Monthly Archives: January 2017

Game Changer: Sweat X Sport

Posted On January 31, 2017| Leave a reply

Do you live with an adolescent boy?

Does your boy wear sneakers?

Do his sneakers emit an odor that takes your breath away?

IF you answered yes to these questions, then this Game Changer is for you. Sweat X Sport Spray is the extreme odor eliminator….really, it says so on the bottle. And the bottle doesn’t lie. It advertises that it ‘gets the funk out’ and does it ever.

8oz_odor_new

Boy Wonder’s shoe drawer smells disgusting. And once he left his soccer cleats in my car overnight. Dry heaving commenced. His life was threatened and he is no longer allowed to take his shoes off in said car. Cleats are kept in the garage at all times. No exceptions.

I keep my bottle of Sweat X Sport in the mudroom…just a few feet from his shoe drawer. A few sprays into the drawer every few days and we can continue to live in harmony.

God Bless the mama who invented Sweat X Sport! It’s $12.99 a bottle. Go ahead and stock up!

Live Creatively,

mamaSig

 

Tags:

Yoga Farts

Posted On January 21, 2017| Leave a reply

No-one warned me that yoga induces farting. Before you get all excited, no I wasn’t the one who broke wind. In order to fully enjoy this post to its fullest, read the preceding one here.

Anyway….I returned for my second Beginner Yoga Class last Sunday. I arrived 15 minutes early and was not forced to sit in the front row. I opted for the second row. Ghandi scared the shit out of me. She was sitting behind a desk in a dark corner of the room. I didn’t notice her as I unrolled my mat, grabbed by foam brick and gracefully lowered myself to the floor. Just as I settled in, she said “Hey, what was your name?”. It took me a second to locate her. I informed her she scared me, she laughed. Apparently I had not made a lasting impression on her in Class #1. After scoping out the room and noticing how freakishly quiet it was…no one was talking to each other. I was dying to chat with someone. Everyone was stretching. So, I stretched too. As I stretched I noticed the tray of salt was back. None of the intents from last week had been completely absorbed into the salt. Whew. Some dude took the spot to my right. He had a whole system for setting up his yoga space. He unrolled, re-rolled and unrolled his mat a couple of times before placing it on the floor. Then he repositioned it a time or two, moving it about a quarter of an inch each time. He took 2 foam bricks and stacked them on top of each other between his mat and the wall. Once he sat on his mat he moved his bricks closer to his mat. I thought he was finally settled so I turned my attention to the couple who were landing in front of me. Dude to my right popped up on his mat, and stripped off his pants in a single, swift motion. Thank Buddha he had shorts on. Praying to Buddha that he was also wearing compression unders! In case you’re wondering I have incredible peripheral vision. This allows me to stare at intriguing strangers without being noticed. It comes in handy.

Ghandi started our class by apologizing for last week. Apparently she was all hopped up on cold & sinus medication and she hoped she taught us the poses correctly. Like we would know….. BEGINNER YOGA! Remember last week how I told you the room was packed? Not a single space open? This class was a different story. We were easily down 6 Yogi’s. Maybe Ghandi’s pit hair was too much for them?  Ghandi taught us how to meditate. Meditating is not easy. How does one let their mind go blank while remembering to do the special yoga breathing? Since my lower body instantly rejected lotus pose, I sat criss cross applesauce. I decided to tease my chakra by having one palm face up and one palm face down. Half receiving energy, half closed off. I quickly switched to all receiving because it was more comfy. And my criss cross applesauce was starting to hurt so I stretched out my legs. I glanced around and everyone had their eyes closed, so I added that too. My mind was still very busy. Ghandi told us to give all the crazy monkeys in our brain a job. Crazy monkeys? Loved it! Pretty much described my thoughts perfectly. I told my monkeys to just breathe. Of course I spent a minute picturing little monkeys in my head! I will definitely need to revisit this meditation gig.

As promised Ghandi taught us Warrior 1 and 2 and as a gift threw in Reverse Warrior. Being a Warrior was fun. I was secretly hoping there was a Warrior Princess pose, because I would have rocked it.

