Archive for the ‘Family’ Category

posted by on DCP, Family, Life



bunk bed


w donna apt

with my sis on move in day


with my roommate/friend, shortly after, as we needed to go to Walmart again, lol

As of the time of this post, it’s been almost three months since I started the Disney College Program. I recorded this apartment tour video within the first two weeks of moving in. So yeah, it was a while ago. Wi-fi is terrible in the complexes so my blogging has been nonexistent.

Nonetheless, enjoy and I hope it will help if you are about to do the program and trying to pick your top apartment choice.

You may also enjoy:
DCP: What is the Disney College Program?
Disney College Program: Interviews & Roles
DCP: Packing for the Disney College Program
DCP: My Disney College Program Entertainment Audition


posted by on Excursions, Family, Life

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(Just a FYI-I didn’t think I was going to write about this so I didn’t take my camera. The photos below are cell phone shots.)

(this is the longer version, no that isn’t our house)

Last summer my father received an inquiry from the local hospital. He had heart surgery there about 10 years ago. They were shooting a commercial and wanted him to come in for a casting call. My father stays active doing activities like the Senior Games and the Polar Bear Plunge, when possible, so he talked up those points. If I recall correctly he had one callback before they decided to include him in the commercial.

my dad the day of the shoot, in what I refer to as his Charlie Sheen shirt

my dad the day of the shoot, in what I refer to as his Charlie Sheen shirt

In July the commercial was shot. My father isn’t proficient at texting so he made short calls all day to give me the scoop. He told me how there was a group of heart patients so he didn’t know if they would do a medley commercial or just choose one or two people later. I told him that I thought it would be everyone (I didn’t know but wanted to keep his hopes up). The funniest calls were wardrobe related and would be a short call without explanation until later. “Gotta go, she just told me to take off my pants“. They let him keep the wardrobe, BTW, neat.

After the commercial he received some consent forms but we had no idea when the commercial was going to actually come out. In December he received a letter inviting him to the world premiere of the commercial at the local hospital. He asked if I could accompany him and they said yes. I was surprised as often they do not allow guests to activities that he does (I guess that’s just a specification of the local senior center, blarggh).

my dad’s ad

my dad with his ad

On the morning of January 3, 2013 we arrived at the hospital. In a small room up front they had a projector screen set up plus some ad mock ups. We hadn’t expected those and they were very neat. During the presentation someone from the production company showed the commercials a few times after explaining everything. There are two TV ads, one short and one long, so they can be played during different commercial breaks. I’m sure you’ve noticed commercials that have been cut down to fit a smaller ad space. This is the same thing. My dad made it into both cuts! Score, not everyone did. We were informed that they wouldn’t be played on local stations but cable ones. We don’t have cable but a few people have seen my father on TV and mentioned it. I remember hearing TNT, TBS and FOX (I’m guessing one of the upper Fox channels).

The print ads would be appearing on billboards and in the newspaper. To date my father’s ad hasn’t shown up yet but so far we’ve only seen two, which feature the eye catching color red, which makes sense. Keep an eye out in the future though if you live in Southwest PA.

The catchphrase for the ads is “It’s okay to stay”. What this means is that our local hospital is equipped for many heart emergencies (though not all) and if possible you should probably go right there instead of being trekked to Pittsburgh. They did save my father’s life so this is totally accurate.

Prior to the showing the other patients shared their health war stories and MD recommendations. I was asked a few times if I was in the commercial. That worried me a bit since I’m in my late 20s. I mean I know that Americans aren’t the healthiest but that seems young. Later I did notice that one the participants looked to be healthy and in his 40s (a guess) and I know that it can really happen to anyone, so not that odd, I suppose.

Cheryl with the billboard version of her ad

A pretty, petite woman sat to my right. Cheryl was very nice and told me about shooting the ad. She was referred to as “the dancer” by other patients and the production company dude, as she dances in the ad (and as a hobby IRL). I told her that I loved the dress that she wore in the commercial. She said that it was even better looking in person. She was very nice and surprisingly self deprecating. She had a great attitude for someone who had been going through this heart procedure rigamore since 1999. I’m happy to see one of the print ads/billboards that is getting a lot of exposure is hers.

All of the patients in the ad attended, the cardio nurses and even most of their doctors stopped by to check it out. There was even a bit of gossip about someone who hadn’t made the cut. (My guess is that it was either time related or she changed her mind and didn’t sign a consent form). They also had some refreshments, a table with bottled water, coffee and some type of pastries (it’s been a while and my memory isn’t the best). However I do remember thinking while this was nice and I did get both of us bottled water, that the pastries must be a test. I mean who is going to sit their eating one during a heart presentation? The answer? No one. I didn’t see one person pick up a pastry. (It could have conceivably happened later but not while I was there.) Hey, it’s like craft services on a Hollywood movie, they’re not supposed to eat the food.

