'Tis the Season - Broadway at the Kimmel Center Giveaway

Friday, December 21, 2012

Congrats to Jennifer Vitucci (Jekyll & Hyde winner) and Rene McIntyre (Cirque Eloize winner)  Earlier this December, my kids, my mom and I spent a whirlwind weekend of shopping, shows, and holiday traditions in NYC. At 4 and 7, my kids have already fallen in love with musical theater and really any kind of “show”. Partially because they’re awesome and smart, partially because they’ve been listening to show tunes in the car since utero, and partially because their equally awesome mama has had a subscription to the Kimmel Center’s Broadway series for the last 3 years.

One of my favorite parts of living in South Jersey is the proximity to New York City AND Philadelphia theater. We are regular patrons of the Arden Theater and the Walnut Theater, but nothing compares to the amazing shows produced by the Kimmel Center and I love to treat my kids whenever a child-friendly show comes to town (or not so child-appropriate, but includes all of your 6yo’s favorite songs – ie. Rock of Ages.)

So in the spirit of season, I would like to share tickets that were generously provided by the Kimmel Center and Allied-THA for 2 upcoming Kimmel Center productions.

I am giving away TWO 4-packs of tickets.

1 4-pack to see Jekyll and Hyde
at the Forrest Theatre

Thursday, Dec 27th at 7:30pm

1 4-pack to see Cirque Eloize
at the Merriam Theater
Sunday, Dec 30th at 6:30pm

Tickets can also be purchased at www.kimmelcenter.org/broadway

Since this is a very last minute giveaway and I will travelling shortly, I will be selecting a winner Sunday night. Unfortunately tickets are not available for will-call, so you must be able to pick up the tickets from me.

I am available to hand over the tickets Monday in the Gloucester County Area , Wednesday daytime near Mt. Laurel, NJ or Wednesday evening at the Forrest Theater in Philly. I can also mail overnight, at your expense.

To enter:

As Katie would say, Easy Peazy Lemon Squeezy

Leave a comment letting me know you’re interested and what show you’d like to attend.
Please enter separate comments for each show and leave as many comments as you’d like.


The Game Plan

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Timmy is playing soccer this year.
Well, Timmy has been signed up and placed on a soccer team this year.

We had him placed on the same team as his good friend Ellie. We figured having a good family friend as his coach would help shorten his "warm-up period" that he experiences in almost all situations (except learning new x-box games.)

Despite being carried by his coach during the opening night parade (you know, because he's too cool to walk), he was very excited this morning for his first game. He popped into a chair and eagerly gave me his feet to put on his soccer equipment. We started off well.

"Mom, take my picture! I'm so cool, right? I'm wearing my soccer clothes, right?"
"I went pee on the potty today, right? It's really sunny today, right?"
"I'm too cute for words, right?"

But then we had to interact with other people.

"Timmy, go ahead and kick the ball. It's ok. It's really fun"

 'If I close my eyes, all these people that I don't know will go away.'
 'Is anyone I don't know looking at me?'
 'Maybe if I make myself look like a lost kid someone will come get me and take me for ice-cream or something.'

'Mom, they're LOOKING at me and TALKING to me.'

 'Ha! I didn't have stay out on the field when they started the game. I'll just sit here looking like the saddest boy ever so they don't call my name to play.'
 'Ah, the sun, the people...they're they're they're burning my eyes'
 'Waahaaha, Week 1 was a success. Mom and Dad have wasted their money and their day. I didn't have to do anything and I still got a snack. I bet I can make them do this every week!'

Bathtime update: He just wants to wait till he's more bigger to play soccer. He'll play next week...


Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle, where have you been all my life?

Sunday, August 12, 2012

What are your earliest reading memories? I remember breezing through Ballerina Bess and the Fish Pond with my mom. I can see the covers of the books like they're right in front of me. The Cement Tent proved to be slightly more challenging. I transitioned into obsessing over Dr. Seuss's The Fly Went By and all of his fun tongue twisting books. I delved into the world of chapter books and never turned back.

