It’s the last week in New York City before school officially starts and that can only mean one thing. Time to jam in as many memorable activities as possible with my family until they’re ready to start shopping for school supplies. And so, last week, I had the chance to take my kids, their friends and my parents for a very special day in the Big Apple.
First stop was my favorite lunch location – Ellen’s Stardust Diner. If you’ve never been to this 1950’s style eatery, then you don’t know what you’re missing. While the food is delish, what I love most about Ellen’s are the singing waiters and waitresses – many of whom are now performing on Broadway! My daughter and her friend even got the chance to join in on the action, singing back-up to a Lady Ga Ga tune (sadly, I don’t know that one). I did however know all the showtunes they belted out (including Suddenly Seymour from Little Shop of Horrors) and Car Wash from that 1970’s flick. Next stop…Radio City Music Hall. Recently, we were given the opportunity to invite some of our favorite Role Mommies, including She Scribes, Coast to Coast Mom, writer extraordinaire Judy Antell and NYC Single Mom to attend a very special event at Radio City Music Hall to kick off their Christmas Spectacular. The VIP invite came complete with the opportunity to meet the Rockettes, take a picture with Santa and decorate cupcakes compliments of Magnolia Bakery. But the coolest thing of all was the back stage tour of Radio City – from the hydraulic stage that was built in the thirties to a birds-eye view of the stage which we found out was modeled after a cruise ship. Oh, and did you know that there used to be an entrance to Radio City that led straight out of the subway? My dad had the time of his life as he waxed nostalgic about his visits to Radio City as a teen (along with my mom of course) and he even got the chance to take a photo with a Rockette who hailed from New Jersey! And then, as we were getting ready to leave, we found out we were going to get the chance to attend the opening night performance of the Radio City Christmas Spectacular! After the kids grabbed their swag bags, we raced out of Radio City to catch Santa and all the Rockettes in action and even took part in the largest kick line in New York City.
But the fun didn’t stop there. Oh no, when you’re with Role Mommy, the fun never ends. And so, we headed over to the Nintendo World Store where the kids picked up two DS games (Nintendo Dogs and Sonic Party in case you’re wondering) for our upcoming road trip to Vermont.
And so ends a perfect summer day in New York City. Sure we spent a lot of time indoors, but on a hot August day, sometimes the best things in the Big Apple can be found inside Manhattan’s hidden treasures.
Check out our latest appearance on Better TV in a fun back to school segment featuring Liz at Cool Mom Picks and our food contributor, Jennifer Perillo at In Jennie’s Kitchen.
Role Mommy also makes an appearance with my daughter and her friend. Only glitch – they called my site RoleMoney.com – hmmm, maybe I should reserve that url 🙂
Next up, if you missed our Blog Talk Radio show with Traveling Mom this week, then have no fear. Download it now and listen on the run. We were on location from Vermont and while the reception was a little off, once we switched phones and used T-mobile, our show was clear as a cow bell. (Vermont humor)
The battle to keep toys tidy and in their place is a 24/7 job. The key to keeping toys from mysteriously multiplying around the house is to place storage bins in each room. Corralling toys is easy when you have a stylish storage container like these from the Netto Collection and Dwell Baby.
The Netto Collection felt storage boxes. Made in Canada of thick plush felt, the containers come in white and gray. Although a bit on the pricey side these beautiful boxes are made by a company with sustainable and eco-friendly business practices. Their furniture collection is non-VOC and uses sustainably harvested wood. These boxes are meant to complement the Netto Collection changing tables, but I also love them on their own, inside a bookcase or under a bench as a hideaway for toys in our living room.
Also stylish on their own or to complement the Dwell Baby line, these Dwell storage bins are they key to keeping clutter in check. Use the chocolate dots design for family living areas or the “Gio” aqua design for use in children’s bedrooms. Measuring 15″wide x 17″h x 15″ deep this box can hold a play date’s worth of toys and can even be used as an ad-hoc laundry bin.
Here’s a special alert to all our Reading Role Mommies. Hopefully, that’s all of you. If you’ve been visiting my site for a while, then you know most of my tastes are trapped in the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s (I’m just like a Lite FM station). That’s why, after hearing Melissa Gilbert on the radio with Leeza Gibbons sharing details from her memoir “Prairie Tale,” I knew I had to get my hands on a copy of that book.
