Recap of our San Fran Visit

A trip to California always does our family GOOD! This was our second time flying to the west coast as a family but our first time visiting San Francisco. One of our favorite places was the California Academy of Science’s it’s basically an Aquarium, Planetarium, and Natural History Museum all mixed into one cool adventure! The one thing that stood out the most to me was the dinosaur bones. I knew the kids would love this and couldn’t wait to see theirs faces when they noticed them.

In edition to the awesome dinosaur bones, we were able to explore sea creatures

We were also able to see the Golden State Bridge and that was the coolest thing for me!

Yup once again Jagger decides to be “Jagger” in the family pics lol. Gotta love that guy!

In addition to this we ventured to Fisherman’s Wharf via street car for some good seafood.

Here’s Maveric holding a love crab! This is his face after we told him it was alive.

All in all we had a wonderful visit here are some suggestions:

  1. Don’t rent a car! It’s so hard to get around and find parking, public transportation is the best as well as Uber.
  2. Pack layers- the weather is so unpredictable we went from cold to hot to cool back to cold in one day.
  3. Go with the flow- California in general is such a wonderful place to visit so anytime I’m there I feel at peace and in an awesome mood

Well that’s it let me know where you end up, we didn’t get to see the Fullhouse location but there’s always next time. Until then….

XO,

Meka

5 things to do this summer

DSC_6052_EditedSo it’s seriosuly July 3rd and I’m JUST making a summer bucket list.  This year I learned to go with the flow, plan and adjust accordingly.  A lot of times we feel like once we make a plan, it has to be set in stone.  Who are we kidding especially when we have children!

DSC_6031_EditedSo here’s my very SHORT summer bucket list:

  1.  Make tie dye tees with the kids
  2. International family trip  ( I may or may not already have this booked )
  3. Enjoy an outdoor movie
  4. Visit family in Baltimore and have freshly steamed crabs
  5. Invited family/ friends over for a summer gathering

DSC_6026_EditedI learned my lesson last year check out my list here I wanted to accomplish 11 things, with a newborn baby, deployed husband while working full time and blogging.   Yeah I know….  tell me about it.  Sometimes we push ourselves to prove that we can do any and everything but why?  This season I’m all about reclaiming my happiness.  I am here to love on my husband and kids, create amazing memories with them, cherish my family and friendships and grow in my calling.

DSC_5954_EditedI’m challenging my Momtourage to do the same!  Do what you love, grow your brand and crush it.   What summer adventures do you have lined up? Share below I might need some ideas for next year!  Until next time….

XO,

Meka

 

5 family friendly places to visit while in town for MommyCon!

panorama-Charlotte-1With the excitement of MommyCon right around the corner for Charlotte, I wanted to share five places to visit that are #HWTHApproved while you’re in town for MommyCon.  Some of you maybe asking, what is MommyCon?  MommyCon is an amazing conference that truly celebrates natural parenthood.  I love that they celebrate holistic health, self-care and so many other positive attributes.  So with that being said, snag some tickets here and be sure to use code HWTH18 to save 10 check out our top five:

  1. Discovery Place–  If you’re looking for a place to let the kids truly let out their energy, this is the place.   From STEM to rain forests, you and your little ones will love it here.  You will be able to truly interact here with hands on learning experiences as well as play spaces for the little ones.  There are so many exhibits for kids of all ages.     0737-Discovery-Place-138c

2. Carowinds– If you’re into thrills, then Carowinds is the place to be!  Just like all amusement parks, you and your family can indulge in roller coasters, family rides, pools, and games galore.

carowinds2If  you have a preschoolers ages 3-5, then you’re in for a treat!  Carowinds now offers a new program that allows preschoolers to enjoy the park for FREE! Check out details for the Pre- K pass here.

3. Imagine On If you’re looking for something free, then this is the place for you.  The Imagine On center is a library and theater rolled up into one.  There is somethings for all ages, even a loft for teens.  Be sure to check the schedule of events, there is always something happening here.

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4. Lazy 5 Ranch  This place is a total gem, that is IF you like animals.  You have the option to take a wagon ride, or see the animals in the comfort of your own car.  Camels, Kangaroos, and rhinos oh my!  You and your family will be entertained by several animals.  And the best part is feeding them.  Be sure to bring cash, as cards are not accepted.

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5. Pelican’s Snowball Last but not least, one of my families favorite and very in-expensive treats are snowballs, from Pelican.  With 100 flavors, the possibilities are endless. One thing I love about Pelican’s are the prices, ranging from $2-$5.  With such amazing prices you might want to get another, no judgement here! Be sure to enjoy a quick game of corn hole and take pictures in front of the signature pastel building.  I personally enjoy marshmallows added to my snowballs.

