Friday, December 16, 2011

Review: Just Dance 3

I recently received a copy of Just Dance 3 for the Xbox Kinect. I was excited to receive it, having first played with the Just Dance family on Wii at Type-A last June. It was a blast, and yes, my team amazingly managed to win the dance off (and the copy of Just Dance 3 was our prize for dancing our rear ends off). When the newest member of the Just Dance family came, I was excited to see how it worked on my Kinect.

The best way to find out is not only to try it myself, but to have friends and family play, too. Fortunately, I tried it out before they arrived, as the game required that I do an update to my Xbox before being able to play it. The update didn't take long, and I was quickly ready to try it out.

The game was easy to maneuver. Once we got into the game, we got to the segment where we could choose our songs intuitively. I do wish that there was a list of all songs available for the game in the package so that we could more easily decide what we want to dance to next. We did have a little bit of an issue sometimes choosing the song we'd intended. The list would scroll one too far when we tried to swipe a song to select it, but fortunately you can still go back a step at that point.

And the songs are a hoot. Many of the wee ones' favorite songs are options from Taio Cruz's "Dynomite" to Katy Perry's "California Gurls." They love playing it just as much as the adults do, which is great as we can only do a couple songs before we need to take a break because we're too tired. This really is a great workout.

The game is designed to be played by up to four people, which keeps arguments over whose turn it is to a minimum. That, I like. We've had to be careful about where we place people to avoid the sensor getting confused, but four people playing at once definitely works. We enjoy it with most songs, but there are a few songs where there are multiple dancers onscreen who do different things, and each player needs to first figure out which figure to follow then do that dance. This has proven to be our biggest challenge, as we can't always tell who is supposed to do what. We mostly avoid those songs now.

The good news is that Just Dance 3 is something easy enough for everyone to do. While we did have one friend who tried to do the exact thing the dancers did instead of the mirror image (e.g., when the dancer moved to her left, my friend moved to his left), but all the other adults got it and enjoyed it. We even got my mom involved, and she's not exactly a dancer yet joy still enjoyed it.

This is definitely a keeper of a game. I love the exercise I get, and it's a great bonding experience. We have a blast seeing who can earn more stars - as you accomplish moves (and the game tells you how you're doing with each movement), you gain points and at certain point levels, you earn stars. I am proud to say that I was the first one to earn five stars during a dance - and I even did it before the end of the song.

Just Dance 3 is available on both Wii and Kinect for Xbox. You can purchase it anywhere games are sold. You can buy Just Dance 3 for $39.99. There are lots more features available - from the ability to shout out lyrics to gain extra points to the Just Sweat mode that gives access to playlists and challenging workouts. You can also purchase more songs from the Just Dance store, but I have to be honest that I don't feel the need to do this.

In the interest of full disclosure, I received a copy of Just Dance 3 from Clever Girls Collective via their Ubichamps program. I received no compensation. Thank you to Ubisoft for sponsoring this blog post. Please click here to learn more about Ubisoft. I was selected for this sponsorship by the Clever Girls Collective. All opinions are my own.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Pillsbury Appetizer Potluck - Yum!

It's the holiday season, which in my neck of the woods means that we're partying up a storm. And the parties inevitably involve food. Lots and lots of food. I love cooking things that are a little bit different from the standard fare, just to be interesting. At the same time, I need the foods I make not to be super fussy because there are a lot of people eating and never enough time to do all the cooking and cleaning.

This holiday, the focus is on creating appetizers that don't require a ton of ingredients and are tasty and simple. Pillsbury has lots of recipes like this available, and they invited me to host a potluck with my friends that included appetizers made with their products. Now that's something up my alley (although I will admit that I don't generally purchase prepared dough, other than phyllo, because of so many of the ingredients and because it's not too hard to make myself - that said Pillsbury has introduced the Simply line that has more natural ingredients), and I jumped at the chance.

Preparing for the potluck was relatively easy. I just had to put drinks and other sides and desserts together, all of which can be done ahead of time and keeping me more relaxed. Of course, that extra time just means my house is a little closer to the cleanliness standards my mom tried to impress upon me when I was a child.

We had a ton of fun at our potluck, with each of my friends bringing a very different dish using the Pillsbury coupons and all sorts of tasty accompaniments making for quick prep for our varied and tasty potluck. We all ate until we were stuffed silly, and then we tried to decide what our favorite was. I think we all could happily have had any of the items again.

