BabyBrownSugar

BBS Chic: Back to School Basics with Kmart

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I still remember what Back to School shopping was like as a kid. It was my favorite time of the year, right after my birthday. My time to show the world (or at least the kids at my school) how stylish as I was. Even though those days are long gone and Cadence isn’t quite old enough yet to experience the “Back to School” hype, I still remember how nostalgic that time was. And even though I’m not going back to school, I still get excited about shopping for fall. When it comes to shopping for the kids, most fashionable moms like myself want to make sure the kids look cute but still stay under budget (school supplies are not cheap!) so having a strategy about where you shop for certain pieces is key.

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BabyBrownSugar Ambassador: Tayna Frett

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My name is Tayna Frett and I married my high school Sweetheart Marshall almost 20 years ago.  After years of trying, we were blessed with 2 wonderful boys – Justice is 6 and Malachi is 20 months (going on 21 years old).  That baby, whew!

I am a Senior Vice President by day and a wife and mother of our 2 amazing boys by day, afternoon, night, and everything in between. While my professional job has a clear start and end time – my responsibilities as a mother and wife never end and honestly I don’t know how I’d survive going forward if they ever did.

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These two boys give me LIFE!  While they came from the same two parents, our kids are very different and we parent accordingly. The key for us is remembering they are little people, little versions of us.  Of course they have needs but they also have opinions and personalities and curiosities.

We are Seventh Day Adventist Christians and we worship with our kids each night. It’s important for our kids to know that there is an authority higher than Mommy and Daddy and to know that we all have a purpose in life.  We want them to understand reverence, the power of prayer, and ultimately how to recognize and acknowledge the blessings in your life and give thanks for them.

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It’s important that our boys enjoy their childhood and be well balanced. We recognize our responsibility in ensuring that our kids grow up to be God-fearing children who are also productive, independent, and contributing members of society.

I look forward to working with and contributing to BabyBrownSugar.  I can only share with you what works for me and my family, but hopefully my experience and perspective can shed some light on what you may be dealing with and if not, at least get you to smile or laugh at the shenanigans that sometimes happen in the Frett household!

BBS Reads: Stephanie Fleary’s Chocolatey Brown

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Second grade teacher Stephanie Fleary is combating colorism in our community with a strong serving of love and support. The Brooklyn native created a children’s book called Chocolatey Brown to instill confidence in her classroom’s children of all shades. And with the help of  a teacher named Miss Honey the book’s heroine goes on a journey of self discovery that would make any BabyBrownSugar mom smile. We spoke with Stephanie to discuss the representation of women of in the media, inspiration,  and the importance of self-esteem.

Young black girls face a myriad of issues today why did you choose to focus on colorism?

 The topic actually has been an issue in the African-American community for a very long time but the reason I chose it for this book was the discussion actually came up in my classroom. I’m a second grade teacher and I was teaching a lesson on black history and one of the little girls she raised her hand and she said “Miss Fleary why is my mommy white and I’m black?”. Her parents were of Haitian descent but because her mother had lighter skin she thought that her mother was white so I had to go into this whole discussion to explain to them that there are different shades of brown. And she expressed that she didn’t like her darker skin tone so I said “I’m a darker skinned girl and I love my skin. I love your skin too, it’s beautiful!” So after that I started calling her Chocolatey Brown and she started to light up and gain confidence in herself. So that is where the inspiration from the book came from and why I thought it was important to address colorism among children. We talk about it for adults but nobody addresses it at the foundation. Young children are just developing themselves and figuring out who they are. I felt that it was important for us to teach them self belief and self acceptance as young as possible.

How did the other children in the classroom respond?

I’ve seen her demeanor change and her interaction with other children has changed dramatically. That’s been a big thing. She now believes in herself and she loves her skin tone. They’re even talking about their different hair textures and things like that. You know these issues that they’re going through they don’t even realize what they are so Chocolatey Brown enlightens them a little bit about what it is that they’re going through.

How important was it for you that your vision was correctly portrayed in the books images?

It was very important to me because I didn’t only want to speak to darker skinned girls I wanted to speak to all brown girls. That’s why I connected it to chocolate, because chocolate is so good and it comes in different shades and flavors. I wanted to make sure that it spoke to all brown girls teaching them that they’re beautiful but because I don’t see any literature with darker skinned characters I wanted to make sure that I did that. The words of the book and the moral and the story behind it really teaches all women and girls of color that they’re beautiful if they believe it. It was important for me to get it just right. When I was working with the illustrator at first the tones and the shades weren’t popping. They looked a little washed out at first. We had to revamp it a couple times to get that rich honey brown color that she has now.

 Chocolatey Brown

 

Learn more about Stephanie and find out how you can win a signed copy of Chocolatey Brown for your child below.

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10 Under $100: Baby Bathing Suits

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Summer is a great time for the whole family to show off their style! From backyard barbecues to full-fledged family vacations there will be no shortage of ways to spend quality time with your children this summer and invariably a great deal of them will involve water. Prep your little one for pools and beach side play with these options for baby bathing suits for this summer season.

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Nautical swimsuits are a summertime staple. After all nothing says summer like that good old red, white and blue. And while they are obviously always a great choice for holidays like Fourth of July weekend or occasions like a family boat ride you really don’t need to be a reason to anchor your little one’s look with this fun trend.

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Classic

Good for a more traditional look with these adorably girlish swimsuit options. Glitter, bows, and bright colors make these three choices perfect for the little princess in your life. Match the color choice to barrettes or a headband for an easy accessory option.

