Saturday, May 23, 2015

Mother's Day Brunch to Celebrate our Moms


Mother’s Day weekend was busy for me.  Do you remember my Mother's Day Gift Guide post? In it, I mentioned having a brunch as one of the items.  This is one of the things that I did along with two of my older sisters; we planned a Mother’s Day brunch for our Mom and mother-in-laws, which took place the Saturday before Mother’s Day. We collectively wanted to show our moms some appreciation by having us cater to them while they relaxed, ate, drink and chatted.



The menu for our Mother’s Day Brunch was simple.  We decided on having one of the most popular brunch menu items these days, chicken and waffles.  We also had turkey bacon, a mixed berry fruit salad, and since my mother-in-law insisted on bringing something (she’s such a sweet lady), we had delicious honey glazed salmon, and carrot cake.  As for drinks, we settled on mimosas because brunch isn’t complete without mimosas. 

The mimosas were do-it-yourself; I had two carafes that I picked up from Ikea: one was filled with orange juice, and the other with sorrel.



The food was setup in my breakfast nook buffet style, and our mom and mother-in-law’s sat at my simply dressed dining table to eat and catch up with each other.  The table d├ęcor included two wide glass cylinders with vanilla-scented candles lit, providing a light vanilla aroma to the room. Both my husband and my mom picked up flowers, but I chose to use the light blue and cream hydrangeas to sit between the candles. As a runner, I used a plastic tablecloth I picked up from Dollar Tree that was too short.  Can you say, 'Innovative'?



Our mom, mother-in-laws, and other attendees enjoyed our little brunch. Our moms had a chance to catch up with each other. My sister-in-law, Sheilah also had a cute little activity for them to do, which was decorating a picture frame. They loved it!  I thought it was cute, too.  Now, how come I didn’t think of that? Lol 

The Porter Girls Did That!


Of course, afterwards I was exhausted, but it was worth it. I think our Mother’s Day brunch was an excellent idea for an affordable gift to celebrate our moms and show them appreciation. Huge thanks to my sisters for coming together with me to do this! Thanks, Kinda for the iPhone pics. Now,  I have to figure out what I'm going to do for Father's Day since my husband stole my idea, which I will elaborate on in another post.

Now that I’ve shared some of what I did for my mom and mother-in-law on Mother’s Day, I’d love to hear how yours went.

What did your Mother’s Day weekend consist of?



Monday, May 18, 2015

Outdoor Fun Activities for the Whole Family


The weather has finally begun to warm up, which means more time will be spent outdoors. I don’t know about you, but as soon as the warmest day hit, my family and I ventured outdoors to take advantage of the nice weather.  When you have kids, outdoor fun and activities are heaven sent, it’s God’s way of handing you a natural sleep aid for the kids by doing fun things to wear them out.

Keep reading to see what outdoor fun activities my family and I do once the weather warms up.


Garden
Our new house has a pretty decent sized backyard, which means lots of green space to not only have mini me run around and play, but to also garden.  What better place to ‘grow’ new memories, and have fun than in our garden? We can make it our own by planting our favorite herbs, flowers and plants. Plus, it’s an activity that will help teach responsibility as mini me will help nurture the garden, and patience as she watches the plants grow (or not). Lord knows she needs the latter.

My Hyacinths, Tulips, and Crocus Plants


Visit a Playground
Playgrounds are the greatest invention on earth, especially on a nice day.  Kids can run around, go down the slides, hang on the jungle gym, and if it’s hot, run through the sprinklers.  The activities at your local playground are limitless, and the best part is that after about an hour of play, your little one will be ready to go home to eat, and then nap.

Mini me pushing her Cabbage Patch Dolls through the neighborhood


Take a walk (or ride) around the neighborhood
We are new to our neighborhood. One activity we were really excited to do once the weather warmed up was to walk around our neighborhood.  This way, we can teach mini me about where we live.  Since there’s lots of trees and other greenery, along with birds, squirrels, bunny rabbits and even possums, mini me is given a mini lesson on nature.  The walk also serves as a nice little exercise activity for the family. And, by the end of our walks mini me is pooped!

Mini me at the LI Aquarium


Visit an aquarium
Warm weather months, at least for me are the perfect times to visit a zoo or even an aquarium.  Remember when we visited the Long Island Aquarium in Riverhead? Most of the outdoor exhibits were closed due to the cold weather, but had plans to re-open in the summer.  At least during this time of the year the majority of the exhibits will be open, and more time will be spent outdoors participating in the various activities, and seeing more animals.

