Friday, August 29, 2014

Potty Training Success!

You guys, I seriously thought it was never going to happen. Layla is finally potty trained. Hallelujah and can I get an amen! It's such a great feeling knowing she can now use the toilet and not feeling like I'm literally changing diapers all day. Mariam is a poop machine so yes it still sort of feels like I'm changing diapers all day, but not as bad. One down, one more to go!

Mariam has expressed interest in using the little potty seat and successfully went once a month ago. She is still only just a year and a half so I'm not rushing it. I'm no potty training expert as I had such a difficult time, but I will tell you what several people told me. Don't push it. They will get it when they are ready and that's just what Layla did. She is a few months over 3 now and has been going on the toilet successfully for 4 weeks now. They say night time weaning takes a little longer, but as soon as she started going on the toilet, a week later she was dry every time in the morning and we stopped putting pull-ups on her at night. In these past 4 weeks she has only had 3 accidents. Once at night, once in the car, and once at a birthday party, but I made the mistake of not forcing her to go to the restroom and just relied on asking her--in which she would respond no. She was having too much fun to want to stop. 

I tried a few different incentives, but what worked the best was Earth's best organic lollipops. I spotted these at Babies R us in the checkout lane and grabbed a bag.  You can also find them at other stores or at Amazon. Now I wouldn't give her a lollipop every time she went because that would just be too much lollipops, but she would get one sometimes every day for a few days or every other day. I also alternated with little duck scratch and sniff stickers. I'm sure someone might be reading this and raise an eyebrow at one lollipop a day, but they are natural (100% vegan, 100% natural flavors, 100% daily vitamin C, real fruit extract, soy-free, dairy free, peanut and nut free, and has no artifical dyes or colors). We are also religious about brushing our little one's teeth twice a day. Layla also had her first dentist appointment last week and her teeth are fantastic. I definitely recommend using an incentive. Layla was very very stubborn and I had to go through a few different ones before I found one that seemed to aid in the process. 

So have faith my friends if you feel like your child will never be potty trained. That's how I felt. I touched base on it back in May in this post here. There were some instances where it seriously made me question even being able to mother 3 children. That's how insane it made me sometimes.

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Scrumptious raspberry muffins!

I haven't posted a recipe in awhile so here's one the girls and I tried on Monday. I cook 5-6 days a week so I really should be sharing more but I don't always try something new. Some weeks it will be several new dishes and some weeks it's just a rotation of my usual things. I love baking, but I consider cooking to be a chore sometimes mainly because the girls make it really hard to focus. They constantly trapeze through the kitchen opening drawers, taking out things, or asking for snacks. It really puts a damper on trying to be Alton Brown and most of the time I'm rushing through it so I can get them fed and out of the kitchen.

These are great for an afternoon snack or for a quick to-go breakfast if you're running out the door. We really enjoyed these and will be making them again!


3/4 stick (6 tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
3/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
1/2 cup whole milk
1 large egg
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 rounded cups raspberries
Course sugar for sprinkling (optional)


  1. Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 400F. Put liners in muffin cups or lightly spray with non-stick baking spray.
  2. On medium-low, mix together butter, brown sugar, milk, and egg in a bowl until combined well. Whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl. Add to milk mixture and mix until just combined. Fold in raspberries.
  3. Divide batter among muffin cups - it's two scoops of a #20 scoop per muffin cup, if you're a scooper like me. Sprinkle tops with course sugar (if using) and bake until golden brown and a wooden pick inserted into center of a muffin comes out clean, 25 to 30 minutes.

Monday, August 25, 2014

First day!

Our big girl started junior high today! As I pulled up to the front of the school I knew she was excited and nervous and as she hopped off the car and scurried off towards the door, it felt like the first time I dropped her off at kindergarten. I remember they wouldn't let the parents walk in with them. Drove off crying like a baby. Definitely felt some tears well up today as she starts this new chapter in her life. She'll do great though and I can't wait to hear all about her first day later.
Oh and she had like two wardrobe changes before she finally made up her mind. Like mother like daughter!
Have a great Monday!

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Pretty Posh Shoppe Pretties!

A couple weeks ago I was scouring the internet trying to think of what other decor I can add into Serena's big girl room redecoration project, and I remembered that I had seen some adorable tissue paper tassels from Pretty Posh Shoppe on Etsy. 

I got in touch with the owner Danielle and we emailed about the colors I'm incorporating in Serena's room. I went with teal, metallic silver and white and the colors are perfect! Originally I had plans to stream it in the corner of her bedroom, but then changed my mind and placed it over her windows. Then I changed my mind again and put it around her vanity. I love the way it looks there and it really gives the room something fun and unique!

