Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Big Apple Circus New Year's Eve Show... And A Giveaway!

Aiden and I have always been fans of The Big Apple Circus and we had the opportunity to check out their new show, METAMORPHOSIS on opening night! It was a Friday evening and it was the perfect end to the long and stressful week.

That night, we hung out under the Big Top at Lincoln Center's Damrosch Park, and ooh-ed and aah-ed while we watched performers from all over the globe come together to bring it! I'm talking flyers of the trapeze, razzle-dazzle of the rolla bolla, risky rhythms of the Risley team, camels, horses, elephants, humor, and lots of fun!

It was a real treat for us... and all other folks in the audience!

This week, the Big Apple Circus has yet another treat -- a New Year's Eve party!

This New Year's Eve, you and the littles can join the Big Apple Circus for a festive, one-of-a-kind event! The show will be filled with music, magic, and, most of all, memories! The show will begin at 9:30pm on Wednesday, December 31st and will end just in time for a countdown to the year 2015 led by Ringmaster, John Kennedy Kane!

At midnight, everyone will welcome in the New Year with a champagne or non-alcoholic sparkling cider toast and join the cast of circus performers in the ring for dancing with live music provided by Rob Slowik and the Big Apple Circus Band! Special New Year's Eve party hats, noise-makers, and goody bags will also be provided.

Sounds like fun, right?! This is perfect for children who are old enough to stay up until midnight and party like rockstars!

Visit the website to purchase your New Year's Eve tickets!

One (1) lucky Mommy Delicious reader will receive two (2) tickets to Thursday, January 8th performance at 6:30pm.

To enter: 
Head over to The Big Apple Circus website to find the answer to the following: The Big Apple Circus is a non-profit organization and does amazing work with several community programs. Name one of the community programs in the comments section below.

One (1) lucky winner will be chosen via random.org on Monday, January 5, 2015 at 5pm.

Good luck!

{Disclaimer: This post and giveaway are sponsored by The Big Apple Circus. All opinions expressed herein are my own. Thanks for supporting Mommy Delicious}

Friday, December 26, 2014

All Hail King Julien on Netflix... And One-Year Subscription to Netflix Giveaway!

Remember Madagascar?! Ever since Aiden was old enough to sing, "I like to move it, move it," it's been a favorite of his.

And now, we get to spend some of the holiday break tuning in to King Julien as he takes on the jungle's craziest adventures in the new comedy series, All Hail King Julien (which dropped it's first five episodes on Netflix a couple weeks back).

King Julien's got his loyal sidekicks Maurice and Mort, and a whole new cast of colorful animals (including the head of security, Clover, and the villainous Foosa). And now, no one can stop King Julien from ruling with an iron fist -- in the air -- "waving like he just don't care."

Not only can we spend some time tuning in to All Hail King Julien this holiday break, but we can also check out a couple other shows with King Julien's friends from Madagascar, like Madly Madagascar or Madagascar Penguins in a Christmas Caper.


Aiden and I will be heading out of town in a couple of days to do touristy things in another city because we love new experiences. And thanks to the lovely folks at Netflix, we'll be ringing in the new year with style and grace, streamers and balloons, and party hats and "2015" shades!

And to top it all off we'll be giving away a one-year subscription to Netflix streaming! Woot!

One (1) lucky Mommy Delicious reader will be winning a one-year subscription to Netflix streaming. Want to win?! Enter below!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

{Disclaimer: As a member of the Netflix Stream Team Blogger Ambassador Program, this post is sponsored by Netflix. Thank you for supporting Mommy Delicious.}

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

{Personal Style} Holiday Sparkle

 dress: Badgley Mischka via RTR | clutch, earrings, and faux fur stole: Aldo accessories | brooch: F21

What do you do when you need to get all dolled up for a black tie event around the holidays?!


You sparkle.

I mean, opportunities to wear a head-to-toe sequined gown just don't come around often! The Badgley Mischka gown featured a v-neck and twist-out front, a form-fitting and sexy silhouette, and a cut-out in the back for a trendy touch. 

I paired the gown with a faux fur stole (that I scored on sale!) and really liked the way it helped me to glam things up a bit.

I found two brooches from F21 for $1.00 each (another great find!) and used them to pin the cover-up in the perfect place! Please believe, I'll be rocking this stole for the rest of winter, because glamour!

I can't wait for the next opportunity to get all dressed up and feel like a Hollywood Starlet!

