Traveling While Sick: How To Help Yourself Feel Better

Traveling_Sick.jpg

Today, Tawanna from Mom's Guide to Travel stops by to give us some tips about traveling while sick. We don't want to do it if we can help it but unfortunately, germs don't check our itinerary. Stay healthy, folks!


What's worse than going through the security line at JFK airport on a busy holiday weekend during a snow storm? Traveling while sick!

We've all been there: you're on a trip or preparing for one and suddenly you get the sniffles. Thinking it might just be dry air, before you know it a cough ensues and you realize that you've caught something.

Ask your doctor

You always want to seek professional medical advice to make sure nothing is truly wrong. Once you start feeling aches and pains, dizziness, vomiting or more than just your average runny nose or cough, it's time to pick up the phone.

In the meantime, here are a few quick and easy tips if you're just battling a cold.

If you can't change your travel plans to rest up and get better, because travel takes a toll on our immune systems, then you want to take measures to help your cold from getting worse.

Related: Traveling While Sick

Sleep is your friend

The next best piece of advice is to sleep as much as you can. Giving your body extra time to rest allows it to repair itself and fight off whatever is going on with your system.

Traveling_SickWater, water, water

You want to make sure that you increase your hydration. Bump up your water intake beyond the recommended 8 glasses per day.

Related Post: 5 Things to Help You Survive Cold/Flu Season

Not just an apple a day

You also want to increase your Vitamin C intake. 500 mg is the average recommended daily dose but a healthy adult can actually take 1000 mg safely and you can find tablets of that size which help with increasing immunity.

Air on the plane

If you'll be flying, travel with nasal spray to help combat the dry air on the plane. The air pressure and circulating air can do a number on our sinuses.

Sanitizers come in all forms

Traveling while sick

Travel with a portable air purifier/sanitizer. This device is called the Air Angel from a company called Air Oasis. It's perfect for the plane, rental cars, and hotel rooms. Produced by a NASA engineer, it reduces germs and allergens by 99%. You can purchase it through my Travel Store.

Lastly, sanitize and wash your hands consistently to avoid transferring even more germs to your already weakened system.

Check out this segment I did on WBAL-TV 11 in Baltimore sharing these same tips.

How do you heal yourself quickly when you are traveling (or not)? What are some of your favorite or secret tips? Share with us. I'd love to hear them below. 

This post originally appeared at Moms Guide to Travel. Reposted with permission.


Tawanna_Browne_SmithTawanna Browne-Smith is the Managing Director of MGTTravel Media as well as the Editor In Chief of MomsGuideToTravel.com. She's built an online business centered around travel and digital marketing and has written for popular online travel publications such as the Travel Channel, 10Best USA Today, and Trip Advisor to name a few.

Don’t Nobody Bring Me—Black Eyed Peas!

Guest_Post_Gullah_Girl.jpg

My girl Chandra from Gullah Girl In a Modern World had something to say this New Year's Eve and of course, I had to open up my doors to let her speak her truth.  [line]

One thing about growing up in the south, and specifically in the Lowcountry of Georgia and South Carolina, a couple of things we do not fall short of are traditions and superstitions.  Heck, we start the year off with our dos and don’ts of the New Year.  One of the absolute and non-negotiable “dos” of the New Year is that one MUST consume a hearty plate of Hoppin’ John.  This brings me to the title of my blog.

Hoppin John PicNOW HEAR THIS:  Hoppin’ John is made with field peas (sometimes referred to as cowpeas), NOT black eyed peas.  Honestly, I did not know that people consumed black eyed peas for “luck” in the New Year until I moved to Florida.  I moved to Florida in the summer of 1999.  As the year 2000 approached, I began to gather my “luck in the New Year” goods.  I searched every nook and cranny of every chain and corner store in search of red field peas to make a nice pot of Hoppin’ John.  Not one field pea could be found.  I even went to the Caribbean grocery stores and was offered a selection of pigeon peas--though the pigeon pea may be a cousin of the field pea, a field pea it is not. Lesson learned!! So now I either stock up when I visit home, or have my mom ship me an emergency Hoppin John Kit!

In addition to preparing and consuming Hoppin’ John on New Year’s Day, there are a few other rules to prepare for the New Year:

  1. You must consume some collard greens if you want those “green backs” (i.e. money) in the New Year. I am not sure if that works, but it is good for your digestion
  2. Clean your house! In the words of my grandmother, “The way the New Year finds your home is the way it will be all year.” I always fail at this one as I never got my home in order and I lived in chaos.  This year, my home is “better” but I am fearful that I will not have a spotless home in 2016.  I think this is impossible with a 7 year old son…but I digress. 
  3. Don’t wash clothes. This tradition/superstition freaks me out. The saying is that if you wash clothes on New Year’s Day, you will wash someone out of the family. In other words, you will be responsible for the untimely death of Aunt Mae, who happens to be 102.  I’m not overly superstitious, but I don’t take chances with this one.

