Home Decor, motherhood

Decorating Like a Queen but spending like a Pauper.

Decorating a space makes me very happy. I love to decorate and I truly believe that your home should be your zen place.  Whether its decorating a room, the home for the holidays, hosting a party or even decorating a cake. I enjoy pretty things and I enjoy creating pretty spaces.

Although I enjoy a beautiful space. I am not a millionaire… yet.  so I enjoy being creative on a budget, I also love that my home feels like a very peaceful place. I  feel settled and my apartment feels like a home.

So I just wanted to share various projects that I have done around our place that are wallet friendly!

Table Decorations

Food Displays

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Christmas Cookie Bar and lots of sweets! 

Plants or flowers

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Flowers from My Love always brighten up our home!

Plants are such a great way to brighten up any area, I decorated flower pots for less than  5.00 and now I have lovely plants to bring color to our home.

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So if I have any advice for decorating like a queen on a pauper budget they would be.

  • Stick to solid or fairly neutral colors for furniture. That way when you are in the need for a change in your home, you can switch pillow or throws for very little cash.
  • Don’t be afraid to thrift store or the dollar store. Some of my best finds have been at places you wouldn’t expect.
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Dollar tree and thrift store combo!
  • Paint and spray paint are game changers! This shelf was once a boring old gray thing, now its GOLD!

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  • For those with limited storage space, furniture with storage will be your best friend!

Aviry picked this storage Ottoman from Bargains and buyouts $20 Bucks! I love it!

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  • Ask for the input of your family, I think one reason why people enjoy our space is that we decorate as a family. ( I still have the final say) Because if I let the boys decide everything we would have 6 tv’s in our living room. In all seriousness, they gravitate towards items I typically wouldn’t. Yet they always look great in our home and our house is a fusion of all of our ideas.

It was Carlos’s idea to mix and match the bar stools! Love it!

What are some of your decorating tips and tricks? I’m no interior designer but I love feeling at peace in my space and I love looking at pretty things. I can’t wait to look back one day at this post years from now and be so happy to see, that at this place in my life I am happy with our place and I have created a home out of a small space.  : )

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The Most Mom Things I Have to Say.

Hello and Happy Mother’s Day!

I hope your Mother’s Day was relaxing, peaceful, fun or whatever you wanted your Mother’s Day to be. I hope that it was!

In honor of Mother’s Day I wanted to share my list of “momisms”. The most mom things I say on a daily basis or things I do just because I’m a mom. What are your momism’s?

  • I showed up at the parent transition night at my sons school dressed like all of the moms jeans chuck and a T-shirt (this whole time I thought I was the only cool mom!)
  • Walking to the bus stop in pajamas.
  • Don’t use the bathroom outside!
  • Sometimes life isn’t fair kiddo
  • I love you
  • I am so proud of you.
  • Eat all of your food.
  • Don’t pull apart your green beans please.
  • Where are your shoes!?
  • Excuse me what was that?
  • No it’s time to get off of the game now!
  • It’s gonna be ok.
  • Homework isn’t an option.
  • Can you please just smile in this picture??
  • You’re so silly!
  • You’re so smart!
  • I don’t mind if your box fort take over your entire room, but you still need to clean it!
  • Yes it’s bedtime.
  • Didn’t I just say you need to take a shower?
  • Brush your teeth!
  • Here let me show you.
  • No I would rather not eat a booger than smell a fart. Lol.
  • Good morning Honey Bee.
  • Good night my love.
  • Yes school is important.
  • Have a great day!
  • Be your best.
  • Be kind.
  • You’re funny!
  • Shhh don’t tell them how old I am!

This list could go on for days!

I’d love to hear your momisms!

Happy Mother’s Day!!

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Proud Mama!

I have to say I am so PROUD of my Aviry.

He has only one “C” on his report card!

Aviry is growing as a student and I am so proud of him.

To be brief Aviry was in a classroom environment where he felt disliked and ignored. Eventually after many conferences the teachers and I got to learn and appreciate one another.