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Borrow from the grownups with a fun chevron or quatrefoil print or stick with a more youthful choice of stars surrounded by tulle. No matter what the pattern choice a print always stands out.

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Are you excited about buying a bathing suit for your baby girl? What baby bathing suits are on your radar this summer?

-Keyaira N. Boone

On the Market: The Honest Company

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Concerns about the ingredients allowed in the products that enter our homes have made their way from consumer reports to store shelves now that actress Jessica Alba and her partners have turned a first time mother’s fears into a formidable fortune. Now valued at a billion dollars by Forbes magazine their venture the Honest Company provides personal care items and cleaning supplies that they deem both effective and ethical.

Lack of transparency regarding the ingredients permitted in the products we use on a daily basis is a major issue. And while the safety of personal items and beauty products are often discussed cleaning products are generally paid less attention to. The counters we wipe down, the floors we clean, and the tables we sit at all come into contact with the little ones in our lives so they need to be treated with care. The Honest Company offers laundry detergent, dishwasher gel, hand soap, and multi-surface cleaner and more without harsh chemicals and synthetic perfumes.

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The company’s selection of personal items includes lotions, shampoos and conditioners, body oils, and sunscreens. I am always on the lookout for a sunscreen that isn’t packed with senseless chemicals to toss in my weekender bag  so I will definitely be giving this a try this season at the Jersey shore.

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The company offers a nipple balm for breast feeding moms. This product includes olive oil and aloe to soothe the skin and since the ingredients are all up to the standards held for food so there is no need to stress about wiping the balm off prior to nursing,  Nipple balm also doubles as a great lip balm. Read about a writer’s at Marie Claire experience with it here.

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There’s also a belly balm for moms to be.

The effectiveness of natural deodorants that are free of antiperspirants and harsh elements like aluminum has been debated over the years and now the Honest Company is providing hypoallergenic options in a variety of scents including lavender vanilla. These can also be used as an all over body spray. Recently LoveBrownSugar contributor Fatima has added an aluminum free deodorant to her natural beauty routine see her video about it here.

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What do you think about the Honest Company’s offerings? What are your favorite family-friendly products? 

-Keyaira N. Boone

BabyBrownSugar Ambassador: Falasha Delimon

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I’m Falasha Delimon, a Brooklyn girl I hope you want to get to know. I have many life roles from mother, to wife, to daughter, to sister and friend, to all out career woman. My life can be summed up in two phrases: beautiful chaos and comfortable mess. Here’s why- my beautiful chaos is my family,my devoted husband, Daniel and our two girls, Julia (4) and Leila (2) who I love dearly.

As we know, with being a wife and mother come all the struggles and joys of parenthood and the juggling act to balance them. This beautiful chaos of mine fills my heart and soul to the core making the rat race totally worthwhile.

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NYC (my life long stomping ground) has nourished and molded me into the person I am today. I balance a pretty busy schedule between career building and attentive mommy-ing , hence my comfortable mess. I’m far from perfect, and I don’t have all the answers, but I am always me. And I think that makes met,  a BBS Mom worth getting to know.

You likely will not find me in the latest trends and the cutest shoes, but, my style is my own and represents who I am first and foremost, a mother always on the go. Julia & Leila are quite like their Mama; pretty cool. They play and hang out (and argue of course). They’re inquisitive, bright and always eager for new discoveries. My role as their mom is to guide them to whatever greatness they desire and fortify their sense of self-worth. A BBS Mom knows who she is and is comfortable in her own skin. I am Falasha and that’s all I can be. Welcome to my family’s life.

BBS Reviews: Stonyfield YoToddler

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When I first started transitioning Cadence over to whole milk from breast milk and formula, I was very particular about the type of whole milk I wanted to introduce into her system. I knew, because I had kept her solid food diet mainly organic, that I wanted to maintain her diet with organic foods and dairy. My first choice for the whole milk transition was Stonyfield Organic Whole Milk. When she turned 12 months, I started her on the Stonyfield milk and the transition went really well. So naturally I started to explore some of the other products Stonyfield offers including their yogurt!

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Celebrating Father’s Day with Warryn and Erica Campbell

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P&G is highlighting one of the greatest foundations of the family by recognizing fathers with the #MyBlackMan campaign. This campaign is dedicated to highlighting the men who are keeping our community strong including Superbowl Champion Russell Wilson, actor Taye Diggs, and Producer Warryn Campbell. Every family has a foundation and for the Campbell family it’s a commitment to celebrating good food, self-respect, and fatherhood.We spoke to Warryn Campbell and his wife, Grammy Award winning gospel singer Erica Campbell, about grooming practices, family traditions, and continuing a long legacy of respect.

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BabyBrownSugar Ambassador: Tiana Springle

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My name is Tiana Springle and I am a mama to one of the most amazing toddlers ever! I wear many hats- sister, friend, and lover of cheesy 80’s music, but I have the most fun being a mom to my little princess Olivia aka “Livy”. Oh, and in my spare time, I happen to work full-time as a Social Worker.

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BabyBrownSugar Ambassador: Rashida Selise Wilson

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My name is Rashida Selise Wilson and I am the proud mommy of my two little angels Ezekiel, affectionately known as “Zeek”, who is three, and India Soliele who is 2 months old. I became a mommy for the first time 3 years ago at the age of 38 and again a few months ago at 41. Whew! Talk about a late bloomer. I think what excites me the most about mommyhood is how much these two teach me on a daily basis.

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