Who are you?

WHO ARE YOU?: Are you who you are because someone told you who you are? Or are you who you are, because somebody told you who they think you should be? Do you blow wherever the wind blows? Or do you follow your own sound? Tough questions-but let’s dig deep. Grab your popcorn and let’s get into it.

There is something to be said: about an individual who is always flipping the switch. I mean flip to the flop. Every time you turn around you got a new agenda, a new act, a new attitude, a new person popping up that I now have to try and identify. Well, sweetheart, due to the many switch  ups my specs are now foggy…because I have no idea who you are. I’m not sure if it’s clear on how annoying and what a turn off this could be -correction-a turn OFF it is. This could lead to destruction real fast. In your home, at work, in your circle. I could imagine this being hard on your husband or best friend-because there is no awareness-no self awareness. It pretty much gets to the point where if someone told you “Hey, you know what- you look like you could be a good sword swallower… (you know those people that rear back and stick a gut wrenching sword down their throat for an applause?) Yea, that. Anyway, now here you go YouTube Channel searching “how to become a sword swallower, fast!” I mean…really? Neglecting the entire fact that there is a whole talent inside of you that you are afraid to embark on because you are scared of the commitment, scared of the sacrifice. So, you allow people to put you in a box-and now your’re stuck in the box , and not able to be or explore your truth because you settled for the box life. Not really digesting that it’s really all for “title” that paycheck won’t be a drastic change-you will still be trying to figure it all out 6 months down the road. In the words of Ciara “LEVEL UP” Listen to your sound, and only your sound. Walk your own path. I’m pretty sure that would be much more fulfilling.

Self Satisfactory:  It’s time to satisfy yourself. Feed yourself what you need to survive in your life. Key word is YOUR. Satisfying yourself comes with believing in yourself first-and understanding you, and what you are capable of and how far you will go to allow yourself to be who you need and want to be. Not settling because it’s easier. Playing it safe is not the goal here-and probably really boring. If you are not willing to take the risk for yourself-stop complaining about the struggle. Stop dreaming of another life that you won’t have because you like living in a box (mentally) Your dreams, your thoughts do not work themselves-they don’t manifest on their own. That part is totally up to you.

Thanks for reading ♥

Posted by: Ivy B.

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Favorite Curly Hair Products

July 14th 2018: made my 1 year anniversary since I big chopped mt hair for the second time around. Celebrating a victory here ya’ll. I absolutely loved when I started over-I needed it. And my hair needed it. But I must say after the first nine months I was ready for my hair to grow back out. Taking care of my hair has been my first priority. Learning all that I have about my hair/and what I am still learning has been a process. Today, I wanted to share with you some of my favorite curly hair products that my hair has been loving.

Dax for Naturals Protein  Treatment: I absolutely cannot get enough of this product. This is a go to for me when I have had my hair in a protective style. This product comes through when my hair needs some extra attention, rejuvenation and moisture. I like to section my hair into four parts and then sub-section and apply the product. This way it allows me to make sure I apply the product evenly to my hair. My hair is super soft after rinsing out the product.

dax

Eco Styler hair gel is my jam: This gel helps me achieve a sleek low bun or my favorite finger coils. This is my go to gel and a staple product since I’ve been natural from the start. I am constantly reaching for this gel-it gives me the hold I’m looking for – I haven’t found another gel like it. However, this gel does clash with a lot of other products- If I apply a styler prior to the gel or a cream leave in-I get that white residue in my hair that completely messes up my entire hair style, so I find it best to use this product solo or with a spray liquid leave in-that way it doesn’t clash. Eco Styler has many different ones in this line-but I have two favorites that I rotate in between.

falxolive

Speaking of leave in conditioner: I am loving Carol’s Daughter Black Vanilla Leave In. This one is a great example of a liquid leave in that I mentioned in the section above. It smells amazing, it’s light weight, and is also great used as a curl re-fresher. This is another staple and a continuous repurchase.

cd

Now for the most important product:-That would be the deep conditioner. Eden Body works deep conditioner hair mask are at the top of my list these days. Not only am I pleased with my tresses after I have rinsed the product out-but I find myself swooning over what the product is doing to my curls while I am combing through it. You can actually see how the product is performing right at the application. They work well at detangling also. Which is a plus! These deep conditioners work so well I hate rinsing them out because the definition they give my curls is on point.

edenalmond

That’s it! All of the products I mentioned stay in my hair care regimen rotation. I hope this post helped you fellow natualista’s out  there who are looking for staple products. **Disclaimer**: Remember all of our curls are uniquely different-and what works for my hair may not work for yours. I just like to share with you all my go to’s and recommendations. All products mentioned can be found at Target, Sally’s Beauty Supply, and Wal-Mart.

