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Thursday, December 27, 2007

Let it Snow, Let it Snow, Let it Snow!

It never (or at least VERY rarely) snows where we live in Southern California. This year for Christmas, we gave the boys the gift of snow! We found this stuff at Harrod's in London & it's really, really cool (literally). The kids love it, but perhaps not quite as much as I do!

Monday, December 24, 2007

Happy Holidays!

I love Christmas! Wrapping presents, singing Christmas songs, decorating the tree, baking cookies & watching the kids open presents. I hope you get everything you wished for. Here's a little gift from me to you, my favorite Christmas song EVER: Step Into Christmas by Elton John:

Friday, November 30, 2007

Wild Encounters


I'm a huge animal lover, have been all my life. When I was really young I wanted to be a veterinarian & one of my young sons wants to be a zookeeper. Over the Thanksgiving holiday our family took a trip to Michigan where we were greeted not only by snow (!) but also hunting season. My thoughts on hunting are a little complicated. When I see deer walking in the woods, I slow down to look at them or let the kids take a photo. I certainly don't feel like shooting them. That being said, I understand that deer can be pests & I'm definitely a meat eater. During our vacation I saw something that I've never seen before. After eating lunch at McDonald's (thank goodness we'd already eaten!) I saw an SUV at the drive-thru with a dead deer strapped to the roof (not something you're likely to see in Southern California). Try explaining that to your kids!
When we arrived home, we found that a coyote had moved into our yard. We have a large yard that's totally fenced & somehow he's gotten in & can't get back out. I've called animal control, department of fish & game, etc & no one can seem to tell us how to get rid of him (although their voicemail system did tell me how to get a hunting license). The coyote doesn't seem too afraid of me & comes right up to our backdoor & looks in. Of course, I'm nervous about our dogs & kids (although he's probably more interested in all the ground squirrels & bunnies). If any of you have coyote advice, I'd love to hear it!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving!


There's something kind of great about a holiday that seems to be almost totally based on food. Remember to take a minute before you slip into a tryptophan induced coma to think about all you have to be thankful for. Have a wonderful holiday surrounded by family & friends!

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Edamame Update

Who would have thought that my post on chocolate covered edamame would cause me to receive over 100 e-mails? Many people agreed with me that it didn't sound good. Cooks & chefs said the combination would be fine (perhaps even delicious). I also heard from several Trader Joe's employees (& friends of Trader Joe's employees). I learned from them that TJ workers sample all the products that they carry (what a great idea!). The consensus was that since the edamame are dry roasted the taste is similar to a chocolate covered nut. Alright, I like chocolate covered nuts, so I decided to drive over & pick up a container so I could give a fair review. When I arrived, I headed straight to the edamame display & ...it was gone! The edamame had been replaced with caramel covered popcorn. Oh well, I guess I wouldn't be able to do my little taste test after all. But then, I was approached by "Brad" one of my super helpful TJ "crew members". He told me that it had simply been moved to the "chocolate covered" section of the store. So. here I sit with an open container of Trader Joe's Dark Chocolate Edamame. What does it taste like? Let's see: dark chocolate, slightly salty & crunchy like a nut. It reminds me of the Trader Joe's milk chocolate covered soy nuts (& that makes perfect sense since edamame are soybeans, after all). Will I get them again? Probably not, but at least I can honestly say that they aren"t as horrible as they sound.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Delicious?



I'm a fan of Trader Joes. I'm sure I've mentioned it before. They offer good food, typically healthier stuff than at the grocery stores, that's easy to prepare & at reasonable prices. But today when I was on my weekly visit to TJ's to stock up on supplies for school lunches, I saw an item that made me say "Ewww" out loud! I'm a firm believer that almost anything tastes better with chocolate on it. But Trader Joe's may have gone too far with their latest creation: chocolate covered edamame! Don't get me wrong, I like edamame. I eat a little bowl every time I have sushi, but the thought of it covered with chocolate just seems wrong. I may take the plunge & try it. I hate to condemn a food I haven't tasted. If anyone has tried it & thinks it's delicious, let me know.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Forces of Nature

With wildfires raging in Southern California, I wanted to let you know that our home, family & pets are safe. Thank you for the e-mails expressing concern. We've got fires burning all around us (Malibu, Santa Clarita, etc.) We had a scare the other day when winds shifted, the sky suddenly turned black & orange, the power & phones went out. But just as quickly, the skies cleared & utilities came back on. We're not being evacuated, the kids' schools are open. The winds are stronger than I've ever felt. Huge branches keep dropping from our trees blocking the driveway, but we quickly pull them out of the way. Several hundred thousand people have been evacuated & the current numbers say at least 1,000 homes have been lost. Please keep those who are in danger in your thoughts & prayers.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Bonaduce -vs- FairPlay

So Many Choices!

Have you ever noticed that you can go weeks without any special plans & then suddenly you'll be invited to three events that are all on the same day & time? It seems to happen to me all the time, but this month more than ever. My sister scheduled a wine tasting party the same night my good friends planned our annual trek to Knott's Scary Farm (hard decision, but family wins). I'm invited to London for work, my husband's 20 year high school reunion & Mario Lopez' birthday party all fall on the same weekend (hubby wins, but really only because of last minute travel problems with London). Just this week I was asked to be a presenter at the Annual ERA (Electronic Retail Awards) in Las Vegas the same night as the Fox Reality Really Awards. I tried my hardest to attend both. I'm really fascinated by the whole Direct Response Industry & I was looking forward to all the educational seminars at the convention. Plus, I was flattered that they asked me (a fledgling host) to present. But the Fox Reality Awards is a REALLY fun event, I have tons of friends who work there, I have a great time doing the Reality Remix Roundtable & I am truly a fan of reality television. I was also one of the judges for the awards this year. At the event virtually every reality star from every reality show hangs out in a fun, casual, booze filled venue. Last year I saw "parts" of Chynna Doll that I'm still trying to erase from my brain! My initial plan was to attend the ERA show & all the events, present the award & fly straight to LA for the Fox party. Hey, I would already be in a cute dress, it could have worked! But, I decided it was a crazy idea & I was having so much fun in Vegas that I decided to stay. Check out the clip of all the excitement that I missed at The Really Awards! Reality Stars mixed with alcohol always makes must see TV!
http://link.brightcove.com/services/link/bcpid353549946/bctid1213872318

Friday, September 21, 2007

Busy, Busy, Busy.

