Tackling the Big "M"

Monday, November 30, 2009

A Sneak Peek Inside Wifey's House

I'm tackling the Big "M." No, not marriage (although I do that on a daily basis). No, not motherhood (that’s already the story of my life). And, no, not menopause (I know, I’m know, my kids’ friends call me “ma’am” now but I’m still not old enough for the change). I’m talking about the other big M … a marathon.


Yes, I’m going to run in my first marathon; and no, I haven’t completely lost my mind. Well, maybe just a little bit. I hoping to lose a few pounds, too, but my main reason for doing it is for the challenge. I want to do something that I think is incredible, that not that many people can say they’ve done (as few as 1 percent of the population) and something that will benefit my body and my mind.

I’ve always thought that running is sexy … and something that I couldn’t do. I used to look at other people run and wish that I could do that. I remember watching a television program and seeing a disabled gentleman with no legs run a marathon and thought, hello, if he can do it, and he has no legs, there’s no reason why I can’t, too. That sparked my first run in 2004 and it’s been an exciting journey ever since. I’ve run the AJC Peachtree Road Race, the world’s largest 10K race, four times; and in 2005 I proudly completed a half-marathon, that’s 13.1 miles.

Here I am still standing after 13.1 miles!

Running that half-marathon had such a huge impact on my life. It showed me that I can do anything that I set my mind to. Before my kids were born I was the laziest person on earth, and I smoked cigarettes, too. Gasp! No one and I mean no one would ever guess that I would have run down the street, let alone a half-marathon. Afterwards I felt good, I looked good, ahem, and it boosted my confidence. It also did wonders for my post-baby-sex-drive, but that’s a whole other post.

It’s time for a new goal; a new challenge and to get to get my body and mind back in top shape. Today I’m starting my 16-week training program to run in the ING Georgia Marathon on March 21, 2010. I will make sure to keep you updated on my progress over the next 4 months and welcome any tips, tricks and support.

How about you? When’s the last time you set a challenge for yourself? Motivated mamas want to know …

 Winks & Smiles,
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Tyra, Tiana and the Perfect Tea Party

Monday, November 23, 2009

Wifey Travels

When I opened my e-mail a week ago and saw the invite from the fabulous folks at Walt Disney World asking if my little princess, Milan, and I were available to attend an exclusive Tea Party celebrating the release of the upcoming movie, The Princess and The Frog, I had to read it twice. The first time I was so excited at the thought of bringing Milan with me for this wonderful experience that I missed an important part of the e-mail: the tea party will be featured on The Tyra Show celebrating Princess Tiana, Disney’s first African American Princess. I quickly responded yes. These two princesses would be honored to hang with Tyra and Tiana at their perfect little tea party.

Having just been to Disney for their African American Mom Blogger Mixer, I knew that my friends there would take great care of me and Milan. Disney doesn’t just do things; they do things big – really BIG. They flew us in this past Thursday night so that we would be comfortable and rested for the tea party on Friday.

Milan and I at the Atlanta Airport ready for our first mother-daughter trip

Two princesses playing on the plane

I was super excited to learn that we were staying at The Grand Floridian Resort & Spa – it's Walt Disney World Resort's flagship hotel and when I tell you it’s fabulous, trust me, you feel like a princess there.

Milan, and her doll, in the lobby at the Grand Floridian

A special surprise our Disnesy friends left for Milan

The beds in our room were super cozy

Need I say the flat screen stayed on Milan's favorite channel - Disney

The view of one of the pools from our patio

The tea party taping wasn’t until Friday evening so Milan and I had all day to play in the parks. Her choice, Magic Kingdom, of course. This princess had other princesses to find.

Standing with Snow White

Hanging out in Ariel's Grotto

Chillin' with Aladdin and Jasmine

She even found her own Fairy Godmother

Milan is also a thrill-seeker so we had to ride some rides, too!

Having a blast on Buzz Lightyear's Space Ranger Spin

Gasp! Someone let her drive at the Tomorrowland Speedway

Mid-afternoon we headed back to the resort to get princess-beautiful for the big event. On our way to the tea party we met up with Leigh from Theme Park Mom  and Stefanie from Mommy Musings and their little princesses.

Milan and her new pals - notice the princess wave

The party took place in Magic Kingdom outside at the beautiful Swan Boat Landing, near Cinderella’s Castle. Upon arrival the little princesses were given Princess Tiana tiaras and t-shirts. We mommy princesses received tiaras, too.

Cinderella's Castle - breathtaking!

