Thrifting on Instagram – Blush & Cotton Shop

Have you guys started shopping on Instagram yet?

I don’t mean by clicking on the links or the ads that pop up on Instagram while you’re scrolling through your feed in the middle of the night. I mean, actually shopping someone’s “closet” on Instagram!

This has gotten pretty popular lately and I must say, I have really become quite the fan. For me, I was always worried about it being a scam. So, I followed a few accounts and just watched for awhile. I saw that people really liked shopping at a few of these shops and I figured I’d give it a shot.

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I happened to stumble upon Blush & Cotton Shop and it was basically love at first sight. She had some fabulous pieces,  some that were gently used and quite a few that were new with tags! Now, if anyone is familiar with “thrifting” you’re probably

hitting up the closest Goodwill or secondhand store to try stuff on. You can inspect the items you’re buying and decide if you want to get it.

Well, that was an issue for me. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to get anything (used) online if I couldn’t check it over. I also couldn’t try it on. I tend to not buy clothes online unless I already know what my size is. With those two issues standing in my way, Luana (the owner of the shop) would describe everything that was going on with the piece. And with Instagram’s new multiple photos feature, she is able to show more photos per item. On top of that, she would even DM (direct message) me with try ons so I could see how the clothes would actually lay. Now, it was kind of weird at first to ask her to try something on for me but it worked out so well. I have fit in everything she’s sent my way. Even if we are not the exact same size in something, it’s still great to see how something would lay or the length of something as opposed to seeing it on a mannequin or a hanger.

I happened to get a few pieces from Luana and her shop to start out with and had planned on writing about my great experience with her. She’s so great that I ended up buying even more pieces from her! Guys, she even found a specific pair of jeans for me!!! So, there’s quite a few to share.

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I also asked Luana to tell me a little about herself. I think it’s great when you can establish friendships this way. It’s much easier for me to support her shop when she’s so sweet and awesome to talk to. And because she’s so great, I always choose to shop with her over other Instagram shops! So, instead of paraphrasing anything that Luana has said, I decided to just literally, copy and paste her email into this blog post!!

Hey Abby!

     I wanted to take a moment to personally introduce myself to you! My name is Luana Johnson, and I am the owner of an Instagram only, boutique style second hand shop called Blush and Cotton Shop! My shop is still fairly new since I only just opened in October of 2016! It all started when I came across other boutique style shops, selling one of a kind clothing for less than you would buy brand new, yet barely worn or still in excellent condition. My husband runs our budget, and there’s not a whole lot of flexibility when it comes to spending on fun, extra things…So i decided to give it a shot, and open my own shop. I thought, “hey, maybe I can put a few extra bucks in my pocket each month to have a bit of financial freedom,” etc. Since then, it has become so much more than what it was when I began. It is one of my artistic expressions and a creative outlet. If I am not selling clothes, I need to be actively pursuing something in Art. That could be sketching, cooking, baking, playing guitar, etc. It is a part of who I am.
     I am also a busy stay at home mom of my three little “Wildflowers.” I home-school, so my days are often somewhat routine, but can be crazy and tiring too. However mundane or wild it can be, I wouldn’t change what I do for the world! I love my daughters, and if I can, I want to give them the freedom to express themselves in whatever natural gifts that God has given them as well. I have an amazing opportunity to instill in my girls a sense of good work ethic, being diligent in their duties and to find joy in the simple things.
     So why do I run Blush and Cotton Shop? Why do I go out and search for unique clothing for my shop weekly, putting my personal time and effort into it? Because it provides my customers a stress free buying experience. It gives my ladies the opportunity to enjoy their time wherever they may be, and to come to a place where they feel appreciated. I would hope that my customer service is personally tailored to each of my valued clients, and that my shop would always retain that sense of a “Mom and Pop,” approach.
     I am extremely grateful to the many ladies I get to converse with on a daily basis, and building friendships along the way! Thanks for reaching out and being a part of not just a shop, but a community!
Your Friend and Shop Owner,
Luana Johnson
Blush and Cotton Shop
@blushandcottonshop

ISN’T SHE THE SWEETEST?!

