Friday, July 21, 2017

Photo Dump Friday: The little things

We had a great week this week and are looking forward to our weekend. The best part of the week? Seeing a -25lb weight loss on the scale. It totally made my day and I feel like I have been walking on air every since! 

Our basement renovation is just about done. Today, we will install the last accordion door to encase the storage area and then we will officially be done. 

The decor is just about done as well. Since it is a basement, we aren't really doing too too much. Hubby set up his cars a few weeks ago in the shelves we had put in under the stairs. 

We are also going to have a flower wall. I am making the paper flowers for the wall. It is taking quite a bit of time since I am only doing it during my spare time. But so far, all the flowers are turning out really nice. This is an easy DIY. There are A TON of videos out there if you are interested in making them.

Like I said, my new found weight loss has me trying out new things. Including this African print top I made for myself. It was a free style top that I put together the day before for an event we attended as a family for J's boss. I LOVE the way it turned out. 
Also, I was having a "bad" hair day. As in, I couldn't figure out what to do with my hair so I decided to do a high bun. Not too too bad.

That's me. Wearing an off the shoulder top that I made. I love the entire look. This item is not listed on AyoBE Boutique but if you would like one made for you, feel free to reach out.

I took a nap last week Saturday after we got home from the event. J came to wake me up so we could get ready for dinner. I looked up and saw J's handsome smile and this Tee shirt from AyoBE Boutique. It is quickly becoming his favorite! I have seen him wear it so many times. I love that he supports my business :-).

My little JAE is getting more and more creative! I love how much she is growing and thriving. Her imagination has really taken off. 
Here, JAE put her fairy wings on Supergirl because Supergirl lost her cape. How creative is this?

We match! Tees can be found here and here. You can have one made for the entire family.

Family car selfies on Sunday on our way to Church. JAE really was not feeling it. SMH...

I refused to give her her milk to drink in the car. Hence the look.

She was promised milk and check out her smile. My child...

So what is up with my curls? I have the "hanging tail" thing going. I did a spray and go (basically, the same as a wash and go except that I sprayed with water then used gel instead of washing my hair first). Anyways, I'm am not sure of what to do with it. The back of my hair grows wicked fast. Almost at twice the speed as the rest of my hair. Which ordinarily wouldn't be a problem except for the fact that the same back area has a looser curl pattern. Translation? I often look like I have a mohawk! I often have to try to brush to blend it all in. I'm not complaining though. I love my curls.

Sunday is cooking day. I picked up a bag of cauliflower rice on a whim while shopping. I decided to make some Nigerian fried rice for J since he mentioned that he also hadn't had rice since I started my healthy eating plan in April. Anyways, I made the same sauce for the rice but instead of rice for me, I added a couple of fried eggs and used the cauliflower rice for my dishes. 
LORD!!! This dish was DELISH! I felt guilty eating it! It was THAT good and honestly, if I didn't tell you, you wouldn't know it wasn't real rice. This is going to be a new staple in my eating plan. YUM! I'll blog this recipe later.

Sunday evenings = hair braiding for the girls. This week, JOE decided she only wanted a single braid. I haven't done that in a year so I figured why not. Her hair really is something. It is thriving. Long and THICK! I admire it and she is doing so much better with getting her hair done.

JAE's hair is also thriving. I feel truly accomplished when their hair is done.

Trying to get a picture of this little one. She is such a hoot. Love her so much! My baby...

This message spoke to me. Almost a year ago, I experienced a set back in my career that really had me questioning my career goals, myself as an individual and just my calling. One year later, I have no doubt that God is indeed in the details. 
When I experienced the setback, I questioned why God let this happen. To say it was a truly humbling experience would be an understatement. BUT God was only using that circumstance to prepare me for something greater. The lesson from this to you is to always in everything TRUST GOD!

I hope you had a lovely week. Have a fabulous weekend and always take any given opportunity to be kind to strangers!

Friday, July 14, 2017

Photo Dump Friday: Progress

Happy Friday everyone! It always seems that the first week after a holiday week is very long. But overall, it was a progressive week.

If you don't follow AyoBE Boutique on Instagram or Facebook, you might not have seen this so I am sharing it here. Be sure to go check out the site and follow us! So many items are on sale. We are reducing our inventory so items are going quickly.

