Saturday, July 30, 2011

Books For Kids and Story Time Fitness with Steve Ettinger

Blame it on the dork or the former NYC Public School Teacher or the life-long learner in me, but I am totally gung ho about encouraging literacy in children. And I believe that a love of reading starts at a very young age. That's why I surround Aiden with books and our apartment is rich in literacy. I even make him "read" two books to me every afternoon before he begins playing with his toys.

I'm also gung ho about working out and staying in shape.

So you can understand my excitement when Aiden and I attended a Story Time Fitness Event at Barnes & Noble last weekend. The event was hosted in part by Books For Kids, a nonprofit organization that promotes literacy among children, with a special emphasis on low-income and at-risk preschool-aged kids. That Books For Kids' mission is to create libraries, donate books, and partner with literacy programs to help young children develop critical early foundation and skills they will need to be successful in life is totally admirable to me.

The event entailed a reading of Steve Ettinger's Wallie Exercises by Mr. Ettinger himself. After the reading of the book that teaches children the importance of fitness, friendship, and staying active, Steve led the children through a kid-friendly fitness activity that they couldn't get enough of! Then, attendees were able to get their copy of Wallie Exercises signed by Steve. Pure sweetness!

Steve Ettinger and the kiddies

Being the bookworm and active little thing that he is, this event was pretty perfect for Aiden. He had such a great time listening to the story and reading and coloring and exercising.

Thanks so much to Barnes & Nobles and Books For Kids for hosting this fun and educational event. Become apart of the mission -- visit the Books For Kids website and donate the this amazing cause.

(Disclaimer: I was not compensated for this post. I just really believe in the mission of Books For Kids. Be a sport, donate to the cause, and make a kid literacy happy.)

Thursday, July 28, 2011

The Beauty of Perseverance {The Graduate School Post}

It was three weeks before graduation and I had a 25-page paper due by 1 p.m. the next day for my Family As A Context For Child Development class. I absolutely loved this class and learned so much in it. But I was done. Overdone. And I was tired. Over tired. And I just wanted to graduate.

But first I'd have to get through this paper and a few other long assignments, presentations, and finals. That night, after I tucked Aiden in bed at 8 p.m., I cried. No scratch that. I sobbed. A lot. Uncontrollably.  The overwhelming workload and overall stress of being a student momma had gotten to me.

I did the only thing that I knew to do in order to keep my sanity when working out and eating well and staying hydrated with lots of water didn't work. I meditated.... on success and hard work and how far I'd come up until that point.

I graduated from Columbia University with a B.A. in Psychology in 2006 and was pretty well employed. But I decided to go to grad school because I wanted more. More opportunities. More career choices. More money. The things you can do with a Bachelor degree are great, but the things you can do with a Masters degree are phenomenal. At least that's what I thought. And still think.

When I applied for grad school, I made a commitment to Aiden and myself that I was going to see it through come heck or high water. I adopted a "whatever it takes" mentality, and believe you me, it took a lot.

Head on over to The Young Mommy Life to read the rest of this post -- from exactly what it took to how this busy single momma learned the art and beauty of perseverance. 

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

apifeni Activewear with Danielle Dobin

Staying in shape by working out is something that's near and dear to me. Not only do I get to enjoy much needed "Mommy Time" during my workouts, but it also makes this busy single momma feel really, really good. Something about endorphins being released and whatnot...

But wearing workout gear that's unflattering or ill-fitting does not make me feel really, really good. Add to the times that my workout pants have been cut too low while my workout shirt was not long enough to cover the stretch marks midriff and... sigh... I had myself a serious "workout gear malfunction" situation going on. 

Enter apifeni (pronounced "epiphany"). I had the opportunity to chat with the designer Danielle Dobin and learn all about this activewear collection earlier today and I gotta say, it's some kind of awesome.

After having children, Danielle found it darn near impossible to get her hands on workout gear that was both comfortable and provided coverage. We've all been there. I sure have. Well, impossible no more, because Danielle took matters into her own hands and created an activewear line.

It's innovative. It's revolutionary. And it's totally genius! 

What I love most is that apifeni's workout pants contain ShapeTech technology so it offers more coverage than the average workout pants while making the core look an entire size smaller. Umm, yea... sign me up!

