CROWNHEIGHTSMOM STRIKES A POSE IN HOLIDAY FASHIONS WITH THE MOMS ON WPIX-11 NY

I love  strutting my stuff.  Seriously though, tell me  of a woman who doesn’t! We all do!  So when Denise and Melissa of  The MOMS platform asked if I was avail to join them for a holiday fashion segment on WPIX-11-Live in  New York of course I shouted  YASSSS, YAASSSS .  The thought of being in a fashion segment on PIX-11 brought  back memories of  walking[see at 12:45 wearing red dress] in Strut The Fashionable MOM Show At Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week At Lincoln Center in 2013 .That experience is one that is still unforgettable.

Leading up to the big day on WPIX.  Myself and mom-models Christy  who tweets at @mstwocents and  Jennifer  who tweets at @mommadanddaboyz  discussed with Denise  some of the places we shop for reasonable mom fashions.  I went with Century 21 as I just love their mix of designer and  European fashions,  Jennifer went with Burlington Coat Factory and  Christy  chose ThreadUP the online consignment shop.

I headed to Century 21 on  Cortland Street directly across from the World Trade Center and tried on a few outfits .

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This black jumpsuit fits just right and hits all the curves but I was still undecided. I paired it with black and salmon pumps to see which one would pop. I think I loved it with the black pumps best .

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I loved this belted jumpsuit. Plus it was in grey which is the hot color of the season. I think the bold salmon pumps really made it pop!

All White  Look: Inspired by Solange Knowles' choice of color for her wedding  but resulted in  a Janelle' Mona type vibe as I went  went for the crisp snowflake color  of winter paired with  black and white loafers.

This all white look was inspired by Solange Knowles’ choice of color for her wedding but resulted in a Janelle’ Mona type vibe. The crop sweater in crisp snowflake color of winter white paired with the bold necklace added to the hipness.

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My CHOICE! This outfit was EVERYTHING from the Ivanka Trump pumps with gold buckle which retails for $140 but were on sale for $49 to the floral Renamed-Skirt with pockets which I loved at first sight and at a mere  $34.99 paired with  the off white faux fur vest at a bargain price of $28 . The look was completed with a spaghetti strap Splash white tank a mere $9.97.

The big day came I arrived at  the PIX11 studios by 7:30am. I  went through security and looked  around for the others. The wait area was already buzzing and hair and makeup was alight with lots of movement. I said  a brief hello to Councilman  Mark Levine who was  there to speak about  the fatal NYPD shootings that had occurred  in Brooklyn and how the  Mayor was going forward with NYPD relations. Milling around also  was a group dressed in holidays costumes  of elves, santas and and santas helpers.  They were getting their makeup applied and taking selfies. Needless to say the holiday excitement was uncontainable all around .

With my makeup applied I headed back to  the wait area to greet  Denise and Jennifer  looking up I spotted supermodel Alex Wek as she  walked  into the wait area  and head directly to the makeup area. I learned that Wek was there to speak  with PIX-11 morning  News Anchors Sukanya Krishnan and Kori Chambers  about  being chosen  to push the button to release the Waterford Crystal Ball for the  60-second countdown  to ring in 2015 in Times Square.  Wek will be representing the International Rescue Committee (IRC) alongside its president David Miliband, South Sudanese model Nykhor Paul, local high school senior Sonam Lama and Cuban-American actor and singer Jencarlos Canela .

International Top Model Alex Wek will be  ringing in the New Year .

International Top Model Alex Wek will be ringing in the New Year .

Finally it was time to get in front of the cameras. Denise took her place next to Sukanya in a black Rent the Runway jumpsuit paired with suede Just Fab  wedges. Her words of advise to us moms, “Just  have fun ladies!” she said. Which is exactly what we did!

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Overall, it was an amazing experience  and one that I will hold dear. Sukanya even told us  that  we could send greetings out to our loved ones. I said hello to my three kids and even got to send wishes to my students at Long Island University’s  Brooklyn Campus. Thank you WPIX-11 and The MOMS. This was definitely a great lead in to  a wonderful  start of my New Year.

HAPPY NEW YEAR! HAPPY NEW YEAR! HAPPY NEW YEAR! HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Looking great in our holiday looks

Looking great in our holiday looks

Striking a pose for the camera

Striking a pose for the camera

Denise and Suk introducing  our Holiday looks: Conservative, Edgy (that would be me)  and Sporty

Denise and morning News Anchor Sukanya introducing the Holiday looks- Conservative, Edgy (that would be me) and Sporty.

