Project You Magazine-Back AT School 2011

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project you Pursue your passion one dream at a time.

A Role Mommnye Magazi Fall 2011

Gifted Schmifted When Your Kid

Doesn’t Get into the Honors Program

Surviving Mama Drama


Celebrity Mom Crush:

Sarah Jessica Parker 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 is the perfect place for you.

Subscribe to our “Role Mommy on the Run” newsletter and if you’re a parenting blogger, join “The List” and receive invitations to events, media opportunities, writing assignments and much more!

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Table of Contents


4 Editor’s Note

School Daze, Take Two

21 Better Late Than Never

Back AT School

Ideas for Travel Procrastinators.

5 Gifted Schmifted

Your kid didn’t make the cut into the honors program? It’s for the better.

7 One Bad Apple…

Sooner or later your kid will be placed with a teacher who leaves a lot to be desires.

9 Back to the Routine of School

Politically Correct Children’s Book plus other Dad musings. Electronics are practically a teenager’s middle name.

22 Weight Loss Wonder

Getting motivation through Mama-vation.

23 Makeover Madness

One woman’s very organized journey.

Between Us It can be as simple as talking and drinking less.

27 Is It All Over for My Favorite Name?

12 Be Selfish

Go ahead – think of yourself for once. You deserve it.

Answers from Baby Name Wizard.

28 Halloween Decorating and Party Ideas on a Budget

Star-Struck 13 My Mom Crush…

32 Mama Drama

Sarah Jessica Parker talks parenting.

14 “A” for Avon

The 125-year-old company remains committed to women.

15 Budget Beauty

Nine Tips to keep you and your beauty budget intact.

16 Tuning In – or Out

Stacking up next to TV’s favorite moms. Why every woman should have a circle of friends.

How to best celebrate the season.

25 7 Steps to a Happy Marriage

10 “E’s” the Word

17 High Five

21 Fall Travel is All About Foliage, Fun and Fear


How can you volunteer when one class mom is a control freak?

34 Red Hot News

Learn about the warning signs or heart disease.

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.


Jennie Baird Lorraine Brock Danielle Feigenbaum Elizabeth Mascali Amy Oztan Cindy Richards Eric Ruhalter Dawn Sandomeno Jennifer Wagner Laura Wattenberg Andrea Woroch

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.

editor’s LETTER

School Daze, Take Two I

can’t believe it’s been a full year since we first launched Project You and I’m thrilled to say that we are back with our Back at School issue and hope you enjoy our heartfelt, sarcastic, inspiring, informative and bittersweet articles. Like all our issues, we tackle topics you might not necessarily see in an everyday magazine. Instead, we share what’s really on our minds - including the “Mama Drama” that takes place when an overbearing class mom shuts you out of a volunteer project; or a candid account about gifted programs that truly tick off the parents whose kids don’t make the cut. And what about mean teachers? Don’t you just love it when your child gets stuck with a teacher who should have retired ages ago? There’s more to Project You than our Back at School peeves! We’ve got an incredible weight loss story from digital mom extraordinaire Amy Lupold Bair and tips from Selfish Mom’s Amy Oztan on all the amazing things you can do for you now that your kids are in class. Plus, Connect with Your Teens contributor Jennifer Wagner shares her favorite gadgets of the season and our favorite party gals from Partybluprints offer some fabulous ideas to make any Halloween party an absolute scream. If travel is in your future, then we’ve got great tips on how to zag when everyone zigs and find the best deals for you and your family. And Traveling Mom offers some terrific fall trip options for the ultimate procrastinators. As always, we’ve got some celebrity sightings in our issue - including a candid look at “I Don’t Know How She Does It” star Sarah Jessica Parker who shares how she and husband Matthew Broderick attempt to keep their kids grounded. So what are you waiting for? Take some time out of your breakneck schedule to let your fingers do the walking. Read, relax, be inspired and most importantly, make time for you!

For more information, visit and

Contact us cover photos: © MurrayProductions



A Role Mommy Magazine l Back AT School 2011

Beth Feldman Editor in Chief

project you

Back AT School There’s always a reason to be proud of your kid.

Gifted Schmifted Your kid didn’t make the cut into the honors program? Believe me, it’s for the better.

© ArtisticCaptures


bout three years ago, my incredibly bright daughter was dealt an unexpected blow to her academic ego when she narrowly missed getting accepted into a gifted program that our school district offers to a small number of students entering the fourth grade. As parents, we didn’t want to pressure her when it came to preparing for the exam. I mean, she was only in third grade - why should we stress out a kid when they had been doing so well in school without our help? I vowed to be the anti-helicopter parent. The one who watches their child soar without hiring tutors, enrolling them in an after school learning center or spending extra hours teaching them the finer points of division, essay writing and grammar. The day the letter didn’t arrive in our mailbox announcing she had made the program, was devastating for my daughter. We later learned that she had missed getting admitted by one point.

As our daughter informed us that she had found out that nearly every single one of her friends made the program, we were so upset for her. We were convinced she was gypped and so, we did what any non-helicopter parent would do. We called the deputy superintendent’s office and made an appointment to argue our case. Okay, that’s a bit helicopter-ish, but we’re only human.

I’ll never forget that day. My husband and I were armed with all the important points of why our daughter should have made that program and no matter what argument we threw at the deputy superintendent, he shot us down every time. I’m sure it was because he had already heard from thousands of parents over the years who felt their own child was “gifted” and didn’t have the patience projectyou



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anymore to let their child down easy. At one point, I even broke down in tears - I know - I’m not proud of that moment, but I was so sad for my daughter - she was going to be separated from the friends she had made over the past four years and would not be receiving the same sort of education we thought she deserved because a standardized exam had decided she wasn’t good enough to make the cut. During that first year when her friends were in different classes, my daughter, who was once an incredibly popular child and was always on the invite list to every birthday party in our neighborhood, suddenly began receiving the cold shoulder from her former best friends. The invites began drying up one by one. And then she was hit by the lowest blow - a good friend of hers reasoned that she wasn’t smart enough to make it into the gifted program. And when she came home that day in tears, I was determined to show her that no matter what those stupid test scores revealed, she was still an amazingly bright child who had the world ahead of her. Gradually, she made new friends, took up softball and continued working hard at school. We also gradually discovered that NOT making that gifted program was the best thing that could have happened to her. In fact, when we met with her teachers, one of them confided that she couldn’t stand that program - she admitted it caused a rift between kids and even shared that she had a few students in her class not in the program who went on to become the valedictorian of their high school class. On the day our daughter graduated elementary school, we were thrilled to learn she was one of four children who had won the President’s Certificate for Academic Excellence (she was the one kid not in the gifted program to earn that distinction). And now that she’s in middle school, she’s a straight A student and continuing to work hard at her studies - all 6


A Role Mommy Magazine l Back AT School 2011

without our help. Fast forward to today and my son is about to start fourth grade and as fate would have it, he too didn’t make the gifted program either. While I was pretty aggravated at first - mostly because I was concerned he’d be the only kid who didn’t make the program again and face the same social issues my daughter did - I held it together as best I could. Luckily, this time around I learned that a few of his close friends didn’t get into the program either. Which means socially, he’ll be just fine. Academically, I know that my child is incredibly bright too - I found out after speaking with one of his teachers that he is a bit careless during the test taking process but what do you expect from an eight year old? While I do feel that history seems to be repeating itself, I have to say that this time around, I’m not as worried. My son is a really smart kid - yes, I know that I’m his parent and every parent thinks their kid is smart, but honestly, he really is. He can build an entire Lego city in a few hours, meticulously reading the directions from cover to cover so he can figure out where every piece belongs. He shares random facts about sharks, dinousaurs and monkeys. He can quote nearly every line from all the Austin Powers movies (okay, maybe that’s not appropriate but at least it shows his memorization skills are pretty sharp). And most of all, he’s an incredlbly funny, sweet natured child who my husband and I are so incredibly proud of. So for those parents whose kids have made the gifted program in their area - I offer you a heartfelt congratulations - may your child continue to achieve great things in their lifetime. And for those who didn’t, please don’t put any added pressure on your child. Let them discover who they are, who they want to be and make sure you tell them they are special every day of their lives. ■

