Tag Archives: creative moms

New Episodes on the Podcast: The Pump and Dump Show and Hilary Liftin

There are two new episodes up on the Expressing Motherhood podcast.

I interviewed the comedy duo The Pump and Dump show and also LA based writer Hilary Liftin.

 

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Both episodes can be listened to via iTunes.

If you have a moment please leave a review for the podcast on iTunes. You can also listen via BlogTalkRadio. Thank you.

Creative Mom: Bree Chambers Creator of Nesh NYC

Expressing Motherhood has been interviewing creative moms for years now. Mom who haven’t been in the show even. I’m fascinated with their process. I wanted to introduce you to Bree Chambers.

Bree and I met doing a film class together at the University of Iowa. She is a born and bred Iowa girl, having been raised in Des Moines.  Bree has a successful line of clothing and is a mom, living in NYC. Meet Bree!

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BREE CHAMBERS is a former Iowa girl turned New Yorker. Who studied at the University of Iowa as well as Fashion Design at Parsons School of Design. As a life long yogi, Bree decided to further her practice by taking a yoga teacher training, little did she know this is where Nesh NYC would be born.

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Nech NYC encompasses Bree’s passions and lifestyle – from her choices in fabrics, commitment to USA production, and chic functional styling. Like Bree herself the line is active, sophisticated and holistic.

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 Me: What was your major in college?

Bree: Communication Studies and Theatre Minor.

Me: I know we took film classes together and that’s where we met! We even had an internship lined up together in NYC with the John Woo Production Company and then I headed West at the last minute. What were your goals after graduating? What kind of jobs did you have?

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Bree: I did come to NYUC and do the internship at John Woo….then after graduating I decided to move to NYC. I got an internship at Mademoiselle Magazine and that is where my love affair for fashion began. In 2001 I decided to go to Parsons School of Design/The New School and get my AAS in Fashion Design. For 10 years I worked as a Designer or Creative Director for various companies including Cynthia Rowley 
 
Me:  How did your creative spark for Nesh come about? I find having kids really inspired me. What year was Nesh born?

Bree: Nesh NYC started in 2011. Olivia was 2 and I Gabe was 6 months and I was totally burnt out. I had been working crazy hours and traveling for work a lot, and I needed a change. I had been practicing yoga for over 10 years and had always wanted to do a yoga treater training, so decided it was time to take a month off and just do it. While at the teacher training I felt so blah wearing tie dye and basically PJ’s. So under a crazy mural of a dancing Ganesha, the idea of NESH NYC was born. There was a void in the market for sleek looking active wear….and I was going to fill that void.

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Me: Tell me about Nesh.

Bree: Nesh NYC is truly a collection of active-inspired sportswear that goes everywhere. The Nesh NYC woman leads a full active life – either in the gym, with her kids, on campus, running her company, traveling, or all of the above and she wants to do so stylishly. Nesh NYC seamlessly fuses the best elements of active and contemporary sportswear to create a lifestyle collection that can take any woman everywhere.

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 You have two young kids, how many hours do you work outside of the home? Do you have help? Are the kids in school?

I literally work 45-50 hours a week at the NESH NYC corp office which is hard, but no other option. My husband has a more flexible schedule and he helps out a lot. I do have full time help as well. Olivia is starting Kindergarden next week, but will have to go to an after school program as well.

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Me:  Do you have a business partner?

Bree: Yes, my good long time friend Connie Basile is my business partner and head pattern maker and head of production.

Me: I see that you make LA trips, how frequent are those?

Bree: Once a month at this point.

Me:  I think so many women dream of starting their own line and you have done that. What made it happen do you think? Do you have a mantra?

Bree: It is something I had been wanting to do for the last 10 years. But having known what I know today about how hard it is, I may have decided differently. Although what I have learned over the last 3 years is priceless.

Me: Is it safe to call you a yogi? How often do you practice? I’m envious of your arm muscles lady.

Bree: Yes I am very much a yogi…been practicing for 15 years. I try and practice between 2-4 times a week. I also run 1-2 times a week 5-10 miles. 


Me:  Who is Nesh for meant for? Can you wear it doing other sports?

Nesh NYC is meant for everyone. It is actually a lifestyle Brand. We have active fabrics and elements, but it is also great for travel and day to day life. 

