All posts by “Ashlee

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NATURALVERSARY

In November, I silently celebrated my 10th natural hair anniversary. It was silent because you didn’t know. I didn’t mention it because I was a little preoccupied giving birth… Damn, you guys demand so much from me.

Anyway, the decision to “go” or “return” natural was a combination of no longer feeling like commuting to New Orleans (approximately 3 hours) just for hair and nails, being unable to find a good local stylist, and I got tired of waiting long hours (anything longer than 2 hours is a job that I need to clock-in and get paid by the end of my shift/appointment); most importantly, I became “woke.”

You know, that stage where you “return” natural, denounce organized religion, date a Muslim (my ex was a Five-Percenter), become angry at the government, and a google-expert in black history and the African diaspora.

It was tough. I had no idea what I was doing, it wasn’t popular (I don’t think I was aware of YouTube at that time), I tried a host of products, big chopped twice, blew out my hair to eliminate shrinkage, suffered from heat damage twice, and was ready to shave my head. Then, Mom suggested Sisterlocks.

That was the most important sentence in this blog post. Why? Because she’s always asking why I don’t mention her so not only did I mention her, she’s in bold.

Anyway, her recommendation was 4 years ago and it was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made (right above marrying Husband but below trying dark chocolate for the first time).

Although I’ve written extensively about Sisterlocks, let’s do a super brief summary *takes a deep breath* Yes, Sisterlocks are expensive, must be locked regularly (or you will damage your hair), requires no products, low day-to-day maintenance but results include super growth and hair envy.

Yeah, so you owe me a “Happy 10-Year Natural Hair Anniversary,” “Happy 4-Year Sisterlocks Anniversary,” and “yes, I am jealous of your hair.”

Read other posts about Sisterlocks, read and share my previous post: In Loving Memory of Breast Milk. Subscribe, like, and follow me @pinkgumbeaux.

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IN LOVING MEMORY OF BREAST MILK

This post is not a cry for help, it’s a f***-this post!

Pregnancy, labor, and recovery were not what I envisioned. Don’t get me started! However, I knew there was one thing that would work out.

*looks at the moon because looking at the sun would be harmful*

That one thing was breastfeeding.

I was going to be a breastfeeding goddess. Breast milk would flow from me like a fountain. Like, one of those fountains at fancy events that has Champagne flowing from it but that didn’t happen. It never happened.

In the hospital, I did not produce a drop of milk and requested the lactation nurse at least twice a day and allowed her to aggressively grab and squeeze my boob, shove it in Baby’s mouth, try positions such as the football, was given a hospital-grade pump (I wonder how much that cost me), and left the hospital with a boatload of breastfeeding tips. Once home, I moved back and forth between Baby and the pump. Baby would never latch but who could blame her? There was nothing there.

I started asking for help from all the breastfeeding groups I was a member of. Naturally, conversations with other moms included the discussion of breastfeeding so I asked them for help but the best advice I got was to schedule an appointment with a local lactation doctor.

While waiting for that appointment and right before showering, I noticed that my bra was wet. I was so excited because it meant my breast milk finally came in. I immediately pumped and proudly added that half an ounce of breast milk to her formula but eventually grew agitated after a few days because I was not producing the amount necessary to replace the formula.

The day of my lactation appointment was a snow day and the south shuts down during snow days so the lactation doctor canceled my appointment. That day, I called my OBGYN and requested medication for postpartum depression. I felt overwhelmed. My mom had left, I was with Baby by myself while Husband worked, was in pain, sleep deprived and was still unable to produce milk. Note: I never got that prescription, was told I had to wait 6 to 8 weeks to ensure it was postpartum depression. By that 6th week, I felt better and didn’t need medication.

At Baby’s 2-week checkup, her pediatrician wanted me to keep trying to breastfeed, told me that women who have c-sections usually have to wait longer to produce milk and suggested I take fenugreek. I bought it immediately and started popping it like tic tacs. A couple of days later, I had that rescheduled appointment with the lactation doctor who suggested I triple the amount of fenugreek and pump 8 times a day. When would I have time to do this? I eventually succeeded at pumping 8 times a day but did not produce more than an ounce or 2 a day.

