Monday, April 30, 2012

Mother's Day Gift Ideas Giveaway Event! Ends 5/18

mothers day gift ideas

Everyone loves their mom and always wants to find the best gift to make her feel loved and appreciated. These are the gifts I have found and would love to share with you. After you enter my giveaway head over to Makobi Scribe to see her mothers day gift ideas worth over $3000. Then stop by Sason & Pobi to enter the grand prize drawing of a Toshiba 32SLV411U - 32" class 720p 60Hz TV/DVD Combo!

Toshiba’s SLV411U provides excellent HD viewing, outstanding sound and renowned Toshiba innovation—without the clutter. Discover all-you-want entertainment plus all-in-one convenience with Toshiba’s SLV411U LED DVD Combo HDTV. With its size—32" class plus its smart, ultraslim profile and built-in DVD player, this set is ideal for kitchen or bedroom settings where extra cables and components are a no-go. And a convenient PC input makes it easy to present home media or use the TV as a bigscreen monitor. Packing great Toshiba quality, reliability and innovation, the SLV411U offers excellent imagery and sound. While our exclusive DynaLight™ backlight control selectively punches up blacks and reduces highlights for a more balanced, true-to-life picture. Looking for a TV that plays DVDs as well as excellent entertainment? Choose Toshiba’s 32" class SLV411U LED DVD Combo HDTV.
  • DynaLight® - Automatically adjusts the backlight intensity based on the image content.
  • Gaming mode - Enjoy hair-trigger action on your Toshiba TV with a special setting that reduces game controller delay.
  • HDMI port - Scale up your gaming, movies and music on a home theater - with full 1080p high-definition video, and amazingly immersive surround sound.
Are you excited? Enter the giveaway for the Toshiba TV/DVD combo here.

Now for the prizes you can win here at Five Kids and Crazy Me! 
From Nature's Sleep: A pair of Terry Slippers with Memory Foam. RV $25
Stop by and read the Sponsor Spotlight for Nature's Sleep!

From Baggallini: A Touring Tote in Khaki and Black. RV $99.95
Stop by and read the Sponsor Spotlight for Baggallini!
From Harvey Prince: 50mL bottle of Ageless perfume. There will be four winners of this prize! RV $55
Stop by and read the Sponsor Spotlight for Harvey Prince!

From Me, made by Cutsie Bowtique: A Swirl Heart pendant necklace. Winner's choice of name, and up to four birthstones. RV $20

So one winner will receive a prize pack of $199.95! Three more winners will each receive a $55 bottle of Ageless. Enter on the Rafflecopter below for your chance to win! Open to US and Canada.
Be sure to hop through the linky below! Every stop will have a prize valued at least $25!

Makobi Scribe's Unique Gift Ideas Giveaway - Sign Ups Open!

unique gift ideas
Come join with Makobi Scribe in the Unique Gift Ideas Event from July 3 to July 13. This will be a really fun event. Your prize pack needs to be made up of Unique Gifts and be worth at least $25.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Sponsor Spotlight: Bill's Best BBQ - Review

I am excited to introduce you to one of the sponsors in the "May Buffet Giveaway Hop", Bill's Best BBQ!

In case you haven't guessed it, Bill's Best is organic BBQ sauce. Bill's Best Organic BBQ Sauce was created by William (Bill) Fehon. He created a recipe for a BBQ sauce with a "sweet and tangy flavor, combined with a mild kick". In the fall of 2009, Bill was diagnosed with Frontotemporal Degeneration, and could no longer make his sauce. To honor him, his family decided to sell his sauce and donate 10% of the profit to Association for Frontotemporal Degeneration

I was able to try both the Bill's Best Original Organic BBQ Sauce, but also their newer Bill's Best Spicy Organic BBQ Sauce. We are a family that loves BBQ, so I was very excited to try these sauces. 

The Original was incredibly good! My children dip everything into some kind of sauce. Typically it is ketchup. Sadly we were out of ketchup one night, so I thought, this is a perfect time to try out Bill's Best! It was such a hit! The children loved dipping their chicken in it, as did I. The flavor was just amazing, with just a touch of spice in it. 

I was the only person brave enough to try the Spicy flavor. We are not typically a family who eats spicy things. I love spicy though, so I was happy that this bottle was just mine. It was equally as delicious as the Original. That spicy kick was great!

