“Being a Mom is Great” Moved to SoapboxMom.com!!

It’s official!

The Being a Mom is Great blog will now be called simply, SOAPBOX MOM!

Soapbox Mom Avatar

So, BMG Mom (aka bimmgee) is now soapbox mom or “SoapB” or Soapbox or soap!

Please join me over there now at soapboxmom.com.

And, when you find it, please let me know you did by leaving a comment.  As always, I appreciate your support!


Also, if you’ve been so kind as to include me on your blogroll, please add me back as Soapbox Mom (and if I’ve lost your site, just let me know and I’ll be sure to add it right back onto my blogroll)!


See you on the soapbox!!


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Filed under Children, Entertainment, family, Fun, games, life, parenting, personal, Thoughts

Like Candy?


As of February 10, 2008, the Being a Mom is Great blog has moved here (www.soapboxmom.com). Please visit Soapbox Mom to read more articles by this author (bmg mom is now Soapboxmom).


On Oprah recently, I saw Ralph Lauren’s daughter, Dylan, talking about her love of sweets and her numerous candy shops called Dylan’s Candy Bar. Three levels of candy, candy from around the world, candy from your childhood, just look at it and you’ll be amazed!

If you want to give a unique valentine’s gift to someone who isn’t necessarily nutty about chocolate, I think these little items are great finds!

Here’s the swag bag she gave to the members of Oprah’s studio audience. It includes things like a “Lollipop Tackle Box, gummy bears, gumballs, Smarties, Tootsie Rolls, Laffy Taffy, Mary Janes and a limited edition Pez Princess set and can be yours (or your daughter’s (?)) for only $50:

Oprah’s swag bag for Dylan’s Candy Bar

Or, if you’d like to surprise your wife with a whimsical trinket, you can get a candy charm bracelet for that same price:

Dylan’s Candy Bar Charm Bracelet

I was so amazed at all the adorable items on this website, I just had to include a few more for you.

Dylan’s Candy Bar Makeup Bag

That’s Dylan’s Candy Bar Makeup Bag Set (above) for all of you travelers that still like a little whimsy (I’m looking at you, Missives) and the little gummy bear bag (below) for less.

Dylan’s Candy Bar little bag

Or just a simple, sassy tee with a good message.

Dylan’s Candy Bar tee

Happy Valentine’s Day!!


Filed under candy, Culture, food, Fun, holidays, Oprah

Yes, We Can!


As of February 10, 2008, the Being a Mom is Great blog has moved here (www.soapboxmom.com). Please visit Soapbox Mom to read more articles by this author (bmg mom is now Soapboxmom).


For various reasons, I have stayed far, far away from politics on this blog. I used to be so deeply enmeshed in politics that it’s sometimes a struggle not to say something about the topic. Nonetheless, I’ve managed to stay far, far away. Until now.

This post may shock people who know me, but when I heard the first lady of California share an Eleanor Roosevelt quote about taking risks (actually, she said, “Do one thing every day that scares you.”) I decided this post would be my risk for the day.

Whether you’re a Republican, Independent, or Democrat, I just ask for a few moments of your time (you have to watch it all the way to the end) to watch this video. In all my life, I’ve never seen a candidate (not just the video, more accurately the whole package) that moves me the way this guy does. I can’t help but think that he could do great things for our country.

Ask your kids who they support and who the other kids in their school think should be president. You might be surprised by the answer. Most kids I know (regardless of the party affiliation of their parents) enthusiastically say, “Obama!” Think about that. The little ones who, in many cases, have a closer connection to what’s real, to what matters in life (because they’re free from all the facades and spin and BS) have a passionate affinity for this man.

It seems to me that he’s just the kind of change this country needs.

Let’s not wait for the world to change anymore.

“We are the change we’ve been waiting for.”

— Barack Obama


Filed under Barack Obama, Children, personal, politics, Thoughts

Nothing Like a Good Faucet


As of February 10, 2008, the Being a Mom is Great blog has moved here (www.soapboxmom.com). Please visit Soapbox Mom to read more articles by this author (bmg mom is now Soapboxmom).


I love kitchens. I don’t know what it is about them, but I love great kitchens. It’s not because I’m some wunder-chef (far from it!). I just love the ambience of a good kitchen. Whenever you go to a party in someone’s home, isn’t that where people congregate? Or just on a daily basis, think about how much time we spend in our kitchens.