I remember my elementary school librarian, Mrs. Only, with affection. She pushed me and pushed me to read Anne of Green Gables. I think I checked it out on a regular basis for 2 years before I finally got myself to read it. I just couldn't get past the first chapter of Rachel Lynde's boring musings. But once I did, I pined for a Gilbert of my own. Then in fifth grade, we had a list of recommended titles and a computer program that allowed us to take tests when we were done for points and prizes. I read most children's classics that year.

I'm less into literature these days and more into romance novels, but I've built a solid foundation of knowledge, imagination, and vocabulary. My husband once laughed at me because I pronounced a word wrong in conversation. He observed that I'm very interesting (understatement of the year); I have a great vocabulary, but where his is from hearing words, mine is from reading them. So when I try to use words in conversation - I'm frequently mispronouncing them. Katie also has a great vocabulary - which I recently commented on to her. Of course, I assumed that it was due to me passing on my natural brilliance and love of reading to her. She quickly corrected me and told me, no, that she learned all the words she knows from tv. And went so far as to rationalize that she should probably not waste time going to school and just watch more tv.

Regardless of Katie's plots for even more tv (if that is humanly possible), I have gotten her to appreciate the world that books has to offer. She recently selected Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle's Magic by Betty MacDonald from the library. And not only does Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle have some very interesting magic tucked up her sleeve, but this book was written in 1949 and is STILL completely relevant. We're really enjoying reading the book as a family. So much that I had to call my sister and recommend it to her. Unlike even the Beverly Clearly books that I grew up on, there are very limited dated references in this book. And it's from 1949. From chapter to chapter, a magic remedy for a common children's behaviour issue is discussed. And folks, kids tattled then as much as they do now. Kids are kids and even if they are spending more of their days watching tv and playing video games instead of reading and playing outside, this delightful book proves they are still the same today.

Jet Blue and PBS Kids have developed The Soar with Reading intiative to encourage people everywhere to help deserving kids get access to the books they need. If reading has had even a bit of the impact on your life as it has on mine, I hope you will take a moment to vist SoarWithReading.com, where:

1. You can share the name of your favorite kid’s book, and for every submission, JetBlue will donate an age-appropriate book to a deserving child through partner Barefoot Books. Up to $200,000 worth of books will be donated through this program.
2.     While on the site, families can access free summer reading materials, including an interactive reading list, reading tips and more.

3.     As a special thank you, adults who share their favorite book on the site can also enter into a sweepstakes to win great prizes, including a JetBlue Getaways vacation package!

Additionally, Jet Blue and PBS Kids have provided a summer reading travel pack to be given away to a reader of The Other Boufs. This pack is preschool-elementary age appropriate. Leave me a comment letting me know your favorite children's book or your favorite reading memory for a chance to win. I will pick a winner via random.org on Saturday, 8/18.

Extra entries are available for twitter followers and for tweeting this post. Please leave a separate comment below for each.


The One, The Only...Katie Bouf!!!!!! (wild applause)

Friday, August 3, 2012

We've had some challenges. We've made some adjustments.

After Katie was unable to perform in her dance recital this spring - a recital she had looked forward to for months and months - I concentrated on having her look forward to her summer camp talent show. She was relatively unphased by not getting to continue dance lessons. She didn't really care to learn specific steps anyway. She knows how to move and she just wants to watch herself in the mirror and be on stage to show the world.

Last year she sang Bruno Mars' "Marry You" with a friend to thunderous applause. Unfortunately, I had a video camera malfunction. You'd think I would have been totally prepared this year. With my camera ready to go, the lights went dark before I expected them to. Then I realized I had my new camera that worked slightly differently and I started sweating. I finally got myself together at the almost beginning of her performance. Of course it's shaky in the beginning since Timmy the wierdo had to grab my hand away from the camera to rub his inner thigh at that particular moment.

