In 1985, my grandfather disowned my mother as his daughter. His prejudice kept me from ever getting to know him for 27 years. My mother's courageous faith and longing to fill the void in her heart is what sewed our family back together. Although it caused her so much pain over the years, sending father's day cards, receiving them back marked return to sender, she kept trying. Slowly but surely my grandfather came around and started to develop a relationship with my mother. She had visited him at least once a year for the past 8 years, I was never able to come along due to school and what not, but I had always dreamed of meeting grandpa, for I never had one, only a picture and an obsession with the Italian culture since I couldn't experience it through family. I too began to send cards and pictures to my grandfather, more so after I had my daughter. A simple christmas photo led my grandfather to tears and he decided to fly my mother, sisters, my daughter and myself for a family reunion, so we could finally all be together. Since that trip, so much has changed for the good. Some unfortunate things have happened, but all things happen for a reason.
A particular family member who had been in my grandfather's life, as a temporary replacement to my mother, so to speak, began to show their true colors once they saw how we longed to be in my grandfather's life and how we were eager and happy to help him in his old age. This person felt entitled, after being added as the beneficiary on my grandfather's living will. Out of greed, jealousy, fear and lack of empathy, this person robbed my grandfather, not only of what was in his bank account but also of his independence he had left. With the motive of putting him away in assisted living, this person sent my grandfather to faulty doctor's who diagnosed him for diseases that he didn't have.
Before my grandfather got to know me and the rest of my family, he believed that this person was "the only family he had left," and would often say it to me and my mother when talking to us over the phone about what was going on. It was always a little bit hurtful because he didn't realize he had US. WE ARE HIS FAMILY. So we made him realize by showering him with love. We listen to him when he is hurting, even if he has told us 10 times before. Reason with him, help him understand as much as we do. Spend time with him whenever we get a little bit of vacation time, and me personally, I love to cook for him to make sure he is getting all the right nutrition, for I want him to live as along as he can to make up for lost time. Through the past six months and developing a relationship with my grandfather, a few quotes comes to mind.
"The present changes the past. Looking back you do not find what you left behind. " - Kiran Desai
"Be the change that you want to see in the world." - Gandhi
"One day spent with someone you love can change everything." - Unknown
I mostly admire my mother, for being the change she wanted to see. Even though she may have felt abandoned and unwanted, she took the chance to change something in her life where she sought improvement and growth. I also admire my grandfather, such a stubborn old italian man, changing his ways and realizing the importance of family, even though families aren't perfect and some family memebers can be disloyal.
I am very grateful to have spent my grandfather's 74th birthday with him today. He said, "two more years and I will have outlived every member of the italian family." I vow to do what I can to make that happen, plus many more. Buon Compleanno Nonno Leo, Te Amo!
OK, think back to all the times you've stayed at a resort or hotel, maybe vegas. You discover in your room that there is a minibar. "DON'T TOUCH ANYTHING IN THE MINIBAR!" Is normally my response to my girlfriends. I'm not trying to pay $8 for a coke, $12 for a 1.5 ounce bottle of rum and $10 for a small can of Pringles.
Well, imagine staying at a resort where your minibar is free and restocked daily. Yes, I've finally experienced an ALL-INCLUSIVE, not to mention an ALL ADULT resort, and it was worth every penny.
Paradisus La Perla in Playa Del Carmen, Mexico was the place to stay for my girlfriend's destination wedding.
I flew in to the Cancun, Mexico International Airport. After going through customs, I boarded my shuttle, which I booked in advance through BestDay.com ($52 Round Trip Per Person), and after about a 45 min - 1 hour drive I pulled up to the beautiful resort. There is a beautiful courtyard that surrounds ponds filled with koi fish and turtles. Upon checking in, you are given a bracelet that you wear during your stay so you can eat and drink at all the restaurants (10 restaurants total and 5 bars) and the pool side bar and grill. After checking in there you approached by a concierge that guides you to your room and will give you a tour of the resort. I was so tired I didn't bother with a tour, plus I was too anxious to experience my upgraded room, at which I paid for, where the patio is connected to the pool and there are tile chaises so you can lay and relax in the water.
