Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas From Us!!

It's officially CHRISTMAS 2011! Woohoo!


In case you missed it, here is the holiday Smilebox card I made for friends, family and fans. Aubrey and I really did have an amazing year. It was not without its ups and downs - like some HUGE ups and downs - but as I look back, I am proud of how much both of us grew and learned in 2011.



Click to play this Smilebox slideshow
Create your own slideshow - Powered by Smilebox
Personalize your own free picture slideshow


As you probably know, I am a single mom and tonight was a Christmas Eve of solitude for me. Aubrey's dad and I have shared custody and she is at her other home for Christmas this year. She headed over there this afternoon after a fun morning together of The Muppet Movie matinee and lunch at one of her favorite restaurants.


As a single mom, not having my child on a major holiday always brings mixed emotions. Most people would assume that it's totally sad, not having my little turkey girl here for Christmas, but it's not all sad. This is a time for me to relax, catch up on some work, stay up late and sleep in (!!!!), go to some grown-up holiday parties, watch American Horror Story on the DVR in the middle of the day and talk on the phone uninterrupted. I need this time to re-charge my mom-battery. I hate the phrase "me time" but that's what it is. 
Aubrey and Bob Barker
Of course, the other part of me is sad that I won't have the traditional Christmas morning with her. These magical holiday years go fast and this is the first year she is excited about Santa Claus. The first year she actually gets the concept and is anticipating his visit. 

Tonight, I was thinking that I hate not getting to see her reaction in the morning when she wakes up to discover the cookies and milk gone, her stocking full of treats and toys under the tree. But honestly, she's four and I bet she'll believe me if I tell her that Santa is coming one more night because he knows that she has two houses. Then we can have Christmas all over again next week when everyone else is standing in merchandise return lines and trying to figure out what to do with the rest of the kids' vacation days. We will be opening presents, having our own Christmas.


Motherhood has not been typical for me, in ANY way. Not since the day she was born. And while it's not a storybook ideal, it's still pretty amazing and I do believe we have a really splendid life together. We often have to make up our own rules and traditions as we go, but this is what makes our little family of two, special. 


I hope you all have a wonderful holiday time this year, no matter what that means to you. YOU define your happiness and joy! 


...and if you are spending time with family this holiday season and would rather be at home alone like me, check this out:





Thursday, December 22, 2011

Hell Hath No Fury Like An Elmo Scorned

Don't let the happy photo fool you - this was a WEIRD outing!
Aubrey and I are on "staycation" (that word sickens me a little bit) this week and next, so I've been trying to find fun things for us to do during the day. I had an audition in Hollywood late this morning so as we were driving up towards Hollywood Blvd to head back to the Valley, I thought it would be fun to go to the Disney Soda Fountain, next to the El Capitan Theatre for lunch. 


Hollywood Blvd is beyond bustling with tourists right now. It's a little insane, but since we were't shopping and it was still pretty early in the day, I didn't think we'd have too much hassle. And we didn't...UNTIL... we encountered the man I'll to refer to as GHETTO ELMO.


To go to the Disney Soda Fountain, the only place to get validation is under the Hollywood and Highland complex. For the non-locals, this is the shopping mall (yes, it's a mall with a Pac Sun, Sephora and everything) where they shoot the Academy Awards ceremony every year and it's where the famed Grauman's Chinese Theater and Walk Of Fame are. It's a super touristy place and most locals only go out on the Blvd when they have guests from out of town.


When you walk out of the H&H complex to cross Hollywood Blvd to get to the Soda Fountain, you have to wade through several costumed roving street characters. Right as we emerged, straight ahead of us was a motley crew of Sesame Street characters. Three dudes dressed as Elmo, Big Bird and Cookie Monster. 


Now, I've known for years, that these "characters" are pretty lame. Many of them have worn out, dirty costumes and some of the superheroes look like they're wearing Underoos. I wish I were kidding. But I'm not. For this, they expect a tip in exchange for a taking a photograph with them.


OK, I think a tip is fair for a photo, but a tip is just that. A tip. 


