A Message From The Creator

A Message From The Creator

A Message From The Creator

“If I didn’t define myself for myself, I would be crunched into other people’s fantasies for me and eaten alive. ”

-Audre Lorde

Inspirational Woman Of The Day

Inspirational Woman Of The Day

Inspirational Woman Of The Day: Bethenny Frankel

Bethenny Frankel

Bethenny Frankel (born November 4, 1970) is an American reality TV personality, author, entrepreneur, and natural foods chef. She has appeared on the The Apprentice: Martha StewartThe Real Housewives of New York City and was the subject of the TV shows Bethenny Getting Married? and Bethenny Ever After. She is the founder of Skinnygirl Cocktails and the author of four self-help books.

Frankel is the only child of Robert J. Frankel and Bernadette Burke. Frankel is Jewish; her father was Jewish and her mother converted to Judaism. Frankel attended The Wheatley School on Long Island before moving to Florida. Frankel graduated from the Pine Crest School in Fort Lauderdale, Florida and the Natural Gourmet Culinary Institute in New York. She also attended New York University and Boston University.

Frankel began her TV and film career when she appeared in the 1993 short film Soiree Sans Hors D’oeuvres, the 1994 movie Hollywood Hills 90028, and the 1995 movieWish Me Luck. Upon graduation from the Natural Gourmet Culinary Institute she formed a natural foods bakery and delivery service called BethennyBakes.

Frankel was an original cast member on Bravo‘s series The Real Housewives of New York City and in 2005, appeared on The Apprentice: Martha Stewart TV show and was one of two finalists.

In 2009 she launched her company, Skinnygirl Cocktails, and was a contributor to Bravo TV’s coverage of the Kentucky Oaks. In March, Frankel’s first book, Naturally Thin: Unleash Your SkinnyGirl and Free Yourself from a Lifetime of Dieting, was published. In December 2009, her second book, The SkinnyGirl Dish: Easy Recipes for Your Naturally Thin Life, was released. She also created an exercise DVD, Body by Bethenny, in spring 2010 and an audio bookThe Skinnygirl Rules, which summarized her two SkinnyGirl books. In March 2011, Bethenny released A Place of Yes: 10 Rules for Getting Everything You Want Out of Life which spent several weeks on the New York Times Bestseller List.

In June 2010, Frankel starred in the Bravo reality TV show Bethenny Getting Married?, which documented her engagement and marriage and the birth of her daughter. The show’s premiere was the highest rated of any series in Bravo‘s history.

In September 2010, Frankel announced, that for personal reasons, she would not be returning to the The Real Housewives of New York City show. In February 2011, Frankel starred in a follow up series, Bethenny Ever After which documented her first year of marriage and motherhood. In November, Frankel appeared on the ABC reality series Skating With The Stars, a spin-off of another ABC reality series Dancing with the Stars, and finished as runner-up to the champion.

In April 2011, Frankel sold her Skinnygirl cocktail line to Fortune Brands’ Beam Global for an estimated $100+ million dollars. In September 2011, Whole Foods Market stopped selling the product because it contained a preservative that did not meet their quality standards.

Frankel has created a pilot for a talk show which is scheduled to beginning airing in the summer of 2012 on Fox-owned stations with Ellen DeGeneres as executive producer.

Frankel married Peter Sussman, in 1996 and later divorced. She married Jason Hoppy in March 2010, at The Four Seasons hotel in New York City. In May 2010, Frankel gave birth to their daughter Bryn. Frankel posed nude for animal rights group PETA in September 2009. The photo was featured on a billboard in Times Square as part of PETA’s campaign against the wearing of fur.

Inspiration of A Woman Facing Health Challenges

Inspiration of A Woman Facing Health Challenges

Inspiration of A Woman Facing Health Challenges: Robin Roberts

The Huffington Post  |  By 

An emotional Robin Roberts announced on Monday that she has been diagnosed with a rare blood and bone-marrow disorder called MDS, and will undergo a bone marrow transplant.

Speaking on “Good Morning America” and writing on a blog post, Roberts said the disease was once called preleukemia, and is a complication from the treatment she received to beat breast cancer in 2007.

