Sunday, April 13, 2014

Mama-to-Be: 39 Weeks (Countdown)

April is here and we are counting down to the arrival of Baby Fife!

We have less than 10 days left until Pumpkin's due date (April 21st). Now I know due dates are just guesses and accuracy of knowing when exactly our new addition will make her debut is totally up to her! (kinda' makes you bossy already kid! lol)

I am finally starting my maternity leave from my full time gig and could not be more enthusiastic about the time off. Having an entire day to focus and reflect is absolutely rewarding. I'm looking forward to every minute of it!

I thought I share with you a few things that have been going on since my last "Mama-to-Be" at 30 weeks. Instead of blogging most of my woes and triumphs  have been shared on Twitter/Instagram/Facebook via the hashtag #Mama2Be

Let's get caught up...

One of the first pregnancy symptoms that occurred during my very much so eventless pregnancy was the abundance of oil my skin has produced daily. This is caused (in my opinion) severe acne. Most of the pics I've posted online have very strategically placed concealer and done a lot of blending! I'll be honest...I've become quite fond of a feature on my phone called "Beauty Face" (Samsung S4). Its a really quick filter that helps smooth out blemishes! But the pic above isn't utilizing the filter and just happened to be a good day. I was about 32 weeks.

Recently, I woke up and exclaimed..."I give up on pants!!" Well it was actually at about 34 weeks but I didn't officially give up until about 37 weeks. I've worn nothing but maxi dresses to work and MooMoos/nightgowns while at home and it's felt quite lovely! I couldn't even imagine how my mother carried me during the heat of Summer (my bday is in late August)! 

This post was about a week ago and it was after a very tough night. My go-to response is that "the novelty of pregnancy has worn off!". Pumpkin is running out of space and daily reminding me of it. I didn't want to turn into a complaining #Mama2Be but I did want to share pregnancy isn't just a few aches, stretch marks and glowing faces! Pregnancy takes a toll on a woman's body, its tough yet oh so beautiful at the same time. 

This is another recent post....and let me tell you the night time charlie horses I've experienced have been...well quite frankly awful! Oh and "this cankle life though!"...honey let me tell you, I'm really starting to relate to Miss Piggy. Will my shoes every fit again?! It may sound weird but I've actually gotten used to the Braxton Hicks contractions. They're uncomfortable as heck but come and go. I'm paying closer attention to them now just to make sure they're not becoming real contractions.

I'm trying my best to stay mentally productive while on maternity leave while we await her arrival. And I'm sure a big chunk of my time will be sucked into the mindless BuzzFeed lists and questionnaires! Don't judge me, they're just so addictive! Here is one that cracked me up recently: 

Welp...that's about it. Its almost that time...Pumpkin's getting ready for her big show! I absolutely can't wait to meet her. I randomly turn my husband (in what feels like daily) and say "We're having a baby!". LOL I know it sounds crazy but I'm going to be someone's mom! I just know I'm going to boo-hoo cry when she is sob and drool and everything. LOL

Talk to you later lovelies,

Ms. Naturally Random, #Mama2Be

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

WLW Web Series: Changing Environment

Women Living Whole: "Diamond" Web Series 

Changing Environment

As a diamond you will encounter times in your life where your environment will begin to shift and change with no fault of your own. A diamond has to be able to deal with a changing atmosphere. When thinking of the development process the Lord took me to the story of the three Hebrew boys. You can read it in its entirety in Daniel chapter 3. The part that I want to focus on today is verse 1 – 7. This is when King Nebuchadnezzar has made a golden image. He has decided to call all of the high officials to his palace to show them the image and to make a proclamation. King Nebuchadnezzar has declared that when the instruments play that EVERYONE in the kingdom must bow and worship the golden image. Now we all know this would be problem for the Hebrew boys because they only worship the God of Israel.