What a fun week! Besides being the "Mystery Reader" at the kids' school & attending back to school nights & puppy obedience classes, I also filmed a roundtable segment for Reality Remix Weekend, I did a Pop Culture segment for Bob Saget's show (1 vs. 100) & finally found a few minutes to edit my reel. I added footage from the Ab Shark & Bun Shaper infomercials, one of my Parentpedia segments from Disney's Family.com, a little Craft Lab (look for a blow torch), some new Reality Remix, & included a little bit of the studio tours that I did for the special features on the Bewitched box set.
Let me know what you think!
http://myspacetv.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=vids.individual&videoid=18580360

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

The Dog Days of Summer!


Summer is my favorite season. The kids are out of school. The weather is warm. Everything seems a little more relaxed. While this summer had the makings of being significantly more crazy than usual, it's turned out to be one of our best. We're well in the midst of our move from Orange County to Los Angeles. We could have been stressed that we arrived at our new home over a week before most of our furniture & before the remodel was finished, but we've turned it into a little camp out. Since our cable hasn't been hooked up yet, we're enjoying more of the simple pleasures of life: swimming, eating Otter Pops, running in sprinklers. Another thing that has kept us occupied is the newest addition to our family: our new puppy Zuma! She's a Leonberger & will soon be bigger than I am (really...130 pounds!)!

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Welcome To The Parker!


I'm one of a very few people who will openly admit that I really enjoy reality television. I also have a life-long love of the desert oasis known as Palm Springs. So, when my good friends at The Parker invited us to the screening party for their new Bravo series, how could I say no? The event was everything a screening should be: relaxed, fun & decidedly "hip". My favorite part about going to screenings is seeing how people in the show/ film react to seeing their friends / themselves on the big screen. They laugh, they cheer, or in the case of the Parker crew they collectively "boo" at a rather obnoxious food critic. We watched the show from a comfy, cushioned circular lounge chair right in front. Although they weren't serving my favorite Kobe Beef Sliders, I munched on my snacks of choice (Junior Mints & Reeses Pieces). We also got to see the second episode of the series, which I enjoyed even more than the first. Check out the show, it's fun to see the chaos that goes on behind the scenes at an upscale resort. By the way, only in Palm Springs will you attend a screening with the Mayor sitting cross legged on the floor in front of you!

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

On The Road Again



Here I am, 2 weeks post-op & all I can say is that I'm overwhelmed & humbled by the outpouring of love & support that I've received. Surgery went great. I was in superb hands: my surgeon was my long term doctor, who delivered my 3 youngest children. My scar is really low, so I can still wear a bikini (& I did yesterday!). The hardest part of the recovery is actually taking the time to heal. Luckily I have the most wonderful family, who've taken amazing care of me. I'm the proudest mom in the world to see what loving, compassionate children I've raised. When my doctor told me it would take six weeks to be back to 100%, I wasn't quite sure what that meant. I knew I wouldn't be able to do an hour on the stairmaster, but I didn't know that I wouldn't be able to walk up a flight of stairs (or even 2 stairs!). I decided it wouldn't be smart to "post" on Percocet, but I'm totally off all medication now & I'm feeling really good. I'm allowed to start driving tomorrow.
Before my surgery, I made a commitment to attend the Hollywood Collectors Show in Burbank this Friday & Saturday, http://hollywoodcollectorshow.com/Burbank.htm , & I WILL be there. If you're in town stop by to say "Hi".
I don't know if I'll ever be able to respond to all the e-mails, cards & messages that I received (I'm going to try), but please know that your thoughts & prayers are truly appreciated.

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Medical Update


Sometimes morning TV keeps you up to date on current events or the latest in fashion and Hollywood gossip & sometimes it provides information that can save your life. The other morning while watching Live With Regis and Kelly, they talked about the funeral of Claudia Cohen (pictured). WHAT? Didn't I just see her on TV a week ago? When did Claudia Cohen die? For those who haven't heard of her, she was a regular on Regis & Kelly and had been the gossip columnist at New York's Page Six for years & was probably just as well known for being the ex-wife of Ronald Perelman. She was diagnosed with ovarian cancer and sadly left a young daughter behind.
The conversation about her death continued on The View where I learned that her only symptoms were sudden weight gain & bloating. Hey, I'm a little boated. I jumped on the scale & to my surprise, I'd gained seven pounds in 2 weeks. It must be the Sprinkles cupcakes (I don't think I've mentioned it, but I'm obsessed with the red velvet ones). To be safe, I called my doctor to schedule an appointment. Well, it turns out that I have a tumor the size of a grapefruit! After further tests, they found two other smaller tumors. I go into the hospital for surgery on Tuesday. Luckily, I'm by the beach, so I'll be able to watch 4th of July fireworks from my hospital room. I really debated writing this post. I certainly don't want anyone to worry about me. But if you read my blog regularly, you know that I'm a big supporter of promoting awareness (AIDS, Autism, etc.). If reading this post encourages even one person, who is experiencing symptoms and ignoring them, to seek medical advice & diagnosis, it's easily worth giving up my lack of privacy.
On the positive side, I may be posting more in the next couple weeks. I'll be on bed rest, so what else do I have to do? I'll be better soon & I've got some fun TV projects lined up for August!

