3 tips to find Joy in your life

1. Stop caring what people think

This is much easier said than done, but also the most beneficial tip. If we walk around taking other people dreams, ideas, fears, or insecurity are we living for ourself? Life is so so short and we do not want to waste our time! You always hear elders talk about what they ‘wished’ they would have done. What if as a society we stopped all the self doubting and just chased our own unique dreams? That’s when things finally felt like I was in control of the joy I felt in my life. When I stopped listening to outsiders who (even with best interest at heart) do not know my heart and my desires.

2. Go with your gut

This is a goodie. Whatever we decide to do in this life I pray it lights a fire and brings peace and joy. Oh that feeling you get when you’re succeeding at something you love! Isn’t that the best? I think tip numbers 1 and 2 tie in to one another. What I mean by this is if something excites you or interest you and you have the ability to do it. Do it. Life is all about what you make it. There are so many opportunities headed our way if we would just have faith and go for it then who knows maybe we can achieve it!

3. Be present and patient

This is kinda a 2 for 1 lol. Staying present and being patient are extremely difficult for me. I have always been a goal setter. Looking for the next best thing! So staying content and just taking in the present is sometimes challenging. Laying down the electronics and going outdoors seem to be how I achieve this everyday. Patience on the other hand has never came easy. I have prayed and prayed and I think the Lors himself is just waiting on me to get it through my thick head! But seriously meditating, being in nature and just slowing down seem to always uplift my day. I hope this brings someone a little happiness. πŸ•Š

My natural hair journey

These are just a few photos through the years of my hair journey. If you are thinking of going natural or transitioning to natural hair, do it!! It is so much better for you and your hair! It’s about the same price too and your hair will look better I guarantee it! I big chopped December 23 2015! Unplaneed the day before christmas eve lol! I loved it! You are beautiful naturally! We do not need to change how we are to fit into society. I personally want to be the damn right opposite of our Millennial beauty standards! I’m so over big tots, big ass, big lips, and flat hair like okay it’s been done honey. I had people make fun of me in school for my little short afro but 100% of those people are irrelevant now. Funny how that works. Something seems so monumental in the moment and two months later you cant even remember so and so’s name! Best not to waste your energy getting upset.So please if you’re thinking about it I urge you to watch YouTube videos on natural hair journeys! I probably watched over 50, they are super helpful! This is how the hair grows naturally out of our head! Why change it?

Tips for transitioning to natural hair

1. These tools I use daily. A Wide tooth comb, denim brush, boar bristle brush, satin pillowcase.

2. Find youtubers or bloggers with similar hair texture for inspiration.

3. Do not hang on to those ends sweetie they’re already dead.

4. Do not care what others think. They ALWAYS have an opinion. And it has NOTHING to do with you.

5. Leave in, oil, cream. This is for everytime you wash and style. I always do these three steps. (Just find the best ones for you and stick to those you don’t need 700577839 products.

6. Deep condition as much as possible.

7. Find your favorite protective styles that are easy and nonmanipulative.

8. FALL IN LOVE WITH YOUR HAIR!! If you don’t how do you expect others to? Peace and blessings also patience is key! πŸŒΏπŸ•Š

Had been stretching my salon visits to about every 6 months and my hair started to retain length
Freshly relaxed hair from the salon obveoulsly broken and brittle
Relaxed hair had been transitioning for about 1 year
Okay this was relaxed air dried hair! Omg just no! Along with semi perm hair dye and chlorine from the pool.
Alright this is when I intentionally started transitioning to natural hair this was the first time I wore my hair “natural” in front of my peers. I got so many compliments that day lol
Big chop December 23 2015 I was so done with two textures and my stringy dead ends!!
Senior photos!
My hair started growing alot faster!!
Engagement photos with my little TWA!

Photo by kilylaurenphotography

This is where I’m currently at in December 2018!!! It has been a journey thats for sure!!!

The kind of parents we want to be

Parenting. It’s exhausting and hard, but also rewarding and magical. Without getting into the nitty gritty my husband and I both wanted our family dynamic to be very different then that which we were brought up. Not completely but for the most part our parenting styles were not the same as our parents. So we both had to start from scratch. I worked as a babysitter/nanny and then at a daycare before having my son so I had some idea of the style of parenting I preferred. My husband is a very go with the flow personality and I feel like his parenting styles shifted as he gained knowledge on different parenting styles.

Parenting style

Everyone is going to parent different because ever child and every circumstance is different. We prefer and believe in respectful parenting, mixed with some child lead and gentle parenting tactics. Obveoulsly we do not crack open a book everytime our 21 month old throws a tantrum but we try and abide by the guidelines these parenting books lay out. There are so many resources today. The internet being the biggest and broadest, but something about touching, smelling, and reading an actual book that is so satisfying. It’s like this is in a book! There was alot of money and time invested in this. So in my opinion this book is more reliable than maybe some internet article (ironic). I always do research on both ends of course. That is the only way to collect real research,but I would recommend checking out your local library and browsing the parenting sections. You may be surprised what goodies you find!

