Product Review: Camille Rose Naturals, Curl Maker Review!

 

It’s officially autumn in NYC, with that comes our favorite shows, boots, sweaters and coffee dates. Unfortunately for some African American women that also means dry hair. I’ve dealt with my own hair issues for 30+ years so at this point I’m pretty comfortable with navigating the cold months. Morgan however, is new to this. Her hair is thick like momma’s but curly like daddy’s and thus far our small Sunday routine of wash, oil and twist has been working well for us. It wasn’t until a few weeks ago that I realized that her hair wasn’t as moist as I would like. She is in a heated house for most of her day so I can only attribute this to the artificial heat. I researched (via Instagram, obviously) methods of retaining moisture that still allow for a cute style and we stumbled upon Camille Rose Naturals Curl Maker. From their site “GET DEFINED, SHINEY AND MANAGEABLE CURLS WITH POMEGRANATE SEED OIL, MARSHMALLOW AND AGAVE LEAF EXTRACTS . YOUR HAIR WILL HAVE AMAZING CURL DEFINITION, BOUNCE AND MOISTURE THAT EVERY CURL OR COIL WILL LOVE! PERFECT FOR WASH AND GO STYLING.”

Immediately I took notice.

We’ve been using this product now for a few weeks and I’d say that on a scale of 1 through 10 this product is a solid 8. My reasons are as follows:

Texture: Heavy with a nice slip.

Smell: eh! Not the best smell in the world but not offensive either.

Curl: Best that I’ve come across. Her curl pattern is defined and lasts for days.

Flake: This is where we go wrong. Maybe I’m just a little heavy handed but after our initial use, I found that the product leaves small white flakes at the ends of her hair. However, it’s not enough to make me want to stop using the product. After tending to a few tresses, we were flake free but it’s a little inconvenient.

We begin with a freshly washed head (we wash with Shea Moisture for kids-mango and Carrot, condition with Carols Daughter Hair Milk and seal with organic 100% coconut oil). At this point her hair is pretty saturated and easy to comb through. I apply a VERY small amount of curl maker as we two strand twist throughout her hair. That’s it! I kept her twist in for a full day and on day two removed the twist and finger combed the curls out. It was perfect. Her hair was super soft and curls really defined. We certainly have a new winter routine that lasts all week between twisting and finger combing. I plan on re-twisting every other night with Shea Moisture Coconut and Hibiscus Moisture Mist and coconut oil to preserve the moisture.

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Why do I love my husband?

I am a nag! Or at least I can be. That much I know about myself. I don’t mean to be, especially not to my husband but when there are q-tips all over the house or dirty socks in our foyer, it’s hard to be the dotting wife. During our pre-marital counseling I’ve learned that my husband and I see things very differently. Where I see and opportunity for us to check out that movie that we JUST spoke about last night, he sees an opportunity to catch up on Netflix. Such differences can sometimes lead to bickering and/or the more frustrated party (me) to “nag” the other. (Whomever came up with that word is really a class act.) Because of this, tension can sometimes build, and build and build. Then before you know it, you’re no longer arguing over whose turn it is to change the baby’s diaper but something deeper. So I’ve decided that I needed to remember why my husband was so awesome in the first place (because clearly his ability to binge watch Netflix isn’t it). So over the next 14 Days I created a challenge for myself. I grabbed a piece of paper and pen and EVERY night I thought back on the day and wrote down something I loved about my husband. I noticed as I focused on his positive qualities each night, I was falling more in love with him!

Day 1- Thank you for making every pediatric appointment. You make the best funny faces when it’s time for her shots. She can’t quite express it but I know it makes each visit a little better.

Day 2- thank you for initiating a family hug session. Our little one is under the weather but family hugs made her smile and for that, I am smiling.

Day 3- thank you for your humor. You made me laugh so hard today and after a long work week it was just what I needed…and the ten piece nuggets didn’t hurt either. Fat girl Friday’s!

