I hope you had a great Mother's Day, too!
“And let me tell you two things I’ve learned. The first is that it doesn’t matter how old that child is, or when or how he became yours. Once you decide to think of someone as your child, something changes, and everything you have previously enjoyed about them, everything you have previously felt for them, is preceded first by that fear. It’s not biological; it’s something extra-biological, less determination to ensure the survival of one’s genetic code, and more a desire to prove oneself inviolable to the universe’s feints and challenges, to triumph over the things that you want to destroy what’s yours.
The second thing is: when your child dies, you feel everything you’d expect to feel, feelings so well-documented by so many others that I won’t bother to list them here, except to say that everything that’s written about mourning is all the same, and it’s all the same for a reason- because there is no real deviation from the text. Sometimes you feel more of one thing and less of another, and sometimes you feel them out of order, and sometimes you feel them for a longer time or a shorter time. But the sensations are always the same.
But here’s what no one says- when it’s your child, a part of you, a very tiny but nonetheless unignorable part of you, also feels relief. Because finally, the moment you have been expecting, been dreading, been preparing yourself for since the day you became a parent, has come.
Ah, you tell yourself. It’s arrived. Here it is.
And after that, you have nothing to fear again.” - A Little Life, Hanya Yanagihara.
This quote couldn’t come at a more perfect time. This Mother’s Day, I feel fearless. The worst thing happened, and I’m okay. Some days are unpredictable but instead of fighting the pain I feel, fearing what it may do to my day, to my heart, to my mascara, I’m okay with it. After months, I feel I’ve yet to have better than worse days but until that time comes, I don’t want to be afraid. I’m not inviting the anguish, but I’m familiar enough with it to not rival with it. Just like the author writes above, there are no words that will match it. If you have empty arms or an empty womb this year, I hope you have a fearless Mother’s Day.
A few months ago my husband made a new app- Swipespeare, inspired for the love of Shakespeare but not many could say the same. Shakespeare to most people is confusing and boring and he wanted to change this. His love of modern technology and Shakespeare made Swipespeare. The app translates both Elizabethan English to modern English to understand Shakespeare, in a simple swipe on a tablet. It's been praised by middle school students to teachers and even loved by Shakespeare professors across the country. Swipespeare has been so popular, it's become one of the first apps to become available on the Apple Watch. Since it's Shakespeare's birthday week, I thought one literary reader would love the full collection of Swipespeare (worth $35). Just enter the Rafflecopter giveaway and one winner will be chosen next week. Whether just reading it for your personal library or a student or teaching it, and you don't wane to wait for the giveaway, download it iTunes, Nook, Windows or Android here for free!
Let's take a look back at March
Favorite Music Bishop Allen’s Lights Out. This album was released in 2014 and it’s been on my Rdio queue for months, I finally had a chance to listen to it in March and it’s going to be on loop and make it to many summer playlists. It’s catchy, sweet and makes the perfect album for inviting spring. It also justifies the dancing girls on the cover.
Favorite Instagram feed is @jessicaemilyadams There’s nothing fancy in Jessica’s feed- the occasional coffee mug, the details of an OOTD, but what I love about her feed is the simplicity of it. She’s stylish and is striving to live a simpler life but doesn’t compromise beauty and sass.
Favorite moment was deleting Facebook. I plan on writing more on this later but wow! I feel like I lost even more weight by deleting it. I loved it, and I loved the women I shared my more personal life with, but after years of denying myself the truth, it was too much for my attention span. I would log on and with the ads, the videos, the whole thing really, it just gave me so much anxiety. Bye, Facebook!
Favorite book was The Magic of Tidying Up- If you’re a regular blog reader, I’m obsessed with the idea of minimalistic living. Would I actually do it though? No, never. It’s impossible. After reading Marie Kondo’s book, I’m a believer it can be done. I loved the idea behind it- does an item bring you joy? After going through half my closet and makeup, I’m living with less, and I really love it so far. I’m hoping to go through the rest of my home by summer.
Here's to April 2015!
I'm so excited to present a new look for my blog! It's simple and minimal and even though my last one had a similar minimal feel, it began to feel really cluttered. I recently have been through some personal changes myself and of course, my blog had to follow.
