Saturday Morning Cartoons

Saturday morning cartoons.

Ahhh…the good old days…when Saturday morning meant eating cereal in my pajamas while seated on the floor in front of the console TV. Saturday morning cartoons were the best. Everybody I knew who was a child in the 70s watched. For whatever reason, those cartoons made quite an impression on us…so much so, that I often find myself making references to them as a 53-year-old!

Just today, in fact, I caught myself making a reference to a Saturday morning cartoon. I got my shower and got dressed. Keep in mind that every November, I observe Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month, and since purple is the color for pancreatic cancer awareness, I try to wear it as much as possible. Sounds crazy, I know, and I don’t own as much purple clothing as I used to, but today, I put on some purple leggings with a cute, comfy tie-dye sweater. I then looked in the mirror and said aloud, “Grape Ape.”

When I was a kid in the 70s, The Great Grape Ape Show was one of the cartoons I loved. It featured a 40-foot tall purple ape who often uttered these words, “Grape Ape! Grape Ape!” My most vivid memory is of Grape Ape riding on the roof of his friend’s car after revving it up like a push toy. He was giant. He was purple. My leggings made me think of Grape Ape. You get the picture. You can see episodes of The Great Grape Ape Show on Amazon here.

During football games for my college team, I often can’t watch. My ego is apparently so healthy that I think my very presence actually has an influence on the outcome of the game. When someone asks why I don’t watch, I reply, “Because I’m Schleprock.” Lots of times, I get a puzzled look in return and have to explain that Schleprock was a character on The Pebbles and Bamm-Bamm Show, a spinoff of The Flintstones. Schleprock walked around in all gray clothing, often with a dark cloud (literally) over his head. He is known for having exceptionally bad luck, and when he is around, bad things tend to happen. So yes, if I think I am the catalyst of bad luck, I call myself “Schleprock.”

And since I’m talking about The Flintstones, I absolutely must mention “Yabba Dabba Doo!” Anyone who is familiar with the show knows those three words were used by Fred Flintstone when he was happy or excited…like when the whistle blew signaling the end of the work day at the quarry. I’ve used the exclamation many times over the years. First, every time I take a vitamin of any kind, I actually say, “Yabba Dabba Doo!” This is because, as a kid in the 70s, I took Flintstones vitamins, just like every other kid. In fact, when my brother was two or three, my mother and I were in one part of the house and heard him repeatedly saying, “Yabba Dabba Doo!” We ran to the kitchen to find him taking Flintstones vitamins and making the exclamation every time he took one. Good times! Fortunately, they contained no iron, so he was in no real danger. As an adult, I once noticed that an ice cream shop served Fruity Pebbles ice cream. I said to my then-10-yr-old daughter, “Yabba Dabba Doo!” She didn’t get it. Anyone who remembers The Flintstones knows they did the ads for Fruity Pebbles cereal. In fact, they’re still on the box. They’re also on the box for Cocoa Pebbles cereal.

Going from the prehistoric Flintstone family to modern times, everyone I know is aware of my fascination with midcentury modern architecture. Better yet, they know I love what’s referred to as Googie architecture, which was popular in the 1950s and 1960s. It’s futuristic and space age architecture…like The Jetsons cartoon. I used to have some dinnerware that had a space-age looking pattern on it, and I called that dinnerware my “Jetsons dishes.” Many times over the years, I’ve referred to building as Jetsons buildings. Come on…who hasn’t looked at the Theme Building at Los Angeles International Airport and thought about The Jetsons? Want to watch The Jetsons? You can rent episodes on Amazon here.

