nursery fun 0_o

My fianc√© and I recently finished the baby’s nursery and though nerve racking at times, it was a great experience. I loved watching him put her furniture together and then adding touches of pink throughout her room. Below you can see pictures of the room along with details of how each item came together. Enjoy ūüôā

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We bought these letters at Babies R’Us for 4.98 each. Donte’s cousin painted the letters using shimmer rose paint from Target. The added butterflies are from Amazon¬†and were super easy to apply.

 IMG_8554 Her changing table, also from Amazon is filled with booties, her baby book, an album with pictures from her gender reveal, and a photo of Donte and I. The pink cover for her mattress came from Target and is from a soft, fleece material.                                                IMG_8555Her dresser is topped with a small water fountain, where I placed small baby pacifiers from her gender reveal party next to a photoof me holding my belly from the same party. The dresser came from Amazon and was under 100 dollars.

IMG_8556¬†We also added Donte’s old bed for guests to sleep in and made it girly with a decorative pink pillow and some blankets. The picture above the bed is from Ross and features the Eiffel tower.

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Her room also features a small book basket and two picture frames with her first and middle names. We used the stick-on 3D butterflies inside and outside the frames. The names were pre-printed at Staples (our friend Corwin Fowlkes made them using the illustrator app on Apple’s Macbook).

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Her crib was bought at Walmart and it is convertible- it will eventually become a toddler and full-size bed for her. To the rocking chair, we added a small fleece from TJ Maxx.

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Now, we wait for baby. Hasta luego,

splash m

baby time…

Hello again…

In the last couple of months, there have been massive changes in my life. Back in February, my fianc√© and I found out we are expecting. It was quite a surprise, though highly welcomed. Since then, we got a new apartment, I’m going back to substitute teaching, and the wedding progressively feels closer and closer. To say that I am overwhelmed is an understatement. Planning a wedding and having a baby all within a month’s time is more than I ever expected to be doing this year, yet there is a terrifying excitement that comes with it all.

As my due date approaches (I am currently 29 weeks along), I am becoming even more obsessive than I was before, and I’m not sure I love it. Yes, there is a part of me that gets excited to clean and plan like a maniac all the time, but it can also be rather irritating to be such a control freak. While I’ve been off for the summer, it seems like all I do or want to do is clean and plan. Many call this nesting- I call it going crazy.

Although being a mother is not something I was expecting this year, it has definitely given me a new perspective on the day to day decisions my fianc√© and I make. The days of spontaneous spending and selfish choices are definitely over, and I’m totally fine with that. Going to the store now consists of getting things for the baby and sticking to our budget (which everyone knows is not always the easiest thing). Being an adult never felt so real. In addition to financial changes, there have been many physical and mental changes. Below are some of the most painful ones and how to deal:

1. Exhaustion- naps are necessary, especially towards the end of pregnancy when sleep becomes impossible- I have been sleeping on my couch for the past two weeks due to this issue.

2. Back pain- pillows are not as helpful as you would think- laying on my side is the only relief I get from this and this only works when the baby is on the opposite side of how I am laying down.

3. Feet pain- keeping them raised and constant foot rubs are all I have for this one.

4. Extreme thirst- the catch-22- you need to drink all the water in the world (or at least in your fridge), yet you’re afraid to do so because you don’t want to spend the whole night going to the bathroom.

5. Frequent bathroom stops- all day and non-stop- sadly, there is no cure for this.

6. Involuntary urination- you sneeze, you pee- you cough, you pee. I pay attention to the pressure on my bladder and try to make it to the bathroom before this uncomfortable situation takes place (let’s just say, I don’t always win).

7. Forgetfulness- I used to brag about my memory skills- this is no longer the case. I forget everything and anything. Try jotting things down as they come to you on a notepad or even the iPhone notes application.

Thankfully,¬†all of these things are forgotten when those baby kicks take place and I feel the life inside me. Nothing compares to this, at least for now. I can only imagine that meeting her for the first time will surpass every high and every low I’ve experienced thus far.

Til’ next time,

splash m

intellectual decline

It is becoming evident to me through my first year teaching that the current generation of young adults is far from interested in the art of written literature. More and more kids are choosing the fast paced method of “googling,” rather than the old school method of using resources in print form. I was in the middle of reading a chapter of¬†The Great Gatsby today with my eleventh grade class, and I came to realize that not only had they not read the prior chapters, but they also had no shame admitting this lack of interest in their education to their teacher. As a student, I cannot remember being “proud” of not caring about the work presented to me by my educators; so you can imagine my frustration and disappointment during this moment in my classroom.

Soon after my class, I began to think about who’s really at fault for the disinterested youth that continues to emerge in many classrooms across America (I’m sure I’m not the only teacher who has experienced this in recent years). Some blame the households these children are growing up in, noting that parents themselves do not seem to have an appreciation for education and thus, neither do their children. Well, let’s look beyond that and pay attention to popular culture and the immense effect that the media has on this generation of “robots,” as some would like to call it. Students walk into my class upset that they must take off their headphones, instead of being ready to learn. They assume that life will just “happen” and success will fall at their feet (never mind the hard work that it actually takes to be successful, especially nowadays when everyone has a college degree and everyone wants to be famous).

