Friday, September 28, 2012

What Are You Going To Do With Your One And Only Life?

That's the question (line) that stuck with me the most last weekend when I went to see an advanced screening of the movie "Won't Back Down" at the Urban World Film Festival.

The movie showcases two mothers from Pittsburgh who are on a mission to transform their children's inner-city schools, which, tragically, are failing them. But, they quickly learn about the uphill battle in navigating the educational bureaucracy in the inner-city. It sucks. Big time. And it's hard work. But... as the title suggests, they'll stop at nothing in order to transform the school to one where children are learning and are on the path to success.

In short, the movie was amazing. It's much more than a movie -- it's a social commentary that spoke to me as a mother and as an educator who is also on a mission to help close the achievement gap.

But that line.

I won't give you the context surrounding the line because I'm not one for spoilers, but I can't help but to think on it...

What are you going to do with your one and ONLY life?

Pretty deep, right?

So many times we have hopes and dreams and goals for ourselves, yet we let weeks and months and sometimes years pass by before we make actionable plans to achieve them.

Pretty sad, right?

The time is now, my friends.

As we end another week, I'm not only encouraging you to go out and see the movie (it was that dope y'all!), but also to think about your goals and dreams.

Don't wait for a miracle. Make a plan. Create a vision of where you want your life to be and take steps (even baby steps!) to make it happen. And then... rock it out.

"The best way to make your dreams happen is to wake up." -- Paul Valery.

Word up!

{Disclaimer: Thanks so much to Urban World for hosting Mommy Delicious during the Film Festival. All opinions expressed herein are my own.}

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

What Self-Reflection Can Do For You

I've found myself having a lot of sentimental moments recently when it pertains to Aiden. I've just been stopping and staring at the kid.

In amazement.

I mean, I can't believe that he'll be five-years-old next month. Five!

And although I'm in awe at how fast time has flown and how, everyday, this kid comes into his own, I can't help but think how far we have come in the past five years.

How far we have come.

I remember the moment that my pregnancy test came back positive and I thought "Ah, sh*t... my life is over." And then I think about the fact that I've never felt more alive or more like I'm living a life of purpose right now. And I'm thankful.

I recall feeling like I didn't know what the heck I was doing as a young mother and that I was in way over my head. And then I think about the fact that I've learned to swim (instead of sink) in this thing called motherhood. And I'm grateful.

I think about the time that I made the decision to apply to graduate school, and how scared I was to take on the title of Student Mother. Being a full time student for those 2.5 -- 3 years was no easy feat -- there were a lot of sleepless nights and a lot of blood (figuratively), sweat, and tears (literally). But then... I think about that glorious graduation day. And it makes me smile.

I remember the abuse, the strangulation, and the being held hostage. Like it was yesterday. I remember the screams and the cries. And the confusion.

I remember being terrified to take on the title of Single Mother.

But I'm rocking it. (As best as I could, anyway.) And that gives me a great feeling of accomplishment.

I recall starting this blog and not knowing if it'll mean anything. Or if it'll make an impact on someone's life. (After all, all I want to do is inspire someone. Anyone. You!) But then... I think of all the messages and emails that I get from readers. And it makes me smile. This site does mean something. And you do leave here a little more inspired. (Hopefully.)

Next month, my baby will turn five-years-old.

Man... I've come a long way in that time.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Tuning Out in Order to Tune In

[after school. city kid.]
This past Friday, I picked Aiden up from school. I usually don't get to pick him up because I'm still at work during his pick up time so I was particularly excited to surprise him with my presence on Friday. We hung around the city a bit, headed to the Brooklyn Bridge, walked across, and quite literally enjoyed one of the last afternoons before Fall presented itself.

It was a beautiful thing.

And it continued into the weekend. We went to an Urban World Film Festival (more on that later), spent time at my alma mater on Saturday (CU, stand up!), and enjoyed each other's company.

I did no work -- didn't log on to my computer, didn't respond to one email (work-related, blog-related, or personal), and didn't even look at my work blackberry.

I unplugged and tuned out.

It was a beautiful thing.

In fact, since I've been so busy since starting this new position, I've been using my weekends to unplug and tune out... so that I can tune into Aiden (by day) and my friends (by night). I'm usually tempted to do work over the weekends, figuring that if I bang a large chunk of it out during that time, it'll really prepare me for the week ahead. But... I'm finding that it's been more beneficial for me to be present with my kid (and my friends). 

I thought that not working was going to really affect me come Monday morning. I thought I would be scrambling to get organized and feel frazzled when I couldn't get organized fast enough. But it hasn't been affecting me. (Not yet, at least.) And I'm not getting frazzled. (Not yet, at least.) I just take about an hour or so to get myself together on Monday morning. And I get everything that needs to be done done. It's funny how much you can accomplish when you're on a tight time limit.

