Bedtime Stories

Like every family I’m sure, we had little bedtime rituals here at our house when our children were small.  As soon as my son was in a “big boy bed” my husband and I would both lay down with him and read him books. Goodnight Moon, Goodnight Gorilla, (my favorite) Jamberry (my husband’s favorite) and of course Green Eggs and Ham were popular in rotation. I would read the page on the left and my husband would read the page on the right.  Like wicked children my husband and I would each try to choose books we knew had more text on “our” side.  When my daughter was old enough we would do the same.

bedtime-stories
Photo credit: PlayingWithBrushes via Creative Commons

As my son got older my husband and I started moving beyond Dr. Seuss and on to bigger books.  We started reading chapter books like Last of the Really Great Whangdoodles and The Chronicles of Narnia series.  I would usually fall asleep while we were reading these books (therefore losing out on my page) and my husband would end up reading the chapter himself.

After my husband read to our son I would wake up and tuck him in and kiss him and tell him, “Sweetest sweet dreams in the whole wide world and have good luck.” (He came up with this saying and would insist that I say this to him every night.)

“You do too, Mom,” he would say as he rolled over to go to sleep.

When our son got older and started going to bed later and began to read chapter books on his own, I would still come in and read Shel Silverstein poems to him.  Oh how we loved Shel Silverstein.  We have all his books and have probably read each poem at least 100 times.  He would always make me read the longest poems to him.

My daughter was never interested in hearing big chapter books like my son.  She preferred the picture books.  If we did start a short chapter book – Judy Moody, Magic Tree House – she’d rarely stick with it. The next night I’d crawl into bed with her to read the next chapter and she’d want something else instead.

After reading to my daughter I always gave her good dreams.  They were very elaborate and imaginative: I want you to dream that you are flying to the moon on butterfly wings – Make them eagle wings Mommy – okay eagle wings, and when you get to the moon you jump up and down like you are on the biggest trampoline in the world – But I’m not in the world Mommy, I’m on the moon – Yes, you are on the moon, and when you get tired of jumping you fly down and land on a cloud where you take a nap. When you wake up you eat the cloud because it tastes just like cotton candy and then you fly down into your bed and fall asleep.

My daughter is ten now and has advanced to chapter books, but prefers to read them on her own.  Once in awhile she’ll let me read her some poems and even give her some more “grownup” good dreams.

My favorite one to give her is this:  “I want you to dream that when you wake up in the morning your room will be clean.  Oh wait,” I say slapping myself in the forehead, “That’s my dream.”

My son is thirteen and we don’t read to him anymore.  Until recently he still liked me to climb in bed with him and read him poems.  But for the past month or two when we tell him it’s bedtime he gets ready for bed and stands at the end of the hall and says goodnight.  I’ll usually wait a few minutes and then go peek my head in his room and give him a kiss.

The other night I picked up a Shel Silverstein book and picked a poem.  “That poem is too long Mom.

Can you pick another one?”

“Sure,” I told him and picked a short one and did my best to read it without a quiver in my voice.

“Thanks, goodnight,” he said as he rolled over.

“I miss reading you poems,” I told him.

“I know, because you said you would read to me at night until I didn’t want you to anymore.”

“So you’re good with this?  You don’t want me to anymore?”

“I’m good with this,” he said.

“Are you sure?” I asked with tears in my eyes.

“I’m sure.  Goodnight Mom.”

“Goodnight Honey.  Sweetest sweet dreams in the whole wide world and have good luck.”

“You do too, Mom” he responded to me as always.  And as I shut his door I wondered how long it would be before he outgrows this very last ritual of ours as he has outgrown the others.  I hope it’s a very, very long time.

*Originally posted on skirt.com October 2010. Some nights, when Chandler is home from college (and he goes to bed before me) I still tell him, “Sweetest sweet dream in the whole wide world and have good luck.” And he always tells me, “You do too.”

 

Valentine’s Day Gift Guide with Uncommon Goods

Uncommon Goods literary scarf
Pssst… I want this scarf for Valentine’s Day!

 

In the blink of an eye the first month of 2015 is behind us and we are less than two weeks away from Valentine’s Day. Crazy, right?

