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1 In Inspiration/ life

5 Ways to Stay Genuinely Happy When Everything Feels Negative

I’m not sure what it is but I feel like everywhere you turn on social media someone is posting or sharing something that just doesn’t vibrate on a high frequency. I feel like we all have that one Facebook friend that is the constant bearer of bad news. Or the person that comments on everything trying to negate someone else’s opinion. And if thats not the case the state of the country alone is enough to make you want to sleep until everyone gets it the hell together. I have had people comment on how positive I am and even ask what I’m “so happy” about all the time and honestly it’s been a big mental shift that I committed to working on myself. Staying genuinely happy is a decision. And it’s one that I decided to make for myself. Continue Reading →

0 In Disney/ Entertainment

Disney+: Here’s Everything We Know About Disney’s New Streaming Service

Prior to yesterday, much of what was known about Disney’s new streaming service Disney + was speculation. Don’t get me wrong, Disney did confirm a few details here and there but we finally have confirmed information on KEY details. Disney dropped all the details on pricing, release date and shows/movies that it’s new streaming service would provide. Get all you Netflix binging done now, come winter you may have a new favorite streaming service!

A Complete Guide to Disney+

Launch Date for Disney+

Disney + is scheduled to go live on November 12th 2019 in the U.S. A global rollout is scheduled to follow.

How much will Disney+ cost?

The price for Disney + is set for $6.99/month or $69.99/year

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0 In Entertainment

I May Be More Excited Than The Kids About Secret Life of Pets 2

The official trailer for Secret Life of Pets 2 released early this morning and I may or may not have woke everyone up early so we could watch it together like we’ve been doing since they started. Secret Life of Pets has always been RJs favorite movie. It’s one of those movies your kids forced you to watch on replay so many times you couldn’t help but love it. So when I found out a second one was coming out this year, we have been counting down. We have filmed every reaction video together and honestly I didn’t want to wait until after school to watch this one. I have been DYING to see what Max and Katie are up to. The trailer did not disappoint! Check it out with our reaction below.

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0 In Disney/ Entertainment

Disney’s The Lion King Official Trailer Was ALMOST Everything I Wanted

This morning Disney made my day and released a new (new for real) trailer for the upcoming live action version of The Lion King. Of course I had a million and one things to do so I had to wait until this afternoon to watch the trailer but it was definitely worth the wait. The new trailer for The Lion King was ALMOST everything that I hoped it would be. Leave it up to Disney to have me all emotional in less than two minutes. Check out the trailer & my reaction below before you keep reading.

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0 In Entertainment

This Halloween Get Ready to Meet the Addams!

The Addams Family Poster

Did you guys know that a new Addams Family movie was coming out? I honestly had no idea until yesterday when I saw it shared in one of the groups that I’m in. I’m interested to learn more about this movie because 1. the Addams Family is a classic! and 2. it’s the first time the show has ever been done in an animated version! When I saw the teaser poster I immediately thought of Coraline and today when I watched the trailer it looks like its going to be a cute movie. The movie releases in October so I honestly can’t wait to learn more about it and get more sneak peeks! 2019 is shaping up to be a pretty good year for movies!

Get ready to snap your fingers! The Addams Family is back on the big screen in the first animated comedy about the kookiest family on the block. Funny, outlandish, and completely iconic, the Addams Family redefines what it means to be a good neighbor.

THE ADDAMS FAMILY –  In Theaters Everywhere October 11, 2019
| Website | Instagram | Facebook | Twitter | #MeetTheAddams

Charlize Theron as the voice of Morticia Addams (left) and Oscar Isaac as the voice of Gomez Addams (right) in THE ADDAMS FAMILY, directed by Conrad Vernon and Greg Tiernan, a Metro Goldwyn Mayer Pictures film.
Credit: Metro Goldwyn Mayer Pictures
© 2019 Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures Inc. All Rights Reserved.

0 In life

What to Do When You Suspect Abuse at School

When I picked RJ up from school a few weeks ago he was sitting at the table in his classroom pouting. This wasn’t that much of a shocker to me. He’s a moody 4 year old, he’s whiny and he’s a pouter much like most kids his age. But when I found out the reason he was pouting I was surprised. He told me he was in trouble for punching his teacher. Ummmm, what?! Of all the adjectives I just used to describe my child aggressive was not one of them. My child isn’t nor has he ever been a hitter. He’s a sweet kid, he’s a cuddler and sometimes he is just too dang friendly. So if I had to pin down one word to express my feelings in the exact moment he looked me in the face and told me he punched his teacher it would be… CONFUSED. 

