Valentine’s Day 2017

Leave a comment

“I’ve got everything that I need right in front of me.”  Name THAT movie.  No truer words. Yesterday was a BEAUTIFUL day filled with much much love and gratitude.  I am just so thankful and blessed and wanted to share some fun moments from our day.  I was so excited and lucky to be able to spend some quality time with my favorite people including my guy, my kids’ dad and the boyos!  Valenting with littles is just so fun and we had all three of them yesterday.  My favorite big guy and I also had some suuuper special private moments that I will NEVER forget (details to come) and shared an AMAZING dinner from Ela!  Ela is one of our favorite special places.  In fact, we went straight to Ela after becoming engaged!

This Valentines Day, we wanted to stay IN, so Ela had the PERFECT shtick for us; a take home meal for two!  It was four courses, included a bottle of bubbly (which I promptly gave to a bestie bc #nondrinkerproblems) and only cost $100! It. Was. Everything. Fabulous. We (obviously) went with one of each.

Screen Shot 2017-02-15 at 3.19.21 PM.png

So, When we initially brought it home, we thought it would be a typical take home meal but boy were we wrong!  All of the meals came with individual baggies that were to be dropped in a pot of boiling water for certain amounts of time.  I will admit.  I was beyond skeptical.

BUT BOY was I wrong!  It turned out delicious, tasted FRESH from the restaurant and we were BEYOND happy with it!  The directions were clear and easy…

And the results beyond tasty!

Definitely a thought for you all for next VDay! What a fabulous idea, right!?  All in all I would say it was a pretty fantastic day and could be summed up as such…



Tweetheart at Nest!

Leave a comment

Hello hello!  Happy Valentines day!  It sure is a good one for us!  I wanted to share a bit wit you about our fabulous time at Nest’s Tweetheart this past Sunday as well as some exciting up and coming happenings there!  As you know, we are a HUGE fan of Nest and I am always happy to promote and answer any questions!  You know how to reach me 🙂


Top 3 favorites:

  1. Candy bar. Duh 😉img_8762
  2. Valentine Makingimg_8730
  3. Photo Boothfullsizerender_1
  4. Cookie and Krispie decorating!img_8761

The boys LOVED playing and mingling with the other kiddos (and lovely Nest staff).  So, here is what is new and up-and-coming at Nest!

Excellent new classes are being launched!  Here are three that look amazing to me!

World Music (Puddlejumpers Edition!) 18mo -3 yr
Wednesday 9:15- 10:00
It’s a big world out there and there’s so much to explore! Come listen, giggle, learn, and sing with NEST’s new Puddlejumper World Music Class! We’ll be exploring the globe as we travel to India, Greece, China, and more to discover how children make music and art all over the world. Incorporating creative movement, art, and music, this class will allow your busy little person to become a world traveler without all the plane crying and jet lag. Each class will feature a different and unique instrument, live music performance from one of our worldly NEST instructors, passport stamp, and art project all from the country of day! Join us for this exciting new class where the world comes alive here at NEST!  Taught by Mr. Ali!
Art SPLAT! 2yr – 3.5 yr
Wednesday 9:30 -10:15 / Sat 11:30 -12:15
Perfectly designed for our littlest artists, Art Splat is a program that encourages expression and keeps things moving! Work in open art centers, share books about great artists, and work together to create your own emulated masterpieces! Art Splat! is a fast paced, engaging toddler class that will leave you smiling and leave us to the clean up! Please note, while we are always happy to see our friends who drop in to our class, to ensure we have a dedicated set of materials and an open seat on roster, we suggest you sign up for the entire session!
NEST Dancers 3.5 – 6yr
Wednesday 4:15 – 5:15
Take your toe-tapping fun to the next level with our triple threat NEST Dancers class! Focusing on the FUNdamentals of ballet, modern, and hip hop, this class will help your child improve their coordination, self-expression, and best of all, self confidence! Please note! This is a progressive and cumulative program-meaning your Nestling will be working towards a Big Kid’s recital at the end of Spring 2. Demos of this class will only be available for the first four weeks in order to keep our little dancers on task!
Another SUPER cool new thing at Nest is their Make-N-Take Workshop!  Located directly on the first floor, this part- exploration, part-art studio would be super fun for any little!  Zachary and I were able to make a super cool bracelet and other projects include a terrarium and wind catcher!  Try it!
As always; if you have any questions, please reach out!  Thanks!
All opinions expressed in this post are my own. I was not compensated for this post save for my Nest membership.  



