Eat Me Skinny 3-Day Detox

Having a baby is one thing, having a baby after thirty seems to be an entirely different obstacle. This year I gave birth to my handsome bundle of joy who has turned my life and my hormones completely upside down. From acne, to hair loss, overeating, poor sleep schedule, any sign that I needed a detox, I definitely showed.

As I approached my 34th birthday I reached out to Ellen with Eat Me Skinny to find out more about her detox programs and how they worked. I am so happy I did! Having completed my breastfeeding journey, I knew that it would be okay to participate in the 3-day program without affecting the baby. So I went for it! A lot of research went into the program before getting started because I wanted to make sure I knew what to expect during the process.

So What is a detox you may ask? Detoxification or detox is the removal of toxic substances from a living organism, including the human body, which is mainly carried out by the liver. The term “toxin” in the context of a detox is defined as pollutants, synthetic chemicals, heavy metals, and processed foods — which all negatively affect health.

Sometimes life needs a detox!

Your intestines are your second brain (if you didn’t know) that also need a break!  By letting your body  rest (however much) from constant digestion you allow it to focus its attention on other areas that may be in need of some TLC (and who doesn’t need a little of that?). Detoxes re-energize you without you having to double fist espresso!

Oh….and you won’t need that afternoon sugar fix either!

Cleansing is less about losing weight and more about getting rid of cravings and becoming more aware of your eating habits.

Benefits of Juicing:

  • Jump start healthy weight loss (notice I said healthy)
  • Strengthen your immune system (less colds and disease. Yes please!)
  • Give you healthier more glowing skin
  • Help you to think clearer (bye bye brain fog)
  • Bring up your energy level (above sloth)

My experience:

My experience on the detox I documented mainly because this was my first time doing it and I wanted to really journal the experience. The detox package included everything I would need for the 3-day period including teas to take me through the day eliminating gas, apple cider vinegar for the early mornings and chia seeds to add texture to the juices.

Day 1: For me day one was the most difficult. While the juices were tasty and, in my opinion, very filling, I missed eating. By 3pm I felt a level of starvation that was new to me and I felt like all of my energy escaped. I drank some tea and took a nap which got me back on track, slightly. By 8pm that night I was so hungry I couldn’t stay up much longer, so I went to bed early.

Day 2: I woke up with energy, not the energy I typically have in the mornings but it was something. The Apple cider vinegar on the second day tasted so much more potent than before, that part was difficult. After drinking the tea to get started, my stomach settled and the day went smoothly for the most part. Around lunch time I enjoyed the carrot juice which is the tastiest of all the juices. I drank that down quickly and that renewed my commitment to the detox, until I tasted the celery juice. The strategic mixture of juices was perfect because while some were painful to consume others were a breeze. What I love most about this program was the support, we were placed in a WhatsApp group the night before starting and had access to our nutritionist throughout the process. I personally messaged Ellen more than my husband those three days (no judgement).

Day 3: Honestly my favorite day! I started planning what I would eat once the detox was done. Not sure if that is a good or bad thing but that motivated me to complete strong. I also had so much to do on this day as I was preparing to travel, that I didn’t think about food much that day. I completed strong and was provided with a post detox plan for smoothly getting back to eating.

A week later I am still enjoying the benefits of the detox. I have so much more energy, I am more focused and my options for eating are healthier. I have been having consistent bowel movements and the skin breakouts that I experienced on day 2-3 are just about cleared. I would definitely recommend this program to anyone looking to reset. While it’s no easy feat, it is truly a gamer changer in jump starting a healthier and fulfilling life.

Lucky for you there is another session before the year is done! December 7-9th Eat Me Skinny will host their final 3-day detox for the year. Why not end 2020 with a bang?

Puzzle & Bloom’s very own, Tiffany Hill

2020 has allowed me to connect with so many amazing women. Black women, moms and business owners who are claiming their spaces in industries and definitely making a name for themselves, Tiffany is no exception! Tiffany Hill is the CEO and creative genius behind Puzzle and Bloom a toy company that seeks to bring awareness to cultural differences. I had the pleasure of chatting with Tiffany about her company and I left with a feeling of empowerment that I have never felt before.

