Parenting Struggles With Neil Patrick Harris

We jiffed it up with Neil Patrick Harris, a great group of moms and Jif Power Ups! We laughed out loud with Neil as he and a team of actors acted out Parenting Struggles from potty training to snack time to car rides. We can all relate.

We laughed. We laughed a lot! and thanks to Jif, we may laugh more when we find ourselves stealing our kids snacks! They are delicious and a great solution for parents looking to end the snack time struggle! They are made with peanuts as the first ingredient, they are chewy creamy peanut butter granola bars filled with the goodness moms want and the taste kids love, provides 6 grams of protein and 2 grams of dietary fiber per serving, no corn syrup, no hidden ingredients, and are individually wrapped for go-to deliciousness! Who can say no to that?! Mom and kid approved.

#JifPowerUps #JifPartner ❤ #sp

Watch Neil Patrick Harris – Jif Power Ups – The Struggle is Real…Funny HERE.

Also, check out Jif Power Ups

This post was in partnership with Jif.

Rocked It Fathers Day Weekend!

For years, we have been hearing about Rocking Horse Ranch and for years we have wanted to visit. We finally found the perfect weekend to head up, which was this past Father’s Day. This family of 5 with a 16 year old, 13 year old and a 9 year old, need space for our road trips. We were thrilled when we had the opportunity to test drive the new Chevrolet Equinox, which made our ride extra comfortable and allowed me to relax too.


When we arrived at the ranch, we were welcomed by an outdoor barbeque with a country western band. Immediately, we felt like we were in the wild wild west with the sounds and smells of this gorgeous ranch. After lunch, we toured the property and the kids didn’t’ know where to start first.

We kicked off our activities with a dip in the pool, followed by a banana boat ride on their lake and then a mini golf game. After drying off, it was our turn to saddle up and take in a trail ride. We have a horse back rider in our house, so this was her turn to shine. She got right on her horse as if she just rode yesterday (even though it had been months). She asked for more time, so we were lucky enough to schedule a quick private lesson.

After the Horseback riding, we were back in the outdoor pool which was then followed by bungee jumping and then the indoor pool which was like a water park with obstacle courses and splash areas. This year round resort also offers wintertime fun and activities that include snow tubing, skiing, sledding, skating and I hear the best hot chocolate around.

Then came time for our Fathers Day dinner set in a gorgeous western décor dining room. Our Fathers Day dinner turned into a date night for us as the kids ate in record time and left us alone to take on the arcade. To be honest, we didn’t mind the alone time.

After the busiest day ever, we headed back into our Chevy Equinox and drove back to Manhattan. The vehicle is quite impressive with the warning seat vibrations. When you don’t drive often, these extra safety features are an added comfort when driving around a family. Of course the kids loved the Apple Car Play and 4G LTE Wifi, and what Mom does not love that for a long car ride!

We rocked our Fathers Day weekend at Rocking Horse Ranch thanks to Chevrolet and everyone at the ranch. Maybe this will be our new Fathers day tradition, if not, we are more than happy to take on another adventure soon with the Chevrolet Equinox.

You Will Never Believe What Made My Boys Responsible!!

My boys received complimentary Invisalign® treatment in exchange, we are sharing our real treatment experience with you.

Have you had that moment when you felt like your kids were all grown up? Even though they are still kids, have you had a moment when you felt like they were responsible? Have you had that moment when you realized they understood the value of something and did their best to appreciate and take care of it without having to tell them?

I am living that moment right now. I can’t even believe it. I can’t be the only one who feels like I’m always repeating myself to my kids. “Pick up your clothes.” “Put your dishes away.” “Please go shower.” “Time to brush your teeth.”

But recently something happened. I no longer have to tell them to brush their teeth. Now they tell me! Multiple times a day. The moment occurred precisely nine weeks ago. I remember because that’s when they began their Invisalign® treatment. The boys have been so excited that each time they eat, they take their aligners out, place them in their case and then miraculously after they finish eating, immediately go to the bathroom to brush and put them back in.

