Linda Grant is the Founder and Editor of NYC Single Mom, a lifestyle site that provides moms of all stripes with parenting tips, dining, travel & New York City centric events. As a family lifestyle and parenting (especially adoptive parenting) expert, blogger, and brand advocate, Linda shares valuable info and useful products to her readers that will assist them in managing every day dilemmas.
Jennifer Lopez (Maid in Manhattan, “Shades of Blue”) returns to the big screen and proves it’s never too late to pursue your dreams in the hilarious and relatable romantic comedy. Maya (Lopez) is a 40-year-old woman struggling with frustrations of not having achieved more in life. As an experienced, quick-witted, perceptive employee, she is passed over for promotion solely because she doesn’t have a college degree. Until that is, she gets the chance to prove that street smarts are as valuable as book smarts and that it is never too late for a Second Act.
While I thought Second Act was a heartfelt comedy that is supposed to inspire and empower audiences of all ages to reach for their biggest dreams and I enjoyed it because I like both Jennifer Lopez in all her movies and her and Leah Rimini’s supportive girlfriend relationship.
Second Act stars an incredible supporting cast including Leah Remini (“The King of Queens,” “Kevin Can Wait”), Vanessa Hudgens (The Princess Switch, High School Musical franchise) and Milo Ventimiglia (“This is Us,” “Gilmore Girls”).
Second Act DVD and Digital is packed with special bonus content including funny and insightful commentary from the cast and filmmakers as well as entertaining featurettes that will take viewers behind the scenes of this incredibly thoughtful romantic comedy.
BONUS FEATURES on BLU-RAY, DVD, AND DIGITAL
Connecting with Milo Ventimiglia – See how Jennifer Lopez and Milo Ventimiglia connected on and off screen in this behind-the-scenes piece.
The Empowering Women of Second Act – Get an inside look at how the women of SecondAct empowered and supported each other.
Friendship On and Off Screen – See how real-life best friends Jennifer Lopez and Leah Remini had fun on set and how their real chemistry played on screen.
Working with the Ones You Love – Get a behind-the-scenes look at how the whole cast had fun while filming Second Act.
The toys hit the road in “Toy Story 4” alongside friends—new and old—foes and, of course, Forky. Filmmakers welcomed Christina Hendricks, Keanu Reeves and Ally Maki to the toy box today, revealing the three new characters they help bring to life.
Among the new faces is GABBY GABBY, an adorable, talking pull-string doll from the 1950s. But unfortunately for her, a manufacturing defect in her pull-string voice box has left her sounding anything but adorable. She has spent more than 60 years forgotten in the depths of a jam-packed antique store—her only companions are a band of voiceless ventriloquist dummies. Gabby Gabby knows someone will want her if only she can find a working voice box to repair hers.
Gabby Gabby is voiced by Christina Hendricks. “It became obvious right away that Christina was the perfect actress to play Gabby Gabby,” says director Josh Cooley. “She has the ability to sound inviting and friendly, then subtly become cold and terrifying in just a few words. It still gives me chills when I see Gabby’s introduction in the film. Also, Christina told me that she preferred playing with ventriloquist dummies over dolls as a kid. That’s when I knew it was meant to be.”
DUKE CABOOM is a 1970s toy based on Canada’s greatest stuntman. Riding his powerful Caboom stunt-cycle, Duke is always prepared to show off his stunt poses with confidence and swagger. However, Woody learns quickly that Duke has an Achilles heel: He has never been able to do the awesome stunts advertised in his own toy commercial. For years, Duke has been sitting in an antique store, constantly reliving the failures of his tragic past.
Duke Caboom is voiced by another great Canadian, Keanu Reeves. “The first time Josh [Cooley] and I talked with Keanu about the role, Keanu became Duke Caboom,” says producer Jonas Rivera. “Keanu was asking great questions that dug deep to find the soul of the character. At one point he stood up on the table in the middle of Pixar’s atrium and struck poses while proclaiming victory. It was so funny. It’s all in the movie and it’s all Keanu.”
GIGGLE MCDIMPLES is a miniature plastic doll from the 1980s Giggle McDimples toy line. Giggle is Bo Peep’s best friend. Small enough to perch on Bo’s shoulder, Giggle is Bo’s confidant, supporter and advisor. “Giggle is Bo’s Jiminy Cricket—we’re able to get insight on Bo through their relationship together,” says Cooley. “Giggle is definitely the smallest toy in the Toy Story universe. She’s been stepped on, vacuumed up, and probably put up a kid’s nose in her time.”
