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Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Bleaching the Knots on my Lace Frontal

Hey ya'll!

I recently purchased a lace closure to use for my wedding sew-in. I had someone install it for me but to avoid extra costs to customize it, I decided to bleach the knots my self. The process is pretty simple, I was able to figure this out my watching other videos and reading blogs online.

You will need lightening powder and developer. I purchased sample sizes from Sally's of both. The brand shouldn't matter. Each video I watched used a different brand. I wore gloves on my hands and purchased a mixing bowl and brush to use.



The whole process was pretty quick and the results were good! Check out the whole video on Youtube or check out the link below:





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Friday, November 18, 2016

The Novice Mom: Sleep, what is that?

My baby is now 7 months and, for the women who keep asking me, no, she is not sleeping through the night.

Is she supposed to? Because I'm really starting to think it's impossible. With the restless, uncomfortable nights of sleep from the second trimester of this pregnancy, coupled with those early days of nervous-new-mom-sleeplessness and the past 7 months, I haven't truly slept in over a year.
It's maddening. If it wasn't for naps during my commute and accidentally falling asleep during pumping sessions at work, I'm not sure how I would be functioning right now.

I have read so many stories about 'sleep training', theories and methods about baby sleep patterns with age but, to be honest, all of the 'Get your baby to sleep through the night using these X amount of tricks' articles in the world can help me. Maybe they will work for you, I won't be a total Debbie downer. I mean, they must work for someone because people keep writing them! But, in all of this time they have never worked for me.

I tried the night time routine. So many of the articles on Parenting, Baby Center, What to Expect, etc. tell you to establish a nighttime routine. Give your baby a warm bath with lavender scented soap, put on nice, clean pj's, read her a book, play the 'bedtime' song and boom! Your baby will know that this means bedtime and boom, you're off sipping wine and watching Scandal.

Well, sadly this never worked for me. With working full time, planning a wedding and just being lazy in general, I can barely establish a nighttime routine for myself. I'm lucky if I get a shower every day, so no, I'm not giving Baby P a warm bath every night. And after nights of her remaining wide awake during both the nighttime song and the book (if we had time for both) I gave up!

When she was old enough, I even tried adding cereal to her bottle. This was the main advice I got from every woman in my family. Most of whom scoffed at the fact that I was waiting until 5 months to give her cereal. So I tried it thinking that the thicker milk would keep her knocked out longer. Wrong. She woke up in three hours looking for more. That sweet, greedy child of mine!
So all this really did was leave me with an awake child and engorged breasts from skipping my usual before bed feeding.

So what I've been doing is paying attention to my child and following the beat of her drum (certainly not my own, which would have us both in bed at 8pm). We don't have a special nighttime routine. I generally just try to keep her from taking any long naps after 5pm and keeping her awake and entertained until 9. By that time she is generally ready to go to bed but fighting it. Fighting her sleep is her favorite past time. On good nights, I can turn down the lights and nurse her to sleep while I scroll through facebook. Other times she will finish her nursing session and be playfully awake. Those are the best nights (sarcasm). Generally she is down by 10 and I lay down right with her, scared that if I don't she'll wake up and I'll miss a few precious hours. Then after 3 hrs shes reaching for my boob in her sleep.

Life will be better once I can figure out how to wean her from night feedings. But for now, I don't sleep. Not all night anyway. I'm in a perpetual state of fatigue, which is guess is a normal part of parenthood. The silver lining is that when I see her smiling face the fatigue isn't that bad. I just say to myself "Who needs sleep? You'll be fine".


-end rant.

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Super Easy DIY Baby food: Butternut Squash Puree

I get all of my best ideas from Pintrest. This is no different! A friend and new mom sent over a pin all about making your own baby food. It really didn't take much convincing for me. It looked fun, it's cost effective and gives me the opportunity to quality control the food my child will be eating.

Now that I have successfully made a few batches of baby food I can tell you that it really is easy. The only challenge is having the time to do this. But, with a little organization, you can do it!

