Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Preempting My Day

When I was single, living in Boston with 2 jobs there was only one way I could make it through each day: 

Preempting my day

My strategy was to make sure my lunch was packed the night before, clothes ironed and laid out and gym/work bag packed for the morning (I thank my mom for teaching me the importance of doing this at a young age!). I'd go to bed at 10p.m. on the dot and wake up at exactly 5a.m. (no hitting snooze!) so I could make it to the commuter rail into downtown Boston. From there I'd go to my gym then on to my first job. I'd scoot to my second job then repeat the process of getting ready the night before for the following day. 

The process of preparing is what I call pre-emption and I'm finding as a WAHM balancing multiple MPCs and family life that I have a better day if I start my day earlier. 

It's been very hard to do late especially since Nia doesn't nap or will fall asleep only when we're on our way home from an afternoon activity thus messing up her nighttime routine. When that happens I end up staying up until the wee hours to catch up on everything that didn't get done that day and I end up sleep deprived for the following day. 

What an ideal day would look like would be similar to how I did when I was single but instead I'd like to strive to place more emphasis on quiet time. If I can get up 2 hours before Nia wakes up, do some stretches, have quiet time (usually playing Hillsong's Pandora station) and get my mind right I know I'll have a good day (for the most part!). I want to be proactive vs. reactive. I want to already be in a good mood when Nia wakes up instead of having her wake me with a demand for food or to use the bathroom. 

It's been hard to do but I'm going to pray hard for strength to keep this routine.

Here's my current arsenal for pre-empting my day with quiet time especially:

1(my prayer journal)//2//3(my girly portable Bible)//4//5
  Do you preempt your day? What's your strategy for starting your day on the right food?

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Lil Chef Love Bird

I mentioned in my first episode of "Hi Virginia" that Nia is now attending a weekly preschool prep class. Yesterday she finished her first module, Healthy Me, by making a smoothie . . .


So far it's going well and I know she's more than ready for full-time preschool this fall. It'll be here before I know it! 

How did you prepare your kids for school? What is it like researching preschools where you live?


Monday, January 28, 2013

How the Love Birds Weekend


A night at the Griffin . . .


My KISS Nail Dress via Influenster
 - I put it on in 20 minutes on the train!*
With my sister and her BF
After hours mac & cheese at Cafeteria . . .


Headed into Manhattan for some mommy time with my dear friend April . . .

I didn't take a picture of it, but I also devoured had Le Pain Quotidien's warm chocolate bread with cherry and ricotta topping - it was DIVINE!

I picked these up on the way home - I'm a sucker for products like this!
I really wanted to watch Downton Abbey that night (I've only watched the first episode of season 3!), but I crashed hard seeing that I didn't get in from the Griffin until 6a.m. that morning O_o

On the way to the grocery store being silly!
Keep calm and grocery shop

We went to the historic Riverside Church in Harlem for a screening of "The Central Park Five" - I highly recommend this documentary

Following the screening was a panel discussion including 4 of the 5 defendants and Sarah Burns

I got nostalgic for Harlem on my ride to pick up Nia at my sister's apartment after the screening. It's been exactly 1 year since we've left Harlem, and I'm not over it. Probably won't ever be.
Have a great week everyone and don't forget to enter my throwback Spirograph giveaway - it ends this Thursday!


P.S. Wanna try KISS Nail Dress? Get 50% off and free shipping when you use code VOXBOXHOL here. {Disclosure: I was provided with free KISS Nail Dress via Influenster; all opinions are my own.}

Friday, January 25, 2013

A Throwback Giveaway: Spirograph is Back!

Wanna know something? My most popular posts of all time are those where I talk about 80s toys. Yep, it's true! It's definitely a passion of mine and having been invited to The Big Toy Book's Biggest Day of Holiday Play in December and now receiving my press pass for Toy Fair 2013, it's a topic that's here to stay at Harlem Love Birds. 

In keeping with this I was excited when Spirograph provided me with a Deluxe Set to play with. Yes, I still play with toys! I mentioned Spirograph in a previous post so when I saw them at The Big Toy Book event I was giddy with excitement (and thankfully I didn't scare the rep away hence this post you're reading now!).

Spirograph made it's debut in the 60s (yes, it's nearly 50 years old!) and has been updated for modern times. It comes in a sleek case, much nicer than the board-game box I remember having as a child. It's portable with a handle and very sturdy. While my Lil Love Bird is too young for Spirograph (it's for ages 8+), Mr. Love Bird and I will be having a date night-in to enjoy it on our own!

In the meantime, Lil Love Bird had fun exploring the set with me and watching me play...

An instruction booklet is included with details on how to make intricate drawings - there are hundreds of possible designs!
The case is sturdy and well-organized
My first design is on the left (putty is included to keep everything in place!); On the right is my attempt with the ruler - I need more practice! Oh and Lil Love Bird wanted to put putty on the wheel too so that's her doing!
As an entrepreneur, I've also found the story of how Spirograph made it re-entry to the marketplace interesting. It really is story of perseverance and if you'd like to see for yourself check it out here.

