Saving the World One Patchwork at a Time

DSC_0156.JPGGet your old t-shirts and scraps of fabric ready for a fun and worthwhile project! Kids across the world are now making pledges to save the planet with their participation in the recently launched Climate Quilt Campaign
The Climate Quilt Campaign, a project co-founded by and the Green Schools Alliance, is an effort to connect children worldwide around the issues of Climate Change and what they can do about it. The Campaign is designed to empower youth, raise awareness, build global community, and be the voice of children around the world who are pledging to do their part to help save our planet.
Children in every country and city throughout the world can get involved through their schools or individually to have their pledge patch included. The goal is to display the finished quilt in Copenhagen during the UN conference on climate change. Leading up to Copenhagen, the quilt will travel to countries on all six continents including the United Kingdom, the Phillipines, China and Australia on the same day in a grand gesture of solidarity as together, children promise to help protect the Earth they will one day inherit.
The Climate Quilt Campaign officially launched on September 23rd on the “Today Show,” where the Climate Quilt was officially debuted on September 22nd. If you and your kids would like to get involved with the project, you can make patches, assist with your sewing expertise, or spread the word to family and friends. It’s also a great way for families to give back, especially as we move into the holiday season. Check out the Today Show video below for more details and visit Habitat Heroes to find out how you and your family can participate in this groundbreaking effort!

The What’s In Your Purse Blogging Contest!

27_28423719.jpgIf you’re like me and can never find your business cards, license, registration, credit cards and cash because you threw your wallet into the depths of your oversized purse never to be seen again without a search party, well we’ve just discovered a brand new product called “The Secret Keeper” that’ll enable you to save money on expensive handbags and will preserve your sanity when you’re desperately trying to find your wallet somewhere at the bottom of your diaper bag.
This invention comes as welcomed news to us hopelessly disorganized moms. The Secret Keeper is water resistant, comes in several great colors and guess where you keep it? In your bra! So if you’re headed to the gym, the carpool lane, or out with your girlfriends, you don’t need a purse…just the“The Secret Keeper” “> “Secret Keeper.”
While the product is not available yet in stores, we decided that in honor of this brand new product, we would kick off a blogging and vlogging contest over at Role Mommy where the winner will get a $75 gift card and four runners up will receive $25. We’re looking for a post relating to the craziest thing you’ve ever found in your purse.
Post your video or essay on your own blog and then share the link below in the comments section or email it to me at and we’ll feature these stories on our site. From there, an esteemed panel of disorganized moms will be selecting the winning entries and we will alert you once you’ve won. So get ready to share your embarrassing pursue story!
First to share her warts and all purse post…the fabulous Jenna McCarthy:
Letting the Cat out of the Bag

