BabyBrownSugar

BBS Travel: Cadence’s First Passport Stamp Jamaica

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When I first found out I was having a baby, I knew that I wanted to share so much of my life and my journey with my child. I didn’t know who this little human being would turn out to be, what he or she would look like or even what I would call them. But I knew I wanted a career that would allow me to provide for my child and bring him or her along for the ride.

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To travel with me, to be involved and to see firsthand how much hard work it requires to make a living and do it meaningfully. Two weeks ago, I had the ability to turn those dreams into reality by taking baby Cadence with me on my first international business trip of 2015.

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We went to the beautiful island of Jamaica (also my Dad’s hometown!) on a press trip with beauty brand Strength of Nature. They are behind brands like African Pride, DreamKids and many more.

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While there, Cadence had the chance to not only walk on the sand at the beach for the first time, but she also had the chance to meet her uncles and Great-Grandmother for the first time as well.

Check out all BabyBrownSugar got into on her first passport stamp:

Her First Time Walking On Sand

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Cadence had so much fun sunbathing on the beach. I didn’t have alot of time to shop before heading on our trip so I bought her a few little swimsuits, flip-flops, dresses and a nice floppy hat from Old Navy the day before we left. They really have an amazing lineup of kiddie clothes for spring/summer this season.

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Cadence’s first reaction to the sand was “disgust”, in a word. Hah! She refused to put her little feet down. But eventually she was so taken with the waves, she took my hand and walked along the beach with me. It was SO cute!

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We also took lots of pics with her Godmommy Jessica who was on the press trip with us. She had a blast on the beach.

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Here’s a snapshot of some of Cady’s beachside must-haves. Her pail and shovel, Aveeno Baby sunscreen, and sunnies from Children’s Place.

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 Her First Time Eating Hibachi

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At our hotel – the Royalton White Sands Resort in Montego Bay – we went for dinner at their japanese hibachi restaurant called Zen and Cadence saw her very first live hibachi cooking experience.

bbsinjamaica-15 She even had her very own chopsticks!

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The Royalton White Sands Resort really caters many services to families so all the restaurants are kid-friendly complete with highchairs and kiddie sized portions of all their meals at your request.

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Her First Time in the Countryside

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I used to spend weeks when I was a child coming to Jamaica and staying at my Grandma’s house in the countryside. My dad was born and raised there. It was so great getting exposure to that side of my family but as I got older, I just haven’t been able to go back as often as I wanted to. So I was so excited to come back and to bring my little baby girl to meet her extended family in Jamaica.

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Cadence had so much fun! I’ve never seen her so free and excited. It’s like she knew she was on vacation.

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She even managed to take a few steps on her own at her Great-Grandma’s direction. So sweet.

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SO grateful for my mom (Cady’s grandma) coming on this trip with us to help me with her. Now that Cadence is toddler status, she is a handful!

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While there, my uncle made us the most delicious fried fish and curry goat you’ve ever tasted. Fresh and so amazingly delicious.

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I took Cadence out back to see the roosters and chickens running around on Grandma’s farm. She has chickens, goats, and a myriad of fresh fruits and veggies she grows out back.

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We had so much fun exploring the countryside and spending time with family. It was truly an unforgettable experience.

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 Have you traveled internationally with your child yet? If so, what was it like?

A Wish For Cadence: #KidsDreamingBig Contest with DreamKids

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If you follow my style blog LoveBrownSugar you’d know that I recently finished up a really fun trip to Arkansas in partnership with hair brand African Pride. African Pride is a brand I grew up with. I grew up getting my hair done with their products around and they’ve really built a solid foundation around heritage and family. So it only follows that they have a line of kids products (called DreamKids!) and that the same family values carry throughout to their children’s line.

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DreamKids is currently running an amazing scholarship contest that promotes and encourages kids to “dream big”. The “Kids Dreaming Big” scholarship contest, opened to youth grades 3 – 5, encourages the next generation to believe in the beauty of their dreams and provides a national platform for children to pursue them. They’ve partnered up exclusively with merchandiser fred’s Super Dollar to offer this contest.

