Free family fun at a Chicago Museum?

If you are anything like me you love going out and having a good time and it’s even better if you have your family with you. What if you could take the whole family to a Chicagoland museum for free? Pretty awesome right?  Well you can. The Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum is now offering free entry on Thursdays (9 a.m. To 5 p.m.) for Illinois residents.

This month is your last chance to get on stage to see if you have what it takes to become a meteorologist with their functioning green screen in Weather to Climate: Our Changing World, which closes Oct. 23. As the weather cools down, it’s always summer in the Judy Istock Butterfly Haven where newly emerged butterflies take their first flight every Thursday at 2 p.m. Starting November 5, get eyeball-to-eyeball with 70 exotic frogs and play on a mini zip line for the opening of Frogs: A Chorus of Colors, an immersive temporary exhibit. 

This October, there’s always something special to see on Thursdays!

· Oct. 13: Enter to win a lifetime membership and take advantage of our discounted new membership offers to kick off Chicago Museum Week 2016

· Oct. 20: WeDigBio- Birds (2-5 p.m.) and Plants (6-8 p.m.) Join us for this worldwide event where we help digitize our natural history collections

· Oct. 27: Visit 131 newborn endangered Blanding’s turtles that are living at the Nature Museum temporarily to grow in a predator-free zone

There is no excuse on why you can’t swing a family fun day at the Nature museum. 

Preparing for Christmas in the Fall! 

I know Fall just got here, but I’m mentally already in the Winter season preparing for Christmas. Since Dereon is 9 and pretty mature his Christmas list has slowly started to change and he started asking for less items, but now the few things he does list is pretty expensive And since Baby Chance is only 1 we will get him a few little things for him to open up on Christmas morning, but nothing too major. So to be proactive this year I told him to write his Christmas list a little earlier than the traditional November time frame. He came up with 10 things and half of them were very inexpensive so I smiled with glee, but then as the list continued I saw more tech savvy items like a Drone which isn’t cheap. I sighed. A drone? Really? The wheels in my head started to turn and I realized that I could get the Drone and the few other items he requested if I started knocking them out now. No reason in waiting until December to shop when you already know what you are getting.

I made a few calls and found out that Walmart’s Christmas layaway is in full force and that I can start shopping now and making payments to pay my total off. How awesome is that? But wait it gets better! Kmart has a layaway too and it’s active throughout the year. 

Not only is Layaway a good way to prepare early for Christmas, but here are a few other tips to get you ready for the season to be jolly.

1. Make a list of everyone you are buying a gift for and come up with a budget.

2. Stick to your budget! 

3. Look online for the items on your list. I’ve seen huge price differences from online prices and instore prices. 

4. If you shop at a certain store for your Christmas shopping then start buying gift cards for that store now. $5 here…$10 there…adds up. If you do this a few times in October alone you could have a $100 gift card balance by November to help tackle Santa’s long list.

5. Be realistic! If it’s something on your list that you can’t afford, don’t fret. For example your hubby wants a 50″ 3D TV and it’s not in your budget try to see if you can get him a pair of those virtual reality glasses & game bundle packs. Or give him some cash or a gift card on that big ticket item in a cool card. Don’t stress or go into debt for a Christmas gift because then you are missing the real reason for the season!
Happy Shopping guys! I’ll be back with more money saving tips, holiday gift guides, and giveaways for this Christmas season.

iPhone 7 

I’m an iPhone user and I love Apple, but I’m not a fan of every year finding out my phone is obsolete because Apple has dropped a newer and better version. Sigh. Anyways today Apple released information on its new phone…the iPhone 7. 


The press conference is happening right now so the news is slowly coming in, but a picture has been leaked showcasing a water resistant iPhone which is huge news for Apple lovers. 

This new phone will also boast a new camera. The speakers have been upgraded to stereo speakers. Better battery life is expected and the biggest feature to me is the wireless headphones that will be included since the ear phone jacks have been removed. Pretty interesting stuff.

The new iPhone is available for preorder and drops September 16th 2016. As more information becomes available I’ll definitely share. 

