Baseball Season: Pursuing Your Field of Dreams

iStock_000001717350Medium.jpgAbout seven years ago, I had a long talk with my husband. I was a vice president at a major television network and yet, I felt like there was still something out there for me to do. At the time, I was bitten by the blogging bug and had launched a company called Role Mommy where I was producing events for women at the top of their game balancing work and family. The more I spoke to female entrepreneurs, the more I felt the energy and excitement about leaving a safe career behind and jumping into the deep end to experience what it’s like to be a business owner.
Fast forward to 2014 and I am still a business owner. Role Mommy is still alive and well and my public relations business, Beyond PR Group is thriving with the help of my business partner and a talented staff comprised of superstar writers, publicists and client service dynamos. As I continue to build my business, it’s now time for my husband to soar.
Though he spent two decades in finance, he’s finally decided to leave that world behind to finally do what he loves. This past month, he and a good friend have teamed up to launch A-Game Sports, a summer baseball day camp for kids in Westchester County and New York City offering training, game play, strength and conditioning and field trips each week to minor and major league baseball games. The program will also offer a scholarship program where qualified students from Westchester and New York City could be eligible to attend day camp for free.
While it might be nerve wracking to finally pursue your passion full time, I wouldn’t have it any other way. I want my husband and his friend to grow A-Game Sports together, thrive and enjoy every minute of it. Sure there will be ups and downs and obstacles they never expected would be thrown their way, but I am confident that they will succeed. Because when you get to do what you truly love, no matter how much money you make, it really doesn’t matter. It’s more about finding out what makes you tick and right now, we are on the clock in a very big way.
I am really thrilled for my husband because he is living the Role Mommy motto: Helping your children realize their hopes and dreams doesn’t mean you have to give up on your own. Here’s to building our own field of dreams. People will come…you’ve just gotta believe!

I Got a Puppy and Lost My Mind

In honor of national puppy day, I’ve decided to share the story behind the newest member of our family…Santana.
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But let’s start with the fourth grade. Yup — that was the year I wrote this poem. (Yes I know I am insane since I have it memorized to this day):
My New Dog Poem, Circa 1978
My dog would have a bone,
That would be hard to gnaw,
And I’d scream in a loud tone,
On the pooper scooper law.
My dog would be such fun,
And we would be so happy,
He would not weigh a ton,
And his name would be Pappy.
But my dream will not come true,
Cause my parents won’t agree,
I’d cry and say “boo hoo,”
But there’ll be no dog for me.
As you can see, I have always wanted a dog. But that dream eluded me…until now. Earlier this year, my family decided we were finally ready for a pooch and we decided to go the rescue dog route. After responding to an email on PetFinder.com, we fell hard for a feisty eight week old puppy who was literally handed to us on the streets of Manhattan. We became her foster parents at that moment and one week later, we officially adopted her.
We fell for Santana hook, line and sinker. Her adorable black and white coat, her playful spirit and the way she would cuddle with us after her little body would conk out after a day running us ragged. At the beginning, Santana had worms, pooped everywhere and was not that interested in her crate – in fact, she whined and cried whenever we put her in there but my dog expert friends, our local veterinarian and my client, i4C Innovations, creators of Voyce, a new health and wellness device and service for dogs and their owners, gave me the best advice I could ask for as we tried our best to train our puppy.
By the time she was 10 weeks old and had all our shots, we enrolled Santana in puppy training classes at Pet Smart. While she graduated after six weeks (we’ve got the cap and certificate to prove it), she managed to eat my husband’s computer keyboard a few days later and exploded all over her crate. It looks like there will be a lot more training in her future.
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Santana has even been on a long road trip. During February break, we drove down to Florida from New York to visit my parents and rented a minivan so that she could travel with us too. We could tell that she loved every minute of the trip. Sure, she had a few accidents here and there, but Santana has become an integral part of our lives. Even my parents, who are not dog lovers, took a liking to her – I even have a photo of my mom walking her to prove it!
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Living with Santana is exactly like having a baby all over again. She gets up at the crack of dawn, she pees, poops, eats, plays, sleeps and then starts the process all over again. She chews on everything and I’ve found that deer antlers and bully sticks, while they smell quite bad, have become our best friend. But the biggest difference between having a baby and having a puppy is simple…dog parks.
Santana has come to love her daily runs in the dog park. When we were vacationing in Florida, we were able to easily find dog parks nearby with the help of BringFido.com and we’ve come to rely on that app to find pet friendly hotels and restaurants too. The only thing we do need to be careful about is when she comes in contact with other dogs who might be a little too aggressive for their own good. When he saw a photo of Santana in the park, expert dog trainer Jeff Noce, president of i4C Innovations, explained she was in a dominant pose (ears were forward and tail was curved) which signaled that if another dog mimicked the same behavior that it could be a dangerous situation for her. She actually had a run in yesterday with an overly aggressive Jack Russell and my husband removed her from the scuffle immediately.
While we still have a long way to go, I feel fortunate to have so much support as we try our best to train our puppy. We’ve got her crate trained, she can do a few tricks and she is so sweet when she snuggles with us on the couch (which she’s doing right now as I write this post). Sure, she still jumps on people when they walk through the door, but Jeff gave me a great piece of advice for that issue. When you come home, you don’t make a fuss, you walk past the dog and take about five minutes for yourself before you return to the dog and spend time with her. That way, she won’t equate the door opening with excitement that someone is about to play with her.
Now that Santana has joined our family, every day is an adventure and while my furniture and floors will never be the same, we’ve welcomed her with open arms. Despite the fact that our cats Hazel and Jasper and the bearded dragon, Guapo might protest, our home is now complete. Sure, it might look like a zoo, but we wouldn’t have it any other way.

