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Monday, October 20, 2014

A Night That Inspired with C.O.O.K.I.E. Cocktails and ChicBusyMom

Moderator Renae Bluitt and Mommy Blogger Candace Montgomery
via The CookieLife
There's something about being in the presence of creatives that gets your own creative juices flowing, pair that with some ambitious and fierce women and you have the power to run the WORLD! Last Thursday a gorgeous room of female entrepreneurs got together at the newly improved 40/40 Club in the Flatiron District to brainstorm and get tips on ways to get your brand out of your head and into existence SERVING. 

The night's open forum was moderated by the fab Renae Bluitt of In Her Shoes who interviewed one of my favorite mommy bloggers (and namesake ;-)) Candace Montgomery of ChicBusyMom. On top of being a mommy blogger, Candace is of course a mom of 3, a wife, AND the Event Marketing Director of ESSENCE Magazine, you might remember my time with the ESSENCEMoms group a little while back. The night was filled with gems on how to manage life and get your business and brand off the ground.

The one thing that stuck out for me was Candace's first response to Renae's question of how exactly does she balance it all to which she responded, 
"There is no balance!" 
THANK YOU!! You know how long it took me to be ok with not having everything 100% perfect?? So to hear that I'm not alone in this thought is so freeing. The gem in this was her advice, wherever you are give 110% because something is always going to feel cheated. 

The other million dollar piece of advice she gave was to have a plan. Make a 6 month plan for your blog, your business, your brand and as you go check back in with this plan and make sure you're doing what you said you would do and you are where you wanted to be. Candace advised us to own the voice of our blogs and treat them all like a business because there is a lane for all of us who give this thing our full 100%.

I am guilty of not having much a long term plan for this blog of mine more treating it as a way to chronicle raising this son of mine but more and more I am learning that the stories I share as his mom, raising a son in Brooklyn, in my hometown, doing this work on my own, while still living my own dreams out is meaningful and somewhat encouraging and has built relationships on and offline, so there is value in this space. This night helped me see it by one: surrounding myself with the creatives in the room from the fitness blogger, to the fashionistas, to the mommy bloggers and soaking up that energy and then hearing from some bloggers that they've followed me for a while and are loving hearing about what's going on with Chunks and me. So it's time to put pen to paper and consider the end game: Where exactly is New York State of Mom going?

I'm grateful for the night with ladies and all the encouragement and good vibes that filled that room. It really was a great night!

 Do you have a long term goal for you blog? What steps do you use to make sure you're staying on track with those goals?

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Project 52FIVE

You can't hear it but it's the face of a ROAR! To say he's a bit dinosaur obsessed is a COMPLETE understatement lol 

Everyone he meets gets a lesson on the latest dinosaur discovery and his favorite changes every week. 

This week it's the Spinosaurus! Thank God, you know how embarrassing it is to have your 5 year old breeze through some of those names while you fumble all over them, yea VERY!

Happy Saturday! 


If you know anything about me you know I have a SERIOUS love for my borough. My family always laughs when I'm asked where I'm from and I never say New York- I'm from Brooklyn! The culture, the grit, the homey feeling, the vibe, the food, and just everything about anyone who grew up here-good and bad. I'm planning out a gallery wall and was searching for a print that represented NY just right but then found a really cute project on one of my favorite photographer's blog and knew I'd have to do it for Brooklyn.

I loved the idea of using glittery paper but I'm not too much of a gold girl so I headed to Michael's and found this gorgeous bluish-silver glitter scrapbook paper and a shadow box to frame it all in. So the supplies you would need are: a frame that best fits your space, a background form (you can easily use a 12 x 12 scrapbook paper or in my case the backing of the frame), a sheet of glitter paper, an outline of your hometown, cute pins, a pencil, a pair of scissors, and tacky glue.

So first thing, I just googled <> and just printed it out and cut the shape on regular printer paper. When the outline was just right, I traced it on the back of the glitter paper and took my time cutting that out next.

::MOM NOTE:: I loved that the outline I found was a breakdown of all of Brooklyn's neighborhoods so I could show Chunks where ours was and point out where we've been and where some of our friends live on a mini map, I think I might do something else with it for his space.

I found these amazing jeweled push pins on Etsy a while back when I made a cork-board for my desk and thought they would fit this project perfectly because a) they're my favorite color, b) now that I had a shadow box the 3-D effect would pop even better! WIN! :-) We used the map to find our neighborhood and the pin marks the spot.