I can't have it all... all at once. But I could have it all in intervals and at the appointed time.

For now, that's more than enough for this single momma.

It seems that every few months or so I'm reminded just how important it is to tune out everything else in order to tune into everything that's truly important.

15 years from now, that's what'll really matter anyway.


How often do you unplug and just enjoy the company of your loved ones?

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

The Jungle Book {A Review}

One of my ultimate goals in life is to instill a love of reading in Aiden. Chalk it up to the former teacher in me or the Ivy League nerd in me or the writer in me. Or... the little girl who has always enjoyed a good book (and the grown woman who still does).

Anyway you put it, Aiden's life is rich in literature. And literacy. Especially right now as I'm teaching him to read and our lives are filled with sight words. (More on that in another post.) Dinner time. Snack time. Bed time. Boredom time. Or simply walking-around-the-streets-of-NYC time. It's all filled with teachable moments and an opportunity to read. Something. Anything. Everything!

That's why I couldn't wait for the kid and I to  head to Midtown Manhattan to see the play, The Jungle Book. It would be a chance for Aiden to see first-hand how exciting it can be when a kid becomes engrossed in a story, especially during bedtime.

A few weeks ago, we did just that.

The play opens up with the main character, Alex, in his bed. He's under his sheets -- way past bedtime -- reading The Jungle Book with a flashlight so that he can see the words. He's so engrossed in the story that he doesn't hear when his mother comes into the bedroom in order to reprimand him for not going to bed sooner. 

Does he listen to her? 

Nope. Not at all. 

He continues reading, and the shadows in his room comes to life. Quite literally. Alex not only speaks to the shadows, but he also becomes Mowgli. And then... the adventure begins! 

The play uses shadow puppetry, which is inspired by Javanese art, in order to bring the jungle and characters to life. But... it doesn't only bring the play to life, it brings the entire theatre to life, captivating the audience and engaging the children. Aiden and I laughed, gasped, and cheered as we enjoyed the show.

It was definitely a mommy-son date to remember.

The Jungle Book is now playing at The Peter Jay Sharp Theater, located at 416 Wwest 42nd Street, between 9th and 10th Avenue. Tickets are currently on sale for this weekends' performance and you can purchase them HERE.

{Disclaimer: I received tickets to the play in order to facilitate this review. All opinions expressed herein are my own.}

Monday, September 17, 2012

{Personal Style} Professional Attire, Mommy Delicious Style

[dress, blazer, necklace, ring: H&M; shoes: Aldo]
It's no secret to this corner of the Internet: I have a thing for mini skirts and my closet is filled with them. So... finding dresses and skirts that are work-appropriate becomes a lil' bit harder when your name is Alicia.

So... lately I've been on the hunt for dresses and skirts that don't make me look like I'm ready for happy hour, or worse, clubbing. This dress was a perfect find because of the clean and crisp black-and-white pattern, as well as the length (slightly above my knee and nowhere near mini skirt territory).

Paired with a blazer and a bold colored necklace, I was work ready!

What do you guys think?

Happy Monday! Hope you all have a very stylish week!

Friday, September 14, 2012

Why It's Important to Work Hard (And Smart)

Last night, we had Back-to-school night at my school for grades 2--4. It was from 5:30pm -- 9pm and I didn't get home until late. My work day started at 7am when I was outside of the school, along with my Principal, greeting our scholars "good morning" and wishing them well for the school day.

Started at 7am.

Ended at 9pm.

And when I got home, I prepared Aiden's things for school in the morning, kissed him good night, and worked on an article in order to meet a deadline. 

Needless to say, it was a long day.

While I was drifting off to sleep, I remembered the conversation that I had with Aiden the night before about the book that he "read" to his classmates and I smiled. (He pretty much memorized Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus because he's obsessed with all of Mo Willems' books, and his teachers asked him to "read" it to the class). Then... I was reminded why I do what I do.

I have to.

I have to work hard and smart and go as far as I can in my career. I have to push myself on days that I may be tired. I have to have the resilience, perseverance, and grit to keep moving onwards and upwards.

For the first time in a long time, I didn't feel guilty about working late. I'm blessed with a job that's meaningful to me where I can do the most important work [in my eyes anyway] of our time -- help to close the achievement gap. (And, I happen to be good at it. The other day my Principal told me that she's happy that I'm apart of the leadership team, and that my drive and dedication inspires her. *Insert image of Alicia doing the running man here*])

But I digress.

I have to go hard.

Not only for myself, but because I have to show Aiden what can be accomplished with hard work. And smart work. I have to set a good example for him.

Because if I don't, who will?

