Joan and Melissa Rivers

WHY ‘THE BOOK OF JOAN’ FROM MELISSA RIVERS MADE ME CRAZY ABOUT HER MOM JOAN ALL OVER AGAIN……By Debra Lewis-Boothman

That was quick! Yup, the lazy days of  summer has begun and with it comes the task of choosing  books that will get  you through lots of hot days by the  pool and at the lake.  I’ve already  planned a weekend  trip to the legendary family-owned bookstore  the  Strand. If I am lucky  I might even bump into  Nancy  who runs the store with her dad Fred.  I haven’t seen Nancy since our kids attended nursery school together.

strandbookstorecrownheightsmom.com

 

I  put my  summer reading  list together weeks ago . It’s an eclectic list ranging from  Chick Lit to memoirs, poetry  books to a few   DIY-ers – learning how to Code and even one on  how to build a doghouse .

In  just a few days  the family and I will  head to Pennsylvania  to officially start our summer vacation. I’ve  made the necessary stops at the library to pick up the  kids’ books for their required summer reading,  With reading materials put on reserve for pickup  our  evenings for  reading are squared away and will be filled with adventures, laughs and visits to far off lands thanks in part to our books.

One title I am looking forward to curling up with  is the Melissa Rivers bestselling  memoir,  ‘The Book of Joan.’

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I’ve had this book a few weeks now but  have held off reading saving it for my summer reading. Having only skimmed over the first chapter I am besides myself to just  dig in and read it all in one non-stop go.

Skimming through the bestseller,

Skimming through the bestseller, “The Book Of Joan” by Melissa Rivers.

After  meeting and  and hearing Melissa speak about her mom at  a  luncheon during  her  NYC  press tour I grew to like her even more than before.  I was even lucky enough to  have my copy of her memoir personally signed by her. So this book  is a define keepsake.

Melissa Rivers signature  in The Book of Joan

Melissa Rivers signed this copy of crownheightsmom’s ‘ Book of Joan’.

Since its release, the book has been climbing the bestseller charts and is  currently sitting on the New York Times,  the Los Angeles Times’ and  USA Todays’ Bestsellers books lists.

A quick sneak peek in  Chapter One  already  has me in stitches.  I can already tell  this is going to be  lots of laughs-out-loud. I am  literally rolling on the floor as Melissa retells events from her life with her mum.  Joan truly shines through each pages and  at every mention .

I am pleased that Melissa was able to take readers into the  world  she shared with her mother,  giving readers a  first class, front row seats into their wacky, funny and  loving family life. I can’t wait to read even more. 

When Melissa arrived  at  the MOMS event  held at Juniper Bar  in Midtown Manhattan,  I half expected to see Joan  following directly behind her.Smiling, she greeted everyone with a wide  smile and  an excited “Hello everybody.”   Dressed in a fun floral swing dress  to the knees and copper pumps she quickly took her seat next to  hosts Denise Albert  and Melissa Musen Gerstein the co-creators of The MOMS . The trio  chatted about everything Joan and family life.

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I left the event feeling that Melissa Rivers   is funny as hell. It was  clearly visible  how alike in personalities she and mom Joan really are.

Writing the book gave me permission to laugh.-—Melissa Rivers

Melissa looked happy and  everyone present noticed it. It  was good to see that  8 months after her mother’s passing the single mom was   looking healthy and happy.

“I don’t come from a family where you sit in a puddle and fall apart,” Rivers said off the bat in  dealing with the loss of her mum,  Joan’s death in 2014 she says plainly, ” You get up and you go forward.”

The MOMS discuss

Denise Albert [L],Melissa Rivers and Melissa Musen Gerstein [R] chat about Joan Rivers.

Readers  will come away knowing  how kind  my mother was and how real she was.”  – Melissa Rivers

Melissa Rivers poses with mom bloggers  in NYC

Melissa Rivers poses with The MOMS, CrownHeightsMom and other mom bloggers at Juniper Bar in NYC

After Joan was buried  Melissa  jumped head first into writing her memoir. Thanks to  her editor whom she she recalled meeting  the day  of the funeral when, as Melissa tells the  story  “this lady walked up to me extended her condolences   and proceeded  to kindly place a business card  into my hands.”  The rest is history – the result a well written and  oh so funny memoir  that will make Joan proud.

CrownHeigthsMom posing with Melissa Rivers

Melissa Rivers and Debra Lewis-Boothman

This  book  gives you a moment to laugh.”–Melissa Rivers

Writing the book say Melissa  brought comfort as well as a flurry of emotions– joy and tears. “I sat for a few hours every day  and a couple of times every week with my writing partner and I remembered funny stories and it allowed me to laugh. It gave me permission where nobody can judge me. It’s a funny book.Writing the book gave me permission to laugh.  Melissa  adds that these feelings and memories  spawned a bigger mission for her—preserving her mother’s legacy.

