I CAN’T BE THE ONLY PARENT WHO FORGOT TO MOVE THE ELF!

As a mother, I don’t need one more thing to remember, not one more thing on my list to do. Whoever started this Elf on the Shelf thing, I’d like to strangle him. Let’s just get real, sometimes when my kid falls asleep… I fall asleep too because I’m completely exhausted. I want to run away from responsibility just like everybody else. 

Holidays are those things that I feel like I have to do because my mother loves them so much but it’s not the thing that I really enjoy doing.  Yes, my house is decorated. Yes, my Christmas trees are up (4 of them). Yes, I have a reindeer and angels and trinkets and Santa Claus everywhere.  My kid knows the truth, she figured it out when she was three that Santa Claus is not real.  She said, “There is NO way he gets from Uncle Chris house in Thailand, all the way to Uncle Aves house in Singapore, then to me in the USA all on the same night. It’s not possible, Mommy!” 

I’ve never tried to convince her otherwise, I giggled and told her don’t tell other children. She pinky promised but she happens to enjoy all the shenanigans. 

This Elf on the Shelf thing is becoming a pain in my butt. Let me let you into my home. My daughter wakes up bright and early at the crack of dawn happy and the first thing she does is search the house for the damn elf. My heart dropped because I realized I fell asleep! Damn, the elf was going to be in the same place it was last night not because my kid was bad yesterday, because I simply forgot and fell asleep. 

She called my mom to tell her the elf didn’t move. Thank God, I have an awesome mother who loves to play all the little elf games. We left to go grocery shopping and what do you know…when we came back the elf had moved! At first, I was confused but then I giggled. 

Thanks, Mom. I might be 44 but you’re still my hero and you’re still rescuing me! To all parents out there who have also bought their children an elf, good luck. I hope you can remember that one more thing that’s on your list until Christmas! 

DECEMBER 1ST IS WORLD AIDS DAY

The theme for this year’s World AIDS Day is “Communities make a difference.” I have had the opportunity to be educated by many people on AIDS and HIV. I am thankful for the knowledge that has been passed on to me. And I’d like to do my best to continue my education while passing on what I’ve learned to all my friends. 

The world of AIDS and HIV is evolving. No longer are people taking 30 pills a day, many are down to just one pill.  There are two HIV and AIDS prevention drugs out. We’ve come a long way. 

HIV and AIDS affects everyone. Though it’s a conversation many don’t want to have, it’s something that we all need to be educated on. My podcast this week is dedicated to HIV and AIDS and also one of my closest friends, who I’m so proud of who is living with HIV. If you get a chance, go over to my podcast and check it out. Not only is it informational but it’s also entertaining, and it puts a face to a disease that so many are terrified of!  

I am proud to be Mr. DeMarco Majors’ friend and I’m most proud of all he’s doing to educate the world. If you have any questions or concerns or need someone to turn to, Demarco and I will be opening up our DM‘s all December to help as much as we can. 

Listen now…..Www.CheriesWorldPodcast.com

IT’S COQUITO TIME!

As I walked through the grocery store, I got excited when I saw eggnog loaded on the shelves. Not to disrespect my beloved “coquito,” but America likes to compare it to eggnog. In my opinion, it is the much better tasting cousin! Coquito is a traditional food that all Puerto Ricans hold close to their hearts. Growing up, it is associated with Holidays, Love and Family. Coquito translated means “little coconut.” It is best enjoyed super cold. Here is how we make it in my house. If you are serving children or people who don’t drink, simply leave out the rum.

1 (12 oz) can evaporated milk

1 (14 oz) can sweetened condensed milk

2 cups (1 15 oz can) cream of coconut

1/4 tsp cinnamon

1/8 tsp nutmeg

1 tsp vanilla

**1 1/2 cup white rum (Must be white. I prefer Bacardi, of course)

cinnamon sticks for garnish

I suggest 1 1/2 cups of white rum. If that sounds like too much, start with 1 cup and add more to taste. I like to add just enough rum that it’s prickly on the back of your throat and warms you on the inside. It will be one of the few drinks you’ll have that is cold that warms you up. Just be careful because the flavor of the rum gets stronger the longer the drink “marinates.” LOL. If you have a family like mine, it could be the gift that keeps giving. Abuela once told me that egg yolk came from the white American tradition of eggnog, so some Rican’s have welcomed it into their coquito. I stick to my original roots, so I am part of the NO egg yolk camp! Debate amongst yourself and enjoy!

