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Are They Really Your True Friends?| 9 Ways to Spot a True Friend When You See One

True friends. Are they your true friends? 9 Ways to Know

Ever wonder about your friends? Are they really, for real-for real, your friends? I have a small circle of true friends. I am selective about who I allow in that circle. The awesome guys and chicas I call my true friends have some really important qualities in common. How do yours stack up? See below.

They are genuinely happy for you

Some people can’t be. Call it jealousy, envy, insecurity, hate, or mental illness….there are some people who see your successes/growth/failures only as it relates to them and only from their perspective. If you told them about a bowling match you won, they’d think you only won because they weren’t there to compete. If you told them about a new restaurant you love they’d tell you that they’ve never been but the one they like is better. True friends can really be happy for you and are genuinely excited to see you progress and grow.  I feel comfortable sharing my ideas, hopes, dreams, and successes with them.

They help you focus on the positive

I don’t thrive off gossip. Nor do I wallow in negativity. When I find myself sinking, I do all I can to fight my way out. I yearn for positivity, light, and joy. My true friends help bring positivity to my life and I can usually count on them for good, deep down, gut jiggling laughs and good times.

They help bring out your best

Iron sharpens iron I enjoy being around people who challenge me to better and who I can learn from. I appreciate friendships that help to bring the best out of me. Stretching me the be able to obtain my goals and see for myself the reality of my wildest dreams. Blessing me with knowledge and experience that I didn’t have to go out and learn myself.

They aren’t afraid to confront you

It is important to have a friend who you trust to confront you when you are wrong, need to hear the truth, or need guidance. They have to have courage and care enough to do it and not sit back and watch your demise. A true friend will let you know when you’re slacking on you “goal pimpin’ ” and refer you to this post.

They will make sacrifices

A true friend will allow you to be celebrated, take a back seat sometimes, and make sacrifices in your favor. They will sacrifice their time, to listen, their money, if you needed it, their emotions, and experiences in order to help you grow.

They are Consistent

A true friend doesn’t have to call you every day to be there for you. Some friends I don’t even talk to once a month, but I know they would be there if I needed them. More than being constant, which refers more to frequency, I appreciate consistency, which I relate more to quality.

They are Trustworthy

Worthy of trust. You can count on your true friends to be honest and truthful.  They prove time and time again that they have strong character. You can trust their opinion and their intent. A true friend can keep your deepest secrets and will not throw your failures back in your face with the intent to hurt you. They will lift you when you are low. You can rest assured that your personal business won’t be spread around like peanut butter on someone else’s toast….

They are Transparent

No bone collectors over here! As an extension of dealing in honesty and truth, true friends are transparent. They are not hiding in plain sight. One of my friends defines it as “being willing to not just receive information but also share information with the same zeal”. As you divulge your truth, they offer up theirs as well, for connectivity, healing, and greater understanding of each other’s paths and purpose.

They give an Unconditional Love

A true friend will be understanding, forgiving, and love you unconditionally.  Their love has no strings and isn’t contingent upon your performance from week A to week B. Not one of us is perfect, a true friend knows this and has compassion. Loving you at your best and worst.

 

From chasing my desired career, attending school, and being a working adult to being a caregiver, now a new mom, and daughter who lost hers, I haven’t always been accessible physically or emotionally. I have given what I could where I could and I’m blessed to have friends who still rock with me….They have helped keep me sane and not lose my mane. (Shout out to every kernel of corn in this post..I was on it today lol )

Remember to do your best to be the friend you want to have ❤️

What qualities do you look for or appreciate most in your friends?

1 In Featured

Mother’s Day 2017 | Top 10 Gift Ideas

Mother's Day 2017 is just around the corner. Get a quality and thoughtful gift for the mom in your life, check out our Top 10 picks!

This was the first year I realized there was a different Mother’s Day recognized in the UK. I was super confused when I saw it. But I celebrated anyway and went out to eat. I’ll be celebrating twice from here on out!

This year, on May 14,  I’m celebrating my first official Mothers Day, and remembering my own mother. My mom always enjoyed a quality gift. Not just some mess somebody found lying around the house and slapped a bow on it. And any money you spent on a card, she would’ve rather had in her hand.

