The Lazy Conservationist

images-3.jpegI’d like to be a green mom who buys recyclable bags when I go grocery shopping, or installs energy efficient light bulbs in all our bedrooms, who is diligent about separating paper from plastic, but I have to face facts. I’m a lazy conservationist.
The only reason why my house is energy efficient is not because I’ve actually replaced our light bulbs with those weird looking squiggly ones. I’m just too lazy to change the bulbs once they blow. In fact, our bedroom lights went out about six months ago and while I’m pretty sure a rodent probably bit through the wiring, instead of calling an electrician to fix the high hat problem, I’ve grown accustomed to using lamps.
In the master bathroom, we’re down to three lights – the rest went bust over the last six months. And our cathedral ceiling lights are going out one by one so that by the end of the summer, we’ll probably be lighting the place with candles.
Now about the bag situation. I really would love to use a recyclable bag, but I’m addicted to plastic. I do re-use the plastic bags for things like cat litter or my son’s camp lunch (spiderman lunch boxes are not allowed), but years ago I developed an aversion to paper bags (blame it on the roaches) and I just leaned towards the plastic version and stuck with it. Now that plastic bags are becoming as passe as cigarettes, I guess I better get my eco-butt in gear and purchase a few bags made out of laminated newspaper stories.
And as for recycling skills, sadly – they’re much to be desired. I try to put all my diet coke bottles and cans together and my husband manages to drop all the paper he finds next to our garbage can. While I know he’s being conscientious about separating paper from plastic, it drives me nuts to see our junk mail on the floor so I usually grab it and toss it in the trash.
And what about those bottles? I’m hearing now that it’s actually more dangerous to drink bottled water than to just turn on the tap. Wow, I’m actually being eco-friendly without even trying. Whenever my son asks for water, I turn on the faucet and give him a cup of mother nature’s finest brew…compliments of the Westchester Reservoir.
I know I’m in desperate need of an energy intervention but all I can say is, I want to be green. It just ain’t that easy. Thank you Kermit the frog. I owe you one.

Role Mommy Vacation Deals

It’s summer time and that can only mean one thing. It’s road trip season! And here at Role Mommy, we’re teaming up with some fabulous travel partners that are offering last minute vacation options and discounts for families. If you’re anything like me, you still haven’t booked a trip or bought a new bathing suit since you were planning on losing 10 lbs. and you woke up and realized, it’s July and it’s time to take some much needed time off and invest in a Miracle Suit.
But let’s get down to the topic at hand. Role Mommy Road Trips. This summer, we’ll be featuring some great vacation options for families and we’re offering special Role Mommy discounts too. So get ready to make some reservations and start packing!
club getawayOur first vacation offer comes from Club Getaway – Do you secretly find yourself envious that your kids get to have all the fun this summer at camp while you commute back and forth to work or spend the day running errands and doing laundry? Well, we’ve got a great place where you can step back in time and relive your childhood right along with your kids!
At Club Getaway, you get everything you want in a vacation in one amazing, affordable weekend. Enjoy your favorite sports, activities and adventures… try something new… kick back and socialize… celebrate with great food and parties… relax in the great outdoors. And it’s all included in one low price.
Set on 300 acres in the beautiful Berkshire Mountains in Kent, CT, Club Getaway is just 90 minutes from NY by car or Getaway bus and 2½ hours from Boston.
Now here’s the best part. If you book a Club Getaway trip this summer, you can qualify for a special Role Mommy discount! You’ll get $200 off your family vacation if you reserve your spot now! Visit this Club Getaway Role Mommy discount page for additional details and then, if you’re ready to plan your family adventure, visit Club Getaway and get ready to have the time of your life!

