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Finding Balance

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Conquering life’s juggle struggles!

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Moms Making Moves: A Doctor AND Fashionista!

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Doctor by day, a ton of fashion on the side, and mother 24/7. Meet Dr. Kiarra King! She is a Board Certified Obstetrician Gynecologist, trendy fashion blogger, and a mother of a beautiful daughter! She is also one of Sassy Plum’s fashion/lifestyle contributors.

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Halloween Lessons Learned

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Wiped Out: BrownBaby#1 trick-or-treated himself into a passed out stupor on Halloween. Time to break out the wine! Image copyrighted by Adrienne Gibbs. Permission required for all reprints.

I’ve been doing Halloween my entire life, but now that I have two kids it’s taken on a whole new angle. When I had one kid, and he was a toddler, Halloween was simply dressing him up and answering the door. Maybe we went by the neighbors to introduce him to the idea of saying “trick or treat.” When that Brown Baby 1 turned four, it got more serious. We were invited to go trick or treating with a bunch of other kids, and that was my first experience with the mom wagon, the beers, the drinks, the parents passing out flasks of wine and stopping at Starbucks to use the bathroom and regroup.

But now I have two and BrownBaby2 is just about two and not quite old enough to be out and about in a 27-degree Halloween situation. My oldest is five. I live in Chicago. Trick or treating ends at 7 p.m., per the laws of my particular South Side neighborhood. Last year we only were able to trick or treat for about 45 minutes because of the location I drove to and because I went to work and had to fight traffic to get back home in time. So this year I got hip. I took the day off of work so I could do all the Halloween things and you know what? I STILL ran out of time!

I’m also exhausted.

Hopefully you all aren’t wiped out like I am. But if you are, here are my newly-learned Halloween-with-two-kids-under-six Halloween lessons, or tips.

  1. Take the day off work or try to take a half day. Get up early and get ready. No sleeping in.
  2. Prep Halloween dinner two days before the big day or cook Halloween dinner before lunchtime and set it up.
  3. Don’t be like me and wait until Halloween to buy candy. *runs and hides * Thank goodness there’s a Sam’s Club near me.
  4. If you take the kids by your office or your partner’s office, do it early, like at 2 or 3. That way, you can trick-or-treat at 4.
  5. If you do go with a group, try to keep it within walking distance of your own home. I’m no longer going to try to drag little bitty kids to blocks where we have no respite from the cold, no bathroom and nowhere to change a diaper.
  6. If it’s too cold for your baby/toddler, then split duties and have one person stay home and the other go out with the oldest.
  7. Carry band-aids. Whew. All the kids I saw who fell face first on concrete steps was appalling.
  8. You might need help if you want to trick-or-treat and pass out candy at your own home. Enlist a cousin or a babysitter. Several of my neighbors use their nannies for this purpose, plus the nanny watches the smallest kids. I don’t have a nanny, so my husband got off work a half hour early to pass out candy/watch our house.
  9. Bring juice boxes and healthy snacks for your kids to eat and keep said snacks in the wagon that you will inevitably use to cart them back home because they will be pooped.
  10. Go with furry, head-to-toe suits if in a cold weather climate. And stuff the suit with layers of t-shirts and sweatshirts and long underwear. It’s warmer that way.
  11. Always carry a thermos full of hot tea and whiskey or hot tea and rum. Or… coffee and Bailey’s Irish Cream. Again, it’s warmer that way.

Here’s to a bigger better Halloween next year.  Meanwhile, drop your top tips below for things you plan to do differently next year. Only 365 days to go….

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How To Avoid The Common Money Mistakes Moms Make

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(Isaac with his first piggy bank at 2 weeks old.)

In this space I typically talk about my tits and such, but today I want to talk about money since I’m a financial coach in real life. Having been in financial services for the past 16 years, I’ve seen women make easily preventable mistakes with their money, including myself. Now, as a mom and wife, the stakes are higher. If I fail financially then my family will likely fail too.

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Tired Mommy Diagnosis: “Ya Doing Too Much” Syndrome

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Do you ever have days when you feel like you are going to mentally explode?  Where the to-do list is so daunting you become paralyzed with inaction? You may not be able to place your finger on the exact term to describe it but I have found one: YaDoinTooMuch Syndrome. It disproportionately affects moms because of our super human powers to keep multiple balls in the air, but even the greatest super heroes have their moments of weakness.

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Moms: What Do You Want To Be When You Grow Up?

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Oh, you don’t know? You aren’t alone. Do you feel silly asking yourself this elementary question as an adult? Don’t feel bad, a lot of us have asked ourselves the same thing. Do you feel like you’re in a career rut, a stagnant position, just straight up stuck? Really, what do you want to be when you grow up?

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Learn When To Say No… “I Cain’t and I Ain’t!”

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No Means NO!

