Sunday, March 8, 2015

An Amazing Birth Story!

Three weeks ago, something miraculous happened in my family.  My sister who is two years older than me, gave birth to a beautiful baby girl. This was her fifth pregnancy and she wanted to do something different for this pregnancy.  She delivered her first four babies in a hospital, but for this pregnancy she wanted to experience giving birth in her home with a midwife, surrounded by her family. 

On Friday, February 13th around 4:00am I got a call from my oldest sister telling me that our sister had just given birth to my niece.  She tried to give me the details of the birth over the phone but I was too sleepy to fully understand what she was saying.  I tried to go back to sleep, but I couldn't, I had to see my sister and my niece.  So I hopped in my car, and drove around the corner to my sister's house.  When I arrived, I was surprised to see my parents already there (they live 30 minutes away).  My niece was so beautiful, and I was over the moon to have a new addition to our family.

After seeing my beautiful niece for the first time, my oldest sister begin to give me the details of her birth.  The birth story begin around 12:30am when my sister woke up with contractions.  She said that the contractions were bearable, and they were about ten minutes apart.  She had so many false alarms with her past pregnancies, that she just wanted to be certain that these were serious contractions.  Then all of a sudden, her water broke, and her contractions began to become more intense.  She immediately woke up her husband, and they called their midwife.  Her midwife lived 30 minutes away, so my brother in-law and my sister knew that the midwife would not make it in time, so they called my oldest sister who also lives in the same neighborhood.  When my oldest sister arrived, the contractions were intense and my older sister felt the need to push.  My brother in-law and my oldest sister had to carry her to the bed, to their surprise the baby's head was beginning to crown.  My oldest sister immediately called 911, and the operator talked her through the birthing process.  My oldest sister begin to tell my brother in-law everything the operator was telling her.  My brother in-law followed the steps carefully and delivered his baby girl at 2:08am.

 Proud Dad with his youngest daughter he delivered!
Mom and daughter
The Midwives

After hearing the story, I begin to give God praise for keeping my sister and niece safe during the delivery process.  I was also amazed at how calm my brother in-law was able stay during this stressful time, he brings new meaning to the phrase "I brought you into this world, and I can take you out" (ha ha ha!) His poor daughter is never going to hear the end of it!  But seriously, it's amazing to see parental instincts kick in, when you're faced with an emergency that's dealing with your children, during those moments you really become super human! So kudos to my brother in-law and oldest sister for staying calm and delivering my beautiful niece!

What are some super human things you have done for your children when faced with an emergency? Chime in below!

Monday, February 2, 2015

Its been a minute!

Hello everyone, I haven't forgot about you guys!  It's been really crazy at my household.  After the New Year (literally January 2nd) my household has been plagued with all types of viruses.  It all started when I babysat my little niece on New Years Eve, she had a stomach virus, and I thought I did my best by separating her from my kids.  I was running around like a chicken with her head cut off, making sure everything was sanitized.  But then it happened, I remember it like it was yesterday.  My little niece Sippy cup was on the counter separated from my daughters Sippy cup (the two would never meet), however I underestimated my toddler daughter's height (she's a tall two year old) she reached up on the counter and grabbed my niece's Sippy cup and took a sip!  You should have seen me, I ran to my daughter so fast to grab the cup, but it was too late (if you could see me in slow motion, you would have laughed).  I knew that their had been a transfer, but I was hoping and praying that the illness would not rear it's ugly head on my daughters. 

I thought my daughters had beat the odds because on New Years Day they were perfectly fine.  They were eating and playing with their cousins, they were my two full of energy toddlers.  But things turned South quickly that night, my oldest daughter begin to vomit and she had diarrhea.  Not only did my oldest have the stomach virus, but my youngest did as well.  The next morning my daughters pretty much laid around the house with no energy.  They were constantly using the bathroom and they had no appetite.  The stomach virus turned my full of energy toddlers to two couch potatoes with no energy.  I had to take a week off from to nurse my two beautiful daughters back to health.  I definitely learned a lot about treating young children with stomach viruses.  I got a lot of advice from my daughters pediatrician, the local pharmacist, from my mother, and my sisters.  So I thought I would share with you guys some tips, just in case your little precious ones get stuck with the dreadful stomach virus.

