Take Back the Kitchen with Alma Schneider

IMG_1241.JPG As Football season approaches, it will be important to start accumulating recipes for Tailgating parties! Here is an easy and festive meatloaf appetizer recipe to get the ball rolling. Enjoy!
Meatloaf appetizers with Bacon and Cheese:
2 LBS ground beef or turkey
2/3 cup sour cream
1 cup ketchup plus more for squirting on top
1 egg
1/2 cup breadcrumbs (I use panko ones from Whole Foods)
large pinch of kosher salt
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
6 slices bacon cooked until crisp and crumbled-set aside in small bowl
1) Combine all ingredients, up until the cheese and bacon in a big bowl.
2) Transfer to an 8″X11″ casserole dish and bake at 350 degrees for one hour. Remove from oven and top with the grated cheese and place back
3) in the oven for 2 minutes or until cheese melts.
4)Top the cheese with the crisp, crumbled bacon and cut into one or two inch squares.
5)Serve hot as one inch cubes or with toothpicks.
For more great recipes from Alma Schneider, visit her at Take Back the Kitchen.

Death by Coffee Mug

imgres.jpegJust when you thought you had to keep your kids safe from guns, knives and other dangerous weapons comes a news story that literally had me rolling with laughter yesterday. It’s the story of Lois Goodman, a US Open tennis umpire who was just arrested for bludgeoning her husband to death with a coffee cup!
The 70 year old woman in question bears a striking resemblance to Dr. Ruth and Shirley Maclaine and she seemed pretty perturbed that she was brought into custody right when she was going to start calling double faults at Arthur Ashe Stadium. According to her neighbors, Lois is quite the crab apple — or Farbissina Punim (sour puss) as someone with a basic grasp of Yiddish would prefer to call it. The bottom line is this: Lois must have been pretty annoyed at her husband to have conked him over the head with a coffee cup and then literally left him for dead.
While I was talking about the case today with my mother — who happens to be the same age as Lois Goodman, we both admitted that sometimes, we would like to throw a coffee mug at our husbands. My mom in particular has been married for 50 years so I would totally give her a pass if she got pissed off one day and decided to hurl Dad’s favorite New York Yankees mug in his direction. Of course, she’d never do it, but when your spouse drives you to the point of insanity, sometimes you just want to throw something. In this case, the woman should have thrown the mug at the wall instead of at her husband’s temporal lobe. Then maybe she’d be back on the courts doing what she loves — which according to some of the biggest players on the circuit is make tennis players pretty miserable. According to news reports, in her more than 30 year career as an umpire, the woman has traded barbs with John McEnroe and Andre Agassi among many others. Who knew that being a tennis umpire could be such a thankless and bitter profession?
While I’d never want to see anyone lose their life after being bludgeoned by a coffee cup, I do have to say, this is one murder case that would make a great Lifetime Movie. Here’s hoping Shirley Maclaine throws her hat into the ring and shows the world what really went on behind closed doors in Lois Goodman’s house. I guess her husband would have been much safer if they had switched to tea.

Want to Know the Secret to Radiant Health?

Perspective: One of the Secrets to Radiant Health? By Debi Silber, MS, RD, WHC The Mojo Coach®