So hold on to your seats, ladies and gentlemen. Boys and girls, grandparents, aunts and uncles. Friends. Katie finally got her stage performance. And what a performance it was.

P.S. She was concentrating very hard on her dancing. You can see her stopping herself a few times. See, her natural inclination to spin and spin had gotten her a little wound up on the microphone cord during rehearsal and she was told "no spinning allowed."


Best Beach Gay Ever

Sunday, July 29, 2012

I added this great picture from a great day in Avalon to facebook on Tuesday. Joey Fortman organized a fabulous blogger bash at the Golden Inn and we were treated to sandcastle building lessons from Sandman Matt (from Travel Channel's Sandmasters).

I attempted to share with my facebook friends that we had the best beach day ever. Only then I started seeing in my e-mails that a few of my friends commented back that they loved beach gays, too. Phone typos, garhhh!! But maybe not a typo? Cause we did have an interesting conversation on the way home.

I tune out to back seat conversations, especially when I'm trying to soothe my headache with a little Adele. But, the arguing had gotten a little loud and I decided to intervene.

The argument:

Katie was trying to tell Timmy that all queens were girls.

Timmy, who enjoys frustrating his sister by being oppositional and thinks it's cute and funny to insist that people are of the opposite sex ("Mom, you're a boyyy, right?"), stood by his statement that boys could be queens, too.

They turned to me to see who was right. Not sure whether I should go there, I explained, "Well....., there are some men who sometime like to act girly and they call each other queens."

Katie's response: (deep thoughts) ooohhh! Ok.

Timmy's: (big grin) TOLD ya!


Little Adventures - Trekaroo Giveaway and Bloghop

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Congrats Jeanine from Mommy Entourage 
(selected via random.org)

We just got back from our family vacation to National Harbor, MD and the DC area and I've come to a conclusion. I'm ready to trade my kids in for upgrades. Ha! Wouldn't that be nice?!?!

This was our first family vacation that didn't include relaxing breaks for mommy and daddy (while the kids luxuriate in a kids club or spend time with grandparents) or a jammed packed Disney vacation. While they truly did enjoy every aspect of our trip, excitingly claiming that their favorite part of our visit to the National Air and Space Museum was the escalator, their behavior...not so exciting to mom and dad. But those days we visited Six Flags America....picture perfect. Apparently, my sensory-seeking eldest gem and her deviant little brother get all the action they need at amusement parks.

Lucky for us, our own state of New Jersey is also home to some of our very favorite places....great amusement parks. Katie loves to push the limits and began riding El Toro at Six Flags Great Adventure just shy of her 5th birthday. She begged her way into mastering her first upside-down roller coaster at Ocean City's Castaway Cove shortly after her 6th birthday.

Apparently, our family does a lot. Many a time, on a Friday afternoon, I have picked up the kids at daycare and chatted with the owner about our weekend plans. She smiles and shakes her head and tells me, "I have never met a family that does as much as you guys." Really?!? I thought every family crams their every weekend with plans and is booked 6 months in advance.

We may not be "every family", but we're certainly not alone and I'm thrilled to have joined a few other New Jersey bloggers in helping Trekaroo lauch New Jersey as a great place to travel with kids. We have each created a list of some of our favorite NJ places on Trekaroo and in exchange, we were given some awesome prizes to giveaway to our readers (keep reading for their giveaway links). It goes without saying, that I've chosen to compile  a list of some of our favorite local amusement parks.

I hope you'll check out my reviews on Trekaroo and enter my  giveaway (I love vacation and ride pictures on Christmas cards). And don't forget to leave your own reviews of your favorite NJ sites at Trekaroo.

Win $40 to spend on Tiny Prints Custom 
Greeting Cards and Stationary


Limitations: Order by June 30, 2012; 
can only be used on greeting cards and stationary
Winner must by 18 or over and a US resident

Prize: $40 Tiny Prints Stationary



To Enter:  
Leave a comment about your favorite amusement park/rides in NJ

Value: $40

Additional entries:  
Share this blog post on Facebook and leave an additional comment below.