It was a short presentation but fun and interesting to learn a bit of behind the scenes info on commercials.

Info on the Cardiac unit of the Uniontown Hospital an be found here on the hospital’s official site.
These ads were produced by Big Picture Communications Inc. of Pittsburgh.
The music is by Big Science Music, who also uploaded the above longer version of the commercial to YouTube. (awesome!)

I am not making a claim to doing any of this work. These were obviously made by the above entities. (This is called covering my ass, just in case, LOL.)


posted by on Christmas, Family, Life, Lists

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My grandma still has game.

Recently I’ve seen people posting about their holiday traditions. I read, thought that’s nice and then moved on. I assumed that we didn’t have any. It doesn’t bother me. My mother and sister always get up in arms about that though and say things like “we don’t have any traditions” or “did you buy new decorations, again?”. Now it’s easy to think that you don’t have any. As a child you are mainly worried about which package holds the Barbie instead of the hideous pants. As an adult you’re just thinking “I hope they like it, I hope they didn’t spend a disproportionate amount on me“.

I realized that we actually do have some accidental traditions. They’ve come about organically but there’s no reason that you can’t just start incorporating some of them into Christmas day or Christmas weekend.

Play a Board Game

"Why are you laughing? It's a nickname for Richard"-my mother

I know what you are thinking, “What’s a board game? Where do I plug it in?”. Okay so I am not a video game person. Perhaps your family could play video games but they strike me as more solitary (especially if one player is more advanced). Also if you are an adult with older parents they may not be keen on them either.

Well we like to play board games. Usually my sister or I have to talk/beg everyone to play. Yes, we know it takes a while, yes people may argue but it’s fun.

If you don’t have a game ask someone else who is visiting to bring one. Of course you can also buy one. The price will vary drastically depending on the game, store, etc. I’ve bought Monopoly sets for $5 and Clue for $30. You can also check out a thrift store. I see games I’d play at our local store at least 30% of the time. Yes, I have bought some for $1, score!

The silliest exchanges can come from playing board games. I found a 40 year old version of Risk recently. We played it and it was hilarious. We were fighting for countries that don’t exist anymore and ones we’d never actually want. I’m like “No, I will never give up control of Afghanistan!”. If you play a themed version some people will have no idea what’s going on. My mother on Star Wars Monopoly, “Why are the houses ships?”. My mother on Seinfeld Monopoly “What is sponge worthy?”.

There must be some game that you would enjoy out there. Here’s a small list that includes our favorites.

Mall Madness

Sing with Your Family

I'm surprised they went with the original lyrics on this one.

As a child we used to bring home free booklets of Christmas carols and my parents would make us sing. “Hey, this is not cool. I do not want to sing with you guys”. A few years ago my father bought those inexpensive karaoke microphones that plug right into the TV or DVD player. We used those until they went kaput and when that happened last year we kept singing. Some people get entirely to into The 12 Days of Christmas. You don’t have to just sing Christmas songs either. My father likes the beat of Walkin on the Sun. It was too funny to see him singing about smoking weed and not even realizing it. I’ve read that some people make their own YouTube playlists of the karaoke versions of songs and sing along to those. You can also go for those bigger karaoke models. Just make sure that you buy compatible CDs if you do. It’s such an easy mistake…that I’ve made.

Document Everything

As a child my parents drove me insane with recording Christmas…for years. My dad had just bought a cutting edge VHS camera and he was eager to shoot people’s feet as often as possible. We also always take photos at family gatherings, especially holidays. Nowadays you don’t even have to wait a second for your digital camera to pop open since it’s likely that someone will have a cutting edge phone that shoots photos in 5MP. Just remember to beg that person to send the photos to your email (so you can print them later). Another option is to pick up a one time use camera. This goes hand in hand with wearing silly head wear (ex. Santa hats and reindeer ears), as I’ve mentioned previously. Don’t forget to don some cute new PJs or a Christmas sweater (non-ironically please). These days my sister and I are the ones taking pictures after my parents or other siblings enthusiasm has waned.

Eat Chocolate

After all of the above commotion, plus eating a huge meal and opening presents you’ll probably want to unwind with some chocolate. We like to give each other candy as presents. Everyone has a different favorite and then we will, of course, steal some from each other. It doesn’t have to be a large amount if you don’t want to have to eat it for days or a week. There are Rocher 3 packs and small bags of fake chocolate coins that you can get that will be gone pronto! My sister’s favorite? You guessed it, that orange chocolate ball above.

