Friday, November 30, 2012

No Judgement Day

{mimosas and OJ at Sunday brunch}
I have no contact whatsoever with Aiden's other parent. Neither does Aiden -- none at all.

But that's old news; you knew that already. I've spoken about it so many times before on this site. Today, I'm speaking about it over on REDBOOK Magazine.

I've been judged for my decision not to co-parent too many times before. But every time I see that Aiden is healthy and happy, my decision to do what's best for my son (and myself) is confirmed. I chose happiness. And safety. And that makes all the difference.

Check out my article on REDBOOK and feel free to share it as well.

I know, I know... I'm still pimping myself.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Alvin Ailey Takes NYC!

{AAADT's Alicia Graf Mack. Photo via.}
Meet Alicia Graf Mack. She's awesome. Not only because her body bends, twists, and defies the laws of gravity beautifully, gracefully, and artistically, but also because she's kind, sweet, and a fellow Columbia University alumnae. (CU, stand up!) During my sophomore year of college, I had the opportunity to meet her, get to know her a bit, dance with her, and perform with her. It was a truly memorable experience.

Fast forward 7-8 years and she's hanging out on the side of NYC buses, on the walls of subway platforms and all over the Internet in Alvin Ailey ads. Talk about finding your passion in life, setting a goal, and working hard to see it come to fruition. It's all kinds of inspiring and it quite literally gives me shivers and that you-can-do-anything-you-put-your-mind-to feeling.

I'm proud. And encouraged.

{Artistic Director Robert Battle with Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater.
Photo via.}
But I'm also super happy and giddy that it's that time of year again. With Artistic Director Robert Battle, the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater season has begun here in NYC and it is quite literally a "must-see." I've seen the company perform so many times and it never gets old. Ever. I always leave the performances feeling rejuvenated and uplifted. It's part of the reason that the Holiday season is such a magical one for me.

This year, I'm particularly excited to share the experience with Aiden.We're heading to a Family Matinee performance this weekend and I can't wait. The performance, as all the performances in the Family Matinee series (Saturdays in December at 2pm), will be followed by a question-and-answer session with Ailey's amazing dancers.

{Revelations by AAADT. Photo via.}

{Revelations by AAADT. Photo via.}

And, of course, I'm excited about the finale in the Family Matinee program -- the timeless Revelations! (If you don't know about it, get thee to the website. Stat!) Not only is it a well-known and loved ballet, but it happens to be one of my favorites. The dancing and the spirit and soul of the ballet is pure beauty. And brilliance. The traditional gospel spirituals sends good vibes and gets me in a good mood. All. The. Time. (See why I think it's so magical?)

I'm so excited! (Oh, wait... I said that already.)

Tickets start as low as $25 and can be purchased at the New York City Center Box Office (212.581.1212) or on the Alvin Ailey website. (You're welcome!)

Stay tuned for an updated post and my review of the show!

{Disclaimer: I was provided with tickets to an Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater performance in order to facilitate this post. All opinions expressed herein are my own.}

Monday, November 26, 2012

{Personal Style} Thanksgiving, School-Girl Style

[shirt, faux fur vest, neck bow tie: H&M;
skirt: thrifted; socks: F21; backpack: AE;
suede wedges: Steve Madden]

Aiden and I stayed home this Thanksgiving holiday and my sister and niece came over for a potluck dinner. After a morning run, I headed home to make my portion of the meal, which came out surprisingly good. (*Pats self on the back*). I'm getting better at this cooking thing. Too bad I hate slaving over a hot stove I'm not a big fan of cooking.

[fall leaves; old kicks; 2.5 mile run.]

Since I was indoors most of the day, I broke out the tweed mini skirt! Paired with a chambray top, a loose neck bow tie, and faux fur vest, I was good to go!

I've been crushing on over-the-knee socks all season long and have been wearing them with pretty much everything, including this outfit. Since it had a very "School Girl-esque" feel to it, I threw in the backpack, just because. And, of course, my top knot goes with everything!

All in all, Thanksgiving was low-key and wholesome -- just what this single momma needed to rest, rejuvenate, and prep for the rest of the Holiday season.

[almost the end of the night. relaxed.]

