This Full House Reviews

Yes, My Daughter And I Love Kinky Boots And OMG, TODRICK HALL!

I was excited to have been invited to attend an evening performance of Kinky Boots The Musical on Broadway last week, and absolutely thrilled about my being allowed to bring a guest, so I asked my 15-year old if she would like to join me, you know, for a Mother/Daughter Broadway date, or something.

Todrick-Hall-as-Lola-in-Kinky-Boots-2-cJenny-Anderson
Todrick Hall (c)Matthew Murphy

OMG!!!...was her response, followed by...TODRICK HALL!!!...and then...OMG, TODRICK HALL!!!...and this is about the time I started to feel really, really excited about these tickets...beeeeecause...OMG, 15-YEAR OLDS ALMOST NEVER SMILE...and...OMG, MY 15-YEAR OLD CANNOT STOP SMILING!!! 

 

Rainstorm or nah, #KinkyBoots here we come! #motherdaughtergoals

A photo posted by Liz Thompson (@thisfullhouse) on

So, whose idea was Kinky Boots, and why should EVERY teenager (and future parents of teenagers) see it?

Aaron-C-Finley-Todrick-Hall-and-Cast-2cMatthew-Murphy
The cast of Kinky Boots (c)Matthew Murphy

I'll be totally honest with you, not having read the book (written by Harvey Fierstein) and never having seen the British movie (inspired by true events, which were broadcast in a British television documentary in 1999), I was a bit nervous about the story line, because...you know...kinky boots. So, I did what EVERY parent of most teenagers would do -- I hit up Google. I was pleasantly surprised to learn that there is a fascinating human story behind those red and awesomely-glittery kinky boots...not to mention, the music and lyrics were written by...OMG, CYNDI LAUPER!!! 

Aaron-C-Finley-Todrick-Hall-and-Cast-cMatthew-Murphy
The cast of Kinky Boots (c)Matthew Murph

In Kinky Boots, Charlie Price (at the time of our showing, Aaron C. Finley) reluctantly takes over his family’s failing shoe factory in Northern England, following the sudden death of his father. Help comes from the unlikeliest angel, a fabulous drag performer named Lola (OMG!...TODRICK HALL!). Together, this improbable duo not only revitalizes the nearly bankrupt business, but helps one another grow into the men their fathers always dreamed their sons would become and transforms an entire community through the power of acceptance.

Todrick-Hall-and-Angels-cMatthew-Murphy
Todrick Hall and the Angels (c)Matthew Murphy

I was raised on Broadway show tunes, and so were my kids -- I feel it safe to say all four can name (and sing) quite a few family-favorites, in 5 notes or less -- and the choreography behind Kinky Boots was indeed stellar, it did NOT disappoint, plenty of Broadway glitz and glam for everyone!

Haven-Burton-cMatthew-Murphy-email
Haven Burton (c)Matthew Murphy

HOWEVER, my friends, here's the thing. The thing is, Kinky Boots is more than just a Broadway show...it's a lesson in humanity, this show has a HUGE heart, plain and simple. I found myself SO WRAPPED UP in the story line, I mean, the characters were SO VERY relatable, I felt as if I knew each and every one of these people, for real -- Haven Burton, who played Lauren, had me snort-laughing, I wanted to be her new BFF, throughout the show. 

Todrick-Hall-cMatthew-Murphy

Todrick Hall (c)Matthew Murphy

I kept looking over at my 15 year-old, to see if she was enjoying herself, but her face was blank (just so you know, 15 year-olds excel at blank-face), and then I basically sobbed through Todrick Hall's entire solo performance of Hold Me In Your Heart -- this song speaks to ANYONE who's ever struggled with acceptance (raises hand), or who's fighting with forgiveness (raises other hand), and this is where I decided that...YES!!!...Todrick Hall is absolutely BRILLIANT!

The best part of the evening? Thanks to my friend, Holly (who also invited us to the show and is responsible for this magical experience -- thank you, Holly!) who pointed out the stage door and suggested Hope and I make time to wait and see if we could get an autograph (and possibly a photograph) from Todrick Hall.