On the “GMA” website, Roberts wrote that, while there are some “scary” statistics about the disease, her doctors have told her she is young and fit enough to beat it.

Roberts made the announcement toward the end of Monday’s “GMA,” surrounded by her co-hosts and with former co-host Diane Sawyer (whom she called “my Thelma”) in attendance.

“Sometimes treatment for cancer can lead to other serious medical issues and that’s what I’m facing right now,” she said. “The reason I am sharing this with everybody right now is because later today I begin what’s known as pre-treatment.”

Roberts said that a tube was being added to her arm Monday afternoon. “I didn’t want you to be concerned if you saw a bandage tomorrow,” she said. “It’s going to be there to draw blood … and also to administer drugs.”

She said that she will be “out for a chunk of time” after she receives a bone marrow transplant from her sister, who doctors said was a “perfect match” for her.

She pledged to overcome the disease.

“I’m going to beat this,” she said, choking up. “My doctors say it and my faith says it to me.” She received a round of applause at the end of her comments.

In her blog post, Roberts elaborated on her diagnosis:

I received my MDS diagnosis on the very day that Good Morning America finally beat the Today Show for the first time in 16 years. Talk about your highs and lows! Then a few weeks ago, during a rather unpleasant procedure to extract bone marrow for testing, I received word that I would interview President Obama the next day. The combination of landing the biggest interview of my career and having a drill in my back reminds me that God only gives us what we can handle and that it helps to have a good sense of humor when we run smack into the absurdity of life.

Bottom line: I’ve been living with this diagnosis for awhile and will continue to anchor GMA. I love what I do and the people with whom I do it. Along with my faith, family and friends, all of you at ABC News give me the motivation and energy to face this challenge.

A Stay-At-Home Mom’s Story

A Stay-At-Home Mom’s Story

A Stay-At-Home Mom’s Story

Written by Marisa Costa for LearnVest

Eight years. I’ve spent the last eight years of my life as a stay-at-home mom.

The thing is, I didn’t quit my job to be a stay-at-home mom. I was pretty happy as a working mom. My two young children spent their days with a lovely nanny and my husband was doing more than his share of helping out with the kids and the house.

I really just wanted to see what it was like to stay home with the kids — take a few weeks off to rethink my marketing career and re-energize myself as a working mom.

My, how time flies.

Now, a new survey has found that non-employed women with young children at home are more likely than their working counterparts to report experiencing sadness and anger.

This, of course, has me thinking back on my own situation, and realizing… I totally fit that bill.

What My Stay-at-Home Life Looks Like
As a stay-at-home mom with the heart and soul of a working mom, I made it a priority to weave professional “me time” into my busy days filled with housekeeping and childcare duties. I found time for freelance writing and tried to nurture my love of fiction writing. But no matter how much I tried to squeeze out more time for me, I always seemed to come up short — and found anger and resentment tugging away at my happiness.

The worst part was I couldn’t figure out why I was so angry and bitter. I found myself short-tempered with my kids constantly, overreacting when my 2-year-old age-appropriately spilled juice all over his brand new shirt, or when my 9-year-old daughter would forget to brush her teeth. I was frustrated with all the housework that seemed endless, no matter how hard I worked, organized and planned. Sure, my husband contributed to the housekeeping, but it was never enough. Like many couples, we found ourselves playing the “who does more” game and had to carefully manage the resulting friction.

I didn’t have to be a stay-at-home mom. I could have gone back to work. But as I got more involved with the stay-at-home mommy culture (meeting friends at Starbucks for coffee after drop off, helping out during bake sales and other fundraisers, volunteering my time to help out in the classrooms, etc.), I was plagued with the guilt that staying home with my kids was the “right” thing to do. I told myself how lucky I was that our family was fortunate enough to live comfortably on a single income. I should seize the opportunity and enjoy it.

Plus, how could I go back to work in marketing or sales after having been out of the workforce for so many years? I felt stuck — like I was falling deeper into a hole I’d never be able to escape.

How I Hid It… Well
But that was me on the inside. I suspect there are loads of stay-at-home moms who appear perfectly happy on the outside, but secretly wage internal battles with anxiety and depression.

