My Kids’ First Concert: Taylor Swift (Of Course)

It’s no secret I’m a HUGE fan of T-Swift. Love her! She’s my spirit animal. I know I’m a forty-something mother of two but she inspires me. Her style, her love of home decorating, her kindness, her loyalty, her business-saavy, I could go on and on. She’s a great role model in a world of questionable teenage role models, so I was thrilled when it worked out that Taylor’s “1989” world tour would be my kids’ very first concert experience.

We had to fly from Jacksonville to Atlanta to make it work. She wasn’t coming here and her Tampa show was on Halloween night. Personally I would have loved to see Tay on Halloween, but my two kiddos were not going to give up their trick-or-treating for anyone. Not even Taylor.

To prepare, Annabel and I bought T-shirts from the Taylor Swift website. She got the adorable “I heart Taylor” shirt and mine was the “1989” muscle tee.  We packed our bags and off we went to the ATL. I love to travel with my family and discover new cities. We had already been to Atlanta once before for Annabel’s 6th birthday and her first visit to the American Girl store. This time we stayed downtown and had the chance to check out the World of Coca-Cola and the College Football Hall of Fame. Both were a blast and I’ll post more about that later.

But on to the big event! The Atlanta “1989” Tour Stop was at the giant Georgia Dome. My son was thrilled to be hanging where the Atlanta Falcons football team plays. Annabel and I were ready to party!

We had the chance to meet up with some school friends who also made the trip from Jacksonville. Then it was off to the merch booth. We bought some T-shirts, glow sticks, and a pair of cute “1989” pink sunglasses. At our seats we also had a light-up bracelet. Everyone received one. We couldn’t wait to see them light up during the concert.

And that was definitely a highlight. Every song had a different color light show from our bracelets. They played along to the beat. The bracelet will also be a fun item for Annabel’s memory box. My son Daniel had a great time, but Annabel was the one who was up and singing along to every song with me. Taylor sang all the hits from her “1989” album plus some cool remixes for older songs. She looked amazing in all her sparkling dresses and jumpsuits. The cool part was this giant stage “arm” that was able to swing her all around the stadium. We could get a good look at her. The giant video screens helped too. It was most definitely the best Taylor concert I’ve ever seen.

The concert was over around 10:40 PM and we all left with huge smiles and ringing ears. Both kiddos said it was awesome. I totally agree.


TayATL - 5

TayATL - 3

tayATL - 1

Tay ATL - 6

TayATL - 7

TayATL - 8

TayATL - 2

TayATL - 9

Disney’s “Frozen Fever” Short

I don’t know which I was more excited to see last week: Disney’s live-action Cinderella or the new Frozen Fever short which was playing right in front of it. Frozen is officially my daughter Annabel’s favorite Disney animated movie (mine too!), so we were both excited to see our friends Elsa, Anna, Kristoff, and Olaf back on the big screen.

It was awesome! It features the new song, “Making Today a Perfect Day!” which will seriously get stuck in your head. (A new “Let It Go?”) Elsa wants to create the perfect day for Anna’s birthday. My daughter and I both loved the new princess dresses. Elsa has exchanged her icy blue dress for spring green! With sparkly pink flowers! Anna is rocking yellow sunflowers. LOVE!

Frozen-Fever-dresses

One of the funniest moments of Frozen Fever was when Olaf messed up the “Happy Birthday Anna” banner and it turned into this:

dry-banana-hippy-hat

My kids were saying, “Dry Banana Hippy Hat” all the way home in the car. And Annabel is begging me for one of those mini Olaf “snowgies.” They appeared every time Elsa sneezed! She is the one with the “Frozen Fever.” Anna has to take care of her sister Elsa’s cold instead of attending her own surprise party and that ends up being Anna’s favorite birthday present of all. Ahhh…so sweet.

CA0EcGNWwAAL-Xd

Frozen-Fever-elsa

Those cute baby “snowgies” are available in an Olaf plush set at area Disney Stores and will be returning soon to DisneyStore.com. And don’t forget about the Frozen Fever “2 in 1” costume set. Start saving now for your little one’s birthday. You will not be able to resist the cuteness.

2826041617520

I’ve been adding to my “Disney Frozen and Frozen Fever Party Ideas” Pinterest board all week so be sure to check it out for some really fun craft, decor, snack, and game ideas! The video below has some of my “coolest” highlights. Enjoy!

Disney’s Cinderella: Have Courage and Be Kind

We finally had the chance to check out Disney’s live-action Cinderella movie this weekend and it was SO worth the wait!

