Every Mom Needs a She Shed and an Afternoon with Genevieve Gorder!

Ever meet someone and you instantly feel like you have known them forever? Where you are finishing each others sentences and you just cannot get enough of each other…Well, this happened to me last week. I had a chance to meet the wonderful design expert and TV host, Genevieve Gorder!

We talked about being from the Midwest, we talked about our daughters, we spoke about New York City and chatted about the importance of celebrating “me time” in style. We talked and talked while snacking on Fiber One’s new Brownie Bites which are the perfect, guilt-free snack to indulge on when you need a moment to yourself.

As a busy mom of 3, I fully understand the importance of #metime. I rarely take it (I am working on this) so that’s why I invited a few friends and took a few hours out of my day to relax and explore Fiber One’s She Shed with Genevieve. I let her know that I am design inept and have actually broken into a sweat while trying to choose a paint color. Genevieve was comforting, charistmatic and obviously very talented as she walked me around her designs. She showed me some simple design ideas and enhancements you can do on a budget and we talked about how it would be a dream of mine for someone like her to come into my home one day and just take over. I struggle with making design choices, and I am constantly searching for that Feng Shui gene that many people have.

When you are a mom of 3 living in an apartment, you most definitely need your own space to relax and feel zen like. It is so necessary to also take that time for yourself where you can breathe a little and laugh a little since raising a family can be so exhausting and challenging.

So here’s to more of #MeTime, here’s to more time with friends and here’s to hopefully creating my very own She Shed one day! A little nook or place that I can call my own. I will also make sure to always have Fiber One’s new Brownie Bites on hand, they are perfectly portioned, guilt-free indulgences that I plan to stash in my very own She Shed, away from the kids!

This Post is in partnership with Fiber one

We Love Ariane Gold and Goldno.8 Here’s why…

Ariane Gold is the owner and designer of goldno.8. Ariane has worked for some of the biggest names in the fashion industry over the past 20 years including Ralph Lauren, TSE, Catherine Malandrino and Isaac Mizrahi. Her designs have been featured in top fashion magazines across the globe including Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, Elle, W and Marie Claire and sold at top retailers worldwide.

In addition to her fashion career, Ariane launched a successful home décor business called BUTCH & harold with her sister. The brand has been sold in stores ranging from Bed Bath and Beyond to MOMA Design store and has been featured in top publications and TV shows.

Juggling life as a successful Creative Director and mother of two can be challenging on the fashion front. goldno.8 was conceived in part because her busy lifestyle. Constantly running from work, to the gym, to the boy’s activities, and evenings out demanded a bag that was both fashionable and functional. And so, goldno.8 was born and we couldnt be happier! Go Ariane Go!

Melissa Gerstein, Ariane Gold (founder Goldno.8) Michelle Gold (sister) Denise Albert.

Click here to shop Goldno.8!

How They Did It: Introducing Em & Liz

The MOM IDEA…The Em and Liz Box! The Em and Liz Box was inspired by our passion for shopping for the sparkliest, girliest products and accessories for our own daughters as well as incorporating elements from our own childhood. Each box is curated with 4-6 full size, high quality age appropriate items that closely tie into a monthly theme. The boxes also feature 2 sheets of theme based stationary and our SurPRIZE Pod.

We vividly remember collecting Lisa Frank stationary, writing letters to friends and eagerly checking the mailbox everyday for a special note. Our aim for the Em and Liz stationary is to ignite that lost art of letter writing and to encourage friends to send fun messages or drawings to one another. The Em and Liz SuPRIZE Pod is a mixture of our take on the pop culture phenomenon of surprise eggs and our nostalgic nod to vending machine prizes. With all of these features mixed into one fun subscription box, the Em and Liz Box allows young girls to experience and prolong the magic of girlhood month after month.

To the left Riki and Elizabeth (Liz). To the right Effie and Emanuella (Em).


Click here to shop The Em & Liz Box.

How She Did It: Introducing Melissa from Baked by Melissa

My goal in life has always been to find something that I was passionate about and would leave me exhausted from hard work at the end of the day. On family vacations, my brother and I would lie on the beach and think up new business ideas; then we’d come home and actually try to implement them. I didn’t realize at the time, but all that dreaming would come in handy. In 2008 I was working as an assistant media planner. I certainly wasn’t passionate about my job, and I guess it was clear to the people at the company because – I was fired. On that day, I called my brother, and he told me, “Don’t worry, it’s the best thing that could ever happen to you.”

