I Am NOT Cinderella

Have you ever had one of those moments where you find an injured woodland creature positive it’s come to you for cinderhelp, and go “OMG! I’M CINDERELLA!”
It’s (almost) every little girl’s dream come true.

This happens to me all. the. time. Only, it never ends in “Happily Ever After.”

There was the bird egg we found dropped in our driveway with a leg sticking out that we rushed to the wildlife center, but it died later that day.

There were the baby bunnies that got left by their mother for so long (we tried to wait it our for her to come back) that by the time I got to them, there was just no hope.

There was the baby bird I saved from getting smashed by a schoolbus, but when I tried to reunite it with its bird family, watched it get pecked at instead (who knows what ever happened to that thing. sigh)

There was the baby squirrel that just seemed to lose the will to live.

There was the bat that magically found its way into my house and got put in a box (LIKE ALL THE WEBSITES SAID) so it could be kept safe and released at night time, but when we opened the box, it was in full rigor.

I could keep going, but honestly, it’s depressing. I don’t have Cinderella saving powers. These animals seem to think I do, but little do they know, I’m the wicked witch (even Maleficent wouldn’t kill baby animals).

When we moved out of that house on the field where animals flocked to me like a frickin’ Disney movie, I felt relieved. Maybe the new yard would be critter-free, or the critters in the general vicinity wouldn’t have death wishes. A girl can dream, right? Still, a little piece of me missed it. No, not the death part, geez. I missed the fleeting feeling of magic.

That’s why when I heard the familiar sounds of injured animal coming from outside my new home, my heart fluttered with pixie dust-like delight. Finally, a chance to redeem myself! To become the princess I know I was meant to be! I sprang from the couch and ripped open the back door, putting my ear to the wind. The sound was nowhere to be heard. Door closed, back on couch and back to work, and there it was again. After years of children screaming at my face, perhaps my hearing isn’t what it used to be. I ran to the front door this time, ripped the door open, and put my ear to the wind. Silence. Dejected, I sat back down on the couch. Maybe it was too far away, or one of the neighbor’s yippity yap dogs, or maybe I’m just insane. Or, y’know… maybe I opened the door and it died after breathing the same air as me. Any of those were highly possible.

The next day comes, and I found myself sitting in the same place on the same couch when I heard the same sound. This could NOT be a coincidence! I looked to my animals–they generally spring to action when a critter is near. The dog by my feet gave me the “Lady, you crazy!” look. The bunny… well, he’s just an asshole, but he’s a silent asshole. The other dog is about 200 pounds and couldn’t make a tiny helpless creature sound if her fat ass depended on it. It’s BACK! NEVER FEAR, WOODLAND CREATURE! CINDERJENNY IS HERE TO SAVE THE DAY! Or cause your untimely demise…. COME TO ME!

Yet again, the outdoors were oddly silent. No squeaky squeaky “help me!” Not even a yippity yap. Confused, I decided to search the house. It wouldn’t be the first time one made its way indoors.

Nothing upstairs, under the furniture, in the bathrooms, or stowed away in the garage.
Is this it? Have I REALLY, and FINALLY lost the last bit of my mind? Did I imagine the entire thing?
Once again, I sit back down, and I swear to the sweet homebirthed baby Jesus, the second I did, I heard the sound- only this time it was so close that either this thing was in my house, or I was the plot of some B-Rated horror film where I was going to be mauled by an angry chipmunk with a broken arm.

I sat forward on the couch and slowly looked down at my feet, afraid there would be a crazy chainsaw wielding chipmunk with clown paint on (what? my imagination ran wild!) and what did I see? My dog. And then that same wounded animal sound. Only… it wasn’t a wounded animal.

It was my dog.

More specifically– my dog’s ass.

This is Bibbidi Bobbidi Bullshit!

There was no injured animal in need of my assistance. No pixie dust to be found. No crown to earn or magical powers to show off. Just a noisy dog ass, and I’m not saving that.

