Archive for the ‘Parenting’ Category

Co-Parenting 101: Finding Your Own Tribe

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My guest post on The Cubicle Chick

Over the past seven years, I’ve gone through the ultimate lows while engaged in a high conflict co-parenting relationship. Feelings of inadequacy, isolation, depression, and severe anxiety have plagued me the majority of the time. I only exacerbated the situation by shutting down physically and emotionally, at times feeling unable to process all that I was going through myself. A ball of fury at most times, ready to explode or break down at any moment; my emotional sanity drowning. Not able to process the feelings myself, I refused to talk with anyone about what I was going through and how it was affecting me. Scared that if I were to open my mouth and share my truth I wouldn’t be understood.

When you have to literally fight for your child, have to fight for what they deserve, in front of a stranger in a robe, it changes you. When you look at the father of your child and realize you don’t know him and never did, when he reminds you of your own deadbeat dad – it changes the person you are. I guess it only changes you if you let it. My experiences have hardened my already dense exterior. They don’t understand. They can’t understand. They don’t know my ex. They don’t know my struggle. This is what I told myself over and over and over again.

I grew up with a fierce sense of independence, which hasn’t made it comfortable for me to ask for help or open up to anyone. Even with my core group of friends, I found myself opening up and then instantly regretting it. Afraid that they’ll see too much of my mess. Afraid that I’ve exposed too much of myself. Afraid not of their reaction, but my inability to move past my own grief of a failed relationship. Grief that my daughter’s father will never be what she needs.

I didn’t value having a tribe for a long time. That fierce sense of independence got the best of me – I could do it all on my own. Or so I thought. I struggled for awhile finding my tribe – worried that my instincts were off and I would trust the wrong people, again. Finding your tribe and people you can open up too isn’t easy. I needed to find my tribe because I realized I couldn’t continue attempting to be a good mother or good friend without having emotional support, especially when I was in and out of court with my ex.

Read the rest of “Co-Parenting 101: Finding Your Own Tribe” over on The Cubicle Chick!



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Boston Families: Enjoy a Stay-cation at @SeaportBoston during February Vacation!

It’s February….when did THAT happen? As much as I’d love to whisk my daughter off to somewhere warm and tropical with clear blue water during February vacation we’ll be here in Boston. With the snow. Sigh. As a working Mom, I’ll be working through my daughter’s school break, which means she’ll be at camp making 9 million rainbow loom bracelets. Its hard juggling working full-time and spending quality time with my daughter, that’s why our weekends are usually jam packed with full itineraries and adventures. This can often be difficult because so many activities (especially during the colder months) are expensive! And I’m a single mom trying to budget, which means we have to limit how many fun activities we can do per month.

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I’m always on the hunt for affordable and most importantly FUN local activities where my daughter can really enjoy herself. This February vacation, the Seaport Boston Hotel is providing that kind of experience – fun and affordability – all close to home! Did I mention the hotel is pet friendly? I encourage my local families to consider a stay-cation at this lovely hotel during the school break! Located on the historic waterfront at One Seaport Lane in Boston, there is local access to ice skating on the Frog Pond, the Children’s Museum, Science Museum and historic Fenway Park and more!

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The Seaport is making February vacation (February 17th – 23rd, 2014) at their hotel the PLACE to be for families with their School Vacation Getaway Package, for 2 adults and 2 children. For a special rate of $159/night (plus taxes & fees) your family can relax in a deluxe room along with several family-friendly options to make your stay memorable:

  • A $30 Seaport Gift Card at check-in (for incidentals, not the room rate)
  • A welcome toy for each child from Seaport’s Treasure Chest
  • Complimentary use of Wave Health & Fitness, including the indoor pool
  • Free family flicks daily with complimentary popcorn (two shows: 2-4 pm and 7-9 pm)
  • In-room use of a DVD player and a family movie
  • Access to Seaport’s Lending Library – offering books for kids of all ages to borrow during their stay
  • Complimentary wireless internet access

My daughter would be all up in that pool! And that’s not all. Guests taking advantage of the School Vacation Getaway Package can take advantage of several food and beverage options at each of the hotel’s dining spots:

  • Seaport’s Bakery Café: a breakfast package for $12, a lunch special for $8 and cookie decorating for $5
  • Aura restaurant: a breakfast buffet for kids for $8 (kids under 5 are free)
  • TAMO bar & lounge: a family lunch/dinner special for $30, which includes a cheese pizza for four and four non-alcoholic drinks of your choice

You and your family get full access to all of the above for just $159/night! That’s a steal in Boston and provides you the chance to “get away” and enjoy fun activities in the heart of Boston! You won’t want to miss out on this amazing deal, so be sure to book your stay today online at seaportboston.com by entering SOCIAL in the promotional code box, or by calling 877-SEAPORT.

Does your family stay local during February vacation or do you go away?



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Dinner Made Easy with Bing’s Smart Search! #sponsored

Thanks to Microsoft for sponsoring today’s discussion. As always all opinions shared on my blog are my own.

I don’t know about you, but I tend to cook the same recipes over and over which makes cooking not so much fun anymore. In addition to having a maid and personal chef (a girl can dream) I also wished I had easy access to recipes I’d actually use! Anyone else guilty of ripping out a recipe in a magazine, filing it away and never using it? Yup, that’s me. Or saving a ton of recipes in my recipebox on Allrecipes, never to be referenced again. Yup, that’s me. I’d love an easy way to find new delicious to make at home, recipes full of flavor and personality that will get me reinvigorated about cooking again! I’ve recently gotten Windows 8.1 and decided to use Bing’s Smart Search tool to find some yummy recipes for my family.

I’ll be honest – I hadn’t used Bing before and I was nervous. I’m a girl that likes her routine. I like going to the same grocery store because I know exactly where to find everything. Bing was like a new grocery store at first – I didn’t know where to begin! But thankfully Bing’s Smart Search wasn’t difficult to navigate. Bing’s Smart Search in the new Windows is a faster way to find what you’re looking for and get things done on your touch device. One search brings you information from across your device, the cloud, apps, and the web. Visual results designed specifically for touch make it easy to find what you need. There’s no need to open a browser—simply swipe and tap to start searching. Cool, right?

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More accurate information at the tip of my fingers? As a busy Mom that is exactly the assistance I need to make my life a bit easier – especially during the busy holiday season. It’s easy and anyone with a PC or tablet with Windows 8.1 can use Bing’s Smart Search.

So what did I use Bing’s Smart Search for? To search for a yummy stick to your bones latin dish full of flavor and all around yumminess. For my search I opted to use “arroz con gandules recipe” and “pollo guisado” and boom I was connected with so many recipes to choose from accompanied by a hungry tummy!

Now you can find what you need with one search. Want to get the latest on your favorite band? With just one search you’ll see saved songs on your laptop, recent music videos from the web, and popular songs you can stream directly from Xbox Music. Take action right from the search results. Launch apps, open files, call a friend, change settings, and more, all with a single click. Web previews help you see at-a-glance what the web page looks like behind each search result. That means fewer clicks to find the right link.

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My search to find the perfect recipe was fun and the end result was amaaaazing! My daughter and I both had seconds and have saved the recipe we found and we sure will be making this again. Dinner made easy with Bing’s Smart Search!

Have you used Bing’s Smart Search to help make your life easier?



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Get Your Dance on with Ubisoft’s Just Dance Kids 2014! #justdancekids2014 #CleverGirls


If you were to come in my house in the morning you’d hear music. Probably Michael Jackson. If you were to come into my house during the evening you’d hear music. Probably my Soft Rock station on Pandora. Music is such a big part of me and my daughter’s life – and we love sharing that love of music through fun dance games like Just Dance. It’s a great way to dance to current music but to also introduce her to music I grew up with! We never play competitively, it’s just a really fun way we can spend time together and get a great workout!

While we love Just Dance, many of the moves and choreography my daughter can’t keep up with…and let’s me honest, I can’t either, so we were eager to try Just Dance Kids 2014! With a tracklist full of more than 30 fun and popular songs I knew we had to try it!

