Wednesday is usually referred to as "Hump Days," because it's the one day to get through to get you to the end of the work week. I find that to be a crippling mindset. 

Each day is a new gift or chance to make it better than the day before. Wednesdays are days to push towards the week's end, but they're also days to hustle, even more, towards the goals that need to be met before the end of the week. Instead of looking at Wednesdays as the day to get you through the week, look at them as fewer days to get reach those weekly goals. You'll see a huge difference in your momentum and your overall attitude.

Happy Hustle Day and stay lovely!

Working from home with your kids has its advantages and its disadvantages. I've found that one of the most difficult things about working from home, with my children in the house,  is scheduling the time to get everything done.

For me, putting time in for work can often mean late hours and a late night cup of coffee to keep me functioning. I have to be honest, I try not to do the late night thing. It just leads to later mornings and bags under my eyes (yuck)! 

With so many things on my plate: homeschooling, house cleaning, candle company, jewelry scouting, and just life itself, I have to have time to unwind, or there's gonna be some trouble in the camp.

Despite all of the technical things that you could read over and over again on, pretty much, any family blog, I'll tell you three things that work best for me in trying to keep all of these things together.

1. Some Things I Just Have To Keep Light. I'm sorry, but my house is really not a "serious" house. We're always doing really silly things, so you can usually hear a loud burst of laughter at any point throughout the house. With the tensions that business can sometimes bring, keeping things light helps us to have more fun in what we do.

2. I Have To Involve Everyone. Running a business is a learning experience, so everyone has a job. Even my little ones are willing to help with small things, such as picking things up from the floor and  putting things away. You'd be surprised at how happy they are to help out!


3. I Reward Hard Work. Now. I have to be honest. I'm not one who gives rewards every time something is done because I firmly believe that my children need to learn the concept of work without always getting a return. I've found that always giving something in return for their work makes them expect something. Instead, they get an idea of how their jobs are a very important part of the way our family functions. Getting periodic rewards, instead, helps me when teaching them to be responsible and keeps them from feeling entitled.

Just a few little things that help me keep the ship running smoothly. With all the things going on over here, I'd better do something. What do you do to keep all facets intact?

As a mom of 10, I've experienced countless times when someone has come up to me with rude comments about the number of children I've had. It used to surprise me how much nerve people possess to ask questions like:

Are all of them yours?

Then when I say yes, it's...

Whoa! I feel sorry for you!

Or maybe there's a statement like...

"You didn't actually deliver all of them, did you?" Followed by...

"You and your husband need a DVD."

Well, as rude as people can be, I have a few things I'd like to say in response to those comments and questions.

For those who ask if all of my children are mine, as far as I can remember, I've spent in excess of 120 combined hours in labor with them. I, very much in full consciousness, brought each of them into this world, and excuse me but, I won't be giving anyone else credit for that! Thank you, very much. I will admit that one was a c-section. That procedure was sort of covered up and I couldn't quite see what was going on, so she may just be questionable (but my husband vouches for her).

Anyone who feels sorry for me must know this:

I view children as a blessing. So, if a person receives ten times the blessing, I'd be wanting some of that blessing too. I surely wouldn't waste my energy feeling sorry for someone who's been blessed 10 times.

Fact is, I have a lot people to care for me and to contribute to you as well. I mean, think about it. My children, that you complain about, are well behaved, disciplined and will be well educated citizens who will productively work and likely contribute to your benefit in your later years.

Lastly, my husband and I have a DVD. We just don't use it often. I don't find him complaining about it, so why should anyone else? Just sayin'.

Bottom line. I'm happy to have a group of beautiful, helpful children who consciously practice thinking of others before themselves in such a selfish world. They're already a whole lot better off than the people who confront me with these comments.

Stay lovely!

With the weather dropping from almost 80° to 20° in a matter of days and a winter weather watch in effect for tonight and tomorrow, it's my skin that's been a little confused. Since women of color tend to experience drier skin in the colder months and oilier skin in the warmer months, such sudden fluctuations in temperature could have me bouncing around my facial products like a yo-yo.

About a year ago, I realized that there are three products that I can keep in my regimen all year round without compromising the condition of my skin. The best thing is that they're very inexpensive. I've included links to them, below, and they are paid affiliate links. That just means that I'll receive a small compensation if you should purchase from them.

Now that the legalities have been tended to, back to it. 

Each of these products are great for changing skin for the changing skin of ages 35 and over because they're gentle. Another reason I chose to include them in my regimen is because they have no parabens, sulfates or alcohol in them. 

My makeup remover wipes have to smell nice. Symphony Beauty Makeup Cleansing Wipes aren't too "smelly" and they work very well on my skin (which has a tendency to express when it doesn't like something - in the form of red blotches). I'm not quite sure how effective the collagen is in them (I can't imagine it's much good, if any), but they definitely don't make my face feel tight and dry like some I've tried.

African Shea Butter is one of my favorite products to use, hands down. I only use 100% Shea Butter and it locks in moisture, protects my skin from the sun and serves as a great primer.

Burts Bees Intense Hydration Moisturizing Cleanser is a creamy cleanser that removes dirt without drying my skin out completely. I'll usually alternate this with some of my other cleansing products, but I find myself using it at least once a day.

What are your favorite go to skincare products for any kind of weather?

A signature perfume scent is something that sends a signal of maturity, being "put together" even. It's one very special element of a woman, outside of her character, that makes her presence memorable. A woman's signature scent stands out and lingers in the air, even when she's moved on. It's the indication that she's been there.

