Charity, Lifestyle, Parenting, Relationships, Travel

Holiday Tips for Entertaining

Advertisements
Lifestyle, Relationships

5 Things That IRK Me,From Petty To Important

Losing Wi-Fi signal or having no Wi-Fi signal: This is a gross example of an American Luxury that many take for granted and one that I am hostage to. When I find myself in areas where there is no signal or when visiting establishments where Wi-Fi is down or the service is not provided, I’m officially IRKED. I usually select my hotels during travel, based upon their Wi-Fi capabilities. This is because I use my phone and laptop so much in my line of business. The inconveniences of having accessibility to an established, strong and reliable Wi-Fi signal prohibits me from meeting deadlines with uploading time-sensitive material, and pose issues with social media posting in “real-time” when I am sometimes required to.

Misplacing or forgetting my cell phone: I am such a hostage to electronics that I have never been able to bring myself to participate in those “put your electronics” down for a day challenges. When I leave home without my cell phone, it’s the sarcastic equivalent to leaving without my brain. Yes, I can think without my cell phone, but I can’t stop thinking about my cell phone when I do not have it. Make sense? LOL. I guess I can call this one, a self-inflicted IRK. As I have been known to B-Line back to the house to get it or simply not leave home until I find it. Obviously, this does not apply to emergencies where leaving the phone would be necessary.

Assumptions: I understand that some assumptions can be argued as reasonable assumptions. While some are reasonable, some assumptions are mere assumptions, based on someone’s lack of information, no thought given to and no research conducted opinion. On a personal note, what IRKS me most about assumptions, are when people assume that every time I write about a love interest, via poetry or a blog post/article etc., as if I’m writing a love letter about my ex-husband. It would be a reasonable assumption if it was a recent divorce or if the relationship for me, had ever scratched the surface of love. However, it’s not and it didn’t and more importantly, I haven’t been married to my first husband in over 10 years ago. (This is where I pause to say that based on that last line, it would be reasonable for you to conclude that I have remarried since then.) Wouldn’t be right-but it would at least be reasonable.

For someone to assume that I’d be writing about him, behooves me. Especially since I have never written him a love letter, not in real life or in literary form nor have I written a piece which portrayed him as the love of my life or a love interest.

However, in the assumers’ defense, I have managed to keep that part of my life a mystery; making it impossible for them to know who or what is making me happy or sad these days. So, I’ll try not to be as IRKED about their assumption. -)

When people don’t read – I recently came upon a quote: “I would never read a book if it were possible for me to talk half an hour with the man who wrote it.” – Woodrow Wilson with that, I believe that this is the only time I would agree that you should table a book. That is because the exchange could produce greater impact, in the opportunity to speak directly to the source and it’s one that should always be embraced. However, when this is not the case and the book is all that you have available, you should read all the contents within, to gain insight and draw a more accurate conclusion if you want to know about the subject. I guess what IRKS me about people who don’t read, is not that they chose not to be readers but it’s how much they chime in on things that they haven’t read or have partially read. Never partially read anything.

Working with an impossible co-parent: This is one that if you have read anything about my life, you know is a constant battle which embeds the thorn in my side. No matter how upright I try to be and what I do on the side of right to remedy this ailing relationship I have with my son’s father- he always leads me back to being IRKED. Arguably, he knows that it IRKS me to not allow me access to my child, so he continues to do it in effort to keep me IRKED. It works sometimes. Some days I handle it much better than other days. Some days I let it roll off my back, I turn the other cheek and I ignore… However, there are those days that I ask myself, WTF and I just want to scream: “Why would a man do this to his child!” What is his problem and why won’t someone tell him to stop.

I share all the above things because I truly do have a desire to bring my readers into my home, so that they can better acquaint themselves with who I am as an individual, if they are truly interested in knowing me. While I cannot personally invite the world into a physical place to dine in champagne and celebratory occasions alongside my closest family members and life-long friends- I consider my readers a part of my extended family. Knowing a person, is knowing what makes them happy and sad, what causes them to snap, what makes them tick and what irks them. While there are personal matters which I feel a person should always keep under wraps, such as: family affairs and issues related to children, beyond freely sharing a glimpse into what life is like raising children; for the most past, none of the rest is a secret and it’s not off limits to my extended-family of readers. I would much rather them know, than to assume. Ask me anything….

