Sunday, May 24, 2015

A New York Minute

My city can be crazy but the energy is so contagious. There are many days I think about moving away, getting as far as possible from all the pollution and noise and fast pace living. Getting away from these darn body beating winters.
But then I take a walk or a drive or a rare ride on the train and the spark is once again ignited.

Where else can I get serenaded by a homeless gentleman one moment and sit on the train next to a celebrity the next? Where else can what you see, smell, taste, and touch change so quickly? I love my NYC.

Saturday I decided to take my camera for a stroll in the Financial District/World Trade Center, by all the hustle and bustle of money, politics and power. I haven't really been in that area since 911. I had no real idea what to expect, only what I've seen on television or heard.

As my train entered the station, the last stop, World Trade Center, Chambers Street, I got a lump in my throat, a queasiness in my stomach and my eyes began to water. People had died here. In this station, on a regular working day, sunny and ordinary...lives were lost. I took a deep breath, walked out the train onto the platform and looked around. You would have never known the station looks wonderful. I walked down a path that signaled I would exit by "the site" and as I claimed the stairs my heart pounded faster. I reach the top see all the people, turn the corner and there it of the Towers. Beautiful, shiny and new. Tall ever present shouting look at me. I took another breath, blink a few tears away and take my first picture.

tower view from sitting on the ground looking up

So many people, so many different reasons for being there, some from far away, and for some this was/ is home. So many stories, so many things to take in. I continued to soak in as much as I could. I at that moment was a tourist as well. I read the signs, grabbed the pamphlets being handed out I walked in awe with my camera out. I took another picture. I closed my eyes, I said a few words and walked away.

When I decided to go on a camera date I hadn't imagined those moments but they happened. I also didn't want to invest my energy in sadness. I wanted to enjoy the day and not waste the Sunshine. I decided to walk the rest of my day in gratitude and in building a beautiful memory just like I am sure all those who were no longer here had done so often in their lifetimes.

Battery Park

I walked through Battery Park, Battery Gardens, saw the Statue of Liberty from a distance ( I must visit her up close someday), saw the Ferries leaving the piers click, click, edit, refocus, click. I watched a wedding party taking pictures, I walked over to the Stock Exchange stopped to admire the Bull, City Hall, Hemsley building, South Street Seaport head up, neck twisted, click, click on my knees, at an angle, in the shade, click, click.
Stopped by CVS grabbed a bag of Sun Chips and a Sparkling Ice drink, walked back to the train. Wow I've walked a lot today, look at the time.

I happen to like this view much better

My train was so eagerly awaiting me and with a song. Remember how I started my share? The homeless gentleman was singing a catchy tune, he got off on the following stop. On the stop after that a beautiful lady with a great coral color pantsuit walked in. Her hair had gray tones and was flowing. She looked so perky and happy. It wasn't who she was that caught my eye first it totally was her whole outfit but I knew who it was none the less and looked around to see if anyone else did too.

She sat right next to me! I was eating my chips, sipping my drink but I knew I wanted to acknowledge her so I cleaned up leaned in and said " excuse me I don't want to bring attention to you but I wanted to say I love your outfit and confirm that you are Blythe Danner." She said, "oh thank you and yes I am". Now if for some reason someone who is reading this doesn't know who she is, I will say this which will then make you say "OH". She is Gwyneth Paltrow's mother. But I made sure I addressed her as the person and actress she is first and foremost. Though I am Erica's mother, I was Mari first and as a mom it is always great when you are recognized as you first.

We had an awesome chat, she complimented my leopard print sweater and matching sunglasses. We talked about NYC weather and climate change (by this time it had gotten cold compared to start of the day), we talked about her commuting from California to NYC and which did she prefer, where I lived, we chatted about nutty politics lol. When her stop was coming up we said our goodbyes, smiled and waved and she was gone. Just like that and as they a New York minute.

