Monday, December 15, 2014

Rudolph Wreath

This is a super (SUUUUUPER) short and easy post. 
Ok, it's a little late in the season BUT if you are a procrastinator and/or keep your decorations up longer than most people (ours come down practically right after the gifts are opened), then here is a little more holiday cheer for you! I saw something similar on pinterest and just KNEW that I needed to recreate it (especially after Michael's didn't have what I wanted). I totally like this better than my original plan. And BONUS: Husband likes it too. It's always better when your husband appreciates your craftiness. 

2 rolls of 10 yard burlap or mesh (I used gold mesh)
Metal wreath
Red ornaments
2 decorative branches 
Hot glue gun

To make!
Unfortunately I didn't get a photo before I started busting out my wreath... BUT I followed THIS easy youtube video and it was ridiculously easy (but looks pretty fancy). 
Then I just hot glued my ornament for the nose, made a quick bow, and placed the branches where I wanted them and glued them in place. So. Easy. And it makes me smile every time I come through the door. Merry Christmas my friends! 

Friday, December 5, 2014

Glitter Rudolph Ornament

There is just something about the holidays that make me want to CRAFT. And thank goodness because during my pregnancy I had a total craft aversion. So getting back into my creative side has been oh so nice! I really wanted to make a Rudolph to hang on my front door (stay tuned...) but Michael's didn't have what I wanted/needed BUT they did have these tiny ones and I fell in love. I knew just wanted I wanted to do. It's want I wanted for our door but just smaller! These are seriously so easy. I did these AND my wreath AND listened to my MedSurg II lecture while Charlotte napped. They look great on my Christmas tree but... I am planning on making more to give to friends (friends act surprised when I give you one). Happy crafting! If you end up making these let me know! I want to see! These would be darling in GOLD (oh... that's an idea :-) 

To make you'll need:
-Mini reindeer cutouts (Michaels)
-Small red (or other color) bells
-Mod Podge (I didn't realize until I oped it that I bought the wrong kind... but it still worked!)
-Glue gun!

To make:
1. Paint the mod podge on to the reindeer
2. Cover with glitter
3. Let dry
4. Hot glue jute to the back for hanging
5. Hot glue jingle bell nose on
6. Hang on tree
7. ENJOY! 

Also, if your husband hates glitter like mine does... be sure to clean up your glitter mess as best you can before he gets home ;-) 

Monday, December 1, 2014

Beauty Haul

Hello little corner of the internet. My, how I have missed you! Seriously! My life has just been plain nuts. I have barely had time to sleep, let alone blog this quarter. I have shed countless tears the past 9 weeks but I am almost through the quarter from you-know-where. Anyhow, I digress. Let's talk about what this post is really about. Makeup. Sephora sent out a 20% off coupon about a month ago and I went a bit crazy there (and picked up a few things at the MAC counter as well). Fall (and into winter) seem to be my favorite time to pick up makeup. Maybe it's the change in the weather but I always feel like I need to plump up my stash. Anyway-enjoy my friends! Let me know you are still here! I MISS YOU! XO

#1. YSL Ink Foundation
You guys... I can't even begin to tell you about my love affair with this foundation. I tried it as a sample on a whim when I went into Sephora for something and I. Was. Hooked. Yes, it's pricey at $60 but IT'S WORTH every penny. A little goes a loooooong way and it smells divine. It is a 24 hour wear (HELLO!) and it honestly feels like I have nothing on my face. We went to my friend's wedding in Aspen a few months back and I wore this foundation (sample) We even went to the pool and I didn't need a touch up (I did set my makeup with powder and finishing spray...) I cannot put this stuff down. I'm obsessed! 

#2. Becca mineral blush in flowerchild
I bought this online after lusting over it for weeks. I had never tried a beck product before but all the reviews pointed to "you need me!" Sephora has an amazing return policy so if I didn't like it I wasn't going to hesitate in taking it back. I tried it and I AM IN LOVE. A little goes SUCH a long way and it's highly pigmented so you don't need much. It's the most gorgeous peachy/pink sheen (not shimmer). It's my new go-to!

#3. Becca shimmering skin perfecter pressed in rose gold
Anything rose gold has become my love language. I did sample this in stores before purchasing it (our Sephora doesn't sell the blushes for some reason... boo!) and I remember calling my mom and telling her "MOM! My cheeks look amazing!" So, of course I purchased it! Sadly, it is FAR too similar to my Josie Maran color wise so I am swapping it out for Opal. But if you are in need of ANYTHING rose gold (um... eyeshadow bonus anyone?) I would choose this in rose gold... but ANY color is fabulous. 

#4. Origins GinZing
I have the absolute worst dark circles known to man. Made all the worse by these hellish last weeks. This is a life saver! I put it on right after I get out of the shower and I can tell a difference almost right away. Most other eye creams I have tried only help moisturize but this one definitely helps brighten my deep dark under eyes. 

