Saturday, December 10, 2011

Friday, December 9, 2011

Between the Lines Goes Disney: Top 5 Rides for Dads

I'm not sure if any of you moms out there have noticed, but sometimes the Dads walking around the Disney Parks aren't that excited about going on It's A Small World or Prince Charming's Carousel.  Of course they go on them because their kids love it, but the excitement factor just isn't there.  They may be longing to ride Space Mountain or Expedition Everest over and over again, but it may be hard to enjoy without the kiddos by your side.  But never fear Disney Dads!  There are some awesome, must-not-be-missed rides that you can enjoy with your little ones. 

5. Mad Tea Party:  There is just something about spinning your child around until the laughter overtakes them that appeals to most Dads.   If your stomach can stand it, twirl it faster and faster until you can't see the cute little door mouse anymore.  If your stomach is a little weaker than your munchkin, spin it a little slower.  They'll never know it can really go faster.  And if you want to add a little more excited to your child's ride, head over to the tea cups first thing in the morning to take a spin with the Mad Hatter himself!  If you are lucky, Alice will be riding with him too.

4. Toy Story Mania:  What Dad could turn down a chance to play a life size video game?  This 4D interactive attraction combines good ole' fashion gaming with some addictive midway fun.  Parents and kids alike will enjoy joining their favorite Toy Story characters on this fast pace, fun ride.  Will you be able to beat your child's score?  Will you have the high score of the day?

3. Buzz Lightyear's Space Ranger Spin:  Much like Toy Story Mania, Buzz Lightyear's fast paced ride will thrill Dads and kids alike.  Jump aboard a space cruiser and help Buzz defeat the evil Zurg by zapping all the Z targets.  Be warned, this is a very addictive game/ride.   My husband rides it no less than 20 times per WDW visit.  He has mastered the game and has repeatedly received the highest possible score (unlike me who barely registers as a Space Cadet).

2. Sorin':  There is nothing that can compare to the feeling you get the first time you go on Sorin' except maybe the squeals of delight coming from your children sitting next to you.  I don't want to give too much away, but Sorin' is so real with its panoramic views and multisensory effects, that you really feel like you are flying. Both my husband and my kids absolutely love it and must ride on it multiple times.  All I can say it, thank goodness for Fast Passes.

1. Test Track:  Test Track is one of Disney's fastest attractions and is enjoyed by kids and dads (and moms) alike.  Our youngest daughter was finally able to ride this at 40 inches last year and I've never seen her happier on a ride.  She loved the bumps and curves and like her Daddy, the wind in her face.  Test Track is a ride that will keep both dads and kids laughing and cheering for more.

   While the coasters may be more your speed, they are not really a family affair. What rides are your favorite to go on repeatedly with your kids? Grab a latte, put up your feet, and join the discussion!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Softlips Special Edition Winter Gift Set Review and Giveaway

With the cold weather quickly approaching, I am so excited to introduce you to Softlips' limited edition Winter Gift Pack.  Just as my hands take a beating during the winter months, so do my lips.  With Softlips, chapped and cracked lips are a thing of the past.  Softlips keeps your lips soft while protecting them from the sun. 

The limited edition Winter 5-Pack of lip conditioners contains- Sugar & Spice, Winter Mint, Sugar Cookie, and Sugar Plum Berry.  Now throughout the holiday/winter season, there will be select dual-packs (Winter Mint/Vanilla, Sugar Cookie/Raspberry, and Sugar Cookie/Cherry) available at stores such as Walmart, Target, and Rite Aid for $3.99. There is also a Winter 5-Pack that’s available exclusively in the Softlips online store, that offers all four winter flavors and a bonus flavor of Mint with a Hint of Vanilla. This set is packaged in a festive, blue sachet for $9.99.   

My favorites so far are the Winter Mint and the Sugar Plum Berry.I love how Softlips lip conditioners glide on smoothly and don't leave behind that greasy feeling that other lip balms do.  Softlips smell good, feel good, and look good!   I know a few special people that will be getting a Softlips Winter 5-pack in their stocking.  Do you?  Making Gift Baskets this year?  Softlips would make a wonderful edition to any Holiday Gift Basket too!