You know what else is crazy? Shopping at the mall for your Valentine. Don’t do it! (You’re not crazy, are you?)

Why would you shop at the mall when you can shop for a handcrafted gift online that your Valentine will truly cherish? And when you shop at Uncommon Goods you can feel good knowing that the gift you’ve lovingly chosen was created in harmony with the environment and without harm to animals or people. (That sweater you’ve been eyeing for your sweetie in a chain store that was made in a foreign sweat shop by children? It’s cute, but it’s harming people.)

In fact most products Uncommon Goods carries are created in the USA and about one third of their collection incorporates recycled or upcycled materials. And for every purchase made they donate $1.00 to the non-profit of your choice from this list. (The mall? Not so much?) If you want to find out just how awesome a company they are, you can read their mission statement here.

But of course what you want to know is do they really have something your sweetheart will love at a price you can afford? The answer is YES!

Shopping for your husband? Check out their Gifts for Husbands page here.

Here are some of the super-awesome gifts they have to offer:

I love this little whiskey and rum making kit – adorable and practical.

Uncommon Goods.whiskey-making-kit
Nothing says “I love you” like a little moonshine maker!

 

Your hubby likes to booze it up, but is too lazy to make his own hooch? How about a city map glass for his evening cocktail? (Thirteen cities to choose from.) I’m thinking of getting my husband one from Chicago (the city he’s from) and one from Los Angeles where we call home.

Uncommon Goods.city-map-glass
Manly, practical and oh so cool!

 

And if your husband is a hockey fan he will love, Love, LOVE these game-used hockey puck bottle opener. (I know what my brother wants for Valentine’s Day!)

Uncommon Goods.game-used-hockey-puck
You will win extra-cool super-awesome wife status if you give your husband this!

 

And the F-Bomb paperweight? Maybe not very romantic, but useful and hilarious!

Uncommon Goods.f-bomb-paper-weight
It may not be romantic, but it’s hilarious!

 

Find these gifts (that range from $12.50 to $125) and many more here.

Gentlemen… are you wondering what your wives want for Valentine’s Day this year? (Hint: it isn’t lingerie – that’s a gift for you. We have enough, thank you.) Click here to find some fabulously fabulous Uncommon Goods Gifts for Wives.

And speaking of hints, I’d love to get any one of these adorable gifts.

I love this Today and Always necklace. As I would say to my teenage daughter to drive her mental – it’s totes adorbs! (Okay, I did just throw up in my mouth for typing out totes adorbs, I apologize for that! But seriously, how cute is it?!)

Uncommon-goods-love-letter-necklace
Precious!

 

And these napkins? They are love letters written by Emily Dickinson, Jack London, Mark Twain and D.H. Lawrence (writing to the husband of his mistress!). Romantic and environmentally friendly? Swoon!

Uncommon-goods-love-letter-napkins
I want to eat dinner with these every night!

 

And I just love the little Birdie Mini Dish. It would be perfect on my dresser for rings or maybe in the kitchen for a tea bag or a spoon. So cute!

Uncommon-goods-birdie-mini-dish
Love this! So cute.

 

I think the Personalized Faux Bois tree trunk vase with the carved initials is really, really sweet. (I think my husband should change the initials to D+C when he buys one for me though!)

Uncommon-goods-tree-trunk-faux-bois-vase
Two little love birds sitting in a tree – K-I-S-S-I-N-G!

 

And speaking of personalized, there is a whole section of Personalized Gifts. Check it out.

I love this set of etched wine and beer glasses. (Apparently I have a thing for initials carved into trees, even though I’ve never done that before. I swear!)

Uncommon-Goods-Personalized-Wine-and-Beer-Glass
Perfect for your Valentine’s Day toast.

 

Or maybe a sweet little book to tell your story. I think a husband or wife or boyfriend or girlfriend would LOVE this book. But trust me when I say gentlemen – if you buy this book for your lady and fill it out, you will score major Valentine’s Day points. MAJOR! Not only is it a steal at only $10 – she might even put on some lingerie for you! (And that, my friend, is a win-win!)

Uncommon-goods-book-about-you-and-me
A gift from the heart.

 

I hope you get something for Valentine’s Day that is uncommonly good!

*This is sponsored post, but all opinions are my own. And IMHO Common Goods is about as good as it gets!