We’ve all heard that our perspective, which is our outlook, slant, or point of view is important when it comes to our happiness and success. It’s our perspective that acts as the lens to our view of the world around us as well as how we act and how we react to all that we see. All we need to do is look around and see how those with a positive perspective, who embrace life with passion and a desire to create and contribute-­‐thrive. We also see that those with a negative perspective, who numbly get through their days often do little more than survive. Well, not only does our perspective create the life we live, it’s also one of the greatest contributors to a life filled with health and wellness or…illness and disease.
Two people can be in the exact same position and it’s their perspective that can create or compromise their health. For example, picture two people sitting in traffic. It’s the same situation for both but the way they each choose to view the situation can be entirely different. One person can be using the time to unwind, listen to music, listen to an audio book or learn something new through a recording or CD. Another person, in the same situation, becomes angry and frustrated, choosing to use that time to bang on the steering wheel and drown in a sea of stress induced hormones. While it’s the same situation for both, it’s the one who’s choosing a more positive perspective and reaction to the event that will enjoy greater health and wellness. Why?
Unmanaged, chronic stress coming from a negative perspective creates physical, mental and emotional wear and tear. It’s hard to imagine because we relate something physical to a physical problem. For example, you stub your toe, it hurts. So how can a feeling or emotion (which is driven by our perspective) cause illness, even disease?
We have either positive or negative emotions and every emotion bathes the body in hormones and chemicals. Positive emotions such as feelings of love, joy and happiness, flood the body with “feel good” hormones and endorphins which nurture, heal and support the body (these are the same chemicals that are secreted during a “runner’s high.”) On the other hand, every negative emotion floods the body with stress hormones. These are the hormones that are ignited by the stress response, which is crucial to your survival but damaging when continuously released. This stress response, which we know as the “flight or fight” response, is what enables you to react quickly in order to get out of harms way.
For example, if a car is coming towards you, it’s this magnificently designed response that enables you to quickly jump the curb to safety. It’s designed to keep you safe and works perfectly over the short term. When under chronic stress coming from a negative perspective however, this same system is ignited…and not turned off. This same system that’s designed to protect you over the short term is causing enormous wear and tear over the long term leading to symptoms, illnesses, conditions and disease.
Think about how your body reacts to feelings and emotions. You may become angry and your face reddens, you’re nervous and you get “butterflies”, you’re embarrassed and you blush, you’re upset and you may get a “sour stomach.” These are all physical responses to a feeling or emotion. They’re also single instances and we can immediately see a physical reaction take place. If the body reacts this way to a single incident, what happens when you’re under constant pressure, continually angry, frustrated, discouraged and upset? What happens when you add to this the stress and strain from trying to be a good partner, co-­‐worker, employer/employee, parent, child, sibling, neighbor or friend? What happens when you continuously replay negatively charged events from long ago, hang onto past grudges and hurts, feel hopeless, helpless, pessimistic or frustrated with your business, your relationships…your life?
Stress causes aging, weight gain, illness and disease. It suppresses your immune system, making you more vulnerable to bacterial and viral invasion. Stress delays wound healing, affects every organ, system and every cell you have. Have you ever seen someone and thought, “Wow, they look like they’ve had a hard life” or noticed that they really haven’t aged well? The way they’ve handled their stress is written all over them.
Our bodies are billboards telling the world how we’re handling our stress. When we’re healthy internally (through a positive outlook and perspective) it will show itself externally through an energetic, vibrant, healthy and youthful body. When we’re unhealthy internally, it will show externally and our bodies will rat us out like a six year old telling on their sibling. Just look at someone’s face. Either laugh or frown lines will permanently etch themselves on someone’s face according to the facial expression they used most. Laugh lines or deeply burrowed frown lines-­‐what do you see when you look in the mirror?
Nothing has meaning until the meaning we give it. What this means is that besides the two intrinsic fears we have of falling and loud noises, nothing is scary, threatening, upsetting or aggravating unless we decide it is. On the other hand, nothing is great, wonderful or terrific unless we decide it is either. What’s at the core of how we view things and the meaning we give to things? You guessed it, our perspective.
Our perspective is formed by our belief system, our environments, our relationships, our values, our upbringing and so much more. These variables come together and form a positive or negative perspective. It’s sort of like when we bake a cake. Put in a variety of different fresh, delicious ingredients that work well together and you’ll have a fabulous and positive outcome. Put in rotten eggs, stale flour and sour milk and it should be no surprise that you’ll get…exactly what you put in.
If we view situations and circumstances from a pessimistic and negative perspective our glass will always be half empty. If we choose to go the more positive, optimistic route, we’ll see that same glass as half full. The real beauty of this is that if we discover we lean towards a negative perspective, we’ve been thinking negatively or only seeing a half full glass, this is something we can change…if we choose.
Understanding that a positive perspective leads to a rewarding, fulfilling as well as a healthy life may just be the catalyst you need to change your perspective to enjoy these benefits. With this in mind, which perspective will you choose?
Debi Silber, MS, RD, WHC The Mojo Coach®, founder of www.TheMojoCoach.com is a leading health, fitness, wellness, lifestyle, self-­‐improvement expert and THE secret behind some of the healthiest, most dynamic, energetic and successful people today. Sign up for your “10 FREE Strategies to Get You Lean, Sleek and Sculpted”! (These are complete programs and videos) and take the FREE “Mojo Lifestyle Assessment” to see how you score.

