6 Free and Fun Family Activities for the Weekend

Friday, February 22, 2019

I know I love doing things with my family 
and most of the time, if I’m not eating I’m spending moments with them! The mister will tell you I’m always looking for ways to have the most fun with the least amount of dollars, but I know some experiences come with a price tag!
 With so many ideas and places out there, it can get overwhelming and even with budgets, it can sometimes seem unattainable. Fun can happen with lots of laughs, creativity and genuine devotion to one another. 
Today I’m sharing some free, fun and family/oriented activities you can do with your tribe. 

Arts and Crafts
Make fun masks or crafts.  
Nate’s school project turned out to be a great moment for quality time with him and just daddy. We’ve made paper plate masks with the kids before and they loved it. The only downside was when we had to put them up. You can use empty cereal boxes, straws, construction paper, crayons and markers, craft supplies (I always get ours from the dolor store and sales at Micheal's or Hobby Lobby). You can even have some fun with food coloring and shaving cream!

Bored? Grab a board game 
We have acquired a stock thanks to sales during Black Friday or with miscellaneous money. We always try to get a new one during hurricane season if we’re expecting a direct hit because we don’t want to be stuck playing an old game by force. 

Singing Games
Finishing song lyrics (this is great idea for Family Worship nights with kingdom songs) or just shout words that come to mind after you stated another one. It’s a great way to be social, hear the creative things you or your child can come up with and laugh away at any silly melodies that come about. 

Walk in the Park
Take a stroll together. 
Our family picked Sunday to be active together for at least 20-30 minutes. We usually walk and the kids ride their scooters or run to and fro. 

Goods, Baked Goods
Make a dessert together. Life is sweeter when you bake together. 
It can be a quick açaí or smoothie bowl, quick half chocolate dipped banana or fruit bites, cookies or even a cake. Give everyone a task to help get the job done; someone can be in charge of reading (hey literacy skills), preparing the ingredients “mise en place” meets fine motor skills) and everybody is in charge of eating as enjoying a sweet treat. 

A trip to your local library
The library always has tons of educational and free resources. 
There’s writing workshops, story time, hobby/craft classes, and I don’t have to mention books right? We easily spend at least and hour here and you and your family can together too! 

**Other activities can include: local free festivals, sprinklers in the back yard, pool or beach day, and even playing dress up. 
Inculcating a giving spirit from a young age is a great way to teach giving can be fun as well (2 Corinthians 9:7).
Gather up clothes and/or toys together to give to your local shelter and make sure the whole family is involved. Evening writing thank you cards or drawing appreciation cards for close and far loved ones, who could use encouragement or a sweet reminder they are loved.

The key is to use what you have on hand and improvise, and remember, have fun!
I hope you guys have a productive and eventful filled weekend. 
What do you and the family have planned? 

-xo Natasha 

8 children’s books with black main characters

Friday, February 1, 2019

All book covers were found on Amazon

From a young age, I loved to read! My mom said 
she would read to me while I was still a bun in the oven, and would show me pictures. For one, she knew I could NOT see them, but I’m down for the effort my teenage mom made to make me appreciate a good read.  

Now as a mother, I’ve done my best to plant the avid reader seed and hope they continue to love indulging in written texts and travel into adventure right from the palms of their hands! 

It’s important that children, and adults, see themselves in places we all belong. Whether it’s in science, two parent homes, and lands far, far, away. 

Here are 8 black and brown-kid friendly books we love. Beautifully illustrated and captivating for the young to old; we hope one of these find a way into your home library. Every child should own a book that looks like them and/or the people around them.  

Ada Twist, Scientist
By Andrea Beaty 

Who’s more curious and inquisitive than your child? I’m pretty sure you’ll be bias and say no one. For those STEM girls or little person who never gives up no matter the trial
and countless errors, they can embark on Ada’s scientific journey with her in the playful and supportive read.

Last Stop on Market Street 
By Matt De La Peña

Our son is all about transpiration vehicles, adventure and family time, so just by the cover, he wanted to read along. Community, family, and values, is always something worth reading about. 

Mae Among the Stars 
By Roda Ahmed 

It’s not rocket science, but this book is perfect for little ones with a big heart and big dreams. Mae Jemison, was the first African American woman to travel in space, but not the only one to believe in herself and shoot for the stars. Even if your little one doesn’t want to be an astronaut, but is one of many who is marveled by space, this could be your next bedtime story. 

Mary Had a Little Glam 
By Tami Sauer 

This little girl reminded me of my daughter. Full of life, outgoing, upbeat, bold style and cheerful. 
This is definitely the read to help encourage your little
reader to be who they are have fun while doing it. 

Full, Full, Full of Love 
By Trish Cooke 

Think Grandma’s love and her Sunday home cooking! The young boy goes over to his grandma’s house for Sunday supper and can’t help but ask over and over when dinner will be ready. Immediate and extended family gather together to eat soul food until they are full, full, full. 
Everyone loves nostalgic comfort food, their grandma, and 
a heartwarming read. 