No, I’m not Cinderella. I’m Farterella. One day I’ll earn my crown. For now, it’s a golden bottle of Febreze.

On the bright side, no animals were harmed in the making of this blog. Just my nose.

Posted on February 12, 2016 by Holdin' Holden 0 Comment

A MOTHER’S GUIDE TO VALENTINE’S DAY SEX

By: Carlee Karanovic

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Before I start, let me say that I adore my husband and kids. They are my world and I wouldn’t have it any other way. And you know a blog post is going to be good when you have to start off with a disclaimer.

When my son was little, he was the most anal retentive person I’d ever met. He’s improved some, that stick up his butt has loosened, but not without a sincere amount of effort on my part. Lately, a memory of him at the age of four has resurfaced in my mind. The timing of said resurfacing was perfect.

You see, he had this train set, one of those wooden numbers with a thousand pieces that need to be interlocked to build amazing train tracks. It kept him busy for hours. I freaking loved that train set. But he had a hard time sharing. He was so controlling and became this miserable tyrant hoarding all the track pieces in his tightly clenched fist. And my daughter, then two, worshipped him. She would do ANYTHING to play with him. Bless her, she is very kind and patient. One day I caught them dumping out the contents of the train set box onto my freshly vacuumed living room floor. Their conversation went like this:

Son: *very serious face* “You do the watching. I’ll do the playing.”

Daughter: *enthusiastically nodding her head* “Okay!”

Fast forward seven years…

Gone are the days of romance and hot sex for me and hubby. We are slaves to the children. Or rather, *I* am. And it’s exhausting. All the dinners that need to be made (every damn day with the dinner! Why do they need to eat every single day?) The mounds of laundry. The dishes left stacked, food crusted on, waiting for me to scrub them and break my nails. The endless amount of homework that only I seem to know how to help with. When I go to bed at night, I want to sleep, thank you very much.

I can’t be the only one.

I can’t be the only wife who looks at her husband strutting towards the bed each night in t-shirts with armpit holes big enough to be mistaken for a head hole, in faded, stretched-out boxer shorts given to him the first year you were together, with a self-important smirk on his face when he utters his most romantic line: “So, you wanna?” while raising his stupid, bushy eyebrows too many times too fast.

Let me be clear. No, I don’t wanna.

  1. Want. Sleep.

So on this particular night, while my husband, dressed in his favorite ratty old t-shirt and faded boxers laid beside me, the room dark and quiet, my mind wandered back to that train set. I wiggled my toes in my footy-pajamas—the ones that scream don’t touch me—and wondered when we became these people. We used to be hot for each other. He used to send me flowers. We used to spend the evening cuddling up, talking about how our marriage was better than everyone else’s. We used to screw like bunnies.

Then I realized my kids used to go to bed at 7:30 and took naps. I wasn’t this exhausted.

I started to worry. What if we lost what was good about us? What if all the good times, the hot sex was behind us? What does that mean for our future? You know, the kind of thoughts you want to be having right before you fall asleep—the kind that keep you up all night.

Have no fear, my husband saved me from all that worrying.

I very timidly said, “I love you.”

Husband stretched, yawned, might have farted. “I love you, too.”

So robotic. So unromantic.

I couldn’t help myself. “Do you really?”

Husband, confused, yawning again. “Do I really what?”

“Love me.”

Husband gasped. “Of course I really love you. What’s that supposed to mean? Do you really love me?”

Uh oh. What did I start? “Of course I do. I’m here, right?”

Husband settles down and pulls the covers up too high so my footy pajamas poke out from the end of the blanket. “Of course you do. I’m your shining star.”

Blink…blink…“You’re my what?”

“Your shining star,” and added, “shooting across your black sky.”

*suppresses giggle* “If you’re my shining star, what does that make me?”

He thought hard about his answer for all of five seconds. “You’re my star gazer.”

Hands off, ladies, he’s mine all mine.

I let that laugh out, full on, and rolled over. I’m not worried anymore. Instead I thought about my kids playing with the train set.