Win it:  Thanks to the generous people at Softlips, one lucky reader of Between the Lines is going to win One  Winter gift set from Softlips!
Mandatory Entry:  “Like” Softlips on Facebook and come back and leave a comment saying you did so.  (This entry must be completed in order for extra entries to count.  Winner must verify Facebook name.  Please leave email address so I can contact you if you win.)
Extras: (Remember each entry must have a separate comment and an email address is needed to contact winner.)
~ Sign up for Softlips Mailing list (2)
~ Follow Softlips on Twitter (2)
~Follow Between the Lines (2)         
~ Subscribe to my email (2)
~ Follow me on Facebook (5)
~Follow me on Twitter (2)

This giveaway will end on December 22th @10p.m Eastern
Giveaway open to US only.  Winner will be chosen randomly. An email notification will be sent to the email address provided by the winner. The winner must respond within 48 hours. Failure to do so will result in being disqualified and a new winner will be chosen.
Disclaimer: I received a set of Lip balms in exchange for my honest review. The opinions & thoughts expressed are my own. I received no other compensation for my review nor was I under any obligation to give a positive review. Prizes are mailed out by the distributor and Between the Lines cannot be held accountable for prizes not sent.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

The Black Shard Review

The Black Shard, Victoria Simcox’s fast-paced, intricately woven sequel to The Magic Warble, takes Kristina Kingsly and her schoolmates back to Bernovem … and into a thrilling, often dangerous adventure.

Author's summary: Reunited with her gnome, dwarf, animal, fairy friends … and best of all, Werrien, things seem like they couldn’t get any better for Kristina. But when Werrien becomes fascinated with an unusual seeing stone, the “Black Shard”, Kristina is haunted by a ghostlike old hag. Struggling against suspicion, guilt, illness, and ultimately the one who wants to possess her soul, Kristina will see it’s in her weakest moment that she will encounter more strength than she has ever known.

My 9 year old daughter has really enjoyed reading the The Magic Warble series. She loves the Chronicles of Narnia, and loved how these books took her into a world of fairies,gnomes and animals. She was so caught up in the adventure that she couldn't put the book down. She was fascinated by the seeing stone "The Black Shard". We don't want to give away too much, so my daughter suggests you read it for yourself to find out what The Black Shard is all about.

Head on over to buy it on her website, The Black Shard or you can buy it from Amazon. And don't forget to follow The Black Shard on Facebook. Holiday Gala (Awesome Giveaways and Savings)

Some of you are probably thinking what is is a place "where friends shop together at their favorite online stores and save up to 30%, share great deals and opinions, and earn fun rewards".   Zuuzs doesn't limit your store choices to the most common and least expensive either.  You can grab great savings on favorites like Kohls, Lucky, and e.l.f.  With such a huge selection of Retailers available, you and your friends will definitely find something you love.  At you can earn rewards for the purchases you make and for the purchases your friends make.  So, the more people you invite to join your Circle of Friends, the bigger the reward.  You never pay any more than you would normally pay at that particular store, but in the end, you earn cash back!  You can also take advantage of some great member only deals and save even more!

How do I earn money by shopping through zuuzs? (from website)

You'll earn cash back on everything you purchase through from our participating online stores. Just make sure each time you shop that you log in at and then click on the online store. You can earn even more when you invite your friends and family to join your zuuzs Circle of Friendzs. When a member of your Circle of Friendzs makes a purchase, she earns cash back on her purchase and zuuzs pays you a bonus, too, for introducing us to her. Your zuuzs Circle of Friendzs includes members that you have invited directly (Direct Friends), and the people that they in turn invite directly (Indirect Friends) is adding new stores all the time.  If your isn't part of the zuuzs' network, don't hesitate to drop them a line and add the suggestion.  Zuuzs has teamed up with Simply Stacie, Sassy Mom in L.A.and 18 other amazing bloggers to bring you this fun Holiday Gala. Check out the linky at the bottom of the post to find all the other great bloggers joining in on the fun.  And don't miss all the fabulous prizes being given away during their Holiday gala.  Today, you could win a $25 Gift Card to Wal-Mart!!!  But if you don't win today, you may have a chance to win over the next few days.

