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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!

“Delicious!”

“Delightful!”

“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:

 

flipflopwines

 

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Author: toni

~ 06/29/11

I feel guilty.

Yeah, I know it’s nothing new. After all, my whole website is based on guilt. Working mom guilt. Tired mom guilt. Cranky mom guilt. As mommies, we are world-class guilt feelers. And at the moment I’m steeped in it. Why? No, I didn’t get tied up in traffic and miss my kid’s piano recital. Or forget to slather her in sunscreen for her field day at school resulting in a spray of freckles beneath her right eye in the shape of the Big Dipper. (although I HAVE been guilty of that one).

I cheated on my hairdresser. (Sorry Patrice). Well, I didn’t exactly cheat. I mean, I didn’t pay someone else to touch my hair. I didn’t even let them touch it for free. But I did have a meet and greet with someone who touches hair for living. A celebrity stylist in fact! His name is NICK ARROJO. And I’m now going to write about it on my website.

MAMMAKAZE got invited last week to a VIP event at a hair salon called RITUALS. I know, cool huh?

It’s one of those high-end, fancy places where they use razors instead of scissors to cut your hair. And then your head ends up looking like a work of art… or January Jones during one of her “walks of shame”. How does her hair look so fabulous after her wild nights? Does she have a stylist on call who tracks her via lojack (because you know Jan has no clue where she is in the morning)  who comes rushing over to floof her for the paparrazi who are waiting by her car that’s parked caterwonky on someone’s lawn? Nope, I’m pretty sure it’s the result of a razor cut and fine hair care products.

Speaking of FINE HAIR PRODUCTS. That’s why I was invited to Rituals. The salon has gotten into bed (figuratively, not literally as is January’s M.O.) with celebrity stylist NICK ARROJO – he of WHAT NOT TO WEAR fame (click HERE to read all about him).

Nick was touting his line of haircare products, which will be carried at Rituals and other such fine salons around the country.

A group of us bloggers got to sit and chat with him about his hair care line while noshing on lovely finger foods. He gave us his background – which was quite impressive – and I asked what I felt was the most important question of the evening.

“What would you do with my hair?”

No I’m kidding. Everyone asks him that and I didn’t want to be one of those hair groupies. Besides, I was way overdue for my hair appointment and so I was afraid of the answer. I’m nothing if not fragile when it comes to criticism – real or perceived.

No, the question I asked was this:

In a world of hair care products and recessions and moms on budgets who have to be careful how they spend their money – why should they buy YOUR products?

To which he replied (and I’m paraphrasing because I didn’t have one of those fancy recording devices that true reporters carry and I don’t know how to use the memo function on my phone):

According to him, most  high quality hair care products will do a good job with your hair. The differences are in the ingredients and the price. His products:

1) DO THE JOB

2) have organic ingredients and are sulfate and sodium-chloride free (which Patrice tells me is pretty amazing for quality haircare products)

3) Smell FABU – it’s the Verbena.

4) Are NOT tested on animals and…

wait for it, wait for it…

5) Are priced between $12 and $18 – whereas other high-end products are $25-$35.

 

I gotta say, 5 very good reasons to use his products.

And as a mom who aspires to “greenness” and “chemical-free”, I was especially impressed with his standards. I mean, the guy refused to jump on the Brazilian Blowout bandwagon because he knew the formaldehyde was unhealthy for his clients and his stylists who would be exposed to it all day. At $200 a pop, he passed up some big $$$$$.

Forget six-pack abs. Being socially and health conscious are the new SEXY! Me likey!

At this moment, my complimentary Arrojo products are being tested by a non-biased MAMMAKAZE. One who didn’t benefit in the form of fancy finger foods and signature vodka drinks.  I’ll keep you posted – although I’m pretty sure they’re gonna be great.

Meanwhile, to purchase his products online (so you can have fabulous “walk of shame” hair without the shame) click HERE

THANKS MY MAMMAKAZES!

 

NOTE: Coming soon, a link to a fabulous skin care product created by a fellow mom blogger who uses her ad budget to support an orphanage in Africa and a website where your kids can ask tough childhood questions… to a dog!

 

 

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Author: toni

~ 08/13/10

 

Welcome to movie math where we review a movie and see if it adds up to family fun.

