Monday, February 29, 2016

DIY Monday: JAE is almost one!

In 6 weeks, my baby will be turning ONE! did that happen? The time went by so fast! It's almost like I blinked and she is now approaching her first birthday. 

Being the DIY mom that I am, I am now in full planning mode. And since I'm all about theme parties, JAE will be having a "Sugar and Spice" birthday party. JAE has truly been our sugar in the sense that she has been an easy baby. A lot of people say going from one to two kids is a lot of work. For J and I, going from zero to one was the biggest shocker. Going from one to two has not been easy but it was definitely not like it was going from zero to one. 

JAE is also a very strong willed girl and is not afraid to get rough with her sister. Hence the "spice". This morning, I asked JOE what kind of entertainment we should have for JAE's party and she said "well, a Doc party of course! JAE loves doc." Yes, JAE loves Doc but I think that's because JOE watches it all the time. I am now trying to figure out what type of entertainment will be appropriate for a Sugar and Spice party. I am open to suggestions!

Anyways, of course I will be doing DIY. I enjoy this and since I have recently started making babywear/accessories to sell, I can't justify doing anything less for little one. To give me some ideas, I went looking at my favorite site. Pinterest! I will of course personalize it for JAE but here are some ideas of what we will be doing for JAE's birthday party. I look forward to seeing it all come together. 
The primary colors I will be using will be pink and gold. 

How cute are these balloons? What a way to dress up the occasion. 

When I did JAE's 6-month pictures, I didn't have the right markers to do this. However, J got them for me so I plan on doing something like this for JAE's first birthday. I hope to have it in time to do a photoshoot session for her as well. 

This is also another idea I was thinking of but for the table.

I plan on making sugar cookies and using pink and gold sprinkles to decorate them. 

And of course, there will be cupcakes! How cute are these?

I made chocolate covered pretzel rods for JOE's birthday last year and they were a huge hit. The sugar of the chocolate and salt of the pretzels made it a really tasty combination. Will be making them again for JAE's party.

I liked this one primarily for the main cake for JAE so I think this is what we'll be doing with for her cake.

I'm still undecided on whether or not to do the donuts as well. I know kids get sugared up at parties. I'm not against that but this is what I will consider a "stretch goal" :-). 

I love love love this set up. While I won't be doing everything in this picture, this comes pretty close to what I'd like to do for JAE's party. How cute are the flatware holders? I am really excited about making them. 

Another idea for the flatware holders.

For JAE's birthday photoshoot session, I plan on making a giant cupcake. It will be decorated similarly to this but primarily have pink and gold sprinkles.

And of course, we have to have a sign for her birthday. How cute is this? I'll be doing one for JAE. 

I am thinking of going one of these in pink and gold with the number 1 as well for the table and also for her photoshoot session. This is also another stretch goal. :-)

This is one that I am not entirely sure of...spiced latte (aka...spiced chocolate). JOE loves chocolate and this will be one she'll enjoy but it will be early April and the party will likely be somewhat closer to the afternoon so I'm not sure if this'll work but I'm still thinking about it. 

So there you have it. The stuff that'll be keeping me busy for the next few weeks. I know this is all going to be a lot of work but it is truly going to be a labor of love. I don't remember most of my first through my 10th birthdays BUT I have seen pictures of them and looking at them truly made me smile. I could feel the love and happiness that went with each party and I'd like to create those lasting memories for them.
Have a wondrously awesome week!

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Photo Dump Wednesday: My walking heart

My dad once told me "having a child is like watching your heart walk around." I never understood what he meant until I became a parent. 

Being a mom is really the most amazing feeling in the world. At the same time, it is also one of the most terrifying feelings. I now know what people mean when they say their heart skips a beat because I get that flutter feeling whenever I walk in the house after work and 2 beautiful, happy and healthy children run to me excitedly saying "momma, momma, you're home!"

I have also come to know what it means when people say "my heart stopped for a moment" because I experienced that last week. Until last week, I had never had such a paralyzing feeling.

So what happened? Well, it was a normal day after work and I had both girls. We were playing around on our bed with JOE throwing JAE's towel and JAE excitedly going to grab the towel and bring it back. Our bed is pretty large and we had enough room so I wasn't too worried. 

Well, wouldn't you know that JAE suddenly decided walk off the bed! One minute, I was standing right there watching her play with my arms stretched out towards her and the next, she was walking off the bed and I was throwing myself across the bed to catch her. But the entire thing happened in slow motion as I watched her walk off the bed onto the floor. At that very moment, my heart must have stopped because I was completely numb!
Now, I know people say "oh kids fall all the time." But if you know me, you know I am very proudly a protective mother. Having a biology/pre-med undergraduate degree also means I know enough about anatomy and physiology to be T-E-R-R-I-F-I-E-D.