Essay and Artwork Contest for Kids

CostaRicaContestFlyer.jpgOver at Smart Poodle Publishing, they’re running an “I Love Costa Rican Rain Forest” contest for kids from kindergarten through fifth grade. Here’s how you can enter to win.
Submit an Essay
The story should a real or imaginary travel adventure set in the Costa Rican rainforest.
Read all you can about the plants, animals and natural environment (including preservation) of Costa Rica’s Rain Forest online and at your local library. Start with the Lilly Badilly website. www.lillybadilly.com/costarica.htm. Make sure you can find the country of Costa Rica on a map!
In your story, include info about the real plants, animals, and natural environment of Costa Rica’s Rain Forest.
Submit Artwork
Draw, color or paint a picture (using any medium i.e. crayon, pencil, markers, paint) to submit with your essay.
Your picture should be completed on an 8.5″ X 11″ sheet of paper & must be mailed to Smart Poodle Publishing along with Entry Form.
1. A $100 Prize has been added by Smart Poodle Publishing for the 3 First Place Winners. There are 3 age categories, (with 9 contest winners total). The First Place Winners in these categories will each receive $100. All other prizes donated by Rand McNally remain the same.
2. The contest deadline has been extended to November 30, 2009. Winners will be announced on December 15th.
For more information, visit Smart Poodle Publishing.

The Entertainment Fave Five

Well, we’re deep in the throes of summer and that can mean only one thing – great books, cheesy reality TV, family movies and Michael Jackson tributes. So this week, we’ve managed to pull together a fave five that’ll cover all your entertainment bases.
images.jpeg1. First up, let’s tackle all that Michael Jackson coverage we’ve been watching every day for nearly a week. I’ve managed to take in everything from ET, The Insider, TMZ, Bill O’Reilly, CNN American Morning, Nancy Grace, CBS News, Today Show, GMA but my all time favorite tribute to the King of Pop took place this past Friday when I watched “Dateline NBC’s” comprehensive coverage of the tragic life and legacy of Michael Jackson called “Remember the Time.” If you’re a magazine afficionado, People Magazine’s double issue kicks US Weekly’s coverage this week. Was tempted to pick up Time and Newsweek too but figured that People pretty much gives you everything – heartwrenching story, retrospective and a photo album – need I say more?
images-1.jpeg2. Cheesy Reality TV alert…Okay, I thought I was hooked by “I’m A Celebrity, Get Me Outta Here,” but once one of the Baldwin brothers left, I tuned out. Instead, I’m now totally addicted to Dance Your Ass Off on Oxygen. I think I better get me to a dance class soon or else I’ll wind up being a contestant. Check out host Marisa Jaret Winokur (who seems to be getting smaller each episode) who cheers on these zaftig hoofers!!!
3. Family Movie Alert! So far, we’ve seen Up!, Night at the Museum 2, and Ice Age: The Meltdown. My personal favorite kids’ flick is Up! My seven year old son’s fave is Ice Age so be warned – you may go for the weepier film, but kids seem to love squirrels fighting over nuts rather than old men and boy scouts traveling in a house made of balloons. Coming soon…Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs – I am so there!
4. If you actually got a babysitter then here’s the word of mom pick that we’ve been hearing about on our 8:48 commuter train. The Hangover. I know – crazy – but we’re not that jazzed about “My Sister’s Keeper” since it’s not getting good reviews and we have seen the “Taking Pelham 123” and did enjoy it, but the word on the street is that “The Hangover” is hilarious. Next week when we lock in our teen sitter, we are definitely hitting the theaters to check out it out.
5. And now, for our summer book alert. We’ll have a more comprehensive list soon, but we have to let you in on the book that is feverishly passing through the hands of our in the know book reading friends and my bookish mom. It’s called Sarah’s Key and so far, everyone I know couldn’t put it down and finished it within two days. I’ve got it in my bag and am so ready to dive in!

So you’ve heard it here first Role Mommies – your 411 on TV, films, books, Michael Jackson Tributes and much more!

