Wednesday, June 27, 2012

On Being Purposeful With Your Time

"Wherever you go, go with all your heart." ~ Confucius

The weeks leading up to my 28th birthday and then actually turning 28 has done something to me. It was (and still is) the point in my life where I have the desire to invest my time and energy wisely. I must be becoming a more mature adult.

It feels good.

Last week, someone asked me to participate in something to which my initial reply was a lackluster, "Yes." I mean, she's a sweet person and I wanted to be there for her.

But, then.

Then I realized that my "Yes" was not coming from a place of power -- I was only saying "Yes" to help her out, and not really because I had the time (or energy) to invest in this project. I realized that by saying, "Yes" to her I was not only saying "No" to myself, but I was also not thinking of myself. In some instances, this could have potentially been fine... if I meant "Yes" one hundred percent.

But I didn't.

So I kept it real and changed my "Yes" to a "No." I had to be honest to her. And, most importantly, to myself.

That's what I've been doing these past few months -- being more honest with myself. And valuing my time. And learning that "No." is a complete sentence. In short, I've been being more purposeful with my time.

There was a time when I thought that thinking of me first and putting my needs first made me selfish. Maybe that's one of the reasons I stayed with Aiden's other parent as long as I did. Maybe I thought that by leaving I was being selfish and only thinking of myself.

But, then.

Then I realized that I had to get out because there was a much better plan for my life. (Not to mention I also realized that a "happy and healthy" mommy makes for a "happy and healthy" Aiden.)

And now.

Now I'm living that life. And I'm seeing that plan being manifested. Every. Single. Day. I'm being more purposeful with my time. (I'm busy and don't have time for frivolous things.) I'm focusing my energies on things that are tied to my destiny -- in my personal life and in my professional life. I'm living my life on purpose. And with a purpose.

That way, whenever I participate in something, I'll be doing it wholeheartedly. And wherever I go somewhere, I'll be going with all of my heart.

What about you? How are you being purposeful with your time?

Monday, June 25, 2012

{Personal Style} Mommy Delicious Swimsuit Modeling Debut And A MiracleSuit Swimsuit Giveaway

Last week, I kicked off the first day of Summer in true Mommy Delicious fashion -- by "modeling" a MiracleSuit swimsuit on a double-decker bus all around Manhattan. (I use the term "modeling" loosely as I was one of the real people on the tour, and not one of the models.)

[This photo reminds me of several seasons of ANTM]
Co-hosted by Momtrends and MiracleSuit, and along with 19 other women, I grabbed my heels and MiracleSuit in a beautiful royal blue, and hit the streets of Manhattan like never before! The tour started off at Rockefeller Plaza, where we eagerly yelled out "Summer in the City with MiracleSuit" to on-lookers, as well as chanted, "Summer! Summer! Summer!" to get the crowd going.

And it got them going alright. Lots of folks asked if they could take pictures with us. I won't be surprised if we ended up on lots of people's (read: "men") Facebook pages with a caption of "Hott girls in the City."

We then took our chants and talents to Times Square, The Empire State Building, the Flatiron District, Union Square, and SoHo. I haven't had that much daytime fun in such a long time! And to think that I did it all in a bathing suit!

[I love the ruching on this suit. Photo via @TripleThreatMom]

[I was way too excited. Photo via @StrollerInCity]
Each MiracleSuit features fabrics designed to make women look 10 pounds lighter in 10 seconds -- the amount of time it takes to put on your MiracleSuit. Although it is not a priority for me to look 10 pounds lighter, I can certainly attest to the fact that the MiracleSuit pulls everything in, especially at the midsection. And the MiracleSuit manages to do that while offering a myriad of styles, selections, and colors -- strapless, one-shoulder, sweetheart neckline, V-neck, ruching, solids, patterns, tankinis, swim dresses... take your pick!