I’ve really had a great time getting to know Luana. She even checked in on me after I recently left the Navy. She knows that being a stay at home mom is HARD and she wanted to make sure I was still alive! I look forward to continuing to shop with her and I hope you do too!

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Edited to add:
I wrote this post for the first time, back in August 2017. Since then, because of Luana’s influence, I was courageous enough to check out other shops as well and have since purchased from them!

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Milkful Momma – Gourmet Lactation Bars

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For all of you breastfeeding mamas out there, I decided I would write this post for you! If you’re anything like me and you’re always busy, whether it’s with work or the kids, you’re probably not going to take the time to make yourself some lactation cookies. I did make some for myself not long after my daughter was born, but let’s face it. I am not very good at doing a ton of stuff in the kitchen while my kids are awake and while they’re asleep, I’d rather be working out.

But these little nuggets of lactation GOLD are amazing.

I was so excited to be contacted by Milkful to receive a free box of these delicious treats to try out. How nice of them, right?!20616079_10209605905536734_230309639_o-e1501686742660-1024x1024 Milkful Momma - Gourmet Lactation Bars

I actually started noticing a dip in my supply when I was getting ready to go back to work after a long period of maternity leave. Not only that, I was starting to work out pretty heavily. After seeing my supply drop and not being able to pump as much as I thought I would need for my little while I was at work, I decided to not workout as intensely and to make sure I was taking in enough fat calories. Enter: Milkful Lactation Oat Bars.

I decided to start eating these. I figured, they were probably better than me trying to make my own lactation cookies and they were free, so why not?

So, they have 3 flavors/kinds of bars that you can choose from. I was sent a variety pack and I am pretty thankful for that! I was excited to try them all. Here’s the cool thing about these bars (I mean, besides their milk-boosting power):

SOY FREE
EGG FREE
DAIRY FREE
WHEAT FREE

It’s true. And they are freaking delicious! I know, you wouldn’t think so with how much these bars are FREE of. At least, I didn’t think so because I am a total dairy snob. Hey, I am from Wisconsin. I like my dairy!

I first tried the Blueberry Almond Coconut one. Let me tell you, if you love coconut, you will love this bar. I personally, am not a huge coconut fan. Don’t get me wrong. it was good, but I didn’t like it that much. It wasn’t a flavor I would reach for often.

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Then I tried the Chocolate Banana Nut. I thought,
Okay, you can’t go wrong with chocolate.
And I was right. It was delicious. Chocolate is always delicious.

But the winner…oh man. The winner here is the Maple Walnut one! I didn’t even expect that at all! Mostly becuase I thought the chocolate was going to win. But this one was definitely my favorite. Let’s just say that I was pleasantly surprised. It also makes me happy to know that I am helping boost my supply without having to take any other supplements/pills or drink some disgusting tasting tea…

I definitely recommend this to any mama who may be having issues producing. I would even recommend it to any mama who just wants to eat something delicious and make sure her supply doesn’t drop! If you’re looking to get some, make sure you head on over to Milkful to order yourself some, today!

LINKS:
Facebook | Instagram | Website

Crochet Bralettes – SeebyDesigns

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Have you all seen those crochet tops? You can probably get a few of them on Etsy or something. Crochet has definitely come a long way from blankets and scarves. Oh wait, that’s just me…that’s all I know how to crochet.

Well, a friend of mine actually started crocheting a few of these babies and I had been wanting to get some! They are so cute and probably something I wouldn’t normally wear but I’ve been trying to get out of my comfort zone a little bit, every now and then. So, when I posted on my Facebook, asking if anyone wanted to work together on a collab, I was secretly hoping Erin would message me.  2FDF3DC6-59AC-4B1E-8651-692F4B45D4B6-225x300 Crochet Bralettes - SeebyDesigns

Sure enough, she did! 

Erin is a very talented and creative gal. Erin of Seeby Designs makes all of these adorable pieces and gets them out pretty quickly as well! She started with hats (which I had actually ordered from her) and started doing different variations (like ones with ears!). Then she went onto different kinds of scarves then now bralettes! I love all of her work and I am definitely all for spreading the word!

