My breastfeeding journey continues

Hey there! I’m back. I’m hoping that I will be able to continue updating you on my motherhood journey. In honour of Black Breastfeeding Week I’ve decided to share my breastfeeding journey with you.

For those of you who don’t know I gave birth to my third born daughter two weeks ago. It’s been a journey but we are all doing well. I’m learning (again) to be flexible with myself and my family but it’s not easy. I like things a certain way and at times it just feels like everything is falling on me. All because if I don’t do it, it most likely will not get done in a time efficient manner that could’ve been invested in other projects and tasks that would greatly help me be a better mother and wife but alas here we are…transitioning.

One thing I am grateful that doesn’t need much transitioning however is breastfeeding. I am grateful that my daughter was able to latch within an hour of her birth. We got to do skin to skin and she was amazing. I’ve been feeding her on demand, which is whenever she wants to as opposed to every two hours like I did with my first born. That method almost drove me insane and borderline into postpartum depression.

Now I completely understand that most infants need to be reminded to wake up and drink that milk, especially when breastfeeding because they need to gain weight for starters. There’s tons of nutrients in that colostrum that they may not get again which is helpful to their survival. It also helps us mothers to get that milk production going. Of course, engorgement will follow and that’s annoying but it benefits us all. However, sometimes baby knows best. As long as you’re trying and doing your best, Mama you’re doing amazing.

All of my girls have been amazing feeders when it comes to the breast and absolutely hated formula or the bottle regardless of whether or not there was breastmilk in the bottle. I remember my first born and I going at it because I genuinely allowed those around me guilt me into believing that my daughter needed to be bottle fed. Also when you’re told that your babies are a problem because they refuse to drink from the bottle, it can trigger some guilt and shame as a mother. But now that I’ve got my third I’m grateful that I can have that bonding moment and appreciate it for what it is.

It is a bit harder this time around because I still have a four year old and a soon to be two year old who still want my attention. There are times when I can’t get to the baby right away. Sometimes I have to put a pause on the dinner preparation to feed the baby. Most of the time, I’m breastfeeding and acting as a referee between the older two. These ideas of being able to sit in a rocking chair having that bonding moment like I did with my firstborn are not happening. These are kinds of expectations I have to let go. For example, having peace and quiet while breastfeeding is not happening anymore. In fact it’s the opposite.

What has proven to be helpful when I breastfeeding is making sure that I have a bib around on the baby. It’s easy to clean up spit ups and regurgitation from the baby. Sometimes the occasional milk let down, especially during the engorgement period. A good nipple cream helped me so much when I nursed my first born. My nipples would crack and it would hurt so much. Speaking to a lactation consultant was crucial for me. It also gave me the confidence to keep trying again. Another important one is having a friend who’s done it before. They sometimes have the most invaluable advices. But most importantly, knowing that you’re not a failure for doing your best. At the end of the day fed is best. If breastfeeding isn’t for you and your little one that’s ok. Just do what’s best for the both of you.

I hope this has been useful and helpful. Below are a list of things I personally loved using while breastfeeding.

https://www.shopltk.com/explore/sandyesprit/posts/f87cdea7-0604-11ec-83a6-0242ac110003

Summer Skin Care Routine

Hey there! Thanks for checking out blog. I know that the stores have already started putting out the back to school and some may have already gotten ready for Fall, but summer is very much still happening. So I’m going to be showing my current skin care routine.

Since I’m pregnant there are certain items I’ve had to stay away from. Mainly, retinol. And I do love retinol. So I’ve really focused but my skin has adapted well. Check it out here.

How’s your summer skin care routine going?

Shocking Pregnancy Symptoms

Hey there! Thank you so much for checking out my blog post. I’m currently pregnant with my third child and I swear there are some things I thought I would be ok with but find myself still surprised by. Some of them are things that I’ve forgotten about and others just sneak up on me and catch me by surprised. Without further ado let’s get into it.

Hyperpigmentation

When I was pregnant with my first born back in 2017, nobody had ever warned me about my skin getting darker. I had seen these gorgeous women with their baby bump and they looked so flawless. Meanwhile by the time I was nearing the end of my second trimester I looked like I had been bleaching my face. From the neck down my skin had turned at least five shades darker. Believe I wish I was exaggerating. I became very self conscious to the point that I was afraid to even wear my actual foundation. The difference was so noticeable.

