When I started out blogging several years ago, I never thought I’d be doing it for six years. Sharing stories, opinions about books, toys, strollers, you name it, but at the heart of it, I was excited to find out about new things and share them with my friends, the readers of this blog, fellow bloggers and perfect strangers. At the heart of it, I figured, I’m just an every day mom giving my honest opinion about topics in the news, movies I had just seen, books I had read and more. I created my blog to make people laugh and at times, to encourage them to try new things. At the heart of it, Role Mommy exists because it’s a place for me to do what I love while raising a family.
The problem with blogging is sometimes, you have writers block and instead of posting something boring or lame, you decide to take a breather until inspiration strikes. That’s what happened to me. I’ve been working full time now for about eight months while balancing Role Mommy and Project You and frankly it’s been tough. I want to write, but I also want to read those books (just finished the biography of Steve Jobs btw, and it’s a must read for any budding entrepreneur or dreamer), spend time with my family, veg out on the couch or just hang out with my cats – wait I can do that while I blog.
When you work a lot, sometimes the things you love most get neglected and for that dear readers, I am sorry. I promise not to do that again! If you’re a writer and facing the same brick wall – you can’t seem to think of what to write about each day, here’s a personal challenge that I plan to try:
1. Tell one story a day: It could be a conversation you had with a close girlfriend; a holiday shopping find; a meal that you whipped up from scratch; a photo of your pet or your child doing something really silly. If you find the one nugget of your day that you think others will find interesting, funny or informative – then go for it. Even if your mom is the only one who reads it, at least you know you’re capturing every day of your life in a way that is meaningful to you and possibly to many others.
So get ready to laugh again, be inspired and much more. Role Mommy is my passion, my outlet, my place to be me, so hope you enjoy what we’ve got in store for you in 2012 and if you have a story to share, please do – we’d love to hear from you!
While I’m not a psychic, I do know a little bit about entertainment, trends, moms, politics (well not really) and tweens. So here’s my top 10 predictions for 2012 – see if you agree.
1. Ryan Seacrest will be named co-host of Live with Kelly. It’s inevitable – he just has to sell his mansion and figure out how he’s going to host “American Idol” from L.A. but Ryan Seacrest is totally Big Apple bound. Besides, “Live with Ryan and Kelly” has a way better ring to it than “Live with Kelly and Andy.”
2. Pinterest is poised to become the hottest new site in 2012. Forget Foursquare and Stumble Upon. Now that you can create a bulletin board with videos, links, photos and more, Pinterest has the ability to attract all ages and drive traffic to websites and blogs in an organic way.
3. Goodbye Nate and Oprah, hello Katie and Ricki. Looking forward to seeing the daytime talk shows that will be hitting the airwaves next Fall. My money is on Ricki since new moms, tween moms and moms to be can relate to her realism. And I love that she nearly grabbed the mirror ball trophy this year on “Dancing with the Stars.” Go Ricki and welcome back to talk!
4. The Road to the Presidency – my gut tells me that Mitt Romney will get the nod and his running mate could be Chris Christie. Either way, I don’t think that’ll be a strong enough match for the Obama camp. While the economy has yet to rebound, the health care situation is still a bit of a mess and he doesn’t have the support of Congress, he did find Osama Bin Laden and finally get rid of him; he captured Moammar Khadafi and got rid of him too and finally started bringing troops home. Rome wasn’t built in a day, but at least we’re headed in the right direction.
5. The Rise of the Ezine – Sure, I have a personal interest in this one, but trust me when I tell you, people like to read publications online. I happen to live for my New York Post and People Magazine apps so here’s hoping that Project You Magazine becomes an app in the New Year and reaches millions of parents worldwide! Incidentally, I’m also loving the brand new Editions App from AOL where you select the sections you want to read and a magazine miraculous is created just for you.
6. Another Trash TV Reality Star will Emerge – While I don’t know who it is just yet, I’m sure that 2012 will launch the career of another talentless person who doesn’t deserve the spotlight but will get it due to their awful behavior. Will they come from MTV, Bravo or TLC? That is the question
7. Meryl Streep will win another Oscar. Put Meryl Streep in a movie about Margaret Thatcher and trust me when I tell you, she will win the Academy Award for best actress this year. Here’s hoping that Octavia Spencer nabs the supporting actress category for “The Help,” but my money on the top prize is Streep. And best movie…I say “The Help” but something tells me it’ll be something I haven’t actually seen in theaters.
8. Young Adult Books will surpass traditional best sellers First there was “Harry Potter,” then there was “Twilight” and then came the “Hunger Games.” And now, I’ve seen a commercial for a new book geared towards tweens and teens written by James Patterson. Who needs the boomers or GenXers when you’ve got socially savvy kids who are actually reading a lot! Thank goodness for little things.
9. Mediterranean Cuisine is the New It Food – Now that we know that fish, olive oil, hummus and other delicacies from the mediterranean are good for us, look for plenty more Greek restaurants to pop up in your area. We went to one restaurant that actually delivers! So long Chinese, you’ve been replaced by Greek food!
10. Apple will come out with a new iPad, a bigger MacBook Air and yet another iPhone: The year would not be complete without me buying the previous year’s model of an Apple product only to find out the latest version is available in the New Year.
