What Black Breastfeeding Week Is and Is Not!

Today’s blog post is a little different. Today we are on audio. I hope that you enjoy this post and please be sure to leave your comments below!

♥ Carmen

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We Became A Shoe Free Home and It Has Nothing To Do With Cleaning

My children live on the floor. It doesn’t matter if we are in the living room, kitchen, or bedroom they are constantly stretching out on the floor to play, read, or watch tv. That has always bothered me and forced me to constantly say, “get up off that nasty floor!” mostly after they had already had their nightly baths and pj’s on. Technically the floors were never “nasty” because I try to stick to a reasonable cleaning routine that I’ve done for years, but it still bothered me to see them all stretched out on the floors that had just acquired the same germs from the shoes that we had just worn into the pee-pee filled floor from some public restroom. I know that I can’t protect them from all of the germs, but we can live comfortably in our own home right?shoe-free-home-the-mommy-365

My husband is a General Contractor and he goes into some really yucky places with his work boots most of the time. It always bothered me knowing that those places were coming into our home via the bottom of his boots. He finally stopped wearing them in the house after I pointed out his daily dirt trails in our bedroom carpet and other places. Yuck! I made the suggestion for us to try going shoeless for a weekend just to see how it worked for our lifestyle. This meant that we would only put on our shoes at the door and remove them once we entered back in.

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Product and Image Courtesy of Pixie Dust Louisville

It took some getting used to and of course, we forgot a few times. I did purchase a shoe tray for each door in our home so that we wouldn’t have to take our shoes to our closet immediately and to keep the doorway from looking cluttered. We were already familiar with removing our shoes on rainy days, so now it was just getting into the routine of doing it on other days. My son was the first to say that he loved the “no shoes” life in our home. That made me happy! After a few days of going shoeless in our home, it was time to clean the carpets and floors once over to make sure that we had a fresh start. I decided to add a basket with socks and shoe covers just in case visitors didn’t feel comfortable removing their shoes. So far, I’ve only had a few eye rolls and you already know that I don’t care. It’s our home and we have a right to live how we want inside of our home.

I was pleasantly surprised to find out from a few people that visited our home that they know lots of people that have the same “no shoe” rule in their own homes, so they were more than comfortable with respecting our request in our home. I was told by a few of our visitors that the people that they know that live shoe-free at home was because they wanted to keep their floors and carpets pristine and for others, it’s because of issues with their immune system. I never even knew that wearing shoes in your own home could negatively affect your health or immune system. I always believed and kind of still do, that a few germs are necessary to build up a healthy immune system. However, I was not shocked when this clip from The Today Show revealed just how nasty our shoes are and reasons that support my family’s efforts for going shoe-free.

Shortly after we became a shoe-free home we were invited to one of my daughter’s friends house for a birthday party. Surprisingly this home was also shoe-free and of course, we were no strangers to this way of living. I’ll admit that it kind of reassured me that I was still a normal mom and wife with just a preference on how I wanted things in my home. I could care less about cleaning. I am not against that, it actually is kind of therapeutic at times. Laundry is the monster that I hate in my home. I know that we have made the right choice for now. Going shoeless in your home may not be the right choice for you, but if you are considering it here are a few ways to get started today.

6 ways to become a shoe free home

 Carmen

Self-Care Sunday: My Routine & Products for March

Self-Care Sunday is my new monthly blog series where I will share my monthly Sunday routine including what I’m reading/watching, products, and just my overall self-care necessities and favorites. I know you all have probably read a lot about self-care and have your own idea about what that means. Self-care for me is overall care for my mind, body, and soul. There is a beauty aspect for my body, but it’s also my way of just taking more time to do something for myself and preferably uninterrupted. I definitely enlist the help of my husband to take over with the kids 100%. This time makes me feel special and important. It allows me to care for myself and I deserve that after a busy week. It makes my mental outlook on my life more stable and balanced. It’s a time for me to slow down and put myself together for more busy days.

I start my Sunday self-care routine by escaping to the quietest room in my house. In the morning that’s my living room. I make sure that it is clean and organized before I go to bed on Saturday night so that I can wake up and enjoy being in the room without feeling the need to do anything, but care for myself. I like to begin with a little praise and worship. If I wake up with a song in my heart I will play it on YouTube or allow Amazon Music to rotate different songs on my favorite station. Next up I read my devotional on the YouVersion Bible App and after that, I like to read a scripture and finish with prayer and meditation.

This post does contain affiliate links.

When I’m done with my morning quiet time I move on to my treadmill. I like to walk/jog for 30 minutes. While I’m doing all of this I’m sipping on my necessary, but not favorite lemon water. It helps me to not feel bloated. My treadmill time allows me to not only focus on my heart and physical health, but it also allows me to catch up on one of my podcasts or a YouTube channel.

