Open Letter to my girls…

To my dearest princesses aka my #girlsquad!,

Today is just another random day. We are going through the motions in hopes that it helps you become the best version of yourselves. I don’t know what kind of women you’ll become but before I start overthinking, I promise to do my best not to cry until after I’ve finished writing this letter.

You are three and one year old. You have a limited view on the world but that view is full of fun, exploration and most importantly love. You both live in a stable home and you have Mommy and Daddy at home. We both love you more than you could ever know.

I chose to write you this letter because I didn’t want to display my love for you as an event. I want you to know that I’m proud of you. I’m proud of you for making it through every single day with a positive outlook. I”m proud of you for teaching ME more than I could ever teach you about life. I’m proud of you for reminding me that life is more than just routine, a paycheck or a goal. Life is about living.

Thank you for teaching me that I am worth loving for the woman that I am and not for what I do. I’m not as confident as I appear and most of the time I’m going on a gut feeling and a whole lot of Jesus. I know that you will be ok no matter what comes your way but I am your mother. That part of me won’t go away until the day I die. Sorry. To answer your question, I won’t stop worrying about or be ready to kill for you and hide the body.

We won’t always get along. We won’t always agree. If I’ve raised you properly, then I can expect a challenge on pretty much everything I’ve taught you. You see, I want your respect and as much as I want your undying obedience,, that only belongs to God. I can’t have that.

Your job is to be you. The best version of you. That will be different depending on the day. Some days you will thrive and some days you will learn. Some days you will need to cut yourself some slack and some days you will need to whip yourself into shape. Don’t worry, you will know the when and how. If you need help, I’ll be there to guide you the best I can.

I’m not perfect. I know it. Don’t rub it in. Neither are you so there! *that’s where you get your petty from, sorry!*

I love you is an understatement but it’s true. I owe you for teaching me to love and be patient and to be a better Christian is an understatement but it’s true.

There’s a lot that will happen by the time you read this open letter. But one thing will remain true.

I love you. Unconditionally. Inexplicably. Simply because you’re YOU!

Why Johnsons Cottontouch Baby Lotion Is My Bedtime Secret Weapon

Hi there! Thank you so much for checking out my blog today. I really appreciate your support and believe me, I am really grateful you took the time out to read this blog. Some of the products displayed on this blog have been gifted to me and this post may contain affiliate. If you choose to buy from these links you won’t pay extra, you fact you may even save money. I’ll get a commission which will keep this blog going. However, all opinions expressed are completely my own.

By now you’ve heard of the Johnson’s Cottontouch baby lotion which was a part of their massive rebranding launch back in 2018. If you’re a mother to a baby or a toddler, then I’m sure you’ve heard of this lotion unless you’ve been living under a rock. This lotion is designed and formulated with newborns in mind. This is great for their sensitive skin. This newborn face and body lotion is extremely light, has a very thin consistency, almost milk-like. It absorbs extremely quickly into the skin and provides 24 hours worth of moisture.

The whole idea behind Cottontouch is that from the moment they are born, you can from that connection with your new babythrough touch. Touch is so important as it is one of the most powerful way to form that bond.

However I didn’t realize how much I would love this lotion for not just my baby but for both of my girls. Aside from the fast absorption and it’s ability to provide moisture without causing my girls’ skin to have a reaction, the fragrance is what makes this lotion so worthwhile. It’s also the reason why a year later after the birth of my baby, I am still using this lotion on her.

The lotion smells like cotton and it is so soothing. When I get my girls ready for bed the most important thing is to avoid anything that can stimulate them. I’m trying to avoid stimulation because by the time bedtime rolls around this mama is tired. I need to wind down myself.

Since the first time I’ve used this on my girls, the smells instantly lifts my mood. It’s therapeutic in a way. I apply it to their body and I see them smile because we’re usually talking about the day and I’m doing a silly face. It is a part of our bedtime routine.