Anyways, where was I? In the second that my heart started back up, I immediately reached for my baby. Another one I've read is "don't touch the baby until you have accessed the situation and know what's going on." Well, to heck with that! All I wanted at this moment in time was to grab my baby! I immediately picked her up and she started to cry out loud. To say hearing her cry in so much pain brought me some joy would be an understatement. Why? Because hearing her cry meant that she was taking in oxygen and was able to feel. I immediately checked her head, checked her limbs and her entire body. She continued to cry and even though I knew she would be OK, I still panicked.  

Thankfully, this happened a few minutes before J got home. He was concerned but also calm at the same time. I was still in shock because of just how quickly this happened. 

We called the pediatrician twice! Yes, we are those parents. Anyways, the on-call pediatrician did little to calm us. She asked a few questions and apparently was satisfied that JAE was OK. She then topped it off with "well, the only reason you'd be concerned is if you went to wake her up and she wouldn't wake up." REALLY??? This incident occurred a little after 6pm in the evening. Close to her bedtime. So now, that made us even more concerned! We watched JAE like a hawk that evening for ANYTHING out of the ordinary but thankfully, she didn't exhibit anything. 
That night, I was up every hour listening to her breath. I got up multiple times to check on her temperature. It was a trying night. The next day, I must have checked with their child care provider every 30-minutes. I demanded to facetime with the kids AND also wanted pictures sent to me throughout the day. Thankfully, she obliged me. Again...over protective mom her so don't judge...too much :-D.
And truth be told, I broke down on the phone and cried while talking to my mom at work! I was soooooooo concerned. I couldn't believe how this happened. My mom knew just the right words to say to me. Afterall, she's had 6 :-).

I googled EVERYTHING I could find about babies falling and the potential unseen side effects.

The night it occurred, JAE had a swollen eye. 48-hours after the incident, JAE's eye started turning purple. Again, I wanted to panic but thanks to J's voice of reason, he told me this was actually a sign of her eye healing. 

And indeed, it was healing. 

In it all, JAE has been a true champ and just dusted herself off and moved on. J and I are the ones who carry the scar of the incident. 
That incident has truly made me VERY thankful for these little ones. For their resilience and for every moment with them.

Having kids can sometimes be challenging BUT they bring so so so much joy into our lives each day. My dad was right. Havings kids is like watching my heart walk around BUT I wouldn't have it any other way because that walk makes my heart stronger each day.

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

3EHairupdate: So I lied...

Yes, I lied...well kinda. So, late in 2015, I straightened my hair. I blogged about how lucky I was that I had no heat damage afterwards considering the fact that I did not use a heat protectant before going to the hair salon. 

Well, since that post, I have come to realize that I did indeed have heat damage :-(. Let me be clear and say that at the time when that blog post was written, I hadn't noticed the damage. Likely because for the most part, everything looked like it used to. 
But over the course of the last few weeks, I have come to realize that things are not all they seem to be. 

I have tried doing several treatments including a clay wash, deep conditioning on a weekly basis and using Apple Cider Vinegar to rinse. Most of my hair reverted back to its curly state BUT I have been finding some strands that just aren't what they used to be. 

I've done a lot to hide it and over time, I've been using the search and destroy method to trim my hair when I find a cluster of the straightened ends. 

In addition to that, I have also experienced more shedding that usual. I'm not sure of what has brought on the extra shedding. I do know that work sometimes has be a little more stressed out that usual but nothing that isn't manageable. In hopes of combating this, I have been skipping my use of a shower cap when I take a shower to try to get more moisture in my hair since for me, moisture helps it stay soft and reduced breakage. 
I typically only finger comb and detangle my hair. However, in an effort to stop the shedding, I decided to do a thorough combing of my hair to get rid of shed strands that might be wrapping themselves around other strands thereby causing breakage. After the detangling session, I felt like I was going bald!

Here's an example of the damage I have been finding around my head in random places. 


I am trying to avoid wearing buns because I want my edges to grow back in following postpartum shedding. However, after my last wash day, I definitely needed it.

For the most part, I have been wearing my hair out by pinning it in areas and then putting it in a very loose bun at night before wrapping it in a scarf for bed.

I can't tell but really, I do have heat damage. 

Also started trying out twist outs. I haven't perfected it yet but so far so good.


So for the most part, I am trying to make the best of things. I don't plan on cutting my hair so I'll just work with what I've got and see it as a lesson to use a heat protectant at the end of the year when I straighten it again.

On to the girls. JOE's hair continues to thrive. Every now and then, I ask her if she wants to cut it and she always says "NO!" I will leave it up to her to decide but for now, we're trudging along. She is also doing so much better now with her hair. We prepare her a day in advance letting her know that her hair will be getting washed BUT she will also get to pick out a reward from her treasure chest. Sometimes, we let her pick it out beforehand but she isn't allowed to play with it and other times, we let her pick it out after. Overall, this method seems to be working great.