The Winter of Our Discontent

1468680_10151827818755205_986799167_n.jpgThis is by far the worst winter I’ve ever experienced. And that says a lot since I have lived through four decades of snowstorms and counting. As a kid, I remember getting blasted by one major snowstorm — the blizzard of 1978 where I was photographed standing high atop a snow mound and for fun, someone in my family dated the picture July 1978. But back then, it wasn’t like we had snow three times a week. Once a month maybe, but definitely not every few days.
The worst part about all this snow has been the fact that we adopted a puppy and have not been able to house break her at all. Just try to get a puppy to go out in the snow and pee when she can’t find a patch of grass and has to walk outside in icy conditions. When we first got her, she was great – I even had a system going where I’d take her outside and she’d pee and poop first thing in the morning. She’s now doing the same thing – but it’s in our house and it’s so not fun.
On top of the puppy insanity (she’s up every morning between 4:30am-5am), we decided that this would be the first year that we’d drive down to Florida. Great idea in theory, except we didn’t factor in that the east coast would be hit with the worst N’oreaster of the season one day before we had planned to get out of Dodge. I booked the entire trip on points and supposedly, we’re going to be in Charleston SC tomorrow — how that’s going to happen, I have no idea but hoping that somehow, the snow will stop, the roads will be clear and we can get the heck out of here already.
So what are we doing to bide the time? Let’s see. Well, we caught the flu, which was really fun…especially the stomach bug part. I have been dealing with the residual effects of that one for two weeks now – at least I’m thinner – because I’m afraid to actually eat too much.
I’ve also been surfing Facebook a lot and searching for anyone I know down south to see how bad the roads are. Guess what? They are really bad. We’ve also been watching a ton of movies and TV series thanks to Netflix and Apple TV. In fact, just time for Valentine’s Day, I’ll be hanging out with my family watching a combo movie and classic TV series marathon. Since I’ve already finished “Mad Men” and “The Wonder Years,” we’ve now moved on to “Family Ties” and “Cheers.” My daughter is officially hooked on “Grey’s Anatomy” and on the movie front, I’m going to step into my time machine today and watch “Footloose,” “Flashdance” and “Fatal Attraction.” Any film with an F, will be on my playlist today since that’s what I give this winter…a big fat F!
So what are you doing in the snow other than going nuts like us?