If you would like to learn more about Bill's Best BBQ you can visit their Website and Facebook. To learn more about The Association for Frontotemporal Degeneration stop by their Website.

The wonderful people at Bill's Best BBQ are giving away one bottle of the Bill's Best Original Organic BBQ Sauce and one bottle of the Bill's Best Spicy Organic BBQ Sauce to the winner of the "May Buffet Giveaway Hop"! Don't miss your chance to win, starting May 1st!

I received one or more of the above mentioned products in exchange for my honest review. All thoughts and opinions are 100% my own.

Sponsor Spotlight: Cook'n Recipe Organizer - Review

I am so incredibly excited to announce Cook'n as one of our sponsors for the "May Buffet Giveaway Hop"!

Cook'n is the The Easiest Way to:

  • Find the Best Recipes on the Internet
  • Capture and Save Internet Recipes
  • Enter Your Own Personal Recipes
  • Sync Recipes with iPhone, iPad, & Android
  • Print a Family Cookbook
  • Analyze Nutritional Values
  • Make Menus, Shopping Lists & More!
  • Get Free Cookbook with Purchase

Recipe Organizer


  • Search the Internet for the perfect recipe
  • Enter what you have on hand and Cook'n will find you a meal you can prepare
  • Search your own recipe library in seconds
Use Cook'n's proprietary seach engine to find the best recipes on the Internet. Do an ordinary keyword search or tell Cook'n what ingredients you have on hand and Cook'n will search the web for recipes that match. Narrow search results and sort them to help you find the perfect dish!


  • Capture recipes you find on the internet directly into your recipe library
  • Import articles from weekly and monthly newsletters
  • Add decorative themes to make recipe browsing more enjoyable
Recipe Organizer
When you find a great recipe on the internet simply click Capture and Cook'n will instantly import the recipe into your Cook'n Library. Cook'n lets you customize your recipes with colorful Themes so they look just the way you like!

Enter your Own Recipes

  • Enter your personal recipes
  • Use the Cook'n quick-fill feature to enter units and ingredients with just one stroke of a key
  • Share your personal recipes with your friends and family
It's easy to just type your own personal recipes into Cook'n. The Cook'n Recipe Window looks just like a recipe card and "Quick-fill" editing does much of the typing for you.

I have been seeing Cook'n on several other blogs. I entered every giveaway, hoping to win it. I love cooking and currently my recipes are scattered. I have some hand written, tons of cookbooks, Allrecipes, and tons of pins on Pinterest. When it came time to go shopping I would about lose my mind flipping through all those places for what I wanted to cook that week. The first time I saw a Cook'n review I thought, now that would be perfect! 

I was very happy when they agreed to work with me for the "May Buffet Giveaway Hop". They let me download this amazing software to review, they are giving one of my readers their own Cook'n Recipe Organizer, and they are giving all my other readers a 50% off code! How awesome is Cook'n?

All excited, I did the quick download of the Cook'n software, watched the suggest intro video, and got right to it! If you get Cook'n watch that video. It really is a helpful tool. It walks you through all the steps on finding recipes online through Cook'n and then adding them to the cookbooks, making shopping lists, and so much more. 

I've been using my Cook'n Recipe Organizer for almost a month now, and I love everything about it! Once I got all of my recipes in their places in my Cook'n cookbooks things just ran smoothly. My list making time has drastically decreased. Now I can just pull out the sale ads and start up Cook'n and I can add the recipes I want to make to my shopping list. 

If you want to purchase your own Cook'n Recipe Organizer be sure to use this 50% off code: mb-5kids 

To learn more about Cook'n stop by their Website, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Google+

Don't forget to come back May 1st for your chance to win your own Cook'n Recipe Organizer in the "May Buffet Giveaway Hop"!

I received the above mentioned product in exchange for my honest review. All thoughts and opinions are 100% my own.

Sponsor Spotlight: Popchips!

I want to introduce you to one of the sponsors for the "May Buffet Giveaway Hop", Popchips!

Co-founders Keith Belling and Pat Turpin wanted to create a snack that was both healthy and delicious. So, Popchips was born! Popchips are delicious, all-natural, and they are delicious. Popchips are never fried, instead they are popped by just adding a little heat and pressure to potatoes. Of course they add in some all natural flavors, too.

