momBOSS interview: Lyss Stern founder DivaMoms.com

Diva, it’s not a word most women use in a positive light. But, don’t be turned off by the term “diva”, Lyss Stern managers her own world with grace, confidence and divalysscious style. As for founder of DivaMoms.com, a multi-platform mom-focused media brand, Lyss turned her passion for sharing the go-to resources for the well-heeled mom into a brand that has her as the go-to mom whisperer for, well, everything you could possibly need in and around NYC. As a friend, she’s been my 411 for cool events, must-read books, and, of course, the latest updates on where to go for the perfect massage. Enjoy this momBoss interview with Lyss Stern.

Pamela Pekerman: How would you describe the DivaMoms brand and what you do?

Lyss Stern: Twelve years ago, before marketers were even using social media marketing to target moms, I created Divalysscious Moms as a way to get my groove back after giving birth to my first child and help other mothers find themselves post-baby. Today, with a database of a million moms across the country, DivaMoms is the premier network and event company for the New York area’s well-heeled moms.

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Lyss Stern with Kelly Ripa, hosting Camp Livalyssious in the Hamptons (Photo: heidi green photography // www.heidigreen.com)

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Lyss Stern with Rosie Pope, hosting event (Photo: heidi green photography // www.heidigreen.com)

Pamela: In an average day what would you pack into the 7am-9pm grind?
Lyss: At 6:30am Blakey Bleu (my 2-yea- old daughter) wakes me up for MILK. The day begins with checking emails, glimpsing at the online newspapers, and getting the kids ready for school. NO day is the same day! I try and get to either Exhale for a Core Fusion Class or Flywheel Spin class, in the morning, after school drop off. Then it’s shower and ready to tackle the day. This can mean anything from going to a lunch at Fred’s, a few Skype calls, running to a baseball game, taping a segment on Fox News, writing my next book with my co-author, making calls, feeding the kids dinner, could be going out for dinner with my husband and or a Broadway Show.

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Lyss’ daughter Blake.

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Lyss’s oldest son Jackson.

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Lyss’ younger son Oliver.

Pamela: I love that you make marriage a priority. So many moms, just focus on the kids, and forget about the man in their life.
Lyss: My husband and I try and have a #divadatenight alone at least once a week. And, then, honestly, I try and take a bath every night before bed (remember the commercial Calgon take me away) and I hit the pillow. Lights OUT. Nothing can wake me. It’s always a long, full day.

Pamela: You launched DivaMoms after the birth of your first son. Did you have a vision/grand plan or what it just an outlet?
Lyss: I honestly did not have any grand visions. I started a blog.. DivaLysscious Moms and took it one day at a time. Now, there’s no stopping me. My eye is on the grand prize.

Pamela: It seems like you’re getting close that that grand prize. In the past 12 years you’re written a book, hosted high-profile events including your Mom Mogul Breakfast, been tapped by top lifestyle brands to be an ambassador. Many moms have dreams, they never chase. What would you say to a mom who’s searching for the courage to follow her passion outside home life?
Lyss: I would say do what your heart tells you to follow. Do not listen to anyone telling you you can’t do it. You can! Be prepared. It’s not going to be unicorns and cotton candy along the way. There will be lots of bumps in the road. Stay focused! If I listened to everyone telling me that I should not start a business – don’t get me started. Most people laughed behind my back and to my face. Some told me I had postpartum depression, and should go back to bed. Well, here we are now.

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Lyss Stern with Fifth Shades of Gray autheor E.L. James, hosting event for James’ new book (Photo: heidi green photography // www.heidigreen.com)

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Lyss Stern with Fifth Shades of Gray autheor E.L. James, hosting event for James’ new book (Photo: heidi green photography // www.heidigreen.com)

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Lyss Stern with Donna Karen and family, in the Hamptons (Photo: heidi green photography // www.heidigreen.com)

Pamela: Wow. You definitely have that hustle spirit. What tip would you give a stay-at-home mom who wants to launch a business, but also wants or needs to be the daycare pick/dropoff, grocery shopper, laundry manager, etc.

Lyss: Ask for help. Ask a neighbor, friend, relative and/or significant other. It’s Okay to ask for help. The worst thing is that someone will say no.