RAMONA AND BEEZUS – Let me begin by saying that prior to seeing this movie, neither I or my daughter had never read the Beverly Cleary books upon which the movie is based. And frankly, we weren’t exactly chomping at the bit to check out the movie. But it was a hot summer day, and we were looking for a cool afternoon activity and we had already seen Despicable Me, so– we found ourselves tucked into our seats ready to be entertained and entertained we were. The movie was a delightful, sweet, charming, sweet, heartwarming, and did I mention sweet, story of a family going through some tough times. You read that right. It isn’t just about a little girl RAMONA who can’t seem to do anything right even though she tries really hard and her heart is in the right place. No, it’s also about a family with three children, whose father gets laid off and suddenly finds themselves faced with all the anguish that many families have had to face in the last couple of years: loss of income, loss of a home, tension in the marriage, and the anguish of children who may be forced to leave a life and friends they have grown to love. I don’t want to give away too much, but there’s even a pet funeral and its not a goldfish getting flushed down a toilet. I gotta say, I haven’t cried that much since Terms of Endearment. Holy Cow. This is a tug on your heart strings movie. But it was so lovely and, yes I’ll say it again,  sweet and the two main kids JOEY KING and SELENA GOMEZ were incredibly adorable. And while the ending may not be realistic, it’s the reason that people go to see these kinds of movies. I might not recommend it necessarily for boys. It’s definitely got a girly air about it and it was the perfect mommy/daughter afternoon popcorn summer movie. Although Randy the perfekt husband was certainly wishing he had joined us for the show because he had chosen to go see the Adam Sandler/David Spade/Chris Rock movie GROWN UPS which according to his review wasn’t fit for kids OR grownups it was so dang awful.

SWEET FAMILY FUN + SOME SERIOUS ISSUES = A DIVERTING AFTERNOON THAT REQUIRES A KLEENEX MINI-PAK

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Author: toni

~ 07/15/10

 

Welcome to movie math where we take a look at a movie and see if it adds up to family fun.  

Disney’s The Sorcerer’s Apprentice (Live Action)

If the goal when you’re forking over the big bucks it costs these days to go to a movie ($40 bucks for 3 people?! What the what the?!) is that your kid comes away happy – then this film fits the bill.

Clearly  hoping to tap into the wizarding frenzy created by the Harry Potter movies as well as to strike the same box office gold they struck by turning their  Pirates of The Caribbean ride into a movie – Disney has based this live-action tale on The Sorcerer’s Apprentice segment of their classic antimated film Fantasia. Don’t know if that’ll help though, since most people don’t even remember it.  Anyway, aside from a little dancing mop sequence that’s out of the original film, this film’s pretty much its own entity.

It’s a story about NYU physics major DAVE (Jay Baruchel) who has no idea that he is a blood descendant of the wizard Merlin until the day his wizard mentor BALTHAZAR (Nicholas Cage) shows up to give him some lessons. Of course it’s not that straightforward because well, then there wouldn’t be drama and that’s booooring. So enter HORVATH (Alfred Molina) who wants to destroy the human world and in order to do that must release the evil MORGANA from a set of nesting dolls in which she has been trapped since around, oh,  760 AD. Did I mention that the love of Balthazar’s life is also trapped in there? Did I also mention that Horvath thinks Dave knows where the nesting dolls are or that he has a wizard sidekick who uses his magical gifts to sell himself as a CRISS ANGEL type magician? No? Well, none of it really matters anyway. Cuz in the end it’s just an excuse for a lot of wild chases, exploding electricity balls, fiery dragons and action that’s more CGI than mystical or magical. Which is where I should mention that this is a Jerry Bruckheimer film.  Yep. ‘Splains a lot, Lucy.

There’s the requisite  romance subplot which, while not very well developed, does serve to  prove to geeky boys that they can still get the pretty girl if they’re super smart and can force Tesla Rays to make music. So if you’re the mom of a boy who can’t catch a baseball to save his life but can  recreate the Parthenon with Legos, this is a good movie for you…and him.  Obviously for girls too because my 8 year-old daughter not only laughed a lot during the film,  she also pronounced as the credits rolled “I’m going to tell all my friends to see this!”  Click to Buy Tickets Now at Fandango.

MINIMAL STORY + COOL SPECIAL EFFECTS = FAIR SUMMERTIME FARE

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Author: toni

~ 05/05/10

 

Welcome to movie math where we take a look at a movie and see if it ADDS UP to family fun… and is worth the outrageous prices they’re charging in the theaters these days!

FURRY VENGEANCE - Despite the fact that I had to explain the concept of vengeance to Julia and that it stars Brendan Fraser the reigning king of movie crap, I took my kid to see this film. More accurately, I was elected to take her. And all because I made the mistake of  giggling at the trailers. (Sue me, I find silly animals funny). Randy the perfekt husband took that to mean that I wouldn’t mind being the parental sacrifice on the altar of really bad movie-making. It was simply a momentary lapse in sanity. And I had to pay for it by sitting through this abomination.