He was right. “Go home and bake your cupcakes; we’ll start a business out of it” is what he told me. I ran to the supermarket, looking for flavor inspiration. That’s when I thought up s’mores, cookie dough, and peanut butter cup cupcakes — three of my favorite things in the world. These went along with the flavor I famously had been making for all my family and friends — tie-dye.

Following a serendipitous series of events, I got a tasting with a well-known NYC caterer. We needed a name and a logo, and my brother insisted that it have a personal touch. We settled on Baked by Melissa. My friend Matt was twiddling around on his computer; within minutes he turned his monitor around and asked, “What do you think of this?” It was the exact same logo that we have today.

I went to that meeting with the NYC caterer with boxes that I got from the deli across the street from my apartment, our new logo printed on a piece of paper that we glued on top of the box. Inside were my cupcakes, which I decided to make mini without paper, so the aesthetic was just like they are to this day – simply designed with a little touch of the stuffing on top. The caterer loved them and from there, everything was a whirlwind. We created a website, baked cupcakes for events and holiday markets in the city, started selling at a pop up, and then launched our first retail location – a pickup window in Soho.

Baked by Melissa has always been a group vision. In those early days, I had an amazing team of friends (old and new), plus my brilliant brother, parents, and now husband! You can’t do something like this alone: you have to recognize what you’re great at and surround yourself with people who have the strengths that you don’t. That’s exactly what we did, and that is what we do today. Now we have 14 locations and ship our baked goods nationwide. It’s been a magical ride, and there is so much more to come. I feel so fortunate to wake up each day and make life sweeter for people everywhere.

Click here to shop Baked By Melissa.


SJP in the Mamarazzi House!  We were so touched by SJP, the mom, the person who could just be your best friend( she kind of makes you feel like you already are), the smart business woman, and oh you know, forever Carrie Bradshaw!  We can’t explain what it feels like when Sarah Jessica Parker walks into your event and hugs you, asks about your health, remembering every detail and tells you how deserving you are for your success.

SJP was our very first Mamarazzi guest five years ago and helped jumpstart our event business. We thanked her again over and over and she continued to tell us that “it would have happened anyway” and that “you had an idea that was really smart and what you wanted to do no one had attempted”. We do pinch ourselves in moments like these. She talked all about social media, her own struggles with how to respond sometimes to the negativity and of course her hit HBO series Divorce.  Nothing but love for SJP. She’s the girlfriend you dream of.  Oh and then the dashing Thomas Haden Church walked into the room. Drop Mic. SO TUNE IN THIS SUNDAY AT 10pmEST for Divorce on HBO.

THE MOMS: Cheryl Hines

We sure were #BADMOMS with Cheryl Hines at our LA Mamarzzi event for Bad Moms Christmas just before the holidays. Cheryl brought her own mom to the Mamarazzi event and told us and our audience some ‘Bad Moms’ stories.

(Click to listen and watch our Facebook live with Cheryl here). We loved learning so much about Cheryl like how she was a bad mom taking her 13 year old daughter to see the film.

She told us that you have to be a happy mom to be a good mom and that she goes to play poker to take time for herself so she doesn’t go crazy. All in all, she taught us to trust your gut and do the right thing. You have to go check out Bad Moms Christmas right away!

THE MOMS: Valerie Bertinelli

We had so much fun chatting with Valerie Bertinelli about her new cookbook, Valerie’s Home Cooking at our Mamarazzi event.  We learned so much from Valerie about her son, ex-husband (rockstar), managing her weight, and her love of cooking. We can’t say more good things about this lady! Be sure to go out and get her cookbook, Valerie’s Home Cooking for delicious recipes!


Whether you’re hosting at home or traveling for the holidays, no one has time to deal with a cold for longer than necessary. I cannot have time for a cold as a Mom of 3.  But if you do feel a cold coming on, for my family we always have the new homeopathic Cold Remedy Medicated Fruit Drops from Zicam® in our medicine cabinet.

These gummy drops shorten the length of a cold when taken at the first sign of symptoms.

