Holiday Gift Guide

It’s that time. The Chaos….Where we all go crazy shopping like animals , working hard to pick out the perfect gift to put a smile on a loved ones face Christmas morning. Let’s be honest-some of us over due it. But you know-to each it’s own. Admitting in my most true form I am definitely a last minute shopper. Something about shopping too early gives me aniexty… WHAT? yes, I know that’s weird, but I work better under pressure lol! Anyway-moving on to why I am here. For those of you who are still shopping or who have just begun shopping I am sharing with you my Holiday gift guide with some great deals you don’t want to miss. Some items below I have purchased before and love -the others  I will be trying for the first time. They are shipped and are on the way to me. Let’s get into it shall we.

If you are into subscriptions-here is one for you. Have you guys heard of Curl Kit? It is a natural hair care monthly subscription. For the price of $20 + $5 shipping. You get 5 hair products delivered right to your door step. Wait for it….right now you can get your 1st box for $9.99 with free shipping! A bonus- this month all 5 items are full sized! I don’t know about ya’ll, but that’s a steal for me. Sometimes it is hard for me to get away and grab items I need for wash day, or items I need to complete a style. And ordering them online at that moment does nothing for me when I need them in hand on a right now basis. So, this kit is perfect for me-due to using hair products on my hair and Kaylee’s hair we run out fast. I need a stash I can rely on. I already ordered my 1st box, and it’s on it’s way. This will be my first time subscribing to a kit like this-so I am looking forward to it. This is a perfect gift for yourself or a fellow curly girlfriend. Yes, you can thank me now!! Coupon Code is: fall999 (hurry! I ‘m not sure how long this deal last)

 

ckit
http://www.curlkit.com 

 

Looking for the perfect graphic tee? ILY Couture has the perfect tee’s -the material and quality is very comfortable and also a frequent repeater for me. I have this particular shirt, and I’m always grabbing for this shirt to pair with jeans,, a statement necklace, a pair a sweats, or to lounge in. I have also ordered accessories from here that I still love, and are on heavy rotation. I must say for a tee-it’s a little pricey, but it’s worth it. They carry all type of graphic tee’s and hoodies. They have them for adults and children with different sayings .Perfect stocking stuffers for the fam or a Mommy friend.  Bonus: If you are a NEW customer 15% off your first order when you sign up with your email.

mom
https://ilycouture.com $38.00

 

Are there any Candle lovers?! Meeeeeeee! If you haven’t heard already Bath & Body Works is now having a sale online. All 3-wick candles are now 12.95. Originally 24.50 a piece. This includes new fragrances as well. I went ahead and ordered a few, and I am really excited about Champagne Toast-never purchased this one before-the packaging alone had me sold. If you know of any fellow candle lovers-this is the perfect gift of scent lol and grab a few for yourself while you are there. Looking for a stocking stuffer for hubby or boyfriend? BBWS also caries a men’s line-and the fragrances are heart melting… seriously. I am definitely a fan of the Noir Line. Right now they are having a  buy 3, get 3 free sale. Go ahead and hook your man up, girl.

candle
http://www.bathandbodyworks.com $12.95

 

lotion
http://www.bathandbodyworks.com

I would be terrible If I didn’t share this personal favorite of mine. You know being the coffee addict I am and all. The Ninja Single Serve System. I received as a birthday gift last year from the fam. Since I am the only coffee drinker in the house. It’s perfect for me. I am sure you will love it also. It not only brews some great tasting coffee-it also includes a booklet of all the specialty drinks you can make, and it also comes with a froth handle. My favorite drink to make is caramel iced coffee- I know that’s probably boring, but that is honestly the only other drink I have tried to make. I seriously don’t know what it is, but it’s hands down the best iced coffee I have had. And that’s saying a lot. Now, if you are  not looking to fork the bucks out to gift this to someone-definitely put this on your list to receive. It’s a keeper and I’m sure you will fall in love with it. You can purchase it at Wal-Mart for $99.99. It’s going for $159.00 at Target online now-So, that’s a nice deal.

coffee
http://www.walmart.com $99.99

 

Well, that’s it guys! I’m done spreading the holiday cheer of knowledge. Happy Shopping and Happy Holidays ♥

 

Any deals out there I need to know about? Drop them below.

