Josh Duhamel

Disney Style Grand Ole Opry Art Installation Honors Warm Weather Entertaining L. Ron Hubbard "Must Haves" for Travelers The Lego Movie

Shining A Spotlight On Homeless Pets

(NAPSI)—One film star is stepping out of the spotlight to shine a light on homeless pets. It turns out that Josh Duhamel, an actor known for numerous action films, has a serious soft spot when it comes to pet adoption.

Rescuing a dachshund, Meatloaf, several years ago inspired Duhamel and his production company, Dakotakid Media, to join forces with the country’s leading funder of animal welfare efforts, PetSmart Charities, to create a Web series in support of the nonprofit’s Rescue Waggin’ program.

As executive producer of the eight-episode Web series “Rescue Waggin’: Tales from the Road,” Duhamel and his team follow homeless dogs and puppies as they travel hundreds, even thousands of miles for a better chance of being adopted. The Web series includes cameos from a cache of celebrity pet adoption advocates including Kristen Bell, Adam Shankman and Bret Michaels.

“Thousands of dogs are euthanized in shelters every day be_cause the adoption demand does not meet the supply of pets,” said Duhamel. “When I saw what PetSmart Charities was doing, loading pets into vans and transporting them to shelters where they have a better chance of being adopted, I wanted to tell the story of this lifesaving program.”

“Rescue Waggin’: Tales from the Road” puts viewers in the passenger’s seat of the Rescue Waggin’ vehicle to experience the shelter pet transport process from start to finish.

The Web series chronicles the real stories of dogs and puppies from communities with more pets than adopters to communities where adoptable pets are in demand.

Rescue Waggin’ vehicles travel up to 3,000 miles a week giving hopeless pets a new “leash” on life. When one of the dogs is settled into his new shelter, he is usually adopted within three to seven days. PetSmart Charities estimates the Rescue Waggin’ program has saved more than 70,000 dogs and puppies since 2004.

“I actually bought my first dog, Zoe, and I got some criticism from family and friends over it. So when it came time to find her a companion, we realized that adoption was the only way to go. Adopted dogs and cats make incredible pets,” said Duhamel.

Many dogs, such as Meatloaf, are finding homes thanks to Pet-Smart Charities and the Rescue Waggin’ program. To see Duhamel and the star-studded cast in the Web series “Rescue Waggin’: Tales from the Road,” visit www.rescuewaggin.org.

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Throwing A ‘60s Dessert Party… Disney Style

(NAPSI)—A party doesn’t have to deplete your monthly budget as long as you realize the purpose of entertaining is to have fun with friends. A dessert party is the perfect answer. Everyone loves dessert and, with only one course, the shopping is less expensive and you can often prepare the food beforehand. But what about the theme for the party? That leads us to an idea based on the Disney film “Saving Mr. Banks,” starring Tom Hanks and Emma Thompson—a ‘60s Dessert Party!

A little background. Walt Disney’s “Mary Poppins,” one of the world’s most beloved and enduring family films ever, was released in the mid-1960s, the setting for “Saving Mr. Banks,” which is now on Digital HD, Blu-ray and DVD. The film tells the little-known story of how Walt (Hanks) convinced author Pamela “P. L.” Travers (Thompson) to agree to a movie based on her best-selling book series. In many meetings, the stubborn Travers insists Disney and his team stick to the exact details of her novels. Eventually, Walt makes her understand that despite taking some liberties, using imagination and creativity does achieve what Travers really wanted to say.

Creativity, of course, went into duplicating the early to mid-‘60s style and look of “Saving Mr. Banks,” a key component of which was food. TV and film food stylist Chris Oliver (“About Last Night,” “The Master”; TV’s “Parenthood,” “Masters of Sex,” “Boardwalk Empire”) was brought in to handle the design.

Ms. Oliver’s primary focus was the writers’ room scenes where Walt had plentiful dessert fare wheeled in for breaks. Some of the most popular desserts from the ‘60s were featured. “The food was meant to reflect a time line for Mrs. Travers, who, at first, was entirely negative about everything Disney. When she first arrives in the room, we put out tons of premade desserts loaded with preservatives—Sno Balls, Twinkies, etc. (I was particularly proud of the red/green/orange Mickey Jell-O mold.) As the film progresses and Travers softens, we brought in more homemade items with pure ingredients.”

Oliver sees the movie as the perfect inspiration for a retro-themed ladies’ dessert party. To throw a classic ‘60s party, she recommends starting with “a pastel color scheme, Pyrex serving dishes, fun Jell-O molds, cheese and fruit platters, and cakes with lots of frosting. Popular desserts of the ‘60s are coconut or butter cakes, baked Alaska, soufflés, berry pies and pineapple upside-down cake.”

