What I’m Seeing & Doing While Vacationing on Martha’s Vineyard

It’s Illumination this week in Martha’s Vineyard and we’re here with two other families having a great time. We’ve been friends for some time, and all have kids around the same age.

If you’re familiar with the movie “Inkwell” then you know a little something about Martha’s Vineyard. The President and his family also vacation at The Vinyard annually. However, we have yet to cross paths with POTUS and FLOTUS but their presence is definitely being felt.

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After a 45 minute ferry ride from Falmouth, MA we were on historical land. The kids enjoyed the ferry ride and didn’t complain once. The sights keep their attention, there were snacks, and the option to go inside from the cool air. Perfect combination for smoothie sailing. I preferred riding outside. I felt every wave while indoors eating clam chowder, which was delish by the way.

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If you’re planning to travel to Martha’s Vinyard during Illumination Week, plan early. We made our ferry reservation back in January and they were pretty booked then. You should book a house now as well. They one we booked fits 12 but was not up to par for many reasons. We made it work but felt baited and switched and will definitely give the owner a less than royal review.

Thus far, we have been to The Black Dog souvenir store for shirts and other paraphernalia commemorating our vacation. After, we stopped by Mad Martha’s for the BEST brownie hot fudge Sunday and other ice cream flavors. OMG!!!!

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Both the Black Dog and Mad Martha’s can be found on Circuit Avenue along with other shopping, food, and entertainment. There’s even an arcade!

Tip: There’s a Black Dog outlet and kids stores behind Nancy’s in Vinyard Haven/Oak Bluffs.

The beaches are clean and most have easy parking. However, we tried to pull up to what is known as Long Point/Hidden Beach and parking was filled at 1:15 p.m. Get there early. We have concluded that State Beach is calmer than South Beach but State is rocky. We felt South was safer for kids but we are still touring various beaches So check back for an update.

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We have been cooking family dinners nightly thus far, but will soon sample one of the more famous restaurants before the week is out. Monday was Spanish night, Tuesday was Soul Food night, Wednesday will be left overs and the remaining days will be BBQ, couples night out, pizza, and clean the fridge night.

Tip: There is a YMCA in Vinyard Haven with a skate park, pool, and playground for kids.

Illumination is the 3rd Wednesday in August which was a cute event. The word is to arrive early because parking is hard. It was crowded, but parking is available steps away for just $10 in a large, open, grassy lot.

Lights adorn what is known as Gingerbread Village illuminating the night. The houses look unreal but they are definitely real and ave residents living in them. 

The kids should love it. It’s all for them, isn’t it?

Have you been to Martha’s Vinyard? What are your “to do’s for kids and couples?

What Do You Mean I Can’t Take My Son Into Lady’s Room?

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The kids and I went to our local pool the other day. I hadn’t noticed this sign before and now that my son is 6 years old, of course it stood out.

So far, he hasn’t had to use the loo at the pool but one day it will happen. Right now while in public I take him into the restroom with me. Of course when my husband is with us, he goes in with dad.

I don’t think my daughter has ever gone into a public restroom without me and she’s 8. But to send my little guy into the loo without me at his age just isn’t happening.

Yes, he can go on his own but as a mom I would be very nervous. I’m not saying there are a host of nutbags in my community, but I would rather err on the side of caution. We do receive multiple sex offender notices of folks moving in or into nearby zip codes which is the law (everywhere I think) during the school year so who knows who is moving in during the summer. (Find this link under the Valley Stream link in the menu bar above).

I just think if family institutions like pools and our closest YMCA (where I also ignore the sign because the number of kids changing into swim gear outnumbers changing rooms) make such rules they should also provide family restrooms as well for parents like me who simply ain’t havin’ it.

What are your thoughts on this matter?

Spike Lee On Fashion Culture Panel for New Era Heritage Series Baseball Caps

I’m excited to announce that I did a guest post on Mommy Factor who I met earlier this year online and finally in person. She needed someone to cover a pretty cool event and given that the kids were off in OH, I had the time and a fresh NYC Metrocard!  I just wish I had known about the 25th anniversary of “Do The Right Thing” held in Brooklyn just the weekend before.  Darn!

Here’s my recap and be sure to check out Mommy Factor in the meantime.

As a fan of Spike Lee’s very first film and on, I had no idea he would have such an impact upon the fashion behind baseball caps. Yankee fans will now be able to add to their collection a wool, leather or wool 59/50 red Yankees cap.

Back in the ’90s, film writer Spike Lee simply wanted a red cap to match his red down Yankee jacket. They couldn’t be found in stores so he had the audacity to call up former Yankees owner George Steinbrenner on a whim and ask him to make one. Lee said it took the sports giant a day or so to call him back with a response. He said yes, but not before he checked with the New Era folks who have now been making caps for baseball teams for four generations.

It’s said that Steinbrenner, known as a traditionalist then, said if it’s good for New Era, it’s good for the Yankees, then it’s good for baseball.

