Friday, August 26, 2016

3EHairUpdate: August 2016

I haven't done one of these in a while so I figured I should. 

I finished the Mane Choice manetabolism vitamins earlier in the year and have decided to not get more. I got good results with them but they are quite pricey and my discretionary funds needed to be channeled somewhere else :-).

So first up, JOE's hair. It is GROWING really fast and she is yet to get her first hair cut. She goes to Kindergarten next year and I am hoping she will be more open to getting a good trim. She has REFUSED to cut her hair and loves to say she is Rapunzel. 

 


This is her hair freshly washed and BRAIDED so imagine how long it is...yup...way past her butt at this point. 

 



As for me, I haven't really done much with my hair this summer. It feels a lot thicker and instead of using a comb, I have been using my fingers to detangle it. That seems to have helped with retaining my strands. I also have done a couple of clay washes and non-sulfate shampoo washes this summer due to sweating on my scalp and getting more build up. 
I noticed late in the Spring that the hair at my temples was pretty scant so I have decided to stop pulling my hair into a bun for a while and instead, wear it out more. 
Here are some of the styles I have worn over the summer. 



I love this hair tie from AyoBE Boutique. Very versitile and easy to wear!








On to JAE. With her, it is back to square 1 as far as figuring out what works. JOE's hair has quite a bit of texture and is somewhat similar to mine. 
JAE on the other hand only has a few waves and has mostly her dad's hair type. I have tried braiding it but it doesn't hold. So now, I have to learn what works for her hair. For the most part, we put it in a high pony. I am trying not to manipulate her hair too much so her strands get a chance to come in nicely. 
I will admit though that because she and her sister spent more time at the park and at the mall this summer, I have started using a small amount of my oil mix in her hair since the mix contains peppermint oil. I use just a small amount and massage it throughout her scalp after I wash it. I have a SERIOUS FEAR of head lice and since lice don't like peppermint oil, I figure it can serve dual purpose in this case :-).




JOE recently requested to have her hair wrapped at night. She looked so grown and I couldn't help but snap a picture of her. This request lasted for about 2-weeks. She has since refused to wear the hair wrap and just sleeps on a satin pillow.




Sporting the Everest Hair Tie from AyoBE Boutique. Go get one! It is an excellent way to add some color to your locks and look quite chic :-).





Picture of my hair length in June.



Picture taken in July.



Another one taken in July.

 

Me. I love everything about this look! Hubby got me some "just because" earrings and I wanted to capture a picture of them. Also, loving the lip color. I think I am definitely hooked on red lipstick! :-)



My little fashionista. She is such a girly girl! She loves ALL bags and ALL shoes and if you put her in a skirt or dress, she flares out her fingers by her side and walks around. LOVE!
Check out her model walk.



Another style wearing the Azure Hair Tie from AyoBE Boutique.




Am I the only natural hair person that wears a "smoother" look when going for an interview? I often get scared to wear my hair out. If you read my last post, you know I went on interviews a while back. This was the look I chose to go with.
I'm eager to know...how do you wear your hair when you interview for a job? And do you think it makes a difference in how you are perceived?



Hair length in August. 



Its grown QUITE A BIT!






Check out the shrinkage! I love it though. I don't really like hair on my back so shrinkage is definitely one thing I welcome when my hair is in its curly state. 

I am wearing the Pocahontas African Print Hair Fascinator in this picture. I will definitely be wearing it out more because it adds a little more elegance to my natural locks.


So there you have it. That's how we're all doing with our hair. I plan on getting it straightened again but likely before Christmas so I can wear it for a few days before letting it go back to its naturally curly state. 

Do you have any hair goals? If so, how is it coming along? Have you tried anything new/fun with your hair this summer?

I am testing out the Mane Choice 3-in-1 leave in conditioner. I will post my personal take on it next month. 




Have a fabulous weekend and remember to be kind to strangers!