One of Chris Oliver’s favorite dishes inspired by the ‘60s is cherry pie, but her special recipe is a timeless classic with ingredients that haven’t changed for more than a century. For Chris’ Cherry Pie and other favorite ‘60s recipes, visit www.facebook.com/SavingMrBanks.

To get more into the spirit of the era as you watch the film together, put on a pot of tea and provide a few side snack dishes like deviled eggs or Walt Disney’s personal favorite, chili: (http://blogs.disney.com/insider/recipes/2013/02/04/walts-own-chili/).

For more information about Chris Oliver and her cooking and food styling tips, please visit www.hollywoodfoodstyling.com. For more information about the “Saving Mr. Banks” Blu-ray™ and DVD, please visit www.movies.disney.com.

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Grand Ole Opry Remains The Heart Of A Music City Getaway

(NAPSI)—Long before Nashville, Tenn. became an “it” city noted as a top world travel destination by both Forbes and The New York Times, the city welcomed hundreds of thousands of visitors annually with a single purpose in mind: seeing the show that made country music famous, the Grand Ole Opry.

Today, the Opry is home to some of country music’s most popular stars while continuing to attract fans to its shows every Friday and Saturday night in addition to seasonal Tuesday−Thursday performances. Opry General Manager Pete Fisher says, “When guests visit, they’ll experience music from different generations, including up-and-coming stars, current hit makers and enduring legends.”

“Pilgrims travel to Jerusalem to see the Holy Land and the foundations of their faith,” says Opry member Brad Paisley. “People go to Washington, D.C. to see the workings of government and the foundation of our country. And fans flock to Nashville to see the foundation of country music, the Grand Ole Opry.”

In addition to witnessing country music history made on stage, Nashville visitors can go behind the curtain on Grand Ole Opry House Backstage Tours.

This House Is Home

“I always say backstage at the Opry is like your living room, only with famous people,” says Paisley’s fellow Opry member and Grammy-winning superstar Carrie Underwood, nodding to the Opry’s informal and highly approachable nature, both on stage and behind the scenes. Tours trace the steps of Paisley, Underwood and others. Visitors are guided past themed dressing rooms and are led onto the 6-ft. wooden circle on the Opry House stage, cut from the stage of the Ryman when the show moved to the Opry House in 1974. When standing on the circle, fans stand on the same spot where legends such as Patsy Cline and Hank Williams once stood, as well as where stars such as Keith Urban and Martina McBride perform today. Video commentary from Opry members including Blake Shelton and Darius Rucker on the backstage tours complement the stories shared by tour guides, many of whom personally witnessed several of the magical Opry stage moments they describe to guests.

Every Show Is Different

With no less than eight acts and 50 musicians at any one show, the possibilities for artists joining forces on a song—either planned or spontaneous—and creating another “Opry moment” on any given night are endless.

With the world tuned in to the popular network drama “Nashville” each week and the city welcoming more than 1,000 nonstop flights from 40+ locations around the country, plus the destination’s convenient location for road-trippers, Nashville thrives today as a go-to spot for great food, great times and great music—including the Grand Ole Opry.

At A Glance

• The show that started it all, the Grand Ole Opry, continues to feature country music’s most exciting acts. Among the artists who’ve played the Opry in recent months: Eric Church, Little Big Town and Carrie Underwood.

• Home to the Opry 1943−1974, the historic Ryman Auditorium today features tours by day and concerts featuring an eclectic mix of music by night.

• The Bluebird Café, often featured in the hit series “Nashville,” continues to host Music City tunesmiths nightly. Among the Bluebird’s claims to fame: helping “discover” superstars Garth Brooks and Taylor Swift.

Plan Your Trip

Learn more about Nashville and the Grand Ole Opry at www.opry.com or by calling (800) SEE-OPRY.

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Art Installation Honors An American Original

(NAPSI)—To many, the origins of one of the world’s most iconic handcrafted bourbons reflect the spirit of America and the realization of the American dream. That bourbon, Maker’s Mark®, is now the inspiration for a special work of art created by renowned artist Dale Chihuly. The artwork, entitled “The Spirit of the Maker,” commemorates the 60th anniversary of the Bourbon Revolution and pays tribute to Bill Samuels, Sr., and his wife Margie, the founders of the company. Sixty years ago, Bill and Margie decided to create a bourbon that tasted good and would not “blow your ears off,” the measure by which bourbons were judged at the time; a bourbon that would appeal to bourbon and non-bourbon drinkers alike. Unknowingly, their handcrafted creation, made with soft red winter wheat instead of the traditional rye, served as the shot that started a Bourbon Revolution, transforming bourbon from a “commodity” to a premium handcrafted spirit, and giving rise to the modern era of bourbon. “The Spirit of the Maker” is situated in a rack house filled with aging bourbon barrels. Its overhead canopy features countless pieces of glass; a kaleidoscope of shapes and colors including deep browns and vibrant ambers emblematic of the bourbon, crystal blues representative of the Distillery’s spring-fed lake, and rich reds illustrative of the iconic red wax into which each bottle is hand dipped. The installation is on permanent display at the Maker’s Mark Distillery in Loretto, Ky. To learn more, visit www.makersmark.com/distillery.