Ally Maki voices the tiny character. “Giggle McDimples literally pops on the screen because of Ally’s personality and infectious energy,” says Cooley. “Nobody can laugh like Ally Maki.”
BENSON is a classic, antique ventriloquist dummy, and Gabby Gabby’s right hand. He leads a small group of ventriloquist dummies that serve as Gabby’s henchmen. With no person to give them a voice, these silent toys patrol the antique store with a looming quietness that is inherently unsettling.
“The dummies are, by far, some of the creepiest characters we’ve ever created,” says producer Mark Nielsen. “Our animators really leaned into the truth in materials for how our ventriloquist dummies move. Dummies’ bodies are soft with no structure, so our dummies’ arms just dangle and their legs bend backwards. Throw in their fixed expressions with their wide eyes and big hinged jaws and they’re nightmare material—in the best way possible.”
Toy Story 4 | Official Trailer - YouTube
Disney·Pixar’s “Toy Story 4” ventures to U.S. theaters on June 21, 2019.
At a recent event that I attended with Apple representatives, I had the opportunity to learn about two IOS tools that help parents in the age of technology. And how you say? It goes without saying that managing our child’s phone use is no fun time but here are two tools that you will find helpful. I certainly do and took the time to set both up. They have made a difference to my peace of mind that is for sure.
Have you actually wondered how much time you or your child spends on their device? Well wonder no more, with Screen Time you can understand an and manage their device usage. Tools include:
Activity Reports that give you detailed look at all the app usage, notifications, and device pickups –information that is accessible only to you. I personally like it just to see how much activity for myself.
App limits – you can set daily limits for app categories with App limits For example, you might want to see productivity apps while you work but no Social Networks or Games. App limits refresh every day at midnight and you can delete them at any time.
Screen time setup for a child including downtime, app limits and asking for more time. When you schedule Downtime in Settings, only phone calls and apps that you choose to allow are available. Downtime applies to all your Screen Time enabled devices, and you get a reminder five minutes before it starts.
I love Family Sharing. It makes it easy for up to six people in your family to share iTunes, Apple Books, App store purchase, an Apple music family subscription and an iCloud storage plan, without sharing accounts. Family Sharing also lets you share photos, a family calendar and more to keep everyone connected. I can not tell what a life saver this is especially for the iCloud storage account. My daughter’s photos were at capacity and I kept wondering why since I had bought so much storage. Lo and behold it was just a matter of setting up Family Share. And the family calendar that is another great way I can keep her up to date with her appointments and events we have to go to. The flip side is that I have to constantly remind her to look at her calendar.
App Store controls Ask to Buy:
You can prevent your child from being able to install or delete apps, make in-app purchases and more.
With Ask to Buy and Family Sharing, whenever a child initiates a new purchase or free download, a request goes to the family organizer. The organizer can review the item and approve the purchase or decline the right from their own iPhone, iPad or iPod touch. For example, this could be a request for items in the iTunes, Apple Books or App Store, In-App Purchases or iCloud Storage.
Disclosure: NYC Single Mom is an Apple iPhone Ambassador.
Rome is one of the most interesting and fun cities to visit in Italy. So much history as you wander the city but there are things that make it unique. Enjoy our Rome trip through pictures. And
VICTORIO EMANUELE II MONUMENT AKA THE WEDDING CAKE
FROM THE TOP FLOOR OF THE COLOSSEUM
SELFIE AT THE COLOSSEUM
RESTING FROM A LONG DAY
TREVI FOUNTAIN AT NIGHT
TREVI FOUNTAIN DURING THE DAY
STATUE ON THE BRIDGE TO CASTEL SANT’ANGELO
CASTEL SANT’ANGELO AT NIGHT
VATICAN AT NIGHT
TRITON FOUNTAIN, PIAZZA BARBERINI
SAME BUT DIFFERENT
Rome just like her, has parking signs, building doors, and storefront gates but they are without a doubt quintessentially Italian which makes it hard to not notice. You will also notice how the streets, for the most part, allow one car and are filled with Vespas and bikes.
