Saturday, December 31, 2016

Happy New Year!!

2016 Best 9 for me! God is amazing! First picture is when we closed on our new home as well as selling our first home. The second picture is when Nadia realized that she wanted to ride horses. I admired her courage. The third picture is when our family took a trip to DC. The 4th picture is when I got a chance to help minister to women through performing. The 5th picture is when my Dad was able to visit the kids at their school for the first time. The 6th picture is special because we celebrated our 10 year anniversary. The 7th picture is when we took a family picture in our new home. The 8th picture is when I stepped out of my comfort zone and decided to host a Mommy and Me work shop and the 9th picture is my son catching his first fish. He was so determined! What are your highlights from 2016?

I can't believe we are already saying good bye to another year!! I honestly can't keep up with how fast time is moving. This is definitely an eye opener that it is  important to let God lead you to your purpose. I use to battle with being content where I am and I have come to realize that it is okay to be where you are sometimes. I know that sounds crazy, but sometimes it's good to stay put and make sure you are doing what God has called you to do in those surroundings. I'm not saying that you have to stay put and do nothing, but it's okay to be where you are at that moment.  Contentment and complacent are two different things.  The difference between contentment and complacency is a subtle one. Being content means being happy and at peace. Being complacent means refusing to work to improve.

Social media will definitely have you questioning yourself. You start to compare and feel that you need to do more, but know that God is pleased with contentment as well. Peace cannot be purchased.  When you have peace to do whatever God has called you to do, then do it because he will lead you. God is not an author of confusion, so know that if there is peace, you have his approval. With that being said, don't give up on your dreams and if you're still breathing, there's still a chance  to walk in your purpose and remember it's okay to sit at his presence and listen for a year.  We can all achieve our goals and dreams if he is at the forefront. May everyone have a blessed and prosperous New Year!!!

 1 Timothy 6:6 ESV  Now there is great gain in godliness with contentment

Psalm 37:3-5 ESV   
Trust in the Lord, and do good; dwell in the land and befriend faithfulness. Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him, and he will act.

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Happy Holidays

I want to take the time to say Happy Holidays to all my Naturalistas!!!! Christmas is definitely my favorite holiday and I love to share it with the people I love!  For the month of December, we made sure we did something together as a family each day. It was definitely a blessing and reminded me the reason for the season. I want my family to feel the joy around this time, so I try to make sure it's extra special for them. We had a play snowball fight in the house, watched Christmas movies, hot cocoa bar, played Christmas bingo, drove through a live nativity scene, made a gingerbread house, went to see Christmas lights, and can't forget our Christmas cookies. We had lots of laughter and created new traditions and wonderful memories!! I pray that everyone enjoy your family and friends and if you have unforgiveness in your heart, let it go and give love. Life is short, so make the best of it! Peace and love!!

Live nativity scene
Time for hot chocolate
DIY snow globes
We started a tradition where the kids draw their own wrapping paper!

Pretzel rods with candy melt and sprinkles
Add caption
Gifts are wrapped with their artwork.
Poor gingerbread house, but it was a lot of fun!
Christmas morning!!!

Friday, December 23, 2016

Hair Update!!!

I never thought I would share news like this, but I really believe my hair is mad at me!! I have to be honest and say that I have fallen off the bandwagon and didn't give my hair the TLC it really needed. I still managed to keep it moisturized with no heat, but hair not only needs to be moisturized daily, but also needs a deep treatment regularly in order to see great results. I straightened my hair in November and I almost wanted to cry.  I can see a difference compared to how it normally looks when straightened. I'm not going to let it get me down, but it reminded me that it's important to maintain length versus growing it. If you can maintain length, the growth will come. With that being said, it's time to get serious about my hair and start back loving my hair and giving it the care it needs.  Here's a list of things I will do to get my hair back on track!

  • First things first and that is washing and deep conditioning the hair once a week. I would never miss a week washing and deep conditioning my hair, and I saw awesome results!
  • Keep hair tangled free and stretched
  • Wear more protective styles
  • No heat for a year
  • Keep hair moisturized daily
  • Keep ends trimmed
Hair was a month in a half old and reverting back.

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Late Post: 35 is Here

I know I know.. I have fallen way behind. My birthday has come and gone, but I had to share a glimpse of my day with you all.  I can't believe I have finally approached the year of 35! It's been truly an amazing ride and God has really proven his love to me time and time again. I honestly didn't know what I wanted to do on my special day, but I have come to realize that I'm a simple chic and what matters to me is being with my family.

