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.

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:

https://youtu.be/Mt54VpVip-Y

https://youtu.be/iGTJt5ssQbI

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.  

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.

 

ARUBA BABY!

When you live in New York City, you happen to be blessed with direct flights to pretty much anywhere.  Growing up in St. Louis, I remember connecting multiple times to get to our destinations.  Since living in NYC, I have been to several of the Caribbean Islands, but this was our first time to Aruba.

Many of our friends had visited the island before and spoke about all the activities and the nightlife and many had compared Aruba to Hawaii.  They said there was an easiness of walking out the front door of your hotel and being a part of the town and the people.  

With many things in motion with all the kids at different camps this summer, we decided to go in early July with our little one.  I thought summertime would leave the Island empty; boy was I wrong.  It was packed and full of life.

We arrived Mid-day and got to our hotel, The Hyatt Aruba, just in time to take in an afternoon swim in the ocean.  When you walk from the front hotel lobby down towards the beach, you discover that the property has the most amazing tropical birds and fish and even swans placed along the paths, you almost feel like you are in a tropical jungle.  

The ocean and beach were buzzing with so many people, boats, and floats and huts with people everywhere loving the white sandy beaches.  The water was crystal blue and we plopped ourselves down till the sunset. Later that evening we dined at the hotel and went to sleep early dreaming of the next gorgeous day.

We were up and out early the second day and we took in the pools and waterslides.  The water was so warm, that our daughter who was a timid swimmer became an actual swimmer on this day.  She learned to jump in the water for the first time and made friends with so many little girls at the pool that we then became friends with other families.  Late afternoon we explored the boardwalk along the beach, which was filled with people and amazing food shacks.

This is what makes Aruba different than any other island we have ever been to.  You can walk right out of your resort, turn right or left and be around the most amazing restaurants and food shacks you have ever seen.  Most island resorts have security and guards and a gate when you pull in.  You are locked into your resort unless you book a taxi ride somewhere.  We were so surprised and pleased that you could go for long walks along the beach and boardwalk and also around the town so easily.

We discovered a gem called Edwardo’s Beach Shack that had every Acai Bowl you could ever imagine.  They had every type of smoothie to fresh juices and fruit soft serve.  This Edwardo’s had a line of people everyday and became a staple of ours.  Another unbelievable discovery was dinner at Madame Jannette.  We didn’t realize that there isn’t an actual Madame Janette.  Madame Janette is a spicy pepper grown in Aruba.  I did however leave the restaurant with their famous almond crusted grouper that I will attempt to make one day and share the recipe.

The other magic of the Hyatt Aruba is that it is perfectly located on  Palms Beach.  You have the most unbelievable views from your room, and you will never be bored with 4 indoor/outdoor restaurants, 5 bars, including swim-up and beach bars, a gym and tennis courts, plus a casino and a spa.  We thought about all the water sports but we were quite contempt just building sand castles with our little one and being lazy on the complimentary rafts for all the guests.

As the song says “Aruba, Jamaica, ooh I wanna take you to….” Back to Aruba I would say.  Aruba Baby!

It’s My 1-Year Chemoversary — Here’s What I’ve Learned Since

Looking back, I did look sick … but now I look and feel like myself again.

Happy Anniversary to me. It’s not romantic. It’s not a gold, silver or even bronze. It’s my first chemoversary and I hope it lasts longer than my actual wedding anniversaries did. It’s been a year since I completed chemo. While in the midst of treatment I decided to celebrate all of the time. With the end of each treatment I had a party or dinner. I also decided to travel more. Having things to look forward to got me through each day. That philosophy has continued for me. I celebrate as much as possible and want to continue to travel as much as possible.

So, with my boys off to camp, I planned a girls’ trip to Canyon Ranch . This trip though was more than being with friends. This trip was more about feeling like me again. This trip was me for the first time in a year finally feeling like it is okay to push myself. This trip was me for the first time finally with a full appetite again. This trip for me was healthy.

Read the full story at GoodHousekeeping.com

I’m So Happy My Kids Are Away at Camp This Summer

Yep, I said it. I deserve it. They deserve it. Gwyneth, contrary to what you said recently about summer camps for kids, I love my two boys. Kristen Hewitt, contrary to your piece that you are doing nothing with your kids all summer; I’m doing NOTHING. WITH. MY. KIDS — as in, they are not here. They are away and I couldn’t be happier.

I didn’t know how I would feel and had a lot of anxiety leading up to my boys leaving. I am 5 days in and feel great. I’m used to my kids not being with me all time since I am divorced. My two boys (12 and almost 9) left on Saturday and I was expecting that when their normal return time of 7 p.m. on Sunday evening of their dad’s weekend came I would be devastated. I thought about it when 7 p.m. came, but I was just fine. It felt a little weird, but I’ll take it.