Breakfast. Lunch. Dinner. Before bedtime. It’s as if they are under a spell. I thought it would get old fast. I thought after the first week; they would go back to old habits. NOPE! Nine weeks in and it’s still the same excitement, the same sense of responsibility.

This miracle has even stayed on track when they are in school. They each keep their case in their lunch box. They do not ever take it out. They also keep a case right by the sink at home. There’s never an opportunity to miss or lose it because we established this routine right from the start.

We also decided that every Wednesday is the day they change their aligners and move on to the next week’s set. As a busy mom, I often forget, and I still haven’t remembered to set an alert on my phone. But I don’t even need one. My 9 and 13-year-old boys are my human alerts! They wake up each Wednesday morning and say, “It’s new Invisalign® aligner day!”

Invisalign® clear aligners are custom made for an individual’s teeth and the boys can see how much straighter their teeth are each week.

At our last visit to the orthodontist, we took a look at the 3D plan on the computer and it was fascinating to see the planned movements each week and how their teeth are precisely where the computer said they would be.

Each set of Invisalign® clear aligners shifts their teeth slightly and the boys are enjoying seeing the results from their hard work and responsibility.

My boys are smiling bigger and with more confidence.

Find an Invisalign® provider near you here!

 

Denise’s story on People.com, “Sharing My Story Helped Me Each Day”

Denise Albert is co-founder of The MOMS media company. She is a cancer survivor and the mom of two boys, Jaron, 13, and Jaylan, 10. She speaks and moderates panels at many breast cancer-related events and was the recipient of the 2017 Susan G. Komen NY Impact Award. She lives in New York City.

I am a survivor every day. I remind myself that every day. I may be cancer free, but the diagnosis and continuing medications and decisions are forever.

I began my cancer journey in January of 2015. I was finally happy. I was a happily divorced mom of 2 boys, happy with my boyfriend and building my business, when I felt a lump and was diagnosed with breast cancer just 3 months after a clear mammography.

I had a lumpectomy, aggressive chemotherapy for six months, radiation daily for six weeks and immunotherapy infusions for a year. When my treatment ended a year ago, I called it #MyBreastYear (though it was 2 years of treatment).

Just like there’s no parenting manual, there’s no cancer manual. Everyone’s journey is different. For me … I tried to live my life. I threw parties and planned trips with my kids for the end of each phase to have something to look forward to.

Sharing my story helped me each day, and speaking to my new cancer-community friends across the country each day gave me more inspiration to keep sharing and hopefully helping others.

I hosted one of our Mamarazzi events with Jennifer Garner just an hour after shaving my head. I went to a Bruce Springsteen concert the night before chemo began. Some days, walking my kids to school was all I could do. I lost my taste and had no appetite, lost 10 lbs., lost all my hair everywhere. I couldn’t look in the mirror — with no hair, no eyebrows, no eyelashes it was impossible to think I would ever look healthy again.

Denise Albert:
On my first business trip to California after chemo ended, I was mistreated by the TSA — you may have seen the video. I then volunteered my time to shoot a public service video to make sure every one knows the best way to travel with cancer and to remind their agents of protocol.

My hair is now growing back, though I prefer the wigs (no hair drama ever!). I have gained the weight back and I’m finally back to a normal lifestyle.

I was recently diagnosed with Rheumatoid arthritis and have also been living with rashes all over my body for the past two years. Apparently the treatment may have triggered something in my body and I’m now basically allergic to everything.

I have scheduled surgery three times in the past nine months. I have cancelled it each time. The surgery is called a salpingo-oophorectomy. It’s an elective surgery to remove the ovaries and fallopian tubes. I asked my oncologist why some women decide to do this surgery. His answer was so simple. “Well, for women similar to you … if you keep thinking and worrying about the cancer recurring there.”

I keep thinking about it although I have no evidence of cancer. The doctors don’t really believe I’m at increased risk for ovarian cancer but can’t say for sure. Because of the kind of breast cancer I had, I am on medicine for ten years and also get a shot every three months (also for ten years) to shut my ovaries down. I get another shot to strengthen my bones since estrogen is needed for that too.

