Monday, April 1, 2013

52 TuTu's Week 11



I couldn't pick just 1 picture this week.  The older she gets the more fun these photo shoots become.  I hope everyone had a wonderful Easter! 

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Monday, February 11, 2013

Treat Yourself to a Valentine's Day Spa Experience

Today we have a guest feature post from Michelle Pino. Michelle is seeking new ways to provide tips and tricks for women who can't afford the luxury of the spa to feel that same sense of luxury right in their own home for a fraction of the cost.  I was thrilled when she contacted me to provide my readers with tips directly from her spa.   I decided to try out one of her body scrubs and photograph my little DIY pampering project.  I hope you enjoy!

Valentine's Day is just around the corner, and there is nothing better to celebrate with than a DIY spa treatment in the comfort of your home. Every woman deserves a day of pampering and self-care. These delicious berry recipes will create relaxing spa treatments that you can use in preparation for a night with a significant other, or as a couple's activity if your other half enjoys being pampered too. These recipes are perfect for the single ladies as well. Enjoy some alone time with these luxury spa experiences or share them with a group of friends.

Berry Delightful Body Scrub

Ingredients:

1/2 pint Fresh Crushed Strawberries
1 Cup Brown Sugar
2 Tablespoons Olive Oil


Directions:
Mix the strawberries, brown sugar, and olive oil together to form a grainy paste. Apply the scrub to your body after bathing and rub the scrub mixture over your skin in circular motions. The mixture can be applied with your hand, washcloth, bath sponge, or exfoliating gloves. Rinse off the scrub and moisturize your skin with leftover olive oil. 

Simple all natural ingredients that you probably already have in your home

I just thought this was a pretty picture so I added it..
My crushed up berries
Bottled Up!
Happy Valentines Day

Berry Chocolate Pedicure Recipe

Ingredients

¼ cup Cocoa
2 tbsp Non Fragrance Lotion
4 tbsp Honey


Directions:
Mix the ingredients together in a small bowl; this will be the ‘foot mask’ of your pedicure.

To begin your pedicure heat up water in a large bowl, one that will fit both of your feet at the same time. Relax with your feet in the water. Remove any nail polish, clip your toenails and cut your cuticles. Place your feet back in the water (You may need to heat the water up again). Next, use you berry body scrub to give your feet a good scrub. Rinse, pat dry and drain the water from your bowl. Now, apply the foot mask to your feet and up your calves. Apply a little extra pressure to really get the true feel of a spa pedicure. Allow the mask to sit for about 10 minutes. Wash off and pat dry. Now you are ready to paint!

Create an atmosphere worthy of Valentine's Day by lighting scented candles in your bathroom, bedroom, or whichever location you'll be using as your at home spa. Don a silk robe to enhance your femininity, or a warm terrycloth robe for comfort. Prepare strawberries, apples, cherries or any fruit for dipping in chocolate while indulging in a glass
of white wine. Put on some mood music to create romantic vibes, or a favorite movie for a fun night with the girls. A DIY spa session with the perfect atmosphere will engage all of your senses and leave you feeling amazing and cared for, making it a perfect Valentine's Day treat.


Michelle Pino provided this DIY Berry-Chocolate recipe. Michelle enjoys sharing her ideas and helping other women feel great about them self. Her ideas stem from her knowledge and experience at Skana, a luxurious spa in central, NY. She also spends her time crafting, laughing, living healthy and learning as she goes!

Saturday, February 2, 2013

52 TuTu's Week 5


You see the Hello Kitty paper in her hand? Well, that was the backdrop.  The hardest part about 52 TuTu's each week is deciding which picture to use! 


Valentine's Day Special: Visit La Bella Creations and use code tutulove30 at check out and receive 30% off  of any tutu in celebration of Valentine's Day!! Code expires on February 14!