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On June 8  the GRAMMY Museum debuted its latest exhibit, Joan Rivers: Can We Talk?  to commemorate the comedian’s life . Joan won a posthumous Grammy in February for Best Spoken Word  for her  Diary of a Mad Diva. The current Grammy exhibit  showcases various stage costumes worn by  Joan during her career. It  also features family  photos, her Hollywood Walk of Fame Star award,  her hardcover book collection- including several of her New York Times bestsellers, the 1984 Harvard Hasty Pudding Woman of the Year Award,  her 1990 Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Talk/Service Show Host and  one of her  Louis Vuitton travel trunks. The exhibit runs  through September 20th.

Going it alone  without both parents, Melissa says she misses them (her dad  passed away when she was almost  18) but,  she has kept going for her only child,  Cooper 14. “Having kids changes the dynamics of how you get through grief”  says Melissa . “You get up and you move forward,” she says,  adding, “That is how we have lived our whole live. There are days  that are angry days, some  that are painful days  and that’s fine. ” Adds the proud mom,   “My son needs to see that there is light at the end of every tunnel. Yes, there are days that are horrible and it sucks, but we are going through it.  The example has to be that life continues and it does. That is what your parents would want you to show your children.”

Joan and Melissa Rivers

Melissa Rivers and her mom Joan Rivers

 “There was such a realness to our relationship [ it ] that everyone could see a little bit of themselves.”-Melissa Rivers on  the relationship she shared with mum Joan.

On working with her mum for so long.  Melissa says,  ” In creating a career with my mom, it was hard and it was difficult and it was frustrating.   It was coming to peace and terms with a lot of certain  things and understanding that  there  are preconceived notions,” she notes, adding,” For me it was having to work harder than everybody  else to prove that I am  my  own person.”

Coming  from a showbiz family she says of going into the biz.”If you are going where your parents went and your parents were  successful, you are going to have to work harder. You might get the interview but you are not going to get the job because of it.”   If you get the job everybody will say you only got it because of your parents, so you have to work ten times harder just to be considered to be  as good as everybody else and  you know that  and it doesn’t make it fair and it doesn’t make it less frustrating.

“We never let her drive! The worst words to hear at home from my mom was, ‘Melissa get in the car!'”-Melissa Rivers  on mom Joan’s driving.

Melissa admits that growing up as the daughter of Joan Rivers wasn’t easy. “I wrestled  control over  certain things by the time I was 17.”  In facts she  says, “We never let her drive! The worst words to hear at home from my mom was, ‘Melissa get in the car'”. Other things say Melissa  included Joan hiding money around the house.  ” She was also not good with her Blackberry and she could not deal with the iPhone, at all,”adds Melissa.

Writing the book  made it ok to laugh and  ok to say we are all a little crazy.”—Melissa Rivers

Melissa says she hopes  that the  take away from reading “The Book of Joan” will be that, “readers  will come away knowing  how kind  my mother was and how real she was.”  She adds that she  hopes that it gives readers  a moment to stop and laugh. ” About  that  special thing her and mom  Joan shared she says, “What resonated  with us is that people related  to us. Everyone could see a little bit of themselves with us and admitted it was ok to laugh.My mother’s personality was so big and she was so well known and was such a character you are hearing about it in her voice but from my point of view, which is different from her point of view. ”

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I want  people to know that even though our lives were crazy we took  moments to laugh.- Melissa Rivers

Moms are  big fans of Melissa Rivers' new  memoir

Mom bloggers Nichol[L] and Nilsa[R] deciding on who will get this copy.

“I want people to know how kind my mother was and how real she was and that even though our lives were crazy we took  moments to laugh.

“One of the things that always resonated with  my business partnership with my mother and our performing together and her being her and me  being me is that people related to us because of the  mother  daughter relationship.  There was such a realness to  it that everyone could see a little bit of themselves. It made it ok to laugh and say ok, we are all a little crazy,” says the Fashion Police co-host.

If you would like your own copy of Melissa River’s memoir “The Book Of Joan” you can grab it at the  Strand Bookstore  in NYC or at  their website here.

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EMOTIONS GONE WILD? NOT REALLY! JOY AND SADNESS GET TO WORK HARMONIOUSLY TO SAVE THE DAY IN PIXAR’S ‘INSIDE OUT’…….by Debra Lewis-Boothman

The emotional character  from Pixar's "Inside Out"

Anger (voice of Lewis Black), Fear (voice of Bill Hader), Joy (Amy Poehler), Disgust (voice of Mindy Kaling) and Sadness (Phyllis Smith)

While sitting inside the Dolby Screening Room at a recent MOMS screening of Disney  Pixar’s animated  movie ‘Inside Out‘ three pairs of eyes looked over at me to see if I was crying. I had taken my 9-year old daughter, Kameko,  my 7-year old son  Kai and  his friend Lexi Anne  also 7,  along to the screening.

