Thursday, July 8, 2010

Taking a Break from Blogging

Not that any one would notice that I've rejoined the living because I've gone at least a month since blogging! If I had 2 or 3 readers before, I'm sure I have none now. Anyways, basically what I've figured out is that between starting a new job (as a brand manager for a commercial construction company), spending time with my family, trying to keep up with household responsibilities, and making sure to get quality family and friend time in each week, I'm no good at keeping up a blog.

I hope to return someday, even if it's not here at this exact URL, but for now, I need to focus on what's most important in my life, my family and my sanity! So, thank you for being a part of this short-lived exploration into the blogosphere, and hopefully we'll meet up again someday :)

Monday, May 24, 2010

Where are the Women in Kids Shows?

Wow, I just noticed that I haven't blogged in a month! So sorry...crazy busy life right now, but I'm back on it! So on to my post.

Now that my son is starting to pay much more attention to TV and videos, I've noticed something that actually baffles me - men are predominantly found as the lead characters in children's shows. Curious George has the man with yellow pants, The Wiggles are all male, Barney is a boy, Elmo interacts with Mr. Noodle, Mr. Rogers was a staple of my childhood, and Blues Clues have male leads as well.

This doesn't bother me at just makes me wonder, where are all the women? Is it mostly men who come up with kid show concepts, or are there studies that show kids responding better to men in authority? When my son was first born, I read something about how babies just like women better at first because they're used to hearing their mom's voice in the womb. That's why we inherantly raise our voices to a "girlier" tone when talking to babies (we all do it without knowing...but that's why).

Again, I don't see anything wrong with this, especially since I have a son, but c'mon ladies...let's come up with some shows that cast BOTH men and women as the leads so that our kids recognize both as authority their play world AND the real world. :)

Monday, April 26, 2010

Mom Tip Monday: Try, Try Again

Each step of the way, my little boy has been a picky eater. Even at 10 months, when we tried to feed him something new, he would stick his tongue out to taste it before it could go in his mouth. Where in the world did he learn to do that?! If he disapproved, he would refuse to eat anything else for the rest of his meal!!! Meanwhile, I would see my friends throw a bunch of random foods in front of their babies who would happily eat anything and everything up just because they were excited to eat something more interesting than pureed veggies.

THEN, once he finally started trying more solids, we were thrilled that he loved cheese and bread, but if you tried to give him a grilled cheese...he would spit it out immediately. Anything "touching" or seasoned in the slightest bit would be rejected on the spot. I couldn't believe that at just 13 months of age, he was so picky; it was incredibly frustrating. And I was afraid my son would end up eating out of baby jars until he went to elementary school.

When we asked our pediatrician about it, she was even a little baffled because at that age, he really shouldn't be incredibly was usually closer to 2 years of age that he would start testing us at the dinner table. However, her advice was simple...she said that what he disliked one week could be his favorite the next. Even though I wasn't incredibly satisfied with that answer because it meant lots of dollars down the drain each week as we "tested" his preferences, I followed her instructions. Some days have been better than others along the way, but recently our efforts have started paying off. Finally, at 17 months of age, he's willing to taste almost anything on our plates, and for the most part, he has liked almost everything he's tried in the past week. Who'd have thunk? So I guess the old saying is true: "If at first you don't succeed, try, try again..."

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

My First Diaper Cake

This past weekend, I co-hosted a shower and presented my very first diaper cake. You may not know what this is, and frankly, I didn't know until about a month ago, but they're adorable and totally worth the little extra work. Honestly, it was SO much easier than I thought.

Here's what you'll need:
1. Approximately 60 diapers
2. Clear hair rubberbands
3. Regular large rubberbands
4. Bottles for the center (I used an 8 oz one an a 5 oz one)
5. Double-sided tape (buy the REALLY strong stuff)
6. Gross grain ribbon
7. Anything you want to decorate the outside with

I learned how to do it through this Youtube video, which was super helpful. The look on the mom-to-be's face was so worth it when she saw her adorable present. And, the best part is that she's not only getting a ton of useful diapers, she gets bottles and other fun stuff all tied up in a pretty package. Try it for your next shower!

