Thursday, October 19, 2017

THOR: RAGNAROK New Featurettes

I don't know about your family, but mine can't stop talking about the movies that are coming out starting next month. We're basically going to live through the holidays watching new releases! The first one on our list is THOR: RAGNAROK.

Of course I don't want to keep all of the good stuff to myself so here are a couple of featurettes for you to feast on! The first is Chris Hemsworth, Mark Ruffalo and Director Taika Waititi as they talk about the movie and offer glimpses of what’s to come!

Next is a featurette with Cate Blanchett, Marvel Cinematic Universe’s first female villain—Hela. She's such a diverse actress, I can't wait to see her in this role.

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THOR: RAGNAROK opens in theaters everywhere November 3rd

Teaching Kids To Make An Investment

The first time I thought about my kids learning about finances was when my oldest daughter was heading to high school. I remember going through her class options and was excited to see one that taught about finances, how to fix things in your home, etc. Practical things. When she signed up for classes, she found out they were cutting out that class. UGH! I was terrible at finances and didn't want my kids to follow in my footsteps.

Spring forward 8 yrs later and my oldest son started talking to me yesterday about how he can't wait until he can start investing his money in stocks. I was so excited to have this talk with him because a) I'm partnering with BusyKid and b) my boys need to start NOW!

Both of my boys have jobs, yes even my 14 yr old, and I want them to be money smart! I don't want them to ever live paycheck to paycheck or worry about what retirement will look like I do. It's not surprising that nearly 80% of millennials aren't invested in the stock market. Also that 3 in 4 young women, versus 60 percent of young men, said investing was confusing. I can confirm that it's incredibly confusing.

It's important to teach our kids! The lack of financial education in schools are the major reason young Americans aren’t prepared to invest in their futures. I was never taught it in school, and neither were my kids. I would really encourage parents to give stock instead of gifts! With the holidays coming up, it's a fun way to get them started!

- Price is now $14.95 for the entire family
- They are introducing the BusyKid Spend Card, a reloadable Visa® prepaid card, where kids can move their allowance in order to spend in stores or online
- For a limited time, 2 kids of each new family will receive a free $10 stock. We want kids to learn how to invest so we decided to give them their first experience in dealing with the stock market.

Here are 5 Tips For Young Investors

Learn The Game - Investing can be a risky game. However the best time to learn how to play is when you are young. The amounts you invest are generally smaller and if you make mistakes, you have plenty of time to make up for them. There is no lack of information available on how to invest in stocks, so read up!

Earn Your Stock - Let your children earn money to invest by completing chores around the house. By using BusyKid, your children can automatically turn their allowance into investments.

Don’t Fear Mistakes - It’s bound to happen. You pick the wrong stock, pull out too soon or too late. Maybe you lose all you invested. Don’t sweat it. You’re not the first to do it and you won’t be the last. The good news is you are young and able to rebound from whatever happened. Just don’t quit!

Have Fun - Investing can be fun because unlike having your money in a bank account, you can watch your money live in the market. Follow your investments weekly to see if they go up or down. Then when you think the time is right, sell the stock and start all over again.

Family Affair - Make investing a family affair or contest. Let each family member the ability to but two or three stocks, then over a month, have a contest to see who does better. You can even spend time each night at dinner discussing how the market did and who is winning.

Monday, October 16, 2017

Staycation With The Mazda6 Grand Touring

Recently, Fred and I had a "first." We left my oldest son at home to be with my youngest son overnight. OVER-NIGHT! BY. HIMSELF! Holy cow!!

Yes, Fred and I have gone on trips without the kids, but this was the first time we weren't having someone come and stay with the boys. And by "someone" I mean an adult, which, Buddy is technically an adult at 18. Heck, I was living on my own (very badly quite honestly) at 18!

When I found out I was going to get to drive the 2017.5 Mazda6 Grand Touring for a review, I was thrilled...and then I went into planning mode. Where were we going to enjoy our ride for the week? I really tried to reach out to as many places as I could, but sakes alive, it's not always easy trying to find a place to visit on short notice. What I really wanted to do was see the changing of the leaves. Unfortunately, the leaves aren't really changing down here yet.

