Must See Movie: The Five Year Engagement!

FYE_RGB1SHT_1130_13-5X20_1.jpgThere’s nothing better than watching a romantic comedy that literally makes you laugh until you cry. And this spring, the film that will leave you in stitches is “The Five Year Engagement.” Jason Segel and Emily Blunt star as Tom and Violet, a newly engaged couple who leave their seemingly perfect life in San Francisco behind when Violet convinces Tom to give up his job as a sous chef so she can pursue a fellowship at the University of Michigan. When he’s forced to take a job at a trendy sandwich shop (there aren’t any chef jobs up for grabs in Michigan), Tom’s life begins to unravel as the pair continually get tripped up on the long walk down the aisle.  For anyone who lives for inappropriate comedy – guilty as charged – then “The Five Year Engagement” is definitely the must see wedding film of the season. The film opens in theaters nationwide on Friday, April 27.
Take a look…

I recently got the chance to meet two of the stars of the film, Emily Blunt and Alison Brie and they confided how they managed to keep it together despite the fact their co-stars oftentimes had them in hysterics.
From a cringeworthy scene where Violet gets shot in the leg with a crossbow, to several improv moments featuring Jason Segel and Chris Pratt that had them rolling on the floor, it’s hard to believe Emily and Alison held it together. So how did the they keep a straight face while filming alongside two of the funniest young actors on the planet?
Emily Blunt: We didn’t. Alison’s a pro. She works on “Community” and she’s surrounded by funny people all the time but I have no self control. But Alison out of the whole cast was the best at not breaking and I was by far the worst.
Alison Brie: But when I break it’s the worst because I start crying immediately and Emily would look over at me and would say “stop crying, you’re always crying.”
Guess which scene caused Alison and Emily to completely lose it…

At the beginning of the film, Suzie is a hopeless screw up who gets knocked up after a one night stand with Tom’s cheesy best friend (played by the hilarious Chris Pratt), while Violet seems to have the perfect life after Tom proposes to her on a rooftop and the pair have a picture perfect engagement party. But before you know it, Suzie and Violet’s roles switch completely. Here’s their take on both their characters:
Alison: The entire character changes during the course of the film. Suzie is a disaster but as her life progresses, she becomes more responsible by circumstance.
Emily: Tom and Violet keep getting it wrong and life keeps getting in the way of making things perfect. It’s interesting how the dynamic shifts between them.
2411_D015_00249R.JPGWhile Tom’s life falls apart after he moves to Michigan and loses himself in tacky sweaters and deer hunting, Violet has finally found a career she loves which inevitably drives a wedge in their relationship. When asked what she thinks can keep a couple together, Emily shared this candid response:
Emily: Life is complicated and it’s shape shifting all the time and you have to be able to roll with the punches. Something that I found hard to learn as a British person was communication. It’s a word that we all are terrified of in England. I think if you’re in a relationship, you have to talk to each other and you have to be forever generous and I think the best relationships that I’ve seen of my friends and hopefully that I’m in is that you don’t clip each other’s wings. You have to really empower the other one to be everything they can be.
If you’re looking for something fun to do this weekend, then I have the solution – take your partner or your best girlfriends to see “The Five Year Engagement” – it’s from the producers of “Bridesmaids” and trust me when I tell you it’s the funniest comedy of the season! To find out more about the film visit the official Five Year Engagement website and visit Tom and Violet’s hilarious wedding blog.

Take Back the Kitchen with Alma Schneider

Spring is in the air which means grilling on the BBQ. Assembling healthy food without the use of an oven can be the preferred method of preparing meals. The beauty of these tacos that my sister just made me is that you can prepare the protein any which way-grilling, steaming, baking, boiling, etc., and just use the counter top for the rest. Nice and cool.
Katy’s Tilapia Tacos with Red Cabbage slaw:
For the tacos:
4 tortillas, flour or corn
1 cup refried beans or black beans mashed with a fork
1/2 lb tilapia, steamed grilled or baked, salt and pepper to taste
Red Cabbage Slaw:
2 cups shredded red cabbage
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
1/4 cup chopped jicama, peeled
one lime, juice squeezed
salt to taste
For more great recipes from Alma Schneider, visit her at Take Back the Kitchen.

