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project you Pursue your passion one dream at a time.

Celebrate Your Age

Create a Luckier Life!

A Role Mommnye Magazi 012 Febrary 2

Love Yourself PLUS! Valentine Gift Ideas


RoleMommy.com Role Mommy is an online community, events company and a resource for busy parents to rediscover what made them tick before kids. Whether you’re an aspiring writer, an entrepreneur, parenting expert or a mom in need of a good laugh, answers and inspiration, then RoleMommy.com is the perfect place for you.

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Table of Contents 4 Editor’s Note

Love Yourself 5 Gifts to ask for

Getting Gorgeous finds items that will help you love yourself

7 DIY Valentine’s Day

Great ideas to pamper yourself or a special someone

8 Valentine’s Gift List

What’s a Valentine’s without some sparkly gems

9 Celebrate Your (Pro) Age

A Q&A with BOOM! Founder Cindy Joseph

11 My Valentine’s Weight Loss Challenge This time I’m really going to do it...

Between US 13 The Role Mommy Book Club

Parenting

19 Missing Drew

A mother’s lament

20 In the Market for a New Pet? Buy this, not that

21 Re-connecting with your hubby A vacation getaway without the kids

22 Personality Parenting 101

How to raise a family when you and your spouse don’t see eye to eye

Good Times 23 Oscar Viewing Party Roll out the red carpet at home with these great entertaining tips

26 Tech will keep us together Favorite tech tools to reheat your love life this Valentine’s Day

14 Kid Dictionary

28 Create a luckier life

15 Live and Learn

29 Planting seeds

The latest words of kid wisdom from our resident Role Daddy

Advice for Your Younger Self

16 Learning Resilience

Nobody ever said that raising a family was going to be easy

Finding good fortune is a matter of fine tuning your thinking

Are the seeds we’re planting ones that will grow and nourish our souls, our children and our world?

30 Something Pink A simple and healthy recipe to get you started, pink for Valentine’s Day


Pursue your passion one dream at a time. Editor in Chief

Beth Feldman Passion: To inspire others to stop talking about what they want to do and show them how to just do it!

Managing Editor

Jeanne Muchnick Passion: To live life to the fullest.

Art Director Katie Schlientz Passion: To make the world a more beautiful place, one page at a time.

Contributors

Brad Bessey Maria Colaco Danielle Feigenbaum Carley Knobloch Elizabeth Mascali Deborah Mayblum Eric Ruhalter Dawn Sandomeno Alma Schneider Angel Tucker

RoleMommy.com

Role Mommy is an online community and events company dedicated to inspiring today’s busy parents to pursue their passion while raising a family. Role Mommy hosts online writing and career workshops as well as events that bring entrepreneurs, authors, parenting experts and bloggers together to share how they’ve reinvented their lives while raising a family. For more information, visit www.ProjectYouMagazine.com and www.RoleMommy.com.

Contact us

ProjectYouMagazine@gmail.com cover photos: ©www.istock.com/ SavchenkoJulia

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editor’s LETTER

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elcome to the 2nd annual Love Yourself edition of Project You Magazine. While Valentine’s Day is a time for many of us to connect with the ones we love, what I’ve realized this year, is that you don’t need one day to celebrate how much you love your spouse, your kids, your parents and even your pets. Why not do it every day of the week? In this issue, we’ve got articles from a slew of amazing contributors including TV producer Brad Bessey who shares a heartfelt essay about sowing seeds in our kids that instill the importance of feeling good about themselves while making our world a better place. Plus this month, we welcome the gals from Getting Gorgeous, Vera Sweeney and Audrey McClelland who share their top fashion picks for Valentine’s Day. And we’ve got some great gift ideas that you will love from our shopping guru extraordinaire, Maria Colaco. Dawn Sandomeno and Elizabeth Mascali at Partybluprints are back with their always fabulous entertaining advice and our very own Danielle Feigenbaum shares why it’s so important to rekindle the spark in your relationship by vacationing alone with your spouse. Trying to figure out how to lose weight and nothing seems to be working? Then why not set out on a husband and wife weight loss challenge? I did just in time for Valentine’s Day and I’m happy to report, it’s actually working! And if you’re in the market for a pet, I’ll give you the inside scoop on which creatures to avoid at all costs. Finally, the Love Yourself issue wouldn’t be complete without our celebrity crush and this month, “Big Miracle” star Drew Barrymore is the object of our affection. There’s much more to love with our latest issue, so what are you waiting for? Start reading, click away and if you like what you see, please share with friends. Best wishes,

Beth Feldman Editor in Chief


project you

Love Yourself

By Audrey McClelland and Vera Sweeney

And last but not least, why not treat that sweet tooth of yours? Cookie Panache offers a scrumptious collection that no one can refuse. Brownies, Blondies and 2 heart-shaped hand decorated sugar cookies will round off any meal with a smile.

Gifts to ask for. . . images courtesy of vendors

A woman looks her best when she is filled with confidence and joy. This month, Project You is focusing on “Loving Yourself” and Getting Gorgeous found several items that can help you do just that. After a long day at work or with the kids, don’t just throw on a pair of flannel pants and an old beat up tee. Get comfortable while staying glam and fabulous. This short silk kimono from Le Fee Verte will make you feel sexy and soft and all woman! Statement jewelry is an easy way to get noticed without spending a lot of money. This amazing ring from Nicole Richie’s House of Harlow is a treasure in itself! The graphite colored arrowhead is both modern and on trend. Snag it for $79

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Two toned and fabulous: Color Blocking has come back in a big way. Not many people feel comfortable yet with the look, so take baby steps with this button-shoulder sweater from The Gap.

J oin us ok! on Facebo ous

Getting

G o rg e

Gifts to ask for. . .

Do you own an infinity scarf yet? This timeless cable knit accessory will add the layer your outfit needs to take it over the edge. If you want to look completely put together, you need several layers for your look.

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Colored jeans have become a Getting Gorgeous favorite as of late. Pair them with a neutral colored shirt (think beige, white or black) and put on your favorite pair of heels. Do you have a blazer? Then pair it with a tank, a long necklace and a smile.


DIY Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day is about love and pampering.  You can pamper yourself or a special someone.  Here are some great ideas to make as gifts or just treat yourself! By Erika Katz

Love Yourself Bubble Bath

❑ 1/4 cup liquid Castile Soap ❑2  drops Red food coloring ❑1  0 drops rose oil or your favorite essential oil ❑ Rose petals. To make: Mix the castile soap, food coloring, and rose oil.  If this is a gift, pour it into a pretty bottle and attach a fresh rose.  If you are using it right away, add your mixture to running bath water and sprinkle your bath with rose petals.  Soak for as long as you like.

