Saturday, October 31, 2009


I decided to make chili so that I could support our Halloween Party, bring some food. I have never made chili before (to my recollection), and I'm certainly no expert on chili.

I waffled between chocolate chili and pumpkin chili for weeks. My facebookers voted on chocolate, but I had the last say. I found a recipe, read the reviews, and tweaked it to my liking.

And guess what?

I won.

So, here's the recipe, I'm no secret recipe keeper, not me.

Brown 1 lb. ground beef.
Add 1 green pepper and 1 onion, chopped....saute for 5 minutes.
1 small can of pumpkin
2 cans diced tomatoes
2 cans black beans
1 can white kidney beans
1 can red kidney beans
(all of the above standard size 14-19 oz)
1 can 46 oz. of tomato juice (I did not add the whole thing, added to desired consistency)

2 TBSP pumpkin pie spice
1 TBSP chili powder
2 TBSP white sugar
2 TBSP brown sugar
1 tsp garlic salt

Simmer 1 hour.

I just stuck it in my crockpot to warm it up after keeping it in the fridge all day.

And, did I mention, I won?

Shout Out!

Nice job on the costumes mom and dad!


Glass Family as:

Judy Jetson, Cruella Deville, Leatherhead & Olivia, the Pig!

I'm RAHTHER pleased with how they turned out.

Friday, October 30, 2009


For your consideration:

Enjoy a medley of songs and behind-the-scenes photos of the making of Picture a Christmas:

If it's new to you, perhaps you would like to add it to this season's soundtrack.

Thanks for listening.

PS. I found this gem in the archives. At least watch the beginning when Phoebe (then age 5) calls my Holiday Tour a Holiday Whore. It's pretty funny. The rest documents highlights of our performances in DC...


2 Weeks after HBO8, I tried my best to weasle my way out of a photoshoot that the Posse (plus fake Dad) were scheduled to do, but the producer friend of mine convinced me that I could do it. We didn't know then that I had a bleed in my brain that needed some serious recovery time. I was back to pushing myself to the limit.

I love the photo of me lying on the floor in a pile of crayons. That photo represents my parenting experience for the rest of that year.

I was so out of it, I brought like one option of clothes for each of us, and the stylist looked at me like I was crazy: "You only brought this? Well, what goes with this?" etc. I was totally out of my mind! I was still on the first meds, and a few days after the shoot is when I had the allergic reaction: A thick red rash all over my neck. Lucky it didn't happen on the day of the shoot!

Anyway, despite everything being wrong about the shoot (including my hair! Oi! Vey!), we got a few cute frames out of it, and here is the proof:

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Third Person Thursday

She saw a crazy old lady with red-colored lips clumsily applied to her wrinkled lips. It looked like she was trying to tell her something...

She thought: "Crazy lady, criticizing my parenting..."

Next thought: "Maybe I better double-check!"

She doubled back and approached her: "Are you talking to me?"

The lady said: "I need a cab."

She ordered her daughter to stand by the lady and then the lady ordered her daughter to stay by her too. The lady didn't realize how scary she looked and sounded with her walker, red hat, those lips.

As she tried to hail a cab a giant truck pulled in front of her and started to back up right in front of where the lady was waiting. She approached the truck and asked him to please not pull right in front of the woman in need. He said ok and then pulled in front of her anyway.

She could see no cabs so she asked the lady if she could walk to the corner. She went a little ahead so that she could be catching a cab while the lady made her way. She looked back and saw the lady seemed to think she had been abandoned and stopped in her tracks. Just then she saw a cab with it's light on. She leapt out into the street and the cab pulled over. Her daughter was trying to stay put but couldn't because she and the lady were moving from their appointed spots.

The lady approached the cab and bossed the driver about how to close the walker and at the same time held out her hand to her. She held her hand and it was so soft, it reminded her of a baby's hand. She remembered holding a soft little hand and helping her to walk, just as she was doing now. Life. It comes all the way around, back to the beginning. "God bless you" the lady spoke through her red lips.

She couldn't find words.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Tooth Fairy

A friend of mine asked me to help her with her costume for Halloween.

20 bucks, 20 minutes, and one nasty burn later:

The exposure's a bit hot. The letters TOOTH FAIRY I think look like little baby teeth. Later we added some curled ribbons to the wand, Lolly said: "These ribbons are the magic!" So, if you want a quick 'stume, here's a little idea!

