Showered With Love – January 31 ’14

Happy Friday, DivaMoms!! And happy (almost) February! When is going to start to get warmer?! I need the Spring (particularly March: birthday+baby) to arrive ASAP! I hope this week has been FabULyss and relaxing for all of you. What were the highlights of your week? My number one highlight was, if course, my little sister Sam’s amazing bridal shower  at the DeLysscious Beauty and Essex restaurant. I truly do not think showering my sister with gifts could have made me any happier; my sister is amazing and deserves the world. I loved spending time with Sam, our family and our oldest friends. My sister and her fiancé are so special and rare; they have more in common and are more in love than any young couple I have ever encountered. Her fiancé Adam is really a great guy and will make an amazing addition to our family and uncle to my kids!
For those of you who know my 6-year-old, Oliver, I bet it will come as no surprise to you that he stood right up in front of 60 women and sang the Mash-Up from Pitch Perfect. He was so fearless and SOO good!!! It was so heartwarming to see my little one want to make my sister smile on her special day. You can watch Ollie charismatically rocking out and making a room-full of women kvell here! 🙂
Both boys showed of their incredibly impressive musical sides at their school concerts this week, too. If you’re a parent you KNOW that there is no greater joy than to see your kids smiling, proud and enjoying themselves with their peers and teachers. It was such a privilege to see such a sight. I may or may not have teared up a little… :’)

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On Wednesday, I had a photo shoot out on Long Island for the amazing Mileu-LI magazine with three of my dearest and most talented/ambitious girlfriends! It took us one hour to get out to the shoot and two hours to get back into the city; is that a normal trip, or did we get stuck in some bad traffic or on some bad roads!? I don’t know how people do the commute every day in the car (that LIE is bumper-to-bumper traffic).

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Can you believe that Superbowl Sunday is already here? Where is the time going? Superbowl Sunday is always fun with my family! My boys will be watching with my husband Brian. and I will be doing my Layette earlier in the day with my mom. I absolutely CANNOT wait to see all of my new baby girl’s Diva-FabULyss clothing put together. (OMG…One month away; I can’t believe it. It’s almost like I am getting first-time butterflies like I did when I was pregnant with Jackson.) Oliver asked me why he was not going to the Superbowl this year, and  I explained that we would have our own Superbowl party with lots of wings, nachos and pizza. That, of course, won both boys over very quickly. After all, why freeze our tushes off when we can watch from the comfort of our own couch with all out favorite foods!? This winter is just too cold to be sitting on a sports field… Especially considering the Superbowl does not feature any New York teams. 🙁 Super Bowl Sunday is fast approaching. Some people watch for the commercials, some for the half time show, and some probably even watch the football part of it, but for a lot of folks it’s less about the actual game than it is about having an excuse to eat a bunch of food and hang out with family and friends. Most seem to concentrate on the savory side of tailgating food; chili, wings, nachos, dips, etc. and while all those foods are amazing it’s nice to cap off the meal with a little something sweet. Sugar cookies fit the bill just perfectly and the decorating possibilities are endless. You could make footballs (like the attached picture), jerseys, helmets, stadiums, or team logos. You could also make a few different types and make a cookie platter that is sure to get everyone’s attention no matter which team they are cheering for. To make cookies like the ones pictured use your favorite roll-out sugar cookie dough and decorate with royal icing.

photo

Royal Icing:

4 cups confectioner’s sugar
3 tablespoons meringue powder
2 tablespoons non oil-based extract of choice
Water to thin to desired piping consistency
1. In bowl of stand mixer with whisk attachment combine powdered sugar and meringue powder on lowest setting.
2. While mixer is running add extract.
3. Add water and increase speed to medium and then to high. Icing should be the consistency of warm pudding when it’s finished.
4. Cover with plastic wrap sitting on the surface so it does not dry out.
5. Color and use to decorate cookies.

Who watched the Grammys?! What wins or losses were you happy/disappointed about? I don’t know about you ladies, but whatever Beyonce is doing/taking, I am more than willing to give it a go; her body is RidicULyss!!!! She looked absolutely beautiful, along with Taylor Swift in that gown! Wow!

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What’s everyone doing for the Chinese New Year? Did you know that this year is the year of the Horse? We will be at Ruby Foos on Saturday at the family party! My boys love making the Oragami every year, and ordering their favorite, healthy Chinese vegetable-based dishes! I hope to see all of you at Ruby Foo’s with your DivaTots so we can celebrate the new year and have a DeLysscious dinner together!

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Thank you so much for keeping up with us, DivaMoms!! I hope you enjoyed reading about my adventurous week (and my top-3-of-the-week FabULyss quotes/inspiration)! Have a #FabULyssFriday and wonderful weekend– and don’t forget to take 10 BLyssFul minutes!

XOXO and happy Chinese New Year & Superbowl!

Lyss

Summer is almost here… Chestnut Lake Camp Profile January 29 ’14

 Looking for the most FabULyss three-to-six week sleep-away camp for your child or children? DivaMoms has hand-selected just the camp for you! Having been an enthusiastic sleep-away-camper myself for twelve consecutive summers, I know firsthand the importance of an amazing sleep-away camp experience!  I am quite frequently asked if I know of any FabULyss three-to-six-week sleep-away camps that are not too far away for comfort. To be honest, up until about a year ago, the only exceptional three-to-six-week sleep-away camps that I knew of were all the way up in Maine which, for many parents of young children, is just not close enough. Then, fortunately, a friend told me about the hidden gem that is Chestnut Lake Camp, just two-and-a-half hours away in the gorgeous Pocono Mountains of Northeast Pennsylvania.

Now that I have been exposed to the camp, I obviously cannot wait to spread the news about this FabULyss, co-ed Summer paradise that really does have it all: everything from the most beautiful grounds, sports facilities, absolutely DeLysscious food, arts and crafts, lake-front activities and much more. Now, I know that, because of an increased desire to travel, vacation out east, or have some alone-time, many of today’s parents are looking increasingly for camps of a certain time frame, while still giving their kids an authentic, memorable sleep-away experience.  Chestnut Lake Camp really is the perfect answer, and I would not say so if it were not somewhere I would want my own children to attend!