1. What inspired Puzzle & Bloom? There are so many moments that inspired me to create Puzzle and Bloom. While in graduate school, I was a substitute teacher and I noticed the lack of black and brown characters for the children I looked after. And, the kids in my classes were mostly kids of color.

I also have a love for literature and I wrote a children’s book years ago. I wanted to do something different and more interactive this time around.

2. How have you managed during the pandemic? Have you found ways to pivot ? The pandemic was tough for me at first. I have known people who have lost their income, been sick and have passed away. So, that has been painful.

But, when it first hit, I was in acupuncture school and working at a university. Now, school and work are all online which gives me more time at home. For the first time in years, I was forced to stay home. I didn’t even realize I needed the rest. So, I just stayed home, created Puzzle and Bloom and did a bunch of self care.

3. What motivates you as an entrepreneur ?
I love learning and entrepreneurship is a constant learning. There is never a dull moment. And, I get in what I put in. It is fair ground for me.

4. How do you balance life and mom and boss?
I currently don’t have any kiddos. But, I do balance work and school well on some days. Other days are like ground hogs day, I’m not always sure what day it is, or what time it is, LOL! We have a huge whiteboard in our living room. That helps. I write everything important on it.

5. What encouraged you to create toys that represent different cultures? I have sold most of my puzzles in person and when I see the kids faces light up. I light up. I am happy to know I’m connecting with children and giving them a platform to see themselves. Our puzzles are also great for kids who are not of color. It helps them see their friends and classmates in a new light. Not to mention all the cognitive benefits of puzzling. It’s a win-win.

6. How has the recent news in the black community affected your business? I can not express how encouraging people are about my business. I have a bunch of cheerleaders who want me to be successful because they can see themselves, their kids, their nieces, their grandchildren, etc in what we are doing. Representation and being treated fairly needs to matter on all fronts and all aspects of life from social justice to media to treatment in hospitals and in the medical community. The list is long. But, every day, I see someone creating an initiative and to help. It’s beautiful.

7. What are your ideals? I definitely want to create more puzzles and some books. Writing is my first love.

8. As a small business, how have you garnered support and funding for your business? I did reach out to the Small Business Association and requested a mentor who was helpful with ideas and paperwork. I have not received any funding, but I keep hearing that there is some available for small black and woman owned businesses.

9. What would you tell a young black girl who is looking to start her own business? I would tell her to start today! There will be ups and downs and things you don’t understand, but entrepreneurship creates another muscle in the brain, literally. I had an arts and crafts business 7 years ago. It was pretty successful in the beginning. But, in the end, I completely destroyed it with poor financial decisions, poor vendors and the lack of resources when things were tough.

But, I learned SOOO much. That’s why I say start now. This could be a “learning business” or it could be the one you can retire from. Entrepreneurship also makes you more valuable in the workforce. I am an all inclusive employee. I have worked so many places and have been told how well I do my job, but it’s the entrepreneurship experiencing that shines through. As an entrepreneur I don’t look at one aspect of a business. I look at it as a whole and see how I can make the whole thing run better.

10. What’s next for Puzzle & Bloom?
More puzzles! I also love to write. So, definitely some books.

Adaya with Puzzle & Bloom Puzzles

We love Puzzle and Bloom and have definitely added it to our must haves for kids everywhere! To find out more about the company visit https://puzzleandbloom.com or on IG at puzzleandbloom_ .

Feminist Brand, Positive Energy: An Interview with founder Jennifer Shurdut-Bab of Moxie – Chic

We have all heard of feminism and we probably know a few feminists ourselves, but founder, Jennifer Shurdut – Bab of Moxie Chic takes feminism and merges it with positive energy to create Moxie-Chic!

Founder, Jennifer Shurdut-Bab

I had the opportunity to chat with founder, Jennifer about what inspired this positive feminist movement and her company and to be honest, I left with a new sense of inspiration and a feeling of empowerment! She is the epitome of girl boss and sharing her gifts to empower others. Below is a recap of our interview:

What inspired Moxie Chic?

