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  1. The Sound of Music LIVE

    December 7, 2013 by Leanne

    SOMusic

    I don’t think anyone could ever question my love for The Sound of Music. I fell in love with the movie when I was just a little girl and have watched it religiously every year of my life since and sometimes multiple times a year.  I know every single line in the movie by heart. I could re-record the album from memory. I watch it on my iPad on flights.

    So when NBC announced they were reproducing this beloved classic in a live production starring Carrie Underwood, I was intrigued, but not overly excited.  Like so many others I had my doubts they could pull it off. And Carrie as Maria? We know she’s got the voice chops but everything else was a huge stretch.

    Then during Thanksgiving week NBC aired a 1-hour special “The Making Of” the live production.  We got a look behind the scenes on how the show was coming together and saw how the actors were chosen.  The kids were extremely talented.

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    The live production aired Thursday night and despite the artistic controversy the show gave NBC it’s biggest Thursday night (non-sports) since the finale of “E.R.” in 2009. (Via MediaPost.com)

    I watched the full 3-hour live show.  The good:  The sets were gorgeous.  The singing was fantastic.  And pulling off a 3-hour live show like that is truly to be commended.  (I even tweeted that!)   The not-so-good:  Honestly, I cringed through almost the whole show.  I didn’t realize this live production was based on the play and not the movie I have memorized and cherished for decades. The songs were out of order.  Not only did Carrie’s acting abililities leave a lot to be desired, I felt some of the other scenes were “over-acted”.  It fell flat.  I thought though, the Von Trapp children were fantastic!  Ariane Rinehart who played Liesl is going to be a star!

    It’s so exciting to see a network attempt something so daring as this and they actually succeeded in a big way.  The show was nearly flawless and it was fun watching a LIVE show again.  I give them huge kudos and props for pulling it off.  I just wish it was closer to the movie version and they’d spent more time on acting lessons.


  2. Top 10 Tuesday: I’m Thankful For…

    November 26, 2013 by Leanne

    It’s cliche, I know, to do a “Top 10 Thankful” list but come on, it is Thanksgiving week after all.  Here are the top 10 things I’m thankful for this Thanksgiving.

    1.  Family - Although I’m officially an “orphan” now I’m blessed to have been adopted by the O’Regans and I’m thankful for the cousins and aunts I still have on my maternal family side. No words can express how thankful I am that Mike came back into my life and that his family had taken me in and been so wonderful to me.     1a.  Furry Family - I am thankful my parents raised my brother and me with animals all around.  Growing up we always had no less than 3 dogs and 2 cats in the house. My furry babies have given me so much love and companionship over the years, I am so grateful. I love Mikita and Jake.

    Mikita & Jake - My Furry Family

    Mikita & Jake – My Furry Family

    2.  Friends – The encouragement and support I get from my huge network of friends is more than I could ever have wished for.  I have dear friends who understand me better than I do myself and I have friends who unknowlingly teach me something every day. I am thankful you are in my life. I am thankful you keep me on course and sane.

    3.  Disney – I’m coming up on my 15th year working for the “Mouse” and without a doubt it has been the most fun, most entertaining, and the most growth I’ve done as a person in my life.  I’m blessed to work with smart, intuitive and amazing people.  All jobs have their ups and downs obviously, but I’ve for sure had more ups and smiles in my career at Disney Parks.

    4.  Great Neighbors – I’ve lived in this neighborhood more than 10 years now and am very thankful for the wonderful neighbors I have. They’re kind, friendly, and look after me. I thank them and appreciate them all.

    5.  Travel – I’m thankful I’ve had the opportunity to travel as much as I have over the past decade. I’ve seen some amazing places, been to historical sites, experienced new cultures and customs and had many breathtaking moments.

    The Grand Canyon

    The Grand Canyon

    6.  Health – I am thankful to be as old as I am.  Sure, I need to drop a few pounds and work on my cardio, but I’m thankful I don’t smoke and indulge in too many bad habits. Thank you for this.

    7.  Education – I’m blessed to have my college degree and I’m even more thankful that I’m continuing to learn every single day of my life.  I learn from so many different places – from my friends, from other companies, from social media, from reading and on and on.  Never stop learning!

