Role Mommy Chats with Dara Torres

IMG_0632.jpgIn our never-ending battle with the bulge, our travels took us to Manhattan this week where we were put through the paces with Olympic medalist and mom Dara Torres, whose latest book, Gold Medal Fitness, hit bookstores this week. We are huge fans of Dara’s, having read her first book, Age is Just a Number which chronicles her incredible comeback to the Olympics.
Today, Dara looks incredible and she credits her look with Kihara stretching – a program which she outlines in her book that focuses on stretching and resistance exercises that will lengthen your limbs – sign me up for that one any day of the week!
We got the chance to sit down with Dara and hear all about her new book, her daughter Tessa and she offers advice to moms about never giving up on your personal passions. Meanwhile, it’s two days since our workout and I’m still sore – I guess it worked!

Role Mommy Chats with Pepsi Refresh Ambassador Liz Dwyer

education.pngWe recently had the opportunity to chat with Liz Dwyer, the education ambassador for the Pepsi Refresh Project, which has been awarding millions to help fund great ideas that are being submitted by individuals worldwide to improve our communities and the lives of those who need it the most.
Liz is working with the Pepsi Refresh Project to encourage individuals and organizations to submit beneficial, achievable, constructive and “shovel-ready” ideas that will have a positive impact on communities. The unique initiative will give millions of dollars in grants to anyone with a great idea, big and small. Individuals from any walk of life can provide powerful, creative and fun ideas that can make a difference. Ideas can be submitted and voted for at www.refresheverything.com.
Check out our interview with Liz and find out how you can submit an idea!

The first round of voting has been completed and several ideas have already been awarded grants ranging from $5,000 – $250,000. A new round of voting starts the first of every month.

A Tribute to My Role Mommy

IMG_7182.jpgI’m a third generation working mother. Yes, the exception to the rule. I have not been irreparably scarred by the fact that my mom, Lenore Stoller, chose to return to the workforce when I was five years old. Nor is my mom forever damaged by the memories of her mother, Dora Goldman, who worked a full day as a bookkeeper and then came home at night to whip up a five-course meal for her family.
Personally, I think the reason I’ve decided to stay the course and pursue a career while raising children is because I’ve only had women in my life who have encouraged me to become anything I want to be.
I have to admit though, that growing up as the daughter of one of the few working moms in my neighborhood did have its ups and downs.
One vivid memory that I’ll never forget (much to the dismay of my parents) is the time when I was five years old and my mom went back to work as a teacher. On that fateful day, my after-school kindergarten teacher mistakenly forgot to bring me to my bus and I was left in the classroom without any other kids – the teachers were still there but the children had all been dismissed. When my bus arrived at the location where my dad was supposed to pick me up and I was nowhere to be found, he freaked out and rushed over to find me sobbing uncontrollably because I thought I had been abandoned by my parents. After that horrific experience, my mom purposely left early from work to pick me up from my after-school class. No other mom came to get their child, but Lenore Stoller did. Why? Because my mom didn’t ever want me to feel that just because she was working, she didn’t love me any less or didn’t have time for me.
I also remember my mom’s role mommy…my Grandma Dora. During my preschool years before Grandma headed south to Florida, she filled in for mom when she was at work. Grandma Dora was simply the best. She taught me how to make matzoh balls, blow bubbles even though she had dentures and had a sense of humor that could get convicts chuckling – seriously – one time she even chased a burglar down the street when he tried to steal her purse! During the summers, Grandma would stay at our house in the Poconos where she was on hand to help clobber the first fish I ever caught, chase mice from the house, and teach me how to master a butterfly hook rug. Grandma also was a great knitter and to this day, eight years after she’s passed away, I still have the multi-colored blanket she crocheted for my family back in the 1970’s…picture the colors – bright yellow, orange, red, pink, black…it’s soft, it’s psychedelic, it’s cozy and every night I use it, I think of my Grandma Dora.
As for my role mommy, I feel lucky to have been raised by someone who truly is a role model at home and on the job. My mom has always been my best friend and I think over the course of the last 40 years, we’ve only had one fight…the time when I had just graduated college and wanted to move to Manhattan and she wanted me to stay home with her and my dad until I could truly afford living in the Big Apple. Incidentally, I didn’t take her advice – sprung for the apartment on Central Park West and survived on spaghetti and frozen dinners for the next three years.
Throughout my life, my mom has always been there for me. From singing and dance lessons to recitals and school performances, my mom figured out ways to fit my extracurricular activities into her incredibly busy day and never missed a beat. When it came to sports, she deferred to my dad who stepped in for tennis, soccer and baseball. While both our parents worked, my brother and I were never deprived of their attention.
On the work front, my mom climbed the ladder of success moving from teacher, to Special Education Supervisor to District Administrator to Deputy Superintendent. My mom was an inspiration to her colleagues and when she finally decided to leave her post, her adoring co-workers and friends came out in droves for her retirement party.
Throughout my childhood and adolescence, my mom and I spent our weekends together shopping, running errands, frequenting our favorite hairdresser and sharing long heart to heart talks. That bond has continued to thrive through adulthood, marriage and mommy-hood. My mom has always been there for me and when she walked me down the aisle on my wedding day and whispered in my ear “I love you” and choking back tears, I mouthed “I love you too,” I knew that no matter where my life would lead, she would always be there to support me with her kindness, gentle nature and with constant encouragement that I could truly accomplish anything I set my heart out to achieve.
Today my mom pitches in just like Grandma Dora did when I was a child, building lasting memories for my kids while I’m away at the office or on a business trip. Rebecca and Dylan look forward to seeing their Grandma ‘Nor and their Grandma Sally – my husband’s mom who also is a role mommy in her own right, who as a single mom, managed to raise a thoughtful, intelligent and wonderful son while she worked hard to support the two of them. In fact, I learned that she took my husband to many beauty parlor visits during his childhood too…thankfully, he wasn’t scarred by the experience!
Even though my kids ask me every morning if I’m going into the office that day (secretly hoping I won’t), I know deep in my heart that one day, Rebecca and Dylan will know why their mom pursued a career. My daughter is well on her way to becoming a wonderful, independent and outspoken young woman. She’s a smart-as-a-whip tween who is poised to become anything she wants to be and I’m confident Dylan who loves sports, music and making us all laugh out loud, will do the same. And just like my mom, I’ll be right there, front and center, cheering them on every step of the way. That’s what being a mother is all about – helping our children realize their hopes and dreams without ever giving up on our own.

