Mothering the Mama
This shop has been compensated by Schwarzkopf. #ColorAndMoistureAtCVS #Sponsored

Alright, let’s take a trip.

You’re on your way to the hair salon, ALONE, and no kids in tow. You arrive, early, of course, I mean hello no kids remember! You lean back into a sink full of warm water flowing all over your scalp. You rise feeling clean and fresh. You head over to the chair and begin to laugh chat and hang with your hair dresser. Catching up on the latest shows, celebrity gossip, and reality TV. Before you know it, you’re spun around forward and facing a brand new dew feeling completely amazing!

Now you are awake. How amazing did that feel!? Now if you’re a mama, this day trip to the salon seems like a far fetched dream, but what if you could have the same type of feeling on in your own home or safe space?

Before I had Tate, dying my hair was just the thing to do. I loved changing my color every other month, coming up with a new style and just going with the flow of my emotions. But after Tate was born, things are a little different, not only physically with my hair, which we’ll get to a bit later, but also like with everything else in motherhood. 

I am in the process of writing a “how to make the most out of nap time” series, but coloring/doing my hair done at home is at the very top of my list. All of us mamas know just how hard it is to find and confirm a sitter, so we’re not wasting it when we get the chance. That’s why the new Schwarzkopf® Keratin Color + Moisture line from CVS is my favorite! It leaves your hair feeling nourished and moisturized giving you that fresh salon feeling right from home! Plus, being a curly ethnic girl it’s sometimes hard to find the right at-home products. But the Keratin Color + Moisture was specifically designed for women of color. The shades work on dark hair and complement all hair textures and skin tones. These professional quality formulas are salon tested & approved too.

As I said earlier, the physical structure of my hair changed after pregnancy and breast feeding. Once I stopped breast feeding Tate, my hormones must have hit a major drop because the texture of my hair changed immensely. It went from smooth and hydrated to dry and brittle. Here’s a tip mamas, do all you can to retain your moisture and be absolutely so very sensitive with your brand new luscious locks. Keratin Color + Moisture provides deep nourishment, a moisturizing conditioner, vibrant color results & damage hair protection. And for a mama like me who changes the color of her hair with the seasons, this added protection is a must have! The Keratin Color + Moisture is intense caring color that is formulated to help protect your hair from damage. The enhanced K-Bond Plex repairs inner hair structure and coats the hair surface after the colorations process for strong and healthy- looking hair. Aka, a complete mama makeover win!

Here are 3 simple tips for making the most out of nap time with dying your hair at home.

1. Plan.  Before you even put baby down for a nap, have a plan in place in your mind for what you are going to do once the baby is asleep.  Like, I will turn on Jane the Virgin, set up in front of the tv, grab the packaging from under the sink.   

2. Prepare. The second part of this process is to make sure it's all set up and ready to go.  From gloves unwrapped, bottle out of packaging, even down to having your mirror and phone ready for the next step.  Remember, you planned for these steps, so now it's just set up time.  You do not want to be wasting precious time fumbling around with the set up

3. Execute. Now it's time! Don't forget to step back and take a picture, mama!  You did it, your hair color is fabulous and now you can sit back and bask in how wonderfully you pulled off that task during nap time.

If you follow me on Instagram, you know my most recent hair color was jet black.  This time around, I went for a fun bun coloring, while leaving the darker hair up front. Y'all know how us mamas love a good #mombun, so I decided to spice it up a little.  As a mama, one of my absolute favorite self-care activities is the glamour days. Whether that’s hair or nails, I LOVE getting pampered! With my litte guy, it’s so much harder to get this done simultaneously throughout the regularly scheduled programs of our day. But since it is one of my favorites, it’s not something I skip out on. When I know it’s a hair or nails type of day, I pull out all the stops and make sure I get exactly what I need. And Schwarzkopf® Keratin Color + Moisture helped me get the job done just right! 

Take care of you too, mama.

Aysia B. 

This shop has been compensated by P&G and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #MyBestZzzs #CollectiveBias

How many times have you put your little one to bed, sat and thought about what you can do for yourself in those next few hours? Trust me mama, you are not alone. For the longest time when my baby boy was asleep I spent countless hours up doing things like laundry, sweeping, mopping, dishes and before I knew it he was up in 2 hours for his feeding session. After he’s done his feed it’s time for me to turn in for the night and before I realize it I haven’t done anything for myself at all! I quickly decided that was not going to work. I had to get a routine.  