Monday, April 5, 2010

This Blogger's Perspective on Sponsorship

Recently, the incredibly talented Unexperienced Mom asked me to share my thoughts on how bloggers should approach brands for sponsorships...specifically, conference sponsorships. As a marketer who represents multiple brands seeking relationships with bloggers, I had a few recommendations about this very topic.

Check out my post at Blog Conference Guide for the Unexperienced and share your own thoughts!

Monday, March 22, 2010

Mom Tip Monday: Household goods play kit

At 16 months, my baby boy LOVES assembling things and taking them apart. The thing is, he'd much rather work with every other object in my house except his toys that are specifically made for young ones. For instance, every time I'm in the bathroom, he's trying to pull out all of my cosmetics and twist the lids off or moving things from drawer to drawer.

So, we got wise to this and created a play kit for the kitchen. This way, he can use real household goods that are still safe for his little hands. Our kit is a metal colander that we fill with his baby bottles (including all the innards), plastic cups, plastic spoons, plastic lids, etc. The colander makes a to squat next to - he even enjoys sitting in it now and again. All of the items fit nicely inside each other and even stack perfectly. And, his Dr. Brown's bottles are easy enough for a toddler to pull apart and put back together.

This play kit keeps our little one entertained for up to a half hour while we make dinner in the evenings, so I highly recommend creating your own version! Anyone else have a "household good" play kit idea?

Friday, March 19, 2010

Keeping Moms in Corporate America

To all the companies out there that have been approached by moms who want to work from home and have said no – WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU? In this digital age, it’s so easy for anyone to pick up her computer, webcam, and mobile device and participate in meetings, respond to emails, create presentations, etc. – pretty much doing just about everything she would do at the office. Because of this, I am honestly baffled, just baffled, when I talk with another mom who longs for an opportunity to work from home even just ONE day a week but is met with uncompromising responses that her company “frowns” on that kind of thing.

In the AFL-CIO Now Blog, James Parks writes about the need for workplaces to adapt to the greater role of women in the workforce and references the 2009 Shriver Report: A Woman’s Nation, which takes “a comprehensive look at working women and how their work has transformed today’s workplace.” Following a subsequent press conference, he writes that “the report’s co-author Heather Boushey, senior economist at CAP, cited a poll that shows a large majority of Americans support new, more family-friendly workplace policies. A full 85 percent of respondents say businesses that fail to adapt to the needs of modern families risk losing good workers.“

And that, my friends, is the key – during a time when workforces need to be the most productive they can possibly be, it’s incredibly important to retain and recruit savvy, ambitious, and hard-working employees. Many (I repeat, MANY) of these people are moms…moms who are looking for work-at-home opportunities that provide the intellectual challenge they need while allowing for quality mom time as well.
Flexibility in the workplace can take many forms, and part-time or flex-time is wonderful for many people, but my focus in this post is on the opportunity to work from a home office at least part, if not all, of the week. I left my previous employer because when I approached them about working from home one day a week after returning from maternity leave, they told me I could do it as long as I understood that it would mean I would not be promoted, manage people, or manage accounts. Hmm…essentially, they were telling me that working from home meant I wasn’t as valuable to them as those who sat in their offices from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. (sometimes longer) every day. I now work at a wonderful, rapidly-growing company that allows me to work from home regularly and travel to the office (or elsewhere) for client meetings or other needs. I work more than I ever did before because I like the work I do, and I feel a greater sense of balance for lots of reasons (five of them I list below).

Peter Shankman, founder of Help a Reporter Out (HARO), offers great advice for how to convince your boss that working from home works for you. Below, I list reasons why employers/managers should highly consider saying yes the next time you approach him or her about working from home (print these off and anonymously leave them behind during your next meeting).

