If it Was Easy They’d Call the Whole Damn Thing a Honeymoon

jenna_mccarthy_if_it_was_easy.jpgThe hilarious author, Jenna McCarthy, has a new book coming out on October 4th called, If it Was Easy They’d Call the Whole Damn Thing a Honeymoon: Living with and Loving the TV-Addicted, Sex-Obsessed, Not-So-Handy Man You Married (Berkley Books). Jenna is an internationally published writer who’s past books include The Parent Trip: From High Heels and Parties to Highchairs and Potties and Cheers to the New Mom/Cheers to the New Dad , as well as the upcoming companion books Big Rigs for Moms and Tea Parties for Dads. Over the past twenty years her work has appeared in more than fifty magazines, on dozens of websites and in several anthologies including the popular Chicken Soup series. Make sure to watch her appearance on The Today Show, Monday, October 3rd!
Here is just a sampling of her hysterically funny writing and make sure to watch the video of the book trailer, you will laugh out loud.

7 Steps to a Happy Marriage

by Jenna McCarthy
I have a remarkably happy marriage, and people ask me all the time how I got so lucky. (Not as often as they ask me about autism, vaccines and Jim Carrey, so let’s get something straight before we go any further: Not. Her.) 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 tuning 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.
1. Be thinner and better looking than your husband. I have no idea why this works to create nuptial delight but I’m guessing it’s because if you’re fat and ugly you probably never want to have sex, which makes him grumpy and mean because sex was the one and only reason he got married in the first place. (Well, that and pie. Think about it: Most guys will never bake a pie in their lifetimes and from what I’ve seen, they really like pie.) Of course, I don’t know many women who are dying to have sex with fat, ugly men, so this one remains a bit of a mystery.
2. Make sure he does more chores than you do (well, duh) and try to talk less than he does. I have to admit, if you asked my husband the top three things I could do to make him happier, “shut the hell up for five lousy minutes” would probably be on the list. (But not at the tippy-top. Ahem.)
3. Don’t watch a lot of chick flicks. Seems that after sitting through Gnomio and Juliet (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.
4. 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.
5. Limit your booze consumption (both of you). No comment.
6. 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.
7. 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 accuse you of being more concerned about your hair than his precious need for non-recirculated air? If anyone bothered to study this, I’m confident the results would back me up.
So there you have it. I do not suggest trying to master all seven steps at once. For instance, if you stop doing housework altogether (to try to tilt his portion of the ratio toward more), you’ll have a lot of extra time on your hands which you may want to spend drinking alcohol. Remember, there’s no rush here. Till death do us part is a really long time**.
*I may have bastardized the language a bit in some cases but the facts are mostly accurate.
**I stole that line from If It Was Easy They’d Call the Whole Damn Thing a Honeymoon: Living with and Loving the TV-Addicted, Sex-Obsessed, Not-So-Handy Man You Married, which I wrote (and please note that it says the blah-blah-blah man you married, not the one I married. My husband likes it when I point that out). You can find out more about me, my books and how I survived tanorexia on my website.

Fall TV Week in Review: The Good, the Bad and the Disappointing

imgres-38.jpegI don’t know about you, but I’ve been counting the days until my favorite shows finally came back to TV. I was eagerly anticipating the return of “Glee,” was dying to check out “X Factor,” couldn’t wait to see Ricki Lake in “Dancing with the Stars” and am still pretty psyched to tune into “Pan Am,” which has been getting rave reviews from critics.
But a funny thing happened when my family and I sat down to watch “Glee.” The premiere episode was not too hot. Sure we were glad to see that Blaine has finally left the Warblers and joined New Directions, but why did Puckerman’s sharp tongued girlfriend Lauren leave and what’s with Quinn and her fuschia hair? And what’s the deal with Rachel and Kyle singing a weird Wizard of Oz showtune that I’ve never heard before? While I did love that Coach Sue was back to her old nasty self, I wasn’t bowled over by the rest of the crew. Here’s hoping that next week, they’ll bounce back and sing better songs.
And speaking of singing…what the heck is with the new “X Factor” anyway? The last thing I want to see is a carbon copy of “American Idol” which features terrible singers at the beginning and doesn’t really give you anyone to root for. Sure there may be a few bright spots among the bunch but for the most part, X Factor is not thrilling me at all – even with Paula, Simon and that Randy look a like.
Luckily, Dancing with the Stars did not disappoint – I’m rooting for the fabulous Ricki Lake and she sailed through this week along with her partner Derek Hough – who happened to win the competition a few seasons back with my other personal fave, Jennifer Grey. Go Ricki…that mirror ball has your name all over it.
Another bright spot of the week – “Up All Night,” with Christina Applegate lived up to the hype – it is really funny so definitely watch! And “Modern Family” – just as funny as ever…love, love, love that show. I also caught the premiere of “Two and a Half Men” and Ashton Kutcher was hilarious as the lovesick billionaire who decides to buy Charlie’s oceanfront home after his wife dumps him.
Coming this weekend is “Pan Am” and “The Good Wife,” and on September 28, the new ABC comedy “Suburbagatory” premieres. I just got the chance to catch a sneak peak of the show and have to say, I love it. Think “Juno” meets “Desperate Housewives” and it’s the perfect show for moms and tweens to watch together – if the tweens still think their moms are cool enough to hang around – I’m hanging by a thread on that one. I’ve actually become hooked on “Degrassi” with my daughter – strange but true but that show feels like the new and improved 90210.
More good, bad and great TV viewing ahead! Gotta love fall TV.