I’m Addicted to Blowouts

iStock_000004503718Small.jpgYes – you heard it right. Lately, I haven’t been in the mood to blow dry my hair each day and so recently, when a friend said she was going to her salon for a blowout, I decided to tag along and get one myself. The very next day, I had to head out of town and I have to say, that $40 blowout was the best investment I could have made. Didn’t have to wash my hair while I was gone and it was silky smooth with just the right curl at the ends.
Fast forward a few days later and I had to head out of town yet again. This time, I was Florida bound. Whenever I visit Florida one of two things happen. First – my hair gets incredibly dry and frizzy and second, when I wash it and attempt to straighten it, whatever I do only makes it worse. So imagine my delight when I passed by a salon offering a blowout special and they were even using some of the hair products I absolutely love (Living Proof has become a new addiction for me too). And so, I decided to make an impromptu appointment and then managed to have silky smooth hair for the next five days. Yes five days! I just washed my hair today and have to say, it was so liberating to not have to whip out the blow dryer for 20 minutes of hair drying torture.
The place I went to even gave me a card so if I get five blowouts, I get the sixth one free! Sure, five blowouts is $240 but it’s so worth it if you look and feel like a million bucks.
If you’ve never had a blowout, then you don’t know what you’re missing. Look into it the next time you’re at your salon and trust me when I tell you, once you start getting those blowouts, you’ll become an addict just like me. The first step to recovery is admitting you have a beauty addiction.
Next stop…lipo!

44 Memories….Dance Class

iStock_000022805834XSmall.jpgAlong my trip down memory lane, I’ve realized that there are some things that I really miss. And one of those things is dancing. When you are the parent of a teen or tween, if you attempt to dance in front of them, they will cringe, cover their eyes and beg you to stop. And so, I’ve learned that some of the things I used to love to do without anyone criticizing me (singing and dancing) has been temporarily banned by my children. And to be completely honest, I am not happy about it.
While I’ve always managed to find an outlet for my singing (a solo car ride from Westchester to Manhattan works wonders), unfortunately, my dancing card hasn’t been punched in a very long time. That is, until this week.
As I was waiting to pick up my son from Hebrew school, I ran into another mom and the topic of exercise came up. While I lamented how much I hate going to the gym, she began to sing the praises of Jazzercise. Yes, Jazzercise — that same dance company that’s been in business since the 80’s. While I never did take a Jazzercise class during its heyday, I was pretty hooked on Hip Hop classes and really miss not having that as an option at my gym. I know people rave about Zumba, but between the class never being available at a time that works in my schedule and the fact that I’m not the biggest fan of Latin dancing (I am a bit of a klutz and can never master those steps), there’s just something about it that just doesn’t grab me.
But Jazzercise on the other hand? As my friend told me more about her class, I told her I was up for giving it a try. So two days later, I was in her car on the way to dance class. And I was psyched. When we arrived, we met a lovely woman who shared how she’s lost more than 28 pounds doing a combination of Jazzercise and Weight Watchers.
Next, I met the instructor, who was absolutely lovely and then I was introduced to another group of women and men who couldn’t have been nicer. At that moment, as the group welcomed me with open arms to their Jazzercise family, I felt like I finally found my people! Once the class started, I was totally able to keep up and managed to break a sweat without completely losing my breath and my patience. But the best part of all – the class was fun and I finally got to dance again!
Today, I gave Jazzercise in Manhattan a try while my daughter took a class at FIT and had the best time again. I even ran into an old colleague who I used to love working with and we caught up on lost time. I also met another super friendly woman who knew everyone in the class and even asked if I planned to come back next week. Of course, I told her I’d absolutely be back.
It’s only taken 15 years, but I am so happy to have finally found an exercise routine I absolutely love. What a concept. Hopefully it’ll help me shed some weight and get me back in top shape. There’s nothing like taking a trip down memory lane to make you realize that you should never cut the things you love out of your life…even if it embarrasses your kids.

