Monday, June 30, 2014

Lucky Diaz and the Family Jam Band at The Bronx Zoo

Still looking for something to do the 4th of July weekend?! The good folks over at The Bronx Zoo have got you covered!

The Latin Grammy winning group, Lucky Diaz and the Family Jam Band will be performing live at The Bronx Zoo on July 4th, July 5th, and July 6th! Head over to the Grizzly Corner at 12:30pm, 2pm, or 3:30pm in order to check out this popular children's band that features indie music sounds that are rooted in their whimsical and child-friendly imaginations.

The jamming group recently made live appearances on CNN, Sprout, and Univision. Plus, they're coming straight off a nationwide tour. So, get ready for a hip-shaking, heap-bopping, dance party explosion of indie fresh pop rock beats at this interactive show. Oh, and don't worry, the kids will have fun too.

In order to celebrate the awesomeness of this husband-wife duo, one (1) lucky Mommy Delicious reader will win a prize package that includes the following: priority seating, a photo opportunity with Lucky Diaz and Band following the performance, a Lucky Diaz CD, and other special goodies.

To enter: 
"Like" Mommy Delicious on Facebook and share this giveaway on Facebook.

One winner will be chosen at random on Thursday, July 3rd.

Good luck! And happy jamming!

Taking Time For Me with Netflix

Aiden graduated a couple weeks ago and now that school's out and Summer's here, that can only mean one thing: our schedule has gotten jam-packed with picnic invitations and BBQ invites and graduation celebrations and lots and lots of summer-themed children's activities.

Not only can it get a little overwhelming, but it can also get a little too child-centered. For me.

My solution? Take some time out to meet up with my girlfriends at happy hour, brunch, dinner, or exciting concerts. And when I'm alone, one thing that I can do is indulge a little by streaming my favorite TV shows on Netflix. (Scandal, anyone?)

Or... I can jump on the bandwagon for the most talked-about shows. This month, the lovely folks over at the Netflix Stream Team sent me a lovely canvas bag filled with all things Orange is the New Black. And it got me excited enough to check out what all the fuss is about with this show.

So... in the midst of playdates and shuttling Aiden to and from summer camp and all the kid-friendly activities that'll make his summer awesome, I'll be taking a little time for myself. With warm sugar cookies, strawberry ice cream, and good TV shows that I can stream on Netflix.

How will you take time for yourself during the Summer months? What shows are you streaming on Netflix?

{Disclaimer: As a member of the Netflix Stream Team Ambassador Program, this post is being sponsored by Netflix. All opinions expressed herein are my own.}

Friday, June 27, 2014

All You Have To Do Is Try

That's what I find myself telling Aiden more and more these days.

Aiden's a perfectionist. And he's also used to things being fairly easy for him, particularly in terms of school work. Until this point, learning letter-sound recognition, learning sight words, and learning to sound out other words have come fairly easy for him. Until this point, reading has been fairly easy to him. And fun for him.

But now that he's learning how to read "harder" words -- and it's not coming to him as fast as he'd like -- he's getting frustrated. Same goes with math concepts. Now that he's being encouraged to explore more difficult math concepts, he gets frustrated when he doesn't "get it" right away. Same goes with tying his shoelaces. If it doesn't come out nicely tied the first time he attempts to do it, he gets frustrated.  Eventually, he ties it, but it's usually after a mini meltdown that stems from his frustration.


Here's the thing: I'm okay with Aiden being frustrated over things. It's a good life lesson, because sometimes things aren't going to come as easily as we would like them to come... but we gotta keep going in order to get the outcome that we want. (Granted, I may have to check myself and check my own level of frustration when things get like that, but the end result -- and the celebration -- is totally worth it. To me anyway.)

And check this: I'm less concerned with Aiden reading harder words right now or understanding more difficult math concepts. Or tying his shoelaces perfectly. He'll learn them eventually, in due time, and at his own pace. But, what I am concerned with is him staying in the trenches, trying and failing and then trying some more. Learning how to do his best. Recognizing when he's not doing his best. Learning how to do his best even when he doesn't like something. Or doesn't want to do something. Being persistent and resilient and showing perseverance. Having grit.

Because, in this world, nothing will take the place of persistence. And teaching Aiden this life lesson doesn't start when he's an adult and gets a rejection letter from, say, a job that he applies for. It starts now. At age six. With the "smaller" things in life.

I've made many mistakes in my life, but one thing I've learned for sure is to be persistent and resilient. And, if I don't teach Aiden anything else, I'll teach him the importance of those two things.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

{Dating Tales} I Miss Being Single

Okay, okay... maybe that tittle is a little provocative. I don't miss being single per se, and I definitely don't miss the bang ups and hang ups and bad dates (although they made for some funny blog posts) and the missed opportunities of the dating scene.

But I do find that as I'm learning to navigate this relationship with The Guy -- and all the responsibilities that go along with being in my first functional adult romantic relationship -- I do miss feeling competent at what I'm doing.