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Mommy Management

I made it through the work week. The first day was really hard as I missed Brianna very much! The excitement of starting a new job, meeting new people and adapting to the new work environment was not enough to keep me from missing my Bri.  I had moments of tearing up but then I would glance at her picture on my phone and it would plaster a huge smile across my face.  Never mind the people who would walk past my desk at that same moment that I am smiling to myself and probably think "who hired this creep" but I did what worked for me.  According to our sitter Brianna did very well this week which was great to hear.

Now comes the hard part, the balancing act...Bri Bri, Hubby, House, Work and myself and that is in no particular order.  I'm sure I will figure it all out in due time, how to balance all of the above but for now I am going to take my time and allow myself to transition into this new role gradually.  I would love for you to share some tips, schedules or whatever you have in place to help you manage your home and time effectively.  I'm not even going to pretend that I wear an "S" on my chest because I would only be lying to myself.

Here is a glimpse of what my schedule looked like last week:
5:30 a.m Wake-get dressed
6:00 a. m. Wake up Brianna and get her dressed
6:30 a. m Leave the house
6:50 a.m. arrive at the sitters
7:05 a.m. hop on train
8:00-5 work (Eat at my desk, and work out during my lunch)
5:19 p.m. catch the train
5:55 p.m. pick up Brianna
6:20 p.m. arrive home (unless I have to stop at the grocery store, or Tuesday is Brianna's swim class!!)
6:30 p.m. Play and catch up with Brianna
7:00 p.m  start dinner
7:30-8 Bath, Book, Bottle, Bed for Brianna
8:30 p.m.take my shower, read some blogs, watch a little TV
10:00 pm Bed
12:00 a.m. Brianna wakes up (Yes!! she is still not sleeping through the night!)
4:00 a. m. Brianna wakes up again (seriously considering the Ferber sleep training method but that's a whole separate blog post)

Notice cleaning did not make the list.  I hate cleaning and coming home to clean up after a long day is the last thing on my mind.  On Tuesday's my schedule is a little different because Brianna has swim class at 6:00 p.m. but I think I'm going to switch her to the Saturday morning class to maximize my weekday time.  I also try to prep our clothes on Sunday so that I am not worrying about that during the week and to help with time.  

I would love for you to send me some quick 30 minute meals that I could feature on the blog and also just simple tips that you found effective and works for you. When do you take your mommy moment?  

"I made vow to myself that I would get a manicure every week and a pedicure and my eyebrow's done every two weeks...I just haven't found the time yet."  

I am open to all possibilities.  

Saturday, January 26, 2013

52 TuTu's Week 4

 

Valentine's Day Special: Visit La Bella Creations and use code tutulove30 at check out and receive 30% off  of any tutu in celebration of Valentine's Day!! Code expires on February 14!

Saturday, January 19, 2013

52 TuTu's Week 3



Valentine's Day Special: Visit La Bella Creations and use code tutulove30 at check out and receive 30% off  of any tutu in celebration of Valentine's Day!! Code expires on February 14! 

Friday, January 18, 2013

Separation Anxiety

sepanx
From the title of today's post you would assume that little Miss Brianna is having separation anxiety, nope that's not the case, it's actually me! ("Lets rewind back to October 2011") I have been unemployed since October 2011 which was GREAT! A month after loosing my job I found out that I was pregnant... again. This pregnancy came 1 month after a miscarriage and was totally unexpected. Prior to this pregnancy we were using an ovulation stimulator called "Clomid" and although it was effective with helping me get pregnant it was ineffective in helping me to sustain a healthy pregnancy.  When I found out a month later that I was prego without the use of Clomid, I was thrilled. I wasn't as apprehensive as I normally was when the HPT showed a plus sign. Anyways, I really feel like losing my job was a blessing in disguise. It allowed me to take it easy and literally lay on the couch while this baby (Brianna) developed and was ready to come on out, and 9 months later... that she did!! ("Now, lets fast forward to the present")  Brianna recently turned 6 months and with that wonderful milestone I felt that it was time and I was ready to enter back into the workforce world!  Today after three interviews with this company, I was offered the job! My emotions have been going back and forth all day. Yay! Some much needed adult time and conversation...Oh No, I have to leave my baby for eight plus hours each day; Yay! I get to dress up in my pumps and pencil skirts again, Oh No, Brianna is about two forward knees from crawling and I'm going to miss it! Yay! I'm going to love the extra income, On No, by the time I get home it will just about be bed time.... Sigh...so there you have it. I am suffering from a little guilt and a lot of separation anxiety and I haven't even started the job yet.
"Although Brianna will be staying with a family member I believe that leaving her for eight plus hours on a daily basis will be the hardest challenge I will face as a working mommy"
This is going to be tougher than I thought. For all of you mommies who have gone back to work outside of your home, what made the transition less stressful for you? What steps did you put into place to give you piece of mind and comfort in knowing that going back to work is the right thing to do?