Three cute NYC kids attending Pixar's 'Inside Out'

Lexi Anne 7, Kai 7 and Kameko 9 are over-the-moon happy after seeing the MOMS’ screening of “Inside Out”at the Dolby Screening Room on June 12

At a particular point in the movie Kai and Lexi Anne began whispering to each .I then noticed that they were staring intently at me to see if I had tears streaming down.  I quickly said  before they could  say anything, “Hey, guys  are those tears I see in YOUR eyes? ” They  each quickly  replied  “No”, with Kai admitting soon after with, “Oh just a little. That was a sad part.”  I in turn replied, “Yes that was a sad part and I did cry just  a little.”  My daughter Kameko hearing our whispers  chose then to announce matter-of-factly,  with Kai in the background nodding,  “Mommy cries a lot at  movies. She likes to let her  feelings out. She also cried  during  [Rihanna’s movie] Home, and at [ Michael Rapaport’s] Little Boy.

” Shhh, don’t tell anyone, I say to Kameko as Lexi Anne looks on and a mom  sitting in earshot  turns around and  smiles at me.

I learned then that kids are always  paying full  attention  and  especially taking in  our  emotions. Yup,  my kids are definitely  paying attention to mine.Which gets me back to Inside Out.

Screeing Pixar's 'Inside Out" at  NYC's Dolby Screening Room

Kameko, LexiAnne and Kai catching up on kids stuff before watching Inside Out at the Dolby Screening Room on June 12

I truly enjoyed this film  and so did the  kids. They have already asked to see it again  and I have promised a movie night  over the summer break. I  definitely see it becoming one of  our Pixar family faves the same way,  Toy Story and  Wall-E has become.  I also already know that this movie  including   all  its   merchandising products will be on their Xmas lists this year.

About the movie if you haven’t seen it  yet. The movie  centers around  pre-teen Riley, an 11-year-old girl  who is uprooted from  her Midwest home and  life as she knows it -to  now reside in the urban city  landscape of San Francisco  when her dad takes a new job  transplanting the family almost 2,000 miles away.

For Riley this couldn’t come at a worst life stage- the pre-teen years – a ball of emotions . Her  feelings of being taken away  from life-long friends, from ice-hockey games on the lake — to now being the new kid having  to make  new friends  and at a new school .Overwhelming? To her , it’s  the end of the world.

But  this is where it gets interestingYes , Inside Out is about  11-year-old  Riley, but behind the  scenes the real stars that take center stage are her emotions that are wrecking havoc in her brain — enter the five brightly colored characters  that represent  joy, sadness, anger, fear and disgust . Riley’s emotions.

Disgust, Fear, Joy, Sadness and Anger are 'Inside Out' star emotions

These  five conflicting emotions literally take over the pre-teen’s   life as she attempts to try to fit in to her new surroundings but her emotional “headquarters ” where these five characters reside  is  full of non stop activity.  Joy ( voice of  Poehler ) the mother hen, leader and voice of reason  tries to keep Riley happy  and positive  while the other emotions  each vying to be the “top-dog emotion ” to dominate Riley’s inner life, they just seem to complicate matters  sending everything into a tailspin and  lending to a movie that is  laugh-out-loud, funny, exciting, colorful and splashed with traces of  sadness  mixed in.

It will definitely  be a walk down  childhood’s memory lane and filled with nostalgia for most adults .

Seeming to be at  the forefront though is the  message that sadness and joy can  work hand in hand for an  outcome of happiness and  good. In reality,  we do  go through sadness or loss in order to encounter happiness at the end of the rainbow. This message though,  might go over kids’ heads  as they are watching the movie with it brightly colored and cute as ever characters. So the take-away lesson  of,  “it may take sadness before you get happy” may be a bit too much for them to take in –older ones will get it – but  this  is one  of the messages I found  to  be recurring.

Actor Bill Hader talks to The MOMS about  loving 'Bing Bong"

Bill Hader (Fear) popped in for a super fast chat with the MOMS.

Stopping by just before the  start   of the screening for a quick Q&A with  the MOMS’ co-creators, Denise Albert and Melissa Musen Gerstein  was actor   Bill Hader. The actor  plays the voice of Fear in the movie.

Bill Hader is that Guy! He is Fear--some

Bill Hader tell PEOPLE Magazine he “kinda stalked” Pixar execs to play the role of FEAR

Speaking to the  kids Hader  says , “When you see Fear come in , thats my voice, ” adding  “Do you know that this ( movie)  is from the same guys that made “Toy Story ” and “Monsters Inc” and “Up?”

On how he snagged  his  role  Hader  recently told PEOPLE he “stalked” Pixar  execs . He did say at the screening, “I was such a fan of  Pixar [their] movies that I went to where they worked and I asked, ‘Can you please put me in one if your movies’.  I wouldn’t leave  and now because of my persistence, I play Fear in the movie.”

The actor also told the kids that he’s done some other well known kid movies. ” I have been in  “Cloudy and  a Chance of Meatballs,” I played Lachlan,” he says.

On his favorite character in  the  movie  and no,  it is not his character! Hader declares,  “My favorite character is a character  by the name of Bing Bong.”   Adds the former SNL star,  “When Bing Bong shows up just brace yourselves. He’s the  best character in the movie!”

Actor Richard Kind plays Bing Bong who cries candy tears.

Actor Bill Hader says he is a huge fan of Bing Bong played by actor Richard Kind.

