Category Archives: motherhood

2018 Hair Regimen

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A benefit I love about being pregnant is all the extra hair. The hormones are really making me look great(sometimes… there are acne breakouts). Around 90 percent of the hair grows during pregnancy,and you only lose 10 percent falls out. New hair grows in its place.However, I know this is a temporary blessing. I know I will lose hair post partum and if/when I stop breastfeeding

I love the thickness I’m getting. Even the stubborn patch in the back/middle of my head is growing WITH the rest of my hair. My thinking is that I can reduce how much I lose by upping my routine. I’m a lazy natural and have been for years and Im nit even going to kid myself about keeping it up post Avery. I will be lucky if I will be able to take a shower once a week. Oh trust me,I remember newborn days.

Anyway my secret weapon to keeping my preggo growth is Jamaican Black Castor oil(JBCO). It promotes thickness and I promise you it works. I’ve had my current bottle (which also has lavender oil in it) for about a month. I use it in my shampoo because it helps a good lather going(slip). I’m currently using Shea Moisture brand Moisture Retention shampoo. I won a sample in a giveaway,fell in love with it all over again,then bought a full sized bottle. I shampoo my hair in sections to make sure all if my hair gets proper attention. I don’t put shampoo anywhere else other than my scalp. As I rinse the shampoo runs down the length of my hair, cleans it, and I Don’t have to use extra shampoo.received_2118169135102393

After I wash, I deep condition.  Protein conditioner s strengthen the hair and help with breakage and I alternate between that and a moisturizing conditioning treatment. Lately, I like Creme of Nature w/ Argan Oil Intense Conditioning Treatment. It helps strengthen hair, prevent breakage,and adds moisture. I also do that still in sections,cover with a conditioning cap and silk scarf. Those of you who follow me on Periscope have seen my various scarves. I leave it in for about half an hour then rinse.

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Before styling,I add a leave in conditioner. Going to be honest with you, I sometimes skip deep conditioning because I’m lazy or out of conditioner and money,but I never skip the leave in. My favorite to use is also by Creme of Nature. It’s with argan oil as well and comes in spray form. It definitely makes the hsir soft and shiny. Amani’s hsir loves it! After the leave in,I put in oil. I don’t use hair grease and haven’t in 6 years. Many of them tend to have petrolatum as an ingredient which blocks the hair follicle from growing. If I am out of JBCO, I will use extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) or extra virgin coconut oil (EVCO). Most times,I mix them together. The applicator bottle you see pictured has JBCO and EVCO in it. Get one because it makes it easier to apply to the scalp.

The last step is to apply a water based cream moisturizer. Since I’m cheap I like a moisturizer that can double as a styler for my twists. Right now I like Eden Bodyworks Coconut Shea All Natural Pudding Souffle. It reduces frizz,enhances my twists out and has a light hold to keep the twists neat looking. While I like the double duty it offers I don’t like the white residue it leaves behind. If I use too much or if I use it paired with my Eco Styler gel,  when I take my twists out,the white flakes make it look like I have dandruff. But I DON’T waste any products so I add some more oil during take down snd that helps.received_386360985233812

For styling, I usually twist or braid my hair,leave it in for 3 or 4 days, then rock a twist out for another few days or so. That’s it! I hope using these products faithfully in my routine (wash, deep condition, moisturize,and style)post partum shedding won’t be as severe.

Expectant moms, what is your current hair care routine? What products do you use?

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10 Fall Activities in NYC

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10 Fall Activities in NYC

So, my favorite time of year is fast approaching: Autumn/Fall. I love everything about it…and yeah, I’m biased.Amani’s birthday is in November. I’m expecting Avery before the official start of Winter. So yeah, definitely biased.

NYC has a million activities going on everyday in every season in every borough. I may have to sit some of these out because I’ll be 7-8 months and I’ll be too paranoid to travel too far. However, that’s why I have you. I’m just going to live vicariously through you. Take pictures if you’re going to be partaking in anything I suggest. I will come up with a hashtag so I can see your pics on IG. I’ll let you know by the end of September. One more thing: I’m a frugalista mom,so a lot of these events are FREE 99. You’re welcome!