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

International Pretty Brown Girl Day

Pretty Brown Girl is a phenomenal initiative, providing products and services for young girls to embrace and love the skin they're in, as-well-as encouraging and uplifting them through several events and programs.  The second annual International Pretty Brown Girl Day will be held on February 23, 2013.  Pretty Brown Girl Day is a of day celebration for our daughters, sisters, nieces, God daughters, neighbors and friends.  Sassy Mahogany Wives will take this day to simply "Pamper our Daughters". Some of the activities that we have planned will include: taking the PBG pledge, creating inspiration boards, pedicures, manicures, facials, and a fashion show (little Miss Brianna will be crawling down the runway)! Sounds exciting right? Don't worry I will tweet and blog about the event so that you will get the full experience too.

For more information on how to host your own PBG event please visit their site or facebook page.

In addition to all of the other wonderful initiatives PBG has provided to all shades of Brown girls, PBG recently launched a Pretty Brown Girl Club! That's right you can become a PBG Ambassador and bring this wonderful initiative directly to your area.  How do you plan to celebrate International Pretty Brown Girl Day this year? 

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Meals From The Heart

After having Brianna I discovered that there is no greater pain than having a sick baby or child in which  you can't provide any relief or fix the problem.  One could only imagine the anguish in which the parents of children who have complex medical issues must endure.  Yesterday, a few members of Sassy Mahogany Wives took a few hours out of our day to prepare a home cooked meal for the residents at our local Ronald McDonald House.
The objective of the Ronald McDonald House is to provide a home-away-from-home for families with children who have life threatening illnesses and are receiving specialized treatment at local hospitals.  The house offers a full kitchen, private rooms, laundry and computer facilities, a chapel, a play room for siblings, several entertainment areas and most importantly, it is only a few short blocks from the hospital.
Our role was to plan a menu, purchase the groceries and prepare a meal in their wonderful kitchen for the residents and their families.  The weather in Chicago was a major deciding factor in planning our menu, due to the Winter season we wanted something that was hearty and soulful.

SMW Menu
Tossed Salad
Chicken Stew
Cornbread
Chocolate Cake (Home made)
Pound Cake (Home made)
Red Velvet Cake

After spending their entire day at the hospital cooking a good meal for them-selves may be the last thing on their minds.  Giving these families the chance to sit down to a home cooked meal is just another way to make Ronald McDonald House truly a “home-away-from-home” for families who need it the most.


We had a wonderful time at this volunteer event.  This environment gave us the chance to bond while providing service to our community.  The theme for Sassy Mahogany Wives in 2013 is "Being A Better Me" as such, paying it forward is a staple in our group this year.  The Ronald McDonald House is nation wide; therefore, if you have some time or just like giving back I would highly recommend viewing their site to see how you can help.  Volunteers are the backbone of the RMH and critical to their success.   They only receive a very small percentage of funding from their namesake.  If you do not like to cook please don't fret there are several ways that you could assist or volunteer which includes: donating household items (laundry detergent, toilet paper, can goods, frozen foods, gift cards and toys) to keep the house running and functioning.  The work they do is amazing and they count on the help of volunteers to help keep cost down.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Email Subcribers

Hi Folks:

I apologize for all of the old post that continue to flood your inbox.  I am currently trying to resolve the issue immediately.  I have a new blog template or design installed on my blog and for some reason I believe that is the culprit.  Please stop by the blog to check out the new look!  Once again I apologize for any inconvenience and please bare with me as I try to resolve this matter ASAP!!