Back to Paradise at Jake’s Resort

pelicanbarjamaica.jpgWhere do I begin? This is the second year we went back to Jake’s Resort in Treasure Beach Jamaica and all I can say is this time around, it was even better than our first visit. We spent seven days in paradise where we traveled by boat to a bar at sea, swung from vines into Black River, jumped off waterfalls, visited farms where we sampled some of the most delicious fruits on the planet; was awestruck by the ocean views from Lover’s Leap; sweat more than I ever did in my life while climbing into a cave and lived it up in the lap of luxury at a multimillion dollar villa that my kids are now begging to return to next summer.
Rather than talk about my experience in a blog post, I put together a few videos that are sure to put a smile on your face. If you’re interested in visiting Jakes, visit their website at www.jakeshotel.com. There are so many amazing things to do while you’re there and the staff and residents of Treasure Beach are some of the kindest and most generous people we have ever met in our lives.

More videos to come…

Ten Tips to Reduce Workplace Stress

By Debi Silber, MS, RD, WHC The Mojo Coach®

Workplace stress contributes to so many health issues including aging, weight gain, illness and disease. Feeling stressed during your workday? Here are a few simple tips to help you stress…less.
1. Learn how to say “no”. When you’re already overextended, taking on additional tasks will only create more stress and anxiety. Stop piling onto your full workload by learning how to say “no.”
2. Make your workspace work for you. Personalize your workspace with things that calm and soothe you. That could mean pictures of loved ones or photos of serene settings, something calming on your desk or even music playing softly around you. You can also download apps with sounds like waterfalls, birds, rain, wind or whichever sounds give you a sense of peace and serenity.
3. Keep things in perspective. Sure you have projects to finish and deadlines to meet but stress is tied to many diseases and is a main reason for many emergency room visits. Is what you’re getting stressed over worth losing your health?
4. De-­‐clutter and organize your workspace. Make the decision to keep, file or toss then organize everything left within in your space so things are easy to find. Clutter creates stress by vying for your attention so de-­‐clutter your space to de-­‐clutter your mind.
5. Improve your productivity. Take note of how you’re scheduling your workday and what you’re spending your time on. For many people, delegating certain times to check email, make phone calls, schedule breaks or work on specific tasks is a great way to get more done with less stress.
6. Be realistic. Go for progress, not perfection because trying to be perfect is a perfect recipe for stress. Of course you want to do a good job but take the pressure off by learning what’s good enough in order to keep your stress in check.
7. Steer clear of “energy vampires.” We all know them. They’re the people who drain you of your time, energy and motivation…if you let them. They also increase your stress. By spending time with those who are positive, uplifting, fun and inspiring you’ll reduce your stress while being encouraged to be, do and have more.
8. Exercise. Burn off some steam by taking regular breaks to move and stretch throughout your day. Exercising before your workday can set the tone for a productive, energetic day while exercising after your workday can help reduce your stress before you come home. No matter when you exercise, working out regularly is a great stress reducer, encourages more restful sleep, reduces your risk for stress related conditions and disease in addition to having so many other physical, mental and emotional benefits.
9. Take an objective look at your job/career. Stress is often a result of dissatisfaction and a lack of joy. Are you enjoying your work? Does it bring you satisfaction and fulfillment or is it only a means to a paycheck? Maybe it’s time to change your responsibilities, take on a new challenge or possibly a new career. Work doesn’t feel like work when you’re doing something you love so take a look to see how you’re feeling about how you spend your day.
10. Have more fun. Being responsible doesn’t mean you can’t have fun. Lighten up and laugh more by being mindful of who and what you’re allowing into your life. Negative people, programs and information increase anxiety, stress and fear while positive influences strengthen your immune system and make life more enjoyable. Be strict about the messages you allow yourself to see, hear and absorb.
Debi Silber, MS, RD, WHC The Mojo Coach®, founder of www.TheMojoCoach.com is a leading health, fitness, wellness, lifestyle, self-­‐improvement expert and THE secret behind some of the healthiest, most dynamic, energetic and successful people today. Sign up for your “10 FREE Strategies to Get You Lean, Sleek and Sculpted”! (These are complete programs and videos) and take the FREE “Mojo Lifestyle Assessment” to see how you score.