1.  Make sure your little ones stay hydrated.  Electrolytes are a good source to keep your little ones hydrated. 
2.  Florastor Kids was recommended by my daughters pediatrician's office.    Florastor® Kids is a clinically-tested, natural, yeast-based probiotic that aids in the growth of good microbiota in the intestines, while destroying and removing pathogenic (bad or disease-causing) microbiota to help maintain or restore optimal intestinal health.  It comes in packets in which you can pour in drinks, yogurt, applesauce, etc.
3.  Everything that my daughters had contact with was sanitized.  I also used hand sanitizer to make sure germs were not spread around.
4.  All small toys that my daughters like to put in their mouths were put away.  When they play in their pretend kitchen they love putting the fake forks and spoons in their mouths.
5.  I also cleaned all toys that had been exposed to germs with soapy water.  I put the toys in bins and put them away until my daughters were feeling better.
I also gradually introduced foods to them everyday.  They would eat yogurt for breakfast mixed with probiotics or toast.  They also would eat soup for dinner.  They pretty much ate foods that had some nutritional value like bananas, lean meats, soup, etc. The stomach flu can last up to ten days, my daughters had it for five days.  Also, the most important rule is to keep your children away from public places (school, church, daycare, etc.) so the virus won't spread around.
What are some suggestions or tips you have for treating little ones with the stomach flu? Chime in below!  

Monday, January 19, 2015

Five Kids, Fabulous, and Fit! Part 3

This has been an amazing experience!  As you can tell I love my sisters, and we are truly best friends.  I have learned so much more about my oldest sister during this process, and I am truly inspired to live a more healthier lifestyle.  She has taught my sisters and I not only through her words of wisdom but through her actions.  She has five kids, but she has not let that fact make her wear mommy jeans and let herself go.  She has shown us that it is important to take care of yourself spiritually, mentally and physically so you can be a better you and when you are a better you then you can be a better wife and mother.

On the past post, I introduced my sister and how she gave birth to five kids, two sets of twins and a singleton (click here, if you haven't read the information), on the previous post, I shared with you how my sister stays fabulous through healthy eating (click here, if you missed it) and on this post I will show and tell you how my sister stays fit by working out at the gym. I interviewed my sister about her workout schedule, and I shadowed her two Saturdays ago at her gym to see how she works out Monday through Friday for an hour and a half.  So check it out, how my sister stays Fit by working out at the gym Monday through Friday!

When I saw this picture of my sister, I was in shock.  I'm going to have to think twice about what I say and do when we have a disagreement lol.

On Monday, coming off a long weekend with no exercise, my sister starts with cardio.  She does the treadmill in intervals, 30 seconds of sprinting and 30 seconds of rest (jogging).  She rotates the intervals for 15 to 20 minutes.  Once she is finished with the treadmill she goes into her leg day. Leg Day and Cardio is typically on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, she works on hers legs and Gluteus Maximus (Buttocks), and she does all of her exercises in 4 Sets.  Leg day is her favorite part of her work-out regimen because she has more strength in her legs and she also loves toned legs! 

 On Monday, Wednesday, and Friday she works on Leg Curls.

On Leg Days, she does the Leg Extensions on the Smith Machine. 

She also does the Leg Press.
On Leg Day (Monday, Wednesday, Friday), she does squats with weights. It not only works out the legs, but it's a whole body exercise (buttocks, quadriceps, etc.)
 She does Deadlifts, which works the Gluteus Maximus and Hamstrings among other things.
She also does Cable Leg Extensions on Mondays and Wednesdays.
On Tuesdays and Thursdays, she gives her legs a break and work on upper body strength. She works on her biceps and triceps and Back (On Thursdays, she focuses on her shoulders as well).  She does the Bench Press which targets her chest and arms.

On Tuesdays and Thursdays, she also does the Seated Back Rows. Which works out your back and biceps.

She does the Cable Arm Curls, which works out your biceps.

She also does the Tricep Cable Pushdown which works out your tricep muscles.