Turns out this is very common. This is called melasma or chloasma and it goes away after pregnancy. Usually it starts looking like a blotchy dark patches and goes away after the baby comes out. In my case the patches just joined together until my skin was blanketed with this new skin tone. It was a very confusing time and since my mom had never experienced this, it was confusing for her too. Thank goodness for Google.

Pain, pain and more pain

I was “ok” with the morning sickness because I expected it. It came, I complained and prayed it didn’t last the whole pregnancy and half way through the second trimester it was gone I was good. Then came the back pain. It just always feels like my back is screaming at me for gaining weight. You’d swear we were having an internal civil war.

Then the ligament pain. My pelvic bone and butt muscles don’t see eye to eye right and since Tylenol is the only pain medication I can take, I have resigned and made it my friend. These pain is my body making room for the delivery of my child and it’s a sign that my body is doing it’s job. The hormones that has been released is relaxing my lower regions so that my baby has enough room to come out in. However, this “relaxing” feature isn’t relaxing me. It’s in fact doing the opposite.

Insomnia

You’d think I’d be able to sleep through the night because the baby isn’t here, right? Nope! Absolutely wrong. In fact, it’s common. Between the baby training for the real world Olympics or whatever exercises it’s doing in there, to my bladder no longer having the room to store as much urine as it did before it’s hard to sleep and/or stay asleep. I wish I could say it gets better. Unfortunately, that has not been my experience.

In conclusion

Pregnancy has its highs and lows. Some of them are tolerable some of them just suck. It’s completely fine to enjoy this process because honestly it’s a feat that only you get to experience in your way. Not every journey is the same and some come with unforeseen obstacles. Remember that this to shall pass. Until, enjoy the process as much as you can.

Hyaluronic Acid…Why I love it

Hi there! Thank you so much for checking out my blog. I completely and wholeheartedly appreciate you being here. Since, I’m still going strong on my #nablopomo post, I figured now would be a good time to introduce my love of Hyaluronic acid.

Just letting you that know that this blog contains affiliate links that if you choose to purchase from will provide me with a few coins tossed my way. You won’t pay more money, in fact you may save money. This is just another way you can support me.

Ever since I entered the age of the late 20’s, I noticed my skin began to change. It used to always be combination oily come rain or shine, winter or summer but as of late it changes with the weather or I should say the season. I use to be able to get away with one skin care regimen for the whole year and as long as I did not default or neglect my regimen my skin would behave. Until I noticed the dry flaky patches on my skin that would appear during the cold winter months.

Turns out that no matter how much melanin your skin possesses getting older doesn’t discriminate and neither does it’s effects. As we get older hyaluronic acid which is naturally made in our bodies decreases. Once that decreases, wrinkles and fine lines start to set in. But even before all of that, moisture retention also goes on the decline hence the appearance of dry skin.

What is Hyaluronic Acid, you may ask. It is this gooey, clear liquid that our bodies naturally produce mostly in the skin, connective tissues and eyes. It’s job is retain water also known as moisture. Water is very important since it makes up about 60% of the human body. That’s why it’s so vital to our health to stay hydrated.

Hyaluronic acid is a force to be reckoned with in most skin care products because of its hydrophilic properties and it’s ability to retain moisture. By applying on the skin I can provide my skin the ability to keep its moisture which takes care of those dry patches and keeps those fine lines at bay.

So far I’ve been the Hyaluronic Acid Hydrating Serum from the Inkey List. It contains 2% hyaluronic acid. It’s made such a huge difference in my face. You don’t need a lot and the price is so perfect that I don’t have to worry about breaking the bank. I love that I can get it at Sephora because I know that I can get cash back with my purchase by using Ampli. You can too. All you have to do is sign up and when you do use the code AMPLI5. You’ll get $5 automatically just for signing up.

What’s your favourite serum at the moment?

Rating: 1 out of 5.