No, seriously, take your pick. MiracleSuit has graciously offered to give away a bathing suit to one (1) Mommy Delicious reader so that you can enjoy your Summer beach/pool days in style. Want to win one? Here's how to enter:

1 -- Head on over to the MiracleSuit website and leave a comment below stating which swimsuit you like best.

2 -- For a second entry, follow Mommy Delicious on Twitter AND tweet this giveaway. Make sure to @MommyDelicious and @MiracleSuit in that tweet.

3 -- For a third entry, "like" Mommy Delicious on Facebook AND share this giveaway. Make sure to tag Mommy Delicious in that FB post.

**Please complete the mandatory entry before the extra entries.
**Please leave a each extra entry in a separate comment so that it'll be counted.
**Please leave your contact information in the comment so that I'll be able to reach you if you win.
**Three entries total.

In an effort to get the winner their MiracleSuit ASAP, this giveaway has a quick turnaround and will end this Wednesday, June 27th at which point ONE winner will be chosen via

Good luck and happy Summer!

WINNER ANNOUNCED: Chosen via, the winner is Nylse. Congratulations and thanks to all who entered this giveaway!

{Disclaimer: This post/giveaway is being sponsored by MiracleSuit. All opinions expressed herein are my own.}

Friday, June 22, 2012

The PreK Graduate

Aiden's PreK Stepping Up Ceremony was this week and I couldn't have been a more prouder single mom. And a pretty stylish one too. I wore these heels:

And I was all smiles:

But, Aiden was kinda/sorta/maybe a little bored. So he was doing this:

He probably was doing what most of his classmates were thinking. Boys will be boys...

Then it was time for him to step up. So he was like this:

And this:

And this:

And his momma was all smiles. Again.

Now I'm all like, "It's been real PreK, but we're outta here!" And after a few incidents this week, I'm a little happy to be saying those words. As a a former NYC Public School Teacher and a person who is very passionate about education (and educational equity), I'm convinced that the NYC public school system is not designed for little brown boys to succeed.

There's been an "acting out" and hitting epidemic going on in Aiden's class. Mostly amongst the little brown boys. Mostly being silly and mostly hitting to get attention (as opposed to using their words). Yet, instead of taking those moments to facilitate the correct way to interact in a social situation, the teachers have been sending the boys out of the class and making them sit in another teacher's classroom for a set period of time. (I didn't realize this was going on until Aiden told me because his teachers didn't reach out to me to let me know themselves.)

I'm so disappointed and saddened that this has been going on. Don't get me wrong, I believe in time-outs. But I also think that they should be used effectively. When children (who are FOUR-years-old) are hitting and being silly, it is up to their educators to utilize teachable moments in order to model for them effective behaviors. Sending them away is another missed opportunity that could have been used to teach them social skills, which is exactly what kids should be learning in PreK.

After these incidents, I'm happy that we're heading to private school in the Fall where I'll be able to work with the teachers much better. I attended the curriculum night a couple weeks ago and I am convinced that it'll be worth every single cent.

Oh yeah... he's going places alright. I'll make sure of it.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Summer Lovin'

[photo via]

"Summer sun, something's begun, but uh-oh those Summer nights..."

I've said this before, but one of the best things about being single in a city like New York is that this place is lousy with fine men! FIONE men! And they all seem to come out of their hibernation during the Summer months. Happens every year. I spot them almost everywhere -- at rooftop happy hours, at outdoor dining areas, on The HighLine, walking around Midtown, during Saturday night clubbing with the girls -- everywhere.

In fact, just a few weeks ago, I told my girl L that we'll be spending more time outdoors this Summer. I mean, I might as well meet some of these single men while the weather's warm. But, er, finding these guys is only half the battle. Engaging in conversation and making sure he's a winner is the other piece of the puzzle.

While I typically don't have a difficult time meeting guys because a confident smile, a nod, and a wave hello almost always does the trick of getting him to come talk to me (now you know my secret), last week I participated in a Twitter chat with Single Edition and Relationship Expert, Rori Raye, and I was very pleased with the tips she provided for ways to get him to notice you and enjoy a little Summer lovin'.

