A Saturday at the Whitney Museum with Kids

This trailer makes absolutely no sense. It's trying so hard to be the Breakfast Club. I could have taken some creative liberties and changed the template. But I didn't. I trust the geniuses at Apple know what they are doing. It stars my kids and the Jeff Koons exhibit at the Whitney Museum. I couldn't love it more. 

FYI: The Jeff Koons exhibit is your last chance to roam The Whitney Museum before it moves to its new downtown location. Go before it's too late! If you have kids, I suggest going this Saturday, September 27th for a special Family Day from 9am-1pm. You will not be disappointed.

After we ate breakfast at the museum, roamed all the floors, and then walked through Central Park, we came home for a few hours to rest. That's when Owen had the nerve to ask, "So is this going to be a stay-at-home day?" Ahhh. Sometimes I want to move to the middle of Nebraska. These kids don't even remember half the stuff they see anyways. Even on the actual day. What's the point?
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Meals I Thought Were Worthy of A Photo

Presenting food I thought was worthy of a photo . . .
Don't worry. It's organic. 
Let's see here. We've got candy corn, a veggie tray, chips, and ritz crackers. 
Was this pic taken at a party from 1979? Nope. My house party, October 31, 2009. 
Was I trying to be retro? Nope. I was trying to be fancy. 
Quick! Get the camera. My kids are eating artisanal ice cream from the local creamery. 
I forget the reason for this picture, but I hope I was trying to be ironic. Otherwise, I have problems.  
My only request that night: Eat a sundae that mimics my hair color and style.
Done and done. 

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My Glorious Twenties

This is what a typical house party in my 20's looks liked. The video was taken 2009 in my house in Belmont, CA. I was around 26 years old. Such a bizarre time in my life. Tons of screaming babies, not just for me, but my friends. It felt like we were all living the dream. The mormon dream! Young and happy and married with kids. This video captures the chaos perfectly. I'm so glad it's over.

PS The only reason I'm skinny is because I got free child care at my gym from 9-12pm and 3-6pm. I went twice a day to escape my kids. It was the biggest motivator to get me in shape. Don't let all these fit mammas fool you. It's the free childcare! Now that my kids are older, I haven't set foot in a gym in years.
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Throwback Thursdays: This One's for You Mom

Cut in a circle shape for a scrapbook. Oh la la so clever. 

This is one of the last pictures I took with my mom. She took out her oxygen tubes just long enough to say cheese. She looks so proud and beautiful. The picture was taken at the hospital because the doctors advised her not to attend my high school graduation ceremony. My principal recreated the event at the hospital's chapel. She died a few weeks later from breast cancer. I was devastated. I wish I would have known about organizations like CancerCare. Now is my chance to spread the word! If you know of anyone with cancer, their caregivers, loved ones and the bereaved, listen up. CancerCare is here to help.

It was founded in 1944 and is the leading national organization providing free support services and information to help people manage the emotional, practical and financial challenges of cancer. CancerCare helps one million people each year throughout the U.S. and distributes more than $30 million in financial assistance.

Over the next few months, CancerCare will be hosting their largest fundraising programs. Communities in my area will come together to walk or run in memory of those they have lost to cancer, honor survivors, and support those currently facing the disease.

The first Walk/Run for Hope is this weekend on September 14th in Fairfield, CT.  Future walks will be held on Sunday, September 28 in Paramus, NJ and Sunday, November 2, 2014 in Woodbury, NY. I hope you can make it out!

And now it's time to do my speciality: pictures and captions. It's a formula that seems to work over here. This round will be starring me and my mom. Since she died in 2000, she left zero digital impact on the world. No selfies. No Facebook. No sponsored posts. Not even a single Throwback Thursday. Until now! She would have loved all this social media madness.

 Thanks mom for always supported my decision to perm my hair right through the 90's. I can't wait for it to come back. My hair takes a great perm. I wish she could see round two. I suspect in the year 2020, the perms will be even more awesome. Mommy/daughter perms or . . . 
. . . mommy/daughter bobs?
Anna Wintour obviously had a big influence in our hair styles.
We were very high fashion for a brief moment in the early 90's. 
Dog purse alert! Ruff. My mom apparently wanted to steal mine when I wasn't looking.    
I always liked my mom's teeth. When she first married my dad, his father told her she would make a great singer. When she asked him why, he responded, "Because your teeth are slightly bucked." This story always made her laugh. I miss her big old buckaroos.

 This post was brought to you by the makers of Tic Tac® mints. I received compensation to write this post through the Shake, Share & Care® program. All opinions expressed are my own.


NYC House Tour: 5 People, 2 Bedrooms, 1 Bathroom

We've been living in the same apartment for almost 4 years. It's the longest we've ever lived anywhere. Every time the lease renewal comes up, we keep saying we're going to move, but we don't. We just extended our lease until March 1, 2015. Which means only one thing: HOUSE TOUR TIME. It's taken me so long to finally feel like it's finished. That day has arrived.

