Facing “The Fear”

  Over the weekend my husband and I took on the huge challenge of cutting Branden's hair. To most parents this might seem like no big deal, but for us it is one of those moments that we dread. You see, my little man has a huge fear of getting his hair cut because he thinks that the freshly cut hair falling to the ground is spiders. We have done everything to help him understand that this just isn't so, but nonetheless, he freaks out uncontrollably each time it is hair cutting day. (You may notice in the picture with this post that there are some longer pieces that shouldn't be there, but his frame of mind indicated it was time to quit!) This experience had me thinking a lot about fears. Accepting them, overcoming them, and dealing with them. We all have fears, but as adults we don't typically handle them the same way that children do, as it's just not acceptable behavior. I'm sure that we could all sit with a pen and pencil, and list our 2 or 3 things that we are fear the most. For most people, this ranges from public speaking to flying, snakes, and even death. And, yes, spiders! Then, there are the daily worries that we experience and the lingering anxiety that I have come to define as "The Fear." What I mean by this is that moment of hesitation that keeps you from doing something that might actually be good for you, because you are over-thinking the situation. In this moment, you begin to doubt your abilities to complete this task successfully, and then you … [Read more...]

Making Necessary Edits

  As I was going through my closet this past weekend and making some necessary edits (so that I can add new magical pieces, of course), I realized that its important to edit our lives the way that we edit our closets. As we grow up and our lives evolve, it is important (and sometimes imperative) to make necessary edits to the way we are living, to the people we surround ourselves with, and to the daily choices that we are making in order to live a more fulfilled life. Therefore, I decided to break this process down into the phases that I go through whenever I am about to make changes to my existing wardrobe and allow it to be a metaphor for my life. Phase #1: The Evaluation During this phase, I examine my wardrobe and make a list of things that I know I want to get rid of. In our lives, this phase would be an evaluation period where you really look at your life, both the things that you love and the things that you want to change. Take some time to really think about what you want out of your life (after all, we are responsible for our own happiness) and what you want to achieve in the future. This could take some time to put things into perspective, so don't rush it. Some questions to consider: What can I purge from my life to make it better? Who/what is bringing me down in my life? What needs to be added to my life to make me feel more fulfilled? Phase #2: The Plan During this phase, I sit down and come up with a course of action in order … [Read more...]

Mama to the Rescue

  Ever since my sister and I had our babies, we have been faced with many different situations with our little men that have perplexed us beyond belief! Children get into all kinds of trouble on a daily basis, and when you are a first time mother, it can be rather intimidating when you realize that you don't know all the answers. (And even more intimidating when you realize how many questions there are!) Luckily for my sister and me, our own Mama is a registered nurse, and ALWAYS on speed dial! Our mother has been there through thick and thin, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, as our emergency go-to person for tons of questions. She surely has become our "Mama to the Rescue!" In addition to being a nurse, my Mama is a nurturing mother of 4, a caring grandmother, and one of my best friends. Due to her fashion sense and petite figure, she has been teasingly tagged with the nickname of "G.I.L.F." among our family. (Meaning: Grandma I'd Like to ...well, you know.) I'm sure many Mamas have someone that they trust on speed dial to answer important questions in their life, other than 911 and poison control of course, but for those of you who don't, I thought it would be helpful to share my Mama's Mommy advice with you all!  Below you will find my Q's and my Mama's A's. What are some of the funniest situations that we, your daughters, have called to ask you about over the years regarding "emergencies" with our babies? "There have been many stories to chuckle over, … [Read more...]

I’m Trapped!