Guest Post Corner: Author & Dad Barack Levin

One Easy First Lesson Toward Raising Independent, Happy Children by Barack Levin
Cover.jpgOnce I saw a three-year old and his mother going to daycare. It was winter time, and the mom was loaded down, carrying her son, his bag, a rain coat, umbrella and his stuffed toy. That simple picture drove me crazy and made me sad for both child and parent. It was not raining and so the mom had no reason to carry the child and his entourage. I decided then and there it would be different with my child.
In my opinion, the key to raising independent kids is to teach them responsibility and accountability. Obviously, you can’t go up to a two-year-old and say, “Listen, Alex, today you will be responsible for cleaning your room and if it is not clean, I will hold you personally accountable for it!” So instead, I am taking small daily actions that teach him these values.
I came up with the following little nifty trick. It works for any toddler who is stable enough and comfortable enough walking on his own. In my case, it happened when my kids were about 14 months old and it always worked:
Step 1:
For a week, start to show your toddler that mommy and daddy carry their own bags, purse, or wallet to work, store, restaurant and friends. Let your little one check the bag contents and go over it with him. (I suggest taking out any “personal” items to prevent embarrassing questions!) On a daily basis, ask your toddler to help you by putting or taking out a needed item into or from the bag. Stand by him while he gets the comb or pen for you and opens the bag and drops it in. Compliment him on a job well done! You’ll see that he is supercharged with excitement because he is “helping” you.
Step 2:
At the end of the week, start showing your little one that big kids from his daycare and friends or relatives carry their own bags. Wouldn’t he like to have one, too? If you’ve done your job exciting him in the build-up about your bag, he’ll probably jump at the chance to be like the older kids! “Now let’s go to the store and let YOU choose your very own, because you are a big boy too!”
Step 3:
Take him to Wal-Mart or Target. They have small carry-ons with wheels for kids. Have your child go over ALL the available bags and choose his favorite. You want your child to be as involved as possible, leading the process. Don’t choose for him. Resist the impulse to say, “Now, dear, wouldn’t you rather have this one instead?” You’d be teaching him not to have confidence in his own decisions. After choosing a bag that he wants, let your little one be in charge of actively paying for it and taking it out of the store. Let him show it off and tell everyone about it!
Step 4:
At home, ask him to bring his favorite items–toy, stuffed animal, snack or pacifier–and place them on the kitchen table or countertop (or any other place he can easily reach). Now ask him, “What would you like to put in your new bag? Go get it!” He’ll run to get it–or all of them–as fast as his little legs will carry him. Let him open the bag and place them inside. Once the items are inside, walk around with him and let him proudly wheel his carry-on around.
Step 5:
Leave the bag close to the door so that every time you leave the house, it will be there, reminding him to take it. You and your little one may be forgetful at first, but within two to three days, it will become second nature for him to take the bag with him. This is wonderful training for taking the bag to and from daycare everyday–not to mention that you can hitchhike on this and put the rest of his items in it as well: such as diapers, towels, food, change of clothes and more.
Just think how this one simple habit will make life so much easier for your child and for you throughout all the school grades! I’d be so happy if the rest of you parents shared your stories and advice about helping our children become happily independent kids.
You may send your stories and comments to me via my site:

Barack Levin is the author of The Diaper Chronicles – A stay at home dad’s quest for raising great kids –

The Good Wife on CBS

I finally have a new favorite show on TV…The Good Wife starring Juliana Marguiles and Chris Noth. I luckily had the great fortune of working with CBS this summer to spread the word about their new fall series to moms and the moment I watched this new drama, I was hooked. And now, I’ve been given an exclusive video from one of my favorite producers at CBS, Susan Zirinsky, who produced a compelling news feature that reveals how this new show truly imitates the lives of cheating politicians and their devoted wives. Take a look and then make sure you tune in Tuesday night for this brand new hit drama!

Having my Kugel and Eating it Too

CinnamonRaisinNoodleKugel.jpgWell, Yom Kippur has come and gone and while I was feeling quite hungry most of the day, I figured it could help with my weight loss efforts. You see, I’m down more than 5 pounds with 10 more to go and I’m determined this time around to lose weight for good! I even made another low calorie “break the fast” recipe. One of my favorite dishes that my mom makes every year is the noodle pudding that’s been passed down to my family from generation to generation.
So even though noodle pudding (aka Kugel) should be pretty high in calories, I managed to figure out a way to keep it low cal with my handy dandy splenda sugar substitute. So how did I make my fantabulous dish? Well, take a look and then start cooking!
Grandma Dora’s Low Calorie Noodle Pudding:
1 Package egg noodles
2 eggs (or egg beaters)
1/2 cup of splenda
1 cup of raisins
Boil egg noodles
Drain and return to pot.
Add eggs, splenda and raisins to egg noodles
Spray pam in a frying pan (or use vegetable oil)
Pour noodle mixture into frying pan
Make sure the pan is the size of a dinner plate (not bigger)
Keep on medium flame and watch the bottom of the pan – once the noodles become crispy, put a dinner plate on top of the pan and flip it over. Then place the uncooked noodles on the bottom of the pan.
Cook 10 minutes or until golden brown on the other side.
Voila, you have Grandma Dora’s famous noodle pudding (with Splenda)
Now if you’re me, you have to improvise because otherwise, you won’t be able to flip the noodles. Instead, I started out by putting the mixture in a pan and then put it in a casserole dish, pre-heated the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit and baked for 25 minutes. The dish still came out crispy and I received the ultimate compliment from my mother-in-law…”It’s just as good as your moms’ noodle pudding.”
Woo hoo. So I did it. And it’s low in calories! More tasty dishes to come. In the meantime, I’m bringing my kugel with me to lunch tomorrow. Nothing like a little noodle pudding to put a little spring in your step.