I've been working with Sophie for over 5 years on my blog and various projects. I've loved everything she's done. It's hard to work with someone else. After getting to know a person on a professional and personal level during so many projects, it becomes easier each time. Thank you Sophie! I love the changes I've made through it over the years, let's take a look back!
2010 was my first major makeover. I loved the cartoon me and not much has changed- I still wear glasses, have bangs, dark hair and rock peter pan collars with red lipstick.
This one was my personal favorite. Each photo in the banner had a link to the tag I wanted. This was when I had red hair...with peter pan collars and red lipstick.
These were some of my favorite headers.
This one was great, too. I mean, GLITTER.
Thanks so much for reading through the dozens of different blog designs, they all represent where I was at a different time in my life and I'm so grateful for the support.
Scott and I have been talking about getting a new dog. We occasionally looked at the pound and shelters but we wanted a puppy but they were adopted before we even had a chance to get in line for them. I knew what I had in mind- a black lab with a shiny coat and sweet disposition but I was a little worried at a lab size. Coincidentally, our neighbor's lab was pregnant with 7 puppies. She couldn't keep any of them and we happily took one of the pups as ours. She's perfect- she's a puppy, 9 weeks old here, a black lab with a shiny coat, and the father is a maltese, so she won't get too big. How crazy of a coincidence is that?? Our animals have literary inspired names, and she is Brontë, named after one of our favorite female authors, the Brontë sisters. She's beautiful, sweet and every time I look at her, I can't help but think how much Max would love her.
Sticky9 has developed cute magnets in Instagram square sized as one of the many high quality products developed over the years. I've had the opportunity to work with them over those years and I had a chance to test out their large prints. They are perfect for scrapbooking, framing, and displaying. The colors are crisp, and looks much better on print than it does staring at a phone.
I love the Sticky9 products- the magnets, the small prints and now I've added the large print to my collection. Fridges represent a family, from photos and calendars and Sticky9 represents my family so colorfully.
I’ll have to file this under things I never thought I’d blog about. It’s personal but April 22 will be Earth Day and I’d love to share my part on helping the environment. My first initial response was probably like most female readers- sounds gross! How do I even wash them? Will they leak? How much will it save me? but I promise you, it made my life so much easier and the money saved after investment hasn’t hurt either. Plus, does your pad have UNICORNS on them??
I've been open to reusable pads when I was planning on using reusable diapers for Max. I loved the quality of the diapers and the money saved would have been great compared to disposable. I started using reusable pads when I found out I was allergic to adhesives. I went to my OB because I kept getting rashes. She had me do some blood work and during the checkup, she noticed the rashes were also were the blood work was taken. I told her I always got itchy and red every time my blood was taken and I assumed that was normal (I really did). She told me to ask for hypoallergenic tape, and to stop using disposable pads. I used organic tampons and the rash went away, however, I couldn't always use them because of TSS risk. Organic was getting expensive, and organic or not, I recently found out tampons and pads aren’t sanitized in factory production. Gross.
After researching for weeks, I decided to buy cotton organic from Party In My Pants. Besides the cheeky name, what I like about it is they are made with nylon backing to prevent leaks, offer extra large pads for overnight, they offer a double snap for extra security made with nickel-free snaps (I'm allergic to nickel), and the quality just seems better than the ones I've tried. I went with cotton because fleece seems so warm, and the last thing I need down there is um, more warmth.
They also offer 20% off for order over $300. It seems like a lot but I ended up saving about $80 and once I got them in the mail, discreetly, I knew I was in for the long haul. I bought tons of liners for changing throughout the day and of course the pads for my period. They are easy to wear, just snap them around your panties. I recommend getting the double snap if you order from PIMP. The water resistant lining on the bottom is awesome because they won't leak, but they will slide on cotton underwear. Get the double snap! I was sent my order without the double snap after I requested it and they were super fast and great about fixing that, offering me free shipping to send it back. I've been using them for a few months and this is what I've learned-
- Storage- There isn't any. Not having to buy a bulk of disposable pads has saved me SO MUCH space! I don't have to run to the store on emergencies or wonder when I need to purchase more. I store the pads folded flat in a bathroom drawer and grab them as I go. I add a couple in my purse with my wet bags from Shop Ban.do. There is also a makeup bag from Planet Wise that offers a dry and wet option. I've used them on the busiest days when I'm running errands and I simply fold them with the snaps and I throw them in a wet bag just for used ones.