Photo Dump/ Sentence Per Picture

Leave a comment

Hellooooo long lost blog friends! I am so sorry to be so MIA!  Life has been buuuuusy.  In all of the best of ways, of course 😉 Anyway, I always love when fellow bloggers do these photo dump/sentence per picture posts, so I thought now would be a perfect time to try it as we have a bit of catching up to do!  Here we go!

Me and my boys on the way back from Florida (we do a post soon, synopsis is: awesome trip, way less awesome travel lol).


One of my favorite pictures from the trip, they just look so genuinely happy (we sure do miss this little guy when he is gone).


Brilliant centerpiece.


He is rolling out my sore hips/butt and I am SO lucky.


This guy (besos).




Legos on their journey (from previous centerpiece) to his room.


SO like his mama (the pretzels).


Snow day fun, although we wish there were a tad more snow LOL!


We have a date, ladies and gentlemen!!



Helping your Little Deal with Emotions

Leave a comment

Hi everyone!  A bit more serious post today 🙂  But I wanted to share a bit of my personal/professional experience and opinion on how to help your young child deal with emotions.  As you might know, I taught elementary school for a decade and studied childhood education and policy.  But more importantly, I am a mom and I have done a TON of research on how to help our children have a healthy emotional mind.  I feel that emotional development is JUST as important as physical and educational development, and I feel that this begins at home.  I strongly feel that providing your child with an environment in which they are WELCOME to emote, to feel, to process and to be who they need to be lays the groundwork for a healthy emotional mind.  It is THE best gift you can give them.  Don’t just take my word for it; here is an article about the importance of emotional intelligence in children.

Why we Need to Teach Kids Emotional Intelligence (Psychology Weekly)

(from article) Too often, we tend to think of our kids as less sophisticated and incapable of processing or understanding the emotional complexities of their world. We think we’re protecting them by not bringing up the trickier, less pleasant subjects. But I can tell you firsthand that kids absorb a tremendous amount. Pretty much as soon as they’re verbal, children can be taught to identify and communicate their feelings. In a trusted environment where emotions are talked about openly, most kids will speak freely about their feelings and are quick to have empathy for their peers.

Here are some ways to help promote and foster emotional development in our three boys:

  1.  Scrambled Feelings Feelings Eggs and book ($15.75)- We got these eggs a few years ago when our older boys were just over 2.  We felt it was a really concrete and fun way to explore emotions with the boys at such a young age.  The book is fabulous and the eggs are great models of some basic emotions that your little might be feeling.  screen-shot-2017-01-27-at-2-56-21-pm
  2. Feelings poster (assorted, based on your individual preference)– We like to hang this in a place that is kid-friendly, like the play space as it can be used quite often.  I think that giving children examples of emotions and allowing them to point to the one that they are feeling at any given time. Children do VERY well with visual examples so this is a great tool.
  3. Talk about positive feelings as well as negative- So, I was noticing that I was focusing on the expression and feeling of “negative emotions” like sadness, nervousness, etc because I was worried that these emotions were more difficult to express and process than positive ones.  But I feel like it is important to highlight positive emotions as well, especially because I think we overuse “happy” with our kids 😉
  4. Moodsters Feeling Flashlight and Storybook ($14.89)- We LOVE this super cool storybook with accompanying flashlight that is a great teaching tool for emotions and feelings.  The product description purports to “give children a basic vocabulary of feelings and promote simple strategies that help kids handle everyday challenges.”  And it sure does!  I think Scott actually picked this out for Z a year or so ago and we have used it extensively in our quest to provide for a healthy emotional environment in our home. screen-shot-2017-01-27-at-2-57-36-pm
  5. Progressive Muscle Relaxation- There are MANY ways to do this and I am NOT an expert in this, so I feel uncomfortable directing readers to a specific site or technique, but “Google it” if you are interested!
  6. Feelings by Aliki– OMG you guys!  What a throwback to my childhood!  An oldie but goodie, I just recalled how great this book was for helping children to label feelings.  I just ordered another copy.  Can’t wait to read it to the boys.  TIP WHEN READING BOOKS LIKE THESE…screen-shot-2017-01-27-at-6-20-28-pm
  7. Refer to storybook or TV characters when discussing feelings.  It helps to relate how a character was feeling or to ask a child to surmise how he or she was feeling.
  8. Feelings Flashcards ($12.06)- I have not used these yet but they seem super cool and go along with the poster idea.
  9. Feeling ball ($10.25)- I love this and it isn’t expensive, but you could make one on your own using a Dollar Store beach ball and sharpie…as you pass it around, a child will describe the emotion their thumb lands on and give an example of a time they felt that way (or that a character in a book might have felt).screen-shot-2017-01-28-at-8-51-22-am
  10. The UnGame- So, this is actually a throwback from Scott’s childhood and I cannot wait to get my hands on this game to play with our boys!  Scott describes fond memories of this game, teaching lessons while still being a ton of fun!