I have actually seen a few people post photos of their own crochet tops on Facebook and Instagram. And then I wondered, ‘how do you even put the thing on?”

Seeby Designs makes these crochet bralettes super cute, high quality, and easy to put on. The back is structured so I will be able to slide it on like a normal top but have the strings loose and then tighten them. When I tried the top on for the first time, I struggled a little bit

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with getting “the girls” to fit in there correctly. After playing around with it for a little bit, I discovered that if you tighten the strings, they will pull everything together nicely.

 

These tops are made well for full chested ladies as well. Erin makes them so that they fit well on any body type and make you feel absolutely fabulous! I know I felt great in it even for something that I wouldn’t normally feel comfortable in.

If you’re looking for a great crochet top, then Seeby Designs is the way to go. Erin is incredibly friendly and accommodating. She wants to make sure you get exactly what you’re looking for. Turnaround time is about 1-2 weeks and I got my goodies, FAST! There was even a surprise in my package for me…

AN ITTY BITTY CROCHET TOP FOR MY MINI!

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Insert ALL the heart eye emojis here! Seriously, this is the cutest thing and my mini loved having her photoshoot.

If you’re looking for a great top with quality, great customer service, fabulous pricing, that is fashionable, check out the links below.

Seeby Designs on Facebook |Seeby Designs on Instagram

When you talk to Erin, be sure to mention Abby D for 15% off of your purchase!!
Thanks for reading! Check back soon for more updates!

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Leaving The Military: “So, What’s Next?”

For those of you who have been reading my blog for awhile have probably noticed that I am in the military. Well, that journey is going to come to an end very soon. And in the

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The day I graduated boot camp.

military, there is a process where you have to go all over the base or everywhere in your command/unit to get signatures – check out. You have to literally check out of the military as if you were checking out of a hotel. And everyone you check out with will ask you this question:

“So, what’s next?”

There’s nothing wrong with asking that but that seems to be the question on everyone’s minds when you’re about to separate from the military. And I would always answer them politely, with the same, rehearsed response:

“I’m going to be a mom. Stay home with the kids. Go back to school in a year to finish my degree once we find out where we are going next (husband is remaining active duty ) and maybe pursue personal training.”

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First time on a ship.

I am pretty sure I have said that about 100 times in the past few days. But is that really what I want? I am writing this post after I had a minor panic attack when I sat in my car, thinking about what IS next? I mean, I know I am going to be a stay-at-home-mom for awhile and I am going to take care of the babies. I am going to sleep in when the kids let me and I am going to color my hair purple. I will have more time to write and to keep the house clean! As for the “real” adulting stuff, I am not sure. And then all the questions started to pour in.

Will I ever get a job that pays as much?

Will I ever get another job with the same amount of benefits?

How will my current job in the military translate to the civilian world?

Am I making a mistake?

After a little bit of speed texting to a good friend of mine (who happens to be a vet) and a lot of ranting, venting and…virtual hyperventilating, I realized,376292_3456229416747_707591486_n Leaving The Military: "So, What's Next?"

I don’t know what’s next. And it’s okay that I don’t.

So, even though I am giving the answer mentioned above, to every single person who asks me what I am going to do with my life after the military, I don’t exactly know what I want to do! I have so many passions and interests that maybe it’s time for me to explore those options. I mean, for the first time in five years, I won’t HAVE to set an alarm everyday. I won’t have to wear a uniform or do my hair. I don’t even have to run a brush through it if I don’t want to. I won’t have anyone telling me where to go and what to do and have to “follow orders.” Well, besides the orders that I am taking from the tiny dictators my husband and I have created.
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For the first time in five years, I don’t have a plan. Nothing specific or set in stone. And as much as I LOVE to plan things out and plan my day (insert The Happy Planner) – do you know how freeing that is? I can take my time with things and not feel rushed.

