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Black and white was the name of the game when I started thinking of ways to decorate the dining room area. I already had a white Ikea rectangular table that fit perfectly in the space and all I had to do was add the black and white Ikea chairs and table decor.


I painted the walls gray (Gig's Gray, to be exact) which is the same color as the Living Room wall, but... I added an accent wall to the dining room. I found this textured wallpaper in the home decor section of Target and fell all the way in love. So, I had to have it, of course.

Real talk: it was really annoying putting the wallpaper up because I haven't figured out an effective way to smooth out the bubbles without peeling the whole thing off an re-starting. So after doing that like 50-11 times (annoying, right?), I finally nailed it.

And loved it.

Success!




Then I had two different spaces of the dining room that needed to be filled with furniture. I filled one space with bookcases, books, pictures, and other decor. Originally, I filled the white bookcase with children's books galore, but because August pulled them all out every... single... day... I had to figure out another way to store them. So I got these adorable book bins from Amazon (love!) and they fit perfectly!

Bonus points because they are black and white. Score!





I filled the second space with a mini upgraded mudroom-ish area: above the white bench and below the white bench. Below is where we store backpacks and some shoes, above is where we display degrees and one of my favorite quotes.

The pillow is for posh-ness. Because: Mommy Delicious. And the black and white striped area rug tied the whole space together.

All in all, I love the way the space turned out. It's sleek and clean and gives off cool vibes.










This whole renovation is allowing me to flex my creativity muscles in ways that I didn't know was possible. And I'm totally feeling it.
Now... unto the hallway/entry way and kitchen!
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Photo via the Rossopomodoro Instagram page
"Okay... so let's talk about what we liked and what we would change about the class."

This was Aiden, as we walked down 14th Street after our hour-long pizza-making -- and pizza eating! -- class at Rossopomodoro this past weekend.

The boys and I were invited to a Kids Pizza Making Class at Rossopomodoro, a rustic-chic Italian restaurant in the West Village. Upon our arrival, the kids were greeting with an apron, a chef hat, and a rolling pin to gear up for their chef-experience.



Then we headed to the semi-private seating area in the back of the restaurant, where participants were led through a step-by-step process in making their own pizza: rolling the dough, flipping the dough, rolling it some more, adding sauce, adding toppings, and placing it in super glamorous golden oven. (Seriously... can I get one of those in my house?!)

Photo via the Rossopomodoro Instagram page
And, of course, eating!

Can I get a "Yum!"?



After the entire experience, Aiden had some thoughts and ideas.

  1. The pizza was the best pizza he ever had!
  2. He doesn't want basil on his pizza because "who eats veggies on their pizza?" Ha!
  3. The only thing he would change is to have even more toppings, like pepperoni. (He lives for pepperoni.)
  4. It's great that they give you the choice to cut the pizza in four slices or six slices. (He picked six slices because he wanted the pizza to last as long as possible. Ha!)
  5. It was the best pizza and best day ever!



August didn't say anything about his pizza-making experience, except, "More!" when he wanted more pizza, orange juice, or my mimosa, but judging by how much of the pizza he ate, I'm pretty sure he was living-it-up!


Kids. So easy to please.

Beginning Saturday, April 21st, Rossopomodoro will be kicking off their new Kids Pizza Making Class. Classes will be offered every Saturday at a rate of $27 per child.

At the class, kids will be given homemade dough, Italian tomato sauce and cheese, and a variety of toppings. Afterwards, they will be able to arrange their pizza in any shape they like, and wait for the yumminess that is to come!

It's truly a fun-filled family activity that the kids will eat up! Literally! 

You can call 212.242.2310 to reserve your spot!



Thanks so much to the entire team at Rossopomodoro for the fun experience! The pizza was yummy and the mimosas were the truth!

{Disclaimer: The kids and I were provided with a complimentary class in order to facilitate this review. All opinions expressed herein are my own.}
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photo courtesy of The New Victory Theater
If balloons and bubbles are your kids' things, then Air Play might be too. Last weekend, Aiden and I spent 60-minutes giggling and laughing as we checked out the show at The New Victory Theater.

We haven't been to the super cool children's theater in a few months and we were totally surprised when we saw that the theater got a little nip/tuck. Not only are the renovations on the upper level sleek, but the lower level has a modern and updated space where theater goers can purchase snacks and souvenirs, take pictures with the performers, and participate in fun show-related activities. All in all, we love the new space.

But I digress.
photo courtesy of The New Victory Theater

photo courtesy of The New Victory Theater
The show Air Play is all fun and games and perfect for the entire family. The performers Seth Bloom and Christina Gelsone are a dynamic duo, and the show uses a carefully positioned circle of fans to wow the audience When they aren't making their umbrellas fly (yes, you read that right), they're making their silks ripple. And when they aren't doing that, they're using balloons in ways that you'd never think was possible. (Yes, people can fit inside balloons.)