- Staining and washing- UPDATE: I was emailed from a rep at PIMP and they asked me to not use Buncha Farmers Stick. Even if it works right away, over time, the natural oils repel the fabric to absorb moisture. It's recommended to only use Oxo-Brite. I just quickly added 1oz to a small spray bottle and I'll be spraying it lightly as needed. Sorry for the confusion! I was worried about this but I've been using Buncha Farmers Natural Stain Stick and I moisten the stick with water and rub it up and down the blood a couple times then I throw them in my large wet bag. I don't have to soak them like some cloth pads, and I was terrified of putting in any time and effort on cloth pads (sounds lazy but true). Once the pads are ready to go in the wash, I add 1 oz of alternative natural bleach Oxo-Brite, it's recommended from PIMP, and made with less harsher chemicals than the name brand. If the wet bag is full, I'll throw them all in (including the bag) in a normal wash. If it's only a few, I throw them in with regular clothes. It won't stain other clothes and I recommend not using fabric softener, it's one less chemical you don't need down there.
- Leaks- Nope, they don't leak. Since we're already getting personal, I guess I'm not holding back. I have really heavy periods, like having to change every hour before with reusable products. With Party In My Pants cloth pads, I don't have to change as often and still feel clean because the pads hold more liquid. The pads are made with a water resistant lining on the back, so even if it's extremely full, it still won't leak.
- Comfort- Think of cloth pads as wearing regular underwear without feeling a thing. They are so so comfy, they don't bulk up like pads, and I don't have to worry about light liners with tampons. They also don't smell. Since we're getting deep here, I'm just going to say it. Sometimes your period smells and it's uncomfortable. It sounds crazy, but I've never looked forward to my period more than the second time I' used these. I don't feel uncomfortable, it doesn't smell, and I feel cleaner. After about 5 months of use, I'm going to get my investment back. FIVE MONTHS! I'm never going back to disposable.
Those were my major concerns, I hope that answers your question! You can check out more FAQ about cloth pads here. I'm only endorsing Party In My Pants because I LOVE their products, I'm truly am a customer for life. I know life changing is a strong term and I try to avoid it because it's thrown around like confetti, but trust me, my life has changed for the better and I had to share! I left comments open in case you have any questions. Happy Earth Month!!
I've tried using gel nails from the same company that makes my gel nail system. I use Sephora OPI Gel At-Home Color System, I love the colors and what they have to offer, but for $20 a bottle, it's not worth the splurge, especially for something I'm constantly changing like my nail color. To save money, I combine them. Even if I don't work in a salon anymore, I still remember my old trade and after doing a few failed hacks, I found one that works best. Gel nails are made of a heavier oligomer, a hard flexible resin chemical that makes gel nails last longer. It's important to prep nails for having this heavier coat on nails, but ultimately, if it's done correctly, it doesn't matter how they're prepped.
- Apply regular base coat (this is personal favorite). Let it dry completely. It has to dry for this to work.
- Apply the color of nail polish you want. Again, it has to be completely dry. I usually wait about an hour, as if I'm really just doing my nails.
- Apply a gel nail top coat. Cure for 30 second in any nail light as long as it's a UV light.
- Remove the sticky debris with gel nail cleanser (like this one).
That's it! It's one extra step than doing nails and I've noticed they've lasted me as long as gel polishes, 10-14 days. I've recently cleaned out my nail polishes and the only ones I've kept so far are my Deborah Lippmann and Palate Polishes. Oh! And don't forget to wear your UV nail gloves and some sunscreen before using the UV light.
I've been using Candelles candles for over a year and just (embarrassingly) discovered the tart wax melts they carry. There are some places in my home I can't use flames, and if you can't use candles either, wax tarts are a great alternative. Candelles uses their secret ingredients blending essential oils but more concentrated.
When I was looking at tart burners I was surprised how expensive they were. They range from $20 to $150. I have some mason jars, and a coffee/candle warmer and that has worked great.
Since it's more concentrated than the regular candle, the scent is stronger. I've used the Soft Cotton tart, I put it in my closet and underwear drawer, and even when not in use, it still leaves a faint scent. Get the wax tarts here.