What My Tween Watched on Netflix in 2014


My daughter turned 11 this year and her TV viewing habits and desires certainly changed. As a matter of fact, they started catching up to what I like to watch and her viewing patterns became my viewing patterns. What she watched, I watched. We must have binged several shows for hours and hours, not only on the TV but on the iPad and computer. Netflix changed the landscape of television for all of us and gave us the ability to watch whatever we want, whenever we want. My daughter and I curled up many the night in my bed with the iPad and binged several Read More


An Electrifying Experience: IlluminOcean in Dana Point, California


I just came back from Dana Point, California, where I experienced something very magical called IlluminOcean. A massive lover of Christmas lights, I had a feeling I'd be memorized, but I actually underestimated the event's enormity. Billed a “wonderland by the sand,” this new installation features 22 giant ocean-themed lighting sculptures with over 500,000 LED lights along a one-mile stretch on the harbor. It's really the perfect outing for a family and seriously worth the trip. Kids can even wear 3D glasses for a holographic look. Forty Nights of Read More


A Human Rights Film: The Long Night


It's hard to believe that sex trafficking is happening in America. I always thought it was more prevalent in other countries, but I was very wrong. The crazy, painful truth is that human trafficking is one of the  world's fastest-growing criminal industries  and it's a monstrous issue in this country. In fact, 85% of confirmed sex trafficking victims are U.S. citizens, mostly runaway children. Often disconnected from family and friends, runaway and homeless children are particularly susceptible to traffickers who will lure them with the promise of food, Read More


My Wild (the movie) Giveaway


I'm a big fan of the book WILD by Cheryl Strayed and I can assure you, I'll see the film. I wrote about the book a few months ago when I was talking about one of my solo trips. I found the book riveting, inspiring, important. Here's what I said: While I’m here, I’m taking inspiration from Cheryl Strayed, author of Wild. It’s my main read on this trip and it’s one of strength, courage and reflection. She spent several months hiking on her own in the Pacific Northwest. On her travels, she looked back on her past to come to terms with what had happened to Read More


Hotel Review: The Garland in North Hollywood

PicMonkey Collage - garland

My daughter and I just got back from a stay at The Garland in North Hollywood. Billed as "Hollywood Glamour Meet Retro-Chic," the hotel is undergoing a massive renovation to achieve this image and it was clear from what has been completed that they're on their way. This family-owned establishment was named after the late Beverly Garland, a famous film and TV actress. She was responsible for its interior décor, which is a retro-modern oasis surrounded by gardens and palm tress. The result is quintessential Hollywood, with pictures of film stars Read More


Repost: 5 Tips for a Family Day at Universal Studios Hollywood


(This article appeared on MiniTime today: http://www.minitime.com/trip-tips/5-Tips-for-a-Family-Day-at-Universal-Studios-Hollywood-article)  If you’re a movie buff and are headed to Universal Studios Hollywood this holiday season with the family, you’re in for a real treat. But if you have time to research the park, it can be worthwhile as time can really fly during a visit and can feel quite overwhelming. There are ways to navigate the park to improve your visit, especially when traveling with children. That’s why we have a list of five tips Read More


Giveaway: Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater’s 2014-15 NYCC Season


Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, one of the world’s most popular dance companies, returns to the New York City Center stage from December 3rd, 2014 to January 4th, 2015, 25 years after the passing of legendary founder Alvin Ailey. Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, beloved as one of the world’s most popular dance companies and New York City Center’s Principal Dance Company, returns to the New York City Center stage for the 43rd consecutive year from December 3, 2014 – January 4, 2015 with exciting performances that have become a Read More


Eating Out with Kids in Long Beach, California

parkers lighthouse

Long Beach is full of child-friendly restaurants. On my recent trip with my (picky) tween, we sampled new foods, tried new versions of our existing favorites and munched out on seafood. Here's a selection of where we went: The Attic on Broadway - Housed in an edifice from the 1920s, this family-owned, funky neighborhood eatery is full of local art and a lot of history. I was told that the one of its rooms is even haunted. There's something for everyone on the menu - from mac & cheese and nutella french toast for kids to steak to salad to the Read More


Why Take the Kids to Long Beach, California


If you're looking for a vacation with the kids in 2015 that has good hotels, restaurants, a variety of activities for all ages, good weather (all year long), art, culture, shopping, and more, I have an idea for you. I just got back from a few days in Long Beach, California, and I have to say it was the ultimate getaway with my tween. Located along five and a half miles of beach, half way between Los Angeles and Orange County, Long Beach offers great food, cultural diversity, waterfront dining and a slew of options for families of all shapes and sizes. In Read More


Guest Post: Review of Fancy Nancy Splendiferous Christmas


When you first read Fancy Nancy to your young daughter, you may have asked yourself, "Do I really want my daughter to put so much emphasis on her look at such young age?  Is she going to give me hard time when we buy clothing? Should I start with French classes or is Chinese a better choice?" But when you watch the play, Fancy Nancy Splendiferous Christmas, which Vital Theatre Company adapted from the Jane O’Connor book, with illustrations by Robin Peiss Glasser, you will realize that Fancy Nancy is not too fancy and has is someone with many good Read More