But there’s one thing in particular that I really appreciate within a kitchen and that’s the faucet. I have this thing with faucets. Here’s my favorite:

Dornbracht Kitchen Faucet with Sprayer

It’s made by a company called Dornbracht. You just have to feel this faucet in your hands. It’s extraordinary. Someone once told me that they’re the company that all the other faucet companies copy. This one (pictured above), the Tara Classic, won a couple of awards for design and quality excellence.

They also do faucets for bathrooms.

Dornbracht Bathroom Faucet

Speaking of bathrooms, I have the same attraction to faucets in bathrooms, particularly in restaurants. If the bathrooms have a great faucet, I’ll leave with a smile on my face. They can be so cool, you know? Sometimes substantial and strong, stylish and gorgeous.

Aaaah, there’s just nothing like a good faucet.


Filed under design, family, photos, reviews

One Two Three and More…


As of February 10, 2008, the Being a Mom is Great blog has moved here (www.soapboxmom.com). Please visit Soapbox Mom to read more articles by this author (bmg mom is now Soapboxmom).


My friend PG over at Annoyingly Boring (great title, eh?) tagged me with this meme, as a way of encouraging me to give these things another try (thanks, Pat!). PG’s a funny guy who makes entertaining videos about his continuing weight loss program. He’s doing a great job! Anyway, the meme is cleverly called, “1, 2, 3, 4, 5 … Meme Time” and it’s a kind of pyramid meme where you provide responses that increase at a rate of one per answer (yeah, I’ve been helping my kids with their math homework). You’ll see what I mean as you read it.

Name one thing you do everyday:

  1. Okay, well, I can’t resist going with PG’s answer here. I eat everyday (and drink water).

Name two things you wish you could learn:

  1. To ski really, really well.
  2. To play golf really, really well.

Name 3 things that remind you of your childhood:

  1. Board games
  2. Books
  3. Hot chocolate
hot cocoa

Name 4 things you love to eat but rarely do:

  1. Mashed potatoes
  2. Gelato
Vivoli - Il Gelati - A Life Worth Eating
Moonstruck Chocolate Truffle

4. Nothing else (unless I could include something like dinner at Taillevent in Paris or utterly amazing food on the coast in California or fresh, organic food in the Northeast. Ooooh yeah…)

    Name 5 things/people that make you feel good:

    1. My husband
    2. My kids
    3. Beautiful, bright sunny days
    Sunny Beach

    4. Podcasting

    5. Writing/reading a really good post or a really good book

    Now, here’s where I’m supposed to tag someone, but I’m doing it a little differently this time. If you’d like to join in and do this meme, please do so! If not, no problem.

    But, how ’bout going to visit PG’s blog (or just leave a comment).


    UPDATE: Yay! We have a taker, ladies and gents. Lizzie over at Bizzy Lizzie decided to do this meme! It’s a tag (well, sort of). Anybody else?


      Filed under Fun

      Two Simple Words


      As of February 10, 2008, the Being a Mom is Great blog has moved here (www.soapboxmom.com). Please visit Soapbox Mom to read more articles by this author (bmg mom is now Soapboxmom).

      Do you want people to wish you a Happy Birthday (when they know it’s your birthday)?

      Simba - Happy Birthday

      I do. Is that childish? Unreasonable? Silly?

      My left brain, logical, rational mind says, “Of course it is. Grow up!” But then, my emotional half of the brain says, “No! I mean, what the heck, we go nuts — crazy, out of control, over the top — on kids’ birthday parties and we don’t even wish each other good wishes on the anniversaries of our births? What’s that about?!”

      Time article about $38K kids birthday parties

      There’s a real imbalance there. I mean I’ve been known to throw my share of fun parties for kids. So, I’m not knocking the parties. I’m just saying that I think parents could help each other out a little bit if they would just show some thoughtfulness and kindness toward each other, even when (or maybe especially when) they know that the person to whom they’re extending the greeting is over 30. Maybe we make those middle ages feel older by letting go of the joy and celebration that surround the birthday parties of childhood.

      Here’s what started this little train of thought.

      In past years, with more than a handful of people, I’ve experienced something like this:

      I send an email telling someone that I can’t meet to discuss some volunteering obligation (for the kids) because it’s my birthday. In response, I get nothin’.

      No, “Well, I hope you have a good day.”

      No, “Happy birthday, girlfriend!”

      No, “Oh, no problem, I wouldn’t want to meet that day, either.”

      Grumpy Old Women

      Not even those two little words, Happy Birthday.