I also purchased some tried and true favorites of mine- urban decay's eyeshadow primer and their all nighter makeup setting spray! AND a few gifts for my husband (which I am sure I will get to use as well... WIN-WIN!) Now, onto my MAC picks.

#1. MAC blush in Melba

I usually lean towards more peach tones when it comes to blush- don't ask why, I just do! MAC describes the color as "peach with gold" but it is definitely more mauve than anything else I use. While I love the brightness of my coral colors I wanted something a bit more muted. I'm still getting used to this one but each time I use it I LOVE IT! It's ridiculously pretty on the skin and perfect for almost all skin tones. 

#2. MAC eyeshadow in woodwinked
I honestly don't know how I missed having this in my eyeshadow collection (MAC, you are my eyeshadow soulmate... although I DO hear that Makeup geek and Morphe should be on my list...) but it's gorgeous. I mean, that's pretty much all I can say. It's a warm antique gold and goes on beautifully. 

#3. MAC eyeshadow in expensive pink
I'm almost positive I purchased this shadow purely on it's name. I mean... it's called EXPENSIVE PINK! And that's exactly what it looks like. I think I would have named it "pink champagne" because it just looks like pink sparkly, bubbly gold. 

Alright friends, that concludes my makeup haul (I think...) has anyone tried makeup geek or morphe products and loved them? I have such a hard time stepping away from MAC and Sephora! Help!

Thursday, August 28, 2014

I wish someone had said something helpful

To be honest- I had completely forgotten about this post! I wrote it last November (2013) when Charlotte wasn't even 6 months old yet. It was really funny to find this a read through it. It's still true! No photos: Just words.

Before Charlotte was born, I knew motherhood was going to be hard... but I didn't think it would be this KIND of hard. Does that makes sense? I expected motherhood to be challenging and difficult... I saw all the crap my mom had to deal with from us girls. But I really didn't expect it to be like this. 
I just wish someone had told me something that I felt was helpful...
All I got were, "Oh, you just get ready for sleepless nights!"
And, "Motherhood is the most amazing thing in the entire world! I love being a mother ALL THE TIME." 
And, "Oh, you think you're life is hard now. You just WAIT until your baby is born!"
How the heck are any of those statements helpful to a new or future mother? Hint. They aren't. 
So... to my new mom friends, soon to be mom friends, and already mom friends... here are some things I wish people had said to me...

#1. There are parts about motherhood that just plain suck.
My good friend Cherie told me this the other day (she is a mother of 3) and it's just a fact. I do not enjoy getting spit up on. I hate it almost MORE than poop. Because at least poop can be contained as long as you have a good diaper on your kid. But spit up can get everywhere... and then everything smells like cheese. And the crying. The crying really sucks. Especially when you have no idea why they are crying or how to fix it. 

#2. Yes, you will be exhausted. But you can do it.
I hated when people told me that I was tired and that it would pass. That never made me feel better. So I'm not going to tell you that it will pass (although it does... eventually they learn to sleep through the night). I am just going to tell you that you can do it. You can be exhausted and only run on a few hours of sleep. Just hang on until dad gets home so you can get some relief and take a nap. 

#3. Life does get harder... but also more fun.
I would be lying to you if I said there weren't times where I missed being able to just pick up and go to the store without taking everything and the kitchen sink (and that also didn't required planning to make sure we go at a time when C will be happy). But oh, her smile! And her giggle! And watching her learn and grow. It's pretty awesome. 

#4. It's OK to feel overwhelmed!
Look, there have been days when Devin comes home and I tell him I need to go hide under a rock for a week. Devin (carrying Charlotte) and our dog all follow me around. All. The. Time. I tried to go to the bathroom the other day and they all followed me. I said to Devin, "WHY do you keep following me!?" And he said, "Because you're the Mommy..." Being a mother is a lot of work, but being a wife, a friend and all the other hats you wear can all pile up and make you feel overwhelmed and that's OK! Take some time for yourself. Do what you need to do to get recharged. Call your mom, take a bubble bath, cry it out... and move forward.

#5. It's OK to cry. 
The honest truth about me and motherhood... There have been days when I called my mom and told her that I just couldn't do it anymore. I have told my friends that I just don't now how I am going to be a mother. There have been times where I have woken Devin up early in the morning and had him take Charlotte so I could have a break and a little nap. I have cried and cried and cried. I've been selfish and cried at the loss of my "youth" and our carefree days. I've cried because Charlotte is crying and I don't know what to do. I have cried because I need my mom. I have cried because I have felt so completely alone. I have cried because I have desperately needed a break and a date with my husband but haven't been able to afford to go on one. I have cried about money and the lack thereof. I have cried about whether or not I am ruining my child with my inexperience. 

But you know what? I wouldn't change my life now for anything. Yes, I still cry. Yes, I get overwhelmed. Yes, I still need breaks. But this tiny little love, is the love of my life. I have an amazing husband (who is also a love of my life) who gives me relief me I need it most. I have a mother I can call and vent to. I have friends who understand!
So keep on keeping on mama- you CAN do this! 

