When I was a kid we always had an artificial tree and then we would visit my aunt in Jersey who had the real thing and there was always something a little better different about her home at Christmas time. When I left home I decided I'm going to always have a real tree! I hit a roadblock when my building informed me that it would violate my lease to bring in a live tree (yea, crash course in reading ALL the fine prints in a lease ::rolling eyes::) but then I met the Wasband and he bought us a tree in his apartment and it's been our tradition ever since.
I love the smell and the overall feel it gives the house at Christmas time. It feels Christmasy (yea I'm coining it)! Well last year was Chunks's 1st Christmas that he would actually appreciate so we got a real tree AND garland, it smelled divine! Then Christmas passed, New Years was over and it was time to take the tree out and OMG the branches!!
Pine leaves everywhere all the way through the house and out the door! We were sweeping long after the tree was taken away, a mess! So this year I don't think I'm going that route again and will dig up our artificial tree, which was supposed to go up on Friday :-(, and maybe I'll get the garland for the smell I love but I can't with the clean up this year.
What goes up in your house: Real or Artificial? Do you get special ornaments each year or do you have a loved collection?
All the good food, the drinks, and the good mood everyone seems to be in here in NYC. Lights are already up, some went up a few weeks ago, the windows up and down 5th Ave are done up in all Christmas fancy and everyone's spirit is just UP. Stealing Borrowing the idea from Simply K at Say What U Wanna I just want to celebrate the one thing, besides Chunks of course, that I am thankful for right now and that's PEACE.
With everything that's happened this year with the stress of a new job, a higher position, facing divorce, and managing being a single mom after already planning out my Happily Ever After I am most grateful that I was blessed with an unexplainable sense of peace.
I was able to roll with the punches, some caught me totally off guard while others I was a little bit more prepared for. The idea of raising a man all by myself scared the crap out of me at first but I'm doing it and so far so good, he's still alive! I go into work where I am the youngest practice supervisor and am able to wrangle people much older than me who weren't used to having management in 3 years and then get a 20-something boss and a VERY demanding attending and bring our team together and get the practice up and running more efficiently and keep everyone smiling. Proud of our progress.
I look to my little guy and my dream for him doesn't get any smaller just because it's just the 2 of us now rather than the ideal 3. I still expect nothing but his best and the best for him, be it school or anything else. Raising a decent man is my goal and facing this alone really hasn't been so bad, I know that we'll hit roadblocks along the way but I'm giving my 100 and expect no less from him, and then you know there's nothing like a Praying Mama. We gotta make so why not do it with some pride and a smile.
I'm grateful for my parents who have really helped me out in dropping Chunks off at school and picking him up when things run late at the office. It takes so much pressure off of me to know that when I can't be there he's still with family that will take care of him until Mommy gets home. Peace of Mind
The most important Ah Ha! moment came when I was alone in my room, Chunks gone to bed, and it was just me and my thoughts. I took in everything and decided no matter what- I'm happy! I'm not where I want to be but I am on my way and things can only get better from here, right? So I'm thankful for life, health, family,love, mental strength, and grace.
Wishing you an early Happy Turkey Day! When it's your turn at the table, what will you be most thankful for?
My new Me Time routine during the week comes after putting Chunks to bed and catching up on Oprah's new show Lifeclass. In this series, Ms. O reviews some of her memorable episodes and discusses with the audience what she took away from the show and the message it has on all of our lives. So far, this show has hit me in so many ways and I wished someone told me these things this way when I was growing up, but hey, you live and you learn and now I can teach these lessons. Anyway, I digress...last night's episode really peeked my interest because Ms. Toni Morrison was the feature and she said something that really go to me,
"When your children walk into the room do your eyes light up?"
Wow! She explained that when her children used to come into the room she would immediately inspect their shoes, make sure their shirts were tucked in, and hair was in place and her children then always put up a guard waiting for what was wrong with me now or she was so engrossed in her conversation she didn't acknowledge them. It made me think of my childhood and I could totally relate. What she said helped was finding that she was their main source of validation and she wasn't giving them what they needed and decided to change the way she acknowledge her children.
