Tips For Stress Relief And Relaxation For Busy Moms! #SleepMatters $50 GC #Giveaway #Ad

*I have received information, product and materials from McNeil Consumer Healthcare Inc., the makers of Tylenol PM®. The opinions stated are my own. This is a sponsored post.     I cannot even begin to describe to you what a hectic week I've had.  Managing a full-time career as a teacher and running a successful blog is definitely not for the faint at heart.  Yesterday was an extremely stressful day for me because I was inundated with deadlines and had to complete 90 progress reports for my students that had to be mailed out today.  As a result, I barely slept a wink last night and was exhausted all day at work.     I'm certainly not alone because more than 30% of the US adult population suffers from sleeplessness.  Everyone has different triggers when it comes to the causes for their lack of sleep but what is clear is that sleep is important and it certainly affects your performance when you don't get enough of it.  Stress is definitely a factor when it comes to sleep … [Read more...]

Take Time Out For Yourself And Put Your Feet Up! #StreamTeam @Netflix #Ad

*I participated in a campaign on behalf of Netflix. As a member of the Netflix Stream Team, I received a promotional item as a thank you for participating.     Although Summer Vacation began this past week here in New York City, parenting is a 24/7 job!  That is why taking time out for yourself helps keep you strong for your family. This month I'm switching gears and making the focus some time to myself for a change.     Most of my favorite shows are on hiatus, but Netflix has a selection of titles to get me through the summer months. And yes, that includes all-new episodes of some of my favorite Netflix originals -- Orange Is the New Black season 2 launched June 6th!  I plan on waiting until the kids are asleep for the night and then relaxing with one of my favorite new shows. Here are some of the titles I have heard about but I haven't yet had time to watch but plan to this Summer: 1. Orange Is the New Black 2. Scandal 3. Pretty Little Liars 4. Sherlock 5. Breaking … [Read more...]

Enjoy Some Well-Deserved Relaxation! #SangriaSunday @yellowtail_usa #Ad

*This post was written by me on behalf of Yellow Tail USA. I received complimentary product samples to facilitate this review. All opinions are 100% mine.        This past Thursday was the last day of school for New York City public school students.  As a middle school teacher, I can tell you that being an educator is a heck of a lot of work and, by the time the end of the year rolls around, most of us are in sore need of some rest and relaxation.     Being from Europe, I have always enjoyed a delicious glass of Sangria during those times when I am looking to enjoy some down time.  In Spain and Portugal, it is typically served during the summer and is a popular drink among tourists and locals alike.  There is just something about having the wind blowing through your hair and enjoying some fresh air outdoors while you sip on some delicious wine.     I'm looking forward to enjoying having the summer off and to relaxing a little too.  Here are some of the ways that you too can … [Read more...]

My Nephew Is Headed To High School!

    This past weekend, I had the pleasure of attending my nephew's eighth grade graduation.  I can't even begin to describe to you guys how proud I was of his accomplishment.  You see, his academic road has not been an easy one and, as a result, reaching this milestone is even more significant.  As I sat proudly in the audience, I couldn't help thinking how this rite of passage was indicative of all of his hard work and determination.     Let me tell you a little about my nephew…  He is the oldest of three siblings who are being raised by a single mother, my sister.  Although she works very hard to provide her three boys with everything that they need, the reality is that she struggles to make ends meet financially.  With very little help from his father, she has had to step into both the mother and the father role for her boys.     During this academic year, my nephew has struggled with bringing up some failing grades and the competition that exists in middle school to have … [Read more...]

Connect With @KFC Family Game Night! #HowDoYouKFC #Ad

*I wrote this post as part of my participation in a blog tour for KFC and received compensation to thank me for taking the time to participate. However, all opinions expressed are my own.         As I've mentioned before on Tough Cookie Mommy, game night is extremely important to our family because it allows us to spend time together and to enjoy each other's company away from the hustle and bustle of the week.  We are working parents and our boys are involved in a variety of extracurricular activities which make it challenging to get that quality time in as a family on a regular basis.     We think game night should be a weekly routine and KFC is now helping us make that happen!  Not only is the guesswork taken out of figuring out what I'm going to make for dinner that night, but I also get to engage in one of my favorite activities which is promoting reading and writing in our home.  As a Literacy Specialist, I'm all for activities that promote literacy skills in our … [Read more...]

