Sheryl Sandberg’s “Ban Bossy” Campaign

Ban Bossy

Did you know that between elementary and high school, girls’ self-esteems drops 3.5 times more than boys? This profound stat can have a detrimental effect on a young girl's future. That’s what Facebook COO and founder of the Lean In movement Sheryl Sandberg thinks and she wants to do something about it. Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Girl Scouts USA CEO Anna Maria Chávez have joined forces with her to launch "Ban Bossy" to ban the word “bossy” as a way to describe young girls, stating that its use leads to negative self esteem and … [Read more...]

A Short Tribute to Philip Seymour Hoffman

A Short Tribute to Philip Seymour Hoffman

When I heard the news about Philip Seymour Hoffman yesterday, I was incredibly shocked but more than that, incredibly sad.  Sad for the film world, sad for the theater world, sad for the arts world in general.  Sad for all the works he was meant to create and star in that we will never see. At age 46, he accomplished so much.  If you look at his body of work, you see that he chose his projects very carefully. The list is so vast, with films like Almost Famous, Magnolia, Charlie Wilson's War, Capote, The Master, Moneyball and The Talented Mr. Ripley. … [Read more...]

The Poetry and Brutal Reality of 12 Years a Slave

12 years a slave

Sometimes you see a movie that stays with you for a very, very long time. That movie for me is 12 Years a Slave.  I nipped into a very empty cinema on a weekday afternoon recently on my own and prepared myself for an afternoon at the movies. To say that it was like therapy is an understatement.  From the minute I first set eyes on the eyes of Chiwetel Ejiofor as Solomon, I was smitten. Inside his eyes I felt the weight of the 19th century reality of slavery.  The film starts out as his character, Solomon Northup, a brilliant violinist is living in … [Read more...]

Winter Break in Montreal

montreal

Every year we do something during break but we usually have two stipulations: 1. We choose a destination in driving distance and 2. We choose a place within a reasonable budget. While we would love to pick up and go visit our family in the UK more than anything in the world, it's just not feasible this time of year. We wanted some place exotic and adventurous so Montreal immediately came to mind. There are so many reasons to take your kids on a trip to explore Montreal. For one thing, it’s the Europe of North America and you can introduce them to … [Read more...]

My Favorite Posts of 2013 and Hello, 2014

Screen Shot 2013-12-29 at 11.11.19 PM

  It's my annual tradition to look back at the year in review.  When I started to think about 2013, I thought I had nothing to write about.  It hasn't been my best year, but somehow along the way, I managed to get more accomplished than I realized. Rather than bore you to tears with a long post, I'm going to give it to you in small chunks. My most popular posts: A visit to the set of Orange is the New Black seems to have hit a nerve with my readers and also happens to be have been my favorite blogging experience of the year.  I interviewed … [Read more...]

A Visit to the Set of Orange is the New Black

Orange is the New Black

I've been writing about Orange is the New Black ever since I binged it on Netflix. I wrote about it when I called Netflix the new Feminist Hollywood Leader over on The Broad Side and I interviewed Alysia Reiner over at Indiewire's Women & Hollywood.  It was then that she told me, how on OITNB they "have a crazy talented writers room with more women then men in the room, as well as awesome women directors, fabulous female producers and of course our mind blowing female ensemble cast." Well, as someone who is very invested in seeing more of a … [Read more...]

“About Time”: Richard Curtis Film Review and Giveaway

about time

About Time is the latest film by writer and filmmaker Richard Curtis. If you loved his other films, which include Notting Hill, Love Actually and Four Weddings and a Funeral, you will love this one. Curtis has a distinctive voice and style that weaves through his work, and this film is no exception. It's a small film with a big life lesson, and it had me raptured. The film revolves around 21 year-old, Tim (played by Domhnall Gleeson who lives with his eccentric, loving family in Cornwall, England. When he finds out from his dad (played by the fabulous … [Read more...]

Separating Woody Allen’s Life From His Art

woody allen

In 1992 I was living in London, right out of college.  I was a young woman with little knowledge of what having kids was like, nor was it anything I had ever really given much thought to.  I worked during the day and spent my evenings and weekends gallivanting around town seeing plays, hearing bands, drinking in pubs. After a lifetime of loving Woody Allen, I was drawn to the scandal that erupted around his name and image when the Vanity Fair story broke reporting his fully emerged family scandal. I picked up every publication covering it and read it in … [Read more...]

Guest Post: Expedia + St. Jude – Travel that gives back

st. jude

The Culture Mom was invited to Memphis, Tennessee to participate in an informative few days with St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. The trip was sponsored by Expedia.  September is National Childhood Cancer Awareness Month and Expedia is doing their part in all of this by launching over 150 travel giveaways and exclusive hotel coupons to help travelers support St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. It’s such a great way to be a part of this amazing hospital and everything St Jude has created. St. Jude Children's Research Hospital opened in 1962 and … [Read more...]

A One-Child Holiday at Mohonk Mountain House

mohonk mountain house

My trip was hosted by Mohonk Mountain House, but all opinions and thoughts are my own. Have you ever traveled alone with one child?  A few weeks ago, I decided to take my son away for a few days. My other child was actually at sleep away camp, and since he wasn't having that experience (still a bit young), I thought I'd give him a different type of experience by joining me.  I wanted to review a property in the Hudson Valley and thought about sharing the experience with him. After all, this was one my son could wrap his around: an all-inclusive resort … [Read more...]