Catching up with the Ladies of “The Talk”

193845.jpegThere is something to be said for people who truly understand the power of social media. There are so many people I know who have no idea what a hashtag is, how to tweet and have even sworn off Facebook. But not me. I am completely and utterly hooked when I find myself engaging with celebrities, friends from all over the country and strangers from around the world.
Which leads me to my whirlwind trip last week to the set of “The Talk” on CBS. I have been fortunate enough to be working behind the scenes on the show helping to spread the word about the show, the fabulous hosts, and the laugh out loud moments that seem to spontaneously occur every day of the week. Last Wednesday’s show did not disappoint — I got the chance to welcome 16 bloggers to the show and together, we tweeted from the audience, laughed out loud with “Mike and Molly” star Billy Gardell and took home amazing prizes to help jump start our fitness routines.
Following the show, we were brought to the executive dining room at CBS where we first caught up with one another — I have met several of the bloggers and really adore them — they are so inspiring and accomplished in their own right and it’s always so nice to connect in person. Check out the incredibly inspiring Liz Dwyer with me below (thanks Liz!). I also met some new bloggers who were still learning the ropes and it was so great to be able to get to know them too and hear about what they hoped to accomplish through blogging.
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And then, the moment of truth arrived. We all took our seats and the ladies of “The Talk” walked into the dining room, grabbed their lunch and then spent the next hour and a half chatting about the show, their favorite guests, their family lives and so much more. I haven’t laughed so hard in quite a while — Sheryl Underwood is hilarious but can also bring you right back down to earth in an instant with her sharp wit and intellect. Sharon Osbourne is so lovely — sure she sometimes can curse like a sailor, but you know what? I love that she is so real. Aisha Tyler is also so funny and appreciative of all the support she’s received since joining the show. Sara Gilbert has totally blossomed as a co-host and Julie Chen, whom I’ve known since I first started booking CBS stars on “The Early Show,” is and will always be as humble and down to earth as the first time I ever met her.
After the ladies talked about how much fun they were having this season — just take a look at some of the recent comedy bits produced by “The Talk” and you will see why — the hosts and producers also shared how appreciative they were over the support they’ve received via social media. Sheryl Underwood loves seeing her comments on the show re-tweeted and both the executive producers and hosts attribute the show’s continued growth to the ongoing support of fans who get to interact in real time with the show.
Before we knew it, our time with the ladies was over, but not before Liz at Los Angelista snapped this pic of me with Sharon Osbourne. Love, love, love her!!!!
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Here’s a photo of all the fabulous bloggers who attended the luncheon — many thanks to all of them for taking time out of their busy schedules to spend a day with the ladies of “The Talk.”
Check out all the amazing women who attended the luncheon and visit their blogs — I’m sure you will be just as impressed as I was!
Carley Knobloch — Digitwirl
Donna Schwartz Mills – Socal Mom
Liz Dwyer – Los Angelista
Yvonne Condes – MomsLA
Tara Gray and Brook Roberts – Gal Time
Morgan Shanahan – BlogHer
April Peveteux – Cafe Mom
Kimberly Clayton Blaine – The Go To Mom
Valerie Mitchell – Sweeps 4 Bloggers
Eva Glettner – Cool Mom Picks
Ana Flores – Spanglish Baby
Beth Blecherman – Tech Mama
Rosy Lopez – Daytripping Mom
Tisha Berg – Biz Mommy
Keuinta Dixon – Free and For Me

