Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Happy New Year! Are You Who You Were a Year Ago?



As the last few hours of 2013 slowly disappear, I decided while my boys were entertaining each other I'd hop on the computer seeing as I'd been inconsistent with posts since my hospitalization, due to a perforation that was found in my intestines after Thanksgiving {I guess some things are consistent year to year, because I seem to have my longest Crohns disease related hospitalizations during the holidays. I'm  starting to believe it was fates  this hamster wheel called life's crazy way of saying I needed a few days of rest in order to get ready to tackle the up coming year}. With a loud and resounding HECK NO!, I can wholeheartedly say I am far from the woman I was a year ago.

As a mother I've learned to not put so much pressure on myself and to lean back & let go a bit in regards to parenting and maintaining our apartment. I know especially when it comes to the guilt I have I'm gradually erasing over needing to go back to work and not spending nearly as much time with our 2nd born Tristan Riley, that I did with my oldest CJ. I try not to compare their milestones too much because they are absolutely two very different monsters. My oldest just seemed to grasp things earlier but was way more mellow and clingy at three years old where Tristan is this big ball of fearless energy and seems to have a pre-teen personality trapped in his little toddler body. They meet in the middle by both being incredibly sweet, loving, empathetic, funny and have a developing love and curiosity for being in the kitchen {future daughter in laws,you can thank their daddy}.

I've learned to just let them be kids, kids who will make messes and jump off furniture on occasion while pretending to be wrestlers, that they will need to learn to solve their own problems and speak up for themselves, and that they can keep busy on their own while their parents give themselves some "Me" time. There's been instances where at my lowest moments turning on their personalized Spotify playlists and just getting up to sing off key while dancing with my monsters can make things seem a lil' better for even the smallest moment. Most importantly I've learned that its OK that our apartment looks like a family of four {with a dog} lives there. I mean everything is in it's place, yes we have an abnormal amount of laundry to enter 2014 with and need to sift through papers we've been holding onto but people can drop by unexpectedly and see a few toys out of place or dishes in the sink, and I promise I won't say "excuse the mess" because guaranteed, especially if they have kids, their house is just as bad, if not worse and that's OK!

This Kid President Video sums it up, sweetly for us moms!

This year made my 5th year as a wife and I've learned that I need to listen more! That sometimes I really just need to bite my lip {literally} to truly absorb what he's saying before spewing out all of the reasons why what I have to say ultimately trumps his. I'm trying to not be so critical and to be understanding but I also know that it's OK to have expectations. You're foolish to think that you can ever change anyone but it's fine to express with conviction what you can and will not accept and do just that, deal with it together or move on! Don't dwell in the past, don't hold grudges, keep it real, openly communicate and continue to grow together.

 I've learned to be compliant and not fight doctors orders, while trying to find a middle ground I'm comfortable with & a month after my hospital stay not one flare up! I still can't stand the term "Super Woman" or"Super Mom" because there's this underlying meaning that denotes that you have to be perfect. A coworker one day closed the door to our staff lounge and gave me permission to cry and told me I was allowed. Which was amazing to hear, because I was always pressured with this idea that because I was a wife, a mother, the oldest child and in the eyes of close friends "so strong" that I wasn't allowed to cry. I'm a multitasking addict and have found myself half-assing things that I'm most passionate about because I'm juggling too much and this really isn't acceptable moving forward.  2014 a friend of mine and I vowed will be the year to "Keep it simple" while always remembering to stay true to my mantra, to live in the moment!

 I've listened to and witnessed friends way better off than we are financially or health wise wallow in despair at all the things they don't have {Is enough, ever just enough?} which for me always resonates that notion that we are all fighting some battle and that the Grass isn't always greener! I am grateful for everything I have and have yet to receive because it wasn't meant for me YET and I truly BELIEVE! I've found new faith in that whatever we all have been faced with we will be seen through in due time. I have no resolutions but I do know that I want to be better and do better.

So Are you who you were a year ago? How have you changed?
My New Years wish for all of you is to Choose Happiness, Seek Adventure, Live simply and to Enjoy the moments!

