Thursday, February 26, 2015

#OurProject52: From Where I Stand

Now that my baby boy is entering toddlerhood I am always behind him. Usually I'm running behind him or getting him down from an unsafe place he has climbed to. He's constantly on the move these days. 

I love how is teddy trapper winter hat has an ear that's one thread away from falling off. I refuse to fix it because I like how he's destroyed it to a point where it's got that worn cute thing going for it. 

From where I stand the days seem long but I know the years will be fast so I try to embrace all the craziness that comes along with having children this young. He's growing up so fast so I don't mind being two steps behind him.

To join the #OurProject52 photo challenge visit Mimi or Lashawn's blog for weekly prompts.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

31 Before 32: Join a Pilates Class

I can barely write this post because my arms are so sore. Last night I had my first experience at a barre class. Have you heard about this? It's a mix of Pilates and barre work. Apparently, I'm late to this party because all of my friends knew about it. Why didn't anyone tell me?!

Pure Baree San Antonio

First of all, the studio was super cute. It was clean and bright. The traffic around the location was a bit crazy but I did go to class during rush hour so there's not much that can be done about. I'd happily leave my house a few minutes early if it means I can feel this good.

Secondly, class started on time. I love it when things are on time. The instructor was very motivating without being over the top. She kept class going at a steady speed. I could hear her praising people and giving words of encouragement all throughout class. She even praised me a couple times! I liked how the instructor walked around and corrected your form if something was off. During the cool down she helped me with one of my stretches and I think that's what sealed the deal for me.

So, I'm not going to sugar coat it. This workout worked me all the way out. I would have to say that every part of it was challenging. I workout three times a week at the gym and this was by far better than anything I've done in a while. The barre work that we did for our thighs was tough. There were times when my legs were actually shaking and I could feel my muscles contracting. My abs feel stronger than they did before class and I can definitely feel my workout in my "seat".

If you are someone who likes a crazy good challenging workout Pure Barre is for you. I personally like workouts like this. I like the way my body feels when it has muscle shock. That lets me know something is working and I can step my game up. The fact that I actually made it through class without passing out is amazing. I'm stronger than I thought.

I'll be returning for more classes. Even though I've only been to one class I think I'm hooked. I kind of want to go back Thursday but Savannah has soccer so I'll go back for another class next week. I'll be sitting down this week and picking a class pack to purchase.

If you're in San Antonio I highly recommend Pure Barre San Antonio for an efficient all over body workout. All it takes is fifty-five minutes and you'll feel a difference in your body. I'm so glad I gave this a shot. Now I can check "join a Pilates class" off m'list!

Have you heard about or tried a class like this? What's your favorite workout right now?

*This review is not sponsored. I paid for my own class. I'm sharing because it was awesome! :-)

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Black Girls Matter

Yesterday while we were out running errands we stopped in WalMart to pick up a Barbie for Savannah's friend who will be celebrating her birthday this weekend. Once we arrived at the Barbie aisle I quickly began scanning the merchandise for the newly released Super Princess Power Barbie.

After finding her I looked to the left and right (as black moms do to find the doll with a little melanin) to find that either I was looking in the wrong place (giving the benefit of the doubt), or perhaps Super Power Barbie was only released in the "blond version" as my daughter put it.

This hit me pretty hard. Here I am in the Barbie aisle of a major retailer in a major US city standing in front of a display of dolls that look nothing like this country or the city that I live in. I was equally as frustrated at the lack of hispanic dolls. After all, we do live in San Antonio where the number of Hispanic little girls far out weighs the number of African American girls.

So, is this our reality? I talked to a few friends about my disappointment yesterday. We agreed that reaching out to the company about this issue would probably fall on deaf ears but that it wouldn't hurt to try. I decided that tweeting the company to ask for a release date of an African American Super Power Barbie would be a nice way of saying, "When is black Super Power Barbie coming out?". Crickets. I haven't heard anything back from them. Not yet anyway.

I hesitated to blog about our experience yesterday because I didn't want to sound like another black woman bringing up race and the young black girl's struggle to feel beautiful.

But then I woke up this morning to see Guiliana Rancic's comments on Zendaya's faux locs she wore to the Oscars...

Zendaya looked beautiful. Gorgeous. Radiant. The fact that Guiliana made that comment doesn't surprise me at all. It just further confirms why yesterday on the Barbie aisle was so important. People in the media will continue to make jokes at the expense of a young black girl's self-esteem. Because of this, I must be diligent in my efforts as a mother to constantly surround my daughter with positive images and symbols of black beauty. Sadly, Super Power Barbie isn't one of them.