An Inspirational Lunch with Debbie Phelps

Written by Role Mommy contributor, Danielle Feigenbaum
Recently I was fortunate enough to attend an intimate blogger lunch with my new hero, Debbie Phelps. During the past week I read her memoir, A Mother For All Seasons. Reading the book, I felt like she was sitting next to me, telling me her life story. I was blown away by this single mother who worked as a teacher and now as a principal, all while raising three elite swimmers. She has two daughters and a son whom you may have heard of… record-setting gold-medal winner Michael Phelps. As hard as it was, she drove those kids to swim practice and swim meets and supported them 100%. So much of her life was dedicated to her children’s dreams.
I wanted to know her secret, how did/does she do it? Her advice was simple, take things slow and enjoy life. How often do we say we should do that and then forget? Not anymore. I am determined to channel my inner Debbie Phelps and have more patience with my kids, help out in my community more and support my families’ dreams. My daughter, age eight, recently had a piano recital where she chose to play a difficult song and even though there were only about 50 people in the audience, I was a nervous wreck! I held my breath while she was up there at the grand piano and felt like I was going to throw up. How in the world does Ms. Phelps sit at the OLYMPICS and watch her son swim in front of billions of people, competing for gold?! It’s amazing.
Listening to her speak with such enthusiasm and a huge smile on her face was truly inspiring. As if all that wasn’t enough, Ms. Phelps also serves on the Century Council and is an Ambassador for Ask, Listen, Learn, which encourages kids to “Say ‘YES’ to a healthy lifestyle and ‘NO’ to underage drinking.”
Ask, Listen, Learn has an important message: kids and alcohol don’t mix. As unbelievable as it may seem, the average age of a person’s first alcoholic drink is eleven! It is never too early to talk to your “tween” about alcohol and Ask, Listen, Learn can help. According to the 2011 Monitoring the Future Study, nearly one third of 8th graders report they have tried alcohol once in their lifetime and 15% report they have been drunk. That is a pretty scary statistic. Through fun games for the kids to sound advice for parents and educators, Ask, Listen, Learn is a wonderful resource.
We as parents need to be good role models by drinking responsibly and not supplying underage children with alcohol!
I feel lucky to have met Ms. Phelps, her daughter Hilary as well as members of the Century Council. Even though my children are still young, this information will be very helpful in the years to come. I admire Ms. Phelps for taking time out of her busy schedule (getting ready for her trip to London!) to bring attention to this important cause.
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Happy Mother’s Day from Role Mommy

In honor of Mother’s Day, we’ve got some links to some incredible essays about moms – and two of my personal favorites (my own mom and my grandma) are a part of this list! If you’ve written a tribute to your own mom, we want to hear it! Comment on this post with a link to your blog or share an anecdote here about the special Role Mommy in your life!
iStock_000015498270XSmall.jpgA Tribute to Moms…
A Tribute to My Grandma by Beth Feldman
Like Mother, Like Daughter? by Beth Feldman
Walking as Healing by Jeanne Muchnick
Remembering Mom by Dayle Herstik
My BFF by Lenore Stoller
Being a Parentless Parent by Allison Gilbert
And one more incredible anecdote from Melanie Notkin, author of Savvy Auntie: The Ultimate Guide for Cool Aunts, Great-Aunts, Godmothers, and All Women Who Love Kids
“The day my nephew was born, I promised him I’d love him twice as much. My mother had died many years before he was born and I immediately felt like it wasn’t fair to him, to have one less woman in his life to love him unconditionally. I try to give him, and now his sisters, more love, more time, more inspiration… and yes maybe a few more gifts since my mother can’t be here to give it to them. She would have loved her grandchildren more than I can even imagine.
My mother had had a heart attack at age 42 (my age now). Her cardiologist brought her back to life, and in her mind, gave her more priceless time with my brother and me. So for the next decade, until she passed away, she sent a gift to her doctor’s children on their every birthday. She had never met those kids, but was so grateful for the time their father had given her and her own children to be together, that she became their Fairy GodAuntie, sprinkling a little Auntie magic on their lives. Now, with Savvy Auntie, I think how fortunate I am to have been inspired by my mother, a woman who knew that loving and celebrating children not-your-own is a gift. And every time I look into my nephew’s and nieces’ big brown eyes, I know she’s proud.” – Melanie Notkin
Add your link to your Mom tribute below or comment now! Thanks for stopping by and have a wonderful Mother’s Day!!!

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.