Losing Patience

photo (34).JPGIt’s Tuesday and that means I’m in a ranting state of mind. Not that I have much to complain about but this week, one thing does stand out. You see, about two weeks ago, I woke up to find that my eyelid was surprisingly dry. No matter what ointment I tried to apply to it, it just wouldn’t heal. And while any sane individual would make an appointment at the dermatologist, I just continued to self medicate.
First I used some fancy Chanel sample for eyes that burned my eyelid upon application and pretty much did nothing.
Next, I used Cetaphil moisturizer but again, no luck.
I also spread some Aquaphor, a Vitamin E stick and more eye cream on it and that’s when my scaly eyelid revolted. This past Saturday, while my husband and I returned from a Bar Mitzvah service, he glanced over at me and gave me this weird look.
“What happened to your eye?”
You know something is wrong when your husband gets alarmed looking at your face. And so, I pulled down the visor, flipped open the mirror and I looked like Woogie from “Something About Mary.” Okay – maybe not that bad but for anyone who saw the classic comedy, Woogie’s eye starts getting puffy and red with boils on it after he is reunited with Mary — the girl he stalked after she broke up with him in high school. But I digress.
As I kept rubbing my eye (not a good thing to do when it’s already in bad shape), we got back to my house and I showed my mom my eye and she became concerned. And trust me, if my mom gets concerned about me, then something is wrong because she’s usually not an alarmist. As I spent the day trying out another batch of ointments on my eye, my family convinced me to go to a walk in clinic if it didn’t get better.
But I didn’t.
Instead, I called the dermatologist the next day and found out she couldn’t fit me in until October 28. And it’s only October 8! So I did the next best thing. Tried to diagnose myself on Web MD and when it came back that I probably have eczema or an allergic reaction, I decided I could handle a little dryness and spare myself a clinic visit. I did take the site’s advice and attempted to put hydrocortisone on my eye and while it did seem to heal pretty quickly, it also burned when I applied it, so I decided to discontinue use before my eyelid started to shrivel up.
So I am back to using Aquaphor and you know what? It seems to be working. Hopefully, this dry eyelid patch will go away on its own because honestly, I am losing patience for doctors.

Flashback Friday…44 Memories: Why I Hate Jogging

iStock_000020459006Small.jpgI hate jogging.
There I said it. Despite the fact that I know that jogging can thin out your butt and your thighs within a matter of days, it’s one of those sports (is jogging a sport?) that I’ve always dreaded. And I think the reason why I hate it so much is because of my fourth grade gym teacher.
Here’s the sad thing. I don’t even remember his name anymore. But I remember exactly what he looked like — he was short with wiry black and gray hair, black rimmed glasses and he wore sweat suits to school every day. He was actually a really funny gym teacher and made many of us laugh while we played dodge ball or attempted to climb ropes. But it was jogging that pretty much put me over the edge.
At the time, I was pretty chubby. In fact, that was the year that the boys started to tease me. A kid named Keith (yes, I remember his name) and his friend Larry (yes, I’ll never forget him too), decided it was funny to start calling me Stubby Beth. And that name pierced through my heart like a dagger. At the time, I didn’t think about how gym class could help me shed pounds — it was just another reminder that when we all slipped on our shorts and t-shirts, the boys had their chance to tease me. And tease me, they did.
But let’s get back to my gym teacher. Every day when we’d start class, he’d line all of us up and then make us jog around the gym. While we jogged, he’d make us recite this poem:
Jog, jog, jog
Mr. Frog
Move your hands, move your feet,
Not too fast, not too slow
Jog, jog, jog
Mr. Frog
Whenever I’d come rounding a corner and my gym teacher saw me, he made fun of my technique. Here was one of my favorite lines:
“You look like you’re milking a cow.”
And yes, while I did in fact look like I was milking a cow, there were never any words of encouragement from our sarcastic gym teacher. Just insults and jokes that he thought would encourage us to run faster, keep our arms in place and get through class without passing out.
I somehow made it through that class but when all was said and done, I wound up hating jogging and all that it stood for.
I hated that I was winded every time I jogged one lap around the gym.
I hated that my gym teacher made fun of me whenever I passed him by.
I hate the fact that after 30 years and change, I still remember that stupid poem but can’t remember my teacher’s name.
And I hate the fact that I still remember the names of the kids who teased me and made me feel fat.
Which brings me to today. Today I started jogging again. Yes – jogging. I actually jogged for three songs on my iPhone. Approximately 12 minutes of jogging before I wanted to pass out or throw up.
I know jogging is hard. But I know that if I can keep with it, my thighs will thin down again. But that’s the key – keeping with it. I know no one will ever call me Stubby Beth again and no mean gym teacher is going to critique my running skills but every time I pick up my pace on the treadmill, I am instantly transported to that gym with that teacher and those boys.
And that dear readers is why I hate jogging. But despite my ill will toward running, I will keep trying. For the sake of my thighs and the sake of my butt – I will run like the wind and hopefully this time around, no one will think I’m milking a cow.

