If it’s cheap and keeps the kids entertained, I’m on it

So this morning I attended a speech and language group with the Munchkinita. After eating all of the unhealthy snacks and asking for more (like I don’t feed her), we moved onto a table activity.
This was our third morning of speech and language and normally the Munchkinita runs off after snack but she quickly came back to the table when she saw paint in a bag.
It sounds so simple and I’m annoyed I had never thought of it before. You put paint into a large self seal food/freezer bag and that is it.
You can then use it as a wipeable board. The child can draw circles, lines, numbers etc. The child could also just squish the paint. My girls love squishing and feeling things so this could keep them occupied for a bit without making mess.
I went home and recreated this. I need to go out and buy self seal food bags because all I have at the moment are the small ones that you tie. It works but not as great :(
Anyhoo here is a pic of the bag after they squished it to death:

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Summer Holidays – Have I actually got it right?

I often dread school holidays. I always want the kids to enjoy themselves but I also need to work. Anytime I take off has a knock on effect to my bottom line so I have to plan carefully and be really disciplined.

The summer holidays last year were really difficult as I had all these plans but no car :( Public transport with toddlers in a pram was not working!

This year I have a set of wheels – lucky me! I have planned to work three days a week and devote two days and the weekend to taking my munchkins out. If we do not visit friends or family, we will explore different parks (weather permitting). Our budget is tight so we will see if we can fit in swimming, cinema and soft play.

So far it has been nearly two weeks and we have really enjoyed ourselves. I have been productive with my work and in keeping the house tidy(ish) and the munchkins have been fully occupied.

Yes, they are still arguing over Lego and I am refereeing but they wouldn’t be real sisters if there were no arguments ;)

Have I actually got it right these holidays? So far so good. Just five more weeks to go……

Stretching my relaxer

I had my hair coloured and cut at the beginning of December 2013. I decided to stretch my relaxer (leave it longer before relaxing) to avoid over processing.

My hair is also thinner from the years of chemicals. I have considered going natural but at the moment I do not have time to develop a new hair regime and manage growth. My only issue with the relaxer right now is thinner hair but otherwise my hair feels healthy and is easily manageable so if it ain’t broke don’t fix it.

I went twelve weeks without relaxing. Did a lot of braid outs and Bantu knots which I absolutely love. When I air dried my hair in four donkey (big) plaits, I thought my hair looked natural and I rocked that look!
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At twelve weeks I made the dumbest mistake and applied relaxer without mixing in the activator. I’ve been relaxing my own hair for over fifteen years and I’ve never made this mistake. I had to wait a further two weeks to relax again and during those two weeks I developed a horrid virus and didn’t look after my hair. It was awful.

Plus, I relaxed while I was still sick as I didn’t want to leave it any longer – scared of breakage from the two different textures. I’ve ended up not relaxing it properly and I’m still left with two different textures. It is still manageable but I’m scared of breakage and fighting an inward battle of whether to relax again in a few weeks or just as normal – arrhghh

Any advice would be welcome or simple finger pointing and calling me dumb will also be accepted lol

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Munchkins’ Hair

20140130-191130.jpgHaving to look after my own hair is time consuming enough but now there are the munchkins. Two more heads of hair to deal with.

Afro hair is not easy to manage. Well maybe those are the wrong words, looking after Afro hair can be time consuming. It can not be pulled back into a ponytail and left. If I put the munchkin’s hair in a ponytail, two minutes later the hair band will have flown out and she would look like Don King’s love child.

My daughters have different hair textures. The munchkin’s hair is thick and of beautiful quality. She has typical Afro hair with tight curls that can not be left out.  The munchkinita’s hair texture is much softer and the curls in her hair are slightly looser therefore her hair is easier to pull a comb through. I find her hair easier to manage although I love the quality of the munchkin’s hair.

To maintain their hair I wash it once to twice a month. I would wash it fortnightly but they’re of the age where washing their hair is like Hastings on 14 October 1066. I have to choose my battles so I wash their hair when I can.

20140130-191156.jpgI grease their scalp with Blue Magic and cornrow their hair. I plait their hair once a week but try to make tidy it up after a few days. I trim their hair every six to eight weeks.

