Dreaming of travel and next my adventure. Yep, this quote sums it up for me…
Photo Credit: Curtis Brown Photography
There was a buzz in the air. Excitement. Everyone looking forward to watching the longest Broadway show ever, Les Misérables at the Raleigh Memorial Auditorium. What a big deal for the audience and for NC Theatre. Local actors with New York actors brought an energy on stage that truly was amazing! I was in the moment, in Paris, the whole entire production.
Finding our seats, both Maya and I were just as excited as everyone around us. There were many tweens in the audience. I still find Les Misérables is appropriate for kids that have an interest in theater and the arts. There were some “naughty” words being used and some questionable gestures. Luckily, Maya did not ask me about it. I think most of it went over my daughter’s head, thankfully. Also, it is a long show. It is about three hours to watch the show. The intermission was after two hours. So if your child can’t sit still, I would not bring them.
I am not going to get into what the show is all about, because you can read about it here.
Maya really liked Marius and Eponine. Maybe because they were younger, she somehow connected with these characters. It was also interesting to note that my daughter thought Fantine was holding herself back when she was singing (I personally thought Fantine, played by Lauren Kennedy, was awesome). She also did not like Cosette. Maybe because Maya is used to seeing strong female characters, such as Katniss from Hunger Games and Tris from Divergent, she connected with Eponine. After all Eponine was seen as the heroine when she was the first to die. But then again, let’s not forget that Maya is eleven years old.
Maya also appreciated the artistry in the second act during Javert’s Soliloquy. In this scene Javert commits suicide by jumping in the river. He starts to spin as going into a whirlpool with the lights turning and turning, getting smaller and darker. Pouf, he is gone!
Tina’s Favorite Character: Jean Valjean, played by Craig Schulman
Maya’s Favorite Character: Marius, played by Bruce Landry and Eponine, played by English Bernhardt
Tina’s Favorite Scene: Come to Me
Maya’s Favorite Scene: Empty Chairs at Empty Tables
We both enjoyed the Master of the House scene, and Madame Thénardier, played by Alison Cimmet. Her comedic timing could not have been more perfect.
Photo Credit: Curtis Brown Photography
I am not surprised at all that Les Misérables got a standing ovation. I cried during two scenes. My daughter, by the way, did not cry. I said it was because she was not a parent, and therefore could not understand the overwhelming emotion I felt during those scenes.
And I promise you, for the next few weeks you will be hearing your friends, co-workers, neighbors who watched Les Misérables hum and sing:
“Do you hear the people sing? Singing a song of angry men?
It is the music of a people…Who will not be slaves again!
When the beating of your heart Echoes the beating of the drums
There is a life about to start When tomorrow comes!”
And, what makes me most proud. My daughter is ready for another show! She loved it. And I am thrilled.
Well done, North Carolina Theatre. Bravo!
For tickets to NC Theatre’s production of Les Misérables, visit www.NCTheatre.com or call Ticketmaster at 800-745-3000. The show will run until February 23, 2014.
*Tickets courtesy of MMI Public Relations.
I love Les Mis. For those of you who don’t know, that is short for Les Misérables. I am sitting here drinking coffee out of a Les Mis mug that is probably at least 15 years old. Les Misérables is the world’s longest-running musical. I don’t know what is more surprising that I actually have a mug this old or how long the musical has been hitting stages. All I know is that Les Mis has been playing all over the world for almost 30 years!
North Carolina Theatre, for the first time, will be producing this timeless classic at the Raleigh Memorial Auditorium in the Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts from February 11 -23, 2014. I know that many of you are wondering how appropriate is it take your tween to see Les Misérables on stage?
I know many people saw the movie when it was released, including my daughter who was 10 years old at the time. She became pretty obsessed with Les Misérables, mainly for the songs. She loved the fact that it was a musical. And it is true, we just don’t have enough musicals in our lives these days.
Now before I hear from all of you of why it is inappropriate, I believe seeing Les Mis on stage or on screen is a personal choice to make for your tween. Depends on their maturity. Their reading level. Attention span. Interest in history. Some kids do not have the patience to watch a musical. For example, I would not take my 8 year old son to see this show. And I am not sure if I would even take him when he is 11 years old. On the other hand, my daughter, is a wannabe actress, takes voice lessons, and definitely has the early signs of becoming a Francophile. One of the first songs she learned to sing was “Castle on a Cloud.” You can see why she would want to see Les Misérables on stage, and why I think she is ready for it.