After having dinner with the bride and groom and the rest of the crew, we discovered that one of the bars also had hookah's available for additional costs. My friends and I went all out and got three different hookah's that we enjoyed after dinner in the courtyard. Are party was crashed by an uninvited guest, also known as a coati. A mexican possum/raccoon/leemar. The janitor that shooed it away informed us that they are dangerous because they are known to carry rabies. Of coarse, he told me that after I held my hand towards it and the thing touched my hand with his paw to see if there was food in it. My girlfriend's fiancee then heckled me that if I had even the smallest scratch I was going to start foaming by the mouth in the next few hours. My paranoia left my hand itching all night! LOL
I was curious to find out what kind of activities there were to do at the resort. All of these activities were included with your stay.
- Sports activities for adults: volleyball, stretching, Pilates, spinning, meditation, and more
- Lighted and well equipped facilities for tennis
- Pools for water activities including aqua aerobics and water volleyball
- Workshops (tequila tasting, wine tasting, etc.)
- Live music in the evenings
- Dance classes
- Environmental class on the beach
- Tango lessons
- Life-enriching experiences
For additional costs the following activities are also available.
- Marina watersports
- Scuba diving/Snorkeling
- Spa Services
- Day trips to Mayan ruins including Tulum and Chichén Itzá
Did I engaged in any of these activities. No! LOL. I pretty much just enjoyed the pool the entire stay. I loved the pool, you could literally sit at the bar while sitting in the pool.
The resort also has it's own private beach, but I wouldn't recommend going at night in your swimsuit and trying to be Beyonce in the sand. YOU WILL GET EATEN ALIVE BY MOSQUITOS! (At least I got a cool photo! LOL)
We did get a chance to experience the downtown area of Playa to do a little shopping. My favorite part was the pharmacy! You are allowed to buy antibiotics and other normally prescribed medications over the counter in Mexico. I got a bottle of antibiotics and some retin-A. It was super cheap too! Pesos ran $12.46 to the American Dollar. The also have Wal-Mart in Mexico, and the escalators are backwards. Up on the left, down on the right. Weird.
Overall, I think this was a great resort to stay and supposedly Paradisus is a chain of all-inclusive resorts, so look for it! I booked my stay through my favorite booking company Hotels.com. Even with my upgraded room, it was only $450 a night. Not a bad deal for eating like a fatty and drinking like an alcohol everyday I was there. If you book your stay through Melia.com they will include your shuttle to and from the airport. The rates were about the same compared to hotels.com.
As far as flights go, right now they are running around $420-$550 rountrip, and non-stop from LAX to CAN.
If you can afford it, I would recommend flying first class so you won't have to smell feet the whole flight there.
If you're a parent like me, and like to get away with your kids...Paradisus has a resort called, La Esmeralda, neighboring the La Perla that is family-friendly and still all-inclusive. :-)
I would like to thank my dear friends Lauren and Ziv Limor for inviting me to witness true love during their union and vows to one another at such a gorgeous place. The ceremony was truly moving and absolutely perfect and beautiful. I wish you two love and happiness that never fades. I truly believe you two are soul mates. <3 <3 <3
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Oh, did I mention that nearly all the hotel rooms had jacuzzi's on the patio?
< This is how we throw wedding reception after parties! That's the groom's mom in the middle, lol!
Live, Love, Laugh and TRAVEL! xoxo
Being a mom, let alone a single mom, there is so much to do and so much to keep track of in order to run your household. The most annoying, yet essential chore...grocery shopping.
Some of my friends call me a health freak, I think I'm just health conscious....with that being said, I do all my grocery shopping at 1 of 3 places; Sprouts, Trader Joe's or Whole Foods. If any of you shop at these places you know, it's such a pain because it's always busy. Trader Joe's has the worst parking lots ever, it's as if the Trader Joe's Corporation literally finds the smallest lots on the market on purpose with the intention of everyone's car getting a door ding. LOL, OK, Getting off track with my rants. Anyway, those 3 stores are great for buying fresh foods, but for me personally not necessarily for the home essentials, (cleaning supplies, toiletries, etc.) for one being they are more expensive, so I'm usually going to another store, like Target, to buy those kind of items. Talk about using up even more time in my day.
I discovered this awesome application and service that changed my life. GOOGLE SHOPPING EXPRESS!
Google Shopping Express is an app that let's you shop online from a number of different store including; Smart&Final, Target, Walgreens, Costco Wholesale, Toys R US/Babies R US, Staples, L'Occitane, Guitar Center, Barnes&Noble, Vicente Foods, Whole Foods and Fry's Electronics. Once your cart is full, your order is on the way and delivered to your door within hours.