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IT’S THE AGE OF MODERNIZED FILM MUSICALS LIKE ANNIE ….by Debra Lewis-Boothman

Modern film musicals are having a huge upswing. Don’t call it a comeback…..call it the future!

 

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The new revamped ANNIE is hip and fresh

 

I grew up loving musicals. In fact, I remember as a kid growing up in  Barbados we would sit in front of the  television  and watch  Fred Astaire and Ginger  Rogers musicals  for hours on end. After arriving in America  in the early 80’s  I  was introduced to Carmen Jones, my  very first film  musical  featuring  an all  black cast. I think I had  an instant crush on the ever handsome Harry Belafonte  and was just in awe of the  jaw dropping beauty  and talent of both  Dorothy Dandridge  and Pearl Bailey .Carmen Jones  became that “it” musical for me.

Jump to 2014 and I am still loving film musicals. In January after learning  that the studios will be rolling out quite a few  you can imagine how psyched I was  especially when I  heard that Will Smith and  his wife Jada  alongside Jay Z were behind a new modernized version of Annie . My kids especially, were  awaiting this release as it starred Quvenzhané Wallis as the first ever black  Annie alongside Jamie Foxx in the Daddy Warbucks role. The movie is refreshing, uses NYC ( Harlem mostly) as its backdrop and isn’t too sappy .It is ultimately a  movie for KIDS and about kids.

Following Annie’s release on Dec 19  Meryl Streep and Johnny Depp popped up in the fairytale star-packed film musical  Into the Woods commanding  over  $15 mil  in box-office receipts  on Christmas Day alone.  Fast behind Woods in February moviegoers will be feasted  to The Last Five Years with Anna Kendrick  and  close behind is London  Luck Stiff with Jason Alexander, then American Idiots, a Cats reboot and  Guys and Dolls will rounds it out with the hottie Channing Tatum in the lead.  Not bad at all! I am excited  for all of these.

I must give props to  The MOMS‘ Denise Albert and Melissa Musen Gerstein who have consistently showed that they  knows how to pick movie winners. When they screened   Frozen just before Thanksgiving  in 2013 to their mom bloggers and families I remember leaving the  screening room thinking this is a winner . We all know how boombastically well  that film went on to do .  With their Annie screening on Dec 16 I felt the same way. In fact,  when they posted that they were screening it  RSVPs  filled up in minutes with  many wait-listed . The MOMS did not disappoint. They partnered  with Norwegian Cruise Line for a great event that  even included  a surprise Q&A and picture taking    with the  young child actors who play the orphans -(Tessie) Zoe Margaret Colletti, (Mia) Nicolette Pierini,  (Isabella) Eden Duncan-Smith and (Pepper)Amanada Troya.

This [one] is more relatable to this generation of kids.It is very modernized. It  has social media and such.-actress Eden Duncan-Smith, 15.(Isabella)

 

My 8-year old daughter Kameko  in her fancy red dress reviewed  the movie and gave her ratings  in  Popcorn Stars.

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My 8- year old daughter Kameko all dressed up as she heads to see Annie with friends from school.

My 8- year old daughter Kameko all dressed up as she heads to see Annie with friends from school.

Out of 5 Popcorn Stars – Annie gets 4 popcorn stars says Kameko who  saw the movie with six  of her classmates. Her only complaint—- she asks why  was Foxx called Mr. Stacks. Says Kameko, ” Annie was called Annie and Ms. Hannigan was called Ms. Hannigan  so he should have been called  Daddy Warbucks.”

Highlights from the movie include “Opportunity” the heart tugging ballad  sung by Wallis . Which she says is “really good” .

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For a great feel good movie for kids and about kids definitely check out the Annie Movie.  Currently playing in a theater near you.

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No hard knock life here just dreams of tomorrow…….only a day away

 

PATRICK GALLAGHER MAKES GIBBERISH COOL IN NIGHT AT THE MUSEUM 3 by Debra Lewis-Boothman

Hunna Nanga Dagga Doo……Oooh Chuu Kakasss Oola Mamm Chu Pa Kasss! Gibberish anyone?

Not up on the new lingo? Need help learning but don’t know whom to call. No worries just ask actor Patrick Gallagher currently on the big screen in Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb.


