Shrimp Salad with an Edge

shrimp-salad-ck.jpegSometimes the end of summer can be a bit depressing, but not if you are eating like a Queen or King. This shrimp salad I concocted with the ingredients I had in my fridge from a Rhode Island Farmer’s Market just made my day. I hope it makes yours!
End of Summer Shrimp Salad with an Edge:
1 lb small to medium shrimp, shelled and steamed
8 ears of corn, steamed and kernels cut off with a knife
1 seeded and sliced cucumber
1/2 cup chopped red cabbage
1/2 cup dressing of your choice
1/2 carrot, peeled and chopped
3 thinly sliced scallions
1/2 tsp pepper
1 cup cooked orzo or small pasta or noodle
Combine all together, let chil and marinate lfor at least an hour and serve. Enjoy!
3/4 tsp salt.
For more great recipes by Alma Schneider, visit her at Take Back the Kitchen.

(da)D-List of Signs It’s Time For Kids to Go Back to School

SCHOOL_bus.jpegThe latest hilarious D-list for parents from The Kid Dictionary author and dad, Eric Ruhalter…
1. Mom’s voice no longer registers in kids’ ears.
2. Every family member has consumed twice their body weight in Hamburgers and Hot Dogs. And Freez-Pops are under consideration to become their own food group.
3. Kids now so bored with the pool that they’d rather go clothes shopping.
4. Food left in lunch box since June has grown into a large furry purple organism that is pushing open the pantry doors.
5. The ice cream man has taken in 10% of parents’ combined annual salaries.
6. All school summer reading materials have been ignored, lost, replaced and ignored and lost again.
7. Children now so tan that chocolate ice cream (purchased from the wealthy ice cream man) is no longer noticeable when they get it all over their faces.
8. Lack of intellectual stimulation has rendered kids incapable following the plot of a Sponge Bob episode.
9. Kids just finally getting used to sleeping in enough that catching the morning school bus will be a problem.
10. Mom is standing on the edge of the roof, ranting unintelligibly, wearing nothing but an inner tube, a faux fox fur boa and a conquistador helmet, and swinging a dead trout in circles over her head.
Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for eric.jpgEric Ruhalter is the creator of funny gift book series for parents: “The KidDictionary: Words Parents Need To Describe Their Kids.” Take a hysterical look inside them by watching the videos at Looking’s always free. Eric lives in Morristown, NJ with his wife Kara and 3 vocabulary-defying children. Eric Recently won the Morristown Green Film Festival with his short “Good For the Earth”

One Day: The Last Great Read of the Summer

oneday.pngWe’ve got one more week to go until summer is officially over and that means, we have one more book to recommend to our readers before you dive into all that back to school madness. Thanks to my good friend Julia Beck, who runs Forty Weeks, she recommended I read One Day (Vintage Contemporaries Original)
by David Nicholls, a novel which spans three decades and captures the friendship, roller coaster careers and romance between Dexter Mayhew and Emma Morley. (Incidentally, Julia got her recommendation from her friend JodiFur – so thank you, thank you, thank you Jodi for your fabulous book pick!)
Let me first say, that One Day has all the ingredients that I absolutely adore about books – it’s set in London (I love British chick lit). It starts out as the pair are graduating college in the 1980’s (check, I went to college in the 80’s too) and it tells the story of Dex and Em’s on again, off again friendship/relationship over the course of more than 20 years. I started the book on the way to Maine and couldn’t put down my Kindle on the drive home – my hubby was thrilled about that one. All I can say is, run, don’t walk and BUY THIS BOOK! It’s being made into a movie starring Anne Hathaway – although I would have preferred to have seen it made 10 years ago with Minnie Driver and Hugh Grant but I’m a sucker for British actors and actresses. Plus, there’s an incredible twist near the end that had me crying while reading the remaining chapters. My family of course made fun of me since I’ve been known to cry during iCarly, but seriously – if you are on the lookout for a fabulous summer read as we wind up this season, then One Day (Vintage Contemporaries Original)
is the book for you.