One reason I really loved this app is because recently I had an extremely sore back and I needed to buy more bottled water. I didn't know how I was going to be able to carry that up the stairs of my apartment building. That's another reason why I love that Costco is one of the stores as well. When buying bulk, sometimes you can't even fit all those supplies in your car.
Not only is this great for mommies, it's also great for anyone that is a PA or runs errands for an office or production company.
Share it, or keep it a secret. Then everyone will wonder..."How do you do it?!"
Currently Google Shopping Express is offering a free 6 month trial, meaning FREE DELIVERY! All you pay is the price of the products plus tax.
Stay Supreme Mommies and Friends ;-)
It’s great to find humor is unpleasing situations, won’t you agree?
Monday, I had a court date for child support at 8:00 am. Like a typical light skinned responsible woman I showed up early. On the last court date, the non-custodial parent called at 10:15am, keep in mind the appointment was at 8:00 am, and said he would not make it due to the fact he was out of town. Ahhhh*BullSh*t*Choo!! Excuse me, I’m catching a cold. So I asked the clerk how long do they wait for both parties to show up before being called into the office. She said 10:00 am to 10:30 am. Already that put me in a bad mood. I’m thinking “So basically I have to sit here ‘til 10:30 at the latest just to see if this n-word is gonna show up?” With the desperate attempt to not complain and be patient, I decided to read my bible, lol.
The following 2 hours was quite the event. I’m telling you, I COULD NOT make this up if I tried. Based on everything I observed I came up with a list, which I tweeted and called:
1. Don't tell your baby momma, "Imma have my sister kick your ass! Just wait, you’ll see! Yep, as soon as she gets out of jail!" ...in front of your kids.
2. Make sure your child gets through the entrance before you let go of the door, that way they won’t get stuck between the door frame and door yelling "DADDY! HELP!"
3. Don't make friends with other men solely on the fact that the only thing you have in common is back child support.
4. Don't bring your kids and yell "SAY BYE TO YO' DADDY!" after you get into an altercation.
5. It’s probably not the best idea come to the courthouse smelling like weed.
6. Don't talk about how much money SHE got your for on the phone in the lobby...everybody's listening…and we’re nosey!
7. Non-Custodial Parents: To avoid horrible attitudes, be on time, that way you only get a slight attitude.
8. Don't bring your new boo with you…what the hell were you thinking?
9. Don't hit on other women in front of your baby momma.
10. And don’t tell the woman you’re hitting on that you make cute babies, because you are clearly not paying for your cute babies.
-Rules Based On True Events-
And to make the trip even more worth my while, this happens…
A couple walks in they had one baby with them. Over a period of half an hour they have five kids with them. I'm very confused..... and nosey. Where did these kids come from? I watched them walk in. After some heavy observation I concluded that this dude is in here with both of his baby mammas. Outlook: not so good.
They are questioning all of them including the kids.
Long story short, as I watch the tension rise over 45min, his most recent baby momma, the one he is dating GOES OFF! “I’m not f*ck*ng with you no more Tyreek! You a low budget a** n*gga! Lying about how much you make!? Really?!” She grabs her two kids and storms out, the other baby momma with the 3 little boys storms out as well.
A white woman, in a suit, sitting in front of me turns, looks at me and says, “I feel like doing that kind of sh*t all the time. But I just don’t. We gotta keep it together, you know what I mean?”
I was in tears. I thought I was an extra in Baby Boy 2. (Straight to DVD)
But with all jokes aside, dealing with the courthouse and the other parent can be very frustrating and time consuming. Please remember to set an example for your kids. It’s best not to show any emotion at all, but if you feel you really need to exchange some words, do it when the kids aren’t there!
Laughs and Lessons! xo
As a single mom, sometimes you just want to get away, and it's not always an option to get away without the kid/s.
For the fly LA single mom, I found a great get-away that includes a nice little road trip….
My girlfriend Samelia and I decided to take our kids on a road trip to Dallas, Texas. Sedona, was our stop on the way. (Click here to check out Samelia's awesome beauty blog!)
First off, when traveling with kids, be sure to have a cooler filled with snacks, sandwiches and water. Also, some activities or electronics in case they get bored or start to irritate you while you are trying to navigate the road. If your kids are anything like ours…music and conversation about the view should be enough to keep them occupied.
