Jersey Boys are Back!

Award Winning musical, JERSEY BOYS is back in town and if you’ve never seen this exciting musical based on the real rock musical group, The Four Seasons then you need to go see it! Even if you’ve seen it before – go! This is a high energy and entertaining musical that delivers the songs that many of us know the lyrics to every song. The Four Seasons were a music phenomenon from New Jersey in the 60’s and 70’s who blasted onto the music scene with a sound all their own. Their harmonies were perfect and the lead singer, Frankie Valli is known for his powerful falsetto voice which put the group into a league of their own and has placed them in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

The musical follows the four street guys from their humble beginnings (some of them even spent some time in the big house) in New Jersey through their tough touring days and onto to their legendary musical success. Along the way there are financial struggles, Mafia run-ins, and lots of nasty discord among the members. Not to mention the sad reality of having to leave their families behind while they climb the ladder to become one of the most successful groups on the planet. This is the inside story of the group told through each members eyes and voice through their amazing music.

Go behind the music and get the inside the story of Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons in the Tony and Grammy Award®-winning true-life musical, JERSEY BOYS. Even though the original three Four Seasons’ members are long gone from the group, music legend Frankie Vallee is still touring at 87. If that doesn’t tell you something I don’t know what will.

Here’s just a few of the hits that are included in the musical:
“Sherry” • “Big Girls Don’t Cry” • “Walk Like A Man” • “Can’t Take My Eyes Off You” • “December, 1963 (Oh What A Night)”

JERSEY BOYS runs at The Music Hall at Fair Park in Dallas from December 28th – January 9th

For tickets go to:

Healthy Snacks and Savory Coffee That You Need in Your Life


These crispy and all seed crackers are in one word – amazing! They are perfect to pair with most anything like dips, salmon, cheese, salad (endless possibilities here) and the best part is that they are carb free, have lots of fiber and are very satisfying. These are very different than the usual “healthy” cracker and have a unique taste and crunch that will make you want more. They are also Gluten Free and surprisingly tasty! If you are eating Keto you can add these to your meals or use as a snack between meals. The ingredients are simple and healthy and they come in different flavors such as Sesame Flavor (Original), Hemp, Caraway, Cumin, and Everything (the perfect blend of all savory flavors). I think my favorite is the Everything – it has a very savory and rich flavor but I really like them all and can’t wait to serve them during the holidays for parties and family dinners.

Here’s the back story on Founder Ellen Macks. Ellen had been eating Keto and whole foods since she was 18. A health-conscious, energetic mom of three with an appetite, it was natural she would crave delicious, satisfying foods with real nutrition and none of the bad processed stuff. The answer was to start her own brand! Available on Amazon.

Banana Samba

This is one of my new favorite snacks! It’s not only made with real fruit and low in calories but it’s also a natural source of Potassium. Even better – they are delicious! Banana Samba is a traditional Brazilian super snack made with simple ingredients and zero artificial colors or preservatives. Ripe bananas are slowly-cooked until they caramelize in their own natural sugars (that sounds really yummy right?) which gives the treats their soft and chewy texture. Each Banana Samba fun size an individually wrapped and is equal to one third of a banana and even better – they are less than 50 calories per piece! I am now packing these in my handbag for a healthy and guilt free snack. It gets even better – they come in 4 different flavors! Classic, Chocolate, Simply, and Fit (with Chia seed). I thought my favorite was the the Classic but now I don’t have a favorite – I like them all. Some of the flavors are also Gluten free – check out the label first to make sure though. The snacks are also reasonably priced at around $4.50 for a box of 5-6 pieces.

Banana Samba was founded by Carla and Ruth Wahnon, who grew up enjoying bananada, a 400 year old traditional snack in Brazil. They have introduced the world to this authentic, 100% natural version of this very enduring favorite. The care with the product starts with the highest quality ingredients. The bananas (Cavendish) are naturally ripened in small family farms. No ethylene gas induced ripening process and you will not find more than three ingredients in any of the Banana Samba versions. Banana Samba is the perfect choice for people looking to eschew cheap artificial energy shots and bars for something simple, natural and convenient. Available on Amazon.

Don Pablo Bourbon Infused Coffee 

I’ll be honest, I’m not a coffee snob. I don’t live for my next gourmet cup of Java but I do like coffee a lot and I have enjoyed this brand of coffee! I find that the flavor of the Signature Blend (medium to dark roast) is rich and flavorful and definitely is a step above grocery store brands. The Bourbon Infused Specialty Roast is definitely different! They soak the coffee beans in real Kentucky Bourbon and then roast them to infuse them with the taste of Bourbon without the alcohol. It’s a full bodied blend and velvety with hints of caramel, butterscotch and honey. Anyone who is adventurous in their coffee choices and looking for something more bold would like this one for sure. The Organic Specialty-Grade coffee is also a full bodied blend with a rich flavor and has hints of milk chocolate and honey, caramel, and cocoa. It comes in light, medium-dark, and dark roast. It’s 100% Arabica Coffee, Non-GMO, Certified Organic by CCOF.