If your family is like mine, everyone likes a different flavor so its great that there’s assortment of fruity flavors….And they are delicious.

This time of year it’s not just cold symptoms that people need to worry about. People can also feel more lonely and isolated when they have a cold. That’s why Zicam® is passionate about finding ways to help people stay connected.

Zicams ColdSense mobile app not only helps people stay on top of their potential exposure to the common cold, but also connects them to digital ‘get well’ messages to send to friends and loved ones this cold season.

Traveling or hosting for the holidays can be stressful. I’m sure we have all been in the situation of having to suffer through sleeping on the couch at your in-laws, or even more uncomfortable…. having them sleep on your couch.

During the holidays why not think about planning a mini-vacation and looking for a place that you can have an experience.

If you are going to have visitors this year it would be great for them to try out Hilton Garden Inn.  This year, Hilton Garden Inn made even more enhancements to its already award-winning food & beverage offerings, and have some amazing new menu items and inventive handcrafted cocktails.

My family stays at a Hilton Garden Inn every year when we travel to Toronto for the holidays. The manager even knows us and always welcomes us.  And my kids love the made-to-order breakfast.  


From made-to-order breakfasts to gourmet coffee to small plates like flatbreads and fresh hummus and veggies, to delicious larger meals, you can enjoy a wonderful experience dining at your hotel before heading to visit family.


And after spending the day celebrating with family, you can wrap up your time together back at the Hilton Garden Inn and enjoy some of the handcrafted cocktails created by a mixologist.

Check out Hilton Garden Inn’s website to find a location near you or near where you’re traveling. www.hgi.com

This Post is in partnership with Hilton Garden Inn and Zicam.

I never take a back seat in life, but I will in a Chrysler Pacifica

Road trips have never interested me. They just aren’t my thing.  I find them exhausting and I become the “server” to all the little people in the backseat all day long.  I like to get to our destinations quickly.  There are so many direct flight options out of New York City that you can pretty much get to anywhere you want to go very easily.

But, for some reason this past Fall we took to the roads over the skies.  I thought about all the foliage and autumn scenery that it might make for a nice change.  We headed to Montreal last month in the new Chrysler Pacifica, which my youngest says is like having our own house but on wheels.  This time she asked me to sit in the back with her, which I have never done.  She said, “Mommy come join the movie theatre.”  She has such an imagination, but she was right, it was like having your own personal movie theatre.

First off, the middle section seats recline back like theatre seating and the sound system is amazing.  We held hands while watching movies together and laughed and it was such a change for me from sitting in the front seat head down into my phone.  It made all the difference in the world.  The Pacifica has this incredible Uconnect® Theater features with dual 10.1-inch HD touchscreens with Blu-ray™ player, dual HDMI inputs, wireless headphones, Bluetooth® remotes, downloadable games and apps. My kids were in heaven!

When you are a family of five and you are on the road for hours, everyone needs their own space.  The Pacifica offers more room than any other vehicle we have ever driven and my kids never quarreled once while we drove to Montreal.  They could stretch out and relax with their own screens and plenty of space.

For all those families out there with teenagers, this vehicle is packed with outlets.  You might think how silly, but when you are on those long road trips, outlets are a moms best friend, to keep all those devices charged up.  This allows the parents a more relaxing experience so you are not hearing every 5 minutes, “are we there yet?”

Yes, the most important factor to any family on any road trip to anywhere is their safety.  The Chrysler Pacifica has the highest safety ranking in its class.  At the end of the day, that is all that really matters.  The comfort of the Pacifica and all it’s high tech new features are impressive but safety is first and foremost and that is what will put our family back on the road in this vehicle time and time again.

So here’s to my next road trip adventure and always taking a back seat with The Chrysler Pacifica.

*This post is in partnership with Chrysler*

After Surviving Breast Cancer, I Was Diagnosed With Rheumatoid Arthritis

I’m still here. I can still do things to feel good. I can still enjoy life with my kids and family.  I’ve written this piece so many times in my head. Now that I’m actually typing it … I realize it is hard to share these thoughts. Each time I share something I try to convey my experiences; my life, my journey with breast cancer, my experience with the TSA, my divorce, parenting and my work, in an authentic way that perhaps also may help others.