Anybody remember Hong Kong Phooey besides me? Sure, the name of that cartoon about a dog who is a private investigator is totally politically incorrect now, but back in the 70s, no one paid attention. The lead character was voiced by Scatman Crothers…what a great voice he had! The bumbling PI jumped into a filing cabinet to change from mere mortal into Hong Kong Phooey. Can I walk past a filing cabinet without thinking of the theme song? Hong Kong Phooey, number one super guy. Hong Kong Phooey, quicker than the human eye. He’s got style, a groovy style, and a car that just won’t stop. When the going gets rough, he’s super tough, with a Hong Kong Phooey chop! (Hi-ya!) Like I said, it’s not exactly politically correct. But mention the words “private eye” to me, and all I can think about is Hong Kong Phooey.

But by far, the Saturday morning cartoon I reference the most is Scooby Doo, Where Are You? Everybody loved Scooby Doo. It is one cartoon that truly stands the test of time. My now-17-yr-old daughter loved it so much as a kid that we used it as a measure of time. When she was four, if she asked me how long it would take to get somewhere, and it was an hour away, I would answer, “About three Scooby Doos,” because each episode, without commercials (on DVD) was about 22 minutes. When my daughter was little, if she said she was hungry, I would offer her a “Scooby snack.” Many times, I’ve referred to my daughter and her friends as “meddling kids,” a Scooby reference, for sure. And I’ve even said, “Jinkies!” and “Zoinks!” as exclamations of surprise. But what have I used the most from the show? Scooby Doo’s own, “Ruh-roh,” when I’ve hit a snag. Wanna see some Scooby Doo, Where Are You? Check it out on Amazon here.

So yes, Saturday mornings are still influencing my daily lexicon, and I love it. There were some awesome live-action shows on Saturday mornings too, many made by Sid and Marty Krofft, but that’s a story for another day. It’s fun to feel like a kid again every now and then!

My Favorite Holiday Parties

December is rapidly approaching, and with it, holiday parties! I love when folks get creative with parties, so I’m going to share some of the best party ideas/themes I’ve come across over the years. I love holiday fun!

  • Holiday Cookie Swap. This one is old school, and almost everyone has heard of it, but because it’s fun, I’m starting with it. If you aren’t familiar with it, it works like this: Plan to have between eight and sixteen guests, and ask them to bring three dozen of their favorite homemade cookies on a platter. Serve finger foods and beverages of your choice. After visiting for a while, have everyone two or three of each type of cookie and put them on paper plates (divided by you), because their platters will be on the table till they are ready to leave. So easy and so fun, and everyone gets to take home lots of cookies! I also think it’s fun to have prize drawing for small prizes like fun cocktail napkins or tea towels. See some at Swoozie’s here.

  • Ornament Exchange. A fun, holiday-themed party, this one is super easy too. Have guests bring wrapped ornaments to put under the tree when they arrive. Serve finger foods and beverages, and maybe play a game like “Who’s Most Likely To…” if everyone knows each other. Have guests draw numbers from a hat, and whoever gets number one starts picking an ornament to take home. Remember, they’re wrapped, so they can’t see the ornament they’re getting till everyone picks one, and they are unwrapped! Anthropologie has some cute ornaments. Shop them here.


  • My Favorites Party. A friend told me about this recently. Everyone brings a gift valued at $25 or less. One of their favorite things, and it can be anything…soap, candle, earbuds, beanie…anything you like. Again, it needs to be wrapped. It works the same way as the Ornament Exchange by drawing numbers to decide the picking order. Serve finger foods and beverages. As a host, I would want to have four or five of my own favorite things to give away in a prize drawing.
  • Gingerbread House Party. It sounds like something kids do, but moms can build them too! It’s OK to use the pre-fab kits or put the houses together before the guests arrive. That way everyone just does the fun part…decorating the houses! Of course, serve finger foods and beverages. At the end of the night, the guests take home their creations! You can purchase pre-fab kits for $9.99 each from Target here.


  • Christmas Show PJ Party. I don’t know about your kids, but my daughter doesn’t enjoy the Christmas shows I watched when I was a little girl. My friends do, though! For this party, invite friends to show up in their pajamas and watch shows you’ve downloaded on your DVR or something from Amazon Prime. It can be a few old shows like Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, Frosty the Snowman, and Santa Claus is Coming to Town, or maybe a Christmas movie you love like Miracle on 34th Street. Serve popcorn and candy and fun beverages! It’s a great thing to do with good friends.


