MommyMode: Parenting Labels

I hate mom titles! Seriously, they make my skin crawl. But in the parenting world where there are numerous “sub-categories” or labels, you can’t help it when others try to place you in a box. Above all else I loathe the stay-at-home mom versus the working mom discourse. My first experience with this trivial topic took place in my then 4 ½ month old daughter’s Gymboree playgroup. As an icebreaker each family went around the room introducing themselves and their little one, which normally included occupations as well, and out of the 9 couples there I was the only wife who was a working mom. Of course, a few moms asked me, “How do you go to work every day…Don’t you miss your little one…I could never work with my child being so young?” Internally I’m screaming “Yes I miss her all the time!!! I freaking broke down sobbing when we had to drop her off the 1st day of daycare and almost had a complete meltdown at work when I forgot to have my OB sign off that I was cleared to return to work!”  

 

For about a month afterward I felt so guilty going to work and leaving my precious baby girl at daycare. During this time I started to doubt myself as mother/wife, but I had a sorely needed confidence boost when my daughter got sick for the first time. Here I am balancing teaching twenty-five 1st graders, tending to a cute kid with a scratchy cough and horrible chest congestion, and my relationship with my husband. In that moment it didn’t matter if I was a SAHM or working mom, I was just a MOM. Being a parent is a 24-hour job with long days and nights. In my 3 ½ years of experience in this mommy game I’ve developed one main parenting rule: as long as my kid is healthy, happy, safe, and loved I must be doing something right. In the grand scheme of things it doesn’t matter if you choose to stay at home or work as long as you tack “mom” to the end.

 

So the next time you see another mom at Target or at the playground give an encouraging smile because raising tiny humans is hard and we ALL are doing an amazing job.

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Book Review: Jamie Loves Her Natural Hair

Being a mom has simultaneously been my greatest accomplishment and toughest job in life so far. When my husband and I found out we were expecting a little girl I knew I had to be the best role model for her while building her self-esteem from an early age. Growing up there were few positive images of girls that looked like me in the media, and we all know how impressionable young ones can be. My goal was to expose her to tv shows, books, clothing designs, etc. that represent little natural haired brown girls like herself.

I soon discovered that representation truly matters because anytime my daughter sees an image of a little girl with natural hair she says, “She looks like me!”. So when Ariane Roberts contacted me to review her book Jamie Loves Her Natural Hair, I was beyond ecstatic because I knew automatically my kid was going to love it. We read the book numerous times this week before bed and her enthusiasm for the story and the relatable imagery hasn’t wavered. Her favorite part of the book is the section with the little girl wearing beads since she currently has beads in her hair.

As a parent and elementary school teacher, I think this book is an amazing asset by teaching kids how to love and accept themselves. There are various natural hairstyles mentioned by the main character, Jamie, throughout the book, so every little girl who reads it will see a small part of themselves in the story. The narrative is very uplifting, the illustrations are beautiful and unique, and the message shines a positive light on natural hair. So if you’re in the market for an empowering book for your little princess, I highly recommend giving Jamie Loves Her Natural Hair a try!

You can buy this wonderful book on Jamie Loves Her Natural Hair and Amazon !!

Bri enjoying her new book!

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LifeSTYLE: Favorite Cookbooks

Since I’m on summer break I have had more time plan out yummy meals for my family. Pinterest is usually my go to for recipes but lately, I have been using my extra time to prepare recipes from my favorite cookbooks.

Chrissy Teigen: Cravings
I’m a big fan of Chrissy she’s super goofy and loves to eat. So pretty much in my head, she is my foodie twin. I was eyeing this cookbook for a while, so when my husband got the book for me last Mother’s Day I was more than excited. One of my go-to recipes is John’s Chicken, try it you will thank me later.

Ayesha Curry: The Seasoned Life
I stumbled across Ayesha’s Youtube channel a few years back and fell in love with her cooking. Now I’m an avid watcher of her Food Network show and her cooking clips on Instagram. One of my favorite things about her cookbook is the kid friendly recipes. My little one loves the chicken tenders.

Tia Mowry: Whole New You
This is the newest book in my collection but I have been following Tia’s cook for the past 3 years on her cooking show. My goal since the beginning of summer has been to make healthier meals for me and my family. This book is a great way to jumpstart your healthy eating lifestyle.

Please tell me some of your favorite cookbooks in the comment section and don’t forget to follow me on Pinterest for more amazing recipes.

