October 23, 2014

Ramada Maingate at the Park Review

Twice before our family has stayed at the Ramada Maingate at the Park, which is just a short walking distance from Disneyland, and since then the hotel has gone through some big changes, including the construction of a new 4-story building which houses the hotel's superior rooms and suites.

The hotel is still going through some major renovations, with the construction of yet another 4-story building, but there are still many things that haven't changed (thank goodness), such as the free parking, free continental breakfast, free Wi-Fi, and great service.

Check-in
Due to the renovations, check-in took place in a temporary trailer.

Check-in was very quick, and the employees were very friendly.  After receiving information about the complimentary breakfast, room location, elevators, and parking, I was soon on my way to the room.

Room
Our family stayed in a 2 Queen Beds Superior Room in the new building of the hotel (all photos take from my other blog, Hawaii Mom Blog).

From left, clockwise: Beautiful morning view from the balcony; 2 Queen beds; TV, microwave, refrigerator, and coffee maker; great fireworks view; double sinks.

Closet
I did think the closet - which was a wardrobe-type storage closet, was a little too small, and I did miss the cute towel animals from previous visits, but overall I loved the room.  It was spacious, nicely decorated with dark tones for a modern feel, and most importantly - our family was very comfortable in the room.

The air conditioning always cooled down the room quickly, we could barely hear guests in neighboring rooms, and we slept soundly throughout the night.

We could see Disney California Adventure from our room, and at night we had nice view of the Disneyland fireworks from right outside our door.

Because of the construction, parking spaces were sometimes hard to find, but they do offer free valet.

And the construction itself was not bothersome - we didn't encounter any disruptive noises or debris.

Although housekeeping forgot to give us washcloths and some bath amenities twice, a simple phone call eventually resolved the issues, and throughout our stay we had no other issues with our room.

Dining
Ramada Maingate at the Park offers a complimentary Continental breakfast.  Options included donuts, bagels, fruit, hard-boiled eggs, biscuits, gravy, bread, juices, cereals, milk, and coffee.
Complimentary Continental Breakfast offerings
Breakfast is served in the pool house, and although there is some seating in the pool area to eat breakfast, many guests opt to use their in-room tray to transport food back to their rooms.  The great news is that the building that is currently under construction will house a new breakfast room!

There are also numerous other dining options within walking distance from the hotel.

Other Services and Amenities
  • Disneyland ticket sales
  • Gift mart selling souvenirs, toiletries, and more
  • Pool with kids splash zone
  • Hot tub
Click here for a list of more services and amenities.

Once the new building is completed, there will be a fitness center, meeting space, retail outlets, and a roof top sun deck.
Gift Mart
Pool
Final Thoughts
Overall our stay at Ramada Maingate at the Park was once again terrific.

The room was very nice and comfortable, there are numerous complimentary services and amenities, and the hotel is close to Disneyland, making it an ideal hotel for our family.

I can't wait to see what the new building will look like!

Ramada Maingate at the Park
1650 S Harbor Blvd
Anaheim, CA 92802
(714)772-0440.




Thank you to the Ramada Maingate at the Park for hosting multiple nights of our stay and providing a media discount for the remaining nights; gratuities were paid on our own.

October 21, 2014

MasterChef Junior New Season to Premiere on November 4 and Popcorn Viewing Kit Giveaway

A new season of MasterChef Junior will premiere on FOX on Tuesday, Nov 4 at 8/7c!

MASTERCHEF JUNIOR goes back for seconds! Hit culinary competition series MASTERCHEF JUNIOR gives talented kids between the ages of eight and 13 the chance to showcase their culinary abilities and passion for food through a series of delicious challenges.

Host and award-winning chef Gordon Ramsay (Gordon Ramsay Steak, Gordon Ramsay Pub & Grill, Gordon Ramsay BurGR) is joined by restaurateur and wine expert Joe Bastianich (Del Posto, Eataly) and acclaimed chef Graham Elliot (Graham Elliot Bistro) on the MASTERCHEF JUNIOR judging panel. Together, the celebrated food experts will coach and encourage the promising hopefuls to cook like a pro and teach them the tricks of the trade along the way.

After a nationwide search, 16 of the best junior home cooks in the country will compete in the MASTERCHEF JUNIOR kitchen. They will face exciting challenges, including a mystery box, a three-legged race and the fan-favorite restaurant takeover, until one talented kid is named America's newest MASTERCHEF JUNIOR, receiving a $100,000 prize.

MASTERCHEF JUNIOR is produced by Shine America and One Potato Two Potato, and is based on the format created by Franc Roddam and Shine. Shine International handles distribution for the MASTERCHEF format. Elisabeth Murdoch, Eden Gaha, Paul Franklin, Robin Ashbrook, Gordon Ramsay, Adeline Ramage Rooney, Patricia Llewellyn and Ben Adler serve as executive producers.