This was not an easy task at all. During that time I felt ignored and left out by the teachers in his class. I felt judged. I felt Aviry was unfairly judged.

I had wondered did other parents feel this way? Am I doing this parent/teacher relationship thing right?

I should have spoken up. I could have but that’s something I struggle with.

Not one of the teachers knew we had been staying in a hotel the first 3 weeks of the school year. We had just experienced an apartment fire. We were fine our belongings were fine but it was a few days before we could gather our belongings. Suddenly we were moving to a new apartment on a different side of town and a much longer morning commute.

It was a lot going on. It was a lot for me and I know it had an effect on Avirys grades.

On top of that I was in school and working part time. I was stretched pretty thin.

I had wished for more support from the teachers. I wanted them to take a moment to get to know us.

Eventually they did. They began to take us seriously when they saw the progression in Aviry. We chose to hire Aviry a tutor through Club Z tutoring and we began changing our habits at home and following a routine It really helped Aviry. It gave him confidence. His grades went up and he worked so hard!

I’m proud to see that my son is determined and able to set goals and achieve them.

I know Aviry will accomplish everything he sets his mind too. I pray he is happy, healthy and able to achieve whatever is in his heart.

It just feels good to know that I think I’m getting the hang of this Mom thing. ; )

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American Dream What it means for this Millennial Mom.

I stumbled across another depressing article filled with statistics on what its like to be a young adult today. Millennials have it pretty rough.  According to this article on CNBC 46% of millennial have NO SAVINGS! This isn’t a blog post of me offering advice on how to save money. This is an I am frustrated post.

I think it’s terrible that being a millennial is synonymous with little to no savings. Pretty confusing healthcare. Very little home ownership and staggering amounts of student debt.  As a millennial mommy I cope with these depressing facts through funny memes,  gifs, a pinch of denial and to hoping just  that one day a wizard will come down erase my student debt and provide a job that pays a livable salary and dare I say it offer… A work life balance… 

But let me stop because now I am being a whiny millennial who has the nerve to feel  entitled to be able to pay all her bills, have affordable healthcare, a quality education for her son,  dare I say it save money!

I really don’t want to come across as whiny, but it’s so frustrating when you don’t know what the hell is going on anymore in the world  and all you want to do is get your life together!!

I know that I am doing whatever I can for myself and my family to ensure we will have a comfortable future.  It means taking conflicting advice, just winging it and hoping that the future will be better for us and our children. I don’t want to sound too bleak, I do know that we are going to be alright, this has to be and will be resolved. Millennial’s will never live in squalor, we wouldn’t let that happen to each other.  Although I will admit at times the journey has been frightening.

I say this because I really hope that I have my shot at the “American Dream”.  I should. I have earned it. Sometimes it’s just hard and it can be tiring. I hope my work is not in vain. That’s the scary part.  I just want what everyone else before me was able to get especially since most of it was built on my ancestors backs.

 

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Lets talk about Love.

I am blessed to be in love and to be with someone I know who loves me unconditionally. I hate to sound cliche but the first time I laid eyes on Carlos I knew we were meant to be connected.  He is one of the most wonderful men I know, and I am so blessed to have him in my life as well as my son’s life. I love seeing people in love and I love seeing couples who have grown old together. I hope one day to grow old with Carlos.

Because it is Valentine’s day. I want to talk about some of what Carlos and I believe has helped us overcome some of our darkest times in our relationship and what we do to stay connected. I also want to know what you think it takes to have a solid relationship.

Carlos and I got off to a pretty rocky start, we argued, we didn’t trust one another and we had our guard up for quite a while.  Working through the issues we had was not an easy task. Yet we were in love and we wanted to be the best version of ourselves for one another.  We had to fix problems within ourselves and identify what past issues we were bringing into our relationship that were effecting it negatively.

No one’s perfect and everyone enters into a relationship with something that can be worked on. I entered into my relationship with trust and anger issues from past relationships. ( That’s a story for another day) It took work for me to overcome those issues.