Secrets of a Successful Avon Lady

Veruska (1).jpgIn our ongoing series with Avon, we got to meet Veruska Puente, a mother of three, who started her Avon business because she wanted to become her own boss and create her own salary. Since then, she has established a successful Avon business selling over $100,000 last year. With her Avon Earnings she has been able to buy a BMW, Mercedes SUV, help purchase and furnish her home, and start to save for her kid’s college tuition and build her own savings.
RM: When did you first become an Avon representative?
Veruska: I got started 11 years ago when I had my first daughter. At the time, I was a stay at home mom and when I found out about the great opportunity of earning half of whatever you sell, that got me highly interested. At first, I started with my friends and family. I had no sales experience but right off the bat, Avon was so easy for me.
RM: What was your experience like with Avon when you first started out?
Veruska – I just went gung ho on it. With my first order, I started out just by showing the books around to friends and family and I made $400. They loved the book – it’s so attractive – it’s such a reputable company. I then started training, taking the course online. I took the beauty courses and by my second year, I was the #1 sales representative in the nation.
RM: How were you able to attract so many customers?
Veruska: Back then, I lived in Manhattan – I would carry books with me. If I would get a new customer in a building and the building would have between 20-30 apartments, I would visit the person. I would then work the whole building and leave the catalogs with a flyer on the door and they would call back. And then I would keep my Facebook customers because I would have a relationship with them. I then developed a friendship with them. Today, I call them and offer new products that we are promoting and my customers really like that.
RM: Do you have customers who shop online and order from you in person?
Veruska: We still have people that want to do both. You get so much out of that customer when you have that personal relationship. I also have customers that I have no contact with – they shop online – and I have a relationship with them in an online way. They take advantage of that – and that’s okay with them and that’s okay with me.
RM: What are your best selling items?
Veruska: My #1 seller is the skincare – it’s the most expensive item in the book. My customers come back every time they finish it. I love the Anew products. That’s what I focus on.
RM: You’ve been so successful that you even opened an Avon store. Tell us about that.
Veruska: I have a store in New York City that is certified by Avon so more people can come to me. I try to stock the best sellers and I try to have everything available from the warehouse that are the top picks in my store like fragrances, make-up and skin care.
That’s another opportunity that Avon has where I can have a store that is right in the city where I used to live. The area is saturated with people. I saw the opportunity and took advantage of it – I not only do sales but I also recruit there. I train sales representatives and then I show them what I know. That gives them an opportunity to use their products at cost – some people want extra money. Some want to do it full time and they make Avon a career.
RM: How were you able to get the store?
Veruska: It was through a series of approvals and certification. They give you permission for you to have the store – then you become the tradition representative. Avon provides you with the products and tools to start. Where can you start a business with $10? $10 and a dream. I don’t know any other company that offers 50% of what I bring in. That’s what it was for me and I’ve been a top seller ever since. Last year my whole unit, which is comprised of 400 sales representatives, grossed $1.3 million dollars.
RM: How do you keep and retain customers?
Veruska: When you have someone who knows your products – who knows it genuinely and knows what to sell. I know that if you’re not satisfied, you’re not going to come back. I’m interested in continuing with my customers, it’s not a one time deal. I do free consultations with my customers. I ask them a series of questions. Once we get into conversations, we know everything. I have a lot of customers that come to me for one thing and come out with 10 other things. Since the products are so amazing and they work, they are happy. Beauty is something that’s never going to go out of style – it’s boosts your self esteem. When you find that relationship with someone who is genuine and honest people like that and value that. And that won’t leave them for anything.
According to one of Veruska’s customers, Ramona, who has been a client for several years, she loves having a good friend who is also her Avon representative. She says, “I order via the Internet and in person which is great. Anytime I have a question, she helps me choose colors, foundation – things that will match. I prefer meeting with her in person. The cost is amazing and I’ve purchased a variety of things. I love the lip gloss set. It’s amazing. I’ve also bought the holiday bundle set, because I have children. It was a nice price. Also bought the white gold goldenberries lipstick and other people are asking for it!”
RM: Tell us why you love your career with Avon.
Veruska: Avon gave me the opportunity to start my own business with practically $10 and it really helped me to achieve my dreams and I’ve had so many things with Avon. My first car was a BMW, I bought my house, I’ve gone on trips – I don’t have to use credit cards because Avon. I met my husband through Avon at a formal dinner for top sellers. I’m so blessed with Avon it even gave me a husband at the time.
If you live in the tri-state area, you can visit Veruska at her Avon store in Washington Heights located at 4419 Broadway between 189th and 190th Street.
(212) 942-0299 cell: 917-299-5873
This compensated post was sponsored by Avon.

