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Thankful Thursday | A Weekly List of Gratitude

Happy Thankful Thursday YUMMs!  I was on Twitter the other day and it dawned on me that the only shows I watch are the ones on Netflix.  Everyone was talking about all the shows that got cancelled and which ones got renewed.  Of course, I didn't know anything about a good 80% of the shows folks were tweeting about.  Y'all my goal for this summer is give cable television another try. especially since we're paying for it already.   Anyways, let's get into my gratitude list for the week.

Also, in the spirit of full disclosure.  Some of the links below are affiliate links.  this means that I will receive a small commission at NO extra charge to you if you purchase something using one of the links below.

What I Am Thankful For This Week

Birthdays |  JJ turned six this week and surprisingly I handled it pretty well.  Ever since I had kids, birthdays have tended to reduce to me an emotional puddle of tears.  Neither I or Jay could wait until his actual birthday to give him his gifts.  So for his actually birthday, JJ had two requests.  He wanted to go to the library to play with the blocks and look for Thomas & Friends books.

We didn't find any Thomas & Friends books that we hadn't already read.  After leaving the library, he requested to hang out at the park.  Although, this Carolina sun was blazing, I couldn't say no.  So off to the park we went.  You can check out a little bit of our adventure in our first mini family vlog below.

Ibotta App |  At the beginning of the year, I set a goal to be more deliberate and consistent about using the Ibotta app.  If you don't know Ibotta is an app that you download to your smartphone and use to earn cash back on almost everything from groceries and makeup to shopping at certain online retailers.  They have a low cash out threshold of just $20.  I set a goal to earn $60 - $100 back in cash every month.

Well, I slacked off big time until pretty much the end of last month.  You see this Christmas I want to have $100 to spend solely on books and at least $200 to spend on gifts for my siblings that doesn't come out of my or Jay's regular income.  Therefore, when I realized that I wasn't anywhere close to meeting by $300 goal, I got serious.

My consistency is paying off because I've earned over $75 in just a few weeks.  By the end of the week I will have earned an additional $20 bringing me to $95.  This might not seem like a lot, but literally I'm getting paid to buy things that I already buy.

And the best part is that I'm saving even more because I often use coupons.  If I stay on task and with earning $20 in cash back every week, I'll have more than $300 stowed away in my PayPal by the time Christmas gets here.  I invite you to try out Ibotta.  

Spring Cleaning |  I've finally made some progress on getting rid of more unneeded to stuff.  We cleaned out the kids' dressers and got rid of a ton of clothing that was way to small for them.  I haven't a clue why I was still hanging on to it, but it's been donated to a charity that will sort through and divide everything to go to other families who need it.

I hope you guys have lovely weekend!  I'll be covering the Cars 3 Road to the Races Tour this weekend for Disney.  Be on the lookout for a recap post and a vlog.

What are you thankful for this week?

Disney•Pixar 's Cars 3 Road to the Races Tour Fast Pass Giveaway + Free Printables

This giveaway is sponsored by DisneyᐧPixar.  All opinions expressed are my own.  Thank you for supporting the brands that keep YUMMommy running.

Disney·Pixar's Cars 3 rolls into theaters nationwide on June 16, 2017.  It's been all JJ and Moo have talked about since they saw the first teaser trailer months ago.  The kids aren't the only ones excited though.  I'm a Cars fan as well and can't wait to see what's going to happen to our fave Lightning McQueen and his racing career not that he's no longer a spring chicken.  To celebrate the upcoming Cars 3 movie release, we're attending the Cars 3 Road to the Races Tour this weekend!!

Yep, Lightning McQueen, Cruz Ramirez and Jackson Storm are rolling into Charlotte, NC from May 19th to May 20th.  McQueen and the gang will be hanging at out the Charlotte Motor Speedway from noon to 5 PM both days.  Fans can get their pictures taken with the life-size Cars 3 stars, enjoy smoothies, try their hands at changing a race car tire and more.  Find out more details in my previous Road to the Races Tour post.

This event is sure to be jam packed!  Thankfully Disney was generous enough to give me some Fast Passes to giveaway to you guys.  Two families will win 5 Fast Passes each to use.  These Fast Passes will be good for Saturday, May 20, 2017 from noon to 4 PM only!  With these passes you and your family will be granted quick event entry and be allowed to skip any existing lines.  Just use the widget below to enter to win.  I'm also giving away another set of tickets on my Instagram account!

