It’s the summer and that can only mean one thing…time for a few Role Mommy Road Trips! First stop…Block Island. If you live on the east coast and have never ventured out to this tiny island with your family, then you don’t know what you’re missing! Dozens of great restaurants, beaches galore, charming bed and breakfasts, boutique shops with tons of Vera Bradley bags :), haunted houses (gotta love that) and picturesque bike trails.
In case you’re planning a trip to Block Island, here are five of my favorite things… 1. It’s Easy to Get There – If you live on the east coast, there are ferries from Montauk, New London, and our personal fave, Point Judith. While it takes about three hours to drive to Pt. Judith from our house, once you purchase your tickets to the high speed ferry, it only takes 30 minutes to get to the island. Just make sure you don’t eat your lunch because these days, the seas are seriously rough. One of the staffers was even circling the seating area with barf bags. Luckily we didn’t use them – but I did take one just in case! 2. Bed & Breakfasts, Haunted Hotels and Hospitality Galore – Have to say, I love where we’re staying this year. It’s called The Island Home and the innkeeper, Dina, is one of the friendliest people I’ve ever met. We’ve also stayed at the Narragansett Inn (pictured above) and Kathy, who has run the hotel for nearly two decades, is also so sweet, remembers our kids and is a great conversationalist too! Wonder why we’re not staying there this year? Just buy “The Ghosts Of Block Island” and you’ll find out why! I’m a little skittish on the ghost front and supposedly, most of the B&B’s and hotels are haunted. No sign of apparitions where we are, but we still have a few days (and nights) left! 3. Mansion Beach – Thanks to our great friends, we’ve discovered the best beach on the island. It’s called Mansion Beach and you’ve got to get their early or else you’ll never find a parking spot for your car. But once you’re there, the waves are high, the sights are gorgeous and I get to dive into my beach read! Oh – and did I mention that every year, our good friends have an annual reunion with their high school and college buddies, and invited us a few years back to join the caravan. The highlight of our beach experience is topped off by one of their actor friends, who goes by the name of “Pirate Tom” and hosts a massive treasure hunt for kids of all ages. While the expedition initially started out about a decade ago with two kids, there were about 50 children racing for pirate booty during Pirate Tom’s latest adventure! Don’t believe me, check out this vintage clip of Pirate Tom from 2007!
4. Shopping Anyone? Ever wonder where all those kitschy items that are reviewed by some of my favorite mom blogs (Cool Mom Picks) can be found? Simple, the boutique shops of Block Island. From onesies that say “Chicks Dig Me” to changing pads called Cushy Tushies, plus great Vera Bradley bags and craft fairs galore (where I picked up a gorgeous picture frame and mail box with hydrangeas on it from a local artist who summers in Block Island and lives full-time in Houston), shopping in Block Island is one of my favorite pastimes! 5. The Summer of Lobster Continues…Did I mention the amazing restaurants on the island like the Spring House and the Atlantic Inn? There is nothing quite like seafood in the summer time and lucky for us, the Spring House, which is set atop a picturesque hill overlooking the bay, has steamed and stuffed lobster on the menu – along with mouth watering appetizers and desserts (they had me at key lime creme brulee). And the wine list is killer too. Oh, and about that view… For more information, visit Block Island tourism.
I’ve been reading lots of really greatblog posts over the last two days about a recent firestorm that has directly affected the blogosphere. You see, the queen of crafts, the diva of DIY, the countess of culinary skills and the high priestess of horticulture completely insulted bloggers who have looked up to her for years. Who am I talking about? Well, if you haven’t guessed already, it’s none other than Martha Stewart.
Stewart is not one to mince words and during a recent interview for Bloomberg News she decided to let it all hang out and finally say what was on her mind about the thousands of bloggers claiming they are experts in all things crafts and cooking. Stewart looked at her interviewer and blurted, “Who are these bloggers?” She continued that they are not editors at Vogue (who incidentally probably didn’t train at a culinary school either) and they do not test their recipes like they do at magazines. Take a look:
In my nine years as a blogger, I have had the great fortune of meeting and working with some of the most talented lifestyle and food bloggers on the planet. Take Jennie Perillo from In Jennie’s Kitchen and best selling author who tests all the recipes she features on her blog. Oh and maybe you’ve forgotten that Ree Drummond, aka Pioneer Woman started out as a blogger. Who is that woman anyway??? How dare she claim to know anything about cooking?
If you’d like to head on over to party planning, then look no further than Partybluprints. Founded by Dawn Sandomeno and Elizabeth Mascali, these two gorgeous moms know how to throw a party right down to the floral arrangements, canapes and fruity drinks with flare. They even create customized “blu-prints” on how you too can re-create the same party right in your home. Incidentally, I’ve been to several of their events and they are absolutely fabulous.