Now, I have a friend (she’s from west Georgia, bless her heart), introduced me to a tradition about a man has to be the first to cross your threshold in the New Year. When she was single, she would go as far as to wake her neighbor’s grown behind son up to walk through her door at midnight. Hmmm….I think if a man walks across my threshold at midnight, he’s looking to bring more than luck (or a plate of Hoppin’ John)—I’m just saying.   My Peruvian BFF shared the tradition of eating 12 grapes in the New Year for luck--one grape for each month.  Not sure about this one, but I like grapes, so I’ll have a bowl.

But honestly, we are born with the blessings that God has in store for us. John 1.0: 9-10 (KJV) states:

“I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture. The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.”

To share John 10:9-10 from the Gullah Bible:                                                              

“A de gyate, Ebrybody wa go shru me fa go eenside, dey gwine be sabe.  Dey gwine be free fa go een an come out fa go find green grass fa nyam.  De tief jes come fa tief, fa kill an story.  Bot A come so dat dey kin hab true life, so dat dey kin lib a life ob joy wa heap op an ron oba.” (The New Testament in Gullah, Sea Island Creole, 1st ed. 2005, American Bible Society)

God has a life of abundance and joy for us. It is up to us to be open to receive what God has for us and use God as our guide to get us there.  In the New Year, indulge in your traditions and celebrations, but rely on God to bring you the blessings you desire in 2016.

[line]

Chandra_WatersChandra is a Georgia Peach, ripening in the Sunshine State! She considers herself a bit of a "Modern 'Southern Belle'" with a twist. A native of Savannah, GA, the hostess city of the south, she was raised with values and familial traditions are heavily influenced by her Gullah ancestry.  Chandra’s maternal lineal heritage stems from Hilton Head Island, SC. Now when many people think of Hilton Head, they think of beaches, golf courses and luxurious resorts. In reality, Hilton Head is one of the Sea Islands along coasts of Florida, Georgia and the Carolinas where Gullah history and traditions still exist among the Native Islanders. Chandra is a member of the 6th Generation of the Burke-Ward family, originating in Hilton Head Island, South Carolina.

Chandra is a wife and mother to the best son in the world. Though currently, residing in Central Florida, she returns to the South Carolina and the Lowcountry area often. Her blog is dedicated to her mother, Brenda, who has taught her the importance of embracing and honoring my Gullah roots.

Becoming Titi Q

Becoming_Titi.jpg

Becoming an auntie was a transformation. I don't feel entitled to compare it to motherhood...but I will anyways. Frog_Princess_Titi_Q

Being present during my sister's pregnancy and then being present almost everyday for the first year of my niece's life was truly a gift. 

I remember watching my sister's belly as the frog princess kicked and punched and wiggled around. The surface of her skin would rise on one end of her belly and drag across like a shark fin under water. It truly solidified my theory that babies are like aliens using their mothers as hosts...a sci-fi adventure I'm truly looking forward to myself. 

Babysitting my niece, albeit a growth and trust exercise, was absolutely nerve wrecking. I suffer from anxiety and intrusive thoughts, so I would constantly play worse case scenarios in my head and send myself into a panic attack. I was scared of babysitting...but still felt it was a duty I needed to fulfill. After all, that's what being a Titi is all about. 

I mustered up the courage to feed her, burp her, change her diaper and put her to sleep..periodically sneaking into the room and putting my finger under her nose to ensure she was still breathing. 

Now that she is older, I look back and sigh in relief, because she's okay. She's better than okay, she's perfect. And with the exception of that one time when she was 3 and I accidental smushed her finger in the door (we both cried...it was absolutely wretched...I still tear up thinking about it), I feel like I've been a great Titi

Living so far away, I'm afraid she'll forget who I am. So it's surprising and comforting to see that she not only knows exactly who I am...she looks forward to seeing me as much I look forward to seeing her. 

Being an auntie allowed me to face a lot of my irrational fears. It allowed to me see the responsible, dependent, yet funny and quirky aunt that I could be. 

It also instilled the confidence I needed to decide that one day, I too will voluntarily accept to be host to an alien parasite in my belly...