Meanwhile, you can have some Cars 3 fun at home before and even after the movie comes out with these FREE Cars 3 activity printables.  Just right click the images to save and print.  Enjoy!!

Who's your favorite Disney·Pixar Cars character?

Thankful Thursday | A Weekly List of Gratitude

Happy Thankful Thursday YUMMs!  I'm in the middle of trying purge our apartment still of all the things we don't need.  It seems to be a never ending task.  For example, the kids got rid of a trash bag and half of toys already.  However, their toy bins to seem to be even fuller than they were before.  How Sway? I can't even believe how much stuff we've accumulated.  Pray for us as we continue to sort through our belongs.  

What I Am Thankful For This Week

New Friends |  So remember I was telling y'all about me participating in #BookBuddyAthon last week?  Well, I'm so happy that I did it.  There's no shame in admitting that I'm a book nerd.  And to be taking part of something with so many other book nerds is amazing!  The best part of this readathon is that my book buddy and I have completely bonded.

Despite her living in the Middle East and there being an almost ten year age difference (she's 22, I'm 31) between us we have similar taste in books and have had a blast messaging and chatting with each other.  I'm excited to learn more about culture.  Like did you guys know their equivalent to our Halloween is celebrated in May in some of their countries?!  She wants to visit the US soon and I confessed that the Middle East is actually on my travel bucket list.  

So, here's to our future upcoming in person meetups.  We've decided to continue chatting with each other until then so that we can continue getting to know each other.  And we're already planning our next buddy read just because. 

Doing The Right Thing|  This week was a tough one for Moo in terms of going to school.  She started this week off tired because they've been testing since last week.  She asked if she could stay home Monday.  Then, she witnessed her first school fight between two of her class mates.  She said some of the other kids were just standing around, but she ran to get her teacher.  I'm so proud of her for doing the right thing.

We live in a society where too folks keep their mouths closed when it comes to wrong things.  A lot of people pass this same bad habit down to their kids.  Thus, you get a situation where kids would rather watch their class mates beat each other down than do right thing.  With the help of two other teachers, her teacher got the boys separated.  One boy's eye was injured, but thankfully it wasn't anything too serious.

Needless to say, if she wasn't already over school before, she was definitely OVER it after that!  A feeling of safety and security has always been something Moo's needed.  She's always felt that at school until recently when some kids in her class started acting out aggressively, but after this witnessing this physical altercation, she said she doesn't feel safe at all anymore.  It breaks my heart, but thank God there's only three weeks of school left.  May they fly by super fast and without any further incidents.

Siblings |  I love my siblings.  We stan for each other for the way some folks stan for Beyonce.  LOL.  Seriously, though I'm thankful that they're always there for me and my family.  I'm grateful that we talk and text each other daily.  And we have an upcoming sibling's trip!  It's still a few months off, but I can't wait for us all to be in the same city so we can let loose.

I hope you guys have had a great week and have lovely weekend!

What are you thankful for this week?

25 Books To Add To Your May TBR

The weather has warmed up and the sun is shining.  That means it's finally safe to enjoy some outdoor leisure time.  So whether you're soaking up Vitamin D from your patio or the beach, these 25 books are sure to be great company.  Grab some sunscreen, a comfy lounge chair, a nice cold drink and get your read on!

Thankful Thursday | A Weekly List of Gratitude

It's official y'all!  Only four more weeks of getting up to take Moo to school and then we'll be on Summer Break.  She's been asking to join her brother at home doing homeschool and I think we're going to give it a try.  There are a lot of positives to having her at home as well and I can't wait to see how it goes.  

What I Am Thankful For This Week

#BookBuddyAthon |  If you've been around here long enough, it's literally NO secret that I'm a bookworm.  It's a trait I inherited from my mom's side of the family.  Anyways, last year I really wanted to participate in #BookBuddyAthon, but couldn't find a book buddy in time.  This year I tweeted and put it out there that I was looking for buddy.  Dreams come true when you put them out into the universe, right?

Long story short, last week someone finally reached out to me and asked to be my book buddy!  Our reading tastes are similar and we can both talk books for hours it seems.  The readathon starts this Saturday and I can't wait!  I think I've found a lifelong book friend you guys.