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Parentpedia

I worked on a really fun project this week for Disney.com / Family.com called Parentpedia. I'm sure you've all heard of Wikipedia, an online resource for information on just about anything (I'm even a category!). Well Parentpedia is an online resource for parents. One of the segments we shot involved me explaining that Parentpedia can help you with just about anything that family life can throw at you. This was illustrated by all sorts of things being "thrown at me". The script called for me to dodge a bowl of spaghetti & ends with me catching a soccer ball. Luckily it was decided that spaghetti wouldn't "read" well, so instead they threw a lamp at me. After a couple takes, the binky that had to bounce off my temple was replaced by a stuffed animal. You'd be surprised how much a pacifier can hurt when it hits you in the head. Parentpedia should be up and running in July. I'll keep you posted.
http://family.go.com/parentpedia/

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Wayne Newton


I'm back! I know it's inexcusable that I haven't written in so long, but I'm officially back on my regular blog schedule. My computer decided to melt a series of charger cables & despite the fact that the battery is on the recall list, Hewlett Packard hasn't replaced it yet. I'm not happy HP! I'm certainly no computer expert, but when a "laptop" starts burning my thighs, we've got a little problem. I'm trying to transition to an Apple Macbook. I'd always heard they were easier, but after years of "right clicking", I'm not sure how to use the mouse. I'm sure I'll figure it out soon (I've purchased the Macbook for Dummies book, but haven't had time to read it). So, I'm posting today from the kids' computer.
So much to say, so I guess I'll start with our weekend trip to Vegas. My husband was already there for selection day for his Verge development (that'll have to be another post), so I drove 5 hours across the desert with a van full of kids to meet him. Immediately upon arrival my darling hubby surprised me with tickets to a show! Would it be Elton? Prince? Nope...Wayne Newton! I can honestly say the only Wayne Newton song that I could think of was Danke Schoen (& I only knew that one from Ferris Bueller's Day Off). I also had visions of Wayne sweeping me off to his horse farm (remember Vegas Vacation?).
Well to my surprise, I LOVED the show! We weren't the youngest people in the room, but it was close. Wayne's show was a fun combination of his songs, covers of other hits & comedy. I was the only person in the room who knew that the 2006 Academy Award winning song was It's Hard Out Here For a Pimp (& I felt a little embarassed shouting that title out considering the audience). But they asked if anyone knew the title & then they performed it! One of Waynes' singers told him who I was & we took photos with Wayne & various others. I'll post them if I can ever figure out how to scan.
I'd highly recommend the show: Old school Vegas at it's best!

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Memorial Delay

Sorry for the lack of posts. I try to keep my blog upbeat & lighthearted (much as the way I live my life). Unfortunately, we had a death in the family recently & that, combined with Memorial Day has left me at a loss about what to write. Without getting into any discussion about political beliefs or thoughts on the war, I'd like to say that I think of myself as a very patriotic person. I'm very proud to be an American. My Grandfather was a fighter pilot in World War I & my Father was in the Army in World War II. On this first day of Memorial Day Weekend, I sit at home, surrounded by my loving family, & quietly support our troops.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Myspace & My First Frenemy

Well, I'm about a week into my myspace experience & I finally understand the appeal. My 300+ friends are made up of a fun mixture of real friends, old friends that I'd lost touch with, people I've met or worked with, people I'd like to meet & a group I guess could best be described as people who'd like to meet me. My myspace philosophy is simple: If you ask to be my friend, I'll accept your friendship. I look at everyone's profile first, but haven't turned down any requests. I might be a little concerned about my "friend" who likes "kinky balloon play"; but perhaps only because I'm not sure what that is. I'm also flattered by the handsome, famous guy who asked me out & then apologized when he read my bio & saw that I was happily married.
I did have to delete one friend. In two days he filled my bulletin board with over 100 messages. He responded to his elimination from my friend list by informing me that there are much "cooler" people than me to chat with. I'm sorry Naked Shower Guy (a description of his online photo, not his screen name), but you're right, there are much cooler people.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Teacher Appreciation Day



Tomorrow is National Teacher Appreciation Day. They've taken a survey & by an overwhelming majority, the teachers have said that the gift they most appreciate is a heartfelt letter from their students or parents. Teacher Appreciation Day makes me think of all the teachers I've had over the years: the Good, the Bad & the just plain...Odd. For the Good, I immediately think of Mr. Alexander, my 6th grade teacher who told fascinating stories & read O. Henry books to the class. I also think of Ms. Girault, my favorite teacher ever (English in Junior High) who encouraged me to write & let me babysit her beautiful daughters (with equally beautiful names: Genvieve & Giselle). I didn't even complain when she only paid me 75 cents an hour (way below the going rate of $1). For the Bad, no one compares to my junior high art teacher, Ms. Costello, who brutally told me that I had no artistic ability & was wasting my time & her time! All these years later I still think she was awful! Just goes to show how biting comments can stay with you. For the Odd, I automatically think of one of my College Instructors who taught the oddly named course: Challenges Of Leisure. A typical class involved an evening field trip to a dark side of town where we'd hang out with prostitutes and drug dealers. I'm still not sure if he was promoting that as an appropriate way to fill our free time or perhaps just an alternative. In retrospect, I guess I'm lucky that the tabloids didn't run an article suggesting that I was turning tricks!

Friday, May 04, 2007

Be My Friend!


I know I'm way too old and not cool enough to be on MySpace, but one of my dearest friends set up a profile for me and I'm going to use it.
So the next step is getting friends (since that seems to be the "goal" on MySpace). Most folks seem to have thousands of cyber friends & I currently have 1. If you're familiar with MySpace, you probably know that my first friend "Tom" isn't even a real person. Well, I suppose he's a real person, but he's not technically my friend. But I think on MySpace, the word "friend" is used rather loosely.
But with that said, please be my MySpace "friend".

Thursday, May 03, 2007

10,000!



Today my little website will have it's 10,000th visitor!

http://www.starwebsites.com/erinmurphy/

That may not seem like much by celebrity standards, but for me it's huge! Thanks for taking the time to stop by.

Monday, April 30, 2007

Hats Off To William Shatner!