Thanks for reading ♥

Posted By: Ivy B.

 

 

 

Advertisements

Transitions for a Party of 5 (moving our family to a new home and new schools)

 

It all started with our summer move. Uprooting from where we planted our feet for 12 years-was exciting, unnerving, and most of all a challenge. Realizing  we would have to get to know a new community-change the kids schools, get them involved in activities in a new county and feeling out the area for convenient shopping aka (locating the closest target)

1st on the list: was getting acquainted with the neighbors. So, we hit up the community pool for a Sunday dip lol. We meet a few neighbors out there and gathered a little insight on the schools our kids would attend. We met a few parents who we would later see at  open house. I was hesitant about going the pool-just because I mean we were the new kids on the block-and I hate being the new kid. First off, everyone can spot out the newbies -so you stick out like a sore thumb-some people are friendly, and some are not. Some people look and speak, some look and stare-trying to figure “who the heck are you” ” And why did you land on our planet” lol Oh, boy…how uncomfortable-but you must swallow it all and keep on getting settled in. Because well, we ain’t moving no time soon.

2nd on the list: was getting the kids registered for the upcoming year and open house at the new schools. Which for my middle schooler that was a huge deal, and he wasn’t feeling it at all.  Let’s just say my husband and I spent a lot of time convincing him of what an amazing year he is going to have-meeting new people. We got the 7th grade side eye the entire time #FAIL. Of course, the elementary little’s would soon follow after big brother-and cry about how they didn’t like the new school either. My kids insisted on being Bergen’s for the rest of the summer.

3rd on the list:  was scoping out what the heck is there to do around here that’s family oriented. When in doubt find the nearest park and work from there. So , we did. And we found it had sprinklers for the kids that operated off times, food truck events and shaved ice trucks. A win win win!!! This would be our spot for the summer. We found our favorite fro yo place near by-Sweet Frogs! A movie theater , eaters, and bars for adult time. I found a nail salon I love , and of course a STARBUCKS.  All of this goodness near by without having to jump on the highway is satisfying me so far. However,  after all this the kids still miss the old digs. Which I can understand. Our first initial week in the new house-I was very homesick. Even though we out grew the space-it was home.

4th on the list: was getting settled. Learning the new space-filling the new space to make it feel like home (which I am still in the process of doing) We are coming up on five months post move and we are still taking it all in. It has definitely been a transition for everyone but so far so good. We are still in the process of selling our love shack or renting it out…the headache I don’t want to deal with right now. But it has to be done. All in all it was a good look  with adjustments. Now on to enjoying the  first holidays in the new place.

 

Have you guys faced any recent transitions with moving locations or switching your children’s schools? If so, how is it going?

 

Thanks for reading ❤️

 

Posted by:Ivy B.

 

Regretting my Tubal ligation

When I was pregnant with my third child: I had made up in my mind that a Tubal ligation was the right way to go for me. We found out we were having a girl-(Goal Reached) Two boys and a girl-what was the point of going on?! I remember when I was in actual labor in mid push my doctor asked me if I was sure this is what I wanted-because if you have a vaginal delivery they schedule for you to have your tubes tied the next day. I was dead set that this is what I wanted. I didn’t want birth control, I wanted my tubes tied. Just to be completely done with it. Yeah , that worked for a few years until my daughter started getting older-and I started struggling with the thought..” Did I make the right decision?” The guilt really sank in when Kaylee asked for a sister… **insert crying**  I started thinking back on how there are so many women with infertility issues and it’s a process they have to go through in order to get pregnant- and here I am “Fertile Myrtle” and I made the decision to take away what is so natural-what God blessed me with- and what so many fight for on a day to day. Feeling bad is an understatement. I felt like I took away that right to have more children-when I feel like at the end of the day it is not up to me but it’s up to God.

 

Is a Tubal ligation reversible?: Yep! I looked it up lol!  The chance of pregnancy varies based on age. There is a 80% chance  for women under the age of 30 and 30%  chance for women under the age of 40 . Good to know right? But is this something I would put myself through? When all before my tubes were completely open and in attendance at the party. I am not totally upset by my decision, but it is something I struggle with from time to time. We all know having children takes a lot of patience , money, time, energy and all the above- we wait for our children to reach certain milestones, so we can breathe a little. It’s just something about that brand new soul that you bring into the world that you are responsible for-you get to nurture. I guess it’s just natural for a women to feel this way. We are nurtures by nature.