The theme of poverty, prostitution, imprisonment, corruption, war, and death is not suitable for all tweens. Though I also look at the theme as courage, love, and triumph. So with my parental guidance I find that I can talk to her about the themes of this production and she can handle it. The plot line is what might be difficult and confusing for your tween, and that would need some explaining before seeing the show.
For those tweens who think the world is just rainbows and unicorns, this might not be the show for them.
Personally, I can’t wait for us to see it on stage together. She is going to LOVE it, and I know, once again, that I will fall in love with Les Misérables. And we are not the only ones who love Les Misérables. Since the English-language version was first performed in London in 1985, it has been translated into 21 languages, performed in 43 countries, won almost 100 awards (including a Tony and Grammy) and been seen by more than 60 million people.
Lauren Kennedy as Fantine and Riley Campbell as Young Cosette (photo credit: Curtis Brown Photography)
When I told my daughter that a mother and daughter team were going to be playing the roles of “Fantine” and “Cosette” you should have seen her face. She was so excited for the theatrical debut of Riley Campbell, a fourth grader, will be onstage with her mother, Lauren Kennedy. Though they live in Raleigh now, Lauren Kennedy played the role of Fantine in 2002/03 on Broadway.
Will you be taking your tweens to see Les Misérables in Raleigh?
My daughter (and I) will have tears in our eyes by the end of the show. And we will be humming the tunes for the days to follow.
For tickets to NC Theatre’s production of Les Misérables, visit www.NCTheatre.com or call Ticketmaster at 800-745-3000.
Here in Raleigh, my kids have had more days off than inches of snow on the ground. And as many of my fellow parents are about to go insane, our household has been cool as a cucumber. My son played outside for most of the day with the neighborhood boys. My daughter had a sleepover with a friend from the neighborhood. And we had happy hour. No complaints on our side.
We spend it baking, playing scrabble, watching tv, and just hanging out. The kids went sledding and playing in the snow. I organized things in my house that I have been wanting to do for months.
One of my new year’s resolutions was to bake once a month something from scratch. Everyone knows I am not much of a baker, but I honestly think it is because I have not really tried. And since my husband and kids are all about some dessert, I figured let me indulge them a bit.
My son and I made this easy, easy brownie from scratch. I don’t think I will ever go back to using a box..EVER. It was that good, that moist, and that simple to make. If I can do, you can do it! Not too thick, not too thin and kind of a fudge like consistency. All of the ingredients were pantry items at my house, so no substitutions were necessary. My ingredients tend to be better quality, for example the vanilla extract and the cocoa powder. So it might make a difference. Or it might not. And you could get fancy and make a frosting, but I was not going to add more unnecessary calories if I did not have to.
Easiest Brownies Recipe Ever
Makes about 12 brownies (if you are generous with your serving, if not 16 brownies)
- 1/2 cup butter
- 1 cup white sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/3 cup baking cocoa powder (I used sweetened, but you could use unsweetened if you have it)
- 1/2 cup all purpose flour
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
- Confectioners sugar (optional)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees (175 degrees C). Grease and flour an 8 inch square pan.
- In a saucepan, melt butter.
- In a small mixing bowl, whisk eggs lightly.
- In a large mixing bowl, mix in sugar, eggs, vanilla, and melted butter. Beat in cocoa powder, flour, salt, and baking powder.
- Spread batter evenly into prepared pan.
- Bake in preheated oven for about 25 – 30 minutes.
- Let cool and sprinkle with confectioners sugar.
Snowshoe, West Virginia
I went skiing for the first time in 15 years. The family and I packed up and went to Snowshoe, West Virginia for a few days. I can tell you one thing. Even though it was really cold for this North Carolina girl, I stayed warm when I went outside. All because I was prepared. I might complain about things, but I was not going to complain about the cold. The key to staying nice and toasty is buying quality products that keep you warm and dry. Ask you friends who ski if you can borrow items. This is especially helpful if you have to shop and buy for an entire family. It can get really expensive, really quickly.
