Hangin’ with the Jonoses

The Jonoses–made up of my hubby’s long-time friend Jay, my long-time friend Christine, and now their son JJ–took us on quite THE busiest but funnest time of our lives during our short visit to NJ back in May.

Our friendships with Jay and Christine date back to our young adult lives…our early 20’s–quite historic now if you think about it. They actually ended up together after our wedding, to which Terrence and I endlessly credit ourselves to such a successful hookup. Jay was one of the Groom’s Men and Christine was my Maid of Honor.

The rest, as they say, is history.

Fast forward to the present, what with all the highs and lows of friendships with a history, I am SUPER glad our friendships with this couple have remained in tact. They are godparents to our son and we to theirs, and I am even more glad our boys can grow up–despite the distance–knowing that their friendship has a chance of an even longer history than that of their parents.

While in Jersey, we stayed with the Jonoses for a short two days and three nights at the Jonos family home in Trenton, during which time the big boys bonded over fixing a car–like always, us mommies chatted away, like always, and the little ones happily played and made a mess of all the toys around them, like always. All of this done in between doing some serious food-tripping in Philly, crazy bonding and play time at Liberty State Park, and while being a bunch of tourists in Times Square.

Terrence was able to capture some precious moments during all of this–a time well spent with people whom we not only consider our friends…

Because this, right here, is family.

Us and the Jonoses = Family

Here are some snap shots of our time with the Jonoses…

Food Tripping in Philadelphia

Christine and I with the boys, in front of Geno’s…

…and Pat’s!

The endless selection of yummy cheese steak sandwich goodness at Pat’s.

Yeah…I’d go back to Philly JUST for this–a Pat’s cheese steak sandwich!

The boys hanging out at Geno’s Steaks. We have well eaten our Pat’s cheese steaks by this time, but the mommies still managed to eat and try Geno’s. Pat’s Steaks hands down wins the epic battle of which one is the yummier cheese steak!

Philadelphia’s Chinatown. We are on a mission to find a sweet house and get some TAHO.

Terrence and I in Philly’s Chinatown. We have been here as a couple. I never imagined we’ll be back here with Miggz in tow.

Mission accomplished!! Jay hangs out in front of the sweet house while Christine and I get tubs full of TAHO…a warm dessert made up of soy milk, sweet syrup and tiny taro balls (sago).

I find another sweet house in Philly’s Chinatown. This time I pick up some egg custards. Yumm!!

The boys are obviously bored!!

More of us in Philly’s Chinatown.

A few sites we saw in Philly…

The Liberty Bell

I didn’t realize the Liberty Bell was enclosed. I’ve always pictured it just being out in the open. Perhaps from the movie, National Treasure?

The Next Day at Liberty State Park (Jersey City)

Terrence and I

Miggz and I in the Jonoses’ Acura…our everywhere vehicle!

The Statue of Liberty in the background…

Terrence captures this precious photo of the boys.

Miggz and I pause for a juice break.

Thou shalt not come between a little man and his juice box!

Terrence, Miggz and I

Terrence Captures More Precious Photos, this time of Christine and I and the boys…

That is the World Trade Center Freedom Tower being constructed on the far right.

And Then There’s Times Square (NYC)…

Tired Miggz! It was two long days. Two long but GREAT days. Great days indeed.

What memorable trips do you most remember doing with your friends? Did they include kids?

What trips are you looking forward to doing with your friends??

Do share!!



All Photos by Terrence G. Photography | Copyright 2012 | All Rights Reserved

On Trend…Navy Blue!

A few things caught my eye while browsing online through the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale…mostly in the hues of navy blue.

Let me tell you about online browsing through shopping sites–it is more dangerous than actual window shopping at a mall! One moment I am at nordstrom.com, the next thing I know, I am browsing Tory Burch looking at a LOT of things I can’t afford…LOL!

But here is one thing that caught my eye…


Tory Burch Patent Double Wrap Logo Stud Bracelet ($95)

Isn’t it just GORGEOUS??!?!