Ghandi was so pleased with our progress that she took us through several vinyasas. Vinyasas are the flows…the way the moves/poses run together 😉 Are you ready? I thought I was. Here is what our ‘flow’ consisted of: Chair Pose-Standing Forward Fold-Half Forward Bend/Half Lift-Plank-Cobra-Downward Facing Dog-Crescecnt Lunge, via lifting your leg high and swinging it under you with your foot landing between your hands which are firmly planted on the mat. My foot rebelled and landed more under my belly. G suggested I use my hand to get my foot in place. Ugh. Next was Warrior 2-Reverse Vinyasa (which is back to Downward Facing Dog, then into Cobra, back to Plank. Here is when Ghandi got bat-shit crazy….she told us that from Plank we could just hop our feet back to our hands (which were on the mat) I had to laugh. Hop my feet up to my hands which were pressed onto my mat?? Hell no. One day maybe, but not today. I ‘walked’ my feet into my hands and finished out my Reverse with Half Forward Bend/Half Lift to Standing Forward Fold and finally back to Mountain Pose. Oh, did I mention that we did this like THREE times in a row? My special yoga breath was replaced with “oh my God, I’m going to die” breaths. Sweat was rolling down my back and my palms were getting slippery on my mat. Yoga IS a workout. Definitely not an hour of stretching on a padded mat in a dark room while pretty music plays in the background. I liked it.

G said we looked good, but a little practice on our own this week would be awesome. Cooling consisted of some Easy Seated Twists, Seated Forward Folds…aka…touching your toes while seated without bending your knees. Funny. She threw in a Happy Baby (still not my favorite), a Supine Twist to both sides and the good old Savasana, the corpse pose. YAY! Let me go back to that Supine Twist I just mentioned. Here’s a pic of what it looks like:

Very satisfying stretch. And unfortunately too satisfying and relaxing for the Dude who took up residency to my right, remember him? We ‘supined’ to our left and then to our right. From here we went into fetal pose. I’ll let Homer show you what it looks like:

So, we are facing to the right, which means from my fetal position I can see Dude’s backside. G tells us to rock a bit and just enjoy the stretch. I’m in yoga bliss when Dude farts. It wasn’t a loud, dramatic one. It was an airy one, but with force. You know what I’m talking about. Loud enough for me to hear and for Dude to know with certainty that I heard it, but quiet enough that no one else was privy to it’s existence. For the love of Buddha! I quickly rolled out of Fetal Position and up to my feet. I kept looking his direction as we rolled our mats and gathered our belongings. I was ready to give him my “REALLY?” face. He didn’t look my way. I’d like to say it was because he was mortified and scared of me. Dude was just too busy going back through his detailed routine of packing up and putting his pants on.

Next class I will arrive 20 minutes early and position myself between two nice ladies who wouldn’t dare toot in yoga class. Namaste my ass.

Live Creatively,

 

 

 

Tags: ,

OMG Natalie’s 9!

Posted On January 18, 2017| 1 Reply

Emojis have invaded our everyday life and Sunshine is so emojinal that we HAD to celebrate her 9th year on earth with everything emoji!! I bought her shirt from madgrrl on Etsy. Leggings from Justice. Headband from local shop, Cute As A Button.

Sidebar: Sunshine’s birthday is September 26th, so this post is indeed a bit tardy!

Myself, Mama Moji had a ball planning this shindig.

I started with the invitation. Sunshine’s favorite colors are teal, pink & purple.

OMG, right? Buy it from invitationsbyKATRINA on Etsy. The shop owner even made me these matching Thank You cards:

And these bag tags:

Somehow I forgot to snap a pic of what went in the bags. Emoji Pez, a cookie and a small Emoji keychain!

Thankfully my mom was in town and was my DEO (Decorating Executive Officer). Nothing was left undecorated….

 

 

 

Look closely…Emoji faces replaced Sunshine’s face in all of her pictures.

I found the Emoji faces, etc. at our local teacher store. Score!

 

We spent months collecting these pillows!

Those pillows above inspired Doc to come up with the craft. I like crafts. Boy Wonder is too cool for party crafts now, but not my Sunshine. Doc said the girls should create their own Emoji pillows and that my mom could sew them together. GENIUS! One call to my mom and she was off and running. She made small round pillows from yellow fabric, left them unstuffed and with enough room to fit a piece of cardboard between the fabric layers. She’s pretty awesome like that. The girls used fabric markers to decorate their pillows and then stuff them. My mom later stitched them closed and Sunshine delivered them a few days after the party. TA-DA!