Moxie Chic was born from a confluence of events. When I was in my 30’s I started a tee shirt company with sassy designs for girls, always in the spirit of projecting a positive self image and attitude. (That company was dormant for many years as I pursued my legal career and had children). When I was closer to 50, I was looking to reinvent myself career-wise — and as a mom (of a boy and a girl and a step-mom of a boy and girl), I had a different perspective than in my 30’s. While there were certainly generic “girl power” shirts on the market, there were also lots of shirts that I found downright offensive, either angry, anti-men or even denigrating to women! I didn’t really see a go-to brand or message that I felt good about buying for me or my girls, so it occurred to me that this would be a terrific opportunity to create a brand and messaging around a positive feminism narrative and mission.As a psychology major in college and believer in the self-fulfilling prophecy (what you believe about yourself will lead to what you make of yourself), I wanted to make clothes that inspired girls to be their best selves, without bringing down the boys (my son, step son, husband and dad — are incredibly supportive men and allies for equity). I also wanted to create a community around my shirts that served to further inspire and educate.The name itself — Moxie Chic — was borrowed from an assignment given to my daughter’s class in school — to do something one summer with MOXIE. I loved the assignment and the word itself. Girls have to bear so many negative terms when they are bold; my hope was to adopt the word MOXIE to girls as a positive expression of female boldness. Again, in the spirit of the self-fulfilling prophecy — I believe that words do matter and being positive will lead to positive deeds and results.

Define feminism in your words.

The advocacy of women’s rights on the basis of the equality of the sexes. My words mimic the dictionary’s, BUT I believe the best way to advocate for those rights is with POSITIVE messaging, both to LIFT UP girls and to encourage them to be their best selves as well as to inspire (rather than alienate) allies to advocate by our side.

What motivated you to offer this youth artist competition?

This competition is hopefully the first of many. It is a way for Moxie Chic to encourage girls to express themselves, use their voices and feel empowered — which is what we are all about! It is a culmination of everything we believe in. . .and are trying to achieve.
The timing of this event was inspired by International Day of the Girl as well as the current heated election. Many young girls understand the civic responsibility of voting, but none are old enough to vote. They feel left out and helpless. This gives them an opportunity to express themselves AND make a difference. The winning design will be converted into a graphic format for a shirt and sold on http://www.moxie-chic.com, with 100% of the proceeds donated to Girls Inc.

What do you expect to see from the competition? How do you expect it to impact upcoming artists?

I am looking forward to seeing how young minds express their vision of feminism. My hope is that the winner will feel celebrated and proud to see her unique design and vision translated into a shirt and offered on the site. My hope is that she will feel both especially proud and empowered in knowing her design is helping other girls, as well as a deep connection to our responsibility, as girls, to lift one another up (#girlshelpinggirls).

Moxie Chic Design Competition

What encouraged you to donate proceeds to organizations? Why these organizations?

Our mission is synonymous with helping girls/women (we celebrate them in social media and in our designs and messaging) so it makes complete sense for us to carry out that mission to the fullest extent, which logically includes making charitable contributions to organizations that support girls/women in different ways.We rotate organizations based on a variety of factors: current events, societal needs, best fit for any particular campaign etc.
– We launched the company donating to Dress for Success. As a feminist clothing company, we also believe in the importance of what a woman wears as a reflection of what she thinks of herself and strongly believe in the self-fulfilling prophecy, i.e. clothing should serve to boost self-esteem which will lead to greater success.
– For #IWD2020, we contributed to Girls Inc. because we wanted to turn our attention to the younger set; their mission and motto — inspiring girls to be strong, smart and bold — is closely aligned with ours.
– During the initial months of the pandemic, we launched a campaign that gave to the American Red Cross (an organization started by and currently managed by women).
– During the last few months of worldwide focus on racial injustice, we have been giving to the Women of Color Network.
-For our contest, inspired by International Day of the Girl as well as the current election, we turned to Girls, Inc. again because it made sense to focus on giving younger girls who cannot vote in the election, a voice and ability to make a difference.
– We have an exciting holiday season lined up, choosing different organizations that will tie specifically to the shirt designs themselves. Stay tuned for that!

