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?

Bittersweet Mother’s Day

This year is bittersweet. I live in Ontario where we seeming to be in a never ending lockdown. It’s taking a toll on me mentally and in a way that I wasn’t prepared for. I have exasperated all of my self care arsenal and after the bomb has gone off I’m left cleaning up my own mess.

Mother’s Day has been awkward for me. From the moment that I gave birth to my firstborn and now four years later, two kids later and three pregnancies later I find it really hard to celebrate. It’s like a birthday that everyone forgets about until the day off. The worst part is my birthday is often forgotten to begin with. Those who remember Mother’s Day are usually the ones old enough to do for themselves or to remind their father to do something for their mother. My kids are still very young. I should be the one reminding them of what today means to me but to be honest I don’t know what it means to do.

In the past, I’ve tried to celebrate Mother’s Day with my own mom and it wasn’t always received well. I remember when I was told, “If you loved me you would obey me. You would do your chores. That’s love.” That stayed with me. I knew that I could never measure up to that standard because everyday there was something I couldn’t do.

I guess it started from there. Now I’ve got my own and I wish it wasn’t so. I see mothers being celebrated by their husbands and children. Some are going away on trips and receiving lavish gifts. Meanwhile, I’m in the middle of potty training a very strong willed 20 month old and dealing with a four year old with enough sass to punch every nerve in my body. There’s a growing pile of laundry that needs to be addressed before I run out of sweat suits and underwear. There’s a stain in the kitchen floor that been bothering me for days. There’s feeling of missing out as I see mothers enjoying wine while I’ve got an unborn treating my uterus like a gymnasium.

I could say I’m tired but that would be understatement. In all honesty, I don’t know what I am anymore. Is it exhaustion? Is it tired? Is it depression? Is it failure? Is it heaviness? Sadness? Hormones? I don’t know.

If you’re in the same boat as me this post is for you. I see you. We’re carrying the mental and spiritual load of our loved ones so they can keep smiling and they feel loved. We want them to be remembered to feel validated at the cost of our existence. We want to give them an experience contrary to the experience that we are living. We are doing our best in a world that continues to tell us that we are coming up short. The nights are longs. The sleep is restless. We struggle to make sense of what is happening based on our past experiences. We want to show up and to serve our loved ones well. We’re seeking help without being a burden to those who love us and those we love. We want to be seen. We want to be validated. We want to live in every sense of the word without reservations.

This post is for you. You wake up everyday hoping that this is the day everything will fall into place. You hope that your past will be contradictory to your future. You wake up hoping to see your prayers answered without something bad happening alongside the good. You want to enjoy today because it’s precious. You hope today is different from yesterday.

This day is for you. There’s enough room for you this Mother’s Day. There’s enough room to laugh, to cry, to enjoy and to mourn. There’s enough room to seek help, to find peace and have rest. This Mother’s Day is for you too. It’s not exclusive for the Instagram mom who’s got it all together. This Mother’s Day is not exclusive to the rich and wealthy. It’s for the struggling, it’s for the fighters who are serving through the pain and tears. If you haven’t slept in years or maybe you do sleep soundly, this day is for you. If you’ve made some bad choices, this Mother’s Day is for you. If no one in your family remembers to celebrate you, this day is for you too. I celebrate you.

I celebrate me. It won’t look like what I post online. I don’t know if I’ll put on some make up. I’m sure I’ll be chasing my toddler around with the miniature potty trying to avoid as many spills as possible. Of course, unsuccessfully. I’ll be doing the laundry since it can’t be done by itself. I’ll be receiving kisses and hugs as a form of love. I know I’ll get lots of “Happy Mother’s Day!” from strangers and loved ones alike. This day won’t be memorable for me. But I see me. I see my work and I know my worth.

This day is for me too.

Protect Your Melanin

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.

Spring is here, which means summer is right around the corner. The sun is out and shining bright and after a long and cold winter, I know I’m ready to step out and enjoy that sunshine while ensuring that my body gets to produce vitamin D naturally. However, being outside doesn’t come cheap. I do what I have to do to protect my melanin.

What is Melanin?

Melanin is the pigment on your skin, hair and eyes. Melanin is made by melanocytes. In this blog, I’ll be talking about the melanin in your skin. Most of us see melanin simply as the colour of our skin, our complexion. Some produce more melanin than others which is why their skin colour will look darker than others.