In the moment all I could say was exactly what was in my head…. WHAT??? Why would you punch the teacher. I questioned him repeatedly once we got home about what exactly happened in the situation that would lead him to believe it’s OK to put his hands on anyone, much less an adult. The only thing response he gave me or his father as much as he asked was that he was afraid. This happened on a Friday and Sunday night rolled around and I mentioned the incident to his grandmother and in front of me he gave her the same response.

When I left, he had a completely different story.

RJ told his grandmother, after I had been asking him all weekend that he was afraid to go back to school because the teacher hit him. *cue another Ummmm, what?!* This time I wasn’t confused. The maternal instinctual feeling was rage. I had no idea how to even begin to process the 100% emotional reaction that I was having to my preschooler telling me that his teacher put their hands on him. Thankfully, the incident was resolved quickly and I’m comfortable with the outcome however, in the time we live in these happenings are become far to frequent. The news stories are highlighted everywhere and I’m wondering if people are listening to the cues from their children so that we can prevent these things from happening as much as possible.

What Do You Do When You Suspect Abuse at School?

Take a deep breath – I almost added this as the last tip but it needs to be said first. Breathe, assess and don’t react. Easier said than done, but reacting without assessing the situation could be detrimental in many aspects. It’s so important to collect yourself first so that you can respond to the situation as calmly as possible.

Watch your child – Children don’t always have the words to express what is happening. And even if they do, they may be nervous to share what they are experiencing. RJ repeatedly told me he was scared and refused to say anything else. Up until this particular incident he never expressed any anxiety about going to school. He loves to play with his friends and he loves the interaction he gets with both his teachers. Him expressing fear about school was definitely a behavioral shift, something that couldn’t go ignored.

Speak to the teacher privately – And when I say privately I mean without your child present. RJs situation turned out to be a misunderstanding (trust me, it was investigated fully) but I believe addressing the situation with the teacher privately is one of the most important steps. You want to be able to get a full scope of the situation without causing any more adverse negative effects. So in this instance, I didn’t want RJ to feel even more uncomfortable with being in the classroom in the event that he was to remain in that class.

Speak with school administrators – You want to have everything on record in the event that another situation happens. So even if the situation is “resolved” within the classroom it should still be brought to the attention of someone else and a formal report should be made.

Don’t feel any type of guilt. The safety of your child comes first.

Document everything – This again is merely another step in covering yourself in case you need to escalate. If you can have each meeting documented and signed by all that were in attendance so that there are no discrepancies.

Utilize the open door policy – I know in most cases we send our children to school with the expectation that they’re going to be well taken care of and you don’t have to worry, but if you worry then check in. My son’s school has an open door policy which I definitely utilize. Don’t feel bad about popping up unexpected. If you can check in unannounced, you may feel. It also gives you a chance to see the true classroom dynamic at any given time.

Change your child’s class – If it comes down to it, have your child moved to a different class. Both you and your child deserve to be in a situation you feel comfortable with. If you suspect or have a fear your child is being mistreated or treated differently after investigating the event, a change may be needed.

Stick to your guns and follow your instinct – This is a two in one tip. As a parent no one in the world knows your child better than you. Follow their cues, and your instinct if you feel something is amiss. You deserve to be comfortable with the care your child is receiving when they are away from you.

You’re doing amazing mamas! I’m so proud of you!

2 In Entertainment

Is Missing Link Appropriate for Young Children? + Fun Activity Pages

*We attended a free screening of Missing Link in NYC courtesy of United Artists Releasing. All opinions expressed are my own*

I knew from the first trailer that Missing Link was on my movies to see this year. First of all I absolutely love Hugh Jackman (hello Greatest Showman) and Zach Galifianakis is super silly so I already loved the two actors that voiced the two main characters. Then I saw the official trailer and I knew Missing Link was going to be a super cute movie that had tons of lessons in them. But did it turn out to be a good movie for my preschooler? Check out what I thought of the movie after this trailer. And if you’re just here for the activity pages, scroll all the way to the bottom ;).

How long is Missing Link?

The run time for Missing Link is slated at 1 hour and 35 minutes. It was a great length for younger kids, and for an animated movie in general. It didn’t feel like it was dragging (like The Lego Movie 2 did) and I only caught myself checking the time once, towards the end of the movie.

