Friday, April 4, 2014

GIVE: Reading is Fundamental Book People Unite and Books that Change Your Life

As a former teacher and mama of three that has a love affair with books and education, I wanted to share one of my favorite TV spots and causes with y'all.  It's the Book People Unite PSA.  It's been around since 2012, and I've loved it since then.  It houses so many of my favorite youth literary characters from Little Red Riding Hood and Curious George.

CAUSE: Reading is Fundamental
HOW THEY HELP: The goal is put books in the hands of all American children and create a literate America that discovers the joys and pleasures of reading.
HOW YOU CAN HELP: Glad you asked, READ to kid, but aside from that, click here

It's message is the same -- "A book can change your life..."

I can count on two hands the books that have changed my life, and I keep reading to learn, escape, enjoy, be challenged, be touched and to be inspired.


From the Bible, Jude Deveraux's A Knight in Shining Armor, Mama Gena's School of the Womanly Arts, Florence Scovel Shinn's The Game of Life and How to Play It, Nigella Lawson's Nigella Bites, Edith Hamilton's Mythology and Rick Steves' Europe Through the Back Door among so many more, the written word changes us and enhances us.

What are your favorite books?  How did they touch you?

Thursday, April 3, 2014

CONFESSIONS OF A PREEMIE MOM: What I'd Tell You on A Bumpy Road and Lessons In Empathy.

It's been a while since I wrote a "Confessions" post.  I debated writing this post, but it stuck with me and so I will.

N and Me 

It's been busy.  We've hit three months and over five pounds.  Whoop whoop. :)

Spring has set in, well at least, here in Texas, she is trying to.

I get all walled up in my pattern, get into a groove and make the best of a situation where so many of the pieces are beyond my ability to effect change.  It's the season of feeding and growing. We learn the fine nuances of CPaps, spotty leads, FiO2 levels, nasal canula and count flow levels like I am waiting for the lotto and discuss nippling, all while life goes on, time moves forward and the seasons struggle to change.

The road has been bumpy.  

You take a few steps forward, take a couple back and rest in a holding pattern for while.  Then you leap forward and practice thanking God for the process, for time and for healing.

I gain some perspective and learn what empathy looks and feels like as I see and listen to other families pain and thank God that it is not my house and that we've been spared their pain. Oh the cry that must erupted in Egypt in that dark Passover night. 

But I digress, it was early on Wednesday morning two weeks ago.  Had I not been so excited to see my Mr. N, I might would've noticed the subdued nature of the nurses that I passed in the hall.  But like so many times that I've walked into the NICU, you get into a routine.  

N waving at 3 months. 

Grab a sip of water.

Wonder how his day has gone. 

Wash up. 

Pat dry. 

Foam sanitize and push open the door. 

Quietly greet passing nurse. 

Grin happily at baby through the glass. 

I walked directly to his bed, set his milk on the shelf and only then did it register that the dark green screens were out.  

Hot tears well up and that frog lodges right in the middle of my throat as I try not to cry.

The dark green screens pulled close together always mean the same thing.  Someone's baby didn't make it and had passed on to Heaven.  

The monitor was still on and the nurses were subdued, efficient and graceful as they prepared the space and worked to soothe a hurting family.  Time seemed to drag on and I held my hand on Noah's back as I watched the ending of a too short chapter unfold. 

Relief floods my system.  Thanksgiving whispers in my soul.  Followed by guilt for that relief and grief at her mother's pain.

And I am reminded at the gift we have been given of time, of healing and the honor chance to be parents.

I am reminded that this is a blessed road we are on.  And if you are walking down the same road, and I know your story maybe different, but similar enough that you get it.  You understand where I am coming from, I would tell you... miracles happen -- quite frankly, the fact that we are right here, right now, means just that.  A generation or two ago what we are walking through right now and treatments available wouldn't even be possible, much less available.

"Grace has covered you.  Cling to the good.  Look for it -- see it -- acknowledge it and celebrate it. You are stronger than you know.  Life keeps moving forward and people aren't going to get it.  And that's ok.  Honestly, you might not want them to.  Experience is a hard teacher and not everyone is cut out to be walking in the shoes that you are in. Wear them proud.  Do what you can and sleep is important.  Be here in the now.  And keep going.  Keep going."

Then I'd probably give you hug.

Until next time,

EVENT: DALLAS: Accessible Luxury on April 11 benefiting Texas Scottish Rite Children's Hospital

Dallas is known for great events and having a large philanthropic heart.  Accessible Luxury on April 11, 2014 at Park Place Premier Collection is no exception ,and I am honored to share the word with some other fabulous ladies here in Dallas.

credit: TSRCH

For the last 90 years, Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children has been providing world class, life-enhancing orthopedic treatment for children regardless of the family's ability to pay.

