​Repeat After Me…

Every Mother’s Day, moms across the globe are celebrated for the sacrifice of their mind, body and sometimes soul as it relates to raising their children.  Some are showered with gifts that they may not necessarily want, while others are operating as if the day doesn’t exist.  


I’ve been a mom for 16 years, and I’ve had my share of Mother’s Day experiences.   I do love my family, and I appreciate the acknowledgement on the day.  I know I could very well be ignored on this day.  My birthday usually falls on Mother’s Day, so it’s a crap shot on how the festivities will go.  


I am usually specific about what I want, and still it is treated like a suggestion.  I’ve even printed out items that I want, complete with the store, sku number and aisle it’s in.  Still I got what THEY thought I wanted.  


Have you ever gone to a restaurant and ordered a steak and the waiter said “yea, I think you really want chicken? Here you go”.  That can be Mother’s Day for a lot of mom’s.


I know! I sound like a spoiled little girl.  I’m certain people are rolling their eyes at this post.  But that’s OK.  I’m not bothered.  My family knows I love them.  I appreciate everything they do for me.  But I don’t think I should feel guilty for wanting what I want on a day Hallmark says is about me. 


Anywhoooo, I decided to poll some mama’s!  I got over 300 responses! So clearly I am not the only one who wants to spread the word.  


Check out the infographic below and REPEAT AFTER ME…. “Mother’s Day is about the Mother! I will not try to outdo myself and by her shyt she didn’t ask for!”

I posted all the data from the study here:  MOMMY DATA


And here are some verbatim suggestions from mom’s:


Truly enjoy DIY crafts from my kids and breakfast in bed, but just being in their presence is a gift to me. A moment to myself is essential but CLEAN house matters most


To sleep in!


A hotel reservation for me and me only! I won’t be greedy. One night will do!


i want to spend a day window shopping without my todddler, after having gotten my nails painted by someone other than said toddler, then come home to a clean house and a takeout meal from a decent chain restaurant.


prefer just a low key day with my husband and son. a day when i can sleep in and everybody can move at MY pace…


A mini vacation or bed & breakfast (a few days away from the hustle)


​Fancy on a Budget!

Fancy on a Budget!


Yesterday I had the pleasure of hosting a retirement party for my mother. As you know I’ve hosted quite a few parties this year. All while trying to make sure that I didn’t deplete my bank account when it was all said and done. The decorations were simple but the one piece that I got a lot of questions on was the cake. The guest talked about how delicious the cake and the cupcakes were.  They insisted that I tell them which fancy bakery I went to to get such a beautiful cake. I had to let them know that I didn’t have the budget for a very fancy bakery to create the look I was looking for with this cake. I told them that I bought my cake and cupcakes from Safeway grocery store. Everyone was shocked. I noted that I did add a few decorative items to the cake and cupcakes, so that it was more in line with the theme of the party. But I couldn’t take credit for how the cake taste. As you can see from the pictures below Safeway did awesome job with the cake. I simply added edible blue butterflies  to the big cake and Tiffany blue and gold sparkles to the cupcakes. Not too shabby for grocery store cake!  What’s  your secret inexpensive WOW party item?





How Are The Kids Doing?




How Are The Kids Doing?




95.5386% of conversations I have lately start with one of two questions: “How are the kids?”  or “How’s the baby”.  And for the love of me, I’m really trying to remember how conversations start prior to me having kids over 16 years ago.


I was pretty young when I had my first, so I wasn’t having the most productive conversations.  I’m sure they started with “Are you going to the party at Tawes?” or “Want to go to the mall?” . You know something juvenile like that.  But the questions were focused on me and THEN maybe other areas of my life like “How’s your mom?”.  


Now, don’t get me wrong.  I appreciate people wanting to know how my family is doing.  The people asking are genuinely interested in what’s going on with the kids.  It’s just sometimes I don’t want to talk about them. LOL!  Especially when I hear you go to the next person and ask if they watched some show.  Or they talk about some new restaurant they tried.  I like food!  Why not tell me.  I mean, they may be shut down before I get a spare moment to check out that restaurant, but so what.  Chances are the show you may ask me about is somewhere in my DVR taking up precious memory.  I’ll watch it. One day.


I’m sure there will be cynics that say  “at least people are asking”.  To those individuals I say “hush”.  Just because I’m a mom doesn’t mean I want to talk about my kids all day.  I’m not the parent that whips out her phone to show off pics of my babies.  If you ask, sure I’ll show.  I just want to talk about more than just that.  And the way that I like to keep to my self at times and relish in absolute silence, the few times that I do venture outside without my kids I want to talk about something else.