I follow Heather Love on Instagram. Last week, she posted this on her page and it really spoke to me. Honestly, comparison is the killer of many dreams. These words came at a time where I needed it.
Full disclosure here...I was really considering closing down my business because I felt that I should be at a certain place by now but wasn't there. I compared myself to other businesses that started around the same time and who I perceived as being more successful. 
Well, when I saw these words, I immediately asked for God's forgiveness and started giving thanks for the blessings I have received so far. I have been blessed through this business, I have built relationships and have met people I wouldn't otherwise have met. Yes, I have a vision and a dream but ultimately, God's time IS THE BEST time. ALWAYS.

JOE is now at an age where she likes to make her own clothing choices. Sometimes, I have to steer her in a different direction if what she wants isn't appropriate but for the most part, I let her make her own decision. 
Well, last Sunday, she selected what she wanted to Church. JAE promptly decided she wanted to choose her outfit as well. I love to somewhat coordinate our outfits on Sundays but I let them choose what they wanted to wear. And this is what I got.

Granteed, they didn't match but I love that at least they chose items that are wearable to Church in the summer.

Car selfie on our way to church. Yes, it does seem like JAE is always drinking her milk in the car when we take these.

Me and my mini. The bow on my shoulder is from AyoBE Boutique and the Tassel earrings can be found here. I love the way they complimented my outfit. 
Oh and J and I decided to coordinate since the girls were doing their own thing.

Sunday school was full for JOE's age group so she came in the santuary with us. Why were they taking selfies in Church?

Even JAE!

Like I said earlier, I am reducing my inventory so I can focus on a few key items and be more efficient with my time. 
Below are some of the mom and me items that you'll be seeing more of. Our site has also been revamped to bring you more of our best sellers. Be sure to check it out.

Pics of my baby. I love this little girl's personality so much.

As I draw closer to the big 4-0, I have decided to focus more on taking care of myself. This includes getting my nails done and just relaxing a bit more. 
I got my nails done earlier this week and even though my big toes have a chip (#annoyed), I LOVE the way they turned out. If you've been watching my stories on AyoBE Boutique, you've seen the beautiful green color I got on my toes. 
Anyways, of course I have to represent when I go out. And I always get compliments :-).

Why is this picture significant? For 2 MAJOR reasons. 1. I haven't been this size since BEFORE I had JOE. That was over 4-years ago. 2. I haven't worn outdoor shorts to go out in that time. So felt great to be able to wear and feel good in shorts. 
I am only 1/3 of the way through my journey but this encouraged me.
Not apologizing for the mirror. This is the norm in my home. What can I say? I have kids.

I am taking more pictures of myself. It is amazing how much things change when you grow to love the way you look. The last time I wore the dress below was when JOE had her church blessing. That was in April 2013. WOW! Time flies!!! I hadn't worn it since because it didn't fit and I just didn't like how round I looked in it. 
Well, check me out :-).

I love when people stop me in the hallway to tell me how great I look. Don't get me wrong, I never thought I looked awful. I just wasn't comfortable with all the weight I had put on in 5+ years. I am happy to be doing something about it and seeing positive results.

So last week, I put on 2lbs and posted about it. Well, this week, I focused more on what was going in my mouth and I am happy to say that not only did I lose the 2-lbs but I lost an additional pound. Bringing my total weight loss to 23-lbs. WOOHOO!!! EXCITED!

Hope you had a fabulously blessed week. Have a great weekend and remember always to be kind to strangers!

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Julying (picture heavy)

July has been off to a great start! We started the month with extended time together as a family and that was just what the doctor ordered.
Also, we have been able to get a lot done around our home including working on the basement. In a couple of weeks, we expect to be completely done with our basement renovation. I still can't believe how long far we've come with that and how much we love using the space. The girls get really excited whenever they go down to the basement. 

A couple of weeks ago, I decided to make these light switch decals for some of the light switch plates around the girls play area. They LOVE them! 
Below is Moana and one of my favorite saying of hers. This one is in their room.

Ultimately, Tinkerbell won as far as the decals. I made several and put them on the light switches in their play area.

This picture just made me smile/laugh. JAE is almost the same size as JOE! Never mind that JOE is almost 3 years older than JAE! It was too cute! My babies...