*Contest ends 6/21/2012, Winner picked via random.org*
In celebration of the New Jersey Launch here on Trekaroo, we are once again breaking out the Trekaroo KidsMobile and some wonderful local bloggers have jumped onboard to show off the best New Jersey has to offer families. Each New Jersey blogger is also giving away a cool prize on their website, so be sure to hop on over to read their tips and enter to win some great prizes.

The Inside Scoop from Trekaroo families on New Jersey:

Jersey Shore with Kids | Southern Shore - Atlantic City with Kids | Gateway with Kids | Delaware Valley with Kids  | Skyland with Kids

Popular Tips on New Jersey

Jersey Shore Vacations - Chris Fotache

Yippy Momma  - Rita

Homeroom at Home - Barbara

Do you have recommendations on kid-friendly spots in New Jersey?
Take advantage of Trekaroo's limited time NJ Rewards - Earn a $20 Amazon Gift Card 



Tuesday, February 28, 2012

I probably should have held off on posting this gem until "Wordless" Wednesday.

According to Katie, this is me and Chris on our wedding day.

She took some creative license:

Apparently, "that" is part of my dress - NOT what you were thinking - despite the freudian spelling of "best" on our wedding cake.

My eyes are not really blue.

I am not really over 6 feet tall, like Chris.

Chris has fingers.

Our priest had hands.

Chris is not Jewish.

While close, it was not the bust day of my life. Because I didn't have my kids yet. And while they are frequently responsible for the most frustrating days of my life - getting handed pictures like this at daycare pickup allows me to smile and laugh like I never did before.


Nunchucks or not

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Through the years, I've featured Katie in her various fabulous dance and gymnastics routines, dress up ensembles, real life dress up ensembles, humorous outlooks and other creative pursuits. And instead of losing the toddler/pre-schooler magic, her personality and perhaps a bit of her autism spectrum quirks have propelled her to continue to shine and entertain with her creativity. I actually have a few of those goodies lined up to share soon.

But, as Timmy advances from toddlerhood to pre-schooler...he's creating his own magic at The Other Boufs. And boy does this kid have moves! One night this week I came home late from work to find Timmy shirtless. And when I asked him about it, I was informed that he had to take it off...to do karate.

The funny thing is -  I'm having a bit a of deja vu as Tim transitions from baby to big boy (well a big boy who  enjoys wearing diapers a little too much.) My little brother is 4 1/2 years younger than me. And as every pre-school boy should be, he was obsessed with Jean-Claude Van Damme, Chuck Norris, and Steven Seagal. Like...at Timmy's age. Without ever having had a karate lesson, his impersonations of his heroes had some strangers on a Disneyworld vacation convinced that he was a 5yo blackbelt.

We competed against one another in improptu competitions in the living room - until he got too big and could beat me. I was convinced that his obsession was due to bad parenting - my dad's encouragement of his movie choices, the chinese stars and nunchucks that he received as tokens of my dad's affection.

But apparently, none of that really made a difference. It was just hardwired. And now, I am the parent of my own little karate impersonator. Nunchucks or not!


Dr Seuss' The Lorax - Ticket Giveaway

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Congrats CZ, Svetlana, Jess, Sarah Nicole, and Jenlewgal!!! 

We don't go to the movies that much. It's pretty expensive for a family of 4, but moreso, we're just busy. So we generally wind up watching movies together at home. By the time we get to them they're available to rent anyway. Plus, we're so in tune with our DVR that we rarely see commercials for new movies. But once in awhile a movie comes a long with such a buzz that you have to check it out. Or, you happen to catch part of a commercial that is so colorful and eyecatching while you're fast forwarding that you have to rewind to see the whole thing. Or there's a superbowl ad that has you and your kids excited.
For all of these reasons and more, my family is eagerly awaiting the opening of  The Lorax, which comes to theaters on Friday, March 2. My kids love all things Dr. Seuss - the books, the cartoons, the movies,  the dress-up costumes, the musical - I know this is going to be a new favorite in our house.