How many of us have been in this place? We are not changing our environment. Our environment is changing around us. To no fault of our own the atmosphere is beginning to shift and make changes. Things that we do not want to do or be a part of are becoming our reality. Our minds are moving so quickly that we can barely keep up with the thoughts. We have two choices fight or flight. Some of us actually may have tried the flight method but the situation was to overwhelming and it had its grips on our life so we had to fight. Fighting is not necessarily a physical fight. In some of our cases we were children when the change came so a physical fight was out of the question. Most fights are mental, emotional, and spiritual.

Even when your environment is changing you must have the attitude that I will make it through this. Even when people around you are making the changes your attitude of survival must never waver. When you are being developed it is never easy. We tend to want to take the easy way out but the easy way is not always the best way.

It is during this time of development that your character will be tested. Will you be the woman that you know that you have been made to be or will you compromise all that has already been put within you? At this point the three Hebrew boys knew who they were and they knew who they served so compromising was out of the picture. You have to have the same mentality. The strength that God has given you is real. Greater is he who is within you than he who is in the world. When you are challenged begin to speak life to yourself. Tell yourself I am more than a conqueror. Tell yourself this too shall pass. I will not be defeated I walk in victory. Than hold your head high, square your shoulders back, and get ready to stand your ground! 
Be Blessed!

About the Author
Jeanine Williams is the founder “Women Living Whole”, a non-profit organization based in St. Louis, MO. The organization is grounded in its mission, “Moving forward day by day and step by step to help women live whole mind, body, and soul. “Aiding women to live healthy lives mentally, physically, emotionally, financially and spiritually through group meetings, weekly newsletter, workshops, and seminars.  

Click for more information about “Women Living Whole” or contact via email:

Saturday, March 1, 2014

WLW Web Series: Birthed from Pain

Women Living Whole: "Diamond" Web Series 
Birthed From Pain

When considering the term I am a diamond what most people do not realize is that development is birthed from unpleasant experiences or just simply put pain. Pain is an unpleasant sensation occurring in varying degrees of severity and an unpleasant feeling. Pain is unpleasant and although I may not be able to relate to your particular pain at the end of the day I have felt pain. If I were to ask you to think of your most painful moment and rate it on a scale of 1 to 10, I bet you would rate it a 10 or 10 plus. If I were to ask you to share your moment your moment would be different from another woman who also rated their pain a 10. 

What am I saying? I am saying that pain is pain. What is painful to one woman may be a walk in the park to another but guess what it is still her pain and her pain was real to her. The pain that she felt was the beginning of her development. Just like the pain you felt was the beginning of yours. The development process encompasses unpleasant experiences. A diamond is the hardest natural substance known. It is found in an igneous rock known as kimberlite. Kimberlite was formed over the course of thousands of years by volcanic action. Think about that volcanic action. The lava that forms in the volcano can have temperatures as high as 1200 degrees Fahrenheit. That is some intense heat. This where kimberlitic was formed, in the volcanic activity, around intense pressure and intense heat. Volcanoes are not predictable and scientists never know when one will actually erupt. It is such an uncertain place but that is where the kimberlite was formed, that is where you will find your diamonds. Women who can relate to diamonds can relate to the strength of the diamond. They understand that the beauty that you see in the diamond did not start off that way. There is a story behind the glory! 

Think about your own life, your surroundings, your joys and your pains. Every woman would love to say I am a diamond but to say you are a diamond means that you have the capability to stand intense pressure and intense heat. It is saying that although my situation is unsteady and I never know what is coming I can stay in the test because I know that I am protected. The saying what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger is true. If you withstood your pain and came through on the other side, than you are stronger. If you can look around and say that I am still standing than you are stronger. Think about it this way to get to the fire you must stand the heat. If you can get past the heat to get to the fire than you are strong! Development is not easy but it is necessary. Don’t fight against what you are going through. You must do three 
things assess, learn, and adapt. 

To be a diamond means that you will prevail. Be Blessed!

About the Author
Jeanine Williams is the founder “Women Living Whole”, a non-profit organization based in St. Louis, MO. The organization is grounded in its mission, “Moving forward day by day and step by step to help women live whole mind, body, and soul. “Aiding women to live healthy lives mentally, physically, emotionally, financially and spiritually through group meetings, weekly newsletter, workshops, and seminars.  