Only 29 more days till Christmas. Oye! That's totally cray cray!

Have a stylish week!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Today, I'm Thankful For...

This single mom life.
As stressful and trying and somewhat difficult it may be at times, it is exceptionally interesting and quite amazing. I'm not only helping to grow Aiden into the person he is supposed to be, but I'm also growing into the person that I'm supposed to be. This may sound weird, but I can feel myself growing, mentally, spiritually, emotionally.

Growing pains. And growth.
I've certainly outgrown many of the things of my past, but haven't quite grown into many of the things of my future. I'm getting there though. The growing pains aren't always fun, but they're necessary. They push me out of my comfort zone and make me better.

My new job as Dean of Students at an elementary charter school is absolutely busy, absolutely stressful, absolutely demanding, and absolutely rewarding... all bundled up in a neat bow. It's not easy to coach teachers, direct school culture in every way possible towards positivity, manage 433 students, and build relationships with their parents, but I love that I get to wake up every morning and do the most important work.

I'm single. But I'm not alone. (I have Aiden.) And I'm not lonely. The past two weeks have been very stressful for me, and I've been feeling the effects of it physically. Not good. But, Saturday nights with the homies and Sunday brunch with my lovelies have been the perfect cure. I'm blessed to have wonderful friends. I really am. (By the way, I'm also thankful that I have enough self-awareness to know when I need to take a break and relieve some stress. It wasn't always like this.)

He's quirky. He's rambunctious. He's funny. He's clever and witty and smart. He's got so much personality and such an old soul. I didn't know love until I met Aiden. He teaches me how to be brave and bold. He teaches me patience. He teaches me humility and how to ask for help. He makes me better. He makes my life better. 

This community.
As I said before, I'm single, but I'm not alone. And I'm not lonely. I've found so much joy and purpose in this community. I've found inspiration. I've found friendships. Every single time I've shared with you, I receive comments and emails and messages from you all. You share your stories. You describe your journey. You tell your tales. And they inspire me and encourage me to keep on keeping on. All. The. Time.

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

Monday, November 19, 2012

{Guest Post} A Mom's Guide to Staying Trendy

Written by Paul Taylor

Your main concern is no longer what is stylish and what’s in trend but rather when the next time your baby will need its next feeding. But every now and then, we mommas want to look nice and keep up with the seasons must have looks. Your time and money is dedicated to this beautiful bundle of joy, so here are some tips to help you look and feel good when you want to:

Jewelry: Those cute long necklaces and chandeliered earrings are not baby friendly. Imagine a slight tug on those earlobes, ouch! It’s a good thing that studs and small necklaces are in this season. Find a sturdy pair of studs in a neutral color that you can wear all season long like a pearl, charcoal or tortoise shell color. Leave the long draped necklaces and find a short necklace with a very small attached pendant. Think cross, heart, anchor or simply your child’s name.
Quick tip: Skip the bangles and watches for now, you don’t want spit up incrusted watches or bangles snagging baby diapers. 

Makeup: Man you thought you were tired before the baby. HA! Exhaustion is just another thing that moms can’t seem to get around. You don’t have time and energy to put on your full face so use the basics to boost your already natural new mommy glow. Dab some concealer under your eyes, a light powder on your nose and a 3-in-1 color stick for your cheeks, lips and eyes. Super easy and a huge time saver and for a night out, don’t forget the mascara!
Quick tip:
Brush on some highlighting gel on to your cheeks, inner corner of eyes and hair line to give you that extra punch.Don’t want to put in the effort for an evening out, just add red lips, very trendy and sexy! 

Hair: Being a stylish mom doesn’t mean you have to cut your hair off to save yourself time and possible hair pulling. If you have long hair, try braiding a thick and messy side braid or wearing a sock bun. These looks keep the hair out of face while keeping you in trend this fall. For the shorter hair mama’s: soft head bands are great for those flyaways and messy bangs you haven’t had time to get a trim for.
Quick tip: Buy some dry shampoo and spray in between showers to keep your hair looking fresh and polished; then throw it in a sleek and voluminous pony. 

