Date Night on a Budget

I adore my kids but I also love a good date night where hubby and I get to enjoy a nice night without our toddler whining or our tween asking for wifi. Sometimes I feel guilty saying that but I’m sure other parents can agree with me on this.

Carlos and I try our best to do two date nights a month.  If his schedule and our funds allow it, we squeeze in a few more.

Wednesday night was one of those nights for us.  We spent the day at the park with the kids and then dropped them off to my mom for a few hours.  Since I am no longer working we cant splurge on dinners like we used to.  However, I love the challenge of looking for inexpensive places to go to.  I was in the mood for some pizza so we chose to go with Artichoke Basille’s Pizza.  They have one of the best artichoke pizza in my opinion. They have several locations in New York City but we chose the location on tenth avenue in the Chelsea area of Manhattan.  They have seating inside and outside.  Something we look for because somebody (cough, cough) is very picky with his seating.  We enjoyed a pizza sampler that included an artichoke pizza, a margherita pizza and a white pizza.  We enjoyed some beers and then headed out.

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The highline was nearby so we decided to head there.  We enjoyed the breeze, the scenery and conversation.

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Photo from my cell

Once we were done we headed over to the BigGay Ice Cream Shop to celebrate national soft serve ice cream day.  It was our first time there and I have to admit it was overwhelming, especially seeing the long line out the door.  Things moved fast and we were up by the counter before we knew it.  I went with their most popular request, the Salty Pimp and Carlos went with the second best,the Bea Arthur.  Whoa, were these good!

We enjoyed our short time with each other and then headed to get the kids. We spent less than fifty bucks on our date and had a great time. Sometimes as New Yorkers we tend to forget the simple things the city has to offer for very little or no money at all.  

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Photo from my cell

Date Night

Feeling silly on date night

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Found inside shop

Next time you think about a date night, I challenge you to look up something free or inexpensive things to do in your city.  Tag me on instagram @nycmamacita_ 

xoxo

Desirre

Minions Movie Review

Happy Tuesday Everyone!

Hope you all had a great weekend and are having a good transition into the week.

This weekend my family and I got to screen the Minions movie before it hits theaters on July 10th, 2015 and I must say WE ALL ENJOYED IT, kids and adults! Sean and Ariel were thrilled to get to see the movie and could not stop laughing from start to finish.

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We first encounter the Minions in Despicable Me and get reacquainted with them in Despicable Me 2.  If you havent seen either one first of all, where have you been and second go see them ASAP!

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The minions help the evil villain, Gru in his plans to conquer the world.  In the first two movies the minions serve as supporting characters mainly for comic relief, in this latest film they are full fledged stars. In Minions we see how Minions have been around since the dawn of time with their sole purpose being to serve the most evil villian of that time.  The movie goes on to show how the Minions played a part in events throughout history, sort of like Forrest Gump.  Just making a mess of every situation they’re in.  They ultimately  find themselves in a cave in Antarctica with no one to serve which leads them into a  deep depression.  Fed up with their current situation, Kevin, decides to lead an excursion in search of a new leader.  Accompanied by Bob and Stuart, they set sail and end up in New York City, where they learn about an evil villain convention in Orlando, FL. Where Kevin is sure that they will find their new leader and has his eye set on one, Scarlet Overkill!

This animated comedy had our whole family laughing with silly jokes for the kids and tasteful jokes for the adults.  I’m positive your family will be in stitches as well!

So don’t miss out and head to the theaters on July 10th, 2015 to catch Minions, you won’t regret it!

And to get updates on all things Minions follow the following links.

Follow on Twitter <https://twitter.com/minions> ,

Instagram
<https://instagram.com/minionnation/> ,

Pinterest
<https://www.pinterest.com/minionnation/> ,

Google+
<https://plus.google.com/107886320508245702637/posts>

Like ‘MINIONS’ on Facebook <https://www.facebook.com/minions>

Visit the Official Site <http://www.minionsmovie.com/>

xo
Desirré

The Best Dad Ever

Happy Thursday!

Because everyday is father’s day in our household, Happy belated Father’s day to all the father’s that play a major role in their kids lives.  This could be a stepdad, a friend and even single mothers that play both roles.

