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Alltop, confirmation that I kick ass

Author: toni

~ 09/23/11


Okay. While there may have been some parental blundering, there is no blendering involved in this week’s guilt-assuaging libation.

Because this week I am here to tell you about FLIPFLOP WINES.

MAMMAKAZE was asked recently to sample a trio of their wines: a pinot grigio, a pinot noir and a riesling.

We’re experts after all. Well, maybe not experts. But we do enjoy us some vino from time-to-time. And we know what tastes good to us.

So we invited a group of MAMMAKAZES over to a taste-testing. JOHANNA, ANGELICA, JENNIE and her mom SUE took to my courtyard to enjoy some appetizers and the free bottles of wine. Now, while free is nice, it doesn’t matter if the wine isn’t any good. But it was!



“Cute label!”

“It only costs how much?!”

“I’d definitely buy this!”

“Pour me another, baby!”

Those were some of the comments that were heard during the wine-tasting.


I was a particular fan of the Pinot Grigio. As were Jennie and Angelica. It was zesty, light, fruity and refreshing. Perfect for kicking back and relaxing on a warm summer evening with friends.

Johanna, a red-lover, really grooved on the Pinot Noir. It was smooth and went well with the chocolate we nibbled on for dessert.

And we all enjoyed the sweet offerings of the Riesling. In fact, I had some leftover (because while we enjoy wine, we are not lushes) and I brought it to a friend’s house the next night to polish off with some turkey tacos! Was that wrong? What do I know about pairing wine with particular foods? We just knew it tasted good to us.  YUM!

And you know what else? Well, besides the fact that they are reasonably priced (only $7 SRP!) and have a really cute label which, I’ll admit, has influenced me in past wine purchases.

FLIP FLOP WINES is a company of do-gooders!


Underdog Wine Merchants has formed a partnership with Soles4Souls Inc. the international shoe charity dedicated to providing free footwear to those in need. The program will raise much needed funds to give one pair of flip-flop sandals for each bottle of flipflop wine purchased (up to 100,000 pairs for the first 100,000 bottles sold).


That’s right. For every bottle of flipflop wine you buy, they give a pair of flip-flops to those in need!

I mean. Good wine. Good humanitarian practices. What else does one need to say except:


 “A toast to this lovely company and their lovely wines!”


To find out more about this company or to purchase their wines click on the PINK LINK ABOVE or the following link:




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Author: toni

~ 07/21/10


Hey all you Los Angeles  area MAMMAKAZES out there!  Want to take some time off from all the mommy madness, hobnob with celebrities AND be a shining example to your kids? Well, here’s your chance.

Fellow MAMMAKAZE  Zadrina, whose good friend ANDY SWAN is battling Stage IV lung cancer, has produced a film about Andy’s career and is having a screening of that film to benefit THE LUNG CANCER FOUNDATION OF AMERICA.


  • WHEN:  This Saturday July 24, 2010   6pm
  • WHERE: The Pasadena Playhouse, 39 S. El Molina Avenue, Pasadena, CA 91101
  • TICKETS: $20.00 in advance. $25.00 at the door if available.  CLICK HERE TO PURCHASE



  • Part One: A special Screening of SWAN, a biographical documentary focusing on the development of award-winning filmmaker Andy Swan’s career. The film highlights the many layers of the creative process through visualization.
  • Part Two: A Tribute After Party at El Portal Restaurant featuring Live Music, displays of props from various films and special displays of Creature Effects.


Attending guests will have a chance to win prizes including Video Symphony Scholarships, a day on the set of CRIMINAL MINDS and other prizes.

The Event (produced by Area 9 Productions)  will be hosted by Exec. Producer, Ed Bernero and members of the Cast of CRIMINAL MINDS.



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Author: toni

~ 04/30/10


I have lumpy breasts. Always have. Well, since they made their appearance anyway. Granted when I was 13 and they were mere nubbins – barely capable of getting a sideways glance from hormonal boys – I didn’t know it. Then they could be described more as a single lump in your oatmeal. If your oatmeal was otherwise very very flat.

But once I got to breast exam age – the truth emerged. My breasts are really fibrous. And therefore it makes it very difficult to do a self breast exam to check for unusual masses. For that matter, my GYN can’t tell either. So I’ve been having mammograms for several years now.

Well, today I had another. And….Ow. It hurt.  

It’s almost inhuman what they do. They take my little breastlings  and tug and pull and mash them down between two plastic plates. And they crank that thing so it smashes them down like a vice. ..  I see them do that sort of thing all the time on How It’s Made. But usually they’re just squishing two pieces of wood together to make an oar. Not a sweet little innocent breast that never did anything to anybody! Certainly nothing to deserve this kind of  pain.

Look, my breasts have been through a lot. Snarky comments like “You’re flat as a pancake,” from 7th grade girls (Dee Dee, you know who you are!) who were several sizes bigger than me. Boyfriends who behaved more like they were trying to tune in Radio Moscow than turn me on. Breastfeeding! Oh yeah. You moms know how bad that one can be. How can such a tiny jaw have such a vice-like grip?!

But that mammo. I look down and see my little boobie. Literally smashed as flat as a pancake. And I think to myself, Dee Dee didn’t know the meaning of “flat as a pancake”. If she could see me now.

