Friday, January 20, 2017

Funtivity Friday - A Cake for Our Blogiversary!

Today marks the 6th anniversary of this blog. We have come long way from where we started. We started out haphazardly blogging about whatever we felt like whenever the mood struck us. There was no real blog design and there were no pictures with our post. The only readers of our blog were friends and relatives and when someone who wasn't a friend or a relative actually read it we got super excited. Gradually, we started focusing on fun things to do and fun places to go in the NY/NJ/PA area as well as reviews of great books and products and things, and  we built up followin, and we still blog about anything and everything at least on our Monday Talking Topic posts! Thank you for reading our blog and taking this journey with this!

A fun thing to do in honor of a blogivesary is bake a cake. Aurella and her Dad baked the cake (Mom is not at all a baker) and Aurella decorated it. Below are some pictures.



What is your favorite way to celebrate an occassion like a blogiversary?

Enjoy!

Tune in Sunday for this week's Sunday Scoop.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Theater Thursday - Cirque Eloize and Made in China

We were given tickets to Cirque Eloize at State Theatre New Jersey for review purposes. Any and all opinions expressed here are our own.
What: Cirque Eloize

Where: State Theatre New Jersey
             15 Livingston Ave.
             New Brunswick, NJ

When: January 12, 2017
            (For future tour dates go to http://www.cirque-eloize.com/en/shows-tickets/)

Who: All ages
Me - Cirque Eloize is a different kind of circus.  There is no tent. there are no clowns, and there are no animals. It is all acrobatics like Cirque Du Soleil. The show we saw Saloon had a country theme. The girls looked like dancing girls and the guys looked like cowboys. There was supposed to be a story, but it is kind of hard to follow because there is not really any talking. There was music and there was singing. The music was very loud. Most of the show seemed very much the same. However, there were a few parts that were different. There was a guy who juggled. There was a girl who did an act with  a hoop. I have never seen anything like it. Instead of having an act with the hula hoop around her, she did an act with herself inside the hula hoop. It was cool and strange at the same time. It was my favorite part of the show. I would recommend Cirque Eloize Saloon for people who really like westerns and Cirque Eloize in general for people who really like acrobatics.
Mom - Cirque Eloize is  a circus troupe very similar to Cirque Du Soleil. They too are based in Montreal, Canada and they too have several touring shows although not as many as Cirque Du Soleil. Their shows like Cirque Du Soleil's  consist mainly of acrobatics. The show which was presented at State Theatre New Jersey was called Saloon and as the name would suggest had a Western theme. It allegedly had a plot although the plot was hard to follow without dialogue. It was like an action movie full of stunts. Anybody who likes nonstop action would enjoy this show as there weren't really any breaks between the acts, but the showed just moved quickly from one thing to another. The show was very musical. There was music and singing throughout the whole show. However, the music was mostly just loud, and the singing was hard to understand. This is a good show for kids (and adults) who like constant movement and a lot of noise. However, anyone who does not like loud noise and/or likes a show with a lot of variety might not like it. If you have never seen a show of this type the acrobatics will  probably amaze you, and you will enjoy the show. If you have seen similar shows before, you may be disappointed. For more information about Cirque Eloize go to http://www.cirque-eloize.com/en/ . For more information about Cirque Eloize Saloon go to http://www.cirque-eloize.com/en/spectacle/saloon/. For more information about upcoming events at State Theatre New Jersey go to https://www.statetheatrenj.org/events
********************************************************************************************************
We were given free tickets to Made in China for review purposes. Any and all opinions expressed here are our own.
What: Made in China

Where: 59E59 Theater
             59 E. 59 Street
             New York, NY

When: Now through February 19, 2017

Who: Ages 18 and up

Mom - At its heart Made in China is a story about two very different people learning to understand and appreciate each other. However, it is a very strange journey which leads to this end. This show about Mary, an American citizen and Eddie, her Chinese neighbor is entirely performed by puppets. It is  definitely not a show for children, however, as it is filled with anatomically correct naked puppets and a lot of cursing among other things. The plot is also way over children's heads (at least young children's) as it deals with Mary trying to save slave factory workers in China. The show is a mix of realistic elements, such as the interactions, between Mary and Eddie and fantasy, such as, singing household products and foods and a fall down a toilet into another country. Anyone who does not like fantasy definitely will not enjoy this show.  However, if you are interested in something that is completely different, you may enjoy the show. The puppeteers are talented and portray their characters well. The staging of the show is very interesting. This is not a puppet show where the puppets are confided to a little puppet stage, but the entire stage area is made use of. The show is a musical although most of the songs are not very memorable. The final number, All I Need to Change the World is You is very catchy though. All in all the show is a very unique theatrical experience just not for children.



And that's our view. Tune in tomorrow for Funtivity Friday.
Photo credits: All Made in China productions photos by Heidi Bohnenkamp.

Win a copy of How to Protect (or Destroy) Your Reputation Online in the Goal Digger Giveaway Hop!

Goal Digger

Welcome to the Goal Digger Giveaway Hop brought to you by The Hopping Bloggers!