 

My 2014 Snarky Emmy Remarks (Because I’m so Qualified to Give Them)

As Seth Meyers and his BFF Amy Poehler would say, Really, NBC? Really?!

The Emmy’s on a Monday? Sigh.

Look, I work until 6:00 and don’t get home until about 6:30 (okay, 6:20, but still). Then there’s the whole making, eating, and cleaning dinner business. I need to be able to watch my red carpet at 4:00 and my awards shows at 5:00 in order to have time to gather my snark. Plus I get up at 5AM. Last night at 10:00 by the time (spoiler alert) Breaking Bad won best drama (Yay!) I was fighting to keep my eyes open. I might have snored a little. Or drooled.

(Oh, and by the way, if you just got angry with my little spoiler alert above because you haven’t had a chance to watch the Emmy’s yet and it’s sitting in your DVR queue all ready to go, what the hell are you doing reading my Emmy comments? Really, Silly Person? Really?!)

So, due to the lateness of last night’s show and my selfish need for 6 1/2 hours of sleep, my report today will be rather short, but here goes…

Julia Louis-Dreyfus has obviously sold her soul to the devil. (Or has the best plastic surgeon in the history of the universe, but my very discerning eye says no, because it looks like she has had zero work done. Bitch!) Because, seriously, who goes from looking cute when she’s in her 30’s

Julia-Louis-Dreyfus-circa-1990s

to va-va voom stunning when she’s 53.

2014-Emmys-Julia-Louis-Dreyfus
Julia Loius-Dreyfus – Photo Credit: Jason Merritt/Getty Images

 

Damn, she’s gorgeous! (As Marley would say, “That’s not fair!”) Oh, and her dress was gorgeous too. Seriously though, deal with the devil. If not for any other reason, for the lack of under-arm fat. I could never wear a dress like that – my under-arm fat would be spilling over the sides! She’s 53, people! 53!!! But I LOVE her. And she is fabulous in Veep. I’m so glad she won. (And if I were Bryan Cranston I would have made out with her too!)

I really liked Allison Janney’s dress, but was that velvet? In August? She’s lucky it wasn’t 100 degrees yesterday. I will forgive the faux pas because she looked smokin’.

2014-Emmys-Allison-Janney
Allison Janney – Photo credit: Frazer Harrison

 

Lena Headey’s dress was gorgeous (and so was she), but I don’t know what surprised me more, her short dark hair or her multiple tattoos. (All those tats don’t seem very regal, and you know, queeny.)

2014-Emmys-Lena-Headey
Lena Headey – Photo Credit: Frazer Harrison/Getty Images

I did not like Julianna Margulies’ hair at all. It was pulled way too tight and made her ears look elfy. Her dress was fine, but she is too skinny. Please Julianna, the Emmy’s are over now. Go eat a meal.

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Julianna Margulies – Photo credit: Jason Merritt/Getty Images

 

Some more dresses I liked…

Michelle Dockery looked regal, graceful, stunning. A true Lady, indeed.

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Michelle Dockery – Photo Credit: Evan Agostini

 

Marley did not like Kaley Cuoco- hair, but I did. And I did not love her dress last year, but this year it was one of my favorites.

2014-Emmys-Kaley-Cuoco-Sweeting
Kaley Cuoco-Sweeting – Photo Credit: Frazer Harrisson

 

I’m not sure how I feel about Anna Gunn’s dress. I want to love it, but I don’t quite love it. (And I LOVED her dress last year.) I do love the color, so let’s say I like it. Plus she looked awesome. And I’m so glad she won again. She deserved it. She was A-MAZ-ING in her final season. Amazing.

2014-Emmys-Anna-Gunn
Anna Gunn – Photo credit: Jason Merritt/Getty Images

 

 

And once again, Julie Bowen’s dress just seems to miss the mark. I appreciate that she tries to be bold and a little different, but I do not like that neck thing on her dress. (What is that?)

2014-Emmys-Julie-Bowen
Julie Bowen – Photo Credit: Jason Merritt/Getty Images

 

And speaking of missing the mark, this dress? Uh, no!

