Thursday, March 29, 2012

Seeing Your Ex For The First Time After A Breakup

Breakups can suck big time — we all know that. What sucks even more is when you have mutual friends with your ex, which means that you’re bound to run into said ex at one social event or another. Keep these things in mind if you think a run-in may take place:
1. Decide if you should sit this one out.
How can you know for sure that you’re ready to see them again? I mean, what if your fingers just happened to type in your ex’s name when you were logged on to Facebook, and you just happened to see their new default picture is with a potential new flame? Can you handle seeing your ex being lovey dovey with someone else? And what if, during your Facebook stalking (I mean, “research”), it appears that your ex is still single? Can you handle being in the same place and space with said ex while the both of you are unattached? If the answer is yes, then you’re good to go; if not, find something better to do that night. Yeah, you don’t want to let your ex ruin your social life, but if you’re not over it, it’s not worth it.
2. Remember the goal.
Obviously your main goal for going to any social event should be because you want to show your support to the host(s) and have a good time. But in the case where an ex will also be present, you now have a new goal: getting through the event gracefully. Without fumbling. And without slipping back into “that place” where you end up spilling your guts to your former lover about how much you still love them/need them/can’t live without them.
Head on over to HowAboutWe's The Date Report to read the rest of this article where I'm dishing about how to get through a party with your former looovvveeerrrr present.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

House of Consignment Helps with eBay Selling

Fashionistas, I hope you've been tuning in to VH1's latest 10-episode reality show, "House of Consignment." If you haven't, it's not to late to play catch up.

The show features a Chicago entrepreneur and fashionista Corri McFadden, who's main mission is to improve the way women shop (and make money... hold off on the comments -- you'll see what I'm talking about in a mere moment). In the show (and in real life) Corri and her team of 20something fashionistas take in thousands of dollars worth of high-end brand items into their Lincoln Park retail store, eDrop-Off. Then, they sell the items for big bucks on... you guessed it... eBay!

{Corri McFadden}
The catch? They only take fashion items and accessories from top designers like Dolce & Gabbana, Hermes, Chanel, Versace... you get my drift. If it's not couture and if it doesn't come from an exclusive designer, then it's not for eDrop-Off. Sounds kind of high-maintenance and stuck up, right?

Not quite. Corri had humble beginnings and this entire concept began as her senior project in fashion design school. Now, it's turned her into a young and successful business woman and the owner of a multi-million dollar company. Which brings me to my original point: Corri can teach us all a thing or two about how to make money on eBay. (I'm just saying...)

So... in addition to tuning into "House of Consignment" to see what the fashionistas are rocking each week and for the drama that is reality TV (let's not forget about the drama!), we can tune in to it to see just how Corri and her team does it. We can see how they take photos of items, how they list items on eBay (their choice of words for listing items, etc), how they price items, and how they ship it off. We can also see what's hot -- what's currently selling and what's not selling. Corri's no rookie. She knows her eBay stuff and it's made her some big bucks. (Not to mention that it's landed her on VH1 as well.)

Time for us to learn what Corri already knows. (And if you're new to selling on eBay, visit this post where I share basic tips for newbie eBay sellers... you're welcome!)

Who's in?

Also, eBay will host a live auction for fans to bid on one, special item that was featured in each episode. Pretty neat, huh?

Again... who's in?

{Disclaimer: As an eBay Parent Panel Ambassador, each post that mentions eBay is sponsored by eBay. All opinions expressed herein are my own.}

Monday, March 26, 2012

The Cost of Education

Well folks, I did it. I got Aiden into private school for the fall. And it's a school that was one of my top choices too.

I filled out the applications (all four pages of it) and had Aiden's current teacher fill out the teacher evaluation forms (all three pages of it). I took time off of work in order to attend open houses, school tours, bring Aiden to the playdate interviews, and go on parent interviews.

It was stressful. But he's in. I signed on the dotted line and submitted a deposit. He's in.

{Little drummer boy} 
{Just keep swimming...}
I remember when I was a senior in high school and I was in the process of applying to college. I applied to about eight schools and several different scholarship programs. While I received an acceptance letter to all of the schools that I applied to, I decided on Columbia with the aid of The New York Times College Scholarship Program. The college and scholarship application process was stressful, but in the end, I was happy.

For those of you who live in NYC (or follow the private school admissions process in NYC), you know this much is true: the college admissions process ain't got nothing on the NYC kindergarten admissions process.