Originally Posted on Mom Bloggers Club

Lifestyle, Parenting, Relationships, Travel

Tis the season! Here’s Your At Home Guide To Creating Holiday Flare And Memories At Home This Christmas

Tis the season! Here’s Your At Home Guide To Creating Holiday Flare And Memories At Home This Christmas

There was this song that used to come on, seemingly at the same time each year where I said, “Oh yea, it’s Christmas time.” Nope, it wasn’t Jingle Bells. Although I would love to go back to a time when things were simple. Even though things have changed from age 10 to 40, I still have the same holiday spirit when the end of the year approaches. I was thinking to myself that there might be a song that reminds you of when Christmas is coming also, right?

For me, it was “What do the Lonely Do, at Christmas Time.” Now before you laugh, here’s something to really laugh about… I was only in High School then. What in the Deck The Halls, could I have possibly known about that song? Nothing! That’s the point. Christmas is that time of the year where everyone gets excited about something. We look forward to spending time with family and friends when the season approaches.

We are reminded that it’s right around the corner when we hear songs, see traditional movies and notice that department and retail stores are displaying ornaments as such. We create memories around those moments, as they begin to build when the time draws near. We all have a song, for whatever reason we attach it to Christmas. We have a ritual, a tradition, a something that gets us in the spirit of Christmas. If you don’t, I am here to tell you how to do it in a fun and exciting way!

Break Out The Onesie: Yes, it’s revenge of the Onesies. You can never get tired of an adult Onesie. I have seen Holiday themed Onesies such as: Reindeers, Elves, Frosty the Snowman, Mrs. Clause and Santa, as well as decorative in holiday colors: Red and White, Red and Green, or even an extra-large Christmas gift or Christmas Tree. These make great for holiday photos around the Christmas Tree or Fireplace. If you’re looking for something less costume like and more fashionable, there are also fleece onesies that simply have a printed assortment of holiday symbols. Do something fun, as a family and get matching onesies, or couple onesies.

Throw on Some Holiday Music: Have a dance off or play musical chairs using Christmas music. This is a no cost, all fun game that everyone can participate in, from Grandma to Grandpa, the kids and teenagers if you make it fun and include prizes for the winner. It’s also a way to enjoy the music in a new setting rather than just hearing it on the radio all day long and becoming eternally tired of ever hearing another Christmas jingle. Look at it as recycling or revamping your holiday in breathing the life back into the music by giving it a new assignment. Don’t forget the Christmas Caroling and trimming the tree! Nothing goes better with decorating the home and tree, while listening to, “This Christmas” Karaoke Anyone??

Crank Up the Oven: Cookies, Cupcakes, Scones, Cakes, Pies, Cobbler…. Just bake something. Food is the universal language of love and comfort. It fills the house with an aroma that brings everyone to the kitchen around the kitchen table or nestled together watching movies in the living room or around the fireplace roasting marsh-mellows. Don’t have a fireplace? No worries. Create a DIY Firepit in the backyard. It doesn’t have to be super large. Something small and quaint with just enough fire for the marsh-mellows accomplishes the point of just bring everyone together for that time.

Holiday Drinks: I would never leave a good drink out of a celebration. This too, is something that the kids can get involved in, apart from the adults. So, while the adults are settling in with a Jack Frost Cocktail, virgin-style or with a little alcohol. I have found some amazing recipes for a plethora of holiday/fall/winter drinks to serve at your gathering at the house between family and friend. There are also many recipes for creative ideas in composing a punch for the kids and non-alcohol drinkers. Get super creative and family and friends form a team, in which they create a recipe from scratch and share for first, second and third place prize for the best Holiday Signature Cocktail.

Ugly Christmas Sweater Party: Ugly Sweater Parties and Contest are still winning. Who doesn’t own an ugly sweater that they would love to recycle and find its highest and best use, where a prize could be attached to that awful sweater your mom, dad, sister or significant other bought you many years ago. It’s probably in the box in the attic or in the garage next to the stuff you keep saying that you need to throw out, giveaway or sell to a consignment store. Which brings me to my next point: If you do not have an ugly sweater, check out the consignments stores in your area. I am positive that you will find one there. Even department stores have begun to sell them brand new, and with a mess of material that will help you bring home the ultimate prize.