Children from all over the world come to this camp, and their parents come with the expectations of their little ones making lifelong friends and memories. I can say for certain that, if your child goes to Chestnut Lake Camp, you will most likely experience a phone call after the first session saying that your child wants to stay for the second three weeks, too!

The three-week camp program is unique in that it is a way for children (or parents) who are not entirely sure that being away for a whole summer is in the cards yet; it is the perfect way for to have the experience of a seven-week camp without the separation anxiety (and, if and when all goes more than well, your child can always extend his or her stay). The directors of the camp are top-notch of course, along with their vibrant, responsible, talented and compassionate counselors. Your children will be in the hands of true camp professionals over the summer, which is a main reason that Chestnut Lake is so trusted, popular and successful. I know that, for my husband and me, aside from seeing a camp full of smiling faces, safety is key when choosing a camp. This camp has it all.

I had the opportunity to interview Paul Schoreyone of the leaders at Chestnut Lake Camp, with some questions that I know any and every mother would ask herself if she could! Please take a moment to read our Q & A below and, remember: camp is just a few months away and filling up fast! Don’t let the arctic weather of New York fool you! Get your child enrolled in all that this incredible Summer paradise has to offer before it’s too late at chestnutlakecamp.com

1.) Tell our readers what sets Chestnut Lake Camp apart from the hundreds of sleepaway camps that are out there.

While we provide our campers with exciting activities, premier facilities and great friendships, it is our commitment to bringing out the best in every child that drives everything we do and sets us apart from other camps.  Every camper who walks through our gates joins a camp family who is unwavering in our commitment to providing a summer home where a child will feel comfortable being themselves, yet through our encouragement and support, have the confidence to try new things and grow as an individual.

An important part of the Chestnut Lake Camp experience is feeling the spirit and sense of pride that goes along with belonging to your own unique group within camp.  However it is the dedication of our skilled staff to know and treat every child individually that fosters independence, builds self-esteem and enables us to bring out the best in every camper.

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2.) I know you are affiliated with the amazing Trails End Camp. What set you apart from them? How are you different?

Trail’s End is absolutely amazing…TEC has 67 unbelievable summers that speak for themselves!  Chestnut Lake was designed to emulate the TEC experience from the philosophy to the programming.  The main difference is the length of camp: Trail’s End is 7 1/2 weeks only where Chestnut Lake offers a 3 or 6 week experience.

 

Boysfun

3.) Who are the children and families that will benefit most from the 3 and 6 week camp experiences.

Many families and children benefit from the flexibility of our 3 or 6 week program.  Many factors play into a family’s decision to start with 3 weeks including time, anxiousness (campers and/or parents), other commitments or cost.  What so many families love about our 3 or 6 week options are that no matter what the reason for starting with 3 weeks, the child is not locked into only a 3 week experience for their future summers.  They can always extend to 6 weeks at their convenience, which many of our returning campers do.  We have many families who we consider pioneers in camping – one or both of the parents never went to sleep away camp.  They believe in all the great things that sleep away camp offers children and have friends who send their children, but may be a little too nervous to enroll for the full summer.  Many of our campers have other commitments such as sports, theater or academics that may prevent them from committing their whole summer to camp.  We also find that many of our families wanted a full summer experience from the beginning and chose our 6 week program because it did offer more flexibility than a traditional 7 1/2 week program.

Rope Fun

4.) I love that you offer 3 and 6 week experiences. Can you elaborate on how you came up with this idea.

Trail’s End Camp has been offering children amazing, traditional full summer camp experiences since 1947.  From extended school years to extracurricular activities to family vacations, today there are many factors that make a child’s summer shorter than ever before and prevent families from committing to 7 1/2 or 8 weeks of camp.  Chestnut Lake was designed to emulate the Trail’s End experience, but in shorter amounts of time.  A child can attend Chestnut Lake for only 3 weeks and still receive a full camp experience that includes plenty of traditional camp activities including lakefront and pool, sports, arts & crafts, drama and outdoor adventure as well as special camp activities such as color war, talent shows, group nights and overnight trips.  Many families start with 3 weeks, but CLC’s unique schedule also allows children the flexibility of extending their experience to 6 weeks as they grow with camp.

5.) How far are you located from New York City? How do the children get to camp for both sessions?

Chestnut Lake is located just 2 1/2 hours away in the Pocono Mountains of Northeast Pennsylvania.  We provide chartered bus service both sessions from NYC as well as 7 other locations.

Bus

6.) What are some of the most popular programs that you have at camp? Tennis,swimming, gaga? Do you have colorwar at the end of each session or something else? There are so many activities that our campers love!  We have an extremely dynamic, well-rounded program that meets the needs of every camper, whether an athlete or an artist.  Athletics includes tennis, soccer, lacrosse, flag football, gaga, baseball/softball, basketball, beach volleyball, golf, hockey, gymnastics, cheerleading and dance.  At Arts & Crafts, campers can try woodworking, sewing, ceramics, videography, cooking and fine arts.  Outdoor adventure includes rock climbing, zip line, high ropes, mountain biking and archery.  At the lakefront, campers can choose to kayak, canoe, peddle boat, sail, paddle board, water ski, banana boat or play on the water trampoline which includes a slide and swing.  There is also have an olympic sized pool and drama program. While the campers enjoy participating in our daily activities, the spirit of camp really comes out during our creative evening programming and special events.  The evenings consist of group nights with activities designed specifically for each age group such as hayrides, pool parties and scavenger hunts; whole camp activities such as talent shows, concerts and drama productions; and Campus Nights where the girls’ campus has Big Sis/Lil Sis activities and the boys’ campus has the BCL (Boys’ Campus Leagues).  We have special events such as Messy Monday, Carnival Day and Halloween.  Tribal War is the highlight of the special events as the campers wear as much green or white as possible, paint their hair and faces and get into the spirit of Tribal.  Each 3 weeks culminates in 2 days of unique and special Tribal activities.

