FabULyss Valentine’s Day! “Sprinkled” With Love – February 14 ’14

February 13, 2014

Vday cupcakes

Can you believe Valentine’s Day is here already?! Wishing everyone a FabULyss Valentine’s Day! Not only is tomorrow Valentine’s Day, but the 100th day of school celebration. We have been busy baking cupcakes, cookies, and brownies for both celebrations tomorrow at school.  I have to take a second to vent!  The fact that NYC schools were open yesterday is just embarrassing! What about the safety of our children and teachers, Mr. Mayor?! I home-schooled the boys yesterday, all whilst thinking how RidicULyss it was that teachers had to ride their sleds to school! DivaSchool went as follows:

Drop off begins at 10:00am…
Baking-Cupcakes and cookies
Reading- Harry Potter
Social Studies/Science-Going to Central Park
Music- Spotify (Dance Party)

NY School

Love what Al Roker had to say today to the NYC Mayors Office and NYC Schools!

Al

What’s everyone doing for President’s Day weekend? Are your kids off from school next week? My boys are off from school for the entire week and will be spending the week out on Long Island with my mom (Nanadoll). My husband and I are getting the apartment ready for baby girl Stern! Painting and furniture shopping are only a mere two of the things we have planned. It is so unbelievably exciting! Did I tell you about the most gorgeous Carousel Designs (Shabby Chic) bedding we got at www.babybedding.com? Can you guess what color we are painting her room? The boys are hysterical; they have been warning me everyday NOT to turn the whole apartment pink, but I can’t make any promises! 😉

shabby-chenille-crib-bedding_medium

I have to take a minute to thank my amazing friends Robin (“Berta”), Kim (“Kimme”) and my sister Sam (“Nizzy”) for throwing me the most beautiful baby “Sprinkle” last Sunday at Payard! What a surprise to walk into a room filled with my beautiful friends (inside and out) to celebrate baby girl Stern and me!  The girls truly outdid themselves! Starting with the DeLysscious Sprinkle cake by Cakes Jagla (a DivaMom and most amazing cake designer; you have undoubtedly marveled at and enjoyed her cakes at all my events), which truly tasted as yummy it looked, every detail was done beautifully (DivaLyssciously approved)! Baby girl Stern is very lucky to have so many amazing “aunties” in her life!

Sprinkle cake

Happy Valentine’s Day filled with lots of love!

Vday

“All you need is love. But a little chocolate now and then doesn’t hurt.” — Charles M. Schulz

“I am weird, you are weird. Everyone in this world is weird. One day, two people come together in mutual weirdness and fall in love.” — Dr. Seuss

If you missed me on Fox & Friends News Weekend news with my FabULyss Valentine’s Day Finds for moms, dads and kids, be sure to check it out! 

 

XOXO & have a FabULyss day, full of love, relaxation, and DeLysscious treats!

– Lyss :)