Merriam-Webster's Dictionary defines a TIP as such:


TIP (noun): A gift of a sum of money tendered for a service performed or anticipated: GRATUITY


GRATUITY: Something given voluntarily or beyond obligation, usually for some service


Now, let's get back to GHETTO ELMO. I admit, I may have gotten Aubrey a little excited about the characters, because I saw "Big Bird" - I use quotations because he looked more like Big Bird's 4th cousin from the backwoods of Kentucky. I guarantee this was not an officially certified Sesame Street costume and he was lucky he wasn't lightly dusted and frying in a pan of oil somewhere.


OK, Backwoods Big Bird was really tall and stood out and as we emerged from the H&H complex, I said, "Look! It's Big Bird!" What four year old wouldn't be excited? Aubrey scurried up to the anemic looking trio, shoulders hunched up, sweet and innocent grin, waving her tiny little hand in a friendly pre-K "HELLO!" 


GHETTO ELMO, down on one knee, quickly grabbed Aubrey while uttering a few generic pleasantries in a very non-Elmo-y voice, like, "Hi little girl. Do you like Elmo? Yeah? Do you want a picture?" GE stood her in photo taking position and said "Go ahead mom, take a picture."


It is at this point that:
1) I knew they would want money for this photo
2) I honestly don't know if he said anything like, "This is gonna cost ya, mom," but I KNOW he didn't say it was going to cost me $3. 


I took the photo because, more than anything, I felt the need to rescue Aubrey from the dirty fur clutches of those stanky costumes.
Um...yeah. A picture really does tell a thousand words.

Click with the iPhone 4S (yay!) and Aubrey was back at my side. Just like that. 


As I was taking out my wallet, GE, who was clearly the spokesman for the group, said to me in a hustler tone, "Don't forget, we work for tips. We work for tips." I handed Aubrey a dollar bill and told her to say thank you and give it to Elmo. 


This is where it got ugly.


Dialogue: 
(Please keep in mind, this is all me talking to a grown African American man in spectacles through a giant Elmo head in front of my 4 year old child. I know because that's how see-through the giant mesh patch on the front of his Elmo head was.)


GE: You don't have two more dollars? There's three of us working here.
Me: That's what I have. Thank you very much.
GE: Hey there's THREE people here. One-Two-Three. You can't just give us two more dollars?!
Me: No, sorry (I start herding Aubrey through the crowd to get away from him)
GE: (LEAVING HIS POSSE TO FOLLOWING US! SHOUTING AT ME!) That's the way you gonna be? Just walk away? Here lady, just take your dollar. We don't need it. 
Me: Just take it. I don't want it back. Just take it.
GE: (Following us, following us) No! Here take it. I have NO USE for this. How am I supposed to share this with two other people?! Just take it! (waving it in my face)
Me: (he's holding a giant WAD of cash in his left hand and a plastic trick-or-treat bucket full of cash hanging from his forearm) You don't split your tips at the end of the day? Don't you pool them and split them, give me a break. 
GE: What?! Split a dollar? 33 cents each?!! Just take your dollar lady!!
Me: It's a tip and that's what I have to give you. 
GE: Yeah it's a tip and I told you there was three of us and that's how it works. Three dollars!
Me: You never said that. 
GE: YES I DID!!


OK - pretty sure this is illegal in some way at this point. If he expects $3 then he should put out a sign that says: "Pictures with us in our dirty, shitty costumes: THREE DOLLARS!!"


This was about the end of the conversation. I really don't like confrontation and especially since Aubrey could be recognized, I don't like mixing things up, but I wasn't about to give this guy anymore money and I certainly didn't feel he deserved any more because he was harassing me, he manipulated the situation to take advantage of us and he was scaring my daughter. 


I managed to wave him off and escape without getting my dollar back but I did have to have an odd conversation with Aubrey about what happened. She knows that those are people in costumes, but she's used to the Disneyland variety. The kind who are loving, gentle, clean and mute. I had to let her know that the man in that costume wasn't very nice and he wasn't being mean because of anything she did. We made a LARGE loop, through the crowd, around the freak show and arrived at the Soda Fountain where we then received the worst service ever for the most mediocre over-priced lunch in town. The only other time I have been there was on Mother's Day earlier this year, and it was horrible then too. Such a shame because it has AMAZING potential for being something really special. But it's just not. :(
Safe at last in the Disney Soda Fountain, that we will never go back to.
So much for fun. Well, Aubrey did have fun. In fact she had a ton of fun because she was with mommy and there was Disney stuff all around her as she gnawed a hot dog and fruit. She sat next to a giant stand of monster sized lollipops, and really that's all you need for a fun outing when you're four.


