LifeStyle

Girls Trip/ Family Reunion

Last year while my family and I were vacationing in Orlando, FL my grandmother had mentioned to me that our family reunion was coming up. She expressed that she really wanted as much of our family as possible to attend. She grabbed my phone, placed the dates in my calendar and told me to be there. Being one of the oldest grandchildren, I felt it was mandatory and I could not let her down. So without hesitation my husband and I made it happen.

Plane tickets were a little pricey and Braxton was no longer a terrible two year old, therefore purchasing plane tickets for a family of four was out of the question and... our budget! Braxton spent the week in Columbus, OH with my parents, my husband had time to himself here in Lexington, KY and, London and I, well we were officially about to embark on our first "Girls Trip". Boston, Massachusetts here we come! 

Not sure if you’ve ever been to Boston but it’s seriously like a mini Chicago or New York. Great shopping, amazing scenery, crisp air, and great sea food! We caught the train into the city and let me tell you about the people…they were so gracious and extremely helpful; especially when it came to figuring out which train to take back to our hotel! Due to family reunion activities we had limited time to explore but we took full advantage of our 2 days of freedom! In addition to walking through Chinatown, Franklin Park and to Newbury St. where my favorite store, Zara was located, we had the chance to visit Faneuil Hall. A marketplace in Boston filled with the cutest shops, unique buildings, and cobblestone streets. To be honest, this was my favorite place; geared towards families and plenty of things to do!! There were street entertainment, balloon twisters, live music and an overwhelming amount of food to stuff your face with. Along with exploring Boston, I rode Uber, ate at Shake Shack, and did Soul Cyclying with my baby cousin all for the first time! Two days of discovering Boston was not enough; I have to come back!

I use to watch movies like Johnson Family Vacation and Madea’s Family Reunion and say to myself, “man, I wish my family would do something like that.” At the age of 31, my wish came true. From wearing the same color t-shirt, doing the electric slide about five times, introducing yourself countless times and calling everyone “cousin” because you didn’t quite know the relationship but you knew you were related some type of way -I looked up and London and I were attending our first family reunion... the Washington Family Reunion...this time was priceless! This was my first time meeting these gorgeous people and strangely it felt like I knew them my entire life. We loved our time there and can’t wait to see them again in two years for our next family reunion in Columbus, OH aka my hometown!! Side note: It was great to not only experience this moment with my first born and Grandmother, but also with my Mother, little sister, Scharese, and niece, Mackenzie. 

Like branches of a tree, our lives may GROW in different directions- yet our ROOTS remain as one.
— Anonymous

"London Turns 6 & This Momma Is Over Etravagant Birthday Parties"

When I was a Stay-At-Home Momma I loved throwing extravagant birthday parties for my children, from black tie affairs to overnight soirees, planning and executing down to the very tiniest detail was indeed MY guilty pleasure.  But what a difference having a job in corporate America makes! Now that I am working outside of the home my energy level has severely decreased and the extravagant parties are no longer at the top of my mommy-to-do list. This past weekend we celebrated London’s 6th birthday and I will admit, for about 6 seconds, I considered going all out! Yep, MY guilty pleasure tried to overtake me.  I mean, I was ready to build cardboard cars and create “London’s Drive-In” right in my backyard.  Then reality stopped me in my tracks and I decided to shift the focus a bit.  All London wanted was a pool party so we did just that!  We found a gorgeous hotel here in Lexington, KY and we had a pool party!  As much as my inner party planner wanted to take over and deck out the party room I just didn’t have it in me. The goal was to keep things as simple as possible and making sure London was as happy as possible! Instead of ordering a hundred dollar cake this year, I marched to the nearest Walmart and with the help of my buddy Pillsbury (2 Golden Batter and 1 Strawberry to be exact), 4 tubes of cream cheese icing, and a bunch of assorted sprinkles; I was able to create a wonderful cake for around $13! I spent an extra $25 on invitations, plates, napkins, and confetti for table and Voila!...BEST POOL PARTY EVER!

