We are a mother and daughter who both love to write. We decided to start this blog so we could spend time together doing something
we both love and share it with you. We specialize in reviewing fun places to go and fun things to do, but we talk a little bit about everything.
We would love to hear your views too.

Wednesday, April 8, 2020

What-To-Do Wednesday - The Strong Museum of Play

If you want to get your dose of culture while being stuck inside, many museums and other attractions offer a variety of virtual exhibits. This is an especially great time to explore museums and attractions that are outside of your area and maybe even outside of your country that you ordinarily would not be able to get to because of time and/or money constraints. We will doing so as well and  we will be sharing one or more of our virtual visits in today's and future What-To-Do Wednesday posts.


What: The Strong Museum of Play 

Physical Location: 1 Manhattan Square
                                Rochester, NY

The Strong Museum of Play was established in Rochester, New York in 1969 and opened to the public in 1982.  It was initially based around the collection of  Margaret Woodbury Strong. The museum is devoted to the study and exploration of play, and it is the largest museum of its kind. The National Toy Hall of Fame is located at the museum and new honorees are added to the hall each year. 

The museums numerous collections include:

Toy and Doll Collections

Video and Other Electronic Game Collections

and  much more.


Current online exhibits include:


American Board and Card Game History

Learn about early games like The Jolly Game of Goose and The Landlord's Game, a precursor of Monopoly.

Explore the history of popular games like Battleship and Trivial Pursuit.

Discover newer games like Dominion and Agricola.

https://artsandculture.google.com/exhibit/american-board-and-card-game-history/9wJiZCrQ9FmHJw


A Brief History of Women in Gaming the 1980s:  

Learn about such pioneering women as:

Roberta Williams who along with her husband founded a software company and created the first graphic adventure game.

Dona Bailey who was a co-creators of Centipede.

Reiko Kodama  who was the first female video game artist

and more.

The exhibit also includes video clips of some of the games in action.

https://artsandculture.google.com/exhibit/a-brief-history-of-women-in-gaming-the-1980s/CwKCGJf3HpdoIg


The Oregon Trail, MECC and the Rise of Computer Learning: 

Learn about the history of MECC and their development of the game Oregon Trail.

Learn how the game changed over time.

https://artsandculture.google.com/exhibit/the-oregon-trail-mecc-and-the-rise-of-computer-learning/TAICA3oJZQm2Kw


Other current online exhibits include:

Margaret Woodbury Strong and the Making of the Strong Museum

https://artsandculture.google.com/exhibit/margaret-woodbury-strong-and-the-making-of-the-strong-national-museum-of-play/PQICXcY_ELWwIA

Making Monopoly: A History of the Origins of American's Favorite Board Game

https://artsandculture.google.com/exhibit/making-monopoly-a-history-of-the-origins-of-america%E2%80%99s-favorite-board-game/ZgLSngw0ZZDFLQ

Playing with Politics

https://artsandculture.google.com/exhibit/playing-with-politics/UwKivEbgPUxQJQ

and more.


There are also several online picture collections to explore include ones devoted to:

Dolls and related items

Videos and related items

and more.


For more about The Strong Museum of Play or to explore its online collections and exhibits, visit https://www.museumofplay.org/.

Tune in tomorrow for Theater Thursday.

photo credit: Sean X. Liu Strong national museum of play via photopin (license)

Tuesday, April 7, 2020

Tips for Tuesday - Books: Something She's Not Telling Us and Misc: Herbal Essence Sulfate Free Potent Aloe + Hemp Frizz Control Shampoo and Conditione

We may have been given a complimentary copy of one or more of the books and other products mentioned below for review purposes. Any and all opinions expressed here are our own.

