Friday, August 31, 2012

And the Winners Are...

As you know there were 3 giveaways going on at the same time here in the Lair. Coffee vs Tea, Coffee, and Tea. Well those are over and I have winners to announce!

I raise my mug to you!

First in battle Coffee vs Tea the winner was...... Coffee!!! But only be 2 votes. A lot of people posted about which they thought would win but only a few actually entered to win the coffee and tea themed prizes. (Shame.)

Now for the winners of the giveaways... (PS If you see your name/twitter listed please email me at thedragynslair@gmail.com ASAP) (PPS All the twitter names are links so if you want to help me spread the word to your fellow winners that'd be sweet! ;-)


The winners of Tea are...
  1. Tim L. @1brisket
  2. Whitney L. @RambleSAHM
  3. Amy C. @willsgirl31
  4. Jillian D. @jl_davis
  5. Cindi T. @cindianne320
The winners of Coffee are...
  1. Amy A. @coffeeluvinmom
  2. Cindi T. (Yes you can win 2x) @cindianne320
  3. Jessica p. @jprice11
  4. Stephanie A. @princessstephy2
And the winner of Coffee vs Tea and the $10 Starbucks gift card is...
  1.  Kristen C. @DragonDream!!!!

Congrats everyone and remember to contact!

Thursday, August 30, 2012

A Bit of Mousekeeping

Hey guys and dolls! As August comes to a close I feel the need to update you about the next few month as I have them planned. (Which means very little because as we know the best laid plans of mice and Dragyns always go awry.) I think the easiest thing to do would be a month to month breakdown of what the plan is.


FYI I have 3 giveaways that end tomorrow. You should check them out. ;-) Also tomorrow I'll post the review of my Corvette driving experience.

September:
  1. It'll start with a bang! I teamed up with my friend Megan to giveaway a Marc Jacobs designer handbag. Even I will be entering that giveaway!
  2. Next I'll be teaming up with another group of bloggers to give you guys a gift card and a back to school themed prize.
  3. There will be several product reviews including Ella's Kitchen and Dole products.
  4. I'm headed back to WDW at the end of the month so follow my instagram for pics (dragynally on there too)
October:
  1. 31 days of Halloween! 
  2. I'll need your help! I want you to send me family traditions, recipes, you in costume whatever Halloween themed fun you can think up! Send it to thedragynslair@gmail.com.
  3. Fingers crossed that I can make contact with a costume shop.
  4. And there will be a special Halloween themed gift card and giveaway.
  5. I will also do a post or 2 about Breast cancer awareness month.
November:
  1. Is up in the air... Anything you can think of?
  2. Thanksgiving... Not sure what.
December:
  1. I'm teaming up with toy companies to do a HoliDaze gift guide! So excited.
  2. I'll be teaming up with a group of bloggers to do a HUGE holiday themed giveaway (stay tuned)
  3. There will also be another gift card giveaway to help with the HoliDaze shopping.
That's it for now. Please let me know  If there is anything you want to see. Of course there will be plenty of Disney stuff scattered within and movie reviews. I just won't know details until it happens.



Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Your Words Wednesday

Hello Guys and Dolls! I thought I'd do something special this Wednesday. In an attempt to get you to play along I want you to look at the pictures below and tell the story you think is happening. It's that easy.

Now if you have seen Paperman already DO NOT tell that story. I don't want it to be spoiled for other people. Tell a new story. Tell your own story. But let the pics inspire you.  
 

All pics are from Disney Film press.







Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Toy Tuesday

Look at what Playdoh and Hasbro has in store for Disney princess fans. It's called the Prettiest Princess Castle. You can help Aurora, Belle and Cinderella (ABC) get ready for the ball. And Rapunzel sits on top of her tower and you can grow her hair. I think it's cute and I love the princess theme. But part of me is disappointed in the lack of princess diversity. Where's Jasmine? How about Tiana? Or even Snow White? And why can't Rapunzel leave her tower?! I don't know maybe I'm just picky. Let me know what you think.