Throwback Thursday – February 6 ’14

February 6, 2014

Good morning, DivaMoms, and happy Thursday!  Ok, so, I am typically not one for countdowns, (especially when the number seems #RidicULyssly high), but I have to keep everyone positive by saying that Spring is “only” 41 days away! 😉 This weather is absolutely crazy! I couldn’t tell whether it snowed, rained, or slushed more today, but it was cold, and all I wanted to do was stay inside with a cup of hot tea and a bowl of hot vegetable soup. Those of you that know my husband, Brian, know that he is not the type of person to insist that I do or refrain from doing anything, and this week he has told me to stay in; that’s when you know the weather is severe. I did secretly think it was sweet how he was overly-worried about me and baby girl Stern who, luckily for her, will come into the world when Spring is beginning to peek its head out!  All of my married friends know that, in 2014, marriage is so heavily dependent on text messages and emails and, while maybe not the best thing, phone calls serve as the method of communication for emergencies about the kids, big news, etc. Well, this week, especially yesterday, Brian called me a few times to make sure I was not going outside; I do have a tendency to leave the apartment with the intentions of running out for two minutes, and ending up staying out for an hour. This phone call made me smile, and definitely made me think that phone calls need to be a part of our routine more when we are both working. That reminds me: mine and my husband’s thirteen-year wedding anniversary is coming up on March 10th! Wow, thirteen years! Every marriage has ups and downs but, in the end, I would not want to spend my life and raise three children with anyone else. I am grateful that my husband and I share the same goals and sense of humor, and that we always support each other in life and our careers. :)
image47 8376547_f520
So, this was the first Superbowl party with the boys in which I felt like an “old” lady! During the halftime show, I was rocking out to and loving The Red Hot Chili Peppers, while the boys looked at me like I was crazy, telling me that Bruno Mars was the real talent during halftime. What can I say? I thought they were great! Who else watched the game? Congratulations to all the DivaLysscious Seahawks fans out there!  We had  #DeLysscious wings and other snack-y foods, and the boys had such a blast watching together. I have to say, I got pretty into the game myself, with many “oh, no”s and gasps during the plays! Of course, my favorite part of the entire experience was inevitably seeing the commercials; they are, after all, the best of the best in advertising. Hmm, maybe sometime in the future we will all see a funny and FabULyss DivaMoms.com commercial.  Which commercials were the most memorable for you this year? I loved the Jerry Seinfeld commercial and, of course, the
Which commercials were your favorites? I loved the Jerry Seinfeld commercial and, of course, the GoldieBlox commercial. Wow, what a conceptually awesome company…not to mention, long overdue. Engineering toys for little girls to show them that there are more choices than princesses and dolls, and that it is ok to replace “pink” with “think,” is something that many girls I know and I could have benefitted  from as young children. I thought the scene of the little girls running through and ruining the beauty pageant managed to be adorably cute, clever, and powerful all at the same time. I will definitely be keeping my eye on this company over the next few months as I cannot wait to watch it grow!  And, how cool, that it was started by Debbie Sterling, who is an engineer student from Stanford?! “And while it’s true that girls do like pink, I think there’s a lot more to us than that.” Love that! Well-said! :) I would’ve loved these toys as a child, and I’m sure my little girl will love playing around with them as well; not to mention they are educational toys in that they all include storybooks!
goldieblox
Speaking of the Super Bowl, I have a funny story to share! I was in the green room on Tuesday at Fox News for a segment on Neil Cavuto, where I happened to tun into into Marc Kaufman of Marc Kaufman Furs!  He was there doing a segment on the newly-famous Jo Namath SuperBowl Fur Jacket which, of course, I had to try on, along with my nutritionist friend Tanya Zuckerbrot. The topic that I was on the show discussing was the controversial issue of the middle school in Maryland rewarding its straight-A students with an exclusive pizza party, complete with a DJ. The school has created a tiered system that rewards students based on the grades they have received. Straight “A” students get to attend a pizza party featuring a DJ and a game room during the last period of school; “B” and “C” students are invited to the party once classes are over, but receive no pizza.Students with grades below a “C” aren’t invited to the “Academic Achievement Celebration” at all. This means that of Silver Spring’s Eastern Middle School’s 865 students, 306 found themselves without an invitation. The school’s PTSA president Chris Rutledge has stood by the policy as encouraging excellence. “The school has to, and does, help all children to strive to excel,” he said. “And when they do, it’s important to recognize them.” Some parents, however, feel differently. Karon Hanlon, whose daughter has learning disabilities and numbers amongst the uninvited, is one of them. “The students that don’t get to go end up feeling bad,” she said. Barbara Marinak, an associate professor who studies student motivation, has pointed out another potential downside to the rewards system. Marinak claims the party “creates a caste system that could easily result in bullying and victimization. ”The system certainly does downplay the policies of grade privacy that many schools traditionally maintain. Rather than knowing only their own, personal grades, students will now be aware of who ranks in which grade-based “caste.” “The intention is not to make those who didn’t achieve feel badly,” maintains the Montgomery school’s principal, Casey Crouse. Crouse added that the school has different ways of recognizing students for different qualities; earlier in the week, students who had reached levels of academic improvement were rewarded with a certificate and a snack. Excuse me, but every time I think or speak about the issue again, I just have to say, WHAT!? Are we really, really giving middle-school-aged kids (come on, we all remember how much of a social nightmare middle school can potentially be) an additional reason to tease or isolate one another? Not to mention, grades should be one of the things that is kept private among peers, no? It  just seems RidicULyssly childish and, well, mean, to me. What about the students who try so hard, and really apply themselves, but just are not good test-takers? It’s insane and unnecessary and, if it were ever my child, niece, or nephew getting left out, I would battle until the end to change those rules. Children are already hard enough on themselves from young ages when they get less-than-A grades in school. I know that, when I was younger, I would become very upset and sensitive if I felt that I did not do well on a homework. I am very blessed, I have to say, that my kids absolutely love to read. Report cards come in this Friday and, like every parent, I’m on eggshells. I love that my son Jackson reads Judy Blume books, like Superfudge and Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing; these were my absolute favorites at his age!
1653854_10202119675288321_1209165775_n
Also wanted to share below with you! Moms are always asking for the best kids entertainment…
#FabULyss kids entertainment for your lil ones next Birthday?! Book @jamwithjamie mention “DivaJam” 20% DivaDiscount plus… Birthday parties, playgroups and fun! www.jamwithjamie.comor call 917-822-0186
JamJamie
Speaking of myself as a child, I am just starting to get into #ThrowbackThursdays and can’t wait to start posting “oldies but goodies” in Instagram! This is a photo of me on my fifth birthday and, evidently, I even loved my DeLysscious cupcakes back then! :) Looking at this photo, I seriously cannot believe I am turning FORTY next week! It’s unreal. Anything really can happen; life throws you little wonderful curveballs when you least expect it. The baby is due on March 7th…surreal isn’t even the word! I am going to get a sonogram this afternoon at the doctors, and then going with Brian to finish picking out some more paint for the room!  We have already chosen the crib, changing table, GORGEOUS shabby chic bedding, carousel designs, and put together the layette with my mother “Nanadoll” on Sunday. Here color scheme thus far seems to be soft and pale pinks; everything looks so beautiful. It is a dream come true to be picking out all of these baby girl items!!  I have to say that the men in my life are incredible; even Oliver and Jackson have helped pick out some adorable, tasteful baby things.  They are the best helpers and are going to be the BEST big brothers!!
IMG_00001173_edit
Speaking of DeLysscious sugary cupcakes and the FabULyss color pink, can you believe that Valentine’s Day is next Friday?! This Sunday morning, I will be back on Fox #FoxAndFriendsWeekendNews  showing off my  Valentine’s Day Musts and Lusts! Tune in to hear my LYSST of the best gifts for kids to give their moms and dads this Valentine’s Day, and how you can also make the holiday fun for the little ones.
 On the most romantic day of the year, give something special to your mom, dad or other parental figure—nobody deserves it more. I have put together many items that I am very excited to share with you! My Olliepop started writing his Valentine’s Day cards to his class, and I must say that I love that they have to write to the entire class. This year’s theme, you ask? SpongeBob cards with red lollipops attached. I’m also looking forward to taking the boys to see Three Little Birds at the New Victory Theater this Saturday. As for Sunday, a little birdie told me that my friends, Robin (AKA Berta) and Kim, and my sister, Sam, are doing something special for me and the baby… I will definitely keep you posted as to what the big secret is! 😉 Try this Valentine’s Day recipe with your kids and tweet me a photo of the result @DivaMoms with the hashtag #DeLysscious; I will definitely ReTweet the ones that look the most scrumptious! :)
2098_recipe_cookies_xl
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for work surface
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon finely ground pepper
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon good quality instant espresso powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • Chocolate Whipped Cream

