Honoring Mothers

When I was a tiny baby, my mother simultaneously studied for the state bar and rocked me to sleep. She didn’t carry me for forty weeks … or even one.
But when I was three weeks old, she made the decision to be my mother.  To say my childhood was dramatically different than what it could have been is an understatement.
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Throughout the years, my mother made sure I learned about foreign film, swam like a fish, laced up Pointe shoes with other dancers and surrounded myself with books that grabbed me.
Sure she taught me what mothers usually share with their daughters but for me, I was inspired by how she was always pushing me to learn things and not be comfortable with just the norm. It is what I do now with my four children. And I hope it is what they do with their children.
Sharing how grateful I am for the choice my mother made to raise me is not at all uncommon. But sometimes people need a little help with the words they share with their mother. I consider the text in Hallmark cards to be writing prompts with the other side of the card blank intentionally for you to put your heart to paper.
I found a couple of Mother’s Day cards from the Hallmark Mahogany line I could consider for my mother this year. When I saw the card on the left, I thought it was adorable and it even reminded me of the photo above with her when I was a month old.
Hallmark Mahogany Mother's Day Cards #PutYourHeartToPaper
During this motherhood journey, I have made friends who have been amazing but one stands out.
Two years ago she sat on my sofa after getting unimaginable news from me… and cried. I had been holding it together for hours but seeing her cry made me realize it was alright to do the same. She is the most levelheaded, calm and collected person I know. Seeing her cry (because of me, ugh!) was my green light to stop trying to be tough.
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Like the true friend she is, she had brought me my favorite dough doughnuts even though she knew I didn’t have an appetite. And she continued to be right there with me in the months that followed even when I didn’t think to say I needed her.  Seriously… I actually turned around one day and she was right there to celebrate with me. I have no idea what I did to deserve her friendship but she is wonderful.
She has two children of her own and her calm way of handling things that come up has definitely inspired how I handle parenting situations of my own these days.
I found a couple of fun cards for her too. She is always getting coffee and every spring she makes one of the most fun cakes for guests at her home. And if you promise not to tell her I know, I think she may also be a super hero.
Hallmark Mother's Day Cards #PutYourHeartToPaper
I have two of the coolest aunts around — Titi Yolly and Titi Lizette are pretty awesome. I admire their work ethic and family loyalty so much. Spending time with them and their children is always a fun time. One of my favorite memories is us going to karaoke together and stayed out til 4AM like we were young things. Both Titi Yolly and Titi Lizette have raised great children and have a common sense approach to parenting that is such a breath of fresh air. And they’ve been known to give me some great life advice as well.  To be honest with you, they are aunts everyone wishes they could have. I’m lucky they are mine.
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I picked out two cards for them I could give them!
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To read about more special women and mother figures honored for Mother’s Day follow Hallmark on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and Twitter (Follow the hashtag #PutYourHeartToPaper to read how other people are honoring the special moms in their life!)

And you can watch the rest of the Hallmark videos too. Grab some tissues first!
Hallmark Logo #PutYourHeartToPaper
This post is sponsored by Hallmark but the my feelings of gratitude for the mothers in my life are my own. 

DreamWorks HOME

When I was a little girl I didn’t fit in. My voice never sounded like some people thought it should. The way I looked and the things I liked weren’t in keeping with stereotypes. There were many times I felt like an outsider. It shouldn’t have been a surprise that I was bullied by older students in high school for not fitting the mold. Thankfully as an adult I don’t have any issues with friendships.

DreamWorks Animation has a movie called HOME coming out on March 27th where an alien misfit named Oh becomes friends with a young girl who has been left behind when the Boov alien race take over most of Earth.

My children and I were invited to see the movie and I was given the opportunity to interview Jim Parsons (voice of Oh), Rihanna (voice of Tip), Steve Martin (voice of Captain Smek) and Director Tim Johnson ahead of the film’s release.  This event was courtesy of 20th Century Fox and DreamWorks Animation.

Dreamworks Home

Watch the trailer for HOME to start the laughs before you get to the movie theater

The actors and director sat down and answered questions on a variety of topics from the technology the movie used while filming to interesting parties the actors had as a child. And even what their favorite app is on their phone. Rihanna is a fan of Square Ready and Jim Parsons likes Candy Crush.

One thing that was hard to ignore was the four of them played off each other. Rihanna and Jim Parsons were like brother and sister joking around. It was one of my favorite press days. Of course the movie was discussed too.

I liked hearing about the last minute changes to the movie that had taken place about six weeks before the press day. And the behind the scenes chat about some parts of the movie were interesting to hear.

Especially when they discussed the Boov Death March Oh sings. It turns out, the original version Jim Parsons sang was so melodic they couldn’t use it. Tim Johnson wanted an awful sounding song. Here’s what they had to say:

Mr. Tim Johnson: I mean right away. And so, I like to think of Home as a non-musical musical. The characters don’t burst into song and sing.
Mr. Steve Martin: Well, wait a minute. Wait a minute. There’s the “Boov Death Song”.
Mr. Jim Parsons: Steve’s right.
Mr. Steve Martin: Yes.
Mr. Jim Parsons: Which I wrote the first version of.
Mr. Tim Johnson: He was the author of. Well, you know, the story–.
Mr. Jim Parsons: –I don’t remember it. But, I wrote it.
Mr. Tim Johnson: You are credited.
Mr. Jim Parsons: With my mouth. I am?
Mr. Tim Johnson: Have you seen the end credits?
Ms. Rihanna: Yes. You are.
Mr. Tim Johnson: It said “Boov Death Song” by Jim Parsons. But the funny story there is the “Boov Death Song”, and I said–he–Jim goes, well, what is the “Boov Death Song”? And I said, I just want you to make it up.
And he startled and took a deep breath. And then he sang this beautiful song with like a melody.
Mr. Jim Parsons: Now’s Grammy nominated.
Mr. Tim Johnson: And I went, actually, no, I need you to be really bad. And he just said, oh, I get it now.

If your kids are big fans of movie printables, check out these games and crafts for the movie HOME!

Chocolate Chip Lovers

Baking cookies is comforting, and cookies are the sweetest little bit of comfort food. They are very bite-sized and personal.

Sandra Lee

Chocolate chip cookies are a big hit in my house. When I asked my daughter what she liked most about chocolate chip cookies, she looked at me like only an 11 year old would and said “They’re chocolate chip cookies!”

Oh yea. I’m such a silly mom.

When I found out Nestle Toll House has Ultimates Chocolate Chip Lovers cookie dough with semi-sweet and milk chocolate chips and chocolate chunks I knew that it would be the perfect way for us to celebrate it being Friday.

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I picked up a package from the refrigerated section at our supermarket. One package makes 12 big cookies which is the perfect amount for us to make six ice cream sandwiches.

Friday is our busiest day of the week so instead of taking out the Kitchen Aid mixer, I took a shortcut when baking. One my children didn’t mind one bit.

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I know there never has to be a reason in order to make chocolate chip cookies but we decided we would make a plate of chocolate chip cookie ice cream sandwiches to enjoy during movie night! The weather is getting better and we are just so very happy about that.

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This article is sponsored by Nestle Toll House but my love for cookies is shared by millions!