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

On not being present

If you know me, then you know that I am a firm believer that there is no such thing as balance- only juggling. 
I have heard it said that there is no balance, only family first- which I also agree with.
I'm just having a hard time giving up my time with my family these last few weeks. 
I am gone for over 12 hours 3 days a week and I get home after 6:30 4 days a week.
That's a lot of time being away from my sweet husband and sweet baby girl.
I never regret the time I spend with my family
I do regret the time I feel that has been wasted (with classes that are not necessary for my education but we still have to have our "butt in the seat" time) 
And finally- FINALLY I get why I am doing this.
My first clinical rotation has just started and I am at a long term care facility (read: nursing home)
And my first day there was so depressing- I came home 100% drained.
I won't go into too many details but it's just flat out sad and heart wrenching. 
My second day- it clicked.
I give up my time with my family to help others.
I give up my time with my family to care for others.
I give up my time with my family to spend time with people who sometimes don't have a family.
I am their advocate when they have none.
I am the one who cares when maybe no one else does.
I give up my time with my family... and it's really really hard to do. 
Often I have looked at my Charlotte and thought, "where did this time go?"
My time has gone with her. She is my time thief. 
Even though I'm not with her as much as I would like, my time still goes with her
I am always with her and she is always with me.
I find myself, however, being "here" but not being present too much of the time.
I have never been one to "find joy in the journey"
I am constantly thinking about what come NEXT
What I have to do NEXT
What tasks need to be done NOW...
How do I stop that? 
If I lay down for a few minutes I feel like I'm wasting time that I could be studying...
I am trying SO hard to be HOME when I am home
The phone goes away until Charlotte goes down for bed and I try my hardest to be present- here and now. And worry about tomorrow (and the next day and the next day...) after she has gone to sleep.
Because as much as she is my time thief, my worry and planning and list making is also a thief...
A thief of being present. 

"Time never stands still; it must steadily march on, and with the marching come the changes...
If you are still in the process of raising children, be aware that the tiny fingerprints that show up on almost every newly cleaned surface, the toys scattered about the house, the piles and piles of laundry to be tackled will disappear all too soon and that you will—to your surprise—miss them profoundly. Stresses in our lives come regardless of our circumstances. We must deal with them the best we can. But we should not let them get in the way of what is most important—and what is most important almost always involves the people around us. Often we assume that they must know how much we love them. But we should never assume; we should let them know. Wrote William Shakespeare, “They do not love that do not show their love.” We will never regret the kind words spoken or the affection shown. Rather, our regrets will come if such things are omitted from our relationships with those who mean the most to us." 
My messy house means that I have people to love... And I will be here and present for them... even if it means not getting everything done on my list. 

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Let's talk about eyebrows...

I remember the day I started plucking my eyebrows. It was a bit before most of my friends started doing it (I also started shaving my legs at a very young age.) Blame it on my ridiculously dark hair but the unibrow started creeping on me early. I snuck my mom's tweezers out of her drawer while she was at work and I went to town on those bad boys (once I even shaved, SHAVED! between my eyebrows). 
A few weeks ago a discussion was started by my HS friend Erica about whether or not girls filled in their brows. 
I was one of the few who did fill in their brows.
It's true, my hair is dark and my brows are dark so I never really thought of filling in that random hair above my eyes. UNTIL my friend Katrina did it (HEEEEY) for a photo shoot I did with the always amazing Tonya Joy Photography. It was like, a whole new world. 
My eyebrows suddenly took on a personality of their own.
Flash forward to my very first nursing clinical this week (exhausting!)...
My patient and I started discussing eyebrows and how she scares her grandchildren until she "puts on her eyebrows" (this is how I knew we were going to get along).
I even helped her fill in her eyebrows!

Eyebrows my friends... they make a difference! 
They are, of course, sisters and not twins (in case you were wondering)
Now, I'm definitely not suggesting that everyone NEEDS to start sculpting their eyebrows ASAP
What I AM saying is that if you haven't tried it-don't knock it. 
You just might become a huge fan (like ME!) 
I am easy peasy when it comes to filling in my brows because I am super limited on time.
Read: I pretty much do the same thing to my face every day during the week. 
In fact, I was only doing it every Sunday when I had the time to REALLY focus on my makeup
Now, I have become even more "brow-lazy" and started to use benefit's "gimme brow" and I LOOOOOVE it. Someday when I have more time- I will be investing in the Anastacia Brow Kit (stencils and all!) because having good eyebrows is like beauty crack.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

My Summer Makeup MUST HAVE'S!