Besides tissue garlands, Pretty Posh Shoppe offers a variety of handcrafted accessories for your little ones as well as fun, festive decor to brighten up any room.They also accept custom orders. 


I'm still not done with her her room just quite. Still trying to find those last few accent pieces, but it's almost done. Have a great Thursday!

Wednesday, August 20, 2014


 Now with the summer coming to an end, a new season will be upon us soon and with that brings change. Back in July I mentioned that I couldn't wait to take our family vacation to relax and clear my head. I knew when I got back that I was going to start doing things differently in regards to the business so I could stop putting so much stress on myself and work smarter not harder. Slowly I've been implementing some change and last Saturday I took a big step and went to go visit a professional sewing shop in Texas to see about getting my products manufactured. I talked with the owner for about 2 hours and left excited and overwhelmed with information. We talked a great deal about my upcoming children's clothing line and he gave me some very helpful information. 

I know now that it won't be making it's debut this year like I had planned, but instead I will shoot for spring 2015. When I started this business in the fall of 2012 with just my 5 signature bib designs, my motto was "go big or go home." That's just what's worked for me. With the clothing line I'm not going to go the seamstress and myself route like I've been doing with my other products. I want to go straight with a manufacturer. While the investment might be scary I know I'll be saving myself a lot of headache going that route and it'll put me in route faster to also be able to offer that to retail stores. While the business has been a lot of hard work and sometimes tears I feel very blessed. I've learned so much and have gotten to get to know a lot of awesome companies and people.

I've taken charge of my future and the girl boss within me has really emerged. Recently Tinyprints sent over some cute stationery and wall decor, and I'm loving this custom notepad for my notes that I need to jot down for the business. I took it with me to my recent meeting with the manufacturer and it fit perfectly in my purse..

If you ever wondered where I got the name FHJ Baby from...well now you know. Have a great Wednesday.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Back to school fashion

Over the past month we've been doing Serena's school shopping little by little and yesterday we wrapped it up by taking a trip to the mall. For the past few years we've been getting her school supplies from Target and getting most of her clothes from Macy's. She likes the wide selection and styles they have to offer so it's been her to-go store.

I really can't believe this is the first time we are shopping for Junior high! How in the world do I have a 6th grader? We also did her back to school orientation on Saturday and it was surreal to see her in front of her first locker and learning the combination. She is so so excited though and I'm really happy about that. I really don't remember what my thoughts were leading into junior high, but I do know 6th and 7th grade were my worst years. It was just a really awkward time for me and it didn't help that I was painfully shy. Like really really shy. By 7th grade I started coming out of my shell and by 8th grade things were pretty good. High school was a blast as I stayed busy with athletics and working. Thankfully Serena is not like me in the sense that she has been a social butterfly since day one. She'll be entering junior high with her friends and hopefully she'll do fine.

One thing she does share with me is a love for fashion and organization (most times anyways). She already has her first day of school outfit picked out and ready to go for next week. She is loving her new mermaid teal hanger from Oh Deer Creative that I recently got for her room. I can't get enough of these gorgeous sequin hangers!

Have a great Monday!

Saturday, August 16, 2014

When mom is in town

I've been quiet this week because my mom has been here and it's been a pretty busy time with the girls and the business. She left on Thursday and I can't believe how fast 3 weeks went by! She was such a huge help with the girls and my business. During her stay we had a few outings, but mainly things were the same with our schedules because she had a lot to do while she was here, and things to buy to take back with her to South Africa. The day before she left though we went to the City Centre in Houston to shop and have lunch. They still have a lot of open retail spots so there's not a whole lot of shopping that one can do, but we still had fun.
Never mind these somewhat blurry cell phone pics and me looking like a hot mess. It was hot and I forgot my camera at home. I'm happy to have these memories though and I hope she comes back in November, otherwise I probably won't see her till next January.
Have a great weekend!

Monday, August 11, 2014

Big girl room update (Wallternatives Review)