Supplies:
I tried two different methods and to be honest I like them equally. Pick which ever you think will work best for you. The Infantino Squeeze Station allows you to put your pureed food into portable squeeze pouches. Before becoming a mom, I didn't understand the hype around these but I totally get it now! You can buy spoons that screw right on to the pouches. This allows you to feed your baby without any mess. As the baby gets older they will be able to feed themselves without this. Either way, you can give them to your child and if they don't finish you can pop them in the diaper bag or back in the fridge. These are great for on the go meals. These are available on Amazon for under $15.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Easy DIY Wedding Invitations for under $50

My wedding is quickly approaching and it's time to send out the invites. I am happy to say that I now have very nice, expensive looking invites to send out but it took some hard work to get here. Now, there are many sites you can use to have customize-able invites printed and mailed to you at a variety of price ranges. If you are currently looking, make sure you try the following: Wedding paper Divas, Shutterfly, Fedex, Zazzle and Vista Print.

I looked at all of these and was happy at the wide array of designs offered by each site but I couldn't swing the prices. Our wedding is being done on a pretty tight budget. Meaning, we will be coming way under $10,000 for all in costs. This means that I have to DIY and be as resourceful as possible. But, just because I am doing this on a budget doesn't mean it has to look cheap!

All of the websites I mentioned above offer sales and good deals, but I still could not find a template that I liked and at the price I wanted to pay. Part of this is because I'm a little picky and already had this dream of having my invitations be very unique. More specifically, I wanted the nice laser cut invite holders. I did find a few of these on Etsy that met my visual criteria but not at the right price.
But then came my wedding BFF Amazon.com! I was lucky to find an invitation set that came in the right color, size and included everything I needed for under $50!

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Favorite baby items for 0-6 months

Baby P has hit yet another milestone. I am proud to say that my child is 6 months! People always say the time flies but wow!  I can hardly believe that earlier this year I was pregnant, had a baby and now, she's almost a year old. Crazy! 
In the first 6 months of her being alive, we have used a great number of products but a few standout. Here is a list of my favorite baby items for 0-6 months.

1. Teething pacifier clip



Why I love it: I bought this just before Baby P hit 5 months. At this time she was sitting up more, with the new-found control of her head & neck, and also learning to use her hands to grab at things. The combination of both of these things lead to the pacifier ending up on the floor a lot more. So I decided to get a pacifier clip. I stumbled across this one on amazon and decided to try it. I love it because it keeps the pacifier from falling while also being a great teething toy. She loves chewing on the silicone beads. It's cute & keeps her entertained, especially if I forget to pack other toys while we're out. I loved it so much that I actually just gifted a set of these at my cousin's baby shower.

Where to buy: Amazon.com $13.99 Search the site for more colors and varieties.

Monday, September 12, 2016

Friends without Kids: Baby Shower Gifts Ideas for under $50

So you've been invited to a baby shower. This is such an exciting time in the life of the parent to be and you want to show them your love and well wishes by showing up and giving a great gift. The only problem is, what should that gift be? This can be hard for anyone, especially if you aren't close to the mom to be, but it can be especially hard for the friends without kids.

This is when I would first and foremost direct you to the gift registry. You absolutely cannot go wrong by picking up something that the mother-to-be herself hand picked out. Trust me, blood sweat and tears go into curating those baby registries! But, if you insist on not looking at the registry, or there are slim picking on said registry, here are some great gift ideas that the mom to be will love. All of these are items that I have and have bought for other moms.

Anything for 6 months and beyond
When people think baby shower, they think about squishy little newborns. Those teenie-tiny clothes look super adorable on the hanger, I know, but most moms want you to leave them right where they hang. It's not that we don't need baby clothes, trust me, we do! The problem is that for the first baby, 9 out of 10 times, we will get way more newborn and 0-3 month sized clothes than our kid will ever be able to wear! I didn't register for any baby clothes and still ended up with a ton. I returned a bunch and she wore a new outfit every day but we still had clothes she didn't get to wear. She grew that fast!


So put the pack of newborn onesies down and opt for 3-month sizes and up. A set of 6 or 9-month sleepers would be perfect. Or ditch the clothes completely and step outside of the box. Since most people will buy things the baby will need for the first 3-5 months of its life, you should aim to get things for the months afterward.