My goals in life is to continue to be the light and bring people to Jesus. I want God to guide me with my purpose and also be the best wife and mom God created me to be. At 35, I can honestly say that I am proud to be who I am. I feel beautiful, healthy, and not ashamed of who I am in Christ. God has blessed me with so much wisdom and I am forever grateful!! Thank God for favor!!! Here's a few pictures of my blessings and my special birthday!!!

Monday, November 14, 2016

Review: Shea Moisture Low Porosity conditioner

The time has come to finally share my review on the low porosity conditioner. Well, to be honest I didn't see a difference when you compare it with the Herbal Essence Hello Hydration. It basically did the same thing, but I feel that Herbal Essence is better. Don't get me wrong, the Shea moisture conditioner definitely detangled my hair after shampooing, but for the fraction of the cost, I think I will stick with Herbal Essence. As I compared the ingredients, it turned out that it was very similar. Shea Moisture may have had a few natural ingredients, but it really wasn't a major difference. I will continue to give it another chance, but it's looking like I will stick to the Herbal Essence Hello Hydration conditioner. I will continue to add my natural oils during pre-poo and during my deep treatment along with my Aubrey Organics. 

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Devotion with Kids

Happy Sunday!!

In August, our neighbors blessed us with this book called "Jesus Calling". What a blessing it has been!!!
 It's  365 days of devotion that speaks to your child about their walk with Christ and it also helps build an intimate relationship with the Lord through daily time with him. It speaks as if Jesus is directly speaking to your child. My kids look forward to reading their devotion every night.  Before bed, we read the devotion and scripture and discuss what we read. After we discuss, we all pray and  really talk to God about everything. It's amazing seeing my kids have their own relationship with God.

When I was pregnant with both of my kids, I made a vow to God that I would teach them about the word of God and I'm so thankful that I have kept my word to Christ. I continue to pray that they will be Godly leaders and bring people to his kingdom.

To all the parents out there, I urge you to take time with your kids and teach them about our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  We are living in a cruel world and it's time that our kids start praying and building their own relationship with him.

If you are interested in this book, you can find it at your local Christian book store or you can order on Amazon. It's a great book that your kids will love!!!

They also have an adult version as well! Happy reading!!!

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Ready to try new Hair Products

Lately, I've been getting bored with using the same ole products and I'm ready to try something new. I'm really hoping that I will see better results with my hair for styling and growth, but I usually come back to my old faithful.  There are 2 products that I want to replace. The first product is the Herbal Essence Hello Hydration. I never thought I would want to get rid of my favorite rinse out conditioner, but I would love to have more hair products with natural ingredients.  Natural hair products have been on the rise, and companies are really getting better with making natural ingredients top priority.  My natural hair is what inspired me to also read ingredients in what we eat, but for some reason I can't let go of my Herbal Essence. It has such a great consistency that gives my hair the slip that it needs, but I'm on the hunt to find a similar product with better ingredients.  The second product is the Generic Paul Mitchell leave in conditioner. Now this one hurts! To me, I think this is one of the best leave in conditioners out there. It does so much for my hair, but looking at the ingredients, I'm not sure if it's good or not. I have been with this leave in conditioner for the majority of my journey and so far so good, but like I said I would like to see more natural ingredients.

The first new product I would like to try is the Shea Moisture low porosity conditioner.  Shea Moisture has really done a great job with their line and I am every excited to try it. I love their shampoo!

As far as a leave in product, this product isn't really new, but I've decided to test out the Giovanni Direct leave in again. Now, I'm not sure if this will last, because I still went back to my Generic PM leave in. If this doesn't work out for me, I will continue to add castor oil to the Generic PM leave in.

I know I only said 2 products, but I'm also looking for a twist/braid butter that will help achieve a more defined look, so I'm also excited to try the Camille Rose Twisting Butter!!

Stay tuned for my results!!

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Dating your Spouse

Hey guys!

Last weekend my husband and I were able to spend the whole weekend with each other right at home with no kids. We had an amazing time trying a new restaurant, shopping, watching a movie with coffee and dessert, and having wonderful conversation.  It was such a blessing to be able to take a little break from the kids and focus on one another which is so important. With kids, you can get so wrapped up in their needs that you forget about your marriage.

I want to express that it is vital that you take time to date your husband. I understand that you may not have family in the area to watch the kids, and trust me I know how that feels. We do have great friends who also have kids the same age as our kids which works out great. They don't have family near as well, so we like to rotate when we can. It works out perfectly!!!  Our kids love them and they are more than friends but more like family! I encourage you to get connected with another family just in case you don't have family near to watch the kids. Remember to keep it simple and have fun!