Win: One lucky winner will receive a MasterChef Popcorn Viewing Kit (ARV $45)which includes:

• (1) Lit Card
• (5) Recipe Cards
• (1) Paper Chef Hat
• (1) Set of Measuring Spoons
• (4) Junior Spices
• (2) DIY Seasoning Jars
• (1) Popcorn Mason Jars
• (6) MCJ Popcorn Boxes

  • To enter, comment on your favorite popcorn toppings.
  • You’ll get one extra entry each if you do any of the following (be sure to leave a comment for each “entry”):
  • 1)Follow me on Bloglovin ("new" and "existing" followers eligible)
  • 2)Subscribe to my feed via RSS or email ("new" and "existing" subscribers eligible)
  • 3)Follow me on Instagram ("new" and "existing" followers eligible; leave your user name in your comment)
  • 4)Follow me on Twitter ("new" and "existing" followers eligible; leave your Twitter name in your comment)
  • 5)Tweet this giveaway--you may tweet once per day based on HST (leave the link in your comment) 
  • 6)Follow MasterChef Junior on Twitter ("new" and "existing" followers eligible; leave your Twitter name in your comment)
  • 7)Follow MasterChef Junior on Instagram ("new" and "existing" followers eligible; leave your user name in your comment)
  • The deadline for entries is November 4, 2014 11:59pm HST.
  • NO PURCHASE NECESSARY.  Open to legal residents of the fifty (50) United States and District of Columbia, eighteen (18) years of age or older. Void where prohibited by law. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning.  
  • If you submitted an eligible entry and it is chosen by random.org as the winner, you will be notified via email on or about November 5, 2014 (make sure your email address is in your profile or comment and be sure to check your junk/spam, etc. folders) and will have 3 days to respond.
  • Valid for US addresses only. 
  • By entering in this giveaway, you have read and agreed to Sage and Savvy’s Terms of Use.
    Good luck!


Thank you to the sponsor for providing the product for giveaway free of charge. Click here for my disclosure policy.

Escape to Hawaii for the Winter

Whether you're traveling as a couple, with family, or with friends, there are so many hotels to choose from to fit your needs in Hawaii.  Here are some to consider:

Located at the gateway to Waikiki on the island of Oahu, THE MODERN HONOLULU sets a new standard for lifestyle hotels with an innovative urban resort design that reflects sophistication and style. With sweeping vistas of the Pacific Ocean and city skyline surround the hotel's 353 guest rooms and suites, THE MODERN HONOLULU offers the perfect destination for a winter escape. Two stylish pools overlook the Pacific for daytime fun while a vibrant scene at Addiction nightclub and The Study lobby bar offer evening rendezvous. Centrally located, THE MODERN HONOLULU is within walking distance to popular Waikiki beaches, Hawaii’s largest open-air shopping center, Ala Moana, and near a selection of luxury boutiques and retail stores that line Waikiki’s main thoroughfare, Kalakaua Avenue. After a day of adventure, lounging poolside and enjoying luxurious treatments at The Spa at THE MODERN HONOLULU, guests can enjoy sushi at Morimoto Waikiki, located on-property.

While visiting Four Seasons Resorts Lana’i, you'll have the opportunity to experience 'island-hopping' within the secluded island of Lana'i. Set atop Hulopo'e Bay,Four Seasons Resorts Lana’i at Manele Bay has recently completed portions of their multi-phase renovations unveiling new culturally inspired penthouse suites, guestrooms, lobby and NOBU Lana’i. The redesign is led by Todd Avery of TAL Studios who has incorporated the storied past of Lana’i into all elements. The resort also recently welcomed the island’s first ever luxury retail experience with three new boutiques to purchase your perfect keepsake. A quintessential beach resort, dive into the clear waters below with complimentary water sports including snorkeling, stand up paddle boarding and more with a perfect view of the famous Spinner Dolphins. If you’d rather the ocean be your view from up above, the award-winning Manele Golf Course will be your new home.

Make your way up the Koloiki Ridge Ride to the upcountry Lodge at Koele for a more rustic chic experience. Here you can ride the rolling hills with horses from the resorts stables, experience clay shooting and enrich your mind with the Lodge at Koele Elders Program incorporating the island’s history into fun programming for the kids. Explore this activity-filled secluded and historic island of Lana'i with the luxurious touch of Four Seasons.


Snowbirds looking to escape to warmer climates can jet to Aulani, a Disney Resort, where there’s something for the entire ‘ohana (family). While visiting Aulani, guests can surf in crystalline waters, ride horseback through lush valleys or kayak through protected offshore islets. Each excursion is entertaining, educational and fun, so the entire family can take home a greater appreciation and understanding of the Aloha State—along with unforgettable vacation memories. Families make magical memories together—or apart—with experiences designed for every age and interest. Additionally, for guests looking for adding a bit of wellness to their vacation, Laniwai is one of the only true luxury, family wellness retreats that offers spa, relaxation and spectacular Hawaiian experiences for ages newborn and up.

