We are now a family of 4!! I delivered our daughter at the end of December and she has been such an amazing addition to our family. Our oldest is loving being a big sister and has adjusted much better to not being an only child than we expected. My life is full and happy, but it hasn’t been without its issues. This pregnancy was incredibly difficult for me (she was over 10lbs at birth!) and my recovery has been equally as difficult. The healing process from my c-section has been hard, but I was not expecting the emotional imbalance to hit this hard.
With my first, I experienced a lot of crazy emotions–the top one being worry–since we were just at the beginning of the pandemic and we really had no idea what to expect. We purposefully isolated ourselves to keep our family safe. This time around we didn’t have to isolate, but I am finding myself feeling more isolated this time around. During the last, almost, 3 years since having our first I have felt a loss of self and the feeling has only increased with the birth of our second. My emotions are all over the place.
But I am trying to get back to me. Again. Starting with what I feel passionate about…makeup. I have begun to revamp this site as well as my Etsy shop which has included a who knew logo which I am in love with. I am also working on some new products that I can’t wait to share. While I don’t have tons of time during the day, I am taking my maternity leave to rediscover myself and my passions. Hope you all come along for the ride.
I don’t think that anyone would call this year an epic year. It has been hard for everyone. For me it was just strange. Most of last year I dreamt of what the first year as a mom would be like and all the things that me and our little one would do…little did I know that none of it would happen. Just leaving the house was a bit panic inducting. No visitors at the hospital when we delivered, no newborn photos, no visitors at the house when we came home. Just masks and visits through the front door and lots of separation. The worst part was that we couldn’t go and experience life outside of our little bubble. It made the year very isolated.
But it wasn’t all bad. 2020 brought me so much joy and happiness that I couldn’t possibly put it into words. I became a mom and she came at just the right time. Because of COVID, my husband was furloughed for the first few months of her life and we had such an amazing time becoming a family of three and watching our daughter grow and thrive. We were able to spend the first 4 months of her life as our little family unit without much interference from the outside. Because of COVID, when I went back to work after maternity leave I was able to work at home half time. I didn’t have to send my baby to daycare and I was able to watch all of her little milestones. What a luxury to be there when she started to crawl, started to babble, stood for the first time, took her first shaky steps with her walker. She has been such a blessing and light this year.
Other blessings that we had this year include:
My niece Everly Rae was born
My niece Violet Theresa was born
My sister got engaged (FINALLY)
So, while there were trials and heartache this year, there were so many blessings and I am beyond grateful for the lessons that this year has taught. I am looking forward to what 2021 will bring and hope that we can find normal…whatever that may be. I hope that you all can remember to hold your loved ones close, make time for those that matter, be grateful. Happy New Year!!
Sorry I have been absent for so long. I hit my third trimester in January and to say it has been interesting would be an understatement. I have been blessed with an incredibly easy pregnancy….no morning sickness! But as I have started to expand, I have been experiencing nerve pain, sciatic pain, and a bit of swelling (sorry for the TMI). Don’t get my wrong, pregnancy has been the coolest, most unique thing that I have ever experienced! As I sit here typing the baby is moving and hiccuping and it is such a strange feeling.
I took this extra time to pay more attention to what I need and what the baby needs. January has been a very busy one. I started another semester of my master’s program, started putting the nursery together, and had my baby shower. I just needed to take something off my plate and unfortunately this was the first thing to go by the wayside. But now that I have had a few months to acclimate I am back at it! Looking forward to continuing this blog. If there is anything in particular you would like to see more of please let me know in the comments.
I have been slacking a bit on the uploads lately and I am sorry about that. So much has been happening in the last few months. I was finishing up my summer semester and have taken on a pretty heavy load for my Master’s Program this semester. Work has been super hectic lately and I have been trying to manage that on top of schoolwork. In order for me to reduce some of my stress level something had to give and unfortunately it was this blog. And the reason for reducing my stress level is…
We are so excited to announce that we are expecting our first child next year! Though it has been a breezy pregnancy thus far, I have been trying to limit the amount of stress that I am putting on myself. Now that I have made it to the second trimester I can start to relax and hopefully post on the blog more regularly!
