Out With The Old, In With The New…

    Many of you have been along with me since the beginning when I began this fateful journey almost five years ago of launching Tough Cookie Mommy.  There have been many changes and growing pains during this time that have brought us to present day.  I'm blessed to be here to continue sharing my life with all of you and for you to keep wanting to hear about my daily adventures as a consummate juggler.  On August 18th, we will be celebrating the five year anniversary of Tough Cookie Mommy and you might be noticing that some changes are already taking place.     For one thing, this weekend we launched a brand new blog design to mark the beginning of the next phase in this journey.  Although I really loved the old design, I felt like I had outgrown it and that it wasn't giving all of you to navigate all of my posts and find exactly what you were looking for.  I'm very excited about the new design and layout and would love to hear what you all think about it too!     Next, I want to … [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...]

Celebrate Mothers And Help Raise Money For Childhood Cancer! #MyHeroMom #MC @NM_News #Ad

*I participated in an Ambassador Activation on behalf of Mom Central Consulting for the Northwestern Mutual Foundation. I received a promotional item to thank me for participating.      Have you lost someone you love to cancer?  Unfortunately, chances are that you have been negatively affected by this disease in one way or another.  In 2007, when I was thirty years old, I was diagnosed as having Chronic Myeloid Leukemia or CML.  There is no way for me to describe to all of you what a shock and horror it was to hear those words.  When you are young you think you are invincible and you never expect to hear that you are afflicted with a life-threatning illness.     Since I had a newborn baby and a toddler, I did not have the luxury of feeling sorry for myself and I decided to take my health into my own hands and to become proactive about my treatment.  I am very blessed that advances in modern medicine have made my form of Leukemia treatable although I do still suffer from … [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...]

Why Do Women Put Up With This?

    This evening I was watching a popular reality television show when I found myself sadly wondering why women put up with men who cheat.  In this particular episode, a man has three kids with three different women and they are all arguing with each other due to him.  The thing that troubled me the most about this whole situation is that the ones who lose out in this fiasco are the children.  As siblings, they should all be raised around each other or, at the very least, know each other.  Since the mothers can't seem to get along, it doesn't seem like this will ever be possible.     Even more galling is that, while these women argue with each other, this man is like a spectator who is watching a show being acted out on stage.  Some of you might argue that this just happens on television but I beg to differ.  Time after time, I see familial situations like this one where women are devaluing their worth for the "privilege" of being with a man.  It brings me back to my childhood when my … [Read more...]

Unspoken Truths About Parenthood…

    Last night, I took my family to the movies to see the new Captain America movie.  My husband and I had planned it all week and I waited with my boys for Hubby to get home from work so we could head out to the multiplex.  We were all looking forward to this outing and we chatted excitedly in the car on the way over there.  To add to our excitement, I had picked up my nephew that afternoon and he was accompanying us to see the film.     As usual, we were running a few minutes late and arrived at the theater just in time to quickly purchase our tickets and head to find some good seats while the coming attractions were playing on the screen.  About ten minutes into the movie a couple walked in with a stroller containing an infant and two toddlers in tow.  They proceeded to sit right near us and, I have to admit, I predicted that bringing such young children to the movies would not turn out well for them or for the rest of us who were trying to watch the movie.     Sure enough, one of … [Read more...]

Protect What You Love And Care About The Most! #MasterLockProtects @MasterLockUS #Ad

*I participated in this campaign on behalf of Master Lock. I received a promotional item to facilitate this review and as a thank you item for participating.  All opinions are my own.      I've always been very clear that my children and my family are my top priorities.  Everything that I do in my life is with their best interests at heart.  Part of loving and caring for them is making sure that they are safe at all times and that I educate them about staying secure in a variety of situations.     Recently, Master Lock kicked off their year-long initiative aimed at helping consumers to protect all that they love and care about in 2014.  They really know what they are talking about when it comes to safety because they are the world's largest manufacturer of padlocks and other security products.    The campaign will continue throughout the year by providing a series of safety tips and advice to families.  Master Lock made an initial donation to the American Red Cross … [Read more...]

Feather The Nest And Achieve The Goals You Always Wanted! @Feather_Nesters #Ad

*This is a sponsored post with Feather the Nest, however, as always my posts are based on my opinions and experiences.      I can still remember the excitement of leaving the realtors office where we closed on our house in 2004.  It was the first time that we truly understood what it meant to own a home of our very own and to live the American Dream.  Unfortunately, being a homeowner is wonderful but it is very expensive and purchasing your first home is a huge financial responsibility.     It would have been wonderful to be able to have some financial support from friends and family to help ease this financial responsibility.  Feather the Nest is a new company in New York and Miami that allows members to make profiles on their site to raise funds for their first real estate investments.  It's a great way for recent college grads looking to move out on their own or purchase their first home to get a little help.     The way it works is that Feather the Nest requires new … [Read more...]

Celebrate The Start Of Spring With Peeps! @PEEPSANDCOMPANY #Giveaway #Ad

*I participated in this campaign on behalf of Peeps And Company. I received a promotional item to facilitate this review and as a thank you item for participating.  All opinions are my own.    When I think of spring and celebrating Easter, it is always synonymous with PEEPS®.  As far back as I could remember, my siblings and I would look forward to finding our baskets on Easter morning and enjoying all of the delicious and sweet treats in there.  My mother has always loved PEEPS® so we always had their Marshmallow Chicks and Marshmallow Bunnies in our baskets.    Over the years I have noticed that these family traditions are very important to pass down to my own two children.  Ever since they were very little, I have celebrated the start of spring with fun and iconic PEEPS®.  Not only are they essential for filling Easter Baskets, but they are also perfect for garnishing baked goods and adding adorable accents to art projects and decorations.    This year, we added a new … [Read more...]

I’m Done Trying-The Mother In Law Chronicles

    Since becoming a mother, my perspective on a lot of things has changed considerably.  I suppose bringing new life into the world has its ways of shuffling your priorities.  It's no secret that I have never had a close relationship with my Mother In Law.  I'm not going to get into the reasons why this is so, all you have to do is type "Mother In Law" into this blog's search and you will learn all about our rocky history.  The sad part is that my last post a few years ago was actually hopeful after a surprise visit where everyone got along...     Unfortunately, she has been an absentee grandmother in my sons' lives and the good feelings were short lived.  To be fair to her, she lives 12 hours away in another state and does not come to New York City very often.  On the other hand, as a mother, I cannot even fathom how maintaining contact with her grandsons is not more of a priority for her.  There really is no excuse with all of the technology that is available to keep in touch even … [Read more...]