Cinderella - 1

Cinderella - 2

Cinderella - 3

Annabel and I bought matching Cinderella sweatshirts from the Disney Store to wear to the theatre. They were sparkly and cute and kept us cozy warm. (Why are movie theaters always so cold??)

My whole family loved the movie. It was beautiful to watch. I especially loved the important theme of “Have Courage and Be Kind” that was woven throughout the entire film. Lily James was perfect as Cinderella and her wedding dress at the end was to die for! (Colorful flowers and butterflies and swoon!) Disney Store has the costume version for the little ones and it has also been recreated for all brides-to-be!

cbc19ef5831580bbee73fb3c3c20e9a1

1-cinderella-wedding-dress-designer-0311-disney-h724

Cate Blanchett was brilliant as the evil stepmother. As soon as she appeared on the big screen, Annabel turned to me and whispered, “Whoa, Mama, she’s super pretty.” Cate has the most striking features. And, man, is she good at being bad.

cate blanchett

New Disney movies always inspire me to create a Pinterest board, so be sure to visit my “Disney Cinderella Party Ideas” board or check out my YouTube video below! Have you seen Cinderella yet? Comment below!

White Hot Night: Oscars 2015

I noticed a trend last night after I starting posting my favorite dresses from the Oscars red carpet on social media. The ladies were gorgeous in WHITE!

slide_402388_5048916_compressed

slide_402388_5048406_compressed

 

slide_402388_5048088_compressed

slide_402388_5048538_compressed

slide_402388_5049256_compressed

slide_402388_5049288_compressed

slide_402388_5049456_compressed

Wow. I loved them all. But my top favs were definitely Reece Witherspoon’s Tom Ford column gown and Lupita Nyongo’s Calvin Klein pearly sensation. And super props to Lady Gaga for rocking those red leather gloves.

I also have to throw these non-white showstoppers into the “best dressed” ring. Can you even believe Emma Stone in that green sparkly dress? Not worthy. Cate Blanchett never makes a red carpet mistake. I love the bold turquoise necklace with the simple black gown. And Gwenyth Paltrow looked pretty in pink with a big shoulder flower.

slide_402388_5049308_compressed

slide_402388_5048732_compressed

slide_402388_5049210_compressed

And I can’t leave without posting this “white” moment:

nph

Ahem. We see you NPH. This look was an homage to the Birdman movie which took home the big prize for “Best Picture.” Neil Patrick Harris earned a B- last night as host. I adore him and thought the opening number was sensational, but some of the jokes puttered out towards the end. Or maybe it was the haze I was in because the show went on past midnight. Phew. Time for more coffee. Cheers to all the winners!

Best Picture: Birdman

Best Actor: Eddie Redmayne, The Theory of Everything

Best Actress: Julianne Moore, Still Alice

Best Director: Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, Birdman

Best Supporting Actor: J.K. Simmons, Whiplash

Best Supporting Actress: Patricia Arquette, Boyhood

Best Original Song: John Legend and Common, Glory from Selma

Best Animated Feature: Big Hero 6

Taylor Swift “Style” Video

Here’s your early Valentine’s Day present from Taylor Swift! It’s her brand new video for “Style” (one of my fav songs off 1989, BTW. Although I love ALL OF THE SONGS. I DO.) This video shows Tay’s artistic side. It’s beautiful and dreamy. She’s by the ocean. There are shards of glass. There’s a make out session. She looks fabulous. Just watch. Love her.

Enjoy!

 

taylor style

Grammys 2015: All About That Pink (No, Not Her. She Wasn’t There.)

You know I have to start with my girl, Taylor, looking absolutely gorgeous in her Elie Saab turquoise dress with pink shoes and pink clutch. Perfection!

tay grammys

One of Tay’s besties, Ed Sheeran, played a beautiful version of his song, “Thinking Out Loud” with John Mayer, Tay’s ex, on guitar. Did you catch all that? It was such a weird and wonderful pairing. I was giddy.

john-mayer-ed-sheeran
Hello, John Mayer’s guitar. Have you met Taylor’s shoes?

jm pink guitar

Or Ri Ri’s dress?

rihanna pink dress

I can’t decide whether she looks uncomfortable and doll-like or it’s the most fabulous thing I’ve ever seen. Miranda Lambert walked the red carpet in a black gown with some sexy pink straps. LOVE!

miranda pink 

And I seriously love her music too. She rocked her new single, “Little Red Wagon” last night and even earned some censors from CBS. Work it.