Moving right along to crafts. Martha, have you ever heard of Make and Takes by genius DIY crafter Marie LeBaron? Marie is a former teacher turned crafter extraordinaire. Marie has a loyal following and is a published author too. How dare she claim to be a design expert? Um. Because she is.
Want to hop on over to fashion? Well let me introduce you to Audrey McClelland from Mom Generations. She’s a graduate of Brown University, who previously worked for Donna Karan before becoming a work at home mom. She now has five children, co-hosts a television show in Rhode Island, is a spokesperson for countless brands and has launched Getting Gorgeous events along with her best friend and popular fashion and entertainment blogger Vera Sweeney who pens Lady and the Blog.
Need a travel expert? Well I have two for you. Kim Orlando, the founder of Traveling Mom who has traveled across the continent with her family and has launched a blog network comprised of traveling moms who share their real experiences vacationing with or without their family. I’d also like to introduce you to Katja Presnal – except Katja now lives in Sweden where she runs the hugely popular blog Skimbaco Lifestyle. An avid skier, traveler, speaker and lover of all things style, Katja has launched an online brand which embodies the notion that everyone should live life to the fullest. Now if that’s not a good thing, I don’t know what is.
There are even more talented individuals who were actually part of your Martha Stewart blogger network, except, now that they feel unwelcome, many have decided to pick up stakes and leave. Wonder if Gwyneth Paltrow will be launching a blogger network soon. I heard you insulted her too because how could an Academy award winning actress know anything about being a lifestyle expert? Honestly, the same could be said for a former stock broker turned domestic guru.
I know you have bigger foie gras to fry (can you actually fry foie gras?) and could care less about annoying bloggers who are experts in being couch potatoes (okay truth be told — that’s me) but next time when you’re asked, you might want to think twice about pissing off the one group who used to worship the ground you walked on.
Here’s hoping you offer my talented blogging friends an apology. And if not, it’s been nice crafting with you.
Now that we’re in full back to school mode, yours truly is fantasizing about vacations. In fact, I’m in the process of planning my dad’s 70th birthday and we’re about to sail the open seas in February to the Caribbean. But while I’m planning the shindig, I’ve been having fun checking out the places I want to go next. And here’s a snapshot of my Fave Five Fantasy vacations.
1. Aruba – I have always wanted to go to Aruba – from the white sandy beaches to the gorgeous ocean views and the perfect weather all year round, one of these days I will finally make it to Aruba. And while I’ve been surfing the web, I’ve even found Kid Friendly resorts in Aruba with tons of activities and gorgeous rooms.
2. Hawaii – Another destination on my must vacation list. Once you buy your plane tickets, check out how reasonable these hotels are for families! I think it’s cheaper to go to Hawaii then to head to Florida during spring break!!!
3. Dominican Republic – We went to Club Med Punta Cana several years ago with our kids and totally loved it, and since that time, several resorts have popped up that are perfect for families. Plus, the price is right too.
4. Jamaica – Love, love, love Jamaica. Food is amazing, service is unbeatable and the music is amazing! I’m determined to hit the Half Moon resort in Montego Bay next go round because kids under 16 stay for free!!!
5. New York City – Okay – since I live in New York – I don’t really need to stay at a hotel but if I do decide to check in, why not feel like an A-lister and book yourself where the celebrities stay? Sure they usually are staying there free of charge (because they’re promoting a movie, TV show, or new CD), but why not put on a pair of oversized sunglasses and pretend you’re one of the new stars of Real Housewives of NYC (or the Biggest Loser).
Want to hear more about my latest adventures this week? Then listen in and laugh to my latest Blog Talk Radio show with Traveling Mom!
Don’t have time to read? No worries – just download our latest Role Mommy on the Run & Traveling Mom show on Blog Talk Radio. On our latest show, we dished the dirt on vacations, brand new book picks, the upcoming BlogHer conference, our take on social media, publicists and bloggers and much much more!
TGITW (Thank God it’s the Weekend). That means that we’re back on Blog Talk Radio with our re-cap of the week. From hot topics like the Scarsdale mom who got arrested after kicking her bratty kids out of her car, to tips to avoiding a stressful family vacation to news on our upcoming celebrity events, we’ve got a jam packed 45 minutes of fun. So get ready to listen in and laugh!
Today’s show was truly on the run when I learned that our car was towed just when we were about to start our latest show! Tune in to Kim at Traveling Mom and Role Mommy’s favorite right hand woman Bonny and find out if we managed to track down the car and make it back to the show in time. Click here to listen in.