Read the full article at GoodHousekeeping.com

Taking My Daughter To SeaWorld

I grew up with grandparents who lived in Orlando Florida.  Every year we visited them and made an annual trip to SeaWorld.  SeaWorld was one of my favorite places to visit as a little girl.

 I remember the feeling of sitting next to my Dad at all the shows waiting to get splashed.  I can still hear his laugh and him saying “Get ready Missy!”  That was our favorite part.  I was 8 years old and my sister was 5.

Today it is my turn.  Not I get to take my daughter to SeaWorld.  She is just about how old I was when I started visiting, and now I get to relive everything I did with my mom and dad, and see it all again in her eyes.

Just this past week, we went to SeaWorld San Diego for one of our Word of Mom programs where we bring together families from all across the country.  This group came from the Southern California area and they got an up close and personal experience with some of San Diego SeaWorld’s new adventures.  We started the day with a beautiful catered lunch with some surprise animal visitors that included a Penguin, a Sloth and a Porcupine.  To be able to interact with the animals in this intimate setting was something quite special.  

Following our lunch we went to see the new Orca Encounter Show.  It was mesmerizing.  There is now an infinity screen behind the water that brings their story to life.  I watched my little one stare in awe as she learned all about the Orcas and watched them swim beautifully and leap out of the water.  After the show, we got to stick around and ask the trainers some questions and learn more about their habitat, the training and their life here at SeaWorld. 

We then got to see the hilarious Sea Lion Show and the Dolphin Show where we got our own private splash moment as well as the opportunity to pet the Dolphins, feed the Dolphins and learn more about what inspires the trainers.

The most important moment happened towards the end of our guided tour, we were brought behind the scenes to the animal rescue and rehabilitation area of the park.  We were able to learn about their rescue missions, and talk first hand about what is endangering our oceans and animals.  I had no idea that SeaWorld is often the first responders when an animal is in trouble and washed upon the shores. The questions from the children were so smart and now our kids know how important it is to deflate and throw away all the balloons they get.  This is just one of so many dangers to our sea life as these balloons end up in our waters and killing our sea life.  

After this education, we had downtime to explore the park on our own.  I took my daughter on the Bayside Sky Ride, which was one of my favorites as a little girl.  You get to go high above the park and look down at everything on this relaxing gondola ride. I told her my stories of when I was 8 years old at SeaWorld and how she is now experiencing what I got to experience.  Maybe it registered, not sure, as she was busy waving to everyone else on the ride that we passed.

We ended the evening with the new incredible Electric Ocean.  There is a brand new Cirque show that happens just as the sunsets over the Pacific Ocean.  This all happens after dark at SeaWorld San Diego.  First, we stumbled upon a kids’ disco, which had us moms even shaking it.  They had dancers and a DJ and everyone was dressed up in glow costume and the kids were having the time of their lives.  We wandered with tired feet to see all the beautiful lights at night and left the park before it closed petting the entry fish one last time.

I leave you with this thought; Education is powerful, information is powerful. To all the naysayers of the SeaWorld parks because of Blackfish…. It might be time to immerse yourselves in all the positive work they do for Ocean life and animals today. You might find yourself pleasantly surprised and wanting to take your children back again and again, just like I did with my daughter this past week.

This post was in partnership with SeaWorld.  These are my own opinions.

 

YOU ARE NOT ALONE WITH YOUR LBL

Thank you Poise® for sponsoring this post. Follow Poise on Facebook and Twitter and share how you Seize Your #PoiseMoment.

I thought there was something seriously wrong with me after I had my 3rd baby.  I will never forget the day.  I went to the gym a few months after she was born went to do some jumping jacks, and realized that I had leaked.   I called my Mom, because I was so worried, she explained that I had LBL and not to worry.  Following the days after the gym, there were more LBL moments while sneezing and laughing.  

1 and 3 women experience LBL (light bladder leakage) and many aren’t comfortable talking about this.  That is why I chose to partner with Poise to help empower other women and bring this topic and conversation to the forefront.  It was liberating and important to share my story so that other women don’t feel like they are alone.

Just this past month, I hosted an event at BlogHer, (the biggest blogging conference for women in the world) where we brought together women from all across the country in an intimate setting for wine, yoga and conversation.  I was joined by OBGYN, Dr. Jessica Shepherd and pelvic health expert, SarahHaag to discuss my personal story and to learn how to take control of LBL with better solutions.

I was surprised by the community of women in the room and how open so many women were about their own LBL struggles.   Everyone shared their own personal stories and so many women had so many questions.  Sarah brought in an actual model pelvis and many women didn’t even understand this area of their bodies.  There were laughs and comfort and we all discovered that LBL does not have to slow you down, thanks to Poise.