Shoes: Your feet may still be swollen and not ready for heels, besides, who wants to carry their baby around in 6 inches of pain? Flats in bright jewel toned colors are popular and comfy for anyone-think royal blues, mustards and eggplant colors. Non-heeled boots are easy on the tootsies and very cute when paired with comfy leggings!
Quick tip: Consider buying flats a half size big, until your feet return to normalcy. 

Outfits: The goal for any new mom is to wear something that is comfortable, easy to change in and out of, while keep a flattering look on your post baby body. Invest in to some comfy stretch jeans or jeggings in neutral colors and find button up tops that are full of fun prints and color. Basic cotton outfits are the best for washing purposes when your little one decides to share his or her lunch milk. Quick tip: Grab a few light weight machine washable scarfs that you can throw on to change up your look in a moment’s notice! 

About the Author: Paul and his wife Julie both spend quite a bit of time coming up with ideas, blogging, and researching all things related to childcare through “”.

Friday, November 16, 2012

One of The Biggest Things Motherhood Has Taught Me Is...


Well, it's not that I was not a humble person before having a kid. I was. At least I'd like to think that I was. And still am.

It's just that I am stubborn. Really stubborn. And I'm self-sufficient. Really self-sufficient. I've been independent and have taken care of myself for a very long time and I always just know that I can do... just about anything. Alone.

A 40-page paper for grad school? No worries, I got it.

An insanely stressful and time-consuming project at work? Oh yeah, you can count on me to do it. Alone.

Work for nine hours and then go home to be Super Mommy to Aiden? You bet!


Throughout the years, I learn time and time again that while I can multitask like it's nobody's business and do it well, I can not do it all. I cannot be in three places at once. I cannot compete with the energizer bunny and keep going and going and going without some type of a break. I'm... human.

So I've learned to be humble enough to ask for help when those times arise. Case in point: I'm not able to pick Aiden up from school today. Neither is his sitter. So... I emailed the parents in his class to see if any of them will be able to host an impromptu playdate with Aiden and their kid. It took a lot out of me to compose that email, but I did it. And you know what? Several of them replied saying they would love to have Aiden over today and that I could pick him up from their house once I leave work.

And I am ever grateful.

And humbled. By this experience. By Motherhood.

I need help sometimes. And you know what? Realizing this doesn't make me weaker; it makes me wiser.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Nine Lessons From Date Night

{via MommyDelicious on Instagram}

I have a lot of love for Saturday nights. Especially this past one. 

It was just one of those Saturday nights. Since we were just coming off of Hurricane Sandy and a week off of school, the work week felt extra long -- like two weeks in one. And I was too happy to see the weekend. The only plans I had was to take Aiden to see The Very Hungry Caterpillar at Symphony Space, which, by the way, was really, really good. But no plans for Saturday night. 

However, I knew I needed to make some plans when I said, "You need to clean up all this mess and get your life together." To Aiden. My five-year-old.

So made plans I did. 

I hit up my girl R and told her that I need dinner and drinks in my life. Stat. We gathered a couple other people and headed downtown. Impromptu outings are the best ones sometimes. 

Two of the ladies who were out with us are on the verge of being mid-breakup with their beau, which made them a bit melancholy. But we all had warm hearts and cool drinks and lots of laughter. So that helped.

Plus, this one dude and I were kicking knowledge like school was in session. Not because we have this abundance of wisdom, but because we're not currently going through a breakup nor have we recently gone through a breakup, which makes us see things a bit more clearly. Not to mention that knowledge-kicking and a lil' bit of wisdom stems from the pain of pretty bitter experiences, unfortunately. (Or fortunately, whichever way you want to look at it).

Amongst the "Can I get an 'Amen'?" and "Mmm, you ain't nevah lied!" and "You shoulda known something was up when you met him on the C train... I could see if it was the 6 train or something..." and "You better speak it!" jokes and comments, my girl R started taking notes. Quite literally.

So I'm going to share them with you. Here's the list, filed under Things That Make You Go "Mmmm."

1. Part of life is about meeting people where they are.
And if where they are is not a place that they can give you what you deserve, count your blessings, and move on. Because you'll just be bitter (not better) if you stay. 

