Audition”
§  Three Slappy-Oke Sing Alongs

GOOSEBUMPS 2 has a run time of approximately 120 minutes and is rated PG for scary creature action and images, some thematic elements, rude humor and language. 

Mary Poppins Returns

Mary Poppins Returns by Disney came out yesterday.  I grew up watching the original so I was really looking forward to this movie and let me tell you - it did not disappoint!  I took my teenagers to see it as well.  I do have mixed thoughts regarding the generation today enjoying the movie.  My kids enjoyed it, but they just thought it was just "okay" and a little long with too much music.  I honestly see that as being an issue with kids today.  It is a little long for someone who is not familiar with the original Mary Poppins and who doesn't have a connection with the movie.  Now on the other hand, for someone like myself who grew up watching Mary Poppins and singing the songs - no doubt you will absolutely love this movie!  Disney did a fabulous job on Mary Poppins Returns!  Although it was a little long, they hit every point and connected it spot on to the original.   I found myself laughing, crying and smiling throughout the movie as the warmth and memories it brought was comforting.  The cast as well fit so perfect, I really can't say enough about this movie.  If you are over thirty and grew up watching the original Mary Poppins, this will warm your heart! GREAT job Disney!!! 

How to Prevent Home Fires During Christmas
By: The Experts at Safer Alarms
It seems as if every year the holiday season begins earlier.  Along-side Halloween costumes in the stores are dancing Santa’s and reindeer. But in our mad dash to get our home decorated for the holidays and organize the gatherings, it’s easy to forget about the additional fire hazards that come with this time of year.  To keep your family safe, keep these tips in mind to prevent fires:
Christmas Tree - Let’s face it, bringing a 4 ft. to 8 ft. tree into your home that is only being held up by a small stand with four screws is just asking for trouble with a toddler in the home.  I can remember at least one time in my childhood hearing the tree come crashing to the floor in the middle of the night.  Toddlers will naturally be attracted by this new item in your home and equally fascinated by the lights.   To prevent the tree from falling wrap green gardening twine around the mid-section of the tree.  There are extension gates that can be assembled as large as you require.  Once you have placed the lights on the tree, be sure to tape any extra length of cord directly to the wall to prevent your toddler from pulling on it and pets from biting it and potentially causing a fire.
Ornaments - While you may have many family ornaments that you have used to decorate your tree in the past, store any glass ones away for the next few years.  Along with the potential risk of broken glass cutting your child, a curious toddler will try to put one in her mouth.  Make sure smaller ornaments are placed towards the top of the tree and consider decorating the bottom with ribbons or larger cloth-covered ornaments.
Christmas Tree Lights – Never attach more than three strands of lights together. Pick up some extension cords and read the directions carefully for the best way to light your tree. Some stores may even carry cords designed to go up the trunk of your tree to individually light each strand. Also, make sure you keep them high enough so that your pets don’t think they’re chew toys! Electrical fires are no way to start your holiday season.
Fireplace - Nothing is cozier than a roaring fire but make sure children are aware of the dangers.  If you have a fireplace in your home, make sure you securely fasten gate or screen in front to protect your area rugs, carpets and furniture from loose embers, and to keep your children safe from burns. Make sure you have a fire extinguisher nearby at all times.
Cooking - Whether your kids are helping you bake a gingerbread house or just heating up a cup of hot chocolate, establish some safety rules.  Make sure they understand to stay away from hot appliances or plugging in electrical appliances with wet hands. 
Candles – It’s easy to forget and leave a candle burning when you go to bed. There’s also the chance of a taper candle falling over and igniting a table cloth or drape.  There is a wide array of scented electric candles that will look just as beautiful and be much safer to use.