Archive for December, 2014

24 Dec 2014

A December to Remember

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This has been a December to remember.

I feel like it is my first adult Christmas. Not sure why, but I feel very grown up this year. Maybe because I’m prepared like my parents used to be, or because all is right with my little slice of heaven on Earth. We have so much to be thankful for, I’m not sure where to start. To my ENTIRE VILLAGE, I can’t thank you enough for all you do for us all year long. From my co- Girl Scout leaders, to my “gym family” to my friends that help arranging my daily pieces when I need help making the day work so my kids can participate in whatever-the-he**-we-are-doing-that- day. To the family I call on for help, near and far, there is no way I can thank you enough for just being there for us when we need you.

My word of this year has been help. I’m often helping, or being helped, but it just might be the help that makes this world go around. I am always willing to help. And I know all of you are willing to help me too. To everyone that has helped us this year, thank you. I wish I could hug you in person and buy you the biggest present to show my gratitude, but please know that I am here to help you whenever you need it. I hope that I can be there when you need me to.

Merry Christmas from us to you. Without you, many of these December memories would not have been possible. And for that, I am forever grateful!















24 Dec 2014

Into the Woods In Theaters Christmas Day

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What is it about the path of life that has us scared, nervous and excited about the adventure that is to come. For all of us who love the deeper side of fairy tales, the movie “Into the Woods” will take you deep into the woods to take a look at some of the most popular fairy tales of all times (Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood, Jack and the Beanstalk and Rapunzel) and what happens when they cross paths in the woods.


“Into the Woods” first appeared on Broadway in 1987. Created by legendary eight-time Tony, Grammy and Oscar-winning composer and lyricist Stephen Sondheim and Tony® winner James Lapine, who also wrote the screenplay. The production, which ran for 764 performances, won Tony®Awards for Best Score, Best Book of a Musical and Best Actress in a Musical. Among other awards.

The modern twist follows Cinderella (Anna Kendrick), Little Red Riding Hood (Lilla Crawford), Jack and the Beanstalk (Daniel Huttlestone), and Rapunzel (MacKenzie Mauzy), all tied together by an original story involving a Baker and his Wife (James Corden and Emily Blunt), their wish to begin a family and what happens when they meet their neighbor, a Witch (Meryl Streep), who has put a curse on them.

If you were fortunate to see on of the 764 Broadway performances, you’ll love songs from the stage musical, including “Children Will Listen,” “Giants in the Sky,” “On the Steps of the Palace,” “No One Is Alone” and “Agony,” among others.

The whole family will love this movie. I was able to see a sneak preview and can in the words of my 9-year old daughter, “This was the best movie EVER!!” Be sure to follow the official movie for the latest updates.

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All images provided by Walt Disney Studio Motion Pictures as well as the invitation to attend the screening of “Into the Woods” for promotional purposes only.

23 Dec 2014

Experience Phantom of the Opera

No Comments Adventures, Review, Sponsored, Tampa, Tampa Bay

If you can’t get to New York City this lifetime and you want to experience what most tourists will do on their trip, treat yourself to an experience like no other when the Phantom of the Opera comes to you.

IMG_5195.JPGA packed house awaits the 2nd act of Phantom of the Opera at the Straz Center on December 19th, 2014 in Tampa, Florida.

Clearly, Phantom of the Opera could be considered one of the classics among attractions in New York City as it stands as the longest-running show in Broadway history with 26 years and counting, at the Majestic Theatre. In 2012, the show celebrated its 10,000th show. It is currently playing in 6 countries as well as on tour in the US North American.

Most Broadway show tours only come to cities city for a few short weeks. You should definitely take in a show, even if Broadway isn’t your thing, there is so much more to experience. When people say “On Broadway” it tends to have meaning much deeper than just a street location in New York City. It tends to have a prestige attached to it unmatched to any other. Known as the “Great White Way” for being one of America’s very first streets with lights, the marquee lights on all the theatre houses that light up Time’s Square have become iconic to people everywhere. The Theater District in New York City is now home to more than 40 professional theaters. Theaters can seat up to 500 people and host a variety of productions year round.

The Phantom of the Opera US Tour, which is happening now until January 2016, is everything a Broadway musical production should be, minus New York City of course, but pretty close to it. The stage is majestic. The voices are beautiful. The music is breathtaking. The overall experience is classic Broadway. Everything you might imagine on Broadway will come to you.

The story has never been changed from its original Andrew Lloyd Webber’s score. However, each new actor that plays the lead characters has the ability to interpret the role slightly different than the last. The special effects, including the show’s legendary chandelier, will still have the same impact on your experience, wherever you see it, just as if you were sitting inside the Majestic Theatre itself. Listening to perfect voices sing some of the most recognizable songs from the musical such as “Music of the Night” and “All I Ask of You” and “Wishing You Were Somehow Here” will have you wanting to give a standing ovation for each number.

Experiencing the theatre is an activity that the whole family will enjoy. For centuries, societies have used theatre as a form of entertainment that continues to live on into our generation and beyond. Many Broadway shows are now preformed and are geared towards the younger audiences too (Lion King, Matilda, Wicked, Cinderella just to name a few.) Phantom of the Opera might be a tad bit over the top for some kids (there are deaths that are slightly graphic by nature), but guaranteed that they will not forget the show. The meaning of mask and what it depicts might come later, but a love for theatre and the art form is what the experience is all about, no matter what the show.

The Straz Center currently is hosting its Best of Broadway series presented by Bank of America. Their shows are among some of the best that Broadway has to offer. For season tickets to these and other shows, visit them online to learn more.

Phantom of the Opera is on a US Tour until 2016. For tickets to a show in a city near you visit here. For tickets to the Tampa performances at the Straz Center from December 17th through January 4th, visit here.

Disclaimer: I was a guest of the Straz Center for the Phantom of the Opera performance. All opinions in this essay are my own.


20 Dec 2014

She’s 9. Art Party Fabulous.

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She’s 9. She lives THE life, wild beyond my imagination. After talking her down from a limo ride and a party at the Four Seasons, I convinced her to have a PlayDate with friends to do art, ice cream sundaes and just be girls. After insisting they “toast” (with only the best sparkling grape juice) we planned a fabulous party and made it happen.

What’s so special about 9? Everything. Last single digit. School is still fun and play in third grade before the big fourth grade year. Life is but a bowl of cherries…each day is sweeter than the next. Mia has grown leaps and bounds into this amazing artist, who wants to help with her sisters and people in her community. She blossomed even more so with her fun loving and happy-go-lucky persona that radiates and everyone loves to be around. She’s a world traveler and hopefully she’ll see it all one day.

Nine is fine and life is good. Happy Birthday Mia!

A is for Art: Mia’s 9th Birthday Party









03 Dec 2014

Christmas in NYC

4 Comments Family Travel, Holidays, New York City, Travel, Travel Tuesday

A weekend in pictures. Must visit places. Best if you sit back and enjoy New York City while you are here.










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