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Julie Bowen Dishes on Planes: Fire & Rescue

julie bowen1

One of the highlights of my recent trip to Los Angeles was meeting Julie Bowen.  She’s the actress who plays the flirtatious Dusty in the new Disney movie, Planes: Fire & Rescue.  Julie is probably best known for her role on Modern Family, but she’s also done stints on other television programs, like Lost and Boston Legal.  I also loved her in the romantic comedy, Jumping the Broom.  As I found out when I took my turn in the voice over booth, voicing an animated movie is NOT easy. This chick does an amazing job with it, though.

Julie actually sat with our group of bloggers and talked about everything under the sun.  Here’s some of what she said–

*on how different it was to do Planes, as opposed to Modern Family:

So different.  I am not a trained voice actor.  …It’s just your voice, and if you aren’t getting across clearly– the humor, the message, the real sentiment, you can’t deny it.  …Luckily they (Disney) are perfectionists and they very quickly figured out that the best way to work with me was just let me go...

*on how the character is crafted around her voice:

…What I see is just mostly some loose drawings in the very beginning…Then I come back like six months later and they’re drawn more.  And the cool thing is, six months or eight months later, they’ve taken all that spouting that I did in the booth, and running around and sweating, and they incorporate it into the character.  And now they’ve started to draw her- her movement and her mouth and everything to fit that.  And that was very cool to see.  Somebody had to work very hard…

julie bowen

*on how she landed the role:

They (Disney) contacted the people that represent me and asked me if I would do it.  And I was like, “oh yeah, yes I will.”  Especially given that Plane was coming out soon, – soon after I got the offer.  But I was deeply familiar with the land of Cars.  Deeply, deeply.  Like intimately.  So I knew…I knew what the world was…But I knew what the Planes world was gonna be kind of like.  So I embraced it wholeheartedly.

She was absolutely adorable and we bloggers fell in total and complete love with her.  Here’s another scene from the film that features her.  Don’t forget-Planes: Fire & Rescue arrives in theaters, next Friday, July 18th!

Disclosure:  I was a guest of Disney Film Studios for this trip to Los Angeles.  They provided my travel, lodging, meals, and activities.  All opinions, however, are my own!

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I’m Going TEAL This Week!

teal ribbons

Later this week, as part of my Advocacy Leader duties with the Ovarian Cancer National Alliance, I’ll be attending the 16th Annual Ovarian Cancer National Conference.  I’ll be learning what’s new in the world of ovarian cancer, getting tips for living with cancer and connecting with my fellow survivors, as well as researchers, advocates and health professionals.  The cool thing about getting together with other survivors is that we ALL rock teal (our cancer color) the entire time.

I did a short training session back in March, so I only needed a few items.  This time, I’m going ALL the way out!  Here’s some of what I’m taking with me:

Due to an unfortunate incident with TSA, my favorite piece of luggage was ruined on my trip to Los Angeles a few weeks back.  That gave me an excuse to get an entire new set!  The set includes a 29″ upright, a 25″ upright, a 21″ carry-on and 2 smaller pieces.  I’ve used all of the pieces since then and it certainly takes a beating.  I absolutely love it.  The set retails for $300 and here are the purchase details.

teal luggage

Because I will also be doing round on Capitol Hill, I’ll need a good hat to walk from building to building in, but can pack away easily once inside.  This Pack a Hat combo is PERFECT for this.  I have it in the teal color (bottom left).  Its a great little sun hat with a 4 and a half inch brim, but has a 50+ UVF rating.  It retails for $25 and you can buy it here. cappelli straworld

I also have this cute v-neck top for one of the conference days.  It’s made of chiffon is from the ELLE™ Urban Traveler Collection at Kohls.  It retails for $36, but is on sale now!


For one of the night time activities, I’m going with a goddess themes and will be wearing this fun floral halo that lights up!  Of course, there will be pictures!  It retails for $19.99 and can be found at your local Ulta, Claire’s, and Icing stores.

mia flashion

And, I also have this cutesy little halter dress.  I’ll wear it for one of the other night time events.  It was supposed to be for my Mexico trip, then I realized that it was teal and decided to take it to the conference.  It’s spandex and polyester AND machine washable!  It has a cute halter neckline, a keyhole in the back and a built in bra.  It retails for $79.50 at Macy’s, but is on sale now for $59.99.

teal dress

This is only some of what I’m taking.  I’ve loaded up on teal!  And I’ve gotten some cool gifts recently, including a nice scarf from a really good friend and a bracelet from a neighbor.  Be sure to follow me on Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook to see all the pics!

