Thursday, April 16, 2015

Thankful Thursday

"It is she who listens to the rest of the world who fails, and is is she who has enough confidence to define success and failure for herself who succeeds."

~ Sophia Amoruso, #GIRLBOSS

Happy Thankful Thursday YUMMs!  I'm telling y'all #GIRLBOSS is my new favorite non-fiction book.  This week I've been thinking a lot about success and failure as they relate to me and how I define each.  I'm very thankful that I'm actually taking the time to think about this and write down my thoughts because as much as I would like to say that society and peer pressure hasn't contributed to what I thought my definitions of success and failure, that wouldn't be true.

As of late, I must admit that comparison has become my thief of joy.  However, this week I've also come to re-realize that the cookie cutter mold that everyone else is doing isn't me.  By shutting out the outside influences and really digging deep to uncover what are the things that make me feel successful and what are the things that make me feel like a complete and utter failure, I feel like I'm falling back in love with all things that make me different.  I'm snatching back my joy!

I'm also grateful for this rain that we have been getting.  While I have been caught in a downpour more than once this week, I know that all this rain we're getting will come handy for those extremely hot summer days ahead.  This week I'm also giving thanks that have re-planted our balcony garden.  I mentioned in my Spring Break 2015 Recap post that JJ had uprooted and destroyed our first seedlings from our balcony garden.  Target to rescue with their $1 starter kits!

We have organic bell peppers, tomatoes and parsley so far.  I'm hitting up a different Target in the AM to see if I can find watermelon, basil and cilantro.   Then they also have the bigger $3 starter kits and I might get one of those as well.  We're all super excited to be back on track to having some fresh homegrown produce by the middle of summer.  I have even had a little talk with JJ to let him know that we don't rip up the plants, but still I'll be keeping an extra close eye on our garden as the seeds start to sprout.

Today, I was selected to chaperone another field trip for Moo's class!  Honestly, I was expecting to be chosen since I think most of the other parents either work or get their rest for work during the day.  We're both excited because we're going to one of our favorite places here in the Queen City.  I'll tell you guys after our visit where we went.  (Safety purposes for the school.)

JJ is continuing to make improvements with his speech and no longer speaks in one word phrases, but puts together full sentences.  I'm talking about using subjects and verbs y'all!  We're so proud of him for all the progress he continues to make.  I know it's hard for him and there are still a ton of words that he struggles to be able to pronounce properly, but the main thing is that he's trying to say them.  We're even making progress on the picky eater front as well and getting him to try new foods.

Let me just say that my brother in-law is AMAZING!  He and his family have been nothing but warm, welcoming, compassionate, kind and I could go on for days, since before I even met them in person.  I've mentioned on here before that New Orleans was my home for a brief period of time.  During that time I gained a third family that left me wondering why my other in-laws couldn't get it together.  Long story short, I love how much he loves not only my sister, but our entire family. Craziness and all.  I'm so grateful that God allowed those two meet because he truly is the Yin to her Yang. 

Lastly, I did sprain my neck on Monday, but I'm grateful that it's not a bad sprain.  My range of movement is pretty good.  It's only when I lean my head back and to the left that it really hurts and the pain starts to really shoot through my neck.  Definitely send prayers that I'm all healed up by next week.  As a mom of two busy bodies, I certainly don't need any neck sprains limiting my movement.  I need to be able to crane my neck around corners and over counters to keep an eye on those two when they get too quiet.

What are you giving thanks for this week?

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Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Spring Break 2015 Recap

I can't believe I just wrote Spring Break 2015 Recap!  It's still surreal to me that Moo is in school.  She's six and I'm trying hard to not see her as still being a baby or toddler, but y'all it's hard.  Time is going by faster and faster with each passing year and I'm struggling to not be so overly sentimental and emotional.  She headed back to school Monday and after being home for ten days straight, we were all kind of out wack.

To say that JJ and I missed having her here with us during the daytime is an understatement.  And she missed us just as much.  In fact, Sunday night she begged to stay home from school and came running through the door passing out hugs Monday afternoon when she got home.  All good signs that we had a great Spring Break.  While we didn't do anything exciting because it rained most of the days she was out, we still had a blast.

We started Spring Break with a nature hike at one of our favorite parks.  They have short trail that was perfect for us since the kids wanted to walk instead of riding in the stroller.  Moo asked if we would get to see any wild animals.  "I hope not," was my wide-eyed response.  I love nature and it was my second morning walking that particular trail, but I definitely didn't want to bump into any snakes, coyotes or unleashed dogs.