DIRECTIONS

  1. STEP 1

    Whisk together flour, cocoa powder, salt, pepper, espresso powder, and cinnamon in a large bowl; set aside.

  2. STEP 2

    Put butter and granulated sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment; mix on medium speed until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Mix in egg, milk, and vanilla. Reduce speed to low. Add flour mixture; mix until just combined. Divide dough in half and wrap each piece with plastic wrap; refrigerate at least 1 hour and up to overnight.

  3. STEP 3

    Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Roll out dough 1/4 inch thick on a lightly floured surface. Brush any excess flour off dough with a dry pastry brush. Cut dough using a 2 1/2-inch heart-shaped cookie cutter. Transfer heart shapes to baking sheets lined with parchment paper or a nonstick baking mat, spacing 1 inch apart.

  4. STEP 4

    Bake cookies until there is a slight resistance when you lightly touch the centers, about 10 minutes. Transfer cookies to wire racks to cool completely.

  5. STEP 5

    Fill a pastry bag fitted with a 1/2-inch plain tip with the chocolate whipped cream. Pipe cream onto half of the cookies; top with remaining cookies

 

1560471_10202109168665662_1184819705_n 1896772_10202102317614390_1869692391_n 1510747_10202105441852494_1849213088_n

1 lucky DivaMom will win the #FabULyss @bonniemarcus Mom’s Essential Planner. Tell us your #DivaMust for the weekend…
Moms Everyday
Last… as we head off into Valentine’s Day next Friday…. I wanted to make sure everyone say my Valentine’s Day #Lysst #FabULyssFinds in the February issue of New York Family Magazine! Lots of great gift ideas for your loved ones…

http://bit.ly/1nemVAt
 
 
Have an incredible rest of the week and weekend, DivaMoms!
XOXO,
Lyss

A Snow Day… Already?! – Jan 3, 14′

January 6, 2014

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!

1524575_10201913371250849_616698703_n

1514160_10201896957800523_519825716_n

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) 😉

Screen shot 2014-01-06 at 10.10.40 AM

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