In a perfect world everyone would not only have a passion, but also it would be one that he could pursue unfettered by limitations of funds or geography. Each of our four children have favorite activities but only our 7th grade son has a passion for something that is unmatched by everyone. That passion is baseball.

I remember calling Brian when our son was two years old, complaining that he was repeatedly hitting a pound sterling coin with a plastic recorder all over the house. Rather than being annoyed with him, Brian was thrilled at the kid’s eye-hand coordination.

Over time I refused to allow the girls to play any sport with the word “travel” attached to it. The summers were all about visiting friends in the UK or spending it with relatives. You know the expression, “never say never?” Our son became eligible for travel baseball the summer after fourth grade and we have never looked back.

When he was little, I watched a little boy walk onto the field, fully aware of everything going on around him. He would leap into the air with all of his might and sometimes the ball might even meet the mitt. When he struck out he never blamed the pitcher, the coach or the weather. He knew that he was the only one holding the bat at that moment and that even Jeter has an off day.

Now I see a young man, tall and strong, who walks on the field with a determination that is so opposite to his normally reserved self. These days his fearlessness in catching the ball often makes me nervous as he dives with abandon or leaps backward. It has always been easy for me to tell his sisters and brother how proud I am of them when the situation arises but this guy is not looking for compliments. He just wants me to be at all of his games, to give him a knowing nod when things go well and a silent squeeze when they don’t.

He and I talk often about the reality of sports in America in that very few get to play in college and even fewer in the big leagues. He knows my job is to keep him from pushing his body too far, and he respects that. My goal is that he can still play softball when he’s 55 because he didn’t do too much damage as a kid.

When he is playing baseball, though, the dreams take wings. Is it possible that this passion for baseball will take him farther than we can dare imagine? I have no idea. What I do know now is that his unbridled joy for the game is contagious. When I am in those stands, that joy is like a soft breeze that rises from the field to touch my face and remind me that these are the days to cherish.


My friends, Jon Goldman (Jon@), Adam Kern (AK@) and Jordan Kern (Jordan@), are the managing partners at My Sports Dreams in Bedford Hills, NY. They specialize in helping your child’s team raise funds for anything they need. I know they will also help your child’s school raise funds if asked. They are really good guys and always eager to help. They can be reached at:
My Sports Dreams
258 Route 117 Bypass Road
Bedford Hills, NY 10507
All emails end in “”


We moved to northern Westchester almost nine years ago, at which time I did not work outside the home.   Over these past few months, many have asked me why I decided to go back to work and why did I choose network marketing for my new career path.

My generation grew up with the idea that network marketing was synonymous with pyramid schemes.  These schemes, where many pay a fee to join a company and only a few at the top profit, are illegal in all 50 states and most countries.  Network marketing is actually the same as direct selling, which simply means that one distributes products or services directly to the consumer from the manufacturer or supplier.  The revenue normally spent by a corporation on marketing and advertising is spent on compensation.  Multi-level marketing refers to the different levels of compensation available to the distributors.    Examples of network marketing companies include Arbonne and Ambit, as well as Avon, Mary Kay, Silpada, Stella & Dot, Tupperware and Pampered Chef.

Within the ranks of corporations, there are some companies that shine in how their management takes care of their employees and others that do not.  This is the same amongst direct selling companies.  In my opinion, the best direct selling companies are those whose products or services are completely guaranteed, competitively priced, whose compensation plans are fair and attainable and upon which staking one’s reputation is worthy.  When studying a direct selling company, look at the compensation plan very carefully.  There must be a sensible relationship between how much time is spent on one’s business and how one is compensated.

The fact that many direct selling companies are looking towards or are already global is very appealing.  Thanks to the use of technology, I am able to hold a training session anywhere in the world.  This week our daughter, Danielle, will launch her new business in Scotland, alongside many of her friends.  The nice people who invented Skype made this possible.

Finally, the direct selling model allows me to build businesses with infinite growth potential while helping others do the same thing.  There is no fear that someone’s efforts or ambition will cost me a job.   As long as I behave as a leader should and continue to work on moving my business forward, the entire team will benefit.  If someone works more consistently than I do, he or she will simply earn more than I do, and that is fair.