October 19, 2014

Eating Like a Hard Rock Roxtar

Disclosure: The information, gift card, gift pack and giveaway have been provided to me by Hard Rock International. No celebrity or musician has endorsed the “Does Your Child Look Like a Rock Star” contest.


Hard Rock Internantional recently introduced the Hard Rock Roxtars - five characters representing Hard Rock's programs catered to kids at Hard Rock Cafes®, Hard Rock Hotels, and Rock Shops® worldwide. 

The Hard Rock Roxtars are each unapologetically original and designed to inspire kids of all ages to rock an inimitable brand of cool, allowing their originality to shine.  Band members include:


o Razzi™, “the motherly type” who is famous for squishy hugs and keyboard skills
o Sir Kingston™, a British-invasion inspired rock-and-roller on lead guitar
o Styler™, a free-spirited and accompanying guitar player
o Buddy Jr™, a wild man who loves nothing more than a good drum solo
o Skiddley™, the lead singer and “Mr. Cool” of the group

Our family went to the Honolulu Hard Rock Cafe where my kids ate like Hard Rock Roxtars.

Upon arrival each of my kids were given a Hard Rock Roxtar sticker, and as they were seated, they were given a themed menu, a cool activity book, and even more stickers!


Their meals arrived in fun guitar-shaped plates.

The menu offerings include such popular items as Chicken Tenders, Cheese Pizza, as well as healthier items, such as Salad with Chicken and Cavatappi Pasta with marinara sauce and served with broccoli.

Don't forget to check your local Hard Rock Cafe to find out when they'll be holding the "Does Your Child Look Like a Rock Star?"


For one night, during the “Does Your Child Look Like a Rock Star?” Contest, kids eat free* at Hard Rock Cafe with a paying adult. Guests can bring their favorite pint-sized rock star dressed in their best costume to the cafe for a chance to win a Hard Rock Cafe gift card or a 2015 birthday party* for eight of the rock star’s closest band members and entourage, For additional information about the Hard Rock Cafe “Does Your Child Look Like a Rock Star?” Contest, contact your local cafe for contest details (in Honolulu the contest takes place on October 25).

I'm sure it won't be long before my kids are eating like Hard Rock Roxtars again!

Don't forget you can enter my giveaway for a Hard Rock Roxtars prize pack, which includes a $50 gift card to Hard Rock Cafe!

*Restrictions apply

October 16, 2014

Hard Rock Roxtars Prize Pack Giveaway #ThisisHardRock #HRRoxtars

Disclosure: The information, gift card, gift pack and giveaway have been provided to me by Hard Rock International. No celebrity or musician has endorsed the “Does Your Child Look Like a Rock Star” contest.


Hard Rock Internantional recently introduced the Hard Rock Roxtars - five characters representing Hard Rock's programs catered to kids at Hard Rock Cafes®, Hard Rock Hotels, and Rock Shops® worldwide.

The Hard Rock Roxtars are each unapologetically original and designed to inspire kids of all ages to rock an inimitable brand of cool, allowing their originality to shine.  Band members include:

o Razzi™, “the motherly type” who is famous for squishy hugs and keyboard skills
o Sir Kingston™, a British-invasion inspired rock-and-roller on lead guitar
o Styler™, a free-spirited and accompanying guitar player
o Buddy Jr™, a wild man who loves nothing more than a good drum solo
o Skiddley™, the lead singer and “Mr. Cool” of the group

Hard Rock is giving kids their own opportunities to be rock stars.

Dress Like a Hard Rock Rock Star:
Hard Rock Cafe is hosting “Does Your Child Look Like a Rock Star?”  For one night, during the “Does Your Child Look Like a Rock Star?” Contest, kids eat free* at Hard Rock Cafe with a paying adult. Guests can bring their favorite pint-sized rock star dressed in their best costume to the cafe for a chance to win a Hard Rock Cafe gift card or a 2015 birthday party* for eight of the rock star’s closest band members and entourage,  For additional information about the Hard Rock Cafe “Does Your Child Look Like a Rock Star?” Contest, contact your local cafe for contest details (in Honolulu the contest takes place on October 25).



Eat Like a Hard Rock Roxtar:
Children who dine at Hard Rock Cafes worldwide are greeted with their own Hard Rock Roxtars activity book, themed menus, guitar-shaped plates and photo opportunities

As part of The National Restaurant Association’s Kids LiveWell program in collaboration with Healthy Dining, a mission and online resource that helps parents and children alike select healthy menu options when dining out, Hard Rock Cafes worldwide will offer healthier food options, such as Skiddley’s “Not-so-diddley” chicken breast and “Twisted ‘n tasty” cavatappi pasta

Stay Like a Hard Rock Roxtar:
The brand also has plans to globally expand the program to engage families traveling to select Hard Rock Hotels®, with the Roxity Kids Clubs®.  Children who stay at Hard Rock Hotel locations with their families will receive a special Hard Rock Roxtars Activity Book at check-in and unlimited entertainment at Hard Rock Roxity Kids Club, a family-friendly, music-inspired haven, where kids can rock to their own rhythm, catch a live Hard Rock Roxtars performance or take part in experiential, engaging and music-infused learning activities