Happy Holidays lovelies! Stay stylish!

Monday, December 22, 2014

Alvin Ailey Family Matinee Performance Giveaway And The Importance of Exposing Children to Theater

AAADT in Alvin Ailey’s Revelations. AAADT's Photos by Andrew Eccles, Gert Krautbauer, and James R. Brantley.
"Mommy, is it time for Wade In The Water yet?" Aiden whispers to me as we sit in our seats at NY City Center waiting for the second number of the evening.

We always come here around this time of year for one thing: The Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. It's become part of our holiday tradition and Aiden's become very familiar with the timeless masterpiece, Revelations, one of the most respected ballets in the history of dance. (Seriously, it just gets better with time and I get something different out of it every time I see it.)

"Not yet. And shh... there's no talking right now." I whisper back to him.

The folks sitting in front of us turn around and chuckle at Aiden's question.

"So sorry." I whisper and shrug my shoulders.

"It's okay." One of them reply back. "Cute kid."

I was a freshman in college when I had my first experience with live theater. I was apart of the New York Times College Scholarship Program and the program organizers took a few of us who were going to college in NYC to a show. I remember being nervous and excited to go to the show... all at the same time. I remember changing my outfit several times before deciding on a dark denim jeans and a fitted top. I remember thinking that live theater was something only rich folks enjoyed.

When Aiden was born, I vowed to expose him to live theater at an early age. I mean, if we're gonna live in NYC, then we better live in NYC. He's seven and he and I have been going to the theater ever since he was old enough to sit still for a show. And we've been going to see Alvin Ailey for the past three years because the dancers move and groove like dance is in their soul, their spirit, and their very DNA.

It makes me feel, it makes me think, and it takes me to places beyond the four walls of the NY City Center. To say that it's always a powerful experience for me to see the Alvin Ailey dance company is an understatement. 

I love every... single... second... of an Ailey performance!

Even though the couple in front of us thinks Aiden's comment is cute, I want him to know that there's a time to whisper something in my ear, a time to clap, and a time for intermission.

And... there's also a time to stare in awe and feel the energy of the dancers on stage. During the explosive pieces Bad Blood and Episodes (both choreographed by Ulysses Dove), it's that time to stare in awe, get inspired to feel something, and sway in your seats as the dancers take you on a journey with them.

Sometimes people ask me for tips and tricks for taking a small child to the theater. And my one piece of advice to them is always the same: don't be afraid; just do it. And keep doing it until you get it "right," whatever that means.

Sometimes Aiden claps when it's not "time" to clap yet; sometimes he shifts a lot in his seat; sometimes his little legs move so much that they kick the chair in front of him and I'm constantly apologizing on his behalf; sometimes he needs to get up to go to the bathroom at the wrong time; sometimes he talks to me too loudly; heck, sometimes he talks to the performers on stage. Loudly. 

But, it's not about perfection. It's about exposure. It's about learning new things. It's about getting some culture.

If you're looking for a way to exposure your littles to live theater this holiday season, Alvin Ailey's Family Matinee series is a great way to do so! With a start time of 2pm and a question-and-answer session with Ailey's dancers afterwards, it's perfect for audiences of all ages! It's such a great way to enjoy the magic that is Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, and will make for the perfect holiday gift.

The 2014 season of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater will run through January 4, 2015 at NY City Center (131 West 55th Street). Tickets start at just $25, and the length of each show varies depending on the day/time.

AAADT’s Yannick Lebrun and Sarah
AAADT's photos by Andrew Eccles, Gert Krautbauer, and James R. Brantley.


Because it's the holiday season (and because I love Ailey -- and you! -- so much), I'm giving away a pair (2) of tickets to one of the Family Matinee performances to one lucky reader. The shows that are left for this season are as follows:
  1. Saturday, December 27th at 2pm -- Polish Pieces, Awassa Astrige/Ostrich, Episodes, Revelations
  2. Saturday, January 3rd at 2pm -- Ailey/Ellington: Night Creature, Pas de Duke, The River, Revelations (Aiden and I saw this show last year and it was simply spectacular. Read my review here.)
To enter:
  1. In order to enter the giveaway, leave a comment below saying who you'd take to the show with you. (Must leave your email address in order for me to contact you if you win!)
  2. For a second entry, follow Mommy Delicious on Instagram and leave a separate comment below saying you've done so. (Must also leave your Instagram handle in the comment so it can be verified.)
Because of the quick turnaround needed, this giveaway will end on Wednesday, December 24th at 12pm. 

