First Day of School: My Baby's in Second Grade!

Monday, August 31, 2009

A special breakfast

Surprises in his lunchbox

The walk to campus

One last hug goodbye

Mom, you can leave now

Breast Cancer 3Day: Pamper Yourself, Help Fund a Cure

Thursday, August 27, 2009

On September 15, select Massage Envy locations will donate $10 from a $35 50-minute massage to Susan G. Komen for the Cure. They hope to raise $500,000 in one day with Massage for the Cure. So far, they've raised over $800,000! A full-body massage is not a bad way to help a great cause!

*I am an online and media ambassador the San Diego 3Day. Help me reach my fundraising goal by donating online at my personal page.

**Massage Envy didn't give me anything for this, I saw it in a magazine and wanted to pass it along. I have had a massage there and it was fab.

Missed Flight, Ramblings and My $2 Outfit

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

I should be on a plane. I missed my flight to Minnesota for the Eat and Greet. I've never missed a flight before! But, lemons to lemonade. It's a beautiful day and I took advantage by taking a walk. The San Diego airport is across from San Diego bay. I walked along the bay, over the bridge into Point Loma and now I'm using the free WiFi at Starbucks.

I'm bummed I have to go straight from the airport to dinner since I got a great dress and new shoes. Which reminds me, I actually made money on the dress. It's not an interesting story, but I have much time to kill.

Monday night I went to Loehman's on a whim. I only had half an hour until closing so I was doing the shopping bee (flitting from rack to rack) and spotted a cute dress. I didn't have time to try it on but figured for $26 I could always take it back.

At the register, I remembered I had a store credit. But, it had been in my wallet so long all the ink was gone. The salesperson was so nice, holding it up to the light and asking someone to help read the impression. Because of the credit and my birthday month discount, I got $3 back!

Combine that with the shoes I was going to wear (from Payless) and my outfit was only $2! I will definitely be entering that outfit into the Bargainista challenge @SDBargainMama and @bargainbabe have going.

Well, that didn't take much time. Anyone have news to share? I've still got an hour.

Oh, To Be A Kid Again


"While we try to teach our children all about life, our children
teach us what life is all about." -Angela Schwindt

The Road to A Perfect Smile Part 2

Monday, August 24, 2009


I'm so hungry! I had four more teeth pulled Friday and it's still hard for me to eat real food. Pudding, smashed bananas, cut up buttered noodles and peanut butter straight from the jar? No problem. An El Pollo Loco chicken bowl? Problem (please learn from my mistake and stick to the baby food).

While the pain is not nearly as bad as when I got my wisdom teeth out, it's still no walk in the park. And I've decided I have to write a letter to the corporate office. The policies they seem to have in place, which create a "turn 'em and burn 'em assembly line", are horrible for patient care and comfort.

Walking back to my chair before the procedure, there were bloody tools from previous patients lying in the open and the trash can in my cube was full of bloody gauze. I started to put my purse and book on the floor, and the guy getting me set up told me to put it on a chair instead "because the floor is pretty dirty." Cool, thanks. I'll hold my purse in my lap when I pee in a public restroom if the alternative is putting it on the floor.

But, when he started to ask me questions for the consent forms, he sat down in the chair and moved my stuff and put it on TOP of tools they were using in the next cube!!! So much for a sterile environment. And, again, when they were finished, they took me from my chair to the car via the storage room.

I like the people in the office. They're competent and are really good with kids and patient with my loathing of needles. I don't really blame them. But the money I've paid for two oral surgeries could (and probably did) finance a new car. I shouldn't have to bring my own blanket for cripes' sake!

And*, because my wonderful husband is at work allowing me to stay at home with Tyler, I can't take full advantage of the lovely pharmaceuticals provided for me. Half a Vicodin is like putting ice on blue balls, it helps but it's not what you really want. (thanks Deb!)

Anyhoo, I'm off to get ready for my trip on Wednesday (will the cabin pressure make gums explode?) and Google 'treatment for dry socket.'

