Gift Guide: The Body Shop picks under $50

The Body Shop is one place that I always make a quick stop to whenever I’m in the mall. I love to go in-store and smell/test plus restock my body butters/shower gels. I was really excited this year when they sent over an amazing box of products for me to test (just in time for the holidays). It’s been a while since I’ve opened up a box and literally fell in love with EVERYTHING inside.


Gift Guide: Quo Holiday Collection 2019

Let’s get a started on this holiday content! 
Over the past few weeks, I have had the opportunity to receive some of the most gorgeous beauty products to my doorstep. Totally made me fall in love with beauty again. 

One of the first beauty brands, I ever spent my money on was Quo. 
There are soooo many gems in the line: From their brushes to their lip glosses. 
Every year they kill it with their holiday collections. 
Here are 5 items that you need to put in your stocking from Quo this year!

Review: Maxi Cosi Magellan Car Seat

I’m happy that I had to opportunity to be a Maxi Cosi mom from day one! I know if you read my Maxi Cosi Lara Travel stroller post. You will know that we requested the famous Zelia stroller from our family (pre-Ava Rose) and I’ve been in love with it ever since. We have been using the bucket seat from when Ava came home from the hospital in my car until 6 weeks ago.

The things about babies/toddlers is that they grow fast. Oh boy, do they grow fast. I mean I just bought a whole bunch of clothes for Ava like 2 months ago and she has already grown them out! Since she is now 16 months and super tall for her age. Recently we started noticing that she no longer comfortably fits in to her car seat in my car. I tried to prolong it as along as I could... But we knew it was time for an upgrade. I was also super lucky and grateful Maxi Cosi gifted us the Magellan Car Seat.

Three tips for your baby when using baby pouch foods

I recently wrote about my thoughts on baby led wending and it was suggested that I also write about baby food as well. We actually still give them to Ava as a "snack' after her naps. It's quick- it fills her up. Plus she just eats them on her own (very little supervision needed)!

Just like everything out there you need to pay attention and follow safety/handling procedures when giving them to your little
one. This will make sure that your baby does not get sick.

The Most Fashionable Streets in The World

As with any specialty, fashion has its superstars. These are companies that you can identify simply by their name as being the best in the business. Real lovers of fashion can tell you where the most fashionable shopping streets around the world are located. Now we live in a high-tech world and the international economy. We can literally partake in anything we choose via the internet. With the use of offshore accounts and the internet, as a client- you will always be served. Business makes new ways to do business every day.

Technology and transportation make it possible for fashion-lovers to enjoy
the great fashion avenues of this era.


Have you heard of Birch + Fog?

15 months ago my life changed for the better! 
How?
I became a mom to an amazingly smart baby girl. I wasn’t prepared for how hectic life would be with my own business and being a stay at home mom... but I’m SUPER busy! Like I hardly get to rest. It sounds like I’m complaining- I’m totally not BUT damn I do miss pre-baby Jenn. That Jenn had TIME now that I look back at it. That Jenn should’ve never complained she was tired... because she did not know what tired was LOL

It’s easy to feel anxious or stressed when you have so much on your plate. Daily I think about... getting my work done, entertaining the baby, make sure food is cooked/available, making sure bottles are ready- and that’s just the surface. Different people unwind in different ways. I was recently contacted by Birch+Fog to try out some products. I won’t lie... overlooked the first few emails because I wasn’t sure if it was the route I wanted to go down. If you don’t know birch+fog are a premium lifestyle collective based in Canada. They specialize in CBD and hemp wellness products.



What is CBD?
It’s a non-psychoactive cannabis compound used for a wide range of ailments including pain and anxiety/stress. **FYI non-psychoactive means no changes in perception or behaviour** Very important to note.
After looking at the site- the curiosity got me and I decided to try out some of their products. 
FYI- I don’t smoke or vape. So these are my unadulterated opinions.

