Disney On Ice

I'll preface this and say that I was probably ten times more excited for this experience than Amaya was but regardless, I think my babe enjoyed it. This year for Amayas birthday, Bryan and I decided to forgo the themed birthday party and instead chose to give her an experience for the big three.

I never was able to experience this as a child so at thirty years old, I was happy to be able to share this experience with my little girl.

Perhaps it was that she didn't have a nap that afternoon but if we're keeping it a hundred percent real, for the first hour of the show, I wasn't sure that she was even enjoying herself. To know Amaya is to love her, and if you know her well enough, you know that her and crowds are a pretty touchy area. She either loves her environment or hates it and will hide like a turtle in a shell. Most times she's a turtle unless she's in her element, like at home or my sisters.

The day of Disney on Ice, she was pumped up and ready to go and with the amazing seats we had we thought she'd be pumped, but three rows back from the ice might have been a little to close for comfort for our gal.

We pulled out all the stops for her first Disney on Ice experience and I couldn't have been more happy for the seats and the view we had of the show. Once Amaya got settled from the hesitance of the crowd and was seated comfortably on either Daddy or my lap, she was in it.

We definitely have to brush up on our Disney movies for her to really understand but she knew her princesses and of course Mickey and friends from the Mickey Mouse Clubhouse.

The Lion King 

Peter Pan
This was definitely one of my favorite performances, visual wise.

The Little Mermaid 
She loves some Ariel but Ursula, she wanted no freaking parts of that. 

And last but not least
The act we were all waiting for...
The show that perked the birthday girl right up...

All eyes were on Anna and Elsa has they glided across the ice from start to finish. I'm pretty sure at this point in the show, all Amaya's dreams had come true. The girl who not only watches Frozen but has has now moved on to completely reenacting it was completely in her element.

She was in her Elsa dress and all was right in her world.

I would give everything and pay all the money in the world to see the sparkle in her eyes, as I did then.

I'm so happy she loved it by the end and I can't wait to have many more of these experiences and adventures with her.

Hope you enjoyed your birthday celebration Amaya Bear! 

Steeler Nation

We bleed black and gold.
Win or lose.

Here we go.
Steelers Nation.

Embracing Amaya's Curls

When I was pregnant with Amaya we chose to not to find out the sex of the baby, which even though, exciting....partly terrified me. There was a million questions to be answered either way, but the one thing I feared most was having to deal with a daughter and her inevitable curly mane that I would have to tame.

It was pretty much a given that any child of ours would have curly hair, considering I have naturally curly hair myself and her father has the waves and curls concurrent to African American hair. So when the day came and they proudly announced that I was the mama of a beautiful baby girl, one of the first thoughts I had was 'Oh shit...'

I could barely make my own hair and curls look presentable, so how was I ever going to send her out into the world not looking a hot mess?

Not until my high school years did I ever have to worry about my hair. My mom unfortunately did not know how to tame my mane of frizzy curls as a child so she took my sister and I to the salon and got it all chopped off. Yep, you read that right. She will never live it down as long as she lives, the mushroom top she gave this child and the ensuing harassment and bullying by other kids. One look that does not flatter a curly haired child in the depths of adolescents is a bowl cut with bangs. FUCKING BANGS! I was in all forms of the word...riding the hot mess express with that hair do and the four eye jokes that wrote themselves for a kid with glasses as well.

So obviously from that moment on, I promised myself and my hypothetical children that I would never make them endure the cruel punishment that I lived in my short curly haired prison.

Fast forward a gang of years later to present day with a very sassy and opinionated three year old....

You see for the last three years I have been lucky and Amaya has let me do as I please to her hair. A little bow here, a big headband there...all was good in my world with a easy peasy babe whose hair was just growing in. Sadly for me, that has all changed very quickly....and little miss diva has an opinion on everything, especially when it comes to her hair.