My husband and I got married almost three years ago and ever since then, we have spent our weekends getting the laundry and housework done. Many meals were just quick and easy and not as healthy. We went out to eat (a lot) which we won’t be able to do as much when we’re broke (ha…ha…ha..). And we never got to go anywhere because we were too busy on the weekends just taking care of things in our home!

So, if I am going to sit here and talk about my plans for what’s next, I would have to say:

More weekend adventures with the family
Taking my kids to the park
Reading to my kids
Potty training my son
Doing the laundry throughout the week instead of letting it pile up until the weekend…
and putting it away sooner than three weeks from now.
Making healthier meals for the family
Actually CLEANING my house – not just picking up
Read books
Teach my kids things about life
Laugh with them, hug them, kiss them, and just BE WITH them

I spoke to another friend about my worries and she reminded me of one major thing:

People do this everyday.

She is so right. People DO do this everyday. There are people who never even joined the military and are doing this whole stay at home mom thing and are killin’ it! Everyone finds a way to make things work for them and their families. As much as I am afraid of making a mistake as a mother and a wife, I cannot dwell in it and feed the fears. I just need to embrace it.

One of the best things I ever did with my life was joining the Navy. I learned a lot, lived a lot, and fell in love. I matured and I gained so much more knowledge than I ever thought possible. I met the love of my life and started a beautiful family. I became a strong and more confident woman.

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And guess what? I joined the Navy wanting to do 20 years and retire…but did I KNOW what I was going to do with the rest of my life? With those 20 years? Nope. And I did just fine. Even better than fine.

Sometimes, we just need to remember that not everything is certain. But we can be certain to make an amazing life for ourselves with whatever comes our way.

So, what’s next?
We shall wait and see.

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The last day I would have to leave my kids to go to work. 4/4/17

Navy sponsored cruise to Hawaii. We made it!

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IYAOYAS @jackiemoonn @ayanabxtch @devilish_ways

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It’s Okay to Admit You’re Not “Okay”

*Please note: This is a sensitive and real thing that I went through. It was not easy to write and some parts may make you think I am a horrible person…but if you continue reading, I hope that you will understand. Thank you. <3

Did you know that today is World Maternal Mental Health Day?

It is! It has been declared the first Wednesday in May and I’ve been given signs for a long time now, to share my story. Even more signs popped up in the past few days. It’s something I have never really shared with people and if I did it wasn’t in depth, but I wanted to share this in hopes of someone reading it will know that they’re not alone.

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Photo: Amanda Glenn Photography

This here is a photo of a mother who absolutely loves and adores her child.

This is also a photo of a mother who had/has a hard time with this adorable, little babe.

And I don’t just mean, had a hard time adjusting to motherhood. That, alone, was a battle. But I went through stages of anger, fits, rage, crying, sadness, and hopelessness…and I didn’t know or understand why.

This tiny baby would cry because he was hungry or wanted to be close to me. I had fed him, changed him, burped him, took clothes off, put more clothes back on, rocked him, swayed him, swaddled him, hugged him, wore him…and nothing was working. I feel like this is something quite common. And when you can’t figure out what’s going on with your baby, it’s perfectly normal to cry! Instead, I got angry. I was filled with rage when I couldn’t get him to stop. Following the feelings of anger and rage, I began to really cry. Not only cry but completely sob until it hurt.

I hated the mother I was.

Why would I get so upset at this sweet, baby boy? I grew him in my belly, birthed him, and nourished him with my body through breastfeeding. He was MY baby. My love. Everything I lived for.

So, why did I get so angry all the time? Why was I filled with so much anger when it came to the simple cries of a child needing his mother?

Postnatal Depression is real.

From someone who already struggles with depression (that’s a whole other story), I felt that the post partum part hit me hard. It was always difficult for me to understand what was going on within me and I thought that it was going to destroy the bond with my child and I. As much as it pains me to say this…I was almost afraid. I would get so angry and upset that I was afraid that I was going to be one of those mothers that would actually hurt their child. Yes, it was that bad.