Teething toys are great. Baby P started teething around 4 months. It was nice to already have a few chew toys ready to go for her. Look for toys with multiple surfaces and textures to chew on.
Spoons and bowls for starting solids are also a necessity that many people tend to forget about when shopping for a shower gift. Baby's can start solids as early as 4 months, although most start at 6 months. Showing up with the cool easy squeeze spoon or other feeding gadgets will surely impress the parents to be.

Friday, September 2, 2016

The Novice Mom: Why Black Breastfeeding Week Matters

With the 4th Annual Black Breastfeeding Week (BBW) coming to a close I decided to really sit down and think about the purpose of the movement. Much like the Black Lives Matter movement, many would ask, “why is this even needed?” To be honest, I only found out about the existence of this week the day before it started but, I never questioned it. I’m down for anything that supports and uplifts my community. So, I immediately started doing breastfeeding geared videos and social media posts all week in order to spread the word about this event. I’m sure my followers are sick of hearing about BBW but at least they are all aware! Now that the week has come to a close, I want to look past the surface and really dig into the issue of breastfeeding within the black community.

Women of all colors face obstacles when it comes to breastfeeding. Juggling work, while trying to pump & maintain a supply is difficult. Especially when women in today’s society are expected to, and many times have no choice but to work at least one full time job. Many of those jobs that I speak of do not offer a paid maternity leave so these women are forced to cut bonding time down with their newborn and get right back to work. Outside of work, the societal taboo of breastfeeding, especially doing so in public, hinders a lot of mothers. Alyssa Milano famously told Wendy Williams off after Wendy suggested that feeding your baby in a restaurant is somehow inappropriate and that women should go to the car or bathroom. Frankly, only someone who has never had to do this would say something like that. Seriously, Wendy? You want me to sit in the car to feed Baby P while you talk loudly with food in your mouth at the dinner table? But we’re disgusting. Ok girl. Why don’t you go eat on the toilet?
I digress.

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Breastfeeding Tag

To celebrate Black Breastfeeding Week I decided to do a breastfeeding tag video with Baby P. Here are the questions and my answers. For more in depth answers click my video below.

1. What is the craziest place you've breastfed in?
In the back seat of a moving car! 

2. How many hours have you spent breastfeeding?
 Only about a million! Not counting the hour I spend at work every day pumping.

3. What is your favorite thing about breastfeeding?
Besides the bond, I am loving the weight loss it has helped me achieve!
4. Toughest moment breastfeeding?
The first week was a struggle!
5.How do you entertain yourself while breastfeeding?
I watch Netflix on my Amazon Fire TV
6. What is your favorite breastfeeding gadget?
My Medela nipple shields

7. How long do you plan to breastfeed?
10 months

8. Most embarrassing breastfeeding moment?
Surprising an unsuspecting dressing room attendant!

Read more about Black Breastfeeding week here: http://blackbreastfeedingweek.org/

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Thursday, August 25, 2016

Welcome Back!

I'm reintroducing Vlogs to my channel. Click the link below to see my first vlog on my YouTube channel. In this video I show you some cool wedding stuff I got from ShutterFly, hang out with P and watch Power. 
Enjoy!





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Wednesday, August 10, 2016

The Novice Mom: Bed-sharing

It's hard to believe that my child is 4 months old. Just 5 months ago I was pregnant; scratch that, extremely pregnant and miserable! That 38-week pregnancy seemed like it lasted forever. The last few weeks seemed like a year, especially with the swollen feet, terrible skin, aches & pains and the anticipation rising. Thankfully, I made it through with a smooth labor & delivery. Now I have a beautiful baby girl. I mean, she is just gorgeous. Jaw dropping. Stunning. But I digress ... anyway, the pregnancy trudged on slowly but it seems like her life is zooming by.

Now here we are at 4 months (5 is just a blink away) and I have learned so much! By no means am I an expert, but I have accumulated info that will help me with my next child and maybe someone reading this who is on their first. I did not learn everything I know now alone. There were many times I found myself reaching out to other moms on Facebook and desperately asking family members for help. No shame in my game! It really does take a village to get you through those first months.

But I wouldn't be helping anyone if I just held on the all the jewels I've learned from friends, relatives, Google and of course, trial and error. So I'd like to welcome you to my new blog segment: The Novice Mom. I want to share my experiences, failures, successes and everything in between with you as I embark on the wonderful road of motherhood.

