A Modern Family Dinner Story

#dennysdiners raisedbyculture.com

For a good two years of my childhood, I had a standing date with my parents. Almost every Wednesday night, like clockwork, we would go out to dinner at a chain restaurant because kids eat free. I remember this vividly because this happened in the time before my 12th birthday. Before I aged out of the restaurant’s promotion. It was something I enjoyed too because dinner wasn’t rushed and stressful and I didn’t have to do dishes but because my parents actually enjoyed dinner. They both worked 9 hour days, 5 days a week and had to commute to their jobs. I didn’t get it till I was a parent raising my own children at what a luxury dining out actually is. And when you work freelance like me and my husband do, getting out of the house and having good food on a budget is everything.

Denny’s makes that happen more often than not for us. Always open, kids eat free, $2 $4 $6 $8 menu but the pièce de résistance is actual sit down, face to face, quality time with my family. We go over our day and have real conversation. The kids enjoy our once a month standing dinner date at Denny’s. I know this because they ask about it. We started putting a calendar up so they know exactly when we’re going. It is one thing we all look forward to these days. 

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Denny’s $2 $4 $6 $8 Menu

#dennysdiners raisedbyculture.com

Disclosure: I love working with Denny’s, this is my 3rd year as an ambassador. If you don’t know now you know!

I’m going through a phase in my life right now where I don’t want to cook or commit to everything that comes with it. Grocery shopping, doing dishes, NOPE. I like going out to eat but you know, my budget doesn’t always allow for that. Living that freelance life. I make room in the budget for dining out once a week the way Denny’s is set up…they make it really easy to dine out a few times a week. Really really easy. Check it out, we spent $16 for four of us on Tuesday. You can’t even eat at a fast food restaurant for that these days. The kids ate FREE and we attempted the $2 $4 $6 $8 menu

I actually have a funny story about that. What I really wanted to order was the $8 Southern Chicken Slugger but the Universe was like nope, you want the Grand Slam Slugger cause that’s what I got. I didn’t send it back – it looked so good and I don’t waste food. I never say no to the new Denny’s pancakes and the Universe knows this. 

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The Ultimate Mega Play Date With Nick Jr. And Mom.me

#kidsloveblaze raisedbyculture.com

I was compensated for attending this event sponsored by Nick Jr. and Mom.me. The thoughts and opinions below are my own.

I live for Sunday Fundays. It is what I like to do. It never occurred to me that I mostly plan Sunday Fundays for me and my husband and not the kids. I can look back at weeks worth of Sundays and it is all about eating good food and looking at art or some form of shopping. Swap meets. Antique malls. Flea markets. Sure the kids learn from our outings but it isn’t really their idea of fun. Whoops! I’m not even sure I’ve ever planned a fun, free day with only the four year old in mind. My bad! I have got to do better.

The Universe must have really wanted a Sunday Funday for my Omar because we got an invite to The Ultimate Mega Play Date from Nick Jr. and Mom.me. My kid was in for a Blaze and the Monster Machines surprise! I was low-key thrilled for Shimmer and Shine! I’m such a fan. We got to the Petersen Auto Museum and he was like “where am I?” We laughed and told him to just have fun. It was his day.

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Stouffer’s Is A Real Option

#balanceyourplate raisedbyculture.com

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Stouffer’s. The opinions and text are all mine.


I love me some lasagna but I don’t want to cook it. Lasagna is difficulty level: NOT FOR ME. There is way too much involved in making lasagna and right now I choose to hit the easy button. The last thing I want to do is put in work in the kitchen after working all day. I really don’t want to cook but dinner can’t always be “mom boiled water and threw it in a cup” or “here’s a sandwich”. I want to feed my family better but can better be easy and good for you? Real questions I have. Stouffer’s is a real option. 

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Full Moon Signs

Full Moon release raisedbyculture.com

I woke up this morning and saw my domain expired. The GoDaddy this domain expired page was up and everything. I knew the renewal was coming but I made no effort to pay. I tend to live life like that these days. And then I remembered I was doing this blogging daily thing in November and wanted to get my blog back up immediately. I pulled up godaddy.com to pay and couldn’t remember my password. Of course! I tweeted about the tragedy but wasn’t freaking out like I usually do. This is how it played out on Twitter. Gifs make everything better. 