1)The Medieval Festival @Fort Tryon Park- Amani was just saying to me the other day that she wanted us to do more Fall themed  things this year and I’ve been to this festival as a kid. It screams Fall. First of all, you can dress as a medieval person. That’s a bonus for costume lovers like me and Amani. There is also period piece music for authenticity and magic( Amani loves the hidden camera magic TV show, The Carbonaro Effect). Plus,there is a joust! I think I may go back this year.

WHEN: September 30, 2018

WHERE: Fort Tryon Park

Riverside Drive

NY,NY

AGES: All

PRICE: FREE

CONTACT: (212)795-1600image

2)Harry Potter: A History of Magic- HP continues to have millions of hardcore even over a decade since it hit bookshelves. Although I have read every book in the series, it did not keep its magical hold on me. What turned my head to this event was the books, manuscripts, and other goodies from The British Library, NY Historical Society, Scholastic, and other sources. This event continues into the new year.

WHEN: 10/5/18-1/27/19

WHERE: New York Historical Society

170 Central Park West

NY,NY 10024

AGE:6+

PRICE: $21 adults, $16 seniors, $6 kids btwn 5&13,free 4&under,ticket includes admission to the museum

CONTACT: (212)873-3400nyhs-front-nyc-untapped-cities

3)Pumpkin Patch- We actually have a few farms throughout and right outside New York which is convenient. You need only pay for the pumpkin you choose, which varies by size. Pumpkin patches make great backdrops for baby pictures

WHEN: 10/6/18-10/27/18 @11AM-4PM

WHERE: Queens County Farm Museum

78-50 Little Neck Pkwy

Queens,NY

AGE: All

PRICE: FREE ADMISSION

CONTACT: (718)347-3276

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4)Annual Halloween Harvest @Luna Park- I love when there are activities that happen every year. It makes it easier to turn it into a family tradition. I was actually going to wait until Summer 2019 to take Avery for his first trip to a Powell family tradition, Luna Park(formerly Astro Land). But it still counts even if he’s not quite…here yet. I actually did not know that this existed but now I have an excuse to go to Coney Island Brooklyn twice a year.

WHEN:10/27/18

WHERE: Luna Park Coney Island

1000 Surf Avenue

Brooklyn, NY

PRICE: Free admission, fee for activities

CONTACT: (718)373-LUNA(5862)DSC_0208.JPG

5)Tours for Fours: People and Portraits- For my artsy fartsy types MOMA invites you to hear,see,and discuss ideas while admiring art in three dimensions.

WHEN: 10/6/18-10/28/18

WHERE:Museum of Modern Art

11 West 53rd Street

NY, NY 10019

AGES: 4 yr old and an adult

PRICE:FREE

CONTACT:(212)708-9400

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6) Con Edison Second Saturday Science! Soaring to New Heights- Mary Golda Ross was the first Native American female aeronautical engineer. Now you can make a hovercraft inspired by this pioneer of her time

WHEN: 11/10/18 @12PM-1PM

WHERE: Staten Island Children’s Museum @ Snug Harbor

1000 Richmond Terrace

Staten Island, NY 10301

AGES:1-9

PRICE: Free w/ $8 admission; Free for members

CONTACT:(212)637-8029staten-island-children

7) Pay As You Wish Wednesdays- I love going to the zoo and the Bronx Zoo is the biggest in all of NYC. I haven’t been there in years but I do remember that it is an all day experience, so get there early.

WHEN: 6/20/18-12/12/18

WHERE: Bronx Zoo

2300 Southern Boulevard

Bronx,NY 10460

AGES: All

PRICE: what ever you want,Wednesdays only

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8) Brooklyn Bridge Park:Environmental Education Center- This one is great because it has a couple things. It’s an aquarium with local sea fare from the East River, craft spot, reading corn and more.

