January 31, 2010

Hello? Yes, I'd Like to Order Takeout

So I'm sitting in the hair salon under the dryer (yes, they have wifi, woot!!) trying to plan my dinner menu for the week so that I can hit the grocery store as soon as I duck out of here. I realized that coming up with meal ideas is becoming increasingly challenging with my fabulous Party of 5. Consider all of "dietary restrictions" I have to work around:

Hubby: Dislikes onions (hello?? I don't get it), peppers, mushrooms, spicy foods. Oh and doesn't like leftovers. (No comment).

Chatterbox: Barely eats anything; Dislikes cheese; Only wants "crabs and ribs"; Has 3 loose teeth, which knocks most proteins - including, incidentally crabs and ribs - and breads, etc. out of the running.

Giggles: Is my prize eater. She is not picky, always hungry (but if she had her way, we'd have spaghetti or rice every day).

L'il Buddy: Is 20 months. The palette? Not-so-developed. At least at the moment he and Chatterbox are on the same page with respect to what they can chew. Also has a tendency to fling his (suctioned) bowl all over the place, dangerously near my brand new ivory silk drapes. So red spaghetti sauce? No sir. Sorry Giggles.

Sigh. As for me, I am on my never-ending path to lose weight, so carbs and rich foods aren't ideal for me.

WHAT TO MAKE?? Ah yes, reservations.

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Getting Organized in 2010? Here's a Special Offer For You!

By now most of you know that I am an unapologetic Type A personality. With that comes a sincere love for all things organization related. So it is with a excited tingly feeling that I announce a special offer for Mamalaw readers from Erin Condren Design.

I have been a fan of Erin Condren for years (in fact my 2007 family holiday card was a total tribute to her designs). Her style is so fresh, crisp and fun and, of course, I love, love all the stationery, stickers and other superfun paperstuffs that she offers on her site. Introducing Erin Condren’s 2010 Life Planner! The planner offers fun, creative styles for the chic girl on-the-go! The convenient size and elastic band for “quickflips” as well as the large daily views and “to-do” side bar make it possible to juggle all the work and personal events that life throws your way.

Erin Condren Design is currently offering 25% off as a special pre-sale for those of you who vowed to be more organized this year but don’t want to loose your personal style. You can choose from a number of colorways and designs. Simply enter promotional code PLAN25 at check out.

I bet you're feeling more organized already.

*Disclosure: Erin Condren Design will be sending me a sample planner to review. I haven't received it yet, but wanted to let you know about the sale ASAP.

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January 29, 2010

RHOC - WTH Recap

Thursday nights aren't Thursday nights without The Real Housewives. I watch RHOC because it is entertaining and I love those gals because they're always up to something. I'm also particularly amused by the OC ladies as opposed to any of the other seasons (okay, well maybe NYC) because I find them a little more grounded; if that's possible!

Last night's episode was funny and sad at the same time because Lynne was a crazy horse. We've always known that she's a little ditsy and she has self image issues, but she's losing her mind with her kids. Her breakdown was probably alcohol-induced, but she does need help. She's so terribly out of touch with her girls and I think it's because she's trying to be their friend, rather than their parent.

My mom and I are extremely close, but during my teen years, she wasn't a "friend" she was a "mother." She put her foot down early and that eliminated the need for her to do it often. There were expectations, and limits, and consequences.

There is no way on this green earth that I would be able to talk to my mom with such disrespect, and I definitely couldn't be rude to her in public; far less with cameras rolling. The fact that Alexa (1) feels comfortable swearing in front of her mother, (2) swearing at her mother, and (3) walking out on her mother was totally unacceptable.

What are your thoughts?

BTW...it was extremely scary watching Lynn cry. Her face didn't move an inch. Please stop the plastic surgery Lynne - please stop!

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January 27, 2010

An adult hit

So I got hit on yesterday! It's been a long time since I've been hit on and this was a pretty direct hit. First, allow me to indulge in the flattery for a moment. After being married for a few years and after being with the same gentleman for about 10 years, it's a confidence booster to know that there are men out there that still find you attractive. So, yes....in a sorta kinda shameless way, I liked it.

