The Phoenix Art Studio and Gallery

This weekend, I had the pleasure of reuniting with an old friend from high school at her brand new art studio!  I have known Krissi McVicker (Byberg) since we sat together in Mr. Albano’s creative writing class and sang together in concert choir and the shows.  For as long as I have known Krissi, music and art have always been the center of her world.  Now, after being a public school teacher for over 15 years, and struggling through a heartbreaking divorce,  she has finally given life to her passion and opened her own art studio.

“I found this place through a realtor, and it just spoke to me,” she says of the beautiful space she has transformed.  A former yoga studio, the space already had natural wood floors and the same color wood panels on the walls.  There are windows all around that allow in lots of natural light, and bare piping along the ceiling that give the studio an organic feel.  Nothing is covered up here, which helps patrons feel like they can be themselves, that they don’t have to hide anything.  

The walls are adorned with all sorts of beautiful pieces, both for sale and for show.  


lovebirds… my favorite!!

And not only are the walls beautiful, but the tables are too!  Krissi built her own work tables by salvaging antique doors and, using decoupage, transformed them not only into a sturdy workstation, but a source of inspiration. Each table has a different theme.  And each table is more beautiful than the next.


Krissi offers Paint and Sip nights most Monday and Friday nights from 7-9pm. “I’ll also eventually have mixed media those days in August from 2-4. 

Petite Picasso (children’s summer camp) will be on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 2-3:30. 

 Fall schedule will change and be more accessible to new mom’s and other crafty classes. Also on most Weekends, I’ll have other paint nights, Family days, Date nights, etc.”

The Phoenix is also in talks with a certain charity in regards to “Paint it Forward” events and fundraisers.

Want more info? 

 You can reach her at:



Or just stop by!
The Phoenix Art Studio and Gallery

 573 Middle Road

Bayport, NY

Thank you Krissi,  for inviting me to your beautiful new space.  I wish you all the luck and success in the world.

This is an original ROSCMM post.  All opinions are that of Jennifer herself unless otherwise noted.  I received no compensation for this post other than the joy or seeing my old friend again and the embarrassment of calling her and her twin sister by the wrong names. (I’m so sorry about that!)  

Copyright 2015 Mastermind Mommy.


Categories: Randomness..., Sometimes I amaze even myself. | Leave a comment

No Facebook

Ok, so, I’m not like a devout catholic or anything, but I try every year to give something up for lent. For those of you who don’t know, in the catholic religion, Lent is the 40 or so day period between Ash Wednesday (tomorrow) and Easter Sunday, excluding Sundays. According to upperroom.org “Ash Wednesday, the day after Mardi Gras, usually begins with a service where we recognize our mortality, repent of our sins, and return to our loving God. We recognize life as a precious gift from God, and re-turn our lives towards Jesus Christ. We may make resolutions and commit to change our lives over the next forty days so that we might be more like Christ. In an Ash Wednesday service, usually a minister or priest marks the sign of the cross on a person’s forehead with ashes.”

I’m not here to push my religion in your face (please! I am FAR from devout!) but I am trying to raise my kids with something to believe in, so we stick with the familiar, both my husband and I were raised catholic, it just seemed the logical choice. (That, and my grandma could rise from the dead and beat me if I didn’t.)

Anyway, that’s not what I am here to write about.

I am here to state, officially, that I am giving up Facebook for Lent. I have come to the realization that I have a problem. I am on it constantly. And if I’m not on Facebook, I’m on other social media that posts to Facebook.

Man, I need a life.

Lent is supposed to be a time of sacrifice; a time of inner reflection.

Here’s my sacrifice.

40 days.

No Facebook*.


Cross your fingers for me. Hope I make it.

In addition to that, I am also going to try to get to the gym more, stick to my diet better, and stop swearing (in front of my kids, because, duh!).

*No Facebook means just that. No Facebook. I will still be using other timesucks such as Pintrest, Twitter, and Instagram. Baby steps.

Here goes…


I’ll report back and let you know how I did.

See you in forty days Facebook!!

This is an original ROSCMM post. All opinions in this post come from Jennifer herself unless otherwise noted.   This post has no compensation level as I did not receive anything for writing this post,(visit my Full Disclosure page for more details) and no, you can not steal my content unless you specifically ask me for it first. It’s called copyright, yo.

Copyright 2015 Mastermind Mommy

Categories: I think maybe I have a problem..., Randomness... | Tags: , , , | 1 Comment

Conversations with My 12 Year-Old Genius.

Me: What are you doing?

Him: I am trying to gauge the ratio of noodles to soup so I know how much I am eating.



