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.

It is a new school year, and if you are enrolling your child in a school, it could be a whole different struggle altogether. Looking for the best private schools in houston or any place, for that matter, to choosing a school that could be both academically challenging and enriching for your child, followed by doing the necessary transactions and arrangements, could be exciting and at the same time tiring too.

Back to school also means running around like crazy for our families trying to get organized with everything from school supplies such as pens etc from office monster to sports practice and all the kid’s activities. It is like the race to the start of the new school year. Every year, while doing the back to school shopping with a Target Gift Card, 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.” One tip for entrepreneur moms out there; make sure you include a few Erasers with your branding on them in your child’s pencil case, because you know how quickly they’ll be shared around!

While racing around, trying to get it all done (keyword 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 is a new addition to the family. We have only recently purchased the Explorer so we had to learn how to buy car insurance for it, get used to the way it drives, and pay the annual road registration fee so going on a road trip seems like the perfect way to get used to it! Plus, it had plenty of room for all of us. If you had a few more people or were going away for longer, then you would possibly need an RV instead (there are plenty of RV dealers in NC if you are looking) but for us, the Ford Explorer was perfect. 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. We were actually fairly surprised at a lot of what we saw. Perhaps we are naive, but we imagined lots of old wooden barns full of straw. However, many farm buildings are now built from steel. They look a lot more industrial than we all imagined! One of the local farmers explained that the steel buildings from companies like Armstrong Steel are a lot more durable, make better use of space, and are a lot cheaper to construct and maintain. Makes sense why they are taking over from the traditional wooden barns! It was interesting to learn new things like this. 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 by going 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.

Ultimately, we all felt safe because of the safety rating of the car and the car was safe due to the policy with One Sure Insurance. 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.

Horrific TSA Experience to Helping with TSA Cares

This could have been YOU.  Or your mom.  Or your dad.  Or your child.  Or someone else you may be traveling with.

‪Last December it was me.  Because of this, I’m hoping it won’t be YOU or anyone else.

‪I was loud.  I am now proud.  More than anything I’m thankful to the TSA for hearing me and now asking me to share my story, together with them, so it doesn’t happen to others.  I’m grateful that my kids, and others, can see that something positive can come from a negative.

‪I’m grateful that my story, and the video I worked on with the TSA can help travelers to make sure they know the best way to travel through security, can be a mini reminder for agents on their role to keep passengers safe while being respectful and sensitive.

‪I’m glad it happened to me.  I, fortunately, have a chance to make a difference.  I hopefully have.  I purposefully chose to capture the situation to share with you.  I now, proudly, am sharing more so others who travel with illness make sure to know the protocol.

‪So, please, watch the video.  Know your rights.  Pass this along.  Remember, the TSA is here to protect us.  Not hurt us.  As a mom, I am very proud that my children know that I stood up for my rights and because of it others will be helped in the future.

To see more from TSA cares watch here:



What is Play? Let’s Play and help others…

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.

What does PLAY mean to you? I can tell you, to me and my boys play means basketball. Play means baseball. Play means climbing and running. Play means friendship. Play means communication. Play means teamwork. Play means health. Play means fun. Play means laughing. Play means learning. Play means practicing. Play is EVERYTHING. At a young age pretend playing that can be a good way for children to learn, socialize and development. It’s actually a healthy part of a child’s development. Pretend play can morph and grow into more active play as they get older. This will then potentially turn into a variety of sports and athletic activities for which they will use websites like Mobile Mob for sports accessories that can help them reach their fitness goals and support their sports output. Activities are important for all age groups, so starting them young can have a significant impact.

Play happens all around the world. I imagine kids in Australia pull on their basketball shoes Australia and find an outdoor court just as much as our kids over here do. Play can happen anywhere but what if your school, town or community didn’t have clean, safe and inspiring places to play? What if you could change that for your community or one in need? What if you could help change that with your kids by your side actually making a difference?

That’s exactly what I’m going to do with my two boys on August 18th in Trenton, New Jersey. As a mom, and a founder of The MOMS, I can bring my kids to work with me most days. They have joined me on my podcast, The MOMS. They have joined me at our Mamarazzi events with celebrities like Will and Jaden Smith, Jennifer Garner and Kevin James. But having my kids by my side building a playground and sorting and packing sports equipment for kids in need with Let’s Play is among my greatest proud mom moments. There’s nothing better than having my kids help others. I won’t have to explain or teach them about why Let’s Play was created or how important it is to help others. They will experience it themselves. They will learn by doing and see my partnership with Dr. Pepper Snapple Group and understand another aspect of my work and how lucky we are to love what we do and help a community along the way. Let’s Play is a community partnership led by Dr Pepper Snapple Group to get kids and families to play nationwide. Their goal is to help families achieve that balance by providing the tools, places and inspiration to make physical activity a daily priority. Anyone can apply for a grant to improve their play space or receive sports equipment.

My older son, Jaron, joined me at the planning meeting at the beginning of the summer and felt so accomplished learning and helping from the beginning stages. We will all take part in making this play space, this dream, a reality. He has asked me weekly when we will get to finish the playground. It’s something he will never forget.

Play also means planning. Play also means production. This is also play. This play makes me a proud parent. Come play with US!

Follow along with me on social to learn more about Let’s Play, and how Let’s Play is making active play a priority as Trenton kids head back to school.

Minute With The MOMS: Nut Job 2 Cast

Breaking news: Though Maya Rudolph, Will Arnett, Bobby Moynihan and Gabriel Iglesias are all in The Nut Job 2… Our #Mamarazzi was the first time they were all together…There’s just too many funny stories to share so please watch the full video here!

Click below for A Minute with the cast from The Nut Job! Time to laugh NutJobMoms Will Arnett, Gabriel Iglesias, MayaRudolph, and BobbyMoynihan


Event produced by Geanine Cilenti


Halle Berry talks family, and career, on Mamarazzi LIVE-Stream interview series on Thursday August 3rd, on Time Inc.’s People Entertainment Weekly Network (PEN). Halle clues us in on the WiFi wipeout that happens during the school year at her home, and how far she has gone to protect her children and her fight for the Senate Bill #606.

To watch the entire Mamarazzi show with Halle Berry visit:


Event produced by Geanine Cilenti


Toni Collette talks family, and career, on Mamarazzi LIVE-Stream interview series on Wednesday August 2nd, on Time Inc.’s People Entertainment Weekly Network (PEN).

On this Mamarazzi episode we got the scoop on Fun Mom Dinner from Toni Colette! Click below to watch her recap on working with legendary Funny Females,  the Fun Mom Dinner after party and how she handles being a MOM away from her kids.

Event produced by Geanine Cilenti