44 Memories for my (Gulp) 44th birthday

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They say you truly haven’t lived your life if you haven’t amassed a slew of memories that make you smile or even shed tears. As I approach my next birthday, I figured what better way to commemorate the year than to share 44 memories I will never forget. So let’s get started…
1. Four years old: My parents entered me in my very first beauty pageant – the Miss Wild Acres competition where I sang my ABC’s and the theme from Green Acres. While I nailed the talent competition and dazzled in my leopard bikini and Mary Janes, I blew the interview portion. When they asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up, I wailed “Daddy.” While I didn’t win, I did come in third place behind Rita Humphries, and a girl named Chrissy.
2. Five years old: My mom went back to work full time and they decided to send me to Yeshiva since they had a full day kindergarten program. Half my day was spent in one location and then a bus took us to a second location. At the end of the day, we were supposed to be brought back by bus to the first location. (I know confusing). Anyway, for some reason, my teacher thought I was on a different bus and unintentionally made me miss my bus and when the kids got off the bus, I wasn’t there and my parents freaked. They proceeded to drive to the school and pick me up (I was hysterical crying) and then always picked me up from school so I didn’t have to take the bus again. To say I became paranoid of being left behind is an understatement.
3. Six years old: While vacationing with my family in the Poconos, I got caught shoplifting with my brother in Jamesway (we stole fishing equipment and candy). The last line I remember the security guard telling my dad: “And the little girl has a grape whistle pop down her pants.” Incidentally, the year before, we got caught smoking cigarettes. Thankfully, I shed my delinquent past before I hit my teens.
4. Seven years old: Don’t remember much except that Dorothy Hammill haircut my mom got for me for the next three years.
5. 9 years old: Voice lessons with Gina Joyce and my first singing recital where I performed “How Lucky Can You Get” by Barbra Streisand.
6. 10 years old: Being called Stubby Beth by several boys in my fourth grade class and being tormented by some really mean girls who shall remain nameless.
7. 10 and a half: Going to Israel with my family and meeting my cousins from Haifa. Then getting the chance to sing “Sadie Sadie” at a Roman amphitheater in Caesarea.
8. 11 years old: Playing the lead character in my very first school play written by 6th grade teacher, Ms. DiBuono. The show was called “It Ain’t Necessarily So” and I played “Student #10.”
9. 12 years old: Joining Weight Watchers with my parents. I lost nearly 20 pounds and nobody called me Stubby Beth again (at least not to my face).
10. 13 years old: After catching a cold because we accidentally left the door open near his cage, my bird Tweety dies on my 13th birthday.
11. 14 years old: Flew first class on a double decker Pan Am jet with my parents to Italy (we were upgraded and it was the best experience ever — Italy wasn’t so bad either).
12. 14 years old: Saw “Footloose” with my friends and found out that night that a boy I liked, liked me. We dated for about five seconds before he broke up with me and wouldn’t take my phone calls. I think he is bald now.
13. 15 years old: Won best female performer in SING (an original musical produced by each grade). Met my first serious boyfriend.
14. 15 years old: Played doubles in the PSAL finals at the National Tennis Center and came in 2nd in New York City.
15. 16 years old: Started college at UMASS, joined a sorority and was in my first musical at college where I played Jan in “Grease.”
16. 20 years old: Graduated college Phi Beta Kappa, started grad school at NYU and parted ways with that serious boyfriend from high school.
17. 21 years old: NYU Grad School graduation at Carnegie Hall. Had celebratory lunch with my parents at the Russian Tea Room. Wore a really cute shirt dress from Ann Taylor.
18. 22 years old: Got my first real job in PR and moved to Manhattan’s Upper West Side. The first week I was living in the city, I had a blind date with a really cute boy. Eventually, I would marry him.
19. 23 years old: Learned how to roller blade in Central Park in oncoming traffic (not a swift move but thankfully, I survived). Proceeded to rollerblade every weekend in the park where I’d sit in Sheep’s Meadow and listen to a guy we called Guitar Man play James Taylor tunes.
20. 25 years old: Left Manhattan and moved to Forest Hills with my boyfriend. We got engaged three months later — he pretended to have us pulled over by his friend who was a cop and he had two dozen roses and a ring waiting for me in the trunk.
21. 26 years old: Our wedding day — we were married at Temple Israel in Lawrence and I felt like Maria from “The Sound of Music.” Except for the fact that I’m Jewish and she was married in a church during World War II.