Chocolate Me! 
By Taye Diggs 

Looking  different than the other kids and then being made in front of for it, is not easy feat for a young one. If your little is having a rough time “fitting in” at school, or needs to be remind how wonderfully made and beautiful they are, this book can help! 

Please, Baby, Please
By Spike Lee and Tonya Lewis

Cute little book that will have your baby, saying “Baby, Baby” as you rad along. A reminder of the upside moments of an expressive and energetic toddler and easy for new readers to follow along with. 

I Like Myself 
By Karen Beaumont 

Children’s need all the encouragement they can get and loving themselves from an early age is very important. Whether their hair is way down there or high in the air. Silly, carefree, who cares if they stare! 
The main character is sure to give the reader a confidence boost too all while being her child-like self.  

Encourage your young one(s) to read, dream and keep learning! 

                         our dreams.                                 
-Nikki Giovanni

-xo Natasha 

My thoughts and what I have learned after becoming a mother of three.

Friday, January 25, 2019

Since I haven’t given you guys a post partum update, let’s consider this as such eh? Ok, now that you forgive me and you didn’t even have to pay me a penny for my thoughts, I’m keeping the intro short and diving right in. If you’re a first time mother or a veteran mom, we all can benefit from another mother’s open book. Today I’m sharing six areas of my life I had to revaluate as we welcomed another little person to our family. 

Things may not go as plan, but plan anyway. Having a strategy or realistic checklist, allows me to be productive and not just goal hungry (less “I HAVE to do it all”, and more “I will TRY to do what I CAN”). 
Thinking of the ins and out before hand can save time, provide quicker solutions, outweigh options, make better use of limited time. This is when soundness of mind come in to help with decision making and planning. (Ecclesiastes 10:10) 
Even the days I feel like “Superwoman”, I know the power beyond normal (2 Corinthians 4:7) is God’s extended hand and support. 

Everything takes time. 
Now-a-days, things take more of my time and I always feel like I don’t have enough of it! 
The best I give, is different each day. 
Give the kids what they need (present tense).  


Continue to teach them to serve Jehovah through my actions. The words, actions and behaviors I express are the ones I want my children to copy and inculcate in them. 
This is my season for patience and mildness. 
The more anxious and frustrated I became, the more I realized this was good practice for me to work on the mentioned fruitage of the spirit to become a better servant of God, a better wife and mother. 
I’ve never been tested more in my life with self control, mildness, and patience, but the more I put in the effort to sew, the more I reap. (Galatians 6:9)

Mommy and daddy time is essential. 
You must take time out for each other! 
The house will be louder, and messier, but spending quality time with one another is SO worth it. Before them, there was us, and we owe it to our relationship to continue to be present and show active and present love displayed in front of our children. Especially as a young couple (we’ve been together since we were 17) it’s important to constantly “check-in” with one another. Can’t go around with the latest cell phone update and not be updated on your spouse’s (likes, dislikes, concerns, viewpoints etc).

Doing the little things that help me relax (glass of wine, getting out the house alone, massage therapy, soak in the tub, etc) or clear my head (bible reading, organize, list, notes, reading) makes a world of a difference. Taking time out for myself is pivotal if I plan to help others and be part of a family unit. 

I already know this, but it’s one thing to know something and another to execute it! 
I felt sluggish giving birth this time around and I’m still trying to heal my severe diastasis recti (some days I can easily look 4 months pregnant). Oh, also my pelvic floor muscles seemed to have memory fog too. 

At seven months post partum, I finally felt comfortable enough to work out and regain my physical strengthen. I’ve never cared about “snapping back” because I am more concerned with my mental and emotional health, even though physical shortcoming can affect the other two easily.  

Meal prepping and having nutritious and healthy meals available is easier said than done, but I’m still eating plant based and have a passion for nutrition and wellness, so that helps keep me on track. Lunch is an area I’m always working on, and not just having food available, it’s having time available to eat it. Nothing like trying to eat and having a little person smack a fork or spoon out of your hand (involuntarily of course). 
I’m my best self when I get some sort of adequate rest. Sleeping straight through the night won’t happen for a while as a mother (I pick my battles with motherhood), but I’m a night owl who has come to love mid-day naps. 

As far as accountability, I started a chiropractic treatment plan to get myself realigned and massage therapy, which helps with strain from breastfeeding, tension and stress. 
And self affirmation is also great. Reminding myself that I am capable, can’t do it all, but industrious, and most importantly, loved, can make some feats seem infinitely smaller. 

In May, my youngest, Noah, will be one and I’ll be a year postpartum and we’ll have 1 year in the books as a family of five. As jam packed as our days are, we couldn’t imagine our family without the very people who make it what it is now. 
Hoping my realities and enlightenments can inspire you to make some healthier and wiser choices to overcome the hurdles that parenthood can sometimes throw at us. Continue to count your blessings, find ways to serve others and be a better version of yourself everyday. Everyday is the chance to start anew and not give up on yourself. 

-xo Natasha 

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