Without a doubt there is no shortage of things to do here in NYC, whether it's with the entire family, a few friends or for a night out with your boo thang there's something for everyone! And while there are an assortment of options let's be real, sometimes these culture-filled adventures to the museums and theater can cost us a pretty penny. That's why I'm a fan of programs like 20at20 that allow theater goers to enjoy fantastic shows at an affordable price.
Saturday, February 27, 2016
Friday, February 26, 2016
There's nothing like a great Disney Pixar movie to give you the warm and fuzzies, teach you valuable lessons, make you laugh out loud or have you reaching for the Kleenex as you try to hold back a tear or two. Our boys have grown up on Pixar movies and we absolutely enjoyed watching Disney Pixar's Good Dinosaur in theaters. A must see for families, this story of two unlikely friends Arlo the dinosaur, and Spot a mischievous, fearless cave boy unfolds while they learned the true meaning of family and bravery & while teaching us that although being small in stature, having a big heart and giving it your all are what count most.
Tuesday, February 23, 2016
I'm a mom to two Jamaican-American boys who sport long locs & have vibrant personalities and although they are brothers who share similar interests there are quite a few things that set them apart. t's important to my husband and I to have the boys understand that their differences are what make them special, from physical traits to talents and everything in between. Black History Month is the perfect time to sit down with them to discuss diversity and embracing not only each other's differences but those of their peers and within society. It's a great way for us to discuss the achievements of African Americans of the past and present but we believe it's also a conversation that can be had, and is relevant all year round. As fans of the WWE the boys truly admire the WWE Superstars and Divas and it's great that these professionals can share their experiences with racism and teach kids of all ages how to overcome obstacles. On the WWE blog, WWE Diva Naomi and Superstar Xavier Woods share their Black History Month Reflections:
Naomi Black History Month Blog
Black History Month presents an important opportunity, not only to celebrate the countless achievements of African Americans and their role in shaping our history and culture, but also to reflect on where we are now as a nation, and how we can continue to grow together. Black History Month should be a time to learn from mistakes that were made in the past and aspire to a time when the only race that defines us is the human race.
Like so many African American children, I grew up dealing with racism and ignorance, and I know kids across the country are still dealing with the same obstacles. That is why I love to work outside of the ring and spread positive messages, just as much as I love performing inside the ring. When I interact with young fans, I want to instill a sense of confidence in each and every child, just as my mother did for me. For 35 years, my mother worked tirelessly to support my brother and me. She was always there to make sure I stayed on track, even when I wanted to give up or when someone told me I wasn’t good enough. She made sure the word “quit” wasn’t in my vocabulary. Throughout my entire life, I’ve never seen my mother quit. Everyone has their insecurities, but I learned early on that no one but me can determine my worth or decide my limitations. That is the message I hope to pass on to every person questioning themselves and their ability.
It’s so important to me that my fans know their inner beauty and self-worth, and that they never allow someone else’s label to limit their success. I knew that I was destined to be a WWE Diva and refused to give up. I live by the mantra, “Don’t follow your dreams, chase them,” and I hope the young fans watching me perform know that if I was able to become a WWE Diva, they can achieve their wildest dreams too. I’m here because I beat the odds and so can you.
While I am proud to represent black women, my role as a Diva and an athlete is to be an empowering voice for women, period. Regardless of race, we all want the same things: love, respect and our individuality. My hope for the future is that, by loving what makes each of us different, we will learn to celebrate the diversity of those around us. There’s no better time than now to look in the mirror, find what we love about the reflection staring back, and widen the lens through which we view each other.
Xavier Woods – Black History Month Blog
Black History Month is an important time to celebrate the influence African-Americans had on history, but it’s also important to recognize that this history isn’t just “black history,” it’s everyone’s history.
While we’ve come a long way in a relatively short amount of time, we have far to go and it’s so important to me that I continue my family’s legacy of progression. My grandmother is the strongest person I know. She lived through hardships I can’t imagine and made so many sacrifices in order for her children and her children’s children to benefit and lead a better life. Because of her sacrifices and the sacrifices of so many others, I’m able to pursue an education and live out my dreams. That’s why, in addition to being a WWE Superstar, I am actively working on attaining my PhD. Despite the hardships my grandmother faced, she is one of the most positive people I’ve ever met. She always has a smile on her face and that has had a profound effect on me. I always look for the positive in life and never stop trying to better myself.
Back in high school, there was a wrestler, who was a few years older than me and the star athlete of the team. After he graduated, I won the first big tournament of the year. I was so excited and commented to my coach that I felt just like that star athlete that had graduated. He said, “Why? You should feel like Austin Watson. You should never compare yourself to anyone around you.” That stuck with me. It taught me to be proud of who I am and my own achievements, whether that’s winning a match or not conforming to anyone else’s idea of who I am or should be. That’s something I really try to pass along to the kids I meet as a WWE Superstar. Growing up, I didn’t have great social skills, but I found that I was able to better communicate and find friends through video games. That’s actually what brought me out of my shell and lead me to pursue sports. Of course, being a young, black “nerd” who liked to play video games wasn’t considered “cool,” and I got picked on. In adolescence, you look to your peers who are “cool” and “popular” and you let them define who you think you should be rather than celebrate what makes you unique. Being a gamer is what makes me unique and fun! There is no need to be ashamed of who you are and what makes you happy.
Regardless of race, it is important to live by your own standards and not those set for you by society. We are all individual people, not groups labeled according to color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, etc. I hope that we can use Black History Month as a reminder to build bridges rather than boxes.
How do you teach your children about diversity and the importance of Black History Month?