Picture from Hasbro Presskit



Monday, August 27, 2012

Because I needed to blog something...

One of my favorite things in Walt Disney World is tucked behind Cinderella's Castle. It is a statue of Cinderella still dressed in rags and talking to animals. She is part of a fountain. Behind her is a beautiful mural that holds a secret. When you stand in a certain spot the crown in the mural looks like it is sitting on Cinderella's head. It's foreshadowing. The crown is the little cinder girl's destiny.


Sunday, August 26, 2012

Blogging Leftover Sunday

I haven't done one of these in a LONG time! But my August has been pretty cramped and I think we could all use a day to play catch up. I'll start with the most recent post and work my way back... Hope that make sense. I'll describe each post briefly with links to the post. I'll put links in bold just so they'll stand out. Enjoy! The list starts after the Frankenweenie pic... Did you know it was National Dog Day?

PS Happy National Dog Day!

  1. There's a Lipton Tea and Honey Giveaway
  2. There's a Baileys Coffee Creamer Giveaway
  3. AND There's a Starbucks $10 Gift Card Giveaway
  4. I talk about Dreamworks new biopic LINCOLN
  5. There are pics of me with Princesses
  6. Hasbro is coming out with a Where's My Water Board Game
  7. Picturing Disney was the Site of the Week
  8. I took some pics behind the wheel of a Corvette
  9. Furby is back!
  10. Merida has a Meet and Greet in Magic Kingdom
  11. I reviewed the Odd Life of Timothy Green
  12. There were clips from the Odd Life of Timothy Green
  13. Craziness of Sparklecorn
  14. I distilled everything BlogHer taught me into a list
  15. We celebrated the Lair's 2nd birthday!
  16. Recapped the last day of BlogHer
  17. Recapped day 4 of BlogHer
  18. Explained how my 3rd day of BlogHer was actually day 1
  19. Silly me and my BlogHer pics!
  20. Talked about how BlogHer nearly killed me after 2 days!
  21. The first day of BlogHer
  22. And we started out August Wordless
So that was a month's worth of blog post... That's a lot! Check them out. Leave comments. Don't forget about the giveaways. ;-) 

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Tea: Lipton Tea and Honey Review



and giveaway...

Yes guys and dolls. I am sneaking giveaways into other posts. It's a fun way to see if people are reading. :-)

I love iced tea! Love it. It's a refreshing change from soda and juice. My only problem is when you use drink mixers sometimes they are way too sweet or use too many artificial sweeteners.

Enter Lipton Tea and Honey! I'm sure you've seen the commercials that say something about refreshing and natural and blah blah blah. Let me set the record straight. This stuff is good! It's just sweet enough and the fruit flavors are really good and aren't over powering. You know how sometimes a drink will be "mango flavored" and it tastes like you've been decked by a mango? Well this isn't like that at all.The fruit flavors are light and natural. Like real fruit (shame but it had to be said!)

Lipton Tea and Honey is also surprisingly low in calories. Now this is one of those moments where the small print can get you. The package says that Lipton Tea and Honey is only 5 calories per 8oz serving. What's wrong with that? Well one packet makes a 16oz bottle. So what it should say is that Lipton Tea and Honey is 10 calories. Which honestly isn't bad at all! Especially considering the calories in your favorite 12oz soda.

My favorite part about Lipton Tea and Honey is how perfectly sweet it is. I'm not someone who likes to feel like they are drinking sugar water. I'm also delusional enough to be on a health kick every now and then. This has just the perfect amount of natural sweetness. I don't feel like I am deprived of sweet at all. Also unlike artificial sweeteners there is NO funny aftertaste and the result is a very smooth tea. It has a bit of that bitter bite you expect when you drink tea but the sweetness and fruit totally balance it out.

But why take my word for it? Use the rafflecopter below and enter to win one of 5 sets of 3 packs! That's right. 5 of you will get to try this for yourselves and then you can tell me if it's any good. I'm limiting this giveaway to the US only. Mainly because I'm not the one sending out the prizes. You have until August 31 at midnight to enter. Good luck!

