Shane’s Self Defense Tips for Staying Safe This Holiday. Or Yes, I Married A Ninja.

So, for those of you who haven’t had the pleasure of meeting my hubby – he is quite an interesting fella.  And I say that with lots of love.

 In fact his background is so diverse, it is pretty hard to believe.  But hey, I live with the dude.  Let me tell you people, it is all true.

Yes, that is my husband. Don't ask.

 So his reputation in martial arts and weapon training caught the interest of the producer at Fox.  He was asked to come on my Marnie’s Mommy Moment segment on Fox23 to talk about self-defense.

 What qualifies my hubby to teach you how to defend yourself from a mugger in a parking lot?  (or a zombie apocalypse, terrorist attack or nuclear holocaust, but we’ll save those for another day).

Our boys in training...

 Here is just a little bit of his background. 

 Shane was nationally ranked in Tae Kwon Do by the time he was 7.  He then went on to study Muay Thai, Amis and Escrima internationally (don’t ask me what the heck those last two are…).  He has also competed internationally in tactical pistol, shotgun and long range rifle.

In other words – you want him around if you ever get attacked. 🙂 

(and for those of you all that know ME, and know my daily struggle to find my car, find my keys, and my attempt just to make it through a day without some major catastrophe – you can imagine how crazy I drive my husband.  In fact, he tells me on a daily basis that all his combat training was to prepare him for being married to me.).

But I digress…

So without further ado – here are Shane’s tips for keeping yourself safe.

Self Defense 101

By Shane Fernandez

  1.  Long range:  (Awareness)
    1. Be aware of your surroundings.  Before you leave a store, make sure you know where you parked your car, you have your cell phone and keys.  Park in a well lit area and look for security guards.
  2. Mid range:  (Avoidance)
    1. As you walk to your car, look at the reflections in car windows as you walk by to see if anyone is following you.  Have your phone ready to dial 911, and have your keys in your hands so you can use as a weapon if need be. 
  3. Close range:  (Application)
    1. This is assuming you are getting ready to be or being attacked.  Scream, call 911, use your elbow or your knee as they are the hardest part of your body.  Don’t use your fist.  Aim for soft tissue areas such as the throat, nose or eyes. 

Or better yet – you can check out his tv segment here. 🙂

Stay Safe and Stay Aware!  🙂  That’s coming from Shane.  We all know I have issues with that….



The Rice Crispie Treat Massacre (And Fresh Produce Giveaway from Harvest Crate!)

Seriously people, it’s Rice Crispie Treats.  In fact – here is the freaking photo of the cute little turkeys that were supposed to be so dang simple to make.

So this is what they are SUPPOSED to look like.

This year for Thanksgiving, my family( knowing me well), assigned me to bring dessert for the kids.  Forget the gravy, stuffing or mashed potatoes, they know I would crumble under the pressure (or send them to the ER with food poisoning). 

So I saw this darling lil picture in Better Homes and Gardens of rice crispie treat turkeys.  I mean really.  Look at the photo?  Simple to make, smiling happy people and cute little turkeys. 

I mean COME ON! Everyone is happy, there are no rice crispies stuck to the ceiling or kids covered in butter...false advertising here people....


I just don’t get it – why a simple thing of melting marshmallows and butter and rolling it into balls can become such a complete fiasco for me.  My husband doesn’t get it either.  In fact, it is a constant source of amazement for him. 

After about 10 minutes of “holiday fun”, the boys were done.  Especially Nicholas, who had more rice crispies on his body than on his poor turkey.

Yep. This was fun to clean up.

  And Tristan’s turkey looked like it had been massacred.

rice crispy treats

Hmm. So they didn't quite turn out the way I envisioned...

I’ve said this before, but Thank God for my Sis-In-Law Audra.  She saved the day (and the remaining ooey gooey mixture ) and figured out how to make them resemble turkeys.  (If she wasn’t so darned sweet, I’d have to hate her).

However – it wasn’t a TOTAL loss.  Because thanks to my good friend Stacey Puckett (owner of Harvest Crate) gave me a HUGE (I”m talking suitcase here) crate of fresh produce to take to my family for Thanksgiving.  So that beyond made up for the rice crispie disaster. 

fresh produce gifts

Now THIS is good stuff. And impossible to screw up.