Just a quick catch up- I should be studying right now... but this quarter, I am already "anti". How can I already be jaded when I'm not even half way through? Probably because it's summer. And all I want to do is go and play and have fun. NOT STUDY! Alas, Charlotte and I got sick this weekend and Devin is working nights. Hurray for us. If you follow me on Instagram you know that Charlotte is now HUGE and WALKING like a champ. But, ya know, school is good. 
ANYWAY- that's not what this post is about. This post is about my favorite thing. Ever.
Mom flew out here for a couple of days during my break and I swear we could have been at Sephora every single day and not get sick of it. It's magical there. I bought and tried some AMAZING products. My SIL emailed me the other week and said she missed my blogs- (is it weird that I totally write blog posts in my head? Like... what I would say?) So, without further ado, this is my list of what you NEED in your makeup bag this summer. These are the products I would use if I were going to the beach, pool, farmer's market... anywhere. Totally minimal and beautiful. And if you don't believe me, hit up your local Sephora and ask for a sample. 

You guys, for real- even you girls who don't like to wear make up will LOVE this. It seriously feels like you have nothing on your face. Mom and I both tried it and LOVE it. Light to medium coverage which is PERFECT for summertime AND it has SPF 30 and BONUS you cannot smell the SPF. You skin will look dewy and gorgeous and not over done. My other favorites are Bareskin by BareMinerals (AMAZEBALLS) and Boscia BB cream. 

So, I went into Sephora searching for the most perfect bronzer (You guys KNOW how I hate bronzers in general because girls get way too heavy handed and they start looking like they smeared Doritos on their faces...) I tried one from Make-up forever, I tried one from NARS (love you NARS, mean it), I tried Benefit's Hoola (which, by the way, Ulta has a warning label on their website that Hoola contains carcinogens... um... no thank you! So Hoola was out for me) and just none of them were right. Then... this came into my life as a sample because I wasn't ready to commit. I fell in love. And it's stupidly sold-out online and all the Sephora's that are close to me. If you can find one, get one. 

Because woman cannot live on bronzer alone... I picked this up on a whim (in poppy paradise) because I wanted something easy. I wanted to be able to do my makeup routine for going on the pool or whatever with just my fingers and not dirty up my brushes (too much). I put this lovely on my cheeks and it was exactly what I had been wanting. 

If you need a little bit of pretty sparkly in your life, this is your new best friend. I had never tried bareMinerals' eye color's before and now I am HOOKED! A little bit goes such a LONG way and the pigments are super pretty. I picked this up in nude beach and true gold. You can totally apply just a tiny amount with your finger tips to keep this look minimal. Here's a little tip- if you want your shimmer to be more dramatic use eye drops to wet your eyeshadow brush and apply! (Water will not really work- despite what they tell you. Eye drops work better!)


I know, I know. I do still love my Benefit "They're Real". But this mascara takes almost NO time to apply, your lashes won't feel super heavy and it's just gorgeous. I got this as a sample for my birthday and it's been fabulous. 

#6. Sephora Collection Ultra Shine Lip gloss
This is #25 Reflex Hot Coral. Charlotte loves Sephora (true story) and she loves playing with these lip glosses (I did, in fact, put some on her lips- judge all you like). This coral color is just gorgeous. That's all I have to say about it. Perfect amount of color and simmer. 

What's on your summer must-have list???
Miss this little space of mine. 
Hope to be back really soon!

Saturday, May 10, 2014


Yes, I remember that I still have a blog...No, I do not have the time that I would like to dedicate to it. School is kicking my butt and from the rumors, it's only going to get worse. Any spare time I have is spent studying or playing with Charlotte (or playing with Charlotte while I try to study- mostly I read to her from my textbooks....) But, I do miss this little corner of mine. I miss sharing my thoughts and feelings and tidbits of our lives. Charlotte is almost 1... ONE!!!! Wasn't I just in labor, like, yesterday? It feels like it. I catch myself a lot of the time, writing posts in my mine for this little blog (I'm not the only one who does that right... right?) but I simply just don't have the time to put my thoughts into posts... besides this one. Just know, I miss it. But we are doing well! Truly, we are. Charlotte is trying to walk and she has become so sassy. She officially hates headbands but will wear bows. She loves the theme song to "The Big Bang Theory", avocados, hearty bread, steak, blankets (she is OBSESSED) and anything sparkly. She also loves my makeup brushes, bruising her teeth, bath time, walks and cords. What is it with babies a cords? She loves to play our piano and climb the stairs. I just cannot believe how big my baby girl is...
We are having a birthday bbq for Devin and C next weekend- hopefully I can make it through without becoming a giant stress monster (apparently that is my alter ego lately).
Until I write again friends... 

Friday, February 28, 2014

Spoiled Rotten

Today is officially my birthday! Woohoo! While I am sad that I will not be spending my day at Disneyland (again) this month has been the best! I have been so spoiled by my mom and Devin- I guess they both feel I deserved it because I had a baby? I don't know but I will take it! I do have to go to school today (boo) but I will be celebrating with pizza and ice cream cake and a DATE Saturday night with my handsome man. 
I have already opened (and used) all of my birthday presents but just thought I would share them with you anyway ;-)

#1. A new iPad with a pink coach case

Everyone was telling Devin that I NEEDED to have this for nursing school. He could not WAIT until my birthday to give it to me. As soon as he got home he handed it to me and I yelled "IS IT AN IPAD IS IT AN IPAD!?" and Yes it was! 