The drive to Sedona should take less than 7 hours if you leave Los Angeles in the early morning. Unfortunately we left in prime traffic, so it took us 9 hours! Ugh! So by the time we got to the Flagstaff area it was already pitch black outside, and we couldn't see any of the beautiful rocky canyons. But we did avoid hitting all the crazy elk that ran out into the middle of the road. We stayed at the "ENCHANTMENT
" resort. It was hard to see anything in the dark. We parked our car and hotel guest services unloaded our luggage onto a golf cart and drove us up to our "casita." Our guide explained to us that the resort was literally in the canyon, but we couldn't see anything. The view we woke up to was amazing!
This resort is absolutely perfect for people who live an active and healthy lifestyle. The list of activities, included in the resort fee, seemed endless. Up to 20 different free* activities on a daily schedule. Some of these activities include; 5 kinds of yoga, cooking, photography, juicing, tea making, hiking; various core training and fitness classes, lectures, gardening, watercolor painting, tennis and wine tasting. Many classes are child friendly. The also have a day camp called "Camp Coyote" for children ages 4-12. It is an additional cost, depending on full, half day, or evening, but a great way to be able to keep the kids occupied so you can escape to the spa.
I highly recommend this place, and if you can, I would go with a boo thang, very romantic and sexy.
Travel and LIVE baby mommas!
Today's Must-Have Monday!
I originally bought this product before my trip to Maui and I must say alba BOTANICA's hawaiian after-sun lotion is amazing. The natural acids in the coffee revitalize circulation and soften the skin while the the green tea and caffeine help neutralize the free radicals incited by your skin being exposed to the sun. And get this, it's pH balanced, hypo-allergenic, sulfate/sodium free and made with 100% vegetarian products. The bottle is also made with recycled materials. So, not only is it the perfect after-sun pick me up, it's also eco-friendly!
I used this lotion after hiking in Sedona, Arizona. It left my skin smelling amazing! Check back soon, for my next post about Sedona.
| || |2013 Forbes List highest paid actress
on television, Sofia Vergara
, is my woman crush this wednesday.
Divorced in '93 from her high school sweet heart, Sofia not only raised her son on her own but still managed to become successful with life tragedies of murder and disease.
Sofia says, " To be a pretty girl, to be a voluptuous girl, has opened many doors for me. I would be ungrateful to say it's all because of my brains and talent...but I have stayed working for over 20 years."That's called using your assets to their full potential!
Sofia and her handsome son Manolo.
I just had the ultimate mommy get-away!
With a lot of hard work, I was truly blessed and fortunate enough to take myself, yeah I said TAKE MYSELF, to Hawaii so I could celebrate my, yet again, 21st birthday!
I stayed in Lahiana, Maui for 7 days at Ka'anapali Beach. It was just the R&R I needed. I was able to clear my mind, read more than one book, get my goals and perspective back in order and on track and of coarse I was able to explore the beautiful island of Maui.
I remember when I was first planning the vacation, I called my mother on the phone and asked her,
"Am I a bad mom if I go to Hawaii for my birthday and I don't take my daughter with me?"
My mother not only told me the truth, she gave me a non-bias opinion and told me something all mothers need to understand. Her answer was no. She reminded me that I need to do things for myself sometimes. We as mothers make our children our number one priority, which is how it should be, but we also have to put ourselves as our number one priority. If we are not healthy and sane, how will we provide for our children and treat them they way they deserve to be. I know I am not the only mother that has gotten frustrated or overwhelmed and snapped at my child when she did not deserve it.
We need to be sure that we are doing things to release our stress in a healthy manner. For example, going to the gym, doing yoga, being outdoors, picking up on a new sport...pretty much anything that allows you to have time to yourself doing something that you enjoy, that does not involve any responsibilities! Even if it's only for 30 mins a day, or if you plan it accordinally...a week in Maui or the destination of your choice.
May I also add...don't let anyone make you feel guilty about doing something for you. A few people had asked me why I wasn't taking my daughter with me and where she was going to be while I was away. First of all, if they are not family, IT IS NONE OF THEIR BUSINESS. Secondly, obviously as a responsible and loving parent, you will make sure your child is well taken care of while you are able to escape for the short amount of time you will be away. Thirdly, enjoy.
