Self-Care: Using Creative Projects

Self-Care is very important to me. I talk about it at work, home and online. But, I do that because I find that people just don’t take good care of their emotional and physical health. I find parents and anyone working with families tend to feel very stressed out. Taking care of yourself allows you to live happy and healthy.

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9/11 – Reflections

It’s once again Tuesday, September 11. 11 years have gone by and I STILL have a clear picture of what happened that day.

A few weeks ago, I spent part of a Sunday afternoon with my pal Danielle and her beautiful family. They were coming in from Connecticut into the city and wanted me to join them. One of our stops was the 9/11 Memorial.

Ever since it opened, I had not thought about going there. In fact, I wondered if it would become yet another tourist trap like all of the other places in NYC. And so, I avoided it. I didn’t need to see it (so I thought) because I was here that day. I walked home on 9/11. I thought my mother died on 9/11. And I wept on 9/11 when I finally arrived home that night and watched video of that horrible day.

Yet, when my pal invited me, I went. Having support really does make a difference.  Here I am reflecting. Danielle (Elwood) took this picture of me looking out over the pool. It was so quiet and peaceful. As if nothing had truly happened.

But, it did. We then went to the gift shop, which also had items of that tragic day.  And that’s when I fell apart. I saw a powder covered fireman’s helmet and burst into tears. I instantly remembered my mom’s powdered sneakers (which were black originally) and thought about that Tuesday, 11 years ago.

I thought that I was okay, but I realized that for me 9/11 will NEVER be okay. It’ll be a part of me always.

9/11 Memorial in NYC

Reflecting over the reflecting pool. (Danielle Elwood)

In loving memory of all those who lost their lives that day, those first responders who’ve lost their lives since then and for the rest of us left behind. “We will never forget” 9/11/01

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Glam Me: Bronx Edition Success!

Hiya readers! I just had to come back to share my thoughts on Glam Me: Bronx Edition presented by Mommy’s Links and Zumba Mamas.

Glam Me was AH-FREAKIN-mazing! And I’m not saying it just because I attended. As Mommy’s Links Mombassador, I had a great view of all the glammed up action.

With over 25 vendors and sponsors represented, it was no wonder that so many women came out to get their glam on! One of our divas made a stop at the make-up table and look at her after:

This diva’s cookin’ with her good-lookin’ self!

She and so many ladies came out to glam up, do Zumba and have fun. And being a part of Glam Me is so much fun that it doesn’t feel like work for me. The best part? We’re doing it all over again on July 7, 2012 at the Long Island Children’s Museum! Check Mommy’s Links for details & tickets. See you there!

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Glam-Me Bronx Edition

MommysLinks GNO

Mommy’s Links is back with another edition of Glam-Me: Girls Night Out this time in my home zone of the Bronx! On June 9th from 6 – 10pm, ladies 21 and over will be glammed up with hair, make-up and more in conjunction with Zumba Mamas of Fusion Fitness. With over 25 vendors (and more!), Mommy’s Links with have the ladies fit, gorgeous and satisfied with a fun workout, drinks, giveaways and raffles plus a dj to give you some shimmy to your shake!

Come join Mommy’s Links in giving you the pampering YOU deserve. Get your tickets today and use code 5Off to save $5 off of your ticket! What a great way to celebrate Girls Night Out saving money and having a blast!

Make sure to purchase your ticket soon to guarantee a swag bag of goodies to enjoy at home. And make sure to let them know I sent you. See you there!

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3 Single Mom Lessons from the Avengers

A few days ago, kiddo and I took in a matinee of The Avengers (check out my review). And we loved every minute of it! Watching it though left me feeling like a superhero and I noticed three things that could help single moms.