The Role Mommy Book Club – The God Box

image001.jpegWe are so excited to announce the launch of “The God Box,” an inspiring and bittersweet memoir by author and marketing guru Mary Lou Quinlan. I have always been a fan of Mary Lou’s – she’s fearless, inspiring and a go getter who likes to dream — just like me. So when she first told me about the book she was writing, I knew I wanted to be a part of sharing her story with the world.
If you and your mom are best friends like I am with mine, then The God Box will resonate with you on so many levels and will move you to tears. Whether you still have your mom in your life, or if she’s since passed on, the book will inspire you to not only cherish the time you’ve had with your mom but also to create a legacy for your family so that they never forget how special she really is.
About the Book…
When Mary Lou Quinlan’s beloved mother, Mary Finlayson, dies, her family is left bereft–until Quinlan finds her mother’s “God Box,” or rather, boxes. These simple containers are stuffed with tiny notes written by Mary, asking and praying for everything from the right flooring for her daughter’s new home to a cure for her own blood cancer. Mary’s petitions are presented with love and without expectation. Note by note, Quinlan unearths insights into her mother’s compassion, faith, and perseverance, and revelations of her innermost thoughts–nostalgic, surprising, and even a bit shocking. And through the journey, the author discovers her own more empathetic, more engaged self–the woman her mother had believed in all along.
The Book Trailer…

Visit Amazon to order The God Box: Sharing My Mother’s Gift of Faith, Love and Letting Go. Visit to find out more or chat with Mary Lou Quinlan on Twitter at @GodBoxProject.
Coming soon…an interview with Mary Lou Quinlan.

Take Back the Kitchen: Vegetarian Moussaka

Although it’s technically Spring, it is cold out there in many parts of the country! This comforting Greek dish created by my friend Kara will make you want to just stay home in the warmth and eat all day. It can even be modified for Passover. Enjoy!
Vegetarian Moussaka:
2 sliced medium sized zucchini, brushed with olive oil
2 large sliced eggplant, brushed with olive oil
roast at 350 degrees until wilted, about 20 minutes or more
In a large saucepan, combine:
1/2 cup tomato paste
2 cans chopped tomatoes (15 oz. cans)
3 15 oz. cans chick peas
4 chopped cloves garlic
2 TBS olive oil
2 TBS agave syrup
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1-2 tsp salt
Cook for about 20 minutes and then pulse to a coarse mixture.
In a glass pyrex or casserole dish, layer chick pea puree, eggplant, chick pea puree, zucchini and repeat until ingredients run out.
Cook at 400 until mixture begins to bubble, about half hour and then add bechamel on top (recipe below). Let cook until bechamel is golden, about 10 minutes.
Bechamel or White Sauce (1/2 this recipe for the moussaka or save the rest in fridge):
6 TBS butter
4 cups whole milk
4 TBSflour or Matzoh meal if making during Passover
1/4-1/2 tsp fresh grated nutmeg (adjust it to your liking)
1 tsp salt (adjust to your liking with more, a little at a time)
1/8 tsp ground black pepper
In a medium sized sauce pan, heat up the butter over a low flame until melted.
Stir in the flour with a whisk until fully incorporated with the butter.
Slowly add in the milk, whisking all the while.
Keep whisking now over a low to medium flame. Whisk every minute or so until the mixture becomes thick like pudding. This may take about 10-15 minutes.
Add in the nutmeg, salt and pepper and add more of each if you need to.
For more great recipes from Alma Schneider, visit her at Take Back the Kitchen.

National Food Blogger Bake Sale!

