Mary- Ann #momsonthemove

A mother that is inspired by her own mother is a success- that’s what I think. Mary-Ann’s mother inspired her to speak from within. “…character speaks volumes, work ethics, and balancing a family.” These are words for Mary-Ann and others to live by. It’s not what you do, but how you do it.

Mary-Ann is a mother of two children, a healthcare professional, and spends her time making a difference in other’s lives. As a graduate of John Bartram Motivational High School, she plans on pushing herself even further. Mary-Ann hopes to become a hospital administrator, get married and explore entrepreneurship in the next five years and then move onto operations management in 10 years. With so many goals on her list, Mary-Ann lives by the quote: “Don’t Quit” by Edgar A. Guest.

Outside of work, Mary-Ann spends free time with family, shops, eats, attends church and makes sure to get in some “mommy time”.

“My children are my priority- a job can come and go, family is always there. I set aside time to do things with them…”

Well said because the time that we get to spend with our children is precious, we can’t get it back. It can be difficult to find balance, but there’s always a silver lining. If a job is forcing you to choose it over your children and/or family it may not be a good fit.

 

Thank you for sharing your story, Mary-Ann.

Instagram: @glamourgirlma

 

Hot wangz

It feels so good to say that we have been cutting down on our fast food intake! Let me tell you, with life, jobs, kids, etc. it’s so easy to get defeated and pick-up/order something to eat. Some days after work I literally just want to crawl into bed (oh, and I have actually done that a few days last year, but thank God for summer vacation). When we do get take out I try not to go to chain restaurants because I know they are focused more on quantity than quality. So to fill this void, we’ve been trying to make our own versions of our favorite fast food dishes at home! It’s ironic because these dishes aren’t the fastest meals to make, but they are delicious and by making them at home I know that we are cutting soooo many calories. 

Below I am going to share one recipe we have been tweaking at, hot wangz aka wing dings with hot sauce. It’s such a favorite all around for us because I FINALLY realized that I live in a house full of car-ni-vores: bacon, chicken, even turkey does not stand a chance! I can eat my own small share of meat, but honestly I can also be okay without it.

Here’s what you’ll need to make the most delicious hot wangz: 

  • Bag of wing dings
  • Vegetable oil (or the variety you prefer)
  • Hot sauce (Frank’s)
  • One stick of butter 
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Paprika
  • Cayenne Pepper
  • Hot pepper flakes
  • Onion powder 

Once you gather all your ingredients, you’ll just need to grab your oven…oh, wait that’s there already. Well get a frying pan, baking pan, mixing bowl, tongs, and paper towels (an essential). 

                             Directions: 

  1. Make sure your wing dings are already thawed out. If not, soak them in cold water or defrost them in the microwave. 
  2. Season your wings with spices: salt, pepper, and onion powder. Completely cover chicken with paprika so that it gets a nice brown color once you fry it. Depending on the level of heat you want, add 1-2 teaspoons of hot pepper seeds and 1/2- 1 teaspoon of cayenne pepper. (If you desire, marinate the chicken in the seasoning for 30 minutes in refrigerator or until ready to cook.)
  3. Once you have seasoned the chicken to your liking, get your frying pan and turn the heat to medium high heat. It is crucial that you allow the pan to warm evenly before adding the oil or your chicken will cook unevenly (nobody go time for that!). Once the pan has warmed for a minute or two, add your oil to the pan. There should be about 1/2 inch of oil in the pan (a little more than enough to cover the bottom of the pan). 
  4. Allow the oil to heat for a few minutes. Test to see if it is warm enough by flicking a tiny amount of water onto the oil. If it bubbles you’re good to go! If not, wait another minute and then test again. 
  5. Carefully add your chicken to the pan, being sure to give piece enough room to “breathe“. (You may have to cook them in batches depending on how filled your pan gets). The chicken should cook on each side about 7-10 minutes/until it’s nice and crispy (the crispier the better for us). While your chicken is cooking, preheat your oven to 350 degrees. 
  6. Layer and lay your paper towel on your baking sheet and place cooked chicken on top to drain some of the oil off. While the chicken is draining you can make your sauce. In your mixing bowl combine the stick of butter with 2 cups of the hot sauce and put in the microwave for 1-2 minutes, until the butter is completely melted into the sauce. Be sure to mix tother the butter and hot sauce for a even coating for your chicken. 
  7. Place your chicken wings into your mixing bowl and toss them around in the sauce. When the chicken is evenly coated with the sauce it’s time to bake in the goodness! Lay the wings evenly on your baking pan and bake them for 5-7 minutes. 
  8. At last, eat and enjoy your “homemade fast food”!!