Are there any parts of the movie I should worry about?

So I’m just going to put it out there and say Missing Link is not a movie for younger children. I wasn’t worried about the Sasquatch/Yeti aspect because we absolutely loved Smallfoot and RJ is excited to see Abominable later this year. However, the movie is rated PG and it is definitely geared towards older children. The “bad guy” of the movie is … persistent and there are a couple fight scenes, gun scenes and even rude jokes that I wasn’t prepared for.

I caught RJ covering his eyes at least twice because a few scenes were a little dark. One of the fight scenes even took place in a bar. No one mentioned alcohol but as an adult you’d definitely pick up on it. Also for the entire day after the movie RJ was pretending everything was a gun, he’s never done this before so that just shows you how prominent the scenes were.

Mr. Link voiced by Zach Galifianakis in director Chris Butler’s MISSING LINK, a Laika Studios Production and Annapurna Pictures release.
Credit : Laika Studios / Annapurna Pictures

My opinion of the movie overall?

Despite everything I enjoyed the movie. There are definitely some lessons to be learned from this movie about family, selflessness and finding your place among those you love. There were moments were I laughed, gasped and definitely reflected. Missing Link is definitely a movie that makes you think and one that makes you feel. Just not the little ones.

Sir Lionel Frost (left) voiced by Hugh Jackman and Mr. Link (right) voiced by Zach Galifianakis in director Chris Butler’s MISSING LINK, a Laika Studios Production and Annapurna Pictures release.
Credit : Laika Studios / Annapurna Pictures

Synopsis: This April, meet Mr. Link: 8 feet tall, 630 lbs, and covered in fur, but don’t let his appearance fool you… he is funny, sweet, and adorably literal, making him the world’s most lovable legend at the heart of Missing Link, the globe-trotting family adventure from LAIKA. Tired of living a solitary life in the Pacific Northwest, Mr. Link recruits fearless explorer Sir Lionel Frost to guide him on a journey to find his long-lost relatives in the fabled valley of Shangri-La. Along with adventurer Adelina Fortnight, our fearless trio of explorers encounter more than their fair share of peril as they travel to the far reaches of the world to help their new friend. Through it all, the three learn that sometimes you can find a family in the places you least expect.

MISSING LINK – In Theaters April 12, 2019

Official Website | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | #MissingLink

MISSING LINK ACTIVITY SHEETS – DOWNLOAD

 

0 In life

10 Self Care Apps You Can Use in Case Therapy Isn’t Your “Thing”

Not everyone has the time or the means to get to therapy. You may not be able to afford it or don’t have the time between working and mommy duties. I also get that unfortunately especially within the black community there are still so many stigmas revolving around the idea of seeing a therapist. So many people will be quick to tell you to pray, give it to God or straight up dismiss your problems as a problem that black people don’t have. So you may feel embarrassed about wanting to ask for help (but you totally shouldn’t be).

Whatever your reason is for not being able to make it to lay on somebody’s couch, we thankfully live in the wonderful age of technology. There are a plethora of apps that are available to make self care easy on the go. Whether you need someone to talk to, or just need a few daily reminders to keep you energy positive there’s an app for ALL that.

For When You Need to Talk

Talkspace – Talkspace was actually the first app that I heard of that provided online therapy. I’m not saying it is the first of it’s kind but it’s definitely the first that was marketed in a way that caught my attention! Talkspace provides you with 24/7 access to a licensed therapist and costs WAY less than traditional therapy. This is great for moms on the go who can’t make it in to traditional appointments, those who may feel embarrassed or just someone that may need someone to talk to at an untraditional hour. Talkspace also offers therapy for teens and couples therapy.

7 Cups of Tea – 7 cups of Tea provides you with 24/7 access to talk to someone in case you don’t have the time to get in an office. What makes 7 cups different is for free you can talk to what they call “trained active listeners”. I don’t know about you, but sometimes I could use a good vent and 7 cups is looking to provide that service for you. They also have the option to connect with a licensed professional for $150 a month.

iPrevail – iPrevail is different in that you answer a series of mood based questions, and then you are connected anonymously to a peer counselor for free. They have a large community in which you can choose to connect with others who may be experiencing the same type of feelings/situations that you are. You also have the option of speaking to a licensed professional for $9.99 a month.

For When You Need Verbal Positive Reminders 

Happify – Happify is an app designed for stress and worry. They send daily reminders, games and other activities to get you into the habit of thinking positively. The cool thing is that the activities are designed specifically for you based on what you input. I just started using the app and I like it. It doesn’t feel like it’s too hard and it’s not too cheesy.