 

I look kinda rough in this but i met Todrick Hall yesterday!!! Kinky Boots was such an amazing show spreading the idea of just be yourself and dont care what other people think. Now for the sentimental part: Todrick Hall has been my idol for years now. Todrick was the person who taught me to be myself and to stop caring what people thought and to not be afraid to be unique and different. He signed my playbill and smiled at me and looked in my eyes when talking and put his arm around me for the picture!! I got ten steps away and had to go to the side wall cuz i was shaking and hyperventilating from just meeting my role model and idol 😂 not gonna lie i cried when i got home and im still trying to wrap my head around meeting him and just oh my god last night was the happiest and best day ever! Walking ten blocks from penn to broadway in the pouring rain was so worth it! #kinkyboots

A photo posted by Hope Anne Thompson (@hopeannne) on

And I would walk another ten city blocks...in the pouring rain...wearing a pair of kinky boots...just to see my 15-year old smile...not to mention, my having been a part of her happiest and best day...EVER!!!

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Here's the really best part, we get to share our love of Kinky Boots and offer a special discount code to you (yes, YOU!) you should really go see it:

Save up to 40% on select performances through 2/12/17!
 
Visit kinkybootsthemusical.com and use code BOOTS3
 
OFFER DETAILS:
Mon, Tues, Thurs performances through 2/12/17
$87*
Select Orch/Front Mezzanine
(Reg. $99-117)
 
$45*
Rear Mezzanine 
(Reg. $79-$97)

Friday, Sat, & Sun performances through 2/12/17
$107*
Select Orch/Front Mezzanine
(Reg. $109-$147)
 
$75*
Rear Mezzanine
(Reg. $79-$97)

Conditions:

Offer valid on select seats. Blackout dates may apply. Offer valid for all performances now through 2/12//17. This offer cannot be combined with any other discount and is not applicable to previously purchased tickets. Regular Prices $55-$147. Limit 8 tickets per order. All sales are final. No refunds or exchanges. Offer subject to availability and includes a $2.00 facility fee. Normal phone and Internet service charges apply. Offer may be modified or revoked at any time without notice. 
And please, for the love of all things red and sparkly, take a moment to check out the True Colors Fund, because creating a world in which young people can be their true selves is totally worth a minute...or twenty...thank you!
 
Disclosure: I received two tickets to see Kinky Boots. No other consideration or payment was received for this blog post.
© This Full House 2003-2016. All rights reserved.

Sauder Experience: Evolution of a Shared Workspace

I'm very proud to partner with the good folks at Sauder, a manufacturer of affordable furniture you assemble yourself, and participate in the Sauder challenge: to share our experience(s) with Sauder and, hopefully, inspire other families (like mine) who have very little extra and literally, no room, or time to spare.

I've been writing online for 11 years -- my first blog post went live on September 2, 2003 -- which is like forever ago, in the evolution of the blogging community.  Today, I enjoy working to help others find online publishing opportunities and, hopefully, help further their blogging endeavors, as well.

Sauder challenge begins
buh-bye ugly old folding table. oh and we bought that sauder cabinet 10 years ago, it's a keeper.

I also telecommute from home. Which, with 6 people living in our 7 room house, is no easy feat (especially, during the summertime, when the kids are ALL home and probably bored) trust me!

So, I've claimed a small area in the play room/laundry room/den and it's worked out pretty well -- my teens sharing an old folding table, because the legs on the old kitchen table we re-purposed as a desk finally broke, not so much.

Continue reading "Sauder Experience: Evolution of a Shared Workspace" »

© This Full House 2003-2016. All rights reserved.

Together Counts: because, some of us parents need all the help we can get (ahem!)

As a mom, with 20+ years of experience in trying NOT to mess up her kids, I feel it safe to tell you that the secret to balance is really quite simple, because there is NO secret: balance is all a matter of perspective.  

Maintaining a healthy lifestyle, for a family of 6, while running in twice as many different directions (sometimes, all in the same day) without one (or all) of us experiencing the proverbial crash and burn is a challenge my family and I face, every single day.

TogetherCountsBadgeThat is why I am very honored to have partnered with the good folks at  Together Counts -- a program inspiring active and healthy living through energy balance -- as a contributing blogger to the Together Counts blog for 2013.  In case you missed it, here's a quick recap of our contributions for the last year:

 

Continue reading "Together Counts: because, some of us parents need all the help we can get (ahem!)" »

© This Full House 2003-2016. All rights reserved.