Living with the decision: This is why we have choices people. We make choices based on a particular moment-or a choice that could be a future changer. I guess ultimately when you choose it’s best to make sure it is something you can deal with. Honestly , I didn’t know how I would feel after having my tubes tied for six years now.  I’m not really sure if it’s something I struggle with because of the thought of not being able to get pregnant (if we decided we wanted to more children) or just not having that space to “choose” or have an “option” because I pretty much already made that decision. But living with it is in question.  Maybe next year I’ll be thinking ” Thank God I made that choice-otherwise I would be crazy to have another kid” Who knows?!

 

Have you been faced to make a decision like this? What was your choice and how did you handle it?

 

Thanks for reading ♥

Posted by: Ivy B.

 

 

 

Back to school Blues?

On the side Mom to Mom convos:

I was having a conversation with a fellow Mom at work-we were discussing back to school attire. Uniforms vs. Non-Uniforms. And we both definitely agreed on Uniforms/Dress codes. While she is already experienced in this area. This will be my first year where there will be a dress code in place. Well, at least for one of my kids. My youngest two however, have no dress code-which well…sucks! When I tell you I crossed my fingers in hopes for a dress code for my elementary duo- I ain’t lying. Why do I have the blues? Why am I going so hard for this Khaki/Polo situation?

Let’s get into it:

How many times do you wash clothes a week? With amounts of spaghetti stains, paint stains, and some stains that are questionable-you know the “what is that?” face. Yea, that. I wash at least twice a week-maybe three-depending on how bad it is. (I could be over-doing it or slightly OCD) Just trying to keep up with life…Which means when its time to head out for the weekend their clothes look like last years clothes.  Looks like they have been walking on their knees (as my co-worker homie would say) their long sleeve shirts turn into quarter length, and jeans turn into calf huggers- but seriously when it’s time to go out as a family…Let’s just say we don’t look good as a unit. Last year , I found myself putting away a few shirts and jeans that classified as ” Weekend attire” yes, it got that bad. These particular items of clothing I would avoid putting out for school-just so they could have a decent fit for the weekend. Simply because I refuse to buy school clothes and weekeend clothes. No, that’s not happening in this house. It’s called mix’n match and rotate…lol!

I mean don’t get me wrong -obviously you would wash the crap out of the uniforms because they would acquire the same stains -but they (here comes that word I love) “ROTATE” and they are uniforms forms for crying out load- only to be worn at school. Think about it-you spend all your hard earned money on clothes just for them to go through the fire at school. That just doesn’t make any sense. I seriously wish ALL schools required a dress code. Okay,  okay, with an exception of picture day and dress down days if it means that much.

Think positive?:

So , my tweenager has a dress code this year-which by now , ya’ll know I am here for it. However, he despises the khaki and polo get up. I explained to him that it wasn’t that bad- It’s a basic polo shirt and khakis (with a choice of colors to rotate in between) Easy..well since he is stuck with a dress code -he had the bright idea to “THINK POSITIVE”and inform me that more sneakers should be an option to also “ROTATE” clever? I think we can work that out (with a huge annoying sigh) I just can’t WIN. Now, I’m back to my old tricks-stashing clothes for the weekend for the younger two-and breaking the bank for the middle schooler’s sneaker fetish.

 

Do your kids go to a uniform based school? If not, what do you do to keep their clothes weekend ready? Are you stashing clothes? Tell me your secret below↓

 

Thanks for reading ♥

Posted by: Ivy B.

Big Chop #2

7/14/07 -Marks the day of my 2nd BIG CHOP.  It’s been close to three years since I joined the natural hair community. I’ve learned so much- what my hair likes, what it doesn’t like-styles I will re -visit, and styles I wouldn’t dare do again.

What I will do differently: I will no longer be co-washing my hair. I have put a stop to this for sometime now- this technique does absolutely nothing for my hair- My hair is not completely cleansed and I still have a good amount of build up on my hair-my hair feels almost waxy. I’m not a fan of that at all. So, I have gladly added shampooing back in my wash day routine. I figured- how is your hair suppose to grow when your scalp is not completely cleansed ?

