boy: a noise with dirt on it

a mommy-friend of mine invited the boys and i to toddler story time at a local library recently.  actually, she invited us weeks ago but i finally got it together enough on my end so that we could attend. it was a morning event so i got up super-duper early just to ensure we’d make it. a lil late, but we made it.  i feel like i have to start getting everybody ready like 3 hours before we have to be somewhere, seriously.  and when we are rarely making good time, Chiso suddenly has to go go to the restroom as i am loading up the car or Dego throws up on us.  never fails!  but hey, we made it AND we even got a nice breakfast in!

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i had egg whites with black pepper, mozzarella almond cheese, a little homemade guacamole, low-fat turkey sausage, and french toast with strawberries!  big breakfast to support my activity levels these days which includes hitting the weights again, nursing around the clock, and keeping up with my 3 yr old. among other things.

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Chiso has requested pancakes for like 2 weeks straight now. maybe even longer than that.  so made him some sprinkled with mini chocolate chips, sugar-free syrup, and a little fat-free Redi Whip.

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our boys warmed right on up to each other and enjoyed the crafting, songs, and puppet show.

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 Maranda is a mom of 3 boys herself so i know she feels my pain can relate to life with these little knuckleheads!

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 our first official outing together.  we did it!! we’re pros now. i actually avoided leaving the house with both boys for the longest…but the saying is true. ‘ain’t nothin’ to it but to do it.’ after that? piece of cake! for the most part. thinking, i.e. worrying, about every single thing that could go wrong is no way to live. i’ve learned to be prepared, prayerful, and cautious, not crazy.  Chiso’s independence could not have come at a better time though. for him to be able to get in and out of the car himself, clean up his toys and messes, retrieve and/or throw away Dego’s diapers, and turn on the bathroom light so i don’t have to get up lol helps out big time. sigh…no more baby Chiso!

just another one of those bittersweet mommy moments.

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well all that fun didn’t result in a nap at our house, but Chiso enjoyed himself and has asked to go back countless times now. Maranda is a pro at finding free & fun stuff to do around our city, and i recently came across Houston on the Cheap with even more ideas galore.  check it!
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i got to bed way too late so my early gym date was definitely out this morning. i hit the streets for some sprints once Sonny got home instead. i haven’t run full speed in almost a year and i’m sure i’ll pay for it tomorrow and the next day!  i did ladders:

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i started slow and only went ‘down’ the ladder from 5 to 1.  that was all i had, woof.  also, here are two foodie items being adding back into my diet that i’ve posted about before: almond cheese (gotta cut down on the dairy cause of bloating) and calorie-free Grey Poupon mild & creamy mustard. i got great feedback via Instagram about Daiya vegan cheese so i’m gonna step out and try that brand next.

Q: what have you tripped over that wasn’t even worth tripping over once you did it?

le

saturdate + 6 week pp fitness goals

Sonny and i attended a wedding late last night/morning, so the boys hung out with their grandparents overnight.  which also means i was confined to my breast pump every 4 hours or so.  i remember being away from Chiso overnight for the 1st time and fearing he would reject my breast cause of nipple confusion once we were reunited again. it drove me crazy, but i was also a first time mom. a lot of things drove me crazy then.  fortunately, both boys latched right back on like nothing ever happened. *although it is recommended to give newborns at least 3 solid weeks of breast only before introducing the bottle if you can help it*. after sleeping straight through the night i woke up full of liquid gold and leaking through my clothes and bed sheets. there’s always a trade-off! was it worth a night of uninterrupted sleep?

heck yes.

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 i headed to ‘weigh-ins’ with Sonny, as he calls them.  the 6 Pack USA  plan works for people inside and outside of Houston. ‘weigh-ins’  is where we check our 6 Pack USA Houston clients’ progress in person if they choose (body fat, weight, motivation levels) to ensure they are on track with their customized meal and workout plans. video links are provided for  those that prefer to have a family or friend measure them weekly.  i’m 5 weeks postpartum and currently pondering about my own fitness goals these days. here are a few i’d like to share with ya:

  • naturally detox my body from processed foods (i’ll still be eating whole wheat bread and tortillas, etc., but i’m referring to unnecessary things like cool whip)
  • drink way more water (WHEN will i get it together in this department…i mean really.)  it will help keep my milk supply up, skin hydrated, and things moving along in my digestive system
  • lift these glutes! i eat pancakes…i don’t wear them. ready to squat heavy again and build my booty back up.
  • strengthen my entire back – the weight of these boobs have my posture slipping big time. not cute. and i’m feeling quite unbalanced and shaped like a number 9 at that. gravity is just not my friend.  this is another job for heavy weight lifting.
  • widdle down my waist – which will largely come from better nutrition, time, and patience.
  • shooting for 13-14% body fat  (long as that comes with a normally functioning menstrual cycle. since i’m breastfeeding i don’t have to worry about Aunt Flo for a while anyway, woo hoo)
  • upper-body definition - i can only do a few push ups on my toes before modifying to my knees because my core is still pretty weak, but like anything else, the more i do them the stronger i’ll get.
  • start my own 6 Pack USA plan soon!

that’s it for now;  just want to tighten a few things up. not ready to hit any stage anytime soon or anything though.

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 the last piece of evidence to this pregnancy…. my linea negra and tummy discoloration. it stuck around for like 4-5 months after my first pregnancy, so it’s not going anywhere anytime soon. no crop tops for me this summer though!

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two dates in one weekend? don’t mind if we do.  hubby and i don’t work out together too often (we actually train at different gyms), but when we do it’s always fun and special cause it’s so rare. maybe once or twice a month at best.  it’s one of those ‘too much of a good thing’ kinda idioms for us i guess.  20140726_124252_1

afterwards we had lunch at one of our fave Greek spots, Niko Nikos. they were on Diners, Drive-Ins, & Dives a few years ago but they were already well-known in Houston long before then!  i would love to visit every place Guy has gone one day.  i already told Sonny if we ever visit a city with a restaurant that was featured on his show, we are going. it’s mandatory.

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what…?  #unphased #stillsnappingaway

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i started out with one of their fresh greek salads with that signature block of salty feta cheese on top,

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then our shared, ‘appetizer’, The Hercules Plate, came next. lol.

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we hadn’t been here in a while so we were surprised to see breakfast items on the menu! Sonny got a steak and egg gyro for himself that was really good.  the pita bread is always so soft, warm, and magical.

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instead of ordering my usual grilled chicken and spinach pita, i got The Broiled Flounder Plate w/ half rice half lemon baked potatoes with tzatziki sauce and pita bread.

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hey. just hiding my food baby.20140725_125414

  i REALLY wanted some greek donuts, but i went for some Arctic Zero, fat-free Redi Whip and sprinkles when we got home to kill my sweet craving.

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  not sure who is harder to raise….  husbands or kids? i’ve been saying i have 3 babies lately, lol. ironically, i showed this to Sonny and he didn’t even get it!!!

Q: have you ever eaten at a restaurant featured on Food Network?

le

crunchy ginger rotisseri chicken wrap + stay fuller longer

having the same thing i had for breakfast yesterday while there are a few La Tortilla Factory Tortillas left in this house. they go so fast cause we all like them! Chiso eats them as pb & j rollups, Sonny makes tacos, and quesadillas are my fave. the exact kind i get are only at the Sprouts Farmers Market closest to where i live.

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 since i always make them for lunch or dinner,  i tried a breakfast quesadilla this time with egg whites, red bell pepper, green onion, low fat turkey sausage, and 2% pepper jack cheese.  i cooked it on the griddle for 4-5 min on each side and threw in some tomatoes, bluebs, and homemade guacamole. excellent!

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 my day gets going after some good fuel, and this thing makes it so much easier to get stuff done around the house when baby boy is fussy or i just don’t want to put him down.  i received this Baby Bjorn as a gift while preggo with Chiso and i love it for home use and outings.  Dego is a thumb sucker and puts his whole hand over his face while he does it! so funny.

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so with breastfeeding and getting back to my random, sweaty workouts as of this week, i am double HOONGRY. this is ridiculous.  i just want to eat the entire fridge and pantry when i get home.  coincidently i got an email from Spark People titled ‘Tips to Stay Full Longer’ and i could not click the link fast enough.  these are some awesome tips to follow and i’ve already been doing some of them such as:

  • eat protein and fiber rich foods every 3-4 hours with healthy snacks in between (like fresh fruit and mixed nuts)
  • fill up on the non-starchy veggies and fibrous foods (leafy greens, cucumbers, red bell peppers, spinach, zucchini, sugar snap peas) with every meal
  • reach for natural fruit first to lessen/knock out those sugar cravings. remember, white sugar only makes you crave it MORE! it’s a dangerous cycle.
  • drink a full glass or bottle of water before every meal
  • take your time and eat!!! when i’m super hungry i rush and stuff myself (which is why eating every couple of hours is still the best option for me). it takes about 20 minutes for your tummy to tell your brain you are even full, but by that time it’s too late and you’re on your way to a food coma. take your time to chew and swallow every bite.