The princesses have arrived

Approximately, 15 moms and princesses had a fairytale evening filled with yummy treats, dancing, and exciting surprises. One of the highlights for my little princess was Princess Tiana and Prince Naveen, of course. They hosted this lovely event and were absolutely phenomenal with all the girls. Everyone was also thrilled when Tyra made her surprise, grand entrance and announced that she is treating us to see the movie when it opens nationwide on December 11.

Um, Yum!

Swirling & twirling

Princess Milan, Princess Tiana and Prince Naveen

Tiana & Tyra

All the princesses and the royal couple

It was a wonderful adventure, and I’m so thankful that I had this opportunity to share with my daughter. I’m also excited that I can share it with you, too. This Wednesday, November 25, scenes from the tea party will be a part of The Tyra Show celebrating Princess Tiana’s debut. The show airs at 4 p.m. on CW69 in Atlanta, check here for details in your area.

Winks & Smiles,
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 A special thanks and hugs to Laura Spencer and the wonderful folks at Disney for providing us with awesome opportunity. And, a big thanks to Leigh for sharing some of her fabulous pictures.


McHappy Day: Making a Difference

Friday, November 20, 2009

This past Tuesday, Wifey’s House had the privilege of attending a McHappy Day at McDonald’s event at one the Atlanta Ronald McDonald Houses. Yes, Wifey’s House. I pulled Miles, 8, and Milan, 6, out of school an hour early so that they could come with me to learn about how the Ronald McDonald House Charities (RMHC) helps more than 4 million children and their families a year, and how we could help them, too.

When I received the invite to attend this event my schedule was booked, ahem, overbooked, but there was something inside telling me to make this happen, and to bring the kids with me. (OK, for many who know me well, ahem, know that not booking a babysitter was a BIG step for me.) I want to make community service a bigger part of my life and strongly believe it’s important to instill that in our children while their young.

Miles and Milan were an easy sell. Hello, McDonalds was in the title and um, the town car they sent to pick us up made me, “the coolest mom ever!”

One step into the new 50-bedroom facility located near Emory on Gatewood Road, and I knew I made the right decision to come … and that I’d want to come back again, and again. I’m not going to bore you with all the marketing details that explain how 84 cents of every dollar donated is used to fund RMHC programs globally. Or that local RMHC chapters serve approximately 3,700,000 families each year. You can read about all that on the RMHC website here.

I want to share with you what you can’t read. What I felt when I walked through that door – love. The love and peace that flowed through that building was contagious. You couldn’t help but feel the love that came from every single person that worked or volunteered in that house. These people have made it their mission to provide assistance to families when their child is sick, to offer them a place to stay, food, transportation – a home while they are in need. What I loved most is that it was genuine. As a former entertainment publicist I can spot bullshit a song and dance a mile away, and this was the real deal.

We toured the beautiful facility and learned about how much thought and care was put into making sure it was comfortable yet safe for the children and their various illnesses.

A peek inside one of their spacious rooms

Carrie Bowden, The Marketing & Communications Director for the Atlanta Ronald McDonald House Charities showed us their fabulous kitchen

We also had the opportunity to speak with several family members staying at the house and heard first hand how RMHC changed their lives and literally kept them off of the street while their children were in ICU fighting for their lives.

One couple had been there two weeks. Their daughter was born with holes in her heart. She was flown to Atlanta, three hours from their home, and they were left behind to get to her however they could. Well, they did, with only the clothes on their back and barely a dime in their pockets. Once their baby was settled in ICU, they were left with no where to go. A social worker told them about RMHC which literally keep this family together.

A mother staying at the house shares her appreciation

Several things this family shared with us were moving, but one thing especially struck me. The father told us that he used to walk into a McDonald’s look at the little glass donations house that sat on the counter, turn away and pocket his change. “I never thought that I would NEED the help that that box offers,” he said, choking back tears.


Today is the official McHappy Day fundraiser. I invite you to visit the RMHC web site, and follow them on Twitter (@RMHC); they’re using the #McHappyDay hash tag. I also challenge you to get involved. Next time you buy a happy meal for your kids, drop the change you get back in their donation box. All that change adds up and changes people’s lives. You can also find a local RMHC near you and donate your time. Involve your kids, talk to the staff at the house and see what they need. It could be as simple as your kids and their friends baking cookies or collecting cans for their pantry.

We chatted in one of their many Family Rooms

Me and my BlogRollin' Partner, Christie

A group shot with Carrie Salone, a McDonald's Owner/Operator (center, left) and Linda Durham, Board Chair, Ronald McDonald House Charities (center, right)

In full disclosure I must tell you, no, they did NOT pay me to write this post. I recieved a ride and a goodie bag; and actually, I’m looking forward to paying them.