  Everyday of the week she incorporates specific Ab workouts (even though a lot of the exercises that she does work out your abs as well.)  Above she is shown doing Ab pull-ups. 
She also will do sit-ups to work out her Ab muscles.
On Saturday and Sunday she takes a break from her work-out regimen and hang out with her husband and kids; and then on Monday the work-out schedule begins again.  My sister also explained to me that she started this work-out regimen in August when all of her kids started school.  Before the second set of twins started school, she would incorporate exercises using the twins.  She worked out with my sisters doing Zumba on the Wii game system, she also would take youngest twins on a stroller ride around the neighborhood, and she would also run a trail in her neighborhood.
I hope this series has inspired you, reinforced what you are doing, or gives you the motivation to live a healthier lifestyle!  I like the fact that my sister work-out regimen has evolved based on changes in her life.  I think it is a true testament for all women, that it doesn't matter what stage in life you are in, their are always things you could do to become a healthier you!
I know that I am truly inspired to incorporate more exercises in my daily life and choose healthier foods for my family and I.  I want to personally thank my sister for sharing with us her secret, she's a private person, and she doesn't like a lot of hoopla about things she is doing.  But I know that her testimony can and will help someone who was thinking like me, saying to themselves, I don't have time to exercise because I have (too many) children.
I hope you enjoyed this series! Tell me what you like most about the series Five Kids, Fabulous, and Fit!  Chime in below!




Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Five Kids, Fabulous, and Fit Part 2

On Part One of this series Five Kids, Fabulous, and Fit, I shared with you my oldest sister story of how she came to give birth to five kids (if you haven't read her birth story click here ).  Her story is truly amazing, and sometimes I forget how unique her story is until a random person at the mall approaches her and say, "You have two sets of twins, how do you do it?" that question is also followed by, "It doesn't look like you had five kids, what's your secret? That's why I felt the need to feature my oldest sister on my blog, to answer that burning question, What's your secret?

On this blog, which is Part 2, I am going to reveal how my oldest sister stays fabulous through healthy eating.  She is not on a diet, she chooses to make healthy lifestyle changes when eating that makes a positive difference in her overall well being.  To find out how she make these changes, I asked my sister to go grocery shopping and show me the different foods she purchases at the Grocery Store.  My sister was kind enough to stop by my house after she went grocery shopping and show me some of her staples for Breakfast, Lunch, Snacks, and Dinner.  I also interviewed my sister to find out her schedule when eating.  So without further ado, here is how to stay fabulous through Healthy Eating by my oldest sister!

When Interviewing my sister, she said that breakfast is the most important meal of the day.  She normally eats breakfast at 8:15 or 8:30am after her kids are dropped off to school.  She may start her breakfast with oatmeal with almond butter or peanut butter inside then she adds cinnamon and Stevia in the Raw (zero calorie sugar) for sweeteners.  She uses cinnamon because it has many health benefits (to see how cinnamon can benefit you click here ). 

She rotates her breakfast daily, so she may eat whole wheat toast with peanut butter or she may eat whole wheat toast or whole wheat tortillas with eggs, spinach, and a turkey patty with a splash of hot sauce for seasoning (to find out the benefits of hot sauce click here).  My oldest sister never skips out on breakfast because it is the most important meal of the day and it gets her metabolism going ( to learn how breakfast can boost your metabolism, click here).  It's during breakfast that she will eat the heaviest, she eats more foods during breakfast than any other mealtime throughout the day.  So it can be a bowl of oatmeal, along with turkey bacon and spinach.

She eats snacks throughout the day.  For Snack, she may eat almonds or any type of nut, Greek yogurt, a cucumber, banana with peanut butter, or if she has a sweet tooth she may eat Dark Chocolate Ghirardelli Twilight Delights.

When it's lunchtime, she has already come back from the gym so she drinks a protein shake (from GNC) which helps build and maintain her muscle.  After she drinks her protein shake, she may have a salad with chicken breast, spinach, carrots, and avocado drizzled with apple cider vinegar, hot sauce or olive oil .  Or she may have some other type of protein like fish with spinach on whole wheat wraps.  Her lunch is usually proteins, vegetables, and very low carbohydrates.

