STEM Today, STEM Tomorrow!

As a mom of 3 girls, I’ve always been a huge supporter of letting my kids explore a variety of activities and sports that they showed interest in. With the help of our local parks and recreation programs, I was able to register them for these activities at a relatively small price point.  We’ve done soccer, basketball, tennis, guitar lessons, ballet, hip hop dance, swim, ice skating, karate, and a host of other things.  There was only a small commitment (usually 4-6 weeks) and if they didn’t like it we didn’t have to sign up for another session.  Some interests gained steam and I signed them up with a local team or organization.  It just works out great for us.  
When my oldest daughter decided that she was interested in engineering, I knew I had a real task on my  hands.  The issue wasn’t her interest, that made me really happy.  I just knew that inexpensive STEM camps were harder to find then Naomi Campbell’s edges!  Being the most resourceful person this side of the Mason Dixon line, I scoured the internet and online parenting groups in hopes of finding something within budget.   I was able to find a program sponsored by the National Society of Black Engineers, called SEEK.  It was a FREE 3-week program focused on engineering.  As the years have gone by,  I’ve been able to enroll my kids in several other programs.  I wanted to share a few that I know of today.  I am sure I am missing some, so I hope that you’ll share what you know in the comments section.  Low cost or Free is the goal, but I think all STEM opportunities are great opportunities and welcome information on those as well.  

The 9 links below are additional STEM camp/program opportunities.  Good Luck!!
http://stem4us.org (This link is for 2014 program, but contains camp contact information to inquire about 2015 programs)



Snow Daze

Some Simple Math For Ya!

1 Snow Day
+3 Kids
+3 Meals cooked to customer child’s requests
+5 Times I attempted to escape from my 5 year old by “going to the bathroom”
+5 Times my attempts were thwarted
+10 Times I started a movie my toddler wanted to watch, only for her to tell me that she didn’t want to watch it anymore
+15 episodes of YouTube videos I had to watch that involved some person playing with Disney toys or creating play doh sculptures
+20 requests for juice and snacks
+24 times I remembered that I needed to put the chili in the crockpot, only to really remember at DINNER time….ugh
+131490812349 times I heard the phrase “I’m bored”
+131490812349 times I responded to the “I’m bored” phrase by saying “go clean your room”

Equals
0 bedrooms cleaned
1 exhausted mama
3 kids still staring me in my face
18oz of wine in my travel mug 

Photo Credit:Looking for the Sweet Spot

Now don’t get me wrong, it’s not always this bad.  When I feel like it, I can go into mommy sergeant mode and get these kids to clean up the whole house, and have all the meals prepared ahead of time.  But when it’s gloomy or icky outside, my body just wants to be gloomy right along side of it.  In the summer, I’m all “Let’s go biking, shopping, etc”, but today, on this snowy day, I just want to be left the hell alone.  I want to scream “Call your grandma and see what they’re doing”.  I just want to watch Wendy Williams, drink Ginger Tea, and eat spoonfuls of peanut butter.

But as I sit here and watch my youngest eat her 4th piece of toast in my bed while watching her 500th episode of SpongeBob Squarepants, I can’t help but just shrug and continue to type on my computer.  In my mind all I hear is “don’t turn around and ask me for anything PLEASE”

I know I’ll regret this when I want to climb in the bed with Mr. and realize the bed is full of crumbs. So then I’ll have to change the sheets and vacuum which is a total mood killer.

I remember when snow days used to be fun.   I need to work on getting back to those days!  What do you do on snowy days?
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5 Steps To Weight Loss

After church, I went to the local wing spot to pick some lunch up for my family.  We had wings, fries and hush puppies.  I was scheduled to go to brunch at 1:45p so I called myself not eating a lot.  Well I ended up eating a lot.  I was stuffed!! Then I had to get up 15 mins later and drive to brunch.  I tried to convince myself that I would digest the wings in the 35 mins it took to get to the restaurant.  Wrong!  Didn’t work.  I ended up ordering the brunch buffet, since it was restaurant week in DC.  I had never been to this restaurant and I really wanted to enjoy it.  The restaurant was Chima in Tysons Corner.  The food was DELICIOUS!!  Think Fogo De Chao times 10.  Everything was cooked to perfection, the salad bar had tons of fresh selections and the service was impeccable! I had my choice of a variety of beef, chicken, pork and fish plus I indulged in their $6 sangria special!

You were given a coaster size plastic card that you flipped over when you wanted more servings of food (GREEN) or when you wanted them to stop (RED).  There came a point where every time I lifted my fork, there was someone next to me shoving meat down my throat….

….ummm offering me tender meat…..


