AND HE TURNED ONE!!!

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Hi Loves! Last month, my sweet baby C.J turned ONE! Yes!!! Given our busy schedules and all the stuff we were dealing with, his dad and I decided to wait until late February to throw him a decent first birthday party, which actually happened to be a combined party for him and his dad, since dad is a member of the  #FebruaryGang lol.

Well, on Sunday mama took matters in her own hands and played “Event planner”. Actually, she started way before Sunday!

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Since we were celebrating the men in my life, I picked a theme centered on “Gentlemen”, because that’s just what they are: my gentlemen!

What comes in mind when you think about gentlemen? Well I see: helper, kind, polite, elegant, clean, bow tie, polished, mustache, etc

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With that in mind, I went ahead and researched budget friendly decorations and accessories with a Black/Gold color scheme to give the whole party decor a touch of sophistication.

Here’s what I used:

As for the highlight of any kids party, I am talking about the cake, I had the pleasure to work along side Mrs Darcy Lynn from Cakes by Darcy, a super cute bakery nestled in the heart of Roswell. The ordering process was super smooth, and I was so happy to FINALLY find someone who understood my vision instantly without asking me thousands of questions lol! Also, they helped me greatly price-wise, which was a plus, given that the budget was not unlimited!

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And Oh?! Did I mention that she loved my design so much that she actually made it a template?? I was so honored!

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As you can see, the cake is kinda tying the whole theme together, marrying the black/gold color scheme with the gentlemen theme. And here is a sneak peek at the party!
Be mindful that It might get you hungry!

 

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A word of advice, make sure you plan some good entertainment for the kids to stay busy and active. For us, CJ’s ball pit did the trick…until they all crashed into his room ahaha!

 

I hope you loved it, thank you for reading!

Please leave me your feedback below and few design ideas.


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Also I’m curious to know? what was the theme on your child’s first birthday? did you include any games and other entertainment?

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MY TOP 5 RULES FOR A HAPPY LIFE

“Happiness is the joy that we feel when we’re striving after our potential.”

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Material possessions are vain, but the gift of happiness is priceless! It is not that the path toward happiness is complicated, it may just be that it is unknown to many. As I am writing this post, I cannot say with absolute confidence that I am at my happiest, but for sure I am way happier than I used to be, and because I know that I have better years ahead of me, the journey is still on toward reaching my optimal happy place. And I want you to feel the same way: the journey is still on. All we gotta do is take some of the simplest steps every day that will better our lives, and make us happier!

Les biens matériels sont éphémères, et le bonheur n’a pas de prix. On serait tenté de croire que le chemin qui mène au bonheur est tout juste compliqué, mais ce n’est pas le cas; il se pourrait juste qu’il soit peu connu. A l’instant ou j’écris cet article, je ne pourrais affirmer avec assurance absolue que je vis le bonheur ultime, mais je peux certainement dire que je suis plus heureuse aujourd’hui que je ne l’étais au paravant. Aussi, parce que je sais que de meilleures années m’attendent devant, je n’ai pas fini d’explorer et d’avancer un peu plus chaque jour vers ce niveau où je vivrais dans le bonheur ultime. Et j’aimerais que vous ayez aussi cet état d’esprit. La seule chose à faire est de chaque jour suivre ces étapes des plus simples, afin de mieux vivre et d’être plus heureux!

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1. Make the choice to be happy | Choisis d’être heureux(se)

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Turn your happiness switch on! Decide with firmness that it’s time for you to be happy!

Active l’interrupteur de ton bonheur. Decide avec fermeté qu’il est temps pour toi d’être heureux(se)

2. Create a vision for your life| Crée une vision pour ta vie

Find an area of interest and create a great vision, dream, or goal around it that you greatly wish to achieve. Simply complete this sentence and make it a statement: “I will be happier if I …”. Once you figure out what makes you happy, DO IT!