Themed Dirty Santa: So, what’s the difference between a Dirty Santa Holiday party and a Themes Dirty Santa/ You said it! One is themed…. It is when going in to the party, you announce to your family and friends a decided upon theme, such as (Holiday Beauty Essentials, Things that make you Cringe, Food under $5, Bath and Body Works, A Victoria Secret Party, Gadgets and Electronics, Hats and Gloves, Socks and Scarves… etc. You get it? So, pick one or two, depending on how large your party or how many participants and go from there. When your participating guest arrive, they can draw a name from the hat and that’s whom they give their gift to. Or, have your guest pull names from a hat. Whomever name is pulled, gets to choose whichever gift from under the tree they would like. All gifts should obviously be wrapped.

Originally Posted on MomBloggersClub.com

Lifestyle, Parenting

What I Remember Most At Christmas Time

What I remember most at Christmas Time

Family: Long before we came to include Secret Santa, Dirty Santa and Ugly Christmas Sweater parties in our Holiday Tradition, we were just a family of five, who celebrated Christmas Eve together. There was no sign of a gift in sight. We believed in Santa, we tried to stay awake to catch him coming down the chimney and we even tried to sneak a peek to see who’s “really” bringing us the toys we asked for. Mom and dad carried on through the evening as if it were a regular night. And it was, if watching TV and playing games together is still a cool thing to do. However, my sisters and I would awake to find the living room floor covered with a mountain of toys. Granted there were a few there prior to going to sleep, in which we’d tear the corners open, to find out what it was. I remember waking up in awe! Like WOW! Santa really did come…. Because there was no explanation as to how my parents went out to get all this stuff in the middle of the night, wrap it without waking us up, and leave it all there without us knowing. Once you become a parent, you see just how this happens.

Friends: This is when Playing Secret Santa came into the fold, along with Ugly Christmas Sweater Parties. In Middle School, High School and College as well as Post College when entering the workforce, Christmas parties were the thing to throw. Whether it was a house party where punch was on tap, or a company party where we were all required to participate in the holiday festivities (if you celebrated Christmas of course) I remember winning one year at my company Christmas party and after that, I went into high gear and awaited the next opportunity to throw on something ugly. Secret Santa and Dirty Santa was an inexpensive way for everyone to partake in the gift giving process and I have always thought that to be a wonderful inclusion at any party. Celebrating with friends and co-workers aside from family, but in addition to knowing the celebration would continue once you made it home was double and sometimes triple the pleasure!

Food/Drinks: Sneaking a taste of Eggnog! Yup. If you didn’t do it, that’s ok – it’s something I remember as a child and it was the best way for us to find out that we didn’t want to drink anymore eggnog, especially the kind with Jack Daniels in it! YUKK! My dad loves it though and it’s a Holiday Classic drink. As we got older, we learned to mix a few drinks of our own, if you know what I mean. However, still to this day, around this time I smell the spices of that Eggnog. It is a pleasant reminder that Christmas is here. It brings on the nostalgic moments of sitting around the tree, unwrapping gifts and oh, how I love to go down memory lane. While food is always in plethora during the Holidays and especially Christmas time, it has become necessary for me to remember how much weigh I will gain. Therefore, we now take the diet challenge over the summer, because we all remember the food that this time will bring!

Fun/Entertainment: Hanging the Mistletoe, Trimming the tree, decorating the house, hanging the Christmas Stockings, hanging Christmas lights…. Just a few things that I remember most at Christmas time. Not because I loved to do it, but because we had to do it. In fact, we hated hanging the lights and decorating the tree. I cannot remember when we got to the point that we absolutely wanted no parts in doing this. But my dad was serious about his decorations. He was that house on the street who had the tree and lights up the day after Thanksgiving and made it the most dreadful part for us. I am sure that at one point in our youth we loved it. I look forward to doing a tree these days, but I am not too much for the lights. Just takes too much. However, it’s something that I would take pride in doing with my own child. So, Dad…. I get it. I understand it now. Thanks to you and mom for making Christmas one of the most memorable and valued times of the year.