So many times, I've gone through scents trying to find that "one" scent that makes me linger in a room. I mean, who doesn't want to have that distinct "I remember her" thing going on when they enter (and leave) a place? Sure I'd love for people to remember how nice I was, but uh how awesome if they could also remember the pleasantry of my aroma too, right?


Yet, we read description after description of fragrances, searching for that special representation, and honestly, those descriptions are pointless when it comes to finding that perfect signature scent. So we're left with a barrage of meaningless words and the desire to find a solution with no real idea of what we want.

So how is it that we find this personal aroma that becomes associated with our presence?

Well, I'd like to tell you a few things keep in mind when looking for your signature fragrance. Oh! First, I have to tell you that this post may have a few affiliate links in it. It's just another way of saying that I may receive payment when you click on them.

Now on to it!

1. Your personal scent should be something that you're willing to smell for long periods of time, so it shouldn't make you sick or give you a headache at any time while you're wearing it.

2. When you're seeking a personal aroma and trying samples, make sure you're sampling in the crease of your elbow. This allows your body chemistry to blend well with the fragrance. Placing fragrance on your hands and wrists won't give you as clear an idea of how your body meshes with the fragrance because they're areas you'll wash frequently.

3. Give your fragrance a four hour working window. Your body's chemistry will work with the fragrance, but it will also expose to you its intricately layered notes (top, middle, and base) over time. Keep in mind that what you smell initially will change within that four hour period.

4. Don't overwhelm your olfactory bulb. Smelling to many scents at one time will completely distort your senses. You'll miss out on something beautiful if there's a sensory overload. Oh, and for the record, coffee beans aren't your answer. It's just another strong smell for the already overloaded olfactory to process.
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5. Just because a scent is popular with the crowd doesn't mean it's the best option for you. There's a world of Indie fragrances that are excellent (and overlooked) choices by the crowd. Take a look outside of the realm of popularity. Here's great place to start!

6. Reminisce on those scents that you love and see what they have in common. If you're a candle buyer, what scents do you buy? Do you love the fragrance of fresh cut magnolias? Is it something herbaceous, like basil or lemongrass? What about the fresh or aquatic scents? If you love it in home fragrance, you'll likely be drawn to it in a perfume as well.

7.  Just as a rule of thumb to start, if it's a scent you've tried before and you keep coming back to it, go with it. It's obviously a fragrance that you're drawn to.

So, if you're looking to have that "Scent of a Woman," you'll want to keep these things in mind. The process of finding a signature scent isn't always quick and on spot. Besides, taking your time to find one will keep you from spending excess money loading with perfumes you think you like only to end up selling partial bottles on eBay.

Stay lovely!

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Three and a half years ago I had my tenth child. That's already something beyond the ordinary, but there was something even more extraordinary about having my tenth child. He was going to be born with Down syndrome.

In my fifth month of pregnancy, I went for a routine sonogram and straight from there to a routine doctor appointment. My doctor called me into his office. Immediate reason to panic, right?

He explained to me that my baby had what was called Ventriculomegaly, enlarged ventricles in the brain. I remember the doctor telling me that there was probably nothing to worry about. He compassionately said that too many times we (moms to be) get told things like this, only for us to worry about it for he rest of our pregnancy, and it turns out to be nothing.

After series of tests (none of which were amniocentesis) we had a 99% confirmation that my little boy would be born with Down Syndrome.

The journey began.

After that, I was slammed with questions by medical staff about whether I'd want to keep my baby.

This is a baby, for goodness sake! It's a baby whose heart had a strong, viable beat, a baby who actively moved inside of me, who I already loved. All I could think about, prior to being asked that horrible question, was about was how much I wanted my baby to be okay, you know, healthy.

I was angry.

I couldn't wrap my mind around the question, as if it were something that I really needed to consider. I mean seriously?! There was no consideration as to whether or not I'd "keep" my little guy. He was mine, and I wouldn't want him any less than I did the other nine children I'd birthed.

After moments of considering this horrible question, I went from angry to sad.

I was sad because there are people in this world who look at a human being as unfit to live just because they don't fit into the mold of what they deem as typical.

My eyes had been opened, but my emotions were quite confused.

I wondered, if such a question could be asked, who else would think the same way?  Would my little one be loved? I wondered if he'd be accepted by his grandparents and extended family, and part of me wanted to hide him from everyone to keep him safe from opinions. Yet, I realized that I was already going against the grain by having nine children. That in itself was something that wasn't readily accepted by particular family members. I knew it wasn't going to be an easy journey.

I spent four months of my pregnancy crying, mostly because of the thought of my little one not being "good enough" for the world...even for some family.

Then he was born.

At that moment, I saw what I couldn't have imagined. I realized, not only how precious his little life was, but how I'd been blessed, hand picked by the Creator, to love this child, teach him, and help to make him the best that he could be. He was born healthy.

Who cares what everyone else thinks?

I'd love my little guy, and his daddy and brothers and sisters would love him so much that it would never matter what anyone else thought or felt. God placed him in our lives, and we were the ones who were unworthy.

So, now I see the world differently. I look at my little one and I see what can be done instead of what can't. In three years of his life, we've loved him so much as we've encouraged his development. We even invited our extended family to take part in our journey, only to have some close family members refuse, and that's okay. Things aren't always easy, but I don't care about worthless opinions.

To know my son, is to fall in love with him, and I choose to spend my time building on that. So, if you're feeling down and discouraged because of the opinions of others, I encourage you to rethink about the value of those opinions.

Some people mean well, but just have a bad way of conveying it. Fill your space with helpful people who will bring you sincere love that helps you through your difficult times (not tear you down). Ignore everything else. If I hadn't, I can't imagine where I'd be.

Bottom line is Down Syndrome changed my life...for the better.

Stay lovely!

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