One of the most highly anticipated movies of the year and one of the most highly anticipated Marvel movies is CAPTAIN MARVEL. And WHY? CAPTAIN MARVEL stars Brie Larson (Academy Award Winner for Room) in an all-new adventure from a previously unseen period in the history of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. And if you hadn’t heard it is the first Marvel movie to star a female Super heroine!
This movie is set in the 1990s and follows the journey of Carol Danvers aka Captain Marvel as she becomes one of the universe’s most powerful heroes. The movie starts with a galactic war between two alien races which eventually reaches Earth and Danvers finds herself and a small cadre of allies at the center of the maelstrom.
6 Reasons to Love Captain Marvel
We learn how Nick Fury loses his eye, plus he has hair in the 90’s.
The 1990s references, from the Blockbuster Video store to the pager (aka communicator) to the downloading of data to the music, it’s a fun ride during memory lane. And for teens, it’s great for them to see how we lived soooo long ago.
Speaking of Nick Fury, we follow along as he and Carol Danvers aka Captain Marvel meet, learn to work together and become friends.
Brie Larson as Captain Marvel. I think we all agree that the Oscar Winner can act but can she carry a Marvel movie. YES, SHE CAN!!.
The diversity of women in this movie from Annette Bennett to Gemma Chan to Lashana Lynch. And speaking of Lashana Lynch who plays Maria Rambeau, Carol Danvers best friend and fellow test pilot. She is just not the black best friend, she actually plays a major role in one of the crucial scenes in the movies and for once is the not the “sassy and funny friend.” They have true friendship borne of a love of flying and determination to be the best.
The film stars Brie Larson, Samuel L. Jackson, Ben Mendelsohn, Djimon Hounsou, Lee Pace, Lashana Lynch, Gemma Chan, Rune Temte, Algenis Perez Soto, Mckenna Grace, with Annette Bening, with Clark Gregg, and Jude Law.
Marvel Studios’ CAPTAIN MARVEL is produced by Kevin Feige and directed by Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck. Louis D’Esposito, Victoria Alonso, Jonathan Schwartz, Patricia Whitcher and Stan Lee are the executive producers. The story is by Nicole Perlman and Joe Shrapnel & Anna Waterhouse, and the screenplay is by Anna Boden & Ryan Fleck and Geneva Robertson-Dworet and Jac Schaeffer.
Looking for the coolest hotel to stay in New York City. The TWA Hotel, a 512-room preserving the iconic Saarinen terminal and restoring the landmark to its Jet Age condition for generations to enjoy, is opening on May 15. The rooms are now available to book NOW at twahotel.com.
The TWA Hotel, JFK Airport’s only on-airport hotel, will feature:
Six restaurants, including The Paris Café, and eight bars, including The Sunken Lounge.
An Intelligentsia coffee bar and coffee carts throughout the hotel grounds
High-end retail outlets
50,000 square feet of event space, including a 15,000-square-foot ballroom
A rooftop pool and observation deck
A Lockheed Constellation “Connie” L-1649A transformed into a cocktail lounge, The Sunken Lounge By reviving retro cocktails (and swizzle sticks!) enjoyed in -flight, Gerber Group invites the TWA Hotel’s guests to drink in the spirit of the glamorous Sixties.
The Sunken Lounge circa 1962. Photo courtesy of Balthazar Korab
Airport enthusiasts will love that there will be TWA memorabilia museum onsite. The innovative museum will focus on New York as the birthplace of the Jet Age, the storied history of TWA Airlines, and the Midcentury Modern design movement.
Photo credit: Max Toohey
Room rates start at $249, for more information on the TWA Hotel, please visit twahotel.com.
TWA Terminal History: Built by world-renowned architect Eero Saarinen, the TWA Flight Center opened in 1962 ushering in a new era of jet air travel. Unable to support the size of modern aircraft, the terminal was closed in 2001 and has remained dark for the last 16 years. The Terminal was designated a NYC Landmark in 1994 and listed on the National Register of Historic Places and the New York State Register of Historic Places in 2005.
Disclosure: NYC Single Mom was not compensated for this post. Opinions are 100% my own.
As the weather gets colder and dryer, our skin needs a little extra TLC – and these products will give your skin the extra boost it needs.