Books: Something She's Not Telling Us


See the source image

Mom - Today I  am recommending Something She's Not Telling Us by Darcey Bell. This book begins with a mother's whose child is kidnapped from school.  Anyone who has ever had a child or loved a child can relate to the absolute horror and dread this event would entail. Just reading about it it makes you feel like you are living it, and immediately draws you into the story. In this case, it is Charlotte whose daughter Daisy has been kidnapped by her brother's new girlfriend, Ruth. Although, Charlotte can be somewhat of any overprotective mother, she really doesn't want Daisy around Ruth because there is something not quite right about Ruth.  However, for some reason, Daisy is drawn to Ruth even though she is a child who is quite reserved and usually doesn't take well to strangers. When Ruth picks Daisy up from school and disappears with her, Charlotte's reservations about Ruth seem well justified. This is a very exciting thriller that will have you on the edge of your seat. The characters are well drawn and full dimensional none of them are all black or  all white even the character of Ruth is not just completely an evil villain. The ending  of the book is completely unpredictable and completely satisfying in an unexpected way. All in all, it is a very enjoyable read.


Misc: Herbal Essence Sulfate Free Potent Aloe + Hemp Frizz Control 
           Shampoo and Conditioner


Mom - Today I am recommending Herbal Essence Sulfate Free Potent Aloe + Hemp Frizz Control Shampoo and Conditioner. Although these products do not completely eliminate frizz they do greatly reduce frizz much more so than other similar products I have tried in the past. They give my hair a much smoother look even without  the assistance of blow drying or using other styling products. Additionally, they are not only sulfate free but they are paraben free, colorant free and even certified by PETA to be cruelty-free so you can feel good about using them. They are also reasonably priced and easily affordable .

And that's Mom's view. Tune in tomorrow for What-To-Do Wednesday.

Monday, April 6, 2020

Ten Fun Things to Do at Home That Don't All Involve Starring at a Screen

Me- Here are five fun things to do at home.


1) Play board games- Fun board games we would recommend include:  Trivial Pursuit, Be A Broadway Star, Can You Name Five, Taboo, Jenga, and Flapdoodle.


2) Do artwork - It is fun to do artwork because you can get as creative a you would like. There are so many things you can use around your house to create artwork like egg crates, paper clips. and even old hair accessories.


3) Make-up stories - Making up stories is fun because you get to decide everything in the story including the characters, what they say, what their names are, what they look like and everything that goes on in the story. You can either write a story down, just say it out loud to another person or a group of people or just make it up in your mind.


4) Watch movies - If you like movies about animals like me, I would recommend Beethoven, Beethoven's 2nd, Because of Winn Dixie, Andre,  and Superbuddies, Even if you don't like animal movies there are plenty of other options about just about any topic you can think of and that you enjoy


5) Read books  - Some books I would recommend are the Paddington series, Charlotte's Web, the Magic Puppy series, and the Fudge books by Judy Blume. However if you don't like these books or they are not on your reading level, there are plenty of books to choice from and you should easily be able to find one you like.

Mom - Here are five more fun things to do at home


6) Do puzzles - You can do a jigsaw puzzle. If that doesn't interest you, you can do a word puzzle. There are so many types of word puzzles to choose from including word searches, crossword puzzles and jumbles. You can even make-up a puzzle yourself and give it to someone else to solve.


7) Cook - When your stuck at home that is the perfect time to look for and try-out a new recipe. You might even want to make up a receipe of your own.


8) Listen to music- There are so many different ways to listen to music and so many different kinds of music. There is definitely something for everyone. You can even just make your own music by singing and/or playing an instrument.


9) Talk to your family- You can talk about serious things or just laugh and joke and just generally have a good time together.


10) Dance - This is not only a good way to spend a time at home, but a good way to get exercise too.

