Playing around with Books and TV Shows


I’ve been writing elsewhere lately about various different interests– my kids, playing, pageants, figure skating, books, TV shows, and child geniuses. You can check out these three different pieces by clicking on the titles: 1) Play, Outsourced- Written as part of the blog series, 28 Days of Play, about what impacts and at times impedes […]


Reading and Reviewing Parenting Books: The Long View


It’s no secret that I am a voracious reader. So when I read that people no longer want to read a book– or certain type of book– it makes me very sad. Especially given that one of my hats is as Book Review Editor at Brain, Child Magazine (obviously focusing on books related to parenting). […]


America’s new child genius

Economist cover, America's new aristocracy

I loved the cover story of the January 24th issue of The Economist so much I even took notes. “America’s new aristocracy: Education and the inheritance of privilege” is spot on in so many ways. As the leader says, “Today’s rich increasingly pass on to their children an asset that cannot be frittered away in […]


Be a Journalist #LikeaGirl

Michele Tafoya sideline

I know I’m in the minority here, but I didn’t really like the Always #LikeaGirl ad that aired during the Superbowl this week. Now I write this as a person who believes wholeheartedly that men and women/girls and boys can almost always do the same things. I attended an all-girls school for eight years, and […]


The Pageant Formula of Miss Universe 2015

Miss Colombia swayback in swimsuit

If you follow my writings on Miss Universe, you know that my absolute favorite part is the parade of national costumes. Trump and his minions got with the program this year and showed us the contestants modeling them– not just a picture of them flaunting their version of sexy national dress like last year. Even […]


The Similar Worlds of Mutton Busting and AAU Basketball

Image by Jonno Rattman for New Yorker, Jadeyn Lara and Shayne Spain

In addition to reading a lot of books, I read a lot of magazines. Sometimes it takes me awhile to get through the stack on my nightstand, but I always do. I recently read two articles in my “regulars” (New Yorker and Sports Illustrated) that spoke to one another in important ways– even if no […]


My Purple Train Boy Turns 3


Back in November I (along with Carston!) made my writing debut in The Washington Post. I was thrilled to have a piece in the On Parenting section. I originally titled the piece “My Purple Train Boy,” but it was retitled to, “My boy likes soccer and dance, trains and the color purple.” The lines I […]


Ballroom Blitz: Toddlers & Tiaras for Grown-Ups


When Bravo announced it would be airing Game of Crowns many eagerly awaited the grown-up version of Toddlers & Tiaras. But, as I wrote, that series turned out to be more like a pageant version of Real Housewives of RI/CT. Instead, it is another TLC mini-series, Ballroom Blitz, that comes closest to the formula, subculture, […]


Called to Watch The Sisterhood

Sisterhood and Sr. Beth Ann

When I was in first grade I went home and told my mother that the principal of my school, Sr. Loretelle, was the most beautiful woman I had ever seen. I also said she smelled good (I actually remember this and I still would argue she smelled good! I looked her up online to confirm […]


Bravo Academia: What I Should Have Asked Andy Cohen


I am, what sociologists of culture call, a cultural omnivore. I consume high and low art whether it be books, TV, movies, music, etc. Sometimes my DVR looks like a teenage girl (Pretty Little Liars, Teen Mom) and other times a middle-aged woman (Real Housewives, The Sisterhood). I love reading serious non-fiction as much as […]