Daytime soap opera fans rejoice! This week's cover celeb is the gorgeous Sean Kanan. Sean has starred on daytime soaps such as General Hospital (as A.J. Quartermaine), and on The Bold and the Beautiful (as Deacon Sharpe) as well as The Young and the Restless. Read this week's exclusive cover story with Sean, where we talk about parenting, being a gentleman, and how to keep the passion alive in a marriage!
What could be better than your own personal, portable sweet treat on a stick? Cake-pops and pie-pops have been hugely popular for some time now—and for good reason. Bite-sized portions of favorite desserts made easy are a dream comes true for anyone with a sweet tooth. And best of all: they’re easy to make!
In her new book, EASY AS PIE POPS, author and founder of Cakewalk Desserts, Andrea Smetona, shares her most popular and favorite recipes for miniature treats. Recipes range from Fruit Pie Pops, Savory Pie Pops, Cake Pops and Tea Cakes and include:
Andrea also shares tips and helpful hints that she has learned along the way, making EASY AS PIE POPS a must-have for anyone looking to make delicious, miniature pastries easily and efficiently. Just in time for the holidays, this delectable cookbook makes creating fun desserts easy as pie pops ($15, amazon.com).
Ho Ho Ho! Thomas is full steam ahead as a Really Useful Reindeer, saving the day by guiding Santa’s sleigh straight to the Sodor Christmas celebration! When snowfall transforms the island of Sodor into a winter wonderland, Thomas discovers that being safe is the best route to holiday fun. Percy makes everyone’s Christmas wishes come true and Gordon discovers his friends’ special skills are the gifts that keep on giving, all year long! Thomas delivers the true spirit of the season as Santa’s Little Engine! ($10, amazon.com)
Being a Southern girl at heart, actress Tess Broussard loves all things fried. "I'm from the south, so this is a tasty dish that I find comforting and delicious. Fried chicken is a family staple in general in our home." Instead of packing on the fats by frying, you can oven bake this chicken to score the same great deep fried taste.
Oven Fried Chicken
2 eggs, beaten 1 cup crushed buttery round cracker crumbs 1/2 teaspoon garlic salt ground black pepper to taste 4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves 1/2 cup butter, cut into pieces
Directions: 1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). 2. Place eggs and cracker crumbs in two separate shallow bowls. Mix cracker crumbs with garlic salt and pepper. Dip chicken in the eggs, then dredge in the crumb mixture to coat. 3. Arrange coated chicken in a 9x13 inch baking dish. Place pieces of butter around the chicken. 4. Bake in the preheated oven for 40 minutes, or until chicken is no longer pink and juices run clear.
Tess Broussard may be a Southern belle, but she is certainly no shrinking violet. As the co-star on Comedy Central’s hit show, Kroll Show, Tess handles herself like a lady—while still being dishing out the laughs. We spoke exclusively with the soft-spoken actress about pursuing your passion, what it’s really like to be a single mom, and why it can be fun to die—twice.
Let’s talk about your background, Tess.
I’m Chinese, Hawaiian and French. My Dad is Cajun; my parents met when my mom was in Europe modeling. They were married three months later.
Were you always into performing?
I would perform in high school and I loved it. I was also always a fitness buff. In high school I majored in every sport imaginable. I could bounce a quarter off of any part of my body. I was doing a lot of fitness and swimsuit modeling while I was at Pepperdine University.
I got an agent and she wanted me to go to acting school because I had a really thick southern accent. I was booking commercials and then got involved with Playboy. I was a Playboy model and I did a lot of their movies, too. It was an amazing experience. I got a part on the series, V. R. Troopers, and that was super fun too. I had too many broken bones from sparring and getting my butt kicked, so I didn’t do it after that. I did more hostessing work, and I did The Man Show with Jimmy Kimmel. Little by little I got to say more and more lines, which made me so happy!
Now let’s talk about you being on the Kroll Show.
I tried out for this show called Kroll Show. I wrote my own script and then I went really big with my audition. I got the part and I was so excited. I got called back to come back and be a regular on the show, playing Nick Kroll’s wife, Shannon. It’s a very dysfunctional family, to say the least.
You’re going into your third season now, right?
Yes, I have been on for two seasons and going into the third. In the second season, I get killed, two ways. The first way is violently by Dr. Armand because I had a relationship with his son! Oops me. [laughs] And then I die another way, too. But the juicy parts are so much fun.
So what is it like being a single mom?
It’s been a true delight. I did a lot of things that I wanted to do when I was younger. I had my daughter later on in life and now I can devote my time to her. It works for me. I don’t know what it would be like to have a husband and work together to raise a kid. I’m so used to being a single mom and I honestly love it.
You’re mom and dad.
That’s true. I’m very involved in her school. I am such a nerd. I love volunteering at her school’s library. She loves it because when I go to see her at lunch she runs up to me and hugs me. She likes to go shopping with me, too. We have a lot of fun together. She’ll even do the red carpet with me!
I have my kids with me a lot, too. It’s good for kids to see their moms working and doing something that they love, so they get the idea that work can fulfill you in a whole other way that doesn’t relate to them.
I think it’s great that you bring your kids with you. And I absolutely agree; with the way everything is today, your kids do become a part of your work life. I want to be a role model for my daughter, to encourage her to follow her dreams and make them a reality. Just like her mom did.
Family movie nights create great memories together. While going out to the movies is a fun treat once in a while, it can get costly. Hosting a family movie night at home is much more budget-friendly and can be just as fun as sitting in a theater.
Here are five tips on how to throw the ultimate family movie night at home:
Make a date:Between work and school, Family Movie Night might seem like an impossibility. But by making a date--and sticking to it--you'll show your kiddos how important spending time is with them.
