Party on the Pier

Nauticus's Party on the Pier is back for its second season. The free public event is both dog and kid friendly. It runs from 5:00-8:00 the last Thursday of every month from now until September. We stopped by to check it out: be aware that it is behind Nauticus. I thought it would be in front or closer to Towne Point Park and thought for a minute that I had the dates wrong. Passing the lobby of Nauticus, keep walking to the back side. You'll come to some food trucks, which will change monthly.

We ate at Sofritos, a Puerto Rican food truck. They had offerings for everyone from meat eaters to vegans. I had the stuffed avocado and RT had a taco. Guess which one RT ate more of? I swear, that kid only ever wants what I'm eating. They also served Hispanic sodas in glass bottles which always makes me feel cool, even if it is super basic of me. Eat The Streets 757 is a collection of food trucks who work together to promote one another. Capt'n Crabby was also there and is in this group.

We took our food down towards the live music, this time provided by Kaboombox. They were an acoustic group that played popular covers. Beer was available for purchase. Chalk was out for kids to use. Dogs were all around, and while I was trying to teach RT to bend down and let the dogs come to him, he yelled at several dogs- "Hey! bend down! come here!". Sorry dogs; he means well.

The highlight of the night was watching the boats come and go on the Elizabeth River while the sun went down. We got to look up close at the Wisconsin, but also all kinds of sailboats, tugboats, military boats, fishing boats, and river cruses. It was a nice way to get outside, wind down, and enjoy a Thursday night while also enjoying some of the sights, sounds, and food that this area has to offer.

Ain't Nobody Love Ya Like Ya Mama

There is a lot of love in this world. but when a mama loves her child, she loves them fiercely; she loves them selflessly and with her whole heart. I'll tell you how I know. I'm part of an online community of people who listen to the same music and listen to the same podcast. The group has members from all over the world, and we try to meet up and see each other when we can. I've met some really cool people from the group, and I love it, but sometimes meeting strangers can be worrisome. So when I told my mom that I wanted to host 50 of them over Spring Break to get together at her home and have the lead singer of the band Silverstein, who hosts the podcast come and sing, I fully expected her to lose her mind.

But you know what she did? That mama of mine not only said yes, but she also came to my house to watch RT and worked at my house helping us pack for the move. She made pans of food for the dinner one night. She cleaned her house and got it ready.
The weekend was awesome, filled with introductions, laughs, love, and community that shines through broken down transmissions, cleaning up the aftermath of a night of drinking, bridge closings, and changes of plans. The feeling of a hot sweaty room packed full of people who are screaming the same song as the lead singer of one of your favorite bands plays live is one I truly will never forget. I think there is something secret and special about this type of music, that only people who get it feel.

After four quick days that ran into nights, (or long nights that ran into days?), we assessed the damage of the house. Broken thresholds and toilet seats, bottles everywhere, mountains of dirty sheets and towels were all around... and do you know what my mom said to me? "I'm proud of you." I had to read the text three times. Here is a woman, displaced from her home, packing up a house that isn't hers, watching a bored toddler, who came home to a house full of kids and sleeping bags and beer bottles, and her words were that she was proud of me? She went on to tell me that I was making international friendships and that hosting events like this are hard work, but that she was proud that I did it. Is this woman insane?! Who would love someone like this, except your mama? It made me stop and reflect. Would I do something like this for RT? Without question. But why? Because I want his life to be as awesome as possible, like mine has been. I want him to make memories that will last him forever. I want him and his friends to feel welcome and comfortable in my home. I want him to have the same feeling of love and joy that I felt when we were all singing along. Because ain't nobody love that boy like his mama.
Looking for a new podcast? This group listens and follows Lead Singer Syndrome with Shane Told. Be on the lookout for the upcoming live episode, recorded at my mom's house, right here in Tidewater!

Purple Strides Tidewater 2019

Pancreatic Cancer is a real beast. You'd be amazed at how many people have told me in the last year and a half that a loved one of theirs fought and lost the battle with it. And yet... it's one of the least publicized cancers. Why? Is it because people don't survive, so there aren't survivor walks and basketball games and celebrations? Is it because people die so quickly that their friends don't have time to rally? Is it because it comes painfully, swiftly, and seemingly overnight, and then the people are gone without much warning?

The Purple Strides Tidewater group is looking to change that. Since we have gotten involved, our team, Team Hurwitz has raised over $40,000.00 to help better understand this poorly understood and rarely survived disease. We have done yard sales, zumbathons, book sales, mermaid hunts, purple outs, bake sales, and anything else we could think of to raise this money.When my dad passed away, it literally was life changing for me. I could go on and on about what a great dad he was or how unfair it is that RT has no grandfathers left. I could talk about how much I miss his being around, or the times that I wish he was here... but putting the focus on a way to fight helps it hurt a little less.  My family, my friends, my coworkers, even strangers have worked so hard to raise this money and I can't be more thankful that they did.

The Purple Strides Tidewater is the annual 5k which is the culminating activity for the year. Every year they have DJs, activities for kids, a warm up, and then we hit the pavement and get a little exercise. I had hoped to run it this year, but somehow with the third trimester pregnancy and the sciatica pain, I just don't see it happening. Next year though- I'll try.... to run... at least some of it. (I say this because I already know a certain mama and daughter running team that will hold me to this.)

If you'd like to donate to our team this year, it's easy to do at our site. If you know someone with Pancreatic Cancer or whose loved one has it, reach out to me and let's see what help we can get them. If you'd like to join our team or volunteer at our events, we would love to have you! And if you want to walk with us tomorrow... please join us! You can sign up at the event and we will have a tent with Team Hurwitz on it!