Today let's talk about...

Co-Sleeping & Bed-sharing

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Pharah's Nursery

With all the stress of pregnancy, I am happy to say that the nursery project was a success! It came out even better than I had hoped. 
Check out the video below to see the nursery tour on Youtube & be sure to keep reading this post for more on each DIY project within the room. 

Nursery tour video



Monday, April 25, 2016

What was in My Hospital Bag

It seems like all I did in the last two months of pregnancy was watch labor and delivery videos on YouTube, buy things for the nursery and research what I should bring with me to the hospital. By the time I was 35 weeks I had read so many lists and watched so many "What's in my hospital bag" videos that it seemed like I was going to need a U-haul truck to tote all of my supplies with me.

I will admit that part of me felt like I should just bring everything, just in case, but after watching the episode of Jwow & Snooki when Jwow gave birth I changed my mind. She had about 3 suitcases for herself and a huge bag for the baby. Not only did I think we would look ridiculous bringing all of this to the hospital but I also had no energy to pack more than one bag towards the end. So I decided that I would get everything I could in my cute Victoria's Secret carry on and that would be it! At 35 weeks I started throwing things in a bag, a little at a time, and by 37 weeks I was all done. Thank god for that because the baby came at 38 weeks!

Now that I have gone through labor and am happily at home I want to share what I brought, what I used, what I needed and what I will bring with me next time.


What I Brought to the Hospital

1. Labor Socks

One thing that I did not need but was happy to have was labor socks. I got these cuties from Amazon and I did wear them during labor & delivery. They are really soft and kept my feet warm in the hospital. I actually wore them for most of my stay. I forgot to bring my house shoes from home so it was nice to have these to walk around in. Make sure you get nonslip socks. After having the epidural these helped me feel more secure when I took my first couple steps.

2. Labor Gown 

While watching YouTube labor & birthing videos I noticed some girls wearing these cute labor gowns. I bought one from Amazon but didn't end up wearing it during my delivery. I really regret that; it would've made my pictures look a lot better.  I ended up wearing it on day two of my stay. While you're in the hospital the nurses and doctors will be constantly coming in to check your stomach, vaginal bleeding, and vitals and wearing my gown helped make this easier. The hospital will provide you with extra gowns to wear post delivery but I would suggest bringing pajama shirts or your own gown to wear if you do not want to wear what they provide.

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Pregnancy ups & downs: My Second Trimester Recap


As a healthy 24 year old woman, pregnant with her first child, I never expected my doctor to call me and say that my child was at a higher risk for down syndrome, but this is exactly what happened. My chance, which is usually about 1/1,250 for someone my age, came back as 1/37 after having a quad screen test done at my 17 week check up.  In case you don't know, a Quad Screen test is a blood test that claims to be able to tell you whether your baby is at an increased risk for certain problems, namely down syndrome. Recently doctors started giving this test to all women but previously it was saved for women who conceive later in life, typically over 30 or 35, since these are the women who are at a greater chance of having complications in pregnancy. 

When I received the phone call with the news of my test results I was not aware of this or much of anything concerning down syndrome, or what the Quad Screen test actually was. To be honest, on the day they drew my blood for the quad screen the nurse briefly explained the test but she waved it off as routine and so did I. I let them draw my blood then quickly went back to carrying on with business as usual. The doctor did do some explaining during that heart-wrenching phone call, but I think most of my understanding came from reading through the experiences of other women on online forums, blogs and YouTube after I had calmed down.

Friday, January 1, 2016

Sensationnel 'Goldie' Wig

Here is the latest addition to my ever-growing wig collection. I discovered this wig after a friend sent me a link to Kiya Nikki's review of this unit. I was instantly in love. I ordered this wig from Sistawigs.com and got it for $22.99 (before shipping & tax). Two days later it arrived at my house and of course, I was happy. With the weather getting colder, the stress of pregnancy and just life in general, I was in need of a break from dealing with my natural hair on a day to day basis. 

This wig is similar to the Joy & Heaven wig so if you like those wigs you will also like these. 

Click here to see my review 

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