There is a great variety of flavors. Classic flavors like Original, Sour Cream & Onion, and Barbecue. Also they carry many other great flavors, such as Sea Salt & Vinegar, Jalapeno, and Chilli Lime. There is a flavor for everyone!

You can learn more about Popchips on their Website, Facebook, and Twitter!

Popchips is giving away two coupons for $1 off a bag of Popchips to the winner of the "May Buffet Giveaway Hop". Don't miss the giveaway, it starts May 1st!

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Sponsor Spotlight: Nature's Sleep Slipper - Review

"Nature's Sleep's mission is to provide everybody the opportunity to enjoy a better night's sleep at affordable prices, while maintaining a concern for our environment."

I just love Nature's Sleep's mission statement. Nature's Sleep is a company that looks out for it's customers well-beings, as well as looking out for the environment. Their products are innovative and look beautiful. 

Nature's Sleep products are affordable, and they are high quality. Many of their products are anti-microbial, allergen resistant, anti-bacterial, anti-dust mite, and they are washable. In a house full of allergy ridden people these are such important qualities. 

Nature's Sleep carries a wide variety of products. They carry some amazing looking mattresses. I hope to own one in the future! They also carry pillows, toppers, and foundations. They carry slippers, and they even have petbeds!

I was so excited to be able to review Nature's Sleep's Open-Toe Terry Slippers with Memory Foam! I picked out the Lavender ones.

I have been in need of some new slippers for a long time. I like easy slippers that are warm and comfortable. If I want to wear my slippers all day I want them to be comfortable all day. Nature's Sleep's slippers definitely met my expectations!

The memory foam was amazing! It made the slippers so comfortable for me. I also loved how fuzzy and soft they were. I generally have closed toe slippers but I really love these open toe slippers. I've been wearing them around my house and they are surprisingly supportive.

You can learn more and connect with Nature's Sleep on their website, Facebook, and Twitter. Also, be sure to enter Nature's Sleep's monthly drawing, where they give away on of their products!

The amazing people at Nature's Sleep are giving away one of their pairs of slippers to one of my readers during the "Mother's Day Gift Ideas Giveaway"! The giveaway starts May 1st, don't miss it!

Friday, April 27, 2012

Sponsor Spotlight: Baggallini - Touring Tote Review

I am so excited to introduce you to one of the sponsors for the upcoming "Mother's Day Gift Ideas Giveaway", Baggallini

"Order. Beauty. And the freedom that comes from knowing everything is in its place. With these guiding principles two female flight attendants began baggallini. A perfect blend of thoughtful function and style, baggallini has grown from two world travelers into a worldwide leader in incredibly organized bags and accessories that look as good as they perform. Instantly desirable by women who crave a well ordered life, the freedom it enables, and the beauty it creates."

They have the most beautiful selection of bags available. They have everything from clutches to totes. 

They also carry some amazing travel accesories like garment bags, jewelry pouches, and cosmetic bags. I have had so much fun looking through all of their collections. They have gorgeous designs, and so many great features. 

I was very excited when I was given the chance to review one of Baggallini's gorgeous bags. I chose the Touring Tote from the Classic Collection in Charcoal and Fuchsia. 

There are so many great features:
  • Removable, adjustable crossbody strap
  • Secure, zippered cell phone pocket
  • Interior organizational pockets
  • Padded interior pocket for digital tablets
  • Detachable wallet included
  • Lightweight, water-resistant nylon
There is so much room in my Touring Tote! I typically carry smaller purses, and I never have the room for everything. This bag has plenty of room for everything I want to carry. With all the great compartments I don't lose my important things anymore. By far, my favorite feature is the padded interior pocket. My Kindle has a safe home when I go places! 

I know I already mentioned the room but it really is so important to me. With five kids my purse tends to gather things, a few diapers, snacks, small toys, ect. The Touring Tote has plenty of room for all of my things and the things I tend to carry for the kids.

The amazing people at Baggallini are giving away a second Touring Tote to one of my readers in the "Mother's Day Gift Ideas Giveaway" that starts on May 1st! The winner will be receiving the Touring Tote in Khak and Black.
You can learn learn more about Baggallini and connect with them on their website, Facebook, Twitter, and Google+.