Winks & Smiles,

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Photos courtesy of Marlo Herring


Why Wifey Needs a Wife: Reason #702

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

A Sneak Peek Inside Wifey’s House

Yes, I could probably come up with more than 1000 reasons why I need a wife … and a chef, a housekeeper, a driver, a personal assistant, a laundry attendant, a nanny and a clone of myself since I do all these things and more. After looking at the long list of things I do daily, I decided if I had a wife (like me) I could possibly relax a little. Then I woke up … and started this list.

Here’s reason #702:

To Make Sure Husband Doesn’t Scare the Bejeezus Out of the Kids When I’m Not Home

I called Husband on the way home from tennis practice last night and asked him if the kids went to sleep alright and if they put the tooth my daughter, Milan, lost earlier in the day under her pillow.

Husband: “Yeah, they're fine but they did go to sleep a little late.”

Red flag number one.

Husband: “We didn’t put Milan’s tooth under her pillow cause she didn’t know what you did with the tooth and she didn’t know if the Tooth Fairy would come since she’s sleeping on the floor.”

Red flag number two.

Me: “Um, why is Milan sleeping on the floor?”

Husband: “Because she told me that bed bugs aren’t real, and I told her they are.”

Red flags number three through ten.

Me: “What?”

Husband: “She said ‘don’t let the bed bugs bite’ is just a saying and I told her that there really are bed bugs.”

Me: “Are you kidding me?”

Husband: “No, I didn’t want to lie to the girl.”

Me: “Um, dear, she’s six.”

Oh, but wait, it gets better.

Husband: “She was fine until she saw the picture.”

This is the point in the conversation where I almost dropped the phone.

Me: “You’re kidding me, right? You didn’t really show her a picture, did you?”

Husband: “Yes, I did. Hey, do you know what bed bugs look like?”

*Insert loud sigh here.*

Husband: “Do you?”

Me: “They look like ticks, dear.”

Husband: “Very good, that’s right.”

Ugh. Where is my wife when I need her?

Winks & Smiles,

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I Don't Do Fish

Friday, November 13, 2009

A Sneak Peek Inside Wifey’s House
Friday’s Confession ...

Yesterday my 8-year-old son, Miles, and I were at home by ourselves when his beta fish, Ryan, decided he wanted to see what life was like OUTSIDE of his bowl. Right.

Truth be told, when I heard Miles’ panic-stricken scream, “Mama, Ryan jumped out his bowl!” my first thought was, Um, I don’t do fish.

Now don’t call PETA on me. I love animals. And, fish, too. I just don’t want to TOUCH them. But, when I saw the horror in Miles’ eyes, I instantly flipped into mommy mode.

“Pick him up and put him back in his bowl,” I yelled.

Logical, right?

Apparently, Miles doesn’t “do fish” either because he quickly told me no. “Ryan is a fighting fish! I can’t pick him up!”

Huh? I did my best to keep my composure and my laughter inside. Here’s a picture of Ryan.

Yes, he’s smaller than my thumb.

Miles, didn’t want to touch the fish either, and who was I to argue? So, I told him to go in Daddy’s office and get his fish net. My husband has fish, too. Miles’ eyes lit up. The net. Right. We were on it, except … we couldn’t find the net. In the meantime, while poor Ryan is NOT liking his harsh new reality, our golden retriever, Nina, was heading up the stairs.


“Don’t let Nina eat Ryan!” I blurted out.

I know, I could’ve found a better way to say that, ahem, but in the heat of the moment I was just trying to save the poor fish and not scar my child for life.

Miles quickly shooed Nina away, while I grabbed Husband’s fish tank brush and a bucket. I scooped Ryan into the bucket and swiftly dropped him back into his tank.


Miles and I looked at each other, frozen for about 5 seconds, then busted out laughing. What’s really funny is that if Husband or my 6 year-old daughter were there, they would’ve picked Ryan up with their hands and plopped him right back in the tank. No problem.

After that I was exhausted. Mind you all of this transpired over approximately 60 seconds. 60 seconds that felt like 60 minutes. And to make matters worse, don’t you know Miles had the nerve to ask me for a hamster for Christmas.


How about you? What do you do when fish jump out the bowl? Or rodents are running around your house? Zookeepers Moms everywhere want to know …

Winks & Smiles,
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Two-Day Detox, Done!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Wifey’s Weekly Q and A

Dear Wifey,

A detox? Really? What kind? Why? How do you feel? Would you do it again?

That’s just a sample of the questions that I’ve been asked over the past two days about my recent detox, so, I figured I’d answer them in today’s Q and A.

