Find What To Do Wherever You Are! @Zerve #travel #sponsored

*This post was written by me on behalf of Zerve.  I received a complimentary tour to facilitate this review.  All opinions are 100% mine.    Living in New York City is an amazing experience because there is always something to do and something to see.  There are so many cool activities and attractions from food tours to sails/cruises to historical landmarks and so much more in between.  Zerve is a tour and travel resource that helps people to find things to do wherever they are across the country.    The Zerve website has all kinds of fun tours and activities that are browsable by borough and neighborhood and according to they type of activity that you want to engage in.  Their many tours appeal to a variety of unique interests.  Here in New York City, sails are among their most popular tours particularly the Schooner Adirondack Sunset Sail and the AIA-NY Around Manhattan Architecture Tour.    I was looking for a romantic getaway with my husband so I chose the Schooner … [Read more...]

I Just Might Like Being A Sister Wife!

    A while back, I wrote a blog post about polygamy and I had some pretty strong feelings about the whole phenomenon.  My biggest issue with it was the fact that, in the documentary that I watched, very young women seemed to be forced into situations that they had no control over.  Additionally, I was very upset by the subservient role that the wives seemed to play within the confines of the polygamist family.     This past week, I happened upon a show called Sister Wives on Netflix and I was immediately drawn to watching it.  The show revolves around a polygamist family with a husband that has four wives and sixteen children between the four women.  I wanted to see how these people lived in real life and not through the perspective of a generic documentary like the one that I had seen years before.     Now, before you start emailing all of your friends and telling them that Tough Cookie Mommy is converting and becoming a Sister Wife, I thought I should write a blog post outlining … [Read more...]

The Mother In Law Chronicles-Moving Forward

    Many of you who are long-time readers of this blog know that my mother in law and I have had a pretty rocky relationship.  A lot of it has to do with her religious convictions and the fact that my husband is her only son.  Over the years, we have had our share of disagreements and have never really gotten along.  A while back, she moved to South Carolina and it actually made me sad because I knew it would mean that there would be a slim chance of her being more involved in my sons' lives.     You see, despite our never seeing eye to eye, it has always been important to me that she have a relationship with her grandsons.  Family is important and I have fond memories of the time that I spent with my grandmothers growing up so I have always wanted my boys to have that relationship with their grandparents.  Unfortunately, this has not been the case and my boys have never really had the opportunity to get to know her.     Last Saturday, she dropped in for a surprise visit after almost … [Read more...]

Plan A Romantic Date In! #HormelFamily

    Whenever I want to spend some romantic time alone with my husband, we make plans to go out somewhere and always include going to eat at a restaurant as part of the date.  Unfortunately, these moments are few and far between because of the busy lives that we lead as parents.  Since it's always so difficult to get some of that one-on-one time together, it's important to make the best of the time that we do get to spend as a couple.  One way to spend some very romantic time together is to prepare a meal at home and stay in.     By staying in, you eliminate some of the frustrating factors that keep married couples with kids from being able to have dates that often.  You won't have to worry about fitting going to a pricey restaurant into your meal budget because you can plan a delicious and creative meal with even limited finances.  Also, there isn't the added concern of finding a restaurant that is kid-friendly and can accommodate your children.  Let's face it, some of us just don't … [Read more...]

My Valentine’s Day Playlist! #Troop8x #HTC8X

      Valentine's Day is an extremely romantic time for my husband and I because we met on Valentine's day weekend 15 years ago.  He was stationed at Fort Bragg, North Carolina at the time and he surprised me by showing up on my parents' doorstep unexpectedly with roses.     Unfortunately, social media and technology was not as advanced back then as it is now so I don't have photos and posts to remember those first blissful moments.  However, one thing that is timeless and has always been around is music.  There are many songs that my husband and I have shared over the years that have become part of our Valentine's Day playlist.     As we near the 15th anniversary of the day we met on February 12th, I would like to share this playlist with all of you to bring a little romance into your life that you can share with that special someone.  So, without further ado, here is the Tough Cookie Mommy Valentine's Day Playlist:        As you can … [Read more...]