The rest of my ride home I smiled, listened to Maxwell's Blacksummers' night album and closed my eyes. What a day, what an adventure, what a blessing, what a Gift all in a New York Minute.

Always stress free xo.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Roasted Shrimp w/ Tomatoe and Spinach Penne

Good Morning lovelies have crazy busy day today but love it. I didn't want to miss sharing this with you so I wrote it last night, enjoy.

Hey guys hope your week is going well thus far, I just came in from a great walk in the park by my house, missed my walks for sure.  I took some wonderful pictures of the new flowers they planted this year. Such vibrant colors and different types I will share them shortly once I edit and watermark.

You can imagine I don't want to invest to much time in the kitchen after that so I am whipping something up that will only take me around thirty minutes.

Thursday's Treat!
Roasted Shrimp w/ Tomatoes and Spinach Penne pasta

-olive oil
-black pepper
-crushed pepper
-lemon juice

Before I left for my walk I left 2 handfuls of medium shrimps already cooked and cleaned in a bowl with cold water to defrost/thaw out. When I came back they were ready to go.
In a bowl I mixed 1/4 black pepper, 1/4 crushed pepper, 1/4 salt, 2 tbsp of olive oil and 1 tbsp of lemon juice. I added the shrimps tossed together a few times and set aside.

I took medium pot added water, some salt and a little olive oil and set on medium heat. I added half a bag of my pasta mixed it all up and began to cook that for about 10 minutes. I set my toaster oven to bake at 425 for 10 minutes as well and placed my shrimps in a cooking pan already sprayed ready to go. I saved a little of the mixture to drizzle on my pasta after if I choose to.
Remember my pasta is already Tomatoes and Spinach so it doesn't need to much extras.

Once my shrimps were nice and pink and my pasta al dente, I drained the pasta served in a plate topped with my shrimps. I tossed the pasta with remaining mixture before I served. I added a few slices of Gouda cheese I had from my last deli visit just for fun.

Done easy quick and fun.

Always stress free xo.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Did you hear? Big Pouty Lips are In!

My loves hope you are having a wonderful day today. I see so many getting ready for Memorial Day weekend, I know I am looking forward to my week off after yippy!
I promise not to drag on this subject I know its practically old news being we live in such a fast paced society and she finally confessed. I just really want to share my thoughts and perspective.

illustration by

From my window, my view, my life I have always been around women with fantastic lips. Again, it isn't until someone else finds what is normal to you so revolutionary that you stop and pay it some attention. I realize now that to be fare I have to be open to keeping focus on years and years of being taught through magazines, bill boards, television etc...what is Beautiful.

Here I am again addressing another body part Lips. Both genders have them but the sexualization attached when it comes to women has reached a new peak. By now many of us have seen, read, heard about this Kylie Jenner Lip challenge, , The use of shot glasses and other tools to plump up our lips in hopes to make them fuller and more sexy.

illustration by

This is how far back I recall coming across anything related to this, when I first laid eyes on Mick Jagger. This was a man with huge lips but did it really phase me? no. It only opened my eyes because he was a man. I wasn't something I deemed news worth. Then came Angelina Jolie and seems the world went crazy and here today we have Kylie Jenner.

First of all she is still a developing young lady, why so much emphasis on her looks, style etc...With that being said ok let's get back to the lips. Why the big deal really? Why months and months on this same topic when there are far more news worth items? Well I think but could be wrong it has to do with people's obsession with celebrities and appearance. Now I even read its totally ok to be curvy or to have no Thigh gaps, to go without makeup and the wake up and be comfortable in your own skin. Wow! really? I have woken up many many days thinking this. I have looked in the mirror and seen big lips all my life. I never knew they weren't in.

illustration by

But I get it, society has done its job. It's made many of us hate ourselves and value others. It's made women always think we can look better, do better, be better. That if we just make that small adjustment then you will beautiful.

