Archives for July 2013

We Need More Women & Fewer Weiners

SONY DSCSeriously, we are missing the other half in politics!

I’ve been thinking about writing an article about the absolute chutzpah politicians like Anthony Weiner and Eliot Spitzer have portrayed. I honestly mean that as a form of flattery, well before the latest Weiner scandal broke out.

Picking up the pieces, despite the derision their scandals have caused is truly an art form. I’ve been reading Sherly Sandberg’s tome Lean In and the revelation, honestly it’s not news to most women, that we set up own barriers to success due to our proclivity to hold back has made me even more fascinated with these comeback stories.

Every morning as I enjoy my caffeine, I’m inundated by politicians who think they can win back voters and take their rightful places – despite poor and sometimes illegal actions they’ve made.

That, my friends, is chutzpah. Imagine if we all had that kind of chutzpah? Sandberg has asked women, “What would you do if you weren’t afraid?” I’d like to throw my hat in the ring and ask, “What would you do if you had Anthony Weiner’s chutzpah?”

Seriously, I think I’d become a politician and I wish more women would veer in that direction. We could use help passing The Paycheck Fairness Act, which has been introduced numerous times in Congress but hasn’t passed in both chambers. It would also be helpful if vital services that can help lower income women and their families, like subsidized childcare, weren’t always on such a slippery slope.

Women are under-represented at all levels of government. Here are some sobering statistics, according to Center for Women and Politics:

  • Women hold only 17% of the seats in Congress.
  • Only 22% of all statewide elective executive office positions are currently held by women.
  • State Legislatures are only 24% women.
  • Only 6 out of 50 states have a female governor.
  • Women constituted 54% of voters in the 2008 elections, but only 24% of state legislators.
  • Women of color represent only 4% of Congress and 23% of women Members of Congress.

It gets worse,

  • The United States trails behind much of the world—ranking 90th in the number of women in our national legislature. Note: The U.S. is listed as 73rd, but after accounting for tied rankings of other countries, the ranking for the U.S. is 90th. Data from the Inter-Parliamentary Union.

Let’s stop recycling scandals. We need more candidates and I say the other half needs to find the chutzpah to run.




Creating Order One Client At A Time

get-attachment-41That Girl Is Amazing….um I mean Organized: Sue Dachille, Proprietor of Get Organized, Inc.

Have you been a stay-at-home mom and thinking about starting a business or musing about departing the 9 to 5 world? Well, your next venture may find you.

In 1995 Sue Dachille, a busy stay-at-home mother of three boys, was considering going back to work or starting her own business. Her eldest son was in nursery school and out of the blue a woman, who was familiar with her organizational proclivity, asked her to help organize a move. That’s how Get Organized started.

Dachille, a former airline executive, who also holds a teaching degree, had worn a lot of hats in past jobs so the ebb and flow of making order out of chaos was a great fit.

She helps clients in the New York metropolitan area navigate major life transitions such as moving, downsizing, renovating, starting a business, settling estates, staging homes for sale, preparing homes for guests, helping students get ready for college and more.

“My clients are busy professionals,” shared Dachille. “Every job is unique depending on the their goals.”

Dachille assists her clients with a wide range of needs from paper management, project coordination and memorabilia organization such as family photographs and more.

Regarding photographs, especially in light of the current spate of natural disasters, Dachille recommends scanning and downloading them to sites such as Shutterfly.

“Childhood memorabilia such as artwork and book reports are items parents have a tough time parting with,” added Dachille. “In addition to photographs, these items can also be scanned to minimize clutter and preserve memories.”

With over 18 years under her belt, Dachille has culled a wealth of information and resources for selling, donating and recycling. Here are five of her “go-to” tips:

  • Keep A To Do List – Commit to creating a “to do” list on your phone, iPad or in a notebook. A firm believer in planning, Dachille says a list forces you to acknowledge tasks and even better, when completed, they can be checked off.
  • Prioritize Tasks – She recommends tackling tasks you like the least first.
  • “Touch It Once” – When it comes to paperwork, adopt the “touch it once” rule which will prevent paper shuffling in your home. Touch it; decide what to do with it such as filing or shredding and you’re done.
  • Streamline Grocery Shopping Easier – Write your grocery list in the notes section of your phone to eliminate waste and running around trying to find that list you made.
  • Upstairs/Downstairs Strategy – If you live in a two level home, don’t go up and down the stairs empty handed. According to Dachille, the end of the day will look that much better.

For further information regarding Get Organized and a full listing of services and tips visit: or via email at


When The Unspeakable Happens


Stephanie Parente, Betty Parente and Catherine Parente.

In the town I live in, a successful suburban father killed his entire family and then took his life. A new book, Killer Dads explores this case.

“Family annihilation undermines the assumption about human behavior.” – Author, Mary Papenfuss

It’s hard to think about because it’s really the unimaginable – a parent does not kill their child, their wife. Yet, in the leafy, sleepy suburb that I live in an entire family died at the hands of the patriarch. The face they showed the world, was a happy, stable family – a very happy, stable family.