Unfortunately, the production of melanin has been used often to justify unjust and unfair practices. For a long time it was believed that skin with lots of melanin production didn’t need sun protection. But clearly that is not true. It’s true that less cases of skin cancer are found on folks with more melanin it doesn’t make us invincible to UVA & UVB rays.

Perfect Protection

When we talk about skin protection the number one thing that will always come up is SPF. SPF has not always been so mainstream due to its lack of workability. It would often leave a white cast. It was hard to rub into the skin and if your had acne prone skin, then sunscreen would add to those breakouts.

Back in the day, finding a sunscreen that would actually do its job without compromising the way you looked was not happening. I have first hand experience.

However, now there are options commercially available. They also range in price from drug store to high end luxury price points. You can have a lotion or spray. There’s also options between physical and chemical. It’s all based on your skin needs and wants.

Is SPF The Only Way?

Short answer, no.

When we’re talking about skin protection there are many other factors to consider. The sun’s rays is one of them, but it’s not the only thing we need to protect it. Since our skin is the first line of defence against all potential toxin, then we must do our part to keep it in optimal working order.

One way of protecting our skin is to set up a good morning and nighttime routine. It doesn’t need to be extensive or complicated but it does need to get the job. Removing dirt, grimes, pollutants off of our skin consistently prevents the spread of bacteria into our bodies. So yes, being a good hygiene is important. It is also essential to provide our skin the necklace moisturizing and conditioning agents to maintain and/or repair the skin barrier.

If you’re on TikTok, I’m sure you’ve been tempted to shop for Chlorophyll. In all honesty, before TikTok, the only thing I knew was that it was useful for plants for them to undergo photosynthesis. For those of you who don’t remember high school biology, it’s the process for plants to get their energy.

Turns out eating your green leafy vegetables and drinking water will do wonders for your skin as well. At the end of the day no matter how impeccable your skin care routine is, nothing will replace what you eat and drink.

Skin Care Regimen

In order to secure the integrity of skin barrier, a good skin care regimen is essential. An effective morning and nighttime can do wonders for your skin. Overall, a good skin care routine will improve the appearance of your skin as well as minimize effects of damage that our skin is usually susceptible to.

Here are some of my favourite routine.

Vichy Skin Care Routine

Nighttime Routine

I hope you liked this post and that it was helpful. If so, leave a comment and check out another blog post.

No Frizz Wash n GO

Hey there! Thank you so much for checking out my blog. I’m so happy you’re here. I hope this blog post is informative and has the answers you are looking for to achieve the wash and go hairstyle of your dreams.

Disclaimer: The following blog post will contain some items that were gifted to me. There may be some affiliate links for the products mentioned. Please feel free to click on those links. If you purchase from these links you will not spend more but you may save some money, all the while supporting this site. It’s a win-win if you ask me.

Back to the topic at hand.

So you want a frizz free wash n go? I don’t blame you. What curly, coily, kinky haired natural doesn’t want to show off the beautiful crown that grows out of your scalp? I definitely do. But with the warmer weather coming, the main thing I find hardest to battle is frizz.

Truth is our hair is frizzy. Not all curls are created equal and it doesn’t matter if they are growing out of the same head. My curls vary depending on where the curls are placed. In the middle of my head, the curls are tightest and do not set well with the front of my hair where the curls are looser. This lack of homogeneity can create frizz. But just because frizz is there doesn’t mean we can’t control it, somewhat. It doesn’t mean it will disappear. It just means we can minimize frizz in our wash and go.

When it comes to curly hair, no matter how tight the curl is a good wash and go hairstyle is best achieved on clean and moisturized hair. That is the foundation of any hairstyle. Product build up can smell bad, create graininess with new product application (which never looks good), weigh down the hair and create an unnecessary barrier that keeps the product from doing it’s job. The hair has got to be clean. In case you haven’t heard it, you gotta wash your hair. Using a good gentle moisturizing shampoo can provide the cleanliness your hair and scalp without overstripping your hair of it’s natural oils and helps restore your hair’s natural moisture and still allowing you a clean scalp. A moisturizing conditioner with a good amount of slip is great for detangling while washing. I love to section my hair via finger detangle and then go back with my favourite detangling brush. It makes a whole difference post wash.

