All Good Things Come To An End: Parenthood

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We know well that all good things must eventually come to an end.

Parenthood was brilliant. Honest and heartwarming, tragic and heartbreaking. I expected to cry my eyes out throughout the finale but surprisingly held back the tears until the very end. With 12 minutes left of the episode, I texted a friend and said “I’m not crying yet” but montages set in the future kill me. Every time.

Early last year, I was lucky enough to visit the Parenthood set. I sat behind Larry Trilling as he directed the season 5 finale episode. During a break, he turned around and asked what I liked about the show. I told him it was the storytelling. I often cringe when I think about that thirty second exchange. Should my answer have been more profound? Should I have specifically mentioned Kristina’s breast cancer story and how I could personally relate? Should I have talked about what the show has done for autism awareness? Should I have asked if Joel and Julia were ever going to reconcile?!

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But, it is the storytelling that I loved and will miss most about Parenthood.

And Adam.

Yes, I loved Adam. A couple of weeks ago, I felt an overwhelming sadness for how I won’t see Peter Krause each week anymore. And especially Peter and Dax Shepard together. Man, those two have some kind of perfect synergy that worked so well as Adam and Crosby. It got me thinking that I needed to seek out their past projects.

Thank you, Netflix. (Unfortunately, not all titles are available to stream on Netflix but many are available on DVD)

Peter Krause: Six Feet Under, Sports Night (with Josh Charles from The Good Wife!), Dirty Sexy Money, Lovelife, The Truman Show. And how could I forget…He played Jay, Andrea’s older boyfriend, in three episodes of Beverly Hills, 90210 in 1992.

Lauren Graham: Gilmore Girls, Because I Said So, Bad Santa, News Radio and the short-lived sitcom Townies from 1996.

Dax Shepard: The Judge, Veronica Mars (how cute is it that he’s in his wife movie?), This Is Where I Leave You, Robot Chicken, Without A Paddle, and who remembers him on MTV’s Punk’d? I do. He Punk’d Nick Lachey when he pretended to be Jessica Simpson’s white trash relative.

Monica Potter: Patch Adams, The Last House on the  Left, Along Came a Spider, The Very Thought of You and Head Over Heels.

Erika Christensen: Traffic, Lie To Me, Flightplan and The Tortured.

Sam Jaeger: American Sniper, Hart’s War, The Riverman, Take Me Home (director credit), and an uncredited role in Friday Night Lights. Shout out Jason Katims for always putting his FNL actors in other projects.

Max Burkholder: Tons of voice work for Family Guy, The Cleveland Show, My Friend’s Tigger and Pooh. He also played Senator McCallister’s son on ABC’s Brothers & Sisters.

Joy Bryant: Entourage, The Skeleton Key, and About Last Night.

Miles Heizer: Rudderless, Private Practice and Ghost Whisperer (Ghost Whisperer feels super binge-worthy!)

Mae Whitman: Oh how I love Mae Whitman! She’s been in tons of things but I remember her first in Hope Floats with Sandra Bullock. Other work includes a 1996 episode of Friends where she plays a Girl Scout, Arrested Development, and tons of voice work in American Dad and as the voice of Tinkerbell.

Bonnie Bedelia: I’ll never forget her as Shirley Muldowney in Heart Like A Wheel! Die Hard, Presumed Innocent (loved that movie!), HBO’s Big Love and Sordid Lives.

Craig T. Nelson: Poltergeist, Coach, Troop Beverly Hills, Soul Surfer, My Name is Earl, The Family Stone, The Incredibles, The Skulls, Turner & Hooch and Private Benjamin.

Of course, Parenthood is available to stream on Netflix.

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May you stay forever young, Parenthood.

That 90210 Podcast Idea

So I won’t delve too much into my love of podcasts in this post because Megan and I have an episode all about our favorite podcasts coming up over on our YouTube channel.

But, I have to talk about this one.

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Ready for a super bizarre string of events? Last week, Georgia Hardstark of podcast Slumber Party with Alie & Georgia shared a screen shot on Instagram of a podcast she had just starting listening to. In the comments of that post, someone mentioned that they just started listening to a podcast called Gilmore Guys. Yes, Gilmore Guys. Intrigued, I checked it out.

A podcast from two guys talking about a TV show that premiered fourteen years ago and has been off air for for half that time? Hmmm. I know it’s on in repeats and is now on Netflix. Hmmm, I thought some more.

