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Too hot for singing the blues

August is not a month known for its holidays or spectacular weather, yet the hot, sultry, temperatures lend themselves perfectly for an evening performance of cool jazz.The Colony Hotel’s Royal Room, known as “probably the best place for cabaret on the planet,” accorMichelle's-blog-206ding to The Palm Beach Post, will play host to a very special event when songstress Nicole Henry lights up the room August 16, 23 & 30.Rob Russell, entertainment director for The Colony Palm Beach, said this event is a can’t-miss.

“She’s probably the closest thing to Whitney Houston we’re ever going to see in our lifetime,” Russell said.

Henry’s sensual style and emotional performances in more than 15 countries and 30 music festivals worldwide have earned her a lot of recognition, including the 2013 Soul Train Award for Best Traditional Jazz Performance. She has three Top 10 U.S. Billboard and HMV Japan jazz albums, and has received rave reviews in The New York Times and Wall Street Journal.

Her latest release in 2013, So Good, So Right: Nicole Henry Live, is a 13-track album with songs from some of her favorite artists of the 1970’s, such as Bill Withers, Aretha Franklin, Joni Mitchell, James Taylor, The Commodores and Gladys Knight. The album was recorded at Feinstein’s in NYC during her sold-out performances in May 2012.

Henry will perform favorites from the Great American Songbook; her repertoire also includes contemporary as well as classic jazz titles, contemporary standards, blues, and original songs. She also performs accompaniment that range from jazz trios to full-on big bands.

To have an even more romantic evening, pair the delightful entertainment with a delicious three-course dinner including appetizer, entrée and a decadent dessert as only the culinary artists at The Colony can create.

Tickets cost $100 for dinner (excluding beverages and taxes) and the Nicole Henry performance. Doors open at 6:30 for dinner with the show beginning at 8:30. For reservations, call the hotel box-office at (561) 659-8100. The Colony is located at 155 Hammon Ave. in Palm Beach. For more information, please call (561) 655-5430 or visit www.thecolonypalmbeach.com.michelle-206

Mall’s fair in love & war

August 6, 2014 on 8:53 am | In As Seen In..., Blog, PBG Lifestyle Magazine | No Comments

There’s almost nothing more exciting to a parent’s ears than the sound of school bells ringing in mid-August; it’s like the sound of children’s laughter, only better because there are no kids involved.michelle-204

After a long, hot summer filled with children – mine and others’ – just the thought of them going back to school is enough to make me giddy. No more sharing my home office with TV-watching, kitchen-destroying, crumb-leaving kids.

I know we’re getting close to school time when I start slipping that phrase into everyday conversation: “Well, you won’t be bored for long; it’s almost time to go…back to school.”

You can also tell by watching TV; you’ll see more and more back-to-school commercials. That’s the one catch about your kids going back to school: the shopping.

If you have a son, it’s no big deal. My 11-year-old hates shopping. It’s the worst thing you can do to him. As soon as we cross the threshold into the mall he starts grunting, “My feet hurt” – this from a kid who could walk across three Florida theme parks in one day, without a lunch break, if you just throw him an ice cream cone.

Joshua’s shopping experience was pleasingly painless. We actually did it on FaceTime while he was with his grandparents up in Boston. Is technology amazing or what? I pointed my camera to items on a website and he either said “OK” or “no way.” A few clicks and a few pair of cargo shorts and T-shirts later, we were done. Everything will be shipped to my door. The hardest part for him: putting it all away.

If you have a daughter anywhere in the neighborhood of 11-15 years old, then my friend, you’re doomed.

My best advice is to bring comfortable shoes, tissues for dressing-room meltdowns, a snack – you don’t want her to get “hangry” – and all the patience you can muster; this is a strange kind of war. While you’re on the same side, you still have to defend yourself. Think before you offer an opinion, any opinion – think hard.

So buckle up and keep dreaming; those bells will soon be ringing for real.

