MyMagic+ to Record Disney Guest Experience

Disney’s always looking for a way to get ahead in its parks, including providing the best customer service around. Its constant raising of prices might seem counter intuitive to that, but at least it keeps upgrading its services.  The New York Times has a fascinating new report on the Disney Parks’ latest effort: MyMagic+. MyMagic+ takes the physical form of a wristband park guests wear in place of tickets.  Guests won’t have to trade in paper tickets anymore, instead waving their bands in front of the new FastPass monitors (even if they didn’t purchase a FastPass, those Mickey monitors are used).  MyMagic+ … Continue reading

Scary Places: Catacombs of Paris

Once again, it is one of my favorite times of the year – Halloween. Or, at least the lead up to Halloween. Each October, I like to do a special blog series on scary places. Unfortunately, I’ve only been to one (the Whaley House in San Diego), but I have many more on my to-do list (the Winchester House and the Hotel Chelsea). On my quest to find yet more scary places, I realized – what could be scarier than a underground burial chamber that you can walk through? Yes, I am talking about the Catacombs of Paris. I’ve never … Continue reading

My Toddler and Her Tiara

(My toddler and her tiara.) Did you think my previous Toddlers and Tiaras post read like an endorsement for the TLC reality TV train wreck? I don’t. However, I just received a PM from a reader, who clearly felt that I wasn’t harsh enough on the show, which spotlights kiddie beauty pageants. A show the PM-er classifies as a “step above kiddie porn.” Alrighty then, let me take this opportunity to be crystal clear on a few points relating to Toddlers and Tiaras: I’ve seen the show maybe a dozen times, and in each of those episodes I looked on … Continue reading

Jeremy Bender vs. the Cupcake Cadets

When we watch the Sound of Music she sings Frederick’s part. When we watch The Magic School Bus she pretends she is Ralphie. She’s Miguel instead of Maya, Gil instead of Molly and Dash instead of Mags. So when my 6-year-old daughter read the back of Jeremy Bender vs. the Cupcake Cadets, I wasn’t the least bit surprised that she was instantly intrigued. “This boy wants to be a girl just like I like pretending I’m a boy,” my lizard king-loving female offspring exclaimed. And so began my first grader’s newest adventure in chapter book reading and another chapter in … Continue reading

Halloween Fun with Creepy Cosmetics

Every day is Halloween at my daughter’s BFF’s house. At least that’s what her mom says when she sees her 6-year-old come out of her bedroom with a mountain of make-up on her face. I’ve seen the mini Tammy Faye Bakker in person and will attest that she definitely is no slouch when it comes to face painting. With Halloween right around the corner, kids and grown-ups alike are sharpening their make-up application skills in order to transform the plainest Jane into the belle of the ball or a hideous horror queen. Fake blood, purple and green bruises, and deep … Continue reading

Making Creepy Look Cute

My daughter is the antithesis of a girly girl. Forget about dressing up like a shimmery snow queen or glittery glam, perfectly Pinkalicious princess for Halloween. No way! Rather, my girl craves flesh and willingly dresses the part to satiate her carnivorous desires. This year she has moved on from being a bone-gnashing lizard king and morphed into a man-eating shark. Her Halloween getup is designed to make it look as though she is being devoured by a ravenous shark. No gender stereotyping going on in my house. Not surprisingly it is easier than ever to find disgustingly gross costumes … Continue reading

Wagging My Tail Goodbye to the Pets Blog

I’m sitting in my office looking out the window watching the snow melt from the rooftops and bushes as I’m writing this. Last night we got measureable snow, a bit of an oddity in December for us here in Nashville. Whenever we get snow like this now I think about the first winter I was writing for We got snow one February and I took Murph outside to play in it, then wrote about it as my blog for the day later. How much inspiration I’ve drawn from my pets over the past two years since I first began … Continue reading

Anatomy of A Frugal Kid

If you dissect a frugal kid, what do all of the parts look like? Don’t worry, this isn’t some creepy Halloween story. In fact, it is just a way of taking a look at how we typically live our frugal life and how it doesn’t take a lot of spending for the care and feeding of a typical kid who is healthy and happy. I’ll take my eldest son as an example, on a typical morning waiting for the school bus. Head In his head are already thoughts of his holiday wish list. He says that he is thinking about … Continue reading

Cute and Creepy Ideas for Homemade Halloween Treat Cups

Whether you are looking to save money on Halloween party favors or you are searching for a simple seasonal craft to keep your kids busy on a rainy fall day this next project is one to consider. As I mentioned in my previous blog (which detailed ways to create black cat and baby bat treat cups) this easy art project is fun for kids of all ages. All it requires are a few affordable and easily accessible materials plus a good amount of imagination. A little creativity will go a long way when crafting these creepy (or cute, depending on … Continue reading

Halloween Costumes for Cats

Last year I wrote about Halloween costumes for dogs, Halloween food goodies for pets, and Halloween toys for pets, which included a tub full of toys for cats, but I didn’t specifically cover Halloween products for cats. So this year I thought I’d shake it up and write about Halloween costumes for cats. Halloween costumes for cats? Really? Unless my two were sedated (heavily I might add) there’s no way they’d let me dress them up. Especially not in most of the costumes I’ve seen which all seem to include head gear as part of the getup. But if your … Continue reading