8 Tips On How To Care For Your Favorite Jeans

Jeans-768x1024aI spend hours trying on different types of jeans to find the perfect pair . And although a pair may not be not 100 % perfect, I end up buying it. Yes, I settle, what can I say!. The perfect pair of jeans  can be a great investment as you can get some for like to $200 however, when it comes to advice on the care of these valuable commodities, there seems to be a lot of mystery. Tags that says " use the machine", "do not operate", "hand wash", "do not ever wash" – are also confusing. In order to prolong the life of this piece of clothing as it is and will continue to be fashionable, I have compiled 8 really useful tips that include how to wash, when to wash and how to fold them in a professional manner.

  1. Jeans fans know that when you buy this piece of clothing, it can take up to six months to become comfortable and should be washed until then. Why? Because once you wash them, they lose the way they adjusted to your body. However, today most are treated (pre -washed for a faded look) and can be washed more often, but only when they are soiled , or when they start to smell.
  2. Speaking of smells, what happens when they have a bad smell? To remove the bad smell that comes with wear, hang your jeans in the bathroom before a shower (wet steam will keep them fresh), or freeze them in a plastic bag for two days (yes , it really works.) You can also use Febreze.
  3. To prevent discoloration, wash the jeans upside down in cold water on delicate cycle, or hand with mild detergent such as Woolite. And if your jeans are dark, just add a 1/2 cup of distilled white vinegar in the final rinse cycle while washing your clothes to keep the color.
  4. If you have to use the dryer (which I can’t live without it), lower the temperature to the lowest possible power, and take them out before they are completely dry. Lay thems on a bed or hang upside down to dry. This avoids losing the original size.
  5. To fold jeans like a pro, place the jeans on a flat surface, fold in half, from left to right. Grab the legs and fold them in half and then lined with denim waist. Fold the denim in the middle again and smooth!
  6. Wash new denim twice before taking them to the cleaners to do alterations . Why? Because once you wash them, they will shrink.
  7. If you do not have time to try jeans in the store (my biggest problem), use “Neck Method”: You can determine your size if you put the waist line of the jeans around the diameter of your neck. If the waistband line attaches to the back of the neck comfortably, it means they are going to fit you.
  8. Did they get a little tight? Never mind, let the air dry his pants and give it a slap on the waist with a damp hand (working girl, work it!). If you need to stretch it more, use your hair dryer on the hottest setting or use the steam mode while still wet.

I hope these tips help you to find your favorite pair of denim and save money caring for you have in your closet.

About the Author

YadiraYadira Ambert is the influential Latina blogger and founder of El Club de las Diosas. Her blog focuses on key issues such as education, health, contests, recipes, reviews and beauty topics, all through the eyes of a Latina woman. Yadira, a Puerto Rican mother and passionate blogger, owns Innovative Latina Media, is co-founder of Social Influenz Network, is a marketing professional and is a spokeswoman for the Hispanicize conference and Niche Parent. She has lived in Florida for almost 20 years. You can find her in the following social networks :FacebookTwitterPinterestYoutube, and Instagram.

Do's and Don'ts for this Cough, Cold and Flu Season

Health.jpg

Meet Michelle! She is my Soror and friend. She is also the main\ pill pusha over at Taylored For You, a site that wants to empower individuals by providing health related information that will enable people to make informed decisions, to inform the public of available assistance for medical care options, pharmaceutical products, and services, and to link people with resources so they can optimize their health care experience. I had a question one day as I watched the frog princess cough and of course, I turned to her. Here are some thoughts to keep in mind for this cold and flu season.

 

 

Just in time for cough, cold and flu season, I'd like to give parents a few tips to try and help your children and other family members avoid contracting infectious diseases this winter. Disinfecting, hand washing, safe pet keeping and vaccination are key to keeping our children and family healthy through the cough, cold and flu season as well as throughout the entire year.

