Friday, August 31, 2012

Precious Moments

Sometimes I have the funniest conversations ever with Aiden.

Like last night, for instance.

I left a pair of socks on the floor yesterday morning (which is totally unlike me) and when we got home yesterday evening, this was the conversation that ensued.
Aiden: Seriously, mommy? Who left these socks on the floor?
Me: Uh, you see what had happened was...

And once when he thought it would be a good idea to bring a sweater outside with him --
Aiden: I need to bring my sweater because I'm gon' be cold.
Me:(with a raised eyebrow) Gon'?
Aiden: Going to.
Me: Stretch that sentence out.
Aiden: I need to bring my sweater because I'm GOING TO be cold.
Me: (smiles at him and gives him a thumbs up).
(Yes, I'm that anal.)

And once when he just finished completing a 54-piece floor puzzle all by himself --
Me: Wow, Aiden! You did that puzzle all by yourself.
Aiden: Yeah, I'm really great at puzzles.
Me: (Under my breath) Guess we don't have to work on building up your confidence.

And once just because --
Aiden: Mommy, I super love you.
Me: I super love you too A.

And all of a sudden I realized that he went from this:

[one day old]

To this:

[silly face. four-years-old]

[little man on campus. four-years-old.]
He's a real person. With his own personality. And he's... amazing.

Man, time flies...

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Getting Intimate with Coca-Cola

Written by K. Elizabeth

When I was first asked to attend the Conversations with Coca-Cola Blogger Conference in Atlanta on behalf of Mommy Delicious, I was thrilled.  Nobody loves Coca-Cola more than I do.  I am a total Dr. Pepper and Sprite addict.  Another reason Coca-Cola has a special place in my heart is because my hometown was greatly affected when most of its textile jobs went overseas and the Coca-Cola consolidated bottling plant is pretty much keeping a lot of my friends and family employed.

They didn't follow the domino effect.  Lastly, I was excited because this was my first blogger's conference.  I was looking forward to the intimate gathering and getting to know more about Coke and what positive things they're doing around the world.  I can truly say that Coca-Cola did not disappoint. 

Monday was our free/arrival day.  There were bloggers coming from New York to North Carolina all the way down to Florida.  Some of us drove and others flew in. While I didn't get to meet up with any of the other ladies in person until the next day, I had a blast exploring The W Hotel.  The room decor and views were pure perfection.  The people at Coke sure did know how to wow a girl!

I am a huge fan of many of the other bloggers and I was nervous about meeting finally meeting them in person on Tuesday.  Let me just say that everyone was so nice and down to earth.  Our first day of sessions was held at the World of Coca-Cola and I had the chance to bond and chat with some of my blogging idols over breakfast.  Speaking of sessions, Katherine Stone started things off right with a presentation on building, improving and expanding our blogs/brands.

A former Coke employee, she traded in her Coke badge to become a mental health advocate and started Postpartum Process and Fierce & Powerful.  She shared tips like make sure you have a central logo that supporters can associate your blog/brand with.   She also confessed that the best way to get that door of opportunity and partnership open is to make the first move.  Don't wait for brands to come to you, go to them.

Following Katherine's presentation we created and shared vision boards.  It was nice getting to know the ladies a little more.  Wendy's treated us to a delicious lunch spread and presentation about how they are encouraging healthier eating with their new meal customization app and some of their community service initiatives.  They also shared the fact that they are looking to add more side options for their kid's meals.  And did you know that Wendy's helps 2 kids get adopted everyday?! Visit their website to learn more and download their new app!

We also heard from a women's panel of Coca-Cola executives. Those ladies rocked!  They talked to us about balancing career, family and how Coca-Cola is helping women break the glass ceiling in the corporate world.  By the end of their panel discussion I was thinking to myself “geez..I wouldn’t mind working for Coca-Cola either.”

We ended sessions with a tour of World of Coca-Cola.  The ladies and I had our picture taken with the polar bear, visited the vault where the secret formula is kept, rode a 3D ride and learn more about the history of Coca-Cola.  Later that night we were treated to dinner at BLT Steak.  My mouth is still watering from the crab cakes, rosemary chicken and Barcardi cucumber mojitos I had.