Sam Smith ran away with “Record of the Year” and “Song of the Year” for his monster hit, “Stay with Me.” Beck won for “Album of the Year” which really annoyed Kanye West again. Sigh.

giphy

But then he made up with Taylor after he did the exact same thing to her at the VMAs back in 2009 when Pink performed that amazing high wire act. So we’ve come full circle. I wonder what song Taylor will write about this awkward moment. We’ll have to wait until next year’s Grammys to find out.

tay and kanye

AWKWARD.

Tom Brady, Katy Perry and Dancing Sharks: Super Bowl 2015

Yesterday was my birthday! There was also this little game on TV between the Seattle Seahawks and the New England Patriots. The game was crazy! An interception by the Patriots in the last 20 seconds basically changed the whole thing. The Patriots won! Yay! I just wanted to see the cute family pics with QB Tom Brady and his supermodel wife Giselle.

tombrady1

tombrady - 2

tombrady - 3

Awww. Adorable. But the real reason I was roaring on the couch was thanks to Katy Perry and her fun halftime performance featuring dancing sharks! What a cool birthday treat! Thanks, Katy!

I asked my future singing star Annabel if she’d like to do that one day and she said she’d rather be the dancing beach ball.

 

Farewell, “Parenthood”

Last night’s series finale of Parenthood had me snotting into my tissues for six minutes straight as I watched those flash forward scenes unfold. It was a glimpse into a future that I will never see play out. I felt the loss. I was angry these friends (brothers? sisters?) were leaving me. The cast and crew of Parenthood took me on an emotional, and sometimes painful, journey each and every week and made me wish I was a Braverman. That’s the power of television.

parenthood-series-finale-sneak-peek-videos

Ironically, it’s the one entertainment medium that I never worked in. (Well, not YET. My dream gig would be to write for one of these TV dramas. Okay, let’s be serious. I’d love to just bring them all coffee.) I worked in music and film, but never television. And, out of the three, television always makes me feel things the biggest. Television makes me invest in characters and stories and makes me vulnerable. And when a television show as magical as Parenthood ends, it hits me hard.

But here’s where I say thanks. Thanks to the writers for the stories. From autism and cancer to drug abuse and interracial coupling, the Parenthood writers were not afraid to go THERE. I felt Adam’s (Peter Krause) pain in the front seat of that car when his son Max talked about being bullied. I was in that junkyard when Zeek (Craig T. Nelson) told his granddaughter Amber that she was not to mess with his dream. I was weeping with Kristina (Monica Potter) when she was in the cancer battle of her life and making final videos for her children. The story lines were deep, raw, and honest.

parenthood-20

Thank you to the incredibly talented actors. The love you shared on and off the sound stage was evident on my screen week after week. You WERE family. The mystifying Max Burkholder portrayed the central character of Max Braverman who I watched grow from a disconnected soul to a layered, emotional kid with a clear future. The brilliant Ray Romano as Hank made my heart ache as he tried to create the life he always wanted and deserved with Sarah (Lauren Graham.) I loved how the writers brilliantly weaved together Hank’s and Max’s Asperger’s story lines with photography. Capturing memories was their bond and the theme of the show. I watched the beautiful and complicated mother/daughter relationship between Sarah and Amber (Mae Whitman) unfold while always learning more about the power of forgiveness and unconditional love. By the way, I have a bone to pick with you, Lauren Graham. This is the SECOND TIME you’ve left me like this. (I still mourn you, Gilmore Girls.) Joel and Julia (Sam Jaeger and Erika Christensen) experienced real life struggles with infertility and then the long fight to repair their broken marriage. Crosby (Dax Shepard) grew from a hippie musician to a family man while always wearing his big heart on his sleeve. And then there’s our patriarch Zeek. He was the glue of the Braverman family and this last season was centered on his mortality and how it affected everyone. His quiet death at home at the end of the episode, followed by a baseball game in his honor, was achingly perfect. If Craig T. Nelson doesn’t win the Emmy, then something is wrong in the universe.

parenthood-30

As much as I cried,  I did love the season finale. It was beautiful. The family spreads Zeek’s ashes on a baseball diamond just as he wanted. It was sad to watch them play with Zeek absent, but it reminded me again why I loved show – it was about the constant movement of life, love, and family. Then, I got to see Camille (Bonnie Bedelia) finally visit France, Max graduate, Julia and Joel happy with FOUR kids (a nod to the original Braverman clan creator Jason Katims said), Crosby and a pregnant Jasmine (Joy Bryant) still at the Luncheonette, and Sarah and Hank at the head of their dinner table with their family, reminiscent of Zeek and Camille. A smiling Amber is with a new husband and baby while a cleaned-up Ryan (Matt Lauria) returns from a day out with the son they share. They kiss and hug and I have relief knowing they are all okay. That life goes on. But I wanted to shout into my TV and ask them all not to go. Not yet. But I guess I have to say goodbye. Farewell, Parenthood. I’ll never forget the amazing journey. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for letting me a part of your family. And I’ll still follow you anywhere, Lauren Graham.

parenthoodfinale

Bravo Andy Tweeted Me!