  • Washing your Hands Washing your hands and teaching our children to wash their hands is the single most effective way to prevent the spread of infectious diseases. Washing your hands gets rid of the germs you pick up from touching surfaces, touching other people or playing with pets!
    • When to Wash?
      • Before eating
      • Before, during and after handling food
      • After having contact with bodily fluids (after going to the bathroom)
      • After changing a diaper
      • After handling the pet's toys
      • After touching something that could be contaminated like, trash, trash cans, cleaning cloths, drains and soil
      • Frequently when someone in the household is sick
      • Whenever they look dirty!
  • How to Wash The important thing about washing your hands is not the amount of soap and water you use, but the amount of friction applied and the length of time. How much time you say? Just imagine yourself singing the Happy Birthday song, TWICE!! Dry your hands using a paper towel or hand dryer and if all possible, use a paper towel to turn off the running water.
  • Disinfection:
    • In the kitchen disinfect surfaces, especially where raw meat, poultry and eggs have come into contact. If using Cloth towels use once then wash in hot water. Cloth towels can re-infect surfaces if not washed in between usage.  In fact use paper towels which can be thrown away to wipe up the spill or disinfect the surface. Cutting boards, especially wooden ones are harbinger of germs. Make sure your cutting boards are washed with hot soapy water in between use. Beware of cross contamination (e.g. cut your meat and/or poultry on the board, then cut up something else, like vegetables, etc). I strongly suggest you keep two cutting boards, one for meats, poultry and fish and another for fresh fruits and vegetables. Sponges are also a great source of germs. If you desire to re-use your sponges, try microwaving them for about 30 seconds to be sure you've destroyed the germs.
    • In the bathroom disinfect surfaces in your bathroom frequently, especially if someone in the house is ill, with a stomach problems, cold and/or flu. Believe it or not a common place that is often missed when we disinfect is the door knob!
    • Vaccination The single best way to protect your children from the flu is to get them vaccinated each year. The seasonal flu vaccine protects against the influenza viruses that research indicates will be most common during the upcoming season. Children commonly need medical care because of influenza, especially if they are less than five (5) years of age. Severe influenza complications are most common in children less than two (2) years of age and children with chronic health problems like asthma and diabetes and disorders of the brain and/or nervous system are at high risk for developing serious flu complications.

TREATMENT (Common Cold)

The common cold is characterized by coughing, sneezing, stuffy and/or runny nose, sore throat, watery eyes, mild headache and body aches. There are more than 200 viruses that can cause the common cold. The rhinovirus is the most common. When a runny nose is involved clear mucus is often present. As the body begins to fight the virus, the mucus will turn white. Later, the bacteria that normally lives within the nose will grow back and the mucus will appear green. This is normal! (it's only when that mucus has an odor that cause for concern should be raised). Antibiotics WILL NOT HELP as the cold is caused by a virus and antibiotics are useless when fighting a virus. Antibiotics are needed when it is determined that the symptoms being exhibited by your child and/or loved one is caused by bacteria. This is determined through collection of sputum (swabbing of the nose and/or throat). HOWEVER . . .

DO:

  • See a healthcare provider if the symptoms lasts longer than 10 days
  • Temperature is greater than 100.4°F
  • Symptoms not relieved by over-the-counter (OTC) remedies.
  • Keep children and loves ones hydrated (jello water, water, Pedialyteâ„¢ or electrolyte replacing fluids NO DAIRY if fever is present).

While many over-the-counter cough and cold preparations are not suitable for children, always read the directions and follow the dosing guidelines for children and adults. If there are no guidelines for your child (due to being younger), always contact a healthcare professional for dosing guidelines. KNOW YOUR CHILD'S WEIGHT!

TREATMENT (Influenza or Flu)

Characteristics and symptoms of the Flu are very similar to the common cold. The flu is treated with antiviral drugs. Currently there are two Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved  and Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommended antivirals used to treat influenza illness. These are Tamiflu® and Relenza®. Tamiflu® is available as a pill and in liquid formulation, while Relenza® is an inhaled powder. Relenza® should not be taken by anyone who has difficulty breathing or any illness characterized by difficult breathing such as asthma, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), etc.

  • When should antiviral drugs be taken? Studies show that the best results are achieved when flu antiviral drugs are started within one to two days of getting ill. Starting them later is helpful, especially if you already have a high risk condition, e.g. Asthma, blood disorder (e.g. Sickle Cell Anemia), COPD, cystic fibrosis, congenital heart disease, kidney or liver disorders, metabolic disorders, morbid obesity, a weakened immune system (e.g. HIV, AIDS or cancer). Other individuals who are at high risk are, adults over 65 years and pregnant women.

How can you tell the difference between a cold and the flu?

Because colds and flu share many symptoms, it can be difficult (or even impossible) to tell the difference between the two based on symptoms alone. Special tests that are usually done within the first few days are needed to determine which illness you have. In general, the flu is worse than the common cold. Symptoms such as fever, body aches, extreme tiredness and dry cough are more intense. Colds are milder and are more likely to be accompanied with a runny or stuffy nose. Colds do not generally result in serious health problems such as pneumonia, bacterial infections or hospitalizations.

Hope this helps in keep you healthy this cold & flu season!

This post was originally published at Taylored For You

Mami Mondays: Meredith Talks Education

Education.jpg

Mami Mondays is back! And we are kicking things back off with Meredith who speaks on an important topic that is of interest, not just because I have a child but because I am in grad school and would like to teach some day.