And that's our view. What do you like to do on when your stuck at home day?

photo credits:
photo credit 1: woodleywonderworks Sorry!™ boy via photopin (license)
photo credit:2 marcoverch Verschiedenfarbige Bleistifte zeigen Richtung Zentrum via photopin (license)
photo credit 3: marcoverch Nahaufnahme einer weiblichen Hand, die durch ein Notizbuch blättert via photopin (license)
photo credit 4: Martin Pettitt My Annual Binge On Harry Potter via photopin (license)
photo credit 5: RubyT (I come here for cameraderie) bookworm via photopin (license)
photo credit 6: cmiked Puzzle time. via photopin (license)
photo credit 7: Nestlé Cooking together via photopin (license)
photo credit 8: barnigomez Felipe Dj. via photopin (license)
photo credit 9: juhansonin Deep conversation via photopin (license)
photo credit 10: Evil Erin i will have fun via photopin (license)

Sunday, April 5, 2020

Sunday Scoop Week of 4/5/20 - Updates Regarding the Latest Postponements and Cancellations Plus Current and Upcoming Alternatives to Live In Person Events and More

Cancellations

New York

1) 2020 Brits Off Broadway Season at 59E59 Theatres has been cancelled
2) MCC Theatre has cancelled the rest of its season.

Current and Upcoming Alternatives to Live In Person Events and More 

1)The Actor's Fund Announces Play Series as Part of "Stars in the House"
2) Broadway Workshop Online Donation Based  Class with Rachelle Rak 4/11
3) Build A  Bot Companion
4) Dimenna's Children's History Museum Hands-On Activities
5) Disney Hits Playlist
6) Likah! A Puppy Musical Creative Team Releases Music Video and Home Activity
7) Lips Together Teeth Apart Live Reading 4/6
8) Parallel Exit Presents At-Home Edition of MOVE IT!
9) Seth 's Virtual Talent Showcase & Self Isolation Song Cycle
10 Tada Youth Theatre's Song Challenge
11) Virtual Concerts, Songs, and Music for Kids
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1) “STARS IN THE HOUSE” HOSTS SETH RUDETSKY AND JAMES WESLEY PRESENT>

EVERY WEDNESDAY AND SATURDAY MATINEE AS 

PART OF ITS REGULAR DAILY LIVE-STREAMED SHOW

IN SUPPORT OF

THE ACTORS FUND

AND THEIR SERVICES FOR THOSE IN NEED IN

PERFORMING ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT


“STARS IN THE HOUSE” PARTNERS WITH SIRIUSXM RADIO AS THE OFFICIAL AUDIO BROADCASTER IN ADDITION TO ITS REGULAR LIVE-STREAMING


The Actors Fund, the national human services organization for everyone in 

performing arts and entertainment, recently announcedthat SiriusXM Broadway 

host Seth Rudetsky and his husband, producer James Wesley, will also 

produce and host Plays in the House as part of its weekly lineup of Stars in 

the House, a daily online show at 2:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. ET. Plays in the  House began Wednesday, April 1st at 2:00 p.m. and will continue every Saturday and Wednesday matinee at 2:00 p.m. until Broadway reopens.


Future plays will star Harvey FiersteinTony ShaloubBrooke Adams and 

more. Director/writer Peter Flynn (Smart BlondeRhapsody in Seth starring 

Seth Rudetsky) serves as the online reading coordinator for this series. The 

producers also wish to thank Theatre Authority and Actors’ Equity Association 

for their support.


Stars in the House, which officially kicked off on March 16th is a daily series that

features stars of stage and screen singing and performing live (from home!) to 

promote support for The Fund’s services for those most vulnerable to the 

effects of Coronavirus (COVID-19).  Joining Seth and James for the shows 

is Dr. Jon LaPook, chief medical correspondent for CBS News. 

Visit starsinthehouse.com for more info and to learn about upcoming guests. 

Since the first show, Stars in the House has raised more than $120,000 to 

benefit The Actors Fund.


For more information, visit www.starsinthehouse.com 
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2) Broadway Workshop Donation based class with Dance Mom's Star Rachelle Rak

SATURDAY APRIL 11
10:30AM-11:30AM Est.
Ages: All Ages
Cost: Donation/Pay what you can
Zoom Online Workshop

Rachelle Rak has been offering this incredible class at Broadway Workshop for the last 10 years, leaving parents and students raving. Now, Rachelle is bringing her class to you at home as a donation based class. Pay whatever you can to be part of this incredible workshop!