Did I want to hurt my baby? Absolutely not. Never in a million years would I ever want 18280802_10208845007314754_1932360827_n It's Okay to Admit You're Not "Okay"to do such a thing. It is my job to protect my child and to keep them safe. And I will do that until my last dying breath. But was that a real fear of mine? Yes. It’s scary.

But I didn’t know that it wasn’t just me.

Over 75% of women do not get diagnosed or receive treatment or support. And 2 in 10 women have a mental health problem during pregnancy and in the first year, following birth. Think of all of the women around you, having babies. That’s a lot! I’m willing to bet that many of them are hiding it from you and are hiding it well. The problem is, we need to speak up about it.

I had no idea what was going on with me. I thought it was just my regular old depression, short fuse, and bad temper coming in. I didn’t think I actually needed any help with anything. When I was about 6 months post partum with my son, a friend of mine (whom I finally admitted a few things to) said,

“That sounds like post partum depression. I went back to talk to someone and got some help with it.”

I had no clue that she was going through it too! She actually experienced a lot of what I was going through. The anger and the sobbing. She went almost immediately having her child. I went back to get some help and I was given the runaround. Because I was 6 months post baby, I was no longer considered having post partum depression and they thought it was something completely different. So,  I looked forward to meeting with the doc and talking about what was going on – to finally get some answers.

Not long after being in that room with the doctor, I left feeling worse about myself. I felt as though I was an unfit mother. The doctor ridiculed me for the things that I was saying and for how I was feeling. He threatened to find a way to take my baby away. Now, that was one of the scariest things for me. That was why I didn’t want to get help or tell anyone about it. Because, how do you explain to someone the anger you feel inside and what’s happening in there…but that you’re not actually going to do ANYTHING like what you’re feeling? Some people can’t comprehend that until they are in the same situation. And if you’ve never had depression or post partum depression – you’re not going to get it.

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Amanda Glenn Photography

Needless to say, I never went back again. I never went back for help. I just continued with feeling the way I did. I talked to my husband and a couple friends here and there. I tried my best to be the best mother I could for my son. I loved him with everything in me. I wanted the feelings that I would feel every now and then to just go away. I did, however, feel a strong bond with him through breastfeeding. I missed him so much when I had to go to work. I snuggled with him and played with him and had all of the marvelous moments that one would have with their baby. My love never changed.

But I did realize that as he got older and we started trying for our next baby, my feelings weren’t as bad as they once were. Mind you, I was on the Mirena and although it is localized in just the uterus – hormones are hormones. And I learned a long time ago that I cannot do a lot of birth control because of the hormones. The Mirena still affected me. When I got it taken out, it took some time to get pregnant again and those “crazy” feelings weren’t as strong anymore.

Not until I ended up in the ER. Not many know about that situation. It’s hard to talk about but I will say that, depression caused by pregnancy and birth DOES happen. I had my kids close together. My hormones had gone up and down over the past 3 years. It’s not easy. It’s not easy to talk about or admit. And it’s not easy to know that you’ve had this happen to you.

Throughout my pregnancy with my daughter, I had been attacked from others about “mental issues” and being “mentally unstable.” And let me tell you,

It was a time where I was the strongest I had ever been.

Did it hurt when people talked about it as if it was nothing? Hell yes. Did I want to go off on those people? You betcha. But what was that going to solve? Absolutely nothing. It just made me realize that it really is something I needed to talk about. And the sad part was, it was in reference to the night I ended up in the ER. So, over the past year, I realized I needed to talk about this. So, here I am writing this super long post. 18280802_10208845007314754_1932360827_n It's Okay to Admit You're Not "Okay"

Anyway –
As much as I had bonded with my son, I did notice a disconnect. And I still do to this day. My pregnancies, their births, post partum side – everything is like night and day between my children. I didn’t feel the same feelings I had with my daughter after birth like I did with my son. My pregnancy was fitter and healthier the second time around. Hormones are weird like that, where they really can mess with the body in a very negative or even a positive way. But because of this disconnect with my son, I have felt the pang of guilt on more than one occasion. It hurts me to know that I get angry at him easier.