After doing a bit of research, I’ve come up with 10 Mother’s Day gifts for a mom who values quality and thoughtfulness. Most are under $100 and great for other occasions as well.

Each image is “clickable” and will direct you to the product listing on Amazon. If you do choose to make a purchase using one of the links below, I will earn a small commission (see Legal)

 

1. Keurig coffee maker $93

For the coffee drinking mom, this one is a great idea and sure to get a lot of use. It offers the option to enjoy a variety of coffee and flavors with the use of K-Cups.

2. Nutribullet Blender $80

For the health conscious mom, or even the mom who enjoys a sweet blended treat, the Nutribullet is an awesome choice. She can fill with her favorites, twist the lid, flip upside down into the base and push down to enjoy a fresh daily green smoothie or even a fresh fruit pina colada.

3. Flowers $35

Flowers are classic. Send her favorites or a beautiful assorted bouquet like the one above. Don’t forget a personalized note! You can just send flowers, but if I sent them to my mom solo, she’d be like, “Is that it?! Where’s the rest of it?!”, so… I’d give her something else in addition (candy, chocolate covered strawberries, a gift card, cash, dinner at a restaurant, etc.)

4. Rainbow Vision Sand Picture $90

For the mom who loves art, appreciates all things Zen, or even one who just loves a great statement/ conversation piece. This sand art piece is stunning and unique. You may see similar looking ones, but this one is the sharpest, best built, and classiest one out the bunch.

5. Literary Scarf $48

For moms who love their books, a scarf like this one is a hit. If there is a particular classic she is fond of, having a scarf with its beloved words may make her heart melt. Also this neutral color goes well with anything.

6. Massage Gift Card $50

Who doesn’t need a massage?! Show your appreciation for all of the hard work and resulting stress she endures/endured being such a great mom. Help her relax, release, and renew with a trip to the spa or masseuse.

7. iRobot Roomba 960 Robotic Vacuum $599

This is a pricey one, but the investment could afford mom more time for herself and the family. It is also a great Mother’s Day gift for mom’s who have limited or strained mobility due to age or other factors.

8. Jo Malone London Body Cream $88 | Jo Malone Travel Cream (3 different fragrances) $60

Jo Malone Fragrances are rich and delectable. My personal favorites are “Wild Bluebell” and “Nectarine Blossom and Honey”.

9. Pandora Charm Bracelet $62

The Pandora Charm Bracelet is an excellent gift idea! You can purchase individual charms to add to the bracelet on different occasions in the future. It will become a true keepsake.

10. Dolce & Gabbana Light Blue Fragrance

Dolce & Gabbana Light Blue is a timeless scent that is also one of my “go to’s”. It’s clean, fresh, and reminds me of Miami, Fl. This scent is perfect for Spring or Summer and good for any occasion.

*Quality Time

As much as buying a thoughtful gift says, “I love you”, nothing says it quite like spending quality time.  If you live far away or are just really “busy”, taking the time to call or visit means so much. There is no guarantee on the time our physical bodies will be here. Don’t take this time for granted. If your relationship is strained, work to fix it. Talk, take a walk in the park, give a massage, create an experience, go to dinner, cook….Even if money is funny, spend your time.

 

*In addition to the items listed, consider a piece of jewelry with her birthstone. Also, find out if there is anything old or broken that she cherishes that you can have updated. (Cleaning an old ring, getting a new battery for an older watch, or even restoring an old photo)

Hopefully this guide will inspire your own ideas for the perfect Mother’s Day gift!

In Featured

How to Stop Procrastinating | 10 Easy Steps to Overcoming Procrastination

How to stop procrastinating, overcoming procrastination Green watch gold face

Nike says it best: Just Do It! For many of us though, it is not that easy. It takes a lot more than an upbeat slogan to tackle our list of “to dos” and to take those first few steps toward our goals, or take the last steps toward completing unfinished projects. Sometimes it seems so much easier to put off these projects and tasks to be completed another time. Tomorrow becomes next week, next week becomes next month, and next month becomes next year, or worse, the day never comes … Have you ever wondered how to stop procrastinating? I believe we all have. If you struggle with overcoming procrastination, I hope this will help. I’ve put together this list of steps that are helping me and will hopefully help you move from procrastination to productivity.