Yes, really, this past Monday and Tuesday I did Arden’s Garden Two-Day Detox. For two days, every hour I drank their mixture of grapefruit juice, orange juice, lemon juice and distilled water. I also had distilled water as desired. You can read more about the detox here. (No, Arden’s Garden did not sponsor this, but hmm lightbulbs are going off.)

Why? Because I needed a change. I’ve been dipping way too much into the cookie jar and was starting to feel really unhealthy. I liked the idea of a harsh, but controlled, change in my behavior that could rejuvenate my system, physically and mentally, and get me back on track. The 9 pounds I lost doing this didn’t hurt either.


Yes, I lost 9 pounds, but don’t be deceived. As soon as I resume eating at least half of that will come back – quickly. It is nice to see the scale moving in a positive direction even though I'm not a big fan of the scale because numbers fluctuate so much. I like to focus on how I feel, how I look and how my clothes fit.

How do I feel? Great! During the detox I had moments of hunger but drinking the juice so frequently really kept me full. I functioned better during the first half of the day, pretty much like normal, but by 3 p.m. my energy and focus were low. Some might say I got a bit silly, ahem. I had planned on attending tennis practice Monday night but quickly reconsidered by the time 7 p.m. rolled around. Two days was perfect for me. I believe in eating and wouldn’t want to go much longer without food.

Would I do it again? Sure. It’s not something I would do often, that’s not the purpose, but I had a positive experience and I’m motivated to resume my healthy habits. If you’re thinking about doing a detox make sure that you do plenty of research, follow the instructions and of course get your doctor’s approval first.

How about you? Any detoxers out there? What do you do to stay on track? Healthy wives want to know…

Winks & Smiles,

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Back on Track

Monday, November 9, 2009

A Sneak Peek Inside Wifey’s House

They say, "you are what you eat" No wonder I’m so cheesy (insert laughter here).

Seriously though, for me, I feel like what I eat. When I eat good healthy foods I feel good, energetic and healthy. When I eat crap, I feel like … crap.

So if it’s that simple, why do I do that to myself? I like most people have moments of weaknesses when my wants (chocolate, pasta, beer, did I say chocolate?) win over my needs (lean protein, healthy grains, green veggies). Fortunately, since I began embracing a healthy lifestyle – working out and eating better – those moments of weakness don’t last as long. My body rejects too much crap which keeps me on the correct path.

Times to come clean … my wants have been kicking my needs ass winning over my needs. I’m excited to say that I’ve had enough chocolate (no, there’s really no such thing as enough chocolate, but it sounds good) and I’m ready to get back on a healthier track.

For the next two days this is my life …

Yup, I’m detoxing. Cleaning out my system – and my mind – with a two-day detox program that will still provide me with the essential minerals and vitamins I need each day. After that I’ll stay on course with a new workout program and better food choices. The holidays are coming. I need energy – and extra room in my jeans – to enjoy the most wonderful time of the year.

How about you? Are your wants beating up your needs? How do you get yourself on a positive healthy track? Healthy wives want to know …

Winks & Smiles,
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New York, New York: Big City of Dreams ... and Penne Alla Vodka!

Friday, November 6, 2009

Wifey Travels

Ever since Christie and I launched The BlogRollers I have been rolling – literally. Kentucky, Chicago, New York, North Carolina and Florida are just a few of the places my recent adventures have taken me. It’s a far cry from last year’s big excursion to the Mediterranean, but I love traveling so it’s fine with me. As I continue to stay on-the-go I decide I would include some travel posts at Ask Wifey. I love reading about other people’s journeys and enjoy sharing mine, too.

A couple of weeks ago, I flew to New York for one night on a magazine writing assignment. I hadn’t been to Manhattan in several years so I was super excited to get a dose of the big apple – and a slice of pizza, too. The public relations firm that invited me to cover an event put me up at The Premier Hotel – a luxury annex of The Millennium Hotel. I used to travel to New York from Atlanta at least once a month back in my record company days – before I left the business to raise my own little superstars – and loved staying at The Millennium.

Nestled right in the heart of Times Square, I had easy access to all the hustle-and-bustle of the theater district, MTV Studios and some of my favorite restaurants in the city. I was so pleased that The Premier lived up to my memories of The Millennium and then some. It’s a smaller extension of the hotel but the rooms were large and very swanky. I had plenty of space, a nice lounge area and a great view down West 44th Street.

I was only there for one night but felt it necessary to devour have some pasta from my favorite Italian restaurant – especially since it was right down the street. Um, hello, you cannot do New York and not eat. And, I mean EAT. After my event, I found myself sitting at the bar in Carmine’s, sipping a full-body cabernet, waiting for my order of Penne Alla Vodka.