It's a lot. Besides what I mentioned above -- the open houses, tours, applications and teacher recommendations, child interview, and parent interview -- there's the cost. Private school in NYC can cost upwards of $30,000/year. I'm not kidding. Surely we qualify for some type of financial aid because I'm a single mom, but still, it's a lot. But I'm willing to make the sacrifice, for more reasons than one.

{Scooting around} 
{Boys will be boys}
Judge as you may, but public school in NYC is just not doing it for me. It's just not good enough for me. Or Aiden. Depending on where you live in NYC, you may or may not be zoned for a stellar public school. I love my apartment, I like my neighborhood, I loathe my school district. It's overcrowded, poor performing, and doesn't seem to prepare the students for much of anything. (And I'm being nice.)

I want more for my little brown baby. He deserves more. I'm trying to mold him into a productive citizen and a socially competent member of society. I'm trying to shape and engineer every part of Aiden's life so that the kid can be set up for a successful future. He's smart. He's sweet. He's funny. He's a critical thinker. His talents and creativity needs to be nourished. And challenged. And pushed in a good way.

He's a child of destiny. There's a lot in store for his future. And the stakes are just too high for me to have him in a school system that seems to be designed to see boys like him fail. The school that he'll be going to in the fall is a great one and a really good fit for him. During his years there, I know that I won't be the only one invested in his education, in his future. Surely education may be expensive. But ignorance... well, that's even more expensive.

{He's been running things at CU since he was 1 1/2...}

{...And rocking CU gear since he was 3!}
Through years of research, sweat, stress, and practically making "Get Aiden Into School" my full time job for the past five months, he's in. It's a Pre-K -- 12 school so he's set until we apply to Columbia during his senior year of high school.

He's in. And I don't think I'd be happier than when the kid gets into college.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Dealing With The Breakup of Friendships

This past weekend, I found myself sitting in the spa with three other girls that I met in grad school. While relaxing in the jacuzzi, we were recounting stories of life, career moves, love and loss, and lessons learned. We were having a really good time, but I couldn't help but notice that just a year ago, we were mere acquaintances and classmates. And now, I have a standing bi-weekly dinner date with one of them where we usually unwind while cooking dinner and drinking wine in her Harlem apartment. Her name is K. K and I have become really cool and really close and I'm glad that I met her. 

It's funny how life works. 

And friendship? Even funnier. This week I met up with an old friend whom I've known for about 15 years, maybe more. We were supposed to go to an event together, but it didn't quite work out that way. Yet still, it was nice to see him and hear how he' doing, albeit briefly. After he and I said our "goodbyes" the other day, I started thinking about our entire circle of friends. In addition to him and me, there were about six or seven more of us and we were all like best friends. The group of us who grew up together and did so many things together -- sleepovers, day outings, shopping trips, vacations, you name it. And now, it's almost as if we're not even friends anymore. We haven't had a "falling out" or anything like that. I love them. All of them. It's just that... we've grown apart. 

Maybe it's because I was the first one to have a baby and "move out" on my own. 

Maybe it' because a couple of them are married and I'm single. 

Maybe it's because our growing pains shifted us to move in different directions. 

Maybe it's all of the above. And more. 

I once read a quote along the lines of, "People can have a spot in your heart and not have a place in your life." Although this quote is bittersweet, right now, it's proving to be true. The circle and I haven't officially "broken up" as friends, but our communication -- or lack thereof -- paints a different picture. 

As I said before, it's funny the way friendship works. 

How would you deal with the "breakup" of a friendship? 

Monday, March 19, 2012

California Gurl

As you all know, last week I left the lovely NYC to hang out at the eBay Headquarters in San Jose, California with the rest of the eBay Parent Ambassador Bloggers. It was pure dopeness.

When we weren't talking about all things eBay, we were playing around with the eBay signs, touring San Francisco (what a great city!), and tasting enough Pinot Noir and Chardonnay at Testarossa Winery in Los Gatos to last for the rest of March (and some of April). Splendid, quite splendid.

Here's what I wore while I was on the golden coast singing,
"California girls, we're undeniable
Fine, fresh, fierce, we got it on lock
West coast, represent
Now put your hands up
Oooooh oh oooooh" 
(Katy Perry, people.)