    8.  Sunrises and Sunsets – There is absolutely nothing like witnessing a gorgeous sunrise or sunset to make you realize how unimportant all your problems in life really are. The blues, pinks, oranges, greys and whites of the sky that last for such brief periouds of time showcase God’s creations. For this I am very thankful.

    Sunset at sea (from aboard the Disney Fantasy)

    Sunset at sea (from aboard the Disney Fantasy)

    9.  Animals – Not just my pets, but I am thankful for all animals and their beauty.  Notice I wrote animals, not reptiles!

    Tiger at Disney's Animal Kingdom

    Tiger at Disney’s Animal Kingdom

    10.  My Life – I’m thankful for everything I’ve been given and for all that I receive.

     

    Happy Thanksgiving everyone. Be safe – be happy!  Enjoy each other and savor life.  Don’t squabble over insignificant things!

     


  3. Eagles Sent Me Soaring

    November 24, 2013 by Leanne

    Last night we celebrated Mike’s birthday with the Eagles concert at the Amway Center in Orlando.  To say it was amazing is understating it. What a fantastic concert!  They are older now, just like we all are, but their music is still pristine, clean and just exactly as I remember it growing up.

    This was their History of the Eagles tour for 2013 which plays off the critically acclaimed documentary this year on HBO. All the main players were there – Don Henley, Joe Walsh, Glenn Frey and Timothy B. Schmit – and their voices harmonized as beautifully as ever.

    They played all the hits I remember and still listen to today – Hotel California, Life in the Fastlane, Lying Eyes, Witchy Woman, Take it to the Limit, and of course the show closer – Desperado. Each song still sounded just like it did 30+ years ago. It was 3 hours of bliss!

    The arena was sold-out and the audience was definitely an older crowd. But like me they were soaking up the music we grew up with and going down memory lane with the musicians who made it all happen.

    Eagles at Amway Center in Orlando 11/23/13

    Eagles at Amway Center in Orlando 11/23/13

     

     

     

     


  4. Twitter Pendulum

    November 21, 2013 by Leanne

    I was browsing my Twitter feed this morning and started feeling what I’ve labeled – The Twitter Pendulum. I realize I was either reading the same tweets over and over OR there was so much information and different topics I was getting Twitter overload

    Screen Shot 2013-11-21 at 7.44.02 AM

     

    Maybe I just need to change up my follow lists.  I love the sponaneity of Twitter and seeing what’s happening now and what’s on everyone’s minds. I get so much information from the people I follow – information like breaking news, social media trends, funny jokes, and updates on where my friends are and what they’re doing.

    Or maybe my Twitter Pendulum effect is just because I’m tired and ready for a vacation.  Bring on Thanksgiving!


  5. Top Ten – I’ll Never Do

    November 16, 2013 by Leanne

    With all the traveling I’ve been doing this fall I’ve had a lot of time on airplanes and have done a lot of thinking, mostly about nothing.  Now I know where Seinfeld got so many ideas. Looking out the window flying thousands of feet above land, I got to thinking about my top ten.  Top ten what you ask?  Top ten  - lots of different things –  my top ten Likes, people, places, dream vacations, movies, days of the year and such. I’ll start today with:

    Top Ten – Things I’ll Never Do

    1.  Be a contestant on a reality show like Fear Factor, Amazing Race, or Survivor

    2.  Bungee Jump

    3.  Sky Dive

    4.  Drive in New York City

    5.  Take a helicopter tour

    6.  Eat ridiculous foods like worms, roaches, ants and stuff

    7.   Win the lottery (I’ll keep trying but it hasn’t happened yet)

    8.  Own a snake or any other reptile for that matter

    9.  Live at a nudist colony

    10.  Not have a dog in my life (I mean, come on!!)

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  6. Conference Nuggets

    November 14, 2013 by Leanne

    As I’m sitting on a plane killing time waiting on everyone to board and stow their luggage, I pull out my “notes” section on my laptop and begin reading back through some of my collection of thoughts.  I found quite a few posts of my take-aways from some of the conferences I’ve attended over the past year or so. Conferences like Type-A, SheStreams and others.

    It’s refreshing to look back at the comments from the key note speakers.

    From Type A Parent Conference speaker:

    “Change is good. Adapt to it.”

    How true and often how hard this is. We get comfortable in our ways and in our habits. That’s why they become habits because we find comfort in them. But to truly grow mentally we need to be brave and accept the changes that come our way. It’s taken me a long time in my life to really understand this and not get frustrated or more likely, irritated with change.