1. Drive time is eliminated - While many moms want to work (I being one of those moms), most still crave a work-life balance they simply can’t get from being physically in an office 40-50 hours a week plus commute time each day. Between getting ready in the morning, driving to and from work, and being in the office, employers are asking moms to only spend about 2 hours of quality time a day with their little one(s). That’s simply not enough.

2. Productivity will increase – I know this is absolutely unbelievable to managers who want to have a watchful eye over employees, but based on point #1, moms allowed to work from home have the opportunity to work longer hours because they’re not spending an hour getting ready in the morning, nor are they leaving work early to fight traffic and get home just in time to turn right around and drive little ones to an evening activity.

3. Sick time for kids is less of a factor – Millions of moms and dads have to take off work every day because of sick children. Now, even if one of them works from home and sends a child to daycare, she still has to keep the child home for the day. BUT!! If she’s set up to work from home, there are many, many more opportunities for her to get work done during naps and in between caretaking than if it’s the “policy” that she has to take a personal or vacation day just because she’s not in the office.

4. Retain valuable people – Everyone knows it costs more to hire someone new than to retain a current employee. And, when a smart, ambitious mom decides that working from home would make her happier in her career…listen, evaluate, and then TRY it…for the love of God, at least set it up as a trial situation before making a long-term decision. Is it really worth losing her?

5. Create a thriving culture – Lots and lots of articles have been written in the past few years about the changes companies have made to create more flexible work options, and the meaning behind the article is – WHAT A GREAT PLACE TO WORK! Work schedules don’t have to be a one-size-fits-all…it makes companies truly stand out when they realize how to be different.

Now I understand that there are just some jobs that require on-site presence, such as elementary and high school education, construction, and retail, but for your everyday corporate job, where someone literally sits at a computer almost all day long, there is absolutely no reason for an employer to not at least consider a work from home option. Moms will just find another place that does allow work from home options, or they’ll join a growing number of savvy moms called mompreneurs starting their own successful businesses because working in traditional settings just doesn’t cut it.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

To All the Jobless

Last night, my husband and I watched "Up in the Air," and while I know the movie is really supposed to make you think about the irony of traveling all the time but still feeling lonely, it really made me feel for all the people out there who have lost their jobs during this recession. We've had friends who have been let go during this past year, and I've spoken with bloggers who are really leaning on their blogs for some income while they or their husbands look for something.

We all love complaining about our jobs now and again, and I have friends who are at the point of their careers where they're trying to figure out what it is they really want to do. However, those of us who have a steady income should take a minute, sit back, and realize how lucky we are that we're not trying to figure out how to pay all of our bills or restore our pride after losing a job.

Even though every single one of my friends who have been impacted by a company cut-back have ended up in a better situation, the time in-between is absolutely draining and heartbreaking. So, to all of you who have dealt with the loss of a job, I salute you for being incredibly strong and, many times, really creative in dealing with your situation.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Mom Tip Monday: Make a Place for Them to Do Art

Wow, I've now done two weeks in a row! This is exciting except that I seriously need to make the other days of the week a priority. Especially for my non-mom friends who read this blog. Promise to have something different this week ladies :)

So anyways, my tip for this week is to make a place for your kids to do art. Our baby boy LOVES coloring, painting, gluing...anything art-related. He gets so excited when you pull out his basket of art supplies that he starts stomping his feet and clapping his hands, sometimes until he falls down (he's only 15 months old for God's sakes...he's still not that sturdy). :)

When he first started loving to color, we would let him do it anywhere in the house and would just pull the crayons out onto the floor to let him dig in. This resulted in my first-ever crayon markings on the wall, floor, and plenty of other places. What I realized is that art is one of those things that should be contained just a bit until he starts understanding that the world is not his canvas. So, every time he pulls out his basket, he goes to his high-chair and uses his tray as his desk. If we had room for a full kids desk or table, I would use that, but this works just fine.