Now onto the hit... it came from out of nowhere. I was having a conversation with someone who visits our office quite often and is considered a friend of the office. He is a single gentlemen who likes to have a good time with multiple women, So, he asked me, as he always does, to set him up with some of my single friends, to which I replied "I have none." Thinking that was the end of the conversation I went about my business and then he continued to remark that if I didn't find him someone he was going to rely on me to fill the role [insert a sly smile here]. A pretty cheesy hit, but I think a hit no less.

I must admit that I was a bit confused and scared for about 25 seconds because this was the sort of thing that I was so accustomed seeing on soap operas and I wondered whether this was an adult thing that I wasn't prepared for. You know, as a child looking at soap operas with my grandmother, there was always "adult" stuff that I didn't understand. The sort of things that only adults would do - sex in the office or smack in the middle of the day, cross relationships among the same group of people, crazy pick-ups like this one. Can you imagine this setting on a soap opera (Y&R, for instance)? That scene would end up with the two parties in a very compromising position, right. So, having never been hit on in such an adult way, I thought for a second, OMG....I might actually not be ready for these adult situations and what should I say, how should I react?

I laughed! Yup, I laughed out loud until I howled. It was my instinctual reaction because I really wondered whether he had lost his mind. I don't know whether that was the adult thing to do, but it just came out. Oh well ... maybe I'm not ready to cross into the adult world of soap opera life quite yet. Funny though!

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January 26, 2010

RHOC Sunday

I spent most of Sunday glued to the television catching up on RHOC. I've seen all of the episodes this season, but there's always something that you miss when you go to the bathroom or talk with hubby; so I was able to sit in front of the tv and I devote my time to watching a few episodes again. Amongst all the things going on in their lives there are a few story lines that struck a cord with me.

Donn and Vicki renew their vows

I love Donn. I do. He seems like such a sweetheart. He’s understanding and loving and he seems to wear his heart on his sleeve. The trip to Turks and Caicos was beautiful and Donn was so emotional that it was refreshing to see a man express his feelings. Vicki is another story though – she was mechanical and superficial and I was not at all impressed. But, I “fell in love” with Donn all over again. In his vows he alluded to trying times in their relationship and I wondered whether he had always been a loving man or whether his disposition is due to the struggles that they’ve encountered in the past. If it's the latter, I am hopeful for my own relationship.

Alexis fights for Jim

I don’t get their relationship. He seems uber-controlling and my personality would never fit with someone who is that “in charge”. But, it seems to work for them, so more power to Alexis. I was intrigued by her (re)action at the tupperware party because I don’t think I would ever be able to be so confrontational. She is as possessive of Jim as he is of her and I was impressed that she was confident enough to confront the girl immediately and in such a public setting. It appears like she is not permitted to do a lot of things (e.g. show her goodies on the yacht, talk too loudly in the restaurant, express her viewpoint at the races) so I wondered why Jim didn’t stop her earlier in the confrontation. Was it because it was about him? Regardless, I admired her guts to get it over and done with right there and then rather than waiting until she got home to be angry at Jim (BTW...that's typically my approach).

Tamra and Simon are getting divorced

I empathize with what they are going through right now and I hope the kids are protected through it all.

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January 25, 2010

Martha and Me

I'm so glad that I went. Even though common sense and my already-hectic life weighed against it, two Thursdays ago I ventured to Manhattan to be a part of the audience on the Martha Stewart Show. She was having a special show dedicated to blogging and I was lucky enough to be invited to hang out with blogging buddies that I rarely get to see IRL like Niri and Prissy Mommy and StyleMom and Sunkissed Mommy, The Broke Socialite, and Jeanne - I could go on.

Martha's studio was fantastic (really, was I expecting anything less?). It was bright and spacious and perfectly decorated. The test kitchen caused this wannabe-foodie to gasp when I walked in, as did the kitchen set, which was bigger and more glamorous than my actual kitchen. Martha's definitely doin' the damn thing.

As for the domestic diva herself? She was much better in person than I expected. I don't know what it is, but when I actually (try to) watch her show on TV, I immediately get bored. I don't know if it's because I don't really care for crafting or gardening or if its the monotone nature of her voice, but I just can't get with it. I'll buy her cookbooks and magazines all day though. However, I was pleasantly surprised to see that not only does she have a personality, she's actually a firecracker!

