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New Years: Let's Get in Shape!

31 December 2015

O man! It's already New Years Eve and I am so not mentally ready. Are you? So what are your exciting new resolutions that you plan to carry through all 366 days of 2016? My #1 is to attain 100% healing with my chronic fatigue and finish my dissertation/MA -- 2 years later, but hey who's counting?  My doctor prescribes an eating regiment, herbs and supplements and of course some exercise (oddly he is most interested in my upper body strength so has my becoming bffs with my bright orange kettle bell, lol). So why not add a shiny red jump rope to the mix?

What a Lovely Christmas!

26 December 2015

Hello! I hope everyone had a fabulous and wonderful Christmas holiday with their families and loved ones. Sitting in front of the fireplace and Christmas tree, I can't help but smile at how fortunate and blessed I am this year. This might have been the fastest year but look at what a difference a year makes. God has definitely been in the business of healing my body this year and I am praying and hoping to make a complete recovery this year (sooner the better!) and finish my dissertation... And what better way to indulge the day after Christmas but with a nice glass of red wine?

Winter Wonderettes DAZZLES!

18 December 2015

Sarah Marie as Missy. (c) Jon Neftali
Simi Valley Cultural Arts is delighting audiences this Christmas season with their production of Winter Wonderettes, the smash follow-up to the beloved musical Marvelous Wonderettes. Directed by Fred Helsel & Keenon Hook, the show stars four of Southern California's most promising and enthusiastic female actors, Megan Maxwell (Cindy Lou), Sarah Marie (Missy), Jennifer Ridgway (Suzy) and Tatiana Cantu (Betty Jean).With all-time favorite holiday numbers such as Santa Baby and Mele Kalikimaka performed by the quartet interspersed with lesser known songs such as Suzy Snowflake, the show is set during the 1968 holiday party at Harper's Hardware. And boy are all the guests in for a treat! The music is top-tapping good, the actors are all aces, the sets are jolly festive and the number of laughs during the show are too many to count. In fact, I believe the couple hours I was at Simi Valley's Cultural Arts Center were the quickest and most entertaining hours I have enjoyed for quite some time.

Gift Guide: Art for Kiddos!

One more week 'til Christmas! Still need something fun for the little ones in your life? Might I recommend US Art Supply's Children's Drawing & Activity Set. The set of 53 pieces including chalks, oil pastels, color changers, highlighters, color pencils and markers is currently on sale for $9.96 (originally $39.99) on Amazon and will arrive before Christmas if ordered in the next four days!

Book Review: The Healthy Mind Cookbook

One week til Christmas and before you know it we'll be embarking on a new year adventure in 2016.  Likely you or your friends/family will be making a resolution to eat healthy in the new year and what better than a a cookbook filled with inventive and creative recipes for good mind health.

Gift Guide: Suuchi Fashion!

12 December 2015

Thirteen more sleeps 'til Christmas! If you are still scratching your head trying to come up with a gift idea, might I suggest Suuchi! What a fabulous find...

Youth Musical Theatre Delivers Beautifully!

08 December 2015

Sheffield Hocker & Marissa Margolis
Youth Musical Theatre has done it again! Their winter 2015 production of the beloved The Secret Garden with music by Lucy Simon and lyrics by Marsha Norman and beloved songs such as Lily's Eyes and Come To My GardenRaymond Saar (perhaps best known as Raoul opposite Davis Gaines and Lisa Vroman in the original San Francisco production of The Phantom of the Opera) directed the talented cast and his wife, Diane Ketchie (Carlotta from the same San Francisco production of The Phantom of the Opera), musical director, accompanied the cast on piano.

The show is being performed at the Hillcrest Center for the Arts' black box theatre with simplistic sets featuring a beautiful rotating garden gate, gorgeous costumes, and impressive acting and singing by the cast (ages 10-18) who sang without need for microphones or amplification.

Gift Guide: Doodle Your Way to Happiness

25 November 2015

Happy Thanksgiving Eve. Do you or someone you know/love have an inner artist just waiting to burst out and make a splash? Look no further then Christopher Hart's fun and teachable new book Doodletopia: Cartoons!

This paperback book (currently $15 on Barnes & Noble) is 160 pages chalk full of instructions, demonstrations and exercises for you to embrace your inner artist and become the cartoonist you always knew you could be. Or at least will bring much laughter and happiness as you explore your creative side.

Christopher's directions are well-written and easy to follow and the ten chapters that range from "warm-up" to "choose and design the animals" to "complete the cartoons" will suit anyone of any age who has an interest in doing more than doodling on a legal pad during that tedious office meeting (did I say that? LOL) and what better gift because you know everyone will be wanting to try their hand at a doodletopia at your next holiday party.

Price: $15 (Barnes & Noble)
Where to Buy: In stores or on-line at Amazon
Who is this for: Anyone who loves to doodle
Disclaimer: I received this book for review purposes from Random House but all opinions are my own.

ELF is Must See Family Entertainment

20 November 2015

Buddy the Elf and the cast of Elf the Musical are dancing through Thousand Oaks this weekend (19-22 November 2015) this holiday season. And what a fun and entertaining outing for all ages to help get you in the holiday season!