There is a feeling of hope, joy and renewal that permeates the buildings and radiates from the staff and the families that were walking through.  If you ever get the chance, visit -- you won't be sorry.

This year's honorary event chairs, Pat and Claude Prestige, MD and event chairs, Pat Nurenberg, MD and David Ewalt, MD are chairing an event that is always memorable and just fabulous fun in honor of an excellent facility. "Dave and I are so honored to be part of this fabulous and unique event that benefits the patients of Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children," said event chairman Dr. Pam Nurenberg. "This exciting evening is dedicated to celebrating some of Dallas' finest food and fashion, all while making a difference in the lives of thousands of children.”

Back at Highland Park Village, Accessible Luxury will host the Rolls-Royce Runway Show, a fashion show produced by Harriet Kelly Gibbe and emceed by Kim Elenez (DMagazine) and Lauren Scruggs (Fashion Blogger and Author) featuring Anne Fontaine, Cole Haan, Five and Ten, Jimmy Choo, Lela Rose, Mizzen + Main, Rag & Bone, Trina Turk among others styled by Lauren Murphy.  It's a great opportunity to see the glorious action up close and personal.

Looks from Anne Fontaine Courtesy Highland Park Village

Guests will not want to miss the Bentley Bubble Room featuring designer Ray Griffiths with treats for the ladies with a lipstick reader, beauty lounge and beauties from Eiseman Jewels or the Maserati Man Cave with hand-rolled cigars, some of the sexist cars on the market and some fabulous guns from Beretta. And my personal favorite the McLaren Moonlight Room with a social media photo booth, delicious bites from some of Dallas' best and one of the best raffles of the Dallas social scene.

Get your tickets now, here.

Can't make it?  Bid for the raffle online now! Here

WHEN: April 11, 2014 from 7-11pm
WHERE: Park Place Premier Collection
             5300 Lemmon Avenue
             Dallas, Texas 75209

$125 for individual ticket
$1000 for the exclusive VIP package including VIP Hour from 6-7pm, 2 event tickets, reserved seating at the runway show and a luxury swag bag

DRESS: Accessible Chic

Friday, March 28, 2014

GUEST POST: Smart Money Saving Tips with Tyra

Introducing my sister and guest blogger: 

Tyra B. Mosley

She is a common sense mama with an eye for giving, delicious food, sharing, history and travel. She also has a miraculous knack for finding a really good deal.  You can find her tweeting at @TyraBMosley

Today is a great day! A great day for saving money! With the economy the way it is, saving money has become not so much a necessity, but a way of life. I spend many of my days in front of a computer for one reason or another, and said "why not make the most of my time, by checking out the great money-saving, and coupon sites the internet has to offer." Trust me, there are MANY sites, and you can quickly feel overwhelmed, but here are a few that I find worth the time of "getting to know better".

(Credit: The Guardian)

These are just a few that I visit on a daily basis. I sign up for the newsletters on all of these sites, and wake every day to a variety of deals!!

Happy Money-Saving!

Monday, March 24, 2014

EVENT: GO: Richardson's Alamo Drafthouse Celebrates the Awesomeness of 1984

While I was a tot in 1984, some of my favorite classics from childhood graced us with their cinematic presence in the early 1980's. James Wallace, Alamo DFW programmer notes that "1984 is a special year for movies. It's not only the year that gave the world a new generation of movie lovers now turning 30 in 2014 (myself included), but it gave us classics like TEMPLE OF DOOM, A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET, ADVENTURES OF BUCKAROO BANZAI ACROSS THE 8TH DIMENSION, PURPLE RAIN, FOOTLOOSE, THE NEVERENDING STORY, GHOSTBUSTERS (which is now unavailable for public showings in the wake of Harold Ramis' untimely passing) and so many more! And so as those movies turn 30, we're giving them all the proper birthday celebration—back on the big screen at Alamo this month!

In honor of the fabulousness of 1984, Alamo DFW is hosting some fabulousness of their own.



April 16: FOOTLOOSE Dance-Along (1984)

April 21: PURPLE RAIN Sing-Along (1984)

April 22: A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET in 35MM (1984)

April 23: TEMPLE OF DOOM Dinner Party in 35MM (1984)


To reserve your space and learn more details, visit here

100 S. Central Expressway #14
Richardson, Texas 75080

Friday, March 21, 2014

NEWS: WATCH: Old School Movies We Are Waiting For: Jem and the Holograms and Transformers 4

I was blessed with the an idyllic childhood, but I didn't realize that until I became an adult.  I played outside, made mud pies, sang 'Jesus Loves Me' from my playhouse, ran around barefoot, tormented my neighbors, baked all the flour, sugar and butter in sight, fought with my siblings and watched the best cartoons ever!