Nancy Drew: Video Game Review

nancydrew1.pngWe all grew up reading Nancy Drew mystery books and pretending to solve crimes just like she did. Nancy Drew was a revolutionary figure during the 1930s, 1940s and 1950s – to have a strong independent girl who used her brain to solve difficult and dangerous mysteries that left the men stumped was radical at the time… the series inspired generations of women over eight decades. Now there’s a new Nancy Drew video game girls will love to play.
The mastermind behind the 80-year-old iconic characters’ award-winning transition into the 21st Century is Megan Gaiser – Chief Creative Strategy Officer of the acclaimed Her Interactive company (www.herinteractive.com) She is truly inspiring as an acclaimed leader in the male-dominated $21 billion video game industry. Her Interactive is the pioneer in popular mystery gaming, designed for girls and women. Megan Gaiser has grown Her Interactive (HI) from a boutique company to an emerging competitor with the globally-loved Nancy Drew franchise games sales topping seven million units world wide. The Nancy Drew PC franchise has been #1 in the U.S. five years running. Her Interactive has garnered 20 consecutive Parents’ Choice Awards. Megan has been named one of the “Game Industry’s 100 Most Influential Women” by Next Generation and “Top 10 Most Influential Women of the Decade” by Gaming Angels. She also received the 2010 Microsoft Women in Games award.
Debuting their 25th title in the award-winning Nancy Drew series – Alibi in Ashes – as a local contest in Nancy’s hometown turns into an arson scene and this time all the evidence points to Nancy… Whiling away in jail, this is the first game where you play Nancy’s friends with players being able to select their own level of difficulty…
Check out this cool video on it:

5 Reason Why I Became A Good Housekeeping Fan and You Should Too

Contributor Jennifer Wagner, founder of Connect with Your Teens lets us in on the newly re-designed Good Housekeeping website
I have to admit that until recently, I had no clue how great the Good Housekeeping brand was. Since I don’t cook, I’m not very domestic and my main interests are pop culture and technology, my magazine reading list basically consists of Entertainment Weekly and Wired. I was recently given a tour of the Good Housekeeping Research Institute and the redesign of the website and I am here tell you, I am a complete convert.
Why do I now love Good Housekeeping?
1. The Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval – I had heard of this before but never realized how seriously it was taken. On the tour of the labs I saw what went into the rigorous product testing and they stand by every product they give the seal to. I’m not always sure I can trust recommended products in magazines, but now I know I can trust Good Housekeeping’s recommendations. Good Housekeeping will not even accept an ad that makes claims without being able to provide evidence to back up the claim.
2. Easy to Find Product Reviews! The new re-designed Good Housekeeping website puts all the product reviews in one place making them easy to find. This website is now my go-to site to research an item before I buy it.
3. You Can Read Good Housekeeping Anywhere! HTML5 was used to a great degree in the design of the new website, which means that the site looks and functions very well on a variety of platforms in addition to your computer such as tablets and mobile phones. So you can even open up the Good Housekeeping website while you are shopping to look up a product review.
4. Tons of Product Reviews! I was clearly wrong in my thinking that Good Housekeeping was only about cooking and cleaning. If the product reviews of every type of item weren’t enough to keep my coming to the website, the articles on fitness, health, beauty, anti-aging, family, organizing, money and travel would get me here. The articles are written in a quick to read, mostly list type style that won’t take up too much time from your busy day.
5. Great Tools to Solve Everyday Home Problems: The home page has two great tools, the Kitchen Magician and The Stain Buster, in which you can find a recipe based on your needs or learn how to get out a specific stain, in a matter of seconds.
Don’t make the mistake that I did and think that Good Housekeeping is your mother’s magazine. Both the magazine and especially the Good Housekeeping website are for today’s women and men and make sure check out those product reviews!

