Monday, December 8, 2014

Mommy Monday: My Favorite Mom Blogs

Wooohoooo!  It's Monday!  Ok, maybe I shouldn't try so hard with the excitement.  The truth is I am really excited to be getting so much done today.  This past weekend, all I did was sleep.  I mean, I was rendered completely useless.  I slept about 10-14 hours each day from Friday to Sunday. I think I am over-estimating exactly how much physical work my body is doing as I build a baby.  Additionally, it has not fully sunk into my mind that I am no longer as young and fit as I was back in the day.  When I pull an all-nighter now, while pregnant, it's like I went out three nights in a row, binge drinking!  When I take Benadryl at 11pm now, again, it's like I went out three nights in a row, binge drinking.  I wake up, feeling hung-over, incoherent, and cranky.  I am learning these things slowly, but let me tell you what, Now that these lessons have been learned, I will be taking heed!

All weekend, as I struggled to stay awake more than sleep, I kept thinking of all the celebrities who make pregnancy look like a walk in the park.  Uhm, yea right!  I guess I would look wonderful too if I had a full glam squad at my beck and call.  I would have energy too if I had a nanny, maid, cook, personal stylist all at my beck and call.  I would be glowing too if I had money for the best vitamins, hair extensions, make up lines, and maternity spa treatments.

But I don't.  Little ol' me?  I have Life.  Real Fucking Life.  So I turned my focus, not to celebrities, although I love watching them like the rest of the world, but to Real Women.  There are times, when I just need to relate to someone REAL!  I am in love with Social Media.  I think, when used responsibly, it is a great tool for connecting with others and a great source of inspirations.  Or at least, that's what I tell myself as I creep around on all these pages, following people I have never personally met.  I'm sure they don't mind though. LOL.

I figured I would share some of my favorite Blogging Mommies with you.  It just so happens that all of these women are pregnant and one has just given birth.  Please know that NONE of the following photos are my own, but belong to the awesome Bloggers out there, sharing their wonderful experiences with us all.  All of their information is posted after each photo and it would be fantastic if you could check out their IG accounts, YT channels, and blogs.  Needless to say, I am aaaalll about supporting self-made, creative women!

Chriselle is this awesome stylist and fashion blogger that lives in California. I love her elegant and feminine style.  Nothing is too over-the-top, although I usually can't afford one single thing she is wearing!  My favorite thing about Chriselle is her honesty.  I have followed her blog, The Chriselle Factor, YouTube Channel and, now, her Instagram since she first started.  You can definitely see her growth through her progress.  I love that she doesn't mind to open up and share about the things she's experienced, whether it be about her miscarriage or opening up about how much weight she has gained during her pregnancy.  I think women need to be honest with one another and we need more role models who are confident enough in their own skin to share those honest moments with others.

 I totally forgot to mention that she posts AMAZING pictures of DELICIOUS FOOD!!!
Follow Chriselle:  YouTube // Blog // Instagram @ChriselleLim

Jade is someone that I totally just stumbled upon during one of my Instagram trolling moments.  Ok, I won't lie, I don't even know what "social media trolling" really means, but I do explore all the time for people to follow who share wonderful experiences and beautiful photos.  Jade has such a simple and beautiful style.  I could actually see myself wearing some of the things that she shows on her fashion/ beauty blog, A Spoonful of Style.  Well, I would wear them if I were as cute as she is!  I have SO MANY things that I love about this woman and her blog/IG account.  First, I love that I can afford just about everything that she posts.  Seriously.  And the clothes she gets aren't from some sort of ritzy, hyper expensive specialty shops.  Home girl goes to the mall!  I think we can all manage that, right?  I also love the pictures she shares of her home.... because I am a weirdo like that.  LOL. I love interior decorations, even though I am no good at decorating at all.  A girl can dream!  I also love, Love, LOVE that she shares so many pictures of her nursery.  I love it because a.) I am terrible with decorating, and I need all the ideas I can get for my own Little Someone and b.) her nursery is to die for!  So pretty and elegant. 