Wednesday,our last day, came too fast for me.  I was having a great time.  Held at Coca-Cola headquarters, our last day of sessions focused on how we and our families can live positively. The folks from Chef Advantage gave us tips and a live demonstration on how to create lunches that are healthy and fun for our kids.  Barcardi mixologist Scott Mayer showed us how to the crowd at our next dinner party using Barcardi mixers.

As Barcardi pointed out moms and wives are the center of families.  If we’re not happy then neither are our family or guests.  And part of being happy and making sure that our loved ones feel same includes entertaining.  We also had a Barcardi mixers drink challenge.  My group didn’t win but we made a ginger watermelon “Momito” with a hint of mint and garnished with a strawberry.

We also learned about some of the ways Coke is helping out in the community and around the world to encourage and promote positive living.  For example they donate used syrup drums to families in countries like India to use as rain barrels.  Coke is also a supporter of Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move campaign to help end childhood obesity.  They’ve given away over $48 million in scholarship funds.

Overall, it was a great conference.  If asked to participate again, I would.  I enjoyed the small, intimate setting and getting to know more about a brand that is near and dear to my heart.  A special thank you to Mommy Delicious and all the folks at Coca-Cola.

{Disclaimer: Expenses for the conference were paid by Coca-Cola.  All opinions expressed are 100% my own.}

About the author:
K. Elizabeth is a wife, mommy of two and a published author. She blogs about her journey through motherhood, fashion, and life on YUMMommy. She aspires to start a nonprofit for young parents and make the New York Times Bestsellers list. 

Monday, August 27, 2012

{Personal Style} First Day of School: Style Edition

[blouse, slacks: F21; shoes: Anne Klien; stacked bracelets, ring: Aldos]
For the past few weeks, I've been thinking about what I was going to wear for the students' first day of school. After all, the first day of school outfit is a pretty big deal, no? I was going for a clean, classic, and "uniform-esque" look.

Oh, and a pop of color as well. I wouldn't be Alicia without a pop of color.

By the way, I've fallen in love with this Berry Queen Rimmel London lipstick -- it gives me life!

What do you guys think?

Does this look like the outfit of someone who's on the leadership team of an elementary school?

Wishing you lovelies a fabulous and fashionable week!

Friday, August 24, 2012

Defining Moments

I received an email from one of our readers this week about changes that she's thinking of making in her life. It really touched me and had me thinking about certain moments in life. There are some moments that help shape who we are and what we stand for. Sometimes these moments can be huge, dramatic events; other times they may be a little more subtle. But still, they are all defining moments.

When I think of moments that have shaped and molded me into the person that I am today (and the person that I'm becoming), I think of a few moments...

That moment when I decided that, even though my pregnancy was unexpected, I was going to be the best mother I could be. And that moment taught me that confidence comes with competence.

That moment when I figured out it made me a more effective mother (and a happier person) to actually schedule time for myself so that I could work out, hang out, or pig out with other grown-ups.

That moment when I decided to apply to grad school, go to grad school, and stay the course until I got my degrees. Perseverance and grit.

That moment when I learned to trust my own instincts and intuition.

That moment when I learned that I AM worth it and left a toxic relationship.

That moment when I learned that I am resilient enough to learn lessons and move forward.

That moment when I learned that single motherhood ain't so bad. In fact, it's been pretty great.

All those moments... they defined who I am today. They weren't always easy moments, but life is full of ups and downs and twists and turns, right? I'm far from perfect and I have a lot more lessons to learn and a lot more defining moments to endure.

But they shape who I am.

And thank goodness. Because I kinda like who I'm becoming.

What were some of the defining moments in your life?

Thursday, August 23, 2012

"For Kids Only" Program at The Sports Club!

One of the best things about raising a son in NYC is that this place is filled with centers and facilities built with just kids in mind. As I said earlier this week, Aiden and I didn’t take a summer vacation, but we made our love, NYC, our playground.


During the beginning days of summer, Aiden and I visited TheSports Club LA’s For Kids Only Child Enrichment Program located on Manhattan’s Upper East Side. One of the first things we did once we arrived, at Aiden’s request of course, was change into our bathing suits and jump in the pool. Being the social butterfly that he is, Aiden quickly made a friend and they played their own little version of “Marco Polo” for a while.