Disclosure:  Some of the items listed were provided for the purpose of review.  All opinions are my own.

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I Am Not My Hair!


So, about 3 years ago, I made a impulse decision, less than an hour before I was to leave for the airport to go on a press trip.  I saw some scissors laying on my desk and just cut all of my hair.  I didn’t just cut it short, I cut it down to where I couldn’t grip it with my fingers.  I ended up stopping at a barber on my way to the airport.  After that, I never really looked back.  I prefer my hair to be cropped WAY close, but when I can’t find time to get to a barber, I end up with a couple inches.  Here’s what I looked like

hair do

So, when I was diagnosed with cancer and knew that I would lose my hair with chemotherapy, I didn’t care at all.  After all, I didn’t have enough to even miss–that’s what I thought.  Boy, was I wrong.  I  was so upset when my hair left.  Not because I was bald, but because of other things.  For instance, up to that point, if I didn’t choose to tell you that I had cancer, you wouldn’t know.  Now, all of a sudden, everyone knew without me saying a word.  I noticed all of the stares of pity and how everyone ran over to help me get a single can off a shelf in the grocery store or wanted to carry my bag to the car.  And another thing–I knew that I would lose my hair, but never thought about losing my lashes and eyebrows.  Losing those make you look old and sickly.  Nevermind that I was old and sickly–I didn’t want to LOOK like it.  I’ll never forget the day that I completely broke down on the phone with my dad, trying to explain why I was embarassed to go someplace because I didn’t have lashes and brows.  Bottom line:  I didn’t feel beautiful.

Never again.  Now, I define my OWN beauty standards.  With much self examination,  reflection, and support from friends and family, I finally pushed through and got past it.  So much so that when I walked the runway in a fashion show with other cancer survivors in March, I purposely asked my makeup artist to leave me browless, though he did give me lashes.  Here’s how I looked that day.


So, I’ve realized that while I’m not my hair, my hair truly is me.  Granted, it’s not a big part of me, but I’ve learned to embrace ALL of me.  I love me some me!

Disclosure:  I am a Niche Parent Network & Conference influencer and received compensation for this post. All opinions are my own.


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I’m Going to Camp!

summer camp

Yep, you heard right.  I’m heading up to the Tampa area soon for a retreat with other women who are cancer survivors.  It’s put on by a wonderful organization called Faces of Courage and they’ve promised a weekend full of things like kayaking, drumming, makeovers, archery, tie dying, etc.  Now for those of you who are sitting there and shaking your heads right now, this isn’t Camp Camp, but rather camp camp–there are air conditioned cabins, indoor plumbing, etc.  So, THERE!

Although I still have a good wait until camp time, I’m already excited.  I LOVE to meet new friends, especially those on the same journey as me.  And, I haven’t been to camp in about 40 years–since I went to Camp Round Meadow up in the Catoctin Mountains, near Camp David.  Since there are no mountains in Florida, I’m sure that this will be way different.  I should come back with all kinds of wacky pictures and cool stories.  Weird thing about me and cancer–it’s made me realize that EVERYTHING is either fun OR funny.  I expect no different from this experience.

Faces of Courage is a non-profit in the Tampa Bay area founded by Peggie Sherry.  In addition to offering free camps and events to women, they also offer the same to children with cancer and blood illnesses.  I can’t wait to go!

FOX 13 News

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Spike Talks Life at American Black Film Festival


For the first time in its 18 year history, the American Black Film Festival was held in New York City.  Who was there?  THIS GIRL!  I had an absolutely amazing time, and over the next few weeks, I’ll share everything!  One of the highlights was a session titled, “Spike Lee..Ya Dig!”  It was billed as a retrospective of Spike Lee‘s work and featured a live couch conversation, with Roland Martin, of TV One, as interviewer.  The session was sponsored by Cadillac and Ebony Magazine.

