Tar-jay Oy Vey

Was in my favorite store today…Target (pronounced Tar-jay) and unfortunately, had a frightful experience. The store was great, cavernous, plenty of selection, prices just right, but it was the checkout counter that turned my stomach. You see, as the woman in front of me was about to swipe her credit card through the machine, the cashier decided to inspect her fingernails and then proceeded to scrape out the dirt from them while she was conducting the sale. Did she think that no one was looking at her? That’s almost as gross as picking a winner while you’re in the car stopped in traffic and you think no one’s paying attention. Here’s a tip to anyone in the service industry dealing with customers who are less than two feet away from you, if you wanna clean your nails on company time, then hit the bathroom or head out on your lunch break for a manicure. For nose pickers on the go…do it while you’re doing over 60 MPH…it’s hard to catch you in the act when you’re going that fast.


Pictured: Cal-A-Vie Spa in California
The Ultimate Destination for a Role Mommy Retreat

Simone Rathlé

Founder, Simoneink

When you first meet Simone Rathlé, who runs the Washington D.C. based boutique public relations consulting firm, simoneink, you are blown away by her tireless spirit, terrific sense of humor and savvy business sense. This amazing mom, who in her spare time makes adorable photo scrapbooks for friends and family, is at the top of her field in the world of resorts, restaurants and spas. Prior to launching her own company, Simone directed media relations for some of the world’s most notable hotel corporations including the Orient Express Hotels, The Watergate Hotel and The Plaza Athenee in Paris, among many others. Today, at the helm of her own flourishing boutique agency, Simone’s represents The Garrett Hotel Group which owns some of the most breathtaking resorts in the country, including The Point, in Saranac Lake, New York, consistently ranked #1 by the Zagat Guide to Top U.S. Resorts; Lake Placid Lodge; as well as The Inn of The Five Graces in Santa Fe. Simone also represents two New Orleans properties International House and Lost 523. For the Role Mommy in need of a retreat, Simone highly recommends her client, Cal-A-Vie, a luxury spa in Vista, California, complete with a new 17,000 square foot fitness center that was named #2 in the world among Top Destination Spas by Travel & Leisure Magazine. Simone also oversees publicity for several reknowned restaurants and chefs in Washington D.C. and New Orleans. This high energy mom is also an avid runner who has competed extensively, completing a marathon and winning the new York City Turkey Trot for her age category. A native of New Orleans, one of Simone’s proudest accomplishments for 2005-2006 was helping to position New Orleans hurricane relief at the forefront of national news by developing two successful fundraisers entitled “Po’ Boy Power!” for the benefit of Hurricane Katrina victims. She was also involved in raising funds for policemen and firemen in the city’s devastated communities. Simone is truly a Role Mommy at home, on the career front and in places where she can help others with her “can do” attitude. For more information about Simone and the wonderful places she represents, visit her website at www.simonesez.com

LOST IN SUBURBIA? by Tracy Beckerman..The Fungus Among Us©.

