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...]

My Love Story

February has always been a meaningful month for me and my family not only because it is the "month of love" but also because it is Black History Month. It's significance for me lies in the fact that the evolution of black history is essentially what has allowed my husband and I to be able to openly share the love that we have for one another. Therefore, to shed a different sort of  light on a month that is often overtaken with roses and chocolates, I wanted to share my own special love story, with you. If you have been following my blog from the beginning, you know how my husband and I met. But what many of you don't know is that before my husband and I exchanged numbers and officially "hung out" for the first time,  we crossed paths 3 times within the period of 2 days. With the NYC population being as large as it is, and it's residents constantly on the go, this is an astonishingly rare occurrence. To me, this repeated crossing of paths has always been a sign that we were meant to meet, and when neither of us exchanged numbers on the first or second  meeting, someone from up above kept pulling strings! As things progressed in our relationship , we knew that we wanted to get married one day, so it was naturally time for us to meet each others families. To be honest, I didn't know how my family was going to react to me dating a black man, but I was confident that once they met him they would love him like I did. Chris came home with me to Pittsburgh for Christmas during … [Read more...]

How to Handle The Terrible Twos

As of lately, I've been feeling quite overwhelmed by a plague that took over my household a little while ago. This plague haunts my dreams and causes knots of panic to form in my stomach. I am told that is called...da...da..da.... "The Terrible Twos." And every single day, I've been asking myself: how to handle the terrible twos? Do I decided that it was time to regroup and come up with a plan. Most days, I feel like Branden's energy is wearing me out, as his screaming and crying over everything that doesn't go his way makes me want to scream and cry.  (I'm not afraid to admit that sometimes I do.) Most of our current conversations go something like this: Branden: “No!” Me: "Yes." Branden: "No!" Me: "You’re not allowed to tell me 'no'!" You get the picture…..and then there are those temper tantrums.... I'm beginning to wonder how my sweet little baby turned into this very cute but very feisty toddler with more opinions than me watching a runway show. In my house this typical "terrible twos" behavior started at one and a half and is continuing full force and with unrelenting gusto on Branden's part, now age three. How to Handle the Terrible Twos In a world where women are supposed to appear pulled together and in control, how's a mama to remain in control? Here's how to handle the terrible twos: Now that I'm trying to cope with Branden's most recent stage, I've come to the realization that this is the type of thing that women need to talk about so … [Read more...]

Teen Parenting Advice: The Real Deal

Every Mama has heroes in their life. Not every one is lucky enough to call one of them her sister, and her best friend. I hope that her teen parenting advice not only helps, but inspires all of you, as well. My sister Natalie, at 17,  gave birth to the most beautiful baby boy, Shane David.  Being a teen mother is not glamorous or easy by any means, but with lots of support and motivation, it is possible to take control of the situation and still achieve your goals in life. I can honestly say that, at 22, my sister is one of the bravest, strongest, and most beautiful mamanistas that I know. I remember exactly where I was the moment that I found out that my baby sister was having a baby of her own. I was worried for her, but so excited to have a new baby in the family! As for Natalie, her world was turning upside down. She was very involved in high school and had a huge circle of friends. She had a steady boyfriend at that point who luckily had a stable job and was ready to take on the responsibility of a family.  Even so, a baby at this point was going to change everything. While I was away at college, my nephew and godson, Shane, was born. My sister had a strong support system, as the two families pulled together to help her with baby Shane so that she could graduate high school.  They even supported her in getting her cosmetology license. (To this day, Natalie is my go-to person for everything fab and fashionable in the hair-styling industry!) Television shows … [Read more...]

How to Look Good on a Budget of $100-a-Month

As of lately, my fashion obsession has been taking a toll on my bank account.  When the newest designer lookbook arrives in my mailbox every month, it is difficult to not run out to the mall and charge EVERYTHING to my credit card.  The reality is, it’s hard on my bank account, shopping budget, and lifestyle when I am spending above my limit on designer duds. Should I be buying designer clothing season after season and be completely broke? Or can I look amazing on a budget and only spend $100 a month? Have you been wondering how to look good on a budget, too? After testing the method recently, I have found the answer to be YES! YES! YES! –I can look good on a budget! How to Look Good on a Budget Follow these tips and you too will notice a true difference in your closet - and your bank account! Shopping Budget Tip #1: Sample Sale It! If you haven’t yet discovered the magical land of sample sales, this MUST be your first stop. For those of you who are out of the loop, a sample sale is a designer sale that is done before these garments are put in designer stores or high end department stores, to test the products.  Even better - these items are ALL 30—80% off! You can easily stay within your monthly shopping budget and purchase an entire outfit. Not only are you getting a fabulous price when you purchase these items, you are ahead of the curve!  And thanks to modern technology, you don’t have to be living in LA or NYC in order to stumble upon one of these treasures. … [Read more...]

Size Matters?

  It's no secret that women in our society obsess over the number that appears on every tag in every piece of clothing that we own. How could we not? Our society puts pressure on us to make sure that the numbers on the scale are down, our cholesterol count is down, our daily calorie intake is down, and even our "real age" must be down.  Essentially, we are a society that is driven by numbers--low numbers, specifically. I fall victim to this pressure as well. I sometimes feel as if the number on my clothes defines me as a person, when in reality it does no such thing. If I am out shopping and I am able to fit into something that is smaller than my normal size, I feel over-joyed, and this excitement can last all week. When the number is up I feel depressed, and when it moves down, I am happy. It's really a terrible cycle and a ridiculous thing to worry about, especially since, in one given day trying on clothes in a dressing room, I fit perfectly into the following sizes ...4, 10, S, and L!  So how much importance should I be giving to this issue? I feel like I have read countless magazines that advise something along these lines... "Don't pay attention to the size that you are wearing; all that matters is how the article of clothing looks on your body. Sometimes buying a size up will make you look slimmer overall. It's better to buy the size that fits better, than buying a size based on the number that is too small." I'm sure that we have all read articles … [Read more...]

Fashion History 101: History of Little Black Dress

  The only letters that I need to mention are “L.B.D.” and almost every woman knows exactly what I am talking about. For those of you feeling out of the loop, L.B.D. is fashion lingo for “Little Black Dress.” This wardrobe essential is such a classic piece that most women have multiples hanging in their closet. Every designer has their own version of it, updated for each season. This single piece of fashion has revolutionized the fashion industry by evolving from a simple idea to something truly magnificent, so the history of little black dress is important for fashion lovers everywhere. For many of us, our L.B.D is our “go-to” piece for many different occasions and reflects our signature style. In order to really embrace this wonderful creation, we need to understand where it came from, how it has evolved, and the impact it has had on the fashion industry as a whole. History of Little Black Dress We owe the introduction of this masterpiece to none other than the infamous Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel. She was a woman ahead of her time and literally wrote the history of little black dress.  Even though fashion during WWI was going in a somewhat different direction, with skirts paired with button-down blouses ruling the day, along with military and oriental influences, Coco knew what women really wanted, and she made it work! The year was 1926, and women were in need of a simple, elegant, unfussy garment in their life that was devoid of prints, embroideries, and bright … [Read more...]