Author: Blessing O.

My Newborn Essentials

I can’t believe that I am typing this! I honestly cannot believe we have a newborn in our house. The last time I held a newborn for longer than five minutes was Camille 9 years ago. Wow, it’s really been that long. As many of you know, we just moved into our new house, which took forever to remodel. We had purchased the house in June to remodel and move in by October, well so much needed to be done to the house, that we didn’t move in until a day before Christmas. Oh well, you live and learn. So back to newborn, ahem….this pregnancy and parenting phase is different. When I had Camille, I was almost 23 and although learned a lot through other mom bloggers, I now have more information and knowledge under my belt. One of the things that are important to me this time is ‘exposure reduction’. I don’t think exposure to chemicals and metals for a newborn can be eliminated 100% in a polluted world, however, as a parent, it is my …

A Winter Guide to Detroit

Did you know that Lonely Planet ranked The D No. 2 in the top 10 cities and is the only continental U.S. city on the list? With our recent move to Detroit from Texas during the winter, you would think I’d be hiding in the attic wrapped in a warm blanket from the snow. Not this busy-bee! I have since explored the D and may I say that I love this city more than I did when I first came. I know a lot of folks are always looking for suggestions on what to do during the winter, so I did a little research for us ladies! Without further ado, here are a few holiday fun, restaurant, activities and so much more. All 10 of them. Feel free to add yours. 1. Wander Downtown: Want to feel the festivity in the air; with an overdose of holiday lights, décor and awesome stores, you can never go wrong. Simply wander through neighborhoods within your area, or load the car (with warm winter gear of course) and drive around down. …

Ethical + Modern Gift Guide #4: For Your Perfect Newborn – 1yo

Its hard to buy a Christmas gift for a newborn, since they can’t tell us what they really want. As a mother, I simply go for the items that brings us closer as a family and gifts that connects us to nature and our environment in a unique way. Keeping that in mind, I picked out gifts that will leave your baby perfectly nurtured physically, emotionally and socially. And the bonus, all options are toxin-free and safe for your loved one. Oliver the Bear, Cuddle + Kind, $48 – $68 Eyelet Children’s Tent, Anthropologie $148 Pacifier Clip, Nomilu, $15 Tiger Clip, Nomilu, $10 Extraordinary Elephant, Plum + Sparrow $26 Knotted Sleep Gown, Miniganics, $26 Baby Bear Wooden Rattle Shaker, Bella Luna Toys, $11.95 Solvej Baby/Toddler Swing, Oompa, $220 Organic Bamboo Baby Suction Bowl, Avanchy, $20   PS: Check out the rest of our 2017 holiday gift guide.    

Ethical + Modern Gift Guide #3: For Your Pregnant Friend who deserves pampering

Pregnancy can be so tough on women. I know that being pregnant is a privilege, do not get me wrong. However, for that mama who has to travel everywhere with an extra 35lbs while shuffling toddlers into their car sear, offloading groceries, cooking dinner and keeping up with the daily task of motherhood – I think we can all agree that this woman needs some TLC especially during this cold winter months. Here are a few finds that are safe during pregnancy and will absolutely rock their world! San Francisco Soy Wax Candle, $20 Stories For My Child – A Mother’s Journal $11.52 Herbivore Botanicals Coconut Milk Bath Soak, $32 Your Tea Box Set, $15 Nursing Caftan – Storq – $150 And of course, there are so many other things locally that you can gift to your pregnant self or friend like a prenatal massage, maternity photoshoot to make her feel good, a guilt-free girlfriend’s night out sans alcohol and many other wonderful ideas. PS: Check out the rest of our 2017 holiday gift guide. …

Ethical + Modern Gift Guide #2: For Your Over-worked Mom Friend

Its been a crazy year for us mothers. Is it just me or motherhood is totally becoming  a competitive sport? From hopping from piano to swimming lessons, attending PTA and Scout meetings, to the various homework and test preps; girl are we exhausted. And we also talk about self-care and how that is important these days for mothers especially as we juggle it all. Brightening Floral Toner – Nectar + Moon $30 It’s a facial toner, makeup setting spray and a skin refresher. Nailmatic Nail Polish, price varies In its search for the perfect nail polish, the nailmatic Lab studies all formulations in order to find the ideal mix: gentle on the nail, with a high-coverage texture and a flattering finish. 8-free formula = free from toluene, formaldehyde, dibutyl phthalate, formaldehyde resin, parabens, xylene, camphor and colophony. Dermatologically tested. Wake Up Beautiful Mask – Pacifica Beauty, $15 Don’t waste a minute taking care of your skin! Supercharge your sleep with Pacifica’s creamy overnight mask that helps quench thirsty, stressed, sun damaged skin and bring back …