{Blouse and vest: F21; Black skinnies: American Eagle;
Suede wedges: Steve Madden; Ring: H&M}

{Short-Sleeve Tee with neck tie: Jason Wu for Target;
Sequined vest: American Eagle 77 Kids;
Gray skinnies: Levi's; Suede wedges: Steve Madden}

{Navy blazer, navy skinnies, blouse, canvas
bag: H&M; Suede Wedges: Steve Madden;
Oversized ring: Aldo Accessories;
Nails: Kardashian Kolor Khloe Had
A Lam Lam} 

I only packed two pair of shoes because I was adamant about carrying my luggage on the plane with me... baggage check is ex-pen-sive!) and as you can see from almost every picture, my latest obsession are my suede wedges from Steve Madden. Not only do they make me look five inches taller, but they are also super steady and comfortable. I literally wore them all day everyday! Score! (Oh yeah, and I love my Jason Wu for Target Tee with the neck tie.)

I also have a couple posts coming up about how to maximize on your eBay selling experience so stay tuned.

Who's ready for a fashionable week?!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Being The Best You

Yesterday I read a quote and I just had to share it with you on the Mommy Delicious Facebook page. It read, "Be your best you."

I must admit that it took me awhile to get to this point where I'm comfortable and content in just being who I am. (Chalk it up to my quarter-life crisis, where I was trying to find my way after an unexpected pregnancy and a not-so-sweet relationship gone sour.) And it has taken me a little bit longer to be comfortable and content in openly showing others who I am. (Now I see that it's totally worth it.)

This post comes to you live from the west coast. I'm in San Jose, California hanging out at the eBay offices, and talking it up and having a good time with other bloggers in the eBay Parent Panel Ambassador Program. (More on that in a later post.)

Although we've been playing a lot, we've also been working a lot, and during one of our sessions yesterday, I was given a compliment about the work that I do in the blogosphere and on the Internet. At first, I was like, "Huh, me?!"

But then I sat back. And I just listened. And I took it all in by absorbing what the people were saying about me. That's when I realized just how important it is to embrace who you truly are and to be your best and realest self. Wholly and completely.

People are observing you and all the things that you do, even if it's from a distance. Every time you make a move, you're leaving another footprint in your legacy. Shouldn't it be the best and most accurate "you" possible?

I think so!

In a world where people can pull you in many different directions, it's not always easy to maintain your sense of self. But it's imperative. And once you've maintained yourself, upgrade. And maintain that upgraded self. And then upgrade again. And again. And again.

Until you're at your best.

Until you are the best you.

What's one thing you can do to start that process today?

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Love, Loss, and What I Wore {Review}

What do you get when you put a group of phenomenal women on stage, all dressed up in black, recounting stories of how different outfits have affected their lives?

A hit Off-Broadway show called, Love, Loss, and What I Wore!

A couple weeks ago, I was invited to see this show, and can I just say... wowsa! At some points, I laughed so hard that I almost cried. The show was written by Nora Ephron and Delia Ephron, and opened in October 2009 at the charming Westside Theatre (407 West 43rd Street), where it has broken all box office records.

And I can see why. Although the stories that the ladies are recounting are personal, they are so relatable. When the women are not dishing about finding the "right" bra (we've all been there), trying on different pieces in the dressing room (is it me, or are those mirrors in dressing rooms the enemy?), or the perfect prom dress (it can make or break a young girls' experience), they are telling hilarious stories about a woman's purse (because, you know, we carry everything around in there).

And while they're at it, they are asking of one thing from us: "Can't we all just stop pretending anything is ever going to be the new black?"


Interestingly enough, the ladies all wear black dresses while recounting their clothing tales, which clearly serves as a metaphor. In fact, the entire show is a metaphor because it's no secret that the right (or wrong!) outfit can be the deciding factor in how we feel about ourselves at critical moments. And it's always funny how we'll always remember what we were wearing during those defining moments.

Love, Loss, and What I Wore captures all of that. And more. If you're in the NYC area, grab your gals and head to the Westside Theatre before March 25th, which is when the show's run will be over.  I'm glad I was able to see it because it's one that I didn't want to miss.

And I am so grateful to Playtime for allowing me to see the show. Playtime is a non-for-profit program that provides culture, arts, and childcare for kids while their parents enjoy the theatre. Who says parents only have to see child-oriented shows? Not I! And not Playtime! They exist all in the love of theatre so be sure to check them out!