Frequently when a celebrity lends their support to a charity you hear about it everywhere. But I think just as often, anonymous checks are sent or good deeds go unnoticed. Well, right here in my own backyard, William Shatner has quietly been hosting a charity horse show for the last 17 years! We had the pleasure of attending & it was truly inspiring (& really fun too!). The kids loved the stunt riders & I got teary as a beautiful little girl with Down's Syndrome did an equestrian routine to Wind Beneath My Wings. Usually (despite the best intentions) only a portion of the proceeds at these events actually make it to the recipient. But Mr. Shatner has been able to get everything donated so every penny that comes in, goes right back out. The recipients are Ahead With Horses: a therapeutic riding program that provides services for children with disabilities and developmental disorders & Camp Max Straus: an amazing facility that provides a camping experience for underprivileged children.
You might wonder which of Bill's celebrity friends showed up...Leonard Nimoy? James Spader?
Nope. In no particular order: Scott Hamilton (One of my favorite ice skaters, & I'm not embarrassed to admit I have favorites!), Gary Busey (http://imdb.com/name/nm0000997/), Rick Dees (http://imdb.com/name/nm0214418/), Jimmy Kimmel (http://imdb.com/name/nm0453994/) & Karen Black (http://imdb.com/name/nm0000947/)


Wednesday, April 25, 2007

HGTV: Rate My Space!


HGTV has a fun new feature on their site where you can upload photos of your home & readers will "rate" it! You can show off your interior decorating skills or ask questions like "What color should I paint my walls?" If you're shy about sharing, you can also browse rooms for inspiration.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Hooray for HBO!




HBO really knows how to do original programming. The Sopranos, Big Love, Rome, Entourage, Curb Your Enthusiasm & Sex and The City...Love them all! Great acting, original scripts & new episodes this week for Sopranos & Entourage. Plus, Rex Lee who plays Ari's assistant has the distinction of being the most intoxicated person I've ever had a conversation with...although I'm SURE he doesn't remember!

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

The Joy of Motherhood!



People are always asking me what my license plate means. SC actually stands for several things. I love Southern California, I love USC college football (Fight On!). I'm also fond of Santa Claus & sugar cookies, but more importantly I LOVE six children!

But occasionally children can do things that make even a loving parent a little upset. You know the incident will eventually be a funny family story, but it hasn't quite made it there yet. When I was a kid, I loved the story about how when my Uncle Jimmy was a little boy he thought he was a magician & made all the clothespins disappear in the toilet. I'm sure it wasn't so funny for my grandparents who had to dig up all the pipes in their front yard. Well, one of my children (who shall remain nameless) recently discovered the "magic toilet" & made one of my favorite necklaces (pictured above) vanish. Somehow, the clothespin story no longer seems so amusing.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Terms of Endearment!



Confession time: I like McDonald's. Most of my friends would describe me as healthy. I always have fruits & veggies in the fridge. I choose water over soda. Sushi is my favorite food. But, I still have a special place in my heart for Micky D's. I've been going there my entire life (I remember when burgers were a quarter!). I did a commercial for McDonald's when I was a young teen (sadly no food was consumed). They also have really great happy meal toys & the best fast food fries. I always order a hamburger happy meal (with just ketchup on the burger, barbecue sauce to dip my fries & a diet coke). But my fondness for the place has nothing to do with this post. I'm writing about the boy (I'm pretty sure he's under 18) who works the register & occasionally takes the orders outside. We go there about once a week, so I've seen him fairly regularly over the last 6 months. He always refers to me by a rather odd string of greetings (No, "Thank you, Ma'am, or even Miss for this young man). He's called me "Hon, Baby, Sweetie, Babe, Dear & even Toots"! I'm never sure how to react. My kids always look puzzled & as we drive away say "Do you KNOW that guy?

Monday, April 09, 2007

AIDS Awareness


If you're in Vegas this Friday, I'll be hosting the Fashion Fling Event to benefit Aid for AIDS of Nevada. http://thefashionfling.com/ Stop by, it should be fun!
I thought you also might be interested in reading my answers to a magazine interview regarding the Hollywood Graffiti Gown & my experience modeling.

1. What was the experience like modeling during Fashion Week?
I had a wonderful time. I'm a huge fan of fashion, so it was fun participating in a show rather than being a spectator. I had already convinced myself that I was going to fall (and accepted that fact) so when I didn't fall, it was a huge relief!

2. What was your favorite part of the show?
Besides the whole "not falling", my favorite part was seeing the Graffiti Gown. It was truly inspirational that AIDS awareness can come about in such an unconventional way. Plus, since I love fashion & TV, it was exciting to see all the Jeran gowns with television history.

3. What was the most challenging aspect of modeling?
I think the most challenging part was trying to look taller. I'm only 5'4" & some of the girls that I was modeling with were 6'. I watch America's Next Top Model, so I thought it wouldn't be a problem faking a runway walk, but I came out to Material Girl & the designers wanted me to dance like Madonna. I wiggled around a little & waved & blew kisses to the audience (probably more like a 6 year old than a sexy superstar!).

4. Based on that experience, if you could would you want to model for a living? I have fairly strong opinions & have a hard time keeping quiet. When I watch the show Project Runway, it makes me want to design clothes & explain them, not model them.

5. Has that experience altered your perception of fashion models? I worked as a makeup artist & stylist for years, so I've worked with lots of models. This reinforced my opinion that models are very hardworking, young, pretty & tall!

6. What was your impression of the Hollywood Graffiti Gown?
Noted above. It's really something you should see in person. It's very thought provoking. I provided my signature to be added to it. I'm honored to be included & have written about it in my blog (in hopes that any mention allows more people to not only know about the gown, but also the underlying issue : AIDS awareness).

8. Which signature was the most impressive to you and why?
Mother Teresa. As much as folks seem to admire actors, I have to give my admiration to a great humanitarian.

9. If you could have any woman—living or dead—sign the gown today who hasn't already, whom would it be and why? Elizabeth Montgomery. She was such a big supporter of AIDS research. After she passed away she donated her clothing to the AIDS Healthcare Foundation in Los Angeles. We had a fashion show fundraiser & I modeled in that as well. She would have wanted to be a part of this project.
http://www.hollywoodgraffitigown.com/

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

I-Tunes: Free Means Free!