Good luck! And Happy Holidays!

UPDATE: Winner selected. Congratulations to Gloria -- please look out for an email with further instructions. 

{Disclaimer: This post is a sponsored post. All opinions expressed herein are my own. Thanks so supporting Mommy Delicious.}

Friday, December 12, 2014

Joy to Players and Gamers -- $50 GameStop Gift Card Giveaway

"I'm the only kid in the world with just one video game!" 

This was Aiden's argument on why he should get more than one new video game for Christmas.

The Guy brought him a Nintendo 3DS for his birthday because, as he put it, "Little boys need video games!" and "He can't be the only kid without a video game!"

Okay. Whatevs. *Rolls eyes*

Aiden was definitely going to get one more video game for his Nintendo 3DS for Christmas, but now he's making the argument for at least two more games. And, according to him -- and The Guy -- I just won't be able to understand where they're coming from because I'm a girl. And, apparently, that makes me lame. 

So... eh. 

But I've got something for the both of them. I've been spending time browsing the GameStop Holiday Hub and it's been a great source for finding great deals, newest releases, and cool gift ideas for the players and the gamers out there. 

I mean, you can buy any two pre-owned products and get another pre-owned product for $20 or less for free. You can get the newest games for Nintendo 3DS, XBOX 360, or Playstation 4 for as little as $39.99. And... you can browse the ultimate gift finder in order to help you with your holiday shopping. 

I really like the GameStop Holiday Hub because it gave me a variety of options to help me find the perfect gift for Aiden. I was able to select the type of gift I was looking for, platform, age of the gamer I was looking to get a gift for, and price range. I loved that, after narrowing down my choices, the Holiday Hub led me to a list of fun and age-appropriate games... starting as low as $19.99.

So far, I've got my eyes on the Super Smash Bros, Sonic Lost World, or LEGO Marvel Super Heroes

Not sure which one I'm gonna pick for Aiden, but I'm sure he'll be happy with either one of them. And then he won't be the only kid with just one video game. (Nope. Now he'll be the only kid with just two video games.)

That'll show 'em who's lame! 

The lovely folks over at GameStop are graciously offering one (1) Mommy Delicious reader a $50 gift card for your holiday shopping needs. To enter, head on over to the GameStop Holiday Hub, browse around, and leave a comment below letting me know what game you'd purchase for the player and gamer in your life. 

For a second entry, "like" Mommy Delicious on Facebook. Leave a separate comment below confirming you've done so.

For a third entry, follow Mommy Delicious on Instagram. Leave a comment below confirming you've done so.

This giveaway will end on Friday, December 19th at 11:59pm EST, at which point one winner will be chosen via random.org. 

Good luck and happy shopping! 

UPDATE -- Winner announced! Congratulations to Mami2jcn! Please follow the instructions in the email sent to you!

{This is a sponsored post. All opinions expressed herein are my own. Thank you for supporting Mommy Delicious.}

Monday, December 8, 2014

Note to Self: You're Doing the Best That You Can

I had a meeting at Aiden's school this morning. I was five minutes late. Not a big deal — I know.

But, as I was in the cab telling the driving to take Central Park West because there's just too much darn traffic on Columbus Avenue so early in the morning, I couldn't help but to think how I've been either kicking ass at one thing or the other thing. But not with several things at the same time.

I've either been kicking ass at single motherhood. Keeping in contact with Aiden's teacher and Head of School, practicing phonics with him every night, making sure his homework assignments and projects are topnotch, showing up to his school in the middle of the day just because, attending meetings, taking him to cultural events during the weekends, the whole nine yards.

Or… I've been kicking ass at work. Meeting with parents of my scholars who need it the most, making sure all of my 418 students — and families — get the resources they need, creating and facilitating detailed presentations for my teachers, training them at a high level, observing them and giving them feedback on their teaching, making sure that they are the best teachers our students could have, being my principal's right-hand man, the whole nine yards.

Or… I've been kicking ass on this here blog. Writing posts, sharing them on Facebook and Twitter, being all engaging on social media and whatnot, responding to emails within 24-hours, sending pitches for the first time in a long time, making plans and seeing them through, the whole nine yards.

But… to kick ass in all three of these things? Consistently? For a prolonged amount of time?