Let me start out by saying this post is not here to educate you on Cannabis in Canada or the different strains and their benefits. I’m just sharing 3 it of 5 products that I got and my 

Buudabomb Vegan Gummies
image via Birch+Fog site


Have you tried: L'Oreal Paris Infallible 24h Fresh Wear Foundation

I love that I get the opportunity to try so try so many different foundations- all different finishes and textures. I have promised myself that I'm going to give myself 6-9 months to write about ALL of them currently in my possession! It's a serious task but it has to be done. As a dark skin girl, do you know how hard it is to find swatches or true images online? I won't leave you hanging!

These days it seems like there are a lot of brands out there that who feel like they have everything that what we want in a foundation. 

But do they truly stack up??

Have you heard of the L'Oreal Paris Infallible 24h Fresh Wear Foundation ($19.99 CAN) ? If you've struggled to find the right foundation that hits a few of your must have lists- this might be the way to go. 

Resort Vacation Must-Haves for Babies or Toddlers under 2


If you follow me on Instagram, you will know that our first family vacation was a bit of a mess. We ended up in Bahamas at the same time as a hurricane. Thankfully, we were in a part of the island that just got a lot of rain and crazy wind... but it honestly could have been so much worse. I don't mean to be overdramatic but I low-key feel traumatized by it. Thankfully, we got home safe and sound.

I am doing to toot my own horn. I did an AMAZING job figuring out what to pack for the baby. That I even OVER packed. I am also so thankful for all the moms I connected with before my trip to figure out what items I should bring for Ava.

My Quick Thoughts Baby-Led Weaning


Starting your baby on solid foods is somehow both fun and daunting. Solids is a huge stage in their development and a sign that you're doing everything right, but it's also stressful. 
  • When are you supposed to do it? 
  • How much do you give? 
  • What is the best way? 
  • How can you make easy on your baby?

Four Tips for Travel with a Baby 1 Year Old or Under to Prevent Heat Exhaustion

In September, we went our first family vacation. It was a mess. Two words: Bahamas & Hurricane. I did an amazing job at making sure my baby was cared for when the rain subsided and the sun was OUT! Man it was hot! A bearable hot but the type of hot that would be exhausting for a baby or infant.


The last thing I wanted was ANY heat-related illness- for all of us. Thankfully all those tips that i researched when Ava was a few months-old we're so helpful.

FYI - all of this is pretty self explanatory BUT you wouldn’t believe how easy it is to forget about the simple things when your away from home. 

SPF Is your friend
Please don’t forget to pack this in your suitcase. A lot of people feel like just because they have melanin that they don’t need sunscreen. That’s a complete lie! Wear it! A cool perk from my hotel was that they offered sunscreen to guests on the beach. I should add that there are kid-friendly options as well! On top of that - keep your little ones head fully covered. I had a few bucket hats that I rotated for Ava.

Bottles: Glass vs. Plastic Pro vs. Con

I remember back 20 years ago when glass bottles were the norm. Yes I’m that old. We started Ava on plastic and silicone based bottles... which I don’t regret but there are a few benefits to glass bottles that we have observed in the past few months.

Thank you to Dr. Browns they gifted us Options Glass Wide-Neck starter set!

Not sure if you seen these in-stores but they feature an anti-colic vent system. If you have a baby who takes in a lot of air or gas. You totally need a paced flow! These help reduce feeding issues, helps digestion and also helps to preserve vitamins. I'm thankful that they added nipples for 9+ months for Ava Rose. I waited until baby girl was at least 10 months before I introduced these bottles because I wasn’t sure of the weight and overall sentiment that she would have towards them. 
She does so well with them! I wish I started earlier.

Checked in Luggage: Beauty

This is the first time that I actually didn't pack a lot for a beach vacation... I had to share my suitcase with a cute 1 year old (so I wasn't upset). One thing I wasn't playing with was my skin care. I had my skin care make up a situation all sorted out *hair flip*.


Guest Post: Toddler Hair Care

In the Black community, the topic of natural hair is seemingly never-ending and personally, it’s a favourite of mines. For all intents and purposes, I have two girls ages 2 and 2 months but I will focus on my toddler’s hair care in this blog post.