She eats her carbs during the earlier parts of the day, so for dinner, she has totally weaned off carbs.  She eats more leaned meats like different types of fish (salmon), chicken, etc. and she loads up on vegetables. 

She also takes different types of vitamins.  She takes Fish Oil, because the omega fatty acids in the fish helps to keep your brain, bones, overall body healthy.  She takes multivitamins, probiotics,  and CLA (which is a natural acid, click here for more information). 

For drinks, she does not drink any fruit juices because she does not believe in wasted calories.  She drinks a lot water, her goal is a gallon of water a day.  She doesn't always meet that goal but it is her expected goal every day. Also, when making smoothies or shakes she uses Almond Milk.
Here are some dishes that my sister cooks during dinner time. 

My sister likes to use fresh vegetables when cooking

She also likes to use Coconut Oil when sautéing vegetables.
Broccoli is one of her favorite veggies.  The broccoli is mixed with red and green peppers.
 This is one of her favorite choices for dinner or lunch. Stemmed broccoli with roasted chicken.  She uses Miss Dash seasoning to taste.  Protein and vegetables is mainly on her plate.
She also makes turkey patties using ground turkey seasoned with Miss Dash Herb Seasoning and pan seared with a little olive oil.  She will eat the turkey patties with a salad or as a burger using 100%whole grain buns.
My sister has cheat days, during the weekend she may have a couple of slices of pizza with her family.  Also during the week or weekend, if she is craving chocolate, she will eat dark chocolate or put that chocolate with Greek yogurt to make her own concoction of ice cream.  She does not go out for fast food, however, she will go out to a restaurant and have whatever she wants.  Even though she has cheat days, she tries to keep them to a minimum. 
I hope this interview has given you inspiration to continue to eat healthy or join the healthy eating lifestyle.  I know that I have learned a lot and plan to use these healthy tips for my family in 2015.  Who knew that hot sauce has health benefits, I'm also going to grab some CLA vitamins!  If you enjoyed this article, then you don't want to miss part 3 of this series, Staying Fit.  You will see what my sister does in the gym to stay Fit!  To be Continued.....



Saturday, January 10, 2015

Five Kids, Fabulous, and Fit! Part 1

On my last post on my blog, I mentioned that I would feature my oldest sister on my blog to share with us all how she manages to stay fit after having five kids.  On the last post titled, Style Guide for 2015, she was the last sister featured.  If you haven't read my last post click here to get caught up on all the juicy details! 

This is my older sister (just in case you forgot). This picture was taken three years ago before her current workout regimen, but she has always managed to stay in shape.

It's 2015, and on the top of most people's New Year's resolution including myself is to lose weight or get in shape.  So I thought this would be the perfect opportunity for me to have a discussion with my sister to find out what she is doing to stay in shape.  For the past two weeks, I have interviewed and shadowed my sister to find out how she manages to stay so fabulous and fit after having five kids!  I have a plethora of information to share, too much to incorporate in one post, so I will break the information up into three post.

For this post, my main focus is to inform you on how my sister came to have five kids (it's quite a story).  I remember when she found out she was pregnant for the first time.  Everyone in my family was so thrilled but we became super excited when we found out that she was having twins.  She had a boy and a girl (fraternal twins) via cesarean. Her next pregnancy, was a singleton, but we didn't know the sex of the baby until the birth, everyone thought it was going to be a boy but to our surprise it was a beautiful girl !  Six years went by, and my sister and her husband thought they were finished having kids, she had three and they were all school aged children.  But God has sense of humor, because He gave her surprise that shook her to the core.

I remember when she found out she was pregnant for third time.  We were actually together that morning working out at an aerobics class.  The instructor told us to run laps around the gym, and my sister who normally runs at a good pace, suddenly was short of breath and weak.  After class, I remember her telling me that her period was late and that she was going to take a pregnancy test.  I was in shock, and I told her to tell me as soon as she found out.  Well, she was pregnant and everyone in the family was excited.  I remember my mom joked with my sister that she is catching up with her (my mom has 5 kids) and my sister replied, no this is it, I'm going to have four, you're still the reining queen of five! Boy was she wrong, when she and her husband went in for her ultra sound, they found out she was having twins again! This time, the entire family was in shock! What are the odds of having two sets of twins! After the initial shock of it all, my sister was thrilled to experience the joy of having twins again.  She had another set of fraternal twins, a boy and a girl via cesarean.

