Monday, May 19, 2014

Grab Yourself Some "Me Time" & See Mom's Night Out #MNOMAMARAZZI #MOMSNIGHTOUT

As moms how often do we find ourselves torn between wanting to spend quality time with our kids and spouses as often as we can while juggling housework, careers and schlepping kids to various activities? Thanks to The Moms, earlier in the month I was invited to attend a screening with my fave mom-bloggers of the newly released faith-based, comedy film Moms Night Out which stars Patricia Heaton {the hilarious mom from Everybody Loves Raymond and Malcom in the Middle} and Sarah Drew {the quirky and loveable Kepner on Grey's anatomy}, Sean Astin and David Hunt. Before the screening we mingled while sipping delicious Mom-mosas  and other yummy cocktails courtesy of Martini and enjoyed sweet treats from  Baked by Melissa.  

From the first ten minutes the theater was all laughs, which really never died down throughout the entire film as we watched Allyson a Stay at home mom, wife of a busy travel-for-work husband and mom blogger navigate her way through the perils and joys of motherhood to 3 high energy children. How is it possible that when you seemingly have it all: the successful & good looking husband, the white picket fence and adorable kids, you are still unhappy with your life? A dilemma that has Allyson spazzing out like Susie homemaker turned incredible hulk, and sobbing in a closet {while looking at old glitzy party shoes} about her life that once was.

One of the moments/ quotes that stood out to me in the film was when Allyson's very understanding husband {played by Sean Astin} explains to his wife that she needed to heed the advice that most flight attendants give at the beginning of a flight. "You must put your oxygen mask on first, in order to be of any help to anyone else", comparing a girls night out or a hobby to an oxygen mask, a necessity to live.  As moms we sometimes forget that we need to take care of ourselves first, both physically and mentally before we can be good to anyone else. One of the many things I love and appreciate about my own hubby is that he encourages me to take moments for myself, whether a long bubble bath, a walk around the block or brunch with the girls because he knows I need it for my own sanity every now and then.

So as recommended, Allyson rounds up her ladies {the pastors wife, played by Patricia Heaton & the best friend Izzy} and we follow along as the movie takes us on an outrageous girls night out adventure in which  the hubbies are left in charge of the kids, and we witness the disastrous yet hysterical series of events unfold, while these glammed up moms give it their best efforts to paint the town red.

We've all been there, paralyzed by stress and guilt: questioning our parenting skills, wondering if others are judging us, seeking an identity outside of being a mom, and occasionally needing a moment to ourselves to enjoy the things and people we loved before having kids. No joke it's a balancing act, I stayed home with each of my boys for their first 2 years as a choice. One that my husband and I made because honestly childcare expenses are so high in NYC and with me being an educator I just couldn't see my kids being cared for by anyone else but myself or close family. Often I wanted to pull out my hair, and still do from the sleepless nights and potty training days of long ago, to battles over the TV and meltdowns of today and needed an outlet which was in part why I started this blog. Through events like these hosted by The Moms I've been blessed to be able to meet and become friends with lots of other mom bloggers who have all at some point tried to find their voice in the blogosphere while managing a household.

After the screening we were all lucky enough to sit in on The Moms live Q&A with the cast for SiriusXm radio, which was a blast! They discussed the ups and downs of parenting and marriage while managing careers in the spotlight and it's great to see that despite their celebrity status we all go through the same things and try to be the best parents we can be since there just isn't a manual on how to do it. I was able to ask Sarah Andrew on air if there was a friend or family member who she had been nervous about watching her child only to be relieved that everyone was safe & sound and had a good time. Fortunately for her she says she's been blessed with amazing family who insist she go out while they babysit. In the midst of my question, the adorably handsome Sean Astin {of Lord of the Rings and 80's classic The Goonies} walked in.

This Mother's Day I was able to indulge in the best of both worlds {thanks to my mother-in-law who gladly relieved me of my mommy duties}, an entire day to myself which included the rare joy of sleeping in past 8am, lounging in pajamas while watching tasteless -girly television {hubby had to work} and actually being able to talk to my bestie Liza on the phone {without hyper monsters yelling in the background}, opposed to just shooting her a text in ten minute intervals. After a relaxing Saturday, my two monsters returned home, eager to greet me with hugs and kisses. My hubby prompted our 3 year old and asked "What do you have to tell mommy?" he jumped up in my arms and with conviction yelled "HAPPY BIRTHDAY MOMMY" which had me cracking up. We ended up playing board games and cuddled upon the couch watching movies and had breakfast for dinner.