Ethical + Modern Gift Guide #1: For Your Wild + Loving Kid

It’s that time of the year again and I am seriously thrilled to put together an ethical gift guide to help you guide your holiday shopping this year. As a disclaimer, this is not  a sponsored and while I personally believe that experience is the best gift, here are a few additional items to gift your loved ones during the holiday. Opinel Le Petit Chef Knife $49 Your kids have mastered stirring the batter—they’re ready for a real set of kid-sized knives to help out in the kitchen. Your little chef will get a 4” kitchen knife, a finger guard, and a peeler. The deep heel of the kitchen knife provides ample knuckle clearance to prevent nicks and cuts. Soft Organic Winter Blue Sweatpants $42 Keep cozy in these perfect everyday sweatpants made from Winter Water Factory. Made in the USA from the softest organic cotton. Cuddle and Kind $48 Although this is advertised for a baby, I think that toddlers and kids can benefit from cuddling with Oliver the Bear or any of his friends at night. …

I Used To Yell

  I was one of those people. You have probably interacted with a good number of these people in the past. They have to yell to get their thoughts across to others. As parents, yelling at their kids when upset was normal. They do not necessarily get angry, the volume of their voice suggest that they are. I did not notice this pattern until I met my fiancé. He called my attention to it in a nice way. He had met a few of my family members and realized that it wasn’t an isolated thing. We spoke in high volumes. And although it was okay for us as a family, it was not okay to outsiders. So, I started working on my yell, um, volume. It took a good a while to get used to. Because whenever I got excited, or needed to get my point across during a disagreement, the volume goes up. The fiancé was extremely helpful – in the middle of an argument, he would caution “you are yelling again, relax”. It …

Renovating our First House

Now that back-to-school is out of the way for us, I find myself thinking heavily about our new house. This is our first biggest purchase ever and we are still adding to the total amount by taking on a full renovation. It was a old house in a lovely neighborhood, zoned to the best schools and about a stone-throw away from my work, which is a lifesaver, because this girl right here is tired of waking up early to face the metro-Detroit traffic. Building vs. Buying When we started the process of looking for a house, we explored the idea of building and then we got into the whole building loan vs. mortgage loan and how that can be a pain in the behind for first-time home buyers. Plus the cheapest lands we found were way outside of our way and also meant sub-par schools. We decided to just do what every American does, which is to buy a new or previously-owned home. We then got into the issue of distance to work and how …

School Update

Oh my goodness, where did time go? I feel like time is flying and I can’t keep up. My 8 year-old Camille started 3rd grade this year and it’s been a seamless transition. With her Type-A mom chasing opportunities across the United States with my job, she has attended more elementary school than most kids. But my Camille loves it. She loves traveling, making new friends and getting to know a new area or neighborhood. Although this time, we bought a house vs. renting, which is a signal even to us, that it is time to settle down in one location. Although, we are still in the process of moving into our new home with some remodeling going on, more on that later of course. On Her Outfit The first day of school was September 5, after Labor day weekend. Hence, we had a long weekend to prepare for back-to-school. She was able to pick out a new dress, backpack, lunchbag and water bottle from our favorite mall – Somerset Collection. Seriously, if you are …

Why Organic Clothing Matters for Babies

As a Chemical Engineer who worked for the largest chemical companies in the world, you can imagine how many chemicals I have encountered, managed or contained. As parents, we all want the best for our children and making the right choice could mean a lot of things; like spending more money, staying home to watch the kid while forfeiting a paycheck, making do with one income, living in an expensive neighborhood or caring for a sick/disabled child while placing everything else on hold. Parenting is tough. Exposure to chemicals and toxins is something that many not immediately come to mind, especially with the numerous parental choices we need to make. And while many families eat natural/organic diet, it is just as important for us to clothe our children with natural and sustainable clothing. The first few years of a baby’s life matters. I cannot over-emphasize how crucial those first 24 months are. Every part of their system is still developing beyond the womb: this includes, digestive, respiratory, neurological, reproductive, mental, nervous and sensory organs. The raw …