Since as early as I can remember, recycling has been a key component to garbage day. Taking the extra effort to separate recyclables into paper, plastic, and cans was incredibly important. We were all saving the plant, one plastic bottle at a time. As of late, even doing that isn’t good enough. All plastic is bad, even if it can be recycled because…come to find out…91% of our “recycled” plastic isn’t actually recycled. How appalling! 91%! How have we not found out about this sooner? I have also read on the interwebs (this article and this one) that USA sells (for decades) the majority of our plastic waste to other countries, China and Indonesia to name a few, and even they don’t want our ridiculous amounts of plastic anymore. Some of this waste is getting recycled into new products, but the majority is being dumped into their landfills. This can no longer be “out of sight, out of mind”. Shouldn’t the push to go plastic-free have started ages ago?
It might seem daunting to make the change to a plastic-free existence. It is INCREDIBLE how many daily items are made of plastic: toothbrush, cosmetic packaging, sandwich bags, etc. Even sneakers are destroying the planet. According to TreeHugger.com, Adidas has developed a sneaker that never needs to be thrown away. The sneaker is called the Futurecraft Loop and it can be recycled over and over into new sneakers.
I have made some smaller changes: reusable grocery bags, reusable coffee cups, metal straws, etc. and have really focused my attention on the products that I use and the packaging the come in. We stopped using plastic storage containers ages ago and only use the glass containers. I also try to buy products that don’t have plastic bottles or products that have containers that can be reused. Lush has some great products that are bottle-free. I like this, this, this, and this. Some of the other products that I have been using (or want to start using):
In April, I decided to finally take the leap into a new fitness program…and it has changed my life! Well, maybe that is a little dramatic, but it certainly has made a difference in my fitness journey. I have always been a gym rat. I love the gym, but I live about 25 minutes away from any of the gyms that I like going to. Just driving to and from the gym takes a huge chunk out of my day. But I did it anyway…and saw very little results.
A little about the program: It is definitely a lifestyle change for me. It has a full nutrition plan, but it isn’t a diet. The program is more about portion control…and let’s face it….I struggle hard with portion control. This takes all the guess work out of how much to eat of each category. Super easy! I also never feel like I am going to bed hungry. In actuality, I sometimes struggle to get in the recommended amounts of some of the categories because I am not hungry. I have to work on making more meals that cover all of these categories, but I am a work in progress.
The program also includes tons of streaming workout programs…like Netflix for workouts. This allows me to do a workout from home in 30 mins every day. Easy peasy. No packing a bag for gym with all of my work clothes, makeup, hair accessories, etc. I can get up in the morning, workout, and get ready at home. (UPDATE: I actually changed my workouts to early evening. I felt that I was missing out on some much needed sleep by working out in the morning.) The most important part of this program, for me at least, is the accountability factor. I check in with my workout team daily with what I am doing, how I am doing, any struggles that I am having. Making me accountable for working out and eating right has kept me honest with myself.
As I sit here staring at my handsome little beagle, I can’t help to think of all of those animals that are being tested on to make the personal care products that are used by millions daily. In case you didn’t know…beagles are one of the most commonly used animals in animal testing. Why you ask? Because they are a perfect size, not too big-not too small, and they trust humans implicitly. How awful is that. Taking advantage of the loyalty and love of an animal in order to test chemicals on them. It just makes me so sad to know that animals aren’t being treated well.
Don’t get me wrong, I am not perfect…I currently use products that are known to test on animals. I am trying to eliminate all of those companies from the products I use, but it is a quite the process. It is amazingly awful how many brands are not cruelty-free. Take band-aids for instance. Why on earth do you need to test band-aids on animals?! I have decided to make a conscious effort to determine if products are cruelty-free before I buy them or to find other retailers that focus on cruelty-free products. If you are interested on starting the journey to cruelty-free there are a few great blogs that have lists of cruelty-free brands. My two favorite cruelty-free blogs are: Phyrra and My Beauty Bunny. They both have extensive lists of cruelty-free brands and give their honest opinions about the products that they try out.
There are so many brands that are cruelty-free, both high-end and drugstore, that it is silly to not make an honest effort to be cruelty-free. Thumbs up to Cover Girl for making the switch to cruelty-free. Here are some of my favorite brands: – The Honest Company – Kat Von D – Wet and Wild – NYX (but they are owned by a company that is not) – Tarte – Urban Decay (owned by a company that is not) – Colourpop – Cover Girl (owned by a company that his not) – Eco-Guard makes cruelty-free bandages, but I haven’t tried them yet.