Augh, it’s August

August 1, 2014 on 8:56 am | In As Seen In..., Blog, PBG Lifestyle Magazine | No Comments

Poor August. The eighth month of the year doesn’t have much going for it. Unless it’s you’re the birthday or anniversary of you or someone you love, August will just pass you by.Untitled-1

Living in Florida, I’ve often wished it away as the proverbial exclamation point to our hellish summers.

August is downright depressing (and oppressing). It’s hot, sticky and the epitome of the dog days of summer.

Every other month has its star moment:

  • January starts off exciting; you can turn over a new leaf on New Year’s Day.
  • February celebrates lovers on Valentine’s Day. There’s also Groundhog’s Day, and don’t forget sports fans’ biggest day, Superbowl Sunday.
  • In March, everyone is Irish on St. Patrick’s Day. March also boasts Mardi Gras and the beginning of spring.
  • April has April Fool’s Day, Easter, Passover and Patriots’ Day – or as we call it in Boston, a good excuse for a Marathon Day.
  • May is known for Mother’s Day and Memorial Day, two holidays that should be held in reverence and given a special spot on the calendar. For the geeks, May the Fourth be with you on Star Wars Day.
  • June is synonymous with the Summer Solstice and Father’s Day.
  • July’s got the 4th, when America declared its independence – a holiday now remembered for its fanfare, fireworks and even Captain America’s birthday.
  • September has Labor Day and the Autumnal Equinox, along with Grandparent’s Day on the first Sunday after Labor Day.
  • October has Columbus Day, Yom Kippur and of course Halloween.
  • November gives us Veterans Day, Thanksgiving and Black Friday. (Does the last one really count as a holiday, though?)
  • December is the mother of all holiday months. We have the Winter Solstice, Christmas, Kwanzaa, Chanukah and New Year’s Eve, and if it isn’t enough, there’s always National Fruitcake Day on the 27th.

But poor August – if you Google hard enough, you’ll find “holidays” in August. According to HolidayInsights.com, August hosts National Watermelon Day on the 3rd, National S’mores Day on the 10th, Left Hander’s Day on the 14th and National Marshmallow Toasting Day on the 30th, in case you didn’t get to pay it proper homage on the 10th.

Waste not want not

 

ecocoziesThere may be no such thing as a free lunch, but a carbon-footprint-free lunch may be little more realistic. For those of you who live to help Mother Nature breathe a little easier, here’s a way to pack your lunch without packing the land-fill.

Meet Ecocozies, reusable food containers that keep food fresh, eliminating the need for plastic baggies, aluminum foil and plastic wrap, so you save money and the planet!

“Ecocozies are made of neoprene on the outside,” said Diana Richardson, owner and founder of Daisy Container Company, makers of Ecocozies. “Neoprene is used for many purposes, including wet suits, because of its ability to expel water and retain body heat.”

Richardson, a mother of two young children, wanted to develop a product that would cut down on the use of disposable food storage products. She wanted a design that provided insulation yet was safe enough to make direct contact with food.

Ecocozies have no BPA, lead, PVC, vinyl or phthalates. The interior lining is made of food-safe materials that have been tested in accordance with the FDA’s guidelines for food safety.

Ecocozies are available for $19.95 and come in a variety of colors and three fun shapes – squares, rectangles and um, triangles?

“I had always dreamed of a container specifically for pizza, so that’s why we came up with the triangle,” Richardson said. “The other two shapes are designed for a variety of types of foods.”

When it comes to design, moms know best. Kids just don’t like their grapes muscling in on the chips.

“We are currently designing a larger, square container with the food-safe liner. It may have dividers inside so the food won’t touch, as I know that bothers many young children. The design of this container will be different as we are now working with a graphic designer on different patterns. We strive to provide fun and eco-friendly solutions for mothers.”

Best of all, Ecocozies clean up with a swish of warm soapy water, or you can stick them on the top rack of your dishwasher – easy-peasy!

For more information or to get your own Ecocozie, visit www.daisycontainercompany.com.