      Sure, I’ve sometimes been told that I have too much of a Pollyanna attitude toward life, (what some consider to be an annoyingly positive, silly and cheerful disposition). But I don’t think wishing people who are over 30 or 40 a Happy Birthday is immature or offensive.

      Hmmm. On second thought…

      Maybe that’s not it at all…

      Is it that some people don’t want to even think about their birthday when they’re over 40? So they don’t want to touch the topic at all? Are they afraid of somebody grumbling back at them? What? Enlighten me, please. Gosh, if that’s the case, then…well…I feel sad for them. Who says we have to stop enjoying life at a certain age? Why? Where’s the logic in that? That can’t be healthy. Who knows where that might lead…

      1993 Warner Image - MPTV.net - imdb - Grumpy Old Men

      Grumpy Old Men (1993)

      Notice that I’m not saying anything at all about materialistic goods. I’m not saying that I want my friends and family to purchase the latest must-have handbag or some blingy piece of jewelry. That’s not at all what I’m talking about. It’s about kindness and consideration. Thoughtfulness and sincerity that’s simple and instinctive.

      For example, when I went into a store (on my birthday) with my son to select little trinkets to include in his favor bags for his birthday party, he saw something that he thought I would like for my birthday, so he said, “Mom, you should get that…for your birthday. C’mon, it’s your birthday!” A very nice woman overheard him and turned to me and said, “It’s your birthday? Well, Happy Birthday! Yes, you should get that for yourself!” My son and I both smiled and thanked her and as we walked away, he said, “Wow. That was so nice!”

      Two simple words.

      What a difference. Physically, I felt lighter and stood taller. My thoughts turned to more positive, happy places. I felt grateful for that stranger’s kindness and those two words.

      Now I make a point of keeping track of people’s birthdays and wishing them well on their day (unless, of course, they make it clear that they’d rather not be reminded). To each his own. Right?

      Well, whenever it’s your birthday, this one’s for you:


      Images from Google Images. Oh, and by the way, it’s not my birthday.


      Filed under family, personal, Thoughts

      The Smile Stone Award


      As of February 10, 2008, the Being a Mom is Great blog has moved here (www.soapboxmom.com). Please visit Soapbox Mom to read more articles by this author (bmg mom is now Soapboxmom).



      The Smile Stone Award.

      The wha??

      Let me back up a little. Actually, to right here, January 23, 2008.

      I was talking to my daughter about a post I wrote on that day. I’d reached an interesting milestone in the blogosphere and wrote a little post about it. After listening to me blabber on about number of visitors, blah, blah, blah, she quickly reminded me that I’ve always said to her that I wasn’t concerned about how many people read my posts, rather, I was more interested in providing good content. I was trying, I always told her, to disregard the stats and to focus on the substance. Well…then the conversation went something like this:

      DD: “But Mom, I thought the number of visitors was not your main concern…”

      BMG Mom: “Right. Well, it’s not, really. It’s just that I happened to notice it and thought it was interesting, so I wrote a post about it.”

      DD: “Oh. Okay. Whaddya call it?”

      BMG Mom: “This Milestone Fills Me with Gratitude.”

      DD: “What smilestone? What is a smile stone? And why would it fill you with gratitude?”

      BMG Mom: (chuckling) “Nooooo….milestone…it’s a milestone…it’s…hey, wait a minute…that’s a great idea!!”

      And the Smile Stone Award began to bloom.

      She found it so amusing that she set to work to help create it. She found the clipart, filled in the taglines and voila! Here it is:

      BMG Mom’s Smile Stone Award

      For me, it really is about the people who take the time to read my posts and comment on my (often wacky) observations, ruminations and ideas. It’s about the ones who seem to care, who make me laugh, who give me support just when I need it and encourage me when I feel discouraged. I’ve learned so much in these five or six months from people I’ve known for a shorter period of time than my kids’ gestation periods. So, this is my way of showing my gratitude and providing a little something to (I hope) make them smile, too.

      And now…

      Without further adieu, I present the first group* of Smile Stone awardees:

      Jim at The Busy Dad Blog

      Deb at Missives from Suburbia

      Dan at Cafe Leone

      Lotus at Sarcastic Mom

      Piper at Bliss in Bloom

      Ann** at A Nice Place in the Sun

      Pete at My GPS Camera Phone

      Kim at Jogging in Circles

      Momo at MomoFali’s

      Tara at If Mom Says Ok

      Chuck at D is for Dad


      Ellen at Positive Communication.

      Thanks for making the world (or at least the blogosphere) a better place.