My Pregnancy Body Image

When it comes to body image we’ve all had our ups and downs. As a teen, I was a late bloomer. The only thing that developed was my uterus and my height. Aside from that, I was a skinny, awkward, lanky flat chested girl. My hair never grew past my shoulders because back then I didn’t have the resources I have now. My mom waited way too long to get me first bra, mind you I don’t think it would’ve been filled with much. I outgrew clothes as quickly as I got them in my closet. My skin care routine was non existent and so my face was full of acne. My peers on the other hand, were blessed with curves, hair and make up. I was the ugly duckling in my crew.

When I got older and got my first job I was finally able to take some form of control over my appearance but it took years of learning to appreciate what was there. As a young woman, I was often told to cover up my non existent curves lest I be seen as the Jezebel and make the men fall in lust with my body. Those horny depraved minds lusted after anything with legs and it really had nothing to do with what I wore. I was tall, I was pretty without makeup and a friendly attitude to back it until you got on my bad side. Then well…you got the gist.

Unfortunately, due to the people around me and their “overprotective” counsels I developed a very strange idea of what my body looked like. I began to see what they saw and did my best to eliminate any source of sin. As a Christian, I made it my mission to look “modest”. I wore clothes that were way too big for me. It wasn’t uncommon to be told that my skirt was too short or my butt looked too big. For those of you who didn’t know me back then, I was a size 4. Yup a whole single digit, size 4.

Well, I got out of that toxic situation after ten years. But it took me awhile to reset my vision of my physical image and to fully come to love the creation that God made me to be. Once I fully embraced myself, I got pregnant. What should’ve been a beautiful experience became a nightmare from hell.

I literally thought I could love my body no matter its size and it turns out I didn’t. In fact, I’m currently going through my third pregnancy and I’m still fighting this rhetoric. I don’t feel beautiful. I don’t feel sexy and I don’t feel confident showing my body. I feel like that thirteen year old gawky and awkward teenager trying to get through my entire house without crashing into anything. I have no idea how wide I am and my body is so sore all the time. When I try to explain this to people all I hear “You’re not fat, you’re pregnant!” and the truth is I’m both. I am fat and I am pregnant. There’s nothing wrong with being fat, but there’s something wrong with me.

I know I’m not supposed to feel this. I know that my body is a machine that custom built for this and every life that I carry. But I have this belly that I can’t hide. These hips that just protrude out of my side. My butt jingles and I keep seeing pockets of fat deposits on my thighs. I wish it could be as simple as after the baby is born, I could lose the weight but the truth is. Losing weight postpartum is really hard.

When I had my second born, I actually gained weight postpartum. My mom actually commented on my weight and I felt so small. I am trying so hard to love my body for what it is and I can’t even comprehend what is happening or why it’s happening. I am breastfeeding and eating right and yet I can’t lose the weight. It took me 9 months to get this weight and to manage it, and here I am postpartum still feeling like an insecure teenager. I’m supposed to be over this. This body is the same body that carried these children. The same body, my babies cling to when they want to be comforted. This same body provides nurture, care and a haven of safety for my loved ones and yet all I see is the flaws, I have been told to hate.

I don’t know if this is body dysmorphia, but I know I don’t see an accurate picture of myself or maybe I do and that’s why I’m having such a hard time with this. I wish I could say that I love the way I look because the truth is I don’t. I am most comfortable showing my face and my hair because it still looks normal to me. I have a slight double chin but I can hide that with a contour stick. Everything else is just…ugh!

I wish I knew how to fix it. I don’t. I do hope that this sparks a conversation.

To you, who understands how I’m feeling you’re not alone. No matter how we feel, the truth is we are beautiful.

Vitamin C and SPF, Your Best Sun Defense

Hi there! I just want to start off by saying thank you so much for checking out my blog. You could be doing anything, anywhere but here you are with me and this brings me so much joy. Also, I have some affiliate links listed in this blog. If you so happen to want to try these items out and you purchase it from this blog you will be supporting me so that I can keep doing what I love.

With the warm weather around the corner, I know that we are looking to ditch our winter clothes and are ready to enjoy some much needed sunshine. At least, I know I am. I’m looking forward ditching my winter gear and breaking out my summer outfits. Of course, this means more of my skin will be showing and of course exposure to ultraviolet rays from the sun. This is why my skin needs the best sun defense it can get.