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7.) What do you do about Technology and campers? Do you allow Iphones, IPads, computers? (call me old fashioned…) I still think camp should be camp and technology should not be allowed (but that’s just my opinion)

We believe that camp presents an opportunity for campers to take a break from their many electronics at home.  The only electronics that campers are allowed to have are ipods with only music loaded on them (no videos or games).  There’s something very special about walking into one of the girls’ bunks and seeing them playing jacks, making each other bracelets and braiding their hair!

 

Girls Bunk FunHappy Campers

 

8.) Tell us about the food that you serve at camp? Is it Kosher-or KosherStyle? What are the kids favorite foods?

We have a modern, air-conditioned dining room with a full service kitchen that can meet the dietary needs of all campers. Kosher style food is served family style to round tables where the campers are sitting with their friends and counselors. There is always a salad bar set up with alternatives to the main meal being served at the tables.  Campers love our special meals like our barbecues and lawn breakfasts which are the CLC version of breakfast in bed!

fruits-and-veggies

 

 

9.) Do the campers have a routine every day? Do they get to pick some of their own electives?

The daily program consists of a combination of 5 structured group activities and 2 individual electives.  During the group activities, campers travel with their age group and experience all the great activities that CLC has to offer.  During electives, campers have the opportunity to spend extra time at their favorite areas as well as participate in unique activities only offered during elective periods.

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Make sure to call to schedule your appointment before the sessions sell out!

xoxo

 

 

Polar Vortex-NYC- DivaLysscious Destination- Bermuda/Elbow Beach January 27 ’14

DivaLysscious Destination Blog Post
First, let me begin by demystifying the rumors that Bermuda is cold and not the ideal vacation spot during the Christmas season. As I sit at my computer on the Polar Vortex  part 2, sequel writing this blog post…I am secretly day dreaming that I am back at Elbow Beach in Bermuda.
The #FabULyss, gorgeous Hotel
elbow-beach-bermuda
Over the break, we took the boys to the #FabULyss Elbow Beach Hotel in Bermuda. I must admit that I am not the best flier… and, so, one of my favorite parts of getting to Bermuda is the very fast 2-hour-and-fifteen-minute plane ride. We all know that traveling with the kids is no easy fete (especially considering being loaded up with all the travel gear, books, toys and technology– the iPad must never be left behind). A quick two hour-plane ride makes it so much better…trust me!
We arrived in Bermuda with some clouds and in the low 70s. But, anything was better than NYC… 20s and freezing?! No thank you cold weather.
Beautiful pink sand and beach
sand
We soon made our way to the beautiful resort and we were off and ready to have a #FabULyssFunTime!
On the first day, we walked around the gorgeous grounds, toured the property, and of course made ourselves at home in our beautiful beach front villa. One of my boys favorite parts of the trip was eating “Room Service” breakfast outside, overlooking the gorgeous pink sands and beach. I loved that the weather was not too hot (remember… I was 7 plus months pregnant… I would not have been happy in 90 degree weather!) and the humidity was also low, which we all know for a gal with my hair is #FabULyss news. The boys got to swim in the beautiful pool and of course my husband and I were thrilled to learn that they made some friends at the pool. Jackson could not get enough of the Ninacolodas (virgin Pina Colodas) and my other lil’ guy loved the mango smoothies. What fun!
Gorgeous beach front villa- amazing ocean views
Hotel room
Olliepop and his mango smoothie
Nina
On a separate note, I love taking vacations where the kids can also learn and explore. On the second day of our trip, we awoke early and headed to the Dockyard. There we met Dr. Edward Harris, the Director of the National Museum. If you ask the boys what their favorite parts of the trip were?! They would tell you taking a tour with Dr. Harris, visiting the forts-old prisons, and swimming with the Dolphins (Dolphin Dip @Dolphin Quest). My kids don’t love museums, but thanks to Dr. Harris, he turned them around! Dr. Harris is somewhat of a ambassador of Bermuda, and spending 2+ hours with him; you simply want to move there and spread the word of how beautiful the island is. Its a great bonus if you are a guest of Elbow Beach as they can arrange a private tour with him…walking through the old prison, the beautiful grounds and learning about the rich history of Bermuda – I don’t think there’s anyone on the planet you’d rather learn about Bermuda from than Dr. Harris. Oliver, my little guy, loved pretending that he was shooting a big old fashioned cannon with him! Later, we all had a #DeLysscious lunch and got to learn all about Dr. Harris’ adventurous life (the boys had lots of questions).  
National Museum of Bermuda
Bermuda Museum
After lunch we went over to Dolphin Quest. We all got into our diving suits and headed out to meet and greet the dolphins (and of course feed them fish). The smiles that my boys had on their faces (and yes.. seeing my husband dance with the dolphins) was priceless. I highly recommend doing this activity if you have the chance.  We headed back to the hotel and had a wonderful dinner at Cafe Lido (which overlooks the beautiful ocean). I have to admit… this was a very special vacation, because it was just the four of us (for now!). We really had a chance to spend quality time together – talk about the baby – and just have fun!
The boys at #Dolphin Quest
Boys Quest
Dquest
On the third day, the boys played tennis with my husband. Of course I was jealous having to sit on the sidelines, However.. I did not think I should be running around the courts (the boys would be laughing at me). Oh well.. next time. The weather was gorgeous… mid 70’s not a cloud in the sky and sunny blue skies all day. My husband gave me a DivaMust 2 hour “MTO” Mommy Time Out at the Spa at Elbow Beach. He took the boys swimming and I had the most relaxing ad luxurious facial and massage. The masseuse had to wake me.. I had fallen asleep (fast asleep). I cannot remember the last time I felt so relaxed. The spa was gorgeous, the views of the beach are truly incredible. 
Tennis break…
tennis
The next day we decided to journey off the grounds and visit the Crystal Cave which is the most popular of Bermuda’s many subterranean caverns.   We stopped in to have lunch at the famous local restaurant Swizzle Inn. Here’s where the famous Rum Swizzle was created.  The food was excellent and the kids were allowed to write their names on the wall (a tradition at the Swizzle!) (the boys were sooo excited to do “graffitti”)
I will 100 percent go back to Elbow Beach- Bermuda with the family. It is truly a #FabULyssFamily destination all year round, and a timeless #DivaDestination! Elbow Beach- Bermuda is a #DivaMust!