Back AT School

One Bad Apple… Sooner or later, your kid will be placed with a teacher who leaves a lot to be desired. Here’s how to cope. By Jeanne Muchnick


ess than two weeks into the school year, classroom and all of boys’ parents knew it.” Randy Green could tell her daughter, In other words, you’re not alone. At some Melanie, was going to have problems point, our kids are going to be placed in a class with her 8th grade English teacher. “Apparent- with a teacher who doesn’t like them, is either ly, there had been a book on the floor behind too strict or too laissez-faire with homework, Melanie’s desk,” says the Brooklyn, NY-based or someone who simply doesn’t mind embarmom “It wasn’t Melanie’s book – and rassing them with stern words. It’s like she hadn’t even noticed it was there any workplace: Just as there are -- but the teacher assumed Melanie some colleagues with terrific perwas the kind of girl who had no resonalities who have a passion for spect for books and said something their jobs, there are also plenty of to her along the lines of, ‘Well, we those who are there to simply colknow here who didn’t care for her lect a paycheck. The question besummer reading.’ My daughter came comes: How do you handle it? home crying, saying this teacher was Candi Wingate, mom of two and out to get her.” President of Nannies4Hire (www. NanDianne Sikel of Phoenix, AZ who blogs at who deals with many of these, says she had situations in the nanny world, advises parents a similar situation with her son’s first grade to assume that the teacher is acting with beteacher who seemed to dislike him from the nevolence -- that there is simply a miscommuget-go. “It was actually obvious,” she says. nication or an instructional style mismatch. “The teacher clearly favored the girls in the Talking and clearing the air is strongly recom-

© craftvision

Jeanne Muchnick




project you mended before going off the deep end (something I’m prone to doing when it comes to my precious cargo). ● First, get the facts straight. Begin by asking questions of your child to ensure that you thoroughly understand the situation from his/ her perspective. (Note to parents: Depending on age and maturity, your little Johnny might not always give an accurate assessment.) Next, ask questions of your child’s teacher for the full story.

“weird” post-discussion with the teacher, but that the teacher curbed her tone for the rest of the semester. ● If the situation is more serious, you need

to arm yourself with more information, i.e. are there school policies that govern this matter? Such fact finding can be accomplished by speaking with the school principal, the school board, or other authority.

● Above all, stay above board and do not ● Set up a meeting with the teacher with engage in personal attacks. This is a good the intent to find a middle ground (depend- time to remind your kids that in the “real ing on the situation, this can include your world” there are all kinds of people that they child). This is what Randy Green did, although will come across and that no matter how difshe first sent an email to the teacher with a ficult or challenging the relationship, you still cc to her daughter’s guidance counselor. “I have to plow through and work towards a viwanted everyone to understand that I didn’t able solution. appreciate the nasty way the teacher had spoken to my daughter and that the school year ● If all else fails, consider pulling your stuhad just begun. I wrote it all in a nice way but dent out of the situation, changing teachbasically asked why we can’t all just work it ers or changing schools. It all depends on out and how things may have started on the how bad “bad” is. wrong foot.” She says her daughter still felt Indeed, getting that “rotten apple” is all part of life’s journey. Dianne Sikel said her son’s situation with the teacher preferring the girls to the boys turned out to be a blessing in disguise. “It taught him early on that you have to deal with all kinds of personalities,” she says. “It’s a lesson that will serve him well.” ■

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.) 8


A Role Mommy Magazine l Back AT School 2011

Back to the Routine of School . . .

Back AT School

By Eric Ruhalter


f there’s one thing a Mom appreciates more than a Dad who helps out around the house on school day mornings. It’s a Dad who helps out around the house on school day mornings in a fashion that is actually helpful. The kids don’t make it easy. They know you haven’t had coffee yet and you’re vulnerable, you have to act as a flowchart, keeping them on task as they go from A to B to C to Bus Stop. Firstly, if they have 30 minutes to eat, wash up, dress, pack and go, a good first step is NOT to let them turn on Cartoon Network. When feeding them, simpler is better. French Toast- Bad! Cold Cereal–Good! The kids may not always want the same thing as one another or feel like eating what you’ve made. That is, as we say in the parenting business – “Tough Crap.” Kids wouldn’t mind wearing pajamas to school, I’m sure. It’s easier. But they have to put on school clothes. On that front it’s wise to outfit your kids with pajamas they’d be embarrassed to be seen in (i.e.: My Pretty Pony nightshirt for boys). And they should brush their teeth, wipe off the milk moustache and get their school bag packed. The homework that is due today? That should be in there, thus saving Dad (or more likely, let’s be honest, Mom) a trip to the school. Then they have to get shoes on and they’re out the (sep-TEM-buhl-ay-shun) n.: door. If you stay focused, you’ll be The utter glee that washes over some stay-atable to keep them focused and the home Moms at the end of summer when their whole thing will be a snap. Except kids return to school. when it’s not. ■

KidDictionary Word:


The (d.a.) D-LIST of

New, More Politically Correct Children’s Books

Eric Ruhalter


●C harlie and The Factory of Organically-Grown Well-Balanced Hypoallergenic Meals ● T hings That Go, Powered by Earth-Friendly Alternative Fuels © NWphotoguy

● T he Pokey Little Puppy Who Came From a Shelter, Not Some Inhumane Puppy Mill ●P at the Bunny in a Non-Threatening Manner and If and When He Consents to Being Touched ●O ne Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish or Any Other Color Fish for We Do Not Discriminate ● T he Cat in the Hat Comes Back After Being Properly Spayed ● T ales of a 4th Grade Nothing Who Got a Trophy Anyway So His Feelings Wouldn’t Be Hurt ● T he Giving Tree Who Complied With All Pertinent Federal Tax Laws ●H arry Potter and the Sacred Chalice of a Non-Denominational Secular Public Institution ●A lexander and the No High Fructose Corny Syrup, Bully-Free, Non-Smoking, Very Healthy Day

Eric Ruhalter studied economics at Dickinson College, in Carlisle PA, where he learned, first and foremost, that he’s not the least bit interested in the theories and principles of economics. So rather than study, he began spending most of his time writing. Don’t tell his father. He works in television in New York City, and resides in New Jersey with his wife, Kara, three children, and their two cats who will not stay off the dining room table no matter what Eric says or does to them. (Eric often speaks in the third person with hopes that it will make him seem more important.) projectyou



project you By Jennifer Wagner

“E’s” the Word “Electronics” are practically a teenager’s middle name. Here, a fall roundup of the hottest ones. Nintendo 3DS portable game player

If you did not buy your teen a Nintendo 3DS when it originally came out, you might consider buying one now. Nintendo already dropped the price down to $169.99 and is launching new games in November that are sure to thrill teens, such as Super Mario 3D Land and The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword. Nintendo also plans to add new features such as 3D video (in addition to a 3D camera).

Alura-Tek Bump Mobile Speakers

Amazon Kindle

Ebook readers are on their way to becoming essential tools, especially for students. And with the ease of sampling chapters and then buying books, your teen might actually become a more avid reader.

Sanyo Eneloop Mobile Booster

The charger will make sure your teen’s mobile devices stay charged so that they can always reach you in an emergency. The Eneloop is extremely small, yet has a lot of power.

Courtesy of vednors

Teens listen to music mostly from their mp3 players. This can make it difficult to listen together with a group of friends. The Bump Wireless Speaker is about the size of a small cup and can be used either with your computer or mp3 player. To use the speaker with your computer you just turn on the speaker and plug the Bump USB into your computer. To use the speaker with your MP3, you just turn on the speaker and then connect the Bump audio cable from your player to the speaker. The sound is fantastic.

Back AT School

Livescribe pen

Jennifer Wagner

Connect With Your Teens

The Livescribe smartpens are perfect for students. They record everything you hear and write so you don’t miss a thing. Since it captures audio, students don’t need to feel nervous that they are not getting everything down in their notes. The pen also allows you to transfer your notes to your computer where you can than do keyword searches to find what you need.

Noise canceling headphones

A pair of noise canceling headphones will benefit your teenager in two very important ways. It will cut out all distracting noise while your teens are trying to study. And more importantly, because these headphones work so well in reducing outside noise, the music can be played at a lower volume thereby helping to prevent hearing loss.