5 Questions for Andie MacDowell

Actress, model and Extraordinary Role Mommy Andie MacDowell chats about her latest feature film, “Monte Carlo,” her favorite books, motherhood and more in an exclusive blogger chat…
MonteCarlo_AndieMacDowell.jpgRecently, Andie Macdowell, who stars in the new film “Monte Carlo,” featuring teen sensations Selena Gomez and Leighton Meester, took time out of her busy schedule to chat about the movie, her incredible career, life as a southern mom and even her guilty pleasures. Take a look…
Question: How do you balance work and motherhood?
Andie MacDowell: It’s always a challenge for any working mother. And there were moments that I would say to my kids, I can’t do this any more, I don’t want to work any more. My girls in particular would say no, we’re so proud of you.
And as it turns out, I think my kids will be working moms. That’s going to be their choice of what they want to do with their lives. The generation that I came from was sometimes harsher on women making that choice. I think times have changed.
I think being a stay-at-home-mom is a lovely choice. But, having the option to be able to have a career and feel good about yourself as an individual and still be a great mother is definitely a possibility. It takes teamwork. My kids learned to be independent. We had rules and regulations, and everybody had to work together.
MCposter_rgb.jpgQuestion: I recently watched an interview with you about Monte Carlo where you shared how you were really impressed with the teens in the movie. Can you share that story?
Andie MacDowell: I was very impressed with Selena. I have my 16 year old that has watched her on television for years, so she was in our living room. And you never know with kids that grow up working in the business what they’re going to be like. But, her mother did a beautiful job with her. She is just such a lovely young lady, very kind and professional. And it was fun. I went to dinner with all of them, and just watched their energy.
I could remember what it was like to be that age and to have the world before you and to be working on a movie that was huge. I think they all realized that they had scored big time by getting these jobs in Monte Carlo. They were very excited and happy. There was a lot of joy on the set because they know that they were working on something really special.
Question: Do you have any advice to parents who are sending their kids off maybe to summer camp for a couple weeks or to see the country or to see the world without them?
Andie MacDowell: It took me a moment to realize that I could do things that I had never allowed myself to do. It was interesting because right before I got pregnant with my son, I had planned this bicycle trip to Peru. And then, I had to put that on the backburner, and I never did anything like that. Plus, I didn’t take vacations without my kids because I had to travel for work. And it dawned on me, it took me a while to realize I was free to take a vacation or to do something that I had postponed for myself. I did a yoga retreat. I did something just for myself.
And I think you can set that up in your home some way. You don’t have to really go off somewhere. But, it can give you a chance and an opportunity to do something for yourself because I think mothers are always so busy doing for others, taking care of others that they forget to take care of themselves. If you realize it and seize the opportunity, you can do something that you’ve needed to do to take care of yourself.
Question: Are there any books that you’re reading, your favorite summer books, or have you had time to unwind to do that?
Andie MacDowell: I belong to two book clubs. One of them, I haven’t been great about showing up. One of them is a yoga book club. I’m reading something called Exquisite Love, and it’s written by a teacher that teaches at Davidson [William K. Mahony].
I am overloaded with books. And that’s one of my problems is I get too many books going at the same time. But, I did finish Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts. My gosh, I think it’s 900 pages. It takes place in India. It’s fabulous.
Ipad or Old School?
Andie MacDowell: I have an iPad, but I kind of like books. And I also have a book on Lucia Chase, which is Bravura!: Lucia Chase and The American Ballet Theatre, because my daughter is at ABT [American Ballet Theatre] this summer. But, my problem is I start reading too many books at once.
Question: Can you share how living in the south has had an impact on your kids? Why did you choose to stay close to home instead of moving to Hollywood?
Andie MacDowell: I wanted my kids to know my family. I mean, I grew up knowing my cousins, and I wanted my kids to have that experience. And it really turned out great. My youngest daughter and my sister’s daughter are the same age, and they went to school together from the age of four until she left. They have this really beautiful relationship. And I wanted them to know what my roots were like. I really admire a lot of things about the culture here as far as manners and we have some old fashioned things here that I really enjoy.
At the same time, I wanted their lives not to be about my career. I wanted it to be about whatever was happening in their lives and for the focus to be on normal things and not to be about my job. And it was interesting because they really did turn out well. My work was never the focus of what we were doing. It was always whatever was happening in their lives.
About “Monte Carlo”
A perfect mother/daughter film, “Monte Carlo” stars Selena Gomez as an ordinary girl who becomes an accidental princess when a family summer trip to Paris turns into the fantasy of a lifetime. Living like royalty, Grace, along with her two best friends, discovers who she really is – by assuming another person’s identity. The film is currently open in theaters nationwide. Check out the trailer below and visit the Monte Carlo Facebook page or follow along on Twitter.