Sponsored By: Fracture




CLICK HERE TO ENTER TO WIN THE GRAND PRIZE.

Grand Prize: $250 Gift Card to Create Your Own Glass Photos from Fracture

About Fracture Me: Taking pictures is great. Printing pictures can be time consuming, overwhelming, and not all that fun. Fracture was founded around a simple idea: there should be a better way to print and display your photos. Fractures are different from traditional pictures and frames. Instead of printing on paper, we print directly on glass. Instead of separating the picture, frame, and mount, a Fracture combines all three into a beautiful, lasting, final product. Our process is simple: upload your photo, place your order, and in a few days you’ll receive your Fracture in our custom, environmentally-friendly packaging, ready to be mounted on your wall. We even include the screw. We make every Fracture by hand, in Gainesville, FL. We check every image for quality, and send them to you in our safe, environmentally-friendly packaging. Every Fracture comes with a Happiness Guarantee and Lifetime Warranty. Don’t trap your photos on your hard drive or in the cloud. With Fracture, its fun, easy, and affordable to decorate your home, dorm, or office with pictures of your favorite people, places, and memories. Prices start at just $15.

Each giveaway has a value of a minimum of $15, however some are worth much more. Be sure to enter to win all of them because there is no limit to how many you can win. GOOD LUCK!


It's hard to achieve your goals when your mind is filled with worries. A new thing to worry about in this modern age is your online reputation. We can help you with that because we are giving away a copy of How to Protect(or Destroy) Your Reputation Online by John P. David. This book will not only tell you how to protect your reputation online, it will advise you of ways to go about repairing your online reputation once you have already had a problem. For more about this book, see our previous post Tips for Tuesday - Books: How to Protect (or Destroy) Your Reputation Online. To win a copy enter below.

Giveaway Dates 1/19-2/2

Giveaway Open to Ages 18+ US Only

ARV:$16.99

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Once you have enter our giveaway, visit the other blogs listed below to see what other great prizes you can enter to win.

Disclaimer: Hosts and participating bloggers are not responsible for sponsors and self sponsoring bloggers who do not fulfill prize obligations.

Are you a blogger looking to connect with brands? Join The Hopping Bloggers database and get started today!

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Where-To-Go Wednesday- Madison Square Garden All Access Tour

What: Madison Square Garden All Access Tour
         
Where: Between 7th and 8th Ave.
             31st to 33rd St.
             Tour starts at Chase Square at the MSG Store

Who: Tweens and Up
Me - Madison Square Garden All Access Tour was enjoyable. I never went to an event at Madison Square Garden before, but I want to go to one especially now that I have been on the tour. The tickets they gave us to go on the tour looked like VIP passes to an event. They said "Madison Square Garden All Access Tour." We wore them around our necks like real VIP passes.  I liked the tour it was very interesting. We got to visit two suites. One was a private suite. It had a couches, chairs, a food area, two big screen TVs and a private bathroom. It was basically like an apartment except it didn't have any beds. The other suite was more like a lounge and restaurant area. It was still exclusive but not as private. There was an area where they had 366 pictures one for a special event that happened for every day of the year including leap day. There were cases with pictures and memorabilia of famous events that happened in the Garden. We got to see a view of the arena from three different areas of the stadium including the upper level, the floor and a special area called The Chase Bridge. The Madison Square Garden All Access Tour was a really fun experience, and I think you should really go if you have the chance.

Mom - The current Madison Square Garden is actually the third arena of that name and is known as the World's Most  Famous Arena. Whether you have been to an event there or not, their All Access Tour is definitely worth taking. This tour has something for everyone. Whether you are into concerts, sports, the circus or whatever, Madison Square Garden has had it all. The tour gives you the opportunity to learn about and relive many great memories of the numerous events that have been held at the Garden over its history.  The Garden 366  exhibit literally includes a special event that occurred on every single day of the year plus leap day. There are also multiple display cases commemorating historic events that occurred at the Garden including Wayne Gretsky's retirement, Joe Frazier and Muhammad Ali's first fight and the time when Marilyn Monroe historically serenaded President Kennedy on his birthday. You will also get to experience the views from every area of the stadium from the highest level to the lowest level as well as visit every kind of luxury suite from the most private to the most exclusive. You will even see the Knicks and the Rangers locker rooms. This tour will definitely make you feel like a VIP. Although the tour does involve a lot of walking and climbing up and down stairs, accommodations can be made for strollers and/or wheelchairs. However, we would not recommend the tour for very young children who would probably be bored. Older children especially those that love sports and/or music should enjoy it though. For more information go to http://www.thegarden.com/tours.html.



And that's our view. Tune in tomorrow for Theater Thursday.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Giveaway: Win a copy of Belly, Laughs, Riddles and Puns in the Jeepers It's January Giveaway Hop!


Welcome to the Jeepers It's JanuaryGiveaway Hop
hosted by 
The Kids Did It and The Mommy Island. 

