Thursday, May 30, 2013

The Sunrise

[photo via]

Aiden (as we were getting ready to walk out of the apartment in the morning): Mommy, mommy... come here quickly! Look at this!

Me (trying the grab my bags, jacket, and put my shoes on): Okay. Give me a sec. I'm coming.

Aiden: Look at this!

Me: (walks over to the Living Room window, that he was staring out of.) What is it?

Aiden: Look! It's beautiful!

He was showing me the sunrise.

We live on the 11th floor, and our apartment has large windows and lots of natural sunlight. He was right. It was beautiful. Way to teach me how to slow down, smell the roses, and take it all in.

I love that kid!

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Celebrating Three Years with a $25 Target Gift Card Giveaway!

To continue the three-year celebration of Mommy Delicious, I have one more giveaway (three in total... get it?) for all my fabulous readers!

A $25 Target Gift Card!

Target and H&M are two of my favorite stores. And, of course, I love the Visa. Hence, the giveaways. Okay. So about this juicy one. Here are the deets:
One (1) lucky Mommy Delicious reader will win a $25 TARGET Gift Card!

To enter, leave a comment below stating that you want to win (because, you're like me, and you love Target).

For one extra entry, "like" Mommy Delicious on Facebook AND share this giveaway. Be sure to tag Mommy Delicious when you share on Facebook.

For another extra entry, follow Mommy Delicious on Twitter AND tweet about this giveaway. Be sure to @MommyDelicious when you tweet this giveaway.

-- THREE entries total.
-- Leave a SEPARATE comment for each entry so that it will be counted.
-- Leave your contact information in each comment so that I can reach you if you win.
-- Open to US residents only.
-- Giveaway will end on Friday, June 1st at 5pm and one winner will be chosen via

Good luck!

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Celebrating Three Years with a $25 H&M Gift Card Giveaway!

The 3rd anniversary of this blog is continuing today and I'm giving away a $25 gift card to a store that I absolutely love: H&M!

The unofficial start of Summer is here (hello Memorial Day Weekend!) and it's the perfect time for us to update our wardrobe with a couple key pieces. This gift card is a little token of my appreciation to you and a way for me to say thanks.

Thanks for kicking it with me!

One (1) lucky Mommy Delicious reader will win a $25 H&M Gift Card!

To enter, leave a comment below stating one piece of clothing or accessory you'll buy to get your wardrobe Summer-ready.

For one extra entry, "like" Mommy Delicious on Facebook AND share this giveaway. Be sure to tag Mommy Delicious when you share on Facebook.

For another extra entry, follow Mommy Delicious on Twitter AND tweet about this giveaway. Be sure to @MommyDelicious when you tweet this giveaway.

-- THREE entries total.
-- Leave a SEPARATE comment for each entry so that it will be counted.
-- Leave your contact information in each comment so that I can reach you if you win.
-- Open to US residents only.
-- Giveaway will end on Monday, May 27th at 5pm and one winner will be chosen via

Good luck!

UPDATE: The winner of this giveaway is YUMMommy! Congratulations and thanks to all those who entered. Y'all rock!

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Three Years Down

This week is a very special one for this community because it marks three years that this blog has been going strong.

When I started this site, I wanted to be a voice for younger mothers all around. Then, I became a single mother. Then, I became a student-mother. And while graduate school was kicking my ass and I was coming of age and bouncing back from loosing my way in a toxic relationship, something clicked. And I figured out that this whole single mother thing can be done.


And in a meaningful way.

Don't get me wrong. This ain't easy. Everyday is not all peaches and cream and skipping through fields with daisies.

But it's been quite lovely.

That's why I share my story with you. Every. Single. Day. Because I want to be an inspiration, and let you know that, although it might not be easy, it's certainly doable.

Set your goals and get your dreams. Don't let motherhood or unexpected pregnancies or lack of degrees or toxic relationships or motherlessness or fatherlessness or the status quo stop you.

Be unstoppable.

Be a game-changer.

We'll be celebrating this community all week long and I'm kicking off the celebration with a $25 Visa gift card giveaway!

To enter, leave a comment below stating one goal and one thing that you're doing to fulfill that goal.

For one extra entry, "like" Mommy Delicious on Facebook AND share this giveaway. Be sure to tag Mommy Delicious when you share on Facebook.

For another extra entry, follow Mommy Delicious on Twitter AND tweet about this giveaway. Be sure to @MommyDelicious when you tweet this giveaway.

-- THREE entries total.
-- Leave a SEPARATE comment for each entry so that it will be counted.
-- Leave your contact information in each comment so that I can reach you if you win.
-- Open to US residents only.
-- Giveaway will end on Friday, May 24th at 5pm and one winner will be chosen via

Good luck!