Let’s focus on the idea of fame and popular culture (social media being at the center of this) for a minute. It is rare to look through a social media feed without the constant idea of being rich and famous getting thrown in one’s face. More and more importance continues to be placed on how many Gucci bags or number of followers someone has on these sites. Instead of worrying about how to legitimately contribute to the planet, kids are worried about becoming “instafamous” and posting pictures with misspelled words (I don’t know how many pictures I’ve seen where people are still confusing “you’re” with “your”- it’s really not that difficult people). The fact of the matter is that the number of people (young or old) who seem interested in more than becoming the next Kim Kardashian of the world is progressively declining.

I’m not sure where we’ll be as a society in a couple of years, but I’m hoping at least some of us become aware of the drastic changes that our society is experiencing. Yes, gadgets are fun, cool and at times even mind-blowing, but let’s not forget that they are still gadgets, and they cannot replace good old human interaction.

Til’ next time,

splash m

searching for the one

I spent most of my afternoon looking for a new monologue to bring to class tonight, and I came across several that sparked my interest, but did not indulge my soul. Lucky for me, I found “the one” on a website I had never ventured to before. There’s not a lot of information on it, but it is about a woman who is in AA and has found that she is in fact better off being a drunk. Everything has gone wrong for her, and she decides to tell everyone at the meeting that life with alcohol is so much better than life without it. I instantly fell in love with this character; she’s full of crazy, quirky energy, and I am extremely excited to bring her to life.

It has been a while since I have been this excited to do something creative. Even starting acting classes again did not give me this much joy. I think it is because of how full of life the character is; I was reminded of why I love acting so much, yet again. It is not just because of the finished product, but because of the whole process. From the initial read/falling in love moment to the final, polished product that can then be used to get work, acting is phenomenal. It makes you feel alive, energetic, content, and it gives your soul¬†that satisfied feeling it constantly craves for. If you haven’t tried it, please do. You will find yourself immersed in an incomparable creative outlet that is also therapeutic. Who wouldn’t love that?

I leave you now as I head off to my happy place.

Adios,

splash m

saturday mornings..

I usually wake up super early on the weekends, due to my body being accustomed to waking up early everyday for my job. The rest of the morning, as is the case today, is followed by multiple attempts to wake up my snoring fianc√©. He sleeps in on the weekends like any other normal working person would, but you can imagine how frustrating this is for me to deal with since I am up even when I don’t want to be. Tired and hungry don’t make for a happy morning person. Needless to say, I am now sitting at my computer trying to get some of this frustration out instead of trying to wake up Mr. Snoozefest over on the bed.

Every Saturday, our routine consists of cleaning our bedroom and heading to breakfast with his mother, who is also an early riser like myself. Well, this morning she decided to do laundry and now I have to sit and wait some more. When my fiancé heard that his momma bear was washing clothes, he simply told me to leave him to rest and come back later. My stomach, I must tell you, is definitely not pleased. So, what do I do becomes the question? Typically, I would go upstairs and make some tea with toast to hold me off, but not today. I must hold off on all the bread because my mid-section has decided to explode in recent weeks and lord knows, bread is not going to be the answer to that problem. Aaah, such nonsense.

I’m secretly hoping the sound of my typing will finally get him out of his dream session (I’m evil, I know).

Adios,

splash m

rehearse, rehearse, rehearse

I found myself rehearsing my monologue for acting class and questioning whether it was ready or not. I must tell you, doubt is one of my biggest struggles and as an artist, it can be a killer. It can destroy creativity in an instant, leaving you empty and disappointed. I had to quickly take myself out of that state of mind and move along with my rehearsal. We present our monologues tomorrow and inside I am a hot mess. Thankfully, I have been provided with the tool of relaxation (I picture my college professor in moments like this telling me to kick, punch and yell my frustration out of my body). I must do this, trust me. Relaxation is key in acting and allowing your creative juices to flow properly.

AAAAAAHHHH!!! This is how my brain feels right now. It is filled with so many thoughts that I am convinced it is going to burst in the next couple of seconds. On that note, maybe it’s best that I come back to this. Too many thoughts. Simply, just too many thoughts. I will now lay in bed, work through my crazy brain and wait for “The Walking Dead.” Later gators.

splash m

busy bee

So my life has gone from boring straight to super hectic (in a good way). About a month ago, I took over for another sub who was doing a long term job at the high school in the Cheltenham school district. Life has been extremely busy ever since due to all the work that teaching consists of. The old saying about teachers working around the clock is more than true. I find myself grading/planning until around ten o’clock every night, including the weekends. I have very little time on my hands for the relaxing parts of life I can now barely remember enjoying. There is a sense of accomplishment that comes with all this work though because I finally feel myself closer to my goal of a full-time job. The grading and endless hours of sitting in front of a computer/notebook and pen aside, my job is pretty incredible. I get to interact with hundreds of young minds on a daily basis and not only do I get to share what I’ve learned in life, but I get to learn things from them; children really hold a lot of knowledge that they seldom get credit for.