Bunches of Xoxo's + Happy New Year!
                                               Dellah      


Image source
                     
                   

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Elated with Etsy: Holiday Gift Guide for the Lil' Monsters





While many of us will be adventuring off to Toy's R Us or F.A.O Schwarz during the next few days {which seems like an absolute death wish to me, filled with long lines and temperamental sales associates & parents w/ meltdown having kiddies, that I'd much rather avoid} I wholeheartedly suggest that you guys shop at your favorite local small business spots, especially while there are so many holiday markets and pop-up shops open for the season. I decided I'd round up a few of my fave Etsy finds for your special lil' monsters that are unique and sure to create lasting memories while bringing smiles and giggles well into the new year. Which of these Etsy finds would a lil' monster in your life, love to find under the Christmas tree this year? 


Nature themed memory game perfect for travel.


Lego blocks and mini men soap will have your kids begging for bath-time!


The sweetest plush bunny who'll attend play-dates for teatime. 
 

Star Wars finger puppets to save the day.


Retro Quirky Pillows to add a unique touch to your tweens space.

Acorn color matching toy to keep toddlers engaged.


Enjoy yucky weather days at home, while reminiscing on your childhood with this fun Hopscotch Mat.


Your mini chef can whip you up some fluffy felt pancakes with oh so sweet toppings.


A little one's imagination can span somewhere far over the rainbow with this wooden stacker.




Monday, December 9, 2013

Holiday Gift Guide 2013: 15 Amazing Gifts for Mom




It's gift giving season and I thought I'd kick off my 2013 Holiday Gift Guide with lovelies for the important mamas in our lives! The one person that is most difficult to shop for on my list is my Mom, I remember when the family decided to do secret Santa last year and my brat pack siblings and I crossed our fingers in hopes to not get my mother. Not because she wasn't deserving of the most wonderful presents ever, but because with so many choices and her indifference to what she received the decision making nearly caused for a min-anxiety attack. I wanted to share with you some of the most thoughtful gifts out there that will keep mom on trend, cozy, and relaxed for the new year. 





Happy Shopping!

Bunches of Xoxo's
                             Dellah

Monday, November 11, 2013

A Cause for Jubilation: Delicatessen with Love



Haiti


Sweden



India


Cayman Islands


                                                                             Italy


Thailand


My husband always tells me stories of how his fascination and passion for food grew out of the moments he shared in the kitchen with his Jamaican born grandmother as he grew up. The family would anxiously await for dinner and compliment her on the dish, when really she had only just begun with a mixture of onions, curry or basil that would fill the room and tease their tummies. While watching Fay who hosts Cook Like a Jamaican, guide viewers through her recipes she'd share, my hubby felt like he was transported back to his childhood apartment, her voice reminding him of his grandmothers and the stories she told him.

This time of year always brings back memories for me of huge family dinners on the Lower East Side where my gramps threw on her red apron, started singing gospel songs and got to work in the kitchen, with her grey sassy cat Gracie beneath her feet. The photo series Delicatessen with love  features beautiful grandmothers from around the world sharing their best recipes and meals created in their own kitchens. My hubby and I both lost our maternal grandmothers the same year but this series brought back such warm memories of watching them with admiration and love, as they took care of their families by nurturing our bellies and souls. What are your fondest memories of your grandmother in the kitchen?

Oh Snaps! A Peek at our October on Instagram


It seems October came and went like a cool autumn breeze and now we are tip-toeing upon Turkey day and holiday shopping, I was even tempted to blast some tunes from my holiday playlist on Spotify. October was a busy month for us, the hubby started culinary school, I juggled my teaching job + working weddings and constant Crohns flares while we kept up with our crazy monsters.
  •  First signs of leaves turning in our Queens neighborhood.
  • Tristan and daddy working on a craft project after reading the the book Perfect Square
  • The monsters tried convincing us that their new ride would fit in our tiny apt.
  • Power breakfast courtesy of the hubby.
  • All set for the I Do's at the Cottage in Milleridge Inn
  • Squirrel vs. Toddler.
  • I fell in love with the book Alpha Block and it's on my gift giving list.
  • Tristan's completely enamored with my bestie Tacha.
  • Dinner is served!


  • A little morning inspiration beneath my feet.
  • I'm not envious at all, of the reading in my hubby's future.
  • Unexpected flowers from my boys since I was a sick hot mess.
  • Can you tell they are super proud of their daddy?
  • The monster turns 3!
  • Sonic wants to play with the sleeping monsters.
  • Not sure who loves the hat more, me or him.
  • The highlight of my month is when new magazines load on my nook.
  • Trick or Treat
I hope you all had a wonderful October and that you enjoyed a peek at our moments from Instagram. If you already follow our adventures on Instagram, thanks bunches and If you'd like to you can follow us @Dellahsjubilation

Bunches of Xoxo's
                            Dellah

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Elated with Etsy : Shop Spotlight on Charlie Be Good








This time of year I start contemplating our color palette for holiday decor in our house and once that's figured out I go on to planning our family outfits for our holiday card. We used to go to those mall portrait studios but we've since learned after our oldest had a horrific toddler tantrum {picture a bloody nose all over their faux white fur rug & nerve-wracking crying that signaled all the judgmental stares from parents much older than we were} that we'd just have a family member snap a pic of us with our cellphones in the comfort of our own apartment. Gotta Keep it simple during the holidays, right?