 

Thank you for reading ♥

Posted by: Ivy B

 

 

What kind of Mom would your kids say you are?

The Role: The questions

I always question this….well, not always more like from time to time.  Being a parent= taking on the role of a provider, teacher, nurse, counselor, confidant, etc. it’s all overwhelming, and making sure I am all of this and more-without a question. There are times where I am sitting back asking myself ” Did I give the right advice”? “Did I say that right”? “Was that the correct punishment”? That’s all up in my head floating around like alphabet soup. I think it is important the way our children receive information from us. And it’s also up to us to make it clear our teachings exactly. For example: chastising them-I am always making sure after the punishment has been given I sit them down, and ask if they understood why they are in trouble , and I have them repeat back to me what I said. I just want them to have a clear understanding that I am not fussing for no reason, and  that I am not handing down punishment for fun. You know that saying “This is hurting me more than it hurts you” I never understood that as a child. Like how is taking something away from me (putting me on restriction) etc. hurting you? It’s me who is being punished here. But I totally get it now. It truly hurts my heart to have to take something away from my kids that I know they love. I explain to them that there is a lesson in everything. And I am doing this because I want them to LISTEN AND LEARN!

 

Am I coming in clear: Seriously, can you hear me?

Not that the 1st time, or 2nd time worked completely because I find myself scratching my head thinking……Didn’t we just go over this. Also, remembering that with parenting comes trial and error-and we have to go with what works and often times switch things up. I hardly let things slide-but there are small moments , and I mean small- where they can depend on a talk coming later, when I just can’t deal at the moment- I do remind my kids to not underestimate me… I won’t forget! I would hope my kids would say their father and I teach them well. That we give instructions and if they don’t follow through-that we stand our ground and that we don’t let them get away with anything. I hope they would say we are loving, caring, selfless, and have an unconditional heart. I hope they would say we want them to be the BEST they can be. Even when there are times Mom is screaming at the top of her lungs!

What would your kids say?

 

Thank you for reading ♥

Posted by: Ivy B.

 

 

 

 

Muva

You are MUVA: with some other stuff mixed up in there too

I feel like I am just now realizing there are other parts to me. I am a mother, and absolutely grateful for it- but I feel like somewhere I get lost in forgetting that I am much more than that.

Although, being a mom is a natural stone in our life. Sometimes I feel like we get so caught up in our mothering that we forget there is someone else inside of us that has a voice, we have a say in our life, we have goals, dreams. It’s so funny how we can post up our rod to let our children know ” we ain’t playing” and that “we mean business” But why is it that we don’t post up our rod and have that ” we ain’t playing attitude when it comes to conquering our personal. Yes, that was a Rhetorical question. I’m not so sure we know. Sure, we can make the excuse of how busy we are with work, kids in school , extracurricular activities….blah, blah, blah. But does it every dawn on us that Mom’s need to be happy too? Think about how good it feels to make a check list…you know the list-the “Things to do list” That has everything to do with household items needed to , the re-up on school supplies, to the dry cleaner run, to calling up your lawn care guy for a nice fresh yard cut, to new tuber ware, changing out the throw pillows because the season is changing. Think about if we made a list for ourselves… yes, a list for us…let’s call it ” (MY) TO DO LIST. This list would be made up of all the things we need to get to…things such as making a long over due hair trim appointment, taking that hot yoga class your neighbor raves about, picking up that book you have been meaning to get for the past six months, calling the girls up for a much needed lunch. Or finally getting around to working on that project you so quickly put on hold because you felt like there was absolutely no time. Think about how good it would feel to check off what you placed on YOUR list?!

