Monday, October 31, 2011

Cooking With Children

Submitted on behalf of Primrose Schools: preschools that balance fun and focus into early childhood education by Emily Patterson (@epatt1062)

The redolent smells and sizzling pans can make a kitchen a place of wonder for a small child, but also a place of potential danger. Yet these hazards do not have to preclude you from having children in the kitchen. Quite the contrary in fact, as cooking together can be an excellent way for families to spend time together. 

With a little caution and care the kitchen can be the most popular area in the house. Furthermore, having them help with the cooking can foster a sense of responsibility and pride in the contents of the meal.

The kitchen can be both safe and fun if you follow a few simple rules:

Interact with your child in a meaningful way
Contemplate what tasks your child is capable of performing without your oversight. Even the most simple tasks such as measuring water or mixing batter can boost a child's confidence. As they demonstrate competency in various tasks, you can have them gradually take on more responsibility. Be sure to keep them engaged during the entire process, either through music or conversation.

Set ground rules 
It goes without saying that children need supervision when in the kitchen. This is not only due to the presence of visibly dangerous objects such as knives and stovetops, but the invisible threat of bacteria and germs. Children should be taught to wash their hands before and after handling food, particularly with meat and poultry. Parents should quiz their children on what objects are hot and be sure children are aware of the various risks inside a kitchen. 

Incremental learning 
In addition to rudimentary tasks, a child can learn many complex skills in the kitchen. However, many of these skills require incremental learning in order to properly develop. For example, when learning to use a knife, it is best for children to start off with softer items such as cheese or butter so that they can develop the coordination and motor skills necessary to cut safely. As your child develops better hand eye coordination, they could move on to tougher items such as vegetables or fruit, preferably using a plastic knife. 

Keep things light 
Children are going to make mistakes. They will find new and creative ways to spill food. The onus is on you the parent to correct the behavior without laboring them with undue stress. One way is to provide gentle guidance and have the child repeat the task until they are successful. Compliment them when they do a good job, and do your best to keep things light and playful while still adhering to the ground rules. Finally, when the meal is finished, let them have the first taste.

Are you ready to cook with your children?

Visit the Primrose School website to learn more about their Preschool Programs. 

Aprica And The City

A few weeks ago, I was invited to attend Aprica's City Stroll -- a VIP Media Preview of two of the brands latest products, the Haven Playard and the Moto Travel System. A group of NYC-based Bloggers arrived at Babies "R" Us in Union Square, ready to rock and stroll. And that's exactly what we did. With our Aprica strollers in tow, we strolled through Union Square, going from Babies "R" Us to Barnes and Nobles to Starbucks, and then finally to Max Brenner for lunch.

During our stroll and mini-shopping spree, we were able to learn about these new products. The Haven Playard opens and closes in one step and has a carrying case, which is perfect for city dwellers with small living spaces. It's OpenAir design helps provide maximum airflow throughout the playard. The playard retails for $159.99.

The Moto Travel System is a lightweight (weighing under 20 pounds) one that's designed with the baby's comfort as well as Moms on-the-go in mind. In fact, the stroller has a built-in seat ventilation panel that provides maximum airflow, which keeps the baby comfortable, and it pops up and folds shut with one hand, which keeps Mommy sane. I really like that it comes with a SmartTray for times when parents want to keep kids quiet entertain kids by allowing them to watch a quick video. And the universal sippy cup holder is also a bonus. The travel system retails for $299.99.

For more information on Aprica's kick-ass new products, visit their website!

{Event attendees received an assortment of gifts at this event.}

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Big Apple Circle Presents "Dream Big!"

Aiden and I are really big fans of The Big Apple Circle. Last season, we caught their "Dance On!" show and we had a great time.

Now, they are once again back in New York for their magical 34th season, "Dream Big," and we are pretty psyched about it. It'll be so much fun under the Big Top Tent with no seat more than 50 feet from the performers! This season, they'll be acrobats, trapeze flyers, jugglers, and spirited horses, amongst other things.

To celebrate the launch, they just released a video that shows audiences' reactions to the show. It's super cute!

To purchase your tickets, head on over to the Big Apple Circus website.

Get excited, folks!

Friday, October 28, 2011

Four Years of Aiden

Someone very special to me turns four-years-old today. Wow! Time surely does fly when you're having fun!

{1 Day of Aiden}

{1 year of Aiden}
I could write about my endless love for him... or I could write about the tough part of being a single mom and how I attempt to make it work... or I could write about all the hugs and kisses that I give Aiden.