Let’s begin by saying, Brendan Fraser continues on a streak that started way back with GEORGE OF THE JUNGLE, was followed over the last few years with the likes of BEDAZZLED,  INKHEART and now this.  The difference now is that Brendan Fraser used to at least be  nice eye candy for mommy to look at. But in this movie. HOLY MOLY! He looks like someone who needs an all-you-can-eat buffet intervention. The guy is only 41 years old but he’s so out of shape, bloated and entirely unhealthy. Normally I don’t comment on the appearance of an actor. But  he spends a scary portion of the movie running around shirtless or wearing Brooke Shield’s too-small jogging suit with YUM YUM across the butt. Yeah, someone, he or the director, decided to make fun of all his jiggly parts. And I gotta tell you, like everything else in this movie, it was trying too hard. Or maybe it wasn’t hard enough.

Look, I appreciate the whole preserve nature theme. Frankly, I wish it was pushed at our kids as much as the “you can be a secret world famous pop star if you only follow your dream” theme that’s on every Nick and Disney show. But is it too much to ask to write a decent story, with some intelligence, instead of this insulting piece of drivel?

Bottom line, the kids DID  laugh. Well, little kids laughed. Know why? Because kids think that farts, pee and poop are funny. Also skunks spraying. Sprinklers shooting into people’s crotches. And Brendan Fraser, as naked as he could possibly be without violating some ratings law, bathing in tomato juice while wearing a red bra for a group of construction workers to see. Yep. It’s like.

A GOOD MESSAGE BURIED IN A MESS OF A FILM + LOTS OF SCATOLOGICAL HUMOR = A LAUGH FEST, BUT ONLY FOR THE MOST IMMATURE IN YOUR PARTY

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Author: toni

~ 03/29/10

Welcome to movie math where we take a look at a movie and see if it adds up to family fun.

Normally I do my movie reviews on Thursday, but this Wimpy Kid movie is fresh in my head and I’m feeling thus compelled and since I almost never refuse my compulsions, well, except to jump up and down on the hood of that mommy in the silver Mercedes who made a right turn in front of me from the straight lane to the LEFT! of me during drop off this morning… Thanks lady! Care about your kids’ lives much?

 

  DIARY OF A WIMPY KID - Let me preface this review by saying that we did not read the books, I know, sacrilege. So I’m reviewing strictly from the standpoint of this story as a movie. And with that in mind, lemme tell you that JULIA LOVED IT! Did we parents love it as much? Eh, not as much, no. Don’t get me wrong, it was no Shark Tales which to me is the measure of all things horrible in children’s movies. It was WAAAAAAAY above that. In fact, there were two scenes in there, one involving cheese and another involving a school bathroom, that had me and Randy the perfekt husband laughing so hard we had tears streaming down our faces (and made the kids around us hold their popcorns tightly to their chests). That hasn’t happened since we saw THE HANGOVER. Before that, the scene in 40 YEAR-OLD VIRGIN where a drunk Leslie Mann drives Steve Carell home. The point is, it rarely happens AND it almost NEVER happens in kids’ movies. But it happened here. As kid movies go, Wimpy Kid had the right stuff. Julia thought is was hilarious throughout. Well, except for a booger scene or two. Unlike me, who grew up with five brothers and know from boogers and farts and other bodily functions, Julia is an only child and therefore a bit of a delicate flower when it comes to scatological humor. But when things got too booger-y, she just closed her eyes. Lord Voldemort, no biggie. A boogie on a piece of paper… the horror! Overall, the movie was a nice combination of live action with some animation thrown in. And it had some very nice messages about being yourself. And it was nice to see a protagonist who wasn’t a total good guy. In fact, he was kind of the Dexter of kids movies. Okay, maybe that’s going too far.  Still, he was pretty stinky and self-involved. But he learned his lesson. And isn’t that’s what’s important in these kids’ movies? Well, that and some HIGH-sterical scenes about rotting cheese. So true to life. So very kid-like. When we left the movie we were still laughing. Especially from Julia’s spot-on imitation of the east Indian kid saying,” Oooh, you almost got the cheese touch.” Man, I’m telling you, my kid and her accents, she could do voiceover work.  I don’t know if they’ll make a sequel, but if they do they better do it fast. Because if ZACHARY GORDON who plays the title character pulls a Taylor Lautner-esque growth spurt, it won’t do for this franchise what Taylor’s six pack did for the Twilight series. Hurry guys! Hurry it up! In fact the film should be in the can NOW!  In theaters

 

GREAT KID HUMOR + NICE LIFE LESSONS + ONE WACKY CHEESE SUBPLOT = A PRETTY FUN TIME FOR ALL

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