Prizing Schedule:

December 1 $25 Amazon Gift Card
December 2 $25 Target Gift Card
December 3 $25 Best Buy Gift Card
December 4 $25 Kohl's Gift Card
December 5 $25 Gap Gift Card
December 6 $25 Macy's Gift Card
December 7 $25 Walmart Gift Card
December 8 $50 Amazon Gift Card
December 9 $50 Best Buy Gift Card
December 10 $50 Target Gift Card
December 11 $50 Walmart Gift Card
December 12 iPod Shuffle
December 13 Garmin Nuvi GPS
December 14 Canon PowerShot Elph Camera
December 15 Kindle Fire

Entering is easy.  Simply head over to and sign up.  You gain entries by:
1. Becoming a member of zuuzs (1 entry)
2. Connecting zuuzs Email Account to Facebook (1 entry)
3. Getting Friends to Join (1 entry per friend that joins)
After you have have completed as many of the above options as you want, head on over to their Holiday Gala page to get more information.  Good Luck!!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Between the Lines Goes Disney: EPCOT

Today we are heading to EPCOT.  Technically, we will be visiting EPCOT everyday, but this is our full day at the park.  Although many families with small children steer away from EPCOT, we love it.  Last year (and this year), we stayed at the Beach Club Resort in order to be a short walk away from EPCOT.  But I will talk more about that in a different post.   EPCOT is one of Disney's most fascinating parks.  Its main focus is on cultural and technological innovation.  EPCOT covers over 300 acres, twice the size of the Magic Kingdom, and it split into two separate areas, Future World and The World Showcase.

Future World is definitely my kids favorite part of EPCOT.  They enjoy visiting the Nemo and Friends ride the most.  Not only do they enjoy riding in a shell while exploring Nemo's world, but they love that after the ride they can visit the aquarium, play at the shark playground, and watch Turtle Talk with Crush.  If you've seen Finding Nemo, then you know that Crush is the "totally awesome" sea turtle that helps Nemo's dad find his way through the EAC.  Turtle Talk with Crush is an interactive show where the animated Crush actually talks to the kids in the audience and answered their questions.  It is very entertaining for kids and adults alike. 

Future World has some faster pace rides for those a little older.  Mission Space is my husband's favorite.  This ride simulates a space flight to Mars.  I honestly have not been brave enough to try this one, but they do have a milder version that you can try.  My favorite ride in Future World has to be Soarin'.   Soarin', located in The Land Pavilion, is a "multi-sensory attraction ... that simulates a peaceful hang-gliding flight over the Golden State of California".  With a huge IMAX theater in front of you, you really feel like you are flying .   While you are in Future World, make sure to stop by Test Track.  My 6-year old is convinced that it is the greatest "big kid" ride.  Future World is also the home of the famous EPCOT "ball", Spaceship Earth.  If you haven't been to EPCOT within the last year, you will be surprised at the changes made in Spaceship Earth.  As always, added interaction makes a slow ride more fun.  The real fun, however, starts when you exit your ride.  There a many hands-on activities that are fun and challenging for all.  And don't forget to meet Mickey and the gang at the Character Spot  and to visit Innoventions, both located in Future World.

Visiting The World Showcase is like taking a mini trip around the world.  There are 11 different countries represented in The World Showcase:  Mexico, China, Norway, Germany, Morocco, Japan, Italy, France, England, Canada, and the United States.  There is also a small African Outpost that offers authentic African refreshments and souvenirs.  There is no way that I could even begin to explain the wonder that is The World Showcase, but each country is fabulous.  They are run by people from the actual countries that they represent and they serve food and drink that are authentic to that country.  Many of the countries provide live music and entertainment.  There are little shops to browse, rides to explore, and fantastic shows to watch.  There is so much to do and experience at The World Showcase.  If you are actually planning a trip and would like to know more, I'd be more than happy to chat.  Just shoot me an email!

Have you been to EPCOT?  What it your favorite  part?  What things could you do without?  Grab a latte, put up your feet, and join the discussion!

Monday, December 5, 2011

Fun at Disney's Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique

The Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique is a beauty salon where young guests are magically transformed into little princesses and knights at 2 locations: World of Disney Store in Downtown Disney Area and Cinderella Castle at Magic Kingdom theme park.  My girls are obsessed with the Disney princesses. Their favorites are Belle, Aurora and Rapunzel. On a trip to Disney, my oldest really wanted to be transformed into a princess. Where do dreams come true? Disney, of course! So we made reservations at the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique. What a magical experience it was for us! There are different packages you can buy depending on how much you want to spend. We chose the castle package, which included the costume and photo shoot. When we first arrived, they took our name and asked my daughter to pick out which costume she wanted. It was so hard for her to choose from all the costumes they had, but she chose to be transformed into Aurora.
We then waited for a few minutes and she was called back by the fairy godmothers in training. They took her to a dressing room, where her new dress was hanging. After she changed, she was taken to a chair where she was given a "makeover" with hair, makeup and nails.
They had her turned away from the mirror during the process and when they turned her around to see her transformation. The look on her face was priceless.