JJ was not happy that I would not allow him to venture into the trees.  On the other hand, Moo was chipper as ever!

We did run into some bees and wasps having a mini battle, but escaped unstung.  After we finished our walk the kiddies hit up the playground for a bit.  Needless to say we all slept good that night and Moo actually ended up sleeping in for the first time ever!

Grandma, my baby sister (Auntie Cat) and my niece (Princess O) came up Easter Saturday to visit and shower the kids with gifts.  My mom and Auntie Cat really did an amazing job on making the kids' baskets.  I was slightly jealous.  You're never too old get an Easter basket, right?

A boy and his trains

My mom gave JJ his first wooden train track set and he loved it!  We barely got him to step away from it to take a trip to Lowe's.  My mom is a bit of a master gardener and picked up some new flowers.  I checked out a few plants because sadly JJ ripped up our balcony garden seedlings.  That's a story for another day.  So, we're back to starting over since I wasn't able to save any.  Lesson of the week:  Never take your off eye off a three year old, especially if there is dirt/plants in the same room or space.

Auntie Cat pile up going down in Lowe's! 

It's no secret that we love to eat.  So, we used Spring Break to try out a few new gluten, dairy and egg free products.  Moo's favorite were the duck shaped corn pasta from Sam Mills.  Shout out to my mommy for finding these because I haven't been able to find them in any stores here.  You do have to be careful about not cooking them beyond the time outlined on the bag because they overcook very quickly and will break down.  JJ has a mild allergy to corn and didn't get to try these out.

The best treat during Spring Break was probably when we make cookies.  We hadn't made any in a while because it's hard to find gluten-free cookie dough mix.  You can get the frozen dough, but I prefer to make my own since we usually add things like mixing in a bit of soy milk or using egg substitute instead of real eggs.  Sadly, I didn't get any pics of us mixing the cookies but there's always next time.

My favorite part of Spring Break was the movie nights.  We watched the following movies:

via Facebook
Moo and I loved Cinderella, but JJ could have cared less.  I think Disney did a great job of taking this from animation to live-action.  I hear they're working on Beauty & the Beast now, but we're waiting for them to start work on Princess Tiana's The Princess and the Frog.  I have top 4 picks who I'd like see play Tiana and will share that with y'all in a future post.

via Facebook

I can count on my hands the number of cartoons that have come out in theaters that feature main characters that are a person of color and not use all of my fingers on one hand.  So, I knew right away that we would be seeing Home.  Shout out to DreamWorks.  I definitely hope that there is a Home 2 in the future because this movie was both funny and touching.  We laughed and almost cried.  Almost being the key word.  Moo hasn't stopped talking about it and has requested that we see it again.

via Facebook

So, I saw this movie by myself because I wasn't sure how kid-friendly it would be for a six year old.  After seeing it, I'd say it's definitely a movie for older teenagers (15 and up), but is super funny.  They did a great job of tackling an issue that a lot of teenage girls face- body image/bullying.  And Bella Thorne has definitely grown up since her Disney Channel days.

via Facebook

I finally got around to seeing Fifty Shades of Grey.  Let me tell you the best part of watching this movie was watching it with my sister.  We read the books together (because we're nerdy like that) and had agreed to watch the movie together.  Honestly, I can say that we were a bit let down by a lot of things.  We were expecting a more dramatic/darkish feel, but instead they took a more light-hearted almost comical approach. 

Needless to say rumor has it that all the cast will be returning for part 2, but E. L. James and the movie studio have chosen to part ways with the director.  I can't say that I blame them.  While she did a great job of crafting tasteful sex scenes, she pretty much jumped over the meat story which was Christian's inability to be in a regular relationship due to his childhood and Ana's struggle with not being good enough, her mom having put men before their mother-daughter relationship and more.  I hope they part ways with the stylists and hairdressers too!  There was one too many bad wigs in this movie. 

How was your family's Spring Break?  Do anything interesting?

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Thursday, April 9, 2015

Thankful Thursday

"You get back what you put out, so you might as well think positively, focus on visualizing what you want instead of getting distracted by what you don't want, and send the universe your good intentions so that it can send them right back."

~ Sophia Amoruso, #GIRLBOSS

Happy Thankful Thursday!  I'm thankful that this week is Spring Break.  While Moo hasn't quite let me us sleep in everyday, I'm grateful for not having to get up at our usual time and rush to get us ready to head out the door.  We've been using this week to just chill and pretty much be lazy.