Click for more information about “Women Living Whole” or contact via email:

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Glam Tour of Raleigh - Recap

Hello hello hello lovelies! 

I recently had the distinct pleasure of co-hosting a series of events with Mrs. Tenisha Gilmore, owner/operator of Gilmore Glitz & Glam Boutique! Let me tell you guys, Mama-to-Be had a blast thus far! 

The first stop on the tour was hosted on January 25th at Azia B Nail Salon...a gem in North Raleigh! We set up the boutique's display and had a great time meeting customers. I'll be honest, "preggo" also enjoyed nibbling on the sweet treats in between chatting and handing out swag bags! lol (what, nibbling is listed in co-host duties, if you didn't know) 

Here are a few pics from our first stop! 

The owner and staff's unique creations are something to marvel. If you want some fancy phalanges then look no further! I haven't had a decent manicure in a long time so I might have to take a trip back soon. 

But the Tour didn't stop up...Headliners Barbershop & Salon on February 8th. Had a great time chatting it up with the barbers and stylist. Some of the ladies and gents even picked up last minute Valentine's Day gifts. How convenient, right?! The Salon portion of the shop is run by entrepreneur extraordinaire Ms. Gerri Vereen of Gerri Styles My HairIf you have a chance, check them both out. 

Side Note: Mama-to-Be's #MaternityStyle for the tour so far...

There is one more date left on the tour: 
Thursday, February 20, 2014 at 5:00 PM @ B...The Salon
For more info about the salon, click here

Look out for more upcoming events & sponsored by Gilmore Glitz and Glam online and mobile boutique...I know I will! 

Talk to you later lovelies

~Shan, Ms. Naturally Random

Friday, February 14, 2014

Mama-to-Be: 30 Weeks

I am 30 weeks pregnant! We're officially into the 3rd trimester and oh how the time has flying. Its funny...right as I'm getting the hang of this pregnancy thing, it will soon be over and a new journey will begin. 

So what has been going on with me? I am blessed to say that this pregnancy overall has gone pretty smoothly. Let's catch you up! 
The 1st trimester: extreme exhaustion, I felt narcoleptic at times. I'd go to sleep as soon as I live job #1 and wake up exhausted for job #2. There was no morning sickness but constant (and I MEAN CONSTANT) feelings of nausea. Also, everyone always asks about cravings. I did have a short lived (very unhealthy)'ll never guess it. Instant noodles! You know the kind you probably survived on in college! lol That salty treat craving went away within a few weeks.

The 2nd trimester was pure joy! All of my energy came back, nausea subsided too. Besides the growing tummy and more frequent doctor appts, some days I didn't even feel pregnant! Then the day came in mid-December when I felt her move. It was so distinct and immediately recognizable. She was saying hello for the very first time and she has had my full attention ever since! Before the end of this trimester, I had to say goodbye for awhile to job #2. Although I initially fought it (Honesty moment: I can be stubborn & strong-willed at times),  Pumpkin was telling my body I needed to slow down. My body is no longer solely mines. This is around the same time we found out Pumpkin was a girl (want to read about it, click here).

Then, it seems out of no where...we are into the 3rd trimester! Where did the time go?! 10 weeks left to go and I'm am so ready to meet her! I'm not sleeping well because hips/pelvis seem know what's going to happen soon as well. Can you say achy?! I can deal though! Once I am asleep, my dreams are all over the place. Hubby is working on the nursery and I'm just waddling around like a penguin. Actually I'm proud of my penguin strut. God has thoroughly blessed the Fife family and Pumpkin's addition is proof of His favor. I intend to teach Pumpkin just that! Be thankful for Jesus' love because Daddy and I would be lost with out it! What a fitting day to discuss this. I hit 30 weeks on Valentine's Day. 