Sunday, February 14, 2016
So you say you aren't about that mini-van life huh? If you've ever been that parent who reluctantly realized it was time for your family to transition into a bigger ride, the Kia Sedona SXL is here to prove it's ok to make the switch as your tribe expands!
Aside from safety being of most importance when checking out cars, the other go to feature we look for in choosing a vehicle is comfort, which is something the 2016 Kia Sedona SXL definitely encompasses. As a family of 4 I wouldn't say we necessarily need something as spacious as this minivan but it surely made for a luxurious enjoyable ride. There was seriously nothing we didn't like about this car! Seating eight, it was perfect for rounding up our two lil' monsters and the extended family which included my parents, sister and brother for a visit to see my grandmother, and a trip to Dyker Heights at the beginning of the New Year.
The Kia Sedona SX-L is what I'd consider first class driving for families & doesn't skimp on high tech features. While starting at $39,000 once my dad got in the car he was fully interested in knowing the price because he was just as impressed as we were with all the great features that had us in awe:
- Awarded 5 out of 5 stars in U.S government frontal and side crash tests.
- Forward Collision Warning System - using radar and sometimes laser and camera detects an imminent crash.
- Lane Departure Warning System - warns driver when car is moving out of lane and essential on freeways and arterial roads, designed to minimize accidents caused by driver error, distractions and drowsiness.
- Blind Spot Detection System -sends visual and audio sensors to help warn of objects not in your field of view.
- Parking Assistant with Front and Rear Sensors
- Integrated Conversation Mirror - allows you to see what's going on in the third row while still keeping an eye on the road.
I loved the beautifully color-blocked leather trim seats that were extremely soft and that the kids could enjoy heated seats in the 2nd row as well, especially as these temperatures have taken some alarming dips. There's the option to add a third passenger to the 2nd row with fold down center console and although we didn't utilize it you can slide and stow in this row as well, which is perfect for traveling or doing large shops for groceries etc.
Without a doubt the boys were fans of lounging around in the captain seats while watching their favorite movies, at one point my 5 year old even asked me for popcorn. For long trips having these two features alone were amazing for the kids who were entertained the entire drive which made our travels go that much more smoothly. When we took the extended family out nobody felt cramped during our commute and had ample leg room, including my nearly 6 foot tall younger brother.
One issue we admittedly have with our youngest is him keeping his seat belt across his chest properly as it irritates his neck or bothers his face and we always have to remind him how important it is to wear it properly while in his booster seat.
We decided we'd take a drive out to Jersey to visit the Liberty Science Center for the first time as a family after winning tickets from our fellow parenting & lifestyle blogger
Gemarla of the MommyElf.
The Liberty Science Center is a wonderful place for kids of all ages to explore and discover while having so much fun kids don't even realize they are learning. Favorites for my boys were the I-Explore, Infinity Climber, and a temporary Dora and Diego exhibits
On the way home I decided to stretch out & got comfortable in the middle row while enjoying a movie with the lil' monsters as the hubby jammed out to his favorite tunes. When we pulled up to the house we were so dang comfy we just sat with the heat on and finished our movie.
If you're looking for a mini-van that's not only rated highly for safety, comfortable and features all those high end details that give you all the bang for your buck & then some, then the Kia Sedona SXL is for you! Make sure to head to Kia.com for more details on specs and features!
Which feature would be a must for you, when considering the Kia Sedona SXL?
Sunday, February 7, 2016
If you were born in the 80s and 90s then you are oh too familiar with the cute and cuddly Care Bears that graced our small screens with their animated adventures and valuable lessons on friendship and caring for others. These days the Care Bears seem to have made an awesome come back as Must Haves for lil' monsters and have nostalgic grown-ups like me taking trips down memory lane as they return to television with their new animated series on Netflix.
Did you have a favorite Care Bear character? Mine were Tenderheart and Sunshine Bear. and I loved all the Care Bear Cousins! Now Care Bear fans of all ages can visit Build-A-Bear workshop to create their own adorable plush Tenderheart Bear and Cheer Bear just in time to share their care for Valentine's Day and all year round.
Monday, February 1, 2016
Cupid's stupid! Yes I said it (but don't tell my kids I said that word) I'm having a moment! I know Valentine's day is right around the corner and all, but do we really need a commercial holiday filled with heart shaped boxes of chocolates you have to take a bite of to figure out if you like the flavor, cliche long stemmed roses that you could get for half the price the day after and restaurant lines for over priced, tiny plates of food to celebrate how much we love our significant others? Nope I pass. On Valentine's day you'll most likely find me and my boys snuggled up on the couch playing board games or watching a movie because that's just what we do, and we love each other regardless of whether or not cupid or Hallmark tells us to.
High school was brutal during this day, I remember how us girls made such a big deal out of counting how many roses or balloons we received from the guys, and it was many of those same girls who had issues looking at themselves long enough in the mirror to tell themselves they were beautiful.
I've been with the hubby 13 years and wouldn't ever want him to feel obligated to buy a bunch of stuff just to say he loves me on this designated holiday, just like he knows that although it's the thought that counts - if he brings home some cheesy red roses I may give him a side eye! I'd rather a day of spoiling be on just some random day, try in September- just because, lol. However whether you're single, dating or married I am all for treating ourselves and indulging in goodies for this silly holiday. So I've teamed up with my partners and co-founders of Sisterued.com to offer 1 lucky follower a Valentine's Day giveaway full of goodies to promote loving yourself, whether you are headed out for date night or reveling in the peace and quiet of some "me" time at home or something in between feel free to enter the rafflecopter below for the following prizes:
a Rafflecopter giveaway
This Giveaway is for entrants ages 18+ and live in the Continental U.S.A a winner will be announced on 2/9/16 and has 24 hours to accept their prize before another winner is chosen.