UPDATE: The winner of this giveaway is AubreyLaine! Congratulations and thanks to all those who entered. You guys are truly an amazing group!

Friday, May 17, 2013

I'm The Lucky One

Last weekend, Aiden and I had the pleasure of joining the Ugg Australia team at their flagship store in NYC's Upper East Side. They have such a cute and stylish spring/summer children's line, and Aiden and I were able to check 'em out and try 'em on.

I couldn't resist the Johney Shark kicks because they are absolutely adorable, and luckily, Aiden loved them too. They caught his eye and it was love at first sight.

Like mother, like son.

Afterwards, we enjoyed a private tour of the Central Park Zoo, thanks to Ugg Australia. While at the zoo, Aiden made it a point to blurt out every answer (whether wrong or right), talk out of turn (more often than not), and say whatsoever was on his mind (with no filter).

At first, I was busying myself with correcting him.  

Use your inside voice. 

Look him in the eye when you're speaking to him. 

Use your walking feet. 

So you're just gonna talk out of turn and blurt out all the answers? Really? REALLY?!

Then something inside me clicked. And I just stopped. And took a step back. And realized that Aiden is already polite and already well-behaved.

I don't need to be so concerned with raising a good kid that I forget I already have one. (Thanks for the reminder, Glennon Melton.)

Aiden is curious and excited about life and learning and seeing new things. Those are the exact qualities that I want my son to have. He's also sweet and kind and caring and thoughtful. Those are the character traits that I want my son to have.

While Aiden may talk out of turn every now and then, he's awesome and full of life. He's not satisfied with the status quo. I can already tell that he's going to be a mover and a shaker and a dreamer and a doer.

Heck, he already is.

Even though his other parent is not around, he's shown resilience and perseverance. He's grown so much and embraces life with such passion and excitement. Everyday he teaches me the importance of loving what I do and doing what I love. He teaches me how to brush things off, learn lessons, and move forward. 

People often tell me how lucky Aiden is to have me as his mother. Truth is, I'm the lucky one. I'm the one who's blessed with such a really special boy.

Everyday that I have the pleasure of being called his mother is a really special day.

{Disclaimer: Event attendees received a gift bag and a pair of shoes. All opinions expressed herein are my own.}

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Brunch Baby, Brunch

NYC parents, brace yourselves. Your Sunday mornings just got more entertaining.

No, seriously.

A couple weeks ago, Aiden and I were invited to Brunch Baby, Brunch at Brother Jimmy's BBQ in Union Square. It is NYC's Premiere Baby Brunch Party, and it is perfect for families who love the brunch scene (as much as I do), but can't always get a babysitter to attend "adult-only" brunches.

We entered the family-friendly restaurant and headed straight to the back, which is where the brunch party takes place. Right before we entered the back room, I spotted two things: the stroller parking area that's off to the side of the party space, and the Live DJ spinning upbeat, popular hits (that also happens to be kid-friendly). Michael Jackson and The Harlem Shake? Count me in!

Aiden immediately went to the play area and became engrossed in the toys. "I like the toys; the toys are nice." I'm glad they got the Aiden stamp of approval.

I, on the other hand, immediately went for the drink menu. For $30 per adult, you can get brunch as well as all you can drink specials like mimosas, bloody marys, and beer.

The mimosa and peach sangria were strong, tasty, and deliciousness in a glass. And the food was really good. It was my first time having a BBQ sauce on breakfast foods, but it felt like good ol' southern comfort food. Oh, and kids ate for free. Delightful.

I got the chance to chat with the Brunch Baby, Brunch founders, Vicky and Chris Anderson (who was playing hits on the 1's and 2's), about their goal and vision for this super cool baby brunch party. Brunch Baby, Brunch was born when this down-to-earth couple decided that they should still be able to enjoy outings and all that NYC has to offer... even with kids in tow.

I totally agree.

Brunch Baby, Brunch is perfect for a playdate or a family-friendly boozy brunch. Afterwards, head to the Union Square playground (like we did!) and enjoy NYC while you sober up play with your children.

Visit Brunch Baby, Brunch on Facebook for more information or call 212.673.6465 for reservations. 

{Disclosure: Complimentary meals were provided in order to facilitate this review. All opinions expressed herein are my own.}

Monday, May 13, 2013

{Personal Style} Pajama-Style Pants and Pink Pumps

pants: Target; shirt, spiked bracelets, stacked bracelets: H&M; peep-toe pumps, sequined clutch: Aldo shoes; necklace: Lia Sophia; lipstick: Rimmel London Berry Rose
I'll admit: I've been skeptical about the whole "pajama-style pants" trend since I first spotted a few celebrities rocking them. I even had a few what are these folks thinking? moments.

