A Note from Chatterbox

I have this on my dresser and read it every morning. It never gets old!

Filed under Blessings, Daughters, parenting | 8 Comments »

Trying Dr. Oz’s One-Day Diet

I was reading my March issue of Good Housekeeping (don’t laugh at me – it’s a great mag!) and came across Dr. Oz’s One-Day Diet Plan.  The idea is that anyone can stick to a diet for ONE day; with this plan, everyday is a new day.  I liked the “baby steps” approach AND the food options looked decent, which is rare with most diet plans.  It’s a Mediterranean-style diet plan that emphasizes motivation and satiety – both of which I need.  On Monday I stocked my fridge and pantry with all of the foods.  Today, I’m on Day 3 of the plan and loving it.  The meals have been tasty and have been keeping me very full.

It’s a little different from tracking my food intake on MyFitnessPal as I have been doing for the past few months, because this plan has a daily calorie count of 1,450 (versus my MFP count of 1,200).  But I do like to idea of eating natural, healthier foods.

My favorite meals so far have been the Greek Chicken Pita (dinner) and the Scrambled Egg with Spinach, and Feta Cheese English Muffin (breakfast).  Both were super delicious.

A pleasant surprise was yesterday’s breakfast of Whole Grain Waffles, Ricotta cheese, chopped dates and honey.  Sounded like a hot mess at first glance….but it was good! And I was more than full. In fact, that meal carried me right through my usual 11am snack time, all the way to lunch.

I confess, I haven’t been exercising like I need to – I am exhausted at night and cannot get out of bed in the morning – but I’ll continue to work at it.  In the meantime, I’m going to take some eating advice from Dr. Oz…

Filed under Fitness, food, health | 9 Comments »

Wordless Wednesday

I’ll take a nap anywhere, even on the swing during recess. Thanks to my teacher for taking this picture!

Filed under Uncategorized | 4 Comments »

Sad Good-byes and Sweet Hellos

Last week my brother and his wife had to say good-bye to their 13 year old chocolate lab, Cody, aka Cody Boy.  Cody was a beautiful dog, so lovable, and a giant sweetheart.  If you’ve ever seen the movie Marley and Me, the story line reminds me so much of Cody.  My sister-in-law wrote a sweet tribute to Cody that I thought I would share with you guys below.


Cody a.k.a. “Boy” P. (1998-2011.) Last week, The King of Lake Erie (Rocky River beach, in particular) gently passed away to a place (I just know) of endless bodies of water, water-logged sticks to be thrown and table scraps. Boy, we tried to train you – a joke. Not because you weren’t smart – you were too smart to be bothered as the English would say. As we tried to train you, you taught us all about the good life: eat well, always be gentle with children, sleep in, nap a lot, swim as much as possible in the summer and cuddle any chance you get. Oh, and sometimes stubbornness is just a personality trait in you that OTHERS need to get over. ;) Thanks for all the years of love and laughs. We will love you FOREVER, sweet Boy. 

As they say good-bye to Cody, I am proud to announce that they will soon be saying hello to a new addition to their family.  Baby Peanut. I went home to Cleveland last weekend to help host the baby shower and was honored and thrilled beyond words when they told me they wanted me to be the God Mother!  I cannot wait to spoil by newest God baby with love, goodies, and all the stuff mommy and daddy won’t buy him/her.  Thanks again guys!! I love you both!!

Filed under Uncategorized | 6 Comments »

Wordless Hump Day

HumpDay…tell me about it.  By Wednesday it’s almost impossible for me to get motivated enough to get out of my warm snuggly bed in the morning.  It seems like regardless of how much rest I get on the weekend, I’m just pooped by Wednesday.  It was so bad tonight that after dinner (and it was store bought) princess and I were watching tv and before I knew it, I was knocked out – there may have been drool and snoring involved too.  It was probably a 5-7 minute nap, but I was shocked (and embarrassed) that I totally fell out at 7pm.  I’m just totally beat. How do you make it pass hump day?