Variations:

  • I make some barbecue hot wings for the kids and myself if I’m not feeling like all the spociness of the wings. Just use little to none of you hot sauce mixture and/or smother with Sweet Baby’s sauce instead. 
  • You could also bread your chicken by coating it with egg and then flour after seasoning. 
  • Use a different parts of the chicken, such as breasts or thighs if you don’t feel like dealing with bones. It will be much easier to quickly eat them this way (warning)!
  • Instead of baking in the flavor from the sauce, you could take those wonderful pieces straight to your plate or belly. I’ve done this plentttyy of times. 

Consistency

I’ve learned that my job as a mother is to be the glue that holds this little crazy family together. On the days when I “sleep in” or have errands to “run”, I can understand how vital my role is to my family’s survivial. My husband is a great father and enjoys devoting his time to both of our children (fur babies too). He is so wonderful that he often has to encourage me to go out and do those things that normal adults do like buying something for themselves or engaging socially with each other. 

However, that moment when I stop pretending to be sleep (by covering my face with a pillow), I see my phone ringing before I’ve even started the car, or tiptoeing back through the front door during nap time, I’m bombarded with conversations, questions, hugs, shouts, etc.- I know they can’t survive without me. 

I do my best to make their lives easier by staying one step ahead of them (mostly). 

Daughter: “Mom, have you seen my…” 

Me: *Gives her what she’s looking for before she finishes her sentence.*

Son: *Walks into room behind husband. * “Morning, Mommy. Morning!”

Me: “Hey son, let’s go get you a snack.”

Husband: “Hey, you remember when we were talking last night…”

Me: “Your pants are in the dryer, here’s your water, lunch is in the fridge.”  

I would rather stay ahead of their needs than trying to catch up, which means more planning and preparation for me (yayyy). This reminds me of when the kids were younger, I would try to prep bottles and boobs before they even realized they were hungry (they both were SUPER greedy, but I  really tried). I can’t take all the credit for having a relatively peaceful and well run home (thanx honey 💜), but I must give some credit to planning, preparation, and a consistent routine

We have (had) a great morning routine until we welcomed our puppy to our home a few weeks ago. We’re still working to get back on track! Anyway, let’s start with our morning. I usually get up with the puppy at 5:30am to cuddle, walk, and feed. By the time I get back, my son is usually in my bed with my husband or calling out for me from his crib. Depending on his mood, we get back in bed or go downstairs for a snack because I need to take a few deep breaths and wake myself up before indulging in such whole body moving. 

If the kids are home during the midday (eek), I keep a few fruits, crackers, and chips available for them to nibble on. I’ve noticed that they are more snackers than full meal eaters. Most kids right? Once they filled most of their nutritional needs on snacks they have a little room for lunch. Chicken fingers, hotdogs, sandwiches, etc. 

Once late afternoon arrives I am usually all tuckered out from house training the puppy, changing/potty training my son, and all the other things in between. Making sure we get in some time outside is important or we atleast do some type of physical activity. (My son might be the next Usher or Bruno Mars because he requests and watches their movies daily, lookout!) Luckily, my dinners are usually quick and simple! I’ve mastered the art of 30 minute or less meals. A few of my favorites are fajitas, turkey burgers, or spaghetti. 

After dinner is mandatory digestion! We usually sit and read or watch television for a few minutes before heading up for bath time. Some days are long baths where we sing songs and play, but most days we are in and out to ensure we don’t exhaust ourselves! Believe me, exhaustion is the devil (seriously). When my son gets exhausted he gets super whiney and cranky, my daughter gets sluggish and delirious. Either way, I don’t want any parts of either- so bed time it is. 

The key here is sticking to a schedule that works for you. Some days will definitely be easier than others, but the more you consciously think about how you want your day to go, the more likely you are to stay on the schedule. This is especially true when you have children because deviating from your schedule can cause major melt downs for you and your child(ren)

May the force be with you! 