For me, my night time routine is one of my absolute favorites! I make sure I get enough skin care, tv time and sleep time. 

Here’s my top tips for creating the perfect nighttime routine as a mama:

Planning. Before the night comes plan out what you want to accomplish that night. Maybe tonight it’s catching up on your favorite shows. Maybe it’s skin care. Or maybe it’s my favorite; sleep! ZzzQuil Pure Zzz’s beauty sleep and ZzzQuil Pure Zzz’s melatonin liquid set me off on the perfect start to getting a great nights sleep. ZzzQuil Melatonin great tasting liquid's unique botanical blend of chamomile, lavender, valerian root and lemon balm in addition to melatonin ingredients help me fall asleep naturally. My ZzzQuil Melatonin gummies which are infused with Melatonin+Ginger and Grapeseed flavored with White Grape Raspberry, abstract help me wake feeling radiant and refreshed! Whatever it is that’s on your list, make note of it and as soon as baby falls asleep, tackle that list!

Hover over the image below to check out the ZzzQuil Melatonin+Chamomille & Lavender liquid, as well as my favorite the ZzzQuil Beauty Sleep Gummies!

Prepare. Prepare for the task obviously but prepare for interruptions mostly! As of all us mamas know babies are completely unpredictable. And just because your personal time gets slightly interrupted does not mean you part ways with the whole routine! Instead, you plan for it. If you know your baby is not a through the night sleeper (hands raised high “in the air air” over here) then plan for them to wake up. Set a point in your routine that you know is a good stopping point and choose not to stop before that unless absolutely necessary. For me, this point is right after my moisturizer is applied to my face and I am about to pop one of my ZzzQuil pure Zzz’s Melatonin Gummies. I know the secret to beauty is a beautiful nights rest and I want nothing to come in the way of that.  So I plan to take a moment and check on Tate right before taking one of the non habit forming gummies to ensure nothing interrupts me and my beauty sleep. 
Prioritize. If you follow me on my social channels then you know one of my favorite things to discuss is intentional self care. As mamas it’s one thing to know you need self care and it’s another to say “nope this is happening, THIS is what I am doing”.  And that is how committed I want you to be to making your nighttime routine a thing for you. Prioritize your routine above the laundry, the moping and sweeping. Yes, that can be done as well but not done INSTEAD . Remember mamas, you can’t pour from an empty cup.

If it’s one thing I hold near and dear to me it’s my time. As a mother I sacrifice so much that the least I can do is carve out an hour of a 24-hour day and devote it to myself. Sleeping is my personal self care activity but what can it be for you? Maybe it’s a late night workout, binge watching tv with ice cream or maybe even a simple cuddle and read session with the hubby.  Whatever it may be make it a priority and stick to it. I know when it’s time for me to get my time in, ZzzQuil’s Pure products help calm my mind and and body giving me a much more restful sleep. That is 100% for me.  

p.s. these products are NEW and exclusive ONLY at Walmart be sure to check them out. And check out all the other amazing ZzzQuil products here!

Take care of you too mama,
Aysia B. 

This statement has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

Whoever thought having a decent meal with a busy toddler was easy was wrong.  But the person who decided doing it in a busy restaurant was easier, you’re dead wrong.  When Tate had turned just about 12-13 months restaurant eating was my biggest fear.  The quiet tables, long wait times and restraining high chairs was easily enough to make this mama go mad.  Then I realized I was going about it all wrong.  I needed steps and tricks to make this thing work and it just wasn’t going to happen overnight.  

Similar to when you tackle any task you need to first realize what you are trying to get. And for me, I’m trying to get a nice dinner with a quiet toddler. Not too much to ask right?