©www.istock.com/ courtneyk; ©www.istock.com/ zeremski

Strawberry Peppermint Foot Scrub

Exfoliating Lip Gloss

❑2  tablespoons Crisco solid vegetable shortening ❑1  teaspoon cherry or strawberry flavored powdered ❑ 2 pureed strawberries drink mix ❑ 1 tablespoon of olive oil ❑ lip balm container or clean contact lens container ❑ 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil To Make: ❑ 2 tablespoons of granulated Heat the Crisco in the microwave for 30 seconds or white sugar until it looks like a liquid.  While it is still hot, mix in the ❑ 4 drops peppermint powdered drink mix.  Then, pour the mixture into the essential oil lip balm container.  Let it cool for 10 minutes. To Make: Mix all the ingredients well and put into a pretty jar. Erika Katz is the author of the book I like to use strawberries in this Bonding Over Beauty, A Mother-Daughter recipe because they are rich in Guide to Self-Esteem, Confidence and salicylic acid which helps dead Trust (Greenleaf Press, March 2011). skin shed more easily. The She uses her beauty expertise sugar granules also help to help moms bond with their ‘tween daughters. A to exfoliate skin but are former child model and super gentle on delicate Bonding Over Beauty actress, Erika appeared skin.  You can keep this in over 100 commercials, in the fridge for up to a print ads, and films. As the week.  To use your scrub, mother of a ‘tween girl, she simply rub your feet gently now writes a popular beauty in circular motions and rinse blog for mothers tackling the with warm water. drama of the ‘tween years.

Erika Katz

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Bestie Necklace  $18, fredflare.com Valentines is not just for the one you smooch. This year don’t forget your bestie with this retro bestie necklace. Your friendship will be sealed… just like when you were 14!

By Maria Colaco

Lush – Lots of Love ($49.95) Contents: French Kiss, Ro’s Argan Body Conditioner, Soft Coeur, Lust soap, Rose Queen bath bomb, Sex Bomb bath bomb, 1000 Kisses Deep perfume. If you have not discovered LUSH products you are clearly missing out. These delectable all natural products smell so yummy and look so very tempting they are in danger of being gobbled up! I recommend indulging in long fizzy baths with the Rose Queen bath bomb or French Kiss Bubble Bar. 7 goodies nicely wrapped in a beautiful hatbox, Lush makes it easy to give lots o love this valentines.

Valentines Gift List

And what’s a Valentines without some sparkly gems, right girls? How about a subtle little something to adorn the wrist. This delicate little gift is a classic Roberto Coin complete with an 18K double chain with two diamond stations and not to forget the signature ruby on the clasp. Roberto Coin - Exclusive Pave Cross Medallion Bracelet. $740.00. Available at Bergdorf Goodman.com Nails inc. Crystal Colour in Charing Cross (maraschino red) $19.50 Sephora.com How about crystal incrusted nail polish for that gal who has everything. This fiery hue is sure to turn a few heads at the local PTA.

Maria Colaco writes about her life at NewYorkMom. WordPress. com. She is a dancer and choreographer in NYC and lives in the burbs with her husband, kid and giant dog. You can find her on Twitter at @pluslily. 8

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Maria Colaco

NewYork

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M om

images courtesy of vendors

Handmade and hand painted Decoupage Trays by John Derian. The perfect detail to any room. Stash your odds and ends in these irresistible additions to any décor. $66 a piece available at NeimanMarcus.com


Celebrate Your (Pro) Age

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A Q& A with BOOM! Founder Cindy Joseph

t a certain age we realize there’s only so much we can cover up when it comes to our wrinkles We also realize – at least for those of us who’ve been slathering on anti-aging creams for a while – that, at a certain point, we really need to embrace the lines on our face. After all, there’s wisdom and living in those crow’s feet. Which is why we find 61-yearold makeup artist turned model turned makeup maven Cindy Joseph so inspiring. Her message: “You have lived a long and rich life. Your face tells a wonderful story. Why hide it?” Read below to see what we mean. Project You: Can you tell us a little bit about the how and why behind Boom!?

©www.istock.com/ svetikd

Love Yourself

Cindy: As a longtime makeup artist, and then a model for the last 12 years (Editor’s Note: Cindy didn’t start modeling until age 49), a friend asked me why I don’t develop my own makeup line. To be honest, at the time,

I didn’t see the need for more cosmetics. But the more my friend prodded, the more I started to think seriously about it. Although I knew the world may not need more cosmetics, I realized, it’s not just about make-up. Women identify with the image, packing, style, i.e. branding, of a cosmetic line. Choosing a cosmetic line is like joining a club. A woman may choose the sophisticates club or the girl next door club, or the gothic club. However, every cosmetics line suggests you conceal cover and hide what you look like in an attempt to look younger and different. They are all anti-aging, anti-wrinkle, anti me clubs! I decided right then and there to design a pro-age line of cosmetics, the pro-age club for every generation. And the name?

Originally I thought of the name BOOM as a way to target baby boomers, but realized I didn’t want to commit reverse ageism. After all, this is a message for everyone: Men, women and

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A brand new pro-age line of cosmetics targets the boomer generation.

children. That led me to BOOM representing the sound of a Pro-Age Revolution.

the silver streak I had since my 30s, I was coloring the rest of the gray as it grew in. I realized that sharing my pro-age point And did this idea come to you because you of view, as I was covering my silver hair, was turned a certain age? not only hypocritical , no one would be able Yes, it did. As a woman. I have witnessed to see my age along with my joy and see they and experienced the prejudice our society go hand in hand. That’s when I threw my has about age my entire life. And it is not hair dye in the garbage. The very day I cut only about age, it’s about our features, the off the last bit of dye, I was approached on size and shape of our bodies, our hair, the street in NYC and asked to model. I our style choices, etc. Women often felt the universe was letting me know feel they are just not right lookI did the right thing. I was 49 years ing like themselves. I felt I had old and have been modeling ever to change the way I looked to BOOMByCindyJoseph since. match the latest trend in body type, hair type, face shape etc. And so how do you feel about agI started sharing with othing now? I understand you recently ers how life was getting better as I turned 61. became older. I also witnessed that with I love it. Life just keeps getting better as I my peers as well. We were wiser, gaining become more compassionate towards myself knowledge, and becoming more expeself and celebrate my age and life. I believe rienced. At one point I felt like a fraud as that how we feel about ourselves and how I was hiding the very thing that made me much we are enjoy our lives is what makes look older – my hair color! Though I kept us truly attractive. ■

For more informtion...