[photo via]
"Summer fling, don't mean a thing, but uh-oh those Summer nights..."

Here are a few of the takeaway points that I got from Rori's talk and live stream video afterwards:
1.  Get out and live your life. That's when/how you'll meet the person you're looking for! (Amen, Rori! I'm a firm believer that you should stop looking for Mr. Right and find your "happy" instead. Then, Mr. Right will come along.)

2.  Stop going down a mental road and analyzing every single word of a text message/email/phone conversation with the person you're dating. Most of the time it's just a string of words put together and you're just making a big deal out of nothing. (Okay, I'll admit it: I'm guilty of this sometimes. But, I'm getting a lot better at not doing this these days because I'm being more purposeful with my precious time. #JustSaying

3.  Things will happen (or not happen) in a relationship when it happens (or doesn't happen.) In other words: chill out and relax because you'll be okay. (I'm so much better at doing this these days too! I must be becoming a more mature dater.)

About Rori:
"Rori teaches specific things you can do to raise your self-esteem that will make you irresitible to a man. To learn more, subscribe to her FREE relationship advice e-newsletter. You'll learn a whole new way of relating to men that will make you feel better about yourself while you find the relationship of your dreams."

Happy Dating, folks!

"Summer heat, boy and girl meet, but uh-oh those Summer nights..."

{Disclaimer: This post is being sponsored by Rori Raye.}

Monday, June 18, 2012

{Personal Style} Top Knots and Summer Statement Shoes

My friends, the time has come where top knots are my hair style of choice. With the humidity (that I loathe) in NYC during the Summer, I rarely feel the desire to wear my hair down these days.

[sunnies: David Yurman; blouse, necklace, cuff: H&M;
skinnies: American Eagle; bracelet: Aldo accessories]
But one thing that I love about Summer and warmer weather is rooftop happy hour. Last week, I headed to Hudson Terrace for a Columbia Alumni Happy Hour event. It was really good to catch up with old classmates and another excuse to enjoy an open bar and spend time with my girl L on a Thursday evening.

A few days before the event, I was walking around Manhattan (Midtown East) and I discovered coral shoes (or is it melon?) at a random shop. Instantly, I fell in love because they're like THE perfect Summer statement shoes. (See why I love Manhattan so much?!)

For the Columbia Alumni event, I paired them with a loose blouse and black skinnies. Cute! It's not shown in these photos, but I also added a black blazer to the outfit. You know, to look more like a mature, "Ivy League Alumna" and whatnot.

How do you guys deal with heat/humidity and Summer hair care?

Hope you all have a super stylish week. Stay fabulous!

Friday, June 15, 2012

Swimsuits That Suits You And The Kids

This post is underwritten by Old Navy. Whether you're looking for a tankini, bikini or a one piece, Old Navy has you confidently covered at a great price.

One of my favorite things about Summer is taking trips to the beach and pool. There's just something about lounging around a pool deck or listening to the sound of the ocean that's so peaceful, so serene, so... FUN!

While it looks like Aiden and I will not be taking a vacation this Summer, I fully intend on taking advantage of day and weekend trips so that we can have some fun in the sun. Of course, this single momma has to plan out my outfits for swimming and swim-related activities, just as I would do for a saturday night. I do so in four easy steps:

First: I need an oversized, lightweight beach bag so that I can bring along our snacks, sunblock, changing clothes, toys, towels, and lots of water.

[Photo via Old Navy]

Second: I need to find stylish one-pieces that flatters and highlights my petite frame while providing enough support. You know, in case Aiden decides to go on an "expedition" (aka: run away from me). Sunnies and a cover-up are must-have items as well.

[South Beach, 2011]
I'm also a HUGE fan of tankinis because it allows me to mix and match and switch it up a bit. Like this set:

[Photos via Old Navy]
Or this set: 

[Photo via Old Navy]

Talk about cute!

