saying goodbye to season 11 of sytycd is bittersweet

So You Think You Can Dance Season 11 top 10

Somehow I didn’t shed a tear two days ago when I dropped my girls off at their 1st & 2nd grade classrooms, but tonight, I am going to cry.

You see, tonight is the season finale of So You Think You Can Dance, and finales always make me cry. This season in particular, however, has been sumptin special and saying goodbye to it won’t be easy.

Since it’s inception in 2005, I’ve watched the show religiously. To say that it is one of my favorite shows does not accurately characterize how deeply I feel about this show, and this season my love grew even deeper. Not only has the talent been off the charts, but also my daughters are now old enough to watch it and appreciate it alongside me.

Though we’ve had a fun summer, it’s also been a rough one, with transitioning from our nuclear “G-Unit” to Splitsville. Amidst the crazy summer schedule and the going between two homes, having a standing “date” with my girls, every Wednesday night from 8-10pm, provided stability, inspiration and boundless joy for the three of us.

We watched the show (not only live, but also at least three times during the week), we carefully calculated how to vote, we analyzed each little nuance of each dance, we fell in love with the dancers, and they fantasized about being on the show someday (so did I, actually–when will they open it up for 40+?).

We laughed along with the judges, and my girls laughed at me when I cried along with dances. Invariably there was a dance about a breakup and though the kids had no idea why I was crying (or maybe they did?), Lily would give me a little extra love while Lexi grabbed me some tissue from the bathroom.

Yesterday morning Lexi said, “Mom, this show has so many good memories for us.”

Yes it does, Lex, yes it does.

So tonight, we are wishing well to all the Top 4 dancers, Ricky, Jessica, Zack & Valerie, who are all incredibly deserving of their spots in the Top 4, and I am sending a special thank you to Nigel, Mary, my girl-crush Cat, the choreographers, and all the dynamite dancers for being a source of ultimate happiness for us this summer. Not sure how we’re going to wait another 9 months for next season! (Please tell me there will be a next season!).

Even if you didn’t watch the show this season for some cray cray reason, you should watch the finale tonight because it is sure to be amazing. Here are some highlights from the season to catch you up.

dance while you brush with tooth tunes™

How to Get your kids to brush for two minutes with Tooth Tunes

A music-playing toothbrush is on my list of top most genius inventions ever, so when I was hired to be a part of the Tooth Tunes™ Back-to-School campaign, I did a quick jig (and then said a quiet prayer that I’d get one with a One Direction song–yes, I like them, what?).

Regardless of how much I love my gold tooth, I’m still hoping my kids don’t end up with a grill. My older daughter has already had five cavities and my younger daughter is following right behind her with two. Getting them to brush for the full two minutes as suggested by their dentist is the hardest part (I didn’t even know until a few years ago that we’re supposed to brush for that long, which is probably why I have a gold tooth).

Now, with Tooth Tunes™, they get to boogie while they brush, and they do it for a full two minutes. There’s no setting a timer, or just hoping they brush that long—the timing is built into the brush. BAM!

In case you’re not familiar with how a Tooth Tunes tooth brush works–basically, sound vibrations stream from the bristles through your teeth so you hear music in your head. You won’t hear the music until you start brushing.

Here’s a quick vid of my kids demonstrating how it works:

Any chance my kids have to sing and dance they’ll take so I cannot be more thrilled with these things! (And P.S. I’m cracking up that Lexi made up a random number of how many cavities she’s had and then Lily called her out on it).
How to get your kids to brush for two minutes by Tooth Tunes

Popular songs offered by Tooth Tunes include:

  • “One Thing” by One Direction
  • “We Found Love” by Rihanna
  • “We Will Rock You” by Queen
  • Tooth Tunes Jr. “The Alphabet Song”
  • Tooth Tunes Jr. “Brush-a-long Song”
  • And so much more!

Now they just need to come up with musical dental floss and we’ll be set for life.

Be sure to visit the Tooth Tunes website to find a retail location by you.

What song would you want to jam to while you brush?
Music plays while you brush your teeth with Tooth Tunes by Arm & Hammer

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf Tooth Tunes.
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how to make the perfect herb artichoke

herb artichoke with curry cream sauce

If you’ve ever tried my mom’s artichoke then you’ve experienced a little slice of heaven. I have been trying to replicate her artichokes for years but somehow mine never turned out as well as hers. That is until now. The last time I was over at her house for a special occasion, which of course featured her yummy artichokes, and I had her tell me step by step how she makes her divine leafy creations.

I am happy to report that I put the very explicit instructions to the test and as a result, I had not one but two delicious artichokes to show off at our outdoor (in the rain) picnic last weekend.