Sun protection should always be a part of our skin care, no matter the season. However, in my personal experience I tend to see the most damage in the summer, when the sun is out for longer periods of time and I’m outside for longer periods of time. When I don’t provide my skin with the best sun defense, I risk the chance of creating irreversible damage to my skin. We should always be ready and willing to slather on that SPF in the morning and be ready to put it on again throughout the day. Truth of the matter is that SPF breaks down over time. In the summer it breaks down faster due to sweat, water activities, etc. We do so much outdoor activities that the thin layer of sun protection we offer our skin isn’t enough to last all day, unless we re-apply.

Black don’t crack?

As a Black woman, I was often taught that the amount of melanin present in my skin was enough protection. Unfortunately, that is not true. As much as being Black and being a woman is a privilege and a superpower, it is not enough to protect me from UVA and UVB rays. The damage that these two ultraviolet rays do can often lead to life threatening damage if not sun protection is not enforced quickly. The good news is that it’s never too late to get started.

But how damaging are UVA and UVB?

First off, let me start off by that there are many different types of ultraviolet rays. However, the ones you’ll hear the most about are UVA and UVB. That’s because they are the most damaging to the skin. Keep in mind that the skin is the largest organ in our body. It is one of the primary defense to our survival. When it repeatedly gets hit with UVA and UVB rays, our skin continuously becomes exposed to free radicals that cause oxidative stress to our skin.

UVA rays are known for playing a major role in causing skin cancers. They are able to penetrate the skin much more deeply and play a role in forming wrinkles in our skin prematurely via photoaging. They cause damage to collagen, elastin and other dermal structures. There are about 500 times more UVA rays than UVB rays.

UVB tend to play a role in creating sunburn. They also play a big role in causing skin cancers, including the one that shows up as a black mole on the skin, malignant melanoma.

Vitamin C+ SPF = Power Couple

This is why antioxidants are so important when it comes to sun care protection. SPF is great for offering your skin sun protection, but to really boost it’s efficacy, you may want to add an antioxidant. A topical antioxidant, such as Vitamin C is great for neutralizing free radicals that would otherwise wreak havoc on your skin. Vitamin C is also good for brightening the skin by blocking the abnormal production of pigmentation to even the skin tone and fade dark spots.

Your skin is only as strong as you allow it to be. A good SPF should be able to block the sun’s rays but it’s not 100 percent effective. Pairing it with a good topical Vitamin C serum is a great way to ensure that your skin stays as youthful as you feel.

Not all vitamin C serums are the same. In fact there at least 10 different topical vitamin C serum. Some are water based and some are not. Also based on your skin type and how sensitive your skin is you may find that your skin will become irritated by some serums. This is why it’s important to do your research and to listen to your skin. If you’re skin is irritated or shows sign of tenderness you will want to stop using it and go for a water soluble based vitamin C serum. You may find that you’ll want to use L-ascorbic acid as it is the most ready to use when applied to the skin. However, if you find that this version of vitamin C is too harsh on your skin, then magnesium ascorbyl phosphate may be the better option.

You will want to put your serum on first, let it dry then follow up with your moisturizer and then your SPF. Always apply your SPF last, no matter what your favourite influencer says. It will do wonders on your skin and you can safely enjoy the sun while you are out and about.

Few Things To Remember

When it comes to sun protection, here are a few things you want to remember.

  1. Always wear your SPF, LAST.
  2. Always re-apply your SPF, especially if you are out in the sun.
  3. Your SPF, should last 20 days if applied correctly.
  4. You do not have to settle for an SPF with a white cast. Nobody wants to look casket ready
  5. A vitamin C serum will boost your SPF protection
  6. A vitamin C serum is great for protecting your skin.
  7. Listen to your skin.

I hope that this blog was helpful. Let me know in the comment section below.

My toddler won’t sleep…

It’s currently 4:07 am and my one year old has been fighting sleep since 3:30 pm. Smack dab in the middle my sleep is interrupted by the constant whimpering that slowly progress into full blow cry. As I’m hearing this I’m debating whether or not I should get out of bed. I know she’s ok, she’s never really been much a sleeper.

She’s good with laying down in her crib but the falling asleep stage had always been a struggle. Even now as she lays her head on my chest, she’s moving and squirming, making herself comfortable as my heart heartbeat serves as an internal lullaby and my growing fetus is currently kicking around.