2012FoodBlooger_Final_BWOB_2_tagline.jpg Bloggers without Borders is working in partnership with Share Our Strength’s Great American Bake Sale & Gaby Dalkin on this year’s National Food Blogger Bake Sale, taking place on Saturday April 28th! With nearly 1 in 5 kids in America struggling with hunger, it has never been more important to increase access to feeding programs that can help kids connect with the food they need to thrive. Last year they raised $25,000 through 26 bake sales. This year, they have set a challenge: to raise $50,000! Let’s help them out!
With just $1 connecting a child to 10 meals, you can help Share Our Strength ensure that the more than 16 million kids facing hunger today never go hungry again.
Here’s a list of bake sales that are already taking place. If you’re interested in participating in a bake sale, please reach out to the host. If there isn’t a bake sale taking place in your area, maybe you’d like to host one!
The first step in hosting a bake sale is registering at Registering will get you access to online fundraising tools and they’ll send you a poster and informational booklet. Additional tools and resources can be found in The Bake Sale Resources Center. They’ve got top 10 tips for your bake sale, flyers, stickers, pricing tips and much more!
Once you’ve done that, e-mail Gaby Dalkin ( & Sarah Peppel (sarah @ peppel .com – on behalf of Share Our Strength) with the following information:
Preferred Email address
General questions about Great American Bake Sale can be answered through our FAQs.

The Scribble Diary

2 copy copy-1 copy.png Do you ever feel like your brain is going to explode? Most of the day? Yeah, me too. So when I was given The Scribble Diary, written by Lisa Currie, a unique book that will help you unleash your inner artist and get your thoughts and ideas out of your brain and onto the paper… I was intrigued. Seven years ago Lisa Currie started the scribble diary website as a small project to capture the works of some of her favorite illustrators. Little did she know that it would turn into a worldwide phenomenon.
Now, with her new book, The Scribble Diary: My Brain Right Now (Perigee Trade Paperback Original; May 1, 2012), Currie is encouraging us to record the details of our day in a unique visual way. One of my favorite pages has “advice to mull over” and “advice to ignore” that you can fill in. And another goodie is the page that has “to find the right balance” with a column for “Less” and one for “More”. That is very important! Each page has a place for the date and time that you scribble.
Lying in bed at night my mind tends to focus on all the things I have to do, so instead of trying to remember everything, I started writing them down in my Scribble Diary! It’s much easier to fall asleep when your mind is freed of all the clutter and ‘lists’. My eight year old daughter loved to scribble her thoughts and feelings in some pages as well! They suggest the book can be even be used in classrooms for shy children to help get them out go their shells.
Mother’s Day is right around the corner and The Scribble Diary by Lisa Currie would make a great gift for any special women in your life. Or maybe even for yourself, its really fun and handy!

Alma’s Fabulous Passover Recipes

P1060783.jpgPassover is here again and we are all on the lookout for dishes that can be served during this flour-less holiday that taste good! My friend Maggie gave me this noodle pudding family recipe years ago and it is a true keeper. I have made a few adjustments to make it Passover friendly.
Give it a try this week!
the BEST Passover Noodle Pudding:
12 Oz. wide, curly egg noodles (or matzoh or potato starch noodles if for passover)
6 eggs, beaten
1/2 lb cream cheese
1 1b cottage cheese
1 pint sour cream
6 TBS melted butter (or Margarine if for Passover)
1/2 cup sugar
dash salt
1/4 lb melted butter
1/2 cup sugar
2/3 graham cracker crumbs (or matzoh meal if for Passover)
Mix above ingredients except for topping together in a bowl.
Mix topping ingredients in a second bowl.
Cook noodles according to directions. Mix all ingredients except topping ingredients together, adding eggs last. Spoon into 3 quart casserole dish and top with the topping sprinkled evenly over top and bake at 350 degrees for about 45 minutes to one hour, or until top starts to turn golden brown. Make sure it is in the middle rack of the oven. If top gets too brown too quickly, cover with foil and continue cooking, removing foil a few minutes before the 45 minutes-one hour are up. This dish is so sweet and rich that it can also be a dessert. Enjoy!
For more great recipes from Alma Schneider, visit her at Take Back the Kitchen.