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I hope that you’re able to enjoy one of our favorite places in what we call the Queen City.  Charlotte is what I will always call my 2nd home, I truly miss living there but in the mean time I enjoy my weekend getaways in the city.  Don’t forget to ge a ticket for MommyCon here and be sure use our code HWTH18 to save 10% Until next time…

XO,

Meka

Momtourage Monday: American Girl in a Caribbean world

1. How would you define Momtourage?

My Momtourage is my family and close friends. My mom plays a major role in my Momtourage. The boys know her as “Honey”. She spends the night Monday-Friday to help with getting the boys ready for school as well so drop off at school. My family (aunts, grandmother, sister) helps with date night or just relief time. Our friends help with support and encouragement.

2. How do you balance Motherhood?

How do I balance Motherhood…umm I don’t. I’m still learning how to take time for me. Motherhood have taken over my life completely. Although, being a wife and mother is rewarding, it can also be stressful. If we are not careful, we can easily lose ourselves in the process of trying to build our families. Often, I tend to take care of my household and neglect myself. After, self evaluation … I’ve realized that, I  cannot give what I  don’t have. So now, when I need time to myself, I take time. Having boys,  I’m always busy, whether it’s straightening up after them, doing homework, or having to be at baseball, basketball practice or a school event. One of my goals this year is to get “me” back. I have a membership at Massage Envy and I try to go at least once a month as my “me day”. I’ve had my membership for about 4 years, but don’t go as much as I should.

3. What is your Mommy must have item?

Sorry…I had to make it plural…My phone and Jared’s epi pen is most important, both boys are asthmatic and Jared has severe allergies along with my planner is second- to make sure I have all their doctors appointments scheduled.

4. What is your Momtourage story?

My husband and I started our family the “non transitional” way as some may call it. We had Joshua, then got married,  when Joshua was 3, and had another child 3 years later. I was a “nontraditional” college graduate. I attended college at 25 years old. I finished up my degree while I was pregnant with Joshua.

I am a wife. My husband is from a small island in the Caribbean named Saint Kitts. Having a mixed cultural family makes us unique.  We have traveled to St. Kitts as a family 5 times. We usually travel to visit my husband family every other year during Christmas time. This new culture has made me open minded and taught me so many things. I have learned how to cook Caribbean foods. (Which I love, because I love cooking). I have also, sampled different Caribbean dishes that I never would have sampled prior to meeting my husband. I have also dressed up in a mascarade costume, during their carnival time. Having a mixed cultural family and living in the U.S. has it’s challenges.  The boys do not get to see their extended family often. We usually communicate with my in laws through social media. Visiting St. Kitts has taught the boys and I about small island Caribbean culture. Traveling has taught us how to be open minded to any culture that we may come across in life.

Thank you so much Shaketa for sharing your story! As always we hope these stories encourage, or inspire other moms and moms to be!

Until next week….

XO,

Meka

Momtourage Monday: Jet Setting Momma

1. How would you define Momtourage?

To me momtourage is a tribe that doesn’t judge, a sisterhood that’s there to pick you up when you’re down and it’s a way of life!

2. How do you balance Motherhood?

I balance motherhood by doing what I love the most which is work. You’re probably going to think I’m crazy for but I love going to work. I feel so refreshed those 3 days that I’m gone and get to interact with adults. I also see it as a mini vacation. I get to do my hair, my nails and most importantly rest. It’s something that’s always been a challenge when I’m home since I have two under two.

3. What is your Mommy must have item?

My camera! It was a gift when I had my first born but didn’t start using it till recently. It’s definitely been the best investment ever to have pictures of my girls as they grow up.

4. What is your Momtourage story?

Let’s see where do I begin… my husband and I are high school sweethearts. We’ve been together for almost 15 years and married for almost 5. Becoming parents has made our relationship more special and stronger. I can definitely say that I love this version of us so much more than the just us two version. He’s always been a very supportive husband and even with my crazy difficult flying schedule he still holds it down for us. I’m very lucky in this aspect and so are our girls!

I also suffered PPD after having my first child. It was such a dark time in my life but someone told me to never loose sight of who I was before having a baby. That if I loved flying to continue to fly. That I should never give up own my own dreams because my girls will have their own at some point and leave the nest. This always stuck with me and ever since then I’ve decided to be a better me for them. Mamas always remember self care is the most important thing after becoming a mother, don’t you ladies ever forget that!

Love always,

Maggie Tompkins

Be sure to check out more of Maggie and her amazing family Here

Thank you so much Maggie for sharing your story! As always we hope these stories encourage, or inspire other moms and moms to be!