From now on I have chosen not to support any doll that does not represent the beauty that is black. We had a tough family conversation last night about how important it is for Savannah to see herself in the dolls that she plays with. Children do not see color and that's a good thing. However, as a Mom who wants my daughter to understand at an early age that she is important enough to have dolls made that look like her, I will no longer be purchasing dolls that do not.

If Guiliana Rancic can get on a  major television network and make horrible comments about a young girl then I can make the decision to no longer give my money to companies that do not think enough of my daughter to give her a Super Power or career. Because let's face it, Barbie doesn't always give us jobs either.

All little girls are super. Zendaya's hair was lovely. Stand up for something and let your daughter's see you embracing their culture and who they are. They look to us first. If we are okay with settling they will be to. I have never been one to settle for anything and I do not plan to start now.

What are your thoughts on Guiliana's comments on Fashion Police? How do you approach the topic of race at home?

Monday, February 23, 2015

31 Before 32: Bible Study & Journals

Remember my post about 31 things I wanted to do before turning 32? Well, I'm checking things off the list. I had an Amazon gift card to use and I decided to get my bible study resources and a journal with it.

It took me a while to decide on which books I wanted to use. After visiting the Family Christian store in my neighborhood I decided that Amazon would probably have a bigger selection of workbooks. I was wrong. After I purchased my items I ended up finding a christian bookstore website that had tons of stuff. Tons. I'll buy from them the next time I'm ready to get more resources.

I'm always shocked when Amazon doesn't have something or doesn't have a wide selection of something. Anyway. Here are the books that I got.

bible study resources for women

I really love how the devotional guide is broken down by the week and also by the day. The workbook I chose was the best that I found while I was looking. I wish the devotional book I chose had a workbook. This workbook is pretty good, it just doesn't follow the devotional, which is what I wanted. 

The Husband Project is a book that caught my eye while I was in the Family Christian store. I'm not going to say much about it because my husband reads my blog. Look it up.

 Journaling was also a part of my 31 before 32. I ordered the little red journal through Amazon. It's so small. I'm not sure if I like the size of it but I am a fan of the red leather so maybe I'll keep this one in my purse for fleeting thoughts while I'm on the go.

The silver and gold journal is one I found while strolling the aisles of WalMart. There were so many pretty covers. I went with this one because it was the most grown up looking journal out of all of them.

journal diary for women

I've been reading Andy Cohen's diary from 2014 and it has inspired me to write my journal in that way. Instead of making it a deep journal about my feelings I think I'll write about the surface stuff that I'll want to remember years from now. Do I really want to remember every single emotion from this year? No. But I do want to remember what happened to encourage that emotion. 

So. I'm checking these two things off m'list! On second thought, I'll check the journals off my list. I'll check the bible study off when I'm done with it next year. :-) (blogs should have emoji)

31 things to do before turning 32

Have you checked anything off of your list for 2015 yet?

Thursday, February 19, 2015

#OurProject52: Love/Heart

I am not a big Valentine's Day person. My husband normally tries to sneak in a gift for me during my birthday celebration the week before. This year was no different. I originally wanted to photo what he got me this year. I procrastinated too much and my roses died. The kids have been playing with my bear and his neck is literally about to fall off. Poor fella.

Yesterday after school Savannah was eating one of the many heart shaped lollipops she received. It looked like the perfect photo op so I reached for my iPhone.

I am loving the camera on this thing. Between how awesome the camera is and the amazing photo apps I learned about during an instagram class my pics have been getting better. Or at least I think they have. 

Are you a big Valentine's Day person?

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Lent 2015

This year, for the first time, I plan to give up something for Lent. As I was thinking about the Lent season and the upcoming Easter season (it's already Easter at the Dollar Tree btw) I thought about where we were this time last year.

This time last year we had a church that we attended regularly and  I felt more on track with my journey as a Christian. Somewhere between Little Mike's nap time crying spells and Big Mike's new work schedule we fell off track. I started watching church online or on tv. Neither one of those church going options is really for me.

Lent 2015

I like being in an actual church. Now that Little Mike has been weaned from nursing and has almost all of his teeth I'm looking forward to making it through a service without getting tapped by an usher. All of that is what brings me to where I am now. I want to "give up" something and really focus on setting time aside to read, listen and connect with God.

For this Lent season I'll be giving up wine and soda. That's going to be rough. I am a recovering soda addict and I love wine so it will probably be a tough forty days. Also, in the spirit of getting aligned I am going to "take up" home organization. I really need to find an organization system for toys and all the clutter that collects at the front door. Our desk could use a little love too. 

By Easter I expect to be less bloated and more organized. Are you giving up or taking up anything for Lent this year?