The girls began crafting their pillow as they arrived.

 

As the girls finished they moved to the living room and worked on an Emoji puzzle that we had set up.

Next on the agenda: GAMES!

I like stations. They provide order and ensure everyone gets to play each game. I assigned an adult (or older brother) to facilitate each game and keep track of when to switch. This allowed me to clean up the pillow-crafting table and turn it into a dessert table!

Games:

Mystic Ball & War: Emoji themed Magic Ball & Emoji playing cards.

    

 

Twister: I lovey-faced a few of the yellow twister dots! Buy a Twister Ultimate game for your next party!

FYI: This is a double Twister game…

Memory: I used an old Memory game, painted the picture side black, attached an emoji sticker (2 of each) and decoupaged it to the card.

 

 

 

 

 

Ping Pong: Regular rules, using an Emoji ping pong ball of course!

 

Pin the Sunglasses on the Emoji: Bought this cute poster at the Scholastic Book Fair.

Pass the Poop: Using an Emoji poop pillow and some music!

Boy Wonder represented with the Poop Emoji shirt. The girls “hated” having him and his friend Z at the party! 😉

Where to Buy:

Mystic Emoji Ball

Emoji Stickers

Emoji Puzzle

Emoji Playing Cards

Emoji Poop Pillow

Emoji Ping Pong Balls

Emoji Pez

Emoji Toilet Paper

Emoji Balloons

Time to EAT!

Emoji food was easy. I just scrolled through the food emoji’s on my phone and picked a few items that would work. I printed the emoji’s on a label, slapped it on a table tent and was done. Easy Peasy.

 

 

Emoji Napkins courtesy of Party City: I always buy themed/fun napkins, but plain colored plates, cups and cutlery. Saves a ton of money and you can reuse the plates & cutlery later.

Emoji Plates courtesy of Me (a sticker attached to the underside of the plate with packing tape!):

Girls used these for snacks.

Drink Cups! Each one had a different emoji.

And what Emoji party would be complete with out some Emoji gum balls?

Buy: Emoji Gumball Machine and Gumballs

Emoji Cookies courtesy of Cookie Crumbs:

Emoji Cake courtesy of Oh My Gosh Cake!

 

And for Sunshine’s friends with allergies, Emoji Rice Krispie Treats:

 

Sunshine doesn’t really like being the center of attention, but she puts on a brave face while her sweet friends serenade her.

 

 

The birthday girl with her Gramma:


And with my in-laws:

Even Jagger had an Emoji shirt: I made it at Uber Prints. Super easy. Super fun.

Emoji Pup!

And of course Team Mathis represented the theme…

Aren’t we silly?

 

Doc, Gramma & Boy Wonder’s shirts came from Target.

Here’s a close-up of the shirt I designed for myself, again at Uber Prints:

 

I really, really cannot believe she is NINE. OMG! #bestpartyever

 

Live Creatlively,

 

 

Tags: ,

{nah-mas-tay}

Posted On January 9, 2017| 2 Replies

Yesterday I took the first step in becoming a real life Yogini. I’ve been an imposter for years. I wear the yoga pants, the yoga pull-overs and the yoga scarves. I even own a pretty nice yoga mat. So why did I actually take a class you ask? Because Sunshine can touch her toes and pull her leg up behind her head. I cannot. She thinks it’s funny that I can’t. I was able to at one point in my life, but not anymore. I’d like to silence her giggles, so off to Beginner Yoga I went.

I only decided to do this last week, so the Yoga Studio in my town was booked. I took it as a sign from Buddha that I should maybe learn at a studio where no-one knew me! So, I traveled a few towns away. I allowed PLENTY of time so I could arrive early and grab a spot in the back of class. No-one needed to see my booty in my worn out yoga pants. My plans were spoiled because I couldn’t find the studio. Seriously the sign on the door was so tiny. I drove by it twice before noticing it. I guess big, sparkly signs are not very yogaish.