The mammo tech, a nice woman with really cold hands (I mean really, you’re a woman, you should know better) always apologizes and says she’s not trying to hurt me. And I know she doesn’t get pleasure doing this to other women. Although if she really cared she’d put those hands on a heating pad before putting them on my breasts!

Today while she was “positioning” me for the x-rays – she complained that my nipple wouldn’t point the right way.  She wanted a profile shot. My breast apparently felt it looked better if it was photographed from its right side. Who knew boobies were so vain?

Anyway, no amount of kneading and mashing would make that nipple point in the required direction. I told the tech that  years of gravity had taken its toll. She politely countered that it was because I was FULLER on the right side. AWWWWW. No one’s ever used that word before when describing my breasts. It almost of made up for all the hurtful insults Dee Dee had hurled at my chest in my youth… and for the cold hands. Almost.

As the tech  clamped me in as soundly as she could, she told me to hold my breath. Fortunately that wasn’t a problem since I hadn’t taken a breath since the whole breast contortions had begun. Pain’ll do that to you.

And then, SUDDENLY,  it was all over. She released the clamp. My breasts quickly recoiled and resumed their positions on my upper torso. And as they did I swore I heard a little “whimper” coming from one of them. Until I realized the whimper was coming from me.

As the  pain slowly left my body, I actually thought that I  might have licked my wounds if I had the talents of a Cirque du Soleil contortionist. Then again, probably not as that would have been REALLY WEIRD.

Instead I quickly swaddled my little ones in their tiny cradles (aka my bra) and I crossed  my arms in a super protective mode. You know the position. It’s the same one we women use when it’s really, really cold in the office and we wore a really, really thin shirt.

I hobbled overly dramatically out into the waiting room and toward the exit. Feeling a little battle weary and very relieved that that was done for another year.

And as I left, I passed many concerned-looking women. And I knew that some of them were there because they actually HAD serious issues. And I realized that although a mammogram hurts, I’m sure it hurts a lot less than breast cancer.

I quickly stopped my whining and felt very grateful. Grateful to have had the mammomgram. Grateful to have insurance to pay for the mammogram. And grateful that I live in a time where they have such a wonderful screening process that helps with early detection and saves so many lives every year.

Because of mammograms, breast cancer has become one of the most treatable forms of women’s cancers.  And since mammograms came into being, the death rate from breast cancer has gone down 44%.

So if you’re over 40 or have a history of breast cancer in your family,  suck up a little pain for your long term health. Go get your mammogram.

And if you can’t afford it, click on the link below to find a place that offers free screening mammograms.


You know the saying “beauty is pain?” Well, sometimes good health is too.

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Author: toni

~ 02/17/10


You may have heard that Doug Fieger, singer and songwriter for THE KNACK, died Feb. 14 at age 57 at his home in Woodland Hills, CA of lung cancer.  Even if you weren’t around in 1979 you’re probably familiar with the monster #1 ditty Fieger sang and wrote called “My Sharona.” Yeah, I don’t know what it means either, but it was a cool song.

So what does this have to do with skin cancer? Well, I recently had a bit of skin cancer removed from my lower abdomen. A little growth that has been there for FOUR YEARS! because instead of going to a dermatologist as I should have, I asked my gynecologist about it. I mean, I figured since it was C-section adjacent, he was the doc to see, right?  WRONG! My GYN said it was nothing. Well, guess what? It was something! And lucky for me, it was only a basal cell carcinoma which is a slow-growing, easy to cut off cancer that doesn’t get into your system and not a melanoma which can kill you and which recently ended the life of a good friend of my brother RICHARD. The young man was only 29.

Winona Ryder for skin cancer awareness

I know, you’re still wondering what this has to do with The Knack. Well, since Feiger died of cancer and I had Basal Cell Carcinoma which rhymes with My Sharona, well… naturally, I had to retool the lyrics to the Knack’s classic song to get across my point to…


Or better yet, have a dermatologist take a look. If like me you grew up in the sun worshipping era where one used Coppertone instead of Banana Boat, it’s important that you know that sun damage is cumulative. And what you did to your skin as a kid can come back with a vengeance in adulthood.

So… to help encourage you to check your skin… and as an homage to Doug Fieger who wrote a really cool song and who passed at way too young an age… may I present…


(sung to the tune of MY SHARONA)

Ooh my little ugly one, ugly one.
You creepy li’l basal cell carcinoma
Ooh you best go on the run, too much sun,
Gonna be comin’ off carcinoma
Never gonna stop, cut you off
Such unhealthy thing.. Always lop you off, sew it up
So I’m clean again. My my my i yi woo. B-B-Basal Cell Carcinoma

When you getting too much sun, too much sun
Just a matter of time for a carcinoma
Is it destiny, or a lack of the sunny screen
Really glad it wasn’t a melanoma
Never gonna stop, cut you off
Such unhealthy thing.. Always lop you off, sew it up
So I’m clean again. My my my i yi woo. B-B-Basal Cell Carcinoma



And if the brilliance of my Weird Al-esque turn or Winona Ryder in the near buff doesn’t send you running to the dermatologist, think of your kids. I know that will do it.

For more info on skin cancer, check out the following websites. 

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