    From another Type A speaker last year:

    “Make friends along the way. Don’t dismiss anybody because you never know who is going to be important in your life in the future.”

    Such true words spoken.  It’s so easy to get upset these days with so much angst in our lives. While I was writing this on the plane I watched the lady in front of me going out of her way to help her seat neighbors put their luggage in the overhead compartments. She was beyond friendly and truly caring.  I admired her and want to be more like her.

    And from a Disney conference on Optimization:

    “Yelling louder doesn’t always get you heard”

    That one speaks for itself.

    Take notes at conferences and then take the time to reflect back on them and what you’ve learned.  Those little nuggets of wisdom can be nuggets of gold.

    Type A Conference 2013 in Atlanta.

    Type A Conference 2013 in Atlanta.

     


  7. Jake Steals the Ball!

    October 5, 2013 by Leanne

    Jake Stealing the Ball

    Dogs are just like kids – jealous, competitive, loving, and just plain fun.


  8. Google+ Conference Confusion

    September 27, 2013 by Leanne

    I sat in at TypeACon session in Atlanta focused on Google+.  To say it’s confusing to the folks in the room is like saying the sky is blue.  The bloggers here are some of the most experienced bloggers in the business and have been doing it for many years but understanding how to make Google+ work for them is raising lots of questions. One lady just asked why even bother with this platform when it’s so confusing to figure out ?  Also asked how or what is the best way to make it work for their readers? Of course the speaker told them “SEO” should be their prime reason.  He says Google+ isn’t about community with the people you already know, but finding new people with similar interests to find your content.

    Type A Conference 2013 in Atlanta.

    Type A Conference 2013 in Atlanta.

    My takeaway is to really understand how to make Google+ work hard for you means you are going to have to work hard to understand this platform. It’s not simple, although they (Google) wants you to believe it is. Its going to take time to read and understand the ebb and flow of Google+.  Someone also said it could be that bloggers are wanting Google+ to be more social than it is.


  9. What to Do in NYC!?

    September 16, 2013 by Leanne

    In a few weeks I’ll be heading back to the Big Apple which makes me very happy!  I’ve been blessed the past decade it seems, to have a reason to visit New York City in the fall. This time I’ll be mingling with some of the finest bloggers at the 2013 SheStreams Conference.  At the end of the conference, I’ll have a day to spend in the city on Saturday doing whatever I want.

    I’ve been to NYC enough times to know that the city has a very different vibe on the weekends than on the weekday. So I’m actually researching (go figure that!) on cool things to do that I’ve never done before.  I found this story on Time Out NY which lists the top 20 things to do in the city.  One of the top suggestions is  Central Park. I’ve never really explored Central Park so that might be fun to do. A Broadway Show is always an option, but I’ve done that many times. I’m thinking more about exploring areas I’ve never seen before.  I love finding treasures like flea markets, street festivals and crafters/artists showcases.  So much fun!

    The other bright idea was to see the Saturday Night Live now that they’re back on the air (as of next weekend). That would be fun!  I checked out the procedure to get tickets so I’m not too excited because it seems like a longshot to get it, but you never know, right?

    Lots of options and opportunities in the city.  What would you plan to do if you had a Saturday free in New York?

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    From one of my last trips. Such a classic photo!

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    Mike and I walked across the Brooklyn Bridge one year.

     


  10. Wedding Day Fit

    August 25, 2013 by Leanne

    I haven’t announced it here on my blog but most everyone around me knows I got engaged in April to the love of my life, Mike, and our wedding date is set for June 1, 2014.  Woohoo!

    That gives me just 9-months to get my fitness on and get wedding dress gorgeous. YIKES!

    I’m scouring Pinterest and magazines to get the latest workouts and diets to help me along.

    I found this one today on Pinterest and planningon starting it tonight.  My only worry with my arms is I have Tennis Elbow in my right arm, for nearly 3 years now. It hasn’t improved at all and only gets worse when I do any kind of physical exercise with it. Ugh.

    I’ll do my best.  I may not look like Linda from Terminator, but I’ll do my best to try.

    Check it out:

    http://www.fitsugar.com/10-Minute-Workout-Sexy-Sculpted-Arms-21620326

     

    http://www.popsugar.com/psvn/embed?video=21620326