I usually say “what’s going on with you” and then people spill their guts about all the cool things going on in their life.  Let me live vicariously through you dammit!  Don’t rob me of adult conversations.  


 


Lights! Camera! Action!

No, I’m not talking about filming your next big movie. I’m talking about planning your next party. Yes, party. Long gone are the days of blowing up a few balloons and having a pretty cake. We the people, require themes, candy bars, food stations, save the dates, invitations, thank you cards, gift themes, and a cake that looks like real life objects. Again, this isn’t your ordinary set up.

As a momma of 4, and daughter of an Arts N Crafts Queen, I’ve dabbled in hosting elaborate celebrations. I loved the final product. I loved to wow people.

But can I be honest? It’s a LOT of work. My mom does it way more than me. She’s actually passionate about “the look” of a party. She spent 1.5 years planning my daughter’s Sweet 16. She’s that dedicated and she’s that GOOD!

She’s set to retire soon, and I’m already working on how to tap into her creative skills and monetize it. I don’t think that type of talent should go to waste. So look at her last two events. Tell her she’s crazy not to pursue this as a stream of income.

How wild are you about planning parties? Is there no budget when it comes to your events, or do you prefer to keep it simple?

 

Quick Bites: Easy Sliders 

My kids love sliders. It’s their go to appetizer when we are out at restaurants.  I’ve made them at home using fresh ground meat, but as my time to cook decreases I’ve had to find shortcuts. 

I decided to use precooked meatballs this go round. You can either make your own meatballs, cook and freeze them or you can buy fully cooked meatballs from your local grocer. 

Make sure you defrost them prior to use.  Using a potato masher or spatula flatten each meatball into a small patty.



After thoroughly heated,  add a piece of cheese and pace on your mini bun. 


You can use rolls or slider buns. 

This takes 10 minutes to make and the kids are happy.


Enjoy! 

Traveling with Tiny!

 

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Last week I went to Jamaica.  But I wasn’t alone.  My mother and 11 month old baby girl accompanied me.  When I made the decision several months ago to bring the baby, I had a plan.  I’d basically keep her attached to my boob the whole flight.  I knew it’s what she liked and it would keep her quiet.  As we got closer to the trip, I realized that while this baby loved her mama’s boobs, she loved to explore the world too.  Crawling and climbing all over the place was her thing.  Then she learned to walk at 9 months and my plan was shot to hell.  I had to regroup.  So I feverishly scanned the web on things to buy when traveling with babies.

Below are a few of the items that I purchased that made my life much better.

  1.  Baby Carrier with Hip Seat

Unfortunately, I forgot to take a picture of me wearing her as we walked around the airport.  This was hands down the best buy I purchased for the trip.  Since I checked my stroller, it was crucial that I had some way to hold her and hold the other bags I had.  She loved the forward facing position and waved hi to everyone we passed.  She didn’t seem uncomfortable, and my back wasn’t in any pain after using it.  The carrier has a built in seat, so the baby isn’t dangling by her crotch.  She is actually sitting on a mini seat area. I was able to put it on and strap her into it by myself.  I don’t really care for the color, but I can live with it.  I’ve already used it when sitting through my other kids Karate practice.  The baby enjoys sitting and watching it.

      2.  Toiletry Bag

So, although I brought along a diaper bag, I knew that it was too big to fit under the front of my airplane seat.  I bought this toiletry bag and fit everything in it that I would need for a few hours on a plane.  I was able to fit a meal, snacks, juice, squeeze fruit pouch, 2 formula holders, a change of clothes, disposable bibs, disposable placemats (which could double as changing table covers), diapers, wipes, hand sanitizer, dirty diaper bag, travel diaper cream packet, a tiny bottle of water, my cell phone and my portable cell phone charger.  I used a baby bottle holder to dangle her sippy cup with for easy access and I attached a few toys.

This was second best purchase.  I was able to fit it under the seat with ease.  It was easy to grab items , especially in such a confined space.  I used it when I was at the beach as well.  I didn’t have to drag around such a huge diaper bag, and it wasn’t in the way.  I’ve actually started using this instead of the diaper bag.  The diaper bag is used for daycare and trips to grandma’s house.

3.  Sippy Cup Strap/Tether

My daughter is at the stage where she likes to throw everything off the edge of her car seat, high chair, stroller, etc.  This strap has been great to catch items before they fall.  It worked really well when I wore her in my baby carrier. Her bottle could dangle from one of the straps and she could grab it when she wanted.  Plus I didn’t have to worry about it falling on the nasty airport floors.

4.   Kid’s Headband Headphones

wp-1487991768265.jpgThese are good because they travel easy.  I folded these up and placed them in the pocket of the toiletry bag.  I downloaded a few movies from Netflix and she watched on her Amazon Fire tablet and on my cell phone.  It took a while for her to stop trying to pull the headband off, but it was still a good buy.