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In partnership with them, they’ve asked me to highlight my wish for my baby girl Cadence, and the life I want her to live in the future. When I really thought about it, I started to think of my personal journey. I started my style blog LoveBrownSugar.com because I wanted to provide women who looked like me with a platform for them to see themselves and feel empowered and beautiful. As a mother, I want to provide that same reflection for my daughter as well. I want her to feel empowered, I want her to feel beautiful and most of all I want her to love herself as much as we love her. So here’s my open letter to her:

Dear Cadence,

My wish for you, in 10 years, is that you would be an example to all of your friends and classmates of an upstanding young woman who loves herself, loves her community and is happing being herself. My wish is that you dream BIG and always pursue what you love. And that you inspire other people to pursue their dreams as well.

This is my wish for my baby girl. What’s your wish for your kid(s)? Leave me a comment below and let me know!

Kids Dreaming Big Contest:

Scholarship entry for the Kids Dreaming Big contest is February 2- March 15, 2015 with $3000.00 worth of scholarships offered. Click here to enter: http://woobox.com/hxfqqn. 5 children will have a chance to win $500 scholarships and there’s also one Grand Prize of a $500 scholarship and an all expense paid trip for two to meet Real Housewives of Atlanta star Cynthia Bailey. Click here to check out Dream Kids: http://www.africanpridedreamkids.com.

Disclosure: This post was sponsored by African Pride Dream Kids. Though I was compensated for this post, all opinions expressed here are my own and not those of the company.

BBS Review: EDEN Kids Collection

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Last week, one of my personal favorite hair brands EDEN BodyWorks launched a brand new collection specifically for the little ones called EDEN Kids.

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I’ve been an avid user of EDEN for years now (click here to see my review on LoveBrownSugar) so I was positive their kids line would not disappoint! Their fist Coco Shea collection is comprised of 3 products: Coco Shea Berry Detangling Shampoo, Coco Shea Berry Leave-In Detangler, and a Coco Shea Berry Curling Creme.

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What I love about EDEN BodyWorks and what drew me to the company to care for my own curls is their commitment to healthy and natural ingredients that are good for the body. This is an especially important aspect of picking out hair products for Cadence. I always want that what I put on her hair is comprised of safe & healthy ingredients.

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All of EDEN’s products have no petroleum, mineral oils or sodium sulfates. I need to know that the products are safe and effective before putting them near the little one.

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I use a detangler on Cady’s hair pretty much every morning to give it moisture, to keep her curls from drying out throughout the day and also when I’m taking out or putting in twists or braids. It makes the styling session way easier. The Coco Shea Berry Leave-In Detangler works really well for that (and smells yummy!)

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The first ingredients in the Berry Curly Creme are Water and Coconut Oil so that’s always a good sign. It also smells good enough to eat, like for real. Keeping these AWAY from the shelf so Cady doesn’t get any ideas during snacktime lol

Anyway, I highly recommend you give them a try! When you do, feel free to come back here and leave a comment on how they worked out for you or your little one. (Please believe I’m trying these bad boys on my hair too!

Look out for my @EDENBodyWorks #EDENWonderMoms Instagram takeover on Tuesday, February 24th at 4PM EST! I’ll be live-posting my mommy tips & tricks. Feel free to leave me comments!

Disclosure: These products were provided to us by EDEN BodyWorks for review consideration. Every opinion expressed here is my own and not those of the company.

BabyBrownSugar Update: 1 Year

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I woke up on Wednesday morning misty-eyed but filled with so much gratitude. God has blessed me with the most precious gift of life – a beautiful, sweet, smart, inquisitive, happy, talented and amazing daughter named Cadence. Wednesday, February 4th was her first birthday and I want the world to know how incredibly amazing she is. If I could make her special day a national holiday I would. Cadence is a whole year old. 

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I still remember when the doctors told me I was having a girl and how overjoyed I was about carrying a mini-me. I remember feeling her first kicks and feeling her dance to music for the first time. It all seems like it was just yesterday and now she’s going from infant to toddler status.

In true monthly update, fashion, here’s what Cadence has been up to now that she’s officially 12 months:

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Cadence shakes her head “yes” and “no”

Wanna know if she does or doesn’t want something, or if she’s done eating? Just ask her. She now appropriately shakes her head yes and no. She also sometimes throws in an aggressive hand-waving or a flurry of angry kicks if she’s REALLY adamant. It’s quite entertaining.