The name game

July 25, 2014 on 9:11 am | In As Seen In..., Blog, PBG Lifestyle Magazine | No Comments

All the world loves a lover, and when those lovers are celebrities on the verge of having babies, we’re all about being in the know.michelle-201

Will it be a boy or a girl? Who will it look like? And of course, the ever=important question, what will the name be?

If you’re a fame-lovin’ celeb, you’re not going with a simple John, Michael or Julie – those are names for commoners. You’re a true artist; you have to show the world your creativity by providing a one-of-a-kind moniker for your little magpie.

Some examples:

  • Gwyneth Paltrow’s and almost-ex-husband rocker Chris Martin’s kids, Apple and Moses.
  • Kimye (Kim Kardashian and Kanye West) named their baby North; little North West hopefully will never need a GPS, as direction should be second nature.
  • There’s Bruce Willis’ and former wife Demi Moore’s trio of girls: Rumer, Scout LaRue and Tallulah Belle. My ears are ringing just thinking about them being called for dinner.
  • And of course, one of my faves, Penn Jillette’s daughter Moxie Crimefighter, who will most certainly turn out to be a superhero or at least own a cape.

As for the Hollywood royalty still expecting, I thought I’d make it easy on them by picking out a name best suited for their stature.

  • Mila Kunis and Ashton Kutcher are expecting; since it came as a bit of a surprise to both, I’d go with baby Punk’d (it’s also unisex).
  • Chelsea Clinton and husband Marc Mezvinsky are going to make Bill and Hillary grandparents. I say go for it and name the baby POTUS.
  • Fall Out Boy’s Pete Wentz will soon be a dad again. He and model Meagan Camper are expecting their first child together. Wentz has a 5-year-old son, Bronx Mowgli, with his ex-wife Ashlee Simpson. In keeping with the tough city attitude, name it South Central.
  • Robert Downey Jr. and his wife Susan are due this fall. As Downey tweeted to the world on July 9, 2014 “Yo. Susan. Me. Baby. Girl. November. Scorpio?” This one is easy, if it’s a girl: Iron Maiden.

Snug like a bug in a rug

Everyone loves fun in the sun, and living in South Florida, there’s more than a little sunshine to go around. Sometimes the searing sun can be a bit much, especially for our most vulnerable citizens, our babies.SunBug_Open_Blue_72dpi-300x290

Meet the Cozy Sun & Bug Infant Carrier Cover, a unique product that’s easy to use with an elasticized edge that slips onto all infant carriers and fits all standard car seats.

Its primary function is to protect your baby, and is designed with a weather-proof microfiber shell that creates a spacious self-supporting well ventilated enclosure for baby. It’s great for keeping babies out of the glaring sun, away from the elements, pesky insects and even the two-legged bugs – you know, those people who love to reach out and touch baby’s hands and faces with their germiness! It’s a cocoon of cleanliness.

“Cozy Cover has been around for 20 years. We strive to be the industry leader in travel accessories for kids,” said Mike Locker, business development, EVC Inc., the parent company of Cozy Cover. “Input from real-life families has been the inspiration for the quality products we design and produce with the goal of making life easier and more convenient. Each product from Cozy Cover provides a solution to problems busy, on-the-go parents face on a daily basis.”

It’s uniquely designed with families in mind. The Sun & Bug carrier’s compact design makes it easy to store in a diaper bag or stroller pouch, great when the family is on the go. It’s super easy to clean; toss it in the washer and it comes out good as new. It’s available in several bright color combinations with fun striped and polka-dot designs.

But it’s more than just fashionable, it’s all about safety.

“Cozy Sun & Bug Infant Carrier Cover is an industry leader in baby protection” said Locker. “We designed it with safety in mind. The backless design is recommended by car seat specialists so that it does not interfere with the child safety straps.”

The Cozy Sun & Bug Infant Carrier Cover is available for $24.95. For more information or to order one, visit www.cozy-cover.com, or get it at Walmart.

