Our New Additions To The Family

So, as any followers on Instagram my have noticed, we have added to the family. We recently added two adorable pups to the pack. We went for one, but ended up with two. You know how that goes. We just couldn’t stop thinking about that adorable little face, so we had to go back.

Welcome home, Shayna and Kofi!

#DontShopAdopt #RescueMe

rescue puppy

And tiny Shayna, my first “little dog” ever (foster or personal pet).

 

rescue chiweenie

We are so excited to have new bundles of love around here. They have made the pandemic more adventurous, that’s for sure!

I post a lot of photos on Twitter and Instagram, so if you aren’t following and like to see puppy photos, link up ūüôā

Happy Monday, all.

“Chasing Rainbows: The Road to Oz” at Paper Mill Playhouse

papermill playhouse

We just saw the new play,”Chasing Rainbows: The Road to Oz”, at Paper Mill Playhouse. Continuing until October 27, this world premiere focuses on the early life of Francis Gumm, who became Judy Garland. Best known for her breakout performance as Dorothy in “The Wizard of Oz”, her life and family are brought to life in a musical.

Honestly, I thought it was a bit….well, lets say “light hearted” in it’s presentation. Her mother, well documented as a nightmare stage parent, was portrayed as a little rough but doting. Her father, whom she adored, was also a bit much. His homosexuality was really hammered on, with long, dramatic songs, and quite a few scenes that a fellow theater-goer described as “over the top and self indulgent”- to which I agree. Over indulgent and almost mocking, so light hearted (and even joking) was made of her theater experiences with her mother and different people in the business, such as directors, owner, and other cast members. She had such a rough go in reality, and to present it in this way really seemed to belittle her life and to mock her life and experiences. It seemed very unfair to her, in my opinion. Abuse should not be downplayed as bumbling or nonsensical, her body shaming and resulting dysmorphia and eating disorders barely touched upon and again, very light, drug abuse (which killed her) pushed upon her and encouraged by those that should have been there for her, never mentioned.

NJ theater

The songs were odd and disjointed, nothing really played all the way through or presented in any sort of logical way, with the exception of “All Ma’s Children”, which was both fun and lively, as well as made sense in it’s placement (and was the entire song in one go). In my opinion, it was the best part of the show. Some songs, such as “You Made Me Love You” were done over and over, in bits and pieces, some of which were weird- such as between Judy and her father. Love songs between parent and child, not great.¬† The music was all over the place and jumbled, we really would have loved some consistency. As well, some more upbeat numbers to fill the 3 hour show.

It just felt like…too much. With her life, her wild, brutal, and interesting life- this was what they came up with, presented? Perhaps they were trying to appeal to the crowd that cult loves “Wizard of OZ”, and indeed there were so many rainbow dresses and purses and ruby glitter shoes in the crowd that night, they did so indeed. But it felt disingenuous to me. It made light of Judy Garland’s life and her suffering, which she sadly had so much of. Light topics likely go over better, but theater goers are overall a deep group, thinkers, and I think they would have gone for a real look at Francis, the woman who became Dorothy (and so much more).

In addition, the play was 3 hours long. It was a long, long play, and we were bored and thankful when it was over. That’s not something you want to aspire to.¬† So many long staring off into space, slow walking off to the side of the stage, gazing into the abyss while walking at a snails pace to who knows what or why, oh so lengthy dramatic pauses- it just felt overdone. And so, so long.

The cast, however, was extremely talented- the children especially wowed us. As well, all the music used in the show was actually sung by Judy Garland in her life, which was very cool. Some of it was unknown to me, so it was neat seeing some new things brought to life.

