Wednesday, April 23, 2014

A Lot To Blog About




I've never been a blogger who has a lack of topics. I have hundreds of draft posts still in my queue and still so much more to add. 

I really enjoy this space, and I thank all of you who visit here!

I'm a huge believer in managing expectations and before it gets a little nutty, I wanted to give a quick preview of some topics I want to continue/finish and others that are on my mind that I really want to get a handle on and blog about over the next few months:
  • Spring Break recap - besides our family-moon, Nia and I had a little adventure down in MD with my parents 
  • Family-moon recap - I seriously could've stayed at least 2 more days in VT; being thrown back into the hectic-ness of NYC has been hard. I totally see how folks can move off the grid . . . 
  • Puerto Rico Anniversary Trip - continued features of brands who came along for the trip 
  • Toy Fair 2014 - there are going to be many more posts about featured brands and giveaways to come 
    • The Nursery Makeover - transitioning the kids' room (Baby Agbai 2.0 won't be in there until December but I've started the process now)
    • American Blogger vs. Real American Blogger - catch the trailer here 
    • Alt Summit SLC - I still have a few inspired posts from business cards to fashion that I want to get down
    • Nigeria 2011/12 - my BlackBerry crashing after that trip lost all my notes and it seems to crush my desire to post about it; I want to revisit the pictures from the trip and capture some thoughts I still have about that life-changing trip
    • Formally spilling the beans on mine and my sisters' new business venture 
    • A few NYC events I've attended - from hair events to baby events and entertainment events, I have some fun recaps to share!
    • Listen to Your Mother - I never fully shared in 2013 about this amazing event and with it coming up again I want to be sure to give it due diligence especially for those of you considering attending 
    • Nia's piano lessons - we have my childhood piano in our apartment as of last week, and I'm excited to share what it's been like having a 3 year old who takes piano lessons
    It may get a little jumpy on the blog for a bit, but that's how my mind is working right about now. I'm balancing blogging commitments with spur of the moment topics as well as IRL commitments I have due to my blog. All of that besides my family duties as well. It's a juggling act I'm happy to have (and definitely still prefer to my former corporate life!)

    While I hunker down my my editorial calendar, if there's something missing from the list that you remember I promised to write about please remind me in the comments below (pregnancy brain is not sexist or made up it's FOR REAL!).

     

    Monday, April 21, 2014

    Baby Agbai 2.0 Report: 32 Weeks

    We got in yesterday from our last pre-baby trip: a family-moon to Snapdragon Inn in Windsor, VT (I posted a few pics on Instagram!). I'll have lots of details to share soon, but now that the trip is over it's serious nesting time over the next 8 weeks (or so) until I meet Baby Agbai 2.0.

    Here's how things are looking at Week 32:


    How far along: 32 weeks 

    How big is baby: (from 3DPregnancy.com) Both you and baby are putting on some serious weight at this point. You’ll probably gain about a pound a week for the next few weeks, with half of that poundage bulking up baby. He’ll likely double his weight in the next eight weeks.

    By the end of this week, your baby will weigh about 4 pounds and measure over 17 inches long—about the length of a hot pair of above-the-knee boots. Christian Louboutin? Manolo Blahnik? We’re thinking Isaac Mizrahi for Target—you’ve got a nursery to furnish! 

    Stretch Marks: Still there on the lower belly 

    Sleep: A certain someone's picked up an awful snoring habit that should be nipped in the bud soon . . . until then I'm sadly not sleeping very well 

    Best Moment This Week: Spending our last "family of 3" weekend away at the Snapdragon Inn

    Movement: Still not as active as Lil Lovebird was, Baby 2.0 is definitely having more moments of activity than before mostly tied to when I'm hungry or right after I've eaten 

    Sex of the Baby: BOY! And I'm still as giddy today as I was when I first found out weeks ago

    Food Craving: No must-haves but an occasional lemonade makes me super happy! 

    Belly Button In or Out: Out and besides Nia noticing it as I mentioned last time other little kids around the same navel-height are noticing it too like her classmates. It's kinda funny! 

    What I Miss: Being able to sleep without the sound of snoring coming into my ear in surround sound O_o

    What I'm Looking Forward To: 
    • Nesting over the next 8 weeks - I really need to get organized including cooking meals in advance. I was sorely unprepared last time on this front and it was not fun! 
    • Continuing acupuncture - I've had two sessions so far to combat the intense lower back pain on my left side; I feel relaxed and good immediately after, but it's sustaining the relief that I need 
    • My gym opening at last - a shame I joined in the fall with hopes it'd open in January (they were hoping for a December start), but now it's pushed to May and while I don't think I'll make it there just a few weeks before my due date, I NEED that gym open so post-partum I can start to get back on track immediately. I was just picking up back up with running right before I got pregnant and I'm excited to get back into shape! 

    Milestone: Hmmmm I guess our family-moon as our last family-of-3 trip (Nia keeps referring to Vermont at "Meh-mont" - it's so cute that I don't want to correct her!)

     

    P.S. Wanna see what I looked like first go-around at this stage? Click here!

    Friday, April 18, 2014

    And We're Off! A Family-moon in Vermont

    It's been years since I've been to Vermont having visited twice while living in Boston for 9 years, and when I met the co-owners of Snapdragon Inn at Alt SLC earlier this year I was excited to be invited to their property with my family. 

    While I considered a romantic getaway for just me and Mr. Lovebird I had to reconsider as I have vivid memories of me and my parents at Lil Lovebird's age so I thought her coming along would make a special memory for her pre-baby Bobo (as she still calls him!).