      **Ann gets a special mention for providing inspiration – she gave me an award called the You Cheer Me Up award. Thanks again, Ann!! She’s been an inspiration in many ways and is a generous, talented blogger who spreads loads of sunshine and happiness.

      *Please realize you don’t have to do anything except accept the award. I just wanted to do something fun (arguably a little wacky, maybe even cheesy) and recognize some outstanding blogs, each of which offers something quite different to the web.

      Note: I somehow lost the last half of the group, but have added them back now (sorry about that!!)


      Filed under Awards, Fun

      Free Rice – A Site with a Purpose


      As of February 10, 2008, the Being a Mom is Great blog has moved here (www.soapboxmom.com). Please visit Soapbox Mom to read more articles by this author (bmg mom is now Soapboxmom).


      I’m so excited about a website our friends told us about last night.

      It’s called Free Rice and it looks like this:

      Free Rice Home Page

      It’s great for your (older) kids, but don’t be surprised if you join in and try it, too. But be warned: it might be hard to stop.

      Here’s how it works:

      They give you a word and four other words beneath it. Then, you choose which of the four words most accurately defines or describes the first word. The site tracks each right answer and increases the degree of difficulty to keep you (or your kids) at the right level.

      But here’s the best part: for each right answer, they’ll* donate 20 grains of rice to the United Nations World Food Program.

      Wanna try it?

      Just click the picture (below) or go to freerice.com.

      Free Rice - A Site with a Purpose - for Your Kids!


      *The rice is paid for by adverstisers/sponsors of the Free Rice website. So you don’t have to contribute a cent. It’s fun! Give it a try! And I’m not getting anything for telling you about it either. I just think it’s cool and worth a look!


      Filed under Children, Education, Entertainment, family, Fun, reviews

      This Milestone Fills Me with Gratitude


      As of February 10, 2008, the Being a Mom is Great blog has moved here (www.soapboxmom.com). Please visit Soapbox Mom to read more articles by this author (bmg mom is now Soapboxmom).


      On January 22, 2008, this blog registered 10,001 visitors. Wow!

      Last fall, I started this blog (when I transferred my original blog and its old posts from Blogspot over to WordPress). Since then, I’ve met so many cool, interesting, bright and supportive bloggers and have discovered a world (in which I’m quite comfortable) of fascinating, entertaining and insightful blogs.

      Hmm…are bloggers supposed to do something special or symbolic when they notice this 10K mark? Well, I’m blissfully unaware of any sort of unwritten rule or code of conduct, so, instead, I’m just going to express my gratitude for all things weblog related.

      Thanks for reading;

      thanks for commenting;

      thanks for writing and sharing;

      thanks for your support and words of encouragement;

      thanks for making me laugh and (occasionally) bringing tears to my eyes.

      Thanks for taking the time to look at pictures and videos I sometimes feel compelled to share.

      You all know who you are and I just want to say

      thanks for just being you.


      Filed under personal, Thoughts

      What Did Paula Do Before American Idol?


      As of February 10, 2008, the Being a Mom is Great blog has moved here (www.soapboxmom.com). Please visit Soapbox Mom to read more articles by this author (bmg mom is now Soapboxmom).


      -written by bmg mom (Being a Mom is Great blog)

      That phenomenon, American Idol, started up again last week. Hey, by the way, did you know that Idol “loser” Chris Daughtry managed to get five hit songs off of his CD, Daughtry, while Taylor Hicks (2006 American Idol winner) is in some kind of dispute with his record company? Fascinating. Those folks were from a couple years back. As for this season, we watched one of the episodes last week and actually did begin humming Renaldo Lapuz’s song, “Brothers Forever.”

      “I am your bro-other. Your best friend forever…”

      You just have to see it. Go on — give this guy just a couple minutes of your time. He is truly endearing and seems to have a good heart. Well, at least you can agree that he’s coming from a…special place. No?

      Renaldo Lapuz’s “Audition”

      So…did you start humming it? Singing it?


      We’re sitting there watching it when one of the kids asks me, “Hey, Mom. What did Paula do before she was on American Idol?”

      Well, thanks to that wonder of wonders called YouTube I was able to show them (because my description was sorely lacking). And now, in case you, too, were wondering, here it is:

      Paula’s “Audition”*

      Somehow I like Renaldo’s audition much, much more…


      *Just for the record, I showed the kids Opposites Attract, not this one.


      Filed under American Idol, Culture, Entertainment, family, Fun, life, TV