Aiden and I had a great time and definitely recommend for your entire family!

getting his Drake on in the updated space on the lower level
Air Play will run at The New Victory Theater through April 15, 2017. The show is 60 minutes with no intermission and is great for ages 5 and up. Tickets start at just $16 and there is also an autism-friendly show (major props for setting this up!). Visit the website for more information or to purchase your tickets.

{Disclaimer: I received tickets to Air Play in order to facilitate this review. All opinions expressed herein are my own.}
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pants: Children's Place | shoes: The Gap | bow ties and shirts: H&M 
Aiden: Mommy, we don't have to wear the same exact outfit! Can't we just wear kinda the same colors? 
Me: Aiden, don't you want August to have happy memories of you two wearing matching outfits on special days like Easter? 
Aiden: Yeah, but I'm not doing this next year.  
Well, then. I guess he told me.

I mean, it's not like the outfits aren't cute and whatnot. But I guess homeboy is aging-out of matching outfits. Fair enough.

Guess this couldn't last forever.

Anyway.

We had a pretty low-key Easter. We went to church, ate lunch at a nearby restaurant, and headed home to relax for the remainder of the evening.

Here are some outtakes from our little photoshoot on the stoop because they look nothing like the highlight reel that I shared on the Mommy Delicious Facebook page. Haha!





So.

Who thinks I can try to fenagle my way into coordinating outfits for the Fourth of July, Thanksgiving, and the Christmas holidays?

August's thought bubble: WTH?!

Too much?
A gal can try, right?
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It all started with the couch.

It's a black couch and it's HEB's black couch and he refused to get rid of his black couch. So I had to plan the living room decor around the black couch.

Oh, and the treadmill that quite literally doesn't fit anywhere else except for in the corner of the living room.

So after I finished the boys' bedroom, I got to work on the Living Room.


"Start each day with a grateful heart."
I knew I wanted there to be a gallery wall because I have a ton of pictures, wall decor, and inspirational sayings. I knew I wanted to have a shag rug because it's comfy. I knew I wanted gray walls because it's neutral and nice. And I knew I wanted faux plants for the bay windows because I have to keep humans alive so I cannot keep plants alive too.

Everything else was pretty much up in the air.


But once I painted the walls and bought a few plush pillows, the living slowly, but surely came together. I know that I'll probably change it a few more times over the next few months, but I'm really feeling this current version of the living room, especially with the black, gray, and pops of gold color scheme.



I also painted the radiator cover a blue hue to compliment the gray color on the wall. And my vases and balls and all the decor. It was a spur-of-the-moment decision, but I'm digging it.




Can we talk about this TV stand now? It used to be brown, but the brown color no longer fit in with the color-scheme of my new living room. So... I sanded it, painted it, and a few coats later, it was white and black. (Shout-out to YouTube and all the design bloggers for helping a sistah out!) I'm totally feeling the end results and will totally take on another DIY project because of the way this came out.







This end table is also a new favorite of mine. I spotted it at Home Goods and just had to have it. The rustic, farmhouse vibe that it gives off makes my heart smile and I love, love love it!





I'll do a close-up of the gallery wall at some point -- I'm still rearranging the pictures and stuff, but I'm digging the current version of it.
What do you guys think?
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Because I know I'm not perfect and I know that I mess some things up. Just check last week's post about all the things I do wrong in this Motherhood game. (Yes, the "M" should be capital. Always.)

Because I'm hella intentional and hella calculated and hella reflective about my parenting practices. And I'm always trying to be better tomorrow than I am today.

Because I've learned that meditation and "Me Time" is so important to my mental health. And I allow myself to indulge in it. Frequently. And freely.

Because I'm going to therapy and working on addressing my own ish. Because ain't nothing cute about raising these incredible babies if I'm not emotionally whole first.

Because my boys are incredible. All parts of them. Even the parts that I don't always like.

Because the way Aiden loves up on August makes my soul smile.

Because the tight hugs that August gives Aiden makes my heart happy.


Because when Aiden was going through his own drama, I didn't take the easy way out by just "spanking him one time". Because I think spanking is the easy way out.

Because I knew that it wasn't about me and all the things that I already did for him. Because I knew that he needed even more than I was already doing for him at the time. So I gathered a dream team of professionals to help me help him through.

Because I'm a Mama Bear during Aiden's IEP meetings. Because Speech Therapists and Occupational Therapists and Counselors and Psychologists are bae. All of 'em.

Word.