I love that it doesn’t leave my hands sticky or heavy. It doesn’t matter how many pumps for lotion I use my baby’s skin is soft and moisturized and so is my hands. It’s perfect all season long.

Is there a bedtime staple that you can’t go without? Let me know in the comments.



*LIKETOKNOW.IT SANDYESPRIT

*GRENADE USE PROMO CODE SANDY

*PERSONA NUTRITION SANDY50

*AMPLI CASH BACK AMPLI5

You’re A Good Mom

20170421_212432Hey there! Thanks for checking out my post. I hope you enjoy reading this as much as I enjoyed writing this.

So many times I’ll check out other mom post or blogs and end up feeling worse off than when before I saw it.

Let’s be honest, nobody does parenthood perfectly. There’s no perfect way to parent any human being. We’re flawed. We know that there are some definite WRONG ways of parenting. There are lines that shouldn’t be crossed and when they are, the perpetrators are prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.

But otherwise, all that’s really required is for you to show up and to love your human beings. I know it’s not always easy. I’m not going to lie, I lose it from time to time. I apologize far more than I would like. But every day is a new day.

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This is why I put up this post is to remind you that you are a good mom. You show up everyday. You love your children and put them first in your daily life.

Are you the type to let your kid have unlimited screen time? Good for you. No matter the answer you are good mom.

Today is Youtube, 20 years ago it was television. Go figure. img_20181015_141912_746691140741.jpg

Do you let your children play with all the toys in the house? Good for you. No matter the answer, you are good mom.

Your definition of a good mom shouldn’t be based on what the last mom blogger said. You’re a good mom because YOU ARE.

Point. Blank. PeriodT.

Now, go and enjoy your children in all of your glory.

*That may include a disastrous house, unwanted questions and overdrawn out stories.*

It’s Never Like In The Movies …

It’s never like in the movies. There’s no musical background to set the mood. There’s no focused lens to keep you zoned in on a moment.

There’s usually lots going on, at the same time. Sometimes it’s a storm with all the different environmental elements going on at the same time. You feel the humidity in the air as the cloud gather themselves. They darken quickly and release the torrential downpour. The wetness gets uncomfortable. It gets cold too quickly and the need for comfort becomes paramount.

Sometimes the storm shows up in other forms. It’s a mountain of bills that needs to be paid, dishes still unwashed, children with an attitude who choose to stain the kitchen floor with cereal and milk, traffic and construction coupled to delay your journey, the list goes on.

On the days like this it’s easy to lose it. Yelling, crying and checking out become a side effect of the storm.

Unlike the movies, we can’t cut to another scene. We ride out the storm.

Today I choose to use the umbrella of gratitude.

I’m grateful for my loved ones who love me despite the storm.

Rascal and Friends Diaper and Training Pants Review

Hey there! Thanks for checking my blog post.

I thought today could be a little different.

So I made a video.

Enjoy!

 

Cute & Easy Toddler Hairstyle

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The holidays are right around the corner and that means family pictures, Santa Claus pictures, church pictures…so many pictures?! Of course, everyone will want to see your little princess of joy and take pictures.

If you’re like me, you want your little girl to look her absolute best. If you’re princess is anything like mine, keeping her still long enough to even put her hair in a ponytail is a struggle, let alone an entire hairstyle.

If you want to know how I keep her still click here.

If you want to see how I take a simple hairstyle and switch it up, then keep reading.

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Sometimes a headband is all you need. If your little is really against getting her hair done, a nice accent will do the trick. Here Mercy is wearing a white stretchy netted wide headband with a white blooming flower to the side.

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My favourite hairstyle is two high ponytails, one on each side. It allows her curls to be free and to be seen so close to her face without it getting in her face. I part her hair right down the middle, using a wide tooth comb and use two small soft elastic bands for the puffs!