Valentine’s Day is coming up. When hubby comes to bed, all ready and expecting to be serviced, I’m going to remind him I’m just a star gazer.

“You have the sex all by yourself,” I’ll say. “I’ll do the watching.”

 

CARLEE KARANOVIĆ STUDIED CREATIVE WRITING AT VANCOUVER ISLAND UNIVERSITY AND DOUGLAS COLLEGE. SHE WRITES MIDDLE GRADE AND YOUNG ADULT NOVELS LATE AT NIGHT WHEN HER GOOFY KIDS ARE FINALLY QUIET AND USES THEM FOR BOOK MATERIAL.
Posted on February 10, 2016 by Holdin' Holden 0 Comment

GIVEAWAY! WIN an Autographed Advanced Copy of KIDS ARE TURDS!

2016 is barely even a month in, and it’s already been pretty crazy for me! Crazy, and exciting!

 

A little under 2 months from now, my book, KIDS ARE TERRIFIC TURDS will be unleashed upon the world (it’s kidsareturdsalready available for pre-order on Amazon!). It’s been a labor of love (and took far longer than growing a human and shoving them out of my lady parts) and I’m SO excited to finally get it into your hands, and it looks like I’ll get to do that just a liiiiittle bit early for a few lucky readers!

When it comes to book releases, before it ever hits the shelves, ARCs are created- advanced reading copies. They get sent to writers, bloggers, media types–all to get the word out about the book, start generating talk. Makes sense, right?
WELL, my editor has a few left over and is sending two to me to give to two of you! I’ll even sign them!

Did I mention that these ARCs are NOT the same as the version being released on April 6th? We went through one last edit after the ARCs were sent out, so these two copies are extra special! Hell, I don’t even have a copy!

HOW do you win? Easy. Use the widget below! Entry period is open from 2/8/16 at 8:45pm EST to 2/15/16 at 8:45pm. One week! That’s plenty of time to earn all of the entries- and even extra ones (since you can tweet daily!)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Posted on February 8, 2016 by Holdin' Holden 47 Comments

Rodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella Casts a Spell on Chrysler Hall–and My 6 Year Old!

Little girls decked out in ballgowns and princess costumes holding hands with mothers, ladies’ night outings, grandmothers and granddaughters–that was to be expected as we entered the lobby of Chrysler Hall in Norfolk, VA for Wednesday night’s performance of Rodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella, but the theme of our night was:
“I didn’t expect that.”
A few months before Christmas when I heard Cinderella was coming to Chrysler Hall, instantly, I knew we had to go. Parker, as many of you who read this blog know, is a HUGE princess fan. While he loves them all immensely, Cinderella is hands down his favorite. Tickets seemed like the perfect Christmas gift.

Believe it or not, none of my family had ever been to a Broadway production before. Sure, they’ve seen shows at theme parks and Holden’s been forced to sit through high school Christmas productions, but I’d be lying if I said I weren’t a little nervous about sitting through a real, award-winning, intermission-having full-length show, especially with Holden rolling his eyes about it (his new favorite thing, even though he doesn’t know how to properly roll his eyes so it’s equal parts obnoxious and hilarious). How would it go? Would they enjoy it? Is Holden going to lock his eyes into rolled-back position from the romance and dancing and magic?

After working a little magic, I got an e-mail from the lovely people with SevenCities Venues letting me know that parkerParker was going to have the opportunity to interview Kaitlyn Davidson-the actress who plays Cinderella- before the show. The second I told him, he excitedly jumped up and got to work thinking of things he wanted to ask her. I offered to help him with his interview questions, but he insisted on writing all of them himself (I also offered to let Holden write questions, but was met with another failed eye-roll).

Then came the night of the show. Parker got himself all fancied up (even requesting his hair in a pony-tail), grabbed his handwritten questions, and we were on our way… only to get stuck in a disgusting downpour, having me question why I even bothered to do my hair.
Luckily, the feeling inside Chrysler Hall was much brighter (and dryer- since their parking is underneath the venue. THANK YOU!)