*How many times can I start a sentence with and? And, is it really that hard and fast a grammatical rule?
(photo from here)

Wordless Wednesday: Missing My Hometown

Wednesday, August 19, 2009







For more Wordless Wednesday visit: 5 Minutes for Mom, Mom Dot, What's That Smell

I Got Nuthin'

Monday, August 17, 2009

I've been staring at my monitor for ages and can't come up with anything remotely interesting or coherent. I will take the lazy way out and resort to a list of things that have been on my mind lately:

1. Back to school- I've not shopped for anything except a backpack.
2. Another summer is gone and once again we did not get to take our First Ever Family Vacation.
3. Babies.
4. My training and fund raising for the Breast Cancer 3 Day are no where near on track.
5. My trip to Minnesota- I'm looking forward to meeting everyone and am geeked out at the idea of seeing the Betty Crocker test kitchen.
6. School starts in two weeks! I'm having a friend over for mimosas after we drop the kids off.
7. Going back to work.
8. What I see as the "future" of this blog and "where" I want it go.
9. I 'marked all as read' in my reader Saturday night and I feel so guilty.
10. Getting Phil back in school.

What's on your mind today?

Overheard: Tyler Explains Being Biracial

Friday, August 14, 2009


"My mommy is brown and my dad is white.
They mixed together and made my color."

Mama, Look At Me!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009


"Mama, did you see me?! I was in the deep end!"

Disney's The Princess and the Frog

Monday, August 10, 2009


I can't remember whose blog post I was reading, but the gist was that any blogger who has been invited on a "mommy getaway" is automatically going to say great things about the company or brand. I disagreed (naturally). One of the reasons I've appreciated the relationship I have with both Disney parks is because the really do "get it." They want our feedback, be it praise or criticism.

A few weeks ago, Phil and I went to see the new Harry Potter while Tyler was at a birthday party. The trailer for The princess and the Frog came on and I couldn't help a little "yes!" and a fist pump. I've seen the trailer before, but watching it on the big screen made it a little more real.



When I went to Disney World
last year, Princess Tiana was definitely the elephant in the room for awhile. I'm not sure the Disney execs were quite prepared for the discussion. The button was definitely hot! But everyone gave their opinion respectfully and in the end, I think both sides walked away with something.
Not having a daughter I didn't weigh in too much. But, as a adult who didn't have many black dolls to play with as a child, I'm conflicted. On the one hand it's great to finally be able to say, "Wonderful, a character that little girls of color can identify with!" but there's also the "what the hell took you so long?!"

We didn't have enough time to really dig into the issue but I would have liked to. The part of the conversation I'm most interested in is the
why. Why did it take so long to get a black princess in the stores and on the screen? What were obstacles? What was the feedback in preliminary screenings? I want to be angry (and a little jealous) that I didn't really get to have a princess experience when I was a kid. But, at the same time, how exciting it will be to go to the Disney store and see the Princess Tiana dolls and costumes at Halloween!
I did say to the execs that Disney does a great job with their own stories (Monster's Inc, Cars, etc.) so why wait so long to feature an African American character in a feature? I also think they need to add more colors to the crayon box in their network programming. I don't think Hannah Montana or Alex Russo have any black girlfriends (unless I missed something). 


I will definitely be going to see Princess and the Frog in the theater. Sadly, the biggest way I can show Disney how important this is to me (and hopefully others in the African American community) is with my wallet.

36 Reasons I'm Happy Today

Thursday, August 6, 2009

1. I have a great husband.
2. My son isn't too bad either.
3. My family are Rock Stars! (Thanks Mom and Dad!)
4. I live in Southern California.
5. I have a ginormous stack of books to read.
6. School starts SOON!
7. Weeds
8. True Blood
9. Football season starts SUNDAY!
10. I'm going to the General Mills Eat and Greet in a few weeks.
11. I'm still on a bit of a BlogHer high.
12. I have my new fave, Mango Smirnoff Ice, in the fridge.
13. I bought My Big Fat Greek Wedding at Target for $5.
14. Our cat is so stinkin' cute (even though she still peeing in the house, the little bitch)
15. My new purple bathrobe.
16. I have amazing friends.
17. I spent yesterday at the beach.
18. I will probably spend all of next week at the beach, too (husband's family is in town)
19. I'm still enjoying this blog and being part of the online community.
20. This time next year I'll be on my first trip to New York at BlogHer 10.
21. I think I've lost weight.
22. Hearing my son playing outside with the neighbors. It sounds like summer.
23. Californication
24. The season premieres of Grey's Anatomy, Brother's and Sisters and Desperate Housewives are only a little over a month away.
25. The United States of Tara (I'm a cable TV junkie can you tell?)
26. I finally have the DIY Network.
27. No new grey hairs.
28. My first two pairs of Cole Haan shoes are beautiful.
29. I got a really cute evening bag from Target for $3.
30. It's almost the weekend.
31. I'm spending the day with my boys.
32. We're going to Sea World with friends.
33. Today's weather couldn't be more perfect.
34. I got to renew my driver's license online (I actually like my current picture).
35. Birthday money.
36. 40 is still 4 years away.