Overcoming Procrastination

  1. Get Focused

    Focus requires discipline and discipline requires practice. Develop a routine where you zone in on a specific task and get it done. Start practicing with little things for a small amount of time.

  2. Eliminate Distractions

    Set your phone to silent and move it away from you. If you must use your phone, there are apps that can limit your ability to open other apps on your phone for a certain period of time. Go into a quiet room. Don’t sit in front of a television if you know it will distract you. Try your best to separate yourself from anything that could take your mind away from the task at hand.

  3. Set a Time Frame

    Try setting a particular block of time to dedicate to completing tasks that require your attention.

  4. Write Down your Goals

    Make a note or set an alarm in your phone. Getting my goals out of my head and on to paper in the form of a task or “to do” list is usually my first step toward accomplishment. Writing goals and tasks down is honestly one of the key pieces of advice I would give anyone on how to stop procrastinating.

  5. Go Public

    Post your goal to your social media channels. Sometimes it helps when other people are expecting you to complete a goal and may give you an extra push.

  6. Get an Accountability Partner

    Like social media, other people have a way of inspiring us. Their presence and/or gentle nudging, can be just the push toward our goals that we need. Share your goal with a trusted friend whom you know will check in on you and stand with you in completing your goal. Make sure they will help to hold you accountable.

  7. Weigh the Importance

    Consider how important your goal is to you or people who depend on you. Consider also, what happens if it doesn’t get done.

  8. Initiate an Action

    Start somewhere. This really should be one of the first steps to overcoming procrastination. Sit down, pick up a pencil, or conversely, get up, go outside… Close the door, procrastination is literally putting off a task until later. Force yourself with all your might, to do it now. Right now. I’ll wait……. Promise I’ll be here when you get back.

  9. Prioritize Tasks from Greatest to Least

    Get the major tasks completed first. If you have a list of to dos, get the most complex, time consuming, or highest consequence bearing tasks completed first. The easier tasks will seem like a piece of cake after that.

  10. Resist the Urge to Compulsively Check Other Things

    If you have to check every notification on your phone, including email, social media, texts, calls, etc. You are likely to experience a great amount of distraction while trying to complete your tasks.

Now that you’ve read some of my tips on how to stop procrastinating, let today be the day that you take your first steps toward overcoming procrastination and achieving your goals. Feel free to share any tips that work for you! Also, check out my post on God’s Timing, here.

6 In Featured

6 Reasons you Should Absolutely Take Your Kids to an Art Festival

Woman wearing a turban and wearing baby in Baby K'Tan at an art festival

My sister, daughter Aven, and I attended the Festival on Ponce at Olmstead Linear Park in Atlanta last Saturday. The art festival was arranged down a pathway lined with vendors’ booths showcasing their art, crafts, and products. I love festivals and checking out local art, and  trying out the food. This was my first time visiting Olmstead Linear park.  The same event, Festival on Ponce, is slated to take place this fall. Below are 6 reasons you should absolutely take your kids to an art festival this season.

Inexpensive

There are many free art festivals and music festivals, especially Spring through Fall. Just look them up in your city!

Educational

Obviously, there is a lot to learn from every artist you see at a festival: details about how they craft their products, what mediums are used, facts about their personal inspiration, etc. However, a festival is also an opportunity to teach children about sales, money, and even bargaining. Additionally, some art festivals are strategically organized to take place in historic areas and/or support a worthy cause. Find out what you can about the area/cause and make it a learning experience.

You can even print off a scavenger hunt or make your own to increase your child’s engagement in the day’s events.

Free Parking

Lots of festivals will take place in a community where there will be free or cheap parking in neighborhoods or surrounding businesses. Consider using public transportation as well. At the Spring Festival on Ponce, we found free parking at a church across the street. The church was accepting donations though, for a Boy Scout troop, I believe.

