101 Dalmatians Diamond Edition is Now Available!

I received a copy of the movie to facilitate this review. All opinions are my own.

When I was little, I had quite the collection of Disney movies. I had the classics, the lesser known movies, and of course, the then-brand-new movies from Disney’s Renaissance. They were on VHS, though, so sadly I don’t have them anymore- not that we have a VCR to play them on, anyway.

101 Dalmatians Diamond Edition 2015

One of my favorite movies was 101 Dalmatians, which I loved because duh, puppies. The movie freaked me out a bit because I couldn’t imagine anyone as evil as Cruella de Vil, but I loved to watch it all the time. Somehow, I hadn’t managed to pick up 101 Dalmatians on DVD- until it was released on Diamond Edition last week!

About the Movie:

Pick your favorite spot to watch—anytime and anywhere—and get ready for a fun-filled adventure with the Diamond Edition of 101 Dalmatians! Pongo, Perdita and their super-adorable puppies are in for thrills, hilarious spills and an epic action-packed adventure when they face off with Cruella De Vil, Disney’s most fabulously outrageous villainess. When Cruella dognaps all of the Dalmatian puppies in London, brave animal heroes launch a daring plan to save all puppies from Cruella’s clutches! Unleash all the excitement and suspense of Disney’s 101 Dalmatians, a beloved classic you’ll want to share with your family again and again!

The Diamond Edition pack comes with the Blu-ray, DVD, and Digital HD and includes fun bonus features! Our favorite was the all new short “The Further Adventures of Thunderbolt”! Included in your copy of 101 Dalmatians is a code to unlock the movie on Disney Movies Anywhere, the app that allows you to literally watch Disney movies anywhere by hosting your movie collection in the cloud and streaming them on the Disney Movies Anywhere website, or on your tablet or phone.

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Shane was really excited to watch this movie because we watch Once Upon a Time as a family and Cruella is one of the new villains on the upcoming episodes. He really liked the movie- especially since he has several 101 Dalmatians toys that I passed on to him from my childhood! {Told ya, I loved this movie.} Even Zac liked it- he doesn’t quite have the attention span for movies yet, but he enjoyed watching the pups. The movie is only 79 minutes long, which was perfect for a family movie night with the kiddos.

Did you know that it’s estimated that there are 6,429,952 animated Dalmatian spots on screen during the film? Pongo has 72, Perdita has 68, and each puppy has 32. That’s a whole lot of spots! If you love 101 Dalmatians as much as we do, you won’t want to miss these other fun facts about the making of the movie- click the image below to download and view! {There’s even a lesson in how to draw Cruella.}

Buy It: The 101 Dalmatians Diamond Edition combo pack is available now at stores near you or on Amazon. {It’s currently on sale on Amazon for just $22.70!}

When was the last time you watched 101 Dalmatians?

7 Adorable Newborn Photography Ideas

This post is brought to you by a guest contributor.

When your give birth to a child it’s one, if not THE, happiest day of your life. For weeks, months and years later, you’ll be taking photographs of your pride and joy and showing them off to your friends and family.  Many people get a professional photograph of their new born from professional photographers such as Venture Photography. And with the rise of Pinterest, we are being inspired by different ways to take a memorable, meaningful photograph, rather than the standard natural shots.

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Here are some of the cutest ideas to inspire you when you get your professional photograph done with your new born boy or girl.