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SelfLove: Walking in Your Purpose

Fear of failure has always been a roadblock in my life. I have always linked failure to disappointment and I never want to disappoint my loved ones around me. However, lately I’ve had time to reflect on the last 3 months specifically and I realized this fear of failure was creating roadblocks in my life. So instead of focusing on whether or not my actions or decisions will disappoint others, my focus became walking in my own purpose.

Everyone has a calling in life; whether it’s to entertain, create, inspire or educate, we are all destined to strive for greatness at whatever we are passionate about. My come-to-Jesus moment happened while I was scrolling through Instagram one day. I came across numerous influential women doing amazing things with their businesses, brand, blogs, vlogs, and websites. I wanted that. I follow many of these women for inspiration/motivation but yet here I was too scared to step outside of my bubble.

As I continued scrolling multiple emotions came over me: doubt, envy, fear. Eventually all of those negative feelings gave way to realization and determination. Nothing was different between them and me except that they weren’t afraid to walk in their purpose. My fear of failure is what stopped me from attempting anything that was out of the ordinary, but once I understood my roadblock I created a plan to help me get pass it.

1.Be Fearless: it is okay to fail as long as you get back up and grind harder than before to reach your goals

2. Make your goals realistic: Try not to be one of those people who sets themselves up for failure by setting far-fetched goals accompanied by unreasonable timelines. I believe in setting small, realistic short-term goals that eventually lead into completing larger long-term goals. Short goals help keep you on track and motivated.

3. You are your Tribe: From a young age I learned to be aware of the company I kept because I could easily be judged by who I had around me. I had to be very mindful of my tribe. Surrounding yourself with people who are positive, inspiring and genuine will help keep you motivated while allowing you the chance to be supportive of someone else trying to reach their goals.

These are my go to tips that have been helping me stay focused and to continue reaching for my goals. What keeps you motivated and walking in your purpose? Leave your responses in the comment below!

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#ProjectPDA

As you all know I’m all about positivity and uplifting one another. So while watching YouTube today I came across a Covergirl ad that I truly felt needed to be shared. Covergirl has created #ProjectPDA (Public Display of Application) campaign to show that makeup is a form of art and should be celebrated. The campaign encourages makeup lovers to express themselves freely and not be ashamed of putting their makeup on in public. Thank you Covergirl for reminding us to be bold and unapologetic.
Check out the video below for more information and don’t forget to use #projectpda
***This is not a sponsored post***

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ChalkOla Review

ChalkOla Marker Review copy

All my life I have been a doodler. Writing or sketching has always helped me keep focus on whatever task I’m trying to complete. So when I was contacted by ChalkOla to review their chalk markers I could not pass up the offer. The inner neat freak in me couldn’t wait to try the markers on my various chalkboard labels while my educator side was excited to have my students use them during our PBL project.

Here is a little information about ChalkOla markers:

All ChalkOla products are water based and non-toxic. Great to use with the kiddos.

The markers work on any non-porous surface: chalkboard, dry erase boards, plastic and glass.

Clean up is very simple using a cleaning wipe or damp cloth.

Plat

I have always wanted to try chalk markers, so the day my package came I was like a kid in candy store. I received an 8 Count of Jumbo Neon Markers and a 16 Count of Chalk Pens and Metallic Markers. I honestly loved using the markers; the colors came off bright and vibrant and they were as easy to use as normal markers. Due to the high density of the chalk ink it does take a minute to get the markers working initially, but after that using them is a breeze. We tried using it on various surfaces (chalkboard, dry erase board, glass mirror and chalkboard labels) and the markers performed equally well across them all. I will say that the neon colors looked really good against the black background of the chalkboard and chalkboard labels.

My favorite aspect was the easy and straightforward clean up, especially after using them with a 3 year old. I simply used either a Clorox or baby wipe to clean the ink from any of the various test surfaces even after it had completely dried. Another nice attribute I noticed is that after cleaning the ink from a surface and letting it dry there was no residue like you may have with normal or dry erase markers. This means you don’t have to worry about having weird hues appear in your creations after erasing an old image from your drawing surface.Untitled design

If you’re interested in purchasing these products you can get them on Amazon with the links below. Also the amazing people over at ChalkOla have offered my readers a 15% flat discount on all ChalkOla Products.

Coupon Code15OFFSTR

Website: chalkola.com

Since my family enjoyed using the markers so much I want to give one of my readers the chance to win a 16 Count of Markers. Enter your email and name in comment section and make sure to follow @Beesosimple and @chalkolachalkmarker on Instagram!

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