Ladies please! Stop falling for that BS!!! Own your individuality, welcome it, Praise it. Once you see the beauty in yourself others will follow. You are beautiful to me.

Share your thoughts, tell me your story.

Always stress free xo.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Turn it Up Tuesday

Hello everyone, hope we all had a wonderful weekend now we are back at work looking forward to Friday again. Last week we had a whopping 404 links, you guys are making it so hard for me to just pick 2 favorites. I love it though, please continue to share and make new friends we love you all for showing up. Let's party!


Turn It Up Tuesdays is all about being happy, excited, energetic...and having fun! Link up your favorite posts (old or new) and meet some awesome bloggers in return! Link up your funny stories, DIY posts, recipes, mommy moments -- anything at all. We want to laugh, be entertained, be inspired, and have a good time!
Thanks so much to everyone that joins us each week and makes this blog hop the best that it could be!


Our sponsor for May is Dolled Up Spa Boutique.


We are 2 sisters who wanted to inspire and encourage all the beautiful young girls in our lives. We wanted to pamper them and give them confidence all while having fun. So we started doing Spa parties and events, everything from manicures, pedicures, facials, hair and make up. Then we started making accessories, spa products, tutus and now clothing.We started off by doing it for the girls we know, then we started going to our local street fair and then we decided to open up our very own boutique. We love what we do and we love to create unique one of a kind items, just like these precious little girls. After all playing dress up, putting on jewelry, doing your hair and make up never goes out of style. We say the fluffier the better, there is never too much sparkle and glitter you say....Yes please!! We hope that you like what we have created.
Are you looking to get your blog or website in front of numerous people per week? Do you enjoy Turn It Up Tuesdays? Interested in having your blog or website featured for an entire month?
Then, sponsor Turn It Up Tuesday for a month by clicking here!

Welcome the lovely ladies of Turn It Up Tuesday!

(from the top - left to right)
Natasha from Epic Mommy Adventures | Stacey from This Momma's Ramblings | Cathy from A Peek Into My Paradise | Rhonda from Mother 2 Mother | Jillian from Baby Doodah | April from April Noelle | Tina from The Happy Creations | Melissa from The Coupon Chronicles | Cindy from Mom Maven | Tiffany from MrsTeeLoveLifeLaughter | Kelly from Making-More | Yolanda from That's Mashed Up | Tenns from Bliss & Faith | Silvie from My Silly Little Gang | Mari from Living in Mommywood | Rose from What Rose Knows | Kimberly from Keystrokes by Kimberly | Kimberly from Being a Wordsmith | Nancy from Afro-Chic Mompreneur | Kelly from Mum-bo-Jumbo | Zografia from Bisozozo | Elaine from Ramblings of a Bad Domestic Goddess | Latisha from Ask Latisha | Ginger from Does Your Sister Have Normal Hair

And welcome our awesome guest hosts for May!

TUT May 2015 (1)
(from the top - left to right)
Giselle from Red Lipstick & Champagne Dreams | Kori from Just Another Mom | Amy from Confessions of a Ninja Mom | Marina from Parental Journey | Rachel from Rae Loves | Free from Couponin Diva | Jody from Mom 'N Daughter Savings

Interested in being a guest host for the month or becoming a permanent co-host?

Complete the form here! Monthly guest hosts will be chosen on a first come first-serve basis.

Here are the Featured posts from last week!


Jody chose Angel Food French Toast with Fresh Strawberries from our very Cathy from A Peek Into My Paradise. "I love french toast and strawberries! So does my whole family. I can't wait to make these!"
Elaine also chose this post. "First time I have seen French toast made with angel food cake. Looks YUMMY!"


Jody chose Top Fitness Apps To Motivate You from The Organized Dream. "I'm on my own weight loss journey. These are really going to help. Which is something I really need!"
Marina also chose this post. "I chose this post because I needed something to motivate me to exercise and keep balance diet. It seems like it's easier for me to do that with some apps, and here I found few really interesting ones."