Charlotte was born with a head of curly hair however, the crown of her hair grew a bit faster than the rest so for awhile, she looked as if she was sporting a fro-hawk. Back in 2009/2010, I learned that the key to what makes black hair thrive (in terms of health and thus, length retention) was moisture and since then, I have implemented the LOC method for myself and even more intentionally for Charlotte’s hair.

The LOC method stands for Liquid, Oil, Cream. This is the specific order that one must apply product to the hair to ensure maximum moisture retention. Similarly, there is the LCO method that stands for Liquid, Cream, and Oil. Since I am such a big advocate for natural hair in all its forms, I implemented this method when Charlotte was about three weeks old.

Crib safety in Canada

As a new mother, I swear nothing gave me more anxiety than then crib.
It stayed empty for like 3 months!

Convincing my little one to finally fall asleep is hard enough at one (All she wants to do is play), but when I put her down in her crib I want to know that she's going to be safe and secure. I heard too many SIDS stories via online and heard about too many close calls that I had to do a lot of research before putting baby girl in there. There are a lot of articles and blog posts that talk about official Canadian crib safety standards. I’m not going to lie some are over dramatic and if your a new mom like me... We just want to learn some simple tips for making our baby's crib safer. Thankfully my months of research has you covered!

Here are a few things I've learned from reading up about crib safety online and speaking to other moms about keeping your little one safe during sleep time. 

There are a few obvious ones that I think we all know, like don't give your newborn baby a blanket to sleep with (even though I know it's tempting on cold nights). The best alternative is a sleep sac! We had a few for baby girl that we purchased and received as a gift.

Skin Care: Summer Must Haves from Arbonne

I love trying new products! Especially when it's unexpected. I was lucky that this year for Mother’s Day Arbonne sent me a lovely gift pack for me to get my pampering on. It was literally my first present *Tear*. Which I extremely appreciated! 
 I was also sent some of their newly launched products.


Review: Maxi-Cosi Lara Stroller

Can we talk about strollers for a minute? 
I remember when I was 30 weeks and the hunt to find one (that had everything I wanted) was tricky. I knew I wanted a bassinet stroller which came with a car seat. FYI: Super important for leaving the hospital. I was extremely grateful that the Maxi-Cosi Zelia stroller just came out on time and met my full expectations. I was even luckier that I put it on my baby registry and my brother purchased it for us. We have been rocking it ever since.

We always knew that when the time came that we wanted to get a travel stroller as well. 
Why? 
When my Ava and I are just out shopping- it's all fine but the minute I need to take her up a flight of stairs we're in trouble. Thankfully I only had to do this once so far and my husband was there BUT... I remember the struggle. And I don’t want to have to do all that again on vacation.

A few months ago, I started the hunt because we wanted to travel a lot this Summer. I knew that meant that a plane would be included and thinking of everything we have to carry is stressing me out and we haven’t even left yet!!! Plus the thought of struggling with a big stroller through the airport and the narrow aisles of a plane is giving me nightmares. 

Thankfully, I found a solution. I was gifted the Maxi-Cosi Lara stroller.

REVIEW: Dreambaby Mayfair Converta 3-in-1 Playpen Gate

The best thing about being a parent is watching your little one grow up. Every new milestone is exciting! Ava Rose is so smart! I just love the way how she catches on to things. Their process of learning how to crawl is no exception, even if it is the “belly/military” crawl (like what she is doing). The scary part is that it makes you realize just how dangerous your house is. 

Without giving out my full details I live in a decent sized townhouse that has a open concept kitchen/living room/dining room. Not my first choice- but the best choice that my husband and I had at the time. We totally didn’t think it through if we had kids... 

Back to the baby: My 11.5 month-old has been crawling a lot lately. And getting into EVERYTHING! The one thing about her is that she quite quick! I don’t know where she got it from but if she sees something she likes... she goes for it. It's adorable....until she heads toward the TV unit, or the stairs. Pretty sure that if we leave her be- she'll crawl her way right out the front door altogether. 