Third: I take care of Aiden's gear. For my little guy, I like to stick with rash guards, swim shorts, water shoes, and a hat big enough to protect his face from the sun. I always try to find modern looks for him so I shop at places that offer a range of colors and prints. And, as I've said in the past, I try buy Aiden's pieces when they're on sale. (Kids grow out of clothing in, like, a week. So what's the point of spending full price on it?!)

[mango eating in St. Lucia, 2011]
Fourth: We hit the beach or the pool and get our splash on! Woohoo!

How do you get beach/pool ready? What's your swimsuit style?

Thank you again to Old Navy for sponsoring my post. I was compensated for this post as a member of Clever Girls Collective, but the content is all my own.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

A Day In Dino Land

Remember this post? I spent a Saturday night out with my gals in Hell's Kitchen and because of red sangria and blackberry margaritas, I woke up on Sunday with a slight hangover. Well, thanks to an oversized cup of coffee and huge sunnies, I was able to get up and get at 'em.

And I'm glad I did because Aiden and I were able to head out to Secaucus, New Jersey for a trip to Dino Land!

Field Station: Dinosaurs is a 20-acre outdoor walking attraction with 31 life-sized animatronic dinosaur exhibits, games, workshops, and entertainment. We took the NJ Transit from Penn Station and it literally took us 8 minutes to get into Secaucus. Once there, a free shuttle bus took us over to Field Stations: Dinosaurs, which was about another 8 minute ride. So, if you do the math, from Penn Station it took us about 16 minutes to travel 90 million years back in time...

This world-class family attraction is like an outdoor museum! It really proved to be a one-of-a-kind learning experience. For me. As we were walking around, I kept pointing to different dinosaurs, saying, "And here is another T-Rex."

But once he warmed up to the dinosaurs (be advised that they do make loud noises), Aiden would say, "That's an ankylosaurus."

Okay. Whatever. You're not getting a prize for knowing the correct name or anything.

I'm convinced... educational TV shows are designed to make parents look stupid bad. I blame my, er, lack of knowledge on the a-a-a-a-a-alcohol. #JaimeFoxx

Each visitor is given a passport upon entry and has the chance to earn a stamp for participating in different expeditions, which consists of activities, workshops, and entertainment taking place at different locations in the park every half hour. During our trip, we colored and dug for fossils. Aiden also took his shoes off and ran around the park until I caught him. He clearly was having his own "expedition." That is, until he fell down and got a boo-boo on his foot. Ouch! Luckily, the staff was kind enough to get a first aid kit to us ASAP. Sweet!

Starting June 21st, the park will be open 7 days a week, just in time for the planning of Summer activities. Tickets are $25/adults and $20/children, and there is a discount for purchasing tickets online in advance.

Field Station: Dinosaurs has graciously offered to give one Mommy Delicious reader TWO tickets to check out this awesome attraction. If you'd like to check it out, leave a comment below saying so.

For a second entry, follow Mommy Delicious on Twitter AND tweet this giveaway. Make sure to @MommyDelicious and @JerseySaurus in that tweet.

For a third entry, "like" Mommy Delicious on Facebook AND share this giveaway. Make sure to tag Mommy Delicious in that post.

**Please complete the mandatory entry before the extra entries.
**Please leave each extra entry in a separate comment so that it'll be counted.
**Please leave your contact information in the comment so that I'll be able to reach you if you win.
**Three entries total.

This giveaway will end Tuesday, June 19th at which point ONE winner will be chosen.

Good luck!

WINNER ANNOUNCED: Congratulations Karlene. Enjoy Field Stations: Dinosaurs!

{Disclaimer: I received complimentary tickets to Field Station: Dinosaurs via MamaDrama in order to facilitate this review. This giveaway is being sponsored by Field Station: Dinosaurs.}

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

On Single Motherhood -- When Quitting Becomes Winning

Father's Day is coming up, and as Aiden works on all different types of Father's Day art projects at school and ask me questions about our little family of two, I have to keep reminding myself WHY I'm single and that this single mom thing is okay...