Marina chose 40+ DIY Car Games for Kids from One Little Project At a Time. "Some great ideas here that I didn't even think about. I am sure our next road trip will be much easier now when I have this car games cheat sheet!"


Kori chose Twix Cookies from Lou Lou Girls. "I absolutely love Twix cookies but I gave them up earlier this year as I'm trying to cut down on processed sugar. So, to see them in a cookie form? Love it!"
Giselle also chose this post. "Anything involving chocolate takes top of the line! These look absolutely amazing and easy enough to make!"


Kori chose What Does Your About Page Say About You? from our very own Tenns from Bliss and Faith. "I love this post because my About page is something that I still need to work on. I've been trying to refine it for a few months and this post offers some great advice."
Free also chose this post. "I’m redoing my site and my about me page is something I’m struggling with. These tips will help me create a great about me page."
This post also received the most clicks.


Amy chose Instagram Tips for Blogging - A Guest Post from Dreaming of Leaving. "I just signed up for Instagram and have no idea what I’m doing. I didn’t realize how powerful a tool Instagram could be. This post has some great tips on how to use Instagram to promote my blog and it doesn’t seem to be as scary as I thought it was!"


Amy chose Be Allergy Aware: What Moms Want You to Know from Mom on a Plan. "Being a person with dietary restrictions I could relate to this article. Some people really have a hard time understanding allergies and don’t know how to handle it when dealing with someone who struggles with it. This post will provide greater insight in to what parents with kids with allergies have to deal with and what you can do to help."


Stacey chose 5 Tips for Homeschooling Multiple Ages from Learning 2 Walk. "I sometimes struggle with homeschooling a high schooler and a grade schooler, getting somewhat overwhelmed at times. Thank you so much for sharing these tips!"


Stacey chose An Open Heart And An Open Mind from All My Kids in a Row. "Such a beautiful post! Being the proud parent of a homosexual child, I have grown in my own open mindedness and tolerance of all people, and have taken great care in trying to guide my two younger children in their growth as well. Thank you so much for sharing!"

Lemon Sour Cream Bundt Cakes Poster

Rachel chose Lemon Sour Cream Bundt Cakes from A Sprinkle of This and That. "These bundt cakes looks so yummy. My lemons are starting to grow so this would be a perfect recipe!"


Rachel chose The Power of Writing It Down from our very own Kori from Just Another Mom. "Kori suggests creating a contract with yourself. I think that's great advice to really narrow down the priorities and promise to get those done. I also like to write things down so that I can see and not forget everything that needs to be done."

How to get bacon out of the package perfectly

Elaine chose Bacon - Getting It Out Of The Package from Ducks 'n a Row. "Always looking for new tips. I did not know this one and am looking forward to trying it out."


Free chose How To Be Sure Your Business Cards Work For You Not Against You from our very own Tiffany from MrsTeeLoveLifeLaughter. "I’m going to be attending my first blog conference and I want to leave a lasting impression on everyone I meet."


Zografia chose How to Edit Your Own Photos for Free Using PicMonkey from The Princess & Her Cowboys. "I use PicMonkey for my photos too. That's a great tutorial. The colorful pillow is ideal for showing us the differences during the editing."


Zografia chose Blogging Tips From Pro Bloggers - On The Scene With Mrs. Kathy King #BloggerInterviews from our very own Rhonda from Mother 2 Mother. "I am keeping this post in my bookmarks! Advice from pro bloggers is valuable! I am looking forward to the next post in the interview series!"


Tina chose Chocolate Dipped Rice Crispy Treat Pops from Simply Designing. "What a cute and super easy treat!Great for parties! I love the bakers twine and the decoration!Thanks for sharing."


Tina chose To All Mother's With Love from Chic by Tab. "I love this vintage style soda crate!Great DIY and it's cheaper than buying the original !!A beautiful and creative idea!Thanks for sharing."