Jennifer Wagner has been working with Millennials for years, mostly as an academic law librarian teaching students legal research. Her blog, Connect with your Teens through Pop Culture and Technology, helps parents keep up with pop culture and technology as a way of bonding with their teenage children. projectyou



project you

Be Selfish

Go ahead….think of yourself for once. You deserve it. Plus­—Yippie!—Schools’ back in session. By Amy Oztan

Give yourself a little “me time” and feel refreshed by taking yourself out to lunch­.


think it goes without saying that I love my children, but as a work-at-home-mom, I have a hard time getting much done when they’re around. My kids are seven and ten and largely self-sufficient, but I’m also very easily distracted, so having the house to myself again come September is something I look forward to with only slightly less giddiness than my children have around December 23rd. There are things that I like to do for myself that are difficult to do with kids in tow. If I have to, I can work after they go to bed. But what I can’t do after they go to bed is go clothes shopping, or go to the spa, or go out to lunch with a friend.Here, some ideas of things to do that 1) don’t take all day and 2) leave you feeling refreshed:



A Role Mommy Magazine l Back AT School 2011

Amy Oztan

© RuslanDashinsky

Amy Oztan, founder of SelfishMom. com, is a full-time blogger and writer whose work has appeared in Redbook Magazine and online in,, and more. She also co-founded a weekly podcast covering blogging and technology topics at Originally from Buffalo, Amy now lives in a spooky brownstone in Brooklyn, NY, with her husband and two children.

● Get a manicure and a back massage. ● Walk to a far-away errand. It seems like One of my least favorite things in the world is whenever I walk anywhere I’m in a hurry— to sit there stiffly in a chair while my nails dry either I’m going fast to exercise, or I’m late, under the little fan thing, not able to use my or I’m just trying to get a lot done. If I have an phone or read. So now I always couple a mani- hour to spare and an errand about a mile away, cure with a twenty minute chair massage. I strap on headphones and stroll there. It only adds $20 (plus tip) to the ser● Catch up on TV. Usually when I vice, and makes me feel like I had a have the TV on, my attention isn’t mini-getaway, but the entire thing really on it. Either I’m on my comonly takes about an hour. puter, or other people are in the ● Take yourself out to lunch. room distracting me. But there are Sure, I eat lunch alone most days, some shows that really need to be but I’m at home, with work and watched, and I save those for when phones and doorbells and a pile of nobody’s around. Sometimes I even laundry and dishes staring at me. Takmake popcorn. ing an hour to go out to lunch lets me get ● Take a nap. Nothing makes for a crankier totally away. I bring a newspaper or a maga- mom than when you’re tired. An hour nap is zine, and try to go someplace that’s not full of usually just right for me – long enough that I moms with their kids. Because frankly, when feel refreshed, but not so long that I get into I’m not around mine I don’t want to be around a deep sleep and feel groggy for the rest of anybody else’s either. the day. ■

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Star-Struck My Mom Crush... I Sarah Jessica Parker

© Rex Features via AP Images

By Beth Feldman

Sarah Jessica Parker puts being a mom first.

out a video k c e h c to re e h k c Cli ssica Parker! featuring Sarah Je

don’t know about you, but while most people first fell in love with Sarah Jessica Parker when she took the fashion world by storm as Carrie in “Sex and the City,” I developed my girl crush many decades ago. From her roles in “Annie,” to “Square Pegs” to “Footloose” to “I Don’t Know How She Does It,” I have always been a lifelong fan of this ultimate Role Mommy who has proven you can do what you love and be a great mom too. “Who I am as a mother, as a wife is very similar to millions of women who work outside the home,” Parker revealed recently after taking time out of her breakneck schedule to appear as a guest speaker at Power of the Purse, an advertising event for women hosted by NBC Universal. Parker, who looked positively ethereal in a flowy autumn colored dress with fabulous shoes to match, participated in an intimate conversation in front of her adoring fans with Bravo executive vice president, Andy Cohen. Sharing a glimpse into her family life, Parker reacted to the findings of a new study about today’s busy moms that revealed that 77% of women would prefer their kids have good manners over good grades. When Cohen asked her personal preference, she smiled and confessed, “I would love for James to get A’s in civility, decency and good manners.” She continued, “I don’t think you can keep a child from coveting things. We just talk a lot about what it means to earn something. Because he’s growing up in a house one might call privileged, doesn’t mean that he’s entitled to it.” While Parker revealed that nine year old James still believes in Santa Claus and makes a list every year, he is quite aware of the fact that he needs to be “responsible and respectful” and credits her husband, actor Matthew Broderick with playing an important role in keeping her family grounded. What she loves loves most about her multi-talented husband is that he shares “real genuine love and romance with my family.” As everyone knows, behind every amazing mom is an incredibly supportive husband. Now I know how she does it! ■ projectyou



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“A” for Avon

The 125-year-old company remains committed to women


By Jeanne Muchnick

omen empowerment. Belief in your- - smart, savvy, professional women who are self. Surviving and thriving. That a far cry from the famous “ding dong” Avon was the message at The New York Ladies of years past. These women are pasStock Exchange September 15 when Andrea sionate, entrepreneurial, and fiercely loyal. Jung, the Chairman & CEO of Avon Products I met people yesterday—all moms who have rang the closing bell at The New York Stock been with the company 25 years, 14 years, 40 Exchange. And I have to say I couldn’t help years—even one women who has been sellgetting a little teary-eyed. Especially since ing Avon products for more than 60 years. Jim Clark, the grandson of Avon’s Founder No wonder they call it the company for David H. McConnell, was there, along women. And no wonder, after a few with numerous Avon representaminutes speaking with Haizel tives - everyday “RoleMommies” McIntyre, one of the reps, I was like you and me. Women who took seriously thinking of joining the on the job of selling Avon products sales force (you can make a deas a sideline to help support the cent salary!!!). I was also—truth be family. I was also impressed with told—eager to leave the festivities the number of women who followed and try the various lipsticks in my their moms into the business, establishgoodie bag—which I received as part of ing Avon as a generational company built on my attendance at this event (I’m officially “in a deep dedication to improving one’s status. love” with the superSHOCK liquid lip shine) September 15th was the company’s 125th and lotions (hello Skin So Soft body wash). year in business - and though it is widely suc- The piece d’resistance, however, is Anew cessful and global—and filled with male execs­ Genics, a new line ( just out) with patented —it is still, at its heart, a company built on the YouthGen ™ Technology that helps stimulate power of its female sales representative. (I was the Youth Gene to help women look up to ten most impressed by the fact that the company years younger. At only $38 a jar, how can you was founded in 1886, 34 years before women say no? earned the right to vote.) To locate an Avon rep near you, call Today, there are 6.5 million reps worldwide 1-800-FOR-AVON or visit ■

Jeanne Muchnick

Jeanne on NY Stock Exchange. 14


A Role Mommy Magazine l Back AT School 2011

Budget Beauty So what’s the best way to save on essentials without resorting to dollar-store cosmetics? Here are nine tips to keep both your beauty and your budget intact.


By Andrea Woroch

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9

Hair Products
Consider extending the life of your shampoo (and hair color) by using dry shampoo or baby powder in between washes. When using shampoo and conditioner, check out these great tips and best bargain buys from

©; ©;;

Hand Soap
Foam hand soap is all the rage these days, and one of the easier beauty products to DIY. Refer to’s recipe for specific instructions, but ultimately all you need is a lot of water, a bit of soap and a few drops of essential oil.

Makeup Brushes
In addition to extending the life on pricey makeup applicators, regularly cleaning your brushes is just the sanitary thing to do. And if you really need replacements, consider a tip given to me by a MAC Cosmetics artist; buy art brushes at craft stores for a fraction of the price! Foundation
Whether you’re a liquid, powder or mineral foundation girl, you can use less of this beauty staple by applying a base before application. The Magic Perfecting Base by L’Oreal is a favorite among top fashion magazines, and is available for less than $12 from Walmart and Target. Fragrance
Let’s be honest -- designer fragrances are among the most expensive beauty purchases, with $80 buying less than 6 ounces of product. If you can’t part with your signature Chanel scent, buy gift cards at a discounted rate for retailers selling your fragrance and enjoy immediate savings. Body Lotion
Moisturizing is a must for anyone who wants to avoid the shar peilook at 50, but lotion gets pricey when you see the words “illuminating,”“firming” or “age-defying” on the label. Unless you have a serious skin issue, consistent use of most drugstore moisturizers is sufficient. Hair Color
Prolong your color-treated hair between salon visits using household ingredients. Brunettes can use a strong pot of cooled coffee and blonds can use a lemon juice-water mixture. Apply the treatment after shampooing, let sit for 15 minutes, then rinse, condition and style as usual. Hair Accessories
Today’s trendy hair accessories can be homemade for a fraction of salon and department store prices. Channel your inner domestic goddess and create one-of-akind hair candy with beads, feathers and artificial flowers found in craft stores.