Take Back the Kitchen with Alma Schneider

P1080689.JPGPlums are still in season and they are a delicious source of nutrients. Plums in a salad? Why not! Enjoy!
Plum and Butter Lettuce Salad:
3 cups chopped butter lettuce
1 plum
shaved parmesan
2 TBS sliced almonds
drizzle sweet vinegar, like balsamic, apple cider or even specialty shop chocolate vinegar
drizzle good olive oil
Pit the plum and chop into small chunks. Chop up and wash the butter lettuce. Dry and place in a medium sized bowl. Add plums, nuts and shaved Parmesan. Drizzle with the oil and vinegar.
Serves 2 as a side salad

A Day of Inspiration with Avon

Project You Managing Editor Jeanne Muchnick Attends a Once in a Lifetime Event with Avon
me at ny stock exchange.JPGWomen empowerment. Belief in yourself. Surviving and thriving. That was the message this week at The New York Stock Exchange when Andrea Jung, the Chairman & CEO of Avon Products rang the closing bell at The New York Stock Exchange. And I have to say I couldn’t help getting a little teary-eyed. Especially since Jim Clark, the grandson of Avon’s Founder David H. McConnell, was there, along with numerous Avon representatives – everyday “RoleMommies” like you and me. Women who took on the job of selling Avon products as a sideline to help support the family. I was also impressed with the number of women who followed their moms into the business, establishing Avon as a generational company built on a deep dedication to improving one’s status.
Yesterday was the company’s 125th year in business – and though it is widely successful and global – and filled with male execs – it is still, at its heart, a company built on the power of its female sales representative. (I was most impressed by the fact that the company was founded in 1886, 34 years before women earned the right to vote.)
avon execs.JPG
the genics girls.JPGToday, there are 6.5 million reps worldwide – smart, savvy, professional women who are a far cry from the famous “ding dong” Avon Ladies of years past. These women are passionate, entrepreneurial, and fiercely loyal. I met people yesterday – all moms — who have been with the company 25 years, 14 years, 40 years – even one women who has been selling Avon products for more than 60 years. No wonder they call it the company for women. And no wonder, after a few minutes speaking with Haizel McIntyre, one of the reps, I was seriously thinking of joining the sales force (you can make a decent salary!!!). I was also – truth be told — eager to leave the festivities and try the various lipsticks (I’m officially “in love” with the superSHOCK liquid lip shine) and lotions (hello Skin So Soft body wash) in my goodie bag. The piece d’resistance, however, is Anew Genics, a new line (just out this month) with patented YouthGen ™ Technology that helps stimulate the Youth Gene to help women look up to ten years younger. At only $38 a jar, how can you say no?
To locate an Avon rep near you, call 1-800-FOR-AVON or visit www.avon.com.
Disclosure: I was not compensated for this post but received a gift bag in conjunction with my attendance at the event.

Why My Butt Gets Bigger During Baseball Season

iStock_000001607985XSmall.jpgOnce upon a time I went to the gym. I roller bladed. I took hip hop classes. I even went to weekly Weight Watcher meetings. That was before baseball. You see B.B. (before baseball) or B.S. (before softball), I had at least six hours in the day to do the things I wanted to accomplish on a weekend. From hitting the gym, to getting a mani/pedi to food shopping (yes, I’m one of those people who happens to like to skip out on my family as I peruse the aisles of our local supermarket), I had the world at my feet. And then my kids took up team sports. And life as I knew it was never the same.
Now, every weekend is like ground hogs day. I wake up to find out if I’m going to get a few more hours on my side only to learn that my daughter has a double header in Hastings while my son has to be somewhere about 10 miles away at the same time. I can honestly write a word problem about our weekend ball game travails:
If you have two children and one has a baseball game at 11am and the other has a game at noon but must be at the ball field for practice at 11:30am, how do you make it to both fields to watch them play? Answer: You don’t.
So back to my butt. Ever since my kids have been playing ball, I head to the bleachers and plant my buns there for hours at a time as I yap away with moms. As I unconsciously start snacking on my son’s cheetohs, or polish off the rest of the Mister Softie cone that my daughter doesn’t feel like finishing, the damage done to my posterior during fall ball is quite embarrassing to say the least.
Sure, I start out every year thinking this will be the season I make an effort to lose at least 10 pounds and then I just don’t. I mean, how can you when you spend half the day on the bleachers, then the other half running to another ball field, picking up lunch or snacks for someone, eating those snacks and then collapsing in a heap after you’ve been out baking in the sun?
I guess I need to get motivated and start doing some clenching exercises while I’m on the bench. Or better yet, maybe I should ride my bike to the field and tell the kids to carpool with someone else. Either way, I will not let my butt be held hostage by youth baseball. It’s time to take a stand. Or better yet, just stand up and stretch.