More about the show;

Before she burst onto the big screen as Dorothy in The¬†Wizard¬†of Oz, Judy Garland was a young vaudeville trouper named Frances Gumm. In this highly anticipated new musical chronicling Garland‚Äôs early career from vaudeville baby to MGM teen star in the making, the road to Oz is paved with adversity. At its heart a story of love between a father and daughter, featuring such legendary songs as ‚ÄúOver the Rainbow,‚ÄĚ ‚ÄúYou Made Me Love You,‚ÄĚ and ‚ÄúEverybody Sing,‚Ä̬†Chasing Rainbows¬†is a poignant coming-of-age tale about ‚Äúthe little girl with the big voice,‚ÄĚ who went on to become one of the world‚Äôs most beloved entertainment icons. The show has already earned praise from¬†Liza Minnelli, who said, ‚ÄúMy mother said that her biography is in her music, and now a talented creative team is using that music to tell the story of her early years and her extraordinary rise to fame.‚ÄĚ
Chasing Rainbows: The Road to Oz begins performances Thursday, September 26, 2019, and will continue through Sunday, October 27, 2019, at Paper Mill Playhouse (22 Brookside Drive, Millburn, NJ).

Get your tickets at https://papermill.org 

Waxing Nostalgic

mazda protege

Another goodbye.
You’ve all seen my many posts about this car by now, she’s been a staple on this blog and for me for the longest time.
She brought all my kids home. To this house. All the dogs, too.
Drove more road trips then I can count, many featured here on this site and beyond. A whole lot of friends have spent time in that little car. She has acted as a barricade, been to Standing Rock, driven the entire east coast.
Drove me home from my wedding in 2005, and then from my divorce in 2019.
2 car accidents, a million camping trips, a thousand beach days and carpools and carseats and sick days and work days.  Two massive vomit incidents that required professionals. So much sand and wet kid and sunblock streaking and dog fur, but no worries here.
Bringing my beautiful Chaac to the vet to be put down after cancer treatment failed, and to be buried afterward.
I have only 2 friends I’ve had longer than this car.
Then recently, I was hit so hard by an errant driver, neither of us has been right again, but she can’t be fixed.
My first “new” car, the only new car I’ve ever had.
So many memories in this car.
Waxing nostalgic.

Be Prepared – it starts with a go bag

Saying: “It won’t happen to us” is a poor disaster response plan. And thinking: “It can’t happen here” is categorically wrong. There are all sorts of “its” out there, and they can and do happen, here, there, everywhere. And when it happens, there might be only minutes in which to get out the door and go. Emergencies don’t wait for us to get ready.

That’s the bad news.

The good news is that you can minimize the impact that “it” has when it happens. How? By getting getting the supplies you need at the ready.

A Few of the “Its” We face

  • More than 9,100 wildfires scorched California in 2017 alone. 2018’s record large burn, the 300,000-plus-acre Mendocino Complex Fire, displaced tens of thousands of people.
  • Following the 9/11 attacks, tens of thousands of people were displaced, with hundreds of thousands exposed to hazards like fire, dust, and particulates. According to The American Preparedness Project, 83% of us worry about another attack happening.
  • Hurricanes have displaced millions of Americans so far in the 21st Century; after Katrina, more than one million residents were initially forced from their homes. Hurricane Sandy temporarily displaced more than 775,000 people across 24 states.
  • California has not experienced a magnitude 7.0 earthquake along the San Andreas Fault System in more than 100 years. Seismologists calculate a 93% probability of the so-called Big One striking before the year 2045.
  • Tornado warning systems offer an average lead-time of 13 minutes, but residents often have much less notice. And as most tornadoes move across the ground at 30 miles per hour (some have traveled at 70 MPH), there is no time to waste after the warning.
  • When the Oroville Dam threatened failure in early 2017, 180,000 faced immediate evacuation orders, some coming with less than five minutes of warning.

And this is a partial list at best; the dangers facing your follower base likely include some of these dangers as well as numerous other catastrophes.

 

You Can’t Prepare After the Fact

With events like earthquakes, terror attacks, or infrastructure failures, there is no warning at all; there is only the response that follows. If a household has not taken the time to prepare before such disasters, there is no time left to mitigate the challenges of the response. If you take it from the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s own statement: “You may need to survive on your own after an emergency. You could get help in hours or it might take days. This means having your own food, water and other supplies in sufficient quantity to last for at least 72 hours.‚ÄĚ

That’s right, the agency tasked with emergency management says we will likely have to fend for ourselves following a disaster. Now there’s a talking point to note as you spread awareness.