*Restrictions may apply

Win: One lucky winner will receive a Hard Rock Roxtars prize pack which includes: a themed guitar-shaped plate, a 6” plush Hard Rock Roxtars character, a Hard Rock adult t-shirt, an activity book, and a $50 Hard Rock gift card!
  • To enter, comment on which Roxtars band member you think your child will like the most.
  • You’ll get one extra entry each if you do any of the following (be sure to leave a comment for each “entry”):
  • 1)Follow me on Bloglovin ("new" and "existing" followers eligible)
  • 2)Subscribe to my feed via RSS or email ("new" and "existing" subscribers eligible)
  • 3)Follow me on Instagram ("new" and "existing" followers eligible; leave your user name in your comment)
  • 4)Follow me on Twitter ("new" and "existing" followers eligible; leave your Twitter name in your comment)
  • 5)Tweet this giveaway--you may tweet once per day based on HST (leave the link in your comment) 
  • 6)Follow Hard Rock on Twitter ("new" and "existing" followers eligible; leave your Twitter name in your comment)
  • The deadline for entries is October 30, 2014  11:59pm HST.
  • NO PURCHASE NECESSARY.  Open to legal residents of the fifty (50) United States and District of Columbia, eighteen (18) years of age or older. Void where prohibited by law. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning.  
  • If you submitted an eligible entry and it is chosen by random.org as the winner, you will be notified via email on or about October 31, 2014 (make sure your email address is in your profile or comment and be sure to check your junk/spam, etc. folders) and will have 3 days to respond.
  • Valid for US addresses only. 
  • By entering in this giveaway, you have read and agreed to Sage and Savvy’s Terms of Use.
    Good luck!


Thank you to the sponsor for providing the product for giveaway free of charge. Click here for my disclosure policy.



October 10, 2014

Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day Review

About the movie (Rated PG):
Disney’s “Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day” follows the exploits of 11-year-old Alexander (Ed Oxenbould) as he experiences the most terrible and horrible day of his young life—a day that begins with gum stuck in his hair, followed by one calamity after another. But when Alexander tells his upbeat family about the misadventures of his disastrous day, he finds little sympathy and begins to wonder if bad things only happen to him. He soon learns that he’s not alone when his mom (Jennifer Garner), dad (Steve Carell), brother (Dylan Minnette) and sister (Kerris Dorsey) all find themselves living through their own terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day. Anyone who says there is no such thing as a bad day just hasn't had one. “Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day,” directed by Independent Spirit Award-winner Miguel Arteta (“The Good Girl,” “Cedar Rapids,” “Youth in Revolt”) from a screenplay by Rob Lieber, is a 21 Laps Entertainment/Jim Henson Company production.

The film hits theaters nationwide today.


The first live-action film adaptation of the 1972 children’s classic of the same name (written by Judith Viorst, illustrated by Ray Cruz, and inspired by Viorst’s sons Alexander, Anthony and Nicholas), Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day was an entertaining and touching movie that's perfect for families with older kids.

I was fortunate to attend a screening with my family, where we witnessed all the bad (and funny) things that happened to Alexander and his family members.  Although most of the terrible things that happened were far-fetched, many were actually quite relatable, and all resulted in lots of laughter.

Through it all, Alexander and his family eventually realized that although they were having a horrible day, they could still make the day a good one.

I think Oxenbould did a great job as Alexander - someone who often felt overlooked and unappreciated, and although Carell was restrained compared to other movies I've seen him in, he was still quite funny.

My older kids (ages 7 and 5) enjoyed the movie (their favorite part was when baby Trevor ate something he wasn't supposed to), but my 3-year old was a little antsy for the last 30 minutes.

Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day is a fun family film (just 80 minutes long) emphasizing a very important lesson - we all have bad days, but even on bad days we can always find some good, especially when we're surrounded by loved ones.

Thank you to the sponsor for providing complimentary screening tickets.

October 8, 2014

T-Rex Trying and Trying Giveaway



Poor T-Rex.  He can’t play basketball because the hoop is too high.  Jumping rope is such a task; the rope won’t go past his tail!  He can’t even get comfortable; he’s unable to reach the lever to recline the La-Z-Boy. With his tiny arms and robust body, a task as simple as changing a light bulb can be too much.  Despite being the most intimidating creature on the planet, T-Rex Trying proved that the intimidating Lizard King can’t quite manage to live a normal life in the modern world.

In the second book, T-REX TRYING AND TRYING (a Plume original, on sale October 7, 2014; $13), we find that the loveably unlucky Tyrannosaurus Rex family – T-Rex, She-Rex and Wee-Rex – are all tackling everyday dilemmas including:

§  T-Rex Trying to Take a Selfie
§  She-Rex Trying to Put on a Bra
§  We-Rex Trying to Crawl
§  T-Rex Trying to Change a Diaper
§  She-Rex Trying to Painter Her Toenails
…And many more amusements of the prehistoric family’s trials and tribulations!

