Monday, March 7, 2016

Why are you here?

My late Father could ask that question in a way that would make you debate your very existence on earth. Like for real, Lord, why am I here? You would forget your rehearsed manifesto and acknowledge defeatedly that you most probably had no good reason for being wherever you were, in that moment.

Today, I'm addressing the critics of social media junkies (I happen to be a card carrying member- hello!):

It's been discussed countless times, outright or with disdainful insinuations.  What makes social media junkies tick?

We must (be):

Self absorbed
Have low self esteem
Need validation from strangers
Have no friends in real life - this made me chuckle
Be ugly- ha!
Have nothing better to do

I won't even debate the above, but let me throw the question back to you, non-social media junkie, that might agree with the above - OR- the proud non social media junkie that eschews posting or commenting or liking any post- but still yet knows a SM junkie's every single move?

Are you a:

Hater - ha!
Not confident
Low self esteem having
Non innovative
Secret Fan?

I didn't think so. So, again I ask- why are you here?

Don't forget to secretly subscribe before you leave!

*Seriously, when I found this mirror at T.J Maxx, I started looking around for my 'peoples'. We're out there, it's a movement, get into it!

Love your selfie, pp

Monday, February 29, 2016

Why I don't make monkey pancakes.

Or any other fancy shaped pancakes. Or fancy cinderella carriage shaped sandwiches. Or fancy fish and automobile shaped hard boiled eggs.

I mean, I have all the necessary equipment (thanks Williams Sonoma)  but in reality, they are such a waste of time, and not to mention, pancake batter. Plus, they never ever turn out how you imagined. 'What IS it???'  Three words I never want to hear my kids say, in reference to my food, at least. Ugh.

So, no deep life lessons here. Just thought I'd share why I don't make monkey pancakes anymore.

You're welcome, pp

Monday, February 22, 2016

Video, Vino, Vamps & the Village

The caption above sums up my weekend highlight reel. 

You see the laughter, the bespoke cocktails, the spread/ hors d'oeuvres. And it was a great time, I'm not denying that- the company was fantastic and we laughed - HARD- way into the night.

                                                      Brooklyn misses brooklyn Cocktail

We got together to see a great indie film 'In The Morning' and we had food, wine, cocktails and open and honest dialog. It was super FUN!

What you don't see though, is the 'village' it took to pull this together.  
You see, when my first guests arrived, I was still sweaty, in my running clothes. They immediately took over, one rinsed wine glasses, another sliced cheese logs and laid out the crackers and fruit.

Amber had generously volunteered to make the two cocktails for all of us and had brought ALL the supplies needed - she even ran out to get ice, so I wouldn't have to! Jam took over oven duties and made sure everything was heated and cooked through. Montrell served wine. Abra bought a cake. Candice loaded my dishwasher afterwards. Everyone showed up, inspite of their other commitments- work, family emergencies, travel.  It was even Lisa's birthday, for crying out loud!

I was able to go upstairs and get ready because these ladies pulled it all together, and looked good doing it too!

So in this post you'll see pictures of my 'highlight reel'. I hope a few of the pictures capture the love and energy that was so strongly present in the room on Saturday, in the form of these ladies. In this 'village'. Good people, good times!

'Surrender' Cocktail

The Vilage

Let's hear it for the village, pp

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Love is a numbers game.

I feel like I must preface this post (and perhaps, all future posts,) with this: Most of what I write is 'tongue-in-cheek'.  People are serious as a heart attack and  as literary as a school teacher these days. I can't write like that. I WON'T write like that. So now, take your critic hat off and enjoy the blog. *grin*

008 days to 007 Bond themed Valentine's day party. 

Ugh, 10 times the pressure. Not only do I have to look good for my husband on this 'special day', I also have to look good for random, possibly, 'judgy' strangers at this whole Gala thingy. Great.  Meaning terrible, actually, as I have gained a considerable amount of poundage since October last year - since we're doing numbers, 6.7 lbs to be exact - and definitely changed dress sizes- I've gone from a 004 to a 006. Whew, even I'm impressed by my openness in this blog post!