Get a Good Go Bag

VLES Designs founders Karina and Stuart Warshaw didn’t create these bags or serve as firefighters and EMTs for the money. Nor did they become American Red Cross CPR instructors or Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) members for the cash.

Neither was direct involvement in¬†Hurricane Irene or direct impact by Superstorm Sandy financially driven. The training and experiences of the staff at VLES Designs coalesced to inspire development of our brand: we saw a need that wasn’t met, so we went out to meet it.

They started the company because they care deeply about sharing the products and spreading the awareness that can help keep people safe during the worst scenarios they will ever face. That’s why we not only offer a fully stocked emergency kit, but why we include literature like a quick checklist and a comprehensive Readiness Playbook that features a tear-off emergency plan and readiness test. Our passion for promoting safety through preparation also explains why we list the supplies included in the GO-bag on our site and offer downloads of the Readiness Playbook for free. Check out the link, and be as ready as you can be.

https://vlesdesigns.com/

Serenity Skin Care and Body Wellness in Englewood, NJ

Looking for a great Mother’s Day gift?

 

If your mom is anything like most moms, she can use a break. Some rest, relaxation, and perhaps someone taking care of HER for a change of pace. Who wouldn’t like a minute to herself? I can’t think of too many things I like more then a good massage, and I’m guessing your mom is not too different in that arena.

We recently headed over to Serenity Skin Care and Body Wellness in Englewood, NJ. It was located on a really cute “main street” type of road, with a bunch of cute shops and restaurants- it would be easy to make a day of this trip.¬† The atmosphere was calm and relaxing, and the people who greeted you as well as the therapists were all very relaxed, easy going, and pleasant.

serenity skincare

They offer quite a few services, from facials and massages to waxing and sugaring, to manicures and more. If you want to give it all to mom (or your spouse, mother of your children, your best friend, yourself- whomever), they also have packages available. Make an afternoon of it, and enjoy the time together.  You can read a list of available treatments here.

We enjoyed their couples massage, because there is nothing better than¬†a relaxing treatment¬†except¬†maybe doing so with your partner. They asked us about sore spots, previous massage experiences, preferences, and made sure we were comfortable before the massage began. It was really nice to spend the time with someone I love and being able for us both to relax and enjoy ourselves. It was one of the nicest days I’d had in a long time, and we both felt so well afterward- I’d highly recommend the service and the location.

The time we spent at Serenity Skincare was much-needed relaxation and so rejuvenating, we were both ready for a nap and to take on the world when we were done. (PS, the nap won out, we felt amazing.)

Visit their site https://www.serenityskincare.com to get all the details, to find out more, and to book an appointment.

Serenity Skincare

7 GRAND AVE.

ENGLEWOOD, NJ 07631

(201) 816-3050

 

 

One Thousand Nights and One Day,” a new musical at ART/NY Mezzanine Theatre

One Thousand Nights and One Day will play the ART/NY Mezzanine Theatre (502 West 53rd Street between 10th and 11th Avenues) and is produced by Prospect Theater Company (Cara Reichel, Producing Artistic Director.)
 
In mythic Persia, a daring young woman spins tales to save the kingdom and her life. In modern-day New York, a Jewish man and Palestinian woman fight to find love in a fractured world.¬† This world premiere musical, adapted from Jason Grote’s critically-acclaimed play¬†1001, reinvents “The Arabian Nights,” colliding the contemporary and the ancient.¬† Through a genre-bending score, it questions past and present images of the Middle East, exploring the power of story in our everyday lives.
 
