Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Mamavation Monday!

Okay, I'm a day late but I'm here! It's been another insane couple of weeks with moving and school. This has been one of the most difficult moves ever! We had problems galore and now that we're in the house all is in total disarray. I am ready to sell everything I own. Okay, not really but I AM really close.

I have not been eating well since I don't have a working kitchen yet but I did hear about a health challenge that I'm very excited about and am very anxious to start!! It's the number one health challenge in the US with huge results! SO many of my friends have had healthy changes in their lives through this challenge and they have a team helping each other stay motivated. I have decided to join the challenge (I hope I win!!!) and build my own team. Please join me in my journey and start your own through this great 90-day challenge! Check it out here and let me know what you think. You could win!!

Monday, October 1, 2012


I missed last Monday and thought I might miss tonight but here I am! It's been crazy around here. We are closing escrow on a house this week so it's been full of paper signing, packing and all that good stuff. I didn't work out like I wanted to this week but the new house has a community gym and I excited about that! I was doing really good at keeping track of my foods but that fell by the wayside this week too. I talked to the trainers at my local YMCA and they have told me that I am not eating enough. I was following the suggestion of 1200 calories on My Fitness Pal and they said it was putting me into starvation mode so we upped it to 1580. Hopefully, that will help me out nut I am also considering Body by Vi. Does anyone know if it's a good, safe, healthy program to be on?

I am also busy with homeschooling my kids and attending college myself. I added something fun and relaxing to my schedule. Unfortunately, it's on Monday nights so I will be missing Mamavation TV until after Christmas. I used to be a Disneyland cast member and every year they have a fabulous Christmas Choir. I was in it when I worked and normally that the only in it but this year they opened it up to choir alumni. I am so excited to be involved in it again!!

This post is sponsored by Olay and hosted by Mamavation – a community dedicated to obesity prevention &weight loss for women and I’m writing this to be entered into a giveaway at the bottom of your post.

Monday, September 17, 2012

A little late posting this but at least it's still Monday! It's been a really busy week and I did get a little behind but managed to catch up and finished the 2 Week Challenge!! Woo hoo!! I am a bit disappointed that I did not lose any weight, however I am very happy that I did lose some size! I know if I stick with a healthier diet and daily exercise I will continue to lose size and weight too. My son has been asking for vegetables and wants to eat healthier so that makes me feel good and that I have accomplished a great goal. My son was also my fitness coach for the past two weeks, making sure that I did my workouts, timing me, and counting for me. Did I mention before that he is six? My four year old also showed me how to do Burpees properly and corrected my form if it wasn't correct. I have a very supportive husband who also helped me through the past two weeks and was my coach when the boys were visiting their father. All in all, I am very pleased with the outcome of this challenge. I was a great example to my boys, I lost some inches and we all worked together to accomplish some healthier goals!

This post is sponsored by Beanitos and hosted by Mamavation – a community dedicated to obesity prevention & weight loss for women and I’m writing this to be entered into a giveaway.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Mamavation Monday!

This last week was full of calorie counting, portion policing, and a six year old coach who likes to crack the whip. My son even tried to sneak in an extra set of lunges! He's hard on me but it's really good for me and for my kids to see me doing this and to get them involved. My four year old even got down and did some of the exercises with me. They both showed me how to do burpees since they do them in their martial arts class. They laughed when I did my first one and kept on showing me how. When the were finally pleased with my form they let me start counting!

I am a bit discouraged this week because I haven't lost any weight but my husband says he thinks I look thinner. I certainly hope so!!

It is hard for me to remember to drink since I cannot drink water but I have bought some liquid mix ins that add flavor and something unknown that helps me curb the allergic reaction. I have added more fruit and veggies to my diet and my oldest is really picking up on eating healthy. Today he asked for more veggies in his sandwich. I love that they are interested in my success and in their own healthy habits!!

This post is sponsored by Salba Smart and hosted by Mamavation – a community dedicated to obesity prevention & weight loss for women and I’m writing this to be entered into a giveaway

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Mamavation Monday!!

This weekend was a fun-filled, last-minute adventure for us as we embarked on our first camping trip as a family. We roughed it in a tent with no sleeping bags and no padding. Just blankets and pillows and the not so soft ground! My hips are going to hate me forever and I have a touch of a cold now. It was freezing cold overnight and I just stayed too cold for too long. Every time that happens, I get sick!! We went for just one night and have vowed that we will never do it again without a blow-up matttress, at least!! Today we walked all over Solvang for about half the day, then made the long trek home. We had a late lunch at Andersen's because you can't go through Buellton and not have their famous split pea soup!!

