MEET MARIBEL of @TenMiniTT Episode 5 @TheMaribelReyes

Posted on September 7th, 2014 by & filed under Discoveries, Everything Miz Meliz, Interviews

Today on Ten Minutes in Tinsel Town, I am happy to have Maribel Reyes, of as my special guest!

Maribel headshot I know Maribel from our So Cal Lady Bloggers group. I met her online a few years ago and we bonded because we have the same last name. We call each other “sistah” but we are completely unrelated. In fact, we have very little in common other than we are both married to men who have the same last name, we are both lifestyle bloggers, and we both have been inspired and our lives have been enriched by our relationship with our mothers. That part about our mothers helping us through difficult times in our lives, I just found out in my interview with Maribel on my show, Ten Minutes in Tinsel Town. I learned some other cool things about her, too! I was surprised to learn that Maribel worked in the export/trade business and that she had the same job as her husband. He is an expert in the Harmonized Tariff Code which is used for the classification of goods exported around the world. (8:50) I asked Maribel to tell me about her move to Central America, and how she and her family have adjusted over the past 14 months. Maribel, her husband, and their two small children live in San Jose, Costa Rica in the Central Valley. Google Map Maribel told me what it is like being an expat and meeting other expats from many different countries who are all working in Costa Rica (1o:30) I wanted to know about the things that are most important to Maribel and what she writes about on her blog, StrollerAdventures.

Maribel is most passionate about making the world a better place for her kids.

Maribel told me about how her mom influenced her and set an example for adjusting to life far away from home. She had an epiphany that she shared with Maribel when she saw the movie, Doc Hollywood, where she realized that it isn’t the place (that makes things good or bad,) it’s the person. We have to do what we can to make our home a happy place to live.

I am most passionate about accepting differences with others and learning to respect those differences. We are so caught up in our own little worlds that we tend to forget that we are not alone in the world and share our living space with other human beings this is key if we want to make this a better place for our kids to grow and live in. We should lead by example and embrace differences. It doesn’t mean we have to agree, but just to accept that we don’t all have to be the same. “To make the world a better place, we all have to accept that there are differences and learn to appreciate those differences.” ~Maribel Reyes

I asked Maribel about what she does for fun in Costa Rica. I found out that Maribel loves adventure!

Zip-lining in the Jungles of Costa Rica

Maribel going zip liningI have never thought that zip lining through jungle is something that I would want to do! No way, not me! But listening to Maribel describe her adventure and how much she and her children enjoyed it, I think I might have to add that to my bucket list.

What is Maribel’s Favorite Hollywood Hot Spot?

Sunday Brunch at Junior’s Deli

juniors_bakery_exterior_a_l Sadly, the Hollywood hot spot that Maribel so fondly remembers is closed. It was Junior’s Deli in Westwood, CA. They lost their lease and closed their doors in December 2013. Maribel shared a fun story of meeting Julio Iglesias and his band there once when she was a girl. Maribel’s family followed him when they left the restaurant, all the way to his hotel in Marina del Rey! Iglesias Fanatics! Find out more about Maribel in my interview with her on Ten Minutes in Tinsel Town. She tells me all about trying out Costa Rican recipes and her favorite restaurants.

Connect with Maribel Reyes

Maribel with gecko“I am just strolling along life, sharing what I see and do.” ~Maribel Reyes of


Maribel loves reggae music and Bob Marley

Maribel loves reggae music and Bob Marley

It’s Moms’ Night Out – What Could Go Wrong? @MNOMovie

Posted on September 2nd, 2014 by & filed under Everything Miz Meliz, Movie Reviews

Disclosure: I am happy to share this info about one of my favorite films on my blog today. I received two DVDs – one to keep and one to give away when I offered to write about the film.  Read my full disclosure about posts like this here. Moms' Night Out

I am a mom and I know what I am talking about!

The Moms’ Night Out movie is close to my heart for many reasons. I was at the Entertainment New Media Network conference when Sarah Drew, Kevin Downes, and Andrea Nasfell walked in the room. They were special guests there to talk to us about their film project.

Sarah Drew plays the main character, Ally – who is a blogger. She is also the mom of three young children. Sean Astin is her husband in the film who encourages her to “find her oxygen” and do something for herself. Kevin Downes, the producer, plays Sean’s best friend, Kevin, who is an “adult child” who loves to play video games. The film was written by Andrea Nasfell.