Beauty and the Bump Family at the Bronx Zoo


Visit a zoo
Mini me has wanted to visit the Bronx Zoo since seeing the three Snow Monkeys at the aquarium back in March, so one of our outdoor fun activities this summer will be a trip to the Bronx Zoo.  This should be fun because from now until August, the Bronx Zoo is turning NYC into a city-wide social photo safari by inviting consumers to learn about “120 Ways #NYisWild” for a chance to win a trip to Belize along with other great prizes.

#NYisWild is the perfect way to spend a day out in the great New York City! There is an exclusive discount for 20% off all tickets purchased only through NYisWild.com. This site also serves as the only destination for all news and information about this exciting new campaign. Be sure to check it out and have fun taking part in all of the #NYisWild activities!

Ommegang Brewery

Visit a local brewery or winery
My husband and I are both lovers of craft beers.  One thing that’s on our list this summer is road trip to visit as many of our favorite breweries as possible. We’ve already knocked off one, Ommegang over in Cooperstown, NY. The great part about it is that kids are allowed to come on the tours, too.  Most of the breweries and wineries are situated on lush land with beautiful landscaping.  There’s outdoor eating, and sometimes trails.

Just have fun!
My two loves having fun in the backyard

This is a just a brief list of outdoor fun activities we plan on taking part in this season.  I’d love to hear what outdoor fun activities you have planned for your family this summer.


Please check out below, the other Outdoor Fun posts from members of the Brown Mom Bloggers Collective.


Wednesday, April 29, 2015

CLUB W Wine Club Review



I Bought This | Affiliate Links

Three weeks ago I bit the bullet, took my Palette Profile quiz, ordered my wines, and joined CLUBW.  Honestly, it was the best decision I've ever made.

You’re probably wondering, “What is CLUBW?” It’s a monthly wine subscription service that utilizes a “Palette Profile” quiz to curate a selection of wines that suit the subscriber’s personal preferences.  Don’t worry, CLUBW doesn't force you to go with their suggestions; you’re allowed to choose your own, especially if you see another wine you’d prefer.  Fortunately, their selections for me included wine choices I liked.



I’m a huge Riesling and Vouvray lover, and as far as reds go, I love Pinot Noir, while my husband is into Malbec, Sirah and Chianti.  For this month’s delivery, I went with three wines: 2014 Wilhelmina Riesling, 2013 The Independent Petite Sirah, and 2013 #TBT Pinot Noir.  Since CLUBW is always having a promotion, I was able to get three bottles of wine for $20.64 (shipping included).  I was surprised to see how fast my wines arrived, and to open the box to find wine tasting cards for each of the wines that includes a description of the wine, tasting notes, and information about the flavor profile.

Out of the three wines I picked up from CLUBW, I first opened up the 2014 Wilhelmina Riesling.  This was really good! It wasn't as sweet as other Riesling’s I've had, but it was sweet enough. It went well with the Shrimp Rasta Pasta I had made by The 71ate Chef.



My husband opened up the 2013 The Independent Petite Sirah.  That’s more his scene. I did take a sip. Even with it not being a red I prefer, I found that it had a fruity taste, and wasn't as dry as other reds I've tried. My husband, on the other hand, loved it! Maybe he’ll personally write a review for it.  I’m saving the 2013 #TBT Pinot Noir for my #TGIT Shondaland nights.

I love wine so signing up for a CLUBW subscription was a no-brainer, and I can’t wait for my next delivery! If you’re like me, I think you should sign up for CLUBW, too. Just ask my friends (LOL okay, you can’t ask them), they’d tell you that for wine lovers, CLUBW is the business!  The CLUBW subscription costs $39.00 + $6 flat rate shipping (shipping is free if you order 6+ bottles).  As I mentioned previously, CLUBW always has some kind of deal going on.  They sometimes send codes so that one or two bottles are on them, which is cool, and it allows you to try more wine for less.  It’s a truly a win.

Club WJust in case you need more information to help you consider joining CLUBW, I think you’d find it cool that CLUBW wines are sourced directly from vineyards and winemakers, which helps Club W avoid middlemen and secure better wines for less money.  By shipping directly to the consumer, CLUBW is able to avoid volume quotas and offer more unique wines from smaller lots. Basically, you’re getting exclusive wine delivered to you on a monthly basis.

Although it’s a monthly subscription service, CLUBW allows you to skip a month, just make sure you login to your profile to do so.  A CLUBW wine subscription makes an awesome gift, too. Gift options are available starting at $50.


Also, make sure, on your delivery day that someone aged 21+ is available to sign for your wine. 

What do you think of CLUBW?