#2. Clarisonic Plus
This photo is of the Mia but I have the plus and its so awesome! Devin and I have been wanting one of these for awhile and now we have it and we love it. I sort of wonder if Devin got it more for himself than for me... but it is pink so it's "mine". But honestly- if you have ever thought about buying one DO IT! You won't be sorry 

#3. MAC lipstick in Lady Danger
Mad props to the hubs on this one. I had posted something on Facebook about wanting this lipstick... and he showed up with it for me. Um... who picked the best husband? I sure did. (P.S. THIS COLOR IS SO IN FOR SPRING!)

#4. Littmann Classic II S.E. stethoscope 
I have been eyeing this baby ever since I decided to go to nursing school. They give you one as part of your "kit" but it's just a plain ol' black one. And if anyone knows me they know I have to have something flashy. My mom got this for me and had my name put on it because "That way no one will steal it! It's so cute!" And it's probably the cutest stethoscope I have ever seen. Way to go littmann. 

#5. Piano
I have been wanting a piano ever since we moved from California and left our old one with our renters. When Devin asked what I wanted for my birthday I told him that I wanted a piano. Up until Sunday he told me that he wasn't having any luck. Well, Monday here comes this big honking thing. I wanted to cry. There is something about having a "talent" and not being able to use it. A lot of my fondest memories are listening to my mom play the piano. I think this piano needs a name but I haven't come up with a good one yet. But I'm so glad to have it in my home! (P.S. Thanks guys that helped move this beast. It really is a beast. I appreciate it more than I can say really.) 

My grandmother used to tell my mom that she was going to spoil me rotten and that no man was ever going to spoil me as much. Grandma- I'm so sorry but you were wrong. I am spoiled beyond belief!... I came home the other day to (surprise!) Cirque Du Soleil tickets. 

And because it's my birthday and this is my blog- I am now going to share with you the music video my friend Jay made for me on my 21st birthday. I listen to it every year and it's a crack up. 

Thursday, February 27, 2014

9 months old!

We are about a week late but last Thursday this girl was officially 9 months old! WHAT!? That means in 3 months she will be a year old. I am having a hard time grasping that concept. 
This sweet babe is becoming sassy. She might look like Devin but she is definitely MY child. She does not like green beans (despite my numerous tries) and she LOVES bread (especially Panera's wheat baguettes). She is crawling ALL OVER the place, climbing the stairs, and pulling herself up to standing on EVERYTHING. She started "crawling" (she has been able to scoot and do "yoga" for a while) on February 9th and it has been go-go-go every since. Devin gave her, her first taste of ice cream the other day and she (of course) loved it and didn't want anything else after that. Sigh. So much for that all organic diet. Her favorite snack are the Gerber Organic yogurt melts and her favorite "toy" is still Lucy. I think she loves Lucy best. Charlotte, as much as I don't want you to grow up anymore it is so fun watching you learn new things! Mommy and daddy love you! XOXO 
P.S. We just ordered diapers from The Honest Company and I am so excited! I ordered their sample packet and it was awesome. I ordered their diaper and wipe month combo. If haven't heard of them, go check them out. 

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Dear Charlotte

Dear Charlotte,
Oh my sweet beautiful girl. How did I get so lucky as to have you? I must have done something right along the way. Watching you learn and grow is such a privilege. It's so fun seeing you discovered new things. I hope you always love learning. I just have to tell you something baby girl, that just because mommy is going back to school does not mean that I don't love you. I am having a really hard time with the guilt of the time commitment this will take. You will have to be cared for by someone other than me. And I am so afraid I am going to miss something. Because even though I have been with you every day since the day you were born, I still feel like I am missing you growing up. And I really don't want to feel like someone else is being your mother. But all of that aside, please know that this is the right thing for mommy to do. You won't remember me being gone, but I will remember. I hope this will set a good example for you- just like my mommy set for me. That you will have a desire to get all the education you can. I wish for you to be smart and educated and a hard worker. I hope you learn that from me and from daddy. We love you so much and want the best things for you. And even though mommy will be at school for a few months- I will ALWAYS be your mommy. No one can take that away. And I will always be here to help you along and guide you. Because that's what mommy's are for. And know that mommy and daddy love you no matter what.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Happy Valentine's Day!

Happy Valentine's Day my friends! Devin comes home today and I could care less about much else! (I really wish I didn't have class today- boo!) 
Anyway-here are some quick photos we snapped of C this morning.
They aren't the best because she is EVERYWHERE these days!
Happy Weekend!

Thursday, February 13, 2014

That's How You Know...