Resources

I am currently not finished with these books yet. I will finish them though! I use the table of contents alot and read all around in each book to applicable chapters or pages. Another great resource is podcasts! I use the doublepod app. Just type your parenting styles in the search engine and you can browse and listen to them for free!

Newbies guide to positive parenting by Rebecca Eanes

How Children Learn by John Holt

All photos on post

Instagram: @throughthelookingglassphotography

Toby and Alonna 2012-

Toby and I met in drama class at our high school. It was my freshman year and his junior year.On the first day I was accidentally put into the Drama2 class and later in the week switched to Drama1 with my future husband. On the first day I walked in the double doors and I remember having to walk along the auditorium in front of the whole class. I saw Toby and his friend next to him and immediately thought oh he’s cute and kept walking to my teacher. Now it’s funny to think about but we had never talked to each other ot seen each other. The weeks went on and we flirted a little in class. Then it came time for a our winter break.

We had exchanged phone numbers earlier on as friends and I remember the whole last week before break there was just tension. Good tension like I want to be with this guy and I’m sure he had his own thoughts. But he walked me out after class and this other classmate walked with us the whole time lol. I could tell Toby wanted to talk to me alone. After I got picked up, because I did not even have a driver’s license yet. We texted all day long. When I got home he asked if I had plans over the break, and if not he wanted to hangout! I flipped out and called my best friend, true 15 year old girl freak out. We ended up at our local applebees and a movie and let’s just say the first date was “memorable” but such a blast! If you know me you know I have a loud and bubbly personality and Toby is the complete opposite, calm and cool almost all the time. So it makes sense after our movie I look over and I kissed him! 15?! Calm down girl! A girl knows what she wants.

Anyways Toby had quickly become one of my good friends at school and dating him was even better! He was constantly taking me out and buying me gifts. Just pursuing me in all the right ways. He still does. But in the beginning everything is so new and sweet. I remember one day in my room we were “talking” and 15 year old me said “I’m going to marry you, you know?” He sweetly smiled and looked at me with those dang eyes! And said “okay!” Gosh I love him. We talked about marriage from the third month or so of dating, we just always seemed right.

Like I said Toby is two years older so he finished school in 2013 and I graduated In 2015. On the day of my graduation we were taking photos and my friends and family are their and so are his! Right there at our high school football stadium he proposed! He literally waited 15 minutes after I graduated! Haha I love this man ya’ll! So I planned our wedding in 5 months and we got married Ocober 11, 2015 with all the love we could wish for.

We were married about 10 months before I found out I was pregnant with our son. He was born February 10th, 2017. Our love story continues and I can not wait to see what is written! πŸ•Š

All photos by

Instagram: @kileylaurenphotography

Why I started a blog

I wanted to start a blog as a creative outlet for myself. I have thought about starting a blog in 2015 and I am just now doing it in 2018. There are alot of topics I would like to discuss in this space. Alot of topics that I do not feel comfortable chatting about with just anyone. It is hard to find community sometimes, especially when your views on parenting, marriage, and just life may be different from people in your demographic. Hopefully simplyalonna is a space where positive minds can come together.”The things you are passionate about are not random, they are your calling.” I found this quote on Pinterest a while back and I immediately loved it.

I want to do what I want to do.

Like I said before I have been thinking about blogging for years and I just now got up the guts to go for it. Starting this journey and writing a post everyday has made me more passionate about all the things and people I love and that is reason enough. People are ALWAYS going to tell you their opinion. Especially those closest to you, they may be the ones whose judgement hurts the most. But if we just stopped letting other peoples fears and anxieties rule and dictate our life then I bet we would all be alot more satisfied. I do not want any regrets that scares me more than failing at something. Writing this blog let’s me visually see the best in myself. I don’t know why I didn’t start sooner.

I could not stop thinking about it!

Have you ever really wanted to do something or have something and it’s all you can think about? Well there is a reason. Life is not chance. Things do not just happen. There is a reason for everything and I truly believe that. If you want something, take action. Think of a plan to achieve it. Even if it seems far fetched or a little ridiculous. Who cares, at least you’re doing something to achieve your goals! It may take longer to achieve something or maybe a goal changes but everytime I do this something good happens! My rule is if I can not stop thinking about something get it, do it or figure out a way. That is how I felt before I wrote my first blog post.

All photos on this post

instagram: @alybrookephotography

Why I stay home while my husband works full time

I know most women do not even have the option to stay home full time with their children. When I say I am 21 with an almost two year old. I guess people do not expect that I’m married. Then when I tell them I am a STAHM (stay at home mom) they are shocked.Not only is it because I was so blessed with an extremely hard working husband. But we worked together to decide what we wanted for our son and our families future. He has always been my biggest supporter and I am his. I find alot of pride in keeping my household in order, cooking dinner, and having one on one time with my son and being home when my husband gets home! He finds pride in providing for his families needs.