We were also able to head up to the Open Play childcare play area where there was rock climbing (for kids ages 6 and up, I believe), toddler play (there was a lot of “play” on Aiden’s part), and a bounce house.

Once we were finished with Open Play (it was hard to drag the kid away from that), we took a tour of the facilities to view the rooftop outdoor lounge area, the fitness center, and the spaces where the classes, parties, and pre-school alternative programs are hosted.

A few things really stood out to me during my visit:
  • The For Kids Only Childcare areas are colorful, inviting, and kid-centered. It’s filled with a dramatic play area, puzzles, teddies, building blocks, books, art and crafts supplies – anything you can think of to keep a kid entertained while their parent is working out. I was really in love with the wall art and décor. 
  •  The birthday party packages are pretty much one-stop shopping. The events coordinator will take care of the entire 2-hour party from set-up to clean-up, and you can choose from several activities like rock climbing, gymnastics, movement, carnival-style, art, music – you name it!
  • The locker rooms are neat and clean and there were lots of extra towels on deck. The swimming pool was clean and the water was a good temperature, although there was no Lifeguard on duty.
  •  The food in the café was delicious and visitors are able to order from the grill or select a lunch or snack that’s pre-packaged.
All in all, we had a lovely time and hope to visit again sometime soon.

For those of you in the NYC area, if you’d like to visit, become a member, or get more information, visit the website or check out the deets:

For Kids Only at The Sports Club LA
330 East 61st Street
New York NY

Monday, August 20, 2012

{Personal Style} Style Suite: CAbi with A Side of Red

[blouse: CAbi; skinnies; American Eagle; shoes: Bakers]
A couple weeks ago at BlogHer12, Momtrends and SavvySassyMoms teamed up to host, "Style Suite" at the elegant Penthouse of The London Hotel. Attendees enjoyed cocktails, hand massages, and lots of mingling as we watch the breathtaking views of Manhattan's skyline and sunset.

Oh, and we got styled by CAbi, the nation's largest direct sales company. Developed by Carol Anderson, CAbi allows women to become trained fashion consultants and host style parties in their own homes, which is a lovely way to combine fashion and career.

After trying on a few of the pieces, I selected this trendy Ingenue Cami for the feel and fun print and the Take Charge Jacket (not shown) that I'm sure I'll have fun with come Fall.

[earrings, clutch, stacked bracelets: Aldos/ Stella & Dot; lips: Cover Girl Berry Queen]
Paired with red skinnies and stacked bracelets, I was ready for Girls Night Out. And lychee martinis. (Can't forget the cocktails!)

What do you guys think?

Thanks so much to Momtrends and SavvySassyMoms for hosting this fun event! Visit the CAbi website to learn more.

Have a fashionable week everyone!

{Disclaimer: Event attendees received a gift bag and two pieces from CAbi. All opinions expressed herein are my own.}

Teddies and Stories -- Zylie the Bear Giveaway!

I knew at the start of this summer that Aiden and I weren't going to get a chance to take an extended vacation this year. Circumstances and my crazy schedule just didn't allow it. But that didn't stop me from turning NYC -- in all its glory -- into our very own magical playground. Every week presented a new opportunity for this Mother-Son duo to explore the wonder that is NYC.

A couple weeks ago, along with a few other bloggers and their babes, we headed to Central Park to enjoy Adventures with Zylie the Bear at Oasis Day Camp. Amongst the open field and rocks as backdrop, our little campers enjoyed team building activities, sporting activities, and all things Zylie the bear!

The day began with an interactive read aloud, which introduced stylish Zylie in her Park Avenue apartment as she prepared for a trip to the American Museum of Natural History. Not only is the story entertaining, but it's also engaging because readers just know that Zylie is about to get into some type of mischief. (And, more often than not, she does.) After the reading, campers had the opportunity to create a scrapbook in order to store special memories and keepsakes. Aiden rushed through his scrapbook so that he could -- you guessed it -- climb on the rocks, but I was able to lure him back in when it was time for a group shot.