Here are a few tips to help you get excited about Date night!!

  • Go somewhere different for dinner ( On our date, We enjoyed checking out a new restaurant and it felt like we were in another city!)
  • Find something that you both will enjoy ( We recently just bought a home, so we enjoyed shopping for different pieces for the home.)
  • Relax and unwind  ( After everything, we came home and enjoyed coffee and dessert and had  great conversation and a movie. We were able to relax and emotionally connect through amazing conversation.
  • Next Date ( Spend time planning your next date and arranging for the babysitter or family to keep the kids.  If you can only go out once a month, well start planning. The goal is to set a date for the next one, but don't let it turn into 6 months to a year. Enjoy your spouse and have fun!

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Update: Hair Regimen

Hey Naturalistas!!

I decided that I would wash my hair and thought of you guys. I haven't shared my hair regimen in a while, so I figured it was time to update you guys. A lot hasn't changed, but there are few things that I do differently.  Sometimes I feel bad that I'm still using the same products, but I honestly haven't found anything that works better for my hair ( key word "My Hair"). Remember that everyone's hair is different, just in case the products I list didn't work for you. :)

  • Section the hair - Before I wash my hair, I like to detangle with a leave in conditioner and castor oil to make the shampoo process manageable and easy!  You lose less hair and it's not as tangled. Section hair into 4 to 6 sections.)

  • Shampoo and Condition each section - I like to shampoo my hair once a month and co-wash every 2 weeks. When I shampoo, I focus on the scalp and massage each section. When I co-wash, I apply the conditioner the section and use my fingers to detangle. When using a conditioner, you want to make sure that the conditioner is creamy and thick. You should be able to run your fingers through each section with the conditioner and water. After you detangle the section, twist it and clip it and move on to the next section.

  • Deep Condition- It's a must that you deep condition the hair on wash days. My hair loves me for this!! I like to use the Aubrey Organics honey suckle rose conditioner along with the Castor oil for my deep treatment. Your hair should still be in 4 to 6 sections. Apply a nice amount of the conditioner along with the Castor oil to each section and make sure you focus on the ends. For my scalp and edges, I like to apply the castor oil and massage it. After you have applied the conditioner and castor oil to each section, put a plastic bag or plastic shower cap on your hair and sit under the dryer for 20 to 30 minutes.

  • Rinse Conditioner - Now that you have sat under the dryer for your deep treatment, it is time to rinse the hair. When rinsing the hair, I like to use luke warm water when rinsing out each section.  Your hair should feel really soft with a beautiful shine.  Now it's time to style!

  • Style- On wash days, I usually do something simple, since I am so worn out from washing my hair... LOL! I only have so much time, because the kids always need my attention. On those days, I like to wear a bun which stretches the hair. On the next day, I like to plait my hair into 6 plaits for a braid out. Doing this also cuts down the amount of time it takes to dry my hair. My hair holds a lot of moisture, so this works best for my hair.
Ready for fall! Still humid which results in shrinkage but I love it!

Check out my products below!!

Aubrey Organics Honey Suckle Rose and Aubrey Organics GPB for my deep treatment.
Castor oil is applied to the deep treatment and for my braid out

These products are used for styling. I love my Generic Paul Mitchell The Conditioner which can be purchased from Sally's as well as the Curls pomade and the As I am Twist Defining Cream which I apply to the ends to get a good curl.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Time is Flying by

Hey Naturalistas!!

Summer break is over and now it's time to get back into our school routine. I really had a moment and realized my kids are growing right before my eyes.  My son is in the 2nd grade and my daughter is in kindergarten! After kindergarten, it's hard to keep up because time goes by so fast. I'm trying to take as many pictures as I can as well as playing with them each time I get. I know one day they will want to do their own thing, so I better take advantage of these moments. These are some of the best moments!!

If you are a parent with kids that are 0-12, please spend time with them as much as you can. This is our discipline and training time, and after that it's almost too late. This is our time to share Jesus every moment we can. If you are in the car with them or at the dinner table, try your best to share God's word. As we pray together, it's beautiful hearing them have their own conversation with God.  So while time is moving fast, enjoy the moments that are happening right now.

Proverbs 22:6 (ESV)
"Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it."

Sunday, July 31, 2016

Starting a Zero Based Budget

Hey Naturalistas!

I know it has been forever and I apologize for not updating the blog more often. I really need to get back to my routine with updating the blog at least once a week. That will be my goal for the month of August and I plan to stick to it. With that being said, another goal of mine is to become debt free in 10 years and that will include my house. I know it sounds surreal, but it can really happen.  I love discussing natural hair and ways to help your hair, but another love of mine is working with money. I honestly never thought I would love to deal with money since math was definitely not my favorite subject. Who would have thought, but I get excited every time it's time to pull up the spread sheet and work on our family budget. I actually look at it every day!