Poise has a variety of products – from Pads and liners to Poise Impressa Bladder Supports which is an over the counter product designed to stop bladder leaks before they even happen.  Women were relieved to learn about this as they discussed their own struggles with working out, sneezing, laughing and even sex.  For me personally, I found myself feeling for the first time, not alone and not ashamed. I had felt for sometime that there was something wrong with my body or that I didn’t focus on those kegels enough, but what I realized is that so many women have this problem and so many are ashamed too when you just don’t have to be.

At the end of the yoga class and pelvic demonstration, all the women gathered with a glass of wine on their yoga mats and it was kind of like sitting around a campfire with your friends.  We all just opened up about our LBL issues, our kids and bodies.  It made me realize again, why I love what I do and how we have to continue the conversation, so that so many more women, don’t feel alone like I did.

Go ahead and Poise a try!  Choose a free sample kit to experience the comfort and protection of Poise®.

Disclosure: I was selected for this opportunity and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own. 

Having a Poise Moment and being real about LBL

1 in 3 woman experience light bladder leaks .

I am one of them. Tonight I had the opportunity to be in a room with so many honest moms sharing their stories and it reminds me of why I do what I do, and that is to start a dialogue and empower moms and women to feel good about themselves. There is no shame, in LBL, and I hope whoever is struggling knows that they are not alone because there are solutions. And we all fell in love 💜with Jessica Shepherd md and Sarah Haag.

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

A Dad With The MOMS…

A Dad With The MOMS…I’m cool with that…I like it..”- Michael Strahan. I’m cool with it too! We spoke about kids and social media, co-parenting with an ex, his clothing line with JCPenney, kids playing football and wait til you see and hear how he answered my kid’s questions and what he said about them! But my favorite part of our convo for next week’s #TheMOMSPodcast was when I asked about his career path…

Michael – “You can’t be afraid to try new things. Even what you’re doing. You’re stepping out and creating something that wasn’t there before …you’re trying to make something bigger and create a business for yourself and that’s the same thing …opportunities come your way and you can’t be afraid to take them. We always discourage ourselves and encourage other people. You tell your kids….’You can do anything you want to do.’ Just go for it. Then when it comes to yourself you have doubts.

We have to change our frame of mind and think the way we encourage others. That’s what I’ve learned to do. Of course I’m scared. I’m not an expert at everything. And asked to do things that take you out of your comfort level. Those are the things that take you to the next level. I just go for it and if it doesn’t work, I learned from it”.

As a dad who does it all, we met Michael Strahan on the set of the commercial shoot of his two menswear collections available exclusively at JCPenney. Collection by Michael Strahan, a line of men’s tailored clothing and accessories and MSX by Michael Strahan, a new line of men’s athleisure apparel.  Collection offers stylish and distinctive assortment of tailored suit separates, sport coats, dress shirts, neckwear, belts and accessories including tie clips, cuff links, socks, wallets and shoes.

MSX by Michael Strahan offers a stylish yet functional assortment of apparel that is changing the rules of clothing to wear what you want, wherever you want and still look and feel great – from performance muscle tees and tech knit shorts to polos and chino pants.

With approximately 190 SKUs the assortment continues to expand, and is now offering a range of styles for boys starting at size 8. Both collections are available in 500 stores and jcpenney.com.

P-L-A-Y is Everything!

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.

P-L-A-Y is Everything! Getting involved is everything! Doing it with my kids is everything! Our imaginations were hard at work! We joined this incredible school Foundation Academies in Trenton to dream up the perfect playground and in August we will join this community to make it a reality thanks to Dr Pepper Snapple Group through its Let’s Play program!

My 12-year-old Jaron and I took part in the planning. We measured the area of what is now the parking lot that will be turned into the playground with help from Kaboom. A safe playground that kids can enjoy for years to come.

We sat with the kids as they learned about their options for the space and drew pictures of their dream areas and activities. We cheered them on and encouraged them to design whatever they wanted as junior architects. We will be on hand to join their community and volunteers from Dr Pepper Snapple to turn some of the designs into a reality on Aug. 18. Volunteers will also sort and pack new sports equipment with Good Sports inc to distribute to several local youth-serving organizations to make active play a priority.

 

Gilda’s Club NYC

One of the reasons I was able to get though my #FutureCancerSurvivor journey was because of all of you. That’s exactly what Gilda’s Club NYC is…a community for patients, survivors and their families.

This was my 1st time hosting an event of this magnitude…and as honored and grateful as I was….I was equally as nervous. I think I did pretty well…but the most important part is they raised more money than expected and more people and families will be helped. I loved being there. Gerri Willis from Fox Business was one of a few honored and we bonded over how un-important hair is (tho she is rocking her real hair and I’m still loving my wigs)! We have more in common than #breastcancer – apparently we both wear @lapetitrobemi and I’m grateful to now have her in my life as another surviving friend! Thx to Bill Ritter for the intro to Gilda’s Club and please let your friends who are on their own cancer journey know, they are not alone! #survivor #myBrEaSTyear