Usually we include our terrier Sonic in pictures with the boys individually because we've never successfully pulled off a family photo with the dog and both kids looking in the same direction. We thought we'd attempt at trying to get him in the family picture this year. We've chosen the color scheme of berry colors {think purples, burgundies and blues} with accents of black or gold. Since it seemed like a sophisticated choice we think we'll get Sonic all snazzy and get him a bow tie.

Right away I headed to Etsy.com and discovered the shop CharlieBeGood, which sells super cute, handmade bow-ties, collars, leashes, dog beds and carriers at really affordable prices. The boys and I agree that the Purple Polka-dots bow tie {last picture featured} will be so perfect and we're hopeful that Sonic won't get too distracted by it, long enough to snap a good picture! Do you include your pets in your family holiday photo's? For laughs here's a few awkward holiday pet portraits and 5 tips to get the best holiday pet photo and I wish you all lots of luck with your holiday picture taking!






Monday, October 14, 2013

Sunday Brunch: Aged in Forest Hills + The Dumbo Arts Festival



One of the best things about Sundays is that sometimes I try my best to make the time to catch up with family and friends over a great meal and usually we'll check out an art exhibit or head to a park or whatever our hearts fancy. I thought It'd be fun to share those Sunday meals and adventures with you guys in hopes that you'd discover a new place to fill your tummies or a unique, fun place to visit.

Two weeks ago, my bestie Natacha and I headed to Aged in Forest Hills, Queens where we sipped on unlimited champagne while catching up on all our September happenings. I indulged in their light but perfectly sweet Queens Croissant french toast {pictured above}.While discussing our plans to check out the Dumbo Arts Festival she admitted she hadn't been to Brooklyn Bridge Park before. Not that I ever need an excuse to head to Dumbo but I was friggin' thrilled I could play her tour guide and show her, what I think of as my "serenity spot". I knew we'd definitely have to pass by a few of my favorite shops {I plan to share a few in an upcoming post} while we walked from York street to Pier 1 checking out all the street art, performers and installations. 







          Ceci Est Un Ceci Est Un Coeur // Street performers // Macarons // Who's Chelsea Manning ?




My absolute favorite was Robots Will Kill, I think they are so friggin cute!


We couldn't have asked for better weather, visitors were out enjoying the art, kayaking and skyline views. 


These adorable girls seemed in awe of the love locks that have been popping up on Pier 1.


Playing Tourists and snapping photos.






The Random Fortune Generator {I couldn't find details on DAF site} "Not being seen but being able to see"
I of course wanted to write down "Live in the Moment" but the line was monstrous.



If you've been to this years festival, what would you say was a must see?

I hope you guys enjoyed this first of many posts in the series "Sunday Brunch" and always remember to 
"Love Life and Live in the Moments".

To hold you over until next years Dumbo Arts Festival, here's some more photos from Instagram and video's highlighting DAF13 Day 1 ,  DAF13 Day 2  and DAF13 Day 3. Enjoy!

Bunches of Xoxo's
                           Dellah



Friday, October 11, 2013

Happy Weekend! Let's LINK Up




I've been waiting for this three day weekend, since October kicked off. Nothing really special planned, our oldest CJ is going to Debate Camp before his final try-outs for the team {not sure how he got to be so smart, but it wasn't from us}. The little monster and I will probably enjoy some arts and crafts and I'll finish working out the details of his Toy- Story themed 3rd birthday. Kinda just looking forward to wearing my fuzzy robe and traipsing leisurely around the house and catching up on some reading + shows we missed this week.

If you're here in the city I totally suggest you check out the Little Red Lighthouse festival this Saturday or The Open House NY  events which allows visitors access into amazing NYC architecture. These events have both been on my to do list the last two years, but who knows maybe we'll just get out of the house and check'em out. Anything amazing planned for the long weekend where you are? Just in case you find yourself staying indoors.....