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Kate Walsh – Photo credit: Jason Merritt/Getty Images

 

And was it just me or did Peter Dinklage look really pissed that Aaron Paul won for best supporting actor? Like, really, really pissed. Sorry Peter, you were awesome this season, Game of Thrones was awesome this season, but this was Breaking Bad’s year.

 

2014-Emmys-Peter-Dinklage
Peter Dinklage – Photo Credit: Frazer Harrison/Getty Images

 

Speaking of Game of Thrones, I will end my post with a swoon-worthy photo of Kit Harington. (You are so very welcome for the eye candy ladies!)

2014-Emmys-Kit-Harington
Kit Harrington – Photo credit: Frazer Harrisson/Getty Images

 

I’d love to know, what did you love or hate about the Emmy’s or Emmy’s’ fashion this year?

Photo credit: Julia Louis-Dreyfus circa 1990s

YouTube with Veggie Girl

Marley’s favorite activity is lying on her bed watching YouTube videos on her iPod. I think if she could spend 12 hours a day watching YouTube videos and 12 hours a day sleeping her life would be perfect. In her mind anyway.

Of course we are mean and terrible parents. We make her do things other than lose brain cells and strain her eyes on a 3.5 inch screen. You know, incredibly terrible unfair things like go to school. Walk the dog. Eat dinner with the family. It practically warrants calling the CPC.

On Saturday I dragged Marley from the cave of her room and made her run errands with me. We pulled up in a parking lot and she said, “I hear Veggie Girl is really good.”

“Who is Veggie Girl?” I asked. “A YouTuber?”

“Not Veggie Girl, Mom. Veggie Grill,” she said pointing to a restaurant called VeggieGrill. “Why would you ask if that was a YouTuber? That’s so lame.”

“I don’t know, you’re always talking about things you watch on YouTube so I thought you were talking about some YouTuber called Veggie Girl.”

“I don’t always talk about YouTube, Mom.”

Yeah, right.

“Oh, okay. Well, where did you hear VeggieGrill was good?” I asked running a mental list of her friends through my head trying to figure out which one would willingly eat tempeh and quinoa salads and claim them delicious.

“These guys I watch on YouTube,” she answered.

Uh huh. And she called me lame.

I wonder. Will hearing VeggieGrill is awesome by “these guys on YouTube” actually make her willingly eat vegetables? Probably not. It’s definitely time to get this girl a new hobby.

Celebrate Valentine’s Day on The Love Boat with MIXIM

Dave and I have actually never celebrated Valentine’s Day properly. (Whatever properly is.) When we were dating he always seemed to be at a convention on the 14th so we would go out to dinner on the 13th instead. (I highly recommend this by the way – nice restaurants are typically dead on the 13th, or at the very least a lot less crowded.)

Over time our verve for Valentine’s Day gradually declined. He bought me some jewelry the first few years of our marriage. And then some cheesy heart-shaped boxes of chocolate. Our dinners out on the 13th morphed to candle lit dinners at home with the kids sent to our room to watch a movie.

We’re celebrating our 20th wedding anniversary in March and it would be fair to say that our Valentine’s Day celebrations have grown a bit stale. So when I was invited to attend MIXIM’s Valentine’s Day Love Boat event on the Queen Mary in Long Beach, I thought to myself, “You know, that actually sounds like fun.”

What the heck is this party I was invited to you ask? Well, MIXIM is a Greek yogurt new to the United States. It comes in an adorable heart-shaped container.

MIXIM-yogurt
So cute! Yogurt in the middle and two different toppings on the sides.

To introduce the product they are throwing one heck of a cool party on the Queen Mary. And the great news is, you can come too. For free! That’s right, for FREE! All you have to do is mention MIXIM when you get there.

So, why would you want to schlep all the way out to the Queen Mary on Valentine’s Day you ask? I’ll tell you why…

  • Free admission to the Queen Mary (a $24.95 value)
  • You’ll be one of the first people to try MIXIM yogurt in flavors like:
    • Decadent and dessert-like: Cherry and Dark Chocolate Curls; Raspberry with Dark and White Chocolate Curls
    • Take-me-away tropical: Mango & Pineapple with Coconut & Almonds; Honey with Coconut & Almonds
    • Fruity-crunchy: Strawberries and Granola; Blackberry & Pomegranate with Granola & Dried Fruits
  • The awesome Journey-tribute band Don’t Stop Believin’ will be performing. (I know, right?!)
  • There will be a spectacular fireworks show
  • At 7:00 we are going to attempt a world record of the most number of couples simultaneously spoon feeding each other yogurt and Ehrmann MIXIM will donate $20,000 to The Children’s Heart Foundation. (That’s right, people, I’m going to be in the Guinness Book of World Records. HA!)
  • Chance to win CASH prizes!