After your hair is washed and conditioned, the products themselves are not the only thing you need to be wary of but the application as well. You can have great products but if they’re applied improperly you will be feeling extremely disappointed. I always suggest using the products per the instructions on the product. With that said, you should probably rinse out that conditioner as stated on the package and use an actual leave in conditioner or a conditioning styling product.

With a good foundation, and with the right products for your hair, all you really need is a proper setting technique. I personally love to section my hair and make each section smaller so that I can get the products in my hair. I start with a small amount and work up the quantity based on how my hair is reacting. When I want my hair to set with defined curls and very minimal frizz, I use a gel like the Earthtones Natural Curl Enhancing Gelly Max. If I want to ease up on the “freeze” curl look and want that bit of frizz then I use the Shea Moisture Papaya & Neroli All Day Frizz Control milk-gel or the TGIN Honey Hydrating hair mousse. I make sure to get my hair to set the way it naturally does when it’s wet so that when it dries, the curls dry together. You can use a diffuser to preserve and retain length when it’s wet, or let it air dry.

Below are two of my YouTube videos that shows my wash and go hairstyles.

I hope this help clears things up. Let me know what you think?

Double Cleanse Routine

Hi there! Happy New Year! I want to start off by saying thank you so very much for joining me here. I know that you could be doing anything and you are here. I appreciate that a lot. Just to let you know that this post may contain affiliates links. If you want to support me as a content creator, by all means purchase through the links provided in the post. You will never pay more, but you may save some money. At the same time, I will get a small commission. It’s a win-win for us both.

I’ve been loving the Clinique Take The Day Off cleansing balm. Check out how I use it as part of my double cleansing routines

I Don’t Know What I’m Doing, And That’s Ok

Hi there! I want to start off by saying thank you so very much for joining me here. I know that you could be doing anything and you are here. I appreciate that a lot. Just to let you know that this post may contain affiliates links. If you want to support me as a content creator, by all means purchase through the links provided in the post. You will never pay more, but you may save some money. At the same time, I will get a small commission. It’s a win-win for us both.

Here is my moment of truth, I don’t know what I’m doing. In social media or in real life, I’m just winging it day by day. I have an idea of what I want to do and how I want to spend my days. I know that I have a set number of chores that I want to get done so that my family can live in a home that is free of harm and toxicity. I know that I want to grow and thrive as a mother, wife, content creator, etc. I know that I want to impact everyone around me positively but I don’t have a road map to get me to point B. I believe that’s all part of being an adult.

As I’m writing, I am currently experiencing some light form of anxiety. My chest feels heavy and my heartbeat has increased. I have just put the baby to bed and I am afraid that the baby will wake up before I’ve had a chance to even finish this post. I don’t know if she will sleep through the night. Maybe she’ll wake up every two hours like she did last week.

Right as this thought runs through my head, I worry about the business deal that I’m going to have to present. I worry that I won’t be able to articulate to my investors why they should buy into this vision. Maybe they won’t be able to understand how it benefits them as much as it does me. I won’t let fear stop me but I do worry about being rejected.

I worry that despite all the research that I’ve done to unlearn the toxic traits from my childhood, my weaknesses may prevent me from being the wife my husband deserve and the mother my children need. I’ve been blessed with a beautiful and I’ve read and researched the best way to parent so that my kids won’t feel neglected and/or unloved. I’ve tried to implement the tools given to me but I still fail and come short more often than I would like.

As a content creator I worry that I am not effective. I worry that I’m not engaging and/or relatable. I wonder if I’m able to provide a service to my peers and communicate words of encouragement, wisdom and affirmations that ignite a desire for us all to succeed. I wonder if I’m doing this “influencer” thing right. I have the following but I can’t seem to do it like the others..

At the root of it all, I know I worry because I compare myself to others. I’m afraid of not being as “cool” as the others. I know I don’t have all the answers. I know my shortcomings and no matter how many “likes” I get, I secretly feel as though I will be seen what I lack instead of what I have. Maybe that’s imposter syndrome I don’t know.