The estrogen the ovaries make is what feeds my cancer, but not having the estrogen puts me at risk for other things like osteoporosis, mood swings, anxiety, depression, change in sex drive and possibly pain during sex.

I met with the gynocology oncologist surgeon last summer. After I asked him a million questions, he said it was a reasonable and good choice. I scheduled the surgery. Then cancelled it. I sent an email and asked my oncologist about it again. I scheduled the surgery again. I cancelled it. I then set up another meeting with the surgeon. I probably asked him the same questions. I scheduled it.

I don’t think my decision or emotions about this surgery has anything to do with the fact that now I really won’t be able to have kids anymore. It sounds so final but I don’t think that’s an issue for me. It’s more about my life now. I’m finally on a good run. But after further questioning and research I learned that ovarian cancer is hard to detect. It’s often caught too late.

Now I’m really beginning to think I should follow through with the surgery. Maybe I learn to live without my ovaries the way I’ve learned to live without my hair and with my wig. Newer, easier, better. And just keep living. Positively. Why would I keep my ovaries and tubes?

Maybe the surgery is just the next step in this journey.

Click here for the story on People.com

The MOMS and Kidz Bop

ROCK ON🎤
We recently rocked out (or tried to) with KidzBop and our kids celebrating KidzBop new 2018 Tour.

These kids are the real deal! Super talented! So kind! Took time with all the kids in the audience and gave us all an a cappella performance to remember. Not only can they sing but they can dance too!

Thanks to our partner Old El Paso who also rocked everyone’s tummy’s at the event with their new mini tortilla bowls. They make Tacos more enjoyable not just for kids but for everyone. Taco Night is our saving grace because it is the only night where everyone is eating the same thing ALL together! Who can relate?

Take a watch of KidzBop groovin’ and singing and let’s all take a moment to thank them for their cleaner version of today’s hits so we can all rock with our kids.

What are you having for dinner tonight? 🧀🌮 #KidzBopMoms #Ad

 

What Do You Do When You Have No Headspace Left?

Are you a mindful parent? I think as a parent we all try to be mindful. But I bet you didn’t know that meditation can actually make you parent better.

I recently attended a beautiful luncheon hosted by Momtrends and learned that parents who practice meditation are more responsive to their children. A mindful parent can actually help a child learn to manage their behaviors and how they respond to you and also in the classroom. But it’s not just mindful parenting that attracted me to Headspace. It’s the lack of peace I have in my life.
My headspace has actually reached maximum capacity. Recently, I feel like I am on the edge of breaking down because of the amount of overload and the stress that happens to me as a working parent and especially during the end of the school year. You would think that we are all winding down but I feel more overwhelmed than ever.
Yes, I exercise almost daily which is a great release and I try to take time for myself but to be honest those things don’t solve the underlying problem. How do I become less stressed daily and how do I find the peace in my everyday life?

With Headspace I discovered that I will be on a new journey. A journey that can hopefully help with my stress, happiness, work, parenting and so much more. The App allows you to try several levels of meditation and allows you to discover so many things about yourself you may not have even known. The App also has sessions for students. This is so helpful for all those stressed out teens who might be taking final exams right now.

Do you feel overwhelmed? Is your Headspace at maximum capacity? If so, I have a special gift for you.

You can try Headspace for 40% off. This offer expires July 4, 2018! Click the link below and upload the code. This will give you access to the full Headspace library.

https://www.headspace.com/buy/checkout/summary?voucherCode=THEMOMS

I know I am not alone here when it comes to feeling overwhelmed as a Mom. I am hoping the Headspace App can be my start to managing some of the stress in my life and hopefully this App can be helpful for you too.

Let’s all try to find some Headspace.

This is a Sponsored Post, all opinions are my own.

Sesame Street Parade is Marching through SeaWorld

What a day! We headed to San Diego to host an event at SeaWorld where we experienced their new Sesame Street Party Parade, enjoyed the day and learned about their animal rescue.

