July is Ice Cream Month!

Black Business Corner

Healthy Sweet Treats.

Whimsicle Gourmet Fruit

Did you know July was Ice Cream Month? 

Neither did I, until my mom called me and told me all about this Black Owned Business she saw featured on ABC 6’s FYI weekend segment. Whimsicle Gourmet Fruit Pops is a Philadelphia based company featuring all natural, vegan, and gluten free frozen fruit pops. 

And it’s actually REAL fruit you can see!  

Grandma knows I am always looking for healthy and most importantly all natural foods for her favorite little guy. I was looking for something that won’t have him bouncing off the walls but has enough sweetness to pique his interest.

And these did the trick!

We contacted Whimsicle and within 10 minutes we were placing an order. Delivery was fast and the pops were delicious! I highly recommend you visit their website or Instagram, which you can both find linked in this blog! 

Did you miss our last Black Business Corner feature? Read it here!

Follow them on Instagram!

Whimsicle IG

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Summer Reading: Juju’s Top 5 Books For Brown Kiddos!

Hello Fellow Juju Lovers!

Can you believe Juju is approaching 18-months?!

I cannot get enough of watching him grow into his personality and start to develop personal interests. 

I am an avid reader. Before Juju even came into the world, his bookshelf was stacked with books. While they aren’t the first item he gravitates towards in a room, slowly but surely they are getting and keeping his attention for much longer than they ever have. 

A mom in one of my groups on Facebook was looking for books featuring  positive images of dark skinned black characters. I search far and wide for books by black authors and with black and brown characters to line Juju’s bookshelf with. Why? So that Juju can see himself represented in popular stories, that’s why! After seeing that post, I was prompted to compile a list of our favorite books for brown kiddos! Don’t have a brown kiddo? No problem! Normalizing the black experience is important so its also a great idea to purchase these books for kids of any color! 

So without further ado…

Juju's Favorite Books Featuring Brown Characters!

*Some of the links featured in this blog are from affiliates who compensate me. However, this does not influence my evaluations. All opinions are my own.*

Brown Boy Brown Boy What Can You Be?

This is a  cute story with simple rhymes that Juju really loves. The illustrations are a great talking point  to review words and sounds with your little reader. 

Jabari Jumps

This book exhibits great images of a strong father and son relationship. It also promotes themes of positive male masculinity. Added bonus that it tackles risk taking and establishing trust. 


This is a book we have been waiting to get our hands on. Brought to us by Hollywood It Girl, Lupita N’yongo and illustrated by Vashti Harrison. This book dives head first into colorism in an easy to digest kid-friendly format. 

Chocolate Me!

Written by Taye Diggs, this is another book that perfectly  deals with instilling a sense of pride in ones skin color. It features characters displaying a healthy attitude towards being a beautiful chocolate kid! 

“Bloop, Bloop!” Goes the Poop

We are nearing potty training age so I had to go on a hunt for a potty training book featuring black characters. And this is the only one I found. 

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Black Owned Business Spotlight!

I’m getting

Quarantine Cute with...

Minute Nails!

Hi Friends!

I hope you are all enjoying this short work week so far! I just wanted to pop in and write a quick blurb about an amazing business I had the pleasure of patronizing.

Last Minute Nails!

Last minute Nails is a black woman owned traveling nail salon and Spa. Yes, you heard that right a traveling nails salon. Owned by total sweetheart and true hustler, Keesha Brown.  Bruh, Keesha will literally pull up in her magic school bus and do you nails, pedicure, wax, and/or lashes right in the convenience of your own doorstep. I found her on IG a few weeks back and had to give her a try. I won’t lie, my main motivation was just GETTING THESE NAILS DONE! I loved that she was a black woman so the decision to check her out was made instantly. I booked her first opening (a few weeks out, so plan accordingly!) and was excited when my appointment day finally arrived.

A little before my appointment, I received an automated text from Keesha with tracking on her location so I knew exactly how close she was.

I got a Dip Powder Overlay on my natural nails. Dip Powder is LMN’s specialty. I loved the way they turned out since my go to Gel mani just wasn’t  cutting it anymore for my brittle and weak from breastfeeding, natural nails.

Keesha checked in all along the way to make sure I was happy with her service and was comfortable. Ladies, if you are in the Tri State area please visit her  IG page to keep track of her specials, pop up shops, and even to book an appointment. You won’t be disappointed!

Check out 6 ABC News’, Ashley Johnson’s coverage of LMN during my appointment. Talk about random!

Follow Her on Instagram!

Last Minute Nails IG

Click Here

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Juju’s Latest Obsession

                                                 Hello Friends!

Juju is so smitten with this weaning Table!

What’s a weaning table?

A weaning table and chair fosters your little one’s independence, self-confidence, and competency. The table and chair are purposefully made for your baby’s size and honor their dignity by meeting them right where they are.