Thinking back at my childhood, I really don’t recall father’s day being celebrated that often.  I wasn’t raised by my biological father and the father that helped raise me was never around.  When I was sixteen years old he passed away, so for a very long time I didn’t celebrate father’s day.  I never knew the importance of it but it didn’t bother me at all.  My childhood was filled with wonderful memories of my mom, my grandmother, my sisters, aunts, uncles and cousins.  It was also filled with love and laughter and that’s all that really mattered to me.

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Fast forward to 2009 when I met my now husband, Carlos, and he had a 2 year old son.  As friends, I watched how he interacted with his son and as we became more involved with each other, I saw how loving, supportive and caring he was with Sean.  ‘Til this day no matter how tired he is from working a 24+ hour shift, he will always make time for Sean.  Even if its for the last ten minutes before bedtime, he will sit, watch television, talk, have a snack or play Lego’s with him.  This year was a rough school year for Sean and I must admit I am not the most patient person there is when it comes to school work, so Carlos held down the fort (as always) and really helped Sean get his grades up.

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Sean’s card read “because people could never be happy without you!”  and he is so right!

Now fast forward to the present, where we now have our little girl, Sophia, and he has once again proven to be an amazing father.  He is so gentle and loving with her.  He goes the extra mile to make her laugh and isn’t hesitant about doing the dirty work.  He treats both kids equally and always makes sure to spend quality time with them.  He would give everything, even his last dime if he had to, to provide and make them happy!

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If I didn’t know what the definition of a father was before, I know now! So I couldn’t let a week go by without honoring my sweet, sweet man!

Happy Father’s day, babe!

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xoxo

Desirre

Smorgasburg

On warm, Friday night’s, Carlos and I love to meet up in Manhattan, after work, and do something we normally wouldn’t do during the work week.  That something can be anything from going to a fancy restaurant, taking a stroll through central park, or enjoying some happy hour specials at a local bar.  And of course, if we don’t have a sitter for the night, we go with a kid friendly place. 

This past Friday was pretty warm here in NYC, especially with all the crazy weather we’ve been having.  Carlos met me at Madison square park where we watched Sean play and pushed Sophia on the swings.  Afterwards we did some light shopping at nearby shops and then made our way down to the South Street Seaport, one of the few homes to Smorgasburg!

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Smorgasburg launched in May of 2011 as a spin-off to the Brooklyn flea. If you’ve ever been to a flea market you know that it’s a big open space where vendors rent out smaller spaces to sell their merchandise.  Well Smorgasburg is exactly the same, however you won’t find any antique furniture there, you’ll find many vendors selling some of their most popular foods!  It is open from April to November every year.  While its original home is in Brooklyn, it has now made its way to Manhattan via pop up shops.

On Friday, we went to its South Street Seaport location and enjoyed the views of the East river, some music and of course some great food.  Carlos enjoyed a BBQ brisket sandwich while I tried a Ramen burger (as pictured above) for the first time.  One word: amazing!  Sean enjoyed his usual, pizza and Sophia had some of her Ella’s kitchen food pouch. 

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If you’re ever in Brooklyn (on the weekend) or lower Manhattan (on a Friday night) make sure to pass by Smorgasburg for some awesome food and a good time!

xoxo
Desirré

Sophia’s First Birthday

It seems like just yesterday when I started this blog and kept family and friends updated on my pregnancy.  I wrote a week by week as to how I was feeling and how much my belly and baby had grown. 

Well now that baby, Sophia, is officially a toddler!! Today we celebrated her first birthday in a small but memorable way. 

If you know me you know I am not into parties or huge celebrations but I do love pictures and sharing them with everyone.

Here are some for you to enjoy!

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We had these taken at a small and inexpensive studio in East Harlem.

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We also put together a “party” in her crib with lots of balloons and streamers.

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And of course got some cake from our favorite place, Momofuku Milkbar.

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Thank you to everyone who reached out to us and wished our little girl a happy birthday!

We love y’all!

xoxo
Desirré

Urban Kids Do Brunch (Phlog)

If you live in NYC you know that for any occasion these days, we brunch!