Originally Shared On CafeMom.com

Uncategorized

What I Decided To Wear On My 40th Birthday and Where I Decided To Shop For the Perfect Costume

I know… I know. Last year, I said I was done. I said that I was going to put all this costume stuff to rest, after I dressed up as the Nutcracker, for my son’s Christmas lunch and I was the only parent to do so. I thought I put the nail in the coffin when I did it, as I thought to myself, it may be time to close that book.

However, my son’s response to the DIY costume was priceless. Together, in the past, we have also done Captain America, American Dream, Spider- Man/Woman, Black Widow, Toothless and more. But last year, was the first year that I could explore a more sexy-adult costume, for a Halloween- themed party, due to my son spending Halloween with his dad. I must say, dipping my feet in that pond was something new. Being able to put on a costume and feel sexy, at the same time morph into an altered ego, Sasha and have some adult drinks without all the responsibilities was like getting a mid-day nap.  Who says moms still can’t be cute? Not I. Plus, this year was the big 40 for me and there was no way that I would do it without a costume.

While I did miss having our usual Halloween together as mom and son, dividing the time wasn’t so bad after-all. Last year’s costume choices were the Sexy Swashbuckler, which is still a hit; along with the Sexy Viking Deluxe Costume, which my friends are still referencing, to this day. So why put it to rest? Nah, can’t do.

So, what about this year? In my opinion, the Biggest-Best female to hit the screen this year, was Wonder Woman! So, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that every wonder woman and child alike, may want to emulate this beautiful warrior princess on Halloween. It wasn’t alarming to find out that they sold out during the pre-sale! However, there are more and there’s still time to order. Because there are so many choices, you will never go without, when making your selection. I was able to find two other costumes, which fit the bill perfectly!

I’m slightly biased about the Queen of Hearts, as I am still a fan of cosplay, over the top costumes and getting into character. When I search for my costumes, I look for authenticity in the fabric, the vibrancy in colors and the overall, realistic look. I pay attention to stitching, threading, linings, quality of material and durability. That’s the number one reason why I have chosen yandy.com to suit my needs when it comes to holiday themed parties, birthday themed, Halloween and other events tailored around “dressing the part”

How befitting was it to dress as a Royal Story Book Queen, and an Enchanting Queen of Hearts on my 40th Birthday, in September! This is what I love about costumes. While there are designated times of the year, such as: Halloween, when one may find themselves dressed as a Mad Hatter; there are no rules on when you can throw a bash, where you have a themed party, which include playing dress up. There are no rules in the bedroom either, on who and what you can be, on any night of the year. (hint hint)

Feeling Royal? Feeling like a Queen? Why not dress the part? These are my two top recommendations for this Halloween.

The Enchanting Queen of Hearts Costume is priced at $169.00

Limited Edition found exclusively at Yandy!

“This gorgeous Queen of Hearts costume set features an opulent black halter gown with white straps, white quilted satin collar with black trim, white ruffled satin front trim that accentuates your curves, red heart front detail, red skirt panels, long black satin back skirt and white quilted satin trim details and crown included. (Petticoat not included.) Made in the USA.” (Yandy.com)

The Royal Story Book Queen Costume is priced at $44.95

“Contemplate whether it’s better to be feared or loved in this Royal Storybook Queen costume featuring a burgundy floor length gown with long draping sleeves, a white faux fur trim with a black polka dot design, a deep boat neckline with matching faux fur lining, gold bodice embroidery, gold skirt embroidery, a white skirt underlay, an attached pearl necklace, and a gold crown with faux metal detailing. (Scepter not included).”

Happy 40th to me…Yes, I am still celebrating

Yandy.com doesn’t just sell costumes. It’s a one-stop-shop for undergarments, such as Panties, Bras, and Teddies, Camisoles, Corsets, Pajamas and Sleepwear, Gowns as well as Rompers, Maxi- Dresses, Accessories, Shoes, Activewear and Swimwear. Plus-Sizes are available and there’s always something good going on, under the Last Chance tab. So, whether you are bringing sexy back or you just want to amaze yourself for a chance.

Lifestyle, Relationships, Uncategorized

Has your girl been dropping subtle hints about date night? Here are some suggestions to help prevent a fight

Image result for dATE NIGHT

Has your girl been dropping subtle hints about date night? Here’s what you need to know, to prevent a fight.