Follow Jade: YouTube // Blog // Instagram @JScott24

Naomi is a lifestyle blogger, living in New York.  I love that she is a city girl, making the city life look as cozy as country living!  She has this artsy-mod look about her and I love that about her style.  Most of the other bloggers I follow don't have as edgy of a look as she does, which is a lot of fun to experience.  My favorite thing about her blog, Love Taza, is that it is so family oriented.  It's loaded with gorgeous pictures of her family and home (I know, I'm creeping again!).  She so relatable in each post, like being a mom is really no big deal, ever.  I love how unapologetic she is about her life and experiences.  It's so beautiful.  She also gives great advice on motherhood and toddler eats.  I don't know if you have ever experienced a picky child at the dinner table, but this Mama right here could use all the help she can get. My Little Darling won't eat anything!

Follow Naomi: YouTube // Blog // Instagram @taza

Lastly, but definitely not least, Amy is awesome!  I love her IG account.  She's, in a lot of ways, a woman after my own heart.  She's currently serving in the military, which I respect so much, having grown up as an army brat myself.  I love her style.  It's a mix of tomboy comfort and simple girly looks.  She's also hella crafty!  I am always tuned in to see what's coming out of her craft room next.  She is also a woman of Faith. I am in love with a woman who has Faith and is unapologetic about it.  I love seeing her doodles on the side of the Bible, and the verses that have inspired her throughout the weeks as she posts.   For me, she is kind of the total package in terms of my personal interests because I can get all my fixes in one spot!  A cute outfit idea every here and there.  Great craft inspo.  Bible verses to meditate and reflect upon.  Honest and so real, but able to maintain a sense of positivity and gratitude.  She also shared her nursery, which was so unique!  I love the ideas I gathered from it.  Pop on over to her IG account and wish her a Major Heartfelt Congratulations on her brand new, perfect baby girl!

Follow Amy:  Instagram @AmyLouHawthorne // Shop Amy's designs @bestillclothingcompany

So yea, I know, these women are all quite different.  I have a personal and unique style of my own, but I LOVE to explore the styles and lifestyles of others.  I am too old and too much of a Mommy to have these explorations first hand.  That's what social media is for me.  A way that I can peak into what other women who are experiencing similar things are doing, how they're coping, and how they're creating and paving a way for their children into the future.  Hopefully, one day, I can do the same.

Happy Monday!

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Belated Tummy Tuesday:: 21 Weeks

Whew!  This week has completely flown by.  I feel like LIFE is completely flying by.  Do you remember those days, as a child, on a summer break from school?  Remember being frustrated, wanting summer to hurry and end so you can be back in school with your friends all day and have something to do?  I remember those days all too well.  I remember living with my grandma at one time.  She told me, "Oh just wait til you get old and slow down a bit.  Wait til you get a job too!  When you spend all your day, rushing around for work and taking care of a family, you are never bored and time flies!"  I just thought she was being crazy.  She was so right!

This week, I have no sketch......  Aaaaahhh!!!  Already slacking at my "weekly task"!  I am so terrible with sticking to schedules and routines.  I am fortunate that I have made time each week to take belly pictures.  Believe me, that's a real improvement to my otherwise completely free spirit.

This week, I have been filled with thoughts about "Being Pretty".  As I admitted before, I literally get up and get dressed and make myself pretty for each of these mini photo shoots.  Under normal circumstances, you can find me sitting around in yoga pants, a baggy t-shirt, with my hair in a messy ponytail.  No make up.  No jewelry.  No smile either.
It never really occurred to me how .... uhm... what's a nice way to put it?  I never realized that I had become frumpy.  My husband never said anything.  My Little Darling is obsessed with nothing other than my growing belly, and for that, she finds me to be the most beautiful being on the planet.

It wasn't until yesterday, Wednesday, that I had to go to volunteer as a Parent Reader for the day at my Little Darling's private school.  I was irritable because I had very narrow guidelines on what books I could read, and I actually had to go out and buy a book specifically for this volunteer session.  I was exhausted because I hadn't slept much in the past few days.  So yea, "Frumpy Mummy" was also "Grumpy Mummy" as well.  After dropping off our Little Darling, The Hubs delicately tells me that I need to do something about my appearance before volunteering because I look like a bum. 