Often times, us mommies, being the Super Mommy Party Planning Extraordinaires that we are, have a tendency to go over the top for our kid’s birthday parties.  We stress about décor, party favors, cakes, food, guest lists and all the while, our little ones are oblivious to our stress! We allow OUR guilty pleasure to consume us as we contemplate minor details that our kids don’t even notice! Well, Party Planning Mommy move over, Reasonable Stress-Free Mommy has arrived! I have come to the realization that children only need/ want these 4 items at their party:

1. Gifts

Children love receiving gifts – especially on their birthdays. So instead of spending hundreds of dollars on an expensive party invest those hundreds into your child. You really want to see your child’s face light up, take that money and drive them to the nearest Toys R’ Us and let them do some damage! You will be a true superhero in their eyes! Or you can open up a bank account for them, or teach them about giving and let them choose a charity to donate to. The options are endless!

2. Pizza

Cheese or Pepperoni? For a child it doesn’t matter! It’s Pizza!  Forgo serving the mini croissants and fancy dip and let your child indulge in one of their favs.  Certain to be a crowd pleaser and easy on the pocketbook!

3. Birthday Cake

The highlight of the day! A sweet treat covered in delicious icing.  Who can resist!  As long as there is a delectable cake on display, your child will be smiling ear to ear.  And after a piece or 3 of their cake, they may even be bouncing off the walls.  But it’s their party, they can cry jump, if they want too! Right? 

4. & the song “Watch Me (Whip/ Nae Nae)” by Silento

The government should actually think about making this song into our National Anthem. Kids love it and parents love pulling out their phones to record their child giving it their all. Regardless of your background or race “The Nae Nae” is internationally known.

"My New Year Starts Feb 1st- January Was My Trail Month"

Meet my amazing friend, Charlotte! This awesome momma of two beautiful girls and I connected via Instagram and since then we have become two peas in a pod. Charlotte loves The Lord, adores fashion, lives in Chicago, and is the owner of @PintSizeFaith. Charlotte astounds me with how she creates all of her healthy dishes for her and her family who are always on the GO! Today she shares a few tips on how to become a healthier person. Checkout her blog at www.milknhonee.com

Meet my amazing friend, Charlotte! This awesome momma of two beautiful girls and I connected via Instagram and since then we have become two peas in a pod. Charlotte loves The Lord, adores fashion, lives in Chicago, and is the owner of @PintSizeFaith.

Charlotte astounds me with how she creates all of her healthy dishes for her and her family who are always on the GO! Today she shares a few tips on how to become a healthier person. Checkout her blog at www.milknhonee.com

So here we are in the second month of the new year and some of us are feeling miserable because we haven't kept up with our health goals. We had great plans to wake up at the break of dawn every morning to get a good workout; we also had plans to eat better, sleep earlier and up our water intake! Yet here we are ordering pizza because we worked late or we're simply too tired to whip up dinner for the family.

I get it, we've all been there, I know I have! My alarm goes off at 530AM every weekday, and I can never muster enough energy to get out of bed and head to my basement for a workout. 

Yes I said my basement, I don't even have to go to the gym, I can go to my basement but I just don't have the energy to do it. 

Part of it is because my bed is comfortable, and the second is I have to discipline my flesh. Thankfully, all things are possible through Christ, and I'm here to tell you that though the calendar now says February, it is never too late for new beginnings. 

Let's face it, were moms and were busy, and at times, it is easier to grab a quick bite to eat on our way to work, during lunch or bring something quick and easy home for dinner.

Whether you're a working mom or stay at home mom, our time is valuable, and we need to ensure that we maximize every minute we get, we also need loads of energy to tackle our days, and poor eating habits will drain the energy we so desperately need.

I'm sharing 5 food tips for moms on the go, these are tried and true and guaranteed to give you a boost of energy, but most importantly feed you the goodness your bodies so desperately need.

Before we go any further, I'm going to state the obvious, stay away from fried foods, and fast foods as much as you can. Don't get me wrong, there is no harm in indulging once in a while, but keep it minimal. 

They call it fast food, because it's quick, but what most folks don't know, fast food takes a long time to digest. 

Last year around this time I was being led by the Holy Spirit to make changes to my diet and while doing some research, I came across a book entitled the Maker's Diet by Jordan Rubin. It was enlightening to say the least, but it is in that book that I discovered the importance of diet and that fast food is harder to digest and actually demands more energy from your body hence taking energy away from you.

It also has no nutritional values, so when you add it all together, there are truly no benefits.

So how can you add more energy to your day by the foods you eat? I'm glad you asked! Sharing 5 simple tips below.