Students in this class will gain confidence in their dance abilities and work on putting their best self forward in the dance classes and auditions.

A true Broadway star, Rachelle has starred on Broadway in Catch Me If You Can, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, The Look Of Love, Cats, Starlight Express, Smokey Joe's Cafe, Fosse, Thou Shalt Not and Oklahoma! as well as being featured in the documentary Every Little Step. Regionally Rachelle starred as Sheila in A Chorus Line at Paper Mill Playhouse and on tour in the musical Flashdance. Rachelle was presented with the award for outstanding achievement in the world of dance from Dance Educators of America. She has made a huge impact on the Broadway and musical theater community. Students will learn how to bring out their special spark in dance auditions from Broadway's ultimate Gypsy. Rachelle appeared as a judge on the Lifetime TV show Abby Lee's Ultimate Dance Competition as well as a guest teacher on Lifetime's DANCE MOM'S.

Kids, Teens and Parents are welcomed! All levels!

What you need to participate:

  • A computer or device (such as a phone or tablet) with internet connection
  • Zoom - available through download at www.Zoom.com

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3) Learn How to Build 
A Bot Companion For Free

Beerud Sheth, Founder and CEO of Gupshup—the world’s most advanced bot and messaging platformhas created a YouTube crash course on building bots from scratch for free

The 19-part course covers everything from building bots for Slack to creating a voice bot for Google Home. Everyone from tech hobbyists to first-timers can explore over 10 hours of tutorials at your own pace.

Gupshup is hosting various free webinars on incorporating bots into the WhatsApp platform. The webinar is available in multiple languages until May 2020 and is for anyone interested in learning everything you need to know about incorporating bots on this globally popular platform.
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4) Creative Team behind Likah! A Puppy Musical - releases music video and home activity guide
LIKAH!  is a charming new family musical written by Deborah Haber and Casey Filiaci, directed by Deborah Haber with musical direction by Don Kot and puppet direction by James Silson

Real life Border Collie Likah is the inspiration for this very special musical of unconditional love, pure joy, and dealing with the unexpected hurt of losing someone dear. Audiences young and old immediately identify and engage in Likah’s charming world of exploration and adventure as she discovers life’s challenges – puddles, snow monsters, and an older sister who doesn’t like her! You’ll laugh! you’ll cry! Sing your way out the door! LIKAH!’s enchantment will stay with you for a very, very long time...and that in a nutshell is LIKAH! 

For more information, visit www.LikahaPuppyMusical.com
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5) @Home with 
DiMenna Children’s History Museum

Keep your young history fans engaged with DiMenna Children’s History Museum’s hands-on activities, the History Detectives Blog, and virtual family programs. From your littlest ones to your middle-school readers, they offer fun and challenging ways for your whole family to dig in, celebrate New York, and explore history. Join them on Zoom on April 8 at 1 pm for their first virtual Living History program, Meet the She-Merchants, where costumed interpreter Cheyney McKnight introduces the pioneering women who worked in business and trade in 18th-century New York. Cheyney brings to life their stories, and the goods and artifacts they imported, exported, and sold. 

Stay engaged with history! Sign up for History@Home, their free online social studies lesson program. Kids take real-time classes via Zoom with New-York Historical educators, teachers register for our remote professional workshops, and parents and teachers receive daily lesson plans for children at home. Also: Don't forget about their online Citizenship Product classes for green card holders and Women & the American Story, our curriculum website.