While the high chair allows your little one to participate in family meals, it is too large for them to climb in and out of on their own. They have to be lifted in and out of it, and can’t participate in setting their place or cleaning up after themselves. It’s not designed with their needs or abilities in mind. By giving your little one a place to eat that suits their size and capability, you give them a sense of ownership over their own life.

This chair was passed down to Juju from his Grandumi and had been used by many of his older cousins. It was a family right of passage almost. Juju is taking good care of it and we have some snacks on it but usually don’t actually use it for eating. We do use it to focus on Montessori activities and toys or arts and crafts.

Basically we use this any time we want him to focus on just one thing. 

Right now, climbing up on the chair and being able to  move the chair on his own is very gratifying. Most of the table time is spent sitting, getting back up to adjust the chair and then sitting again. I am not exactly sure what developmental dots he is connecting by doing this, but the proud look on his face proves he certainly IS doing some act of self-care. 

How old was your child when you added a small table and chair or desk to their play area? Drop me a comment and tell me all about how its done around your home! 

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*Some of the links featured in this blog are from affiliates who offer me a small compensation if you purchase, at no additional cost to you. However, this does not influence my evaluations. All opinions are my own. We only promote products we personally own or would use*

Shop Juju's Personal Collection!

Looking For A Cool Toddler Blog?

It's All New To Ju!

There is an entire section of this blog dedicated to my playful toddler Juju. He is 1 1/2 years old and learning so much every day.

He is a fashionable young man with a growing collection of cool sneakers! 

Keep an eye out for his posts where I will share his daily schedule, favorite activities, review his favorite products, and just show him being the super silly boy he is! There will also be links to shop his  closet and sneaker collection.

*The shop Juju’s collection section contain affiliate links which pays this blog a tiny commission when you make a purchase, at no additional charge to you. Each click and purchase helps us keep this blog running!*

Scroll to the top of the page and click “Its All New To Ju” for all his posts! 


I'm Also On

Sensory Play On A Budget

Hi Peeps!

I wanted to do a quick post about some of the activities we were doing around the house with our 16 month old. We are currently coming out of an 80 day lockdown in Philadelphia, and during that time at home we had to get creative to replicate the activity level my son is used to getting at daycare.

Let me start by saying…

My family and I are truly blessed to have made it through this pandemic virtually unscathed. I was able to comfortably work from home while my husband watched the baby (thankfully not working from home but still getting paid). We had food, shelter, and even plenty of toilet paper to keep us happily indoors. We enjoyed watching milestones we would have otherwise missed if my son was in daycare. We also did some much needed spring cleaning and minimizing (Marie Kondo would be proud). 

Now that we have hit toddlerhood, the range of activities we can try out has vastly expanded. One of our favorites is…


Sensory play includes any activity that stimulates your young child’s senses: touch, smell, taste, movement, balance, sight and hearing.

Sensory activities facilitate exploration and naturally encourage children to use scientific processes while they play, create, investigate and explore. The sensory activities allow children to refine their thresholds for different sensory information helping their brain to create stronger connections to process and respond to sensory information.

Since we love FREE and EASY…

Our sensory material of choice is WATER PLAY! It literally requires nothing but a bucket or bowl and any random household items or waterproof toys.

Sensory Materials we use:

  • Balls
  • Bath Toys
  • Applesauce Pouch caps
  • Wooden spoons

Baby loves every minute of it and it’s always stimulating enough to his senses to incite a nap!

5 minute Sensory Idea

Sometimes after meals when Ju isn’t ready to get out just yet but he is done eating, we give him a bowl full of water and a wooden spoon and he goes to town. Water play is just that simple!

Tell me what sensory activities you are doing with your toddler so I can give them a try! I’m new to this and always looking to expand on FREE and EASY summer fun, so drop me a comment and share your favorite!

First Things First

Hello there!

Welcome to my brand new Money Conscious Lifestyle Blog! I’m Shannon the content creator for this site and first time Mom.

Ive been blogging for a while, enjoying some success with my Facebook Fan page-back when that was a thing! At the height of its success we boasted over 67,000 followers (still boasting actually!)

But along came algorithms and Facebook Ads and the online climate totally changed…

I found myself bored and created my now defunct Invading Mars site. During that time, I divorced, met the love of my life, got married, purchased a house, and had a baby boy!

I began documenting my journey purchasing my first home via this site until I had a hosting blunder that took this site offline for MONTHS.
Battered but not broken, I sulked for a few months and then decided to turn these Pandemic lemons into lemonade and RELAUNCH my site!

And here I am!

This site will still cover:

  • Articles and information about first time home buying and all the saving and credit management that goes into that process.
  • My first time parenting adventures, including our flawed but frugal Montessori system.
  • Projects we are working on around the house.
  • Tips and Recommendations about products   and services we love.
  • Whatever interests me at the time! 

Please stay tuned for plenty of posts and updated from me coming soon! If you haven’t already subscribe so you don’t miss a thing!


Talk to you soon!