I’m so happy that I was introduced to Dreambaby. They graciously gave me the opportunity to chose a gate of my choice for Ava. When my husband and I started researching we looked into everything and a Play-Pen Gate was the best option. More specifically, we went with the Mayfair 3-in 1 Play-Pen Gate

Revlon Kiss™ Cushion Lip Tint

Ava Rose is literally my world. While I husband is at work- I stay home and maintain my business.... Plus take care of her daily. So when it’s time to go out- I usually have a bare face. 

As always, I'm looking for products which are going to make my day easier. 

The girls on twitter have been talking about the new Revlon Kiss Cushion Lip Tint that has been popping-up in stores. When I got the email to try them I jumped on because of the word “tint”. That means that after my wild day that hopefully I will have a tint of something on my lips. 

I miss the times where I could sit and do my whole face.
I am lucky if I get to do my eyebrows!

Sponsored: Calling all moms! Let's talk about Sleep!

*Sponsored Content*

New Mom?
Well, here's what some good sleep will do for you! Having a newborn baby can be stressful. And the most common problem about it all is that you will barely catch some good shut eye. If it is about changing diapers and all, you could get your partner to do it, take turns. But the first few months will have you, the mom, up after every two or three hours, because you will need to breast feed(or prep a bottle) your little tot. For any human though, sleep is important. It is among one of the top ways to get your body performing at its peak, and have you productive and energetic during the day.

So what are some of these benefits, and why is it so important that you actually lie down and get hours of proper sleep? 

New Mom Essentials: Up to 10 months!

We are a few days shy of eleven months and again I feel like I say this in every post but I cannot believe how quickly time flies. Ava Rose is growing and doing something amazing every day. I honestly cannot get enough of her. Having a baby is expensive but I’m blessed to have the opportunity to try many products whether it be through blog, gifts or just my husband and I seeing something cool and buying it. Here are some products that helped up in the past few months.

Yoomi 
Yoomi Bottle with Warmer ($39.99 CAN)
I was actually gifted the yoomi feeding bottle a while ago. I thought it was super unique. I can admit- I didn't get to use it for night-feeding (baby girl slept through the night). I can totally see how a product like this could be ideal! No fumbling in the dark at 1am trying to warm up milk. The yoomi self-warming bottle warms your baby's feed in just 60 seconds using the bottle warmer that inserts into the nipple.

Quick and Easy Apple Puree Mixes for Your Baby

Making food for your baby at home might seem high maintenance for some. When Ava was 5 months we started to feed her "solids". For the first few days, she was like... what is this!? Then after a while, she was obsessed. For the purposes of this article, I'm going to base my tips on a simple fruit that we all start on as babies: Apples.

You know how that old saying goes, an apple a day keeps the doctor away. Well, in this case, an apple a day might just make their transition to solids so much easier!

Guest Post: Road trip with a baby under 3 months old

Road trips are meant to be fun right? 
I personally love taking them every chance I get. I like packing up, wearing my sunglasses and singing songs on the highway like I’m the artist on stage while driving to my destination. It was all so simple before our daughter Juliette was born. Now I try my best to plan it all out before hitting the road. Our first road trip as a family was to Atlanta, GA luckily for us Nashville, TN is only 4 hours away by car. I must admit I was a bit nervous to take our 3 month old on a road trip, but she really enjoys car rides. We decided to leave early in the morning to beat the morning traffic here in Nashville and arrive before the after work rush home from the Atlanta drivers.

I nursed Juliette at 5:30am then got her changed into a clean diaper. I dressed her in a sleep and play onesie to make sure she would be comfortable. This outfit also helped make diaper changes on the road swift. Afterwards, I checked her diaper bag to make sure I didn’t leave anything out while my husband loaded our luggage in the trunk. Anytime we head out the house I always make sure Juliette has her 3 favourite items a soft blanket, a WabbaNub and her lovie. Juliette’s lovie is a small bunny with a tiny security blanket attached. I tend to keep them in her car seat so we don’t have to go on a wild goose chase searching for them. She loves holding them all while traveling in her car seat.