{18 months of Aiden}
{2 years of Aiden}
But that wouldn't be enough. Somehow, it just doesn't suffice. As eloquent as I like to think that I am, with each sentence that I write, my love grows that much more. Then, I realize that the previous sentences just aren't doing justice for the kid who is such an amazing critical thinker, super persistent, and stands up for what he believes in that I swear he is going to be an Entrepreneur or a CEO or Founder of a very successful company one day.

Mark my words.

{3 years of Aiden}
{3 1/2 years of Aiden}
So to my dearest, exceedingly rambunctious Aiden, who [still] loves to drink his milk out of his sippy cup while holding my hand, and pronounces "animals" as "ah-mi-nals" and "Popsicle" as "pot-skittle," this one's for you. You're the joy of my life and I wouldn't have it any other way.

"To Zion," Lauryn Hill (The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill circa 1998)

Happy Birthday, Aiden!

Mommy loves you. Oh-so much!

{Almost 4 years of Aiden}

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

The Choose Health Challenge Sponsored by BistroMD

Believe it or not, there was a time when a less-than-healthy Alicia existed. That was BC, before child, of course. Back in college, I'd go weeks on end with 0-3 hours of sleep a night, running on over-caffeinated beverages, power naps, and low impact work-outs (ie: walking around campus with my old roommate scoping out our latest crushes and trying to accidentally bump into them on purpose. Ah... good times!).

One day a friend asked me if I could recommend a doctor to her because she wanted to go for a wellness checkup (do they still call it "wellness check-ups" when you're an adult?). My response? "Er... I don't have a doctor, but I have a GYN." Well, at least I had my pap smears down pat, right?!


From that moment on, I made it a point to choose health. Like, all the way. I tried to get a few more hours of sleep in each night, save for midterm season, finals season, and partying weekends. I actually started to workout, as in, going for a run at the gym (I'd stop ballet dancing the semester before and needed something to keep me active). I stopped drinking so many caffeinated drinks and replaced it with water. And I found myself a doctor in addition to my GYN.

That mindset has followed me into young adulthood and Motherhood and I'm happy that it has. It's pretty awesome how one simple change can lead to a lifetime of healthy chooses. And that's what BistroMD is all about -- choosing health. 

BistroMD delivers meals for a lighter, leaner, and healthier you. All of their meals are hand-prepared by their Chefs in order to give consumers the right blend of protein, complex carbs, and healthy fat ratios to support healthy weight loss. BistroMD prides itself on the fact that they only use natural ingredients -- no hormones, no added fillers, no unnecessary additives, no preservatives, no MSG, no Trans Fats. Five days of their meals start as low as $129.95/week. 

Choose Health Challenge
I am not on a diet or even trying to loose weight. I think my 112 pound frame makes that pretty obvious. But... I am all for choosing small steps in my life that'll keep me healthy. And I want you to be your healthiest self too. That's why I agreed to partake in this challenge. And now you can too! Simply visit the BistroMD Facebook Page and tell them how you will challenge yourself to start living healthy. You can commit to something as simple as drinking one more glass of water and one less can of soda each day. And there are prizes! Oh yeah! You'll be entered to win a week of healthy weight loss meals, and iPad2, or a $500 shopping spree... cash! Say word?

Special Discount
Ready to commit to a lighter, leaner, and healthier you? BistroMD is graciously offering Mommy Delicious readers FREE shipping on your first week of meals. Simply use the Discount Code "ChooseHealth" at checkout.

Stay healthy, Lovelies!

{Disclaimer: This post is being sponsored by BistroMD as part of their "Choose Health" Challenge campaign. All opinions expressed herein are my own.}

Who Does Domestic Violence Affect?

October is National Domestic Violence Awareness Month and I couldn't let the month come to a close without speaking on this issue.

More specifically, I've been thinking about who, exactly, is affected by intimate partner violence, be it physical, verbal, or emotional. No need to recount my own personal story of physical abuse from the hands of my ex because most of you have already heard it. (If not, check the link.) Heck, I still receive messages and emails in regards to that story from people who feel encouraged to share their story. Kudos.

But the statistics* are... frighteningly alarming.
One in four women (25%) will experience some form of domestic violence in her lifetime.  
Women account for 85% of the victims of domestic violence, while men account for approximately 15%. 
Women of all races are equally vulnerable to violence by an intimate partner. 
Domestic violence affects people regardless of income.
Nearly three out of four (74%) Americans personally know someone who is or has been a victim of domestic violence.  
Between 3.3 - 10 million children witness some form of domestic violence annually. 
And children learn what they see. Although Aiden did not witness the assaults, it could have been otherwise. And, honestly, it may have only been a matter of time...