Gratitude Journal – Because I truly believe in starting each day with a grateful heart. This app gives you reminders to practice gratitude on a regular basis, not just once a day. You can input the things you’re grateful for daily with pictures and share them if you chose via social media.

Sprinkle of Jesus – I know some people aren’t feeling this app but honestly, sometimes these just make me giggle. The notifications are definitely marketed towards todays generation and are looking to spread the love and light of Jesus in a way that will reach a younger market. I ain’t mad at them. They more often than not do get the message across and I’m not ashamed to say most of the time they are timely.

When You’re Ready to Take Your Self Care to a Physical Level

Breathing Zone – It may sound crazy but as someone who suffers from anxiety, sometimes I need help remembering how to breathe. Voice instructions and animations guide your pace; timed sessions from five minutes to one hour are available. Breathing zone is said to defuse stress and decrease blood pressure.

Plant Nanny – I can’t keep a real plant alive for anything but I do pretty well with plant nanny! This app is the cutest reminder ever to make sure you’re hitting your water goals (and if you need water bottle inspiration I have a post on that too). I love that you set your individual goal, and thats your focus.

Flo – If you happen to be reading this post and you aren’t a woman, you can skip this. Flo is a daily cycle tracker most use for period/ovulation. As I’ve gotten older I’ve realized knowing your cycle helps predict your moods pretty well. Hormones are real y’all, don’t let anyone convince you otherwise.

Mealime – Mealime takes the stress out of meal planning. You input your food preferences and mealtime gives you a grocery list AND recipes. Food affects your mood. The better you eat the better you will feel and if you struggle with low moods, you may want to take a look at your diet. I’m the first to admit that I don’t always eat the best. But when I do eat better, I do notice a shift in how I feel.

Are you using your phone to help boost your mood ? What is your favorite self care app?

0 In explore - nyc/ Travel

EVERYTHING You Need to Know About LEGOLAND New York Resort

My kids absolutely love LEGOLAND. We visited LEGOLAND Florida last year for the first time as part of Zayn’s birthday trip. Initially when we got home, that was all RJ talked about. Everyone was all “RJ YOU WENT TO DISNEY WORLD?” and he was completely “YEA BUT I WENT TO LEGOLAND!!!!!”. So imagine how completely excited I was when I saw that New York is getting their very own LEGOLAND New York Resort. I haven’t told RJ yet because I don’t want him to KEEP ASKING me when it’s going to open but I already know what we’re doing for spring break 2020 (hopefully).

In case you’re like me and you need to know ALL THE THINGS, I took the time to gather all the information available so that you can plan your trip to the park ASAP. I’m about to tell you EVERYTHING you need to know about LEGOLAND New York Resort before it opens in spring 2020. Continue Reading →

0 In Disney

Alien Popcorn Balls – #ToyStory4

My kids LOVE popcorn. The first time I realized RJ really loved popcorn was when we took him to Universoul Circus last year. He nearly ate an entire tub of popcorn on his own, and the love for popcorn hasn’t stopped since then. Now, even Zayn loves popcorn. And trust I know that kids his age are usually cautioned from eating popcorn because of the choking hazard, but they love it. We’re big on movies and so the amount of popcorn we eat up in here is CRAZY.

With the release of so many Disney movies this year, we’re planning to spend ALOT of time at the movies. We’re gearing up for some of our favorite animated movies to return to the big screen and snacks are always high on our list. I fell in love with the aliens in the original Toy Story and so it was easy for them to inspire this recipe. Plus, #Boymom. Any time the boys get a chance to eat green food (that isn’t a vegetable) they’re all for it! Continue Reading →

0 In explore - nyc

Totally Tots at the Brooklyn Children’s Museum

Children’s museums are one of our favorite indoor places to go. My kids, like all children are curious but I don’t think they’re ready for bigger museums just yet. We go to smaller, more interactive museums because they get a chance to see, touch and explore things more rather than a traditional museum where most exhibits are hands off. Living in Brooklyn, or favorite museum is close by. I took Zayn to the Brooklyn’s Children Museum a few weeks ago for the first time. We haven’t been able to go as frequently as I’d like to because of work and other scheduling so this was his first time at the museum and we only went to the toddler section. However he had a BLAST. I’m not sure if he even noticed that there was WAY MORE museum that he missed. Continue Reading →