Less is More
There’s no need to wear your entire cosmetics collection every day of the week. Consider giving your wallet a break by opting for the basics during mellow workdays or lazy weekends. For tips on how to pull off the “au natural” look, refer to Real Simple’s step-by-step instructions.

Andrea Woroch is a nationally recognized consumerssavings expert, and is available for in-studio, satellite or skype interviews and to write guest posts or articles. projectyou



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Tuning In (or Out!)

How does your parenting stack up next to these TV moms? By Jeanne Muchnick


o matter how many carrots and sliced apples you pack in your kid’s lunch, or how many times you drive your tween to yet another soccer practice – during rush house and dinner time no less – you can’t help but worry that you’re somehow screwing them up by not doing everything “right.” Which is why, with the start of the Fall TV season, we decided to see what lessons we can gauge from some of television’s most beloved moms.

June Cleaver, Leave It To Beaver

Carol Brady, The Brady Bunch

Edith Bunker, All in the Family

Debra Barone, Everybody Loves Raymond

Claire Dunfey, Modern Family


Three out of five chocolate chip cookies. June was always there in her pearls, apron, and fancy dress, ready to soothe hurt feelings by gathering around the kitchen table. She was the epitome of “wait till your father gets home,” deferring all decisions to Ward. But at least she baked—and always served everything with a cold glass of milk.

Five out of five station wagons. Worth noting: she never referred to the boys as stepsons; instead she warmly embraced them as if they were her own (who cares if Marcia and Greg were involved on the side?)

Three out of five burnt toasts. Who cares if she never brushed her hair and wore the same housecoat day after day?

Three out of five lemon chickens. She’s emotional, moody, has a wimp for a husband, and an ultracontrolling lives-nextdoor mother-in-law. Enough to drive anyone to drink…or, in her case, nag.

Five out of five minivans (with lots of fender benders included). How can you not love Type A parent Claire? She’s read every parenting book there is and tries really hard to be a good mom/wife/ daughter/sister -- the wine helps.

Chances She Screwed Up Her Kids by Age 30

Let’s face it: June’s sons were in for a rude awakening. Not all women are like Mom, waiting patiently at home with their makeup done, their hair “just so,” and the pot roast in the oven.

No doubt it was classic middle child Jan who had to live in Marcia’s long blond shadow. We also think those tight jeans Greg wore had to have done some damage.

Pretty obvious considering the show began with Gloria as an adult who comes back home to roost, new husband in tow.

She didn’t, the mother-in-law did.

In keeping with the new millennium, we can assume the family went to group therapy together before she and Phil decided they needed it more than the kids.

What We Can Learn

Pull something frozen out of the freezer and tell your hubby and kids you’re off to Vegas with the girls. In other words, kill the pearls and skirts – Motherhood is much more comfortable with jeans, t-shirts, a cool Cosmo and some “alone” time.

It’s possible to be a great mother, stay involved in the world around you, nurture your marriage and still look good in polyester.

Don’t be a doormat, Dingbat!

If your mother-in-law thinks she can clean your house better than you, let her. But honestly, with a meddlesome family that close, you’re better off moving far far away. We hear Antarctica is a great place.

Showing your kids you’re fallible and make mistakes is the best lesson there is. After all, monkey see, monkey do.



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High Five

courtesy of Lifetime Television


Why every woman should have a circle of friends. By Beth Feldman

recently attended the premiere of the much anticipated Lifetime Movie, “Five” - a series of powerful films about women battling breast cancer at various stages of their lives. The films, which debuted during Breast Cancer Awareness month on Lifetime TV are directed by Jennifer Aniston, Demi Moore, Alicia Keys, Patty Jenkins and Penelope Spheeris and feature incredible cast including Jeanne Tripplehorn, Patricia Clarkson, Kathy Najimy, Rosario Dawson and Tracee Ross. What struck me most about the films was how they were able to brilliantly inject humor into each of the stories while sharing how a breast cancer diagnosis profoundly affects relationships between men and women - bringing them closer together or tearing them completely apart. What makes it even more incredible was that some of the most talented women in Hollywood played an integral part in making “Five” the success that I’m sure it will be with viewers. After the screening had ended and we had wiped our tears away, we made our way to the after party where we literally star-gazed - Pa-

tricia Clarkson and Kathy Najimy were about 10 feet away from us and over in the VIP room, we spotted Jennifer Aniston, Alicia Keys and Demi Moore and yes, they are all as gorgeous in real life as they are on TV and film. I also had the incredibly good fortune of meeting Judy, a woman whose daughter had also appeared in one of the films but couldn’t attend because she lives on the west coast. Judy and I instantly struck up a conversation and she shared that her daughter and Jen were good friends. While I didn’t make the connection at first, I soon realized she was talking about Jennifer Aniston! It turns out that Jen grew up with Judy’s daughter and she shared that while their lives have gone in different directions, they still have a strong bond between them. She also shared that her daughter, who is now a mom, spearheads “women’s circles,” where friends get to share experiences with one another in an incredibly supportive environment. Her daughter even has a teepee in her backyard where women get together on a regular basis to connect. projectyou



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There is something to be said about having a strong circle of female friends. Whether it’s the childhood friend you’ve known for decades, or the supportive woman who comes into your life during a painful experience, I feel blessed to have found a group of friends who have been a part of my life for decades. No matter how insane my schedule, I know that I can always rely upon a circle of girlfriends who I can reach out to via email, phone or even on my 8:48 commuter train. My circle is always on hand to swap stories, comfort one another when one of us is down in the dumps, offer much needed 18


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parenting or relationship advice and cheer one another on when we’re attempting to tackle a task that seems insurmountable. So whether you’re a celebrity in a teepee, a mom on the carpool lane or someone like me, who rides the 8:48 Metro North train with my “circle,” it’s so important to have supportive women in your life who are always there for you in good times and in bad. In fact, I’ve got the best idea for you to connect with your circle this month - get the tissues handy and call them over to your house so you can watch “Five” together. ■

courtesy of Lifetime Television

Jeanne Tripplehorn stars in “Five,” a powerful collection of short films about breast cancer airing this October on Lifetime Television.

project you

Wanderlust Better Late Than Never I

don’t know about you, but in between the laundry, the carpooling and the many hours I spend in front of my computer working, I’m also secretly thinking about how to fit in a family vacation. Not just any trip mind you, but a “fantasy” one – with cheap flights – so I can take my entire family on a Mediterranean cruise or on a cross country trip to the Grand Canyon. Inevitably, I always find myself a day late and several dollars short. Here’s the good news: All this late booking has taught me that a travel procrastinator like myself can still dream big – and go where you want -- as long as you know how to navigate deals. You also have to be willing to compromise (that means all of you) and be flexbile on days you plan to fly (Mondays and Tuesdays are better than Fridays and Saturdays, for example.)

courtesy of Jake’s Resort

Want to plan a trip for your family but have no time? No worries. There are lots of options for travel procrastinors…. trust me…I’m one of them! By Beth Feldman




project you go see the Eiffel Tower or the Coliseum in 80 degree heat. Beat the crowds, save some cash, and try out these options below to snag a travel deal that could have you thinking of a whole new scenario where your (day) dreams do come true. ● Travel Zoo ( offers affordable options to Paris and London this holiday season. Sure it might be chilly - but layer up and explore the history, the food, the beauty and romance. ● SniqueAway ( offers daily deals on places you can “Snique Away” to at the last minute. Sign up for their newsletter and get ready to be tantalized by their daily deals. ● Call your travel agent - Nightline recently featured a segment dedicated to travel agents and guess what? It turns out that even if you think you’re saving a boat load on an online deal, when you work with a travel agent, you have the security of knowing that if something goes wrong on your trip (like when your flight is cancelled due to a hurricane), they can re-book you on a new flight while you’re enjoying a margarita at the swim up bar. I like ProTravel Inc. (www.ProTravelInc. com). ■