I made the Tomato Basil Cups that I posted on my regular blog earlier today. I used a recipe I found on the Pillsbury website - and wow are there a ton of recipes - as the inspiration for my dish, but ... I had to change it up, of course. It turned out really well, and I actually made it again when I hosted bunco this weekend. Let's just say I had more than one request for the recipe.

My friends brought other dishes from the traditional baked brie - with strawberry preserves inside:

And an awesome twist on bruschetta:

And a really good ham sandwich with dill and all sorts of original yumminess made by a friend who used no recipe but instead just made up her own awesomeness:

We had the pesto pinwheels, too, which are always so yummy and look so much fancier and harder than what they actually are. I know I had a photo of that one, but it's hiding somewhere on my computer, and I can't find it at the moment.

We loved how there are so many possible flavors for the appetizers, although interestingly we so often focused on Italian flavors. Apparently that's just my friends! In the end, I think the most popular recipe is the one I made. The flavors were great - not too rich but oh so satisfying. I liked the changes I ended up making, putting the basil into the filling instead of baking fresh basil atop it (ick - basil burns) and using cut up cherry tomatoes instead of a single tomato sliced across the top. And of course I amped up the cheese in it. How can you not?

There are tons more ideas for appetizers for all seasons on the Pillsbury site. If you're hosting or attending a holiday gathering, there are plenty of recipes including many with few ingredients and quick prep times. What will you make?

And yes, the widget has a coupon for $1.10 off any 3 Pillsbury products, just to make things a little easier for you. What would you make?

Enjoyed learning about what Pillsbury is up to with their recipes? Feel free to like Pillsbury on Facebook or follow them on Twitter.

In the interest of full disclosure, I received coupons for myself and my friends to purchase Pillsbury products for the potluck courtesy of Pillsbury via MyBlogSpark. I also received a gift card to help offset the expenses of the potluck party. That said, all opinions expressed are my own. Those can't be bought. Period.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Eversave Deals - Great Gift Ideas

Please tell me I'm not still the only one out there shopping for gifts. And don't talk to me about the Christmas cards that I have yet to send. Fortunately there's not only time to purchase gifts, there are tons of great savings out there for everyone on your list. Check out Eversave online for tons more deals in lots more locales.

Even better? Now through midnight December 8 (don't ask me the time zone - it doesn't say, so pretend it's EST so you don't get burned) you can get an extra $5 credit towards any Eversave purchase. Use it before it expires!


Cheers:$35 for $70 worth of premium wine and gifts at

Online: Vice Couture

Vice Couture

A sound gift:$74 for a set of BeatTubes+ portable Bluetooth speakers, plus free shipping!

Travel: Villa De Cerritos Beach

Villas De Cerritos Beach

Today's Save:Five-night stay + massage, yoga, dining and surfing from $259 in Baja California Sur

Atlanta: The Polish Bar

The Polish Bar

Today's Save:$35 for a Shellac manicure and express pedicure

Charlotte: Burgundy Moon Spa and Winehouse (my kind of place!)

Burgundy Moon Spa and Winehouse

Today's Save:From $35 for a Swedish massage and foot soak at Burgundy Moon Spa & Winehouse

Denver: Go Green Gourmet (LOVE this!)

Go Green Gourmet

Today's Save:$65 for an in-home cooking class for two from Go Green Gourmet

Philadelphia: On-Site Detailing

On-Site Detailing

Today's Save:$99 for a full auto detailing service from On-Site Detailing ($199 value)

Seattle: Larson Family Medicine and Medical Aesthetics

Larson Family Medicine and Medical Aesthetics

Today's Save:$29 for a medical-grade glycolic chemical peel

St. Louis: Dining Delicacies

Dining Delicacies

Today's Save:$49 for an in-home, four-course gourmet dinner for four

Washington, DC: Misty Clean

Misty Clean

Sparkling savings:$45 for house cleaning from Misty Clean ($110 value)

In the interest of full disclosure, I am an affiliate of Eversave. I do receive a commission for any items purchased on Eversave using the links shared above. That said, I am posting only those deals that I find interesting, and all opinions expressed are my own. Those can't be bought. Period.


Congrats goes out to i find bargains who won the giveaway from MyBlogSpark, General Mills, and DC Entertainment for the Justice League prize pack. Congrats - and the 48 hour window to respond with contact information is ticking down.

Congrats again!