Makeup artist turned model turned makeup maven Cindy Joseph. 10

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Love Yourself

My Valentine’s Weight Loss Challenge This time I’m really going to do it…

©www.istock.com/ malerapaso

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don’t know about you, but the older I get, the harder it is for me to lose weight.  I’ve been on every diet imaginable - from Weight Watchers, to Jenny Craig, to the Zone to no carbs and sadly, I’ve managed to gain and lose more weight over the last two decades than I care to remember.  I have what I’d like to call a sliding wardrobe...I always have three to four different pant sizes available at any given time and this year, I was busting out of my biggest size and knew it was time to pull the plug on my out of control eating behavior and finally lose the weight once and for all. In early January, as I was struggling to pull on my jeggings, my husband threw down the gauntlet and challenged me to a weight loss battle.  And after reading several positive online reviews, I arrived at the Biggest Loser Meal Plan which sends you meals each week that are fresh, un-processed and surprisingly spicy.  My husband isn’t doing the meal plan but is opting instead to cut his calories and exercise.   As the weight finally began to melt away (I’m down one dress size so far), what I’ve realized is that I’m feeling so much better about myself. I’m finally feeling so much more comfortable wearing fitted clothes instead of a dress with an oversized sweater covering my thighs and rear end.  And

By Beth Feldman

while my husband’s initial motive really ticked me off, I realized that once he turned our diet into a competition, I was determined to win. So far, I’m down seven pounds and I’m “this close” to breaking through my first plateau. My ultimate goal is to lose 20 pounds before my daughter’s bat mitzvah this May but either way, if I can beat my husband and lose 10 pounds before Valentine’s Day, I will be the happiest mom in my neighborhood.    Now I bet you’re wondering, what will you win if you beat your hubby?  While I initially thought my husband would agree to drive down to Florida to see my parents (that’s what he initially promised to do if I won), I think that was just a ploy to get me to commit to a weight loss plan.  I’m so determined right now to reach my first goal that it doesn’t really matter what I win.   As long as I can finally wear my skinny jeans and my thighs don’t rub together when I walk, then honestly, that’s like winning an Olympic challenge.   So here’s hoping that by February 14th, I’ll be 10 pounds lighter and two sizes smaller. I’m even willing to forego our usual romantic calorie laden dinner so I can continue to keep losing.  Because as my former Weight Watchers instructor used to say:   “Nothing tastes as good as thin feels.” ■ projectyou

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project you

Between US Introducing...

The Role Mommy Book Club! Here at Project You, we love books! Even though it’s hard to carve out time to read, we’re making it our business to dive into at least a half a dozen great books this year and if you’re interested, we’d love to invite you to join in on the fun.

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he first book we’ll be reading is The God Box (www.thegodbox. com), a bittersweet memoir by bestselling author and speaker, Mary Lou Quinlan. When Mary Lou’s mother, Mary Finlayson, dies, her family is left bereft – until Quinlan finds her mother’s “God Box”, or rather, boxes. These simple containers are stuffed with tiny notes written by Mary, asking and praying for everything from the right flooring for her daughter’s new home to a cure for her own blood cancer. Mary’s petitions are presented with love and without expectation. Note by note, Quinlan unearths insights into her mother’s compassion, faith, and perseverance, and revelations of her innermost thoughts – nostalgic, surprising and even a bit shocking. And through the journey, the author discovers her own more empathetic, more engaged self – the woman her mother had believed in all along. The God Box is already receiving advanced praise from Liz Gilbert, Reba McEntire, Lee Woodruff and Jeffrey Zaslow among others. As Project You readers, we would like to present you the chance to get in on this very special project by offering you the first chapter of The God Box for free. If that’s not enough to convince you to join in the Role Mommy Book Club fun, we will be giving readers the chance to meet Mary Lou Quinlan to discuss the book in further detail. If you’re interested in receiving an advance copy of The God Box, send us an email to ProjectYouMagazine@gmail.com. Check out the book trailer! projectyou

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project you By Eric Ruhalter

The (d.a.) D-LIST of

Ways to Survive Being Snowed In At Home with Surly, Bickering, Disconsolate Children ● Challenge them to

game of Hide-and-NoSeek. They hide. You lie down on couch and close your eyes.

● Benadryl Milkshakes. ● Shut off main

breaker switch and pretend there’s a power outage. Have them scavenge for flashlights and candles.

● Sit by window, watch

for lone animals surfacing from their layers to forage the snowy yard for food. Envy their grace and their fortitude, and the fact that they’re not where you are.

● Fake workplace

emergency. Go and stay there.

● Disguise household

chores as thrilling carnival games.

● Set clocks ahead 5

hours. Put kids to bed at 3 in the afternoon.

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Mathdramatics

e have a word - ARITHMATRIX. That is the point at which a child’s school math assignments surpass his parents’ mathematical ability. We have reached the Arithmatrix with my oldest child and the others are approaching fast. Mind you, I was quite good at math, but haven’t touched it since 1980something. And, like so many things (foreign language, athletic skills, bedroom prowess), if you don’t use it, you lose it. (I mean, that’s what I hear.)

KidDictionary Word:

ARITHMATRIX

(ay-RITH-mah-TRIKS) n.: The point at which a child’s math homework assignments surpass their parents’ mathematical abilities. This became clear when my middle My hat is off to home schooling parschooler started bringing home worksheets ents for their intelligence, skills retention, as confounding as assembly instructions and the patience they must demfor Ikea furniture. When I tried to onstrate day in and day out. I help him, we wound up fighting; would love to develop my mind demonstrating that you can be and character to be capable of a fully functional adult, like me, TheKid home schooling my children without having any grasp of Dictionary.com as well. But only if the school things he’s spending all day in would be willing to, in return, school trying to learn. school-home them every morning, Hence, home schooling parents evening and over night. I’m guessing make me feel inadequate. Each mornthat’s unlikely. So we’ll just keep it how it is ing my wife and I wake the kids, get them for now, and hope the kids and their teachcleaned up, dressed, fed, bags packed and er can work through the math thing. ■ out the door and we’re panting with physical and emotional exhaustion. But if you’re a home school parent, they’re not out the door; they’re seated at the dining room ta- Eric Ruhalter’s book The Kid Dictionary: Hilarious Words To Describe ble waiting for you to enrich them. Or not. the Indescribable Things Kids Do That’s a lot of pressure, work. and, I imag- is debuting everywhere in March ine, stress-related years shaved off your life from Sourcebooks. expectancy.