Finally from the above article…

When you teach kids emotional intelligence, how to recognize their feelings, understand where they come from and learn how to deal with them, you teach them the most essential skills for their success in life. Research has shown that emotional intelligence or EQ “predicts over 54% of the variation in success (relationships, effectiveness, health, quality of life).” Additional data concludes that “young people with high EQ earn higher grades, stay in school, and make healthier choices.”

Anyway, those are just a few suggestions that I myself have been mulling over when navigating the very tough but important job of foster emotional health in our children.  Please feel free to share your own suggestions!

Friday Favorites (on Monday)!

Leave a comment

I know.  It is Monday. But with everything going on this weekend (need I remind you all?) I just couldn’t bring myself to post this as I cried big crocodile tears. But today?  Today is a new day…


SO, here are my Friday Favorites!  I am super excited to start this series as I see other bloggers participating and have seen some really cool stuff!

  1.  Lil Davinci Art Frames- OMG you guys! I saw these at my future SIL’s house and KNEW I had to have them!  My lovely mom got me three for the holidays, one for each of the boys, and I LOOOOOVE them.  These frames not only display artwork in a snap, BUT they also hold additional art work!  They are amazing!  I am sure you are like me, as a mom, unwilling to throw ANY art away that your child created, and so these frames take care of all of that!  I cannot say enough good things about them!  screen-shot-2017-01-21-at-3-16-23-pm
  2. Nashville on CMT- ummmm need I say more?  Hmmm ya know what? Add to that Quantico and Scandal, and of course Bachelor and you have my weekly TV round up right there!Screen Shot 2017-01-22 at 3.31.37 PM.png
  3. My Voluspa Candle- My love scored another one of these for the holiday for me so I was STOKED to crack it open last night!  Although the price tag is a bit hefty IMHO, the smell is like none else and resonates throughout the house (hmmm is resonate the correct word when dealing with smell? lol). Anyway, do yourself a favor…screen-shot-2016-12-21-at-3-13-10-pm
  4. My RollerLash Mascara- I feel like I’ve sung the praises of this mascara on the blog before, but it deserves another shout out. I don’t really wear a lot of makeup, but typically you will find me (when outside the house) with a hint of mascara and some highly chapped lips that make it look like I’ve done something super unnatural to them (which I promise you, this needle-phobe did NOT and WILL not). This is THE best mascara that I have found thus far and I LOVE it.  It lengthens and curls a bit too!
  5. Victoria’s Secret Clearance PJS- Yea, so I might have bought just a few pairs… img_7884
  6. My new Jacket from Bloomies Outlet!  Again, another MAJOR steal, this cocoon-style jacket zips ALL the way down to my ankles and would have made a FABULOUS “recess-duty” coat, but instead I am enjoying it as my SAHM wear-everywhere jacket.  If you know me, you know I am ALWAYS cold.  This jacket is a dream!  It was originally $350, a Mark by Mark Jacobs style but I got is for less than $50!  BOOM!fullsizerender_1
  7. Adventure Aquarium with the Fam!- We went last Monday for Mema’s birthday (my mom, the boys’ grandma) on MLK holiday and it was super fun! Unfortunately, we were missing two from our clan as C was with his mom and my guy was away on business :/ BUT it was super fun!  Next time we will all go!
  8. Swim Lessons with this guy- I think I’ve mentioned it?  But it is sooo fun to go with him every other week and, and boy, is he improving!  C really is a good swimmer!  I LOVE being in the water with him; he asks me to come, and it makes him more comfortable.  We both really look forward to it!img_7850
  9. My HUE denim leggings- OK. So, I saw these in the aforementioned Bloomingdale’s outlet and really wanted them but they did not have my size, so to Amazon I went!  I LOOOVE them. THey are soft, stretchy, have pockets and elastic waistband with button.  Win-win-win all around.  I goofed and haven’t taken any pics of myself in them .  Sorry!