I never thought I?d be one of those suburban moms who talked about cleaning problems, but I have to admit it; I have fungus issues. In the past, I think I?ve handled those pesky minor battles with mildewed tile grout, scummy shower curtain liners, and other assorted moldy nuisances with appropriate reactions. Tilex in hand, I spray like a maniac, and moments later, I am fungus-free. But one day, I happened to lift up the rubber bath mat in the kids? bathroom to rinse the tub after one of them took a particularly filthy bath, and saw black. Literally.The bottom of this formerly white bath mat was covered in a living, breathing black mold that pretty much, completely grossed me out.Now I don?t gross out easily. I routinely have to clean up after a dog, a lizard and a chinchilla, not to mention two kids and a husband, so being grossed out is something I?ve gotten used to. But this bath mat was beyond grossness. It was the bath mat from the black lagoon. An entire civilization of stinky fungus breeding in my bathtub. Mutant mold from outer space. I was sure if I didn?t get rid of it immediately, it would continue to multiply and grow until it enveloped my entire bathroom, then my house, and eventually, the world. Yes, it was my duty, as a member of the human race to kill it. Of course, at this point in the story, you?re probably wondering how, as a world-class homemaker, I managed to miss the underside of my kids? bathmat?I didn?t. The cleaning ladies did. I assumed they were routinely scouring under the bath mat and then returning it to its original location.But as Felix so wisely once said to Oscar in The Odd Couple, ?When You ?Assume,? you make an Ass of U and Me!?OK, so I?m an ass. And an ass with a disgusting bathmat, to boot. But rather than dwell on unconstructive negative self-blame, I decided to harness that self-disgust into some positive mold-ridding energy.So first I broke out the Tilex.(Note to self: Write letter to Tilex people that product doesn?t work on Mutant Mold from Outer Space).So then I tried some scouring powder. But still some of the mold survived the attack.(Note to self: Soft Scrub with Bleach stains expensive clothing).So then I whined.?I can?t get rid of the mold on the bathmat,? I cried to my husband one day.He gave me a blank stare.?So spend, what, like 79 cents and buy a new one,? he said matter-of-factly.?No, I like this one. And it?s not about the money, anyway,? I protested. ?I have to save this bathmat? and the world.?Another blank stare. I forgot? the mold may be from outer space, but men are from Mars and there was no way my husband was going to be able to process the magnitude of my crisis unless there was a trip to the hardware store involved.In desperation, I finally dumped the bathmat into the washing machine with detergent, bleach, and any other cleaning products I had in the laundry room that looked toxic; turned on the hot water, and waited.Half an hour later I took out the bathmat and the mold was gone,So was most of the bathmat.Pristine white and riddled with holes: It was now a bath-net.I appeared before my husband, sweaty and disheveled from my ordeal, clothes stained with scouring powder residue, holding the remains of my former bathmat.?I got good news and bad news,? I told my husband. ?The good news is I got the mold off the bathmat.??Thank God!!? he exclaimed in mock excitement.?The bad news is I killed the bath mat.??Sorry to hear that,? he said mournfully. ?But at least I saved us from the mutant mold,? I said cheerfully.He eyed me fearfully. ?Great. But now who?s going to save us from you?? ©2006, Beckerman. All rights reserved. For more LOST IN SURBURBIA columns, go to www.lostinsuburbia.net

If you are a die-hard British chick-lit fan but also love a taste of American sensibilities, then Jane Green is the perfect author for you. This fabulous writer who penned the book JEMIMA J (my friend Jayna turned me on to that book and I loved it!) is a fabulous and fun writer who gets you right into the story with her great characters and storylines you could relate to. Who wouldn’t want to swap lives with someone who they think is living the life they’ve always wanted to live? Well, Swapping Lives does just that when a single Fashion editor at a British magazine trades places with a suburban Connecticut mom living a cushy life in a McMansion, with a doting husband, cute kids and a live-in nanny. I read this one in 24 hours. Give it a try…you won’t be disappointed! To purchase Swapping Lives Click Here or for more information about Jane Green and her latest books, visit her website at www.janegreen.com

For the chick lit afficionado, look no further than Sophie Kinsella, a fabulous British author who has captured the essence of what it’s like to be an ambitious, materialistic woman with a really great sense of humor. I’ve read all of Kinsella’s Shopholic books and loved every minute of them…probably because I can relate so well to her main characters. If you’re addicted to your blackberry and crazed on the job and wonder what it would be like if you chucked it all one day and stepped into someone else’s shoes, then The Undomestic Goddess is for you.
I finished book and thought it was adorable. Sophie Kinsella is a chick lit Goddess! If you’re heading out for a vacation or need a quick read on your commute, then this is the book for you! Click here to buy The Undomestic Goddess.