Here are my 5 top tips I use when restaurant dining with my kiddo:
  1. Company.  As we know with all kiddos it’s never 100% what you get.  Some days they wake up and they are absolute angels.  Saying please and thank you, using their words instead of crying or just simply hugging you just because.  Then theres other days, they spend the majority of the day mimicking their favorite movie, Tarzan, aka they’re straight savages.  Screaming at the top of their lungs, all of a sudden they don’t know how to talk and oh look at that, they decided poop is better on walls then in their diapers. I say all this to say choose who you dine with carefully.  We all have that friend who stares at us with embarrassment when our kid misbehaves in public.  Yea, don’t take that friend to the restaurant.  Instead take your understanding friend that gets sometimes kids will just be kids and theres nothing you can do about it.  You’re going to try to keep your baby calm with these next few steps but choosing a good partner right here at this starting point makes things a little easier in the long run.  
  2. Seating.  When you go into the restaurant it’s probably best to NOT choose the seat right in the front or the one directly in the middle.  We don't want to steer away the incoming customers nor do we want to make it a terrible time for the majority of the restaurant by sitting right in the mix of things.  Try asking for a table in the four corners of the restaurant.  Those spots are typically less ideal spots for other eaters and it’s quiet.  In these spots you can feel less embarrassed if your babe starts to cry and if they do need to get out and “stretch their little legs”, you can do so without chasing them away from other tables while they act as the restaurant greeter.  
  3. Distractions and play.  Now, I understand how a lot of mamas feel about this but if you follow me on Instagram, there are a lot of times you’ll watch my stories and Tate is completely engrossed in his ipad.  So let me just say this clearly.  I am a iPad mama.  I don’t believe in letting perfectly good resources go to waste.  However, this is not saying this works for everyone.  It just works for me and mine.  Tate is one of the smartest little boys I know and we hear that from teachers, other parents and friends too.  So no, the iPad isn't ruining his brain or delaying his development.  Plus we watch a lot of learning/ singing songs.  But, I digress.  Waiting for your food as an adult is hard.  Every plate that walks by makes your stomach growls a little louder each time.  So imagine as a little person when your hungry and bored.  It’s hard!  This is why distractions are so important.  For me distractions usually start out with the coloring sheets they give all the little ones in establishments. But being as though my little guy is only 17 months (#where’dmybabygo) coloring is sometimes not the best for us.  He easily gets over the activity and crayons soon become darts at the person across the table.  Our next activity is usually pulling out the "restaurant toolkit".  You can download what I have in mine HERE.  Whatever will keep him quiet the longest is what goes first and sometimes, they all have to come out and make an appearance.  Whatever works for you and your little one make sure to always have it on hand in any waiting period especially at a restaurant. 
  4. Meal choice.  Now this one is one me and Tater tot are still trying to figure out.  If you remember when Tate first started eating food, I was making his food from scratch and it was a guessing game of what he would eat and what he wouldn’t.  Well, nowadays we have made a full circle and have returned to this fun stage of life.  One day he loves chicken and it’s all he wants to eat and the next he hates it and will have a full on crying fit if I place it in front of him.  Refer to number one for my toddler by day, savage by night reference.  When choosing an item off the kids menu I not only look for things that are healthy choices, but I choose an item I know my baby boy will eat and enjoy.  Thus, being another activity that will keep him busy and quiet for the next hour and if we’re lucky, the remainder of the meal.  
  5. Relaxxxx.  I know I use this one a lot of times with my tips but the fact is, it’s the best advice I can give you for every walk of motherhood.  Staying calm is the way to get through most situations in life, but especially as a mama.  No matter if it’s breastfeeding, beach trips or the restaurant.  Remaining calm helps you not only see the problem differently but allows you to get through the situation without any added stress.  Enjoy the moment with your little one.  After all, it’s like a date with your mini best friend. 

Every stage of life with your little one will always come with it’s own trials and tribulations.  Ours right now happen to be perfecting restaurant visits.  And whether we’re at Applebees, Olive Garden or Ruth’s Chris, I want to be sure that Tate’s behavior is as on point as a 1 year olds can get.  Using these steps we’re on our way to yet another conquered stage.  

Take care of you too mama,

Aysia B. 

Download my top 5 toddler restaurant kid must-haves HERE!

We’ve all heard the saying;

"It’s takes a village to raise a child” 

And after I had my son I learned how much that was true. Without some of the people in my corner for last minute baby sitting gigs, rides and more, I for sure would have lost my mind in some situations. But what’s more important in all of that, is that while they thought they were just taking care of Tate they were truly taking care of me and my needs too.