Role Mommy Fave Five Fantasy Vacations

celeb-soho-grand-sq-200.jpgNow that we’re in full back to school mode, yours truly is fantasizing about vacations. In fact, I’m in the process of planning my dad’s 70th birthday and we’re about to sail the open seas in February to the Caribbean. But while I’m planning the shindig, I’ve been having fun checking out the places I want to go next. And here’s a snapshot of my Fave Five Fantasy vacations.
1. Aruba – I have always wanted to go to Aruba – from the white sandy beaches to the gorgeous ocean views and the perfect weather all year round, one of these days I will finally make it to Aruba. And while I’ve been surfing the web, I’ve even found Kid Friendly resorts in Aruba with tons of activities and gorgeous rooms.
2. Hawaii – Another destination on my must vacation list. Once you buy your plane tickets, check out how reasonable these hotels are for families! I think it’s cheaper to go to Hawaii then to head to Florida during spring break!!!
3. Dominican Republic – We went to Club Med Punta Cana several years ago with our kids and totally loved it, and since that time, several resorts have popped up that are perfect for families. Plus, the price is right too.
4. Jamaica – Love, love, love Jamaica. Food is amazing, service is unbeatable and the music is amazing! I’m determined to hit the Half Moon resort in Montego Bay next go round because kids under 16 stay for free!!!
5. New York City – Okay – since I live in New York – I don’t really need to stay at a hotel but if I do decide to check in, why not feel like an A-lister and book yourself where the celebrities stay? Sure they usually are staying there free of charge (because they’re promoting a movie, TV show, or new CD), but why not put on a pair of oversized sunglasses and pretend you’re one of the new stars of Real Housewives of NYC (or the Biggest Loser).
Want to hear more about my latest adventures this week? Then listen in and laugh to my latest Blog Talk Radio show with Traveling Mom!

This is a Traveling Mom dedicated post.

We Have A Winner…The HP TouchSmart Web Printer!!!

The HP printer contest is officially closed and we have a winner! Drumroll please…Joanna Smith! Congratulations…you win!!! Please email us ASAP so that we can have that printer sent to your home.
Thank you to everyone for their comments…more exciting giveaways to come. And here’s the original post with everyone’s fabulous comments!!!
Earlier this summer, I had the opportunity to get a sneak peak of the brand new HP Photosmart Premium with TouchSmart Web Printer – the world’s first web-connected home printer offering people simple, one-touch, wireless, on-demand access to free, popular web content including coupons, maps, recipes, calendars, Sudoku puzzles, coloring pages and more.
After giving the HP TouchSmart a whirl, I was hooked by this new printer in a matter of seconds. I love the fact that you can actually bypass your computer and use the HP TouchSmart to access and print documents found on the web and you can even go directly to sites like USA Today to print out the news or to Fandango to order and print movie tickets! They’re also adding new apps every day to make the lives of consumers easier and more productive. Just think of the HP TouchSmart as an iTouch that prints!
Now here’s the amazing news. The fabulous folks at HP are giving Role Mommy readers the chance to win a HP Photosmart Premium with TouchSmart Web (valued at $399). We’d like to hear from you on which printing apps (e.g. story book, fitness regime, etc.) you’d like to see on the HP Photosmart and why you’d love to win this printer! Comment now and a winner will be selected this Friday so keep checking back and make sure you re-tweet it too!
If you are having trouble commenting, please email me your comment at and I’ll include it. (Sorry – the comment option can be a bit temperamental!)
Jenna McCarthy
In the very distant past, my current “all-in-one” machine did it all: It printed, faxed, scanned, picked winning lottery numbers (practically). Sadly, today it is a broken shell of its former multi-tasking self. The bugger won’t fax, can’t scan and prints as if it is doing so by hand with 97-year-old arthritic fingers. (As a point of reference, it takes almost as many hours to print a 10-page document as I just spent figuring out what an Open ID is and then creating one.) Oh, pretty-pretty please pick me!
Jenna McCarthy,