WHEN:6/23/18-12/16/18,Tues.+ Thurs 3-5pm,Sat+ Sun 1-5pm

WHERE: Brooklyn Bridge Park

99 Plymouth Street

Brooklyn, NY

AGES: ALL

PRICE: FREE

CONTACT:(718)222-9939

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9)Holiday Train Show @ New York Botanical Garden- It’s the train show’s 27th showing. This year the focus is Lower Manhattan where NYC started. Some new additions to look for are One World Trade Center, the Battery Maritime Building and a couple of old school Staten Island Ferry boats.

WHEN: 11/17/18-1/21/19 @ 10AM-6PM

WHERE: New York Botanical Garden

2900 Southern Boulevard

Bronx,NY

AGES: ALL

PRICE: TBA

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10) Soweto Gospel Choir- Some inspirational music to start the winter holidays off right. These singers are from South Africa

WHEN: 12/4/18 @ 4PM

WHERE: Lehman College

250 Bedford Park Boulevard

Bronx,NY

AGES: ALL

PRICE: $25- $45; Children under 12, $10

CONTACT:(718)960-8025

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Which events will you be attending? Look out for the hashtag announcement!

A Change Gonna Come

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A Change Gonna Come

So for those of you who are following  me on Instagram (which should be ALL of you) you know that Tuesday night, I took Amani to WWE SmackDown Live. For my faithful followers you’re already tired of hearing about this but I do don’t care,this is probably going to be my favorite Mom win of all time!received_545597389211897

Amani is a HUGE wrestling fan! She watches it faithfully every week,plays 2K18, writes out story lines in her notebooks, has imaginary matches with her over sized stuffed dog,Bookie(poor Bookie),and is the proud owner of some cheaply made overpriced WWE merchandise. The girl LOVES IT!!! So she has been saying to me since May about what she wants to do with her Summer. She mentioned that going to a live event would be awesome and she knew that they would be in Brooklyn (30 mins subway ride from here) for SummerSlam weekend. I knew she would want to go and I thought “There is no way to make this happen. I am stretched to my financial limit preparing for Avery. I didn’t say no to her I just said  “Pray for a safe and happy Summer”. received_922360701285908.jpeg

Anyway, we got to go because God is just…GOD! We had an amazing time and Amani got a life long dream fufilled. Our family is going through changes and Amani is morphing into a pre teen. She is seeing that she is different from a lot of little girls she knows in that she is a tough girl who is larger than her classmates and enjoys wrestling. She thinks she is weird and is constantly asking me if I think she is weird. That tells me she values my opinion. Taking her to SmackDown was about letting her know that I support the young woman she is no matter what and so what if she is weird, Mom loves wrestling too…as evidenced by all my ridiculous yelling lol

Parents of Teens: How do you show your kids that whoever they are is cool?

Breakfast Blues

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You may see a simple breakfast plate but this delectable dish represents one thing I love to do for Amani: cooking her breskfast. I made this a few mornings ago and as I was setting up her plate,a sad thought occurred to me. I won’t be making her breskfasts for her like I have been once Avery is here. It’s not like I’m Betty Crocker over here making ALL her meals EVERY day but I like to do breakfast 3 times a week. Post Avery that will probably get cut in half. I would love to promise that I am going to do plan ahead frozen recipes like the ones pinned on my Food board on Pinterest,but that’s not going to happen. So the only options left are frozen waffles/breskfast sandwiches and breakfast at school. At least for the first few weeks after Avery comes home.

Making Amani’s favorite foods are one of the ways I show her love. She always praises her favorites and doubles the praise when I come up with new faves(last week it was pancakes w/ strawberry jelly and butter).

It is wonderful that I’m adding to our family but I hate the impending changes it will bring in our routine. Everyone has been telling me that our relationship will be fine but there is still that little tug in the back of my mind that questions if I’ll do or say one little thing and blow our whole relationship to smithereens.

HOW DO YOU MAINTAIN ROUTINE WHEN ADDING A NEW BABY TO THE HOUSEHOLD?

Up In Smoke Pt. 2

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No man can wear one face to himself and another to the multitude without finally getting bewildered as to which may be true- Hawthorne

I saw this quote while watching The Sopranos believe it or not. So much of my written stuff is inspired by somethonf I saw on television.

