Price is Right + #SocialTV …Part One: Pre-game strategies

It all started with an email asking if I wanted VIP tickets to the Price is Right and to participate in their upcoming Social Media Week! Sounded fun. Why not!? That was about a month ago and now I am addicted to watching the show and “studying” for the “just in case” I get picked as a contestant during tomorrow’s taping.  I looked and looked for help on how to “prepare” and found very little advice except from a fun blogger who did win.

Read Aurora’s Blog on her experience on the Price is Right

What I have learned so far on my own won’t be very exciting to report – yet.  Yes, they like to give away a lot of cars and there seems to be required jumping and screaming involved by every chosen contestant.  And, that the more “over the top your personality is” then the more likely you are to be chosen.

Sneakers and t-shirts decorated with Price of Right references appear to be the outfit of choice,  so I took to decorating a few shirts for my teammates (Hubby IMG_0570and a couple of friends) with a hashtag #TeamDrew ( a reference to host Drew Carey).  I also ordered a second shirt with my Twitter handle @LouiseASL and #411Voices as the hashtag- but not sure that it will be allowed. So, I too may adorn a #TeamDrew tomorrow during the taping. I also bought a few obnoxious head bands and one crown.  Apparently those with decorative headbands or crowns get chosen as contestants, or so it seems!  So I have plenty of selection for our team, including the bright red and sparkly headband to the right

To date, hubby and I have watched over a dozen episodes. Trying to be more aware of the games and techniques used by those obviously more seasoned at this game than the two of us.  I must give kudos to the Price is Right procurement team as the trip to Space Camp had me jumping for joy – as if I won it!


I also have found myself wandering up and down the supermarket aisle with much more care than ever. What is the price of baby food these days?  Ketchup? Pancake mix? I always buy on sale, but those prices are not helpful when it comes to guessing correctly for this show! In other words, if you are a thrifty shopper you may be handicapped from winning … A brand new car! 

I plan on chronicling my adventure, from a  ‘social media – educational perspective’. It will be a bit tricky to take photos, as my beloved social media tool of choice, aka my iPhone, apparently is prohibited for use and needs to be handed over to security before entering the studio.

Stay tuned for at least a Part Two – which will either be the next chapter or the “we didn’t get picked as contestants” blog. Either way- I promise to make it educational and entertaining. Wish us luck!  Gotta go… I need to make one last trip to the grocery store to learn the price of paper goods!




Fun Trivia about Downton Abbey!

There are few television shows that I watch with such enthusiasm as Downton Abbey! I became a fan shortly after it first aired five seasons ago and haven’t missed an episode since.  I have laughed with every sarcastic line from the Dowager Countess of Grantham (played brilliantly by Maggie Smith) and cried with each unexpected death of key players (Poor Lady Sybil Grantham and Mathew Crawley.)  Rarely does this one hour drama miss a beat – as one would expect as Masterpiece Theater series on PBS

Read about the show from the creators


Elizabeth McGovern (Lady Cora Crawley) today was at the Tournament of Roses Parade on the award winning Downton Abbey float sponsored by PBS!   And if Elizabeth McGovern looks familiar you may remember her from shows such as Three Moons Over Milford,  Ragtime and even the  award winning feature, Ordinary People.

Related see the list of float winners  of the Rose Parade

Maggie Smith has been in more than 59 films and television programs. (via IMDB)  However, for many it is her role as the Dowager Countess of Grantham that has brought her the most widespread recognition in the United States. Although I bet others will say it is her role in the Harry Potter movie series as  Hogwarts’  Professor Minerva McGonagall that has made her beloved among fans.

The very strong willed head butler, Carson, is played by Jim Carter who happens to be married to a Hogwarts “staff” member – Dolores Umbridge!  (For those who are not Harry Potter fans she played the role as the Ministry of Magic! And yes there seems to be a bit of cross-over with casting Harry Potter actors or relatives in Downton Abbey!)

Downton Abbey is a goldmine!

How many Downton Abbey related products are available for purchase on Amazon?  If you guessed 14,218 then you would be correct! Yes, my friends you can buy everything from books to clothing to even dozens of autographed memorabilia just by clicking on to Amazon!.

Note if you have missed this program no worries … the full set of episodes are available on Amazon’s Prime videos.  The UK episodes are purported to have a few more “additions” to the US versions.

Curious about the little ones’ that are roaming the set as Sybby, George and Marigold – the grandchildren of the Lord Grantham?  Well, you will be happy to know that they are just as adorable off the set as on screen. Here is an  article I found  on TIME with info about these little cherubs. And another from The Daily Mail (UK). Gosh they are so darn cute and yes twins play the part of George Crawley!

And, what about Season 6 (no spoilers here) – Well for me I will have to wait and see where this story will journey and soon come to an end.  Yes, the show producers have announced that Season 6 will be the last. (Commence tears) But fear not, as before the directors says, “It’s a wrap to Season 6” we will be offered one shining final memory as George Clooney is purported to make an appearance during this season.

Here is the trailer from  YouTube via iTV.




I am breaking blogging rules today

Yes, I am breaking blogging rules for this last post of 2015.  I haven’t researched a topic or written 300-750 words with great SEO. No polls. No great Vlog or photo essay.  I am not going to write a passionate essay nor offer ways to practice #SocialGood.