Here are some pictures of her beautiful family!

The first set of twins are sitting beside her, on the left and right, the singleton is sitting to the far left, and the second set of twins are sitting on laps. 
This picture was taken when the second set of twins were newborns.

 Here is a picture of my sister with our cousin at her baby shower.  She was pregnant with her second set of twins! (this is the before picture, lol)
On the next post, I am going to share with you how my sister manages to stay fabulous by eating nutritious meals for breakfast, lunch, snacks, and dinner!  Not only will you see the groceries that she buys for breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks but she will also share recipes that she makes for dinner and vitamins that she takes to stay Healthy!  Stay Tuned, you don't want to miss this!


Friday, January 2, 2015

Style Guide for 2015

I love all things fashion!  I love the thrill of finding affordable and good quality items that I can pair with different looks.  At work, my co-workers always ask me, do you wear anything twice?  The answer to their questions is always yes, but the trick is, I never wear the outfit the same way.  I love mix matching my individual garments to create new looks.  It's crazy, because I never pick out what I'm wearing the night before work, I've tried to on several occasions but what tends to happen is me waking up the next morning and not liking what I picked out the night before (crazy, right?).  I think I don't like what I picked out because normally I'm tired and ready to go to bed, so I pick out something to wear in a hurry so I can go to bed (I'm a walking zombie at night).  So to remedy this problem, I wake up thirty minutes earlier, and just sit in my closet.  While I'm siting, I look around my organized closet (all liked items are grouped together) and I may pull a skirt, well once I pull that skirt, I look at my blouses section in my closet and pull a shirt that would complete the look.  Once I find my main look, I may add a blazer or a nice scarf to top off the look.  This may seem complicated for you, but it definitely works for me.

Anybody that has met my sisters and I, always tells us that we look alike.  It's crazy because we may share some of the same features, but we have totally different personalities and styles.  We are diverse in our styles, just as women are diverse in their styles in everyday life.  The cool thing about our diversity, is that each sister has a unique style for the every day women. Our styles coincides with our personalities and they are equally captivating.  We are definitely not braggers, and my sisters are probably going to kill me for writing this blog, but I wanted to share with all of you a Style Guide for 2015 based on four different looks.  I think our styles, represent four different looks that women can relate to.  So here are the looks!

 First off, is my youngest sister! If I can describe her in one word it would be gregarious!  She is very sociable and outgoing!  If my siblings and I are at a party or a gathering without her, everyone is going to ask about her whereabouts.  Her Fashion Sense definitely represents her personality!  Her style is very trendy and preppy, she will rock (wear) an outfit that is current or she may create a look that has never been created (trendsetter).  Either way, she is always on the best dressed list! here are some of her looks.
This is an outfit that my trendy sister wore to work.  To achieve this look, pair a navy blue blazer with a cardigan (wear a fitted tee underneath the sweater), top it off with a neutral colored scarf.  Make sure to wear skinny jeans with over the knee boots to complete the look! This ensemble works well with most body shapes, and can be transformed from work style to out on the town style or date night style!
This second look is nice for work, a business meeting, or church! To achieve this look, you will need a tailored plaid blazer with a cream blouse, top the look off with some high waist navy blue slacks.  This look works well for petite, athletic built, and curvaceous body types.
This trendy style is a great look for Church, Tea Party, or a Women's luncheon.  My younger sister wore this style at Church during our Pastor and Church Anniversary.  To achieve this look, you will  need a black and white striped hat, a black and white striped blazer, white tuxedo shirt with a silk scarf as a tie.  To complete the look, wear contrasting yellow slacks and a black pump to secure this look.