Let me introduce you to Lola! Isn't she a beauty? She came to me with just over 300 miles on her. I've never had the privilege of driving a vehicle with so few miles. I was in for a treat! I can't wait to share about our experience on our short little road trip in the Mazda6.

I looked into going to PA and WV. Turns out there's a lot to do, but so much of it was booked in advance by others, our options were limited. This summer friends of ours went to Harper's Ferry, WV, and I loved the photos so much, I decided we had a destination.

As nervous as I was to head out (sheesh we were only an hour and a half away) I was really excited. Just me and the hubs. No agenda. Friday night all we had to do was get to our hotel and grab something to eat along the way. When we started out, I was driving, but at some point I just got too sleepy and I asked Fred to take over.

It was kind of fun being a passenger in the new car. I got to play with the buttons. Let's start by talking about the little things. It's nice (as a driver) to have the plug in power source in an accessible place in the car as opposed to  being almost hidden on the passenger side in the CX-9. We've always got something plugged in. We didn't have the boys with us, but if we did and they needed charges, thankfully there were also two USB ports in the arm rest.

And the color...Soul Red Metallic on the outside and Parchment Leather on the inside. The Active Driving Display is fantastic! Instead of information being displayed on the windshield, this display unfolds when the car starts. There did seem to be times when it worked to show the road signs and other times when it didn't.

Once again, my favorite feature is the Advanced Blind Spot Monitoring. It was kind of funny when it chimed the first time. Fred was like, "What was that ringing noise?" I didn't know what he was talking about because he asked too long after the chime had sounded. When it did it again, I realized what he was talking about. Honestly, you can't beat the notifications you get when there's a car in your blind spot. The chime, the light indicator on your side mirrors, and the notification on the Active Driving Display, it's something I hate living without in my car.

Our drive into West Virginia was a pretty relaxing drive. We checked into our hotel and relaxed for the rest of the night. A gal could get used to this! We're always go, go, go so to have nothing planned the next day was delightful!

Saturday morning had us packing back up into the Mazda 6 and going on the hunt for coffee. Fred found a coffee place called Big Dog which was outside of town, but had good ratings. It was a fun coffee place that had a lot of homemade items for sale. Right next to it was a cute little market where we had to get some fall items!

Thank goodness we had no agenda because as we were heading into Harper's Ferry we drove by a flea market and Fred whipped a u-turn. He knew without really having to ask that I wanted to go. It was a great stop! I found old books for my daughter's wedding and this hat...can you even believe I didn't come home with it?!

We drove through the main section of Harper's Ferry a couple of times trying to get our bearings. Since we hadn't been there before we weren't exactly sure where to park or where to start. What was an awesome bonus, it was free parking for September 30: National Public Lands Day! Score, right? Well, we ended up not parking where it was free, but ended up going to the other side of the town and paying to park. Don't ask...

It was a delightful place to visit. So much history to learn about. I had no idea it was such sought after piece of land between the Union and the Confederates. We went into the buildings soaking up the history of what happened in the town. I have to admit, some of it was extremely hard to read. We had lunch at a cute little restaurant, and then continued to explore the rest of the town.

I'm so glad we decided to take Lola on a staycation. She is what inspired our first night away and leaving the boys at home. Did I mention we told both of our neighbors we were going to be gone? Not because we were "worried" about the boys, but because I wanted them to be aware if anything seemed suspicious in the middle of the night.

Our drive home was just as relaxed. I decided that I hadn't gotten to drive as much as I wanted since I was sharing the driving this time. I kicked Fred out of the driver's seat and took over again. The 6 was a nice car to drive. You can definitely tell it's a 4-cylinder, but kicking it into Sport mode when necessary gave it a stronger feel. Since I don't have a moonroof, I kept playing with that because it's such a fun accessory.

We had some weird issues with the HD on the radio so Fred used his Amazon Music to entertain us for the rest of the ride home. I didn't want to program radio stations since we only had Lola for a week. It would've probably been easier though as I look back.

It's incredible how much the weather can change. Friday when we headed on our trip is was in the 70s and we were using the A/C. Monday on my way to my Bible Study I had the seat warmer on as well as the steering wheel heater. Oh my gosh...that steering wheel heater. Dreamy I tell ya! And who doesn't want a warm tooshie on a cold day?