I HAVE NEVER IN MY LIFE COUNTED A CALORIE!

I believe it’s more important to focus on the ingredients in your meal than the calories of your meal. Here is where my old Boss, Tyrone’s saying “KISS” comes into play. Keep It Simple Stupid! Quality over Quantity! 

Cutting out energy-dense, unhealthy items is crucial to weight loss. It’s more important to pay attention to what you’re eating! Watching the sugar grams and sodium intake, if you want to watch something.

The counting calories thing can throw you off because although avocados and nuts are high in calories, they are packed with nutrients like fiber and healthy fats that can promote weight loss. See how lines get blurred? Trusted Source

It’s all about having a healthy relationship with food! Make sure you are picking foods based on what nourishes your body rather than obsessing over which foods are “good” or “bad”. 

Rule of thumb if it says “Diet,” don’t touch it! The word diet within itself is a scam. Diet soda, salad dressings, and prepackaged meals are all full of chemicals and artificial sweeteners. If you are interested in learning more about nutrition or simply refreshing your relationship with food, hit me up for a nutritional consultation. Check out my wellness programs at teamcheriej.com.

TRAVELING WITH CHILDREN IS ALWAYS AN INTERESTING ADVENTURE!

I used to have anxiety about traveling with my daughter but now I must say she has become my little road dog! Pausing to take deep breaths and meditation has always helped tremendously. I travel a lot for work and keep her in toe. I have always preferred taking the earliest flight out. Yes, that means very early mornings and often we are on our way to the airport while it’s still dark outside. She ends up being all sleepy on the flight and even when she doesn’t fall asleep, she’s mellow. When she’s able to get a nap in by the time we land, she’s ready to go. As long as we are traveling in the states, the whole day is not lost due to traveling. So, she is ready to hit the ground running.

I have been blessed with a child who loves to travel. Watching her gain her confidence while traveling has become an amazing experience for me. She loves pulling out her own ID, (Even though it’s not needed yet, she feels like she’s a big girl.) holding her own boarding pass and pulling her roller bag all by herself was the new thing on our latest trip. Even checking the scale to make sure her bag wasn’t overweight. Pulling out her iPad and putting it in a bin at security. I know these may sound like little things but she’s 5 years old already knowing how to basically get around an airport by herself. 

😂

This summer my mother started letting her order room service by herself, so this trip back to California she didn’t bother to tell you she was hungry for breakfast, she would go get out the menu and order her breakfast herself! Hahaahah, at 5 years old she’s even figured out she could buy things in the hotel and tell them to charge it to the room  LOL! 😂Thank God my mom didn’t allow her to do that while I was at work. I have a feeling strawberry shortcake ice creams from the gift shop would have been her everyday thing. I’ve noticed no matter how many toys she is given, she seems to talk about her experiences more than her things. While toys are nice, the gift of traveling and experiencing new things seems to be her favorite. Adventure over material…

She has definitely inherited that from me!

MOM, I DO LISTEN…

I am so grateful that sometimes I listen to my mother. One of the best lessons my mother taught me was before you go out of town, clean your house from top to bottom. Don’t leave any trash and wash all your clothes. I just got back home. I am jetlagged and tired as can be. One of the best feelings I got when I walked in my door was to walk into a clean house. I jumped in the shower, put on PJs, stuck my hair up in a bun and climbed into my crisp, clean sheets. My heater kicked on just at the right time and I snuggled up with my daughter and we went straight to sleep. 

I’m one of those people who don’t function well with clutter and chaos. I can’t stand looking around and seeing things everywhere, like piles of mail. The only piles I don’t mind are piles of books. To be able to come home and only have to worry about washing the clothes that we wore while we were gone is one of the biggest gifts I ever gave myself. So, this post is all about the best advice my mother has ever given me. Thanks, mom. See, sometimes I do listen!