I' grateful for the opportunity to spend time with my family for the Easter holiday.  It's always nice seeing and spending time with my loved ones.  We had a blast as always and the kids ended up showered with Easter goodies and new toys.

On a bittersweet note, my younger cousin loss her newborn son two days before Easter.  I'm still heartbroken for her and her fiance.  I know how much she was looking forward to being a mommy of two, but God had other plans.  I'm grateful that she has been taking this well and has been finding comfort in knowing God has a greater plan for them.  I admire her strength.

Getting back on a more positive note, I'm giving thanks for the power of positive thinking and speaking positive words over  my destiny.  It's not always to easy to upbeat, but as the quote above points out, you get what you put out.  For a minute I was starting to get discouraged about several things.

That negative voice in my head was becoming quite the chatterbox and I was starting to almost believe some of things it said, but then I snapped out of it.  Life is never going to be perfect and I accept that.  However, choosing the get bogged down in the things don't go right instead of thinking about the thing that will go right is pointless.  It only makes you moody and depressed.  And trust me nobody wants to be around a Moody Judy!

I adjusted my thinking and already karma has given me positive opportunities.  I feel calmer instead of feeling like I'm about to pop a blood vessel.  This has been a reminder that although God has ultimate control, He has blessed us with freewill and gives us the power to steer our destinies through the power of our thoughts and words because those thoughts and words manifest into action. 

So, think positive people!  It's not going to always be easy to do, but as long as the positive voices and affirmations outweigh the negatives, we got this YUMMs!  We have a fighting when we believe in ourselves and focus on our strengths.

What are you expressing gratitude for this week?

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Thursday, April 2, 2015

Thankful Thursday

"Being human is given.  But keeping our humanity is a choice."

~ Anonymous

Today is World Autism Awareness Day!!  And it's been great seeing so many people and organizations showing their support for those with autism.   We showed our support as well by wearing blue.  Below is a shot from my Instagram of JJ at the park in his blue and black striped shirt.

This week I'm giving thanks that our warm weather has come back.  Last Friday, we had a bit of a cold front here and started to feel like winter again.  I saw that some of my blogger friends actually got small snow showers last week!  I'm also giving thanks that while all this pollen has been irritating Moo's allergies, her body is tolerating it a little bit better this year.  I'm hoping that the pollen levels doesn't get much higher.

I'm also thankful that while we were out at the park today, JJ made a new friend.  My little guy is becoming more social and I love it.  It's nice to see him coming out of his cocoon.  He's already very chatty at home and we're delighted to see him starting to chat it up a little more in public.

Spring Break has officially started!  Want to know what this mommy is looking forward to doing?  Sleeping in!!  JJ's sleep schedule is still off at night and he's been waking up thinking it's party time.  I have four alarms set so that I don't oversleep in the mornings.  I'm very much looking forward to turning all four of those off for the next week.

Last but not least I'm thankful that great customer service is NOT dead.  I had an issue with my food at one of my favorite restaurants and contacted them via a private Facebook message.  The owner responded personally to my message.  He sent me a letter again apologizing for what had happened as well as a free coupon to replace the item in the mail. 

What are you giving thanks for this week?

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Friday, March 27, 2015

PinkBasis: Floral Power

Disclosure:  This post is sponsored by  All opinions expressed are my own.

Being a lover of fashion, there are very few things that I enjoy more than shopping for clothing.  However, couple that with the fact that I'm a Frugal Fran and can be somewhat of an introvert and well, shopping can sometimes be a bit a difficult.  Thankfully, I was recently introduced to PinkBasis, a one-stop shop online clothing boutique that sells affordable and trendy fashions.  From shoes to purses to dresses, PinkBasis has a great selection of on trend pieces to choose from.

And one of my favorite trends from this season is the tropical/Hawaiian floral print.   Michelle Obama, Gabrielle Union, June Ambrose and more have all been rocking this trend.  There's just something about flowers that instantly brightens your mood.  I've been a fan of florals since I was in junior high school.

Seafoam Floral Print Sleeveless Casual Dress

So, when they ask me to send a list of items I was interested in reviewing, I couldn't resist adding this cute little number into the mix.  It was love at first sight when I saw this faux two-piece, seafoam colored dress.  The floral print is perfect without being too overwhelming.

