Posts by Danielle Braff

RV living, homeschooling

RV Living and Learning: Dare to Take a Roadschooling Adventure

A new trend is emerging, transforming RV living into full-time schooling. Chelsea Gonzales loves to travel, and she was determined not to stop when she had children. So she did what felt the most natural to her: she decided against traditional schooling and took her son on the road instead. They started RV living over two years ago when he was about four, but they didn’t pause when he was ready for kindergarten, and they’re        …read more


8 Happiness Secrets from the Countries That Mastered Happy

Dan Buettner traveled to the world’s happiest places and brought back their delightful tips. Your level of happiness isn’t set in stone. So when Dan Buettner, author of Thrive: Finding Happiness the Blue Zones Way, learned that there are entire countries where the average happiness level was skyrocketing (we’re looking at you, Denmark, Switzerland, Norway and Finland, according to the 2018 World Happiness Report), he decided to travel to them to discover their tricks. And        …read more

spa treatments

11 Spa Treatments to Heal Whatever’s Hurting You

There’s a whole world of spa treatments designed to cure colds, depression, stress, wrinkles and more. Instead of tea, tissues, and chicken noodle soup when you’ve got a cold, how would you like a spa treatment? Or if you’re carrying around emotional baggage, try curing it the way our ancestors have been doing it for generations: with a specific tree used in a spa treatment. There are some super-cool (literally) spa treatments available today, which        …read more

places to visit in the U.S.

Places to Visit in the U.S. That Feel Like International Destinations

Want to feel like you’re a world away without the long flight and jet lag? Check out these places to visit in the U.S. that look and feel remarkably similar to their European counterparts. We’d all love to jet off on international adventures, but sometimes a lack of funds and time can get in the way of our globetrotting dreams. Fortunately, there’s a solution, and it doesn’t have to come in the form of a        …read more

strange homes

8 Strange Homes You Have to See to Believe

From a spaceship to a pickle barrel, these architectural wonders have just one thing in common: they’re very strange homes. Explore eight of the weirdest homes in the U.S. and learn how they came to be. 1. Haines Shoe House (York, Pennsylvania) It’s literally a house that looks like a massive shoe — you can’t really get a home that’s stranger than this one. Haines Shoe House was built by a shoe salesman in 1948        …read more

gap year

More U.S. Students Than Ever Take a Gap Year to Travel and Serve

Many students choose to take a gap year between high school and college to see the world and, often, lend support to worthy causes while they’re at it. As everyone else was heading to Bed, Bath & Beyond to stock up on dorm room supplies last year, Palmer Skudneski was packing his bags for an epic trip across 22 countries. As soon as he graduated from high school, the Denver, Colorado, man took off to        …read more

nomad adventure

She Retired before 35 to Go on a Nomad Adventure — Here’s How

Anita Dhake takes ‘carpe diem’ to the next level, taking her dream nomad adventure now rather than later. Anita Dhake retired about two years ago. Like most retirees, she spends her time reading, traveling and meeting friends for relaxed lunches. Unlike most retirees, she can fit nearly all of her possessions into a suitcase and she has no single place she calls home. She’s 35 years old, and she spent the first part of her        …read more

Communal Living Is Back — For Some, It Never Went Away

Communal living opportunities are popping up nationwide, appealing to everyone from singles in their 20s to retired couples. Sky Blue loves communal living. And, yes, that’s his real name. “My parents were hippies,” says Blue, 37. And he appears to be following in their footsteps, quite literally. Blue’s parents met at Twin Oaks Intentional Community, a 350-acre piece of land stretching a mile up from the South Anna River in Virginia. The community currently houses        …read more

anxiety disorder

Anxiety Disorders Are the Shared Cultural Experience of the Moment

A look at why more people are diagnosed with anxiety disorders now than ever before. The ’90s were totally depressing. Prozac was the word du jour, and Prozac Nation was the book on everyone’s nightstand. Today we’re anxious, and anxiety disorders appear to be a cultural phenomenon. Recently a slew of books on the topic of anxiety disorders have been published, including On Edge and Hi, Anxiety. Anxiety beat depression as the most common mental        …read more

forest bathing

Forest Bathing: The New Meditation Trend

Any person at any age and any fitness level can participate in forest bathing, which helps the mind and body. Every Friday afternoon, rain, snow or shine, Nicole Sumida and her two eight-year-old daughters step out of their busy Illinois suburb and disappear into the forest on the outskirts of town to do their form of forest bathing. There they look at the deer, rest on logs and touch trees. After about three hours, the        …read more

child prodigy

What Becomes of a Child Prodigy?