Her show guests included "The Whatever Girls" (her daughter Alexis Stewart and Jennifer Koppelman-Hutt), food blogger Chez Pim, journalist Brian Williams and actor Jeff Blumenkrantz. An awesome-smelling pad thai; postively gorgeous Orange-Almond cake; and some random craft later (see? I told you); the cameras turned off and Martha turned it on for a fun Q&A session. It ended with a roar of laughter and applause as she hiked her leg up 'pon the table to show us her 6-inch, gold, Yves St-Laurent stilettos. She's the real deal.

Oh and I must note that the music in her studio was live and direct. I mean they were playing hip hop, reggae, rock and it was pumpin'. To top it all off, on our way out we each got a copy of Pim's new book: The Foodie Handbook (yes, I almost died). In fact, I read almost all of of it on the ride home to DC. It's now next to my bed where I can catch a glimpse of the wonderful goodness that lies inside right before I go to bed and first thing in the morning. Yes, I realize that I have issues.

After the show, I had a lovely lunch with StyleMom and SunKissed Mommy - at a Thai place of course - since we had Thai on the brain after smelling Chez Pim's creations on the set. All in all it was a great trip, well worth the 4-hour ride each way.

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January 24, 2010

Saints are NFC Champions

New Orleans Saints are the NFC Champions tonight and are heading to the Superbowl! Congratulations to all Saints fans!!!!!

I don't like football, in fact, I don't like sports at all. But, I've been watching football tonight because it's on and my hubby is a junkie. When the game went into overtime my hubby suggested that I not change the channel and watch the entire game because it was going to be history regardless of which team won.

When I saw the kick in overtime (please excuse me because I may not be technically correct) tears flowed down my cheeks because I was truly very happy for them - for the team, the fans and the city.

I was joyful to see a triumph for New Orleans. Just think that the stadium in which the game was played housed thousands of people just fours years ago. Never having been to the city, I cannot say whether the reconstruction of the stadium has been a victory for all people in New Orleans, but I can only hope that the wealth that surrounds this team has in some way helped the downtrodden.

If nothing else, seeing the Saints rise to the top, will remind this nation that work still needs to be done in New Orleans.
In the meantime ... revel in this victory; you've got a fan in the making over here!!!!!

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The combination of scents in my house right now is stifling. I want to escape! I'm just about going crazy. Imagine a stinky basement, a broken garbage disposal and air freshener.

My basement has stunk for about a year. Why don't I just clean it, right???? Right!!!!! The problem is a little deeper than that. My fat cat got sick last year and we didn't really realize that he was sick for a couple days. So, poor kitty was basically crying for help and then started peeing in the basement. Yes, peeing! I guess we weren't paying him enough attention to realize that he was sick. So, rather than peeing in his cat box, kitty was peeing everywhere. As it turns out, he had kidney stones or some kind of urethral blockage. He got better after spending a night at the vet and us forking out a $500 check. But then .... the scent. What to do about the scent? I tried all sorts of scent removal products and techniques and nothing has worked. Some provide temporary relief, but none has permanently taken care of the problem. We got rid of our chairs and other furniture that kitty may have infected, but the scent is still here....lurking and silently driving me insane. I suggested to my husband that we get rid of the carpeting and his response was what's wrong with you - there's no scent. Are you kidding me???? Where's your sense of scent? So, I've been stuck with a scent that apparently is only in MY head.

Then my garbage disposal stopped working on Wednesday night - and of course, it would stop on the night that I made fish. The motor is apparently stuck and I've been at the bottom of the cabinet with a flashlight and a wrench trying to jimmy the motor, but with little luck. There is stuff in there; stuff that I prefer not figure out (or even think about for that matter). The only saving grace in this situation is that husband actually smells it!

So, there is the stinky basement and the rotting garbage disposal and I added insult to injury because in my infinite wisdom I sprayed a lovely air freshener through the house. In ordinary circumstances, this Pier One house freshener is divine. But I guess rather than changing the scent (which I thought it would) it has mixed with the other scents and I now have a melange of stinky scents.

I need a mask ... Just great! If you have any tips on solving either of my two problems, let me know .... please.