Teachers |  This week I finally got to meet Moo's talent development teacher.  We had met in passing a few weeks before Christmas, but it was literally a "Hi" and "Bye" type of meeting.  She held meeting for parents to talk to us more about the Gifted and Talented program and give us some tips on what the next stage of our children's education should be among other things.  Can I just say that I love her!!  

Seriously, her passion and excitement for working with kids radiates off of her.  Also, she looks like Tracee Ellis Ross and has the vibrant personally to match.  I wish I could afford to hire as a private teacher for Moo on our homeschooling journey.  One day, one day...

More Homeschool Progress |  My little guy is reading.  By himself y'all!!  We read together for bedtime every night.  On Monday, he asked if he could read and I said sure.  You guys he surprised me when he read a whole sentence without any help!  This is major, especially if you know his journey from being a nonverbal communicator until now.

My heart is so full as I continue to watch my precious little guy knock down barriers and achieve milestones.  I'm so thankful that I made the choice to homeschool him.  He's not stressed out and has been able to learn at his own pace.

What are you thankful for this week?

Whoa, Baby! Book Review + Giveaway

Disclosure:  This review and giveaway are sponsored by Da Capo Press.  I received a copy of Whoa, Baby! from the publisher to facilitate this review.  All opinions expressed are my own.  Also, this post contains affiliate links.

When it comes to motherhood, why are mothers often the least talked about?  Sure there are tons of books and articles out there that tell us how to mother/parent and even more that judge how some of us parent/mother.  But what about the books that focus on and go into candid detail about the physical, mental and emotional aspects of being a mom, especially surrounding new motherhood?  Having once searched for those books for months almost nine years ago, I can tell you that there aren't many.  Thankfully, new moms like Kelly Rowland and her OB/GYN, Dr. Tristan Bickman, are changing that with her new book, Whoa, Baby!: A Guide For New Moms Who Feel Overwhelmed and Freaked Out.

When I first heard that Kelly Rowland was writing a book about new motherhood with OB/GYN, Dr. Bickman, I got a little bit excited.  While I wasn't a 100% certain that the majority of this book wasn't going to be about how to parent, I knew that since Dr. Bickman is on OB/GYN and not a pediatrician that this book was probably going to tackle some issues that related specifically and solely just to moms.  Now, having read Whoa, Baby! fully, I can assure you that this is not yet another how to parent book.

Instead, Whoa, Baby! is a welcomed breath of fresh air when it comes to guides for new moms in my opinion.  Kelly Rowland gets very candid and open about a lot of topics that I feel either get glazed over, swept under the rug or just not talked about at all.  I love her honesty in talking about the pain our vaginas go through after birth not only from the act of just pushing our babies out, but also from the vaginal tearing that happens to roughly 95% of us birth our children vaginally.  When I flash back to talking about my labor and delivery with my first OB/GYN before I delivered Moo, she made vaginal tearing sound like something that could happen, but probably wouldn't.

Boy, was she wrong.  I ended up with an almost third degree tear folks.  And let me tell you ladies, there ain't nothing comfortable about having stitches in your lady bits.  I definitely wish I had known that tearing was the norm for first time moms and not as rare as my doctor had made it seem because I feel like I could have better prepared myself mentally for the pain afterwards and would have actually stocked up on items like an inflatable donut and those ice-pack underwear.

Aside from vaginal tearing, Kelly Rowland also shares her struggles with constipation, worrying breastfeeding after getting breast implants, sex after baby, and her battle to love her post baby body.  She even talks about postpartum depression, a subject that even today is still considered a bit taboo to talk openly about.  And throughout all of her sharing, Dr. Bickman interjects her professional opinions and advice in way that is seamless and doesn't take away from the intimate feeling of the book.

And while we're on the subject of Dr. Bickman, I just want to say that I wish I had the opportunity to have her as my OB/GYN.  She has a tone/personality that comes across as no non-sense, straightforward and brutally honest, but with a little humor sprinkled in.  You can definitely tell that she's seen and heard it all and is completely comfortable talking about any subject, regardless of how embarrassing, with her patients.  You can also tell that she values her patients and has no problem being an advocate for them when needed.

Seriously, I'm more than a little bummed out that Kelly Rowland didn't have child before I did because I could have totally used Whoa, Baby! before and even after I had Moo.  Rowland talks about how we as moms don't really talk about the not so pretty aspects of new motherhood, even with our close friends and family members.  This got me to thinking and she's right.  I had two girlfriends who had children before I did, they never warned me about the stuff that Rowland and Dr. Bickman talk about.

