girls night out

It’s Time For A Girls Night Out

We made it through September – it’s time for a girls night out. Seriously.

I cannot even remember the last time I saw a movie in the theater. I want to say it’s when my husband and I saw the first “Lord of the Rings” film – and it ended badly when he realized, after 2.5 hours in the theater, that it was the first in a series. He was not happy with a cliffhanger ending.

It always seemed such a hassle to get to the theater, to do dinner and pay a sitter and honestly, it was just easier to watch something on the DVR in our jammies while the kids played in their room or in the best case scenario, were tucked into bed themselves.

And then they became teens, and the thought of going out and drinking and whooping it up just didn’t seem like the right role modeling, if you know what I mean. Or maybe it’s just that I’ve been too tired from teaching and mothering and writing and running a house to even consider a girls night out.

My 17-year-old son has been trying to ‘prepare’ me for his impending departure for college in TWO years. He reminds me constantly that I need to get used to the idea of ‘doing stuff with my friends’ instead of worrying about him, because when he’s gone, it’ll just be me and his dad and his dog and if I don’t start easing myself into it, I’ll have a rough time.

I suspect he’s got ulterior motives, but he’s got a point…

So, girls night out it was.

girls night out

What better way to hang with the girls than to celebrate Bridget Jones’s Baby?! Don’t worry…you’re not expected to bring a gift. But there will be booze! Have you ever heard of Studio Movie Grill? Do they have one in your neighborhood? Check – and if you can find it, grab a girlfriend and RUN there for a girls night out to see Bridget Jones’s Baby. It’s the coolest concept – you buy your movie ticket, sit in the comfiest of movie theater chairs, and just push a button and a waiter delivers drinks, snacks, dinner…as many times as you want!

Problems solved! It’s a one-stop-shop for a girls night out – or even a date night, or a bring-your-kids-and-blankies-and-have-a cocktail-while-they-eat-chicken-tenders kind of night!

At Studio Movie Grill you can sit back, sip on handcrafted drinks and laugh hysterically at all that is the incomparable Bridget Jones. Remember her from 2001? Before you got caught up in all-that-is-motherhood?

To celebrate the movie that everyone is expecting to be a sure-fire hit comedy Bridget Jones’s Baby, starring Renee Zellweger, Colin Firth and Patrick Dempsey, SMG invites you to indulge in a night of fun with the Bridget Jones’s Baby Package. This $27 package includes:

•     Admission to Bridget Jones’s Baby

•     One box of popcorn

•     Your choice of entrée from our 2 for $25 menu, and

•     A Not Your Father’s Root Beer Adult Float or a special Non-Alcoholic Baby on Board Float

Mark vs. Jack…who’s it going to be?! Find out with your closest friends.

I absolutely loved the movie; it far exceeded my expectations, I must say. I loved the first two in 2001 and 2004, but I was worried that after 12 years the magic would be gone. I’m happy to say, I was wrong. Renee Zellweger and Colin Firth were as charming as ever, and my girlfriends and I found ourselves laughing the entire way through! In true Bridget form, she finds herself pregnant at 43 and unsure of the father’s identity – which hilariously propels the movie forward, leaving us smiling and tearing up at the end.

If you’re needing a girls night out, please head for the Studio Movie Grill to check out Bridget Jones’s Baby – you deserve a night of food, drinks and laughs served right to your table!

Disclosure: I received free movie passes in exchange for reminding you that you need a girls night out!

Jennifer Wolfe

Jennifer Wolfe, a writer-teacher-mom, is dedicated to finding the extraordinary in the ordinary moments of life by thinking deeply, loving fiercely, and teaching audaciously. Jennifer is a Google Certified Educator, Hyperdoc fanatic, and a voracious reader. Read her stories on her blog, mamawolfe, and grab free copies of her teaching and parenting resources.

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Toasts: The Perfect Words to Celebrate Every Occasion

That time of year is sneaking up on us again…when we are drowning in celebrations and occasions and oozing with smiles and happiness. A time when introverts like me hardly know what to do with ourselves, let alone what to say when we’re put on the spot. The right words usually come to me at the wrong time – about sixty seconds AFTER the fact!

Help is here! No longer will you be sweating the public speaking, or kicking yourself for thinking of that witty one-liner just a little too late.  The recently published book, Toasts: The Perfect Words to Celebrate Every Occasion by June Cotner and Nancy Tupper Ling answers every anxiety ridden thought you might have about what to say, when to say it, and how to walk away feeling like you nailed it.