 

That disconnect actually worried me while I was pregnant with my daughter.

What if I love my daughter more than I love my son? What kind of thought is that?! A real one. And it sucked feeling that way. To be honest with you, I don’t love either of them more or less than the other. BUT – I can totally see a difference in how I am as a mother BECAUSE of my daughter. Because my pregnancy and the BIRTH was so different, I felt more of a connection immediately. When my son was born, he was rushed away from me completely. I am not blaming our disconnect on that whatsoever but I can see the differences throughout pregnancy and birth with each of them. I did post about my birth story with my daughter and I described it as a “healing birth.” And that’s exactly what it was. No, I don’t love my daughter more than my son. But we all connect differently to each other. And that’s okay.18280802_10208845007314754_1932360827_n It's Okay to Admit You're Not "Okay"

Honestly, there’s a chance that most of me getting angry easier is just due to him being a toddler and those “terrible-twos” are quite difficult. He is a lot like me. Go figure. But I can’t dwell on the fact that I used to be a certain way towards him. I can only move forward and learn from my mistakes.

I wish I could end this post where I tell you that I got the help I needed and I am fixed. But unfortunately, that is not the case. Somehow, in some way, my body healed itself. Not completely, but I noticed that I am no longer as angry or hopeless as I used to be. I don’t cry nearly as much as I did and my heart is more open.

I do, however, urge you to get help if you need it. If you feel ANYTHING like how I have described it in this post, please talk to someone. A doctor, a therapist, a friend (who will then refer you to a doctor or a therapist) but don’t let yourself think you’re helpless. Don’t think that you’re the only one.

You are NOT crazy. This happens. You are not alone.

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Starbucks “Unicorn” Drink: Love It or Hate It?

2 Starbucks "Unicorn" Drink: Love It or Hate It?
@heart.of.a.mermaid

Let’s get one thing straight.

I love many and almost all things unicorn AND Lisa Frank-like! I’m a 90’s kid and Lisa Frank was all the rage when I was a kid. Trapper keepers and stickers were (and still are) my jam. I think the crazy unicorn phase we’re all going through is the same thing now.

Starbucks came out with this super cool Unicorn Frappucino, guys! And let me tell you – I was incredibly excited about it. Why? Because it’s purple-y and unicorn-y. Yeah, I’m making up words now.

But I’ve been at work the entire first day of it’s release and I was like,

“Darn. I’m missing out.”

As I’m sure all of us have noticed (Facebook and Instagram tell us EVERYTHING), people have been posting the nutritional facts about these beautiful beverages. I will not lie to you. I was incredibly disappointed with what I saw BUT I really wasn’t surprised! I mean, look:

2 Starbucks "Unicorn" Drink: Love It or Hate It?
In reality, if you’re getting any sort is specialty drink at Starbucks, you’re probably getting a pretty decent amount of sugar and sodium from that too. Obviously, it would vary by size. But did you really think that Starbucks was going to make this pretty drink WITHOUT sugar? Is it possible? Maybe. I wouldn’t know. I’m not that creative.

I’m not going to sit here and tell you I’m the epitome of a healthy eater. Actually, I’d like to say I’m a good example of a #fitmom but hey, I’m still human. I enjoy a few oreos and a caramel Frappucino (extra caramel, please). But I really don’t suggest filling your body with two to three times of the recommended amount of sugar. Let’s go with #FitMomButImHuman.

2 Starbucks "Unicorn" Drink: Love It or Hate It?

Also, you know how many people said it didn’t even taste that great? Some people say it tastes like birthday cake. There’s “sour stuff” in it from what I read in one of my local groups I’m a part of. Sour is cool…but I don’t know how that would taste with coffee.

Oh wait. THERE ISN’T ANY COFFEE IN IT! 

2 Starbucks "Unicorn" Drink: Love It or Hate It?
Nationwide Nurse-In Events and Breastfeeding Laws

Listen here, I’m all for caffeine free beverages. I’ll drink them at the end of the day for the sole reason of needing to sleep at night or because I’m still breastfeeding. I’d rather not be kept up by my 6 month because she’s bouncing off the walls.