You mentioned sustainable fashion on your products, tell me more about that please.
We are committed to ecological and social justice in our processes and production: (1) we use toxin-free, water-based inks that are vegan and biodegradable (CPSIA compliant and Oeko-Tex certified); it’s safe for kids and reduces environmental waste (2) we print-on-demand which means that each product is made to order, avoiding overproduction and textile waste, and we use direct-to-garment printing which demands less energy and lower carbon footprints than other printing methods (3) our printing facility options allow for us to use the facility closest to each customer (shipping faster and to shorter distances) and (4) we only use garments supplied by manufacturers committed to social responsibility with respect to, the environment, community engagement, labor empowerment and compliance practices, and product and quality assurance.

Aside from apparel you offer home and living decor, tell me more about that?

Yes, we offer pillow cases, art prints and mugs. . .We also offer lots of accessories ranging from sterling silver jewelry to hats and tote bags. We believe that surrounding yourself in positive messaging and images — even just our signature BOLT — is uplifting. We are hoping that the Moxie Chic community will enjoy those positive associations (on all of our products) so that when they see or wear any “moxie” they feel positive and empowered — what I like to call “moxified”.

What do you feel about the girl power movement?

It’s terrific generally EXCEPT. . .Girl Power is more than just wearing a slogan — it’s about understanding the women’s rights journey, where we’ve been and where we are going. It’s about unpacking and understanding the tough work that continues to happen for women to gain equal treatment in the world. And it’s about celebrating real world, real life accomplishments by amazing trailblazers who pave a path for the rest of us.Most offering “girl power” in stores by way of tee shirt slogans are shortchanging girls. Many feminist apparel/lifestyle companies and big box stores are cashing in on the popular fashion trend right now without much — or any — investment in girls specifically, in their ambition and dignitiy. Many are owned and/or operated by men. Very few give back to female causes at all. Most do not — like Moxie Chic — aim to create community, educate (at least with blogs, social media and tee shirt designs), celebrate and support girls by donating sales etc. Certainly having “girl power” plastered everywhere is a terrific start (!) — but it’s just a start.Then, of course, we have to deal with “how” girl power is being expressed. One big concern is the negative messaging that often goes along with the “girl power” messaging. I am personally turned off by much of what’s offered, which I find crude (Feminist as F—-; Chicks Before Pricks), angry (Feminist Killjoy) and anti-male (The Future is Female). I wouldn’t want my kids wearing that — and I don’t want to wear that myself. More importantly, I don’t want my kids thinking in those terms. I think that kind of messaging runs the risk of doing more damage than good. I like3 of 4 to keep it positive. Again, as a fan of the self-fulfilling prophecy — I really do believe that keeping it positive is the best chance we have for girls to strive for and evolve into their best selves.

What are your ideals?

I would sum that up as “positive feminism”, i.e., striving for equality of the sexes using wit, grace, grit and positive energy; encouraging a feminist narrative around female ambition and dignity.

What is one thing you wish your brand provides for girls?

A sense of pride (whatever your color or shape) and freedom to “voice your moxie.”

It was such a pleasure interviewing such a dynamic woman! For more information on the design competition, visit http://www.moxie-chic.com or Moxie Chic on IG at @voiceyourmoxie.

Snack Time during Virtual School

If you are a mom and you find yourself working from home since the beginning of the pandemic, I know you share the same sentiments as me when it comes to snacks and providing kids with lunch every day, OVER IT. I really don’t know how these teachers do it, but I have to say kudos to them for being able to deal with these kids daily, teach them, create out of them leaders and keep their sanity, our teachers are the real mvps!!