Apart from the obvious, being active, maintaining a good intake of water and sleeping at least 8 hours. But food plays a big part too and it is often overlooked. 

 

1. Eat A Good Breakfast!

Breakfast essentially means to break your fast. You've been fasting throughout the night ( while you sleep). We all know that we're ready to eat as soon as we complete a fast, so why not eat first thing in the morning.

Your breakfast should consist of energy boosters

Try a smoothie bowl ( throw some frozen blueberries in your blender, chia seed, coconut water or almond milk) pour in a bowl, top with sliced bananas, granola, coconut flakes and voila! 

if you don't have time to sit and enjoy your smoothie bowl - omit the coconut flakes and granola - blend the blueberries, banana chia seed and choice of milk and you're good to go.

I will however recommend waking up early enough to sit and enjoy you're breakfast while listening to worship music. It will allow for your day to be more focused.

 

2. Snack... Snack... Snack!

So you ate breakfast but t's been an hour and you're hungry! Snack! 

Snacking on things like almonds which are high in nutrients like magnesium and vitamin B is a great idea. Magnesium converts to energy. A lack of magnesium can also be the culprit when it comes to low energy levels, I know it was for me, but a good diet and snacking on almonds can help.

 

3. Stay Away from Coffee!

If you need an energy boost, coffee is not the answer. The effects of coffee are short lived and you often crash by the middle of the day. Grab teas instead, green tea has little caffeine and can boost your energy levels.

 

4. Plan Your Meals!

If you don't have a plan, you plan to fail, the same goes for your food consumption. Plan your meals, kale salad for lunch. Not that fancy? A peanut butter sandwich can do the trick too it's healthy fat and full of fiber!

 

5. Take A Multivitamin

Sadly the foods we eat nowadays are often devoid of key nutrients even vegetables. The reason behind it is because the soil in which are veggies are cultivated are sprayed with pesticide that harm the goodness of natural soils, resulting in nutrient deficiencies, hence the magnesium levels I mentioned above.

I take a multivitamin by Garden of Life. It is made of whole foods and it is a great way of supplementing. Not all multivitamins are created equal so do your research.

When you can, eat organic and if you can't pray that the Lord take away anything that may harm you from the foods you eat. If you make the effort to buy veggies and fruits The Good Lord will meet you where you are. Don't ask him to bless your cheeseburger and then pray for energy! 

 

 
I'm in no way an expert in health, just a mom who heeded to the gentle whispers of the Holy Spirit to make drastic life changes so that I may have the energy to what God has called me to do! -Charlotte B.

 

Until next time.

 

So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God." - 1 Cor. 10:31

Jord Wood Watches & Givaway Details

Was completely wrecked this morning listening to these beautiful words on my way to work from Kim Walker- Smith...

"God you pursue me with power and glory. Unstoppable love that never ends. You're unrelenting with passion and mercy. Unstoppable love that NEVER ends."

So blessed to serve a God that is timeless. & every time I look down at my JORD Wood Watches I'm reminded of His unstoppable love for me.

GIVEAWAY ANNOUNCEMENT

I have an exciting giveaway to win a $100 gift code to use on the JORD site! Even if you don't win, you will receive a consolation code worth $25 at the end of the contest so it's totally worth entering!!

Here is the link (https://www.woodwatches.com/g/mommyandministry) to get a instant $25 off of a #JordWatch and a chance to win a $100 voucher! You have until the 22nd of January to enter.

I absolutely love my Zebrawood & Champagne JORD watch! Goes with just about anything.

I absolutely love my Zebrawood & Champagne JORD watch! Goes with just about anything.

"Did I Really Just Choose My Career Over My Children?!"

 Each day, many parents have to make the tough decision of either staying at home with their children or going to work. The conversation can be frustrating, and sometimes excruciating, but they must face the harsh reality that while the children need the time, the pocketbook may need the job!  Unfortunately, often times, most mothers are not afforded the opportunity to stay home. Growing up, my amazing stepmother stayed home with my younger brothers and sisters and after seeing the benefits that were gained I knew once I had children, I wanted to do the same. So after marrying my God-sent husband and we started our family, I was blessed to be able to stay home for almost 6 years!
 