Amy Brewer
Oh my family could really use this. We have a really old Hp printer that is just a printer. Would be nice to upgrade. I tried the comments but it didn’t show up. I would like to see a chart app. like my family each has different chores we do a week so not much is piled on one person and the kids learn responsibility. I would love to have charts ready for other stuff as well.The woman that said the app that would make the pictures ready to go in a photo album was really good. I would love to see that also.
Lisa Brown
HP makes the best printers. Wireless and all in one is the only way to go. Wish I had one, since my old printer broke about a year ago.
I would LOVE this printer because I already have an HP scanner, HP laptop, and HP desktop, so I’d love to complete the set with a printer! 🙂 Thanks so much.
As for an app idea, how about an app that makes printing Iron on Transfers easily? Sometimes printing iron on transfer paper can be a pain in the butt, so an app would make it easier for iron on projects.
Kate Davis
I would love to win this printer because I take pictures of my kids all the time but rarely get prints from the digital copies. Have tons stored on my computer and would love to print them and do wonderful things with them like make photo books.
I’ve been plagued with printer bad luck, I’ve had to but two in the past six months, first one was yanked down to the floor by my 5 year old little cousin, she likes to hang with me and my baby jordan. While, the second one served as a place for my now one year old to empty his sippy cup in, go figure. At this point this unemployed mommy cannot afford a new one and would greatly appreciate a little luck thrown her way. Best of luck to everyone!–NG

Building a Successful Family Business

jimandbruce.jpgWe recently attended an event hosted by 1-800 Flowers founder Jim McCann and Bruce Bozzi, owner of The Palm Restaurant. While I’ve been a loyal customer of 1-800 Flowers for many years and have been to the Palm back when I worked in corporate America, it was really interesting to hear how both have incredibly rich history behind them – starting out as family businesses and flourishing as a result.
Thumbnail image for juliemcann.jpgWhen we arrived, we were greeted by Jim’s sister, Julie Mulligan, who serves as the Floral Lifestyle expert for 1-800 Flowers and we were then brought over to meet Chris McCann, Jim’s brother, the President of 1-800-Flowers. What really impressed me about the McCann family was their friendliness, warmth and sense of humor.
It turns out that 1-800 Flowers started back in 1976 in Ozone Park, NY when Jim worked as a social worker and to raise extra money opened a flower shop. That business literally blossomed, with Jim adding several more stores to his flagship. And with the help of his sister, brother and now a fleet of dedicated employees, the business is thriving. The reason is simple – 1-800-Flowers has found a simple and cost effective way for consumers to purchase everything from flower arrangements to quality gift baskets for any occasion. They even feature a site called Celebrations, offering decorating tips and recipes on how to plan the perfect party!
At the event, we also met Bruce Bozzi, the owner of The Palm, whose family has owned and operated the restaurant for more than 80 years – building the business from one Manhattan location to several around the world. So it makes perfect sense that these two family owned businesses would eventually join forces. Through 1-800 Flowers basket division (1-800 Baskets), which offers high end gift baskets at incredible prices, McCann unveiled a gift basket that’s perfect for food lovers and inspired by The Palm restaurant. Next, we got the chance to see Bruce unveil Jim McCann’s caricature on the famed wall of The Palm and we then learned he has been named the Brand Ambassador – an achievement that holds a special place in Jim’s heart since The Palm was one of his dad’s favorite restaurants.
To find out more about this special event and check out the incredible gift baskets being offered this holiday season, take a look at the video below. And check back soon, because we’ll also be speaking with Jim and Bruce on our Blog Talk Radio show!

