My specialties include general lifestyle, arts and culture, profiles, beauty, shelter/design, business and wellness. Note that some articles were written under my pseudonym, Pauline Estrem.
How to Take Passover to the Next Level
As one of the most important Jewish holidays, Passover holds a special place in the hearts of Jewish families, who gather every spring for the ritual feast of seder. The holiday celebrates the Jews’ liberation from Egyptian slavery and the sparing, or “passing over,” of their firstborn sons when God sought to punish the land of Egypt.
The customs of Passover, which takes place this year from the evening of...
How Netflix’s Midnight Club Star Ruth Codd Went From TikTok to Playing Anya in First Acting Role
Ruth Codd, who plays Anya in Netflix’s The Midnight Club, says there’s power in being who you are. And who she is, especially as she steps into this new phase of her career, is so much more than her disability. Her character in the new horror YA series is fierce, whip-smart, and nuanced; Ruth herself is quick to joke, doesn’t take herself too seriously, and is both chill about the path her life has taken and excited for what’s to come.
In the series, Anya is an amputee with a terminal illness...
How to Keep the Faith in Tough Times
No one can deny that we’re living in difficult times. In the United States, the Covid-19 pandemic rocked a country that was already deeply divided along political lines, marred by frequent gun violence and struggling with substance abuse issues on every level of society. That’s not to mention the growing disparity between the rich and the poor as well as the bleak future that many see in store for the planet due to climate change.
These problems seem to affect religious people in two ways: Th...
Why Celebrities Are Turning to EMDR Therapy for Their Mental Health
This season of the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills began with cast member Dorit Kemsley's shocking home invasion robbery, where she was held at gunpoint. Her subsequent journey with PTSD has been a key part of her storyline and, as she shared in one recent episode, one way she's coping with the trauma is with a form of therapy called EMDR, which stands for eye movement desensitization and reprocessing.
4 Organizations to Support That Help Conquer Hunger
At this time of year, as most of us sit down to tables full of food, it can be easy to forget that many families aren’t as fortunate. In 2021, 33.8 million people lived in food-insecure homes where there wasn’t enough food for every family member to be healthy, according to the USDA. Many of these individuals live in poverty and don’t know where their next meal is coming from or whether they’ll go to bed with an empty stomach.
Fortunately, there are many nonprofit organizations that ensure th...
‘Outlander’ Star Sam Heughan Pens an Ode to Scotland in ‘Waypoints’
When actor Sam Heughan decided to write a memoir, Waypoints: My Scottish Journey, it wasn’t enough just to reminisce. He needed to revisit. So, the Scottish star of Outlander embarked on an ambitious solo journey, backpacking 100 miles into the country’s Highlands to reflect on the man he’s become — and how he got there.
I've lived in Florida for 25 years and Key West is my happy place. Here's my ultimate guide for a dreamy stay on the tropical island.
I've been a Floridian for 25 years, and Key West is my favorite destination in the Sunshine state. Here is my ultimate guide containing everything to do, see, and experience while visiting Key West.
Saying No Is Hard but Oh So Satisfying, Says Author Natalie Lue
For her entire life, Natalie Lue was used to pleasing other people and putting their interests before hers. No was a dirty word that she wouldn’t use — even while she spent three years silently suffering from sarcoidosis, an immune disease that caused blindness in her eye and severe joint pain. It can also lead to pulmonary heart failure.
My Brilliant Friend Is the Best TV Show That No One Is Watching
My Brilliant Friend, HBO's Italian-language drama that just wrapped its third season, begins with a mystery. Elena Greco, the elderly narrator of the show — and of the four books the series is based on, Elena Ferrante's best-selling Neopolitan Novels — receives a call from her best friend's son. Lila has disappeared. This compels Elena, aka Lenu, to recount their nearly 60-year friendship: the good, the bad, and the ugly.
Jewelry Mogul Kendra Scott Finds Beauty in the Imperfect
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Just three months after giving birth to her first child, Kendra Scott celebrated another major milestone. Her eponymous jewelry line, a labor of love that she started in a spare bedroom with $500 in 2002, was valued at more than $1 billion in 2016.
She has given more than $50 million to charity through her Kendra Cares program, was a guest on Shark Tank, and founded the Ke...
What Happens When Being Home So Much Makes Your Agoraphobia Worse?
In our series What It’s Like, we talk with people from a wide range of backgrounds to learn how their lives have changed because of the COVID-19 pandemic. For our latest installment, we spoke with Megan Lane, a freelance writer in Wading River, New York. In addition to depression, generalized anxiety disorder, anorexia nervosa, and ADHD, the 30-year-old has been diagnosed with agoraphobia.
Agoraphobia is often simply defined as a fear of leaving home. In reality, it’s an anxiety disorder that...
In ‘Happy-Go-Lucky,’ David Sedaris Ponders Life, Death, and Dental Surgery
David Sedaris’ previous book, Calypso, came out in 2018 — before the world turned upside down. Before we entered a lockdown and he was forced to stop touring and reading to live audiences, one of his favorite things in the world. Before his last living parent, his father, died, leaving him grappling with the ruins of their dysfunctional relationship. So, it’s understandable that his new collection of essays, Happy-Go-Lucky, has a darker edge that’s the polar opposite of its title.
"13 Reasons Why" Actor Bex Taylor-Klaus on the Show's Third Season, Auditioning as a Non-Binary Actor, and More
Trigger Warning: This post contains language about sexual assault and suicidal ideation that some readers may find disturbing.
During season 1 of the Netflix drama 13 Reasons Why, the scene showing Hannah Baker's death by suicide sparked controversy among viewers, critics, and mental health professionals for its graphic portrayal. Among those detractors was actor Bex Taylor-Klaus, who stars in season 3 of the series.
“When I heard they were going to be changing what was depicted in season 1, ...
Learn More About the Intricacies of Jewish History With These Nine Books
There are many celebrations to embrace in May, from the onset of warmer weather to Cinco de Mayo, Mother’s Day, and the unofficial arrival of summer with Memorial Day. And not to mention, all the graduations in between. But in 2006, at the behest of Jewish groups in Florida, another celebration was added to the mix — President George W. Bush designated May as Jewish American Heritage Month.
Alyssa Milano Is Wound Up and She's Not Done Fighting
Alyssa Milano opens up about her gun safety activism and more in this exclusive interview.