DIY Crate Entertainment Center

Hi loves, so I’m back again with my second home diy project of the series. Next up in this series we built and entertainment center. I briefly mentioned it in my last diy crate foyer table post. For this diy the materials and directions are pretty much the same only for a larger scale project. This was fun because we tried different patterns before we decided on a specific design. We had been looking for an entertainment center that we both loved the design of and that fit the measurements for underneath our tv without having to move or rehang things on the wall. This only took us about a day with the majority of time being waiting for it to fully dry. So if you’re ready to get started keep reading below.

Materials needed:

(10) 18”x12 1/2”x9 1/2” crates $11 each at Home Depot

5/8” brad staples $4.24 at Walmart

Staple gun (already had)

Wood Stain (I choose Kona a dark brown black)

Wood Glue (already had)

2” clamp (already had)

Measuring tape (already had)

Sprayer $10 at Home Depot

Stain rags $5

L brackets about $4

To begin:

Put the crates together to see how you want them organized and put together. It’s good to take a picture if you aren’t following a guide for your design so you don’t forget exactly how you put it together. (As discussed in the last post where we forgot how we first had it, lol.) This time we mocked up a few different ways before we came up with the actual design we liked.

Once your mock up is done, start from the bottom and work your way to the top gluing all the sides together. Like a puzzle basically. For this one the design that we picked it was easier to glue and staple all the four side crates together first and then glue and staple the center pieces last since they connect together in the middle to float. Use the clamp to hold a section in place once you’ve glued it while you staple it down. Continue until all parts are glued and stapled together. Make sure you’re checking to see if all front sides of the crates sit flush before letting glue set or starting to staple everything down. We also decided the 2 floating crates in the middle we would add a board inside them to make 2 shelves for more storage. (Those were stained, glued and stapled in after the whole center was put together and added in later.)

Once the glue has dried or mostly dried (about 30 mins) then you can carefully move it outside or in the garage to start staining. There are a few different ways you can lay the stain. We choose both a brush and spray method again because it was quicker in the last diy as well. The sprayer mainly helped cover a lot of the table and then we brushed it out everywhere on the wood and then wiped it down with the rags. We let it dry over night even though the stain usually dries in about an hour or so depending on how many coats you apply.

Once stain has set and dried you can now place your entertainment center where you want. Now you can put up your gaming systems, movies and etc. We also secured ours to the wall with an L bracket so if anyone bumped it or our 3 yr old went to grab something it didn’t go tumbling over, lol.

Completed Entertainment Center measurements:

49 3/4″ H 48 1/2″ W 9 1/2″ D

I hope you enjoyed this DIY. This one took a little longer mainly waiting for it to dry and because we decided to add shelves but still fun and creative none the less. Don’t forget to follow my Snapchat @lolanicolemua for sneak peeks of other diy projects and tag me on Twitter or Instagram @lolanicoleblogs if you try this DIY as well. I’d love to see how you made this your own if you decide to try it. I Hope you’re loving this series as much as we are and have an amazing day!

Always Remember You’re Beautiful!

-Lola

Foodcation Vlog

Hi loves! It’s been awhile but I’m back and hoping I can make my blog better than ever. Click the link below the photo to check out my YouTube video of my weekly Vlog with some clips of us off in New York on a mini Foodcation. Hope you enjoy.  
Always Remember You’re Beautiful!

-Lola

NYC Bound: Foodcation

My Fitness Journey 

So I started working out. Oh boy here we go. Yeah, me working out ha ha that’s a laugh. I haven’t worked out like for real for real worked out in I don’t know how long. Last I can remember I was a cheerleader so there you go, I’m almost 30 now LOL. (I cheered in middle school and 9th grade. (😂😭😑) so anyway I’m on this work and I’m just really been trying to stick to it. I’m not trying to have the typical mom body (no offense to anyone) or be super out of shape or not be able to walk to my mailbox without panting and gasping for air.
Not saying that everyone should go on some crazy work spree, I’m just saying for me I needed to work out. I’m just tired of picking up clothes and not being able to fit them or looking at that cute dress and saying I wish I didn’t have a gut. I want to be proud of my body I want to be able to look in the mirror and say good job. 
Aside from that, I’m just really tired of the same question everyone always asks “OMG are you pregnant?” In which I have to turn and respond with “Nope my last baby is now 10 months old, lmao. But fitness wasn’t my only issue. I needed to quit smoking and start eating right. It also probably doesn’t help that I can wake up at 1am craving candy and eat the nerds in my nightstand drawer. 😑😑
I have also had some health scares and it helps to be healthy to combat those and help your body recover. I want to be there for my kids and I want them to outlive me. I can’t do that being a lazy couch potato. Now it’s not all me just being a bum. A huge part of it was dealing with postpartum and then depression and a lot of stress with school and bills piling up and life. That can take a toll. But it helps to be healthy so you can at least tackle things with a clean and clear mind. 
Well I’m currently about to end week two of my workout and quitting smoking journey. I’ve had success with almost being completely smoke free and with completing two weeks in the gym and when I couldn’t get to the gym I worked out at home. 
So here goes nothing. I’m starting my fitness journey. After fighting it for years and putting it off. It’s time to get my act together. So what better way other than seeing progress in the mirror than to document what you’re going through, so you can look back and see what you have overcome. I’m pretty sure this is going to be a crazy but hilarious journey to follow. 
Feel free to enjoy my struggles, pain and success with me, lol. 
Always Remember You’re Beautiful!