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Identifie un domaine qui t’intéresse particulièrement et crée une vision, un rêve ou un objectif  autour de celui-ci. Pour y arriver, complète juste cette phrase et fais-en un mot d’ordre dans ta vie: “Je serais plus heureux(se) Si Je…” . Une fois que tu trouves ce qui te rend (ou te rendrait) heureux(se), FASI-LE!

3. Learn how to deal with frustration | Apprends à faire face à la frustration 

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Life will not always be rainbows and butterflies, that’s just a fact! The sooner you acknowledge this reality, the better it will be for you. Because when you start realizing that, you become aware that along the way you will experience set backs, unexpected miss-outs, and all kinds of situations beyond your control…and they will trigger frustration. Do not focus on that negative feeling, acknowledge it, embrace it, identify what causes you to feel frustrated and fix it! Fixing it is not just making adjustments here and there, sometimes fixing is letting go.

La vie ne sera pas toujours rose, c’et un fait! Plus tôt tu accepteras cette réalité, mieux ce sera pour toi. En effet, dès l’instant ou tu commences à le réaliser, tu appréhenderas  mieux le fait que tu feras face à des obstacles, des loupés et toutes autres sortes de situations imprévues qui te causeront un certain niveau de frustration. Ne te fixe pas sur cette émotion négative! Plutôt, accepte-la, embrasse-la et identifie ce qui cause ce sentiment de frustration en toi et remédies-y! Il ne s’agit pas là juste de changer certains paramètres, parfois “y remédier” signifier tourner la page!

4. Enjoy the simple pleasures in life | Apprécie les petits plaisirs de la vie 

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Laugh, smile, dance, sing…enjoy them all!

5. Invest on your wellness | Investis dans ton bien-être

Exercise

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Eat well!

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Escape and relax!

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Make your happiness your priority, not only will you serve you, but it will also spill over the people around you! See you soon for more!

Don’t forget to leave me your feedback, and to follow the blog if you haven’t done so yet.

One last thing: BE HAPPY!

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AROUND ATL: OUT TO THE PONCE CITY MARKET

Industrial shabby chic never felt so refreshing. Step out of the hustle and bustle of the city …without actually leaving the city! I love me some Ponce city market… whether it’s for a quick drink out, family strolls, shopping sprees, or whatever it’s always a lot of fun!

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If you ever decide to go, I will most definitely recommend a MANDATORY stop at 家 Jia Szechuan food & bar.

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It’s probably one of my favorite Asian restaurants in-town. They marry a warm relaxing atmosphere with a wide array of spicy authentic Chinese food, you can’t beat that really!

And of course, the highlight was this super amazing Braised lamb dish! The food is pretty much served in a family style dishes which pretty much allow you to share the meal with the table.

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Plus, everything was reasonably priced. So you won’t break the bank for that level of deliciousness!

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You can always visit their website before you plan your visit, to kinda be familiar with their menus offerings and items descriptions!


On to the next! Still at the Ponce City Market, you will enjoy the convenience  of top notch shopping, with stores like AnthropologieOnward Reserve, West Elm, Goorin Bros. Hat Shop, Lou Lou Accessories (which used to be one of my favorite store in Dupont Circle, in Washington, DC), J. Crew… and the list goes on!


A short elevator ride from the ground level, and you are steps away from the Atlanta Belt-line. Ideal for my fellow walkers, joggers, bikers, cityscape enthusiasts…and of course top spot for picture lovers, like MYSELF! 🙂

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And that closes our little getaway to the PCM!

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Thank’s for visiting, stay tuned for more, by following my blog. And don’t forget to leave your feedback and share :)!

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DASHIKI-ISH VERSATILY

Hi loves!
The day after MLK day! Hmmm…well, let’s just say I woke up in a dashiki-ish mood this morning!

Generally speaking, when I see people rock their dashiki garments, it’s always in casual outfits. But, in actuality, dashiki pieces can also be dressed up. Here is my take on a more put-together dashiki outfit, and I hope it will get you inspired!

