Lifestyle. Parenting. Natural Hair.

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Friday Favorites 10.2.15

NATIONAL COFFEE DAY: My coworkers and I have been brewing coffee in the office instead of buying coffee in coffee shops and that has been great for my wallet as I'm saving money on take-out coffee. The picture above is one we took in the office for National Coffee Day on Tuesday. 

SUSHI AND WHITE CHOCOLATE MACADAMIA NUT COOKIES: These are the two greatest things I've eaten this week. If you are in Philly, Tiffany's bakery in the gallery has the best white chocolate macadamia nut cookies. They also have a great strawberry shortcake.  I would tell you where I got my sushi, but they were rude to me when I requested that they label each person's order (I was ordering for 5) so now they don't get my lovely free word of mouth advertising lol. 

#MorningMotivation: On My Twitter I've started posting a motivational picture each day. It helps me set the tone for my day, and hopefully it inspires others. 

PLAY YARD: We got this play yard and it has made life a lot easier. I can put BabyCakes in it with all her toys and know that she can play safely without getting into anything while I cook, clean, run upstairs, let the dog out, etc. Prior to this we were blocking the stairs and doorways with footstools. This is a much better solution. Here is a vlog from the day we picked up the play yard during our Popecation last weekend: 

I'm trying to begin a practice of being more thankful and mindful of all that is good in my life, even the little things. I am so very blessed, both big and small. My Friday Favorites series is dedicated to the small things that make my life happy.

What was your favorite thing about this week?


Thursday, October 1, 2015

Why I Love October

This morning in the train station I noticed everyone was getting their new monthly passes. I thought "Wow, they are so proactive." Then I realized, with only one minute to spare before my train arrived, that it was October 1st and that I myself needed a new pass! I was able to grab one and make my train, thankfully. 

I love October. It feels like the official beginning to fall. October brings in the beginning of the holiday season. BabyCake's birthday is October 9th. My wedding anniversary is October 18th, then Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years, and my (30th) birthday. Oh my!

October brings in comfy sweaters, warm beverages, soups, hats, scarves, and an energy of possibilities.  

What are you looking forward to in October?

Sunday, September 27, 2015

The End of Our Nursing Journey

My original breastfeeding goal was 6 months. 3 or 4 months in I loved breastfeeding and decided I would likely nurse at least a  year. As the months continued I intended to make it to at least 14 months, weaning before my 30th birthday in January. 

At around 8 months my pump output started to decline, so I had to increase my number of pumping sessions to keep up with what she needed during the day at daycare. Although my pump output went down, when she nursed directly from me she was satisfied. 

Around 9 months my pump output became so low that we had to begin supplementing with formula at daycare pretty regularly, usually one bottle a day.  At this point she was still satisfied nursing directly. 

By 10.5 months my pump output was so low that I no longer wanted to take the time to do it for just a few ounces. I was still nursing her mornings, nights, and weekends. Because breastfeeding is completely a game of supply and demand, I knew that no longer pumping would decrease demand, and therefore further decrease my supply. 

At about 11.5 months, one week ago, she was no longer satisfied from nursing sessions, and I knew our nursing journey was coming to an end. It was time to wean.

Weaning was extremely easy. She has been off bottles for months and already taking sippy cups. Because she's been having formula at daycare already she had no problem continuing. She's also begun transitioning to almond milk which will be our milk of choice once she's one. She eats table food regularly so her milk intake in general is decreasing in favor of more solids. On my end I didn't get engorged or have any pain, I didn't even leak! My supply waned very easily, thankfully. 

Emotionally I was sad for a few days. I really enjoyed breastfeeding, and I had hoped to make it a few more months. Initially I felt like a failure for not making it as long as I wanted to, but then I had to congratulate myself for making it as far as I did. The commitment to breastfeeding is not always easy, and I made it 11 months. I'm proud of me. 