As humans, we all look for the sense of worth and value and our childhood is the mold that we grow from so when that foundation is cracked we're leaving a mark on our kids that they in turn pass on to those in their lives. Trying hard to be super mom right now, there have been times that I'm so into what I'm doing that Chunks can run in and out of the room and I not look up from my books or the computer and that needs to change a bit. There have been times when he comes over with his cars or books just begging for my attention and those are the times I feel it most. When he was smaller, any time I saw him I burst into one of those annoying, new mom "HIIIIIII Handsome!" or "Hey Chunk-a-Monk" lol yea I said it! but as life happens you can get side tracked.
What I learned from the class was when you change that and give your children that validation it gives them a sense of value and confidence and ultimately "changes the relationship you are having with them". SO back to old ways because Chunks has to know he is special, he is priceless, and he is worth my time and attention, and that he is the sparkle of Mommy's eye.
I know I've only been a mother for 2 years but I catch myself staring at Chunks sometimes in amazement that he's this big already, doing things on his own, forming pretty decent sentences, and really developing into his own person. WHERE IS MY BABY?? The other night I flipped through some old pics and really could not believe how fast time went by.
I remember our first few weeks together. His father was still in school so it was just my Chunks and I learning each other and I remember how just IN LOVE I was.
I remember packing up our apartment for our move back to Brooklyn and feeling overwhelmed and stressed out (I hate moving) and turning to see what Chunks was doing and found this...
LOL I laughed soooo hard. Thank God I was able to grab the camera to remember this moment.
I couldn't wait to take him out to really enjoy snow for the first time and he loved it (until it was just too cold and then he was OVER it lol)
I watched him become a big boy messy and loud, run and fall and get up with out crying
Then he had the NERVE to turn 2!! (Pardon my extra hard cheese)
AND start Pre-School!!
He's still my baby and I've become that mushy mom I swore I would never be but I'm really enjoying every minute of Motherhood and I'm so grateful for this little life :-)
A while back I posted on a family budget and tightening up some of our spending in order to save and be on our own. The family has had a few *changes* and so the purse-strings had to be altered a bit.
I cut out my weekly mani/pedi sessions and have now learned how to give myself a pretty good manicure at home so we're sticking to that.
I slacked up on the Starbucks debt diet but I'm back to just 1 to 2 cups bi-weekly and now looking into investing in a coffee maker and looking for creamer coupons to make my own cup at home. Those $5 cups really do add up. I'm also not buying lunch but taking my own, eating out in the city everyday could be $60-$80 a week!!!
I was able to save up enough to buy us a car and not have a car note, which I really wanted to avoid, so I'm proud of myself there! New York auto insurance rates however, let's just say I understand why some people get New Jersey/Pennsylvania plates lol.
I am also proud to announce that I paid my final Federal Student Loan repayment check this month!! So now I can tackle my private, bigger, loans harder. Paying off the smaller debt first then adding that payment onto the payment of the bigger debt makes so much sense! Don't know what I was thinking ignoring it, smh just seeing such a large number felt impossible.
I'm also in the process of starting a little business on the side that I hope can become lucrative enough to handle Chunks's tuition or just serve to pad our savings at least, I'll post more on that later, but it's something I'm passionate about and see a potential for in the city so *fingers crossed and prayers up*.
Sites like LifeBooker and Living Social have allowed me to still do things that I enjoy like tours, spa days, and activities for Chunks at a serious fraction of the cost and coupon clipping has become a Sunday routine, every penny counts. I still need to work on my random shopping sprints, smh but it's getting better. I'm more conscious of what I'm buying and it's value than I've ever been, Does Chunks really need more Matchbox racers?? And now with the holidays coming up and I am determined to not over do it with the gifts, so fingers crossed I make it.
We're not quite there to full downpayment but we're getting there. I have a vision for Chunks and I and I'm going to get us there!
Any tips on cutting costs or advice on saving up? I'm all ears (well, eyes).