Carlos and I have always chosen to let love be what leads us in our relationship. We are partners and we always choose not to give up on one another.

When we have a problem we talk about it. We both know we can’t read minds. We talk about it our problems we may debate about it but we get to the root of a problem and don’t sweep it under the rug.

We are also teammates. Carlos is my right hand man and I am his right hand lady. We understand that we are more powerful when we work together. That means that we support one another and adapt to each others life changes in various ways. We both want the best for ourselves and our relationship and will work to no end for success in our lives and relationship.

We respect each others space and we trust one another.

We are in no ways perfect and each day we grow more open, and more vulnerable. We experience something new to navigate everyday. What do you believe is needed to build a strong and stable relationship?

I would love to know.

Also Happy Valentines Day.  ( Even if you think it’s cheesy!)

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Show Me the Money!!

I have been obsessed with money lately.

I am definitely a tad behind when it comes to being financially literate. I grew up middle class and then went on to experience times of poverty as a teenager and young adult. Experiencing poverty and lack of knowledge about money can have lasting effects that may take years to correct.

Poverty comes with a lot of bad habits.  For years I was under the impression paydays were for nice dinners and buying cute clothes. I didn’t really think about saving for the future. Let alone investing my money.

As I grow older I am learning so much about poverty, I am learning that as a first generation college student, a mother and as a black woman many of the ways I have been told to build wealth are not designed for me. Although well meaning the person who has never experienced  poverty  can not fully and successfully teach someone how to escape poverty. Recently I have been listening to some great podcasts, reading blogs and attending workshops about finances and financial literacy. I am gaining valuable information but often I feel as if the well meaning advice and information skips right over me. It feels as if I walked into class and realized I missed the first 3 weeks.

So much of what has opened my mind to increasing  generational wealth is because I am surrounded by great people and am embracing the power of community. I am also  part of an amazing group called Warrior Moms. Warrior Moms was founded by author, hairstylist and visionary Nicole Lee. You can learn more about the warrior mom’s here. Warrior mom’s mission is simple; that all single mom’s embrace a mindset for success and let me tell ya it is working, I finally feel like I am starting to put together a plan to help build wealth for my family and I know that it’s because I have found a community that can relate to and is  dedicated to the improvement of the lives of its members. Warrior mom’s has connected me to so many organizations that seem to just get it!

Recently we have been working with FII.  Heres a little bit about FII and what their goals are.

“Over the next four years, we will work with community based organizations and other partners to reach 1,000 families in multiple neighborhoods across Greater Cincinnati.  By trusting and investing in families own solutions we expect our families to see economic and social mobility. On average nationally, during two years of engagement with FII, families report: a 23 percent increase in monthly income, 60 percent decrease in subsidies such as TANF and SNAP, a doubling of their annual income and assets, and increased education outcomes from their children.”

FII helps you achieve your goals! As long as you are working towards your goals FII will help you take that next step, whether it be owning a home or starting a business, whatever will help your family grow, FII is there to help you and your family acheive goals no matter how big or small.

Being involved with these amazing groups  got me too thinking about some of the ways I believe I could help myself and others get started on a path of building community and generational wealth. Before we begin to heal generational poverty there are some things we need to do and remember.

  1. Learn to embrace our talents and use them to make money..
  2. Support your community.
  3. Bridge the gap. We have to acknowledge that there are REAL systems in place that have been in place for years to keep people (COUGH!! UM MINORITIES!)  poor. Without acknowledging that their will be no progress.
  4. If you know it all share it. Don’t keep it a secret share the knowledge.
  5. Stop acting like you know it all. Its great if you do, but let’s stop spreading false information.
  6. More help. Less Ego.
  7. Don’t let your success be the reason to be snooty.
  8. Support Black owned businesses! But REALLY. SUPPORT LOCAL AND BLACK OWNED BUSINESSES! ( We love to give a reason why we won’t support or will no longer support a black owned business, whether it is due to a lack of professionalism, timeliness or whatever, we shut them down before they even have had a chance. I get it no one likes rudeness or unprofessionalism  but if we will go back to other places of business after a poor experience lets give our people second chances and some constructive feedback. Then lets see what happens.
  9. No one likes to be broke (Well I have never met anyone who likes being broke) so rather than thinking about how little they have lets learn ways to encourage individuals out of the mindset of remaining in poverty.
  10. There is power in community and friendships.
  11. We have to start making our own way.
  12. Create multiple streams of income.