Friday, September 25, 2015

Friday Favorites 9.25.15

I'm trying to begin a practice of being more thankful and mindful of all that is good in my life, even the little things. I am so very blessed, both big and small. My new Friday Favorites series will be dedicated to the small things that make my life happy.

HAIR: Having my crotchet braids have made mornings this week SO. MUCH. EASIER.

TV: This week kicked off Fall TV premiers. I enjoyed the return of Black-ish, Empire, How to Get Away with Murder, Scandal, and The Mindy Project. I have a lot of TV to catch up on also. I still haven't finished the last seasons of Fresh Off the Boat, Scorpion, or Gotham.

BABY: Hubs got Sage a walker toy and she's just starting to actually stand up and walk with it. It's so cute.  I posted a video of her picking up speed on my Instagram.

LIFE: My mind has been racing lately, so I picked up a journal to write down thoughts, questions, hopes, dreams, goals, etc. Journaling has really been helping me sort through my thoughts. And my journal is so cute and was only $3 at Ross!

What were your favorite things about this week?


Friday, September 18, 2015

Crotchet Braids and the joy of not having to do my hair

I enjoy doing my hair. I enjoyed it even more pre-motherhood when I had a little more free time on my hands. With that being said, I also adore the relief of having my hair in a long-term protective style. Not having to worry about styling my hair in the morning for a few weeks is definitely a luxury I greatly enjoy. 

My friend Keisha recently installed Senegalese twists via the crotchet method for me. It only took 2 hours and 15 minutes in comparison to the 6-8 hours installing individual twists takes. If you aren't familiar with the process, crotchet braids are installed by using a latch hook tool to crotchet hair into your corn-braided hair. 

Below you can see the braid pattern of my hair underneath my twists. 

For maintenance I plan to moisturize my hair and scalp underneath the twists every other day or so with Shea Moisture Hold & Shine Moisture Mist

What styles do you employ to give yourself a break from doing your hair?


Tuesday, September 15, 2015

New Toy: Step2 Sportastic Activity Center

BabyCakes is really into climbing nowadays. She'll climb all the way up the stairs if I let her, and sometimes I do, following closely behind her of course. I wanted to get her some sort of climbing toy to keep her climbing interest away from the stairs and more in her play area. I landed on the Step2 Sportstastic Activity Center.

Here's a vlog from when we first got it, put it together, and started playing:

Of course because I bought this for climbing, she doesn't climb on it lol. Every once in a while she'll climb up the slide, but what she really likes to do is dunk the basketball, and not just the basketball, but any of the balls from her baby ball pit, and pretty much any other toy that can fit through the hoop, spherical or otherwise. Could we have the next Sheryl Swoopes on our hands?! Hubs sure hopes so, he's been saying she was going to be a basketball player since she was in the womb lol

Pinterest Recipes I've Actually Tried: Part 3

Soy Ginger Chicken - 3.5 Stars

While this was tasty, the marinade didn't really penetrate the chicken beyond the surface, and I let it marinate for a whole day. (If anyone knows and trick to make the marinade absorb better let me know!) Because of the sugar it also stuck on the grill, but it was good. 

Green Bean Fries - 5 stars

These are by no means a substitute for actual french fries, but these were DELICIOUS. The best green beans I've ever tasted. I actually went back for a second helping!

This was a 100% hit. Tim and Sage both loved it. It cooks in one pot, which mean there is only one pot to wash. Win-win-win. 

Chia Pudding - 1 Star

This just didn't work for me. The texture and taste were a complete miss. Perhaps I'd like it better with less liquid so that it's a thicker pudding, and with more sweetness added in to flavor it. For now, I'll stick to getting my chia seeds in via my smoothies. 

I used to be afraid of chicken thighs because I didn't know what to do with them. This recipe has completely changed that. Baked crispy chicken thighs are now my go to chicken recipe. The chicken comes out crispy on the top and the bottom, without being fried, using just olive oil. It's amazing. 

What's the last great (or horrible) recipe you tried?

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