Most of my height is in my legs and I'm always struggling to find dresses that show off my legs without being too short.  This was certainly not an issue with this dress.  Another thing I love about this dress is that it has an elastic empire waist.  So if you want to you could adjust the length of the skirt portion if you wanted my pulling the waist up or down.  The elastic waist increases the comfortability as well.

Mint Cross Strap Cork Trimmed Wedges Nubuck

There's a key hole back at the top with a gold button.  Overall, the loose fit of this dress is awesome.  You easily dress this outfit up with the right accessories, a clutch and some heels or you could dress it down by wearing flats or the cute wedges above and adding a belted cardi.  Likewise, you could add tights in the cooler months to make this dress appropriate for all seasons.  Power the floral print!

I would definitely recommend ironing this dress on low heat and drying on low to medium heat.  And if you haven't checked out PinkBasis, you should.  In fact, one lucky YUMMommy reader is going to win a $50 online gift card to PinkBasis.  All you have to do enter is use the Rafflecopter widget below.  Good luck!  The contest is open to US residents 18 & older.

Happy Shopping!

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Thursday, March 26, 2015

Thankful Thursday

"Be bold, dare to call forth what you want to see happen.  Don't use your words to describe the situation, use your words to change the situation."

~ Joel Osteen

Happy Thankful Thursday!!  Can you believe this month is almost over?  There is less than a week until April gets here.  I'm sort of freaking out and happy at the same time because that means two more months until school is out and one more month until my little guy is FOUR!  Time where have you gone?

This week I'm giving thanks again for our lovely balcony garden.  Our seedlings are flourishing very well thanks to all of the warm weather and sunshine we've been having.  I'm extra thankful that my cilantro finally sprouted because I wasn't sure if it would since it took a few days longer than the others to break through the dirt. We've added bell peppers and have learned how to grow a banana tree indoors. 

The kids are having a blast learning more about gardening too.  Moo thinks we should own a farm.  LOL.  Honestly, I couldn't agree more with her.  I can only imagine all the crops we could grow if we had unlimited outdoor space.  I'm determined to make sure that the foods were consume as healthy as possible, which why organic gardening is great for us.

My niece was inducted into the Junior National Honor Society this week and I couldn't be more proud of her.  She's so smart and it's actually been recommended that she skip a grade, but she loves being with her friends.  I'm so grateful that she's continuing to do well in school and that she truly likes learning.

Last but not least I'm grateful to have such wonderful friends in the blogging world.  In the world of blogging there can definitely be more competition than collaboration, more frienemies than actual friends.  I've been blessed to somehow stumble across some true gems, who understand that we can all get farther if we support each.  When I talk about my bold dreams for YUMMommy and my life in general, they're always there with an encouraging word or offering to lend a helping hand if they can.  To them I say THANK YOU!

What are you thankful for this week?

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Sunday, March 22, 2015

Monster High: Haunted {Giveaway}

If you were to stop by house any given morning you'd surely catch Moo singing the theme song to Monster High.  Why?  Because that's her show of choice to watch while she waits for me to stop hitting the snooze button on the alarmclock.  What can I say, I'm not a morning person.  After she's dressed it's back to Monster High she goes until it's time to leave the house.

And after watching several of the Monster High movies with her, I have to admit that I can understand her fascination.  These are not your average monsters.  And the best part of all is that they're not scary.  Nope, Clawdeen (she's my favorite) and the gang are very fabulous.  They're fashion forward and drop-dead gorgeous.  What I also love about the Monster High movies is that they teach children, especially the girls the importance of embracing our differences and how to be a true friend.

And it just so happens that they have a NEW movie coming out on March 24th called Monster High: Haunted.  You can find all the details below.  Keep scrolling to the very end because there is a treat for you.

For the first time, the Monster High ghouls enter a mysterious Ghost World as they follow Spectra and discover an all-spirit school. But their scary-cute student bodies are hardly welcome with the very strict Principal Revenant, and she punishes Spectra with frightful detention chains that prevent her from re-joining Monster High™. Now, it’s up to the ghouls to become ghosts themselves in order to save one of their own from disappearing forever! MONSTER HIGH: HAUNTED is available on Blu-ray Combo Pack and DVD March 24, from Universal Pictures Home Entertainment.

Check out the movie trailer and the new music video below.

Want to win a copy?  Well you're in luck because I'm giving away three copies to three lucky YUMMommy readers.  Just use the Rafflecopter widget below to enter.  Good luck!  Open to US residents 18 & older.

You can also purchase copies at the following retailers:


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