A Hot Minute on Pandora

Disney World is on of my favorite places on Earth, so I was extremely excited to be one of the first to visit Pandora: The World of Avatar in Disney's Animal Kingdom for Parents. I had some tips on traveling there with the kiddos. 

"1. Carve out some time to just explore the land. You may think that, with only two rides, it'll be easy to breeze through Pandora, but there's a lot to be seen just by walking around the paths. One Disney expert I spoke with suggested that you plan on spending 45 minutes there in addition to the time you'll spend waiting on line for the attractions. Look for interactive elements, like playable Na'vi drums and exotic plants that steam and squirt water at guests.

2. Pandora looks completely different in the daytime, when you can see all the details of the extra-terrestrial flora, and at night, when the bioluminescence of the land gives everything a blacklit glow. It's worth it to see it in both lights. Animal Kingdom is looking to beef up its other nighttime offerings, like adding the new Rivers of Light show (which was sadly rained out for my visit). If the kiddos can't stay up that late, though, you can get a good idea of the bioluminescence in the Na'vi River Journey.

3. Talk with the cast members. Everybody has a tale of how they ended up on Pandora—you can start by asking them if they were born on Pandora or Earth. The "Field Guides" walking around can give you even more background about the world's creatures, teach you some of the Na'vi language, and offer hints about what you may see, like how to tell the difference between a true Na'vi and a lab-created avatar. (Hint: Count the fingers.)"

Click through to read the rest of the piece at Parents

Photo credit:  Kent Phillips/Disney

New Gig Alert!

Still got my hands full with the little one, who is now so, so much bigger than she was when this photo was taken by Ulysees Photography. But I'm resurfacing for a second to say that I've got a new gig as the News Editor at Parents. (The baby now counts as research.) Keep an out for my byline there, or follow the just-for-fun pop-culture blog/podcast I contribute to at SportsAlcohol.com.

My Best Byline

I haven't been keeping up with this site as much because I'm working on the best, most exciting long-lead project: motherhood!

Rest assured, I'm still writing up a storm. You can read my articles at Working Mother and Bustle

Or, you can read my just-for-fun pop-culture writing at SportsAlcohol.com (not about sports, not about alcohol). 

[Photo taken by Ulysses Photography. They take the best baby photos ever.]

Working Mother: New Website + August Items

I'm thrilled that the website of Working Mother has recently had a makeover—and that I have plenty of articles on the good-looking new site. In August, I...

...interviewed Jenae Heitkamp, co-founder of iBesties, a doll line that tries to make business and technology as cool as fashion and pop stardom. 

...spoke with Stacey Boyd, founder of Schoola, a site that accepts old kids' clothes, sells them online at a discount, and gives the profits to schools. 

...asked a fashion maven for easy ways to transition a summer work wardrobe into fall

...rounded up items that make it easier for returning mothers to breastfeed in the office

...got expert advice for how to shake up Date Night

Bustle TV Coverage: August 2015

Ahh, the August stretch of TV season—aka the dregs. Still, this month for Bustle, I...

...ranked all of the OK Go videos I could find to honor the anniversary of their album, Oh No, which gave us the famous treadmill video. 

...recommended that Saturday Night Live add more than on young, white, male cast member. They need someone who can do a decent Hillary!

...scoped out the competition for two of America's Top Model Cycle 22 contestants—Nyle DiMarco and Mame Adjei—plus the prizes they'll get if they win

...rooted for Project Runway underdog Amanda Perna, who almost made it on the show once before.

...hoped that Job or No Job's Jane Buckingham would give me career advice.

...dug up some more train based entertainment to kill time while waiting for the second half of the last season of Hell on Wheels

...discovered who the heck Michael Carbonaro is, and what make his prank show different. (Close-up magic!)

...looked into what's cooking for Below Deck's new chef.

...found out there's no one, real sugar baby behind Lifetime's Sugar Babies

...speculated about the possibility of more seasons of Becoming Us, Hollywood Cycle, Humans, Stitchers, and Proof, and gave advice on what to watch while we wait. (Phew!)

Photo: Kevin Winter/Getty


Working Mother: August/September Issue

For Working Mother's August/September Issue, I...

...profiled entrepreneur Erin Black, whose daughter inspired her to create a line of stuffed monster toys (but friendly ones). Read at the link, or see the PDF below.

...asked stand-up comedian Maryellen Hooper if her chosen profession was conducive to being a working mother.

...figured out how working moms can apply the back-to-school mindset to their own jobs, and why that's beneficial. 

...discovered why women are more likely to cry at work, why that's okay, and how to keep the tears from flowing. 

...investigated why high-achieving women are also the most stressed, and what they can do about it. 

...rounded up the best products for working mothers, including a stylish bento salad bowl, a Vera Bradley bag you can take to the office, and a battery charger that doesn't look like one.

...asked the USTA about their working parent business resource group.

...found the best business, career, and inspirational books to read this month. 


Weddings: New York Weddings Reception Guide

This is a little old, but for the Winter 2014 issue of New York Weddings, I did a round-up of venues in repurposed buildings like an old foundry, a 1920s tycoon's office, and even a president's house.

The Second-Lives Club

A farm, a post office, a millinery, a chorizo factory, and other converted spaces that make for picturesque party spots.

The Former Metal Foundry:
The Foundry
In the 1800s, the Albra Metal Foundry melted scraps of metal to recast for the city’s many manufacturers. Today the 2,000-square-foot building still retains its industrial roots with tons of exposed brick throughout the multilevel space, original ovens and cauldrons, and an abundance of ivy growing along the outside and in the courtyard. The chimney shafts are all original, and one of them actually contains the bridal suite. (With a simple padded bench, a few mirrors, and a skylight, this space is meant for touch-ups and a quick respite, not an overnight stay.) The indoor space can fit 200 guests for a cocktail party or up to 125 for a sit-down dinner. Rental fees, which cover twelve hours, range from $5,200 to $11,200 for the main space; couples must book their own caterers. Because dates in peak months get booked quickly, the venue recommends reserving fourteen to eighteen months in advance. 42-38 9th St., Long Island City; 718-786-7776; thefoundry.info.

Click through to read the rest of the article on the website of New York. 

Photo credit: Laura Ryan Photography/The Foundry

Working Mother: July Web

This month, on Working Mother's website, I...

...interviewed Chris Nee, the creator/showrunner of Disney Junior's Doc McStuffins (and she was the best). 

...asked fathers for important things they learned during their paternity leaves. It made it clear that dads should definitely stay home, too, if they can.

...rounded up the most extreme donuts in the country for National Donut Day, then found options for 11 healthy desk-drawer snacks to keep on-hand instead. 

...created a head-to-toe guide for staying comfortable at work while pregnant

...shopped for the best work life accessories for spring

...lamented that Mothers' Equal Pay Day comes even later in the year than Women's Equal Pay Day

...asked doctors for posture tips for working, even if you have a newfangled standing desk. 

...recapped Working Mother Media's amazing 2015 Multicultural Women National Conference