Women in comedy: interview with Wendi Mclendon-Covey

A highlight of my trip to Blog Her ’11 was interviewing one of the stars of my favorite film of 2011, “Bridesmaid”, Wendi Mclendon – Covey.  She had my favorite line in the entire hilarious picture and I gushed to her about that.  She is the comic spokesperson for Hillshire Farm and we chatted about those funny commercials… seriously, funny.

She is a trooper, while I think I’m way fun to talk to, I know she had done quite a few interviews that day, yet seemed fresh as a daisy. Watch us here

Check this one out.  It’s the new one.  (Best line “We’re pretty!”) If only all commercials were that clever, but hey they can’t all be Pack It.  I also brought up a legend’s birthday that had resonance with her.

wendy mc

As someone who interviewed actors on TV for years it was nice to have more than 90 seconds to chat.  That’s one of the advantages of the web. I really hope she continues to get work, funny women usually get shafted… oh we talked about that too.

This the third and final installment of posts with Hillshire Farm.  I’ve enjoyed doing them and was given a wide berth creatively which I love.  I also got some great coupons from them at Blogher and the deli meats have been getting gobbled up at the Brogdon/Peel household.

Math for Little Kids

I’m a little obsessed with catching up to the 21st century and preparing my kids for a more competitive world. My upbringing was much more the 1970’s bo-ho variety … which is why I never memorized my multiplication tables and my handwriting looks like the deranged rantings of a prisoner. If it wasn’t for PBS and libraries, I would be feral.

While I understood the importance of civil disobedience at a young age, I do hold on to my “question authority” roots. I want my kids to do that with a roof over their head and money in the bank … or under the mattress. To that end, I will be less forgiving of experiments with burning vegetable matter (also it’s WAY stronger these days, can cause psychotic breaks), and have the expectation of them attending school — albeit calling their teacher by their first name — and a proficiency in math and science. I was impressed at what I heard learning how to work with an abacus could do for little ones. Some kids who don’t like math do like the abacus as it is tactile and visual. It’s the norm in many Asian countries, and last time I checked they were kicking our US butt in the math department.

Near where we live, this sweet little place opened up called My Ivy Kids. It’s run by a couple of nice, young Korean ladies who are very earnest. Viv’s teacher, Sandra, is painfully shy in front of the camera so in order to pay her back for making her part of my cool mom circus we made a short promo video for them that is embedded on their FB site. (They are so dear and need some marketing help.)

My father always said that kids are supposed to do better than their parents. Despite economic changes, I would like to keep that going.

Finding the Good in Back To School (sponsored)

Can you smell it?  Can you smell the tension of trying to get your kids dressed, hair brushed and “for the love of God, put on your shoes” as you try not to get a tardy?  You’d think it was my report card at stake.
Yes, I can smell back to school time is close.  Oh, those last gleeful moments of summer.  Outdoor dining in the back yard, staying up late and mosquito bites. Lathering up the kids with sunblock, glasses, sun hat and the rose of summer: Cherries!

summer

I know some parents think summer creates more work for them, but I have really enjoyed it this year.  But, I have to look for the bright side as summer wanes.

Brightside #1

When Rex starts his two day a week school I will have two mornings I can work out and get into supermodel shape…if you can with two days a week workout.

Brightside #2 when it gets dark earlier, I get the kids to sleep sooner thereby leaving more time to read ( also known as watch DVR’d “House Hunter International”)

Brightside #3 Continuing the tradition of “Day Outs”.  When I was growing up my mom took each of us on our own day out with mom.  We bought our school clothes and then got to pick where we would go to eat for lunch.

“Anywhere you want!”  She would say.  Did I pick legendary restaurants of LA that are long shuttered?  Scandia, Chasen’s, Brown Derby?  No.

“Howard Johnsons!”

Last year was the first year I started it with Vivien.  It is magical being the mom in this equation as it was being the daughter.  I love our time together.  When we shop we discuss likes and dislikes, style and what is appropriate.  She is no longer at the age that I can dress her up like a paper doll, but is not giving me the sullen teen push back.  I know which colors she gravitates too.

But, since she is still a little kid I can’t wear her out and risk a meltdown mid “happy day”.  So I’m doing my research before we set out.  I know from my niece ( 10) the kids are still digging the Peace signs and graphic tees.  Denim is hot, check.  Sears Style helps you do your homework so you know what the kids are into.  I do prefer to go to a place I can pick up a few t- shirts for my stepson as well.  ( sidebar, there was the cutest yellow dress with white lace in the junior department that I wonder if my childbearing hips could fit into).  Sears also has a Sears Personal Shopper app this year for iPhone and Android’s (my phone) that I want to use.  Snap a picture of something you want for back to school and expert shoppers find it and contact you on where you can get it, even if it’s not at Sears.
I smell smart shopping.

