Tuesday, December 29, 2015

This is What Raising Black Children in Portsmouth, New Hampshire Looks Like

With the devastating news from my home state of the decision not to indict the officers in the murder of Tamir Rice and seeing this post Mr. Lovebird showed me yesterday about the top 10 worst cities to raise black children, I wanted to share in pictures what it's been like lately raising our kids here in northern New England.

I've already shared my thoughts on our state's lack of diversity in this post, but this time around I'm not here for commentary.

I'm here to give you a glimpse of the types of things we've been experiencing here as a family:

We're at our local library a lot! 
Nia's holiday concert
We went to see the tree lighting at Market Square (a family pic here!)

So blurry but still a favorite daddy-daughter moment
Having fun at our Y
Our library always has great activities on early release days!

Grayson enjoyed starting with playtime at the Children's Museum of NH before hopping on the Jingle Bell Express! 

Illumination Night at Wentworth by the Sea

We hosted a gingerbread house, after-school play date
Kindergarten Holiday Party
She loves going for "sushi"
They had fun redeeming our Rumble Tumble prize (thank you to everyone who voted for us!)
I think they like it here!
A few other things we're looking forward to this season...

Saturday, December 26, 2015

Merry Christmas 2015 from NYC!

So Thanksmas was in Dallas a couple weeks ago with my parents and sisters, and now we're in NYC for Christmas! My brother-in-law found a great rental home to hold our huge crew via VRBO and with my father-in-law in Queens and my sisters also in NYC it's been a great home base. 

It was an easy drive down from New Hampshire on Christmas Eve (and a balmy 60 degrees). Once we arrived in NYC the temperature reached 71 and we dropped our stuff at the house and hopped on the subway to Macy's Santaland. It was our 4th time going (see our previous visits here), but this time around I booked an online Express Pass for the first time, and I'm so glad we did cause the line when we arrived was wrapped around the 8th floor, and it was a THREE.HOUR.WAIT. CRAZY! We were in and out under an hour, and I'm now officially a firm believer in the Express Pass. 

This Christmas was also a special time to remember my mother-in-law who passed away 10 years ago yesterday. We were at my father-in-law's home about 30 deep with SO much laughter, food and memories. I'm so thankful that my brother-in-law organized everyone to come together. 

Somehow we were up early this morning, dressed in our agreed-upon family color and in great spirits for a family photo session at JC Penney. It brought back so many childhood memories of visits to Olan Mills (anyone else remember that place???). 

Grayson meeting Uncle "Spinks" for the first time

Today we're just eating too much hanging out at the house and hosting visitors. It's still unseasonably warm so the kids are spending some time outside and we'll probably go bowling later. I'm just so glad to see the cousins together - Nia and Grayson are in heaven! 

We'll drive back up to New Hampshire tomorrow, and Nia's excited to stay behind and head to Boston for a few days with her cousins. I'm sure Grayson will enjoy the one-on-one time with me and Uka for a bit. 

It's been a fantastic Christmas, and I'm ready to tackle 2016 head-on!

Wishing all my readers a wonderful holiday season! Was it unseasonably warm where you were too? It's kinda freaking me out!


Monday, December 21, 2015

Now That That's Off My Chest . . .

Disclosure: this post contains affiliate links.

Happy Monday! 

Still thinking about our post-church, sushi brunch yesterday . . .
We leave on Thursday for the most epic, NYC, family mini-reunion ever and seeing that I never fully unpacked from Texas that may or may not be a problem (and yes, I have an incredible recap in progress for that trip!)

Anyway, here's what's going on over here...

via my friend Mindy
  • The Force Awakens is on. my. brain. I'm plotting to see how I can see it in IMAX 3D, not just 3D like Mr. Lovebird and I did Saturday. It was amazing! And if you're a hater, I feel bad for you. Like, I really do feel bad for you
  • My mini-Day Designer arrived, but I'm committed to doing a "first look" unboxing video so hold tight....I did get this cute folio to keep it in though!  
  • I'm more ahead of things than I appear! The winner of my Sweetgreen giveaway was announced on the post and the winner should be receiving her prize today!

