Hi there!

Hey lovelies, welcome to SDB! I'm Natasha. I am a walking, talking mombie fueled by coffee. I am obsessed with shoes, all things glittery and/or sparkly, and I have an owl obsession. We talk about everything from motherhood, lifestyle, and all things inbetween. I am a mom of three kids and we reside in the Pacific Northwest. Thanks for tagging along! Now lets sit back and sip on a cup of coffee in the AM or wine in the PM and lets relax.

Monday, April 24, 2017

Read with Fonics: Educational Kids App

This post has been brought you by Read with Fonics. I was not financially compensated for this post and received the app for free. All thoughts and opinions on Read with Fonics are my own based off our experience with the application. 

I am back with another great educational app for kids! I'm excited about the opportunity to team up with Read with Fonics. With summer break coming in less than 62 days for my oldest son, I have been on a hunt to find apps for our tablet for him to continue his literary and mathematical skills. 

He was diagnosed with ADHD back in February and learning subjects like math and reading have been a challenge for him. It is often hard for him to focus both at home and in a classroom setting. When I introduced him to Read with Fonics for the first time he was hesitant at first but once he started playing the app he really started to enjoy it. He now asks to play it every day and I don't feel like a "bad mom" letting him play on the tablet as long as he is utilizing Read with Fonics.

Read with Fonics takes kids on a progressive  process from simple sounds to more complicated spelling combinations. Your child starts at Water World and each time they complete a sound another one gets unlocked. There are four worlds in total: Water World, Forest World, Lava Land, and Jelly City. My sons favorite world is Lava World.

What I like about Read with Fonics is that it focuses on positive scoring. Your child starts at 0 and gains points for each correct answer that they get on phonics sounds. The concept of positive scoring is that success leads to more successes with every correct answer that they get. The more points your child earns, the more confident they become with their ability to understand sounds and improve their reading skills and level.

With Read with Fonics your child will learn at his/her own pace and on his/her own time. I have already seen an improvement with Amari's sounds and with his reading level since we started using the app.

If you buy multipack your child will learn 44 phonics sounds, play 116 phonics games, and learn how to read 1,200+ words. I highly recommend purchasing the multipack for your child. Read with Fonics is compatible with both iOS here, the Google Play Store here, and Amazon App Store here. Its used in 1,750 schools and in 72 different countries.

Read with Fonics has been a game changer in my son's educational experience and I encourage you to try it with your children as well.

Thanks for stopping by and have a wonderful day.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Spring Nail Colors I Am Loving!

Spring is here, which means it is time to bust out all those pretty nail colors on your fingers and toes! I have been thinking about all the pretty colors for spring to get over the dreary gray skies and the endless amount of rain that we get here in the Pacific Northwest. We will have rain here until the end of May (maybe even June) which means it's still sweater weather. So the way I am bringing a pop of color into my wardrobe is with bright hues on my nails! 

I just love a simple color on my nails. 

I am not a fan of yellow, but for some strange reason I am loving this bright butter yellow color. It's so pretty and will probably be the only yellow that I will ever wear. I just love that it's so bright and flashy. 

One of my favorite spring colors. I just love how fresh and vibrant the color is against my skin.

I am liking bright and vibrant blue hues like this royal one. The color is bold but is soothing in its own way. It would also look good for Memorial Day and Fourth of July holidays this summer. 

Normally I don't wear the color purple but I do love the color lavender. It's just such a pretty hue, screams spring to me, and has a nice calming effect. 
This color is my favorite color. I just love the reddish-orange hue. It's so vibrant and pretty and this color will probably be one of my go too this spring.

Another one of my favorites for springtime. Cherry blossom's are my favorite, from the smell to the pretty light pink colors. I just love it. This shade will be another one of my go too colors this season. Its soft, pink, and just such a girly shade.

Such a fierce color. I love it. I find myself addicted to bright colors like this one. Plus, it looks so pretty on your nails. 

Spring Nail Trends

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

The Things I've Learned from Being a Professional Mentor

I often don't get too personal on the blog but recently started thinking about why I continue to do what I do professionally when it comes to my career. I often tell people who I know or first meet that I have the best job ever! And I mean it. I really do have the best job ever. I get to work with amazing young people. Many whom have overcome more hardships and obstacles than most adults I know in their short young lives. I truly believe in what I do and it's probably because I once was in the same shoes as the youth I work with.