This outfit was worn at a Red Carpet White Linen Affair in Atlanta. This dress is a White Skater belted dress with an open back! This is one of my favorite looks:) This outfit will work well for a cocktail party, red carpet event, or a romantic dinner with hubby or boyfriend.
Next up, is yours truly, Me!!
 I am very conservative and shy natured.  If I can describe my personality in one word it would be reserved! My style is sophisticated chic, If I could raid Olivia Pope's closet from Scandal, I would.  I wore this dress featured above at a romantic dinner with my hubby.  The dressed was purchased from TJ Maxx in the clearance section! and the belt was purchased from Express.  To achieve this look, you will need a half long half short dress, top it off with a belt and stiletto pumps!  This look will works well at a cocktail party, fine dining with hubby or boyfriend, or a winter wedding.

 I wore this look at a Maxwell concert with hubby.  The top is a black chiffon strapless blouse paired with black dress shorts from TJ Maxx.  I completed the look with a two toned blazer from Forever 21 and Donald J. Pliner pumps.  This looks works well with most body shapes, the top definitely hides the mid section.

This last look was taken at church.  This Skater Dress was worn at church for my younger daughter's blessing.  This Skater Dress was paired with a purple cardigan and suede blue pumps (not shown).  This outfit works well for Work, Church, and luncheons!

Next off is my sister who is two years older than me.  If I can describe my older sister in one word it would be individualistic! My sister does not try to fit in with the crowd, she marches to her own beat, she's independent.  Her style reflects her personality, I would describe her style as casual chic.  Her dress code is chic but it has to be comfortable.  She doesn't care to wear flashy or over the top looks, especially if it's not comfortable! Here are some of her looks.

 My older sister I'm referring to is on the right (she has no pictures by herself, she hates taking selfies). On this picture, she is wearing a black top with a connected tie.  She paired the look with a black shimmery vest and black skinny jeans.  She wore black flat over the knee boots to complete this look.  This looks work well for going to the mall with your friends or going on a date to the movies or to play miniature golf.  This look will work for most body types.

This next look was taken at a red carpet event in Atlanta with her hubby.  To achieve this look you will need a black and white strapless top with dressy white shorts. The top has a sash which gives an hour glass effect on your waistline.  She accessorized this look with red accessories and red stiletto heels.  This look works well for a party, date night with hubby or boyfriend, or a red carpet event.

This last look was taken at church.  She wore a multi-colored blouse paired with a navy blue blazer.  She completed the look with coral dressy pants and navy blue pumps.  This look can be worn at work, church, or school. This look also works well for most body types!

Last but not least, is my oldest sister.  My sister has an Artistic Personality. She is very creative, and she can learn a new skill by simply watching someone  (she's a visual learner).  She has learned to braid hair, sew, and apply make-up just by watching others.  If I could describe her style, it would be edgy.  Her style changes quite frequently, because she loves to be on the cutting edge of things.  Here are some of her looks!

 This first look was worn to a wedding rehearsal dinner. To achieve this look, you will need a black lace top with a black cami underneath.  Pair the shirt with khaki green skinny pants and thigh high boots to give you a sexy look.  This look can be worn to a party or on a date night.  This look works well on most body shapes (there are many variations of the lace blouse to compliment body sizes)

This next look was worn at a Red Carpet event in Atlanta GA with her hubby.  To achieve this look, you will need a red fitted dress paired with gold accessories.  This look works well for athletic and curvaceous body types.  This style can be worn at a party, cocktail party, or a red carpet event.

This last look was worn on a date night with her hubby. To achieve this look you will need a black blouse with gold sequins on the sleeve with gold sequined shorts.  This look, works well at a party, girls night out, and date night.  Most body types can achieve this look, the black blouse definitely covers up the midsection.

My sisters are going to probably hurt me for putting up these pictures (most pictures were taken from their facebook pages) but I hope you have found some inspiration for your style in 2015.  By the way, my oldest sister (the last sister featured) has had five kids, two sets of twins and one single, and is still small! I will be featuring her next week, to find out some tips on how she's able to stay in shape after having five kids.  Stay tuned!
Which sister's look do you most identify with or which look or you willingly to try in 2015?  Chime in below:)

PS. This is the lady who has taught us all, our Mother!


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