By far some of the best movies are the ones that you can find yourself relating to, that make it easier to laugh at yourself and that make you realize you aren't alone in this crazy life as parents. If  you have yet to see Moms Night Out, arrange a sitter,  grab your girlfriends or go alone for two hours of  "mommy" time because you deserve it!  Watch the Trailer, I guarantee you and the family will laugh a bunch and even get a little teary, if you're a cheese-ball like me sometimes.

How do you find time for yourself & what's been your own favorite Moms Night out Moment?

Friday, May 16, 2014

Happy Weekend! Let's LINK Up

I don't know about you, but I just didn't think this day would ever come, but I am so thankful it's Friday and not for any other particular reason than that it's the end of the week. Spring is now going right up there with seasons I'm not pleased with , it's running a pretty close second to winter. Don't get me wrong I'm thankful for warmer days but the pollen, the grass and whatever else that's floating around has caused lots of eye-ball rubbing, drippy nose, scratchy throat and itchy parts kind of reactions from my two lil' monsters. Which inevitably means we grown-ups feel super helpless because the prescribed grape stuff isn't working which results in sleepless nights for us.  What do you guys have planned for the weekend, anything good? Tomorrow, weather permitting we'll head to the Madison Square Park & Time Out Kids Spring Fest, which should be awesome. On Sunday you'll find me at the New York Baby Show bright and early and then I'm hoping to squeeze in a trip to Flushing Meadow Park for the World's Fair Anniversary. Whatever fun and relaxation you find yourselves getting into I hope you live in the moments and enjoy!

Here's a few of my fave links from around the web to help you pass the time:

5 other Fun NYC events to check out // International Food Festival // BayFest2014 // Touch- A-Truck Street Fair // Dance Parade & Festival // LIC Springs Block Party //

This parody of the New York City MTA will make for a good laugh.

Things Parisians do that amaze New Yorkers  and vice versa.

Coca-Cola x Opi collaboration has made some fun colors with lots of pop!

A fantastic sequin jacket  can make any day better and brighter.

Work out your abs, so you can werk this swimsuit and if you're shy this tankini will make you feel hot.

Every rooftop should be styled to look as gorgeous as this one.

A watermelon cooler must be added to your festive summer drink list this year.

Keep lunchtime simple with these 2 ingredient sandwiches.

Are you a serial wedding guest? Then the book Save the Date is your next must read!

Romantic and Quirky wedding signs your guests will find charming.

I've always loved Rent the Runway, but because of this capsule collection I'll be hooked forever!

DIY jungle nursery art for the kiddies will look adorable in their space.

10 things to do with your kids this summer.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Must Haves For Lil' Monsters {Kids} No. 3

This weeks collection is full of fun finds I spied at some local family expos over the last few weeks and are carried by some of my favorite NYC neighborhood stores. While some picks will have your lil' one dressed to impress this spring, others will promote creativity: especially on rainy days indoors and give back to those in need.

Bring all the fun of building castles on the beach home without creating the annoying mess. When I discovered Kinetic Sand, I was instantly sold on it's "magical" properties that will allow your little one to sculpt and mold without leaving you with the headache of cleaning it all up because every speck stays in place.

Hailing yellow taxis and chasing fearless pigeons through parks and off sidewalks are typical city moments & these iconic NYC pillows would be awesome reminders of this crazy city life or will have you wander-lusting for a trip to the big apple.

High top denim sneakers are too cool for school & perfect for hitting the playground in.

Girls will love twirling around in this colorful and fun floral poplin skirt, that's perfect for spring.

Grab your little foodie and head to the kitchen! Once they've opened up their first Raddish monthly subscription box {which includes recipes, activities and more} they'll want to help make dinner all the time.

The Feed + Oh Joy Diaper bag has me seriously needing an excuse to buy one for myself, despite my two monsters being well beyond their potty training days. Not only is this bag trendy, with it's fantastic print, the purchase of a bag will allow 1 mom and 1 child to receive micronutrients for one year.

Kids can celebrate being brave with the poem Life Doesn't Frighten Me written by Maya Angelou and they'll be engaged by the child-like artistry of Jean-Michel Basquiat while learning to overcome their fears.

