Make Bath Time Great!

Bath time is hands down our favourite activity in our household. Bath time is so much for her. She loves being in the water as long as it’s warm. She gets to splash it, gets wraps herself in it (or she tries) and we have our most interesting conversations during bath time. It’s mostly one sided because all I hear is gibberish and I can’t respond accordingly but you get the picture.

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She understands that bath time precedes bed time. She’s aware that in the next 30 minutes after bath time ends, bed time will follow and that’s ok. This is the time we get to spend together and it’s as much about her being clean as it is about us engaging together. This is our time and get to spend it together.

*FYI: Some of these items have been gifted but the opinions shared are mine nonetheless.

So this is how we do bath time in our house.

  1. Bubbles20190122_201534-011635871559.jpegMost babies and toddler have delicate skin to begin with. Winter doesn’t help. So we might as well cater to their needs and keep their skin baby soft.

Jonhson’s has recently relaunched their baby care line and their lavender bubble bath smells so good. The lavender smell is not overpowering, it’s faint like a whisper for your nose.

But this girl only cares about bubbles. She always wants to eat it too, I don’t know why. She loves to touch it and try to mold it. I think she’s just trying to make sense of this soft white foam that can’t seem to hold itself still. It’s quite fascinating to watch her with the bubbles.

2. Gentle Cleanser

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LaRoche Posay has a great skin care, especially for sensitive skin. Their Lipikar line has been a life saver for my baby girl. It’s fragrance free, super gentle and so creamy that it just feels like a satin glove on your skin. It lathers beautifully and keeps her skin from being dehydrated.

She loves to just put it on her skin by herself. In fact, lately she’s been asking me to do things by herself. She’s pretty good at wiping herself with the wash cloth too. My little girl is growing up (insert tear). Where does the time go?

3. Toys!

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Toys are always fun. We always incorporate some kind of toy with her at bath time. Some times we use the rings, sometimes it’s a cup and other times it’s a pitcher. A jug or juice pitcher that would otherwise be used to pour water on her.

Honestly, most kids do not need much to keep themselves entertained. I don’t even know why I bother buying toying when she’s more interested in a pitcher, a bag or a box as a form of entertainment but she is and that’s that.

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I hope these tips help. How do you keep bath time entertaining at your house? Let me know in the comments below.

How To Enjoy The Process

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Enjoy The Process

Chances are, you’re in this moment in your life where things aren’t exactly the way you dreamed it to be when you were little. You are probably facing some financial difficulties, you’re not exactly sure where to go career-wise, and/or maybe you are just so stressed out by the everyday hustle and bustle you’re just discouraged because everyone seems to have it all figured out. Well the good news is, I have some tools to help you enjoy the “process”.

The “process” is often likened to that period in your life when you as a caterpillar are going through your metamorphosis. I say this because process is practice for your God given destiny. It’s practice for you to live out your purpose. While you are waiting to become the butterfly of your dreams take advantage of the time you’ve been given and learn to love yourself all over again. The “you” before social media and the social constructs of your environment determined who and how “you” should look like, act like and be like. The real “YOU”.

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Waiting

The key to getting to your “butterfly” moment is taking advantage of time. Everything takes times and unfortunately there is no app for fast forward or slow down time. If we did we would miss out on key transformative moments  within us and in our life. See you are destined for amazing things but you can’t fully function in your destiny if you don’t have the training and the habits to ensure continuous success.

For example, if you have bad spending habits no matter how much money you receive in the bank, you will always end being broke. In fact, you may end up saying over and over “If only I had more money!” after countless amounts of raises, job changes (with better salary), cheaper rent spaces, promotions upon promotions, etc. It won’t matter because you haven’t developed the habits to promote healthy financial decision-making skills.

So take advantage of time.

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During this time, get to know yourself. Chances are you will absolutely FALL IN LOVE with yourself. Why? Because you are the coolest, most amazing, awesome human being you know.

How do I know that? Well you keep taking care of yourself, pushing yourself to do better and be better. Are you perfect? No maybe not, but you are learning and that’s key.

Before you were brainwashed into thinking you had to completely change your passions and desires to fit someone else’s ideology of who you are, you were still you. You just didn’t know and/or care what anyone thought. In fact, back then it didn’t matter.

Honestly, there’s no better time to do it. If you don’t love you, then you won’t be able to appreciate anybody’s love towards you. You are deserving to live out your dream and to see yourself as worthy of living out your destiny. Your God-given destiny is there to you bless you as well as your loved ones and anyone else you would encounter.

Don’t be afraid or ashamed. You got this!

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In closing,

all of this is going to require some work. The process will be over before you know it if you get this early. The sooner you learn to enjoy it, the better.

