Bravo TV, Reality TV

#RHOP: Monique Samuels Launches ‘Not For Lazy Moms’ Parenting Site

Monique Samuels stars on Real Housewives of Potomac which is returning to Bravo this month. Despite her lavish lifestyle (and multiple luxurious homes), she says that her Jersey-based extended family has kept her rooted and down to earth. Monique’s dad made sure she wasn’t out driving until she learned to change a tire and check under the hood of a car and life was not always as glamorous for Monique as it is today. She values a good work ethic, managing her husband’s real estate investment company. First and foremost, she is a mom to two young kids and that is her primary focus. Being married to Chris Samuels, a six-time Pro Bowl left tackle who played for the Washington Redskins, hasn’t caused her to lose sight of the importance of hands-on parenting. Currently nanny-less while her kids are in school programs, she has always felt that it’s important to not have anyone else raising her children. When things were busier and the kids were not yet in pre-school, she had help, but describes the arrangement as follows: “We collaborated. When she (the nanny) was doing laundry, I would do things with the kids. You work together so the kids definitely get quality time with their mom!”

Real Mr. Housewife
Chris and Monique Samuels

When Monique’s son was fussy due to allergies, it made her search for some natural remedies in addition to running to her pediatrician. “I’m not a naturopath,” she explains, “But I do like to find what will keep me from reaching for Motrin, if that’s possible. I like to find the essential oils that can give some relief.I’m very big on essential oils.” Monique just launched the parenting lifestyle website Not For Lazy Moms at the insistence of friends who appreciated her insight and advice.

Bravo TV

“My friends would ask me about some natural remedies and I would be researching and making these suggestions and they said ‘You really need to start a website where you share this with others.” I urge people first to go to the pediatrician! But it doesn’t hurt to do your research and complement that with natural remedies so you can potentially lessen the number of sick visits.” Not For Lazy Moms began as a Facebook group. Monique would also record videos and the NFLM site went live on October 30th.

Although brand new, some early 5 star reviews are in because Monique initially brought this concept to the Not For Lazy Moms Facebook group she created:

Facebook
Subscribe to The Morning Email.
Wake up to the day’s most important news.

Facebook

Not For Lazy Moms is not only about health and wellness though. It also encompasses other areas of parenting and encourages moms – “not Perfect Patties” as Monique says – to be candid about struggles and ways to overcome them.

Regarding the title of the site, “What mom is lazy?! I don’t think ANY mom is lazy,” stresses Monique, “I want to be clear that the name is pure snark. Wracking our brains to figure out what’s good for our kids, what’s beneficial for our marriages and how to spice things up as couples…Those are all things we deal with. That was my impetus for starting Not For Lazy Moms. I’ve learned how to get my kids to get to bed by 8 pm so my husband and I can enjoy some time to ourselves after. It’s not always about going out, some times it’s just enjoying some wine or a cigar – on occasion and having ‘date night’ at home.”

thepicta.com

“I know this is not easy for parents in general. You should come in and smell our home! We use essential oils and We have a diffuser going…I rub some essential oils on my kids feet before going into bed. My husband and I do the same. We all have to work hard to figure out the routines and learn what’s effective so we can be in bed peacefully by a certain time and having things running smoothly in our lives. I really want this website to be a place to hear from other mothers, for moms to exchange ideas and discuss what works, for moms to ask questions and get answers. My friend Valerie is actually a matchmaker who contributes to the site and will give parents great ideas on keeping the spark, something parents of really young kids and babies can forget to prioritize or struggle with.”

Not For Lazy Moms Facebook Group

 

Monique has been very busy lately recording televised morning segments that provide tips to moms. She is also working on developing a podcast (that will also likely be titled Not For Lazy Moms). When I ask her if other cast members from Real Housewives Of Potomac will be involved with the website, she says that anything is possible further down the line. However, this is not about Bravo. It’s about helping moms connect with other relatable, everyday moms.

 

“Whether you want a recipe for homemade play dough that you can make with your kids, or date night ideas for you and your significant other, I want this to be a place where moms go for excellent ideas! We are also interested in having other moms be contributors. There is a tab on the site for that. I love interacting with people and sharing some of my thoughts and the things I’ve learned from real life, hands-on experience.”

You can check out Monique’s website at: www.NotForLazyMoms.com or follow her on Twitter @https://twitter.com/iammrssamuels.

(This article previously ran in my Huffington Post Contributor archive)

Standard
Bravo TV, Reality TV

#RHOBH Recap: Thank You, Thuck You (Episode 811)

Bethenny and Kyle.png

Better late than never? Well, this time. I decided that I wanted to write a recap of the last episode of Real Housewives of Beverly Hills in an effort to figure out exactly what is happening. Brian Moylan of Vulture.com affectionately calls the show “Rich Women Doing Things” because in many ways it seems to be a show about nothing except that. But, let’s explore by breaking the latest episode down….