2. There's much, much more to life than being in a romantic relationship.
It really made me sad when I heard two beautiful, ambitious, and interesting women say that they have "nothing" without the guys (who have made it very clear that they don't respect them). I "get" it though. I've been in a dead-end relationship. And I've been through breakups. They suck. Big time. I know that it can feel like there will be no one else out there for you. I've had the warm-and-fuzzy-this-has-got-to-be-real-butterflies-in-your-stomach feeling. It's lovely. Magical, even. But breakups aren't the end of the world. Which brings me to my next point... 

3. Date.
Once we have success (or some resemblance of success) with someone else, we're more likely to feel more confident that we can have a relationship with someone else.

4. Life as a single person ain't so bad.
It's actually pretty glorious. If you want it to be. Don't get me wrong, there are times when I feel it would be easier for me if I were all boo'd up. And I do start thinking of destination wedding locations when I meet someone who gives me that warm-and-fuzzy-this-has-got-to-be-
real-butterflies-in-your-stomach feeling. But I'm happy as a single person. And instead of sitting home on a Saturday night and wallowing in my singleness, I hit my friends up and go out. I do things that I enjoy. I make memories. I live life. 

5. Sometimes saying "I fold" feels like winning.
When it comes to relationships (à la Carrie Bradshaw), sometimes you've gotta cut your losses, count your blessings, and chuck the deuces up. 

6. As we grow more into ourselves, we have to be focused enough to know where to spend our time and energy.
And something's and some people are just not worth our effort and/or energy. Nothing wrong with that. That's just the way it is. 

7. Romantic relationships are hard enough when they're right; no need to try to "make it work" when it's wrong. 

8. You have to live with the consequences of the decisions you make. Period.
So make peace with it, learn the lesson, and move forward. (There's a recurring theme in this post and it's to move forward. Always.) I have to live with the decision forever and a day of having a child with someone who is not a good role model for Aiden and someone who is not interested in parenting. That was my decision and I have to live with it and find a way to convey that to Aiden as he grows up. I've made peace with the situation and I've decided that Aiden will have a lovely life. No. Matter. What. Because I'm his mother. And I'll make sure of it. 

9. Choose not to be with someone who makes you cry consistently. You deserve to be treated with kindness and respect.
A quote from my co-teacher, the dude (that I ended up posting on my personal Facebook page. Blame it on the a-a-a-a-a-alcohol): "You're saying that it's been two weeks since you've cried, but you're not focusing on the main issue: you're with someone who has made you cry."

Mmmm. That's deep.

Friday, November 9, 2012

What Are You Waiting For?

{Photo via}
Earlier this week, I ran into an old friend from high school and it reminded me of this post. We haven’t seen each other since senior year of high school (or maybe a year or two after that, but my memory fails me right now), which was ten (or eight or nine) years ago. After hugs and “hellos”, I asked her the typical, “How have you been?! How is everything?!” questions to which she replied:

“I’m... *sigh*… I’m… not happy. I’ve been working at my job for seven years and I’m… not happy. I want a change. I want to do something different.”

Two thoughts.

Number one: I’ve said this so many times before and I mean it – timing really iseverything. And I’m glad that we bumped into each other at the right time, in the right space because she obviously needed someone to vent to. I was happy that she was able to find refuge in our meaningful conversation. Even if it was for only 30 minutes. I knew that I needed to offer her words of encouragement. So I did.

Number two: There’s no time better than right NOW to start working towards figuring out your goals and taking the steps to accomplishing them. This is exactly what I told my long lost friend. Well, part of what I told her anyway. (“The good thing is that you’ve figured out what’s making you unhappy. That's half the battle. So now you can set your goals and work towards finding your ‘happy’.”)

As I was listening to my long lost friend and conversing with her, I couldn’t believe that ten years had gone by (or eight or nine). So much has happened in my life since then. I’ve been through so much, grown so much, learned so much. I’ve failed at some things too. But I’ve bounced back from them.

The thing is, time is going to pass anyway. Before we know it, it’s going to be two years from now, five years from now, ten years from now. So... we might as well use this time right NOW to figure out what we want in life. 

And work.

A few days ago I posted this on the Mommy Delicious Facebookpage: Do what you LOVE! Period. There is a big difference between making a living and making a LIFE.

Which are you making right NOW?