First of all, I was a huge fan of “Little House on the Prairie” and wanted to read all about how she got her start in showbiz. Next, back in the day, I had the biggest crush on Rob Lowe (who didn’t?) and wanted to know all about their rocky relationship too. After finding the book in the back of the store at Borders, I devoured it in two days. In fact, I found myself so immersed in her story I could not put down. I read Gilbert’s book on the train, subway, bus, at home, in bed and finished it this morning and even read the acknowledgements page, where she shares hilarious titles that her famous friends suggested for the book too.
What I found surprising is that Gilbert is brutally honest about everything that’s happened in her life – from the strange story surrounding her adoption, to growing up in a showbiz family (her grandfather was famed comedy writer Harry Crane and her dad was also an entertainer), her auditions as a budding child star, her experiences portraying Laura Ingalls on “Little House on the Prairie,” what she really thought of her TV family and how she confronted the tragic the loss of Michael Landon. Gilbert also shares details about her bouts with alcoholism and drug addiction, her rocky first marriage, her triumphs both on screen and behind the scenes, her tenure as president of SAG and much more. And of course, she also tells of her relationship with her first true love Rob Lowe, the current love of her life, her husband Bruce Boxleitner and the births of her children. Prairie Tale has everything you look for in a book rolled into 350 pages – humor, surprises, bittersweet moments, brutal honesty and is in a word, unforgettable. If you were a fan of Little House, you will love reading Gilbert’s story and even if you weren’t, trust me when I tell you that Prairie Tale is the perfect end of summer read.
In between crappy weather and hints of sun, I’ve been scouring the web looking for five favorite posts relating to summer, travel, beauty, books and more and guess what? I’ve found them all for your reading pleasure!
1. Summer Travel Tips: If you’re still making last minute plans to getaway before school starts, today’s USA Weekend has a great feature by Travel Channel’s Samantha Brown on 5 Surefire Ways to Get the Most of Your Vacation.
2. Perfect Summer Hair: Humidity making your hair look downright frightening? Have no fear. This summer, thanks to Allure Magazine, we’ve discovered a brand new trend for your frizzy locks – go get a Brazilian and no, it doesn’t involve wax! It’s a natural treatment for your hair – it’s a little pricey (not as bad as Japanese straightening though) and it will leave your hair straight and gorgeous in any temperature!
3. Fuschia for Me: Anyone interested in sprucing up their mani-pedi? Is Sex on the Beach and Ballet Slippers boring you to tears? While Essie’s summer colors are still pretty tame, we decided to brighten up our tootsies this August with Opi’s Flashbulb Fuschia. Check out the Bionic Beauty’s blog where she give a Sally Hansen bright purple a try and then also shares her pick on the hottest flip flops of the summer – Switchflops! Gotta love a flip flop where you can change the fabric to match your outfit. 4. Blast from the Past: Since we’ve had really bad weather all summer, we’ve pretty much seen every movie you can possibly watch with your kids and others that in hindsight, we probably shouldn’t have taken them to (can anyone say “Land of the Lost?”) This weekend, when it was time to take in “Shorts,” I wanted to try something different. It’s been more than 20 years since I’ve been to a drive in movie and I decided to do a little Google-ing and managed to find a Drive in movie theater that was only an hour away from our home. If you live on the east coast and want to take your family to a drive-in, here’s the perfect site to find an outdoor theater near you! More on our drive-in movie adventure and review coming up!
5. Great Beach Reads: Now summer would not be complete without a great beach or rainy day read. Here at Role Mommy, we’ve got several picks of our own, but we managed to also find this article over at About.com that selects great books in every category.
Since we are in the know when it comes to TV watching, we’ve just been given two sneak peaks for your viewing pleasure! The first is the season finale of THE CLOSER starring Kyra Sedgwick which will be directed by Kyra’s husband, Kevin Bacon!!!
But before you get to see the final where the squad goes on the trail of a Ninja-costumed killer, TNT will present a marathon of THE CLOSER’s fifth season from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., leading up to the 9 p.m. summer finale!
Want to see a sneak peak of the season finale of The Closer?
Next up is the season finale of RAISING THE BAR, the Stephen Bochco and David Feige legal drama starring Mark-Paul Gosselaar.
In Monday’s night’s finale, Michelle (Melissa Ernhardt) and Jerry (Mark-Paul Gosselaar) go head-to-head over a drug-addicted pregnant woman in the gripping summer finale of TNT’s RAISING THE BAR on Monday, August 24 at 10 PM, ET/PT.
Jerry takes over one of Bobbi’s clients, a pregnant woman who is addicted to heroin, and Michelle is determined to do everything she can to keep her in jail so she doesn’t continue shooting up with a baby in her womb. Roz defends a carriage driver against charges of assaulting an officer and abusing a horse. But there is much more to the story than first appears.