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Fireproofing My Marriage: My Love Dare Journal


The other night I watched the movie Fireproof at the recommendation of a friend.  She told me that she was doing something called the Love Dare from the the movie.  Naturally, I was intrigued so as soon as I put baby girl down for a nap I was on Netflix searching for the movie. I really enjoyed the movie and with the New Year it prompted me to make some changes within myself and in my marriage.

After having baby girl our marriage has gone through some changes with adjusting to our new little person; specifically, with finding a balance between family time and us/couple time.  In the movie the couple were no longer friends let alone lovers and were heading towards a divorce.  Mr and I are still lovers and best friends; however, in order to fireproof our marriage we need to make some changes.   I decided to start these changes with myself and take on the love dare.  Since baby girl was born my main focus has been on her, caring, teaching and loving this child with all of my heart! This tends to have pros and cons because it means I have little or no time to dedicate to Mr and I can at times neglect my role and duties as his wife. He hasn't mentioned anything about it yet although he does give little hints when the laundry basket is overflowing.

I never shared my New Years goals but two of those goals are to be a better wife and to get closer to God.  The Love Dare encompasses both of these goals!  I have not shared my knowledge of the movie or even the love dare with Mr.  My plan is  to have us watch it together once my 40 days commences.  He does occasionally view my blog but that's only if he sees the post in his facebook feed or if I ask him to read a post.  So I decided to block him from my fan page for the next 40 days and simply fail to mention anything in regards to my blog in an attempt to fulfill this goal in private. (well..it's on the blog so it's not private but just keep it from him)

Day 1 of the Love Dare:
The first part of this dare is fairly simple. Although love is communicated in a number of ways, our words often reflect the condition of our heart. For the next day, resolve to demonstrate patience and to say nothing negative to your spouse at all. If the temptation arises, choose not to say anything. It’s
better to hold your tongue than to say something you’ll regret.


I actually started Day 1 on Sunday.  Brianna and I went to church and Mr. went to work.  I felt great and in the spirit this morning.  We came home and I prepared dinner and anxiously waited for Mr. to return so that I could set things in motion.  After he settled in I realized that I was holding my tongue quite often.  It's amazing how day 1 really puts things into perspective.  It made me so much more aware and conscious of my thoughts, my actions and my words.  I realized I was putting a lot more negative energy into the atmosphere than I cared for. I'm sure it has to do with being sleep deprived from a teething baby and at times feeling like a single parent because Mr's schedule is so busy.  (I'll talk about that at a later date, but this is a very busy year for him) I do however realize that everything he is doing is for us but sometimes that reality does not help with my feelings or my exhaustion.  Needless to say day 1 was a struggle but I got through it and successfully.  Although negative thoughts crept into my mind I never allowed them to surface through my mouth. 

I am currently on day 4. A recap of the past couple of days coming soon!

Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love -Ephesians 4:2

Saturday, January 5, 2013

52 Tutu's Week 1

Happy New Year!

I am so excited to have the opportunity to work with La Bella Creations to bring you 52 TuTu's! I borrowed this concept from SpelHouse Love where she took a weekly photo of her daughter for one year in the most adorable bows.  Although I am about 6 months late and this will not document her growth from birth it will document her growth for 2013.  I am super excited to watch my little princess grow over the course of 52 weeks.  On top of that she will have a cute TuTu each week from La Bella Creations with a new design, theme, or simply a new color combo that will be featured along with special discounts and promos for our readers!  I hope you enjoy this pictorial journey as much as I will.
Week 1