Monday, August 15, 2016

Smiling in the midst of clouds

You work hard, you prepare, you set goals and try to meet them and then feel like you suddenly hit a wall. When I was younger, my parents drilled into me the importance of hard work. However, this is one time where I felt that hard work did not pay off. 

If you are a long time follower, you know that in addition to being a Christian, wife and mom, I also work full time as an IT Project Manager. 

I have been doing it since 1998 when I graduated from college and practiced it through graduate school until now so I guess you can call me a "seasoned Project Manager."

I know Project Management and love what I do and even though I sometimes complain about it, it really suits my life because I love to keep things organized. I feel like when things are organized, you can better plan and other things around you just make sense. 

The cloud:
I have been praying and working hard towards the next level in my career. I had some interviews a few weeks ago that I felt quite optimistic about. I was sure that one of them would result in a job offer. But then I found out a couple of weeks ago that I didn't get any of the jobs. To say I was very disappointed and let down would accurately describe how I felt. I decided to take a break from blogging for 2 weeks because I just did not feel like I had anything positive to say and I try to stay positive in my posts.

I understand that at the level I am, it is often about networking/who you know in addition to your experience. I am often friendly with people. I am also a go-getter and want to see things completed/accomplished. However, the one area that I just can't find the time right now is networking outside of work. Since I primarily work outside of my home, it is important for me to spend time with my kids after I get off work. The occassional happy hour is not an option for me given my 1+ hour commute each way and my husband's sometimes unpredictable schedule. Throw in the fact that we pay by the hour for childcare and you can see where outside of work networking can be a challenge. 
But I have worked hard and felt that it should count for something. 

Reasons to smile:
In the midst of my "pity party", something remarkable happened! I got several orders in a row for AyoBE Boutique. What makes this situation unique is that the last time I received a "thanks but no thanks" notice for a job I interviewed for was in early May and the same thing happened! When J and I pray each day, we ask God for direction and focus. 
These orders definitely gave me a reason to smile and caused me to take a moment to  refocus and to come up with a new strategy for career success. 

I plan to continue to work for the foreseeable future. That's not going to change unless we hit the lottery. However, I also plan on using my free time in the evenings and weekends wisely by focussing more on my family and on my business. It is great to have a career but it is also great to have an outlet and having an outlet that not only allows me to express my creative side but also to earn some change :-). 

I remind myself that not everyone is creative, not everyone has a career they love and while I am not where I want to be with my career, I am where I want to be with my thriving business and I am head over hills in love with my family. I am learning that no matter the situation, it is all a matter of shaping your thoughts. 
Focusing on the positives and work on overcoming the challenges. I know I'll make it to the next step someday. It might not be in the time I initially planned but I will get there and will appreciate it more. In the mean time, family is my #1 priority and growing my business is my #2 and these are great reasons to smile. 

Have a wonderful week and remember to smile through the clouds. Because as the Annie song lyric says, "the sun will come out tomorrow!" 

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Photo Dump Wednesday: Reasons to be thankful

The last few days have been a physical reminder of God's goodness in our lives and it all just makes me very truly thankful!

Watching our girls get along well fill J's and my heart with so much joy. Even when they argue about things, I love that they are interacting with each other and trying to figure out each other's boundaries. Definitely a good reason to be thankful.



They love to learn! I am thankful for that. 
 

They are naturally curious. Another reason to be thankful :-D.
 

I posted a while back that J and I live on a budget and don't spend frivolously. As a family, we want to give our girls even more than we had growing up and doing so means making and staying on a budget. 
Since JOE arrived 4-years ago, we have not been able to take an overnight. Partly because of me (I'm a momma bear and PROUD of it!) and partly because it wasn't financially feasible. 
Well, a few months ago, the opportunity presented itself for us to get an overnight. We planned the heck out of it and saved up to be able to cover child care arrangements for the girls. 

Yes, it took months in the planning and cost a pretty penny BUT we were so happy to get the night off and thoroughly enjoyed it. We were able to reconnect. We spent time talking about the girls and about each other and about future plans. 

We will definitely do it again as the girls get older and are more self sufficient.


