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?

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.

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.

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.

Pregnant skin care no-no’s

Hi there! I know it’s been a while since I’ve written on here. I’m so sorry about that. Pregnancy has a funny way of kicking my butt simply for wanting to bring life into the world. I do 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.

Being pregnant is a blessing that I get to share alongside so many women on this globe. It often comes accompanied with so many lifestyle change, after all a new life is about to occupy your space and for about 40 weeks your body. So what used to be has to be change. You may need to start switching those mimosas for water, fries for vegetables and that guest bedroom may be the perfect place for a crib. I always find amazing how this bundle of joy can bring about such monumental changes in a person’s life.

Currently I have two little ones and I thought I had it all figured out but turns out just like every child is different so is every pregnancy. This doesn’t change the fact that I still want to put my best skin forward. I must do that using products with ingredients that are effective in doing what it needs without the possibility of hurting my unborn child. So I’ve created a list of skin care ingredients that will need to take a backseat (along side the gin & tonic) in my routine until it’s safe to do so.

Retinoids

Even though topical retinoids have not shown to be bad for fetuses it’s still advised that pregnant women should avoid them as a precaution. What is bad is oral retinoids. There have been cases of undesired and unwanted results on fetuses such as miscarriage, premature delivery and a series of birth defects. To be on the safe side, it’s better to just avoid all of them. A good alternative to retinol is bakuchiol and has been ruled safe to use during pregnancy or breastfeeding. Also there’s Vitamin C, kohjic acid and glycolic acid.

Hydroquinone

My first introduction to hydroquinone was over 10 years ago when I was trying to get rid of this acne scar. I later found out it was a skin lightening cream and is considered to be carcinogenic. It is quite powerful and even though it does not appear to have an increased risk of fetal malformation due to the amount that is absorbed in the body compared to others, it’s just better to be safe than sorry. Minimizing the risk of exposing the fetus to harmful chemicals is always the safest way to ensure everyone’s health, no matter how many shades darker your body gets while pregnant. Just wait it out, once your baby is out your face and body will match.

Phthalate

This one comes with all kinds of unwanted and documented risks such as the disruption of thyroid levels, sex hormone and 25-hydroxyvitamin D in pregnant women or the baby. This results in preterm birth, preeclampsia, glucose disorders in the mother, and the list goes on. It’s safe to say, that it is best to avoid this chemical at all cost. Phthalates are usually found in synthetic fragrances and nail polish. Though you phthalates can be found in virtually anything, it’s best to limit exposure as much as possible.

Formaldehyde

This chemical is usually found in many nail polishes and certain hair products. So maybe hold off on the mani-pedi? I know it’s not always possible but limiting exposure to this will be beneficial. It has been linked to fertility problems and miscarriage. It is strongly recommended that pregnant just limit their exposure to it or just stay away altogether.

Chemical Sunscreen

I just want to start off saying you should always wear sunscreen. However, the type of sunscreen you use is important. Chemical sunscreen that contain oxybenzone can potentionally affect the newborn’s health. So it’s best to stick to mineral sunscreens.

I hope this list was helpful. As always for all questions considering your pregnancy you should consult your OBGYN, your health care professional and/or doctor. Never take my word for what works for you but please be informed so you can have the safest pregnancy possible.

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

Eczema skin relief toddler edition

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.

When my eldest daughter turned 1 year old, I started to notice a rash developing in the back of her knees going upwards toward in backside. So I did what any mother would do and turned to Google. Of course, after many blood pressure raising self diagnosis, I knew the right thing to do was to see what the doctor had to say. She reassured me that it was eczema and it was common and nothing to worry to about. Which is easier said then done when you’re watching your baby scratch herself to the point of bleeding.

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.

Her symptoms were pretty standard. Her skin gets dry every winter and I mean really dry to the point that her skin gets really rough. She starts scratching like crazy and the rash appears. We got a prescribed ointment for the rash but unfortunately it doesn’t take away from the dry skin and itch.

After many attempts at find a treatment that works, I finally turned to Instagram to get some help from the mom community and they did not fail me. Some of the ideas shared with me I had already tried, some I did not and the ones that worked for my girl I still do now.

My main concern was getting her skin to behave like her skin should. For those of you who don’t know eczema is also know as atopic dermatitis. It is a condition that makes your skin red and itchy. It is thought to be due to a “leaky” skin barrier, where the skin is not holding in the moisture as it should causing it to be dry in the process. It’s also thought to be a immune system response to an allergy. Of course, you should seek a medical professional for a proper diagnosis.

The most common response I received was the Aveeno Eczema Care Itch Relief Balm. I purchased the Aveeno cream from Amazon because it was the most convenient way to get it. I’d rather have it shipped to my house than to dress the whole family to go outside in the dead of winter. The balm is quite thick but applies nicely. It doesn’t linger on the body as much either. I find that it’s best for us to use it at night right she’s had her bath. It’s fragrance free, so that’s a bonus.

I also received SKN Moisture Retention Healing Face + Body Bar which I use on her body nightly during bathtime. This company is Black owned which is why I’m so hype about them. They are based in the United States but they do ship to Canada. I was overcome with their generosity and couldn’t wait to try their bar. The bar foams really easily and smells amazing. It’s the perfect way to calm my daughter. According to the site “This bar helps to treat eczema, psoriasis, dermatitis, and dry skin. It is infused with 5% Colloidal Oatmeal which is also an all-natural skin-soothing solution for bug bites, sunburns, poison ivy, and other itch and inflamed skin conditions. This bar is also infused with Eucalyptus oil that is great for wounds and skin infections; thanks to its anti-inflammatory effects” and I cosign this. I highly recommend anyone needing an alternative to commercial based soaps to check them out.

The results were night and day. Her skin felt like skin again and you would never know she had been scratching herself if it wasn’t for the scars. I was so impressed by both products. Her skin was once again soft. She doesn’t scratch anymore and my girl is no longer bothered by itchy skin. I’m a happy mom!

Have you dealt with eczema? What have you used?

Charlotte Tilbury Make-up Review

www.youtube.com/watch

Hi there! Thank you so much for checking out my blog. Today is Sunday and it’s the day I release my blog.

I received some items from Charlotte Tilbury for free and decided to try them out. I hope you like the video.

FYI: Just to let you know that this blog does contain some affiliate links, which I hope you will appreciate. If you so choose to click on these links you will not spend extra money but you will get some cash back with your purchase and for referring you I get some money too. It won’t make me an overnight millionaire but I will be able to continue providing you with some more content like this one.

You can purchase these items here. #liketkit @liketoknow.it http://liketk.it/31rdP whether you need some holiday glam or a gift for your favourite make up lover, Charlotte Tilbury is perfect for this season #LTKunder50 #LTKbeauty #LTKstyletip Shop your screenshot of this pic with the LIKEtoKNOW.it shopping app

If you have AMPLI you can receive cash back if you shop these items at Sephora. Ampli is a cash back app that I use to get cash back on my purchases. If you sign up using the code AMPLI5 you will get $5 without purchasing a thing. That’s just for signing up. What do you think about that? There’s tons of places you can use it at not just Sephora. You should check it out.

What’s your favourite holiday make-up trend?