It would go so well with these other key Fall arm candy pieces from Stella & Dot…


Stella & Dot Lakra Bangle ($79)


Stella & Dot Emerson Bangle ($59)

Of course, back at the nordstrom.com site, I also eyed the Classic Navy Canvas TOMS shoes…


Because a stylish mamma needs to be comfortable! TOMS Classic Navy ($44)

Isn’t NAVY just a beautiful, classic color? It really is seasonless, but I think it’ll look especially gorgeous in the Fall.

What are your favorite online shopping sites?

What other outfit essentials do you see yourself wearing in Navy Blue?

I know one thing’s for sure…

I need to shop my closet!!

A Few More Pics from Swim Class

Here are a few more photos from Miguel’s first ever swimming lessons. These were taken toward the end of the two-week session.

As you can see…he is more confident in and around the pool. We can’t wait to enroll him again 😉

Miggz and I about to get in the water...

Miggz and I about to get in the water…

Head under water and kicking fiercely!

Head under water and kicking fiercely!

Little handsome-face...

Little handsome-face…

He wants to go in again!

He wants to go in again!

Miggz enjoyed it much!

Miggz enjoyed it much!

Potty Training Triumphs and Woes

Four weeks until he turns three, and I can safely say Miggz is finally, FINALLY potty-trained.

That’s right, folks. Trained, with an “ED” !!!

We started potty training Miggz right around two years old.

Or, rather, attempted to.

Let me just say that there were probably signs–many signs–he wasn’t ready. But I was stubborn and had my mind set on doing this. And frankly, at that time, I was partly freaking out and feeling the pressure. He was past 24 months old and still not potty trained.

Words of other mommies and daddies haunted me at night.

Words that went like this… “Our son was out of diapers at nineteen months.” And “Wow, he’s still in diapers?!??!”

Looking back now, it was all so wrong and unfair that I allowed myself to be influenced by parenting peer pressure. Not to mention all those baby guides/development timelines. I mean, those can REALLY mess you up!! I know what those did to me (it made me an OCD mom, which is really NOT what I wanted to be). When Miggz was halfway past two, I decided to throw all those guides out the window. I unsubscribed myself from Babycenter, Pampers, Gerber, Parenting, etc, etc and just let things be. Not that those parenting newsletters are bad. They just became too “dictating” to my mothering that I forgot to just be a Mom.

Anyway, we finally went in full force potty training with Miggz back in June, when I said to my hubby I’ve cut off our monthly diaper and wipes subscription. We used the “no underpants” technique during the day and just diapered Miggz at night. We also used the Baby Bjorn Potty Chair and the Prince Lionheart Gray weePOD. Both proved very useful and effective for us in potty training Miggz.

The Wee POD. What a lifesaver.

While peeing was less of a challenge, training Miggz to go “number two” was just downright traumatizing!! I mean, you really have to “make peace with poo” and expect to see, touch, and smell it UP CLOSE and PERSONAL for at least a good two weeks.

Because accidents WILL happen.

I applaud–and frankly am quite jealous of–parents who are able to brilliantly potty train their kids in a matter of days or a couple of weeks.

I do, I really do.

But I wish they’d stop bragging and expect the rest of parent-dom to be able to do it, too. Every child/parent/household situation is different. And so every potty training situation will be different (the same thing applies with sleep training, co-sleeping, disciplining, the list goes on…)

For the rest of us “normal” ones…I urge you to just hang in there! Keep your patience and composure, and IT will happen! There is a light at the end of the tunnel, and your kid will eventually get it.

For me, for the past few weeks, no words sounded sweeter coming from Miggz than “I gotta go pee.” and “I gotta go poo.”

And of course, there are other things that come with potty training too. Things that I call, bathroom etiquette or bathroom manners. You know, things like learning to flush, washing of hands properly, and making sure the toilet and the sink areas are clean, presentable and ready for the bathroom’s next user…all are important aspects of potty training that I think a child needs to learn.

