Natural Hair Care for Kids with Gryph & IvyRose.

Wednesday, July 31, 2019

I’m always eyeing bath time and hair products for the kids that are natural, smell great and accommodate Nate’s gluten allergy. Throw in vegan, and it’s a win win for all. 

This month I had the pleasure of being gifted items by Gryph & IvyRose. It seemed like the perfect timing because I was ready to purchase fresh new scents for the kids. And having something they could all use on their skin (from baby on up) and aroma is neutral, so that's a plus. upon receiving my products, I appreciated Gryph & IvyRose's swift and personable customer service, and they won me over with their ingredients. They are vegan, gluten free, cruelty free, and made without parabens, sulfates, and phthalates (these ingredients can be harsh to the skin and can irritate the endocrine system). They offer vitamins and elixirs, additional bath and body products, and probiotics, but due to the kids sensitive skin and tummies, and Nate's eczema, their shampoo and detangler seemed like the best fit for our family. 

The Daily Embrace Shampoo and Conditioner has a very soothing scent and since the herbal blend includes lavender, I wasn’t surprised. The orange extract is very noticeable as well, and it’s a plus that it’s refreshing and boosting with cleansing and antiseptic properties. Sounds like a plus for putting all the babies to sleep in a calm and rejuvenated mood. I love me a good lather, so the pearl-like sudsy lather was mama approved and didn’t leave my little ones textured hair feeling stripped or lack luster. I was able to finger detangle their hair, and after rinsing, their tresses were shiny, manageable and even the baby’s hair that usually doesn’t curl much on the sides, had curl definition. A little goes a long way, so no need to get heavy handed to get a good cleansing of the scalp. Though this is a 2-in-1 product, I still followed up with a rinse out conditioner. The fact that it was moisturizing, detangled their hair to an extent, and defined their curls and coils, highlighted the conditioning part mentioned.

The product recommends, "Massage desired amount into hair and scalp,
let set for 1-2 minutes for maximum result and rinse thoroughly,' which the kids did with their bubbly mohawks. 

The Get-A-Detangler is easy on their kinky  curls and give their hair slip with no residue or a greasy touch. The real test is when I used it on my daughter’s hair, since it has real length to it, versus the boys hair, and her fine density and high porosity hair, loved the leave in. With her hair in sections, it helped me keep her hair moisturized and detangled for styling. With less time on my hands, getting her hair detangled in less than 10 minutes was amazing and very convenient. For some reason, I feel like it smells more like cucumber than pomegranate. Either way, it smells like the perfect cool and crisp scent for summer!

Applying the detangler to my son's hair as a leave-in before his styler. 

Now my only concern is the price for my budgeting mamas and families. I look at it as a self care investment for little ones and if we can make purchases for our skin care, nails and so on, for us adults, a little luxury one a week for the little ones is not so bad at all. 

Noah's super moisturized, hydrated, and defined curls with the detangler and a natural styler. 

So if you’re looking for luxurious products for your babies and little ones to treat them to  spa-like experience with green standards in kind, Gryph & IvyRose is definitely worth the buy for your home or as a baby shower gift.

They can be found at and their own site, where they are currently offering 15% off their bundles

-xo Natasha

Easy way to get children to eat fruits and veggies.

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Gone for a minute now I’m back...ok, alright, let’s talk kids, food, and kids eating whole foods. Now I think we’re all aware now of the whole paycheck health grocery store, but I’m referring to whole foods as in foods with no processing or refinement; think farm, to store, to table. 
I’ve mentioned the elimination diet for Nori in the past, but from 2 years of age, we have gotten her to eat a very wide variety of fruits, grains and veggies. Though she may not like every single veggie (asparagus and mushroom are a def “eww”), our rule is try it before you knock it. 
As for Nate, I made everything I could steam, roast and purée for him and once it was time to chew everything he had an aversion with texture. From 1-2 he had a smoothie for breakfast 90% of the time because he wanted NO oats, pancakes/French toast/waffles, eggs, toast...anything textured. I felt like I was lost and he was going to starve (mom guilt), but I didn’t give up on him. 
**Even if you can only get them to eat fruits, there’s tons of vitamins and minerals they can get just as they would in veggies. 

For Nori to still love her healthy foods at school with onlookers and probably unfiltered words, I started to invest in cookie cutters, food pics, fun lunch notes by @lunchbox_love and silicone muffin cups. I wanted her to know and show her class mates, she enjoys eating those/these foods and healthy food can be fun and delicious! The same lunch tools and approach has helped get Nate to eat cucumber, tomatoes, carrots, kale, hummus and on. 

Noah is starting to eat some finger foods (he does not like anything wet so we have to feed him most fruits), but he loves to try everything (greedy butt) and ya starting to want to feed himself; cute but messy! 
I truly believe adding colors, different shape and textures and tools perfect for little hands, has made a world of a difference. And again, I don’t send Nori to school with almonds, avocado wraps, fruits galore and crinkle cut veggies to be made fun of (parents on a Food Network post made those claims and more). I want her to feel confident in her food choices when there’s colorful wrapped foods around her too: Gogurts, pouches and cookies (obviously these companies know shapes and colors have a psychological effect on the foods children eat too). 

But beware, I have mentioned Nate having  food aversions, but older children can develop them as well! Some of the foods Nori use to love and want are now resorted to, “no thank you’s”, and a screwed up face. She literally just wants rice and beans with avocado or pizza. I made roasted chickpea wraps for dinner and she hated it and Nate told me four times he loved it and I was the best mommy for making that for him! You win some, you lose some. But I won’t give up on her, never have, and you shouldn’t give up on your little one! Be mindful that some children can have sensory  sensitivity to foods and moderate to severe 
picky eating can be linked to anxiety or even depression. 
I share my lunch packing meals on my lunch account my  @packedandloaded and, @mylittleeater, and @babyfoodideas  (don’t let the name fool you, ideas are ideas). Even my friends over at @planterbox have tons of meal ideas. 

Remember, do your best, try to get them to help plan, wash and prep and even pack their meals, use colors and shapes, dips and spreads, and encourage them to try and don’t try to force it down their throat (pun intended).
Make healthy strides for you and your little one and if you try any of these tips with your little one or want to share your uphill little eater’s battle, I’m all ears! 

-XO Natasha 

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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