How likely is it for a child prodigy to blossom into a successful adult? She-e Wu essentially became a child prodigy the day she noticed a music store. When she was three and a half years old, she and her mother walked past a store where music was playing inside. Wu heard the sounds and pressed her little face to the window. “My mother said it was time to go, and my face was stuck        …read more

house museums, old house

6 Stunning House Museums and the Stories They Tell

In the U.S., you’ll find more house museums than McDonald’s — and that’s a good thing. A tiny category of museums is growing into a big subset in our museum culture. Museums are traditionally grand, stoic towers housing massive art or history collections that have been around for centuries. So it might be surprising to learn that the largest category of museums is small house museums, and they outnumber traditional art museums by at least 10        …read more

writer's retreat, writers' retreat

8 Artists’ and Writers’ Retreats to Inspire Your Creative Soul

Need to get away to create? Keep this list of artists’ and writers’ retreats on hand. Sometimes artists and writers need to escape to a magical world where they can bask in quiet inspiration. And, yes, these places do exist. You can choose from artists’ and writers’ retreats in the hills of Ireland, the forests of California or perched in a village in Southern France. Some offer studios, nourishment and living space at no charge. They        …read more


10 Most Extraordinary Hotels to Satisfy Your Wanderlust

Got a case of wanderlust? From tree houses to caves, check out 10 of the most fascinating hotels in the world. Step aside, food porn. We’ve got the most drool-worthy hotels. These rooms are so fabulous they’re worth traveling across the world just for the pleasure of resting your heads in their beds for a night. We’re taking you everywhere from Chile to Chicago, from rooms made out of ice to suites made in a cave.        …read more

art districts

9 U.S. Towns You Never Knew Had Fantastic Art Districts

You’ll find the Norman Rockwell Museum, Frank Lloyd Wright’s home and more in these 9 art districts. If you want to have an artsy vacation, the usual suspects have probably popped onto your travel list: New York City and, if you love jazz, New Orleans. But plenty of other towns and neighborhoods throughout the United States are brimming with quirky art museums, music festivals, art districts and more. These nine made our list of the        …read more

jobs for felons

Faith in Humanity Restored: Hot Dog Joint Makes Jobs for Felons

This hot dog joint is changing lives by creating jobs for felons. When she was younger, the girl experienced serious abuse. She ran away from home at the age of 12 and met a boy who gave her drugs. They broke into a home, and the owner happened to be there. He killed the homeowner; she was tried as an adult and sent to jail at the age of 13 as an accessory to murder. She        …read more

latest album

Ben Thomas Turns His Latest Album into Opportunities

When Ben Thomas produced his latest album, ‘Bring Forth,’ he didn’t know it would lead him here. In the middle of creating his latest album of repurposed hymns, Ben Thomas had a revelation: art is inside everyone and, given the proper tools, everyone can create it. For a man whose entire career had led to this moment, it meant changing direction entirely to help others let their inner artist escape. “What if I could create        …read more

mentoring programs

Triple Threat Mentoring Programs Launch At-Risk Kids into Amazing Futures

A couple gave up their jobs and everything they owned to create mentoring programs that help kids reach their fullest potential. Originally Caleb Luper was living day to day as many people do, and mentoring programs didn’t cross his mind. Out of college, he worked for a developer and was super excited to receive his first paycheck. One paycheck led to the next, and he found himself eight years in, married and the not-so-proud owner of lots        …read more

mindfulness meditation

What Happens When Mindfulness Meditation Replaces School Detention?