Also you will want to be sure to stop by their Facebook here every Monday to enter a weekly question and be entered to win the featured bag that week!

I received one of the above mentioned products free in exchange for my honest review. All thoughts and opinions are 100% my own.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Mother's Indulgence Giveaway - Ends 5/3

Mother's Day is about celebrating the special gift of motherhood. Being a mother isn't just about giving birth, no, it's about the sacrifice faced everyday, every hour, and all in the name of those they love. Mother's Day was created to celebrate, to thank, but most of all to show the appreciation to the woman who was responsible of giving life – even if she wasn't the woman who gave birth to you.
Moms come in all shapes, sizes, and from all walks of life. They are a diamond in the rough world that cared for our boo-boos, talked to us when we needed a friend, and helped to guide us to make better choices in life. This year give her the gift of your love, and one she is sure to cherish.
Karma Media is sponsoring the Mother's Indulgence Giveaway for the lovely woman in your life. Whether she is your mother, the mother of your children, or even the woman who you always thought of as a mom. We came together with a variety of sponsors to give you the best, so that your Mom could have the best.
1 lucky mom will receive not 1, but 5 gifts.
First we have gorgeous handmade fingerless gloves from Whimsy Belle Creations.
Then, Thymeless Bath has graciously donated a $40 value gift basket of their handmade products, which includes:
  • 2 1/2-soy bricks: Jamaica Me Crazy and Blackberry Sage
  • 1 Tealight brick warmer and tealights
  • 3 Shea Butter soaps: Oatmeal Milk & Honey, Blackberry Vanilla and Green Tea
  • 1 Purse Shea Butter Lotion: Tropical Twist
  • 1 Purse Linen Spray: Sea Spray
  • 1 Roll on Eau de Parfum: Mandarin Neroli
Mrs. Jones at Jones Handmade Soap Company is giving away a $25 Gift Certificate.
Next we have a Barnes and Noble Gift Card.
And last but certainly not least, a Starbucks Gift Card.
Win It: One lucky reader will win the Mother's Indulgence Prize Pack described above! Simply fill out the easy Rafflecopter form below. This giveaway ends on May 3rd, 2012, at 11:59 pm EST and is open to residents of the US only. Once a winner is drawn via Rafflecopter, we will contact the winner through email. They will then have 48 hours to respond. If there is no response, we will draw a new winner. Good luck!

Sponsor Spotlight: Harvey Prince - Ageless - Review & Giveaway

"Harvey Prince was founded by two brothers as a gift for their mother. [They] craft inspired, high-quality fragrances, each with it's own spirit and story."

Harvey Prince got it's start in 2008, and has taken off over the past three years. "[They] take great pride in using only the finest ingredients for each note in every scent, with no toxic chemicals still found in many commonly used perfumes." I believe that is one of my favorite parts of this company. I love that their perfumes are safer, especially since my girls tend to think they need a spritz now and then.

Harvey Prince has a variety of fragrances for every type of woman to choose from. Scents like Hello "the scent that greets you with a smile" and Coupling "for making him all yours". The names and descriptions are so enticing! They also have their first cologne out, Submariner "for men who ride the waves". Along with all of their great scents they also have soaps and lotions. 

I was incredible happy to be able to review some of the amazing perfume from Harvey Prince. They sent me a bottle of their fragrance called Ageless to try. "The scent that defies age. Crisp inviting notes of pink grapefruit, pomegranate, [and] luscious mango." They also sent me a sample of Eau Flirt "the magical scent that flirts for you."


I really enjoyed both of these perfumes. Ageless has a sweet, fruity smell, with just a hint of floral, but it is not overbearing. I love the way it smells and so does my husband. Of course I asked his opinion. He was impressed with it. I have enjoyed wearing it out, and have received some compliments as well as inquiries about where I got Ageless. 

Eau Flirt has a fun and sassy smell. I suppose, that is, if sassy has a smell. With notes of pumpkin pie and lavender, I really like this fragrance. It is energetic and great for a fun night out. I have loved getting to try their amazing products, and I think I will get some of their Submariner cologne for my husband. He needs something new, and it sounds perfect!

