Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Good Eats!

Today we all headed out to the city bright and early for a special appointment. After the special appointment, Rakiem decided not to go to work because it was just too late for him to head home, get ready and drive to NJ, so we took it easy in the city.

Rakiem was craving some southern cooking, and of course I'm not gonna argue, I cant help my self when it comes to southern cuisine. We headed on over to our favorite spot for lunch. Olivia and I are regulars there. We went to Amy Ruth's.

Rakiem ordered The Rev. Al Sharpton

I had my usual Afrika Bambatta:

And Olivia had a little bit if everything and she enjoyed it. She ate macaroni and cheese, fish, cornbread and fried chicken.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Speaking of Hair . . . I Won!

I'm currently on a path to educate myself about natural hair care for Olivia and I. Of course this path must start somewhere, I have over 15 years of experience with hair care.  I basically grew up in a hair salon and barbershop owned by my parents, so  I don't have formal education/training, but I've have tons of hands on experience from managing to hair care, styling, etc, and I've learned from licensed professionals.

I say all this to say . . . although I have all this experience, 90% of the time,  we dealt with relaxed hair and the products that catered to it.  About 10% of the time, we dealt with natural hair and still applied relaxed hair regimens to it. So I must seek out my own education with this topic. First I'll deal with my hair, by growing out my relaxer. Second I will be reading a few highly recommended books of the natural hair care community, and third, I'll be utilizing YouTube for its never ending resources.

One of my favorite YouTuber's that I enjoy watching and receiving education from is KimmyTube. She's been natural for the past 12 years and experienced trial and error over and over until she finally got it right! Last week she hosted a contest on her channel and I entered. This morning I woke up bright and early to see the contest results and guess what, I WON!!

my youtube name is dana1900. Find the above video here.
 What did I win you ask ? I won a choice of two of the greatest hair books ever: Ultra Black Hair Growth II 2000 Edition or Grow It: How To Grow Afro-Textured Hair To Maximum Lengths In The Shortest Time.

Kim aka KimmayTube also has her own online store called LUVNaturals, its loaded with  hair accessories, hair products and hair education., check her out, I know I'll be supporting her business pretty soon!

Hair Products , Meet the Trash Can!

If i keep these products in my closet, then I am simultaneously keeping the hair off my head. I am not bashing Motions Hair Products, I'm just saying that they are not right for me and my natural hair.

Some of the ingredients in these products are DEADLY! Hmmm, and I've been using this stuff for years.

Ha! Some of these products actually LOCK OUT moisture! And I wondered why my hair wasn't growing?
I used this product in the past to remove my bonded weaves. The ingredients are terrible!
I am taking a completely different approach to my hair care, and my daughter's. I am educating myself about natural hair care, and the wonderful world of natural products that are made for women like me and young girls like my daughter.

There is so much to talk about when it comes to black hair, and I will address those topics in a later post, but what I must say is that with everything I do, from home birthing to going natural, there is one  key factor that sets off my choices, and journeys that I have begun. That key factor is "Seeking Knowledge".

When you seek knowledge, you learn how to take control of your life,  you become a completely responsible being. You make the choice to never become a victim, a statistic, or some one's guinea pig.

PS. as I sit here typing this blog, I turn around to see Olivia going through the basket of hair products and it dawned on me that if Olivia had accidentally consumed just a small amount of some of these products, it can cause great harm. Now really, are these the kind of products I so badly need in my life ? I'm just saying!

I use extra virgin olive oil (evoo) on Olivia's skin for her eczema, and in her hair to lock in moisture. If she had ever accidentally consumed evoo, she may receive an extra dose of protection against heart disease!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Lunch Time = Exploration Time

It's lunch time, or as I call it "time to give Olivia food so she can pick at it and dump it on the floor for Bella to eat" time!

But today was just a little bit different. On today's menu: Macaroni Tuna Salad, one of my favorites. I thought red and greens might be too much of a kick for Olivia, but she liked it. She ate way more than she would usually eat, and she even picked up a slice of green onion and chomped on it without making a face, in fact, she smiled!  I think this meal is a keeper, and I will definitely reintroduce this one to her again.  I'm happy about the amount of food she ate, it seems like we're getting some progress in the transition from liquids to solids.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

My Baby Don't Eat!

I'm convinced that Olivia doesn't like the texture of food. I've been experimenting with all types of food, and I learned 2 thing:

1. She hates to be spoon fed

2. She likes fruits more than anything

Just about every evening at dinner, Olivia sits in her high hair with a very small portion of what i made for Rakiem and I. She gives it a taste, spits it out, and shovels the remaining food onto the floor for Bella to eat, she even calls Bella over!

Olivia, I didn't cook curry chicken and potatoes for Bella to enjoy, we buy a very decent grade of dog food just for Bella to savor, the curry chicken goes in your belly!

Olivia has never been a "greedy" baby. She rarely finishes a bottle, and only picks at her fruits and veggies that I leave out for her.

I've been told not to panic or stress about the particular phase that she is going through, and she will transition when she is ready to solid foods, but I LOVE to cook, and I LOVE to see my babies (Rakiem & Olivia) eat.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Fun Day in the City

This day wasn't planned for a day in the city at all, we were scheduled to do a bit of house hunting and then off to the museum, but we got to a very late start, and had to revise our day accordingly.

We ended up on a quick drive to the city, and winged it from there:

First Stop: New York Burger Co - Yummy!

Rakiem suggested that we have burgers for lunch, and we just happened to be passing the New York Burger Franchise at the same time, so we made  pit stop and indulged!
I had the Seattle Burger topped with avocado,  Rakiem had the Dallas Burger, and Olivia had french fries, tons of french fries, she actually ate them all.