Lets help lift one another up, if you know anyone or an organization that is dedicated to helping break the poverty chain. Please comment the individual or organization so that we can start sharing the knowledge. What are some of your ways to build wealth?  What would you add to this list?

Also!

Check out the book born on Third Base by Chuck Collins, Chuck recently spoke at a Warrior Mom workshop and shared his experience of being born into wealth and the decision to give it away, Chuck is dedicated to tackling income inequality in the U.S.

And my featured image is also a shirt you can find on Amazon!

 

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What Would I be Without you?

More than a Baby Mama is not just about the struggles! (everybody got em!)  This blog is also about overcoming obstacles and surpassing expectations! More Than a Baby Mama is about triumphs!

I don’t know about you but I know that my accomplishments were not done all on my own. I have an amazing group of people in my life who have helped me EVERY STEP of the way. With out my support system. I would never know what free time feels like, I wouldn’t have experienced the feeling of accomplishment that comes when you receive a college degree. (Yay NKU!)  I would not know have experienced amazing moments on stage.  I have been blessed to have a support system that helps give me a sense of balance and accomplishment. For that I thank you all so much.

With that I want to highlight a few members of my support group.

Mom, I love the way you will drop whatever it is you are doing to help me, I truly love and appreciate you taking such a huge part in raising Aviry. You do this not only to help me, but because you love Aviry.

Carlos, I love your relationship with my son, you have such an amazing way of connecting with Aviry, you never came on too strong and you never tried to be his ” new dad”. You just put yourself into the shoes of Aviry and really worked to understand him, so much so he likes the toys and snacks you pick better! You help teach him work ethic and respect.

Israel, What a great and amazing dad you are. When we call you are there. Before I have to call you are there. You are getting old (ha) and I love how much you love our son. I am grateful that Aviry has you in his life to show him what grit and determination looks like.

Asia,  Ms. Steward and the Entire Paternal and Maternal side of the family! I Love you all so much. I would not have made it through college with out you!! I would not have known what a weekend out felt like without you all. I appreciate the love and care you all have for Aviry and the sense of family you have instilled into him. Asia you literally brought Aviry EVERYTHING when he was first born! Thank you! I tell him that story because I want him to know he was loved before he even got here.

To my family who would give their last to make sure Aviry is always happy, healthy and safe. My brothers who are always there for us.

To My FRIENDS. What would we be without each other? (Fellow baby mama’s May I suggest finding friends who are also baby mama’s? It’s the best. Except when you have a babysitter and they don’t) My friends and I help each other out! We will babysit for one another, we motivate and encourage one another and we hold each other accountable!

There are too many people I could add to this list, but its getting late and I should try to rest, to every professor, mentor and coworker. I’m sorry I cant name you all individually but you know who you are, and it has not gone unrecognized!

I am so grateful for my support system.

Words can not express my gratitude!

Thank you!

If I become a millionaire. Im buying you all houses in true Oprah Fashion! ” You get a house! You get a house and you get a houssseeeee!!

I promise.

I know that not everyone has a support system, I know many single moms who need that support system, a break, or just someone to talk to and I encourage you my fellow baby mamas to start helping one another. Lets create support groups, Lets lift one another up.

What are some ways you can help your fellow baby mama? I would love ideas!

To any of my fellow baby mamas if you need a hand or want to explore expanding your support system feel free to connect.  Also, make sure you take a moment to tell your support system thank you!