Does that sound like a good time or what?! Wanna join me? Just click this link to RSVP.

And speaking of prizes click on the picture below to enter to win a night out on MIXIM a month with your Valentine for a year, PLUS a monthly delivery of MIXIM yogurt. This prize is worth $2,500! Who wouldn’t want to win that?

MIXIM win a year of love

So, seriously, doesn’t this sound way more fun than me and Dave sending the kids to the back of the house and having another date night in? This sounds like a Valentine adventure! (And I really do hope some of you will join me – come on – you can have your date-night-in or go to an overcrowded over-priced restaurant next year!)

And to find out more about MIXIM follow them on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram & Pinterest.

And one last thing… For every image uploaded on Valentine’s Day with the #MIXIMLOVE hashtag, Ehrmann will donate an additional $1 to Children’s Heart Foundation, for a total contribution of up to $25,000! (Now that is something that will make everyone’s heart happy!)

Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post for Ehrmann MIXIM.

Random Things that Made Me Laugh Today

Random things I think are funny…

This. Is a real TV ad…

 

So is this…

 

Childish humor always makes me snicker

In-your-pants
Mine is “And the Mountains Echoed In Your Pants.”

 

Madonna is now sporting a grill.

madonna grill
Why, Madonna, why?

 

I would say that she’s rockin’ a grill,except that she’s not. Rockin’ it that is. Is she unaware that she’s 54?

Look, I do lots of silly things to make myself look younger. I poison my head color my gray roots every 3 or 4 weeks, I participate in an activity that I do not enjoy 4-5 days a week, and last night I drank water with my dinner instead of wine. And I really, really wanted wine. But a grill? Seriously? Does she look in the mirror and think she looks hip? Looks young? Looks cool?

What’s wrong? Were her sinewy yoga arms no longer garnering her enough attention?

Oh Madonna, Madonna, Madonna, I will forever love the 80’s, 90’s and even early 00’s you, but you’ve got to start aging a little more gracefully my friend. And speaking of friends – that grill? So not yours.

And in parting, I have this very special wish for you…

someeards-facebook

 

Have a great weekend. (And whatever you do, please don’t get a grill!)

Photo credits: someecards, Carina Press, XposurePhotos

The End of an Era (Goodbye Old Friend)

In August of 2008 I started blogging for skirt.com. Skirt.com was the online sister to the regional women’s magazine, skirt! You had to apply and be accepted to blog for skirt.

Skirt magazine

When I was accepted I was beyond excited. I deluded myself into thinking there was an actual screening process and that not just anyone could blog for skirt! (I just re-read my blogger application which makes me pretty sure that’s not true, but I still delude myself into thinking that some days.)

What is not a delusion is the fact that my first published piece was for skirt! magazine. The print one. That pays money.

Blogging for skirt.com is literally one of the best things I’ve ever done. In 2009 I became the editor of skirt.com’s Ventura site. It was a fantastic opportunity that lead to writing for another local website, Patch.com.

Writing for skirt.com helped me grow so much as a writer. I received amazing feedback and the feeling of knowing I might be kind of good at this thing called writing (at least sometimes) is truly indescribable. (Of course if I were a better writer I might be able to describe it!)

Of course it goes without saying (but I’ll say it anyway), I met some amazing women through the site – both virtually and in real life. Reading the words of Tina, Kim, Cheryl, Elizabeth, Ginger, Abby, Renee, Jodene, Susan, Pamela (start writing again Pamela), Amy, and so many others and calling these women friends, in the true sense of the word has made me so very blessed.

The skirt! convention in Atlanta in 2011 was truly one of the most incredible weekends of my life. Meeting Claire Cook and Kim Romaner, listening to Emily Giffin, introducing Caleb Lovely, attending the seminars, and meeting so many of my skirt sisters for the first time is a memory I will cherish forever.