That’s a lot of food, right? No, I didn’t realize that they would give me that much; no, I didn’t eat it all, ahem, … and yes, the bed at The Premier was warm and cozy.

Winks & Smiles,
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This is a TravelingMom dedicated post.


Sex: Lots, Little or Lack Of

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Wifey’s Weekly Q and A – Reversed

You didn’t ask, but I’m just sayin’…

How often do you and your husband have sex?


That’s a rhetorical question, unless you would like to share those intimate details with all of us, but a question that you should ask yourself. Do you know how many times you and your husband have had sex in the past week? OK, month? Come on, year?

I was flipping through channels on Monday and caught a segment of The Dr. OZ Show. He and his guest Dr. Laura Berman, a leading sex educator and therapist, said that sexless marriages are at an alarming high and that sex in marriages are in a state of crisis in this country. With all the pressure and things people are juggling today – spouses, kids, bills, housework, and careers all in a terrible economy – its really not surprising that people’s sex-lives are struggling. But, it’s not good either. Sex is a critical part of a marriage and when it’s neglected, or even eliminated, the relationship undoubtedly suffers.

Dr. OZ is hosting a National Sex Experiment. He says it will start off slow and lead to the “best sex of your life.” Hmm. For those of you who are already swinging from the chandelier on a daily basis, kudos to you, but for the other 99.9 percent of us hopefully that sparked your attention.

This past Monday, Dr. OZ released his first three steps in the program:

Start Talking

Kiss and Cuddle

Just Do It

To learn more details about the experiment and these first three steps visit Dr. OZ’s website.

So, how about you? Do you make sex a priority in your marriage? If so, how? If not, are you willing to start today? Wondering wives want to know …

Winks & Smiles,

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There's a New Princess in Town

Monday, November 2, 2009

When the good folks at Walt Disney World invited me to come spend a few days at the most magical place on earth I quickly accepted their offer - Minnie Mouse and I have had a thing going on since I was 2. I knew Disney did things really big so I wasn’t surprised when they flew me down in style and put me up at the amazing Animal Kingdom Lodge in the Jambo House. I stayed in the Kudo Trail Guest Rooms and woke up every morning to wildlife right outside my window.

My room ...

Inside the intricately decorated resort ...

The view from my patio - look close there's a giraffe in the center behind a tree and a few elands.

When they picked me up last Monday morning for the parade and arrival of Disney’s newest princess I assured them that they did not have to go through all that fuss for me. Surely, no media would turn out for my arrival. Well, the media and a park full of people did gather at Cinderella’s castle to witness this historic event, except it wasn’t for me, ahem, it was for the beautiful Princess Tiana, Disney’s first African American princess and the star of the new movie The Princess and the Frog in theatres nationwide December 11.

All the princesses, Mickey and the entire crew were on hand for Princess Tiana’s grand entrance. After the parade, Princess Tiana, Prince Naveen and other characters from the movie launched “Tiana’s Showboat Jubilee!” a jazz-filled Mardi Gras themed experience running through January 3, 2010. Not only is this newest attraction a treat to see, but to do, too! Each show, 30 park guest are chosen at random to participate in this fun-filled adventure. The singing and dancing was awesome and has me jonesing to see the movie.

Princess Tiana makes her grand entrance ...

Tiana's Showboat Jubilee!

Princess Tiana and friends put on a great show.

My princess experience didn’t stop there. I also had the opportunity to meet Princess Tiana and her charming Prince Naveen. They were extremely gracious – and he was a doll, just as suave as could be.

Royalty at its finest.

After leaving Disney’s newest royal couple I ran into a few other little princesses in the park.

Aren’t they just adorable? They each received the new Princess Tiana makeover at the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique in Magic Kingdom. While I seriously debated hopping in one of the salon chairs to get my pixie-dust makeover, I decided not to embarrass my family and bring my own little princess next time we’re at the park. She would so LOVE all of this princess fuss and I must admit … so did I!

Winks & Smiles,

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This blog is a personal blog written and edited by me. This blog accepts forms of cash advertising, sponsorship, paid insertions, products, event tickets, travel and other forms of compensation. The owner of this blog may be compensated to provide opinion on products, services, websites and various other topics. Even though the owner of this blog may receive compensation for a post or advertisements, we always give our honest opinions, findings, beliefs, or experiences on those topics or products. The views and opinions expressed on this blog are purely the bloggers' own. Any product claim, statistic, quote or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer, provider or party in question. This blog does not contain any content that might present a conflict of interest.

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