TLC Would Like to Make Your Real Life, Real Simple

October 15, 2008

Think about your day so far – you had to get the kids up and off to school, you’ve got more deadlines than time at work, there are dishes and laundry piling up at home and let’s not even talk about what you are going to fix for dinner tonight.  You’re lucky you found a spare moment to read this article. 

Wouldn’t you like more time for your favorite hobby?  How about some time to do something fun with family and friends?  What would you be willing to do to get make your life simpler?

Well TLC has some answers for you and all you have to do is spend an hour relaxing in front on the television on Friday night. 

So pour yourself a glass of wine, put the kids to bed (or better yet send them to a friends or Grandma’s for a sleep over), curl up on the couch and turn the channel to TLC at 8 p.m. ET/PT.

Because this Friday TLC partners with Real Simple to premiere its brand new hour-long show – Real Simple. Real Life.  – that promises to find solutions to make life easier.

And who doesn’t want an easier life?  Count me in!

Think of the show as a realistic makeover for the average busy woman – or man.  Instead of promises of perfection, Real Simple.  Real Life. is offering simple solutions and tips for everyday folks.

People today have lives full of demands and expectations. I know my list of to dos start when I get up and is often still clogging up my list at the end of the day.

Real Simple. Real Life will help people like you and me identify the frustrations that zap our time and keep our plates full.  The show then offers personalized tips to end the chaos and give us back more fun time.

“Each week we’ll feature a comprehensive, 360-degree lifestyle makeover, using best-in-class experts in a variety of areas to help our real women identify with their day-to-day challenges, and offer realistic solutions and ‘aha’ tips to help them live an even better life.  Viewers at home will identify with these women and be impacted by the makeovers” Executive Producer Jude Weng said.  “We embrace the reality that it’s not about making the perfect meal or having the most organized closet; we’re working with them to make time-saving changes that will let them ad more of the fun ‘me’ time they’re craving back into their lives.”

Obviously the show’s target audience is women.  But these are issues that everyone deals with – men and women – anyone who runs a home, has a job, raises kids or keeps a busy schedule.  I know that my husband spends just as much time on the house and with the kids as I do (and sometimes more).  So these solutions are for everyone.

Expect solutions to cover everything from smart organization tips to ideas for quick and simple dinners to decoration ideas to fun ways to make entertaining easier.

The show will also include a website – – to go into more detail on the solutions offered in the weekly show.  The show and its tips will also be featured in the monthly magazine Real Simple.

I know that I am always in a state of disorganization so I’m really looking forward to seeing what tips the show can offer to get me organized and give me more time to spend with my kids.

So I have reserved my seat on the couch for Friday night at 8 p.m. My bottle of wine is already chilling.  Let the help start.

What area do you need the most help?  What tip/solution did some give you that made your life easier?


‘American Idol’ not so Friendly for Charleston Hopefuls

January 24, 2008

More than 10,000 hopefuls turned up in the city voted friendliest in America to audition for American Idol.  But even that title couldn’t help Charleston send more than 23 contestants on to Hollywood.

American Idol 7 CharlestonThe pickings in South Carolina must have been really thin because we were treated to four auditions before we found a contender.  And the biggest news of the night was the birth of Emma Grace.

Emma’s daddy Oliver Highman was set to be first up on Day 1 when he got a call that his wife was in labor.  One beautiful little girl and a day later, Highman finally got to audition.  But the extra time wasn’t enough to buy him a ticket to Hollywood.  However, I don’t think this proud papa even realize he got rejected he was so busy showing off his new bundle to Paula, Randy and Simon.

It used to be that when a sitcom was in trouble, they’d give the couple a baby.  So what do you think it says about American Idol, or at the very least the contestants in Charleston, that the show spent all night following the Highmans around.  We even got to see them get lost on the way to the hospital.

There weren’t even really any good rejects.  We were treated to Raysharde Henderson, who called himself “the black Clay Aiken,” a very angry version of Reba McEntire’s “Fancy” by DeAnna Prevatte and a montage of hopefuls singing Carrie Underwood’s “Before He Cheats” that included an Elvis impersonator, a guy in the kilt that looked like he should be throwing a caber and a guy who couldn’t remember any of the words.

We were treated to the romance of Randy Stark and Crystal Ortiz who met on the forum.  Let’s hope their love turns out to be stronger than their audition.

New Yorker Aretha Codner argued with the judges about whether or not she could sing and 20-year-old Joshua Boson accused the show of being “fake and rigged.”

In all we were treated to the auditions of four of the 23 Hollywood bound.

Brother and sister team Michelle and Jeffrey Lampkin provided the judges with a duet of “I’m Your Angel.”  Jeffrey’s excitement and vocal skills instantly won over all three judges.  Michelle didn’t win over Randy, but Simon put her through because he couldn’t bear to split up the duo.

Amy Flynn, a spunky dance captain from Knoxville, gave Simon a speech on abstinence before attempting Christina Aguilera’s “Reflections.”  Simon told the 16-year-old the song was too big for her and called her annoying.  Randy said she had “mad potential.”

Lastly, Randy found a nice tone in Charleston-native London Weidberg’s rendition of “Good Morning Heartache” by Billie Holiday.   Paula thought she had a bluesy quality although Simon didn’t hear anything unique.

My picks for the evening would be Jeffrey Lampkin and one who didn’t make the cut – Lyndsey Goodman.  A C-17 pilot in the US Air Force, Goodman did what I thought was a pretty good version of “Black Velvet.”  Unfortunately, the judges didn’t agree with me.

Overall, a pretty boring night.  Let’s hope that Omaha next week is a little more exciting.

Protect Your Family with a Few Clicks of the Mouse

March 27, 2007

Last week it was a pet food scare that had pet owners worrying for the best friends.  Monday, the Washington Post reported that food contaminate with Aminopterin, or rat poison, might have resulted in at least 15 cats and one dog death.  Last month, frantic parents filled the emergency rooms and clogged phone lines to their pediatricians when they suspected that their children’s peanut butter was contaminated with salmonella.  Recalls.GovThese cases are just a couple of the most recent ones and those most publicized, but recalls happen on a daily basis.  Are you aware of all these recalls?  Are you sure you’re safe?

Would you be willing to make a few clicks of your mouse, if it meant that you and your family could be safer?  Well that’s what the Consumer Product Safety Commission is hoping.  They recently launched a “Drive to 1 Million” campaign in homes of getting consumers to visit their website to sign up for email notices on recalled information.

 “It is vital for consumers to check their own homes for hazardous products that have been recalled,” Acting Chairman Nancy Nord said.  “Consumers can literally save lives with the click of their computer mouse.”

 This service covers recalls for not only food, but children’s products (toys, clothes), household products, electronics, outdoor products and power tools.  The CPSC is also suggesting that consumers be on the look out for hazardous recalled products when doing spring cleaning of closets, garages and other storage areas. 

I, personally, have found this service to a valuable.  Last year my twins got a present from a well meaning family member that was on the recall list (why it was still being sold in stores is questionable).  But the list told me what to look for (model, type, etc.) to determine if the product was truly recalled and how to contact the company for a replacement part.  It was a fairly painless process, but had I not got the recall email I might have spent a night in the emergency room.

 I’ve signed up for this service, have you?

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