Harvest Crate is awesome.  If you are needing produce for the holidays, a gift for a family or office – this is a great option.  Everything is fresh from the farm and packaged for you – just order online and they will take care of the rest.  Even deliver it to your doorstep (FREE delivery in the Tulsa area)!  Prices start at $33.


SIDEBAR:  Moms!  If you are looking for a new fundraiser for your school – here you go!  Harvest Crate does fundraisers!  And who wouldn’t want to buy some fresh fruit instead of wrapping paper, candles and knick-knacks that you will never use?  Just visit the website or email my friend Stacy for more details.

And bonus for all of you that are still reading…:)  I am giving away a Harvest Crate on my blog!  Just leave a comment by Wed. Dec. 7 and we’ll pick a winner.  And ship it to you just in time for the holidays!

(I’ll even throw in some of my rice crispie turkeys!)  Just kidding.

Holiday Activities for the Kids. No Cabin Fever Here.

So between now and the end of the year – the kids are out of school for the better part of THREE WEEKS.  Wow.  That could make even Mother Teresa go a little nuts.

 However, there are so many options of activities to do with the lil’ darlins (and even a camp where you can drop them off!).  And if you have family in town – (or worse – IN LAWS…just kidding – I know I love mine), never fear – this list is family friendly and sure to entertain even Aunt Edna. 

And as always – you can catch Baby J and me on Fox23Daybreak on Monday mornings

 Free Activities:

  Red Bud Valley – for you lovers of the great outdoors – this is a hidden treasure in the Tulsa area.  Red Bud Valley is a nature preserve east of Tulsa that has kid-friendly hiking trails, caves to explore and much more.  Open daily. And it’s free!  Let those kids burn off all that sugar…

holiday activities for families

The fam at Red Bud Valley. Tristan looks like he is about to have a seizure. But he's having fun. Promise.0

  Turkey Mountain is another outdoor treasure for Tulsans.  This urban wilderness area has several trails from half a mile to a four mile loop that overlooks the Arkansas River.  It is especially pretty this time of year.  Trust me – I know. Just don’t ask me to be your guide.  (you can read why here…)

 Christmas Lights Extravaganza at Rhema Bible Church – This amazing city of lights is a favorite of ours – and it is one of the biggest light displays in the country! You can either drive through or park and walk through the dazzling displays throughout Rhema’s campus.  It’s free – but donations are accepted. November 23 – January 1, 2012. 

Holiday actvities for kids

My little elves at Rhema...

  Lights on the Hill at Chandler Park – Another free light display – and it’s a drive through (yay to those of us with wayward toddlers!).  West of the River, Chandler Park winds up a hill filled with light displays.  They’ve made a lot of improvements over the years – it is definitely worth the trip.  Again, it is free to the public, but they accept donations.  November 25-December 25 (Friday, Saturday and Sundays only). 

   Deco District Holiday Pop Up Shops (downtown) – I think I am the most excited about this new addition to the holidays!  Opening the Monday after Thanksgiving – over 10 retailers will open up “Pop Up” shops in downtown Tulsa on Boston Avenue.  Images of old fashioned Christmas window shopping, carolers, hot chocolate run through my head –  this is how Christmas Shopping should be! Avoid the mall and head downtown.  Grand opening is Nov. 30 with Santa, the lighting of a  200 foot light tunnel over Boston Avenue, food, drink carolers, and of course – shopping!  Nov. 30- Dec. 30.  Shops open daily except Sundays and open late Wednesday evenings. 

One of the retailers setting up her window display...YAY!!

