I started this blog with one daughter, kept it up with the other, to spend time together doing something we enjoyed.
However, things change and people evolve. My daughters are older, busier, and not as interested in writing.
From now on this blog will be mostly mom with occasional contributions from my daughters and maybe even my husband.
Nothing else will change. We'll still focus on sharing fun places to go, fun things to do, and more, and we would  still love to hear your views too

Monday, November 30, 2015

Monthly Mash-up for November, 2015: Sleep and The Holiday Season

Me- My topic for this month is sleep. I love sleep. It feels good. What a nice feeling when you close your eyes, and your head hits the pillow. I also love the feeling when I wake up on weekends or in the summer, and I can just stay in bed. It feels so much nicer in the morning. It is easier to fall asleep when you have a comfortable bed and pillows. My bed is not always so comfortable. My friend got a new bed, and she was telling me how comfortable it is. I was so jealous. My pillow is not so comfortable either. It is so hard to find  a comfortable pillow. Even when you find one before long, it is uncomfortable. Even when the bed is comfortable, sometimes it's easier to fall asleep than others. If I have a lot on my mind, I have trouble sleeping. However, even when I don't have a lot on my mind, sometimes I have trouble sleeping. Having to get up earlier for school makes it even harder to fall asleep.  It's easiest to get out of bed on the first day of school and then it gets harder and harder as the school year goes on. It is also easier to get out of bed when it is not cold. Not getting so much sleep now makes me regret all the naps I didn't get as a little kid. I wish I could spend more of my time sleeping.

Mom: My topic for this month is the holiday season. The holiday season seems to get longer and longer all the time. It used to start on Thanksgiving. Then, they started taking out all the Christmas stuff after Halloween. This year it seems like most of the stores starting taking all their holiday stuff out before Halloween even came. At the rate things are going, I full expect that before you know it the holiday season will start on Valentine's Day. The longer holiday season doesn't make it better. It just makes things more commercial. I mean isn't the holiday season supposed to be about family and loving your fellow man and all that? Instead, it seems to be more and more about buying and getting. Also, if you've ever been in a crowded mall during the holiday season you know that just because its the holiday season doesn't necessarily make people kinder toward their fellow man. It has gotten a little better as far as shopping and crowded malls go since a lot of people started buying stuff on-line. However, I personally still don't like to set foot in the mall from Thanksgiving until after New Year's. Shopping on-line is much easier but that still doesn't make the pressure of trying to find the perfect gift for everyone any easier. In our family, we mostly just buy things for the kids. That is hard enough especially as they get older and are into less things and it becomes harder and harder to think of what to get everyone. All in all, the whole holiday season can be a lot of pressure, and sometimes, I am just as happy to see it go as I am to see it come. Sometimes I am even happier to see it go.

And that's our view. What's on your mind?

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Giveaway: Win a $25.00 Visa Gift Card!


Sunday Scoop Week of 11/29/15: What's Happening This Week or Coming Up Soon

Franklin Square Holiday Festival
200 N 6th St.
Philadelphia, PA

Now – December 31, daily 4 - 8 pm, Fri & Sat until 9 pm 
Franklin Square Holiday Festival – This season, experience the magic of the holiday and celebrate traditions new and old at the Franklin Square Holiday Festival. Dazzle in the lights of the Electrical Spectacle: A Holiday Light Show, warm up with comfort food, local beers, and hot beverages at Ben’s Bites & Brews and shop for handmade, artisanal gifts at the Holiday Market. Celebrate the holiday season with Santa Saturdays, Food Truck Fridays, Seasonal Sounds on Sundays, Kids’ Kraftivity Hours, Lightning Bolt Holiday Express train rides around the Square, and the traditional family-friendly Kids’ New Year’s Eve Countdown and Dance Party.

For more information go to http://historicphiladelphia.org/franklin-square/upcoming-events/
New York Mets Annual Coat Drive
Citi Field
123-01 Roosevelt Ave.
Flushing, NY

What:  The New York Mets and New York Cares are teaming up to host their annual Mets “Warm-Up” Holiday Coat Drive on Tuesday, December 1 from 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. at the Mets Team Store at Citi Field. Fans bringing a new or gently used coat will receive a voucher redeemable for two tickets to a select Mets home game in April 2016, as well as receive 15% off select regularly priced merchandise at the Mets Team Store at Citi Field,December 1 only. Participants can park in Lot G on 126th Street.

The Mets “Warm-Up” Holiday Coat Drive is New York Cares largest one day drive of their season. This year’s drive marks the 10th year of partnership with the Mets and New York Cares.