One way I have been able to manage the amount of food my daughter keeps and still keep her satisfied is by packing her lunch for the day as should would have it if she were to be in physical school. Every morning I get up, pack lunch and leave the lunch bag on the kitchen counter. At break time she can have a snack, take out her water and juice as needed, eat her lunch during the lunch hour and eat the remaining snacks as the day progress.

Happy Camper

Not only am I able to give her a sense of normalcy when it comes to hone schooling, but we get to manage the amount of snacking done.

Noel Mark Co. provides the best Lunch Box options

We love the durable and functional lunch boxes from Noel Mark Company. They are trendy and cool for kids of all ages! What I love most about the lunch boxes is that they are easy to clean, the perfect size for on the go and are eco-friendly. While we may be virtual schooling now, when she heads back to physical school we have a solution that is stylish and functional!

Be sure to check out these awesome lunch box options on Amazon or on social media at NoelMark.co

An Interview w/ Brandi, owner of Chez Bebe

A few weeks ago, I connected on social media with Chez Bebe and after doing some research, I found out more about this super cool company that was started by a black mom and her daughter!! If you know me, you know that I am inspired by mompreneurs who are winning at life and balancing family at the same time. Brandi has worked in the textile industry for years and in 2018 started Chez Bebe,with her daughter India who was only 4yo at the time. Below is an interview with this awesome mom:

Owner, Brandi Lilly McLean

What inspired you to start Chez Bebe?
Chez Bebe, interpreted in French as Children’s Place, was inspired by me and my daughter, India, who was 4 years old at the time. I wanted to find bedding options that were high quality, eco-friendly and still something my daughter could enjoy and something I felt was safe and comfortable for her. An avid adventurer and dreamer, I am inspired by everything from my personal experiences and travels, to the imaginations of my three children, Cuba, India and Morocco. Paired with my professional experience in luxury textiles, I was able to bring Chez Bébé to life.

What keeps you motivated as a child entrepreneur?
A successful “kidpreneur,” India launched her first business when she was just four years old! She is currently nine. India worked with me to come up with the Chez Bébé’s “Paris, Je T’aime” bedding collection, inspired by the wonders and beauty of Paris, France! She had the opportunity to travel with me and learn about textiles from the highest quality brands in the world. As a child entrepreneur, India is motivated by the fact that this is a creative decision maker for the business. She feels important and needed as a decision maker in the company.

Kidpreneur, India Jolie McLean

What would you say is your biggest challenge?
I would say that the biggest challenge is to always be evolving. Shifting from Mom to entrepreneur daily. Making sure that time is allocated for the family and time is allocated to the business. It is important to me that I dedicate time out of each day to have a creative outlet for me and India to create, brainstorm and come up with new ideas. I do this with all the kids, and it helps with the creative process.

How do you balance work life and social life?
There is no greater reward than building this business and sharing the experience with my family. My expertise as a mom of 3 and industry professional drives the brand. When I worked a 9-5, after starting a family, balancing both became a burden. Now, with the freedom of entrepreneurship, I can balance both. I allocate time for the both my business and my family. With the kids now doing virtual schooling, things have shifted a little because I am balancing schooling and work, but there is a time for work and a time for family. (* it should be noted that during the call India had a question, ofcourse Brandi handled it with true professionalism like a Boss Mom)

Hard at work

Tell me about your business. Describe the products and why you chose those options.
Chez Bébé creates high-quality, eco-friendly children’s bedding and accessories, including potty training products and more. All designs are created with input from our children – all our products are made FOR kids, BY kids. I spent my career building multi-million-dollar brands for major retailers in the home textile industry. Our story unfolded the first time I brought the family along to an overseas work trip. I noticed India’s gift for fabrics and design. Her enthusiasm to create matched my own enterprising spirit and I knew I wanted nothing more than to spend time exploring the world and creating with my kids. This is how Chez Bébé was born.