If you happen to have one of those portable chair/high-chair thingies, use that because then you don't have to be confined to any one area when the mood strikes!! We just pull our highchair into whatever room we're sitting/working/playing in, and then our Picasso can let loose.

Happy Monday!

Monday, March 1, 2010

Mom Tip Monday

OK, so on Mondays (I can't promise it will be every Monday), I will share a tip that helps me, my family, or my son stay sane :) It won't necessarily be thought-provoking, but hopefully it will be something that makes your life a bit easier. Hopefully other moms, aunts, grandmas, nannies, etc. will respond with additional tips each time.

First tip (courtesy of my husband who figured out to do this) - turn the toiletpaper roll around so that you have to reach behind it to pull the sheets down. That way, when your little one walks up and starts rolling the toiletpaper (which mine does every single time he walks into a bathroom), you're not left with the entire roll on the floor. I don't quite have a tip yet about what to do when they figure this out and start pulling on the sheets. :)

Monday, February 22, 2010

Make Time for Projects

I'm terrible about putting pictures in albums and frames. Like, bad mom kinda bad. My son is 15 months old, and up until last weekend, I did not have one-single-photo-album put together of my child. I know.

My husband was so baffled by this, he finally said to me at the beginning of this year, "Honey, i would really like to have just one album that has all his pictures in it instead of this mess of photos jammed into a magazine rack." We won't even go down the path of why this is was of course directed at me since it's of course the mom's job to organize her baby's photos, buy appropriately cute albums, and place the pictures in them. We'll tackle that in another post :)

So, back to the issue at hand...cultivating some sort of memory-honoring act that showcases the enormously important year we just had with the coolest and most baffling person I've ever known - my son. Many people are really good at this. Every time I go to my friend Lora's house, she has new pictures spattered around her house in more frames than you can count. The WEEK after her son's first birthday, she was taking advantage of a Snapfish deal for photo books. Dear God!

Not only was I prompted by my husband's gentle request for us to maybe, perhaps, someday get an album put together with pictures of our son, but I also had started reading Gretchen Rubin's "Happiness Project," which truly pushed me over the edge to finally get this done. If you don't know anything about the book, basically, she's trying to find ways to get the most out of her life and essentially be the happiest she can be. In this quest, one of her challenges is to "Make Time for Projects." She essentially admits that she too is not good at keepsaking, so she decides to put more effort into it, realizing that completing the project brings a great sense of pride and (you guessed it) happiness.

Ugh, alright already!! What I knew about myself is that I would never, ever, ever actually complete a real scrapbook, which would probably be the ultimate "ode to baby." So, I did what I knew would get done - I went to Target (the holiest of all holy places) and bought two adorable albums that held plenty of pictures so that I would have room for the gallons of them I had sitting around. Well!!! From the time I went to Target to the time I put the last picture in the second album, I had spent a total of 7 HOURS ON THIS PROJECT!

In the middle of the first one, I realized that I was missing pictures, so I went online to see how many were loaded but not ordered, and I found 111 - ONE HUNDRED AND ELEVEN - pictures that needed to be ordered and shipped to my house. Have I mentioned that I'm not very good at this? So, I had to wait a whole other week before I received the pics and sorted through all of them to make sure they were chronological. Finally, I was done. And pretty much, I made my case right there as to why I should make this a priority a little more often.

Was I happier? Absolutely. Not only did I have this warm and fuzzy feeling in the pit of my stomach as these pictures brought back the sweet, irresistible, frustrating, and amazing memories of the last 15 months, it warmed my heart to watch my husband go through the albums for the first time. We reminisced about the good times and not-so-good times, and since then, I've gone through the albums about four times - it makes me happy every time I do it.

Huh! Alright Gretchen, you got me. I'm pickin' up what you're puttin' down. I'll "Make Time for Projects" as much as I possibly can.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Does Tiger Need to Win Back Women?