I had about 5 minutes until class was due to begin. I rushed to the door and flung it open. Guess what? There’s no lobby. No reception area. Not even room for a door mat. The door opened INTO the actual studio. Bam! And the room was full. Heads spun to see who was blasting through the door. Ugh. I half-smiled and assessed the room. There were at least 20 people sitting on their mats. Barefooted and ready to honor the universe. I noticed a small cubby and coat rack to my left. Off came my boots, my scarf and my coat. I stuffed my over-sized, non-yogaish purse in a cubby, grabbed my mat and had no choice but to head to the front of the room. By front, I mean mere inches from the instructor’s mat. Hi Yogis, I’m Mandy. For the love.

My teacher (I’ll call her Gandhi) looked to be about 24 years old. She had a ring on her toe, one on her thumb and a very large one going through the center part of her nose. She’s way cooler at her young age than I will ever be. Guess what else she had……

Hairy Armpits. Not hairy as in hadn’t shaved in a few days or even a few weeks. Full on bushy hair. And lots of it. I’ll admit I had to stifle the church giggles and was so thankful I hadn’t dragged a friend with me to class. I just don’t get it. I actually think men should shave their pits as well. Not pretty. But very yogaish I sure. Did I mention how close my mat was to hers and her hairy pits? Awesome.

Gandhi was very cool. She said ‘shit’ and ‘hippy dippy’, had a bunch of tattoos and rolled her eyes. If I was 20 years younger and had an ounce of her coolness we would be best friends. With Gandhi’s guidance in 4 short weeks I am going to develop a deep and lasting sense of awareness for my body, find my satya (truth) and become ahimsa (non-judgmental). Girl has her work cut out for her!

First thing Gandhi had us do was write our intent on a small piece of paper and put it in a tray of salt that was adorned with a candle. I’m not kidding….

Thank Buddha she explained what the hell she meant by our ‘intent’. Basically, why we are taking the class. The paper wasn’t big enough for me to tell my story about Sunshine’s crazy flexible legs and my jealousy of them, plus I am pretty sure jealousy and ahimsa do not go hand in hand. I tried to cheat off my neighbor, but he was quick to fold his paper in half and head to the salt tray. I wrote “To get out of my comfort zone”. Not exactly my intent for joining the class, but it was true. I stuck my card in the salt tray and headed back to my mat. In case you are wondering, the salt is going to absorb our intents and remind us of something which I cannot remember for the life of me. Gandhi will have the tray out at each class. I am too practical to buy into the whole ‘salt absorbing our intents’, but it was pretty to look at and looking at it will remind me that being out of my comfort zone is good. I’m certain Gandhi is going to read our cards….I should have made mine more profound. Dammit.

Gandhi taught us how to breathe so we sound like we’re a bunch of sighing teenagers. The yoga name is Ujjayi. Man, did it feel good to breathe like that! She chose me to be her model for Mountain Pose. I was pretty awesome at it. So thankful she didn’t choose me to model the Plank. Ouch. Gandhi assured me that it was totally normal to shake uncontrollably while holding Plank. Throughout the hour I was a child, a cobra, a dog, a happy baby, a boat, a cat and a cow. Whew! During Child’s pose she told us to push our belly into our thighs. Instant success on that part for me…they were already touching each other. Boat pose was a total bitch. It reminded me of  when I had to reach up and grab behind my knees while in labor. Gawd. Gandhi encouraged us to “challenge” ourselves and remove our hands from behind our knees and just hover there on our tailbones with our core all nice and tight. No amount of ujjayi breathing could make Boat pose easier! Happy Baby pose made me feel really fat and in Downward Dog I was forced to stare down my own shirt. I am sure by the end of week 4 all of this will work itself out, right?

I was however a rockstar at the Sun Salutation and even made it through a vinyasa more than once. I have to admit that my favorite pose was Savasana. It’s the corpse pose. Flat on my back, all stretched out, eyes closed and breathing. If Gandhi would have quietly left the room I think we all would have fallen asleep!

I really liked the class. I felt relaxed and stretched. And maybe a bit taller. I brought home my cheat sheet so I can practice before next week. Gandhi has promised to teach us Warrior 1, Chair and Crescent. Sadly I’m pretty sure Crescent does not involve those yummy rolls.

Namaste…..we are united, we are the same, we are one.