C.O. Bigelow Iconic Collection – Body Cream
Introducing the newest collection from C.O. Bigelow – The Iconic Collection. Available in West Village Rose, Aqua Mellia, Musk and Bergamot – these light, iconic scents leave your skin soft delicately fragranced. I was sent a sample of Musk body cream and I love it. Admittedly, I am not a fan of musk because of the scent traditionally really strong but the C.O. Bigelow body cream is so light and the scent is divine. The cream is really quite thick which for the winter months is great but don’t worry it absorbs quite quickly leaving your skin silky smooth. Made with shea butter and coconut oil, this body cream will bring extreme moisture to your skin. Price: $30. Available: www.bigelowchemists.com.
Mamonde – Hydro Eye Gel Cream
The skin around your eyes is very sensitive – but needs A LOT of love. This eye cream is made with narcissus flower extract that will keep your skin smooth and hydrated. I have been using it for a few days and I like the way it absorbs into my eye area and love its subtle scent and feel. Price: $32. Available: Ulta Stores.
Disclosure: NYC Single Mom received samples to facilitate this post. Opinions are 100% my own.
Reading what is that? There was a time when I read a book a month. Sadly, the internet, social media and streaming networks seem to suck up all my time. And my bus commute is only 15 minutes, not a lot of time to read. And sorry not a fan of listening to books.
But in 2019, I am determined to read more than two books. Last year I read Crazy Rich Asians (recommend it highly) because I wanted to read it before the movie Crazy Rich Asians (SEE IT if you haven’t already) the movie was released.
The second book was “Who Thought This Was a Good Idea?: And Other Questions You Should Have Answers to When You Work in the White House.” Highly recommend as well as it offers insights into the behind the scenes of the Obama White House. It is written by Alyssa Mastromonaco who served as assistant to the president and director of scheduling and advance at the White House from 2009 to 2011 and as assistant to the president and deputy chief of staff for operations at the White House from 2011 to 2014. It’s funny, insightful and shows how one can actually end up working in the White House without actually planning to work in the White House.
This year, my plan is to read 4 books that is a 50% increase over 2018. 50% more sounds better than I am reading 4 books.
YOU CAN’T TOUCH MY HAIR BY Phoebe Robinson
Who is Phoebe Robinson you say? She is a comedian and one of the stars of Two Dope Queen’s podcast with my other favorite girl, Jessica Williams. I discovered Robinson when she and William turned their very successful podcast, 2 Dope Queens into 4 HBO specials, “2 Dope Queens.” Then I discovered Robinson had a new book out but as I went to buy Everything’s Trash, But It’s Okay, I saw she had written an earlier book, You Can’t Touch My hair: And Other Things I Have to Explain. Stay tuned but I find comedians who can write aka Tina Fey with Bossy Pants, they tend to be smart, funny and an easy read. And by the way, she impressed Michelle Obama so much when she did a 2 Dope Queens interview that she is NOW one the moderators on her sold out book tour.
BECOMING MICHELLE OBAMA
How can I not read Becoming Michelle Obama? I went to see her speak on her book tour so this number two on my list. It was the number one selling book in 2018, flying off the shelves. From what I have heard from others, it is inspiring, interesting and a good read.
PACHINKO (National Book Award Finalist)
Pachinko tells the story of four generations of a poor Korean immigrant family in 20th century Japan. I can not wait since this book was on every newspaper’s best seller list in 2018.
China Rich Girlfriend
China Rich Girlfriend is the second in the series of the Crazy Rich Asians trilogy. Since Crazy Rich Asians was a huge hit at the box office, there will be a sequel (HURRAY), so I need to read the book before the movie is released!
Book Four is to be determined
Can I get to book four? We shall see. I am not going to pick one right now because it’s only February and I am sure there will be a hit book that everyone will be reading this year so I will wait.
Bonus Book – Spark Joy: An Illustrated Master Class on the Art of Organizing and Tidying Up (The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up)
Japanese decluttering guru Marie Kondo is taking America by storm with her recent hit Netflix series Tidying Up with Marie Kondo. Read the book that started it all, Spark Joy: An Illustrated Master Class on the Art of Organizing and Tidying Up (The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up.)I am planning to get the book because it is an illustrated guide to her acclaimed KonMari Method. And I like the rest of the country is looking to declutter!!