Each camper got to choose their very own Zylie the Bear or Shen the Panda. Aiden chose Zylie the Bear, and as soon as my 8-year-old niece spotted him with it later on that week, there was a showdown. Zylie is witty, spunky, and fashionable, which is probably why my niece fell in love with her at first site. (Aiden, on the other hand, decided that Zylie looked best with her clothes off, which is another issue to discuss at another time.) Nevertheless, Zylie the Bear has been a hit around these parts. 

And that's exactly why I wanted to share it with you all. ONE awesome Mommy Delicious reader will win their very own Zylie the Bear (or Shen the Panda)! Woot!

Here's how to enter:
Head over to the Zylie the Bear website and leave a comment below saying what you like about Zylie.

For one extra entry, follow @MommyDelicious on twitter AND tweet about this giveaway. Be sure to @MommyDelicious and @ZylietheBear in your tweet. Leave a comment below saying that you've done so.

**Please leave a separate comment for each entry so that it can be counted.
**Please leave your contact information in the comment.
**This giveaway ends Friday, August 24th.

Good luck!

WINNER ANNOUNCED: Congratulations to Sara! Stay tuned for an email from me.

{Disclaimer: This giveaway is being sponsored by Zylie the Bear.}

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Savvy Back to School Shopping with The Glam Thrifter

Written by Sheila Fortson-Williams aka The Glam Thrifter

The Back to School shopping season can be one of the best lessons ever for yourself and your children. Think "Savings 101". It's possible to stay on trend and in budget without complex graphs and charts prepared before you hit the stores. But what is required is an eye for what's in style, and a willingness to hunt down a deal; often in unique ways. Oh, and patience. Consider these tips to help you maximize your savings, your child's wardrobe, and your sanity during one of the busiest retail seasons of the year.
Shopping at consignment and thrift stores is undoubtedly the very best way to spend the least amount of money on your back to school shopping list. For those of you who hate wearing something that once belonged to someone else. I hear ya. I truly do. But dig this: Several thrift stores carry name brand fashions at unbelievable price reductions, often up to 90% off. Even if your child wears a mandatory school uniform, you can visit a local thrift store for basic essentials like cardigans or sweaters, and pale blue, white, or yellow uniform appropriate shirts. Ask about donation discounts, too. If you bring in a bag of items to donate, the store will give you a discount on prices that are already low, enabling you to possibly shop for the entire school year, not just the fall season. My personal recommendation when shopping for kids is to avoid pre-owned footwear, unless they are NWT (new with tags), or in "like new" condition. Your child is still growing. It's best they do so in a pair of shoes that doesn't already have the shape of another child's foot as the foundation.
Off season savings
Shop for Fall and Winter clothing in the Spring and Summer and vice versa. Don't laugh when I say this, but some Moms fail at executing this tactic because of psychological reasons. They somehow feel "backwards" buying sweaters in July, and shorts in January. But consider the savings you'll get on your child's wardrobe when you reverse your shopping cycle. Get in real good with the manager at your favorite store, and she may just let you know in advance when a huge sale is coming up, too. Remember to buy the sizes your child will be in when the upcoming season arrives, not the sizes they're in at the time of the purchase. This is also a great way to stock up on holiday gifts for friends and family. Retailers love to push out old inventory at fire sale prices during season shifts to make space for new goods.
Host a Back To School Kid's Swap Party 
Similar to thrifting, but a little more fun, and a lot more FREE! Gather a group of your kid's friends, cousins, and classmates and have all the parents bring kid's clothing they no longer need. Serve light refreshments and put on some music! Organize the items in baskets or bins by size and gender. Every guest gets to leave with no more than the same amount of items they donated to the party. To keep things under control, consider capping the number of goods each parent can bring. And to keep it fair, create a system for determining who gets to choose first, last, and in between. Any remaining items can be held for the next swap party, or take all the kids on a trip to donate them to a worthy charitable group. It'll give them a lesson on giving back to those who need it most.

What's in style for Fall 2012:

It's true that fashion is cyclical and some things never change. Just like your closet, your child's wardrobe should always have staples. Staples are timeless pieces with flexibility that everyone needs. All staples should be solid and neutral in color, allowing you to change the look of the item with an accessory or by layering with other pieces. Neutral colors include White, Tan, Navy, Black, and Gray.