Pick the Flick:For little ones, pre-select a group to choose from. For teens, let them choose.
Location, Location, Location:Set up a projector in the backyard or re-arrange your family room into a comfortable home theater.
Dream Theater:Where ever you choose to host your movie night, make sure you are getting the best possible entertainment experience from your home system. You can use the THX tune-up app, an easy-to-use, interactive app that allows you to use an iOS device to adjust your TVs, projectors and speakers – regardless of brand or price.
Get Creative:Tie in a theme. Chook spaghetti for Lady and the Tramp, dress up for Cinderella, learn magic tricks before Harry Potter or indulge in a cheese platter for Ratatouille.
The turkey is on the table and the family is gathered around, ready to dig into your infamous green bean casserole. But what are you going to talk about during your Thanksgiving meal? Here are some fun ideas that will have the whole family talking turkey—and giving thanks.
Gobble games. In a fun (and family-friendly) version of the traditional party game, ask everyone what they are thankful for. For example, “What are you thankful for—at school?” or “What are you thankful for—in your locker at school?” It will keep kids guessing—and getting more creative—with each question and answer.
Thankful thoughts. After cramming down the cranberry sauce, have each person write down what they are most thankful for this year. Fold up each response and put it into a bowl. You can take turns reading each one out loud, and try to determine who said it. The person with the most correct answers gets the first slice of your Aunt Ginny’s awesome apple pie.
Color time.In lieu of pretty placemats, give each guest a large piece of white paper. Let their (thankful) inner Matisse come out by having each person draw their Thanksgiving scene. Kids can turn their hand into a turkey, and older ones can draw a cute scene right out of A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving.
Thanksgiving doesn’t only have to be about the food. By gathering your loved ones around the table, you can always have a reason to be thankful.
My Dad and I didn’t have the best relationship when I was growing up. There was a lot of love, but also struggle. All of that dissipated, though, when my Mom passed away ten years ago. My Dad became the Dad I had always dreamed of. The love he had for my sister and I shined through in an entirely new way. That fatherly love was so present, good and pure.
It was so completely welcome.
And as for being a grandfather, he was the best. He was expressive, loving, gentle—he was simply phenomenal. I would hear him on the phone with my kids, and he would tell them over and over again how much he loved them. He would tell Gabriel about shark sightings and chat with Elizabeth about school. The kids loved going to visit him and also talking with him on the phone.
I would talk to my Dad all the time while I was in the kitchen—his or mine. It was our bonding spot. He would laugh and say, “Are you doing dishes again?” or he would ask me what I was making for dinner. I always saved and froze extra portions of stews, soups and other dishes that I knew he would love. We would pack the food, the kids and the dogs into the car and see him often. It was a beautiful thing.
And now that beautiful thing is gone. And I am lost and broken-hearted.
The cantor at my Dad’s service told me that grief is a luxury I need to give myself. She also said that it was important to show my kids that it’s okay to be sad, but to also find happiness and stand again through this process. I still haven’t even grasped what has happened. I am numb.
There is so much more to say, but that is for my Dad and I to know. What I want to leave you with, gentle readers, is that there is always room for second chances. If you are lucky enough to have your parents with you, treasure them. Call them. Visit them. Take lots and lots of pictures with them. Those memories will be what sustains you.
So Dad, I want you to know, as you already do, that I love you so very much. Thank you for being my Dad, for being a loving, wonderful Grandpa, and know that you are loved and missed beyond words. Thank you for visiting me this morning in my dreams.
And most of all, thank you for helping me finally realize that this song you loved so much was your love song for us.
If you’re like a lot of women, you find exercise totally boring. But what if you were exercising with Blair from The Facts Of Life? Actress Lisa Whelchel recently released a cool new workout video, Lisa Whelchel’s Everyday Workout for the Everyday Woman ($17, amazon.com). The DVD features two workouts geared towards beginners with a friendly, encouraging vibe and modifications for ALL levels. There are even personal training tips on proper body alignment, engaging the core, and breathing.
Lisa, who starred as Blair Warner on The Facts of Life, and was the Survivor: Philippines runner-up, says: “I’m an everyday woman when it comes to fitness. I know exercise is key for my health and well-being, but I don’t always enjoy doing it. And as a busy working mom, I have a hard time fitting workouts into my schedule. But I’ve learned that having fun with exercise can make all the difference. So I’ve teamed up with trainer Janice Clark to demonstrate two safe, sane, and effective workouts for women of all shapes and sizes.”
Between work and kids, there aren't a lot of hours in the day to get extra things done. These apps from Nokia can help you stay productive--and on track.
We all know the drill: You’re on a business trip, and packing away another receipt in your fat wallet. Look no further than Budget Buddy (free), an easy way to track expenses (you can even use it to stay on budget at home!). Instead of cramming that receipt from dinner with a client in your purse, snap a photo with your phone and the immediate tracking shows how much you’ve spent (and if you’re on a budget, how much is still available). And if you’re interested in exactly where the money is going, Budget Buddy Free even has charts and graphs that analyze spending patterns.
Need a personal assistant, but can’t convince your boss to hire one? Us too. With My Conference Calls ($0.99), your own personal assistant (er, application) will make and schedule your calls for you. No more long dial-in numbers or security codes – automatically connect through this application with the touch of your finger.
Never miss a flight again with Business Trip ($1.99). The name says it all – this application helps you manage your next big trip, including tracking and scheduling reminders of upcoming flights, keeps a record of hotel stays, manages car rentals and makes sure nothing falls through the cracks.