  I'm not going to lie, being stuck inside with my overly exuberant three year old because of the cold weather has not been fun. It's one thing if you live in the suburbs and playing outside is, well..., an option. But, being stuck in a New York City apartment with a young child due to weather is not an ideal situation. I know, I can hear my own mother now, "But you have all those museums, the park, the aquarium..." The truth is, all those activities are easier said than done, and often require both my husband and I to be there. Not to mention planning and packing drinks, snacks, and traveling on the subway. Sometimes, its just easier to stay indoors. But then, staying indoors requires some creativity on my part to keep my little man occupied and out of trouble. I thought that I would share some of my favorite snow day activities with my fellow Mamas, just in case you are suffering from being trapped indoors as well. Movie Day- Whenever I plan an indoors movie day activity with my little guy, I try to make it as special as possible. We typically plan on screening a movie that isn't a part of our current collection so that he is excited, focused, and ready to sit still for two hours. I also try to plan a special treat to go with the movie as well. My little guy is a sucker for popcorn, but we have been trying it with a different twist by using these great popcorn seasonings from Kernel. Indoor Camping Adventure- We recently purchased Branden a great indoor … [Read more...]

The Potty Dance

  My independent, assertive, little man has decided to take a stand.  Against potty training, that is. I keep telling myself "He will do it whenever he is ready" and "Boys start potty training later than girls," but it's getting to a point of frustration for my husband and me. I'm trying not to stress over it, but I feel like we have been dancing around this subject since our son turned 3- the subject of the potty dance, specifically- and while my husband and I are dancing, Branden sits and observes. This thought keeps me pondering over the question: How do I engage my child in 'The Potty Dance'? After talking to many friends and family and reading many articles online, I'm learning that every child is potty trained differently, and at a different time during their toddler years. At this point, I feel like we have tried every trick in the book, but the only response I get from my little man is "I can't do it!" Of course, we explain to him over and over that he can do anything he puts his mind to, and that "can't" should not be a part of his vocabulary. But he's 3, so ya know, this concept goes a little over his head. Part of me is also worried that I am going to discourage him and make him feel bad about himself if I keep pressuring him to do something that he knows he's not ready to do. Overall, it's a very nerve racking, touchy subject for a parent. After scouring the Internet lately, I have come across a really great resource, the Baby Center. This … [Read more...]

Sharing is Caring?

  I was recently reading an article online that compared sharing among young children to sharing among adults. Sharing is something that we greatly insist upon and enforce between  children in our society, but is not expected of groups of adults the way it is with groups of children. The article went on to compare children sharing their toys with friends, or even with children they've just met, to what would happen if adults were expected to share their coveted electronics that keep them "connected" to everything on a very personal level. This struck me as a very good point, and it got me to thinking, I'm not sharing my Tory Burch Reva Flats, so why should Branden have to share his favorite toy? We always hear people stressing to their little ones "Be nice, you have to share." We put such a stress on sharing at a young age, yet most grow up to be possessive about our belongings anyway. So what is our purpose? Are we trying to prevent selfishness? Postpone it? Or...are we inadvertently CAUSING it? After sorting out my thoughts on this issue, I think that the main question can be stated very simply: Why do children have to share, but adults don't? I suppose that we could say that we enforce sharing among children to use as a tool to teach children certain values that will help guide them as they get older. Teaching them to share nicely will hopefully promote selflessness throughout their lifetime. It will help them learn to give to people in need and be able to … [Read more...]

Valentine’s Day – After the Final Rose

[My wonderful blog editor (after much coaxing on my part) has finally agreed to do a monthly guest blog post! I truly believe that behind every great writer is an even more magnificent editor. I am beyond enthusiastic to have her on board with me for this PROJECT. I hope that you enjoy this as much as I do! You can find more information about Deborah by clicking here.] As February winds down, we can finally put the month of “romance” to rest for another year. And, thank goodness, I can hear many of you saying, whether you are a wife, a mother, a girl friend, and/or a lover…any sort of woman who deals with a man in her life.  Or maybe you ARE a man, reading this wonderful blog about women who love fashion and motherhood. These unromantic sentiments may surprise those who posted on Facebook about their gorgeous Valentine’s flowers or their shiny new bling from their lover or their husband or their sexy new fling. But the truth is, there were many women out there who were not sighing on Valentine’s Day, but CRYING! I would even go so far as to say that more women cry on Valentine’s Day than on any other day of the year! And I am not just talking about women who are unattached on Valentines Day.  In fact, for many women, being alone on VDay is a far better scenario than having a significant other or even a brand new guy they’ve just started dating disappoint them on the big day. This can happen no matter how much a woman tries to ratchet down any expectations as she … [Read more...]