So Tiger's holding a press conference tomorrow...well, I don't know if I would call it a press conference since he's reading from a script and not taking any questions. Submitting a quote to ESPN is pretty much the same thing. Anyhow, I keep hearing analysts say that Tiger should go on "Oprah" because he's going to need to win back women if he ever hopes to win back marketers. Most of them are agreeing that men can totally separate what Tiger does on the course with what he does off the course, and while they think he's totally screwed up his personal life, it doesn't affect whether they would buy body soap that he's endorsing. So, this sparks a question in my mind...

Would women really not buy a product that their husband wants or really likes just because Tiger is endorsing it (or will endorse it in the future)?

My husband said to me today, "I think that if a man really wants a Tiger Woods golf club, his wife would still buy it for him." Well, I'm not so sure. Would you?

So let's think about this: Kobe Bryant was on trial for rape and played in the playoffs while being on trial. Yes, he was proved innocent, but admited to cheating. Today, he still sells tickets and I don't think marketers are that afraid of linking up with him. A-Rod clearly cheated multiple times and was photographed with at least one stripper. Now, besides being annoying, he still gets endorsements because he's one of the greatest baseball players ever. I could truly go on and on, but I won't because you catch my drift.

I'm a woman and a mom, and I can tell you honestly that I would still buy a product even if Tiger was endorsing it. Are you ashamed? C'mon, if it's the best product on the market and it's what my husband likes, then seriously, I'm not going to not buy it just because of Tiger's infidelity. While I would like to see him make a sincere (not scripted!) apology for what he's done, AND while it also would be nice to never, ever, ever, EVER see him photographed with another woman, infidelity is just not that surprising a trait of famous athletes (or any rich and famous man for that matter). Does Bill Clinton ring a bell?

It doesn't make it right. And maybe if people really revolted against products because of cheating endorsers, these men might think twice about it. So, maybe I've talked myself into revolting against Nike because they stuck with Tiger...yes, yes, let's start a movement today ladies. I've seen the power of women online, and I know how the rants and raves of modern moms can make a product rise and fall in a day.

However, until I start seeing that movement begin, I'll probably just let this one go too. You're safe this time Nike.

What about you? Are you done with Tiger and his silly little endorsements?

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Passion, Purpose, Intention

At the Blissdom conference I mentioned in my last post, I had the privelage of listening to Kevin Carroll ( speak. He was by far one of the most inspirational people I have ever known, and besides telling you a little of his story (which is amazing and heart-wrenching), I want to share some of his thoughts that might inspire you as you start yet another week of what might seem to you like an ordinary life.

So first his story: Kevin and his two brothers hopped from place to place when he was just a little boy because of his mother's drug addiction. He said that to this day he still sleeps on the edge of the bed because they would always have to pack up and leave instantly in the middle of the night. When he was six years old, his mother took them to a trailer and left them for five days before he decided to walk across to a neighbor's house and call his grandparents to rescue them. He then told us that he never heard from his mother again.

As tragic as this was for a child to go through, the catalyst for his life's work was a red rubber ball he began to play with shortly after being taken in by his grandparents. After picking up this abandoned ball at the park and pounding it on the ground in an effort to vent his frustrations, a group of kids asked him if he wanted to play with them. He knew at that moment that one of the greatest satisfactions in life was just belonging - whether that be as part of a community, a sports team, a family, or matters...a lot. AND (this, in my opinion is the most important) that we need to remember the "art of play." With all of our adult responsibilities looming over our heads every day, we forget to find joy in the little things.