I'm grateful she managed to enjoy the day after that bizarre incident and even more grateful that we made it out of Hollywood alive. Or at least without an arrest for assault. I was pretty close to punching GE in the face. I just hope he gave that 33 cents he had no use for to Backwoods Big Bird and Cousin Cookie Monster so they could each have no use for 50 cents.


One last note: apparently I'm not the only one who has had this sort of encounter with the "cartoon characters". Even Zorro is on my side. For your Only-In-Hollywood reading pleasure:


Hollywood Blvd Characters Booted From Walk Of Fame


Judge Says Costumed Characters Can Perform On Hollywood Blvd


And Jimmy Kimmel has done a fine job at exploiting these characters on his show and has some pretty funny clips of them on YouTube. I only found this one with the Ghetto Elmo of which I speak and surprisingly he's the only one who seems to have a preschool education (yes, Aubrey studied the answer to this question last year and again this year), but this will give you an idea of where I'm coming from:









Have you ever had an encounter like this? Do you think I should have handled it differently? Honestly if there had been a police officer near by, I would have reported it immediately. 









Sunday, December 18, 2011

Disney's Toy Story 3 On Ice




Aubrey and I had a BLAST at Disney's Toy Story On Ice 3 last Wednesday. Aubrey was honored to be invited as a VIP guest in support of the Children's Hospital Los Angeles and Toys For Tots! Aubrey did the red carpet, skated with the characters and had a great time watching the show. I still have NO idea how those people skate in those giant costumes. Amazing.



If you are interested in attending Disney's Toy Story On Ice 3 or any of the other Disney On Ice shows across the country, visit: http://disney.go.com/disneyonice/ to find a show near you!
SO excited for the show to begin!

Happy Holidays everyone!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Fresh And Easy Does It Again!

I always like to eat, but eating during the holidays is one of my favorite things. I allow myself to let loose in the food department and the belt department and reflect on the year that has passed and the year to come whilst stuffing my face. 


And I like it all - savory, sweet, sugary, meaty, fruity, chocolatey, liquory and my most favorite of all... BUTTERY.
The fine folks of Fresh And Easy (my FAVORITE grocery store on the planet) invited me down to a Holiday face stuffing extravaganza last week which was awesome within itself, but the venue was amazing as well - The Queen Mary Verandah Grill. It was my first time on the QM and it was a beautiful night to gorge oneself on a ship.
I LOVE Fresh And Easy and their holiday specialities this year are amazing! Grab one of their Holiday Guides or view it online, and go to town. You can even order an entire fresh cooked holiday meal for 8 of turkey, ham or beef roast from between $45-$65!! Just be sure to order by December 18 if you would like to have it for Christmas.
The San Fernando Valley Ninja Moms - We are STEALTH! (BTW, I just made that name up. We're not really ninjas.) 
There's a lot to choose from and lots of it is seasonal so don't wait or it will be gone. Some of the items we sampled were the...

Cheeses, meats, veggies, nuts and dried fruits, crackers, salad and shrimp cocktail...

Petite Quiche (come in 3-cheese and Florentine, frozen section), 


Sweet sausage and yam skewers (YAY Chef Cindy!!), 

mini beef en croutes and brie & cranberry pastry puffs


Pie bites (apple raspberry & chocolate caramel, frozen section) & mini eclairs, pumpkin cheesecake pie, holiday cookies...
And of course, we all left with a giant bag of holiday goodies to sample and share with friends:


Aubrey and Bob Barker are ready for the holidays!

Belgian Biscuits, Dark Chocolate Nut & cranberry Squares,  Pumpkin Bread Mix, Orange Spice Granola, Napa Family Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon, Organic Cinnamon Flavored Coffee, Peppermint Hot Cocoa Mix, Panettone, Peppermint Bark, Swiss Dark & Milk Chocolate Truffles, Vermont Maple Syrup With Vanilla Bean


Aubrey is in love with the peppermint hot cocoa and we munched some of those truffles in the movie theater over the weekend. Shhh... don't tell. That's what the "mom purse" is for after all. Tonight I'm going to bring the wine and biscuits over to a friend's house to share and the rest is MINE!! ALL MINE!!!! Mwahahaha! I'll be cracking open the rest over the holiday week at home with Aubrey. I especially can't wait try the vanilla bean maple syrup on my homemade pancakes :)


Food makes a great holiday gift and I haven't tired a single thing from Fresh And Easy that I haven't liked yet. Great prices, amazing natural products with no corn syrup, no artificial colors or flavors and minimal use of preservatives. Stop by and pick up a gift - even if it's just for you!