I thought, in fact, what if I started a podcast about my all time favorite show? Would anyone listen? I mean, Beverly Hills, 90210 premiered in 1990. It’s been off air longer than it aired. Who wants to listen to a podcast about a teen soap that was on twenty-five years ago?

That idea came up again the following day when I was with Megan recording this Friends episode. I told her about Gilmore Guys and my idea about a 90210 podcast. We laughed, mostly because I think she knows I could probably talk a lot about the gang from West Bev.

Later in the day, I turned on a new episode of TBASH and within 1 minute and 56 seconds I learned that Lizzie and Kat had already beat me to the punch. That’s right, they are the hosts of The Blaze, a weekly podcast about Beverly Hills, 90210.

My big idea? Crushed.

Because, The Blaze? It’s a perfect name. The podcast? I’ve listened to two episodes. It’s OK. They discuss one episode of the show at a time and they’ve only released five so far. I’m excited to listen to more.

The only real problem I see is that since the demise of SoapNet, 90210 reruns are hard to come by. The former TVGN, now POP, airs a mid-day marathon block of episodes on Tuesdays. The entire series is also available on DVD and it’s available on Amazon Prime but only season one of ten (and I’ve read the order of episodes are mixed up).

So, do I put a pin in my big idea to start a podcast about a twenty-five year old television show? Or should I start one because the internet is plenty big for more than one discussion about the Brenda-Kelly-Dylan triangle? Or should Lizzie and Kat just have me guest on their podcast?

What do you guys think?

I think I might be feeling nostalgic for 1993.

Friends Trivia Throwdown

{This giveaway is now over} Thanks to Netflix for allowing me to be part of their #StreamTeam! They have provided me with a subscription and device to stream content. As always, all opinions are my own. 

It’s a Netflix #StreamTeam/Long Story Short crossover event!

When the entire Friends series debuted on Netflix earlier this month, I KNEW I had to get Megan involved somehow to help promote it. See, Megan is what one might call a super fan. I feel like her love for a Friends rerun is one of the first things I learned about her. She gladly accepted my challenge to quiz her on some of the toughest Friends trivia on the internet.

How do you think she did? Plus, don’t miss out on how to enter to win a 3-month Netflix subscription! All the details are below.

Win a 3-Month Netflix Subscription!

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Lovely Starbucks Lovers Taste Testing!

So many exciting things happening over at Long Story Short!

1. Right before the holidays, Megan and I, were contacted by a major brand who wants to work with us! We can’t dish on all the details just yet but let’s just say there will be a few more taste testing videos in our future.

2. We started an Instagram for our channel! Follow us at @MeganAndWendyLSS where we’ll post outtakes and clips the day our videos drop on YouTube. We’ll also have some behind the scenes stuff and photos and whatever else we can think of.

Before I leave you with our latest videos…we are currently soliciting your MOM DILEMMA! This is one of our most popular videos and we love giving our unqualified advice. You can comment below on this post, email meganandwendy@gmail.com, DM me on Twitter or Facebook. All dilemmas are kept anonymous.

Lovely Starbucks Lovers

That’s right…we’re taste testing the Starbucks Clover coffees. The what? Yes, some Starbucks stores have this fancy dancy machine where each cup of coffee is individually brewed. Woah boy…this is for some serious coffee drinkers.

Truth? We recorded this tasting TWICE. First was in Megan’s car after we bought the coffees. It looked straight up like those Sonic commercials which was hilarious. But there was no good place to put the camera which left us both with more chins than we would ever let you see.

Virgin Mules

For New Year’s Eve, Megan and I, mixed up a booze-free “mocktail” Moscow Mule. Full disclosure: we actually like the real thing but it was 11am and we both had school pick up right after we recorded this video. Maybe we need to record a legit happy hour?

IT’S NOT FAIR! and TOO MANY PRESENTS!

Viewer questions for December’s Mom Dilemma included how to handle siblings that are in constant competition and what to do when Grandma showers your kiddo with too many gifts. I noticed Megan edited the part where I subtly suggested the other Grandma should step up her gift game. Just sayin. (I’m joking!)

Holiday Style TAG video!

Scarves, scarves and scarves. And it’s official: I don’t have a neck for scarves.

We’d love for you to give our video a thumbs up, share with your friends, comment and definitely subscribe! We’re still trying to get to 100 subscribers and once that happens, it’s GIVEAWAY time!

Already Overwhelmed

If you’re anything like me, you were waiting until the 5th to start all those new year resolutions. It only made sense, right? Who wants to start a detox diet on a Thursday? And forget about organizing anything because Christmas still needed to be boxed up.

