Saturday, December 27, 2014

Natural Hair Puff and Bun!

So, another thing you'll find out about me besides being a wife, mother and baker is that I am also a naturalista (a.k.a.) a black woman who stopped using chemical relaxers in her hair and has decided to wear her hair in it's natural state. I've been natural since 2010 and it definitely is a process. Waiting for your hair to grow the length that you want or trying out a style only to find out it didn't work out or your hair wasn't dry enough....soooo many issues but nonetheless, I love my hair! My hair is a little past my shoulders now and I am okay with this length but I of course want it longer.

I like to refer to myself as a lazy naturalista. I never feel like washing, conditioning or co-washing my hair. I don't style my hair often because two strand twisting or braiding takes too long. Or it's really uncomfortable to sleep with rods/flexi-rods/curlformers in your hair. I know that I have some issues and I promise to work on Since I am so lazy you can often catch me wearing a variation of three styles; afro puff/bun, jumbo twist or braid out or two braids. This is a picture tutorial for my Afro Puff/Hair Bun.

1. I usually start off with an old twist out (about 3 days) but you can do this on freshly washed hair as well.
2. Apply a moisturizer (not too much to avoid residue in your hair) and gel (my favorite is ECO Styler).
3. Use a very stretchy headband. I wrap mine around my head twice to ensure tightness.
4. Pull headband up towards the middle of your head and pin it. This is where you stop if you want to wear       an Afro Puff.
5. Flatten your puff on all sides.
6. Take another stretchy headband and apply it over your flattened hair.
7. Pin any loose hairs into your bun and there you have it, a nice and neat bun! Doing this on stretched hair         (braided, twisted or straightened hair) will make your bun look fuller but it all depends on what you like.

And those are 2 of my favorite EASY natural hairstyles! I'll definitely make sure to post more picture tutorials! Toodles

Christmas 2014 - Baby's First Christmas!

The most wonderful time of the Year! It truly is. I just love Christmas. And I was even more excited this year because it was my daughter's 1st Christmas. I am going to admit now that we went totally nuts with her gifts! We couldn't help it. I gave very nice gifts to everyone, including some expensive sneakers for my other little sister whose birthday falls on Christmas Day!

I prepped my house for Christmas the day after Thanksgiving, I play no games when it comes to decorating for Christmas. The tree was up, the stocking hung and my window display complete! We let Nylah add the finishing touch to the tree, the giant bow on top. I don't do real trees. You can't keep them up as long, they have a weird shape and they leave behind too many pine She loved the tree; touching the lights, branches and ornaments. I got some great shots of her under the tree. We also made sure to watch Christmas movies together; Rudolph, Frosty the Snowman, Home Alone 1 & 2 and The Polar Express.

Now I'm going to spill the beans on the gifts that "Santa" bought Nylah. We watch the Sprout channel everyday in our house (Astroblast is Nylah's fav.) so we've had our feel of toy commercials for the holiday season. Aaron and I discussed early on what toys we thought would be great for Nylah and we came up with 3; Laugh and Learn Smart Stages Chair (she's a little to young for this one right now), Laugh and Learn Magical Musical Mirror and 3-in-1 Bounce, Stride and Ride Elephant. I'm a bit frugal so I started looking early for deals and ended up snagging all three toys from both a combination of Wal-Mart and Target at a discounted price. 

Nylah is a small little lady but she's finally grown out of 0-3 months at 8 months! So we knew that she needed a lot of new clothes. Her daddy is what I would like to call a I look okay but I don;t really care about fashion. My hubby likes to look good and keeps up with what's in and what's not (I sound like an old lady). Anyways, we got her some pretty cute outfits from H&M, Gymboree, Old Navy, Carter's and OshKosh B'Gosh! She also got outfits from other family members so she has a whole new wardrobe which I am so happy about!! Reading is also important so she got two new books; Chicka Chicka Boom Boom and Five Little Monkeys Jumping On the Bed (which she LOVES)!! She got other gifts but I just don't feel like explaining it all. She had a great 1st Christmas and it was awesome watching her reaction to her gifts on Christmas morning!

Christmas Eve at her grandparents - Santa's Little Helper

She's such a happy baby! Posing here with some of her gifts on Christmas morning.