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

What to Expect When You're Expecting... And Traveling

Written by Marie Hunter

If you have a love of travel and a desire to see as much of the globe as you can, being pregnant doesn’t have to mean a pause in your exploration efforts. Though traveling while pregnant does present some added things to consider, you certainly don’t have to spend your 40-weeks of pregnancy sticking close to home if you don’t desire to do so.

Check with Your Doctor
Before you plan any form of travel while pregnant, you should consult your doctor. Generally, traveling while pregnant is acceptable, particularly during the first two trimesters. However, your doctor, who knows the specifics of your medical history and needs, is the only one who can give you the clear go ahead and, as such, should be consulted as you begin planning.

Take Precautions
While many pregnant women safely gallivant all over the country – or even abroad – with few problems, you should always play it extra safe. Before you head off on your adventure, gather a little bit of information about local hospitals to ensure that you aren’t left seeking addresses and phone numbers at the last minute should you experience a medical issue. If you are traveling across the sea, keep in mind that the insurance coverage that pays for your prenatal care in the U.S. will likely not extend beyond across borders. To ensure that you don’t end up paying loads for any medical treatment you may be forced to seek, buy an Atlas international insurance policy to cover you and your unborn child while you are on foreign soil.

Dress for Comfort
Squeezing your swollen body into an airplane seat or an overly-compact car is distasteful enough when you are pregnant. Don’t compound the problem by making poor wardrobe choices. Seek clothing that stretches and fits well when picking out your ideal travel garments. Stick to cottons and knits that will hug your body but not bite into your tender skin as when traveling you will likely be in one position for an extended period of time, and ill-fitting clothing can make this stationary sitting even more uncomfortable.

Take Breaks
There are some largely uncommon, though potentially serious, threats to travelers who remain stationary for an overly long time. Most notably, blood clots can form due to sitting for an extended period of time and could result in serious injury or even death. When you are pregnant, these risks are more pronounced. To mitigate them, make sure to get up and walk around at least once every 2 hours. This may mean taking a walk up and down the airplane aisles or insisting that your road trip partner pulls over the car and allows you to get out and stretch your legs.

Pack Some Snacks
When engaged in hectic travel, it can be easy to allow meal times to slip by. When you are pregnant, you can’t do this. To ensure that you have access to the sustenance you need to help your little one grow and develop properly, tuck some snacks into your suitcase or carry-on bag. When selecting snacks, look for ones that offer nutritional benefits. Try dried fruits, nuts and whole grain crackers as all are easily portable and offer the protein, whole grains and vitamins that you and your baby need.

Though no two situations are identical, for most pregnant women, traveling presents no serious risks. To ensure optimal safety and comfort while traveling, however, you should keep in mind these simple tricks of the trade. By doing so, you can make your during-pregnancy travel as comfortable and safe as humanly possible.

About the author: When Maire isn't lost in reading the latest hot novel, she is planning her future vacations to tropical places. She also loves taking care of her cat, Walter, and her Scottish Terrier, Pete.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Hashtag: Single Mom Problems

One day not too long ago, I found myself sitting in a shady area of a local playground in Union Square, NYC. I'd just finished running around with Aiden, chasing him from the slides to the swings and back again. Before the playground, we had lunch at a local diner and before that, we were at his swimming class. I was pretty tired, but the kid seemed to think he was competing with the Energizer Bunny.

At that moment, I decided to unwind that evening with a glass of wine once I had tucked Aiden into bed and kissed him good night. I mentally scanned my kitchen cupboards and refrigerator and remembered that I was all out of wine. Aiden and I would have to make a quick run to the Trader Joe’s Wine Shop before heading home on the subway.

As we were walking toward the wine shop, I realized something: Aiden was coming with me so that I could pick up booze! I was that mom. But what is a single mom to do?! When Aiden inquired about it — as any curious kid would — I simply told him that we were going to buy something that mommy is allowed to drink, and that he would be allowed to drink once he becomes a grown up.

As we were walking towards the subway to head home, I realized something: I’ve got #singlemomproblems — not a lot, but a few. And here they are:

1. Explaining to Aiden why he’s the only kid in the wine shop. Awkward.

2. Having a million and one pictures of just Aiden (because I’m the one who takes all of them), but not very many pictures with Aiden (because there’s no one to take it for us).

3. Turning down guys who try to hit on me… in front of Aiden. “Yes, this is my son. No, I’m not with his father anymore. No, I will not take your phone number. No, you definitely cannot have my phone number. No, I’m not looking for a stepfather for him.”

4. Discussing my love life (or lack thereof) with Aiden and having to justify why I’m [still] single. I kid you not. Here’s one of our recent conversations:

[Originally published on August 17, 2012 over on REDBOOK Magazine. I know, I know... self-pimping. At its finest.]

