Life... Health... Reviews...

Thursday, October 15, 2009

In love with Disney On Ice

Disney On Ice is magical. Thanks to Mom Central and Feld Entertainment, I was able to share the Disney On Ice presents Celebrations experience with my three little ones: Andre, Amareah and Anna.

Celebrations was a giant party on ice and all the Disney favorites were there. There was a winter wonderland with Mickey and Minnie, a Halloween haunt with villains like Captain Hook and Cruella de Vil, a ball with the princesses and their beaus, and wonderfully, beautiful celebrations from around the world.


When the show began, last night at Philips Arena, my children sat with looks of absolute wonder and focus on their little faces. I think it's one of the few times I've ever seen them all sitting still and quiet at once.




I must admit that I was quite enthralled myself. It was more than half way through the show when Amareah started turning to me and saying, "Mommy, that princess is from Beauty and the Beast" or my favorite realization: "That's the princess who kisses the frog and turns into a frog."





I couldn't resist my own exclamations: "Amareah," I said as I leaned over 2-year-old Anna, "I like that one best, they're in Japan." When the scene switched to China, Amareah got really excited because her class studied China for International Day at school last year.

Their reactions at the end of the show were priceless. It's like everything that they saw downloaded into their brains as soon as the curtain closed on the final Disney character. Then they began chattering about what they liked, what they saw and what was the best.

On Thursday, Anna finally began talking about the show. It was the first time she ever saw - and probably will remember - something like that. It was a spectacular show.

Andre and Amareah were so pleased to recognize the princesses and other Disney characters, and it was really a joyful evening watching the expressions on their faces. I can't wait until the next show, which hopefully Amber will be able to attend with us. It was such a pleasure to experience Disney magic; it really ignites the kid in me.





Don't miss participating in the Celebration. Check out the Atlanta Facebook page to keep up with all of the details! Don't forget to go to Ticketmaster.com for dates and times of upcoming shows. (Hint: Get your tickets now. Last day of the show is Sunday!)

Before the show we had the pleasure of meeting Mickey Mouse at a meet and greet event before the show. Mickey is just as cute in person. :) We got our picture taken with Mickey; however, Anna would have no part in it and stood beside the young man who took our picture. They were even so nice as to provide a Polaroid of the shot, which is inside of a Disney Toy Story frame on our refrigerator.










Andre and Amareah enjoyed coloring pictures of Disney characters while they waited for the show to start. Anna finally warmed up to coloring, but she would not put on her party hat.

What's next for Disney in Atlanta? Feld Entertainment is producing Disney Live! Rockin' Road Show will be at the Philips Arena on Sunday, December 20th at 12 and 3 p.m. I really can't wait to see this show and they don't want you to miss it either so to sweeten the deal (seeing the Disney gang is sweet enough by itself, right?) you can save $10 on tickets by using code FFSC. This offer is valid from now until November 15th and excludes VIP and VIP floor seats. Regular ticket prices: $14, $25 and $40.

You can redeem one of three ways:
1. In person at the Philips Arena Box Office
2. By calling Ticketmaster at 1-800-745-3000
3. Go to Ticketmaster.com/FFSC and enter code FFSC

Other upcoming shows in Atlanta:
January 9th - Monster Jam at the Georgia Dome. There are super value seats for just $10.
February 12th - 21st - Ringling Brothers & Barnum Bailey presents ZING ZANG ZOOM, "a thrill-filled, mind-blowing circus spectacular where family fun is no illusion." For a limited time opening night tickets are HALF PRICE. Mention or enter code ZXC. Valid on $14, $22, $28, $35 and $50 VIP priced seats and $15 tickets, valid for $14, $22, $28 and $35 priced seats.

Don't miss out on all the fabulous family fun.
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What do you think?

I've been considering moving my From Toddlers2Teens blog from Today.com to Blogger. I know I haven't really put a lot of energy into browsing around and getting to know the Today bloggers, but I thought I would see more "action" over there or something. I guess you get back what you put into something, huh?

Just wondering what you thought about moving everything over? Does anyone else use Today.com?

I've had one "issue" with them since I started writing/blogging there. At one point there was an "adult" advertisement that was up and I didn't have any control over it. I couldn't remove it and I didn't know what to do. I don't recall all of the details, but I remember writing a post or two about it and apologizing to my readers. One day I went on there and the ad as well as the posts were gone.

Quite a bit of time later I found an email that I missed saying, "Next time don't discuss such things on the blog send a note" or something like that. My thought? "Humph! The nerve."