This week, we had the opportunity to attend a roundtable discussion with an amazing group of people, to discuss a very important topic that’s always weighing in the hearts and minds of parents and kids: bullying. Parents and schools may not want to talk about it, but it has to be talked about. More than 160,000 children will stay home every day because they are afraid of being bullied.
“48 Hours” executive producer Susan Zirinsky, spoke to parenting, tween and education bloggers about the importance of the special and why she feels that it’s an issue that must be tackled at the start of the school year. Take a look…

Correspondent Tracy Smith interviewed parents, kids and administrators as part of the special, airing Friday, Sept. 16 (8:00 PM, ET/PT) revealing how the explosion in technology is only making bullying worse, as victims cannot find relief from their tormentors in a 24/7 digital world. The report, with links to the CBS News website, will have important new information for parents, educators and legislators about how bullying affects children and how to address it. Plus, you can join the conversation online on http://www.facebook.com/#!/48hours .
Many schools turn a blind eye to the bullying issue; but in the 48 Hours special, you will find out that one middle school in Rhode Island is taking a stand and making a difference. For six months, producers and camera crews were allowed in-depth access to the classrooms, cafeteria and gym at the Rhode Island middle school that is one of the few in the United States that has openly acknowledged it has a bullying problem and has taken action to address it. The 48 HOURS special documents the real lives of students at that particular school, and has the powerful stories of other young people and their families from around the country who have felt the impact of bullying firsthand.
If you are dealing with bullying issues with your child, CBS News offers a comprehensive resource for parents:
Tips for Parents
A Mother’s Story
Meet the Kids
Here we are with the fantastic CBS staff responsible for this special as well as the wonderful group of bloggers:
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Rise & Shine with The Organized Mom

MB900442483[1].JPGIt’s back to school time and I hear the sound of the school bells ringing in the distance. Oh wait, that’s my kid’s alarm clock….and yet I hear no sounds of my child actually getting up.
Why is it that some parents still have to get up to wake their kids even when the kids have an alarm clock? If the kids can ignore the sound of the alarm, why can’t parents do the same? I value any day that I can keep my head on my pillow a little longer even when other members of my family have to get up. I actually dread the back to school hours with the morning birds tweeting way too early for me. My kids and I are late nighters and seem to be able to accomplish more during the evening hours than in the daylight.
Nevertheless, early morning wake up calls are here again. I have to admit that for many years, I did the dance of setting my alarm clock to go off just to wake up my kids even when their alarm clocks were going off. Sounds strange I know … but a few years ago I put a stop to that. I decided that instead of me suffering from the unnecessary early rising, I would require the kids to go to bed earlier and earlier each night until they were able to get out of bed themselves for school.
MP900430984[1].JPGThere are some kids that need a more creative solution to waking up with an alarm clock. If your child still uses a nightlight, you might want to consider an alarm clock with a blue digital display. Blue brightens the room more than a standard red display… sort of a moonlight look. Does your child like music or need a loud alarm sound or could they use a phone charging station that also acts as an alarm?
I have found a few favorite alarm clocks that are almost guaranteed to get any sleepy child out of bed. They are called the Clocky and Sonic Boom. The Clocky, my personal favorite, is the patented alarm clock that jumps 3 feet off your nightstand and runs away beeping to get you up. You can only snooze it once, so after that, the sleeper has to get out of bed and turn it off.
The Sonic Boom alarm clocks are said to “wake even the deepest sleeper!” They are turbo charged, extra loud, and some even have a bed shaking device. Sometime it takes extreme measures to wake extreme sleepers.
The Sonic Boom alarm clocks are said to “wake even the deepest sleeper!” They are turbo charged, extra loud, and some even have a bed shaking device. Sometime it takes extreme measures to wake extreme sleepers.
During my childhood I was always diligent about getting out of bed on my own and on time. However, my two older brothers were not. I remember my mom getting a small amount of water in a cup and pouring it over them while they were sleeping. I stood there just waiting for their reaction and while it was not much water at all, when you are sleeping and something wet falls on your face or chest … you wake up in a hurry.
So whether you have been using a creative mom dance with tambourines or a small cup of water to get your child out of bed, it’s time to try these or other creative alarm clocks. Start training your child now to get up each morning on their own so you can stay in your bed a little longer.
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 de-cluttering homes for moms as well as implementing systems in the home for better family management.
Description: Description: LB-EmailBW.jpegA popular media guest, Lorraine has appeared on Dallas’ two top morning television shows: Good Morning Texas and Good Day Fox , and has been featured on various radio outlets. She has been hallmarked in many local, regional, and national print and online magazines, such as the Dallas Morning News, Mercator.net, SheKnows.com, and Daily Candy Kids. Additionally, Lorraine has shared the stage with stars from HGTV and DYI Network at the Great Big Texas Home Show at the new Dallas Cowboys Stadium. To obtain more information about Lorraine, visit www.GetOrganized.ws.