This Is 11! Celebrating Kingston's 11th Birthday at Dave & Buster's

King's birthday was February 2nd but like I've mentioned before the shortest month of the year is the busiest for my family so I'm just getting around to posting about his special day. 

My oh my how time flies. It feels like yesterday I gave birth to my first child and now he is 11 years old. While birthday parties are always a blast we try to save them for milestone birthdays, but we always celebrate in some form. So this year Kingston wanted to in his words "have some fun at my favorite restaurant" Dave & Buster's. His first request was indoor sky diving but I convinced him to hold out on that one. I may or may not be a lot of bit terrified. No worries I'll be facing my fears soon just for him. 

Our decision to hold off ended up working out for the best because he had a few cousins spontaneously come into town to celebrate with him. They are all older and his sisters are younger so Dave & Buster's was the perfect place to bring everyone of all ages together. Even grandma got to come, even though she was plotting on ways to go with him indoor sky diving without actually sky diving. Dave & Buster's has always been a favorite of Kingston's. I mean who can blame him. What eleven-year-old boy, whose two favorite things include food and gaming wouldn't want to go?  It's the perfect combination. I feel like I mention this all the time but for those of you who are new Kingston is autistic. This played a huge factor in my hesitation in introducing him to this place in the beginning. 
Just the thought of it seems like an overwhelming bundle of over stimulation and panic attack all mixed it one. The loud noises, the crowded atmosphere the blinking lights all seem like an obvious NO. However, when Kingston first laid eyes on the commercial he knew he wanted to experience the fun. 

Being a mom I had to practice what I preach. I am always telling him and everyone around him not to define him or limit him due to autism so off to Dave & Buster's we went. To my surprise, he handled it like a boss. He stayed close and held onto me for comfort, covered his ears to muffle the sounds and took it all in. That was years ago now he's a Dave & Buster's pro. 

Dressed in his birthday outfit he picked out himself, yes yes Kingston actually went to the store and picked out an entire outfit he wanted to wear, he was ready to celebrate. 

*He ate yummy food
* Played some of his favorite games
* Ate cake from his favorite bakery (PUBLIX) 😂  
* Received amazing gifts 
*And most importantly he was showered with love from our amazing family 

I MATTER! What Brown Dolls Represent To This Dope Mom

It's February and while we celebrate the beauty that is our history all year long it's still extremely important for my family to celebrate Black History Month. Not only do we dive into the impact that our people has made throughout history but we also take this time to celebrate the culture. For me personally, this is a time to reinforce self-love and take pride in being unapologetically black.   

I was fortunate enough to be asked to be apart of Rubens Barn discussion on brown dolls. If you haven't heard of them Rubens Barn is a handmade doll company "with a mission to shape a kinder future though soft cuddles of empathy." Feel free to check out their Instagram here

As a melanin mom raising dope melanin kids it has always been extremely important for me to provide them with images that look like them... and their aunts... and uncles, cousins... and friends. It's known that children learn best during play so being able to provide them with a diverse group of dolls that come in all shades, sizes, both male and female only assist me in my mission to raising well rounded, self-loving, accepting children. We live by the motto different is dope which was birthed from my unique journey through motherhood, raising a son with autism and a gifted daughter. For me, it's not about ONLY providing brown dolls but ALSO providing brown dolls. Inclusivity is the key. We want them to look into their sea of toys, books, and movies and spot images that look like them with ease.

I grew up in a time where there was no black princess in mainstream fairy tales, most black characters were shown as the token black friend and brown dolls weren't so easily accessible. This can easily create a distorted self-image in a young child. There may have been one brown doll created out of an entire line and she wasn't guaranteed to be in stock. She only came in one shade of brown and if she had hair it only came in one texture. My parents had to go out of their way to provide me with dolls that looked like me. No matter how difficult the task they were sure to succeed and for that, I am forever grateful. It meant a lot to me as a brown skin little girl growing up in the 90s to feel included. Now, a mom myself I'm so thankful for companies like Rubens Barn. They provide children with beautifully created inclusive dolls making it a lot easier for me than it was for my mother. 

Do you make it a point to provide brown dolls for your little ones? Feel free to share your thoughts on what brown dolls represent to you below. 

Five ways your child will benefit from playing with dolls ft. Neonate Babies By Distroller USA

Play Is The Highest Form Of Research- Albert Einstein

As a mother, I figured out quickly that play isn't a luxury but a necessity. The easiest way for children to learn in through play. In today's blog, I'll be sharing with you a few benefits of playing with dolls for both boys and girls.