An hour later it was finally time to hit the road. My husband Johnathan loves to drive and I sat in the back with Juliette. We closed our eyes and prayed for safe travels and opened them to see we needed to get gas. I highly recommend getting gas the day before. We grabbed a quick bite to eat and was on the highway by 7:00am. Literally, 7 minutes later Juliette was asleep. Two hours later we stopped in Chattanooga, TN to change Juliette’s diaper at a restaurant nearby the exit ramp. I like stopping at a restaurant so I can eat a snack, if needed and nurse her at the same time. After Johnathan got a few good burps from Julie it was time to it the road again.

Guest Post: Travelling on a plane with a baby over 6 months


Hey everyone, my name is Jennifer.
Just before heading back to work from maternity leave, my husband and I wanted to take a two week trip over to London, England with our 11 month old son, Eli. While planning, I thought it would be best to fly overnight so Eli could sleep for most of the flight and he did. He slept for the whole 6 hours in my lap. He was very comfortable, but I will say, I was not. We ended up getting seats in the middle of the plane and wished we had seats on the sides. I think I would have been more comfortable if I had the window to lean against if needed. But with that all to say, it was still a good flight. On the flight back home, it was a little different. It was a morning flight and I knew that I would have to find things to keep Eli busy. He did have a nap but when he was awake, we walked around the plane and played with the few toys I had. The toys we brought we from the company Fatbrain Toys. These toys can be suctioned to the trays in front of you. Eli was going at them for a quite a bit of time, they kept him entertained. We also had snacks. DO NOT FORGET THE SNACKS!! Lol. Those helped a lot.

Natural Teething Remedies For Babies

A few mornings ago Ava woke up at 5:30am. Most the time (when she wakes up early) we give her a pacifier and she’ll go right back to bed. But this totally was not the case.

Is there anything more heartbreaking then a teething baby? We feed them, we diaper them, we care for them but try as we might, it seems like there is nothing we can do to relieve the pain of their new teeth coming in.

Trying out Aleva Naturals + Giveaway!

Have you heard of Aleva Naturals? 
I’m no stranger to the brand. I actually received a massive box of their wipes from my BabiesRUs registry. It honestly helped me get through the first two months of life with baby Ava. A few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to try out a few other products from the line.


The line is ideal for moms like me who don't want to use any products which might be an allergen on their children. From the very beginning I knew that I only wanted to use mostly Vegan brands on Ava.

Aleva Naturals is...
  • Vegan
  • Hypoallergenic
  • Paraben Free
  • Phenoxyethanol Free
  • Toxin Free
  • Harsh Chemicals Free

Currently Obsessed: The Face Shop Dr. Belmeur Line

I have a question for you... When your skin is going through a hormonal episode "Do you switch up your skin care?" I do! Recently I was gifted a few items from The Face Shop Dr. Belmeur line to incorporate into my skin care routine. 

I tried various The Face Shop products through my blog in the past. 
But I was wondering who is Dr. Belmeur?
"A premium derma-cosmetic skincare line that uses plant-based ingredients that have similar components to our skin. Dermatologically tested, this line provides gentle skincare and barrier-enhancing solution to common skin problems. The Clarifying collection offers a custom-made formula that helps improve oily and acne-prone skin."
I was given a box which was Combo/Oily Skin. Although I am not Combo/Oily skin daily. I have one week out of the month when my skin goes insane. I tried these products out for a few weeks to test them out. This is a 5 step routine. I chose to do it at night... which is totally hard when your fighting sleep but worth it.

How to take your baby's temperature: Newborn | Six Months | Nine Months

Oh no! 
You suspect your little one is sick. There is nothing more stressful than a sick baby. 
It's even worst because it's not possible for them to tell us what's wrong. 
If it could only be so easy!

