Behind-the-Scenes at the Middle Season 8


The middle season 8 season premiere airs tonight at 8pm along with other great comedies.

In honor of the new season starting, I have got to tell you girls about our behind the scenes experience on the set of The Middle. This was one of our last stops during our Queen of Katwe Press trip last month and it was really cool. We got to visit a few TV shows as well.  I’ve always loved behind the scenes stuff. How movies are made, how shows are casted etc. Back in my former life in NYC when I was still acting, I always enjoyed poking around and spying on the crew and seeing how things came together from the “non-talent” perspective. I always wanted to try my hand as a casting director or director of a show or movie.


We got on set and it was different from the other show sets we visited. As soon as we walked in we were greeted by Brick! They were actively rehearsing and taping so we had to be quiet when we were inside. We got to hear and see them at work. While we waited we visited the wardrobe area and found out about their process for finding clothes (anywhere from designer down to Kmart) and how they rotate them on the show just like we rotate our clothes in normal life. They keep multiples of everything just in case… And we found out that the cast isn’t all “hollywood” and picky about what they’re given to wear. It helps that the show isn’t about being fashionable, but more about being a relatable family.


When they were not taping we got to explore the set and take photos. It was cool seeing close up, the rooms we see on TV. The art department is really amazing. They have all these little touches that make the set really comfortable. The whole show is really well done. (I mean, obvi…it’s going into season 8. – Sidebar: Patrician Heaton is boss at picking her roles isn’t she?! She went from one hit show to another hit show… She’s a pro.) I loved seeing the set then going home and seeing it on TV again like…yup…I know that place. LOL


So tonight is the season 8 premiere and I got to watch it in advance. I can’t tell you what happens (and I cant give spoilers like I did here) but it’s a great episode and you’re gunna dig it. (Whether you’re a long-time The Middle fan or not!) Tonight is also the season premiere of Fresh off the Boat, American Housewife and The Real O’Neals. So just grab your snacks and settle in to watch em all and laugh your butt off after The Middle:


If you can’t wait ’til eight…check this out:

Tune in to The Middle Tonight at 8pm on ABC!

ONCE UPON A TIME Season 6 Spoilers Straight From The Creators! #onceuponatime

Disney made this post happen via press trip, I made this post happen via my brain. 🙂


Oh girls. I have a big problem. I need to figure out how to bend the space time continuum asap!

If I didn’t have enough shows that I need to binge watch, I now have to finish 5 seasons of Once Upon a Time… before next Sunday! ::sigh::

Tonight at 8:00pm is the season 6 premiere on ABC.  Last week I was lucky enough to enjoy an advanced screening of it. And it was GOOD. But as good as it was, I was lost. I wondered who was who and how they were related… I needed to know. (Even tho the show did a pretty good job of explaining to a new watcher….I still needed backstory answers.)

Emma and Hook, The Witch Sisters, Aladdin and Jafar… and OMG I can’t give real juicy spoilers…but…we have some surprises from episode one alone.

I’m totally re-watching the season premiere tonight. It’s just a really good show…. Hence my big problem re: time for binge watching.

While in LA last week at the ABC TV event I saw the premiere like I mentioned, but I also was able to participate in a Q&A with the creators of the show!

So here’s how it went down. We were taken to a large screening room which was basically a small movie theater with stadium seating. We watched the awesome season premiere and then the creators and executive producers of the show came down to the front, sat down and basically faced us (the firing squad) and answered all our questions for like an hour or so. After they gave us some juice info we all took a picture and floated out of the room all hopped up on magic.

Adam Horowitz and Edward Kitsis were very candid (where they could be) and clearly super passionate about the show. I loved hearing how they created the show together randomly in an apartment one night….and it’s turned into this huge and popular phenomenon. They mentioned how much they loved and appreciated their fans and love seeing what’s shared by them on social media. They also mentioned how inspired they are by the fans too and love interacting with them at comic cons.