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Here I do the two puffy ponytails again, but this time I part on the side. Then halfway through I go down the side. One side is smaller than the other and that’s ok. On the bigger side, I use the top part and do a french braid but instead of finishing it, I join the hair to the nearest puffy ponytail. Et voila!

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Here I turn the two puffy ponytails into two buns. It makes for an easy and simple transition without the effort.

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Here I separated her hair into two sections. The top part is left alone as a puffy bun. On the bottom I made two separate french on each side of her hair and then joined it in the middle.

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Here I separated her hair into three parts, and each part has a ponytail. The top ponytail is separated into two individual twists. Meanwhile the bottom two are put into 1 twist.

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Sometimes I just let her hair flow free.

Her hair is absolutely beautiful and I don’t want her to feel bound by the state of her hair. As mothers, we just want to share the beauty and the love that we have for them.

I hope this was helpful. Let me know in the comments.

Follow me on instagram right here: @iamsandyesprit

#cantstopwontstop Woman

20180827_111904-021109865556.jpeg In honour of International Day of the Girl Child (which was October 11, 2018), I decided to write this post. I remember when we took her (my daughter) out of the hospital, so full so hope and fear. I know how prejudicial this world can be. So many ideologies, whether cultural or societal, concerning what a girl should be, how she should act or what she should say or do. I remember growing up being told of what I could or could not do and the reason was always “it’s not for girls, it’s for boys”. I was told many times that digging for worms, climbing a tree or play-fighting was a “boy” sport. In fact, my mother refused to buy us a video gaming system because it was for boys and not girls. I knew I didn’t want to place limits on my daughter based on her gender, in fact I need her to grow up and show her what’s it like to be a #cantstopwontstop woman.

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So what does it mean to be a #cantstopwontstop woman? Well if you look to social media you’ll find that woman to be very well put together. Well dressed, flawless skin, so poised and graceful. I mean she is perfect. She is at her very best always.

Truth of the matter is that woman doesn’t exist 24/7. It’s impossible. I mean if you honestly believe that I look like that regularly then I’m sorry to inform you that it’s not the case. I don’t always have my edges sleeked down, I don’t have proper posture and my post pregnancy belly has more stretch marks (which I like to call “tiger stripes”) then I probably should.

But I’m not afraid nor ashamed of my flaws or the less than perfect version of myself. I mean it’s not like my life is or ever was perfect and I came out ok…ish!

About two weeks ago I spoke to Ebonie of Simplicity Healthstyle and we discussed about overcoming adversity. Anyone who overcomes obstacles is the absolute definition of a #cantstopwontstop woman. Check out my story below!

 

But in case you’d rather keep reading, or do both, here’s what I think makes a #cantstopwontstop woman.

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The #cantstopwontstop woman is everything and anything she wants to be. Don’t let anything or anyone stop you. You are far more powerful than you give yourself credit for. We need more #cantstopwontstop women to inspire our girl children!

I would love to hear from you, what makes a #cantstopwontstop woman?

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If you want to save $5 (good until November 1, 2018) on your Ivory Snow laundry detergent click here

For those of you who want to enter the NYX “Can’t Stop, Won’t Stop” giveaway (good until October 19, 2018), check out my last blog here or click here @iamsandyesprit

NYX “Can’t Stop, Won’t Stop” Liquid Foundation Review + IG GIVEAWAY!!!

20181003_232132-011599267018.jpegLately, I’ve heard so many things regarding the NYX partnership between youtuber Alyssa Ashley. In a world where diversity is often talked about but seldom executed it was refreshing to see a drug store brand release 45 shades of liquid foundation. I was so happy because I remember a few years ago, walking into a drugstore and so many times I could not find my shade. I had to spent at least $30 to find a good foundation match. Do you know what else $30 can buy when you are a broke student trying to get a degree? Food! So yeah!