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I paired it with a pair of black leggings, topped with a black military-style fitted  blazer. To kinda keep it on the minimalist side, I went for black on black accessories, with these gorgeous peep-toe zipped front booties and and black and gold purse.

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It is as simple as it looks really. Obviously, the highlight of this look is my dashiki shirt in pink tones. You can take any direction with it. If you want it a little more formal, throw in some suit pants and a pair of black suede pointy heels instead, and voila!! I might actually try it myself pretty soon, and let you see the final result. Meanwhile, let me rock this one look for the day!

img_0536img_0525img_0530img_0537img_0527img_0533img_0526 Not only do the  prints make you stand out, but also, they give you a sense of identity and pride..as you walk out there on those streets representing your roots… IN STYLE!

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Pink Dashiki

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BLACK AND GOLD ZIPPER PEEP TOE BOOTIES

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One more thing, let me know what you think of this look on the comment section. Like it, share it whichever way you please, and follow the blog for more! Love y’all!

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The 3 C’s of Mummy-ing

Hi loves, here I want to share a little bit of my not so thorough “expertise” on what I like to call “mummy-ing”, the art of being a mummy. This goes out to my fellow moms, moms-to-be, and any body taking care of a child. Around this time last year, I gave birth to the most amazing, sweet and precious baby boy. MY CJ. The first year with him has been one heck of a roller coaster, lol! Mainly given that his daddy and I had to learn pretty much EVERYTHING by ourselves; and this is not a complain, rather I’m expressing a sense of pride in that huge accomplishment on our parts!


 

From what I have learned, raising a child takes a lot, a lot of trials and error, a lot of dedication and a lot of patience. It is truly a journey…but a very enjoyable and rewarding one. So far, I feel like it all comes down to what I call “the 3 C’s of mummy-ing”: Communication, Consistency, and….you guessed it Cuddles!

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screen-shot-2017-01-05-at-2-52-12-amOften times, people think that they can only start to really communicate with little ones when they start to exhibit signs of spoken language. But the reality is the complete opposite. Matter fact, babies are communicating beings from their early moments… inside their mamas. Yes! And that’s why some experts actually recommend talking, reading, singing, and praying with your baby while still pregnant. Take it from my experience, it will even help you anticipate your child’s personality as you will see the way he/she (or they) reacts to certain types of music, or certain voices, tempos etc. It will help you know what seems to get your child pumped up, and what seems to soothe him… bottom-line: communication with your bundle of joy sets the tone for your upcoming relationship, and it is best to establish that cornerstone from the very early days.

Even more fascinating, some experts argue that prenatal communication actually paves the way for speech development a little later down the road.

“Infants are learning and tuning into the speech patterns of their first exposed language(s) earlier than was originally thought (…)This may suggest the importance of the mother not only to talk during pregnancy but to continue to talk to her newborn from the moment of birth to help facilitate language development” says Melissa Wexler Gurfein, a New York City’s Speech Pathologist.

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Then of course, once the baby’s out, the fun begins, lol! It becomes more of a two-ways communication. Although baby language cannot always be understood by all, just a little bit of effort and patience will help you uncover a lot about what they want to tell you. They will use crying to communicate their needs to you, eye contacts, gestures, facial expressions, mama you name it! When you pay close attention, you will notice that some are a response of something you may have said or infer to them. These are the basis of communication. Once you both master that stage, it just expands for the best, as the first vocal sounds come out…the first “dada” or “mama” or “naah”, and before you know it you might hear a sweet “I love you mama” (Not there yet, but it’s just a matter of time  )

One very key thing to understand is that communicating thoughts and ideas is not a skill that the children are born with. Just as motherhood is a learning experience for you, so is the art of self-expression.