For more information go to https://www.nyhistory.org/education/history-home
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6) Disney's Hit List

The Disney Hits Playlist is available on all streaming platforms 
https://disneymusic.co/DisneyHitsPlaylists.  It’s also easy to engage with Disney Hits via voice activated devices such as Alexa, Hey Google, and Siri.  Simply ask “Alexa, play Disney Hits.”  There is something for everyone in the family to listen to and enjoy.
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7) LIVE READING OF
TERRENCE MCNALLY’
LIPS TOGETHER, TEETH APART"
MONDAY APRIL 6

LIVESTREAM WILL BENEFIT
BROADWAY CARES/EQUITY FIGHTS AIDS
COVID-19 EMERGENCY RELIEF FUND

Broadway.com, with producers Eric Kuhn & Justin Mikita, will present a live reading of Terrence McNally’s Lips Together, Teeth Apart on Monday, April 6, 2020, at 8:00 PM EDT. Benefitting the Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS’ COVID-19 Emergency Assistance Fund, the livestream will be dedicated to McNally, who passed away on March 24, due to coronavirus complications. Viewers can watch on Broadway.com and its Facebook and YouTube channels.

Broadway.com and its Facebook and YouTube channels.>Lips Together, Teeth Apart will star Jesse Tyler Ferguson as Sam Truman, Celia Keenan-Bolger as Sally Truman, Zachary Quinto as John Haddock, and Ari Graynor as Chloe Haddock. It will be directed by Trip Cullman. The play — which The New York Times called one of “Mr. McNally’s finest” — chronicles two straight couples visiting the Fire Island home of a relative who recently died of AIDS during the height of the pandemic.
********************************************************************
8) Parallel Exit

Presents
an At-Home Edition of
MOVE IT!
Parallel Exit presents an at-home edition of its annual free physical theatre performance series MOVE IT! While normally performed in a live setting, this year's edition is presented through a video showcasing some of Parallel Exit's colleagues working in physical theatre, dance-theatre, mime, puppetry, circus and variety. MOVE IT! is now streaming for free online at vimeo.com/402411587.

MOVE IT! is the only performance series dedicated to physical theatre in New York City. The purpose of the series is to elevate the public profile of physical and visual theatre, featuring a free and accessible evening of short works from New York City physical and visual theatre artists. Mark Lonergan, Artistic Director of Parallel Exit, chooses artists that represent the widest possible range in the field - mime, dance-theatre, puppetry, vaudeville, circus - to offer our audience a rich and diverse evening of performances. The series has presented over 70 artists and companies, presenting their work, and building a larger audience as a unified group.


MOVE IT! features performances by:
Physical Theatre Company: Parallel Exit: Danny Gardner, Joel Jeske, Ryan Kasprzak, Brent McBeth, and Derek Roland
Physical Theatre Company: Broken Box Mime Theater
Circus and Variety Artists: Jan Damm, Ariele Ebacher, Angelo Iodice, Chloe Somers, and Thom Wall
Creator/Sculptor/Performer/Puppeteer: Kevin Augustine of Lone Wolf Tribe
Performers: Derek Roland & Allison Mckenzie Scott
Host: Mark Lonergan, Artistic Director of Parallel Exit
********************************************************************

9) Seth's Virtual Talent Showcase + Self-Isolation Song Cycle 

After producing, emceeing and accompanying 583 weekly musical theatre talent showcases at renowned midtown cabaret venue Don’t Tell Mama since 2007 featuring over 3,000 performers, award-winning off-Broadway composer/lyricist Seth Bisen-Hersh is excited to bring his cabarets to the internet!  Starting Tuesday, April 7th, 2020 at 7PM and continuing weekly until the venue is allowed to reopen, Seth will be presenting Virtual Talent Showcases, which will stream on Facebook Live (@sethbhdotcom) and YouTube (tinyurl.com/sethbhdotcom). 


As usual, Seth will emcee the evening and bookend it with his own songs (some from his newSelf-Isolation song cycle, see below) and the shows will feature 8 different performers each week performing 2 songs.  The only difference between these and the live showcases is Seth will pre-precord the piano accompaniment due to the lag time.

The suggested donation of $10 will be split with the performers, who are singing from all over the country (NYC, Texas, Ohio, Arkansas, Florida) and even the world (Toronto, London, Italy).