Teen-friendly Tapas: easy-peasy chicken and waffles recipe.

Chicken and Kellogg's Mini Eggo Waffles
A drizzle of warm honey and a sprinkling of fresh chives dress-up these chicken topped mini waffles, very nicely!

Last month, I was invited to meet with U.S. Olympic legends and athlete hopefuls representing Team USA in New York City to help kick-off the 100 day countdown to the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games.

I know, who EVER thought a dork like me would EVER be able to say that, out loud, RIGHT?!?

Aaaaaanyway, one of my favorite activities from this awesome event was participating in helping to create an absolutely awesome brunch, in my pretend kitchen at The Culinary Loft, where I was given the choice of cooking stations.

They had me at chicken and waffles, here's how it ALL went down in 3 easy-peasy steps:

Continue reading "Teen-friendly Tapas: easy-peasy chicken and waffles recipe." »

© This Full House 2003-2016. All rights reserved.

World Toilet Day: show your support, pledge to save water and a $200.00 gift card giveaway.

FlushForGood_LogoAlone-02-150x150

Did you know that today, November 19th, is World Toilet Day?!?  I know what you're thinking -- seriously, what's next, National Bathtub Week?!?  

Okay, here's the thing, but what most folks don't realize (and I'm including myself, here) is that over 1.5 billion people in the world are STILL living without access to sanitary water or a proper toilet.

The statistics of children dying due to things we tend to take for granted, like clean water and proper sanitation, are staggering.

Today, I am once again very proud to partner with the good folks at American Standard to help share information about the Flush For Good campaign and, in doing so, help 40 communities in need.

Oh, and we get to share a $200.00 gift card to Lowe's or Home Depot, because we roll like that.

Continue reading "World Toilet Day: show your support, pledge to save water and a $200.00 gift card giveaway." »

© This Full House 2003-2016. All rights reserved.

Pure Jill: a new collection of uncomplicated style from J.Jill


#JJillInspiredStyle Challenge 2
photo credit: my 17yo soon-to-be college student (HOLD ME!)

I never thought of getting dressed as being all that difficult, really.  Aaaaand, then I had kids!!!!  Let's just say the fashion police have got NOTHING on a couple of teen-aged girls insisting, "OH NO, you are NOT going out looking like that, are you?!?"

Trust me, it's complicated.

So, as you can imagine, I was very excited to be invited to partner with the J.Jill brand in helping to introduce their new collection of "uncomplicated" clothing.

That's right, even a dork (like me) can strive to be stylish and I am ALL about helping to inspire busy women (like you AND me) to find a style that compliments, rather than complicates, our already complex lifestyles <---- I made that up, all by myself, you like it?!?

I had the chance to learn more about the Pure Jill collection, get a few really important styling tips from the senior designer, Barbara Pattin AND then review a piece for myself.

Continue reading "Pure Jill: a new collection of uncomplicated style from J.Jill" »

© This Full House 2003-2016. All rights reserved.

Kellogg's #GreatStarts 2014 Olympic Team & My Teen Idol, Jim Craig: sharing their stories to help kids in need.

Team Kellogg's
Kellogg's #GreatStarts bloggers, standing left to right: Deanna, Caryn, Jaime, Crystal, Me, Danielle (that's Jim Craig, SQUEEEE!!!) and Fred standing next to the adorable Charlie White.

I am very honored to once again partner with Kellogg's, as well as U.S. Olympic legends and athlete hopefuls representing Team USA, as a Champion of #GreatStarts blogger and...yeah, I KNOW!!!...who EVER thought a dork (like me) would EVER be able to say that, out loud.

Last week, I was invited to meet with these awesome athletes in New York City (I know, RIGHT?!?) to help kick-off the 100 day countdown to the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games and to personally hear each of their great start stories, including that of 1980 U.S. Olympic gold medal hockey team goalie (and my teenage crush) Jim Craig.

After bumping into him and nearly breaking his foot, I mean. 

Continue reading "Kellogg's #GreatStarts 2014 Olympic Team & My Teen Idol, Jim Craig: sharing their stories to help kids in need." »

© This Full House 2003-2016. All rights reserved.