Treasure Beach/Beth Feldman

And so, while many people I know zigged their way to New England this summer—which happened to be hit hard by Hurricane Irene— we zagged our way to Jamaica in August. Now I’m sure you’re thinking—Jamaica in August? Are you insane? Isn’t it as hot as the equator during that time of year? And what about all those bugs? Well, I’m here to tell you, despite the humidity (I have that at home anyway), if you stay near the water or explore the mountains, you’ll find the nights are chilly enough for a sweater. As for bugs, it’s again something we deal with at home: Bring bug spray. We stayed at Jake’s Resort( in Treasure Beach on the southern side of Jamaica and within a matter of five days, we snorkeled, swung from tree vines at YS Falls, explored the farmland, found the coolest conch shells, and tasted some of the best local food and fruit we’ve ever eaten in our lives. The prices were reasonable—it’s the off-season after all—which means you can snag a gorgeous four bedroom home complete with a pool, veranda, barbecue, access to the beach and a staff for $500 per night—nearly 50% off the normal price. So, my fellow procrastinating comrades, why not consider Europe this winter? Sure it might be chilly, but it’s not like you need to



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Fall Travel is All About Foliage, Fun and Fear A A guide to the celebrating the season! By Cindy Richards

utumn has arrived and you still haven’t made a plan for a fall family vacation? Not to worry. Fall is the perfect time for procrastinators. After all, the thing we want to do most in the fall—seeing the brilliant fall colors and picking apples at the peak of flavor—aren’t things one can plan. They depend on fickle fall weather, so it’s actually best to wait until October to decide whether to take that long drive into the country this weekend or next.


Autumn is a great time for family trips.

Fall Foliage


A pilgrimage to catch the seasonal wonders of fall colors at their peak is best left to a last minute decision. A fall that is too warm or too wet could result in a well-planned vacation that misses the color altogether. The only way to know for sure it to wait and make a lastminute decision to go. In general, though, the season starts in northern states in mid to late September and continues rolling south until it peaks in Kentucky in late October or early November. A trip to enjoy fall foliage can require nothing more than a leisurely drive into the country, or a family vacation to a breathtaking venue such as Yosemite National Park, the mountains outside Salt Lake City, Utah, or South Dakota’s Mount Rushmore National Memorial. Head to Mount Rushmore in late September to catch the Custer State Park Buffalo Roundup and Arts Festival. It’s a throwback to the Old West when cowboys, cowgirls and park staff round up nearly 1,500 free-roaming bison.

boring, look for a farm that really celebrates autumn. A lot of the farms offer fall festivals that include kid-pleasing hay rides, spooky corn mazes and maybe a fright house. Cherry Crest Adventure Farms in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, changes its 5-acre corn maze design every year. If you manage to find your way out quickly during the day, try it again by flashlight at night for a spookier challenge.

Get Frightened (at least a little)

Amusement parks from Disney World to Great America dress themselves up for Halloween. Some go for a not-so-scary kid-friendly celebration while others aim directly at those bold teenagers who think the scarier it is, the better it is. Fall Harvest But the mecca for all things Halloween (and Apple picking and pumpkin patches are as at least a little scary) is none other than Salem, American as, well, the pies you make with ap- Massachusetts. If you go at Halloween, expect a ples and pumpkins. Farms across the country huge crowd, including many visitors who take the offer you-pick specials, tours, and nutrition whole fright thing quite seriously. There’s plenty lessons on how these fruits are grown, har- to do in Salem, but the crowds at Halloween can vested and prepared. mean long lines that make it tough to see everyYou-pick farms are a great way to kids to get thing in a day. close to nature and let them learn about the Don’t like crowds? Procrastinate a little more! origins of the food they eat. If that seems too Salem turns into a ghost town after Halloween. ■

Cindy Richards is a veteran travel writer and the editor of TravelingMom. com. projectyou



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Weight Loss Wonder

Getting motivation through Mama-vation. By Beth Feldman



ere at Project You, we always love cheering on moms who have transformed their lives. Amy Lupold Bair recently lost 25 pounds through a big heaping dose of Mamavation. Here’s what she had to say:

What finally made you decide to make a change in your life and truly work at losing weight?

It was a few weeks until the Type-A Parent blogging conference and I realized that I just did not want to attend one more conference feeling so overweight and unhealthy. I could already see the pictures of me tagged on Facebook, tweeted out by attendees. It was just time.

Do you remember that first week? How hard was it?

Amy Lupold Bair, blogger, social media marketer, and mom, is the founder of Resourceful Mommy Media. The Global Influence Network has grown to include nearly 1500 social media savvy bloggers. A former English teacher and a writer at heart, Amy continues to blog on her personal site, You can hear more of what Amy has to say at where Amy is a Parenting Channel leader. If you would like just a small dose of Amy, she is always available in 140 characters or less at @ResourcefulMom on Twitter. 22


The first week actually wasn’t the hard week, surprisingly. I had one week where I really only gave a partial effort. I think a part of me still thought I could think myself thin. But then the first week that I really dove in and tried, the weight fell away quickly. What was frustrating was the second week when my body screamed, “WAIT! What’s happening!” and held on to the weight. I wrote about it here.

Did the weight come off easily? What did you do?

It came off easily at first, but then it slowed down. I immediately joined the Mamavation community of women, and their support has been key in my success. I started by working out with the Wii and changing the way I eat based on the information at (recommended by the Mamavation Sistas). I followed the nutritional recommendations and calorie goals and the weight fell away. I also began drinking about 100 ounces of water a day. At one point when I began running regularly to train for my first 5K, I went several weeks with no weight loss

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at all. That was incredibly frustrating, but at the same time I could see changes in my body. Suddenly I liked my shoulders and had these strange things on my face…cheekbones! I realized that my body was converting fat to muscle as I ran, and that was far better than numbers on a scale.

What foods do you miss most? Do you deprive yourself or just eat less?

I don’t deprive myself at all because everything is fine in moderation. For awhile I missed convenience foods, which I avoided simply because it made more sense to be able to eat a larger quantity of healthy foods and feel more full. But now I find that my old favorites actually make me feel ill. I love healthier foods!

How long did it take you to lost the weight?

I lost 25 pounds in four months, but I anticipate the last 10 or 15 pounds to require much more time and effort.

What’s next on your to do list?

I’d love to run more 5K’s, tackle a larger race like a half marathon, and eventually do sprint triathlons. And I’d love to get down 15 more pounds and weigh even less than I did in high school! ■

Makeover Madness


My very organized journey.... By Lorraine Brock

I grew up loving organizing my closet.

courtesy of lorraine brock


hen I was a little girl my mom often gave family friends a tour of my bedroom. My bedroom was the most organized and clean space in our home and I was the teenager. I remember clearly one year that I had requested my birthday gift to be a room makeover. Thinking the first step was painting the walls, I was told the paint color I chose was off limits. So instead I chose to paint the inside of my reach-in closet; a small space but neverthe-less it gave me the freedom to use color. My decorating skills were good, but what my parents and others saw in me were my incred-

ible organizing skills. I could organize and put together anything. I would plan and organize back to school parties, organize small spaces to hold lots of items, and early on I even started budgeting with my humble allowance. Then one day I decided I wanted to get a job. I walked from my childhood home in Garland, Texas to the main street near my home where many fast food restaurants were located. I walked into my first interview at Long John Silver’s™ without knowing how to prepare or even telling my parents what I was doing. While I did not land that job, I did at the very next interview at Bonanza projectyou



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Steakhouse®. might be because of your habits and lifestyle. While walking was my main source of trans- As parents you play a major role in influencing portation, I decided I would learn how to use your children to acquire these skills and habthe local Dart transit system. I began taking the its. Often parents decide that it is easier to do bus to friends that lived across town and to the things themselves than to teach their children mall and at times I even hired a taxi to get me how to manage responsibilities. Remember where I needed to be…all using my own money that handling responsibilities well as children and my own know how. helps them become responsible adults. I had a very healthy home life and my parents As a busy mom, I need all the help I can gave me a large amount of responsibility around get keeping my home picked up, clean and the home even while I worked part-time, organized, and I want to raise my boys attended school, and had extracurricto be young men of honor, courage ular activities. My responsibilities and yes, to be organized. Given the included all the household laundry, opportunity, they will figure out ironing, unloading the dishwasher, with time and practice how to balgardening, and mowing our entire, ance the responsibilities with havextremely large, yard. ing fun. Set clear expectations, give Now that I am all grown up, I can them the right tools, avoid giving look back and see how accepting responinto their complaints, and be upfront sibilities and my upbringing has placed me in a with the consequences of not accomplishing career as a Professional Organizer. I can see the their tasks. traits starting at a young age that I mirrored Take it from me, whether your child is orgafrom watching my father. He was, and still is, nizing a lemonade stand, a party, or their room, very organized. Dad always worked from a cal- organizing is an important skill that will follow endar and planned ahead for everything. Even your child into college, their first apartment, a to this day my dad starts thinking of what to future home, and their workplace. Instilling purchase as a baby gift for his great grandchild this skill in your child will be a great way your at just the announcement of the pregnancy. child can stand out amongst their peers and So why are your kids organized….. or not? It create a successful future. ■

Lorraine Brock is a professional organizer, family coach, speaker, and president and founder of “Get Organized!” “Get Organized!” is a professional organizing company in the Dallas, Texas area. “Get Organized!” specializes in organizing and decluttering homes for moms as well as implementing systems in the home for better family management. 24


Start your kids young at cleaning their rooms.