Pamela: What tools/services/people help you manage your momBOSS life?

Lyss: My mom #Nanadoll is very helpful with the kids. She goes above and beyond as a grandmother. I also have a very supportive husband (yes.. we argue). However, at the end of the day, he has my best interest at hand. He’s an amazing father, and my children are very lucky to have him. I am all about the family schedule, we go over this every Sunday together. My close friends also help me keep it together. Oh, and, don’t laugh, I still use post-it notes for everything, and I write myself reminder emails all day long. I also really try and power down before getting into bed at night. It helps me have a much better nights sleep.

Pamela: You, sleep? When. I here you have a new TV project called “Bad Moms In History“. I think most moms, sadly, would say they belong on that list at some point or another. What’s the premise for this show?
Lyss: It’s an animated web series written and created by myself and Carrie Seim, for Scripps. Bad Moms officially launched last May, with six hilarious animated videos riffing on famously bad mom characters from cinema history. Each 2-minute episode stars a comically awful movie mother (think Joan Crawford in “Mommie Dearest” or the wicked step-mother from “Cinderella”). The fun twist is that each video puts a cheeky modern spin on these stories by bringing in present-day stereotypes like helicopter parenting, green-washing, and more. Whether you’re watching as a parent (and perhaps begrudgingly see some of your own bad habits) or as a child reflecting on your own parents’ ways, the tongue-in-cheek cartoons are sure to make you laugh and appreciate all the good things about your relationship with your kids, parents, and partner.

Pamela: Hosting. Hustling. Producing. Oh, and doing the daily mom duties. How do you find time for YOU in your busy world? #MeaningfulMeMoments are a must.

Lyss: That’s one of the reasons I wrote my first book, If You Give a Mom a Martini: 100 Ways to Find 10 Blissful Minutes for Yourself.  Sure, you love your kids, but your pre-mom self—the one who savored a glass of wine after work and exercised on her lunch break instead of shopping for baby food—had its perks, too. The “time-outs” in this book are for moms who love their kids, but also long for a few minutes when they’ve got nowhere to be, no one to listen to, and no diapers to change. One of my favorite suggestions from the book is to leave the kids to shop with your husband, while you slip into Brookstone for a rest in one of their giant massage chairs. I’ll take a nap whenever, wherever.

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Lyss’ first book, If You Give a Mom a Martini, published in 2009.

Pamela: Quick, you only have 2 minutes to prep and pamper your face. What are your top makeup/skin-care products?
Lyss: Terry Baume de Rose for my lips, Cle de Peau under eye concealer, and Valmont skin care products.

Diva Moms

Currently reading The Nest by Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney

Currently drinking a large iced coffee in the morning and evening a large Chardonnay

I hope my kids think mom is FabULyssly Fierce and Fun

Motherhood is a new adventure each and every day

The Best advice my mom every game me was always wear your lips and blush. You never know who you might run into

(PS If you’ve met Lyss’ fiercely fabulous mom, who would know that she never has a hair out of place. She owns my #AlwaysBeYourBestYou motto.)

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*momBOSS – She’s nurturing, compassionate and focused. She’s always directing, managing and scheduling. She IS home. She is the link that brings everyone together. She is her own woman. She is not perfect. She is juggling and trying to find her happy formula for a meaningful life. Her motto is Always Be Your Best You, which could mean a messy kitchen takes a back seat to applying mascara. 

Are you a momBOSS or know one that we should know about? Leave a comment below and you/she could be featured next. Check back every Wednesday for an interview with an incredible mom that, I hope, will inspire you to find your happy formula, whatever that may mean for you.

PS In case you missed it, I’m hosting a new mom lifestyle show Pamela+Vanessa #momsandwhine.

Check out  Pamela+Vanessa #momsandwhine every Monday 9:30pm EST. We’ll be laughing, whining, and wining. And we have amazing weekly giveaways!

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What Does Mom Really Want for Mothers Day? Mother’s Day Gift Guide – Sleep, Sanity, feeling Sexy on NBC6 Miami in the Mix

Working hard … hardly working?

Quando estoy en Miami, trabajar es un placer. (ya I speak a little Spanish.) If I made errors, sorry. No tengo una persona con quien hablar, tambien no estudio Espanol despues de diez y ocho anos.)