Back when I was updating the nursery, I raved several times about Royal Design Studio Stencils. They are a great company with a great product, and I am still absolutely amazed at how stenciling one wall in the nursery transformed it into the gorgeous and unique nursery I always dreamed about!
This past May they launched a new sister company called Wallternatives™ in which they offer an artful alternative to ordinary walls. Their products include: Designer Vinyl Decals, WallPrints Fabric Decals, WallAppeal Removable Wallpaper, EtchLook, and ChalkTalk.
After I finished the nursery, (see Royal Design Studio Stencil Review here and the nursery final reveal here,) I moved onto Serena's room to redecorate. When I heard Royal Design Studio had launched Wallternatives, I knew I had to try out some vinyl decals after browsing at what they had to offer and falling in love with most of their patterns. I'm also not going to be doing any painting in her room so decals are a perfect alternative! Serena selected the stars vinyl pattern in metallic silver and Wallternatives was kind enough to send over a couple packs for us to try.
The day after we got them, we were eager to get started right away. I knew where I wanted to put them, but I wasn't sure what design to use. After conferring with Serena and my mom I made up my mind and started placing them on the sides of the biggest wall in the room. They are seriously so easy to put on and reposition if you need to. I did not have to prep the walls so all I had to do was peel off and stick, peel off and stick. So, so easy. When I work on a project I never really use precise measurements. I'm a bit impatient and I'm really good at picking things up and eyeballing things so I patterned the stars on one side of the wall and then just made the same on the other wall. I love the way the wall looks now! I'm probably going to switch out the clock for a big picture or print and I may change up the nightstand décor, but stay tuned for more fun updates with the rest of the room.
Have a great Monday!

Friday, August 8, 2014

These boots were made for walkin'

{Bib} FHJ Baby {Skirt} Me
You thinking what I'm thinking? Yep, it's getting back to that time where the weather starts getting cooler--except I'm in Houston so cooler weather probably isn't happening till December.
That doesn't mean we can't wear our boots though. I had actually bought these mocc boots for Mariam months ago when they were on clearance from Kohl's. I was almost forgetting about them too since I had them up high on a closet shelf. I was waiting for when they fit her and now they do, so she's happy stomping all around the house in them.
Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

50 shades of brass

I have had an issue with my hair turning brassy since I started dyeing my hair in my 20's. In the beginning--when I didn't know any better I used to walk into a local hair salon asking for a light brown hair color and walk out with a head full of rust. Looking back I'm like "why didn't my parents say anything!" It was horrid. Or maybe it wasn't that bad, I mean my now husband fell in love with me around that time so I guess he dug it.
See I wasn't exaggerating.
I didn't know at the time that color doesn't lift color. It wasn't until I met Sami Arjorna of A Touch of Red Salon in Houston that taught me that and corrected and transformed my hair. She would use hi-lift and her balayage technique so I could finally achieve that lighter brown sun kissed look.
I saw her for a few years and then it just started to get too far for me to drive too and then Layla was born and I had less time to get away. I then started to see my high school friend Martha at Highland Salon in Katy. I've been seeing her for the past few years and I love going. Every time I leave I'm happy and have yet to be disappointed.

The last time I got my hair colored was in May and unfortunately, it seems like that one week at the beach really turned my hair super brassy. I did have to wash it almost daily so I know that had a lot to do with it as well.
You see how orangey it got? My hair hasn't grown that much to warrant another trip to the salon, so I thought I'd take matters into my own hands and try a toner from Sally's Beauty Supply. After reading several reviews and watching a few YouTube videos I decided to go with the brand Wella color charm in T18 light ash blonde. It seemed like most of the reviews were for blondes and I was a little nervous because I couldn't find that many on hair color like mine, but I went for it anyways.
Supplies needed:
*Hair toner
*20 developer
*Mixing bowl (You can buy one or use any bowl really)
* Squeeze bottle or color brush
*Rubber gloves
The firs thing I did was dampen my hair. There was mixed reviews on whether to use dry hair or wet hair, but the consensus was that you should do it on damp towel dried hair.
So once your hair is damp, go ahead and mix 1 part toner and 2 parts developer. So basically, dump the whole toner in there and then fill the toner bottle with developer 2 times and dump it in there as well. Give it a good mix. It's going to be milky white at first and then turn purple. I wasn't sure if I should have waited till it turned purple to apply because every where else I read, it said to put on the toner fairly quickly once you mix it. I'm going to go ahead and say that I don't think it matters if you wait for it to turn purple or not. Start at the bottom of your hair and work your way up.
On the box it says leave on for 20-30 minutes but don't go by that time. The toner can start working in as little as 5 minutes. So it can take anywhere from 5-30 minutes. You need to watch it. That statement I was confused by. I had no idea what to look for. It wasn't until 13 minutes had passed that I understood. I started to see the difference. The orange was going away and the ash was coming through.
I gave it a total of 20 minutes and then washed it out in the shower with lukewarm water. I used shimmer lights also from Sally's which is a blond/silver shampoo that you can use if you have brassy hair. My hair stylist recommended it.

Afterwards, I blow dried my hair and styled as usual and this was the end result.

Overall I'm pretty happy with the result and I would do it again. I was expecting a bit more ash I suppose, but it could be a matter of maybe not picking the right shade. It did make the highlighted strands blonder and while to me it may still seem a tad bit brassy, it's definitely not the orangey red it was when I got back from Florida.
I hope this tutorial helps if your hair tends to turn brassy like mine. Have a great Wednesday!