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Ease on Down – your first outing alone with Baby

15 Jul

When you become a mother – you may feel:

  • Happy/Sad
  • Blessed/Overwhelmed
  • Helpless/Accomplished
  • Together/Alone
  • Complete/Empty

Did that rack your brain enough? If you’re not a mom yet – but you are waiting to become one, these are just a few of the ways you might feel once your baby gets here.

And it’s okay if every feeling you feel is not 110% positive. Don’t be too hard on yourself and don’t strive for perfection. I am learning this myself. My journey to motherhood was not the smoothest ride (more on this later). But it was however, something I wanted so badly and I am so grateful for now. But strangely enough when I had my daughter – just a few days later I felt overwhelmed with emotion due to a need to protect her.There was something about her “being out”that tore away at my heart. If you want to hear more about it those postpartum  woes and need advice, click here.

Even more exciting is what ‘s to come with that first outing with your little one. Your first outing with your child alone can look a number of ways. Mines was with our daughter’s first month doctor checkup.

I clutched my invisible pearls in anticipation (photo below) but it wasn’t half bad. me and baby - one month appt blog post

Let’s be clear, I tossed and turned a bit the night before our outing. It’s one thing to leave the house as just myself and it’s a breeze working with my husband to venture out – riding shotgun and checking baby’s leg temp, watching her breathing, etc.

But being behind the wheel with precious cargo caused me to have a heightened level of awareness. We successfully conquered though. If you’re going out with your little one here are some tricks that helped us:

  1. Get prepped the night before. Preparation is key, especially if you have a timed-specific event the two of you need to be at. After having your baby, you will have a few appointments – some for her, some for yourself…and while many offices allow a 15 minute or so grace period, you still want to prep to do your best to be on time. My parents used to catch a bunch of jokes when my brother and I were little about always being the “late ones to arrive” and they always replied with “we have kids idiot!” Well not quite in those terms. Getting out the house with children, let alone a newborn is quite an adventure, so get that diaper bag, her outfit, your clothes, the car seat and other materials (insurance cards, questions for your doctor, etc.) related to your outing if needed.
  2. Be real. Be flexible. And this is with EVERY SINGLE EVENT FROM HERE ON OUT. You may run late. You may get lost and make a wrong turn (Mommy brain). There may be some surprises – bumps in the road if you will. But keep your cool and carry on.
  3. Breathe. If you get panicky, a couple of deep breaths may help you ease through the anxiety. Breathe in for four breaths, breathe out for four more. Remember you need to keep a cool head because you are not just driving for yourself – you’ve got a precious gift in tow.
  4. Take your time. Don’t rush getting from place to place. Our balance can get shaken up when we try to race with time so takes yours as needed. The time will pass anyway, so as mentioned before – be flexible and do what you can to be “on time” but move at your own pace when in transition to the next phase of your outing.
  5. Manage baby’s feedings while out. Okay, this will be different for everyone, but you will need to take the proper amount of bottles and keep track of when baby needs to eat as it relates to where you’ll be. So if you know you have an appointment at 11am and your baby normally eats around that time, you may have to get creative and feed her at say, the nearest mall’s family breastfeeding room, or linger around the doctor’s appointment to feed her. This helped me a bunch, because it helped baby girl stay pretty calm while in the car. We had not one fussy moment from hunger. 🙂 Feeding before you leave helps too. But do what works for you.
  6. Keep someone posted. My point person was my husband – I let him know our ETA and arrival just so someone knew where we were. Although he wouldn’t have had it any other way. I also had my mom on alert as well.
  7. Live and learn. There will be many more outings with your mini-me so use this first one and the ones after to find your own routine and way that works for you and your family.

Safe travels to and fro’

Peace & blessings




Step it up – Your Wardrobe that is 1/4

9 Oct

So you’ve grown up in the world – your own car, your own place, a job to go to. All is right.To go along with that abundance, every grown woman needs her own look – her own style. So, here we go. If you’ve been feeling stuck when it comes to styles, little ol’ me is here to help!We are going to do this together! Like you, I go in and out with my clothes and am working to rebuild my wardrobe. For now, we are going to start with the basics. There are a few items that every woman needs to as she builds her wardrobe. This is part 1 of a 4 part series, so continue to check back for the completion. Here the first 6 we are going to work with:

#1 Jeans – Denim is still in, but don’t let your first new pair be ones that are all ripped up and bleached out. We can get to that later. You will need to have 2 pairs for starters. Get yourself a basic pair of jeans that fit you nicely. I always say, the darker the better – goes for a much more classic look. And then if you want a more relaxed look, grab the perfect pair of “boyfriend jeans” on a lighter color scale. This would be cute paired with some little booties for fall.

carolina engman boyfriend jeans

Denim Cutie via Arianna Elizabeth                                                                                Boyfriend Jeans via Fashion Squad

#2 Little Black Dress – A true wardrobe staple! Make sure you’ve got this one ready to go and perfect for any occasion. If I had to pick just one style, I would say a cap sleeve, mid length, peplum dress would do the trick! This way you can layer it underneath and over top. OR if you can’t chose just one – go for two (the magic #): One for your girls’ nights or date nights and the other sensible for work.