 

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What communication actually does: it gives the kids clear guidance on what is expected from them, as well as a roadmap on how to get to a more familiar, and enjoyable environment. Not only that, it gives them a safe and healthy platform to express their feelings, to build their self-esteem, and learn the core values that should make them great adults tomorrow! After all, isn’t that the ultimate goal of parenting, raising future responsible and well-versed adults?

Here are a few steps you can take (or reinforce) to ensure an effective communication with your little ones NO MATTER the age!

  • Use your ears before you use your mouth: LISTEN. Stopping whatever you were busy with to listen to them show them just how valuable they are to you! Even babies can feel it trust me! Give them some cues to show them you are indeed listening with words like:
    • Go ahead baby!
    • Tell me more
    • Wow!
    • For real baby? Then what happened?

The moment my baby CJ started to babble at around 5 months, whenever I would tell him “tell everything to mama” it was the funniest thing ever, you could just see his face light up, and he would go on and on and on.

 

  • Be a source of encouragement: give them some fuel with simple words like
    • I know you can handle it.
    • I am here to help you.
    • It’s alright baby

Like I said before, these really work at any age! When CJ started crawling at 6 months (yay I got a lil champ), he was going backwards. At first, I bet it was fun for him to see himself moving around and exploring every little corner he could get to. But then, the frustration started to sink in, when his favorite toy was a few feet ahead and every effort he would make just dragged him further away. And I noticed that wen his dad and I would say thing like, “Go ahead champ” “you can do it” he would raise his head and try to push forward! Like seriously, I am not kidding you guys! With a little bit of practice, it was just a matter of days until he found the way to crawl forward!

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  • Always show love…By that I mean say the words! “I love you!” Show them that playing with them, or singing their favorite songs is the most fun you can have in your day. And remember, there is no such thing as saying “I love you” too much, certainly not to your child!

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The other big C is Consistency. Whether we’re talking about sleep training, potty training, and all the other trainings around, consistency is the key! Did you know that babies get stressed too?  Yes, they do! And the effects can be pretty harmful both in the short and long run. (If you are interested in that topic, here is a good article about it). One of the biggest trigger of stress in humans in the unknown in its may forms ( the unexpected, uncertainty, mystery,  etc).

So it becomes obvious that a great way to alleviate stress in babies is by giving them a sense of familiarity in their day-to-day lives, and consistency is the key to creating routines, which in turn gives the kids that safety net I am talking about. As a matter of fact, routines give them a sense of security and help them develop self-discipline. About that! Let me tell you, one of the biggest gift you could give someone is teaching them discipline. Look around you, every successful person, at school, in the workplace, in the army…wherever has one trait that outshine everything else, and that is discipline!

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And here comes the part we all love! The last and favorite C of all: Cuddles! I don’t know about you but I’m a big fan, and my baby is the biggest fan, lol. At about 8 month of age, he started giving kisses randomly. And now whenever I say “give a kiss to mama” oh boy, it’s the highlight of my day!

And he likes to kiss his dada too! Now look at these two, OMG too much cuteness in one picture!!!

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Back to the serious stuff! For real, cuddling happens to be highly therapeutic: not only is it good for you mama (if you are like me), but it has far much greater benefits for your child. Some studies show that children who have been deprived of physical contact (hugs, kisses, cuddles) as babies tend to have lower levels of social-bonding hormones (Read more). So, now that you know, spoiiiiiiiillll them! After all that discipline talk, I think we all deserve that!

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I hope you enjoyed reading this, and please note that NOTHING mentioned in this blog can serve as either a diagnosis or a prescription. If you notice any cause for concern in your child behavior or development, call the doctor right away!

Please show your love, like comment and share. Plus, I would definitely love to know about your perspective on mummy-ing. What are the most important things for you when it comes to raising a child?  Leave a comment below, and if you haven’t done so yet,  subscribe and/or follow my blog to stay up-to date!

Love you all! ❌ ⭕️❌ ⭕️ 💋

 

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