To learn more about Harvey Prince, or to purchase some of their amazing perfume, you can visit their website! You can also connect with them on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+.

The wonderful people at Harvey Prince have been incredibly generous enough to giveaway 4 of their 50mL bottles of Ageless, which has a retail value of $55 to my readers. Just enter on the rafflecopter below. They are also being generous enough to giveaway another 4 of their 50 mL bottles of Ageless in the "Mother's Day Gift Ideas Giveaway" coming up on May 1st. So eight lucky readers will have the chance to win! 

Monday, April 23, 2012

Slow Rollin' Ultimate Slow Cooker Giveaway - Ends May 14

WOWZERS! Acadiana's Thrifty Mom has teamed up with American Family and an awesome group of bloggers to bring you this terrific giveaway for 3 slow cookers valued at $150 each! They are 6 quarts each. 3 prizes means 3 times as many chances to win ♥ I can't wait to choose the winners on this giveaway. This awesome givewaway is sponsored by American Family and hosted by Acadiana's Thrifty Mom & Frugality For Less ♥ Just fill out the simple rafflecopter form below. GOOD LUCK ♥
* This is opened to US citizens only. This giveaway will run from 9:00 p.m. EST on April 23 through 12:01 a.m. EST on May 14.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Lovable Labels Camp Pack Review

Lovable Labels is a great company that offers a fun way of labeling items. They offer a large variety of labels for many different uses. There are clothing labels, bag tags, household items labels, and stationary. They also offer safety products such as Allergy Labels, Medical ID Wristbands, and KID Bands. Their items come with customized designs.

I was recently given the opportunity to review Lovable Labels Camp Pack! I was really excited about this product. The Camp Pack comes with 15 Sticker Labels, 40 Slimline Labels, 12 Shoe Labels, 72 Press 'n Stick Clothing DOTS, 2 Mini-Metal Tags, and 12 Square Labels. Then I got to pick out the colors and designs for my Camp Pack. Since I planned to use it for Ashlynn, I chose the Diva design. The final thing was to choose the name I wanted on everything. I chose to just put "Ashlynn" on them. My final results that came in the mail were so great!


Ashlynn was so excited, she was ready to label the world. All the labels are great quality. We have started using them on a few of her school items. She was especially excited about the tags. One is now on her back pack and the other is on her lunch box. Her folders have all been labeled, as has her spring jacket.

The labels all stick well. We have washed her jacket and the clothing dot has held up. I was a little wary about that one but they are doing great so far! I am very happy with this product. I plan to use them on any of Ashlynn's sports things this summer and fall. I also plan to use them on all her school things this fall.

These labels are very convenient and they are fun. We love all the designs. Riley will be starting school in the fall, too and I think I will have to get another set of labels for her stuff. I also want to look into getting some of the Safety Products to warn people about Riley's peanut allergy.

You can learn more about Lovable Labels on their website, Facebook, and Twitter.

I received on or more of the products listed above in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are 100% my own.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Newbie Blog Hop Giveaway Hop - Lovable Labels Camp Pack - Ends 4/17

NewbieBlogHop Giveaway Hop
The Newbie Bloggers have arrived and we're bringing you a giveaway hop!! We've gathered up over 100 blogs (Newbies and those AWESOME bloggers who LOVE Newbies) and we all have a giveaway of at least $15 for you!!
This Giveaway Hop is hosted by GoingCrazy!!WannaGo??!! and Planet Weidknecht and is open to you from April 10 to April 17. Now, let's get to hopping and winning!!
 When you're a Newbie Blogger, one of the most important things you can do is connect with other great bloggers who want to help and are willing to share their tips and tricks. The Newbie Blog Hop started so that we could connect with other Newbies and learn together!!
The Newbie Blog Hop, hosted by GoingCrazy!!WannaGo??!! and Life's Cheap Thrills, opens every Tuesday at 9pm CST and closes at midnight on Friday. We have a Facebook Group where we share with each other as we learn together.
If you are a Newbie Blogger - or you "feel" new - come join us!!

Lovable Labels has generously supplied us with a pack of "Camp Pack" for one lucky winner!  Please check out my review of the amazing "Camp Pack" that they sent to me. Thanks, Lovable Labels!

Bringing in Summer Giveaway Hop - Sign Ups Open!!