Because I learned phrases like, "pragmatic language skills" and "graphomotor skills" and "proprioceptive pressure activities" due to Aiden receiving various types of therapy throughout the week.

Because Aiden's dream team reminds me that he's perceptive, intelligent, athletic, and hardworking. Because they also remind me that he's extremely sensory/movement seeking... for the days when I'm at my wits end and need that gentle reminder.

Because I'm not ashamed that my baby needs these types of services because he's been hella successful academically and socially this year.

Because I'm fully aware that I'm privileged to even be able to have these types of services for Aiden because not every family has access to them.


Because August loves to read books and build blocks and knock blocks over and sing his ABC's.

Because August runs into my arms every morning when he sees me.

Because the way Aiden roots for August whenever he sings a song or says a new word or does just about anything is the very definition of Big Brother Magic.

Because my boys are happy and healthy and loved.
Because I know that that's all that really matters anyhow.
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Because August is 2-years-old and still uses his pacifier. And folks keep telling me that it's time for him to give it up, but I don't listen to them. I mean, I know he's not gonna walk into high school with a pacifier or go to college with it so I'm cool with him using it at two. But still...

Because despite all the books I read to him or all the songs I sing to him or all the talking I do with him, August is still not talking as much as Aiden was talking at his age. Heck, I used to forget that Aiden was only two because little dude was having big time conversations with me and his teachers and everyone around. August clearly understands what folks are saying and he's vocal about his wants and needs. But still...

Because somedays tantrums and backtalk are at the center of my life.

Because, speaking of backtalk, what the heck is in the water that these adolescents are drinking? And why the heck didn't anyone tell me that this phase of motherhood was coming down the pipeline? I mean, I know that Aiden is trying to assert himself and trying to assert his individuality (that's separate from me) and trying to find his way in the world that's scary and confusing and so many things. I "get" it. But still...

Because bedtime battles. 'Nuff said.

Because bath time battles.


Because I got Aiden interested in reading books and now he's excelling as a reader. But then we had to conquer math. And then I got him doing his thing in math and science and all that jazz. And now we have to conquer writing. And every time we get over one hurdle, there's another hurdle waiting like, "Hey y'all!".

Because it is a "we" thing and not a "he" thing because I'm in this with him. To guide him and cheer him on. Even when it's hard. But still...

Because it's always hard and never easy, especially if you wanna do this thing right.

Because there's always another mountain to climb.

Because once I master one phase of parenting, my kids seem to age-out of that phase and they're on to the next one. (That was a Jay-Z reference.)

Because I'm always playing catch-up with these ages and stages and phases and no one told me it would be like this.

Because I'm tired.

Because yesterday August was an infant and now homeboy's a full-on toddler. And yesterday was Aiden's first day of Pre-K and now he's about to graduate from elementary school and enter middle school.

Because middle schoolers in NYC travel to and from school by themselves and I'm not sure how I feel about that level of independence. Yet.

Because I still feel like I haven't told Aiden all the things he needs to know before he gets to middle school yet.

Because the days are long, but the years are short and I'm always racing against the clock to bottle it all up.
Even when I feel like I'm doing it all wrong. Sometimes.
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I'm not a Winter person. In fact, I hate the cold weather with a passion. I tolerate in during the holidays, but I'm literally ready for warmer temps as soon as it hits January 2nd. Which makes Winter really, really brutal for me.

Also, seasonal depression is a real thing.





A couple weeks ago, I was so over Winter that I booked a fairly last-minute trip to Florida for the boys and me. I just needed a few days of sunshine and warmer temps to get me through these last few weeks of NYC Winter (and since it was our spring break, I figured why not.)



I really wanted to go to Miami, but the flights were too expensive for all three of us so we flew into Fort Lauderdale, spent a couple of days there, and then took the metro over to Miami. So for an hour of our time (how long it took to get from Ft. Lauderdale to Miami) and five extra bucks (the price of the train ticket), we were in Miami.

Woot!


can't come to Florida without Mickey
Throughout our trip, we got to do all of the things that I love to do during the Summer -- dine outdoors, hang out at the playground, go to the beach, take long walks, and just sit in the sun. It was exactly what my spirit needed.





Except for when it got rough and I got tired of my kids and tired of being "on" 24/7 and tired of being the only one they could talk to all the time.

And tired of August's tantrums. I mean, it got to the point where I only fed him Pirate's Booty or cheetos because he would throw a tantrum for them and I was over it. But at least he had water and fruits, right?

And tired of Aiden's backtalk. I mean, is there something in the water for the pre-teens nowadays?! Dude's got a response for everything! Pray my strength and patience, y'all.

There's a reason that people go on trips with kids with more than one adult.





After a while, I needed a vacation from my kids. Comes with the territory, I suppose.