Don Pablo also offers an array of Coffee Spice Grinders. Those interested in incorporating coffee into their collection of meat rubs and spices will find these grinders a convenient way of doing it. Examples are Peppercorn and Sea Salt, Adobo, Organic Coffee Peppercorn, and Peppercorn and Red Pepper. My favorite is the Adobo which my husband used on grilled chicken recently and it was delicious!

Don Pablo’s unique packaging is a step above and all of their products would make great gifts ideas for that coffee lover or grill master in your life! Available on Amazon.

Laura Benanti: Live from the West Side Tonight!

Are you missing live theater as much as I am?  This is a perfect fix and you can go to the theater from your house tonight! Dallas Summer Musicals (DSM) is co-producing a livestream concert event, Laura Benanti: Live from the West Side, Powered by PNC on Saturday, November 14 at 7 p.m. CST. Benanti is a Tony® Award-winning actress, singer, author and activist with a career spanning Broadway, film, and television.


Tickets for Laura Benanti: Live from the West Side, Powered by PNC are $30 per household and are available at DallasSummerMusicals.orgTicket holders will have access to an on-demand video recording of the livestream for 72 hours, available beginning one hour after the live broadcast ends. Proceeds from ticket sales will support DSM’s mission to deliver the spirit of Broadway to North Texas audiences through educational programs and community outreach initiatives.


“We are pleased to continue offering our patrons livestream concerts with such esteemed Broadway stars, such as Laura Benanti, to keep our fans connected to their love of live musical theater,” said Ken Novice, president of Dallas Summer Musicals. “We’re even happier to share this fundraising entertainment project with other nonprofit arts organizations around the country who need support, just like us. We know Broadway will be back, and it’s important, now more than ever, that we bring the magic of Broadway in any form we can to everyone who misses it.”


Benanti, most recently seen on Broadway as “Eliza Doolittle” in the 2018 revival of My Fair Lady, is a five-time Tony® Award nominee and received the Tony® Award for “Best Featured Actress in a Musical” for the 2008 production of Gypsy. In 2010, she was presented with the Drama Desk Award and Outer Critics Circle Award for her 2010 performance in Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown. Benanti has also appeared in various television series including Younger, Supergirl, Nashville, The Good Wife, and Nurse Jackie.


Laura Benanti: Live from the West Side, Powered by PNC will be a cabaret-style performance, showcasing a mix of Broadway showtunes, pop songs, and personal stories from the life of a Broadway star. The performance will take place at The Shubert Virtual Studios on Manhattan’s West Side, transmitted live in HD with professional sound mixing. At-home audience members will be invited to email in questions to be answered during the livestream.


The livestream, which is a co-production of Dallas Summer Musicals and Entertainment Benefits Group, is being shared by more than 20 nonprofit arts presenters around the country. Laura Benanti: Live from the West Side, Powered by PNC is the second of DSM’s three-part virtual concert series, Live from the West Side: Women of Broadway, Powered by PNCwhich featured two-time Tony® Award winner Patti LuPone on Oct. 24 and will also feature Tony® Award winner Laura Benanti on Nov. 14 and critically acclaimed actress and singer Vanessa Williams on Dec. 5.