The movie took a few years to make .  ” It took five years . I’m not kidding,  says Hader of the  making of Inside Out.  Adds Hader, “Back in 2011, I went to Pixar and I started recording with Amy Poehler who plays Joy  and Mindy Palin who play Disgust and  others. So five years  of recording.  That’s how long it takes to make one of these movies.”

To finally see it  Hader says, “It is a beautiful, beautiful film and we are so happy.”  Say  the  father of three,  “The  cast and film-makers all got to see the finished product three months ago. We all went to Skywalker Ranch, that’s George Lucas’ ranch where all the  Star Wars stuff is.  We  got to watch the movie in a  room(screening room)  like this and we were laughing and crying.”

Yes the movie will make you laugh and  cry.

I recommend that  families go together to see Inside Out. I loved that the movie in a special way lets   both children and adults know feelings of   joy, sadness, anger disgust, or even fear do work harmoniously  together inside of us .

The kids gives their ratings. Inside Out  gets  5 out of 5 POPCORN STARS!  imgres. imgresimgresimgresimgres

The kids summed up their feelings in this  pic below:

'LOVE it" -How kids feel about 'Inside Out.'

The kids say this pic represents their feeling about ‘Inside Out.’ They “LOVED” it!

Also read  what they  had to say about  the movie  below:

I loved that sadness and joy worked as a team even though they are opposites— KAMEKO, 9

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Anger always made me laugh…KAI, 7

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I loved that Joy was alway happy and never gave up on Riley and holding on to her happy memories.–KAMEKO, 9

Joy  is always happy. I like when people are happy. LEXI ANNE, 7

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Even though Sadness is always sad, she has courage.–KAI, 7

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It was a very emotional movie and it was about emotions.  It actually made me feel sad at some places.—-KAI, 7

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 My favorite part of the movie was when Riley was a little girl and she had an imaginary friend named Bing Bong.   I liked how Riley made up a song about her imaginary friend.—LEXI  ANNE, 7

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Bing Bong is Riley’s imaginary friend from her early childhood. He’s a mix of an elephant, a cat, cotton candy and can squeal like a dolphin.

The Lyrics to Riley’s  and Bing Bong’s  song….

Who’s your friend who likes to play?

Bing Bong, Bing Bong

His rocket makes you want to yell hooray

Bing Bong, Bing Bong

Who’s the best at every way, and wants to sing this song to say

Bing Bong, Bing BONG!

Check out the trailer below and go see ‘Inside Out’ at your  nearest movie theater in your city ,See Fandango for listings

RED, HOT AND LOVING HER 40s MOLLY SIMS TELLS-IT-LIKE-IT-IS IN NEW BOOK by Debra Lewis-Boothman

Supermodel Molly Sims and her baby bump wears red like no one’s business. She stuns in it!

RED HOTTT! Molly Sims who is 8-months  pregnant stuns in red.

RED HOTTT! Molly Sims who is 8-months pregnant stuns in red.

Celebrating the release of her new book “The Everyday Supermodel” at the Artisanal Fromagerie Bistro on Jan 29,  six-time Sports Illustrated Swimsuit cover model  Molly Sims  shared   tips on beauty, fashion, wellness, parenting and what it’s like to be in her 40s.

“It takes work, it is not handed to you,” the former model  declared  about looking beautiful . “In my  20 year journey, I did not look like this, ( pointing at herself .) I  look better at 41  than when I was 21,” the shared with mom bloggers including  Crownheightsmom who attended the afternoon luncheon  and MOMS Mamarazzi  event with hosts Denise Albert and Melissa Musen Gerstein co-creators of  the  MOMS brand. “We are all self made women, so try and embrace the now, ” Sims told the attendees whom all left with a signed copy of her book  which gives advice , tells-it-like-it-is truths, and gives insider insights from some of the  best industry experts from beauty, health, fitness and fashion.

 

PAGE TUNER: Molly Sims  shares  beauty, fashion and wellness tips in her newest book

PAGE TUNER: Molly Sims shares beauty, fashion and wellness tips in her newest book

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The afternoon luncheon  brought out many mom bloggers . It was co-sponsored  by the MOMS and  Big Belli Co presents 40Weeks -the movie pregnant women have been waiting for. See more at 40weeksthemovie.com. Available March 1 on DVD and Download.

Molly Sims is interviewed by Dominique Debroux,the founder of Big Belli Co.

The former Victoria Secret Supermodel  shared  chic and  figure flattering style advice for every budget  as well as  on-the-go workouts to  help women move, dance, spin and stretch their way into  their  hotter healthier  selves . Yes, it  takes work,  but aren’t we all  works in progress? Taking care of ourselves daily by eating and  drinking healthy,  treating ourselves to simple beauty  regiments and daily exercise  pays off.

Molly  share a group hug and a group laugh with  Dominique Debroux of co founder of Big Belli Co, Melissa of the MOMS and filmmaker Christopher Henz

Molly Sims shares a group hug and a group laugh with Dominique Debroux founder of Big Belli Co, Denise Albert and Melissa Musen Gerstein of the MOMS and filmmaker Christopher Henze of 40 Weeks on DVD/Download Mar 1

“I did not always look like this.  I worked  hard to get to where I am today, ” Sims  declared. “Do you think I looked like this when I was 19 years old?  Well I didn’t . I worked my ass off. I was 20 pound overweight. I had brown hair, I had braces, I had acne, ” she says.

