Family * Travel * Food

A special project I am working on

For about 2 years now I have been compiling a small collection of some of my secret recipes for my children. I have this great plan that I will give the girls a cookbook as part of a graduation present. I have at least 6 recipes typed up and I even have a photo to go with each recipe. I was going to surprise them but I ended up telling them about it. It touched them so deeply and they had teary eyes and were so happy that I was doing this for them. Now the downside is every time I cook something they love, they ask me to add the recipe to the "book". Are they kidding me? I will be up to 100 before you know it! I am just glad to be able to pass along these recipes and hope they will do the same with their children. I really need to focus a little more on this special project since Chardie will graduate in a year and a half. It is very time consuming since my cooking style is so far from using actual recipes. It really takes a lot of thought to make the recipes make sense. My wish for the end result is a full-color, full-sized book made from waterproof photo paper filled with all of the girls favorites...most of all, filled with love ♥

Shelly, Mom Files

A Father's Love | Book Review & Giveaway (closed)

Contest Closed
Winner is #4 Kristin~ Congratulations!

I had the pleasure of reviewing the book called "A Father's Love" written by David Goldman. A lot of you might have followed the story of David Goldman going on a 5+ year crusade to bring his son home from Brazil. This book started out as a love story from a movie and then into a nightmare. Thankfully there was a happy ending for Mr. Goldman and his son Sean.

I am not a reader at all but I read the entire book in 3 days. It really captured my heart and opened my eyes to so much to things that I did not know about child abduction overseas. Mr. Goldman wrote this book in great detail and with such grace and dignity. The way he handled himself when dealing with the authorities was amazing. As much as his world was shattered he somehow managed to keep it together. I am not so sure I would have been able to handle things like he did if anyone took my child away from me. In this case it was his own wife.

"A Father's Love" was the perfect title for this book because that is what you felt from each page you turned. If you are interested in purchasing this book you can find it here. It is available in hardcover, audio CD/audiobook or Kindle Edition. I really enjoyed reading it and I think you will too. Be sure to have a tissue box next to you just in case! I admit I did shed tears, I was really moved.

I am pleased to be able to host a giveaway for one Momfiles reader to win a copy of A Father's Love. I think this would make a great Father's Day gift!

To enter: Please leave a comment letting us know if you followed the David Goldman story.

For additional entries you can Tweet, mention on Facebook, add the Momfiles button to your blog or follow me on Twitter and/or Facebook. Just leave a separate comment for each entry method to count.

Contest is open to US Residents and will end at 9:00 PM EST on May 24, 2011. Please leave a visible email address if you do not have a Blogger Profile. Winner will be chosen via and will be contacted by email. Good luck!

Disclosure: I received a copy of the book for review purposes and all opinions are 100% mine as always.

Shelly, Mom Files

My feelings about Mother's Day (short version)

I am not one to participate in overly commercialized holidays, Mother's Day included. I still do make it a point to honor mothers on that day since I don't necessarily get to do it all the time. It is just one day to be sure I let those ladies know how much they mean to me and thanking them for their awesomeness.

As for myself, I don't take Mother's Day off. I still do my usual job of being mom. It's my life and it's what I love. I am so lucky because I feel like at least 4-5 times a week my daughters tell me "That's why you are the best mom in the world" or "Bawbi, you're such a beast" and one of my favorites "Is there anything you can't do?". They will often times come up to me while I am lounging in the recliner and rub my feet for no reason. They buy little goodies from school and give them to me as a little surprise. They hug me and tell me they love me several times a day. As big as the girls are, they still fight over who gets to sit next to me and paste themselves all over me. Even little William shows affection to me and loves to snuggle with me when he is looking for a peaceful spot to rest. It's not unusual to see 3 kids glued to me at one time. My husband is wonderful to me as well. He gives all of himself to make me happy and I deeply appreciate it. He can be exhausted but always takes time for me. He listens to me and takes great care of me.

You see, every day of my life is like Mother's Day~ only better. Nobody is forced to make me feel special or loved. I did receive nice gifts for Mother's Day and I am grateful. I still enjoy the daily things I receive from my family that comes straight from the heart and makes me know I am the best mom in the world!

Happy Mother's Day to all my momma friends out there! You rock ♥
Shelly, Mom Files

I'm a simple gal

I am very different from most of the women I know. I don't care for fancy things and get more out of little things (even free things) any day. My sweet husband reached into an envelope he received at his Post Office box and handed me this:

I was trying to remember if I signed up for this freebie. He then reveals that he signed up for it! I was so impressed by this~I told you I was simple! This really brightened my day. I know he is going to get me for this post and also the free advertising!!
HE'S SO SWEET!! <--and still quite the manly man :)

Shelly, Mom Files

Anniversary weekend | 17 years

I am so excited about celebrating my 17th Wedding Anniversary with my favorite husband in all of the land ♥

Shelly, Mom Files

Re-post | Things that have kept us in love

*Sorry, long post*

I often have people ask what has kept Dwayne and I together for so long and how can we still love each other? 20 years is not long for some of you veterans, but it is for those that could not fathom even 5 years. There are no secrets that will work for every marriage but I will share some things that have worked for us.