I was sitting at Aiden's toddler table across from him. He was eating lunch and I was reading him a story. By then, I'd figure out that one of the best ways to keep the kid seated while eating was to read him some of his favorite stories.

It was a Saturday afternoon and just the night before, Aiden's otherparent and I were talking about our upcoming trip/ my friend's wedding in Hawaii. We were more so deciding if I still wanted him to come on the trip than anything else.

The domestic violence incident occurred weeks before and he was being seemingly nice and charming and "loving" -- all the things that classic abusers do oh so well during the fleeting "honeymoon" phase when they are trying to pretend as though nothing ever happened get back into their victim's good graces.

I'd already made up in my mind that it was time to end the relationship.

"So... can I still come to Hawaii with you guys?" he asked.
"Fine. Come to Hawaii, but when we get back, you have to leave."
"Where am I supposed to go? What am I supposed to do?" Seriously?!Isn't it too little too late for the guilt trip?
"Find someplace else to live." I blurted out.

I glanced over at Aiden. He didn't entirely understand the dialogue that was taking place between his parents, but he sensed that somethingwas up. His whole demeanor changed and he started to get increasingly fussy and irritated.

"So... you're just gonna give up?" the other parent asked.
"We're not good together. We're miserable." What I actually want to say is, "I'm miserable," but I was trying to reason.
"It's you! Nothing I do makes you happy. I'm trying really hard and it's not making you happy."

Whoa! Pause.

I wasn't having that discussion. Not again. I could have argued it -- again. I could have gotten defensive -- again. And I could have reminded him of his violent outbursts and temper tantrums -- again. But I didn't.

"You're right, " I said. "It is me. I'm not happy. With you. In this relationship."

Aiden finished the last of his lunch, although I'm sure more of it was on his table than in his stomach. I gathered his plate and cup, and headed towards the sink.

"It's over." I said with one last glance at the other parent.

The next week we all went to Hawaii together. I was a bridesmaid (always a bridesmaid...) and Aiden was a ring bearer in my friend's wedding.

[What a handsome little guy]
When we got back the following week, I politely requested that he not unpack his luggage, but simply pack the rest of his things and keep it moving. How does the Beyonce song go again? "To the left, to the left..."

And so he did.

And so the relationship ended. 

Kind of overdue. I mean, I probably should have faced the facts and called it quits weeks prior. But like I previously mentioned, that's not always how it works.

Everything happens on its own time, right?

Truth is, there were way too many downs and not nearly enough ups. I gave it my best shot -- and then some! But it didn't work. So I fold. And sometimes folding totally feels like wining when the stakes are too high and there's too much to loose (ie: my well-being). This was definitely one of those times. Sometimes you just gotta learn when to walk away...

I've definitely had my moments of "This is who I chose to be the father of my child?! This is who I picked?!" But that guilt does nothing but take away energy from me. Energy that deserves to be spent on taking care of Aiden and being positive and living a full -- and fulfilling -- life.

I picked the wrong guy. Maybe I had bad judgment back then. Maybe I wanted or needed to feel loved. Maybe I was too hungover to pick up on the red flags (hey... sh*t happens). Maybe I was too young. Maybe I was too naive...

That's just something that I'll have to live with, but I refuse to dwell on it. There are too many great things that I have yet to accomplish, too many lessons to learn, too many places to visit, too many people to help, too many hearts to touch. 

I have life to live!

So I don't dwell. I just embrace motherhood. Young motherhood, single motherhood, because be that as it may, it's still been pretty freakin' delicious. 

Monday, June 11, 2012

{Personal Style} Preppy and Sporty in MASH Junior

Recently, Aiden and I received a nice package from across the Atlantic -- a couple pieces from the Spring/Summer 2012 Italian children's wear brand, MASH Junior. After seeing the look book a few weeks ago when the PR company sent it to me, I just had to test it out. In person.

