Monthly Archives: July 2009

Free Mocha Mondays @ McDonald’s

Just found out from one of our regular tipsters (thanks, Aunt Debbie!) that McDonald’s is offering free McCafé Mochas between the hours of 7:00AM and 7:00PM every Monday until August 3rd! Cool, huh?

Don’t know if you’ve had the chance to try this new line of fancy coffee drinks at McDonald’s yet, but Christine and I were first in line when they launched them back in May. And though the Caramel latte she had was downright hideous — I don’t know if it was the cheap caramel or what, but that thing SUCKED! — the iced Mocha I had was pretty damn good.

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And when some freebie coupons came our way a week or so later, we tried some more of the McCafé drinks and were both very pleasantly surprised by how tasty they were for the price. It’s not Starbucks or anything, but they do pack a wallop in the caffeinated department and they are way cheaper than almost anything else on the market…so, I say try them out at least once.

And with Free Mocha Mondays for the rest of the month, how can you not try these drinks out? I haven’t sampled the hot mocha yet, but I can tell you from personal experience that the two iced mochas I’ve had have been kinda magical. So, I’d go cold on this one, amigos. Or, if you really wanna get your freebie on, go cold for breakfast and then head back later and go hot just before dinner…either way, you gotta try these things!

Oh yeah, and just to give you a heads up, the free version of the Mocha is served in an 8 ounce cup, not the usual 12 ounce. Just wanted to let you know so you don’t bitch out your McBarista when you get a small-ass cup.

Dying to hear what y’all think of the drinks, so, as usual, McComment away!

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The Return of Mother’s Cookies!

The cookie circuit was abuzz with rumors that something like this might be happening back in May, but after buying our first bag of frosted circus animal cookies recently, Christine and I can now tell you with all certainty that despite closing their doors back in October, our beloved Mother’s Cookies have returned to grocery store shelves everywhere! Hooray!

Apparently timed to coincide with Mother’s Day 2009, the crumbling cookie dynasty — sorry, I couldn’t resist — was brought back to life by the very cool folks at the century-old Kellogg Company.

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In fact, their Senior VP of Marketing and Innovation, U.S. Snacks (what a title!) Doug VanDeVelde had this to say about the triumphant return of Mother’s Cookies: “We’re thrilled to bring back a classic, beloved brand that calls to mind such strong feelings of nostalgia and happy childhood memories that parents want to pass down to their children.”

Damn straight, Doug! That is exactly what we wanted to do with those tasty cookies and now that they’re back, our little girl will get to grow up loving Mother’s Cookies as much as we did. So, welcome back to all of our favorite, crazy-sugary, store-bought friends…we missed you more than you’ll ever know!

Long live Mother’s Cookies!

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“Big Brother” starts tonight!

At first, Christine and I were just excited to see the pregnant Chenbot’s, um…Chenbump. But now, after totally nerding out and reading way too much about the show online just now, we are literally counting the hours till the 8:00PM debut of “Big Brother 11” tonight on CBS!

I don’t know about you guys, but, summer in our house is not complete without loads of snarky, half-naked hotties duking it out in a cool house full of cameras! And while this year’s crop of houseguests look pretty much like any other season, there are two key twists that might shake things up a bit.

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One: the house will be divided into traditional high school cliques, geeks, brains, jocks, what have you. And two: there will be a 13th mystery houseguest who may (or may not) be recycled from a previous season. Awesome!! And recycling a houseguest is apparently just the beginning this year!

Jumping on the marketing bandwagon, the “BB 11” producers have decided to “go green” this season with loads of eco-friendly touches sprinkled throughout the house. Of course, once the “Big Brother” slop starts flying, who really cares where the power comes from, just keep those cameras rolling, baby!

Either way, kudos to “Big Brother” for rocking some pretty cool eco-friendly decor this year — I love that wall of recycled bottles, cans and cardboard and stuff below — and, as always, all hail the Chenbot!

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Greta’s self pics on Photo Booth

OK, I don’t mean to sound like the annoying new Dad bragging about how smart his daughter is or anything, but Greta has been doing something the past couple of days that really blows both Christine and I away. No, she’s not reading yet and her first novel (or screenplay!) is no doubt months away from completion, but what she has been doing since the Fourth of July is taking her own picture on our Macbook’s Photo Booth application.

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For the non-Mac users out there, Photo Booth is a pre-installed program that uses the built-in iSight webcam on your Macbook to take pictures and/or video of you like in a real life photo booth. It’s really kinda awesome.

Anyway, I knew kids dug the program because my niece and nephews fire that thing up every time we visit them. What I didn’t know was that babies would love it too. So one day when Greta was getting a little fussy, I flipped open the Macbook and introduced her to Photo Booth.

And from the minute she saw herself on the screen, she was hooked. Like most babies, Greta is totally in love with her own image right now — seriously, mirrors are her new best friend — but unlike most babies she learned that if you press down on the big white bar on the Macbook’s touchpad, you can actually take your own picture.

That’s right, amigos, every picture you see here was taken by a four month old. Man, I can’t even figure out how to take pictures with Christine’s cell phone and Greta is already the Photo Booth master…Crazy, huh?

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“It’s on with Alexa Chung”

Other stay-at-home parents might dig “Regis & Kelly”, “Oprah”, “The View” or even the train wreck that is the fourth hour of the “Today Show”, but in this household, we are all about Alexa-freaking-Chung!