I have written and said I have never thought, “Why Me?” when dealing with my cancer. I have said that I knew why. I felt I had a voice and a way to help others. I would be lying though if I didn’t admit that in the past few months I did think, “Why Me?” I wouldn’t be authentic if I didn’t admit I have felt sorry for myself. You know what … I think that’s okay too. I have gone through a lot beyond my chemo and radiation treatments.

To read the full story visit Good Housekeeping.

One Of The Greatest Gifts I’ll Ever Give….It’s Not A Secret Anymore

Many of you know Sarah as part of my village. Many of you have followed my #futurecancersurvior journey and know that I was able to continue being the mom I wanted to be and the #fulltimeworkingstayathomemom that I am because of Sarah. This is more than just a village. This is love. This is family.

Most of all…always being there for all of us. All the time. Always available to come early or stay late. Always available. Always with a smile. Always with love. Always with all she has. So now as she married the love of her life, we welcome him to our great, big, what some would say is functional dysfunction unique, loving village and we couldn’t wait to share their honeymoon at Secrets Akumal with you!

By Sarah Uhrman:

Secrets Akumal Riviera Maya was beyond special from the moment we arrived to the last second that we left.  When we first arrived, we were instantly greeted with champagne and a bouquet of roses for me.  Our luggage was taken to our room for us and we met with our concierge.  His name was “JD” and he greeted us every morning, afternoon, and night whenever we would see him.  He was so attentive to all of our needs.  We felt the special attention to detail that we were there for our honeymoon right when we walked into our room. The hotel had laid rose petals all across our room, with a heart made out of rose petals, and heart shaped balloons on our bed.  If check in was this amazing and seamless, we knew we were in for an amazing time!

Each day we would wake up and go have breakfast at one of the many restaurant options.  We were served by the same man, Jose, every morning and always with a huge smile and a joke asking if we were ready for our tequila yet!  After enjoying our breakfast, we would go straight to the beach and lounge for most of the day.  The service again, was amazing on the beach.  Right when you get to your chairs, the men who work serving food and drinks on the beach come up to you and ask if you need anything.  This goes on until you leave which was amazing.  After a long day of lounging at the beach, we peeled ourselves off our chairs, and would eventually make it to dinner.  Whenever you go to all-inclusive resorts, the food is always questionable.  Not with Secrets Akumal.  All of their food, and all of the restaurants that they had on location were great! In fact, everything from the gourmet a la carte dining to top shelf spirits and day to night entertainment is included in every stay under the resort’s signature Unlimited-Luxury offering.

Although we could lay on the beach all day, the hotel offered us an amazing couples massage.  The spa there is huge and has everything you could ever imagine to offer as far as treatments go.  The staff again was very attentive and so friendly and nice.  They made us feel comfortable and that everything was taken care of.  The couples massage was a nice way for my husband and I to unwind and relax with one another.  We also were given a breakfast in bed so that we could enjoy our time together, AND a dinner on the beach.  The dinner on the beach was so romantic and perfect.  We had a 4 course meal in our own private cabana with the sand at our toes and the ocean right in front of us.

If you want an amazing honeymoon experience, with romance, fun, and excellent everything, then you will want to definitely check out Secrets Akumal.  Not only was this the most romantic vacation my husband and I have ever been on, but it was filled with fun, laughter, and everything you can possibly imagine for your special honeymoon.  I can’t thank the staff and hotel enough for everything that they did for us during our stay.  It will be a trip to remember and one we will want to revisit again sometime soon!

For more details and to book the special Make A Secret package now for an extra touch of romance visit:http://www.secretsresorts.com/en_us/offers/make-a-secret.html

The Last Summer With My Baby

My children are 15, 12 and 8.  The older two go to sleep away camp, so for the past few summers, it has been my baby and me.  Next summer she will be 9.  Next summer she will want to join her sister and brother at sleep away camp.

So, this is my last summer with my baby.  It is hard to imagine next summer alone.  Not alone, but it will be the first time in a long time that I will be with my husband alone.  I am really looking forward to our time together, as if we are boyfriend and girlfriend again with no cares in the world, but I also know that I will have an emptiness to prepare for too.