Ahh Friday. My 2nd Favorite “F” Word – January 17 ’14

Ahhh! Friday. my second favorite “F” word. #FabULyssFridayFun

Hi, DivaMoms! I hope everyone is having a FabULyss long MLK weekend! Hopefully having the energetic duo (my boys) around won’t drive me too “nuts;” I plan on taking them to see the adorable new Nut Job animated film!  Surly, a curmudgeon, independent squirrel is banished from his park and forced to survive in the city. Lucky for him, he stumbles on the one thing that may be able to save his life, and the rest of park community, as they gear up for winter – Maury’s Nut Store. Hmm… Sounds FabULyssly unique and adorable to moi… how may acorns will the film get?

MLK

What did everyone think of the Golden Globes? Awards aside, I have to be honest in saying that I was not “wowed” by any of the gowns like I typically am; I usually have at least 2 or 3 that I totally go “nuts” for, but this year I thought a handful were just pretty. Of course, I thought my “girl crush,” Sofia Vergara, looked absolutely incredibly stunning (but, no surprise there, she always does). Cate Blanchett looked classically stunning as usual as well. But, we all know that Jackson and Oliver’s reviews are the ones that really count; the verdict? “why the heck was Julia Roberts wearing a tuxedo! She looks so weird!” I didn’t even bother to explain unique, edgy “high” fashion concepts to my boys because, well, I agreed!  One award that was definitely missing was one for Rob Lowe’s hair and his hairdresser; anyone else get a glimpse of that?! Wow! One of my favorite people and actresses– inside and out– gave my favorite acceptance speech by far. To me, that’s the way an acceptable speech should be: humble, and full of gratitude for the people who gave her a chance in the very beginning! Because, well, how else would she have gotten there? Her manager and daughter were thanked in the sweetest ways!

As someone that LOVES going to the movies. there were so many #FabULyssFilms this year. I was absolutely thrilled that 12 Years A Slave won best motion film because it was moving, revolutionary… It was just outstanding! August: Osage County was beyond wonderful, and the performances were off the charts. Julia Roberts and Meryl Streep have proven to be a match made in heaven, and their chemistry on screen was RidicULyss!!! I know many people thought the film was too “depressing” but, hey, it’s called real life! Every family… EVERY single one… Has a story.

4 Hot Mammas that made my #FabULyssBabyBumpLysst at the Golden Globes were: Olivia Wilde in  her gorgeous green sequin Gucci gown, Drew Barrymore in her iconic L’Huillier, Kerri Washington in her Balenciaga and Elsa Pataky– and her DOUBLE twin belly– in a unique Paule Ka gown. Seeing these DivaLysscious ladies made me want to embrace heavily the last few months of boasting my baby bump! Where’s my designer gown and award!? (Getting 2 boys up for school every morning definitely deserves an award, don’t you agree?)

Pregnant-Celebrities-2014-Golden-Globes
Speaking of “hot mamas….” How many of you saw me on Inside Edition this week discussing my thoughts on Gisele Bundchen cruising around with daughter (sans helmets) on an ATV? I gave it a big fat WTF!? What happened to safety first??? What are your thoughts (although I already know what my fellow DivaMoms’ thoughts inevitably are).The next generation of rap stars! #DivaKidsGrammyPopStarParties,  DivaKids had the best time at our Grammy Party @PopStarParties! Why should adults have all the fun?! The kids were having the best time rapping out with the one and only BWeezy. How much do I LOVE this article in the Daily News http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/kidding-tweens-rock-star-treatment-1-195-article-1.1584199

Daily News
DivaMoms & Kids, #DivaDiscountTickets just for you!The New Victory Theater Presents

BOB MARLEY’S THREE LITTLE BIRDS

A new musical based on a story by Cedella Marley from Adventure Theatre MTC

#DivaDiscountTickets Save 20% on Orchestra and Mezzanine seats for the February 8th, 5pm performance of BOB MARLEY’S THREE LITTLE BIRDS at The New Victory Theater with code DM4623!

A jammin’ musical featuring the timeless music and lyrics of Bob Marley and based on the children’s book by his daughter Cedella, BOB MARLEY’S THREE LITTLE BIRDS shares the legendary reggae artist’s message of peace and love with a new generation of songbirds. Even though Mama says “breathe easy,” Ziggy’s afraid to leave the house! But with the help some feathered friends, Ziggy learns in soothing six-part harmony that “every little thing gonna be all right.”

Run Dates: February 7 – 23, 2014

Regular Ticket Price: $38 – $14

Discount Tickets on February 8th at 5pm: $32 – $14

To purchase tickets, visit: http://www.newvictory.org/Show-Detail.aspx?ProductionId=5198utm_source%3DDivaMoms&utm_medium=Event&utm_campaign=ThreeLittleBirds


ThreeBirds
Speaking of “hot mamas….” How many of you saw me on Inside Edition this week discussing my thoughts on Gisele Bundchen cruising around with daughter (sans helmets) on an ATV? I gave it a big fat WTF!? What happened to safety first??? What are your thoughts (although I already know what my fellow DivaMoms’ thoughts inevitably are).

