Sunday, October 23, 2011

Disney on Ice Treasure Trove

So we did it a Field Ambassador for Feld Entertainment, I took the kids (sans Daddy) to the latest and greatest Disney on Ice show called Treasure Trove. We had great seats on the lower level, but I noticed the kids in the floor seats had an improved interactive experience. I think I'll check on the prices for those seats. The kids on the floor got selected to participate in the show and even when in their seats, many of the characters would skate by and interact with kids were jealous!

As far as Disney shows go, Treasure Trove was ideal for my family. My five-year-old son and his buddy loved The Incredibles and the Disney "classics" like Mickey, Minnie, Donald Duck and Goofy. The first act was Alice in Wonderland and of course the ever-so-fun "unbirthday" party. They sang "Painting the Roses Red" and out came the somewhat spooky Army and Queen of Hearts. Captain Hook followed and of course Peter Pan and the crew were "Following the Leader" to the delight of the crowd. The girls perked up as Tinkerbell flew in from high above and the set ended with "Yo Ho, Yo Ho...Pirate's Life For Me" and lots and lots of Tink's powerful pixie dust.

The second half of the show went by so quickly with the drama and jubilee...such a great variety! The Lion King is a Disney on Ice mainstay, and they performed the usual family faves like "Hakuna Matata" and "Can You Feel the Love Tonight." And in true Disney dramatic fashion, they ended by completing the "Circle of Life."

The Disney classic Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs was popular with most of the parents in the crowd...and I had forgotten that Snow White was the first-ever full-length animated feature wonder all the nostalgia! The entire audience sang along to "Whistle While you Work."

Both Aladdin and The Little Mermaid were very magical...Aladdin with the flying carpet and energetic music and The Little Mermaid with the black light/glow in the dark costumes.

All this at one ice performance is hard to believe...but the final acts were what really grabbed the interest of my three-year-old daughter (the boys were twiddling their thumbs just a bit here!). First of all, my daughter is obsessed with Rapunzel and they did a great job of reenacting the "frying plan over the head of Flynn" scene. They ended this act with "At Last I See The Light" and all of those magical paper lanterns from the film were flittering through the "sky." Simply delightful for the little girls!

I just love the Princess and the Frog, and was very excited that they included a Princess Tiana act this time around. The music of New Orleans had everyone clapping along and smiling.

My daughter wouldn't let us leave, because the final act was just too good to be true. ALL of the Disney Princesses back on the ice with their partners and other Disney "couples" skating to "Someday My Prince Will Come." We couldn't go until Belle, Rapunzel, Tiana, Mulan, Aladdin, Ariel, Snow White, Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty and the rest waved us out of the arena!

Disney on Ice continues to be a family favorite in my house, and yes...we'll go again. But maybe next time, floor seats!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

How To Enjoy Disney on Ice

Last night, I took my two kids to Worlds of Fantasy, a Disney on Ice show: One of the reasons I took my son and daughter to a Disney on Ice (finally!) is because this particular show has programming that appeals to both genders. Not to force stereotypes, but as expected, my son really enjoyed the Cars and Lion King performances, while my daughter loved the Little Mermaid and Tinkerbell.

For those of you who have children that love the Disney Princesses (we're not there yet), the Tinkerbell program was the entire second you get your full dose of fairies. The premise of the Tink portion was that she needed to deliver Spring to the world. The fairy dusted rink was full of flittering fairies and butterflies floating through life-size Spring blossoms.

Classic Disney fans will enjoy the intros by Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Donald Duck and Goofy (by "classic" I mean anyone that's not a Pixar or Princess freak). The first half of the show includes Cars, Little Mermaid and the Lion King, and the segments seem to get progressively longer as the night goes on (which is fine because the Lion King has more substance than Cars anyhow...though my 3 year old would disagree). The lighting and special effects were really cool, especially during the Little Mermaid and Lion King. There was a part during Lion King where the Buffalo are chasing Simba and his Dad, and the animals look nearly real...moving quickly across the ice in multi-dimensions.

Overall, this show is great for boys and girls alike and children starting at 18 months through tweens. My kids (nearly 4 and 2) thoroughly enjoyed it, and only became fidgety during the intermission. Bring snacks to keep them occupied, and awake...after all, they can sleep in the car on the way home.

And don't be surprised if Tinkerbell is so infectious that even your 3 year old boy is screaming for a Tink toy on the way out!

Friday, January 8, 2010

How To Make Sense of the Vaccine Craze

National Influenza Vaccination Month is coming up: January 10-16. This year it will continue its focus on the importance of performing flu vaccinations even after the holiday season, but also making sure everyone receives the H1N1 vaccine specifically.