…..asking if I wanted some more food.  (yall are SOOO nasty)  One point when we declined, the server said “Why?!”  

Sir! I’m FULL!!  I can’t move! That’s why!  Respect the RED!  Then they had the nerve to offer me dessert! The nerve! I mean… I got it, but anyway.

As I sat there, in a food induced coma, I made a decision to jump start my weight loss journey.  I haven’t been happy with my body for a while.  I have ripples and rolls where there weren’t any before.  Plus jeans that I know I should be fitting in no longer fit. It’s discouraging.  I didn’t realize how deep my issue was until I saw how many pair of leggings I have.  They’re sooooo comfortable.  But they are my cop out. Next thing you know, I’ll be shopping in moomos.

I want to have a nice body again, and honestly, my nice body goes back 14 years when I had my 1st child….so I’ve got some work to do!  So, I’m calling myself out and going to work on getting my body together.  I will be changing my eating habits and working out.  My husband can be a bit of a drill seargant whenever I mention working out (think Billy Blanks), but I know he will help whip this body back into shape! I’m excited! I’m pumped! I’m scared!

Update Day 1:  I woke up and ate two cold wings and 4 hush puppies!! *slaps forehead*  But I also put a sweet potato in the toaster oven and will eat that for lunch, with plenty of water.  

In order to be accountable, I am going to #myeatstweets!  I’ll use the hashtag to highlight what I’ve eaten that day (good or bad).  Feel free to join me!

Oh and I didn’t forget about those 5 steps! I found these helpful hints on a boxing website.

1. Drink Water! Water doesn’t just help quench your thirst. All metabolic processes within the body utilize H2O and drinking plenty of it helps your body function optimally. It also helps you feel your best—many of the common daily headaches and fatigues we experience can result from a lack of water intake.
2. Eat Breakfast! Many Americans fail to realize the true value of a morning meal. It not only boosts energy for the long day ahead, but keeps your metabolism regulated. Skipping a meal can put the body into “survival mode” which means that it actually begins storing and saving fat as opposed to burning it.
3. Exercise! There is no easy way around it: successful and sustained weight loss requires a commitment to physical activity. The best way to be loyal to physical activity is to work it into each day. Take a small part of each day to go for a walk, do aerobics, do yoga, or whatever other type of activity you enjoy. Mix it up so that you don’t get bored with it. Soon, you will not only get used to it, but you will feel better too!
4. Choose Variety! Don’t let popular dieting trends fool you: Carbs are good for you too! In fact, carbohydrates are what your brain run on and are very important for proper body functions. Following a high-protein diet over a long period of time can not only cause headaches, but also places considerable stress on the kidney. The important thing is to eat a variety of foods. This includes fruits, vegetables and even carbs. Just remember to be smart about the types of carbs you eat:: whole wheat instead of white.
5. Eat Slowly! We all get in a hurry from time to time, but it is important to take the time to listen to our bodies. Eating quickly doesn’t give our bodies time to tell our brains that we have eaten enough. Consequently, we continue eating and are left filling stuffed and bloated. Eating more slowly allows us to recognize when we actually have eaten enough and stop-it also helps us savour and enjoy the food we do eat.

And I don’t have a fitbit, or what ever latest gadget is out there. I don’t need it.  It really does nothing to motivate me.  

Getting Back In The Saddle!

It’s been almost a year since my last blog post.  I could chalk it up to me being so busy with kids, work and my marriage, but that’s not the entire truth.  I’ve had TONS of thought race through my mind, that I would have loved to jot down but just was too lazy to put pen to paper….errr well fingers to keyboard…what ever…you get the point!

It wasn’t until a recent event at the Washington Auto Show in DC, that the fire to begin posting again ignited. I had volunteered to participate in the ChevroletSheBuysCars Influencer Day.  My sister-friend from I Choose The Sun, shared the information with me to possibly participate.  A group of about 25 bloggers, all women, all fabulous in their own right, met at the Walter E.Washington Convention Center on January 22nd.  The day was filled with car demos, panel discussions, and networking opportunities.  I’ll have a post more about my experience at the event soon!

This time spent with other bloggers really got me riled up and I’ve been drafting posts since I came home that night.  I think I’d like to focus more on my life as a mom, wife and business owner…Yep business owner.  My husband and I opened a spa last year.  Fountain of You Therapy, LLC.

I’m excited to get starting again, and hope to keep this momentum up.  I have a lot of projects going on in my life that I’d love to share with you all.

*Buy a new car
*Transform our home office into a guest bedroom
*Help my daughter audition for performing arts school
*Lose weight

And many, many more!!