Sometimes I amaze even myself.

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

Wanna play a game??

I know I’ve said this before… Losing weight is probably the hardest thing I’ve ever tried to do. (second hardest was quitting smoking, yep, heard that one before!!)
I was recently approached by the folks at with an interesting way to “up the stakes” (ha ha) in my weight-loss and perhaps make it more exciting. (cause let’s face it folks… dieting is BORING)
Have you heard of DietBet? It’s a clever new way to lose weight … they call it a “social dieting game.”By turning your weight loss goals into a competition, it turns losing weight into a fun sport. And by putting money on the line, they make it possible to get paid to lose weight!

DietBet is hosting an “NYC Moms Dietbet” that starts on February 12 and ends 4 weeks later on March 11. The buy in is $40. Each player’s goal is to lose 4% of their body weight. We use before and after photos that are privately submitted to DietBet to verify winners. Those who reach their weight loss goals of -4% will split the pot among the winners, not a winner-take-all model.

Like-minded Moms in the DietBet can support each other by sharing healthy family-friendly recipes, workout tips and words of encouragement.

Let’s make this citywide Moms game HUGE.

Get your friends to join — the more players, the more competition, the more fun, and the bigger the pot. This game is not exclusive to Moms in NYC, so feel free to invite your non-NYC Mom friends!

To join the NYC Moms Dietbet, sign up at

Now let me tell you a little about

As per their website:

“DietBet is pioneering a whole new way to lose weight. We call it Social Dieting.

With DietBet, 90% of people lose weight. Why? Because we bring people together to lose weight as a community. The conventional approach to weight loss is to focus on the individual … “calories in, calories out”. Look around: it isn’t working.

As Drs. Christakis and Fowler write in their book Connected, weight gain is a social problem and it requires a social solution. We agree! By making weight loss a fun, social activity, DietBet provides accountability through competition, collaboration, and financial commitments. And because DietBet isn’t winner-take-all, players end up supporting each other and laughing their way through the whole experience.

Losing weight doesn’t have to feel tedious and lonely. Try it and you’ll see how a game can change your life!”

You can read about this and so much more on their website

Now, who’s going to join me in this challenge??

Who’s up for a little friendly competition??

Don’t you want to win some cash while losing weight and having FUN??

Join me and the NYC Mom’s Diet Bet here :

This is an original ROSCMM post. All opinions expressed here are that of Jennifer herself. Full disclosure: the author has been compensated for writing this post and inserting specific links into it. She will also be compensated when others join her in the challenge.

Copyright 2013, Mastermind Mommy

Categories: Contests/Giveaways, DietBet, Sometimes I amaze even myself., Weightloss | Leave a comment

We’ve been married HOW LONG??

So… this month my husband and I will celebrate 12 years of marriage. I can’t believe we’ve been married this long already and I haven’t killed him.

The happy couple.

In the book Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn, Amy and Nick are celebrating five years. Every year for their anniversary, Amy presents Nick with a scavenger hunt, leaving little clues around town ultimately leading him to his gift, usually in whatever material represents that year.

Keeping that in mind, I thought I’d send my own husband some hints as to what he can get me for our anniversary next week…

The 12th  Anniversary symbols are as follows:

Traditional: Linen/Silk

Modern: colored gems/pearls

Flower: Peony

Gemstone: Jade/Opal

So lets start with the Traditional…


I’m not boasting to have this body…  Believe me, I am FAR from it…  but usually just the idea of… well, you know, gets him going.  🙂  And it comes with silk panties.

Maybe I can cover it up with this…

You know…  when the kids come barging in…


Moving on.

Modern: colored gemstones/pearls

I’ll take this…

It has both colored gemstones AND pearls.  At least he won’t have to choose…

Flower: Peony

I don’t know much about flowers… but these are pretty

And finally…

Gemstone: Jade/Opal

I’m not a fan of jade jewelry… so I went with opal.  🙂

Yes, please!!

I have included links to all the products in case some kind soul takes pity on me and wants to buy me something (cause you know he doesn’t read my blog).

And my anniversary is the 23rd, in case you wanted to know when to ship it by…

This is an original ROSCMM post and was written for the From Left to Write Book Club and was insipired by Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn, a copy of which I received for 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 2012 Mastermind Mommy

Categories: From Left to Write Book Club, Sometimes I amaze even myself. | 6 Comments

Playing the Prince

“Here Mommy, I will be the beautiful princess and you will be the handsome prince.”  Little Miss approaches me in one of her many princess dresses, in her hand is a bright green cape adorned with dollar signs.

The cape, circa 2008.

I hate that cape.

It is scratchy.

And annoying.

And it reminds me of our worst vacation ever to Lake George a few years back where we won that cape at an amusement park.

But I take it from her and put it on.

“Why do I have to wear this cape?  Do all princes wear capes?”

There is no reasoning with a three year old.  “Mommy, you have to wear the cape so you can be the handsome prince and rescue the beautiful princess from the dragon.”

“Yes, but why do I have to wear the cape?”

“C’mon Prince!” I’m not winning this one…

“Ok, where’s the beautiful princess?” I say, putting on the scratchy, annoying  worst vacation ever cape.

“MOMMY!  I’m right here!”

“Oh, YOU’RE the beautiful princess?”

“Yes, now lets go fight the dragon!”

“Wait, I thought I was supposed to rescue you from the dragon. Not fight it with you.”

“Look!  There’s the dragon!  Let’s go fight it!” she says pointing to our 9 month old husky puppy.