Verizon Wireless Takes Me & My Son Out to The Ballgame

On the first official day of my three week vacation, I spent some quality time with my son Dylan. Luckily for us, we had been invited by the folks at Verizon Wireless to attend a Met game at Citifield. Despite the sweltering 90 degree temperatures, we got the chance to chill out in Verizon’s suite behind home plate where we were treated to lunch, drinks and got a sneak peak of some super cool Back to School gadgets and services. Dylan was so excited to be watching the game from a suite, that he even called his dad to share the big news…
While watching the Mets play a nearly flawless game — they won 6-1 — I got to find out about all the offerings Verizon Wireless now has on tap for families. One of the coolest services I found was their GPS locater service — which you can currently try out for free for 30 days. After inputting my daughter’s cell number, I can literally track wherever she goes. Thankfully, she is pretty good about telling me where she’ll be and I don’t know if she’ll be thrilled to know that I can track her every move, but something about that service is pretty re-assuring. Especially if you’re giving it to a child who is about to start middle school and walking to the bus by themselves for the first time. I also was really impressed by another service by VZW that enables you to block certain phone numbers and websites on your child’s phone depending upon their age.
From there, Dylan and I checked out the gadget section. While I was pretty impressed at a really cute Crayola app that takes the mess out of coloring for good — Dylan instantly fell for a remote control helicopter that you can steer with your phone. Then again, I was totally amazed by that one too.
The suite also featured some of the latest tablets and phones including the new Samsung tablet that’s lightweight and super fast. I also checked out a brand new 4G phone too and will probably surprise my husband with it since he’s due for an upgrade and our anniversary is right around the corner. Nothing says, I love you honey like a brand new cell phone.
It was also really wonderful to get the chance to spend time with some of the nicest bloggers I know, including Nancy Horn at The Mama Maven, Divinia Rodriguez from Dancing Hot Dogs and Monica Vila, The Online Mom.
But, as a proud mom of an awesome 10 year old, I’d have to say the highlight of my day was getting the chance to hang out with my son Dylan — who pretty much gave me the play by play of the game and even made me stop tweeting so I could watch one of the players hit a triple. Gotta love kids — they absolutely know how to keep us grounded and in the game!
Thanks to Verizon Wireless for making our day extra special and if you want to find out about all the great gadgets and offers they’ve got this season in time for Back to School, visit www.verizonwireless.com.