Filed under Wordless Wednesday, working mom | Comments Off

Real Housewife? Or Real Celeb?

So I got this pitch in my inbox last week:

This past week in New York City, Real Housewives of New Jersey’sJacqueline Laurita, 40, celebrated reaching her post-baby weight loss goal as she hit the -50 lbs mark. For the first time, Jacqueline debuted her tiny and toned post-baby body since having her son Nicholas in June 2009. She credits the Medifast diet and regimented exercise for her new figure; even saying that she was able to lose 12 lbs within the first two weeks. Jacqueline went on to say that she is much more comfortable now in front of the cameras since losing the extra weight and cannot wait to show off her better-than-ever physique during the new season of Real Housewives which resumes later this year.

And then I saw the photos:



I’m happy that she’s happy (and healthier), but I kinda miss the old Jacqueline.  She used to look so soft and curvy.  Did she lose some va-va-voom in the process of dropping pounds?

Filed under health, Real Housewives, Reality TV | 11 Comments »

I Need 9 Lives

I suffer from having too many dreams and too many interests and wanting to fulfill them all.  I decided this morning that I should have been a cat.  With my 9 lives, I would:

  1. Go to culinary school and become a chef.
  2. Pursue my intended career of television production (that was my undergrad major) and executive produce awards shows in LA.
  3. Be an editor-in-chief at a glossy.
  4. Homeschool my kiddies.
  5. Live in Europe.
  6. Open a Bed & Breakfast.
  7. Open a Pastry and Confections shop.
  8. Live in the Caribbean.
  9. Be a SAHM

What would you do if you had 9 lives?

Filed under bright ideas, careers, enchanted fairy dust, Introspection, randomness, reflection, stay at home mom | 5 Comments »

Kim Kardashian’s New Single: “Jam”

I will refrain from commenting. Do take a listen.

Filed under Reality TV | 6 Comments »

Fantastic Family Engagement at School

Chatterbox Playing Word-O at Rocket Reading Party Night

This post is long overdue.  I’ve been meaning to write about how wonderful Chatterbox’s school is since she began in September of last year for 1st grade.  Her Kindergarten year was a disaster (for me, not her – she was fine) at another school that was disorganized, unsafe (they lost her for an entire hour outside – I can’t even talk about it), and the staff was awful.  Glad that chapter is over.  Anyway, we switched her from a school outside of our zone, where she was in an immersion program, to our home school, which I love.

It’s a Title 1 school.  It took me some time to figure out exactly what that meant, and I’ll admit – in the beginning I had some pre-conceived notions about it.  For the legally inclined, “Title 1″ means Title 1 of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 and it’s purpose is “Improving the Academic Achievement of the Disadvantaged.”  In a nutshell:

Title 1 funds aim to bridge the gap between low-income students and other students. The U.S. Department of Education provides supplemental funding to local school districts to meet the needs of at-risk and low income students.

Courtesy of BrightHub.com

What that translates to in practice is an abundance of perks and activities that benefit the entire school community.  I’ve been consistently amazed at the programs that the school has been able to offer:

Math Party Night. The school provided party favors, hats, pizza and snacks during an evening pep rally focused on math and then we broke up into small groups and rotated through classrooms where the students played math games.  Everyone (including Giggles who doesn’t even attend the school) went home with a set of math games to be played at home.

Books & Breakfast. On a Saturday morning, parents and students gathered for a breakfast of waffles, toppings, fruit and juices.  While the kids went off to do supervised activities, the parents were addressed by a presenter aimed at teaching parenting skills to parents of school-aged children.  Each kid went home with a brand new book.  There’s another Books & Breakfast event this Saturday with a scheduled appearance by The Cat In the Hat…

And then there’s the PTA.  What a stark contrast from last year’s bunch.  Our current PTA hosts great events that encourage the parents to come out.  A huge draw is that they provide childcare at every single meeting.  It makes it hard to come up with an excuse not to go!  And they often combine the PTA meetings with a fun family activity.  For example:

Turkey Bingo Night. This event drew a full house! I mean the entire all-purpose room was packed.  We played bingo all night and there were tons of prizes (donated by families) from Washington Mystics tickets to arts & crafts materials.  I think we played bingo for 2 straight hours.  They had pizza and assorted snacks for sale. It was a great time.