When: Tuesday, December 1
10:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.
Mr. Met in attendance from 12:00 p.m.-1:00 p.m.

WhereCiti Field – Fans drop off their coat inside the Mets Team Store adjacent to the Jackie Robinson Rotunda and may park in Lot G off 126th Street between the Right Field Gate and Roosevelt Avenue.

For more information go to http://newyork.mets.mlb.com/nym/community/coat_drive.jsp
Beat the Blues Winter Resort Packages
Coco Key Water Resort
915 Rte. 73 
Mt. Laurel, NJ

Watch the snow fall outside while you slide, splash and swim away your winter blues with your family's tropical escape to CoCo Key Indoor Water Resort. This package offer amazing savings and 84 degrees of memory making fun! Available for travel dates starting 

Beat the Blue Winter Water Resort

   - One (1) night stay in a plush sleeping room 
   - Up to two (2) days access to Coco Key valid for up to (4) guests
   - Signature All America Breakfast Buffer for two (2) adults and two (2) children in Talia's
   - $50 of game play in the Key Quest Arcade
   - Two (2) gingerbread cookies and two (2) cups of hot chocolate from our little shop of coffee

CLICK HERE  to book your family's tropical escape.
Upcoming at the Strand Center for the Arts
400 Clinton Ave.
Lakewood, NJ

Elf the Musical Jr. - Presented by BCCT Brick Community Children's Theatre
Saturday December 4th, 7:30PM,  
Sunday December 5th 2 PM & 7:30PM.
TICKETS: www.bcct.org Q’s; info@bcct.org 732.920.9041 
All seats only $15! Based on the beloved holiday film, this hilarious holiday comedy follows Buddy the Elf in his quest to find his true identity. With Santa's permission, Buddy embarks on a journey to New York City and is determined to win over his new family and help New York remember the true meaning of Christmas. This modern day holiday classic is sure to make everyone embrace their inner elf! After all, the best way to spread Christmas Cheer is singing loud for all to hear!
Upcoming at the DiMenna Children's Museum
New York Historical Society
170 Central Park West
New York, NY

FAMILY PROGRAMSHablemos: Trenes y juguetes de la colección JerniSaturday, December 5, 2 pm– 4 pmFree with Museum admission, reservation requiredAges 4 – 10¡Ven a conocer la exhibición Holiday Express: Toys and Trains from the Jerni Collection con tu familia y celebren el principio de la fiestas navideñas! En este taller, las familias harán bocetos de los trenes o juguetes favoritos  usando los objetos de la exhibición como inspiración. Los participantes terminarán sus bocetos usando acuarelas. Los talleres son gratis y con gusto aceptamos niños de 4 a 10 años de edad. Para participar y reservar su lugar, favor de enviar un correo electrónico a: hablemos@nyhistory.org, incluyendo su nombre completo y número de participantes.
Get to know the Holiday Express: Toys and Trains from the Jerni Collection with your family and celebrate the beginning of the holiday season! Using the objects as inspiration, families will sketch their favorite toys and trains and will finish their work using watercolors in the studio. The program is free, but participants must make a reservation. To make a reservation for families in your school, community, or cultural group, or to get more information about the program, e-mailhablemos@nyhistory.org.

Special Holiday Macy’s Sunday Story Time with Richard Simon, Tanya Simon, and Mark Siegel, authors and illustrator of Oskar and the Eight BlessingsSunday, December 6, 11:30 amFree with Museum admissionAll AgesJoin us for a special Macy’s Sunday Story Time and meet children’s authors and illustrator Richard Simon, Tanya Simon, and Mark Siegel! After reading their special holiday book Oskar and the Eight Blessings, the authors will hold a short discussion about the inspiration behind the book, and the illustrator will give a brief presentation about how he began sketching New York in 1938.
Upcoming at the York Theatre
Plaid Tidings: A Special Holiday Edition of Forever Plaid
619 Lexington Ave.
New York, NY

December 8- 27 ONLY!

THE HEAVENLY PLAIDS ARE BACK in a brand new show! For the first time in New York, our favorite foursome comes back to put on yet another posthumous performance in order to bring harmony to our troubled world (they get to sing with Perry Como - on stage!), with a holiday special: Plaid Tidings. They are bringing back holiday classics with a Forever Plaid twist - such as "Jingle Bells," "'Twuz The Night B4...," and "The Dreidel Song" while filling the night with general hilarity. Sprinkled among their holiday offerings are audience favorites like their riotous three-minute version of "The Ed Sullivan Show" - this time featuring the Rockettes, the Chipmunks, and the Vienna Boys Choir, and a Plaid Caribbean Christmas which puts the "Day-O" in "Excelsis!" 

