Archive for March 2010
Being a diva can be hard work we just make it look easy. One rule a Diva always follows is to be effortlessly stylish. So here are some items for the Divas and Diva Lovers in your lives. More items are coming soon. We have items for the men who love us!
It’s always a great and exciting time to travel. Going to a new place,seeing family maybe hitting the beach for some sun. There are always things to do to get ready for a trip and when you are taking the kids that list gets even longer. As I woke my son up this morning for our trip I decided to write this list so you have him to thank!
1- Let the kids pack their own bag. Tell them how long they are staying and the weather where you are going and let them handle it. You can double-check if necessary. If the older ones have cell phones, iPods,games etc that they want to take make it their responsibility to charge them an bring whatever accessories they may need. This will teach them responsibility and will make any trip that you are going to take a little easier. Also have them include a sandwich or snack they can take along because prices in travel hubs can get pricey especially if you have a large family.
2- Designate a bag that will contain tickets, passports,keys,emergency cash, contact numbers,medicine etc. Pack this bag ahead of time and put it inside your purse. If you have a husband that can handle the pressure of screaming kids, dirty diapers,and going through TSA without freaking out then make this his responsibility. If not make room in your purse!
3-Take showers/baths the night before and lay out travel clothes. This saves time in the morning and if your teen is like mine and hates to wake up early have them get dressed before bed.
4-Everyone is responsible for carrying their own bag. If they can walk and talk they can carry. There are many choices for toddler luggage and bags even if it’s not their full suitcase have them carry something. Little ones love feeling empowered give them responsibility no matter how small and for older ones well they just need to know that mom can’t do everything. I can’t tell you how many times I am in an airport and mom has the tickets, the luggage, the screaming baby, and she is still trying to make sure everything gets done! Delegate ladies! Delegate!!
5- Reward the helpful child! If you have more than 1 child chances are you have one that likes to plan or organize make this your helper! And if they do a good job reward them! This will make the other kids step up and want to take action,let them know they can help out on the next trip.
6-If you are traveling with babies make sure you have diapers, food, formula, blanket, bibs , pacifier,change of clothes, changing pad etc. Make sure to put this bag with #3 the last thing you want is to remember you packed your kids bottles and diapers and its been checked with the luggage. I’ve seen it happen and it ain’t pretty.
7- If you are taking a bus,car,train trip make it a teachable moment, you can play I Spy, talk about geography or famous places. Start a conversation.
8- If you are stressed the kids will be stressed. Kids pick up on our energy try to make sure you get a good night’s rest, and eat before a long trip. If mama ain’t happy nobody’s happy.
9-When traveling with babies or toddlers be mindful of people around you. If your kid starts screaming or having a tantrum if you can’t calm them down and you have the ability to move around change their setting and try to calm them down. Also if you need to discipline an older child keep in mind you are in a public and captive space. I say this all the time there are people who do not like children and guess what they travel! If you get the evil eye,or even a comment just suck it up. People don’t want to hear that she/he is cranky or missed their nap. Also do not turn the train/bus into your personal playground,bedroom or nursery. I’m on Amtrak right now and there is a woman walking her screaming baby up and down the aisle and looks annoyed when people pass her. There is another who has a toddler that she is allowing to push her toy doll stroller around. The Attendant just told her she has to fold it up and she looks confused as to why. If you want to bring a travel size blanket or pillow that’s fine but don’t turn these spaces into your bedroom away from home.
10- This is the most important! Have fun! Enjoy your family and take lots of pictures!
On Tuesday night after watching Law and Order SVU and being impressed and terrified with Jill Scott’s guest appearance I was getting ready for bed. As I go to say goodnight to one of my friends who had stopped by I heard the commercial for 11 o clock news I usually try to avoid watching the news early in the morning and before bed. During the announcement there was mention of a playground in a NYC Housing project that had the words “Jail” painted on it. This playground is not that far from where I live in Bed Stuy. Having lived in the Bronx all of my life and moved to Brooklyn in September I haven’t thoroughly explored all of what Bed Stuy has to offer. Every borough has its stigmas but after being in The Bronx for over 30 years I think I can hang. I decide I am going to stay up for a few extra minutes to catch the story. I have included a picture below apparently on a part of the play equipment there was a mock jail. Parents and residents of the project were upset they felt it was racist, it made the statement that going to jail is ok and they should start getting ready for it at a young age because that’s all they will do with their lives. Wow! those 4 little letters spoke volumes. Now here are my issues I grew up playing cops and robbers as a kid, Teacher, Doctor, House, Astronaut etc and I am none of those things. I also grew up in the worst section of the South Bronx in the projects and I have never been to jail, arrested, smoke, do drugs, have 7 baby daddies or sit on park benches and gossip about how I have to go back to the welfare office for the 3rd time. I say all this to say is when will we stop holding onto these stereotypes that have held us back for so long? Kids play! They are creative and imaginative and are constantly having that stripped away by adults. It’s not fair. Now I do have an issue with the fact that supposedly they called NYCHA to find out if any other playgrounds had this painted on their equipment and they replied No. So the other half of me says why was this playground the lucky recipient? As a parent you teach your child right from wrong. Why couldn’t this be embraced and been a teachable moment. if you do something bad you go to jail. When you grow up you can be a Police Officer, or Lawyer or Judge and lock the bad people away? Why was our immediate reaction that it was a slap in the face? Why are we not putting this attention and media spotlight on the living conditions of the projects? Such as Pee in the elevators? Lights that don’t work in the stairways? Elderly and sickly people who have to walk up as many as 15 flights of stairs or more at times because the elevators don’t work? Or their caregivers can’t get to them?The people who have lost their lives as a result of faulty elevators? Or the fact that you have people living in the Projects illegally? Living in the same place where they sell drugs? Gang activity and random shootings? Why are these things not important? What about the legitimate bad people who should be locked up but are killing and hurting our children everyday in their own community? Can someone please tell me? I played on Monkey Bars as a kid I didn’t go around thinking I was a monkey. As parents it is our responsibility to educate our children and give them the tools to become good people.