“I have been in all[Night at the Museum] and the best thing is I get to invent a language,” actor Patrick Gallagher shared with families during a MOMS screening of the third installment of the kid favorite film franchise on December 18 in New York City. Gallagher who plays Attila The Hun in the previous two installments dons the costume in what seems to be the movies’ final lap.  Fans of the actor can also see him grace the small screen  on the Jan 5 episode of NCIS-Los Angeles. He sat for questions from MOMS hosts Denise Albert and Melissa Musen Gerstein including  kids in the audience.

Actor Patrick Gallagher is in great company with the MOMS Denise[L] and Melissa[R] at the Crosby Street  Hotel's screening Room Dec 18

Actor Patrick Gallagher is in great company with the MOMS Denise[L] and Melissa[R] at the Crosby Street Hotel’s screening Room Dec 18

“It’s all made up,” he shares of the gibberish he has made cool with kids since donning the  Hun costume eight years ago. Adding his highlights of working on the film franchise includes the location shoots that has taken the Canadian to sets in New York, Washington DC and London. Although he says there are “a lot of long days and my costume is kinda hot,” he doesn’t mind it because as he tells a little tyke in the audience who asks how it feels to be in a movie,”Its very cool to be in a movie especially a movie this big.”

On returning for his third time around on  the Night at the Museum. “I feel lucky to be in the movie,” he says of the role he has played alongside Ben Stiller, Ricky Gervais and the late Robin Williams since 2006. The movie is one of Williams’ final major movie roles before his death this past August.

Seeing Williams at his best in the role of Teddy Roosevelt made viewers miss him and cherish his memory and laughs that much more .

Gallagher  and Williams with their stunt doubles  during filming...( courtesy of Gallagher's public FB )

Gallagher and Williams with their stunt doubles during filming…( courtesy of Gallagher’s public FB )

Gallagher does have one character with whom as he puts it, “has bodily functions that happen on my shoulder a lot.”  That would be Dexter the monkey whom he adds is also ” getting a little big headed, a little diva but is amazing and amazing to watch.”

Go on out and catch the movie this holiday season. As well as  pick up the previous two  installments .

RATING: BY KIDS ONLY: On a scale of 1-5  Popcorn Stars for keeping kids engaged and  loving the franchise. Night at the Museum: Secret of The Tomb earns 4  Popcorn Stars. Note this rating is per my 8-year old daughter Kameko.

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Catch Night at the Museum at your local movie theater.

TAKE A PAGE OUT OF LITTLE BILL’S BOOK MR. COSBY….BY Debra Lewis-Boothman

 

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Gosh darn, come on now Mr. Huxtable. Does this mean  Little Bill is a lie too?

Books are a big part of my  home.  You can find them in almost every room except  the  bathroom. With my two youngest  attending  charter school, reading is happening even more at home.

Finding my children  lost in books is never a surprise—  I came in from work last Tuesday and found my 7 year old son  sprawled across  the bedroom floor amongst  7 to 8   books. It  made me smile . On  a closer look of the titles I saw the  kid fantasy, “The Legend of Zelda”, “The Diary of a Wimpy Kid” which  is on my “bathroom talk” list  as it celebrates  the wedgie, booger and  fart loving humorous stage  only boys love to love and  which  my son currently LIVES for, and lives to tease  his 8- year old sister  with.  The other four books including  the one in his hand  were  all   “Little Bill”  book titles .

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I did a double take and asked. “Hey what ya reading there ?” No answer. Finally an ‘Oh, hi mommy, I’m just reading Little Bill’s The Meanest Thing To Say’ was  his reply.

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Bill Cosby, 77 is under fire for acts against women

In light of the accusations   that have been leveled against Mr Cosby by many women including former top model Janice Dickerson as seen in PEOPLE  magazine I immediately wondered did my 7- year old  hear something on the news or read something  on the computer . For me, I, wanted to know,  if he did hear something,  what , where, when  and how much. Moreover, does he understand any of it.

Whispering to my husband I asked why the  amount of Little Bills on the floor all of a sudden? What gives?  In hindsight though  had this happened  before Mr. Cosby hit the headlines  I would not have asked such a question.  Instead I would have been happy knowing that he had chosen these books—-a  book series by a black author and a  black female illustrator, the late Varnette  P. Honeywood.

Thinking aloud,  I wondered will we have to decide on the  fate of these books as many  were  deciding on the fate of the legacy of Mr. Cosby . Would  this series   of books  loved by my  children ages 22 to 7 continue to stay on our  bookshelves. My eldest son  grew up with Little Bill. They have a  more than 15-year relationship.