This right here. This is what drove me to leave the toxic relationship, even above my own desire to lookout for my own safety and well-being. Parenting. And parenting effectively. As best as I know how.

Because this relationship, this parent-child dichotomy, is the first experience that Aiden will have with the world. This is where he will learn about love and tolerance and peace and acceptance. This is where he will learn about hatred and violence and dysfunctional love (that's not really love) and all the ugly things that my mind won't even let me think about right now. This is where he will learn how to love and how to handle situations effectively and how to deal with stress when the going gets tough.

This is why parenting -- down-and-dirty-and-put-the-kids'-best-interest-first parenting -- is so important.

And this... is why domestic violence affects everyone involved. Period.

The circle of domestic violence is smaller than we think. Don't be silenced. Speak on it. And speak often.

{Statistics source}

Monday, October 24, 2011

eBay Holiday Selling Tips & GIVEAWAY!

I know what you're thinking. It's not even Halloween yet and already Mommy Delicious is talking about Holiday stuff. But, really. It's 31 days until Thanksgiving, 57 days until Hanukkah, 62 days until Christmas, and 63 days until Kwanzaa.

And we've got to stay ahead of the game. Right? Right.

And the early bird catches the worm. Right? Right.

It'll be tragic if you spend your life savings on Holiday gifts this year and start the new year off practically bankrupt. That's no bueno. So let's make a pact to earn extra money before the Holidays so that we can fund our Holiday expenses. Sounds sweet enough. Right? Right.

One way we can do that is to find treasures in our home and sell them on eBay. (And, yes, it's totally possible to earn money by listing items on eBay. While I was not that successful with selling my Halloween costume, my eBay Parent Panel pal over at Classy Chaos was able to sell old Halloween costumes in order to pay for new Halloween decorations. Sweetness!)

If you need help figuring out exactly what you can sell, I suggest you head on over and check out eBay's Holiday Selling Guide. The list is so comprehensive! They include everything -- collectibles (decorative, Holiday, and seasonal), clothing, shoes, and accessories (for men, women, and children), health and beauty items, all types of electronics, loads of toys and games, and even, motor parts. Like I said, the list is SO comprehensive.

Now, about the pact. I'm going to challenge myself to list $150 -- $200 worth of items on eBay for the month of November. I'm putting it out there because I not only want to hold myself accountable for it, but for you to hold me accountable for it as well.

What about you? Are you in for the challenge? If so, join the pact!

{Full Disclosure: As an eBay Parent Panel Ambassador, this post is being sponsored by eBay. All opinions expressed herein are my own.}

This is [slightly] unrelated, but for those of you who will be in the NYC area from November 10th -- 13th and you'd like to attend the 14th Annual NY Chocolate Show held at the Altman Building and Metropolitan Pavilion, join the pact and leave a comment here. One winner will be chosen at random and will have the chance to enjoy exotic chocolate and wine tasting from all over the world (love!) and drool over the awesome couture showcases made entirely of chocolate (love!).

{Photos via}
I'll be there and it'll be so cool to hang with you.

Okay. So let's earn extra money. And let's enjoy some chocolate and wine. And let's love life.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

LittleMissMatched SOCKumentary -- What Makes You... YOU?

Tomorrow, October 21st, is National "Rock Your Socks" Day, a day that was created to help tweens stand against the pressures of conformity and bullying, and to celebrate their individuality.

In case you missed my thoughts on LittleMissMatched and why the brand is so dope, you can check it out here. But, in a nutshell, I love that they instill a sense of self-worth and helps build a healthy self-esteem in our tween girls. It's SO necessary.

Below is a clip of their debut SOCKumentary, entitled, "What Makes You... YOU?" It really speaks on what National "Rock Your Socks" Day is all about so check it out!

Share this video to every tween girl you know and join in on the fun tomorrow. And don't forget to take pictures and share them on the LittleMissMatched Facebook page!

"3 Socks. 2 feet. 1 YOU."

So go ahead... "style your SOLE" and rock your socks!

{I was not compensated for this post. Any brand that instills a sense of self-worth and aims to build self-esteem in our girls is near and dear to me.}

On Struggling And Succeeding {Lessons From Dr. Seuss}

"You'll be on your way to up!
You'll be seeing great sights!
You'll join the high fliers
Who soar to high heights. 
You won't lag behind, because you'll have the speed.
You'll pass the whole gang and you'll soon take the lead.
Wherever you fly, you'll be best of the best.
Wherever you go, you will top all the rest. 
Except when you don't.  
Because, sometimes, you won't. 
I'm sorry to say so
But, sadly, it's true
That Bang-ups
And Hang-ups
Can happen to you. 
You can get all hung up
In a prickle-ly perch.
And your gang will fly on.
You'll be left in a Lurch. 
You'll come down from the Lurch
With an unpleasant bump.
And the chances are, then,
That you'll be in a Slump. 
And when you're in a Slump,
you're not in for much fun.
Un-slumping yourself
Is not easily done..."