I’m happy with the condition of their hair. I would do more with their hair if I had the time and didn’t have to fight with them. As they get older, I will teach them about their hair. I will teach them to maintain it themselves but I will also teach them that natural Afro hair is beautiful. I think my generation of black woman didn’t really have that message. We went through the curly perms and relaxers believing that those chemicals would “grow” our hair, as well as believing that extensions and weaves would magically “grow” our hair. The message we needed to receive was that our hair would grow if we kept it moist and trimmed and just looked after it.
My own hair is relaxed and for now I can not see me changing that as I have no problems with my hair, however, I want my girls to make an informed choice before they rush into chemically treating their hair. I want them to learn how to manage their hair and to love their natural curls.

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What I Forgot…

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Earlier on today I was listening to Destinys Child’s “Cater to You”. I remembered when I first listened to this song many years ago. I used to wish I had a man that I could sing this song to. I’d bring him his slippers, his dinner, his dessert and so much more.

However, now that I have that man, I completely forgot that I ever felt this way. He asks me to run him a bath and I’m like run your own bath stinky. Make your own drink, pick up your socks and don’t turn the sitting room into the Emirates when the football’s on.

Hearing that song again made me realise how much we seem to want, want, want and then when we get, we forget how much we strived for what we have and we become ungrateful and take that thing for granted.

I love this man. I wanted him for a very long time and now I have what I wanted, I seem to have forgotten the time before and all that I said I would do when I had him.

So I guess I better run his bath water- I ain’t drinking it though!!!!!;)

Relax Dagnammit!!

It seems ages since my last blog, well since I published one! I tend to start a lot of drafts and then get caught up in something else.

Work has been very busy during the festive period. I have been stressing myself over work problems and the munchkins and making myself run down. This is something I have always been guilty of, but so much harder to deal with when you are responsible for two small ones and running two businesses.

I have recently had to rebuild the website for Tiffany Jades Lingerie  after bugs and glitches with the company who supplied the site. This has cost me money and time, all at the wrong time of year. Dealing with everything had caused me to feel really down and I just wanted to slap myself around the face to pull myself out of it.

My daughter’s pediatrician advised me to take more time out for myself and actually relax. Relax? What is that? I really struggle to do that. I’m sure most mothers, workaholics, natural born worriers and perfectionists would agree (yes, I just described myself). However, I decided to make an even greater than normal effort to do as she said as my children need a relaxed mother and my husband needs a not so naggy, moaning wife.

Soooo, my drug of choice is music. I do not listen to it like I used to as I do not like being interrupted while I’m singing and feeling a tune or skanking to a beat. So now I have decided to listen through headphones when the kids are at nursery. I can not always do this as sometimes my work requires silence, but I am trying to do it once a week.

I have changed my work schedule so that I have a couple of hours of just me and munchkins time. We cuddle and play and then in the evening, I get back on the computer. This has been working for the last couple of weeks, PLUS, I have noticed a change in their behaviour! RESULT.20131207-130246.jpg

A few days ago, I had my hair did. Cut and colour. I did want to go blonder but I am happy with the result and will go blonder in a few months time. Thanks to Jamina Brown for doing my hair. She is an experienced, qualified, mobile hairdresser specialising in European and Afro hair. So if you are in London or the home counties area check her out on facebook here.

20131207-130744.jpgI treated myself to some new makeup (first time in years). When you look good, you feel good. I am not into a lot of makeup but I love eyeliner and lashes. I got a Revlon gel eyeliner which is amazing and a Seventeen liquid eyeliner pen which is good. I am trying a serum for lashes and brows to make them longer and thicker. This serum has had good reviews and was £11 which is cheap compared to others!

I tried applying individual eyelashes and let’s just say, Tim Burton would be interested in casting me in one of his dark films. I really should have taken a trip to Camden Town and knocked on his door ( I have no idea where in Camden Town he lives).

I am still hunting down a bright red lipstick, any suggestions?

I have taken a little time out to make a few Vine videos. I love the Vine app – it is hilarious. I have a lot of ideas, so I will be posting more soon (my username is tiffanyjade if you like foolish videos lol)!20131207-130427.jpg

I am much less stressed out after taking a little more time for myself and doing things that I enjoy rather than just the mundane things that I have to do everyday. I am still not getting out much but that will come with the time. I hope I can will keep this up!

What do you do to relax? What de-stresses you?