At first I interpreted it as “you can’t keep being phony all your life without eventually forgetting who the real you is”. That statement all by itseld is enough to make you think about your authenticity. However, after mulling it over and even praying for deeper insight, I had an “aha” moment.

I am celebrating a year of quitting cigarettes. I quit on my mother’s birthday, June 21st. My mom had been beghing me to quit since she found out I started (which coincidentally was around her birthday in 2012)She had quit smoking cigarettes and marijuana in 1993. But whenever she asked me to quit, I brought up her past history. NOTE: NEVER THROW YOUR MOM’S PAST UP TO HER. IT’S A S****Y THING TO DO.

So anyway, I started feeling physically drained and I was tired and irritable and just off. I went to my doctor and after telling me I’m anemic, I told him I wanted to quit smoking. He put me on meds and about three weeks later, I felt better. The first two weeks were tortuous and I wanted to go on a rampage but I made it through.

I noticed that the person I was when I was smoking was far different from when I quit. I wasn’t so focused on when I could puff again or how I would pay for it. I could be the real me before I picked up the habit. I only picked up smoking because I had a stressful work and home life. My biological mom,stepfather, and youngest brother had moved in unannounced and my job demanded so much of my time, I was missing time with my rapidly growing three-year-old. I wanted to be care free and unbothered so I put on a mask. I smoked EVERY chance I got. Double time when I was out with friends. Now that I’m thinking about it, I was still missing time with my kid whenever I interrupted our play rime to smoke.

In the first two weeks of quitting, I was in a daze or fog a lot. I forgot who I was and what made me actually happy. I was bewildered as Hawthorne says. A year later and I’m physically healthier and God helped me quit in preparation to carry this life inside me. Everything works for His glory. Amen.

Oh, Baby!!!

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“As you start your journey, the first thing you should do is throw away that store- bought map and begin to draw your own”- Michael Dell

I found this quote on fellow blog, Persia, Diary of a Mad Black Woman. I think it totally suits my life right now. As some,if not all of you know, I three months pregnant with baby #2. I wasn’t expecting to be pregnant again. Granted, I wasnt exactly preventing it but it wasn’t in my immediate plans. I’ve beenpretty vocal about wanting another child so I’m definitely excited. However, I wanted to be more financially stable than I am now. I thonl a posotive thing to come out of this pregnancy is a deeper faith and connection with God. I’m really going to have to lean on Him to help me pursue my original goals with a new baby on my hip.

My “store- bought map” as the quote says was leading me in the direction of becoming an entrepreneur and full time blogger. I intended to open an Etsy shop showcasing and selling my crochet projects. I had a name picked out and was even working on a few items to start with. I was researchong pricing and takong webinars on advertising on social media. Then…BOOM,morning sickness forces me to throw away that map and construct my own. I’m the only judt feeling more like myself and setrlong comfortably into the craving stage of pregnancy. My foods of xhoice are B.L.T.s and fruit.

This past week, I had to pray amd listen for what to do about money for Avery (that’s the name I chose whether it’s a boy or girl). Thank God I live in a state where there are resources for women like me. I applied for the Women Infant and Children (W.I.C.) program. Also, next week I will be headed to HRA (welfare) to receive a pregnancy allowance. That will help me buy baby necessities. I still want to blog full time but I’m pretty inconsistent. I set myself up for failure bu promisong to blog every day. Well, Im not doing that this time. For now, I’m aiming for once a week. That will keep me from over extending myself. As for the Etsy shop,I’m not really sure. I guess I could work on items for the duration of my pregnancy and then once the baby comes and I’ve settled into new mom mode, I can start selling. Yes, maybe that’s what I will do.

I would like to take a moment to thank all of you who have supported this psce through the years. I just found out I now have 100 followers and that chokes me up. I never thought 100 people would care what I have to say. I would do a giveaway if my broke self had anything to hibe away. I appreciate the support and love and I hope all 100 of you are also following the Facebook Page: Mommy In Color. Be blessed and be a blessing!

