Tag: family

10 AT HOME DATE NIGHT IDEAS

 

couple
Photo courtesy goodsophism at flickr.com

On July 22nd of this year I started to realize that my marriage had changed for the worst. My husband calls me at work and says, “happy anniversary.” Although the gesture was sweet, the problem was that it wasn’t our anniversary. To make matters worse, I had completely forgotten that it was coming up on the 23rd of July. That’s when I knew that we both had allowed the woes of parenthood and life in general to get in the way of special moments that we always celebrated. For the first time in 7 years we agreed that life was just to hectic and skipped the cards and traditional anniversary dinner celebration.

We did absolutely nothing. I had to make nothing into something. The responsibilities of raising a family was causing us to neglect each other and we had to do something about it. So, I did. With limited babysitting resources, I decided to start off doing activities together at home while the kids were asleep at night on the weekends. ‘At Home Date Night’ was born and we both decided to make it a priority.

I have put together a list of 10 of my favorite ‘At Home Date Night’ activities for you and your spouse. You will have fun and save money on a babysitter and the costs of going out. It’s a win, win!

1.Cook Together- The way to most of our hearts is food. Cooking together allows you to put your partner’s cooking skills to the test. Not to mention you can create something great together. How about cooking a meal from a different culture? Try something new.

2.Game Night- Bust out some old school games like Monopoly or Life. You can also work together to put a 5,000-piece puzzle together. What better way to work together and have fun going crazy trying to figure out what goes where.

3.Movie Night- Can you say romantic? You get to dim the lights and even make out because no one is watching. Make some microwave or home-made popcorn and grab some snacks and enjoy!

POPCORN AND WINE
Photo courtesy of Maureen Constantino at flickr.com

4.Restaurant at Home (Cooking Alternatives) – What if one of you can’t cook or both of you can’t—no worries. Bring the restaurant to you by ordering takeout. Make it special by dressing up and setting the table. Dim the lights and light some candles and sip on some wine. 

5.Paint & Wine Night- Paint and wine night events have become very popular. You can save money by painting at home and buying your own supplies and wine. This typically can cost about $35 a person. You can do this at home for well under $70.

6.Make Homemade Pizza’s- Everyone likes pizza and we all like to eat. Pizza is an easy meal to make and you can buy the crust already made. You can also have a friendly competition and have the kid’s taste test it the next day.

PIZZA
Photo courtesy of Simon Pearson at flickr.com

7.Make Ice Cream Sundaes- Making ice cream sundaes brings out the inner kid in me. This is a fun activity to do and because you are an adult now, your parents can’t tell you not to pile the toppings high. Go crazy! Carmel, chocolate, nuts, gummy bears, fruit, whip cream or chocolate candy chunks. Whatever you like!

8.Bubble Bath- Buy some scented bath oil, bath salt and of course bubble bath and have a ball together. Dim the lights and light some scented candles. Afterwards massage each other with your favorite massage oil with romantic music playing in the background. Relax and just be free.

9.Couples Work Out-What better way to get worked up and hot than a workout. Do an at home friendly couple’s workout. Check out this workout at Fitness Magazine. After you work up a sweat, take a shower together to cool off.

10.Indoor Picnic- Picnics are so much fun and very intimate. Why not bring the park to your living room? Get a blanket and dim the lights and light candles around the room. Prepare your meal of choice in advance and spread it out on the blanket. Socialize and just have fun. Imagine that you are wherever you want to be and just escape.

PICNIC

Advertisements

MOMMIES PARTY TO: H.S. REUNION

HS REUNION
Me going to the 80’s party

Am I getting old or what? Last weekend was my 20-year high school reunion and I can’t believe that it has been 20 years since I was a high schooler. I was so excited to see everyone and thank God, I did not have the pressure of being fit. Why? Because I am 7 months pregnant so I get a pass. Right? That made the event even more exciting. No starving myself and hitting the gym like a ‘crazy lady’ to get prepared.

I can never really define where I fit in high school. I was very smart and enrolled in AP classes and a member of the National Honors Society. I was also the assistant editor of the paper and the Student Council President. I tried basketball and I was okay but not good, so I quit after my freshman year. Then I decided to try soccer and who knew—my need for speed and quick legs got me a spot on the varsity squad my junior year. I never cut class and always followed the rules. Now that I am looking back, I guess I was not what you would call ‘a cool kid.’ Go figure.

Friday night was a “1980’s Hip Hop and House Music Party” at Linger Martini Bar. It rained the whole night and I dreaded getting dressed and ended up laying across my bed for hours before I decided to battle the storm. I figured since I bought a brand-new dress and shoes that I didn’t want to waste—I would just go. By the time I left out it was midnight and the party ended at 2 am. My husband also decided to give me a curfew and demanded that I be home before 2 am. With about an hour to hang, I proceeded on my mission.

I saw so many familiar faces when I reached the club and it made it all worth it. The DJ was playing all my favorite hits and I was winding and grinding all in my chair as I sat in the cut. I had a blast! I didn’t want the night to end but I remembered my curfew and headed out at 1:30 am.

On Saturday was “The Famous Red & White & Blue Picnic” at Calumet Beach. It was hot and humid and I had the kids with me. I dragged my feet contemplating going several times. I waited until about 5 pm and headed out with my folding chairs and essentials for the kid’s. I drove and drove around the park area until I finally noticed a sign about the reunion. Then I saw someone I knew and finally we could sit down and get some food. I was starving! The music was blasting and the food was amazing. The kid’s played with the other kid’s that were there. They ran and played in the sand and got their feet wet. It was ‘oodles of fun.’