What my hair likes: My hair likes to be shampooed lol! My hair likes gels with a firm hold, butter cream products-I cannot use stylers that are light weight-like that lotion consistency. I can’t achieve not one thing with runny products. I have to use what’s going to hold my hair in place and super moisturizing. I also, can’t use too many products at once in my hair-I need at least a leave in, butter cream and gel-I can’t be doing all this extra-ness- my hair NO likey!

Less Manipulation: Protective styles have been my friend since I have been in the in between stages of trying to grow out my damaged hair- Now that this is my second big chop- I have gotten use to all the different styles I can do to my hair-Now, I can calm down and give my hair the breaks it needs to grow and flourish. I have noticed such a big difference when I tuck my hair away. Of course, continuing to give my hair a good wash day in between with a great deep condition session.

The difference in BC1 and BC2: BC1 I did it myself- I transitioned for seven months, and my roots were not acclimated to their natural curly state-My roots were wavy , but not completely in the curly state- so that took some getting use to-it was like my hair was hesitating to curl up-until it started to grow a little more-which didn’t take long at all. I also missed a few spots. I didn’t cut all that needed to be cut because I was scared. I just hid the crazy looking parts! BC2- Was done by a pro hair stylist, and since I have been natural going on three years-my hair new what to do-It was use to it’s curly state and it acted as such. Would I take matters into my own hands and BC my own hair-Nope! Not after having it professional done. My hair was cut precisely and even. Just what I needed to get my hair to grow back out even and healthy.

Do I regret the BC for a 2nd time: Hell No! May hair needed it. I would rather have healthy short hair, than long damaged hair any day. This time round getting my hair cut wasn’t so shocking considering I have been around the bin once before. It was more relieving because I knew I was making the best move for my hair-and I am so excited about this healthy natural hair journey. Learning the do’s and don’ts the hard way definitely paid off . Now that I know better- I will only do what is best for my hair.

 

Thanks for reading ♥

(second time around Naturalista)

Posted By: Ivy B.

Get ya Sexy on

Damn, I am 32 years old. I totally didn’t mean to start this post off this way. It was the first thing that came to mind lol!

Signed-my split personality- (ignore her) Let’s get into it…

 

Sexy in my own right:

I think there is a misconception of what sexy should be. After you become a Wife and Mother your focus is a little different.  I am realizing my sexy is getting dressed for a date night or a girls night out.  I feel sexy when I am at dinner with my husband, and I get to wear that lipstick I bought 3 months ago for the first time. I feel sexy when I am out with a home-girl, and my hair is laid and my jeans are fitting right. I feel sexy when I’m laughing and swapping Mommy moment stories with my girls, or having those deep conversations about the expectations on life. That’s when I feel my sexiest- Let’s REWIND a little (before I realized this.)..Funny thing is just a week ago my husband asked me  “When is the last time you felt sexy?” And I couldn’t answer him. I remember thinking  “Why don’t I have an answer?” It wasn’t that I didn’t have an answer- I just wasn’t sure if it was the right answer? The word SEXY can be intimidating. Your mind reverts to things that are “sexy” Like: lingerie, heels, and so on. Depending on what sexy is to you. I thought about it some more-and what my husband was really asking me was ” When was the last time you have felt your best?” I was looking way to deep into it (which I always do) I remember automatically thinking well I haven’t worn lingerie in a while, I have had so much anxiety with our new move around the corner, and with the kids getting out of school, and summer approaching with no plans for summer camps.  ” I don’t have time to feel sexy” But I am absolutely wrong.  Just because I’m not walking around in nighties and fury high-heels – doesn’t put a cap on my sexy. I am me! And that’s sexy.