There was also the opportunity to find out the capacity of the trunk, which turned out to be much larger than I expected. We picked up three suitcases for our mission trip. I thought we'd have to lay one of the seats down, but thankfully didn't have to. Laying down the seats would've been easy (I checked later) had we needed them. It's incredible to me how much room you can get out of a sedan these days!

I wasn't quite ready for our weekend to be over, so I asked Fred if we could check out some country roads on our way back. I also wanted to go down to Annapolis to get some pictures by the Bay. Of course he agreed. He's always such a trooper. It was fun trying to find a spot to grab some action shots with the car. It's a skill I need to work on, but was fun to try out.


It was so beautiful exploring the West Virginia country roads. You could easily spend the day driving and driving just seeing beautiful landscape. On the way home I asked Mr. Easy Going if he'd be ok stopping by Annapolis because I wanted to take Lola down by the water. Of course he agreed. I really had wanted to stop at Sofie's Crepes because it's one of my favorite places to eat at, but we'd had smoothies about an hour before we got there and I was super full.

It was a fantastic weekend and I was so thankful to have that alone time with my hubby. I'm already looking forward to exploring more through the fall. I think we'll have to head up to PA next.

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Disney Inspired Fall Gift Baskets

I know everyone is talking about the fall weather and everything that comes along with with it. They have since the beginning of September while I'm still clinging to summer! In order to put my mind in the right frame of mind, I decided to put together a couple of gift baskets. I used the two books I was sent from Disney Publishing Worldwide for review: Papillon Goes to the Vet and Art of Coloring: Mickey & Minnie.

Before we get to the baskets, let's talk about the books.

Papillon Goes to the Vet
by A.N. Kang
Publisher: Disney Publishing Worldwide
ISBN: 978-1484728819


Papillon, the kitty so fluffy he floats, is back! Papillon Goes to the Vet, is the second book in this whimsically charming picture book series. With lively mixed-media illustrations, Kang takes readers on the journey that every fluffy kitty must make when his ability to float drops and the hiccups won't stop! The encouraging ending will inspire many giggles, and perhaps a kitty hug or two.

My review:

This was an adorable book that any child will enjoy. The artwork is absolutely wonderful. Who doesn't love a fluffy cat with the ability to float? Papillon swallows a toy that causes hiccups and he can no longer float. He has to stay at the vets where he meets other cats who seem to have talent and beauty he doesn't. All's well that ends well when Papillon's hiccups finally are cured.

This was a fun basket to put together. It would be great for a birthday or a get well basket for any child.

Art of Coloring: Mickey & Minnie
by Disney Book Group
Publisher: Disney Publishing Worldwide
ISBN: 978-1484789735


Fun, funny, and feisty patterns and character designs permeate the near-ninety-year history of Disney's beloved mice: Mickey and Minnie. These images are ideal for taking pencil to paper and adding your own brand if color and style. Perfect for cultivating creativity, relaxation, and focus, these pages are filled with line art from Disney animation, comics, featuring work from Ub Iwerks, Floyd Gottfredson, and more.

My review:

One of my favorite parts of this coloring book is the history that is included. It names the cartoon short along with the date, and occasionally the person who created the poster or comic strip. If you have a friend who is an avid Disney fan and enjoys coloring, they'll like this book. There are a couple pieces of this book that I'm not thrilled with. One is that there's a lot of black already colored in so it limits the amount of coloring you can do. The other is that the comic strips as well as a couple of other pages are so minute and detailed it would be hard to color. I did find inspiration to make a fall gift basket for a friend or sister who needs a boost.

Monday, October 2, 2017

Disney•Pixar’s COCO - Coloring Pages

Get your kids ready for Disney•Pixar’s COCO with these fun pages! The movie comes out Thanksgiving weekend, so these activity pages are the perfect way to ramp up their excitement!

Here are a few examples of what you can print for the kids by clicking COCO Pages:


Despite his family’s baffling generations-old ban on music, Miguel (voice of newcomer Anthony Gonzalez) dreams of becoming an accomplished musician like his idol, Ernesto de la Cruz (voice of Benjamin Bratt). Desperate to prove his talent, Miguel finds himself in the stunning and colorful Land of the Dead following a mysterious chain of events. Along the way, he meets charming trickster Hector (voice of Gael GarcĂ­a Bernal), and together, they set off on an extraordinary journey to unlock the real story behind Miguel's family history.

