3 Reasons Why Post-it Notes Keep Me Sane

You’d be hard pressed to find someone who doesn’t find joy in using Post-it® notes. There’s just something amusingly satisfying about scribbling a quick note on a small, sticky pad of paper. That’s why I was excited to check out some of the brand’s newest products at a media sneak peek last week.

Known for their classic yellow sticky note offering, the brand has since expanded into a kaleidoscope of colorful options, cool designs and other fun supplies to keep our daily lives in order. From electrifying, neon colors to cute emoji-shaped pads to stylish dispensers and planners; Post-it® has become synonymous with practical, yet playful notes and office supplies.

Like many working moms, you can find Post-it® notes scattered everywhere around my house and office. Whether I’m jotting down passwords or using an adhesive dry erase board to write down weekly meal plans, Post-it® has been my go-to for list-making and staying organized at home and work.

Here are three top reasons why using Post-it® notes and supplies keep me sane:

  1. I’m super forgetful so I have to write things down. Otherwise, I’ll never remember my tasks at hand.
  2. At work, I’m in countless meetings throughout the day. To stay on top of things, I use colorful tabs to keep my notes and files organized.
  3. Being a wife and working mom of two, keeping track of everyone’s schedules can be tricky. Using a dry erase surface helps me stay on top of my family’s whereabouts.

Check out some of the cool items I came across during the media preview:

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At the event, attendees were asked, “What do we want to make stick in our lives?”I shared that I want  be more present. So, I’m going to ask you the same thing? “What do you want to make stick in your life?” 

GIVEAWAY: My Little Pony Friendship is Magic Fashion Runway Playset

I don’t know about you, but growing up, Easter was by far my favorite holiday. Sure, Santa Claus, countless gifts and yuletide carols made Christmas wonderful, but old Saint Nick didn’t have anything on the Easter bunny.

See, I love the spring. Trench coat weather, flowers in full bloom, pretty pastels abound and of course, Easter! What’s not to love? My penchant for Easter and spring has been passed down to my kids too.

From egg dyeing to backyard egg-hunts, I make Easter fun and hopefully unforgettable for my family. This year, I’ve partnered with Hasbro to make my daughter’s candy-filled Easter basket even more special. The popular toy brand has recently released, My Little Pony Friendship is Magic Rarity® Fashion Runway Playset, that I know my daughter will fancy. She’s been obsessed with My Little Pony since she was four—I am an ‘80s baby so I totally understand—I grew up collecting the adorable ponies too.

The fashion-centric playset comes with 3 super cute clip-on outfits and 7 hair and fashion accessories. I know my daughter is going to flip when she sees this in her Easter basket on Sunday. I’ve never put toys in there before so I’m sure this will be a welcomed surprise. Now, I have to figure out what toy the “Easter Bunny” will place in my son’s basket!

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My Little Pony Friendship is Magic Rarity® Fashion Runway Playset available here, $20

What are you planning to put in your children’s Easter baskets this Sunday? Since it might be two late to get this playset in time for Easter, it would still be a pretty awesome just-because gift that I’m sure the little girl in your life would adore. Simply leave a comment below sharing your most memorable Easter growing up (or as an adult) or tweet me @BrownGirlGumbo.  Two lucky winners will be randomly selected and notified via email on or by Thursday 4/20/2017. This giveaway is only open to U.S residents. 

Mount Airy Casino Resort: The Perfect Getaway

Nothing can recharge your batteries like a quick getaway.

My husband and I were in desperate need of a little R&R and Mount Airy Casino Resort in Mount Pocono was just what the doctor ordered.

Located only 90 miles from New York City, we packed our bags and hit the road to the quaint Pennsylvania town—and boy are we glad we did. Upon entering the resort we were instantly captivated by the cascading waterfall in the hotel’s foyer and overall welcoming atmosphere. We knew immediately that we were in for a great weekend.

The welcoming waterall in the foyer of Mount Airy Casino Resort.

The welcoming waterall in the foyer of Mount Airy Casino Resort.

Rooms fit for royalty

Our home for the next couple of days was spacious and inviting. The vaulted ceilings added a lavish feel while the dark wood throughout the space added richness to the room. Having the comfy king size bed all to ourselves was a forgotten luxury since we usually end up sharing our bed at home it with our 3-year-old. Oh and my husband of course loved the huge flat screen with countless premium channels. Plus, we had an amazing view of the resort’s golf course just across the way. Our room was the perfect home away from home.