A Role Mommy Magazine l February 2012

Eric Ruhalter


“Take care of your health, but don’t lose out on life by being consumed with your weight. Believe me, in five years when you look back at pictures of you taken today, you’ll say, ‘Gee, how thin I was!’” —Karen Susssman, Denver, Colorado

“If you are rejected, whatever you do don’t give up. The only way to experience real success is to experience failure many times over.” —Beth Feldman

“Listen to that inner voice inside of you pushing you to pursue your dreams. One of the best things I ever did was to take time for ME. When I was 35, I closed my business and went in p ursuit of an inner journey. I traveled the world and lived in South America for a long time. I completely shifted my life. And in the end, it was worth it because I did what I truly wanted to do. I believe dreams do come true in this lifetime: go for it!” ­—Jill Lublin, Nevato, CA

“Whatever it is that I would tell my younger self would be conveyed in Spanish, because I’m ashamed that at this age, in these times, and living in the worlds’ melting pot, I don’t speak more than one language.” —Karla Swatek, Carlsbad, CA

“Don’t compromise your principles to be accepted. And don’t think that there is something wrong with you because you think differently than your classmates, workmates, neighbors. In fact, general acceptance/mass approval is grossly over rated.” —Betty Bisaccia-Hanson, Philadelphia, PA

Between us

“Don’t be afraid to take risks.’ As it ended up, I became a risk-taker later in life and it has profited me both materially and emotionally. Fate pushed me into taking risks. But I wish my younger self had been more confident about my abilities.” —Harriet Brand, New York City

“Hindsight is one of our best teachers. What I wish I knew then: Ask questions! I was sometimes afraid of looking stupid and wouldn’t ask the questions I was thinking because I thought everyone else must already know the answer -- but was always grateful when someone else would ask the very same questions. This has been the hardest lesson to learn as I’ve gotten older. It takes courage to ask the questions, but the payoff is great.” —Rhea Cook, Elizabeth, NJ

©www.istock.com/ julos

Live and Learn I

Advice for Your Younger Self. By Jeanne Muchnick

f you could rewind your life ten years, or twenty years, what would you tell yourself? Is there something you know now that you wish you knew then? Does age bring wisdom? According to Suzy Allegra, author of How to be Ageless: Growing Better, Not Just Older (Celestial Arts) you can control how you age and live a healthier life in the process. By learning how to reconnect with the gifts that you already possess, you’ll learn how to conquer aging hang-ups, shed self-defeating attitudes and ultimately refocus your energies toward a vivacious, satisfying life. “Your attitude means everything in being ageless,” she says. Here’s what other women say about what they’ve learned over the years and the advice they’d give their younger self (if their younger self would listen). ■ projectyou

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Learning Resilience

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esistance: Doesn’t it help make the world go round? Who are we all if not for the challenges we have faced? I know that my challenges have shaped me into who I am and have given me the strength to get through every day. I am 42-yearsold and have three children with chronic medical conditions, two of which are lifethreatening and require near constant monitoring 24/7. Everyday is a roller coaster and I can never let my guard down. If I do, or if I make a mistake, there are always consequences requiring immediate intervention.   When I think of resistance, I think of adversity. Experiencing challenges can make you stronger but it can also be inconvenient and piss you off. My  mother is a strong woman, and I think that because of her I have always resisted taking the easier path. She had such high standards for my academic and professional achievements that I was afraid of disappointing her.   I worked hard and did well in high school, not just academically but also in all of the extra-curricular activities necessary to distinguish myself from the other college applicants. I graduated from Cornell, went to medical school and started my own medical practice. Life was good—though hard at the same time. I love children and I love the field of pediatrics, but I always wondered if it was worth the challenge and crazy hours. About six months after my first son 16

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Ethan was born (two years into my medical practice) I knew I wanted to be home more. I resisted this desire until I was at my 10 year college reunion and saw that many of my friends had started to work part-time or stay at home with their kids. These were smart, professional women and if they could do it, then why not me? I asked my boss for one day off per week, which had been unprecedented up until that point.  After my second son was born 22 months later, I realize that this wasn’t enough.   Ethan’s nine- month birthday was on 9/11, the same day my husband miraculously survived the WTC disaster by walking down 87 floors. This event transformed our family-we were given the gift of perspective at a relatively young stage of our lives. Still deep in shock without having had time to process this whole tragedy, I went to work the following day. The office is very busy in September. Children still need their school physicals, and kids are always getting sick. Everyone was talking about 9/11, parents actually complaining to me about how they were so tired because they stayed up late watching the news… I remember floating through the day on my own gray cloud. Terribly sad for this tragedy,  shocked at how close I came to losing everything, and guilty that I wasn’t home with my wonderful husband. A good friend later said to me “if I were you I would have chained myself to Adam (my husband) and never let go.”  I understood

©www.istock.com/ Vii-Studio

One Woman’s Journey Through Challenging Times By Debbie Mayblum


my mother? Why not a physical or occupational therapist? Or nurse? There were even times I briefly wished/thought about a medical condition that would give me an excuse to stay home. We had our third son Ari in August of 2006. Part of my decision in having another child with my husband was that I would only return to work three days a week. My boss agreed to remove me from the inpatient ward rotations, which I had begun to hate. Unfortunately,  Ari needed to be delivered by emergency C-section and complications of this surgery left me with a disabling painful neuropathy. It has improved over the past five years, but at the time I was not hopeful  it would ever improve. I had gone back to work with this lighter 3 day/week schedule, but the pain took everything out of me. It was interfering with my ability to enjoy my family, be a good parent, and enjoy my life. After trying many therapies with many  doctors, I decided that a surgery to resect the problematic nerve was the best option. This controversial surgery was only performed by a special neurosurgeon in Georgetown and we planned the surgery for September 2007. Ultimately, I canceled the surgery because of other symptoms that cropped up, and this turned out to be the luckiest stroke of fate. Three days after the scheduled sur-

Between us

©www.istock.com/ Vii-Studio

after that day why people are encouraged to drive immediately after they have been in a car accident. We need to prove our strength to ourselves before the paralysis of fear sets in. I would say that the gift of perspective stayed pretty strong for about two years. We decided to have another child immediately after 9/11. In October 2002 we were blessed with another beautiful baby boy. While the national census shows a dramatic dip of births in 2002 due to 9/11, the Mayblum family was not wasting precious time in getting on with our lives. That is why returning to work after my second maternity leave was such a challenge. My first 2 pregnancies were very difficult. I was hospitalized for a few weeks during both for pre-term labor and required IV meds and  twice daily monitoring at home for three months. I wanted to be home more with my kids and I couldn’t for several reasons. Through my husband and my own experiences, I recognized how lucky I was. I knew what mattered. A healthy growing family, alive and intact. I enjoyed my work as a pediatrician, but I desperately wanted more time with my own. The issue of conflicted working moms is not particularly unique or interesting, for that matter. But for me, it was very painful. I questioned my choice of profession. Why did I do this? Why did I listen to

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Debbie Mayblum lives in New Rochelle, NY with her husband and three sons who constantly keep her on her toes. 18

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gery (when I would have been recovering in a hospital in Washington DC) 13-monthold Ari ended up in the Pediatric ICU with Diabetic Ketoacidosis. His only symptom had been an awful diaper rash and frequent urination. When I realized Ari had diabetes (one of my former residents brought me the lab slip that said his blood sugar was 880-that’s near coma level) I screamed. Being a doctor, I knew our lives would never ever be the same again. What I didn’t realize until after the first few weeks of Ari’s diagnosis was that diabetes was five times harder than I ever imagined. Managing and accepting Ari’s diabetes has been the biggest challenge I ever faced. Everyday is a battle. As life teaches us, one challenge doesn’t make us immune to other challenges. Within the past four years, our family has continued to challenge us. My son Kyle had a near fatal experience with the swine flu in 2009, saved by a ventilator in the same ICU where Ari was two years before. My mother had traumatic brain injury from a fall during skiing which required brain surgery and reha-