Claire Cook at Skirt convention
Hangin’ with Claire Cook at the skirt! convention.

When I started this blog last year I always intended to keep blogging for skirt! But the busyness of life overwhelms me sometimes and I found I could never really manage doing both. I never stopped reading though.

On November 30th, skirt.com as we know it is closing its virtual doors. As I understand it, it will still exist, but the blogging portion will be shut down. I’m unclear as to whether or not the blogs will remain posted or whether they’ll be taken down, but I’ll be moving my blog posts over here and archiving them. I do have them all on my laptop, but I don’t want them taken off the web. (Hello Writer’s Ego, so nice to make your acquaintance.) As not to overwhelm my email subscribers I won’t do it all at once, but I will probably try to post one a day. (Hopefully that won’t overwhelm those of you who subscribe – trust me as soon as they’re all moved over I’ll go back to my lackadaisical ways of only posting about once a week – I promise!)

I’m so very grateful for the opportunity to blog at skirt! For the friends I made. For Heather and Angelia – the amazing women who made it happen. For the people who took the time to read my words. Thank you my old friend. And Goodbye. You will truly be missed.

Today

Today is a bad news day. Not just bad. Terrible awful no good news. The kind of news that makes me need to hug my kids in the morning and they actually let me even though they’re trying to get ready for school. And when Chandler asks for a ride to school even though he has plenty of time to walk and I do not have plenty of time to drive him I smile and say, “Of course,” because that means I get to spend an extra two minutes with him today. And after crying and phone calls and holding my coffee cup staring into space as my coffee grows cold, instead of rushing to get to work on time I am kind to myself and let them know that I will be late. And when I drive to work I call my mom and tell her the news, which is the worst because nothing is ever real until I talk to my mom about it. So I guess this is real. And at lunch when I eat the leftover chicken thigh I packed for myself instead of ripping off the skin and throwing it away like I always do I eat it. I savor it. I allow myself that pleasure today. And when I sit down to write my blog – my just one paragraph that I haven’t been keeping up with anyway, so what’s the point – nothing funny comes. But of course, how could it today? After lunch I go to the bank to deposit a check for work. The greeter at the door asks cheerily, “How are you today?” I smile and say, “Great!” The lie tumbles out of my mouth automatically. “How are you?” I ask. Social pleasantries that feel anything but pleasant to me today. At work I am given a project that requires me to think. It’s difficult for me to focus. Truth be told, I’m lucky I didn’t fuck it up. After work I go to Trader Joe’s. I need broccoli and white rice for dinner. I spend $62 and forget to buy the rice. In the parking lot I see a woman whose car has broken down. She wears the disappointment of her day on her face. Her groceries are becoming warm. She just wants to get home and get dinner started. I want to tell her it could be worse. I want to tell her I’ll trade her dead engine for my dead friend, but I don’t think she’ll take the trade. As if she could. As if I could. I come home and pour a glass of wine to drink while I cook dinner. Chandler has good news. He’s made varsity for Cross Country. Dinner is nice. No fights. Good conversation. I manage to smile and even to laugh. Everyone helps clean up. We sit down to watch a movie I’ve already seen together and I sneak away to finish this post about my terrible awful day and wonder if I should hit publish because who would want to read about the day I had today. But I think I will. Unedited and raw – how I rarely allow myself to be. Just for today.

Goodbye my sweet friend Harvey. I will miss you always and forever. Long, long, long after today.

Random Things: My Crazy Dog, Downton Abbey and More

Cute-dog-toy
After one hour with my crazy dog

Happy Friday! It’s time for everyone’s favorite blog: My Random Things Blog. What? Not your favorite? Well, my cousin likes it. I assumed she spoke for everyone!

Random Things #1: My Crazy Dog. We gave our dog Rocky some chew toys for Christmas. (Because, you know, we didn’t want him to feel left out when we were opening Christmas presents.) He took the word chew to heart. This little stuffed lion might have started the day thinking he was king of the jungle, but after one hour with my beast of the house he was torn to shreds.