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A Star Wars Halloween

Halloween raisedbyculture.com

Bless my husband. He always handles Halloween costumes for the kids. Duke wanted to be Kylo Ren and Omar wanted to be Darth Vader. Grandson and grandpa. We got both their costumes for under $30 total. I think they’ll be holding onto these forever though!

This year was the first year we didn’t do any pre-Halloween fun. The kids were burnt out for the past couple years and it was a sad reality that sometimes blogger kids do way too much. Halloween is my fave and I wanted them to enjoy it just like I did so when Omie was super excited that “tomorrow is Halloween, mom” my heart exploded at my decision. We had lunch with my grandbaby + his mama at John’s Incredible Pizza and then we went trick-or-treating at the mall. It was a good day. I want to be a cat next year. KTHXBI! 

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Treat Your Homegirl

#yourhomegirl raisedbyculture.com

I preach a lot about treating yourself. You should. All the time. But you should make it a point to treat your homegirls too. (Maybe you already do?) Like when Sad Girl bought Mousie a necklace. I’m not saying throw down big money but if you are out together getting coffee, hook her up every once in awhile. If you live close, stop by with homemade cookies. Or if you are like me and my girls who all live far from each other, drop something in the mail. Or when you see each other, pay for a round of dranks. It feels good to do it that’s why. And it makes her feel good too. 

My girl Lisa in Phoenix bought me lunch at Keisei Yuzen while I was on a layover in Japan by the magic of technology. Terminal 1 in Narita Airport. I ordered me a melon soda, tempura set + chicken yakitori. Thanks, Lisa! Love you xoxo

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Beyond Blogging

I’m me before I’m a blogger. Me being a mom, wife, homegirl, healer, dreamer. 

(I had intentions for this post but I got all jacked up with cramps last night. So it was cramps, Cops + Cherry Garcia)

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Thursday Time Suck


Today was a time suck. I feel like my life is always in limbo. Working, plotting + planning, doing something, going somewhere, waiting, waiting, waiting. I wish folks would respect my time and energy tho. Especially if I’m trying to get you paid!

I haven’t had the urge to post on my personal Facebook page. Today is Day 3. I’m surviving. I played a game today. Saw a tweet about The Voter Suppression Trail and played twice. I won’t spoil it for you but damn if it ain’t real AF. I got Wisconsin first and laughed when I got Orange County (where I’m from) next. Shit I didn’t realize I got it so easy. I could literally walk a few blocks to my polling place and get in + out in 5-10 minutes. Everyone’s experience in America is different, be easy with your fellow humans. I’m not going to tell you who to vote for but make sure you flex your vote on November 8. Do the research. 

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Cubs Win

10th inning Game 7 World Series delay

Bandwagon Cubs fan here*. At least for the World Series anyway. Chris + I started watching the World Series during Game 5 cause he wanted to see the Indians win. That didn’t happen. He was all the way off. I wanted to watch cause I like baseball. Tonight: Game 7. Screaming. Crying. Screaming. 10th inning. Rain delay. THE CUBS WON! After 108 years. Pluto wasn’t even a planet the last time they won a World Series. Marinate on that for a minute. So with everything going on in the US presidential election + scandals, Standing Rock, Syria, Yemen, police brutality… we could celebrate for one night. Tomorrow is another day. 

But about my day. I woke up late and with a headache. I was out of it and knew I wouldn’t be giving my all to my clients so cancelled my appointments. We were supposed to spend the day out at a museum but that didn’t happen. I took a nap and woke up hungry. The kids were hungry too so I treated them out to Denny’s (that post is coming soon) and we went to score marked down Halloween candy. Target was only 30% off so nope. We were in the toy aisle talking Star Wars when a random cholo started talking to my husband about his toy collection. And when we were leaving Target tonight…

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