Live Creatively,

 

Tags: ,

Sending You a Merry New York Christmas

Posted On January 5, 2017| 1 Reply

To know me is to know that I like love New York City. My babies do too. You can read all about their first trip to the Big Apple here.

Doc and I were fed up with the present portion of Christmas. He was tired of paying for them. I was tired of searching for, ordering, hiding and wrapping them. On a whim we asked the kids if they would rather take a trip or have presents under the tree on Christmas morning. They both quickly answered ‘trip’ and so the planning began.

NYC was an easy decision. The kids have been asking to go back, Doc had never been at Christmastime and for me it was a no-brainer! I booked it for the first weekend in December. Friday to Sunday.

This weekend ensured 4 important things:

THE tree would be up.  Santa would be at Macy’s. The Thanksgiving crowds would be gone. And hopefully it wouldn’t be face-freezing cold.

I will never grow tired of seeing Lady Liberty from the sky.

Hint: If you are flying into LaGuardia, sit on the left side of the plane (left as in when you are seated and looking towards the cockpit) to get incredible views of the city.

I chose the Dumont NYC for our hotel. The location was perfect and I am a big fan of the Affinia Hotels in Manhattan. Located at 150 E. 34th Street, it was just a few blocks from Macy’s Herald Square. The most famous Macy’s in all the land.

Dumont NYC

Funny story….see those coats my blessings are wearing? They were purchased a few hours after we landed in NYC in DECEMBER at the famous Macy’s I mentioned. Why? Because both, not one, but both of them forgot their coats. Yep. Left the house to go to the airport in DECEMBER without a coat. Needless to say it was the running joke of the weekend. Here’s a look at them freezing on our walk to Macy’s….

We may have taken the long way.

Once they were properly clothed for the weather, our first stop was SANTA. Here’s a little tip: Book your time with Mr. C before you arrive.  Starting in November, visit this website. You will get a confirmation like this:

And when you arrive you get to skip the mile long line, go straight to the Express Check-In, find an elf and enter Santaland.

We BELIEVE!

If you like a good deli. Head across the street from Macy’s to Herald Square Market. You can order the sandwich of your dreams.

We spent the rest of Day One milling around the city and checking out the holiday window displays. Gorgeous. Check out this one at Sak’s:

We ate a yummy dinner at Parker & Quinn. It’s on West 39th at 6th.   Make sure you ask for one of the cool booths and order the Fried Chicken Sliders!

No day in NYC is complete with out a cupcake from Magnolia Bakery.

We visited the Grand Central Terminal location so we could eat our dessert in one of our favorite spots!

The kids loved the “little baby trees” for sale on the corner by our hotel.

I loved how they stopped to admire the flowers every time we walked by….

Day Two had an early morning wake up call! We had tickets to the 9am show of the  Rockettes Christmas Spectacular at Radio City Music Hall! We headed to Rockefeller Plaza early and ate breakfast at the Panera by the Today Show. Noah saw himself on TV and got barked at by a security guard!

The real bonus of being up so early??

Getting THE tree all to yourself:

The Rockettes were crazy good. We sat in Orchestra 3 about 30 rows back. I wanted to SEE the dancers and boy did we. Before the show we wandered around Radio City. It’s very cool. Classy, clean and so pretty! And the ladies lounge is one of the biggest I’ve ever seen!

Did I mention that we met an actual Rockette too??

The show started with Santa. He told us to put on our very chic 3D glasses and ‘enjoy the ride’. We boarded his sleigh and he flew through Manhattan decorating it for Christmas. It was wild. Don’t we look cool?

The show was flawless. My favorites were the reindeer dance and the nativity scene with live animals. We will definitely see this show again. Bravo!

We left Radio City on a high and topped it off with another cupcake from Magnolia Bakery. Then we walked. Boy Wonder was insistent on checking out Niketown. Which meant a trip to Trump Tower. Which meant walking a few blocks out of our way because everything is BLOCKED OFF. I led my troops around the back and in we went. Security was tight. But the Secret Service were too kind.

My people are not afraid of heights…therefore we went up and up and up. As far as we could until we were stopped by Secret Service. Taking a peek up even higher, it was cool to be visiting the home of the next POTUS.

