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.

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.

WILL YOUR HOLIDAY SEASON BE MERRY OR MADDENING?

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!

 

Why I Put My Kids to Work This Summer

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.

We joined Let’s Play in building a playground and packing up sports equipment to send to children and schools in New Jersey.

My kids have been to London. We just went on an adventure in Iceland. They go to summer camp, we attend many sporting events and they have met a ton of their favorite stars at my Mamarazzi events. I work hard and my kids live the life. They know it. (Most of the time!)

My kids also buy clothes for those in need with me every holiday season and help me write a note for the young recipient. They write letters and send gift cards to a member of our military overseas for the holiday. They stood by my side as I received the Susan G. Komen impact award and spoke about how cancer affected them and gave advice to other families going through cancer.

 To read the full story visit Good Housekeeping.

Back to School Resolutions

Towards the end of the summer, there are many emotions for us Moms.  On the one hand we hold onto summer for dear life savoring those last sunsets and family swims and on the other hand, we cannot wait for these kids to go back to school because we are so exhausted and desperate for routine.  Back to school is also an exciting time with new adventures, new friends and new experiences; not just for kids, but for us moms too.

Back to school also means running around like crazy for our families trying to get organized with everything from school supplies to sports practice and all the kid’s activities.  It is like the race to the start of the new school year.  Every year, I always make these silly back to school “resolutions” where I say to myself,  “I will volunteer more,” or “I will make healthier school lunches and snacks” to “I will not miss a game.”  This is the year for me! The year of change, but for some reason, I cannot get it to all work.  So the back to school resolution this year is “I will not put pressures on myself and I will just enjoy.”

While racing around, trying to get it all done (key word try) I cannot be slowed down by my LBL, (light bladder leaks), that is why I am grateful to have discovered Poise Impressa, which is designed to help stop bladder leaks before they happen.  What’s also great is that they come in three sizes to help you find the perfect fit for your body.  You can throw them in any bag as you race around, so you don’t have to be bothered with your bladder leaks.

We have enough stress in our lives where we feel like we have that endless To Do list, and the last thing we need to worry about is leaks, which can impact us mentally and physically.  We don’t want to miss those moments during back to school whether in the classroom with our kids or on the soccer field at a game.  

When I first discovered Poise Impressa, it was truly a game changer for my daily active life.  I found myself less worried about being active and less anxious at the gym.  I used to have to dash home and change because of my leaks or scale back on my workouts trying to manage my LBL, but now I don’t have to worry.  

As moms, we want to be in control.  We want to be in control of our family and in control of our lives, and Poise Impressa allows for this.  We don’t want to miss out on all the Back to School fun, and we don’t want to be insecure about our bodies.  So now this back to school season, I am ready to run again, I am ready to play catch with my son and dive for those balls and I am ready to jump on the trampoline and not worry about anything this school season.  So if you have not made your back to school “resolution” yet, join me, in “I will not put extra pressures on myself” and hopefully we all have a great back to school season and successful school year.

To seize your #PoiseMoment and for a free product sample, visit Poise.com and share your #PoiseMoment with Poise on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook!

Disclosure: This is post in partnership with Poise, all opinions are our own.

Exploring With The Explorer

For the first time, in a long time, we went on the Great American Road trip around the state of New York.  I have lived in New York City for over 20 years and have never taken the time nor had the time to really explore what is right here in my backyard. I had the perfect opportunity to do this with my folks in town from St. Louis.  They booked a trip to New York City for 10 days and I took them on a serious adventure.

We kicked off the road trip in the Ford Explorer, which had plenty of room for all of us.  We headed upstate to Lake George and spent a few days exploring various little towns along the way.  We even took the side roads at times to see all the farms and barns, which my daughter adored.  Whenever we caught site of cows or horses we had to pull over and take in the view.  When you live in New York City, sights such as these are not only so joyous to see but you can forget how simple life can be just a few hours away.

We stopped for the night at the historic and beautiful Sagamore Hotel, which has views for days.  We plopped ourselves down at the bottom of the dock after a delicious lobster dinner and just watched the sunset go down as the boats went by.   I loved watching my Dad take it all in.  When you live in St. Louis you a landlocked so you really appreciate lakes, oceans and anytime you can get on the water.

The next morning we piled back into the Explorer and headed southwest towards Cooperstown New York.  It’s been a dream of mine to take my Dad to the Baseball Hall of Fame and being only 2 hours from Lake George we made that our next stop.  Growing up in St. Louis, you become a die-hard Cardinals fan, so I have baseball in my blood and to visit the Hall of Fame was pretty awesome for me too.  I loved watching my Dads eyes light up and tell stories of the old players and just ramble off facts as if he was a baseball historian.  We explored Cooperstown after the museum and took in a fabulous lunch and found the best bakery too.

After Cooperstown we made our way to Woodstock.  My dad was dying to see where Woodstock took place.  The drive to Woodstock was stunning.  We took in the mountains and hills of the Catskill region.  We stayed with friends who have a weekend home up there, and great knowledge about the area.  We drove into the town of Woodstock and it is still filled with many hippies and musicians playing right in the middle of the town.  Great shops to pick up little trinkets and of course the coolest Woodstock tie-dye T-Shirts one could find.

Our next road trip stop took us to Westhampton New York.  We have always loved The Hamptons but this was our first time in Westhampton.  It had a more laid back vibe than we were used to and a terrific little town that had such quaint shops and restaurants.  A favorite find was John Scott’s Surf Shack.  It is just right off Dune Road, with a casual atmosphere and the best lobster roll.  

The next morning we discovered Pike’s Beach off Dune Road.  It was quiet, it was beautiful and it had a food truck that pulls up around Noon offering sandwiches, and ice cream and every drink.  This was essential with the kids and we were at that food truck for ice cream one too many times.  

The last stop on our great New York Road trip was over to Riverhead.  Riverhead is a short 20 minutes from Westhampton and we were told to not miss the Farm Country Kitchen.  It could be one of the best meals we have ever had!

We ended our Great New York Road Trip back in New York City.  We explored our last few moments with the Explorer by taking the car through Times Square to see more action on our way home.  My parents eyes still light up even thought they come to visit me all the time, I guess it is still so incredible to see.  

Our great American Road trip through the state of New York was exhausting and beautiful all at the same time.  Hopefully our next American Road trip will take us out of the State of New York, because this country has so much to see.