The process is practice for the moment you step into your destiny. Make your mistakes now, ask your questions, develop those habits and love yourself. You will not regret it.

And remember,

YOU got this!

 

My Birthday Traditions

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Ever since I gave birth to my daughter, my birthday took a back seat. Mind you growing up, my birthday was not exactly one for major celebration.

My mother did the best she could as a single mother. She made it as special as she could. There were years where the finances were so bad that all she could do was wish me a happy birthday. As much as these memories sting, there were other birthdays where she’d throw me a birthday parties. Regardless, she taught me to be grateful for the moment that I’ve been gifted.

But now that I’m an adult I’ve decided to take charge of my birthday celebration. What’s great is that this year my husband actually remembered my birthday! YAY!

So here are my birthday traditions.

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Cake

I always make sure that I have a birthday. To be honest I don’t know why it’s such a big deal for me to have cake but it just is.

My favourite is the McCain Deep n Delicious marble cake. It is found in almost every single grocery store and affordable no matter what financial constraint I’m in.

I call it a win win!

Family time

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This year we decided to do something indoors because of the weather. We went to A Gym Tale where my daughter could run around. Her having fun is actually entertaining on so many levels.

I love my family and being around them just makes me happy.

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Prayer of Gratitude

This is something my mom used to do on every single birthday. I’m not going to lie, at the time I down played it as not being important or even necessary. Looking back I see, she was teaching me to be grateful for another spent learning, growing and being. So many people do not have that opportunity but I do.

So now I do it for myself. I give God thanks for another year where I get to grow, learn and be.

It’s amazing how perspective can truly make any day the way you want it to.

So here are some of my birthday traditions. It’s not fancy or crazy but they make every birthday that much more enjoyable. No matter the situation.

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Do you have any birthday traditions? If so what are they?

Postpartum Pregnancy: What I Wish I Knew

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What I Wish I Knew About Life After Pregnancy….

First off, I want to say welcome to MOTHERHOOD! We are an exclusive group of ordinary woman gifted and entrusted to love, take care of and raise a brand new human being. This fun job comes with superpowers where strength undiscovered is suddenly utilized and where your love knows no bounds for your precious bundle of joy. Unfortunately, as amazing as motherhood is, there is a transition period that I personally was unaware of until after I had my baby girl. I thought I would share it with you.

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What first caught me by surprise was lochia. What is lochia? I call it 9 months worth of menstruation that suddenly flows out of you for about 2 months. At least that’s what it felt like to me.

I couldn’t use a tampon because…well there’s something about pushing a human out of your vagina. You just don’t want anything up there for awhile.

My favourite pads were anything that could take heavy flow. I mean HEAVY!

It looks scary but it’s not.

However, if you ever feel unwell or something seems off, don’t hesitate to get checked out. Hemorrhaging can occur after birth.

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Then there’s the inexplicable fear of pooping. I know it sounds absurd but again something about pushing a kid out that makes pushing anything out of your body so undesirable.

The good news is you can’t push your organs out of your body. That was my fear (don’t judge). You will be fine. All you gotta do is take some stool softeners until your first poop.

Breathe and push. It’ll be over before you know it and you will be back to your regular pooping self…

Until the next kid.

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Ok, “Snapback” is a lie straight from hell. It’s an illusion created by the Illuminati, just kidding. (Or am I?)

In all honesty, I expected to go from the top pic where I’m 198 lbs to my pre-baby weight, which is the bottom pic, like Beyonce did. Ha! What a joke that turned out to be.

So for a year people thought I was pregnant after I had the baby…despite my workout regimen and my morning smoothies. None of it worked.

All I’m saying is be kind to your body. It’s transitioning as well. You didn’t gain all that weight overnight, so don’t expect to lose it overnight. Take your vitamins, drink your water and be patient with yourself. Your body has done an amazing work, so be kind to yourself.

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Sleep is the only thing I wish had some sort of preparation tactic for…alas there isn’t.

Unless the good Lord above has mercy on you, you might get a baby that sleeps through the night right off the bat. It does happen.

Unfortunately for most that is not the case. Mine didn’t start sleeping through the night until she was 1 year old. Some sleep through the night earlier and some later.

Whatever happens, know that you are equipped to handle this. Yes you will be exhausted and yes, your limits will be pushed but you got this Mama. God created you for this purpose and you’re the best mother this little baby has.

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Last but not least, the joys of motherhood is largely understated. There is something about getting to know someone who could care less what you look like, doesn’t care about your past or your shortcomings they just want to love you and let you love them.