Bringing in Summer is a giveaway hop hosted by Karma Media

and will run from May 26th 12.01am est - June 9th 11.59pm est

Your giveaway is to have a minimum value of $20 and must be 'Family Friendly'

Please include the hop badge and hop linky in your giveaway posts.

get the InLinkz code

Monday, April 9, 2012

Hollywood Stories by Stephen Schochet - Excerpt

Title: Hollywood Stories
Author: Stephen Schochet

Synopsis: At high noon on a cold November day in 1974, sixty-seven-year-old John Wayne faced off with the staff of the Harvard Lampoon on the famous campus in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The students had issued their challenge by calling the beloved American icon a fraud. Wayne, who had his new movie McQ to promote, responded by saying he would be happy to show his film in the pseudo-intellectual swamps of Harvard Square. After the screening, without writers, the former USC footballer delivered a classic performance. When one smart young man asked where he got his phony toupee, Wayne insisted the hair was real. It wasn t his, but it was real. The appreciative underclassmen loved him and after the Q and A session, they all sat down to dinner. Later Wayne, who was suffering greatly from both gout and the after effects of lung cancer (sadly the Duke only had five years to live), said that day at Harvard was the best time he ever had.

Just when you thought you've heard everything about Hollywood comes a totally original new book. Hollywood Stories: Short, Entertaining Anecdotes About the Stars and Legends of the Movies! by Stephen Schochet contains a timeless treasure trove of colorful vignettes featuring an amazing all-star cast of icons including John Wayne, Charlie Chaplin, Walt Disney, Jack Nicholson, Johnny Depp, Shirley Temple, Marilyn Monroe, Marlon Brando, Errol Flynn and many others both past and contemporary.

A special blend of biography, history and lore Hollywood Stories is full of humorous tales often with unexpected endings. What makes the book unique is that the reader can go to any page and find a completely engaging and illuminating yarn. Sometimes people won't realize that they are reading about The Three Stooges or Popeye the Sailor until they come to the end of the story.

A professional tour guide in Hollywood, Stephen Schochet has researched and told thousands of entertaining anecdotes for over twenty years. He is also the author and narrator of two audiobooks Tales of Hollywood and Fascinating Walt Disney. Tim Sika, host of the radio show Celluloid Dreams on KSJS in San Jose has called Stephen, "The best storyteller about Hollywood we have ever heard." From Amazon.

The Universal Maniac
In 1999, an Australian gentleman told me about an interesting experience he and his
family had at Universal Studios. They were on the backlot tour passing one of the theme
park’s main attractions, the Bates Motel used in the 1960 horror classic Psycho, about a
murderous young man named Norman Bates who loved his mother a little too much. As
the guide gave out information about how director Alfred Hitchcock shot the picture, a tall
man, dressed in drag and carrying a large knife, emerged from behind the old set and
charged toward the tram. The narrator seemed to know nothing about the Norman Bates
look-alike and clammed up completely. The make-believe killer wore such a convincing
maniacal expression that some of the paying customers were frightened and screamed
when he raised his weapon. Then the “fiend” pulled off his wig and he turned out to be
comic Jim Carrey; the thirty-seven-year-old star was clowning around during a work break.
After his laughing “victims” calmed down, Jim was happy to pose for pictures and sign

The Wildest Guest
Longtime staff at the old Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles had many candidates for
the most outrageously behaved celebrity guest. There were the hammy Barrymore brothers
who always tried to outdo one another; after the drunken John earned many stares for
bringing his pet monkey in the hotel’s famed Moroccan-style club, the Coconut Grove,
Lionel arrived there with seven chimps. Chaos erupted when the well-dressed guests chased
the animals as they swung through the paper Mache trees. Then there was famed movie
theater owner Sid Grauman who told Charlie Chaplin that he found a dead body in his
hotel bed. The tramp fled in terror when Sid pulled back the blankets, not realizing he was
looking at a wax dummy covered in ketchup. But it was hard to top the antics of actress
Tallulah Bankhead who once called for room service, answered the door in the buff and
told the bell boy no tip; she had nothing on her.