I grew up in a broken home and was raised by my Great Grandmother. My mother was addicted to drugs and my father was incarcerated. We were poor, stuck living in a cycle of generational poverty. My story is very similar to many of my mentee's stories and youth in our program.

Although it is often challenging to balance my career with my personal life I somehow manage to do it. I do it because financially I need the money to support my family. And I do it because I love the work that I get to do with each youth that I work with. I work with ten amazing young women and I consider each and every one of them as part of my family. I am emotionally invested in them and their hardships become mine.

When they go through crisis I am there for them just like the women and men who mentored me growing up were there for me. When I was fifteen, my Great Grandmother passed away. She was my legal guardian and my caregiver was gone. You can read more about it here. My guardian Neil passed away later in my adulthood from cancer and my community of mentors were there to support me and my family during both hardships. It is a lot easier for me to relate to the youth I mentor because I endured and overcome many barriers in my lifetime. 

When my girl's accomplish a goal that they had set for themselves we celebrate together by going to see the latest movie that come out in theaters, buy a new NYX lipstick from Ulta, or go out to eat at our favorite restaurant. No day is ever the same with these girls and I am grateful to be a part of their lives. 

All though most of my days have their highs, there also are some lows. A few years ago I had three young ladies who were in constant crisis. The stress of trying to navigate different situations for each of them on top of being pregnant took its toll on me both mentally and physically. I was exhausted, burnt out, but somehow managed to persevere and get through it all until I went on maternity leave. I wouldn't say that I am a social worker but parts of what I do falls into that category. Dealing with crisis takes its toll on the mind. I remind myself every day that I do this work because I genuinely care about the kids.

What I have learned as a mentor for the past four years and ten months is the importance of self care, not taking things personally when things go astray, saying bye bye to the "savior" complex, and walking alongside the youth I mentor.

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Put a Book in their Basket this Easter! {Sponsored by I See Me!}

This post contains affiliate links and has been brought to you by I See Me Personalized Books. I was not financially compensated for this post; however, I received a free book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.  

Can you believe that it is officially spring? Let me tell you how happy I am to see the flowers blooming, leaves starting to bud, the aroma of cherry blossoms every time the wind blows, and most importantly the sunshine! With spring in the air, it also means that Easter is in a few short weeks. Here is a link to last year's Easter Basket Ideas for the Kids: Ages 6 and Under if you need some gift basket ideas that are candy free. 

I have teamed up with I See Me! Personalized Books to bring you this post. If you have never heard about them, well, I am happy to tell you about them. Everyone is buzzing about them! I See Me! has been featured on the Today Show, Parents Magazine, Entertainment Weekly, the Wall Street Journal and more. 

I See Me! has some of the most unique and personalized gifts and books and they would make a great addition in your child's Easter basket this year. "Each award-winning book and gift is truly unique and created one-at-a-time, especially for each child." I know my daughter felt so special when she received her God Loves Aurora Rose book in the mail. Not only was it personalized with her name on the cover and in the book, but the illustrations are beautiful, the cover and the pages in the book are made out of thick material and are great quality, and the overall story was created just for her. 

Each book has the option to be personalized for your child. For example, first name, last name, date of birth, your child's hair color, skin tone, favorite color, name of family or friends and you can even upload a photo. In God Loves Aurora Rose, her name is seamlessly incorporated into the text and the illustrations of the story. My daughter loves reading her personalized book every night and enjoys looking at the beautiful pictures. Her book from I See Me! has made a great addition to her little library and it will make a great addition to your child's as well.

You can choose from an assortment of 30 different titles that celebrate holidays, special days, and every other day of a child. Celebrate the birth of a new baby, becoming a big brother or sister, birthday, Baptism, or holidays like Christmas, Hanukkah, and Easter. There are even personalized books with princesses, fairies, pirates, race car drivers, dancers, and much more. Here are a few of my favorite books that would make an "egg-cellent" gift for Easter:  


Thank you I See Me! for the opportunity to review one of your books. I know that our family will be adding more personalized books to our children's libraries in the near future.