Additionally, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has just released the 2010 Pediatric Vaccination schedule. And guess who made her debut? If you shouted "H1N1," you got it! Find the most up-to-date guidelines on the AAP's new parenting website:

Over the Holidays some new literature surfaced on "best practices" of childhood vaccinations. There was discussion on whether or not you should decline combo doses, and many medical professionals believe #1 that there is no increased risk with combo doses and #2 that it is much more comfortable for your child to receive less "pokes." Keep in mind, many of the physicians would benefit from your return visit and the extra $15 co-pay, so I'm pretty sure if they felt differently, they'd promote their own business and have you back.

Also, if your first inclination is to use pain relievers prophylactically when your child is scheduled for immunizations, you might reconsider. New research suggests that using fever-reducers such as acetaminophen before or soon after a vaccination may actually reduce its effectiveness. Researchers maintain that the low-grade fever may be a sign of your child developing antibodies and building a proper immune response to the jab. However, if your child gets a spiking fever following certain immunizations, you should always call your Pediatrician. If you are unsure what to expect following shots, ask your doctor.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

How to Communicate

The non-profit parenting organization that I volunteer for, Golden Gate Mothers Group (, has revolutionized large group communication.

Many moms (like myself) spend two to four hours each day catching up on their Yahoo! Groups forums, shopping online, and updating their social status on Facebook or Twitter. With GGMG's new communication solution on I will be able to do most of my online tasks in one place! Yipee!

The people at BigTent like to refer to their service as a "dashboard for your community involvement." I like to think of it as an online master planner where I can connect my volunteerism with my involvement at my kids' schools and more. The forums are similar to Yahoo Groups! since you can check all your forums by logging in to one place, but the capabilities of BigTent go far beyond.

Some of the extras BigTent provides are:

event calendar (collect RSVPs and no need for Evites)

manage memberships online (and volunteer duties)

collect dues or event registration fees online

email blasts to members (especially helpful for event or news posts)

group news (basically a group blog)

I like the fact that I can merge the information from all my groups that I belong to on For example, I only have to manage one event calendar. With the click of a button I can see everything I have coming up, no matter what group it was originally listed under. I can check a box to populate my BigTent calendar with all my BigTent group activities, deadlines, etc (and just as easily I can uncheck and list them in their original separate calendars again).

All in all, I feel BigTent will do 2 things for our 4000 mommy members at GGMG: free up time and help our membership develop a deeper connection.

Kudos to BigTent for a great development and GGMG Board of Directors for taking our organization to the next level.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

How to Terminate California

Wow, all the waiting...and waiting...and waiting...for what? Education was the hardest hit AGAIN. So what the heck required all that deliberation?

In brief, here is what Arnie arm wrestled folks in to signing:

* Education spending -$9.3 billion.
* Health and human services -$3 billion.
* Government spending -$1.7 billion.
* State employees pay -$820 million.
* Prison spending -$785 million.
* Vetoes -$489 million
* +$1 billion shifted to state's general fund from other state accounts.
* +$1.4 billion from delayed payroll and health premium payments.
* +$3.5 billion from tax withholding and other changes.
* +$2.2 billion borrowed from local governments and the State Highway Account.

So what I see here is: 1) California schools will be taken off life support and now will be officially dead, mental illness and criminal activity will be on the rise, and Gavin Newsom better hold on REAL tight to the SF purse strings because the Governator is coming for our "rainy day fund." Yikes!!!

Monday, June 29, 2009

How to Walk Like an Egyptian

*photo of Canopic Coffinette from the deYoung Museum

If you don't have plans to escape the city for the Fourth of July weekend, head over to Friday Nights @ the deYoung Museum. Celebrate King Tut's return with free family programming this Friday July 3rd. Follow the trail of gypsies in Wilsey Court complete with a live performance from Stellamara and dancers Miriam Peretz and Hannah Romanowsky. Children get gilded with foil art from 6pm-8:30pm.

Beyond the free activities, tickets are required to visit the museum galleries, and special exhibit tickets are available for Tutankhamun and the Golden Age of the Pharaohs (which include admission to permanent exhibits).

Before you go, make sure the kiddos get a glamour shot next to the large TUT sign out front. It will look really cool at twilight.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

How To Get Around SF

74X CultureBus ( is a brand new, eco-friendly way to visit the city’s cultural centers and is especially convenient for those that live near one of the four stops: Yerba Buena, Union Square, Civic Center or Golden Gate Park. Tickets are $7 per adult (valid for 24 hours), $3 for Fast Pass holders and free for children four and under (cash only). 74X CultureBus runs every 60 minutes daily from 10am to 5pm and the ride is less than 40 minutes across town. Added bonus: discounted admission for California Academy of Sciences ($3 off) and de Young Museum ($2 off) with ticket stub.