It was between these dresses: Yes, I had narrowed it down to 007 dresses (ironic, no?). I also quizzed at least 004 friends, roughly about 002 times apiece, if they were absolutely, positively, sure, they liked 'x' dress best.  And not one friend picked the same dress -ha!- so I was left with 005 choices - including my favorite.

I gamely got it down to 002 choices - one long and semi elegant, the other, short, sequinned and sassy. 'Which says Bond girl more to you?" I asked colleagues, friends and family - anyone who would care to listen, really. Sigh. By the time I had placed the order for the dresses, they only had the long dress in a 4 Petite!!  Scroll above for my updated dress size commentary. Of course, now, I had my heart set on wearing the long dress, since it was sort of 'unavailable' to me. It was the worst possible choice; with the low back, I couldn't wear a bra, how much more my much needed spanx!

Friday - 002 days to 007 Bond Party
 I decided to give the short, metallic sequinned dress a try. I texted my friend. "I look like an overweight  hooker." Her response "Bwhahahahaha!" I know, very helpful friend.

The black dress warranted another text. "I look like a fat sow." More laughter. Smh.
I wouldn't even show my dear husband my stomach. Plus the 4 Petite was way too short. Above my ankles, coupled with a slit, way, way up there. Tacky, tacky, tacky. It was ALL bad, y'all.

This is where having way too many clothes that you probably wear once and never again comes in handy. (Remember the tongue -in-cheek disclaimer up top, now). I had this long, dramatic fishtail skirt that I had only ever worn once - I had bought it in 2008, but it was a size 6 and had been slightly too big, so I'd never worn it again. Well, those extra pounds were good for something, apparently. HIPS!!

I decided to wear the *Yigal Azrouel 4P dress under the Chetta B skirt, and wouldn't you know it? Perfection! People couldn't even tell that it wasn't a dress. And since it was FREEZING that night, I also had a mini shrug, that created a 'cut-out' effect in the back. It came together really well, shockingly. Whew.

      The day wouldn't be complete without a smart comment from one of the kids would it, now? So real quick - I went to get my eyes done at MAC- I have never, and probably will never master the smokey eye technique - or eye make-up in general. She gave me a smokey eye with natural looking false lashes. I felt really glam, that is,  until Principessa cut me down to size. She literally jumped out of her skin when she saw me. I was like, 'Do you like my make-up?" to which she replied "You look creepy!".  Monkey boy was like, "That's not nice!" and Principessa tried to ease my hurt feelings with a hug and "No, I like it, you just look scary, that's all." Welp.  Principessa - 002, Mom- 000.
                                           *Principessa and scary Mom.

*Forgot the most important part - I have stopped buying dresses that I only wear once and forget about. If you attend a lot of events and rarely wear your black tie outfits again (I know I don't), I highly recommend Rent The Runway. It just makes sense. And here is my referral link - you get $20 off.

Hope you all had a great Valentine's Day! (Shaken not stirred) pp

Friday, February 12, 2016

Losing our Nanny, Finding my Pancake Mojo

Now what do pancakes have to do with losing our nanny? Everything. And, nothing.  See, we have always been blessed to have help.  Live-in help, for all but one nanny.  For ten plus years.  Completely spoiled, I know.

But you see, there is a back story to this. In Nigeria, where I was raised, this is normal. Regular people have nannies, house keepers, house maids, cleaners, chauffeurs, cooks and gardeners. It is so common place, that most of 'the help' has their own 'help'. Besides, I work crazy hours and I have quite the commute. This fabulousness was not happening without a nanny. Grin.

One of our previous nannies before this one started making pancakes for dinner and then 'Pancake Thursday' became a thing in our house. Fortunately, our most recent nanny made a mean pancake - well, more like crepes- she is of Francophone origin and that's what she knew how to make, so we rolled with it. So for six years, pancake Thursday was a thing. It worked for me, one less meal to plan; and for her, one less thing to learn to make. Also, for the kids, because, who doesn't love breakfast for dinner? Much less pancakes, right?