Him: So, what are you reading?
Me: Its a book called The Goddess of Small Victories. Its about Kurt Godel, a famous mathematician and his wife, Adele.

Kurt and Adele Image Courtesy of The Kurt Godel Society

Kurt and Adele
Image Courtesy of The Kurt Godel Society


They were friends with Albert Einstein.

Godel and einstein

Godel and Einstein. Image Courtesy of the Kurt Godel Society


Him: Woah… Friends with Albert Einstein? That’s cool.

Me: Yeah, that’s why I asked what kind of things you would ask him if he could come to dinner.

Him: Well, I think I’d ask him to explain to me about his theory of E=mc2. I mean I know what it means, Energy equals mass times the speed of light squared, which if something is going to speed of light it can’t really have mass. And, I think you know from all the science shows me and dad watch that there is a way to travel faster than light but its theoretical right now. You see, you’d have to bend the space time graph and …

Me: your lips are chapped and you need to cut your fingernails.


Me: who do you think would win? Albert Einstein


Albert Einstein 1935. Image Courtesy of Wikipedia


or Stephen Hawking?


Stephen Hawking, 1980s Image Courtesy of Wikipedia


Him: In a battle of the brains or just a battle…

Me: DUH! Let’s be logical here… Stephen Hawking has, what? Cerebral Palsy? (actually a motor neuron disease related to ALS)
Him: Yeah, and Albert Einstein would be like 105 by now. (he would be 135) So, yeah, Albert Einstein.
Me: Ok, why?
Him: Because Albert Einstein came up with the equation that all of space time is based on. I mean, E=mc2 is the basis of everything in space time. Which, did you know that the equation E=mc2 was actually incomplete when he first introduced it? There was a little bit extra that needed to be added on at the end of it. They discovered that later on.


Not for nothing, but I think my kid’s pretty smart…  Happy 12th birthday!


Now I know how Adele must have felt during conversations with her husband and his scientist/mathematician friends!


This is an original ROSCMM post.  All opinions in this post are that of Jennifer herself unless otherwise noted.  This post was written for the From Left to Write Book Club and was inspired by The Goddess of Small Victories by Yannick Grannec, a copy of which I received for free for the purposes of this post.  




Copyright 2014 Mastermind Mommy

Categories: #proudmoma, From Left to Write Book Club, Randomness... | 1 Comment


Good morning… It’s about 4am and I am in my usual spot at this time. Awake and in front of the computer…

I have to be at swim signups at 8am so of course my internal clock is screwing with me. Woke up at 2am. Doesn’t help that I fell asleep before my kids at 10-ish but that has everything to do with the fact that I can not read lying down and I simply cannot get in to the new Odd Thomas book my Dean Koontz. But I digress…

I am up almost every night. I’m usually worrying about SOMETHING. Money, kids, husband, business, friends, blah.

Here’s my new worry.

And tell me if you’ve heard this one before…

I start a new job on Sunday. And actual go somewhere, do something, answer to someone kind of job. I’m super excited, but I’m also nervous and scared. I’ve been out of the workforce for almost 10 years. Yes, I’ve had my Tastefully Simple business for 6 of those 10 years, but I don’t answer to anyone except me (and sometimes my husband) when it comes to the business. And I can take a day off if I want to and not feel like I’m letting someone down in the process.

That’s not even what I’m worried about. The job is really no big deal. I’ll be a receptionist at my daughter’s dance studio for a couple of hours on the weekends. I’ll get to answer phones, answer questions, take payments, and shmooze with the dance moms.

When I do the bulk of my business. When I get to spend family time with my kids and husband. When my kids have birthday parties and swim lessons and religion classes and other extra-curricular activities.

I had to reschedule four parties. I have one that just will not budge too, so I have to see if my new boss will be flexible with me so I can do it, or I have to find another consultant to do the party. My hostess is the mother of one of my best clients. I don’t want to give up that party.

In all honesty, I’m not really all that worried about that either. Here’s what really bothers me…

You mean I’m not going to see you ALL WEEKEND??” my Big Boy whined…


It’s not all weekend, baby. It’s only for a couple of hours on Saturday and Sunday. You won’t even notice I’m gone.

Oh Mom, I’m going to MISS YOU!

Break my heart why don’tcha??

I’ve got three birthday parties this month and one next month that I can’t take my kids to because I will have to work. Hubs will have to take them. And I won’t have any full uninterrupted days of just the four of us unless one of us takes a day off or the dance studio is closed.

I addressed this concern with my husband before I accepted the position. His words?

You wanted this. Now you have to do what you have to do to make it work.”