“Brunch – the combination of breakfast and lunch usually eaten late morning early afternoon.”

And when you have kids sometimes you just have to drag them along…

This past weekend we celebrated my brother in laws 27th birthday.  Aaaannd you guessed it, we went out for brunch to celebrate.  We went to Maya, an upscale Mexican restaurant with a bottomless brunch menu.  Not only did we get endless amounts of margaritas and mimosas but we got endless amounts of food. We brought the kids along and I must say they were so behaved. 

Here are some pics at the restaurant and at the South Street Seaport where we hung out after brunch.

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Have a great night!

xoxo -Desirre

What I’m Loving Lately: I

Happy Hump Day!

Let’s kick it off with a What I’m Loving Lately post!  My very first one 🙂

Tina over at carrots n’ cakes has definitely inspired this post.  She usually does this every so often and it really motivates me to try new things.  I am hoping I can have the same effect on some of my readers.

1. Ninja Kitchen System

If you follow me on instagram (@nycmamacita_), twitter (@nycmamacita_) or facebook (Desirre Fernandez) you would have seen my post a couple days ago where I posted a picture of my spinach shake and spoke briefly about my Ninja Kitchen System.

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On the verge of making some flour-less pb muffins

I received it for Christmas and it is by far my favorite gift ever!!!  (I may be exaggerating here but its pretty close to it) It’s going on a month now that I received it and I am not exaggerating, now, when I say we use it EVERY day!  Even my husband who was a big Magic Bullet fan has converted. I’ll write up a post on all of the things I’ve made so far! 🙂

2. Nikon D5300

Another one of my Christmas gifts (I must have been a good girl this year 🙂 ) was a new camera.  A Nikon D5300 DSLR to be exact and I am in love!  This is probably the gift that competes with the Ninja on my favorites list.

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I was in the market for a new camera as I wanted to take a lot more pictures of the kids, my family and of course for my blog here.  I have posted some of the pics on my other social network accounts and so far they’ve been a hit.  I promise to post more on here but I am currently getting to know all of its functions.

because I need more pics like this one here of my nuggets …

getting ready for NYE

getting ready for NYE 2014

3. Gluten Free

I’m all about the gluten free these days!  I have finally kicked my goal of eating clean into high gear and I’ve chosen to do gluten free as much as possible.  I thought it was going to be a difficult task but honestly it has not been.  My husband and I have been having tons of fun trying to find gluten free recipes and recreating them in our kitchen. 🙂

4. Nom Nom Paleo

Nom Nom Paleo is a blog and social network account created by Michelle Tam.  She eats strictly paleo and has come up with some pretty amazing recipes that we’ve been trying out.  Her cracklin’ chicken is one for the books!  She has a best selling cookbook also called Nom Nom Paleo and we are definitely planning to purchase it this weekend.

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5. Being a Tourist

This one is not a physical thing but it’s something I’ve been loving lately and it definitely deserves a number on here.

We live in NYC and there are soooo many things to do in this great place.  As permanent residents here (since birth :/ ) we normally don’t take advantage of everything the city has to offer.  We have TRIED to make an effort and go out at least once a week and do something we haven’t done before, or maybe something we haven’t done in a long time.

We attempted going ice skating the other day but the city has been packed with tourists and it was pretty much impossible to get in so we decided to sight see around central park. (and take pics, something we never do!)

fyi: we LOVE camo in our family haha

fyi: we LOVE camo in our family haha

What do you guys do in NYC?

xoxo                                                                                                                               Desirré

Finding Balance in 2015

New Year, new beginning!

New Year 2015 formed from sparking digits over black background

Time to reflect on the past year and make some changes.  I won’t go as far as to say “new year, new me” because I am pretty happy with myself, but there are a couple of things I would like to improve.  One major thing is to find balance between it all.  With work, family, friends, and life in general it is so hard to find balance.  Now throw in a 6 month old baby and it becomes much harder.