Haven’t heard of her? Well, neither had we until her new talk show “It’s on with Alexa Chung” debuted a couple of weeks back on MTV. Apparently Chung is a fairly well-known former model/chat show host in the UK. All I know is that she’s funny, entertaining, and best of all, totally sexy in a goofy, self-deprecating way — which makes her even sexier in my book! — and that Greta and I have become HUGE fans of this show in the past couple of weeks.

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Of course I think Greta mostly likes the cool colors on the set and stuff at this point, but, I do know that she downs her bottle much more calmly with Alexa Chung cheekily interviewing celebrities in the background. Maybe it’s the cool UK accent, who knows?

All I know for sure is that if you find yourself home at 11:30AM on a weekday, you gotta check this show out. Chung’s interviews are fresh, lively and often genuinely hilarious, and she goes out of her way to involve the audience in any number of bizarre games and contests throughout the show.

One recent episode had Chung and her cohorts trying to break a few world’s records on the air. She had one dude trying to break the record for making the most peanut butter and jelly — she called it jam, of course, which made me love her even more — sandwiches in a minute while another event had Chung seeing how many purses she could hang on former “Destiny’s Child” star Kelly Rowland. Crazy, huh?

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But crazy has never been this fun, so, check out this awesomeness before MTV cancels it. I’m sure my old ass is not even remotely the demographic they are aiming for with this show, which was supposedly designed to be a replacement for the late, great “TRL”, but I think most of you out there will love it.

What worries me the most are the bored, vacant looks of the tweens in the audience. Their lifeless stares when Chung cracks a first-rate joke tell me that unless she seriously rocks the ratings, her show might be in trouble. So, get out there and spread the good word, amigos…Alexa Chung rules!

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Last Call Doritos for the King of Pop…

On the eve of what I expect will be a pretty rocking memorial to Michael Jackson, Christine, Greta, Ryan, Laura and I climbed into the Vue to do a little MJ memorial tour of our own. First Laura, Greta and I drove to the Staples Center to see the crowds and sign the massive placards they had set up for fans.

But that line was crazy-long, it was hotter than hell, and, well, we did have a baby with us, so, we opted for pictures and a quick drive-by instead.

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Later in the day, Christine and Ryan  joined us for a jaunt past the ever-expanding crowds outside the main gates of Forest Lawn, where Jackson is to be buried. That was cool too and we got some nice action shots from the car, but the highlight of our MJ memorial tour was our trip to the Jackson family compound in nearby Encino. Located just a couple of blocks off of Ventura Blvd., this is the house where Michael and the rest of the kids were raised when the family moved to California from Indiana.

Michael mania being what it has been the past couple of days, we weren’t expecting to get very close to the house or the sea of flowers out front, but, just in case, we came bearing a card for the family and a baggie of “Last Call” Jalapeno Popper-flavored Doritos for the Man in the Mirror to enjoy in the afterlife.

Yes, I said Doritos. See, earlier in the day, Laura and I had seen a friend of Michael’s joking on TV about Jackson’s bizarre eating habits. She said something about him being a hard core vegetarian since he was younger, but joked that that didn’t stop him from loving junk food like Doritos, which he enjoyed regularly.

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So, when we were mulling over what gift to bring the King of Pop, the half-eaten bag of “Last Call” Doritos seemed like the perfect fit. Christine, of course, was mortified by the idea, but Ryan and I stuck to our guns, labeled the plastic baggie with a message for the King of Pop and headed off to Encino.

But what came next took us all by surprise. I mean, sure, we thought it would be cool to see all the fans and the messages and artwork they created for Jackson, but I don’t think any of us realized how emotional it would be.

Seriously, amigos, it was like Graceland West. For the first time since all this insanity began, we actually realized the true depth of feeling that the world had for this dude. And I know it sounds corny, but there was a real sense of magic outside the family home.

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I don’t know if it was the crowd — who were very quiet, friendly and respectful — or the fact that the setting sun cast a dreamy glow over the place, but the whole aura outside the Jackson family compound was really amazing.

I’m sure there will be many memorable moments from the official funeral and memorial service today, but for us, this was it…a truly moving send-off to the once and future King of Pop.

To see more of the scads of Michael Jackson-themed pics I took over the past couple of days, click here. And in the meantime, here’s hoping MJ digs the Doritos as much as we did…

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Greta’s first Fourth of July

Even though we weren’t lucky enough to score any of the coveted tickets to the Michael Jackson memorial (stupid lottery!) Christine, Greta and I did manage to have a pretty awesome Fourth of July weekend down in sunny Dana Point with my Mom and sister, Courtney.

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Great food, cold beer, video games, and lots of fresh, beachy air, it was kind of the perfect weekend. And best of all, Greta was totally cool with her first loud fireworks display. Seriously, the look on her face in the pic above is actually a reaction to the camera flash, not the fireworks.

In fact, Greta was so comfortable with the fireworks that she actually fell asleep during the show, so, we had to wait till morning to “stage” the festive pics below. And though they weren’t taken on the fourth I gotta say, she looked pretty cute in the American Baby t-shirt that my Mom and Courtney picked up for her.

Mom and Courtney also gave her some groovy stars and stripes socks, but, Greta’s been grabbing at her feet a lot lately and the socks came off way before I could snap a decent pic. So, you’ll just have to trust me when I tell you that they totally made the outfit.

Happy belated Fourth of July, amigos…hope you had a good one too!

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