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.

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.

Turning The Page & SAIC: Art fun Saturday!

Today was a lot of fun! Hung out with the oldest kiddo today and joined a group we are a part of through his school Turning The Page. This program offers really cool, cultured, & free field trips for the members of the school that they partner with. They also host great family events at the schools every month to get families engaged with their student’s learning, meet other parents, etc. 

The adventure today was creating art work with recycled materials! I love being creative and trying new things out so this was lots of fun. Dereon enjoyed getting messy with the paint and exploring painting with different types of objects.


While we created masterpieces I took a break to observed the amazing view from the art room. 


The art class was held at SAIC at Homan Square. They offer so many different programs so definitely check them out if you or your children are into art and exploring. 

Today was a priceless moment for Dereon and I. He didn’t have to hear me say not to make a mess or have to create what everyone else was creating. He was able to be free and creative and let his artistic side out.


A huge thank you to Turning The Page for giving parents these opportunities to connect with their children.


Oh and I know you want to see some of our masterpieces so I’ll post a few pics below. Make sure you follow me on Snapchat so you can see all the behind the scenes of my daily random life. ❤️

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.
 

Rolling Video Games of Chicagoland!

Summer is here and in my household that means Birthday Mania! Dereon’s Birthday, Baby Chance’s Birthday, my Mom’s Birthday, my little sister Eboni’s birthday, plus a few uncles, cousins, and girl friends birthdays as well. Whew! So I can’t play around with waiting around to plan Dereon’s birthday party because our month of June is so busy! 

This year Dereon was torn on what he wanted to do for his birthday, which isn’t like him. Normally it’s pretty clear what he wants to do, but this year he was stuck between a Game Bus or Great America. I kind of didn’t like the Great America idea because the weather can be messy in the beginning of June with lots of rain and that would limit his ride time at the theme park. So I started looking at Video Game buses to check prices, availability, and options. I ran across some unprofessional companies in this process and some places didn’t even answer or return my call! I finally spoke with Rolling Video Games of Chicagoland and they made things easy as pie. My date was available and booking the party didn’t even take 5 minutes. I showed Dereon the website before I confirmed everything and he was sold! He hasn’t stopped talking about it yet.


Rolling Video Games of Chicagoland comes to you and offers you all the coolest games and gaming systems in an climate controlled decked out bus! Being able to service up to 24 people at one time is pretty impressive and they have more than five 55″ TVs. You can even play a few dancing games on the outside when the weather is nice!


The going rate for these buses can get pretty expensive, but Rolling Video Games of Chicagoland is the best priced to me. You have your own “Game coach” that comes and help keeps the party going and gives the kids (or adults) game instructions, etc. 


Customizing your event is easy, you can do as little as 2 hours or add more for those serious gamers! Game selection is up to you too. Kid friendly games like “Just Dance” is available but if the crowd is into more of the “action” games then “Halo” and “Call of Duty” is right at your finger tips. 

Up to four people can play per TV so you don’t have to worry about telling the kiddos to share. This is partying in VIP the right way with less stress. I definitely recommend Rolling Video Games of Chicagoland and I can’t wait for Dereon to play all his favorite games with his favorite friends! Check out their website or give them a call at (708)-733-5300 an let them know Keyonda sent you! 

P.S.

I’ll be posting pictures and live footage from Dereon’s Birthday Party today on my Facebook, SnapChat (arealurbanmom), Instagram, and Twitter!

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 party on the bus…Chicago style!

Two weeks ago we ventured to Six Flags Great America’s Fright Fest for a early birthday celebration for my husband’s birthday. Although Six Flags isn’t too far from us it is a nice drive to the park. Since it was a large group of us that were going we decided to look into getting a bus or van to accommodate everyone and to save money. After calling a few places I was just thinking about everyone driving there on their own because the quotes I was getting were too expensive. However that all stopped once I spoke with Marvis from Flash Transportation.

Marvis was polite, professional, a down to earth guy he checked his schedule to confirm he was available for our time slot and he explained the booking process. Once I got everyone on board we got the deposit and booked the date I was able to rest assured that our transportation was covered.

image

The trip to Six Flags was fun and stress free. We listened to music and had a few cocktails to build up our courage for those crazy roller coaster we were going to be facing.

image

Once we made it the park we were dropped off right at the front gate so we didn’t have to walk long at all. Marvis told us where he would be when it was time to leave as well.

image

The park was packed and we had to wait a long time to ride one of the more popular coasters, but overall we had a great time.

Midnight was closing time and I called Marvis to let him know we were heading towards the exit gate and he had the bus running and waiting with the heat just right for our journey back home. We grabbed our cocktails and laughed about the rides and screams we had just experienced. I have nothing but good things to say about our ride with Flash Transportation and I definitely recommend them for all your travel needs. Call Marvis at 773.802.1690 and let him know Keyonda sent ya!

Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Presents: Circus XTREME in Chicago!

November 5th to November 29th The Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus will be in the Chicagoland area and the Chicagoland Mom Squad has a discount code for you!

Use code MSQUAD and buy adult tickets for only $15.00 when purchasing your tickets at Ticketmaster or the arena box offices!

I can’t wait to take Mr. Dereon and Sir Chance to the greatest show on earth!! Thanks to the Chicagoland Mom Squad for this amazing hook up.

Halloween Fun while giving back!

I’m all about kids giving back and being a part of building community. Halloween is coming up and there are so many events kids can attend this month. What better way to have a good wholesome time with the family, than giving back?

17-year old Destiny Watson, a Chicago-area student, recognized the need of the 5.4 million Americans who rely on food banks every week, and decided to take action.

On October 17, Destiny is bringing her community together to fight hunger in the Chicago area with a Halloween event at Apollo Park.  The “We Scare Hunger Trail” event will feature family friendly activities and a scary trail walk.  Destiny and her youth group, are asking local families to bring three or more non-perishable food items as the price of admission, with all proceeds going to Respond Now in Chicago Heights.

image

Please share this event with others and take your little ones as well. Seems like it will be a blast!

Marvel Universe Live Chicago! Limited time Promo code!

So marvel is coming to Chicago and it’s a big deal like a real big deal! I know my son is over the moon to see his fave super hero LIVE and in ACTION. Thanks to The Chicagoland Mom Squad I can share a special promo code with you that can save you LOTS of money on your tickets. But it’s only for the next 72 hours!! So hurry and grab your tickets and share this post with your friends and family so they can score this great deal too!

Use code MSQUAD for the next 72 HOURS when visiting www.ticketmaster.com and buy $12.00 tickets to Marvel Universe LIVE! playing United Center September 10 – 13

image

Grab your tickets because this deal won’t last long!! Thanks again to The Chicagoland Mom Squad! Like them on Facebook to stay up to date on all the future events they have the hook up on.