This post has been on my mind for a few weeks with Valentine's Day QUICKLY approaching (as in... it's tomorrow... so don't forget) 
But a few weeks ago I was doing dishes while Charlotte was eating a graham cracker happily in her bumbo and I decided to turn on Disney Radio. I sang my way through some Beauty and the Beast songs and a few catchy things from "High School Musical" shamelessly before the song, "That's How You Know" from Enchanted came on. I was singing my little heart out when it hit me... none of the things she was listing was how I KNEW my husband loves me. 
I looked over at Charlotte and I told her, "don't think these are the only ways that guys can show girls that they love them!" 
So, for all you kids out there who haven't found "the one" yet here is what real love looks like...
(I love this little gem I found on Dr Laura's page the other day)

-My husband always takes out the trash. Always. The only time I have ever done it is these past few weeks while he was gone. 
-My car is ALWAYS taken care of. Oil changes, tires, whatever it needs- Devin makes sure it's done. 
-He pays the bills. I don't work, I'm going to school and taking care of Charlotte which ends up being a 24/7 "job" but I don't worry about getting the bills paid. 
-He held my hand and never left my side (except when I sent him away to eat-and not in front of me) while I was in labor. He sat on the edge of a bathtub for over an hour and let me squeeze the liven' daylights out of his hand. He went and got ice cold water and a washcloth to wipe my brow in-between pushes. When I look at photos of Charlotte's birth I can SEE that love he has for me. It still makes me tear up. 
-He lets me sleep. There have been a few KEY times where I remember him taking Charlotte and taking care of her while I slept. One specific time was right after we brought her home and I was so exhausted I didn't even get under the covers. He let me and my mom sleep until 1am and it was a beautiful thing. Another time he came home after a long day of work and let me shower and go right to bed until midnight. That's real love right there. 
-HE ALWAYS let's me eat his dinner if he orders something better than me at a restaurant. 
-He also let's me finish his Oreos.
-And he always lets me have the last bite of any dessert we are sharing. 
-If he is home, he changes the diapers. 
-He lets me have ME time. 

Love isn't the things he can BUY for you. It isn't even the flowers or chocolates or little love notes... it's in the everyday. In marriage you HAVE to find the extraordinary in the ordinary. Learn to recognize the small acts of love. Because those little things really are the big things. I feel like too often people forget that. I know there are a lot of reasons why the divorce rate is so high (oh pornography how I loath you and your destructiveness to the family unit... and LUST... ugh.) but I feel like a lot of people once the "magic" is gone they think they aren't in love anymore so they go find someone else to give them that "special feeling." Ok people... I have something to say that might shock you but that feeling only goes away when you STOP TRYING! In the beginning you both are trying so hard- once you are in a relationship DON'T STOP TRYING! All too often I have seen people slump into the "married funk." 
You know what I'm talking about right?
Sweats, weight gain, no makeup, hair not done, no longer going to the gym, cut my hair because the kids came along (and please don't use the excuse that you don't have money or time for yourself. Target sells some super cute and affordable clothes and shoes! And drugstore makeup is just fine... and if you claim you don't have time for makeup ladies I would direct you to my "5 minute face" tutorial)
Don't forget yourself and don't forget your spouse when the kids come along- that seems to be a wedge in the relationship sometimes. I know I struggled with it after C was born. My mom took me to Target and told me that I needed stuff that fit me NOW because I could not let my husband come home to a wife who had stayed in PJ's all day. I could probably ramble on and on about this all day... but here are my real points to this post...

#1. Hollywood's version of love isn't real love. Real love is when they let you have the last piece of their favorite cheesecake (or something like it...) 
#2. Don't forget to love yourself 
#3. Don't ever stop trying to better your relationship

Happy (almost) Valentine's Day! 