Above Photo via ABC

ABC’s official synopsis of the premiere episode is:

“In the season premiere episode, “The Savior,” as our heroes set out to stop Hyde, Emma develops a mysterious side effect, and Storybrooke becomes a haven for people from the Land of Untold Stories. Meanwhile, Regina and Zelena embrace their newfound sisterhood by becoming roommates, while Rumple tries to free Belle from the sleeping Curse with the help of a stranger. In flashback, Jafar confronts an afflicted Aladdin in Agrabah, and a secret about the Savior is revealed.”

And omg that does it no justice!

Now…because I love you very much…I’m going to give you some of the “spoilers” we got…but really just some inside scoop on what we’ll be seeing in season 6 of Once Upon a Time straight from the Executive Producers’ mouths:

  • Lots of new characters – Captain Nemo, Aladdin, Jasmine and Jafar
  • Returning characters we haven’t seen in a long while – Cinderella’s returning
  • Family members of characters we have seen – (hint: related to Cinderella)
  • Family drama with Rumple & Belle – it’s juicy and so trippy magical
  • Major drama with Emma and Hook – BIG secret keeping going on in that relationship…#ijs


Adam and Edward also told us that this season is going to be different in format than prior seasons. In the past, they had each season as an arc, with it culminating in good vs evil battling it out all epic like and wrapping up in the season finale. But this season each episode will have it’s own arc with new characters in Storybrook that have some stuff to work through each week. (Along with the other storyline drama/action too) So that’ll give the season a different feel. That’s kinda cool!

So…This wasn’t said by the producers but from the look of the season premiere it looks like there’s a serious baddie that’ll be wreaking havoc all season long.

The executive producers also told us that while the story gets dark and dangerous, the show is overall a show about hope. I spoke to my friend Judy who’s a big fan and she had some great insights about the themes of the show like: redemption, love above all, hope, and transformation. If I was on the fence about watching the show before….seeing the season premiere of season 6 and speaking to Judy sealed my fate.


Photo above via ABC

The only other semi-spoiler I can share is this: One of our group asked Adam Horowitz and Edward Kitsis if we’d be seeing another Savior come onto the scene and they said: “What I can say…without trying to spoil too much is, if last year we were exploring dark ones and that mythology, this year we really try to explore savior mythology. What it means to be a savior, what-who they could have been before, and who they could be next.”

So we know some good stuff is coming! So exciting!

OH!!…and if you were holding out hope that the show would “pull a hook” and bring Robin back…that’s not looking likely at all. Sorry to be a buzzkill on that one.

OK, so now you see why I have a big problem with the time space continuum. With 7 days until episode 2 of season 6, I only have a week to get through 5 entire seasons. Needless to say, very little work is going to be getting done this week because…priorities. Rohan and Kaya will have to fend for themselves, mama’s got a show to devour.

Are you excited for the Once Upon A Time season 6 premiere tonight?!



QUEEN OF KATWE Premiere – What It’s Really Like Behind the Scenes #QueenofKatweEvent

Disney made this Queen of Katwe Premiere post happen, but everything below is from my brain and heart.


Have you seen those beautiful shots and vids of movie premieres and wondered what it’s really like? Well, I always have and am delighted to be able to give you girls the real scoop on what they’re like. I was chosen among 25 bloggers to visit LA for Disney’s Queen of Katwe red carpet movie premiere. Queen of Katwe is AMAZING and you just have got to see it. It opens with limited release today, and opens everywhere September 30th. (Let me know how you like it after you see it.) Anyway, I was really excited to experience all the Queen of Katwe Premiere goodness and report back to you.


Here’s what to expect when you’re at  your red carpet premiere (and afterparty):

So, to start, some premieres are different. There may be pre parties and/or the red carpet experience may be more rushed (or less rushed). I hope to attend more so I can give you guys the scoop on  how others worked in comparison to this one.

The Celebs


We saw, hugged, chatted with the stars of the film both on the red carpet and in the theater….and in the jam packed after party (I’ll get to that later and let you know my embarrassing faux pas with a celeb.) It’s interesting to watch how the celebrities interact with their assistants, the photographer and reports as well as the fans and other premiere attendees.

David Oyelowo was so gracious and sweet, stopping to talk and take selfies with as many people as he could before he was shuttled to the next point on the carpet by his handlers. Lots of other celebs that were not in the film were also on the red carpet. Industry big wigs and corporate folks behind the scenes on the film walked the carpet too, but not too much phototaking for them.