Happy Holiday Eating everyone and thank you, Fresh And Easy, for a fantastic kick off to the holiday party season!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Bacon Jam at WEST Restaurant and Lounge

Bernadette & I downing shots of fresh corn soup (AMAZING!) and crispy quail egg on bacon jam - Thank you Chef Woolf!

Last week the Mom Bloggers of MomsLA and I hit the top floor of the beautiful Hotel Angeleno in Los Angeles for a holiday get together at their WEST Restaurant and Lounge. It was so much fun and a much needed break from the room I call my "OFFRY"(that's a super lame combination of "office" and "laundry". I think you know where I'm coming from.


If you haven't been up to the Hotel Angeleno, you may not realize that it's not the old Holiday Inn it once was, years ago. I'm talking about that cylindrical hotel off Sunset and the 405 southbound. It is now a chic, hip hotel with an awesome, grown up restaurant and lounge on the 17th floor, offering stunning view of the city lights... and there aren't any more lights anywhere in the city than the 405.


WEST is a perfect gathering place as a pretty central location for most Los Angeles area folks and... I know I'm getting old, but I love that it's truly sophisticated without being pretentious. There aren't poser hipsters wearing clothes so ugly that they're cool, no hip-hop music blaring, no Rosetta Stone language audios being piped into the bathroom (anyone get that reference?). It's just a nice comfy place with great drinks, amazing food, perfect ambience, spectacular location. Prices are a little up there, but I have several friends who have had their birthday get togethers here and have had a great time. Oh, and there's live music on 


So if you want to learn more AND help me to win a "staycation" there, check out their Facebook page and "LIKE" the link I post to this blog! I have absolutely nothing to give you in return other than my undying affection and gratitude. But come on... consider it a holiday gift. Just a click:


https://www.facebook.com/westrestaurantandlounge


In the meantime, do yourself a favor and get yourself a spoonful of crispy egg on bacon jam. That's right bitches, BACON JAM. Chef Matthew Woolf is cooking up some mean dishes up there. 


Thanks and enjoy!! aa

Saturday, December 3, 2011

EA Games Got Game!


The awesome folks over at EA Games, the premiere name in video games, sent over some goodies a couple weeks ago and I'm finally getting around to trying some of them out.

They have some really fun family friendly games that would make great holiday gifts and several are apps so there's no postage involved!

First off, they sent us some console games and we don't have a gaming console, BUT the very kind and generous Nolan Gould (he plays Aubrey's tv cousin, "Luke Dunphy" on Modern Family) has an extra Wii and is giving it to us. Aubrey will be SO SURPRISED AND EXCITED!! And I'm excited because I'll have some new activities to keep the energetic Aubs busy and physically active indoors during these dark, blustery winter weeks. Yes, we do get coolish, windy weather here in SoCal.

First for gaming consoles or PC I'll give you a quick list and links so you can check them out. I haven't played these (remember, no console) but they look really fun:

The Sims 3 Pets - available for Xbox360, PlayStation 3, Nintendo 3DS, PC/Mac
Be a pet or have a pet - it's up to you.
ESRB Rating: "T" for Teen
FAMILY GAME NIGHT 4: The Game Show - available for Xbox360 (with Kinect functionality), PlayStation 3 (with Move functionality), Nintendo Wii
Experience re-imagined versions of your favorite Hasbro family games - CONNECT 4 Basketball, YAHTZEE! Bowling and SCRABBLE Flash to name a few.
ESRB Rating: "E" for Everyone

MONOPOLY Collection - available for Nintendo Wii
Hasbro's No 1 family game is packaged in this two games in one value priced collection. Play Classic Monopoly or Monopoly Streets. You can also check out EA Games' Monopoly versions on Facebook, iPhone, Android and Pogo.com.
ESRB Rating: "E" for Everyone

TRIVIAL PURSUIT: Bet You Know It - available for Nintendo Wii
Two different game modes to choose from with more than 7000 questions based on current event, pop culture and more. Also check out EA Games' TRIVIAL PURSUIT games on Pogo.com and iPhone, iPad and Android apps.
ESRB Rating: "E" for Everyone

And now for the app games! We tried 5 of these apps so far and we're hooked:

The Moogies - iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch
Targeted for children 2-5, this isn't really a game so much as it is a silly activity for kids. A crazy cast of animal characters that do stuff that kids will get a kick out of. Aubrey is ADDICTED! It keeps her happy in the car and at restaurants and really, isn't that 98% of the reason for having an iItem when you have a kid? Worth every cent. Enough said.