What started out as an inside joke between creator Hugh Murphy and his brothers ballooned into a blog that has received millions of views and generated two books.  T-REX TRYING AND TRYING features over one-hundred quirky illustrations of hilarious activities the family attempts that we humans take for granted. Readers young and old can’t help but laugh and feel sorry for the adorable T-Rex family. 


Win: One lucky winner will receive a copy of T-Rex Trying and Trying

  • To enter, comment on why you'd like to win.
  • You’ll get one extra entry each if you do any of the following (be sure to leave a comment for each “entry”):
  • 1)Follow me on Bloglovin ("new" and "existing" followers eligible)
  • 2)Subscribe to my feed via RSS or email ("new" and "existing" subscribers eligible)
  • 3)Follow me on Instagram ("new" and "existing" followers eligible; leave your user name in your comment)
  • 4)Follow me on Twitter ("new" and "existing" followers eligible; leave your Twitter name in your comment)
  • 5)Tweet this giveaway--you may tweet once per day based on HST (leave the link in your comment) 
  • The deadline for entries is October 22, 2014 11:59pm HST.
  • NO PURCHASE NECESSARY.  Open to legal residents of the fifty (50) United States and District of Columbia, eighteen (18) years of age or older. Void where prohibited by law. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning.  
  • If you submitted an eligible entry and it is chosen by random.org as the winner, you will be notified via email on or about October 23, 2014  (make sure your email address is in your profile or comment and  be sure to check your junk/spam, etc. folders) and will have 3 days to respond.
  • Valid for US addresses only. 
  • By entering in this giveaway, you have read and agreed to Sage and Savvy’s Terms of Use.
    Good luck!


Thank you to the sponsor for providing the product for giveaway free of charge. Click here for my disclosure policy.

October 6, 2014

Swagbucks Halloween Sale and $50 Visa Gift Card Giveaway

Disclosure: The below is a sponsored post on behalf of Swagbucks.



Swagbucks, the web’s largest rewards site, would like to scare up some savings for your Halloween shopping needs this
month with up to 14% cash back from some of your favorite retailers 
including Groupon, Target, BuyCostumes.com, Costume Supercenter, Living Social and much more.

For all purchases over $75, Swagbucks Halloween shoppers will also receive an additional $5 gift card to the retailer of their choice (or cash!) direct to their Swagbucks account.



Click here for more details.

If you are not yet a Swagbucks member, you can register by clicking here and take advantage of this year's best Halloween cash-back sales (sale ends October 24!).

Win:  One lucky winner will receive a $50 Visa gift card!

  • To enter, comment on what you or your kids will dress up for Halloween this year AND your Swagbucks username (if you have one).
  • You’ll get one extra entry each if you do any of the following (be sure to leave a comment for each “entry”):
  • 1)Follow me on Bloglovin ("new" and "existing" followers eligible)
  • 2)Subscribe to my feed via RSS or email ("new" and "existing" subscribers eligible)
  • 3)Follow me on Instagram ("new" and "existing" followers eligible; leave your user name in your comment)
  • 4)Follow me on Twitter ("new" and "existing" followers eligible; leave your Twitter name in your comment)
  • 5)Tweet this giveaway--you may tweet once per day based on HST (leave the link in your comment) 
  • The deadline for entries is October 23, 2014 11:59pm HST.
  • NO PURCHASE NECESSARY.  Open to legal residents of the fifty (50) United States and District of Columbia, eighteen (18) years of age or older. Void where prohibited by law. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning.  
  • If you submitted an eligible entry and it is chosen by random.org as the winner, you will be notified via email on or about October 24, 2014 (make sure your email address is in your profile or comment and  be sure to check your junk/spam, etc. folders) and will have 3 days to respond.
  • Valid for US addresses only. 
  • By entering in this giveaway, you have read and agreed to Sage and Savvy’s Terms of Use.
    Good luck!


Thank you to the sponsor for providing the product for giveaway free of charge. Click here for my disclosure policy.

HABA Safari Silicone Cupcake Mold Review

Disclosure: Complimentary product was provided for review purposes.

If you follow my Instagram feed, you know how much I love to bake, so I couldn't wait to try out this very cute Safari Silicone Cupcake Mold (SRP $24.99) from HABA.





I made the Vanilla-Muffin recipe which was in the included recipe book. Although the muffin itself turned out dense, and some of the chocolate broke off when I was taking the muffins out of the mold, overall the muffins turned out tasty, and they looked so cute!


The HABA molds make baking fun for the entire family.  The bright colors and cute shapes make baking even more appealing for little ones.

I personally liked how the molds have handles, making it easy to transport from the counter to the oven, and I loved how easy the molds were to clean compared to other silicone molds I have.



I can't wait to try out more recipes in the molds, such as gelatins, pancakes, and cupcakes!

October 4, 2014

Janie and Jack - 25% Off Friends and Family Discount Code

Disclosure: The below links are affiliate.