Maybe you have some other ideas! If so, please share them! I’m always looking for something fun to do during the holidays!








My Favorite Things for a Girls’ Weekend

I have a husband, a teenage daughter, and three dogs. I love them. I love spending time with them. I also love when my husband leaves town for a few days. I know…it sounds terrible, but sometimes, it’s fun to miss him! When he is out of town, I love to have friends visit.

When I have a friend or friends visit, my daughter will spend a little time with us, but mostly, she wants to carry on her social life. So once she goes to a friend’s house, we have “girl time,”even though we are 50+. Chances are, we won’t even leave the house.


No kids? No husband? Friends in town? What to do? Every situation is different, but I will share some ideas of things we have done in the past. I’ve included lots of links!

*FAVORS I am all about some favors. If you plan ahead, you can give each guest a goody bag on arrival with some small take-home trinkets for the weekend. I think it’s fun to give them on the front end, especially if they can be used on during the weekend. Whether I’m getting together with one friend or seven friends, it’s fun to have some favors to offer. Custom T-SHIRTS are fun. When I gathered with some friends to bike the Virginia Creeper Trail, I had t-shirts made that said “Got Brakes?” and included the date and location on the back. I ordered everyone size XL, because I know they won’t wear them in public…best for sleeping or lounging at home. You can have custom t-shirts made through Zazzle (click here) or Cafe Press (click here). Some of the items I’ve listed in previous blogs are great for goody bags: 1818Farms Shea Creme (click here or order from Amazon here), Dry Divas Shower Caps (on sale at Neiman Marcus, click here), or some cute little, custom bags from Collective’s Etsy shop. I have one friend who loves candy (see photo below), so when she is in town, I always have some of her favorite candies: Zotz, Spree, Twizzlers, Skittles, and even Fruit by the Foot. (She eats healthy almost all the time, so it’s OK to splurge.)

*WHAT TO WATCH Old friend gatherings mean lots of talking, but it can also mean binge-watching favorite shows or watching favorite movies. As I posted on Instagram before, one binge-worthy show is an Amazon Original, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel. They have streamed one season; watch now and be ready when the next season starts. It’s a funny, smart, heartwarming dramedy, and the aesthetics are incredible! It’s about a young, Jewish housewife, Midge Maisel, living on the Upper West Side of Manhattan in the 1950s. The opening scene is a shocking toast at Midge and Joel’s wedding, and then jumps ahead four years…they have two kids and live in a lovely apartment in the same building as her parents. Midge, like many women of her time, builds her life around her husband. All is well till things take a bad turn, and we see how Midge copes. It’s a must see for the storyline and fashion, a time when ladies dressed like ladies. I was mesmerized by every episode. It’s definitely binge-worthy, and I wish I had watched it with one of my college friends. I’d be willing to re-watch it. Eight episodes, and the first season is captivating from beginning to end. (Warning: language and nudity.) (It has been nominated for and won numerous awards, including two Golden Globes.) To watch, click here.


**If you’ve seen The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel and want something new, my next binge-watch will be UnREAL on Lifetime. The third season just started, so I want to catch up on the first two (you can do this online through Lifetime). Kelly Ripa talked about it, and it sounds awesome. It’s a drama, and according to IMDb, it’s “a behind-the-scenes look at the chaos surrounding the production of a dating competition program.” One of the creators is a former associate producer of ABC’s The Bachelor, so maybe there’s some truth behind this fiction!**


**If binge-watching TV isn’t your thing, maybe pick a movie. Bridesmaids is hilarious, if you want comedy. For something more serious…Sense and Sensibility (click here to watch on Amazon) and The Joy Luck Club (click here to watch on Amazon) are two of my all-time favorite chick flicks. Even though I’ve read both books more than once and seen both movies countless times, I get emotional every time. Another great movie to watch with friends is …”Snap out of it!” To see it on Amazon, click here.**


