Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Don't Breastfeed Until You Read This

You've probably heard that breast milk is the best milk, right? And while this is true, there is so much more to it than it being the healthiest option. Although to most mothers that's all that matters, but to some others, there are many more factors to consider. Let's start with my breastfeeding background.

I breastfed my firstborn for one year and three months. Then I breastfed my second son for 11 months. I breastfed because:
  • I wanted to give my babies the best nutrition possible,
  • it was convenient for me, as a stay at home Mom,
  • I dislike washing dishes, so adding baby bottles...NO,
  • and formula is expensive.
I stopped breastfeeding my firstborn, because I felt he was old enough, he started exposing me in public when he got cranky, and I simply wanted to stop. On the other hand, I stopped breastfeeding my second son, because I was not producing enough milk.

Things You Should Know About Breastfeeding:
  • The first week is slightly painful, but it gets better.
  • It's easier to do, rather than making a bottle that has to be washed & sterilized after.
  • You might feel a little/ a lot awkward having a hungry baby savagely sucking your breast all the time.
  • You might feel hungry all the time. 
  • You might be one of the blessed few that breastfeeding causes to lose weight.
  • Your child might not get sick for the entire time while you're breastfeeding.(Immune systems varies)
  • Public feedings are tricky at first, but after a while you become a pro, or don't care much about nipple slips.
  • Pervs will watch intensely while you're nursing in hopes that they witness your world's most popular nipples.
  • Your milk supply decreases if you substitute a feeding for formula, without pumping( for several days).
  • Which leads me to, pumping out milk is annoying, but you have to do it to keep your milk production up, and to avoid engorgement.
  • Engorgement is painful, it feels like your breast is about to explode. Don't let it happen. 
  • The first 3 months, you will lose sleep. Also, the only thing your husband can do is wake you at 2 AM with a crying baby that needs to be fed. 
  • The big boobs don't last forever, once you stop breastfeeding, they disappear. (If your breast was small before the baby).
  • Breastfeeding takes away some(if not all) the firmest in your breast, but a good bra fixes that in a geefy.
  • While breastfeeding you might not want your breast involved in sexual activities, unless you're feeling super freaky.
  • Your child might bite your nipples. It hurts so bad, that you might even drop them(on the bed that is).
  • A lot of your friends/family members will see your breast sooner or later.
  • You will taste your breast milk and realize it's fresh like eggs, but pleasantly sweet.
  • You will feel super accomplished if you breastfeed for more than 1 week, imagine how you'll feel after one year.
  • Don't feel bad about not breastfeeding, if you tried your best, ignore the rest.
  • Don't allow people to determine when you should stop breastfeeding.
  • Don't allow people  to encourage you to give your baby formula, if you feel that you're producing enough, and your baby seems satisfied.
Overall, I had an excellent breastfeeding experience, and I would highly recommend that most women do it, for as long as they can.You will be overwhelmed at times, you won't feel like doing it at other times, but if you stick with it, eventually you will get the hang of it.

Sometimes life happens and you're unable to breastfeed your baby, don't beat yourself up about it. Breastfeeding is not for everyone. You can still bond with your baby while bottle feeding, and your child will still grow, and be healthy in Jesus name. I hope this helps in one way or another.

Now it's your turn to open up, just a little.
What are some of your breastfeeding concerns?

If you have breastfed, what was your experience like?

Let's have a heart to heart in the comments below.