One  of the few great things to come out of Camille Grammer’s relationship with Kelsey (aside from alimony and becoming one of our favorite things about RHOBH after being ignored by her ex in her inaugural season) is daughter Mason. The episode begins with Mason walking the runway in a NYC fashion show and I’m baffled by the fact that Camille is not a “Housewife” this season rather than a “friend of.” We’re getting a lot of Camille and in her incredibly monotone and reserved manner, she is offending no one. In other scenes, we see that she is clearly wary of Dorit and Dorit’s big mouth. In this episode however, she is focused on her modelesque offspring who does a fantastic job making her way down the catwalk in a 20 pound dress. That is talent.

Mason looks a lot like Kelsey, but not in an unfortunate way. She’s much prettier and has an Elle/Dakota Fanning thing going on.

Right before the fashion show, the ladies pile into a van and no one is speaking. The tension is so thick because of the ridiculous arguments the ladies engaged in during last week’s episode. Lisa Rinna is visibly THRILLED that this drama has nothing to do with her for once and it has strictly been between Kyle, Dorit and Lisa Vanderpump. She was tipsy from alcohol the night before and is still unclear what all the arguing was about (as are we!). She’s desperate to get the low down, but struggles to keep herself in check.

…That is, until she joins Kyle while the latter is getting faux bobbed by Julius Michael and face primed by Priscilla Distasio. The hairdresser and the makeup artist are a duo that are frequently requested by Bravolebrities before Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen. This is a little like Breaking the 4th Beauty Parlor Wall. They have both worked on Rinna, LVP and Kyle Richards in the past.  They can also be credited with many of the Vanderpump Rules and Real Housewives of New Jersey looks. And yes, you have in fact seen Priscilla on RHONJ as Teresa’s makeup artist teasing Milania about her hyperactivity level. It’s nice to see this team getting some well-deserved PR by appearing in this episode (as well as the last one) of RHOBH. Rinna leans over to eat up all the gossip Kyle has to share. She’s just missing a box of popcorn in hand.

Next we see Dorit trying to smooth things over with LVP while she sports a red leather mini to showcase significant thigh gap and a blood sucker shirt to signify she’s a victim of some sort. It’s clear to me that these ladies don’t eat and they exercise at least twice per day. It’s unrealistic to be that skinny over the age of 40…..if you actually ingest calories.  Dorit tries to get back in LVP’s good graces, but then the older woman drops a bombshell: Her friendship with Dorit is important because she prides her relationship with PK over it all. Really? PK?! Well, yes. Apparently they go way back and have a circle of British chums in common.

Speaking of British, the most interesting thing about this episode was that when Bethenny Frankel is at an event held at Kyle’s NYC store, Kyle by Alene Too, she acts as if she thinks Dorit is British rather than from Connecticut. Should we believe that Bethenny has such limited knowledge and doesn’t actually watch RHOBH? Fast forward to a WWHL episode and Bethenny concedes she doesn’t watch the show, but had met Dorit with her husband PK and 80s icon Boy George and assumed the entire party was English. But Back at Kyle by Alene Too, Lisa Vanderpump thinks Bethenny is full of shit. The latter butts into the ridiculous arguments the ladies are having and points out LVP’s inability to apologize. LVP is so focused on the fact that she can stand up for herself against RHONY Queen Bee Bethenny that she is not issuing any apologies. She leaves the boutique with her pride intact and a faux fur red coat that Dorit feels would suit her better since it matches her bright red lipstick.

While Bethenny’s strategy for talking sense into LVP has been largely ineffective, the reasonable (too much so for a castmate of this show) Accountability Coach Teddi visits Lisa at her home once the ladies are back in Beverly Hills. Somehow, Teddi is able to get through to LVP about the fact that Dorit spews a lot of nonsense and gets off the hook while Kyle becomes the casualty in the process. LVP agrees to sit down with Kyle and finally listen to her and provide her with some acknowledgement.

Kyle and Lisa then meet for dinner. When faced with the question of whether Lisa favors Dorit and therefore gives her a pass, Lisa explains that she’s harder on Kyle because they’ve known each other longer and have more history together. It really seems as if LVP is scrambling to figure out the social dynamics and how to express her loyalties. She also reiterates that she has too much invested and “at stake” with her longterm relationship with PK. I’ve decided that this season is most definitely titled “The Real Filler Scenes of Beverly Hills” because it seems like they’re arguing about a whole lot of nothing. At least, nothing that LVP wants to be arguing about. She is as baffled as we are. Nevertheless, she gives Kyle the most contrite apology she can possibly muster.

Next Episode: Rinna and Camille prance around in lingerie with nary a tad of cellulite, but don’t expect them to share diet tips. Dorit straddles LVP in an effort to have a conversation. Camille throws Dorit shade…and finally, LVP does the same causing Dorit to storm out of a dinner party.