If you can’t take the heat…

July 18, 2014 on 9:16 am | In As Seen In..., Blog, PBG Lifestyle Magazine | No Comments

The lyrics say, “Summertime, and the living is easy,” but if you’re a work-at-home mommy home with her kids for the summer, trust me, it’s anything but easy.michelle-198

Couple that with their boredom, your frustration and their infuriating expressions. Add to it their manipulation, demands on your time and you have something that could boil over into a nice little episode of Snapped.

One thing that people who work from home all have in common is the understanding that people, especially your friends and relatives, don’t believe that you’re actually working – not even my kids, who actually bear witness to me in front of my laptop typing furiously or talking to people on the phone.

The typical summer day starts like this:

My daughter Emily: “Mom, are you working today?”

Me: “Yes, it’s Monday, typically most people work on Mondays.”

Emily (with rolling eyes): “Well you’re at home, sooo…”

(That’s the new teen-speak; they end lots of sentences with a long stretched out “soooo” or “weelllll” and “yaaaa.” Another teen-speakism is that when you want to emphasize frustration, you end each word with “ah.” Example: “No” becomes “No’ah,” not like the dude with the ark. Another example, I can hear her yell at her brother, “Let go’ah.”)

Back to the guilt of the day:

Emily: “So we’re doing nothing again today?”

Me: “No, you’re doing nothing again today; I’m working.”

(For some reason, since it’s her vacation, I’m charged with keeping her entertained, or so she thinks.)

Back into the “office,” I go commuting with coffee in hand. I try to explain to both kids to treat me like any other working parent. Respect my boundaries.

“Try and pretend that I’m at work,” I say.

(That’s when I hear it myself, “pretend,” right out of my own mouth.)

Me: “I mean pretend I’m away at work, at an office, someplace in Miami or North Dakota, you know don’t just barge in.”

Ten minutes later my cell phone rings, it’s “home” calling. Are they kidding?

Emily: “I know you’re at work, but do I have to make my own lunch?” (It’s 10 a.m.)

“No’ah!”

Spark it up this summer

July 9, 2014 on 9:30 am | In Blog, PBG Lifestyle Magazine | No Comments

OK, so I’m a little behind the eight ball getting swimsuit ready; it’s already summer, but as they say it’s never too late to start.new

There are so many great gadgets, and amazing websites and really helpful health information on the web all designed to help arm those of us in the battle of the bulge that it can be downright confusing.

Here is just one of my fabulous finds for getting fit.

I love SparkPeople.com because it has a little something for everyone: recipes, exercise videos, and an entire community of message boards with every topic under the sun. It has one of the best and easiest ways to track your food with a huge database that members can add to. You can track your fitness; it connects with devices like heart-rate monitors and activity monitors if you want to get real techy. You can also take it with you because they have not just one but a few different apps for your smartphone.

If you like a little competition, they have team challenges and you can earn points, trophies and receive Spark Goodies from other members for motivation.

You get your own page where you can blog, post photos and keep up with other members you friend, just like on Facebook. You can be a virtual social butterfly by delving into the community where you can find people with common interests or goals. Or you can be completely anti-social and just go there to track your food and exercise routine or watch videos.

Need to lose 50 pounds? There’s a board for that. Do you attend the University of Florida? There are 90 members on that board to greet you. If follow Dr. Furman’s “Eat to Live,” you’re in luck, because so do 2,612 members. Love watching The Biggest Loser for motivation? You’re not alone; 83,287 other members do too.

SparkPeople is one of the older health and fitness sites launching in 2001. It has grown by leaps and bounds. There’s so much to see and do, you’ll have to explore it all for yourself.

Best of all, it’s free.

Get grilled

In the epic quest to answer the age-old question that’s most on PBG Lifestyle Magazine readers’ minds this summer – Who’s got the best burger? – we finally have the answer.michelle-195

We Americans love our burgers so much that we’re willing to risk gastric distress to try ‘em all, to find the very best of the best, and that’s just what 1,750 hungry burger aficionados did at the third annual Craft Beer Festival & Burger Bash at PGA National Resort & Spa this June.