I can’t wait until next year because we will be doing this annually and I have already volunteered to help. My goal is to get the younger generation more involved so that this can continue for years to come. George Washington High, you are the reason that I am the woman I am today. Thank You!

How to Make a Meat-Free Sandwich

VEG. SAND. 2

Once upon a time I was a meat eater and even when I first attempted to be a vegetarian I failed miserably. No matter what I ate I always still felt hungry or unfulfilled. Then I met my husband who is vegan. When I used to visit him at his house when we first started dating he would make these meat free sandwiches and they were soo delicious—I started asking him to make me one. I enjoyed it so much and I didn’t feel like I was being deprived or unfulfilled. This sandwich led me to my current meat free life style and it may also help you in whatever healthier choices you are trying to make. So how about making the first step. Start out doing “Meatless Mondays”—being meat free one day a week.  

Here is a step by step guide on making my favorite meatless sandwich.

First you will need to gather all your ingredients. I suggest taking a trip to your nearest Whole Foods store to pick up these items or any other grocery store that sells meat free items.

VEG. SAND. 4

Here is a list of ingredients you will need:

* 4 slices of Lightlife Smart Deli Meatless Veggie Turkey Slices or you can use Tofurky hickory smoked deli slices which are my favorite

* 3 slices of Lightlife Smart Bacon Meatless Veggie Bacon Strips

* 1 Lettuce leaf

* 2 slices of tomatoes

* 2 Slices of toasted Bread

* 2 tablespoons of Mustard

* 2 tablespoons of Vegan Earth Balance Mayo or regular mayo

* 1 slice of Daiya vegan cheese or regular cheese (optional)

* Season salt or any type of seasonings you like

1. Separate the vegan bacon slices and pull out your 4 veggie turkey slices.

2. Add about 3 tablespoons of olive oil to a non-stick skillet on low temperature and place the veggie turkey slices and veggie bacon slices in the skillet together.

veg-sand-5-e1500058951798.jpg

3. Add seasonings as they cook. You can add season salt or whatever you like.

4. Let it cook for about 2-3 minutes.

5. Put cooked bacon and turkey off to the side.

6. Toast your bread slices and spread your mayo on each slice.

VEG. SAND. 3

7. Arrange the sliced turkey on one slice and top it with the bacon slices.

8. Pile on the lettuce, tomatoes, cheese slice and mustard, then place the remaining slice of bread on top.

VEGAN SAND. 1

Serve with chips or any other side item you like.

Honesty is the Best Policy Mommy

Tafari honest diapers
Tafari in Honest Diapers

So, the time has finally come. You’re pregnant and expecting your first child and there are a million thoughts running through your head. “Can I really do this?” “I am soo happy.” “Am I ready for this?” “Is he ready for this?” They are never ending. Then after these initial thoughts start to simmer and the months start to pass you by and your belly gets bigger–you start to prepare for the baby’s arrival.

One of my major concerns in 2011 while pregnant with my first daughter was the diaper dilemma-disposable or cloth. I automatically knew that I wanted to use cloth diapers without a doubt. The harsh chemicals in the standard diapers was just something I refused to subject my baby to. But I wasn’t quite sure if I was up for all the work involved with washing diapers daily or toting around soiled diapers on outings. So, I did what any intelligent and logical mommy would do—I did some research to see if there were any disposable Earth friendly and harsh chemical free diapers on the market.

That’s when I came across the brand Seventh Generation. This quickly became my disposable diaper option. I also did research on my cloth diaper options and discovered all in one reusable diapers and I was sold. After purchasing these diapers, I was ready.

Afraid of the work involved with cloth diapers I packed the disposable Seventh Generation diapers in my hospital bag. We used these diapers for about a month and discovered that my daughter was getting consistent diaper rash so I immediately starting using the cloth diapers I bought. This eliminated the diaper rash but we had to wash diapers everyday—it was so much work. We did this the duration of the time that our daughter was in diapers.

When my son was born in September 2014, I became familiar with the Honest Company diapers and decided to try a free trial. Until the trial arrived we used cloth diapers for about a week. Once they arrived, we were hooked. He never had a diaper rash or any other issues so we continued to use these. I was elated! No more washing diapers everyday—it was a miracle. My son is now 2 and still no diaper rash. I love these diapers and highly recommend them to any expectant mom or those who have a diaper wearing baby that is experiencing diaper rash.

Tafari cloth diaper
Baby Tafari in a cloth diaper

Below is a list of my pros and cons of Honest diapers:

My Pros of Honest Diapers

-Gentle and pure with no fragrances, lotions or latex even for the most sensitive skin

-Plant based inner and outer layers which is gentle on your baby’s bottom

-Has a huge selection of stylish and modern diaper designs

-Contoured fit and soft cloth-like fabric

-Advanced leak protection

-No diaper rash

-They are biodegradable

My Cons of Honest Diapers

-A bit pricey

As you can see my pros of the Honest Company diapers outweigh my cons. No diaper is perfect but I believe that the comfort of not dealing with diaper rash and frequent pediatrician visits is worth every cent I pay for these diapers.