Back to our English program.

So, I was in Miami, last week, taping  my version of the perfect Mother’s Day Gift Guide. The segment, which airs today at 11:30am on NBC6 Miami in the Mix, spotlights my three Mother’s Day desires – Sleep, Sanity and Sex. Now, before you get your Brazilian thongs in a tizzy, I didn’t actually go on a day-time show watched by moms and their toddlers, and say “sex”. My mother is a Children’s Manners and Social Skills Coach, after all – shameless plug for Ask Malvina! The phrase I used was “feeling sexy”, something many women don’t think about, at least not enough, once they enter mommy land.

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Here’s a run down of what was featured.

Feeling SEXY – This is about feeling good, taking care of yourself, and having that sizzling twinkle in your eye. (Alas, nipple tassels were not allowed in my PG13 segment)

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  • Ambrielle intimates exclusively at JCPenney ($10-$38) – Sexy, yet sensual, and a great price point, this is the prrr-fect gift idea for the man in your life to show that he still views you as his sexy kitten.
  • NEOVA DNA Damage Control SILC SHEER SPF 40($45) – My mom always said I should take care of my skin. Now I can give her a gift that will boost up our sun-safe and skin-care-loving game. This product is triple beauty threat, providing broad-spectrum sun protection, a photo finish sheer tint that evens out the skin (hello Mother’s Day  photos) and it repairs damage caused by previous sun exposure. That last bit is thanks to DNA repair enzymes which support and accelerate the body’s natural repair system, slowing formation of fine lines, wrinkles, sun spots, and discolorations. Make a beauty basket (I find great baskets at the dollar store) and get mom NEOVA Refining Eye Lift ($56) and DNA Total Repair ($99).

SLEEP – It’s such a simple task, and, yet, so hard for a mom to properly complete. Show mom love and giver her the time and the tools to recharge, so she can continue to hold down the fort! #MeaningfulMeMoments

Mothers Day Gift Guide - sleep

  • Remedy Heat Sensitive Memory Foam Sleep Mask w/ Music Input ($16.10 Overstock.com) – Even if the kids are being load, the hubby can hardly manage the situation and its daylight outside, this sleep mask has you covered it total darkness. Plus it has built-in headphones, so you can zen out to Buddhist nirvana sounds or Kurt Cobain Nirvana sounds.
  • Art Naturals Essential Oil Diffuser ($29.99, Overstock.com) – Mom can calm her nerves and set the mood for a good night’s sleep, with this beautiful ultrasonic oil diffuser. I love that it’s super quiet. Duuhh, I’m trying to sleep!
  • Alder Creek Lavender French Flower Bucket ($26.99, Overstock.com) – In the mood for a quick fix, nothing like a lavender scented basket. Useful. Peaceful. Done.

SANITY – Mom, by nature, is not sane. How can she be? Have you seen her to-do lists (yes, multiple lists, in multiple places in the office, kitchen, car, beg ….) Help her try to keep it together with organizational and inspirational essentials.

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  • Burlington Stores (Jewelry Box and Journal $4-$38) Motherhood can be maddening, and sometimes you just need to get your thoughts out there, journaling is great outlet. I found so many beautiful options at my favorite off-price retailer Burlington Stores. Keep walking those aisles and you’ll likely find other goodies like a jewelry box. Pop in a bracelet as a gift within a gift. Moms love surprises – at least this one does. Hint, hint, family.
  • Erin Condren Organization & Home Décor Items ($6-$75) – All hail the queen of organizational chicness. I have so many items from this brand, but the personalized schedule pad (which lives in my kitchen) if my life safer. Everyone knows what’s goes on, who needs to eat what, who’s traveling, who’s picking up kids, etc. I’m also in love with the Picture This! Acrylic Tray ($75) which is great to use a tray to hold my book and coffee if I’m going to read in bed. Not sure when that fantasy will happen … but I love to dream big.
  • Cooks 10-Cup Thermal Carafe Coffee Maker ($120) – So I’m not a coffee drinker (tea is my poison), but for those who bean it up, this machine is ideal for the mom who’s always getting pulled away from her warm cup. Thanks to a thermal carafe, mom’s cup stays hot for hours. Plus, she can program the coffee maker up to 24 hours in advance, so her cup is waiting for her at 7am, 6am, 5am (5am can not be managed without caffeine.)