Me: OK, I’ll be doing the school drop off line soon enough what’s a good outfit for me to drop off the kids, I’ll be hanging at school for 45 minutes with my youngest before it’s time for them to go in. So I’d love a recommendation for a lightweight longsleeve something as well and then hopefully I’ll be off to yoga or a workout a few times a week. I’d love for you to suggest something for me.

Bree:  I would recommend wearing our luxe bralette tank, with a long sleeve V-tee and our luxe jogger. It’s comfy and sleek…..take off the v-tee and just wear the bralette tank and jogger for yoga!

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Thank you Bree! All the best. And I just found out Nesh NYC will be in Anthropologie soon!

Celebrating Creative Moms Over Mother’s Day Weekend

We have  collaborated with Mary Trunk the director of the documentary “Lost In Living” comedians/singers Shannon Noel & Stacie Burrows of Mommy Tonk and author Amanda Hirsch to share with you our films, show, cute merchandise and books this Mother’s Day Weekend.

 

Expressing Motherhood is excited to present to you our latest Los Angeles show, streaming for you free all Mother’s Day Weekend.

Co-Creators Jessica Cribbs & Lindsay Kavet

Here is is!

You really should also watch “Lost In Living.” We had an ExMo MeetUp where we watched the film and discussed it afterwards. It’s thought provoking. The film will screen for free here at 4PM starting today, Friday.

You can go to MommyTonk and then head on over to FB to enter in their giveaways, including 2 tickets to their LA show next week.

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Head to Amanda Hirsch’s page to enter in for a chance at winning a copy of her book, Feeling My Way: Finding Motherhood Without Losing Myself.

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We wish you all a Happy Mother’s Day Weekend.

 

 

Meet Second Time Performer, Krista Knott

Krista Knott
Krista Knott

Southern California native, Krista Knott is putting her feet on the Expressing Motherhood stage for the second time in our next show, opening May 10th. Krista had heard about the show originally through a friend and decided to submit when the next round opened. She performed in Burbank, having only to walk down the street from her house to the theatre.

She is a free lance writer who works from home and says she is up late most nights. Her “day job” is mom. Her “paying job” is as the Managing Editor for The Bright Side Project, although if she could stay home and eat bon bons and watch soaps, it would actually be “a marathon of The Walking Dead and a bucket of high quality chocolate bars.”

When I asked her about her first time on the EM stage, she said “the first time I performed was a bit of a game changer for me. I spent years as a struggling actress/unpublished writer and to take these two aspects of myself (coupled with the inextricable role of mother) and mash them together helped me work from feeling like I somehow failed in my past life since I didn’t “accomplish” anything before having kids to reconciling that I am exactly where I need to be. And that I am worthy.”

Krista, Bryan, Finn & Dash
Krista, Bryan, Finn & Dash

Krista and her fiance Bryan have been together since 2006 and have two children, Finn (5) and Dash (1 1/2). She also has a 13 year old step-son who lives out of state but spends the summers with them here in SoCal. “His sister has full blown hero worship and his visits here even trump the excitement of Disneyland.”

Krista and Bryan have been engaged since 2010 and are pleased to announce they will be getting married on May 20th….the day after Expressing Motherhood closes in Los Angeles!

“We finally realized that, with two kids, we were never going to be able justify spending money on a wedding so we are taking our parents and heading to the courthouse on our 7 year anniversary. Our five year old daughter is, by far, the most excited about this. She is obsessed with brides and grooms and can’t wait to wear her own fancy dress.”

Krista says she walked away from her first performance in EM with confidence, friendship, camaraderie and validation. “I realized it was much easier to perform as an actress because I wasn’t having to completely be myself, you know? To stand up on a stage and tell my own stories, in my own words, was absolutely terrifying. And honestly the most liberating experience I’ve ever had.”

Handmade with Love
Handmade with Love

We’re so happy Krista is going to be back on stage at The Lillian in May.

She says “this time is a little scary for me because I’m sharing something personal, something with weight. And that’s exactly why I am doing it. I believe in sharing our scary truths. I’m just a little shaky about doing it while standing in front of a group of people and not from behind the safety of a keyboard…

…I’m looking forward to looking my fear in the eye and doing it anyway.”

The Burbank Fall 2012 Cast
The Burbank Fall 2012 Cast

Two Time Performer, Sarah Maizes, Has My Children Obsessed

Sarah and her children
Sarah and her children

Sarah Maizes is a two time performer in Expressing Motherhood. She’s the mother of three, a writer, performer and now children’s book author. Last year, Sarah offered to give us a copy of one of her recently published books for giveaway in Expressing Motherhood.