Betty Parente always had a smile on her face. She was the type of person who always said hello, was eager to volunteer and had many friends. If I had to describe her in one word, I would say she was radiant. The mother of two daughters, she reveled in her role as mother. Her husband Bill, by all accounts, was an upstanding citizen – a father, attorney and doting husband.

Life wasn’t always easy. Betty endured fertility issues. She was surprised when she became pregnant at 46 to her second child, Catherine. She also survived breast cancer.

What happened? Bill Parente killed Betty his two daughters, Stephanie and Catherine and then he committed suicide in a hotel room in Maryland. It was likely a premeditated plan as it was an unexpected visit to Loyola University to see Stephanie, although they had just dropped her off at college 48 hours prior.

Photo Christmas cards, lovely dresses, elegant homes, smiling parents, wonderful high-achieving children – the images of an ideal family imploded.

get-attachment-40Why and how can we prevent or predict such violence? Mary Papenfuss, author of Killer Dads tackles the subject of family annihilators. A profile, in her book, of the Parente case reveals that Bill was tormented by financial investments he made on behalf of clients that went bad. He had written checks days before the murder, that he knew would not clear. He was in trouble, investors were asking questions. He took matters into his own hands.

In a study conducted by Phillip Resnick, director of forensic psychiatry at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, most parents who kill their children are not “insane.” Desperation in a “unique and seemingly inescapable situation” is cited as one of the main reasons for filicide.

Betty had a cadre of caring friends who sustain her memory. Marianne Quinn, a very dear friend, makes a yearly donation, in Betty’s name, to a family impacted by domestic violence while Stephanie’s college friends have created a scholarship in her name. Stephanie’s close friends, college sophomores when the crime occurred, have been deeply affected by their friend’s killing.

I hope that these small positive actions will raise awareness in this country about depression, mental illness, domestic violence, warning signs – something so that children are safe at the hands of their parents, the people they trust the most in the whole world.

Mary Papenfuss will be hosting a reading at Barnes & Noble in Manhattan at 83rd & Broadway on Thursday, July 18 at 7:00 p.m. All are invited to attend. For further information regarding the Loyola Scholarship contact Amanda Robinson at


Sage Advice From Liza Huber

LizaHeadshotThat Girl Is Amazing: Liza Huber, CEO and founder of Sage Spoonfuls

Liza Huber was accustomed to playing roles as an actress so when the biggest role of her life threw her for a loop, she decided to take matters into her own hands. As a new mom, Huber was on the search for homemade baby food products that offered ease of use, convenience and quality.

When she couldn’t find anything that fit the bill, she began to think about creating something herself. The busy mother of four says that her oldest son, Royce was her inspiration but it was her second son’s birth that gave her the nudge she needed. Brendan was born premature and Huber was determined to provide him the best quality, highest nutrient foods she could find. She turned to homemade baby food and Sage Spoonfuls was well on its way.

Sage Spoonfuls provides a complete homemade baby food system allowing parents to make, serve, store and take homemade baby food on the go. Homemade baby food is higher in nutrients and tastier. Huber also believes that in the long run, having children exposed to fresh, natural foods may stave “the picky eater” syndrome so many American children seem to have.

Based on her own trial and error, Huber designed her system to make it easy for parents. The system includes jars, trays and labels which make storing homemade baby food a simple one step process.

“If you put aside one hour every two weeks, you can have a freezer stocked with healthy and delicious baby food,” said Huber. “You don’t need intricate kitchen skills.”

Huber’s award-winning book “Sage Spoonfuls-Simple Recipes, Healthy Meals, Happy Babies” accompanies some of the packages or can be purchased separately. Huber’s recipes include tasty pairings such as pears and asparagus and cherry banana quinoa.

Huber, who works from home, feels she has just the right balance as an entrepreneur and mom. She has found the opportunity to help parents embrace healthier living to be very fulfilling.

For women launching a business or getting a product ready to market, Huber provided the following advice:

  • Explore The Market – Do your homework and find out what products are available in the market.
  • Obtain Legal Advice – It is important to protect your business and company right from the start. Seek legal advice during the initial stages of the process to be sure you gain the proper protection for your business and your idea such as trademarks, copyrights and patents.
  • Protect Your Idea – Sage Spoonfuls took two years to launch from concept to creation. It’s important to keep the business under wraps during the development period.
  • Believe In Yourself – Huber credits her husband for both supporting her and believing in her skills even before she did. Initially wary, because she didn’t have experience in the business world, he pushed her to overcome those thoughts. Many of the skills she honed as an actress have helped her as a business owner.

Huber, who has acting in her genes as the daughter of Susan Lucci had planned to return to acting but as it turned out she found a larger role by helping families live a cleaner, greener life.

Sage Spoonfuls is available nationwide at Buy Buy Baby, and is coming to Babies R Us this summer. For further information regarding Sage Spoonfuls visit





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