The High Cost of Education

Education

This summer I packed up my home, filling boxes and bags full of the possessions I would carry with me while I stacked all my other things—cookware, photographs, furniture—in a 10x10 square on the third floor of a storage unit. I moved across town to another place I call home, that of my adolescence. This process, of packing up my life and fitting my adulthood back into my childhood room, is familiar to me. Like many people in my generation, graduating during the economic recession, I spent my twenties going home. I moved out during college only to come back when I enrolled in a Master’s degree program and only worked for a small graduate stipend while amounting thousands in student loan debt.

And now, at the age of thirty, I have moved home again. This time I have two small boys and a husband that moved with me. This time I am moving back as college professor.

I am one of many people in higher education struggling to make ends meet. Like most of my colleagues, I started as an adjunct. I worked between two local state colleges and a university, sometimes teaching eight or nine courses in a semester to make a yearly income of $28,000. I did not have health insurance and for this reason my husband and I delayed having children.

Then, I landed the dream-job, a job that many of my friends are still hoping for: a full time instructor line with health benefits and a salary less than $40,000. Since these positions are so coveted, so rare, the culture surrounding me tells me that all I can do is be grateful.

And, I am grateful.

I love my work.

But, like my colleagues in the liberal arts, where my position is housed, I am also worried about my financial security.

In Florida, education has seen declines in funding since the recession. At my institution, faculty have seen their wages decline since 2010. Not only have wages not kept up with inflation they have decreased because of a 3% shift in the way our retirement is funded, switching the financial burden onto the faculty. This is particularly significant for faculty in the liberal arts, whose income is significantly lower than those in disciplines like engineering or business. Though it doesn't seem like it, this is a women’s issue.

More women than men enter into the liberal arts. In fact, the United Nations cited the United States and Western Europe as having the lowest number of female graduates worldwide in the sciences. The White House Project on Women’s Leadership also reminds us that women earn more than half of all entry level positions in higher education—those positions that are lower in earnings and more likely to be part time and subject to budgetary cuts—while they account for only 26% of full professors, the highest faculty ranking. This disproportionate representation of women in both the lower positions and in undervalued disciplines translates into lower wages. Women’s salaries in higher education are not just lower than men’s but they have dropped since the 1970's. These numbers are worse for women of color, who make up a small percentage of faculty.

This was brought home for me in late November, when our bargaining unit lost their proposal for a 3% wage increase, an increase that would not even rectify the losses we have sustained in the last few years. In a hearing about the impasse between the union and administration—which just earned bonuses and increases themselves—the administration’s lawyer said that the board should not give “them” a wage increase.

Who does he imagine when he speaks about “them”?

Did he think about my family struggling to get by? Did he imagine my colleagues who work long hours with increasing class sizes? Did he think about how much we fight for our students, so that they can be successful?

Surely, he did not mean me?

And, I couldn't help but think about my own students. Do they know that so many of their faculty make so little?

And, I couldn't help but think about my own boys—both babies really, under the age of three—and our decision to move back home for them.

The decision to move home was a difficult one for my husband and I to make. We did not make it lightly but over a series of months and heated discussions. Like many people impacted by the housing crisis, our 2-bedroom town home is worth far less than we owe. We would lose significantly if we sold it—if we could sell it at all—let alone be able to afford the down payment on a new house.

So, we thought about our options, about staying in a house that was too small for our growing family and too far from my job—my commute to work costs upwards of $50 a week in tolls or 1/3 of our food budget a week—or about renting and closing the door on home ownership. Ultimately, we made the decision that was best for our family and asked my parents to let to let us move in, two kids and a dog, so that we could rent our house and try and save for a down payment.

The move home has not been easy and it has not been cheap.

We moved in to save money for a new house. Six months home and we have no more money than when we started. Renting out our townhouse has been expensive. Between my husband, a schoolteacher at a title I elementary school and I, our student loans are costly. More still is the increased cost we have felt from sending a second child to in-home care—the most affordable option in our community—a cost we did not experience last year when my extended family pitched in to help with his birth.

If my toddler needs new shoes, my mother buys them. I still wear maternity clothes eight months after my son’s birth because I can’t afford new clothes to fit this new mommy body. If we have to go to the doctor like we did last month then we make sacrifices other places.

I am worried. I am concerned about how we can make-work more equitable for women, for mothers. I am concerned about the cost of child-care and family supportive work places. But, mostly, I am concerned for the future.

What are your concerns? What do you need to make work more family friendly? What have you done to stretch your dollar and make ends meet?

MeredithI am a mother to two boys that keep me happy and sleep deprived. I am also an Instructor at a university, where I teach courses on contemporary women's issues and literature, study girl's leadership, and help run a mentoring program that connects collegiate women with seventh grade girls.

