Thursday, May 18, 2017

Photo Dump Wednesday: Mother's day 2017

I had an awesome Mother's day. The entire weekend was really nice. Not as relaxing but it was nice to be with family. 
On Friday evening, my sister and her co-worker came over and stayed the night since they were was in town for training. JOE and JAE were so happy to see my youngest sister and had a blast with her. 

On Saturday morning, I decided to try out a pancake recipe I found online. I was really excited about it. I was hoping it would be a good family recipe that everyone would enjoy since it employed the use of coconut flour which is high in protein and lower in carbs. Well, let's just say it DID NOT live up to the reviews I found on Pinterest. This was quite possibly, THE DRIEST pancake I have ever had. J said it was tasty after he added maple syrup. But I can't vouch for that since I am on a low carb, high protein diet. 

My first clue that this was a disaster in the making should have been when I put it in the pan and it didn't clump together like it should. 
The one positive though is that I LOVE the smell of the coconut flour! Now, I have to find a recipe that works with it because it does have a very nice flavor.

I am still doing great with my workout and healthier eating plan. I completed week 4 on Atkins phase 1 last week Friday. And honestly, my initial carb cravings have really reduced. 

For mother's day, I received very nice gifts from J, the girls and J's parents. 

I got my favorite Kona Hawaiin coffee including other items that I absolutely love. 

This coffee is turning me into a coffee snob :-P

On Sunday, in honor of mother's day, we all wore purple and pink (the girls had more pink than purple).

I love the little scarf headtie I wore on my hair. I realized after I got ready that I didn't have a headband to match my outfit so I made my own :-).
If you'd like a tutorial on how to make this, please leave a comment and I'll be sure to post a video on my YouTube channel. It is wicked easy.

Since we were going to meet up with J's parents for brunch, we decided to go to the early service so as not to miss out on my mother's day blessings :-).

Early service meant that we were at the restaurant before they opened. So after we filmed our weekly Sunday Family Chronicles, J let JAE come up front to "drive". 

JOE and JAE consumed A TON of bacon and the apple juice they had was WAYYYYY too sweet for them. We often dilute it but with all the chaos around the very busy restaurant, we didn't and let's just say, the girls were VERY hyper when we got home. 
So we decided to let them play around in the backyard while we enjoyed the warmer weather.
It was mother's day afterall so I decided to stretch out. I don't think J was very impressed. I mean, this momma needed a feet rub!

I was enjoying the nice weather :-D.

A meltdown in the making. She wanted to turn on the bubble machine while her sister was still playing at the sandbox and because I said no, she proceeded to take the machine and walk away.

Her awesome big sister went after her but JAE was having none of it.

Needless to say, JAE won. We closed up the sandbox and turned on the bubble machine. They enjoyed trying to catch double bubbles at once :-).

Backyard fun.

I want to say they took a nap afterwards but that was a futile effort. However, the most important thing is that we got a chance to be together as a family and that's al I could have asked for on Mother's day. 

On Monday, I had my annual physical. Does ANYONE enjoy having those? I feel like there is never any good news. While I am thankful for mostly good health, there are a few things I need to work on. Including continuing on my weight loss goal. I have to go back again in 6-months for a follow up. Hoping I'll have much better numbers when I go back. 

I also had a busy week working on items for AyoBE Boutique. 
These beautiful gift bags are an ideal way to give a gift. Bags can be used as welcome gift bags for party/wedding guests.
Better still, let us do all the heavy lifting for you by getting a gift from our store and having us mail it to your recipient.

This beautiful picture frame will showcase your memorable moments beautifully.
Customization is available!

Our beautiful print blouse is the perfect way to dress up comfortably this summer.

Celebrating a friend or family member? Say it with a beautiful handmade card.

Birthdays are made even more beautiful with these unique and elegant customizable cards.

Our Kente picture frame is sure to impress.

And incase you don't follow me on Instagram (you should be 😁), check out my baby in the African Print Pocahontas dress. She was really channeling Pocahontas here.

Check out my not so little baby! I'm constantly amazed at how quickly she is growing. 

Have a wonderful rest of the week and remember to be kind to strangers!

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Photo Dump Wednesday: Mommy Daughter Date and more

The last couple of weeks have been truly busy but I wouldn't have it any other way. 