“Guests and attendees got to choose the King of All Burgers amongst the finest restaurants competing in the Palm Beaches and to experience a huge variety of craft beers and ciders,” said Karen Cantor, manager of public relations at PGA National Resort & Spa. “Upon arrival all guests are given a wristband, three burger ballots and a mini beer mug. The mini beer mug is to experience the 80 different craft beers and ciders. The three ballots are for Best Burger – King of all Burgers, Most Innovative Burger and Best Alternative Burger.”

Ready your napkins; and the winners are…

For the third year in a row, the reigning champion Chuck Burger Joint in PBG takes the King of All Burgers category with their Chuck Burger. The burger features an all-natural black Angus beef patty with American cheese, chuck spread, lettuce and tomato.

Taking home the prize for Best Alternative Burger is Aah Loi Thai & Sushi in Jupiter with their Grilled Korean Style Burger Steak with caramelized onions, Japanese pickled plum glaze and fried garlic, shallots and Thai rice.

Most Innovative Burger goes to Bagel Boyz (located in Abacoa, Legacy Place and on Northlake) for their Big Porker: a center-cut maple bacon, beef patty burger, smoked bacon cheddar, 20-hour smoked pulled pork, TBC Baltic Porter BBQ Sauce all atop a grilled brioche bun.

No one left hungry and better yet, proceeds from ticket sales benefitted Dream Ride, which helps the Special Olympics. Dream Ride provided an interactive game section at the event that raised money as well.

For more information about events at PGA National Resort & Spa, visit www.pgaresort.com or call (800) 863-2819. For more on Dream Ride, visit www.dreamride.org.

Cardassian v. Kardashian

April 7, 2014 on 11:57 am | In As Seen In..., Blog, PBG Lifestyle Magazine | No Comments

michelle-168My husband and I are closet Trekkies, although we don’t go to conventions, speak Klingon or dress up in costumes, and just to be clear, we don’t live in our parents’ basement.

I would say we are weekend warrior Trekkies, channel surfing the TV offerings – if there’s nothing good on, there’s always Star Trek on someplace.

My husband outscores me in Trekkiedom. He’s probably watched every episode, seen every movie and even ventured into Deep Space Nine. I, on the other hand, have watched a ton of Star Trek, and can’t remember any of it, so each one is new to me. I’ll watch intently while my husband gives me the back story, regardless of whether or not I ask. He can also quote some of the more important lines, again, regardless of inquiry. He’s so Trekkie, he’s just told me that I’m wrong and the correct term for avid Star Trek fans is actually Trekker (thanks).

Anyway, we were watching Star Trek – me half listening with my laptop open, him at full attention as if he was on the bridge – when I hear something that caught my attention. Picard was talking about the Cardassians. I turned to my husband laughing about how funny it would be if the Kardashians – sisters Kim, Khloé, Kourtney, Kendall and Kyrie, along with mom Kris and stepdad Bruce Jenner – were all in space. I then thought, well, aren’t they?

To prove it, here are some comparisons that make me think they just may be distant relatives.

  • Cardassians are famous for their photographic memories. Kardashians are famous for selfies.
  • Cardassians seek dominance in a social setting. Kardashians are dominant in a social setting, especially ones of their own making.
  • For Cardassians, education is power and joy is vulnerability. For the Kardashians, education is knowing a Louboutin from a Manolo Blahnik, and joy is bagging an elusive Birkin bag and tweeting about how you did it with more selfies.
  • The Cardassians’ mental training is so disciplined they can deflect a Vulcan Mind Meld. The Kardashians have trained the paparazzi so well, they can’t deflect anything.

It’s an eerie resemblance, right?

John Lithgow: Full STEAM Ahead

February 25, 2014 on 12:01 pm | In As Seen In..., PBG Lifestyle Magazine | No Comments

John Lithgow takes the stage with the ease of someone who has just walked out on his back porch to have afternoon tea with a group of friends. His gaze from behind his thick, black-framed glasses exudes the warmth of someone ready to preach his passion to a crowd already converted.