This weekend only, Janie and Jack is offering 25% off your entire purchase at Janie and Jack with code JJEXCLUSIVE.

It's a great time to stock up on cute clothing for the holiday parties that are just around the corner!

Don't delay - sale ends Sunday, October 5!

October 3, 2014

Petals on the Wind DVD Giveaway



The highly anticipated sequel to V.C. Andrews’s best-selling novel and Lifetime® smash hit movie Flowers in the Attic (ad-supported cable’s most-watched original movie since November 2012), Petals on the Wind arrived on DVD September 16 from Lionsgate Home Entertainment. The all-star cast features the return of Heather Graham (Boogie Nights) and Academy Award® Winner Ellen Burstyn (Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore) along with newcomers Rose McIver (Showtime’s “Masters of Sex”) and Wyatt Nash (TV’s “Pretty Little Liars”). Set 15 years in the future from the end of the previous film, the second installment shadows the Dollanganger children as they attempt to find their way in the world following their escape after years of imprisonment. Petals on the Wind DVD will be available for the suggested retail price of $14.98.

Petals on the Wind continues to follow the twisted plight of the Dollanganger family as they attempt to put their sordid past behind them. But, as they soon discover, certain secrets can’t be left behind. When Cathy finds herself in an abusive relationship, Christopher and Cathy are forced to face their forbidden feelings. And as tragedy strikes again, Cathy returns to Foxworth Hall to confront her grandmother and seek revenge on her mother. Christopher runs to Cathy’s side, and the two are determined to start over again — together.

Win: One lucky winner will receive a copy of Petals on the Wind!

***THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED***
Congratulations to latanya t!
  • To enter, comment on why you'd like to win.
  • You’ll get one extra entry each if you do any of the following (be sure to leave a comment for each “entry”):
  • 1)Follow Hawaii Mom Blog on Bloglovin ("new" and "existing" followers eligible)
  • 2)Subscribe to my feed via RSS or email ("new" and "existing" subscribers eligible)
  • 3)Follow Hawaii Mom Blog on Instagram ("new" and "existing" followers eligible; leave your user name in your comment)
  • 4)Follow Hawaii Mom Blog on Twitter ("new" and "existing" followers eligible; leave your Twitter name in your comment)
  • 5)Tweet this giveaway--you may tweet once per day based on HST (leave the link in your comment) 
  • 6)Like Hawaii Mom Blog on Facebook ("new" and "existing" "likers" eligible; leave your user name in your comment)
  • The deadline for entries is October 17, 2014 11:59pm HST.
  • If you submitted an eligible entry and it is chosen by random.org as the winner, you will be notified via email on or about October 18, 2014 (make sure your email address is in your profile or comment and  be sure to check your junk/spam, etc. folders) and will have 3 days to respond.
  • Valid for US addresses only. 
  • By entering in this giveaway, you have read and agreed to Sage and Savvy’s Terms of Use.
    Good luck!




Thank you to the sponsor for providing the product for giveaway free of charge. Click here for my disclosure policy.

October 2, 2014

Turn Your Instagram Photos into Your New Favorite Book with Blurb

Disclosure: The below links are affiliate.

If you are a rabid Instagrammer, and wistfully browsing through your Instagram profile to take in all those beautiful shots isn't cutting it anymore, why not take your talent to the next level and make a real commitment to your photography? With Blurb, you can take all of your Instagram shots and turn them in to a high quality printed book in just minutes.

There is no hassle of sorting and editing, no endless hours wasted formatting for specific page requirements… just pick what you like and make it real. Watch this Blurb video to see how you can turn your feed into a seriously brag-worthy book. It’s incredibly easy and even a little bit fun. (You can even publish your Facebook photos (with comments) into a book!)

Ready to start publishing? Save 20% on photo books with code OCT20%, which is great news if you're thinking ahead to the holidays and making a gift to send. Special offer for new customers only—save 25% on photo books with code OCT25%… even better for those of you who are new to Blurb books. Just don't wait because these deals end October 31st.

September 30, 2014

Book Making with BookSmart

Disclosure: The below links are affiliate.

I've been making a lot of photobooks lately.  I admit that some programs make the process look complicated, but it's really not.

Here's a quick video from Blurb (less than 3 minutes) that quickly walks you through publishing your own book using their BookSmart tool—sort of a book making boot camp.

Right now you can save 20% on photobooks (code OCT20%) which is great news if you're thinking ahead to the holidays and making a gift to send. And there's a special offer for new customers - save 25% on photobooks (code OCT25%) - even better for those of you who are new to Blurb books. Just don't wait because these deals end October 31st.

September 25, 2014

The Wonder Years: Season 1 DVD Giveaway


This fall, StarVista Entertainment/Time Life cordially invites you to fall in love all over again with The Wonder Years, one of television’s most fondly remembered and groundbreaking sitcoms.  Before there was Modern FamilyThat ‘70s Show or Freaks and Geeks,there was The Wonder Years -- a nostalgia-inducing take on the traditional family sitcom -- and one of the most beloved series of the past thirty years.  On October 7thTHE WONDER YEARS: SEASON ONE will be released nationally to retail – the first time the critical darling and Emmy® Award-winning fan favorite will be available on DVD since the series left the airwaves in 1993. 