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My hubby reading one of the complimentary newspapers provided at Mount Airy Casino Resort.

The view of the Mount AIry Casino Resort golf course from our room.

 

Relax and recharge

Some trips are all about being on the go and exploring, but we all need those excursions where we can relax and unwind. Mount Airy Casino Resort is the best of both worlds. With a spa and salon onsite, you don’t have to leave the resort to spoil yourself. I was treated to a deep tissue, signature massage where the masseuse added just the right amount of pressure to relieve my trouble spots and kinks after a stressful workweek.

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The serene spa entrance at Mount Airy Casino Resort.

From rubdowns to makeup applications, the pampering options are virtually endless and just steps from your room.

Relaxing and reading before my massage at Mount Airy Casino Resort.

Relaxing and reading before my massage at Mount Airy Casino Resort.

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The pool was surprisingly warm, which made for an awesome January evening.

Although I indulged in a treatment or two, my husband simply wanted to relax poolside right down the hall. I eventually joined him and was pleasantly surprised by the warm water—and privacy provided by the cabanas.

Food for the soul 

Like most people, I love food. If there’s seafood on the menu, I’m in heaven. With several restaurants located on the second floor of the resort, I had plenty of seafood options. Being a Food Network fan, I was excited to check out Guy Fieri’s Mount Pocono Kitchen. I ordered mahi mahi tacos as an appetizer; salmon for my main course while my husband skipped apps and decided on a classic burger for his entree. He was a bit wary because Fieri is known for his outrageous creations, but we were both pleased with the taste and quality of the food. The following evening we dined at Bistecca by Il Mulino, the resort’s upscale steakhouse. The “white tablecloth” service was only surpassed by the mouth-watering meals. Spaghetti and prawns was my main dish while my husband ate “one of the best burgers” he’s ever had.

Mahi mahi fish tacos at Guy Fieri's restaurant at the Mount Airy Casino Resort.

Mahi mahi fish tacos at Guy Fieri’s restaurant at the Mount Airy Casino Resort.

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Scottish salmon at Guy Fieri’s restaurant at Mount Airy Casino Resort.

Spaghetti and prawns at Mount Airy Casino Resort’s Bistecca by Il Mulino.

Room service at Mount Airy Casino Resort.

Room service at Mount Airy Casino Resort.

For breakfast, we ordered room service and it was absolutely scrumptious. Having breakfast in bed is truly one of my greatest pleasures and this didn’t disappoint.

Never-ending entertainment

When it comes to my preferred source of entertainment, gambling isn’t high on my list. Since we were visiting a casino, I was game for a few cracks at a slot machine. However, I was so busy checking out the candy and yogurt shops that I never actually sat down at one of the casino’s nearly 200 machines! My husband and I did make our way to Gypsies, the resort’s premier nightclub, for a night of dancing. The venue was chic and outfitted with cozy banquettes and booths for large groups. Throughout the night we enjoyed music that was a perfect blend of old school and current R&B, pop and hip-hop hits—my favorite since my personal playlists consist mostly of ‘90s and early aughts tracks.

Me and the hubby before heading out.

Me and the hubby before heading out.

The south entrance of Mount Airy Casino Resort.

The south entrance of Mount Airy Casino Resort.

The hubby and me at Gypsies lounge located inside Mount Airy Casino Resort.

The hubby and me at Gypsies lounge located inside Mount Airy Casino Resort.

Make lasting memories 

If you’re in the tri-state area or looking for a fun and relaxing escape to the east coast, Mount Airy Casino Resort should definitely be a top consideration.

Me before heading out.

Me before heading out after a wonderful weekend.

From the all-around top-notch service to the exquisite food to the endless entertainment, our experience is one that we’ll forever cherish. In fact, it just might be our perfect getaway for years to come.

Disclosure: Mount Airy Casino Resort provided Brown Girl Gumbo food and accommodations for review purposes only.  All opinions are 100% my own.

 

Do you have any upcoming getaways planned? What’s your favorite weekend getaway destination?  

A Trip to the White House: An Evening to Remember

At noon today, the 45th president of the United States will be sworn into office. While many of us will be mourning the end of President Barack Obama’s unbelievable legacy, Donald Trump will be the taking the reigns as the leader of the free world.