In an effort to help all of us acheive what he figured out as a 6-year-old, he wrote a book called, "Rules of the Red Rubber Ball" (I ordered my copy today). Basically, he goes all over the world delivering red rubber balls - soccer, basketball, etc. - to kids who have already mastered the art of play but just need something of quality to play with (the balls he replaces are sometimes made out of trash bags - now that's imagination born out of necessity!!!). So, what he told us is that we all need to have three things:

1. Passion
2. Purpose
3. Intention

When Kevin was done making us all feel like we could take on the world, I really thought long and hard about what these three words mean for me. For those of you who have known me for a long time, you know that I can drag explanations and stories out just a bit too long, so I'm going to sum up my thoughts in fairly simplistic terms.

Passion - I really have two passions: the first is experiencing life with family and friends. I'm incredibly lucky (as annoying as it is to read this) to have some of the best parents, in-laws, and friends anyone could ever have. I of course include my son in this category, but c'mon, that's really just a given. Now when I say experience life, I really mean do everything with them. For example, my husband and I never take a vacation by ourselves, we prefer to have dinner with friends rather than by ourselves (yes, there are rare exceptions to this), and we are always ready to plan the next get-together. My second passion is marketing. It's what I do for a living, but it's really not just my seeps into my personal life in various forms, and I'm always interested in learning as much as I can about it. I honestly feel that if you aren't personally invested in the field you're in outside the walls of your workplace, then find something else! Yes, yes, I know all about the economy, so maybe wait a couple years to take the leap.

Purpose - So what is my purpose in life? The founder of my company once said, "We don't live to work, we all work to obtain the means we need to live the life we want to live outside of this job." OK, so I just got done telling you that I have a passion for what I do for a living. I do...really. But, could I go without the administrative work I have to do since I'm at an agency, or would I love to have my pick of whatever client in the world I want to work with? Of course. My purpose in life is to be the happiest I can be on any given day and to help the people I love most be the happiest they can be. So I work. I work to feed my passions and to "live the life I want to live." I wish I could tell you my purpose was to make a huge difference in a third world country, but you'll have to settle for the fact that I think it's really, really, really important to spread happiness.

Intention - So you're probably not going to be surprised when I tell you that my intention is to make a positive impact on those around me. I have purposefully surrounded myself by people who bring the best out in me, so why not do the same for them?

So, as I think back to Kevin's red rubber ball epiphany, I feel like I know exactly what he's talking about, and I hope I never take life too seriously. What's your passion, purpose, and intention?

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Mom-to-Mom Connections

I'm exhausted yet really inspired right now. I just got back from a blogging conference (Blissdom) that was filled with some of the most amazing moms I've ever met. Some work full-time outside of their homes and blog on the side and some have made a lot of money by turning their blogs into a full-time business. These are savvy, dedicated, motivated, and deeply encouraging women who truly know their way around a keyboard. I was overwhelmed because I've just begun my personal social media journey, and I honestly try to stay away from my computer during much of my non-paid working time. However, during our sessions, I sat next to women who Tweeted, blogged, and connected pretty much the whole time. It was amazing to me...these women are amazing to me.

Moms all around the world have found a way to leave their corporate positions and stay at home with their babies but still make enough money to not only survive but live really well. More importantly however, moms are connecting with other moms in a way they couldn't 20 or 30 years ago. Moms are able to share their thoughts and concerns, answer questions or ask questions, and truly find like-minded women to build relationships with they might never have met without social media tools. I met four women at similar stages of their lives as myself...all with different stories but the same goal - share, connect, support. I truly believe that these women (,,, and will be a part of my life for a long time in some way. As Bay put it when we were sitting at dinner last night, "this, right here, was worth my price of admission."