I was very thankful for the very nice accomodations. 
 

And a delicious and yummy dinner! So EVERY TIME we've gone to Cheesecake Factory since JOE was born, we've had a "diaper incident". I was starting to think that perhaps it is the actual restaurant that's to blame. 
Well, thankfully, last week, we had none of that :-). Of course, it helps that the kids weren't there to cause the diaper incident. LOL
 

When the kids are away, parents have fun making silly faces and taking selfies :-). I am thankful for a partner who enjoys taking silly selfies as much as I do.
 




Thankful for yummy eats!
 

Gosh...I AM SO THANKFUL FOR THIS SHOWER at the hotel!!! When I hit it rich, I am so getting 2 of these in our bathroom! This was DIVINE! Love love the rainfall shower. But I don't love the increased water bill and electric bill so we won't be getting one anytime soon in our home. Unless we hit it rich of course :-).


The next morning, we were well rested. So THIS is what it is like to not have to wake up to take a kid to the bathroom OR give another milk. I am thankful that moments like this make me appreciate time with J but also appreciate the gift of parenthood. 


On our way our the next morning, I saw this and made J stop to take a picture. This set up reminded me of a location I saw in Italy a few years back. Beautiful and peaceful. 


And while we were away, the girls had fun. They went to the mall to see a "world renowned Frisbee" performer. Ummm...I didn't even know that was a title but OK.  JOE was having fun. I am thankful for summer freebees at the mall.
 


I am thankful for this little girl's boldness. She is definitely NOT a push over. She gets in with the big kids and stays involved.
 

 I am thankful to finally be able to offer these on AyoBE Boutique. I came up with this idea months ago and just couldn't figure out how to bring it to life. After MUCH research and a a ton of misses, I finally got a solution. Hurray for making it work!



I am thankful for the warmer weather that allows us to enjoy pool time at our local clubhouse. JAE wasn't so sure about it originally but she quickly got used to the water.


 And didn't want to get out when it was time to leave. 


I am ULTRA MEGA THANKFUL for this past Monday. When JAE was born, she had extra discharge in her left eye. I mentioned this to the doctor and was told it is common and would go away. But I wasn't convinced. When her pediatrician saw her, he said we shouldn't worry until after JAE turns 1 and we can revisit it then. I read up on it and used breastmilk and warm clean clothes to clean it daily but that didn't work.

When JAE turned 1, she had had several eye infections and was constantly waking up with her eye glued shut from all the discharge. We were then referred to a specialist. The specialist saw her and said the good news is that it hasn't started affecting her vision. 
The not so great news is that if it was going to clear up on its own, it would have cleared up by now. She also said because the tear duct comes so close to her nasal path, this could cause more issues as she gets older and recommended we get it surgically opened. 





So on Monday, we took JAE to get the procedure done. She wasn't allowed to eat anything after midnight and wasn't allowed to drink anything after 3:30am. She was HUNGRY! Thankfully, she was the first surgery of the day. 

Here she is throwing a hunger tantrum when we didn't let her get her milk.


Finally after we were called to the pre-op area, she found entertainment and was temporarily distracted. 
 

I love that they had so much for the young kids here to play with so she didn't think too much about food. 
 

Selfies before she went in for the procedure. Yes, I cried when she was taken in. She was screaming too which just broke my heart. 
I COUNTED every single minute and was so anxious!
 

GOSH, this moment was just too much for words. I was SOOOOOO happy to see my baby. She was still sleepy from being put under but she recognized my voice and had some apple juice before falling back asleep.


J took this picture when I wasn't looking. I can't even tell you how thankful I was to have her back in my arms. She had a full day to recover and was back to  her old self in no time!
 

This was taken yesterday. She didn't have any eye discharge when she woke up. The first time since she was born! So THANKFUL!!! We should know by the end of August if the procedure was a success. We are prayerfully optimistic that it did. 
 

So what are you thankful for today? Look around you? I am sure there are TONS of reasons to be thankful.

AyoBE

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