Hosting My First Thanksgiving

Okay, last year we had Thanksgiving at our house but I didn't prepare it. I was supposed to so my mom stayed over night and was supposed to help me along the way but she ended up doing everything because I was pregnant, tired and sick last year. So this year I wanted to do everything and I must say that everything turned out great! I was super nervous because I didn't think I was domesticated enough to prepare such a meal (I know, it's silly) but I was totally fine. It was also Nylah's first Thanksgiving so I thought it would be better if everyone came over instead of us taking her out and making rounds, Here is my menu;
Baked Mac and Cheese
Homemade Mashed Potatoes
Collared Greens
String Beans
Cranberry Sauce
Dinner Rolls
Sweet Potato Pie

I was off the day before Thanksgiving so I had a good amount of time to prep. My mother-in-law gave us what I thought was a chicken months ago that I had stored in the freezer (I discovered that it was a turkey some time before Thanksgiving). I was nervous about making the turkey but I followed all instructions and it turned out great. I seasoned it and rubbed it all over with butter, put it in a bag and it came out juicy and tender! I purchased a ham and so did my mother-in-law so I let her make her ham and decided to save mine for Christmas (I just love keeping giant animals in my freezer...not really). My mac and cheese was prepared the day of and took not much effort to make. I peeled and chopped potatoes the night before and left them in cold water overnight. I threw them in my crockpot the next day for 4 hours. They softened and then I put them in my mixer to cream them down. I made fresh collard greens; chopped them up the night before and cleaned them. Left them in some water overnight (in the fridge) and cooked them the next day. My string beans and cranberry sauce were canned so that was easy! And we had yummy Hawaiian rolls!! I'm a baker so I of course had no issues with my pie and cheesecake. My mom also brought a homemade sweet potato pie as well. We just had some close family over; laughed, talked, watched football and watched my little sister perform songs from the movie "Frozen". It was a pretty awesome day!

Friday, December 26, 2014

Halloween 2014 - Nylah's 1st Halloween

This year was the first year that I got to dress up my own kid, Awesome!! Nylah had a pretty busy Halloween! The weekend before Halloween she had 2 events to attend. The Saturday before, we threw a small Halloween Party and the next day she attended her first NICU reunion. I purchased 1 1/2 costumes for her. For the party and reunion she went as Minnie Mouse. And on Halloween day, she dressed as Thing 3, along with Thing 1 and 2 (Daddy and Mommy).

Now, I am such a planner that I decided to throw together a little Halloween party (I always want to plan and decorate for I of course wanted to keep it small (mostly family members, and a few friends).My mother and 3 year old sister was there along with some of Aaron and my cousins and some friends of ours brought their young son and daughter. I planned on a couple more children being there but they weren't able to make it. Here's some pictures and details from the party. All of the little ones were in costume and they all looked so cute. We had some bumble bees, a minnie mouse, Spiderman, a Sassy kitten and an owl at the party.
Decorate your own pumpkin station (sytrofoam pumpkins
from Dollar Tree)
My Nylah and her auntie (my little sis) Aleah

Cute banner from Dollar Tree

Pin the hat on the Witch game, Dollar Tree
Yummy treat table with a Ghost cupcake cake (made by me).

Mommy and Nylah as Minnie Mouse, Daddy didn't want
to dress up.

More decor from Dollar tree and gift bags full of candy.

Guests in a heated round of monster match game!

Playing Catch Up!

Wow, it's been 3+ months since my last post! I am so horrible at this but I'm getting back into it. Some goods things have happened in our little family in this amount of time that has passed. Aaron started a new job, I accepted a long term subbing position in an early intervention classroom and Nylah had the chance to celebrate her first Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas! I have so much to update and so many pictures to share!! I want to get everything important in before the New Year and start off fresh in 2015 (I can't believe that it's here already)! I definitely wanted to share this Christmas picture that I took of Nylah during our DIY Christmas photo shoot (Galaxy S4 camera, cute baby, covered boppy and Christmas tree). She is so cute and this was an awesome shot! We didn't want to take her to see Santa this year (GERMS) and I was going back and forth about taking her to a studio so I tried this out and it totally worked for her Christmas pictures!

Merry Christmas from My Family to Yours!