    Um, let it be known that I do NOT wear mine with heels, rather oversized sweaters and booties. 

  10. Just doing anything with these guys.  ❤  I know.  Cheesy but true…

Running/Streak Update

Leave a comment

Argh! I wish I could give you a rainbow and sunshine update on my January streak (run every day no matter what) but TBH, it has been ROUGH this time.  I think the last time I streaked was last summer? Dunno, too lazy to search 🙂  Anyway, the streak started out really well, and then life happened.  And it was all good (mostly) but it happened SO quickly and was SUPER consuming!  January is typically a busy month for our family in general; a handful of important birthdays, school back in session, etc. and then we added the start of my new business, Conmigo, an AMAZING engagement (still glowing), and a massive home-wrecking stomach bug. Well, after listing all of those events, it DOES make sense that my streak got tough at about mid-point.


So, the good news is that I am still going strong and that I did NOT miss any days in my streak, including the day after that horrible belly bug (squeezed two shake out miles in).  The better news is that I was smart enough to get an amazing massage when things were feeling pretty crummy (my legs were just DEAD constantly after about day 15) and followed up with intense stretching daily since.   But it hasn’t been pretty for the whole time 🙂  I am SO happy to say, though, that I have been fitting in some hill work (treadmill incline workout) and good speed workouts.  Unfortunately none of my runs have been outside because I have decided to just suck it up and live with the fact that I am simply NOT a cold weather runner, and that forcing myself to do outdoor runs int he cold would only hurt my love of running.  So, about two more months to go and then my outdoor game will be back on.

Anyway, I thought that something that might rev me up for my streak and running in general is…A RACE! I have been DYING to do the Hot Chocolate Race series for a few years now. I get SUPER jealous of those runners sipping on HC and chomping on Hershey’s post run and decided that this is my year!  I will be doing the 15K and could not be more excited! I was just texting with my man about it and said that there are 4 amazing things about this race:

  1. A late start for the 15k (ya’ll know I cannot STAND getting up early, even for running!  Whatever, maybe it makes me less badass but it sure makes me happier when I get up AFTER the sun lol). Start time= 8AM!!!!!
  2. Amazing flat course that is my favorite in Philly; the loop around the River ❤
  3. 15K (9.3 miles)- I LOVE Broad Street for MANY reasons, one of the top being the distance. 10 miles is SUCH a sweet spot for me and I am THRILLED to be running the 15k! It is a new distance for me, so automatic PR, right!??!
  4. April 1st race= it can’t be THAT cold (eh, or maybe it could, but it isnt the dead of winter and see above for how I feel about that lol)screen-shot-2017-01-19-at-4-36-56-pm

Also, I really could use another piece of bling around my neck 🙂 OK, Anyway, tell me how YOUR running, fitness or life is going! xo

What Day is Today!?!?

Leave a comment

Ahhhhh! You guys!  To say that 2017 has been a whirlwind thus far would be a SEVERE understatement!  Sorry I’ve been MIA “this year”  But, I. AM. SO. HAPPY.  2017, you have been SOOOO good to us so far (minus the absolutely insane political clusterF&%K that has been going on).  Anyway, I wanted to give you some brief updates over here on the blog in a few areas of our crazy awesome life!


Current View. Swoon.