Mamas don’t get many moments to themselves. But when they do it’s important the moments help fill up theirs cup so they can get back home and pour into their babies and family.

As you know, this past month I went on two trips. One with my girls and one with my family. This literally was the best balance I could think of. I was able to get some quality time with my girls without having to think of diaper changes, feed or sleep schedules. It was simply amazing.

But I would never be able to do these things if it wasn’t for my village. My parents kept Tate for the extended weekend making it easy to not worry about his care during that time. And my girls gave me just the right amount of mix between fun and relaxation to make it an unforgettable vacation.

I think at times we mamas forget the importance of our own self care needs.  And that of course is okay.  I mean think of all the other things we have on our plates!  What's important is having people around you who remind you to take this time.

My village doesn’t just support Tate. They support me as well. They support my mental health, my emotional health and definitely my physical health.

Finding your tribe is one of the most important things you can do in motherhood. Don’t just let the village raise your child, let it help raise your motherhood too.

Take care of you too mama,

Aysia B.

Y’all, I just vacayed back to back. Like legit 2 weeks in a row. You would think that means I’ve had enough self care to last for months but in reality, I need a self care break from vacationing. Ugh I know, such first world problems.

My first vacation was a girl’s trip that I’ll tell you guys all about in next week’s post. My second trip was a family trip for a week long baseball tournament. True Bly occasion if you know my family. But the most important part of this trip for me was after having a girls vacay I was able to come home and have one with my baby boy too.

Honestly, this trip would have taken me out if it wasn’t for one thing; preparation. Listen taking on a toddler with 2 flights, 4 baseball game days (sometimes double headers), and a small hotel room for 6 days is straight madness. And though we had very very minute bumps and bruises along the way I swear Tate was an angel baby. He is truly the best travel companion ever.

To reward his good behavior amongst all the baseball madness, I had to make sure we had some things just for him. That for me was the aquarium and of course the beach!! If you know this mama you know one thing, I LOVE THE BEACH. Like can be out there all day; in the water, in the sand, it doesn’t matter just have me on a beach! So it’s only right that baby boy experienced the tradition right. And guess what?! He loves the beach just as much as I do. I see many more trips in our future and I definitely will continue to be prepared for them all!

Here’s my top 5 tips for an epic beach trip with a toddler:

1. Planning. Plan, plan, then plan again. Plan the dates, the time, the location, the people; everything! For us we knew we would be in Daytona Beach this week for my brother’s baseball tournament so it’s only right we included a beach trip. We knew arrival day would be too much for the beach being it was travel day, so we planned for the very next day early in the morning before the sun got too strong and it turned out to be perfect! Planning keeps you from running around like a chicken with your head cut off. Or at least let’s you save that for later things.

2. Protection. I wouldn’t be a nurse if I didn’t put this on the list would I? This is a very all inclusive part but - sunscreen - hat - floatie Though there is so much more that could be added to this list, these were my top favorites. Sunscreen because nobodies got time for cancer. Hat (which was a fight to keeps on Tater’s head) as an extra piece of protection from the strong sun. Floatie because though Tate has taken his swim classes, he’s no pro yet.

3. Food. If you know Tate, then you know you can’t do an occasion without including some snacks. There are plenty of options for this category. Pack, buy, make. There was a spot on the beach to purchase food and have it personally delivered to you. We used that to get a Snow Cone. I instead packed a few of Tate’s favorite snacks and then my dad got us pizza on the beach! A little mixture of both worked for us just fine .

4. Toys. I feel like this is a must at any toddler function, but especially on the beach. I purchased a $2 shovel and bucket from Walmart and it served as the perfect distraction for my little tot while I took a much needed mama break on the sand aka I laid out and got the most perfect tan ever. Later, I found a mini beach play set and it was so cute! We took this one back home with us.

5. Fun! I mean honestly how can you not include this! I am so very happy that Tate seems to love the beach as much as I do. We ran along the shore, splashed in the water and played in the sand. It was the most perfect beach experience I could have ever asked for. I cannot wait to do it again with him! 

Though vacations are fun, I think I’m done for at least 2 months haha. There’s nothing like your own bed. Use these tips to take your little one to the beach and let me know how it goes! I love beach stories almost as much as I love the beach!

Take care of you too mama,

Aysia B.

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