Wii Disney Just Dance – What Does Dad Think?

We got the Disney Just Dance Wii game this Christmas.   I will say that the game is a lot more fun than I thought it was going to be.

As a Dad of 4, I thought this game was going to be a great way to keep the kids busy and active while they were stuck inside the house this winter.  After watching just a couple rounds, I found myself up and looking for the spare Wii remote.

I never knew just how hard it was to keep moving to the beat.  Song after song, I think I’ll get the hang of this right around April 🙂

All the songs inside the game (song listing below) were nice and clean, and even included some of the classics I used to hear when I was a kid.

Our Favorites Just Dances and Scoring?:

Shake it up, SIMP – Squirrels in my pants, This is me and Bear Necessities are our favorite grooving tunes.

Shake it UP:

Bear Necessities:

Like I said above, the dances took a little time for me to get the hang of.  At first, I didn’t know how the game was actually scoring anything I did.

If you look at the pics above, there are 4 little ‘guys’ at the top of the screen.  They tell you how you are doing.

This is the one I saw all the time at first:

When he makes an ‘uh-oh’ sound, that means you missed something.

After a while, when I learned to move on the beat to the music, I started seeing more of these guys:

When they are happy and you are moving on the beat, then give you a big smile and throw little stars out.   If you keep moving to the beat, you eventually get a little ‘flame’ growing at the end – which means you are on fire!

After about a day, I was able to keep up with the wife and kids.  I even won a couple rounds 🙂


Wii Just Dance Disney Party Songs:

The kiddos love the songs inside this game, and we find ourselves looking for them all around the web.  Since I only found a few places with a full listing, I thought I would list them here for you:

Wii Just Dance Disney Party Song Listing:

  • The Bare Necessities – The Jungle Book
  • Be Our Guest- Beauty and the Beast
  • Bibbidi-Bobbidi–Boo- Cinderella
  • Calling All the Monsters- A.N.T. Farm
  • Everything Is Not As It Seems – Wizards of Waverly Place
  • Ev’rybody Wants to Be a Cat- The AristoCats
  • Fly to Your Heart- Tinker Bell
  • Following the Leader-Peter Pan
  • Hang In There Baby- Good Luck Charlie
  • Hawaiian Roller Coaster Ride- Lilo & Stitch
  • Hey Jessie – Jessie
  • Hoedown Throwdown- Hannah Montana: The Movie
  • I Thought I Lost You- Bolt
  • It’s a Small World – It’s a Small World
  • I’ve Got a Dream- Tangled
  • The Muppet Show Theme- The Muppets
  • Shake It Up- Shake It Up
  • S.I.M.P.Squirrels In My Pants- Phineas and Ferb
  • Something That I Want- Tangled
  • Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious- Mary Poppins
  • That’s How You Know- Enchanted
  • This Is Me- Camp Rock
  • Twist My Hips- Shake It Up
  • Under the Sea- The Little Mermaid
  • We’re All In This Together- High School Musical



Tons of Fun – Even for the Dads!

If you are looking for a great way to keep your kids active, (and tire them out for bed) this is a great game to have.

Many great dances, all clean and all age friendly.  I’m sold, and off dancing 🙂

Wii Just Dance at Amazon




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Look-alike Dragonvale Costumes – Scary and Fun!

If your son or daughter plays Dragonvale, you can bet they would like to dress up as one this Halloween!

Since they don’t have actual Dragonvale costumes, you can find costumes that look just like the favorite characters in the game.

Here are a couple that might turn your little one into a scary monster!

The Plant Dragon Costume Look-alike:

This head-dress and cape looks like one of the favorites of the game – the Plant Dragon.

Grab the Plant Dragon Look alike Costume at Amazon


The Rain Dragon Costume Look-alike:

The rain dragon is a favorite in the Water habitat.  This look alike costume costume would definitely work.

The reviews on this one says the sizes run a bit small, so be sure to order a size up or 2 for your child.

The Rain Dragon Look-alike Costume at Amazon


The Fire Dragon Costume Look-alike Head:

This one looks like the Fire Dragon’s head.  This would work great with a red cape.

Fire Dragon Look-alike costume at Amazon


Baby Cold Dragon Costume Look-alike:

This costume is for the little guys and gals.  Newborn and baby sizes.