Whisky Smash

2 parts Maker’s Mark® Bourbon

4 mint leaves

½ part fresh lemon

1 part simple syrup

Muddle all ingredients except Maker’s Mark® Bourbon in a bar glass. Add Maker’s Mark® Bourbon and shake with ice. Strain into an ice-filled rocks glass. Garnish with a sprig of mint and a lemon wheel.

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Tips For Enjoyable Warm Weather Entertaining

(NAPSI)—Outdoor living, barbecues and the promise of spending more time outside with friends and family are some of the many perks of spring and summer.

However, there can be a downside to warm weather that can ruin even the most perfect get-together: biting insects.

Mar Jennings, home and garden expert and best-selling author of “Life on Mar’s: A Four Season Garden” and “Life on Mar’s: Creating Casual Luxury,” has partnered with Dynatrap® to bring you the hottest tips and trends for summer 2014 entertaining.

• It’s Never Too Early to Prepare: Mosquito populations start hatching when temperatures reach 45 degrees, so start early when it comes to ridding your yard of these pests.

• Make it Magical with Outdoor Lighting: The right lighting can help keep bugs away. Try a fire pit; it provides the perfect amount of light and the smoke naturally repels mosquitoes. Another tip is to change your outdoor bulbs from white to yellow. Yellow bulbs are less visible to most bugs.

• With Color, Lighter Is Better: For key outdoor pieces such as seat cushions, lighter is better. Not only will they stay crisp looking longer, mosquitoes are less attracted to light colors. Jennings likes the Pantone color of the year, bold Radiant Orchid, to use as a featured or accent color this summer.

• Beautify Your Yard: Tidying up the yard before a party will not only impress guests, but cutting the grass and draining sources of stagnant water will also decrease the likelihood of bugs. Include plants like marigolds in your garden as they not only beautify your space, but also help repel mosquitoes.

• Match Your Trap to Your Décor: The Dynatrap® line of insect-trapping products is designed to reduce biting insects without the use of chemicals. They’re available in bronze—exclusively at Frontgate—and black. You can pick the finish most suited for your style.

• Consider the Time of Day: Mosquitoes are most active at dusk. During the prime mosquito months, plan outdoor get-togethers early in the day to avoid the most popular times for mosquitoes to be out and about. If you’re entertaining at night, it’s best to combine multiple bug prevention methods to keep your guests comfortable.

• Feed Your Guests Without Making Them the Meal: For party guests and bugs alike, the food table is usually the most popular spot to gather. Instead of serving buffet-style food, impress your guests with bite-sized treats that will be eaten quickly.

To learn more, visit www.dynatrap.com.

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Writers Of The Future Celebrates 30 Years

(NAPSI)—The 30th annual awards event celebrated the winners in the L. Ron Hubbard Writers and Illustrators of the Future Contests before a packed hall and hundreds more from around the world who watched the event as it streamed live. Keynote speaker NASA astronaut Leland D. Melvin, a previous NFL player for the Detroit Lions, spoke about the importance of keeping one’s dreams and not giving up and how science fiction indeed was the inspiration for so much of what we find now in space exploration.

The event celebrated the 25 annual winners in the L. Ron Hubbard Writers and Illustrators of the Future Contests—with contestants now submitting from 169 countries—and culminated in the release of the best-selling science fiction anthology series “L. Ron Hubbard Presents Writers of the Future, Volume 30,” available where books are sold.

The Writers of the Future writing contest was initiated by L. Ron Hubbard in 1983 to provide a means for aspiring writers to get that much-needed break. Due to the success of the Writing Contest, the companion Illustrators of the Future Contest was created in 1988. There is no entry fee and the contests are open to anyone who has not been professionally published.

The intensive mentoring process has proven very successful. The 348 past winners of the Writing Contest have published 838 novels and nearly 4,000 short stories. They have produced 27 New York Times best sellers and their works have sold over 50 million copies.

The 276 past winners of the Illustrating Contest have produced over 4,500 illustrations and 356 comic books, graced 594 books and albums with their art, and visually contributed to 36 TV shows and 46 major movies.

The video of the awards event and online contest entry forms can be found at www.WritersOfTheFuture.com.

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“Must-Haves” For Travelers

(NAPSI)—Most people know the basic necessities to pack, but what about ways to enhance the travel experience, not just make it happen?