In turn, they get to know you. The real you. The fun, quirky, weird, loud, funny, goofy, most loving part of yourself you have to offer. Believe me, they love every part of you to pieces. So embrace the love they have for you.

You will learn more about yourself and your purpose once you hold them in your arms, wipe their tears away and make them smile. That warm and fuzzy feeling may not hit at you first (it didn’t for me) but you learn and adapt and become the supermom you were destined to be.

I hope this helped. If it did, let me know in the comments.

How To Succeed in 2019

20190101_130457_00011633164719.pngWant to live your BEST life in 2019?

Every year, millions of people take into consideration their strengths and weaknesses. We take stock of where we’ve been, to try to gain some clarity as to what we want the new year to bring us. While this idea of setting new goals is great, the truth is most of us are going to end up exactly the same way we started. Not because we want to but simply because we keep doing what we’ve always done.

Today I’m sharing with you how you can guarantee your success in the new year. I’ve been able to condense it into three very simple steps and I hope this will help you.

As much as I’m writing this blog for you, this is for me. These key steps will help me live out my best life for me and my loved ones. I guess you can call them my 2019 New Year Resolution.

20181128_115459_0001696431869.png1. Be Intentional

“What Do You Really Want?: The key is living with awareness and intention”

– Helen S. Rosenau, The Messy Joys of Being Human: A guide To Risking Change and Becoming Happier

Your intent is just as important as your actions. Your intentions will determine what you do and how well you do it.

I remember being in school knowing fully well that if I wanted to do well I’d have to study. If I glanced over my notes the night before, I’d pass but barely. If I studied the night before, I would pass with a decent grade. But if I took my time the week of the test, understood the material and could teach it myself then I was getting top marks for sure. I was intentional with my studies and nothing less than success was within reach.

Life works out the same way. Once you know what you want, be intentional with your actions. That may (will) include changing your habits but it will bring you what you want. Let your intentions be the fuel to your destiny.

20181222_1646122. Confront Every Challenge

“…I started to realize how many great things could happen by confronting the things that scare you most”

– David Archuleta, Chords of Strength: A Memoir of Soul, Song and the Power of Perseverance.

Most people I know hate confrontations. It’s like facing the scary monster under the bed. I can’t blame them, it’s true.

It’s scary. Who wants to engage in a conversation where pride and ego take over, tears can flow and feelings are hurt? Nobody. Who wants to be exposed for their faults and flaws and risk being seen as the villain? Nobody. Who wants to be tested? Nobody. It’s not pleasant and going through it isn’t pleasant.

Confrontations aren’t meant to be pleasant. Challenges aren’t supposed to be enjoyed. But the payoff is the GROWTH and it’s so worth it. Everyone who has confronted their fears and met the challenges head on have been called bold, brave, courageous, etc.

They are the heros we talk about, the role models we look up to, the game changers who pave the way. We write books about them and watch movies about them and their lives.

Challenges are all around us and they come in different forms. Sometimes it’s having that difficult conversation, not being able to pay the bills on time, losing/gaining that extra weight, quitting that job, putting your mental health first, cutting off some “friends”, making yourself heard, etc. Whatever it is we have to take responsibility for our actions and choose to confront every challenge. Why? Because otherwise we lose and I don’t know about you, but I need to win this year. I AM winning this year.

Sandy3. Consistently Do Good

“Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.”

Galatians 6:9

Doing good is easy when you feel good, really hard when you’ve been hurt. When you get cut off on the road, or when you’ve left behind and forgotten it’s nearly impossible. But the Bible tells me that if I do good consistently then I will get what’s mine. Good is going to come to me. That’s a promise I can bank my entire future on because it’s true.

Let’s do good this year. Let’s do it over and over again.

Happy New Year!

I hope these tips will help you reach goals and ultimately live your BEST LIFE!

My Favourite Products of 2018

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Hey there! Welcome to my back to my blog. Today I’m sharing with you my favourite items of 2018.

I believe that all products should be worth whatever monetary value is placed on them. If you know me, you know that I’m all about making cost effective investments when it comes to making me and/or my family better in our daily lives. If you agree and apply that principle in your home then I think we’re going to get along marvelously!

These items were gifted to me but all of the opinions shared with you are completely my own. So stick around, grab some popcorn and enjoy the show.

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Ivory Snow was gifted to me via a Peersway campaign

This year I had the opportunity of working with Ivory Snow, which was a complete blessing to me.

I just applied a cupful of detergent to the laundry water, then I added her clothes and let my washing machine do what I paid it to do.

Ivory Snow is known for being hypoallergenic which is great for sensitive skin. As a mother I need to be able to do my kid’s laundry without fearing whether she’ll get a rash afterwards. It has a slight fragrance that I didn’t mind on her clothes. It works really great on stains, even after the newborn phase.