The panel discussion was about the movie, the film making process and the challenges that faith based filmmakers must face. We were shown a screening of the film. It was delightful! I loved it!

The next day, Sean Astin spent a few hours with us talking about the film, his career and life, his charity work, and his new endeavors. He was super sweet and I enjoyed meeting him and speaking with him.

When the film opened, I was one of the lucky bloggers who were selected to attend the red carpet event and film debut at the world famous Chinese Theater in Hollywood. I also got to attend the after party with the cast, crew and guests at Lucky Strike Bowling Alley in Hollywood. I had a blast and took lots of pictures. You can read all about my experiences and see my photos here. If you haven’t seen the movie, I highly reccomend it!

I have a Blu Ray/DVD to give away, so maybe you will be the lucky winner. But don’t wait – go buy one and support this great group of people who brought this wonderful film to life.

A Great Day For Moms!

If you’re a mom, today is your day. If you’re married to a mom, today is her day. If you have a mom, today is her day. And if you are friends with a mom, today is her day. What’s so special about today?

You can now pick up your copy of MOMS’ NIGHT OUT on Blu-ray or DVD!

Be sure to watch the video about the impact this heartfelt and wholesome family comedy will continue to have as it brings encouragement and laughter to moms (and families) everywhere! And starting today, you can buy MOMS’ NIGHT OUT for all of your favorite moms at your local Christian store or wherever you buy movies.

Watch Moms' Night Out Impact A<br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br data-recalc-dims= Great Day For Moms!" />

More Than the Movie When you purchase MOMS’ NIGHT OUT, you get a great story as well as a number of outstanding extra features. Wherever you buy the movie, bonus features include:

  • Commentary with directors Andrew and Jon Erwin, along with producer Kevin Downes
  • Deleted Scenes
  • Blooper Reel
  • The Heart of MOMS’ NIGHT OUT
  • Casting MOMS’ NIGHT OUT
  • The Art of Improv
  • The Art of Action

And if you buy the movie from a Christian retail store, you also have these bonus features:

  • Alex Kendrick’s On-Set Devotional
  • The Difference Between Moms and Dads
  • Inside Sarah Drew’s World
  • Andrea Logan White’s Testimony
  • Grief and Growing with Abbie Cobb

Buy<br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br data-recalc-dims= Moms' Night Out Today! " border="0" />

Watch the Trailer

You can win a Moms’ Night Out Blue Ray/DVD from Miz Meliz!

Just enter a comment and tell me who is your favorite actor or character in the film and why.

I will choose a winner, randomly, and contact you by email.

Ten Minutes in Tinsel Town @DanRMorris @TenMiniTT

Posted on August 28th, 2014 by & filed under Discoveries, Everything Miz Meliz, Interviews


Ten Minutes in Tinsel Town


Miz Meliz

and Special Guest,

Dan Morris of Blogging Concentrated and Amplify Podcast

dan cole polar bear plung

I first met Dan at the Entertainment New Media Network conference in Orange County last year. Unfortunately, I missed the session when he spoke to the group. But, I did have the pleasure of meeting him and his business partner, Rachel Martin, at their Blogging Concentrated booth at the event’s expo. Fascinated with their work and taken by their personable characteristics, I was flattered and excited when Dan showed interest in being a guest on Ten Minutes in Tinsel Town.

Blogging Concentrated, concentrated.

If Blogging Concentrated is 20 hours of instruction in 7 hours – then this interview with Dan was like 7 hours of Blogging Concentrated in 40 minutes! Check out the video for tips and golden advice from the leader in blogger training and business development.


Dan and Rachel enjoy helping people succeed. They are training the super cheerleaders. Check out some of their success stories. These bloggers have taken their blogs from 100′s of followers, to 100′s of thousands! After taking the Blogging Concentrated Course and getting personalized help  from the dynamic duo – they have taken their blogs to new heights:

Young House Love

Plus Size Birth

Beach Ready Now

Real Mom Talk 

Video Riser is Dan and Rachel’s new video series that will help you make amazing videos for your business and blog, without spending loads of cash. Using car lights and props from around the house…they set an example by recording their first introductory video in the driveway of Dan’s home.

Video Riser


What is the fallacy of making money online?

“You can be making money but if you can’t make money repeatable, you aren’t making money, you are riding a wave. And that wave always goes down.” ~Dan R. Morris

Dan discusses having a business plan, working with a team, having the back end supported, and preparing for the worst by saving money in case something goes wrong. He advises on making decisions based on what your core passions are, what makes you happy, and what works for your readers.