15 Ways to Stay Sane While Caring For an Elderly Parent

I’ve been caring for my 96 year old mother for several years now so this is a subject that is very close to my heart and one of the hardest things I’ve ever done.  I recently ran across this excellent article on Huffington Post from a few years ago that I wanted to share with any of our readers who may be dealing with the ups and downs of being the primary caretaker of an elderly parent.  I have personally experienced almost every point that the author makes and I would have appreciated knowing a lot of these suggestions in the beginning of my journey.
Unless you go through it you will never understand how really difficult it is to take on the role of caretaker and how important it is to have support.  I am very blessed that I have an awesome and helpful husband who loves my mother almost as much as I do and steps up when I need him to.  I also have a couple of very sweet sons who embraced having their Nanny in our home since they were small.  They’re grown now and I think that having her with us so much of the time has contributed to their great sense of family and the responsibility of honoring and caring for family members.  The overwhelming pressure is always there that I am ultimately the person who’s responsible for her care and medical issues.  My mother recently fell and broke her leg and the constant care has been very overwhelming.  I feel like at times that I am drowning in the responsibility of taking care of another person who is getting weaker and weaker and the help I’m receiving is getting less and less.
One of the most emotionally complex and difficult things a person can experience is taking care of an elderly parent. I recently spent time tending to my aging, widowed father, and thought I’d pass along these 15 points, each of which I found to be significantly helpful during this phase of my own life.Accept that things have changed. When a parent starts in any way depending upon their child, a world has turned upside down. Be prepared for that radically new paradigm. Old roles may not apply; old methodologies may not apply; old emotions may not apply. Be prepared to work from — and write — a whole new script.
  1. Accept that things have changed. When a parent starts in any way depending upon their child, a world has turned upside down. Be prepared for that radically new paradigm. Old roles may not apply; old methodologies may not apply; old emotions may not apply. Be prepared to work from — and write — a whole new script.
  • Take it slowly. Taking care of an elderly parent is generally a marathon, not a sprint. Don’t rush it. You and they both are in uncharted territory. Let the process reveal itself to you; to the degree that you can, let whatever happens unfold organically. As much as you lead what’s happening, follow it.
  • Expect nothing emotionally. At the end phase of their life, your parent might open up to you emotionally and spiritually; they might express for you the love that, for whatever reason, they haven’t before. But they also might not do that; your parent might even more tenaciously cling to their crazy. If as you care for your aging parent you bond with them in a new and deeper way, of course that’s fantastic. But going into caring for them expecting or even hoping for that to happen is to wade into dangerous waters. Better to have no expectations and be surprised, than to have your hopes dashed.
  •  Expect their anger. When you start taking care of your parent, they lose the one thing they’ve always had in relationship to you: authority. That’s not going to be easy for them to give up. Expect them, in one way or another, to lash out about that loss.
  • Give them their autonomy. Insofar as you can, offer your parent options instead of orders. It’s important for them to continue to feel as if they, and not you, are running their lives. Let them decide everything they can about their own care and situation.
  •  Ask their advice. A great way to show your parent love and respect — and, especially, to affirm for them that they are still of true value to you — is to sincerely ask them for advice about something going on in your life.
  • Separate their emotional dysfunction from their cognitive dysfunction. Insofar as you can, through your conversations and interactions with your parent, learn to distinguish between their emotional and cognitive dysfunction. The patterns of your parent’s emotional dysfunctions will probably be familiar to you; those, you’ll know how to deal with. But their cognitive dysfunction will probably be new to you. Track it; react to it gingerly; discuss it with your parent’s health care providers. Mostly, just be aware that it’s new, and so demands a new kind of response. This is a part of the process where it’s good to remember point No. 2.
  • Love your health care providers. During this phase of your life, you don’t have better friends than those helping you care for your parent. Cleaning person, social worker, physical therapist, nurse, doctor, caring neighbor — treat well each and every person who plays any role whatsoever in caring for your parent. When they think of your parent, you want everyone involved in their care to have good, positive thoughts; you want them to want to care well for your mom or dad. Steady kindness, and little gifts here and there, can go a long way toward ensuring that’s how they feel.
  • Depend upon your spouse. You may find that your parent is more comfortable relating to your spouse than to you. Though that can certainly hurt your feelings, don’t let it. It’s simply because your parent doesn’t share with your spouse all the baggage they do with you; mainly, they’ve never been the dominate force in your spouse’s life. Your spouse and your parent are peers to a degree that you and your parent can never be. Let that work for you. Depend upon your spouse to be as instrumental in the care of your parent as he or she wants to be.
  • Protect your buttons. No one in this world knows your emotional buttons like your mom or dad does. Surround those buttons with titanium cases and lock them away where your parent couldn’t find them with a Rorschach test. Unless he or she is an extraordinarily loving and mature person, your parent is bound to at least once try to push your buttons, if only to establish their erstwhile dominance over you. Don’t let them do it. You might owe them your care, but you don’t owe them your emotional well-being. With your parent, let “No buttons for you!” be your motto.
  • Prepare for sibling insanity. Expect the worst from your sibling(s). For perfectly understandable reasons, many people go positively bonkers when their parents start to die. Money, childhood mementos, furniture and possessions from the family house, money, diversified assets, money, the will… you get the idea. Prepare for the coming crazy. Do not participate in it yourself. Insofar as you must, of course protect yourself. But no amount of money on earth is worth your dignity.
  • Take care of yourself . It’s so easy to surrender to the care of your aging parent more of your life than you should. But you serve well neither yourself nor them if you fail to take walks; to stretch out; to eat right; to make sure you spend quality time away from them. Make taking time to rejuvenate yourself as critical a part of your care routine for your parent as you do cooking their meals or making sure they take their meds. Your life still needs to be about you.
  • Talk to a friend. If you have a friend with whom you can regularly meet and talk, or even chat with on the phone, do it. During this time the input and love of a friend is invaluable to you. Sharing what you’re going through with someone not immediately involved with it can be like a life preserver when you’re bobbing in the ocean. As soon as you get involved with tending to your parent, call your best friend, and tell them that you’re going to be depending upon them to do what friends do best: care, and listen.
  • Have fun. One of the things we most need in life is the one thing we most readily jettison once we begin caring for an elderly parent: fun. Fun! Have some! Have lots! Rent a Marx Brothers movie. Wear a goofy hat. Make your parent wear a goofy hat — when they’re sleeping, maybe. Whatever it takes. But remember: A day without fun is like a day where you almost go to jail for pushing your old mom or dad down a stairwell. Whenever, wherever and however you can, truly enjoy.
  • Pray or meditate. Life doesn’t offer a lot more emotionally salient or complex than caring for an aging parent. Accordingly, then, open yourself up to God, whatever that might mean to you. Be sure to with some regularly get down on your knees, or sit comfortably in a quiet place; close your eyes; breathe deeply and slowly; and wait to come over you the peace that surpasses understanding. What you’re undergoing with your parent right now is bigger than you, your parent, or anyone else involved.  Do not fail to avail yourself of the great and mighty source from whose perspective it has all, already, been resolved..
I know that I am truly blessed to have my 96 year old mother still  here with us and I try to appreciate every moment.  I know that she doesn’t like growing old and being dependent on her children so I try to take every day one day at a time and not worry about the future and what it looks like but I admit the days are getting longer and harder every day.  I can only do my best because that’s all I can do and I may need to ask for more help very soon – I’m almost there.  Because after all I may be dependent on my children someday and I hope they can do their best for me.