(BEHIND THE SCENES NOTE: There are 2 red carpets. One for the stars of the film and recognizable celebs, then another right next to it for corporate big wigs and movie execs…and bloggers! :))

The Fancy Feels


Listen. A  step and repeat always makes me feel like a celebrity. (I should put one up at my front door) I don’t care how janky the event is, I’ll smize in front of that step and repeat and feel like everyone in the place is there to see me! ::singing Beyonce’s Ego:: At this red carpet (which by the way was a burgundy/maroon color for this film) it was a long line of photo ops with the signs from the movie. We’re there in our cute lil dresses – Oh, and some folks were in gowns all gorgeous and some were in a cute top and skirt, so attire at the event ran the gamut.

SIDEBAR: The day after the premiere I was able to visit the folks who dressed David Oyelowo and his family for the red carpet (and all the press he’s doing for Queen of Katwe) Kutula Africa ( had David looking sharp!


above photo courtesy of Getty Images


The Business


You see so much business going on. It’s a fun exciting event but then you remember…all of these people are at work right now! PR folks hustling their clients in front of cameras… actors walking along, smiling and being gracious, taking photos, somehow not going blind from all the flashing lights…security folks hustling people along and watching out for their clients…photographers snapping, reporters shoving mics in people’s faces…It’s a lot.

I was eavesdropping my heart out and when people weren’t talking about the film, they were talking about meetings for later on. Even us bloggers were sure to get pics on the red carpet because of the business we had to do (ie: writing posts like this one!)


The Movie Itself

Well, I’ll give you the movie review in a separate post, but during the premiere you get to sit in a theater in your fancy dress and eat popcorn and watch the movie… just like regular.  You can kinda peep around and spot celebs if you’re like me  ::avoids eye contact:: There were a bunch of Disney child stars that I probably should’ve taken photos with so I can show my kids when they’re at an age to care. Oh, before the film there was a dude playing live music on the stage for us too.

The Afterparty


The Hard Rock held the afterparty and I was happy to see so many people turn up for it. So many people I didn’t recognize hahaha and a few I did…like:

Jason George who was super sweet and practically begged for my photo so I obliged. *wink* Greys fans…I’ve got some spoilers for you!!*


Highlights from the party were watching Lupita boogie on down with her on-screen children and when my favorite song from the movie came on. #1 Spice is going to be my new jam!


Ready for my embarrassing moment: OK So I see a star I recognized and went over and was like “omg hey Jackee!” and Kim Whitley was like “…that’s not my name. beat it kid.” Ha!!! I’m kidding, She was totally sweet and kind about it. I did call her the wrong name lol but she was like “Oh girl I get it all the time for years and years don’t worry, she gets it too.” So I felt slightly less rude. I chatted with her and Vanessa Bell Calloway (who is still looking good!) for a minute and then left them alone.

So, there you have it. That’s what the Queen of Katwe Red Carpet Premiere was really like, from the perspective of one lucky blogger blessed with the chance to attend. Be sure to go watch the film guys. It’s really important, and also just really good. Here’s the trailer if you missed it in my last post:

Check your local theater because it comes out today in limited release and next Friday, the 30th, it’s out everywhere. Take your kids or make it a girls night out, but definitely go see this film, so Disney knows we want more like this!!


Have you been to a red carpet movie premiere before?

*no I don’t 

Epic #Blogher16 Recap


Hey friends!! It took me a minute but I got this up. I was going to break it down by day, but said F it. It was an epic weekend so I figure an Epic #blogher16 Recap was in order.

If you are friends with me on Facebook you may have seen my FB Live videos sharing my experience this year at the annual Blogher conference. If you havent… go check em out here:

Blogher’s annual conference is my jam. I love the connection, the learning, the fun…

This year I took a bit of a different approach to the weekend. I wanted to specifically connect with certain people, have a #blackgirlmagic blogger meetup, attend one specific session, and strategically work the expo. Also, I wanted to try to document it live via social media….

So, here’s my superfantastic recap for you… in case you didn’t live vicariously through me on FB Live:

Thursday morning my freshly straightened hair and I drove from palm beach county down to Ft Lauderdale airport. Hopped on my jetblue flight and saw this:


And got freaked out….but Jetblue calmed my nerves tweeting to me that it waas totally normal.