Day 4- thank you for a wonderful family day. You made your girls happy today just by being present and attentive. When we’re happy, everyone is happy.

Day 5- thank you for being my nurse today!

Day 6-thank you for surprising me by picking me up at the subway station

Day 7- thank you for making dinner tonight

Day 8- thank you for being born on this day! Lol 😄. Dinner was awesome

Day 9- thank you for indulging in my sometimes outlandish request. FaceTime during work hours, I appreciate you!

Day 10-thank you for the late night conversations. It really is my favorite time to spend with you.

Day 11- thank you for giving me the food that you bought for yourself

Day 12- thank you for making football funny. Morgan has no idea as to what’s going on but it’s amusing to watch her watch you.

Day 13- thank you for picking me up…again. Today was a long day and my headache was killer.

Day 14- thank you for being just as vested in our child’s future as I am. I’m a little obsessive when it comes to schools, etc but you research as much as I do and you take it seriously.

And so endth my challenge. It certainly was a challenge but one that I am glad I did. My batteries are recharged and the look that I’ve been giving my husband has been one of endearment…and not that “other” look.

Gymboree Play-N-Learn Review

Hi there!

 

Life has certainly been happening all around me so please forgive the fact that I haven’t posted anything in the last four weeks. J Within those four weeks, Ms. Morgan has certainly grown a streak of independence (yes, at all of 6 months). So we decided that she might be ready for a Gymboree Play-N-Learn class. We opted for Gymboree Play & Learn 2 for children 6-10 months.  The children learn about cause and effect and build strength through play with ramps, slides and climbers. This infant class includes parent discussion time to help learn about your child’s development. Our class was located in our neighborhood and was at a great time, 12noon on a Sunday. Win, Win!

 

Upon entering the class, we were directed to a cubby that would hold all of our items and shoes. Little booties are given to Moms and Dads who forgot to wear socks. (sorry!). There were three other babies in our class so it made for a very nice setting. Morgan happened to be the youngest (and tiniest) amongst the others, but she was well advanced and crawled with the best of them. They begin each class with a five minute parent conversation. In our class we discussed babysitting and the best ways for parent and baby to cope. It was a little awkward at first. I just met these nice folks so it’s a little hard to get into the meat of such a topic when you are still learning their first names but that aside, I enjoy the concept. Perhaps starting with a general topic, such as development, would entice everyone to share and ask more questions.

 

We then moved on to the ramp. The ramp is used to build upper body strength. The downward motion causes your little person to bare weight in their arms and stabilize themselves while crawling down. Morgan didn’t move. Not one inch. It was actually a little comical. She stared at us as if to say “you expect me to do what?”. My husband tried to entice her with his car keys (which any other time, she has for breakfast) but she wouldn’t give in. Perhaps we should have brought the television remote control. Next time.

 

After ramps, we went onto the climbers, slides and had some parachute play. It was all very nice. Morgan and the other babies laughed and clapped along with the songs. Bubble time was their favorite. We closed by singing songs and having each childs name inserted into the lyrics. It warmed my heart to watch her light up when everyone sang her name.

 

All in all, it was a nice experience. I would certainly do it again. For the moment we are all tied up in fall outdoor activites but once the weather takes a turn for the worst, we plan on taking full advantage of the Play -N-Learn classes at Gymboree. See some pictures below.

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Date Night

Call us crazy but we like hanging out with our kid. So much so, that we really haven’t had a “date night” since she’s been born. Sure we make time for one another during the moments when she’s napping, etc but when it comes to finding a sitter or having grandparents time while daddy and mommy take in a movie…just hasn’t happened.