It was so special to be at SeaWorld for the launch of their Sesame Street Party Parade. It doesn’t matter your age. We are all truly just kids who loved it all! Plus in real life is still better than online. We Loved hosting this event for mom influencers and entrepreneurs that we have followed and connected with through our podcast and social media. Plus we love the animals and shows and learning about their animal rescue! Coming in 2019: Take a walk down Sesame Street for the very first time, connecting your family to all of the fun, laughter and learning of the world famous street and have as much fun as we did!

The Sesame Street Party Parade is marching excitement throughout SeaWorld. This colorful, musical, and show-stopping parade is fun enough to get the whole family dancing.
This event features 10 larger-than-life themed floats including Sesame Street favorites such as Mr. Hooper’s Store and Count’s Castle. The whole family will be singing and dancing along with Elmo and his furry cast of friends as they join more than 20 dancers along the parade route.

You can explore the iconic neighborhood, watch as Elmo and his friends dance down the parade and enjoy the exciting rides, wet and dry play areas, and interactive experiences designed to entertain your entire family.

Anything Is Possible…Run DMC and Denise’s son!

Anything IS Possible….with hard work, passion and dedication my kids saw that first hand when Run DMC’s Darryl McDaniels honored my son Jaron for all he’s done for The FELIX Organization which sends Foster Children to camp.

It’s truly amazing how things work in life. It all started as a small project when we learned of The FELIX Organization from Kay Kay Clivio and what she does for them with Om This Way and Equinox when she started doing yoga with us during my #FutureCancerSurvivor journey. Jaron went to an event and bonded with Darryl and Myra Scheer. Jaron wrote and rapped a song about his experience, raised a ton of money (thanks to so many). Trust me when I tell you this is life changing and equally as important in different ways and just as helpful for my family, for my son, as it is for the kids it serves.

Meet “lil Fisch”! He killed it the other night. It’s hard to find the words to share when your 13 year old son is honored for his charity work. Over 15 foster kids will go to camp for a week this summer because of Jaron. What my son learned, felt and continues to feel and inspire him, you can’t buy, teach or tell.

 

Family Getaway to Celebrate Life

As the last day of my 43rd year approached, I was so grateful to end this year with so many of my favorite people at one of our favorite places, Woodloch Resort with my boys & my love & my MOM & my bonus kids & my bff and her kids.

 

I am ending the year the happiest and healthiest I have been in awhile. I am reminded how lucky I am in life and health and choose to see it that way. I will think about how to make 44 the happiest and fullest of life and love and hard work and passion as ever before. I remind all of you to try to do the same. Live and love life.

One of the kids said to me one morning when we were choosing between all of the activities here at Woodloch Resort, “We know you just want all of us to be happy today.” They were right. I’d say we all had a great day and few days for my birthday because as you probably know by now…I love to celebrate life.

 

This is 44. Big Smile! That’s the outside. Happy. Full of love. Comfortable. Living. Just being me. That’s the inside. All together…44 is being happy & healthy & comfortable being me. Anywhere I am. Whoever I am with. Doing what I am passionate about. I hope you all find this too – no matter your age. I am grateful to all of you. I am grateful to be Woodloch Resort with so many I love and looking forward to the road ahead (and continued celebrations).

Why Invisalign® Treatment Was The Right Choice For My Family!

My girls and I received complimentary Invisalign® treatment and are partnering with the Invisalign brand to share our experience with you.

I am a working mom with 3 kids ages 16, 12 and 9. My work schedule pulls me in different directions constantly and I often don’t know from one day to the next where I will need to be. My children have just as busy schedules. So, when I discovered the ease and convenience of Invisalign treatment, and how you can get amazing results up to two times faster (Invisalign providers can prescribe weekly aligner changes vs. two-week changes, at their discretion), I couldn’t wait to make our first appointment. My kids can wear the aligners, and change them weekly without having to return to the office and miss school and their extra curricular activities for emergency visits related to broken wires or brackets.

