Managing your kid’s screen time: Believe it or not there is an app for that


So much has transpired since getting back into our groove after an amazing summer: Our 11-year-old started middle school and making new friends; our 9-year-old daughter is now in 4th grade and getting in touch with her creative side; Ronan, our 4-year-old son is in his last year of nursery school and is obsessed with dinosaurs; Stew has been very busy with work; and I have been heavily involved in the Palo Alto Elementary Math Adaptation Pilot as a committee member; Konstella is doing great, as we continue to impact school communication around the country.  I am finding that whatever time I have available, I need to spend it wisely. So taking away and hiding kids devices, in hard-to-find places around the house in order to regulate screen time is certainly not on my ideal task. There is an app for that and it is called OurPact!


Continue reading

Why the Four Seasons Maui Wailea is an ideal destination for solo travel

Four Seasons Resort Maui Wailea solo travel 10


Why the Four Seasons Maui Wailea is an ideal destination for solo travel.


I was never a fan of traveling without my husband, or family, or a girlfriend, and for the past 17 years that I have known my husband, we have often traveled as a couple and explored destinations together.  However, on Mother’s Day in 2014, it all changed and I had to hold the suitcase to a solo ride. The unplanned destiny, however, made me realize that sometimes, it’s perfectly alright to travel alone, where I could be, just me! And spend time doing nothing at all, or perhaps do whatever I want whether it is the obvious spa treatments or long uninterrupted walks or even rest without the sound of screaming kids, or inquiring husband!

Continue reading

So I am a co-founder of a Silicon Valley startup

Mayma Raphael and Eric Xu Konstella co-founders
Mayma Raphael and Eric Xu Konstella



I am now co-founder of a Silicon Valley startup.


Since moving to Palo Alto, I have been approached by a few companies to work as a consultant and advisor, and another mom and ex-googler approached me to join her as a co-founder of a Pinterest-like app for secondhand items. These other experiences were wonderful, but nothing ever clicked as this great opportunity.

Continue reading

Please don’t call my preschooler a Stanford guinea pig: Here is why we love Bing Nursery School


bing nursery school 9a


So, last Fall we were at a family dinner party, and my husband and I were conversing with this other couple we had previously met but had not gotten the chance to chat with. When the topic of where our kids went to school came up, we told them where our older children went, and when we mentioned that our little guy is at Bing, the husband all of a sudden started making one comment after another as he tried to paint a very negative picture of Bing. He told us that our son is just a guinea pig, that he is being used as a lab rat by Stanford, that all they really do is get dirty playing in mud.  Then adding that he is happy that his daughter’s name never got off the Bing wait list. We felt that the gentleman totally disqualified our Bing experience, making it hard for us to have a dialogue on the topic, and try to explain why we think that Bing is a fantastic nursery school.

Continue reading

Unique birthday party places for kids in Palo Alto

unique birthday party palo alto


Year after year, it is always nerve racking for me to come up with unique kids birthday party ideas. I have done tea party, lady bug party, spa, park, golf, just to name a few. So I understand how challenging this can be for many busy parents. Would you like to plan a unique Birthday Party for your daughter or son but you find it difficult to decide what to do or what is available? Here are some unique birthday party places for kids, in Palo Alto, where you can host a stress-free, memorable birthday party that your kid and his or her guests will surely remember for a long time to come.

Continue reading

Real Housewives of Silicon Valley: 13 reasons why this may not work out for Bravo

Portrait Of Female Friends Enjoying Night Out At Rooftop Bar


The Real Housewives franchise hoping to settle down in the Silicon Valley?

Word has been swirling around for a while that the Real Housewives franchise maybe  hoping to expand into Silicon Valley.  I recently heard from a friend that they are piloting the show in the Bay Area, and was pretty shocked.  Of course, we think that the franchise is repulsive, degrading, and full of inflated drama.  But who can really blame those of us who find our guilty pleasure in the comfort of watching the shows, consequently increasing their ratings and encouraging this negative behavior?

Continue reading

10 Things to do with your family on Martin Luther King Day in Palo Alto and surrounding areas


As we celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.  Day 2016, we reflect on his message of unity, peace, tolerance and equality for mankind. To commemorate his birthday, which is in fact a national holiday, government offices, Local, State and Federal Courts, banks, post offices, and even libraries will be closed. However, we have found 10 things you can do with your family in Palo Alto and the surrounding areas.


  1. Tree planting with Super Bowl 50 Host Committee, NFL and Verizon in East Palo Alto at MLK Jr. Park, at 9:30 am.

In an attempt to promote stronger and healthier communities by means of urban forests that, undoubtedly, benefit us all, Canopy, in collaboration with NFL and Verizon, invites us all to plant over 60 shrubs and trees at Martin Luther King Park. The event includes a Ceremonial Mayor’s Tree Planting. A fun family activity that young and old will definitely enjoy alike.

Continue reading