MWMs AT LUCIANO'S OF CHICAGO

This past Tuesday, we invited fellow MWMs to join us at Luciano's Of Chicago.  Even if it was for a quick "hello" or to join us for a drink...or two.  Elizabeth (you remember her from her guest blog about how to make a tufted bench last week) and Amelia, our graphic designer (who is incredibly talented and awesome!) hung out with us for the entire time!  We had drinks, ordered dinner and just had us a good 'ole time.  

May I just say, that we were all home by 8:30p.m. or was it 9:30p.m? Nonetheless, not bad, eh?!  We encourage you to come out next week!  Mark it on your calendars!  

Sandena mentioned in her guest post on Wednesday "My Staycation", that often we neglect ourselves to cater to everyone else around us.  Doing this all the time soon leaves us being no good to ourselves or the ones we love!  You must create time for yourself!  So, if you don't have any other day to unwind, come out on Tuesdays after work and meet women who know exactly what you're going through.  And if there are any husbands reading this post, I promise you, we will send home a much happier wife and in turn you will be a much happier husband. (wink wink) LOL

I was tempted to delete some of the following pictures (the ones where I look a hot mess) but then I thought I would do no such thing.  The pictures below depict the wonderful and energetic evening we had with the girls! Even the fugly ones...hehe


See all the paperwork!  Tiffany and I working hard at our blog meeting! :)

In deep conversation

Amelia, of AJDesigns, our graphic designer

The best bartender at Luciano's, Jerry!  Takes care of us all the time!

Add caption






This is the picture you ALWAYS try to avoid!




I think that look is for hubby Eric


Tiffany working hard






 

Tiffany, friends don't let friends take pictures with hair like this! Noted!

Wine makes everything better


Hey there Meeli J








Signed, 
your fellow MWMs

GUEST BLOG - MY STAYCATION

"In case there is a loss in cabin pressure, yellow oxygen masks will deploy from the ceiling compartment located above you.  To secure, pull the mask towards you, secure the elastic strap to your head, and fasten it so it covers your mouth and nose. Breathe normally.  Even if the bag does not inflate, please keep in mind that oxygen is flowing.  Please make sure to secure your own mask before assisting others."

Sounds familiar?

These few sentences are a part of an airline's pre-flight safety demonstration. Let's focus on the last sentence and most important portion of this entire paragraph: “Please make sure to secure your own mask before assisting others.” What, you might ask, does this have to do with a blog for MWMs? Let me share my thoughts with you.

As MWMs, sight is often lost of the fact that we are also women, truth be told, that is all that we really are at our core.  We are WOMEN - women who happen to be Married, who happen to be Working and who also happen to be Mothers.  These are some pretty heavy roles and we are courageous for wearing so many hats (please pop your collar at this point).

Securing our masks before assisting others is important and as MWMs we often spend ourselves assisting everyone else and often times we neglect to secure or own proverbial mask.  What do I mean by this? And how do we secure everyone else's mask first?  We take time to focus on the needs of our immediate family, the house, the dog, the cat, our parents, our in-laws, our church family, our coworkers, our friends, our various civic and community groups, and the list goes on and on.  We ensure that everyone else's mask is secured first, before ours.  And then we look around for our masks when we are already dog tired and unable to assist ourselves.

How many of us really take time to focus on resting, relaxing and rejuvenating our bodies (and by rest I don't just mean sleep),. 

 Inspired by Tiffany’s staycation and empowered by my loving husband, Jevon – I decided to plan my very own staycation so that I can “adorn the mask first”.  YES!  I decided that I should take time out for me – to rest, to relax and to rejuvenate and I did just that. 



This is my bag I packed then proceeded to run out of the house with before I changed my mind.

Driving to the Hilton, nervous and anxious but forging ahead nonetheless

One weekend a few weeks ago I nervously packed my bags and even more nervously checked into the British Colonial Hilton Hotel BY MYSELF.  Nervously because this was the first time that I had ever done anything like this and I run guilt trips on myself – if you can believe that!  The random thoughts going through my mind on the Friday evening and into Saturday morning were “I should be home with my family” or “maybe my husband should’ve come with me” or “how are they making it without me”.  Needless to say, once I was able to relax and sit by the beach and soak in the experience – I … was … fine.  And you know what? My family was okay.  They held down the fort.  They were okay.  And so was I. 


Me…laying in the gorgeous…heavenly…cabana…curled up with a fabulous book!!!!

















I thoroughly enjoyed my staycation and would encourage anyone who feels the need to rest, relax and rejuvenate to “adorn the mask first”.  It is a gift.  And I am all the better for it.

The awesome view from my room…

Gorgeous … heavenly … cabana!

I left the hotel that Sunday morning, feeling refreshed, reinvigorated and reenergized.  And this is all because I took the time to first adorn the mask to myself which enabled and continues to enable me to adorn the mask to others around me. 











The lesson for me in all of this was that I now know and accept that I too need to be taken care of and that there are times - even though my husband and family do an awesome job of taking care of me - that we really need to take care of ourselves, for ourselves. 