There Were Three in the Bed and the Little One Said….

  I think that every mother that I have talked to has a different opinion regarding this infamous subject, and rightfully so. Every family operates differently and is entitled to their own opinions on whether or not to share their bed with their baby. Either way, this is a recurring topic of conversation which often has my girlfriends and I reflecting on our answers to the question: Is it okay to bring the baby into the parent's bed at night? I tend to have very strong opinions regarding this subject that I have held firm since my Branden was a wee little one. I feel that the bed I share with my husband  is our own private place. Branden has his own bedroom with his own bed, and it is important in our house for him to be able to sleep there on his own. Even when he was first born, he slept separately from us in a crib in our bedroom. I just don't think that it is best for my husband and I to have a baby or small child in our bed for a number of reasons. I do understand though, that what works for me may not work for you, and that is the way it should be, because every family operates differently. With those differences in mind, I decided to do some research  so I could present some interesting facts and opinions about "co-sleeping" or "sleep-sharing" (everyone has a different name) for parents trying to decide whether to share their bed with their baby and/or toddler. The following are the main points that stood out to me. Get the "OK" Making the … [Read more...]

The Drive-Through War

  If you are the parent of a young child who is old enough to "express themselves", I think you can relate to my latest dilemma -the recurring battle I seem to be having with my little guy about fast food.  Lately, the most dreaded words I can hear coming out of Branden's mouth are "I want McDonald's!" Eeekkk!! It's hard enough dealing with the daily food temptations that are in my kitchen or in the grocery store aisles, without making myself vulnerable to calorie-laden fast food!  As soon as those dreaded words leave Branden's lips, it starts. The Drive-Through War, that is. This is the war that takes place inside of me between my stomach and my mind. Once these words are spoken, I know that nothing I could cook for Branden at home will satisfy his fast food craving (he takes after his Daddy!) and that, instead, I am going to have to deal with my worst eating nightmare...being stuck at a fast food restaurant during...Da..Da...Dahhh...Meal Time. I do know many of my own strengths and my weaknesses, but the temptations at a fast food joint bring out the worst in me!  Whenever it is near meal time, with my stomach growling and my guard down,  EVERYTHING on any menu seems like a great choice for satisfying hunger! The truth is, once I am really hungry, my will power is tested to the max! My mind says, "Don't you dare do it!" while my stomach says, "Feed me! Feed me!"  No wonder I get anxious every time I accompany my happy toddler through the door of a fast-food … [Read more...]

How To Stay On a Budget and Avoid Over-Shopping

  Shopping is a big part of my life. I think about it, dream about it, and live for it. Shopping for me is a past-time, a hobby, a special treat, and on some days - my cardio. Whether I am shopping for the newest season's accessory, tampons, or groceries, I do NOT (and, I REPEAT, DO NOT) ever start shopping without a very clear shopping plan mapped out. I always, always have a budget and a plan mapped out. So if you find yourself wondering how to stay on a budget, I'm sharing my shopping strategy with you. You may think that I am crazy, or you may think that I am a genius--either way, it's just not safe for me to walk into a mall, a grocery store, or a SOHO boutique without my head screwed on straight. How to Stay on a Budget 1. Do Your Research Before I go shopping, no matter what kind of shopping, I do my research ahead of time. I find out exactly what the hottest new items are, what's on sale, and overall what I am looking for and wanting to purchase. I cannot emphasize enough how important this is to do, so that you do not end up spending unnecessary money and buying things on impulse that you do not need. After I have done my research, I come up with a very detailed list of exactly what I am looking for during this shopping trip. Check out my post Wardrobe Staples for Every Woman to use as a great reference tool! My list typically includes the item, the store I can find it in, and the price that I either found online for the item or how much I am … [Read more...]