I'll leave you with this...there is song that is often taught to children but should ring true to us adults as well "Jesus Loves Me". Since today is all about love and my pregnancy milestone, I decided I intend to teach Pumpkin this song as well. The lyrics lead me to read this "17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love, 18 may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, 19 and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God." (Ephesians 3:17-19, ESV)

Love conquers all!!! 

Talk to you later lovelies, 

~Shan, Ms. Naturally Random

Question to the Mamas: What were your crazy cravings or weird dreams when you were pregnant? 

Inspirational Love

Ossie Davis & Ruby Dee 
Artists - Activists - Love 

“For more than 50 years, our journey has taken us to theaters, sound stages, and audio booths – as well as to union halls, schools, college campuses, and the streets – where we’ve hob-hearted and hobnobbed with some beautiful people. Along the way we have seen, heard, and learned many things that have cascaded unforgettably over our lives – things too precious not to share.”   –Ruby Dee

I was introduced to Ossie Davis and Ruby Dee as a youngster in two films by Spike Lee “Do The Right Thing” and “Jungle Fever” and have been a fan ever since. Although Mr. Davis has departed us, I am still today inspired by their story. 

Two artists, two activists and two lovers. 

It is currently Black History Month and now Valentine’s Day. I wanted to highlight both in one post.The pair, whom married in 1948, has an outstanding resume both on and off the stage. I will not cover all of their works here but I will name a few of my favorites: 

Malcolm X (1992) 
The Ernest Green Story (1993) 
Miss Evers' Boys (1997) 
Having Our Say: The Delany Sisters First Hundred Years. (1999)

Before marriage I often daydreamed about a romance that could last the test of time like Ruby Dee and Ossie Davis. With marriage on the decline and divorce at an all time high its nice to see images of ourselves in grace and in love. 
Although the private details of their marriage are between them (as it should be), I would not be honest if I did not say that I aspire to have a marriage that was viewed in the public similarly. 

To learn more about their careers and activism, click here

Talk to you later lovelies, 

~Shan, Ms. Naturally Random

Monday, February 3, 2014

Mama-to-Be: Valentine's Day

Welp, its that time of year and love is on the brain! 

Some people love it, others dread it...Valentine's Day (and if you pronounce it valentiMe...unfriend me immediately lol j/k)My husband and I go back and forth each year, deciding whether we'll celebrate or not. If you are investing in the growth and retention of your relationships on a regular basis, the importance of February 14th just doesn't seem as necessary. Yet, it is a great excuse to make a fuss over your significant other for no other reason than seeing a smile on their face! 

Hubby and I realize that date nights without having to coordinate a baby sitter will soon be a thing of the past. It is so important to carve out some one-on-one time with your partner! 

In need of some last minute ideas? 

A.M. Smoochies
Get in a little a.m. one-on-one boudoir calisthenics. Why not?! If you still have to punch the clock on my V-day, send your love off the work with a pep in their step! Or you could get up a little earlier than usual and cook a breakfast so good you'll want a nap after! Who wouldn't love to wake up to smell of bacon?! Lol 

Mid-day Mentions
While working "hard for the money", your significant other may need a mid-day pick me up! Show your 'bae' some love by mentioning them via social media. Make a IG or twitter shout out and tell the world about your boo! Heck, shoutouts are free after all. You could sneak a love note or gift into their car or lunch box that they'd only discover on their lunch break. Or you could send your babe a text and invite to surprise lunch near their workplace. 

Happy Hour
To me...February 14 can be the worst night to go out for dinner, just like New Years Eve is the worst night of the year to adventure into a city's nightlife! If you must go out...try to get out before all the over-booked dinner reservations. Stop by a bar and get some half priced apps! (y'all know I'm about saving the dough, lol!) 

Whatever it is that you decide to do...don't let the lovin' stop on Friday! Invest in your mate daily, not just for a return on your investment but rather for the sheer pleasure of making them happy!  

"I am my beloved’s and my beloved is mine;" Song of Solomon 6:3 

Talk to you later lovelies, 

~Shan, Ms. Naturally Random