To us, Lithgow – the actor, musician, poet, artist and author – is “that guy,” the one with the unmistakable face and voice who shows up in everything. “That guy” is the quintessential element of a great character actor; you may not know his name right away, but he’s instantly recognizable.

One moment he casts his steely, emotionless stare to depict the sadistic terrorist Eric Qualen in Cliffhanger. The next we’re in stitches watching the bumbling innocence of alien Dick Solomon in the hit sitcom 3rd Rock from the Sun (1996-2001). He’s a meanie as the voice of Lord Farquaad in Shrek and then he can scare the bejesus out of us as Arthur Mitchell, the Trinity Killer in the award-winning Showtime series Dexter, for which Lithgow took home both a Golden Globe (his second) and an Emmy (his fifth).

Basically, Lithgow has the unique ability to make you pee your pants either from laughing or shrieking in horror.

On January 30, he packed up all of those alter egos and brought them to the Kravis Center as he was invited to share his thoughts about creativity in education at Palm Beach State College Foundation’s STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math) Initiative fundraiser, “Inside the Mind of John Lithgow.”

STEAM is an initiative to keep more students on track with the coming demand for jobs in these industries – jobs that often offer high-paying salaries. According to PBSC President Dr. Dennis P. Gallon, a miscalculation in workforce predictions can have a catastrophic impact on our country.

“There will be a need for one million more STEAM professionals than expected,” said Dr. Gallon.

The fundraiser’s aim is to raise money for STEAM scholarships, STEAM academic programs and to form additional partnerships with local businesses and increase student internships.

But the actor couldn’t be satisfied with a straightforward approach or the myopic title “Inside the Mind of John Lithgow,” no. Instead his hazel eyes sparkle as he reveals his intent. He’s decided to put a whimsical spin on it, explaining, “That’s why I’ve entitled my remarks, ‘Why I Entertain Children,’” and he means that literally.

He explains that an actor’s job is to suspend the disbeliefs of the audience, but adults just can’t attain the same level as the kids.

“Grownups never lose the sense that they’re watching an actor pretend,” Lithgow said. “Not children; their disbelief is in a constant state of suspense – for an actor on a stage, it’s the Holy Grail.”

You might be surprised to know that the same man who played a serial killer on Dexter also has a legion of fans under the age of 7 that he entertains with zany abandon. He’s so passionate about creative education that he has produced a plethora of books, songs and shows just for the kiddos.

His school of thought is that entertaining kids captures their attention and opens their minds so that while they’re fully engaged, you throw in the education. His goal: getting kids interested in language and the arts.

He achieves this in some fun ways. Lithgow has penned nine children’s books, some of them accompanied by CDs to enrich the experience with music.

The books have lovely rhythm – rhymes tied together with rich images, characters and humor – and the learning comes when he throws in some adult words, words he knows that most adults won’t know. It’s fully intentional. He wants the kid to ask the parent, “What does ‘peregrination’ mean?” The parent will first get that deer-in-the-headlights look, acknowledging they don’t know either, thus putting them on equal footing and then adventure begins – they get to discover the word together. Lithgow guarantees that the child will forever remember that word and what it means.

During his keynote address, Lithgow invited the audience to channel their inner 6-year-old while he read his book, Never Play Music Right Next to the Zoo (released this past October) on stage to the delight of the crowd complete with the orchestral music from the accompanying CD. His animated facial expressions were all he needed to bring the zoo (and almost 500 STEAM supporters) to life.

To learn more about Palm Beach State College’s STEAM Initiative, visit www.palmbeachstate.edu/foundation/steam.