And we even have a sneak peak video! Find more videos like this on Role Mommy
So there you have it. Your TNT sneak peak compliments of Role Mommy. Tune in on Monday and enjoy the ride!
Hey there Role Mommies…it’s almost Friday and that can only mean one thing. It’s SnazL time!
Starting at 1 pm ET this Friday, join me for our 2nd web show sponsored by Skimbaco Lifestyle and ELF Cosmetics on SnazL with different topics every week! This week’s topic du jour – the Role Mommy Retreat. What do you do to carve out some “me time” in your life? We’ve got some of our experts sharing their fitness, nutrition and relaxation tips and we want to hear from you and here’s a really cool contest they’re running. While I’m hosting my shows, submit your favorite videos too – it can be videos you made or ones you love. The best SnazL-lers will be entered into a contest to win a free trip to NYC compliments of ELF Cosmetics!
The show starts at 1pm and to join the fun, just visit SnazL and search for Role Mommy or click on the video below.
Next, at 2pm, I’ll be hosting my Blog Talk Radio show with Traveling Mom Kim Orlando. You never know where the hour will take us, but trust me when I tell you – it always promises to be a laugh a minute.
Last night was my 13th anniversary and I have to say, from the evening we had, it was truly amazing. Sure, 13 years ago was one of the most wonderful days I have ever had in my entire life (not counting when my kids were born of course), but I have to say, that every year we celebrate our anniversary, we always make sure to do something special and while we stayed close to home this time around, it didn’t matter – we still had the time of our lives. Let me tell you why… First of all, my in-laws agreed to babysit, which means that I was able to book a hotel room in the city and thanks to Kim at Mom in the City, who suggested via Twitter that we give the Michaelangelo hotel a try, I hit paydirt. The hotel was centrally located to the Broadway show we managed to snag house seats for (more on that one soon), and the rooms are gorgeous. King sized beds, cherry-wood furniture, pre-war style, bathrooms with marble tiles and a 55′ bath tub (incidentally, that was Kim’s selling point). Next, it was off to pick up our tickets to the show. And thanks to a fabulous stage and TV producer who knows everyone there is to know on Broadway, I managed to get house seats to the hottest ticket in town…JERSEY BOYS!!! While I have always been a fan of Frankie Valli (I got to see him perform at a television convention with my friend Kristin at Spirited Woman before we even were married or had kids), I never knew the true story about his rise to fame and fortune and let me tell you, it’s an amazing story. If anyone ever tells you that the road to success is paved with gold, then you have to go see this show and watch as one of the most legendary groups on the planet struggled to make it, spent time in jail, mixed with the mob and lived to tell the tale. Best of all, I found myself singing along in my head to all the tunes made famous by Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons. “Oh What A Night,” “Sherry,” “Big Girls Don’t Cry,” “You’re Just too Good to Be True,” “MaryAnn,” the list is huge! What I also loved was hearing the story of their success and failure through four different perspectives. And I totally loved finding out how Joe Pesci connected them to Bob Gaudio, the songwriter who pretty much was responsible for catapulting their career! But I don’t want to spoil it for you. This is a must-see show and will be sticking around for a long time – as confirmed by the theater matron standing near the steps to the theater who told me she’d been working at the show for four years and said there are sold out crowds every single night of the week!!!
As far as our romantic dinner for the evening, we actually broke it up into two experiences. Even though we only had 30 minutes to spare until showtime, we hit Blue Fin on 47th and Broadway for a chilled seafood platter and a glass of wine. Even though the bar was packed, we managed to land a table and were served our food and drinks so fast that we were able to make it back to the show in time for the opening curtain.
After the show, we dined at La Masseria, a romantic Italian restaurant recommended to us by my hubby’s boss. The service was top notch, the food spectacular. I savored the tagliolini with lobster and light tomato sauce while my husband went for the risotto with shrimp and we even shared a bottle of wine (without the whine – how heavenly).
We even managed to get to the restaurant in time to miss what appeared to be a tropical monsoon outside! Lucky for us, by the time we were ready to leave, the rain had stopped and we walked hand in hand back to our hotel – just like a couple of newlyweds.
And so ends the story of my 13th anniversary. Wonder what’s in store for next year. Better yet, I’m looking forward to enjoying an exciting year with my husband, my kids, my family and friends – because honestly, that’s what life is all about. Doing what you love with the people who love you most.