Real Friends. Real Life.

Sheesh, I haven’t blogged in ages. Not because I haven’t had anything to share, mostly because I haven’t had the time. Life has me pulled in so many directions these days. As 2016 comes to a close, I think it’s the perfect time to gather my thoughts and reflect. Even though I couldn’t have picked a more busy time of the year to do so.

This year has been weird. I have attended less social media events, and hung out with less “social media” people. By choice? I think so. Because I’ve been so busy driving Marissa to auditions all over Los Angeles, making sure Jessie gets to attend her karate classes twice a week, having fun with family and managing all of the other things I do like carpool duties and volunteering at school… I have blogged less and was invited to less events because of it. So instead of hanging out at events, mingling with people who I’m not that close to… I have reached out to a handful of my dearest most genuine friends and have spent time in smaller gatherings or one-on-one time with them. You know what? It really is all about quality, not quantity. Eventually, time becomes such a precious commodity, you value it more, and become more picky about how you spend your time and with who. Even though this past year has been spent with less people, I find myself happier and free. Free to focus on what really matters.

2017 is going to be all about quality! No more bullshit. No more fake people in my life. Just real friends. They know who they are. And I’m grateful for them in my life. I can grab a boba with them, go for a hike, or have a drink (or two) with just 1-3 girlfriends and have a wonderful time. So if you want to spend time with me, just reach out! But don’t say it and not do it. There’s nothing more annoying than that. Let’s hang out for real. And be real. I love everyone close to me in my life. And I hope to grow old with all of them. Even though it’s less than 2 handfuls of people. That’s enough for me. Real friends. Real life.

If I don’t jump back on my blog before the holidays, Merry Christmas!!! See you in 2017.


Stuck in Love Starring Greg Kinnear

 Title: Stuck in Love – 2012

Genre: Romance, Drama

Where I watched it: It took me a few sessions on Netflix to finish 
When I say this one took a few sessions on Netflix to finish, it’s only because I’ve been busy. I would put it on while doing the laundry, or for a chunk of time before going to bed. 

This movie was a wonderful romantic movie that ended with me sobbing in tears with unpaired socks on my lap. I wasn’t crying because I couldn’t find the matching pairs either. 

This was a tale of a divorced man/accomplished author (Greg Kinnear) who was waiting for his ex-wife (Jennifer Connelly) to come back. The story focuses mainly on his struggle to get over his wife while trying to connect with his college aged children. The brother and sister are played by Lily Colins and Nat Wolff. 

I enjoyed the stories of the siblings who are writers like their dad. They both develop relationships of their own which I won’t spoil. 

Kristen Bell plays a neighbor of Greg Kinnear’s character and makes a few of the scenes quite fun. (Which I also won’t spoil.)

If you like a good chick flick with a dash of cynicism and a tear jerking finish, you’ll be quite satisfied with this one. 

I give this 5 out of 5 Purple Hearts. 


Did I cry? Yes. Did I laugh? Yes. 😆


Assault On Wall Street Starring Dominic Purcell

 Title: Assault on Wall Street – 2013

Genre: Action, Drama

Where I watched it: In bed on Netflix  
I’m a fan of the Fox TV show Prison Break, so when I came across this image on Netflix of Dominic Purcell (he played Lincoln Burrows on Prison Break – the burly handsome brother of Michael Scofield, played by Wentworth Miller) I thought, okay I’ll give it a try. But with the title “Assault on Wall Street,” I was a bit skeptical. The title alone is one big SPOILER ALERT. We already know this movie is going to end with something going down at Wall Street and it isn’t going to be pretty.

Although Dominic is easy on the eyes, the entire film was quite predictable. Not gonna rip on this one too much because I love Prison Break so much. 

If you like a cheesy revenge flick this will give you what you need. Hard working husband with sweet wife with health issues gets ripped off by a greedy stock broker and gets back at everyone with much rage. That’s it. Sorry if I spoiled it for you but anyone can guess by the obvious title of this film what happens. 

I give this 1 out of 5 Purple Hearts. 