Americans will take more than 2 billion trips for business and pleasure this year, the U.S. Travel Association estimates. Here are some tips to keep in mind when preparing for your next trip:

Technology for Travel

• Electronics accessories. Keep your devices charged and running with power converters, adapters and transformers. These tools will come in handy, especially for international travel. Converters are used to fit the plug-in on the wall, while adapters and transformers help prevent battery damage. This power can be useful for items such as hair dryers, shavers, laptops or cell phones.

• Access to news. One of the most important aspects of taking a trip is knowing about the area you’re traveling to—but it doesn’t hurt to stay updated on what’s happening at home as well. PressReader provides travelers full-content access to more than 2,500 newspapers and magazines worldwide, so they can keep up on the latest news from their smartphone, tablet or laptop.

This digital newsstand gives you the option to translate any article into 16 languages, so you can read local stories in your native language. With an engaging and interactive reading experience, travelers can do everything from reading local restaurant reviews to understanding the current political landscape.

PressReader is available at various hotels and resorts, airport lounges and cruise ships around the world. For more information or to try PressReader, visit www.pressreader.com.

• GPS trackers. Ever worry about losing your valuable items when traveling? Constantly checking your pockets for your cell phone or passport? With GPS trackers, travelers can add tags to their cell phones, passports, luggage, car keys and more. So when they lose something important, they can find it using the GPS remote.

Healthy Travel

• A first aid/emergency kit. Keep a small bag in your carry-on luggage for when unexpected situations arise. You can load this up with the typical items, like bandages and aspirin, but go beyond that by packing an empty water bottle, snack, sleeping aid, vitamin C and more.

• Hand sanitizer. One of the best ways to ruin a business trip or vacation is falling ill. While many people try to protect themselves with alcohol-based sanitizers, what they don’t realize is that these types of products don’t reduce illness.

There is a product, however, that is effective and works for hours: Zylast. Studies show this revolutionary new hand sanitizer kills germs on contact, but is also persistent for six hours—unlike alcohol-based sanitizers that stop working after 15 seconds. Zylast is the only sanitizer effective against the common cold, flu and norovirus, which are the main bugs infecting travelers.

That’s not a risk that travelers want to take, considering the recent national travel survey that revealed 63 percent of travelers get sick on vacation and spend more than $1,200 per trip.

For more information and to receive a 10 percent discount on your order, visit www.zylastdirect.com and enter the code travel10.

• Motion sickness medication. If you’re prone to motion sickness or not a seasoned traveler, motion sickness medication can help while on an airplane, boat or in a car. You can also add some ginger to your emergency kit, as studies have found it alleviates the nausea associated with motion sickness. Green apples and crackers are other natural remedies.

Keep these tips in mind as you embark on your next business trip or leisure travel adventure.

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Make The Summer “Awesome” With Your Family

(NAPSI)—The kids are out of school, which means parents are out of time to plan fun family activities for this summer. As the days get longer, engage the whole gang with easy, educational activities that encourage quality family time and may impart some important life lessons.

Tips for Summer Fun

• Take a Road Trip and Explore Local Landmarks: Buckle up for a short family road trip to explore landmarks in your local area. Whether at a public park, museum, or hiking path, kids and parents will relish the opportunity for exploration and discovery. At the end of the day, everyone will feel a little bit smarter and a little more awesome.

• Encourage Your Child To Be a Master Builder: Watching television can easily become a passive activity, but not if parents turn it into an experience that engages children off screen. “The LEGO® Movie,” from Warner Bros. Home Entertainment and Village Roadshow Pictures, is a family-friendly tale about following the instructions—and breaking away from them! Available now on Digital HD. Own it on Blu-ray Combo Pack June 17. After the credits have rolled, challenge kids to “master build” their own creation, using only products from around the house. This exercise is a great way to bond with the kids while instilling a powerful lesson about the importance of being yourself.

• Make Farm-to-Table Meals: Everyone can be a chef this summer, thanks to an abundance of readily available fresh produce. Teach your children the importance of sourcing local ingredients by making a family outing to the neighborhood farmers market. Select a few healthy fruits, vegetables and grains that are part of a wholesome diet, and assign each family member to a salad, side or main course for a delicious farm-to-table meal.

• Host a Family Arts and Crafts Night: Break out the paint and glitter for arts and crafts night with the family. Whether you create toothpick picture frames or macaroni art, be sure to display the completed projects in your home for all to admire.

“The LEGO® Movie,” starring the voices of Chris Pratt, Will Ferrell, Liam Neeson and more, is an original, 3-D, computer-animated story about Emmet, a perfectly ordinary LEGO minifigure who is mistakenly identified as the key to saving the world, and drafted into a fellowship of strangers on an epic quest to stop an evil tyrant. Perfect for viewing in the living room on home video or loading onto your tablet to watch while on the road this summer, “The LEGO® Movie” is a tale the whole family will find “awesome!”

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