Best of Role Mommy Radio

rmradiobutton-2.gif If you don’t have time to read but can download some great content for your iPod, then do we have just the thing for you! This week on Role Mommy Radio, we’ve got a treasure trove of great shows for your listening pleasure.
So if you’re relaxing at the beach or hitting the gym, we’re hear to provide you with hours of great material from Wii Mommies, to Traveling Mom, who has a great interview with best selling author Lee Woodruff this week, to Social Media Rap, to a Dose of Dr. Gwenn, Mom Dot, Bargain Briana, Jenna McCarthy and of course, Role Mommy and Friends with author Stacy Kannenberg (Get Ready for Kindergarten) and Role Mommy on the Run with Traveling Mom and outspoken author Terry Martin Hekker (Disregard First Book). Below are the links to all the shows of the week, so get ready to be inspired, informed and entertained!

The Find’s Fave of the Week

Summer Supplies for your Lil’ Camper

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Whether or not your kids are off to camp this summer there may be a bit of anxiety if it is their first time away from home. Make your child’s summer adventure special and hopefully anxiety free with some unique summer camp supplies for keeping in touch, gathering memories and staying healthy. A care package is always a welcome surprise and your camper may enjoy the goodies not available at camp. The adorable “Camp Cahoots” stationery set has everything they’ll need to write home with including a 160 page journal for writing down camp schedules and outing notes. Deet free bug repellent and after bite lotion will keep the bug bite situation under control with fewer worries for parents. Now parents can stay sane and worry free while counting the days until the kids arrive home.

Role Mommy’s Potty Training Tips

images.jpegIf you’re the parent of a toddler and are having a hard time training your little one to ditch their diapers and start sitting on the family throne, then you won’t want to miss our latest contribution to AOL Parentdish! They’ve just launched their Potty Central section on the site, and as fate would have it, we’re one of their favorite experts in that category. Woo hoo…let’s throw a potty!
To check out our off beat suggestions, visit Potty Training Central on Parent Dish today!

Food Glorious Food

14953187-7c287bd919f368d2fc4dd6573ce5b798-1.4a4ac24c-scaled.jpgThis week, Role Mommy got the chance to meet Tim Gannon, chef extraordinaire and co-founder of Outback Steakhouse. Sitting with some of my favorite bloggers, like Kim at Mom in the City, Issa at Single NYC Mama and Aly Walansky at She Knows, we took our seats, and before we knew it, we were ready to start tasting steaks.
But not so fast…before we had our first bite, we were given the story behind the famous Outback Bloomin’ Onion and even got to see first hand how they are able to turn those 16 ounce onions into works of art with a machine that can transform an onion into what looks like a Japanese flower in less than a second. Hmmm…I wonder if they sell that contraption at Williams Sonoma.
IMG00156.jpgTim then went on to tell us about all the affordable and delicious options on the menu and we proceeded to taste sirloins, prime rib, tenderloin, steak teriyaki, lobster tails, garlic potatoes with butter cream, flavorful veggies, and a mouthwatering chocolate brownie for dessert. After I couldn’t take another bite, I started to feel like that girl in Willy Wonka who eats the everlasting gobberstopper and turns into a blueberry blimp.
While I was coming out of my food coma, Tim shared how Outback has changed their menu to reflect the latest dining trends. That means, rather than serve patrons a 24 ounce steak, they’re offering healthier options with entrees that include smaller beef portions, shellfish and vegetables. And, while the economy has taken a hit, Outback is actually making it more affordable to eat out. Outback now offers 15 menu options under $15 – like lobster and steak! Or a teriyaki steak dinner that’s only $9.95. And for weight watchers like myself – they even offer steak entrees that are under 500 calories. Plus, there’s even a gluten free menu for customers with food allergies. Oh, and did I mention the kids meals offer everything from mini steak, to mac and cheese, burgers and much more – all for $6 and under! They’ve obviously thought of everything…and judging from our tasting…they have not only covered all the bases – they’ve hit it out of the park.
It was also re-assuring to learn that Outback monitors the quality of its food through the use of bio-thermometers in the kitchen – they’re able to tell exactly what temperature the food is so that they don’t undercook it. And they prepare everything from scratch and train their staff so that chefs worldwide can perfect their mouthwatering recipes right on the premises.
IMG00155.jpgAs we head into July 4th weekend where many of us will be grilling up steaks and burgers, why not give your barbecue a break and head to Outback where you can feed your entire family at a fraction of the price? Or, you could always order takeout and serve it up right at home. Hmmm….looks like this year’s barbecue is going to feature a Bloomin Onion! Mmmm, mmmm, good.