Rope Rescue - iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch
Help Rupert the parrot save baby birds in cages by connecting ropes through a series of pulleys and obstacles. This is one of those games that your preschooler will somehow be better at than you. Aubrey loves the birds!
Roll In The Hole - iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch
Guide Popo the panda through physics based puzzles to collect popsicles on his way to the portal into the next world! This game is a little to hard for Aubrey - she is 4 yrs old - as it does take motor skill precision and quick reflexes - but my boyfriend and I had a lot of fun with it. It is challenging AND adorable. (Tip: Great drinking game at a bar. Somehow seems to get more and more challenging the more you drink.)

Tetris - iPhone, iPod Touch, Android
The classic addictive game with new modes and official Tetris Rank and Tetris Club... in case you're competitive like that.

Bop It - iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch
As annoyingly wonderful as it's tangible counterpart, but not as easy to trip on in the dark. This is stupidly addictive and ALSO makes a great drinking game! No joke. I don't know why they don't market it as such. Invite some friends over, mix up the martinis and Bop It.

Some other fun family apps you may want to check out are Theme Park, Road Trippin' and Fantasy Safari. I haven't had a chance to check these out yet, but anything by EA Games is sure to be high quality and plenty of bang for your buck. I love theme parks, so I think I will check that one out next.

I hope you got some holiday shopping ideas for the game lovers in your life - or at least a new cocktail party theme.

You have 22 days left until Christmas and if you're Jewish, better get crackin'. Happy Holidays and THANK YOU EA GAMES!!

Friday, December 2, 2011

To Do: Get Lots Of Stuff Done

This is how my desk looked all week. OK, it still looks like this, but I moved the stuff off of my computer to the side so I could type. Please ignore the laundry hanging in the background. It's not like my office is actually the "laundry room" or something lame like that.

I'm having one of those rare days...let's call it a... SUPER PRODUCTIVE DAY! Why? Why am I getting so much stuff done you ask? Because my boyfriend is at work and my kid is at her dad's. I'm in an empty house!! (cue the angel voices) AHHHHH!!!!!!


I let our nanny go after Aubrey booked Modern Family because since I started managing her, I'm either with her all the time at the studio or at home, or I'm on the road and she's at her dad's. It doesn't happen very often that I'm at home alone, but when it does, I go into superhuman mode and get amazing shit loads of stuff accomplished. Why, just today before 6pm, I...


- Finished my whole cup of tea at breakfast while it was hot - amazing
- Washed and folded 3 loads of laundry
- Read 2 magazines from start to finish over lunch
- Ate my lunch without having to get up and cut someone's food, get someone more food, get someone different food or wipe anyone's butt (I'll let you guess if that's the kid or boyfriend)
- Brought a load of old clothes to the re-sell shop
- Brought a pair of pants into the tailor's
- Picked up the mail from the po box
- Bought a gift
- Finished writing a tv series treatment that has been on the back burner for 5 months
- Activated my new iPhone and set up the apps, email, etc
- Updated my performance calendar and organized my current show contracts
- Got an audition on the calendar for next Monday
- Caught up on my emails
- Made egg salad
- Took out the trash and recycling
- Dropped off my e-waste that has been sitting in a bag on my office floor for a year, at a drop-off site
- Pooped without the dog or a 4 yr old coming into the room to talk to me (yes, my dog talks)
- And now, I'm even blogging!


Before I had a kid, I was like this every day, but rather than laundry and household errands, I was focused on my career and myself. I worked from the second I got up until the second I went to bed. I exercised 6 days a week and I was 103 lbs, strong and fast. My career had some great momentum. I had a social life. I knew what day of the week it was and the name of the current president. I miss those days. I mourn the loss of that life. 