Baby Cold Dragon Costume Look-alike


Lava Dragon Costume Look-alike:

This costume is actually from the movie How To Train Your Dragon, but it also looks like the Lava Dragon.

Lava Dragon Look-alike at Amazon




Streaming Netflix in the Car

Streaming Netflix In The Car

Having movies in the car is a must for those that travel frequently.  As a family, we can put on thousands of miles a year, travelling to see family and hitting our favorite camping destinations.

Having videos in the car gives us quiet kids (for our sanity), and gives our little ones something to do other than ask ‘are we there yet’!

Ever since we got our iPhone, we have been able to successfully watch netflix vids while on the go.  With just a couple iPhone attachments and the right know-how, it is pretty easy to accomplish.

Here are the things you need to make this work:

1.) iPhone or a phone that can do video out.  Standard Video or HDMI??

Most in car video solutions have inputs for standard RCA video (the red, white, and yellow connectors).

Depending on your phone, there are a few things you need to get in order to hook your phone or tablet to these connectors.


What you need for the new iPhone/iPad:

a.) Lightning to HDMI Adapter 


*Important – This adapter allows you to hook up an HDMI cable and your charger to the phone/iPad at the same time.


b.) HDMI to Component Adapter

This is an essential piece to turn your digital signal into something your car TV can use.  I have used this one personally, and it works great.  It does need power itself, so we’ll add that here:

c.)  USB Cables for power

Both the phone and the converter need power.  In order to power them, pick up these cables:

Standard USB Cable

Link for Standard Power Cable (will open a new window)

USB cable for your phone.  The Amazon brand cable will work great and save you a bunch of money 🙂

Link for Lightning USB Cable (will open a new window)


d.) Dual USB Car Charger

Since we have 2 things to power, this handy little unit will do a great job for both.

Dual USB Car Charger (will open a new window)


Android Phones/Tablets with HDMI Out.

Most Android phones have been made with HDMI outputs recently.  Here’s what you’ll need:

a.)  Mobile HDMI Cable:

Link For Mobile HTML Cable (will open a new window)


b).  Everything other than the lightning cable above.


Cable for iPhone/iPad.

Since iPhones and iPads have video out capability, they are perfect for streaming netflix in the car.

You will need the video out cable which can be purchased for under $30:


iPhone Video Out Cable

Link for iPhone/ iPad video out cable


2.) Hooking up your phone to your video player.

In our minivan, we have a built in DVD player that has video inputs.  It is a bit of a pain because the video inputs are way in the back row of the minivan.  We needed to use a couple adapters and extensions to make it work.  Some cars have this connection closer to the front.

Video Input Hookup Streaming Netflix

Since this connection is way in the back, we have a long RCA cable plugged in that goes all the way to the front of the car.

In our minivan, the audio ports that are used here only go to the headphones in the back seats.  This would normally be fine with us, but we find it is more trouble trying to keep those headphones on their heads.

Instead we port the sound through the main radio in the front.  Here is a pic of the adapter cable up front:

Streaming Netflix, Car Adapter

You can see the RCA extension adapter plugged into the red cable.  (I used a red cable because I had one laying around, the normal color of this connector is Yellow – which is the Video part of the cable).

The USB connector plugs directly into a car USB power adapter.  I like the dual port one that can charge the iPhone and another device at the same time.

Notice the audio cables are not hooked up here either.  We grab the audio right from the phone with the headphone jack.

Streaming Netflix Hookup Pic

Here we have the connections ready to go.  When I get into the car, I just pop the phone into the holder and plug away.  This gives me easy access to the phone.

For iPhone 5:  By far- the best mount is the RAM mount.  I’ve tried others, and this one is the best mount I’ve ever used for a phone.

Link For RAM Mount (will open a new window)


For iPhone 4/4s:  The iGrip is a GREAT holder. You can get it for under $10 on Amazon.

Our minivan does not have an MP3 connection, so we go old school with the tape cassette converter.  When we have the video playing, we just change the selector to ‘Tape’ and then fade the sound to the back of the van.

This has worked really well for us.  The only time you might have problems is if you travel in the ‘boonies’ a lot.

 For just a couple bucks (and a Netflix account of course), you can have a much larger selection of videos at your fingertips for those large trips.

No Netflix Account Yet??

Here is an offer to get 1 year free subscription to try them out:

Netflix Special 1 Year Offer

How ’bout you?  How do you cope with the long trips?