Her eyes are open but her gaze is sleepy. She’s tired. We both know it. So I do what any Christian mother would do. I pray. I pray and I speak over my child. I command the angels to watch over her. I pray hoping for the miracle that my baby needs to sleep through the night. I pray in Jesus’ name and I wait. I hear nothing. I get up and I leave. Once I close the door the whimpering return and I’m left feeling more hopeless than when I went in. This isn’t the first time and yet here we are still faced with this predicament.

Should I pick her up? Should I bring her into my bed? Did she have a nightmare? Is this a night tremor? Maybe she napped too long. Or maybe not enough. Let’s go through Google on this. I’m already awake so I might. Lord knows I need answers. Once again, equipped with my smartphone in my hand, I use my external brain to find an answer that will help. I’m sure there there’s a mommy blog out there with the answers I need.

Sure enough there is. In fact, there’s plenty. It’s nice to know that I’m not the only one. Of course, the reasons of why this could be happening isn’t a clear cut diagnosis. Since toddlers lack the ability to accurately express themselves. To be honest, at 34 years of age I find myself at times unable to accurately express myself except through tears. So it makes sense that a child who’s been on this side of life for less than two years would also have this issue. It’s not her fault

The first thing that I notice is the need for patience and lots of it. All of this is normal and like most people, this too shall pass. I personally would hope that it could’ve passed months ago, but no. Once again, patience and grace is required for this challenge. This is not just her challenge, it’s ours. We both are tired and awake. We are both annoyed. We are both sleepy. Both of our sleep has been interrupted for some unknown reason. My otherwise happy toddler is now annoyed by this unforeseen grievance and is calling out for my help to navigate through this trying and at best find the solution to this.

Umm, I don’t know who lied to her but I don’t have the answers. At best I have Jesus and Google. All I can do is pray and assess. But here we are.

After debating the next best step I know what I don’t want to do. I don’t want to bring into my bed. I don’t feel like wrestling a toddler tonight. My body has been through enough and is still going through it. I don’t want to be up all night either. I don’t want to hear crying. So I do what I believe is the next best thing. I pick her and lay her in my chest. A mother’s hug is always welcomed. I let my chest be her pillow and allow her to feel safe by my presence. I don’t know if I’m doing it right. But I know that her breathing has slowed down. Her body. I longer tense nor stressed. She’s sleeping peacefully.

It’s moments like these I’m reminded of what patience, grace and love can accomplish. In the moments that it took for me to write this blog post, my little one has fallen asleep. As I’m get ready to bring her back to her bed, I’m aware that this same kind patience shown to be me I must show to myself. Life is a series of transitions. Some are annoying and some are great. How we handle them makes us great.

Naturalista’s guide to summer hair care

When I first started on my natural hair care journey, I did it to better educate myself on my hair so that I could be equipped to take care of my daughter’s hair. So many mistakes were made on my hair and ultimately left me feeling really self conscious when it comes to my hair and its presentation. Everyday, I see so many beautiful women rocking their crown of glory and I wanted to be able to do that for myself. I figured one day my daughter would want to do that for herself one day, I figured I should be the one to provide her that example. Or at least something to get her started.

Below is a list of tools or rules that I go by to ensure that my hair receives the proper care that it needs to retain it’s curl definition and length. I know that curl, texture, density, etc. plays a role on how we each attend to our tresses’ needs. However, I am a firm believer that one shouldn’t need to spend a whole lot of money or time to achieve your hair goals. When it comes to hair care you can have your cake and eat it too.

Use Salon Quality Hair Colour

There’s this whole notion about natural hair that colour will damage your curls which is false. Colour processing done incorrectly will damage your hair. There’s nothing more or less to it. If you want your hair to be coloured do it. Just make sure that it’s done right and that you follow up with the correct after care. Many salons have even created an at home curated hair colouring system because so many of their clientele could not physically attend their shops anymore.

Does it cost more than your average drugstore box colour? Of course, but it’s an investment at the end of the day. So don’t be afraid to invest in your hair.

Wash Your Hair

Healthy hair starts at the root and the root grows at the scalp. You have to wash your hair to ensure that your scalp is at its healthiest. Yes, this includes a shampoo, conditioner and the occasional deep conditioner. You never want to go more 14 days without washing your hair.