Peace and Love.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

7 Reasons Your Goals are Unachievable | 5 Must Have 2015 Goals

Every year we make resolutions and don't exactly follow through with them entirely. But that's okay, we have another year to get our lives together. Resolutions are simply goals. And what would life be like if we did not have goals. Before we go into that, knowing the reasons why you failed in the past will help you to avoid failure in the future. Here are the seven reasons your goals are unachievable.
1. They are not realistic goals- If you don't have a realistic plan, you cannot succeed. Also having too many goals is just as unrealistic as not having one at all.
2. Laziness- Lack of energy or having no zeal to achieve your goals is a major road-block. Get that energy up! 
3. Negative mentally- Negative thoughts equals negative outcomes. Stop thinking negatively.
4. Fear- Whether it's fear of changes, people's reaction...etc, fear will always hinder your goals.
5. Occupying your time with the wrong things- Self entertainment can consume the time you could've spent working towards achieving your goals. Instead of spending 6 hours watching reality TV, read a self-help book, exercise, have a family devotion. Etc. Don't get me wrong a little entertainment is okay, but too much of anything is bad.
6. Lack of encouragement- Not having a support system can discourage you, but sometimes you have to encourage yourself when people fail you.
7. Inconsistency-  If you decide to do something everyday, it doesn't matter how you feel, just do it. Stop procrastination in it's track.
 Now that we know what led to our past failures, here are five must have goals for 2015.
Goal #1. Listen to your conscience. Have you ever heard someone say, "Something told me don't do it, yet I did and now.." something bad happened. This something is no something, it is the voice of the holy spirit within you. If you ever wondered how God speaks to us, this is how. Through our conscience. In order to hear our conscience correctly, our conscience must be clear, and we must have a relationship with God. This is by far the most important goal in life.
Goal #2. Set realistic short term and long term goals.  For instance, if you want to lose weight, give yourself a year rather than 4 weeks. If you want to own a house, evaluate your current income, and go from there. Sometimes we set goals that are unrealistic and get discouraged when we don't achieve them. Don't do that.
Goal #3. Be healthy. Yes if you follow me on social media, you know I'm a foodie. But I eat all things in moderation. I also love to share. And that works for me. However, if you know that a slice a cake will make you gain weight in a week, don't do it. Be healthy. The key way to being healthy is to eat healthy. Along with eating healthy exercising has lots of health benefits. 30 minutes a day is all you need, however if you are trying to lose an excessive amount of weight you can do more. But at least take 30 minutes in your day to exercise. A little walk won't hurt much.
Goal #4. Always be positive and surround yourself with like-minded people. How can you be positive if you have negative people in your ears all the time, speaking discouragement into your life? Get rid of them. It doesn't matter how it looks, always look at the positive in everything, and surround yourself with positive people. "Birds of a feather flock together", right?
Goal #5. Fearlessly get yourself out there. The absence of faith is fear, so take a leap of faith and bind your fears in Jesus name. Invest in yourself, join a group, go to networking events, get to know people and let people get to know you... Etc. Opportunities won't come knocking if no one knows that you exist.
These are my goals for 2015 and beyond. Let these be your goals as well, and let's see how far it takes us.
What is one of your short/long term goal and how do you plan to achieve it?
Let's have a heart to heart in the comments below.
Peace and Love.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Simple Apple Pie Recipe

You will need:
Store bought 9" pie crust (Pillsbury brand is great, I tried Shurfine not so much)
3 Granny Smith Apple(cored, peeled, & sliced)
4Tablespoon unsalted butter
1/2 cup of brown/white sugar
1.5 tablespoon flour or more
2TBSP water or more
Nutmeg & Cinnamon
1.Thaw out your frozen pie crust for 10-20 minutes, as directed.

The sauce Mixture

2.Melt the butter in a small pan on low heat.
3.Once the butter has melted to a light yellow color, add the flour to form a paste like consistency. 4.Then add the water so that it's not too thick(but not too watery either).
 *If you accidentally made it too watery just add some more flour, vice versa.*
5. Add the sugar. I don't like it to be too sweet, but you can add a little more sugar if you like.
6. Simmer the mixture for 3/4 minutes, stirring occasionally. If done right, the sauce will caramelize and look like caramel.

The Pie Magic

7. Once your sauce is done, prick some holes to the bottom of the crust.
8. Add your sliced apples to the panned pie crust, then sprinkle with nutmeg and cinnamon.

9. Pour your sauce mixture evenly over the apples.
10. Then bake for 10 minutes at 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Then lower heat to 350 and bake for 35-40 minutes or until crust is golden brown, but not burnt.
*I tossed a nectarine in there, just to try it out. It was bitter, but if you want some acidity you can add one to your pie.

Enjoy with a nice scoop of Vanilla  Ice Cream. So delicious!


Wednesday, January 14, 2015

I Don't Know My Husband

We've been together for almost 6 years, and I thought I knew him like I did the back of my hands. Then again I don't really know the back of my hands, because I hardly pay attention to it.  But you know what I mean. Anyways my sweet husband and I were sitting down in the living room, watching something that was so irrelevant, that I can't even remember the name of it. I have no idea what we were talking about, and maybe this is why he comes up with what I'm about to tell you. He looks at me and he says, "You don't know me." 

"Say what! Come again," was my initial response. Did I really just hear my hubby-bubbly say that I don't know him. I looked him in the face and although he was smiling and shaking his head, like "I can't believe this," he said it again like he really meant. Like it was something that was on his chest that needed to get out.

At first I tried to laugh it off, but it then felt like a dagger to my heart. Here I was thinking that I was doing all I needed for my boo, only to receive an internal(not literal) slap in the face. Then he goes on to say...wait for it... " Why don't you blog about that."