As an NYC girl I am all about Broadway, off, on, and off-off Broadway. While I love a good movie there's something about live theatre that wins me over every time. I was invited to check out a new show taking over Broadway in a shocking way, Godspell.
I met up with an old high school buddy/fellow Broadway lover AND preggers of my new god-daughter, Lisa, at the Circle on the Square Theatre on Broadway and fell in love with intimacy of the theatre itself. No big stage but a round platform, surround by rows of seats, so there really couldn't be a bad seat in the house. But the stage was a major character in itself, it transformed from a plank stage to a flowing river, to trampolines, and more, you never knew what else was going to happen when they pulled those planks up. The show opens with monologues from some of the world's greatest minds, Socrates, Plato, and all giving their argument for the way the world should think and which way is right then in all his simple splendor, enter stage left JESUS!
In a fun and colorful display, the teachings of Christ are broken down through uplifting song, hilarious dialogues, and high energy dancing, I seriously don't get how they do these shows back to back. Any show that includes clean up as a part of the act without taking away from the actual show, is phenomenal in my book! While the play didn't go the exact way I thought it would, Jesus and his "inquiring minds" flowed through all the major points that Jesus taught without being preachy or convicting and even included some punch lines from modern day headlines (Occupy Wall Street and Kadafi's death). The cast was captivating and warm, from pulling audience members up on stage to play out Pictionary to serving juice shots at intermission everyone became friends by the end of the night, and the voices, OH MY GOD the Voices! From the Beatitudes (taking it back to Sunday School) up until the Crucifixion, we were given a crash course on how the greatest mind taught us to live-TO LOVE GOD AND ONE ANOTHER!
Standing ovations filled the room when the cast members came back for their final bows and there weren't many dry eyes in the room once they carried the body of Christ out singing Beautiful City, a song with the most beautiful message of unity and progress. From Sunday Schools to families with young children, to theatre lovers young and old, atheist and Christian, Godspell is one for the books! The message is clear, the acting phenomenal, the music impacting, and the dancing will move you-truly a good reason to head down to Broadway.
Tickets normally run for $125 but the great group promoting is offering my readers a GREAT discount! Using the code, GSPRD719you can see Godspell for just $79.50!! This is a steal for Broadway! Enter here for your chance to see a great show on Broadway with money left over for dinner after.
I have not been compensated for this post, I was offered 2 tickets to the show for review puposes. Of course these opinions are my own, as always.
I love the Bloggy Buddies I've made since starting this blog!! My buddy Mimi over at Lipgloss and Binky awarded me the Kreative Blogger Award and I'm more than happy to pass it on. But first, a questionnaire so you can get to know me a little better and 7 random things about me:
Name your favorite song: Always-Stevie Wonder (Gospel Song: What A Friend We Have in Jesus)
Name your favorite dessert: White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cookies
What pisses you off?: Oh Lord, what a list! but I'll pick one: anything slow. Walking slow, answering questions slowly, cutting in front of me and then driving 5 miles an hour!
When you're upset, you: SNAP! lol no it depends on how bad it is, minor things I walk away and ignore it and the major things I'm getting in somebody's behind (working on that though).
Your favorite pet: my pitbull Boadie!! He's my 1st son :-)
Black or White?: Black
Your biggest fear: finishing life half done. I don't want to waste a minute.
Best Feature: I like my smile.
Everyday Attitude: It's Gotta Get Done. Work, Motherhood, Life so be happy and get it done.
What is perfection?: a lazy and quiet morning, good food, and time with food friends and family (preferably on beach somewhere lol)
Guilty Pleasure: reality tv. I watch way too much :-x
I've always wanted 3 kids
I have the story lines of about 3 books in my head (one day I'll get to at least 1)
I'm terrified of being cold, even though I am a winter baby
I've studied the sciences and medicine since high school and still have a pulling for law field
French Fries are the greatest snack ever!!
I have a serious watch obsession
I'm girlier than I let on (hey I grew up with guys)
Spending time with friends and family can lead to fun and memorable moments, but also some very messy ones.