For more information or to order tickets go to http://www.yorktheatre.org/plaid-tidings.html.


Upcoming in December at iPlay America
110 Schank Road
Freehold NJ

Saturday December 12 5:00PM -  Daya
The Mt. Lebanon, Pennsylvania, native and up-and-coming pop music star Daya will perform in concert at iPlay America. Her hit single “Hide Away” reached No. 24 on the Billboard Pop songs chat.

WWE® Hall of Famer Ric Flair will appear at iPlay America with his daughter, WWE® Diva Charlotte. 

Saturday December 19 2:00 PM - Taylor Caniff presents Merry Caniffmas
Taylor Caniff, a 21-year-old who gained online fame through his social media accounts, returns to iPlay America for his third visit on this time as the headline act in his own “Merry Caniffmas.” Fans can choose from two meet and greet sessions, in addition to the show.
TADA! Youth Theater's School Break Camp
15 West 28th St.
3rd Floor
New York, NY

December 28-31 9:30AM - 4:00PM
Ages 9-11
Theme: Frosty the Snowman

For more information or to sign up go to http://www.tadatheater.com/schoolbreakcamps
News from Michelle Tabnick Communications

South Street Seaport Museum
announces a Special Holiday Installation
on Giving Tuesday
December 1, 2015 from 2pm-8pm

The South Street Seaport Museum is pleased to announce a Special One DayHoliday Installation on December 1, 2015 from 2pm to 8pm.  To celebrate #GivingTuesday and the holiday season, the South Street Seaport Museum is presenting, in its Visitor Center at 12 Fulton Street, a one-day installation of mid-nineteenth to early-twentieth century toys, ship models, graphic art, and ephemera from its permanent collection. The display will include a selection of cast iron, tin, and carved wooden toys and banks; ship models of the ferries, barges, and tugboats of New York Harbor; as well as examples of clipper cards and postcards.

Dances Patrelle 
The Yorkville Nutcracker
December 10-13, 2015

Dances Patrelle presents The Yorkville Nutcracker from December 10-13, 2015 at The Kaye Playhouse at Hunter College, E. 68th Street between Park and Lexington Avenues, NYC. Performances: Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 7pm; Saturday at 2pm; and Sunday at 12pm and 5pm. Ticketsare $45-85 (student and senior discounts available) and are available at www.dancespatrelle.org, by phone at 212-772-4448, or in person at The Kaye Playhouse Box Office.
presents Keith Michael's The Nutcracker
at Florence Gould Hall
December 11-13, 2015

New York Theatre Ballet will perform Keith Michael's The Nutcracker from December 11-13, 2015 at Florence Gould Hall, 55 East 59th Street, NYC (between Park and Madison Avenues). Performances are Friday at 12pm; Saturday at 11am, 1pm, and 3:30pm; and Sunday at 11am, 1pm, and 3:30pm. Tickets are $24 for children 12 and under and $34 for adults, and are available online at www.nytb.org, via Ticketmaster at (800) 982-2787, or in person at the Florence Gould Hall box office at (212) 355-6160. For group sales: 212-679-0401 or email groups@nytb.org.
The Colonial Nutcracker
performed by Dance Theater in Westchester
Sunday, December 13, 2015 at 2pm

Brooklyn Center for the Performing Arts at Brooklyn College continues its 2015-16 season with its annual holiday performance of Dance Theatre in Westchester's The Colonial Nutcracker on Sunday, December 13, 2015 at 2pm. Tickets are $18 and can be purchased at BrooklynCenter.org or by calling the box office at 718-951-4500 (Tue-Sat, 1pm-6pm).
Created especially for families with children ages 5-10,The Colonial Nutcracker sets Tchaikovsky's classic ballet in wintry colonial Yorktown during the Revolutionary War. The production features classics such as "Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy" and "Waltz of the Snowflakes," a red-coated mouse army, an enchanted nutcracker prince, and compelling narration that will enhance young viewers' understanding and enjoyment of this timeless story. Rose Menes' delightful staging and choreography, coupled with colorful costumes and Tchaikovsky's enduring score, will captivate audiences of all ages. The running time is approximately 2 hours plus an intermission.
Brooklyn Center for the Performing Arts at Brooklyn College
The Vienna Boys Choir
Christmas in Vienna
Saturday, December 12, 2015 at 8pm