Now I have a little muffin top and my day gets divided up into mom duties, career stuff, domestic chores and there's a man, a kid and a dog who all seem to want something from me at different times. 


But it's all good. I don't think I'll ever find a balance, but somehow it's all working out. My career is maybe going to move a little slower this way, but we haven't starved to death yet (even if I did have to take a shitty side job this summer) and I'm starting to feel more ok about that than I did the first couple years of motherhood.


There aren't a lot of advantages to co-parenting with an ex you don't particularly care for, but then there are days like these. I'm lucky to get a super productive day alone every once in a while. It keeps me human so for that I'm grateful. Now if you'll excuse me, my dog wants to talk to me about something and I promised her a couple minutes of my time.



Thursday, December 1, 2011

Discount for Disney-Pixar's Toy Story 3 On Ice!



People keep asking me if I'm ready for some football and you know what? No. I'll only ever be ready for football to end. Zzzzzz... but this holiday season, Aubrey, Lee and I are continuing an annual tradition of attending a Disney On Ice show which is something we all enjoy. It really is fun, even as an adult, and nothing is better than watching a preschooler's face light up with pure joy and wonder at the spectacle of gigantic costumed people doing flips and triple axels. Honestly, I think they should make character costumed figure skating an Olympic event because I have no idea how those people skate AND do tricks in those get ups. No idea. I couldn't even walk in those costumes. Anyhoo...
I promised you a discount code a few weeks ago and code I shall give you!


Use code word MOM when you buy tickets online, over the phone or even at the box office and receive $4 off per ticket on the $16, $21, $26 priced tickets. You can also buy a family four pack for only $48! That's a pretty good deal. :)


Once again, for the dates, times and locations, visit http://disney.go.com/disneyonice/
and here are your venue and date options here in SoCal:


Los Angeles Staples Center: Dec 14-18 
Honda Center of Anaheim Dec: 20-25
Citizens Business Bank Arena in Ontario Dec: 28-Jan 1
Long Beach Arena: Jan 4-8


Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Anderson Family Thanksgiving Update


We are here in rural MN!! Here's a quick run down of the Anderson family Thanksgiving frolic and drama, thus far:


- Airplane ride with Aubrey went very smoothly. She's an angel to travel with until...
- Got to the rental can and Aubrey hated the smell of the air freshener so much she started to cry and screamed, "This car smells disgusting!" Right in front of the Enterprise lady. That lady was a bitch anyway, so it's all good. 
- Boyfriend arrived on a separate flight and has been on good man behavior
- Mom fell and broke her shoulder yesterday (uh... yes)
- Went to a big indoor water park with Aubrey, SIL, nephew and boyfriend today which was a much needed getaway from the house for the kids. And adults. 
- Have eaten more carbs in 3 days than I've eaten in all of 2011 leading up to now
- Found out my mom's bathroom scale is 4 lbs under actual weight. DAMN YOU SCALE!
- Got my newsletter mailed out
- Got an interview for a show I'd love to be on
- Watched the new episode of Modern Family with MY Modern Family
- Ate Dairy Queen and Culver's - awwwwww yeaaaaaahhhh!
- Back is killing me from the very stiff mattress in my parents' guest room
- Having a great time being with Aubrey. She makes every day sun shiny!


Tomorrow is the big T-Day. We'll see if my boyfriend drinks too much and picks a fight with me, how long it takes for either my dad, my brother or me to yell at my mother to sit down and rest (remember, she broke her shoulder?! She WILL attempt to do it all with a sling and an oxygen tank.) and if Aubrey can make if through one more day with her cousin without a time out. She came VERY close tonight.


Tis the season! I give thanks for my interesting family. What else would I blog about?








Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Two Princesses

It's almost Thanksgiving and I have a CRAZY week coming up with a show in CT on November 17, then a show in WA state on November 19, then home to pick up Aubrey in SoCal on November 20 and leave for MN on the same day. We'll land in Minneapolis late that night and head up to the nowhereland my parents decided to retire in the next morning to hang there for Thanksgiving. It's a 2.5 hour drive from Minneapolis.