-Jay

🔥 Fire 🔥 

The thought of missing something.

Now it’s all clear. 

The time we spent wasn’t real. 

Figments. 

Apparitions. 

Hallucinations. 

You must be lost, guided by Osiris.  

Maybe your heart is made of fire: 

White as falling snowflakes on that neglected mustang. 

Yellow as an egg yolk split and fried.  

Orange as used and abused construction cones. 

Red as an unwanted apple, macintosh. 

That’s some fire.  

Let me avoid you. 

That flame is insane. 

Dim down, slow up

Nobody else needs to get hurt. 

I say this is a form of forgiveness.

Especially since you came from dirt.  

Twigs, moss, lint- God only knows

Go ahead and repent. 

Time is of the essence. 

We’ll never more forward. 

You can be you. 

I’ll be me. 

The day I’m dead is when you’ll see. 

I choose to play the game. 

You chose to walk away. 

But they were your rules. 

So how, exactly, did you lose?

You weren’t invested. 

Just like anyone else, your life was tested. 

You flunked. 

Now it’s time to repeat this course. 

The material is the same. 

Which professor did you choose? 

Footsteps

Knock, knock. 

It’s someone at the door. 

Who could it be? 

Is it that Amazon package you’ve been hoping for?

Open up. 

Nothing’s there.

“What’s going on?”

You whisper to no one there. 

Slam that door. 

“Man…I’m hungry.”

Walking to the kitchen, looking for some grub. 

A tap on the shoulder. 

“Turn around.”

“What the hell is going on?” 

No time for games. 

Footsteps tapping on the ground. 

Turn left, turn right.

Still no one around. 

“I’m here for you.

When you least expect it that’s when I appear.”

It’s a zoo!

Last Sunday we got a puppy! After many long conversations with my husband, we decided to make that jump! Well what did we get….

Benjamin

A black Labrador Retriever that I named Benjamin (Benji for short). He was about 8 weeks when we got him and there have been many long nights and early mornings since then, but it’s all so worth it.

I don’t have much experience with pets. In fact I never had a pet, so this is all new to me. When we first moved in we got our kitten, Biscuit. That was my first introduction to the life of pets that went relatively smooth, so I was ready to take on the world! Or so I thought.

Day 1- Quiet and observant.

Day 2- Slightly active, lethargic.

Day 3- Walking and exploring.

Day 4- Active, exploring, happy.

Day 5- Beast mode.

Day 6- All of the above!

Yup. That pretty much sums up Benji’s welcoming. So far all the kids have been getting along well, with a few pounces and nips between the furry ones. Trying to house train the puppy is hard work, but it reminds me of when I would work on potty training with my toddlers.

It’s really about the knowledge and timing. When they keep hearing the words, “go to the bathroom or go potty”, it will start to sink in and connect for them in their brain. They also need to get used to the sensation of having to go, but not releasing themselves immediately (self awareness). Taking them out every hour, after long drinks, when you think they have to go-just like a child! I pray in a few months we’ll have a minimal number of accidents (stay tuned).

For now we’ll enjoy this moments where he’s still small and can do this:

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Falling asleep with Mommy.

 

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Happiness.

 

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Riding in  the stroller.

 

-Jay

Mommy

I loved you from the start. 

With my heart I found it, easy

I like the way you made me feel. 

I looked at you,

my heart melted. 

You call my name and time stops. 

Each day with you is a blessing. 

You’re mine. 

All of me.

You started in my womb and now you’re free. 

Such a person. 

There’s not enough time. 

Each moment I spend with you will last me a lifetime. 

#mood

I’ve been moving.

So silent. 

I dream. 

All color. 

Voices I hear. 

No others. 

Come here friend. 

My brother. 

I’m walking. 

Strutting. 

Let’s do this. 

For sure. 

Don’t be scared. 

It’s yours. 

The time. 

Who cares. 

Further. 

Longer

More. 

Never done. 

Mmm…burger!

Hello world! As I’m typing this I realize that I haven’t taken the time to thank everyone for supporting my blog. Over the past few months, the likes, comments, and follows I have received has been more than I ever expected. If you’re not following, hit that button so you can stay up to date with all my posts. You never know when you’ll get some goodies. Thank you everyone! 