Does that make sense?

Lemme explain...

I got real good real fast at being single, partially because being single only had to do with me. Now, I'm here, learning the ropes of what it means to be in a solid relationship and it's more that just me. In fact, more often that not, I'm learning that it's not about me. It's about us. And what's best for the both of us.

Growing pains. At its finest.

And while I've been so focused on my relationship (and motherhood and work and adjunct professoring and blogging and speaking engagements), I've neglected my friendships over the past few months.

(Is that normal? Please tell me that that's normal!)

And don't even get me started on the fact that I'm so used to things going south that I've been waiting for something bad to happen in this perfectly fine and good relationship.

(Is that normal? Please tell me that that's normal too!)

Oh... and I really miss my friends. The hanging out, the trying out of new restaurants and neighborhoods in NYC, the rooftop lounges... it's what made me feel safe and sane, and quite frankly, keep my ish together. In essence, it's what made me me. And I miss that. And, more importantly, I miss them.

My solution? Get some balance in my life that includes nurturing my friendships. So I've been making plans with them -- all of them -- over the next few weeks. Brunch with A and T this week, brunch with LB over the weekend, happy hour with Linds next week, and the On The Run tour with K, K, and L the week after next. (And, please believe, there's more where that came from!)

The Guy is great and I'm so happy we found each other, but I know myself well enough to know that I need my friends in my life -- on a consistent basis -- as well. I'm still learning how to successfully navigate this relationship thing. So I guess these feelings are normal and expected, right?

(If they're not... humor me.)

Sigh. We complain when we're single and we got something to say when we're all boo'ed up too.

Bear with me, y'all. I'm still a work in progress.

Monday, June 23, 2014

That Time I Was Invited to Speak On A Panel

Yup. You read right.

This Friday, I'll be joining Tiffani of MyMommyVents as she hosts Candid Conversation: An Intimate Discussion About Our Post-Baby Bodies.

When I started this site, I vowed to tell the story of who I am -- fully, completely, and with my whole heart. Over the years, that has included my break-up with Aiden's, er, other parent, my single mom struggles, my grad school struggles, my dating struggles, and so much more.

Now, I'm taking the conversation offline to discuss a topic that's so near and dear and intimate to all of us -- that post-baby body. The other panelists and I will be letting it all hang out -- talking about the challenges, mysteries, and triumphs of our bodies, post-babies. And, of course, we'll be answering any questions guests may have.

If you'll be in the NYC area, visite the website to get your tickets so that you can join in on the love and laughter.

See you there!

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

{Personal Style} Color Me Gray

skinnies: American Eagle | peep-toe pumps: Aldo | wrap bracelets: Stella & Dot | bow ring, double necklace: H&M | "blog a lot" t-shirt: Raygun | floral bag: BASIL 

School's out, which means it's time for jeans and t-shirts, and trendy flats or funky heels! You know, all the things I can't wear as a school administrator and whatnot.

I fell in love with this Blog A lot t-shirt when I saw it online a while ago and had to make it apart of my t-shirt collection. Score! Pairing it with skinnies and heels was simply a no-brainer, especially with the floral-print BASIL bag.

By the way, I love how stylish and practical this BASIL bag is. It's an all-purpose Dutch designer bag that I fully plan on rocking the life out of this Summer, particularly because it's super spacious, has lots of compartments, can fit all of my crap, er makeup bag, keys, wallet, etc, and all of Aiden's things (snacks, changing clothes, you know the drill).

Oh, and let's talk about the floral detailing on this bag. Yes ma'am!

{Disclaimer: I received a BASIL bag in order to facilitate this review. All opinions expressed herein are my own.}

Monday, June 16, 2014

{Kids Style File} Urban Prepster

"Some people don't have dads. There're all kinds of families."

Such was Aiden's response when a little asked him, "You don't have a dad?!"

Sigh. When I heard Aiden's response, my heart broke into a million pieces and it was filled with joy -- all at the same time. While I was saddened by her question (and utter shock), I was happy to hear Aiden school her like it's no big deal. Because it's not. Because he's loved and cared for and adored. But it is. Because there's a void that no one will be able to fill. Except God. (We're praying on it.)

Eiher way, this didn't stop Aiden from rocking an urban prepster look for Father's Day as we went to church, brunch, and a boat ride through Central Park with The Guy (and his son).

At first, I wasn't too sure about the man capris look, but once I paired them with gingham suspenders, a bowtie that featured scull details, and denim slip ons, the kid looked like a trendy, urban prepster. Not too shabby.

Hope you all enjoyed your Father's Day with the significant guys in your life. Have a great week! Stay stylish!

Friday, June 13, 2014

Winging It

Lately, I've been spending a lot of time talking to, listening to, and/or reading about the ups and downs and ins and out of life and love and climbing the career ladder from folks whom I know and admire.

Their stories -- although kinda different -- have the same ring to it. They try something, the fail at it, they learn from their mistakes, they move on, they try something else... until they succeed.