A Role Mommy Magazine l February 2012

bilitation. And unbelievably, impossibly, my oldest son Ethan was diagnosed with diabetes last year at the age of nine. He actually diagnosed himself on the way to summer camp in a carpool with five other boys. He decided to check his own blood sugar after helping me check Ari during a particularly hectic morning. Like it or not, life provides resistance to avoid a road that is too smooth, a path that is too simple. Why, we ask so many times, do we need these challenges? To provide the fortitude we need to persevere? When is enough really enough? And when it comes to our children especially, not ourselves or our parents or even our spouses. When the challenges involve or affect our children…well what can be harder that? But I do know that I have three happy, loving children who are taking the world by storm and have every intention of fulfilling their dreams. So if the years have presented me with challenges and strengthened me, well then I’ll take that. And I’ll carry that with me, not as burdens weighing on my back but as a strong shield across my chest. ■

©www.istock.com/ Vii-Studio

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project you

Parenting Missing Drew:  A Mother’s Lament

©www.istock.com/ EdStock

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How parenthood prevented me from meeting my celebrity crush. By Beth Feldman

s a mom blogger, I consider myself really lucky.  Over the past seven years, I had the chance to meet and spend time with some of the most popular stars on the planet.  This week, I was truly pumped because I was going to meet the one movie star who I have loved since I first saw her in “ET.”   For those of you wondering who my celebrity crush is, well it’s simple.  I love Drew Barrymore.  My daughter’s name is Rebecca Drew (in honor of my grandma Dora and Drew Barrymore of course).  I’ve seen every movie she’s starred in or produced.   From “The Wedding Singer” to “Fifty First Dates” to “Boys on the Side,” to that roller girls movie, I just can’t get enough of Drew.   So imagine my surprise when I received an invite to the “Big Miracle” screening in New York City that was going to feature a Q&A with Drew Barrymore.  I was on top of the world! I was finally going to meet my favorite feature film star.   But then parenthood threw a curve ball into my plans. After my phone rang several times during an early morning meeting, I returned to my office and picked up the phone at 11:30 am.   It was my daughter on the other line.   Except she should have been in school and she wasn’t.   It turned out, she had injured herself at school and was in so much pain that the nurse sent

her home with our sitter.   When I found out that she had a bone protruding from her neck, I made the only decision I could make as a mom.  I was going home to take her to the doctor.    In the back of my mind, I envisioned that I’d take her to the pediatrician and then we’d zip back into the city to see the screening and meet Drew.  But I didn’t factor in that our doctor would want her to get an xray at the local hospital. And just as I had envisioned seeing Drew in the flesh and asking some insightful or funny question, my best laid plans flew out the window.  By the time we left the hospital, it was 4:30 pm and rather than race to Manhattan, we hit the drug store so I could pick up some Advil and a heating pad for my daughter.   By the time we returned home, I did my usual quick change into my alter ego - Pajama Mama - whipped up something to eat and then helped my daughter with her Junior Honor Society application while simultaneously feeding my son a few dictionary definitions as he completed his spelling homework.   While I would have loved to have attended a movie screening and had the chance to meet Drew in the flesh, I have to say, that no matter what exciting opportunities come my way, nothing trumps my family.  So sorry Drew that we didn’t cross paths this time around.  Here’s hoping that there will be a next time... ■ projectyou

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project you

In the Market for a Pet? Buy This, Not That By Beth Feldman

I

have always been a dog lover at heart. From the time I was a little girl, I’ve longed to own a puppy I could fit in my purse or ride like a pony (that was when I was three so please don’t hold that one against me). Sadly, I married a guy who is allergic to every dog breed under the sun (even the hypo allergenic kind) so when it came time for my family to get a pet, we were guilted into every other animal imaginable. From cats, to hermit crabs, to beta fish, to dwarf hamsters to a lizard name Guapo, I can now tell you all there is to know about owning a small pet that does everything except roll over and play dead (well, some play dead, but that’s usually not part of the plan). What I didn’t bargain for was the maintenance that goes into owning furry, slithery and scaly pets. So if you’re in the market for an animal for your child and a dog or cat isn’t in your future, take my advice and buy this pet, not that.

BUY THIS A dwarf hamster - they’re cute, to give it a bath because it gets pretty gross. a bit feisty and for the most part, their tank won’t stink to high heaven as long as you replace their bedding one time per week.

NOT THAT White Mice - So who in their harmless and the maintenance is pretty right mind would want a mouse? My son, that’s who. Except, Milford the mouse was so smelly that the putrid odor emanating from his tank made its way from our mudroom and our coat closet and we had to return him to Petco. Here’s hoping Milford didn’t become an entree for a ravenous boa constrictor.

BUY THIS A Russian Tortoise - sure it lives nearly 100 years and could grow as large as a tree stump, but according to numerous Facebook friends, a tortoise is a pretty simple pet to own. It’ll never run away and doesn’t smell that bad - two major pluses in my book. NOT THAT A Turtle - while it might not grow as large as a tortoise, a turtle is smelly, slimy and according to my friend, you may have 20

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BUY THIS Guinea Pig - They’re cuddly,

A Role Mommy Magazine l February 2012

low. Sure, you’ll have to clean out their cage from time to time, but a guinea pig could turn out to be a kids’ best friend.

NOT THAT A rabbit, hare or dwarf bun-

ny - they look super cute but rabbits are pretty unpredictable. One minute they’re cute and lovable and the next, they’re confusing your finger for a carrot stick. Plus, it’s hard to tell if something is wrong with your rabbit until it’s too late.

BUY THIS A bearded dragon - I never

would have thought a lizard would be the easiest pet to care for and own. Sure they eat worms that can morph into beetles if they don’t eat them in time, but they’re docile and they don’t smell!

NOT THAT A lizard that eats crickets or a

snake that eats mice. I don’t know about you, but I draw the line at buying reptiles that eat live crickets or frozen rodents. Can anyone say, EEWWWWW!!!! ■

©www.istock.com/ KHuni

A guinea pig is a cuddly, lowmaintenance option!

When you find yourself bathing a turtle, it’s time to return it back to the wild.