 

 

 

 

Standard
Podcasts

Grant’s Rants: Reality TV Perspectives Include his Hilarious Granny’s

grants rants logo

When Margaret Josephs of The Real Housewives of New Jersey (RHONJ) mentioned she was listening to Grant’s Rants, my curiosity was piqued. I’m always down for a Bravo show recap and I thought “Grant’s Rants” (full title: Grant’s Rants Hollywood Talk) sounded like an interesting name for a podcast. I started out listening for the host Grant Rutter’s thoughts on the reality TV shows I was watching and quickly found his Rhode Island accent intriguing, along with his shrewd commentary on things that don’t necessarily strike the eye of the viewer.

Then I came upon an episode with Granny June. Grant’s Granny reminds me of my own Nana, who, sadly, passed away before The Real Housewives franchise began, but who would have had some incredibly humorous takes. She is unabashed about sharing her blunt observations on grown women wearing pigtails or making a ridiculous ritual of multiple air kisses. Although I had a particular affinity for the episodes featuring this spitfire grandmother, comedians and pop culture enthusiasts have also lent their expertise. In addition, Margaret Josephs (the “Housewife” to recommend the podcast to me) and Danielle Staub of RHONJ were recent guests who provided tantalizing inside scoop and answered questions many had wondered about.

grant and granny june

Grant and Granny June

marge and danielle on grants rants

Here’s what Grant had to say about his podcast:

How It All Began

Grant’s Rants started in August of 2015. I was encouraged by the following I had generated when I was at AfterBuzzTV. In the beginning, I was surprised by people following me on Twitter, and positive comments I got online. I was used to people being destroyed in the comments, but many respected my opinionated views. I figured, there must be something to this podcasting thing. In my opinion, the YouTube space was over-saturated and Periscope was the big thing at the time. The work I saw coming off of Periscope was on the low end. I produced YouTube videos back in the early days and studied TV in school. Podcasts were the perfect platform to roll out a show and test for audience. I’m a long time podcast listener: I remember downloading podcasts off of my desktop computer and adding them to the my black iPod video! Podcasts like Daytime Confidential showed me that you can be a fan and have a perspective, and with a little insight you can legitimize yourself, but you have to be a fan first and always keep it real.

TV Talk Shows are an incredibly over produced medium, hosts read prepared note cards and are delivered every word or joke via prompter. When podcasting, you have to keep it real and be honest, and that’s why I think so many folks who want information or a genuine laugh find podcasts.

What Grant’s Rants is About

Grants Rants is a pop culture commentary experience, featuring a different guest co-host each week to chart the waters of that week’s latest news. It’s slanted towards reality TV but away from the Kardashians. I have one rule for the show, no Kardashian hot topics. You can get that information everywhere, we are here to cover what else is happening. Every co-host is connected to media or entertainment. This provides for an interesting commentary in the second half of the episode where we spotlight their career and the road to get there. I think people’s stories can be interesting. The thing about working in Hollywood is you can be working on a film set one year and the next you’re moving to Seattle to work in banking – the business takes many twists and turns and it’s interesting to see what keeps people hanging on and how dreams morph into career offshoots.

Guests and a Variety of Perspectives

My favorite guests are those who are on the same wavelength as me. Those people that just “get it”. Observant people are the best. I love to people watch. Grants Rants is all about commentary. It’s an escape from the headlines. I like to think if you look at a cover of US Weekly, Kim Kardashian will be on the cover announcing another pregnancy or something (who cares?), and we’ll talk about all the other stories surrounding that image – a Real Housewife divorce, Paris Hilton’s engagement, Britney’s tour, Scientology, etc. Guests who are game to talk about whatever and come to the table with an opinion are my kind of people. In the most recent episode, (#84) Comedian, Heather McMahan was my co-host. In addition to her being hilarious, she’s an old friend who just “gets it”. We have a certain chemistry that just bounces off of one another that is vital to a good show.

Granny June, my grandmother and my most guested guest is a favorite of listeners. She’s very plugged in to pop culture, reality TV and gossip. She also brings opinions to the table – she can’t stand Mama June and Honey Boo Boo, has no time for Roseanne Barr and can’t quit watching Dr. Phil. What’s great about having Granny on the podcast is that we are clearly very different demographics [I’m 28, she’s 88] but we both see what’s happening in entertainment and have our opinions. It also helps that she’s not afraid to give advice and yell certain Housewives on the show. One of my favorite bits of advice was Granny June telling Kyle Richards to sit down and stop having so many parties!

That’s the type of life advice you’ll get coming out of Grants Rants. The show has become an escape for many listeners, and something I plan to explore more in 2018 and the road the 100th episode this summer!

You can start listening to Grant’s Rants now by visiting: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/grants-rants-hollywood-talk/id1033690074?mt=2.

 

 

 

 

 

Standard