Bonding with your teen sometimes it is so hard to bond with our kids. When they are young it’s easier because you have a captive Audience. Every little thing you do is amazing to them and vice versa. Then they grow up And learn to walk and talk and make their own friends and have this life that may not include you anymore. I have a 14-year-old son and sometimes I wish I could transport myself into one of his video games to get his attention. I take advantage in the mornings though! I use our walk to the subwAy and in the subway as a way to connect. One of my favorite things to do is listening to music with him. I’ll share my headphones And just randomly play songs when music was music and take this time to teach him about the greats. Which shows he listens based in his on iTunes librAry which is loaded with the famines, and blink 182 and Greenday. Being a woman there Are some things that concern me with raising a son. All I can do is teach him respect for women and be a good person. It got me to thinking what are some of the best ways we can connect with our teens when we live in such a disconnected society? When I say disconnected I mean it in the sense thAt the human contact that grew up with and going to a friend’s house to play or talking on the phone for hours About absolutely nothing are gone. Now it’s a text, Twitter or Facebook with tons of people at once. Here are some ways that you can reconnect with your teen.
1- Keep all lines of communication open but make physical/verbal contact the main one.
2- Have a special night just for them. For me and my son this is usually Thursday nights we go out to eat and talk. It’s like a date with your kid.
3- If you have smaller children and you often leave the older ones in charge of them let them know how much you appreciate them doing you a favor and helping out ; don’t make it seem like it’s their responsibility when they are annoyed or bothered that they have to babysit.
4- Ask them what’s going on in their lives, find out who their friends are invite them over. Encourage them to be physically social with their peers.
5- Have a movie night with just them let then pick the movie and the snacks. If possible make a snack together that you can enjoy during the movie this will also be an opportunity for you to talk.
6- Always tell them how much you love them the older they get the cheesier it will sound but they need to hear it!
7-Let them make their own mistakes this is a hard one even for me but it has to be done. They need to make their own decisions and learn from them otherwise how will they ever make choices in life?
8-Allow them the freedom to express themselves this could include anything from their choices in Music to Clothes (within reason).
9-Set Limits,boundaries a great example is a curfew make it clear if curfew is broken for any reason without them calling or a non emergency there will be consequences etc.
10-Tell them how much you love them and are thankful for them!
I am all for supporting new restaurants especially if they know how to make a great cocktail and have a good dessert selection. A new place just opened near me and I decided to try it out tonight! OMG!! Peaches Hot House is my new favorite place in Brooklyn. First off how cool is the name? Secondly the food is amazing! While during laundry and errands today I decided to stop in and order something. I ordered the Low Country Rice Bowl which had Sweet Blue Crab, Corn, Tomatoes and a spicy sauce. It was so damn good! I mean like eat it slow because you want to savor it good.The prices are reasonable and the selections change every day. They will start to serve brunch in May and are still working out some kinks and learning who their customers will be. If you are in the mood for Soul Food with a kick and fresh ingredients you have to give this place a try. You can BYOB until the liquor license kicks in Starters range from $5-$8 and Mains are $10-$17 great selection for meat and non meat eaters! The weather is getting nice so venture out and give Peaches Hot House a try!!