Family Friendly Cars from GM

Written by Role Mommy Contributor, Danielle Feigenbaum
1333384353972.jpg Last week I attended the NY Auto Show at the Jacob Javits center. I have never been to the auto show and honestly, I’m not really a “car person”. But let me tell you, it was very cool. I was invited by General Motors to get a sneak peek at their family friendly cars. I saw a great variety of Chevrolets, Buicks, GMCs and Cadillacs.
First we met with Senior VP of Global Product Development, Mary Barra, who spoke to us about key family vehicles and all the amazing new features. Many of the cars have voice activated service… for navigation, music and phone calls. Its much safer to keep both hands on the wheel! For example, the newly designed Impala, a great iconic, midsize sedan. We were able to see the 2014 Impala, it was beautiful! Amazing colors, safety features and incredible technology. impala.JPG
The folks from OnStar were also on hand to tell us about a new a la carte service they will be offering called Family Link. This is perfect for people with teenage kids or elderly parents. You can see where the vehicle is and receive a text message when the car arrives at it’s destination. This can provide major piece of mind.
We met General Motors Senior Staff Engineer Scott Thomas, who created the Front Center Airbag display that is featured and comes standard, in the new 2013 Buick Enclave. He explained that 30% of deaths can occur from the two font passengers going into each other or across the car during a side impact crash. This Front Center Airbag, takes that danger out of the equation. The 2013 Enclave will go on sale in the fall. This was my favorite car (ok, the Cadillacs were pretty fab as well). I love the open middle in the second row, so the kids can walk right through to the third row. No need to jump over or stand on the seat. The third row did not take up too much of the trunk space which is a big plus.
Look at all this room… it’s like driving a minivan without having to drive a minivan!

Passover Recipes that Aim to Please

Try these recipes for family and friends and you’ll have them clamoring for an invite for your next seder.

Grandma Dora’s Matzoh Brei

Scrambled Matzoh Brie
2 Boards of Matzoh
2 cups of water
1/4 teaspoon of salt
2 eggs
1/2 teaspoon of sugar (or 1 packet of splenda or stevia)
Step 1 – soak matzohs in the water. Drain water. Add eggs, sugar and salt. Pour into a greased frying pan and let it settle, then mix up and scramble. Voila, you have matzoh brei.

Grandma Dora’s Matzoh Pudding

4 boards of matzoh
3 cups of water
2 tablespoons of sugar (or replace with 1 tablespoon of splenda or stevia)
1/2 cup of raisins
1 teaspoon of cinnamon
3 eggs (or egg substitute)
Soak the matzoh. Drain liquid from matzoh. Add eggs, sugar, raisins, cinnamon and then pour contents into a hot greased pan (using Pam or other oil Kosher for Passover). After 3 minutes on medium head, it will form into a thick pancake. You’ll then take a spatula and check the bottom to see if it’s lightly browned. Next, use a dinner plate, cover the pan, invert the cake and put it back in the pan to brown on the other side.
Once it’s complete, put it on a plate, slice it up and serve with syrup or it can be eaten on it’s own since it’s so delicious!

1 cup brown sugar
1 cup matzoh
large bag choco chips
toasted chopped pecans or almonds
Line a large baking sheet with foil, grease well and place four matzahs/matzot on it.
Preheat over for 350
Cook butter and sugar in a saucepan till boiling, for five minutes, stirring occasionally
Pour over Matzot. spread evenly with a spatula.
Bake for five minutes. Remove from oven and sprinkle chips over matzot. When the chips start to melt, spread them with a spatula and sprinkle on some nuts. Chill for an hr and then break into pieces and see how long you can keep from gobbling it up.