Here's a few of my very favorite links from around the web {really hard to limit them this week}

3 NYC events to visit this weekend // Pumpkin Day in McCarren Park // Comic-Con //  Luna Park's Halloween Harvest


You have Some Nerve reading this!


Give your door a design- makeover with a splash of fun, unexpected color.

As it starts getting brisker, bring the fun inside with these creative ideas for indoor play.


Don't let all those freshly picked apples go to waste, make this cocktail.

This pumpkin french toast had me drooling.


The sheer back of this Jenny Jenny Packham wedding dress is stunning.

Let your wedding guests know you were each others missing piece with this puzzle piece guess book.


Comic-Con inspired manicures

Quirky clutches seem to be popping up everywhere.

Have the kiddies dress up in costumes of fashion's most iconic personalities for Halloween or better yet skip the princess outfit and dress your little girl in a real heroines costume.


Whatever your plans this weekend, live in the moments and enjoy!

Bunches of Xoxo's
                             Dellah

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Channel Your Inner Olivia Pope w/ Pieces from Dorothy Perkins




Millions of viewers tuned into Season 3, episode 1 of ABC's phenomenal hit series Scandal, and I'm not sure if it had more to do with all the PR drama the gladiator team has to resolve and secrets to be revealed, the steamy romance between Fitz and Liv [just watching them hug is intense] or that fashionista's everywhere are hoping to revamp their wardrobe around Olivia Pope's {Kerry Washington's} iconic show styling. In the October 2013 issue of Glamour Magazine Kerry told The interviewer that tonight's episode will have 19 costume changes {I'll be watching and taking notes}. Whether conducting a brainstorming meeting, speaking at a press conference or stealing moments at gala's with Mr. President, everything about Olivia's style screams: effortless, trend-setting, poised and powerful with touches of feminity that let's everyone know "I'm a boss, and don't you forget it!". 

After scouring the web for a shop that encompassed pieces that would successfully replicate an Olivia Pope "look" I realized that Dorothy Perkins had everything {all under $150} from peplum dresses, subtle yet fabulously detailed coats, blazers and blouses to structured bags and accessories that tie everything together. Take a look at some of their items that I think speak to Olivia's gladiator chic sense of style. Do you have a favorite Olivia Pope outfit on the show? Which pieces below would you love to own in order to recreate an Olivia Pope inspired look?

Above Coats & Blazers 


      Blouses and Sweaters 

  
     Pants, Shoes & Watches 


    Structured bags


     Gowns + Fitted dresses 




Happy Viewing tonight!

Bunches of xoxo's
                            Dellah

All photos of Kerry Washington/ Olivia Pope: Scandalmoments.tumblr.com 
All clothing + accessories via: Dorothyperkins.com 



Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Wedded Bliss // Jaclyn + Evan at Queens Farm


A crisp Autumn breeze + a bit of rustic charm and simplicity made for a gorgeous, end of September  wedding at Queens County Farm. I absolutely friggin' love when I can walk away from a wedding that I helped assist on coordinating, knowing that the couple who's union we witnessed, and whose reception we helped oversee were overjoyed by the outcome of their months or even years of planning.



I instantly fell in love with the couple's choice of birch containers, burlap details + floral arrangements incorporating roses and my new fave Dahlias.


It's all in the details: The couple's initials, a lovingly sweet sentiment, nostalgic photos of the bride and grooms parents and recent pic of Jaclyn and Evan decorated their escort card table. 







The bride and her stunning bridesmaids were all picture perfect while the dapper groom and his groomsmen showed off their fun argyle socks.






The couple shared the endearing words "I am my beloved's and my beloved is mine" as their pet dog Dominoe and all of their guests watched the romantic, sunset over their ceremony.




It was truly a pleasure to be a part of Jaclyn and Evans day the wedding party and family members gave such heartfelt speeches. The couple and their guests danced the night away, enjoyed cake from Momofuku Milk bar and gave Jackie and Evan a sparkler farewell that was a beautiful, love filled way to end the night.






Pictures: Belong to Dellah's Jubilation
Event Coordination: My Bridal Budget LLC
Ceremony + Reception Location: Queens Couunty Farm
Floral Decor: Violet and Verde in Brooklyn, NY
Brides Dress :  Forever Yours from RK Bridal in NYC
Bridesmaid Dresses and Grooms suit: J. Crew
Groomsmen suits: Rental from Jack Silver Formalwear 








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