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Weekend Recap: 2/17/2015

Nothing too much to say about this weekend. I attempted to rest and failed. On Monday we took Little Mike to the barbershop for his first visit. Our plan was to take him so that he could get use to the barbershop and meet his barber.

He had a blast running around. The barbershop wasn't open so it was a great time to take him. We sat him up in the chair and he seemed okay. Once he heard the clippers he began to cry. I decided to play some his favorite songs on my phone and that seemed to settle him down.

Since he did so well we decided to go ahead and get his haircut. He looks like a big boy now! I'm missing his hair and can't wait for it to grow back. He'll get it cut again but I don't think it'll be this low.

This was pretty much the highlight of my weekend. We did a little shopping and I'm expecting somethings in the mail soon. I'm thinking of sharing that haul with you on YouTube, we'll see. My computer issues will hopefully be resolved by then. 

I can't save one. more. thing. to this hard drive, sigh.

And the blogging app I use on my phone is distorting my photos, double sigh.

How was your weekend?

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Thought Bubbles...

It is Valentine's Day...

For the past week or so I have been super sleepy. Unusually drowsy...

Which is weird because I have been getting more sleep than I have in twenty months...

I didn't watch the Grammy's but I heard Bey's album lost Album of the Year. Tragic...

I'm still riding to that album like its brand new...

My bestie introduced me to highlighter powder and I'm loving it...

I recommend MAC's Global Glow or Gold Deposit. YouTube it...

Oh. And that Mary Kay skincare routine has my skin looking real nice...

Now that my braids have gotten a bit older I am loving them...

box braids

My laundry situation is out of control. I'm constantly washing, drying & folding...

Soccer practice starts this week. I'm kind of excited and kind of already over the thought of having something extra to be prepared for...

Savannah will be on a new team this season. I'm actually going to miss the parents on her old team...

Why does it take forever for the oven to preheat when you're in a rush...

My Mom is the best...

I found a killer treadmill workout on Pinterest. Summer bodies are made in the winter...

Whenever the oven decides to preheat I'll be making "lunch" for my husband...

He's gotta work tonight...

I'm on the hunt for a bible study workbook and a pretty journal...

I also need to start looking for some new flat sandals...

I am convinced that there are things that only my BFF understands about me...

My birthday roses are starting to die...

We got a new microwave and I didn't realize how bad our old one was until now...

The songs on Empire are so dang catchy. Drip drop drip drippidy drop...

You can keep your money. (I don't want it) If you're gonna throw it in my face...

Still not gonna download them though...

Thought about painting my nails tonight but I'll probably fall asleep reading Andy Cohen....

Friday, February 13, 2015

A Day in the Life of a Stay at Home Mom

You know how you have those super productive days where you get so much done? And then you have those days where you get a lot done but at the end of the day you can't remember what you did. And then there are the days where you have no idea what happened. Those days are kind of like a twenty-four hour blur.

Well, yesterday I decided to keep a journal of what we did. I wanted to see what we had done at the end of the day. Here is a random Thursday in my life. There were pretty pictures to accompany this post but my computer is still a hot mess, so....