  • Respect each other. Hateful words or actions are not allowed in our relationship.
  • Communication is key. Dwayne and I have an agreement that we discuss things and if an agreement can't be met then is it a "No". Chances are we either agree or I get my way so it works out :)
  • Sense of humor is very important especially when your husband is part Bernie Mac meets Jay Leno (funny and lame at the same time). There is NEVER a shortage of laughter in the Ismail house. I also think it is important to know how to laugh at yourself. Everything does not have to be that serious!

  • Understanding and Forgiveness. This has to be one of the hardest things of all. Nobody is perfect and things happen. Almost anything can be worked out or worked on.

  • Appreciation is very important. Taking time to say "thank you" between a man and wife is something that should never be overlooked. I thank Dwayne all the time for providing for our family and never making me feel guilty about my choice to stay at home to raise our children. Dwayne thanks me for even the tiniest things that I don't even think matters. Everything from ironing a shirt, sweetening his coffee or telling him not to worry that everything will work out.

  • Encouragement is HUGE. We encourage each other to become even better. I love Dwayne so much because he never allows me to doubt myself or not give myself enough credit. It's a great boost for both sides!

  • Unconditional Love I even have to explain this one? I love Dwayne for the good, bad, sneaky, naughty, sincere, strong, arrogant, hardcore, sweet, smart and 'Dwayne' things that makes him who he is...The man I married and will eternally love.

Dwayne and I are from 2 totally backgrounds, worlds, planets, and everything in between, but there is this magic that can't be explained. We just mesh together well. If he is out and I am expecting him home I will stand by the window like a school girl and wait. Of course as soon as he drives up, I race to couch and when the door opens I will say "Oh, I didn't even hear you drive up". I think the fact that we have stayed the same people we have always been but have matured together it really keeps the bond going strong. We always have each other's back. If you have a 50/50 relationship, then you have a great chance at a lasting and loving relationship.


Romance in Whoville

The other night big daddy came into the bedroom and told me he wanted to give me a relaxing foot rub. I told him that he worked so hard that day so I would take a rain check. He insisted that he wanted to do it and that I better take it while it is being offered. So I graciously accepted his kind offer. My husband has his romantic moments and I thought this was one of them. He tells me to throw my feet across his lap so he can put some of that big daddy magic on me. He feels under the covers and realizes that I have socks on. I tried to reach over to pull them off and he insisted he would take them off. Suddenly I hear "WHAT THE HELL? Are you from Whoville or something? Dr. Seuss is missing some socks!" Oh my husband... He didn't have to say I had Whoville/Dr. Seuss socks. HAHAHAHA!!! That's your boy!

*The stripes are really blue and purple but the blue came out looking white on my camera from the flash.
Y'all better not be making fun of my socks either!

Shelly, Mom Files

Flashback Friday- 16 years of marriage

Today is Dwayne and Shelly's 16th wedding anniversary!

We are both very proud to be together and look forward to many, many more anniversaries to come. What a wild and crazy ride it's been. We have endured hard times, three children, recovering from hard times, fun times, crazy times, sad days, happy days, non-stop shenanigans, growth and most importantly we have loved each other unconditionally the whole time.

This felt poster from over 16 years ago has been hung up in every place we have lived. It remains on our upstairs hallway wall so each morning we walk out of our bedroom it's the first thing we see. It's a reminder of the promise that we will love each other and stay together FOREVER.

It's our 15 year Anniversary!!

Dwayne and Sheliza proudly celebrate 15 years of marriage this 29th day of January. We were both only 20 years old with no clue in the world about what our lives would be like later on down the line. We can say that it has been a great big roller coaster ride with many twists and turns, fun times, sad times, crazy times, happy times and a lot of amazing memories. Our choice to get married was not favored by others but we knew we were meant to be together. Nothing and no one was going to stop Dwayne and Shelly from being together!

Check out the looong nails! Hey, when you get your nails done for free, you graciously accept it and move on. My dress, shoes and accessories cost under $75 for everything! Our cake was given to us by a friend as a gift (her mom was a baker). All the food, tables, chairs and the place we got married in was offered up by friends and family.

Dwayne and I did not even want an actual wedding. We wanted to go to the Courthouse and be done with it, but his Aunt convinced us that we had to do it right. Our wedding was done on a $500 budget and I'm glad we did it that way. No Hollywood here!