 

Age ain’t nothing but a number:

As I get older I am always questioning if what I am doing is appropriate.  I could pick up a top that’s cut for cleavage, and clearly put it back-because I’m in my 30’s- like what does that have to do with my choice in a top? I guess I am cautious on how I dress because I am a wife and a mother-and I don’t want to give off the wrong impression. Now, this definitely doesn’t mean I have to dress in skirts that touch my ankles and turtle necks, but there is a line- and there is a sense of being comfortable. It’s not my age that matters it’s my position in my life, and my responsibility I carry. And honestly I am much happier in a T-shirt. I have always been this way-I literally have to force myself to put real clothes on most of the time. Sexy shouldn’t be measured by what you’re wearing, but by how you are feeling. You could be dressed to the max, but feel like crap on the inside. Sorry, not sorry- I don’t want to to feel like that.  To be completely content with who you are is sexy. My answer to my husband should have been.. Now! I feel sexy right here and now sitting next to you in the passenger side of this car. Your age does not define who you are- be youthful , and be FREE- 30’s is not old by far-but time is flying and you can’t help but look back in retrospect, and try and figure out where the hell did the last ten years go.

 

The best I have ever felt:

I can honestly say in the past 5 years I have grown in knowing who I am. I have become so much more confidant in my own radiance. True story- I hated taking pictures as a child. When my Mom would come and try and take a picture of me- I would throw my hands up in front of my face. For so long I was shy Ivy…. but now I am snapping selfies left and right- It sounds vain, but I have grown to love myself and who I am.  I have grown so much mentally, physically, spiritually, and emotionally. And I am loving who I have become as  a Woman. At this time in my life I am feeling the best I have felt about myself in a long time. Now, are there days I feel like blah? Sure. That’s natural -we are human beings. But at the end of the day when I look at my 32 year old self in the mirror… I am happy and sexy.  Be you and get ya sexy on!

 

When do you feel your best? Comment below ↓

Thank you for reading♥

 

Posted by: Ivy B.

 

 

 

How to balance Mom Life and Work Life

This is not a Stayathome Mom update: I can no longer claim the title of a SAHM. Well, not full time anyway. I started back working part time January (So, I’m 4 months in)- I’m home in time enough to get the kids off the bus-with an hour or so to spare. The hour goes by so fast. So, I guess being at work 5 hours a day-It shouldn’t make too much of a difference right? Seeing as though you get off early, and you have the rest of the afternoon/evening to collect. Well, I’m here to tell you it does. It’s something when you don’t realize your role as a stay -at- home Mom has really impacted the bulk of your day. Keeping the house tidy, constant grocery store runs (kid free) doctor appointments, personal errands, and just some free time to yourself. The routine mornings to relax , drink your coffee and catch the latest on your favorite morning show. Yeah, those days are null and void now. Now, I’m back trying to balance it all again. I am exhausted when I get home-and I would really like to throw my face in my pillow, and sleep for at least four hours. I’m sure that’s pushing it. I feel like I’m moving in slow motion when I get home. I’m not sure if I should run errands, eat, or take a nap. Sometimes the nap wins overall 😉 But at times a nap is a must because I need to re-boot or maybe a flask filled with Rose` would also do the job…. I’m totally joking- as a MOM with three kiddos in route to the house it is imperative I get my thoughts together. Because when they get home it’s on and poppin! Mom, Mom, Mom, Mom, Mom…for the next 5 1/2 hours.

How to balance?: Hell, I don’t know! I’m trying to figure it out myself. It’s a day to day task for me really. All I can say is…

  1. Handle the task as it comes
  2. Weed out the unnecessary
  3. Don’t sweat the small stuff (you waist your time when you could be figuring out a solution)
  4. Learn how to let go of things that are beyond your control
  5. Make a check list-and check off in the order of import a once even if its not in the order you placed it on the list (after all you are checking it off)
  6.  You can’t do it all! If you have the help-pass on a task or two that won’t kill you if you are not in control of it-ask your spouse or if you have older children that can for sure get the job done.
  7. Try and keep your work life and personal life separate. Try not to fixate on work so much at home and vice versa. We don’t need to deal with unnecessary situations while we are tending to our loved ones.
  8. Be sure to have your wind down time-if it’s taking a bath, having a yummy glass of wine in silence, indulging in your favorite book or staring at the wall (hey, whatever floats your boat boo!)
  9. Pay attention to the things that aggravate you the most -and try to avoid them, or figure out a better way to handle them.
  10. And last….BREATH!

At the end of the day…it’s all good Mama’s- this is what we were made to do!

 

How do you balance Mom life and work life? Which of these steps do you take? Got any suggestions for me? Let’s Chat- Comment below ⇓

 

Thanks for reading ♥

 

Posted By: Ivy B.