I used the tacky glue to stick it all on the frame's backboard, once that is dry I popped it in the frame and I have to say I LOVE it! Whenever we move I can see adding smaller pins to mark it too, but since this is the neighborhood I grew up in and Chunks is getting his start as a Brooklyn boy here it's our home base.

Now to search Pinterest for a layout I'll love.

Monday, September 29, 2014


LOVING: Sooooo did y'all catch Shonda-day?!? Greys, Scandal, AND How to Get Away with Murder are ALL hits! and now Thursdays seem to far away. Shonda had a dream of taking over tv and she is doing a great job at making it happen and making it EPIC! Love it!

WORKING ON: Chunks's penmanship. So far so good in the first grade but his writing can use so work and some straightening lol something about keeping those letters on the line is just so hard for the kid. Anyway, his teacher wants him to be able to write at the pace of the other kids, so I've printed out some handwriting worksheets and we're working on it. Any tips are greatly appreciated!

LISTENING TO: I think I've told y'all already, EVERY major milestone in my adult life had a Jay Z soundtrack (weird I know) and I've been working really hard and watching Jay and Bey perform this on tour made me fall in love with Young Forever all over again.

WANTING: Ok my photog friends, DON'T READ THIS ONE! I don't have a real camera bag, yet. ::covers face:: When I take Cease out and about he's either around my neck or ::gasp:: wrapped in my bag. I know, I know, I know. I'm very protective of all that expensive glass so HOW could I just be tossing him in my Neverful?? I've been debating between two Kelly Moore bags and I finally picked one.

WORKING ON: A photo wall. I have this bare wall in my room that bugs me. I feel like some of my favorite shots belong on display, now to pick some chic frames and layout I'm not going to be sick of in a few months.

Have a HAPPY MONDAY! Here's to a quick week and another great Thursday~

Sunday, September 21, 2014

It Was All A Dream...Stream of Consciousness

Last night I met my daughter...

She has my eyes and Chunks' smile.
She's happy and adventurous.
She's daring and KNOWS she's got it, with her hands up enjoying the ride.
Despite all my fears of having a little girl and us repeating some of the mother daughter flaws in my family,  I am wild about her, she knows it, and loves me right back.
She looks for me and I'm always, "Right here, Baby!!"
Her laugh is infectious and her giggle makes an overcast day BRIGHT to me.
I'm her cheerleader in the biggest and smallest things and she is the twinkle in my eye.
We have fun, just she and I in this big city and that's ok with both of us.

I had the same kind of dream about 4-5 years before I had Chunks, before I even knew his dad. So I wonder, when will I hold my little girl.

Whenever that is, I LOVE YOU already.

Forever and More,

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Monday, September 15, 2014

There's A Kindergartener in the First Grade

I keep hearing that saying over and over again and it comes to me whenever I have to make a serious decision about some part of raising Chunks. One of the perks of raising him on my own is that I don't have to run anything by anyone else and it matter but it also means if I make a decision and things get screwed up I wear that shame all by myself. 

Why does my baby's tie look short?? lol
Chunks started a new school for Kidergarten and was selected to be in the Gifted & Talented program, so we were looking forward to a "challenging" Kindergarten year, right? NO! Lol within the first week his teacher expressed how impressed she was with his reading and speech. I thanked her and asked that if there is anything I should work on with him to let me know. The next Monday, the Principal asked to see me, uh oh!

I get to the school, nervous about what Chunks  could have done and she let me know that she had been evaluating Chunks and another student and wanted to do a trial week of him sitting in the first grade class. WHAT?!? She told me he was pretty ahead of the NY standard for Kindergarten and didn't want him to get bored and not fully stiumulated. Honestly, I was side eyeing the program HARD, but I asked to look at the lesson plans and showed it to a few of my friends and former high school principal and in the end I agreed to the trial but was still unsure about him skipping such a major academic year. I mean, it's Kindergarten!

Well, he spent all of last week in the first grade and so far they have had two tests: 1 Grammar and 1 Math. Only one student got 100% on both, guess who??

 I've asked him how he liked school and he is loves it and is excited and seems to be handling the work pretty well and has fallen into our homework/study routine just fine, he's made friends with the other first graders, and size wise he fits right in. For now he's technically a Kindergartener in the First Grade while I decide what to do. 

I started school early and didnt have a problem adjusting (except lying about my age lol) and I have aunts and cousins who skipped grades in school with no problems either but everyone's different and I just want to make sure I make the right choice not only academically but psychologically for my boy, we only get one shot at this childhood thing and I'd rather take my time and measure this thing out twice and cut one good time.

Have any of you skipped a child or had the option? Would you rather skip early or later in their school years?


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