September 2016…Are you kidding me?

It’s September already! I’m just in shock because 2016 is going by way too fast for me. As a kid I couldn’t wait to grow up and now as an adult I can’t wait to win the lotto. Lol. The kids are back in school, the summer heat is definitely gone, and now the holidays play peek a boo with us.


I love FALL, it’s my favorite Season. The weather, the colors, fun Fall themed events, and finally relaxing from a crazy busy summer. It just seems like it snuck up on us. I have a jammed packed Fall too, but it should be all love and fun. My wedding anniversary is in September, my husband’s birthday is in October, and of course Halloween falls in October. So be looking out for some blog post about all of that.

May September (and Fall 2016) be a wonderful time in your life! Eat lots of apples, pumpkins, and other Fall themed treats. Stay encouraged, excited about your future, and focused!
Blessings.

Ice Age: Collision Course coming to theaters soon!

Me and the kids can’t wait to see the new movie, ICE AGE: COLLISION COURSE! It’s hitting the theaters July 22nd!

Wondering what the movie is about? In the 5th installment of the ICE AGE movies, Scrat’s epic pursuit of the elusive acorn catapults him into the universe where he accidentally sets off a series of cosmic events that transform and threaten the Ice Age World. To save themselves, Sid, Manny, Diego, and the rest of the herd must leave their home and embark on a quest full of comedy and adventure, travelling to exotic new lands and encountering a host of colorful new characters.

To see some previews of the film visit here

Fat Girl of Fashion Brunch!

A few Sundays ago I was invited to a wonderful brunch hosted by TheFatGirlOfFashion to celebrate her 3 year Blog anniversary! When I tell you I had a good time, believe me. We laughed, ate, sipped cocktails, and laughed so much more. The brunch was held at FarmHouse Chicago. which was a great central location and extremely easy to get to. 

When we arrived the table settings were so creative and cute. Our party favors were MAC Lipsticks…yes a full sized MAC Lippie. I was over the moon because your girl here loves a good lipstick. We also received a body butter sample by a local Chicagoland vendor. There also was a professional photographer from Levine – Moore Photography going around catching candid shots of us as well as any requested photo looks you wanted to do. 


Wait, I’m jumping the broom. I’m telling y’all all about this fabulous event, but didn’t give you the info on the wonderful honoree! Some of you may already know Fashion Blogger Latoya Wright of FatGirlOfFashion.com she’s one of my close blogger boos. Latoya is a sweetie pie. Funny, fashionable, reliable, and a true ball of fun. We have such a good time every time we hang together. She’s been to every event I’ve invited her to so I couldn’t miss dining with her to celebrate her 3 successful years blogging.


I ordered The Farmer’s Breakfast which was Scrambled Farm Eggs, Kale, Shallot, Fine Herbs, White Cheddar, Spicy Potatoes
,sausage and Multigrain Toast. My meal was so flavorful and filling. 


We also got a sweet treat. They are called Sticky buns and boy were they tasty!


My Mimosa was well deserved and the perfect mixture of fresh juice and champagne .

After enjoying our eats we all shared who we were, how we knew Latoya, and our overall thoughts on her and her blog. It was a very special moment to share with her. She has inspired, motivated, and encouraged so many women off and online so it was a blessing to know she was able to see that her work isn’t in vain.

The brunch was a lot of fun and I’m super happy to have a blogger boo turn into a good friend! Congrats Latoya, may you have many more years in this blogging world.
 

June: The Month of Miracles 

Hey guys…Happy June! We are in the 6 month of 2016 and I honestly can’t believe it. This year flew by. So many things I said I would do, places I said I would go, and goals I wanted to reach by now. The good news is I’ve done some of those things. The great news is that June is the month of Miracles so I’m getting a second chance on knocking somethings out the box!

Yup, I’m saying that this June great things are going to happen and the “shift” we all need will take place. I think the number one thing we have to do to receive the miracles that’s  waiting for us is to focus. Write your vision and make it plain. Sometimes we get so lost in the process that we lose focus on where we are going.

