Friday, September 24, 2010

Rattle & Reel at Landmark Theatres

Finding it hard to get to the theater with the little one Landmark Theatres are offering a special program, Rattle & Reel in their New York and Washington, DC locations.

Rattle & Reel at The Sunshine Cinema -
143 East Houston Street on the Lower East Side, NYC (212) 330-8182 welcomes caregivers and their babies on Wednesdays for their special Rattle & Reel screenings. Adults pay normal admission prices but all babies are FREE! Tickets available at the box office only on the day of show. Screening Wednesday, September 29 at 11:00am: Waiting for "Superman". Screening Wednesday, October 6: TBA.

The E Street Cinema -
555 11th Street NW Washington, DC 20004(entrance on E Street between 10th and 11th Street) (202) 452-7672 welcomes caregivers and their babies on Wednesday at 11:00am for a special Rattle & Reel screening. Adults pay normal admission prices but all babies are FREE! Tickets available at the box office only on the day of show. Screening Wednesday, October 6 at 11:00am: Waking Sleeping Beauty.

For more information visit . Check their other theaters throughout the country for similar offerings.

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Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Jimi Sounds like a Rainbow the Story of Young Jimi Hendrix

Jimi Hendrix was a creative force who changed the Rock world in his short life. Author Gary Golio and illustrator Javaka Steptoe explore the life of the young boy who would become a musical phenomena. Discover how determination and creativity spurred his talent from an early age. You can get a copy of their book at Barnes and Noble, and Amazon or if you are in the area attend a book signing. The author and the illustrator will have the following book signing events around the New York area.

September 26th 12pm-2- at Atlantic Antic on Atlantic Blvd in Brooklyn at the Arbitron Inc. "Reading Corner"

Friday, October 8, 7:30 pm - Book signing & Launch Party with Gary Golio and Javaka Steptoe THE VILLAGE BOOKSTORE - 10 Washington Avenue, Pleasantville, NY, 914 769-8322

Saturday, October 9, 10:30 am - Book signing & Story Hour with Gary Golio and Javaka Steptoe GREENLIGHT BOOKSTORE - 686 Fulton St., Brooklyn, NY, 718 246-0200

Saturday October 23, 12:00-2:00 pm - Book signing with Gary Golio and Javaka Steptoe - BOOKS OF WONDER - 18 W. 18th St., New York, NY, 212 989-3270

Ghouls and Gourds at Brooklyn Botanic Garden - Sunday, October 24th Noon-4pm, Book signing & Story Hour with Javaka Steptoe at Brooklyn Botanic Garden - 1000 Washington Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11225

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Holistic Moms in Astoria

Holistic Moms of Astoria celebrated the end of summer with an ice cream social. Holistic Moms is an nation wide organization promoting a healthy lifestyle and green living. If you agree with Kermit the Frog that it is not easy being green, they can help you make healthier choices.
Holistic Moms provide knowlegable speakers and support for parents at their local meetings. The Astoria branch meet the second Wednesday of the month, check their website for more information Queens Holistic Moms. To find other local groups visit Holistic Moms.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Oh La La - French for Moms-To-Be

Ever since I majored in anthropology in college, I have always been interested in seeing how people express their cultural roots. So this little tidbit on french cultural caught my interest.

Parents who want their youngsters to "Parler Francaise." head to the French Institute Alliance Française. The institute offers a variety of classes and programs for children in french. Now zealous moms can start the process of creating a little francophile before they are born. The Institute is now offering a series of classes for moms-to-be. They describe the classes as "Using multisensory techniques to kick start your petit chow's french through songs activities, and French food. Each meeting focuses on a unique cultural aspects of french child rearing and includes lullabies and relaxation time. So upon arrival new moms can talk to their newborn in french, fix french recipes and dress baby in the french way. Classes start September 29 at the French Institute Alliance Française - 22 East 60th Street, NYC . Visit or call 212 355 6100. Picture - Bastille Day at the French Institute Alliance Française photo © 2009 by Alexandra Brand, Mathilde Roussel-Giraudy, and Matthieu Raffard

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Lion Brand Yarn

Pattern #90418

Pattern #90462

Pattern #80773

Pattern #90307

I have been carrying around my catalog from Lion Brand Yarn all summer but now that the weather is changing I am feeling an urge to start working on my project, a sweater for my niece Shakina. I love to see little children in hand knitted and crocheted outfits. It always seems so special and unique.