Avenger Lesson #1 – Know your worth. Each character had a specific and useful skill set. The Black Widow kicked butt. Hawk shot his bow and arrow with amazing accuracy. Hulk smashed. Dr. Banner calculated. Captain America was strong and tough with his shield. Thor knocked the wind out of his enemies. And Iron Man was techno savvy and inventive. Each superhero had their gifts and weren’t coy about being confident in themselves. Single moms, know that you ARE worthy and you are a blessing. Period.

Avenger Lesson #2 – Life is tough. The Avengers dealt with a tough situation. Being a single parent is tough. No doubt about it. Everyday will have its challenges and every day there will be something to deal with. This isn’t just a single parent issue, but life as it is. And know that while life is tough, you are tough also.

Avenger Lesson #3 – Get with your crew. The Avengers were brought together to fight a common enemy. Enemies that single parents can face are depression, isolation or loneliness.  You can fight back by having a support system in place. Build up your crew of people who back you up no matter what. I’ve got my team of fellow single moms (some not) and friends who love and cherish me. They remind me of how strong I really am and call me on my crap when I need it. They are my blindspot; that place in my life that I just can’t see because of my own hangups. The Avengers worked together to make things work and your crew can do the same for you.

I was reminded of these things throughout the course of the movie. It gave me such great energy and I was so inspired. Guess that’s why I’m going to get The Avengers on dvd as soon as it comes out. Hope these lessons help you single moms out there to remember your greatness!

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The Highs & Lows of Solo Parenting

Now that Mother’s Day is upon us, I’ve been thinking about my life as a single mom. For the most part, I’m happy. I’ve got a great kid who has been a blessing in my life, my education and a great home.

A couple of weeks ago, kiddo scored second honors (90 average)  at school for the first time ever. I cried, I was so happy and proud of him. Hugging him tightly I told him how much I love him and how proud I was. I also thought of all of the work it took to get him to earning second honors.

I thought of the hours of work to earn money for  tuition, uniforms, after-school. I also thought of the time and money spent on therapy, evaluations and finally medication to address his ADHD, which was severely hampering his ability to focus on his schoolwork. Even with very little support from family (who disagree with my parenting style/decisions), but great support from my friends, I kept going.

There have been many times I’ve wanted to quit, run away or stop the world from happening because things were so bad for me. And before my son, I did. I went from college to work to college to work and had no idea what I wanted to do in life. I had no direction and indeed not much love for myself.

And the voices of people who doubted me became my truth. Until kiddo showed up. I was a young mom, very naive and unprepared. And even though I was legally an adult, I was VERY immature. I’ll be the first to admit that. But, I learned. And learned and learned. I’m STILL learning. Every single day. I learned my own strength is very powerful. My love endless and boundless. And my son, precious.

One family member (an old-school person with old-school parenting ideas) told me that he wished I had kiddo later on in life. I was 22 when I found out I was pregnant. My reply: I’m glad I had kiddo when I did. If it wasn’t for him, I wouldn’t be the woman that I am today.

Here I am without a full time job, bills to pay and a child to raise – and yet, I KNOW I will be just fine. Kiddo’s being taken care of, I’ve got the resources to pay my bills (haven’t fallen behind) and I’m happy. No, life isn’t perfect, but being a mom, and now a single mom for two years, I’m happy.

Happy Mother’s Day to all you moms out there. And Happy Mother’s Day to me, because dammit! I deserve to give myself a huge pat on the back.

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MommysLinks “Glam Me” Giveaway

Join MOMMY’S LINKS for a “GLAM-ME” Girls Night Out with music, food and drink specials, some shopping… a FAB Swag Bag… AND A NIGHT OF GLAMOUR!! Get all services FREE with paid ticket! Includes HAIR, MAKEUP, EYEBROWS, MANICURES AND SO MUCH MORE…
Get your Early Bird Ticket for only $30! (Must purchase by midnight 3/17)
Buy Now
Tickets will be $45 after 3/17

But, if you want a chance to win your ticket, click here to enter. Good luck!

Either way you get your ticket, I’ll be there so come on down divas!