Choosing to stay at home with my Lon V. and The Braxx Man should already acquaint you with how devoted I am to them and their livelihood. My husband and I made sacrifices, but each sacrifice was well worth it!  However, if I could just be real for a second, when you are with your children all day…everyday…your patience begins to run low!  With each “Mommy…Mom…Momma…Maaaaa” you grow a little more inpatient.  Every little thing, even the innocent kid mistakes, have a tendency to step on that ONE LAST NERVE that was hanging on for dear life!  Can a Momma get an AMEN?!    But due to me now working outside of the home, subsequently, I am not with them as much and therefore I have become eager to see their little smiling, sometimes frowning, faces, I am more thrilled to hear about their day through their petite voices, and I am more excited to play a board game or two! And as much as I love my babies, 1 month ago, sometimes hearing the name “Mommy” over and over sounded like nails scraping a chalkboard; I am happy to report…This is no longer the case!
 
Even at the lowest of lows I’ve never regretted the decision to be a stay-at-home momma, however, as my London got to her preschool and early elementary years, I found I wanted more; to work or not to work? That WAS the question! I started to realize that I was ready to return to corporate America but deep down I struggled because I felt that I would be sacrificing my family and in some sense I was unwilling to do so.  So the decision to go back to work wasn’t easy, but when my husband and I decided it was time, I was at least going to go into a field in which I loved- Designing and Decorating homes. It has currently been one month since I have transitioned from being a stay-at-home momma to a working momma. I’ve gotten paid twice (insert “Money Money Money” by Abba here) and due to the extra income my husband’s stress level has decreased significantly!  The extra income is helping with the load of bills, and this working momma is loving it!  Admittedly, this has been no walk in the park; maybe a hike on a difficult trail…But no walk in the park.
 
1.     The Sandman is a'lurkin'
We all know about that wonderful guy who goes by the name Sandman! According to Wikipedia, The Sandman is a mythical character in Western and Northern European folklore who puts people to sleep and brings good dreams by sprinkling magical sand into their eyes. And let me tell you, The Sandman is always waiting for me once I open our garage door! This has become the biggest challenge since I’ve started working. When I stayed home, I was able to sneak an occasional nap when the kids went down but now I feel like I went from #TeamEnergy to #TeamNoSleep!  In all honesty, once I go to my bedroom to take off the corporate suit and slip on my mom pants, I am really ready to fall fast asleep, but going to sleep at 6pm without feeding your children is unheard of and can likely be classified as some form of child abuse. Trying to maintain the routine from 30 days ago is giving me a run for my money, I used to be able to enjoy a family movie, but now, the Sandman sits right next to me with his hand in my popcorn bowl, I am sure to fall asleep within 20 minutes!
 
2.     The Mommy Guilt
A couple of days out of the month I have to work until 8pm. My husband works second shift which leaves me to pick up our children. I arrive to the babysitter’s home at around 8:30pm and by the time we get home it is time to start the bedtime routine.  Pajamas…check. Teeth…check. Bedtime story…maybe! The late work nights have definitely put a strain on the usual routine.  Some days London looks into my eyes and asks, “Mommy, why are you just now picking us up? I haven’t seen you all day. Will we be able to do something together tonight?” Since I’ve started work I have already missed one of her school events. Thank God my husband was able to attend and facetime me but missing her mini winter concert crushed my heart. Mommy guilt shows up at anytime…day or night. And can I tell you, it is the ABSOLUTE worst!  It hits you in your stomach, turns into a knot, and will make you cry at your cubicle, on your way home, or even worse, right in front of your children. I know going back to work is the best decision for our family but overcoming The Mommy Guilt is a challenge that will take time for me to conquer.
 
3.     “Yo Momma Lazy”
Because The Sandman apparently is trying to take residence in our home and stays waiting for me every day after work, the chores around the house become, hmmmm, how do I put this, well not a priority!  Currently, I have three loads of laundry just spread out in our living room. When it will be done? I’m not sure. In addition, I’ve become lazy with doing activities with my children. The other day, my children asked if I could read them a bedtime story and I responded with, “Aren’t you learning how to read at school?” I’m laughing now as I write this but the fact that I have no energy to read a book to my children is unacceptable. So I’ve decided to give myself an activity calendar to be sure that my family does not suffer from our decision for me to re-join the corporate workforce. 
 So Here it is…
“Arts & Craft” Monday
“Reading With Mommy” Tuesday
“We’re Not Doing Anything Today” Wednesday
“Let’s Bake” Thursday
“I Scream, You Scream, We All Scream for PIZZA” Friday

 
 
Motherhood is no easy job so whether you work outside of the home or stay at home with your children please know, you’re an amazing Momma. & if no one has told you today, you’re doing an incredible job.
 