Simply,  I just want to take a moment to wish all who read Where Learning Meets Laughter an AMAZING 2016!  May your year fulfill your dreams and wishes.




Which blog posts were the most popular and favorite of 2015?

Today a question by a blogger was posed on WORDPRESS“What was your favorite post that you wrote in 2015?”  That is a tricky question.  The posts I enjoyed writing or felt had the most “impact” were within the “social good or philanthropy”.  But, interestingly the post that had the most direct readership (from WordPress directly vs. a “third party”) was a fashion blog – a topic I rarely discuss.

So – which blogs made the list with readers and which were my favorites here on Where Learning Meets Laughter? 


Most popular:  A Perfect Fit Every Time – Meet Fitlogic! #Giveaway

Lesson learned here:  a giveaway helps a blog to be read



Close “runner- ups”: 

Multiethnic Arms Raised Holding ADHD

A Letter to Teachers with Students who have ADD/ ADHD also was very well received.  (and similar blogs about learning disabilities were nearly as popular.) I also must admit these blogs were on my “favorite” list, too!



Dear Burlington Times was written in March 2015 as a response to a published letter to the editor titled: “Signing Specialists are a Distraction”, by  a Mr. Muccolini. Apparently their reader had taken issue with sign language interpreters who help convey information during public and media events, but “distract” hearing people.  (Sigh) After Mr. Mussolini authored his letter to the editor my Signing Families inbox was beyond full with requests to “do something” – so I did.

My response was passionate and very well received.  Sadly, Mr. Mussolini or the paper issued a response to my letter to the editor. At least I had the gumption to “do something” – social good triumphed!


YouTubers with hearts of gold and mad social media skills!

When you get to spend time at a Vanity Fair event with iJustine, Tyler Oakley and Joey Garceffa it is a day like no other! These YouTube sensations taught me a lot about social media from the eyes of millennials.  Have to admit I bow with respect to all as they are accomplished authors on top of having loyal fans and profitable YouTube channels.  It was a pleasure to meet them during OSCARS 2015 (actually, I had met Justine prior, but we didn’t have a chance to really connect until last February.) Here is my blog about this fun and funny experience! 



When I get an opportunity to promote a #SocialGood cause or company that is dedicated to helping others, it makes my heart sing. Here is a list of many of the social good blogs I penned from 2015.  Please take a minute to get to know  these fabulous people dedicated to helping others in our communities and worldwide.

#SocialGood blogs


Thanks for reading any or all of my random musings on WHERE LEARNING MEETS LAUGHTER!

And, please share with me your favorite blog posts (here or elsewhere!)






A Holiday Poem from a Mom with a Child with Schizophrenia

Louise’s note: I am loaning my blog to a very special mom who is the matriarch of three teens.  She openly will tell you that they all are very amazing people in their own right.  However, the middle child has struggled  with schizophrenia as a child and now as an adult. That has made the familys’ home life topsy-turvy. Not just during the holidays, but all year. Perhaps her sentiments will resonate with other families’ who also struggle with mental illness.  

Please help me welcome Rhia Roberts to my column and the holiday card that she has penned for her family and friends and now all of you.

As you know, this has been a difficult year for us as our daughter transitions from Childhood Schizophrenia to Adulthood Schizophrenia. And so, Christmas cards may be late…or even non-existent! But to remind you you’re in our thoughts, I’ve written you a poem…

‘Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse;
All the stockings are hung and the kids fast asleep
And dreaming of old Santa, and snow six feet deep. 
And the turkey is stuffed, and the table is set,
And the work is all done, and all deadlines met.
While, perhaps, this scenario is true at your place,
in my home and my world, this just isn’t the case!
For I’m running around like a chick with no head
Getting everything done before going to bed.
Before going to bed? Ha! That outlook is bleak-
Because my kids aren’t sleeping, NO, they’re at their peak!
With unwritten Christmas cards still scattered around,
And unwrapped Christmas gifts still piled high on the ground-
In the spirit of telling the truth – no holds barred –
My stupid turkey’s not stuffed, but still frozen hard!
And although there are things that I do very well,
Shopping…baking…cleaning…are my versions of hell!
But don’t worry about us and please do not fear,
Our Christmas will be happy, as usual, this year.
Our dinner may be ruined, our chores not complete-
At least our tree’s standing – though our house isn’t neat.
And though some of our gifts may still be at the store,
You’ll get a warm welcome if you knock at our door.
For we have family, and friends, and people who care,
Who understand our plight – and STILL want to be there.
To us, that gift is worth more than silver or gold-
It’s invaluable to us, when all’s done and told.
For raising a child with schizophrenia is hard;
There’s no relaxation; you must be on your guard.
The worst is that feeling of deep isolation,
And loneliness, and fear, and pure desperation!
Because this is an illness that many can’t ‘see’
They question OUR parenting and veracity.
So, to every one of you who held your belief,
In the midst of our despair, you brought us relief.
So now, hear me exclaim, ‘ere I drop out of sight,
“Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good night!”

Happy Christmas, to you and yours, too Rhia. Thank you for sharing. 


Resources about schizophrenia

What is Schizophrenia? National Institute of Mental Health description

NAMI information about schizophrenia

and also here from NAMI

PBS – NOVA special 

More about Rhia

Follow Rhia here:



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