I was incredibly inspired to keep reaching and keep connecting through our sessions as well as my personal conversations with so many savvy, strong women, and I thought I would just share with you one thought for the week that I pulled from our amazing keynote speaker, Kevin Carroll (I'll tell you more about him later this week) - all most of us want is to belong to a community, so find yours and encourage others to do the same. We all need inspiration and support from time to time, and we should be seeking out those who push us and step away from those who drain us. Thank you Blissdom.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

The Power of Elmo

What is it about this scrawny, red, squeaky-voiced little creature that absolutely mesmerizes our children? When I was little, I watched Sesame Street but don't even remember Elmo. And then, about 10 years ago, there appeared a cult that would literally run each other down at Christmas time to grab the latest and greatest version of the most amazing character ever created - the holiest of holy, Elmo. I'm baffled by it and really didn't understand his power until this past weekend when my husband and I took a four hour drive and popped an Elmo singing, dancing, and books video in the DVD player. It was the most peaceful drive we have ever experienced!! Our baby boy watched this DVD four times in a row and barely whined at all.

Now, let me explain why this is amazing. I have one of the highest-energy 14-month-olds I have ever seen in my 29 years of life. Since birth, he has not been much of a napper; we usually only make it through 10 minutes of church (who wants to listen to a mom trying to tell her son he can't climb over or under the pews?); we can't even load the dishwasher around him because he pulls everything out and climbs inside - EVERY SINGLE TIME; and instead of sitting on our laps while we're watching TV, he wants to jump up and down on the coach, on his chair, or on the stairs. However, during those four hours in the car, he was calm, entertained, and happy. Even tonight, nothing was pleasing him because his stomach hasn't felt well for a few days, but we popped in that DVD just to see if Elmo could comfort him since we weren't doing the trick, and it worked! Our boy was dancing, laughing, and switching from lap to lap (after we took his chair away because all he wanted to do was stand in it).

I am now and forever will be an Elmo groupie. I don't really get it, but I appreciate him. And when we need Elmo to come to the rescue, I hope he rides in on his big, white horse - but I'll settle for him popping up on my screen with his goldfish friend, Dorothy.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Importance of Getting Away

This last weekend, my husband and I ventured to NYC and left our baby boy with grandma and grandpa. We wanted to visit two very good friends, attend a Knicks game (because one of said friends works for Madison Square Garden), go to a broadway show, and of course, eat at one of Bobby Flay's restaurants (I've already told you about my Food Network obsession). This trip was a much-needed Christmas gift for us as a couple. We are both very dedicated to our jobs and our family, and sometimes we just need a weekend to focus on ourselves.

All of you who are parents know that once you have kids, there are some luxuries that just go away: sleeping past 7 a.m. (at least until they're teenagers), going out for dinner and drinks ALL weekend, and walking out of the house without packing up a thousand things. Now, those things are of course replaced with: the most amazing laughter you've ever heard, the beauty of discoveries every day, and a perfect cuddling partner.

Despite all the absolute wonders that being a parent brings, it's so important to take time away and have some grown-up fun. When I decided to write this post, I wanted to do an online search to see what other's said about this topic. Surprisingly, very few people are writing about it! This made me wonder if other parents just don't do it very often, or if perhaps people don't want to admit that they NEED time away from their precious babies. One post I did find was on the San Francisco Chronicle's blog called "The Poop." In his post, Peter Hartlaub writes, "even if we had to leave our kids with a close friend or more distant relative, I would still do everything I could to get away. I've become convinced that jettisoning your offspring for a night or two is one of the healthiest things parents can do for everyone involved." - read the full post at

Peter, I totally agree! Even though we missed our boy terribly and talked about him quite a bit, we had a great time exploring one of the most interesting cities in the world. We drank beer with friends, ate delicious New York-style pizza, slept past 9 in the morning (because we were up till 2 a.m.), and watched a Broadway show in Times Square! And, as you've probably guessed, our son was just fine without us for a few days. He had wonderful quality time with grandparents who are more than happy to spend quality alone time with him. When we got home, all we heard about was how much fun they had.

I truly hope that other parents recognize the value in just getting away, even if it's just for a night. It can be hard to let go, but we need to keep in mind that even though we're parents, we're also a part of a relationship that needs a little nurturing now and again. And let's get serious, we all need this for ourselves too (I mean, I really needed that purse from Chinatown!). Where should we go next time?