Aiden was totally up for the task and modeled his MASH Junior look like a pro.

[Lightweight vest featuring a V-neck collar and
plaid cargo shorts makes for one super cool pre-school kid]
The style and color palette of the MASH Boy collection makes for a sporty and preppy look. The fabric of the pieces are lightweight and durable, which is so necessary, in my opinion. Because a stylish mama needs a stylish kid by her side, I love that the Spring/Summer 2012 collection is just that -- stylish. But not in a nose-in-the-air kind of way. It's totally kid friendly and fun. I think that's what I like most about it.

[That smirk... LOVE!]
[In deep thought in his cool-kid stance]
Exciting and fun, but also practical and purposeful (read: comfortable), MASH Junior has a range of looks for boys and girls aged 6 months -- 16 years. That probably explains why the brand has been a hit with the kids of some of my fave celebs like Jessica Alba and Sarah Jessica Parker.

The girls' line, MASH Kiss features the same lightweight, comfortable, and durable fabric as the boys' line, but the pieces play up the feminine with pastels, bow ties, and ruffle dresses that are reminiscent of airy and fluffy clouds. It's full of personality and perfect for that carefree little girl or that glamorous older tween.

[Kicks: Creative Recreation]
No doubt about it, MASH Junior is "Alicia-tested" and "Aiden-approved."

And no doubt about it, Aiden gives a stellar performance as a "model." He's my little super star.

Hope everyone has a very stylish week. Stay fabulous!

{Disclaimer: This review is being sponsored by MASH Junior.}

Friday, June 8, 2012

{Dating Tales} Another Again

"Timing is everything. And sometimes it seems like it's a bitch. And sometimes that's the ultimate bullshit of life." Those were pretty much the words that I uttered to a girlfriend a few weeks ago when she asked me about SG and my dating life. (I gave it three chances. I felt nothing. So I bowed out. Such is life. *Shrugs*)

Actually, I wasn't referring to SG at all when I uttered those words. I was talking about some other, er, situation...

It's the tail end of February and it's been about five months since Yummy and I decided that our, er, situation would not be upgraded to a real relationship. It's been about five weeks since I had no contact with him at all. Five. Whole. Weeks. No phone calls. No text messages. No Facebook "research." Whenever I feel the urge to reach out to him (or conduct Facebook "research"), I stop myself. Instead, I go for a run and listen to "Fighter," by Christina Aguilera, or "Stronger," by Kanye West. On repeat.

(Don’t give me the side eye for that one. My dating life clearly revolves around music. Not to mention, I deserve a friggin' award for that kind of self control.)

In a few days, our mutual friends from college will be co-hosting their birthday party and, of course, he's going to be there.

I debate skipping out on the party, but I'm not one to let other people dictate my social engagements. Plus, I'm not one to turn down a good party. So, in true Mommy Delicious fashion, I show up. My outfit's flirting with red and I'm looking pretty hawt!

When I see him at the party, he looks... yummy. Just as I remembered him. We're cordial -- not exactly flirting, but a little more than friendly. It's only natural.

It's bittersweet.

After the party, I'm debriefing with my girl T (from Miami), and I'm like, "Hot damn! I think I re-like him" to which she responds, "Umm, you never stopped liking him." After he pops up in my head more times than I thought he would have, I realize that... I miss him. (There... I said it.) But not just a little bit. I miss him more than I thought I would have. Make no mistakes about it: my life continued after our, er, situation, ended. There was single motherhood and private school applications and outings and trips out of town and work and stress and all that jazz.

But, still. I know that I want to see him. Again.

Another again.

He's single. I'm single. What's the harm, right?

That week, he and I make plans to catch up over dinner for the following week. I'm excited. (There... I said it.) And now I'm playing "Knock You Down," by Keri Hilson. On repeat.