Of course Mommy Delicious had to try on these awesome pants... So neat! They're comfortable, flexible, and fashionable. I love that I can wear them even after my workout without feeling as though I'm wearing workout clothes. What do you think?

For my NYC readers, there will be one last NYC Trunk Show today July 27 from 10am to 9pm at Equinox, 2465 Broadway at 92nd Street.

Can't make it to the Trunk Show? No problem! Head on over to the apifeni website to check out all the cool and practical workout gear available in sizes 0-12.

{Disclaimer: This was a sponsored post. All opinions expressed herein are my own.}

Friday, July 22, 2011

The Discipline Weekly: The Road to Self-Sufficiency

More often than not, when I know he's capable, I leave Aiden to his own devices. And encourage him to solve his own problems. I've blogged about this before.

I want him to be independent.

I want him to be socially competent.

I want him to be self-sufficient.

You know what they say: A little struggle never hurt nobody. Okay, so I stole that line from Beyonce. Sort of.

But it's true, isn't it? I've learned (the hard way) that if I rush to solve all of Aiden's problems, it deprives him of learning and growing and struggling and thinking about the issue at hand all on his own.

Case in point:

Whenever Aiden asks me to do something that I know he's capable of doing all by his lonesome, I politely say, "No, but you can do it on your own." Sometimes I'll even throw in, "I think you can do such a great job at that -- much better than I could have done it when I was your age." He likes it when I say that one. A lot.

And, whenever he asks me a million and one "why" questions, sometimes, instead of getting annoyed (he's genuinely seeking new information), I'll shoot back at him, "Hmm... I don't know, why do you think?"

This gives him the opportunity to come up with his own answer. And he usually comes up with an answer that makes sense. I don't object because it's usually a pretty creative answer. And I'm usually left in awe by his overall amazingness.

What are some ways you get your children to be self-sufficient?

Share 'em in the comments.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

How To Earn Extra Cash When Money Is Tight

by Suzanne Cramer

As a single parent you and your family often rely solely on you and your income. You've created a budget, you're sticking to it, but sometimes your expenses outweigh your income and you start falling short each month.

At first it's not so bad; a late phone bill, a few days behind in rent, or a week without a trip to the grocery store. But then, you realize the rent is a month behind, threats to turn off your electric are coming in the mail, and you have been using your credit cards more frequently instead of following your "cash" only rule.

What can you do to make up the difference? Your time is already stretched thin; you are working full-time, keeping house and parenting solo, where is that extra hour in the day single parents need? I have good news and bad news... The bad news--I can't get you that extra hour in your day...The good news-- I have some tips I can give you for ways to earn extra cash without sacrificing your most precious commodity...time.

1. Freelance Work

If you enjoy writing, designing websites, or keeping others organized you may consider offering up your talents to others with freelance work. Most freelance work can be done when it's convenient for you; like when the kids are in bed or having a play date. Just remember to treat it like your full-time job; complete work on time and be professional.
Some great places to find freelance work:
  • Projects range from graphic design and photography to bookkeeping and data entry.
  •  Elance offers access to qualified clients, a virtual workplace and guaranteed pay for great work.
2. Online Auctions 

We all have things around the house we could, and probably should part with to reduce clutter and Ebay and Craigslist are excellent places to do just that and earn a little cash in the process. Here are a few tips to help you get started:
  • eBay. First, you will need to register for an eBay account if you don't already have one. Then click on "Sell" to open a "Sell an Item" form. Then click "Start Selling." You should enter at least three keywords to help people find your item and pick a category. Next, select the listing form; if you are new to eBay you can start with the simple listing. You can assign a title, add photos and write a description of the piece or "lot". Finally decide the shipping pricestarting bid and how you would like to be paid. Keep in mind eBay charges a 15 cents listing fee for each item.
  • Craigslist. Craigslist is a great local alternative, if you do not want to deal with shipping. As with eBay, you need to register with the site first. Then choose the state and then the city where you want to sell your item. Next, define the category by selecting what you want to sell and write a short description of the item, its condition and a photo of the item. Click "Continue" and you will go to a summary page where you can review, accept the site's terms of use and the item lists. You will also need to go to your e-mail and confirm the posting to complete the process.
3. Child Care

Maybe you just can't swing a few hours of uninterrupted time to do freelance work or organize and sell items online. Consider offering childcare to friends, neighbors or place an ad offering your services. You know as well as I do parents, especially single ones that you cross paths with at the playground or car pool lane are always looking to steal a few moments to themselves or to do things like freelance work. Not only are you providing yourself the opportunity to earn extra dollars there is the potential for a play date for your child!