Special thank you to Johanna Gomez, who beautifully filling in as host of Miami 6 in the Mix, while my friend Roxy Vargas is on maternity leave. FYI Johanna is a sassy mama of 3, who’a originally from New York. Check her out on Instagam.

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Pamela + Vanessa #momsandwhine Ep.2 Mother’s Day pet peeves, gifts we really want, & shoe giveaway

Good evening mamas!

I hope you enjoyed watching Episode 2 of Pamela + Vanessa #momsandwhine. We’re having so much fun with these videos, in case it’s not obvious enough.

As always, each episode ends with a little show & tell. This week, I shared my love for Shh-oes, the quiet shoes I recently featured on PIX11 Morning News. They are super comfy, very quiet and moderately priced given that it’s leather.

Meanwhile, gadget guru Vanessa, my fabulous co-host, showed the new Nook Sleep feeding pillow that I might need to get for myself . I’ve been falling asleep in odd position on the living room floor. #MomBurnOut !!

Before we get to this week’s giveaway rules, the winner of last week’s giveaway is …. Aubrey Rochelle.

Good luck with this week’s giveaway, ladies.

MomsandWhine Giveaway

Giveaway Rules
2. Leave a comment on Episode 2 (keep it classy and sassy)
3. Follow @PamelaPekerman and @TheNessaLee on Instagram
Contest ends May 8, 2016 11pm EST, and is open to all continental US residence over the age of 18.
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Friday Five Finds: All You Need is Love for Mom, Baby & Home

Coming to you live from my bed – hot tea, toast and honey at hand.

Oh, ya, I’m sick.

The voice is gone, but the spirit of love is pumping inside of me. In honor of Sunday’s big day – Okay, I don’t really care about Valentine’s day, but I do love love – here are five heartfelt All You Need is Love Friday Five Finds for Mom, Baby & Home.

Friday Five Finds with Heart

1. GAP Baby Sweater Tunics $15.99-$24.99 each – After Tuesday’s PIX11 segment on Bright Eyes, I went to GAP to pick up some V-day attire for the kids. We’re having a V-day party, on Sunday. By “we” I mean me, my husband, Ilana and David. What else would I want to do?!? GAP’s kids clothing can not be beat – fun designs, amazing quality and ideal prices. #ImAGapKidForLife 

2. Target Threshold Small Metal Marquee Light Framed Heart $14.24 – Last year, my mom got us a cheesy heart shaped light. The kids love it. I love it. And, while mine isn’t exactly “chic”, this mimi marquee option from Target is definitively something you can weave into your bedroom, office, even kitchen decor.

3. 100% Pure Fruit Pigmented Lip Butter in Peach $15 – Love your lives and keep them moist, even if you’re having a Vday party at home with the kids. I’m absolutely smitten with this beauty brand, which has no artificial dyes, fragrance, additives, preservatives and lead. Your pucker deserves perfection not poison. 

4. Burlington Allover Lace Bodysuit $12.99 – Not that you should ONLY, were lingerie on Valentines Day, but do use it as an excuse to get a new set of naughties. This option, from one of my favorite off-price retailer (translation: amazing prices all the time) has maximum coverage, curved middle panels to create a slimmer look, and plenty of sultry appeal. Enjoy daily – AM or PM … or both.

5. Give Baking a Difference Stuffed Chocolate Chip Cookies $39.95 / dozen – Since my cold and lots of work prevented me from baking a heart shaped sweet challah, that was going to be served with natella, my hubbies favorite condiment, I took necessary precautions and placed an order for these yummy, home-made cookies. Aside from being delicious and arriving in a lovely box, each purchase supports a worthy charity. Follow the founder Saira Gallo on Instagram to see how this momtrepreneur is doing her hustle.

Ilana Rose is ready for her first Valentine's Day dance

Ilana Rose is ready for her first Valentine’s Day dance

 

Ilana Rose is all smiles in GAP

Ilana Rose is all smiles in GAP

Ilana Rose in GAP I <3 You tunic

My princess is all smiles before heading off to daycare

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Meaningful Me Moments with Hoda Kotb Where We Belong

Hustle, heart and HODA … Hoda Kotb, that is.