Did I cry? No. Did I laugh? No. 😕

Knott’s Spooky Farm Family Fun for Little Ones #SpookyFarm

It’s Halloween time. Everything is about zombies, ghouls, blood-sucking vampires and all that gore. What do you do with your little ones, between the ages of 2 and 11 that aren’t into all those terrifying things? Take them to Knott’s Berry Farm during the day! At night, the park is transformed into Knott’s Scary Farm, which is not intended for young ones or weak-hearted adults. BUT, during the day, the park is all about the kids! They call it “Knott’s Spooky Farm” and it is just that. Spooky. Not scary at all!

Kids up to age 11 are encouraged to wear their fun Halloween costumes to the park and enjoy the festivities. Mom and Dad, leave your costumes at home. This is all about the littles! Take the kids trick-or-treating at the Ghost Town where friendly townspeople will greet the families with yummy candy!


Our little lady bug Jessie enjoyed chatting it up with everyone and enjoyed her treats!


At Spooky Hollow, there’s a fun maze to walk through, filled with pumpkins, scarecrows and a crazy rotating pumpkin tunnel!


Jessie’s teenage sister Marissa had fun too! Making holiday memories at Knott’s has been the best part of these events.


You can go to any pumpkin patch for Fall photos. But when you visit Knott’s you’ll not only find beautiful places for your family photos, there’s so many fun things to do to. Rides and activities for everyone to enjoy and you’ll remember those giggles forever!

Here’s the Knott’s Spooky Farm Fun Map to guide you!

Highlights include:

  • Ghost Town Treat Stops – for trick-or-treating
  • Creepy Crawler Cabin – reptiles, bugs and all kinds of creepy things
  • Spooky Hallow Maze – great place for photo opps
  • Monster Masquerade Ball – Costume contest and dance party with karaoke!
  • “Monsters Are Coming Charlie Brown” – show at Camp Snoopy Theatre


We found Snoopy!!! Our favorite part of the whole day!


Knott’s Spooky Farm runs every weekend from 10:00am to 4:00pm. It’s included with your admission or Season Pass. For more info visit:

Happy Halloween!!!



Life Happens Starring Krysten Ritter and Kate Bosworth 

 Title: Life Happens – 2011

Starring: Krysten Ritter and Kate Bosworth 

Genre: Romantic Comedy, chick flick

Where I watched it: In bed on Netflix 


Life Happens. It’s true. When these two best friends Kim and Deena, end up looking in a drawer to find only one condom left, while their dates are waiting in each of their bedrooms, I think to myself, “Gee this looks exactly like a Friends episode!” I let that thought go and continued watching as the story unfolds. 

The next scene is quite predictable. Kim (played by Krysten Ritter) gets pregnant and the father of her baby deserts her. Deena (played by the gorgeous Kate Bosworth) is an emotionally detached bachelorette who dates men, juggles her writing career and babysits for Kim so that she can continue to have a social life. 

So…. Without giving away too much, Kim lies about being a mom to this guy she likes at a party. To make matters worse, she tells the guy that her friend Deena is the mom! Okay the story gets more interesting as their friendship is tested and the unexpected romances occur. 

Life Happens is worth watching. 

I give this one 3 out of 5 Purple Hearts. 


Did I cry? No. Did I laugh? Yes! 😂

Notes: The other actors in the movie are pretty funny. A brief scene with Jason Biggs and one of the main dudes is played by Justin Kirk from Weeds. 

Labor Day Starring Kate Winslet and Josh Brolin 

 Title: Labor Day – 2013

Starring: Kate Winslet & Josh Brolin

Genre: Romance 

Where I watched it: in bed on Netflix


I didn’t expect Labor Day starring Kate Winslet and Josh Brolin to be as good as it was. After reading the description on Netflix I thought I’d give it a shot. Kate’s a wonderful actress. I knew it would have substance. The movie is about an escaped convict (played by Josh Brolin) that convinces a single mother (Kate Winslet) and her 13 year old son to let him lay low at their house for a night. There were some coming of age moments and father/son issues with the 13 year old that touched me too. I’m not going to spoil it. All I can say is that it’s an unexpected romance and I was sucked into every moment in this film. 