 Other Activities:

Arvest Winterfest presented with the Lobeck Taylor Family Foundation returns to Downtown Tulsa from November 25, 2011-January 2, 2012. The month-long celebration will include outdoor ice skating, photographs with “Segway Santa,” a towering Christmas Tree, horse and carriage rides, delicious concessions, and free holiday entertainment on the ONEOK Stage. New enhancements for 2011 include the expansion of the holiday market, a new climate-controlled seating and hospitality tent, and additional charity skating promotions.  *Tip.  Don’t try and take three small children to skate when you are pregnant.  Not a good idea

 Woolaroc Wonderland of Lights – A wonderful holiday tradition returns again this year at Woolaroc Museum & Wildlife Preserve with their Wonderland of Lights spectacular.   The grounds and buildings of Woolaroc will be covered with over 650,000 lights as the historic ranch transforms itself into a magical winter wonderland!   The lights will be turned on Friday, November 25th and will be on every Friday, Saturday and Sunday through December 24th.   Admission to Wonderland of Lights is $4 for adults and $1 for children 11 and under. The hours for Wonderland of Lights is 5-9 pm.

Woolaroc Wonderland of Lights

Just a short little drive from Tulsa - I love this place!

 Shopping for Angels – What a better way to spend time with family than by helping those less fortunate.  Our family adopts a family every year.  We let each child shop for their “angel”.  They love to pick out the gifts and help wrap them.  It is a great way to teach your children about giving back.  And there are so many programs that can use help.  Salvation Army angel tree, Youth Services of Tulsa, Family and Children Services just to name a few. 


 Loughridge Winter Camp – This place is amazing in the summer – so I can only imagine what it is like in winter!  For those parents who have to work during the two week break (or just need a break from the kiddos)– no worries – Camp Loughridge can keep them entertained!  Dec. 19th -23rd and only $50 a day!  Seriously – that is cheaper than a baby-sitter and they will have so much more fun (and you can do one day at a time, or the entire week.).  Activities include snow forts, snowfamily building, archery, arts & crafts, canoeing, challenge and ropes events, chapel, court sports and games, dance, and nature hikes. Just like summer camp, your fee covers a hot lunch and regular snacks.

So there you have it.  That’s enough stuff to keep the kids from driving you crazy.  Well, maybe not…but it will help.  Happy Holidays!

Better in Theory. Or How Turkey Mountain Kicked My Butt.

I am honestly almost embarrassed to write this (obviously not TOO embarrassed)…however, I am writing this from a supine position because I can’t sit up.

No, it wasn’t Mount Rainier, the Grand Tetons or any other mountain I’ve climbed that put me in this pain.  It was Turkey Mountain.  In Tulsa Oklahoma.  Elevation 900 ft. (or something ridiculous like that).

Pretty intimidating - huh?

So my friend Shelley and I (actually, it was HER idea), decided to take a beautiful fall hike through TUrkey Mountain a couple of days ago.  Usually our friend Missy comes along on our walks too – but she had the foresight to “have an appointment” and not be able to meet us.  Missy’s smart like that. 

So it’s a four mile loop around Turkey Mountain (which for you non Tulsan’s – Turkey Mountain is an urban wilderness area just west of the river).  Piece of cake.  We’ve got this.

Yeah.  Famous last words. 

I was forgetting a few things.  1.  Baby J for starters (who is now a very heavy 25 pound toddler) that I had to strap to my back. 

2.  I am now over 40 and have pushed out a baby since my last mountain trek.

3.  STrolling around the midtown neighborhoods pushing a stroller is not the same as climbing rocks and trying to balance with a baby on your back.

4.  It might be a good idea to bring some water and something to eat.  Even if it is only 4 miles.

My husband will be so ashamed of me (I haven’t told him the deets).  I broke every rule my  survivor-man, ninja, martial arts, weapon loving husband taught me.  Like tell someone where you are going.  (Come ON, it’s only Turkey Mountain – I can see downtown from the top).  Or perhaps carry a compass.  And maybe bring some water?

Oh no.  Because we are tough women.  We don’t need anything to eat or drink.  Nor does Baby J. 

So, even though the trails are well-marked (thank you River Parks!) we still managed to get lost.  Shelley is every bit as directionally challenged as I am.  Needless to say, she won’t be my pick on a survivor outing (I love you Shelley, you have other strengths…). 

About twenty minutes into the killer trek up the very steep mountain – I was starting to get light-headed.  And Baby J was getting VERY heavy.  Seriously?  Did I really not bring snacks?  We scoured through the backpack and found a Lord knows how old granola bar.  That was pretty stale.  And I had to share half of it with Baby J.

wilderness adventure

Where is Survivor Man Shane when you need him? He's carrying Baby J from now on.