I don't charge to watch other people's children, but I do swap the time with neighbors and friends. It's a win-win situation as we each benefit from some "time" to accomplish things that are difficult with kids in tow. Consider trying this to carve out time for freelance work or starting an online auction.

4. Rent Out a Room or Get a Room-mate

Today,  renting to a stranger especially when you live alone with your child may not be the best idea. However, if you can find someone you know, maybe even another single parent you can benefit from extra income as well as an extra set of adult hands around the house.

Living on one income is definitely a challenge and sometimes things are too tight for comfort. Knowing that there are ways to supplement your income can lift the burden of worry and empower you to take advantage of your skills and ingenuity.

What have you done to earn additional income when money is tight?

Suzanne Cramer is a certified credit counselor and a Social Media Specialist for CareOne Debt Relief ServicesSuzanne writes for Divorce, Debt and Finances and Major Life ChallengesFollow Suzanneon Twitter @ADivorcedMom where she shares her insights as a single-divorced mom with tips and tricks to keep your finances in check.  

Friday, July 15, 2011

Blessed To Be A Blessing

I often think about the mission of this blog and I how I want to convey my life for the use of this community. Some weeks more than others. This week was one of those weeks.

As I thought about where my I have been in life and where my life is heading, I kept coming back to the same important thought -- I'm blessed to be a blessing.

I have been through a lot in my life. Trials and triumphs. Bad times and ugly times. Hard times and harder times. But when it all boils down, I know that I've had a lot more ups than downs. In my opinion anyway.


I've shared some of my most personal stories on this here place and space.

My struggles with dealing with an unexpected pregnancy.

My struggles with learning to cook. Or the fact that I was totally cooking-impaired. I still am. But just a lil bit.

My experience with domestic violence and the decision to leave the relationship.

My struggles with accepting my single-mom status.

The boundaries and privacy issues that have arisen as I attempt to use the bathroom sans Aiden.

My struggles with starting, sticking with, and finishing graduate school as a solo parent. #Winning.

The lessons that I've learned from being in an abusive, toxic relationship.

My dating escapades as a young, single mom.

And much, much more.

My story is far from perfect. I've made mistakes. Lots of 'em. And I've even shared those mistakes with you. Because I've bounced back from them. Most of 'em anyway. And they've made me into the person that I am today.


It takes an immense amount of strength to be vulnerable and personal and lay it all out there -- the good, the bad, and the ugly.


When I think about the mission of this blog, the one thing that comes to mind is that I want to be a blessing to someone else. And I pray that I have been because, in reality, none of this'll matter if I am not a blessing to you in some way. If you are not inspired by this community that we've created, then it'll all be in vain.

But it hasn't been. Because you are blessed to be a blessing. And I am blessed to be a blessing.

So thank you. And you. And you. And you. For making Mommy Delicious the community that it has become. This is only the beginning. We've only scratched the surface. And it's never felt better.

High five.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

NYC Dating Escapades and The Aphrodisiac

One of the best things about being single in NYC is that this city is lousy with men. Fine men. FIONE men! Everywhere. On almost every crowded street in Manhattan. And dating these fine (fione!) men proves to be quite an experience. 

I've been hanging out with Mr. Yummy for a few weeks, and one night, we decide to get together for a midweek rendezvous. And this particular date goes down as one of Mommy Delicious' best dates in a long time.

When we meet up, he's coming straight from the office so he's dressed in business attire, only it's warm out so his sleeves are rolled up. When I see him, I tilt my head to one side and check him all the way out! Licking my bottom lips, I look him up and down. He is... yummy delicious. Definitely my type.

Before dinner, we spend some time on the rooftop, taking in the summer-like air and relishing in the amazing view of Manhattan. As we sit side-by-side, he makes me blush and laugh. A lot. He's funny. I like. 