And for a finishing detail, I had to have this little vintage toothpaste necklace as the finishing touch.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Viola Swamp

I volunteered my acting services to Phoebe's 2nd grade teacher for Halloween week, and she had the brilliant idea for me to dress up as Viola Swamp from the beloved children's classic of the past 30 years: Miss Nelson is Missing.

I had an ugly black dress (actually a beloved family heirloom), black nail polish and the makeup, but I felt very strongly that I needed the striped crazy tights (found some at Ricky's for $4.99). I was going to fudge the wig and just attempt making my hair messy or something, but then I read the story. On the last page, we get a view of Miss Nelson's closet and there is a box that says WIG on it. I knew I had to have a wig. I was trying to justify buying one with my limited budget and then I remembered that I had saved the mullet wig from last year's halloween, and I was able to pin the hair into buns! Perfect!

Yes, I had to wear this makeup on the subway, to pick up Lolly, to Dunkin Donuts, in a cab, to Phoebe's school, to Lolly's casting and back on the subway all the way home. Hey, it's New York, it's ok. I kept my umbrella close to my face and my head buried in a book as much as I could. One man said: "Let me guess! You're a cat!" Nope. Thankfully I had the book on hand so that I could show him the illustration against my face. I still don't think he got it.

Despite the fact that I really wanted a prosthetic nose, I think the makeup did work for this particular character. When I went looking on the 'net to find the illustration of Viola Swamp, I found a few other interpretations that you might enjoy:

Nice makeup attempt at Holland Elementary School. Red lips should be exchanged for black I think.

Mrs. Johnson as Viola Swamp.

Childs Playaz is nice.

I like her gloves.

Where are your buns?

Want some more makeup ideas? Scoot on over to Design Mom.

Love Scarf Project 2009

Knitters, I know you're out there.

How's your scarf coming?

Please consider knitting a scarf or a hat to donate to the Love Scarf Project in 2009! Now is the perfect time to sit down with a knitting project and think of how it will benefit a cancer patient stuck in the hospital for the holidays.

There are drop-offs in Chicagoland, Utah and NYC, but you can start your own Lovescarf Project (LSP)! This year Ms. Natasha has been teaching novice knitters how to get it done and our knitting group meets twice a month. Not only have we learned to knit, but we have grown closer as a congregation of women with diverse backgrounds. It's better then book club because we can go off topic!

I have learned that most knitters are extremely generous in teaching others their art. So, ask around, or google HOW TO KNIT...I bet you can get a donation together in time for the Holidays! Thanks for considering!

NYC's progress:

To check progress, sources and contact info, please visit the Love Scarf Blog!

Monday, October 26, 2009


I am honored to be guest posting on Design Mom this week, check it out!

Man and Violin

Every time we see him he is hunched over, hair combed, wearing his pressed shirt and pants. He leans against the wall, he cannot support his bending frame. He plays the violin, his own sad song. There is no beginning, no end, no dominant resolving to the tonic. It is gibberish, the song of a child. There is little skill, no panache. It is full of effort, dedication even.

No one claps. No one looks. No one stops. No one ever stops. We have never stopped. Phoebe criticizes his technique because she can't find any other words. And I don't have words either. What do you say?

Did he ever have technique? Did he ever have a song? What is his song now?

Where did he start, where will he end? Where does he go after he naps while waiting for the train? Who does his laundry for him? Who polished his shoes? What will he eat for dinner tonight?

His story can't possibly be told through his song, as so many stories can. There is more. And everytime we pass him, I am dying to know the rest.

You may also enjoy Man Behind the Glass.

Sunday, October 25, 2009


I'm a celebrity now, Jazmine's daddy says so...

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Friday, October 23, 2009

Book Witch

My friend Bellcurve asked for a report, and honestly I wasn't planning on one, but anything for you...I'm even foregoing blow-drying my hair for this...

My dream...

So, how can I rear my children so that they would totally do an improv musical with me someday?

I can't tell you how much joy Improv Everywhere brings me....when do I get to be a produce singer in a Queens grocery store?

Thursday, October 22, 2009


Come by Little Closets tomorrow for a spooky story time!

11 AM! It's free! 46-46 Vernon Blvd.

Third Person Thursday

When she tells people her husband is the Bishop of their ward, sometimes she gets a look that says: "Oh, darn."