Any thoughts?
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Dreams of granite sinks

I know a couple of people who have obsessive compulsive disorder and are severe germaphobes. I've teased and hounded them to lighten up until I realized that I'm almost just as bad. The other day I was washing dishes and glanced down at the edges of my sink. How in the world do you get the little crevice clean under and around the edge of the sink and the counter? I ran my hand along the edge then used a dish clothe to try to clean it better - to no avail.

It wasn't long before I was daydreaming about a granite counter and undermount kitchen sinks. Have you seen those? It's when the sink is mounted under the counter, instead of dropped into it, resulting in the sink being flush to the counter. MR Direct Incorporated sells a undermount granite sink series made of 100 percent environmentally friendly materials and they are coated with bacteria-killing silver ions that kill 99 percent of bacteria on contact.

Now that's a germaphobe's dream come true.

MR Direct Incorporated has a large selection of Granite Kitchen Sinks to choose from. You can choose the style, color and even the depth of the sink you want. Wouldn't that make washing dishes fun? :)
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More tests, pokes and proding

My health and weight loss journal

I am too lazy to review my last health and weight loss post to see where I left off telling you about my health. So I'm going to try to make this short... Recently, I've been electrocuted (that's my sarcastic way of saying I had some type of test where your nerves are shocked to see how they're responding to pain) in both hands/forearms and I still have to return to get my lower legs/ankles/feet done. Thankfully, there isn't any nerve damage in my hands, which would mean that the lupus strain is affecting my nerves. I just have carpal tunnel in the right wrist and slightly in the left wrist. I have to wear wrists braces every night for six weeks then return to get some type of shots in my wrists.

That doesn't sound pleasant and I haven't decided if I am going to keep that appointment. I probably will, but the fact that I don't know what they're going to be shooting me with let's me know that I turned out right after she said "shots."

The doctor wasn't surprised that there wasn't any sign of nerve deadening in my hands because it normally doesn't start there, but she didn't sound as hopeful with my legs. I also had an appointment the GI who told me again about the strain of lupus, which is called sjogren's disease. When I looked it up I think it said "syndrome" instead of "disease." It's an autoimmune disorder just like lupus. They aren't sure that I have sjogren's, but I do have a lupus strain in my blood. If the nerves in my legs and feet are being affected (I've been suffering from numbness, tingling, etc., in addition to the pain) then it's possible (likely?) that I have it.

I've also had an ultrasound of my stomach to ensure there aren't any other signs that my body is attacking itself or whatever, and - as usual - I've had tons of blood work done. Still waiting on results.

I guess there was no way to tell that quickly and I'm sure I'm forgetting something. It's so much that it can be overwhelming. Overall, I don't feel any worse than I normally do. The things I need to do more of, or better, are exercise and get more sleep. Both of which are said to help those who deal with chronic pain.

Anyone wanna be my personal trainer? I'm willing to barter. :)

On the weight side of things: I'm maintaining very well. Just gained about five pounds, but that's to be expected from someone who has been eating a lot of sweets and chocolate lately. I'll get back on track within the next week.
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Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Wordless Wednesday: Beauty of the beach




5 Minutes for Mom WW participants
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Relaxing with Joshua Bell

Joshua Bell's new CD "At Home with Friends" is what I like to call (a phrase I stole from a friend) grown folks music. I didn't know what to expect when I popped in the disc, but I was more than pleased.

His music carries the rhythm and sound of relaxation and prompts the listener to envision the beauty of elegant ballroom dancers. I've listened to the CD more than four times in the past two days and I'm no less enthralled when I hear it again. In fact, it must be good because my 18-year-old daughter expressed how much she liked it. Now that's what I call impressive.



Bell is a Grammy award-winning violinist who has been playing for 20 years (since he was 14) and come out with 30 original albums. The album is out now and if you haven't picked up your copy yet, you should do it soon 'cause it's music that soothes the heart and soul.
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Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Sibling bonding over art, baking

My daughter Amber is a wonderful big sister. Each time she comes home from college she always makes time for her three younger siblings. She'll take them to the store with her, they'll help her cook, they do crafts together, have a sleepover in the living room, go to the park or any other activity she can think of. Amber had a four-day weekend and decided they would do crafts and bake an apple pie.