LBD via pinterest                                                                                                          

#3 Blazer – Long gone are the days when you would only wear a blazer if you have a church function, sorority event or a job interview. Now, a blazer is a girl’s BFF. And you don’t have to go with basic black. You do need a basic black one – because again, It’s a classic essential. But I say, pick a few – a color that you would mind wearing often, a color that matches your personality and one that you just like. Simple and basic as that! Blazers also don’t have to be super expensive either. When in doubt, H&M has just what you need – plenty of colors for under $40. If you pair your blazer with your other basic pieces, you’ll already have a few outfits to work with for a variety of events! Like your LBD and a black blazer – sleek and easy!

A blazer can turn an outfit around completely. Not only will this piece be perfect for my own professional appearance, but will be fabulous in any store I work with! Oh and the bag and shoes work so well with this outfit!

Pretty in Pink Blazer via weheartit                                                          Photo via LesConseilsdescheena             

#4 Tees Please – Grab about 2 fun ones and 2 basic solid-color ones. We’re going to have some fun with these! I’m talking layers and outfit mixes. Tees are perfect to pair with leopard print skirts, boyfriend jeans, blazers and sneaks – the options are endless. More to come on this one – I promise!

new boyfriend.

Basic tee via Bella Ella Boutique                                                                                             Photo via Pinterest: traceyk

#5 Oxford Shirts – White is the best first choice and then a light blue. Perfect classics to get you started. And again it’s another one of those pieces you can wear with just about anything and dress it up and/or down. So be it tights, jeans, work pants, skirts….it pairs well with it all!

RL Striped Oxford Shirt

Oxford button-down via pinterest

#6 Pencil Skirts –  Prints, solids – this is my favorite part. Start your collection with a neutral color (black, khaki or navy blue) and then go to bold and beyond: bold colors, prints – whatever your heart desires.

Keke Palmer in neon pink pencil skirt. LOVE IT !

Hot pink pencil skirt – via pinterest

6 Secrets to Finding and Keeping a Boo

15 Aug

Do you want a boo in your life? Or have you been meeting people but it just doesn’t seem to stick? We’ve got some great tips for you to help you find a meet a someone to start a relationship with. You might want to get your notepad out for these:

Insert YOU here :)

#1 Know that there are no secrets. Sorry guys – what I do have to offer however are some great tips that will help you in navigating, taking your time and easing into this whole relationship thing. As a soon-to-be married woman, I am a little removed from the dating scene, but I do know a few tricks of the trade from when/how I met my boo. Most of which were not so successful – but for the most part, I must have done something right 🙂

#2 Avoid going into Hunting Spree Mode. Finding and going into “Gotta get me a man/woman NOW” mode are two totally different things. It’s important to keep your eyes open, but give them a rest too when you want to find a mate. Word to the wise: chill boo.

#3 Pray. Oh yes! Before I met my future hubby, I prayed. I was fed up with not connecting with guys that I met or guys that didn’t deserve me. No matter your gender, you can pray that you get a man/woman that is for you. These were a few onf my prayers:

  • That God first make me whole – because it starts there – with YOU.
  • That God bring me what HE knows is best for me.
  • That I am patient enough to let him come to me. …….So tonight say your special prayer – that is unique to you and your situation. The rest will work itself out.

#4 Know your worth. Like granny would say “Never take any wodden nickles.” She wasn’t saying that to make you tout your nose up and look down on people. She said it for you to know that you are worth more than the basic – well in this case, the artificial. Don’t expect the person you end up dating and possibly sharing your life with to be perfect, cause none of us are. But do realize that you are worthy of love, respect and realness. Once you do this, you won’t end up wasting your time on anything less.

#5 Change the way you think & Let the past go. “All men are dogs.” “Man, women only want a man with money.” We’ve all heard these phrases or have said them before. Despite what you’ve experienced, what you’ve heard your friends say, or what you think is true, in order to find someone to share your love with, you’ve got to block out negative stereotypes. This only closes us off to what could potentially be a person to start something with. And two, no one wants a Sour Susie or a Broken Brandon that they have to constantly prove themselves to. To keep your boo – lighten up or chances are, they will go on to the next.

Everybody’s got a past. The past does not equal the future unless you live there. – Tony Robbins.

#6 Enjoy your own company. You can’t expect others to want to be around you or deem you approachable if you don’t enjoy yourself. While living the single life – get to know you. Learn to love being around yourself. So, bask in the ambience of who you are by taking yourself to the movies (this is not a sign of loneliness), or enjoying a glass of wine, a moment of silence….whatever it takes. Just be happy. Know when to sit still and just LOVE your life. It’s the boomerang effect. The love you give will come right back to you.

Stay tuned……we will have more relationship advice to come.

60 seconds: WHAT’S YOUR DREAM?