We have good chemistry, I think to myself. Quit daydreaming and pay attention to the conversation, I argue with myself. Ummm, what was he talking about again? Oops!

At this point, nervousness becomes me, but it's okay because he seems to have a slightly nervous energy too. Only he seems to be playing it off with swag and smooth talk. Charming. I like. Hopefully I'm doing the same. But in a more cute and sexy way, of course.

We engage in good conversation. Sweet! I once heard that good conversation is like foreplay. Tonight, this statement proves to be true. 

I decide that I want him to kiss me. Like, now. So I blush, tilt my head, lick my bottom lip, and give my best "kiss me now" look. I've got fun and flirty down pat. I count in my head as I wait for the kiss that I know is coming. 

One Mississippi... two Mississippi... three Mississippi...

No kiss. Bummer. Tough crowd, eh?

We decide that it's time to leave the rooftop so we say goodbye to the breathtaking view and head off to dinner. As we're walking out, he holds the door open for me to enter through first. Chivalry is not dead. 

He likes my sexy legs and comments on the sexiness -- he can't help himself. I pretend not to hear him. "Huh?" I ask coyly. Obviously I want to hear this compliment again. I usually wear skirts. Short ones. But tonight I'm wearing short shorts and 4-inch heals. My legs are looking quite sexy. 

I decide that I'm going to kiss him. Like, now. I can't help myself -- he's just so yummy! I then grab him by his waist. Bold move, I know. We embrace and my head rests a little too comfortably on his chest. He smells... delicious. 

On the elevator ride to the ground level, he kisses me. Finally! And it's just as yummy as I remember it being. Passionate. Fireworks. Gimme-some-more. Yep... that kind of kiss. 

An aphrodisiac. 

This is so high school, I think to myself as I'm enjoying the kiss. I'm a diva at multitasking. Most women are. He stops just before we reach the first floor. "Okay, let's not act like we're in high school," he says. Those were my thoughts exactly. We're so compatible!

Still, at this point in the game, I'm not expecting too much, like long term or anything -- just a really good time on this date. And more than a few yummy kisses. Of course.

I definitely like what he does when he does what he does. And I definitely feel like I want to get to know him better, like in the biblical sense. 

After dinner, we decide to take a stroll back to Yummy's place. As the cool breeze blows, he puts his arms around me as though they belong there. And I happily oblige by nestling into his strong embrace. I feel like a dating adolescent all over again. I love summer nights!

Mr. Yummy's apartment is not your typical 20-something-NYer Bachelor's pad. It's neat. And his furniture is so... grownup. Stylish, even. Nothing like my apartment, which is half comfy and cozy, half preschool looking, with Aiden's toys and bookcases and "masterpieces" hung all around. 

The candles that Mr. Yummy lights create a delicate scent and a very sexy aroma. We exchange glances. And as much as I try not to, I'm grinning from ear to ear. And so is he. 

The rest, as they say, is history. 

"That's so romantic!" my friend exclaims when I'm filling her in on the details of my date. 

Romantic? Yes! Certainly. Of course! But at this point, I’m still not expecting more than a good time with a good person on a good date. And a few yummy kisses.

At this point, there’ll be no giving more than I’m receiving, and certainly no investing more time and energy than is reciprocated.

And that’s definitely one of the best things about being single in NYC!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Moey's Music Party {Class Review and DVD Giveaway}

{WINNER ANNOUNCED! Chosen via, the winner is Gerri! Congratulations! Please provide me with your contact info}.

Kids Music That Rocks says, "It's Sesame Street meets the Go-Gos." 

Time Out New York Kids says, "Moey takes the stage... and the rest is Mommy Rock History."

Mommy Delicious says, "Entertaining, mesmerizing, and all-around awesome."

Melissa Levis, or Moey, as she's so popularly known, is an award-winning Off-Broadway songwriter as well as New York City's #1 Mommy Rocker. Moey, along with her rocking band members, host Moey's Music Party -- the coolest Mommy-N-Me music classes that includes singing, dancing, fairy tale dress up, and loads of instruments. Each week, there is a different party theme that is fun for adults and kids alike.