I know this is a bit late since I have had this hairstyle for a few months now…but **shrug**.
Folks, it was time for a change. You know the saying: New year, new me! Well, it’s a new year, but it’s the same old sassy me. This time with new sassy hair.
I have wanted to rock this hairstyle for quite a while now (almost a year). I waited until after my wedding (for obvious reasons, you’re welcome Mom). It had been over 2 years since I had tried something new with my hair and it was hard not to switch it up! I first saw this hairstyle on one of my favorite YouTuber’s Mykie from Glam&Gore–if you are interested in some pretty cool fx makeup you should definitely check her stuff out.
Update: After months of rocking this hairstyle, I am still loving it. I love that I have the ability to part it different ways to get different looks. It is quite a challenge keeping up with the shaved part though. I don’t know how guys do it! I find myself making an appointment to get it shaved every few weeks or so. Despite that…I think that I will keep it like this for awhile.
The wrapper of my Dove dark chocolate really spoke to me yesterday. It says “You can do anything, but you can’t do everything.” – Shirley K. Maryland.
Lately, I have been overwhelmed to the EXTREME. Ask anyone and they will tell you that I am excellent at multitasking and taking on a lot of responsibility at one time. For instance, starting grad school while planning my wedding and working full time. I even aced my midterm, which was due two days after our wedding. Granted I was only taking one class last semester. This semester has just been, for a lack of a better word, overwhelming. Two classes, work, buying a house, selling a house, and planning our honeymoon…CRAZY!
I am trying to remind myself, daily, to take it one day at a time. That, yes I can do it, but that I don’t need to do it all at once. The buzz phrase these days is self care. And it is so true and so important. Taking time to take care of myself and stepping away from the stress to regroup has really helped. The other night I went home after work and the hubby was out of the house. So instead of cooking and homework (what I normally do every day), I chose to do a face mask, paint my nails, have a glass of wine, and binge on Netflix. It was seriously needed. Just that little bit of a reset has turned my week around.
De-stressing practices that works
Deep breathing – I wouldn’t go so far as to say meditation…because, let’s face it, I can’t take sitting still not thinking about anything for long periods of time. Just a few long, slow, intentional breaths. In ballet classes ages ago we used to lay down and imagine waves gently crashing over our bodies and taking away tension/stress/sore muscles. I still do this with my deep breaths: In goes the air, out goes the stress.
Anything that has to do with face masks and skin care. Taking the time to apply, sit, remove a face mask, apply a serum and moisturizer and give myself a good face message in the process is my idea of heaven.
Read a good (non-fiction) book – Escaping into another fictional world or someone fictional character’s drama is such a treat after staring at chemistry books all day.
Netflix – just like reading a good book, getting lost in a good show or movie can help me de-stress like none other.
And if worse comes to worst (or worse…the interwebs can’t actually agree on the proper way to say this…and yes, I did Google it), I clean. Organizing and cleaning make me feel in control of something and when the house is clean all seems right in the world…for at least a minute or two.
Since starting this keto lifestyle at the beginning of January I have been snack foods to be the most difficult items to replace. I am by no means a huge snacker but I do love popcorn, kettle cooked chips and chocolate. Much to my dismay, none of those are approved keto snacks so I have had to reimagine my snacking choices. Here is what I have found works for me.
Buffalo style celery! These are quick and easy and give me the spicy crunch that I would get from eating spicy popcorn or spicy kettle chips. To make these: I cut a few stalks of celery in pieces, smear with either cream cheese or goat cheese (depending on what I have on hand) and cover with a bit of buffalo hot sauce. I find that these are my go to when I am craving something spicy.
While there is no replacement for the cocoa dusted chocolate truffles from Aldi, I have discovered the chocolate bars from Kiss My Keto. My favorite bars are the chocolate pumpkin seeds and sea salt* option. These tick all my boxes, slightly sweet, crunchy, and salty. They are the ultimate keto chocolate bar, IMO. I usually only eat a square or two to crush my sugar craving and it does the trick. Which is good because these bars are pretty pricey at $24.95 for 4 bars.
While nothing beats indulging in a bowl of popcorn, chips, or chocolate…these snacks help keep me on track.