Sunday, January 10, 2010

My Love Affair with Food Network

My husband has ESPN, and I have Food Network. We all need that channel we can turn to when we want to escape, and mine is filled with food. I'm enamored by it, and I wouldn't even call myself a foodie. This love affair started my freshman year of college when I started watching cooking shows and all of a sudden decided to try cooking, literally for the first time. Once I started, I realized that I not only like cooking, I LOVE watching people cook, talk about food, compete with food - you get the idea. So, thank God for the Food Network because it has made cooking become more accessible for someone like me, and it makes cooking, baking, and culinary careers seem exciting. Who needs sports when you have Bobby Flay's Throwdown or Iron Chef?!

You're probably wondering which shows/cooks/chefs are my favorite (you might not really care, but I'll tell you anyways). Barefoot Contessa, aka Ina Garten, is amazing. Not only does she have a beautiful life that anyone would covet, - she lives in the Hampton's for goodness sake - but she also has the absolute best recipes I have ever tried. Not once have I not liked one of her recipes...seriously, you should try them. And each time she inspires me to try something new, my husband (who is known for being a strickly cheesy-carbs guy) ventures out a bit and realizes that there are all kinds of wonderful flavors out there. He even eats asparagus now! I'm sure you would agree that Bobby Flay, Tyler Florence, and Giada de Laurentis are also fun to watch. Not so much because I love their recipes (I do like quite a few), but they're entertaining and are nice to look at - are chefs really that good looking? Really? One of the best shows on Food Network however, is "Ace of Cakes." I mean, who knew that filming a bunch of creative people decorating cakes all day would be entertaining to the masses?

Those who know me really well know that I could literally watch Food Network all day long every day if I had the opportunity - and if I didn't have a baby, husband, job, and obvious responsibilities to tend to, I would. Truly, what Food Network has done for me is peak my interest in the culinary world. I daydream about becoming a chef and owning a specialty food shop. There are probably thousands of people who have entered the culinary industry just because of the Food Network. But more importantly, watching hours and hours of food TV has shown me the value of enjoying food, which makes family meals, entertaining, and exploring new flavors so much fun. People all around the country are taking more of an interest in cooking, which I think translates to more time around the oven and table as a family. Essentially, food brings all the things we love in life together. Now that's something worth escaping for...don't you think?

Sunday, January 3, 2010

So I started a blog...

This year, in my quest to dive into social media and understand it a bit more, I started a Facebook page, re-activated my Twitter account, and today I'm starting a blog. Now, I'm a mom, and I'll be writing a lot about my life as a mom (definitely not solely that), but I started wondering if that made me a "mommy blogger." Oh to be a mommy blogger. In my industry (marketing), these are some of the most powerful people in the world. Honestly, we talk about mommy bloggers on a daily basis. We want to know everything about them: how to reach them, how to meet their purchasing needs, how to "engage" with them, etc.

When I thought about whether or not I fit into this category, I started wondering what the true definition of mommy blogger is (some people write it as one word: mommyblogger). My definition is simply a mom who writes about stuff that interests other moms. I certainly don't think the content is necessarily ONLY interesting to other moms, but most of the women in this particular target fit into that category. There's not much to this definition, so I "Google" the term "defining mommy blogger," and I come up with a couple other descriptions. At, this blogger says a mommy blogger is “a woman who writes passionately about her life and life as she sees it, sharing some good ideas, products, and more along the way.” Stephanie Smirnov says it's a "woman with offspring who maintains online personal journal filled with reflections, comments, and hyperlinks, shared chronologically." However you want to describe this incredibly savvy group of women, I love thinking of myself in this light. Not because I can talk about my 13-month-old all the time (I promise I won't), but because I feel like I've joined this exclusive club where I'm now free to express my thoughts on anything and everything that affects my daily life as a mom, which is truly the toughest but most rewarding adventure I've ever been a part of. What great therapy!!

So, I started a blog, and I'm really excited about it.