Liz Claiborne Is Helping Me “Dress To Impress” My Husband On Date Night! #ClaiborneClasico

    Lately, my husband and I have not had a lot of time to spend together.  Much of it has had to do with me returning to work as a teacher this month as well as the fact that he has taken on some extra hours at his job.  It just seems like we are always burning the candle at both ends and rarely have time to go out together without the kids.     As a result, we have decided to bring back our monthly "date night" where we dress up, leave the kids with their grandparents, and enjoy each other's company.  I've been with my husband thirteen years but I still get giddy and excited over planning my outfit and getting ready for our special night.  Next month, you guys will actually have some input as to what I wear and how I accessorize for my special night with Hubby.     I'm a very lucky gal and I have been given a gift certificate to shop at Liz Claiborne's New Shop at JCPenney!  This means that I will be able to purchase my date outfit from their new line which includes plus sizes for … [Read more...]

The Mother In Law Chronicles-Letting Go!

      Many of you who have been loyal readers of Tough Cookie Mommy know that I have always had a tumultuous relationship with my Mother In Law.  Although I feel that I have tried to connect with her over the years, she has always pushed me away due to what I feel are her extreme conservative religious views.     As time has passed, I have learned to accept that she is never going to like me or even respect me and I have resigned myself to the boundaries of our relationship.  What I have not been able to accept, however, is her continued absence from my sons' lives as their grandmother.  She has never worked to establish a relationship with either one of my sons and this has always been a sore spot for me.     Most recently, she failed to call my oldest son for this ninth birthday and it was really the straw that broke the camel's back.  You see, she never calls either one of my sons for any holiday.  As a matter of fact, the extent of her contact over the years with them has … [Read more...]

72 Days…

       I hate to give any additional attention to the topic of Kim Kardashian's divorce, however, I just couldn't help myself.  Besides being disgusted at all of the media attention that this whole issue is getting, I can't help but to be stuck on one point in this whole thing.  News reports indicate that comments have been made to the effect of that they tried to keep the marriage together for all of 72 days since the wedding.  As someone who has been married for 12 years next week, the first thought that comes to my mind is, "Are you freaking kidding me?"     Anyone who has ever been married can tell you that marriages are a lot of work.  Let me correct that, they are a hell of a lot of work.  I've often compared them to plants when discussing the whole issue with my friends and family.  You have to water, nurture, and care for a marriage much like you do for the plants in your home.  If you don't, they will just wither away and die.  Feelings will die, weeds will grow, soil … [Read more...]

The MIL Strikes Again…

    Those of you who are regular readers of this blog know that I do not have the best relationship with my Mother In Law.  Actually, to say that we have a bad relationship is an understatement, the woman hates me.  To fully understand the history between us, you would have to perform a search of this blog and go back in the archives to read about all the wonderful things that she has done to me over the years.     My problem is that I am a glutton for punishment because, when it comes to family, I always let them get away with a lot more than I normally would with non-relatives.  This is probably what caused our most recent run-in with one another, the fact that I am a sucker for family and that she is determined to get at me in any way shape or form that she possibly could.  After the fact, I am still at a loss over whether I asked for it or whether she is just a truly disturbed individual.  You decide...     Let me go back, if I may to about six months ago when I received a friend … [Read more...]

Reality Check

       This week I was watching The Real Housewives of New Jersey and I had an epiphany.  Now, don't judge me for being a reality TV fan because it is a great escape from the stresses of daily life and I am not going to be apologetic about it.  Everyone has some guilty pleasure that they engage in to wind down from work and life.  In any case, let me get back to some of the things that this show made me realize about family dynamics and relationships...    It's important that I give you a brief overview of what happened on the show in order for you to follow my train of thought.  A brother and sister who used to be close found themselves involved in a now strained relationship due to the fact that they each did not get along with the others' spouses.  Throughout the episode, one could see how the spouses influenced the reactions of the siblings by making innuendos and deliberately creating conflict.  Believe it or not, it was interesting to me to watch this situation from … [Read more...]