    Here's a sneak peak of what awaits us at Snapdragon Inn located in Windsor, VT:



    {Images credit: Snapdragon Inn}

    It's a bit chillier up there than here (spring is really slow to start it seems) and spring skiing is still going strong. We were also invited to Killington so we're making a day trip out of it especially because Mr. Lovebird who spends a lot of time in Vermont for work has heard it's a must-visit. 

    On Sunday I've seen a few sunrise Easter services that look grueling intriguing to attend, but I think between me and my bump and Nia's super-feisty nature lately, I don't think we'll be able to get up so early. I found a 10a.m. service though that I think we'll be able to manage. 

    Follow along on Instagram throughout the weekend for a few snippets of our family-moon and I'll have a full report when I return!

    Are you taking any special trips this holiday weekend?  Wishing you and your family a happy Easter!
     
     

    Thursday, April 17, 2014

    Who Me? Team Apple?!

    If you've followed my blog you've heard about my tech woes especially lately with the cracking of my tablet screen and PC hard drive dying all on the same day. We've been a PC family for years but what's interesting is when I think back the very first computer I ever learned on was a Mac. 

    So I guess it was time to return to my roots...



    YESSSSS! 

    I'm now Team Apple and...

    I. LOVE. IT.

    I wrote this post from my new MacBook Air and it was such a breeze. Here's what I like off the bat:
    • SO quiet - with a flash drive I hardly even know it's running; super silent!
    • Lightweight - I can't get over how thin it is! With post-baby travel and especially at blogging conferences this is very important
    • Easy to use - out of the box I was ready to go and love how quickly it starts up from off or sleep mode (my PC took too much time to think!)
    • Comfortable keyboard - I was concerned about a 13" laptop feeling too cramped, but it's super comfy to type on

    There are only a couple things I have issues with so far:
    • No light on the FaceTime HD camera 
    • Certain things just don't appear like they do on a PC (ex. trying to connect my wireless hard drive and printer)

    Next, I definitely need to get an indestructible case for it especially with my bad luck with technology. What I've seen so far on Amazon are a little too utilitarian looking. I want something both tough and stylish. Any recommendations?

    Are you an Apple fan? If you switched from PC to Mac what was your experience like? Please share your tips/tricks and resources for making the transition easier!


     

    P.S. While I switched my laptop I am definitely still Team Droid when it comes to phones! 

    Wednesday, April 16, 2014

    My First Post-Partum Race is Set!

    I guess I should really call it "my first race," but at any rate I just registered yesterday to do this with my sisters:



    Have you heard of the R.O.C. Race? I had hoped to do it last year but it was rescheduled much later and I wasn't able to and now I'm excited for another chance this year. It'll be a week before my birthday and Baby Agbai 2.0 will be roughly 3 months old then so perfect timing. 

    Can't wait!

    Have you ever done an obstacle course race like this?

     

    Friday, April 11, 2014

    A New "Favorite Friend" From Madame Alexander

    Disclosure: As part of Madame Alexander's Mom Advisory Board I received a doll for review purposes. All opinions expressed are my own. 


    We've fully entered doll obsession in our household and while I was at Toy Fair 2014 I had the pleasure of meeting with Madame Alexander, a heritage doll company that I had heard so much about over the years - I was surprised to learn there was even a doll factory in my old neighborhood in Harlem many years ago! I had inherited a collectible doll growing up that I was terrified of breaking and had the same perception of Madame Alexander, but was pleasantly surprised to learn about their everyday play dolls. 

    As part of their Mom Advisory Board I'll be reviewing dolls throughout the year and sharing other Madame Alexander news with you. To kick-off this partnership I selected the Favorite Friend Autumn Mist 18" doll for my Lil Lovebird.

    {Image Credit: Madame Alexander}

    At 18" this is the tallest doll that Nia's had and also the first that's not dressed in baby clothes. Nia picked up on this immediately and wouldn't allow me to call her a baby doll. Instead she named her "Tessa" and declared her her sister.

    Excuse me! 

    I love seeing how Nia plays with Tessa. It's very important to dress and re-dress her and while I can't share a picture of it here, part of her bedtime ritual includes making sure all of Tessa shares Nia's non choice of clothing. 

    As a mom here's what I like most about Nia's Favorite Friend Tessa:
    • Appearance - the doll is dressed modestly, yet stylish; too often many doll choices are a bit too grown up for little girls.  
    • High quality - the attention to detail in the clothing (the skirt's even lined!), body and hair assures me that the doll will last
    • Easy to play with - when I first opened the box to see Tessa I was concerned she'd be too delicate, but with a soft body, she's definitely huggable, can be posed to sit easily yet is sturdy; Nia likes playing pretend with her as well as carrying her to school (although she begs to keep her there I take her back home with me!)

    Nia and I are pleased to have Madame Alexander as part of her doll collection and with care I look forward to Nia having many years of play with "Tessa!"

    To purchase your own Favorite Friends doll (retails for $59.95) visit Madame Alexander's website to see the full selection. 

    Did you have collectible dolls growing up? Please share your memories below!

     

    Thursday, April 10, 2014

    Winner: JC Toys La Newborn Doll Giveaway

    {Image via JC Toys}
    Folks! I'm struggling today typing away on a clunker due to my tech mishap a couple days ago.

    Thank you for the patience in getting the winner of my JC Toys giveaway posted and for all the enthusiastic entries!

    I'm excited to announce the winner:

    a Rafflecopter giveaway

    Congrats Rhonda! I'll be in touch shortly so I can get you your prize!

    Enjoy the rest of your day everyone and I'll be back to regular posts soon . . .


     

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