ATV

Some thoughts I will leave you with over the long weekend xo
MM
back

Mom Mojo #GetItDone – Jan 16 14′

supermom

A question was addressed to me over the weekend and I decided to write a blog post to answer the question. The question was?… OK, Lyss, how do you have so much energy to go out almost every night as a super busy mom & while pregnant, no less, especially in cold & nasty weather? My answer…. first… I do not go out every night. A few nights a week.. yes.. Not every night! One thing that I always say is that Happy Mom=Happy Kids/Family! I run my own business, work a lot and try to be a great mom (am I perfect.. far from it) Do I want to be perfect? NO! I want to be a mom that my boys respect, look up to and love. I want to be a #FabULyss role model to them. Let me begin by saying that I could not do what I do without the support of my husband who also works a lot. However we always try and discuss on Sunday’s what our week looks like so that we know what nights we will be out for work-pleasure and vice versa. We both try and not be out late during the week on the same night. We always try to have one of us home. We also have a wonderful nanny that works later hours than most. Because the boys are in school all day, her hours are different than most nannies and that allows us to go out at night if need be.  I am usually home btwn 4-6:30pm when the boys take baths, eat dinner and of course do homework.  Either my husband or myself will put the boys to bed with story time.  Do I drink coffee and or tea? Yes.. tried to cut back a lot during the pregnancy. Does my husband let me sleep late on the weekends? Yes.. (sometimes)

You must take a daily “MTO” Mommy Time Out

Martini hr

Then do the top ten “MTO” Regain Your Energy LYSST below

Energy: A Limited Resource in the Mommy World

Being a mom requires energy, and a lot of it. While little tips and tricks have been circulating around groups of mothers, the Internet and other platforms for years, they are not always practical or suitable for the everyday mother. Thus, these Lyssts of #DivaDos, #DivaDonts, and tips for the #DivaMomOnTheMove really do need to be custom-tailored. I want to share with you my personal #LYSST of 10 things that make energy a “renewable resource” for moi.

1. Those of you who are familiar with my writing know that—especially in If You Give a Mom a Martini—I encourage every mother to enjoy ten BLyssFul minutes to herself…everyday.  There are many options for your non-negotiable mommy-time-out (MTO), such as a bubble bath (my activity of choice!) or sitting at a café with a hot cup of DeLysscious tea. You have my total word that you will be amazed at how these 70 minutes a week influence your patience and energy levels in the most positive way!! Dealing with a 10-year-old refusing to wear a decent outfit to school on picture day just became a whole lot easier; you had a substantial, tolerance-building MTO! 🙂 Getting the whole family—kids included—on board with the importance of this concept is a huge help in actually making it happen rather than just talking about it. My six-year-old asks me almost each day how I spent my “special 10 minutes,” and my husband and nanny always make sure that once my MTO begins, I will not be interrupted. The idea behind the 10 BLyssFul minutes is an age-old one: happy mommy, happy kids! It seems obvious to say that rest yields energy, but mothers rarely put themselves first, thus not remembering that they need “me time” just as much as the next person. These 10 minutes give me more energy, even now during my pregnancy. It’s as simple as that; I could not keep up with my errands, meetings and, most importantly, my boys, without my daily-designated DivaTime!

2. It is pretty remarkable the amount of energy that young children have; sometimes I can’t believe how invincible my two very active boys are. Call me silly or superstitious, but I truly believe that going into my sons’ bedrooms every morning—nope, I never miss a morning—and kissing them on the foreheads while they are still asleep gives me the “oomph” I need to start my morning. I feel like I am transferring some of their remarkable, endless energy to myself!  I have to say that those sweet kisses are doing a pretty FabULyss job of replacing my large iced coffees (hmm… maybe pregnancy makes a woman so exhausted because she is forced to give up her caffeine)! But, in all seriousness, taking in my boys’ undeniable lovability in the wee hours of the morning really does motivate me like nothing else!

3. So, let’s talk about our own mothers, shall we? My ability to stay active, enthusiastic and simply DivaLysscious has undoubtedly been partially facilitated by my mother (whom you may know better as “NanaDoll”). 🙂 One might think that, at my mom’s age, she may be more focused on relaxing than bouncing all over NYC and keeping up religiously with social media. However, my mother is up at 5:30 AM everyday—she makes sure to call me at this time to “chat…” LOL—and can almost always be spotted flurrying around Manhattan or Long Island shopping for sneakers and clothing for the boys at Lester’s! I have also learned that she is very active in the Facebook Scrabble world! Aside from her witty status updates and prompt photo comments, NanaDoll is always messaging, and playing multiple games against, her friends (it always makes me smile to see her name in my feed) 🙂 Needless to say, she did not just become this aware, curious and energetic as she became a grandmother. Growing up, I was blessed enough to be exposed to very lively, health-conscious, sharp parents. When it comes to my energy and ability to keep up with Jackson and Oliver—and, pretty soon, a brand new baby girl… Oy!—I must say that a perfect blend of “nature and nurture” helped me a great deal. The tendency to be energetic and right on the ball in adulthood is most definitely inscribed in my DNA, and was played out in front of me in my childhood and adolescence.

4. Has your husband ever told you that you “singlehandedly keep CVS in business?” Well, mine has! 😉 I guess you could say that I am a bit of a vitamin enthusiast. I really believe in the power of natural stress-reducing, immune-system-and-energy-boosting remedies. Some of the “tonics” I take more religiously include vitamin B12, flaxseed oil, Biotin, and women’s multi-vitamins. This segues into another one of my very important “energy handbook” bullet points…

5. Healthy snacks, of course (even though, judging by the energy that children seem to have, I’m starting to think I should start relying on Fruit Roll-Ups and Twix Bars). While I do always try my best to consume three “proper” meals a day, I believe that the snacks I pop into my mouth in between are just as crucial to keeping me going and awake. If you were to peek into my pocketbook right now, you would find—all ready to go for tomorrow’s adventures—little zipped baggies of raw almonds and baby carrots, along with a jumbo bottle of water (sometimes with a green tea bag in the water). Ounce-for-ounce, almonds are packed with more nutrients than any other nut! Research has indeed shown that adding a mere 2 ounces of almonds to your daily diet increases your intake of vitamin-E and magnesium. Carrots are high in fiber, so they are a great crunchy way to take the edge off hunger, while providing some good nutrition. Carrots contain a ton of Vitamin A, in the form of Beta-Carotene, which is good for the eyesight (every DivaMom needs to have a razor-sharp eye to keep up with a slipping-and-sliding toddler or, better yet, 20/20 vision to look out for mom-directed pranks)!