I actually enjoyed it.  Spike was quite candid about his successes, failures, and struggles.  Did you know that the film She’s Gotta Have It financed School Daze, which was written first?  And, that 25 years have passed since its release of Do the Right Thing?  Did you realize that he’s debuted a new Spike Lee Joint nearly every year since 1983?  Did you remember that he wrote, directed, produced, and starred in his first 3 feature films?  Spike also talked about his newest joint, Da Sweet Blood of Jesus–which debuted the night after this session.

PicMonkey Collage


Did I mention that there was a welcome by actor Charles Dutton, who starred in Spike Lee’s 1996 film Get on the Bus.  Oh, and there was a SUPER BAD intro–Savion Glover tapped!  Check the video:

Also, my friend Jocelyn K Allen, Director of Regional, Grassroots, and Diversity Communications for General Motors AND leader of their new Marketing/Communications Diversity Center of Excellence (her business card must be 3 feet wide) offered a few works of praise for Spike and his work.


Spike Lee.  Love him or hate him, you can’t deny that he’s been a pioneer in Black Film for decades.  When it was all over, his lovely life Tanya Lewis Lee, who I had just met a few days before, offered the audience a lot of insight into Spike and his character.  It was truly one of the ABFF highlights for me!



Disclosure:  I attended the 2014 American Black Film Festival as a media guest of Cadillac.  They covered my travel, lodging, meals and activities.  All opinions, however, are my own.

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I Almost Starred in a Disney Flick…Again!


While on a recent press junket for the new animated Disney movie, Planes: Fire & Rescue, I had a very unique experience.  How many folks can say that they’ve ever had the opportunity to have the great folks at Disney use my voice and record a clip of the movie?  See?  That’s what I mean.  Who gets to do that?  And to make it even more special–who gets to do it TWICE?!?!?!  That’s right, I did it a few years back at Disney Animation Studios for Winnie the Pooh and this time I did it at Disney Toon Studios for this new one!

This time, I was an old pro, or so I would have you think.  The truth is–I was wayyyy scared!  My knees were literally knocking!  After all, I was taking direction from Jason Henkel, the casting director for the film and Paul McGrath, a sound engineer.  The voice over thing may LOOK like it’s easy, but it really isn’t.  I kept flubbing my lines and my blogger friends were giggling!  I think I did about 4 takes before I got it right, and that was just for a few lines.  I can’t even imagine doing the whole film!


In the scene, they actually substituted my voice for the voice of the amazing Julie Bowen.  She plays Dipper, a flirtatious chick who is meeting the hero, Dusty, for the first time.  So, here it is:


And, so that you can see how much I’ve honed my voice over skills, here’s me as Piglet, from 2011.  I hold voice over talent in high regard.  I was only in the booth for a few minutes and I was seriously sweating bullets!

Don’t forget to see Planes: Fire & Rescue when it opens on July 18th!

Disclosure:  I was a guest of Disney Film Studios for this trip to Los Angeles.  They provided my travel, lodging, meals, and activities.  All opinions, however, are my own!

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Go With the FLO at Sagamore

Pool-Shot-David-Stoltz-Scul LOW RES

In this case, FLO means “For Locals Only.”  South Beach’s Sagamore, The Art Hotel is inviting Florida residents to staycation and just go with the FLO, offering backyard visitors a first class stay that’s full of added perks.

Upon arrival, those who book the FLO package will present their Florida I.D. in exchange for their key to savings, literally. Once checked-in, guests will be provided with a FLO-branded key card that will serve as their exclusive access pass to experience all that the Sagamore has to offer.  How FLO can we go? The key card will supply FLO members with an exclusive “in” to receive the following discounts and incentives:

  • 15% off room rate
  • 20% off spa and beauty treatments at Muse Beauty Suite
  • 20% off dinner at the hotel
  • 20% off overnight valet parking
  • 20% off kayaking provided by Boucher Brothers
  • Complimentary beach chairs and umbrella
  • Free Wifi

Front Hotel Day

Starting from $185++ per night and available through September 30, 2014,  Sagamore, the Art Hotel  is the key to saving this summer for Floridians who want to just sit back, relax and go with the FLO!

T0 reserve the FLO package, visit www.sagamorehotel.com or call 877.242.6673. The offer—which cannot be combined with any other offers or promotions—is applicable to new bookings only, based upon availability and subject to blackout dates. The offer is based on a two-night minimum. Other restrictions may apply.

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