This is one of three posts sponsored by Sears.  I was pleased to be asked to be a spokesperson for their back to school tween clothing.  Next post: favorites from the media tour.

Magazine Perfect Breakfast Nook

HGTV comes to life for me here. Have you ever daydreamed about a room or look you want and then actually got? Well, I did. In the vid I say the wrong state. The lamp came from Rhode Island and the designer is Tracy Glover. Fantastic stuff. Apologies in advance for the quick shot of the lamp.  We should have lingered on it. Check out my favorite house porn Renovation Style... hard to find, best to subscribe.

Happy home day dreaming!

Animal Sacrifice

I thought of calling this “kids kill the darnedest things,” but it seemed too provocative. It’s all a big misunderstanding, you know, like Romeo and Juliet. I shouldn’t judge the mind of a child, right? Just go with it.

I think those moments where you have doubts about your kid are good. It balances out all the moments you think they are as charming as newborn kittens and belch diamonds.

P.S. Oh, lordy, almost back to school… 80% not ready.

Tye Dye Lie

Growing up, my art major mom always had cool art projects for us… well, at least until she started working full time. I wanted to be that kind of mom. “Okay, time for decoupage.” I rarely achieve this, but once in while I do it right. Like the day I said, “Hey, let’s tie dye!”

If only I was a better person.

What to wear back to school? Survey Results (sponsored)

What are the back to school items you want to skip?  Which ones are on your to do list?

If I was to fill out a survey on the topic I would say

1) One of  my back to school items is trying not to look like the frumpiest lady at drop off.

2) closed toed shoes for Vivien.  She can’t wear her favorite foot wear at her school, sandals, so I will be looking for closed toe shoes that are EASY TO PUT ON.  When we are trying to get out the door I can’t stand wrestling with the hard to slip on shoes.

3) good price.  Yes, I have seen $130 jeans for little kids.  I have also seen people bungee jump.  I plan on doing neither.  They grow out of their clothes so fast it’s koo-koo to spend that kind of money on kid clothes.

Well, speaking of surveys Sears and Blogher did a survey about parent’s shopping habits for this Back to School period. Here are some of the results

two-thirds of parents say they are inclined to spend more on apparel items like jeans, tops and shoes for this school year versus last year.

So, even in a downturn, kiddos still keep growing.  I am more likely to buy something for my kids than myself.

But according to the survey, parents are spending more on KEY items, but, they using newspaper ads, circulars and loyalty programs to track down the best deals. All those services that rhyme with boo pon, you know.

Okay, so what are the key items?  For my 10 year old niece it’s cool pants and graphic tee’s.  Preferably, with a peace sign.  For my 17 year old stepson, it’s tight legged blue jeans and plan t shirts.  For Vivien it’s anything in pink.  So, to make the purchase worthwhile… the maximize your time, here a few results of my own:

1) pick stuff they are really going to wear.  Yes, I would love it if I could still dress my niece up in fancy dresses, but it ain’t going to happen.

2) lay out a few rules.  there will be no midriff showing, a non starter. I’m fine with a peace sign, or Love or American flag, but nothing with a negative or snarky saying thanks.

I know I will soon be made irrelevant, but right now I still a little input.

3) don’t shop at a place that is not your food group.  Make sure it’s a store that has stuff you feel okay with.

4) Sears has a great Facebook application called, “Mom’s Amazing List”, which allows you to actually create your own shopping list and get suggestions based on your child’s gender and age.

5) Avoid the impulse.  I could buy my daughter cute, flowery dresses all day, but her closet is choking with them, so until she gets a little bigger, I can’t justify that purchase.

I should ) my own shopping better.

this is the first of three posts sponsored by Sears about Back to School shopping.  I am going to be doing some media appearances in support of their program.  I love me some Sears.

Recessionista: Energy Vigilante

Perhaps ‘recessionista’ is outdated. It should be Economic Restructurista! Or, Wealth-stolen-from-middle-classista? Hmm, have to work on it.

Even before the “troubles” I had hippie tendencies. But now it’s even more important. What with the planet melting and fortunes melting as well.

So, here again, I have provided another helpful guide to saving money. It’s not all about comedy. This is serious.

Fexting

I’m trying to stay on top of all cultural trends…tech-wise at least. Just at Blog Her and met a nice gal who is part of a team that created GLMPS. It’s for iPhones and iPads now, but hopefully one day Droid users like me can use it. It’s a picture that becomes a five second video.

Now, of course, the “kids” are sexting, I’m too old and married for that, but I’m the perfect for demo for fexting. Have you tried it?

Momversation: Forbidden Tween Shows

I’m featured this week on Momversation ranting and raving about one of my nemesis: shows that amp little kids before their time. The tween Disney — or Disney-like shows. Showing navels, talking back, fame seeking, laugh-tracking adolescents.

The germ of this rant was this article here. I wasn’t crazy. There is a real reason to despise these shows.