I am just speechless over the song that Mr. Steve of PBS Kids wrote for us bloggers! He included all of our blog names!
I was one lucky mommy today – I was one of the first people to see the newest character on Sesame Street here at the PBS Annual Meeting! A huge search was undertaken to find the perfect person to join the cast and Ismael Cruz Cordova is THE guy.
I got to talk to Ismael after this adorable performance about Spanish words that sound alike and I can see why he was chosen. I will post ALL about it soon – enjoy the video of Mando and Rosita and all will be revealed when I get back to the ‘hood.
While it certainly would have been a worthwhile event for the Critter to play hooky and skip school, we had the good fortune that his school had what is mysteriously referred to as a “Pupil Free Day”, so no such infractions had to be committed. It was a great morning in Hollywood for a premiere, and the folks at PBS SoCal hosted a nearly full house of excited kiddos to watch the first Sid the Science Kid feature length film, which premieres Monday March 25th on PBS. The film is chock full of learning tidbits, from critical thinking to simple machines, to complex computers and how to work as a team, which all combined to captivate all said kiddos for the entire movie – a mom’s dream!
It was also a treat to be able to chat with Lisa Henson, daughter of Jim Henson and CEO of Henson Studios, THE studio for all things creative involving puppets and digital animation. You may remember the awesome time I had at on the lot, where I got to see how Sid and Wilson and Ditch were created. I was really happy that I was able to tell her how proud Mississippi is of her family, and what a fan I have been since childhood. To see the empire that creativity built is truly inspiring – make sure to tune in on Monday!
Y’all know my history with Chris Mann, and you know how much I love PBS, so you can imagine how thrilled I was when I got the invitation from Barbara at One2One Network to attend the taping of his upcoming PBS Special! I went to Sony last night and watched and listened to him BRING IT for four hours, and I can assure you the special will be something…special. I thought this about Chris since the first night I heard him play and am so happy to see all the great things that have happened since then – that he’s in the skilled hands of the production people at PBS is also very reassuring. I know that they’ll “get” him and create a wonderful program with all his hard work. His voice is in top condition, and every note her delivers is rich and clear. My favorite songs he performed? Cuts from his new album Roads: My Way ( Frank Sinatra and his grandad would be proud), and Cuore (it really doesn’t matter if you know what he’s saying, just close your eyes and listen). After seeing this special you will also want to add his Christmas album to your permanent collection – his version “Oh Come All Ye Faithful” is just amazing.
Here we are together after the show – I got to give him a hug and tell him how happy I am for all he’s achieved since that night at Genghis Cohen…
When the Critter was about eighteen months old I found this Feist video on SesameStreet.org. He was completely enraptured by it! I now had five minutes to go to the bathroom or make a phone call and know that my wee one was entertained. But that was only the beginning of the benefit of this discovery – The Critter counted to four AND sang the Whoaaaaa part of the song, the first time either happened, EVER! This was the beginning of many special moments of discovery with the furry and funny monsters that I will always remember, and in which my baby began his education – I credit this program and others on PBS with his ease (so far) in learning to read in kindergarten.
Since then I have developed a relationship with programming and people at PBS and write about them frequently. I believe that there is no more valuable resource for our children AND adults to learn and broaden horizons.
Government needs to trim fat, but our public television is not fat. It is the steak on the plate in a sea of potatoes. Support PBS!
I realize that if you don’t follow me on Twitter, then you may think I’m not writing because nothing exciting is going on. I you do follow, you’ll know that the end of summer was full of awesome activities with a the finale of the Critter going to kindergarten. This has been a HUGE transition, probably more huge for BeverlyHillsDad and me, because the ante is up. Lollygagging is over. There’s homework and tardies count (of particularly terrifying note to me). If my five year old isn’t turning in homework it’s because MOM didn’t get him to sit in the chair and do it. There are folders, backpacks, lunch and a snack that need to be filled properly. There are days that are designated wear and eat a certain color day. I had a minor breakdown at midnight the night before yellow day when I realized there were no bananas for Critter’s lunchbox, and came back to my senses with triumph when I remembered there were lemons in the fridge. Right now I am fantasizing about Halloween, and just spent way too much time arranging the gum in a bowl in my kitchen, but I seem to be in there so much lately, I wanted it styled.
So you see, I’ve been getting the hang of kindergarten and the ever changing life as a mom. As much fun as this is, the gum could be called a cry for help. I actually knew this a couple of weeks ago, and am now getting back to spending more time with the parts of my livelihood that feed my creative energy. Last weekend I sat on a panel moderated by Jessica Gottlieb along with Romy Schorr and Candice Berneman Khan at the BLP ConnectHer Conference. A group of about 200 attendees spent the day at the Casa del Mar Hotel in Santa Monica, a gorgeous hotel, which, by the way, was a project I worked on in my early design days in LA – I hand picked all the seashells in the lobby! Over the day I spent time with these and so many intelligent, compassionate, accomplished, stylish, sexy, women like Jeannine Chanin Penn, Donna Tetreault, Ali Landry, Lisa Steadman and Wendy Bellissimo. We shared some highs and lows of our respective professions, and what worked for us and what didn’t. It was a really generous (and gorgeous) group who were all there to learn how to do business better, but the theme broadened into the fact that we all have lives that go on during (and WAY after) business hours, and how we all manage it. The tide of women in business is no longer to fit into an existing model, but to create what fits into our lives – and to own all the parts of how we do it. I feel really blessed to be able to maximize my time with my Critter, and have work(and play) that works with us. In the spirit of this, it may take me a while to share more of what we experienced, including but not limited to: our trip to the Pebble Beach Concours, the making of a video with ET, PBS Press Tour ( I met Martha Stewart!!!), and loads of the style photos I know y’all love.