Ah yes. The universal problem of too many pillows, not enough cases. I think Shakespeare wrote a play about it.
Still haven't hung up any artwork or installed that air conditioner. The chalkboard? It's going to look awesome when it's hung. Decorating my house is so low on my priorities. It's my way of rebelling against the stay at home mom stereotype. I'll show them. Them? Oh, right. No one cares. 
Lamp shades? Optional. The 2 flattest lumpiest pillows on earth? Must-haves.  
I can only imagine what distraction made me stop sweeping and drop the broom immediately. I think it was this post. When inspiration hits, I don't let anything stop me. Not even brooms. 
Most days walking down my hall requires me to do this:
She also babysits my kids. I asked her to send me this pic. 
I started using Olay Regenerist Anti-Aging Peel and Aveeno night cream a few days a week. The results are amazing when the picture is slightly out of focus. 
I have a big decision to make: wash some clothes or push them back into the hamper. I'm so overwhelmed. Important decisions like this make me feel like my life has value. 
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The Dorkiest Family Video Ever Made

What happens when someone with questionable taste finally discovers video templates on her iPhone? This. The dorkiest family video with cringe worthy background music. Who's in charge of creating these things? I don't need nerdy options to tempt me. I can't resist. Here it goes my first production. I love it.  
Also: I'm ready to kill the apostrophe. I'm too lazy to look up whether or not it's needed in the title.

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Royal Caribbean Cruise Taught Me (aka RCC Taught Me): Navigator of the Seas Review

View from the ship on the last night.
The sun has set on summer. Yesterday was the first day of school. Boo. I now have some time to reflect on my experience on Navigator of the Seas. Not that cruising needs much reflecting. It's pretty straight forward: eat, swim, relax, play, sleep, repeat. But here's fives things that surprised me:
1. CULTURE: The social vibe of the cruise depends on where it sails out. I didn't realize this until I sailed out of Texas on the Navigator of the Seas. I would estimate that around 60% of the people I met on board where Texans. So friendly and chatty! And the barbecue ribs I ate on the pool deck on the 5th day? Amazing. The head chef knows Texans take their BBQs seriously and didn't disappoint. I liked experiencing a little flavor of Texas onboard.

2. ACCOMMODATIONS: We stayed in an interior room #6465. No windows, no balcony! I wouldn't recommend this room when traveling with children. I learned quickly that my kids need 3 hrs more sleep than me: 1.5 hours in the morning and 1.5 hours at night. What did I do with my time in a pitch dark 150 sq ft room? Luckily Royal Caribbean gave me unlimited wifi so I could chat with Rob and go online, but those 3 hrs each day were rough. I understand the lure of booking an interior room because of the price, but I would have given anything for a balcony to sit out on while my kids slept. So grateful my parents spoiled us with a balcony room on their retirement cruise! It was heaven.

3. PREPARE: Get your legs waxed! Unless you're a gymnast, shaving your legs on board is nearly impossible. It was comical how wet I got the bathroom each day. Royal Caribbean has a spa on board with waxing services if you forget. Do it! My biggest regret!

4. CREW MEMBERS: Salt of the earth. Best service I've ever had in my entire life. They go out of their way to make your stay on board amazing. My room was cleaned twice a day, my kids were adored at the child watch programs, and the waiters gave it their all. I don't know how they have so much energy to keep going day in and day out. It was incredible to watch and exsperience.

5. OFFSHORE ADVENTURES: Book your excursions a week ahead of cruising. I waited until I got on board and the line was huge! I wish I booked it online the week before my cruise. I'm so glad, however, that I booked the simplest excursions. While in Mexico, I booked an excursion to a water park called Playa Mia. It was easy, the kids loved it, and it was all inclusive. Since the ports are less than a day long, I gave up trying to explore the countries in depth. If I wanted to do that I would stay for a week, not a few hours. We swam with stingrays in Grand Cayman, zip lined in Jamaica, and flew down the water slides in Mexico. We did just enough to exhaust ourselves!

Overall, I'm sad it's all over. I would relive summer of 2014 again in a heart beat. Here's some pictures of our adventures on Navigator of the Seas. The ship has everything!
Owen about to go under. It should be noted the pools onboard are filled with salt water. I liked it, but my kids eyes burned if they didn't wear goggles. 
Oscar's outfit cracks me up.  I still can't believe cruises have massive rock climbing walls on board. 
Some good jams on the speakers next to the mini golf course. Ella couldn't help but dance in the middle of her game 
Even match!
Continuing reading to see my favorite pic of the summer and a video of Ella playing at the coolest place on board . . .
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