A few weeks ago, JOE asked for a mommy daughter date with just me and her. I had been planning on doing it but time just got away from me and things kept coming up. So when she asked, I immediately put a date on our family calendar and set out to plan something with her. 
I gave her a choice of pottery painting, nails or shopping. She wanted to go pottery painting. So I scouted around and found a few places not too far from us. 

JOE is really very crafty and creative so it was no surprise that she chose pottery painting. Check out her "alien baby egg" using an empty Easter egg, a pipe cleaner and a pom pom.

So on Saturday, after I got my exercise in, we got ready and headed to the pottery painting place. It was our first time at this location but we enjoyed it so much that JOE said this is where she wants to have her birthday party. Now, I have to be creative with her party theme and the location. No worries...I am sure it'll come to me between now and then. Thankfully, the date for her birthday is still available.
When we got there, she immediately said she wanted to paint a unicorn. For some reason, she is all about unicorns right now. 
So we looked for a unicorn for her. That's the other thing this place had over the last place we went. Lots of fun selection to paint at reasonable prices.

JOE found her unicorn and went to work.

I often tell the girls I love them from the earth to the moon and back. So of course, this cup was the first thing I saw and wanted to paint. 
While I was there, there were a few people painting for Mother's day. J, take note for next year ;-).

Anyways, here is JOE's "masterpiece!" 

We left it there and will pick up the glazed pieces next week Saturday. I'll post pictures after we pick them up.

Afterwards, we went to Rita's. I can't believe I actually went there and didn't get anything for me! Thank you Atkins! :-). 
Anyways, JOE said she wanted the chocolate custard and chocolate frozen ice with sprinkles and reeces pieces. 

Because it was quite a bit chilly that day, we decided to sit in the car while JOE had her treat. She loved it in the front seat and wanted to ride home there but I explained to her that the law requires she be in the backseat :-). 
She loved her chocolate custard but didn't much care for the chocolate frozen ice. So I had to separate it out for her and ended up tossing it. the self proclaimed no waste mom has decided to NOT treat my body as their garbage can by helping them finish their food. It can be struggle but I am doing it :-).

Check out JOE's happy face. It was such a treat to hang out with her. I love that she is very opinionated and is just a very well rounded kid. She is kind and smart and is soaking up so much knowledge on a daily basis. My daily prayers and wish for her and JAE is for God to bless them and continue to guide and protect them. 

Afterwards, while waiting to pick up our late lunch/early dinner, JOE and I decided to do a lip syncing video. Check it out. I have heard this song TOO MANY TIMES!!! And obviously got too excited :-).

Like I said, the last few weeks have been busy. Here is a sneak peak of the new top AyoBE Boutique will be offering soon. It isn't listed on the site yet but stay tuned!

I love to make items I or my kids can wear and love. This top is no exception. It is absolutely beautiful. I love the color and the style. I had a few tries as far as the style goes and finally decided on this one. 

The perfect warm weather top. Chic and comfy.

After pottery painting on Saturday, J and I focused on doing work in our basement. To save some money, we decided to paint the walls ourselves and put up the accent wall. 
It took a lot longer than we anticipates since the girls also needed attention and we had to learn to use the sprayer we got. Needless to say, we were bone tired by the time we went to bed. So much so that we didn't record a vlog on Sunday. Especially since we knew we had to get more of the wall done on Sunday after church. 

So I MADE a matching headband for the top above. Of course, I had to wear it on Sunday to Church. Check out our family Sunday car selfie with me wearing my beautiful headband.

And here is a sneak peak of how I spent my Sunday afternoon. This is the accent wall and I LOVE it! It was A LOT of work. To the tune of 4 hours. I didn't factor in the time to measure when I first came up with this concept. But overall, it turned out great. I'll post final pics in a future post once the basement is completed.

Hope your week is going well so far. Have a lovely weekend and remember to be kind to strangers!

Friday, May 5, 2017

Photo Dump Wednesday: They are watching...

If you follow me on Instagram, you'll know that this year, I have chosen to focus on my weiht loss (and eventually weight management) journey.
A few weeks ago, we decided to finish up most of our basement. Anyways, I have a workout area in the basement but we had to move a lot of things out of there so that the work could be done. 
While moving things and showing the contractor around, JAE decided she wanted to get on my workout bike. 
It was so cute because she was making faces and acting the same way she's seen me while on the bike.