 

Mami Mondays: She Fights Like a Girl

Like a Girl Today is National Breast Cancer Awareness Day. We have seen the seas of pink. The strides taken, the solidarity shown.

Today, I want to share a story with you. From the daughter of a breast cancer survivor. Because the ribbons and the pink are all well and good but I want us to put a face to the name. A personal story to the cause. Stride on, sistahs!

Breast cancer has consumed my life.

Breast cancer has been impacting my life since I was 12. I'm now 33 and it still continues to be a pain in the tit. Yeah I said it. So this year I decided to put up a fact each day about Breast Cancer on my FB page. My hope is that people would take the information and help with finding a cure or take a look at their own health but also to cope with the daily pain of this illness.

I know for me, I've avoiding dealing with my early screening. Why you ask? My mom was 38 when she was first diagnosed with breast cancer. It was such a speedy process back then. She was diagnosed and then had a partial mastectomy within a few months. Once she recovered from surgery, she had a chemotherapy.

Now let's stop for a moment. I was 12 when this all happened. To say I grew up quickly is an understatement. I took over all the duties in the house. I learned to cook, clean and grocery shop like a pro. As my mother's only daughter, I took on the responsibility without hesitation. My mom has always been there for me so it was my time to watch after her.

The older I became, the push was put on me to have a mammogram at 28. I was scared out of my mind. So I pushed it off and pushed it off until I was 30. When I finally had it done I was literally in tears because I had to have the pictures done 3 times. I called my mom like "what the hell is going on?". She kindly and sweetly told me its just a precaution. If they feel they see something, they do it again.

Side note: never have a mammogram at the end of breast feeding, it will definitely impact the results. But thank goodness I did it because I was on the road to having a baseline and the results came back negative.

Now let's fast forward to 2013. This year should have been filled with joy for the fact that my Moore Clan was welcoming our fourth child. Yes, 4 children! God has blessed us with the ability to bring life into this world to nurture. But my feeling of joy was put on the back burner because breast cancer decided to pop back up again in my mother.

It's been exactly 20 years since she fought like a girl and now had to do it all over again. However, this time around, my brother and I were old enough to know exactly what was going on and knew to ask tons of questions. Every appointment my mom had, one of us was there with her.

There was no opportunity for us not to know how things were going to play out for my mom. The process was in hyperdrive with surgery within a month of diagnosis. We are grateful everything moved so quickly because it was determined the tumor was a stage 3 mass. Anyone that has encountered cancer knows stage 3 is never good.