It’s truly hard for me to imagine the man behind the TV show, “The Apprentice,” as our commander in chief, but the reality is slowly and sadly kicking in. To offset my looming depression, I’m going to flashback to earlier this week when I was my sister’s guest at the White House. Yes, I got the amazing opportunity to eat, mingle and tour the “People’s House,” mere days before President Obama left office.

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Me and my sister in the Red Room at the White House.

Not only did I get the chance to celebrate my sister’s 8 years of service under the Obama administration, but I also got the honor and esteemed privilege of meeting and shaking our 44th president’s hand. It was truly one of the most memorable moments of my life. From one of the Secret Service agents joking with me about “Mrs. Pope coming to the White House (a Scandal reference)” to sipping champagne in the Red Room, it’s a night that I won’t soon forget.

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As we begin to brace ourselves for what’s to come under the new administration, let’s take today to reflect on all of the good that Obama has done for our country. His accomplishments during his two-terms of service are nothing short of outstanding: passed health care reform, legalized gay marriage, ended the war in Iraq, made school lunches healthier, and helped stimulate the auto industry just to name a few— all while avoiding scandal. Plus, he and First Lady Michelle Obama have given people of color around the world unimaginable hope and for that, I’m forever grateful.

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#YesWeCan #YesWeDid #ObamaOut

What will you miss the most about President Obama leaving office?

CONTEST: Enter to Win a runDisney Race Vacation from GoGo squeeZ

Calling all Disney fans!

GoGo squeeZ is hosting an epic sweepstakes that you don’t want to miss. As the official applesauce of Walt Disney World Resort and Disneyland, GoGo squeeze is giving applicants the chance to win a 4-night vacation for four to a runDisney race of the winner’s choice!

If you’re not familiar with runDisney, it’s a race series that encourages families to get active by running through Disney theme parks. The races vary from marathons and half-marathons to 10Ks, 5Ks and Kids Races, but all will leave you with lasting magical memories.

Since GoGo squeeZ is one of the healthiest and most convenient snacks on the market, it’s the perfect partnership. My kids are obsessed with the all-natural applesauces and have been for years. It’s always a favorite when I pack it in my daughter’s lunch box.

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The winning package includes hotel accommodations, theme park tickets, two entries to the runDisney race, and more!

To enter, simply head over to GoGo squeeZ now until January 15th to fill out a form for a chance to win!

Run over to the site NOW because the contest closes on Sunday (1/15/2017) at 11:59pm EDT.

Have you ever participated in a runDisney race? 

A Year in Review: My Best Moments of 2016

While many are counting down the days for 2016 to officially end, I’m still savoring every moment. Sure, it hasn’t been the best year for some, but I’ve learned to never rush the days away and cherish the time I have on earth. There will always be ups and downs, but that’s what life’s all about. If we dwell on the disappointments and losses, we rob ourselves of our joyful experiences. Of course it’s not always easy, but focusing on the positive aspects of my life brings me peace. That’s why I’m reflecting on my best moments of the year.

Check them out below:

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My sister (far left) and cousins at the W Hotel in New Orleans, LA.

Girls Just Wanna Have Fun: Cousins’ Trip to New Orleans

Gumbo is and will always be synonymous with the Big Easy. Since it’s one of my favorite dishes and a big part of my blog’s name, I had to take a trip to the place where the delicious soup originated. This year, I finally made it happen and with great company: my sister and two cousins. We laughed until our stomachs hurt, ate endless bowls of gumbo, and took in the sights of the French Quarter. I’ll cherish those fun times for years to come.

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My daughter, Ava, being taken up, up and away at Epcot Center in Orlando.

When You Wish Upon a Star: Attending Disney’s Social Media Moms Celebration

Being invited to one of the most coveted conferences in the blogosphere was by far one of my best highlights. It was an honor and privilege to attend the House of Mouse with my hubby and kids in tow. The four-day excursion was not only one of my most memorable moments this year, but one of the top events of my entire life. Learning all about Disney with likeminded bloggers coupled with experiencing the parks with my family for the first time was priceless. Plus, it took place over Mother’s Day weekend—that’s going to be a difficult gift to top!

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Me channeling my inner Janet Jackson for Halloween.

Ms. Jackson If You’re Nasty

Now that I have children, Halloween has become a pretty big deal in my home. From Paw Patrol costumes to putting together scary witch getups, dressing up on that final October day is the best part of fall for my family. In fact, this year my daughter insisted that I dress up as something other than my boring go-to cat costume. I obliged and created a DIY Janet Jackson Rhythm Nation ensemble. It was exciting putting the look together—plus, it was cool to pay homage to such an iconic entertainer. Stepping outside of my comfort zone led to a night of fun that I won’t soon forget.