The first time Ava Rose was a little feverish, I was instantly paralyzed with worry. Is this serious? Or am I just imagining that she's warmer than normal? After calling Telehealth, they instructed me to take her temperature. Thankfully she was okay but it totally could have been a serious situation.

The day after I googled instructions on "How to take a baby's temperature at multiple months" because I totally wanted to be prepared for my next freak out. 

**Please contact your family doctor for accurate information**

Double Cleansing: Do you need Micellar water?

I wasn’t always a micellar water fan. Back in the day I’d use it but hated how I still felt a light waxy film on my face from it. Or how much it burned my eyes!! 
Well several formulations later...It’s a important part of my double cleanse routine. 

My routine has changed but a lot of the products I wear now are long-lasting and smudge-proof. Cleanser and water doesn’t always get it all off in one shot.

Even when I’m exhausted... I don’t skip steps because at this age I can’t risk pimples. 

Here are some Garnier Micellar Cleansing Water products -
I was recently gifted to take my make up removal techniques to the next level.


New Mom Essentials: Up to 6 months! Was it worth it?

Looking back, I can say I did quite well prepping for Ava. How? By talking to other moms and looking at baby registry must haves. I can admit not EVERYTHING is necessary but some things are essential.

I’m always asked what are my must haves... 
Now that Ava is 7 months I can tell you what made my transition to motherhood smooth.

Diaper Caddy
Why?
I wanted everything at my fingers when diaper changing.
I never wanted to have to leave her on the change table to have to run and get anything.
How did it ease your new mom concerns?
I always knew what my supply was.
I never was out of wipes/diapers/body lotion/diaper cream.
Plus it also helped my husband stay organized as well.
How long did I use it?
This is something that I will continue to use for a WHILE.
As long as Ava is still in diapers.
Would you purchase again?
I'm 50/50 for only one reason. I do feel like if you hit it (walking past it or whatever) with enough force. It will crack and eventually break. But I love how simple it as and cost effective- so I'm torn.

Three beauty products that you need this Spring- Matte Lips- Highlighters-Skin Care

Would you believe me if I told you that I'm getting rid of most of my beauty stash. 
Why?
As a new mom, I want a fresh start.
I was holding on to some products past their shelf life.
Let's be honest A LOT of us are!

I'm excited for my new venture and discovering products again!

*****
With that being said. I have to rebuild- my beauty collection.
Here are three products that you should add to your list this year
because I'm adding more to mine!

MATTE LIPSTICKS

Clarins Joli Rouge Velvet in Guava

First Time Mom Must Haves- Four to Six Months

Oh my! How behind are we?!? I apologize. So much has been going on! I have been in school, working and taking care of the baby. Plus being wife! Can’t forget that one. I legit have no time for anything but that needs to change. This is the update from her being four months to six months old. 

UPDATE:
  • She can say dada. 
  • She’s been saying that since she was four months old. 
  • She loves to roll back-and-forth.
  • She’s working on sitting up without any assistance. 
  • She’s good at doing it for a few seconds and then she gets excited and wants the clap but doesn’t have any balance to do so. So she ends up falling over. 
  • She also loves singing and dancing. 

Hair Care Giveaway: MATRIX + shu uemura - USA and Canadian

Last year, my hair was in it's best condition!
It was strong, long, healthy and so full of body.
Why? 
Those prenatal pills that I took did wonders. After the baby, I maintained a good amount of hair but I did notice that I did have some fall out. Which I'm trying to grow back on my own. I was gifted with some hair care products to try out this winter.

What I'm most excited for:
The shu uemura art of hair Ultimate Reset Collection

Baby: Hospital bag must haves

Say goodbye to the days where everything is provided to you in the hospital. (Some) Hospitals provide you with the bare minimum in terms of amenities. You get a bed, washroom and staff that will assist you with getting your bundle of joy out. But did you know that it was your responsibility to bring things like extra linens and pillows to stay comfortable. I totally did NOT!

Here are a few things that you should not forget to pack in your hospital bag for labour.