Lucille!!!

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Those of you who follow my Instagram account, know that this past weekend I was gifted with my very FIRST slow cooker.  I have decided to name it Lucille, a moniker I have to a favorite pen I had in 8th grade. Actually, I named the pen after the Little Richard song ‘Lucille’,after I watched the Little Richard biopic,starring a favorite of mine, Leon 😍😍😍. But, I digress.

I CAN’T WAIT to make my first slow cooker meal and so I got Pinterest and found quite a few I want to try. But one that stuck out to me was actually one I had seen done by my favorite television chef, Ree Drummond AKA The Pioneer Woman. It also just so happened that my mother mentioned that she had a taste for homemade lasagna,and then I got the slow cooker,all in the same week. Talk about fate,huh? Without further ado, here is the recipe for slow cooker lasagna. Enjoy!

   

Ingredients

Meat Mixture:
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 medium onion diced 
  • 2 pounds ground beef
  • 1 pound Italian sausage, casing removed
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped 
  • One 28-ounce can diced tomatoes
  • One 14.5-ounce can diced tomatoes 
  • One 6-ounce can tomato paste 
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh basil
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano 
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt 
  • Freshly ground black pepper 
Cheese Mixture:
  • 3 cups ricotta cheese
  • 3/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan 
  • 1/2 cup grated Romano 
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh basil
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt 
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper 
  • 2 large eggs, beaten 
Lasagna:
  • Nonstick cooking spray, for spraying the slow cooker
  • 15 uncooked lasagna noodles 
  • 2 cups grated mozzarella
  • Chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley, for garnish

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Directions

For the meat mixture: In a large skillet over medium-high heat, add the olive oil and onion and saute for 5 minutes. Add the ground beef, sausage and garlic and cook until brown, 7 to 9 minutes. Add the tomatoes with their juice, tomato paste, basil, parsley, oregano, salt and some pepper and stir. Set aside.

For the cheese mixture: In a medium bowl, combine the ricotta, Parmesan, Romano, basil, parsley, salt, pepper and eggs and stir together well.

For the lasagna: Spray a 6-quart slow cooker with cooking spray.

Spoon in one-quarter of the meat mixture on the bottom and top with 5 lasagna noodles, broken to fit. Add a third of the cheese mixture, then sprinkle with 1/2 cup mozzarella. Repeat this layering twice, starting with the meat mixture and ending with the mozzarella, for 3 layers total.

For the fourth layer, top with the remaining meat mixture and remaining 1/2 cup mozzarella. Cover and cook on low for 4 hours. Turn off the heat and allow the lasagna to sit 30 minutes before serving. Sprinkle with chopped parsley.

Show: The Pioneer Woman

Episode: Hay There!

My Fall Favorites

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What is your favorite Halloween candy?



Hmm… I love anything except candy corn.

 

What is one of the worst “treats” you ever received in your candy bag? 

See number 1.

 

What was one of your favorite costumes you wore when you were a kid?

Darn, I wish I had a picture of it. I got my first costume when I was 11 years old and it was a teeny bopper outfit. Complete with poodle on skirt and saddle shoes! I was too embarrassed to tell my classmates what it was because I felt like they would call me a nerd. My teacher explained my costume and everyone complimented the poodle on my skirt.

 

 

How about your favorite costume as an adult?

As adult I’ve only ever been SEXY Snow White

 

What scares you most on Halloween? Spiders? Zombies? Axe murderers? Eyeballs in a jar… 

This is Pumpkinhead and he scares the shit out of me! Bleh…


 

So then, what is your favorite scary movie??

Invasion of the Body Snatchers(1978)

The Fly (198?) It was gross and I loved it! Plus…Jeff Goldblum naked!!!

Night of the Living Dead (1968)

What is you favorite part of the Thanksgiving meal?

Hmm… well this year it will be celebrating my daughter’s first decade on Thanksgiving Day!

 What is your favorite piece of clothing or accessory to wear in the Fall?

Scarves are my favorite thing to wear.  And the best part is,I make my own!