But along the way, we lost something. The thrill dissipated, more pancakes were left uneaten. Principessa even declared one day that she hated pancakes. She didn't, but we were all just a little sick of them, with good reason

Nanny leaves after six, yes, SIX years with us.  There were tears and feelings of misgiving and real fear.  Could I do this? My home had run like a well oiled machine for six years and now I was going to have to take control again. Then again, where was the time???

The first thing I got rid of was 'Pancake Thursdays'. No one missed it, to be honest. I make up the menu as I go, my husband packs them fun, nutritious lunches, the night before. Numero Uno had taken PBJ to school for lunch for years, because, he told the Nanny that was ALL he liked. Of course, she obliged - it was one less thing to think about right? Well, homeboy is eating chicken, cheese and arugula melts on naan bread and LOVING it. I firmly believe that most kids don't really know what they don't like - they just want the familiar.

      My point is, I've had to take charge and I'm loving it! Some days it's still cereal and toast, but some days, like today - it was pancakes. Chocolate chip pancakes*!  I've never seen the kids get dressed so fast to make it to the breakfast table!

Change is good. If I can do it, YOU can do this. I see your nanny and I raise you some pancakes.

*Recipe for Chocolate Chip Pancakes

1. Drive to Giant/grocery store of choice
2. Pick up Krusteaz Pancake mix
3. Drive home
4.Add water to mix
5.Make on griddle

TGIF, pp

Monday, February 8, 2016

When Life Gives You Quinoa, Eat Chicken Wings

This is Superbowl related, only because the chicken wings were left over from Superbowl Sunday.

I made this yummy oatmeal-quinoa-strawberry bake for breakfast this morning: Shout out to @YummySpoonfuls on Instagram, she has the best recipes for a family with young kids that is trying to eat organic and as healthy as possible, without compromising the 'yum-factor'.

Numero Uno and Monkey boy have no problem with this dish; the while house smells like an oatmeal cookie - whats not to like? But Numero Uno keeps insisting that somewhere in there, he smells rice. {I was short on time and I did not grind my quinoa. Don't be like PP, grind your quinoa). Principessa however, was not having it. Not for breakfast. Not ever.

We had ten minutes on the clock and so I made my power play as QB of the household. One minute zap in the microwave, chicken wings done.  Orange juice while putting on jacket. Banana in the car. Breakfast was served.

I'm guessing I have the Superbowl to thank for this blog post. First since January 2015. Thank you Peyton Manning. 😁

Ain't no thang, pp

The Recipe

1 cup rolled oats
1/4 cup coconut sugar
1/2 cup ground quinoa (I didn't grind mine- refer to post)
1 cup coconut milk
3 eggs
salt, nutmeg, cinnamon
blueberries - I substituted strawberries cos I was out of blueberries

Mix together and bake for 40 mins at 300 degrees. I baked for 30 minutes at 400 degrees. I know - It was almost like I was determined NOT to follow @yummyspoonfuls great recipe.  She didn't say grease the pan, but I took the initiative.

Monday, January 5, 2015

Of Bird nests and kids: Life Lessons

Hello, Fashionable ones! :)
Happy New Year!  To think that I started this blog almost 7 years to the day - right before my precious second son- fondly referred to as 'Monkey boy' was born.
 How apt that this 'lesson' is brought to you courtesy of my smart, inquisitive, old soul little man.

I stumbled upon an empty, teeny tiny birds nest yesterday - it was upside down, on the lawn, in the frigid cold.  I decided to bring it in, certain Monkey Bou, my budding scientist and nature boy would be excited.  His response was a shrug, and when I asked why he wasn't more excited, he said, "I was- but the moment has passed." LOL!  I was taken aback but inspired a little. Milk the moment, for sure,  but it is also totally okay to let it go when 'the moment has passed' for you.  No need to drum up emotion for anything. He TOLD me!

Reactions from my other kids, equally as cute and totally reflective of their individual personalities:
Numero Uno son (9): "what if the mother comes back to look for the nest? I think you should have left it there.'

Principessa (4): "Aw. I feel sorry for the egg!"

Here is the nest- shot twice - once on island and the other on a white sheet of paoer for contrast.  And a third time with a filter.  Because, clearly, I have nothing better to do than take pictures of random nests.

Let it go, pp