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COCO opens in theatres everywhere on November 22nd!

Friday, September 29, 2017

6 Fall Porch Decor Ideas

Now that I have a wonderful front porch, I want to decorate it for every season. Of course that means over time I need to build up all of my decor. I decided to turn to blogging friends to see how they like to decorate for the fall. Hopefully you'll be inspired like I am!

I love, love, love garlands and wreaths! Luckily, My Home Based Life has two DIYs that are perfect for both. First she has an Easy Fall Garland DIY and then a Simple Fall Wreath DIY. The two words I like the most? Easy and Simple!

Next we have the simple elegance of an Easy Fall Outdoor Home Decor by FrugElegance. I love how she carried out the theme throughout different areas of her home. Plus, you've got to see how lovely her outdoor seating is. They also made this wonderful Fall Grapevine Wreath!

Ever wonder how to pick the "right" pumpkin? Check out this fun post: GREAT Pumpkin For Fall Porch by Botanic Bleu. It gives some fun suggestions for decorating with pumpkins.

Birkley Lane Interiors doesn't want your Halloween decor to be boring so she made an adorable DIY Halloween Boo Sign. I would love to have it on my porch this fall! She also made a really cute DIY Fall Farmhouse Decor Craft. She shows how easy it is to make it! I always seem to want to make projects harder than they need to be.

I'm hoping to get at least one of these projects done before winter sets in. lol I'm such a procrastinator! My porch is ready for some fall decor.
Fall Decor Ideas

Monday, September 25, 2017

Effectively Using The My Disney Experience App

The gal who ordered our tickets for us mentioned the My Disney Experience section at the Disney website when she was giving me a few suggestions, but honestly, I blew her off. I just didn't want to bother and I didn't want another app on my phone. I'm not a huge fan of apps, especially one I'm only going to use for a week.

Flash forward to our first day at Walt Disney World and Fred kept telling me about the time for this ride, the time for that ride. And just so we're on the same page, I just rolled my eyes at him and went along my merry way. I can't even tell you at which point I finally gave in and downloaded the app.

Alleluia! So maybe they were both right about how much I would want to have it handy! There are so many uses it for it, some of which we didn't realize until Day 3 at Hollywood Studios. So, let's go through the many and amazing uses of the My Disney Experience App (you can also use the website).

First, you can check ride & character wait times! What I love about that is you can determine a plan of action while you're at each park. If you're in Tomorrowland and it shows short ride times for Pirates of the Caribbean and Magic Carpets of Aladdin, you can make a b-line to Adventureland. If you have some free time, but don't want to ride anything, you could see how long the wait is for the characters.

FastPass+ organization! You can check what time your FastPass+ is as well as set up new ones. You can go into the day you're planning, see how many FastPass+ you have available for you and the group, and then see what's available. You can remove a FastPass+ that anyone in your family has and switch it to another one if you need to.

How do you get where you want to go? If you're at Animal Kingdom's Flight of Passage and want to get to Kilimanjaro Safaris, you can click on the ride and it'll give you the option of looking at a map to see how to get there! It's awesome!

If you're trying to figure out something at one of the parks you can click on the icon, it'll open up in the app and tell you:
  • What park it's in, which area, and the specific location
  • Find it on the map
  • Get directions
  • Times
  • A little synopsis
  • Wait times
  • If a FastPass+ is available
  • If it's a ride & the type of ride such as "Thrill Type"

You can order food without standing in line! On our 3rd day at Walt Disney World, we were at the ABC Commissary walking into the order line when the gal standing at the front asked us if we wanted to order our food at the table using our MDE app. We were all, "Say what?! That's a thing?!" We went to a table, talked about the menu, and then Fred ordered for us through the app. There's a special pick up space for people who order using the app so when they called our name, we just headed over and grabbed it. Wish we'd know about this feature on day 1! lol

And one of my favorite features is the My Photos section. You can buy a Memory Maker so that you can download photos and videos captured during a 30 day window. Then for each park you can find out where the official Disney photographers are. AND, every time you get your photo taken with a character, they can scan your wristband or the QR code on the app. It was really fun to go through the photos after I found that part in the app. I loved seeing the quick clip of Fred and Buddy at the top of The Tower of Terror.