6. Ah, sleep. Wonderful sleep… Zzz… I know it is so cliché but, personally, I absolutely MUST—it is non-negotiable—get my full 7 to 8 hours of sleep a night. I would not be able to take on the streets of Manhattan with a pregnant belly, two boys running ahead of me, and an energetic little puppy with less than 7 to 8 solid hours of sleep! The past few nights, I have to say, I have not been a happy camper whatsoever. It is, as you have experienced or can imagine, fairly difficult to “clonk out” with pregnancy heartburn, a thrown-out back, and a little girl kicking your belly from the inside!  However, those of you who know me (or regularly follow my blog posts) know that I L-O-V-E to read, and diving into a good book has been a life-saver as of late when it comes to falling asleep peacefully. When I absolutely cannot sleep, I make sure I at least rest, even if I am just lying down with my eyes closed. I do not know how anyone falls asleep and stays asleep with the television on; curling up with a book and letting your eyes slowly and blurrily close over the words is so much dreamier and more relaxing to me! I can say with 100 percent conviction that, with at least 7 hours of sleep under my belt, I can better conquer even the most challenging of DivaDays.

7. Though I have not been able to physically do this in a little over 2 months (because of my back issues and far-along pregnancy, I swear by spinning! Trust me when I say that, when I am not there, I am dreaming about a FabULyss workout at Flywheel Sports. Spinning is definitely a unique experience for each individual woman but, for me, it is what puts me in “the zone.” It truly pumps me up—especially an early morning session—and the camaraderie in the room has a similar effect as kissing my boys good morning: the energy in the room rubs off on me! Spinning with Flywheel, along with sweating and crunching at my favorite Core Fusion Class, gives me so much energy and determination. Nothing beats exercise-induced endorphins when it comes to getting your day moving!!

8. I love to laugh. I absolutely love it. Laughing gives me RidicULyss bursts of energy. My son, Oliver, once told me that I could power the whole city in the film Monsters, Inc. by letting them “bottle up” my laughter! How’s that for natural energy?! 😉 Because laughter reduces my stress unlike anything else, it inevitably enables me to remain focused, energized and accomplish more within the day, which every busy mommy knows is absolutely crucial! The ability to laugh, play, and have fun with others not only makes life more enjoyable but also helps you solve problems, connect with others, and be more creative. People who incorporate humor and play into their daily lives find that it renews them and all of their relationships. Think about this: when you feel insanely, abnormally overwhelmed by everything on your plate, what is your first thought? If you react to stress the way I often do, it is something like: I want to crawl under the covers! I feel depleted! Laughter effectively reduces the sensations of feeling overloaded and plagued, allowing your liveliness and vigor to shine through and carry you through another day of being a FabULyss DivaMom.

9. Going off of laughter, I am lucky enough to have a crazy amount of people in my life who make me laugh my head off on a daily basis (my sons, Jackson and Oliver, and my sister, Sam, are undoubtedly the ones who make me crack up the hardest on a daily basis)! Being a woman who is, and always has been, sensitive to and affected by other people’s energies, my day-to-day levels of motivation, fitness, and activity depend a lot on whom I surround myself with. I mean, how can a woman feel inspired to cease the day with utmost vigor and vibrancy sans a phenomenal support system? I am much more likely to get moving, take risks, and keep my spirit young and fresh if I have a group of people who: A) will catch me if I fall, and B) are incessantly cheering me—and my family—on. I have an encouraging husband, two outstandingly thoughtful, bright and talented boys, a sweet and dependable nanny, a caring mom, and an assistant-and-babysitter who always wants me to know that she thinks the WORLD of my family, and wholeheartedly believes in my company.

10. Ok, so, I am going to end my Lysst of tips in true #DivaFashion… Be Happy! If you want to be energized… see these words of wisdom below…. Have Happy Thoughts! xoHapps

Good Riddance, Polar Vortex! – January 10 ’14

Happy Friday (AKA my favorite day of the week), DivaMoms! I hope all of you are enjoying the minor, though noticeable, break from the NYC Polar Vortex that was this entire week! To say it was freezing cold would be an understatement; if you had a Lyss-spotting this week, you may very well have mistaken me for an eskimo woman. I was bundled to the nines and, even with my FabULyss cashmere gloves and socks from Bloomingdales, still felt my fingers and toes turning into popsicles (which, of course, got me thinking of Bermuda, summer, warm weather…ugh!). You know there is something seriously wrong with your climate when 30 degrees legitimately feels like Spring to you… Ugh! During my time indoors, I began reading Donna Tartt’s The Goldfinch, because I had heard from multiple people that it’s the new can’t-put-it-down book. I just started, so I will let you know my thoughts as I go along! I think a trip, maybe with the boys, to the Frick Museum to see the actual piece of art is in order. Has anyone seen it?

I saw the Carole King show, Beautiful, on Broadway this week and absolutely LOVED it! I loved learning her life’s backstory, which I had not previously know. She is so iconic and really has changed the world of music!

 

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Producers Paul Blake and Sony/ATV Music Publishing are proud to present the new musical Beautiful—The Carole King Musical, about the early life and career of the legendary and groundbreaking singer/songwriter. Following a sold-out World Premiere in San Francisco, Beautiful began previews on Broadway at the Stephen Sondheim Theatre (124 West 43rd Street) on Thursday, November 21, 2013, with an official opening night set for Sunday, January 12, 2014.