How do I love thee…let me count the marriages

February 3, 2014 on 12:03 pm | In As Seen In..., Blog, PBG Lifestyle Magazine | No Comments

It’s February, and that means love is in the air thanks to that sappy Hallmark holiday known as Valentine’s Day.michelle-151

As Cupid’s arrow strikes, we fall into an insane state. Our minds are fully occupied with our betrothed. But often we wake from the trance only to find that the arrow has become a dagger in our hearts.

With this in mind, let’s play a game. Guess the celebrity relationship status – extra points if you know how many spouses, their names and the longevity of the marriage.

Kim Kardashian: If you’ve been keeping up with Kim she has been married twice, first to Damon Thomas and then to NBA player Kris Humphries. More interesting was her wedding which played out on TV (“Kim’s Fairytale Wedding: A Kardashian Event”) at a cost of $10 million, however it’s rumored that between endorsements, exclusive photo rights and the TV show, they didn’t spend a dime. Perhaps the fairytale title that left out any mention of Kris was the telltale sign of things to come. The marriage lasted 72 days.

Britney Spears: Brit had a Vegas wedding to her childhood friend, Jason Alexander; the marriage was over in 55 hours. Her next marriage was considerably more successful – Kevin Federline, two years and two kids.

Lisa Marie Presley: Four marriages. Her daddy may have been the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll, but Lisa Marie was certainly not the Queen of Hearts. Not only has Presley been married multiple times, she also qualifies for extreme short-term marriages. First, Danny Keough. Six years and two kids later, Splitsville. Twenty days later she wed the King of Pop, Michael Jackson; it lasted 20 months. It was then wedding bells for her and actor Nicolas Cage for 108 days. She has been married to Michael Lockwood since 2006; they have twin girls.

The eight timer’s club includes Elizabeth Taylor, Mickey Rooney, Larry King and Lana Turner.

Some exceptions are Denzel and Pauletta Washington, married 29 years; Billy and Janice Crystal, 42 years; Samuel L. Jackson and LaTanya Richardson, 32 years; Meryl Streep and Don Gummer, 34 years; and Bill and Camille Cosby, 48 years.

Proving true love is meant to last.

Thanksgivukkah?!?

November 27, 2013 on 12:11 pm | In Blog, General, PBG Lifestyle Magazine | No Comments

There’s a new holiday for everyone, and it’s called Thanksgivukkah – OY!thanksgivikuh-150x150

It’s a twofer miracle that won’t happen for another 70,000 years. If you’re a Jew like me, you can kill two turkeys with one latke and have the relatives over only once.

A lot of people don’t even know what Hanukkah is about; who cares, it’s the Jewish way of one-upping the Christians’ Christmas. You get one day, we get eight nights.

Usually Hanukkah falls on or near Christmas, which makes for some real kid competition.

Growing up Jewish, you envied those Christian kids. They got to have a whole tree in their living room, tricked out with lights. On Christmas mornings, they’d wake at an ungodly hour, turn on the tree and rip open presents.

Christian friends thought that we got the better deal thanks to presents for eight nights.

Our parents tried to sell us that one.

However, eight nights of gifts isn’t cheap, so you got socks and puzzles. Trust me my Christian friends, you didn’t miss anything.

Thanksgivukkah celebrates two holidays that are based on miracles.

Hanukkah is about oil in the lamp that was supposed to last only one night but lasted eight. (What? I know.) Thanksgiving celebrates the colonists surviving their first winter. Even more miraculously, they survived the trip over here.

I guarantee there were no Jews aboard. After wandering in the desert for 40 years, we’re not taking chances like that again.

If there were, my grandparents’ “Escape from Tyranny ” would have looked like this:

“Harry, did you remember to pack your scarf? It gets cold.”

“Yes, Anna.”

“Did you bring the Dramimine? You know I get sick.”

“Yes, Anna.”

“I just heard from the Goldbergs who sailed 10 months ago. They said the food was terrible, there were no shows and the rooms were drafty.”

“Yes, Anna.”

“They said there are Quakers there. What are Quakers? Are they related to Wilford Brimley, or did they invent the oatmeal?”

“I don’t know, Anna.”