For the past six months my main focus has been my daughter and she’ll continue to be as she needs the most attention right now.  However, I need to make time for myself and things I need.  Things like fitness, writing, reading, friends, family, play dates and most importantly, my marriage.  My husband is one of my best friends and my partner in everything.  We need to keep things going if we plan to be together for the rest of our lives. 🙂

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With this new goal in mind I hope to write more posts, collaborate with other bloggers/brands, have some giveaways and attend events.

Cheers to finding balance!

xoxo
Desirre

 

My Thoughts on Breastfeeding

Breastfeeding has become the topic of conversation for almost everyone that is either pregnant or has recently had a baby.  Doctors, nurses and almost everyone will tell you that breastfeeding is so good for your baby, almost making you feel like you don’t have any other options.  I totally get what we are trying to promote here but it almost seems like you don’t have a choice anymore.  As if you are looked down upon if you choose to formula feed your baby vs breastfeed.  (formula feed … something most of us were fed as babies and we came out fine right!?)

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My personal story on breastfeeding:

Before getting pregnant, I swore on everything I loved that I would breastfeed.  So naturally when I did become pregnant, I was so excited about the idea of breastfeeding, pumping and everything that comes along with it.  I researched every single pump imaginable.  I asked coworkers, friends, and family what their thoughts were on breastfeeding and what pumps they recommended.  I was bummed when I found out my husbands health insurance didn’t cover a breast-pump.  The thought of having to dish out almost $400 on a brand new pump was killing me.  Thankfully my coworker had one laying around and offered to lend it to me.  I bought the extra parts ($39 vs $400 … big win!) and stored the pump until my baby was born.

Fast forward to June 11th, 2014, the day Sophia was born.  After 24 hours of labor and an emergency c section, I was exhausted.  Even though I felt like I had had enough and just wanted to rest, The doctors and nurses wanted me to get up that same day and walk, walk, and walk.  And on top of all this I had to care for a brand spanking new baby.  At this point, I was still excited about breastfeeding, about the bond I’ve heard so many women mention.  We tried several times to help baby latch on but had no success.  I vowed to continue to try but in the mean time had to pump.  If you have used a hospital grade pump, you know those things not only look scary but hurt like hell.

After almost a week of being in the hospital we were finally sent home.  I packed my bags super fast and was dying to get home.  I was tired, in pain and just wanted to see something familiar.  Those 7 days at the hospital were hell.  My husband had to leave by 10pm due to visiting hours and the overnight nursery nurses didn’t help at all.  So I’m home and thinking I’m going to get more help than I did at the hospital but womp womp, I was wrong.  My mom was sick and couldn’t come over, my husband didn’t get the 2 weeks paternity he had been telling me he had, my mother in law worked and I had to fend for myself.  I had to care for my 7 year old son, take care of a newborn, pump every freaking 2-3 hours, all while recovering from the c section.  (FYI:  i don’t deal well with pain AT ALL) The first two weeks at home I was miserable.  I cried and I cried and I cried!  Things just felt so different, I thought I would never be normal again.

When Sophia turned a month, I kept thinking about formula feeding more and more.  I spoke to my mom, I spoke to Carlos and I spoke to my mother in law.  I felt so guilty, I thought I was a bad mother for even thinking of it but the honest truth is that I was miserable.  I was not getting that bond with my daughter.  She wasn’t latching, I was pumping, I was in pain, it just wasn’t for us.  I felt more sad/angry than I did happy.  I then thought to myself if I am constantly unhappy and crying, how could I ever be a good mom and right then and there I decided to stop pumping and formula feed.  I went cold turkey.  I bought a tight sports-bra, wore it all day long and tried to stop any form of stimulation.  It may sound horrible to some of you but it was the BEST decision I have ever made.  I almost immediately felt happier.  I stopped crying and I was able to spend more time with my daughter.

Sophia is currently 4 months old and is doing just fine.  She is hitting all her milestones and I’ve honestly never seen a happier baby.  We have such a great bond that we’ve develop by spending more time together, playing, singing and cuddling.

I know most of us go by what is pushed on us especially by doctors, nurses, and other mommies, however I believe we have to do what feels right to us, to our babies and to our families.  I knew breastfeeding wasn’t for me and acted on it and because of that I am one happy momma willing and able to care my kids.

 

xoxoxo

Desirre