Kid Friendly Activities

More often than not, there will be a designated area for children’s shows and activities. At the art festival we attended, there were plenty of activities for kids including face painting, bounce houses, and bungee jumping. Aven was seemingly intrigued by the bungee jumping set up.

blow up dinosaur slide kids activity at art festival

Awesome Art and Artists

I enjoyed viewing the art on display and chatting with a few of the artists. People are unbelievably talented. I couldn’t help but to appreciate the complexity, beauty, and creativity of the human mind. Seeing the manifestation of each artist’s vision was a testament to the fact that we can do anything we put our minds to.

Janine Monroe, artist at Festival on Ponce art festival.

The artist featured above is Janine Monroe. She had some of the most intriguing and awe inspiring pieces on display at the festival. Janine’s use of recycled wood along with pigments and acrylic polymers to create sculptures on canvas is brilliant! You can visit her gallery here.

Food

A festival is a one stop shop. You don’t have to go out to eat afterward. Usually there is plenty of food and snacks available for sale. On our outing we saw a line of food trucks in the park. The truck we decided upon had already sold out of a few items, so it’s always a good idea to come early. Aven also enjoyed her first King of Pops Grapefruit Mint popsicle.

The Pickle food truck at Festival on Ponce art festival

Moose Head kettle corn and popcorn for sale at Festival on Ponce art festival

African American baby girl in baby carrier Baby K'Tan eating a popsicle

Tips

You may want to bring:

  • A bottle or two of water
  • A few of your own snacks
  • Cash (although there is usually an atm and many vendors are equipped to take card payments)
  • Tennis shoes
  • Sunscreen
  • Visor or Hat
  • Hand Sanitizer

(contains affiliate links, see Legal)

  • My 6 month old doesn’t like being in her car seat carrier for too long so I brought along my Baby K’Tan baby carrier, I also have a more structured carrier from Ergobaby.
  • Because I’m still breastfeeding and often feed my daughter in public, I use this multi-use  muslin swaddle from Aden + Anais as a breathable coverup.
  • I also brought along my Canon T6i, which I’m still figuring out, to capture a few photos.

*If you have kids that are walking age, it may be helpful to locate designated “lost child areas” and come up with a plan before hand.

I’m looking forward to catching a few more festivals this season in Atlanta, such as the Sweet Auburn Fest, Georgia Renaissance Festival, Dogwood Festival, the Atlanta Jazz Festival, and the Atlanta Black Arts Festival.  Which festivals in your city are you looking forward to?

 

1 In Featured

Honey Face Mask with Ulmo honey

dark ulmo honey in white jar with wooden honey dipper to be used for honey face mask
This post contains affiliate links. For full disclosures, please view our LEGAL section. 

Over the years I have struggled with my skin. Since my first pimple in elementary school, I have been seeking a cure or the best treatment for my combination to oily skin. Treatments I have tried include: prescription gels and creams like differin, retin A, face washes like clean and clear acne wash, African black soap, and neutrogena acne bar. I’ve also tried steams, ingestible treatments like accutane and birth control, masks, and lots of prayer lol. I still use some of these products to maintain the health of my skin, and others I have ditched. I stumbled upon an awesome addition to my healthy skin regimen a few years ago, in my local health food store. This awesome find was honey. Not just your regular shmegular “honey” in the bear shaped container. I’m talking about raw honey, he best honey for skin. There is a major difference.

After googling “honey face mask” and reading about all of the possible benefits, I decided to give it a try. The honey I purchased was Ulmo honey. It comes from the Ulmo tree in Chile. It is labeled as an “active” honey. According to some studies and research, it is possible that this honey can cure some diseases and infections due to its high activity level.

Process

To make my honey face mask, I apply the ulmo honey on my skin in a fairly thin layer. I use an upward motion (from middle of face towards ears, middle of neck toward the sides, each application outward like an imaginary facelift lol)  and allow it to stay on my skin for about 15 minutes. Afterwards, I rinse with warm water. The honey is very sticky and its best to use on a damp face (not wet).