Cadence hums the tune to the ABC’s and her favorite intro songs to Sprout Channel shows.

I can’t quite explain my utter joy and excitement when I first walked into the room only to hear her singing the tune of “ABC’s” aka “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star”. I’ve been singing Cadence the ABC song literally since she was born. It never occurred to me that one day she would actually be able to sing it back to me. *cries in a corner* Anyway, she now also loves singing along to the Happy Birthday song on The Chica Show as well as singing the intros to Super Why and Zou.

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Cadence dances on beat. 

I mean, let’s be real, she’s been dancing on beat from the womb. But now that she’s old enough to actually dance on her own two feet, it’s readily apparent that she has rhythm (like her name implies). I really think she may have a career in music. Or at least she will grow up loving it!

Cadence knows when she’s doing something she shouldn’t be.

Gone are the days when Cadence would sit in her little chair and giggle and watch Mommy without touching anything or creating mischief. Nope, now she touches everything. But more than that, she knows when she’s NOT supposed to touch something because she peeks at me out the corner of her eye before proceeding to touch it. This girl is a trip.

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Cadence Likes:

- All Meghan Trainor music including “All About That Bass” and “Lips Are Sealed”

- Rice (I can’t get her to eat chicken but she will ALWAYS always eat the rice)

- Playtime with other kids (She’s a social butterfly like her mama!)

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Cadence Dislikes:

- Her snowsuit (Something to the tune of that scene in “A Christmas Story” when Ralph’s little brother Randy gets dressed up in his snow pants and such and then cries because he now has to use the bathroom. She hates it.)

- Socks (She pulls them off. Always. She gets it from me, I hate socks too.)

- Getting her hair done (She despises it with a passion. I’m praying she grows out of this phase quick. Like girl. Hair must be laid.)

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Words can’t express how grateful I am to have experienced an entire year of motherhood to date. I still remember being pregnant with her and finding out I had to slow down completely to be on bedrest or she may come earlier than expected.

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That was my first big lesson in sacrifice for your child. Since then Cadence has taught me so much about being selfless and loving unconditionally.

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Thank you all for following her journey and mine. To another year of happiness and life lessons as a mother!

10 Under $100 : Baby Snow Boots

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The sharp drop in temperatures and the (bootleg?) blizzard this week has everyone on the east coast trying to stay warm. But while we’re bundling up in our blanket scarves and checked coats we can’t forget about dem babies! If you haven’t found the time to focus on securing new outwear for your little one this season, have no fear. We’ve rounded up some fashionable and functional baby snow boots options that are wallet friendly and ready to protect little feet for the storms ahead.

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Colored laces are a great way to add some spark to your little prince or princess’s step. Laces also have the added benefit of being more difficult to take off for the toddler who just can’t wait to set their tiny toes free.

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 Cozy Booties

For the child who isn’t quite ready to take on the outdoors cozy booties are a must have. Just like socks in the winter, slip-on booties are a great way to keep baby’s feet constantly covered yet still comfortable.

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Cady loves styling in her fuzzy fur booties!

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For those who are already running about boots that are cushioned at the top and hard at the bottom are a great fit. The cushion allows kids to pull on the boot without fuss while the hard bottoms keep their socks safe from snow and sleet. Bright colors like hot pink and neon green can be used to match a lunchbox or backpack.

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 What are your favorite styles for snow?

-Keyaira N. Boone

Link Love: Hype Hair Hairstyles & Tips for Pregnant Women

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When you are pregnant, especially into your second and third trimesters, the last thing you may want to worry about is your hair. Hype Hair Magazine spoke with celebrity hairstylist Keisha George about her tips for pregnant women on hair growth and three easy hairstyles.

Here is what Keisha had to say:

1. Vitamin A: This vitamin is essential for assisting in the growth of the hair follicle and the maintaining of healthy hair. It also has regulated retinoic acid which is required for growth and development. Sweet potato, carrots, and kale are excellent sources of vitamin A that you can add to your diet.

2. Vitamin B Complex: This combination of the B vitamins is an excellent source of strength and shine for the hair. B6 and B12 increases the structure and shine of the hair follicle. Vitamin B- complex is found in cauliflower, beef liver, and avocados. Vitamin B-12 can be found in foods such as meat and dairy.