I dozed and read my book (PS #52booksin2016 is done! – This Book is the TRUTH! ) and landed in LA…

Met up with Kendra and Claudia and ubered to JW Marriott LA Live


We immediately went down to a brand event and then came back to the hotel for the Evening at the Expo:

(that vid was taken on Friday afternoon, but you still get the point)


I also went over to the booths I was excited to ambassador for…GoRVing and MeInEndo… but I’ll post on them separately.

My fave part about Thursday night was spotting all my efriends, and making new connections.

I had a yummy late dinner with Eva of SocaMom (who I’ve eloved for ever) and Kendra of Headband for Today (who’s already my IRL boo) and then headed to bed.

Up at the crack of dawn I went to the Staples Breakfast. We got to see Aunt Becky and Gabby Reece! They shared about Staples’ great back to school deals and programs, but also about motherhood at various stages. The back-to-school struggle is real yall. And I’m not sure homeschooling is gunna make it any easier. The homeschool prep feels very similar to what the back-to-school prep feels like! *gulp*

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They sent us home with an adorable bag of goodies and a Staples gift card. (yay for swag!)



After this fun event I saw Sarah Michelle Gellar talk about life, motherhood, her clean/vegan brand and deftly handle Elisa’s tricky political questions! Oh yeah…and… Buffy and I totally hugged it out at a private meet and greet afterward. Cuz.. I’m like…fancy and junk. LOL


As soon as I get it, I’m uploading our pic together…but I like this stealth stalkery shot taken by Mrs. Houseful. She’s my blogging e-friend who made the bag you see me toting above, and whom I generally can’t stand. Not sure how she coerced me into taking the selfie below.


I went to an offsite brand event and came back for a bit of work, filmed the expo video up above, and went to the Goodnights event discussing bedwetting in children. Ro has been potty trained since just before he turned 3 and he stayed dry at night for a while, then started nighttime bedwetting again. I learned that’s called secondary bedwetting and is totally normal. Oh yeah… Fin was there….

You don’t know Fin? He saves us from Sharknados! Oh my bad… his name is Steve…Steve Sanders!

Ian Ziering is a dad who uses GoodNights with his children so he weighed in along with the moms and doctors on the panel.

Then we made out.


That wasn’t enough 90210 for one day so Kelly Taylor and I went for a ride in an RV. Ian was jealous, I’m sure…


Jennie Garth spent so much time hanging out and talking with the women at the GoRVing party. She was super sweet and fun. She seemed really into the RVing lifestyle! I had to show her my pic of Ian from earlier and she was cracking up.


But before this I went to the fantastic VOTY (Voices of the Year) awards and watched some of my friends win well deserved awards for their written, digital, video, photo creations. I found out you can nominate yourself, so I’ll try to write something funny or smart one day this year so I can nominate myself for an award! 🙂

I went to my room to rest and recharge for a few minutes and ended up just hanging out with Roni and Kendra before our #blackgirlmagic meetup. Which was so lit.

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I really enjoyed it and from what everyone was telling me during and after, all who attended had a blast as well and was happy something was put together for our community. I hope to be able to do it again next year (but maybe sponsored or with a budget so I can at least feed folks or give em a drank or 3)

Afterward I went to dinner with a few fun efriends I was happy to connect with offline:

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I wish I had a better pic… my lamb burger was the ish tho.

Saturday morning I was up early for a breakfast with the #MoretoMigraine folks. I didn’t expect that breakfast to impact me the way it did. I’m a migraine sufferer, and there are so many ways it impacts my life outside of just the pain. I don’t talk about it often because it’s so misunderstood. It’s HARD dealing with migraines and raising 2 kids. There are complete days I just…miss. Anyway… the event was super informative and oddly normalizing for me. I have to work on my embarrassment and guilt about how severe my migraines are.

After the breakfast I went to the first (and only) session I had planned for the weekend. It was about pitching yourself to media. I feel like that’s a step coming soon for me so I’m pumped to put the tips into practice.