We were ushered around the back, through a door and past so many beautiful costumes until we found the dressing rooms.

The beautiful and effervescent Kaitlyn was waiting for us, and like a pro, Parker walked right in and sat down beside her, ready to ask his questions.
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I have to say, I had a pretty proud mommy moment. He asked the perfect questions for someone who has never attended a Broadway show before. As a decent writer and crappy interviewer myself, I don’t have her exact answers written down, but I can tell you what we all learned from his awesome interview skills.

  1. How do you do the magic in the show?
    No, the show does not use real magic (although she adorably suggested that he would have to ask her fairy Godmother before I reassured her that Parker does in fact know the show uses special effects).
  2. Are your shoes made of glass?
    The shoes ARE made of glass, sorta. They are covered in sparkly crystal (and they are gorgeous, and comfortable, apparently)
  3. What is your favorite fairy tale?
    Of course, Kaitlyn loves Cinderella, but her absolute favorite since she was a child is The Little Mermaid. A girl after my own heart.
  4. Do you like being Cinderella?
    She LOVES it. Who wouldn’t?
  5. Do you use real mice?
    No, they do not use real mice- but they do have prop mice in a cage they use on stage
  6. What’s your favorite part of the show?
    This was my favorite question. Kaitlyn described to us the many different versions of Cinderella (Rodgers & Hammerstein sticks more closely to the French version, where there is no cutting off of heels to try to fit into the glass slippers like in the Scottish version) but also has some new and different twists to keep it fresh, interesting, and magical. She wouldn’t quite spoil it for us, and I won’t spoil it for you, but like the theme of this blog- It’s not what you expect!

It was hard not to notice the elephant in the dressing room- the famous ballgown! White, not blue, and 18 pounds of tulle and crystal. The boys asked all about how hard it is to weird, and Kaitlyn said not nearly as heavy as the wedding dress- which is 28 pounds. Looks of mystification crossed their faces. Welcome to being a woman, boys.

The famous ballgown! #cinderella

A photo posted by Jenny (@holdinholden) on

It was time to say goodbye to Kaitlyn and let her get ready for the show. We even managed to get Holden in a picture
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As we walked out of the dressing room, we came face to face with the infamous golden carriage. It’s one thing to tell the boys about it, or to see it in pictures, but when you see it in person, it truly is magical.

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Though he was still rolling his eyes, I think that was a game-changer for Holden.

We were ushered into the theater by the super-kind staff of Chrysler Hall and to our seats. Now, I scored some amazing seats, but Chrysler Hall is the kind of place that no matter where you’re sitting, you get the “best seat in the house” experience. Every seat is a good seat.

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The lights go down, music begins, and the audience is brought to a hush as the age-old tale of Cinderella is brought to life in front of them.

Cinderella, to me, was never a tale about a poor orphaned girl who needed to be saved by a prince from her evil CinderellaTour2117rStepmother. It is the tale of a woman who has been mistreated by the people who are supposed to be her family after her parents die, and no matter what happens, still has enough kindness to help those less fortunate than her. Who isn’t a damsel in distress, but a woman who is brave enough to stand up for herself.

Just like Kaitlyn told us before the show, there are many different versions of Cinderella- and this is NOT the Disney version (old or new). In Rodger’s & Hammerstein’s Cinderella, she doesn’t just stand up for herself, she stands up for those who are suffering at the hands of Prince Topher’s ( the charismatic Andy Huntington Jones) adviser.

Now, I don’t want to give too much away because I think you absolutely need to experience it for yourself, but let me say that there is no more perfect Cinderella than Kaitlyn Davidson. From the way she holds herself, to her voice that cuts through a theater with strength and sweetness.