Mind you, Emma is her daycare bestie who is a petite little girl with wispy straight blonde hair and who will never know the struggle Amaya goes through with hair brushing. In reality, we don't even brush Amaya's hair. Any brush that we have tried thus far has been a disaster. Right now we use our pick and I'll go through her hair as well with my fingers. Unlike many bath times, we can not wash, condition, comb and call it a day.

Bath times are everyday but we reserve hair washing days for twice a week. I plan on sharing our whole routine in a future post, if anyone will be interested. Right now though, we're working our way through a bevy of products trying to find out what works best for Amaya's hair and texture.

So far, this has produced the best results and has added shine and has contained alot of her frizz...

With Amaya having such sensitive and dry skin, it was important for me to find something that contained as much natural ingredients as possible, and this right here, fit the bill perfectly.

As her hair grows and becomes even more wild, I'm sure we will find ourselves in a sea of even more hair care products but I'm glad we're finally making our way through this tame the mane terrain. This is all new to me, so I YouTube and Google many of my resources, but I'm always looking for any helpful tips elsewhere. I'm grateful that I also have a good group of girlfriends in the IG community who I can bounce ideas and exchange info with concerning our biracial babes and their tresses.

To the moms raising biracial babes out there, what have been your go to products and styling tips whilet wrangling your toddler and their more than lijely, kinky curls?

Sunday Mornings

Sunday mornings...

...you are peaceful.
...you are slow moving.
...you are delightful.

There is just something special about a Sunday morning. A quiet day after a busy Saturday night or an eventful weekend, where I just want to slow down and savor the hours. Sadly, the hours seem to go too quickly on Sundays and it quickly turns into the Sunday grind in preparation for Monday and the upcoming work week.

But we're not here to talk about that...
We're here to enjoy the sweet sabbatical that is Sunday.

This morning I was up at the crack of dawn and decided to get my laundry and house work out of the way before the little woke up. Any mom or dad can vouch that getting anything done without a tiny human around is indefinitely ten times more easier and a million times more faster without sticky little hands and feet afoot.

For how much easier it is on me, not to have her constantly under me trying to 'help'...the one area I don't skip out on letting Amaya help with is cooking.

My mom wasn't much a cook growing up so I never really learned how to cook or prepare meals until I was well into my 20's. That's not to say I'm some Betty Crocker or Martha Stewart in the kitchen, but I know how to make a handful of good meals.

And when all else fails, there's always box batters and mixes.

I'll never bullshit you and pretend that I'm over here making organic this and that and building every culinary creation by hand. The reality is, is that I work 10 hour days, 4 days a week and most times, all I can muster is a box meal with a side of frozen veggies.

Sunday mornings though, I try and go out of our weekday comfort zone and instead of frozen waffles or cereal, we'll whip up some pancakes, eggs, and fresh fruit.

We're not fancy folk, but a nice pancake breakfast on a Sunday morning perks us right up.

We hope to keep up our Sunday morning breakfast making together for as long as she's interested. Right now she is at a the age where she enjoys helping and I'm going to savor that for as long as I can.

Plus, if we have some yummy treats and meals to share together afterwards, double win.

Hope everyone is enjoying their Sunday.

Sidenote: let's all hope for a big Steelers win tonight...unless you're a Chiefs fan.

One Word: Focus

It's the time of year where resolutions are running amok and everyone is set on setting the best intent of goals for the oncoming year. It only seems right. A new year sitting blank full of opportunities and aspirations that we all hope to attain.

And I want that too.
With everything that I've been facing these last couple of months, I've held on tightly to the thought of a fresh new year full of fresh starts and new beginnings for Amaya and I.

I am sure many of us bloggers and instagrammers have heard of the One Word Challenge that dictates that you choose one word that you'd like to encompass for the year and in a way, sort of live by going forward. Last year I chose the word Intentional. I wanted to be intentional in my marriage, in my relationships and friendships, in my motherhood journey and in all the things I surrounded myself with. It was a good word for me and I believe in all areas, I achieved living a more intentional life even if some of the areas didn't work out as I wanted.