Marlene’s Wartime Regret
Marlene Dietrich found her true calling entertaining the Allied troops in 1943. The
forty-two-year-old actress, who never enjoyed making movies, got a crash course in how to
talk to audiences. Nothing could be tougher or more fulfilling than performing in front of
young men who might die in battle the next day. The Berlin-born American citizen
overcame suspicions that she was actually an Axis spy, and was proud of spurning Hitler’s
request to return to Germany. After World War II ended, she enjoyed being a lusty cabaret
singer for many years and tried never to take herself too seriously. Marlene, whose long list
of romances ranged from John Wayne to General Patton, once mentioned to her husband
that she should have married Hitler back in the thirties, and then there would have been no
war. She laughed when he agreed and stated that the Fuhrer would have killed himself
much sooner.

We Don’t Want a Hit
Executives at United Artists Studio were unimpressed viewing the initial footage of Sean
Connery playing James Bond in the 1962 spy thriller Dr. No. The thirty-two-year-old
Scottish actor, whose receding hairline was carefully hidden by a toupee, seemed to change
his accent in almost every scene. Sure, the former Mr. Universe runner-up was a formidable
presence, but did Connery have the sophistication to play the suave super spy 007, a role
originally meant for Cary Grant? The studio kept the completed film on the shelf for many
months before releasing it in England where it was a smash. Well, it had to be a fluke;
Bond was English, after all. Six months later, they released it in the USA where it did great
again. Dr. No led to a hugely successful James Bond franchise and made Sean Connery an
international star. It failed only in Japan, where movie-theater owners translated Dr. No to
read, “We don’t want a doctor!”

The Battle of the Munchkins
The actors who played the Munchkins in The Wizard of Oz were hard working and
much maligned. In the 1960s, the often-inebriated Judy Garland became a favorite TV talk
show guest and would trash her former co-stars from the 1939 classic. She would make up
tales about them being drunk, swinging from chandeliers, getting into knife fights, making
lewd propositions to her, and being rounded up for their scenes in butterfly nets. In real
life, the New York- based Leo Singer Midgets had won the lucrative Oz contracts in a hardfought
battle with another group of little vaudevillians managed by dwarf actor Major
Doyle. There was much animosity between the two rival bands of performers. The cigarchomping
Doyle was in his apartment on Fifth Avenue, still fuming over the job losses,
when a phone call instructed him to look out the window. Three busloads of tiny
entertainers mooned him and then it was on to California.

Walt Disney’s Daughters
Walt Disney’s two daughters, Sharon and Diane, grew up sheltered from the limelight.
The children had no images of Mickey Mouse around their home. Their father didn’t go to
many parties, preferring to stay in after a long day of work. Sometimes he would playfully
chase the youngsters upstairs, cackling like the evil peddler woman in Snow White. When
they behaved badly, Walt would admonish them with a raised eyebrow; his stern demeanor
inspired the character of the wise old owl, in the 1942 animated feature Bambi. As toddlers,
the brainy Diane and beautiful Sharon stayed blissfully unaware that their parents worried
about them being kidnapped and allowed no pictures of the sisters to be publicly circulated.
Once in 1939, a curious classmate questioned six-year-old Diane about her family. She went
home and said, “Daddy, you never told me you were that Walt Disney,” and asked him for
an autograph.

Who Won the Race?
Writer/director Billy Wilder liked to mess with producer Samuel Goldwyn’s head. The
Austrian-born Wilder, who had fled Europe when Hitler rose to power, respected how the
former glove salesman from Poland had good taste in stories, even though Sam hardly ever
read anything. One time Wilder pitched the mogul a screen idea about Nijinsky, the famous
Russian ballet dancer. Goldwyn was dubious, Wilder persisted; the story had great
cinematic possibilities. As a young man, Nijinsky danced for the Bolshoi and received
international acclaim. Then he met the great love of his life, was rejected, ended up in an
insane asylum and thought he was a horse. Goldwyn stared daggers at him. Sam didn’t just
fall off the turnip truck. The public would never pay to see
something so negative.
“Don’t worry, Sam, it has a happy ending.”
Goldwyn asked what could possibly be happy about a man who believes he’s
a horse.
“He wins the Kentucky Derby!”

You can purchase your own copy of Hollywood Stories by Stephen Schochet on Amazon.