So with the newfound energy of half a stale granola bar – we trekked on to conquer the mountain.  Survivor Man has nothing on us. 

About an hour and a half later – everything is starting to look the same.  Was this the yellow trail?  Or did we accidentally wander to the blue trail?  Baby J is starting to not have such a good time.  Shelley offered to carry her for a bit.  I gladly gave my skinny 90 pound friend my backpack with a baby attached and watched her wobble over the rocks.  If my back hadn’t been hurting so much – I would have felt pretty guilty.

We heard a helicopter overhead.  Were they searching for us?  Should we do a smoke signal?  And if it couldn’t get any worse – Baby J has had enough.  And let’s us all know it.

Two and a half hours later (yes, pathetic I know), we stumbled upon our car.  I was about to eat my arm I was so hungry.  Good thing there was a Chick-fil-a within a mile of our wilderness adventure…

So as my friend Shelley said as we hoisted our weary bodies into the car – “Some things are better in theory…”

Really?  This seems to be a running theme…along with hindsight.

Let’s Get Physical…

Hmmm.  That could have a few different connotations. 

HOWEVER, I mean it in the sweaty, heart rate raising, wearing cute workout clothes kind of way. (I guess you could take that a few different ways too – get your mind out of the gutter people). 

Let's get physical, work out, sky fitness, gym memberships giveaways

I heart Olivia...

So, I have decided to be proactive (don’t fall out of your chair, Shane) and start a workout regime BEFORE the holidays instead of waiting until January.  Maybe I’ll ward off the inevitable weight gain.  Aren’t ya’ll impressed?  I know I am. 

So – since it is tough for me to self-motivate, I decided to join a gym.  Not just any gym, but the creme de la creme of all gyms in the Tulsa area – Sky Fitness (located at 101st and Sheridan).  Holy Spandex Batman, this place is pretty impressive.

The Front Desk at Sky and one of the super nice people that work here!

AND – for all you Tulsa area peeps that read my blog – you are gonna get a chance to win a six month membership to this amazing place (BONUS – it also includes child care!).  Just comment on my blog before next Wednesday (Nov. 16) and my handy – dandy lil helper Nicholas will draw a winner. 

So, I’ve been going for a couple of weeks now and am starting to get in a groove.  They have got about every kind of class known to mankind.  And about every piece of workout equipment to boot.  Oh, and when you finish with your workout?  They’ve got saunas, steam rooms and a full service spa.  Seriously people, no need to come out with gym hair – shower, cut, style and walk out the door looking like a million bucks.  Oh – and they also have a cafe.  Seriously, you could live in this place.  Got kids?  Not a problem.  For ONLY $15 a month you can drop off your brood anytime.  Josie LOVES the kids area.  She pretty much just walks in herself and doesn’t look back. 

This is the circuit training area. Twenty-five minutes for a full body workout. And I'm not lying - it's a WORKOUT. Trust.

And – if it couldn’t just get any better – they are getting ready to open up a location in MIDTOWN (41st and Yale).  So, no matter what part of Tulsa County I am schlepping kids – I have a place to work out.  I no longer have any excuses.

work out gym getting into shap

Can't Wait!

In fact – Sky Fitness is going to offer FREE (that’s right – I said FREE) classes on November 12th across from the new midtown location.  So pick out some cute new work out clothes and join us!  (or you can just come in what you woke up in too – that works for me…).

ALl you have to do is show up at 41st and Yale (The Schusterman Center Lawn) at 9:30 a.m. on November 12.  You can try out several different classes including Body Pump, Rhythm Ride, PowerPOP Pilates, Yoga and TRX Demos.  Plus they will have activities for the little ones too.  Sky will be giving away free memberships and will have lots of other goodies as well. 

Yoga on the Lawn. And it is FREE. Just doesn't get any better.

So join me on the fitness bandwagon!  This place truly is amazing.  And for everything you get – the price is great!  $59 a month for single and $89 for dual.  Prices and class information are listed here!

TRX Workout at Sky Fitness

TRX. This is Navy Seal stuff.