Continue reading…

Tips to Help Moms Prepare To Return to Work #HowSheDoesIt

 

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A few months ago, I announced on my Facebook page that I was going to start a series for moms who have been home with the kids for a few years with the desire to return to the working world.  Women who want to work from home part or full time, do consulting work, temporary work, or whatever category you want to fit in.

But in the back of your mind, do you find it a little difficult to understand or believe that you can make working life with children sing in harmony while keeping your sanity?  All too often I hear of stressed moms who BEG me to stay home. Moms who remind me of how good I have it.  The thing is that I feel as if it’s time now to get paid for the work I do given that my youngest is in Kindergarten.  There’s no reason for me to not be able to work, right?  Continue reading

How We Beat the Odds of a Long Distance Relationship & Are Still Married…11 Years Later.

SUSAN CROFT PHOTOGRAPHY Copyright 2013 www.AnguillaEscape.com-74

 

This week, my husband and I will be celebrating our 11th wedding anniversary.  A union that beat all of the odds and is still winning today.  A marriage that is rooted in God’s word and love.  A marriage that no man shall or can put asunder.

We met at Floods Bar & Grille, a well known club in Detroit, MI about 15 years ago.  What were the odds that a man and woman would meet, marry, have two lovely children and still be together?  At a club? Oh, did I forget that we dated long distance for almost 4 years?  I lived in the suburbs of Detroit and he in New York City.

We attribute the early part of our relationship to cheap airfare on ProAir which is now defunct.  We flew back and forth weekends monthly for as little as $50.  Maybe even less than that.

One day during a visit to NYC, he took me to Central Park and proposed.  I was irritated, my feet hurt, flight was delayed and he wants to take a walk in the park.  Steps away from The Boathouse, the restaurant where we were to dine that evening, was steps away.  Why were we stopping?

To play a quick game of Scrabble.

What?

As I turned my back, the words he spelled were, “Will You Marry Me?”

He won.

I got my man, the ring, and a wonderful marriage.

We beat the odds.

But marriage isn’t easy.  What’s the key?  Communication of course.  We struggled in the beginning, sought couples counseling to get over this hurdle, and are doing much better at it.  We still have an occasional issue, but who doesn’t?  When you take the time to learn HOW to communicate, things work out much better.

I still like him too….

Would you consider dating someone long distance?

 

 

Michelle Obama’s “Eat Before You Come” Invitation is Fine with Me

The ultimate Queen Mom, in my eyes, is getting some bad press.  Leave her alone.  She is celebrating the big 5-0 and she isn’t thinking about any of you and her eat-before-you-come invitation.  When you turn 40 as I did almost 2 years ago, the best gift that arrived with the new decade was the F-U factor.

I can only imagine what happens at 50.  The double F-U factor hits?  Whoa, I have to get ready for this power!!

Everyday elegance sometimes gets boring and you just want to be you anyway you want to be you.  That’s probably how Mrs. O feels right about  now.  Her life has taken a significant shift since her husband decided to run for President.  Maybe this wasn’t in her life’s plan but because she wanted to be a supporting wife, she obliged.

Certain protocols come with being the First Lady and sometimes you want to break from what’s right for everyone else and do what you want.  Never mind that the party will be at “The Peoples House” and no, you weren’t invited.  I have met her twice and even had a 60-second conversation with her on the new school lunch mandate.  I’m still awaiting my invitation though…

“I have never felt more confident in myself, more clear on who I am as a woman,” the first lady told Parade magazine last summer when asked about approaching the big 5-0.

And that’s why she told you to eat before you come.  Those on her guest list are capable feeding themselves.  I would appreciate knowing that there will be minimal food at an event.  How many times have you shown up hungry and ready to go IN, only to find out that Pizza Bites and chips were the only thing on the table?

Now, don’t you wish you would have known before hand?

The only thing tacky about this is if the invitation actually said, “eat before you come.”  However, if the invitation simply said that light hors d’oeuvres will be served then that’s fine.

Mrs. O, celebrate your weekend like you want to.  It’s your party and you can not feed your guests if you want to.

Now, where’s my invitation again?

*F-U can also stand for “forget you” because a Queen never curses.

Katy Perry Rocks Royal Dolce & Gabbana Headband

Dolce & Gabbana Headband

I am a fan of Katy Perry and have actually been in the same room as she during the 2013 Presidential Inauguration of President Barack Obama.  Because my husband and I were set on seeing the POTUS and FLOTUS up close and personal we did not move from our spot.  We were 1 row of ticket holders back from the actual stage in which the First Couple had their final dance at President Obama’s second Inauguration.

Back to Katy.

She where’s girly clothing and I absolutely adore that about her.  Very feminine and the way young girls need to get back to dressing. Who wants to see your stomach and behind all the time?  I don’t.

How much is it you ask?  Well, if you have to ask you simply can’t afford it.  How about a DIY version?

Let’s dress and act like Queens.  Royally cute.