Ginger chose When Is a Gift Not a Gift? from Chronicles from a Lumpy Person. "It's great to read this perspective on chronic illness/disease/disorders and cancer. As someone with a chronic disease this post really put into words some of what I feel."


Ginger chose Don’ts of Blog Photography from Busy Being Jennifer. "I'm trying to up my photog skills and this post gave me some actual tips to do this. It also links to a few other posts with things I can do to make my photos look good."
Tiffany also chose this post. "This post is a great reminder of how important imagery is within your Blog Posts. I have looked back at older posts and been appalled by the photos I used. Thank goodness for editing!"

Princess Peach

Tiffany chose #ThurstyThursday Throwback: Princess Peach from Hopelessly Ever After. "This drink is just calling my name right off the page. I love refreshing and fruity drinks and this is just that!"


Mari chose Finding New Roads To The New Me from our very own Tiffany from MrsTeeLoveLifeLaughter. "Tiffany's share touched me because I always feel that a lot of women due to circumstances in their lives lose who they are and sometimes don't even know it so for her to share her journey it was inspiring."
Natasha also chose this post. "Being a former military spouse, I can completely relate to Tiffany's touching story. It is so easy to lose yourself but so much harder to finding yourself again."


Mari chose 20 Strawberry Recipes from Summer Scraps. "Summer's share just made me happy all around. Strawberries! All those options, omg..."


Rebekah chose Paleo Chocolate Cake in a Mug Recipe from Blogging Mom of 4. "I love this post since she uses the exact ingredients our daughters have to eat. Our daughters have been craving Chocolate Cake but I haven't been able to find a recipe that doesn't use flour or sugar. I am so excited this recipe was posted!"


Rebekah chose Super Tough Disposable Disinfecting DIY Wipes from Gym. Craft. Laundry. "I am so glad I saw this post. It looks like she uses both hydrogen peroxide as well as essential oils. I like it because she uses pictures to explain each step as she is making the wipes."


Giselle chose Pink Prom Makeup! from Zoe Mountford. "I absolutely love this look! The lip color and eye liner are great."


Natasha chose Why We Should Date Our Children and Six No Cost Date Ideas from Kiddie Matters. "I love these simple no-cost date can enjoy the quality time with your kids while doing something fun and simple."
Stop by and show some love to our featured bloggers this week! I'm sure they'd all appreciate it!
If you were featured above, feel free to share the badge below with pride on your blog or website!

Epic Mommy Adventures
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And the Best of the Best is...


An Open Heart And An Open Mind from All My Kids in a Row


Don’ts of Blog Photography from Busy Being Jennifer
Show some love to our Best of the Best bloggers this week!!!!
Best of the Best Bloggers - make sure to showcase the button below on your blog!

Epic Mommy Adventures
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So now that you've met our Sponsor for the month, our hosts and guest hosts, our Featured, and the Best of the Best, ,

let's get started!

- Show some love to your hosts and co-hosts simply by following them on social media and leaving a comment so they can follow you back. - Link up as many posts as you'd like! The more, the merrier! - Check out some of the other posts and make some new friends! - Grab the button below and showcase on your sidebar! Invite your fellow bloggers to join the fun!
Epic Mommy Adventures
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Link up your posts, make some friends, and earn the chance to be featured or become the Best of the Best on Turn It Up Tuesday! We will feature the favorite posts each week! **Disclaimer: Adding your link to this link party gives permission to Epic Mommy Adventures, along with co-hosts, guest hosts, and participants of Turn It Up Tuesday, to share your posts and pictures via social media and as features, roundups, etc. with an explicit link back to the original source.**

Interested in reading all of our favorite posts on Turn It Up Tuesdays - past or present? Or do want to know if your post was featured before we go live next week? Follow Natasha Peter's board Featured on Turn It Up Tuesdays! on Pinterest.