  1. Aren’t baby’s feet just the cutest? I’m sure you’ll agree there is nothing more heart-warming than hanging mum and dad’s wedding rings from baby’s tiny toes! The picture helps to signify the love in the family you have recently created.
  2. Is your new-born’s daddy a hardworking businessman? Do you hope one day that your little one grows up to be just like daddy? Or is your new born son already showing signs of being a little ladies man? Then capture a picture of him chilling out in one of his daddy’s favourite ties.
  3. The first few months of having a baby are the most memorable. Every little thing they do you are amazed by. A great idea is every month of your baby’s first year; take a photo with a number stating what month they are in age. It’s the perfect way to remember how your little one grows and changes over time.
  4. If it’s close to Christmas time there are lots of ideas you can use on Pinterest to get creative when creating the perfect new born photograph. Celebrate baby’s first Christmas with a timely photo of him or her peeking out from inside a classic red-and-white stocking or sat inside a box that’s been decorated to look like a Christmas present. You can use the photograph to create personalised Christmas cards and send it out to all your family and friends – what could be more adorable?!
  5. Classic, creative and meaningful. Photograph your new born next his or her name’s initial. It’s perfect to addition to any birth announcement – you could even have people guess the name from the initial!
  6. A beautiful new-born photography idea that is filling Pinterest boards is a photograph of Daddy’s hand, mummy’s hand and baby’s hand all  placed on top of one another. Why not have the photograph taken in black and white so all your focus on is the sentiment behind it.
  7. A creative and adorable idea on Pinterest is getting your sonogram photograph and creating an almost before and after photo-shoot. You could place your newest little bundle of joy next to their sonogram photographs of when they were still in the womb!

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What are your favorite newborn photography tips?

Get Game Face Ready with the Official Pregame Products of the Final Four!

It’s a long-running joke that men are always waiting on women to get ready, and while I admit that I am usually the last to be done getting ready to go somewhere, there’s a good reason:

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Now, that’s not to say that I don’t take a lot of work to get ready. I’ve got a whole head of hair to tame, 43 types of makeup to apply, and 317 outfits to get angry at for not being the “right” one. However, men have their own beauty routines! I know my handsome husband feels better after trimming his beard or washing his hair with Dove Men + Care. He may require less steps to walk out the door, but he- like, I suspect, most men- still enjoys looking his best.

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Now that it’s game time, it’s time for men everywhere to have fun with their “beauty” products while they get their game face on! You can get game ready with the official pregame products of the Final Four when you head here to draft your starting lineup of products for a winning look!

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Trade up from your normal roster with these all-stars that will leave your skin feeling clean and invigorated. Match that with advanced protection that will keep you dry for all of life’s pivotal plays, then choose shampoo and conditioners designed for you that leave your hair looking and smelling great. Put up a strong daily defense against your harsh environment for a winning look and put your best face forward thanks to a full lineup of cleanses, moisturizers and shave care.

Then enter once daily at http://bit.ly/1zSRVQS for a chance to win an NCAA® Final Four® experience that includes a trip to the 2016 Final Four® in Houston, Texas. What would your starting product lineup be? Let us know using #GetGameReady and #Sweeps.

The grand prize winner will receive an NCAA® Final Four® “Get Game Ready” Experience, including:

-Trip for (2) to attend 2016 March Madness Final Four® Championships.
-Air transportation
-Ground transportation to/from airport/hotel
-$500 spending money
-Hotel accommodations (Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday)
-Shuttle bus transportation from the hotel to the game
-Attendance to Pregame Practice Session = Final Four® Friday
-Attendance to Pregame party in stadium suite = CBS Turner Sports Hospitality Event (outside stadium)
-Behind the Scenes Tour of Stadium
-Game Tickets

How does the man in your life get game day ready?

10 Presents Your Mum Secretly Wants for Mother’s Day

This post is brought to you by a guest contributor.

Your mum deserves to be spoilt this Mother’s Day. She’s patient, attentive, helpful and generous, But, when you present her with a box of chocolates or some fancy shampoo is she grateful? Here are 10 of the presents she secretly wants this 15th March {May 10th in the US}?

Breakfast for mother's day,Concept.

A Holiday

It may only have been a couple of months ago, but already the Christmas break is a distant memory and it would be lovely to take a holiday from the house work, day job and general stress of day-to-day life. A trip to the Bahamas would do nicely thank you very much, but this box of Thornton’s will also be a treat.