  1.  So….this happened.  OK, so I’m starting to sound like an annoying meme because I walk around and say “every day with this guy has been a gift!” and I don’t want to loose readership but it is TRUE!  🙂 Anyway what I will say is that I am SO lucky and SO blessed.  img_7329
  2. Conmigo- My business is really picking up and I am SUPER excited about it!  I offer two classes at Lilypad in South Philadelphia, one for little ones and one for littler ones 🙂  I also am starting a private class series and have a couple more inquires in this vein.  It is soooo fun and I LOVE instructing!  Email me with questions!
  3. Babies- these guys are everything and they are SUPER excited about #1 🙂img_7375
    1. This guy turned two on the 9th!  We had an adorable party for him which was a blast but poor Scott was sick :/
    2. This guy helped Mama roll our the fondant and has also been doing a GREAT job at soccer and school!  Also…still building Legos 🙂img_7418
    3. And this guy, along with soccer, has started swim lessons , which he is AWESOME at, and is doing great in school!  Also…still loving Super Heroes 🙂img_7447
  4. Running- January Streak is still going strong, although the day after my turn with the stomach bug was a tough 2 miler squeezed out miserably 😉 Gotta do what you gotta do! I am also trying to do a TON of speed work, but have forgotten about my goal to raise the incline on the ‘mill.  Writing this in part to remind myself 🙂 I also have NOT been outside running in a while and unfortunately missed an amazing weather-window this week. Bummer.  The treadmill has been good to me though!


    OK!  That is about it for now! I will be back soon. Promise!

Ten Hopes for the New Year

Leave a comment

Hi everyone!  So, I am not a resolution-type gal, but I wanted to take a chance to reflect of this past year and create a list of “hopes and dreams” for this coming year. I think 2017 is going to be a GOOD one.


  1.  Continue to be my best self by waking up each and every morning with good, kind and positive intentions to treat every person I encounter with kindness, respect and love…regardless of how I am treated.
  2. Love this guy the best I can and be open to receiving his love:)  This relationship brings me more happiness and fulfillment than I thought possible. I will continue hopefully to feel lucky every day and to not let a day go by where I do not acknowledge and express this. img_6534
  3. Continue to work of blending our families with the children’s’ best interests in mind and heart and have our home be a place filled with love, acceptance and happiness.
  4. Continue maintaining my fabulous relationship with my boys’ dad, IAN!  He is a gem and I am very lucky, so I will continue to attempt to be as good a coparent and friend/family member to him as he deserves and is to me.6393b84a-bfd9-4633-9019-c768f9be2882
  5. Run healthy and strong. I would like to remain uninjured and fit as ever in my quest to “be a runner.” This involves running smart, running strong, and continuing my love for this sport. I vow also to not let ONE mile go by with out being thankful to be able to run.
  6. Mom hard. I want to be the best mom I can possibly be to my two biologicals and one bonus baby.  I am THE luckiest mom in the world to have THREE healthy, beautiful happy boys and I could not be more thankful.74001590-31e7-4975-86a6-37b15b93d63f
  7. Be a good daughter and sister- As my parents age, I think more and more each passing day of the importance of my relationship with them.  Same goes with my sissy and even though we don’t see each other as much as we would both like, I hope to remedy this in the future and continue to grow our relationship.
  8. Grow my business, Conmigo!Conmigo - PNG.png
  9. Cut negativity out of my life.  Whether it is Facebook posts, negative self-talk or less-than-positive interactions with others, I vow to not let these things cut through the
  10. Choose Happiness.  This kinda piggy-backs on #9, but a few years ago, I made a choice to CHOOSE HAPPINESS and I haven’t looked back since.  And even more so, I’ve realized that it is OK to be happy!  It is actually pretty fabulous!img_6396

Best wishes to everyone for a happy and healthy New Year! xo

Positive choice discipline 

Leave a comment

I have been prepping this post for a while and now that I’ve had some quiet time, I thought I would finally finish it up!  I wanted to share a bit of how we use positive choice discipline in our home, both as a former educator and mom 😉  I am interested in hearing your thoughts too!  Please share!  OK, so in our house, if something is “not going right,” we give the boys (ALL THREE now that G is approaching age 2-gasp!) the following choices depending on the situation.  We ask if they need to take either a separation, a break, a rest or a time out.  We feel like this is a SUPER straightforward way to use choice discipline and easy for the boys’ co-parents to join in as well to be consistent.  Here are their descriptions as follows with an example for each!