When my girls say that I'm cray cray for making dinner plans with him, I start to justify my actions by calling it a non-date. "I won't even stress about what ouftit to wear!" I say in my defense. (I totally stressed about what outfit to wear.) "If anything," I continue, "It'll give me material for a HowAboutWe article or something. Like, 'How To Be Friends With An Ex' or something like that." (I totally didn't get an article out of it.)


Our non-date is... interesting. There's so much that we should and could be discussing. And we do. Initially. But then, we start speaking body language. And that, we understand perfectly. It feels... warm-and-fuzzy-and-butterflies-in-your-stomach good. The chemistry between us is still there.

Just like old times.

There's nothing "non" about it.

A few weeks, a few more Yummy rendevous, and a few dates with other guys in between... here I stand. Single and dating. My girl L says, "I think y'all are both just fronting." Eh, maybe she has a point...

Umm... I don't really have an ending for this post. I've been thinking about how I would end it for a couple days now and the words just keep rearranging themselves in my head.

But... perhaps that's the ultimate bullshit of dating -- you never know how it's going to end. Until it ends.

Or... maybe that's the beauty of dating -- no matter how it pans out, you'll be okay.

Because I will be okay. No matter how this plays out.

Such is life.


Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Team Jenny American Heart Association 5K and A 1-Month Jenny-Set-Go Program GIVEAWAY!

[5K ready!]
Last week, I joined a few other NYC Bloggers and Team Jenny Craig for the American Heart Association Wall Street 5K. That's right, we put on our workout gear and banded together to bring awareness to the leading cause of death for women in the United States -- heart disease.

[All geared up with my Team Jenny t-shirt]
Jenny Craig is committed to helping combat the obesity epidemic in the US, and is diligently working with the AHA to reduce American's risk for cardiovascular disease by 20% by 2020. What a great goal to have, and I was more than happy to partake in this initiative.

[Photo opp before the 5K]
Jenny Craig Brand Ambassador, actress, and author, Valerie Bertinelli lead our team in the 5K. As she puts it, "Losing weight isn't just about getting into your favorite clothes; It's about being healthy and lowering your risk for weight-related diseases so you can live a longer and happier life for yourself and for your family." Couldn't agree more, Valerie.

[The view during the last mile, aka "The Home Stretch" --
not too shabby for Alicia]
I'm clearly not trying to lose weight, but as I've pointed out many, many times on this blog, it's very important for me to maintain a healthy lifestyle by working out a few times per week and being conscious of what I eat (and what I feed Aiden).

[And... DONE!]
With that said, the folks over at Jenny Craig are graciously offering one Mommy Delicious reader the chance to win a complimentary 1-month Jenny-Set-Go program, including cost of food (over a $500 value). Pretty sweet, huh? For those of you looking to lose weight or live a healthier lifestyle, I think this would be a great place to begin, especially because it'll give you tips on how to choose healthier food options.

To enter, leave a comment below saying why it's important for you to live a healthier lifestyle. (Mandatory entry.)

For another entry, follow Mommy Delicious on Twitter AND tweet this giveaway. Make sure to @MommyDelicious in that tweet.

For a third entry, "like" Mommy Delicious on Facebook AND share this giveaway. Make sure to tag Mommy Delicious in that post.

**Please complete the mandatory entry before extra entries.
**Please leave each entry in a separate comment so that it'll be counted.
**Please leave your contact information in the comment so that I'll be able to reach you if you win.
**Three entries total.

This giveaway will end Wednesday, June 13th at which point ONE winner will be chosen via

Good luck and happy healthy living!

WINNER ANNOUNCED: Chosen via, congratulations to My Strange Family! Stay tuned for an email from me.

{Disclosure: This giveaway is being sponsored by Jenny Craig.}

Monday, June 4, 2012

{Personal Style} Red Wedges, Red Sangria, and My Happy Place

I know I'm a super busy single mom when I have to plan a date night with my girlfriends three weekends in advance. Serious, my calendar has been that packed. Oy! But this past Saturday, all the stars aligned and I headed out to Hell's Kitchen for dinner, drinks, and girl talk with M, T, and J. The blackberry margaritas were strong and plenteous, and the red sangria was being served in copious amounts. In other words, it was my kind of Saturday night.