No doubt Donald and Melania were up there having tea or a Dr. Pepper or something!

We toured all 5, yes 5 levels of Niketown. Boy Wonder tried on several sweet sneaks, but ultimately decided to spend his money on these:

Next stop: Central Park. By far our favorite spot in the city. Pretzels, treats, giant rocks, street performers, famous landmarks. Central Park has it all. We play. We stroll. We enjoy. And this trip….a ride in a horse-drawn carriage. A bucket-list item for Sunshine and myself.

Friendly Travel Tip: do NOT wait in the extraordinarily long queue for a carriage ride. Instead, enter the Park at Columbus Circle and hail a carriage driver down before he turns the corner back up Central Park West. You can thank me later.

I will never get Doc in one of those row boats after I made him row around the River Thames in London!

Praise the Central Park gods, we even found Alice in Wonderland this time. It’s not as easy as you think. The Park is kinda like a corn maze. You can walk in circles without even noticing. And you’ll swear you are headed in the right direction only to end up back in the same spot. But I was hell bent on finding Alice. And I did.

So pretty, even from the back:

Reaching Alice took us from 59th Street to 75th Street. 16 blocks. We headed a bit deeper into the Upper East Side and ate dinner at  JG Melon a local place with yummy cheeseburgers and cold beer! After dinner we walked down 3rd Avenue to 68th to Vineyard Vines so the kids could get VV NYC shirts. After shopping we needed a bit of sugar. No place better to fill that need than Dylan’s Candy Bar! Luckily it was only a few more blocks past Vineyard Vines. With Lemonheads and Sour Patch Kids in our bellies we trekked back to our hotel for a little down time.

Around 8pm we bundled up and took a cab to Rockefeller Center. We skated at The Rink at Rockefeller for two hours. Long or short hours depends on which family member you ask! We had reservations for the VIP Skate which is pretty swanky.

You skip the line. The line is very, very, very long and it is outside. Brrrr. As VIP Skaters we had a heated hut on the rink with comfy benches, a place to store our shoes and bags and all the hot cocoa and cookies we could devour. Life as a VIPer was good.

My skaters!

Such a great memory!

While skating an adorable couple got engaged. Guy was down on one knee. Girl had no idea. Some stranger taped it. OMG, I just said ‘taped’, I meant videoed! It was sweet. Sunshine was appalled. She informed me that was embarrassing. Lord help her future fiance-to-be! The children could have kept on skating, but Ma and Pa were whipped. We handed in our skates, grabbed one last cookie and bid Rockefeller Center a good night.

Day Three, our last day. Always a sad day. No-one wants to leave. Boy Wonder and Sunshine planned this day. They wanted to ride the Subway.

No benches left? No problem for Boy Wonder!

We took the Subway to Gramercy Park and were greeted with walls filled with Post-It Notes. Subway Therapy. We added our own note to the wall.

It was beautiful in spite of some very ugly comments.

We brunched (I’m certain that is a real word!) at Friend of A Farmer. It was DELICIOUS x 10. So good. So filling. We waddled out of there and none of us complained about walking in the cold!

Of course they chose to visit Times Square. When in Times Square I must do a few things. 1) Purchase a Swatch watch. 2) Find the Naked Cowboy. And 3) Take a few minutes to observe the gobs of people enjoying NYC. Really, I must.

Sunshine, Boy Wonder and I picked out new watches while Doc waited patiently. He doesn’t get the whole “Swatch Thing”. I feel sorry for him. I chose a sparkly silver one. Boy Wonder picked out a red one. And Sunshine won the prize for coolest watch….one with a seal and fish! Priceless.

Next on my list:

What is that lady looking at?

And finally, resting my feet with Boy Wonder and enjoying the commotion around us.

From there we stopped in the biggest and busiest Starbucks, purchased over-priced hot chocolates and headed back to Central Park.

The kids climbed their favorite rocks and tossed a football while Doc and I whispered sweet nothings. We actually probably talked about how cold our bums were from sitting on the freezing rocks, but a girl can dream, right?

That football travels everywhere with us!

Me in my favorite city with my favorite guy.

Yeah, I’m sending you a Merry New York Christmas,
And a prayer for peace on earth within our time.

Live Creatively,

Tags: ,