1.  Take a separation- if the boys are just not meshing well, PHYSICAL separation (EX: Boys are roughhousing/wrestling and get too rough)

2.  Take a break- if the boys need a MENTAL break (EX:  one boy is taunting the other about a toy that they have and the other does not)

3. Take a rest- if over tiredness sets in (happens a lot!) and a rest is needed (EX:  After Christmas when everyone was exhausted and the whining was at an all-time high lol)

4. Take a time out- when there is a definite breaking of a rule, sometimes this is used with no choice, as in “you NEED to take a time out” (EX:  Hands or feet not kept to themselves)

So, how does it work, you ask?!  Well, as a foundation of behavior expectations in our home, we use the basics of 123 Magic with a few minor tweaks of our own to personalize with our boys.  We really like it and feel it works MOST of the time.  Now, when it does not, we resort to our “TAKE A…” choice discipline.  As you see above, based on the situation, the child is asked if they need to take a separation, a break, a rest or a time out.  It REALLY works and is SO great to have a go-t0 form of positive choice discipline that everyone is on the same page about for consistency!


Boys will be boys, but we vow to raise respectful, responsible, kind, creative and loving HUMANS!

Holiday Time With Blended Families: The Golden Rule

Leave a comment

Hello hello!  I hope everyone had as fantastic a holiday as we did!  As I sit here typing, the house is eerily silent with the man sleeping in a bit and all three boys off to see their other families for the holidays.  I wanted o write a post about how we worked with blending our families for the holidays, and I still intend to, but it is with the caveat that I unfortunately can’t spill all of the details surrounding our blending of families YET (still litigation, not on my side, going on) but I will share as much as I can!

Screen Shot 2016-12-26 at 3.03.39 PM.png

Guys, holiday times are filled with magic, love and happiness. But, if you are in a blended family situation rooted in contention, it can be really challenging.  Divorce can be tough.  Mixing families can be tough.  BUT, it is possible to be MINDFUL about your relationships and even MORE possible to make everyone HAPPY!  It just takes a bit of respect, a bit of love, and a LOT of the Golden Rule!  This year, being our first Christmas together as our blended family but also recognizing that it is the first Christmas for the kids being away from their other families, we went into this with a plan: follow the golden rule, treat others as you would like to be treated.

Screen Shot 2016-12-26 at 3.20.35 PM.png

And guess what? It worked (well, for those following said rule ;))!  We had a wonderful mix of blended family time and special time with just our crew.

We headed up to Williamstown, Mass with just our boys and us to visit Scott’s family right before Christmas. We stayed three nights and it was a TOTAL blast, like could NOT have been more fun and wonderful. While we were gone, I made sure to have the kids FaceTime with their other parental units and to include them in as much as possible. This is not simply giving the other parent access on the phone, but being sure to talk about the other parents in a positive and consistent manner so to foster those relationships.  This also means that if we are crafting or baking, I always give the children the option to gift something to their other parent.  That’s just the right thing to do. It felt right and…the golden rule.   In the end, while kids are lovely resilient creatures, they also know what’s up and DO/WILL know what’s up.


Anyway, we got home, and then Friday my boys went to their dad’s for the night while scott, c and I Santa-Ed it up! It was nice to have some one-on-one time with him and I am sure the boys appreciated some QT with their Daddy!  Now, for Christmas Eve, it was an all-out party!  We made the decision that we REALLY wanted everyone who loves the boys to be there, so of course Ian was there and as always, we had a BLAST.  I feel super fortunate to have such an amazing relationship with my kids’ dad.  He is wonderful and Scott is wonderful for supporting our beyond-amicable relationship.  I am SO blessed.


For Christmas morning, we did the first round of gifts with just the FOUR of us (Scott, Me, Chace and Zachary; G was still asleep and Mema hadn’t had her coffee yet lol).  It was nice to have a bit of time before everyone came back over!  The boys’ Dad came half hour into the opening and we then got G up (and Mema her coffee!!) and it was SOOOO great to be able to share in this together!  There was a LOT of love felt and I know the boys REALLY felt it and appreciated it.


Now, Z and G are off with their Dad visiting their paternal grandparents and totally having a blast (YAY!!!!) and C is with his Mom for the week. I miss them SO much but it is nice to have some down time to relax and regroup with Scott and my boys are only a phone call away!  We try so hard to be respectful of each other’s feelings and I think that is truly our key to success: Gotta love the golden rule!