Secondly we have to want it! Faith without works is dead. We can’t say we want to be a millionaire yet we aren’t working on our business or saving our money.

And lastly we have to keep the faith. Stop doubting God and stop doubting yourself. If you have an idea, invention, creation, or gift use it and go with it. Don’t let anyone tell you different!

This June let’s be all that we want to be and more!

Gostosa Hair Extensions: Spring Weave Make Over!

Spring is here and Sunmer is right around the corner. You can now pull out your colorful outfits and get your hair from under those big bulky hats and finally let your hair blow in the wind.

This Winter I wasn’t concerned about my hair as much and I kept it in weaves, wigs, and other protective styles. My goal was something that would last and was decent. I was throwing a hat on my head 80% of the time so I didn’t need a style too dramatic. 

However Spring snuck in and I started to realize I had a few trips and things coming up and my little “quick weaves” and basic styles weren’t going to do the trick. I wanted a sew in that cold be versatile while still being cute.

My Baecation was slowly approaching and I was super excited to get sexy and beautiful for my husband. So I wanted my weave long and wavy (that’s his favorite lol)! I also knew we would be going out of the country and traveling to the Bahamas so I need quality hair that can stand the test of salt water from the ocean and chlorine from the jacuzzis and pools! I didn’t want nothing I had to constantly keep up with I wanted carefree hair while looking like a million bucks! Was that a lot to ask for? Lol.

I found the perfect extension company to fit the bill and an amazing stylist as well. They are truly a dream team! They are officially my glam squad! The products, the service, and the entire experience has truly been amazing. Gostosa Hair Extensions and DeeCannStyle you guys rock!


I posted my Spring Weave Make Over pictures on my social media accounts and everyone went crazy. I got inboxes, shares, retweets and tons of comments! I felt like a millions bucks! And when my husband and oldest son saw me they really made me feel like a star. I was officially addicted to Gostosa Hair Extensions and Deecann Style!

The Gostosa Hair Extensions company carries several different types of virgin hair: straight, wavy, and even curly! I was sold on the company after I read up on how they treat their hair and wash the chemicals away from the extensions. That’s so important when you are buying hair as an investment because you want the best and you want to be able to reinstall your hair more than once so quality is key! 

Now let’s get to the good stuff, I know you want to see pictures and hear about the pattern I got and my overall thoughts. I will spill the beans, but I will let you know this will be a 3 part series because I’ve done so much with this hair I want to give you guys all the info!

My appointment with Traveling Mizani Hair Stylist DeeCannStyle was at 10am a week before my Baecation. I picked that date because it worked best for my husband’s work schedule and I wanted a day to get pampered and not feel rushed or worry about the kids so I selected a day Dennis would be off so he could stay with the kids. That worked out perfectly. Dionna’s salon is in the South Loop and wasn’t far from my home at all. Once I was dropped off I didn’t have to wait to get my natural locks washed and detangled. Dionna took her time untangling my hair softly and carefully since I’m tender headed I winced a few times just for the effect LOL. She was gentle and she educated me on my hair as she washed and deep conditioned it. After my hair was all cleaned and conditioned we went to her station where she blow dried my hair and also gave my ends a healthy trim. It was definitely needed! 

Now I met with Dionna and also the owner of Gostosa Hair Extensions Mrs. Herzog for an hair consult the day prior to my appointment. They were both very educated on hair health and what extensions worked best in different environments. Dionna asked what type of look I was going for and I stressed that I wanted my hair style to be as carefree as possible for my trip and upcoming events as well as healthy on my damaged hair. After seeing that my edges were thinning we decided on a middle part to give my edges a rest and help them grow while still giving me a sexy middle part to rock. The hair was selected was truly gorgeous! Gostosa Hair Extensions Indian Temple Hair. This hair is amazing. The natural state is wavy, soft, and luxe. The maintenance for this hair isn’t major and that’s a really impressive feature for me because I wanted to look good without a lot of effort (I am a mom of 2. Lol)


Dionna did a braid pattern that was so flat I couldn’t even believe it! As she did my sew in I didn’t feel any real pain and thats so uncommon I have had a million of sew ins and I’m in pain by the first track but not with Dionna she took her time and she made me feel comfortable. I was on snap chat, Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram posting my process and she was so warm and welcoming. She explained to me with the type of hair I was getting installed I could get my hair wet and the waves would pop back in place. She also told me that she has used the Indian Temple hair a few times her self and she was in love with it. 