They were good days.

Thinking on it now, I know that those laid the seeds for my cultural immersion now and reinforced the morality code that so many of my generation seem to have.  There where common themes of:

Good v. Evil
Sparkle is a must.
Beware the underdog, and not to mention the triumph of the Red, White and Blue.

One of my favorites was Jem and the Holograms.  Though I got along with Transformers, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Strawberry Shortcake, My Little Pony, X-Men, He-Man and She-Ra and the uber-fantastic GI Joe!  

Yes, please, bring on the Nostalgia and cartoons that have story lines and characters deeper than my pinkie.  So when the HUB Network showed episodes, my short people and I sat down, watched together and debated the validity of some of the lines and talked 80's fashion -- good times, flashbacks and family bonding time.

And from all indications, it looks like we weren't the only ones longing for the cartoons of our youth and delighted by the throwbacks because another Hasbro favorite is coming to the big screen.

Blumhouse Productions is partnering with Hasbro to bring the Jem and the Holograms to the big screen.... they already ventured into the 80s territory with the mostly disappointing GI Joe franchise and the awesome Transformers series (well, I loved 1 and 2 -- 3 left a little to be desired -- 4 is yet to come) and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles later this summer.

Which movie are you waiting to see?

Our house vote is split between Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Jem.  Though I hope Transformers 4, with the Mark Wahlberg infusion, is a sleeper hit.  What I love about the live action take is that current special effects technology can be put to good use.  

Share your classic cartoon fave below.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

READ: EAGERLY AWAITING: Delicious New books by Mary Jane Hathaway and Jude Deveraux

Publisher's Summary 

"From the bestselling author of Pride, Prejudice, and Cheese Grits comes a new and comical contemporary take on the perennial Jane Austen classic, Emma.

Caroline Ashley is a journalist on the rise at The Washington Post until the sudden death of her father brings her back to Thorny Hollow to care for her mentally fragile mother and their aging antebellum home. The only respite from the eternal rotation of bridge club meetings and garden parties is her longtime friend, Brooks Elliott. A professor of journalism, Brooks is the voice of sanity and reason in the land of pink lemonade and triple layer coconut cakes. But when she meets a fascinating, charismatic young man on the cusp of a brand new industry, she ignores Brooks’s misgivings and throws herself into the project.

Brooks struggles to reconcile his parents’ very bitter marriage with his father’s devastating grief at the recent loss of his wife. Caroline is the only bright spot in the emotional wreckage of his family life. She’s a friend and he’s perfectly happy to keep her safely in that category. Marriage isn’t for men like Brooks and they both know it… until a handsome newcomer wins her heart. Brooks discovers Caroline is much more than a friend, and always has been, but is it too late to win her back?

Featuring a colorful cast of southern belles, Civil War re-enactors, and good Christian women with spunk to spare, Emma, Mr. Knightley, and Chili-Slaw Dogs brings the modern American South to light in a way only a contemporary Jane Austen could have imagined."

Coming Out JULY 8  (look for my take this week)

My take:

A sweetly romantic new time travel tale from Jude Deveraux featuring beloved characters from the Nantucket based True Love and with nods and winks to my favorite tales of the Montgomerys and Taggerts.  Good times.  I picked it up and kept reading...happily.  The chemistry between Toby and Graydon is palatable, and readers will most likely be awaiting Rory, the UYB's, tale next.    

Publishers summary:

Beautiful, hardworking Toby Wyndam is always so busy helping others she never has time for herself. Graydon Montgomery is heir to the Lanconian throne, and desperate for a week of freedom from his royal duties before he has to marry the eligible queen-in-training he unfortunately doesn't love. When they meet at a wedding, Toby is the only one able to tell Graydon apart from his twin, Rory-an ability that supposedly marks her as his true love. Dismissing the legend as silly nonsense, Toby agrees to hide Graydon on Nantucket in exchange for his help planning the lavish wedding of bestselling novelist Victoria Madsen. Toby and Graydon are determined to be just friends, but as July slips into August, the romantic island paradise casts its spell and soon it seems like maybe Victoria won't be the only Nantucket bride this summer.

Coming out JULY 1, 2014, available here

Thank you to Random House and Simon & Schuster for review copies