Buddy Valastro, The Cake Boss, coming to Aronoff


I love Buddy Valastro! I mean love him! I also love Carlo’s Bakery and the show Cake Boss! I love it all so much that I once made my way by myself from New York City to Hoboken, New Jersey and waited two hours in the snow to get inside that bakery. Once inside, I waited about another 45 minutes, with people shoulder to shoulder, to get waited on. I remember seeing Grace, Frankie, Mauro and Joey. I kept hoping to see Buddy but never got a glimpse. I am sure to get more than a glimpse though when he comes to the Aronoff in Cincinnati on November 18th!

I was shocked to discover the inside of the bakery is MUCH smaller than it appears on TV. The consulting area was maybe a 4×4 space. Grace was helping someone pick the perfect cake. It was finally my turn. I couldn’t decide what I wanted. I knew I had to pick something that I could bring home to the kids (I was in New York for a business trip). But I also wanted to taste so much. “Give me a dozen cookies, a dozen cupcakes, a few pieces of cheese cake, a few cannoli (oh the cannoli!), and um… what else do you suggest” I said to the clerk. I remember asking her how they fit a film crew in there. She said if they were filming my wait would have been longer because they can’t let as many people in. Then she told me with the T-shirt I bought for my daughter, a huge fan of the show, that my total was $60. OMG! I just spent $60 on bake goods and a T-shirt. Thank goodness I didn’t have a significant other to answer to at the time or I might have been in trouble.

my bag the cakes the bakery heading to Jersey Grace

But let me tell you… it was worth every bit of $60. I devoured that cheesecake, cannoli and a few other things. I shared a cannoli with the hotel desk staff since they said they had never made it to New Jersey to try Buddy’s creations. Getting all this on the plane was a sight to see but luckily the guy next to me was really nice and let me put it under his seat. The kids were so excited to try a cupcake from Carlo’s Bakery. They had been watching the show for a while and said it was definitely worth the wait. I was able to give cupcakes to friends who helped with the kids while I was gone too. You would have thought I was handing out $50 bills the way people got excited about this treat.

I didn’t meet Buddy in New Jersey that day but I did meet him earlier this year in Kroger in Fort Mitchell, Kentucky. He was there to do a book signing. I couldn’t wait in line to have a book signed but as he made his way through the crowd, he stopped and shook my hand and allowed me to introduce myself. It made my day!

And now I will get a chance to see TLC’s Cake Boss at the Aronoff Center in Cincinnati on Monday, November 18th at 7:30pm. And to top it off, I get to take my 14-year-old daughter Andi who has been a fan of his for years! She has also decorated a few cakes herself and has even had Cake-off parties with her friends inspired by The Next Great Baker. These are some of the cakes she has made or assisted with:

more cakes magic cup cakes Perry the Platapuslandsharkminion cupcakes andi hello kitty cake   crabby patty cake!Joey's 10th birthday cake

In this live, interactive event, TLC’s Cake Boss will share stories from his highly popular TV shows (Cake Boss, Next Great Baker), his family at Carlo’s Bakery, will answer audience questions, and most importantly, will give lots of live cake & cupcake decorating demonstrations, sharing tips and techniques in a high-energy experience for the whole family.

Tickets are on sale at CincinnatiArts.org, 513.621.ARTS, or the Aronoff Center Ticket Office. Tickets are $29.75/$39.75 plus applicable service charges. A limited number of VIP tickets are available for $95 which includes a post-show meet and greet, Cake Boss tour laminate, a copy of Buddy’s new book Family Celebrations with the Cake Boss, and a special surprise. Friends of Raising2Tweens receive $5 off on tickets.  Just click here and use code ‘BUDDY’.

I hope to see you there!

P.S. If you aren’t a fan of Raising2tweens on Facebook already, you should be!

P.S.S. If you could ask Buddy anything, what would it be? Comment here with the answer.


Disclaimer: I was given two tickets to the show. All opinions are my own.

Cincinnati Ballet’s Swan Lake Giveaway!

swan lake

We are giving away a voucher good for two tickets to see Cincinnati Ballet’s Swan Lake at the Procter & Gamble Hall, Arnoff Center on Friday, October 25 – 8:00 pm, Saturday, October 26 – 8:00 pm, Saturday, October 26 – 2:00 pm or Sunday, October 27 – 2:00 pm.