Well, here we are. Monday, January 5, 2015.

I spent all weekend feeling anxious and overwhelmed about the things I planned to start today. This includes, but it not limited to 1) a 21-day sugar detox 2) a 10K steps walking challenge and 3) a whole house de-clutter program.

I’m not worried about the tasks at hand but I’ve got it so totally stuck in my head that if I don’t do them perfectly from go then I fail.

Perfection. Perfection. Perfection. Argh!

I didn’t have a Paleo-friendly breakfast set for Monday morning so the detox for the day is blown. I didn’t set out my gym clothes so there goes my workout. De-cluttering? The stacks of papers and junk everywhere says “FAT CHANCE!”

I just can’t with this perfection thing anymore. So instead, I am going to focus on progress in 2015.

Join me?

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Following Suit with a 2014 Recap

I am going to follow Megan’s lead here and share a recap of 2014. Because, if I’m being honest, 2014 was tough. But, it’s all relative, right?

I did one of these posts in 2013, too.

And, this sort of post is a perfect one to get my fingers and brain back into blogging mode. I’m feeling sort of refreshed and motivated after my two-month hiatus. Truth? I contemplated not ever blogging again. But, I have missed parts of it and I think the two months off have given me some clarity on how this blog will evolve going forward.

Now on to the questions. And I’m certain this meme deserves credit to its originator but I don’t know who that is exactly, so I’ll credit Megan.

1. What did you do in 2014 that you’d never done before?
Sent my kid off to first grade, said goodbye to our dog, went to a live taping of Ellen, attempted a This is Bossy movement, visited the set of Parenthood, planned and hosted Orange County’s first Girls Lunch Out event, visited the Reagan Library, marveled at the Space Shuttle Endeavour, met Alie Ward and Georgia Hardstark and obsessed over the Serial podcast.

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2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
No. I have a hard time keeping day-to-day resolutions. This is something I really want to work on in 2015. Small, daily, attainable goals with a greater overall impact.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
No. Lots of friends expected to deliver in 2015 though!

4. Did anyone close to you die?
Not a human. But our dog. And she was pretty damn awesome.

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5. What countries did you visit?
None. Did we even get out of California this year? Oh yes! Hawaii.

6. What would you like to have in 2015 that you lacked in 2014?
More love, friendship, respect, patience, fun, health, fitness, and success.

7. What dates from 2014 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
Summer. It just wasn’t what I expected. There were a lot of lovely, fun days with friends and an awesome vacation with family. But also, a few disappointments and the loss of our family pet.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
I was lucky to get a great paying blogging gig this year, Megan and I launched our YouTube channel and we landed a major brand to work with, and another month of October breast cancer posts was put on the books. I’m happy about these things but I really want to share some personal achievements here next year.

9. What was your biggest failure?
A year of personal fitness training and not so much as five pounds lost.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
I hurt my back really bad this summer. See, summer?

11. What was the best thing you bought?
Two pairs of Gap jeans that I have lived in all fall and winter. And a new washer and dryer.

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?
This is random but my answer is Taylor Swift. Her Blank Space song and video is brilliantly tongue-in-cheek. She owns it. And that’s what I like about her.

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
I could make a list but I won’t. And I’m sure I’d see my own name on it.

14. Where did most of your money go?
Two years running: Target

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
Foo Fighters in 2015.

16. What song will always remind you of 2014?
“I’m so fancy…”

17. Compared to this time last year, are you: 
a) happier or sadder? 
b) thinner or fatter? 
c) richer or poorer?
a) same b) fatter c) same

18. What do you wish you’d done more of?
Read, exercise, and cook more meals at home.

19. What do you wish you’d done less of?
Obsess over things far beyond my control.

20. How will you be spending Christmas?
I never understand this question. Does it mean in 2015? I mean, I have NO idea. Or is it asking how DID we spend our Christmas in 2014? Well, I took last year’s advice and remembered that the holiday season is never as painful as I make it to be in my head.

21. What was your favorite TV program in 2014?
It’s a dead tie between The Good Wife and The Killing. I binged all seasons for both shows from start to finish on my iPad. Goodness gracious, great television.

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22. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?
No. And I think this is a ridiculous question.

23. What was the best book you read?
Jason Priestley’s memoir.

24. What was your greatest musical discovery?
Thanks to Foo Fighters’ HBO Sonic Highways documentary: Preservation Hall Jazz Band

25. What did you want for and get?
Another year of remaining cancer free and I got it. Fingers crossed for 2015.

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26. What did you want and not get?
Less laundry and less clutter.