The Saturday before the 4th, we all headed out to a local parade. I figured I'd get a good workout in and the girls would enjoy hanging out with some of J's co-workers. 
Boy, did I get a workout! We walked A LONG distance and since I was still wearing my ankle brace at the time, it felt really tiresome. 
But overall, we did have a great time.


Darth Vader and some of the Storm troopers came along for the walk. I can only imagine how HOT they must have been in those costumes.

Since I was feeling creative when I made the light switch decals, I also decided to make this sign for our basement bathroom. I love the way it turned out.

On display!

For Church the following Sunday, I wore these Tassel earrings from AyoBE Boutique. I LOVE THEM! They are lightweight and can transform well from a daytime look into a nighttime look.

They come in beautiful color options so be sure to check them out for yourself.

Speaking of AyoBE Boutique, I love that my girls see no boundaries when it comes to style. Check out Princess Elsa wearing the Zuma African Print dresses from AyoBE Boutique. She looks great by the way ;-). 
Next to her (in green) is a PAG (Pretty Afrocentric Girl) doll in the Capella Summer Dress. Oh and Princess Sofia and the PAG doll are wearing earrings from AyoBE Boutique. girls LOVE these items and enjoy playing dress up with their dolls and doll accessories.

Speaking of PAG Dolls, have you visited our shop lately? This cute outfit was recently added to our shop. Fun way for a little girl to play dress up with her 18" doll. 

A silly selfie of me and my mini.

2 weeks ago, I posted this picture on Instagram. Oftentimes, we don't see how we are going when it comes to weight loss. However, seeing this comparison picture definitely made my day!
Of course, a week later, I gained 2-lbs! I was very disappointed but more on that later...

Talk about inspiring creativity. Here is Elsa wearing a head covering in the African Print dress and sitting in a "Crazy Crab" bucket. This definitely made me laugh. It was done by my litle JAE.

The Monday before the 4th, our childcare fell through. But thankfully, J's mom was able to step in and save the day. J and I decided to see Wonder Woman. It was definitely entertaining. Not sure I'd give it a 5 out of 5 stars though. I'd say a solid 3.8 stars. It felt a little long and took a while for the story to build up. So perhaps they wanted to introduce us to all the key players for future movies? Who knows? I am glad the movie is doing great. #girlpower. However, I wasn't as swept away as I expected to be by the storyline.

We wore matching sandals so I promptly took a picture. I hadn't worn these sandals since I went to Greece back in 2009.

And since I hadn't worn them since 2009, this is what I ended up with. ICK! I need new shoes. Not happy. :-(

On the 4th, the girls set up their table in their playroom and decided they were going to have a picnic in their playroom.

Enjoying their picnic.

Even Hally came in a purple shoe! LOL...that is another one of JAE's creations.

We took a much needed afternoon nap since we spent part of the day working in the basement. Right after we woke up, it started to pour. We had heavy winds and thunderstorms. So that canceled our outdoor grilling plans. We ended up "grilling" in the oven.

I decided I wanted to still get a bit of a workout in so I danced during the July 4th performances. We watched it on TV. 
And of course, JOE decided to snap some pictures of me.

Great way to burn some calories and have some fun :-).

This guy was front and center during the DC 4th performance. Heck, you can't miss his shirt. Really cool. I love that he was having fun with it.

The following day, I took the day off and got to spend some time with the girls. They played dress up and we went for a walk. It was such a fun day that I am now determined to do this more often with them. 
Check out "Catboy" and "Owelette".

We also went for a walk. I let the girls run back once we got to our street. They love doing this and it helps since it is often an hour long walk.

Later that evening, they sat together and watched the ipad together. They almost never do this so I had to take a picture of them.

And then JOE decided to "do a fashion show" for me. Complete with pink light up slippers, a pink bag and a poodle.

Needless to say, I stayed very active last week which is why I was surprised when I gained 2-lbs. However, I am guessing because I stayed so active, I was likely eating more!
Anyways, back to the grind. I am going to work hard to be at a -31# loss by vacation in August. Gaining the weight puts me behind by 11-lbs. But I won't fret. I'll just go back to basics and work towards my goals.

For those in the US, I hope you had a wonderful July 4th holiday and were able to either relax or spend time with loved ones. Often, we forget to take a moment to count our blessings. Make it a point to do so going forward. You'd be surprised just how truly blessed you are!

Enjoy the rest of your week and remember to be kind to strangers!


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