I was late to the whole i-pod thing. My introduction to i-pods came when I won a video i-pod at my sisters' company holiday party (a fact that didn't seem to please the actual employees). My i-pod holds 30G (which I think is higher than my computer). How in the world could I ever fill it?
I-Tunes to the rescue! Every week I-Tunes offers free downloads (songs, TV shows, short films, etc.). This week, 6 episodes of Sesame Street are free (TV shows are normally $1.99).
The big secret (at least to i-pod novices like myself), you don't need an i-pod to receive the free downloads, just a computer. You never know when you might need to entertain a toddler!

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Moving On Up!

Let me start by saying that I HATE moving! Sorting the closets crammed with stuff that somehow seemed important enough to keep. Packing, unpacking, trying to decide where everything goes. It just seems easier to stay where you are. But, this summer we're going to take a leap. We found a home that makes the move worthwhile: big enough for the kids & animals to run & play, amazing schools, close to work & check out the view!

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Fashion Update & Exciting VH1 News!

Here's a photo backstage at the fashion show wearing Jeran Designs "Playboy" gown. I'm pictured with one of the designers, Jerry Skeels. No negative comparisons to Joan Collins please (I didn't have the benefit of airbrushing).
Exciting News!
I just got a call that I'm shooting a pilot in a couple days for VH1. No details yet (I don't want my possible future employer mad at me).

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Another Day, Another Gown

I just had the pleasure of modeling the spectacular gown that Jeran Designs created for Joan Collins to wear on the cover of the 1983 Christmas issue of Playboy magazine. I learned insider info that before posing, Joan had gone on a strict diet of...champagne & caviar! The dress went on to be the inspiration for the famous "Jessica Rabbit" dress in Who Framed Roger Rabbit. I walked the catwalk to the tune "Material Girl" & the designers asked me to utilize my "dance training" & move like Madonna. Dance training (??)...Could they mean the tap lessons I had when I was 6?

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Deja Vu

As much as things change, they stay the same. I'm in Palm Springs for a few days & everyone is talking about how much it's evolved in the last few years. Granted, there are beautiful resorts & great shopping. The lux Merv Griffin Resort has transformed into the ultra funky "Parker" (if you ever have a chance to try a Kobe beef slider, I'd highly recommend it.). But, Palm Springs is still the picturesque, quaint desert town where I learned to swim when I was a very little girl. I experienced the same sense of deja vu on my recent trip to Sunset Gower Studios. It's undergoing a multi million dollar renovation & all I could think was "Oh my gosh, the big doors on Stage 3 are exactly the same!".

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Legos



Am I the only parent who has a love / hate relationship with Legos? I love the look of accomplishment on a child's face after they've built something spectacular. I love the big plastic tubs that let the kids use their imaginations to build (& then rebuild). I love how they keep the kids entertained for hours. I even love Legoland (a Southern California theme park, with rides & entertainment). What I don't love is that Legos are now sold in "model sets" like Harry Potter & Star Wars. New sets seem to be released every day. Don't get me wrong, I used to be a fan of these sets. But the problem is, kids build the model, then they want MORE lego sets. Sometimes the models are displayed, but other times the models break & then end up in a huge bin of broken models, or in a Lego pile on the floor. Alright, maybe "hate" is too strong a word to use, but if you've ever stepped on a Lego first thing in the morning, you might agree with me.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Verge: Know When To Say Yes!

Verge Living

One of the fun things about having a blog is that I can talk about whatever I want. Today, I'm going to shamelessly plug my darling husbands' new project in Downtown Las Vegas. He & his company have graciously allowed me to include an autism awareness fundraiser in conjunction with their VIP Grand Opening of the Verge Lifestyle Center:
VERGE, downtown Las Vegas' newest mid-rise, mixed-use condominium community, has announced it's Grand Opening Ceremony for March 15th, 2007. Reservations for the Priority Interest List are now being taken. Downtown Las Vegas is currently undergoing an epic $14 billion revitalization to cultivate the first pedestrian-friendly, urban experience Las Vegas has ever seen, similar to the makeover that redefined downtown San Diego's gaslight district making it one of the most exclusive areas of the city. This comprehensive plan consists of new commercial, residential, retail, live-entertainment and dining establishments for local patrons to live, work, and play.VERGE is a testament to the vibrant future of the new downtown Las Vegas. The innovative architectural design promises significantly lower cost to build, which is great news for potential residents. But although attractively priced from $149,900, VERGE homeowners are buying much more than a condominium. VERGE's location is within walking distance to all the action, including the newly renovated Fremont Street casinos, the Block, Union Park's World Jewelry Mart, the World Market Center, the Smith's Performing Arts Theater, Fremont East's Entertainment District, shopping malls, boutiques, and much more.VERGE's 296 residence community will offer the latest in modern living, state-of-the-art architecture and design. There are 39 impressive floor plans including studios, one, two, three bedroom condominiums and spectacular lofts with 23-foot ceilings. Many residences will have remarkable views of downtown Las Vegas & the entire Las Vegas Valley. Other onsite amenities include 2 rooftop pools, rooftop restaurant, on-site boutique grocery store, wine bar, indoor racquet ball courts, fitness center with steam and locker rooms, secure access-controlled parking and entry, and even a rooftop pet park.Las Vegas Mayor Oscar Goodman will preside over the ribbon cutting and give his insights on the newly emerging downtown redevelopment. Mark Stark, CEO of Prudential Americana Group Realtors, and Darren Dunckel, the developer, will be keynote speakers. This will be everyone's first look at VERGE, and it should be exciting. No reservations will be taken at the Grand Opening Ceremony - this event will be purely for fun and information. It is anticipated that fully refundable reservations will be taken within a week or two of the Grand Opening, and that units will go to contract sometime in May for late 2008 delivery. To register for the VERGE Priority Interest List, please go to the Verge website:http://www.vergeliving.com/ . As a registered Priority Interest List guest, you will be invited to attend the VIP Grand Opening of the Verge Lifestyle Center, so come join us for the hottest party in town: eat, drink and mingle with the key players of Old and New Las Vegas. The VIP Grand Opening will be held on March 15th from 5:30 pm to 8:30 pm at 516 North Main Street (at Bonanza).
Hope to see you there!