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My hubby and I soaking up the sun in Miami.

Mini Miami Getaway

My hubby and I live in New York City, arguably the best city in the world. While we love being in such a bustling metropolis, sometimes you just need to get away. Since none of our families live nearby, we rarely have date nights. So, when the opportunity came for us to take a quick trip to Miami we took full advantage. My mother-in-law watched the kiddies while we watched ocean waves. My husband and I had the chance to simply enjoy each other’s company sans kids and it was great.

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Me with my younger cousin having a bit of filter fun at our aunt’s wedding.

Epic Family Weekend

My aunt has been widowed since I was nine years old. But, for as long as I can remember she’s always wanted to get remarried. Her dream came true this year and our entire family celebrated with an extended weekend of festivities. Family I hadn’t seen in years converged in Chicago to witness my aunt’s wedded bliss. Over the course of the weekend, we danced, ate amazing food and made lasting memories that will go down in our family history book.

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My hubby and kids at the National Harbor in Washington, D.C.

Trips to the DMV

They say home is where the heart is. Ever since my sister moved to Silver Spring, MD back in 2008, the DMV area has become my east coast home away from home. My family and I travel there a couple times a year and 2016 was no different. We always have a great time being driven around (a luxury in NYC), dining out, visiting the zoo, museums or catching a movie. When we visited in November, we saw “Trolls” and it clearly left an impression on my son—he has watched clips from it everyday since we saw it!

What were some of your most memorable moments of the year?

GIVEAWAY & Event Recap: ‘Sailing Back to Ellis Island’ with author Jane F. Collen

Two weeks ago, my daughter, Ava, and I had one of the most memorable experiences ever.

We were invited on a tour of Ellis Island with author, Jane F. Collen of the new young readers book, Sailing Back to Ellis Island: The Enjella Adventure Series. The book puts a fanciful spin on the often arduous and incredibly tedious process that immigrants endured upon entering into the new land: America pre-World War I.

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Sailing Back to Ellis Island is available here, $11

A fairy named “Enjella,” and her fairy friend take two modern day siblings on a magical journey back in time.

So naturally, boarding the “Miss Ellis” ship and sailing to Ellis Island, which by the way was named after Samuel Ellis who owned the island in the 1770s), was only fitting. While Ava was excited to learn more about the book and the island, the boat ride was a wonderful way to start the educational afternoon.

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Despite the biting chill, we managed to go to the top deck and see the Statue of Liberty in all of her glory and marvel at the gorgeous New York City skyline. It was the first time either of us had ever seen Lady Liberty so up close and personal or the beauty of the city from that perspective.

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Before we entered the Ellis Island Museum (formerly the inspection station that served as the gateway for over 12 million immigrants to America from 1892-1954), Jane treated us to a brief reading from a chapter in Sailing Back to Ellis Island. Ava listened intently and whispered a few questions to me in an effort not to interrupt Jane or disturb the other attendees.

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In the spirit of Enjella, Ava wore a pair of fairy wings during the tour.

Later, while at the museum we saw many interesting tidbits and artifacts. From actual luggage brought over by immigrants to a vintage cash register used to ring up snacks on the island.

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The afternoon was filled with an abundance of information and intriguing exhibits. After the tour with Jane, we took a mini Junior Park Ranger course, which included Ava choosing an immigrant family and deciding where they’d live in America and why. Since her caretaker is from Trinidad and her dad and I are from Chicago, she of course chose a Caribbean  family that moved to the Windy City! After completing the course, she was awarded a pretty impressive badge, which she wears proudly.

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This time traveling tome is perfect for the young reader in your life who is just beginning to learn about American history. Plus, for us brown girls; it can serve as a great introduction to some of the more troubling and more personal part of history—the enslavement of our African ancestors.

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It was truly a perfect day that I’ll forever cherish. On our way home, Ava said to me, “Mommy, I’ll always remember this day.” What more can a mom ask for?

GIVEAWAY: I’m giving away a copy of the Sailing Back to Ellis Island to one lucky reader. Simply leave a comment or tweet me why you’d like to visit Ellis Island and/or the Statue of Liberty. The winner will be randomly selected on or by December 20th. This contest is only open to U.S residents.