When you are parent, there are lots of things to worry about.  In this day and age, kids worry about a lot of things too. However, kids should take time to relax and enjoy being kids. That's why we are giving away this fun book of Belly Laugh Riddles and Puns for Kids. To enter the giveaway, see below.


Giveaway Dates: 1/17-1/31

Giveaway Open to Ages 18+ US Only

ARV:$9.99


After you have entered our giveaway, hop around to the blogs listed below to see what other great prizes you can enter to win.




Disclaimer: Hosts and participating bloggers are not responsible for sponsors and self sponsoring bloggers that do not fulfill prize obligations.

Tips for Tuesday: Books: Paddington. Movers Shakers Mommie and Makers and The French Impressionist

We may have received some of the books mentioned below for review purposes. This post may also have affiliate links. If you click on a link and make a purchase we may be compensated. Any and all opinions express here are our own.
Me - Today I am recommending the Paddington books by Michael Bond. They are really good. They are about a bear named Paddington that lives with a human family. He acts like a human, but he is like a little kid because he doesn't know a lot of stuff since he's a bear, and he never went to school. I liked that the books are funny, and I like the character of Paddington. He is funny too. Like for instance, he keeps a marmalade sandwich in his hat. I like that he is a bear because I like animals. There are actual two sets of Paddington books. There are pictures books for little kids and chapter books for older kids. I have only read the chapter books including the movie book. The chapter books are good for kids that like books about animals that talk and act like people.

Mom - Today I am recommending two books about people trying to change their lives and take charge of their own destiny.



The first is Movers, Shakers, Mommies and Makers. This is a books about mothers who took charge of their own destinies by opening businesses to create different children's products. In most cases, these woman saw a need for a product within their own family and when they couldn't find it they created it themselves. When they saw that other people seemed to like and/or need the product as much as they did, they decided to go into business to fulfill that need. This book should be a must read for anyone planning to go into business creating and selling their own product. It gives a very clear picture about the benefits and drawbacks of being a Mompreneur. Even if you do not plan to go open your own business, this book is still fascinating reading. It is so interesting to learn about these creative women and their experiences. It is particularly interesting to find out how and why they came up with their product ideas.


The second book is a fiction book called The French Impressionist by Rebecca Bischoff. Rosemary is a 15 year old with trouble expressing herself verbally and an overbearing overprotective mother who insists upon taking charge of Rosemary's life. Rosemary wants to take charge of her own life and find herself a new life with a new family. She convinces her mother that she is going to stay a youth art camp in Arizona but she actually finds Sylvie and Emile, a French couple, and goes to stay with them as part of  an exchange program for young artists by convincing them she is an aspiring painter. Then, her only problem is convincing Sylvie and Emile to make her a permanent part of their family before all her lies catch up with her.  This is book is a very quick read with very short chapters. It was very different from other books I have read and very unpredictable. The characters were very original and interesting especially the character of Rosemary who is a very different kind of heroine. Her journey from the beginning of the book to the end makes this book a fascinating read that will keep your attention.

And that's our view. Tune in tomorrow for Where-To-Go Wednesday.

Monday, January 16, 2017

Jacques Brel is Alive and Well and Living in Paris


Me - We recently saw Jacques Brel is Alive and Well and Living in Paris at Kelsey Theatre. The show is all songs and no plot. Some of the songs I liked but others were just okay. Some of the songs I liked were called Madeline and Marathon. The singing was okay. They didn't have a lot of costumes or props. Before the show, they had it set up outside the auditorium like a Paris cafe with little tables. They served food and drinks. Normally, they only serve food after the first performance of a show. They even had little Eiffel Towers on the tables.  It was cool!  They didn't have chairs at the tables though. They normally, don't have tables or chairs when they have food. I liked that they had table this time though. I tried cherry pie for the first time. It was good except then I had a stomache for the rest of the day. They even served hot chocolate. Usually, they only serve this red drink that I don't even know what it is.  Overall, the show was okay, but I normally prefer shows with a plot. However, I had a good time at the show though except for my stomache.

Mom - Jacques Brel is Alive and Well and Living in Paris is a musical review of the songs of Jacques Brel. He was a singer, song-writer, actor and director who died in 1978 at the age of 49. His songs are particularly theatrical and every one seems to have a story to it. Many of them have been covered by a variety of famous singers. The Kelsey Theatre production of the show particularly shined in the group numbers. The cast members voices blended really well. Other than that, the standout performer was Haley Schmalbach who performed such numbers as Timid Frieda and Marieke.  She has a really pretty voice.  Over all, the upbeat songs including in particular  Marathon, Madeline, and Carousel were much more entertaining than the ballads. In fact, some of the slower songs seemed to drag a little and the show itself seemed to go on a little long for a show with just songs and no plot. The best ballad in the show was the closing number, If We Only Have Love, a song which understandably has been recorded by numerous artists which accounts for why the song seems so hauntingly familiar. Over all, the show makes it clear what a talent Jacques Brel was and what the world lost when he died so young.


And that's our view. Tune in tomorrow for Tips for Tuesday.
 
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