But, after awhile, the trend grew on me. I spotted these cute and comfortable black pajama-style pants a few weeks ago and they've been on my mind ever since. So I figured that I'd give them a try one special day.

Enter Mother's Day.

I spent the day with my little guy, which is exactly what I wanted to do, and rocked these pants the entire day. Love them!

The outfit came together really nicely when I paired the pants with a button down, crisp white shirt; a pink blazer; and pink, suede peep-toe pumps for a chic look.

In a nutshell, the day was perfect. To add to the perfection, I was featured in the New York Daily Newspaper!! In print (see below). And on their website (check the link!). As... wait for it... one of NYC's Most Stylish Moms.

Seriously, somebody pinch me.

Have a fabulous week everyone. Stay stylish!

Friday, May 10, 2013

This Year, On Mother's Day...

joy abounds...

“If you could have anything in the world, what is the ONE thing that you’d like for Mother’s Day?”

Since Aiden was born, I have always been asked some variation of that question around this time of year. And every time I was asked, I pretty much gave the exact same answer: a day off. All I’ve ever wanted for Mother’s Day was a day off – to sleep until noon, to use the bathroom in peace, to not have to clean up spills on the kitchen floor, to not have to hear “That’s not fair!” for the millionth time, to just… be.

It seems like I was always stressed out with the demands of motherhood, and then single motherhood, and then graduate student-motherhood that all I wanted was time off. Just one day.

But this year is different.

Head on over to REDBOOK Magazine to read the rest of this post where I'm talking about my hopes and wishes for Mother's Day this year. 

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Teaching Rhyming Words: An Interactive Activity

Folks are always asking me for ideas about educational games that boosts literacy, math, or science skills because I create so many different interactive -- and fun! -- educational games with Aiden using things that I already have at home.

I made up The Rhyming Game, and we've been having fun with it for a couple of days now. Teaching rhyming words is so important when teaching literacy because it helps kids identify word "families" (let, met, bet), at that increases their ability to decode words at a much faster pace.

Here are the deets on the game:

Materials needed: index cards, chart paper, different color sharpies (or markers), scissors, a book with lots of rhyming. We used The Jungle Run for this activity, but you can easily use any book with a lot of rhyming words, such as Sue Fliess' Shoes For Me!, A Dress For Me!, or many of Dr. Seuss' books.)

Prior knowledge: The game is a bit easier if your little reader knows letter-sound recognition. Or if they have a solid grasp on sight words. But, anyone can have fun with the game if they have the right amount of guidance. 

Aiden's library a few years ago. It's almost twice this size today.
The activity:
1. Be sure that your little reader knows the meaning of rhyming words. Aiden and I do a little song that says, "Rhyming words are words that sound the same at the end." It's a made-up jingle, but it works because he remembers it and, more importantly, understands it. 

2. Read the book. (You can also save this part for the end of the activity.) When you get to a line that rhymes (ex: fun, run), stop and ask, "What makes them rhyming words?" See if they can add more words to the family (sun, bun, etc...)

3. Cut the index cards in half and write one letter of the alphabet on each half of the index card. Put the cards in order from A-Z.

4. Write a sight word on the chart paper. (It should be a word that your little reader already knows how to read. Or a word that they can easily sound out.) Ask the child to say the word out loud.

5. Pick a letter from your alphabet pile and put it over the beginning letter of the original word that you wrote down. (Ex: If you wrote down "fun," put the letter "S" over the letter "F" and have the child take note of the difference in words and in the beginning sound.) Before you go on to picking another letter, make sure that the child understands that the words sound the same, but the beginning sounds are different.

6. Write down all of the rhyming words that you came up with together, have your child read the words themselves, and celebrate your success with a fun chant.

**If your child is already a beginning reader, have them read a short story that has lots of rhyming on their own.

Monday, May 6, 2013

{Personal Style} A Blouse Turned Mini Dress

Blouse, blazer: F21 | wedged sandals, spandex dress, stacked bangles: H&M | sunnies: Urban Outfitters | earrings: Mandees
I have a special love for mini skirts. And mini dresses. And showing off my legs.

That's clearly not a secret.

So when I was gifted this F21 over-sized blouse, I figured the best way to wear it was as a mini dress. The navy blouse turned mini-dress, which features a fun and sophisticated loose neck bow, has sheer fabric so I had to wear a black spandex dress underneath it. I paired it with stripped tights, wedged open-toe sandals, and a coral/pink blazer for a pop of color.

It was the perfect way to turn an over-sized blouse into a mini dress. So cool, so chic, so sexy. And I loved it!