Last week, I had the distinct pleasure of meeting and chatting with Hoda (of TODAY Show fame, in case she needed an intro!) at The MOMS Mamarazzi event with Secrets Resorts & Spas, held at Hunt & Fish Club NYC. FYI if you come to NYC, do try their Steak and Egg Ravioli for breakfast. It’s an epic experience for your mouth.

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THIS is why everyone loves Hoda! #Authentic

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Selfie alert !!

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The MOMS Denise and Melissa interview Hoda Kotb about Where We Belong

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Picture time after PIX11 Segment

I can not image better Meaningful Me Moments, then taking some time away from the home, kids, and work (okay this was still kind of a work event, but really it was all about enjoying the love in the room and unwinding after an early PIX11 segment, before heading home to the kiddos) and basking in the overwhelming glow that radiates from Hoda.

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Pamela Pekerman with Hoda Kotb at the MOMS Mamarazzi Event with Secrets Resorts & Spas

Don’t you just love feeding off of others’ good vibes? I get a rush from positive energy!

Hoda is a ray of positive energy and inspiration.

She was speaking with The MOMS’ Denise Albert  and Melissa Gerstein, to a room filled with fifth fierce mommy bloggers, TV anchors and execs about her latest book Where We Belong, sharing personal and professional struggles, and the journey that led her to question if she was, in fact, where she belonged.

“I feel that something is missing,” she told us. “I saw Sandra Bullock [with her adopted child] and I thought ‘look what she did?’ Often times, you don’t know what you are missing until you have it.”

It’s a bold move to say all that outload. But, then, that’s why I – we all – love her. She’s real. She’s authentic. She’s open. She, like many of us, is on the journey to discover if she is where she belongs.

Part of my mission with Meaningful Me Moments, is to create pockets of time that allow me to connect with that inner voice that always knows what’s right, or, rather, what’s right, right now.

Tonight, I can’t wait to delve deeper into Hoda Kotb’s Where We Belong, and learn how others are finding themselves in a point in their lives that may require a pause, in order to properly, and with passion, move forward.

Who’s joining me for the read? #P2Read and let’s talk about this book, once the kids are in bed!

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Moscow Mule anyone? Moms needs drinks!

PS A special hug goes out to Canada’s finest and feistiest moms, Catherine Belknap and Natalie Telfer Thompson of Social Common. We shared a passion for Moscos Mules, Meaningful Me Moments and madness. It was lovely chatting with you, after the event. It’s on, for next time. See you in Toronto.

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Having fun with the gals behind SocialCommon.ca

Always Be Your Best You Pamela Pekerman Signature

Never Too Late for Self Improvement Resolutions #SelfImproveToday

Today, I did it.

I hit the refresh button.

I made time for myself. I made a commitment to improve my health.

There was fish that needed to be baked, a TV segment that needed to be ironed out, a blog post that needed to be finished, yada yada. But, I took a pause for myself, and headed to the gym, after dropping off Ilana at daycare.

It’s been months since I’ve been an active member of the gym.

Let me rephrase that … it’s been months since I’ve been active, period.

As some of you know, after David was born in June of 2014, I had terrible back problems associated with pelvic floor drama. Following five months of intense physical therapy, I was cleared for exercise. Naturally, I got a post-natal certified trainer.

I won’t go into the whole story about my gut telling me this person (while being very nice) was not able to deal with my situation. Long story short, this past July brought on terrible pain – new pain – that according to my physical therapist and chiropractor (oh, ya, I have to see one of those now) was caused by my improper training and excessive weight lifting. My body was a mess and my muscles were now “short and stiff”.

Out of fear that eventually morphed into laziness, I stopped going to the gym.

But, that all stopped TODAY.

Self Improvement Today

Yes, it’s late December, but why wait until January 1st to get back on track?

Every day is the dawn of new possibilities and new opportunities to better yourself inside and it. And, I’m not the only woman who believes that it’s never too late for self improvement resolutions and changes.

A new survey sponsored by the makers of the Invisalign clear aligner system, reveals that after putting personal needs aside in 2014 – eeks ladies Meaningful Me Moments are a must …. Okay back to positive news – in 2015 women are working hard towards their self-improvement goals. Of the 40% of women who set self-improvement goals at the start of 2015, 98% of those women are still committed to at least one goal.

