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September 27, 2012

Walt Disney World debuts its first Jack and Sally meet-and-greets this weekend at Downtown Disney


As if Downtown Disney isn’t cool enough with all the Disney fun available without the price of a park ticket, now it’s even cooler with Walt Disney World’s first-ever Jack and Sally (from the “Nightmare Before Christmas”) character meet-and-greets during “Frankenweenie Weekend.”

To celebrate Disney’s new animated movie, “Frankenweenie,” directed by Tim Burton and opening in 3-D Oct. 5, Downtown Disney is hosting events and experiences inspired by the film, as well as “The Nightmare Before Christmas” and “Alice in Wonderland.” The fun will all go down at Downtown Disney’s West Side from Sept. 28 to 30.

See special 3-D screenings of “The Nightmare Before Christmas” and “Alice in Wonderland,” featuring a 3-D extended preview of “Frankenweenie,” at AMC Downtown Disney 24. Tickets cost $6. Show times are 4:15 and 8 p.m. for “The Nightmare Before Christmas” and 6:30 and 10:30 p.m. for “Alice in Wonderland.”

After the movie, stop by the New Holland Pet Cemetery picture spot (between AMC Downtown Disney 24 and Something Silver boutique from 6 to 11 p.m.) and get a photo with “Frankenweenie” backgrounds.

Jack and Sally will be out also from 6 to 11 p.m. between AMC Downtown Disney 24 and Harley Davidson.

And, of course, there will be special “Frankenweenie” and “The Nightmare Before Christmas” merchandise available, plus spooky treats, such as Franken Fusion Lemonade and “Frankenweenie” hot dogs.

For more information, go to

If you need a place to stay, the seven Downtown Disney Resort Area Hotels are currently offering a 15 percent discount for Florida residents from now through Dec. 23. Make a reservation at


POSTED IN: Activities (143), Entertainment (114), Holidays (49)

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September 25, 2012

Candy from the '70s: Remember Pixy Stix and Fruit Stripe gum?

My husband got a great birthday gift that brought back a lot of memories for us both: Candy from the 1970s.70s%20candy.jpg
I had not thought of this stuff for several decades and really got a kick out of these sugary snacks that we don't see anymore, especially Red Hots, Caramel Creams, Bit-o-Honey bars, Tootsie Pop Drops, Whatchamacallits and Razzles.

The bubble gum cigars and Round Up candy cigarettes really made me laugh. Can you imagine candy cigarettes being sold today? I had to taste one and it tasted like chalk. Did these things ever taste good?

In many ways, I am still stuck in the '70s. I listen to the '70s channel on XM radio because I think it's the best music ever. And I have to say the candy back then was super creative and funny, but also super sweet and cavity-creating. If you want to take a trip down memory lane, go to

Photo: Lois Solomon

POSTED IN: Lois Solomon (211)

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September 18, 2012

With Groupon, why join a health club?

I don't want traditional health clubs to go out of business. But why pay full-price when Groupon and LivingSocial offer cut rates that last me throughout the year?fl-hk-fitness-trampoline22a.jpg

I currently have three of these coupons for exercise classes, including zumba, yoga and boot camps. One of them cost $20 for 20 classes; how can any traditional club beat that rate?

I had become bored with the classes at the club I belonged to and decided I was ready for a change. Now I can vary my routine every day and start fresh again at a new club when the current coupons expire, since they come into my email box almost daily.

Still, I feel guilty that many clubs that can't afford to offer these deals could go out of business if people like me continue not to renew.

Photo: Sun-Sentinel

POSTED IN: Lois Solomon (211)

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September 11, 2012

Pest control: Should I give in and spray?

Despite my best efforts to keep it clean, my kitchen is being taken over by palmetto bugs.cockroach.jpg

They manage to find the tiniest crumb I didn't sweep up. My 13-year-old is afraid to turn on the kitchen light at night, because a big bug is likely to scurry across the floor.

I have resisted hiring a pest control company to eliminate my bugs as I try to limit our exposure to chemicals and toxins. I put out Terro for the ants and last night sprinkled some boric acid for the big guys.

But I am about to give up. We can't live in a house where you never know what will creep up your leg as you are opening the fridge.

Photo: Sun-Sentinel

POSTED IN: Lois Solomon (211)

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About the authors
Gretchen Day-Bryant has a son in high school and a daughter in middle school. She’s lived to tell about the struggles of juggling little kids and work.
Joy Oglesby has a preschooler...
Cindy Kent Fort Lauderdale mother of three. Her kids span in ages from teenager to 20s.
Rafael Olmeda and his wife welcomed their first son in Feb. 2009, and he's helping raise two teenage stepdaughters.
Lois Solomonlives with her husband and three daughters.
Georgia East is the parent of a five-year-old girl, who came into the world weighing 1 pound, 13 ounces.
Brittany Wallman is the mother of Creed, 15, and Lily, 7, and is married to a journalist, Bob Norman. She covers Broward County government, which is filled with almost as much drama as the Norman household. Almost.
Chris Tiedje is the Social Media Coordinator and the father of a 7-year-old girl, and two boys ages 4 and 3.
Kyara Lomer Camarena has a 2-year-old son, Copelan, and a brand new baby.

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