Sunday, December 20, 2015

If You Think I'm Pregnant...

I'm not. 

There, does that make it easier? 

With my last baby (Lord willing!)
I've only made this mistake once and since then I NEVER in my mind would think to ask someone if they were pregnant unless they confirmed first, especially as a woman who's been pregnant before to another woman.

Just. Don't. Ask. 


It's not cool. 

I had a woman ask me less than a FREAKIN month after having Grayson, while holding him, if I was expecting. 

And this was an older woman who appeared to be in her right mind (or maybe she wasn't cause of her question) so I'd think perhaps she'd have had experience knowing what post-partum bodies are like, even if not her own, but apparently not.

It seems like there's widespread confusion over what post-partum bodies look like and not every woman's body reshapes into supermodel firmness sans stretch marks after having children. 

If yours does, that's awesome. I had amazing snapback the first go around, but guess what? Bodies change and conditions change. I aged 4 years by the time I had Grayson and when he ended up nursing for half the time that Nia did, weaning at about 11 months old, I didn't lose as much weight as I did after my first pregnancy.

I'm now within 5-6 lbs of my pre-pregnancy weight depending on the time of the month which I think is pretty darn awesome (shout out to Shakeology and PiYo for helping me out!), but my body just so happens to carry the extra fluff in my tummy. 

The comments and questions about it can stop. 

Oh and Jennifer Garner's clip on the topic is spot on:

And if you're still confused about what most normal, post-partum bodies look like check out the 4 Trimester Bodies Project

You're welcome.


Saturday, December 19, 2015

Wrap Up Your Christmas Shopping with Jet

Disclosure: I am a Jet blogger affiliate and this post contains affiliate links; all opinions expressed are my own.

I first met Jet at BlogHer earlier this year and was impressed by their ship-your-swag booth (such a great idea!). Black Friday came and went without us stepping foot in a store to do Christmas shopping, and while I did get a couple smaller items on Cyber Monday, shopping online is still my preferred method for getting Christmas shopping done. 

Well here it is a week until the big day, and I've been watching shipping deadlines like a hawk! Since attending BlogHer I've also been watching Jet's price comparison emails that are often included in their newsletters. I was especially interested to see how their prices compare to Amazon so I did a comparison of a few items from my cart (yes, I keep an ongoing cart and shift items in and out of it constantly - it's a bit of obsession!):


                                          Jet price: $14.61                                                 
                                          Amazon price: $16.86
Safeco Onyx Mesh Cube
                                         Jet price: $23.97
                                         Amazon price: $19.99

Kantek Acrylic Pencil Cup
                                        Jet price: $7.99
                                        Amazon price: $7.99

2-16oz pack
                                            Jet price: $24.78
                                            Amazon price: $20.98

SanDisk 32GB Class 10 microSDHC Card with Adapter

                                               Jet price: $14.66
                                               Amazon price: $13.96  

So the final price comparison was*:

Jet total: $83.41
Amazon total: $79.78 

*prices as of December 19, 2015

Ahhh so close, but could there still an advantage?

Well, the way Jet works the more you buy the more you savings you accumulate especially on related items. You can save even more by declining the option to return your items. Jet even lets you see savings tally up as you shop! 

Still curious about how it works? Check out this video:


I like how using Jet is kind of like a savings game! You can see how low you can go, plus there's free shipping on orders over $35. Jet also has an approachable, fun-loving vibe (if you can't tell by the video above) and during this holiday season shipping crunch I appreciate that they're up front about shipping guarantees with their 2-day shipping icon attached to certain items. On top of all this Jet's partnered with over 600 online retailers to provide shoppers with additional discounts. It's like a network of savings!

If you want to learn more about Jet be sure to visit their website to sign up and follow on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram

Are you doing any last minute Christmas shopping? If so, are you #teamonline?



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