MY DAUGHTER’S LATEST BOOK PICK

My baby girl is far from the princess type, so I was a little taken back at first when she picked out her latest book, The Duchess and Guy. Then I quickly realized my daughter has no idea who Meghan Markle is. She just picked a brown girl with a dog and a crown and I giggled, thankful she could see her own likeness on such a beautifully made book! 

I smiled because this was the opportunity for her to see mainstream royalty that looks like her. We talk about the royalty in Africa, but because of who owns the corporation of the United States, unfortunately those are not the images she gets to see on TV.  What a beautiful introduction to Mrs. Markle for her. 

The book is based upon the real-life story of Guy, a rescue beagle owned by the actress Meghan Markle, this picture-book from American author Nancy Furstinger and Spanish illustrator Julia Bereciartu imagines the process whereby the pooch makes himself at home with the British royal family, after Ms. Markle meets and eventually marries Prince Harry. Despite some initial mishaps, Guy eventually finds his place, much like his human, and all ends well…

The book is beautifully done and a reminder that unfortunately, there are many animals that deserve beautiful homes just waiting to be adopted. 

(This blog, I repeated the word beautiful a lot because Meghan is just that.)

EXPERIENCES ARE MORE IMPORTANT THAN THINGS

I live in the most incredible town. They always throw these “Events” for children in the neighborhood. I took my daughter to see Curious George for free at a book reading event. It was the cutest thing ever. Moving from California has groomed me to be everywhere early and thank God because when I say my town comes out to support, that is an understatement! My daughter and I were sitting in front of the stage and she was eating a blueberry muffin. All of a sudden, it turned 10 a.m.  I turned around and looked and out of nowhere there were 100 children behind us.  In no time, my baby girl had made friends with the boy on her left and the girl on her right. They were happily sitting there waiting. Watching her anticipation reminded me how important it is that children get experiences. In fact, I realize experience is more important than “things”. (She remembers the experiences and loves to talk about them.) 

With it being the last quarter of the year, I am going to remember this for Christmas time and try to figure out how to wrap up experiences instead of just gifts.

*Side note as beautiful as the event was, during the last book reading 3 kids approached the stage standing, screaming, and being unruly. A mother came to pull them back twice but wasn’t successful. Now they didn’t block my daughter’s vision because I told them to move but other children were blocked. They refused to sit down or be quiet, as not just me, but other parents in the front suggested! Now, none of us know what the last book was about, thanks to them. Even Curious George was curious about where their mother went. I need to know.

Momma, what were you thinking and why can’t you control your seeds? They were all under 5. The rest of us shouldn’t be punished because you gave up on parenting.

If nothing else at the end of the event, I was reminded my own child may be loud at times, but she is NOT bad, inconsiderate or rude! So, it brought me back to full circle appreciation. Thank you to my little city for all the cute things you put together for the youth! 

GRATEFUL

Never in a million years did I imagine me and this hottie would be working together again! What a complete gift from God! Thank you, Universe, and thank you All Of OUR PUNKY FRIENDS who have grown up with us! What an amazing opportunity you have given us…we are overwhelmed with emotions. I have cried 2 million happy tears. I am praying for at least 5 seasons and I know we can do it with your help. Punky became a culture for many, taught empathy and life lessons to all of us.

Soleil and I are both parents, so we are on a journey to give the same to our children, not in a corny way! Times have changed. I am so excited to embody the character of “Cherie!” I have faith you will love us as women. We are us; we are strong and powerful and we will make life happen in our own bubble. 

To be able to return to the BEST experience in my life is a true gift! I am treasuring every moment on the set. Soleil is the most pure, kind hearted person I’ve ever met in my life so to be able to hold my homie’s hand again at work is a true gift.

My have times changed. In the 80s, the network used to be 3-5 middle aged white men in suits who didn’t smile. UCP came down to watch our table reading and it was the most amazing thing I’ve ever seen. Imagine around 40 people and 90 percent are women ages 20-50 and the room was All Diverse! It was the most amazingly beautiful “Girl Power” thing I’ve ever seen! Different walks of life, different ethnic backgrounds ALL POWERFUL women champion to get this Punky Pilot done! This is real PUNKY POWER! 

To be continued 2020…