I know exactly what you’re thinking, “But *insert random article and/or website* says that it’s important to maintain your relationship as husband and wife outside of the baby” I get it, I do. And I agree! But for us that just doesn’t equate to following what’s been laid out for us. We’ve always maintained that the most important thing for children is to have parents that love and respect one another. And that we do. Our love for her is an extension of our love for one another and right now including her in on our date nights bring more pleasure than not having her there. Let me explain. In scenario 1, we have mommy and daddy holding hands over a nice dinner and glass of their favorite wine. They are talking about their day and plans for the weekend. Sure, it’s nice and brings you back to the days when you were care free and dating. Scenario 2, mommy and daddy are at the dinner table at home with their little one between them. Instead of holding hands, one is holding the spill-proof bowl and the other is making airplanes noises to bring excitement to the bowl of sweet potato purée. Conversation about their day and weekend plans are interrupted by spit bubbles and funky faces. They pick up the conversation later over a slumbering little person nuzzled into mommys arms. For right now, we choose the latter.

For us, we find enjoyment in watching her experience new things. During our first restaurant experience, she fell asleep before we placed our orders. Nowadays she lights up at the waiters apron, folded napkins and watching daddy eat. It may not sound exciting to you but we eat it up. No pun intended. Maybe some day we’ll get back to exploring our city sans kid but for now, everything is just better with her in it.

One Month Check-In: Back to work!

It has been about a month since I’ve been back to work and I am pleasantly surprised at how easy it is. Don’t get me wrong there are some days when getting out of the bed is a hefty task but more often than not, everything is all good! It is easy because we have a system that works for us. And I have an AMAZING support team. Her father, grandparents and uncles all play a very important role. It wasn’t until we were a week and a half in that I started to relax and trust the process. Morgan was/is fine!

 

In returning to work, my biggest fear was missing out on the important milestones in Morgans development. She is with her dad during the day but we all know that no one quite does it like Mom (Hi, Dear!). I feared that he wouldn’t read to her, or that her tummy time would be neglected. He is an amazing dad, but sometimes dads aren’t as regimented as moms. I also feared that she would grow especially attached to him and somehow forget about me (silly, yes I know). But none of these things have happened. Its as if we never missed a beat. Our little person has started to crawl, and I was there for that. She’s rolling over from her back and I was there for that too. She does have a special bond with her dad but ours is still there. Sure, I don’t feed her honey buns during the day like some people (major side eye!) but our time together when I get home is just as productive as it was when I were home. And we still have our weekends.

 

I’m officially a working mom. It feels good to know that I am setting an example for my daughter. I want her to believe that she is capable of doing (successfully) whatever it is that her heart desires. The goal was never for me to be a stay at home mom forever (Mama spent too much time working on those degrees to not use them.) but it was for me to find a way to balance both home and work. The truth is, there is no balance. Some days  my family gets 80% of me and 20% is left for whatever has been left unfinished. Other days the work pot gets 60% of me while home gets the remaining 40%. My support system does an awesome job of filling in where I’m lacking on those days. A wise women once told me “Don’t try to do it all. Just get it all done!” It didn’t make sense then but it certainly does now. I can’t spread myself too thin because my work, marriage, child and hobbies will suffer but what I can do is give 100% to whatever it is that I am focused on in that moment. Right now, I am writing the best damn post that I’ve ever written J. And when I am done with this I will check it off of my list of things to do, and move on.

 

Life for me is great right now. We are operating like a well-oiled machine and that makes for an exciting future.

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Blue Apron Review

Mamas! I think I’ve found the answer to our prayers. If there is one thing that you should know about me is that I’m a mom who likes convenience. Even more so, now that I’ve gone back to work. One of my current obstacles besides having to get adjusted to using the NYC subway system again, is dinner! I get home at 7pm. That leaves just enough time to play with my little munchkin, check in with the hubby, get into Morgans nighttime routine (bath, massage, bottle, book) and prep for the next day. If dinner happens, it’s because my husband has prepared it. God bless him, but there is only so much spaghetti a girl can take (hi, dear 😘). There just isn’t enough time and eating after 9pm is just not something that I’m ready to do. But I’m pretty sure that I’ve found the holy grail of dinner time. A friend of mine introduced me to Blue Apron. From their website, “Blue Apron is a new concept in grocery delivery, built around incredible cooking experiences. We offer a once-a-week subscription service where we deliver all the fresh ingredients you need to make 3 meals, in exactly the right proportions. We’ve designed our service to teach you fun new recipes, save prep time and also reduce unnecessary waste. By letting us shop for you, we can bring you fresher and higher-quality food than you can get on your own in the supermarket, and for better prices!” I couldn’t agree more!