But, more to my point about hitting the refresh button at any time, the survey also found that for the 60% of women who did not resolve to improve themselves at the start of the year, nearly half would be motivated to improve themselves by the end of the year if they saw progress.

Self Improvement Today

So, let’s see progress. Let’s improve. Let’s move. Let’s get healthy. Let’s get whiter teeth. Let’s get organized. Let’s learn a new hobby.

What do you want to improve about yourself, today?

Go on, put it out there.

Happy Tuesday. Happy Today. Happy Possibilities.

Put yourself first.

I KNOW it’s hard.

As women, we have a million responsibilities on our plates. But, if you don’t take care of yourself … let me reword that and make it personal: If I don’t take care of myself, if I don’t get my back and body in healthy, active shape, I will not be able to play with my kids, play – wink wink – with my husband, ride a bike (ya can’t do that beyond 2 minutes), or enjoy life to its fullest.

Here we go!

It’s NEVER too late to resolve to improve yourself. Please join me on Instragam as I document my commitment to getting back on track.

Use #SelfImproveToday on your own journey.

Self Improvement Today

PS Thank you to Invisalign for doing this survey and sharing it with me. I needed a kick in the tooshy.

Disclaimer: This post is sponsored by the makers of Invisalign. The copy and ideas stated above are mine. I do want to thank Invisalign for being patient over the past few weeks as I came up with the proper way to discuss their survey in relation to my life. As all my sponsors and readers know, honesty and a commitment to my core values Always Be Your Best You and Meaningful Me Moments – is essential in all blog posts.

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$1000 for Vasculitis Foundation in 1 day #GivingTuesday

On the heels of Cyber Monday (which is way better than Black Friday frenzy! because I enjoyed my fav Rose Milk Tea while scoring plaid rompers and boots for toddlers), I’m so excited today is Giving Tuesday, a day focused on giving to others, to make their lives better.

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This morning, while kicking off a new Z-pack (ya, sick, again!) I decided to jump into this awesome movement and help raise money for The Vasculitis Foundation’s Research Program. (Side Bar: Thank you for the nanny who came last minute, so I can lock myself up in my bedroom to type this up, take meds and, at some-point pass out.)

So, do you want to help me raise money for a most worthy charity, where every penny goes directly to research, while also helping to raise awareness for a rare disease?

YES, I thought so.

All you need to do is share the below tweet. Yup, that’s all. You do the sharing and awareness, and I’ll do the donating on your behalf!

 

1. Today, December 1st on #GivingTuesday, post the below tweet to your feed:

2day  help raise $ 4  RT post &  donates $1 per tweet #GivingVF 

2. Make sure you use all the hashtags #GivingTuesday #GivingVF so I can track your good giving deeds

3. My husband and I will donate $1 for every tweet from now  through 3amEST on December 2nd (because I have to give my LA peeps those extra hours to tweet away!)

Giving Tuesday Quote GandhiMy goal is to have 1,000 tweets, 1,000 moments a marvelous awareness, and donate $1,000 to the Vasculitis Foundation’s Research Program via the Ilya Peckerman Fund which is in honor of my father.

OK, I’d love to reach $10,000, but I’m going to set realistic goals. If, however, you do help us reach 10,000 tweets, we will donate $10,000.

Can we make it happen?

Let’s make charity magic. #GivingTuesday

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Time to Shop for a Cause

I’m Thankful for Time, & Gifts that Give Back #Shop4Vasculitis

I’m Thankful for Time.

It’s pretty simple. I’m thankful for time.

I know the value of time. I know what matters, who matters, and where my valuable time should be spent to better me, my family and my community.

So, I’m taking some time, right now (while baby David sleeps and before the nanny comes allowing me to rush out and get props for tomorrow’s PIX11 Gifts That Give Back segment) to share with you where I’ve been allocating much of my precious time, over the past few weeks. Because, it hasn’t been here, with you, on this blog.

Aside from sick toddlers (never fun), getting sick myself (mom’s don’t get days off – bummer!), and the usual family/home needs, I’ve been knee-deep (sometimes drowning ) in planning a very important charity campaign .

