I don't know if it is because we ate black eyed pea soup last new years or if things are just going right for us, but 2013 most certainly was the best year to date for my family. Last year the mister was blessed with a job in N.C., we were blessed to live in home to ourselves, my (oldest) baby girl started school and is doing very well, we made some good friends, and we are happy and content. 

As 2014 comes creeping on us...I just hope that we continue to have happiness, friends, and success with whatever we do. Yes, my kids will be a year older...and I might cry over that, but they will be healthy and happy and that is all that matters. 

To celebrate the friendships that we made we threw a "winter get together" or what I call an "appreciation party". I wanted all of those who made a difference in my life (for the good) to know how much I appreciated them and their friendship. The older I get the more I realized that friends are important...I do have a handful of friends who live in different areas of the world....but most importantly, I feel as though I need a good support system around me. People who uplift me and not criticize, people who laugh with me and can joke around and put a smile on my face really become a source of inspiration....Inspiration I have been missing since college. Not that I was lonely, but I made friends who I can honestly say are "genuine".  I can honestly say I can name 3+ things about each of them that love and cherish and that makes me happy. 

I gifted everyone that has made a difference in my life a candle and something for their kiddos...I know friendship cannot be bought...but I thought it would be fitting to get something for everyone due to the holiday season and just for the fact that I wanted to...why not? 

Since Moving to N.C last year
 we have made it  a point to visit/stroll downtown during the holidays…we did it last year and we did it again this year. The kids love it and who doesn't like to see all the trees and city lit up? The difference between last year and this year…it wasn't as chilly this year and we went during the day instead of at night…night or day it was still BEAUTIFUL!  

This is hands down the cleanest down town I have ever been to. It was dressed for the season with 55+ trees decorated for a a charity contest, fresh cut trees located on greenery to buy along with other holiday greenery, restaurants at every corner, an ice skating rink for the holiday season, and picturesque industrial art surrounding the buildings. It was lovely and ever so beautiful. 

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As I was washing dishes, I realized that I am turning 30 in less than 1 1/2 years…time flies by soooo fast….I don't even know what I have accomplished. Anyways here is my 30 by 30

1. Buy a home (hopefully….if not by 30, then definitely by 31)
2. Pay off school loan
3. Go to Disneyland/World with JUST mi familia
4. Travel up the east coast
5. Take a trip to Myrtle Beach
6. Visit New York
7. Pay off van--Already Did
8. Goal…..have my now 3 year old reading before I am 30
9. Do something spectacular
10. Go on a mini vaca (no kids allowed)
11. Read a GOOD book (novel)---not a decorating book either
12. Wear some Box Braids
13. Purge some of my clothes and shoes and just let go (my goal at least 100)
14. Sew something for myself
15. Reupholster my couch
16. Try African food
17. Start a garden
18. Take an interior decorating class to freshen my skills
19. Do something WILD and unexpected (Don't know yet…but I have some ideas)
20. This is something never-ending but hopefully, I will have my rental fully decorated
21. Wear at least 30 not so everyday shoes that I own (just to say I at least wore it)
22. Wear every single article of clothing in my closet at least once (I have a plethora of clothes with tags still on them that I have not worn…but are oh so cute)
23. Go to Disney on Ice with my family
24. Go to a broadway production at an actual theatre with my daughter (s)
25. Do a "ME" day and do whatever I wanna do
26. Go on a shopping spree just for me
27. Go to the movies either with just the mister or as a family (y'all know how it is when you have kids)
28. Dance
29. Take nice family photos (maybe even professional ones)
30. Stay home for a few hours all by myself (and do nothing)…just once

Happy Holidays…from my family to yours! 

Every year we try to take holiday photos…this year we were blessed to be in our own (rental) home and decorate it to our liking….and take the photo from our house. You know once you have more than 2 kids taking photos become a process and nothing ever goes right. So I am blessed that we  are able to take photos at home. 

All I can say is my kiddos were so cooperative and excited to take photos…I mean, literally…even my boo boo was smiling and making faces for the camera. So happy everything went smoothly. 

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays! 

My family has been using homemade laundry detergent for almost a year…and well…we love it. Our first batch lasted us 8 months, our second one  (made with zote) lasted us well…2 months. Now, I know a lot of people love their zote, but for some reason it was not getting our clothes clean enough we had to either double up on detergent or rewash clothes that were already washed.

Our first batch of laundry detergent was made with Fels-Naptha, Ivory bar soap, borax, and washing suds. Recipe below:

1 bar of Fels-Naptha (or Ivory soap)
2c of Twenty Mule Team Borax
2c of Arm & Hammer Super Washing Suds

We use one tablespoon per load depending on size and dirtiness

Basically all you do is grate the bar(s) of soap in a mixing bowl and mix in the other ingredients and transfer it over to a container or jar.

I used the recipe above but I did it X4 and I used both Fels-Naptha and Ivory soap…so it can last a while.

In the zote recipe I solely used the zote as my soap (+ borax and washing suds), I did not mix in ivory soap with it nor did I double, triple, or quadruple my recipe…hence, that is probably why it did not last that long…but that aside…it was not getting the clothes clean.

All in all I just want to share my experience with all of you. We have sensitive skin, we are on a budget so this works for  our family…literally we spend less than $10 on the supplies alone and it last us about 8 months….PLUS it truly gets our clothes clean and fresh.

My baby girl helping (messing) mommy make laundry soap

My children always tell me I am their best friend….I am happy to be, but something I always tell them is, "before I am friend, I will always be your mom and when you step out of line or do something I do not agree with I will let you know". I can honestly say I do say that and that statement holds a lot of truth in my home…and they know it at 5 and 3 years of age. When my children get in trouble most of the time they come back to me and say, "but I thought we were friends" and I tell them…"I am your mother, and as your mom I was not happy with the choice you made, because…(fill in the blank)...". I will always be their mom and I will alway put them in their place when I feel they are wrong. I will honestly say, "Hell NO, I will not solely be their friend, because (and I have observed this and seen this with people I know) when you become your child's friend, you get afraid of hurting their feelings…afraid of them running off…in return, they step all over you and disrespect you.  NOTE: I do not sugar coat my feelings or tone of voice when I talk to my children.

I know my kids are all under the age of 6, but with how crazy kids are todays…you just never know and quite frankly, I don't want to see my child on the channel 6 news. I worry about how they will develop and progress in this ugly world….it literally sickens me….So I want to start now. My children have an agency and they will use it. Agency, the ability to choose right from wrong is something my 5 year old does on a daily basis in kindergarden. I want my children to live a righteous, glorious, happy life.  I love them and as their mom I will always love them…I can never fall out of love with them, I may get disappointed with them, I may get mad, but I will NEVER fall out of love with them.

Christmas time is finally here! I hope everyone had a wonderful thanksgiving…I know we did. It was quiet and very very relaxing…no rushing, just relaxation. We finally put up our tree, since this is such a short holiday season I think we should have put it up before thanksgiving. With all that said…
Happy Holidays!

You could tell the kids decorated the tree, eh?…Love it! 

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