Archive for Featured

Boo at the Zoo: Halloween at the Bronx Zoo


Halloween is one of our favorite celebrations and we fill our October with lots of traditions–haunted hay rides, parties, harvest festivals, crafts, parades, and, of course, dressing up and trick or treating!



This year we are excited to add to our traditions and check out Boo at the Zoo: Dragons and Dinosaurs at the Bronx Zoo.

With my resident paleontologist, we’ll be checking out the Dinosaur Safari: Mysteries Revealed experience. Check back later this month for our photographs and tips!

Boo at the Zoo Bronx

“Boo at the Zoo: Dragons and Dinosaurs is presented by Canon and will begin on Saturday, Oct. 4 and will run for five full weekends including Columbus Day and Halloween. All attractions and activities will embrace the spirit of the season while highlighting wildlife and conservation. Annual favorites including the hay maze, pumpkin carving demos, costume parades, music, magic and more will return with some additional Halloween surprises.”

Visit for a complete schedule of dates, performances and activities.

Disclosure: We are receiving complementary press tickets to facilitate my reviews. As always, words and opinions are my own unless otherwise noted.

Project Runway, Season 13, Episode 1: The Judges Decide

Welcome back to the runway! So, I missed the first 20 minutes due to kiddo bedtimes but there did not seem to be that much drama. We shall see what happens once inspiration and energy starts to flag…


Is it just me or does Nina look totally over this?

From what I gather, the designers were given a box of cheap, ugly material to make something for a “Spring collection.” Which is appropriate since this sponsor just screams “high-end fashion”:


The designers could trade fabrics but since everything was ugly that did not help anyone very much.

OK… let’s do this. Starting with the vast middle.

Read more

Walking with Dinosaurs Coming to Barclays Center – Opening Night Discount

Walking with Dinosaurs is coming to Barclays Center and I can feel the excitement–or is that a giant tyrannosaurus rex?

Walking with Dinosaurs Barclays Center

My eldest son is a junior paleontologist who has memorized every episode of the BBC “Walking with Dinosaurs” series and I know he is going to be thrilled to see these dinosaurs–moving, roaring, practically breathing–live! And when the people at Barclays Center say, “live,” they mean it! Using advanced animatronics, Walking with Dinosaurs Live creates the illusion that the audience has been transported back in time to witness real, alive dinosaurs hunting, raising their young, and more.

“Ten species are represented from the entire 200 million year reign of the dinosaurs. The show includes the Tyrannosaurus Rex, the terror of the ancient terrain, as well as the Plateosaurus and Liliensternus from the Triassic period, the Stegosaurus and Allosaurus from the Jurassic period and Torosaurus and Utahraptor from the awesome Cretaceous period. The largest of them, the Brachiosaurus is 36 feet tall, and 56 feet from nose to tail. It took a team of 50 – including engineers, fabricators, skin makers, artists and painters, and animatronic experts – a year to build the production.”

Barclays Center is hosting Walking with Dinosaurs Live July 16 – July 20 (9 Total Shows): July 16 at 7PM, July 17 at 7PM, July 18 at 10:30AM & 7PM, July 19 at 11AM, 3PM & 7PM, July 20 at 1PM & 5PM. Tickets are available for $99, $75, $55, $35, with special opening night tickets for just $30 (valid on $55 & $35 price points). Group Ticket discounts of over $20 per ticket are also available for groups of 12+.

Buy Tickets: Tickets for Walking with Dinosaurs at Barclays Center are on sale now and can be purchased online via Ticketmaster or by calling 800-745-3000. For more information about the show, visit:

Walking with Dinosaurs Arena Spectacular

Disclosure: As a member of the press, I am receiving tickets to attend opening night of Walking with Dinosaurs at Barclays Center and share my experiences with you.

Frozen Themed Guest Suite and Activity Cave at Quebec City’s Hôtel de Glace

I haven’t seen Frozen, yet, because I let my parents have the privilege of taking the kids…but I hear it is stupendous and can’t wait to watch on DVD.

In what may be one of the most clever tie-ins to a movie (though I am waiting to hear that Disney World’s Blizzard Beach is getting a Frozen make-over), Disney announced a Frozen-inspired suite and activity cave at Quebec City’s Ice Hotel.

Frozen Ice Hotel Suite

Hit it, press release:

Today, Walt Disney Studios has unveiled the first images from the Frozen-inspired suite at Quebec City’s famed Hôtel de Glace, in celebration of Disney’s “FROZEN” Blu-ray & Digital HD release.

Created entirely out of sculpted ice and snow and supervised by the film’s art director Michael Giaimo, the “Frozen Suite” is modeled after Anna & Elsa’s bedrooms. The collaboration will also include a “Frozen Activity Cave” bringing the wonder of Disney’s wintry tale to life like never before. The suite will be unveiled this weekend and remain open through March 23.