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January 23, 2010


I just finished watching the movie "Belly" with Nas, T-Boz and DMX. Remember this movie? Gosh...it was so extremely violent. I don't think there was a five minute scene in this movie that didn't involve gunfire. I ask, like I did when I first saw this flick, is this for real? Is this art imitating life or the other way around? Regardless of the sequence, I am elated that we've seen some progress in terms of the representation of black people on both the small and big screen. We still have further to go and I'm hopeful.

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January 22, 2010


The devastation in Haiti has been ever present on my mind. Maybe it's the images on television, maybe it's because it's in the West Indies and it's so close to home, maybe it's because I feel like I see my people in those images, or maybe it's because I have friends that have been directly affected - I'm not quite sure which it is, but I find my heart overfilled with so much sorrow.

I hope that there are many other people out there that feel the same way and do something about it. My deepest hope is that this devastation brings help to equalize the inequities that have persisted in that country for so long despite great growth around it.

That said, I gave blood yesterday. I have only given blood once in my life and yesterday I bravely faced my fear and gave a pint to the American Red Cross. I was told that I saved three lives with my pint.

Also, this week the Mamalaw ladies made a contribution of $0.25 for every Twitter follower we had. We made our contribution to Project Medishare, a group that has been present in Haiti for years and one that J. Fergie's mom has been volunteering with for quite some time. We set up a fundraising page with a goal of $1000, so pop on over and give what you can. Everything helps!

There is so much more that can be done. So please check out your options and do what you can.

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January 18, 2010

One day a better place

It's Martin Luther King, Jr. Day and I've been watching PBS ALL DAY - The Eyes on the Prize series. It's been so long since I've seen it; in fact the very first and last time that I saw this series was as a first year law student at the great Howard Law. As I watch I am reminded of the intense struggles that Black people endured in the fight for equality. I am inspired, as I was 11 years ago, to fight to make sure that the world does not see such struggle again; to make sure that princess doesn't have to live in a world like that. I ponder about the city of Washington DC and I am very saddened by the fact that there is still so much inequality and then I think about the images of Haiti and the suffering that I know is occurring; there is still so much work yet to be done.

Figuring out your place in this world is not an easy task; even as a grown lady, I still don't quite know what my role is. All I can do is hope that I will be able to make it a better place.

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January 12, 2010

The Streets Will Make You Feel Brand New...

I'm headed to New York City tomorrow and will be in the studio audience of The Martha Stewart Show live taping on Thursday! She's doing a show devoted to bloggers and the lovely ladies of Mamalaw were fortunate enough to be offered tickets. Of course Jonesie and Ny are being LAME-Os and have all kinds of excuses as to why they can't come - they say it's because of work...I say it's because they ain't 'bout it.

Tee Hee.

Anyway, I'm super excited for a few reasons: (1) I've never been to a talk show taping before! The college television production major in me is chomping at the bit; (2) Each of us is asked to bring a tech device so that we can live blog and tweet during the show. What's the big deal? I get to bring my spankin' new MacBookPro!! It's fresh out of the box as of last night. Woot!; (3) I get to spend the night at my college best friend's house. I haven't seen her since her wedding in 2008...and she's pregnant. I can't wait; (4) Finally, I am looking forward to seeing some bloggy friends. Word on the street is that Jeanne from Yahoo! Moms will be there, The Broke Socialite, SunKissed Mommy and a bunch more.

There ain't no party like a blogger party!

(What is with me tonight and the "ain'ts"?)

Anyway, look for me on Twitter on Thursday to hear all about MARTHA. Should be fun, yes?

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January 05, 2010

Scene & Heard: Holiday Edition

[Scene - Nighttime on December 25. Chatterbox's and Giggles' bedroom. Girls saying their bedtime prayers.]

Me: Girls, remember to thank God for your Christmas presents.
Chatterbox: But Mom, God didn't bring us our presents...Santa did!
Me: [silently] Oh boy.


[Scene - Day 5 of Kwanzaa. At the living room table lighting the kinara.]

Me: Girls, today we celebrate Nia, which means purpose. "Purpose" means our reason for being or what we're meant to do. Can you tell me what your purpose is?
Chatterbox: My purpose is to WEAR MOMMY OUT!

I swear I can't even make this stuff up.

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