*If anyone refers to my hair using the words Salt 'n'Pepa or Push it, I will block you! lol!! Kidding*

We honeymooned in the Bahamas (another gift to us) and I really don't know why we were posed like that but something tells me Dwayne made us do it! I would have worn a little dress but it was cold and rainy the whole time we were there. I had to borrow clothes to stay warm since all I packed was a bikini and sundresses. This was the last hour of our time in the Freeport and the sun decided to shine at the last minute!

Everyone wants to know what we are doing for our special day. We will go to lunch, order out for dinner and share some wine and some memories of old times. Nice and simple, just how we like it!


A week about love

This week's posts will be dedicated to love. Why love you ask?? Well because two people you know, Dwayne and Sheliza are getting ready to celebrate 15 years of marriage. This is a big deal to us and we wanted to share this special time with you all (you know what I mean for those of you thinking very wrong things!) We actually were together for 5 years before officially tying the knot. Hmm, this means a total of 20 years and running with the same person. Most people ask ME how we do it (remember, I am married to Dwayne). I truly feel that we were both meant for one another. It took a woman like me to tame the beast. You let Dwayne tell the story and he will say he decided to keep me around. When he really wants to be annoying he will say "It's cheaper to keep her". Yep, that's my husband *sighs* What can I do, I did promise before God and all our friends and family that we were in it for life. Seriously though, it's a good life! Stay tuned this week for all things "Love". *This is where my kids make the throw-up face and say that they don't know us, ha ha!!

Reflections of 2008

Well another year is getting ready to come to a close. It goes by so fast it's unreal! There were so many things that happened over this year, both good and bad. I have taken everything as a learning lesson. I know that you are never to old to learn. Unless you are 16 then you know it all ha ha! I think the biggest thing I learned this year is how important it is to get all the toxic people out of my life in order to grow. You are probably thinking that I should know that by now and I do. I guess I just tend to be too nice and tolerate a lot of things that I don't always look at as tolerating. There eventually comes that 'enough is enough' feeling that wakes up inside of you and makes you do something about it. This year has brought so much clarity to me and has allowed me to rid my life of a lot of toxic people and behaviors. I am still very flawed but I know I will learn more and more as the years go by. I am so grateful that I had my healthy baby boy and that my family continues to stay strong and persevere. I am extremely grateful to have such a wonderful husband that keeps me on my toes and is a strong father to our children. I know I give him a hard time (that's my job) but he is awesome and I could not make it through a lot of things without him by my side and always having my back. Before I say anything else nice about Dwayne I will stop here. No need in getting carried away!

What is the most important thing you learned in 2008? Please share :)

You should impress the one you love

I hear people say this all the time (especially married or those on long term relationships)

"I have been with so and so long enough that he/she loves me and I don't need to impress him/her"

You're kidding me right? Think that if you want! I speak primarily to the ladies when I say this... When your husband/boyfriend first knew you and you wore makeup or dressed a certain way, chances are that impressed him. Just because you have been together for years does not mean you should feel so comfortable and think he does not care if you wear makeup or take the time to dress nicely. Don't you want your mate to still "check you out"?? I know I do! Hey, I don't ever want Dwayne to try to get me signed up to go on an episode of What not to wear. Stacy and Clinton are no joke! Then again, 5 grand to purchase a new wardrobe would be amazing!! **Dwayne I would still make you suffer if you did that to me!

I am not a know-it-all (hate those types) but I do know how to keep a relationship alive. Ladies, I know you are not a machine but you have to find a way to show that man that you get better with time (not the opposite). Fellas, we still love all the silly pickup lines you dropped to get us in the first place. My hubby tells all young men getting ready to get married, or you let him tell you get locked up for life with no parole, "Always treat your wife like she is your girlfriend". That simple advice works like a charm. Trust me, we have been together for 20 years. I still want the same person when we are celebrating our 50th wedding anniversary to try to grab a little booty in front of our guests. Even though I shove him when he does it, I know I love it :) I still am impressed with the fact that Dwayne still holds the door for me, buys me flowers often, brings home 'little' things he knows I love, and behaves like the crazy fool I have always known him to be. Why would I want a different person? I expect him to still do whatever it takes to impress me. **Especially when I get fat commission checks in hand!

If you want a long healthy relationship I would suggest you always try to impress your mate. Just my two cents.

Romantic moment

This morning I made a lovely breakfast for the hubby. He was so excited and ready to partake! I even put his OJ in a wine glass. After he ate and took the last sip of his juice, he turned and looked at me so lovingly. He then takes my hand and says, "Girl, that was so wonderful." "I see why I married you, cause you got some serious skills in the kitchen." "Girl, I love you so much" "I love you a fat boy loves cake!" Now this man is a stupid fool! Ha Ha Ha!! ;o) I thought I was going to hear something sweet and that is what I got! I guess I must remember the pledge I took, "for better or worse" LOL!!! Gotta the love the BBCDO Founder and CEO!
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