The dragon!! AHHHHH!!

“But that’s Chewey!  That’s not a dragon!”

“MOM! We have to go fight the DRAGON!”

“Oh, alright, but you should really change your dress, I don’t think Snow White would appreciate it if you got her dress dirty fighting a dragon.”

“We’re going to get you dragon!” Insert various fighting sound effects here. 

Dragon, disguised as a nine month old husky puppy, yawns, rolls over.

“C’mon Prince!  Let’s get that dragon!”

“Wait!  Do you really think we should try to fight the dragon if he’s sleeping?  I mean, he’s not really bothering anybody right now.”


“Ok, ok…  let’s get the dragon!”

Dragon, sensing that something is afoot, gets up and walks to the back door wanting to be let out.  He wants nothing to do with this.

“YAY!!  We ran the dragon, out of town!  HOORAY!! Now we can go take a nap.” I say, my hand reaching up to remove the scratchy, annoying, worst vacation ever cape.

“No, there’s another dragon over there!” She’s intent on “getting” a dragon.

“There is?  Where?”

“Over there. By that chair.”

“What color is it?”

“Ummmmmmmmm, pink.”

“With purple polka dots?”


“Oh, we can’t fight him…  there’s a law against fighting pink dragons with purple polka dots.  We could go to jail.”

“We’re not going to jail!  There’s no police to take us to jail!  Let’s fight that dragon!”

“Look!!  Max and Ruby is on!”

“Max and Ruby!!  Can I have a snack??”

And thus ends my stint as the handsome prince wearing a green, scratchy, annoying, worst vacation ever cape.

I love playing with my kids.  And really, why WOULDN’T you want to play the prince to this??  

The Beautiful Princess

This is an original ROSCMM post and was written for the From Left to Write Book Club. and was inspired by The Costume Trunk, by Paddywhack Lane, 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: From Left to Write Book Club, my kids are FREAKING HILARIOUS, Sometimes I amaze even myself. | 6 Comments

A Sweet Revolution!

For those of you who don’t know…  I’m on a quest to lose some weight for the two weddings I have to attend this year.  That, and I’m just fat and can’t breathe…  So, of course I’ve found that losing weight is one of the hardest things I’ve ever tried to do with the exception of quitting smoking (five years this October, YAY ME!).  I’ve discovered that I have absolutely NO drive to get off my butt to exercise nor do I have any will power to resist the late  night cravings of ice cream and chocolate.  I guess I shouldn’t be complaining about how I’m not losing any weight since I’m really not doing anything to help myself. (Actually, I am helping myself, to whatever I want…  and lots of it.)

Enter Tiffany at Bloggy Moms. I haven’t been blogging for very long and I know when I first started, I signed up for all these groups including Bloggy Moms.  So her email comes with a request for bloggers to try and review a no calorie sweetener.  Hmm…  food??  I’M IN!!

Now I’ve tried a few artificial sweeteners, and all of them have left me with a bad taste in my mouth, quite literally.  My mom has been using one particular sweetener for YEARS.  I always ask her how she can stand the aftertaste and her response is usually, “You get used to it after a while.”  In my opinion if there’s something about a product that you have to “get used to” it’s not worth the effort.  I’m looking for something that tastes like sugar, can be used in my coffee and my cereal without any aftertaste, and won’t give me cancer in the next fifty years.  Is that too much to ask??

I think I have found the answer!

Ideal Sweetener

Ideal sweetener is not like other sweeteners.  According to the Ideal website, “Xylitol is a naturally occurring sugar alcohol that can be found in many fruits and vegetables and is even produced by the human body as part of the normal metabolism of glucose.  With its low glycemic index, xylitol is a great alternative for people with diabetes since it is metabolized independently of insulin. ”  According to my taste-buds, “WOW, NO AFTERTASTE!!”  Oh, and it’s good for your teeth too!  Read about the benefits of Xylitol for your teeth here.   But its not good for pets, especially dogs.

Ideal comes in packets like the other guys and also in bags for use in cooking and baking.  It comes in white, brown and a confectioner’s variety!  In fact, on the back of the bag of brown is a great recipe for Oatmeal Raisin Cookies.  It called for both the white and the brown,so I grabbed up my three year old and we proceeded to make a huge mess, oh and some cookies too. YUM!!

Mommy, I want to mix!


Yes, I let her lick the beaters...

Into the oven!

The finished product.

The cookies were really good!!  I replaced the raisins with dried cranberries and my family went NUTS for them!  But the really convincing factor was when my mom used it in Grammy Smith’s Scotch Bars.  Mmmmmm, mmmm!!  I don’t think Grammy could have tasted the difference herself! (sorry, no pics of that, they went so fast I couldn’t stop chewing to snap any!)

Ideal sweetener is the perfect artificial sweetener to replace some of the sugar in your diet. I now use it everywhere I would normally use sugar, coffee, cereal, coffee, fresh fruit, coffee, and all of my baking and cooking. (Did I mention coffee?)

There’s a store locator on the Ideal website so you can find a store near you that sells it. So give it a try. You won’t be disappointed.











This is an original ROSCMM post. The product mentioned in this post was provided to me free of charge (or at a considerable discount not available to the public) for the purposes of writing this post. All opinions expressed in this post are my own and are not a result of any compensation or free products received (although they are both openly accepted.) 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: Reviews, Sometimes I amaze even myself., Weightloss | 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

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