momBOSS Interview: Latham Thomas founder of Mama Glow

Pamela Pekerman:How would you describe yourself and what you do?
Latham Thomas:I’m a single mother with an 11-year-old son. I’m the founder of Mama Glow. I’m a maternity lifestyle maven, whose focus is to support women before, during and after pregnancy. I’m known as the celebrity doula, serving women everywhere as they journey into motherhood.

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Pamela: MamaGlow – the website, the book, the brand – is so much to so many.
Latham: How would you describe the mission of MamaGlow?
Mama Glow is a holistic maternity lifestyle hub that offers nutrition, yoga, and birth doula services to women during pregnancy and beyond. We are all about celebrating this special time in a woman’s life and helping her look and feel radiant for those precious 9 month and beyond.

Pamela: At what point did you realize, “Wow, I’m onto something big!”?
Latham:When I was pregnant with my son I was looking for resources and realized they didn’t exist, so the entrepreneurial spirit within me led me to found Mama Glow. I realized when I started getting cold calls from celebrities and when Vogue asked me to partner on an event early on, that this birth business I was cultivating could be a big deal. I still consider it something that’s growing on people. Not everyone is ready to talk about birth.Latham_Thomas_momBOSS

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Latham Thomas with Alicia Keys

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Latham Thomas with Deepak Chopra

Pamela: Who is the Mama Glow woman? How are you helping her Always Be Your Best You?
Latham: The Mama Glow client is a woman who is hip, savvy, trendy, fashionable and very conscious. She believes in the value of organics and limiting toxic exposures. She is educated and an active participant in her own well-being- she is also very driven and really benefits from the mindfulness area of our practice.

Pamela: What tips or daily rituals do you recommend for the mom who’s trying to find her passion and live her true path?
Latham: Writing down our goals and desires has a peculiar way of activating them in the world. It also gives the universe a clear indication that you are ready to take your thoughts, dreams and desires to the next level and spin them into action.  Start a Daily Gratitude & Desire journal practice. When you wake up each morning write down two columns: 1. What you are grateful for and be really specific here, and 2. what you desire- details are a must. When we call upon the universe to help send something into our orbit, we must be crystal clear on what we are asking for and be ready to receive.

Pamela: Do you have any tips for juggling personal, professional and family needs/obligations?
Latham: It’s a juggle. It’s not about balance, but about dynamic equilibrium and keeping the balls in the air and catching them when they come down. I believe in a strong self-care and self-reflective practice, whether that’s meditation, yoga, dance. Glow time is my self-care movement and it’s all about relaxation, whether you have 2 minutes or 2 hours.

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Pamela: Yes, I’m all about Meaningful Me Moments.
Latham: Exactly. When you indulge yourself, you honor yourself. You’ll be a better mother and better business woman for it.

Pamela: Speaking of business, is there something you do with him after a long day at work/being away?
Latham:We share highlights from our days when we get home. We have a tickle-time ritual where I tickle him and make him laugh after a long day away. I make sure to do an activity he loves with him like puzzles, Monopoly, or a game of pool.

Pamela: Quick, you only have 2 minutes to prep and pamper your face. What are you top makeup/skin products?
Latham: Tata Harper skin care- Regenerating Face cleanser. Uma oils – wellness face oil to seal in moisture. Obsessive compulsive lip tar– it’s vegan, and I smudge some on the cheeks too. Boom! Done.

Pamela: What’s the coolest product for new moms, which you’ve recently uncovered?
Latham:Right now I am obsessed with Munchery Meal delivery service- It’s amazing. Moms get meals prepared fresh by chefs. It takes the guess work out of cooking and it’s a great price. You can order online.

Pamela: What’s next for you and Mama Glow?
Latham: Mama Glow is expanding into new territory. I’m launching a new platform based on rituals which I am excited about unveiling this summer. It’s all a blessing.

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Currently reading The Sleep Revolution by Arianna Huffington

Currently drinking Green Juice – always

I hope my son thinks mom is a woman who created a life of purpose and inspired him to be his very best!