5. Tommee Tippee Formula Dispensers

Tommee Tippee Formula Dispensers, 6-Count

Now I’ll be honest.  I didn’t realize that these were specific to Tommee Tippee bottles.  I didn’t quite understand how they worked, but they were still a good buy.  The point is that they are supposed to fit inside the bottle for storage.  I still put powdered formula in the dispensers, and then placed them in my toiletry bag.  I really do love them.  I know there are tons of formula dispensers on the market. I like that these are pretty small and I can throw one in several bags, or even in the cup holder of my stroller.

6. Baby Stroller Fan

In the muggy Jamaican air, this fan really helped to keep the baby cool.  The blades are soft to the touch, so the few times she did reach out and touch them she didn’t hurt her fingers.  We dangled this on her stroller and she laid back and cooled off.  It ran on 2 AA batteries.  Unfortunately, we had to put it to rest because my older daughter somehow dropped it in the ocean (don’t ask) and the fan stopped working.  I’m definitely buying a few more for the summer.

 

7.  Pop Up Beach Tent

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I loved this thing!! I was able to pack it in my luggage.  It comes in its own carrying sleeve. It’s super easy to pop up and fold back.  It had enough space for me to lie in.  I even laid down and breastfed the baby in, with privacy.  The baby loved eating her snacks in the cool shade.  When we were done, we rinsed the sand off and folded it back into sleeve.  I will be buying a few more for my family.  We have a big gazebo sized tent that we bring to the beach every year, but that thing is a beast to carry.  These pop up tents will be great for each kid to have their own private space/shade and we can use the gazebo tent for the food area.  You can also clip the stroller fan to this thing and stay really cool.

 

Do  you have a must buy travel item for baby?

 

 

 

 

 

 

*This post includes some affiliate links.

I Said Yes!!

Proposals come in all shapes and sizes.  Some are asked over an elaborate show of affection, while others are simply asked casually over the phone.  The only thing they want to hear is “yes”.  They want you to be excited about it. I mean, it’s a big honor and a big deal.

So a few months ago, I said “Yes!”.  My proposal included jewelry, a personalized wine glass, and a luggage tag.  The colors were Spa Blue and gold.   The proposal was pretty sweet!

I was excited to be asked to be the Matron of Honor in my friend’s wedding.

This was not just any wedding.  This was going to be a beautiful wedding in sunny Jamaica.  Jamaica yall!  I’ve never been.  So I was super stoked.  I had about 12 months to prepare myself for the wedding.

As quickly as I was happy, I instantly got depressed.  I had JUST had a baby.  My body looked like chocolate pudding without Spanx.

My thought process went like this:

August: OK, summer is over. No more bbq’s.  Let’s start eating healthy and doing some slight cardio.

September: Kids started school.  I just started back to work from being on maternity leave.  My body has decided that it will not fall in line with my beach body goals.  It has begun to turn against me.

November-December: I will not eat all this yummy holiday food!  Have restraint woman!  Put that slice of sweet potato pie down..NOW DAMMIT!  Mmmmm pie.  **only crumbs remain on my plate**

January: *Final fitting for bridesmaid dress*  WTH?!  Who did this to me!? Ok, let’s hit the gym.  Let’s eat better.  Let’s get a plan together.

And I did stick to a plan.  Somewhat.  I stopped drinking sodas, juice, milk, etc. I only drank water.  Fruit infused water was my favorite.  I cut out a lot of processed sugar which I realized made my stomach bloat.  I found alternative sweets that weren’t too bad for my waistline.  I also juiced a bit to help curve that sweet tooth.

I left for Jamaica fitting my clothes much better.  I was NOT bikini beach body ready, but I was proud of the little progress I did make.

Now here’s my BEST advice:
DO NOT GO TO AN ALL INCLUSIVE RESORT DAYS BEFORE THE WEDDING!

I lost my damn mind the first 3 days while in Jamaica.  I think the sugary drinks are what did me in.  And I didn’t realize that I was PMSing (it was a week early), so I was eating EVERYTHING.  I had undone everything I worked so hard for.   And I could tell most of it was bloating from the sweet drinks and water retention from the salty jerk chicken that I ate everyday.

I didn’t plan for this and in hindsight I would have tried to stay longer after the wedding and not before.  Plus I would have planned my meals out, as best I could.

Check out this link to see some of the products I used to help with my weight loss.  I’ve decided that I am REALLY going to take this seriously and would love to have a nicer and toned body by my birthday in May.  So I’m kicking my plan into overdrive.  I will stay the course.

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