Brooklyn Center for the Performing Arts at Brooklyn College continues its 2015-16 season with its annual holiday performance of The Vienna Boys Choir on Saturday, December 12, 2015 at 8pm. The illustrious group of child musicians has been delighting music lovers across the globe for six centuries with their purity of tone, distinctive charm and popular repertoire. Christmas in Vienna showcases these gifted musicians in an extraordinary program featuring Austrian folk songs, classical masterpieces, and holiday favorites.  Tickets are $36-$45 and can be purchased at BrooklynCenter.org or by calling the box office at 718-951-4500 (Tue-Sat, 1pm-6pm).
News from Waldmania PR


Best-selling children's recording artist and preschool television favorite Laurie Berkner loves the holidays! Laurie invites families to share the spirit of the season with The Laurie Berkner Band at a festive holiday concert at11:00 a.m on Saturday, December 19 at Tarrytown Music Hall, 130 Main St., Tarrytown, NY.The Laurie Berkner Band's concert will celebrate the season with such traditional, secular songs as "Jingle Bells," and "Frosty the Snowman," plus originals from Laurie's well-loved album, A Laurie Berkner Christmas, like "Santa's Coming to My House Tonight." Laurie and the band will pay tribute to Hanukkah with "Candle Chase" and "The Dreidel Song," and they'll also perform an array of Laurie's greatest hits, such as "We Are The Dinosaurs," "Victor Vito," and "Pig On Her Head." Kids should plan to bring their dancing shoes and a stuffed animal (for their heads), and Laurie hopes everyone will join in the holiday spirit and sing along!

TICKETS: $35/$100, plus applicable fees 
A limited number of $100 VIP tickets are available.
TO CHARGE BY PHONE: 877-840-0457
TO PURCHASE TICKETS ONLINE: Visit the Tarrytown Music Hall website HERE
VIP tickets include preferred seating, with after-show meet & greet and photo opportunity with Laurie and the band!
News from O & M


“M O T H E R S T R U C K!”




New dates  announced for the world premiere of MotherStruck! written and performed by Staceyann Chin and directed by Cynthia Nixon, beginning Friday, December 4th, 2015 at Culture Project’s Lynn Redgrave Theater.  Opening Night is set for Monday, December 14th.MotherStruck! sets forth Staceyann Chin’s personal journey to motherhood as a single woman, lesbian and activist who does not have health insurance or a “serious, stable financial set up,” but wants to have a child. Told through Chin’s uniquely personal and poetic lens, this solo show explores how the process changed her life and how she makes peace with what she learns from this profound experience.

MotherStruck! will play the following performance schedule: Tuesday through Thursday at 7:30PM, Friday at8:00PMSaturday at 4:00 PM and 8:00 PM, and Sunday at 5:00PM.

Ticket prices range between $22.50 and $82.50. Tickets are available online at cultureproject.org or via phone by calling OvationTix at (866) 811-4111.  

For additional information, please send inquires to info@cultureproject.org, or call (212) 925-1806.



cott Nevins (one of the breakout stars of Bravo TV’s hit show, “The People’s Couch”) brings his star-studded holiday benefit SPARKLE: An All-Star Holiday Concert back to NYC for the 4th year in a row on Sunday, December 6, 2015 at The Cutting Room (44 East 32nd Street).   Featuring another high wattage, star power cast of performers from the worlds of Broadway, Television, Film and the music industry, this one night only extravaganza will benefit the programs and services of The Actors Fund (www.actorsfund.org).  Seating is limited for this exclusive event and tickets will sell out quickly.

Currently scheduled to perform is the incomparable Tony® and Grammy® Award winner Billy Porter (Kinky Boots, Grease), Tony® Award nominees Stephanie J. Block (The Pirate Queen, Wicked, 9-5), Max von Essen (An American in Paris, Evita, Les Miserables) and Robin De Jesus (In The Heights, La Cage aux Folles, Wicked).  Also scheduled to appear from CBS’ hit show,  “Madam Secretary,” and one of the stars of the Jersey Boys film, Erich Bergen, Olivier® Award winner currently staring on Broadway in Dames At Sea, Lesli Margherita  (Matilda), two-time Drama Desk® Award nominee Julia Murney (Wicked, The Wild Party),  Broadway’s Matt Doyle (Book of Mormon, Brooklynite, Warhorse)Nick Adams (Priscilla: Queen of the Desert, Wicked, A Chorus Line)Erin Quill(Avenue Q – Original Broadway Company), Shayna Steele (RENT, Hairspray, Jesus Christ Superstar)Marty Thomas (Wicked, Xanadu)Jessica Keenan Wynn (Beautiful)Alysha Umphress (On The Town, On A Clear Day You Can See Forever)Julie Garnye (CATS, Hair: in Concert, Chess: in Concert), seven-time MAC Award Winning recording artist Natalie Douglas, a special performance by The Doo Wop Project featuring cast members from Jersey Boys andMotown: The Musical including Tony® Awardnominee Charl Brown, and several more stars to be announced! (*Cast is subject to change and availability.)