Aiden must have sensed that I was in a weird funk last week because he kept insisting on reading Dr. Seuss' Oh, The Places You'll Go! And after reading it for the millionth time, the words finally resonated with me. Truer words have never been spoken, my friends.

Resilience. Sometimes all we can do is get back up again.

My world is not perfect. It's certainly not all peaches and cream and popsicles over here. I struggle. A lot. I struggle with wanting and needing 5, 10, 15 more minutes of sleep in the mornings. I struggle with providing the right balance of TV time and cultural outings for Aiden. In fact, I've been known to plop him in front of the TV on a Saturday morning (on more than one occasion) just so I can sneak in 10 more minutes of sleep.

I struggle with balancing work and Motherhood. I used to pride myself on my time management skills. But that was BC (before child). At times, I struggle with meeting deadlines and responding to emails in a timely manner. I love things neat and in order in my life and so I take 15 minutes to tidy up the kitchen, living room, and bathroom... most nights. But sometimes I'll go weeks on end without doing any of that. Then I'll clean the entire apartment... before company comes over.

I struggle with the growing pains of being a young, single mother. I struggle with figuring out my next career move. I struggle with dealing with the other parent. I struggle with... slumps and funks and getting over Life's hurdles. Most of the time, I'm on top of things, but sometimes... sometimes it's a constant race to "catch up." And get back up again.

My world is less than perfect. I don't pretend for it to be anything but that. But this less-than-perfect world is what makes it so precious. And rewarding. And fun.

I embrace it. Because as crazy as it may be at times, it's still some kind of awesome. And I kind of like it like that.

"And will you succeed?
Yes! You will, indeed!
(98 and 3/4 percent guaranteed.)
You're off to Great Places!
Today is your day!
Your mountain is waiting.
So... get on your way!"

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

{LittleMissMatched} Instilling Self-Esteem and Self-Worth

I'm not the mother of a girl. Yet. (When Mr. Right and I find each other, you best believe I'm gonna try for a girl. But I digress...)

I certainly know the importance of teaching young girls how to respect themselves and understand their worth. It's something that'll follow them throughout their teenage years and beyond, and the results of low self-esteem or forgetting one's worth can be detrimental. Trust me, I KNOW. (Something I learned the hard way.)

That's why I was so happy to work with the folks over at the LittleMissMatched offices a few weeks ago for their Back Stage Pass event. A group of Bloggers came together with our tween girls (I "borrowed" my niece) and discussed all things tween fashion. We were also able to get the scoop on what goes on the behind the seams (pun intended).

{Aiden and my niece, popping popcorn like it's
nobody's business}

{Creative Brainstorming}

{Creative brainstorming by the months}

{VoilĂ --  A super cute dress!}
LittleMissMatched is a brand that inspires creativity, embraces individual style, and celebrates self-expression. What started out as three single socks in one pack... that do not match, is now an incredible phenomenon. LittleMissMatched is doing with socks what Nike did with sneakers and what Starbucks did with coffee, and the results are pure genius!

Not only can you wear your mix-matched socks with style, but you can also rock their women and tween apparel ranging anywhere from tights and leg warmers, to stylish tops, skirts, dresses and bags. I love the spunky-ness off it all.
At the event, the tweens were seriously in Fashion Heaven as they were able to raid the LittleMissMatched closets, put together their favorite pieces, and rip the runway in a "Fashion Show" for all of us. That part of the event was so dope! But, even better was seeing their eyes sparkle and their faces light up. My niece, who is typically shy and reserved, totally worked it! So did all the other young girls. And it's because we allowed them to be themselves. "You be YOU," is a one of the LittleMissMatched mottos -- a very fitting one at that. It's truly amazing and inspiring what young girls can do when we allow them to shine. Great things can happen, and usually does. 

This Friday, October 21st, LittleMissMatched is celebrating National "Rock Your Socks" Day, a day in which there are no rules and anything goes, socks wise. Kids of all ages (1- 101 years old) will be freeing their feet and rocking their crazy socks as a symbol of creativity. You can mix-match with patterns (polka dots and stripes) or with fabrics (cotton and silk). A photo contest will be held on the LittleMissMatched Facebook page and all are welcomed to participate. I'll be rocking a pair of their warm and fuzzy socks that are so soft, they feel like my feet are on marshmallows. But without the stickiness.