Headed out on Saturday afternoon!

So I have since committed to setting aside pockets of time each week – just for me.  And my family loves me for it!!! And I love me too!!!

Written By
Sandena Neely
Guest Blogger

Summer Solstice

Summer Solstice heralds the beginning of summer in the Northern Hemisphere. This year 2013, the solstice falls today on Friday, June 21st at 5:04 pm.

Today is the first day of summer.

With that said, "Let's Celebrate!"

One way to revel in the first day of the season is with a soothing summer cocktail.

courtesy of www.style-n-naina.com








Below is a link. It is a Martha Stewart link. 


"Cocktails range from classic to eclectic, there are libations for every taste, occasion, and season."

http://www.marthastewart.com/274560/summer-cocktails/@center/276959/cocktail-hour#275465/344272









Cocktail Categories


  1. Spring Cocktails
  2. Rum Cocktails
  3. Tequila Cocktails
  4. Gin Cocktails
  5. Whiskey Cocktails
  6. Classic Cocktails
  7. Vodka Cocktails
  8. Sparkling Cocktails
  9. Brunch Cocktails
  10. Happy Hour Cocktails
  11. Signature Cocktails
  12. Non-Alcoholic Cocktails
  13. Tropical Cocktails
  14. Summer Cocktails
  15. Winter Cocktails   
    courtesy of www.hamptons.com


On behalf of Married Working Mothers, I wish all of you a great summer. Today is Friday, Summer Solstice, browse the link mentioned above and enjoy the long days of summer!

Until I blog again,
Tiffany

GUEST BLOG: How to make a Tufted Bench


My name is Elizabeth Taylor. I am an aspiring interior designer.  HGTV and The DIY Network are not just television channels, they inspire and dare me to try new projects.

Me


And so one weekend, after watching HGTV and DIY, I decided to try making one of the projects that I’d seen so often, a bench, but not just any bench, a tufted bench… a tufted bench with storage. I researched, read, watched videos and decided that I could do it. 

Here is my tufted bench journey.

Let's begin with my tools: 
(Thanks Commonwealth Fabrics)
fabric
heavy thread
pearl buttons

a wooden drawer to use as a base
upholstery needle
drill 
plywood
wooden legs
staple gun
hinges
wood stain and rag
hammer and... 
Patience.

fig. 1

I bought my bench legs from Kelly's.  Once they are braced they will support you or at least your feet as you prop up your legs to relax at the end of a long day.
fig. 2

I used an old dovetail drawer as my base. I took it apart then added wood glue to the joints to keep it secure.
fig. 3

I stole this foam from my mother (thanks mom).  The plywood was cut to the size of the foam. 
fig. 4
This circle made out of ordinary cardboard was my template to make the holes for the legs. 
fig. 5
Sooooo after progressing so well, my drill bit got stuck trying to drill the holes to insert the bench legs. Little hiccups such as this are bound to happen during DIY projects.  I may need a new drill. (Any suggestions on a good brand?) 
fig. 6
All four legs are installed, now it looks more like a bench. Well,sort of! 
fig. 7
The next day I sanded and stained the base. I love the look of Minwax's Red Mahogany stain; it is soooo rich and dark. 

fig. 8
Don't forget to stain the legs.  
fig. 9

Now that the bench part  was done I moved on to the tufted top.  I marked the design for the holes to make the tufts. Then I drilled each hole so the needle could go through the plywood. 
fig. 10

fig. 11

This was the difficult part. I set up a work area in the kitchen with my bar stools, plywood cushion on top and the fabric on top of that.  Then I threaded the upholstery needle leaving lots of extra thread  and starting underneath, I pushed the needle through the holes in the plywood up through the cushion, through the button hole and back through the cushion and plywood.  This was  the hardest part that took the longest time (forty-five minutes in total) just pushing and pulling the needle. After SEVERAL attempts I finally had all the pearl buttons threaded through the foam and the plywood.

My view from the kitchen floor. 
fig. 12


After pulling the thread firmly through to create the tuft. I stapled  each one and hammered  it tight so it was  secure. Then  I stapled the fabric around to secure it to the plywood. Almost done!!! 
fig. 13

The tufts are created when I pulled the threads through the bottom.  The harder I pulled, the deeper the tuft or dimple.  It is critical that the tufts all be relatively at the same depth to look uniformed, tidy and semi-professional.
fig. 14

Hinges were added so that I could access the storage part of the bench. Yay! It works! I  can actually open and close my bench. But the back of the seat is still rough and needs some finish work. 

fig. 15
fig. 16
Now it's neat, tidy and FINISHED! 

fig. 17

fig. 18
fig. 19
Before, just random parts.
fig. 20

After, a great bench to put extra stuff in, to sit on or to put your feet up.

fig. 21

If I had to rate the difficulty of making this bench on a scale of one to ten, ten being, yeah forget about making this, just go buy a bench, I would rate this project as a seven...a solid seven for a first time project. Without a doubt, the next time I build a tufted bench, my rating will be a three.