Let’s spark JOY!!
Do you have any suggestion for my book four?
Disclosure: NYC Single Mom was not compensated for this post.
If the man in your life is looking for an electric shaver that offers effortless shaving by following the contours of their face and neck, and the coated rings facilitate smooth gliding for a comfortable experience then definitely they should try the Philips Norelco S9000 Prestige Qi-Charge Electric Shaver. This shaver offers Philips’ closest shave, with a reduction in redness and burning.
The @PhilipsNorelco Prestige Qi-Charge Electric Shaver offers the closest shave, with a reduction in redness and burning. @bestbuy #philipsnorelco Click To Tweet
Along with offering three settings and an attachable trimmer to maximize styling options, the Philips Norelco S9000 Prestige Qi-Charge Electric Shaver has 10 features that your beard will thank you for:
Excellent skin comfort system – Enables you to get a highly efficient shave even on longer (up to seven-day) beard.
Shave wet or dry -With S9000 you can shave dry or use water, foam or gel for even better gliding and a smoother skin feeling.
Washable design simplifies cleanup – Features an easy three-step cleaning process.
Up to 60 minutes of cordless shaving per full charge -The high-capacity battery also fully charges in as little as 1 hour.
Battery indicator – Shows when it is time to recharge your shaver.
NanoTech precision blades – Strengthened with thousands of nanoparticles that cut hair with the highest precision, delivering an extremely close shave at skin level.
Contour Detect heads -Move in 8 directions to follow every contour of your face, even catching hair in hard-to-reach areas like the neck and jawline. Shaving heads are surrounded with SkinComfort rings, which have a special protective coating so the shaver glides smoothly over your skin.
BeardAdapt sensor – Effortlessly shave off even a dense beard. The BeardAdapt sensor checks hair density 15 times per second and automatically adapts the shaver to your hair.
SmartClick precision trimmer – Finish your look with the skin-friendly SmartClick precision trimmer. It is ideal for maintaining your mustache and trimming your sideburns.
Qi Charger – Allows wireless charging
Visit bestbuy.com, to check out Philips best shaver, offering the ultimate in closeness and skin comfort.
Disclosure: The reviewer has been compensated in the form of a Best Buy Gift Card and/or received the product.
Interviewing the cast of Fighting with my Family was a fun and lighthearted time. Fighting With My Family tells the story of how “Saraya Bevis” went from her small town in Norwich, England to become WWE Superstar Paige. It is a heartwarming and funny film that will make you laugh, clap and cheer. Read my full review of Fighting with my Family.
Eight Fun Facts From the Cast of Fighting With My Family
Lena Headey (Game of Throne’s Cersie Lannister) who plays Paige’s mom had not met Paige’s mom until the press junket.
According to director Stephen Merchant, the hardest scene to film was the final match that Paige has to compete for the WWE Divas. It was actually filmed at the Staple Center in Los Angeles. The filmmakers only had one hour with 20,000 real fans after the real broadcast to get the scene shot! Not a lot of time given that it’s a pretty important scene in the movie!
Paige admitted that she did, in fact, dye her hair blonde from her dark black color to fit in with the other female wrestlers who were all blonde and tanned. She had forgotten that is how she got signed and dyed it back. By the way, her actual hair color is light brown.
Florence Pugh (Paige) and Jack Lowden (Zak) actually attended NXT wrestling training in Florida for two weeks. Florence mentioned that there was quite a bit of pressure during training. You don’t want the wrestlers to look at you and think you are not giving it your all.” – Florence (Paige)
Paige did not a sense of the struggles and obstacles she went through until she saw her story on the big screen. It’s bizarre because at the time you don’t realize how many obstacles you’re going through until it is being told on the big screen.”
Stephen Merchant emphasized that you really don’t need to know anything about wrestling because everyone has a family.
Lena Headey did study Julia and saw the documentaries and “fell in love with them” because of their honesty and authenticity.
Jack Lowden who plays Zak had to really put on weight to play the role of the real Zak. The real Zak is actually six foot five. Jack had to train twice a day and eat four or five meals a day to bulk up.
Best quote of the interview is from Paige.
Being yourself is your super power”
Everything is worth fighting for when it comes to family. #FightingWithMyFamily is in select theaters February 14, everywhere February 22”