My morning shower consists of me using my favorite products, exfoliating, shaving if necessary and listening to music. Can you believe that I use to be embarrassed to sing and dance around my husband? I was and I don’t know why. Now, I sing whenever and wherever and especially in the shower. If he catches me he just smiles.

I make my shower last as long as possible or until I can hear my family waking up. When I’m done I put me on pause for a little while and we all get ready for church. This includes me having a good breakfast, makeup/hair, perfume etc. Sundays are the days that I actually put in more effort for my looks. I like to do a full face for makeup, maybe heels, and a cute handbag now that I’ve ditched my diaper bag.

A Monthly Self-Care Series

After church, I like to shampoo, condition, and style my hair. I’m a natural hair woman so this can be an all-day process if I’m not careful. In between conditioning and styling, I normally start making dinner and I listen to my favorite podcast; I normally have to pause or rewind a few times because everyone suddenly and mysteriously needs me when they see me enjoying my time. That’s parenting for you!

After dinner, I apply a facial mask or scrub. If I haven’t gotten my nails/toes done professionally I take my time and remove any old polish from my nails/toes and trim or file them to prep for some polish. I take a quick shower and then I soak in a warm pH bath. My pH bath is simply organic apple cider vinegar and baking soda. I love listening to music during my bath time and I definitely burn a scented soy candle.

After my bath time, I make sure that the kids are getting ready for bed and of course help if I need to help. If I’m not doing polish that day I sit in bed and read and catch another show. If you are wondering if I go back and clean up my kitchen or do anything else to the home, the answer is nope! I make sure to clean as I cook and everyone is then responsible for placing their dirty dishes into the dishwasher.

That’s it! If you don’t have a self-care routine I hope that my self-care Sunday routine will inspire you to create one just for you. Will my routine change? Possibly, but right now this is what works for me!

My March Favorites for My Self-Care Sunday Routine:

Praise & Worship Music – Tasha Cobb Station on Amazon

Devotionals from YouVersion Bible App – “Read Through The New Testament”, “UnSupermommy,” and “Understanding Evil: Devotions from Your Time of Grace”

Facial Products – Facial Scrub and Mask, Anti Wrinkle Moisturizer, Alcohol-Free Toner, Coconut Eye Cream

Body Products Exfoliating TowelShaving Cream, Moisturizer, Bath SoapBody Wash  

Hair Products Shampoo, Conditioner, Styling Cream, Hair GelHair Oil 

Candle – Soy Candle

BookPraying Circles Around Your Children

Favorite Shows – Netflix (Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt) YouTube (Grandpa Kitchen, Soulful T, and Dr. Josh Axe)

Podcasts Chrystal Evans Hurst and The Kindness Podcast

 

Carmen

 

 

9 Things to Do Before You Become a Mom

Thinking about Motherhood? Well, alright! Motherhood is amazing, but there are some days that you will feel like you’re doing it all so wrong, but I guarantee you that those are the days that your children will give you a big hug and love you even more. These 9 tips are different from the important Pre-Mom tips that I shared with all of you ladies that want to have a baby BUT have so many things to do right now.

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1.  Get Healthy –  This is about taking care of yourself overall, mind, body, and spirit. Motherhood will make you sometimes forget about yourself. This can take a toll on your weight and mental health. Now is the time to not only begin to eat healthily or begin a fitness regimen, but also to make sure that you are in a healthy state of mind. It’s okay to talk to a therapist if you suffer from depression or any other disorders that will affect your health during pregnancy.

2.  Sleep and Nap Often – Listen to me, go to bed! The first 2 years of your child’s life will leave you with many sleepless nights. It’s perfectly normal. Babies are not meant to sleep entirely through the night. Like us, their bodies have a natural sensor to wake when there is a  physical need.

3.  Enjoy Being Nude – I mean only if that’s your thing now. When your little one arrives you’ll have to cover up or be forced to answer the embarrassing question of “what’s that?”.

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4.  Discover Yourself – Find out who you are now! Take the time to accept certain flaws that you have or begin to work on them. Try new things, go places, and learn to love who you are in all facets. Motherhood has a way of making you question everything you sometimes once believed when you selflessly love another human that totally depends on your decisions. Having a child means that your heart is figuratively walking around outside of your own body.

5.  Spend Time With Your Friends – If you enjoy hanging out with friends often this is your time to make the most of it. Motherhood shouldn’t end true friendships, but it can sometimes put a damper on the time that you actually have to spend with friends outside of your own family. If you are expecting a baby, be sure and let your friends know just how important they are and that you need them now more than ever. Real friendships can always pick up where they left off.