Result

My skin is softer, tighter in a good way, and looks noticeably refreshed with refined pores immediately after using the honey treatment. Over a longer period of use, I have noticed a natural brightening or “glow” on my skin.

I’ve not been able to find the first brand I tried. You can buy it in a gift shop in Chile, so, if anyone goes, grab a jar for me! The closest substitute I have found is Just Beez Chilean Rainforest honey. The second best I have tried is Wedderspoon’s Ulmo honey. Another honey I tried isn’t Chilean honey at all, but it was still actually good, was Y.S. Organic Bee Farms. Recently, I purchased a new Ulmo honey called Soco Honey, and I am excited to try it out. Others that I have not tried but may offer similar benefits include:

Equal Exchange

Patogonia Bee Products

Try a honey face mask made from Ulmo honey and your skin will thank you for it.

 

3 In Featured

Divine Delays-Trust God’s Perfect Timing

Divine Delays-Trust God's Timing written over a half view of a gold clock

He may not come when you want him but he’s always right on time. Hallelu hallelu hallelu .. This song always plays in my head when I’ve been waiting and waiting on God, and he finally comes through. Waiting out the delays in response time can be hard. Anxiety, fear, and worry can easily start to creep in, but I am learning to maintain my faith, even in the delays.  Have you ever been running late somewhere and on the way you pass a bad wreck and think, “Wow, that could’ve been me” ?

I do believe most things happen for a reason.  From time to time, I have examined my life and wondered why something happened or didn’t happen. I’ve thought about why I was not at some specific place in life that I thought I’d be at by a specific time. I’ve wondered why I’ve had to go through some of the things I’ve had to go through.

It has become clear to me over time, that some of the delays I’ve experienced in life have been for my own good. I have found that when something was delayed, I was not ready anyway. Often times, I thought I had a grip on a situation but did not in actuality and the delays made it possible for me to gain clarity. Other times, I’ve experienced delays that allowed the true colors of other people to shine through.

3 Reasons for Delays

  1. You are not ready yet. Many times we want things that we are not prepared for. There may be things you still need to learn. You may be lacking important qualities in your character. You may need to master where you are before moving to the next level.
  2.  The blessing isn’t ready yet. God  is a master coordinator. He knows each factor that will affect every particular outcome. The set for the bless up is real. There are circumstances that you could not anticipate,that he already knows about. He may be putting the right people in the right places years before you encounter them at the right time. The societal atmosphere, advancements in technology, the structure of your family, are among numerous variables that can play a role in when your blessing is due.
  3. What you are asking for is not for you. Sometimes the things we want are not meant for us. Trust that God knows best and has something better in store for you.  Stay open to new ideas, new ways of thinking and new possibilities.

I always have to remind myself that God knows best. The Bible urges us to not become weary in well-doing, for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not. Keep faith and work towards your dreams and goals, and at the right time your blessings will be more than you ever thought of receiving. Remember also, that a delay is not necessarily a denial. Trust God’s timing.

2 In Featured

Letting Go of Fear

bird soaring in white sky with no fear
I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.-Nelson Mandela

I have never gone bungee jumping. The closest I’ve come to it is being hoisted up several feet in the air on a bungee like apparatus at Six Flags. If I remember correctly, to my left was my scary friend at the time and to my right was my fearless friend. I was somewhere in between. Literally and figuratively.

I was never as scary acting as my scary friend but I was also not as brave and outgoing as my fearless friend, I was always just, somewhere in the middle. I am admittedly, an introvert. I enjoy my own company, a good bit of silence, a small circle or dot …of close friends and I can be what I would describe as socially awkward. Under the influence of alcohol, good company, and in the presence of strangers I will likely never see again I tend to morph into an intro-extravert.

Back to this Six Flags apparatus: We were high up in the air and were about to be dropped to swing (fly) several feet in front of us and my scary friend was holding my arm, in fear. I really wanted to experience this flight free of anything holding me back. So I let go and set my arm free. I flew unrestricted, unbound (except for the cords holding me up), and had a truly enjoyable experience.

