Wednesday, October 15, 2014

New England's Perfect Halloween Destination: Salem

This past Columbus Day weekend, the monsters and I jetted off for a fall New England getaway. I knew immediately one stop I wanted to make: Salem, MA. Salem is one of my favorite places in the world. I used to teach an American Lit. course and teaching all about the Salem Witch Trials was my favorite thing to do as we read Miller's The Crucible. I figured the girls were a good age to join in the fun, so off we went to Salem to experience their Haunted Happenings.

If you haven't been to Salem in October, you are missing out! Costumes are a-ok to wear any day of the month, and the entire town feels like a giant open air market devoted to all things Halloween and witches. The funny thing about the Salem Witch Trials is that none of the witches were actually witches at all, so none of the educational attractions are too scary for little ones (the haunted houses, however, may terrify them.)

We started out our day at the Witch History Museum. Our tour guide was super funny and made the experience a blast. We travelled downstairs with him to check out some reenactments of famous scenes from the trials. I had never went to this particular museum before, but I definitely recommend it.

Next up was another new attraction for me, Salem Time Machine. This is a really cool attraction: a fully 3D haunted house. There are various scare levels and the woman working was very helpful and told the ghouls to go on coffee break so we could walk through without any scares at all. My scaredy cats were still a little scared though, so they closed their eyes. Daddy Monster and I really enjoyed walking through though, and I can honestly say I have never seen a haunted house this unique. I imagine it can be truly terrifying with the jumping out scares, and I look forward to visiting again sans kiddos soon.

Finally, we went to an old favorite, The New England Pirate Museum. Zoe loves the pirate tales, and we even bought the girls some pirate hooks while we were there. While the museum does have some violent scenes of pirate debauchery, this is a great place to take the kids if the scares are getting to be to intense for them.

I cannot wait to get back to Salem and check out some more attractions, and you should too, Check out the Haunted Happenings page for links to all the great events Salem has to offer and have a spooktacular time!

Friday, October 3, 2014

Thunder and the House of Magic Available at Walmart

We love Shout Factory and the great DVDs they put out. Recently we got a chance to preview Thunder and the House of Magic and the Monsters loved it!

The film tells the story of Thunder, an abandoned young cat who stumbles into a magical old mansion operated by a dazzling array of automatons and gizmos. Owned by a retired magician, the house is occupied by an assortment of his wacky assistants who don't all welcome the new houseguest. But when the magician lands in the hospital and his scheming nephew puts the mansion up for sale, our young hero and his new friends join forces to save their magical home. Filled with laughter and adventure, THUNDER AND THE HOUSE OF MAGIC is a wonderful tale that you and your little ones will love.

The DVD is perfect for little ones and available exclusively at Walmart now!

Monday, September 29, 2014

Last Comic Standing Tour Review

So, as you know from our previous coverage, we recently got a chance to cover the Last Comic Standing tour featuring the final five from the NBC show. I have to tell you, the show did not disappoint. First of all, the venue at Foxwoods was perfect for a comedy show since there were no bad seats in the house (though ours were particularly good in my opinion!)

The show opened with a fantastic set from Rocky Laporte who I barely saw perform on the show. His"tips" were a great opener.

Next up was my comic crush, Joe Machi. Joe seemed really nervous, but that is his comedic style so it worked to his advantage. The crowd was definitely Machi Nation friendly with a fan yelling out that he should have won, to which Machi replied, "I deserved that."

Lachlan Patterson and Nikki Carr both managed to deliver sets with completely new material and both were even better live than on the show. Lachlan's bit about bodybuilders was comedic genius. Finally, winner Rod Man closed the show with his rambling humor and absolute likeability.

All the comics were waiting outside the theater after the show and I snagged a sweet new profile picture with my boo, Joe.

All in all, we had a fantastic night. Check out the Last Comic Standing tour in a city near you and definitely check out the awesome venue at Foxwoods when you are in the area!

Monday, September 22, 2014

Last Comic Standing Tour Spotlight Interview: Joe Machi

We are so excited for the upcoming Last Comic Standing tour, coming to New England this week! We recently got a chance to interview our personal favorite comic from the show: Joe Machi. If you haven't seen Joe's comedy before, you are missing out! His comedic style is unlike any other and you need to check him out on his YouTube or as the Frightened Correspondent. Check out our convo below and the full tour schedule so you don't miss out on your chance to see these great comedians live!

Photo courtesy of Joe's Facebook page

Joe, Who were the funny people that influenced you most to pursue stand up?