Four Mistakes That I Made In 2016

I firmly believe that self-evaluation plays an important role in the overall development of an individual. Every now and then we should take a time-out to evaluate and reflect on our lives; this is a very necessary step in the process to measure your life’s progression. I guarantee you that you will make some interesting self-discoveries; some good and some bad. So after doing some self-reflecting, here are FOUR Mistakes that I made in 2016 that I plan on NOT making in 2017.

 

 1. Self-Help

The problem with being strong is nobody ever bothers to ask if you are okay.
— unknown

If I had to sum up the start of 2016 in 1 word…TOUGH! If I am completely transparent it had to be one of the toughest times that I have ever had to endure. My husband and I had just shut the doors of our church and my emotions were everywhere. But in typical Porscha fashion, I continued on with life like everything was completely normal. My smile…never left.  Encouraging posts on Facebook…never stopped.  Attendance at social events…never ended. But deep down, I needed encouragement, my heart was in shambles and I needed help more than ever! We have conditioned ourselves to believe that pushing through the pain means we are strong, but I totally disagree. I was struggling to keep everything together to be “strong” for everyone else, while internally, everything else, more importantly, I, was falling apart.  When you deny your true feelings and emotions you’re really harming yourself and as a result many of us fall into depression. The emotions can sometimes be so overwhelming that you no longer have control of your heart and now your mental state is affected.  

If I could have a “do-over” for the start of 2016, I would do one major thing differently- acknowledge that I needed to care for myself!  You are absolutely no good when you are constantly pouring yourself out to others and never taking the time to have someone or something pour into you. Recognize your emotions and deal with them. No longer will I bury my emotions because someone wants me to be “strong’. Go & get help!

 Which takes me to my second mistake in 2016.

 

2. “We Wear The Mask”

If we truly want the character of Christ, we must expose our weaknesses, shed our hypocrisy and stop pretending. God called us to BE TRANSPARENT.
— Paul Tan

I eventually took it off - thank God! But why did it take so long?! The freeing of The Mask was so beneficial. Not only for me but for my children and husband. Wearing “The Mask” takes so much unnecessary work but most importantly it hinders you from experiencing true intimacy with God. God is not like man, we don’t need to impress Him. In 2016 as well as in previous years I lost the shift of my focus and I put on this Mask.  The Mask of death, as it was slowly killing me!  I served as co-pastor of our church and because I was a Pastor’s wife people expected me to act, dress, pray, and just be a certain way. Some Sunday mornings before entering the church I would sit in the car longer than usual.  On these days, I was dealing with some of my own problems and I wasn’t quite ready to put a smile on my face. But as soon as I opened my car door and the heel of my shoe hit the pavement, I would instantly put on my Mask. Now, I am placing the blame where it belongs- on myself!  But I’m here to say that the only Mask that I will be wearing in 2017 is Shea Moisture Coconut & Hibiscus Radiance Mud Mask.

When you talk with other people- be willing to tell them the full story of how God has worked in your life. Realize that the story of your brokenness could truly free someone else. Do not be afraid to remove your Mask and tell others what God has and is going to do for you!

 

3. Loosing Myself

When you recover or discover something that nourishes your soul and brings joy, care enough about yourself to make room for it in your life.
— Jean Shinoda Bolen

Ughhhh! Why do I keep doing this to myself?! Anyone who knows me knows I love to workout. But when we moved to Lexington in September my workout regime became non-existent and now I've gain all of my weight back plus a FEW EXTRA. When living in Cincinnati, OH I had a good routine going on when it came to my workouts. I even formed  gym family at the current workout facility that my membership was set up at. Everyone knew me and I knew them. They even knew Braxton aka The Braxx Man and would always give him balloons paired with multiple high fives. Even though Lexington, KY wasn't a far move from Cincinnati. It was still a HUGE transition for my family and I and its been four months and I’m just now getting back in the swing of things and finally feeling like my old self. As a result, I'm extremely upset with myself because the way my metabolism is set up…it takes MONTHS to lose just a pound or two. Ok, maybe not MONTHS but months. Losing 10lbs in a month is not my testimony- it really takes closer to three months. I’m pretty good at anything that I put my heart into but this fitness journey is something that I have not been able to master. Why can’t fries and bread be healthy??!?! Like the great William McDowell said “I’m never going back” and in 2017 I have to be committed to not just losing weight but becoming healthier all around.