1. Fine-motor skills. By dressing, changing, and feeding their dolls your child will be working on their find-motor skills.

2. Social Skills- while playing with their dolls with other children they are practicing sharing and working together with someone else.

3. Language- children also work on their language and communication skills by playing with their dolls and maybe even another child.

4. Imagination- playing with dolls is a great way to spark children's imaginations as they pretend to play.

5. Responsibility- yes, even your toddler can begin to learn how to be responsible just by pretending to take care of their doll.

We recently received Neonate babies from and I quickly witness all of these benefits almost immediately. My toddler got to work on her fine motor skills as she tried to change her babies diaper. The girls worked together trying to figure out what all the pieces were and asked plenty of questions. The umbilical cord sparked a lot of questions. I remember laughing as my oldest daughter was off the school just the other day and my toddler calls out "I'll babysit your baby for you!" as she climbed out of the car.

For those of you who may not have heard of these cool new dolls, a Neonate Baby is a newborn baby that comes to earth in a space capsule from the planet Neonatopia. The capsule is called the NeoTube Transportation System. Just like human babies, Neonate Babies come in distinct sizes, personalities, and species who have different stages of development. These newborn babies yearn for love and care from human children.

Do the little ones in your life play with dolls? Share with me in the comments below.

disclosure: this product is sponsored but all options are my own.

Conquering Cold & Flu Season and Supporting Teachers with

For many years we went about cold and flu season by dealing with things when, and if, the kids got sick, which is a big mistake. As time went on we realized trying to stay ahead of the germs was key. With one child that has asthma and another with bronchitis, it's extremely important to try to prevent sickness before it even begins. A simple cough can lead to an asthma attack or a flare-up that then requires hospital stays, treatments, and missing even more days of school.  There are many ways to prevent the spreading of germs in order to protect your little ones from getting sick altogether. While these are healthy habits to use all year long making sure we encourage these steps during cold and flu season can make for fewer sick days and more morning kisses. 

1. Wash Hands Frequently: Wash your hands with warm water for at least 20 seconds. Have your little ones sing the "Happy Birthday" song twice to help with timing. 

2. Disinfect Germ Hot Spots:  Use a disinfectant approved to kill cold & flu viruses, like Clorox® Disinfecting Wipes, to wipe the surfaces touched most frequently, like doorknobs, light switches, faucets or toys. Clorox® Disinfecting Wipes kill 99.9% of germs including viruses that cause colds and flu and also kill Staph, E. Coli, Salmonella and Strep.

3. Do the Elbow Cough: Cough and sneeze into your elbow instead of your hands to help prevent the spread of germs by touch. 

4. Follow Good Health Guidelines: Eat right, exercise and get plenty of sleep to help boost your body’s ability to fight the effects of colds and flu.

Now let's be honest even with taking these steps sick days still happen. I remember when my oldest, King, started school and had his first sick day. What started out as a little cough slowly turned into a full-on flare up. Not only could he not concentrate at school because his cough would not go away but he wasn't getting enough sleep at night, his throat and chest began to hurt, and he was miserable. He ended having to do a few breathing treatments which lead to him missing days of school. Now, if you know King then you know he has autism and with him schedule is key. Back then missing two to three days of school meant another month of trying to get him readjusted to spending his days in school. Since we've started our routine of being proactive and getting ahead of the game for cold and flu season I've noticed that even when they do get sick it is nowhere near as bad as it used to be. We've already experienced our first sick day this year and I am proud to say WE SURVIVED! One big thing for us was making sure all the common areas and toys were disinfected using our Clorox Disinfecting Wipes. Dad and I didn't get sick at all, which is a first, and the littles recovered at record speed. #momwin Now is the time when clean matters because it protects your family from the spread of nasty germs.

I believe it is equally important to make sure our little one's classrooms are also ahead of the game during cold and flu season. Join Clorox in supporting, which allows teachers across America to create projects and request resources students need to enable first moments in their classrooms. To make a donation directly, visit where teachers post requests for materials and experiences to enhance their classrooms. Anyone can choose a project to fund and by donating to a project with The Clorox Company dollar-for-dollar match offer, donors double the impact of their donation. Click here to read more on how you can participate in supporting

Do you remember your little ones first sick day? What sort of things does your family do in order to conquer cold and flu season? Share with us down below in the comments.  

disclosure: this post is sponsored but all thoughts and options are my own