(FYI – The PowerPOP Pilates and PI-Yo classes are amazing.  Pi-Yo is a combo of Pilates and yoga.  Since I have done both for years – I thought – NO SWEAT, PIECE OF CAKE.  Ummm – yeah.  Two weeks later and my butt is STILL sore.  This ain’t your mama’s yoga class).

Yeah - I'll be rocking Pi-Yo in no time. Just as soon as I can feel my butt again.

And don’t forget!  Comment on my blog and you could win a six month membership to SkyFitness!

See ya on Saturday.  I’ll be the one still in the clothes I slept in…

Want to be scared this Halloween? Nine Kids. Live TV. Enough Said.

I know.  What part of that sounds like a good idea? 

Kids Halloween Costumes

Mayhem in the Green Room.

One of those delusional mommy moments I often have.

Carey is a great stage mom! 🙂

So Fox23’s brand new show – Great Day Green Country asked me to do a segment on last minute costume ideas for kids.  Sure thing… let me just whip up bunch of toddlers and pre-schoolers, dress them up in costume, ask them to behave and be quiet for 30 minutes and smile for the camera?  Ha – I can do that in my sleep. (insert sarcasm here).

Trick or treat, costume ideas

Trying to line up before airtime. It's as easy as herding cats.

Thanks to all my brave mom friends and my darling models….John Martin Willmann, Katie Baker, Allie and Colin Ihloff, Ryan Glasgow, Max and Mallory Gipson, Landen Tetley and of course, my Baby J. 

Baby J disguised as an angel...

Well people – here you go.  Click here and Enjoy.

The Gipson cutiesHappy Halloween!Cousins...the Angel and the Ninja.

And who the H-E-double hockey sticks is THAT in the mirror? (enter to win a makeover from Ihloff Salon and Day Spa!)

Okay peeps! All you tired, overworked and stressed out mamas…now is your chance for a makeover by the pros at Ihloff Salon and Day Spas.  Let me introduce you to a dear friend and fellow lunatic working mom…the fabulous Jillian Ilhoff – working mom of two with one on the way.  God Bless You.  Keep reading to find out how you can win a makeover!

Who is this in the mirror?  By Jillian Ihloff

Do you ever surprise even yourself? Are you ever afraid of what you are capable of? Let me

I have two children, a 3YO daugther  and a  1YO son. After the first child I started wearing my normal clothes within a few
weeks of having her. Let me clarify what I mean by “normal”. Normal to me is
nothing that constitutes worn holes, discoloration or all around evokes the “husband
don’t even look at me right now vibe”, like my beloved twelve year old grey
sweat pants.

mommy makeover

Marnie and Me in our most favorite and undeniably ugly baby sweats.

Then, with my second child it took me a few months to start
wearing normal clothes again. I just recently found out that we are (wait for
it-now gasp) expecting number three. Three kids under the age of four! Yes,
completely terrified out of my very nicely colored haired mind. And guess what?
Those non-normal clothes I was telling you about YOU guessed it. Those puppies
are already out and being used with pride. I may never actually put them up again.
I have a feeling that number three will take five years before I recover and
get back into my normal clothes again. Maybe longer if my husband doesn’t burn
them first.

On a more serious note, I have the privilege of working with some really brilliant,
artistic people at Ihloff Salon and Day Spa. Our biggest annual event is the
Ihloff Creative Team Fall Show which takes place on November 10th at
the Tulsa Convention Center and benefits the Arts and Humanities Council of

At the beginning of this show we showcase some of the makeovers that we have done on deserving recipients. This
is where you all come into play! 

 We would love for you to write a nomination for that woman in your life who always
puts others first and deserves to be the center of attention for once! It needs
to be a minimum of three sentences so we can hear your story. The winning woman
will receive a makeover from Ihloff Salon and Day Spa, which includes a brow
shape, hair color and cut and makeup application.  (Yay! )

Our winner will then get to
strut their stuff on the runway in clothing provided by The Gap!

makeover ihloff fashion show

Newly made over mama's strutting their stuff on the runway.

importantly she will be the center of attention like she deserves. Now go write
up that nomination before I put my sweats on again!  Just post right here on my sweet friend’s blog – and we will pick a winner.

Nominations close WEDNESDAY, October 26 at 5 p.m.!  (you can self nominate too!)

Good Luck!