Read the full story here at Hype Hair Magazine

What’s In Those Eggs? McDonald’s Answers Questions

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Continuing with their transparency about the ingredients in their food with the “Our Food. Your Questions” campaign, McDonald’s is now taking questions about their egg products. Whether you’re a fan of their McGriddle sandwiches or their breakfast platters with scrambled eggs, I’m sure you want to know what exactly is in there. Wondering if their eggs are real? Take a peek at this video explanation:

McDonald’s wants to hear from you! Tweet @McDonalds & @BabyBrownSugar_ on Twitter with any questions you have about what’s in their food. Nothing is off limits!

To learn more about what’s in Mickey D’s food, check out their YouTube playlist which is chock full of information from the “Our Food. Your Questions” campaign. This post is sponsored by McDonald’s. Opinions expressed herein are my own and not those of the company

Why Can’t I Stop Eating These Fries? McDonald’s Answers Our Questions

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Like many of us, I grew up knowing what it meant when those golden arches came into view. There’s just something about those fries. They have just the right amount of crunch and seasoning and they seem to melt in your mouth. My sisters used to joke and say they had addictive drugs. We all know that’s not true, right? Well, maybe not.

That’s exactly what the McDonald’s “Our Food. Your Questions” campaign is all about. Personally, I’m enjoying this campaign because baby Cadence is turning one pretty soon and I have to make important decisions about what types of fast food, if any, I’m going to consider giving her as she grows. I’m very invested in ingredients in all food I give her so I’ll definitely be asking some questions of my own. Wanna know what’s in Mickey D’s fries? Or why they taste so good you can’t seem to stop eating them once you get going? Ask them! See below for a video they did about the potatoes in Mickey D’s products:

 McDonald’s wants to hear from you! Tweet @McDonalds & @BabyBrownSugar_ on Twitter with any questions you have about what’s in their food. Nothing is off limits!

To learn more about what’s in Mickey D’s food, check out their YouTube playlist which is chock full of information from the “Our Food. Your Questions” campaign. This post is sponsored by McDonald’s. Opinions expressed herein are my own and not those of the company.

BBS Moms Know Best: Latham Thomas

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When I first stumbled on Latham Thomas’ @GlowMaven Instagram page, I was both excited and bewildered. Scrolling through her beautiful images – the perfect mix of glowing selfies, delectable meals, yoga poses, and snapshots of her uber fabulous life as a mom, I immediately thought “How in the world does she do it all?” Latham is not only a mother of an adorable and super-talented 11-year-old son (the renowned DJ Fulano – hello?) but she is also the author of Mama Glow: A Hip Guide To Your Fabulous Abundant Pregnancy, the founder of MamaGlow.com, a doula and a maternity lifestyle expert. Talk about super mom status!

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Above all that, Latham is a genuinely sweet spirit and I had the pleasure of interviewing her through her latest partnership with P&G’s My Black Is Beautiful and Pampers. Pampers is committed to showing support for mothers by providing access to information and motivation we need most. They’ve partnered with My Black is Beautiful to share Latham’s amazing advice to the masses. As someone who has loved the MBIB mission for years now and who also uses Pampers diapers exclusively on Cadence, I knew I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to chat with her. Those are two brands I really believe in. So without further delay, check out the advice Latham Thomas had to share:

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BabyBrownSugar: Describe the term “mama glow”.
Latham Thomas: Mama Glow is this abundant, radiant energy that comes from within. It’s about birthing yourself into this really powerful woman as you prepare to give birth to your baby. It’s really celebrating pregnancy and the birth process as opposed to being fearful of it. Our bodies are more than capable to do this and other amazing things. This passage in life is a greater way to reclaim your power. So many moms have launched careers and businesses just based on being inspired as mothers. So “mama glow” is about claiming that and not apologizing for it.

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What are some quick & easy tips for working mothers that want to take care of themselves?
It all stems from having a support system in place.  You have to have people that really have your back, who can provide child care but also people who can provide accountability. Be mindful of how you can integrate your friends and family into your support circle. We have to learn that it’s okay to ask for help.  Remember those people who said “Hey whenever you need something, let me know!” Ask if they can help – whether it’s grocery shopping or babysitting, hold them to their word. When it comes to exercising, you should also make it simple! Don’t worry about the fancy gear. You can create a special space in your home with yoga mats, weights or a birth ball and do some workouts at home. There are tons of videos and online resources for at-home workouts now. We equate going out someplace to exercise but you can do it at home while baby is napping. We end up saying “I don’t have time”, but there are 24 hours in a day and you can find time. There’s no excuse.