22. 26 years old: Our magical honeymoon in Italy. Filled with stressful and romantic moments — like the time I nearly left my father-in-laws pricey video camera on the water taxi or the incident where I told my husband we needed to get off the train when in actuality, we still had one more stop to go. But the romance of Venice and Positano made up for our near annulment and I still dream of the day we’ll return to that gorgeous suite at Le Sireneuse.
23. 28 years old: We moved into our first house in New Rochelle and met our very first friends, Holli and David while commuting to Manhattan.
24. 29 years old: I became pregnant with our first child — a baby girl we named Becca Drew who we named after both my grandmas (they were both named Dora.)
25. 30 years old: We spent our anniversary in Block Island but cut the trip short because it rained every day, we missed our one year old daughter and our hot water heater burst and flooded the basement.
26. 31 years old: We lost our dear friend David on 9/11. Meanwhile, unbeknownst to me, I was pregnant at the time with our son.
27. 32 years old: After my friend Holli drove me to my OB/GYN and I experienced labor pains at the diner, I gave birth a few hours later to our son Dylan, who we named after Holli’s husband David and our grandparents.
28. 33 years old: Dylan battles a cough and high fever and winds up in the hospital with bacterial pneumonia. Scariest experience as a parent but thankfully, he was okay.
29. 35 years old: I spearheaded the New York finale campaign for “Everybody Loves Raymond” which culminated in the cast ringing the closing bell at the New York Stock Exchange. Most amazing day of my career.
30. 36 years old: I published my first book, Peeing in Peace: Tales & Tips for Type A Moms with my friend and TV producer Yvette Corporon and we launched “Role Mommy” together, producing inspiring events for working mothers. Meanwhile, Yvette is about to release her very first novel while I’ve continued building Role Mommy into a blog network, events company and online destination for parents who have time to read (oh, that’s why my traffic is so low…just kidding…sort of).
31. 36 years old: My dad has a heart attack and we race to Florida to see him. Thankfully, he is okay (and is better than ever now) but our poor cat, Oliver dies when we return home (he was battling cancer).
32. 37 years old: I quit my job as a vice president at CBS and decide to become an entrepreneur launching a PR business and Role Mommy at the same time. Thankfully, I’d still get to work with CBS even after I leave.
33. 40 years old: Joint birthday party at Mickey Spillane’s with my husband with our closest friends and family.
34. 41 years old: I surprise my mom and whisk her off to Spain for her 70th birthday.
35. 42 years old: Planning and celebrating my daughter’s Bat Mitzvah. They say it takes nine months to have a baby – it also takes nine months to plan a Bat Mitzvah.
36. 42 years old: Our beloved cat Rudy dies one week before Becca’s Bat Mitzvah. Becca and I sit with him on our bed and hold him as he passes away in our arms.
37. 43 years old: My daughter and son graduate from elementary and middle school and then leave two days later for sleep-away camp.
TOO MANY MEMORIES TO COUNT…
38. Family vacations: Treasure Beach, Jamaica, Caribbean cruises, Florida, Bar Harbor Maine, Block Island, the Cape, Nantucket, Delaware, Ogunquit, California and many more.
39. Holiday dinners: Passover, Rosh Hashana, Thanksgiving, Christmas, St. Patrick’s Day and more with our family and close friends who are like family to us in more ways than one.
40. New Years Eve: Every year at our house — it’s become a tradition we will never give up — unless we splurge one of these days on a Christmas vacation.
41. Being a couch potato: I love curling up each night with my kids and my husband while we watch “The Voice,” the “X Factor,” “Modern Family” and movies on demand.
42. Spending weekends in the Hamptons: Love that my parents have a home in Southampton and that we get to spend a few summer weekends out there with them before they leave for Boynton Beach.
43. Dinners with great friends: I love getting the chance to laugh with friends over wine and great food at some of our favorite restaurants in Westchester including Alvin and Friends, Harvest on the Hudson, Morgan’s Fish House and more.
44. Still dating that cute guy even though we’re married 17 years: And last but not least, I love the fact that I still date my husband. This year, we went to Mystic, CT, the Jersey Shore and stumbled upon a few wineries too. The more that we date, the more I realize how lucky I am to have had the opportunity to spend more than half my life with him…and the good news is we get to make many more memories together.
So check back with me when I’m 88 — then again, I’ll probably be senile by then and will have forgotten half the things I’ve written down. It’s a good thing I have a blog.