Thursday, February 12, 2015

6:30 - Wake Up. Scrolled through IG & email. Shower, brush teeth, skincare regimen.
7:06 - Little Mike wakes up. Diaper change. I put on our clothes.
7:11 - Turn on Sav's lights.
7:14 - Sav is up. I'm still getting Little Mike dressed.
7:18 - Get Sav dressed. We're running behind schedule.
7:25 - Style Sav's hair.
7:34 - Go downstairs.
7:35 - Make breakfast and give allergy medicine to Sav.
7:36 - Play morning music.
7:54 - Bundle up and prepare to leave the house for school drop off.
8:02 - Brother called.
8:06 - Preschool drop off. I forgot her Valentine's Day swap book. Gotta go home, get it and bring it back.
8:16 - Prepare dinner in crock pot.
8:25 - Do makeup.
8:50 - Diaper change.
8:58 - Drop book off at school.
9:05 - Respond to husband's text. Head to MOPS meeting.
9:27 - Finally sitting at table. Little Mike cried at nursery drop off. MOPS breakfast begins.
9:40 - Console Little Mike at nursery.
9:45 - Eat breakfast. Meeting starts. Return Little Mike to nursery.
10:15 - Nursery pages me again. I keep him because he's so upset.
11:24 - MOPS is over. Head home to regroup. I need headache medicine.
11:30 - Diaper change.
11:33 - Check crock pot. Sweep kitchen. Clean countertops and table.
11:46 - Head to preschool for pickup.
11:55 - Got Sav. Headed to Dollar Tree for VDay card supplies.
12:26 - Done at Dollar Tree. Going to grab lunch.
12:30 - MJB's Real Love comes on the radio. I get my life real quick.
12:45 - Sit down to eat at CFA. I got the Asian salad.
1:11 - Made a wish. Sav goes to the potty before we get in the car. Next stop is Starbucks for gift cards.
1:15 - Sitting in Starbucks drive thru. Switched from radio to Brandy's Never Say Never album.
1:20 - Finished at Starbucks and headed to PX because SB did not have any VDay envelopes for their cards. Should've gotten some at Dollar Tree.
1:36 - Arrived at PX.
2:18 - Back in car going to grocery store.
2:42 - Finally headed home. :-)
2:46 - Home. Unloading everything and everybody.
2:54 - Diaper change. Outfit change for everyone except Sav.
3:06 - Uploaded pic for blog post.
3:21 - Blog post done. Heading outside to fly a kite.
3:44 - Decided to head to the playground for a bit.
4:06 - Starting the sides for dinner.
4:11 - Responded to a FB message from a friend.
4:21 - Started Valentine's Day cards. Husband gets home.
5:30 - Ate dinner.
6:15 - Went to gym for a quick workout.
7:00 - Headed home to tuck in babies.
7:13 - The kids are in bed. Time to shower.
7:35 - Called my Mom. Put on PJs. Separated Laundry.
8:00 - Started load of laundry. Folded towels and clothes.
8:23 - Scandal and HTGAWM w/ husband.
10:13 - Sleep
6:16 - Woke up before alarm...

Thursday, February 12, 2015

#OurProject52: Eyes

My eyes have been busy reading lately. I got this Andy Cohen's latest book for my birthday and I'm loving it. I'm currently reading several different books right now but his is my favorite. It's a page turner.
Andy Cohen book
taken with my iPhone6. Chrome filter.

I am a huge fan of his show. The book reads like an extended version of WWHL. This book is like his reality show. I'm also reading The Modern Girl's Guide to Bible Study, THP and a parenting book (It's a long title - can't remember the name but it's been eye opening. I'll share it in a Thought Bubbles post this weekend). 

If you would like to link up with Our Project 52 visit Lipgloss & Binky or Everyday Eyecandy for more info.

What have your eyes been watching or reading lately?

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Birthday Part Two: Date Night

Ugh. My computer has run out of memory and has been tripping. I apologize for the infrequency of posts but I hope to have my little situation resolved soon. Jesus be a terabyte.

Anyway. My birthday celebration continued on Saturday. My Mom and I (with the kids) went shopping during the day. We had a blast. I don't get girlfriend time like that often and I thoroughly enjoyed going from store to store and out to lunch. There's something about beautiful weather, a clean car with a full tank of gas and time out and about that makes me happy.

After shoe shopping the day away we headed back home. I opened all of my gifts before getting ready for our night out. Savannah and Little Mike gave me a card with a single one dollar bill in it, so sweet.

Since I didn't know exactly what my husband had planned for the evening I decided to wear a tuxedo blouse that I scored on sale years ago from Black House White Market. I paired it with some leather leggings and some of those strappy lace up booties that are in style right now.

Faux leather leggings outfit inspiration

We started off at dinner. I had been wanting to try out a japanese restaurant here so we headed there first. The food was okay and the service was slow. Luckily, my date was handsome and full of fun conversation.

Our next stop was to the SoHo Wine & Martini bar. There aren't enough good things to say about that place. There was live music, attentive and talented bartenders and pretty drinks. The drink below tasted just like a spiked Oreo cookie, yum!

SoHo Wine and Martini Bar San Antonio

I also really liked their mojito and the chocolate strawberry shortcake martini. I would go back there in a heartbeat. We ended the night dancing at a riverwalk hotspot before grabbing cake and more drinks at another popular place downtown. 

I had so much fun. I'm looking forward to our next adventure out. We already have a couple places in mind that we want to visit.

Happy Birthday to me. Cheers to 31!

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Birthday Part One: Chuck E. Cheese

The weekend is over and I'm 31. It was a blast. I can't wait to share more about my birthday weekend with you. We got things started on Friday with a little family fun at Chuck E. Cheese. Savannah said she wanted to throw me a party so after school we headed to Chuck E. Cheese for lunch.

We played games, learned how to Do the Chuck E. and ate pizza. Here is Savannah (with a brief Little Mike cameo) going through the new dance. She was so cute!

CEC is one of our favorite places to hit up during the week. You get so much access to Chuck and all the fun. It was the perfect way to kick off my birthday weekend. 