How do you generate new ideas?
I get most of my inspiration from my kids and our experiences as a family. The creative process of bringing ideas to life, especially as it relates to working with my daughter and having her involved in the design and development process. Inspiring children’s creativity and thinking about their dreams and what designs they love. We wanted to create pieces that would stand the test of time. Often kid’s bedding is limited to Disney characters or trends that come and go. With Chez Bebe, our pieces are timeless, they can stand the test of time and can always be enjoyed and appreciated. I think about it this way, we sleep on bedding every night of our lives, why not create something that people will love and enjoy.

What are your ideals?

We want our kids to always have an active role in the creation of all our bedding and accessories and always have the company be child-led. We plan to continuously draw inspiration from their imagination, perspectives and ideas. Ideally, it is our desire to have our bedding create a connection between parents and children at bedtime, especially in an ever-evolving digital world.

The mission of Chez Bébé is to create an environment that children will love to dream in, with quality, style and value that parents appreciate. We believe that wrapping your child in bedding that sparks imagination will inspire them, comfort them and allow them to dream endlessly. We provide high quality bedding exclusively developed for Chez Bébé with the imagination of kidpreneur India Jolie. Made from premium cotton with handcrafted embroidery details and quilting. There are also bed wetting options. Convenient, washable grab and go waterproof bag to carry wet and dirty items separate from what’s clean and dry.  Great for Travel, Accidents, Swim & More.  

Be sure to check Chez Bebe out at https://chezbebeny.com/ for all products and purchases and follow them on Instagram at @Chezbebe.ny .

Best Baby Bath Routine

I remember bringing baby Jordan home and being nervous about bathing him. He was born much smaller than my older child when she was born and seemed so much more fragile. After a few days of asking around and enrolling in the university of google, I figured it was time. Fast forward to today, Jordan is now five months old and we have officially deemed him a water baby. Bath time is one of his favorite times of the day and it’s a sacred time of bonding.

Best bath time hacks

Five things we did to make baby fall in love with bath time:

  • Be Prepared: the first few days were a challenge if I’m being honest. Between alcohol wipes for the navel stomp, to having the pampers laid out, extra towels in case of accidents and all the proper lotions, bells and whistles, many bath time experiences left me exhausted. After about a week of feeling overwhelmed, I started planning bath times as I do other things. I made sure all the essentials were laid out, there were extras of everything (because bath time usually resulted in poop time) and the room was the right temperature.
  • Make it fun: Bath time, just like any other experience with a newborn, can be challenging. Make bath time fun by adding music for dancing, age appropriate toys and use the time to bond with baby.
  • Make it comfortable: Ever jumped in the shower expecting warm water only to be caught by freezing cold water ?!?! Right. Making sure the bath water is the right temperature is key to a successful baby bath. Bath water should be just above 100F to prevent chilling or burning the baby. When you put your elbow in the water it should be warm not hot.
  • Secure, secure, secure: always have a secure grip of baby during bath time to prevent drowning, falling or slipping. Keep one hand on baby supporting back using the other hand to wash.

Giving your baby a bath 3-4 times weekly will keep his skin clean, prevent skin rash and other buildup. Bath time should be fun for both you and baby. It’s a time for bonding where baby can kick and freely move around without the restriction of clothing. This is the ideal time to talk with your baby, sing songs and reinforce eye contact. What are some of your bath time hacks ?

Super Simple Green Smoothie

Being a new mom again has been a challenge to say the least. Five weeks after having my little one, I was down to 145lbs which is 7 pounds less than my pre-baby weight. Today (14 weeks postpartum) I am 153.8lbs. I am not happy!

While I am not a person who typically stresses over weight, I do want to look better in the clothes that I wear. During the pandemic, I did a lot of stress shopping (🙃) which means that there are lots of clothing options available that I am not able to fit in, this is the main reason why I need to get myself together! That coupled with my favorite season quickly approaching. My favorite gal pal and I decided that we would commit to a healthy lifestyle journey which includes exercising at least three times weekly, clean eating and fasting. This commences Monday, September 14th 2020.

To ensure that I am prepared, committed and have no excuse for failing during this journey, I went to the grocery store early this morning to stock up on healthy items. While unpacking I decided to make this super quick and easy green smoothie to get the day started.