It's been a little over one year, and she has had 1 moment in all that time when she understood that look. It had something to do with 3 in the morning and the phone ringing. Her favorite line on the answering machine: "sorry to call you so late...." Her alarm was going off in 3 hours, didn't the caller mean...early?

And then, it happened again. 4 hours of telephone calls from a stranger in need. Her husband tried to get to the bottom of how he could help. It was complicated, multi-layered and there were some shifty parts. In the end, she volunteered to take care of a baby while his Dad worked out a few things for the night. As the calls continued and plans were forming, she kept asking: What's the baby's name? She just wanted to think of his little identity and soul instead of thinking of him as an unnamed nuisance.

She finally found out his name.

They waited for the baby to be delivered at their doorstep. She gathered her softest dishtowels to act as burp cloths, found a baby blanket that had been turned into her daughter's baby doll's blanket, and paused, smelled it, wished she had time to wash it. She checked the tub to see if it was clean so she could bathe the baby if need be, because she knew he had been staying in a shelter for a while, and might need a good soak. She made calls to borrow the bottle, pack n play and other necessities. She sent her husband over to pick up the items, and then waited.

She waited for 2 more hours, and then realized that the baby was bait for something else. Some unspoken need. She went to bed knowing she would not be woken up by the baby on the front step. And she felt so bad for the little lost baby. She was willing to soothe him the entire night if he needed it. One night of comfort in the middle of all that turmoil. A soft blanket, a little rub on the back, a song in his ear. She was willing to give him one night, and actually, more than 1.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Costume Clue #4

That belt, that makeup.

This is such a perfect skinny belt. I got it from LL BEAN....isn't that crazy? I love it.

Makeup...not the best lighting. That's green eye shadow.

I took my jewelry off already.

Phoebe's costume is Outer-galactic!

Lolly is Queen of the Trampoline!

Jason is an athlete.


Today, our fate lies in one person's hands:

Don't ask. I'll tell you why and what when it's time.
All good. : )


Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Oct. 25th Performance.

In New York? Wanna see me sing?

a cabaret/concert jam packed with songs by new writers

Sunday, October 25, 2009

7:00pm - 8:30pm

The Laurie Beechman Theatre

407 W. 42nd St

New York, NY

Tyler Phillips Music, in association with Kamelrock Productions , presents "Composed" - the first concert in the brand new "Name'NLights" Cabaret Series. Backed by a live band, a group of talented NYC vocalists perform works by ANDREW HEYMAN, TYLER PHILLIPS, JONATHAN RUSS, and SAMUEL SALMOND.

A part of the proceeds will benefit the Actors Fund.

There is a $10 cover plus a $15 food/drink minimum. RESERVATIONS at

"NameNLights" is a NYC based cabaret series dedicated to promoting the new work of theatre writers.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Lovescarf Project

I'm not sure who knit on my scarf for 50 rows. But whoever it was did 5k on each side instead of 4, for about 50 rows. Can you see that? I don't even know if that qualifies as a mistake, it's so consistent. I actually accused my friend of knitting on it one night when she was watching my kids. She said she didn't. Obviously, she's lying.

Hey, I would be over the moon if you (yes, writing to YOU) would knit me a scarf to donate to a cancer patient in a NY hospital this holiday season. Chicago's doing it. California's doing. I think even Utah's doing it. You can do it too....For more info, click on over.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Thoughts for a Sunday Night.

~I would like to go on a vacation. My first choice: London-Paris.
~I would love to try the Pumpkin Spice Hershey Kisses that Mr. Gilbert keeps facebooking about.
~I would like to know my future. Only about 1 specific thing. Okay, maybe a few other things too, but this one would be nice to have out of the way.
~Why are Lolly's teeth apparently rotten? Why does her dentist say she needs 1 filling and the next (pediatric) dentist give her 3 fillings, a baby root canal and crown, and make an appointment to do the same procedures on the other side? Am I being cheated?
~Why PTA? Why fundraisers?
~Why cannot I not get beyond knitting a scarf?
~When will there be time to become an expert at a dozen other skills?
~Why have I not booked a commercial since early 2008?
~Why does hot chocolate have to have calories?
~It would be funny if I asked the kids these questions tomorrow, or just asked them questions all day long, one after the other. That might make them freak out a little.
~Why is my tivo filled with Dateline, 20/20, 48 Hours and shows like that? Why haven't I watched them yet?
~Why can't there be more of healing? Less of hurt?
~Why won't someone deliver a baby to my doorstep so that I can take care of it for a while, and then give it back when it starts smelling like apple juice, mac n cheese and having tantrums?
~Why are there not just a few more hours in the day?
~Why did I have to see that man pee on the pole in the subway the other day? I cannot lean on a pole in the subway ever again. Ever. In fact, I have become a bit paranoid about leaning on anything.
~I hope that the Halloween appearances I am making will not be sabotaged by auditions that lead to nothing.
~Why can't I make my budget STURETCH a little farther?
~Why am I reading like 5 books at once?