Play “Real” Dress up Without Breaking the Bank

Written by Role Mommy Contributor, Danielle Feigenbaum

Ripka.jpg Ok ladies, admit it, we love to dress up. We watch the red carpet with envy, oohing and aaahing at the celebrities dripping in gorgeous jewelry. We even watch our little girls play dress up, wearing pearls and tiaras and wish we could dress up too. You know what I’m talking about, we like to feel like a princess – inside and out.
Unfortunately, spending a ton of money on jewelry becomes difficult when you have a family and responsibilities that take priority. A typical birthday or anniversary present has become something we “need” for the house or the kids, not a luxury item. Spending thousands of dollars on jewelry is not always realistic. Now, we can look the part without having to spend all that money, woo hoo!
SweepStreet.com offers the latest top-brand jewelry and accessories for as much as 70 percent off market price. SweepStreet features beautiful, brand name jewelry at highly discounted prices from recognized designers such as Judith Ripka, David Yurman, HONORA and so much more. You can also win free jewelry and merchandise by participating in their Sweepstakes. You will not believe all the fantastic jewelry they have, and the discounts are incredible.
Launched in 2011 and based in New York, SweepStreet is the collaboration of well-respected jewelers and financial managers bringing a new concept to the online world: combining the accessibility to exceptional jewelry and the chance to win equally great prizes. Their jewelry is fully insured, with a fair refund policy. They also make sure the Sweepstakes are clear – no need to buy bid packs (or buy anything, for that matter) or to sit by the computer to watch an auction. All you need to do is enjoy shopping online or entering their free Sweepstakes.
Even more good news… exclusively for our Role Mommy readers, you can save 20% when you buy fabulous jewelry at SweepStreet.com. All you need to do is enter the code, ROLEMOMMY at checkout and you will be well on your way to looking amazing for less… and nobody needs to know, it can be our little secret 😉 Here are some of my faves, happy shopping!

Fisher-Price Servin’ Surprises Kitchen Set!

Written by Role Mommy Contributor, Danielle Feigenbaum

Servin' Surprises Image.jpg Last week I attended an event for Fisher-Price where I got a sneak peek at their amazing new toy, the Servin’ Surprise Kitchen. I don’t think I am exaggerating when I say, all children love to play “kitchen”. Kid’s imaginations can run wild with pretend food and kitchen play. My kids (ages 8 and 5) still love to play with the kitchen they have had for over six years. Kids can pretend they are going to the super market, play restaurant, or have a family dinner. Playing “family” is big in my house, how about your’s? Of course we expect wonderful toys to come from Fisher-Price and this is no exception.
Kitchen play is so important for kids. Some of the skill-building opportunities with food/kitchen play are… color identification, sensory stimulation, counting and measuring, problem solving, fine motor skills, cooperation and sharing.
Your kids will love the “magic” serving tray which says different phrases like “Who wants pizza?” or “Mmmm, cookies!” There are also songs to teach kids about manners and clean up, love that. Since I am a little bit of a neat freak, my favorite part is the secret compartment that stores everything in the table, easy cleanup is the best. The size is perfect as well, not too big so I wouldn’t feel bad giving it as a gift to someone who lives in an apartment and doesn’t have a ton of room for big toys.
The kitchen set includes table with convertible stovetop, removable oven and “magic” serving tray, 4 slices of pizza with toppings & pizza cutter, 4 cookies with cookie sheet, 2 place settings: forks, spoons, cups & plates.
Click here to learn more about the Servin’ Surprise Kitchen Set and to purchase one for your kids or as a fantastic gift!

Reese Witherspoon wearing Rachel Zoe

Written by Role Mommy contributor, Danielle Feigenbaum
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I adore Reese Witherspoon, I have loved her since ‘The Man in the Moon’. I am a huge fan of her movies and absolutely love her style. The mommy of 2 (soon to be 3), always looks amazing, Here she is wearing her favorite GLADYS flats from THE RACHEL ZOE COLLECTION while out grabbing Pink Berry in Brentwood with her hubby, Jim Toth. These sandals are really cute and you don’t need to be a celebrity to wear them. You can look just like Reese… the Rachel Zoe Gladys are available at Zappos, Shopbop, Nordstroms and more.
4349_REESE WITHERSPOON_The Rachel Zoe Collection_8-7-12_no3.jpg