{clockwise: M, T, J, Me}
So much so that I woke up slightly hungover on Sunday morning, but in true Mommy Delicious fashion, I grabbed a cup of coffee, threw on my sunnies, and took Aiden out for our day's activities. Actually, I took Aiden and my niece out. You see, I didn't exactly have a babysitter on Saturday night so I did a lil bartering with my sister -- she watched Aiden for me on Saturday night and I brought my niece along with Aiden and me the next day to Field Station: Dinosaurs. It's a pretty kickass outdoor attraction just ten minutes outside of NYC that's filled with, you guessed it, life-sized dinosaurs. But just pretend ones, duh! Stay tuned for a post about our day there. It was kinda epic.

[tank, necklace: h&m; skinnies: gap;
wedges: chinese laundry via victoria secret;
pedicure: essie mango tango;
cuff: the junk boutique]
I brought out the red wedges for Saturday night's outing. Paired with a pair of skinnies and loose cropped tank, the outfit was chill and sexy. It made me happy. After dinner, we continued the festivities at a nearby bar, and after a few more drinks, I was officially at my happy place. It was a good place to be, especially when good songs came on. Needless to say, I had a pretty epic weekend.

How about you guys? How was your weekend?

Happy Monday! I hope you have a super stylish week!

Friday, June 1, 2012

What's The Hardest Thing You've Worked For?

A few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to speak with Lucille O'Neal, and boy is she one inspirational single mama! The world knows her as the mother of NBA Basketball Star Shaquille O'Neal, but she is also the author of a motivational book entitled, Walk Like You Have Somewhere to Go, which chronicles her struggles as a teen mom, a single mom, her battles with alcohol, and her fight to overcome many obstacles.

While talking to Lucille, one thing became evident: she's worked hard to get to this point in her life. And I applaud her effort and success.

Our conversation then got me thinking about some of the things that I've worked really hard at obtaining and maintaining -- a scholarship to Columbia University, the continued success of this community, my masters degree from CU, safety, sanity, and stability. All of those things are very important to me (especially because I've worked so hard to get them), but the one that sticks out the most to me is stability.

I didn't have the most stable life growing up, so once I became self-sufficient and independent, I knew the one thing I wanted was just that -- stability.

And so I pushed for it.

All of the other things that I worked hard for were mere means to an end -- stability.

In fact, looking back, now I have a much clearer understanding of one of the main reasons I ended the relationship with Aiden's other parent -- that toxic relationship was a threat to the one thing that I worked so hard to obtain. Being in that relationship made my life more unstable than I ever thought possible.

As I've written in this post,

It got to the point where I couldn’t recognize myself anymore. I was so far gone. So out there. I didn’t know how to find my way back to myself. I thought of leaving. I really did. Everyday after the first incident. But something kept me. Fear, maybe. Sometimes love is so blind, it feels right when it’s wrong. #Beyonce  
He tried to be Mr. Right after the first incident. And I tried to believe him. But the inner Alicia was saying “No… something’s not right.” I silenced her by thinking, “But he’s going to counseling for his issues.” Then he terminated prematurely. No more counseling. No what? The inner Alicia started to speak louder, but I still didn’t listen. 
I was so tangled and confused and living in passion and lust and not-at-all Alicia. But that’s the thing about passion – when it’s good, it’s great. But then it gets bad. So bad. It burns hard and fast and … out.

And so, I had to call it quits. To maintain the stability that I worked so hard to maintain. And now? Now, I work to preserve that stability. Everyday. For me. For Aiden.

I'm walking in my destiny. And, as Lucille O'Neal puts it, like I've got somewhere to go. Because I do.

What about you? What's the hardest thing that you've worked for?


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