The sets are fantastic, the special effects or wow-worthy (Parker was mystified by the horses & carriage). The characters, from the townsfolk all the way to the evil step sisters have so much chemistry, you truly believe them in their parts. The costumes… I can’t say enough about them, and the choreography makes you want to dance right along with them
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Let me warn you, intermission is short, and while you’ll be happy to get right back into the magic, if you have to go to the restroom, run. If you want to grab a snack, do it quickly. I’ve never seen my kid shove a Twizzler in his face so fast.

CinderellaTour2263rAfter the intermission, I think, is where the cast really shines. Crowd favorite- evil Stepsister Charlotte (Aymee Garcia) and Lord Pinkleton (Chauncey Packer) really brought the house down with laughter. Yes, laughter! Just one of the many wonderful surprises waiting for you.

Now, we all know how Cinderella ends–with a happily ever after–but you will not be bored with watching how they get there.

My favorite part of the show, though, wasn’t watching the action on the stage. It was glancing over at my eye-rolling eight year old and watching him get lost in the show, laughing, and smiling, and clapping. There truly is something for everyone, even the ones who claim it’s “too girly.”

As the cast took their final bow (to a standing ovation)- and my family turned to me and said
“I didn’t expect it to be so funny”
“I didn’t expect to like it so much”
“I didn’t expect her to take the shoe!”

I realized the words in the songs we’d just heard were true- Anything is possible. But you won’t know if you don’t go and see it, so grab your tickets!

Tickets are on sale now at the Scope Arena, all Ticketmaster outlets, online at Ticketmaster.com or by phone at 1-800-745-3000. For more information, visit www.sevenvenues.com

Performances:

Friday, Feb 5, 2016 8:00 PM

Saturday, Feb 6, 2016 2:00 PM

Saturday, Feb 6, 2016 8:00 PM

Sunday, Feb 7, 2016 1:00 PM

Sunday, Feb 7, 2016 6:30 PM

 

Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Cinderella is in tour, and may be coming to a city near you! Check the website to find out!

 

Thank you so much to Ma’rie Thomas, those involved with Chrysler Hall, Cinderella, and Kaitlyn Davidson for making this possible!

Posted on February 5, 2016 by Holdin' Holden 2 Comments

Enchanted Beauty Box- A Review & GIVEAWAY!

If you’re a female, at this point it’s hard NOT to have heard of all the beauty subscription bags available these days. Ipsy, Birchbox, Beauty Box 5, TestTube, Blissmo– seriously, I could list them all day long. I love makeup, but to be honest, none of them have really interested me enough to shell out monthly

Until now, that is!

Anyone who knows even the tiniest bit about me knows that I am utterly obsessed with love Disney. Clothes, decorations, jewelry, tattoos– you name it, I’ve got it.  So, naturally, when I got an e-mail asking me if I’d like to review a new DISNEY inspired monthly beauty box, I said UH YEAH I WOULD!

Enchanted Beauty Box is the name, and for $39.95 per month you can have some Disney magic delivered right to your door!

The box I received is FROZEN themed, and it’s pretty dang fabulous.

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What came with it?

A “Let it Go” pendant necklace full of Elsa’s frozen fractals

Enchanted Beauty Blush (in the prettiest pink color)004

Frozen Fun cotton swabs tin- for on the go touch-ups

Funky Fingers nail polish that looks just like Elsa’s snowflakes

Enchanted Beauty Highlighting Powder- this was my FAVORITE. It’s the perfect highlighter for any skin tone and it’s lovely to the touch. Best part? It’s called “Olaf’s 007Summer Glow”. No melting here- only glimmering.

And a Frozen makeup bag to store everything in!003

Each month is a different theme–last month’s was Star Wars where you could choose between the Light Side or the Dark Side!

Check out the Enchanted Beauty website, Facebook or Instagram for more photos, and info on how to subscribe!

BUT- before you go! I’m also giving a box away to one lucky winner!

Enter to win using the widget below. All entries are subject to verification. Entry period is from 8:45pm EST on 2/1 – 8:45pm EST on 2/5. Good luck!

**This giveaway has ended. Thank you to everyone who entered!

Posted on February 1, 2016 by Holdin' Holden 40 Comments