The tragically evocative love story of mistaken identity and retribution, Swan Lake, returns to Cincinnati Ballet once more in a tour de force collaboration with BalletMet Columbus. Choreographed after the Petipa/Ivanov original by Artistic Director & CEO Victoria Morgan, Devon Carney and Gerard Charles, Swan Lake combines two of Ohio’s great ballet houses for an awe-inspiring presentation of balletic precision and dramatic expression. Swan Lake will be performed in Columbus, OH the weekend of October 18-20, and October 25-27 in Cincinnati. The soaring, provocative score, composed by the legendary Tchaikovsky, is brought to life at the Aronoff Center for the Arts by the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra.

We will draw one random winner on Wednesday, Oct. 23 at 8 p.m. The winner will be notified via Facebook and email. You have 12 hours to contact us via email or another name will be drawn. Due to the quick turnaround of this giveaway, the voucher will have to be picked up in the Fort Thomas or Fort Mitchell area. The voucher must be taken to the Arnoff Center box office one hour before show time to trade for tickets. . Subject to availability.

You have four ways to win! Be sure to comment separately for each entry.

1. Why do you want to see Swan Lake? (required to enter)

2. Share this contest on Facebook and comment here that you did.

3. Like us on Facebook and comment here that you did.

4. Subscribe to the blog and comment here that you did.

All entries will be verified.

Disclaimer: My family was given two tickets to see Swan Lake. All opinions are 100% my own.

Good luck!

Wishing My Son Has a Broken Bone

joey super heroI hope my 11-year-old son Joey has a broken leg! Or maybe a chipped shin bone! Wait, maybe he has torn his meniscus! That would be AWESOME! IT WOULD SERIOUSLY BE THE BEST NEWS A MOM COULD WISH FOR!

I’m not crazy or one of those moms who wishes illness upon her child. I actually love my son to the moon and back and would be willing to take on any pain for him. Unfortunately, I can’t do that. Joey is no stranger to pain. He had ear infections, strep throat and many minor surgeries since he was only a few weeks old. In April of 2012, Joey was diagnosed with Langerhans Cell Histiocytosis causing him to have a lesion removed and a bone graft of his hip (Read about diagnosis). Well, for about the last two weeks he’s been complaining of knee and shin pain. It’s progressively gotten worse. So bad in fact that he is using crutches and missed the last two days of school.

LCH or Histio, is a cancer-like disease. It causes his white blood cells to go nuts. They think he’s sick so they go into action. Only there is nothing bad to attack so they end up eating his bones away. So my son is having severe pain. My immediate thought is ‘oh crap, his white blood cells are out it again. The Histio is back.’ My second thought is ‘Oh God, please let my son have a broken leg, a chipped bone or a torn meniscus.’ I find myself pleading with God to give him one of these ailments instead.

You see, if it is Histio, it won’t “JUST” be surgery, a bone graft, 15 weeks of a wheelchair, months on end of physical therapy, etc… It could be all or some of those things but it will also be chemotherapy. Chemotherapy: the use of chemical agents to treat diseases. That scares me to death! I’ve never had chemo and I’ve never discussed it with someone who has. All I know is what I’ve seen on TV. When I hear of chemo I think of extremely thin, sickly looking people with tons of tubes, loosing their hair and vomiting. Now my friend Aimee assures me this isn’t what it’s really like but it scares me to death.

One step at a time though, right?

So the first step was to see our oncologist, which we did today. The second step was to get x-rays. We did that and are waiting on results. Unfortunately x-rays probably won’t show Histio but they will show a broken bone!!!! Wohoo for a possible broken bone! The next step is an MRI. I am waiting to hear when that has been scheduled for. That will show us if it’s Histio. If nothing shows up there, we move on to a PET Scan.

So I am asking this of my readers tonight as crazy as it may sound. I know something is wrong. My son is in SEVERE pain. So this is what I ask of you. Pray and hope for a broken bone, a chipped bone or a torn meniscus. Pray and hope for something other than Histio because Histio is one bad mother… and because I’m afraid of chemo.