The Addams Family Continues to Entertain

19 November 2015

The Addams Family continues to entertain at the Simi Valley Cultural Arts Center (running through 6 December 2015).  The witty and corny musical by Andrew Lippa wins a hearty applause mainly because of the nostalgia that starts from the moment the orchestra plays The Addams Family Theme.

Gift Guide: FuzzyGreen Beret

17 November 2015

Happy Tuesday, fashionistas! Do you love a good hat? I probably have you beat with my hat collection that sadly I don't wear nearly enough of. So thanks to FuzzyGreen, I was able to try out their vintage wool beret w/ an adorable feather embellishment.

So how did it measure up?

Autumn: Purse Check

16 November 2015

Afternoon, lovelies! What's in your purse this autumn season?

I thought since it was a breezy Monday I would
give you a peak at some of my cannot live without products (okay maybe I could live without but you know what I mean ;))

Gift Guide: Let's Party!

15 November 2015

Happy Sunday! Time for another gift guide suggestion. Most gifts I have suggested thus far have been for you to give your friends and family and co-workers. But what about yourself? What about those little niceties you need around the house? Well, today is your lucky day because I have found a lovely and INEXPENSIVE stainless steel bar set perfect for your next BBQ or party.

Gift Guide: Bamboo Baby Washcloth

13 November 2015

Hi loves! 24 days until Hanukkah and 42 days until Christmas -- so soon! I am excited to present my latest gift guide suggestion: Estilo's Bamboo Baby Washcloths. This might not be the first thing you think of when buying a gift this season but can be a fabulous choice for: a baby, college student, a hypoallergenic friend/family member, or someone who wants to be eco-friendly.

WayGood Tea: Detoxifying?

04 November 2015

Good afternoon! It's been almost a year since I first got sick last year. Man, time flies, and thankfully things are looking up. But this year has definitely taught me to be more careful and conscientious about what I put into my body, etc. I love tea and the doctors keep saying I need to go off caffeinated teas. And anything that is supposed to help with increased energy, better focus or improved mood will definitely catch my eye so I was thrilled to try a sample of WayGood Tea's Lemon Jasmine Cleanse tea that is promoted as helpful for rejuvenation.

Gift Guide: Travel Jewelry Organiser

03 November 2015

The holidays are fast approaching so time for  -- the 2015 gift guide!

And today I am thrilled to present the fourth recommendation, Soloportis' Travel Jewelry Organiser Roll Up in Black Velvet. This jewelry roll up case is the perfect size and has just the right amount of compartments for travel! And how can you resist the feel of velvet? So pull a cuppa and keep reading as I share why you should consider gifting Solportis' Travel Jewelry Organiser Roll Up in Black Velvet to a special lady in your life this upcoming holiday season.

Finally! Time for a Cuppa!

02 November 2015

Yippee! It's the 2nd of November and FINALLY the autumn weather has finally arrived and I can pull out the teapot and enjoy a nice and relaxing cuppa. Thankfully, I have had the chance to try out a tea sampler from Enjoying Tea this weekend that makes a heavenly cuppa.

Be Gone, Dry Skin!

29 October 2015

Ladies! Happy Thursday... The autumn weather is FINALLY starting to arrive here in Southern California and I couldn't be more happy. But what do we all have to deal with when there's a change in the weather - especially Santa Ana winds? Dry skin! Thankfully, I have found a FANTASTIC facial moisturizer that makes my skin smile...

NINE Continues to Delight!

27 October 2015

Local community theatre, Camarillo Skyway Playhouse, in the Ventura County has been charming patrons with their current production of Arthur Kopit and Maury Yeston's NINE.

Directed by Ken Patton and Choreographed by Ken Patton and Eric R. Umali, the community production is a good team effort from the twelve member cast that works well with Yeston and Kopit's sexy and beautiful ensemble piece.

Two Thumbs Up: Protein Hair Mask

24 October 2015

Ladies, I am thrilled to share with you an amazing product that can not help but bring a smile to your face.  Arvazallia has come out with their own Fortifying Protein Hair Mask infused with Argan Oil and Macadamia Oil that truly works miracles.  Since receiving my hair mask in the post, I have used it once a week as recommended and seen immediate results for the better that last for days. My hair feels glossy, looks shiny and the frizz is at a minimum! Seriously amazing stuff.
So how does it work, you ask?

Disappointing: Sagano Review

20 October 2015

Be honest... Do you have stinky shoes? Well, I will confess that one of my favorite pairs of wedges can benefit from a fresh powdering of Johnson's Baby Powder after a day on my feet (without nylons). A freshening never hurt anyone, right? So when I heard about Sagano's "Activated Charcoal Shoe Odor Eliminator" I figured it would be worth a try. The reviews on Amazon were positive with an average of 5 stars. Sadly, I was disappointed with my own results and will be sticking with Johnson's Baby Powder.

Cabrillo's Damn Yankees Hits a Home Run!