Lola 

Breastfeeding Shame

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Ok so you know how in the magazines they have the beautiful pictures of the mother calmly and lovingly looking down at their baby while breastfeeding? They have a smile on thier face and they seem to be effortlessly feeding and bonding with the infant. Well let me just say that if breastfeeding was that easy everyone would do it.

But it’s not. It’s hard. It gets easier and yes it’s natural and your body knows what to do but it’s not just something you wake up and know what to do. Even if you’ve had more than one child it can be harder with one child then it was with the other. I have friends who say they couldn’t breastfeed at all, while some say it was easy and others say they dried up within a short few months despite breastfeeding exclusively the whole time. The issue I have with some is that they try and shame other women or make them feel bad for not being able to breastfeed of having to supplement with formula. As women and mothers we should applaud and encourage each other every step of the way. Motherhood is hard and not having support is harder.

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Let me be the first to say I was one who thought well since it was easy the last time it will totally be easy this time. But um no honey I was wrong lol. With all 3 of my kids breastfeeding was different. My oldest daughter I could only breastfeed for 2 months, my son I breastfed and pumped exclusively with no issues what so ever for 8 months and with my youngest daughter it’s been a challenge every step of the way. I also feel like I had such a successful time breastfeeding with my son because I had so much help and the hospital I had him in was amazing. Whereas it seems I tend to have my daughters in hospitals that aren’t as helpful or attentive at all.

Breastfeeding for me has been rough the first 2 weeks being the worst. There was crying on many occasions from me. Sometimes while feeding her. I was extremely engorged for the first week and a half so much so that even pumping was excruciating and then by the time I worked through the pain and frustration of that my nipples were so sore and battered that it was still very sensitive and somewhat painful a time when breastfeeding.

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Now 5 weeks later it’s so much better. The pain is gone for the most part and at times it’s just uncomfortable rather than painful. Pumping has been a challenge and since I’m going back to finish up my cosmetology license I have to pump for someone to feed her whole I’m gone. So I have had to supplement breast milk and formula but she’s transitioned well. I now breast and bottle feed her and she does well with both. When I am with her I rarely bottle feed so we still have that bonding time and so my milk supply stays consistent and continues to come in and when I’m gone I pump for her bottles.

I beat myself up for weeks and even cried because I had to supplement. Because some people and even a doctor told me not to. They made it seem as though I was feeding my child rat poisoning or something. I felt so bad and was made to believe she wouldn’t breastfeed or take my breast anymore because I was bottle feeding and because I was supplementing. Luckily I worked through that and she has proved that she will be fine and takes both breast and bottle very well.

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Exclusively breastfeeding and not bottle or supplementing is great for a stay at home mom that doesn’t work or go to school and never goes anywhere without baby. But for moms who work, have school, run businesses, etc. sometimes you need to supplement or bottle feed. It’s life and baby won’t hate you for it or grow up not feeling loved as long as your loving on them and raising them right it will be fine. Your child won’t grow up to be a cereal killer because you didn’t exclusively breastfeed though that’s how some make it out to be lol. We should empower and encourage one another to do what we can as mothers. There is no wrong way to parent as long as the child grows up happy and healthy in my book. So this has been my breastfeeding journey so far.

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How was your breastfeeding journey? Was it smooth sailing or did you have issues? Talk to you soon dolls.

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Always Remember You’re Beautiful!

-Lola

What’s in Lilli’s Diaper Bag (Newborn)

So it’s been a few years since I’ve had to pack an actual diaper bag.  It’s odd that even when you have more than one child it always feels a bit like the first time when you have to pack a diaper bag again lol. Preparing Lilli’s diaper bag made me realize just how much a newborn needs even for a trip to the store, lol. Here’s what I packed while trying to keep from packing her whole room, lmao.

The diaper bag I choose for Lilli is the Hello Kitty diaper bag from Walmart.

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Get It Here

What’s in Lilliana’s Diaper Bag:
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2 Burp cloths
Swaddle blanket
Nursing cover
2 onesies
2 bibs
Going home outfit (hospital)
6 Diapers
Wipes
2 Bottles
2 Pacifiers
Headbands, socks, hand mittens
Travel First Aid Kit
Mommy hook
Changing pad (most bags come with one)
Grooming kit
Thermometer
Nose suction
Breasts pads, period pads (for myself for emergencies)

The zipper pouches you can get in the makeup or travel section of Walmart or Target. I find sorting things out in the pouches helps with mess and digging all through the bag looking for things.

I pretty much packed her diaper bag for when we actually go somewhere just because I know the hospital will provide everything we need while we are there. So this is really what I will be taking on a daily basis or when we go out.