Matzoh Candy
1 cup butter
1 cup brown sugar
1 bag semi-sweet chocolate chips
2 ½ cups crushed pecans
Preheat oven to 275
Line a cookie sheet with aluminum foil
Fill cookie sheet with one layer of matza
In a saucepan, combine butter and sugar. Stir continuously over medium heat for about 10 minutes. Stir until caramel turns gelatinous and naturally comes away from the edge of the pan.
Pour caramel over matza, spreading to cover.
Sprinkle choc chips evenly over the caramel covered matza.
Put pan in oven for 3-5 minutes to soften choc chips.
Spread chocolate evenly over caramel covered matza.
Sprinkle pecans over chocolate.
Put in refrigerator to cool.
Break candy into pieces and serve.
Tanya’s Rocky Road Brownies
Brownie ingredients
4 ounces (4 squares) semisweet chocolate, chopped
½ pound (2 sticks) margarine or butter
1 ½ cups sugar
4 large eggs
1 cup matzah cake meal
½ tsp salt
1 cup chocolate chips
2 cups mini marshmallows or large marshmallows cut up
1 cup chopped pecans
Topping ingredients
1 cup mini marshmallows, or large marshmallows cut up
½ cup choc. chips
½ cup chopped peacans
Place oven rack in center of oven and preheat to 325 degrees F. Grease or spray with nonstick spray a 9×13 inch baking pan.
To make Brownies:
In a large microwave-safe bowl, melt chocolate and margarine on high for 1-2 minutes, or until melted. Stir well. Stir in sugar and cool slightly. Whisk in eggs, one at a time. Stir in cake meal and salt. Stir in choc chips, marshmallows and nuts. Pour into pan. Spread evenly.
Bake for 30 minutes or until set.
After 30 minutes, sprinkle brownies with marshmallows. Return to oven for 3-4 minutes, or until puffed but not browned. Removed from oven. Place choc chips in a small, heavy plastic bag and microwave on high for 60 to 90 sec, or until melted and smooth when pressed with fingers. Squeeze chocolate into one corner of bag. Cut a small tip off the corner and drizzle chocolate over brownies. Sprinkle with nuts. Cool completely. Okay to cool in refrigerator. Cut into bars. May be refrigerated up to 4 days or frozen.
They are really yummy! Good luck and happy pesach!

I’m Officially a Fire Walker!

url.jpegWhile I am the ultimate dreamer, I have always managed to stop myself from achieving my goals because I am afraid of failure and don’t like to take chances that could scare the bee-jeezus out of me. Which means when my husband and kids will hop aboard roller coasters, scream machines and will even bungee jump, I typically wait on the sidelines cheering them on. But not last week. Instead, I faced my fears, changed my state of mind, took off my shoes and socks, looked up at the sky, chanted the words “cool moss” six times and proceeded to walk on hot coals!
You see, last Thursday, I was lucky enough to attend Tony Robbins’ UPW Conference (Unleash the Power Within) and from the moment Tony took command of the stage, he proceeded to get the audience on their feet. Within minutes, we were dancing, jumping, chanting “Yes, Yes, Yes,” introducing ourselves to fellow conference attendees, massaging one another (just karate chops and a little neck massage) and mentally taking ourselves back to our past where we relived the most memorable moments of our lives. Tony also managed to make an emotional breakthrough with a few people from the audience who had the courage to share their story with the crowd. Tony managed to instantly deduce what was going wrong in their lives and offered strategies on how they could change their mental state so they could make a positive change in their careers and their relationships.
For 13 solid hours, Tony Robbins talked, joked, cursed, danced, cheered and inspired a room full of 5200 people that consisted of entrepreneurs, single moms, daughters, magazine editors, film and TV stars and even one network morning show host who was deathly afraid of walking on fire. For the record, I walked across those coals solo but did get a big hug from my boss when I arrived safely on the other side.
Though I was scared out of mind at the prospect of fire walking (did I mention the coals were 2000 degrees fahrenheit?), Robbins encouraged and inspired us to face our fears head on. And after I took my final step and was back on the cool pavement, I found the experience to be one of the most exhilarating of my life. Sure my feet were tingling afterwards and I did manage to wind up with a few blisters because I failed to follow Tony’s final directive – “Wipe your feet,” but all in all, I am on my way to changing my outlook for the better.
More importantly, I feel like I am now armed with new tools as a parent that I can use to help encourage my kids to pursue their dreams and not be afraid of rejection. All it takes is a life changing experience to make you realize that even though you may have prevented yourself from pursuing your wildest dreams, you can be the catalyst that helps your kids realize their full potential and achieve their ulitimate goals. Nothing like walking on fire to put life and parenting in perspective.