PURE MICHIGAN! I'm so glad to be back in my home state! I started out of CK105 in Flint and, man, was I AWFUL. From there I worked at 92.1 The Edge in East Lansing and Wings 103.1 in Lapeer. My first Detroit gig was Z-Rock followed by 102.7 The Bear with Ted Nugent: talk about fun! Ted was hilarious and so great to fight with in the studio. When Ted took his show to his house and out of Detroit, things got a little less lively, so I took a job at WMMR in Philadelphia.
In Philly, I met my husband and we had our daughter, Mackenzie. I left WMMR and went to work part-time for WYSP while being home with our daughter. When Mackenzie turned four, we moved to Washington DC and I worked for DC101... also a riot. Washington DC is beautiful! There is nothing like the Cherry Blossom festival: simply amazing. We checked out museums and took ghost tours: the city is incredible.
A few years later, I started working for WRNR in Annapolis. I love the Annapolis vibe and the amazing people that populate Maryland's capitol. While with WRNR, my husband and I had our son, Jake, and I worked from home as WRNR's Digital Content Manager.
If I may tell you what you already know, Jay Towers is good people. When I found out I was going to be Jay's co-host, I literally screamed like I'd won the lottery. This is the funnest "job" I have ever had. Jay is a BLAST and he's also genuine, decent, a hard worker and also family oriented.... all values I hold in the highest respect... just please, don't tell him I said that... I like to keep him guessing.
Hi! I put a "u" in "favourite" because I decided I wanted to say it with an English accent.
In case you're still looking for the "perfect" present, or at least a strong bet, here are some of my favorite things this holiday season:
I LOVE Shuttefly. I've been using it for years to make scrapbooks for family and friends. It's less messy and cheaper than traditional scrapbooking.
Besides scrapbooks, Shutterfly has a wide variety of other custom products. The coffee mugs are one of my favorites. I made traditional coffee mugs for my parents a few years ago and they treat them like gold. They LOVE them.
I make my Christmas cards through Shutterfly... magnets, ornaments... you get the picture: pardon the pun.
Check them out here: SHUTTERFLY
Earbuds are my new favorite "Tween/ Teen" gift. They have a ton of character earbuds now. I found these at Universal Studios (see left). One pair has Thing One and Thing Two on the buds. The other pair features the Minions from "Despicable Me 2."
What is your teen into? I recommend googling their favorite movie or TV show and the word "earbuds." Chances are good that you will find earbuds that match. PLUS earbuds are not expensive. They range about $5-20 (average). I would not recommend going over $20. Earbuds HAVE to be replaced fairly often. You can only stick something in your ears so many times before you need a replacement.
Here's a link to the Universal stores on line: UNIVERSAL MERCHANDISE They have a lot of cool and unique gifts that you won't find elsewhere (as far as I know).
Here's why I like this. As our wonderful dads out there get a little older, they can get an itch for something different. Whether it's learning to ride a motorcycle (if they don't already) or looking at convertables and/or exotic cars.
Places like FAST TRAK offer the amazing experience of driving a "super car." Let Dad get behind the wheel of a Lamborghini or Ferrari or even both! It's a very unique gift and gives you a chance to drink the "mid-life milk" with out buying the cow.
It's a super cool experience AND it's done the smart way. Instructors teach you how to handle the car before you get behind the wheel and the laps are done on a track made for these types of high-performance cars. You can also call Fast Trak at 855-ZERO-2-60.
Duh. You've heard me talking about Edible Arrangements on the morning show. I LOVE the idea of being able to swing by my local Edible Arrangements on my way to my sister's and show up looking like a champ.
Why I love Edible Arrangements:
1) It's food AND a centerpiece.
2) It's FRUIT... so many holiday foods are heavy. This is a nice switch up.
3) It's delicious!
To check out the Edible Arrangements website: CLICK HERE and mention WNIC!! You'll get $10 off of your order.
You will be surprised at how easy it to make your owns bows. This skills has come in handy so many times: decorating for Christmas, showers, weddings, proms and other parties.
All you need is wired ribbon and floral or crafting wire. I can buy a 75 foot roll of wired ribbon (on sale) for about 3 bucks and get 10 bows out of it. The wire is about $2.00 and lasts a long time.. way more than 10 bows.
Bows range in price, but I'd say, on average, a bow like this costs about $5.00. You can make TEN of them for less than $8.00. That's good math. AND it takes about 4 minutes (or less) to make a bow.
I made a DIY video for making bows. I think it's pretty easy to follow despite the fact that my children are making a racket in the background in parts of the video. Here it is:
Jay, Chelsea and I arrived at Loew's Portofino Bay Hotel on Saturday evening. Sunday, we hit the parks HARD. First we headed to Islands of Adventure to ride THE HULK. The Hulk shoots you like hypodermic needle, UPWARD going from 0 to 40 in 1.9 seconds. You'll want to hold on. I did. I also screamed like a school girl. I LOVED IT! Chelsea loved it too because she was sitting next to me and found my ridiculous reactions on roller coasters amusing. You're welcome, Chelsea.
Next we landed on SPIDERMAN... if you have been on this ride, chances are you still haven't seen it. Universal amped it up to a 4K-HD experience and it is AWESOME! I ducked a thousand times because I thought for sure that stuff was going to hit me in the face. It's unbelievable how much you feel like you are plummeting from the top of a skyscraper toward the ground at break-neck speeds. This Universal movie stuff is truly amazing. After SPIDERMAN, we actually met Spiderman! We got our picture taken with him (see above) with a green screen. Please enjoy my selection of pictures featuring the Jay Towers In The Morning Show photo-shopped into various scenic pics at the Orlando Universal theme parks. GREEN SCREENS RULE!