I don't think I look this intense but apparently, I do :-).

As part of my weight loss journey, I decided to use atkins to get me to my goal and follow most of its eating plans. 
Since we often eat breakfast together on Saturday, I made the same breakfast for J and I BUT I decided to skip the bun. I thought being on atkins would be difficult but I have surprisingly been doing well on it and while I do miss a few of the things I got used to, I have been able to resist junk foods for the most part.
I also fell in love with unsweetened ice tea. I never used to like it but it actually tastes good! 
Here's my tea with my breakfast.

And J's breakfast with orange juice.

Here are my stats from last week. I have been consistenly doing 10K steps 6 out of 7 days for the last few weeks so I have decided to challenge myself a little more by doing 11k steps 3 out of 7 days but still do at least 10k 6 of the 7 days of the week. 

So far, so good. I have already beat that this week and will post my update next week.

The great thing about this is that now, whenever the girls see me stepping, they walk along with me and while they are often joking, I like that I am inspiring them to keep moving. 

Last week, I attended a forum in DC. After the forum, I walked by my very favorite cupcake place. Guys, this is THE BEST CUPCAKE in the DC area! Forget what you've heard about the competitors. Their cupcakes are DIVINE!!! BUT, I actually walked away from this store. I couldn't even believe it as I walked away but I did and was extremely proud of myself and gave myself a HUGE pat on the back :-).

After breakfast last Saturday, I decided to tackle some of the items I have been wanting to make for AyoBE Boutique. Well, one of the items required the use of elastic thread. But the machine doesn't automatically roll them. You have to manually roll elastic thread. I don't really like doing them BUT JOE on the other hand saw this as an excellent opportunity to help. 
So I put her to work and promised to pay her for her services. She happily accepted and went to work. 

She was very happy to earn her money along with some tick tack mints. 

I labor. But here she is earning the remainder of her "coins for oinky".

And of course, while taking pictures, her sister decided to jump in and be funny. :-)

These beautiful dresses are now available on AyoBE Boutique's site so be sure to go check it out. It can be work as a dress and eventually as a top later. It is a "grow with me" item and will make an excellent addition to your little one's fashion closet. 

Church last Sunday. Check out the Zuma headband I am wearing. I seriously LOVE these headbands and wear them every opportunity I get. If you haven't already done so, go ahead and order one. You'll love it as much as I do :-).

I know I have been saying I'll do a hair post. I never remember to take pictures of my hair but I posted an unofficial length check on my Instagram account a few days ago so if you are interested in seeing it, go check it out here. You have to be following me to see the picture.

Since mother's day is around the corner, I wanted to make something extra special for mom using African Print fabirc. Well, introducing our custom handmade shaker card. Just in time for mother's day. It is not too late to order one and have it in mom's hand (if she lives within the US) before mother's day. 
There are also other options available. 

JOE is now into making crafts and I am so proud of my little DIYer. Definitely following in her mom's footsteps. 
She made this necklace from one of her Easter eggs. How cute is this?

Often, I leave home a little after 6am in the morning while J is still sleeping. However, one morning last week, both J and I had an early day. We unintentionally wore complementing colors. So of course, that called for a selfie while the kids were still sleeping.

We have been renovating our basement for the last few months. It is taking a bit of time since we aren't rolling in the dough as they say. However, we are VERY happy with the progress and I am very much looking forward to sharing the final pics with you all. 
Since we will be hosting Christmas this year, the liveable/usable area will definitely come in handy. 

Last week, J took JOE to get her hair done. She has been asking every now and then to straighten her hair because a good friend of hers straightened her hair. But her friend is a few years older and I don't think JOE will sit still long enough to straighten it. 
I plan to hold off on that for a few more years. In the meantime, check out this child't hair. Swoon...

Car selfie!

I love that now, JAE is forward facing and can be in the pictures too. 

If you haven't already done so, go check out our Sunday Family Chronicles from last Sunday. 

After Church last week, it was pretty warm so we put the girls in bathing suits and let them run around the fun water hose we got for them. Everyone had a great time and it cooled them down. 

Enjoy the remainder of your week, have a FABULOUS weekend and remember to be kind to strangers!


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