It’s been a tough month. I’ve been participating in this thing called “Sober January.” I first heard about it from Andy Cohen from Bravo TV.  (He’s the guy who created all those “Real Housewives.”) He wrote about “Sober January” in his Andy Cohen Diaries book. (You should pick it up. Or Kindle it. It’s yummy fun.) Hubby and I were already planning to do the Whole 30 detox diet, (more about THAT later), so we knew we’d have to give up alcohol for the month anyway. That meant NO sake with our sushi, NO wine on weekends, NO beer while watching football playoffs, NOTHING. Not even a celebratory toast when Pop Pop turned 70 last week. If you wanted to see a sad, sad scene, you should have been at the fancy steak house with us to see me sipping plain iced tea next to the glass wine cellar and dessert tray. Ugh.

Well, there are only 10 days left and I can’t believe I’ve made it this far. I tweeted to Andy last night and he tweeted me back! We are in this together! I was so excited! It was the exact mojo I needed to get me to the finish line. Thanks, Andy.

andy tweet

Has a celebrity ever tweeted you back? Share below!

New Kids on the Block Summer Tour 2015!

I’m giddy with excitement! The New Kids are back…back again! NKOTB have just announced their “Main Event” Summer Tour with special guests TLC and Nelly! The 80s rock! Team Jordan!

nkotb tour 2015

Here are the tour dates! Are you planning to see the boys again? I need to get my “fun fund” started for those VIP meet-and-greets! And update this picnic table photo from 1997!

Friday, May 1 Las Vegas, NV Mandalay Bay Events Center
Saturday, May 2 Anaheim, CA Honda Center
Sunday, May 3 San Jose, CA SAP Center
Tuesday, May 5 Vancouver, BC Pepsi Live at Rogers Arena
Wednesday, May 6 Tacoma, WA Tacoma Dome
Saturday, May 9 Los Angeles, CA The Forum
Monday, May 11 San Diego, CA Viejas Arena
Tuesday, May 12 Phoenix, AZ Gila River Arena
Thursday, May 14 Dallas, TX American Airlines Center
Friday, May 15 New Orleans, LA Smoothie King Center
Saturday, May 16 Houston, TX Toyota Center
Monday, May 18 Oklahoma City, OK Chesapeake Energy Arena
Tuesday, May 19 Kansas City, MO Sprint Center
Wednesday, May 20 St. Paul, MN Xcel Energy Center
Friday, May 22 St. Louis, MO Scottrade Center
Saturday, May 23 Rosemont, IL Allstate Arena
Tuesday, May 26 Cincinnati, OH U.S. Bank Arena
Wednesday, May 27 Nashville, TN Bridgestone Arena
Friday, May 29 Detroit, MI The Palace of Auburn Hills
Saturday, May 30 Grand Rapids, MI Van Andel Arena
Sunday May 31 Indianapolis, IN Bankers Life Fieldhouse
Tuesday, June 2 Charlotte, NC Time Warner Cable Arena
Thursday, June 4 Fort Lauderdale, FL BB&T Center
Friday, June 5 Orlando, FL Amway Center
Saturday, June 6 Atlanta, GA Philips Arena
Sunday, June 7 Louisville, KY KFC Yum! Center
Tuesday, June 9 Norfolk, VA Norfolk Scope Arena
Wednesday, June 10 Washington, D.C. Verizon Center
Friday, June 12 Uncasville, CT Mohegan Sun Arena
Saturday, June 13 Bethlehem, PA Sands Bethlehem Event Center
Sunday, June 14 Pittsburgh, PA CONSOL Energy Center
Tuesday, June 16 Columbus, OH Nationwide Arena
Wednesday, June 17 Cleveland, OH Quicken Loans Arena
Friday, June 19 Philadelphia, PA Wells Fargo Center
Saturday, June 20 Uniondale, NY Nassau Coliseum
Sunday, June 21 New York, NY Madison Square Garden
Monday, June 22 New York, NY Madison Square Garden
Wednesday, June 24 Boston, MA TD Garden
Saturday, June 27 Hershey, PA Mixtape Festival @ Hersheypark Stadium
Sunday, June 28 Toronto, ON Air Canada Centre
Tuesday, June 30 Montreal, QC Bell Centre
Thursday, July 2 Buffalo, NY First Niagara Center

For all the ticket/VIP information click HERE or HERE!