Hope you all have a fabulous week. Stay stylish!

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Getting Summer-Ready

[photo via]

 There's no secret about it. I like mini skirts. No wait. I love mini skirts. And short shorts. And sexy swimsuits. And all things Summer.

It's my favorite season and I love that I can show off my legs. In fact, I think my legs are my best asset. By far. The way that I get ready for Summer is by going for runs, squatting like it's nobody's business, and waxing at the spa.

This season, the spa was able to come to me when I was asked to do a review of Nair's newest family members -- Brazilian Spa Clay Total Care Body Trio and Brazilian Spa Clay Total Face Trio. The Brazilian Spa Clay Line is inspired by the beauty secrets and hair removal expertise of Brazil.

Exotic, right?

Each product is infused with mango butter and acai berry known to moisturize the skin, and mineral-rich clay known to purify the skin. These products provide professional results at home for staying smooth all Summer long -- for a fraction of what you'd pay at a salon. After using the Brazilian Spa Clay Total Body Trio, my legs are now soft and smooth and totally mini-skirt ready. Just like I like them.

[photo via]
The Nair Brazilian Spa Clay Shower Total Care Body Trio ($13.99) is the only 3-step in-shower depilatory system, including the Nair Shower Power technology that works while you shower.
Step 1: The pre-wipe contains mineral oil and chamomile to prepare your skin before removing hair.
Step 2: Apply the depilatory, which is resistant to water through emollients similar to those found in waterproof sunscreens so it will resist runoff while you shower. Just be sure to keep the area out of the direct stream of water.
Step 3: After the hair removed, apply soothing post-use gel with Aloe Vera for a perfect finish.

[photo via]
Although I haven't tried The Nair Brazilian Spa Clay Total Care Face Trio ($13.99), I've heard great things about it from people who have tried it. It's the first 3-step depilatory for the face.
Step 1: The first step is the pre-balm, which coats the skin to help minimize irritation and redness.
Step 2: The second step is the depilatory. There's no drying time so you can apply the depilatory immediately after using the pre-balm.
Step 3: After removing the depilatory product, apply the moisturizer, which is similar to a typical facial moisturizer. This will help neutralize the pH of the skin, bringing back the normal level.

Both products are super convenient and super easy to use. And they'll have your skin looking cool, smooth, and Summer-ready in no time at all! Try them for yourself by visiting the website in order to learn all about Nair's full line of Summer hair removal products!

{Disclosure: I was provided samples of the Nair's Brazilian Spa Clay products in order to facilitate this review. Also, this post is sponsored by Nair. All opinions expressed herein are my own.}

Friday, May 3, 2013

On Young Boys and Their Need for Male Mentors

Aiden and his mentor
The other day, as I was tucking Aiden into bed at night, we had our usual discussion. I told him how proud I was of him, how amazing I think he is, and how I think that he's kind, caring, and lovely to be around.

Just because.

After I finished singing  his praises, he said something that broke my heart and confirmed the fact that I know he needs male mentors... all at the same time.

"But... how about if I see my father and he doesn't recognize me anymore and he doesn't know who I am so he ignores me?"

Deep, deep, sigh.

I responded. The best way I knew how. With love and understanding and compassion and all the praises that I could muster up in three sentences.

"Aiden, your father could never forget you or who you are because you are amazing. Everyone who meets you -- even if it's just one time -- remembers you. People are so blessed and lucky to know you. And they don't forget you."

I tried.

But I can't replace his father.

Aiden's other parent has chosen to not be apart of his life, and I know that as his mother, I can not completely fill the void that may result because of this. I can teach Aiden that the world is filled with different types of family structures; I can make sure he knows that he is loved and cherished; I can make sure that he gets a damn good education; I can make certain that he's well-read and well-traveled and that his weekends are filled with swimming and soccer and kid-friendly outings. And I can work hard and go get my dream (and dream job!) in order to pay for all of these things.

But... I can't replace his father.

What I can do is set him up with a few awesome male mentors and role-models who love him and care about him and want what's best for him. Just like I do.

He needs it so badly.

And, for the past few months he's been spending more and more time hanging around my friend, doing "boy" things. He's gone with Aiden on different outings around the city; he's been watching Aiden play soccer and teaching him how to keep his head in the game; he's been talking to him about how to be a team player; he's been teaching him how to keep pushing -- even when he feels like giving up; he's been showing him why it's important to listen and follow directions and set high goals.

And Aiden has taken to him like a fish to water.

They click. And I know it's because Aiden needs it -- a mentor, a role model, someone he looks up to teach him more about this thing called life. Everyday I'm reminded of this more and more, and I'm determined to it that Aiden gets the mentors that he needs.


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