But over the years the shade range present and represented in drug store cosmetic had increased. Not by much…but it was better than it was 10 years ago. However it still bothered me that my little sister who is at least three shades darker was unable to find a good drugstore foundation match. This was disheartening to see, my other sister and I could find a match but my baby sister could not…

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This is why I was so excited when NYX and Alyssa Ashley got together to release 45 shades of drugstore liquid foundation. Finally my baby sister could find her shade, without ever stepping foot into a high end cosmetic boutique. Believe me for a 16 year old, this is very important. Especially, when you can’t justify buying a $30+ foundation to your Haitian mother who happens to be working too hard to begin with…

 

Now NYX “Can’t Stop, Won’t Stop” liquid foundation promises:

  • non-comedogenic
  • waterproof
  • 24hour wear
  • matte finish
  • lightweight
  • pigmented
  • controls shine
  • doesn’t transfer
  • suitable for normal, oily, combination and sensitive skin types

This definitely sounds too good to be true for a drugstore foundation! So I decided to put it to the test. Check out my video to see my impression of it.

This is an international giveaway. If you want to enter my Instagram giveaway just click here! The rules are simple:

  1. Follow me
  2. Like the post
  3. Tag your friends in the comments. The more comment (tag your friends) the more chance you get to win.

THANK YOU TO ALL OF YOU WHO FOLLOW ME AND BELIEVE IN ME!! I hope you win.

A huge thank you to NYX for allowing me to do this giveaway!

*This giveaway is sponsored by NYX.

**This giveaway however is not sponsored by Instagram, Youtube or WordPress. 

 

From the Breastfeeder…

 

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My breastfeeding journey started around 2:00 a.m. on April 22, 2017. When the nurses asked me how I wanted to feed my daughter, I said I wanted her to be fed via breastmilk and formula.

The nurse checked off breastmilk only.

I was looking forward to the little formula bottles, that I never got, the mini to-go formulas, that I never got and the ability to formula feed my daughter…

But alas, that was not my journey. I don’t regret it. I just wish I had been prepared.

When they first attempted to teach me to feed her, she was too tired to eat and was not interested. In fact, she wasn’t interested in eating much until we got home two days later. I was so scared. All she did was sleep! Would she sleep and not eat?! My mom said, I slept for two weeks, would my daughter do the same?

She did not. After two days she would scream and demand her food. I was still in recovery so I did the laziest and next best thing. I took out a breast and popped it in her mouth. This little girl fought to find her rhythm and gladly took in all the precious liquid gold she could. She wasn’t greedy about it, but in her dainty, classy and graceful way she ate until she could sleep again. She was having a great time. I was not.

I was engorged. It felt like I had underwent a breast augmentation without consent. I had gone from a C-cup to DDD-cup and there was no relief. I was leaking everywhere. I couldn’t pump because I didn’t I would need it. I smelled like a mix of milk, sweat and deodorant. Not sexy…at all.

My nipples got sore. Every feed was uncomfortable. I could feel my nipples being broken and tenderized and the pain was just annoying to deal with. She was having a blast. I was not.

My friend would tell me (she’s had four kids whom she breastfed), “Sandy just tough it out, and your breast will toughen up.” So I did. Am I glad I did.

So our journey continued…

However, I noticed that every time I introduced a formula bottle she would just drink half the bottle and not want anymore of it but would gladly take the breast. By the second month, she was done with the formula. I googled, researched and did whatever I could to get this girl to drink formula. I knew that our family would want to be able to spend time with her for more than an hour, but how could they if she wouldn’t drink formula?

Eventually my husband looked at me and said, “What are you doing? Just give her the boob!” These words probably saved my life. I submitted and did just that. I listened and exclusively breastfed her.

Some of the most memorable moments came from breastfeeding. I could understand my daughter better. I knew what she wanted, how she wanted and when she wanted it. I knew her language. I knew her character, her likes and dislikes. I knew her like she knew me. We got closer. I wasn’t just her source of food anymore. I was more. I was mom to her.