19 October 2015

Cabrillo Music Theatre's smashing production of Damn Yankees opened this past weekend at the Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza. And what a home run it was! Starring four bright AEA actors, including Jersey Boys' Renée Marino (Lola), Broadway's John Sloman (Applegate), and LA favorites Travis Leland (Joe Hardy), and Sarah Tattersall (Meg Boyd).

GIFT Guide: Q&A A Day

16 October 2015

The holidays are fast approaching so time for  -- the 2015 gift guide!

And today I am thrilled to present the third recommendation, Potter Style's Q&A A Day for Creatives. This creative book is unique and makes a great gift for those creatives in your life! So pull a cuppa and keep reading as I share why you should consider gifting Q&A A Day for Creatives to someone special in your life this upcoming holiday season.

Q&A a day is a four year diary for the creatives. It measures 9.5 x 0.9 x 7.6 inches and while it does not lie open flat it is still quite flexible. Each page is dated with four squares (1 per year) and a suggested topic. Today, 16 October, the prompt is: Draw a trophy for someone deserving of praise in your life. Other prompts include: (1) what does family mean to you? (2) Practice your graffiti styling. (3) Illustrate your latest guilty pleasure.

There are additional versions of Q&A A Day including a version for couples, families and mom/child. 

I would say this book tends to grab the interest of the creative and the female.  Anyone from a child to an adult could get good use out of it. Might be interesting for someone who is about to embark on a four year adventure (eg. high school, university).

This gift book can be found at gift shops, Barnes & Nobles and online.
Happy Shopping!
 Disclaimer: I received this product for review purposes, thanks to Penguin Random House and Blogging for Books, but all opinions are my own.

Conejo Players: 2016 Season

14 October 2015

Dominic Land & Haley Hallman (c) Conejo Players
The Conejo Players is wrapping up their 2015 season with Stephen Sondheim's Follies from 13 November - 13 December following a delightful, energetic and entertaining production of Jason Robert Brown's 13 the Musical that just shuttered. It was certainly a great way to launch into autumn, showcasing the talents of many local teenage thespians including standout Haley Hallman (someone producers should seriously be looking at for their future Dorothy in Wizard of the Oz).

The upcoming 2016* season looks rich with potential and diversity featuring:

GIFT Guide: For the Wine Lover

06 October 2015

The holidays are fast approaching so time for  -- the 2015 gift guide!
And today I am thrilled to present the second recommendation, X-Chef's Corkscrew Wine Opener Set. Any wine lover needs a good quality corkscrew or two in their kitchen because everyone hates a cheap and useless corkscrew that has you calling down Zeus' bolt on the manufacturer. ;) Thankfully X-Chef has created a beautiful, strong, and easy to use product for the same price as the cheap drugstore version.

MUST SEE: Sound of Music on Tour

01 October 2015

The verdict is in. This gorgeous new equity tour of Rodgers and Hammerstein's Sound of Music is a breathtaking and heartbreaking love song to the soul! Captained by Jack O'Brien, this new production had the opening night audience on our feet before the first bows were complete and for once in a long time I can attest this cast was well deserving of said standing ovation -- everyone from the nun ensemble to O'Brien's spectacular find, the riveting Kerstin Anderson (Maria), were all vocally strong and full of life and rich passion.

GIFT Guide: Lelia Sea

28 September 2015

The holidays are fast approaching so time for a new series -- the 2015 gift guide! And today I am thrilled to present the first recommendation, LeliaSea's spa set. As anyone who has read my blog before will know, I love LeliaSea's hydrating lotions. I see immediate results after using any of their lotions, think their prices are very reasonable, and find it easy to purchase a LeliaSea lotion thanks to Amazon. All this makes me confident to recommend LeliaSea's gift set a perfect first choice for my "gift guide".

Glamulet: Breast Cancer

25 September 2015

Next month is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. There is hardly a single person out there who has not been effected by breast cancer, whether personally or second-hand through someone else they know and love. So how do we show support for our loved ones and those who struggle with breast cancer?

Q&A: Tiffany Asta ("She Loves Me")

24 September 2015

She Loves Me is playing one last week at the Hillcrest Center for the Arts in Thousand Oaks. (Sad Face). If you haven't been able to figure out yet from my review and interview with leading man, Brandon Lloyd, how much I adored the show, here's just another grand reason why you must RUN and grab tickets for closing weekend before this gem of a show goes away.  May I present the gorgeous and hilariously talented Tiffany Asta, ladies and gentlemen!

Coming Soon: The Sound of Music

Kerstin Anderson. Photo by Matthew Murphy.
The wait is over! Jack O'Brien's new and lavish tour of The Sound of  Music is here in L.A. at the Ahmanson Theatre starring Broadway favorites, Ben Davis ("La Boheme", "Violet", "A Little Night Music") and Ashley Brown ("Mary Poppins"), as Captain von Trapp and The Mother Abbess respectively.  Alongside newcomer, Kerstin Anderson, as Maria Rainer, they helm this production that is currently in previews before the grand opening on Wednesday, 30 September 2015, at 8pm.

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