 

Who’s with me?!

 

4. Gotta Give Him Some Mo Lovin' 

Giving him something, he can feel
— En Vogue

I'm just one of those people who believes that there is always room to improve. Another mistake I made in 2016- not loving my husband the way that he needed or wanted. He works so hard to provide for our family and unfortunately he’s always the last one to buy a new outfit, or do something nice for himself. I honestly don’t think he bought anything for himself last year. I never want him to feel that we don’t appreciate him because we absolutely adore him!! I want to take him out on dates, allow himself to buy nice things...I want him to feel the love that we feel for him.  Often times we get caught up in the ins and outs of day that we innocently neglect those closest and most important to us. So in 2017, it’s all about him and what I can do for him to make his life more enjoyable.

 

 

Now it is your turn to conduct a self-evaluation. Be sure to answer each question/ statement as honestly as possible.

  • List your strengths and areas needing improvement.
  • What are your biggest priorities right now?
  • Are there any changes that could be made to improve your effectiveness?     
  • Where do you think you need to devote more time and energy?
  • Where do you see yourself in a year, 5 years, and 10 years?

 

Christmas Traditions

Here is my side of the family aka The Peeks Crew. As you can, were big in numbers!

Here is my side of the family aka The Peeks Crew. As you can, were big in numbers!

When my husband and I got married we thought that the most difficult parts of marriage would be communication and money; learning that both parties now own what's in the bank account and figuring out when one could spend money without permission wasn't a huge challenge for us... surprisingly. But the most difficult part of marriage was figuring out which holiday to spend with which family. I am one of seven. My side of the family is gigantic and lives in Columbus, OH. People jokingly call us the black "Seven Heaven" because my Father is a Pastor. Now, on my husbands side of the family it's just him, his younger sister, and mom. Much smaller than my side of the family but they are extremely closely knitted together.

Our first couple of years of marriage we tried visiting everyone on every holiday. But with small children and our families not living in the same city it totally became too over whelming. So now we travel up to Columbus for Thanksgiving - mainly because I could never go without my Grandmother's good cooking and for Christmas, we now travel up to Cincinnati, OH to spend with his family who I absolutely love dearly. 

My favorite part of my husband's family's Christmas celebration is when the matriarch of the family aka Granny reads the yearly newsletter. It's a tradition that everyone looks forwards to and wouldn't miss for the world.  She writes about everyone's accomplishments, mistakes, funny moments, people we haven't seen, deaths, and new additions to the family. We gather around her like little children and anticipate hearing our name and hearing what she has to say. The best part of it all is that it's all through her eyes.

At first it was very hard for me to be away from my family. Especially on Christmas. But I've grown to love my second family as if they were my very own.

Family is like music, some high notes, some low notes, but always a beautiful song.

"Saying Goodbye to The Mom Bun, Yoga Pants, & the Pink Fluffy Robe"

Cues, the great "Its So hard to Say Goodbye to Yesterday" by Boyz II Men. Saying goodbye to yesterday won't be so hard but saying goodbye to my "mom bun", "yoga pants", and "pink fluffy robe" that I absolutely adore will be because this Momma is heading back to work outside of the home front. For over six years my husband and I both decided that it would be best for me to stay at home with our children.  Actually, I already knew that's what I wanted to do once I started having children with the one that God had sent for me (check out my bio in the "About" section). However, I'm just so blessed to have a husband who is pro stay at home Momma's. But these past six years have not been easy. Sacrifices have been made, vacations have been canceled, dreams have been put on hold, and much more. But till this day, having the ability to stay at home with my London Victoria and Braxton Alexander has been the best decision ever & I will make all of those sacrifices again if I had to choose.

Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you your heart’s desires.
— Psalm 37:4

This past summer I made the decision that I wanted to go back to work, selfishly because I wanted to buy more clothes (what else did you expect?! Us women like clothes... ok, a lot of clothes! lol) but most importantly I wanted to take some of the financial stress off of my husband that he has been carrying since we've gotten married. But I didn't want to go to any type of employment. I remember during my journaling time with God, I told Him that if I was going to be pulled away from my dream job, staying at home with my children. I wanted to go to my next dream job, which is designing and decorating homes. & because I am His child and He gives His children the desires of their hearts, I am proud to say that after six long interviews since September of this year, you are now looking at the next Interior Designer Consultant of Ethan Allen.

