Naja's 2nd Birthday Party

Pictures are from Naja's second birthday party (and after party for the last one). Photographed by my good friend B

Hello out there!!! It's been pretty quiet on the blog since I've been getting acclimated to being a student again. I'm in Pittsburgh in orientation reviewing things like accounting and calculus, and attending lots of happy hours networking with my classmates.

I've been thinking a lot about how I can fit my blog into my schedule, and I've finally verbalized that I have to schedule time to write my blog posts. Who wants to schedule time to do fun stuff? Not me, but it's necessary if it's going to happen these days. I no longer have time to blog "when I get a chance" - because that's never.

My goal is to post one to two times per week. One post will surround my love for food. Now that Naja is a full-on toddler, she eats just as much as I do some days, I'll aim to post our weeknight meals. The second post will be a toss up on style post, or a general lifestyle post. I would love to create more dialogue around being a working mom on my blog. I think it's relevant, and it's something I'm growing more passionate about these days. I have attended some phenomenal events that have learned some things that are applicable for everyone - those with and without kids, and stay-at-home and working moms/dads.

I'm aiming to kick this new schedule off in September. That's all for now - I hope that you're all well. Peace.

Spring 2013 Updates

Let me summarize the last few months in a handful of pictures with an explanation of everything below...

We've been enjoying the warm weather: Naja found a nice place to perch herself
I've been hanging out with friends & socializing more - I needed it: A little face beat before a night out with my girls
Have gone back to Philly once over the past few months: Dosa from the Philadelphia Chutney Company
Still doing a lot of stuff with my sorority: At one of my sorority chapter's community events
Still trying to eat healthy: Spiced chickpeas, mashed avocado, vegan pesto & grilled asparagus for breakfast - why not?
Loving this girl: All smiles
Watching her socialize and grow up: Hanging out with some "big girls" at a Jack & Jill picnic 
No reason for this pic other than I love it: My little model
Summer weather finally broke: Hanging outside on a weekday after work - Naja loves to sit on the ground like this

Hair: My most recent cut & hair style

(All pics taken with my iPhone & most posted to my Instagram page @mowitafro)

So first I will address hair for Naja and me because that's the heart of where this blog started.  As for my cut, I was inspired by Zuriworks, a wonderful organization who help cancer patients and encourage women not to be afraid to cut it all off! I am not my hair! As for Naja - this girl has A TON of hair, and she hates getting it done. I was opting for protective styles via cornrows, but she barely lets me detangle on a wash day! I've tried snacks, movies, everything. She hates getting her hair done. Thus, she's been rocking a fro and honestly - her fro is a show-stopper and gets rave reviews. I spritz it at night and in the morning and add oil and Shea Moisture Curling Smoothie to help keep it moisturized.

Off of hair...the past few months have been very eventful in a wonderful way. I have been fairly busy with a few things. You may remember I hinted that something big may be coming my way, and I'm finally ready to make my announcement...I'm going to business school full-time in the fall at Carnegie Mellon's Tepper School of Business in Pittsburgh, PA!

It's crazy and unfathomable the way things just work out sometimes. For those of you who know me personally, you know that I was in the process of applying to b-school right around the time I found out I was expecting (Winter 2010). Knowing then that I'd be a single mom, I didn't think b-school would be a possibility anymore. Especially since I wanted to go full-time, and I wanted to go to an elite program (Top 20), but how would I, or could I do that as a single mom?

Sometimes, you just have faith and let God work things out - and He worked things out AGAIN - financially,  socially, personally, I have a ton of support all around, and I'm so incredibly grateful. In short, I received a fellowship to cover tuition, and my parents live in a suburb of Pittsburgh, so we're staying with them (again). Praise the Lord for minimum grad school debt - I couldn't have asked for more!

My job knows about business school now, and I'm working there through the end of June. I'm taking off some time for a few b-school related conferences to attend, and then I'm using the month of July to not work at all to take a few road trips, hang out with Naja, and relax before school starts in August.

My focus in school will be in strategy, with a focus on analyzing market research to make recommendations for larger business decisions regarding trades, sales, acquisitions, or brand changes. I would love to leverage my MBA into the retail space, which means blogging more could actually help me with these new career goals. I'm looking forward to the new scene. I've gained a lot of perspective on life in the past two years. I'm ecstatic about what's to come...I hope you guys are going to join me on this new journey.

If you do want to stay along for the ride, and you follow me on GoogleReader, follow me on bloglovin by clicking here, or you can always click the 'heart' icon in the top left side of the side bar. Peace & love.

What's up (part 2)

Part the table set up for the bridal shower I hosted
Bridesmaids from the wedding, I'm in the middle - September 2012
Some high school friends gathering for breakfast after a wedding in October 2012.
Grilled cheese and tomato and roasted red pepper soup (will post the recipe from Top Chef Cookbook later). November 2012.
The invitation for the baby shower I hosted in December. The theme was: What are little girls made of? Sugar and spice, and everything nice. December 2012.
Momma's night out - a rare occasion, out at The Park for an Inauguration Party with a friend from undergrad. January 2013.

I've finally had a chance to write about myself. This used to come so easily to me, and now, it's like I've got nothing. Since I last gave you an update on me, I've been to a few weddings, one which I had the honor of being the maid of honor. I planned a few showers (one bridal, and one baby), I've been cooking up a storm, I've changed my hair twice, and I just completed a three month shopping hiatus. The pictures are more descriptive of most of the things I mentioned, so I won't go into detail. If you're wondering what I did with my hair...let's just say I paid a lot of money for lock extensions, and hated them, and took them out after 2 weeks, and now realize that I will probably never lock my hair, and I will probably never grow my hair super long. I like ease of hair, and I like styled hair, which translates to short hair for me.

I've really come to appreciate good friends recently. The past month has been filled with a few weddings, meet ups, parties, and general fellowship, and it's been awesome. This January, I approached my two year mark as a single woman, and I have learned a lot!  I am comforted, and appreciative of my friends. They answer when I call, keep me in check, are there for a good laugh, and that is something that I missed when I was dating. I was one of "those friends" who ditched their friends when they got a man. Note to self: don't ditch your friends, it's natural to see a shift in the balance, but ditching is a not cool.

I feel like posts will be forthcoming as the weather gets warmer. There are some big changes coming that I can't wait to share, but I have to wait for the right time to break the news.

There is one thing I'm excited about that I can talk about...I'm going to Jamaica in a few weeks! Remember this trip from last year? Well, my department hit our 2012 goal, so the company is paying for us to go to Jamaica, and we're staying at The Ritz! My mom is going to watch Naja for me, while I'm away. I'm looking forward to a few days in luxury, but I think I'll miss Naja a lot. That's all for now. Peace.