And if you do ever go to Hawaii...make sure you rent a jeep wrangler with a removable or soft top ;-)
Peacefully and Soundly,
We always wash our fruits and vegetables before we cook or serve them. But what are the main reasons we do this? The most common reasons are to wash off dirt and germs. But water may not take care of that. There are also other things like pesticides, waxes and chemicals that may be sprayed on the crops, especially if they aren't organic, that water will also not take care of. So what's the solution to make sure the yummy fruit your munchkin loves to eat is safe? Here's one simple inexpensive solution.
I buy mine at Trader Joe's for under $3.00 and one bottle goes a long way for my household of just me and my daughter. Another green solution that has been known to work better than water is a 1:1 ratio of white vinegar and water. If you're one of those people who believes washing your fruits and veggies doesn't make a difference, or use that saying "God made dirt, dirt won't hurt." Let me show the difference of blueberries washed with water and blueberries washed with the fruit&veggie wash.
The picture on the left is blueberries washed with water. See that waxy look? Now look at the blueberries to the right. Those are the same blueberries after I used ONE DROP of the fruit&veggie wash. I massaged the wash thoroughly and rinsed. They are beautiful dark blueberries the same color as on the inside. So now tell me how you feel. Stop feeding your babies dirty fruits and veggies. You don't know where they've been, who has touched them and what they've been exposed too. You wouldn't let your child eat something off the floor right? And if you do...stop using the excuse that it will help build their immune system! You're DEAD wrong for that! I know sometimes buying organic may not be an option, and that it can be expensive in grocery stores. There are a couple of alternatives. #1. Find a farmers market in your community! There are probably more than you think and they set up once a week. You could literally buy your fruits and veggies for the whole week for $20.00. When you cut the middle man out, you get discounts! #2. Buy fruits and veggies that are less likely to be exposed to pesticides and chemicals. How can you tell the difference you ask? Well, by this awesomely illustrated chart I found on ecomom.com (This is a great website to buy all the green products a mom could need!)
So if that chart didn't do it for you...may God bless you with great health! It's very important to know where our food comes from, because we hardly know what we are putting in our mouths. I always tell my friends to watch documentaries like Food, Inc. and Fork Over Knives, and it's so funny to see their reactions. They all say, "No I don't want to watch it," or "I don't want to know, it will spoil all my favorite foods for me." And the truth is it will! Ignorance is not bliss if you get sick from it or even die! if you enjoy living, your health is all you got! I was talking to my mom about this a little while back and she said, "You know it's crazy because it the bible Abraham was like hundreds of years old, and people lived so much longer in the bible days, I often wonder what is it that we are doing different that causes us to die so young." Obviously there are a lot of factors, technology, medicine, etc. But food is one thing that WE CAN control. Choose to take control, it takes discipline! But it's do able!
Stay healthy baby mommas!
"Of course you're tired Lexi! You're a single mom and you're working like a Jamaican with all those jobs! Get some sleep!"
Sometimes sleep is not an option. Think about all those times your kid falls asleep in the car, before you get a chance to go home and take a nap with them. Sometimes we miss our chance on extra sleep. We already workout in the mornings to gain that extra boost of energy and try to eat foods that are nutritious to keep us going. But then 2:30 rolls around and you can barely keep your eyes open...or just fall asleep with your eyes open. I know this is starting to sound like a 5-hour energy commercial, but I swear it's not. And STOP TAKING THAT CRAP! Stop drinking red bull, monsters and popping energy pills. Pretty much anything that makes your piss look like anti-freeze after you consume it, is probably not good for you. There is something better!
This vitamin is for sissies! I am what you call a S.I.S.S.Y. (Severe Itis Sufferer Sucka Yep)
I suffer from "The Itis" everyday. (And if you don't know what "The Itis" is click here
now.) As soon as I eat lunch, barbecued ribs or not, I get extremely tired. And because I always eat before I go into work, it's hard for me to get in the groove of things. I started taking one of these with my lunch everyday and it has CHANGED MY LIFE! I carry a bottle in my work bag and when I notice one of my co-workers has a case of the yawns and/or itis as well, I tell them to pop one. They all rave about how it works almost instantly!
This is all natural with no caffeine, guarana or any other shady controversal uncle sam the the legal drug dealer stuff.
Take one with your meal and make sure to drink plenty of water when taking vitamins. And if you want an extra boost. Drink some Emergen-C with your meal as well. It is also packed with B vitamins.
Boost up with Vitamin B Baby Mommas! It's super mom fuel!