Are you a Spirograph fan like I am or wanting to become one? Well I'm excited to be giving away one Spirograph Deluxe Set! The giveaway ends Thursday, January 31 with the winner announced Friday, February 1 (open to U.S. residents only).

As always my Rafflecopter giveaway only has one mandatory entry with all others being optional. Good luck! 

a Rafflecopter giveaway


P.S. Check out this 70s commercial for Spirograph - kinda funny!

Winner: Fun Unique Riches Giveaway

Nia in a moment of contemplation this morning
It's freezing over here in NYC, but I warmed my fingers up enough to pick a winner of the Fun Unique Riches giveaway:

  a Rafflecopter giveaway

Congrats YUMMommy! I'll email you shortly to get your address. 

And if you didn't win you can still use code "harlemlovebirds" at checkout to get 25% off your Fun Unique Riches order starting today until February 1. Happy shopping!


P.S. I'll be back later today with a fun 80's themed giveaway!

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Looking for Snow

This has been a mild winter so far yet temperatures are dropping here in NYC and there is word of snow tomorrow. I can't believe it's nearly February, and we haven't had a major snow apart from the nor'easter soon after Hurricane Sandy, but it was gone in a flash. 

I want a good old fashioned snow like the one my alma mater Wellesley College recently experienced. I'm getting nostalgic for how beautifully snow drapes the campus. It really is divine...

{Images via Wellesley College}

Are you missing snow in your area? 

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Squeaky Wheel #12: Krazy Glue to the Rescue

A few weeks ago Mr. Love Bird placed my favorite mug from our casual wedding china on our hardwood living room floor (why oh why he'd put it on the floor vs. on a coaster on the end table is beyond me!), but of course Lil Love Bird stepped on it slicing her foot and sending blood everywhere and all over our couch as well (if you follow me on Instagram you know our couch is pretty much done!). Well, Lil Love Bird handled it well, and I was proud of myself for not losing my cool - Mr. Love Bird felt bad enough.

Once Lil Love Bird was all cleaned up I moved onto repairing the mug. Thankfully Lil Love Bird didn't need stitches, but a good friend who's also a pediatrician who we happened to meet for brunch the following day was able to take a look at it and bandage it properly!

We had cheap 99 cent store super glue which hadn't worked on another item I tried to repair, so this time Mr. Love Bird bought the real stuff - Elmer's Krazy Glue. The package said that it was a thick gel and a no-run formula. Well something was wrong because it was super runny. It hadn't been in a hot place either so I wasn't sure what happened.

I promptly contacted Elmer's via e-mail who responded pretty quickly . . .

I also let Elmer's know on Twitter and they replied:

The replacement glue arrived a few days later and we tried again AND ran the mug through the dishwasher for good measure. 


Guess we had a bum tube of Krazy Glue.

As minor as it sounds this little customer service interaction made me happy (it's the little things!), and I'm back to using my mug {I LOVE our basket weave Martha Stewart casual wedding china from Macy's - and NO, that wasn't a sponsored statement ;-) }.

So moral of the story: if a particular product isn't working right ask for another before giving up on an entire brand. Sometimes it could be an off batch. Who knows?!

Have you ever had an experience like this? Want to read more in the Squeaky Wheel series? You can find them all here.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Toy Fair 2013 Here I Come!

En route home from Maryland last night I received the good news that I was granted a press pass for Toy Fair 2013! I had heard of the trade show before, but it wasn't until I was prompted by a fellow Blogalicious '12 attendee to apply for a press pass that I considered going. Well last week I sent over my credentials and now I'm on my way!

Yes, Harlem and Jersey are both on the badge O_o
This will be my first time attending an event as press so those of you who know how Type A I am already know I'm scouring to learn all I can to make the most of the 4-day event. I'm excited to connect in-person with brands my family and readers are passionate about as well as learn about new brands. I had a small taste of this at The Big Toy Book's holiday party which was a blast, but I can only imagine how intense a 4-day HUGE event at the Jacob Javits Center will be!

Toy Fair 2012 {Image Credit}
Check out the 2012 recap video:

Are there any toy brands my readers love which you'd like to learn more about or recommend? And if you just so happen to be going to Toy Fair please let me know - I'd like to connect with you!


P.S. This news aligns with my already scheduled giveaway this Friday. . . stay tuned and don't forget to enter my current giveaway here!

Monday, January 21, 2013

Love Birds Visit the MLK, Jr. Memorial in Washington, D.C.

We couldn't have picked a more beautiful day to visit the MLK, Jr. Memorial for the first time yesterday. I highly recommend going!

Random, right?!

Practicing saying, "Martin Luther King" (video here!)



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