Angela Lansbury Interview: Mr. Poppers Penguins

Role Mommy west coast contributor Kristin Flannery got the chance to chat with Angela Lansbury, a legend with a brand new role….
MrPopperStill4.jpgIn Mr. Popper’s Penguins, Angela Lansbury stars as Mrs. Van Gundy, the owner of Tavern On The Green, which Mr. Poppers (Jim Carrey) needs to acquire in order for him to become partner at his real estate firm.
We sat down with Angela to discuss how she saw Mrs. Van Gundy’s role – villain or hero? “Oh, I think she’s a hero. I think she’s got all the right stuff. She’s a tough old bird, but nevertheless she gives him his due when the time comes. She just demands certain levels of behavior. I thought she was kind of wonderful, because of the fact that she obviously had never, never left the 1950s, and that was her time. But, she was a very worthwhile woman, certainly capable of doing all of the things that rich widows do in New York City.”
A pivotal scene in the film takes place when Mr. Poppers tries to show Mrs. Van Gundy what a stand up guy he is until the penguins show up. What was it like working with all those penguins? Angela fills us in on the magic of movie making, “Well, what was it like with the penguins?” Well, they weren’t there. You do know that. They weren’t there. So, we were just pretending that they were there, because that was at the Guggenheim Museum with priceless art all over the walls, and although it had all been pushed aside, you understand. But, that whole thing where the water comes whooshing down, it was a wonderful special effect because certainly that wasn’t the way it was. I don’t know how they did that. That was the miracle of special effects.”
Since the character of Mrs. Van Gundy did not exist in the original book, Angela discussed how she envisioned the character, “Well, I was kind of coerced into doing it, quite frankly because I didn’t think there was really a place for me in it in the first place. But, as it kind of growed like Topsy, it suddenly became an interesting character. And when it became a woman who had a warmth buried under all those layers of, I thought, “Well, yes, I can do something with this.” And also, working with Jim was a tremendous lure for me, because I love working with great artists and he is one of those. He’s very special.”
Since filming has constantly changed during Angela’s long career, we were curious if the directors are more willing to let you offer your interpretation or vision now than they were back during the storyboarding days. Angela replied, “I think so, yes. Yes, certainly. Yes. Although there’s not much room for that, because these days you’re always working on a schedule, a time schedule which is cut and dry because every minute costs. And if you’re shooting in a very famous gallery like the Guggenheim in New York and you have eight hours of night shooting to manage to shoot X number of shots, there isn’t much time for fooling around. And there’s no time to rehearse. That’s one of the drawbacks of movies, for my money, is you never really get to rehearse, because they can’t spend the time they have not putting it on film.”
Mr. Popper’s Penguins is currently playing in theaters nationwide. Check out the film’s website and their Facebook page for games, updates and more!