So, this last week, I have really been watching more closely what I eat and my portion sizes. I have been incorporating more fruits and veggies with each meal. I have not exercised this last week and I still lost four pounds. I intend to workout this week when I take my boys to the YMCA for their sports classes. Hopefully, I'll see better results this week! I plan on doing an extra Burn It workout since I was gone today too. My six year old loves being my coach so I'll have to give him my workout sheet and let him crack the whip over me!! He really holds me accountable when I ask him to!!!

Mamavation has changed so much that I am completely lost on the website now. I'm sure I'll get used to it but I didn't find the Blogging Carnival stuff tonight or the blog I used to use on the old site. Maybe we can't blog directly on Mamavation anymore but I'll have to do some more in-depth snooping around.  Next week, I hope to have everything figured out and posted with all the Blogging Carnival information included.....if I can ever find it!

 Hope all you Mamavation Sistahs and Moms all had a lovely weekend :)

“This post is sponsored by Dole and hosted by Mamavation – a community dedicated to obesity prevention & weight loss for women and I’m writing this to be entered into a giveaway”

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Theater 101 - Theatre Spaces

I have always loved theatre, though I am much prefer the backstage workings as opposed to being in the spotlight. I find it very exciting without making a fool of myself. I am going to show you four different types of theatre spaces among eight different theatre groups.

Shakespeare Theatre Company
This professional company is a regional group that performs at Harman Hall in Washington, D.C. The Harman Hall stage can be altered to a thrust, end stage or proscenium configuration but for this post I am going to be referring only to the proscenium style of stage. A Merchant of Venice, An Ideal Husband, The Servant of Two Masters, and The Merry Wives of Windsor are just a few of the plays this company has done.
An Ideal Husband
The mission of the Shakespeare Theatre Company is to present classic theatre of scope and size in an imaginative, skillful and accessible American style that honors the playwrights’ language and intentions while viewing their work through a 21st-century lens.

A Merchant of Venice
They follow their mission statement very well in their productions of Shakespeare, though you can see that they do plays by other authors as well. No matter the author, the staging is done very well and makes full use of the stage. They use large and, at times, elaborate set pieces.

Children's Theatre of Charotte
Alice In Wonderland
 For my next example of a proscenium stage I have chosen a professional regional theatre in Charlotte, N.C. Their plays have included Seussical: The Musical, Goodnight Moon, Treasure Island, Beauty and the Beast, The Secret Garden, The True Story of the Three Little Pigs, Aladdin, and Alice In Wonderland. From these photos one can see that they make use of the whole stage and the set design design varies quite a bit in style. Suessical  sets are compact and busy just as the illustrations in the books of Dr. Seuss. You can also see in the Treasure Island photo how they used the fly loft to display ship masts. The video shows excerpt of many shows and you can see use of the fly system in Peter Pan. To see the city of Agrabah being built using the fly system click on Aladdin.
Suessical: The Musical
Treasure Island
  CTC Mission Statement: We create exceptional theatre experiences, inspiring generations to explore the wonder of their world.

 I think it is pretty obvious from what you see here in my blog that they love up to their mission statement very well.
“You give our children a brighter future through your nurturing support, joy and creativity. Thank you!”
- Children’s Theatre patron

 The Guthrie Theatre
Set Model of  Cat On a Hot Tin Roof
Cat On a Hot Tin Roof
Moving on the the thrust stage type......
 The Guthrie is professional resident theatre located in Minneapolis, MN. and they use the Wurtele Thrust Stage for the performances I have listed below.  Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Much Ado About Nothing, Hay Fever, Tales From Hollywood, A Winter's Tale, Long Day’s Journey Into Night, and Born Yesterday are some of the plays that hold to the mission statement which says:
The Guthrie Theater, founded in 1963, is an American center for theater performance, production, education and professional training. By presenting both classical literature and new work from diverse cultures, the Guthrie illuminates the common humanity connecting Minnesota to the peoples of the world.

Contrast Much Ado About Nothing with Cat on a Hot Tin Roof and you will see in culture they are completely different. By offering such diversity it's easy to see that they would connect all types of people and cultures.

In the left photo above you can clearly see the fly loft which is utilized in the set for Cat in the center photo. A note about the center photo; it is a model to show the vision for the set. The third picture shows the set in use and you can see how closely matched the two are. It must be an incredible feeling to see your vision come to fruition like that!