But let me point this out to you. I have no Interior Designing degree. Not one certificate in decorating. Actually my degree is in Family Studies. I've never went to school for this. I say this not to boast on how well my designing and decorating skills are, because... they're good. However, I'm saying all of this to brag on the one and only true living God. If He's given you the gift, best believe He's going to put you in the position to be used. The real question is what do you with what He gives you. But baby, that's a whole nother blog and another time.

I'm super duper excited for this new season in my life. I don't believe in luck, but I do believe in prayer. So, please pray for me, as well as my family as we embark on this new journey.

Bye bye mom bun. Bye bye yoga pants. & bye bye pink fluffy robe... Hello cute hair,  hello dress pants, dresses and skirts, and hello stylish blazers!

 

M&M's Blog Launch Party

This past Sunday (December 4th) was our BLOG LAUNCH DAY as well as my 31st birthday. So I hosted a intimate blog launch party in Cincinnati, OH with eleven of my favorite girlfriends who have turned into sisters, and sisters who have turned into girlfriends. The night was filled with the perfect set of energy and the magic, oh, the magic was so pure. From endless laughs over a glass of Pinot Grigio, to shedding a lot of tears with the people who have deservingly earn the key to my heart. The night was perfect. The venue's ambiance was to die for. & our waiter Brad was the perfect fit for my group of girls.  

Mommy & Ministry’s Intimate Blog Launch Party was held at the very gorgeous Taft’s Ale House, a three-level brewery, bar and restaurant in Over-the-Rhine of Cincinnati, OH. It's a dramatic space in the old St. Paul's German Evangelical Protestant Church located at 1429 Race St., the 220-seat space features 46-foot ceilings and a large chandelier that draws the eye up to them. High, arch windows, lots of dark wood and Rookwood tiles. This place is absolutely gorgeous. The only thing that I was a little sadden by was the choice of food on the menu. Not really a huge selection, but it was doable.

 

My favorite part of the night was reading my first blog post entitled "When I Lost My Fourth Child..." to my amazing friends before officially launching Mommy & Ministry. Guys, I boo- hooed like a baby while reading it and it meant so much to me to look up and see them crying right along with me.

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What's a night without a little (non- alcoholic) bubbly?? Special thanks to my dear friend Tishonna for giving such a sweet toast and speaking those amazing profound words into Mommy & Ministry. You my dear friend are God sent.

You Guys Have To Meet My Amazing Girlfriends!!

Everyone say HI to my little cousin Brianna, who has turned into my little sister. She's also Mommy & Ministry' s official photographer. Every picture on this site has been taken by her!! Based in Columbus, OH. Let me know if you need her information!

Everyone say HI to my little cousin Brianna, who has turned into my little sister. She's also Mommy & Ministry' s official photographer. Every picture on this site has been taken by her!! Based in Columbus, OH. Let me know if you need her information!

Because we go hard for each other's dreams. Meet my sands and dear sister, Danielle Sharee! Do me a favor and remember that name. 

Because we go hard for each other's dreams. Meet my sands and dear sister, Danielle Sharee! Do me a favor and remember that name. 

Lasik Plus Vision Center brought us together as co-workers during my college days but our friendship has stayed solid throughout the years. Meet my home girl Genia aka Gene!

Lasik Plus Vision Center brought us together as co-workers during my college days but our friendship has stayed solid throughout the years. Meet my home girl Genia aka Gene!

My Best of 12 yrs and counting. Meet my other half, Shawnte. The only person other than my husband who I can take correction from. She means the world to me.

My Best of 12 yrs and counting. Meet my other half, Shawnte. The only person other than my husband who I can take correction from. She means the world to me.

I call her "I'm Every Woman" because she's truly remarkable in every way. Say HI to my sands and dear sister Kendra.

I call her "I'm Every Woman" because she's truly remarkable in every way. Say HI to my sands and dear sister Kendra.

Guys, my lovely friend Tishonna Hicks. The one who gets me and understands every part of me.

Guys, my lovely friend Tishonna Hicks. The one who gets me and understands every part of me.