When they do arts and crafts it's quite funny to me because Amber is really patient and normally lets them be creative. She dug through the crafts supply box (which I started several years ago so Amber would have supplies for class and science projects) and pulled out a bunch of interesting stuff. I asked her what they were going to make and she had no idea. At first I was going to say that she should decide on a specific project, choose the appropriate supplies and direct them accordingly. Then it dawned on me that I need to butt out for several reasons: The younger children were excited, quiet and occupied without my input; Amber's method allowed them to use their imagination and be creative; and she's the one who has worked with children most of her young life.

I promptly, and happily, walked away to get some work done. I peeked in or walked by every now and then, and I captured a few shots to share with you:

Andre is proudly displaying his in-the-works project.

Anna is busy filing her Styrofoam ball.

That's Andre and Anna happily working on their Styrofoam ball thingies. LOL. I think I heard Andre saying he was making a rabbit and Anna was busy "filing" her ball with a Popsicle stick. Her reason? Amber just shrugged her shoulders and left her alone since she was so engrossed. This is what they came up with:
Amber made this unique flower with a Styrofoam ball,
pipe cleaners and a Popsicle stick.


This is Amareah's flower. Yes, I have them both on my desk.

Andre's rabbit and person came out pretty good. He was pleased
and happy about it. Funny thing is, it does bring a smile to your face.


Remember the picture of Anna (above) filing her Styrofoam ball? Well, she has paint on her face because they had already completed their painting projects, which you can see here:




I liked these so much (I really like abstract art) that I mounted them to construction paper and hung them in the kitchen. The children were proud to see them there and Andre told me all about his: The white at the stop is the sky, the black line with a dot on the top is an animal - if I remember correctly - and, although you can't see it well, there's a rendition of a person next to the animal that he said is me. How sweet.

They started their pie-baking project kind of late in the day so I missed getting pictures of them before it went into the oven and they were in the bed when it came out. I also forgot to get pictures of them working on the pie. But here's a picture of the finished product.

That pie was so good (I finished off the final piece last night!) and I hope they make another one when Amber comes home again. :D

If you have more than one child, what do they like to do together?
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Lost mentor

After I got out of the Air Force, in the early '90s, I went back to college. It was quite a challenge being a working single mom who attended college full time and was away from family, but I had certain goals I wanted to meet. While in college, one of the professors took me under her wing and gave me excellent advice and support. Not only did she talk to me about my education and profession, but she offered loving input regarding personal situations.

We got together outside of the institution while I lived in Upstate New York and spent time with our families together. I saw her not too long after I moved to Georgia in 1995, but have since lost touch. I believe she made an impact on my life because she took the time to talk to me despite everything she was dealing with.

Although I searched MyLife for her there were 1,000 results so I'm not sure if I actually found the right person. If you've lost your mentor, or someone else who was important in your life, then you have a chance of tracking them down. A simple search, with free basic membership, and you're well on your way to rekindling that lost relationship.

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Monday, October 12, 2009

Cheap thrills

If you missed the sale (yesterday and today) at JcPenney then you can blame me because I should have told you about it. I received the sales ad in the mail sometime last week and decided to go yesterday to get the three younger children some pants. I.am.so.glad.I.did!

I only wanted to spend about $20 and I ended up spending $25.58 walking away with $128 worth of clothes! Let me tell you what I got:

$50 sundress for $4.98
$9.99 leggings (5T) for $4.24
$9.99 corduroy pants (3T) for $4.24
$19.99 khaki/twill pants (6) for $8.49
$20 peace screen shirt for $0.98
$18 white t-shirt for $0.98


I couldn't resist highlighting the deals that really gave me a high.

I have been really working at finding great deals on things that we really need and I am very happy with all of my purchases. The size 6 pants my son needs for school since he wears a uniform. And the girls needed some more bottoms in their wardrobe.

The sundress, which looks a whole lot better on, is motivation for me to maintain my weight loss. Actually I may be able to pull off wearing the dress through the seasons with the addition of a sweater or cardigan and some tights or whatever. I only have one other dress and this one fit me really well. It's funny too 'cause in the past I would have never chosen a sundress for myself let alone one with flowers on it.

The two shirts for 98 cents each are perfect additions to my wardrobe. One is loud and shows a little of my personality and the other is an essential for every wardrobe. If they had more of them that I could use I would have gotten a couple of others.

Amber walked away with some great deals as well including two skirts - one that was $50 and one that was $40 - at 98 cents a piece. To say we were pleased with our purchases is an understatement.

Saving money on things I can really use gives me a big thrill.
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