My Disney Experience App

No matter how you look at it, this is the app to have! I thought I'd have it for a week and here we are at the end of September and I still have it. I just love going in and looking at it to see what the wait times are, which characters are available that day, etc. When you go, be sure you download it!

Saturday, September 23, 2017

20 Must Try Apple Recipes

This past weekend we took at day trip up to Pennsylvania with the plan of the boys and I going to pick apples while the Freds went to find dad a new phone! Pap had gone apple picking a couple times in the past week and had been able to get Honeycrisp, but unfortunately, by the time we got there on Sunday, we were only able to pick gala apples.

We've got 2 dozen apples and I asked my blogging friends to give me some delicious ideas of how to use them. Here we go...

How about these Homemade Chocolate Apples from Culinary Ginger. They're almost too gorgeous to eat!

You can't beat starting off your morning with these amazing Apple Waffles with Cinnamon from Blondie-ish at Kitchen. I'll take it!

Who can turn down a muffin? These Sugar-free Apple Muffins with Salted Caramel look like heavenly, fall treats from Wholesome Yum.

I don't know about you, but two words that should always go together are apple and caramel! That's where these Baked Apples with Homemade Caramel Sauce come into play. Thanks to The Culinary Jumble for this treat!

I'm all about apple desserts and Mini Apple Pies will do the trick! My Gorgeous Recipes' look like they'll fit the bill!

As I was shopping the same night we picked apples, one of the things I wish I knew how to make was applesauce. Well, viola...Hustle. Mom. Repeat. has a How to Make Applesauce in the Instant Pot.

Oh my gosh...these look like sweetness in every bite! I mean, don't these Fried Battered Apple Rings look amazing? Thank you Happy Foods Tube!

I have to admit that I absolutely love bundt cakes, but I never make them. This Apple Bundt Cake with Praline Frosting from An Alli Event has me wanting to inaugurate my bundt pan!

Cookies are perfect any time of the year. I'm ready to sink my teeth into these Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal Cookies from Natalie's Health.

I wish I had coffee cake in my home for every morning! I could handle this Caramel Apple Coffee Cake from Kenarry.

Honestly, I started drooling as soon as I saw Cincy Shopper's Caramel Apple Cream Cheese Ring. It looks amazing, and I'm a huge fan of desserts with cream cheese!

My family absolutely loves cinnamon rolls, so to have them be these Apple & Cranberry Cinnamon Rolls, you can't go wrong. Get the recipe from A Worthey Read!

One of the best things that my boys' great gram used to make were fried apples. Julia's Simply Southern's Southern Skillet Fried Apples look like an amazing snack!

Yes sir, I want my house to smell like apple filling! With One Clever Chef's, Healthy Baked Apple Slices with Cinnamon, I'm sure it will be in no time.

I'd have to say we're a nacho kinda family. That being said, These Apple Nacho S'mores from Dancing Through the Rain will fit the bill for snack time around here!

I'm a fruit pie fanatic. They're my jam! These Miniature Apple Raspberry Pies wouldn't last long around here. Striped Spatula has made me a fan.

Cake glorious cake! The Monday Box's 3-2-1 Caramel Apple Cake is a dessert made in the microwave! I love how quick it is to make.

I'm pretty positive I've never tried a Brown Betty. I know, how is that possible? Well, with Ann's Entitled Life I'll be able to make one with her Apple Brown Betty recipe.

I've also never thought to make an upside down cake other than with pineapple. Not that I've ever tried to make one of those either. This Caramel Apple Upside Down Cake from My Frosted Life would be devoured.

I'm all about baked goods and pastries of any sort. Cheesecake takes the cake for me! I'm pretty certain I could live off of these Mini Apple Cheesecakes by Cents Able Momma.

Last, but not least, is a recipe I have actually MADE in the past...but a very long time ago. It's a favorite dessert for potlucks no doubt. Try this Apple Snickers Salad and see if I'm telling the truth. This recipe is from Joyfully Thriving.

There you have it! 20 amazing recipes using apples. Pretty sure they should get you through fall and further! You'll have to let me know if you try any. And before I forget, you're welcome, because you're going to love them!

Be sure to pin this so you can keep them close at hand.

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Woven by Words by Mimi B is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.