She sent me two copies….so, naturally, I kept one for myself. That’s natural, right?

On My Way To The Bath is a very fun book indeed. I would venture to say that the hilarious antics of the child in the book can hit close to home for most of us when attempting to give a child a bath or anything else, really.

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Sarah has had great success with this book, and I can see why. My children have been obsessed with it for weeks. We read it over and over and over, in the same night.

 

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What has been saving us (Or me) from the redundancy of reading the same book over and over again is my 5 year old son. First of all, he can read, so we take turns being the child and the mom in the book…and we get animated…we don’t just read the book, we perform the book for each other. It’s a lot of fun!

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My son’s obsession is performing this book for us.

 

 

 

Last night, however, my son read the entire book to us on his own before bed.

Those are truly spectacular moments.

Mother’s Day with Daphne’s California Greek

2PMS+k-DaphnesLogoWe open this Spring on Mother’s Day weekend and Daphne’s California Greek has graciously offered to help make our Mother’s Day show a little more special by offering our audience a taste of Daphne’s!

Daphne’s California Greek is a Southern California born and bred company. They are a company who believes in being your true authentic self and support education, physical, active lifestyles and are highly involved with the local art community. They are part of programs such as STAR education, which seeks to bring music and arts back into the public schools.

Daphne’s new music discovery program supports amazingly talented young musicians and provides a platform for them to share their music and their passion with a larger audience whether it’s in one of Daphne’s locations, online via Daphne’s free, streaming radio channel, or through exclusive concerts in venues near their restaurants.

We like all of that.

There are 54 locations here in Southern California… including one right down the street from The Lillian Theater in Hollywood. If you’ve never tried their California spin on some classic Mediterranean food, you should!
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We look forward to sharing Daphne’s with you on Sunday, May 12 at our Mother’s Day Show!

Tickets are on sale now!

 

Courageous Women

I am always personally drawn to the stories of tragedy and triumph in our Expressing Motherhood shows. I suppose I feel connected to them, in a way. We have had so many women share such deep, emotional and often times very raw pieces on stage, I’m left with them for weeks…with a literal feeling of exhaustion…experiencing them over and over through our many shows. I can hardly imagine how our performers feel when sharing these same stories night after night. (Look up Courage in the dictionary and you’ll find any of our performers listed there.)

Kim Hamer shared with us her experience of losing her husband to cancer while leading her three young children through it. She performed her piece perfectly on stage and lived the emotions all over again after stepping off stage.

Kim Hamer

Andrea Meyer read to us her experience through a somewhat late term miscarriage. Andrea is so gifted with her words, her pain felt like your pain…as if you were actually going through this yourself.

Andrea Meyer

Angela Alexander lost two children in a car accident…while she was out of the country on active duty in the military. She turned her tragedy into a ministry and is inspiring many, many other people to keep putting one foot in front of the other when all seems hopeless.

Angela Alexander

Mona King not only has sung about the craziness of driving a mini-van and leading a life of a marriage and three children, she sang a song during one run of our show about raising a child with severe disabilities. You would have to be inhuman to not feel the insane love she has for that child.

Mona King

Anissa Mayhew wrote a letter to two of her three children apologizing to them about the attention her third one got so often due to that child’s cancer. Anissa suffered a stroke shortly before our show and was unable to fly to Los Angeles to perform. I had the privilege of reading her letter onstage. Anissa is as strong as she is hilarious.

“Team Anissa.” They traveled to LA for the show.

And don’t forget Dana Bell….

Dana Bell

These mothers and so many more I’ve been blessed to meet through Expressing Motherhood, are amazing testimonies to strong, courageous, women.

There is one woman, however, that holds a story that I will truly never forget.

That story belongs to Beth Littleford.

Beth is a two time performer in EM. The first time she stood on our stage, she shared a little piece she called “Letter To My Son’s Future Therapist.” It was as funny as it sounds…but with a serious subject behind it…Postpartum Depression.

Beth and I after our closing night in her first EM show.

It was during that show Beth and I talked a lot back stage. We talked about grief, really. My own mothers death was not too far behind me at that point. She said she knew grief very well, but couldn’t talk about it…not because she didn’t want to but because she couldn’t.