If I had a diary she would probably be the only who I will let read it. Meet my sister Angela and the god mother of my London Victoria and Braxton Alexander.

If I had a diary she would probably be the only who I will let read it. Meet my sister Angela and the god mother of my London Victoria and Braxton Alexander.

My girl LaToya has rocked with me from the very beginning. & through it all she's never left my side. A true friend, better yet a true sister.

My girl LaToya has rocked with me from the very beginning. & through it all she's never left my side. A true friend, better yet a true sister.

I have 3 biological sisters who are really like my bestfriends. When I feel like I don't have anyone in my corner. I can always count on them to have my back, especially this one. Meet my favorite headache, Scharese Peeks. (1 out of 3)

I have 3 biological sisters who are really like my bestfriends. When I feel like I don't have anyone in my corner. I can always count on them to have my back, especially this one. Meet my favorite headache, Scharese Peeks. (1 out of 3)

(2 out of 3) Nothing can keep us apart. Not only is she the salt of the earth, but she's also the salt to my life. She's filled with greatness. Everyone say HI to my mini me- Kyra Alexandra!

(2 out of 3) Nothing can keep us apart. Not only is she the salt of the earth, but she's also the salt to my life. She's filled with greatness. Everyone say HI to my mini me- Kyra Alexandra!

(3 out of 3) The baby sister, Nichelle Mackenzie. She keeps me young and grounded all at the same time. She also designed and created Mommy & Ministry's cute little logo!!

(3 out of 3) The baby sister, Nichelle Mackenzie. She keeps me young and grounded all at the same time. She also designed and created Mommy & Ministry's cute little logo!!

Good friends are like stars.
You don’t always see them, but you know they’re always there.
— Unknown

Road Trippin' With Little People

So my husband and I decided to take our little Coney Monsters, London & Braxton, to Disney World... again. We also decided to make it into a road trip and drive from Kentucky to Florida... again! Seriously, what were we thinking?! & this time we took my Grandmother with us. Ok, at this point we should have been checked into a mental hospital. Because we were definitely crazy. However, we made it to Disney World and back home to Lexington, KY and surprisingly no one was hurt in the making of this vacation. So if you're crazy like my husband & I and don't have tons of money to spend on flights then let me share with you three tips that really helped us get through "Road Trippin' with Little People ".

1. Plan Your Exit

Listen, the goal is to have your children sleep as log as possible during these long car rides. As a result, the best time to leave is during your children's bed time. Get all of your luggage packed into your car first and then slip your little adorable monsters right into their car seats while they are still in their comfortable pajamas and dreaming away. Now, most kids usually sleep about 8 to 9 hours when they are tucked away in their beds but because of their excitement of the vacation they probably won't sleep as long. However, you're still guaranteed to get a few hours of peace and quiet while driving.

 

2. Food on Deck

Now this is a given. Cookie Monster wouldn't be "Cookie Monster" if he didn't have cookies to eat. & our little Crumb Snatchers wouldn't be "Crumb Snatchers" if they didn't have snacks to eat. So go to the grocery store a day before your planned trip and pack a few things to hold these little adorable monsters over before they turn into not so adorable monsters. Here is what I usually grab at my local grocery store when "Road Trippin' with Little People."

1. Box of Juice Boxes & Mini Bottles of Water

2. A Bag of Cutie Oranges & Grapes

3. Small Individual Bags of Chips

4. Fruit Snacks (& not just any kind of fruit snacks but the animated type of fruit snacks. That way they become intrigued with the little characters they are about to nibble on.)

3. Go Go Gadget... Activity!

This too is also a given but you must plan accordingly to what type of activities to bring for your particular child/ children. For example, my Braxton isn't really into coloring and drawling but my London is. Additionally, be sure to visit your local library to grab a few books that comes with a CD. That way you're off of reading duty. Plus, I'm pretty sure the people who are reading the story will sound much more animated and exciting than you. LOL Now I know many of us parents don't like letting our children sit in front of a TV for a long period of time...blah blah blah. However, this rule has to get thrown out of the window when it comes to "Road Trippin' with Little People". Give them their little iPad or your phone and let them be. Seriously, you'll thank me later.

Happy Hunger Games... I mean Happy "Road Trippin' with Little People"!!

May the odds be ever in your favor.
— Effie Trinket