Monday, September 10, 2012

{Personal Style} A Touch of Pink and A Hint of Lace

[blazer, skirt: H&M; blouse: F21; clutch, ring, shoes: Aldo]
Is is me or did the month of August come and go in the blink of an eye? Seriously, I feel like it was just August 1st. Like, yesterday. I'm a bit in denial that we're amongst the last official days of summer and I've been doing everything in my power to soak it all up.

Starting with... the mini skirt. And... outdoor dinners.

This weekend, I found myself dining outdoors in Hell's Kitchen as my gals and I caught up on everything from boys to upcoming birthday celebrations to NYFW to all things back-to-school to career decisions. As always, it was a boozy good time.

[eyes: Bobbi Brown; lips: Rimmel London Berry Rose]
I was feminine chic in a lace blouse, basic mini, top knot ponytail, and pink peep-toe heels. Because, ya know, I always need to be sexy for dates with my girls.

How are you soaking up the last days of summer?

Wishing you a week that's filled with style and a lil bit of pink.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

The eBay Mobile App... and A $25,000 Giveaway!

As you lovelies already know, I've been quite the fan of eBay and have been dishing about the nuts and bolts and ins and outs and all things eBay this past year. But... one thing that I've noticed is that, with the exception of this post, I've neglected to give you the scoop on a super easy way to list items on eBay.

Good thing that's about to change.

How so?

With the eBay Mobile App.

While I was on the west coast hanging out with the folks at eBay, I discovered that it literally takes less than five minutes to snap a picture of an item and list it on eBay. Or... you can snap many pictures of many different items and list them at your convenience.

As stated by the folks at eBay:
"Time is precious. The eBay mobile app saves time by allowing you to snap a picture from your smart phone or iPad and list an item within 60 seconds. Before you leave the room your item is already accessible to millions of potential buyers worldwide and you are on your way to earning extra cash."
Go ahead... give it a try. (You know you want to.)

As an added incentive, eBay is giving those of you who list via the eBay mobile app between now and September 14th a chance to win $25,000.


Because eBay is celebrating 100 million mobile listings. Oh, and because their pretty awesome too.

Here are the deets:
  • List an item between September 5th and September 14th via the eBay Mobile App and you'll be entered to win the $25,000.00 giveaway.
  • New listers can click here to get registered and download the app. (Don't worry though, registering is pretty quick.)
  • The winner will be chosen by eBay and notified within 6 weeks of the contest closing. 
Simple enough, huh?

Happy listing and good luck!

{Disclaimer: An an eBay Parent Panel Ambassador, this post and giveaway is being sponsored by eBay. All opinions expressed herein are my own.}

Monday, September 3, 2012

Five Fall Trends to Follow

Written by Roxanne Porter

Summer is just about over (*sad face*) and stores are filling their racks with new fall frocks and pieces. Deep colors, deferent textures and old styles are just the beginning. Before you head to the mall or get online, check out the 5 must follow trends for this fall: 

[photo via]
Mustard: Who would have thought that the color mustard would make a comeback and strong one for that? Mustard colored anything is in. Eye shadows and nail polishes are following the unique yellow shade very closely. The key with wearing mustard, stick to one mustard statement piece like a pair of skinnies, a coat or scarf. 

Texture: Whether it is leather or faux fur, this fall textures are hitting big. Textured coats are trending on every runway as well as shopping store. Texture is the envelope pusher this season with daring looks like deep blood red leather pieces or a heavy lace top. If it feels different, wear it. 

Military: It’s back so soon? Military was a big hit a few years ago and it has ventured its way back into our closets and hearts. Celebs like Miley Cyrus and Sienna Miller are stomping around in combat boots and army green jackets. Pull out your military jacket from a few seasons ago and give it another go. 

[photo via]
Plaid: Plaid is probably one of the most interesting and dynamic pieces anyone can throw on. A very classic and American look that gives off a preppy and polished persona that anyone can pull off. There aren’t really any limitations or restrictions plaid, just have fun with it! 

Jewel Tones: Royal blues, deep plums, emerald greens and charcoal colors are enticing to the eye and beautiful on most anyone. Accessories like handbags, booties and jewelry are perfect in these colors. 

It’s hard not to feel daring and sexy in these colors.

The best trend to follow this fall is the one that you feel most comfortable being you. You can follow all the trends and buy the best but if you don’t feel like yourself, it’s useless. Find your faves, invest in solid pieces and have fun with it! Happy shopping! 

About the author:
Roxanne Porter is a freelancer & a regular contributor for  She helps in providing knowledge about nanny services & love writing on nanny related articles. She helps in giving a fair knowledge about nanny Jobs to the community. You can be in touch with her at “r.poter08 (at) gmail (dot) com”.


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