Goal! Touchdown! Score! Hollywood Style…

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I’m going to be putting up some “reviews” (if you wanna call them that) every now and then of some television tapings. I’m the type of person that likes to see what’s up before attending. Read on if you’re like me!

ESPN SportsNation

Tickets available via 1iota
Age: 18+
Attire: Sports gear mandatory
Location: ESPN Studios in LA Live
1011 South Figueroa
Los Angeles, CA 90015
Parking: Standard Parking lot, 709 Olympic Blvd. (corner of Olympic Blvd. and South Flowers St.) Complimentary voucher
Meeting place: P2 level of the East garage in LA Live (they have signs-it’s literally in the parking garage)

You’re almost guaranteed a good time if you go to a taping of ESPN’s SportsNation. Unlike other traditional talk shows and late night television tapings, there is a great deal of interaction and more relaxed attitudes when it comes to cell phones and engagement with the talent. The show is also much more intimate. There is only room for approximately 25 people, yet you don’t have to wait a ridiculously amount of time nor show up super-duper early to attend.  30 to 45 minutes ahead of time are reasonable times to show up (unless otherwise noted on your ticket).

Tickets are available through 1iota and I have found (from attending numerous shows) that the particular 1iota crew working SportsNation is excellent. They are some cool people who engage and chill with you in line and even during the breaks between segments.

The current hosts are Charissa Thompson and Marcellus Wiley. They have various guests ranging from athletes (duh) to movie and television actors/actresses. What I can appreciate about this show is they encourage loud energy and for you to engage with the guests and the hosts. Other talk shows and late night television want that energy, but it’s all very rehearsed and they have heavy rules on yelling things out (see my future posts about those shows). If you want your two seconds of fame, you will usually see yourself a couple of times throughout the taping when it airs.

IMAG2103 Hosts & Athletes

The show also takes care of parking for you via validation (score!). Even though these are free shows, it’s nice to see a show take care of its fans.  Once again, you’ll see what I mean in future posts in regards to parking and cost when you attend other shows.

When I first went to a SportsNation taping, they indicated on 1iota’s page that everyone attending would receive a swag bag, which in actuality, everyone received a t-shirt. Now the website says that only five fans will receive a t-shirt and I have yet to attend one since then. I’ll update when and if I go again. When they have special tapings, they give out some SportsNation swag.

IMAG2697 Swag

Their dress code is casual, but states that you must wear sports gear (jerseys, t-shirts, hats, etc.), and they say that they have the right not to admit you to the show if you’re not wearing this kind of stuff. However, the first time I went, there was only one girl who was not wearing any sports related clothes and they just gave her a SportsNation t-shirt to wear. Another time I went, half the people were not wearing sports gear. They were sat at the back of the bleachers (least likely to be seen on TV). So even though you should wear some sports attire, you’ll most likely still be able to see the show without it.

Now it comes to the almighty cell phone (to some people anyway). You can bring them into the studios and you can even discreetly snap a couple of shots during the times that they are not filming. Just don’t be that person that’s going to ruin it for everyone else, by needing 100 plus pictures so that you can post them on every social media site!

SportsNation

The taping is about 1 hour and before you enter the studios, you go through a security check where they wand you and check your purse if you have one. Depending what time you get there, you’ll be in and out within an hour and a half to two hours.

So get ready sports fans for some great fun when you attend a SportsNation taping!

** The information in my reviews are strictly my own observations based on my own experience at the show and simply observing my surroundings, talking with others attending & the staff. I try to take note of key points so that I can bring you the most accurate information!

When Grandma Gives you Lemons… you Make Really Cool Stuff!

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My grandparents have an amazing lemon tree that has been going strong for years and years. They range in all shapes and sizes and I am so thankful that I don’t have to pay 79 cents per lemon at the local grocery store.

My grandma recently gave me three bags of lemons, more than I knew what to do with them. But alas, this “problem” didn’t last long. Here is what I did with my endless (seemingly) amount of lemons!

Lemons

Lemon Pepper

Basically I took ¾ cup of rainbow peppercorn (waaaay too much!), crunched it up a tad and added it to a small bowl. I then zested and zested…and zested until there was enough lemon mixed among the peppercorn.

Pepper & Zest

I put the mixture on a baking sheet and baked on the lowest setting until the lemon zest was dry.

Pepper & Zest oven

I pulsed the mixture in my Magic Bullet until it was fine.

Magic Bullet

I bought some small jars from World Market for $1.99 and stuck a chalkboard label sticker to them. I used a liquid chalk marker for the writing. The chalk markers are awesome!

Lemon Pepper

Lemonade

As I was zesting lemons for the lemon pepper, I juiced those same lemons to make lemonade.

Zest & Juice

Juice those lemons until you have 1 ½ cups. I took ½ a cup of sugar and 1 cup of water and put it in the microwave until the sugar dissolved. You’ll definitely want to add more sugar if you want a sweeter lemonade. Once that mixture cools, add it to a pitcher with the lemon juice and add water until the pitcher is full. It took me about 5 ½ to 6 cups of water. Add some ice cubes and a lemon slice for garnish and you have a cool refreshing drink on your hands!

Lemonade

Light Lemon Cheesecake

I don’t know where I originally got this recipe, but I have been using it for years and it’s delicious hot out of the oven or cold from the fridge! It’s not overly sweet and tastes great with strawberries or raspberries on top.

Crust:

1 cup graham cracker crumbs

2 tbsp. light margarine or butter, melted

Combine cracker crumbs and margarine/butter and press into bottom of an ungreased 9 inch spring form pan. I don’t use a spring pan anymore unless I’m making a fancy version for an event or guests. I just use a plain ol’ cake pan! I don’t measure out the butter or cracker crumbs either as I just eyeball it as I go along.

IMAG2290 Graham Cracker Crust

Filling:

3 (8 ounce) packages low fat cream cheese, softened

2 tbsp. all-purpose flour

¼ cup granulated sugar

3 tbsp. fresh lemon juice

¾ cup egg substitute

1 (8 ounce) carton sugar-free, fat free lemon yogurt

Beat cream cheese, flour and sugar until light and fluffy (I beat for at least 20 minutes). Gradually add lemon juice and egg substitute. Beat well. Fold in yogurt. Pour into crust. Cover loosely with foil. Bake at 350 degrees for 60-70 minutes or until center is almost set.

IMAG2297 Cook and Uncooked

YUM!

Lemon Cheesecake

Glazed Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins

I made these from a recipe I found on Thibeault’s Table. I followed the recipe accordingly except I didn’t bother making the sugar glaze for them. They tasted pretty good albeit missing some poppy seeds as I didn’t have much to add to the recipe!

Lemon Poppy Seed Muffin

Summertime Lemon Wreath

This wreath turned out great, but it was driving me bonkers trying to dry out the slices! I took some lemons and cut them into thin slices. I put them in the oven on racks on the lowest setting. I rotated them, but when they started to brown I took them out and put them in the sun. I even returned them back to a toaster oven trying to get them to dry out. Eventually they did, but it took many hours to do so, at least 6-8 hours.

IMAG2321 IMAG2322 Dry Slices

I took a 17 mm x 63 mm x 298 mm styrofoam wreath and attached the lemon slices with straight pins. It really starts to come together when you have a few attached and start layering them. For the inner circle, I used the tiny slices of lemon and some that I cut in half so they would fit nicely. When I was done, I glue gunned a ribbon loop on the back (but I would suggest doing that first), and three feather butterflies on the front of the wreath.

Summertime Lemon Wreath

Yellow is my new favorite color. 😉