There's still time to enter the Foot Petals giveaway (consider it a birthday present!)

TJ Maxx Marshalls Back to School Event

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

The MarMaxx event (TJ Maxx/Marshalls to you) was really fun. I didn't go in expecting to learn a lot but I did. The off-price shopping concept takes a lot more planning than I imagined. It was nice to hear from the buyers and find out how they do their jobs and how they are able to bring items into the stores so frequently to keep the inventory fresh.



We got to tour the purse closet (I could have died from all the pretty-ness), the shoe racks, see some of the items in store for kids' back to school, see a few of this year's Halloween costumes (so cute!) and there was a fashion show with looks put together by celebrity stylist Art Conn (currently working on American Idol). I did not know that TJ Maxx is celebrating a 25 year partnership with Save the Children, which provides basic necessities for impoverished children (read more about the initiative and how your .99 can help here).




I enjoyed listening to Michael Macmillan, the company President speak. It was obvious he was not in it just for the paycheck. He, and all the other company employees, really seemed to have a passion for what they do. He was very down to earth and approachable. Which is why I felt a little guilty putting him on the spot with a question about diversity.





I don't remember how the conversation with Alli Worthington started, but I told her the Women of Color session at BlogHer was my favorite. She asked if being the only black woman there was uncomfortable for me. I said no, that I'm used to it. I also said that some people are not OK with taking on the role of "the token" but I don't mind. If it takes me being there to get a dialogue started I'm happy to take on that responsibility, as long as it's not the ONLY reason I'm there. So, I asked the CEO about the male to female ratio at the executive level and how diverse the company is. I commend him for his honesty ("we're not as diverse as we'd like to be") and appreciate that the company has programs in place to help them achieve a more diverse work environment.


(One of the buyers had these on, I covet them!)

I had no qualms about asking a similar question of the people representing the advertising agency. Around the room were posters of their back to school campaign. I think I may be getting cynical in my old age, but often it feels to me as though ads are very calculated, as though someone on the set was saying, "No, this won't work. All these children are white. Someone bring me a few brown children, right away!"

Of course, that's my own bias and it could very well be completely false, but it's how I feel. Anyway, I approached Stacey (who is SO nice!) and said, "same question about diversity for you." I told her that, as a parent of a bi-racial child, it's important to me that my son see himself in the places I choose to spend our money. He's too young to pick up on it now, but he will. Looking at the posters, I saw only one child he'd be able to identify with.

I also played Devil's Advocate and asked about children with special needs. Stacey said they have a whole campaign centered around the charitable programs the TJX companies are involved in. To that, I said putting children with special needs in "their own" ad campaign sends out the wrong message. They are kids first, kids with special needs second and there's no reason why the only time they should be acknowledged in ads is when the message focuses on how they are "different" from other children. 

Then I stepped off my soapbox.

Even though I didn't win the Gucci bag or Coach shoes (sob!) I still had a fabulous time. Thanks so much to Laura McDowell, Michael Macmillan, Denise Vitola, Naomi Borno and Stacey DeFino from Ogilvy, Victoria Taylor and Brian Brunskill from Rocket XL and anyone else who made our trip possible!

View the rest of my photos on Flickr.

*TJX paid for my airfare, lodging and meals as well as provided gift cards and a gift bag. All opinions are my own.

BlogHer 2009 Recap: TJ Maxx Shopping Trip {Video}

Monday, August 3, 2009

 
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