Dan and Rachel are teaching bloggers how to build a business that grows. This is about making money and growing your business wisely, working to make a lasting position for yourself.


 What Does Dan R. Morris Do For FUN?

“I happen to enjoy painting. Right now I’m painting the face that’s on the sail of Kon Tiki.” 

It turns out that Dan enjoys painting more colorful and whimsical pictures that he hangs in his home for his children to enjoy. He likes color and lively pictures and collects them on Pinterest. Dan values his family photos and makes an annual photo album. He works on digitizing the photos and preserving the family memories he makes with his wife and children.

For someone who works so hard, helping others, travelling and staying on top of all the latest trends in social media, marketing, business, and technology – Dan makes the effort to relax, have fun and enjoy his family.

Connect with Dan:

What is Your Favorite Hollywood Hot Spot?

“I haven’t spent much time in Hollywood. But I do have a favorite hot spot. The bar on the outside of the wall of the castle in Dubrovnik.” 

Dan also suggests Nashville as the hottest place for celebrities to go and not be bothered by paparazzi and stargazing fans. So, there you go.

See ya’all in Nashville!


Thank you, Dan R. Morris…

If you want to increase your readership and take your blog to the next level, consider signing up for a session with BloggingConcentrated.

What are you willing to do to improve your business?

How can you incorporate good old fashioned F-U-N into your routine?

How do you color your life and create joyful surroundings for you and your family?

Watch this episode of Ten Minutes in Tinsel Town and learn more about Dan and his mission…

Just Best Friends: Me & EvB

Posted on August 22nd, 2014 by & filed under Everything Miz Meliz

Erich Obit

There are many thoughts and stories swimming in my head as I prepare to share my reflections at the memorial for my friend, Erich, tomorrow. 

It amazes me how much of my life was influenced and shaped in my high school days. I must admit having lost touch with Erich in recent years and being so focused on my own family, I wondered if it was the same for him. I suppose it is the same for everyone.

“EvB – Cottage cheese, Sargent Bob, JBF’s, I love you Jerk!” That is what I wrote in my Senior Notes in the Class of ’86 yearbook. References to things that only he would understand. In his notes, he wrote, “ML – Just best frenz.” That meant a lot to me.

The more I think about him, the more I miss him, I miss his friendship and I am sad that I will never get to catch up with him. I hope being with our old friends, Erich’s parents, Carole and Florenzo, his sister, Ingrid, and his wife, Stacey, will give me that chance to learn about Erich, the man. Because he will always be my high school best friend and in my mind he remains that punk kid with spiked hair and music blaring, driving in his little sports car….


I asked Carole about this in an email when she asked me to give my reflections at his memorial service. Her reply painted a soft picture in my mind of how Erich was later in his life:

“He had his own way of looking at the world and when people got to really know him they really loved his ways and respected his honest views.  He always did his “best” and worked hard.  His integrity was always so important to him.  He was proud of his ancestry.  He had a good heart and listened to others and tried to help them.  He still loved his music and drove a sports car. Stacey and Erich learned to be gourmet cooks.  And they read books and watched unusual movies.  They truly loved each other.” ~Carole von Berger

It doesn’t surprise me at all that Erich became a gourmet cook. He always enjoyed the finer things. At a very young age, he knew about fine restaurants and resort travel destinations. He was so worldly to me. He loved his Italian heritage and always talked about his uncle who could get him amazing Italian leather shoes. He had a family ring with the family crest on it. He was very proud of that ring. He was very proud of his lineage. He loved the song, How Soon is Now, by the Smiths, which speaks of being the son, and the heir. Of course, when we listened to it I always thought it was about the sun and air and that’s why I liked it. I was so naive!


If I take a deep breath and close my eyes, I can smell the scent of his Sebastian cologne.

Thinking back, I remember all the fun times we had. We weren’t rebels, we were the “good” kids, but we were spoiled and we thought we could do whatever we wanted. I remember…smoking cloves cigarettes, drinking wine coolers, driving fast, listening to loud music.

We thought we were so grown up and acted like we knew everything. We were only 16-17 years old when we were best friends. It was junior year, mainly. We hung out together a lot. We lived near each other. We drove to school together for meetings in Campus Ministry or drama rehearsals. We had a lot of classes together. We were both on the L.I.F.E. team. I can’t remember when I first met Erich. I just always knew him. I picture him wearing his “Frankie Say Relax” t-shirt.