At this point my mom has finished her big chemo treatments and is on the road to recovery with maintenance chemo. As for me, I've had my princess and we are all trying to settle into a crazy world of normalcy.

~~~

Life goes on, doesn't it? I've watched Tia go through some of this over the last couple of years. Her mom fights like a girl and we are all rooting for her! I think the message is: get checked, talk to your loved ones into getting checked. Stay alert and take care of yourself. Thank you Tia for writing this. I think I asked you for this like a month after you had your princess and you delivered between breastfeedings and naps. Thank you for taking the time.

TiaAbout Tia: 

Tia Moore, a wife and mother of 4 princesses ranging in age from 9 years old to 7 weeks old. She shares what little time she has outside the home as a licensed insurance agent and cheerleading coach. 

She is a lover of cheerleading which she shares with her mother and daughters. If you want to find her, you can see her at the gym or in the yard perfecting her routines.

Confessions of a Truck Driver's #DeliciousMoments

Luis and Breyers Disclosure: I am a Breyers ambassador but this post was written by a fellow ice cream lover.

Nothing gives me more pleasure than bringing a little happiness to those around me. Especially when I have no idea I'm doing it. Imagine my SURPRISE when, after going to an all-girl gathering at my friend Yadira's house and innocently bringing them some Breyers ice cream, I get this awesome recipe and write up. I am happy to share this unplanned delicious moment with you.

Luis Soto is husband of Editor in Chief, Yadira Ambert of El Club de las Diosas. He is a truck driver, great husband and father and now, thanks to this post, we find he is a lover of ice cream! ~~~ I must confess I love ice cream! And for a manly man, it takes courage to admit it but not me. You know why? Cause I love it! So why hide it. My love for all sweet things started when I was a young boy. I used to hear the sweet sound of the ice cream truck coming down the street and I would get ready for it.

I remember one particular day in which, I heard the truck was coming and my grandpa gave a quarter to get an ice cream cone. As soon as the truck arrived and parked across the street, I ran to get my treat. Got my dessert, and started running towards the house when I heard the ice cream man yelling at me to come back to get my change. Without hesitation, I ran back to get but without realizing a car was coming fast, I started running back to the house and I felt this strange force pushing me back to the truck. The car just passed by inches of me and I was saved. Something, someone has saved me but all I wanted was my ice cream.

So it is fair to say, I almost got killed because of ice cream. But that didn’t stop me and up to this day, it is still my favorite dessert. A couple of weeks ago my wife had a gathering of friends at home. One of them was Sili and as a great ambassador for Breyers, she brought us ice cream. I was in heaven. From that moment on, I knew my night was going to be great. I decided to prepare my banana split which included 3 scoops of Breyers Vanilla, Chocolate, Strawberry ice cream, one banana and of course whipped cream. I was certainly in heaven. I could hear the girls laughing and having a good time. But me, I was in heaven.

The next weekend, I decided to experiment further with it. Certainly another banana split was in my mind but wanted to try something different. That is when the idea of creating a new dessert started. With just a few ingredients, my new combination was a success. And today, I want to share with the world my soon to be famous “Because you only live once” dessert (BYOLO).

Ingredients: 1 giant chocolate chip cookie 2 scoops of Breyers Napolitan ice cream Whipped cream

And there you have it, another delicious treat to enjoy with my family. Thanks to my good new friend Sili, now I have more reasons to have “sweet” nights. ~~~ Disclosure: I am a Breyers ambassador. This post came about after I was tagged on Instagram in the pictures shown above and asked Luis to share his recipe. All opinions and love of ice cream are not even mine! They are his and I am grateful that he is sharing them with us. A container of strawberry, chocolate & vanilla ice cream was dropped off as a contribution to the get-together prior to realizing Luis would provide such an outstanding and yummy recipe for us. Now if you'll excuse me, I need to go make myself a BYOLO!

Dating Dossier: Dei's Not-So Dine and Dash

Dating_Dossier_SATC_Quote-e1408681211799.png

Meet Dei.Nicole. She is my line sister, my friend and my comic relief with her Facebook updates about dating. So much so that I had to create this for her:

DeiThe post is long guys but, how could I cut the story down? It’s about a girl and a guy. Olive Garden and a check. About a card, a phone call and a surprise.

My last relationship ended about a year and a half ago.  During the “reflection time”. You know that time we go through when you sit alone with or without tissues and/or ice cream and realize all of the things about your failed relationship that you let slide. The things that probably would have saved you from the heartache of a breakup in the first place? Yeah that time.

I realized that I had never really “dated” my ex. Sure we went out a few times but in reality, we met and we were a couple within the first 30 days of meeting. So I promised myself that I would actually spend some of my new single woman time not “looking for a relationship” but instead just having fun and dating.

Dating_Dossier_SATC_QuoteI must say the last year and a half of dating experiences has been interesting, to say the least. I have met some really cool guys, some not so great ones, and a couple guys who clearly escaped from somebody’s mental institution prior to taking me out on a date.

The Background Story:

A few months ago, I went out on a date with this guy. Let’s call him Chris. At first, I didn’t really think of it as a date for two reasons:

  1. because Chris and I were platonic friends for a little while prior and
  2. because there was no preparation on my part for this date.

The ladies know what I mean by preparation, I didn’t go out and buy anything new to wear. I didn’t really have on any makeup. My brows weren’t even done! I really thought it was just a quick bite to eat to catch up.

We met at a nearby Olive Garden. Chris was a complete gentleman. He met me at my car when I arrived, held open the door to the restaurant, pulled out my chair. All of which was surprising to me because these small acts of chivalry are pretty nonexistent in my dating experiences. I am always secretly looking for gentleman tendencies.

He told me to “order whatever” I wanted in such a way that implied that he would be covering the bill….with a huge grin and a wink to complete the kind gesture. (Yes. I am for real…he winked.) I didn’t think much of it because I always order the same thing at Olive Garden and come on…. we were at Olive Garden, let’s be real.