It's been a struggle.

Here's the thing though: it's been a beautiful struggle and I know that I'm doing the best that I can with what I've been given. I work hard. And I'm tired sometimes. And I have a lot of things on my mind sometimes. (Rightfully so.) And things fall through the cracks sometimes.


This single mom thing is not supposed to be easy, but I'm learning that sometimes -- sometimes -- I have to be easier on myself. After all, I'm doing the best that I can.

And, you. When you're feeling overwhelmed with obligations and work and pressures and life and everything else in between, take a deep breath, be kinder to yourself, and remind yourself that you're doing the best you can.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

See the Glory and Learn the Story

An old girlfriend of mine was in town last week and came to visit me. In the midst of laughter and drumming up dope ideas, dreams, and our next steps, we started talking about love and life, work and relationships, single motherhood and what it means to create a village to help us raise our little boys.

I said something to her that I hadn't really said to anyone in a long time. Since this school year started, I've either been kicking ass at work or kicking ass at motherhood. But not both, consistently, and at the same time.

It's either been one or the other.

And I've come to terms with that. I've come to realize that that's what "balance" and "having it all" really means in my life.

You see, people see the success, but they don't really "get" what's behind it. They see the glory, but they don't know the story. They see the hits, but forget that there are so many misses. But that's all that I've wanted to do in this here place and space — share what goes on behind the scenes. Talk to you about the no's that I've received and the misses and the times that I've failed. Help you see what goes on behind the success. Because that's what makes my victories oh so sweet. 

Our entire conversation reminded me of this post. Behind the Success. Because so much goes on behind the success. 

Behind The Success 
Originally published on April 12, 2013

Just last week I was receiving congratulatory notes and virtual high-fives for climbing my career ladder and accepting a new job offer. I'm grateful for the nods and acknowledgements, and I'm grateful for the opportunity to advance.

I worked hard for it and I'm relishing in it. All of it.

But while I'm still saying "Thank you" to those who are congratulating me, I can't help but to think of all the hard work, efforts, mishaps, failures, and re-do's that's behind the success.

I can't help but to think of all the sacrifices and compromises and trade-offs that I had to make in order to achieve the success. 

I can't help but to think of all the times when I hired a babysitter to drop Aiden off to school and pick him up from school because I had an early morning meeting and had to stay late into the evening (how's that for "leaning in"?)

I can't help but to think of all the times I had a ton of work to do and the knot on the right side of my neck was proof that I was not happy about it. (Feeling stressed literally causes a pain in my neck.)

I can't help but to think of the times I just wanted to go home to rest on a Friday night (not spend time with friends, which, if you know me at all, is kind of a big deal). And all because I felt as though I'd just survived the longest. week. ever.

I can't help but to think about all the times I got a coffee on my way home from work just because I wanted to make sure that I had enough energy to give to my precious son that I'd given to my precious work all day.

I can't help but to think about all the times I fell asleep on the couch while trying to meet a deadline.

I can't help but to think of all the times that days, weeks, an entire month kicked my ass with the demands of work and motherhood and dreams and goals and... life.

I can't help but to think of all the times I pushed myself to get to this very place where I am right now. 

Was it easy?

No. Not at all.

Because behind the success are mountains to be climbed and battles to be won and problems to be solved and strongholds to be loosed from. Behind the success are tears and fears and doubts and... finding the strength and bravery to push pass those feelings. 

So it wasn't easy. Anything worth having is not going to come easy. But is it worth it?


Monday, December 1, 2014

{Personal Style} Lacy with A Touch of Edge

dress, jacket, belt: H&M | shoes: Aldo | scarf: Joe Fresh 

This Thanksgiving called for a little bit of daintiness and a little bit of edginess, a little bit of lace and a little bit of rocker-chic, a little bit of sweet and a little bit of badass.

And I pulled it off with a fit and flare white mini dress, faux leather moto jacket, and peep toe pumps. I added a leather embellished belt to jazz up the lace dress, and my red lippie was the perfect pop of color for the white and black outfit.

Ever since I scored this little mini dress a few weeks ago, I've been dying to wear it, but the time/occasion was never right and I thought I missed the opportunity to wear it once the temperatures started to drop.

But thick tights saved the day. And weather never really stopped this stylista anyways...

Hope you guys had a fabulous weekend and Thanksgiving holiday. Stay stylish!


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