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Hollywood Graffiti Gown


Emmy Award winning designers, Jerry Skeels and Randy McLaughlin, have asked me to model their spectacular Hollywood Graffiti Gown. The gown was created to raise awareness of AIDS and its' mission is to bring women of all ages and cultures together to make a significant impact through fashion and influence towards the fight against AIDS. The gown is covered with more than 400 signatures of notable women including: Barbra Streisand, Elizabeth Taylor, Sharon Stone, Kate Blanchett, Sophia Loren, Mother Teresa...& now ME!! The Hollywood Graffiti Gown was the focus of the 2006 Best International Documentary. The gown will be touring the globe, before being auctioned for an opening bid of $1,000,000 to benefit AIDS research. It's believed that the gown will eventually be displayed in the Smithsonian & I'm honored to be included!

http://www.classic-media-entertainment.com/Graffiti%20Gown%20home.htm

Monday, March 05, 2007

Out of The Mouths of Babes!


My little boy was telling me that one day he'd like to have a pony named "Steve". I told him that I'd never met a pony named Steve. I asked where he'd gotten the name (since there are no Steves in his class & I couldn't think of any cartoons with a Steve). He told me it was from Shrek. He elaborated by saying the donkey in Shrek says "I'm your Noble Steve". He meant "Noble STEED". Isn't that cute? What are the odds that I'd have two donkey posts in a row?

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Let's All Laugh Together Now


I hate mass joke e-mails. I'm sure you get them too. Friends, family, co-workers all get the same jokes & then they all think you'll find them hilarious (so they ALL send them to you). I don't like getting them, but I've never complained, I find it a little bit sweet that my friends /family are trying to make me laugh (or cry, or feel patriotic, etc. depending on the tone of the e-mail) .

You may have seen this one before, but it's a good one!

One day a farmer's donkey fell down into a well.
The animal cried piteously for hours as the farmer tried to figure out what to do. Finally, he decided the animal was old, and the well needed to be covered up anyway; it just wasn't worth it to retrieve the donkey.
He invited all his neighbors to come over and help him. They all grabbed a shovel and began to shovel dirt into the well. At first, the donkey realized what was happening and cried horribly. Then, to everyone's amazement he quieted down.
A few shovel loads later, the farmer finally looked down the well. He was astonished at what he saw.
With each shovel of dirt that hit his back, the donkey was doing something amazing. He would shake it off and take a step up. As the farmer's neighbors continued to shovel dirt on top of the animal, he would shake it off and take a step up. Pretty soon, everyone was amazed as the donkey stepped up over the edge of the well and happily trotted off!

Life is going to shovel dirt on you, all kinds of dirt. The trick to getting out of the well is to shake it off and take a step up. Each of our troubles is a stepping stone. We can get out of the deepest wells just by not stopping, never giving up! Shake it off and take a step up.

Remember the five simple rules to be happy:
1. Free your heart from hatred - Forgive.
2. Free your mind from worries - Most never happen.
3. Live simply and appreciate what you have.
4. Give more.
5. Expect less

NOW --------
Enough of that . . .

The donkey later came back, and bit the farmer who had tried to
bury him. The gash from the bite got infected, and the farmer eventually died in
agony from septic shock.

MORAL FROM TODAY'S LESSON:

When you do something wrong, and try to cover your ass, it always comes back to bite you.

Monday, February 26, 2007

Think Spring

To all my friends on the East Coast (& other cold climates), Hang in there...Spring is on the way!!

Friday, February 23, 2007

Discontinued



Don't you hate it when a company discontinues a product you love? It happens all the time, when they try to "reformulate" something to somehow try to make it better. Companies usually fail miserably when they try to improve a classic (new Coke anyone?). Well California Pizza Kitchen has eliminated my favorite: Peking Duck Pizza (hold the crispy wontons please). I understand it may not have been for everyone, but CPK is known for the original. My kids love the BLT pizza (bacon, lettuce, tomato & mayo) which surprisingly is still on the menu. I guess I'll have to start ordering the garlic chicken (good, but not delicious).

Monday, February 19, 2007

Starbucks Addiction!


Ok, I admit it...I'm addicted to Starbucks. I can't help it, their coffee is just SO good. No matter how hard I try, coffee just doesn't taste as good when I make it at home. I use the same coffee beans, the same flavored syrup & it's somehow not quite right. I'm pretty sure that some day a study will be conducted that shows Starbucks has some "secret" ingredient that they slip in the cup that makes their coffee so delicious. I'm not apologizing for my love. As far as addictions go, coffee & chocolate are relatively harmless. The caffeine speeds up my metabolism, takes away headaches, & just makes me feel better. One word of advice for my germ obsessed readers (which I most definitely am not!): Have you ever noticed that when people take their coffee drink to the sugar / milk station they remove the plastic top & put it face down on the ledge? That means the top part that touches your lips is touching the "germy" counter. I flip the lid over so the bottom of the lid rests on the counter when I add three splendas to my venti nonfat sugar free vanilla latte. I tell you, it's a sickness!!