“The Talk” Confessions

After a brief summer hiatus, CBS’s “The Talk” is back and better than ever! The new season of the hit daytime talk show premiered with a bang this week as all of the hosts confessed their deepest secrets! Check out their secrets here:
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1. Aisha Tyler revealed that after years of saying she didn’t want kids, she had a change of heart and recently underwent fertility testing. Unfortunately, Aisha found out that the odds of her conceiving are minimal, and decided that it’s too late for her to have children of her own. As moms, I think we can all relate to Aisha’s struggle. Click here to see more of Aisha’s confession.
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2. Julie Chen admitted that years ago she had cosmetic eye surgery after a local news director told her she looked bored during interviews and would never make it big because of the way she looked. This caused controversy in Julie’s family, but Chen says she’s still very proud of her Chinese heritage. Check out the before and after photos…what do you think? Does Julie’s confession say something about our society’s standards of beauty? To see Julie’s entire confession,click here
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3. Sara Gilbert discussed how she came to terms with her sexuality after dating her “Roseanne” co-star Johnny Galecki. Gilbert admitted she realized that she was a lesbian while kissing her Roseanne costar and boyfriend, Johnny Galecki who kept her secret private and has always been one of her closest friends ever since. She also revealed that being on “The Talk” helped her overcome her fear of being publicly gay, but that she’s also still afraid there will be repercussions when she discloses personal information, such as her recent engagement to girlfriend Linda Perry. Yet Gilbert ended her confession with some inspirational words:
“I want to live a true life. Beyond that, we do often say things like “it gets better” – and it does get better. I have an amazing life, but there can still be a struggle with it, and that’s ok. There can be a part of you that doesn’t want to be different or feel scared. And that is more important than any of it.”. To see the whole video, click here.
Click here to check out Sharon’s secret! And click here to watch Sheryl’s emotional revelation about her childhood.
What do you think of “The Talk” confessions? Do you have any confessions of your own?
Don’t forget to tune in to the new season of “The Talk” – Weekdays at 2 PM ET and tweet along @TheTalk_CBS.