Our children will live in a world where, according to the experts, direct sales will outpace retail sales by 2050.

I now have the opportunity to set my own hours and work with people I enjoy.  Like many women, I chose to put the needs of others before mine for too long.  I am now able to choose my own career path and build a legacy of residual income that may be bequeathed to my children and my grandchildren.  Most importantly, this is the happiest I have been in a long, long time.

Thanks to Aviva Goldfarb and her website, The Six O’Clock Scramble, my family may survive the kitchen renovation. There are a multitude of quick, nutritional recipes in their database, including those for the crockpot and the toaster oven! The best part is being able to create a weekly menu and have the shopping list created on the spot. Brilliant. 

Birthdays and Ann Romney….

  Last week’s Rosen vs. Romney debacle and all the accompanying vitriol simply left me feeling a bit sad.   I will be 47 this week and I remember how hard we old-school feminists fought for things.   After becoming pregnant with Danielle, I discovered that the corporation where I worked did not have a maternity leave plan in place for those of us in managerial positions so my boss and I created one.   When our second daughter was born, there was no part-time plan available for working moms so we designed one of those, too.

Working full-time with one child at home and part-time with two children at home was hard.   Raising four children as a stay-at-home mom was hard, too, even though I was fortunate enough to have outside help.    Now, trying to find the time to build the businesses I love and raise the three children who still live here is still hard.  The bottom line is that being a good mom IS hard.  Period.  The point is that we need to respect a woman and her decisions for what they are, not what we think these positions should represent.

Imagine a society where we embraced each other for the gifts we have to give, not for the manner in which we give them.  So much of who we are and what we do with our time is not even based on personality, but rather on necessity.    Brian has always worked hard both outside and inside the home, but the six months between September and February found him working away from us every week.  We all managed the best we could.   Now he is here a bit more and I am out the door as often as I can be to pursue MY financial dreams.

This brings me to the theme of birthdays.  Until I hit my mid-thirties, I could not understand why my birthday did not make it onto the national nightly news.    Each year thereafter my birthday became another day in the life of those living in a crazy household.  This was the ultimate sign that I was losing myself.  This year will be different.  I’ve demanded that my family celebrate with me on Saturday evening since everyone is busy Thursday.  I expect a gift from the children and one from my husband.  Yes indeed!  I will walk away from bloody noses, teenage crises and laundry all day. (OK, maybe not the laundry.)   The reason for all of this hoopla?  If we women don’t celebrate each other, and ourselves who will?   I implore all of us to dig deep and erase the stereotypes that flew at us growing up.  It is time to teach our daughters and our sons that the good fight is one that has to do with integrity and commitment to who and what you love, no matter the approach.

This week’s shout-out goes to Jacqui Kraisky, the woman behind helping to make my dream of a kitchen come true. Jacqui listened to our vision and designed it, despite my complete and utter lack of spatial skills. Jacqui also did it in such a way that made my husband happy. She will help you with your kitchen, your bathrooms and/or your garage. Jacqui may be reached at


It is 7:30 on Monday morning and the house is nice and quiet.  My husband and our middle schooler have already left for the day, and everyone else is asleep.  Today, everyone includes our two other children, four guests from Ohio and four guests from England.  Later today, my sister-in-law and her four kids will arrive for a quick visit and a delayed Easter egg hunt.

We had a wonderful weekend celebrating Easter with family and dear friends alike.  Sunday was bittersweet as we all felt Danielle’s absence.  We gathered around the computer to talk to her and, as usual, there were at least five friends in the room and others walking in and out.  Every mom should be blessed with a child as happy as ours at university.

Some in our family are presently not as healthy as others, so appreciation for all of us being together was something tangible yesterday.  One could almost touch it.  As usual, my mom confused Easter with Christmas, so there were gifts for each of the children.  The Easter baskets overflowed, as it seems apparent that I will be providing them for my children until they have children of their own.

The sun is shining in through the window onto my desk and the birds are chirping outside.  I tell you all of this in hopes that over the course of the next two months you will be kind enough to remind me of the peaceful times.  You see, today begins the project called “the kitchen.”