Molly  and Crownheightsmom share a laugh

Molly and Crownheightsmom share a laugh

Inspiration is all around you notes Sims. “As the  years go by I changed. I was like a sponge and I am still like a sponge. I look at magazines. I look at celebrities, I look at other moms. Anybody can change themselves .I am a firm believer in that you can do anything you want to do. I am from Kentucky.I went to public school. I have been a waitress, and a really  bad waitress. I was a sales lady and a really good one because I was honest .I would tell customers you cant wear that  but you can wear this  and I always had my returning customers. If someone said to me you should do this I was ok I will try it. Some women are critical and they take it so personally. I have been told my  calves are too bigs, my arms  are too big, I’m too fat, your  hair should be longer your hair should be shorter.I  cant believe you would wear that .I have heard it all .”

It's all about Molly , Debra and the book

More selfie fun with Molly Sims and Crownheightsmom Debra Lewis-Boothman

She’s can relate to the every day woman.  “I’m not different from you. Anything you can say I can probably say that I have been told that.  I have learned from so many . I took tips from people. I always suggest that you should  find someone you look up to and  learn from them . Also, learn your body.

Crownheightsmom catches up with the MOMS co-creators Denise and  Melissa

Crownheightsmom catches up with the MOMS co-creators Denise and Melissa

Want to feel good about yourself, Sims  a big yoga enthusiast  asked .”Get out of the sweatpants and put on a pair of jeans,”  she says. Adding that she doesn’t  follow trends . “Once it looks good  on  I just put  a sweater or a jacket on over it.”

The “House of Style” host and “Las Vegas” star asked that those attending  do something for her, “Never ever say you are going on a diet and never look at a picture and be like ugh God, I hate this picture.'”

Speaking of pictures Sims shared and showed how she’s been storing all of the thousands of photos and videos she’s amassed over the years especially  those of her husband Scott Stuber and 2-year old son Brooks Alan . Sims told the group  that  she’s been using  LYVE App the new  photo sharing and storing  app that  saves and collects all of her photos and videos she has  stored on different devices –mobile phones, computers, cameras, and ipads. She says   that Lyve  has really helped her to keep photos in one place . “They  have installed a small device in my home office and  has been working to collect and catalog just about every photograph and video I’ve ever captured with a digital camera. I don’t envy the device. During the last decade just  like almost everyone else on the planet, I went bananas for photos and videos. I estimate I’ve  more than 20,000 pictures and clips spread across phones, tablets and a handful of far-flung folders on a handful of computers,” she says.

Sims uses LYVE to keep her photos and videos together

Sims uses LYVE to keep her photos and videos together

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Molly Sims uses Lyve to store her keepsake photos and video memories

Mom bloggers  mill around the LYVE App device

Mom bloggers gather around the LYVE App device to get info and see demonstrations featuring pics of Sims and her family

Molly Sims’ is FUN! She is funny and open and warm. This new book will definitely do well . Molly  shows  moms and women how to balance it . The event was  wonderful and the midtown restaurant  Artisanal Fromagerie Bistro was the perfect place to hold it. The luncheon menu included  a mix of sandwiches and salads and delicious treats for dessert. Crownheightsmom will definitely be heading  back to taste the full menu at a later date.

Yummy eats from Artisianal Fromagerie Bistro

Moms enjoying  luncheon

Moms bloggers enjoying the luncheon

To keep up with Molly  go pick up her book at local bookshops and online and definitely  go to her website  mollysims.com

Molly Sims and her bump

Molly Sims looking fab at 8 months points to her bump

ASHLEE SIMPSON ROSS GLOWS ALONGSIDE FAMILIES AT CRAYOLA’S COLOR ALIVE LAUNCH by Debra Lewis-Boothman

A pregnant Ashlee  Simpson  Ross  wasn’t  shy about taking coloring tips from her 6 year old son Bronx while attending the February 5  Manhattan launch of Crayola’s  newest  product Color Alive .  The pregnant star and her husband of five months, Evan Ross  were smiling  and having a great time  seeing Bronx enjoying  himself and coloring alongside mom bloggers and their kids. Excitedly showing  his mum  his drawings and his  coloring skills Bronx was  having loads of fun.

A family that colors together: Ashlee Simpson Ross with he son Bronx (dad is Pete Wentz of Fall Out Boy) and husband Evan Ross, the youngest of Diana Ross’ children

.The mum-to-be  and her new hubby were  not to be left out of the coloring  fun jumping  into the  crayoning  action and  using the Color Alive app to bring their  coloring creations  to life. The young couple  definitely showed that Color Alive is as much fun for adults as it is for kids.

Simpson and her husband activating the Color Alive experience through the free app aims the tablet’s camera at the colored page. They were having loads of fun .