I love traveling and in the BC (before children) era I used to be pretty adventurous…but an ice hotel just is not on my bucket list. You sleep wrapped up in a super-warm thermal cocoon-like sleeping bag. Extreme temperatures just isn’t my thing. I would definitely be interested in visiting for a few hours, though, just to see it. How about you?

Elf on the Shelf in the Classroom — Yea or Nay?

We don’t have an elf on the shelf mainly because I need another thing to do this holiday season like I need more stuffed animals in my kids’ rooms. I have four kids ages 7 and under. If I can get them all in bed in time to watch an episode of Doctor Who on Netflix, I call it a win. The tooth fairy has almost forgotten her duties several times already and I don’t think an elf of ours would fair much better. Seriously, parents…why do you want to make more messes for you to clean up…do you need more kids? Want to borrow one of mine?

My daughter thinks that if she wishes on a star Santa will send us one. Sorry kid, blame Jiminy Cricket.

Before you call CPS on me, however, my kids will not be deprived of this wacky new tradition because their classrooms have their very own elves.

I was a little surprised to find out that my kid’s class had adopted (is that the proper EotS terminology? I am a newbie at this…) an elf. Let me be clear before I get fried in the flames of the Internet…I said, “surprised,” not “incensed” or even “concerned.”

Elf on the Shelf Classroom

So, I did some research (i.e. I asked my friends on Facebook and looked at the first page of results in a Google search…totally New York Times standards of journalism going on in here).

Read more

Project Runway Season 12, Finale Part 1

Tonight is the final episode of Project Runway and I am just now getting up my Finale, Part 1 Recap! The remaining five designers are sent home with two guaranteed spots and three left to compete for one (or more) remaining spots. They are going to create 10 looks for spring and 1 must be made from “unconventional materials” with the stern warning that this means no fabric or fabric-like material.

I really enjoy watching Tim complete the home visits and I am eager to find out who will really compete at Fashion Week (since we know they all show, and then some).

Read more

Project Runway Season 12 – Episode 12 – Butterfly Effect


We are down to five and it is the “final” runway before Fashion Week. Heidi says there is a “sausage…or is it a carrot” dangling in front of the designers’ noses.

Is Heidi’s accent thicker all of a sudden?

The designers are going on a field trip for the “inspiration / L’Oreal make-up” challenge and…whoah! Sweetbriar! I cannot believe Project Runway came to Sweetbriar! My family goes to this wildlife rehabilitation center ALL THE TIME. It is a fun place but you have to understand there is a vivarium exhibit at the Museum of Natural History in Manhattan and a MAJOR state of the art vivarium at the aquarium in Riverhead so I was sort of shocked they came to our little podunk nature center. If I had known, I totally would have been there to stalk Tim heckle the designers see if I could catch a glimpse.

Sweetbriar is home to all manner of creatures who are either receiving treatment and will be released or are unable to be released and now call Sweetbriar their home…creatures like one-eyed owls, eagles with only one wing, and all manner of exotic pets whose needs their misguided owners did not anticipate. Well, I hope Sweetbriar got a substantial donation–wonder if the place is all spruced up, now?

The designers are supposed to be drawing inspiration from the butterflies and L’Oreal’s mascara that gives your eyes lashes like the wings of a butterfly or some such marketing nonsense to make an avant garde look. Yes, that fun challenge when we realize that none of these designers really has any idea what might constitute avant garde any more and neither do any of the judges.

Read more

Project Runway, Season 12, Episode 11: Next Generation

With Ken gone, this episode of Project Runway is relatively free of craziness. Let’s see if the designers can bring the drama to their work.

This is the HP pattern design challenge. I love the opportunity the designers have to create a pattern but I wish they could get it printed on better fabrics!

The twist this year is that the designers need to be inspired in their pattern (though not the garment itself) by an innovator.

Helen Castillo gets to choose first and picks Ryan Keeley, an artist who mixes painting with new media. Dude just took a picture of Helen and then spray painted devil horns on her. Cool. Does she get to keep it?
Helen Castillo and Ryan Keeley

Read more

Project Runway Season 12, Episode 9: Let’s Do Brunch

On this week’s very special episode of Project Runway, we learned that Heidi loves mullet skirts, Southern women wear plaid, and the judges have found their crack pipe…but I get ahead of myself.

Juliette Brunch


Heidi sends our remaining designers off to a “Southern Brunch” at Juliette. Read more

New York Renaissance Faire

The New York Renaissance Faire has two more festival weekends open in September. If you are looking for something to do and can make it to Sterling Forest in Tuxedo Park, New York, this is a fun family outing!

Plan to spend at least one full day at the New York Renaissance Faire to take in all the sites, scheduled events, rides, and shopping. This festival is huge and there is tons to explore.

Make sure you dress up! I would have gone in costume if I weren’t pregnant. Instead, I had the fun of dressing up my children.


Read more