Opinions in this review are entirely those of Dana "DragynAlly" Howze. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Coffee: Bailey's Coffee Creamer Review

and giveaway.

Oh Coffee! How do I love thee. Let me count the ways! I wish I was joking but no I am a coffee addict. In fact that was the one thing at BlogHer I kept wanting and couldn't get my hands on. Until the last day. I was slow rolling the Expo when I came upon the Bailey's coffee creamer table. Bailey's? Coffee? Me? YES please!

The nice girl woman poured me a sample cup of coffee and Brown Butter Pecan. It was SO good! I left my card with her and kept on my journey. "I can't wait to but this stuff when I get home" I thought.

Fast forward to about a week ago. Jillian (really nice woman from before) shoots me an email. She tell me that not only will she send me coupons for free bottles of Bailey's coffee creamer so that I may try and review it (yes Virgina there is coffee!) BUT she would send some so you guys and dolls could try the creamer too. And that brings us to this post.

I love this creamer. And no, I'm not just saying that. It is officially the best coffee creamer that I have ever had. And that is saying a lot considering that I have been drinking coffee since I was 3 (yes 3) and that I have tried many a coffee creamer. Bailey's coffee creamer is smooth and rich. It leaves a delicious aftertaste but doesn't make your tongue feel all filmy.

I was able to try 2 flavors with my coupons. The Original Bailey's and French Vanilla. I liked them both a lot more than I was expecting to. The Original tastes just like having Bailey's in your morning coffee without any of that pesky hangover business. The flavor is rich and smooth. But seriously, it REALLY tastes like Bailey's. I know that may not sound that impressive but I was surprised. I was expecting it to taste like cream. Maybe have a nice imitation Bailey's flare to it. But no. It was Bailey's! I was so happy. I've been drinking it in my coffee all week.

As for the French Vanilla my expectations were especially low. Every creamer company and their mama has some sort of vanilla. Ladies and Gents this kicks those vanillas' collective backsides! Once again creamy, rich, great mouth feel, great after taste, right amount of sweetness. It was just so rich and delicious. Honestly I had to stop myself from drinking it straight from the bottle. (No joke!) I can't wait to try all of the other flavors.

But do not take my word for any of this. Try it yourself! I still have 5 coupons left (I would have 6 but I'm keeping one for myself when the fall flavors come out.) So 5 of you can win a coupon for up to $4.99 value (for me that was a big bottle) by entering via the rafflecopter below.

Giveaway ends August 31 at midnight. US residents only. Good luck! And make sure you tell me all about it once you've tried it.

Opinions in this review are entirely those of Dana "DragynAlly" Howze.



a Rafflecopter giveaway


Battle: Coffee vs Tea! #Giveaway



I love the smell of coffee in the morning... Noon and night. I love tea all the time too! Today in the Lair it's going to get interesting as I put two of my favorite things head to head in an epic battle! Ok it won't be that epic but it'll be fun.

This is part 1 of a three part adventure you can go on today.  This giveaway is simple and open to everyone. The prize? A $10 Starbucks Gift Card I got from BlogHer. (What can I say? I like to share the wealth!)

You'll enter below using the rafflecopter. Start here by answering which do you think will win battle coffee vs tea. What do I mean by win? Well I'm wondering how many people will enter to win a free coffee product and how many people will enter to win a free tea product. You vote and tell me which one you think will get the most entries. (You get entered whether your guess it right or not.) There are also a few bonus ways to enter. Have fun with this! You can totally argue why tea kicks coffee's butt. Or vice versa.

Then the next 2 posts in this series are about coffee and tea, respectively. I am reviewing Bailey's coffee creamers and Lipton Tea and Honey. Both of which I am excited to share with you. When you read those reviews you can also enter to win prizes associated with them.

This giveaway starts August 23 and ends at Midnight August 31. (All the giveaways in this series end at the same time.) I hope all of this makes sense. Good luck!



a Rafflecopter giveaway


Wednesday, August 22, 2012

And the winner is...