Denise Jonas Chats with Role Mommy

NYC Single Mom Linda Grant and her daughter get to meet pop superstar Nick Jonas and his amazing mom Denise…
115611805LM020_The_Quaker_C (1).JPGEver wonder what it’s like to be the mom of one the most famous groups in the world? Well, I got the chance to find out when I interviewed Denise Jonas, the mom of Nick, Joe and Kevin Jonas, aka the Jonas Brothers and let’s not forget the youngest Jonas brother Frankie.
From the moment she walked into the room, I could tell she was like every other mom I know but just happened to have talented and famous children, supportive, involved and happy that the fans love her sons as much as she and her husband do. As I was interviewing her, I envisioned that her house was always filled with friends and family, the house everyone wants to be invited to and hang out.
Denise was attending an event with her son Nick, who is teaming up with Quaker Chewy Granola Bars to launch a new singing competition for kids. The contest, known as the Quaker Chewy Superstar Search, was created to give parents of kids ages 8 – 14, a platform to showcase their kid’s vocal talents. The Grand Prize winner will get to record a song produced by Nick Jonas, an online music video, a contract with Jonas Group Management and $5,000 in cash. For more information on the Quaker Chewy Superstar Search. Visit for exact locations, dates and times.
Thanks to Beth, good friend and blogging mentor, I was invited along with fellow bloggers Amy Oztan from and Katja Presnal from to see Nick Jonas perform and interview Denise. And for the record, my eight-year-old daughter asked if she could read two of the questions and Denise graciously said, yes. Sweet, right! A thoroughly memorable experience for both mother and daughter.
Our Q & A with Denise Jonas:
Question: How have you managed to keep your sons grounded despite their
meteoric rise to fame?
Denise: I don’t know that I am responsible. I think that I have done the best I could as far as being a parent with my husband and I collectively trying to parent them. Keeping them focused on not necessarily on fame or what they are doing but focused on being a good person. That’s we have always stressed and I think that’s what’s helped them to always think about others not themselves.
Question: What is your advice to parents who have kids who dream of pursuing
a career in music?
Denise: I would say, that it’s really important to listen to your kids, and pay attention to what their ideas are, never discourage them from their goals, even if you might think are unattainable. Nick said I was singer but he was really being kind because I am not really a good singer. His dad is really the musical one. I try to encourage all of them in their gifts. My youngest son, Frankie has different gifts, so I am trying to encourage him in new ways.
Question: Now that your sons are getting older, are you finding more time?
for yourself to do the things you’ve always loved to do?
Denise: I like this question because it’s a natural question for women especially those who are stay at home but as I said, before about embracing life and living in the moment. This has been a pretty fast experience and I think that I have tried to live and experience every moment. I always felt that this is what I loved to do. I am still missing cooking for them which is satisfying. Just as Nick likes fans to sing with him, I like when they are eating my food. I am having a little more time for myself which is kind of hard, I don’t know what to do with it. But I have always just felt like that life was not about me and I think you have more reward when you take the focus of yourself especially as a mom. I think it’s rewarding when my kids are blessed.
Question: What would you cook for you them?
Denise: My family is of Italian background. My grandmother was of French descent but they love everything Italian that I cook. They love my chicken enchiladas that my mom passed down. We were always about eating healthy. We were always very careful about eating together.
Question: Did you go on the road when they were younger?
Denise: As Nick mentioned, he was auditioning a lot in New York but he did not go on the road until he was twelve. I would travel when he was in the tri-state area as much as I could. My husband was also working another job so he could not travel. My brother, who had just graduated it was the perfect fit, went with them on the road. There were not gone for extensive periods of time. After the first year, I was able to go with them.
Question: What is your favorite place since you have been all over the place?
Denise: I love Europe and New York and miss being on the East coast a lot. That’s the best part, is that we have travelled and seen the world together. I love that Frankie can say that at ten years old, his favorite city is Rome. Who can say that? It’s been a blessing.
My interview with Denise Jonas had to be one of the most relaxing, and laid-back interviews I have ever had and it’s thanks to her, engaging and warm personality. With an incredibly positive outlook on life, Denise is a true Role Mommy who encouraged her children to accomplish their dreams and as a result, they’re all living happily ever after.