While waiting for our meals, I realized that not only were we having a good conversation but Chris was interested in being more than platonic friends. This was a real date!  He was asking all kinds of personal questions on topics we had never talked about before. While we ate, He was holding great conversation and saying all of the right things. For just a split moment, I thought wow I never knew this side of him.

This could potentially be a good thing. As soon as the thought crossed my mind, I thought of how I looked: I had on no makeup and my eyebrows were completely in need of some thread and I became a tad bit self-conscious. But that feeling of slight inadequacy soon went away.

This is What Disaster Looks Like:

The waitress came with the bill. Chris immediately grabbed it up and handed it back to the waitress with his credit card without taking his eyes off of me to look at the bill or stopping his conversation. A few moments later she returned and said those dreaded words, “I’m sorry, sir, but your card was declined.” She told us that she had run it three times and asked if he had another.

I looked at Chris. Of course he was embarrassed and completely dumbfounded. He was staring at the credit card like he had never seen one before in his whole entire life. He told the waitress that he didn't have another card. I was looking directly at him and trying to make eye contact because I always feel like I can tell if a person is being honest. If I can just see their eyes. He wouldn't look at me.

Just as I grab my purse to get my card Chris gets up and says, “I may have some money in the car. I will be right back.” The waitress looks at me, shrugs and walks away.

At first I started to feel bad for Chris because I knew this situation was pretty damn embarrassing. I also knew that our bill couldn't have been more than $50 and that Chris had a career and a great paying job. Clearly it may have been an issue with his card itself, maybe he had it by his cell phone and the magnetic strip got wiped or something.

I’m not sure how much time passed but Chris still was not back and just when I started to think that maybe the embarrassment was too much and he left me, he slides back into the booth. He tells me he didn’t have any cash in the car. I offer to pay and he got extra dramatic and tells me that he would never ever ask me to do such a thing. He said that his friend lived around the corner and was on the way with some cash. He asked if I would mind sitting with him a little while longer while he waited.  I thought it was a bit much when I had the ability to pay and get it over with. But my Dad told me once to never stop a man from trying to be a man in times of trouble so, I just agreed to stay. Big Mistake.

When his friend arrived, Chris told me to sit tight. Again, I waited for him to return. After about 10 minutes, I was done. I grabbed my stuff and walked to the door of the restaurant (with the waitress following close behind me…I am sure she thought we were going to leave without paying). From the door I could see Chris outside talking with another guy.

Here’s where it gets interesting:

There was a woman outside, too. I couldn’t hear what was being said, but I knew this woman was really excited about whatever she was talking about because she was pacing and throwing her hands up and down. I went ahead and paid for our food before stepping outside.

I was unsure whether or not I should walk to where Chris was or just make a mad dash for my car. Just as I

was about to take a step in Chris’ direction I hear,

“So you can go have dinner with some chick (she did not really say chick) but not buy your baby diapers?".

I start to look around because I was 100% positive that Ashton and the TV crew were going to appear at any moment. Clearly, I was being Punked, or on Hell Date or something. This was definitely not real life.

Chris looked up at me, waved and yelled, “Dei…I will catch you later!” in an apparent attempt to get me the hell away from there. I took that as my cue and was about to exit stage left, when the young lady turns around and starts walking towards me while yelling,

“Excuse me!! Excuse me, Ma’am…. I just need to talk to you for a second.”

Time seemed to stop. As I watched her stomp over to me, (not knowing what her intentions were but I knew I had a good few inches and a few more pounds than her, so I definitely wasn’t afraid) I started thinking about life and the fact that I am 30 years old, well-educated with a good career. Yet here I am in a parking lot. With a woman stomping towards me to confront me about going on a date…with her child’s father?

I thought about the fact that Chris was over there, looking completely defeated while his “friend” was cracking up inside his car. How did a quick bite to eat turn into hell date in a matter of moments? Maybe…just maybe I should give this dating thing a break.

“Excuse me, excuse me.” The young lady had made it to my space. “I hope you don’t think that you are dating Mr. Right because he is no good! He doesn’t take care of his child! He has NO MONEY and…” she proceeds to go on and on and on for at least a couple of minutes before I finally stop her. I tell her that we are just friends out for dinner and that I was definitely not interested. She looks me up and down. She is satisfied with my answer and says, “Ok. Well I just wanted to let you know…” and turns on her heels to head back to Chris.

I immediately jump in my car and drive off, trying to get as far from that situation as soon as possible. On my way home, I get a text message from Chris. It said: "D...I am so sorry. Hopefully next time will be better. This is not my real life, I promise."  Next time?!

Needless to say that was the last time I saw Chris. We did have a short conversation a few days later (only because he called me from a different number and I was dumb enough to answer) where he tried to explain. But really what is there left to say?

To those of you reading my story who are in loving, healthy relationships…. hug them tight at night! Those of you who are single and dating…I’m sure you can relate. It is definitely hard out here in the world for a single woman, especially a 30+ single woman. I just try not to take everything so seriously. If nothing else…. the dating disaster stories make for great Facebook updates. Hang in there.

DeidreDei refused to send me a bio so, I made this one up (let that be a lesson to all you guest posters out there).

Dei.Nicole is a slightly deranged single woman in Orlando that refuses to eat moldy bread. She recently re-enrolled in school because there wasn't enough pain in her life. Dei likes full moons, walks on the beach, broad shoulders and strong backs. Also, she’d like to not be mortified at Olive Garden.