JAE's hair is also thriving. It can now fit in its own pony tail. I try to leave some out though so that I am not doing any damages to her edges. Doing her hair varies. Sometimes, she is good about it and other times, she isn't and J has to hold her. Wonderful...the fun stuff to look forward to in the future! LOL...No complaints though. I wouldn't have it any other way.

And as for my current length, this is what I am working with. I am now full armpit length (APL). Woohoo!!! My goal is to make it to bra strap length (BSL) by the end of the year. 
For those wondering, I am still taking the manetabolism vitamins. I still haven't finished my supply purchased last year.

And to wrap up this post, here are a couple of pictures of me and my girls. We decided to all wear something in our hair last Sunday. Yup...we like to stay coordinated. JOE and I had a flower on our hair and JAE had a matching clip in hers :-). Love them!!!

So how are you doing with your hair journey? Do you have any goals you are trying to achieve? If so, do share.

You can also find my hair updates on Instagram using the hashtag #3EHairupdate.

Monday, February 22, 2016

New ventures

Good Morning readers. For a while now, I have thought about this venture because I just didn't know if it was worth doing. I prayed about it and tried to put it out of my mind. But it kept nagging me

As you may already know, I LOVE to do DIY stuff. I find it fun and relaxing. Ever since I was a child, I have loved doing things with my hands. So it should come as no surprise to those who know me that I enjoy DIY. 

In 2014, when the thought of doing this first came to mind, I started putting together a list of ideas. I figured if it is meant to be, it will be and if not, I'll forget about it eventually. But I didn't and with each passing month, I felt the need to revisit the idea. Each time I clicked on a post on Instagram or Pinterest, I would think to myself, "that would look nice with my idea."

In January 2016, I decided to follow through and make this idea a reality. I am still new at this and I know there's bound to be some bumps in the road ahead but I am willing to be open minded and see how things go. 

So what exactly is "it"? "It" is AyoBE Baby Wear. Yes, I am starting a baby accessories line where I make accessories for babies. I have young ones so these are all going to be pieces that I can see my children wearing. And the best part is that it will be made with African Ankara fabric. AND they will be VERY affordable. Here are some pieces that I've made so far.

To learn more about this venture and follow me, please check out the links below:

About AyoBE:
Etsy Store:
Follow me on Instagram:
Follow me on Facebook:
Hash tags: #ayobe #ayobe411
Contact me:

Please feel free to comment, like and share any of these links. I will continue to keep you posted on family and such and will continue to post DIY things I make so fear not :-). 

I will ask that you occasionally venture out to the AyoBE baby wear tab and shop for a unique gift for a friend, family member or your child. 

I will eventually be doing a giveaway so stay tuned for that. 

Have a fabulously blessed week!

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Photo Dump Wednesday: Celebrating love - 2016 Valentine's Day

This year, Valentine's day coincided with the President's day holiday weekend so we were able to enjoy some much needed family time together. To make it even more fun, it snowed on President's day so we were indoors for most of the weekend. 

On Saturday morning, I decided to make these banana stuffed pancakes. I used to have them as a kid growing up and they were just as delicious as I remember. J loved them but the jury is still out for JOE and JAE. They weren't too keen. What do they know anyways? LOL...I will try to post a recipe for this soon. 

J surprised me by having his mom watch the kids while we took a late lunch on Saturday. We didn't want to have to deal with the crowds on Sunday. 
We went to a Hibachi grill place and thoroughly enjoyed the meal. 

 I told J to make a fierce face. This is what I got...

Try #2 and I think we nailed it! We're fierce like that :-D.

On Sunday, we headed to church. There is our backseat driver who is always giving instructions to J. "The light is green dadda. GO!!!" Never mind the fact that there could be other cars ahead of us. She just loves to be bossy. 

We made Valentine's day cards to send to family and friends. JOE made this one for me. Too precious! 

After Church on Sunday, I asked J to take off JAE's dress and put her in something comfortable that she can play in. My husband decided that he wanted my baby to be a flower child for a day. Nothing wrong with the pants. I just think the colors/patterns CLASH!
I think JAE agrees with me.

Every year, J gets something for his girls on Valentine's day. This year, he got JOE a dog and JAE a teddy bear. JOE was so excited and was playing with hers. JAE couldn't understand why. Check out the look on her face. Kinda like a "are you serious? Its not even real" look.

JAE likes her teddy though. 

Of course, the lady of the house got lots of gifts from everyone. 

Love this card from J. I love me some him. But that how my hair looks? :-) Ummm...and the couple isn't interracial! Hallmark, take need more cards reflective of your diverse consumers. 

This one is from JAE. So precious.

And one from JOE. Absolutely beautiful. 

The red velvet roses are absolutely beautiful. My hubby knows how to make me smile :-). Thanks babe!

I hope you enjoyed Valentine's day with your loved ones. Do share with me how you spent your special day. 


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