For all of my DIY enthusiasts, happy tufting.

Signed a DIY Fanatic,
Elizabeth Taylor



CONFLICT RESOLUTION: "Is Parliament the new boxing ring?"

There was an incident that occurred last week in our House of Assembly between two Members of Parliament (click here to read the full article in the Tribune online).The question on everyone’s mind was how could the leaders of our nation behave in this manner?  The incident, though, is hardly unique to The Bahamas.

Believe it or not there are a lot of these conflicts happening amongst the leaders of nations all around the world.  For example, in May of this year there was a fist fight in the Venezuelan parliament when members of the opposition displayed a banner criticizing a decision that banned them from speaking in parliament unless they recognized the electoral victory of President Nicolas Maduro (heir to the legacy of the late Hugo Chavez) or the Ukrainian brawl in March that started over a particular language being used in the chamber by one side and each side calling each other “neo-fascists”. 

While the recent incident in our parliament, clearly, was not on the level of the brawls mentioned above, still is this what we impress upon the minds of our children?  That fighting (or slapping) is a legitimate means of conflict resolution?  What causes us to resort to violence when conflict arises?

Conflict is a natural part of life.  We don't expect for two people to always agree on everything, all the time.  (We know that from being married, right?! LOL...jokes!)  We all have differences; differences in views, values, ideals, perceptions, desires, and the list goes on.  We can become very passionate about our differences and that can cause a situation to get out of hand.  But just think, if we all considered conflict as an opportunity for growth and change in our environments, the potential for a more positive outcome is great!

To be successful in resolving conflicts, I feel there are two very important skills we must teach our children at a very early age:

courtesy of www.cartoonstock.com 
1. EFFECTIVE COMMUNICATION:  Conflict is a situation where the parties involved feel threatened in some way or another.  How we communicate with each other determines how successful we will be in finding a resolution.  How do you communicate with your child? 

Children want to be heard.  So, let them talk! Let them tell you how their day went, the many stories they may have (even if it goes on for hours...lol), and their jokes (even the not so funny ones).  Show them you are listening and what they are saying is important, even the small stuff.  Small stuff turns into big stuff and if you've created an environment for them to be able to express themselves then it won’t be difficult for them to talk through the really big stuff. 

Better yet, talk to them! Have an open line of communication and they will learn from YOU how to express themselves. If all a child sees are adults yelling and "carrying on", guess what, he or she will learn to carry on the same way.  When children get frustrated and start whining and crying as a means to demonstrate how they feel, it is our responsibility to teach them that that is not the way we express ourselves.  Let’s talk it out, tell me why you are frustrated.  Or when baby brother snatches big sister's toy out of her hand, instead of hitting him, we must show big sister how to react to it. In the same breath, we must also explain to baby brother that his actions were unfavorable and what he ought to have done. In the end both parties are shown how to manage that situation for the future.  How they are taught to handle these kinds of circumstances will determine how they will handle bigger situations.

2. EMOTIONAL STABILITY & AWARENESS:  One must be aware of and understand their emotions.  How do we teach a child to understand their emotions?  Well, it’s the way we interact with them, the environment we provide them, and how we educate them.  

On our Facebook page a while back, I posted this quote;
“Inside every child is an 'emotional tank' waiting to be filled with love. When a child really feels loved, he will develop normally, but when the love tank is empty, the child will misbehave. Much of the misbehaviour of children is motivated by the cravings of an empty 'love tank'. Dr. Ross Campbell
We must create a peaceful environment for our children to flourish.  Emotional awareness goes hand in hand with open communication.  It’s important to not only know how you are feeling but to be able to describe how you are feeling. Conflict triggers strong emotions and if we are not comfortable/stable with our emotions, unsure about what we are feeling, or are unable to manage  emotions under stress then we aren't able to understand others and communicate clearly and effectively.  This leads to being unsuccessful in resolving matters.

As leaders, parents, teachers, etc., it is our duty to prepare our children for the world.  We are required to equip them with all the necessary skills they will need to be successful individuals. 
courtesy of bahamasoncanvas.photoshelter.com 
A country is only as strong as the character of its people! We as leaders, parents, teachers, etc., of this beautiful country ought to have some basic common goals, like making this country the best place in the world to live and visit and raising our children to become good, upstanding citizens. Not only does this mean teaching them but also being the example.    

I will leave you with a few quotes I found online that talk about conflict resolution…

 
"If we don’t change the direction we are going, we are likely to end up where we are heading." – Chinese Proverb
 
"You can’t talk your way out of something you behaved your way into. You have to behave your way out of it." – Doug Conant (CEO of Campbell Soup, as quoted in Harvard Business Review)

And my favourite...

"The reality today is that we are all interdependent and have to co-exist on this small planet.  Therefore, the only sensible and intelligent way of resolving differences and clashes of interests, whether between individuals or nations, is through dialogue." - The Dalai Lama


Signed, 
trying to raise great citizens, Candilaria
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