Until next week….

XO,

Meka

Museum Of Ice Cream 🍦

If you haven’t heard the hype, you’re truly missing out! Yesterday I had the chance to venture out to Miami to visit the Museum of Ice Cream. Yes you read correctly, there is a museum dedicated to Ice Cream and it’s a blogger and photographers dream.

Just as you’ve all seen on Instagram, the rooms exude color and the vibe is fun. The museum is currently located on Collins as many of you know, they just closed the one in LA, aside from these locations there is also a San Francisco location.

As a lover of all things PINK, I was in heaven when I walked inside. First we were greeted by the Ice Cream tarot reader and she was a true character.

After meeting the tarot reader we had to come up with our “ice cream” names so I conveniently used the name “Sprinkle Meek” as in sprinkle me…. Cheesy perhaps but it was all in good fun.

The sprinkle pool was as cool as I’ve seen on Instagram. This is the only timed location, since it’s so popular. They gave us about 2 minutes to snap away and enjoy before the next group entered.

Oh and if you’re wondering, no the sprinkles are not real. They are plastic replicas actually. Still fun and great for photo opps.

I felt like a kid again! I was so amazed by the colors, the staff was so friendly and engaging. Be sure to come with a sweet tooth because you get to indulge in some delicious desserts like key lime ice cream cones, chocolate covered bananas and melted ice cream drink, which literally taste like MELTED ICE CREAM 🍦

The hands on exhibits made for a fun adventure and there were several children in the museum young and OLD.

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Although the tickets were more than I would normally pay for a museum,($38 a pop) I feel like the experience was totally worth it!

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If you’re able to snag some tickets I would highly recommend doing it ASAP, they sell out daily and they are limited to 2,000 tickets per day!

This just reminds me of how there are so many ways to make money out here! Utilize your creativity and always think outside the box. Seriously a freaking pop up museum of all ICE CREAM! This has been such a successful and innovative business venture and believe me there will be many other pop ups in the near future!

Be sure to check out the gift shop as well!

You can score anything from Sprinkle crowns, socks, a glass backgammon set to whip cream!

If you get a chance to visit be sure to comment below or tag me in Instagram! Until next time…..

XO,

Meka

Farmer’s Market Adventures

So recently I have been battling the urge to go VEGAN! Yup vegan and YES I too watched What the Health!  Although I have done 30 day Vegan challenges, nothing is harder than fully committing.  As of today I am not vegan, I have however, given up meat.  The main items I’m having a hard time getting out of my system are seafood and CHEESE.  Also milk, not as if I’m drinking the milk but milk is in so many normal items I use on a regular basis like, Pringles! Why exactly is milk in a plain can of Pringles?!  I have really been reading labels and to be quite honest the best thing for me to do is head over to the farmers market and just buy fresh veggies.

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Last weekends trip to the Durham farmers market really made me want to explore more of what my local market has to offer.  I have pretty much found my favorite “fast food” meal and if you follow me on Instastory you know that it’s zucchini and sautéed spinach.  Growing up in Baltimore it was normal for us to go to the market to purchase everything from fresh doughnuts to deli meat.  And going to the Supermarket  (grocery store) is where we purchase everything in between.

WebImage16I was  so inspired to add more fresh flowers to the house as well, even though I have a bit of   “black thumb”.  Nothing sets the tone more than fresh flowers at the dinner table, so I’m going to give it a try more often.

WebImage19 One thing I really love about visiting farmers market’s are the small business vendors, like this delicious lemonade stand.  It wasn’t too sweet, very refreshing and delicious.  Anytime  I can spend with the kids and create fun memories are always a plus in my book.  After walking and exploring we decided to grab some pizza ( not vegan, SUE ME HA!)  then we headed to our next destination….. Charlotte.

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I will eventually fully convert into the Vegan lifestyle but I’m taking it one day at a time.  This is my journey and I will share with you all along the way.  Until next time…..

XO,

Meka

Beach’n Babies

*The following post is sponsored, all opinions are my own*

August is here and I can’t believe summer is almost over, this week this kids are taking a much needed beach trip with their Nana and Papa, so we decided to test out our brand new beachmate  at the local sand park.  First off I love that it’s engraved with our family name, this gives it a classic spin.  Having a custom piece really stands out while on vacation.

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As a mom of 4, it’s so important to have my hands free, so this durable strap really came in handy after everyone was finally out of the car and in route to the park.  I love that it’s comfortable enough for Elle to carry, while I’m busy rounding up the younger boys.