The evening will once again be produced and hosted by TV Personality Scott Nevins (Bravo’s “The People’s Couch,” “truTV Presents: World’s Dumbest…”) withBenjamin Rauhala  serving as the shows Music Director and Arranger.

General Admission Tickets for the show are $65 each; VIP Tickets (which include premium seating and a post-show VIP Meet & Greet) are $100 each

Doors open at 6:00pm. There is a $20 min per person as a full dinner and bar menu will be available. To purchase tickets or to get more information about the evening, please visit www.purplepass.com/SparkleNYC



Pike St. will be extending by popular demand.In Pike St., written and performed by Nilaja Sun and directed by Ron Russell, Ms. Sun portrays a host of characters living in Manhattan’s Lower East Side, “bringing each to life with a radiant grace that makes her virtuosity seem as natural as breathing.” (Charles Isherwood, The New York Times) The final performance of Pike St. will now beDecember 19, 2015 in the Experimental Theater at Abrons Art Center (466 Grand Street).

In the shadow of the Manhattan Bridge, a struggling family prepares to ride out the next big storm.  Unable to move her teenaged daughter Candace—whose mysterious aneurysm has rendered her unable to move or breathe on her own—out of their crumbling tenement, Evelyn plans for more than just survival: she fights for healing and redemption. With Pike St.Nilaja Sun uses her trademark humor, political incisiveness, and virtuosity to bring to life the entirety of the Lower East Side, from decorated Puerto Rican war veteran Manny, to octogenarian downstairs neighbor Mrs. Applebaum, to Candace herself.  Pike St. also marks Sun’s return home to the Abrons Arts Center, where she took her first acting class and began her extraordinary artistic journey.

Pike St. was originally commissioned by Epic Theatre Ensemble with the support from the New York State Council on the Arts.

For ticket information, performance schedule and further information, please visit PikeSt.nyc or call Abrons Art Center at (212) 598-0400


When the fifth annual TEDxBroadway returns Monday, February 22, 2016 to New World Stages in New York City, so too will the Young Professional and Student Programs in “The Loft.” The organizers of the one-day event that asks “What is the Best Broadway Can Be?” invite the next generation to help shape the future of Broadway.

The TEDxBroadway Loft is a space for the 58 members of the Young Professional and Student Programs to exchange ideas and information with their peers. The Loft will create an environment in which the young professionals and students can network, voice their opinions, insights, and build relationships for later initiatives. The TEDxBroadway Loft and Young Professional Program are being underwritten by The Nederlander Organization and The Shubert Foundation

 TEDxBroadway Young Professionals:
Applications are now being accepted for the program.  Each selected participant gets one free ticket to TEDxBroadway. They will also be invited into a private social group with opportunities to engage with other young professionals, as well as opportunities to interact with professionals and leaders in the Broadway community before, during, and after the conference.

To apply to attend TEDxBroadway 2016 as a Young Professional:
·        Submit an application by Thursday, December 31st, 2015. https://situation.wufoo.com/forms/tedxbroadway-2016-young-professionals-application/
·        Be under 30-years-old as of February 22, 2016.
·        Work in a field that touches the Broadway ecosystem.

TEDxBroadway Student Program:
Select graduate students from area schools including Yale, Brooklyn College, Columbia and NYU will be nominated by their professors to receive a free ticket to TEDxBroadway. They will be invited to also attend meeting and events with the Young Professionals, industry professionals and established leaders in the community surrounding the conference. Their tickets have been underwritten by Disney Theatricals.
Previously announced speakers at this year’s event include (additional speakers will be announced later):  James Lecesne (writer, storyteller and actor), Katie Sweeney (‘Autism Warrior Mom’), Randy Weiner (producer, venue owner, and playwright) and Jennifer Ashley Tepper (Director of Programming for 54 Below).

TEDxBroadway is co-organized by Damian Bazadona, founder of Situation Interactive and Jim McCarthy, CEO of Goldstar. They are proud to welcome back co-organizing sponsors: Jujamcyn Theaters and Broadway.com.

Additional details are available at: http://TEDxBroadway.com
Interested attendees can purchase tickets at: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/tedxbroadway-2016-tickets-17781528029

Follow TEDxBroadway on Twitter: @TEDxBroadway

The conference will begin at 11:00 a.m. on February 22, 2016. Tickets are $100.
And that's the scoop. Tune in tomorrow for another Talking Topic.