Parenting

Re-connecting with your Hubby by Danielle Feigenbaum

©www.istock.com/ hairandbeauty

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bout eight months before my ten year wedding anniversary, my husband asked me what I wanted. This was, after all, the big 1-0. My answer: To get the hell out of dodge. I didn’t want jewelry or anything materialistic, I wanted to lie on a beach somewhere beautiful and warm and have some quality time with my hubby. After getting both our parents to agree on watching our children for a week, we called the airlines and starting figuring out the maze of options with our frequent flier miles. The winning ticket: St. Martin. We had never been there so we researched hotels, restaurants and activities by using Trip Advisor and asking friends. It was definitely stressful doing all that – plus getting everything organized with my kids for the week I would be away, but man was it worth it! If you usually travel with your children like we do, traveling without them was a dream. Everything was relaxed and quiet and error-free. From the moment I stepped off the plane, all the tension and stress of

everyday life melted away and I couldn’t stop smiling at my handsome husband. We hadn’t been away just the two of us since our honeymoon. Even though my husband and I have a wonderful relationship, our daily conversations usually consist of scheduling issues, the kids, finances and other mundane things. All of that shifted, however once we were away: we had real conversations about everything and nothing at all, while enjoying delicious meals and taking long walks on the beach. We each read four books and got some much needed sleep, among other things. I know it isn’t easy for everyone to pick up for a week and go to the Caribbean, but do yourself a favor and try to get away even for a couple of days with your partner. Trust me, the reconnection is worth the hassle of organizing the kid’s schedules. When we got home and he went to work, I actually missed him! I also re-charged my batteries and as sad as I was to leave Paradise, I was super excited to see my kids. I had more patience and held onto the relaxed feeling... for a good two days. ■

Danielle Feigenbaum, former a Television Marketing and Promotion Executive at CBS and ABC Networks, joins Role Mommy and Project You as a regular contributor. Danielle lives in Westchester with her husband, Andrew and their two kids - daughter Alexa, 6 and son Jordan, 3.

Some great St. Martin finds... ● We loved our hotel

(Le Petit Hotel, right on the beach) and also spent a day at the sister hotel that has a pool and is just as charming (L’esplanade)

● Rent a car so you can

really explore the island. We spent $100 on a cute little car for the whole week.

● La Villa Restaurant in

Grand Case was voted #1 on trip advisor and we agree! There are a lot of great restaurants in Grand Case.

●O  ur favorite beach

was Orient Beach. (It happens to be a partly nude beach, if that’s your thing)

● Spend the day

walking around Marigot, the French side capitol, great shopping. Eat lunch at Tropicana on the marina.

● Take a 7 minute boat

ride to Pinel Island and spend the day, gorgeous!

●W  alk on the

boardwalk and shop away in Philipsburg. projectyou

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project you By Angel Tucker

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Personality Parenting 101

o you and your spouse have different parenting styles? No doubt the answer is yes. But have you ever wondered why? Or tried to understand why? Of course, part of the reason lies in the way you were raised. You’ve either carried some of those practices into your own parenting style or consciously chosen not to incorporate particular areas of the way you were parented. The other reason for your parenting differences though, can actually be found in your personality type. There are four main personality types based on the DISC personality assessment system. Each type parents their children differently. Although every person contains all four types to some degree, 80% of us are dominant in two of the four types. These dominant types determine how we parent our children most of the time. Here’s an example of those types. See if you can identify which group you and your spouse are in. Be sure to keep in mind that no parenting style is better or worse than any other; they are simply different. The key is to rely on the strengths that each personality type brings to the table and use those strengths in the way you parent.

Angel’s book is available on Amazon.com.

● “D” or Dominant personality type These parents tend to run their home like a boot camp. They are always giving their children tasks to accomplish and most of their day is about work work, work. They are usually slow to praise their children for doing a good job, but tend to be quick to criticize if something could be done better. This parent tends to have a short fuse and a hot temper. ● “I” or Inspiring personality type Sometimes this type forgets they are the parent because they are too busy having fun with the kids. They are like a big kid themselves! If this type doesn’t discipline their child right away, they won’t do it at all. This is because they tend to be very forgetful in nature. If they wait an hour to discipline, they have most likely forgotten what the child did wrong in the first place.

Angel Tucker is an award winning author and the creator of the “Four Pals” children’s book series. Her non-fiction book titled “Stop Squatting With Your Spurs On – the power to read people, get what you want, and communicate without pain was just released November 9th, 2010 and hit a national nest seller list the same month. Visit www.stopsquattingwithyourspurson.com. 22

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● “S” or Supportive personality type This type often relies on the other parent to take action when it comes to discipline. They are very mild mannered and strive for harmony and peace at all cost. They often try to excuse the actions of their child and are quick to forgive for any wrong doing. ● “C” or Cautious personality type This type has very high standards for both themselves and others, which includes their children. If the child does something wrong, they will remind the child of the bad choice over and over again. They tend to be more of an introvert when it comes to socializing and prefer to get things accomplished instead. They also prefer to operate with schedules and plans instead of being spontaneous. While this is a basic assessment, its worth stepping back -- and realizing which category you fall in. FYI: accessing personality types also helps at that next drama-filled PTA meeting or parent/teacher conference. ■

A Role Mommy Magazine l February 2012


project you

Good times Oscar Viewing Party! By Elizabeth Mascali and Dawn Sandomeno

Click here for the recipe!

© partybluprints

VEGETABLE QUESADILLAS February 26th, Hollywood will roll out the red carpet for the little gold man and all the big stars will be in town. Why should stars have all the fun? Join in on Hollywood’s celebration and host a Red Carpet Viewing Party in your home. Simply follow our tips for creating your own event that’s sure to be the hottest ticket in your town. It’s easy, all you need is a comfortable viewing area and our menu and tips – the entertainment is free!Serve a spectacular cocktail and star-studded bites to make your party guests feel like stars for the night. projectyou

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project you

Oscar Viewing Party! VIEWING PARTY BASICS

1. Make sure your television is in good working order. If you have a DVR, program it to record the pre-show red carpet events and awards show. Now you and your guests can watch at your leisure throughout the evening. 2. Focus on your “viewing area”. Create a comfortable viewing area in which all seats allow

on backs of sofas and chairs for guests to snuggle as the evening goes on. 3. Have cocktails and appetizers ready to serve guests when they arrive. 4. Welcome guests with a signature cocktail, followed by buffet style “easy to eat” fare. Tell guests to make themselves comfortable and help themselves to additional beverages and food throughout the evening.

PartyBluPrintsBlog.com

Welcome guests with a signature cocktail, our pick is a California Margarita (a nod to where Oscar lives), and something to nibble on, Shrimp Shots and Fresh Guacamole with Tortilla Chips and Crudité. Follow this up with the main feature, Vegetable Quesadillas. Pace yourself and your guests with the menu so everyone has time to eat leisurely throughout the 3+ hour show. As the show continues, award guests “Red Carpet” Red Velvet Cupcakes. And for the finale, finish off with popcorn, a staple for any viewing party!