Tony® Award-nominee Jessie Mueller stars as ‘Carole King’; she’s joined by Jake Epstein as ‘Gerry Goffin’, Anika Larsen as ‘Cynthia Weil’, Jarrod Spector as ‘Barry Mann’, Jeb Brown as ‘Don Kirshner’, Liz Larsen as ‘Genie Klein’, and an ensemble that includes Ashley Blanchet, E. Clayton Cornelious, Joshua Davis, Alysha Deslorieux, Kevin Duda, James Harkness, Carly Hughes, Sara King, Rebecca LaChance, Douglas Lyons, Chris Peluso, Gabrielle Reid, Arbender Robinson, Rashidra Scott, Sara Sheperd, and Melvin Tunstall.

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Long before she was Carole King, chart-topping music legend, she was Carol Klein, Brooklyn girl with passion and chutzpah. She fought her way into the record business as a teenager and, by the time she reached her twenties, had the husband of her dreams and a flourishing career writing hits for the biggest acts in rock ‘n’ roll. But it wasn’t until her personal life began to crack that she finally managed to find her true voice. Beautiful tells the inspiring true story of King’s remarkable rise to stardom, from being part of a hit songwriting team with her husband Gerry Goffin, to her relationship with fellow writers and bestfriends Cynthia Weil and Barry Mann, to becoming one of the most successful solo acts in popular music history. Along the way, she made more than beautiful music, she wrote the soundtrack to a generation.

Ticket prices for the Broadway Premiere of Beautiful range from $75 – $152. Beautiful plays the following schedule: Tuesdays – Thursdays at 7:00 PM, Wednesdays at 2:00 PM, Fridays at 8:00 PM, Saturdays at 2:00 PM & 8:00 PM, and Sundays at 3:00 PM. For more information, visit www.beautifulonbroadway.com. This show definitely makes my run-don’t-walk LYSST!

Thursday evening I went to see The Commons Of Pensacola…love Blythe Danner and Sarah Jessica Parker. They were both excellent. Loved sitting front row and highly recommend to see the show if you can get tickets.

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Does everyone who read last week’s post remember the lovely back/pelvic muscle issues I have been having due to my pregnancy? Well, I have officially gotten into the real swing of twice-a-week physical therapy. They all think I am the funniest person in there, but I am assuming they are just not used to people telling it like it is which, as you all know, I always do.  Doesn’t help that my mom thinks it’s acceptable to call my cell phone at 5:30 in the morning– every morning– to “talk;” does she not understand that it is difficult for me to fall asleep as it is with the baby constantly kicking me every time I get comfortable?! Last night, I finally fell asleep at 4 AM, only to be loudly awoken by my ringtone an hour and a half later. Nope, there was no emergency… she just wanted to “talk.” Talk about what?!?!

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It seems to be the case that the approach of holidays doesn’t really “hit” you until you see its items on the shelves of your local CVS! I was picking up the usuals– toothpaste, deodorant, the boys’ favorite ice cream– when it “hit” me that Valentine’s Day is around the corner! The good news is that it’s going to get lighter and warmer with each and every day that passes… Yay! I am going to ask my little one, Oliver’s, teacher if I can volunteer to do something really fun for the kid in his class for Valentine’s Day! Maybe we can decorate some FabULyss cards or some DeLysscious heart cookies!? Please comment or tweet me some fun ideas if you have any that your DivaTots love! 🙂  Here’s one full of “secret messages” I thought was adorable!! 🙂

Total Time 1 to 2 hours
Ages school-age

This very cool card from the Ensz family of Dallas, Oregon, uses moving panels to mysteriously replace one part of your message with the other. But don’t be fooled by the craft’s complicated look: its construction is surprisingly simple.

What you’ll need

  • Scissors
  • Construction paper or card stock in 2 colors
  • Tape or tacky glue
  • Marker

How to make it

  1. 1 Cut an 8-inch square from one color of paper, then cut two 2- by 8-inch strips and two 1 3/4-inch hearts from the other color. Or use our template.
  2. Magic Message Card - Step 2Fold the 8-inch square in fourths, accordion style, then make 3 evenly spaced cuts along the center fold.
  3. Magic Message Card - Step 3Unfold the square and weave the two strips through the cuts as shown.
  4. Tape or glue the hearts to the sides of the card for tabs and write “Pull” on each. (If you’re using glue, allow it to dry.)
  5. Magic Message Card - Step 5Refold the card, then open it like a book at the center. Write the first part of your message across the card.
  6. Magic Message Card - Step 6Pull the tabs to open the card completely and write the second half of your message.
  7. Magic Message Card - Step 7Refold the card so only the first part of the message shows before presenting it.Suggested messages:
    Be my … valentine!
    Happy … Valentine’s Day
    Valentine … you make me flip!

Did you see me on #Money with Melissa Francis discussing my thoughts on steering your child clear of the “passion hoax  #FoxBusiness #Parenting #RealisticGoals #Kids

Here’s the link in case you missed the segment…

http://www.foxbusiness.com/on-air/money-with-melissa-francis/index.html#/v/3038594485001

 

I also have to say that I am very proud of my husband’s new show that was picked up by Comedy Central.  These guys are hilarious! This show is going to be funny and #FabULyss!

http://www.deadline.com/2014/01/comedy-central-gives-series-order-to-ben-stiller-produced-big-time-in-hollywood/

 

Ahh.. yes.. if anyone wants to know my thoughts on Chris Christie… this about sums it up…

Chris

 

“Love is like the wind, you can’t see it but you can feel it.” ― Nicholas Sparks, A Walk to Remember

Have a #FabULyssDay, DivaMoms!

XOXO,

Lyss

New Year… New Furniture! Jan 7, 14′

I hope everyone got through the Polar Vortex today! BRRR!!! I made sure not to give anyone the “cold” shoulder today….keep warm!