A great detergent that cleans well without my baby’s skin going berserk, count me in.

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I got this complimentary of Influenster as part of their #LetItGlow campaign to test out. 

Bioré Charcoal Self Heating 1 Minute Mask is the facial I didn’t know I needed.

These masks come in these individualized packets. I opened one in rubbed it on my wet skin.

It cleanses your pores really deeply, and that self-heat is heaven for my overworked skin. It is important to note that I noticed that as long as I kept rubbing my skin, the heating continued. If I stopped, so did the heating.

I really liked the smell as well. It’s really soothing and my skin felt soft, clean and refreshed.

FYI: rant coming in 3, 2,….

WINTERS IN CANADA SUCK! (really I’m talking about the weather, because it’s actually really beautiful to look at in the Winter)

There I said it and I’m not taking it back. God knows that if I could afford it, I would be an official snowbird, but I’m not…insert tears of sorrow. 

The dry air and cold temperature are terrrible for my skin and have caused my baby girl. This has caused her to break out in eczema. Also, I end up with super dry skin that I fear may someday spark a fire if ever I rubbed my thighs too hard.

I was able to test out the LaRoche-Posay Lipikar skin care line as courtesy of their #sleepikarchallenge. I was not disappointed.

I was able to test out the Lipikar Baume AP+ (balm), Lipikar Syndet (cream cleanser) and Lipikar stick (anti-itch stick) and all of them are AWESOME!

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This item was gifted.

Lipikar Baume AP+ is a thick, white cream that comes in a cylindrical tube and is dispensed with a pump. It goes clear on the skin (no white cast) and just get absorbed into the skin very easily without any greasy aftermath. Once the moisture is in, it stays locked into the skin.

Lipikar Syndet is a white cream cleanser that comes in a cylindrical tube and is also dispensed with a pump. A few pumps is more than enough to lather up and take care of the whole body. Literally, lather and apply to the body. It gently cleanses without overdrying the skin. It’s perfect for sensitive skin, in fact it’s so gentle that you can use it on a newborn. I absolutely love how easily it dissolves into a lather and how gentle it feels on the skin. It’s like a cleansing glove that you wash off of your body.

Last but not least, the Lipikar AP+ stick. I’m not going to lie, at first I thought it was a deodorant stick…it’s not. 20180702_123454

This anti-itch stick does exactly that. My daughter was scratching herself silly and bedtimes were becoming more of a nightmare than our much anticipated bonding time. And she wasn’t sleeping through the night because of the itch. I wasn’t sleeping and I was getting frustrated and annoyed at all the scratch marks (what would the other moms think of me at playgroup?).

Once I started using the stick, the scratching drastically decreased and she sleeps through the night again (yay!). That little thing is a miracle worker.

That’s it for now.

I love products that are effective and that my whole family can use. It’s important for me to be able to safely invest in products that make our lives convenients. That’s why I picked these products as my favourites.

I hope this helped you and if it did please let me know below.

Live Out Your BEST Christmas

Everyone knows, the holidays are one of the most stressful times of the year.

At least in Canada, Thanksgiving takes place in October giving Canadians at least two months of prep time before the family returns for another massive food get-together. In the United States, everything takes place within a 5 week window. That’s crazy!

So here’s my advice to anyone who would like to live out their BEST Christmas this year.

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  1. Don’t be alone; the worst thing we can do is to shut out the world. I know that I myself love to sleep away my problems but that usually makes things worse for me. Sometimes being around loved ones brighten my mood, simply because they know the words to say to make me laugh. Those who know me on an intimate level know the food to bring me that will instantly put a smile on my face (McCain Deep n Delicious Marble cake, yum!). Most times, it’s not just the words it’s the environment. A warm and loving environment may not fix the problem, but at least you will better for a little while.
  2. Take the load off; if you’re like me, you’re probably an overachiever who doesn’t need anyone to help because you’re as stubborn as a 2 year old learning to do for herself. While it’s great that you’re so amazing at everything, remember that this is a family get-together. The key word is family,… let me leave that right here. Everyone can help out and everyone should. Whether it’s by bringing a dish, beverage or by cleaning up, there’s no reason for this to be a one-woman (or man) show!20171209_1856251847624544.jpg
  3. Forgive; there is nothing more annoying than going to a family function and feeling the air being sucked out of the room as the tension rises due to an unresolved conflict. Unless you’re the one, who’s got the popcorn waiting to see what’s going to happen next. If that’s you, I’m not judging. Listen! I came to eat, laugh and have myself a MERRY CHRISTMAS! If you’re showing up, be merry. Life is too short. If you have a problem, resolve it. Forgive and be merry.
  4. Keep toxic people away! Just because they’re family doesn’t mean they need your presence, time or attention. Your environment should bring out the best in you, not the worst. Who has time for all this drama and messiness? Your mental health and your sanity is important. You are important.20180210_182359-012068049019.jpeg
  5. If all else fails, SKIP IT! Trust me, nobody has ever died from skipping the holiday traditions. Do you really need a turkey, stuffings, macaroni pie, sweet potato pie, rice, salad, chicken, ham, ribs, cranberry sauce, soup, rum cake, cake, ice cream, etc.? Do you? Really? Does everyone in your family really need a gift? I mean they get to hang out with you isn’t that enough? If it’s too stressful for you to handle a glass of wine and some chinese food sound like a good alternative.

