Tuesday Reviewsday: Idina Menzel #HolidayWishes #O2O

I will admit I’ve never seen the movie, “Frozen.”


I, do however, know the lyrics to every. single. song. from the soundtrack because all four of my children, ages 17, 15, 12 and 10, repeated them over and over and over again.  For awhile, they listened to the Disney song station on Pandora in the car on the way to and from school.

Even if you’ve never seen the movie, it’s hard not to know who Idina Menzel is.  She was on the TV circuits with the movie’s release and popularity and really, it’s not a common name.  It’s one you remember. I often wondered if this would be her one big moment, if Frozen is all she would be remembered for (which would be a tremendous shame because she is so stinkin’ talented.

So, when I heard she had a Christmas album, I was ecstatic.  (And I’m not big into Christmas albums… I just listen to the radio station, except for the few times I play Dominic the Donkey, Have a Funky Funky Christmas, and Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer – because no radio station plays any of those.)

Tracks included in Holiday Wishes are:

    1. Do You Hear What I Hear
    2. The Christmas Song
    3. Baby It’s Cold Outside (Duet with Michael Buble)
    4. Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas
    5. All I Want For Christmas
    6. What Are You Doing New Year’s Eve?
    7. December Prayer
    8. When You Wish Upon A Star
    9. Silent Night
    10. River
    11. Holly Jolly Christmas
    12. White Christmas

And if you get it from Target?  You get “Let It Snow” and “Mother’s Spiritual”

What I like most about this album is the mix of tradition, favorite carols and ones I’m not familiar with.  Additionally, she doesn’t sign them in a manner that you can’t follow along without getting lost… meaning my karaoke sessions in the car are all the more festive!

Holiday Wishes, a Christmas album recorded by Tony Award-winning singer/actor Idina Menzel, is out now on Warner Bros. Records.

The album was produced by Grammy Award-winner Walter Afanasieff (Barbra Streisand, Celine Dion, Mariah Carey) and features such classic favorites as “All I Want For Christmas Is You” and “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas,” as well as Joni Mitchell’s Christmas-themed “River,” one of Menzel’s favorites.

Another highlight is a duet with international superstar Michael Bublé on “Baby It’s Cold Outside.” An exclusive Target edition of Holiday Wishes features two bonus tracks, including “Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!”.

If you’re an online music purchasin’ kinda person, you can pick it up at iTunes or Amazon.

And make sure you follow Idina on Twitter, Like her on Facebook, watch her on YouTube or just visit her website!

Merry Christmas!

I participated in the Idina Menzel Holiday Wishes album review program as a member of One2One Network. I was provided an album to review but all opinions are my own.


O #ChristmasTown @BuschGardensVA #sponsored

I took Clark Griswold the hubs to Busch Gardens on Black Friday.  Just the two of us.  No kids.  Just us.

They were less than thrilled, but we needed to just get away for the night and it’s so rare that we can find a Friday that we’re both off….

Most people looked at me like I had three heads when I told them where we were headed.  I’m fairly certain they think after Howl-o-Scream, the place shuts down until the carpets are rolled out again in the spring…

But that’s not the case….

Because Busch Gardens is turned in to Christmas Town.

With over eight million twinkling lights.

Do you know what eight million twinkling lights does to the hubs?


It makes him twinkle.  Does he not look like a happy man?

He was…

Until we realized he left his phone in the car and when he went back to get it?


Actually, just the thought of the lights must have soothed him… because he was quite pleasant as he changed out the tire and twenty minutes later, we were back in business…

The business of Christmas….




Christmas Town was perfect both day and night, although, as you can imagine, the night time “aaahs” and “wows” were greater.  But the displays were equally as beautiful in the day time….

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I think one of my favorite parts was Escape from Pompeii.  Because this is what it looked like…




You can’t tell in the pictures, but the blue lights look like flowing water.

And yes.  The hubs asked if he could do something like that to the house.

I kid you not.

Another favorite part was the bridge over the Rhine River… at first, all you could see was white trees on the banks on either side.  “Let there be peace on earth” was playing overhead and then you came to this…



The pictures don’t do it justice.

Now… you may be asking about the weather.  It was cold.  Of course, the high the day we went was only 40 and at night it got colder.  We bundled up and there were heaters along the paths and a few heated tents.  Of course the stores were heated as well.  It didn’t really bother me at all.  When the hubs said he was cold, we left.  Of course, he didn’t have his cold weather gear on and I had on these boots that my mom bought me last year.  I’m one that as long as my feet are warm, the rest of me is fine.

The coldest part was eating and this might not be the case with you, but where we wanted to eat (Dicken’s Tavern) there was no inside seating, so sitting on the metal chairs, even next to a heater, was a bit on the cold side.

Regardless, we just ate fast and then got moving again.

I was hoping to check out more of the shows than we did, but we did get to Scrooge No More.  I don’t care how they do it, this tale never gets old.  But what I was most fascinated about with this version was the story told in 30 minutes and the set changes.  It was amazing.



And they made it snow at the end…

Which they did throughout the park as well.  It snowed at the North Pole (where you could go and have your picture taken with Santa) and several other places.  Which, I must say, was a nice touch.

The whole place really was beautiful.

As far as rides go, there were several open, more for the kids than anything else.

The Verbolten was the only roller coaster open during the day, but we noticed it was closed in the evening.


I will say that the hubs and I both noticed the weirdness of not hearing coasters and screaming as we walked through the park.  It was peaceful with the Christmas music playing throughout… peaceful, but weird.  Just not what we’re used to.

All in all, it was a great time.  It’s something he definitely wants to do again (and make a tradition out of).  It’s a little bit of a haul for us, but working to get us in the Christmas spirit it did.








Christmas Town at Busch Gardens is open on select days through December 31st.  You should totally get there if you can.  It’s sure to brighten your mood!


**Disclaimer – As a Busch Gardens Ambassador, I was given entrance into the park for my husband and I in exchange for a recount of our experience.  All pictures, thoughts, and opinions are my own… a few might have been from my husband, but only if I agreed with them. ;)


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