SIGNATURE COCKTAIL California Margarita Ingredients ❑ 2 oz. simple syrup ❑ 2 oz. fresh lime juice ❑ 3 oz. gold tequila ❑ 2 oz. orange juice

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A Role Mommy Magazine l February 2012

© partybluprints

THE MENU

for a good view of the televised event. Bring in extra chairs, stools, ottomans, beanbag chairs, and oversized pillows for additional seating. One of the greatest treats growing up was eating in front of the television; so indulge your guests and make it easy for them to dine by offering surfaces and coasters for guests to rest glasses and plates while viewing. Place cozy blankets


Good times

Oscar Viewing Party! STAR-STUDDED BITES RED VELVET CUPCAKES

Red velvet cake and gold sprinkles are two great ways to make your cupcakes Oscar worthy. It’s a sweet treat that’s easy to eat! Make sure to select a fun and festive baking cup that won’t bleed or fade with the red velvet cake mix.

Click here for the recipe!

SHRIMP SHOTS

FRESH GUACAMOLE WITH TORTILLA CHIPS & CRUDITÉ Ingredients: ❑ 1 box Red Velvet Cake Mix (plus ingredients listed on box) ❑ 1 can vanilla frosting ❑ gold sprinkles

© partybluprints

ACTIVITIES

Instructions: Prepare cupcakes according to box instructions. Allow to cool thoroughly. Frost and “accessorize” with gold sprinkles. As the awards continue, treat guests to a viewing party must-have, popcorn! Serve it with your favorite movie theater snacks.

Create a Paparazzi Memory. As guests enter your home, trade them their coats for a cocktail. Snap each guest’s picture at the door. Instead of printing the pictures for your guests, load them up on facebook or your blog. Send out a note the very next morning to your guests inviting them to enjoy the pictures and join in on the “Morning After Recap”. Print out voting ballots for each guest (they are available online before the ceremony). In advance of the awards show, have guests complete their ballot. Keep a tally to determine who was right on the money with the winners. ■

Elizabeth Mascali and Dawn Sandomeno are party and lifestyle authors, bloggers, and social media hostesses. Their first book, PLAN TO PARTY, (Yorkshire Publishing) offers ideas from their blog andis a go-to resource for home entertaining. projectyou

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project you By Carley Knobloch

Tech Will Keep Us Together y husband and I met over matching Apple laptops nearly 17 years ago and technology has been part of our relationship ever since.  We sent each other steamy love e-mails over AOL in 1994.  We brought a Gameboy on our honeymoon in 1997 and played Tetris all the way to Italy.  And a typical date night often ends with a stroll through the Apple Store (or, as my husband calls it, “foreplay”).  Tech has always been a shared passion, and our mutual coveting of the gadget du jour is has always gotten us both a little hot under the collar (a little like a three-way, but with USB ports).    

RedStamp: You don’t need to wait until Valentine’s Day to use RedStamp to send little love notes to your honey.  Beautifully designed, the iPhone app makes easy work of sending everything from birthday cards to thank you notes... and their “love” designs have slots for photos, so you can send him a preview pic of the red velvet cake that’s waiting for him when he gets home... or the real dessert he’ll be getting in the bedroom.

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A Role Mommy Magazine l February 2012

Now that we’ve got a couple kids and a mortgage, passion about technology (or anything else) has given way to exhaustion and myriad to-dos.  The steamy love e-mails have given way to bedtime inbox management, each of us on our respective laptops, eyes glued to screens until we both pass out.  Not. Hot. I’m not giving up on tech, though— I think we can find a way to re-ignite the spark (to re-kindle over Kindles, if you will).   Here are some of my favorite tech tools to reheat your love life this Valentine’s Day:

Spotify: What do Journey, vintage Phil Collins, and Spandeau Ballet all have in common?  They all made appearances on my best make-out mix tapes. Back then, if you wanted to make one you needed to buy all the albums that the songs were on and then record all the tracks you wanted on a blank cassette tape.  Thankfully, today we have Spotify— just help yourself to millions of songs, assemble them into limitless mix tape playlists, and listen whenever you want.  Upgrade to premium and you can access them from any mobile device and even play them when you’re not online.  Share them to Facebook too (unless you’re still listening to A-ha, in which case, don’t). Spotify, FREE (Premium service $9.99/month)

Foodzie: This online marketplace has become my go-to destination for gift giving, because of it’s unique artisan food selections.  It’s perfect for finding great Valentine’s gifts too— the way to a man’s heart, after all, is through his stomach (albeit via his smartphone). Not sure that your man thinks food is sexy? I have two words for you: Bacon Jam. Yeah, baby. Skillet Street Food Bacon Jam, $29.95 for 4 7 oz jars.

Courtesy of vendors

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Good times

Carley Knobloch

Courtesy of vendors

Digitwirl.com

Lark: When you’ve got small kids and the day starts at the crack of dawn, nothing is sexier than a good night’s sleep.  Which is why my husband often has to dodge pillows (and profanity) if his alarm clock wakes me up any earlier than necessary.  Fortunately, the Lark solves the problem— it’s vibrates to wake you (and only you), and it even tracks the quality of your sleep and coaches you to better rest.  Cause nothing says, “I love you” like an authorized sleep in. Lark personal alarm & sleep coach, $99.95 ■

Carley Knobloch is a personal tech expert and founder at Digitwirl. com, the go-to source for busy women who are too busy to read manuals and want technology to “just work”.  Digitwirl brings together Knobloch’s obsession with all things tech, her passion for problemsolving, and her knack for curating the best resources for her audience. When she’s not scouring the virtual globe for next revolutionary gadget or life-changing website or app, she can be found doing the running man while playing Just Dance 3.  Her husband and two children are often allowed to play too. projectyou

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project you

Create a Luckier Life

You don’t need a shiny penny or a rabbit’s foot…..finding good fortune is a m atter of fine-tuning your thinking. By Jeanne Muchnick

here PSSST: Click d o for more go luck tips.

Jeanne Muchnick has published hundreds of parenting and lifestyle articles for various publications and websites including The New York Times, The Boston Globe, Woman’s Day, Parents, and Westchester Magazine. Tonight, she’s having her “famous” mustard chicken for dinner (go to her website for the recipe.) 28

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– yet -- but when it happens, you’ll realize how lucky you are. The Result: By looking on the perpetual good side, it keeps you positive. People are drawn to “up” people.