 

Say what, self? I can’t hear you over all this noise:

We can get so use to hearing all the familiar noise around us -that we forget to pay attention to the most powerful sound-and that’s our voice. What we feel, and what you  say to yourself is so important-it’s that voice we hear when we feel like the walls are closing in, it’s that voice we hear when we are trying so hard to get to sleep at night-so exhausted + counting  on our fingers how many hours of sleep we are going to get that night. Praying the numbers on the clock move like molasses. That brings me to this….I find that one of the best exercises we can do is -meditate. Meditating helps us exercise our brain. It allows us to shut down the noise around us and get in tune with what’s going on in our minds, our body, and our soul. I know that sounds corny to some-but it’s true.  Try it! After the kids have gone to bed, and you are settling down take about 30 mins to shut down and concentrate -close your eyes , and allow your mind to relax. I have an oil diffuser I like to use -placing a few drops of my choice of scent. Set a timer if you need to, and meditate away. The key is to stay consistent- you’ll see results that way. Now, I have slipped off some myself-but I am getting back on track. You see giving to our self is giving to others. Our mind needs to be healthy and whole in order to give what we want to receive. I hope I was able to motivate someone today to listen to yourself, and through all the chaos make time for you.

 

Thank you for reading ♥

Posted by: Ivy B.

 

 

 

5 items every Mom should have in her closet

It’s easy to maneuver when you are comfortable. For me anyway…. but when it’s time to actually get dressed-because you need to show up looking presentable. These are the top 5 items you should have in the closet to make your workout/ errands ensemble  transform into  “I really put thought into my fit today” These items I feel you can’t got wrong with.

Let’s start with your base-and work from there. Which would be an item that converts. Meaning you can wear it in the winter, spring, summer, or fall. With either boots, sandals, or heels, and even a pair of sneakers. That item would be… a dress. A simple one, so you can dress it up or dress it down. Maybe a nice solid color so it’s easy to mix + match. Something loose fitting,  flowing  -something on the comfortable side.

dress2dress

 

Next item would be a jacket. A denim one I prefer -because denim can pretty much bring any fit to life, and be dressed up or down. You can still rock it in the warmer months also, Especially at night. You can throw your denim jacket over your convertible dress for a nice relaxed look. Whether it’s a fitted one, or over sized. It’s all about preference.

denim jdistressed

Now, on to shoes. Today we are going to talk about a nice pair of heels. Just for the fun of it. Heading out for dinner with the hubby and kids, or a girls night out. You can’t go wrong with a nice pair of heels that you are sure you won’t break your neck in! Your heels will definitely dress your fit up major. Obvi right! I’m not a heel freak-but I like to have a pair in my closet when I’m ready to stand tall! lol… The fun in having a convertible dress is the fact you can switch out your shoes. From a heel, to a sneaker, to a boot. Depending on the season or occasion.

fringeheels 2

On to the bag. Depending on the type of carrier you are- depends on the bag you will want to carry to compliment your fit. Also, depending on where you are going. With the kids, I sometimes prefer carrying a bigger bag because I am always throwing something in there…”Mom, can you hold this?” But if it’s a girls night I prefer a shoulder bag , that I can use as a cross body, or satchel. So, I can have free hands to drink my wine…lol j/k (no I’m not)  I really don’t have a need for a bigger bag on a girls night, because I like to carry as minimal as possible…a small wallet, my phone, and whatever I am wearing on my lips that night to touch them up throughout the night.

mcmtory burch

Which brings me to the last item… I mean this wouldn’t be in your closet-so we can call this one a bonus…and that would be a banging lip gloss. It’s imperative we keep our lips moisturized/hydrated or glossed up. The last thing you want are some crusty lips…because-well it’s just not lady like, DUH!  Either a nice clear gloss topper over a lipstick you are wearing, or one with pigment. Again, it’s about preference.

mac lip glosscolourpop

That’s it y’all. What items are included in your top five? Be sure you guys subscribe to the blog-so you are not missing out on any post.

Thanks for reading ♥

Posted by: Ivy B.