Here’s how the subscription service works:

  • Select the type of plan you want and the number of people
  • Delivery is free, and they deliver the same day each week
  • There’s no commitment: you can cancel anytime before the weekly cutoff
  • Stick with them long enough and you’ll get additional free goodies in the mail!

It cuts down time at the grocery store by supplying everything you need in your box delivery!

I thought that it was a no brainer when it came to trying it out. So the kind folks at Blue Apron provided a delivery with three meals and so my review begins.

My box arrived on Saturday at 11am. It was packed pretty well with solidly frozen ice packs to preserve the perishable items. Everything was labeled and packaged, so storing in my refrigerator was super easy. Also in the box came my cooking instructions for each meal, along with pictures. I prepared my first meal on Monday. It was the Chicken Sate in peanut sauce with jasmine rice and marinated green tomatoes. Delicious!! Seriously. My husband kept popping into the kitchen to see what I was up too and was also pleasantly surprised with the outcome. Convenience is great but if it doesn’t taste good, it’s a no go in my house. Hubby has quite the palate. Lol

Prep time was 6 minutes, cooking time 22 minutes, clean up time, 12 minute. 40 minutes total!

The directions were really easy to follow. The ingredients are fresh and yield a healthy portion for two adults. Miss Morgan was my sous chef the whole time and it was simple enough that I was able up play with her and cook at the same time. I also love the fact that it takes the anxiety out of cooking. If there is one thing I dread is that 4pm phone call asking “what’s for dinner?”. This week, I can just look at my Blue Apron menu and provide an answer, knowing that the ingredients are already home waiting for me. Major win in my book.

I have two more meals to prepare this week. Seared Salmon and Beef and Rice stuffed poblano peppers. I can’t wait!

I’m so excited about my new find that I am subscribing to their service and I want all of my readers to enjoy as well. For all Mommy& Morgan readers here is a little treat, my first 100 readers get 30% off their first Blue Apron Box!! Redeem here: https://www.blueapron.com/mommyandmorgan
I really hope that you enjoy as much as we are. Feel free to share your pics by hashtagging #BlueApron #MommyAndMorgan

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Product Review: Sweedie Kids

We have a teether! A drooling, gum gnawing, hand sucking teether. I didn’t think that anything other than a faucet could produce that much liquid. We are literally running out of bibs and burp clothes. Miss Morgan is having the time of her life and doesn’t seem to be in any discomfort at all, so that much makes us happy. I can’t, however, say that I am comfortable with wiping her mouth as much as it warrants these days. I was nervous about her skin and the constant wiping. Sure I “dab” most times instead of wiping but it still happens. So began my hunt for super soft baby bibs and burp clothes. Since birth we’ve been using Aden and Anais organic clothes, which as nice but a little too hard for a teether. I put my feelers out there and was put in touch with the folks over at Sweedie kids. Feels like we’ve hit the jackpot. Their bibs are super soft and THICK! Major win. It doesn’t hurt that it’s stylish and doesn’t take away from her outfits 😉.

On Saturday we had a picnic in Central Park and as most know, bibs find a way of getting completely unrecognizable after a day outdoors. Not her Sweedie bib. It held it’s shape, remained dry and fastened around her neck. The moisture did not soak through to her neck. As far as wiping goes, the super soft material doesn’t irritate her skin. Although this was sent to us for this review, I would certainly buy more and encourage others to do the same.

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