I give this one a 5 out of 5 purple hearts. 


Did I cry? Yes 😭

Johnny Rockets Celebrates #ShakeMonth

September is Shake Month at Johnny Rockets! We had so much fun this weekend celebrating! We sampled their delicious burgers, chicken sandwiches, fries and onion rings. Local bloggers were given an exclusive demonstration of two Johnny Rockets shake recipes: the Reese’s Chocolate Peanut Butter shake and a sneak preview of the Goosebumps shake, which will be released on 9/21 as Halloween approaches. Everyone enjoyed tasting their amazing milk shakes!

Look for #ShakeMonth in social media (Twitter, FB, Instagram) for more photos and updates from other OC bloggers! Special thanks to Johnny Rockets for having us!  — MaryAnne.

Here’s my little YouTube video of our fun and yummy day:

Reese’s Chocolate Peanut Butter Shake Recipe
Reese’s Chocolate Peanut Butter Shake
o Made with real Reese’s ® Peanut Butter and chocolate, and topped with a Reese’s ® Peanut Butter Cup and Reese’s ® Pieces ® Mini Candies, this shake’s a true taste sensation.
(Currently available at all restaurants except special venues, which includes airport, casino, stadium, theme park, and Royal Caribbean Cruise Line locations.)

Goosebumps Shake Recipe (coming to participating restaurants September 21st!)
The new Goosebumps shake is made with premium vanilla ice cream, chocolate syrup, milk, and mixed with Oreo pieces and topped with whipped cream, an Oreo garnish and colorful gummy worms.
(Available September 21st at all restaurants except special venues, which includes airport, casino, stadium, theme park, and Royal Caribbean Cruise Line locations.)


About Johnny Rockets
Johnny Rockets is an international restaurant franchise that offers high quality, innovative menu items including fresh, 100% beef cooked-to-order hamburgers, Veggie Boca® burger, chicken sandwiches, crispy fries and rich, delicious hand-spun shakes and malts. This dynamic lifestyle brand offers friendly service and upbeat music contributing to the chain’s signature atmosphere of relaxed, casual fun. Founded in 1986, Johnny Rockets operates more than 340 franchise and corporate locations in 26 countries around the world.

Johnny Rockets website:

MaryAnne’s 10 Favorite Summer Things

MaryAnne’s 10 Favorite Summer Things

We’re well into Summer now, as we approach the end of June. I just wanted to share some of my personal favorite items that I must have with me, on me, or in my beach/pool bag.

1. Nexcare Waterproof Bandages – the little ones are bound to scrape their knee at some point, most likely while running to the pool with excitement. Yes, I’m that mom with the waterproof bandages. These things save the day. Treat the boo-boo and carry on with water fun!

Nexcare waterproof bandages

2. In addition to SPF 30 (or more) sunscreen for your body, you’ll need to protect your face. I discovered this Hawaiian Tropic Silk Hydration Face Oil Free Lotion Sunscreen. It feels great, hydrates and moisturizes – while protecting you from the sun’s damaging rays. I wear it even though I’m not going to the pool or beach. Protect your face!IMG_0011_23. Everyone who knows me knows I have OCD. I wash my hands quite a bit. Oh, my gosh this is the BEST summer hand soap! Bath & Body Works Island White Pineapple. MMMMM. It takes me back to Hawaii every time!


4. Another wonderful Summer scent – Bath & Body Works Waikiki Beach Coconut Body Lotion. So yummy!


5. I don’t drink soda, but when I do… I drink Coke. Not Diet Coke, just Coke. Vanilla Coke is delicious, especially with a splash of Malibu Coconut Rum. My perfect poolside adult beverage.


6. Smell good for date night – This is my go-to fragrance, year round. I just wanted to share this pretty photo of my most favorite perfume that I never get tired of. Chanel Chance. I’ve been wearing it for years. I try other fragrances, then go back to Chanel every time.