The pricey items are the ski coat and the ski pants, which is where you do not want to go cheap on. The higher quality ski pants will keep you warm and dry, which means your base layer could be simple long johns or athletic wear you have at home already. I was able to borrow ski pants for my daughter. And bought ski pants and a ski coat for my son from a neighbor whose son outgrew his ski items.
Also, if you wear contact lenses, you might want to keep an extra pair on you. On my first day of lessons,it was windy. Even though I was wearing goggles, my contact lens popped out of my eye and sat inside my goggles. By the time I got to the bathroom to put it back in, it had dried out and tore. I could not continue with my lesson until the next day. This messed up all my ski plans, and I really missed out on getting ski time. The next day I made sure I had an extra pair with me, just in case.
Here is what I took for two days of skiing (though I did not ski that much). I think this list would for someone who is going anywhere between 2-4 days, because these items dry fairly quickly.
That is me,underneath everything. I stayed warm and toasty with my gear on.
SKI TRIP ESSENTIALS
- 2 pairs of ski socks
- 2 base layer tops (I prefer compression tops, my husband prefers long johns)
- 2 base layer bottoms (I prefer athletic leggings, my husband prefers long johns)
- 1 pair of ski pants
- 2 thin fleece tops
- 1 outer shell, weatherproof jacket
- Neck gator or ski mask – I used a gator. Though I kind of wish I had a ski mask instead.
- Warm Hat or Headband (make sure it covers your ears)
- Waterproof Mittens (or gloves)
- Glove liners (I find this optional depending on the warmth of your mitten/gloves)
- Hand and Toe Warmers
- Snow Boots
- Ski Boots
- Money/Debit Card
- Phone/Camera (I use mine to take pictures)
- Lip balm
- Sunscreen (though we did not need it, since we were completely covered up)
- Extra Contact Lenses
- Ipod (my husband likes to listen to music when he skis)
A snow day was declared today in Raleigh for my kids. School was cancelled, and I think I was one of the only parents who did not mind. I got to sleep in today and not wake up with my middle school daughter at 5:45am. I did not have to pack lunches. I did not have to go through carpool.
Tonight was a meatloaf kind of night. Comfort food to the max.
Hot chocolate has been poured.
Fireplace is keeping us toasty.
Daughter is baking cupcakes.
Snow clothes and boots are near the garage.
Sled in the garage.
Fingers crossed that school will be cancelled once again. And tomorrow my family will be willing to play board games with me and we get to hang
You know that woman you envy every day. Not the one that has an amazing body, and is running around all day in her Lululemon leggings and tank top. Sure she looks cute (and being sweaty is optional), but I am talking about that woman who has the perfect hair, dressed casually chic, and has a certain je ne sais quoi that you want to become part of her inner circle.
Looking polished every day is easy, once you follow these few tips.
Nails – I love bright colored nails on my toes and fingers. But I know on my fingers it will last for one or two days maximum. But I do file my nails into a clean shape, apply cuticle oil, and put a simple clear coat. Instant polish, not pun intended.
Low maintenance hair – Ask your hairstylist for a flattering cut that is easy to style. Even if you have to pull your hair back in a ponytail, hide the elastic by wrapping your hair around it and secure with a few bobby pins. This little thoughtful detail polishes your ponytail in an instant.
Clothes – Nothing to wear, as you stare at your closet. You need to be able to look in your closet and immediately know what you can wear and pair together. You should have go-to items that will glam any outfit from basic to wow! A simple blazer, a denim jacket, cool earrings or necklace, a trench coat, a colorful cardigan…you get what I am saying.
The no makeup, makeup look – even going for a natural look requires you to put in some effort with your makeup. Tinted moisturizer will give your skin a flawless look, a bit of bronzer or blush will give you a bit of color, some mascara will open up your eyes, a neutral tinted lip color will give you a fresh look. Dedicate five minutes each morning just to give your face a polished look.
Accessorize – Throw on a scarf or earrings. A big ring or simple bangles. A bold watch. Whatever it is, a few accessories will polish any basic denim and tee look.