Needless to say, when we got back to NYC last week Friday, I sent August to daycare, sent Aiden to his bedroom, locked myself in my bedroom, and binge-watched TV shows while laying in bed and eating snacks.

Woot woot!

Talk about the perfect way to end my week off of work.

happiness is... 
Don't get me wrong: getting a little sunshine was exactly what this delicious momma needed to make it through these final weeks of Winter, but recharging after being "on" for so many days straight was also important.


Self-care y'all. Self-care.
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This past weekend, HEB and I had our first date night of the year by checking out Yvonne Orji (best known as "Molly" in the HBO series Insecure) at Carolines on Broadway.

Y'all.

She is so funny and we had such a good laugh and a great time!


And, in true Mommy Delicious fashion, I walked away with a few gems from the night. In no particular order, here are four things I learned from Yvonne Orji's stand-up act:

Have fun.
HEB and I had fun because she was having fun. Homegirl (can I call her that now?) came onto the stage dancing, she ended her act dancing, and she just starting dancing in the middle of her jokes. She laughed at her own jokes, and laughed with -- and at -- the folks in the audience. She was up there, all in her element, living her best life, and having fun while doing it. Definitely something to aspire to.

Own it. 
Yvonne was born in Nigeria and she owns her roots like it's nobody's business. During her act, she gave several shout-outs to the Nigerians in the room and rightfully so! She switched seamlessly from her American accent and her Nigerian accent in the middle of her jokes and it made them even funnier. She knows that her Nigerian heritage is what makes her who she is and she owns it. Confidently. Unapologetically.


Connections matter. 
Yvonne not only gave shout-outs to the Nigerians in the room, but also folks from all over the continent of Africa. She also gave shout-outs to the other Black women in the room (because: #blackgirlmagic). She told jokes, but also created moments where the audience was all like, "Yes, girl! I know what you mean!" She created so many moments like these throughout the show -- so many "me too" moments -- that the audience felt connected to her, connected to her stories, and invested in the entire show. Bottom line: connections matter. And telling your story matters. Which brings me to my next point...

Speak your truth. 
During her stand-up act, Yvonne was open about the fact that she only recently became able to enroll in auto-pay and reminded folks that auto-pay is not for convenience, but for the gainfully employed. (Word!) I remember reading an article in the Times a couple months ago about how she'll find a 2 Bros Pizza whenever she's in NYC to have a slice of pizza because there was a time in her career where she couldn't even afford that same $2 slice of pizza. She's not afraid to open up, speak her truth, and show people who she really is.

This is something that I try to do over and over again in this space because "highlight reels" don't get people through tough times. Only sharing the good stuff doesn't help other folks figure out how to make it through. Transparency is so important. It's like Mother O said, "What I know for sure is that speaking your truth is the most powerful tool we all have."
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Happy New Year's Eve!

2017 was a lot of things to so many of us, but regardless of how we feel about the year, here we are. We made it. We're making it. We've survived the worst days and soaked up the best days. And for that, I'm grateful.

I started the year off working on getting Aiden to be whole and making sure that everything is in place to help him be successful. That meant including a family therapist and psychiatrist to our village.

Then I took some time to reset and work on myself. I started individual therapy again and I'm happy to report that I've gone faithfully every week (except when one of us were out of town).

I've put in a lot of work and spent a lot of time getting to know (re-know) myself this year and I've learned so much about what I need to feel grounded and good and loved and... whole.

In 2018, I plan on holding on to that.

I moved in with HEB and learned that home decor is kinda my thing. I'm slowly fixing up (see what I did there?) every room of this apartment to make it look fly. I love that I'm flexing these creative muscles in ways that I never knew I could and I'm living it up as the Property Sistah (see what I did there?).

I've learned so much this year and I'm grateful for all the things 2017 taught me. Like...

To show up for myself. Always. In all ways. Because no one else is responsible for putting mr first except me.

To continue to find my happy place and fight like hell to stay in that place. Because no one else is responsible for making me happy except me.

To do more of the things that I actually want to do. And less of the things that I don't want to do.

To remember that "No." is a complete sentence. No explanations needed. "No." would suffice.

To fear less and to be fearless.

To stretch myself in ways that I never thought possible.

But to know my limits and to know when to say when. (I'm only human and, sometimes, I need to take breaks. And that's quite alright.)

To apologize when I've made a mistake.

But to be unapologetic when I know that I'm doing what's right for myself and for my children.

To continue to be resilient in love and life. And to keep going through life with equal parts grit and glitter.


Here's to more blessings, more lessons, more time with friends and family, more adventures, more healing, and more love.
Just... more!
Here's to more life in 2018.
Onward!
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