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today was my first day back on the stair master since i was like 6 or 7 months preggo!  my heart rate always shot up and being up so high with my belly made Sonny uncomfy so i just stopped using it. i didn’t miss it. lol. hurts so good though!  i did some intervals for about 30 minutes for my cardio and headed to a core class.  how about i modified everythang. my postpartum core is way stronger now than in my first pregnancy, but i still have a crap ton of work to do. but first….. :D

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afterwards, i picked up some of nature’s candy from Sprouts.  i love their 3 for 5 bucks sale! i got 2 strawberries and one pint of bluebs. and those sweet, crunchy nectaries of course.

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i also picked up another one of Annie’s all natural dressings– Gingerly.  winner!

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i wanted to use it right away, so for dinner, i threw some shredded rotisserie chicken, raw red bell pepper, bagged cabbage mix, cilantro, green onion, and crushed almonds into a bowl, poured in the dressing, and coated the chicken mixture in it.

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i grabbed a La Tortilla Factory tortilla, rolled the chicken mixture up really tight and made a Crunchy Ginger Rotisserie Chicken Wrap that had so much flavor!  please try this, guys!

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 for dessert i skipped the fruit and had some Arctic Zero with mini chocolate chips, fat-free Redi Whip, and sprinkles lol. have a fun friday night and a great weekend!

le

Q: what are your thoughts on Artic Zero? yay? nay? 

 i add a tbsp of Hershey’s sugar-free chocolate syrup to mine, stir until creamy, and add a few toppings first. hits the sweet spot.

hello there mr. speculum + 1st postpartum home workout

postpartum check up time!

5 weeks in, and here we are again.

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the last time i sat on this table i was 40 weeks preggo and 2 cms dilated.  just in my thoughts as i waited for Dr. A. lol.

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soon as i walked in the office my eyes were immediately drawn to the tools on the counter though, especially that darn speculum. hate it. and that clicking noise as it opens drives me craaaazy.

however, it was standing in the way of me and the gym so i tolerated it for yet another 60 seconds.  i know i’ll be seeing it for the rest of my life so i’ll make peace with it some day.

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aaaand we’re done here!  Dr. A cleared me to go back to my usual workout routine whenever i am ready.  however, i’m taking it super, duper slow.  teaching vs. taking a class are two different experiences for me as i’ve mentioned before.  kinda like Beyonce vs. Sasha Fierce– falling down the stairs and all.  i don’t want to push it too fast too soon, but ultimately i will be taking classes again, adding the weights back into my routine slowly but surely, and paying attention to how my body responds.  listen to your OB ladies, and listen to your body. i’ll discuss some of my fitness goals in the next post though!

*****

afterwards, i decided to share my very first workout at home with my Mr. Piggy! Sonny is NOT feeling Odego’s nickname but because he grunts and snorts like crazy when he is hungry it was only right.

#sorrynotsorry, hubs.

     

 i’m using body weight for these super basic moves for the most part as Dego only weighs like 9 lbs.  it’s perfect cause i’m forced to go super slow while i hold my precious cargo!

  • squats – looking up and out at the ceiling while performing squats helps to keep my back flat and knees behind my toes.

  • plie squats – you don’t have to go deep! gradually work your way back to that level.

  • side bends – try these to start and keep a flat back and elevated chest for better posture.  my postpartum core strength is loads better this time around as i worked my obliques throughout my pregnancy.

  • modified push ups with kisses :)

remember moms, my pace is not your pace and vice versa.  if you feel any pain or discomfort, STOP.  and if you haven’t been cleared to do these exercises yet, don’t even think about it!  if you have been cleared but still not ready, go outside and walk, hit the elliptical, or start with some postpartum yoga.  if moms could have their pre-preggo bodies back sooner than later, then let’s be honest– i’m positive a vast majority would jump at the chance to.  my message is to first and foremost show how proper nutrition and physical activity can aid in doing just that.  make no mistake, this is not a race.  i repeat…this is not a race.  i exercise because i love it. i make time for it because it’s a priority in my life.  there is absolutely nothing unrealistic about eating a balanced diet and exercising regularly during pregnancy. nothing. my journey may not be typical or the norm, but my results are very real.  my skin gets thicker by the day because of Instagram lol, but i won’t apologize or feel bad for being blessed to have an active pregnancy (i don’t take it for granted one bit) and/or living a healthy lifestyle.  ANY mom can do it and i hope to inspire other women enough to even try!

semi-rant over.