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Tips to Prepare for Cold and Flu Season

Written by Amelia Wood

It's that time of year again that parents everywhere dread—that's right, cold and flu season. People around your office have probably already started to sniffle and sneeze and you can bet the same thing is going on at your child’s school or daycare. With all of these germs flying around everywhere, it’s no wonder so many kids come down with the common cold, flu and, in some cases, even pneumonia.

To help protect your little ones and save yourself a trip to the doctor’s office or emergency room, it’s important to take a proactive approach to not only your child’s but also your own personal health. Below are some helpful tips and tricks to help your child and you weather this season and make it to the sunny days of spring scot-free.

Take Your Vitamins
 And make sure your little one does too. The worst thing people can do at this time is neglect their daily healthcare routines such as taking their vitamins. When your immune system is challenged and faces external threats, it needs all of the reinforcements it can get, which is where your vitamins come in. They supply your body with necessary nutrients that you might otherwise miss through diet alone.

Invest in Sanitizing Wipes
 No matter the brand, you just need to stock up on sanitizing, antibacterial wipes to keep everyday surfaces and objects free of sickness causing culprits. Banisters, doorknobs, phones and keyboards are all havens for germs and I’m sure you can’t think of the last time you went a whole day without touching at least one if not more of these. So, since touching them is inevitable, you should do so wisely by sanitizing the area regularly. Give objects a thorough wipe before use, and possibly more depending on exposure/situation.

However, it’s important to remember not to go overboard in this department. Too much sanitation can be a bad thing as it weakens our immune systems. I know, I know that probably seems counter-intuitive, since they are, after all, antibacterial, but our bodies are already equipped with antibodies and other germ-fighting weapons to keep us healthy. If they’re never challenged, they will grow weak (just like us when we don’t workout) so let a few germs get through or risk breeding superbugs.

Talk to Your Doc about Shots
Flu shots can be a controversial topic—some people believe in them, others swear them off—and honestly I think the only person qualified to help you make the decision about whether you or your children should get one is your doctor. Before you go for it, ask him or her the pros and cons associated with it and determine whether or not the gains outweigh the risks. Not to sway you one way or the other, but often times they do more good than harm, but if you have any doubts in your mind, pick your doctor’s brain—that’s what they are there for!

Give Herbal Supplements a Try
 By now, you’ve likely seen the ads for over-the-counter remedies such as Airborne and Zicam promising to ward off seasonal ailments. At their core all these supplements are simply herbal supplements with extra illness fighting vitamins and minerals such as Echinacea, Vitamin C and Zinc. They are like supercharged vitamins. Because of this, they have garnered many critics, but some people love them. Before you make your mind up about them, give them a try—after first discussing with your doctor of course. They might just prove a convenient, cost-effective way to survive the season of sniffles, and as a parent I know you can appreciate anything that cuts down on bills—medical or whatever!

I know some of the tips above are rather obvious and probably shouldn’t have required stating, but it never hurts to reiterate good, practical advice. At times like these, we can all use more of that! Wishing you happy health!

About the Author: Amelia Wood is a blogger and freelance writer with a background in medical coding and billing. She loves to offer advice about health and wellness, especially in an office environment. Direct any questions or comments to

Monday, November 5, 2012

{Personal Style} All That Glitters...

[blazer, red skinnies: AE Outifitters; boots: Colin Stuart via VS:
eyes: Bobbi Brown; lips: Rimmel London Berry Queen;
ring: Aldo; clutch: F21]

After surviving Aiden's fifth birthday while being sick and Hurricane Sandy, I was ready to celebrate with spunk and sparkles this weekend. The sun was shinning here in NYC all weekend and the air was crisp, which was perfect for this outfit that I put together.

I scored this blouse from Target! Can you believe it?! And the cardi was a lovely find too. From the kids section. Of American Eagle. I know, I know... I couldn't believe it either!

I like that the rocker-chic clutch coordinates so well with the wedge boots.

Oh, and I'm no longer flirting with the red lip. I'm in love with it!

What do you guys think?

Hope you guys have a very stylish week!

{In case you missed my Facebook updates, here is one way you can help out and/or donate for those still dealing with the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy.}


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