{Disclosure: I was provided with complimentary tickets to the play via Playtime and MamaDrama in order to facilitate this review. All opinions expressed herein are my own.}

Friday, March 9, 2012

Sophisticated Bow Tie and Skinnies

{Basic Tee, Black cardigan, bag, cuff bracelet, ring: H&M;
Black skinnies: American Eagle;
Shoes, stacked bracelets: Aldo's; Earrings: Bauble Bar;
Eyes: YoungBlood; Lips: Rimmel London Berry Rose;
Nails: OPI Kardashian Kolor Khloe Had
A Lam Lam}
This week, we got a little taste of Spring here in NYC. And boy was it pretty sweet! Now I can't wait until the days of rooftop parties and outdoor happy hours are here to stay. To celebrate the increase in temps, I found myself wearing blouses and basic tees to the office.

On this particular day, I was totally feeling this basic burgundy tee that features cap sleeves, a scoop neck, and an over sized bow tie. I paired it with black skinnies because, well, they make my legs look longer. I didn't want to be that girl at the office who looks like she's ready for happy hour at 9:30am (although I was totally ready for happy hour at 9:30am) so I covered up a bit with a basic black cardigan.

Sophisticated. Sexy. Chic. Totally Mommy Delicious style.

How was the weather in your neck of the woods? Hope you guys had a fabulous and fashionable week!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Beyonce and Blue Ivy and My New Mommy Fears

You probably know this by now: Beyoncé and Jay-Z made their first public appearance with little Blue Ivy Carter at a New York City restaurant two weekends ago. Everyone seems to be in a tizzy over the fact that Beyoncé was wearing Isabel Marant Bekket High-Top Sneakers and leather leggings, including yours truly. I mean, what’s not to like? She’s comfortable and sexy! It’s a classic new mom look! But what Beyoncé wore is not really of importance here.

When I first saw the photos of the trio, I can see that Queen B is already playing the doting mother, holding baby Blue closely to her chest and covering her face with a blanket. And can you blame her? The first time I took my son Aiden out for fresh air, I did the exact same thing. Granted, I am not a celebrity mom and the paparazzi were never out to get a picture of my adorable son, but I remember my fears as a newbie mom, and can only imagine how Beyoncé must feel right now. 

Aiden was born on October 28, and I brought him home from the hospital on October 30. He did not feel fresh air again until December 24 because I didn’t take him out of our apartment. Wait, no; that's not true—I took him to my cousin's place on Thanksgiving three weeks after he was born. I bundled him up—making sure to cover everything (including his face)—went straight from my apartment building into a car, and then straight from the car into my cousin's place. When it was time to go home, I repeated the entire process. 

Friends and family members who knew I hadn’t left my apartment thought I'd gone crazy. Although I was suffering from cabin fever, I was too terrified to take my perfect newborn infant out into the dirty, disgusting world replete with germs. Dramatic, I know, but it’s how I felt at the time. And besides the germs, there were so many other things that I feared. 

What if I tripped on one of the cracks in the sidewalk and dropped him? I can be a total klutz sometimes, you know. What if the loud noises of the streets of Brooklyn, NY scared him? It is the Concrete Jungle, you know.

Head over to REDBOOK Magazine to read the rest of my article.
Did you have any "New Mommy Fears," irrational or otherwise?

Friday, March 2, 2012

When's the Last Time You Said, "Thank You"?

No doubt about it: this week kicked my ass. I mean, I like to think that I'm good at effectively handling stress. I always find good coping mechanisms and stress releases -- going for a run, having a glass of wine while reading a book, really playing with Aiden, taking a long and hot shower, etc. 

But this week? Hmph... none of that worked. 

Between dealing with changes at Aiden's school, sitting in Criminal Court with one of my teens at work (and other work stressors), and taking care of other personal issues, I am beat. Seriously. This week. Kicked my ass. Hard. 

But then there was yesterday. The silver lining. There's always a silver lining, right? Someone did something for me that was so touching and heartfelt. It warmed my heart so much that this morning I went to the store, purchased a "Thank You" card for them, and gave them a handwritten note. I'm usually one for sending a "Thank You" email, but I was so moved that I took the old school route. 

Which got me to thinking: when's the last time we said "thank you" to someone? Like really said "thank you" to someone for doing something nice/kind/special for us? 

Let today be that day. 

And so...

Thank you. For kicking it with me on this corner of the Internet. Thank you. For every link that you share on Facebook and Twitter. Thank you. For every comment. Thank you. For every email and/or message you send my way. Thank you. For forwarding posts that inspire you to friends. Thank you. For being so very dope. 

Thank you, thank you, thank you. A million times... thank you.


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