 

3 Ways to Be Kind to Editors & Writers

Hiya Freshman Writers! Hope this finds you well and writing. Today’s post is about being kind to Editors & Writers. September marks Be Kind to Editors & Writers Month. We all know that there’s so much negativity in the world today. This month, I wanted to share my tips for spreading the love. Here are some ways to spread kindness all around and keep the positivity going. Enjoy!

1. Be polite. Remember that good manners (online and off) speak volumes about who you are.

2. Sharing is Caring. Freshman Writers, you have expertise in something. Share what you know if a writer/editor asks. And even if you don’t, pass it along to others in your circle. You never know who you can help.

3. You get more flies with honey than vinegar.  The world of freelance writers is small, even though cyberspace can seem huge. People communicate to one another; especially editors & writers. Stay positive on-line and share negativity offline with trusted friends. When I get upset about something, I talk to friends offline to gain perspective. In this way, I get my feelings out without hurting anyone’s feelings.

Hopefully, these tips will help you keep the positive energy flowing all around you; both online and off.

Happy Writing!

9/11

Hiya Freshman Writers. Hope this finds you well and writing.

I hadn’t planned on writing today. I planned to rest today. Given the solemnity of the occasion, I really wanted to stay home to rest and reflect. Then a friend of mine over at Mommylink’s asked me to share my 9/11 story. Everyone has one, but as New Yorkers, ours can be very unique.

So, in honor of the many loved ones lost, I encourage you Freshman Writers to write your story. Express your thoughts and feelings about that day. This is how writers live on, through poignant messages and stories. Please come and share them here as well.

9/11 – We will never forget.

5 Tips on Handling Rejection

Hiya Freshman Writers! Hope this finds you well and writing. Today’s post is about something that touches writers all of the time – rejection. Yes, to some writers who’ve dealt with it, rejection is a hard blow. Especially after putting in hard work and heart into the writing. To others, rejection is motivation to keep on going; to keep tweaking the writing; to keep the pen moving.

After hearing about The Help movie, based on the best-selling book by author, Kathryn Stockett, I was amazed to learn that her manuscript was rejected an amazing 60 times! 6-0! According to More Magazine (on Yahoo Shine),  Kathryn Stockett went through 60 rejections before her manuscript was accepted on try #61. I couldn’t believe it! She’s made of strong stuff indeed. And in sharing her story, she revealed one tip that kept her going until her writing was accepted.

1. “Give into your obsession.”  Kathryn simply zeroed in her focus on her manuscript. Over and over, she worked on it. Writing and writing until she felt it was ready to send out. Which leads me to the next tip:

2. Find a space for your writing to grow. Kathryn went so far as to rent a hotel room to work on her writing after her daughter was born. Find a nook just for you to write in. Which brings us to tip number three:

3. Have supportive friends and family.  Someone had to be there with the little one while Kathryn was writing – that was her hubby. Nothing helps a writer more than to have people who understand your compulsion to write. Even if they don’t write themselves. Having a support system can help you when (and it happens to all writers) you DO get rejection.

4. Celebrate the first rejection. Kathryn shared her first rejection letter with friends. This is a great way for writers of all levels to reframe the idea that a rejection is truly a rejection. Sometimes, writers can get caught up in feeling sorry for themselves and then stop writing. Here, Kathryn took a lemon and made lemonade by cheering and then getting right back to work.

5. Don’t quit. Kathryn didn’t stop writing. She kept going. One of the easiest things to do after a rejection is to quit; to think that you’re just not cut out for writing. Kathryn pushed through this and kept working. And you Freshman Writers can do it, too.

Freshman Writers, I hope Kathryn’s story inspired you the way it inspired me. She stuck to it and now her book is a best-seller that has been made into a successful movie. Cheers Kathryn! I salute you! Thank you for inspiring Freshman Writers, readers and movie-goers everywhere!

Happy Writing!