Tuesday, April 7th: Ashley Wool, Beatrice Crosbie, Chris O’Neill, Christina Marie McCann, Danielle Alfredo, Estelle Goodwin, Madeline Lacey & Whitney Stone
Tuesday, April 14th: Alexis Nabors, Alicia Bagley, Bailey C. Elis, Hayley Scott, Kyle Yampiro, Lauren Coccaro, Matthew Rosen & Seann Cantatore
Tuesday, April 21st: Ash Straw, Clare McKelway, Gigi Principe, Katie Emery, Kelly Reader, Lauren Vernea, Madison L’Insalata & William Wheeler
Tuesday, April 28th: Becca Kidwell, Brittany Simmons, Giorgia Testa, Maddie Larson, Maggie McAuliffe, Meghan Wilmott, Nicole Mangione & Rachael Small
Tuesday, May 5th: Alex Palting, Carla Angeline Mongado, Emma Davidov, Melanie Scott, Monica Huntz, Morgan Kelleher, Nayeli Abrego & Veronica Alonzo

n addition to the showcases, Seth is putting out a new song every Thursday afternoon from his brand new Self-Isolation Song Cycle, on his comedy YouTube page: http://youtube.com/everydayalittleseth.  Songs so far have been titled “And I Haven’t Died Yet!”, “Six Feet Apart!” and “Hypochondria!” with the next few weeks being “I Miss People” and “The News Isn’t New”.  There will be a new song every week until the state of emergency has been lifted.
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10) TAKE PART IN THE TADA! SONG CHALLENGE! 


Tada Youth Theatre wants to hear and see your version of the TADA! song. Either in part or whole. Whatever you want to do - it's up to you! What part did you always want to do as a solo? Now's your chance!

Make it your own! Teach it to your family, pets, toys...etc! Get theatrical! Create your own costuming, lighting, audience, you name it!! Show them what you've got! Share it or send it to them to share.

They will make a compilation video of all your clips for us to share. Make sure TADA! can continue to give people the business of show for years to come. Help them to get more people to know about TADA!


HERE'S STEP BY STEP INSTRUCTIONS ...
  1. Go to our Youtube channel, where you will find the accompaniment to the TADA! song. You will also find the TADA! song with vocals and lyrics. Feel free to use either one of them! 
  2. Use the whole or part of the song to record your creation!
  3. Post to your social media. Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. Tag TADA! and hashtag #TADAHereWeAre
  4. If you would rather send us your video privately, you can email it to info@tadatheater.com
  5. Come back to our page every day to see new performers doing our challenge!
  6. Help us spread the word by sharing, liking and posting! 

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11) Virtual Concerts, Songs and Music for Kids

Due to fan demand, both Coy Bowles (of Zac Brown Band fame) and The Okee Dokee Brothers are bumping their family album releases up by several weeks. Alastair Moock's Be a Pain: An Album for Young (and Old) Leaders comes out this Friday; Danny Weinkauf (of They Might Be Giants fame) releases Dinosaurs and Metaphors on April 10th; José-Luis Orozco releases ¡Muévete! on April 17th; and Sara Lovell explores the Night Life on May 1st.

These resources offer helpful guides to virtual family concerts and music-focused learning:

Playtime Playlist has posted a spreadsheet of virtual concerts by many artists in the independent family music world.

Red Tricycle has been sharing lots of links to live-streamed shows for house-bound families.

For stories and creative writing exercises, Story Pirates is updating their content daily via the third season of their top-rated podcast and their new Creator Club, and Story Pirates Radio (hosted live every day at 11 am ET). PJ Library offers dozens of literary, craft, and at-home activity ideas, including a PJ Library Listen streaming audio page and several helpful Passover tips for families.

For more see Sugar Mountain PR's blog and/or  follow their Facebook and Twitter feeds, I'm constantly sharing what artists and publishers are creating for kids.
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And that's the scoop. Tune in tomorrow for another Talking Topic.

Stay home, stay safe, stay healthy!