Speaking of travelling and making it work: I will be attending the Bloggy Boot Camp Las Vegas next weekend. I had so much fun last time I went to this conference, I couldn’t pass up a chance to do it in VEGAS baby, and I’ve also roped 90210Mom and Ashaa to go with me. There will be no juiceboxes or flats allowed.
And last but definitely not least: I am really amazed to be the guest of Coca Cola at their world headquarters to participate in Conversations with Coca-Cola, a social media conference. When they called to invite me, I assumed it was because they heard how much Diet Coke I drink. I’m really excited to see behind the scenes and know more of how the most venerable brand in the WORLD operates. Jamie will be there with me, representing from Los Angeles – stayed tuned!
We had such a great time at the Soar With Reading event at the downtown Library. It was absolutely a blast for the Critter and his pal Miss T, who also attended. The kids were so engaged and danced like crazy with Susan Reed and Steve Songs. We took some fun photos with Hooper and SuperWhyatt, read a book in the children’s library and then were really tired and needed to go home. It was my first time at the Central Library, so i now really want to go again and see the collections, as well as spend some time looking at the public art, the building and its architecture. When it’s not 102 degrees!
The Soar with Reading initiative is back for a second year, working to place books in the hands of kids in need and keep kids reading all summer long! With online activities and an awesome sweepstakes, PBS Kids, Barefoot Books and Jet Blue have partnered to help young imaginations SOAR! That’s not all – on Tuesday August 7th, the partners and PBS SoCal present a special Soar with Reading Celebration will feature a LIVE concert from Mr. Steve Songs (see video above for a performance from last year’s events) in the Mark Taper Auditorium. Families will even get to meet PBS KIDS’ characters Hooper and Super Why! following the concert. All attendees will receive resources for summer reading and be able to participate in hands-on summer literacy activities. This event is free to attend but RSVP is required!
Dear reader, what a summer we’re having! If you follow my Twitter stream, you know I haven’t deserted y’all – My Perfect Husband (now also known as the BeverlyHillsDad!), the Critter and I have really been enjoying all the activities and events we possibly can, because you know how we love people, style, and fun. I have found inspiration in so many places – one day it’s an exciting movie screening or party or art project or planting a garden and lying in the grass looking at the sky. I am cherishing every cute moment with my Critter before he heads to kindergarten in the fall, and finally had time to share some photos of stuff we’ve been doing only because he and dad have gone camping in Yosemite for four days. Up this weekend – the PBS Press Tour, where I will be able to preview the fall lineup and stalk Martha Stewart.
*Note – to view photos in large format, click on thumbnail, then click on photo in attachment page
One of the best parts about having a kidlet is having the legitimate excuse to immerse myself in kids’ stuff, to which I have admitted an addiction. I think back on summers in Gulfport Mississippi, where my parents’ office was located across the street from the very glamorous (really!) Gulfport-Harrison Library. I would spend hour upon hour reading every book in the children’s section, proudly watching the librarian make a new hashmark by my name each time I reported to her that I had read another. The books would take my mind near and far, teach and entertain me, and broadened my mind to wanting to learn more.
The love of reading and learning was also supported by shows on PBS like the Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood, The Electric Company, and Sesame Street – even though it was television programming, the number one theme was that if you can read you can learn, and if you can learn, anything is possible. The more things change the more they remain the same. Now I have a preschooler embarking on the summer before kindergarten. I want him to read, to learn, and to enjoy it the way I always have. He has lots of wonderful books and tons of cool online resources to help me teach him.
As a PBS Kids VIP I attended the PBS Annual Meeting last month and was thrilled to be able to preview the newest program called Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood. I was whisked from LAX to Denver for a whirlwind trip where I was also able to gather with folks from PBS Kids / PBS, meet the other PBS Kids VIPs, and get another visit with my kids’ TV idol Angela Santomero. Angela promised that Daniel Tiger, the “child” of the Fred Rogers Company and PBS Kids has enough lovey-love and cuteness to melt the coldest heart, and will also teach preschoolers how to cope with emotions and have empathy for others. It really was inspiring to be able to see her speak to a huge crowd of people who grew up with Mister Rogers Neighborhood who were all excited to see how the themes from our beloved “neighbor’s” lessons would translate to the new millennium. The trolley, red sweater, sneakers, the Land of Make Believe, and the sweet characters are all still there, but this time all in animated form, since there is no way to replace Mr R. The real Mrs. Rogers was there too, and I got to give her a hug and tell her how my son watches Mister Rogers just like I did and how happy I am about the new series.
There’s a reason PBS Kids programming survives and thrives after all these years. It’s still made by people whose mission is to change lives, one house at a time, and that everyone can afford to watch – it’s still public and reaches 99% of all homes. I left Denver energized, looking forward to seeing Daniel again on Labor Day, and ready to host a little summer kick off party of my own, with the help of PBS Kids, iVillage, and Scholastic. Last Friday I had a Summer Reading Party at the Critter’s preschool support literacy through the iVillage PBS Kids Summer Reading Community Challenge. We read books, colored printable pages, took fun photos, and watched PBS Kids programming. All good Beverly Hills events end with a goody bag, and this was no exception – the wee ones took home discount coupons, notebooks, bookmarks, tatoos, sticker sheets, activity story sheets, and reading charts that parents can use to encourage reading all summer.