Lucky Strategy # 3

See the Good in the Bad: Turn unfortunate situations around by imaging how things could have been worse says Richard Wiseman, Ph.D., a professor of psychology at the University of Hertfordshire in England and the author of The Luck Factor. My friend, Jenny, is one example. She thought getting fired was the worst thing that could ever hapLucky Strategy #1 pened to her until she realized TheDinnerMom.com Write a script. Think of a manthat what it really made her do tra -- a saying that you repeat to was re-evaluate her situation. yourself every day -- in the mirShe’s now the owner of a yoga sturor, in the shower, or driving you dio -- a far departure from her days in car, i.e. I am lucky; I am blessed; I deserve sales, and couldn’t be happier. good things to happen to me. The Result: Looking at the glass as half The Result: Every cell in your body will full as opposed to half empty makes you feel it, causing you to draw luck into your less likely to dwell on your ill fortune and life. Believing that today is your lucky take control of the situation. day can and will become a self-fulfilling prophecy, says Jill Spiegel, a Minneapolis, Lucky Strategy # 4 MN-based luck expert and author of The Listen to Your Gut: Act on hunches. Pocket Pep Talk. My friend Jean wasn’t happy living in Westchester, New York, and so decided to Lucky Strategy # 2 up and move to Laguna Beach, CA where Expect good fortune. Don’t doubt your she knew no one. That forced her to open luck. It may not happen today, or tomor- up more to people. The end result? She row, but it will show its face. Think of each met her future husband. They’re now the situation as a story that’s still unfolding, proud parents of two girls. i.e. you got a flat tire that led to a chance The Result: You make more effective demeeting, or you missed a turn on the high- cisions when you tune out what everyone way, that led you to a new area. You might else is telling you and really listen to what not know the ending to your new “chapter” YOU want. Your gut is always right. ■

A Role Mommy Magazine l February 2012

Jeanne Muchnick

©www.istock.com/ studiocasper

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ver feel like you’re having one of those days? Or years? No matter how many jobs you toil at, men you date, or lotto scratch-offs you rub, you’re doomed to lose? Meanwhile, your younger sister (bless her gorgeous, little heart!), never seems to struggle with ANYthing! It’s like she’s has this lucky star shining on her, while you simply have nothing but misaligned planets. Think its all predetermined fate? Think again. According to experts, making your own luck is easy. All you have to do is alter your attitude. Some strategies to get that blessed star beaming on you:


Good times

By Brad Bessey

Affirmations for parents:

©www.istock.com/ H-Gall

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Planting Seeds

hen it comes to loving ourselves, nothing is more powerful than planting positive seeds in the gardens of our children’s minds. There is no such thing as a neutral thought. That’s why it is so important that as parents, we truly watch what we sow. As we head into spring, let’s do a little gardening. Are the seeds we’re planting today ones that will grow and nourish our souls, enrich ourselves, our children and our world? Or, is the garden we’re cultivating filled negative, doubt-filled self-talk - the spiritual weeds that could overtake the garden of our minds and our families? There’s a line in A Course in Miracles that says: “The truth in you remains as radiant as a star, as pure as light, as innocent as love itself.” It’s easy to see this innocence when we look into the eyes of our newborn baby or when out of the blue, our four year old says, “I love you daddy.” But, do we see that same brilliance and hope in ourselves? Not often. As we grow up, weeds creep into our garden. It’s a small thought, an off-handed remark, a seed is planted and bad thoughts grow: “I’m not smart enough.” “I’m fat.” “I’m such a loser.” As adults, there’s much to be done to transform our limited beliefs in ourselves into powerful ones that can help us achieve our hopes and dreams. For our children, the work we are doing is not transformation, rather formation. We help them determine how they will view themselves to-

day, tomorrow and for the rest of their lives. I believe affirmations play an integral role in the process. In the Oscar-nominated film “The Help,” set in Mississippi in 1963, the character Aibileen, played by Viola Davis, is an African-American maid and nanny to two year-old Mae Mobley. Aibileen says to Mae Mobley, “You is kind. You is smart. You is important.” The toddler repeats the affirmation and it becomes a mantra of self-love for them both. Here’s how we began using affirmations in our house: One morning, my son, who was almost four at the time, woke up early and snuck down to the living room where I was deep in my morning meditation. He asked me what I was doing, I told him. And, not ready to end my practice, I asked him if he wanted to join me. He asked, “But, daddy, how do I meditate?” “Well,” I said, “close your eyes and take a deep breath in and a deep breath out.” And, as he sat, eyes closed, breathing in and out, I told him this: “Gabriel, there is a reason you were born. You have talents and gifts that are special to you and only you can share those with your friends and the world. It’s our job to play and explore and learn and discover them, together. So, say these words, ‘I am a gift to the world.’ ” He did and then he repeated it a few times aloud and then sat in stillness by my side, while the seeds of self-worth began to take root. ■

“I model love and respect for my children, by being kind to myself.” “Every moment is a gift today, even when it comes wrapped in a tantrum.” “I have excellent parenting instincts and trust my inner-wisdom to guide me.” “There is perfection in imperfection. I am the perfect parent as I am.”

Affirmations for children:

“I am awesome.”

“Today is a great day.” “I make good choices.” “I use my words to express my feelings.” “I am loving and kind.” Brad Bessey is a writer and television producer who lives in the Hollywood Hills with his husband and four-year-old son, Gabriel. Brad was Executive Producer of The Talk on CBS, and was CoExecutive Producer of Entertainment Tonight. projectyou

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project you Alma Schneider

By Alma Schneider

TakeBackThe Kitchen.com

Alma Schneider is a Licensed Clinical Social worker, food writer and chef . She is the founder of TakeBacktheKitchen.com, a blog and consulting business helping people overcome their practical and psychological obstacles to cooking. She lives in Montclair , NJ with her husband and four children 30

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Something Pink

Here’s a simple and healthy recipe to get you started, pink for Valentine’s Day!

Beautiful Beet Dip: Ingredients: ❑ 1 cup 0% fat Greek yogurt (Fage brand is best) ❑ 1 15 oz. can sliced beets or 1 1/2 cups peeled, boiled beets ❑ salt and pepper to taste

A Role Mommy Magazine l February 2012

Instructions: Puree beets in a food processor. Stir in yogurt (DON’T puree yogurt because it will get watery) and add salt and pepper to taste. Serve with pita chips,healthy crackers or vegetable sticks. ■


Worried about how to get dinner on the table when you’re NOT a cook?

So were these other busy moms...who found solutions in Dinner for Busy Moms (Plain White Press): Your book is chock-full of wisdom and humor. I really appreciate how your advice helps assuage the guilt I often feel when I serve takeout…again. I now have a firm conviction that no matter what ends up on the table, my family and I will eat dinner together.

­—Marsha G., New Rochelle NY

You have made brilliant use of other’s tips, etc. Your approach to the whole book is fabulous. This should go viral.

­—Laurie Z., San Francisco, CA

I started the book at 1 a.m. and finally put it down around 2:15 a.m... LOVE IT! ... makes me want to head out to the grocery store and fill my empty cabinets!

­—Jenn K., Indianapois, IN

Go to www.thedinnermom.com for more info.


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Tea wiTh “NaNNy McPhee”

When YOUR Kid is the Bully

Energy Zappers —and Solutions

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