Congrats Mike G. aka @Mykelogan! You are the winner of the Timothy Green prize pack. Please email thedragynslair@gmail.com ASAP.




Steven Spielberg's LINCOLN

Hey guys and dolls! You've probably seen this poster floating around the interwebs. If not, here it is! It is the poster of Steven Spielberg's latest pic LINCOLN.

From what I can gather this film is about Abraham Lincoln's last days. How he dealt with a divided country and what he did to bring America back together. I must say I'm curious.

 And bonus! There are no vampires. My favorite part of this film is the casting. In this poster is Daniel Day-Lewis (swoon!) and I think he's a pretty good fit (visually) for the part. In fact I can't imagine anyone else playing this part. Day-Lewis has the energy charisma and quiet strength that comes with playing a part as heavy as this (My words. What? I can be deep!).

Lincoln comes to theaters in limited release November 9, 2012 and everywhere November 16, 2012. What do you think? Is the world ready for a Lincoln biopic?





Wordless Wednesday






Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Where's My Water? Game!

Heads up Guys and Dolls! This fall Hasbro is making a Where's My Water hand held game.

Now I like apps and vidgames as much as the next person. But sometimes it's fun to have something 3D and tactile to play with.

Where's My Water? Will be for ages 5 and up and will come out this fall. Expected retail is about $20. You play in turns. Each person tries to guide a water marble to Swampy. When it's your turn you draw a card you add an obstacle to avoid. That makes the game constantly changing and more challenging as you play.

I'm excited for this to come out and REALLY want to try it. Frankly I'm starting to miss board games and there is something so fun about sitting around with a group of friends and challenging each other.

Arguably the app is more convenient for on the go fun but maybe we all need to SLOW DOWN. Just my two cents. I haven't had the chance to try this game in 3D yet (it's not out yet) But when I do I will totally let you know if I'm still in love with this idea when I'm playing it.

What do you think? Would you want to buy this game? What do you think of a game versus an app?

Pics and info from Hasbro press kit.






Picturing Disney by @myrapunzal

Picture by Picturing Disney
This week's Site of the Week is Picturing Disney. If you write for or know of a great site (Disney or otherwise) check out the "Advertise Your Site" tab and email me!

Survey


  1. Tell me about yourself. I am a 9th grade Social Studies teacher from New York.  I have been married to my high school sweetheart and best friend for 3 years and we have an adorable Lab/Pointer mix that I treat like my child.
  2. What sparked your love of Disney (or whatever your site is about)? I think on some level I always loved Disney.  I remember the first time I was really obsessed was when Beauty and the Beast came out.  I was 10 or 11 and our local paper had a different segment of a Beauty and the Beast Christmas comic in it each day for a month or so.  I would rush to get the paper, cut out the comic, and read what happened on the few cells released each day.
  3. Where did the idea for your site come from? I never knew what to do with all my Disney pictures but had outgrown only using one or two on articles for sites I was writing for.  At the same time I didn't want to stop taking them so that is what the idea was born from.
  4. What is your site about? I have a photoblog and mainly aim to simply share a little Disney magic and some Disney love every day.  You can pop over for a new Disney pic each day as well as some articles and reviews. I like the idea that at the most stressful or mundane moment of a work day you can simply head over to Picturing Disney and have a little pick-me-up-pic to bring you a little sunshine.
  5. Who works on your site? Just me, Melissa :)
  6. Who is the intended audience of your site? Anyone who loves Disney!
  7. What makes your site different from others? I think a lot of Disney sites do too much or stretch out in many directions.  Maybe this wont be your go to spot for trip planning advice or discount releases but a picture is worth a thousand words.
  8. If you could give people one reason to check out your site what would it be? I put so much of my heart in it that from one Disney lover to another, I don't think other photoblogs have the same attention to detail I bring.
  9. How can the Lair's readers find out more about your site? Head on over to www.PicturingDisney.com and hit the "About" tab at the top of the page.
Bonus questions