He’s right. I did want this. I gave my resume to the director because I wanted to work for her. Now I have to deal with the fact that when she needs me is on the weekends.  In this day and age, I should be happy to even have something that I can call a job when so many others are without and can’t seem to find anything.  I should be happy that we are blessed enough that I have been able to stay home with my children for this long.

I guess I’ll figure it out. It can’t be THAT big of a deal. And we need the steady income.

I’m just nervous…

This is an original ROSCMM post. All opinions in this post come from Jennifer herself unless otherwise noted.   This post has no compensation level as I did not receive anything for writing this post,(visit my Full Disclosure page for more details) and no, you can not steal my content unless you specifically ask me for it first. It’s called copyright, yo.

Copyright 2012 Mastermind Mommy

Categories: Randomness... | Leave a comment

Staying Strong

It’s 8:19am on Father’s Day 2012. I have been up since 6am trying to keep myself occupied. Today is also the day of my Mother-in-Law’s funeral. God, even watching those words appear on the screen, I still can’t believe it. It all seems so unreal (sureal?). I honestly never thought this would happen. Then again, I think I always knew this would happen. She’d been suffering for so long. The cancer appeared over three years ago, and even then we knew it would get her eventually. It’s never easy when a loved one dies. This I know. It’s even worse when it’s a parent or spouse. I can only imagine what my husband, his brothers and their father are experiencing. I don’t want to go into how much she meant to me, or how special she was or how lost I’ll be without her. If you know me personally, you know what she meant to me and how I feel about her loss.

This is what I want to share with you today… I am currently staying with my Father-in-Law, attempting to help everyone else who loves him deal with the death of the love of his life. I am also trying to be “the rock” my husband needs so that he can begin to cope with the loss of his mother. It’s not easy, I am learning…

Yesterday, I found this in the bedroom in which I am sleeping.

I like to think that this is a sign from my Mother in Law to hold on. To be strong. I know I have to be because if I lose it, so will everyone else. I have to stay strong for my husband, my children, my father in law.

Thanks Ma. I got your message. I’ll take care of them, I promise.

Categories: Randomness... | 1 Comment

Mad Libs with Write on Edge, and no I’m not pregnant…

Today’s post comes from a prompt from writeonedge.com.  It was intended for April Fool’s Day, but as with everything in my life…  it took a backseat to running like an idiot all over for my family so I guess this is my April Fools joke on you Dear Reader.  SURPRISE!!  An April Fool’s Day joke that’s not on April Fool’s Day!!

Oh, that was just awful…

Please enjoy the prompt.

Here’s the template to cut and paste into your post, inserting the words from your list.  We’re trusting you to fill in your original word choices, no matter how silly they seem.

After all, what fun is a tea party hosted by The Mad Hatter without a little silliness?  This is a snippet from Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland: Chapter 7 – A Mad Tea-Party.

When you’re finished, link up below and let us giggle along.

There was a (1) set out under a (2) in front of the (3), and the March Hare and the Hatter were having (4) at it: a Dormouse was (5) between them, fast asleep, and the other two were using it as a (6), (7) their (8) on it, and (9) over its (10). `Very (11) for the Dormouse,’ thought Alice; `only, as it’s asleep, I suppose it doesn’t mind.’

The (12) was a (13) one, but the three were all crowded together at one corner of it: `No room! No room!’ they (14) when they saw Alice coming. `There’s PLENTY of room!’ said Alice (15), and she (16) down in a (17) (18) at one end of the (19).

`Have some (20),‘ the March Hare said in an (21) tone.

Alice (22) all round the table, but there was nothing on it but (23). `I don’t see any(24),’ she (25).

`There isn’t any,’ said the March Hare.

`Then it wasn’t very (26) of you to (27) it,’ said Alice (28).

`It wasn’t very (29) of you to (30) without being invited,’ said the March Hare.”

Here’s mine…

There was a boy set out under a girl in front of the man, and the March Hare and the Hatter were having woman at it: a Dormouse was driving between them, fast asleep, and the other two were using it as a car, flying their arms on it, and kicking over its head. `Very pretty for the Dormouse,’ thought Alice; `only, as it’s asleep, I suppose it doesn’t mind.’

The wall was a ugly one, but the three were all crowded together at one corner of it: `No room! No room!’ they played when they saw Alice coming. `There’s PLENTY of room!’ said Alice quickly, and she farted down in a silly towel at one end of the plant.

`Have some Easter Bunny,‘ the March Hare said in an happy tone.

Alice hopped all round the table, but there was nothing on it but shoes. `I don’t see any bush,’ she washed.

