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    Grandma's Briefs, Grilled Grandma and all content unless otherwise noted Copyright © 2009-2017, Lisa Carpenter. All rights reserved.
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    Grandma's Back Room

    Saturday
    Oct262013

    SmartyPants: Yummy gummy vitamins for grown-ups

    I don't like to take my daily vitamins. I don't know exactly why that is, as it's not like it's difficult or anything. I've even placed my bottle of multivitamins right next to a medication I absolutely must take every single day, just so I'll remember to take my vitamins. When I see them there, I do remember — then promptly move the bottle out of the way to get my real meds.

    SmartyPants vitamins

    I thought I'd do the same thing with the bottle of SmartyPants Adult Complete Multi + Omega 3 + Vitamin D gummy vitamins I received free for review.

    Click to read more ...

    Thursday
    Oct242013

    Hot Wheels Car Maker Review Part II: The boys try it out!

    Readers: This is Part II of a two-part review of the Hot Wheels Car Maker. This part is the real test, as it's the part where my grandsons give the car maker a spin.

    Hot Wheels Car Maker

    After PawDad (aka my husband) had such a great time making mini vehicles with the Hot Wheels Car Maker, I packed up the toy and took it to the desert for my grandsons, ages 5 and 2, to make some wheels of their own.

    Click to read more ...

    Friday
    Oct112013

    North America: 7-part Discovery series now on DVD (Review)

    I've seen very little of the world, very little even of North America and the United States. At least not in person. Thanks to Discovery, though, I can see it far better on my television than I could ever manage in person. 

    North America, the magnificent seven-part series from Discovery, is now available on DVD. Hosted by Tom Selleck and featuring unbelievable photography of our vast continent and its wild inhabitants, the two-disc set includes the following original episodes:

    • Born to be Wild
    • No Place to Hide
    • Learn Young or Die
    • The Savage Edge
    • Outlaws and Skeletons
    • North America Revealed
    • Top Ten

    Bonus features on the DVD include extended footage, a filmmakers' commentary and the "Atomospheric Audio Experience" (music and nature sounds).

    The spectacular footage on North America immediately captivates... and makes you ask "How in the world did they capture that?" again and again. Commentary from photographers near the end of each episode help enlighten viewers. Still, it's truly amazing.

    What sets North America apart from other similar DVDs I've had the privilege of reviewing is that North America has a sense of humor, thanks to Tom Selleck's narration as well as the titling from the creators. For example, this humorously titled clip called "Never mess with a chipmunk's nuts:"

    There are many similarly humorous moments throughout North America. I only wish there'd been a clip of the hilarious mating ritual of exotic birds, set to "The Mambo Craze" by De-Phazz.

    The music accompanying that and many other scenes is another thing that sets North America apart from other nature DVDs. I'm not talking grand scores while the camera scans the countryside (though there are such shots). No, I mean the selection of contemporary music with incredibly captured moments. Think "Black Betty" by Huddie Ledbetter playing while wild mustangs battle one another. "Gimme Shelter" from The Rolling Stones as the soundtrack for incredible tornado footage. Lenny Kravitz's "I Love the Rain" playing along with a lightning storm. And my favorite: Etta James singing "Sway" during an extravagant hummingbird courting ritual. Plus many more.

    One thing my husband and I found interesting about North America was that much of the action and attention seemed focused on areas in the western portion of North America, with just bits here and there on things west of the Mississippi. Understandable, I suppose, considering it is the wild, wild west.

    East or west, the beauty of this magnificent place we call home shines through on North America.

    North America from Discovery is available on DVD, with a list price of $29.93. For more info and to purchase — and to see more video clips from North America — visit Discovery's North America site.

    Disclosure: I received this product free for review as part of the Entertainment New Media Network. Opinions are my own.

    Friday
    Oct112013

    Alpha and Omega 2: A Howl-iday Adventure (Giveaway/Review)

    Kate, Humphrey and their three wolf cubs — Stinky, Claudette and Runt — are back! Time to snuggle up with your own cubs to enjoy Alpha and Omega 2: A Howl-iday Adventure, recently released by Lionsgate in a Blu-ray Combo Pack and DVD available exclusively at Walmart.

     
    From front to back: "Stinky," "Runt," "Claudette," "Humphrey" and "Kate" in Lionsgate Home Entertainment's ALPHA AND OMEGA 2: A HOWL-IDAY ADVENTURE.

    The new holiday movie features the unlikely pair of wolves, Kate and Humphrey, and their new frisky family of cubs in a heartwarming wilderness adventure. As the family prepares to celebrate its first winter holidays together, their smallest cub, Runt, mysteriously disappears.  They must journey across the wilderness to find and bring back Runt before the winter festivities begin at home. While their adventure does not end exactly as planned, in the end Kate and Humphrey discover that for the holidays, “Home is where the family is.”


    The 45-minute movie is filled with action and suspense as well as plenty of the humor and heartwarming moments. Adults will chuckle at the banter between the parents as well as a slo-mo moment when a toboggan takes a tumble and Kat and Humphrey find a second for romance mid-air. My hubby and I certainly were amused by the flick… and we didn’t even have grandkids in the room while watching it.

    Special features include:

    • Are you an Alpha or an Omega?
    • Wolf Fun Facts Trivia
    • A Wolf’s Tale: Making Alpha and Omega 2
    • Following the Pack: A Sneak Peek Into Upcoming Alpha and Omega Adventures

    For more on Alpha and Omega 2: A Howl-iday Adventure, visit the Alpha and Omega DVD site.