Simpson  and family  also spent time mingling alongside  Denise Albert and Melissa Musen Gerstein, co-creators of the MOMS and amongst invited mom bloggers and their kids. The singer  even stopping  to take pics  and a few  selfies with attendees.

Simpson joinsthe MOMS co-creators Denise Albert [L]and Melissa Musen Gerstein [R]

Simpson joins the MOMS co-creators Denise Albert [L]and Melissa Musen Gerstein [R]

Dressed in black skinny leather pants  and  an oversized  burgundy top covering her baby bump the mom-to-be   glowed. Ross making  his own fashion statement was  fashionable in  an oversized coat  and worsted boots. The young couple  are expecting their  first child, a girl  together this year

Ashlee who is having a girl looked  fabulous in her skin tight leather  leggings and flowing burgundy shirt

Ashlee who is having a girl looked fabulous in her skin tight leather leggings and flowing burgundy shirt

The fun afternoon saw kids and adults alike enjoying Color Alive  which is available in four  coloring books : Skylander, Barbie, Enchanted Garden and Mythical Creatures. Each book  contain 16 pages and features a unique character  and animation and comes with seven crayons including one Magic Crayon  that unlocks a special  virtual effect. Everyone enjoyed learning how  Crayola is changing the world of coloring forever with their  free Color Alive app.

Ashlee Simpson Ross with her son Bronx and husband Evan Ross

Ashlee Simpson Ross with her son Bronx and husband Evan Ross

My kids loved everything about the Color Alive event. They weren’t fully aware that there was a celebrity in the house as they were all about checking out the different coloring books, playing dress up in the character costumes,   spending time coloring the different characters  and getting to launch the app . The finger foods  was also a big hit with them especially the colored french fries, the  fried green beans and the chicken skewers. They  could not get enough of the lemonade and found it ah-mazing that they could  order their own flavors from the server at  the Lemonade Stand. The Blueberry flavored offering was their  favorite choice.

Kai is really  getting into character with the help of the available costumes

Kai is really getting into character

Whew finally an opportunity to  get a chance to sit and color

Finally an opportunity to get a chance to sit and color.

Starry Eyes: At the Barbie station playing

Starry Eyes: At the Barbie station playing

Virtual World: Kai seeing his Skylander drawing come to life  with the Color Alive app as he's taped on tv

Virtual World: Kai seeing his Skylander drawing come to life with the Color Alive app as he’s taped on tv

The cheese covered fries  came in pink and yellow. They were AWESOMELY colorful and delicious

The Fries were AWESOMELY colorful and delicious

Kai is really into  sfinishing up to see his Skylander  drawing come alice

Kai finishing up his Skylander drawing before having it come alive on a tablet

LEMONADE...LEMONADE the tarty colorful  drinks were a massive hit with everyone .

LEMONADE…LEMONADE the tarty colorful drinks were a massive hit with everyone .

It was hard to pull the kids away and head for home  but  when told that they would each receive a swag bag of  Color Alive goodies  to leave with  they  were beyond overjoyed.  When they saw that it was a mini backpack containing  Color Alive  loot the  look on their faces? Well  it was  pure excited Joy! The excitement is still ongoing.

The SWAGGG bag. A big hit. Train ride home was all about coloring and  other kids on the train wanted  to know where to purchase

The SWAGGG bag. A big hit. Train ride home was all about coloring and other kids on the train wanted to know where to purchase

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Looking to add some excitement  to your kid’s afternoon . I suggest you grab yourself Crayola’s  Color Alive. Trust me, it is non-stop fun for everyone in the family. Just go to crayola.com .

CROWNHEIGHTSMOM CATCHES THE FLU AND REFLECTS ON THE MOM GUILT IT CAUSED …by Debra Lewis-Boothman

Just four days after appearing on WPIX TV 11 in NYC  talking about mom guilt I found  myself  laid up in bed with the flu  and feeling just awful inside about getting it.

crownheightsmom isick in bed  with the flu

crownheightsmom isick in bed with the flu

Click to WPIX-TV 11-Mom Guilt

I was pretty much feeling   annoyed at myself for  coming down with the flu  . I mean it’s not like I have super powers to shield myself from  all colds and  flu but the  “It’s your own  fault” voice echoed over and over heavily in my head.   Blame myself I did  because as of the writing of  this  post I still have yet to get  a flu shot.

I know, but I just never got around to getting it. I meant to but   kept putting it off because I rarely get sick and whenever I  do  get the flu shot I end up sick two weeks after. So this year I  said to myself I will see if I can make do without it and like many healthy  people who take their  vitamins supplements,  exercise, eat well  and  run daily.  I figured, I would be ok.

Looking back,  I should have visited my docs office when I saw the glaring headlines  stating that the Center for Disease Control and Prevention had released  flu data reports showing that  the 2014-2015   flu season was at epidemic levels with 8.5% of deaths occurring  due to pneumonia and influenza. The report also said that this was  an increase from the year and  with   19 reported deaths. There was no data for adult death as the only keeps tracks of children’s death and the 19 CDC reported  cases were   all  of children having died of the flu across  the  United States.