Nowadays there are so many different options to choose from. Here are some of my favourites.

Uncomplicate Your Hairstyle

Last but not least, it is really important to trust the process. Don’t be afraid to try something new. My usual go to hairstyle is a Wash and Go but a Flexi Rod set is also a great way to get to a different curl pattern by physically manipulating the hair strands without chemically altering or compromising your natural hair pattern this summer.

I hope this was helpful. Please let me know what are some of the tools you use to get your hair thriving during the summer?

Let’s connect. Check out my Link In Bio page to connect with me on my social media platform.

Fenty Beauty Eaze Drop Blurring Skin Tint Review

I think it goes without saying that I absolutely adore this foundation. It’s basically my personalized liquid melanin in a bottle. That may sound like an over exaggeration but that’s how I feel.

https://www.instagram.com/reel/CNVXiJGnSVL/?igshid=1rbk2m8taairv

If you want the tea your best bet is to check out my latest YouTube video.

https://youtu.be/UUfBKrL_5KI

Have you tried it? What do you think?

My Toxic Money Relationship

I never thought I had a toxic relationship with money. In fact, I thought I was doing very well with my money. I was paying my bills for the most part. I was working and doing everything I thought I was supposed to be doing. I wasn’t splurging. In fact, I always made an excuse as to why I couldn’t afford some of the things I saw my friends, who were making less money than me, afford. I thought I was living humbly and what a fraud that turned out to be.

When I think of my view of money there’s this acceptable amount that I’ve limited myself to. I’ve come to realize that there are certain childhood truths that I’ve come to believe and have been living off of them. Some of them have been told me and now deeply ingrained into my brain. Others, I’ve just translated into my own personal belief.

Old Truths

Some of these truths I believed and some of them I’m working on are:

  1. I lose more money than I make
  2. I’m not allowed to spend money on myself if there’s a cheaper alternative. Even if I like it.
  3. There’s not enough money for me.
  4. Everyone gets theirs first. I get mine last.
  5. I don’t deserve to live in luxury.

When it comes to money, for some it can be a taboo subject. You can either be great with it and love it or be terrible with it and hate it. Most of that comes from our childhood. As a child, I saw my mother struggle to make ends meet. She had three kids to clothe, feed and provide shelter for as well as for herself. I learned very early on that asking for things wasn’t always going to be met with acceptance. That resulted in me not wanting to ask for anything or feeling guilty for asking for anything. I often felt like a burden for liking things that were deemed expensive. It wasn’t long before I began looking at price tags before presenting a request to my mother. Anything I thought was too expensive, I would immediately put away and say I didn’t like it even though I wanted it for myself.

When did it start?

The foundation of my unhealthy perspective of money carried well over until now. Though I am glad to say that some things have changed. Luxury is no longer something I’m afraid to have for myself. Money doesn’t scare me anymore like it used to. I still get some anxiety when shopping for certain items especially when the price tag is higher than what I deem acceptable. The last time I splurged on myself I couldn’t even finish the purchase myself, I literally sent my husband in to make the purchase for me.

New Truths

I’m unlearning these practices in order to make room for the abundance that I’m believing and claiming for myself. In order to do that I must acknowledge these toxic traits. Once they are acknowledged I must be willing to do the work. Part of that work is to speak differently to myself when it comes to money. In fact, I must create new truths to override the ones that I’ve embedded into my financial genetic code. I have got to do some rewriting. But furthermore, I have to believe what I’m saying and be able to accept these truths for what they are.

For example:

  1. I make money in abundance so much so that my net worth will exceed my expenditures.
  2. A price tag does not determine how much I want or like an item.
  3. There’s ALWAYS enough money for me. ALWAYS!
  4. I am not exempt to receiving when it’s my time.
  5. Luxury is my birthright. I deserve to live in luxury.

Saying these statements out loud is the easy part, believing them is the hard part. I know this will take time but I’m confident that these little steps will allow me to live my life to its fullness. I’ve been working on this for a while and so far I’ve been able to successfully pay a student debt. I’ve still got more to do, but there’s no sense of dread anymore. I’m confident that tomorrow will look better than today.

Not bad for a girl who’s been homeless three times, huh?