The process became tiring. I decreased the number of times I pumped then went a day or two without pumping. Baby was 2 months or so when I decided a decision needed to be made. Increase pumping or quit. Naturally, it was a tough decision but during Baby’s 8-week checkup, she told me a healthy baby was a fed baby. I had been told that a few times before. Finally, I made the decision. I said, “fuck this!” I put the pumps in storage, unsubscribed from all of those breastfeeding groups and accepted that Baby would be a commoner.

To the moms lucky enough to be that fountain, breastfeeding your kid until they’re 32, ease up on moms like me. Mommyhood is hard enough. However, this story is not all bad. As a result of not breastfeeding, my boobs won’t sag. My hair is growing even faster post pregnancy and my locs are glowing. This has nothing to do with this story but I thought you should know.

Oh, and the baby is doing well… 10 pounds now!

Read and share my previous post:  365 Inspirations for the Soul of the Side-Hustler and the Entrepreneur (Review). Subscribe, like and follow me @pinkgumbeaux and @babygumbeaux.

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365 INSPIRATIONS FOR THE SOUL OF THE SIDE-HUSTLER AND THE ENTREPRENEUR (REVIEW)

Pink Gumbeaux’s review of 365 Inspirations for the Soul of the Side-Hustler and the Entrepreneur.

I’ve decided to be more productive with my late nights and early mornings by reading my backlog of books. Translation: I’ve run out of movies to watch and shows to binge. Instead of judging me, read the description of the book:

365 Inspirations for the Soul of the Side-Hustler and the Entrepreneur is an essential source of encouragement for today’s side-hustler and entrepreneur living in a 140 character digital world. Before you embark on a journey as an entrepreneur, you rarely consider the emotional trials that are sure to come, specifically: the Optimistic Phase, the Cautious Phase, the Discouraged Phase, and the Enthusiastic Phase. Finally, a book that provides you with a year’s supply of encouragement to accompany the four phases of entrepreneurship, including plenty of absolutely tweetable and Instagrammable quotes. It’s often hard to explain your plans, express your frustrations, or share your dreams with family and friends. We get it, that’s why each entry was inspired by the rollercoaster ride that is an entrepreneur’s lifestyle. Whether you’re on a high basking in your success, or daydreaming of what you would do if you could just escape your nine-to-five, these carefully crafted pages are filled with words that speak to the ambitions of each and every side-hustler and the aspirations of every entrepreneur. It will help you reenergize the confidence you need to develop a strategy, execute a game plan, and be bold enough to sell yourself or your product to potential followers and fans.

Well, that was a long-ass description. I’m fairly certain that you were able to conclude that this book should be read on a daily basis. Easy enough, right? Well, I didn’t exactly follow directions. Surprise, surprise. But, I have a really good excuse! So, I prefer to buy books digitally (because I’ve run out of book space in my apartment and digital books are cheaper), started reading this book over a year ago, forgot it existed, then remembered and would read several pages at a time, forgot it again then remembered a few days ago, and finished the last half of the book. As a result, I recommend buying the paperback version and placing it somewhere visible so you can remember to read your “inspiration” for the day.

Favorite inspirations:

“A free mind breaks through invisible barriers, a closed mind stops at roadblocks.”

“Success does not depend on what you know, it solely relies on how you use what you know.”

“If you think that nobody cares what you’re doing, remember there is always one person you don’t know rooting for you.”

“ Sometimes you have to write down your own lifetime achievements and award yourself for your accomplishments thus far.”

Speaking of inspirations, they are super motivational and some even rhyme. I was like “OK Ahyiana, you are giving me mixtape vibes” but I digress. Although women are the target market, men could totally benefit. Seeing the word “her” or “women” a few times shouldn’t scare you *stares* Anywho, this is a cool book but I bet it would’ve been more effective as a planner, calendar or app with automated “inspirations” to your phone every morning. Ahyiana girl, you’re welcome for the free advice. I mean, we are practically bffs since I now follow her on Goodreads. Anyway…

Learn about the author, read reviews and buy 365 Inspirations for the Soul of the Side-Hustler and the Entrepreneur Read and share my previous post: The Girlboss Workbook: An Interactive Journal for Winning at Life (Review). Subscribe, like and follow me @pinkgumbeaux and @babygumbeaux.

Ashlee, out!

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THE GIRLBOSS WORKBOOK: AN INTERACTIVE JOURNAL FOR WINNING AT LIFE (REVIEW)

I like Sophia Amoruso. I read her book (GIRLBOSS), love her story, have forgiven her for that wack-ass Netflix show, and don’t mind her bankruptcy; after all, President Trump has filed for bankruptcy several times.

