How Can You Teach Your Children Not To Lie? #StreamTeam @Netflix #Partner

    Before I had children, I assumed that when children lied it was because their parents never taught them any better or they learned to lie from their peers.  When I was growing up, my siblings and I were taught that lying was wrong and would not be tolerated so I resolved early on that this would be a value that I would pass on to my own kids.  That is why I'm always caught off guard when my boys get caught in a lie and I've come to realize that everyone lies at one point or another and that it is a part of life.    The reality is that parents lie all the time, even if they do it with good intentions.  Some of the lies we tell our kids are just to make things easier for us like telling them that the park is closed when we don't have time to take them there.  We tell other white lies because we want to make our children happy such as telling them that the Tooth Fairy put money under their pillow or that the Easter Bunny dropped off their Easter baskets.     The Rayburns, from … [Read more...]

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...]

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...]

I Lend My Voice To The Voiceless… #Bloggers4Venezuela #PrayForVenezuela #SOSVenezuela

    There comes a time in every Blogger's career where he or she has to decide whether to mesh politics into their posts.  Normally I don't discuss politics here but, my conscience is beseeching me to talk about what is happening in Venezuela with my readers.  Last weekend, I watched a YouTube video describing and depicting how college students in Venezuela had taken to the streets to protest peacefully against a government that was denying citizens its civil rights.     Now, I don't plan on spending a lot of time talking about the government because, frankly, they just don't deserve that kind of attention.  What I would like to focus upon is that we live in modern times where we would expect people to be able to speak freely and to be guaranteed basic human rights.     That is the real issue here, human beings are being denied the right to be free and to exercise free will.  As Bloggers, we cover topics regularly on a variety of subjects and our readers respect  what we say.  Since … [Read more...]

What Should You Do If You Are The Victim Of Identity Theft?

    The afternoon of New Year's Eve, I received a message from a bill collector on my cell phone.  I immediately called them back because I have good credit and I take my financial obligations seriously.  They went on to tell me that a cable television account that I opened in California was in collections because I had not paid the bill.  Now, there was only one problem, I've never been to California so I knew that my identity had been compromised.     After a long discussion with this collector, I found out that a woman used my maiden name and my social security number to open a cable account at least three times since 2010 in the state of California and eventually defaulted on the account.  This was shocking because I've never shared my personal information with anyone without being cautious and I couldn't believe that this had been going on for so long without my knowledge.  I really felt violated that someone had stolen my identity this way.     Since this has never happened to … [Read more...]

The Women Of Osage County-Which One Are You? #AugustMoments #Ad ($100 Visa GC #Giveaway)

Disclosure:  This is part of a sponsored campaign with The Weinstein Co. However, all opinions expressed are my own.    During my childhood, I had the pleasure of being raised around my Great-Grandmother Carmen.  She was the epitome of strength and character and had known a hard life working in the fields and giving birth to her children right at home.  Although she was sometimes a bitter pill to swallow, she never backed down from anyone and taught me that women could be brave and fierce.    On the other hand, my Grandmother who raised me, was strong in a different kind of way.  She was never as overbearing and confrontational as Carmen was but she showed me that women could be strong and ladylike at the same time.  Although it seemed to outsiders that my Grandfather was the one calling all the shots in their home, she influenced his decisions behind the scenes and made her voice and opinions be heard subtly.    This December 25th, we will be introduced to the women of … [Read more...]

Piggy Nation The Musical Live In New York City-A Review

*This sponsored post was written by me on behalf of Piggy Nation The Musical.  All opinions are 100% mine.    This past week, my family and I had the distinct pleasure of attending the show Piggy Nation The Musical at Jerry Orbach Theater at the Snapple Theater Center.  We were all very excited to see the live show, especially my seven-year old who loves to sing and enjoys any opportunity to see live singing.  As a matter of fact, he loves to sing so much that his music teacher approached us towards the end of the school year and suggested that we look into getting him a voice coach because he sings so beautifully.    Piggy Nation is an hour long musical that centers around a piglet named Sammy Hamhock who goes to work with his dad on Piggy Patrol.  His father hands out tickets to the citizens of their town for "Piggy behavior" or any behavior that is considered rude or inconsiderate of others.  As he spent the day with his father, Sammy realized that nobody's perfect and … [Read more...]

Tragedy Struck Close To Home Today…

    This morning, a tragic event took place in my neighborhood, right around the corner from my house.  It all started at approximately 7:45 a.m.  I was driving to work and talking to my mother on the Bluetooth while I was driving.  While we were talking, I heard the faint sound of sirens in the background behind her and remember thinking it was weird because we live in a very quiet community where you hardly hear any city sounds at all.  Since I was rushing to get to work, I never even had time to ask her what was going on and eventually ended the conversation and entered my job.    Fast forward to this afternoon, I am driving home from work when I notice at least 4 different news vans parked all around the corner at the end of my block.  I immediately started wondering if the sirens I had heard that morning while I was talking to my Mom had anything to do with it.  Without stopping, I drove up to my house and called my husband who proceeded to tell me that a fire had broken … [Read more...]