Find more videos like this on Role Mommy

Meet Mom of Reinvention: Dre Towey

Headshot 2.jpgDre Towey is a rock-n-roll mother of three who is a talented singer and produces hip children’s music. As a former elementary school teacher and art educator, Dre’s experiences with her children resonate through her music. And she’s a part of the talented kids’ band, Sugar on Top.
Additionally, Dre raises money from her performances to support an organization she is very passionate about, the Haiti Lumiere de Demain Inc, an organization operating to promote literacy and educational opportunities among children of Haiti. We caught up with this Mom of Reinvention and here’s what she had to say.
Role Mommy: What did you do before you became a mom?
Dre: I was a coach and an educator. I coached soccer and lacrosse and taught elementary school in NYC while attending graduate classes for art education at Bank Street/Parsons School of Design.
Role Mommy: When did you decide to reinvent your life?
Dre: It wasn’t so much reinvention as evolution. One step led to another. I was always writing and illustrating while teaching, my writing became more lyrical as my children were born. I never said, “I can’t do this”… instead I thought, this feels good and I want to try it. I’ve always said, “I am a late bloomer” but now I think, doors open all the time and it is up to us to either walk through or walk away. How else can you grow?
Role Mommy: How have your children influenced your career path? How many do you have?
Dre: Absolutely. When I taught I learned the best teaching tool was listening. Children have a very unique and fresh perspective on all kinds of things. Things that we may have forgotten or may not think to talk about as adults. Now I have three children– ages 10, 8 and 5 (girl, boy,girl). They constantly inspire me through their observations, things they say and do. For instance, my daughter dressed up in toilet paper the other night and I thought about writing a song called, “Toilet Paper Runway Queen.”
Role Mommy: What’s your favorite “Time Out” tip for moms (taking time for yourself)
Dre: I love to run and “let the birds fly”. In other words, let all my crazy thoughts flutter around me as I pound the pavement. I also play soccer which is great for my mind, spirit and body. But the best time out for me is when I can laugh with a friend. Oh! and I love to dance. If I can dance in a crowd and lose myself– this is immense. Then I can go back to being a mom the next day. Some people don’t feel comfortable being alone with their thoughts or feel selfish taking a “time out”. Some may find volunteering at a school or at a non-profit is incredibly soulful and an incredible escape from your own daily grind.
Role Mommy: What does your website offer moms or kids?
Dre: I am trying to update my website more often with links and blogs. But the truth of it is, right now my website offers information about my music and concert updates. When I am feeling the gumption, I update my blog.
Role Mommy: What do you hope for your own kids?
Dre: I want my children to grow up happy and confident. I want them to share their gifts with others. We all contribute in our own way– through art, laughter, leadership, etc. I want them to know we all have a role in this world and to chose theirs and use it well.
Role Mommy: Who is your Role Mommy?
Dre: My mommy. I have referred to her as “the perpetual cheerleader.” She always cheered me on and I hope that I can do the same for my children.
If you live near Westport, CT, Dre will be performing with her band Sugar On Top on Sunday, October 4 at The Levitt Pavilion, Westport, CT. 3-6 PM (Behind the Westport Library) $20 suggested donation – advance purchase is recommended

The Find’s Fave of the Week

The Offi Overlap Tray

The Offi Overlap tray is a functional bentwood lap tray that has many uses in my household. I first bought it as a bed tray for meals and computer work when I was pregnant and prescribed to bed rest. The tray is now a play table for my preschooler daughter. I love the overlap tray because it is nearly indestructable (it has been jumped on and used as a impromptu stage), the surface is resistant to crayon marks, and lastly it can be easily transported to another room or into the back of the station wagon for weekend getaways. I also adore the modern design, which fits nicely within my home’s eclectic decor. I am hoping this tray will serve a lifetime of practical uses yet to be seen in our growing household. Perhaps next Mother’s Day it will present me with a gourmet breakfast in bed!
Save Free shipping over $50 at Design Public from’s Coupon site.