Redlands Theatre Festival

The next thrust stage we will look at is in my old stomping grounds in Redlands, CA and while is it a community theatre it is founded and directed by one of the local professors who recently retired from the college scene. Here's a shout out to my old professor, Cliff Cabanilla and my former classmates who still aid him in putting on these great productions in Prospect Park! RTF has done such plays as Radio Gals, Nunsense, Pump Boys and Dinettes, Evita, Something Afoot, Sweeney Todd, Forever Plaid, Division Street, and Imaginary Invalid. While I could not find a mission statement on their website, they definitely reach the community and beyond. A group goes to perform in Hawaii every year as part of their season. They are a repertory theatre and perform a broad range of styles using the same cast member in each play.

Radio Gals

Something Afoot

University of Redlands

The students of the university perform in several theatres but the Frederick Loewe Black Box is the one I'm going to show you. Plays such as The Fantasticks, Quilters, Our Town, Alice, Macbeth, and Mrs. California are performed by students and guest artists. This theatre is new to the University of Redlands, yes my old hometown again, so there aren't very many photos out there yet. While I didn't find a formal mission statement for the theatre, obviously, the goal of the Theatre Arts program is to educate it's students in all aspects of performance. They live up to this goal through varied offerings of classical and contemporary works.



The black box theatre setting is the most flexible and has, the potential of being the most intimate setting of all the formats as I've shown in the top photo of Our Town. The stage is small so set design has to be limited and clever in order to give the audience the sense of place and mood. As you can see in the media I have provided they do a good job of this.

Washinton and Lee University
Johnson Black Box Theatre

 Some of the plays performed on this stage are How I Learned to Drive, The Long Christmas Drive Home, One Acts, Eurydice, and The Shape of Things.

One Acts
Their website states: In support of the University's educational mission the Department of Theater provides a dynamic introduction to theater and dance production, performance and history/criticism. As a result of the academic and artistic experiences cultivated through our learner-centered program of study, many of our theater and dance students have developed successful careers in theater, dance, film, television, teaching, law, journalism and management, or have pursued graduate study.

Eurydice Cast and Crew
I couldn't find a large assortment of plays that have been staged in the black box, which seemed to be typical as I found in my research for this project. With a limited knowledge of strictly black box performances, I could not say conclusively that they alone lived up the mission statement, however when you include the performances of the other stage formats at the university, it would seem to be true due to the highly varied works.

The sets are not very elaborate and in some cases were too minimalistic to be able to tell what they were supposed to represent just from photos, such as the set pictured above. The blue slide could be water since there is sand at the bottom. However, there are gears at the top of the slide which seems out of place. They have used the space wisely but is it really if we don't know what we are looking at? The question comes to mind, should we be able to tell what the set is without seeing the play. What is the mark of a good set designer? To me the set is a huge part of enjoying a performance and if the set is not inviting me to watch the play it is not a good set.

Redlands Footlighters Theatre
 Now on to the arena stage! Back to Redlands we go for plays performed here such as,  Funny Money, The Remarkable Mr. Pennypacker, Smoke and Mirrors, You Can’t Take it With You, and The Sunshine Boys. 

  It is the object of the Redlands Footlighters, Inc., to provide rewarding entertainment, creative productions of live theatre, a cradle for community theatre, growth for actors and directors, presentations of our dramatic heritage and mutually satisfying and varied theatre experiences for both the Footlighters and its audiences

 The plays here are varied, true to the mission statement. If I can take the statement quite literally I would agree that they live up to this. Referring to themselves as a "cradle" and providing "growth for actors and directors" implies to me that the experience of the cast and crew here is very little. I have been in the theatre but have not seen any performances there before. In my online research for this project, I found only the one video and the performance appears very amateurish, even in comparison to the other community theatres that I discovered. In this sense, if it's the intent of Footlighters to help develop people's talents then I would say they are on track. I can't say whether or not the specific plays really reflect the mission statement, however.

 This stage is extremely small and sets are set up at either end. Relative to the size of the stage and taking into account the size of the stage I think they do a pretty good job          of set design and using the space to it's best ability.

Sheryl and Harvey White Theatre

The Old Globe Theatre is located in San Diego, CA. One of the stages there is the one I am going to talk about next. The Sheryl and Harvey White Theatre  is an arena stage and is literally a theater-in-the-round.