BUT, I AM a mom of two. Two children who happen to be 2 and under. If I’m going to have a drink from Starbucks, I want to be kept awake throughout the day to prevent “mombie” mode with CAFFEINE, not a sugar high!

And like I said, from the sounds of it, it doesn’t taste that great. From what I got (from the thousands of people’s posts) is that it basically tastes like birthday cake filled with disappointment. Hey, that’s just what it sounds like.

I will say this though (and to those of you STILL reading, thank you), if you compare some of the popular soda beverages out there to this drink then you will likely see that the sugar content really isn’t as horrible as you thought. ALSO, if you decide you want to get the Unicorn Frappucino with soy milk and no whip cream, then the sugar drops quite a bit. There are people who are freaking out about the nutrition in these drinks and there are people who are freaking out about the people who are freaking out about the nutrition. That sentence made sense, right?

Yes, I added the nutrition in this post.
Yes, I talked about it.
Yes, I said I wouldn’t drink it because of how much sugar there is in it.
BUT – if I alter the drink to the way I would like to drink it (soy milk and no whip cream) and I get a smaller size (a tall)…guess what? The sugar is LESS than ONE can of Coca-cola.

2 Starbucks "Unicorn" Drink: Love It or Hate It?

How many of  you drink one soda per day? Something to think about, hey?

Either way – will I try it? Maybe. I have a few days left to do so.
Will I be mad if I don’t? Eh, maybe not.
If I am going to spend $4 (or more) on a beverage at Starbucks…
– it needs caffeine/coffee
– it needs to be delicious
– it needs to be worth packing up the 2 children, driving to Starbucks, waiting in line, spending the money, and making me feel like a supermom

Hey, if I try it, at least it’ll be a good photo op for my Instagram. 😉

@kaileymiljus @themama_x3 @itskayteebitch

@daniellebrooke

It’s a Giveaway! – Happy Planner

img_1538 It's a Giveaway! - Happy Planner
Hello!

This is so exciting. I am doing my first ever giveaway…on the blog! If you’ve been following me for awhile, you know that I am one of “those crazy planner people.” It’s so true. I love using my planner and having fun with it. Unfortunately, my Plan With Me posts have slowed down quite a bit because I haven’t been decorating as much but I know I will in the near future.

But since I have a bit of an overstock of supplies and planners that I am just not going to use, I decided to do a small giveaway! This is mostly going to take place on and through my instagram but I thought I would share it on here anyway. Plus, there are more photos and I can talk a little bit more about each of the items!

So, if you want to be entered into the giveaway, be sure to check out my Instagram! Rules will be posted on the photo!! You don’t want to miss out!

I seriously, have too many planners. I have actually had a few of the Classic Happy Planners and got rid of them. And a couple fitness planners as well. I really don’t use them. I was using the fitness planners for awhile to track my macros and what not but girl, that’s a TON of work! It lasted about 4 weeks and I started using an app on my phone. When it comes to actually planning out my week, I much prefer the pen-to-paper method anyway. So, that’s why the fitness planner is included!

img_1538 It's a Giveaway! - Happy Plannerimg_1538 It's a Giveaway! - Happy Planner
I even had a few extra sticker sheets laying around, including a fitness pack from Me and My Big Ideas that are also meant for The Happy Planner. I figured, why not throw a few in there!

As for the scrapbook paper – you’re probably wondering why that’s in there. Well, I added the scrapbook paper simply because I use it a lot in my planners and if you’ve seen my posts, you might be interested in using them? Just a thought, I guess! I use them to add a little bit of a different color to the backgrounds of my weekly spread. Sometimes it actually helps me to make everything more coordinated.