The 2-disc set, available for $19.95srp, includes all six unedited episodes from the unforgettable first season (1988), and features every song from the original broadcasts, with classics by Jimi Hendrix, The Byrds, Joni Mitchell, The Monkees, Steppenwolf and Smokey Robinson, plus Joe Cocker’s timeless rendition of The Beatles’ “With a Little Help from My Friends”.  The episodes, which feature closed captioning, include “Pilot,” “Swingers,” “My Father’s Office,” “Angel,” “The Phone Call” and “Dance with Me,” and highlights include Kevin’s experiences with young love, his school’s well-intentioned, though comedic, attempts at classroom sex education, and the incredible social pressures behind an innocent junior high school dance.  Fans of the series will also thrill to the two hours of specially-produced bonus features, including  “A Wonderful Day: Highlights from The Wonder Years Cast Reunion” (May 28, 2014, Los Angeles); the featurette “With a Little Help from My Friends: The Early Days of The Wonder Years” and brand-new, in-depth interviews with creators Neal Marlens and Carol Black, as well as series stars Fred Savage (Kevin Arnold), Danica McKellar (Winnie Cooper) and Josh Saviano (Paul Pfeiffer).

The Wonder Years debuted in 1988 following ABC’s broadcast of Super Bowl XXII, and the affectionate look at growing up in the late ‘60s and early ‘70s in suburban America was unlike anything else on television.  It was 1968 -- the year of Nixon and space walks and Mod Squad and Vietnam.  Enter Kevin Arnold, a sixth grader at Kennedy Junior High School.  Set against the suburban backdrop of Anytown, USA, Kevin sought to minimize his teenage angst while dealing with an older, noogie-happy brother Wayne (Jason Hervey), a rebellious sister, Karen (Olivia d'Abo), distant, workaholic father, Jack (Dan Lauria) and doting housewife mother, Norma (Alley Mills).  Add to the mix Paul Pfeiffer (Josh Saviano), his nerdy, allergy-riddled best friend, a potential love interest in winsome girl-next-door Winnie Cooper (Danica McKellar) and narration by an older, wiser, wittier Kevin (voiced by Daniel Stern) to add perspective to the nostalgia, and you have the perfect recipe for TV greatness.  And, for the next six seasons, America tuned in to follow Kevin’s exploits, as he navigated adolescence in the most memorable of ways. 

From 1988 to 1993, The Wonder Years was one of the most popular shows on TV, achieving a spot in the Nielsen Top 30 for four of its six seasons.  And the critical accolades and awards would follow: after only a scant six episodes, the show captured an Emmy® for “Best Comedy Series;” and, at the age of 13, Fred Savage, would become the youngest actor ever nominated as “Outstanding Lead Actor for a Comedy Series.”  The series would also go on to win 24 awards (and be nominated for 70 more), including multiple Emmy® Awards, a Golden Globe®and, in 1989, a Peabody® Award for pushing the boundaries of the sitcom format and using new modes of storytelling.  Additionally, in 1997, “My Father’s Office" was ranked #29 on TV Guide’s “100 Greatest Episodes of All Time” and in the 2009 list, the pilot episode was ranked #43. Suffice it to say, The Wonder Years was one of the most critically lauded sitcoms of the late 80s and early 90s.

The most requested unreleased TV DVD in the marketplace, the release of THE WONDER YEARS had been mired in complicated music rights issues for decades.  However, as its use of classic period music was an integral part of the series, StarVista Entertainment/Time painstakingly cleared over 300 songs as they were featured in the original broadcast.  Included among the hundreds of memorable, era-defining recordings are Joe Cocker’s iconic title song, “With A Little Help From My Friends,” plus songs by Bob Dylan, The Rolling Stones, Simon & Garfunkel, Smokey Robinson, The Who, Aretha Franklin, Carole King and many others.