Our guests will probably read this today and wonder, what the heck is she babbling about?  Family, friends, birds?    Doesn’t Madeleine remember that we all stayed up until past 11 to help empty the rest of the kitchen?  Does she remember that she made us put away all of the Easter decorations (think many large Rubbermaid boxes) so that they wouldn’t get dusty?  Who does she think carried all of the stools, chairs, and table down into the playroom?  In my defense, I divided the labor evenly.  I can’t even tell you how many times I made my eight-year old niece run up and down the stairs.

The workmen will be here in a few minutes and noise and dust begins.  Sadly, I don’t do dust very well.  In fact, I woke up during the night with a huge pain in my stomach thinking about it.  Those who have come before me and who have actually survived a kitchen project have shared their war stories with me.  They’ve told me how the dust from the construction permeates every nook and cranny in the house.  Some have told me that the dust remains to haunt them for years.

…. It is now 9 am and chaos ensues.  Our British friends are keeping calm and carrying on, already having foraged for breakfast in the playroom.  The wonderful girls who arrive each Monday to help me keep the house in order have already taught me a new word.  Did you know that “basunga” means disaster in Portuguese?  The kitchen is covered in plastic and I am now listening to the sounds of drills and hammers.  My sister and her husband left for a two-day mini vacation.  Did they even say goodbye to their kids? I have never seen them move so fast.  The rest of my family – cats and dog included – are simply dazed and confused.

…. It is now lunchtime and the people who remain want to be fed.  I thought I had made it very clear that we are going to spend the next few weeks eating lightly, as in a few lost pounds won’t kill you.  Unfortunately, I have very intelligent nieces and nephews and one is about to read me the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of the Child.    Oh, brother.

Have a lovely, dust-free week!

Please visit Appliances Sales Plus in Somers if you need new appliances. We are working with Scott, though everyone there is knowledgeable and lovely. They listen to what YOU need and then somehow find it for you at a discount. They may be found at 3 Lovell Street, Somers, NY, 914-248-5810 or online at

So it begins…..

I will start this blog with two caveats.  First, I am very grateful that after 22 years of marriage we are finally getting a new kitchen, the construction of which starts a week from tomorrow.  The second is that my husband, Brian, is a very nice guy.

Let me set up the scenario for you.  Today started out like any other normal Palm Sunday.  We had a lovely breakfast and then attended Mass.  Lunch would be the leftovers from the birthday party we held last night for our now 17-year old and our exchange student, who shares the same birthday.  Brian was in the kitchen helping to get lunch ready, or so I thought.   I entered the kitchen to find him emptying the cabinets and packing everything in banker’s boxes.  It was apparent to the children that something was terribly wrong.  Number 2 and Number 4 told their father outright that I was stressing out.  It may have been the fact that I was holding my breath en route to hyperventilating that gave them a clue.  Number 3 didn’t notice, but his friend did agree that his mom would be a tad disgruntled if his father took over the kitchen.

Please keep in mind that I cleaned out the entire garage by myself last week.  The pile of contractor bags was so high that our carting company made a special trip to haul it all away.  Brian arrived home at 11 pm on the evening of my garage event and stood outside with a flashlight in his business suit examining the damage.  I escaped with only two broken surround-sound speakers from the 90’s coming back into the garage; the whole purpose of the purge was to make room in the cabinets for the stuff from the kitchen.

I don’t recall telling anyone that I wanted piles of boxes in the hearth, which is also my office.  Think of the dust!!!  Moreover, why did no one think to check the family calendar to see that the official kitchen purge day is not until Wednesday and packing was to commence on Thursday?

(Note from Brian, who just finished packing a box and is now reading this over my shoulder:  “There is no upside for me, so I am going fishing.”)  Bye, honey.

So, now I sit alone in the kitchen, staring at a bunch of empty white boxes.  I guess I will start with the spice drawer.

Happy Easter and Happy Passover to all!


While we are on the subject of organizing, the last room I have to do in my house is the playroom. Accepting that my sons are now a bit old for most of the toys in there was the first step, but now I need a space that actually suits their pre-teen needs. I recommend Karri Bowen-Poole, a local mom who will come in and reorganize your playroom. Karri will combine her aesthetic skills with her knowledge of educating children to create the perfect space for your needs. Find her at