While tourists descend upon Manhattan in droves, I’ve discovered that I’ve missed my calling. Instead of pursuing a career in PR and writing, I should have been a tour guide. You see, I know a heck of a lot about New York. More importantly, I know how to navigate the city like the back of my hand and over the years, I’ve found some online tools to help guide me when I don’t know exactly where I’m going. So this past week, while getting ready for an event at the Times Square Visitors Center, I put my knowledge of the Big Apple to the test when a few tourists mistook me for the information booth and proceeded to ask me all kinds of questions:
Q. “Excuse me Miss, do you know where TKTS booth is located?”
A. Of course! Right in the middle of Times square where the bleachers are now located – it’s red and white and says TKTS – you can’t miss it. And by the way – if you don’t get to see the Broadway show you’re looking for, go to Ellen’s Stardust Diner instead – it’s located on 51st and 7th Avenue and the place is jam packed with singing waiters and waitresses hoping to make it big on Broadway. Love that place!
Q. I need to get to SoHo from Times Square and I was told I could take one train. Is that possible?
A. Anything is possible. Do you have a phone with a browser? No, you don’t? No worries, you can use my Droid. Just visit HopStop.com, enter the address where you’d like to go and it will give you the exact trains you need to take plus walking directions to your destination. Easy, peasy.
Q. How can I tell what cross streets a building is located between if it’s on an avenue?
A. Simple, just visit the Cross Street Locator and enter the address and it’ll find the streets you need.
Q. I’m driving into Manhattan. How can I find a parking garage that won’t rip me off?
A. Visit www.bestparking.com, enter the address where you’re going, the time you’d like to arrive and you can print out a coupon for the least expensive parking option that’s closest to your destination. Expect to pay as little as $12-$15 for parking.
Q. What if we need to use a bathroom when we’re in the city? Are there any public bathrooms that are semi-decent?
A. Thanks to Mayor Bloomberg, NYC bathrooms have truly come a long way. I’ve found that the bathrooms in Grand Central Terminal are pretty clean. My absolute favorite bathroom however is located in Bryant Park – that one sports mosaic tiles and fresh flowers! Gotta love that – a no porto-san zone!
Q. What are typical must see places that most tourists visit during the holidays?
* The Rockefeller Center Tree – this year the tree will be lit on November 30.
The Holiday window display at Saks, located at 611 Fifth Avenue near 49th Street.
The Windows at Lord and Taylor, located at 424 Fifth Avenue near 38th Street
The Radio City Christmas Spectacular
Toys R Us, Located in Times Square
FAO Schwartz, located at 767 5th Avenue near 59th street.
American Girl Place, located at 609 5th Avenue near 49th street
Q. What are some of the places that you like to visit this time of year?
* The shops at Bryant Park (great crafts, jewelry, clothes, collectables and more) plus free ice skating compliments of Citi Group.
* The holiday shopping at Grand Central Terminal (do you see a pattern here)
* Ice skating in Wollman rink in Central Park
*Watching the balloons blown up near 81st and Central Park West the night before the Thanksgiving Day Parade.
* Movies in 3D Imax at Sony Lincoln Square.
* Brunch on the upper west side (Popovers, Sarabeth’s, Barney Greengrass and Good Enough to Eat.
* Buying great scarves, hats and gloves from street vendors all along 5th Avenue.
Q. What are your kids’ favorite places to visit this time of year?
* Nintendo World in Rockefeller Center
* Lego World (right across the street from Nintendo World)
* M&M World, Times Square
* Mars 2112 – where they have a motion simulator ride and you’re waiting on by aliens from another planet.
* Nuts – Any roasted peanut or cashew vendor along 5th Avenue.
* Bubba Gump Shrimp – where you get to be quizzed by your waiter and waitress on all things “Forrest Gump” while dining on cajun shrimp and jello shots (minus the alcohol of course).
Q. Are there any new places or stores to visit this year?
A. Absolutely! In fact, the new Disney NYC flagship store just opened in the heart of Times Square. The place is two stories high, offers tons of Mickey inspired New York City memorabilia on the lower level and then on the 2nd floor, you can find everything from custom cars from the movie (create your own car while you wait). A princess section with magical mirrors that come alive when you wave your hand (or a wand) in front of them, and an arts and crafts area that shows movies while you shop for gifts. (Obviously make sure you’re kids are supervised!). Plus, there’s also great Disney gifts to be had – from Toy Story to Spiderman to Phineas and Ferb to all those adorable princess costumes. Oh how I remember the days of Belle, Cinderella and Jasmine. Time flies, so enjoy it all while you can!
Q. What are the best museums to take my kids during the holidays?
* Museum of Natural History & Hayden Planetarium, located at 81st and Columbus
* Children’s Museum of Manhattan (for younger children – ages 6 and under)
* Museum of Modern Art (for older kids).
* Intrepid Sea-Air and Space Museum
For more great ideas, visit the NYC Gov. website.
Q. Are there shows I can take my kids to that won’t break the bank?
A. Absolutely – try The New Victory Theater , which offers great performances for families. Plus, there’s always the Big Apple Circus and Cirque de Soleil Wintuk.
Q. Should I take one of those tour buses throughout the city or just walk along the streets like everyone else?
A. That one is totally up to you. If you don’t like walking, opt for the bus and then you can get a birds eye view of several Manhattan landmarks. If you’re interested in a cool walking tour, try the Ghosts of New York located in Greenwich Village. This one is great for families with older kids – you don’t want to scare the little ones!
If you’re visiting New York anytime soon and have a question to ask, please feel free to comment below. I’m starting to like being a tour guide – maybe I’ll even host one of those double decker bus tours.