If you're as excited as we are, or just enjoy saving money, enter below to win 1 of FIVE family prize packs. The prize packs include: 4 free passes to the advance screening of Universal Pictures’ DR. SEUSS’ THE LORAX  on Saturday, February 25 at the AMC Cherry Hill. Showtime is 10am, but you should be prepared to get there early to guarantee your seats.

To enter, leave a comment below. Let me know your favorite Dr. Seuss book or character. Or tell me who you're excited to see this movie with.

Extra entries: Follow me on Twitter @JulieBouf, become a google friend connect follower of this blog, or tweet this giveaway (including link to post and @JulieBouf). Leave a comment for each extra entry.

Winners will be chosen randomly and notified on February 12th. Make sure to leave your e-mail address or twitter ID in your comment. Need more than 4 tickets for your family? Have your significant other or kids enter too!

From the creators of Despicable Me and the imagination of Dr. Seuss comes the 3D-CG feature Dr. Seuss' The Lorax, an adaptation of the classic tale of a forest creature who shares the enduring power of hope. The animated adventure follows the journey of a 12-year-old as he searches for the one thing that will enable him to win the affection of the girl of his dreams. To find it he must discover the story of the Lorax, the grumpy yet charming creature who fights to protect his world.

Danny DeVito will lend his vocal talents to the iconic title character of the Lorax, while Ed Helms will voice the enigmatic Once-ler. Also bringing their talents to the film are global superstars Zac Efron as Ted, the idealistic youth who searches for the Lorax, and Taylor Swift as Audrey, the girl of Ted's dreams. Rob Riggle will play financial king O'Hare, and beloved actress Betty White will portray Ted's wise Grammy Norma.

Dr. Seuss' The Lorax is the third feature created by Universal Pictures and Illumination Entertainment (Despicable Me, Hop). http://www.theloraxmovie.com



The Katie File

Thursday, February 2, 2012

It's been awhile. I know. And I was figuring that since I've jumped back into attending a bunch of blogger events, I should probably start to blog again. With that in mind - file this one under "Posts to pullout during the teenage years."

Sunday night we were driving home after a long day out - just me and the kids. Katie pondered, "Mom, do you think Daddy's going to be upset that we left him alone by himself for all of that time?"

Heh. Right!

I explained that daddy was probably very happy to be home by himself. Amongst a flurry of questions I explained that daddy probably got a chance to take a nap or play video games or do something else that he wanted to do. In fact, he'd probably want to thank me for all of that alone time.

She wondered, since he'd be so appreciative, would he give me a kiss?

Playing along, pretending that he would actually be so gracious as to recognize how wonderful I am and thank me AND that we thank each other with kisses, I replied, "Oh, I hope so!"

There was some pondering silence and then:
Do you think he'll stick his tongue inside your mouth?


"Katie, what are you talking about? Daddy doesn't do that..."

She assured me that oh yea, she had seen that for herself before. She saw him do it. He really did.

I thought back and decided that perhaps recently we had given each other a peck and when the kids moaned and acted like we were gross - he may have gotten a little carried away in giving them something to really be grossed out about.

"Katie, you know, sometimes husbands and wives do that because they really love each other."

"No way, they do NOT!!!" (hey wasn't she the one who witnessed it?; I still don't believe it actually happened.)

"Yea, Katie. Actually, when you get bigger - like old enough to have a husand - you might actually like it."

And then she promised me:
"No, I will NOT. That's gross! If my husband EVER tries to stick his tongue in my mouth.....I'll kick him in the face!!"

And just a little motherly advice, if a boy ever really does just stick his tongue in your mouth - you probably shouldn't kick him in the face. But it does mean he's not a very good kisser.

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