Aside from the initial retail release, the TV DVD Archivists at StarVista Entertainment /Time life have assembled THE WONDER YEARSCOMPLETE SERIES, which is available to purchase now.  Never before released on DVD in its entirety, the beloved series is presented as a 26-disc collector’s set featuring all 115 episodes housed in a replica metal locker, along with a host of extras including 23 hours of specially-produced bonus programming -- featurettes, an incredible cast reunion 16 years in the making and never-before-seen outtakes, including all takes of Kevin and Winnie’s first kiss from the pilot episode.  Nostalgically packaged in a collectible metal locker, a replica of those used by Kevin and Winnie in Kennedy Junior High School, the COMPLETE SERIES arrives complete with colorful Wonder Years magnets to custom-design each locker.  And, within the hand-assembled lockers, fans will find the 26 pristine DVDs, along with two notebooks, each featuring detailed episode information and production photos, as well as a replica yearbook embellished with signatures from cast members, behind-the-scenes photos and classic show memorabilia, and liner notes penned by Fred Savage, series creators Neal Marlens and Carol Black, and executive producer Bob Brush.  Series fans and TV DVD aficionados interested in THE WONDER YEARS COMPLETE SERIES can purchase it exclusively online at TimeLife.com/WonderYears.  For uber fans, StarVista Entertainment/Time Life will have two additional configurations:THE WONDER YEARS EXPERIENCE, priced at $299.95, which includes all the elements from the COMPLETE SERIES, along with a selection of limited-edition memorabilia created exclusively for this set: a Kennedy Junior High School tee shirt, tube socks, and a vintage gym bag; a Kennedy Junior High School pennant and commemorative patch, The Wonder Years collectible pins, and a newly-produced Wonder Years CD; and, THE WONDER YEARS SIGNATURE EDITION, limited to 500 sets, which includes everything from the COMPLETE SERIES and EXPERIENCE editions; and will also be hand-signed by Fred Savage, Danica McKellar and other cast members, housed in a numbered locker and  accompanied by a numbered Certificate of Authenticity.

About Season 1:
The Wonder Years captured the angst of growing up in suburban middle-class America in the late ‘60s as seen through the life and times of Kevin Arnold (Fred Savage). In Season 1, Kevin experiences the ups and downs of young love, his school’s well-intentioned, though comedic, attempts at classroom sex education, and the incredible social pressures behind an innocent junior high dance. The peace-love movement hits close to home when Kevin’s sister Karen (Olivia d’Abo) falls for a college-aged, VW bus-driving hippie (future star John Corbett), as does the dark reality of the Vietnam War when his cool neighbor Brian Cooper is killed in action. Kevin gets by with a little help from his friends Winnie (Danica McKellar) and the hyper-allergic Paul (Josh Saviano). Two hours of bonus material, including highlights from the 2014 cast reunion, make Season 1 even more wonderful.

Pick up Season 1 of The Wonder Years in stores now or order here the Complete Series which includes all 115 episodes, over 23 hours of bonus features, cast reunion and more housed in a collectible metal locker here.

Win: One lucky winner will receive a copy of The Wonder Years: Season 1 DVD!

***THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED***
Congratulations to Sharon Schoepe!

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  • The deadline for entries is October 9, 2014 11:59pm HST.
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September 23, 2014

Heavenly Island Lifestyle at Shoreline Hotel Waikiki

Last night I had the opportunity to attend a special media dinner at Heavenly Island Lifestyle, located at the Shoreline Hotel Waikiki, a Joie de Vivre Hotel.


From top left, clockwise: Local Avocado Guacamole; Hamakua Mushroom Marinade; Bagna Cauda; Big Island Ginger Ahi Poke; Kona Kanpachi Coconut Ceviche; Green Cobb Salad; Shinsato Pork Big Island Ginger Saute; Kauai Makaweli Ranch Ribeye Steak; Heavenly's Organic Veggie & Beans Loco Moco; Kahuku Shrimp Ravioli Nalo Herb Cream Sauce; House Made Kona Coffee Tiramisu; Hawaiian Ginger Creme Brulee; Pina Colada - Maui Gold Pineapple & Coconut Sorbet

Executive Chef Keigo Yoshimoto; Manager Makoto "Mild" Hasegawa
The emphasis on using fresh, local, and organic ingredients whenever possible was evident in each dish.  Hawaii-produced meats, vegetables, and cheeses were plentiful throughout the 13-course meal.

The guacamole, made from local avocados and served with Molokai sweet potato chips, was very delicious.  I love mushrooms, so I really enjoyed the mushroom marinade, and the house made miso bagna cauda was actually served cold versus hot, but it was still a nice, flavorful dip for the veggies.

The ahi poke, served with a local kale salad, and the ceviche, served with hearts of palm, were two of the most popular dishes of the night.

The Green Cobb Salad was delightful - full of avocado, kale, tomato, quinoa, and more.

The pork saute was one of my favorite dishes.  The pork, combined with mushrooms and onions, were sauteed in a very tasty ginger sauce.

The ribeye steak, served with a Naked Cow truffle sauce, was accompanied by a variety of locally-farmed veggies.

The loco moco was another fave of mine - served with a ginger soy glaze instead of heavy gravy, it was a nice twist on the standard loco moco.

The ravioli was also delicious - I especially enjoyed the herb cream sauce.

All of the desserts were sweet and light, with my favorite being the creme brulee - the hint of ginger was very pleasant.

Each dish truly reflected Heavenly's focus on using local and organic foods whenever possible.

The decor of the restaurant is casual and inviting, and the staff was friendly and helpful.

Heavenly Island Lifestyle is a great spot for those who wish to support local businesses while enjoying meals that are fresh and healthy.

Heavenly Island Lifestyle
Shoreline Hotel Waikiki 1F
342 Seaside Ave
Honolulu, HI 96815
808-923-1100

 
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