`There isn’t any,’ said the March Hare.

`Then it wasn’t very skinny of you to walk it,’ said Alice slowly.

`It wasn’t very blue of you to poop without being invited,’ said the March Hare.

Wow…  that was just about as good as my April Fool’s Day joke.  At least I didn’t tell you I was pregnant.  Cause I’m not…  No really, I’m NOT!

This is an original ROSCMM post.  This post was inspired by a prompt offered by writeonedge.com and no, you can not steal my content unless you specifically ask me for it first. It’s called copyright, yo.

Copyright 2012 Mastermind Mommy

Categories: Randomness..., Write on Edge, Writing Prompts | 1 Comment

Fifteen minutes in the life of a scatterbrained, sleep deprived, possibly ADD Mom…

Take the Cake

I really need to sit down and write that post for the From Left to Write Book club. I’m already late with the post cause I lost the book for a while and I still haven’t finished it…  But she had some great ideas when you have an extra fifteen minutes on hand and what you can do with them.  Ok, so here goes…

“What’s that baby?? You want some juice? Sure thing, here you go.”

“What’s the dog doing? Oh Bailey! Stop chewing on the furniture!!”

Ok, so blog post. Let me just check my email quick… Oh! Emily sent me and email, I’d better respond. Wait, I’m supposed to be writing a blog post.  I’ll get to her a little later.

Oh! I got my Mama Kat’s writing prompts. I should really do one this week. I did one last week, I should really keep it up… That’s a good one… Maybe I’ll write about that one…

“Bailey!! Get away from her!! Go outside!!”

Ok, blog post… Where’s the book?  Take the Cake by M.F. Chapman. Says here she wrote for the SV Moms Group. That’s cool. That’s probably how Marinka found her. Still kinda sad that NYC Mom’s Blog is gone. But Technorati is cool too.  Oh, that reminds me, I need to get onto TypePad and take down that stupid post I wrote about my son’s homework.  It was kind of assinine for me to react that way to a simple question…

DING!  Facebook notification…  what’s happening there?  Nikki visited my frontier, and Tina sent me a gift.  Have to harvest my crops and see if Tina’s gift helped me to finish that mission.  Ok, done, on to Cityville.  Look at all the people who visited my city.  Cool…

Maybe I can squeeze in a little Zuma Blitz??  Blog post?  Zuma Blitz?  Zuma’s only one minute.  I can stop after one go round…  Ok, maybe two…  Three…  Just one more…

“Is it lunch time Little Miss?  What do you want for lunch?  A sandwich?  And some juice?  You got it sister!”

Alrighty, Little Miss is eating, dog is sleeping, phone is over… there!  Now to write that post…

Let me just grab that load of laundry before it wrinkles…

This is an original ROSCMM post and was written for the From Left to Write Book Club. This post was inspired by Take the Cake: A Working Mom’s Guide to Grabbing a Slice of the Life You Love by MF Chapman a copy of which I received free from the publisher for the purposes of this book club, and no, you can not steal my content unless you specifically ask me for it first. It’s called copyright, yo.

Copyright 2011 MastermindMommy

Categories: FAIL, From Left to Write Book Club, Randomness..., Sometimes I amaze even myself., this shit can only happen to me! | Leave a comment

Thankful for our soldiers, ashamed of myself…

Image courtesy of clipartguide.comSo I was at the gas station today when I spotted a young man in an Army uniform paying for his gas. I glanced around the station to see what type of vehicle he was driving. My two-year-old daughter was in the back seat and I like to point out the cool army vehicles these boys drive to my kids. Not seeing any Humvee in the gas station, I figured he came in a regular car. No big deal.

So I finish pumping my gas, get my receipt and go to get in my car when I happen to look over and come eye to eye with another soldier in the same uniform.

“How you doin’?” he smiled.

“How are you?” I reply as I flash a quick smile and hop in my car.

I hear him say something like “Fine, thank you,” but I’d already closed the car door and was starting the engine.

It wasn’t until after I had put my car in gear and started backing out of the gas pump that I realized that I was rather rude to this young man. He was being perfectly friendly and I basically ignored him and went about my business. Sheesh, I’m a jerk.

The thought has occurred to me, when I see a man or woman in uniform to just walk up to them, shake their hand and say thank you. Thank you for serving our country. Thank you for putting your life on the line so my family can live free, without the fear of violence or poverty upon them.

Last year, my son’s Cub Scout pack took up a collection of items to send to the troops in Afghanistan after a deadly attack in the mountains left eight US soldiers dead and all their supplies obliterated. My friend was a member of that troop so I chose to head up the collection and send the supplies in his name.