7. Pretty jewelry –  I’m not good at accessorizing. AT ALL. Jim bought me this set and I wear it with everything, mostly because of the purple haha! It’s just so pretty and goes with a lot of my casual and dressy clothes. Chloe + Isabel is available through my beautiful girlfriend, Phoebe. Here’s her link:

IMG_0009_28. Garnier Moisture Rescue Refreshing Gel-Cream for Dry Skin – After a day in the sun, this is perfect for hydrating the skin. I love the gel-cream, it’s refreshing and not oily.

IMG_0012_29. Cetaphil Moisturizing Cream – We keep the large 16 oz. of this stuff handy year-round. It’s great for the kids after a shower, and I use it at night on my dry heels. All Summer in flip-flops is hard on the feet. Moisturize!

IMG_0006_210. Quarters – lots of them! Keep quarters in a zip-lock baggy in your car. Not all parking meters take debit/credit cards, especially at the beach. One of my favorite #RandomActsOfKindness is dropping a quarter in an expired meter near my car.

IMG_0005_2A few safety reminders:

  • Watch those kiddos in the pool or ocean. Even if there’s a lifeguard.
  • Never leave pets or kids unattended in the car, for any reason, for any length of time.
  • Sunscreen! Always!
  • Hydrate! Lots of water to drink.
  • Check on your parents, grandparents, any elderly loved ones if they live by themselves. It’s good to stay in contact with loved ones anyway! 🙂
  • Be safe with and around fireworks.

Have a great Summer! 










Knott’s Voyage to the Iron Reef

voyage-to-the-iron-reef-ride-knottsKnott’s Berry Farm has a new interactive 4-D ride called Voyage to the Iron Reef! We are so excited to experience it for the first time this weekend. This ride is located on the newer section of Knott’s, called the Boardwalk. We’ll embark on a 4-minute thrilling journey into the sea where we’ll find the Kraken Queen and battle creatures with our freeze-ray guns and score points along the way. This is sure to be a fun adventure for the whole family! “Easter eggs” of various iconic treasures from Knott’s past are hidden throughout the ride and interact with the blast of our freeze-ray guns. (Here’s a couple of hints: Look for the famous Roaring 20’s sign! Also, look for the hidden Snoopy in the all new ride dock mural.)

Another new addition is the all new Boardwalk Arcade, located beneath the Voyage to the Iron Reef. Stop by and check out all the new video, redemption and merchandise games. Later in the Summer, the laser tag compound will reopen with a whole new look and feel, which will compliment the steampunk-inspired design of Voyage to the Iron Reef.

Stay tuned for our recap of this fun attraction at Knott’s! The kids are super excited.

Marissa and Jessie at Knott's Boardwalk

Marissa and Jessie at Knott’s Boardwalk


The best way to check out Voyage to the Iron Reef and the rest of Knott’s this summer is to purchase a 2015 Knott’s Season Pass. They’re available for as low as $86.00 or four payments of just $21.50 (plus applicable taxes and fees) at for a limited time. Have a great summer!!! XOXO



Other ways to connect with Knott’s:

Knott’s Berry Farm app (App Store & Google Play)

Knott’s Facebook @KnottsBerryFarm

Twitter  @Knotts

Knott’s Instagram @KnottsBerryFarm


Knott’s Berry Farm
Address: 8039 Beach Blvd, Buena Park, CA 90620
Phone: (714) 220-5200


“The opinions in this article are my own. I do not work for, or with, any brand mentioned in this article, nor do I have any official relationship with them.  I have a relationship with GigaSavvy, for whom I create original editorial content.”

Summer is here!

Photo by Jim Wendt

Photo by Jim Wendt

Summer is here! It’s starting to warm up here in Orange County, California. This is where we start planning fun things to do! I love weekends with my family. We are mostly at the pool or any of the beautiful beaches which are just a short car ride away. I have been super busy as the chauffeur to both Marissa (13) and Jessie (7). Marissa has carpool to OCSA, voice lessons and commercial auditions in Los Angeles. Jessie has karate classes twice a week.

As we settle into our new home (we just moved last month, in the same neighborhood), I’m starting to think of fun things to do this summer.

Aside from the pool or beach, how will you spend your time with your family in the next couple of months? Let me know in the comments, below. I would love to hear from you! It’s been a while since my last blog post!