Oh no he didn't. Gurl he sure did. So here I am blogging about it. He listed his reasons and it had me thinking,"Mehn, maybe he is right." So before some of you make the same mistakes that I did, I'm sharing this so that you won't, or continue to make these mistakes. Here are some ways to get to know your husband.

When you ask "How was your day", mean it. I usually ask him everyday how was his day, and he says the same thing everyday. "It was okay." And we move on to another topic. Apparently I don't mean it, hence the reason I asked it in the first place. Right? So what is a woman suppose to do, interrogate him? He said his day was okay right?
Apparently he felt that I could have gone more in depth and ask more questions about his day like I actually cared.  He believes that I'm asking like a robot, repetitious, routine, just to say I asked. And when I think about it, maybe he's right, just a little bit. Shame on me! But hey, at least I asked right. Don't make this same mistake, ask specific questions, and even if you get a one word response, ask another.

Remember his favorite things. So he decides to prove how much I don't know him. He asked, "What is my favorite color?" "Take the wheel Jesus",  how am I suppose to remember that? He almost never wears the color, let alone owns anything that's the color. Anyways y'all better know your hubby's favorite things, especially his favorite color, because that was embarrassing for me. Even if you think you know it ask again, who knows it might have changed over the years.

Ask him about current things he's working on.  For instance, if he's reading a book, genuinely ask him about it. If he's working out, ask how many pounds has he lost. If he travels a lot, ask about his experience and some of the interesting things he saw. If you can care less, no point in asking right. But do it because you care for him. You might get 'short and sweet' responses, but keep asking. He can't say you've never made the effort, right? Make it your business to find out what's going on with him.

Make conversations more about him sometimes.  Is it my fault he didn't  have much to say when I asked him a question, rather than a 'short and sweet' response all the time, give a lengthy one. Anywho I just felt that if you don't care to talk about yourself to me, I'll talk about what's going on with me. Is that bad? Well ladies hate to break it to you, but apparently saying in depth how your day was, since your hub did not want to return the favor is bad. Apparently you come across as a self centered queen, that the world revolves around. Boy that was mean. You have been warned. Make a few conversations about him, and zip it about yourself just for a few.

Well, that's all I got for now. If I happen to learn any more tips, I'll let you in on it. I appreciate my husband's honesty. Sometimes it's a bit on the blunt side and may sting a bit, but nevertheless he's speaking his mind. And what can I say, I love him for it.

This post was written to be slightly humorous with some sarcasm. But on a serious note, we can get so complacent in our lives, that we forget to continue getting to know our husbands(I know I did), like we did when we first met them. Don't make the same mistake I did.

I know there might be some women that truly don't know their husbands. You feel you're growing apart from them. Before walking away from the marriage, go to counseling, go on more dates, get to know each other again, try to make it work. Every marriage has it ups and downs, but we do what it takes in the name of love, and to keep our covenant.

Let's have a heart to heart in the comments below. "In two words describe your husband,  boyfriend, or dream husband (positively)."  Then share your thoughts on this subject. 

Peace and Love.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Feeling Alone In Your Struggles

"You don't have to think that you are all alone in your situation. Psalm 27:10 states, "Though my father and mother forsake me, the Lord will receive me." Even if your family have written you off, because they aren't pleased with your actions, or you don't feel like there's no one on your side, just know that God is always there for you. Seek him in your time of need, he will be there for you. He's got your back all the time.
Being a single parent, I once thought, 'I can't do this' or 'This is hard', but one day while I was listening to this preacher, he stated that whatever you are going through you are not alone. Like in Isaiah 41:10 "so do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand."
I began seeking the word of God and now I am confident and at ease that God is with me through my single parenthood. And I knew that my struggle will not be forever. My daughter is now four years old, acting like a teenager. She even does her homework by herself sometimes without my assistance. Single parenthood is becoming easier for me.

Whatever you are going through whether it is trying to finish college, going through a breakup, and going through family separated from you, it isn't easy. Knowing that God is with you and you are not alone, it will get easier and it will be over soon. A saying that I live by that keeps me motivated is, "This too shall pass". Nothing lasts forever, therefore whatever you are going through, it will come to an end." 
                                                                                                  Written by S. Charles a.k.a. Single Mom

This is a post written by my sister to encourage and inspire women, especially single mothers like herself that you are not alone. If you have a story/testimony that you feel would inspire other women, I would be glad to share it on my page.

Have you ever felt alone in your struggle? I hope this was a message in due season. Let's have a heart to heart in the comments below.