To see my posts about our own struggle with Pancreatic Cancer and all of the emotions that went with it, you can click here, here, or here.

She Works Hard For The Mommy v.7

Hi! My name is Boo Alejandro and I am an entrepreneur, illustrator, calligrapher, reading tutor,  military-wife and most recently, MOM! I love color, Mexican food, warm and breezy days, good music, lattes, Instagram stories and laughter.

Originally from Raleigh, North Carolina, I studied Special Education and Reading Instruction at East Carolina University in Greenville, North Carolina. I met my husband, Hector, on Tinder (swipe right) in September 2013 and I adored him from date number one.

I was a Special Education teacher in North Carolina and loved it. I hold the memories of the classroom close to my heart but upon getting married and moving to Norfolk, Virginia in June 2016, I knew that new adventures were on the horizon.

In December 2016, I founded Boo Alejandro Designs where I am the creative director. I specialize in watercolor illustrations and calligraphy/hand-lettering and I LOVE it.

My custom artwork includes house portraits, family portraits, military portraits, invitations, calligraphy signage and beyond. One customer favorite is my Norfolk map that can be customized to include your most favorite local landmarks.

I also teach calligraphy classes to help people of any skill level learn how to bring their own style to lettering. I have one coming up April 17 at the Annex in Virginia Beach. I have been a lover of design and art for as long as I can remember and launching my business has been such an incredible outlet for my creativity. To remain connected to my love for education and kids, I also work as a reading tutor for early-elementary aged students. My hustle is a little all over the place and I would not have it any other way.

Hector and I had plans to wait a little bit before having kids but the universe had other plans. I found out I was 9-weeks pregnant a week after our 2-year wedding anniversary – surprise! Despite it being a little earlier than we originally planned, we were thrilled. On January 13 of this year, we welcomed our son Éver and life has bloomed with a sweetness that we didn't know possible.

Time management has become a whole new beast now that I have a little one who soaks up all of my attention. It is hard to not get distracted by that freakin’ cute little mug! Mama business life has been a new challenge but oh so worth it. I love to bring art to life for my clients. Becoming a mother has multiplied my creativity in ways I could have never imagined.  Running a business and being a mom is all types of beauty and all types of crazy. I am so forever grateful that I am able to experience the beauty and crazy of both.

Thanks Boo! Boo and I actually met when I took one of her classes! I hope you'll check one out. I've ordered THREE of her Norfolk prints as gifts for people, and I'm thinking of getting a family portrait done once baby brother comes! If you're interested in her class, check it out here

IKEA Sneak Peak

Warning! This post has a ton of pictures AND it might make you want to throw away everything you own and buy everything from IKEA.

IKEA Norfolk opens on Wednesday, April 10th at 9 a.m., but guests may begin lining up at 5. The first 200 children 12 and younger will receive a free heart shaped soft toy, and the first 1,000 adults 18 and older will receive a special surprise welcome gift. Everyone in line before 8 a.m. will be entered for a chance to win a $500, a $1,500, or a $2,000 gift card. If you join the IKEA Family that day, or scan their card in the store you will automatically be entered to win a $250 gift  card. On top of that, if you use that card anytime from the opening until Sunday, April 21st and spend at least $125.00 you'll get a coupon for $20 off of your next purchase of $100. Through April 14th the store will also have face painting, music, and other family entertainment! You don't want ot miss out.

Here's some must know info:

  • Smaland is the child drop off area. There are height restrictions and children must be toilet trained. Employees are screened and CPR trained. Children must wear a bracelet that must match that of the adult's. Adults receive a pager that allows your child an hour in the area. Children must be between 37-54 inches and have on socks. For those waiting to come in, there is a waiting area outside for parents to wait with their kids with a movie and some toys. 

  • Sign up for the IKEA Family. You'll get special offers and if your item goes on sale after you buy, they will give you the difference. You'll also get some extra time in Smaland! 
  • Upstairs in the cafe head to the right for stacks of high chairs and a little area for kids to play while you eat. Kids eat free on Tuesdays! Downstairs is a bistro that sells veggie hot dogs for $.75. So cheap! 
  • Upstairs you'll only need to grab a bag. Most of the things up stairs are big items which you will pick up in the warehouse. Downstairs you can grab a cart and stock it with all of the little items that your heart desires. Need tape measures, pencils, anything else? They are around the store. 
  • Heavy items (like dressers or chest of drawers) come with restraints that must be secured to the wall. Every two weeks a child in the United States dies from an accident with tipping furniture. These straps are provided! 
  • IKEA employees 415 people locally at our store. They have both maternity and paternity leave for all employees, part time and salaried.  They have also raised their minimum pay rate twice in recent years. 
Mama Must Haves: 
  • Ikea paint is all non-toxic, to the point that they claim a kid could drink it and be fine. Love it. I love this white dresser which I'm going to use as a changing table by adding a pad on top. 
  • These book shelves let you see the fronts of books in a neat, organized way. 
  • I love how cool these beds are. 

  • These racks will likely be in my house once we move. I love them for kids as they grow and have backpacks, making the morning rush so much easier! 
  • How cute are these photo hangers? 
  • I'm loving this peg board for keeping things organized! 
  • This doll house hangs on the wall and would be perfect for a playroom. 
  • This chalkboard paint could be in a kid's room, a playroom, or a kitchen for all of the to do lists that I've got! 

  • These rolls allow you to keep rolling out new paper to draw on.
  • I love their price on rugs and comforters for kids. 

It's a dangerous time for us to be in the middle of packing up to move. I can totally see myself buying all new things! I'll leave yo with some totally random pictures of things that caught my eye! 

Hi mom!