*WHAT TO DRINK When friends are staying for the weekend, I like to serve a fun beverage. I’m not a big drinker, but when I drink, I want it to feel like a celebration. Nothing says celebration like some bubbly. Champagne is good, but I prefer Prosecco, because it doesn’t give me headaches. For daytime, I enjoy Peach Bellinis, and there’s no Bellini like a Cipriani Bellini. The original Peach Bellini was served at Harry’s Bar in Venice, Italy, which is owned by the Cipriani family.  Pick your Prosecco, and if you want an authentic Bellini, order the mix from the Cipriani family hereIf you do not want to mix your own, Trader Joe’s has the Secco Peach Bellini for $5.99, and it’s good! (I call it a “Bellini in a bottle”) This is my second choice, and it’s less expensive and easier! They also offers mango and cherry Secco Bellinis.

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*For nonalcoholic Bellinis, pair the Cipriani mix with Sprite.* **If you don’t like Bellinis or peach flavor, add a splash of Chambord Liqueur to your Prosecco…gives it a lovely red hue and raspberry flavor.**

*WHAT TO USE This is not so much something to “do” as it is something to “use.” I’m hoping to receive some lovely Cornet Barcelona Sagrada Champagne Flutes soon. My friend, Debe, recently told me about the beautiful line. According to the Cornet Barcelona website, “The dream of our company is to create more beauty and excitement so that those around us can be inspired and feel as though life is truly a gift.” Each piece is hand painted “in hues reminiscent of the world-renowned Sagrada Familia Basilica in Barcelona, Spain,” according to the site. They’re beautiful filled with bubbly Champagne, Prosecco, or a Bellini, and their price point is surprisingly good. Their flutes are handmade, so they are not always available, but I recently heard from a representative of Cornet Barcelona that they will be releasing more Sagrada Champagne Flutes in March and April. To see the Cornet Barcelona line, click here. These are items you can keep at home for visiting friends.


*WHAT TO EAT What we eat depends on the guest, and some friends love to go out. If my friend, Angela, comes to town, she wants to stay in and spend the entire visit catching up. There are some great, simple recipes in Lisa Lillien’s latest book, Hungry Girl Clean and Obsessed. A couple of my favorites are the Beefed-Up Cheesy Mac on pg. 140, and the Love at First Bite Lasagna on pg 128; both are easy to make and taste great. (Purchase at Amazon here.) I am a believer in Hungry Girl. You can access recipes on her website too, by clicking here.. Or we might order some favorites through Goldbely in advance: Coca-Cola Cake from Jestine’s in Charleston, or the Southern Mac and Cheese from Loveless Cafe in Nashville. I’ve mentioned Goldbely before, but it’s worthy of another mention. Check out their offerings by clicking here. Don’t forget dessert!


*WHAT TO WEAR I’m a fan of pajamas of any kind. When friends come to visit for a “stay in girls’ weekend,” I like to stay in pajamas or super soft loungewear. The softest PJs and loungewear I’ve found are from Barefoot Dreams (pictured below). For a long time, I only knew of Barefoot Dreams as a company that made supersoft baby blankets and sleepers. I recently discovered they have a fabulous adult line. My very favorite PJs they offer are the Luxe Milk Jersey Piped Pajama Set. Priced at $130 on their website, they aren’t cheap, but if you can spare the $$$ on PJs, they’re worth it. I also love their loungewear. Purchase them here. If you don’t want to spend that much, the Life is Good line is offering their Teacups Pajama Set on sale for $24.99, and they are well-made, comfy pajamas. You can’t go wrong with this brand, and this is a crazy good deal. To purchase, click here.


When hosting an old friend (or friends), the main thing is to enjoy each other’s company. So invite a friend for a visit, share some Bellinis, eat some comfort food, and watch the entire first season of The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel. Relax, catch up, and enjoy!