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I remember the first time she spoke to me. My husband left to hang out with his friends. I was sulking at home because I had to take care of the baby. I was feeling sorry for myself because “it’s not fair! He gets to go out and I’m stuck at home!”

While I was feeding my girl, she unlatched, looked at me and said two or three very distinct babble. I don’t know what she said, but I knew she was talking to me. She was having a conversation with me!

I almost cried. To think that I was complaining about being away from this beautiful human being who chooses to show me love and affection and decided to speak to me! What is wrong with me?!

So after a year, she still breastfeeds. Not for food exclusively but to sleep, to be comforted. It’s not as much anymore either. She eats her solid, drinks her water, juice and milk. But if she hurts she wants ba (breastmilk), if she’s hungry she wants ba, if she’s tired she want ba.

This journey is soon coming to an end. I’m grateful to have had this experience with her. I’ve become more than just a breastfeeder. I’m a source of comfort and security for her.

I’ve had people share to me their thoughts about me breastfeeding. Some are afraid that I’m not weaning her off fast enough. Others believe I’m spoiling her. Some have shared with me that I need to be careful or else she’ll be seven and still want to breastfeed. Most of these comments come from mothers who never breastfed their children. It used to hurt, not anymore…

Every mother is entitled to do what’s best for their children. This is best for me and my daughter. I thank God everyday for that gift.

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Share your thoughts in the comments!

 

Loving My Natural Journey ft. Shea Moisture JBCO Hair Product review

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I am a black woman, who once was addicted to the “creamy crack”, also known as a relaxer. I am a former “creamy crack” addict.

My journey is very similar to a lot of hair naturalistas.

At the age of 13, I received my first relaxer, after many years of using the hot comb for the desired straight hair effect. I thought I was going to have that luscious, voluminous, straightened hair I saw on the packaging. Boy, was I wrong!

Just before the birth of my daughter, I knew in my heart that I no longer to relax my hair. If I wanted straight hair. I’d buy a lace front. And I did.

With the help of Shea Moisture Jamaican Black Castor Oil hair care line, I’ve been able to fall in love with my hair again. In its primitive, chemical-free, heat-free, damage-free state.20180628_112051_00011826666194.png

I have always been a Shea Moisture fan. But for awhile, I was worried that my hair would suffer from Canada’s worst winter temperature. So I put the Shea Moisture JBCO leave-in conditioner to the test.

As a new mom to a very active 1 year old, I knew that I wouldn’t have the time to spend on my hair to ensure that it got the proper TLC it needed daily. So I was very pleasantly surprised when I realized that this miracle in a jar kept my moisturized for at least a week. I didn’t have to go back and re-moisturize my ends.

Yes I called it a miracle in a jar, because it is.

One of my favourite things to do when applying the Shea Moisture JBCO Strengthen and Restore Leave-In Conditioner with shea butter, peppermint and apple cider vinegar, is to brush it with a paddle brush or comb it with a wide tooth-comb into my hair.

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It ensures me that every strand get the love it needs to just thrive despite what temperature comes my way.

The Shampoo is as moisturizing as it says it is and the Strengthen and Restore Edge Treatment Gel is exactly the gel I need to slay my edges without snatching them off my scalp.

I use these products with confidence knowing that it’s sulfate-free, paraben-free, phthalates-free, propylene glycol-free, mineral-oil, paraffin-free, DEA-free, cruelty-free, made with fair trade ingredients and most of all it just does what it says.

I’ve used on my baby’s hair (especially when the weather drops to negative 30 degrees Celsius), my husband’s hair (he LOVES it) and we’ve all noticed the difference it’s made.

It’s been a long journey to get to this point where I can just not worry about the health of my hair, but we’ve made it.

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Finding the right products obviously make a world of a difference but wherever your hair journey takes you, I hope you fall in love with your hair.

What hair products do you use currently? Let me know in the comment section

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Follow me on instagram: @iamsandyesprit