Archives for December 2013

I LOVE LUCY LIVE at the Merriam Theater

I am beyond thrilled to be seeing I LOVE LUCY LIVE at the Merriam Theater in Philadelphia on the 29th. The show is in town for a limited engagement and it sounds so incredibly fun. Here are the details:



Broadway Philadelphia
I Love Lucy® Live On Stage

Merriam Theater

Thursday, December 26 – Sunday, December 29

 For tickets, go to

I Love Lucy® Live On Stage is the brand-new hit stage show adapted from the most beloved program in television history! It’s 1952 and you are a member of the Desilu Playhouse studio audience awaiting the filming of two hilarious and oh-so-familiar I Love Lucy® episodes. A charming host entertains and enlightens you to the behind-the-scenes filming process of this brand new thing called ‘television,’ the Crystaltone Singers perform advertising jingles in perfect 50s style harmony and the sidesplitting antics of America’s favorite foursome—Lucy, Ricky, Fred and Ethel—are presented live on stage and in color for the very first time! It’s a one-of-a-kind theatrical experience TV Guide‘s William Keck calls ‘the most entertaining stage production I’ve seen in years—including Broadway!’ The truth is in the title—whether young or old, everybody really does LOVE LUCY!


Jersey Boys Four Seasonings Cookie Recipe

In addition to filling the Forrest Theater night after night, The Jersey Boys are getting into the holiday spirit with a little food-related fun.

See the Four Seasonings Cookie Recipe Below.

The Four Seasonings Cookie


The Jersey Boys Cookie Recipe

Here are the boys at a recent (AMAZING) lunch at the Walnut Street Supper Club. (Excuse the fuzzy picture. All I had was my camera phone at lunch. Really must learn to carry a bigger camera.)

The Jersey Boys Philadelphia

If you haven’t seen The Jersey Boys yet, get your tickets now! The show is absolutely amazing. I attended a show with my sister and brother-in-law and it was phenomenal. I truly didn’t know how many songs The Four Seasons and Frankie Vallie made famous. The whole show is about their rise to fame and what they learned along the way.

Broadway Philadelphia
Jersey Boys
In association with
The Shubert Organization

Forrest Theatre

Wednesday, December 11 – Sunday, January 5
view dates & times


After breaking Forrest Theatre box office records SEVEN TIMES during the premiere engagement,Jersey Boys is ‘Workin’ Its Way Back’ to Philadelphia! ‘Too good to be true!’ raves the New York Postfor Jersey Boys, the 2006 Tony Award®-winning Best Musical about Rock and Roll Hall of Famers The Four Seasons: Frankie Valli, Bob Gaudio, Tommy DeVito and Nick Massi. This is the story of how four blue-collar kids became one of the greatest successes in pop music history. They wrote their own songs, invented their own sounds and sold 175 million records worldwide — all before they were 30!Jersey Boys, winner of the 2006 Grammy® Award for Best Musical Show Album and most recently, the 2009 Olivier Award for Best New Musical, features their hit songs ‘Sherry,’ ‘Big Girls Don’t Cry,’ ‘Rag Doll,’ ‘Oh What a Night’ and ‘Can’t Take My Eyes Off You.’ ‘It will run for Centuries!’ proclaims Time Magazine. Nearly 160,000 theatergoers attended the premiere engagement of Jersey Boys in Philadelphia.



10 Ways Media Changed in My Lifetime



I just finished a semester of teaching Writing for the Media at a local college. I have been teaching this class for several years now and media has changed drastically (or rather, social media has changed) since I first started with a seated course to 20+ students around 5 years ago now.

I teach online students only now and much has changed both during the course of this class and in my lifetime. Here are some of the biggest changes:

1. Well, the computer, of course. The typewriter I took to college let me see 5 words before they were typed. Now, we type directly into the world wide web and people can see it instantly.

2. Digital Cameras – We currently use the older Minolta lens my husband bought back in college but the body is a Sony a65 and it is digital, of course, because the addiction to instant gratification is too alluring to pass up. Digital cameras reduce a LOT of waste!

3. News stations make news from who is sharing on social media or not.

4. The pound sign (#) has been given a whole new meaning – #hashtagthatbaby You can talk online and at the same join bigger conversations using a simple hashtag. The whole new media world is about interconnectivity and interaction. If you simply pushing out information, you aren’t with the times any more and you will be ignored.