Role Mommy Chats with Paralympic Medalist Caitie Sarubbi & Her Mom

We’ve got some great interviews on tap today, including this one with Paralympic medalist Caitie Sarubbi and her mom, Cathy. The pair, who hail from my old neighborhood, Brooklyn, NY, share how Caitie, who is visually impaired, became involved in competitive skiing and managed to land a spot on the Paralympic team along with an acceptance to Harvard University – she found out both in the same week!
While her mom struggled to figure out how she was going to find the way to bring her entire family out to see Caitee compete, she was thrilled to learn that Procter & Gamble planned to sponsor the families of Paralympic and Olympic athletes – bringing them to the games so they could support the athletes during one of the most exciting moments of their lives. To find out more about P&G’s incredible efforts to support moms and to share your own story too, visit their website, ThankYouMom.com and listen in to our interview too!

Jennifer Garner & Frigidaire Encourage Kids to Snack Smart

It’s not every day that you get to meet an amazing celebrity Role Mommy and bring your daughter and son along to meet her too, but that’s what we got to do recently when the team at Frigidaire invited us to a special smart snacking event featuring movie star and mom of two, Jennifer Garner.

More check-ins at Chelsea Market
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As soon as we arrived at Chelsea Market (which incidentally has some of the most amazing baked goods known to mankind), the kids enjoyed a healthy lunch that included pizza, veggies, fruit and smoothies. Next, after the kids finished coloring, they participated in a magic show and had a limbo contest – actually, my son was the magician’s sidekick while my tween daughter chose to hang out with some of my favorite blogging moms, Colleen, Audrey, Amy and Whitney. Before we knew it, it was time to head to the Frigidaire test kitchen where we got the chance to roll up our sleeves and prepare a few healthy snacks our whole family can enjoy.
Once we walked inside, I was blinded by the gorgeous stainless steel appliances – including Frigidaire’s brand new Professional French Door refrigerator which features a bottom freezer and double doors with plenty of room for storage. At that very moment, my mind wandered off into a dreamy place where I had a fridge that wasn’t stuffed to the rafters and an oven that could pre-heat in less than six minutes. While I contemplated where I would place my double door fridge, my son nudged me to snap out of it so that I could catch Frigidaire GM Marty O’Gorman introduce the beautiful and incredibly down to earth Jennifer Garner. Jennifer was joined by Executive Food Director of Martha Stewart Living Lucinda Scala Quinn, author of the new cookbook Mad Hungry: Feeding Men and Boys
and Save the Children’s Mark Shriver. Take a look…(and please excuse the shaky camera work).