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

julib.com

Perhaps you don't know that I'm multi-talented. Besides my family & tv stuff, I'm also a "luxury lifestyle" writer. Here are my Valentines Day beauty picks for www.julib.com.

beauty picks
in case you don't get what you really want for valentine's day, no worries. take things into your own hands with this month's beauty picks.


hangover over.
finally, a wine that won't leave you dehydrated. dior l'or de vie, la crème with chateau d'yquem grapevine sac can actually reverse the damage from all that pinot. it's back ordered everywhere, but use your connections and you just might find it. $320. at neiman marcus. 9700 wilshire boulevard. at roxbury drive. 310.550.5900.

chocoholic.
who needs a box of godiva when you can quench your chocolate cravings with a bliss double chocolate pedicure? at the w hotel. 930 hilgard avenue. off lindbrook drive. 323.930.0330.

haute chocolate.
famous praline makers, coppeneur have turned their skill with the sweet stuff into a limited edition fragrance set. dark chocolate and estate cacao beans will satisfy your sweet tooth, while the eau de cacao in the handblown flacon will leave you smelling good enough to eat. $110.
scent bar. 8327 beverly boulevard. bewteen la cienega and crescent heights. 323.782.8300.

fish eggs.
nothing says luxury like caviar. whether you nibble it on toast or slather it on your skin, it's an indulgent treat. which brings us to the kerstin florian caviar facial at the four seasons beverly hills, naturally. 300 south doheny drive. between 3rd street and burton way. 310.273.2222.

good as gold.
first they brought us caviar. now our friends at la prairie have brought us pure gold to wipe away the signs of a life well lived. at $525 an ounce, cellular radiance concentrate pure gold is worth its weight in, well, gold.

who needs a ring?
we've all heard that diamonds are a girl's best friend. you'll know it's true after a 90-minute precious diamond massage at the peninsula beverly hills. 9882 south santa monica boulevard. at wilshire. 310.975.2854.

perfect date.
chocolate and roses. champagne and caviar. partake without the guilt with one of verabella's famous facials. her tiny salon in beverly hills has been a hangout for the hollywood elite for over 25 years. verabella. 301 north canon drive. at dayton way. 310.278.4733.

all that glitters.
get glowing with scott barnes diamond dust, $28. enough said.

Click below to read my picks online:
http://www.julib.com/beautypicks021307LA.html









Sunday, February 11, 2007

Meanwhile, Back at the Ranch...




I promised you an update, so here it is. Yesterday we filmed the special features for the DVD box set. The weather forecast was calling for rain, but it was a beautiful day at 1164 Morning Glory Circle. As I drove up to the gate at the WB Ranch, the guard welcomed me home. As much as things in life change, the Ranch is still SO much the same. Of course there are changes to the Bewitched house & the neighboring houses, but everything is still so recognizable! I didn't see any of the bunnies that used to roam the Ranch (that I'd bring carrots for) but the pool I used to swim in on hot days was still there. In a happy twist (to illustrate the power of a little blog) I'd mentioned the other day about "possibly" continuing the tour at Sunset Gower Studios. The morning after my post, I received an e-mail from one of the senior v.p.s of the public relations firm that represents Sunset Gower. He had read my blog & was able to make that portion of the tour happen for us! They were filming the show "House" on Stage 3 yesterday when we visited & we were able to get some great footage on the lot. No word on when the DVD box set comes out (sorry, I asked!). It was a fun day with beautiful weather & a great crew & so nice to take a stroll down memory lane!

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Horse Dancing


I love animals (dogs, cats, tortoises, etc). But, I've always had a special spot in my heart for horses. I started riding about as soon as I could walk. I remember every year asking for a pony (then when I was older a horse) for Christmas. Sadly, Santa couldn't carry a pony in his sleigh, so I didn't get my first horse until I was 21. There's a certain bond between people and their animals that's really hard to describe. I found a remarkable video on youtube that shows Dutch horse trainer Wim Vonck "dancing" with one of his horses. It's really beautiful!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6N1ZiA8SUyk

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Bewitched Box Set

I've received lots of e-mails asking about Bewitched DVD's & their lack of special features. Well Sony heard from you too & they want you to be happy. So, despite the fact that I rarely mention Bewitched on my blog, I figured you'd like to hear the latest news. Sony is going to be releasing Bewitched as a box set & next week we're filming the special features. I will be hosting a tour of the Warner Brothers Ranch where we filmed the exteriors for Bewitched & possibly the studio (now Sunset Gower, used to be Screen Gems). I'll fill you in on all the details after filming.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Daily Diary



Today I'm going to share with my blog readers a blog that I read. It's called Dorothys' Daily Diary & I love it! The site is a teenagers' diary from the forties with all her thoughts on life, friends & dating, lovingly transcribed by her son. It has information added by Dorothys' sister on the people & places mentioned & also includes headlines from the day. The diary is updated daily with Dorothys' entry from the same date in 1945. It's such a personal site and really offers a fascinating glimpse at a different time.

http://www.dhdd.net/dorothy/1945/today.html

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Useless Information?


A longtime friend of my husbands' (I won't give his name because he works in finance & this is kind of a silly post) has taught me an easier way to open a banana. I must preface this post by saying, I never really thought that opening a banana was difficult to begin with. It seems that while observing monkeys for an extended period of time, our friend realized that they don't peel their bananas the way we do. Instead of peeling the banana from the stem (which I believe is the "traditional" human way), a monkey will use the stem as a handle & lightly pinch the bottom of the banana & peel from there. It really is easier. I told you this was a silly post!

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Chocolate Altoids!

I think no matter how good something is, there's always room for improvement. I love cinnamon Altoids. The entire "curiously strong" part of them totally appeals to me. So how in the world could they make them better? They've dipped them in chocolate!! The folks at Altoids have been giving them out at various awards shows & events to get the buzz out there. They're hard to find right now, but soon they'll be everywhere. Really good!
I've been hoarding these new delicious treats (much like Elaine on that episode of Seinfeld, when she has to decide if her dates are "sponge worthy"). However, I've just learned from Mindy Ephron (who costars on the great show The Office) that the chocolate Altoids are available online: Order them at www.candywarehouse.com.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

American Idol


We're two episodes into season 6 of American Idol & I think I'm the only person in America who prefers watching the really talented people audition. There's something a little sad about knowing that the really bad /odd singers had to audition before several panels of producers before they're finally able to perform for Randy, Simon & Paula. Each step along the way, as they see their numbers whittled down from the 10,000 people who show up, to the 100 that get before the judges, they probably get a little boost in confidence & think "Hey, I AM a good singer". Then at the end of a very long day, they find out that they've really only been strung along for comic relief. Don't get me wrong, I really like American Idol & America still LOVES American Idol. The 2-hour season premiere had 37.3 million viewers & 36.9 million people watched the Wednesday night episode. These were the two biggest nights of prime-time entertainment on Fox since it came onto the air nearly two decades ago. To put the numbers into perspective, the most popular show on TV so far this season, ABC's "Desperate Housewives," averages 20.7 million viewers a week - or a little more than half of what "Idol" delivered upon its return. My favorite Simon comment so far was directed at the girl who blamed her dry throat on her bad performance: "You could lie in a bath with your mouth open and you still couldn't sing."