"3 socks. 2 feet. 1 YOU."

So go ahead... "style your SOLE" and rock your socks!

{Disclaimer: Event attendees (tweens and adults) received a gift bag. All opinions expressed herein are my own.}

Monday, October 17, 2011

A Tree Grows In Brooklyn {Fashion Edition}

This weekend, Aiden and I headed to Madison Square Park in the Flatiron Neighborhood of NYC for their annual Fall Kids Fest. It was a fun day packed with pumpkin decorating, arts and crafts, face painting, games galore, live music, cotton candy, and a costume parade.

But before the action began, I felt a little inspired by the crisp Fall air. And Brooklyn. And the trees.

Apparently a tree does grow in Brooklyn.

{Top and Jeggings: American Eagle;
Riding Boots: Steve Madden:
Shades: Aldo Accessories;
Necklace: Mark by Avon;
Bag: Old Navy;
Jacket: H&M}
{Can you tell that this is my "good side"?}
And because it's too fun and festive not to share, here are pictures of Aiden debuting one of his Halloween costumes, the one and only Buzz Lightyear, Space Ranger (last seen here).

{Eh... at least I look good}

{Aiden and my niece, aka Spider Girl}

{A on A}
Several trees grow in Manhattan too.

{I'm linking up with Momtrends, Glamamom, and The BonBonRose Girls for their Monday Mingle Fashion/Style Blog hop. Stop by to get fashion inspiration or link up to give inspiration.}

Friday, October 14, 2011

Bravo's "Mad Fashion," Ruthie Davis, and Mommy Delicious... All In One Night!

Have you tuned in to Bravo's latest show, Mad Fashion yet? It airs on Tuesdays at 10pm ET/PT and is filled with tons of eccentric designs for high profile clients sprinkled with... a little bit of drama. It wouldn't be reality TV without the drama, right?

Cast of "Mad Fashion"
To celebrate the premiere of Mad Fashion, there was a groovy little party in NYC at the Yotel. And since I'm always up for a good time, I was there in a NY minute. Not only was I able to chat-it-up with Chris March himself and get some great advice for moms wanting to stay fashionable and trendy, but I was also able to mix and mingle with Shoe Designer, Ruthie Davis, who is featured on the show as one of Chris' clients.

{Photo Credit: Creme Magazine}
She's so cute and sweet and chatting with her was such fun! And the shoes... WOWSA!

Here's a snippet of our interview:

Mommy Delicious: Ruthie, you look absolutely fabulous!
Ruthie Davis: So do you!
MD: Aww, thank you. Seriously, you've got fierce and sexy down pat.
Ruthie Davis: Oh, thank you! Ditto!
MD: I have to ask, Ruthie, who are you wearing tonight?
Ruthie Davis: This dress is by Maven, I don't know if you saw the back of it. (I did. And I LOVED it!)
MD: Ruthie, I love the edgy, fashion-forward, and no-explanations-needed heels that are Ruthie Davis... what can we expect to see this season?
Ruthie Davis: Fall 2011 has already hit stores, and people tell me "Oh the platform is going away," and I say "Oh no, they're getting higher." I've got 6-inch heels, I've got platforms with point toes... I continue to push the envelope on color, on new shapes, on new hardware. I'm kinda known for the studs, but I'm doing them in new ways and new colors. So I'm always gonna have new things that you've never seen before. That's kinda my thing.

Sweetness! Have you gotten your pair of Ruthie Davis heels from this season yet?!

For the party, I donned a horizontal ruffled yellow mini-dress with a black sash from H&M. I was a little skeptical about the dress because ruffles scare me sometimes (just a lil bit), but this was fun and flirty so I think it went off without a hitch. Thoughts?

And how about these Steve Madden sexy peep-toe black heels? With the three bows lining the front of the shoe and the chic suede, they are 5-inches of pure perfection.

Also in attendance that evening was John Legend and his girlfriend Chrissy Teigen, the entire cast of "Fashion Hunters" (which airs on Tuesdays at 10:30pm, after "Mad Fashion"), Jene Luciani, and Tracey Stern, amongst others.

How cute are John and Chrissy?!
Cast of "Fashion Hunters." L to R: Tara Muscarella, Karina Lepiner,
Ambria Miscia, Wilson Payamps
What a fun premiere party! Check out my full re-cap of the event over on Momtrends!

{Disclaimer: I was not compensated for this post.}


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...