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In other news, I also began my acting classes at The Philadelphia Acting Studio two weeks ago. On our first night together, we all got to introduce ourselves and share in our love for the craft. While some are there for fun, others like myself are trying to get back to an art they love. Our teacher has compiled a great group of people and every week my excitement grows in the class. It’s an eight week course and in the following weeks we’ll be presenting our monologues. I have not been on stage in over five years now, but today I began to memorize my lines and it felt like I never stopped. While rehearsing my lines with my fianc√©, I was reminded of the power of creativity and what creating can do for the soul. Needless to say, my passion for acting is still alive and kicking; I am rather grateful for that.

Till next time..

splash m

weekend in the city

This past weekend, I went home to New York City and spent some much needed quality time with my fiancé and two girlfriends. Our mini-vacation began with a trip to the 9/11 memorial, which was magnificent. The amount of attention that is being paid to the details of the memorial is astounding. I was highly touched by the memorial pools, where the names of all the victims are inscribed. Hundreds of people surrounded the pools on this thirteenth year anniversary since the tragic event took place. The  emotional mixture of peace and sorrow was all around the memorial this past saturday morning and I am glad to have been a part of it. Even though somber memories of that day filled my heart during this trip, it was most definitely a humbling experience. Below are some photographs of the memorial.

NYC 9.13.

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That night, we celebrated our friend Teresa’s birthday by going to a blues club called “Smalls” in downtown manhattan. Prior to the club, we decided upon a small italian restaurant in Astoria, Queens for dinner, where we enjoyed pasta and some free rice balls and cookies. The next day, we enjoyed homemade omelettes with sausage and tea (courtesy of my fianc√© Donte). Before heading off to the bus for our trip back to Philly, Teresa took us to Astoria park, where we watched a husky at the dog park and took pictures against the Triborough¬†bridge. It was a magical time in the city, filled with laughter and running around freezing in the crisp fall air. Photos below.

Queens, NY 9.13.

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 splash m

happy thoughts o_0

ideaI recently began substitute teaching again and things have been going quite great. It seems the universe is trying to send positivity my way because there are a lot of people in my corner concerning some possible new work coming up. Although it has taken a while to get to this place, I must say it feels darn good to know that all my hard work in college will pay off. It feels even better to know that the thousands I owe in student loans might actually get paid someday. In addition to my teaching dream, I have recently decided to actively pursue my acting one. Most recently, I scheduled an audit with an acting studio, which did not end so well for me or my gas tank. I drove for nearly three hours only to find that the class had been cancelled. Typically, my negative brain would panic and tell me it was a sign, but not this time. The older I get, the more I realize that everything happens as it should and there is a reason why the audit did not happen that day. However, it does not mean that this is a sign for me to quit. After all the struggles I have faced since moving to Philadelphia and leaving my acting passion behind, a little disappointing trip is not going to ruin my positive vibes. Lately, they have been everywhere so why quit now? For all you fabulous twenty-somethings chasing dreams with a depressed bank account, please stay positive and let whatever God you believe in take that wheel.

splash m

getting fit…

Fall Running

I have been trying to stay in shape for a couple of months now, but every time I am making headway, I get distracted by all the delicious food around me. The most difficult part of exercising is that at the end of it all, what matters most to the cause is what you are eating. So…I have also started eating healthier and in smaller portions. Ideally, I could afford to shop at the whole foods and eat all natural foods, but let’s be honest: 1. I do not make enough money as a substitute teacher to shop there and 2. my bank account would not approve. I know those are both the same reason, but seriously whole foods is just above my pay grade. So what do you do when you want to be healthy and stay fit but you can’t afford the good, natural food that will help you…you make a plan and research your stuff. Here is what I found:

– adding lemon to your water helps with breaking down fat

– drinking the required 64oz (8 cups) is not only good for your body overall, but it also helps to diminish your appetite (as a matter of fact, sometimes when you think you are hungry, your body is actually just thirsty) I KNOW IT SHOCKED ME TOO!!

– working out at least 4 times a week and getting a good sweat out is essential to staying in shape and losing some of that unwanted fat

– sleeping and keeping track of your stress levels also don’t hurt the process

Lately, I have become obsessed with how to eat right and stay fit. I am not sure how I thought it was okay to eat a bunch of processed, greasy food before because now the same food makes me nauseous. Just think about those “delicious” hamburgers at McDonalds that are literally taken out of a package and heated up. Not only are they disgusting, but they are not even real meat.

If you find yourself in the same predicament as me, please watch the documentary, “Food Inc.” It will change your mind about all the “yummy” food you spend hundreds of dollars on at the supermarket. Instead of giving away your hard earned cash to these money hungry companies making you fat, unhealthy and unhappy, find alternatives and farmers markets in your neighborhood to help boost that metabolism and maybe even help you live longer.

splash m