One Thousand Nights and One Day¬†features¬†Sepideh Moafi¬†(“The Deuce”, “Falling Water”),¬†Ben Steinfeld¬†(Fiasco Theatre Company’s¬†Into the Woods),¬†Ashkon Davaran¬†(The Great Comet –¬†Ars Nova),¬†Yassi Noubahar¬†(The Body Politic),¬†Chad Goodridge¬†(Passing Strange),¬†Gabriella P√©rez¬†(Anything GoesNational Tour),¬†and¬†Graham Stevens¬†(Peter and the Starcatcher).
 
One Thousand Nights and One Day features choreography by Karla Garcia(Regional: In The Heights; currently performing in Hamilton), scenic design by Jason Ardizzone-West (The Royale, Illyria), costume design by Becky Bodurtha (The Strangest; The Wife), lighting design by Carolyn Wong (This Was Written In Water; The Oracle) and sound design by Jeremy J. Lee (Tamar of the River; Broadway Associate: Superior Doughnuts; Mary Stuart). Kurt Crowley (currently the musical director/conductor of Hamilton on Broadway) serves as musical director and co-orchestrator with Marisa Michelson.

Photo: One Thousand Nights and One Day PHOTO CREDIT – Richard Termine

In Prospect Theater Company’s new play One Thousand Nights and One Day, a musical adapted by composer Marisa Michelson and librettist Jason Grote from the 2007 play 1001. Based loosely on a retelling of the Arabian Nights story of King Shahryar (Ben Steinfeld) and his wife, Scheherazade (Sepideh Moafi), who tells stories in order to delay her own execution and to save other women in her kingdom, the play then tells a more modern tale of Alan and Dahna (same actors). These students, a Jewish man and a Palestinian woman, go through the trials of a relationship in current New York City.

The new musical has been developed with the support of New Dramatists, Montclair State University’s New Works Initiative, Theatreworks Palo Alto, the¬†York Theatre Company, and the Weston Playhouse.

Tickets can be purchased by visiting ProspectTheater.org or calling (212) 352-3101.

CloudMover Day Spa Huntington Beach

CloudMover Day Spa Huntington Beach CaliforniaThe Beach and a Spa, What Better Day…

Huntington Beach California is a vacation destination, or if you are lucky might be right outside your backdoor. Sunshine and relaxation are only enhanced by a day at the spa and the one to hit is CloudMover Day Spa. Voted #1 seven years in a row by the OC Hotlist you want to go where the locals go to get the best service in massages, facials, body treatments, and more. My experience was eye opening.

I am going to start with the facial, because I never knew the process could be this good. I have had facials before, but just a few and I never got very excited about them. Often after my skin was irritated and I never felt it looked any better for going through the discomfort and occasionally painful burn of the peels. CloudMover Spa completely changed my mind with their HydroMicrodermabrasion facial. Their staff is amazing.

Basically in the past spas had been using treatments that were too harsh for my skin type and I didn’t know better than to ask for what others recommended, I am not experienced with the beauty treatments out there. So I ended up irritating my skin and not getting good results. The¬†HydroMicrodermabrasion method was amazing because it is gentle enough for all skin types and effective enough to really get results even with the toughest jobs. I went in with my Italian skinned gentleman friend who spends every day in the sun, pool, and slathering on sunscreen, clogged pore city. His skin looked amazing afterwards and the effects have lasted for weeks. My face has never looked so good and all of my skin issues were cleared up without any tenderness.

Facial Room at CloudMover Day Spa in Huntington California

Facial Room at CloudMover Day Spa

If like me, you are new to facials and peels don’t hesitate to tell the person booking your appointment that you don’t know exactly what you want. Let the esthetician guide you when they get a look at your skin type and any particular issues, otherwise like me you might request something not suited for you. Don’t go through a bad experience when it is just a mater of ¬†finding the right match, which might take some help from an expert. I can not recommend a better place for that expert advice than CloudMover Day Spa after my experience.

We also enjoyed their couples massage, because there is nothing better than Zen-ing out except perhaps doing so with your significant other. I always appreciate any business that holds themselves to the highest standards especially one that is handling my body. The massage therapists at CloudMover are of the highest caliber. They had us so relaxed there was definitely some snoring going on, both of us claiming it was the other person, PS it was totally him. By the end we were left debating who was more with it to drive home before we fell into bed for a nap.