Self Care

The way we take care of ourselves in result is the outcome of how we will go about our day to day.  How productive we are, and how we treat others around us. Did you know that self care can boost your immune system? Yep! Getting lots of rest, taking your vitamins/supplements,  staying active,  taking hot baths, meditating.  All of these play a factor in maintaining a healthier you. Our bodies all need to reset + restore. All of this sounds like I walk a good walk right?! Truth is I ‘m a work in progress myself. I have not come close to mastering all off the check list. I would be a terrible liar/blogger if I came on here to tell you how I have it all together and my self care is on point + all my ducks are lined up perfectly. That’s BS! And you could smell that from a mile away. Truth is- I’m not here to tell you the perfect way to keep your life in order-because I mean come on-we know only Unicorns have their lives completely together! LOL. I honestly feel like the walls are closing in and most of the time I feel like crap-because being a Mommy with a busy schedule – I am always cramming crap in my mouth that is left over snacks from what the kids are eating or (NOT eating very much at all, like skipping meals)-chugging coffee to stay alert. Going to bed super late, getting a half nights of sleep. All this leads me to terrible headaches, grumpiness, and irritability.  After much annoyance with myself. I put my foot down and said “enough is enough” I am important + I have to take care of myself in order to take care of my loved ones. You guys know as well as I do -being a mommy+ wife we wear many hats-hats we didn’t even know we had. Now that I have had this epiphany , I want to share with you what I am doing now for self care. No, this is NOT  a New Year resolution (I hate those) I am just AWAKE now!

  1. Skin Care: I have been struggling to find the perfect skincare routine that works for me. Is this a part of self care you ask? Absolutely- We have to take care of our outer appearance just as well as the inner. First thing I did was grab + stick. What does that mean? Grab whatever product I’m interested in using at the time and stick with it. Naturally, we expect things to start working over night or see a HUGE difference in a few days. But that’s clearly not the case-I’ve learned to do my research on the product and make sure it’s in line with whatever the issue is I’m dealing with at the time. After using so many different products-using a minimal amount + tossing it. I got tired of spending money and watching it waste. So, after research + recommendations I am currently sticking to this skin care routine so far. I haven’t seen dramatic changes as of yet- nor have I had harmful changes.  I have purchased some new skin care items and gadgets that I will soon rant about after I have used them enough to give a review on. It’s safe to say  I may have a nice + easy skin care routine in place. However, we all know what the culprit is…moving on to #2.
  2. Diet: This should probably be #1, due to what we put in our body shows up in our outer appearance- but I’m going in order of how I got it together. So, when I grocery shop I always focus on the obvious of what the kids like , and what they request for their lunches for school-which are not bad things-they are just more “kid friendly snacks” After depositing the groceries on the kitchen counter-I realize there is nothing for me. Let me go back…I’m not feeding my kids crap, but I allow them to be CHILDREN and enjoy what they like to eat in moderation. I don’t think this is going to kill them. Ok, moving on… I have started implementing a salad a day in my diet. I have always been a water drinker-so that’s not a problem. But I have been drinking more of it. For snacks- I have made the choice for fruit instead of crackers, or something sweet. I have added more veggies to my meals for dinner-which is huge for me because I am not a consistent veggie eater. I am getting better with trying to eat “meals” actually eating breakfast, lunch + dinner. Truth is I have to get up really early and my body just doesn’t want to eat that early. So, by the time I attempt to eat breakfast-it’s really lunch. I’m working on it. Since my switch I can definitely tell a difference, and I am proud of the change, and the will to want to do better.
  3. Staying Active: Thiiiiiiis was a complete struggle for me. After work everyday I would be beat…so sleepy + tired I literally could not keep my eyes open ( I mean miserable). After I’m off work the kids are in route home from school and there is no quitting time. I have too much to do. Depending on the day the kids have activities they are involved in , and with my husband working I am the DD and I can’t fall asleep at the wheel. LOL. After being so annoyed with myself. I had to figure out something to do in between me getting off work + the kids coming home. An activity that I could do in the small window between me getting home and before the kids storm in with homework and a million stories about their day. BOOM! It hit me…. YOUTUBE! With having the YouTube app on the TV it was perfect. I pulled it together + pulled up some 30 min cardio workout videos…a solution was found. When I tell you guys this has made a HUGE difference for me. I mean what have I been doing this entire time. This has definitely given me a boost of energy that I was so in need of. I even have Kaylee working out with me! Win! Win!
  4. Rest: We all know lack of sleep can make you feel like a grumpy ol’ bear. I am not here for this at all.  It is just a miserable feeling. After the night routines of homework, dinner, picking school clothes out, and baths, etc. I don’t fall in bed until well after 11pm…. leaving me with a little rest if any, and the result of feeling annoyed the next morning. So, the plan is this….if whatever I don’t get done the night before it will have to be done the next day. I can’t spend all night preparing for the next day and still not mentally prepared for the next day.  As I still struggle to get to bed at a decent time (I’m working on it) I was gifted an oil diffuser that has been a miracle worker. I had to get use to it the first night or so…like the aroma. But when I did-it has been a good nights rest + in the morning I am ready to start my day.
  5. Vitamins/Supplements: As our body depends on good nutritious food-it also depends on extra care like our vitamins to step in and take care of what we may be missing on a daily. I am taking/have been for a while now … Women’s One A day vitamins. BTW -over the years I have tried to skip out on these and I feel like crap if I do. My body clearly communicated I needed these. What I added that is new is Biotin Liquid drops.  Did you know you benefit 98% of a liquid supplement than a pill? Yep, google it LOL.  I will give more of a review on the biotin later on.