27. What was your favorite film this year?
Gone Girl. Two thumbs up.

28. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
I turned 39. I have no idea what we did. Damn, getting old sucks.

29. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
Less acid refulx. The struggle is real.

30. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2014?
Anything that can be purchased with a survey code or coupons used as “cash.”

31. What kept you sane?
Lots of texting. And emojis.

32. Which Instagram did you fancy the most?
Another tie! @gwynethmademedoit and @jenhatzung – both post great, thought provoking, pretty content!

33. What political issue stirred you the most?
Gun control. Again.

34. Who do you miss?
Since I’m three months from my 40th birthday, I miss my 22 year old skin and body. I like my 40 year old brain though.

35. Who was the best new person you met?
There are some moms at school I met this year that I really like.

36. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2014.
Some things are not as important as they seem to be.

37. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.
“Darling I’m a nightmare dressed like a day dream.” Or maybe it should be “Darling I’m a day dream dressed like a nightmare.”

Happy new year friends. Here’s to health and happiness and TURNING FORTY in 2015!

Top 5 Crime Dramas and a Netflix Giveaway!

THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW OVER. Thanks to Netflix for allowing me to be part of their #StreamTeam! Without their generosity, this awesome giveaway wouldn’t be possible! As always, all opinions are my own.

Did you catch the final episode of Serial? If you have NO IDEA what I’m talking about, I command you to download the podcast app on your iPhone and search Serial Podcast. You’ll find 12 weeks of I-CAN’T-GET-ENOUGH storytelling about a man serving a life sentence for a murder he may or may not have committed. It’s true crime perfection — if you’re into that sort of thing.

If you did listen, and if you’re anything like me, you might be looking to fill that serialized crime drama need you’re having. Lucky for you, I have a list of my TOP five favorite crime mysteries that you can binge into until Serial returns in 2015. PLUS I have a GREAT Netflix giveaway that will get you streaming all year long!

Top 5 NETFLIX Crime Drama Series

1. The Killing

A friend recommended this series by saying it’s a “terrible title but a great show” and I agree. The series follows two Seattle detectives as they investigate the homicides. The series originally aired on AMC but was canceled after season two. AMC picked up the series again after a deal with Netflix and aired season three. Season four – the final season – aired exclusively on Netflix. I’m currently mid season three and it’s taken a very dark turn from seasons one and two. This is good stuff and I hate that it’s only a total of 44 episodes.

2. The Following

The Following stars Kevin Bacon as an ex-FBI agent who is trying to recapture a serial killer who has been released from prison and now has a cult of like minded lemmings out in the world doing equally horrible things. Seasons one and two are available on to stream on Netflix while season three is scheduled for March 2015 on FOX.

3. Damages

Damages is an Emmy Award winning series starring Glenn Close, Ted Danson and Rose Byrne. Damages originally aired on FX and then on DirectTV for five seasons. Admittedly, I only watched season one back in 2007 but it was phenomenal, especially the timeline of how the season unfolds. All 58 episodes are available and I’ll be diving in again after I finish The Killing.

4. Dexter

Eight seasons, nominated for 23 Emmy Awards, Michael C. Hall. I mean, do I need to say anymore?

5. Happy Valley

Happy Valley is a British drama that originally aired on BBC One earlier this year. The story is about Catherine – a police sergeant and mother – who is dealing with the suicide of her daughter. Convinced her daughter’s rapist was the reason for the suicide, she becomes obsessed with investigating him and learns he’s involved with kidnapping. This show gets lots of praise for being gritty but unfortunately we have to wait until 2015 for season two.

AND NOW FOR THE GIVEAWAY!

Netflix giveaway 2015

Want to win a ONE-YEAR SUBSCRIPTION to NETFLIX?

Tell me in the comments below what series you’ll be watching (it doesn’t have to be a crime drama series, it could be all 10 seasons of Friends or the all-new original All Hail King Julien). I’ll pick ONE winner randomly!

You can watch Netflix instantly from any internet connected device that offers the Netflix app (such as a phone or tablet, gaming console, etc. see devices here) or from your PC or Mac.

Open to U.S. only, one winner will be chosen. You are entering to win a gift card from Netflix to stream entertainment. Devices (as described above) are not part of this giveaway. Gift card will be mailed within one week of confirming winner. ENDS 12/24/14.