Harry Potter is a BIG DEAL at my house. My daughter and I read all the books together. We've seen the movies. When Jay, Chelsea, and I walked upon the Harry Potter section of Adventure Island, my mouth dropped open. I felt like I had walked in to the movie. The ride, HARRY POTTER AND THE FORBIDDEN JOURNEY was nothing short of amazing. If you know the Harry Potter stories, you will enjoy this ride even more. I honestly felt like I had been in midair on the quidditch pitch after I got off this ride.
After my hang time with the Hogwarts crew, we headed over to Hogshead and had a Butterbeer. OH.MY.GOODNESS. Butterbeer is one of the most unexpectedly delicious drinks that I have ever had. It tastes like a mixture of shortbread cookies and butterscotch. It's thick and has a lot of froth. Thank goodness I didn't get any on my face, cuz you know Chelsea and Jay would never have told me.
One of my FAVORITE things of the day: The wand demonstration at Ollivanders. People WAIT for this and it's worth it. They take about 20 people in at a time. One person is chosen to find out which wand will "choose" them. Even if you're not the person they pick, just watching it and knowing that person will never forget the experience... THAT is magic. I absolutely LOVED Harry Potter's Wizarding World. AND they're creating MORE... look for Diagon Alley and other amazing things to open at Universal Orlando in 2015!
If you want amazingly fun photo ops, you have to go visit Grinchmas in Dr. Seuss Landing. The Dr. Seuss store made us happy. :)
I got super cute Grinch pajamas for my daughter and some cool Dr. Seuss dining set items for my son. I have to say, Universal parks have REALLY GREAT SHOPPING. Obviously, you don't come to Universal specifically to shop, but they have decent prices and cool stuff that I haven't seen elsewhere.
We were a bit early for The Whos... The Whos will be out on December 7th and stick around into early January of 2014.
Please enjoy photos of Jay and I being children in the Dr. Seuss store featured below. This section includes my favorite photo of me on this trip. ha!
Universal Studios really is walking on to a movie set... or rather SETS. Every turn features a new feature. You can walk down city blocks decorated for the Holidays and take in experiences that make you feel like you are in your favorite movies.
We LOVED The TRANSFORMERS - RIDE IT OUT experience. Granted, I had my face partially covered through most of the ride because I thought stuff was going to hit me in the face, but I loved it, none-the-less. It's a MUST SEE at Universal Studios. The technology used to make this ride happen is sick. 3D imaging, special glasses plus the use of fire, water, wind and smoke plus motion make Transformers - Ride It Out one of the coolest rides I have ever been on. Like I have said before, these are more of EXPERIENCES than rides. Truly amazing.
We also loved Revenge of The Mummy, Twister, and Dispicable Me. These rides are so fun and interactive. I also highly recommend Shrek 4D and the Muppets 3D for your young ones and old alike.
Other long time favorites: ET and M.I.B. I love M.I.B. partially because of the competition element. You shoot aliens through out the ride and you can complete against the other people on your ride. I went with Chelsea and our guide, Deana. I knew Deana would win... she's very talented and she's been on the ride a time or two. I was holding out hope that I MIGHT beat Chelsea. I was killing her early on. Please, do NOT forget that towards the end of the ride, Will Smith tells you to punch the red button. Hit it in time and you'll get a bonus. I did not get the bonus. Chelsea did. I ended up coming in last place. I am a poor, sore loser, so that stunk for me. Don't let it happen to you.
The Simpsons is, in my humble opinion, the MECCA of photo ops.
Both live characters and permanent characters abound. If you can't EASILY find a fun photo here, then you are doing it wrong.
We ran into Lisa and Marge and got a picture. Let me tell you that Marge LOVED me. I started the love affair by telling Marge how much I loved her. Marge responded in kind by holding my hand and giving me a kiss. THAT'S RIGHT! Doni wins. Here I am snuggling on Marge's shoulder... or as I like to call her, "Mom."
This was not my first visit to the Simpsons' Ride and Krustyland. I stop by here EVERY TIME that I visit Universal. It really is a right of passage for a great family vacation. :)
These are the statements that make us dumb:
1) CHELSEA: "We should rent those little scooters. They'd be fun to take for a ride."
DONI: "Would you like to rent one that's NOT bolted to the ground? Cuz we'll need to go elsewhere for scooters that move.
2) DONI: "You said to meet at the BIG TREE... I'm at the big tree."
JAY: "Outside... I told you the big tree OUTSIDE."
3) JAY: "We missed 4 boats already waiting for Doni."
CHELSEA: "Or we missed the same boat 4 times that just keeps pulling up and leaving." (The boat was a trainer boat practicing landings.)
After the broadcast on Monday, we were pretty tired.
We decided to hang out and enjoy the pool at Portofino. That evening, we headed back over to Universal Orlando and did some shopping! I love the hats and pajama pants!
We had dinner at Bubba Gumps. It's a cool fun restaurant named from the movie, "Forest Gump." The food wasn't the healthiest fair, but it was DELICIOUS!
After dinner, we shopped more (oh how Jay loved it) and then headed over for an after dinner drink at The Hard Rock. The Universal Orlando Hard Rock is AMAZING. It's huge and has some really great memorabilia including stuff from our own Madonna.