Seriously, if you pray, please pray a lot for my son to be well and strong and for our family as well. And if you don’t pray, send us some good vibes and positive thoughts! Joey and his 14-year-old sister love to read your encouraging comments so comment away!

Annie Jr. Ticket Voucher Giveaway


Oh My Goodness! Oh My Goodness! The Children’s Theatre of Cincinnati opens its 89th MainStage season with a production of “Annie JR.” at the Taft Theatre October 18-20 & 26, 2013.  One of the world’s best-loved musicals features little orphan Annie who wins over everyone’s hearts.  She is determined to find her parents, who abandoned her years ago on the doorstep of a New York City Orphanage run by the cruel, embittered Miss Hannigan.

Performances of Annie Jr. will be:

Friday, Oct. 18 at 7:30 PM
Saturday, Oct. 19 at 2 PM
Saturday, October 19 at 5 PM
Sunday, Oct. 20 at 2 PM
Saturday, Oct. 26 at 2 PM

The ticket prices are $7-$25.   Purchase tickets by calling 1-800-745-3000 or ordering from Ticketmaster. Visit The Children’s Theatre for more information.


Annie Jr. Ticket Voucher Giveaway

We are giving away a voucher good for four tickets to see Annie Jr on Friday, Oct. 18 at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 19 at 2 p.m. or 5 p.m. We will draw one random winner on Friday, Oct. 11 at  12 p.m. The winner will be notified via Facebook and email. You have 24 hours to contact us via email or another name will be drawn. The voucher will be mailed to the winner. The voucher must be taken to the Taft Theatre box office one hour before show time to trade for tickets. Or you can call the theatre to reserve your seat in advance. Subject to availability.

You have four ways to win! Be sure to comment separately for each entry.

1. Why do you want to take your family to see Annie Jr.? (required to enter)

2. Share this contest on Facebook and comment here that you did.

3. Like us on Facebook and comment here that you did.

4. Subscribe to the blog and comment here that you did.

All entries will be verified.

Disclaimer: My family was given four tickets to see Annie Jr.   All opinions are 100% my own.

Good luck!

Disney On Ice 100 Years of Magic Giveaway

disney on iceDisney On Ice: 100 Years of Magic is coming to the U.S. Bank Arena! And you can win a Family Four Pack from Raising2tweens!

If you don’t win tickets, it’s still really affordable with the SUPER Family 4 Pack Deal being offered this year.



You have several chances to win this four-pack of tickets to the Cincinnati show (Oct. 30 or 31). Be sure to do each entry separately for more chances to win.

1. Comment here telling us why you want to see Disney on Ice (required).

2. Share this contest on Facebook and comment that you did.

3. Like Raising2tweens on Facebook and comment that you did.

4. Follow the Blog and comment that you did.

All entries will be verified.

Contest will end on Oct. 20, 2013 at 5 p.m. Winner will be notified via EMAIL and will have 24 hours to respond or another winner will be chosen. 

Good Luck!

Woody Jesse Buzz D31 (2)



Family Four Pack – $99.00 valid on non-VIP seats.  The offer excludes Weekday performances because of the weekday pricing discount of $12 flat non-VIP tickets.

4 – $22.00 tickets

4 – 16oz Lemonade (in a Disney On Ice logo plastic cup)

4 – REG Popcorn Box

4 – Disney On Ice Coloring Book


  • ·         Valid from Now – Nov. 3 (Cincinnati) at midnight
  • ·         Good on non-weekday performances as noted above.
  • ·         Cannot combine with any other offer
  • ·         $22.00 (Cincinnati) seating only
  • ·         Cannot use with Ticket Fast delivery method
  • ·         Valid online, phones, outlets, and box office

Cincinnati Show Information

Wednesday, Oct. 30 – Sunday, Nov. 3, 2013

Ticket Prices:

Front Row: $56

VIP – $36

P1 – $22

P2 – $17

Schedule (7 total performances):

WED, October 30: 7:00 PM

THURS, October 31: 7:00 PM – Halloween

FRI, November 1: 7:00 PM

SAT, November 2: 11:00 AM, 3:00 PM, 7:00 PM

SUN, November 3: 1:00 PM, 5:00 PM