Next Stop: Limelight Marketplace - Interesting!

Remember Limelight, the church turned nightclub spot in the city ? Well now it's a bit more appropriate, they've turned it into a marketplace where many of the city's small businesses come together and display their more intriguing products under one roof.

Butterfly Bakeshop


The Little Candy Cake Co

Brocade Home

Last Stop: Spirit - SpOoKy & FuN!
Hello Mr.President
 Olivia had a blast!

  Can you guess who these people are ?

Friday, September 24, 2010

A Day at the Park

I love spending quality time with my Olivia. At least once a week we go on a little field trip in to the city or a park. On Tuesday, I decided to take Olivia into Harlem to Amy Ruth's for lunch (okay I really wanted some Amy Ruth's) but still it was a nice outing!

I ordered The Afrika Bambatta  (which is basically fried whitings) along with baked macaroni and cheese and candied yams and it came with a square of warm cornbread. I ordered to go and headed straight to central park, the north end by the big pool, and pond.

Olivia and I sat on the bench by the pond and shared our Amy Ruth's luncheon, while site seeing. I think she really enjoyed herself. I had gone over to the corner bodega to pick up a box of apple juice or fruit  juice, and I wasn't surprised at all, there were no fruit juices to be found. So I caved in and allowed Olivia to drink a box of Ssips Juice, which only contains 10% Fruit Juice, the other 90% = sugar, water, preservatives, the stuff I don't want her consuming at all. And to top it off, i she had her very first Lollipop which she LOVED, and of course I had to pry it out of her little fingers when I felt she had enough.
Olivia had a great day, and so did I.

Monday, September 20, 2010

We love shopping!

Olivia is pretty much at that stage where she has grown out of the majority of the clothes that we received as shower gifts, and the tons of summer clothes that she's sported this summer, so now, we're pretty much on our own, so its time to go fall shopping.

At the age of 11 months, she wears a size 12-18m in clothing, and a size 5 in shoes! She's a long gal, and run-way modeling may be in her future, but for now, she models for mommy!

I came across the old navy baby sale and I couldn't help but to add a few items to Olivia's fall collection. I actually thought I'd go bananas in there, but I didn't. In my opinion, you don't get the best quality in Old Navy clothing, but you definitely get the "Look" for less. Quality is way more important to me, that is why I only purchased the items that had true quality and durability, and were worth the 10 bucks/item that I spent.

2-in-1 Sweater Dresses for Baby $15
i love the embroidered embellishment around the neckline

Embroidered Dresses for Baby $10
again, the embellishment and the earth tones, make the dress worth the price. I love the look

Boot-Cut Jeans for Baby $10
I prefer a more stylish skinny leg, but they were all sold out. I may check back again today.

I purchased a few more items from old navy, like tights, and socks but i didnt take any pics. I plan to accessorize with some handmade knitted goods from the talented sellers on etsy. For example, this hat is so adorable and a must have to tie in Olivia's fall look

Big Brown Eyes!

She gets it from her Momma!
Look at those beautiful eyes! I remember when I was younger, I used to hate being told that my eyes were BIG, or as Jamaicans say it "BRIGHT"! I used to get made fun of in grade school, they had so many names for my eyes, I laugh now, but I cried then!

Now when I look at my baby's big round glossy brown eyes that she inherited from me, all I see is beauty! Those eyes are gonna get you places girl! I promise to instill confidence in all of her unique beauties, she will embrace every unique feature on her body and learn that to BE UNIQUE is CHIC, and to BE NORMAL is . . ..WACK!

Love you Livi,  and your big beautiful eyes!

and now she's 11 months (almost)

And where exactly does time go ? we all know that times has wings and it flies on by, so make use of every moment in your life, before you know it, 50 years have gone by and you've lived a life of happiness or regret, you decide!

Why do i start off that way ? Because I haven't blogged since Olivia turned 4 months old, and a lot life altering events have occurred through this time, MAJOR events! ( i will be filling in the empty space with past photo's)

I write this blog mainly for myself, a way of expressing myself as a parent and the things that I have chosen to do for my child and my family.I also find it to be very therapeutic.

I write this blog for Olivia, and my future children, to reflect back on mommy's thought, mommy's plans, and mommy's promises to you. To express my unconditional love for the children that I bare, and the husband that god placed into my life for me.

I also write this blog to share with family and friends who are interested in taking a peek into the life of Dana and Rakiem and the journeys that we've have been through as we go from "expecting" parents to grooming ourselves into "not so perfect, but great" parents!

I haven't blogged in so long because I've been busy, from returning to work, leaving work only 5 months after returning, growing and developing skills for my photography business, taking Olivia on wonderful island hopping vacation, being a stay at home/work from home mom, mourning the passing of my mother in law, searching for a new home and so much more. In future blogs I will surely touch each topic when the time is right, but for now I just wanted to jump on track and let you know that I'm still in the race, although I am not in the lead, I'm still in it to win it, and that has to count for something.

Thanks for reading.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Fall Cleaning

Fall is here and its time to clean out Olivia's wardrobe. She has tons of clothes, some are too small, some she never wore, and the others are summer clothes that need to be packed away.  But these particular items  hung in her closet since birth til now and she didn't get much wearing out of them, so finally she gets to sport them this winter & fall, before she grow out of them. 

Of course she wouldn't wear all 3 pieces together  but I thought it would be fun to dress her up and snap a few pics and video.

Enjoy the Fashion Show!

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