Motherhood is MY BIRTHRIGHT.

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momBOSS Interview: Cozy Friedman founder SoCozy Salon Formulas for Kids & Cozy’s Cuts for Kids Salon

Youth has its perks – you have an idea, jump right in and lead with your ambition. That’s what I did after graduating college and launching my first business BagTrends, with a gorilla marketing campaign during New York Fashion Week. And that’s exactly what Cozy Friedman did 20-years ago when she decided their was a need for kid-friendly hair salons, and she would be the one to fill the void with the launch of Cozy’s Cuts for Kids.

But time and age have their own perks, as well. Great listening skills and team building on all fronts – personal and professional – has allowed Cozy to braid together a successful and family-full life, and continue to expand her SoCozy line of salon formula hair care products for kids. I’m so proud to share my new friend Cozy Friedman’s entrepreneurial tips and momBOSS journey.

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Cozy Friedman posing with her expanding SoCozy collection of salon formulated hair care products for kids.

Pamela Pekerman: Risks can be scary. What gave you the courage to go into a field in which you had no experience or education?
Cozy Friedman: This may sound naive, but I was young and didn’t see opening a kids salon as a risk, just an exciting opportunity. I was raised by courageous business go-getters and that focus and drive was instilled in both my brother and I. It just never occurred to me that the concept wouldn’t work out. And for that mindset, I’m thankful.

Pamela: Many moms have dreams, but don’t know how to take the first steps. What tips would you have for a mom who wants to launch a business?
Cozy: Take one step at a time and educate yourself so that you’re confident and prepared. Knowledge is power, and you should never go into a new venture blindly. In my case, I enrolled in barber school, worked at many different children’s businesses, and absorbed as much experience and information as I could, before launching my first salon on Madison Ave. Education is still at the pulse of my brand. It’s important to me that SoCozy is always offering the latest advice, solutions, tips, and trends.

Pamela: With Cozy’s Cuts for Kids, at what point did you realize, “Wow, I’m onto something big!”?
Cozy: When I was looking for a location for my first salon, I couldn’t find a landlord that was willing to rent me the space. They considered my business a risk because they didn’t understand the concept. However, I finally found the perfect location to launch my salon and within a few months, a landlord that had previously turned me down promptly called to offer me my next salon location. The tables had turned, and that’s when I felt I was onto something big.

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Cozy Friedman of SoCozy on TODAY Show with Kathie Lee and Hoda.

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Cozy Friedman with Ivanka Trump, at Cozy’s Cuts for Kids Salon.

Pamela: It’s been twenty years and two kids since the launch of Cozy’s Cuts for Kids and the start of what has become a hair empire. What was it like growing your baby while raising two boys?
Cozy: There’s no doubt that it can be tricky to grow a business and raise a family together, but “together” was always essential for me. I never saw my family and my business as two separate compartments. They were always very intertwined. My sons grew up at my salon. As kids, they would play there while I worked and as teens they experienced their first part time jobs there and often work at our corporate SoCozy office. It was always a family effort, with the support of my husband, friends and family. I’m very fortunate to be surrounded by such a great “team”, and as a mom of two boys, it’s all about balance. I’m either leaving a soccer game to go to work or leaving work to go to a soccer game.

Pamela: In an average day what would you pack into the 7am-9pm grind?
Cozy: I wake up at 5am and meditate for 20 minutes. I’ll then run, spin or do yoga, which gets me ready to conquer the day. Next is breakfast with my boys and I take them to school at 7:30am. I’m then off to work. While commuting into the city, I work on our SoCozy social media, which is such a big part of our business. I love connecting with our consumers. Once I’m in the office, my days always vary. I consult with my team on various initiatives and then may head out for a speaking engagement, retailer meeting and/or event and of course visit my salons. I always enjoy wrapping up my day with family dinners and time to connect.