Toasts Toasts was a long time coming; author June Cotner worked on the compilation of quotes and sayings for nearly a decade before connecting with writer Nancy Tupper Ling. Together they compiled words for every occasion – a peek inside offers everything from a guide to toasting (remember to introduce yourself), etiquette basics (thank the host, make eye contact, go out strong), and a plethora of delicious words for any occasion. 

As a verified ‘word nerd’, I’ve long kept journals of my own ideas, as well as of poetry, quotes, and other assorted lists of things I know I’ll never remember. One aspect of Toasts that I particularly like is the ability to use lines from a variety of well-known and yet-to-be known writers even when I’m not standing in front of a crowd. For example, in the “Birthdays” chapter, I might use an adaptation from William Butler Yeats, “In every succeeding year, may you sing more than you weep” when writing about my children growing up. Found in the “Charity” chapter, Thomas L. Reid’s quote, “May we realize that the best exercise for our hear is bending down and lifting up others” is perfect for my stories of working in Nicaragua. And in “Pets”, George Eliot’s words connect completely with writing about my dog, Cola: “Animals are such agreeable friends-they ask no questions, they pass no criticisms.”

Toasts has something for all the common toasting occasions: for school or camp reunions (is your high school 30th creeping up on you?), to guests and hosts, and high school and college graduations (“You’ve earned your degree, You’ve made the grade, Success will be yours, once your loans are paid” – ugh, does that hit home!). Family reunions (we have a big one in August-and this year, I’ll be ready!), weddings, and memorials each fill a chapter, too. But Toasts also offers some surprises: four chapters devoted to children, children’s blessings (“May you be blessed by your dreams, and the courage to chase them” – ooh, I’m writing that one down!), children’s graces and children’s toasts (those would have come in handy about 20 years ago when I was surrounded by pregnant friends!), homecoming (yes-my college student should make an appearance in June!), patriotic toasts (Grand ‘ole flag party?), and 16 different holidays (May your neighbors respect you, trouble neglect you, the angels protect you, and heaven accept you – gotta love the Irish!).

Whether you’re an anxious first time toaster, a seasoned speaker who needs new material, or an introverted writer searching for inspiration, Toasts: The Perfect Words to Celebrate Every Occasion, is the perfect compilation for you. Perfect words to celebrate life, love, and the extraordinary in the ordinary.

Disclosure: I received a copy of Toasts: The Perfect Words to Celebrate Every Occasion for review purposes. These are affiliate links. 

Jennifer Wolfe

Jennifer Wolfe, a writer-teacher-mom, is dedicated to finding the extraordinary in the ordinary moments of life by thinking deeply, loving fiercely, and teaching audaciously. Jennifer is a Google Certified Educator, Hyperdoc fanatic, and a voracious reader. Read her stories on her blog, mamawolfe, and grab free copies of her teaching and parenting resources.

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On Finding The Perfect Buddy

As the cage door opened, the six black and white balls of fur tumbled around my legs, making it impossible to move in any direction. Not much bigger than a semi-deflated soccer ball, they rolled and nipped the way only puppies can do, and I felt my heart move up to my throat.

Dropping my large black bag to the side, I attempted to maneuver closer to their level. They could have been straight out of a Peanuts cartoon, if only I could imagine Snoopy actually finding a date.

I bent down and gingerly thrust out my hand. My fingers, tipped in black nail varnish, were instantly greeted by razor sharp teeth. Oh right, I remember. So much for in tact leather shoes and flip flops for awhile.

I was a bit of a rebellious teenager, prone to following my whims and allowing my stubborn streak to govern my decisions. This day was not really unlike any other; the low lying tule fog had cleared just enough to make the ten minute drive to the animal shelter completely on auto pilot. Had I been a few years older or perhaps even a bit less self-centered, my mother’s voice might have echoed in my head. But not this day-my nineteen year old self knew just what I wanted, and it was currently performing acrobatic feats in front of my eyes.

Somehow I knew that they all couldn’t come with me, and lacking much forward-thinking I scanned the welter of fur before me. A few minutes had elapsed, and the novelty of my black boots had obviously waned. The writihing had subsided, the lure of kibble more enticing.

All except one.

This little guy wouldn’t give up. His big brown eyes glanced my direction as he scampered across the now moist concrete floor, straight towards my discarded bag. His spiky teeth wrapped around the strap, and despite being largely outweighed by my carryall, he planted his forelegs and with a great shake of his head managed to drag it in my direction.

I took this as a sign.

Scooping him into my arms, I signaled to the clerk. “I’ll take him,” I called, knowing simultaneously that this could be the best and most complicated decision I’d ever made.