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i stopped at GNC on the way home to try some new Quest Bar flavors before i buy a whole box of them and i’m excited!  they have been helping with my sweet cravings and i don’t mind the fiber and protein that comes with them.  they’re all natural, high fiber, gluten-free, 1g of sugar, and low carb. i bought hubs the Cookies & Cream flavor which he swallowed on sight (which is why it’s not pictured) and i managed to get a piece and loved it too.  it nipped his Oreo cookie craving right in the bud, sweet!

Q: what is your favorite Quest Bar flavor? 

le

Torchy’s Tacos + surprise!

 aaaaaahh…  sunday.  Dego woke up at 4am to nurse as usual and i didn’t get back to sleep until around 6. before i knew it,  it was time to get on up for church!

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ready for my 2nd date of the weekend and unbeknownst to me, we headed to Torchy’s Tacos on our side of town. that line was serious!  it was our first time there, and i’m sure Sonny remembered me saying we needed to check them out a few weeks ago. i kinda wanted brunch brunch, but rolled with it.

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little did i know there was a pretty lil’ lunch guest already there and waiting on us to arrive- my dear friend Ericka!!   talk about a pleasant surprise- i was so happy to finally see and talk to her in person again and not via computer or phone as she lives in another city.  we spent the afternoon eating and laughing, and if she were staying longer we would have hit the gym together too i’m sure!   i’m so honored to know her and excited about where God is taking her foster care program Think Love Smart, as well as all her other endeavors!

Ericka had been to Torchy’s once before and said the Democrat w/ chicken was great, so i took her word for it.

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she was absolutely right.  shredded fajita chicken, topped with fresh avocado, queso fresco, cilantro, onions, and a wedge of lime on corn tortillas.

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Sonny got something yummy looking with eggs, beef,  and cheese on flour tortillas,

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and i split the Mr. Orange with him as well.  salmon (duh), queso fresco, avocado, sweet corn, and black beans on corn tortillas. my fave of the bunch!  YUM.

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then we went to relax, hang out, and catch up.  our kiddos love them some Ericka too! wrong boob though, Dego. so funny.

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after E hit the road, so did i! i did some GGG (gym, grocery shopping, & grazing (grazing in the bulk aisle of course).  i did almost 1 hour of treadmill intervals… ya, more intervals, i know, i know.  booooring. i expect to get cleared to workout THIS week and i’m crazy excited about it!  i need workout variety in my life right now.

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 made a few meals for Sonny and i for the next two days or so and shut the kitchen down. lean protein, veggies, good fat, and complex carbs on the side.  if you’re interested in a customized meal AND workout plan (because you can’t be efficient without both), email me! leah.egwuatu@6packusa.com. i will be starting my 6 Pack plan as soon as my OB gives me the green light.

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oh wait and then there’s this guy.  i can feel my cool whip addiction creeping back up on me from these crazy postpartum sweets cravings.  this is still a lighter alternative than say full fat ice cream or a restaurant dessert though.  sugar-free cool whip and low-fat honey graham crackers.  place it in the freezer so the cool whip can harden first.  all things in moderation!

Q: moms, are your preggo cravings different from your postpartum cravings?

Q: what have you tried at Torchy’s?

le

wienervention – the cleanest hot dog i’ve ever eaten

another early gym date accomplished this morning and officially 1 month postpartum! i expect to get a lot done today. 
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i had my usual preworkout snack, some hot, magical coffee, and headed out for an hour of treadmill intervals. i alternated btw:

5 incline @ 4 mph – 5 minutes

15 incline @ 3 mph – 5 minutes 

walking IS boring but there are ways you can rev it up.  i always swing my arms vigorously, walk heel-to-toe with a wide stride, and i never hold the side rails either. that’s cheatiiiiing ;)

can i do a blog #throwbackthursday? i’m doin’ it anyway!

**********

while we were headed home from the hospital last month with our brand new baby boy, something beat us there- my Wienervention Kit from Applegate!!!

that nostalgic red and white pattern always reminds you of what? a summer picnic, yep.