I must say I am proud of all the steps I am taking to take care of me. Hopefully the changes I am seeing in myself will keep me going.  If Self Care is something you struggle with try switching it up with some of the ones above-Let me know how they work out for you or how you tweek it.

Thanks for reading ♥

 

Posted by: Ivy B.

Embrace your Curly

Story Time: My six year old daughter came home after school one day and insisted I style her hair “down” meaning she wants to wear it straight. Let me just take it back-since the move this year which included the kids going to a new school-the environment has changed a bit. Let’s be honest it has changed a lot. There is no other little girl in her class that looks like her, has hair like her-there is no other girl Kaylee can identify with in that way. Which is not something Kaylee understands. She sees the majority of a difference and wants to blend in. Being a Mother of a little black girl-there is no way I can allow this to slide, and make it easy for her and go ahead and straighten her hair. No ma’am. Now, let me make this clear.,.. There is nothing wrong with wearing your hair straight-absolutely nothing wrong with it. However, it is my job to remind my daughter of her beauty in her natural way-and to make sure she has the understanding that she does not need to be altered to fit in-she is Kaylee, an individual and I want her  to act as such. Everyday I remind her of how beautiful she is and how amazing her curly hair is. Of course, Kaylee will get older and may want to wear her hair completely different-but as long as she is under my roof it is my position for Kaylee to embrace her curly with NO apologies. We live in a world were how you wear your hair sums up who people view  you to be. Sad. Yes. But it’s true. Many women find themselves more attractive if they wear their hair straight. Why? Not sure…..there have been several occasions where I have witnessed women prepping for an event and in a hurry to straighten their hair….feeling like they would be more accepted at the event if there tresses are straight? Or that’s what makes them feel at their best? Either way it’s imperative we recognize our natural state and learn to accept it if we make the choice to wear our hair curly. You are still natural if you wear your hair straight. It’s about choice and preference. As long as we don’t allow the way we manipulate our hair, manipulate our mind.  The world of #teamnatural has started a movement that is growing bigger + bigger everyday. And I am here for it. It’s a huge movement and it’s sending messages all across the board to embrace your curly in all forms, shapes and sizes.

 

In addition to my convos with Kaylee and our hair prep Sunday’s. I thought it would be a great idea for Kaylee and I to subscribe to Curl Kit (because I pretty much use the same products on Kaylee as I use on myself) . Curl Kit is a monthly subscription where you get five items each month delivered to your door step. It’s pretty much like a gift to yourself every month. I am definitely in line for this. So far,  we received our first box  (December box) with the January box on the way. It was so much fun allowing Kaylee to rip through the package- peeping , and smelling the products we would soon use on her hair.  I feel it is important for Kaylee to identify with who she is at this age. Children can be very impressionable but with a little guidance we can steer them in the right direction -and that direction is called “being yourself”. Hopefully , this box is something Kaylee will look forward to getting and enjoy un-boxing it together. Don’t get me wrong-she is a child and the attention span is short and there may be some days she is not feeling like indulging in the package as much as I am. And that is totally okay. But I will continue to encourage my daughter to embrace her curly and to love who she is naturally.

You can sign up/subscribe to Curl Kit  for a monthly subscription at http://www.curlkitshop.com 

 

Thank you for reading ♥

Posted by: Ivy B.