Moey, rocking out in Central Park.
Aiden and I had the opportunity to attend one of Moey's Music Party classes a couple weeks ago. Held in Central Park at Cedar Hill near 79th Street and 5th Avenue (from now until August 11th on Wednesdays and Thursday at 10am and 11am), the class was simply delightful. We had a blast celebrating the USA's birthday in honor of the 4th of July. We rang freedom bells, stirred up alphabet soup while looking for the letter B (for "birthday"), and rocked out to I'm A Little Tea Pot, Yankee Doodle, and American Pie. 

Joy. Pure joy.

Other Summer classes will include a Beach Party, a Pirate Party, a Surprise Party, and a Safari Party. Classes are $155 for five classes or $125 for four classes, in addition to a $25 registration fee, which will include the new Moey fairy tale DVD, Happily Ever Moey! You can also try out a class for $25. Visit the Moey's Music Party website for more registration information.

Mommy Delicious is giving away Moey's new DVD, Happily Ever Moey!: A Fairy Tale Lark in Central Park to one (1) lucky reader. The DVD encourages, empowers, and entertains toddlers and preschoolers alike while teaching valuable lessons on gender roles, diversity, and conflict resolution... all while including songs from our favorite classics! The DVD is so rocking that it recently won a Parents Choice Awards.

To enter the giveaway, leave a comment saying that you'd like to win and what your favorite classic is/was -- Snow White, The Three Little Pigs, The Little Mermaid -- whatever tickles your fancy!

You can also follow Mommy Delicious on Twitter, "like" Mommy Delicious on Facebook, or follow via Google Friends connect for three extra entries.

Please leave each extra entry in a different comment so that it can be counted.

The giveaway ends Thursday, July 14th.

Good luck!

{Disclaimer: I attend a Moey's Music Class and received a copy of the DVD for the purposes of this review. No other compensation was provided.}

Friday, July 8, 2011

The Discipline Weekly: Pick Your Battles

I looked over at Aiden the other day and thought to myself, "whoa... this kid is almost half my size!" I'd been so busy concentrating on getting through different developmental stages that I almost forgot to take the time out to notice his growth.

Truth is, kids grow ultra fast and I'm noticing that many "trying" times occur around growth spurts. A few weeks ago, I mentioned that Aiden was like Jekyll and Hyde -- one minute he was super sweet, the next, not so much. Turns out, the tantrums, sweet kisses, crankiness, darling hugs, obnoxiousness, cooperation, and defiance were in part due to Aiden going through a growth spurt.

Aiden and I pictured with our good friend, A, on a July 4th play date!
He's almost half my size already... amaze!
And as I not-so-quickly learned, sometimes the only thing I could do during such a time is be ultra patience and pick my battles. It's quite simple, but took me a while to "get it." But once I did, I avoided all of the threatening and annoyance and huffing and puffing when I picked my battles carefully.

Case in point:

A few weeks ago, Aiden wanted to wear his rain boats outside. It was super warm and sunny and there was no rain in the forecast. We were running late and needed to get out of the house at that moment. So... I let the kid where his rain boats. No harm, right?

A few blocks outdoors, we endured a few funny stares from onlookers (childless onlookers, of course). But the great moment happened when Aiden stated that his feet were hot. Ummm.... duh!

When I asked him what we should do about it, he suggested changing into his Crocs. Luckily, I brought them along with us.

It was a win-win for the both of us.

Be patient, especially during growth spurts.

And pick your battles very carefully. Sometimes it's not worth the fuss.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Make It Happen: The Young Mommy Guide to Creating the Career You Crave {Review and Giveaway}

{WINNERS: ASingleMother's Journey and MyLuvSky! Congratulations! Please provide me with you contact information.}

A few weeks ago, I was having a craptastic day. I was totally overwhelmed with single motherhood and trying to finish graduate school and figuring my post-grad school life out and the list goes on and on and on...

I just wanted/needed time to think and breath. Unfortunately, Aiden's other parent "took him out" and returned him within five minutes (yea... remember that day?) so time to think and breath solo was out of the question.

Then I started to get even more overwhelmed. Not a good look.