The Staples
1. A great pair of proper fitting denim
2. A good pair of Black and a good pair of Brown shoes
3. At least 2 good sweaters. One pull over, one button up/cardigan style
4. Casual footwear in two different colors, (ex.: Black sneakers, White sneakers)
5. For girls: One good long sleeved dress/For boys: One good upscale casual outfit (khaki pants, blazer, button up shirt)
6. For girls: One good formal dress/For boys: One good solid, dark colored suit, white dress shirt and solid colored tie

Fall Color Trends
Maroon, Royal Purple, Royal Blue, Gold, Forest Green, Black, Deep Pink, Rose Pink

Happy Shopping, and Happy Savings!

About the Author:
Sheila Fortson-Williams is the owner of "Hidden Glam" Boutique, in Ambler PA and is known widely as "The Glam Thrifter", thanks to her ability to find money saving fashion deals for today's modern shopper. With close to ten years of media experience as a television and radio show host, Sheila is also a blogger for The Salvation Army USA, Impact Thrift Stores charitable group, and has been featured in the Philadelphia Daily News, Lehigh Valley Magazine, Glamour Magazine Online,, and several other publications and blogs. Learn more about Sheila at, and fan her on Facebook at

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

What Is Your Vision For Your Life

[photo via]

Two-and-a-half years ago, my life looked like this. I was stuck in a dead end relationship, I was trying to persevere in order to get my MA and EdM, and I was terrified of being a single mother (although I felt as though it would come to that eventually).

Today, my life looks like this and this. Aiden is a happy, well-adjusted kid and a joy to be around (98.9% of the time), I found my single mommy groove and it has become my "new normal," I wake up every morning and get to do the most important work, and both my freelance gigs and career are doing pretty well. But most importantly, I'm living my life on purpose and with purpose.

How did this happen?


(Well, that and the fact that I'm extremely blessed.)

I'm not bragging. I don't do it very well. But, I was having dinner with my girl this past weekend and I was illustrating to her how having a clear vision can keep her moving forward, in pretty much every aspect of her life.

Let's have a meta-moment and think about this for a quick second: before we get dressed in the morning, we have a vision for what we'd like to look like once we're all done. There's a picture in our mind of how our clothes should fit, how our hair should look, and how our make-up should be done. Simply put, we have a vision. And once our reflection in the mirror matches that image in our mind, we can say that we're done. The reason we take 20 -- 30 minutes (or more!) getting ready is because we want those two images to align with each other. (Of course, sometimes we're not happy with our appearance, but that's an entirely different post for an entirely different time. Let's stick with the analogy for the sake of this post...)

Two-and-a-half years ago, I looked into the mirror and the image that I saw did not align with the image that was in my mind. I was unhappy with the reflection that I saw and my vision was blurred.

But that's qutite alright. These things happen from time to time.

Life has a way of testing our vision and seeing if we're willing to do whatever it takes to stay the course, bounce back when we encounter setbacks, and keep pushing forward.


Two-and-a-half years ago I was in over my head about how I was going to move forward, and I wanted a miracle. I didn't get one. Instead, I came up with a plan. I thought of actionable steps that I was going to take beginning that very day in order to align my reflection in the mirror with the image that was in my mind.

And that's exaclty what I did.

Step... by step... by step.

Over the past couple of weeks, I've been receiving lots of messages and emails from readers asking questions along the lines of "How did you get where you are today?"

Vision. I had a vision of what I wanted my life to look like and I began to take the actionable steps (even baby steps because every step counts) to make that vision come to fruition. (By the way, I'm not finished yet. I'm still working towards that vision.)

Now, I'm throwing a question back out to you guys: what is your vision for your life? What are the actionable steps that you're taking to make it happen?

Friday, August 10, 2012

Parents Magazine September 2012 Issue

[Parents Magazine September 2012]
A few weeks ago, I had the privilege of joining a group of women (mothers) writers and bloggers for lunch in Midtown East Manhattan in order to discuss the upcoming election and things that are important to us as parents. The discussion was hosted by Parents Magazine (somebody pinch me!) and facilitated by CNN's Soledad O'Brien (no, really... somebody pinch me!).