11 Aug

Life is but a dream

Life is but a dream

When you were a kid – you dreamed of where you would go, where you would be 15 years from then. What happened to that? The older we get, the more we lose sight of those small daydreaming moments we used to love to escape to.

For those that have reached their dreams – great! Keep up the good work.

For everyone else not quite there yet, it’s true that dreams can be differed. Some dreams get put on hold. Some , if not captured right away are forgotten about.

Take 60 seconds today and think a little about what is it that you want for yourself….Not what someone else can give you, but what gift do you have to give yourself and to the world?

We’ve all got something to give…..

Get focused – you’ve got 60 seconds. GO!

-Tracey K.

Cheers to all things NEW!

21 Jun

Photo Group

Photography Class Group of Washington School of Photography. Photo by John Reef;

Yesterday was session 3 of my photography class. Although I wish I could say that I paid for this class myself (my “on-a-diet” upcoming wedding pockets would have to plead otherwise), I didn’t; I have a great career and an amazing supervisor who believes in me. I thank her for investing in some photography classes, that I can use to capture candid moments of impactful the work we do.

Personally, I’ve always loved taking pictures and always seem to be “that girl” of my family who gets all the great shots (especially of my nephew – he’s my muse).

chris lee 1chris lee 2

For me, it is just one of those things I like to do. I don’t think too hard about it. Especially when it comes to capturing natural daily activities. Nothing too deep. Art represents life anyway, so to me, whatever needs to be said in a photo will be said on its own.

One thing we can all count on is that there is always room to grow, develop and share your experiences. So, cheers to NEW ventures to come – because you never know what God is preparing you for!

Share with us – what are you learning new in the next few months to help better yourself?

And when you can – invest in YOU or find someone who believes in you enough to do so. And be thankful for those people.

Until next time.

Peace and light,


5 Signs it’s Time to Cut your Grass

11 Jun

“That’s why I had to cut the grass so I can see the snakes.” – Lil’ Kim, 2003.

I remember hearing this song, “This is who I am,” from Lil’ Kim’s La Bella Mafia album back in the beginning of my college life – sophomore year maybe. We all have those songs/lyrics that stick with us. For me, this line is one of those – and has been going strong as a little reminder for me for 10 years now.

Talk about relevance!

“This is who I am,” touches on a range of topics: morals, perseverance and as it relates to this post: friendship. Or shall I say letting go of them. Touchy subject. But the truth in the matter is that letting some friends go or re-evaluating them is a part of life. This applies to our relationships too, whether with family members, spouses or coworkers. We’ve all had to do it (myself included) and it sometimes is not the easiest thing to do. But maybe these tips on “5 Signs it’s Time to Cut your Grass (aka that “something” ),” will help a bit:

Number 1: When the grass is too high. When it’s time to cut the grass, it’s just time to do it. Not an easy task at all: it takes some sweating, troubleshooting and a little elbow grease to get the job done. But any yard has to be well kept – so grass that is too high and is covering all your goodness, must go!

grass cut blog post

Number 2: When you’ve treated the grass, spent your hard-earned money on landscaping and it’s still tired and fried. We’ve all reached that one point of our lives’ tried to salvage something that was destined to fail – and that’s okay. Just know that when you have gave it all you got and the grass is still causing you problems, get to cutting, cause the thrill might be gone.

Number 3: When you see a snake. This should be an easy one right? Not really. Sometimes we can see a snake through our grass and we still don’t cut it. Let’s pause or a second. Snakes could be friends, strangers, and the like. Remember that one thing someone did to you that you just let slide? Well that’s stuff that snakes do. The caution signs are all in front of you. You see it with your very own eyes, yet deny that it’s there. You’d rather let your grass get all out of order and let the snakes in your life multiply, instead of cutting it down so you can see clearly. Be honest with yourself and remember what Granny said ‘if it looks like a duck – it’s a duck.”

Number 4: When other people don’t want to see your grass. Eyesore! Sometimes when we have negative people around us it brings out the worst in us too. So this type of grass must be chopped, bagged and trashed. Sorry – didn’t mean to get graphic. But no one wants to be around someone that allows toxic people in their life. Those kinds of people can others question your loyalty and judgment. If you’ve got someone in your life who can’t share you with your other friends, can’t be genuinely happy for you or who talk negatively about every other friend you have – it’s time to let it go.

Number 5: When the grass makes you uncomfy: itchy, sneezing, just plain sick. Don’t ignore the warning signs. Susan Taylor once said “Pain is information.” And it’s true. If you are experiencing physical pain: headaches, etc., at the sight of someone’s name on your phone. Let them go. Or if your gut just isn’t settling right, take the hint. Listen to those things. If you’ve got symptoms like these that make life uneasy around dingy grass – cut it boo!

Bottom line? Get rid of anything that is weighing you down. Anything that does not allow you to flourish! It’s a hard thing to do. I’ve been there before, wanting to hold on to something that just isn’t there. Take it from me…waste not another second with the petty things and move right along. You’ll be glad that you did.

-peace and light

Tracey K.