It’s Not Too Soon for Great Holiday Gift Ideas!

I know it’s a little early to shop for the Holidays but is it ever really too early to get some great ideas?  I have a few products that are perfect for people on your list.  Like that guy in your life that’s hard to shop for, the sister or bestie who loves jewelry and even that relative who is totally into health and fitness.  Another great thing about these products is that you can find on them all on online!

Let’s start with Delicora Jewelry because everyone in my family loves jewelry including me and this line is just lovely. Delicora jewelry is uniquely lightweight and has a delicate and simplistic style. Every collection in this line is made using hypoallergenic 14k gold filled and sterling silver materials for even sensitive skin to enjoy. The collection includes a wide range of semi-precious stones intended to capture a woman’s confidence, natural beauty and individual style. I love this about the company too – Delicora prides itself on its charitable DNA and for every piece sold, 20 meals are donated to fighting hunger through Feeding America.  They also just launched their Fall collection!  Check out this darling set of earrings that are perfect for that person who likes classic but understated jewelry.

Pricing is very affordable and runs from $25 – $100 and up to $150 for some sets.  To order go to their website at:  Delicora where you can get a 15% discount on your first order for signing up to get on their email list.

My husband is a pretty handy guy so when he saw this product he basically geeked out about this go-to-tool!   He immediately put it on his key chain in anticipation that it will be a great thing to have the next time he doesn’t have his huge tool box with him.  The Geekey has so many uses but is super small – the size and shape of a house key! Incredibly Geekey has 16+ tool functions in the palm of your hand. Crafted out of 420 Stainless Steel, it takes on big and “tough as nails” jobs, yet measures in millimeters and remains lightweight.  This is a really great gift idea for your husband, boyfriend, or dad.  The Geekey is available on Amazon and runs about $26.99 but if you have Prime it’s only $20.69 right now!


Hudson and James

This line of products includes clean collagen, supplements, and skin care.  The collagen comes in two different flavors, chocolate, pink lemonade and unflavored.  Our sample was the chocolate flavor and I have to say it’s really delicious.  It is very flavorful with no after taste and melts very well in my coffee every morning. You can drink it in water as well.  I really like the fact that it’s collagen and protein in one product and can get the benefits of both in one drink.  There are so many benefits to gain from adding collagen to our everyday regime such as improving skin, hair, nails, bones, and joints not to mention it supports gut health.

Hudson and James also has a line of supplements that I would love to try and includes Vitamins A-D-K and something really intriguing called Daily Zen.  Daily Zen is a special Ayurvedic formula that includes 17 curated botanical, adaptogen, and herbal properties that delivers an abundance of antioxidants that help support health and longevity.

The Hudson and James  beauty line is also vegan and cruelty-free.  The skin care line is free from aging carcinogens, toxins, synthetic color, fragrance, glycols, DEA, TEA, parabens, paraffin, nitrosamine releasers, and lauryl sulfates.  Many of the ingredients are sourced from sustainable farms or co-ops to help provide fair wages and valuable income to support women, families, and entire communities. We believe in quality over quantity, which translates to no mass-produced ingredients.  Any product from this line will be perfect for your health conscious gift recipient. Go to their website at: Hudson and James

So as you’re starting to think about the holidays check out these fun and thoughtful gifts.  They’re also available to order online so even better!!  Happy shopping and stay safe!