Due to being such a fan, I bought this workbook the day it was released. I opened it then tossed it on the floor near my bookshelf (where it stayed for at least a month) but recently picked it up and completed the entire workbook.

Sophia Amoruso, the bestselling author of #GIRLBOSS, shares her favorite tips, checklists, and fill-in-the-blanks that will help you become your best Girlboss yet.

Filled with whimsical illustrations, exercises, and plenty of scribble room, The Girlboss Workbook is designed for both the dreamer and the doer. It invites you—hell, implores you—to get in there and mess it up a little. Write in the blank spaces and in between them.

#GIRLBOSS started as Sophia’s story, but The Girlboss Workbook is your story. Use it as a diary, a mood board, a stress ball. Use it in class or at work for daydreaming and doodling. Use it to figure out what makes your freak flag fly — and then go for it.

Whatever you do, take this book, and your path, into your own hands. No need to handle it with care and no need to live a typical, cookie-cutter life.  Sophia’s has been anything but.

OK, “compliment sandwich:”

This workbook is super cute, affordable, includes advice from Sophia Amoruso and tons of activities to create a well rounded “Girlboss.”

In contrast, I wish it was hardcover and bigger (personal preference) and think this book is more suitable for 20 somethings. I’ve had enough life experiences and education so this book was sort of, kind of a waste. While I don’t know everything (actually I do), I’ve been building a career, paying bills and taking care of myself for more than a decade and didn’t really come across advice I didn’t already know (from reading or personal experience).

However, I have way too many friends in their twenties (eww) and would totally recommend it to them.

Read additional reviews and purchase The Girlboss Workbook: An Interactive Journal for Winning at Life

You’re welcome.

Read and share my previous post: 2017’s Top 10 Posts. Subscribe, like and follow me @pinkgumbeaux and @babygumbeaux.

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2017’S TOP 10 POST

10. “Jackson Indie Music Week-ish

I don’t know if it has anything to do with me being a transplant but I think there are at least 2 groups of Jacksonians: The ones completely entrenched in the scene, experiencing their best Jackson and the ones who may be a little apprehensive and need more information before buy-in. Nonetheless, this post is a start; although, I wish I could’ve attended all events. Due to having a newborn and not feeling like catching the flu, it is highly unlikely that I will attend this year but miracles happen every day, right?

9. “Storytime 2: Dad, That’s Not a Limousine

Husband has some funny stories and I thought this one was perfect for prom season (although I doubt anyone of prom age is reading this blog).

8. “Baby Gumbeaux Turns 1 Month Old

The popularity of this post is likely because inquiring minds want to know how long before Baby Gumbeaux starts showing personality, how I’m coping with motherhood and nosy family members wanting to know what this blog is about.

7. “2 Years of Marriage

Announcing my marriage was one of the most popular posts in this blog’s history. It’s also when Husband told me that I should stop trying to make fetch happen and to blog more about my life.

6. “Shit Husbands Say to their Pregnant Wives

I don’t know why you find anything Husband has to say interesting.

5. “A Review of Get Out

It looks like you guys love spoilers or you wanted me to do all the dirty work before you determined if it was worth seeing.

4. “100 Things to do in Jackson, MS Before You Die

The popularity of this post is likely because locals didn’t know there were 100 things to do. For those of you who aren’t local, you were wondering “what’s Jackson, MS? Well, I guess I’ll read to find out.”

3. “The Awesomely Review

Luvvie came to Jackson and preached a word. Although I wish I wasn’t busy taking notes, I’m glad I documented her lecture and can reference it from time to time. Why was this post popular? Because I tagged her and she retweeted it *screams*

2. “The Final Trimester & Arrival of Baby Gumbeaux

The post you all have been waiting for. Not so much of me bitching about my pregnancy but more of me bitching about giving birth (due to being pregnant the same length of time as giraffes).

1. “Condoms, Comedy & Husband’s Bruised Ego

Another local event makes the list; however, Rita B has somewhat evolved from a local comedian. She’s appeared on “The Ricky Smiley Morning Show” and most recently “Kevin Hart Presents: Hart of the City.”

Next year, include reading, sharing and following Pink Gumbeaux in your New Year’s Resolutions. Ashlee, out!

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