6.  Have Sex With Your Spouse (Very Often) – There will be times during your pregnancy when sex will be the last thing you are interested in having. It’s all hormones. There will also be other times that you desire to be much closer to your spouse, so enjoy those times. Having a baby sometimes places a damper on a healthy sex life because you mentally and physically dedicate so much of yourself to your baby. Enjoy sex with your spouse as often as possible. This is also a great time to work on intimacy. Intimacy doesn’t have to include intercourse. Intimacy is important for the times that you are physically unable to have intercourse. It will keep your relationship strong and vibrant. Learn to hug, touch, talk, and kiss often.

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8.  Find a Hobby – Hobbies are so important and I think that people often underestimate how much joy they can actually bring to your life. Hobbies don’t always mean crafting, but that can be fun as well. Hobbies can be reading, organizing, collecting, cooking, fishing, or creating. The list is endless. Hobbies will help you in those moments that you can’t spend time with friends or just feel overwhelmed with responsibilities or people.

9.  Travel Alone – Being a Mom should not stop you from traveling or desiring to travel. Now is the time to take all of your adults only inclusive vacations. When you become a mom you’ll discover that your brain is automatically triggered to search out family vacation spots. It’s true! Ask a mom friend. While family vacations are fun don’t neglect alone time with your spouse.

Do you have any other great ideas for things to do before becoming a Mom? Share them in the comments below!

 

 

Parenting While Sick! 5 Tips to Help You When You Are Feeling Under The Weather

Have you ever been so sick that you’re pooping out of one end and vomiting your heart out of the other? Yeah, me either! If you’re a parent, specifically a mom, well you know that being sick doesn’t equal a sick day. So sad! This isn’t to shame you wonderful dads, but moms for whatever reasons still have to keep moving. I don’t advise this, but let’s keep it real, we always do!

Being sick makes you feel horrible and being a mom means that you have to care for yourself and your family while battling whatever virus or germ that you have. If you are sick while reading this, hopefully, you can find some relief from these small, but powerful suggestions that I have. Also, never ever be afraid to just call your mom, aunt, or best friend. God knows I’ve had to do it a few times and yep, I’m married! Here’s a little advice to use as the sick momma the next time that you feel horrible.

  1. You still have to feed your baby or children…….Right? Even if you are nursing a baby, doctors many times will insist that you continue to nurse your baby because the milk will keep them healthy and from becoming ill. pexels-photo-265996Sadly, momma your body is weak, this is not the time for you to burn in the kitchen. Order out, even if it’s a greasy pizza and you prefer everything homemade and carb free. Also, check to see if your city offers services such as Waitr. They will deliver your meal to your home for a small fee. That fee is actually cheaper than driving your own car. If those two options just don’t work, you can likely pick up a frozen meal or cans of soup from your pharmacy without leaving your car.

  2. Yes, you read the previous statement correct! Sometimes sick momma’s have to pick up their own prescriptions from the pharmacy. Most pharmacies will allow you to request other items at the store during your drive-thru pick up. Just explain to them that you are too weak to come inside and they will extend this service to you. This is a courtesy for ill customers picking up their own prescriptions. Simply ask them to add in a few cans of soup, tissue, etc. any small items that you will need immediately, but can’t physically purchase inside of the store. Please do not abuse the courtesy.medicine-thermometer-tablets-pills

  3. The kids are running and asking you to do a million things……listen if you have the privilege of having an older child, this is that one time where you have to trust that they have listened to you and put their older sibling title to good use. Allow them to assist. No it will not be perfect and the house will be a mess, but it’s okay mom. When you’re well you can make your home sparkle once again. This is also the perfect time to allow your children to binge watch all the cartoons you allow on Netflix or On Demand. If you’re like me and still need to keep an eye on them, have those little sweethearts make a fort or pallet on the floor in your room and demand they do not move unless they have to potty. Allow them to binge on snacks and laugh as loud as they want to. No, you won’t have quiet rest, but at least you can keep an eye on them while you nod on and off.

  4. Offer to pay for dinner for a family member with the guarantee that they take your children as well. Ask a grandparent or a trusted friend to come and stay until you feel better.

  5. Make your husband take a day off from work. Yes, he’s perfectly fine, but you are weak. Have your hubby take the day off and care for the children, the home, the meals, and you should use this as an opportunity to just go and disappear under your blanket. Many times we like to feel as if we have it all together and most of the times we probably do. However, if you are in a relationship, you’re not alone. You should never feel obligated to do it all. Sometimes we only need to ask for help and men will willingly show us that they can handle the load that we carry. Yes, it will probably look like a train wreck, but that too shall pass.

While this advice may seem sarcastic and possibly funny, it’s real advice. Momma, we know you are strong, but taking care of yourself is just as important when you are well or ill. You are a priority and don’t allow the world to make you feel guilty for adding self-care to your to-do list. Get well soon mommas, so that you can get back to being amazingly awesome!

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