It was worth every penny we spent The photo shoot was a lot of fun. We then had dinner at Cinderellas round table. All of this was timed when the Wishes fireworks were going off. She truly had a princess filled day. Because she had so much fun that day, she always begs to do it every time we go to Disney. We usually go for the smaller packages, choosing to just do hair and make up. We sometimes take a princess gown from home to save some money.
Make your reservations as soon as you can when planning your Disney vacation, because it is always crowded. If you choose to have your princess makeover at the castle, make your reservations for as early as possible, then you can get into the magic kingdom before everyone else and get some great castle pictures.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Between the Lines Goes Disney: Hollywood Studios

Lights, Camera, Action!  We are off to Hollywood Studios!  Disney's Hollywood Studios, formerly MGM Studios, is the last of the four major Disney parks we are visiting this year.  Walt Disney World also has two water parks (Blizzard Beach and Typhoon Lagoon) and an indoor amusement park (Disney Quest), but because of the kids' ages and the temperatures in November, we've skipped them this year.  Hollywood Studios invites its guests to join them in the movies.  Whether you are enjoying a street production, ride, or show, you are immersed into the magic of movie making.

Hollywood Studio is not known for its rides, but there are few you will definitely love.  Toy Story Mania is loved by all, and I mean all.  If you want a chance to ride this, head over first thing in the morning and grab your family a fast pass.  In November, it is usually not as crowded in the morning, so we grab a fast pass for the afternoon and jump in line for a morning ride.  This way we wait about 20 minutes each time rather than an hour and twenty minutes.  Hollywood Studios is also the home of my husband's favorite ride at Disney, the Rock 'n' Roller Coaster, starring Aerosmith.  This fast paced roller coaster takes you on a trip with the band and includes many twists, turns, and loops.  Right next to the Rock 'n' Roller coaster is the Tower of Terror.  Based off the CBS show, The Twilight Zone, the Tower of Terror takes place in an old abandoned 13 -story hotel.  Once you reach the top of the elevator, beware.  You will be falling back down to the ground.

Disney's Hollywood Studios is best know for its shows.  By far, our favorite is the onstage production of Beauty and the Beast.  Everything from the music, costumes, and atmosphere makes you feel like you are watching a Broadway production.  My girls also love the Voyage of The Little Mermaid.  This show mixes live performances with animation and puppetry.  It captivates its audience with its multi-sensory effects and music.  If you have young ones, you also won't want to miss Playhouse Disney.  This live, interactive musical, features your kids' favorite Playhouse Disney friends, including Mickey Mouse.  This show offers carpet seating only and is sometimes a little hard on the parents' backs.  Try not to sit too close to the stage or your kids won't be able to see the characters who pop out of the floor.

Hollywood Studio also has a few fast paced, action pack shows.  The Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular is a 30 minutes show that invites you to share the magic of the movies.  Throughout the show, they demonstrate numerous stunts while filming various scenes.  And who knows, they may just ask you to join the fun.  Next to Indiana Jones is Star Tours.  Although, this is not a typical show, the simulator type ride, takes you on a thrilling adventure.  Just past Star Tours is the Muppet 3-D show.  But if you keep walking you will reach the location of the Lights, Motors, Action! Extreme Stunt Show.  Make sure to grab a show schedule when you first arrive at the studios.  The Extreme Stunt Show usually only plays a couple of times a day and you wouldn't want to miss it.  This show demonstrates how big time vehicle stunts are done for Blockbuster Hollywood films.

There are many more things to explore and see at Hollywood Studios.  However, I think this post is already getting too long. ;)  Have you ever been to Hollywood Studios?  What were your favorite parts?  My kids' trip wouldn't be complete without visiting the Honey, I Shrunk the Kids movie set.  The set, taken from the outside scene of Honey, I Shrunk the Kids, has been transformed into a fun oversized playground.  Can't wait to hear your stories!  Grab a latte, put up your feet, and join the discussion!