5. The “@” symbol has also given a new meaning too. You are suddenly “at”-ing everyone to get their attention. Forget picking up the phone – just @yourfriends on Facebook or Twitter or message or text them.

6. Car phones went through a brief time of being integrated into the car until cell phones came along. Now cell phones integrate with the car again.

7. Spiders crawling the web have nothing to do with arachnids and sticky white webbing.

8. I can’t find newspaper for a bonfire because no one I know gets the paper anymore.

9. Citizen journalism AND personal expression is now a global phenomenon.

10.  Ahh, the smartphone – need I say more?

iphone apps




Mom Bloggers Invade The Dawn Show!

Today, a group of awesome Mom bloggers invaded the Dawn Stensland Show for the first ever live audience. We were rounded up by the lovely Joey Fortman and Stephanie Glover and invited to participate in this fun event (on my birthday nonetheless).

Here is my co-worker and fellow blogger Colleen on the left and me on the right with Lauren Hart in the middle who was backstage to support Dawn. Lauren will be having her own show starting in January and we got to hear a little about that from her. Lauren is best known for singing prior to Philadephia Flyer’s games. She was quite delightful in real life!

lauren hart

We sat in on one live show and one taped show where several mom bloggers were highlighted for their niche subjects – from food to craft ideas. It was a nice mix of topics and we were on TV blogging and tweeting away during the show.

Here we are with Dawn Stensland, longtime Fox 29 anchor:

The Dawn Show


About the Dawn Show:

View the show: Monday – Friday 10:30am
Former news anchor Dawn Stensland Mendte gets out from behind the news desk to go beyond the headlines.  Dawn examines real life issues like social trends, health, educations, family matters, and what’s hot in local entertainment.  The girl next door discusses what is happening around the corner, and around the water cooler.  She’s more than news.  Don’t miss “Dawn.”
For more information on this show and others, check out the New WMCN TV.
Tune into: Comcast: 794 HD, and 21 (or 19) SD | Verizon Fios: 519 HD, 19 SD | Directv: 44 HD | Dish: 8165 HD, 44

Sharing Santa By Video & Phone Call Through the Portable North Pole

Portable North PoleThis year you can have Santa arrive on your screen via Portable North Pole where Santa shares a message personalized with your child. Last year, we tried this for the first time and it was awesome.

The personalization process really makes the end product speak to your child. You feel like Santa really does have an ear everywhere even when you are the one that put in the details to start. The video graphics are super sharp and even if your kids doesn’t believe in Santa, this little video makes the magic of Christmas come to life.

Here is a screenshot of the video letter I did for a friend’s child who is still in the Santa stage:

Portable North Pole SantaPortable North Portable SantaPortable North Pole Elves

Merry Christmas

The video includes:

  • Almost 6 minutes personalized video of Santa talking to your loved ones.
  • The possibility to choose different scenes.
  • Up to 5 personal pictures integrated in your video.
  • A bonus personalized video from Santa for Christmas Eve.
  • Unlimited online views during the Christmas holidays.
  • A downloadable version in High Quality MP4 format (not a DVD) for safe keeping.

The call includes:

  • Call on fixed landlines or cellphones (where applicable).
  • Personalized with child’s name and age. Choose from the more than 10 themes available for the call (congratulations, encouragement, on the ‘’watch list’’, night before Christmas, birthday, etc).

Here is a video about how it works:

Portable North Pole Children's HospitalAnd, whenever you purchase a personalized gift from Santa, PNP donates a portion to the Children’s Hospital closest to you.

Visit Portable North Pole on FacebookTwitterYouTube or Google+ to see what Santa and the elves
are up to, and to connect with thousands more PNP fans from around the world.

(Disclosure: I received a free code to try the letter from Santa and post about it. All thoughts and opinions are my own.)


Gift for Teens: SOL REPUBLIC Tracks On-Ear Headphones

SOL REPUBLIC for TeensRecently, I received a set of red SOL REPUBLIC Tracks On-Ear Headphones for review. Finding unique holiday gifts for my teen daughters is getting harder and harder but when my one daughter saw this package, she instantly claimed it for Christmas.

We took out the earphones long enough to try them out for this review before sticking them back into my Christmas hiding place. Retailing at $99.99, I found these popular earphones to be much more reasonable for the price than other more expensive brands with comparable quality.