Click to go to the CDC.

Weighing heavily on my mind since coming down with the flu  were  thoughts of  ‘I do not want the children to catch it.’  I felt assured  that they wouldn’t because my husband and I made sure  they’d received their flu shots when school began in September. My only hope was in that the vaccine would  protect them from this bad strain of flu  going around  hoping their  little  immune systems stay strong. Right after the  first snowstorm in  November  we started  to give them   daily does of elderberry vitamins to help boost their immune systems and I began to pack  an orange a day in their lunch boxes and have been giving them  more tangerines and grapefruit slices to boost that Vitamin-C intake  . Knock-on-wood,  I can say that so far so good.  These  have  helped.

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Zarbees Elderberry for kids helps their immune system stay healthy

Day 5 of being bed bound,  I  literally  crawled out of my  bed and forced myself to go  outside  taking our dog Hiro with me out for a walk. This was  more so because I really needed the walk more than our Akita  did . I needed to feel the cold air biting my cheekbones and passing  through  my nostrils. Doing  this  would  somehow  cleanse  me  of this  flu bug that had invaded my body and rendered me down,  but definitely not out.

Going for a walk with our dog Hiro  helped big time!

Going for a walk with our dog Hiro helped big time!

I was definitely thankful  that it was the long MLK holiday  weekend  so the worry of  shuttling  back and forth on the subway with the kids I did not have to do until Wednesday. This thankfully gave me some extra time to recover at home.

On the mend . I owe my recovery to a little vegetable called Ginger root . Yes, thank goodness for ginger root.  I live by this veggie’s properties which act as a herb . I am drinking my ump-teenth glass of ginger tea, which as far as I am concerned is the reason that I am feeling so much better. With my appetite gone, my six times a day freshly  grated  ginger root  tea became my constant companion. Simmered in hot water   with a teaspoon of  brown sugar  to taste  I devoured a cup of it every two hours .Boy, did it work wonders. It got me on the mend and I cannot recommend it enough. It also helps that it tastes oh so good. It has definitely been my savior.

Ginger root does the body good

Ginger root does the body good

HOW TO PREPARE YOUR OWN  GLASS OF GINGER ROOT TEA .

What you will need to begin –

Frozen  ginger-root grated

Frozen ginger-root grated

Grated ginger root in hot water

Grated ginger root in hot water

Wash 3 roots of fresh ginger and freeze  overnight in a zip lock bag.. (Note – fresh ginger root is usually sold at  your local supermarket,  in the  fruit and vegetable section. You can also find at  the Korean Vegetable grocers . Pick up enough to last you a few weeks .. You are freezing the ginger because it makes it easier to grate it .)

You can choose to peel off the beige skin or keep it on. I usually peel mine.

Grate  one root and scoop the  grated contents into  your personal coffee mug

Add hot water and sweeten with brown sugar  or your chosen sweetener to taste. You can also choose not to sweeten.

The ginger root’s pulp will  settle at the bottom of your cup. Stir it up and  drink up all the contents . It’s the grated pulp thats the secret weapon to curing you and getting you on the mend.

With my flu ebbing away  as I sipped on my ginger tea my only wish was  that it would also cure  the mom guilt I felt about getting sick.  I finally decided that  I was going to stop beating myself up about it.   I am not a genie or a  wizard with  powers to  protect myself from  getting sick. It’s nature, it happens and  I was over  feeling guilty about it  .

Looking into the  subject of Mom Guilt I found that moms all walks of life—-rich, poor, black, white all experience this guilt. Although  usually attributed to working moms —-as was discussed on WPIX-TV 11—-and moms  balancing home and work life  I found that mom guilt attaches itself to a woman the moment she gives birth and stay-at-home moms  battle it just as often as working mom do .

Looking back at my own mom guilt , I tried to recall  how far back it ran and hit it on the nail at the newborn stage when i would   feel guilt if the babies  cried  too much. I remember  usually thinking  maybe I didn’t nurse long enough or maybe  I didn’t spend enough time burping.   As they got older the newborn guilt transferred   into the toddler guilt  and those feelings  included the am I spoiling them, am I giving in  and lifting them up whenever they cried , is the temper tantrum a result of my not being in control.,  there was also the  diaper rash guilt feelings of feeling  responsible for leaving on that wet diaper way too long, and the not packing enough snacks or clothes when we went out  for when messes occurred.  The list goes on and on and it made me ask my husband if he ever experiences any dad guilt feelings. He said of course dads get it too. But  my response to this was not in the same way  moms do .

When I appeared  alongside  Denise and Melisssa of the MOMS on PIX 11-TV NY discussing this topic   morning news anchor Sukanya Kirshnan  gave out  tips  to  help combat it. See below.

http://pix11.com/2015/01/12/dealing-with-moms-guilt/

I am happy that  my husband held down the fort while I was out of commission helping  with the take home  homework, making  breakfast, lunch and dinner and doing the  food shopping.  He allowed me to get all the rest I needed in order to get back to a healthy place.

Cheers to him as I sip on another cup of ginger tea .  Baby, I am back!