[The entire group of women]

[Me. Soledad O'Brien]
And I was bringing it! When it comes to educational equity and the achievement gap, you won't be able to shut me up! Equipped with stats and passion, I spoke my mind about fairness in education and how it effects our most vulnerable youth, which is exactly why I'm dedicating my life's work to doing something about it in my new job.

[I spy a delicious mommy on page...]
Part One of the story is in the September issue of Parents Magazine and it has already hit the news stand so check it out! You can also find the online version of the story HERE!

Thanks so much to Parents Magazine for hosting us and to Soledad for facilitating such an important discussion!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Is It Okay To Only Have One Child?

One day while I was at the beauty salon getting all dolled up, my Hair Dresser inquired about Aiden. She's met him on several different occasions and simply adores his spunky personality. So much so that each time I go in for a hair appointment, she asks about him. It's typically the usual questions ("How is he?"), comments ("He's speaking so clearly"), and exclamations ("I can't believe he's getting so big!").

Then the dreaded question - "So, when are you having another child?"


My Hair Dresser knows that I am a single Mother so I told her that I have no plans to have another child any time soon. I also informed her that I'd like to continue with my career path (since I recently completed graduated school), meet someone, build a relationship with them, and then maybe try for another child. Maybe.

Her response? "That's so selfish of you! Having a second child is not for you, it's for Aiden! He needs someone to play with."


Hold up. When did my reproductive decisions become an approved topic for "Beauty Parlor etiquette?" Is my reproductive decision an approved topic for "Beauty Parlor etiquette?"

Didn't think so.

The thing is, as any caring parent does, I want to be able to provide the best things in life for Aiden - a good education, a nice home, meaningful extra-curricular activities, lovely people in his entourage. All those things cost money, save for the lovely people in his entourage (but I'm beginning to think that even that costs money).

As a single Mother, sometimes that presents a challenge in and of itself because of the financial sacrifices that I must make. And, don't get me wrong, I don't mind making those sacrifices. At all.

But financial sacrifices aside, as much as I love being Aiden's Mother (and with all my heart, I do), it's really not enough. For me. I often hear women say that when they are at work, they are simply waiting for the time to pass until they can get home to be with their children. And I can agree with them, but only to a certain extent.

I love my job and when I'm at work, I love being at work. It's part of who I am and I wouldn't trade that. The idea of splitting my time at home between more than one child seems like the equivalent of tying one's shoelace without thumbs.

Not to mention that as a Mother, the worrying never ends. I don't think that I've slept soundly for theentire night since Aiden was... well, born. I wake up in the middle of the night all the time. If it's not to check up on him or to scare monsters away or to take him to the bathroom, it's because my mind won't let me stop thinking about the million and one things that I'll have to complete the next day. And the day after that. And the week after that. And the month after that.

It can be downright exhausting.

But it's not. Most of the time. And I feel that it's because I've learned how to manage my time with just one kid. He's happy, he's healthy, and he's blessed beyond measure. And I'm happy, healthy and blessed beyond measure too.

So... until the Love Gods look down on me in favor and all the stars align for Mr. Right and I to meet, greet, and fall in love, my cute little family of two will remain just that - a family of two.

At this moment in life, that's more than enough for us.

[Originally published on November 3, 2011.]

Monday, August 6, 2012

{Personal Style} LBD At BlogHer12

[With @TiffanysToyBox at PRANNA.
dress, ring, necklace, clutch: H&M]
BlogHer12 came and went, and although I did not attend the actual conference during the day due to the fact that I was finishing up my last week at work and transitioning into a new job (Today! Oy!), I must say that I had a good time at the events/parties during the evening.

On Thursday night, I rocked it out in a LBD -- one that I actually wore into the office because it easily transforms from a "9am to 5pm" to a "5pm -- 9am" dress. Oww!

First, I kicked it with my ATL girl Trina, aka The Baby Shopaholic at PRANNA. There were really good Mojitos, lipstick, and high heals involved here.

Good times.

Then, I headed to Midtown West to hang out with the Momtrends team at The London NYC Hotel. There was fashion by CAbi (more on that later), more booze, and making a music video while I was lip-syncing to Katy Perry's "Last Friday Night."

Good times, indeed.