This post was inspired by Buddy: How a Rooster Made Me a Man a memoir by Brian McGrogry. When Brian his bachelor life to move to suburbia and join his girlfriend with her two young daughters, he had no idea he needed to win over their rooster too. Join From Left to Write on November 21 as we discuss Buddy: How a Rooster Made Me a Man.  As a member, I received a copy of the book for review purposes.

Jennifer Wolfe

Jennifer Wolfe, a writer-teacher-mom, is dedicated to finding the extraordinary in the ordinary moments of life by thinking deeply, loving fiercely, and teaching audaciously. Jennifer is a Google Certified Educator, Hyperdoc fanatic, and a voracious reader. Read her stories on her blog, mamawolfe, and grab free copies of her teaching and parenting resources.

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Travel with mamawolfe: Premier Protein Coming to Sacramento

The Tower Bridge, built in 1935, a popular lan...

 Sacramento and Davis friends: Are you looking for something fun, a little bit quirky, and super healthy to do in Sacramento? Have you ever heard of the Human Charging Station? Do you want to hang out with people who are active, take care of their bodies and eat healthy?

My friends at Premier Protein asked me to let you know they’re coming to town this Thursday, Friday and Sunday, and you don’t want to miss it!

Premier Protein creates protein products (shakes, bars and crisps) that are low in fat and sugar, but high in protein.

Seriously, don’t you think the world needs more good energy? When you have good energy – the kind that is low in fat and sugar but packed with protein – you can keep going with no booms, busts or crashes! Just imagine what the world would be like if we all had good energy – maybe the government wouldn’t have shut down!

What if good energy makes you confident, optimistic and ready to make every day a good day?  Just imagine the possibilities in life! When you have good energy, you give off good energy – and with all the grading I have to do tonight, I can use all the energy I can get!

Premier Protein’s quirky new Human Charging Station is bringing good energy to Sacramento by offering free products at three locations:

◦ Thursday, Oct. 3 in Gallegos Square (11th between J and K)
◦ Friday, Oct. 4 in front of Downtown Plaza and the 24 Hour Fitness
◦ Sunday, Oct. 6 at the Urban Cow Half Marathon and 5K – near the finish line

Premier Nutrition High Protein Strawberry Shake
Premier Nutrition High Protein Strawberry Shake (Photo credit: iateapie)

Come check out all the freebies! You should also sit and snap photos, because people who snap a photo of the Human Charging Station, tag it with #GoodEnergy and #PremierProtein, and post to their Facebook page will receive additional prizes in the mail!

So what are you waiting for? Here’s your chance to have some fun, spread good energy, snap some photos, try free shakes, bars and crisps, and live the healthy life!
 #goodenergy #PremierProtein
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Jennifer Wolfe

Jennifer Wolfe, a writer-teacher-mom, is dedicated to finding the extraordinary in the ordinary moments of life by thinking deeply, loving fiercely, and teaching audaciously. Jennifer is a Google Certified Educator, Hyperdoc fanatic, and a voracious reader. Read her stories on her blog, mamawolfe, and grab free copies of her teaching and parenting resources.

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review: Wall Art

*this is a paid review

Wildlife home décor is a stylish way to decorate a home, office or other retreat. It imparts a soothing relaxed feeling that is perfect for any group or individual. Gorgeous scenery surrounds life-like animals, and the fine detailing makes this wildlife décor great conversation starters. Different wildlife artists bring life to their subjects in an array of mediums from such as statuary, paintings and wall decor. Chandeliers with wildlife motifs are high quality, much as you would expect to find at an upscale lodge or resort. Moreover, the range of prices for animal themed items will give you some great gift ideas for that hard-to-shop-for person. Horse lovers will adore the wild horse artwork and the horse with rider pieces, also. This is a great place to find equestrian gifts for the horse lover on your list, including jewelry boxes, art prints and wall hangings. Whimsical animals adorn light switch covers, and koala bears, monkeys and elephants grace small lamps and pillows. Besides horses, you will find categories for many popular wild animals from whales to elk. In fact, jewelry with a variety of animals, some with diamond accents, is available, also. Additionally, horseshoes, porpoises and other good luck art pieces make perfect graduation gifts. Realistic animal portrayals decorate bookends, glassware and designer coat hooks for a special wall or room. Various materials like pewter, wood, iron and tin capture the feeling of the great outdoors. Years of enjoyment are sure to come from any of these unique wildlife gifts.

Jennifer Wolfe

Jennifer Wolfe, a writer-teacher-mom, is dedicated to finding the extraordinary in the ordinary moments of life by thinking deeply, loving fiercely, and teaching audaciously. Jennifer is a Google Certified Educator, Hyperdoc fanatic, and a voracious reader. Read her stories on her blog, mamawolfe, and grab free copies of her teaching and parenting resources.

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