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Best Dressed




The Best Dressed lists for the Golden Globes are coming out & I'd like to add Rebecca Gayheart. I loved her ice blue gown & she had the perfect accessory...handsome hubby Eric Dane!

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Lilo and Her Stitches






I have a confession to make (please don't throw anything): I like Lindsay Lohan. I'm not the type of person to base my opinion of someone on what's written about them in the press. Besides, there are always so many conflicting stories that I wouldn't even know what to believe. I like her as an actress (What's not to like?). Freaky Friday: Her remake was better than the Jodie Foster original. Parent Trap: Even folks who aren't LiLo fans, begrudgingly agree that she was great in this. Mean Girls...I liked it enough that some of my middle aged friends & I greeted eachother with "Hey Mean Girl" for a couple weeks. I prefer her as a redhead (as opposed to Prairie Home Companion blonde or Bobby brown). I don't know why anyone with real red hair would ever consider coloring it. Another plus is that Lindsay truly loves fashion & usually (not always) makes pretty good (or at least interesting) style choices. One more confession: I didn't even recognize her in her new Miu Miu campaign!

Saturday, January 13, 2007

25 to 24!



When I met my husband, he had a teeny tiny television and didn't have cable. Needless to say after marrying me, he now has an enormous television & likes to DVR. But, there are still only two television programs that my darling hubby has to watch live: one is USC football & the other is 24. I have to agree with him on both counts! 24 is one of the best shows on the air. The acting and plot lines are amazing. You really don't want each episode to end. Kiefer Sutherland was always on my list of great underrated actors who deserved to be more famous than they were (James Spader was on that list too, before he landed Boston Legal). If you haven't succumbed to the lure of 24, tomorrow is your chance. Each season of 24 is "self contained" and the new season starts Sunday night at 8:00 on Fox. Trust me, after watching the 2 hour premiere episode on Sunday & another 2 hour episode on Monday, you'll be hooked too.

Friday, January 12, 2007

Flushed Away?




I know most of you are going to think this is another crazy invention, but I think it's kind of cool. Someone has invented a toilet /aquarium! As a mom to boys, I am convinced they would love this. It can also be adapted to house lizards & other reptiles. I'm sure many of you have had bad luck with gold fish (Who hasn't?). I've had over 100 goldfish in my life (usually won at one of those carnival ping pong ball toss booths) & they almost always die within a week. Let me recommend a fresh water fish that lives for years & thrives on neglect: Japanese Fighting Fish (or Bettas). If you feed them once a week, and change their water every few months they'll live for years!

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Room For Improvement?



I'm all for any product that will make your life easier, more organized or more attractive. I was looking online for closet organization supplies to help me contain my massive shoe & handbag collection, when I stumbled across the contraption pictured at left. My first thought was "Now THAT'S something new!". Designers take inspiration from any number of sources. Obviously this designer was inspired by...the hamster wheel. I don't know if it really "revolutionizes the fine art of shoe storage", but it is unique. It doesn't appear to take up less space & would benefit from little plastic doors to keep the shoes from getting dusty. I don't think I'd use it for my designer pumps, but it might work for sandals & sneakers. The kids would probably like it, but most likely use it for action figures & their pet tortoise. Oh well, I admire anyone who tries to create something new. According to their site, the item is sold out until the end of February.

Friday, January 05, 2007

Flight Styles of The Semi-Famous

I've mentioned before about bumping into celebrities on flights & it's happened again! This week I had to travel for work, so I was sitting in first class (hooray!). I'm a big people watcher & I love airports. I like to pass time by trying to figure out everyones' "back story" as they get on the plane (businessman flying to a convention, former athlete flying to a speaking engagement, young author flying to meet her publisher, etc.). A man with black tinted glasses entered the plane & I thought: former actor...Mickey Rourke? It took just a second for me to realize it was Anson Williams! If you don't know who Anson Williams is, shame on you. He was Potsie on Happy Days for 10 years. Amazingly, I was the only person on the plane who seemed to recognize him. I was chatting with the flight attendants & they (what a coincidence) brought up flying with famous people. They had just flown with Nick Lachey (in their words "so polite & totally hot"). I asked if they recognized the guy in 3 C. Hey, Potsie was the "hot guy" on Happy Days (remember the episode where Joanie calls him "Dren" because it's the opposite of nerd?) & these flight attendants were my age. Neither one recognized him, even after looking at his name on the passenger list. After we landed, our eyes met & we both smiled. I don't know how others react when faced with the famous. Do you say you're a fan? Do you acknowledge their fame? I asked him to retrieve my bag from the overhead compartment.
I IMDBd him on my laptop in the hotel (looked him up on the Internet Movie Database, which isn't really very accurate). I learned that his real name is Anson William Heimlich & his uncle, Dr. Henry Heimlich, created the "Heimlich maneuver". I also found out that he now has a great career as a director. I'm glad.

Monday, January 01, 2007

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year Everyone! It's time to reflect on 2006, figure out what worked for you & what you could maybe do a little better this year. If you need ideas for your New Years' Resolutions here are some of my favorites:
1. Drink more water (you'll look better & feel better).
2. Learn how to do something new or make time for an activity you love (horseback riding, sailing, dancing, cooking, etc.).
3. Cultivate your friendships (be a good friend).
4. Give the gift of time (volunteer somewhere, play with your kids, talk to your partner).
5. Choose to be happy (You can't always change how others act, but you have total control over how you react).
I hope this year brings you all health, happiness & success. Have a positive attitude & 2007 will be the best year ever!