What'd you think of the look?

Hope you have a very stylish week. Wish me luck on my first day at my new job!

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Finding Time for Yourself

Written by Heather Smith
[Photo via]
Balancing a career, higher education, and children is a tough act, and more often than not one very important aspect of your life gets left out of the mix: time for you. However, this is arguably one of the most important factors in your life. Making time for yourself each day is essential to preserving some of your sanity and becoming more effective in the other demanding areas of your life. It may seem hard to find time for yourself, but these five tips will help you carve out a few minutes a day where the only thing you have to focus on is you:

Wake up before everyone else. Even if it’s only for enough time to have one cup of coffee in the early morning quiet before the normal hustle and bustle, it will be worth it. You need some self-reflection time and some time to prepare for your day, and 30 minutes of uninterrupted quiet time can provide you with just that. 

Schedule a date night. Even if the date consists of only you, hire a babysitter for the night and get out there and do something that you’ve wanted to do. It can be an hour long massage or simply going to the park to read a book, but whatever it is make sure it’s time dedicated to doing only what you feel like doing – not running errands or checking things off your to do list. 

Take lunch breaks away from the office. Instead of hurriedly scarfing down your lunch every day in front of your computer, utilize that hour to get out of the office. Try out a new café that you’ve been eyeing and allow yourself a much-needed break from the office, from school, and from life. 

 Take a vacation day for yourself. Take a day off of work while the kids are in school and play hooky for the day. Go do something that you’ve been daydreaming of doing, like checking out the new art exhibit that just opened or spending a couple hours at the beach. Taking a personal day once or twice a year can be a wonderful way to recharge. 

Get the kids to help with chores. Lessening your workload, even if it’s just in minor ways, can help free up some much needed time for yourself. Delegate easy chores to the little ones; it will help make them feel like they’re more grown up because they get to help and it will take a menial task off your hands, allowing you to sit for a minute instead.

Often as moms we think we aren’t doing enough if we aren’t completely booked every minute of every day. Now that so many moms are career women as well as students furthering their education, all in addition to their responsibilities as a mom, it’s getting harder and harder to find time to take for you. Making time for you is essential though, so make it a priority.

About the Author: 
Heather Smith is an ex-nanny. Passionate about thought leadership and writing, Heather regularly contributes to various career, social media, public relations, branding, and parenting blogs/websites. She also provides value to live out nanny by giving advice on site design as well as the features and functionality to provide more and more value to nannies and families across the U.S. and Canada. She can be available at H.smith7295 [at]

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

{Dating Tales} Bad Grammar Guy

[Photo via]

I'm a Writer.

Well, let's back that up a bit. I write things for the Internet sometimes. It's a nice part time gig and one that I absolutely love.

I'm also an Educator. I used to be a Teacher and I'm going back to work in a school in less than a week.  It's a great full time job and one that I'll absolutely love.

That being said, I'm a stickler for grammar and punctuation. Proper grammar and proper punctuation. Ask Aiden and ask anyone of my former students. That's just how I am and I don't think it's asking for too much.

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That being said, I just can't bring myself to date someone who makes basic grammatical errors. I've been talking to this guy -- let's just call him BGG (Bad Grammar Guy) -- and, about a week ago, I told him this: I'm not interested in dating you.

When he responded by saying, "I'm wondering what's missing n you eyes," I wanted to reply, "IT'S YOUR GRAMMAR!"

But I didn't.

Of course, it's not only his grammar. It's his spelling and punctuation too. (Just kidding. Sorta. He's really a nice guy and all, but I'm just not feeling him in that way.)

If you were to go back and read my previous posts/Facebook status updates/Tweets, I'm sure you'll find a grammatical error here and there. But I won't date someone who constantly makes grammatical errors as though he didn't finish third grade, especially since English is his first language.

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I cringe whenever I read a text from him that says, "Ok kewl just sayin hi."

Newsflash: A 30-year-old man should know where a period goes. Period. And he should not say "kewl" when the word is "cool."

That's not cool. At all.

Bad grammar is a definite deal-breaker for this delicious single gal.

But, here's the thing: Am I being too weird/shallow/stuck up about this? What's a definite deal-breaker for you?


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