On three different instances I was offered a Xanax by a mom to go along with our glasses of wine while accompanying my child on a playdate. I wouldn’t say stay-at-home moms are handing out Xanax like candy, but it’s definitely carried around in more than a few handbags.

Fortunately, I never allowed my spirits to fall too far, and I was able to ward off full-blown anxiety and depression when it beckoned. I made sure I went to the gym a few times a week and hired a babysitter for a little “me” time here and there. I refused to feel sorry for myself for too long, despite the fact that my plan of staying home with the kids for only a few weeks had turned into a few years. After all, I was choosing this.

Of course, there were many days I wondered why I was spending so much time folding laundry and organizing cabinets of sippy cups. After all, I had an MBA from NYU and had most recently held a senior management position at one of the most well-known publishing companies in the world. I just couldn’t believe how much I’d changed as a person — from the go-getter career woman that I once was to the tired, bored housekeeper that I felt like I’d become.

The frustration nagged at me but I mostly ignored it, distracting myself with volunteer work and other commitments that allowed me to interact with adults and made me feel like I was using my brain.

Deciding to Make a Change
Yes, I love my kids more than I ever imagined possible. I am grateful for each and every 9 a.m. school concert that I was able to attend, every 4 p.m. Brownies meeting I was able to lead and every weekday class trip I was able to chaperone.

There is no happiness substitute in the entire world for making my 2-year-old son laugh hysterically as I chase him around the playground, or playing catch with my son in the backyard after school. I savor these moments every day and know, without doubt, that these are the childhood highlights that I will look back upon fondly 20 years from now.

But all moms know there are times in life when something’s gotta give. When you have to listen to your inner voice that tells you to make a change. To just go for it.

Baby Steps
Of course, change is never easy, and deciding to dust off a résumé and actually send it out with a cover letter was a daunting task, to say the least.

Last summer, I wasn’t ready to just jump in full-time right off the bat, so I searched for a “baby step”– something part-time or freelance to get me going in the right direction. After a few weeks of scanning the web for job postings, I found a maternity fill-in position that fit my job experience and skills perfectly — Sales Director at a digital media company.

I applied for the job, got the interview and managed to deal with the stress of how I’d explain the gap on my résumé. I took the questions (and resistance) in stride, not ashamed to admit that I’d been a stay-at-home mom, but at the same time making a point of explaining how I’d kept abreast of the digital media industry and was very enthusiastic to start working again. I knew the most important thing was finding the right employer fit — someone who was able to look at my past accomplishments and realize that I’m extremely capable if given the opportunity.

I was offered the job a few days later.

When that position ended in December, I was a new person. Boosted by the confidence gained in my temporary job and the surprising ease with which I’d been able to transition back to life as a working mom, I began to look for a full-time, permanent opportunity. My husband, who works in finance and is feeling the squeeze of the bad economy, was thrilled at the idea of adding another income stream.

From Full-Time Mom to Full-Time Job
Now, after eight years of devoting just about all of my waking hours to raising three kids (and after five months and 20-something interviews), I’m trading in my days filled with diaper duty, clothing struggles and mealtime disaster cleanup for a working mom’s life of meetings, commuting and occasional missed bedtimes.

Yes, as of this past Monday, June 4, I’m working for a digital media company as a sales director.

Will I be happier with my new life as a working mom? According to the Gallup Poll, the odds are in my favor. In addition to the sadness, anger and depression that stay-at-home moms allegedly feel, the poll also found that employed moms are about as happy as working women without children.

No study such as this would ever convince me that work is the answer to every woman’s happiness. It is a personal choice, and one that I’m approaching with my eyes wide open.

Am I excited to start my new job? Heck yeah. Nervous? Heck yeah. Is going back to work full-time really the answer to my ultimate fulfillment and happiness as a mom? Time will tell. I would have preferred to find a part-time job that offered me more work-life balance and the same upside potential and benefits that a full-time position does, but those gigs are about as hard to find as Barbie’s earring in a bucket of Legos.

In today’s economy, I’m just thrilled to be able to actually land a good job. And, hey, what do I have to lose? If this job doesn’t work out, I know my current employer will be happy to take me back.

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