Now, even though it only happened a few weeks ago, I feel like the dreadful days of potty training are long behind us. On July 5th, we managed to go out in public without Miggz wearing any Pull-ups (just regular underwear and shorts), and he successfully used a public restroom for the first time!! (SUCH a PROUD moment for Mommie).

At home, when I bring Miggz into the bathroom to go poo, he even asks me to get out. His words, to be exact, are “Get out, get out, Mommie.” Every time he does this–I know this is going to sound weird–but I can’t help but feel a tinge of sadness.

My baby boy is growing up.

Swimming Lessons

We enrolled Miggz for his first swimming lessons at our nearby public Aquatic Center. He LOVES the water and enjoyed every minute of this two-week session.

He was in the Sea Toddlers class comprised of other 2-3 year olds, plus either a mommy or daddy. It was in the middle of the Arizona summer, but it wasn’t so bad because each lesson only lasted half an hour, with some time at the end for some free play (Miguel’s favorite part).

My favorite part…these lessons only cost $22 for the entire thing!! An insanely GREAT deal, as each session was practically free! We look forward to enrolling Miggz again for the next levelSea Sprites for 3-4 year-olds–when registration opens again in April of next year. The classes fill up fast, so hopefully, we can get a session for an earlier month and not July. If not, it still won’t be so bad.

Here are some photos from Miguel’s first swim lessons…

Hi Daddy! I'm in the water!

Hi Daddy! I’m in the water!


B is for Bubbles...

B is for Bubbles…


Circle time with the other kiddos and their parents...

Circle time with the other kiddos and their parents…

Getting comfortable on his back in the water (this took some effort).

Getting comfortable on his back in the water (this took some effort).

Learning to kick!

Learning to kick!

A photo of Miggz showing he's now comfortable to put his head and blow bubbles under water.

His favorite water toy from class was a purple whale.

A photo of Miggz showing he’s now comfortable to put his head and blow bubbles under water


He was handing the toy to daddy...he wants him to swim too (which he did. I took Miggz the first week, and Te took Miggz the second week of lessons.)

He was handing one of the toys to daddy…he wants him to swim too (which he did). I took Miggz the first week, and Te took Miggz the second week of lessons.

Swim lessons at this age=a great chance to bond with your toddler!

Swim lessons at this age=a great chance to bond with your toddler!

LOVE this!

LOVE this! Until the next swim session!!

Summer Style

It is hard to believe that we are halfway past July.

For me, the calendar pages are flying and we are less than a month away from my son TURNING THREE!! We just got done with swimming lessons (his first) and are now looking into preschool.

I know. Crazy.

For those of you who can relate, I hope you are finding ways to remain stylish this summer despite the busyness and the time fastness, and everything else that comes with the territory of being a Mom, and especially a New Mamma.

I know by the time August comes, many of you just want to think up cooler weather and welcome crisp autumn air.

Trust me, I do get those thoughts, too.


But in the spirit of slowing things down, enjoying the moment, and wanting summer to last just a tad longer, here are some poolside and BBQ style inspirations to help you plan around outfits for the rest of the summer.

Courtesy of Stella & Dot.

Because the last thing a New Mamma needs is to stress her attire and accessories to wear to that next summer gathering.

And I DO firmly believe that every Mom needs to dress up every once in a while, if just for the sheer fun of it, summer or not.

Enjoy these looks…

Aren’t these all gorgeous, mom-worthy, and most of all, effortless?

And please, DO contact me if you: are curious about Stella & Dot / want to host an ONLINE trunk show (and earn FREE jewelry!!) / live in Arizona and want to host an ACTUAL trunk show (and earn free jewelry as well!!) / are interested in this amazing, uberly fun, uberly stylish opportunity in being a work-at-home entrepreneur like myself (no need to be an Arizona resident there!)…

It has seriously been SO rewarding for me that I just have to share the style and the opportunity.


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