Garner is teaming up with Frigidaire to launch “Make Time for Snack Time,” a virtual campaign to get kids snacking smart. Starting now, for everyone who visits Frigidaire.com and stops the clock for snack time, Frigidaire will donate $1 to support Save the Children’s work to help children in need in the U.S. as part of their $250,000 commitment to this worthy cause. (Frigidaire will donate $1 to Save the Children’s U.S. Program each day you stop the snack time clock, with a minimum of $40,000 and a maximum of $50,000). Save the Children’s Mark Shriver was also on hand to praise the campaign. “Thanks to the support of Frigidaire and Jennifer Garner, we’re making a difference, one smart snack at a time,” he said.
Incidentally, if you register on the site, you will instantly be entered to win that incredible refrigerator – now what are you waiting for anyway? I’ve already tried to enter like five times! (just kidding – could only enter once…bummer!)
jenniferandbecca.jpgLucinda then showed us some great ways to give our kids healthy snacks – from making Yogurt parfaits, to sandwiches shaped like hippos to ricotta and cucumber pita treats. And then, Jennifer walked over to all the moms and dads and their kids where she chatted with us and posed for pictures. And best of all, when my artistic daughter showed her the parfait and elephant inspired ricotta sandwich, she got high praise from Jennifer and Lucinda, who said she was well on her way to becoming a food stylist! And did I mention that Becca made it into InStyle Magazine???? Good thing she has a publicist who works cheap.
Frigidaire Snack Event Group Photo.JPGBefore we all headed home, we were invited back to the kitchen to take a quick photo with Jennifer Garner. And the moment we stepped inside, it was as if we had just welcomed a brand new blogging mom into our brood. Jennifer thought it was really cool that we were all friends with one another even though many of us lived in different states…especially since we are busy moms with a million things on our plates. After we each got the chance to pose with her (I am not including my photo since I look like a deer in headlights), we also took this wonderful group photo and then left the event with the biggest smiles on our faces! Nothing like Jennifer Garner, a fun afternoon with your kids and great snacks to make your day a whole lot brighter.
To find out how you can help make a difference in the lives of kids who need it the most, visit www.Frigidaire.com and join the Make Time for Snack Time campaign, Frigidaire will donate $1 to Save the Children’s U.S. Programs.

Role Mommy Chats with Fancy Nancy Ilustrator

EnterFlat2.jpgRecently, I had the great pleasure to meet Robin Preiss Glasser, mom of two and illustrator of the gorgeous best-selling children’s book series, Fancy Nancy.
If you ever wonder how Robin got her start, then listen in to our interview at Blog Talk Radio. While she started out as a professional ballet dancer, at 30 years old Robin decided to make a major career change – enrolling in Parson’s School of Design so that she could become a children’s book illustrator.

Fast forward two decades and Robin is at the top of her game – immersed in the Fancy Nancy phenomenon. If you’re stuck in a rut and want to figure out how successful women accomplish their dreams, then you’ve found the right place…listen in, laugh and learn!!!

Meet The Mom Entrepreneur: Traci Bisson

Traci web.jpgRole Mommy: What did you do before you became a mom?
Traci: I worked for a company that was growing quickly. There were many opportunities for learning as well as chances to travel and see the world. I took full advantage of all this company had to offer. I traveled to Texas, Nevada, Chicago, New York, Puerto Rico. Taiwan, Hong Kong, China and more. I worked a lot; long hours. I was driven by money. When I thought I had experienced all the company could offer, my husband and I decided to have a child. I was the second person hired to the company and had worked for them for five years. Eight weeks after I returned from maternity leave, the company went out of business.
Role Mommy: When did you decide to reinvent your life?
Traci: After the company went out of business, I had to reinvent myself quickly. I only had $18.49 left in the bank since I had used all of our savings for maternity leave. I purchased nice stationery from Staples and ordered free business cards from VistaPrint.com. I wrote a letter to everyone in my network and told them I was in business for myself.
I had to reinvent myself again in April of 2008 when my marketing and PR firm, Bisson Barcelona was experiencing a slow down from lack of clients paying. In order to avoid laying off employees, I cut my expenses by taking my youngest son out of daycare and moved back to my home office. I began networking online and meeting other mom entrepreneurs. The Mom Entrepreneur was born soon after that due to a necessity to bring all these women together and offer them a much needed support system.
Role Mommy: How have your children influenced your career path? How many do you have?
Traci: I have two boys, ages 5 and 9. The biggest influence they have had is to teach me about the quality of life. If I did not have kids, there is no doubt in my mind that I would work all the time. They have also taught me to have fun with whatever I decide to do; hence the reason why I created The Mom Entrepreneur. I was losing passion for being self employed until this company was born.
Role Mommy: What’s your favorite “Time Out” tip for moms (taking time for yourself)
Traci: I really enjoy going to the gym and working out. However, there never seems to be enough time in the day to fit it in. I also enjoy listening to music or even just having the chance to drive somewhere with no one else in the vehicle.
Role Mommy: What does your website offer moms or kids?
Traci: My website www.themomentrepreneur.com offers women tips, advice and resources on balancing motherhood and running a company. We have an online support group with over 1,050 members who support one another everyday and help each other manage the struggles we all face as mom entrepreneurs. 