While I'm glad new moms and moms-to-be now have Whoa, Baby!, I can't help but encourage moms to start talking to our close friends and family about these things when they ask what our experiences were like.  It's time to stop being ashamed or embarrassed to talk about our needs and struggles.  It's time to keep it all the way real so that we're not sending our loved ones into this experience blind.

I appreciate Rowland's openness and willingness to share what her experience was like.  I enjoyed the tone of this book and how it felt like she was confiding in me as friend and not just a reader.  Whoa, Baby! is definitely a must-read for new moms and moms-to-be.  I'd even recommend this book to not-so-new moms like myself who've always wanted a book that gets real about our needs and experiences as new moms, but couldn't find the right one.


The lovely folks from Da Capo Press were nice enough to allow me to giveaway two (2) copies of Whoa, Baby! to two (2) lucky YUMMommy supporters!  All you have to do is use the giveaway widget below to enter.  This giveaway is open to US residents 18 years old or older ONLY.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Also, you can purchase your own copy of Kelly's Whoa, Baby! on Amazon, Walmart.com, Book Depository and Target.com.

What is one thing you wish you knew/want to know about becoming a new mom?

How To Mom In Comfort & Style

Disclosure: I received this product for free from Moms Meet, May Media Group LLC, who received it directly from the manufacturer.  As a Moms Meet blogger, I agree to use this product and post my honest opinion on my blog.  The opinions posted are my own.

There was a time when I didn't mind sacrificing comfort for style.  These days not so much.  I'm a mom of two who works from home, volunteers in my community and more.  With so much on my plate and constantly being on the go, I'm dressing in clothing that is comfortable, but still stylish.  Over the years I've learned that beauty doesn't haven't to equal pain and looking great doesn't have to equal being uncomfortable.  This is why I was delighted to partner with Moms Meet and prAna to try out some of their clothing. 

prAna, launched in 1992,  means breath, life, and vitality of the spirit.  While they started off making clothing targeted mostly for climbers and yoga doers, they've since added more pieces that suit those of us who aren't climbers or yoga doers, but still want to be comfortable and look good.  I wanted pieces that were comfortable, fit my new body well and that I could interchange with pieces from my wardrobe that I already owned.  So, I chose the Cleo T-shirt in Coal and the Mantra Pant in Black Herringbone.

Listen, the Cleo T-shirt just might be the softest and most comfortable t-shirt I've ever worn.  It's definitely the my new favorite t-shirt and I've already hinted at the Mr that I want the Summer Peach and Vortex Blue ones as well for Mother's Day.  After all I am working on adding more color into my wardrobe.

With a classic baseball tee style, the Cleo T-shirt is very lightweight, breathable and has a great feminine fit.  I loved the way hugged and draped over my body.  Because it's a baseball style t-shirt it covers the waist band of pants.  So I don't have to worry about showing any accidental skin when I'm at the park with kids and need to bend down to tie someone's shoe or pick up a stray ball.  Gotta keep it classy at playdates folks.

And you can totally dress this outfit up.  When we went to check out the Veteran's Memorial in Mint Hill, I dressed my outfit up by adding some cute strappy heels.

Made of soft hemp mixed with stretch fabric and trimmed with organic cotton, I love the overall fit of the Mantra Pant.  And the best thing is that this pant comes with a drawcord/drawstring waist!!  I don't shy away from pants with drawstings folks.  When you have an amble bottom and thighs coupled with a smaller waist, you struggle to find pants that fit properly.  Having a drawstring helps to make sure my pants don't have gaps in the waist or look too bunched.

 Also, I loved that the pieces I picked out could mixed and matched with pieces I already owned.  It was like getting double the outfits.  This gray and white striped tee looks great paired with my Mantra Pant.

How cute is the Cleo T-shirt with my skinny jeans and loafers?!!  Stylish right?  And I was definitely comfortable.  Totally nailing this momming in style and comfort thing.

At the end of the day, I'm grateful to have been introduced to a new brand that understands that comfort and style can coexist.   Also, prAna makes their clothing using sustainable materials with Fair Trade and Renewable Energy initiatives.  This is an added plus and puts my mind ease about where my clothing are coming from and how much of a carbon footprint is being made to create these pieces.