And the cycle repeats itself. Over and over and over again.

These are people who I have learned from, who have mentored me, who I definitely admire for their drive, determination, and all around hustle.

For a long time, I looked at them and thought that they had it all together. But the more mature that I get, and the more I meet people who think that I have my ish all together (to which I laugh and say something along the lines of "That's so not true!), I'm beginning to realize more and more that this much is true: they are just winging it.

As am I.

As are you.

We're all just winging it. We're all just trying to do our best, learn from our mistakes, and press on. Doesn't matter if you've been in this game 3 days or 3 months or 3 years. Doesn't matter if you're fresh outta high school, fresh outta college, or you've been in your chosen career for quite some time. Doesn't matter if you're a single mom or an all boo-ed up mom. Doesn't matter if you stay at home or work at home or work outside of the home. Doesn't matter if your babies are toddlers or preschoolers or middle schoolers.

We are all in this game, winging it. Trying to be strategic, trying to make good moves, trying to win.

So the next time you have a day (or week or month) of "no's" or losses, find comfort in knowing that you can still get back up again and start all over again.

Fake it 'till you make it. Or, as I've recently come across, "faith it 'till you make it."

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

In Lieu of A Vacation...

Since I'll be Adjunct Professor-ing this Summer, Aiden and I won't be able to take a vacation vacation. But we will most likely take a little trip to Virginia or Myrtle Beach. (Check my Facebook status to weigh in on where we should go.) And we will take full advantage of all the local and amazing things that NYC has to offer.

First up: The New York Aquarium. Right here in Brooklyn. This weekend. June 7th and June 8th. In celebration of World's Ocean Day.

Photo credit: Julie Larsen
I'm particularly excited about this event because, believe it or not, Aiden has yet to visit the aquarium --even though it's right here in our borough -- which makes for an exciting first for him. He'll not only learn about marine species, but he'll also learn ways he can protect marine life. I'm sure it'll be fun for him to chat with professional divers about coral reefs. 

But there's more. 

Photo via NY Aquarium website
Molly and Gill from Nickelodeon's Bubble Guppies will be there to celebrate and teach. I mean, by the end of our visit, Aiden will learn how the world's ocean generates most of the oxygen we breathe, feeds us, regulates our climate, and cleans the water we drink. All while having fun with a TV fave!

There will also be prizes to be raffled off throughout the day, giveaways after children enjoy their meet and greet, and crafts (which will be made out of recycled goods).

Photo credit: Julie Larsen
This will be a really fun way to kick off our Summer adventures and I can't wait. If you're in the NYC city area, this is an event that'll be too good to miss. Visit the New York Aquarium website for more information.

See you there!

{Disclaimer: I am a member of the Wildlife Conservation Society's 2014 Zoo Ambassador program. All opinions expressed herein are my own.}

Saltbush at The New Victory Theater

Photo via Compagnia T.P.O.
If you're anything like me, you like finding activities that are not only fun and interactive, but also educational and one-of-a-kind. That's why I was happy to kick off my shoes (literally), put on my socks, and grab a bench to enjoy Saltbush, the dynamic show that's currently running at The New Victory Theater.

In this completely interactive show, everyone (and I mean everyone) is on stage. Even the audience. And everyone is dancing and acting. Especially the kids! The show features Aboriginal dancers performing on a Children's Cheering Carpet, a sensory landscape that allows them to interact with colorful projections on the floor, all while listening -- and being swayed and moved by -- traditional music.
Photo via Compagnia T.P.O.
The pre-show activities were really fun for Aiden. Not only did he have the opportunity to learn a bit about the show and draw Australian symbols, but he also used that time to play with other kids and decide who he was going to sit next to. Did I mention you can pretty much pick your own seats?! Since the show takes place on stage, there is bench-style seating along the perimeters of the Children's Cheering Carpet, which makes for a pretty intimate and cozy show.

Pre-show festivities 
The show itself helped Aiden and me to learn a thing or two about the origin of the show as well as Australian culture -- That "Saltbush" is the name of an aboriginal plant found in Australia. Or that "Saltbush" represents a commonality among the different nations of indigenous Australians. Or that the Aboriginal peoples' heritage consists of 50,000 years of invaluable survival techniques for the outback.

The show does all this while being fun, engaging, and interactive. Aiden loved that he could take part in the show. So much so that he cried -- literally -- when the show was over. We've been to New Victory several times this season and Aiden's well aware that this was a one-of-a-kind experience. "But... but... we won't ever get to sit on stage again!"

My thoughts exactly, Aiden. My thoughts exactly.

Saltbush will run until June 8th at The New Victory Theater in Times Square. The show is 50 minutes with no intermission and is best suited for children ages 5 and up. Tickets are $25 and worth every penny. Visit the website for more information or to purchase your tickets.

Have fun! (You're welcome.)

{Disclaimer: I was provided with tickets to the show in order to facilitate this review. All opinions expressed herein are my own.}


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