Give an Unexpected Gift

As a child we received gifts from the Angel Tree program. It was really great. I’m still a poor person but we take care of our own. (Don’t believe me? Guess who donated to Hurricane Katrina when I was a cashier? It wasn’t the people with Chanel bags.) In the past I never remember until it’s too late. Last year I had some dough and actually remembered in November. I was very excited. I chose a young girl who seemed very much like me as a kid. She liked My Little Pony and the color pink. This year I was a little slow on the uptake and didn’t remember until early December. I chose an older girl who seemed uncool and wouldn’t be picked. I put myself in the mindset of myself at that age and thought of what girls today like and I think I found her a few cool things.

It’s simple. You can choose someone online (with a search function) and even buy and have it shipped directly from JC Penney if you want. I bought my gifts at the store (so I could get stuff from different locations) and hand delivered it (last year) and shipped it (this year) to that branch of the Salvation Army. I recommend choosing someone local since when I mailed it I had to think about the size of the package, which means you may not be able to include larger items.

You can’t do it this year but you can participate next year. There are a ton of other programs like this out there. I recommend reading this post from the Bloggess with many donation ideas. Don’t forget to check the comments too.

You can also always just give a present without expecting one to a friend or acquaintance. The problem with this is that it often puts them in a situation in which they feel like they have to give you something too even if they are busy or can’t afford it.

You may also enjoy:
Top Christmas TV Shows On Netflix Streaming
Christmas Photo Set and Playlist
The IFB Blogger Holiday Party: Antlers are Underrated-on Christmas fashion, includes another fun antler pic.


posted by on Family, Fashion/Beauty, Style File


jacket by Dots-Dots, dress-thrifted (label removed), feather necklace-Burlington Coat Factory, textured blue tights-Dollar Tree, Vivica wedges-ShoeDazzle

If the measure of a successful Thanksgiving is found within the meal then ours was pretty good. We had 3 types of pie! (pecan, pumpkin, mincemeat-not my thing). We also got to catch up with family that we hadn’t seen in a while.

I had found this totally cute dress at a thrift store not long ago & loved it. It’s more of a spring/summer dress but I couldn’t wait that long to wear it. Since it has a bit of teal in it I added this teal jacket I got at Dots a while back. It’s a bit of an awkward wear since it hits at the elbow. Later I had to add a cardigan for warmth.

I also had a teal feather necklace that I had bought when I thought that I was going as Kesha for Halloween. I ended up being a flapper instead. Though I hadn’t seen myself in the feather necklace trend prior to this I thought that since I had it I might as well wear it. I ended up digging it.

I just had to wear my cute Vivica wedges (also seen here) from ShoeDazzle with it. The nude tights that I’d laid out had a run and I wasn’t keen on wearing leggings that hit at the ankle with these shoes. That’s how I decided on my super blue tights (also seen here). They take it a bit over the top but then again so am I.

Get The Look

Boho Chill


Boho Chill by missemmamm featuring leather jackets

posted by on Excursions, Family, Halloween, Life


In 2007 I visited The Maryland Zoo in Baltimore with my sister. We had a ton of fun. I just happened to come across these while looking through holiday photos. I was actually surprised to see that I had some decent photos because (as I recall) it was overly hot that day and many animals were taking refuge in their habitats. Since it was years ago I also had a lower megapixel camera but since I was extra photo crazy back then I had a taken a ton of pictures, some of which I find really freakin’ adorable.

I’m not familiar with all of these animals but I used the zoo’s site to try to identify them. When possible I have listed the name of the animal under its photo linked to info on it at the official site. If I’ve misidentified any and you can let me know the actual name in the comments I would appreciate that.

(click the photos for the larger versions)

Coquerel’s Sifaka
This is a type of lemur from Madagascar. It’s so cute that I wished I could’ve kidnapped it.

When I visited they had quite a few of these. At one point a child of about 7 years old was standing next to me. He leaned in and touched his face and palms against the glass. A second later the Chimpanzee struck the same pose and the kid jumped about a foot backwards. It was hilarious.

Eastern Screech Owl
This owl had a problem and the zoo rescued it. I believe that it had one eye. They had 1 or 2 other animals with problems too. I thought that it was great how they were taking in those animals.

African Leopard
This leopard was more active than the other animals that day. It was quite entertaining while leaping around.

Addra Gazelle
This is the tallest and largest type of gazelle. It’s also critically endangered.

Lesser Kudu
This is a type of antelope from Africa.

African Penguins
These black-footed penguins can swim up to 12 miles per hour.

These guys can run up to 40 miles per hour.

Reticulated Giraffe
Male giraffes can grow up to 19 feet tall.

I don’t know what this is but it creeps me out. I think if we came face to face it might eat me.

Oh yeah, it was during the Halloween season. Neat, huh?

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