Lion Brand has so many wonderful patterns and colorful yarn that I can get carried away with projects. So I have decided to work on one thing at a time. Check out their website for inspiration

Friday, September 10, 2010

Scrumptious Toppers - Hats with Pizazz

I heard Debby Ware talk at a book signing for her book, Scrumptious Toppers at Lion Brand. The best way to describe her style is fun and whimsical. I overheard someone say they use her book to create hats for charity which they auction off. I thought that was a nice idea. Visit her site to see her wild and wonderful collection

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Movie Mania

Last year some of our favorite kid excursions have been to the local movie theater. With four kids that is not really a cheap date but fortunately our local theater gives us a few options. If you come to the first show, early afternoon show or on Tuesdays you can get discounted admission. They also offer some child friendly animation for a few dollars on Saturday. So on rainy days and sometimes when we just needed to get out and do something that becomes our option.

In fact my favorite treat last year was catching the movie Up just before it left the theaters. I did not really know what to expect with this film but it turned out to be a nice surprise. Up was a movie for all ages. The kids loved it. I laughed and cried; and came back a second time with my mother who also enjoyed it. To top it off after the show we headed across the street to Eddies Sweet Shop, an old-fashioned ice cream parlor for milk shakes. This is what a movie theater experience should be about. I am glad this movie won the Academy award if you have not seen it you can now catch it on video or TV.

This spring, however, I was upset to hear that the movie theaters have decided to raise their prices. This seems like bad timing when we are also facing higher transportation and utility expenses. This is an industry that has been making record-breaking numbers in a time of recession. The popularity of 3D flicks like Avatar had sent a message that some people are willing to pay for a novel experience. So does that mean they should squeeze every little bit out of that phenomenon.

I hope they rethink their strategy now that the numbers for the summer have come in below par. The 3-D Explosion and family flicks are the only thing that kept the numbers from really sinking.

For many people who are just trying to survive these stressful times raising prices is just pushing them over the edge. I know for my family raising prices will make us more discriminating in what we go to see. Of course, there are some movies like Up that we will want to see but for now I told the kids we can have our own theater right in the house and just catch up with some of our favorite DVDs. The wonderful thing about young children is that they are very resourceful and can watch the same thing over and over. Now they are looking forward to making popcorn and milkshakes, and choosing their favorite videos.

On a high note I want to applaud the movie houses that offered children free afternoon flicks of some of their old favorites this summer.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Summer Reminiscences I

Fortunately, I had a very nice summer so I have much to share. In June, I started by attending the Cultural Circle Conference for writers. The topic chosen for their annual conference was finding ways to nurture both our families and our creative impulse. Finding balance is the quest for most parents so it was refreshing to see that the panel did not have one solution but addressed their own needs and struggles while talking about their ways of finding that “me” time. Entrepreneur and author, Kiki Somerville said she needs structure and quiet time to work and develop her relationship with her son. On the other hand filmmaker, Camille Holder-Brown found that with a large family, she had to wing it most of the time and grasp opportunities as they came. Children’s book author, Jwajiku Korantema and artist, Aleathia Brown both felt adversity had helped them set their priorities.

I think nurturing our creativity should be an important part of our lives whether we are creating art, writing a book or raising our children. This workshop helped me re-examine my priorities and remind me that our family relationships are forever changing.

How do you manage your family and still nurture your talents? How many of us are conflicted?


One part of the conference included a poetry workshop. Everyone had to pick a word out of a jar and use this for inspiration in creating a haiku poem. Haiku is a form of Japanese poetry consisting of three lines with a ratio of 5, 7, 5 syllables. I picked the word “patience” something I used to have plenty of. After years of waiting to follow my dream “patience” was not the word I wanted to pick. After much angst, I came up with this poem…

Patience’s shadow covers

The playground of life until

The sun’s ray appears

Even though this was a little painful, the workshop has whetted my curiosity and I am ready to try again. So I have been doing a little research on Haiku poetry. The first and last lines of a Haiku have 5 syllables and the middle line has 7 syllables. The lines rarely rhyme. I think this could be a great end of summer project for the older kids…writing summer poems. I think we won’t worry about the rules but will just have some fun.