What is a Zero Based Budget
I  realized that our family needed to budget on zero based budget. A zero based budget is a budget where every dollar is accounted for. In the past, I would pay my tithes, savings,  bills, have a certain amount towards debt, and then the rest of the money would  sit there until it's spent and then all of sudden you wonder what happened to all the money. I would do it that way for years and  realized that there has to be another way. I did some research and fell in love with the zero based budget.

How it Works
When planning your monthly or biweekly budget, the plan is to get the dollar amount to zero after you have allocated where each amount will go. If you have 500.00 left, that means you aren't done with the budget. You need to designate where the rest of that amount will go.  If you don’t, you lose the chance to make it work for you in the areas of getting out of debt, saving for an emergency, investing, or paying off the house.  The goal is to tell each dollar where to go!

Categories to start with
For my budget, I like to use my excel spreadsheet to also break out my categories. I allot a certain amount for each category. Below are a list of categories that will help you get an idea on where to start. These categories are sneaky money gotchas and categories where we typically overspend. I also like to keep track of the categories on this app called Envelopes 2. It's not synced, so you will have to manually enter everything in, but it has helped me tremendously since I don't use the envelope cash system which is totally a great idea!

So, let's say that you have already budgeted for your bills that are pretty much the same each month. You have paid your tithes and now you have a certain amount left and it's time to put a certain amount to each category.

  • Personal- Personal money is important. Being a family of 4, it's hard not to spend money for yourself when everyone else may need something. I would sacrifice not getting myself anything or feel guilty for purchasing something. Now I am so excited about my own spending money. The kids also get an allowance each week, so they are learning about paying their tithes and savings. That's another story to blog about so I will keep that short. So please allocate money for personal use. :)
  • Dining- Dining is important, because let's face it, sometimes you just don't feel like cooking. People tend to overspend in this area, so this is a great category to have.
  • House Maintenance- If you own a home, you know things will come up so it's good to always put a certain amount each month just in case you may have to get something for the home. For instance, new light bulbs, or filters. Anything regarding the house.
  • Car Maintenance- Maintenance for your car is important. You know eventually you will have an oil change or have to get your brakes done.
  • Medical- We tend to forget about this category, but every now and then you may have to pay a copay or pick up a prescription.
  • Entertainment- Another money gotcha that will get you every time. Start putting away, so you can enjoy and not feel guilty.
  • Vacation- Just think if you put away 50 or 100.00 for a year, you can have a nice amount to go on a small vacation to relax.
So there you have it! These are just a few of my categories and I am loving it. My husband is on board and we're loving this! We are tackling this debt and also still finding time to enjoy life and not feel guilty. We also know that if we only have a certain amount in the envelope, we have to learn to be patient. Be good stewards and be blessed!!! We can do this!! Debt Free here we come!!

Monday, July 4, 2016

Summer Fun

Hey Naturalistas!!

Happy 4th!!!! I know it's been awhile, but I have been busy enjoying my summer!! I do have a few things coming up this fall, but for now I will talk about my trip to Richmond and DC.  We had a great time celebrating my niece Taylor ( Taylor Tot) first birthday and enjoying our day trip to DC.  What I realized on this trip is that it really doesn't matter if plans don't go exactly how you wanted to go. Make the best of every moment because life is too short to complain and bicker over things that isn't going to matter. When we traveled to DC, it was a challenge trying to figure out what to do first and what direction to take since nothing was really planned. I had to realize that we should make the best of this trip and just enjoy one another. Once that registered, we had an amazing time!! Don't forget to enjoy the simple things in life. By the way, I'm still rocking the side pony! Too hot for all this hair to be out!
Enjoyed taking the kids to see the monument.
Drove 10 hours to see my Taylor!! Love her!

Taylor had a Hawaiian theme birthday party and these were definitely hit!
Great job sis!!

Love him so much, but look at the camera boy!

Yummy cupcakes! Those are teddy grahams with gummy life savers as floats! Super cute!

Definitely a keep sake as she gets older.

Nadia enjoyed herself too!!

My sister, my best friend, my everything!!

My brother in love and my son are worn out. I think we walked close to 8 miles in DC!

Taylor Tot did a great job sight seeing in DC.

The only thing my son wanted to see was the White house. Glad we finally made it, but of course he's not even looking at the camera.

It's a must we see a horse before we leave DC. Nadia loves horses!