EVB 86

He gave the best hugs.

He would stretch out his arms and say, “Big hugs!” Beckoning me (and anyone he wanted to cheer up) over to him for a hug. He also had great shoulders, on which I cried many times. He always listened to me and gave his perspective when I had “boy trouble.” He knew everything about me. He gave great advice! Even after I was married, I remember having a conversation with him on the phone once and I was telling him about the antics of our two cats. He explained that we were practicing to care for our future children. I had not looked at it quite that way, and I don’t know how my kids will feel about that – but it was true. We were discovering our ability to care for our children and experiencing our capacity for love. He was wise about things that he never experienced himself. He understood people. He understood me.

We were very affectionate, all of us were. We hugged, kissed and held hands. We walked with arms around each other. Some of this was because we became so close, like family, on retreats like T.E.C., Kairos, and L.I.F.E. We were peer ministers and we were also in Drama class and in productions together. We spent so much time together, at school and away from school. Now and then people thought Erich and I were dating. We went to all the parties together. We drove everywhere together. Yet, we never did date. We never even went to a dance together. Erich didn’t mind that his parents thought we were dating. If we were going to the movies, a concert or Disneyland – they always gave him money to pay for me as well. Which he pocketed and used to buy music, clothes and shoes. But I didn’t mind. Sometimes he did “rat” things like that, and I called him a jerk now and then, but he was my best friend. I always defended him.

Evb and MB

To make sure that our friends knew that we weren’t dating each other, Erich coined a special term for us. He loved words and acronyms. This was long before texting or hashtags, but he had his own words for lots of things. We were JBFs. Just best friends. It was way better than telling people we were “just friends.” He valued our special relationship as much as I did. This was always evident to me.

We had a lot of friends. We were both very social. We had a core group of friends that we called “The Elitists.” We were snobs from snobinade after all, but we felt like no one else understood us. Boy were we dumb!

EvB car wash

We loved going to clubs and dancing.

We also went to the movies, to see the Rocky Horror Picture Show, to parties, to the beach, to the drive-in, Tommy’s, Hollywood, Disneyland, the Rose Parade, and concerts…

Erich loved his music! We went to Moby Disc all the time to buy records. He loved to go to Tower Records and get the most obscure, hard to get versions and extended remixes of the artists that he liked. He was the “go to person” for 80′s music throughout our lives, and Lito would call him now and then to talk about some of their favorites. Erich always knew everything about the artists.

Soft Cell, The Pet Shop Boys, Bauhaus, Bow Wow Wow, The Cult, Gene Loves Jezebel, Flesh For Lulu, The Clash, The Cramps, Tears for Fears, Echo and the Bunnymen, The Cure, Violent Femmes, Soiuxsie and the Banshees, X, XTC, Prince, New Order, PIL, Psychedelic Furs, The Smiths, Morissey, Suicidal Tendencies, Tones on Tail, …so many bands, so many concerts, so many records. Music filled his life.

Erich loved L.A. He loved to shop on Melrose. We loved going to “the city” and we knew our way around very well. Erich made friends very easily and he introduced his friends to our group over the years. We became very close and some of my best friends once dated him or were also best friends of his. I know this sounds strange, but if you think of us as family or “small town” it isn’t that unusual.

Erich loved his car. I loved my car, too. We both had the same exact car and we got them around the same time. The ever so popular, Nissan Pulsar NX. Mine was white. His was red. This was very amusing to us. We liked to follow each other (or race each other) to school and get parking spaces next to one another. We tried to park at the top of the stairs above the field, it was the best place to park. Between classes everyone hung out there. We liked to be the center of attention. I still do. 

Erich was innovative! He invented hair product. We didn’t have the kind of hair gel they have now. He used egg whites to spike his hair. I have no idea what he used to bleach it. Probably bleach! He had his own style and his own identity.


Erich was opinionated. He had very strong beliefs. I didn’t always agree with him and frankly, I didn’t always understand where he was coming from. He was far beyond our time and he understood politics and world views long before I did. Erich was a very proud person. He put a lot of pressure on himself to be the best. I remember, as we were always discussing the things we wanted to be when we grew up, I wanted to “be in fashion,” I wanted to be a designer, an artist, a career woman. Erich wanted to be a psychologist. He wanted to be an author. He wanted to travel. He wanted to have his doctorate degree, I thought it was so we would have to call him Dr. von Berger. Erich went to UCSD and so did Lito, so I saw him quite frequently those first few years of college. We supported each other through the first years of marriage. After that, it was reunions, gatherings with old friends, some parties. As most people experience, the friendships from our formative years slip away. We focus on our families and on our significant relationships, work and other interests take precedence. But, I always knew I could count on Erich, and Mike, and the rest of our friends from Chaminade and from the high school days.