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however, the Houston heat was too much and i just wanted to lay down somewhere and stuff my face in the AC.  i’d like to give a gigantic high-five and thank you to one of my favorite natural and organic brands, Applegate, for the goods. i knew the kit was on the way, but it slipped my mind after giving birth and all.  my mom and aunt were at our house tidying up and waiting to help out with our new family member, so unbeknownst to Sonny & i, they went ahead and cracked the kit open and prepared a welcome home lunch for us! perfect timing, right?

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i actually used to avoid hot dog wieners for this very reason…  i’ve always thought of them as the wack parts of meat that didn’t make the cut all blended up together with fat and other UFOs.  i would only have them every blue moon, like july 4th or memorial day at somebody’s BBQ. at home? not so much.  also, reading ‘mechanically separated turkey, chicken, or beef’ in the ingredients list is not very appetizing. thank God we have many healthier options to choose from these days; these Applegate wieners are in a league of their own! a wienerventioW was overdue.

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rest assured these top-notch dogs are:

  • all natural
  • contain no antibiotics
  • humanely raised beef fed vegetarian/grain diet
  • gluten-free
  • casein-free
  • contain no fillers
  • contain recognizable ingredients! every single one.
  • really, really tasty.

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nailed that presentation.

they also sent along condiments, cause you can’t build a stellar dog without them.

20140619_185515_1 for the buns, we had a choice of Rudi’s Organic Bakery Multigrain or White hot dog buns!  i loved them both and you can snag a coupon for a bag of your choice right on their website. 20140620_144055_1from the bun, to the condiments, to the wiener, this is THE cleanest hot dog i’ve ever eaten.

time to change the meat you eat and give Applegate a try.

in newborn news, CYMERA_20140717_114845

i think he’ll be tall.

more tummy time, aka, push up practice!

le

baby shower brunchin’

i celebrated the coming of my dear, talented friend Dami’s twin boys today.

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  all her events are magical and so well put together, just like this one! i actually like our pic on the right better, but our camera person cut off her yummy blue heels which is a no-no!!! she rocked the blue for the boys of course. i dig it.

brunch. food. galore. my postpartum hormones were in for a treat. i am a bottomless pit these days and as MUCH as i love food, it’s pretty annoying always being so hungry.   staying under my macros feels like a joke and is quite a task… but only a few more days til i can finally hit the weights again.

anyway, i cannot wait to see the professional pics of the shower cause i was so busy eating everything i didn’t get the best food shots, whoops. there was soooo much variety which is always a great thing.

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there was an omelette station and a pasta station complements of @shecookedit, and they did such a tasty job.  everyone around me loved their food, me included. there was a waffle station as well.

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in addition to that,  there was a buffet table full of more brunch goodies like bacon, sausage, scrambled eggs, pastries, fruit, cookies, muffins, bagels & lox, mimosas, fruit & granola cups, etc, etc, etc!

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i was first in line for waffles. isn’t she pretty?

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there was an ongoing onesie decorating contest that i adored! i suck at arts & crafts IMO, so after staring at my blank onesie for like 30 minutes between bites and looking at everyone else making bow ties and sewing on fabric suspenders lol, i did my best.

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 i found a lion stencil, markers, and came up with this. Beasty, right? well Dami thought so and that’s all that matters. LOL.

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she is a lover of simplicity and well, my onesie (ok, OK, and a few others, haha) fit the bill. sweet!  the winners all received ‘love conquers all’ stationary from Parchment by Dami. i’m just now noticing my to-go plates in the shot. ridiculous.
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 twin boys, triple cakes.  isn’t this entire corner fabulous? and the children’s books cake stand? genius.

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parting gifts were provided by her hubby, Niyi, of Post-Imperial. yep, a family of many talents.  i can’t wait to see who the boys take after and their special gifts and quirks as well! congrats, DaNi.

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 back home and back on the grind after a brunchtastic day.  i didn’t have time to get a power walk in, so i made time!  morning workouts are my preference, but i will get it in anytime, anywhere, within reason. i’m grateful my hubby holds it down with the boys so i can handle up on other business and make sure we are on track with our meals for example.  spousal support rocks.  speaking of spousal support, check out Dami’s  breathtaking beach bump pics from Spain!

 Q: what is your all-time favorite brunch menu food or dish? homemade or from a restaurant? drop that name!