Norm MacDonald and to a lesser degree Andy Kaufman. Norm always does what he thinks is funny. That may seem simple but a lot of comics write what's popular or what they think an audience will like. This takes away risk and individuality and makes for bland jokes.

What was the most challenging part of the Last Comic Standing show?

The most challenging part thing was that being on a TV show means a lot of other people want to give you input. Once you get to a certain level of comedy taking advice becomes bad. People see what made other comics a success. That doesn't mean it would or should work for you. Even the judges or mentors advice seemed like good advice for other people but not for me.

What has it been like to be on this tour so far? Is there pressure to be constantly funny with all these great comics around?

So far the tour has been great. It's a new experience to do shows in 1,500 seat theatres where everyone is excited to see you. I don't feel pressure to be funny with other comics around. I've gotten to know them well enough that it's more like hanging out with friends now.

What advice would you give new comedians just starting out?

Write what you think is funny then carve it down to what an audience also thinks is funny. It's good to fail. Comedians that kill every night usually are doing well because they're going for low hanging fruit. Stay away from stereotypes!

What's up next for you after this tour? Anything big in the works that we should know about?

I'm going to try to do a longer TV special and release an album next year. I haven't been doing comedy nearly as long as the other comics on tour. They all have albums. I feel unprepared when people ask me "where is your album?" after shows.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

We Loved Story Land!

If you were reading the blog last year, you may have seen our coverage of Story Land, in New Hampshire. Well, lucky ol' us got a chance to revisit the park before getting back to the grind of school and work and we had and even better time than last year! Both the girls were a little older and willing to go on more thrilling rides, and Lea is exactly 36", a.k.a. the exact height needed for any of the rides her parents probably want to go on!


Since it was still pretty hot out, we went on every water attraction there and I haven't laughed that much in a long time; we got drenched on some of them! New to Story Land this year is the wooden Roar-O-Saurus. Lea was a smidge too little for it, so Daddy and Zoe went on a couple times and loved it! 

The day was amazing and a perfect end to summer. Story Land has something for everyone from babies to big kids and their parents as well. I have to say, the best thing is that there is hardly ever a wait for rides even on a busy day; that to a parent is a huge draw, am I right? You have to get down to Story Land. The park is open on weekends through Columbus Day (which happens to be my absolute favorite week to visit New Hampshire!) Check out our good times below and don't wait until summer, live the fairytale dream at Story Land this fall!

Our fave ride!

Just gorgeous

No visit is complete without saying hi to Cinderella!

Our ride home?

Thursday, September 18, 2014

LeapBand by LeapFrog Makes Fitness Fun!

As you may have seen on my social media pages, September 6 was national "Fit Made Fun" day and I got a great opportunity to host a MommyParty sponsored by CLIF Kids and LeapFrog. We got a chance to try out the brand new LeapFrog product: LeapBand, which is a kid's version of those fitness bands us adults wear, but so much more fun. The LeapBand offers games and (my favorite) timed challenges that make kids get off their butts and get active. We had some of the monsters' friends over for some outdoor exercise and healthy snacks and really lived the hashtag of #fitmadefun!

I definitely recommend the new LeapBand because all the kids loved it; whether they were crawling like snakes or jumping in the air, their bodies were in motion and having fun all at the same time. Like all other LeapFrog products, you get regular reports via email of your child's activity and accomplishments with the product....pretty cool! I even printed out some awards, shown below, for the kids for their athletic accomplishments that day; they loved that!

Raising my little vegan monsters, I believe in physical health and activity so much...healthy kids become healthy adults! Definitely check out LeapBand and our party pics below and show me your best #fitmadefun photos using that hashtag on Facebook or Twitter!

We received products to host our party with, but all opinions are our own.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Last Comic Standing Tour: Coming Soon to Bring the Laughs to You!

I am counting down the days until September 25th....why you ask? The Last Comic Standing Tour is coming to Foxwoods Casino and we are covering the event! If you didn't watch Last Comic Standing on NBC this year, you really missed out. There were great new judges, including Roseanne, and absolutely hilarious comedians! The top five comedians are going on a national tour and it should be a night full of belly laughs featuring Nikki Carr, Joe Machi, Lachlan Patterson, Rocky Laporte, and winner Rod Man.

Stay tuned on this blog for more coverage of this tour including an interview coming soon, as well as live coverage the night of the show. I will also be letting you know all the great Foxwoods comedy and entertainment events coming this fall; trust me, Foxwoods has a ton to offer! You can check out all the tour dates for the Last Comic Standing tour in the meantime by clicking the link below!