On Mr Cosby. I have  compartmentalized him into a few categories——the man accused of allegedly  drugging and taking advantage of  women going back more than 20 years; the man who has done great things to uplift  his race; the man with the ideal legacy; the man who stood for fatherhood.

Looking back I  remember to 2006 while still a reporter at PEOPLE  that the magazine  interviewed  five  accusers of Mr. Cosby who were at that time part of a civil lawsuit Cosby  settled  with Andrea Constand,  a former Temple University employee who claimed she was  drugged and sexually assaulted by him in his Philadelphia-area mansion in 2004. At that time 13 “Jane Does'” as they were referred to in the court papers had come forward to testify.  Fast forward  8 years later and we have celebrity faces like Dickerson and now most recently  the famed African American model Beverly Johnson speaking out  to Vanity Fair  of being drugged by him.

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Famed Model Beverly Johnson

Mr Cosby  has stood  for a lot   and   his  Little Bill books stand for so much more . To  children across the world the book series by one of America’s most beloved comedians has  helped them to wrestle through the many stages of growing up.  Yes I am torn about the man and  what  he is alleged to have done. But am I going to throw my Little Bill books out ?  No,  I am not. These books. They are staying  on the bookshelf.

Our Little Bill books have a history and that is what  makes them that more special to us and especially my  small son and daughter.  Besides knowing that they are  hand-me-down books  from   big brother  Dillon. Each of  the 12 books help affirm the value of  family and friendship and  help encourage kids to  solve problems fairly.. Mr Cosby definitely knows what makes kids tick and how they relate to each other. Hmmm, maybe he needs  to take some “Little Bill” advice.

I can remember buying each and every one  of  them for Dillon.  Packed away  as he grew older  they were put  back on the shelf  when we  moved to our home in PA in 2006.  When our now  7 and 8-year olds became Cosby fans  they opted for the syndicated Cosby Show  and my  husband’s  personal library of  taped VHS Cosby Show programs.  Once  they grew older and got into   reading  chapter  books  they were quickly and easily hooked to Little Bill.  the illustrated artwork alone is a draw. .

Little Bill has taught  my black sons and daughter how to read better, how to treat their fellow man, how to cope with mean kids, the consequences of telling fibs, dealing with being afraid of the dark, and being teased about  first  crushes and more  .

All in all  Little Bill  became that  friend  in a book . An imaginary bestie that they to this  day continue to learn from

So I think Little Bill  will get to stay. Big Bill though, I am not too sure about!

HOLY SCHMOKE! I KISSED A DOG AND I LIKED IT ………by Debra Lewis-Boothman

I am in Love  and man, oh mannn,  have I fallen hard!

Yup, ya heard me right. There is a  new man in  my life . He is such a puppy so maybe  it’s puppy love.

I don’t know.  All I know is that I just love everything about him.

I was thinking that it’s his cuteness because he  takes full advantage of  this factor and it renders me  useless. But, he is learning that  the cute face isn’t working for him all of the time .

It is hard not to love him. He  has all the lovable qualities a girl wants. He’s loyal.  Yes, ladies I said loyal. You can  trust him- although I wouldn’t trust him near my plate of food  because boy can he eat!

He’s soft and warm all over which  is great for hugs . He gives wet kisses and  you can even play with his ears, with permission of course!

Meet my new love.  He goes by the name of Hiro aka Hirothewolf.

I got nothing  but love for you Hiro!

I got nothing but love for you Hiro!

The love affair. It started in late May and has since grown in leaps and bounds just like he has too.  In fact too quickly if you ask me. I still yearn for the return of his puppy stage.

We immediately melted. Hiro at 4 weeks

First Day home May 2014

We all immediately melted at the little cotton fluff. At 4-weeks

Melted my heart.

Someone’s getting bigger and cuter

Keeping him healthy and his coat thick and white as snow. Daily brushing, massages and hugs  and of course food and water. Kudos goes to  Trader Joes because they carry a wonderful  dog food brand that’s healthy and affordable. Top this off with raw  veggies and fruits  like carrots, bananas and peeled apples from the farmers market .

Trader Joe's natural brand

Trader Joe’s natural brand

carrots

carrots

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carrots

His  love is infectious. Just ask the kids.He does everything they do…..like  skateboarding.. He’s even in the Dillon Cooper  music video KNUCKLE UP.

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Kids and their puppy

Kids and their puppy

Protector always

Protector always

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The playful puppy

An unconditional  love between us that  will go on and on.

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Always the protector.

Always on the lookout

Always on the lookout to protect us

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Hiro has swagg. He’s a G!