If your kids are like my 3 year old { he loves his smoothies and applesauce in them}, they will love the line of Squooshi reusable pouches that come in adorable animal designs and will allow them to take the yummy foods you prepare for them on the go without the waste, mess or need for utensils.

Have you discovered a  Must Have for your lil' monsters, if so which one?

Monday, May 5, 2014

The Amazing Spider - Man 2 Red Carpet Movie Premier

*Disclosure : I was invited as Press and was given VIP passes and invited to a private screening. Opinions expressed are 100% my own.

We aren't even half way through it, but this year has been a world wind of fun-filled once in a lifetime opportunities for my two monsters, hubby and I since I've started blogging again. Thanks to The Moms Network, our son CJ can add another priceless moment to his list of things he's done before his teenage years, that his mom and dad have done way later than their preteen years, lol. Imagine my excitement when I got the invitation for my family and I {unfortunately the littlest monster, age 3 could not attend because you needed to be 10+, and he's probably the biggest Spidey fan in the house} to hang out in the bleachers when the celebrities arrived to walk the red carpet at the Ziegfield Theater in NYC, and to screen the movie The Amazing Spiderman 2 at the Sony Wonder Labs before it's release to the public. Whoa! yepp, that's what I said the red carpet and private screening, pretty dang unbelievable!

As a lifelong Spiderman fan our 10 year old son's facial expressions were so adorable when he realized he was on the actual red carpet. There we were, standing in the bleachers with VIP passes hanging from our necks, bright lights surrounding us and the red carpet right below us. I remember CJ turning to us and asking
 "Mom, dad, why are all these T.V stations here just to watch the movie?" We both laughed and explained to him, what exactly was about to happen and when we caught wind that Andrew Garfield would be arriving shortly and that the lovely Emma Stone {who we didn't get to see because we had to leave for our own private viewing party with other Mom-bloggers and their families}, Jamie Foxx and Pharrell would be joining him, CJ nearly lost his mind! And quite honestly so did quite a few grown-ups.

Max Charles was so adorable, he seemed to be having the time of his life,  in a moment I'm sure seemed surreal at such a young age.

 Ralph Macchio 

Montell Williams

Andrew Garfield rode in on a school bus with deserving students who volunteer & even took time out with fans on the streets for selfies before hitting the red carpet.

Brittany Daniels 

Kendrick Lamar

Lol, I called out to him and got his attention!

Chris Cooper signed CJ's poster

I've loved Sally Fields since her Steel Magnolias days, it was so great seeing her!

Of course we all started singing "Happy" when we saw Pharrell and his infamous hat.

Embeth Davidtz

Right before dashing off we were able to catch this pic of Jamie Foxx and his cute daughter who's face was painted blue .. Go Team Electro!

The Amazing Spiderman 2 premiered this past weekend hauling in $92 Million in sales here in North America, and I am far from surprised, seeing as the cast was an amazing smorgasburg of acting talent featuring Andrew Garfield {Spiderman}, Emma Stone {Gwen}, Jamie Foxx {Electro}, Paul Giamatti {Rhino}, Sally Field {Aunt May} Chris Cooper {Norman Osborn} Dane DeHaan {Harry Osborn} and Max Charles {young spiderman} Embeth Davidtz {Mary Parker} Martin Sheen {Uncle Ben} and Denis Leary {Captain Stacy}.

Seriously what more can you ask for from a Marvel Movie? Lots of high energy action, a good looking, web slinging hero who's saving the world while navigating his way through childhood abandonment issues with his deceased parents & embracing his love life and future with the beautiful and intelligent Gwen.

Prior to seeing the movie we were all team Spiderman in my house , but now I think the misunderstood & electrifying, villain Electro has definitely converted a few Spidey man fans over to his side. I think the talented Jamie Foxx , did an exceptional job portraying his character Max. You honestly couldn't help but feel sorry for this guy because all he really wanted was to feel important, noticed and respected. Don't we all, at some point or another seek that same validation?

Prior to our moving screening we all joined in on a yummy pizza party and the kids {of all ages} got to try out the latest released Amazing Spiderman video game, which of course CJ thought was pretty awesome.

If you haven't already gone to the theater to check out the Amazing Spiderman my boys and I would highly recommend you do. The special affects will not disappoint and I thought the movie taught two great lessons of Living in the Moment and how being in the limelight may not always be what it's cracked up to be!

Many thanks to The Moms Newtork who provided us with such an amazing once in a life-time opportunity!


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