We could have reviewed the wireless option but I was a bit afraid to try them because I was worried about us having the technology to send the signal. The corded ones are so low maintenance and easy to plug right into any of our devices.

In terms of putting it together, you do have to make sure the left and right cushioned ear pieces are on the correct side but there is labeling to help make sure you get it right. My daughter was listening to her iPad in minutes and she was so sad to give them up temporarily so I could wrap them up alongside her other gifts. She said the sound was really great and from a teen, that must mean it’s awesome.

ABOUT SOL REPUBLIC Tracks On-Ear Headphones:

SOL REPUBLIC Tracks on-ear headphones have V8 sound engine, single button remote, microphone, virtually indestructible and customizable FlexTech™ headband, color matched cable, and detachable drivers.

  • Audio Headset Features: 3.5mm Plug, Single-Entry Cord, Flexible Headband, Enhanced Bass, Volume Contols, Noise Reduction, Stereo Sound
  • Sound Enhancements: Enhanced Bass, Sound Isolating, Stereo Sound
  • Ear Cushion Material: Foam
  • Includes: Warranty Card
  • Battery no battery used

I just found this code on Facebook for a 10% discount: SOLREP10. LIKE their Facebook page for more upcoming deals.

This headset WILL be one of the highlights under the Christmas tree!



Jersey Boys are Coming to Philadelphia!

I can’t wait to go see Jersey Boys this coming week with my sister.  So excited! What a great early birthday present.

Want to go? Buy your tickets now! To purchase tickets for any show December 11, 2013 through January 5, 2014, visit

Jersey Boys Philadelphia


Create Your Own Photo Phone Case with Cellairis

Recently, I received a free code to try creating a custom phone case using an image of my choice. I don’t have an iPhone or Samsung Galaxy so I gave the code to my daughter who is getting an iPhone for Christmas (or so she has asked Santa). She made a case in anticipation of what’s coming.

My daughter is 15 and digitally savvy so I was interested in seeing if she could handle the  process herself. I handed her the card with the code and left for dinner.

I get a call at dinner, “My case is ready.”

I’m like absorbed in my dinner conversation and have no clue what she is talking about. “What exactly does that mean?”

“My phone case,” she replies. She has it ready with an image she likes and wants to submit.

“Great,” I reply and she hits the submit button and I am back to my dinner conversation. Eeezy Peezy.

When I got home, I asked what image she used – one of her or one from the Internet. Here is the one she choose (because if for ANY reason she doesn’t get the iPhone 5S, she wanted to be able to give it to a friend.)

horse abstract

After uploading the image, the website led Laura through the process of cropping the image using a phone case template, as seen below. It’s hard to see since the image didn’t save well and we don’t have the phone case yet but you can see how my daughter selected her favorite part of the horse to show on the case.

Custom Photo Phone Case


And, now we wait! The site says it ships in 72 hours so hopefully it will arrive soon. I am thinking I’ll wrap it up for Christmas once it comes in since it’s so cool!

To design your own case, check out the Cellairis Shout! phone options and design center. In addition to the custom phone cases, Cellairis sells other cool pre-made cases like the Rapture Ekon and other accessories like iPad keyboard cases, headsets, earbuds and more.



Gifts That Keep Giving

goodwill logo#Giving Tuesday is over but that doesn’t mean to stop giving. You can give money, pack a box, knit a scarf for a homeless person or simply get rid of your old stuff and take it to your local GoodwillGoodwill Donation Center.

At the beginning of the month, I started cleaning out Fall things and bringing out the holiday decorations. I found plenty of things I didn’t need cluttering up my storage areas, drawers and garage. At one point, I wanted them. At one point, they were a new gift or an item I saw at the store I likedand bought. Now, they sit dusty and unused and there’s a place for that – NOT IN MY HOUSE.

This week, I am taking my old items past the curb on Friday and onto the Goodwill store where donations create jobs and change lives. Watch the following video about how Goodwill changed the life of this woman, Candice.

Some ways of giving are easier than others. Getting rid of your old items and getting a charitable tax deduction out of it is one of the easiest!

To see the impact your donation makes, check out the Goodwill donation impact calculator. To find a store near you, go to the website and simply enter your zip code.

This donation picture was from when I was helping my mom this last summer clean out her house and my childhood memories and she took ALOT to Goodwill!

Goodwill Donations