This book my Role Mommy friends is a doozy. I’m totally a chick lit fanatic so I never imagined I’d be hooked by this serious novel about a family who faces the greatest challenge in their lives when Anna, a 13 year old girl decides to hire a lawyer so that she can gain medical emancipation from her parents who have been using her since she was an infant to help cure their older daughter who is battling cancer. Very heavy subject, but let me tell you this – the moment you start reading, you will not be able to put this book down!
Jodi Picoult is a masterful storyteller who writes in the voices of all of her characters. The twists and turns in the book are amazing and it’s a story that will not only make you cry, but it’ll make you think about what you would do if faced with a similar situation. This is a great book to take along on a vacation, long train ride, or if you have an hour or two at the beach this summer. If you like this book, you can check out Jodi Picoult’s website for other great books – she’s the ultimate mother of reinvention…a woman who has found a way to pursue her passion while still being a great mom! Click Here to buy the book or visit Jodi Piccoult’s site for more information. www.jodipiccoult.com

It?s one of the most anticipated novels of the season. Paul Malmont?s ?The Chinatown Death Cloud Peril? takes readers on a non stop pulp fiction ride through old New York. You may have already read the reviews calling ?The Chinatown Death Cloud Peril ? one the best books of the summer ? but there?s so much more to this story than just what you?ll read between the action packed pages. The story behind the book is one of the sweetest and most poignant love stories we?ve ever heard. Like most new parents, Paul and his wife Audrey were deliriously happy with the arrival of their son Nathanial but deliriously sleep deprived as well. Doting dad and husband that he is, Paul would get up ridiculously early with Nathaniel every morning and allow Audrey a few extra hours of much needed sleep. Paul started writing the book during these early morning playdates with his baby boy. While Nathaniel watched the Wiggles and Audrey slept, ?The Chinatown Death Cloud Peril? was born. After about a year of these am dates with his little man, Paul had completed the book. Audrey never knew what her husband was up to so you could imagine her surprise when he presented her with a most unique Mother?s Day gift ? his first novel, lovingly dedicated to his wife and young son. Note to all husbands ? a novel beats flowers and a spa gift certificate hands down! PAUL MALMONT PODCAST!!! Want to hear more about this new book that’s already climbing up the best seller’s list? Then listen to this free podcast featuring the author, Paul Malmont…Click here.

I just finished reading this book and it’s hilarious. Okay, it’s not chick-lit, but if there were chick-lit written by guys, then this would fit perfectly into the category. In fact, let’s call it Kitsch-lit. This happens to be a true story that reads like fiction. The story of a 28 year old comedy writer who decides to try out early retirement and moves to Century Village, Florida. Rodney moves in with an eccentric widow, her two cats and parrot that mimics his signature phrase “Hey Man, What’s Up?” and his annoying alarm clock. During his six month stint at Century Village, Rodney joins every club imaginable, from Shuffleboard to the Red Hatters Club and comes across a cast of characters that every Jewish kid who has been to Florida can easily relate to. I won’t give anything else away, but this is a great read for young, old and anyone with a sense of humor. Click Here to buy now!

The Escort Service

I run a personal escort service. Okay, get your mind out of the gutter. It’s not that kind of business. I’m my four year old son’s personal escort. If he has an urge to go to the bathroom in a restaurant right when our food arrives, he glances at me, his personal escort and declares, “Mommy, take me to the bathroom!” Sure my husband is sitting right next to him and can take him to the men’s room, but no, I’m the lucky chaperone who gets to escort him to the loo and wipe his cute behind since he always saves the number twos for me. But the personal escort service doesn’t stop at the bathroom. I have also found myself escorting him to the basement, the pantry, his bedroom, the toy chest, you name it and I’ve been there with my little companion. Don’t get me wrong. I love spending time with him but it’s getting to the point where he needs to start being a little more independent. Mommy does not have to escort you to the bathroom in the house when she’s literally 10 feet away on the couch and can monitor your every move. I’ve even gone so far as to offer monetary compensation if he takes a trip to the bathroom without me as his tour guide. The tactic worked and so far I’m out one dollar. Today, after I walked him downstairs and then took him to the bathroom he said, “Mommy, does Superman go to the bathroom by himself?” I thought for a moment and replied, “Absolutely, nobody has to take Superman to the bathroom, he can go by himself.” My son thought for a moment and then said, “Okay, then if Superman can do it, so can I. You can go sit down now Mommy.” Hmmm…maybe we’re onto something. Maybe I can finally close my shingle on my personal escort service. “Mommy…come take me to the kitchen,” I hear from the other room. Wishful thinking. Back on duty.