  1. If you could be any Disney character who would you be? I think I would have to go with Belle- man I wish I had that library!
  2. Favorite theme park? Disney World's Magic Kingdom
  3. Favorite movie? Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, Lion King, Little Mermaid- I can't really pick one!
  4. Favorite ride? I can't pick just one so I would say my Top 5 are: Soarin, Spaceship Earth, Splash Mountain, Pirates, and Small World
  5. Favorite resort? Polynesian
  6. Favorite non-Disney thing? Harry Potter!!
  7. What's the hardest thing about running your site? It makes me want to run away to Disney on a daily basis! lol!
  8. What's the best thing about running your site? Meeting new amazing Disney people!
  9. Besides DragynAlly, who's your favorite dragon? Pete!


And the winner is...

Congrats Cari K. aka @LuckyLitWit!!! You are the winner of the Bag o Swag giveaway! Please email me thedragynslair@gmail.com ASAP.




Monday, August 20, 2012

Motor Monday

I'll talk about the awesomeness of a corvette in my driveway later this week. For now pics!


Friday, August 17, 2012

Furby Friday


Furby is back! You remember Furby right? He looked a little like a gremlin (mogwa), he spoke his own funky language and he was fuzzy and cute.

Well he's back and better! Now Furby has his own iPhone app and you can use it to feed him and translate "furbish" to English. As you talk to, feed and play Furby music he will start to develop his very own personality.

Now they said this was true with the old ones but I think with the new tech in this world this Furby will do that and more. Also instead of his big google eyes Furby has digital eyes that show his emotion.

Watch the video and let me know what you think of "New Furby".

video



Thursday, August 16, 2012

Merida Meet and Greet

I know this is old news at this point but there is (I think it's still there) a Merida meet and greet in Magic Kingdom. And it makes my life!!! Why you may ask? Sure it's just another girl in a princess costume... I mean just another princess. But this princess looks like they grabbed her straight from the film. And her accent was lovely and sounded good to me!

But who cares about a princess when there are animatronic... I mean LIVE bears!!! Three little baby bears. And when my friends and I went to see her we were first in line we got to wake them up. "Wake up wee bears" we said and they were awake! And they interacted with us. HOW COOL IS THAT?!

Lastly we got to try our hand at archery. I almost shot of the photopass person's head... But don't I look cool?

If Merida is still there please check her out! Still my favorite meet and greet to date!









Wednesday, August 15, 2012

The Odd Life of Timothy Green: #Giveaway

This giveaway is super simple. Leave a comment HERE (On The Odd Life of Timothy Green Review). That's it. Feel free to come back here and tell me that you did or how you are excited to win. Giveaway starts right now and ends August 22, 2012 at 3pm EST.  As always the comments MUST be relevant to the post. So something about Timothy Green, a question about the review, etc. The prize is some lovely Timothy Green swag I got while I was at the screening. See the pic below. Good luck!





The Odd Life of Timothy Green: Review



Hey Guys and Dolls! Here it is, my The Odd Life of Timothy Green (or Timothy Green for short) review. Let me start this review with the usual disclaimer:

Spoiler Alert: I will do my best to keep this review as free of spoilers as I possibly can. However one person's common knowledge is another person's spoiler (The kid's name is Timothy?!)

Now that we're done with that on to the review! A short synopsis. Timothy Green is the story of a couple (Cindy and Jim Green) who after learning they cannot have children dream up the perfect child. He comes out of their garden and teaches them how to be parents. Not perfect parents but great parents.

I like lists. So I'm going to list the things I liked about this movie followed by the things I didn't love and then end with a short blurb about what I liked (to those of you who are not used to critique this is a compliment sandwich. YUM!)