Shoes- Your shoes really do say a lot. You can have your hair blown out, wearing a wow outfit with accessories, makeup perfection…but if you do not have the right shoes on, all that effort goes down the drain. Your shoes must be clean and not scuffed up. AND your shoes need to have the right proportion to your body and to your outfit. And for those of you want comfortable shoes, you are in luck. There are many companies now who are making comfortable AND stylish shoes.
So no more excuses. Being polished is easy if you follow my tips.
Just in case you have not heard, the 2014 color of the year is Radiant Orchid. A fuschia blend of purple with hints of pink, you can expect to see a lot of this color in fashion, interiors, and beauty products. I love purple, and am excited that this fresh and magical color will be everywhere! Here is a list of my Wednesday Wishlist wants in this color!
I love my crossbody bags to have a pop of color. And this bag is perfect, with multiple zippers so that you can put your mobile phone in easy reach. Small, light and functional especially for travel or attending outdoor events when you want your hands free. The strap is adjustable, and I love that it is actually long!
An instant update would be adding these pillows on my couch. These purple tones will go great with my navy colored inspired family room.
I love this color coordinated purple shadow palette and it even has a shadow liner. These shadows are infused with aragan oil and a bit of floral and fruit extract. And those of us who are trying to use more organic and natural products, the Josie Maran collection is organic and does not have any of the yucky parabens, sulfates, phthalates, etc.
Though you might not see a lot of radiant orchid right now, you will start to see it throughout the year and next year! I will be looking for this color on the red carpet during award season coming up!
Look what I got in the mail. I know! Congrats, you’ve earned some shopping fun is exactly what I need to hear right now. I am so excited to use it…soon. Especially since I told myself (and my husband) that January would be a non-shopping month since we just got back from vacation and just bought our plane tickets for France for this summer.
So I started thinking that many of you received gift cards from your family or friends during the holidays. Knowing my friends, most likely their gift cards are from Nordstrom, Lululemon, and Starbucks. Does that sound like most of you? Since $80 is the note I received, I am going to pretend I have $80 to spend at all of those stores.
Wow! $80 at Starbucks would buy me a lot of skinny vanilla lattes. But, since my daughter tags along at times to order the secret menu item: Cotton Candy Frappuccino, that $80 bucks will be spent fast.
So, let’s start with Nordstrom. I really do need a new cosmetic bag for my purse. And since my name starts with a T, how about this useful Tory Burch ‘Trompe Brigitte’ Cosmetics Case for $78. It also comes in this color that they call Tiger Lily/Tory Navy or you can get it in Tory Navy/Cream. Personally, I will go with the Tiger Lily since it will be easier to find in my purse.
Another option would be Bvlgari Omnia Crystalline. On my recent road trip as I went through my magazine I stopped at this advertisement. I opened the perfume flap and rubbed it on my wrist. And then I fell in love! I shoved my wrist under my husband’s nose while he was driving, and asked him what I thought. He instantly said sexy, but not overpowering. SOLD. I took a picture of the ad and put it in my Evernote app so that I would not forget. In the ad it was for the L’Eau de Parfum, but since that is more than my $80 budget I will have to either wait until February (hello, Valentine) or settle for the Eau de Toilette, which is $64 for 1.3 ounces.
I could get these cute Michael Kors slippers. They come in silver or gold for $68.95. I would pick silver. What could a girl want. It has a touch of fur and at touch of jewels. Perfect!
Lululemon has gotten some bad press lately. But no matter what people say, hands down their workout clothes last wash after wash. And, the fit is flattering,
I would go with the pace setter skirt in either black or blue angel for $58. Since I play tennis, this skirt is ideal. It has a pocket for a tennis ball, it is comfortable, and cute. And when you are playing tennis, the shorts underneath do not ride up. So you can focus on your swing, and not have to pull your shorts down.
I am planning on doing yoga this year. It is one of my new year’s resolutions. I need some yoga pants, right? In the flow crop looks like it would do the job for $78.
When doing yoga, you do not want your tank riding up. It is hard enough to stay focused, and who wants a distraction of constantly tugging down your top. The tame me tank solves that problem for $58.
Most gift cards go unused. So put it in your wallet (it is money you know), and go spend it! I know I would.