“I worry that there aren’t enough Jews over there to get a decent mahjong game going.”

“So, you’ll teach them, Anna.”

“Oh God Harry, no Chinese food – OY!”

“Stop – you’ll worry yourself sick, Anna.”

“Oh, that reminds me, did you bring the Dramamine?”

Let’s do the Time Warp Again

July 18, 2013 on 8:06 am | In As Seen In..., Blog, PBG Lifestyle Magazine | No Comments

Ah, the joys of homeownership. Having an investment, buying into a community, fixing your own toilet and with it, flushing your money right down into it, with new paint, laminate flooring and various chachkies that have somehow now become necessities.

Although the crash of the housing market was devastating for many, it also brought opportunity for some. With low interest rates and more realistic home prices, the time had finally came where we could put on our big boy and girl pants and dive into the commitment of buying a home.

After what hit the nation, and South Florida in particular, jumping into the market was akin to that crazy Flying Wallenda, Nik, who recently walked a tightrope over the Grand Canyon – well at least it was for us.

Finally after signing papers until our wrists went numb, the house was ours. Next came the big move – but that’s another story.

Now we’ve arrived at the settling in part. You start making your way through the cavern of boxes and begin the task of unpacking – which is a little like an uneventful Christmas. Ultimately you know what’s in the box, but since it’s wrapped up, you’re a bit surprised when you unwrap it.

If you’ve bought a modern turn-key house with stunning granite countertops and shiny stainless-steel appliances, you can stop reading here. You, my friend, will never know the joys of crossing a bridge through time.

Our house is in a time warp.
TIme Warp
Our mission, to explore strange new color pallets. To seek out new washers and dryers. To boldly go and convert the 1970s into the 21st Century, something that no one has done before.

For now our “new” home is decked out with avocado bathrooms, harvest gold carpet, busy wallpaper bursting with vines and birds that lovingly clash with patterned tile – all topped off with a groovy chattahoochee patio.

Mike and Carol Brady would be in their glory. Mike and Michelle – not so much.

Eventually we’ll drag this house, kicking and screaming into this century and make it our dream home. Until then we’ll be singing – “Here’s the story of a man named Brady…”

School’s Out for Summer – Bummer

July 3, 2013 on 9:51 am | In As Seen In..., Blog, PBG Lifestyle Magazine | No Comments

When Roger Daltrey of the famed rock-n-roll band, The Who belted out, “There ain’t no cure for the summertime blues”, he must have been stuck at home with his kids.

Is anyone else ready to pack a bag and just drive away until the end of August and the return of school? I leave my house feigning errands just to get into the car and drive around to gain my sanity.michelle-109-150x150

I have two kids, at the ripe, magical age of 10 and 13, and when they have nothing better to do, they torture each other. If they’re really board, they get the dog involved until the noise reaches a fever pitch.

Sure it all starts out as giggles and happiness, but, inevitably it ends in a screaming match and then of course, they call out for the referee – me.

Bare in mind, they know I’m working, but they expect me to be their personal concierge, a Julie McCoy if you will, but this is no pleasure cruise, in fact it’s the Titanic and I’m ready to jump ship.

While they amuse themselves with board games, video games and movies, they soon tire of this and call out for reinforcements, aka, their friends. This brings in more chaos and noise while they simultaneously raid the refrigerator.

The other sibling who is friendless for the day tries to insert themselves into the action, while the other tries to show the friend just who’s boss – It’s an unending battle.

Are you fighting the same war – or conflict? This, like Viet Nam, has no winner.

What do you do if you can’t run off to the Caribbean?

Go with the old theory – fight or flight. Since you can’t possibly fight, take flight my friend.

Hide – lock yourself in your room with a book, or movie and don’t come out. Not under any circumstances. If your kids can dial 911, they don’t need you. This technique also works as a great summer diet. You’ll forgo food and water in favor of peace and quite.

How does this work? When you’re not reacting to their battles, they get tired of fighting, or so they say.

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