Couples Massage at CloudMover Day Spa in Orange County

Couples Massage Room at CloudMover Day Spa

Spending time at CloudMover Day Spa was delightful and so rejuvenating, after our little rest we spent the rest of the night and the next few days enjoying loose muscles and glowing skin. There are more services you can check out like, waxing, body treatments, tanning, and an infrared sauna. There full list can be found HERE.

Visit their site Cloudmover.com to get all the details or find out more on Social Media TwitterFacebookInstagram РYelp

CloudMover Day Spa Orange County LogoCloudMover Day Spa
Located in the 5 Point Plaza
18685 Main St, Ste 104
Huntington Beach, CA 92648

 

 

THE WORLD PREMIERE PRODUCTION OF THE STING at Papermill Playhouse

papermill playhouse

Paper Mill Playhouse (Mark S. Hoebee-Producing Artistic Director, Todd Schmidt-Managing Director), recipient of the 2016 Regional Theatre Tony Award, has announced today the cast and creative team of the world premiere production of the new musical The Sting , based on the 1973 film, and with book by Bob Martin, music and lyrics by Mark Hollmann & Greg Kotis with Harry Connick, Jr. In addition, the score will contain music by Scott Joplin including ‚ÄúThe Entertainer.‚ÄĚ John Rando is set to direct with choreography by Warren Carlyle and music direction by Fred Lassen. The Broadway-bound engagement of The Sting begins performances TONIGHT, March 29, 2018, for a limited engagement through Sunday, April 29, 2018, at Paper Mill Playhouse (22 Brookside Drive) in Millburn, NJ. Opening Night is Sunday, April 8, 2018, at 7:00 p.m. JPMorgan Chase & Co. is the Major Sponsor of The Sting .

Chicago. 1936. Get ready to enter a smoke-filled world of cons and capers, where nothing is what it seems and no one is who they appear to be. Based on the 1973 Academy Award-winning film, The Sting tells the tale of a pair of con men, small town grifter Johnny Hooker and big-time hustler Henry Gondorff (Harry Connick, Jr.), who plot to bring down the city’s most corrupt racketeer. The Sting takes you back to an era where jazz reigns, the stakes are high, and the dice are always loaded.

The principal cast will star Harry Connick, Jr. as Henry Gondorff, with Peter Benson as The Erie Kid, Janet Dacal as Loretta, Christopher Gurr as J.J. Singleton, J. Harrison Ghee as Johnny Hooker, Tom Hewitt as Doyle Lonnegan, Richard Kline as Kid Twist, Kevyn Morrow as Luther, Kate Shindle as Billie, and Robert Wuhl as Snyder.

Rounding out the cast are Lucien Barbarin, Darius Barnes, Keely Beirne, Michael Fatica, Luke Hawkins, Tyler Huckstep, Matt Loehr, Erica Mansfield, Drew McVety, Ramone Owens, Tyler Roberts, Angie Schworer, Christine Shepard, Britton Smith, Sherisse Springer, Diana Vaden, Kevin Worley and Lara Seibert Young.

The Sting will be performed eight times a week, Wednesday through Sunday. The performance schedule is Wednesday at 7:30 p.m., Thursday at 1:30 p.m. & 7:30 p.m., Friday at 8:00 p.m., Saturday at 1:30 p.m. & 8:00 p.m. and Sunday at 1:30 p.m. & 7:00 p.m.

Tickets are on sale now starting at $34. Tickets may be purchased by calling 973.376.4343, at the Paper Mill Playhouse Box Office at 22 Brookside Drive in Millburn, or online at www.PaperMill.org. Visa, MasterCard, Discover, and American Express accepted. Groups of 10 or more can receive up to a 40% discount on tickets and should call 973.315.1680. Students may order $23 rush tickets over the phone or in person at the Paper Mill Playhouse box office on the day of the performance.