Dog chew toy with rope inside
King of the jungle no more…

Random Things #2 Meatless Monday. I’m trying to be better about instituting Meatless Mondays into our weekly meal plan. Of course because of the picky eaters in my family (*cough my children cough*) all we ever have for Meatless Monday is pasta. And that’s starting to get a little boring. Anyone have any healthy recipes for Meatless Monday that a picky eater might eat? Please note that Chandler doesn’t like pizza. (Yeah, I know.) Or beans. And Marley doesn’t like fish. What’s that you say? How ’bout pasta? Sigh…

Random Things #3 Downton AbbeyDave and I are a bit late to the party and have just started watching Downton Abbey Season 1. I was trying to explain to Marley the premise of the show and she said, “So she has to marry her cousin? Like a gypsy? Or a hillbilly?” Hysterical, but I think she nailed it. Turns out the English monarchy may have more in common with the “lower class” than we may think!

Downton-Abbey-House
Where upper class gypsies and rednecks reside

Random Things #4  I’ve got nothing! Ugh! I had something else. I’m pretty sure it was hysterical even. Even funnier than gypsies and rednecks. But I’ve lost it. It’s gone. I had it yesterday when I was writing my blog in my head. But I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, if I don’t write things down they might as well not exist. When I remember I’ll let you know. In the meantime I’ll keep this blog short & sweet and wish you a wonderful weekend.

I’d love it if you told me one random thing…

Downton Abbey photo credit: Gary Bembridge via creative commons

A Wii U Review (Or When Mom Bloggers and Gamers Collide)

a-wii-u-experience

For once I was in the right place at the right time and hijacked received an invitation to a Wii U demonstration party. (The Wii U Experience.) Yes, people, Nintendo is launching its next generation home entertainment console – Wii U and I was invited to an exclusive party for mom bloggers, gamers and industry influencers to check it out. (Or I might have possibly stolen the invitation from someone who wasn’t able to use it – by why get caught up in semantics?)

Now I’m always looking for stuff to do in LA with the kids that is fun and unusual and (let’s face it) free – and this certainly fit the bill. The event took place in a studio in Hollywood that was transformed to look like some sort of spaceship gamer paradise. (At least to me.)

A-Wii-U-Gamers-Paradise
When mom bloggers and gamers collide

We already have a Wii, but this Wii is different – it is the Wii U. It comes with a separate game pad controller that gives you control over the game. What does it mean to have control of the game? Well, for example, when I played Just Dance 4, Marley held the controller and chose the moves the dancers would make and even make us freeze. (Uh, yeah… pretty dangerous.)

She made me do this…

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Strike a pose

And she made me do this…

Suburban-mom-dancing-to-just-dance-wii
Having fun

So if your kids like to play video games in a group or party setting, a Wii U console is a perfect gaming console for your family. (BTW – you can see that Marley’s controller has a cord. It’s actually a cordless device. The cord was just attached to it for security reasons.)

Chandler and Marley both thought the new Wii was better than the old Wii because of the increased interaction. (And I really think Marley liked controlling me!) Up to six players can play instead of just four. There are tons of games. Some of the other games we played were Nintendo Land, New Super Mario Bros U and Sing Party. Of course you can also play the games solo, but what my kids liked best about the system was the interaction.

Marley and I liked Just Dance and Sing Party best. Sing Party is like karaoke, but its taken up a notch and made more interactive because one person hold the controller and microphone and the other people follow dance moves on the TV screen and sing along to the chorus.

Marley also liked the photo area where we got to have a bit of fun.

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Hamming it up with Yoshi

And she got to meet Mario. (I’m pretty sure she knows it’s a guy in a suit!)

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Almost as much fun as Disneyland!

 

Chandler really liked Nintendo Land.

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Go Chandler, go!

 

I liked the eye candy in one of the gaming rooms…

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Well hello…

 

 

All in all, it was a pretty fun way to spend a Sunday morning. Even my friend and blogging mentor, Kim Tracy Prince, was there.

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Just two moms hanging out on a Sunday morning

 

They even had cookies.

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Yum!

 

And chocolate moustache lollipops when we left. (This picture is just for you ladies!)

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Um, does he come with the lollipops?

 

The Wii U comes out November 18th. My kids give it two big thumbs up.

 

I was not compensated in any way for this post. Unless you count the cookies. (And the eye candy.)