Eating Healthy with Chef Mehta

By Role Mommy Contributor Aloha Pat, founder of Mom’s Best Bet.
0.jpegI recently had to the opporunity to meet Chef Jehangir Mehta in Hawaii while he took keiki (children) on a food adventure through Whole Foods Market.
Check out your Whole Foods to see when he will be coming to your store. Your kids will learn a lot about healthy eating and so will you!
WHAT: The Kids Food Adventure with Chef Jehangir, a national children’s food tour and cooking class, is coming to a Whole Foods Market near you to offer families a free tour and demonstrations.
This program is a partnership between Whole Foods Market and Chef Jehangir Mehta, runner up on “The Next Iron Chef” and executive chef/owner of Graffiti, to encourage families to make healthier choices while introducing their palates to new
ingredients and exciting flavors.
The food adventure is led by Chef Mehta and includes an interactive store tour,
educational and creative cooking demos as well as interactive discussions
designed to encourage healthy, adventurous cooking at home. Following the
New York City launch in April 2010, The Kids Food Adventure with Chef Jehangir
has made stops in cities around the country and is part of Whole Foods Market’s
effort to promote lifelong positive eating habits for children.
For more great travel and food tips from Patrice, visit her at

What’s in Your Attic?

The GO Mom, Lorraine Brock offers tips on organizing this Unseen Area
CG1FBF.jpgI’m in Texas and organizing your attic isn’t something one would do in the heat of July or August. If you don’t have a heat stroke working in your garage, you’re sure to have one in the temperatures that peek and hover around 140 degrees in your attic.
In other states where there’s not such extreme temperature and/or basements are available, storage becomes less of an issue. However, if you are in areas of the country where steamy summers go with extreme heat, you have to work with what you have. The attic is an area that, for many, allows for additional space for storing keepsakes, Christmas decorations and other rarely used items.
If you’ve lived in extreme heat most of your life, you probably already know how to use your attic. But for those who are new to the extreme heat or have never really ventured into that deep dark space, let me give you some organizing tips to utilize this coming fall.
As a Professional Organizer, I meet many clients who do not want to use their attics for storage space; their main concern is the heat. I’ve lived in Texas all my life and have successfully used my attic space without damage to my belongings, giving me less clutter in the spaces that I do use daily.
While there are items that don’t belong in the attic such as candles, leather, photos, slides, film footage, vinyl records, VCR tapes, camcorder tapes, music tapes or any similar type of media in the attic. Most items fair very well.
For items that you can put in the attic, let’s look at a system for keeping it organized, easy to find and that allows you to know what’s up there in a snap.
Use plastic bins if possible; this keeps insects and dust out. Purchase the sturdier bins with handles that lift up over the lid and snap on both sides. Inexpensive bins are thinner and more likely to warp in the heat, especially when the contents inside the container are pushing on the inside walls. If you don’t want to invest in bins, then you can obtain FREE cardboard boxes at any grocery store during their stocking times (usually at night). Just beware when getting boxes down years later that you don’t bring them into your home. Often there are silverfish or other insects inside. You might want to consider using the newer Jumbo Zip Lock storage bags to put items in before storing them in a box. This is less costly than purchasing plastic bins and would protect the contents when using a cardboard box.
When storing items in containers, consider writing on a notepad what items are being stored in each container. You can be as detailed or as generic as you’d like. For example, a box filled with miscellaneous items from childhood might be listed as “souvenirs,” “first baseball bat” and “slot cars,” or you might just say, “Bob’s Childhood Keepsakes.”
Next, give each box a number using colored index cards. For example, write the number (1) on two index cards. Then tape the index cards, one on the front and one on the side of the container using clear packing tape. If you use sticky labels, chances are they will fall off due to the extreme heat.
On your notepad write “Box 1” then the contents, again being as detailed or as generic as you’d like. Continue this process until you have all the items in your attic organized and listed on your notepad. It’s best when stacking the containers to stack in numerical order.
When completed, take this list and create a simple spreadsheet on your computer. Make a folder on your computer titled, “Master List.” Then create a subfolder titled, “Attic Storage.” You can create other subfolders under “Master List” for anything such as medication lists, emergency forms, camping supply list, etc.
Keep a hard copy of the list on a clipboard that hangs on a nail in your garage or attic. This will allow you to easily find what you need.
A few other things to remember when cleaning out your attic this fall:
If you have older kids not living with you, give them a time and date to retrieve their items to organize their own storage. Or, let them know you will be making a donation in their name this holiday season.
Keep empty computer and electronic equipment boxes with their Styrofoam and packaging for future use in your attic. These items sell better with the original packaging.
In cases where you have an “IT” guru in your home, thoroughly examine the box sizes and start packing them inside each other. You’ll be amazed by how many boxes will fit together.
Avoid saving every box an item comes in that you purchase during the year. I normally save the box for 30 days only (keeping it in the garage) — in case the product is defective. After that, the box goes to recycling.
For more great tips from the GO mom, visit her online at Get Organized!

