See Mom Run: The Ultimate Road Trip Part I
While I'm finally sitting in one place for a few hours, I'm going to let all of you in on what I've been doing the last two months. Since early November, I have been on the ultimate adventure celebrating the launch of my new book, "See Mom Run: Side-Splitting Essays from the World's Most Harried Moms". The tour, which is being presented by Swiffer WetJet, features a compilation of essays from more than two dozen of the nation's most talented bloggers, authors, an organization expert, retired senator, a television news producer and a gaggle of grandmothers. My mission for the book was to share stories from the most stressful moments of their lives and as the book began to take shape, we literally created an anthology that will take you from birth to empty nest syndrome and beyond.
Far more exciting, since the book has been released, I've embarked on a tour that has taken me to the cities where all of our contributors reside. While most moms can't even think of breaking away for Girl's Night Out, I've had the opportunity to celebrate harried moms in Boston, Philadelphia, Charlotte, Chicago, Seattle, Los Angeles and NYC and will be hitting Maryland and Miami in the coming weeks too. And the best part is, in every city we did something different and most importantly, fun! So if you're planning your own Mom's Night Out, here are a few of my favorite things across the country...See Mom Run style!
New York: The Dream Manhattan Apartment - We kicked off See Mom Run in style at Miraval Living/515 E. 72nd Street at a $2 million dollar Manhattan apartment overlooking the East River. Plus, a dear friend of mine who is the co-owner of Acquilina Catering took care of the food and everyone was blown away. Did I mention that I used to perform in musicals with my friend and he now caters parties for Donatella Versace? But I digress. All our incredible contributors had an amazing time as we unveiled the book to family, friends, media and mom bloggers! Take a look at this photo montage from Whrrl and video from the event and then check out all our tour destinations so far!
Boston: A Date with the Brow Lady - At the beginning of the tour, I was in desperate need of having my eyebrows waxed. In fact, I usually let it get so bad that the ladies at the nail place I frequent usually shake their heads in disapproval as they escort me to the back room. Instead of hitting Sophia's Nails on my home turf, I got the chance to visit the Katrina Hess Studio thanks to the fabulous ladies a Gal Time who organized our Boston event. From there, I had my eyebrows waxed and plucked and even got a wonderful goody bag filled with items that I could use to perfect my look at home. Once we had beautiful brows, we then hit one of the best restaurants in town called Sonsie and proceeded to enjoy an amazing meal, great conversation and wine with some of Boston's most engaging and inspiring moms including Linda Waters, the founder of Back to Business, Mommy Niri and Jennifer at Savor the Thyme.
Philadelphia: Tennis and a Night at Calista Spa - For our roadtrip to Philadelphia, Volkswagen provided us with a Routan for the week so that we could cruise to our tour locations in style and safety! And as fate would have it, it rained the entire way there and back! Luckily, the car handled like a dream and despite the Nor'easter, we made it to the Philly burbs safely. Our host mom was Sarah Freymoyer at Chesco County Moms and she literally created a See Mom Run day, which started off with tennis lessons and a yoga class at Tennis Addiction in Exton. We then hit one of Sarah's favorite restaurants for lunch, Fiorello's and then ended the evening with a reading, musical performance and makeovers at Calista Spa in West Chester. We even got the chance to be interviewed by Joey Fortman, who hosts MomSpace an online show and magazine for parents:
See Mom Run: Tri-State Area Edition - After an appearance on KYW-TV, we raced back to New York City where we did a reading and gave a chat to employees of Time Warner and imagine my surprise when TV news anchor and Role Mommy extraordinaire Christiane Amanpour popped into the room before her show to listen to our funny stories. And guess what...she laughed!!! From Manhattan, CNN executive producer Eden Pontz, joined me on a John Candy-esque expedition (planes, trains and automobiles - sans the planes), where we hit Westchester, NY then hopped in the Routan with my family who luckily noshed on snacks provided to us by 7 Eleven (yes, I didn't have time to feed them a proper dinner) and then we bolted in pouring rain to Ridgewood, New Jersey for a reading with incredible bloggers and authors, Tracy Beckerman, Jen Singer, Melissa Chapman, Eden Pontz, Vanessa Druckman (who spearheaded the event along with Stacey Loscalzo at New Jersey Moms Blog).
See Mom Run: Larchmont - Sometimes the most exciting events and experiences can take place in your own backyard and that's what I discovered while doing a reading with our Westchester, NY contributors Jeanne Muchnick, Danielle Dardashti and Liz Gumbinner. In an intimate setting at Groove - a music and art studio in town, we shared our stories with a crowd of supportive friends, family and strangers and to our delight, they laughed right along with us.
Another fun element of the See Mom Run tour is that we're giving away prizes to moms in each city. While you don't have to answer a trivia question or buy a raffle ticket, our requirement is way more unique. The mom with the messiest purse wins. The reason? Obviously, the most harried mom around has a messy purse. And so, she certainly deserves a prize that'll make her life a little less stressful. In Larchmont, we gave away a gift basket filled with goodies provided by 7 Eleven (the basket had everything from chocolate covered espresso beans and chocolate pretzels, to gummy bears for kids, cookies and crackers too). We'll get to the other harried mom prize soon - since readers of Lifetime Moms will actually get to win it. Keep reading and you'll find out how.
See Mom Run: Charlotte - While I've never been to North Carolina, I've discovered two things - the leaves change color down south and I have fallen in love with a new snack treat - okra chips! Our contributor, Janie Lam Meyers, who shares her Empty Nest story in the book, graciously welcomed me into her home where I got a grand tour of her gorgeous place, appeared on the Fox TV affiliate with Janie the next day and then spoke at two events at the JCC in Charlotte. Incidentally, the JCC is an incredible destination for families - offering a state of the art gym, dozens of classes for children, adults and seniors, a summer day camp, tons of tennis courts, pools, a theater and much more. In the morning, Janie and I joined retired Charleston Senator Sherry Martschinck for a discussion with moms about pursuing your passion while raising a family. And in the evening, we shared our readings with the audience and they laughed and cried (Janie's is a tear jerker) right along with us! Plus, Harris Teeter graciously provided food for both events so not only was everyone entertained but they were well fed too! Check out this video with Janie who how she is pursuing her passion now that she's a grandmother!
There's still more to come on the See Mom Road tour - with stops in Chicago, Los Angeles and Seattle that'll feature performances and readings from our talented contributors but we'll save that for our next post! In the meantime, if you have a harried moment to share, we want to hear from you.