A Role Mommy Magazine l Back AT School 2011

© Imgorthand

Lorraine Brock

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7 Steps to a

© Yuri_Arcurs

Happy Marriage It can be as simple as talking less (read; no nagging) and drinking less (no comment). By Jenna McCarthy


have a remarkably happy marriage, and people ask me all the time how I got so lucky. I used to wonder if it had something to do with pheromones or having relatively low expectations, but after eleven years of wedded bliss I am pretty sure the key is some combination of kindness, respect and my ability to read a road map upside down divided by my husband’s skill at tun-

ing out my nagging. Okay, fine. We got lucky. Busloads of studies have attempted to figure out why roughly every other marriage fails miserably. Turns out, the success stories share a few similarities beyond the obvious stuff like “they don’t have sex with other people.” Here, then, are seven scientifically proven* steps to marital ecstasy. projectyou



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Be thinner and better looking than your hair than his precious need for non-recirculathusband. I have no idea why this works ed air? If anyone bothered to study this, I’m to create nuptial delight but I’m guessing it’s confident the results would back me up. because if you’re fat and ugly you probably So there you have it. I do not suggest trying never want to have sex, which makes him to master all seven steps at once. For grumpy and mean because sex was the instance, if you stop doing houseone and only reason he got married work altogether (to try to tilt his in the first place. (Well, that and pie. portion of the ratio toward more), Think about it: Most guys will nev- you’ll have a lot of extra time on er bake a pie in their lifetimes and your hands which you may want to from what I’ve seen, they really like spend drinking alcohol. Remember, pie.) Of course, I don’t know many there’s no rush here. Till death do us women who are dying to have sex with part is a really long time.** fat, ugly men, so this one remains a bit of *I may have bastardized the language a bit in a mystery. some cases but the facts are mostly accurate. Make sure he does more chores than you **I stole that line from If It Was Easy They’d do (well, duh) and try to talk less than he Call the Whole Damn Thing a Honeymoon: does. I have to admit, if you asked my husband Living with and Loving the TV-Addicted, Sexthe top three things I could do to make him Obsessed, Not-So-Handy Man You Married, happier, “shut the hell up for five lousy min- which I wrote (and please note that it says the utes” would probably be on the list. (But not at blah-blah-blah man you married, not the one I the tippy-top. Ahem.) married. My husband likes it when I point that Don’t watch a lot of chick flicks. Seems that out). You can find out more about me, my books after sitting through Gnomio and Juliet and how I survived tanorexia on my website. ■ (or any other rom-com) relationship dissatisfaction tends to skyrocket. Apparently this is because maybe it could happen to you but you realize that it hasn’t and it probably won’t and that fat bastard never sprinkled rose petals on your bed, dammit. At least you’re thinner and better looking than he is. Don’t win a best-actress Oscar. I included this one because unlike getting hotter or having your jaw wired shut, it’s actually pretty painless and doable. Personally, I am going to make this a priority in my marriage. Limit your booze consumption (both of you). No comment. Become or urge your partner to become a farmer, nuclear engineer or optometrist. Evidently every career choice has its own unique divorce-risk profile, with these three being on the lowest end. Dancers and choreographers are pretty much screwed. You can’t make this stuff up. Prefer having the car windows down. I haven’t technically seen a study on this, but do you not fight about this every single time you ride in a vehicle together? And doesn’t he get all pissed when you want them up and ac- To purchase a copy of Jenna’s book, visit cuse you of being more concerned about your Amazon or your local bookstore today!

Jenna McCarthy

Click here to see Jenna’s hilarious book trailer!

2 3

4 Jenna McCarthy is the author of numerous books including If It Was Easy They’d Call the Whole Damn Thing a Honeymoon: Living With and Loving the TV-Addicted, SexObsessed, Not-So-Handy Man You Married, The Parent Trip: From High Heels and Parties to Highchairs and Potties and Cheers to the New Mom/Cheers to the New Dad. 26


5 6 7

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Is It All Over for My Favorite Name? Baby Name Wizard’s “Name Lady” Answers Reader’s Questions


By Jennie Baird and Laura Wattenberg

I love the name Harper and had planned to use it for our baby girl, but it seems to be really popular now. Should I move on and find something else or just go with it and not worry about the rising popularity? —Ashley

© scibak


There’s no question that Harper is a Gone With the Wind. Do you recognize the name name of the moment. In just a few years I’m describing? Yep, it’s your name, Ashley. it has risen from obscurity to #119 on the You know as well as anyone what it’s like to Social Security Administration’s list of most pop- have a trendy name. Did you feel that having a ular baby names. fashionable, well-liked name was an advantage What’s behind this sudden popularity? Harper in your life? Or did you think that you blended appeals to parents on a lot of different levels. It’s too easily into the crowd? Were you constantly a trade surname (like Cooper and Sawyer), a style referred to as Ashley B. in school? that neatly straddles the preppy and the earthy. I’m guessing that you didn’t like having such a It has both literary heritage and Southern flair popular name, since you’re trying to avoid choosthanks to America’s most famous Harper, Harper ing one for your daughter. If choosing a distincLee, the author of the beloved book-turnedtive, unusual name is important to you, then it’s movie To Kill a Mockingbird. The model probably time to move on from Harper. of Lee (a woman) also wins over a lot Do you have a But if you love the name Harper for its of parents who don’t usually like anquestion for the many other merits, you might want to drogynous names for girls. consider a key way that Harper is difName Lady? So yes, Harper is hitting the fashferent from Ashley: time. Send it to ask@ ion bull’s eye these days. And with Popular names today just aren’t what celebrities like Victoria and David they used to be. There aren’t any AshleyBeckham, Neil Patrick Harris, Dave sized name crazes any more -- let alone the Grohl and Tiffani-Amber Theissen choosJennifers and Marys of past generations. Ashing Harper for their daughters over the past two ley, at its peak, was two-and-a-half times as popuyears, it’s likely that Harper will continue to rise. lar as the current #1 name Isabella is today...and But yet...Harper reminds me of another name a whopping 22 times as popular as Harper is. So that enjoyed a meteoric rise a generation ago. while it’s possible that your daughter would end up That name was also a surname-turned-boys- a “Harper B.,” it’s also likely that her name will be name-turned-girls name. And that name also had well-liked enough to have all the benefits of Asha literary heritage, via another hugely popular ley, without the downsides of a true mega-hit name. book-turned-movie about the American South -- And besides, you love it, right? ■

Jennie Baird and Laura Wattenberg are the creators of NameCandy. com and BabyName NameCandy lets you “indulge your taste in names” with celebrity name news, the Ask the Name Lady advice column and more, while is the authoritative source for tools and analysis to help you find the perfect name. projectyou



project you By Elizabeth Mascali and Dawn Sandomeno

Halloween Decorating and Party Ideas on a Budget

Looking for an easy and inexpensive plan to prepare for Halloween? We put together an easy “how-to” guide for decorating for Halloween and hosting a pre/post trick or treating party without blowing your budget – simply “boo”tiful! With a one-stop shopping trip to Kmart we decorated the inside and outside of our homes for Halloween in a snap. And, once you’ve decorated for Halloween, you might as well invite some friends, families and/ or neighbors over for a party either before or after the trick or treating, right? Here are a few of our tricks for treating your family and/or guests to a spooktacular Halloween.