The charity – The Ilya Peckerman Fund benefiting the Vasculitis Foundation’s Research Program to find the causes and cure of vasculitis diseases.

The campaign – Shop 4 Vasculitis.

What are vasculitis diseases?

Ya, I get that a lot. Vasculitis is a family of rare, autoimmune (aka the body is attacking itself) diseases that causes inflammation of the blood vessels, arteries, veins or capillaries. When such inflammation occurs, it causes changes in the walls of blood vessels, such as weakening and narrowing that can progress to the point of blood vessel blockage. Ya, it’s not fun.

Why do I care?

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Well, because on December 18, 2009, my kick-ass, BBQ-ninja, fishing-fanatic, volleyball-champion, Barbie-shopping, always-recording-memories, never-complaining father passes away from Wegeners, a type of Vasculitis Disease.

Few words can explain what it means to lose a father, especially one that is so close to your spirit. We not only look alike, but share a similar child-like, whimsical approach to life. His physical departure felt like the rug was pulled from underneath me. In fact, not until my son was born and I realized that he has that same jovial spirit, did I feel grounded, once again, in the present world.

When tragedy strikes, we must morn, embrace our emotions, and figure out a way to live on. But, in moving on, we can also refocus our lives and allocate time to the people, the passion and the projects that make life worth living.

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… which brings me back to the past few weeks, and my willingness to temporarily give up time with my family and friends in order to create Shop 4 Vasculitis.

With the holiday season approaching, I wanted to give you the opportunity to shop for a cause, i.e. vasculitis. As consumers, we have power to create change, gift from the heart and gift for good! Let’s shop for a cause with gifts that give back!!

With Thanksgiving kicking off, tomorrow, I’m so thankful for your time in reading this post.

I’ll be VERY thankful if you check out Shop4Vasculitis.com where you’ll find amazing holiday gift ideas from top fashion designers like Ramy Brook, cozy leggings from Yummie Tummie, beautiful jewelry from Laurel & Bleau, bags from 3 Lily Pads,  and much more.

I’m sending you a big THANK YOU and wishing you a fabulous holiday season.

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Always Be Your Best You Pamela Pekerman Signature

Massages Make Moms Better Moms

Health Benefits of Spa Time & Relaxation #MeaningfulMeMoments

Some gals love to shop. Some gals love to decorate. I love to spa.

I’m OBSESSED with SPAING.

Even the waiting rooms at spas make me happy – cozy robe, a glass of water infused with limes, sounds of birds chirping. Zensational.

Going to the spa isn’t just about being pampered. It’s about getting away, finding time for Meaningful Me Moments, and giving myself permission to disconnect from the rest of the world (which means the kids have to be with at least one grandparent and/or my hubby – nannies don’t make me feel 100% disconnectable. Know what I mean?)

But, I digress.

As I was saying, getting a luxurious massage or facial gives me time to be alone and not think. Moms are always on. It’s how we are programmed. But, it’s important to have the release and tranquility, to recharge in a big way – not just a quick 30-minutes reconnecting with your favorite BRAVO Housewives or running out for a mani.

There are many health benefits of spa time and relaxation. Not to get all medical on you, but the good people at the The Mayo Clinic, a nonprofit medical practice and medical research group, have confirmed that “Relaxation techniques are an essential part of stress management. If you’re an overachiever,” OR A MOM “you may put relaxation low on your priority list. Don’t shortchange yourself. Relaxation is invaluable for maintaining your health and well-being, and repairing the toll that stress takes on your mind and body.”

Friends Don't Let Friends Spa Alone

I want you to give yourself permission to take one day a month, even if it’s not a full day, and unplug. Take care of yourself by making wellness and Meaningful Me Moments a mainstream part of your lifestyle. When I talk about “Always Be Your Best You”, it’s not just about your fabulous nude lips or your well-edited closet, it’s about you being at your best physical and mental state. Always Be Your Best You means you are making positive lifestyle choices that will actually help you be a more nurturing and alert wife, mom and human being.

Yes, ladies. Going to the spa will actually make you a better, happier, zen-filled woman!

What have we learned?

Massages = Meaningful Me Moments = Smiling Faces = Less Irritated Mom = Bliss for All

Now, if you need another reason to get your spa on, next week, October 12th – 18th, is Spa Week. STOP! What is this amazingness you speak of?