Delicious, green and clean, this smoothie has everything you need to kickstart the day while fueling up to be productive. Try it and tag me in your post! If you are ready to journey with us, write in the comments and we can become your accountability partners.

Ingredients:

  • 1 ripe Banana
  • 1 green apple
  • 1/2 cup kale
  • 1 cup spinach
  • 1/4 cup Coconut Water
  • 1/4 cup Pineapple Juice

Chop all ingredients up and add to blender with a few cubes of ice. Blend until smooth. Garnish with pineapple slices. Enjoy!!!

How I saved money even during a pandemic

It’s no secret that this quarantine has caused us to spend more in certain areas such as groceries and takeout, deliveries, power bills, phone bills and maybe even internet, but with the quarantine also comes cut backs. No different from everyone else, I have had to come to the harsh reality that COVID has and will continue to disrupt a lot of my plans. For me though, while the news of things being rearranged is a difficult pill to swallow, I have to be happy about some of the benefits (mainly financial) that the quarantine has provided.

Here are 4 ways, I have contributed to the savings in my household during the quarantine (that also justifies some of my spending ):

1. Beauty (savings of $450 monthly) I’m no beauty specialist, nor am I the town’s hot girl, but there are certain things that are very Essential to me personally and professional and appearance is one of those things. From the $125 every two weeks to get my feet and hands done to the $45 bi-monthly for my daughter’s wash, treatment and style, weave installations and the replenishing of makeup as needed, we have saved over the last two months about a thousand dollars, simply by staying home and being quarantined. While this is certainly a celebration, my husband reminds me daily that when we are all clear, the first place I need to go is to the salon.

2.Maternity Wear ($500+) The quarantine period started in my sixth month of pregnancy. At that time, I had only put on three additional pounds and my baby belly barely showed. I was still wearing my regular clothes with the exception of some items. Due to COVID, I’ve had the privilege to ditch purchasing maternity wear with the exception of a few comfortable bras. If you’ve ever been pregnant, you know how expensive maternity clothing could get, so for us this was a huge win!

3. Coffee ($30 weekly) Have you ever really sat and think about the amount of money you spend on simple things like coffee? Neither have I, until now. If you know me, you know of my love for coffee. It’s another one of those essential items that I felt I couldn’t live without, or so I thought. Firstly, being pregnant has restricted caffeine intake (😫) but beyond that, once the lock down orders were issued, Starbucks was one of the first businesses to be effected. This resulted in me making a shift to decaf coffee made at home which is not quite the same. My mom suggested switching to teas while pregnant and trying out different flavors and I have to say, I think I’ve been converted! Mint Tea and lime is my morning and evening time favorite and I have grown to love and appreciate green tea. Oh to coffee again

4. Babymoon Cancellation ($3k+) I was so excited about my babymoon. Mainly because, with my first child I didn’t have the opportunity to do it and the idea of having one last hooray before baby’s arrival definitely sounded like something I needed. Two weeks after the lockdown orders were issued was our planned Island getaway. While we weren’t traveling out of the country, we booked an island hop to Cat Island with an exclusive villa on the beach. We would have had a concierge team to fill our villa daily, beach tours, couples massages and sunset dinners. While I’m super bummed that this trip had to be cancelled. I am happy that we were able to save these pennies so that once baby is here, we are able to go as planned or do something bigger, where I wouldn’t be limited to what I can or can not eat, I would be able to drink endless cups of champagne and dance until I’m weak. Where we would have spent our babymoon

Don’t get me wrong, while we have saved quite a bit during COVID, we have also had to spend. From the increased grocery bills to preparation of baby’s arrival inclusive of all the things we would have typically been gifted at our shower, to keeping the LO’s entertained, Amazon and local online businesses have been our best friends !


As for me, I believe in balance, while it’s important to save and make sure bills are paid, it’s equally important to enjoy the frivolous joys of life, like the mini shopping haul I did because I realized that my closet needed more shirts or the ridiculous amount of baby clothes that the child probably will be too big to wear or the face products that I will add to my collection of things I never use. If ever in doubt, remember all the areas where you saved and be as responsible as possible during this time. How have you saved during this pandemic? What things are you cutting back on?