The New Year brings many resolutions… Wanting to be healthier, skinnier, nicer and something I have been hearing a lot…wanting to decorate the apartment/home and make things prettier and more functional. I for one know that there are going to be a lot of changes in my apartment. The boys are going to be sharing a room and the baby is going to have her own room. I have been on the hunt for the perfect furniture for my boys new room and Resource Furniture seems to have it all. As families grow, space inside our homes can feel like it is shrinking. Fortunately, Resource Furniture has curated a line of stylish and multifunctional solutions that are designed to maximize space and reinvent your home. Whether it’s time to make room in the home office for a little one on the way, provide extra beds for inevitable sleepovers or reconfigure your entire apartment, transforming furniture from Resource Furniture makes it all possible.

Resource Furniture is the premier distributor of high quality space saving furniture. Offering a range of top-selling luxury European furniture, Resource Furniture is dedicated to redefining the use of space and pushing the limits of design. Since 2000, Resource Furniture has imported and distributed inspired, modern furniture from the finest and most innovative European designers. Every piece in the Resource Furniture collection is selected for its ability to transform a space with both beauty and functionality. For more information, visit one of the showrooms in New York, Los Angeles, Toronto, Vancouver, Calgary and Mexico City or on the web at www.resourcefurniture.com

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We are hosting a FabULyss event on January 22nd at the NYC Resource Furniture Showroom.

I hope you can make the book signing and reading and also get a chance to see how amazing the furniture is.

Join us for our 1st 2014 Divamoms Book Club party with author Deborah L. Spar Wonder Women: Sex, Power, and the Quest for Perfection

When you RSVP.. please send in 1 or 2 questions that you would like answered at the event, thank you.

Can women have it all?

Wednesday, January 22nd 6:30pm-8:00pm Resource Furniture (Showroom) 969 Third Avenue @58th Street (4th Floor) NYC De-Lysscious cocktails and treats will be served

*This is a Free DivaMoms event*

Space is limited to the first 100 DivaMoms to  RSVP@Divamoms.com

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xoxo

 

A Snow Day… Already?! – Jan 3, 14′

Good (cold!) morning, DivaMoms! Our family just came back from beautiful Elbow Beach Bermuda to the tundra that is NYC; we were only back to school for one day and, of course, were immediately given a snow day. My boys think the new mayor should call more snow days so the New York kids population will “like” him… Not sure they have the right idea about what makes a “good” mayor. If only things were as simple as snow days! I am debating who was happier for the snow day: the kids who were off from school or the nannies who “couldn’t” come to work… LOL! What movies did you watch with the kids? Where is your favorite NYC sledding spot? I was in Central Park yesterday, and was able to see all of the sled imprints on the huge hill by 79th street. Looked like lots of kids had a ton of fun; it makes me want to go sledding! 🙂 As I mentioned in an earlier post, one of my favorite things about a new year is a new, white calendar, even though mine is already starting to fill up well into the spring. I also love the idea of each day of a year being a page in a 365-page book; it motivates me to want to make 2014 the most FabULyss year yet for myself, my family, and Diva Moms!

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I loved coming home from my FabULyss vacation with a big box from the wonderful Carousel Designs, filled with the most gorgeous shabby-chic bedding for new Baby Girl Stern! Cannot wait to begin sharing photos as soon as we start putting her nursery together!:) While on the topic, I want to be very, very clear about something, because it is unfortunate how quickly rumors spread. NO. I did not “spin” for a baby girl. A good friend of mine was kind enough to tell me that another “FRIEND” of mine is convinced– and declaring confidently– that Brian and I spun to have this baby girl (spinning allows  parents who are using the assistance of technology to reproduce to select the gender of their baby. This process helps to increase the chances of having a baby of the desired gender). I can say with 100% conviction that she was conceived the “old fashioned” way. While there is no use getting upset over a petty, meaningless rumor– especially when it is such a RidicULyss claim that you know to be so false– I can’t help but to reflect on how, at almost 40, I have no trouble quietly and completely ending a long-term friendship if it means my mental health and the protection and wellbeing of my family. It is as simple as it is for girls and women of all ages: there is no time for MEAN or JEALOUS girls. Just one more piece of wisdom about friendship I will share with my little one when she is older (but luckily, she has her two big brothers to look out for her as well) 😉

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My husband and I went to see the movie Inside Llewyn Davis last week; it was written, directed and edited by the Coen brothers, two talented men whose movies I typically am blown away by. However, I did not love this one too much 🙁 My husband really enjoyed it on the other hand. We are also going to see Beautiful on Broadway next week, as well as Amanda Peet’s The Commons of Pensacola (with Sarah Jessica Parker and Blythe Danner) with some friends. I will report back with which made the “run-don’t-walk-Lysst!” I am so glad to have these evenings to look forward to, as I now have to go to physical therapy at least twice a week. I have been diagnosed with symphysis pubis dysfunction (LOVELY name, right?) and, while I am not complaining, it has really become a bit challenging because of throwing out my back weeks ago. I am in the home stretch of my pregnancy and am determined to keep a positive outlook. So, if you see me waddling around NYC like a penguin, pay no attention to the craziness! I am just in a little bit of extra pain, but not letting it stop me from being out and about in my city 🙂 After all, I have been having an incredible time scurrying around finishing up preparations for my little sister Sam’s bridal shower at Beauty and Essex! Call me a typical big sister but I can’t stop shopping for her gifts!!! Sam, if you’re reading this, the lingerie just keeps getting better and better and better…

I truly hope your first few days of 2014 have been nothing short of remarkable, DivaMoms! Stay warm and have a gorgeous Monday!  XOXO

“This life is what you make it. No matter what, you’re going to mess up sometimes, it’s a universal truth. But the good part is you get to decide how you’re going to mess it up. Girls will be your friends – they’ll act like it anyway. But just remember, some come, some go. The ones that stay with you through everything – they’re your true best friends. Don’t let go of them. Also remember, sisters make the best friends in the world…So keep your head high, keep your chin up, and most importantly, keep smiling, because life’s a beautiful thing and there’s so much to smile about!” –Marilyn Monroe

XOXO,

Lyss