My hair was done before I knew it and I was smiling so hard! The hair looked amazing without even being flat ironed or curled. Just a little of my natural hair was left out and it blended so well you couldn’t tell where it ended or started! The Indian Temple hair is so versatile and light. It was able to lay flat while still giving me the bounce and body I needed. 

When I stood up I felt good. My sister always says “when you look good you feel good” and that’s so true. I felt like a hot momma! Every woman should feel like that. No questions asked!


I had a 26″,28″, 28″ installed. Dionna just trimmed slightly to frame my face but none of my wrefts were cut so I can keep using this hair for different installs. This hair is perfect for the mom on the go to the fashionista! It can be curled, dyed, blow dried, cut and everything else you can do to hair. It’s virgin hair at its finest! Gostosa Hair Extensions has a gem in their hands! Guess what guys? They are holding a promotion now that if you purchase their hair online you will get 10% off your order! This a sale you don’t want to miss! Visit Gostosa Hair Extensions today!


Special thanks to Mrs. Herzog for allowing me to rock your Luxe Hair line! Gostosa Hair Extensions is the truth and I can’t wait to try your other hair selections as well. Thank you to DeeCannStyle for using your blessed hands on my happy head LOL this is the best sew in I’ve ever had! Can’t wait to sit back in your chair again!


Part 2 of my Gostosa Hair Experience will drop soon. Stay tuned!

A Real Urban Mom riding the 2015 Subaru Legacy

Guys I’m super excited to say this… my family and I are test driving the 2015 Subaru Legacy! We will have the car for a whole week and we’ve already been putting that baby to use. We’ve ran errands, did last minute Christmas shopping, dropped off gifts and picked some up from family and friends. Whew!

The funny thing is the car just fits perfectly in our life. It’s not too big and it’s not too small. Our boys fit comfortably in the back and have some room to move around and Dennis has enough leg room when driving and being a passenger (he’s 6ft.) Since I’m short I love the fact the seats can be moved by a push of a button.

The gas mileage on this car has been amazing, we have been all over Chicago and we still have more than a half tank of gas! I’m impressed. I’ll keep you guys posted on what else the Subaru can do later this week!

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Keep an eye out on us on social media because videos and pictures are being uploaded constantly! We are loving this car and super blessed to have it for a whole week!

Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Cookies

So I joined my friend Natasha from HousefulOfNicholes on her #HousefulOfCookies challenge! 11 days of cookies recipes are on her blog and my recipe will make it 12. I’m not a baker at all, but I wanted to push myself this Holiday season. So I attempted to make Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Cookies with the kiddos!

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So I’ll be honest my husband Dennis helped me mix the ingredients together because my mixing skills aren’t the best. Another confession I left the cookies in a little to long so they weren’t super chewy. But they were good! And I will make them again soon, but won’t keep them in the oven as long. All my friends enjoyed them so that’s all that matters!

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The time it took me (my husband) to  blend and prep was about 10 minutes.

Baking time was around 10 minutes.

These cookies are good, simple, and cheap to make!

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What do I need to make them?

1 cup creamy peanut butter
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup milk chocolate chips
1 stick of butter

How to make them??

Preheat oven to 350°F.
Mix all ingredients except chocolate chips.
When blended, mix in the chocolate chips.
Make 2 inch balls and place on a greased cookie sheet. You don’t want to make them too big because they do spread.
Bake for 9 to 10 minutes. Let the cookies sit on the cookies sheet for about 30 seconds to 1 minute before letting cool on a wire rack.
Makes around a dozen small cookies.

Make a dozen and let me know how it goes!