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Tracklist:

  • Selena Gomez & The Scene: “Hit The Lights”
  • Demi Lovato: “Give Your Heart A Break”
  • Goldheart: “We Go Well Together”
  • One Direction “One Thing”
  • Ariana Grande: “Put Your Hearts Up”
  • Victorious Cast featuring Victoria Justice: “Make It Shine (Victorious Theme)”
  • Bridgit Mendler: “Ready Or Not”
  • The Wiggles: “Get Ready To Wiggle”
  • Yo Gabba Gabba!: “The Freeze Game”
  • “7 8 9″
  • “Day-O (The Banana Boat Song)”
  • “Do You Love Me (Now That I Can Dance)”
  • “Fireflies”
  • “Footloose”
  • “Get Down On It”
  • “Hit Me With Your Best Shot”
  • “I Like To Move It”
  • “Magic Carpet Ride”
  • “Problem (Monster Remix)”
  • “Shout”
  • “Fraggle Rock (Opening and Closing Theme)”
  • “The Hustle”
  • “The Tiki Tiki Tiki Room”
  • “Walking On Sunshine”

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With a similar format to Just Dance it was easy for my daughter to get accustomed to this new game and get dancing! This game was much more user friendly and it was easy for my daughter to navigate the home with no help. The game overall is very colorful and stimulating, and geared, in my opinion to younger kids. My daughter is eight and didn’t fully appreciate the bells and whistles that this game had – just because she was is not a younger child. She preferred playing the adult version due to it being more straightforward and the dance moves she liked better. With different songs geared towards different age groups, it has much to offer for younger kids and is fun enough for adults to join in on the fun too as their child boogie and shake around! Just Dance Kids 2014 can be purchased at Amazon or GameStop.

Do you have or would you try Just Dance Kids 2014?

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.



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Target’s Big Kids Gifting Catalog! #MyKindOfHoliday

Content and/or other value provided by our partner, Target.

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmassss! With Thanksgiving next week, Christmas promotions are in full gear, and surprisingly, I’m NOT feeling overwhelmed this year. Usually I’m scrambling to get items for my friends and family and totally frantic. But, not this year. I’ve turned over a new leaf and am more than halfway through my Christmas shopping and have set a deadline of December 1st to get all my shopping done. Crazy? Maybe!

I’ve got quite a few kids I’ll be shopping for this year in addition to my daughter. I’ve got a newborn nephew, two nieces, and a group of close friends with kids. I’m turning to Target this year to help with gift ideas, and I couldn’t be more excited with their selection of toys in their Big Kids Gifting Catalog! With Target’s help I’m making this Christmas #MyKindOfHoliday and wanted to share a few of the items in their catalog – it’s a great resource for last minute shopping ideas!

 

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My niece would love this Kid Made Modern Art Tool Box !

 

My good friend's daughter is obsessed with Monster High and would be excited to get this Monster High Pack Collection!

My good friend’s daughter is obsessed with Monster High and would be excited to get this Monster High Pack Collection!

 

Got a Merida lover? This Nerf Rebelle Heartbreaker Bow Collection Nerf Rebelle Heartbreaker Bow Collection would be the perfect gift!

Got a Merida lover? This Nerf Rebelle Heartbreaker Bow Collection
Nerf Rebelle Heartbreaker Bow Collection would be the perfect gift!

 

This Kidkraft Traditional Elegant Dollhouse is sure to keep your kids busy for awhile!

This Kidkraft Traditional Elegant Dollhouse is sure to keep your kids busy for awhile!

 

Kids can ride in style in this Pacific Cycle KidTrax SRT Viper!

Kids can ride in style in this Pacific Cycle KidTrax SRT Viper!

All of these gifts and more can be found in the Big Kids Gifting Catalog by Target! I’m a commuter and don’t have a car and I do not like going to multiple stores to complete my holiday shopping, which is why I do most of my shopping online. Target truly is a one stop shop, they have such a variety of toys and gift ideas that will fit all your shopping needs housed under one roof. What’s better than that?!

Happy Shopping!!

 



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