My major takeaways:

  • Own your expert status
  • Niche down bigtime
  • Pitch with focus and clearly stated takeaways for the audience
  • Follow up and don’t be afraid to call

I headed to the expo and got to connect with several of the brands I had on my list. Then I went to my roundtable on (Not the most popular topic….) I got a bunch of work done, and caught up with my efriend Jenelle of Thirtysomething Mommy.

Afterward I got to catch up with the folks from a few more brands I wanted to chat with and visited the Aldi suite which was super cute and decorated like a baby shower. They have an awesomely priced baby line now. I have a few items that I’m excited to try out with Ro and Kai.



I wanted to give Dr. Jessica Shepherd my card to interview her in the future for FitNoire and instead she was like “Um, no. Interview me now… on video.” So we did an impromptu video shoot and then she gave me a mini media training right there. Super helpful with great tips and tricks. I love that woman and want to be her when I grow up.

The closing session was the best session I’ve ever had at BlogHer. Social justice, feminism…it was just awesome. My wokebae Matt McGorry was there… along with Jurnee Smollet.

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Closing party was dope but I was so hungry I didn’t stay too long. The DJ was still in diapers, but he knew what to play for us old ladies to get us milly rockin’… ok ok… two-steppin’

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Chatted briefly with some chicks…heard a cat rapping story I will NEVER forget, and then headed out to dinner with some fab chicks… (do NOT ever eat at Wolfgang Pucks Bar & Grill in LA Live)

So that was my whirlwind weekend recap. I love me some blogher conferences. I’ve been every year since 2012 and I doubt I’ll stop going anytime soon. I just hope to speak there, learn there and connect there for years to come.

Didn’t get to join us this year? Here’s how to make the most of a conference you didn’t attend:


So That’s my Epic #Blogher16 Recap. See you at Blogher17!

Hot Cars and Chili in North Palm Beach


A couple weekends ago John and I took our car obsessed threenager to his first car show. It was the Hot Cars and Chili North Palm Beach show. The child nearly lost his damn mind, giddy with excitement. He checked out all kinds of cars, rolled his little hot wheels car on the tires, snuck and touched cars after we told him not to, made new friends…. he really enjoyed himself.

I honestly thought I would be bored to tears, but watching him get so excited, and bond with John over “guy stuff” was a lot of fun for me.

Plus there was wine.

And a row of various food trucks…but…whatever.


you see that donuts sign right…. and you see what angle this shot was taken from right…

John benefited as well since it was also a chili cook-off competition. All the tents in the pic above are various stations with different types of chili, ribs etc vying for the prize. Good stuff.

I got lucky because there was a lovely row of food trucks just waiting along the perimeter for me.

The people who put this event together were very smart to hold it at Anchorage Park in North Palm Beach. They had ample space for the entire car show, a perfect street to line up the food trucks, two playgrounds for restless kids, lots of bathroom access for all, and free parking! It was so easy for a day out as a family.

The cars though…that’s the point right? The cars were beautiful! And I’m not a car head at all….but I know what I want for my birthday:


How pretty? It’s a Mclaren Somethingorother…

Rohan was in heaven checking out the cars, but he truly flipped his lid when he saw “Mater”

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We had to double back to visit “mater” about 4 times. Meanwhile there are all these shiny pristine cars all around… This kid wanted to chil with the old beat up car.  I admit it was cool though. (Mater is a character from Disney’s Cars movies)

As per usual, everyone wanted to talk and play with Ro. The cars were all hands off, with signs all around asking people to look and not touch. Yet somehow, as Rohan’s inspecting this car, and trying to sidle in… the owners offer him a “test drive”

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Nooooo Daddy Noooooo

I’m surprised at how much I enjoyed drooling over looking at these cars. It was interesting speaking to the owners, who were usually sitting close by, beaming with pride. I want to say I learned a lot that day….but honestly…I can barely remember the fancy car words I heard. #sonotacarperson

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There was a nice vibe at the event, and lots of families enjoying it together which was fun for us. It was thoughtfully put together, with something for everyone. John, mr. mayor-of-everywhere-he-goes was chatting with everyone as usual. We found out that there are a lot of food competitions held there so we’ll certainly be back again.

Have any unexpectedly fun outings lately?