This post was brought to you by Ever After PR.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

A Tisket A Tasket Giveaway Hop - Ends 4/22

Welcome to A Tisket A Tasket Spring Giveaway Hop coordinated by!
This event will take place from April 8th at 12:01am EST through April 22nd at 11:59pm EST.
Over 100 bloggers have wonderful prizes valued at a minimum of $25 to help brighten your spring! So make like a bunny and get hoppin'!

Five Kids and Crazy Me will be giving away $25 in Amazon Gift Codes to one lucky winner! Enter on the rafflecopter below for your chance to win!

In Theaters 2012 (4/7)

Sometimes I stop by to check out something about a film. Today it was to check on if there is a new Ice Age for the kids. I'm super excited that there will be a new Ice Age: Continental Drift! How awesome!

Synopsis from IMDb: Manny, Diego, and Sid embark upon another adventure after their continent is set adrift. Using an iceberg as a ship, they encounter sea creatures and battle pirates as they explore a new world.

Of course all the favorites are coming back - Ray Romano as Manny, Denis Leary as Diego, John Leguizamo as Sid, Queen Latifah as Ellie, Seann William Scott as Crash, and Josh Peck as Eddie. They are introducing so much talent to this new movie - Keke Palmer as Peaches, Jennifer Lopez as Shira, Peter Dinklage as Captian Gutt, and so many more!

My Thoughts: Sometimes a series can get over done, this is not one of those times. I love Ice Age and I cannot wait to watch this movie with my children. With that all-star cast and the amazing sounding plot, I think this will be a movie to see.

**Mature Movie Preview! Do not watch if you are under 18 (or offended by anything).**

I think Ted looks pretty funny. The preview had me laughing. I'm a bit of a Family Guy fan anyway (gotta love Stewie!), so this movie looks entertaining. Seth MacFarlane is the writer, director, and he is the voice of Ted. If you aren't a fan of Seth MacFarlane then this may not be the movie for you. His humor can be crude, and it is definitely not something that I will let my children see but I figure it'll be good for a parents' movie night.

Snow White and the Huntsman - starring Chris Hemsworth, Kristen Stewart, and Charlize Theron. I am trying to be unbiased here. Kristen Stewart has never been my favorite choice for Bella. She just didn't do that role any justice. I have liked her in other movies though. I'm not so sure about casting her as Snow White though. It will be hard for any actress to be prettier than Charlize Theron, and I just don't feel like Stewart can do it. Although, those fight scenes with her look amazing! I'm pretty interested in seeing this movie. I don't think I will be disappointed. The cast is pretty spectacular. See how unbiased I was!

I have truly loved the first two Men in Black movies, I figure I will love the third one as well. Men in Black III should be just as funny and full of adventure if the trailers are anything to judge by. Will Smith is incredibly funny and talented, in my opinion. Tommy Lee Jones is amazing as well. I wonder why it took them so long to come up with a third movie.

I am very excited about The Avengers. Maybe not quite as excited as my husband who thinks nothing else matters movie wise, well except The Amazing Spiderman. Anyway, I'm pretty excited. Scarlett Johansson as Black Widow, Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury, Chris Hemsworth as Thor, Robert Downey Jr. as Iron Man, Mark Ruffalo as The Hulk, Chris Evans as Captain America, and Jeremy Renner as Hawkeye. Nick Fury and the international agency S.H.I.E.L.D. bring together a team of super humans to form The Avengers to help save the Earth from Loki & his various membered army (from I love this cast. I was a little upset to not see Edward Norton as The Hulk but I love Mark Ruffalo. The character I am most excited about though is Hawkeye. He didn't get his own Marvel movie (and I don't know comics so maybe he doesn't have one) but he just seems awesome.

So Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter....well why not?  I think this is going to be one interesting movie. Paranormal is very in right now and this is one crazy spin on it. Also one very different way to look at an important turning point in our nation's history. I saw this preview in theaters with my husband. I can't wait to see it. Anything with Tim Burton's name attached to it is bound to be good.

There are so many movies coming out this year that I think look good - Dark Shadows, Madagascar 3, Rock of Ages (although Tom Cruise as a rock god, really??), Savages, Battleship, The Amazing Spiderman, Total Recall, What to Expect When You're Expecting (A magical pregnancy unicorn, haha, awesome), and The Lucky One - just to name a few.

What movies are you looking forward to this year? Let me know in the comments!