The mission of The Old Globe is to preserve, strengthen, and advance American theatre by: Creating theatrical experiences of the highest professional standards; Producing and presenting works of exceptional merit, designed to reach current and future audiences; Ensuring diversity and balance in programming; Providing an environment for the growth and education of theatre professionals, audiences and the community at large. The Life of Riley, Nobody Loves You, Divine Rivalry, Twelfth Night, Groundswell, and Arroyo are some of the diverse offerings at this venue.
 The sets though minimalistic, still give you a sense of where the action takes place. They utilize the space well and the acting is of a higher caliber as you can see in the video I have included. They do love up to their mission statement in the variety of shows they offer, which are a completely vast array of culture and types and in their reputation for quality performances.
 I couldn't wait to get out of my hometown but as I look back doing this assignment there is a huge amount of diversity in the theatre types, quality of performances, and availability to people who normally could not attend an expensive show. So maybe it had more to offer than I ever appreciated. The performances don't have to be excellent as long as the performers are having fun and showing the audience a good time. If you want a high quality show then there are still affordable options open to all. In studying these theatres I have seen such a diversity in a relatively small community of people. On with the show!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Friday, February 5, 2010

My Idea of a Walt Disney World Vacation

Okay, so my favorite place to stay is Port Orleans Riverside. This is a moderately priced resort and so peaceful. You're right on a river. Sigh. The sleeping quarters are fashioned after southern plantation houses. You can take a boat ride to the sister, Port Orleans French Quarter, which is more energetic. I highly recommend you do this for some beignets. Pure heaven! Regardless where you stay on property, each resort has great restaurants and I recommend eating breakfast there. Also, for the more expensive restaurants, you're going to want to eat lunch at those, as the prices are higher at dinner time.

For general descriptions from earlier posts I have made here are a few links:
Walt Disney World, EPCOT, Animal Kingdom, Magic Kingdom I'm not going to address some of the things that I already blogged about in these earlier posts, so if you're going to visit WDW soon I highly receommend reading them.

Some little known helps:
If you purchase a soft drink and spill it, then take your empty cup back up and get it refilled. They understand mishaps and will do this free of charge. This also applies to popcorn!!

If you're traveling with little ones too small to ride some of your anticipated thrill rides you can get a Child Switch Pass. this will enable a parent and guest to wait in line while the other parent waits with the little one. When the first parent exits the  attraction the other parent can ride without waiting in line all over again.

For some of the more popular attractions you can also get a Fastpass. Put your admission ticket in the slot and out pops your Fastpass. This will give you a designated time to come back and ride without waiting in the full line. Basically, it gives you "cuts". You do not have to ride between the two times given!!! You must wait until the start time, however. You can only have one pass at a time but you can get the second one after the start time listed on your first Fastpass.

If you have any dietary issues they will work with you. They also have vegetarian options even if they aren't listed on the menu!!

The best time to ride the busier attractions if you don't have a Fastpass is while a parade is going on!!

Always start at the rear of all parks and work your way forward to minimize crowds. Everyone waits in the first line they see.

Restaurants with a bit of fun can be found in all the parks! Keep in mind that reservations are required at all sit down restaurants in Hollywood Studios and most in EPCOT. I highly advise that you make these reservations before you leave on your trip. Waiting until you get there could get you into trouble if you want to enjoy these places. If you don't you'll be eating hamburgers everywhere you go.
Disney's Hollywood Studios offers some very unusual dining experiences.
 50s Prime Time Cafe: All the waitresses nametags read "Mom" and they make sure you use your best table manners! The food is tasty comfort food and they also make sure that you eat all your vegetables. Leave your sensitivity at the door and make sure you have fun with it!!! Where else can you look at the dessert menu on a View Master and watch Father Knows Best and the Mickey Mouse Club?!
Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater: Dine in a convertible while watching 50s and 60s Sci Fi movies. American food is on the menu and you eat under the night sky. Very fun atmosphere!!
The Hollywood Brown Derby: This one is a bit more pricey but you won't find this restaurant in LA anymore. For anyone who has seen the I Love Lucy with William Holden you know what this restaurant will look like!! Food is fabulous and atmosphere is more quiet and calm.

Hollywood Studios has many shows and experiences including the incomparable The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror! You gotta ride this!! Toy Story Mania is fun for adults and kids alike. It's a fabulous interactive 3D adventure! Rock 'n' Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith is exactly how it sounds with one crazy beginning!

EPCOT has World Showcase which is the best of all WDW, in my opinion. It's a very relaxing atmosphere and they have restaurants to indulge your tastebuds in some of the best foods from around the world. If you want to experience Oktoberfest then you have to eat at Biergarten Restaurant in the German Pavillion. The food is fabulous and the entertainment is so much fun!! For a very quiet place to eat, in my experience, go to Restaurant Marrakesh in the Morocco Pavilion. They do have live regional music and a belly dancer but it's all in good taste and the show is relatively short. A very enjoyable experience. All the food in all the pavilions is delicious but these are my favorite. Another must is to go the France Pavilion and eat pastry at the sidewalk tables. Keep in mind that all the cast members in each country are actually from that country and , yes, the reputation of the French holds true. Don't let it ruin your experience!!

As always, if anyone has any questions, please feel free to ask!