 

What is your favorite pie?  If you do not like pie I will forgive you but then what is your favorite Fall dessert?

Lately, it’s a pumpkin pie cheesecake that I found in my local supermarket

The cheesecake is underneath the bagel covered in pumpkin spice cream cheese as seen on my 

bookstagram

 

Do you live where there are four seasons? If so, where is your favorite place to see the fall colors?

There is beautiful foliage on the walk to my daughter’s school. As soon as it’s in full effect, I will post pictures!

 

This is the above mentioned area pre Fall foliage

What is your favorite fall tradition?

Watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. Every year I try to catch a picture of the Spongebob balloon as he floats by because he’s one of my favorite cartoon characters. It’s become my own quirky tradition!

 

Is there anything else special about the Fall to you?

 Some close relatives of mine that have passed away have birthdays in November so I like to remember them by picking leaves of different colors,saying a prayer,and watching the leaves float away out to sea. I also have a two nieces with birthdays and a couple of friends with birthdays as well! So I guess I’m celebrating all through November!!!

Time and Balance

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I notice I use my time best when I’ve done my morning routine to completion.  This past week, I’ve been bullshitting and not doing it. What’s my excuse? Aside from a couple famioly hiccups this weeks,I’ve been truly tired. Like almost-miss-my-Allstar-by-Smashmouth-custom-morning-alarm tired.

I enjoy spending time to myself before I have any other roles to take on at 6:30am. I take my silent walk around the block. I get to admire my dreary little piece of NYC. I get to have witty musings and observations about life and motherhood when I take my walks. During my meditation I visualize the life I’m headed to. That in turn inspired me to read,which inspires me to come up with new content. Full circle,y’all!

With that being said, I don’t feel all that guilty about missing my routine sometimes. I don’t always want to be alone with myself. Sometimes I wan to jist stay busy in my other roles. Nothing wrong with trying to find a balance. Isn’t that what life is? 

Namaste…ish

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Just wanted to drop in and update you guys on my morning routine. Full disclosure: I have stopped and started this routine 2 times already. Third time’s the charm,they say. This go round I’ve stuck with it for almost a week. That’s a record for me because I drop out of self care things within a couple of days. This is different.  Why, you ask?

About two months ago, an ex of mine and so were catching up and he said “You haven’t changed at all in the said years I’ve known you. Don’t you want to try something different?” He was referring to my hair and clothing style,such earned him an onslaught of words that would make a sailor blush. However,he did implant in my mind that there  are  changes I’d like to make to my life style and well being and the way I approach it. Enter The Miracle Morning(TMM). I figure that a change in me will start when from when I wake up in the morning.

TMM follows a formula created by the author of the book called Life S.A.V.E.R.S. They are the steps you take during the routine. You can switch the order around if you want but here is what the routine consists of:

Silence. You can take a silent walk(sans phone), meditate,oeay,do breathing exercises,etc. Whatever you choose,do it in silence. This gives you a chance to get dome mental clarity,focus on the goals ahead if you, and it’s strss relieving.

Affirmations. Oprah does affirmations. That’s good enough for me.

A few of my affirmations. I have night time ones as well.

Visualization. Vision boards help to keep you motivated on where your trying to go and what you’re trying to do. You can choose to have a physical one where you can see it every day or an online one. Here is mine.

Exercise. This one is my least favorite   I HATE working out but I do love yoga.  I have a serious internal battle every day to get it together and hit the mat. Once I do, I feel better. This is my favorite workout (cuz it’s easy)

Reading. Obvi, this one is my favorite.  It’s suggested that you read something motivational or self help related. After I’m done with TMM,  I’ll be reading Present Over Perfect by Shauna Niequist. 

Scribing. This is a journaling exercise. I use the journaling to summarize my thoughts and feelings about what I’ve learned during my MM that morning. I jot down how I’ve improved that day,changes I want to make,and one thing I’m grateful for that morning. 

I feel a lot more energized,motivated,and positive since starting TMM. Im moving forward career wise because I have the confidence in my abilities now. I’d say that’s a big win!