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candicess

Baby

The Eco-Friendly Toy Guide

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Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, Happy Kwanzaa, Happy Hanukkah!

I love the holidays! Although I’m not into the whole commercialization of the season, I do like the Christmas music (Temptations and Boyz II Men are always on repeat), drinking hot chocolate, and just the whole holiday spirit in the air. This year was Benjamin’s first Christmas and I was all over the place trying to make sure it was a great experience for him.  I know he’s just six months old so, he won’t remember a thing but at least he’ll have pics to look back on.

My husband and I gifted him with some savings bonds (have to start early with the financial literacy!), clothes, shoes, and just a few toys.  It was a great day spent with some of my in-laws since we spent Thanksgiving in Florida with my family.

In my search for toys for Benjamin, I looked for ones that would be educational and safe for him since he is also at the stage where he puts everything in his mouth. I’m sharing some great eco-friendly toy companies that have toys for babies without all of the BPA’s, lead, and other toxic materials.

  1. Baby Earth 
  2. Green Toys
  3. Maple Landmark Toys
  4. Under the Nile

I know there are probably others out there but, these are the ones I am most familiar with.

Do you look for eco-friendly, natural, green toys for your kids? Which ones are your favorites?


Eats

Winter Wonderland + Birthday Reflections

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Hey loves!

Last week Saturday was my birthday and while I had planned on getting all cute to head out to dinner with my husband, Mother Nature had other plans.  Atlanta was hit with 4+ inches of snow the day before, which is a lot in this part of the country, some areas got much more than that.

After a slightly nerve-racking two hour drive home that evening, I was beyond tired and any chance of finding some last-minute outfit pieces were out of the question.  The morning of my birthday, the power was out and the snow was still coming down! Any plans for a dinner or anything were out of the question.  I was just grateful to be safe at home with my husband and son.

We decided to take Benjamin outside for a little to snap a few pics and let him see snow for the first time.

When your husband is a photographer, you just learn to take pics even when you don’t think your eyebrows look right and your hair is not done, and hope for the best.

As low key as this birthday was, it was one of my best ones ever. I am excited about all of the great changes to come and I am overwhelmed with gratitude when I think about how blessed I am to have a great husband, our miracle baby, health, and my right mind.

The snow on that day was icing on the cake because it reminded me of when I was growing up in New York and it would snow during the holiday season.  Learning to live in the moment has really changed my life for the better.  God has truly blessed me!


Baby, PCOS

Believe It, See It, and Wait for It

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Sometimes I wonder if this is still a dream.  A little past five months have gone by since God blessed us with our sweet, little Benjamin. I cried and prayed for over ten years for a healthy baby.  I researched.  There were times when I gave up on the idea of being a mommy because I thought maybe it’s just not in the cards. Then, I went back to crying and praying again.

When I finally let go and learned how to be okay with God’s timing, everything happened! I got engaged, married, and found out I was pregnant all within the same year.  It was overwhelming yet surreal.  The baby that doctors told me I would probably never have naturally due to PCOS, was born on June 2, 2017.

I am asking God for some more major blessings in my life and whenever I get frustrated, I look at this little face and remember that God is hearing me and He will answer in His way, in His own time.

Thank you Benjamin for teaching me already how to be fully present and enjoy every minute of life.  You are truly our miracle and answered prayer, and a living testimony of the power of faith in God.

Ladies, if there is anything you have been wishing, praying, and crying for believe with your whole heart that God will give you just what you need at the right time.  I mean, really see yourself where you want to be and then wait on God to do His thing.  I waited over ten years but let me tell you– it is truly magical!

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”- Jeremiah 29:11

My e-book, This Side of Faith, is now available on Amazon! Learn how to walk in faith and get the life you have been dreaming of.


Baby

5 Things No One Told Me About Being a New Mom

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  1.  The night sweats. If menopause is anything like this….Lord help me.  Every night I wake up drenched in sweat and throughout the day I have random hot flashes that are so serious I want to strip all the way down.  Hopefully, my hormones will normalize soon and I will
  2. My neck, my back!  Maybe it’s my advanced maternal age (medical terms for ‘you’re old as heck having a baby’) but, my neck and back hurt terribly!  I’m propping my back with tons of pillows while feeding Benjamin and doing tons of exercises and stretches when I get a free minute but, it’s not a long-term solution at all. If you’ve had back pain you know how annoying it can be.  It literally affects everything I do.  I have to make an appointment at Massage Heights and with a chiropractor ASAP.
  3. Showers and meals are a luxury.  I never realized how much my time management skills would be challenged! Simple things like taking a long shower and sitting down to eat a meal have become a thing of the past.  As soon as Benjamin is quiet or sleeping, I’m running to scarf down something to eat or running into the shower for all of two minutes….if that.
  4. Breastfeeding is work.  Everything I thought about breastfeeding has gone out of the window over the past nine weeks.  I’ve been nursing a lot more than I thought I would, which is good but it has really taken a lot out of me.  I am constantly raiding the kitchen because of all of these calories I’m burning being Ben’s personal cow.  And between nursing, pumping, and bottle feeding I am exhausted!
  5.  Emotional wreck.  I was not expecting the daily crying sessions and inner mama bear emotions over my little man.  Pre-mommyhood, I was so not the emotional type but, this little boy (and these postpartum hormones) has changed all of that.

Being a mom is a lot more work than I could have ever imagined but, what I also did not know was that I could be so madly in love with another human being (other than my hubby).  This little boy is everything I prayed for and more!  When I look at his little angel face, I’m reminded of how faithful God is. Despite the things doctors told me for years, I had to have faith that could move mountains that God would give me a healthy baby one day. It was hard as hell and I had some low moments but, he was all worth it.

 

New mommies, what are some things you have learned while parenting that you did not expect?