PADDINGTON BEAR MOVIE SHINES WITH AN EXTREMELY CUTE BEAR, A VILLAINOUS NICOLE KIDMAN AND CLASSIC CALYPSO MUSIC Debra Lewis-Boothman

 

A warm, feel good family movie that will make you laugh, scream, cry and cheer-crownheightsmom

Nicole Kidman who stars in  the Paddington Bear movie opening Jan 16 says she would have done a lot more  movies her kids could go see if only she was offered  children’s film scripts she found interesting. That time my friends has finally come and  it’s just wonderful!

“It [children’s movies] was something I have always wanted to do ,” says Kidman 47.  ” I don’t get offered a lot of children’s films I find interesting or compelling.” The star sat  with the MOMS‘ Denise Albert and  Melissa Musen Gerstein  for their first Mamarazzi event of 2015, before screening the Paddington Bear movie  at the Film Society at Lincoln Center on Jan 7.  “It was just a gorgeous script,” says Kidman. “Adorable!” the star adds.

Nicole Kidman plays a not-so-sweet Natural History Museum Taxidermist

The movie  released already  across France and the UK  has grossed  international box-office receipts totaling  $109,713,825 thus far  according to Box Office Mojo .It is set to open  in the USA on Jan 16.

Paddington is the type  of  family movie  that will  certainly   have adults and kids alike swooning  and wishing  for their own real-life Paddington Bear. I, for one,  after seeing the movie  wanted  to leave the screening room  with a new addition to my family and loads of marmalade. I wanted a warm  cuddly  bear. Heck,  give me the adoption papers ASAP, I will  sign on the dotted line .  Paddington Bear is a  keeper.Not to mention, he’s as cute as a bug.

On all accounts   I absolutely ADORED the movie.  It has definitely achieved what Nic Kidman hoped  movie audiences will take away after see  the  film. “For me, it is just so nice  when people come out feeling great,” she tell Musen Gerstein. Adding, “It makes you feel good.” Indeed, it does Ms. Kidman. Indeed, it does!

The MOMS Denise Albert and  Melissa Musen Gerstein  both decked out in Trish

Denise Albert and Melissa Musen Gerstein both decked out in Trina Turk from Rent The Runway pose with Kidman.

Having already  had the sneak peek, which, my kids were not too happy about missing  I had to promised  that our tix will be  purchased way ahead of time on Jan 16 so we can go directly to the movie theater after school . In the  meantime reading  the new Paddington books  at our local Barnes and Noble bookstore in Cobble Hill will suffice .

It is not often that  Hollywood gets it right when it comes to film adaptations of books but with Paddington the  seamless adaptation drawn from the characters immortalized in the books  hooked me right away. Those not familiar with the books will certainly want to read more about this cuddly Peruvian’s bears many adventures.

The movie  tapped into so many of my emotions within its 95 minutes—-I laughed, cried, cheered , jeered and soared . I became a kid again remembering back to my young childhood days of losing myself  with Mr Bond as my guide while  reading about  Paddy on his adventures. There is never a dull moment.

You  kids can pick up a book and read along with Paddington at bookstores  nationwide

Your children can pick up a book and read along with Paddington .Reading is FUN!

Being married to  a British citizen it  was special looking for  familiar  sights  and places I have been in London.  Even more exciting  was seeing  and hearing  the sweet sound of  classic calypso music  being played throughout the film. I am from Barbados so to know that the music of the late Trinidadian calypsonian, Lord Kitchener  was included on the movie’s soundtrack was exciting. Kitchener’s  flute tinged tune ” London is the Place for Me” adds to the  movie’s splendor.

It has been said that  Michael Bond the author and  writer was so influenced  by the caribbean  culture in  London during in the late 40s and early 50s that he  include  elements of it  in his writings. It is definitely included beautifully  in the movie.

See Lord Kitchener and others embarking  on London in  the 30’s below

 

See D Lime and Tobago Crusoe featured in the movie perform “London Is The Place for Me “below:

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Kidman truly owns this role.  Presently filming the drama “Genius” alongside  actor Jude Law  it was surprising to hear her share  with the audience that  she almost considered giving up the  craft she loves. “At one point I was going to stop working,” she says.  “It  was happening when I was pregnant with Sunday.  I talked to my mum about it. I said, I am done.  My mum  had given up her job to help raise us at home and she  said to me, ‘You should still do something creative. Still keep a finger in the pot because I just feel that  it is your destiny and you shouldn’t give that up completely. ‘”

Mom knows best. “I was thinking,  ok maybe she is right.and so I  went and started to do some films and started producing  and that is how I manage my life now.” Plus, she adds, “I always have them[her family] travel with me. ”

 

Clearly having her family around her while filming  impacted Kidman’s  work. The results?   A job well done!

Padding Bear opens nationwide  on January 16. Check your local listings.

Click here for a history on Paddington Bear and his creator  Michael Bond 

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!

http://pix11.com/2014/12/22/holiday-looks-for-moms/#ooid=03YmJmcjr5oOSMfNQlNfpFNSxqdOz44C

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.