1. Date nights with your partner are important to the relationship. It doesn’t matter if you’re courting someone and looking for it to blossom into something more, or if it’s your wife of many years, your girlfriend of a few months. All women want date night.

2. Date nights aren’t exclusive to one idea. Meaning, dinner and a movie aren’t the only two choices for spending time with your partner. Change it up- go to a concert or a play, make it a night at the museum, or a dessert bar instead of a 6-course meal.

3. Date nights are your opportunity to get the fire burning, keep the fire burning, or both; under the discussion of intimacy in the relationship. Intimacy isn’t just sex. Intimacy extends in mental stimulation, touching, holding hands, being affectionate and paying attention to your partners emotional needs.

Image result for dATE NIGHT

4. Try to make your date night happen, with as few distractions as possible. I realize if you’re on call as a medical profession, you may need to keep the pager on your hip. And I realize emergencies happen, where the sitter interrupts for instructions. Aside from emergencies, turn the phone on silent, put it in your purse, get off social media, put down the emails for this special evening with your partner.

5. Date night does not have to be on the weekend: Of course, it depends on schedules. Some couples take advantage of mid-week opportunities to steal away for a few hours and enjoy one another’s company. If you are looking at weekdays or weekend as an impossible solution, you’re only using one side of your brain. Date night is whatever day you make it and the schedule for it can change weekly/monthly. Just make sure it happens.

Image result for dATE NIGHT

6. Date night does not have to entail a fancy evening, which would cost north of$200.00. Especially if you are doing date night once a week, like most women have expressed they want it. It is not always necessary to roll with a white linen table cloth evening, which would also require dressing the part. Date night can consist of fashionable denim apparel or whatever you make it. BBQ, Concert, Special Event, Chipotle, Chili’s or even an exclusive bar for drinks and appetizers.

7. On very rare occasions, should you double date on date night with your significant other. Some couples want the luxury of having that private moment to discuss private affairs, as well as keep the conversation going, on things that matter to them, when it comes to strengthening the relationship. However, some couples consider the double date, because it kills two birds with one stone, when allowing them to spend time with their friends.

8. Do not take your parents on date night. On rare occasions, couples have that kind of relationship with the in-laws. However, in a lot of cases, they don’t. Even if they do, when parents are present, it somewhat limits the topics of discussions, as you may want to maintain privacy in the relationship, as it pertains to intimate affairs, including: finances, health, children, family, sex-life. Then again, some people value the advice they get from their parents. So, use discretion.

Image result for dATE NIGHT

9. Date night is that private moment, where you keep the love alive. It’s dating each other, as you did when you met. Its blowing life into the expression: What you did to get her, you will have to do to keep her. It keeps things fresh. It makes her feel like she’s still wanted and desired, and still worthy of your time to be taken out on a meaningful date, where you are trying to woe ad impress her.

10. If there are serious matters that need to be discussed regarding finances, please do not absorb the entire date time in doing do. Speak on it, get to an understanding and move on, with an understanding. If you can’t, then carve out some time for later in the week, or the next day to discuss if it must be done in private, away from the kids.

Image result for COOKING WITH WIFE

Note: Statistically, one of the number one reasons that marriages end in divorce, is over finances. I remember going out to eat many moons ago, with my boyfriend in college. I remember overhearing the older couple in the booth next to us, argue about finances and who pays for what… so on and so on. They appeared to be around their early 40’s. It was funny to us, at the same time, but it was a glimpse of what life could easily become if these things as such, were not discussed. We vowed that if we were to stay together, we would not do this. We would give attention to the subject and be financially conscious. At the end of the day, we would not find ourselves in a booth at Red Lobster, arguing about who will pay the bill.

All that to say, date night could also be spent in the privacy of your own home, without spending much at all. Be creative. Make it intimate. Keep it fun. A nicely prepared meal, done together, can create the atmosphere for the perfect date; which still ignite/reignite the fire. In other words, don’t break the bank and cause the ship to sank’.