Before I quit my job

We did not exactly plan to get pregnant in our first year of marriage it just happened. Throughout my pregnancy I worked at a daycare until I was 39 weeks pregnant. My husband and I always loved the idea of me staying at home with our children but at the time it just was not financially possible. After I had Bowen I went back to work but only from 2pm-6pm everyday. This was my mother in law could keep Bowen. During this time I got a job opportunity to work PRN (as needed) at a doctors office for a little more money. Fast forward about six months, Toby got a great opportunity to move to another company that was about 45 minutes away from us. He accepted the offer and this is when the discussion of me staying home came up.

The stress VS the money

Okay I’m not going to start a debate here but. Women do not get paid very much at simple jobs. For example if I was a man I could go cut grass for $15 an hour and not have to talk to anyone. Working at a daycare you can get paid $8 an hour, have a smile on your face 24/7, spend time and money on your classroom. And if you do have to pay for your own child’s daycare out of that. You have no paycheck. Okay so I’ll just get a higher paying job. I started working at a doctors office when Bowen was about 6 months old. Now that’s all good if you can get more than 15 hours a week! Since I was as needed and I could not commit to full time because Bowen was not in a daycare I only got scheduled a couple times a week. We talked about daycare and me working full time but the bad always outweighed the good by a long shot. So I turned in my two weeks and in May of 2017 I started staying home.

Buildung OUR child’s character

American kids have a character problem. If you do not agree than thats on you. My husband and I have always said our child is going to be respectful. I do not care who or what he is talking to it better only be kind and respectful words. Especially an elder speaking to him. We wanted to teach him good character. The idea of sending my child to someone else to teach them about life makes me feel uneasy. Mostly because I know how Toby and I think is not the way most people think. Think about this. I can gurentee the daycare teacher is on a totally different wave length with discipline and how to raise children than you. I can attest, I was that teacher! These are not their kids, and they are BARELY getting paid minimum wage. Why would they take extra time with your child when they have to watch 6 other kids? It’s not going to happen. Teaching obedience and a strong moral character in our children takes time, patience, and persistence but we think it is worth it.

We are open to homeschool

I’m going to try and keep this short because I could talk about homeschool forever. There is still so much I have to learn. We do not know if this is the way we will decide to teach Bowen. There is a convention in our local community about homeschooling that will kind of be our deciding factor. This is what we are thinking. I had a hard time in the public school system moving from town to town and getting pushed through my most important years (grades 1-4). I had all sorts of family and emotionally things going on then that I did not even understand at the time. As I grew and came to safe and healthy place I noticed how much longer and harder I had to study. I would come early and stay late. Any extra credit I needed to do I did it. But my aunt had to re-teach what I should have already known and I had to teach myself how to learn new things and it was really, really hard. My husband is dyslexic and ADD as well so we both needed extra attention in school. Now neither one of our parents would have been able to stay home and homeschool their kids. But we have the option, we have the resources and I think I have the ability. I am passionate about my son and my family and this just makes sense to us. I have found such a peace the more I look into all that homeschool has to offer as opposed to traditional school!

I would love to hear your thoughts and opinions! Thankyou for reading! πŸ•Š

Photos by

Instagram: @alybrookephotography

Living your best life NOW

It seems as people get older they get less satisfied. Why? I am happier now than I have ever been in my life. I know that circumstances change but the way we as individuals respond can stay constant. Imagine being consistantly joyful! I’m sharing what has helped me change perspective on pretty much everything.

Be as authentic as possible.

I struggle at comparing myself to others. This is such a downfall because your individuality is what separates us and makes us unique! When someone is just being themselves its attractive. Not in a weird way! Like oh that person looks happy I want to be happy too! Instead of comparing and trying to be like someone else. We should all embraced our qualities and quirks that make us a little different!

Not caring what people think.

I know I know easier said than done. This is definitely alot easier not going to a job or school or hearing a large amount of my peers opinions. I have lost all social norms. Thank the Lord! I’m a naturally happy bubbly person. It is how I thrive and do my best. When Bowen and I go out we are always the loudest! And you know what we have fun, we are not concerned about what anyone else is doing. It really does give you a sense of freedom. Like okay people are going to love you and hate you and none of it has to do with you. I love that. This is your ONLY life. So if you are questioning something based on others opinions. Don’t.

Do what you want.

This kind of ties into not caring what other people think. When you have freed yourself of others opinions you really feel empowered. Or that’s just my personality. Either way if you are thinking of something over and over. There is a reason, dig deep and then act. Action is the only way to get anything done. Small progression is still moving forward so remember to have grace if what you want to achieve is big! This life is so precious and we all get the choice to live it how we want. Do not waste it!

Thankyou for reading! πŸ•Š

Photos by

Instagram: @alybrookephotography