We'll be travelling alone, Aubrey and me, and anyone who has travelled alone with a young child knows how harrowing of an event it can be. Fortunately, Aubrey is good as gold on an airplane because she loves flying, loves getting snacks and watching videos and having her own seatbelt and tray. She thinks it's a hoot. But it's still a ton for work for mom - lots to schlep alone. I'm dreading the schlep, but looking forward to the time with family and playing in the snow with Aubrey and her cousin, David.


Anyway, this was a really roundabout way of saying this week has been really busy getting ready to head out for work and holiday travel, back to back. Today was the only afternoon to spend with Aubrey before I leave and we took a little time to play princess. Aubs isn't all that much into the princess scene (thank God) but she does love to dress up in anything frilly or silly. She got out these princess crowns and made up her own rules. This girl never stops cracking me up!







Tuesday, November 8, 2011

WIKETS! Recs & Rewards!

Hi Peeps!


I'm helping a friend of a friend launch their new app called WIKETS. I just downloaded it today and it's really quite cool. It's kind of like Facebook meets Yelp meets Amazon meets Twitter... but not complicated at all.


You build a network of friends and make recs (recommendations) of products (your favorite blender, the best spatula you've ever bought, the warmest snowboarding mitts on the planet) and places (sushi that will make you die, only garage to get your car serviced, the Thai massage that made you cry for your mother...in a good way), build wish lists and then earn rewards like Amazon gift cards for using friends recs, wishlists and re-recs.


WIKETS is FREEEE and currently available for iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch with iOS 4.1 or later.


Here's one last thing I should mention - I'm in a contest to see who can ge the most people to download with their promo code. I can will a MILLION DOLLARS! 


OK, it's actually only $500 but that could buy a lot of tater tots (currently Aubrey's favorite food).


Here's what to do:


1) Install WIKETS from the app store on your device, for free
2) Open the app on your device 
3) Create an account
4) During account creation, it will ask you if you have a promo code: FunnyYellowMom


That's it! Then enjoy the app! It's pretty fun and could be addictive... like you need another time sucker! HA!


You can follow me too, to see my recs. :)


GooooooOOOOO WIKETS!

Disney Pixar's Toy Story 3 On Ice!




Tis the season to put things on ice and I've seen lots of stuff on ice... Smurfs, Christmas, Vanilla.... but nothing is better than Disney characters on ice. Last year we took Aubrey to Disney On Ice "Let's Celebrate" and she went so ape sh*t for it, she STILL wants to read the program as a bed time book, a year later. So when I told her there was a new Disney On Ice show, well, monkey poo flew. She's a little excited. Just a little.
This year we will be treated to our favorite Toy Story characters, Woody, Jesse, the Potato Heads, Buzz Lightyear, Ken and Barbie as they tell the story of installment #3. Aubrey loves these characters and I know I can't wait to see a horse, a t-rex and a pig on skates. Really, how do they do that?
Disney-Pixar's Toy Story 3 On Ice will be touring all over the US this winter starting this week through April 2012. If you live in WA, CO, NV, AZ, UT, FL, KY SC or the best state in the country... CALIFORNIA, you are lucky people. The show is coming to you!


Here in SoCal, you have four options
Los Angeles Staples Center: Dec 14-18 
Honda Center of Anaheim Dec: 20-25
Citizens Business Bank Arena in Ontario Dec: 28-Jan 1
Long Beach Arena: Jan 4-8


Check back here on my blog to find out how to get discount ticket pricing with a code that can be used for orders online, by phone or at the door!


In the meantime, happy Thanksgiving! Gobble gobble!


For ticket, dates, locations, please visit: http://disney.go.com/disneyonice/











Saturday, October 29, 2011

Disney Interactive Media Halloween Bash!

My mini-MJ busting some sweet moves


Last week, Aubrey and I went to the Disney Interactive Media Group's Halloween Bash at the Disney Studios in Burbank. This group puts on the BEST parties and this one was no exception!


Guests were treated to samplings of the newest Disney console and online video games and web site offerings on DisneyFamily.com and FamilyFun.com and there was even an artist on hand giving lessons on how to sketch the penguins from Club Penguin! 