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How can women regain their confidence post-baby and through motherhood?
The main thing is to relish in the fact that you’ve just done something incredible. You should be treated like a queen! Many women don’t feel like that. They feel burdened and overwhelmed and so it’s really about changing a woman’s mindset about the post-pregnancy process from “Woe is me” to “Wow is me!”. If you can give birth, you can do anything. Part of that too is doing the things that you love and that you did before the baby. Things that will make you feel good whether it’s painting or salsa dancing. Don’t set those things aside.

Also, embrace the fact that your body will never be the same. Your boobs will never look like that again, your butt will never look like that again – both during pregnancy and post-pregnancy. You open up these mainstream magazines with the airbrushed models and the Heidi Klum’s of the world who snap back literally weeks after having their babies and it’s not realistic. People like Heidi Klum are PAID to have amazing bodies immediately post-baby. It’s literally her job. So women shouldn’t compare themselves to people like her and to this fantasy that it will happen overnight. The weight will come off because you’re busy and moving around and if you’re breastfeeding you burn over 600 calories every session. Just give yourself time!

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Your son DJ Fulano is super-talented and passionate. What did you do as a mom to foster that talent and to allow his curiosity to morph into real tangible success.
I think it’s less about what I’m doing and more about me just getting out of his way. I remember growing up and I learned very early on that people were applauded if they were doctors or lawyers. I think I wanted to be a scientist back then. When you’re young, you think anything is possible until someone tells you it isn’t! Back then there were also more barriers and growing into adulthood, there’s so much more consciousness now about this entrepreneurship movement. With the expansion of the internet leveling the playing field so that everyone has a voice and everyone can make money, it’s expanded the consciousness of the children growing up in this environment and allowed them access to things we didn’t have. When Fulano was 4, he told me “I’m going to travel the world and make people happy with music”. He’s always been musical, so only because I was listening to that, I ended up taking him to his first beat-making DJ class. As parents, we have to be active listeners and allow them the creative freedom to tap into their interests and also give them a judgement-free zone to express that. Because of that, so many doors have opened for him. So I just hold his hand and make sure he doesn’t stumble along his path.

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If you could give one piece of advice to your pregnant self, before your first child, what would it be?
Listen to those whispers within you. Keep trusting and having faith along your path. At the time, I didn’t know I was going to create Mama Glow. I felt something inside but there was so much resistance and so many naysayers. So I would’ve liked that advice and that push of encouragement. Everyone needs that.

I hope you guys enjoyed this interview and will be able to use some of these tips! I can’t wait to read your comments and feedback (leave us a comment below!) Loved this interview?  Use the #MBIBMoms & #BBSMomsKnow hashtags to tweet/retweet us @BabyBrownSugar_ on Twitter, follow us on Instagram @BabyBrownSugarBlog and ‘Like’ our page on Facebook.com/BabyBrownSugarBlog. 

BBS Feature: Fit Fab Mommy – Style Tips

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I am so honored and excited to share that Fit Fab Mommy has profiled me in a Q&A on their blog! I’m seriously humbled anytime someone asks me to participate in one of these. In my Q&A with Fit Fab Mommy, I’m giving tips about what should be in your “haute mommy” wardrobe, my favorite thing about being a mom, and also where I like to shop for Cadence. Here’s a snippet of the interview:

Fit Fab Mommy: What are 3 key pieces every mom must have in their wardrobe?
BabyBrownSugar: A structured blazer – you can take it from day to night and it instantly makes you look polished. A little black dress – ultra-flattering on everyone. A great pair of heels – staples like pumps are perfect for wearing in any season. Get them in a nice contrasting color or pattern so they make a statement.

Fit Fab Mommy: Cadence always has the most adorable clothes! What are some of your favorite baby brands?
BabyBrownSugar: Thank you! I spend all my money at GAP, Old Navy and Carter’s. Those clothes last a lifetime and they’re so classic. They also don’t shrink, which is great considering how quickly she’s growing.

Read the full interview on Fab Fit Mommy by clicking here!