It was so sweet of her to "throw" me a party. If you're looking for something fun to do with your kiddos during the week remember Chuck E. Cheese is an awesome choice. Has your child tried to Do the Chuck E.? 

Thursday, February 5, 2015

#OurProject52: Motion

Savannah has gotten into the habit of asking to be photographed before school in the morning. This is funny to me because she never stands still for a picture. Lately she's gotten into picking out her own clothes for school. I think that's the reason behind her sudden interest in being photographed.

She is the perfect subject for this week's theme of motion. The girl is hardly ever still when a camera is in front of her. In the above pic she kept dropping her leg up and down. In the pic below she was doing twirls while holding a basketball.

If you want to join the #OurProject52 photo challenge please visit Mimi at Lipgloss & Binky or Lashawn at Everyday Eyecandy

Monday, February 2, 2015

Chic Mom Style: Leather Leggings

A while back I did a post about Fall Fashion that included some of my fashion staples. One of the items included in that post was faux leather leggings. I could never quite bring myself to take the plunge and buy them. Mainly because I was afraid that they would look more like pleather and less like faux leather.

There is a big difference between the two.

leather legging pants outfit inspiration

I am drawn to them because they can be dressed up or down. You can go from day to night in these by changing your shoes and accessories and I love that. Not that my life requires me to go from day to night on a whim BUT  if it did these would be the perfect pants for that.

Olivia Palermo outfit inspiration leather leggings

Olivia Palermo! by cheymbabe featuring a leather trousers

Yesterday I received an early birthday present in the mail from one of my favorite stores. After doing a bit of looking around online I see that their faux leather leggings have great reviews. Today I'm going to finally take my butt to the actual mall (I shop online) and try on these pants. 

I have so many plans for them thanks to Pinterest. Visions of outfits are dancing in my head and I am beyond excited. I think I'll wear them for my birthday this weekend if the fit is as good as I expect it to be. Have you tried the faux leather legging trend?

31 Things To Do Before 32

This time last year I was preparing for my 30th birthday and a trip to Vegas. I'll be 31 on Saturday and I cannot help but think about where I was last year. I remember being so excited about entering my 30s. Now that I'm entering the 31st chapter of my personal book I can say that everything I was told about 30 was true.

31 Things to do Before 32

I feel more confident and inspired. I'm more open to the idea of new things. During my Flirty30 I accepted a lot of things that I resisted in my 20s. I decided to be more fearless and positive. Last year I experienced a freedom of peace knowing that I cannot always control everything. I spent my entire 20s trying to be in control and I plan to spend all of my 30s letting go.

In the blog world I saw many people doing the 30 Before 30 challenge. I thought it would be fun to give myself a list of things to experience this year. I'll call it my 31 Before 32. My goal here was to keep my list realistic and fun. You won't see any international trips for my family of four but you will see some little things that would make all the difference to me.

List of 31 things to do Before 32

I love Birthdays because they are like your own personal New Year. (that's kind of exactly what they are actually...) I'm looking forward to completing the things on this list. Who knows, if I finish this with time to spare I might make another list. I have always wanted to become fluent in another language and I forgot to add my personal training certification to this list too. 

What do you think of this list? Have you tried one of these challenges? What would be on your list?

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Thought Bubbles...

I completely forgot that my daughter needed a bandana for school until this morning...

It's Rodeo week at her school...

John Legend will be performing at the Rodeo this year. Let that sink in for a second...

Love his music. Wish he was performing on a day I could go. I'm going to work on that...

I found out about a barre class. Barre is a fusion of ballet and pilates. Can't wait...

I can't believe our Vegas trip was a year ago. I want to go back...

Las Vegas strip

The view from our room was perfect...

Today is hair day for Savannah. I finally found authentic Jamaican Black Castor Oil for her hair...

I ordered Andy Cohen's latest book. Looking forward to reading it. I think he's funny...

The baby keeps pulling on my braids...

Empire has turned out to be a good show. It's right up there with Scandal...

Nothing beats HTGAWM though. It's the best...

I'm still trying to think of the perfect vacation spot for us. Disney would be nice but...

I would love to have the couple from Fixer Upper or Jeff Lewis from Flipping Out design a home for us when we're ready to buy...

I better start saving my money or play the lottery...

This big boy melts me heart when he sleeps...

I'm not excited for the Super Bowl or the halftime show...

A glimpse of Lenny Kravitz isn't enough for me to sit through the game...

I wish Missy Elliott was the headliner. Or Lenny. Then I'd watch...

My husband is keeping the plans for my birthday a surprise. He said to dress comfortable but sexy...

Spoken like a true man...

I'm thinking a jumpsuit might work...

What's been on your mind lately? Share something random with me...