New Bathroom

You mum’s sanctuary, a long soak in the tub is the right of any hard-working mother. Unfortunately, those long baths aren’t that relaxing when you are staring at a mouldy ceiling or a sink that was in fashion 15 years ago. Take a look at the alternatives on the Ideal Standard Outlet webpage.

Flowers (delivered by Gary Barlow)

This may have been achievable 10 years ago when Take That were still in the pop music wilderness. But even now the housewive’s favourite is finally paying his taxes, he probably still has enough money to avoid getting a part-time job as a florist’s delivery man.

A Kindle Loaded with Chick Lit (and time to read it)

Once you have become a mum it is difficult to get out of the habit of constantly being busy  – looking after kids, housework, school runs, looking after the grandkids, it would be nice to rekindle (get it?) that love of literature. No matter how trashy.

Time with the Whole Family

With everyone now having their own families and various commitments the time you can share together is always at a premium.  If this one is achievable for you and your siblings – make it happen.

A Pair of Kurt Geiger Shoes

Even if she’s now a Grandma she still has style. Slippers? Oh, lovely.

A Car of Her Own

It doesn’t have to be the latest Aston Martin, but some wheels of her own so she can do her own shopping trips and visit friends on a whim would be more than welcome.

A Cleaner

Imagine if, after a nice dinner party, that kitchen was not playing on your mind. Your mum has had that nagging feeling after every family meal for the last 20 years or more.

Spa Break

Every woman, no matter what age, loves a good pampering. Treat her to a well-earned spa weekend at the hotel of your choosing. Here’s a website where you can find a venue near to you.

A Girly Film Night

Get you, your sisters, aunties and mum’s friends round for all the classic chick flicks: give Pretty Woman, An Officer and a Gentleman and Thelma and Louise a spin. Bring the tissues.

Shining New Lights on Solar Energy

This post is brought to you by a guest contributor.

Since the energy crisis of the 1970s, scientists and researchers have spent a great deal of time and money looking for alternatives to fossil fuels. Additionally, a host of environmentalist groups have demanded these alternatives be eco-sensitive, serving as clean and renewable energy sources.

To many, solar power is one of the most desirable of all energy sources. The sun shines and strikes Earth whether its energy is used or not, so simply capturing its potential doesn’t add any environmental burden. Moreover, there are ways to use solar energy that prevent any harmful emissions or other environmental issues. 

The core focus on using solar energy was initially on the solar, or photovoltaic, cell. Developed for use in space vehicles, the solar cell was adapted quickly to solar panels for use in the home and other applications. The solar panels installed on the roofs of homes are simply arrays of hundreds of these solar cells, and they create a flow of direct current. This electricity is then sent through an inverter, and it enters the home as regular AC electricity. The entire process serves to eliminate the use of electricity generated by the utilities, such as Columbia Utilities and other local utilities throughout the nation.

Solar cells on a roof with flowers

Increasing Efficiency

The main drawback to the growth in the use of solar energy is the initial cost of installation and ongoing upkeep of the systems. The goal is to have systems that generate a rapid payback and provide ongoing savings by providing sufficient energy in the home or other applications.

The focus on research to achieve this objective is on two areas. First, scientists are trying to improve the efficiency of the solar cell itself. The degree to which the cell converts the energy in the sun’s rays is the measure of its efficiency. While that rate has increased from roughly eight 8 percent in the first cells to 18 to 20 percent today, there are experimental cells that achieve a 40 percent efficiency rating. The more efficient a cell, the fewer needed to provide the desired level of electricity, and the cheaper a total installation.

The second focus of those who wish to see more use of solar energy in the home is on the way the cells and panels are used. Since more than 50 percent of the cost of an initial installation is related to costs other than the cells themselves, this is where a lot of the savings are coming. New approaches such as thin-cell panels and flexible cells allow a different way to use solar in the home. These products can be incorporated into roofing materials and easily installed, producing significant savings.

As science continues to make solar power more affordable and efficient, it will become even more popular as a source of energy for homeowners. 

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