This summer, I took my baby everywhere.  It was the summer of Syd (as I called it).  Our adventures took us to 11 different towns.  We were everywhere from Upstate New York, to Long Island, to the Caribbean, to the Midwest, to California and ending the summer in the Rocky Mountains.

When you are traveling with a young one you look for hotels that are family friendly.  Little extras go a long way when traveling with children.  While in California, we had the opportunity to stay at The San Diego Marriot Marquis.  They have several connecting swimming pools that cater to children that allowed me to also relax while watching my Syd play.  They offer a fabulous kids menu at every meal and upon arrival we were greeted with enough snacks to last us a week.  Snacks are essential to your day when you are a Mom.

The San Diego Marquis was also located right downtown on the waterfront.  This area of San Diego offered us biking along the waterfront on the boardwalk and we were near all the major attractions that San Diego offers.

We also had our Midwest adventures this summer too.  We took a mini Midwest road trip along I-70 from St. Louis to Kansas City, ending up at Crown Center.  I grew up in the Midwest and I had not been back to Kansas City for over 30 years.  The Crown Center is in the heart of downtown and connected to everything!  We stayed at The Westin, which is attached to the Crown Center and we were greeted with little camping tents in the room for the kids.  They loved this! We visited the SEA LIFE Aquarium, Legoland Discovery Center and enjoyed evening swims in the heated pool. I had no idea that Kansas City and The Crown Center had so much to offer for families.

I knew as I watched my daughter explore with me this summer and as we traveled around together for work and play that this would be our last summer as a duo.  I think she felt it too as she talked about how she can’t wait for camp next summer.  With every ounce of exhaustion I would remind myself that this was the last summer alone.  It’s an interesting mental dance we do as Moms. On the one hand you crave time alone, but in those moments, you feel a ping knowing that your children want you once, and you remind yourself of that.  They call you Mommy for a short period of time, then that becomes Mom and you don’t remember when that happened.  They want you and all of you and then one day they want their friends.  So I remind myself all the time to savor these years and to live in the moment.

High School Makeover Challenge

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Let’s Play, an initiative by Dr Pepper Snapple Group that provides kids and families with the tools, places and inspiration to make active play a daily priority by building and improving playgrounds and donating sports equipment to groups in need. Although I received compensation for this post, all opinions are my own.

Because of Sports, I’m alive. Being active, working out, and playing sports with my kids kept me as healthy as I could be during my breast cancer journey. My 9-year-old son learned math because of sports.  To be honest, because of sports, I am who I am. Because of sports, my family as a whole is who we are. I grew up around sports. Sports were my life. My father is a sportscaster.  He grew up on the playgrounds in Brooklyn, playing hoops and announcing from the sidelines. He never stopped. Anytime there was a game, he had a tape recorder and microphone to call the game.

I can’t imagine not having sports in my life. I went to work with my dad as a kid. It was all about sports. Basketball games. Hockey games. Football games. Baseball games. Boxing matches. Reporting the sports on a newscast. That’s where my career began. Watching the sportscasts from behind the scenes and learning how to be a journalist. Learning how to report and tell stories. Learning how to communicate.

All because of sports.

I grew up playing sports. The only girl on an all-boys ice hockey team for almost 10 years. The only girl on a baseball team. The only girl on a soccer team. Then on my high school tennis team.

Sports were my life. My first jobs as an intern were in sports. Working for my dad as a statistician at hockey games. Working for a television station. Working at the Olympics.

Sports were my life.  All aspects of it.

I can’t imagine not having sports. I can’t imagine my kids having no safe place to play. I can’t imagine my kids not having equipment to play with.

So there’s nothing better than taking part alongside Dr Pepper Snapple Group to let you know how you can help to select a winner of their High School Makeover Challenge. Schools across the country submitted videos for the High School Makeover Challenge by Dr Pepper Snapple Group’s Let’s Play Initiative to be eligible to win a chance at $100,000 of new sports equipment from Dr Pepper Snapple and national non-profit Good Sports. One deserving high school will be selected as the grand-prize winner.

To get involved and help make a difference in a student’s life, all you have to do is vote! Voting is open from September 8-17. To find out more about the High School Makeover Challenge and vote now, visit: http://bit.ly/2wP8Nef

Imagine, because of sports, so many more kids will now play and one day share their stories about how sports and your vote shaped their life!