Working Mom Confessions

    I've always been a worker bee.  From the moment that I was able to go out to work, I did so with gusto.  It's not that my parents forced me to go out and work or made me pay bills but they were just making it financially and I knew they could not stretch their budget anymore to accommodate my adolescent needs.  As they say, "Necessity is the mother of invention," so out of the need to assert my independence and financial freedom, I went to work at 16.     My first job was at Consumers which was a retail store chain that was very popular here in New York City during the early nineties.  I felt like a million bucks working as a cashier there and I would cash my weekly check at the local check cashing place.  There was such a sense of pride for me in being able to earn and spend my own money that it was intoxicating.     Consumers eventually went out of business so I worked at McDonald's during my senior year in high school to be able to pay my graduation expenses.  That was a very … [Read more...]

From The Mouths Of Babes… #YoureDoingOkMom #Ad

*This is a compensated campaign in collaboration with JOHNSON’S® Baby and Latina Bloggers Connect.   All opinions are 100% mine.       Ever since I found out that I was going to become a mother, I worried over whether I would be able to do a good job.  After all, being a mom could possibly be the most important role of a woman's life.  Unfortunately, however, parenting does not come with a handbook and children certainly don't come with instructions.     I love being a mom but, like most moms, I often wonder if I'm even doing this whole parenting thing right.  Luckily, my boys seem to think that I am the cat's pajamas and they remind me on a daily basis that I'm doing a great job after all.  I asked my eight year old son what I'm really great at and his response included, "Giving me hugs, taking care of me, scratching my back, and making sure my clothes are clean."     The old saying is so true, "From the mouths of babes…"  Who knew that scratching his back every … [Read more...]

Busy Moms Keep Going With @Keurig #JustBrewIt #Ad

*I participated in this campaign on behalf of Keurig. I received a promotional item to facilitate this review and as a thank you item for participating. All opinions are my own.        My day can be pretty hectic.  If I told you everything that I do within a 24 hour period, you probably wouldn't even believe me.  Between getting my boys ready for school, teaching middle school students, blogging, running a household and driving my kids to all their activities I can barely keep my eyes open sometimes.  I like to enjoy a delicious cup of coffee in the morning to start my day off on the right foot but I just don't have the time to change filters and measure out spoonfuls of coffee.     This is exactly why Keurig is the perfect brewer for a busy and independent mom like myself.  You see, I can make a a delicious cup of coffee, tea, cocoa and a variety of other beverages less than 60 seconds and at the push of a button.  I'm not kidding, if I had to do anything more than that to get … [Read more...]

Simplify Your Life And Never Miss An Opportunity! #TheNextBigThing @SamsungMobileUS #Ad

*I participated in this campaign on behalf of Samsung Mobile US. I received a promotional item to facilitate this review and as a thank you item for participating. All opinions are my own.        It's no secret that I am a very busy woman.  Besides having a full-time career and raising two children, I run a household and I'm also a blogger.  Although I enjoy wearing all of these hats and wouldn't trade any of them, it is sometimes a challenge to juggle all of these responsibilities.  As a result, I rely on efficient products to simplify my life and to ensure that I never miss any opportunity.     Most people will tell you that their smartphone is important to them but, for me, my smartphone is literally the lifeline that allows me to keep up with all of my roles and to stay connected with those who truly matter to me.  Recently, I changed smartphones to the new Samsung Galaxy Note® 3 because I was amazed at all of its innovative features.  Without any hesitation whatsoever, I … [Read more...]

Make A Delicious Swiss Sausage Omelette On The Go! #JDCrumbles #Recipe #Ad

#spon: I’m required to disclose a relationship between our site and Jimmy Dean. This could include Jimmy Dean providing us w/content, product, access or other forms of payment.     Let's be honest, if you are a busy mom like I am, you don't have a lot of time to prepare breakfast in the morning.  Between getting the kids ready for school, feeding the dog and getting myself ready for work there just isn't a lot of time to cook a hot breakfast.     As a result, I am always looking for easy breakfast options to make sure that my family's day starts off with the proper nutrition.  One of our favorite meals for breakfast is an omelette because you can fill it with all of your favorite ingredients.  Thanks to Jimmy Dean Sausage Crumbles and some resourcefulness on my part, I think I have finally figured out how to make a delicious omelette for moms on-the-go! SWISS SAUSAGE OMELETTE Ingredients: Jimmy Dean fully cooked sausage crumbles 100% … [Read more...]