He Named Me Malala

Exactly three years ago this month, the world came to know fifteen-year-old Malala Yousafzai.  Her name was murmured over and over and over again – in prayer – in outcry – in hope for a full recovery from the gunshot wounds inflicted by the Taliban in an assassination attempt. All because she spoke for the right of education for all girls in her native Swat Valley of Pakistan.

Not only did Malala recover, but she also carried on with her courageous fight for girls education worldwide.  She became the youngest person to win the Nobel Peace Prize.  And her 18th birthday was marked by opening a school for Syrian refugee girls in Lebanon while calling on world leaders to invest in “books not bullets.”  Malala is passion and purpose personified.  She is truly a symbol of hope for social change and a pillar for girls’ and women’s rights worldwide.

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Her story is one that needs to be known and is compellingly captured by Oscar-winning documentary director Davis Guggenheim in the film He Named Me Malala.  The incredible film, newly in theaters, shares an intimate glimpse of Malala’s life – both public and private – with her family, as a student, as a teenager, and as a powerful activist.

He Named Me Malala

At this time, my young children don’t know Malala’s full story – but they do know her name and her devotion to education.  Someday they will read her book and see this film.  And perhaps one of the things that I love most about “He Named Me Malala” is the brilliant captures of ordinary life  – because this particular type of storytelling allows viewers to see the potential within themselves.


Watch the official trailor above and join in the conversation #WithMalala and #HeNamedMeMalala on Twitter and Instagram (@MalalaFund).  Stay in touch with Malala’s work via The Malala Fund.

I was not compensated for this post in any way.  It is an honor to be an ambassador to the film.   All images via Fox Searchlight. 


A Look Inside The NYC Dumpling Festival

As a newly minted NYC transplant, around 14-ish years ago, my then boyfriend (now husband) took me to Joe’s Shanghi for savory soup dumplings filled with hot broth for my first official welcome-to-NYC meal.  I like them (he LOVES them) – and sourcing the city’s best dumplings has pretty much been a moderate obsession for him.  So when the NYC Dumpling Festival reached out to Marino Bambinos, I had just the person to send to them.

Last Saturday, September 26th, on National Dumpling Day, Chef One’s Annual Dumpling Festival took place at Sarah Roosevelt Park and over 5,000 dumpling enthusiasts came to join in the festivities.

The event kicked off with a traditional dragon dance followed by a ceremonial dumpling cutting – which was basically a giant dumpling stuffed with a ton of tiny dumplings. Dumpling Mama was on hand as the cheerful mascot and perfect Instagrammable friend, while an array of dancers helped set the fun festive tone.

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Free admission welcomed all, and a $20 tasting ticket granted permission to sample dumplings from four different tents boasting a smorgasbord of dumplings from cultures around the world.  There were steamed chicken and basil dumplings, potato pierogis, edamame dumpling, empanadas and so much more.  Not to mention the additional goodies like Kimchi noodles, Lo mein, wild mushroom ravioli and other delectable bites.

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If you’re in the dark about the word of competitive eating, it’s apparently a thing – and the Chef One 12th Annual Dumpling Eating Contest went down in a major way at the festival.  First the speed-eating legend Takeru Kobayashi showed how it’s done, pounding 32 dumplings in his 30-second dumpling eating demo – demonstrated twice – before serving as a contest judge.  Next up was the official contents with $2K up for grabs for the winners in both the male and female division.  The contest culminated with a new record breaker – a female who chowed an astounding 93 (yes 93!) dumplings in two minutes.  I’m still trying to wrap my head around that one!


At the end of the day, in addition to the delicious food, dumpling-making classes, exciting raffles and all around spirit, one of the best parts was knowing that 100% of all proceeds from ticket sales was directly donated to the Food Bank For NYC.  As one of the city’s major hunger-relief organizations, Food Bank provides food for approximately 64 million free meals per year for New Yorkers in need while working towards long-term solutions to food poverty.

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Now that’s face-stuffing goodness to feel good about.

This is a sponsored post.  Thanks for reading! 


5 Things Parents Should Consider When Choosing a Preschool

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This post is from our friends at Noodle. Choosing the right preschool for your child shouldn’t feel like racing at the Indy 500. Still, the experience of finding the right fit — both for your little one and for you — elicits a special mix of anxiety and excitement. Whether or not you’re gearing up […]

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A Manhattan Weekend

Central Park

There’s no way that we’d abandon family getaways just because the fluidity of summer is over.  At the start of a new school year, we may not have sunny-season spontaneity  – but we do have staycations!  And vacations in our own magnificent city allows us to better appreciate all that New York City has to […]

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Spooky Halloween Headband DIY + $200 Fandango Giveaway

Costume hair accessory

One of the best ways to add an instant Halloween Costume to your look is through an amazing hair accessory. It’s perfect for those non-dresser-uppers and kiddoss who need a simple costume for school. It’s been a while since we’ve shared a fun DIY tutorial, and our spooky Halloween Headbands are the perfect hairpiece for […]

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NYC Dumpling Festival 2015

Dumpling Mama

Calling all dumpling fans! Come and join us at the NYC Dumpling Festival taking place this Saturday, September 26th – which happens to be the first annual National Dumpling Day. This fun festival offers free admission, but a $20 ticket will accommodate a selection of dumplings from cultures around the world.  From pirogies to potstickers […]

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