    Thanks to Lionsgate Entertainment, you can enter to win an Alpha and Omega 2: A Howl-iday Adventure Blu-ray + DVD + Digital HD Combo Pack ($24.99 value). Enter via Rafflecopter below. Entries accepted through midnight MST Nov. 18. Random winner will be chosen and notified Nov. 19. Prize to be shipped by Lionsgate, not this blog.

    a Rafflecopter giveaway  

    Disclosure: I received this product free for review as part of the Entertainment New Media Network. Opinions are my own.

    Thursday
    Oct102013

    Wacky Apple: Organic apple products for kids... and grownups (Review)

    Kids love applesauce. Even my picky grandsons love applesauce.

    So when I recently received an email offering me the opportunity to try out Wacky Apple apple products — made right here in my home state of Colorado — I thought, Heck, yeah! My grandsons will love them.

    When I received the package of goodies of Wacky Apple products, I thought, Heck, yeah! My grandsons are going to love these.

     

    Then I tried one of the Flat Fruit products, a yummy fruit leather, and I loved it. So I shared one with my husband. Then one with my oldest daughter, who just so happened to be visiting. They loved them, too.

    The next morning, I had the Wacky Apple Cinnamon Applesauce... and then I gave in. Forget the grandsons, I thought, these are delicious and perfect for grownups. The kids will never know.

    So, my husband and I ate all the Wacky Apple products — the applesauces, juices, flat fruits — without sharing with my grandsons.

    We loved them all. My favorite? The Wild Berry Applesauce. My least favorite — which surprised me because I'm a huge mango fan — was the Mango Applesauce (the flavor was more apple than mango, but still good).

    The very last one I tried was the regular applesauce, which I used in the following recipe — perfect for grownups and kids — from the Wacky Apple folks:

    Applesauce Cake in a Cup
    1 tablespoon butter
    2 tablespoon sugar
    2 tablespoon Wacky Apple Cinnamon Applesauce
    1/4 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
    2 drops pure vanilla extract
    1/4 cup flour
    1/8 teaspoon baking powder
    pinch of sea salt
    Chopped fresh apple chunks

    Soften butter in microwave until soft, but not melted (about 10 seconds). Stir in sugar and mix well. Stir in Applesauce, pumpkin pie spice, and vanilla extract until incorporated. Now stir in the flour, baking powder, salt and apples. Mix until combined and smooth out top of batter in cup. Sprinkle your favorite granola on top, for an easy and delicious crumb topping. Pop it in the microwave for 50 – 80 seconds. Every microwave is different and weather conditions will also effect cook time. After 50 seconds, proceed at 10-second intervals. Enjoy warm, right out of the microwave. (Be careful not to microwave too long; they can get rubbery.)

    Use basic recipe for an easy platform to add nutrients. Try adding flax seed, chia seeds, cranberries, walnuts, granola, or chocolate chips! These make a great way to hide delicious nutrients in a “cake form.”

     

    Wacky Apple is a family owned and operated local Colorado brand, from the town of Hotchkiss on the Western Slope, dedicated to organic farming and producing delicious applesauces, fruit juices and fruit snacks. Wacky Apple products are made from naturally sweet organic apples, free of pesticides, contain no added water, no artificial colors, no preservatives and no added sugar. They’re gluten free, vegan and contain no GMOs. 

    Wacky Apple products are available in all Colorado Whole Foods, Sprouts, King Soopers + City Markets. For more info, visit the Wacky Apple website or follow Wacky Apple on Facebook and Twitter.

    Disclosure: I received the product free for review. All anecdotes and opinions are my own.

    Thursday
    Oct102013

    'Power Rangers Super Samurai: A Christmas Wish' now on DVD

    If you have a Power Ranger fan at your house, here's the DVD for him or her: Power Rangers Super Samurai: A Christmas Wish.

    My daughters never watched Power Rangers when they were kids a decade or so ago. I hear the colorful team of Rangers is super popular again, though (perhaps always have been) so I appreciated the opportunity to receive a copy of A Christmas Wish free for review to share with readers — and to see if my grandsons would enjoy it.


    From left to right: The Pink Ranger ("Mia," far left), the Green Ranger ("Mike," left), the Red Ranger ("Jayden," center), the Blue Ranger ("Kevin," right) and the Yellow Ranger ("Emily," far right) star in Lionsgate Home Entertainment's POWER RANGERS SUPER SAMURAI: A CHRISTMAS WISH.

    As my grandsons are just 5 and 2, I think this flick is a bit too old for them, a bit too, well, powerful in terms of the playful yet violent — though, yes, unrealistic; it is fantasy — action. That said, though, I've no doubt kids in the age 8 and up range will enjoy it.

    The Power Rangers Super Samurai: A Christmas Wish synopsis, from Lionsgate:

    The Samurai Rangers are stuck in Megazord's cockpit when it breaks down after battling a Nighlok on Christmas Eve. By using their smarts, determination and teamwork, will the Rangers make it out in time to celebrate Christmas?

    Take a look:

     

    Power Rangers Super Samurai: A Christmas Wish (66 minutes — Not rated) released on DVD Oct. 8, 2013 at a suggested retail price of $14.98.

    Episodes
    Super Samurai Stuck on Christmas
    Mighty Morphin Forever Friends
    Mighty Morphin Alpha’s Magical Christmas

    Bonus Features
    “Mega Bloks Holiday Toymation” video

    Disclosure: I received this product free for review as part of the Entertainment New Media Network. Opinions are my own.