When decorating for Halloween, focus your efforts on creating a look for your high-impact areas, such as your front walkway and door, your mantle, front entry, and, of course, your table!

Mantle We started with a black lace runner* (same spider web pattern as tablecloth). This time we used a burnt orange runner underneath for contrast. The backdrop of our look is a giant spider web* (a true bargain at $2.99), which we filled with plastic spider rings*. We switched out plain pillar candles on the candlesticks for haunted house themed LED candles* and positioned them on either end of the mantle, leaving room for our ghostly guests of honor. Front and center on the mantle are these freaky picture frames* whose pictures change when you move around the room, and they really get scary as they become possessed and begin speaking with glaring red eyes. *We purchased all these items on our one-stop shopping trip to Kmart. For our complete shopping list, including prices, and “the full spook” on more Halloween decorating ideas, go> 28


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Courtesy of Party BluPrints

Tablescape We started with a black lace spider web tablecloth* - to really make the pattern in the tablecloth pop, we laid it over a plain white table pad (this also protects the table!) To anchor the table, we used a spider cake stand* topped with an orange paper tissue pom which we accented with two different sizes of toys spiders* (each has an orange or purple stripe). Then, we used everyday white dinner dishes and fun orange and purple LED pumpkins*. Finally, it was time to bring in the treats. We collected a variety of glass jars/containers and filled them with various types of orange candy*. If you look carefully, you’ll notice an uninvited guest* trying to get in on the party (he’s a cheap guest at $1.99).


So now that we shared with you some of our tricks for decorating, it’s time for the treats! We had fun creating festive treats that scream Halloween without being candy. Here are two simple recipes that will make your guests say, “where did you buy these” – they don’t have to know how easy and inexpensive they were to whip up!


Ghoulish Ghost Jello Ingredients 4 boxes orange jello, Whipped cream, Mini chocolate chips Instructions Prepare jello according to package instructions. Pour into clear disposable cups, cover and refrigerate. When ready to serve, pipe a ghost on the top of each cup and use the mini chocolate chips to decorate the face. Note: if not using whipped cream from a can, fill a plastic sandwich bag 1/2 full with whipped cream, snip end of bottom corner off bag, the wider you cut it the larger the diameter of the piping. Starting at the base pipe the cream in a spiral with the base being the widest with each layer getting smaller until you end up with a peak. (Makes 12)

Bone-Sticks Ingredients 1 can refrigerated breadsticks (usually contains 12), Olive oil, Coarse sea salt Instructions Preheat oven to 375. Grease to baking sheets. Remove breadsticks from can, unroll and allow to warm to room temperature, six on each sheet. Gently stretch each breadstick to make it longer and skinnier. Using a knife, make a 1-inch cut into each end of breadstick and separate so it looks like a fishes tail. Then, roll each piece to the outside and back to the breadstick in a spiral. Repeat with other side and then other end. Once you have repeated this process with each breadstick, brush or spray each with olive oil and sprinkle on coarse sea salt. Bake for 8-10 until golden brown on the bottom. Remove from baking sheets, arrange on platter and serve. (Makes 12) ■

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





✽ Connect with Your Teens Through Pop Culture and Technology Connect with your Teens through Pop Culture and Technology helps parents keep up-to-date with pop culture and technology as a way of bonding with their teens, tweens or young adults. ✽ The Partybluprints Blog is a Real Girls’ resource for entertaining in style. Its mission is to bring you the latest news, hottest trends and most importantly, tips and ideas for entertaining in your home. Its mantra is “simple and special” – the rule for each and every post. ✽ is a survival guide for moms who travel. brings real life travel stories, tips and advice aimed at helping moms who travel achieve positive and smooth experiences whether they are adventuring with their families, staying at home, or traveling solo. ✽ Tammy blogs at Three Different Directions. She and her family are really just a bunch of geeks, spending most of their time in front of their pcs playing WoW, blogging and just spending time together learning more about technology and themselves as they go along. She recently launched an entertainment blog, Play That Now, where she talks about DVDs, Video Games, Music and Gadgets. ✽ Freebie Spot is a place to get a little something for nothing. Find all the great deals on the web including freebies, coupons, and more all in one spot. You can also find some great giveaway and product reviews as well as personal posts about my crazy kids. ✽ Motherhood Moment is a blog created by Bekah, who she shares tips on everything from saving money and time to meal ideas and free time activities. She is a

work-at-home mother of 1-and 3-year-old daughters. ✽ Biz Mommy provides inspiration, educational resources, mentorship and support for women and moms who want to start their own home-based businesses. My goal is to serve as a motivating catalyst for women to make the move from self-doubt and procrastination to fearlessly creating a successful blog and online business that they love. ✽ The 24/7 Mom Heather is a 30-something year old SAHM to 4 crazy kiddos (11, 6, 3, 1). We live in Iowa with our 5 budgies and 2 lovebirds. When I’m not blogging, you’ll find me out at the soccer fields watching of the many practices or games we go to, reading, or digital scrapbooking! ✽ MamaBuzz Mel is a work at home, home schooling mama and wife with 2 rambunctious boys who keep her days filled with lots of hugs, giggles, and a ton of mud & grass stains. She loves to write and loves everything having to do with home decor, the great outdoors, etc. She writes 2 blogs....MamaBuzz and Real Heart Prints. ✽ Rural Mom is about empowering moms with the right information and tools to enjoy country life to the fullest! On RuralMom. com, you will find exciting article on women’s topics, reviews, green living, freebies, and a whole lotta frugal... from the desk of Barb Webb, author, eco-farmer, and mom of three. ✽ The Mom Jen is a former elementary school teacher who writes for The Mom Reviews, an online product review and giveaway site. She and her family love traveling around their home state of California reviewing hotels, restaurants, and family activities, parks and events.

Check out all the incredible partners who will be distributing Project You on their blogs and contributing to our magazine this year! Check out www.ProjectYouMagazine. com as more of our partners are featured! ✽ Go Graham Go is a savvy parenting blog featuring products, tips, and fun ideas for parents. Come find the best bang for your buck and collaborate with other parents! ✽ The Mom Trap is a blog dedicated to capturing the moments of motherhood, from the toddler years to the college years and beyond. ✽ Mommy PR is a group of 5 women who have varied backgrounds in marketing, sales and management. specializes in Online Marketing, Social Media, Product Reviews & Giveaways. ✽ Sarah Peppel is a freelance writer, columnist, mom blogger (Genesis Moments & DIY Frugal), communications professor, speaker, actress and plain ole’ mom to her two growing teen girls. She is also president of womens ministries in her presbytery and president of the neighbor homeowner’s association. ✽ Momma Young at Home is a blog dedicated to family life, crafts, recipes, reviews, giveaways and more! ✽ Simply Being Mommy is a parenting blog written by Crystal Reagan, wife to one amazing man and mommy to three adorable children. She enjoys the finer things in life and is on a mission to find the most extraordinary products for you and your family. ✽ Dumb Mom is the brainiac behind the slightly-less-popular-than-it-rightfullyshould humor and parenting blog, Parenting BY Dummies. She dicusses childhood, parenthood, and all the hoods in between as she partners with Dumb Dad in raising three sometimes-evil-but-shamefully-handsome boy geniuses.

To become a Project You Partner, please email us at



✽ My name is Kimberly and at Pretty Pink Momma I enjoy sharing chic mom must haves and fab family finds. Product reviews and giveaways are offered weekly. I also blog about my three boys and my journey to become a healthier, happier me. ✽ At Just Precious, Julie Meyers Pron blogs about parenting and education from the perspective of the parent, the teacher and the PTO director. Readers love Just Precious for Julie’s positive spin and encouragement, her realistic look at all parts of education, and her entertaining parenting stories. The Ask the Teacher series allows parents to ask anything and receive frank, honest opinions on educational and parenting issues. ✽ Susan M. Heim, a parenting author and Chicken Soup for the Soul editor, shares her personal and professional thoughts and experiences on raising children in today’s world. Family-friendly product reviews and giveaways are often featured. ✽ Woman Tribune is a daily-updated webspace for women that explores and discusses our Woman Wide World. It was founded with the mindset that no one has just one interest or one topic they like to read about and we strive to have a little something for everyone, regardless of their location or lifestyle. ✽ Cristie Ritz King is a writer, wife and mom of three and performs these roles daily, in no particular order. She blogs about her kids, pop-culture and all things music and television related at The Traveling Circus and as a founder of Jersey Moms Blog. On her business site, The Right Hand Mom Cristie handles her role as Baby Planner and Parent Educator much more seriously-although never too seriously.