Pamela: What tools/services/people help you manage your momBOSS life?
Cozy: I fully believe it’s all about being part of a strong team. I wouldn’t be able to manage it all without my salon team, corporate office team and of course my family “team.”
What was the most difficult part of creating your hair care line, SoCozy? How did you deal with obstacles in productions, packaging, wholesaling etc.?
I faced the biggest obstacle when I needed to create custom formulations in small batches. I had to find manufacturers, and this was before the Internet days! That meant heading to tradeshows and networking the old fashioned way. I then had to convince the right manufacturer to take a risk and invest on creating these custom formulations. I’m proud to say that 14+ years later, we’re still working together.

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Cozy Friedman with her teenage sons and husband.

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Cozy Friedman and her family team.

Pamela: What differentiates SoCozy products from other hair care lines for kids?
Cozy: We specially developed salon-quality formulas that boast multi-functional use, so parents have a “go-to” that gets the job done quickly with great results every time. It was created for all kids and all hair types! We pride ourselves on SoCozy being safe with “no nasties” (i.e. parabens, phthalates, etc.)- just good, clean and completely non-toxic formulations that perform at the highest level. SoCozy also has incredible fragrances that kids and parents equally love- from notes of Peppy Pink Guava to Creamy Vanilla, Orange Blossoms and more. I’d also say our sophisticated packaging sets us apart as well as our motto, “Being You is Our Idea of Cool.” As a brand, we encourage and support individuality. For all kids and any hair type—our mission is to build confidence and inspire originality.

Pamela: What’s next for SoCozy and Cozy’s Cuts for Kids?
Cozy: SoCozy is really growing leaps and bounds. We’re increasing our distribution by teaming up with new retail partners in different verticals and expanding our product offerings – it’s an exciting time! In fact, I’m thrilled to share that our new Splash collection (for swimmer’s hair) will be hitting shelves this month- just in time for summer.

Pamela: How do you find time for YOU in your busy world? AKA what do you love to do during Meaningful Me Moments?
Cozy: I wake up an extra hour early so I have time for myself physically, mentally and emotionally- which makes me happy. By starting my day on a positive note with meditation, a good workout and family time- I’m able to pass on that positive energy to my family and colleagues. I think it’s important to lead a healthy lifestyle. When you feel happy and strong you can perform at your optimal best- whether that’s at home or the workplace. I’m actually hitting a Soul Cycle class with my team later- and we’re all looking forward to it.

Pamela: Quick, you only have 2 minutes to prep and pamper your face. What are you top makeup/skin products?
Cozy: I’m honestly not a big makeup person- it only takes me about two minutes to apply. I’m currently loving IT Cosmetics mascara and then I use eyeliner and BECCA blush. For me, it’s more about my hair. I use our new SoCozy Boing products for my curly hair and then I’m out the door.

Pamela: What’s your Happy Formula for managing marriage, two kids, your growing business, and finding time for yourself?
Cozy: The secret to my happy formula is to not view my marriage, kids, business, etc. inseparable compartments. I believe in teams and I’m just one part of those teams. Whether it’s my marriage, my business, child rearing- it’s all a team effort. I also take one day at a time and do my best to stay focused and present in each moment.

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Currently reading Start With Why by Simon Sinek. I love motivational books.

Currently drinking sparkling water or an evening Cabernet Sauvignon

I hope my kids think mom prepared them for everything that comes their way in life- and that they feel confident in themselves to go after their dreams.

Motherhood is everything! Nothing will ever prepare you for how incredible it is and how it changes you in the best possible ways.

The best advice my mom ever gave me was that everyone complains they don’t have enough time. However, she told me that if I wake up an hour earlier everyday… it’s the equivalent of adding an extra day to your week. That advice has always stayed with me and that’s why I start my day at 5am. Having extra time is so empowering.

 

Want more momBOSS inspiration? Check out my interviews with DivaMoms founder Lyss Stern and fashion designer Ramy Sharp of Ramy Brook

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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

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  • 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.

Social Common Pamela Pekerman

Having fun with the gals behind SocialCommon.ca

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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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