How Theme Parks Almost Ruined My Summer

IMG_0951.jpgAs the summer comes to a close and those long anticipated vacations we had planned all year for have now been reduced to fleeting Facebook memories, what I’ve discovered is that I love that my kids are older and we can do things we can all enjoy:
We rode bikes along the boardwalk in Manhattan Beach, CA
We went tubing down a fast moving current in Oqunquit, Maine.
We spent time with harmless grizzly bears at the San Diego Zoo and whales who were all named Shamu at Sea World.
We attended a Dodgers game where we stalked celebrities life Danny DeVito and two cast members from “Modern Family” who waved at us from their SUV.
We went hiking in Maine.
We read great beach reads
We dined at fabulous restaurants and breakfast joints
We laughed a lot
We also visited two amusement parks.
And that’s where my family fun time fizzled.
At Universal Studios in California, I learned a very important lesson. If you visit the theme park without any feminine hygiene products, there’s not a single store on the premises that sells anything to help relieve your situation. I found out the hard way when we searched several stores to find tampons and came up empty. In fact, one store worker told us there used to be tampons in the ladies room but they replaced them with Dyson air dryers. Obviously, the people making important decisions about the bathroom supplies are not women.
After leaving the park to find the nearest drug store, it took us nearly an hour to get back. We then headed down four steep escalators and arrived at the rides. A few minutes later, my husband and son met us and filled us in on their master plan to not get caught on any lines. If you sign up for the “single rider” slot, you’ll literally go on the ride immediately. Sure you won’t be riding with anyone you know, but at least you won’t be stuck on a line for more than an hour.
While I wasn’t that thrilled with their idea, I followed their lead and hopped on the Jurassic Park ride where I was placed in the front of the boat with a family from another country. Little did I know that in addition to forgetting to bring tampons, wearing white shorts would also be a really bad decision. After being thoroughly soaked by the waves, I bid my seat mates adieu, climbed out of the ride and was informed by my kids who were laughing their sides off that my shorts were filthy. Not only was I sopping wet, I had black smudges all over my backside.
After throwing a fit in front of my family and several foreign tourists, I stormed into the bathroom and searched in vain for paper towels. Due to the green effort by Universal, they did away with hand towels in exchange for those revolutionary Dyson hand dryers. And so, my daughter grabbed a couple of squares of toilet paper and proceeded to help me wipe the dirt off my shorts. What a lovely way to spend an afternoon.
I then informed my family that they could go on the rest of the scary rides without me and proceeded to buy a pretzel with mustard (staining my shorts once again) and then sat down in the hot sun for another hour as they cut the lines and rode on several roller coasters.
After waiting on two gi-normous lines, we took the Universal Studios tour and went on the Simpsons ride – both good choices. The last thing we decided to try before we left was the haunted house. If you get freaked out by people other than your spouse touching you in the dark, then take my advice and don’t go in. When some creep disguised as Chuckie jumped out of nowhere and scared the beejeezus out of us, my son had had enough and demanded we find the exit.
Fast forward to Maine where we visited Orchard Beach, an amusement park that offers good old fashioned scary and unsafe rides that last about 90 seconds each. I opted for the rusty metal roller coaster, a pirate ship that turned my stomach upside down and the swing ride where you can lose your Fit Flops if you don’t grip your toes tight enough. My daughter and son went on several more death defying rides and then afterwards, we indulged in lots of junk – caramel apples, turkey legs and pizza. Yum, or shall I say, Tums.
As the crowds finally dissipate and some of those seasonal parks shut down for the summer, all I can say is I’m glad we are free of rickety roller coasters, water rides and never-ending lines. While I look forward to our annual family vacations, I have a dream that one day, my family will be free at last of theme parks. I know. Keep dreaming.