Spa Week is when hundreds of spa, wellness, and fitness facilities across the country offer premium full-service treatments at a major discount of $50 each.  It’s a chance for everyone to experience luxury treatments at more affordable prices. Check out my Instragram feed, next week, as I indulge in me time.

Now, off to baby David. Not bad kiddo, you slept for over two-and-a-half hours. Another 15-minutes and I would have even finished the images for this post. #Blessed #WorkingMom #WhyAmIHashtagging ??

Always Be Your Best You Pamela Pekerman Signature

Friday Five Finds for Mom, Baby & Home

Friday Five Finds for Mom, Baby & Home: All About Zen

Hello Saturday. I don’t mean to confuse you with Friday, by posting Friday Five Finds, today, but, as usually, yesterday did NOT go according to plan!! Oh, ya, that’s just life in The Land of Motherhood.

Two words: Swollen Eye!!

Doctors. Blood work. No day care. Exhaustion for all.

But, back to the Friday Five Finds for Mom, Baby & Home, that I meant to post, yesterday. PS Thank you to my father-in-law for walking my son, and Mr. Tchaikovsky for creating The Nutcracker, which is currently entertaining my daughter, while I type away.

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1. Peter Pauper Press Tree of Life Journal $6 – Journaling has been part of my nightly routine since I was in middle school, but I haven’t been very consistent over the last  three years. Perhaps this notebook will inspire me.

2. Urban Infant Toddler Nap Mat $48 – I was searching for bedding that would fit easily on a day care cot, without sliding off. I also wanted something that was easy to bring back-and-forth, as we wash it every weekend. (I love when things are EASY.) This bedding is the smart solution for busy moms that what everything in one neat package – bedding, pillow, pillow case and pocket for pjs. Beauty sleep for Ilana and one thing off my to-buy list = zensation.

3. The Paris Wife by Paula McLain $7 – There’s nothing like a good book to wind down the day. (PS I’m a NO-TV-IN-THE-BEDROOM gal, because you’re either sleeping or not sleeping – sometimes reading – in bed. )  If you’re reading this one, let me know what you think. I’ve always wanted to be part of a book club.

4. Cockscomb Flower – Making floral arrangements is a passion of mine, and one of the ways I create Meaningful Me Moments. So, when I was strolling through the Farmers Market in Union Square, earlier this week, I couldn’t help but purchase a bushel of these lovely, velvety flowers. I’ve never seen this particular version of the cockscomb, so I was VERY excited to snatch it up for the home. Check out your local floral shop and ask about these beauties. They bloom from late summer until late fall, and make for a beautiful wreath at your entry way.

5. Rachel Brown Jewelry  14K Gold Ring with Swarovski Crystal Eye Charm $595 – Playful and spiritual, this is the next item I plan to purchase from Rachel’s collection. You can engrave it with the 72 Names of G-d, your Kabbalistic Astrological Sign, or keep it religious free with just a Name/Initials. Her jewelry has an explainable power. I know you’re thinking, “Pam, you need a nap!”. I do. But, I also know in my gut I feel better when I wear her jewelry. Chalk it up to a placebo effect, if you so choose.

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Update:
This post was so close to being finished, save for a bit of editing and photo creation. I was hopeful to have a minute on Sunday – what I had was a deep desire for an EJECT BUTTON. #OneOfThoseDays … Which brings me to Monday. Hi Monday. You’ve been kinda good – except for the emergency doctor visit for David.

After dropping off Ilana at daycare, while putting David back in the car, I noticed a massive, MASSIVE bump on the side of his head. S#@t! Something hideous must have bit him in the car. Speeding to the doctor. Doctor checks all vitals and tells me he must have fallen. I didn’t see or hear him fall! Okay, but you’re good. Seven hours later, the swelling is down and I’m 100% certain it was a bug bit, based on the two side by side bits that are now visible. Assume 24 surveillance mode. Bug bites are no joke.

So, Monday, I still love you. It’s 4pm. David is OKay. I asked the babysitter to come over for three-hours, so I could catch up on work, go get some fun Sukkot decorations (ya I’m a bit late), grocery shopping, and pick up Ilana from daycare without lugging David.