With that said, I wanted to have a more structured word going into this New Year. A year that I want to live fearlessly and make moves that bring positivity and good energy into my life.

So with that I chose the word:


Focus - /noun/ - an act of concentrating interest or activity on something

or one that I like better and fits into my photography interest...

Focus - /verb/ - the state or quality of having or producing clear visual definition.

With so many areas of my life being up in the air right now it has been a struggle for me to keep my head above water physically, mentally, and emotionally lately and I don't like that feeling. As a person who deals with anxiety on a daily basis, I fear and loathe the grey area of matters and I don't like the feeling of helplessness.

I have a tattoo on my ribs that says 'Fear Not Thee Unknown' and I want to get back to that mindset. I want to look forward to the future and the unknown with excitement and with anticipation . I want to see the future and be in a good place to where I welcome new opportunities but first I need to focus.

Focus on me.
Focus on Amaya.
Focus on the good.

So with that said, I wanted to compile a list of sorts to keep me on track and keep me pushing in the right direction. 

This year I will FOCUS on:

- finding what truly makes me happy
- allow myself to be vulnerable/emotional
- allow myself to process my feelings
- bringing positivity into my life

- helping her with the transition of our family dynamic changing
- establish steady routines to keep things as normal as possible
- unplug more from our electronics
- plan and execute more totschool activities
- work more on potty training
- involve her in more household chores
- plan more Mommy + Amaya dates
- enjoy more couch cuddles and savor the nights she wants to be rocked yet

- keep lines of communication open
- maintain a positive and healthy relationship
- maintain visitation and scheduled dates together
- allow opportunities for change and growth

- introduce and expose Amaya to the teachings and to the idea of God
- attend church at least once a month 
- read and participate in a bible journal
- allow myself to ask questions and seek counsel

- go the gym at least twice a week
- introduce more in home workouts to Amaya and I
- learn how to cook healthier meals
- eat smaller portions during meal times
- try a juice cleanse
- reading labels and learning more about the foods were eating

- finish current renovations
- work on time line for future renovations
- find my home style
- display more of my photography
- create a sanctuary for myself

- establish a more solid monthly budget
- pay off debt bills
- create emergency and expenditure fund accounts
- work on raising my credit score
- create a savings account for Amaya

- create a life that I'm happy with
- never settling 
- looking for the good in all things

This is just the thin layer of the life I want to create for myself over the next year. A quick view to the deeper side of life that I plan on focusing on.

Do you have any resolutions or word of the year you'd like to share. I'm always up for hearing how others also want to make changes. 

Either way...
To everyone, I hope you have a blessed and wonderful New Year.


Amaya's Dollhouse

It was atleast four months before Christmas when Amaya decided she wanted Santa to bring her a dollhouse for the special holiday. More accurately, she wanted a bike and a Barbie Dollhouse, as to what she told her teachers at school during a 'what you want for Christmas...' craft.

Okay, bike...check.
Over the summer she's was loving the bike she liked to ride at my Uncle Johns, so I knew she'd absolutely thrilled with that but I was a little hesitant on the Barbie dollhouse.

I have no problem with Barbie and her ever changing careers, style, and life of luxury but I wasn't keen on the idea of a big plastic pink monstrosity taking over my living room and inevitably breaking into a bunch of plastic pieces. Yes, I let my daughter play with plastic toys and she has a whole room full of loud, obnoxious battery operated, character driven plastic toys but I try when I can to go for wood as much as possible.

So on the search I went for a dollhouse with good 'wood' bones and something that Amaya could grow with throughout the years. To be honest, my search was pretty meh with wooden dollhouses being a tad pricey (Ala PB and such) but then I remembered that one of my favorite IG / mommy bloggers, redid a dollhouse for her daughter and boom, there I went.

This is where I give all the credit to my girl Kozy and Co. (IG: @kozyandco) as this was her complete creative vision and I just recreated the broke gals version of it.