Now, I am never one to get upset when someone is telling me the TRUTH, and he definitely was!  I shower daily, but I never moisturize.  I am clearly African American and my skin gets hella dry if I don't moisturize.  But I am too lazy.  For those of you who swear lotions and coco butters are the way to steer clear of stretch marks, I will tell you now that I am making way for Stretch Mark City. I hang out in whatever pajama situation I pull out of the closet, not caring to match.  I mean, I won't even try to get dressed.  I also have become accustomed to not wearing stuff....  Like, no bra, no make up, no deodorant.  The night before, The Hubs told me I cut him with the heels of my crusty feet.  HE was joking around, but sure enough, my feet looked HORRIBLE!  I mean, I was still wearing polish on my toes from a pedicure that I had gotten this summer.  Yep.  That bad. 

I didn't mean for it to happen.  I am so overwhelmed right now with these plans of a handmade holiday season.  I am always tired during this pregnancy.  I feel like I have to pick between getting rest and getting things done.  I usually opt for getting things done, but those "things" have nothing to do with my appearance, happiness, or wellbeing.  I figured, as long as I manage 5 hours of sleep, stay away from crack, meth, and LSD, and as long as I eat and use the bathroom, I am rocking it out.  Right?  Well, no.  Not exactly.  I am not the type of girl who's self esteem is tied to my appearance, but I definitely find value in taking care of myself.  I notice that when I don't bother with putting myself together, my overall mood takes a turn for the worse.

I am learning now that I need to put myself, ME, first sometimes.  I had to pause for a moment and look around.  Truth be told, nothing is as 100% as I like to pretend, so why I don't make time to take better care of myself is a total mystery.  As a preggo, I am realizing the importance of making time to do these little things that make me feel beautiful and wonderful on the inside and on the outside. 

It's not selfish to take 5-10 minutes to put on some make up, which I only wear if I am going out to a social/professional event, or if I am planning to be photographed.  It's not selfish to do a home manicure or pedicure, if you can manage.  And if you can no longer touch your toes, or your feet have gone past the point of redemption, it's perfectly fine to get a mani-pedi somewhere and a foot massage!  It's also OK to buy nice maternity clothes.  Yes, you will only need them for a limited time, but let's face it, most of us aren't going to bounce right back into our pre-pregnancy bodies within 90 days, so, if we are being honest with ourselves, we'll wear these maternity clothes for 6months past our due dates.  They're comfortable and why not get a little extra use?

I just want to be clear about something important::  If you prefer to be "comfortable" in your yoga pants, t-shirts, and fluffy socks, there is NOTHING WRONG WITH THAT!   If you are a tomboy or a "Casual Cutie", as I like to call my yoga pants wearing sisters (LOL), then feel completely free to do that too.  Don't be discouraged and stop putting on your cute yoga pants because most maternity clothes are too feminine or frilly.  Don't sit around in men's pajamas.  It's not selfish to go out and buy the maternity version of your Casual Cutie uniform.

I think the point that I am trying to make is that we need to do what works for us.  We need to do what works for our families.  Taking care of yourself, feeling beautiful and healthy (emotionally and physically) is the Best way to get on the path to taking great care of your family.  Your happiness will transcend into your home.  If you usually put yourself together, then don't fall apart because you are pregnant or because you went from working to being a stay at home mom.  Get Pretty!  Do it for yourself.  There's nothing wrong, bad, or selfish about staying true to that part of yourself.

For me, I will be paying better attention to myself.  I get so wrapped up in art projects and taking care of my family that I forget about ME.  I forget to do those little tiny things that make me feel feminine and beautiful.  As I mentioned before, I am horrible with sticking to plans and routines, so we will see if I fall right back into my slump or if I will be able to keep up my new found motivation to make more time for myself.  First thing on the list:  Chisel off this three month old nail polish off my poor toes!
Happy Thursday.... Make way for FRIDAAAYYY!!!