Pajama Reading Night. This was last night’s event.  Everyone (parents included!) came dressed in PJs and enjoyed hot chocolate and snacks.  In various nooks around the school, teachers, parents and the principal read books to small groups of students.  Every 15 minutes, the groups would rotate to the next reading station.  At the end of the evening, everyone got to choose books to take home as part of a Book Swap (these were donated by the school families).

These are just a few examples of the activities that her school hosts.  There are carnivals, daily free breakfast for all, Heritage celebrations with tons of parent-provided food, and more.  Our county is known for its solid school system, but of course each and every school is different.  We are very pleased with where Chatterbox is now (and where Giggles will go next year).  The only con? The school ends at 3rd grade, at which time the students move up to the main elementary school in our neighborhood. I can only hope it’s as engaging.

What really impresses me is how involved the parents are.  Each event is well-attended and supported.  We’re soaking it in while it lasts!

Filed under school | 5 Comments »

UPDATED What Time Is It? RumbaTime! {It’s a Giveaway}

[UPDATED 3/7: Random.org chose K. Rock of Food Stamp as the winner of the RumbaTime watch giveaway! Congrats.]

Those of you with preschoolers and elementary-age children will totally feel me on how crucial the concept of TIME is to this age group.  It’s all about “Can I have 5 more minutes of TV, Mom?” or “Pleeeeease can we stay at the zoo/mall/party/park/wherever for just 10 more minutes!?” or “What time are we leaving for our trip?” and the list goes on.

I’ve gotten both girls watches in the past – they were always analog watches because I felt strongly about them learning how to actually tell time before jumping into the digital world. They are pretty good with the basics (i.e. hour hand) and Grandma got them a clock for their room so they are practicing telling time on that.

But let’s be honest, the analog watches require some work.  Sometimes I just need them to understand what time it is and why we really need to hurry to catch the school bus or why it’s too late to have ice cream.  Enter RumbaTime Watches!

I was sent a RumbaTime Firefly watch to review and Chatterbox was the lucky one to test-drive the watch (it quickly became a source of contention between her and Giggles, but really she just happened to be the one walking by when I opened up the box).  I like that the watch is rubber (i.e. not breakable), and she likes that it is stylish (i.e. looks like a bracelet).  And we both like that she can quickly tell what time it is!

RumbaTime has an entire line of kids’ watches.  They make great learning tools, are reasonably priced, and come cutely packaged.  I could see these being fun gifts.  They also have a ton of different styles and colors for adults and the company seems to be committed to giving back. I’ve been seeing them all over lately – seems that they are all the rage.  The creators of RumbaTime watches started out as friends from college… a cool success story!

I’m giving away a RumbaTime kids collection watch to one of our readers.  Just leave me a comment telling me why your darling child could use a watch of his or her own.  Giveaway ends Friday, March 4 at 12am.  Tweet and FB this post (cc @RumbaTimedotcom) and let me know for extra entries.

About RumbaTime watches

RumbaTime watches are unisex, lightweight and water resistant, perfect from going to the gym to a night out on the town. Starting at only $14, RumbaTime watches are available in over 16 styles and 32 colors.

RumbaTime watches are available for online purchase at rumbatime.com and shopbop.com and in-stores at Finish Line, PacSun, MetroPark, Lord & Taylor, Sports Authority, and Hallmark in addition to select Waldorf Astoria Hotels and Resorts and other boutiques nationwide. For more information on RumbaTime watches, please visit www.rumbatime.com.

Filed under reviews, sponsored post, teaching moments, technology | 12 Comments »