Later that night, I decided to do something totally for me. I read Make It Happen: The Young Mommy Guide to Creating the Career You Crave and my mood was instantly transformed. Instantly. The e-book hit right on time! Life is funny in that way. After reading it, I thought, I can totally do this whole single mom thing while excelling professionally.

I've been working with Tara, the author of Make It Happen and the beauty and brains behind the site The Young Mommy Life for the past year now, and have recently become a monthly contributor on the site. I love it! It's hands down one of the best places on the Internet for younger moms. And I'm so happy that she's giving us more in the form of her book.

It's now available in paperback and I promise you, it's an empowering and resourceful read.

In Tara's own words, here's the book by the numbers:

  • 5 questions to ask to help you identify your true passion
  • 28 tips to help you be a go-getter at work
  • 3 reasons being a young mom will be a boost to your career, not a hindrance
  • 30 tips to save some serious money this year and beyond 
  • 3 steps to making sure people respect your "me-time"
  • 7 tips to make motherhood just a tad easier as a working mom
  • 3 steps to a successful online presence 
  • PLUS 20 side hustles you can start TODAY 

You can purchase your copy of Make It Happen at

The lovely Kanesha over at Money Matters Mama has generously offered to sponsor this giveaway.

TWO (2) lucky Mommy Delicious readers will receive their very own autographed copy of Make It Happen!

Here are the deets:

  • Mandatory entry: Leave a comment below saying you'd like to win
  • Extra Entries: (1) Follow Mommy Delicious via Google Friends Connect. (2) "Like" Mommy Delicious on Facebook and share this giveaway. (3) Follow Mommy Delicious on Twitter and tweet about this giveaway. Make sure to @MommyDelicious when you share on Facebook and/or on Twitter!
  • You MUST complete the mandatory entry before completing the extra entries.
  • You can only share on Facebook or Twitter once per day.
  • TWO (2) readers will be chosen via
This giveaway ends Monday July 11th. Good luck!

(Disclaimer: I was not compensated for this post. The lovely Kanesha over at Money Matters Mama has generously offered to sponsor this giveaway. Check her out and connect by following her on Twitter.)

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Dating... Again

I've ventured out and re-entered the dating scene after going through a dry spell since forever last Summer.

Applauds. Air kisses. And high fives all around.

I've been meticulously lining up babysitters for my midweek rendezvous, and believe me, that's no easy task. But it's been worth it for me. Because it's been fun. Really fun.

Those beautiful eyes, that smooth skin, those kissable lips... but enough about me already! There's this one guy...

My goodness!

He's tall (easily 6 feet), good looking (gorgeous caramel skin), hilarious, well-educated, ambitious, and just all around, well, yummy. Definitely my type.

We've been hanging out and trying things out for a few weeks. It's been fun.

And the kisses? Ohmygosh! Passionate. Fireworks. Yummy, delicious, gimme-some-more kind of kisses.


But this single momma followed her intuition when she had the "something's not quite right" feeling. (Proof that growing pains are there for a reason.) And you know the old adage, if something seems too good to be true...

Turns out, he's just a little bit single. Sort of. He's got a girlfriend. Sort of. They've been on a break for quite some time. Sort of.

I have respect for relationships. Even "on a break" ones. And I'm nobody's side chick. Even those with yummy, delicious, gimme-some-more kind of kisses.

But there's a silver lining -- there's always a silver lining. I've come to an epiphany of sorts. See, I've been taking care of Number 1 (myself) and putting Number 1 (myself) first since breaking up with my ex. And it feels good. Very good. Damn good.

When I'm in a relationship, I tend to love hard. Very hard. But the emotional energy that it takes to maintain a relationship is just too much for me right now. After all, my last serious relationship was so so heavy and certainly didn't go so so well. Now I'm just at a point where I want to focus on myself and Aiden.

But I'm enjoying dating. And I'm enjoying my midweek rendezvous. So this single momma is officially dating... again. And totally taking it easy while enjoying Mr. Right Now.

Maybe I'm just scared.

Or maybe...

Maybe I'm just smart for finally trusting my "take it slow" instincts.

It's there for a reason, right?

**We've been nominated! Please take the time out to vote for MOMMY DELICIOUS -- Top 25 NYC Mom Bloggers via Circle of Moms. I know, I know... self-pimping at its finest.**


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