Back when we were hit by Hurricane Katrina everyone in NYC was boarding up their homes and moving inward for fear of a big wipe out. One of my good friends, Lisa who is also a newly separated mom, lives out in Staten Island. Because she lived so close to the water and they were talking about closing off the brdges, I suggested she pack up her little guy, who's a few months older than Chunks and stay with me until the storm passed.
We bought movies and games, crayons and coloring books to keep the boys busy while we caught up on girl talk and hung out over the weekend. Everything was going great and after Car 2 it was time to head into the kitchen to make lunch. Mac and Cheese with hot dogs seemed like a winner but now the boys were too quiet. You know that means trouble!
I walk into the room to find that the guys had gotten bored with coloring in their coloring books and took their art TO MY WALLS and MIRROR!!
The strokes looked like they put their all into the crayons and wanted the blue, red, and black to be DEEP! I tried some cleanser I had in the kitchen but it was just smearing the lighter colors and not doing a THING on the darker strokes. It was a hot mess, but then Lisa found my Clorox wipes in the bathroom and we just gave it a shot, we were going to try anything. At first the wipes seemed to smear the colors too but with a little more elbow grease the darker lines started to come up too!! It took more than a few wipes to erase their scribble masterpieces but it WORKED!
While the mirror needed some glass cleaner help afterwards, the crayon marks came off pretty easy too! The storm passed with not much damage so it was time to get those boys out of the house and away from my walls.
I received information about Clorox’s Bleach It Away campaign and am sharing my messy moment for the chance to win prizes from The SITS Girls. To learn more about the messy moment program, check out http://www.bleachitaway.com/. Sharing your story on the Clorox fan page gets you entered for the chance to win $25,000 and daily prizes, and you can grab a coupon for Clorox® Regular Bleach.
Those Kardashians sure know how to keep our attentions peaked, add that glam with the uber chic mamas of Moms and The City and you've got yourself a FABULOUS party!
On Wednesday bloggers, journalist, moms, and some lucky Twitter fans got fancy to meet the "Momager" of the Kardashian clan, Kris Jenner, at The Darby for the release of her memoirs Kris Jenner...And all Things Kardashian. The champagne and Mimosas flowed while the appetizers kept everyone in a festive mood (and quickly added The Darby as a must visit restaurant on my list). While we waited for Kris, we were treated to manicures hosted by Nicole by OPI using the shades from their new Kardashian line, that all reminded me of the holidays and New Years Eve (think glitter and sparkling color).
Bloggers at the Mani-Bar and the color I'm rockin' 'Follow Me on Glitter'
In true Jenner/Kardashian fashion we waited as Mrs. Jenner walked the runway, sponsored by Martini and then she joined us for a quick Q&A. Of course, the question on everyone's minds was "Is she going to talk about THE divorce?". Thankfully none of the questions were about her daughter's marriage problems (sorry for those who were waiting for it) but real working-mother/business woman concerns.
The one answer that seemed like a quick jab for anyone who thought of questioning how fast Kim's relationship went from dating to marriage was her response to a question about her own marriage, to which she revealed she knew her current husband Bruce Jenner 5 months before they got married and "here were are 20 years later". Kris really is one of those gushing moms (it was actually her dream to have 6 kids, OMG!!), when asked about how her son Robert dealt with growing up in a house filled with women she quickly responded with "My son? The one who can dance?" (Rob is currently doing really well on Dancing with the Stars). She's also VERY brand savvy in every question she was asked, Kris was able to plug one of the million things her family has going, like her new clothing line on QVC, but without being obnoxious or overbearing. She's also a very proud grandma who values her "Mason time" which she told us is actually scheduled time split between her Khloe and Kim so that he doesn't get too "man-handled". Oh, and the one gadget that this busy Momager cannot live without? Her blackberry!
After the Q&A session we all got copies of her book to sign and truly, not trying to sound like a cray fan or anything, this is a very warm woman. Her smile was genuine and she was very personable, even while her sexy bodyguards did their best to keep the crowd moving. Just reading the first few pages on the cab ride back to Brooklyn you get a glimpse into who this power tower is, flaws and all.