Teachers and parents are discovering the surprising effects of providing mindfulness meditation at school. Many of the young students at Robert W. Coleman Elementary School in Baltimore lead chaotic lives. Some of their parents are in prison, many don’t eat outside of school, and the clothes on their backs are all they own. But as soon as they enter their school, they’re in an oasis of calm. The day begins with 15 minutes of mindfulness meditation.        …read more

help animals

How 6 Artists Focused Their Skills to Help Dogs Find Furever Homes

Concerned for displaced and abandoned pets, these artists help dogs by photographing, drawing and painting them to open hearts and homes. With a needle in one hand, a veterinary technician was about to euthanize a dog, when she glanced at a photo that Nanette Martin had taken of him in the photographer’s effort to help dogs find homes. The technician put the needle away and later told Martin, cofounder and executive director of Shelter Me Photography, that he simply        …read more

monster drawing

The Monster Drawing Mash: 6 Artists Crushing It

Monster drawing is making a comeback, and we’re gobbling up the kooky designs of these 6 artists. Most people who grew up anytime after 1971 are familiar with Jon Stone’s beloved bedtime story The Monster at the End of This Book. And for some, listening to that book time after time, night after night, that lovable Grover monster drawing just may have gotten into their heads. And remained there. Grover and his other monster friends are partly        …read more

internet troll

Women in Media vs. the Internet Troll

What compels the internet troll to target women in media? In recent days, Leslie Jones’ website became a target of hackers who, in addition to exposing her driver’s license and passport photos, juxtaposed nude images of the Saturday Night Live star with photos of Harambe, the silverback gorilla who was shot and killed at the Cincinnati Zoo this summer. The cyber-attack on Jones brings to mind the memorable words of her Ghostbusters character: “I don’t know if it was a race        …read more

scout trooper helmet

Scout Trooper Helmet Designs Raise Massive Donation for Make-A-Wish

When you give an artist a blank scout trooper helmet and total freedom, the results are brilliant. It was a dream assignment for Tom Spina, owner of Tom Spina Designs in New York. The owner of a company known for restoring original movie props, among other things, received an unfinished scout trooper helmet. You know, the one from Star Wars? He was told to decorate it any way he wanted, no boundaries. “The instructions were        …read more


VR: openFrameworks Enables a New Dimension in Filmmaking

Meet the openFrameworks programmer and artist bringing VR to live-action filmmaking. James George, the openFrameworks author of DepthKit, had the seeds of art in his mind from childhood. He always had images floating around in his head, but when he put pencil to paper, he couldn’t execute those images properly. It was only when he was 14 and discovered Photoshop that he was finally able to create the art he’d always envisioned. “It was my        …read more


Meet Jody Steel, Master of Body Paint Art

With body paint art and a camera, she draws in millions of views. Every time Jody Steel doodles, she creates a time-lapse video of her work and pops it onto Facebook. She typically gets about 20,000 likes from her 2.7 million Facebook fans. These aren’t your typical doodles. The 22-year-old artist hailing from Hollywood, Florida, who now resides in Hollywood, California, draws on people, though she’s not a tattoo artist. Steel has hundreds of markers and hundreds of pens, and        …read more

‘Temple of Art’ — Get Ready for One of the Most Inspiring Documentary Films about Art

Among documentary films, this is the one we can’t wait to get our hands on. Barron Storey, an artist featured in one of the most anticipated documentary films, is addicted to his art. Storey — illustrator, graphic novelist and teacher — is at the top of his game. And yet, he says in a soon-to-be-released documentary, Temple of Art, he sometimes struggles. He must proceed, though, because as an artist, he simply cannot stop. “I am absolutely dedicated and addicted        …read more

Children in Need Program

The ABC’s of Serving NYC’s Children in Need

How one organization saved thousands of homeless youth. Victor Reyes and his brother were born HIV-positive. Reyes, along with his two brothers and sister (two out of the four children were HIV-positive) went from their mother’s arms to their grandmother’s home through foster care, until they were finally adopted by a foster parent after a few years. Sometimes they were short on food, money and love. But through it all, one thing in their lives stayed constant:        …read more

portraits performing arts

Mozawa Spotlights Millennials in Performing Arts & Mixed Media Masterpieces

Performing arts & mixed media take the stage in Chicago. In a Chicago art gallery last summer, a group of more than 55 international visual and performing artists from diverse artistic mediums took to the stage. A Chicago harp quartet, a New York sculptor, an Australian sound artist, a Japanese drummer and many others met for three intense nights under the direction of Matthew Ozawa in order to change the way people view millennials. “We        …read more