My Birth Story

Kee The Mama Bee

We took these pictures a week before baby J’s arrival. With quarantine and everything else being cancelled, I DID NOT want to take any pictures that captured the memories of such a strange time. A friend of mines reminded me of the importance of marking the memory despite what is going on and I’m so glad I did.

My birth story:
Arriving four weeks before his time, while we were very prepared for Jordan’s arrival, we didn’t expect it to happen so quickly or the way it did. The day he arrived, was a typically day for us, brunch at home, hanging around the pool, helping my daughter with gymnastics and cooking fried fish and grits (in retrospect I’m so glad I had good food before labour).

Later on that evening I started feeling contractions but assumed they were Braxton Hicks as I had been experiencing them throughout the last trimester. Around 10:30 after going to bed earlier than usual I felt an unusual pain. I remember the pain like it was yesterday. I remember waking my husband up and saying “something strange is about to happen”.

Knowing that I wanted to labour at home for most of it, I told him not to worry let’s wait a little bit longer to see where it goes. By midnight, I was downstairs on the floor humped over in tears. It was time!

Baby Jordan

Navigating through the police with their lock down orders was honestly a breeze. Once they saw me leaning over on all fours, they knew not to ask much questions. By the time we got to the hospital, I felt like I was a few minutes away from meeting my maker. I remember the receptionist at the hospital asking for my documents and then asking me to fill out a COVID questionnaire which was followed by me on the floor screaming bloody murder! Did she not realize the pain I was experiencing ? 😫😫😫

Because of the time of the morning, the hospital was pretty empty (favor ) and the nurses allowed hubby to experience the delivery with me. Nurse Bethel became my bestie in that moment and her and G truly deserve humanitarian awards for putting up with me. Three hours, that seemed like a lifetime later, my son was born.

Even in a time of uncertainty, God allows us to experience new life and hope.

Free Game: Never Ask a Mom when She will have kids again!!

Kee The Mama Bee

Free Game Saturday: never ask a new mom when she’s having another baby!

Yes we love our bundles of joy, yes we are happy they are here, healthy and happy but postpartum is a VERY real thing. You’d think that after nine months of up and down and then the trauma of childbirth that the worst would be over, guess again. For some, postpartum is just as difficult. For me, this time around, it took a lot of adjusting. I don’t know if it’s because I was a “spring chicken” when I had my first child or because like everything else in 2020 -trash, but my postpartum experience was and still is a struggle. From hair loss (still shedding every day), to memory loss, and good ole hemorrhoids 😫😫😫 postpartum requires a lot!

HERE’S SOME TIP ON SURVIVING POSTPARTUM:

◦ Give your self grace to be tired, exhausted and not want to do anything, including cooking, cleaning or changing diapers. But make sure you have a plan (I.e order in, hire help etc)

◦ Rest, whether it’s just lounging around, taking a nap, or just reading a book, resting is the best way to survive postpartum

◦ Delegate, I am so thankful for my little family (my on staff team 😂😂) from helping with bathes, to emptying the diaper pale, we have created a routine where everyone helps in caring for the baby and the house. I really appreciate them for this

◦ Be prepared, on our bed head is a stack of pampers along with wipes and a bib for through the night feeding, we have a box of the same items downstairs and one in Adayas room, no matter where baby is there’s access to the essentials

◦ EAT. I can’t stress this enough, a hungry mama is not good for the baby or anyone! Always have your favorite snacks handy and ensure that you are not skipping any meals

◦ Connect with other moms going through similar experiences or who have recently gone through it. I’m so grateful for @the.mommyspot and the connections I’ve made

◦ Practice self care on a weekly basis, pencil out time to be alone. My faves are taking a bubble bath, enjoying a glass of wine, and spending time caring for my face with gentle skincare options .

What was your postpartum experience like? What things did you do to survive? Please tell me I’m not the only one who lost hair 😫😫😫