Alma’s Chipotle Corn Salad

corn salad.jpg‘Tis the season to eat corn but I, for one, like to cut mine off the cob because of some unpleasant memories involving corn and having braces at age thirteen. Few frozen foods excite me as much as my own corn, cut off the cob, frozen in an airtight ziploc and later defrosted to make this delectable salad with a kick once all the awesome summer corn is gone. Take the time to shuck and cut some of those kernels off those cobs for later-you’ll be glad you did.
Chipotle Corn Salad:
3 cups corn,steamed for 5 minutes, cooled and cut off the cob (about 5 corn cobs)
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
4 tomatoes , med. sized, seeded and chopped
1 tsp salt
few grinds pepper
Olive oil to taste, start with one TBS to taste
1/4 tsp ground chipotle pepper
juice of 1/2 lime
For more great recipes from Alma Schneider, visit her at Take Back the Kitchen
Mix all above ingredients together in a big bowl. Delicious as a side dish!

The Imagination Playground & the Seaport Museum

IMG_0415.JPGThis week, we got the chance to host a fun filled family event with Kim at Mom in the City where we introduced our favorite parenting bloggers to the brand new Imagination Playground, designed by world renowned architect David Rockwell and located at the South Street Seaport Museum in New York City.
Rockwell Group project designer Barry Richards provided us with a grand tour of this spectacular location for kids that comes complete with an aqua theater, building blocks, a sand area with real sailing masts, hammocks, climbing structures and much more! Check out our Whrrl slide show.

More check-ins at South Street Seaport Museum
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Next, find out more about the Imagination Playground with this fun video from the event.

Fun and Adventure Aboard the Peking Ship at South Street Seaport

Stew Leonard’s: The Disneyland of Dairy Stores

A big shout out to the Rockwell Group and the Imagination Playground, the South Street Seaport Museum, Wichcraft for providing yummy sandwiches and Stew Leonards for their drinks and delicious ice cream treats for kids and parents!