Sunday, February 9, 2014

The Product Battle

I have a problem. A product problem. I LOVE trying new products. This is probably why Sephora is one of my happy places. SAMPLES! Before the glory of Sephora, I was introduced to the concept of "try before you buy" from the MAC counter. I had been using Bare Minerals foundation for YEARS (3 to be exact- and I still love it and have it always in my makeup bag by the way) and I wanted to have a liquid foundation in my arsenal. I had been frequenting the MAC counter for eye shadows and I got to talking to the girl at the counter and she offered to give me a sample of some foundation. And it was like a lightbulb went off in my mind. DUH! WHY had I never done this before? Or even asked to try foundation before I tried it? I had always gone in, matched my shade, and paid for it... and a lot of times not loving what I got (que Makeup Forever's HD foundation... don't get me wrong it was OK I just was not in love with it. Something about the consistency was just off for me... but I used it until it was gone. Can't waste money!) So a few weeks ago when I noticed that my MAC foundation was running low I decided that maybe I should try and branch out. At the top of my list were Laura Mercier and Bobbi Brown. A few years back in my search for the best concealer (ugh... benefit erase paste) I tried a Laura Mercier one (twice) and it was OK... not bad, not great. I have RIDICULOUS under eye circles and I always have even when I was a kid. I had heard great things about their tinted moisturizer but I felt like I needed more coverage. So into Sephora I went with C strapped on my chest in her Ergo and I asked the sales girl for a sample of the Laura Mercier foundation (oil free please). This experience was just all kinds of wrong. I told her that I wanted a sample because my skin is really sensitive and I didn't want to purchase without trying it first to make sure it didn't break me out. So she color matched MY CURRENT foundation (MISTAKE!!!!) and I told her that I thought it was way too dark and she said, "You are darker than you think." I said OK and she goes and grabs me the box to purchase it and I explained again, "No, I am not ready to purchase today I want to try it first please." She huffed and said, "well just so you know we only have one left in your shade and I don't know when we will be getting more back in." OK thanks. Sheesh. I was peeved but decided to head to Nordstrom to the Bobbi Brown counter anyway. A week before I had tried the "luminous" foundation and found that it was too much like a BB cream for my liking. I explained this to the girl at the counter and she asked if I wanted to try their long wearing foundation.  "YES PLEASE!" She explained that I might be better off wearing MAC if I wanted the matte look with fuller coverage as Bobbi products are meant to look like you aren't wearing anything. "That's more what I am looking for. Just my skin but better! And more coverage without it feeling too heavy." She color matched me THE CORRECT WAY, gave me a generous sample AND her card with my color on it and said, "If this doesn't work, come back and we will try the moisturizing foundation!" Much better experience there for sure. That aside, I went home with my two samples and had high hopes for Laura Mercier and not Bobbi Brown (I thought it wasn't going to be enough coverage for me). The next day I decided to try Laura Mercier first. I prepped and primed my skin, got the first little bit on and my initial thoughts were, "This stuff stinks and it's sticky!" but I kept going until my entire face was covered. My shade was completely wrong, and I looked (and felt) like I had a mask on. This might sound weird but my face FELT funny after putting it on. As soon as it was on I wanted it OFF. I washed my face and threw the rest of the sample in the trash. I prepped and primed for the Bobbi Brown long wear. As soon as I opened the sample jar I was already happier. The smell! The consistency! I sure hope this covers nicely. And it did. I tell you I heard the makeup angels singing. I called my mom right away and told her that her next foundation should be Bobbi Brown. I have found the foundation that was meant for me! Now, maybe my experience with Laura Mercier would have been better had I tried the tinted moisturizer and gotten the correct shade. I still might get the little tube they have at Sephora (it's at the checkout and I think it's like $15 or something)... but as for me... Me and Bobbi are going to be so happy together I just know it! Smell, consistency, coverage (without feeling sticky or like I'm wearing a mask!) HURRAY! I'm sold. Now I am lusting after Urban Decay's Naked 3 pallet, Benefit Hoola bronzer and the Nars Ita brush... good thing my birthday is in a few weeks! 

Monday, February 3, 2014

On being a married single parent

I feel bad for neglecting this little space of mine. But the truth is I have just been too stinkin' busy. School, baby, church, and parenting by myself these last two weeks have really taken a toll on me. I definitely had to find my groove with school again. My first few days I kept thinking, "WHY AM I DOING THIS TO MYSELF" but now we have settled into the routine. Week 5. WEEK 5! Almost halfway through my first quarter of nursing school. When Devin told me he was potentially going to be gone for a month a little while back, I freaked out (inside... I didn't let him know I was freaking out). My mom wasn't able to come out until the last little bit... and I freaked out more. I HAD SCHOOL! I have to STUDY! And my baby is BUSY and she is in the "separation anxiety" stage. Not to mention she has been sick which makes her EXTRA clingy. And no sleep. No good naps. No good night time rest. I called my mom bawling one night that I just could not do it! I needed parenting relief! SERIOUS parenting relief. I had an EXAM the next day. HOW am I going to concentrate when I can't even hold my head up? HOW!? 
Yeah, people tell you they want to help you and I'm sure they mean it but they don't mean it at 3 am when you're kid isn't sleeping... which is REALLY when you need the help. 
And poor Devin, I know he feel guilty about leaving us here. But what can he do? It's his job. It's what we both signed up for. 
And surprisingly I am surviving.
It's been hard. Probably as hard as her first few weeks of life were, because I have been weathering the storm on my own. 
My mom gets here Wednesday and it cannot come soon enough. 
I definitely have a new appreciation for single parents. 
Especially my mom. 
My mom was a single parent for 11 years of my life.
11 years! 
I never really understood how hard that must have been for her until now. She had no family to help her, I was always in daycare and wherever she went- I went too. She worked, and provided, and took care of me and my needs all on her own. What a daunting task. 
My mom reminded me of a time (which I do not remember) when she was sick in bed and I was just appalled that she would not get out of bed and make me something to eat! 
Yikes, what a brat I was. 
And if anyone knows my mom you know she must have been REALLY sick. 
My mom is always GO GO GO GO. It takes a lot to knock her down. 
But I think that just shows that my mom never let on how hard being a single parent was.
She never let me do without, even if that meant that she had to work extra hard so I could go to ballet classes and take piano lessons. 
Mom, you rock. And thanks for jumping on a plane to come help me. 
And for answering your phone at 1am and letting me cry. 
I don't care how old I get, I will always need you. 
And Devin, you are the best husband and daddy and we miss you more than you know.
Thanks for never letting me feel like I have to do it all OR do it all on my own. 
I know how lucky I am to have you. 
Charlotte, you are so stinkin' cute. Thanks for being my buddy. We love you. 