I hope this is helpful for anyone who was confused on what to bring and it’s been so long, If I’ve left anything out please feel free to let me know, lol. What are you carrying in your baby’s diaper bag?

Always Remember You’re Beautiful!

-Lola

Coral Crush Maternity OOTD

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I love the color coral. It’s like a bright pinks big sister and it can be worn by pretty much any skin tone. But looks especially beautiful on tan skin with some gold jewelry. (Insert heart eyed emoji, lol). So today’s outfit for my outing with my boys while my daughter was in school and the hospital tour for delivery I thought I would wear this fun color. I paired it with some cute maternity jeans and I took my coral V-neck and added a pretty printed crop top over it and wore it backwards so the zipper detail was in front for an added edgy vibe. I paired it with some plain white sneakers, added a few gold jewelry pieces and my black big drop sunglasses. All in all I loved it and it came together beautifully. I hope your week was an awesome one.

Always Remember You’re Beautiful!

-Lola

Shorts|Ross Top|Ross Crop Top|Ross Sneakers|Walmart Sunglasses|Retrocitysunglasses

Models, Boobies and Breastfeeding

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So there has been a lot of controversy with breastfeeding lately. In the past few years or so there was controversy with some retail stores that have told people they couldn’t do it in the store. Formula companies implied that formula was a better route. (Which seriously? What do you think healthy babies were drinking before formula? But ok.) It’s like breastfeeding is being made out to be a shameful and obscene thing to do. Almost like half naked women walking into children stores or some pervert exposing themselves in public. Really guys? We’re obscene now because we want to nourish and feed our child the natural way? Especially with models posting posed pics of themselves breastfeeding on social media.

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Photos courtesy of Pinterest.com

Giselle I commend. She’s not naked, her breasts aren’t exposed. She’s working and she’s lucky enough to be able to work and breastfeed instead of pump and how many of us moms would love to be able to empty our engorged breasts the natural way rather than with a pump? She’s behind the scenes. I’m sure someone asked if they could take her picture and without a second thought she said yes. Because no one thought it was a horrible, indecent thing to be doing. Miranda is naturally feeding her baby in bed. Normal stuff.

Now I have breastfed both my children and I plan to give the breast to the new baby coming. My daughter was my first and she was really hard. I had a really hard time with the breast with her because she was bottle fed when born due to being premature and in the hospital and being in the NICU. (I partly feel the premature status was ignorance on the nurse and doctor being impatient but whatever) I was young, scared and inexperience and had people pushing me to just give her the bottle and not even try breastfeeding. So that was short lived. I didn’t have as many resources and other moms on how great breastfeeding really was. With my son I was able to successfully exclusively breastfeed and then still pump for awhile when he started teething for almost a year. This baby I plan on exclusively breastfeeding for that long at least or longer if possible.

Yay for the boobies :0)
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Now I breastfeed in public. No I don’t whip my boob out for everyone to see or stand with my shades on fondling myself with milk spraying everywhere (I produce A LOT of milk lol) and just start feeding. I get myself and baby situated and comfortable put my nursing cover on and let baby go to town. I mean it’s common courtesy. No need for any thing outrageous if I don’t have my blanket then I use a burp cloth or just make sure baby’s on the boob and my shirt is down enough to cover. I mean kids are in public also and there’s no need to force parents to have certain talks with their kids early lol.

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Photo courtesy of moms.popsugar.com

So what I have a problem with as far as public breastfeeding is that people that don’t understand breastfeeding, don’t have children, don’t care, like to complain or whatever find it even more disturbing when they feel girls are making it out to be a stunt for internet popularity or Instagram likes.

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Really? Um a little to, uh natural for me.

Posing while breastfeeding unless in a magazine or otherwise just feels like to much. Whether the person meant it to come off that way or not there’s just something about a mother posing for a picture standing in a dress with shades on and holding baby just in front of the boob.

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Photos courtesy of theybm.com, clutchmagonline.com and Instagram

Because whether it’s posed or behind the scenes mom has to have someone take the pic. So did you rush to get semi comfy for your stand up and pose breastfeeding moment? Because I think breastfeeding would come across better to unknowing people and those not educated on breastfeeding if you were idk sitting down and focusing on baby. Because that’s part of the purpose of breastfeeding right? Health benefits and bonding with baby. Not look at how beautiful I look while holding my child and breastfeeding.

I mean this is serious business. We’re trying to get people to be ok and not make a fuss about public breastfeeding but some people just make others points valid. But how can you look at this and think it’s obscene?

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I just felt like sharing my opinion (which I am entitled to) and venting a bit on the breastfeeding fiasco that has been going on lately. We as a proud breastfeeding mothers community need to take a stand with helping end breastfeeding shaming. But please ladies keep the posed, one foot out the door, shades on, standing photos to yourself. Because unless you are in your kitchen or doing something and you happen to have been breastfeeding please stop taking those posed pics. Breastfeeding is a bonding experience. Not a publicity stunt.

Always Remember You’re Beautiful!

-Lola