Peaches Hot House
415 Tompkins Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11216
Thursdays are usually me and J’s day to just hang out a little late and o free me from the kitchen by going out to eat. When I first started using Twitter (you can follow me @DivaMomNYC) I was immediately overwhelmed. There were some things I didn’t get. I couldn’t tell the difference between a HashTag and a Hashbrown but eventually I am got the hang of it. I have met some cool peeps. One in particular owns the CrossTown Diner in the Bronx. You can follow him @Crosstowndiner he had read my blog and was giving me feedback which I always appreciate. I checked out his website and it dawned on me I had eaten at this place years ago. I told him I remembered dining there and enjoyed it, so I would stop in again. On a Thursday a few weeks ago me and J headed to Crosstown. Now I don’t live in the Bronx anymore so this was a bit of a hike. We take the subway and the bus to get there, we are seated immediately. I ask if “Bill” is around. Might as well put a name to a Tweet I thought. Like what the heck is it all for if you are never going to meet the people? So the waitress said she would check, she proceeds to take our order. I have breakfast Corned Beef Hash with Eggs over Medium and Coffee. J has Mozzarella sticks and Pancakes. I don’t get it either so don’t ask! As we talk about our day and eat, I am looking at the others patrons around us. For the most part there were a few families there out for dinner with the kids. We both enjoyed our food and were sleepy right afterwards but we had to make the trek back to Brooklyn so no sleep for us. Like the song says “No Sleep Til Brooklyn”. Bill comes over and introduces himself I give my real name and then my Twitter name. He thanks me for coming and asks was everything to our liking. I tell him everything was great and thanks for taking the time to come and say Hi! He says his goodbye and me and J proceed to get ready to leave. I ask the waitress for the check and she informs me that “Billy” has taken care of it! Well I was stunned. Really I said? J exclaimed how cool is that? She walks away and I leave a generous tip, she comes back to our table with a bag containing 2 cakes. 1 Oreo cheesecake and 1 strawberry shortcake. Well that just put me over the top! I am a sucker for dessert. CrossTown Diner is more than a place for you to go and grab a burger its a place for you to be welcomed and enjoy your burger. The people here treat you like family. We live in such a grab and go society its great to sit down with your kid to talk and enjoy a great meal! The food is Awesome and the service is Awesomer!! It is worth the trip to the Bronx! Definitely check them out and tell them I sent you!
2880 Brucker Blvd
Bronx, NY 10465
Yesterday I had to go to the cardiologist because I have been having some breathing issues and pains. I went through a routine exam and also an EKG, Stress Test and Sonogram. The results of the Sonogram showed that my heart is pumping normally and is strong it was kind of cool to see my heart on the screen. The stress test was a little more intense and after a few minutes on the treadmill I needed to stop because I was out of breath. My results were normal with this as well! During the EKG there were some irregularities so they took some blood to screen for other issues and I have to wear a heart monitor for a week. That should be interesting. I joke with my son all the time that NY will kill you slowly. We are always in a rush, everything is urgent, too many people, things are so expensive you are constantly in a situation where those things you need may have to wait sometimes food is included. It is a very beautiful city we have parks, trees, access to everything but it comes with a heavy price tag. Not only will NY drain your wallet it will also drain your body. I will keep you guys posted on my condition and also my progress of possibly leaving the Big Apple for good.
So for the last few months I have been stressed out which is the reason for my Cardiology Appointment today. This is not something I usually allow to happen, but once in a while it does. I have been trying to put my finger on it and get rid of it. Then I remember I have been here before. Basically I am “Unemployable”. I land great jobs, am excited at first then I realize whats going on speak out about it and get the shitty end of the stick. It sucks! I work in a field where Integrity, Consideration, Growth and Compassion should be the basis of what you do unfortunately it’s not. So for the last 5 years in working in Youth Development and Education I have seen so many wrongdoings and wonder why the hell people don’t speak up? Instead they are too busy engaging in bullshit romances, gossip, office politics or bureaucracy. I don’t have the desire nor the time for such nonsense. Then it always hits me. I am not supposed to be here. I read one time that the first thing you start out doing as a business probably won’t be your longterm business, but it will most likely lead to it. That is true! In being stuck in these jobs I have realized my longterm goals. I want to help children, I want to educate them using the world around them in addition to a book. I want them to be taught by people who care about the Earth, Art, Culture, Music, Dance and will take them out of their surroundings beyond the textbook! There is a heated debate going on right now about Education and can you Teach a Teacher to Teach? I still go back and forth with this one. I have never wanted to be a teacher, and I’m not a teacher yet I educate and take every opportunity I have to Educate a young person. It is in me! It has always been there. My level of freedom, and creativity has been stamped out so many times yet those same fire enders ask what is it I do to get the kids to like me. My answer is always the same I “respect” them. So now as I sit at my desk after being told how I am not doing enough, and I have taken a turn for the worse. I know what usually comes next. I just found it funny that I have been doing a Lousy job for 2 and half years without a problem, but I expressed my opinions and thoughts a few days ago for the first time and now its a problem. Yea I have been down this road. So my question to myself is now what do I do? Suck it up and collect a Paycheck like the rest of the lifeless robots or Move Forward and Onward? As a single woman this would be no question in my mind. I would tell them to kiss my ass grab my passport and backpack and be on my way to Peru or Costa Rica right now. As a single mom the question takes a little longer to answer.