Much like my scary friend, I used to allow my personality to hold me back from the exploration of so many greater opportunities in life. I used my personality as an excuse to avoid pursuing experiences that would push me out of my comfort zone. As I have matured, I have made conscious decisions to defy the fear, and push past my perceived limitations. In order to soar and reach new heights, it is oftentimes necessary to let go of the fear, the people, and your own perceived limitations that are holding you back. Fear is a natural mechanism that keeps us safe and out of the way of predatory creatures and unfortunate situations. But it can also be a paralyzing barrier between where you are and where you want to be.

Letting go of fear is a process. It will not be accomplished in a day, but why not start now? What kind of life do you want? What are you doing now to get you there? What are you afraid of and why? Is your fear more important than your future? Strive to be fear-less. Take it easy, be kind to yourself, but have less fear. Spread your wings and fly, not only for yourself , but for those who will watch you, and draw from you, their own inspiration.

1 In Featured

Maternity Hospital Bag Checklist

maternity hospital bag

Maternity Hospital Bag Checklist

Birthing my daughter was definitely one of the most physically painful experiences of my life. I did it with no epidural or drugs of any kind. I screamed to the high heavens but thankfully lived to tell the tale. Birthing was rough, but so was preparing for it. Choosing a hospital, deciding on a birth plan, attending classes, creating a nursery, building furniture and toys ( thanks boo!), exercising, remembering to take prenatals, doctor visits, working, eating healthy, and everything else involved in the preparation got to be a bit daunting. Packing a bag for the hospital should have been one of the easier tasks, but trying to decide what to bring was still somewhat difficult. I’ve put together this hospital checklist to help other mamas get that hospital bag packed and ready to go!

I had my bag packed and in my car about two weeks before my due date. Below are items I packed, items I wished I packed, personal tips and advice others shared with me.

  • ID/Driver’s license– Just bring your purse lol. It probably has items you’ll need.
  • Birth Plan– I used the Baby Center app to create a birth plan ( what I wanted and did not want to happen during the birthing process) and printed 4 copies. One for me, two for the doctors,nurses, and staff, and one for my partner.
  • Picture of my mother-In one of my birth preparation classes it was suggested that I have something to focus on during active labor/managing contractions. A tree, a window, a vision of myself on a beautiful beach somewhere we’re all possible focus points. I decided that I’d bring her pic to give me strength. I didn’t end up needing it because she was with me in spirit, but it was a nice thought.
  • Slide in house shoes-after vaginal delivery or c-section you won’t want to bend down to pull your house shoes on, trust me. Choose ones that you don’t mind getting dirty
  • Phone and charger– make sure you have space for pics. You may also want a playlist of songs during or after labor, I tried this but didn’t use the music much.
  • Robe– I had a knee length black robe that I wore while walking around the hospital. Remember hospital gowns are open in the back( but you can put a second one on like a jacket to cover up)
  • Socks– The hospital will probably give you a pair but it may be helpful to have a pair of your own.
  • Snacks -The hospital dining options are limited and there may be a point in your stay where nothing is open. Bring a few quarters in case you need them for a snack machine.
  • Water- Water is usually provided during your stay but you may have a certain type you like or like to drink without waiting fo the staff/nurse to bring it for you.
  • Ibuprofen-Shhhhhhh! Don’t tell anyone! I was given ibuprofen in the hospital during recovery, but only according to their time schedule. I hated being in pain and having to wait one more hour before getting pain medicine. The hospital staff monitors your dosage of pain meds. I assume an extra ibuprofen won’t hurt, but then again it could. Just be careful and do what works for you.
  • Toiletries- The hospital will most likely have a toothbrush, toothpaste, soap, shampoo, conditioner, hair comb, lotion,etc, but if you are like me, you’ll need your own.
  • Scarf /Bonnet-if you need to cover up sweated out hair. It was easier for me to throw on my bonnet for visitors than try to do anything significant to my hair.
  • A change of clothes for your partner– I packed a t-shirt and shorts just in case.
  • Outfit to go home in -I packed a slip on dress. Sadly, you’ll still be able to fit your maternity clothes 😩 so pick something easy to get in and out of (you’ll also be wearing maternity pads).
  • Nursing bra-I brought two that I ordered online.
  • Eyeglasses-I wear contacts and it was good to give my eyes a rest.
  • Makeup-if you plan to take professional pictures in hospital. I didn’t bring any but I wished I had.
  • Picture outfit and Going home outfit for baby- The hospital I birthed in had an optional baby photography service, so I packed a cute dress and flower headband for my daughter. I also packed a pre washed onesie and hat for going home. Hospitals usually provide their own onesie for babies.
  • An empty bag– for extras and hospital supplies *see below.