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Once we hit the park it was over, the fun began and the kids went to work.  I love the that all of the containers can double as organization or just plain toys!  The shovels are extremely durable and they are actually industrial strength so I know they will last forever, especially being a mom of 3 boys.

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The beachmate also comes with a cooler, this was so perfect because I was able to pack up some snacks for the kids and an extra bottle for Axel.  Did I mention the tote bag has several pockets?  Oh my gosh, this is so necessary for my car keys, cell phone, sun block, shades, literally anything you can think of!  And on top of that it’s bottomless so there’s no issues of having sand in your car or home after the trip.

Whenever we are out in the sun we ALWAYs pack our Nuby water bottles, because staying hydrated is a must.  The cooler kept the water cool and I never have any issues with the kids drinking their water with these awesome bottles!

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Now that the test run is over, I have the kids swimsuits, beach chairs and of course the beachmate packed up and ready to hit the road.  Be sure to head over and snag your very own Beachmate here trust me your family will love it and it’s so durable it’s totally worth every penny! No more cracked buckets being replaced every year.  These containers are so sturdy and legit!

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How are you guys celebrating the last days of summer?  I’m enjoying all the fun memories with the kids before they head back and we have to be on a schedule.

Until next time….

XO ,

Meka

Home for the 4th!

Recently I took my very first road trip with the kids and it was one heck of an adventure!  Technically I drove back home to Baltimore on July 2nd but it was to celebrate with family at my aunts annual 4th of July block party.  What normally would take 6 hours ended up being an 8 hour drive.  When traveling with 3 kids, a baby and a GRANDMA you have to factor in BREAKS.  We took our very first break at the VA state line rest stop.  The kids were able to stretch their legs and play on the playground for a few.  We even had a nice family take our pic in from of the Welcome to Virginia sign.  Stopping again to eat at Apple Bees, lots of rain and traffic we finally made it to Baltimore for the cookout!

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Thankfully we had our own chairs in the car because they have been in the car since soccer season!  Sunday I wanted to make it all about the kids.  They did so well durning the car ride up even with the extra 2 and 1/2 hours added onto our trip.  So we started our day with some Ms. Shirley’s for brunch.  IMG_1968

I absolutely had to have the chicken and waffles! It’s something about the cheese on the waffles that gets me every time.

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After brunch the kiddos and I headed to Port Discovery I knew they were in for a treat, and I couldn’t wait to share some memories with them.

IMG_2018 In true Mommarazzi form, I made them take pics before entering lol

IMG_2019 Once they were inside it was a different story.  They had a BALL!!!!

We literally stayed there for 4 hours, and we still didn’t get to see everything.  After Port Discovery we finished visiting family so that we could hit the road in the AM.  I really wish that I had cameras installed in the van during this adventure.  I think that will be my new goal when traveling with the family.  I want to truly document all of the adventure with them because they are growing so fast.   I am so thankful that our van has the DVD package it helps keep the  kids entertained especially during long trips.  We made it back home Monday just in time for me to go to work… yes I went to work after driving from Baltimore to NC.  I’m starting to agree with everyone else, maybe I am superhuman.  Until next time……

XO,

Meka

1 bag 4 kids

So I’m sure many of you read my last post about our staycation and as we all know at the time I took 3 out of the 4 kiddos, however this amazing bag from Birdlings can actually hold clothes for all 4 kids and myself for an over night staycation!  “How Sway? you might ask, well let me tell you below…..28

I currently have the grey weekender and I LOVE it!!! Seriously it sucks to have to pack 5 separate bags for myself and the kids.  This bag makes quick trips with a big family a total breeze.  23The weekender has three interior compartments, six interior mesh pockets a key clip, seven exterior pockets as well as a removable shoulder strap.   gweekender7 I don’t know how I managed to go this long without this bag.  We are going to visit family in Baltimore this weekend and we are totally packing this 1 bag for our clothes and possibly a smaller bag for shoes… hmmmm  *runs to the Birdling webpage*

51 I love the classic color combo with the leather and metal details.  I know without a doubt this bag will be a family favorite, the only thing it’s missing are wheels!

Here are some other bags that I am totally loving :

I’m crushing on the mini day tripper  for Elle I think she would absolutely love it especially during road trips to keep all of her art supplies, American girl dolls and snacks organized .  And the  day tripper for me would be perfect when we are flying with the kids to hold snacks and activities on the plane as well as road tripping or daily park trips.  So if you’re looking for an amazing quality bag  you’ve found it and it’s Harrell Approved.  Get used to seeing this weekender  because it will be in heavy rotation throughout the year and years to come.

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Until next time…..

XO,

Meka

 

*The following post was sponsored by Birdling Bags, all opinions were my own*