What I liked about Timothy Green:
  1. It really is a heart felt story. I'm not a crier and even I had to break out a tissue.
  2. The cast is phenomenal! Very talented and highly believable. This was especially important with Timothy because he's such a sweet charater the wrong actor could have ruined him.
  3. The promise of the beginning pays off at the end. Leaves, nature, even pencils, all of it is a thematic thread throughout the film and at the end it all makes sense.
  4. It's a positive and uplifting movie. I don't feel like we've seen movies that we're just pure positivity in a long time.
  5. It's funny. There are a ton of laugh out loud moments.
  6. If you are from a patchwork family (ME!) you will appreciate how this film looks at family and how it emphasizes that different is ok even great.
  7.  You will love Timothy. I didn't want to. Mostly characters this cheery and positive get on my nerves. But I loved him! I wanted to see what he did next and how he changed the life of the next person he ran into.
  8. Cindy and Jim will be easy to relate to. I think most parents will get wanting to be the best parent ever and realizing that you just have to be the best parent to your kid. You will love watching them try to do the best they can even though they have no clue what they're doing.
  9. In a way it reminded me of all good fantasy films. It uses a convoluted and impossible premise to teach us a lesson about simple everyday truths. In that way Timothy Green is beautiful. You can suspend disbelief about the boy who grew in the garden and just believe in the truths of family and friendship and love (did I just get cheesy?).
What I didn't love about Timothy Green:
  1. It uses a framing device that I am not too fond of. Every time I felt like I was completely drawn into the narrative (main story) this framing device would come along and pull me out of it. Basically the movie was supposed to be a big flashback and this framing device (sorry that's the only name I have for it) would cut in and out. It was like the writers didn't rely on the strength of their story and added this just in case. The story is really strong and beautiful without it. Also you may want to ignore me on this one as I had just gotten out of six weeks of screenwriting graduate level courses and see films differently than most.
  2. Besides Timothy and his family everyone seemed like they were jerks. I guess that makes how they change seem even more special but still! Everyone this kid meets is a bit of a jerk.
In conclusion... Wait, this isn't a grad school paper! I guess you're wondering after all the spiel whether or not you should go see Timothy Green. I won't answer that for you. But I will say I already saw it once and if I have my way I'll be dragging my mom to see it again. If you do go see it (seriously why wouldn't you) bring someone you love and tissues. You'll need both.

Timothy Green is one of the best movies I've seen all year! I want to own it on DVD and it just came out in theaters today. If you go see it let me know what you think!

Monday, August 13, 2012

Timothy Green Clips


So I need to review this movie... And I will. I'm going to see it again tomorrow and then I'll have something written up for Wednesday. I will! Promise. But in the meantime check out these clips and let me know if you have any questions. Sound good?








All pics and videos where provided by Walt Disney Media for promotional purposes.

Bag o Swag #Giveaway

Hello Guys and Dolls! When I do things like go to conferences I always wish I could take you with me! I can't. BUT I can try to share some of my awesome experiences and swag with you. So here's the deal.I am assembling an AWESOME bag of swag for one of you. All you have to do is follow the directions in the rafflecopter below.

The first entry is MANDATORY and all you have to do is asking me a question (any question but please try to be original) about BlogHer. You can get many more entries by leaving comments on any post written August 1st or later with #BlogHer12 in the title. If this seems confusing fret not! The title of the posts in question are in the rafflecopter. (I'd follow it closely if I were you. ;-)

"But, Dragyn, I already posted on some of these! Do I really have to post again?" Nope. All posts count. So if you posted ahead of time you are just ahead of the game! BUT you still have do the one mandatory entry so I know you want to be part of the giveaway.

The giveaway starts August 13, 2012 at midnight and ends August 21, 2012 at midnight (I'd enter by August 20 11:59pm). Us and Canada only (this package will be heavy and I'm paying the shipping!). Many will enter (I hope) ONE will win. Must be 21 or older (There will be alcohol related products I'm sure.)

Good Luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Sunday, August 12, 2012

Because Sparklecorn Needs No Words #BlogHer12

Cake!

Don't ask...

Disney follows me!

And pa and pa and PARTY!

If you're sexy and you know it raise your hands!

Me and @OurDelightful

Me and @mommabrown08

DJ!

Me and @Mom_Mart

Me and @DMBastain

Me and @gaynycdad

Me and @CarolACain

My girl @toywithme

Me and @notasupermom

Me and @Dontspkwhinese