In this post I would like to share my favorite combination for turkey burgers. I like to call them “turkey burgers elevated”. With a few ingredients that you probably have in your house already, you can have a mouth watering burger that will have you craving them all the time. (These things are a staple in our house!)

Ingredients: 

Directions 

  1. Cook burgers using directions on package. I prefer to throw mine on my George Foreman Grill because it’s easy, I’m lazy, and it’s more healthy. 
  2. While the burgers are cooking, chop the onion and jalapeño into strips. I like mine thick, but you can chop yours smaller if you want, think bite/chew size. Remember, the amount of heat you get from the jalapeño depends on how much of the seeds and inner flesh you use. 
  3. Once you cook the desired amount of burgers, throw your veggies onto the grill. They cook really quickly so don’t walk away for too long!
  4. Serve your burger on a nice toasted potato bun or loaf that you have sitting around. Put a light layer of mayonnaise on both sides of the bread once it is lightly toasted. Add the barbecue sauce to one side of the bun, then add the desired amount of onions and jalapeños. Finally add your burger(s)!

I love this recipe because it tastes sooo good. It’s sweet, spicy, and has a slight tang. The mayonnaise also helps me forget that I don’t have cheese on my burger. Of course you could add cheese to your burger in addition to bacon, lettuce, or bell peppers. Yes, burgers can be healthy too with the right ingridents! 

    Happy eating, 

    Jay 🖖🏾

    Toddler negotiations 

    My son is is a year and a half….My son is 18 months….My son will be two this year! Where did the time go?? He was just this tiny thing, couldn’t hold his head up or sleep through the night. Now….

    My son wakes up around the same time each day, 6am. As soon as he wakes up he yells out, “Mommmmmm!!!” He keeps going until he hears my footsteps across the floor. I guess you could call him my personal alarm clock, but what about those days when I want a few extra minutes to lie in bed? Well, I don’t have a choice, I have to do something! I get him out the crib, change him, and then he gets right in the bed with us. Thanks to his new found sense of independence, he will lie there relatively quiet while profusely sucking his thumb or bothering his dad (oops). Once we finally get out of the bed (okay, it’s like 10-15mins tops) our day will be quiet no more (maybe a short time during his so called “nap”). 

    We get downstairs and he asks me, “(s)nack,  (s)nack” while he points to the cabinet where the snacks are. It’s so funny to see how I pull out and show him each snack and he will shake his head yes or no until we reach thee snack of the day. Thank God I try to make healthy choices for our snacks or I’d be screwed. But yes, you heard that right- I negotiate with my toddler. 

    Trust me there’s a constant raging war on the inside when we go through these complex situations. The teacher in me says: “You get what you get and you don’t get upset”. However, the mother in me says, “Give him a choice so can enjoy himself”. Which is right? BOTH

    You don’t have to be perfect with your kids. Always agreeing or disagreeing with them will teach them nothing, but teaching them to problem solve and regulate their emotions will last them a lifetime. How do you know when your toddler is ready to begin negotiations? Well, if they’re saying “snack” and ready to tell you what they like or don’t like, yes, they’re ready. So what’s the next step? 

    1. Provide them with the vocabulary to do so. My day care parents used to get so worried and upset when I would give them a report that their child bit another child or they were bit by a child. I would always assure them that this behavior is developmentally appropriate because children at this age lack the language to effiectively communicate. Therefore, to combat this challenging behavior, we must teach them relevant vocabulary that will reduce these less positive emotions and actions. Grow their vocabulary from: “mine (age 1) to I’m using that (age 2) to let’s take turns (age 3)

    2. Reinforce good behavior by providing them with compliments for positive actions.  Tell them you like the way they cleaned up when you asked or how they were so quiet while you were on the phone. Please note, the best reinforcements come from the heart. Your words and actions are the best tools to use because this gives them intrinsic motivation which builds them up on the inside and helps them grow. Relying solely on toys, treats, or food will actually hurt your child. 

    3. Give them choice(s) when appropriate so that they understand they have a voice. If you’re painting, let them choose the paint color or surface to paint on. Allow them to tell you when they are finished an activity or task and move on from there. Will there always be choices available? No. But if there is, let them on own it. 
    There’s a time and place for everything”. 
    Happy parenting, 

    Jay 🖖🏾