Tea Time with Nanny McPhee

2385_NMP_NANNY_2.JPGThere is something magical that happens when you get the opportunity to spend a morning with an Academy award-winning actress and screenwriter. The experience is transformational and leaves you energized and inspired to tackle anything that life throws out you – and as a mom – life can certainly throw many curveballs your way. This week, I got the chance to meet Emma Thompson, when the Nanny McPhee star sat down for tea and conversation with parenting bloggers. To say I was thrilled is the understatement of the year.
In “Nanny McPhee Returns,” OscarĀ®-winning actress and screenwriter Emma Thompson returns to the role of the magical nanny who appears when she’s needed the most and wanted the least in the next chapter of the hilarious and heartwarming fable that has enchanted children around the world.
In the latest installment, Nanny McPhee appears at the door of a harried young mother, Mrs. Isabel Green (Maggie Gyllenhaal), who is trying to run the family farm while her husband is away at war. But once she’s arrived, Nanny McPhee discovers that Mrs. Green’s children are fighting a war of their own against two spoiled city cousins who have just moved in and refuse to leave.
Relying on everything from a flying motorcycle and a statue that comes to life to a tree-climbing piglet and a baby elephant who turns up in the oddest places, Nanny McPhee uses her magic to teach her mischievous charges five new lessons.
Our group had the privilege of chatting with Thompson about the film, the sacrifices women make in order to juggle work and motherhood and what she hopes audiences of all ages will take away from “Nanny McPhee.”
Take a look…
Question: What about the film resonates with you?
Emma: I think everything because I wrote it….You know the screenplay is ready because the frequency is right. When you get the frequency right that’s when you get the comments from mothers from all over America who say, I knew that my children were enjoying it at the time because they forgot to eat their popcorn. I love that.
2385_D002_00186R.JPGMost powerful scene…
…There’s a point (in the film) when Celia goes up to the Rolls Royce expecting her mum and she opens the door and her mum’s not there and there’s that exquisitely touching exchange where she says, “I expect she’s very busy” and the chauffeur says, “Yes she’s very busy and they’re both hiding the fact that she doesn’t care and she’s not there because she doesn’t care.
Emma’s take on work and motherhood:
At moments, you have to make sacrifices for your children and in my case, it would be the sacrifice of work that I want to do. You think, ‘oh I’d love to do that job and I would get so much pleasure out of it, I’d be able to do it so well’ and then you look at the timing of the job and you realize it’s just when your kid is starting school and you think, I can’t do that. Because the one thing you’re not going to be thinking on your death bed is “Gee, I wish I made more films. Or I wish I had spent more time at the office or I wish I had written more articles.” You’re going to be remembering hopefully, all the lovely times that you said now I’m not going to do that, I’m going to trot off to Spain and learn spanish with my daughter. The things that you do with your kids are the things that you remember.
Question: What do you feel is the more demanding profession, writing or acting?
Emma: Well, writing is a gift – I can write and be entirely available. I can get my daughter to school, be there weekends, pick her up from school, muck about, cook dinner, chat, put her to bed. I can be a writer and a mother, I can do both of those things and I love it, that’s great. Acting is different. Because not only are the hours different because you sometimes leave before your kids get up and get home after they’ve gone to bed and you don’t see them for days on end. Also, and this is slightly more complicated, you’re actually pretending to be someone else which is psychologically very demanding and I realized that my attitude and my relationship with acting changed completely when I became a mother because a new identity was born that I couldn’t slip out of.
2385_FP2_00143_0145R_COMP.jpgQuestion: How has the film been adapted from the Nurse Mathilda book series?
Emma: The character is definitely there, I’ve kind of developed that character further. Christianna Brandt wrote them in the 50’s and grew up with lots of nannies in India and her grandfather used to tell her these stories. He invented this strange ugly character who got prettier every time the children’s behavior changed. Cinematically, she’s not ugly because she’s a bad person and does she change or does the way they see her change? Or is it because “That which is loved is always beautiful” which is one of my favorite proverbs (Thompson credits producer Lindsay Duran with sharing that Norwegian proverb with her). Children are so brilliant and extraordinary and don’t even perceive huge differences in people’s human exterior traits. All they notice is what you’re like on the inside because their instincts are as yet, untrammeled. They haven’t been locked into assumption.
Question: What would you like young moviegoers to learn the most from the film?
Emma: I want them all leaving the cinema feeling different. I want them to feel inspired. And I want them to feel they can sort their own problems just with a little nudge here and there…Because child problems are often much better solved with child solutions and our solutions might be very wise and good but they may not work a lot of the time and I think that children need to know their own capacities. And I think they often feel their limitations too strongly.
Thompson on Overprotective parenting:
And I think as we become more and more protective because we’re so frightened, because we’re always trying to protect our children. If you’re not allowed risk as a child, you will not develop independence, you will not make the mistakes that will save your life later on, that’s the thing. Risk is like a vaccination. Accidents are like a vaccinations…and you may say “I remember when I fell off that chair” and it may have been a tiny little accident but you remember and it’s a muscle memory and that’s what saves your life.
More from Emma Thompson this Friday when Nanny McPhee Returns opens nationwide in theaters!

Take Back the Kitchen…with Mango, Avocado Jicama Salad

jicama2.jpgAre you afraid to admit that you don’t know what jicama is (pronounced “hikama”)? Well, fear not because you are not alone. It is a refreshing and crunchy root vegetable that is a wonderful addition to salads. Enjoy this summery recipe that will certainly be a pleaser at your next BBQ or for just a simple dinner at home.
Mango, Avocado Jicama salad:
1/2 large jicama, peeled and cut into 1/4″ cubes (pronounced “hi-ca-MA” and can be bought at Whole Foods or most Asian or Latin food stores)
1 avocado, peeled and cubed into 1/4″ cubes
1 large mango, peeled and cut into 1/4″ cubes
1/4 cup finely chopped cilantro
1 to 1 1/2 TBS lemon juice
1 TBS finely chopped jalapeno pepper (optional-more or less than I used)
olive oil to taste
salt to taste
Combine all ingredients and stir together very gently so that the avocado does not get mushy. Enjoy alone or as a side dish for fish or anything from quesadillas to an omelette.
For more from Alma Schneider, visit her at Take Back the Kitchen.

Nanny McPhee Returns

Calling all Nanny McPhee fans! Only three more days to the release of Nanny McPhee Returns and here at Role Mommy, we had the opportunity to see the film and interview Oscar winner, star, screenwriter and Role Mommy extraordinaire Emma Thompson. We’ll be sharing excerpts from our parenting blogger roundtable chat with Thompson held at the Carlyle Hotel in New York City along with our review of the film. In a word, Nanny McPhee Returns is phenomenal!
For now, take a look at the trailer and keep checking back for an unbelievable tea talk with Emma Thompson.