Role Mommy: What do you hope for your own kids?
Traci: I want them to understand that there are so many opportunities available to them to explore when they graduate college. They also see that entrepreneurship has allowed me quality of life and ample time to spend with them.
Role Mommy: Who is your Role Mommy?
Traci: There are so many mom entrepreneurs that I respect. The women who our members of our online support group (http://www.themomentrepreneur.com/services-support.html) continue to amaze me everyday with the obstacles that they overcome to manage motherhood and run their companies. I am grateful for their continued advice and support.
Role Mommy is proud to support Traci’s latest brainchild – a new site called the Business Baby Shower for entrepreneurs where you can win valuable prizes to help launch your business – including an interview on Role Mommy Radio where we’ll showcase you and your brand! Check out the Business Baby Shower today and enter to win!

Anita Renfroe: Comedy Role Mommy

We recently got the chance to interview comedienne and parody songstress Anita Renfroe. If you don’t know Anita then you must have been hiding under a rock. She’s the woman who became famous after her video parenting parody of the William Tell Overture reached millions. And now, she recently re-wrote the classic song and created a commercial for KGB…take a look.

Plus, if you want to hear how she got her start as a comedienne and how her kids are responsible for her success as a YouTube star, then listen in to Role Mommy on the Run and Traveling Mom!

The 02 Diet with Guest Contributor Keri Glassman

o2 final cover.jpgI am so excited about my new book The O2 Diet: The Cutting Edge Antioxidant-Based Program That Will Make You Healthy, Thin, and Beautiful
As Mom’s, we all know how very hard it can be to find time for taking care of ourselves. But, we have to! If you feel better, you are better – at everything! You are better at your job, being a mom, a wife etc.! The O2 Diet helps you focus on YOU – eating better and treating your body the way it’s supposed to be treated, so that you will look good and feel good! Aside from the 2 Day O2 Cleanse, I have a 4 week plan and lots of recipes! This is one of my faves that my husband and kids are slightly obsessed with too!
The salmon provides you with antioxidants and omega-3 fatty acids – both good for keeping your heart healthy and your skin glowing!
Salmon with Raspberry-Balsamic Glaze
6 fresh raspberries
2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tsp freshly squeezed orange juice
¼ tsp orange zest
½ tsp honey
Splash red wine (about 1 tsp)
4 oz skinless salmon fillet, preferably wild (about ¾”-thick)
1. Mash raspberries and vinegar with fork in small bowl. Stir in orange juice, zest, honey, and wine until combined. Set aside.
2. Coat nonstick skillet with canola oil cooking spray. Place over medium heat, about 1 minute. Cook salmon about 3 to 4 minutes per side or until fish is cooked through. Remove skillet from heat and carefully wipe any liquid with a paper towel.
3. Return skillet over medium heat and add reserved raspberry mixture. Cook, stirring constantly, 2 minutes or until just thickened.
4. Pour sauce over salmon and serve with asparagus on the side.
In The O2 Diet, nutritionist Keri Glassman translates cutting-edge science into an easy-to-do program that will leave dieters energetic, healthy, and beautiful– inside and out. Kick-start weight loss and boost beauty with an easy 4-day cleanse and a delicious 4-week antioxidant-based program from CBS’s The Early Show nutrition contributor. Glassman shows how dieters can–and should–indulge in foods like Caramelized Pear and Pecan French Toast and Flank Steak with Chimichurri Sauce and actually lose weight!
For once, it’s not about counting calories or restricting what one eats; it’s about eating more of the right things.
o2 diet headshot.jpgAbout the author: Keri Glassman has a thriving nutrition practice based in New York City and has helped millions as a frequent nutrition contributor for CBS’s Early Show and Women’s Health magazine. Keri holds a master of science degree in clinical nutrition from New York University. Keri lives in New York City with her husband, Brett, and two children, Rex and Maizy. To find out more about Keri Glassman and her new book, visit her website, Nutritious Life or listen to our recent interview with Keri on Blog Talk Radio.

Audrey McClelland: Living Her Dream

Since we’re all about celebrating incredible moms doing what they love, I’d like to showcase one of my favorite mom vlogging friends, Audrey McClelland, the co-founder of Mom Generations . I met Audrey more than a year ago and the moment we were introduced, we instantly hit it off. Audrey is a mom of four, an Ivy League graduate and a fashion guru – having worked for Donna Karan before her children her born. While she left her career behind to become a full time mom, she decided last year to launch a video blog featuring 365 days of fashion advice. Little did she know that her YouTube videos would catch on like wildfire and catapult her into instant stardom.
Today, Audrey is the Beauty and Style co-editor for Lifetime Moms and most recently, she got the chance to work the red carpet at the People’s Choice Awards along with Project Runway’s Tim Gunn! Take a look at the after show red carpet re-cap featuring Audrey, Greta Monahan and Tim Gunn and see how this incredible mom is living her dream. We are so proud of you Audrey – you are truly a Role Mommy extraordinaire!!!