30Jul

A Visit to the Vanderbilt Mansion National Historic Site

hudson valley with kids

On a recent visit to Hyde Park in the Hudson Valley, we took our son for a tour of Vanderbilt Mansion National Historic Site. It’s a remarkable property was built over a hundred years ago in 1898 by Frederick Vanderbilt, grandson of railroad magnate Cornelius Vanderbilt. The tour took us to see about 15-20 rooms of the 50-room Classical style mansion. One of eight heirs to his family’s fortune, Frederick purchased the property in 1895 and hired architect Charles McKim to decorate a “country house” in which the family could entertain guests during the Read More

24Jul

The Hundred-Foot Journey, a Tale of Food and Travel

one hundred foot journey

You can't deny the thrill of seeing a film, in this case The Hundred-Foot Journey, that so beautifully weaves together the things you love most in life. About a month ago, Chef did that so skillfully, weaving together food, social media, humor, travel and great story-telling. I left the theater craving Spanish food and was also hungry for more movies with relevance to the times we are living in. It also made me think more about the life of a chef, something I had never really thought about. I was looking for a another chance to do it again. And here Read More

15Jul

What Really Matters

you-can-not-outsource-motherhood

When you get asked questions like these, they make your heart stop: "Do you have a living will?" "Do you plan to donate your organs should anything happen to you?" "Who will make decisions for you in the event you are not able to?" Needless to say, as the mother of two children heading into my third surgery this year, these questions brought tears to my eyes. As I entered the operating room, and a nurse asked me my name to confirm my identity, I held out my wrist so she could check my information on my plastic band. I knew if I opened my Read More

11Jul

A New Day: Chasing Life

Chasing Life

I'm not going into too much detail, but I've spent the last ten months chasing life. I admit I'm stealing that phrase from the new ABC Family TV show, which I just happen to be watching right now, but when the shoe fits...... On the show, the main character is given a scary diagnosis just as she's kicking off her career as a writer. She's hesitant to tell her family and she wonders how it's going to impact every aspect of her life. Well, I had the same thing happen to me not so long ago, the difference between she and I being age. I'm older, I have Read More

06Jul

A Reunion of Holocaust Survivors from the Lodz Ghetto

Salomea Kape

A few weeks ago, I had an extraordinary experience that I feel I have neglected to tell. I have been hesitant to tell this story for a few reasons. For one thing, I haven't been sure of the outlet in which to feature it. I have wondered if the Culture Mom is the right venue for a story of such an important, historical nature. I often write about plays I see, trips I see, my children. Is this the right forum for such a story? Well, to answer that question, this blog is anything that I want it to be, so I have to say it is. For another thing, I didn't Read More

04Jul

A Family-Friendly Visit to Palm Springs

living desert and zoo

My guess is that when you think of Palm Springs, you think of exotic cocktails, lying by the pool, hiking in the desert, exploring art galleries, dining at retro eateries and nightclubbing with the likes of Frank Sinatra impersonators. Little did you know that the town is actually full of child-friendly spots. Whether you go for a few days or a full week, you won't run out of things to do with the kids. Palm Springs is really easy to get to, as well. It's a mere two-hour drive from Los Angeles, San Diego, Mexico and an easy flight from Phoenix, Read More

03Jul

Sizzling at Macy’s Culinary Council’s Sizzle Showdown #SP

culinary council

This past weekend I headed to Macy's for the annual Sizzle Showdown, hosted by their very own Culinary Council. It was an extremely hot day in NYC and I wondered how the contestants would duke it out under the sky's scorching sun. There six budding chefs would compete for a grand prize of $10,000 and a trip to Macy's 4th of July Fireworks to be revealed as America's Grilling Guru. I was invited as a guest of Macy's Culinary Council, a national culinary authority comprising some of the nation's leading culinary master. Launched in 2003, MCC's team of Read More

30Jun

Taking My Tween to See The Fault in Our Stars

the fault in our stars

When I interviewed the author John Green, who wrote The Fault in Our Stars, I was a bit star-struck. Here I was schmoozing with the Judy Blume of our day, and one of the other interviewers on the call asked him how he felt about that title. He admitted that being called the modern Judy Blume made him feel uneasy but also very proud. Her books dealt the tough issues of puberty and adolescence of her day and so do his. He writes so eloquently about illness, death, falling in love, breaking up and the tough choices we have to make in life. It was just Read More

29Jun

Sleep Away Camp Photos are No Lie to Me

sleepaway camp

“Welcome back and Shalom!” were the words we heard upon entering Camp Sprout Lake as we pulled into the long driveway off the main road. I looked back at my daughter I in the back seat, her energy emanating with excitement. Camp was truly her home away from home and she was so happy to be back. We’d come a long way since last summer when bringing her felt more akin to child abuse than anything else. As I rode the one hour, fifteen minutes to the Hudson Valley to leave her off for her one week “Taste,” she sat silently weeping in the front seat.  All Read More

27Jun

6 Degrees of Separation: Women’s Prison Association/Orange is the New Black Twitter Party

WOMENS PRISON ASSOCIATION

I'm hosting a twitter party for one my clients, She Speaks, next week and it's a VERY special one for me. Why? Six degrees of separation. You see, three years ago, I produced my first Listen to Your Mother Show in NYC. Alysia Reiner was in the cast.  Alysia joined the cast of my favorite show, Orange is the New Black. Alysia invited me to an event to benefit he Women's Prison Association (WPA)  this past year and I met their team. I  produced LYTM again and we chose WPA as our chosen charity. As a member of the Netstream #StreamTeam, I have interviewed Read More