Music Video for you.

My sister posted her family in this music video on her blog, so my kids insisted we follow suit. It is pretty funny. We decided to put Coconut, the camping dog in for Wolfman. I love the expression on everyone's voice seems a little low though. Enjoy.

Try JibJab Sendables® eCards today!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Where they are...

The posse went to Where the Wild Things Are

at the IMAX theatre today with a few friends. I found the previews for the film to be enticing and beautiful, and so I expected a little of that. I also expected a grand film because of the high marks reviewers have been giving it. I was not dissappointed.

I did not expect it to be as raw and powerful as it is. I did not expect my 7-year-old to laugh out loud, lean over and whisper: "Mom, are you getting a little teary?", AND clutch me in fear, all in one movie. Lolly found herself curled up on my lap trying to be as small as she could be. Though the greater scope of the film was over their heads, there were so many parts that they just GOT.

They certainly embraced their inner wild, picking someone else's nose, and feeling like their eyeballs are a bit loose. I was reminded that we never really grow up. We are who we are. We feel what we feel.

Friday, October 16, 2009

There's one in all of us...

I think there might be two or three in her...

Today is her first parent/teacher conference. I was told to prepare answers to the following questions:

How do you feel the school year is going so far?
How is your child transitioning to school?
What are your expectations for your child?
What is your child's bedtime routine?
What after school activities does your child participate in?
What are 3 words to describe your child?

Hmmmm......only 3?

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Third Person Thursday

Her friend facebooked her that she was showing up everyday after Plaza Sesamo on a commercial for Eebees.

She knew she was replaced by Thalia. She didn't know she was in the new spanish version of Eebee, and dubbed over (check 4:09 below).'s on tv, she didn't know that either. And yes, she's working on collecting on that. She and Mr. Man at Aftra have become good friends this week. They'll be better friends if he delivers. That's the 3rd time one of her spies has helped her to fight for what's right.

When it all came to light, she felt the anxiety start to creep in, but she didn't let it fester, she slept on it, and in the morning, picked up the phone. And so, she's cool...waiting...wondering, but cool.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009


As has become tradition the past few years, the girls sketched their jack-o-lanterns, and I carved them. Unfortunately Lolly picked the thickest, hardest, toughest pumpkin I have ever encountered. I am surprised that I did not lose a finger or an arm carving this sucker. If it had been softer, I would have done better on the details of her mouth-drawing.

We watched Disney's Sword in the Stone for the first time, while we cleaned out the pumpkins, carved, and sorted pumpkin seeds.

My friend Carrie inspired me to carve a pumpkin head of one of our church leaders. She sent me the link to make a stencil, which was very helpful. I chose this man because I thought his glasses might be distinct enough that someone could recognize him. I am going to enter it in our church congregation's pumpkin-carving contest. I mean no disrespect, I mean it as an honor.

Henry B Eyring:

Look how happy they look:

It was a long afternoon, which required some spousal support, and even though it was his night at church (I try to have it all together at least one night a week, and it's Tuesday!), he came right in, surveyed the pumpkin from ceiling to floor and got straight to cleaning up the spaghetti that I managed to pull together.

The Halloween Festivities continue...

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

I kissed a goat, and I liked it.

Twitter is good for some things, pretty sure I found out about this farm through Twitter. Located in NJ, and for some reason no traffic between here and there. It was a Columbus Day Miracle. I liked the farm because it wasn't too crowded, too commercial or too crazy. It was cold though. Brrrrrr........

I tried to force the kids to recreate a pic of them in a pumpkin patch when Lolly was about 6 months old. She got a little big.

This turkey looked so cool and was in full gobble-mode. I WISH I had that camera going when he unexpectedly chortled, we got some good scared faces out of our kiddos. Later Lolly had a 10-minute conversation with a rooster. Seriously, they each took a turn cock-a-doodle-dooing. She is our little animal whisperer.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Costume Clue #3

Lolly & Kage: our costumes couldn't be less related, and yet our color schemes match: White, Black & Red all over (no, we're not newspapers)

Jason: George Clooney

Phoebe: Janet Waldo

Saturday, October 10, 2009

In Review...