Ripe artichoke(s)

Any combo of the following dried herbs: Basil, Oregano, Lemon Pepper, Tarragon, Thyme, Salt, Pepper

Olive oil

Curry (for the sauce)

Mayo (for the sauce)


Place artichoke(s) in a pot and almost completely cover with cold water

Add 3 TBSPs of olive oil to the water plus a few dashes of all the dried herbs listed above.

steps to make the perfect artichoke

Bring water to a boil

Cover and simmer for 45-60 minutes.

Stir the artichokes around every 10 minutes or so while simmering.

Leaves will pull off easily when the artichokes are done.

While the artichokes are simmering, make the dip with two simple ingredients: Mayo & curry. Combine curry to mayo to taste and put in the fridge until artichokes are ready to eat.

Artichokes can be served hot or cold.

Make them for your next party–I promise they’ll be a hit.

7 reasons why you need to see the full monty at new village arts (plus ticket giveaway!)

With the recent news of my ring-less ring-finger, what better way to spend my GNO last week than watching a bunch of middle-aged men sing, dance and strip? There’s really no better way. And? Most of the cast members are actually younger (like WAY younger) than I am, so it was a win-win!

After a divine dinner at Paon in downtown Carlsbad, my friends Laura, Lisa and I walked to the cozy New Village Arts Theatre and had the time of our lives cracking up, cat-calling and grooving in our chairs.

Then, after the show, we followed the cast to a local bar and got to chat it up with them like a bunch of cougar groupies and I fell even more in love with them all.  And the next morning I couldn’t get those fine fellas out of my mind so I came up with this list of:


The Full Monty Broadway Musical at New Village Arts in Carlsbad

 1. The Cast – Yes, it’s a small theater, in a small-ish beach town, but this cast is BIG and brave and talented like none other. They are all stars.

 2. The Laughs – My face hurt at the end of the show from smiling and laughing so much.

3. The Intimacy – The Full Monty musical itself is inherently, um,

how to talk to your kids about robin williams’ suicide

Remember, last week, when I described grief as feeling like a sucker punch? Well, sometimes, most of the time, that sucker punch comes out of the blue and this morning was just one of those times.

As I entered the green room at Fox 5 San Diego, and sat down with my fellow “Ask the Moms” panelists to go over the hot topics we were about to discuss on air, I found out that the original articles we had planned on discussing had been tabled in light of Robin Williams’ suicide. Instead, we would be discussing how to talk to our kids about death and suicide.

We’ve talked about tragedies before, and grief too, so I wasn’t shocked to discover the new angle of our segment.

What did shock me, however, was receiving a piece of paper with the tweet written by his daughter Zelda Williams, in response to the death of her father. Literally one sentence in and I was a blubbering mess.

Granted, it’s currently my own personal shark week (in addition to national Shark Week), so I’m particularly emotional today, but whoa, I was not expecting to burst into tears like that.

Yes, I’m deeply saddened by the loss of such a talented, beloved icon who graced our generation with countless memorable characters, but it was that sucker punch of grief that got to me–the memory of what it feels like

the mom who dressed her 4 year old like a hooter’s girl and why i’m ticked off about it

What would you think if you walked into a dance competition or talent show to find a four year old wearing a Hooters outfit and grinding like it’s 1999?

Well, it just so happens that a mom in England, who also happens to be featured on a British show called Blinging up Baby, dressed her daughter Scarlett, HER 4 YEAR OLD DAUGTER, in skimpy orange shorts and white leotard with the word “HOOTERS” across the front, and entered her in a pageant where the 4 YEAR OLD danced like it was Sisqo’s Thong Song Spring Break on MTV.

Seriously. This happened.

And? Not only is the four year old in question dressed inappropriately, but so are most of the other little girls in the clip.

I don’t understand why this is a trend. I don’t see a positive side to it.

Is it inappropriate to dress your 4 year old like a hooters girl

A few months ago I blogged about wanting to walk out of my daughter’s dance competition because of the risqué costumes and the bumping+grinding that was taking place in front of me (and in front of my daughters) by other young girls.

Then I found out that one of the dance competition MCs is a pedophile and was hiding cameras in the dressing rooms of the young girls (cameras were found in the dressing room of a 10 year old). Sadly, I wasn’t shocked.

Then, the video above surfaced and my intense phobia and disdain for this kind of sexualization of young girls began to overwhelm me.

Dressing young girls in sexy outfits and praising them for acting provocatively is sending them the wrong message. Dance and talent competitions should be about dance and talent, not about how low (or lewd) you can go. How about we place value on creativity and talent rather than shock and raunch?

If we teach kids age-appropriate behavior when they are young, they are
more likely to develop a strong sense of self-worth and self-respect.

is dressing a 4 year old like a Hooters girl appropriate?

We have severe issues, epidemics, in this country, with sexual predators, sexual assault, sexual molestation, pedophilia and host of other sexually-related dilemmas, not to mention issues with female