Lifestyle, Relationships, Uncategorized

Can We Keep It All The Way Real For Just A Second? Here are some dating deal breakers

Can we keep it all the way real for just a second? Here are some Dating deal breakers – I am not trying to reinvent the will with this one. I am simply trying to reiterate it, as you have heard it all before. Perhaps if not all on this list, you can agree with at least 3. These are things we notice about a person at first sight.  It’s more accurate to say that we cannot get to the inner beauty of a person, when we cannot see past certain things, such as: the bad breath and body odor.

dating1

It has nothing to be with being vain or shallow. It’s reality. You can be drop dead gorgeous, or handsome as hell, and be dismissed, due to an unpleasant smell. Even when you develop a relationship over the phone, where you establish that the relationship is worth pursuing… once you meet, these things can be a major turn off.

An unhealthy mouth, causes bad breath: It is necessary to brush your teeth after every meal, to maintain a clean mouth and fresh breath. Morning breath is awful enough, and no one should have to smell it at 2pm in the afternoon. Brushing, flossing and keeping those dental appointments for cleaning, are the way. There is nothing cute about built up plaque between the teeth, yellow-stained teeth or cavities. I do know a few people who face challenges with obtaining affordable dental insurance, and are uninsured altogether, who may not be able to repair damaged teeth, for now. However, fresh breath is something that can be maintained in the process and it makes all the difference.

man

Special groomingMen, when you have facial hair, such as: Beards, Mustache, Goat-Tee, or when chose to rock braids, dreads, afros, long hair etc., you need to wash it. Keep it washed, conditioned and moisturized. It needs to smell good and look good. It needs to be manicured and landscaped. You need to keep it trimmed, lined and shaped. You look more presentable that way, and you look more professional. You look like you care about yourself and the way you look.

No Musty Zone: Have you ever given someone a hug, and when you pulled away, you felt as though their smell came back with you and is now eternally soiled in your cashmere sweater? Not cool! Or when you go in for a close hug, and your nose is buried in his chest, right next to the curry entree in their underarm? Your underarm should not smell like dinner at Chula’s! There are many products available, which address skin and fragrance sensitivities, as well as products which are natural and organic, non-tested on animals, etc., which would suit your needs. There are many solutions to address body smells even as it relates to your PH Levels/Pheromones. No-Excuse for mustiness. I understand and have a profound respect for cultural differences. It goes without saying, I am speaking of American tradition, with regards to wearing deodorant under the arms.

smell

Personal Hygiene and Self Care for men and women both: An unpleasant smell can be a total turn off and a complete deal breaker. Women, it is just as imperative that you give close attention to your personal hygiene and care in the southern region, as it is for men.

I have listened to my male besties express that they could not carry on a relationship with the female, because of the smell of her southern region. It’s not something that I am trying to make you self- conscious about- it’s something I am trying to make you aware of and attentive to. Be very selfish, when it comes to grooming yourself and tending to hygienic care. It doesn’t matter how long it takes you in the bathroom, tub or shower, you will feel better, smell better and he/she will show appreciation when they see the appreciation that you show yourself.

next level

Next level: The following are just a few more things that have created barriers in relationships, and have been the catalyst in inability to move forward. In matter of opinion, it will vary from person to person, on what is important to the individual, when dating up and toward the next level, in the relationship.

Cheap: More than just being economically savvy and financially conscious, there’s rock bottom called cheap. Cheap is someone who refuses to spend money, even on the necessities. Cheap, is a man who would suggest Netflix and chill, not because it’s romantic, or he doesn’t have the money; but because he doesn’t want to spend $32.00 for movie and snacks at the theatre.

Gold Digger: Yes! Men can be Gold Diggers too. There are more men today, than I have ever seen before, who look for a woman who has the fancy house, the fancy car, the lucrative career, money in the bank and money to blow. He’s specifically looking for someone to take care of him and he has no qualms about riding her coattail through life. He wants her to pay for dinner, movies, drinks, trips, activities and his lifestyle in some cases.

cut

A man who flirts with other women while out on a date– Boy, if you don’t get out of here. This is so disrespectful. When a man is out on a date with you, but he can’t keep his eyes and even hands to himself. He’d ask for another girls phone number, right in your face. No-No.

A lazy man: A man who just sits on his ass. He doesn’t serve any purpose for existing. He doesn’t work, he doesn’t take out trash, he doesn’t cook. He doesn’t do the yard, he makes messes and he doesn’t clean behind himself. He doesn’t contribute. He just eats and sleeps. He’s always tired and complaining, in order to get out of anything that needs to be done! He is a deal breaker.