A hard ass lesson I’ve learned since becoming a mom is that I cannot yet operate at the level I did before I was a mom. Don’t get me wrong, this does not mean that I will never operate at the highest of the high levels from my previous life- I AIN’T GIVING UP! But right now, I don’t have the f*cking energy to do it all and I am temporarily unwilling to try. Because of that, I have perfected the art of saying no. My favorite ways of saying “NO” are: Nope, Hell to the naw naw,  and F*ck no. In other words…I cain’t and I ain’t!

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Top This! How to Completely FAIL at Summer: a Step-By-Step Guide

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I was doing really good today. Great even. I was momming the crap out of today and earning serious Fun Mommy points. Then it all went to *insert poop emoji.* Literally. Here’s how I managed to accomplish my latest fail. 
Step 1: Fill a storage container with water. 

Do your kids love water play in the summer? Of course they do!! Fill a container and let them splash in it. Give them cups, strainers and floating toys to play with. Then let them climb inside and completely soak their clothes. For best results ensure that at least one kid is in diapers. What’s the big deal anyway? How bad could it get? 

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“Don’t Lose Your Mind Evacuation Plan” For Stressed Moms

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By Nicole Walker

“Y’all gon’ make me lose my mind, up in here, up in here. Y’all gon’ make me go all out. Up in here, up in here. Y’all gon’ make me act a FOOL. Up in here, up in here. Y’all gon’ make me lose my cool. Up in here, up in here” –DMX

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Flying With Baby? 20 Must-Read Airline Hacks For Traveling with Young Kids

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My kid sits quietly (thank goodness) on a flight while playing Angry Birds. Image/Adrienne Gibbs

Airlines can’t stay out the news lately can they? They seem to always be doing something awful to passengers. From the doctor who was beat down for not giving up his seat to the mother who was nearly knocked out by her own stroller as it wielded by an airport flight attendant, it seems that flying with baby is mighty perilous these days. Don’t worry, Sassy Plum is here to help you figure out how to do this. You CAN do this mom. You can fly safely and efficiently with your baby, your infant, your toddler or your young kid. And hopefully you can do it with minimal issues.

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7 Parenting Rules I Break And I Don’t Feel Bad… Anymore

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“Rules are not meant to be broken.”

Blah blah blah. Before I had kids, I had my life all spelled out, including how I would be the perfect parent. Parenting is super easy, manageable, and predictable as long as you are consistent with your rules. Yes, I actually believed that hogwash… until the kids came. Then I realized something really important about myself…I’M HUMAN. It’s funny, I never really considered that in all my pre-planning of my perfect life with perfect kids. I never considered the scenario of parenting being trial and error. Or that I would be too exhausted to consistently uphold rules. Or that breaking those standard rules might actually be fun and add some spice to the monotony.  I never considered I would have the audacity to venture off from the status quo and…dare I say…. live a little. Before I had kids, I was a strict and no-nonsense parent.

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March 8th International Women’s Day: #DayWithoutAWoman

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What is #DayWithoutAWoman?

Every year, March 8th’s International Women’s Day is observed around the world to bring attention to women’s issues, women’s rights and to celebrate womanhood in general. Due to the highly politicized nature of our current democracy, many women are using this day to show solidarity against President Trump and his administration. Women are taking a day off of work and flocking to the streets to stand up for issues they feel may be compromised by new policy measures and decreased funding to agencies that serve as a lifeline to many women. In addition to staying home from work and participating in marches around the world, women are being asked to wear red and avoid shopping to bring awareness to #DayWithoutAWoman.

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Black Moms Are Defying Stereotypes and Slaying Motherhood

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Black moms are serving lemonade. Straight up.

We have been dodging and weaving negative stereotypes since the beginning of time. America loves portraying us in a negative light and we are so over it. Our narrative reads that Black moms are angry. Uneducated. Won’t work. Can’t find a man. And the men that we do hook up with are dead-beat dads. Call it what you want: lies, untruths, #alternativefacts, but it’s simply all hogwash…skewed perceptions of who we are and what we represent. Basically, Black moms stay chained to America’s whipping post, expected to stand still and accept a public lashing for the state of our communities, poverty, and greater society.

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How To Prepare Your Toddler For a New Daycare Center

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The thought of a new daycare center can be super scary!

Is your toddler headed to a daycare center for the first time? Or are you considering switching locations and you are nervous about your little one’s transition? You are not alone! It can be a really scary feeling. One of the most unsettling feelings imaginable, actually. Not necessarily for the child, but for you, mama! No, you’re not crazy. We always want our children to feel secure, happy, and accepted no matter the situation. Uprooting them from one place and sticking them in another can create tons of anxiety and make us a bit worried about how it will go.

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Working Mom Or Stay-At-Home Mom: A 2016 Snapshot Of Our Habits

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Digital Goddesses

Guess what? Both stay-at-home moms and moms who work outside the home use the hell out of their digital devices and spend a lot of time on social media and watching streamed television shows and movies.

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