That’s all I got for now. I really hope this was as entertaining to read as it was to write. Let me know what you think.

How do you plan on living out your best Christmas this year?

Cute & Easy Toddler Hairstyle

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The holidays are right around the corner and that means family pictures, Santa Claus pictures, church pictures…so many pictures?! Of course, everyone will want to see your little princess of joy and take pictures.

If you’re like me, you want your little girl to look her absolute best. If you’re princess is anything like mine, keeping her still long enough to even put her hair in a ponytail is a struggle, let alone an entire hairstyle.

If you want to know how I keep her still click here.

If you want to see how I take a simple hairstyle and switch it up, then keep reading.

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Sometimes a headband is all you need. If your little is really against getting her hair done, a nice accent will do the trick. Here Mercy is wearing a white stretchy netted wide headband with a white blooming flower to the side.

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My favourite hairstyle is two high ponytails, one on each side. It allows her curls to be free and to be seen so close to her face without it getting in her face. I part her hair right down the middle, using a wide tooth comb and use two small soft elastic bands for the puffs!

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Here I do the two puffy ponytails again, but this time I part on the side. Then halfway through I go down the side. One side is smaller than the other and that’s ok. On the bigger side, I use the top part and do a french braid but instead of finishing it, I join the hair to the nearest puffy ponytail. Et voila!

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Here I turn the two puffy ponytails into two buns. It makes for an easy and simple transition without the effort.

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Here I separated her hair into two sections. The top part is left alone as a puffy bun. On the bottom I made two separate french on each side of her hair and then joined it in the middle.

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Here I separated her hair into three parts, and each part has a ponytail. The top ponytail is separated into two individual twists. Meanwhile the bottom two are put into 1 twist.

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Sometimes I just let her hair flow free.

Her hair is absolutely beautiful and I don’t want her to feel bound by the state of her hair. As mothers, we just want to share the beauty and the love that we have for them.

I hope this was helpful. Let me know in the comments.

Follow me on instagram right here: @iamsandyesprit

Eat, Wear & Do: Sleigh Mama!

The holidays are upon us and we’re ready to sleigh! Get it? Sleigh, slay!

I know it’s cheesy but I couldn’t resist. This year I’ve collaborated with the lovely Miah Keleigh  in this edition of #sleighwithmiah.

If you want to know my top three, well let’s go!

  1. Eat!

20180802_203718-22050670882.jpegIf there’s pasta, I’m there. I don’t discriminate either. Spaghetti, fettuccine, macaroni, ravioli with some garlic roasted Alfredo sauce. Don’t forget salt, parsley, basil, oregano, pepper, topped with Parmesan (lots and LOTS!).

Who doesn’t love parmesian?

Garlic bread is just standard.

I know most people want an oven roasted turkey for Christmas dinner. That’s great and all. But pasta? You can’t top that.

Have you ever had an oven baked macaroni pie? With a cheese crusted topping?

You can do no wrong with pasta folks I’m telling you.

2. Wear

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I’m big on comfort. If I could I’d live in my pajamas but since I can’t well a tee and leggings will do. Pair it with a face that full of make-up and a pair of Ugg boots and I said I look like a “cool” mom!

On the days that I’m feeling extra cool  and want to take my slay to the next level, I just throw on a wig. Why bother with the heat damage, when I can just put it on?

Comfort + Slay = #winning!

3. Do

. 20180630_144624222291667.jpgWhat can I say?

Family is everything.

They keep me on my toes. They challenge me, make me laugh, give me new perspective on life and on me. They make life fun and full.

I am so blessed to be able to enjoy being around them.

Just being around them is what I love to do. Whether we are playing, talking, eating or watching tv, they make it all worthwhile. More than anything, I love being around them.

So what do you love to do? Share your thoughts!