Thursday, February 4, 2016

Sometimes Roses Just Aren't Enough

The month of love is here. February 14th, the day that most women and a few men look forward to. It's the day that restaurants are booked to capacity, the florists gets tons of orders and maybe one of the only day that men go shopping. Why? Because it's Valentine's Day! Personally I don't particularly care for flowers but it sure does look great on my table and it shows that I was thought about. However, sometimes roses just aren't enough and you want to go a little extra. I was actually talking to a girlfriend of mine who mentioned that while she loved flowers, she would also love a little extra so I decided to browse online looking for options. I happened upon Fresh Flowers. While they are an online florist based in Australia they also cater to customers abroad.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Valentine's Day Brownies

I can't believe that Valentine's Day is almost here and so is Super Bowl weekend. With the unusual amount of snow that we have been having, the entire city is almost on lockdown. The kids have been out of school and they love it but I'm ready for them to go back. So what do we do when they're home and there's nothing to do? We bake. I recently got some heart cutters and molds and I have been having a great time making everything into hearts. I did some heart chocolates mixed with sprinkles and before I could even photograph them, they disappeared. I got super lucky with my Valentine's Day Brownies. They are super easy to make since I used a brownie box mix. They were also delicious and didn't last too long either. So if you're home on a cold day you can try our Valentine Day Brownie's.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Fall in Love with the Peanuts Gang this Valentine's Day

Only a week away from Valentine's Day and we are all trying to figure out what to get our loved ones. Whether it's roses or chocolate or a date night, we all want it to be romantic and special. I have to be honest and say that I still have no plans but I do know that on that day it is going to be special. Valentine's Day is a day of love and we try to show those that we love how much they are loved and appreciated. Well we aren't the only ones who love Valentine's Day. The Peanuts Gang has been in on the Valentine Day celebration for quite some time now. Did you know that over the years, Charles Schulz created dozens of Valentine’s Day-themed comic strips. Many of the strips focuses on Charlie Brown’s eagerness to receive valentines…only to be disappointed, every. single. time.

Be Yourself on Social Media

Social media is often critiqued for being fake.  People post the best side of themselves (quite literally with photoshopping apps) and hide their true selves behind a guise of happiness. Unfortunately, this often leads to unhappiness and anxiety, as we compare ourselves to the best of others.

Young mothers are especially at risk for social media depression, deeply affected by their mommy-friends posting pictures and videos of their kids, their accomplishments, and seemingly perfect lives. Instantly they take a look at their own life, the dirty dishes in the sink, their crying baby, snotty-nosed toddler, and dinner of corn dogs and french fries, and start to wonder what they are doing wrong. In reality, they are no less competent than those smiling faces they see on social media, they are just comparing their “worst” to another person’s “best.”

My Favorite Books Celebrating African American Children

This is the month of love but a lot of people tend to forget that it is also Black History Month. It's also no secret that I'm of African American descent. However as most African American children, especially the ones that are of Caribbean parentage, there is also a mixture of heritage. For example, my great-great grandmother is from the European country of Portugal and is as white as can be. However I totally consider myself Caribbean-American as I like to say. My roots are deeply embedded in the Caribbean which I truly love. I love my chocolate complexion which I won't have to tan and I love my hair. Whenever I go out with mommy I usually get a lot of questions about my hair. Most people think that because I'm black I should have the really tightly coiled kinky hair and they're usually surprised when it isn't. I constantly get asked "can I touch it?', it's hair, just maybe slightly different from yours but it's all mine and I LOVE it. I however wear extensions and not because I hate my hair but because it protects it. I wear them as a protective style to protect my hair from the elements. So in celebration of Black History Month I want to share with you a few of my favorite books celebrating African-American Children.

Monday, February 1, 2016

Bringing Your New Cat Home

For as long as I can remember we have always owned a cat. Growing up in the Caribbean back then, they were everywhere and they didn’t live in our homes. They were considered outdoor cats. They did their business outdoors and only came when they wanted food. When I migrated to the US, I didn’t have any pets for quite some time – it wasn’t until I had my own kids and they decided that they wanted a pet that I considered getting a cat. I knew that the responsibility was going to be put upon me because as we all know that the kids want the pets, but the adults do all of the work. I thought that cats were a lot easier, I didn’t have to walk them and they are one of the most sociable animals alive. Just ask us cat owners. Today I want to share a few tips I gathered along the way about taking care of a new kitten.

Popsicle Stick Heart Butterflies - An Easy Valentine's Day Craft for Kids

It's the first day of February and in just 13 days it's Valentine's Day. We have been having not so great weather the past few days and with nothing much to do, Madison and I decided to do a few crafts. They were so easy that I decided to share them here on Growing Up Madison with you. If you have little ones and you have no idea to do with them on a cold, wet or even snowy day, I highly suggest taking a trip to your local dollar store, Hobby Lobby, Michaels or even Walmart. Stock up on craft supplies and just let them have a go. We decided on making some Popsicle Stick Heart Butterflies that we can share. We had everything on hand to do our craft but I'm super horrible when it comes to cutting so I decided to make a trip to Michaels to pick up some heart punches. For some reason the ones I had last year did a magical disappearance. I'm sure I'll find them but I wasn't in the mood to turn the house upside down looking for them. I'll link to the ones that we used in our post.

Our Visit to the Rocky Mountain Dinosaur Resource Center, Woodland Park - Colorado

Living in Colorado there is a lot to do besides skiing, there is also a lot to see. While most people when they think of Colorado, they automatically think of Denver or the Aspens, there is more to Colorado than that. As a New York City transplant who have now decided to make Colorado our home, I've decided to really explore in and our home city of Colorado Springs. This year 2016 I like to call our year of travel and adventure and there's nothing like traveling and visiting the sites in your own city. While I spent most of my life living in New York City, Brooklyn to be exact, there is still so much I have to see there. It's a city that no matter how long you've lived there, I'm not sure if you can still see everything. I can say that most New Yorkers still have never been to the top of the Empire State Building or have even been to Ellis Island or to the top of the Statue of Liberty. We like to think that's only things that tourist do. Well I consider myself a tourist in Colorado so I decided that one day a week we'll take advantage of what Colorado has to offer and one of them last week was the Rocky Mountain Dinosaur Resource Center. Sure it's not New York's American Museum of Natural History, which I've visited numerous times with my own kids, but it's the next best thing here in Colorado.