Mothers Day: The Gift that Keeps on Giving

iStock_000015524780XSmall.jpgGuest contributor and author Libby Gill shares the Gifts she Cherishes Most from her Children
With Mother’s Day upon us, I can’t help but reflect on the handprint paintings and paper towel roses I’ve received over the years. Though I’m a diehard de-clutterer, I’ve still got every single one.
My “babies” (now 16 and 20) can barely believe how different the world it is than when I was a kid. We played outside until the streetlights came on, which was also the signal for dinnertime. We rode bikes without wearing helmets. We broke a bone or two and nobody thought it was a big deal unless we missed a swimming party.
Our parents more or less left us alone to deal with life as it came. But we can’t do that with our kids (assuming we’d want to), precisely because it’s a different world. Besides being born with an uncanny ability to operate technology, our children have grown up with terrorism, predators and an emphasis on sexuality far more disturbing than anything we faced.
Add to that our instant media culture, and dangers loom larger. In spite of those dangers, or because of them, our primary role as parents is to guide our children to become self-sufficient adults, just as it was in our parents’ day. Given the nature of our world, how do parents let go and let children grow up?
For some parents, the answer is: They don’t. Family size has diminished and parental involvement has grown. The 76,957,164 boomer parents born between 1946 and 1964 are widely considered the wealthiest and best-educated in history. Although many belong to two-career families, they still believe that kids are the center of their universe. The result? A generation of micromanagers whose endless hovering has earned them the title “helicopter parents.”
And age doesn’t seem to make it easier for parents to back off. According to a UCLA survey, 26 percent of college freshmen speak to their parents every day. A Middlebury College study found that parents phone, e-mail or text their freshmen 10 times per week. So how do we make our hovering helpful instead of harmful?
Understand why it’s hard to let go. The dangers are real, and wanting to protect your kids is a natural parental instinct.
Resist the urge to rescue. Instead, encourage discussion; let your kids know they’re heard and respected. Give advice, but let them handle problems on their own.
If you’re always hovering, you send children the message that they’re fragile and unequipped to deal with the world.
Recognize that kids often are as unsure of their abilities as you are. Find safe, supervised places like summer camp, team sports and after-school programs where kids can build skills and self-confidence without your help. As you see them become more competent, you’ll feel better about giving them more challenging opportunities.
The question is: Are you ready for the challenge?
Gill Headshot.jpegLibby Gill is a business coach, brand strategist and bestselling author of You Unstuck: Mastering the New Rules of Risk-taking in Work and life. Learn more at

Every Mother Counts: Supporting Moms on Mothers Day

SANY0205.JPGI recently got the chance to attend a screening of a new documentary produced by former supermodel and mom, Christy Turlington Burns. After gracing countless magazine covers, Turlington Burns has now become a staunch advocate for pregnant mothers worldwide as the founder of Every Mother Counts, an advocacy and mobilization campaign to increase education and support for maternal and child health. After experiencing a complicated birth first hand, Turlington set out to research the state of maternal health worldwide and the results she uncovered was staggering.
I bet you may not know this, but 1000 women die every day due to pregnancy related causes. Even more surprising is that the United States ranks 40th worldwide in mortality rates among new mothers. For me, the concept of becoming a new mom was exciting and overwhelming at the same time. Throughout my pregnancy, I never once considered that I was putting myself or my unborn child in danger while experiencing labor for three days straight or working so hard that I delivered three weeks earlier than we had planned. With our first child, I chalked up my slow delivery to being a first time mom and simply not being tough enough to handle those labor pains. When I finally gave birth nearly three days later, my daughter was born with meconium in her system (she had passed a stool during childbirth which could have caused severe brain damage if inhaled). Fortunately, she turned out to be a perfectly healthy little girl.
On the flip side, three years later, my son nearly flew out of my body – but not before his umbilical cord became wrapped around his neck. My husband watched on the monitor as his heartbeat quickly dropped and our OB/GYN instructed me to push hard while she loosened the umbilical cord and my son emerged breathing, crying, and again, perfect.
Sadly, there are women throughout our country and the world who do not have access to adequate health care to help protect themselves as well as the health of their unborn child. Take a look at a film clip from “No Woman, No Cry,” a documentary which premieres May 7th on the OWN Network that was directed by Christy Turlington Burns.

photo.jpegI am honored to be a part of Mom4Moms, an online advocacy group created by marketing guru Holly Pavlika. Holly reached out to some of the most influential bloggers and social media experts to help raise awareness for and to encourage individuals to donate their old cell phones to Hope Phones so that they can get them into the hands of health care workers who can assist pregnant mothers in the Congo. The goal is to recycle 10,000 phones. Incidentally, in the US alone, over 500,000 phones are discarded annually!
Picnik-collage1.jpegThere are many more ways to participate in this amazing effort – from making a donation, to sharing your personal story or spreading the word about Every Mother Counts via Facebook, Twitter and blog posts. I’d also like to strongly recommend you watch the premiere of “No Woman, No Cry” on the OWN Network Saturday, May 7 from 9:30-11:00 PM, ET/PT. (Photo credit:
Visit the Mom4Moms page on Facebook as well as Holly Pavlika’s site HaveMomentum for more details about the effort to spread the word about this important cause and here’s hoping this Mother’s Day, you and your family help make a difference in the lives of a mom who truly needs your help.