✽ Confessions of an Overworked Mom is the place for busy moms to learn about eco-friendly, time saving, gourmet products. ✽ Shari Simpson is the editor of NJ Mommy Poppins and blogs at “Earth Mother just means I’m dusty”, where she expounds on mom-fabulosity, kissing pugs on the mouth. and bearing children in the nick of time before menopause set in. ✽ is the online home of baby name experts Jennie Baird and Laura Wattenberg. Baby Name Wizard’s addictive tools including NameVoyager, NameMapper and Name MatchMaker, are a fun way for parents andparents-to-be to explore a new world of naming choices. was named one of TIME’s 50 Best Web Sites and one of the American Library Association’s 30 Best Free Reference Sources on the Web.

Check out all the incredible partners who will be distributing Project You on their blogs and contributing to our magazine this year! Check out www.ProjectYouMagazine. com as more of our partners are featured! ✽ All Kids Are Celebs is a new website that features the child in your life. All Kids Are Celebs is a place for you to talk about the accomplishments and the funny things the child in your life says and does. All children are celebrities in their own right. You no longer have to be born into the right family or be related to a famous person to be a celebrity. All Kids Are Celebrities is a website that stars your child. You write the story, submit it (with or without a photo) and we’ll post it for everyone to see ✽ Cinnamon Hollow Reviews is owned by a stay at home mom of 4 who is always on the lookout for product and services to help keep the household running smoothly. Our mission is to bring products to families that help make their life a little bit easier and a lot more fun.

✽ Obviously MARvelous is a site that combines the life and adventures of Mar, a funny, tattooed, outspoken wife and SAHM of 3 with awesome product reviews and giveaways!

✽ Joey Fortman, a Philadelphia radio & tv host is the founder of Real Mom Media. Her site Real Mom in the Media is all about her life as a mom while working in media. You’ll find everything from TV segments to tantrums. Joey is also co-founder of Moms On The Spot (www.MomsOnTheSpot. com - a video segment show) where she hits the streets with her partner Tara Bucci ( to find out what moms really think about products, places and events. Safetly helmets included.

✽ Visit Los Angeles Mamma Blog for money saving tips, product reviews, and musings on all things baby and toddler related.

✽ Linda Grant is the founder and editor of where she writes about her adventures raising her adopted daughter in downtown New york City.

✽ Have U Heard is a family friendly website that provides the latest in celebrity, entertainment news website. Have U Heard is the go to place for the latest in pop culture news, television previews and recaps.

✽ is a review and personal blog about navigating parenting in NYC with an active public school attending child, who also serves as an assistant blogger!

✽ Skimbaco Lifestyle by lifestyle expert Katja Presnal, offers inspiration to live life to the fullest from latest trends to healthy living. Skimbaco means enjoying life in the moment, it is your modern carpe diem.

To become a Project You Partner, please email us at

project you

Mama Drama

How can you volunteer when one class mom is a control freak? By Danielle Feigenbaum

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. 32


A Role Mommy Magazine l Back AT School 2011

© hidesy


e all have “mama drama,” unless of And I’m trying to keep up. Can’t I at least get course you’re the mama causing the some credit for that? Not in my town….one time drama. You know the type -- the wom- I brought in cupcakes and ripped off the price en who walk around like they rule the school, the tag (accidentally ripping off the ingredients as carpool lane and the PTA – and make you feel like well). You would have thought I handed my you’re back in grade school yourself. mama drama a bomb. hey were handed right I have been very active at my kid’s nursery back to me with a “we can’t serve these withschool and am even the President of the PTA out knowing what’s in them and if nuts came this year. However, when my daughter got to in contact with them!” Whoops. I swear I read elementary school, I found it very difficult the ingredients before I bought them but to get involved. There were groups of Ms. Drama wouldn’t believe me. moms who had been at the school for I think it is easy to get discouryears (with their older kids), and they aged and just give up. But stay the seemed to have a monopoly on everycourse, my fellow mom comrades in thing. Nor did they seem super welarms. There ARE nice, welcoming coming to new suggestions. Nobody moms out there. In fact, I’m making told me cliques don’t end when you it my mission this year to forget all the grow up! mama drama situations of the past and You’d think everyone would be happy to have help out at my kid’s schools, whether they want more volunteers and extra help, but I didn’t find me to or not. that to be the case. It started early in the school Here, some tips from this mom warrior on how year, when we received a supply list for a class to make the journey less dramatic: holiday party. It said to e-mail the head class ● Take the high road. Keep trying to volunteer, parent (who couldn’t remember my name after even if they are trying to keep you out. Eventumeeting me five-plus times), to let her know ally they should cave. what we were bringing. I immediately went out ● Meditate. Yoga can do wonders for your stress and bought 50 colorful spoons for the party and level and make you feel better about yourself at less than 24 hours later, e-mailed the head class the same time. parent -- as instructed – only to be stonewalled ● Kill em with kindness. How about inviting with the response: “We are already set with ev- one of “those moms” for a cup of coffee? What’s erything on the list.” Really?! Did I somehow the worse that can happen? Even if they say no, enter The Twilight Zone? at least you tried! Or how about all the crazy food issues? I’m ● If all else fails; wear ear plugs. When they fortunate my kids don’t have food allergies so I are speaking to you, just smile and nod. It will admit I’m not as hyper aware about all the food come in handy when your kids start to get whinrestrictions. But I am as diligent as I can be. ey too! ■


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project you

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By Jeanne M

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ease. uchnick ou’d have to liv e in a cave to not know that And though October is Bre we at Project ast Cancer A You are all fo cancer risks, wareness Mo r thinking pin the truth is, m nth. k and being aw ore women d so, since we are of your b like to think ie of cardiova re ast of ourselves sc u la r “zigs,” we im d isease than ca as the magaz plore you to ncer. And in e th “g at o “z re ag d” and educa s” when ever According to te yourself ab yone else the American out heart dis Heart Associ of cardiac ev ease. ents in wom ation and the en could be “Go Red” cam for their heart prevented if paign, 80 % s involving d w o m en ie made the rig t, exercise an Do you even d abstinence ht choices know the sig from smokin ns of a heart men in your g. attack? Sure, life, but what you’re all abou about you? L ● Uncomfort t caring for th ook out for: able pressure e , sq ueezing, fulln It lasts more ess or pain in than a few m th inutes, or go e center of yo ● Pain or dis es away and ur chest. comfort in on comes back. e or both arm ●S hortness of s, the back, n breath with o eck, jaw or st r without ches ●O ther signs su omach. t discomfort. ch as breakin g out in a cold sweat, nause a or lighthea As with men dedness. , women’s m ost common discomfort. B heart attack ut women ar symptom is e somewhat some of the o chest pain o more likely ther common r th an men to ex sy mptoms, par sea/vomiting perience ticularly short and back or ja n es w pain. Be aware, too, s of breath, n auof signs of a stroke includ ●S udden num ing: bness or wea kness of the one side of th face, arm or le e body g, especially ● Sudden co on nfusion, trou b le ●S speaking or u udden troub nderstanding le seeing in o ne or both ey ● Sudden tr ouble walkin es g, dizziness, coordination loss of balan ce or ●S udden seve re headache with no know n cause Always chec k the time so you’ll know w symptoms ap hen the first peared. It’s ve ry important diate action. to take immeR es earch from th that if given e American w it h in th Heart Associ ree hours of th reduce long-t ation has sh e start of sym erm disabilit own For more info p y toms, a clot-b for the most rmation, clic co usting drug ca m m o n type of stro k here. And rememb n ke. er: Pink and Red are alway s great colors to wear. ■



A Role Mommy Magazine l Back AT School 2011

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A Role Mommnye Magazi Fall 2010

Back AT School Issue

Tea wiTh “NaNNy McPhee”

When YOUR Kid is the Bully

Energy Zappers —and Solutions

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