Monday: Art Studio with Lolly. She made us a pair of bracelets:

Tuesday: 60-second Olay spot audition that took a lot of concentration, celeb siting: Kate Hudson. See bottom for the dress that made me stop and take a pic. Then, I realized it was Ms. Hudson, I think shooting for Bazaar. Speaking of mags, got word that Cookie folded. Sad.

Wednesday: Inspired by the NYC Marathon posters. Ran 4.9 miles. My first time running that long. Took me 1 hour and 6 minutes. First singing audition that night. Was not my best, but at least it's over with.

View of the East River as I crossed over it.

Thursday: The cold arrived in my throat. Ugh. Turned 30.5. Phoebe got her new Halloween Tee. LOVE.

Friday: Spent the morning fighting crime, trying to get the pennies owed to me! Attended a dinner honoring Richard G. Scott. Was asked to fill in for the musical number (stomach flu) at 3, panicked, then told at 4, someone else would do it. Phewsh. Enjoyed eating, instead of running lyrics in my head for 2 hours.

Lolly took my pic whilst running in the gym, my new motivation to KEEP running....whoosh that is not pretty:

Saturday: Hike!

Off to a training meeting tonight. Gotta teach this song. I guess I better go learn it myself right.....NOW!

Friday, October 09, 2009

Who needs braces?

...when you have photoshop?

I'm pretty stunned at how much a new set of teeth changes her look:

Thursday, October 08, 2009

Third Person Thursday

She had an audition where she had to be a hostess with the mostess.

A few words to describe her character: Jenny and Mccarthy and a few other things.

She tried to understate her required hot, sexy wardrobe and simplify, let her smoky, sexy eyes do the talking. She removed all evidence of her real life (which ironically is kind of similar to the 2009 Jenny McCarthy, but she's pretty sure that's NOT what they meant), by leaving her children and wedding rings at home, safe and sound.

A few things she was expecting: cue cards, a casting director, having to picture co-hosts and interviewee with her imagination.

Instead she walked into a room full of people, fully-loaded teleprompter, an actor as interviewee and another actor as co-host.

She also did not expect the interview. The girl asking her questions was so nice and cool asking her questions to get to know her. Unfortunately she couldn't keep her single-girl charade up that long.

Among other things, she asked:

"Do you read Us Weekly? and the entertainment blogs?"

(Uh....) "I read Us Weekly on occasion..." (Which is true, because when it's in the recycling closet in her building she pages through it. "...I am a blogger, but I am not up on my entertainment blogs." (She couldn't even remember the word Perez Hilton, and thought Goop didn't count).

"Well, what would you say is your favorite blog?"

"Um....well......see.....I'm a ......Mah-uh-um." (The word Mom seemed so long and drawn out, a confession of sorts.)

(Interviewer had an inquiring look)

"So, my favorite blog is Design Mom."

It probably felt more awkward to her then it really was, but the interview was so excruciating, she thought every word she said gave her away as a totally not sexy and not hot hostess. She was relieved when it was time to say scripted words instead of her own.

She did pretty well with the prompter script and with the impromptu interview part. After it was all over, she felt that she had redeemed herself a bit.

And then, as she was leaving, the interviewer asked, pen and paper in hand: "Oh, what's your blog address?"

She looked at her with horror: "Really? Are you sure? Why?"

"I'm just curious."

Hesitating, " it is:" (

She thought, "why stop telling the truth now?," and gave it to her.

And for the record, had the sweatiest pits after an audition to date. And she's been to a lot of auditions.

ps. 30 1/2 today.

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Halloween Tee.

Lolly's Halloween Tee is pretty cute. These pix, pre-haircut of course.

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

A few years back...

Some friends and I did a little service project for a local hospital a few years back.

I just ran across the footage recently and it's choppy and edited weird, but it's too funny. My friend and I had really similar hair going on at the time (I had highlights from a job that never aired. Grrrr.....) so we decided to be Siamese Twins.

I'm pretty sure we will be scouted out for a Sideshow Revival after this performance.


This one has been loose since August. And there was a lot of drama surrounding this little tooth leaving her little body. Glad that's over, only like 15 more to go?