A word to the wise: Clear out items in your hospital room. Yes, I said it. Clear it out! Extra diapers, baby wash, mittens, socks, etc. Check the room for items that are intended for your use (and that you are paying for). Tucked away on the shelves in my recovery room were baby bottles in an insulated pouch, a baby spoon, a baby story time book, and a baby nightgown. If you think you may need them, ask for extra diapers, get extra numbing cream(for your lady parts) an extra squirt bottle (for warm water rinsing of your lady parts during toileting), chucks(underpads/padded sheets that I used to place on the floor of my bathroom to catch any accidental messes) and all the maternity pads, breast pads, mesh undies and cooling pads you can get. Having these extras REALLY helped.

Additional advice I received:

  • Don’t feel guilty about allowing baby to go to the nursery while you rest- so true! This is possibly the last night of good sleep you will have in a while.
  • Remember that this is your moment and you have the power to share it with who you want. Don’t be afraid to let people know you need your rest (ask a nurse to tell people visitation is limited and that you need your rest).

My experience was definitely smoother due to preparation. I was less stressed and better able to focus on the task at hand. Hopefully the same will be true for you❤️

‏Happy Birthing!

3 In Featured

Death of A Loved One

haunting black and white photo of three trees in a line

The death of a loved one is painful, scary, confusing, and can really be one of the most difficult things you will ever experience. Facing my mother’s death was all that and more. I felt empty, angry, and other ways that I couldn’t put into words if I tried. Thankfully, I had the support of friends and family to help me through. If you are dealing with the death of a loved one, I’d like to share a few tips that helped me and may be helpful for you.

  • Write down everything that you remember about them.- I read this advice somewhere online and it was so helpful. It has been a year since my mother passed away, and some of my memories are not as fresh as they used to be. I flipped through the pages of my journal recently and I was so glad I wrote down many of her sayings, dishes she would cook, and moments we shared.
  • Have someone else make the calls notifying friends, co workers, etc. of their passing. – I had help, but had to do some of it myself..it was torturous.
  • Keep a couple of sentimental items, but not a house full-After her death, getting rid of my mother’s clothes, personal items, furniture, has been painful but necessary. Allowing the clutter to build up around you could make things even more difficult.
  • Take as much time as you need.-I was able to take some time off work and was pregnant at the time, my spirit needed cleansing, especially before bringing a baby into this world. My sister and I took a trip to Hawaii and it did wonders. Surely everyone may not be able to do this, but it may be good to take a road trip, cruise, or visit another town to absorb different scenery and stimuli.
  • You do not have to respond immediately to people.- Well meaning family and friends will flood you with calls, texts, etc. You do not have to respond on their time. When you are ready, try a pre typed response “thank you so much for your concern and care, ……”
  • Allow a friend to visit- It can be quite depressing wallowing in your feelings alone. Allow someone to bring a meal, card, do a chore, etc.
  • Save as many voice recordings, voicemail messages, texts, letters as you can.-God knows I wish I had more.
  • Go to a psychologist, counselor, or join a griefshare/bereavement group in your area or even online. -speaking to a professional or group of other people experiencing a similar struggle can definitely help the healing process. Knowing that your feelings are valid and that you are not alone can bring you peace.

Lastly, know that it is natural to experience feelings of loneliness, emptiness, pain, guilt, anger, and overwhelming sadness after the death of a loved one. It will get better with time. Trust and believe that. Lean on God, your faith, family, friends, and keep busy during those especially hard times. This is what’s working for me and I hope it works for you.

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