Me, a lifestyle expert? Heck yeah.. keep reading for tips to decorate on a dime!

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Okay- so let me give you a little background
about me, the short version; I married a doctor 15 years older than me… no
you didn’t read that wrong. At 25 years old, I was thinking more along the
lines of future long-term financial security and it didn’t hurt that I
thought he was devastatingly handsome-it kept my mother quiet, I was clearly
intoxicated by the fact that this guy would be obligated to check every
suspicious mole on body- and give me regular breast examinations.

 So we sailed off into the sunset- in our M.D. license-plated 1995 Honda
Accord.  Well- to give you a bit of perspective- 10 years later well we’re
still driving that Honda, and then a year ago my nice doctor husband told
me he’d rather drive a stake through his heart than see another patient, (okay
I’m using a bit of poetic license here- because his admission had far less
dramatic flair, but you get the gist). So like any good wife- I told him- our
marriage and relationship was not predicated on his M.D. status and that
ultimately being that I never lived the rock star doctor’s wife lifestyle– you
know – convertible BMW, lunching with the ladies- mani-pedis on a bi-weekly
basis- shopping at Coach– that his “profession” wasn’t all that
important to me.

Still it’s been a bit of an adjustment… especially when acquaintances accost
me with statements like; OH my G-d if my husband ever decided he didn’t want to
be a doctor I would divorce him! Or my mother’s recation and insistence that
she will not be telling any of her friends about this CATASTROPHIC event. (NO
this time I’m not exaggerating!)

So when Beth, the infamous Role mommy herself-
asked me to be the Lifestyle Editor for the site- I though- this could possibly
be the perfect opportunity for me to find and share ideas that us real moms in
the trenches- the ones who are not shopping on Madison Avenue, downing martinis
at lunch- rather sipping the last dregs of our kids’ juice boxes (we hate
wasting a perfectly good fruit punch) and looking for ways to cut costs but
still reveling in life’s little luxuries– (I can really whoop it up in those
$1 bins at Target) could ACTUALLY use!.

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To kick off my inaugural first lifestyle post the amazing
folks at Nouvelles Images,
which produces the non-toxic pretty
fabulous paper wall Homestickers which come in an array of themes for any age
from whimsical forest creatures to colorful underwater life designs and will
brighten your children’s rooms and illuminate their imaginations without breaking
the bank– are giving one lucky reader these stickers for FREE. These are
featured.

 

But really the best part about these Nouvelles Images’ Children’s Homestickers is that they’re non-toxic,
easily applied and removed,  only cost $30, and allow kids’ ever changing
interests (last week my daughter was all about Hannah Montana- and now it’s
strictly Selena Gomez)  to be reflected in the design of their rooms as
often as they choose.
They’re available on Amazon.com, AllPosters.com and ChangeYourWalls.com.

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Top of Form

 

Bottom of Form

 

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To enter to win your very own set–leave a comment about
which design is your favorite. Feel free to leave any random musings too–I’m
always up for some commiseration, gossip and girl talk! And to score another
entry you can tweet about this giveaway too!

 

Giveaway only open to those with U.S. addresses.
Giveaway ends on Monday July 6th at 11:59 Eastern Standard Time. On
Tuesday July 7th Random.org will select one winner, and I’ll email them and
announce it immediately.
  Good luck! 

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To find out more about our fabulous lifestyle editor, Melissa Chapman, the visit our Role Mommy contributors page for all the details.  Or, if you’d like to see her in action, the hop on over to Role Mommy TV for her latest appearance on CNN.  We’re thrilled to have her on board and can’t wait to see more of her hilarious and helpful posts!  So what are you waiting for?  Start commenting and tweeting so you can win big!