When she came back to perform in the show again..she had found the courage, through healing, to talk about it. Beth lost her father and 12 year old younger brother in a terrible accident while the two of them were off to Alaska on an outdoors trip. Beth recalled detailed memories of the last few times she talked with her brother. At that point, her own son was approaching her brothers age when he died and the conflict of joy and sorrow was still overwhelming.

Beth was dealing with the grief as part a healing process. She was moving forward, sharing and indeed, healing. This is part of the reason why she decided to talk about it on our stage. And we are so glad she did.

I get it. The “sharing in order to heal” part of it.

There are so very many sides to all of the shows we’ve had to pleasure to put up. They are always filled with so many different women with hilarious stories of motherhood that have you rolling in the aisles to somber, humbling experiences like the ones above.

No matter which ones I’m identifying with at the time, I’m always glad we’re Expressing Motherhood.

Expressing Motherhood……The Reviews Are In!

Posted by  Co-creator, Jessica Cribbs

Well, another run is over.

But not without AMAZING things being said about it!

Our Fall 2012 Cast

“One of the most entertaining poinegnt evenings I’ve had in a long time. The stories made me feel like I’m not alone in my odd world of motherhood.”
– Nicole Sullivan, MADTv, Cougar Town

“I saw this production last night. It made me laugh, it made me cry, it made me want to share my story too. Thanks, ladies. You are beautiful women and moms.”
– Louise Post, Audience Member

“I LOVED IT. It felt like a delicious gift. Best evening in ages.”
– Gayle Cole, Audience Member

”Please don’t ever stop doing this. I always take away so much from your show. Thank you for putting so much time in to it!”
– Jennifer Lindman Lovold, Audience Member

“I loved this show. I laughed out loud. I openly cried… The women reminded me of everything that I had feared about becoming a mother….I felt it. The camaraderie of motherhood. The camaraderie of women.”
-Tommie Vaughn, TheWallsOfTom.com

Great job ladies. I’m sad to see this run end, but completely satisfied in the content shared and the bonds created. Bravo!

Gutzy Gear…and other giveaways!

Posted by Co-Creator & Producer, Jessica Cribbs

My daughter joined Girl Scouts about a year ago. Girl Scouts is great..she’s graduated from a Daisy to a Brownie and Girl Scouts is great…no, really. I adore this organization.

Ok, except for maybe the patch thing.

She started earning patches left and right and I was ironing them all on….because I think all patches should be IRON ON….so I was making it work.

One of the scout leaders commented to me… “They may fall off eventually…you’ll have to sew them.”

“Oh no I wont”, I would think, as I nodded in agreement with them. Oh No I Wont…..willing those patches never to move, or so help me I’d iron them back on with a round of heat nothing would survive.

But when the patches started peeling off one at a time, the brand new sewing machine I had purchased at Target seven years ago…started screaming at me. From the closet, I could hear it.

I had bought it on sale nearly a decade ago. It had been sitting unopened in a box for SEVEN years, for one very good reason…I had no clue how to use it. So, I finally sucked it up and asked one of my dear friends who sews to come show me how to use a sewing machine. We stayed up until midnight sewing on that machine, and I loved every minute of it. Of course I went sewing crazy for the next month and made pillowcases and bags…sewed on my daughters friends Girl Scout patches…and then I was over it.

So, imagine my absolute delight when I was in New York this summer at BlogHer and came face to face with a product for my children that solely consist of patches. And they are NOT sew on. Actually, they aren’t even iron on.
They use velcro. The kind of velcro that doesn’t budge…unless you really want it to.
I was sold. It was attractive, the patches were super fun and creative and as a mom, I did not have to get that machine out of my closet…where it should stay pending an emergency case of hemming.

My babes decked out in Gutzy Gear on the first day of school.

The product is called Gutzy Gear. And I’m in love. Handing out sample products to BlogHer attendees this past summer (Which are now proudly sported on both my sons’ and daughters’ backpacks) was Lauren Bass, one of the creators of Gutzy Gear and her mother.

Lauren doesn’t even look old enough to have kids! She’s young, energetic and an obvious go-getter. I’d say they are having great success as Lauren and her partner in this product, Wendy Koolik, are watching Gutzy Gear take off. I was seriously impressed and my kids loved the Gutzy Gear patches I came home with.

I emailed Gutzy Gear when getting ready for this Expressing Motherhood show, which opens tomorrow night in Burbank. I asked them if they would be interested in sharing their product with our theatre goers. It took them no time at all to oblige and I’m happy to say that every ticket holder tomorrow night, opening night, will receive a full set of Gutzy Gear!