The truth is I don’t know what I’m doing. But does anybody really know how to operate life? Isn’t that the point of living? To figure it out along the way and to enjoy every moment. What if there isn’t anything to figure out? What if we’re just here to do the best we can, the way we can?

I don’t know the answers to these questions…and that’s ok.

Female Owned Canadian Businesses You Should Be Buying From

Hi there! Thank you so much for checking out today’s blog. I’m participating in NaBloPoMo this year and my goal is to actually go through with this challenge dutifully post (or have a post ready) daily. I believe that consistency is key to growth. Without it, there’s no real chance of success.

Back in June, there was a huge call for putting our money where allyship is concerned. I believe that part of being effective in the change of the way we view the Black community is to support the Black community. Whether it’s via sharing on social media or financially purchasing services and goods from them, anything is better than nothing.

With the holidays coming up we are all trying to find that special gift for our loved ones. I believe that there is no better time like today to support a Black Canadian business. In fact, most of the business I will be highlighting are owned by Black Canadian women. They all have stellar products that I personally enjoy using, from hair care to skin care to statement pieces that will light up your home or your outfit. So let’s get started with the list.

Earthtones Natural

Earthtones Natural is based in Toronto, Canada and if you’re a part of the curly hair community I highly recommend that you visit their website. Their site is a one-stop shop where you can purchase your hair products, get a hair consultation, see their webinar and so much more. I am personally in love with their Curl Condition line and  their Curl Enhancing Gelly Max has allowed my wash and go’s to last up to five days. I’ll never forget the day my hairstylist told me to keep doing whatever I was doing. Their products have greatly decreased the amount of time I spend on during wash days. If you’re serious about your hair journey or know someone that is, this is one company that should be on your radar.

Nagi Cosmetic

I remember when I first started wearing foundation, the only cosmetic companies that catered to women of colour were Iman, Bobbi Brown and M.A.C. If you couldn’t find your shade with these companies then you were out of luck. Later on, more companies started to include more shades but more as an after thought. Most make-up companies focus on the White sector first and then add darker shades later. However Gina Delisme, she just caters to us, women of colour. You don’t have to worry about being too dark, she’s got us covered. Not only is she putting women of colour first but she’s also a Haitian queen doing Boss things in Quebec. You will fall in love with the shade range made available for every melanin pigmented queen.

Tiara Adelaide Beauty

This might be cheating but I actually won her entire line from an Instagram giveaway and boy am I glad I did! Her liquid lipstick is on par with so many other liquid lipstick. It literally is transfer-proof, sweat proof, movement, like it literally will not move. It is the ultimate answer if you’re worried about your lipstick moving around while wearing a mask, it won’t. It is affordable so you don’t have to worry about breaking the bank.

https://www.instagram.com/p/CBDo9u0nqVM/?igshid=4o0jfqo3a9yf

Anthonia Makeup

Anthonia is a stellar makeup artist and her brushes are a reflection of her work. They are so soft and make make-up application so easy. They are so easy to use and she makes it easy for the everyday person to feel like rockstar make-up artist by providing us with a card that shows what each brush does. Her make-up brush will make any make-up artist feel great regardless of whether you’re a novice or a seasoned veteran.

Kokemoi

If you’re looking for simple jewelry pieces or accessories that make a statement then look no further. Kokemoi offers some exquisite pieces that don’t break the bank and create a certain air of sophistication no matter what your wearing. I personally bought some pieces from Kokemoi and I wear them regularly. They make a great gift. If you so choose to purchase from them use the code SANDY40 and save 40%. You’re welcome.

A Thousand Moods

I have a whole blog about how I feel about their Body Melts, so I’m just going to leave the link here, for you to click. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P4gsWCzULJ0&t=2s

To save that I love this company is an understatement. Their skin care product is luxury for the skin. It will literally melt once it touches your skin. And their candles are made to fill the room with a pleasant that doesn’t overpower your senses and their look is more of an accent to a room. It honestly upgrades the look and feel of a room. Many times, I’ve lit up their candles just to help stay focused on the task at hand. Now that they’ve got their Christmas stock ready, I’m so excite to shop their stuff.

https://www.instagram.com/p/CHDy2oHFIoV/?igshid=14bee24e3cpjw
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This is my list for now. Did I miss any? If so, let me know in the comment section.