I had always thought of Invisalign treatment as an option for adults only. I was thrilled to learn that Invisalign treatment works for teens, too. It started with a visit to Park Avenue Orthodontists where we were digitally scanned with an iTero® scanner and educated on how the Invisalign system works. I actually learned that over 1 million teens have been treated with Invisalign clear aligners. I was quite excited to learn our orthodontist, Dr. Janet Stress-Allen (find your own doctor here) would give us several aligners at a time. That is such a bonus with my work schedule and with my kids busy after school schedules.
My daughters were totally fascinated by the technology and how easy it was to get all set up for their Invisalign treatment. They have actual images on the computer that can show you where your teeth are today, where they will be moved and how the Invisalign treatment will work. I watched my kids’ faces as our provider explained this to them and they were in awe seeing how their teeth can shift.

We have two performers in our house who are on stage often and knowing that the aligners are clear gives them a boost of confidence while fixing their teeth. We talked about our smiles, and our teeth and what was bothersome. For my youngest she had lots of crowding and she got a sneak peek at what her mouth would look like at the end of treatment. My older daughter has some space issues and her bite needs to be adjusted. For me, I have never been in love with my smile so I am fine-tuning some separation, which will get closed by the end of my treatment. I hope to fall in love with my new smile when I am done.

The other exciting thing about Invisalign clear aligners is that you don’t need to worry about food getting stuck in wires and brackets. My girls can have all the popcorn they want (a favorite) because you take out your aligners to snack and eat meals. That left them quite happy. I do love popcorn too so I was thrilled to learn this.
After everyone was set up and ready to head home with our aligners on, my girls had some great questions for our doctor. They wanted to know what happens if they lose an aligner or what they do if they go to sleepaway camp and how to clean them. All great questions and the good news is, you can work with your doctor to get a replacement aligner and you can bring your aligners to camp and change them every week like you do at home.

I couldn’t believe, in my opinion, the ease of it all and how unnoticeable they are when you wear them. We are all looking forward to seeing the progress and new and improved smiles for all of us.

If you would like to learn more, take the Invisalign smile assessment. Find out if the Invisalign treatment is right for you or someone in your family.

Not “Wasted Away” at The Margaritaville Beach Resort

I take my 3 kids away by myself a lot now. At first, it was quite overwhelming; the thought of me alone on a plane and in a hotel with all 3 of my kids by myself was kind of scary. I have been doing this for over 8 years now, since my 3rd was only a few weeks old.

I am tough and they listen. This is how it has always been in our home. We practice “tough love.” When you have a consistency in your house, your kids know and understand how you operate, so it is not any different when we travel.

I took my 3 children last month to Margaritaville Hollywood Beach Resort for a few days to explore and relax over Presidents Break. I had no idea what to expect. Was Jimmy Buffett going to be at the front door? Would we hear “Wasted Away Again At Margaritaville,” all day long?

We arrived to a gigantic flip flop in one of the most gorgeous hotel lobby’s I have ever seen. The kids instantly went for the flip-flop, it was a sight! We checked in and hit the pool and the beach. The pool was a beautiful oasis that was no deeper than 4 feet, which meant I could relax a little too and not worry about the deep end. The hotel also has the FlowRider, which was a huge hit. It is a surfing simulator and what I liked the most, was they had a surf “coach” who really helped the kids improve and attempt standing up.

We also loved the location of Margaritaville Hollywood Beach Resort, it is right on the Broadwalk so you have instant access to great restaurants, stroll fun shops and of course the beach! But if you want to just stay close, there is The Landshark Bar and Grill and of course Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville restaurant which the kids loved, because you can sit in a boat that also has a TV. This is great for the kids and for Mom and Dad who may want to have a conversation together.

Another great aspect of this hotel are the rooms. They are all spacious and beachy and renovated with beautiful accents. They have a fridge, which is helpful with kids and snacks and drinks, and they also have a fabulous view of the beach, so you can sit on your balcony and take in the sunrise or sunset.

We happened to be at Margaritaville on National Margarita Day. So this Mom, at 45 years old had her first Margarita ever. It was fun to celebrate the day with others, who couldn’t believe I had never experienced this drink.

We do hope to be back at Margaritaville Hollywood Beach Resort soon. We will never be “wasted away” but I will always remember the fun we had and the joy I get being able to take my 3 kids away by myself even if I read the same chapter of my book over and over again. Every mom knows what I am talking about…

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.