Smallest i7 Laptop – 2011 Laptop Guide

A couple years ago I ditched my full power laptop for the likes of a Netbook.  I didn’t want the size and heft of practically a full PC in my backpack, so I went little, and my patience took a beating for it!

I love the little laptop, but I need full power so I don’t go crazy!  So I went searching around for a laptop that was really small – some would call this an ultraportable, and a laptop that had plenty of power to get the job done.  I also did not want to spend more than $1000! 

Enter the Acer Aspire TimelineX.  This is one of the smallest laptops that carry the i7 Intel chip.  It comes ready to do all the work you want to do, filled to the gills with specs that are on par with any full featured laptop.

One of the best specs with this laptop was the battery life.  It is spec’d out to get a full 8 hours of battery life from one charge! 

It is sleek and very small with an 11.6 inch screen.  This baby is pretty much a netbook sized powerhouse, perfect for those on the go.

All the reviews around the net are totally positive for this laptop.  From those ready to buy a 11.6 Mac Airbook, to those looking for a ultra convienient travel laptop.  They all rave at the great size and power of this laptop.

It comes with one of the best ultra-portable keyboards around.  The keys are nearly full size, and have plenty of space in between.  The mouse supports finger and swipe gestures for zooming and navigating, similar to much more expensive laptops.

It comes standard with VGA, HDMI, USB and Ethernet ports right on the machine.  No need for expensive converter dongles, this laptop is ready to hookup to anything you need.

This has been one of the best deals that I have seen on an I7 Laptop of this size.

If you are in the market to find the smallest i7 laptop for 2011, then look no further than this baby here.  It’s small, but packs a powerful punch.  The best part is that it will not break the bank!


Sweet Droid 3 Accessories Everyone Should Have

The Droid 3 will be out on Thursday.  This is a phone that I have been waiting for ever since I got my Droid X some time ago.  I really liked the X mostly for it’s size and screen, but what it really lacked is the slide out keyboard.

So now I am off to grab the new Droid 3 as soon as I can.  So with that I am on a mission to find the accessories for the Droid 3 without paying the crazy Verizon store prices!


1.) The Droid 3 Car Dock.  This is the most important accessory for me as I drive a ton and love having the Droid always accessible in it’s spot.

Looks like they updated the design of the car dock.  The dock for the X had a longer arm from the suction cup to the phone itself.  This made the phone bounce a little on the bumpy roads.  Looks like they updated to make it more stable, and it just plain looks cool too!

This package said it contains a custom audio and power USB cable?  Does this mean that it will grab the audio thru the USB so you don’t have to fiddle with hooking the audo cable into the phone after it is docked?  Wow that would be great!  I have been wishing for this feature for a while.  I’ll let you know if this is true as soon as I get one in my hands.

UPDATE:  I just got my Droid 3 Car Dock, and Yes, the audio gets pumped thru a special USB cable that has an audio jack on the end.  So all you have to do is put the phone in the dock and you are ready to go.  No more searching for the audio cable and hooking it into the audio jack on the phone!  Nice Job Motorola! 

You can grab the Droid 3 Car dock here


2.) Droid 3 Car Charger.  Just about any Droid car charger will work for this phone, and if you buy the car kit above it comes with the charger.  So for those who do not have this yet, here is a link to get this cheap.

You can grab the Droid 3 Car Charger here



3.) Droid 3 Multimedia Station.  I really liked the multimedia station for my Droid X as it gave the phone a nice ‘home’ while charging or sitting on the bedstand.  Like the X, this station includes an HDMI port thru that will allow you to hookup to your HD TV and mirror the output of the phone on the TV. 

You can grab the Droid 3 Multimedia Dock here


4.) Bluetooth Wireless Headset.   This is a universal accessory that is really nice, especially in those states where using the phone while driving is illegal.  I like the Motorola brand Bluetooth headset because the have special ‘hooks’ into the phone that will give you added features like reading your text and emails.  I also like it because it has a neat flip open type of door that shuts the unit off when you don’t want to use it.  That keeps the battery going for a long time cause you never forget that you left it on!

You can grab the Motorola Bluetooth Headset here


These are my ‘Must Have’ accessories list for the new Droid 3.  I am excited to pick up this new phone and I will be back with my first thoughts on the Droid in a few days!  What about you?  What kind of accessories are your ‘Must Haves’?  Let me know in the comments below.