I think my world is colored with love, life, fun, serious talk, big hugs, and lots of wonderful memories thanks to my JBF, Erich Franz von Berger.

“All I ask of you is forever to remember me as loving you.”

How Soon Is Now? Lyrics

from Hatful Of Hollow

The Smiths - lyrics
 I am the son and the heir

Of a shyness that is criminally vulgar
I am the son and heir
Of the nothing in particular

You shut your mouth, how can you say
I go about things the wrong way
I am human and I need to be loved
Just like everybody else does

I am the son and the heir
Of a shyness that is criminally vulgar
I am the son and the heir
Of nothing in particular

You shut your mouth, how can you say
I go about things the wrong way
I am human and I need to be loved
Just like everybody else does

There’s a club
If you’d like to go
You could meet somebody
Who really loves you

So you go and you stand on your own
And you leave on your own
And you go home
And you cry and you want to die

When you say it’s gonna happen now
Well, when exactly do you mean?
See, I’ve already waited too long
And all my hope is gone

You shut your mouth, how can you say
I go about things the wrong way
I am human and I need to be loved
Just like everybody else does


Published by
Lyrics © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc., Universal Music Publishing Group


Read more: The Smiths – How Soon Is Now? Lyrics | MetroLyrics



These are not our actual cars…although I am sure there are pictures of them out there somewhere. However, these are the exact make, model, and color of our Nissan Pulsars that we had Junior year of high school. I crashed mine and totaled it the beginning of senior year and drove my mom’s car the rest of the year. But, I still got to go out with Erich in his.

Pulsar Erichs pulsar mine





Ten Minutes in Tinsel Town Episode 3 @MaryFarquhar with Mary Lansing @TenMiniTT

Posted on August 16th, 2014 by & filed under Discoveries, Everything Miz Meliz, Interviews


Ten Minutes in Tinsel Town


Miz Meliz

and Special Guest,

Mary Lansing of Along Comes Mary Blog

Mary2 I’ve spent a lot of time getting to know Mary over the past few years since we first met through So Cal Lady Bloggers. She is delightful and I am glad that she is my friend. We have been on quite a few adventures together. In this episode of Ten Minutes in Tinsel Town, I asked Mary what she likes about living in Los Angeles, what she likes to blog about, and how she has changed since she started blogging. The video and audio get kinda funky towards the end, so check out how I diced and spliced it and made it work! It turned out to be about 15 minutes of Fun in Tinsel Town! Enjoy!

What does Mary like to do for fun?

I love to travel & see other areas, nothing gets me more excited than a road trip, but I really love to explore LA; while so many Angelinos are anxious for a trip out of town, they forget so much diversity can be seen & fun can be had right here.

I also love concerts & theatre!

Tori Amos Quote

What is Mary Passionate About?

Being a blogger, I am discovering my passions are developing faster than I can handle it. Most recently, I am loving the opportunities for travel & writing about destinations.  I love travel, entertainment, and blogging; its enriched my life so much with friends, fun opportunities and getting me out of my comfort zone, that if we had even one listener decide to start a blog after listening to my segment, I would be thrilled!

2012-09-29 23.21.03

Connect with Mary:

Mary at LA Food FestVisit her

Follow her on Twitter:  @Maryfarquhar

Like her on Facebook:




Mary’s Favorite Hollywood Hot Spot:

The Hollywood Bowl. There’s so much history at that arena & unlike a lot of Hollywood venues that I do love, like The Sunset Strip, this is the perfect place to introduce a child to the awesome-ness that’s Hollywood, plus they get to see live music & maybe even history happen, right before their eyes.

Nearby Hollywood, I also love Los Feliz. Griffith Park, diners & the adorable hidden gem, “The Shakespeare Bridge” are all right there.

Mary really knows L.A. and Hollywood! She suggests lots of fun places I can’t wait to check out. Listen to the podcast and let me know if you have been to any of them.

What is YOUR favorite Hollywood Hot Spot?

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