Gear at my house ready for our opening night patrons!

The best part of this business, I think, are the creators behind it. Isn’t that always the case? Lauren Bass and Wendy Koolik are cousins who developed Gutzy Gear after discovering their grandmother’s old golf sweater full of patches. Every patch represented a golf course she had visited in her life.

I had the chance to chat with these two lovely ladies this morning and I am thoroughly impressed with their work ethic. Wendy and Lauren knew they wanted to start a business together and literally “took a walk until they figured it out.”

They are both mothers and made sure they did everything “on their own time….when kids were in school and before they woke up”
Lauren says, “when the baby goes to bed, I go to work.” “We couldn’t have imagined what has happened to us.” she continued.

They have been creating Gutzy Gear since 2008 and even Wendy says “I’m in shock we did this.” She went on to share with me that there were “100 times when we wanted to give up, but having a partner was key. She keeps me accountable” and ultimately, they “had a desire to keep it going.”

Co-creators of Gutzy Gear, Wendy Koolik (Left) and Lauren Bass (Right)

These creative moms started Gutzy Gear to help kids express themselves and spruce up their personal belongings with patches…..that DO NOT NEED TO BE IRONED ON! Seriously, can you hear my excitement over that….hey Girl Scouts..did you hear that?!

The thought never crossed their minds that they would be labeled a “Back To School” brand, but that seems to be the unexpected case. Wendy and Lauren are developing a lifestyle brand with Gutzy Gear and you can expect to see more than just backpack straps very soon. 

The fun thing about these patches is that you can change them out any time and kids can trade them. Their product was picked up in national stores in August of 2011 and the sky is the limit, really.

I am so happy to be able to share this product with you. My kids are loving them and I have no doubt yours will too.

Never underestimate what women can do….especially family.

Opening night is just about sold out…if not already sold out. But we have 7 more shows after that and we have great things to giveaway to our audience at every show. Gutzy Gear isn’t the only business sharing their love with our audience over the next two weekends. You can see here, what we’ve got scheduled! Included in your ticket price is a raffle ticket to win any of these items listed below, depending on the night you choose to attend!

Hope to see you in the next two weekends!

Friday, September 28th
$100 Gift Certificate to Unique Vintage
$40 Gift Certificate to MindfulNest
Gutzy Gear product for every ticket holder

Saturday, September 29th
Facial donated by Skincare By Andrea..value of $120
Copy of Healing Hearts by former EM cast member, Dr. Kathy E. Magliato

Sunday, September 30th, 2:30pm Matinee
Gift Certificate from LaLaLand Indoor PlayLand in Burbank
Sleep Sack donated by Baby Dee Dee
Copy of Healing Hearts by former EM cast member, Dr. Kathy E. Magliato

Sunday, September 30th, 7pm Show
Rose Run Gift Basket
Quizno’s Coupons
Sleep Sack donated by Baby Dee Dee
Copy of Healing Hearts by former EM cast member, Dr. Kathy E. Magliato

Friday, October 5th
Porto’s Night – Every ticket holder will enjoy food from Porto’s!

Saturday, October 6th
$50 Gift Certificate to Bellies, Babies & Bosoms
Signed copy of “On My Way To The Bath” by Sarah Maizes (former EM Castmember)

Sunday, October 7th 2:30pm Matinee & 7pm Show
Chocolate Tastings provided by Johnnie Kent of Dove Specialties
Including..chocolate martinis, fondue, truffle fudge brownies & more!
She will also be raffling off a home chocolate party!

Under the Blue Light

A post by Co-Creator/Director Lindsay Kavet.

I can’t wait to be backstage in the blue light while the brave moms are up onstage and I can just sit back there and listen to them.

Looking at the performers, like Dr. Kathy Magliato from above, who are waiting to go up.

In awe that they are participating in the show. Comforted by the rawness of the show.

Enjoying the reaction from the audience.

Looking over at my Co-Producer’s, Jessica Cribbs, face and making sure that all is well. Theatre keeps us on our toes.

Watching them walk out onto the stage and feeling amazed at the intimacy. And thankful for it. Seems so much of us walk around never sharing the good stuff. Even if it’s messy.

I walk around most of my days fueled by anxiousness. But I find myself there, calm.

Being under the blue light has become one of my favorite places to be over the last few years.

Me backstage.