RECAP! Thanks for Subscribing!

Last weekend I was out early doing some holiday shopping. I scrolled through my phone and sipped on coffee as I waited for the stores to open at my local outdoor shopping center. As they rushed by, two tween girls excitedly told another early bird that they were there for some sort of meet and greet. Hmm…my interest was piqued so I followed them. Tween girls sure do walk fast. Thankfully a cute puppy dog caught their eye and I was able to catch up. We took a sharp left at the carousel and there back behind Forever 21 was the end of a very long line. The two girls I followed there blended in with every other tween girl. I stood there dumbfounded as I looked for someone my own age that I could approach. Finally, a mom! I asked what the line was for. She told me it was for Bethany Mota. I nodded and replied “the YouTube girl?”

Bethany Mota has 7.8 million YouTube subscribers and it appeared every tween from Orange County was there to meet her.

Megan and I? We’re killing it with 89 subscribers. Eighty-nine.

I texted Megan.

ME: “There is a line of at least 2K people waiting to see Bethany Mota.”
MEGAN: “Sonofab#&@h!”

GREAT NEWS though! Megan and I are hosting a fantastic giveaway once we hit 100 subscribers! Why should you subscribe? Because by subscribing you can find your favorite YouTube channels and videos quickly. Plus, it tells YouTube that someone likes us.

Click HERE to subscribe!

This is what you might have missed on Long Story Short!

Target Christmas Haul! Check out all the fun holiday stuff we got from Target

Taste Test! Chocolate Covered Lays Potato Chips. Yep, you read that right.

All About Wendy. Megan gets her revenge on me in this confessions video!

Winter beauty favorites! Makeup and skin care favorites for the season!

See’s Candies Taste Test! All the candies, all the winter candies.

Lots of new videos already recorded! We hope you’ll watch!
Blogging side note: I’m still in my blogging slumber and will be until the end of the year.

Fan Favorite Duos

It’s no secret that I love reality TV. I definitely have some favorites in unscripted television but the never-ending arguments, crumbling marriages, scheming and backstabbing can make one lose some serious faith in humanity. A lot of times I’m left craving a little camaraderie. Friendships like those between Laverne and Shirley or Lorelei and Rory. Or those classic buddy moments from Joey and Chandler or Zack and Screech. Great friendships make for great television, don’t you think?

I asked a group of friends for their favorite duos in cartoons, television and movies. We created a pretty extensive list from all genres — and let me tell you, there are some really great duos that you’ve probably forgotten about. It was hard to get to these great eight from Netflix but I am thrilled with these selections!

A fun bracket to determine fan favorite duos in cartoons, television and movies available to stream on Netflix. #StreamTeam

Tell me what you think? Help me finish out this bracket to determine the very best Netflix duo!

CARTOON: Bert & Ernie vs. Scooby and Shaggy

TELEVISION DUO: Scully and Mulder from X-Files vs. Schmidt and Nick from New Girl

MOVIE DUO (FEMALE): Cher and Dionne in Clueless vs. Sandra Bullock and Melissa McCarthy in The Heat

MOVIE DUO (MALE): Ben Stiller and Owen Wilson in Zoolander vs. Will Smith and Kevin James in Hitch

Thanks to Netflix for choosing me to be part of their #StreamTeam! Netflix has provided me with a subscription and device to stream content like all of the great titles above!

RECAP! Fall TV Favorites and Ipsy Reveal!

I think Megan and I broke a record last week. We recorded five videos and three of them were of the taste testing variety. Let me tell you, we’ve had our fill of See’s Candy. Those videos are coming down the pike but here’s what you missed if you aren’t a subscriber.

BTW, that’s a hint. We REALLY would love for you to subscribe.

Fall TV

Megan and I are TV junkies. We’re sharing our new favorites but be warned… most of them have already been canceled. We’re also dishing on our returning favorites including Parenthood, Scandal and Vanderpump Rules. I never laughed so hard as I did recording this episode.

November IPSY reveal

We both receive the monthly subscription bag from Ipsy. In this video, we share what we each received. Megan is a huge cheater and looks online to see what is expected, so she had a pretty good idea of what was in her bag. I was pleasantly surprised to see we had very different bags. I think I won this month…with the exception of the “preventative aging” lotion. Ipsy apparently knows I’m turning 40 next year.

I’m finally liking the foundation I’m using on video days. Except, the more I watch, the more I’m convinced I need a little Botox. #ThisIs39