Later that year I saw a soldier loading boxes into his car in the parking lot of Staples and the urge came to me to walk over and just say thank you. But instead I chose to mind my business and post a thank you to my friend’s Facebook wall instead.

I’m ashamed that I didn’t do anything. That no words of encouragement or thankfulness came from me to that soldier in the parking lot. That I was too wrapped up in my own things to take a minute and talk to those soldiers in the gas station today.

Why can’t I? How come I can talk to people I went to high school with that are serving our country that I haven’t spoken to in YEARS and thank them for the service they’re providing, but I can’t walk up to a stranger in a military uniform and shake their hand? Aren’t they all doing the same job? Don’t they deserve to know what a fine job they are doing?

I confided in my soldier friend this awful truth about myself and his words to me were simple. Although I can’t remember them exactly, he said something along the lines of “Don’t ever be afraid to thank a soldier. They are just regular people and like to know they’re making a difference in someone’s life.”

So my message to you is simple. This holiday season, as you give thanks for your family and your friends and your life, take a moment and give thanks for our soldiers who are out there, not just overseas, but here on our soil as well, risking their lives so we can live free and love life.

Thank you.

And to those soldiers that I have encountered on the street, in a parking lot or at a gas station, I’m sorry for staring. I’m sorry for worrying that you’ll think I’m weird. And I’m sorry for not offering at least a little bit of gratitude.

Thank you for the work you’re doing to protect this great country of ours. May you all return to your families, safe and soon. God Bless.

Article first published as Thankful For Our Soldiers, Ashamed Of Myself…… on Technorati.

All opinions in this post come from Jennifer herself unless otherwise noted. All names have been changed to protect the innocent and the moronic.  This post has no compensation level as I did not receive anything for writing this post,(visit my Full Disclosure page for more details) and no, you can not steal my content unless you specifically ask me for it first. It’s called copyright, yo.

Copyright 2010 MastermindMommy

Categories: FAIL, Randomness..., Sometimes I amaze even myself. | Tags: , | 2 Comments

I’m back… sorta…

So, I’ve been kinda MIA lately from the blogosphere, I know… I’ve been super busy with the kids and Tastefully Simple, and just everything…

Hubs and I have decided that I need to go back to school to get certified to teach (something) to help bring in a decent income so that MAYBE ONE F-ING DAY, we can get a space of our own, whether we buy this house from my parents or we move the fuck out. Nine years is long enough, don’t you think??

Also, it will help things now be so tense around here. When money is tight, everyone is tense and snippy (including me, hard to believe, I know). AND I can get away from “Mom?” “Mommy?” “Mama!” “Can I have…?” and all the other gibberings of my two beautiful children. Not that I don’t love the constant stream of information about outer space that my son bombards me with or the constant clean up of sharpie marker off my daughter and the walls of her room (where the FUCK does she keep getting those markers from??). It’s just that I need a little space to be me and do something that I love.

Also, I’d like to make one thing clear, I don’t have a lot of patience for other people’s children. I went down that road when I worked for Torture Time back when I pregnant with Big Boy and it ended in DISASTER. Of course, day care and public school are two totally different things, I understand that, and am willing to give it a shot.

Now, where to start?? I need to get certified in NYS to teach. How do I find out what I have to do to get certified? Will any of my past college work count toward my certification? What do I want to teach? Elementary? Secondary? What subject if I go secondary? English would be the logical choice since my BA is in Creative Writing. What if I went for reading specialist or library and media specialist? Words are what I love. Grammar and writing, helping other people to write better, read better and understand and appreciate the written word- those are the things I love.

If I could get paid to write, THAT would be optimal. That’s what I was going for when I decided I would pursue a degree in writing. I was going to be the next Stephen King. Then I had my first child and that WHOLE thing went right out the window. Whenever I get the itch to write, I sit at my computer and what comes out of me sounds stupid. As I write this, I’m considering scrapping this whole post because who wants to listen to me whine about having writer’s block and question how to go about going back to school?

The truth is, I don’t like change. I am a creature of habit and going back to school to pursue a degree and (let’s face it) START my career is SCARY. I’ve been out of the workforce for eight years. I can only imagine how hard it’s going to be to adjust. I just hope I can do it without completely losing my mind…

Categories: Randomness..., Rants | 3 Comments

Eight years ago today…

Eight years ago today…  God gave me this…










And now, I have this…









And this…










Ain’t life grand??


Happy birthday Big Boy!!  Mommy loves you!

Categories: Randomness... | Leave a comment

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