Of course there were amazing treats and activities too! Aubrey loved decorating her own Tinkerbell cookie so much, she made two.
Mmmm...Tinkerbell cookies!
If you're into family video games, there are some really fun ones that just came out including Disney Universe, Cars 2 and LEGO Pirates of the Caribbean but Aubrey's favorite was the Phineas and Ferb: Across The Second Dimension
Aubrey and her bestie, Isabella, playing Phineas and Ferb
Her other favorite of the night was Club Penguin. I'd heard about the Club Penguin craze and now it has become a reality for us. I may need to put a lock and chain on my laptop. What am I talking about? Aubrey has a job. She can buy her own compter! Geez.
Aubrey held this poor woman prisoner for a large part of the evening
Little ones can also check out Pixie Hollow online and the new mobile apps: Where's My Water and Puffle Launch for iPhone, iPad, iPod and Android devices.
A well-deserved Jack Skellington cupcake!
We had an AWESOME time that night and the perfect end to the evening was that Aubrey won the kids' costume contest with her Michael Jackson get up. She even busted a couple moves to Thriller when they queued up the music to call out her name. She was, literally, thrilled! 

HAPPY HALLOWEEN EVERYONE! Have a safe and super fun holiday!
xo Amy & Aubrey

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Mickey's Halloween Party 2011

If you've ever wanted to witness several thousands of people attempting to collect $49 - $64 worth of free candy, then have I got the party for you!


This past Friday, the fine folks of the Disneyland Resort in Anaheim invited Lee, Aubrey and me to attend Mickey's Halloween Party at Disneyland for the second year in a row. We had SO much fun last year and this year was even more fun because Aubrey was old enough and brave enough to go on some of the scarier rides!


She wore her Michael Jackson costume (sans homemade sparkly glove & wig - too much hassle on the rides) and we went on tons of rides including the Haunted Mansion Holiday, Mr Toad's Wild Ride, the teacups, the Matterhorn, Pinocchio, Peter Pan, Dumbo and more and of course, Aubrey had to see the Captain EO movie!
MJ, I mean Aubrey, all ready to Rock The Night Away!
There are only eight more nights to attend Mickey's Halloween Party and it is a separately ticketed event during the evening/night time hours. You'll be treated to a special Mickey's Costume Party Cavalcade parade, photo opps with Disney characters in their Halloween garb, and a really kick-ass Halloween fireworks display. They have also added scary elements to Space Mountain and there are two really fun dance parties with characters which Aubrey really enjoyed.
Aubs Shakes Her Body Down at Buzz Lightyear's  Intergalactic Space Jam!
Mickey's Costume Party Cavalcade Parade
The best part of all was the Trick-Or-Treat Trails. Throughout the park there are candy stations and when you check in you get a huge bag to collect as much as you want. And the people handing out the treats were very generous too - handfuls at each stop! Oh and there are raisins, carrots and apple slices in addition to the candy so you can eat one of those and then feel justified in downing a pound of peanut butter cups. We now have so much candy at our house...we should be put out of our misery. I'm expecting love letters from our dentist to start arriving any day now.
LOTS of candy, people. Lots.
Check event details, dates and prices here and I would suggest buying tickets in advance. The night we were there it did sell out! Get those costumes on and have a great time!








Friday, September 30, 2011

Aubrey Explores Her Possibilities With Courtney Watkins


Hey, you forgot your pearl necklace, Courtney!

Aubrey and I attended a special event at the Jim Henson Studios in Los Angeles with Courtney Watkins from Disney's Family.com webisode show, The Possibility Shop


Courtney Watkins is a teacher, crafter, writer, hostess and super mom with the mostest. From what I can tell she's kind of the Martha Stewart of family activities (aka the polar opposite of me). She even writes, creates and executive produces this webisode which leads kids and parents through creative activities, projects, games and more all fueled by your child's imagination. No gimmicks, no game consoles or apps involved. Amazing, huh? 
Aubrey and her flaming flashlight!
Aubrey really enjoyed the activities that evening which included making shadow puppets and putting on a show, creativity exercises that were as simple as coming up with different uses for a lemon and playing the "Get To Know Me" game. She also got to make a flashlight into a pretend campfire with tissue papers, cellophane and rubberbands and then the kids set up a pretend camp ground! (Today at preschool, she brought her special flashlight for "share day".)
Jar O S'mores
I think her favorite part of the night was getting to make a take-home S'mores snack jar, which I'm doling out to her in small portions at a time. Anything involving marshmallows is a hit with Aubrey.


You can check out The Possibility Shop webisodes on www.Family.com/PossibilityShop and follow the show on Twitter.com/PossibilityShop too!