Like Jessica, from Kozy and Co., I wanted a dollhouse that:
- was both aesthetically pleasing to the eye from the front and back
- looked like an actual home from the front as opposed to shelving
- that I could paint to fit the colors of Amaya's room and playroom.

The original design of the house comes with pink siding, with a purple roof and window trim, which was cute but not what I personally liked. The primary design of 'girl toys' are all pink and purple and my house is running abundantly with those so when I saw Jessicas design for her daughter Ella's dollhouse I was inspired. I tried to find a different color of aqua so it wouldn't be a complete knockoff but the girl knows her colors and this paired seamlessly. 

I used:

The Apple Barrel Matte Acrylic paint in the colors:
- Key West (for the siding)
- Jet Black (for the roof)
- Snow White (for the trim)

These are all the .99 cent small containers from Walmart, so when I say I'm a beezy on a budget, I truly mean it.

I used the small and medium sized sponge brushes, also $1.00 for a variety set at Walmart, to paint the siding, roof, and trim...and then went over to do touch ups and fix mess ups with a small fine paintbrush.

What a freaking tedious task that was. At times, I definitely felt like I got in over my head with trying to paint little parts of it everyday after work, but seeing her smile on Christmas morning was all worth it.

When it came to the inside, we really didn't do much yet.

We painted a accent walk in the bathroom but that's about all we got around to renovating. Throughout the year, maybe we'll Mod Podge some wallpaper but Amaya could care less at this point. All in all, this project was more for my vanity than any concerns of her.

The one other thing I loved about this dollhouse was that it also came with all the furniture included. Peppa Pig might be taking up residence at this humble abode until we get some different dolls but I think all her dolls are enjoying their new digs thus far.

I'll call it a success!

And again, I want to thank Jessica from Kozy and Co. (www.kozyandco.com) for sharing her beautiful dollhouse last year and giving me the inspiration to do one for Amaya.


The holidays might be over and the Christmas cheer has inevitably passed, but I wanted to still share the first Christmas with just my girl and I.

The past month, weeks, and days have been such a fun time with her and a wonderful distraction from everything else going on in life. That's the joy of the holidays. The hustle and bustle of making the most of the magical time of year. We spend our days shopping for sweet gifts, then wrapping said gifts, only to see them instantly demolished within seconds. There are Santa train rides and family movie nights where the best part is snuggling on the couch underneath a soft blanket with a fistful of popcorn at your disposal.

Seriously...it's hashtag the most wonderful frickin' time of the year.

Oh...and that damn Elf on the Shelf. 
Can I share something with you mamas without fear of judgement?

This was the one and only time I moved poor Bing the Elf for the whole month of December. 
Yeah, I know...I suck. 
I had grand intentions of stealing Pinterest ideas and setting him up in elaborate and hilarious situations but I became L-A-Z-Y very very quickly. Nights would pass where I would be cuddled in on the couch ready to relax and unwind; when the Santa lovin' son of a bitch would be glaring at me from her kitchen set just begging me to move him. 

I'd procrastinate, say that I'd move him before bed...before work...before Amaya woke up...
Before. Before. Before. 
All empty promises, my friends. 

That sad little red man sat at the bottom of my tote bag for a sweet chunk of December, minus the week that I 'misplaced' (read: lost) him. 

There's always next year, right?

Was I sad to see this holiday season go?
Yes and no.

Yes, because I absolutely love Christmas and all the good cheer and positive energy it brings out in most people. It's that time of year where everyone is in the giving spirit and especially after the negative vibes of 2016, it was nice to end our second to last holiday on a peaceful and positive note.

No, well because it was our first holiday as a duo and not a trio and that was a hard pill to swallow. I'll fully admit that many tears were shed on Christmas Eve. For what was, what it could've been, and what it is. On a brighter note, we have been able to seamlessly co-parent and we were able to make our new normal and holiday for her as best as we possibly could.

It was a good season and holiday, one that will go in the books as a first and one of our best.
Hope everyone had a blessed and magical holiday season.