Monday, January 27, 2014

8 months old!

Yes, I know I am week late in posting this. On the positive side, C is EXACTLY 36 weeks old today. And I went into labor when I was EXACTLY 36 weeks pregnant. So she has been out today as long as she was in! CRAZY! 
Anyway... so 8 months old...
C... we love you so much. And you are getting so big it just isn't fair at all!
You're favorite food is graham crackers 
You're favorite book is Chicka Chicka Boom Boom
You officially have "big girl jammies" and we hate putting you in them because you look so big
According to the "baby center" website you are crawling...
But mostly you just push yourself backwards and then you get mad because you are away from your toys...
You have also been doing some amazing plank poses. I am super impressed by those.
You laugh and get very excited a lot and it's just the cutest thing.
You are even riding in your stroller like a big girl now. 
And you have more hair! Woohoo!
Keep growing baby girl, it's so fun to watch. 

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Thoughts on Dating

I have had my fair share of boyfriends in the past. Oh boy. Giddy school girl "romances" of infatuation and heartbreak. I am so glad that that is over. Ugh. When I look back on those years, I cringe sometimes. All of my boy problems seemed so significant then. Girls hating me because boys liked me and not them (oh girl drama I loath you), having a rule to go on AT LEAST one date with every guy who asked. Don't get me wrong, I had a blast dating. And if there is any advice I would give to young women it's TO DATE... A LOT (and please try the "at least one date" rule. I think it's only fair).  I'm not talking the Taylor Swift kind of dating where he's your "boyfriend" for a week abad then you break up and write a song about it (I will admit it, my roommates and I wrote a break up song once. AND IT WAS AWESOME). I'm talking, go on DATES with different boys. If you find one you like, go on another date with him. Side story: Summer of 2007 I had the LONGEST and WORST date ever. It was seriously the most awkward date ever. I may just write about it one day. The date started at 8 am (I think? I remember getting up stupidly early on a Saturday for it) and I didn't get home until past 11pm. By the end of the date  was so sick of this kid. We had a class together and I was sure he would never speak to me again. AND THE GUY ASKED ME OUT AGAIN. I was shocked. And I politely declined. 
However, I am so thankful that part of my life is done.
I remember moving all of my things into Devin's place a few days before we got married and thinking how weird it would be to live with a man (hahaha).
Like any marriage, ours has had it's highs and it's lows
But one thing I have always known is that Devin supports me not matter what.
He is my best friend and companion.
He is the best helper.
Yesterday as I was heading to C's room to changer her diaper he said,
"Nope, when daddy is home, I change the diapers."
He spent New Years day deep cleaning the house with me.
He got up early this morning to take my car in and get the oil changed.
Last night he said, "I will watch Charlotte, you go get the diaper bag and your school bag ready so you don't have to worry about it tomorrow."
I sobbed the entire time I packed up our things to be separated.
Devin at work, me at school, and Charlotte at "daycare" (she is being watched by a friend).
Am I sure we made the right decision?
Am I SURE I'm sure?
I came down the stairs and asked Devin for a BLESSING
"I really feel like I need one"
I sat on the floor with Charlotte in my lap...
And I felt comfort and peace.
Exactly what I needed.
I am so thankful that Devin chose me
That is one decision I will be eternally grateful for.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Retail Therapy: Nail Polish

Need a little beauty therapy AND retail therapy and are on a budget? 
Grab a new fun shade of nail polish!
A few KEY times (that I remember) have been when I passed STATS- I got an amazing OPI purple shade
Before my parents came for 4th of July- COBALT BLUE
And a few weeks ago before Christmas- Hello gorgeous WINE hue! 
Confession: I have a rubbermaid container with all things nail care
Another confession: It's rare that I paint my finger nails because I get ticked when they chip. 
Right now I am DYING to go look at the polishes they have at the store because there is a specific blue I am looking for. It's the perfect winter blue (although I guess I could wear it in the spring too...)
Here are a few ESSIE shades I am lusting after...

#1. Bikini so teeny

Ok, with the ring finger in SILVER glitter? HELLO WINTER (or Cinderella... whatever you prefer). This would also be the perfect spring color. LOVE IT. This is the color I am hoping to get. Fingers crossed!

#2. 5th avenue

I have a few reds in my arsenal but I do not have a fine engine red. Because what screams, "I'm a hot mama" like fire engine red nails? I can't think of much else. 

#3. Ballet slippers

In reference to my dancing years (and Charlotte's future dancing years) how could I NOT have this shade already? The perfect ballet pink should be a neutral. 

#4. Bottle service

I am sure I have a shade like this... but I love it for the name. And who can resist bright pink nails? Not me. 

#5. Good as gold

In honor of my gold obsession, this polish looks perfect. My mom called me the other day and said, "You know Whitney gold is just SO IN right now." Don't worry mom... I know. 

So if anyone wants a nail painting party... come on over to my house. I probably have a shade you would like ;-)