I just figured that since I have a large supply of craft supplies and planner supplies, I’d  just do a giveaway for someone maybe wanting to try something new! Maybe you’ll find a new passion. Best of luck to you!!

img_1538 It's a Giveaway! - Happy Plannerimg_1538 It's a Giveaway! - Happy Plannerimg_1538 It's a Giveaway! - Happy Plannerimg_1538 It's a Giveaway! - Happy Plannerimg_1538 It's a Giveaway! - Happy Plannerimg_1538 It's a Giveaway! - Happy Planner 

“You’re Killin’ Me Smalls”

b29b217c-2bfe-40c5-911b-53a532ca0764 "You're Killin' Me Smalls"
Life is getting super hectic around here and not so routine.

Since going back to work at the end of February, there have been a ton of ups and downs when it comes to having a set schedule. I went back to work, had to take a class that involved learning about transitioning out of the military, going back on leave for a couple weeks, then back to work. For me, consistency AND routine is key to me staying sane.

Oh man, it’s going to be hard for me when I am no longer in the Navy and I become a stay-at-home mom!! There’s no way I’m going to be able to come up with some sort of routine while I have two little ones at home! I mean, I came face to face with that realization while I was on maternity leave for about 18 weeks. But I figured it was just because I had a new baby at home…I could be very wrong. It could simple be because I have two littles to take care of instead of one! Not only that, I have never been a SAHM, yet, so I know things will change once I realize I am not going back to work.

b29b217c-2bfe-40c5-911b-53a532ca0764 "You're Killin' Me Smalls"
One of the things that might keep me a little more sane is the fact that I am realling starting to get into writing again. I have a few projects lined up for me that I plan to take on and hopefully excel in. Maybe writing will be something I can set up as a schedule? Maybe post at the same time every week. Post two times a week? It’s definitely something I can look into.

I just want to make sure I don’t go crazy while I am transitioning from the working/military mom to the stay at home mom life. I am not going to sit here and thing life is going to be a breeze. I know there will be hard times. As much as I loved working, I hated being away from my kids. As much as I hate being away from my kids, working was a nice break sometimes. There are some mothers that totally ROCK at either one of these lifestyles and I am just not one of them. Who knows, I might end up going out and getting another job down the line. It could be something I am totally passionate about. But in the meantime, I am good with staying at home with my babies.

On another note, I thought I would mention these adorable shirts (and onesie) that we are wearing! It’s not everyday that we get to be matching, happy, and clean all at the same time! Well, my daughter wasn’t overly happy but she wasn’t crying, so there’s that! Anyway, these are totally adorable and I loved that we could match, without looking exactly the same. Plus, it’s quite comical. In case you don’t know where this is from, let me help you out.

If you haven’t seen this movie….go find it and watch it. This movie coined that phrase and thanks to moms all over, we have been able to turn this phrase into a #momlife slogan. And we love it.

My friend Heather created these and she’s starting to create more for her shop and it’s so exciting. She hasn’t yet released THIS option but I am excited to share it with everyone. Heather is also an amazing photographer (she didn’t take THESE photos but she’s done a bit of photography for our family in the past) so be sure to check out her photography and all of her other work!!

CLICK ON THE LINKS BELOW!
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b29b217c-2bfe-40c5-911b-53a532ca0764 "You're Killin' Me Smalls"

b29b217c-2bfe-40c5-911b-53a532ca0764 "You're Killin' Me Smalls"b29b217c-2bfe-40c5-911b-53a532ca0764 "You're Killin' Me Smalls"

My Favorite Highlighters – Right Now

 

dsc_0172_fotor1 My Favorite Highlighters - Right Now

Guys, we all know that highlighters were all the rage in 2016. I am by no means a beauty blogger but I definitely enjoy my cosmetics! When I started this blog (after closing down my old one) I talked about getting back into wearing makeup, being a newlywed, and pregnancy. Apparently, I have a makeup obsession when I am pregnant. This time around, the makeup bug has stuck and I haven’t stopped purchasing! This could be a bad thing.

Either way, since I skipped out on a lot of makeup buying once I had my son, I kind of started playing “catch up.” Not on purpose, but it would seem as though I can’t stop buying makeup again. Highlighters included. They are like my favorite things to look at and purchase next to lipsticks and shadows.

There’s just something fun about a good highlight! Makes you glowy without the sweat. I say that because I workout all the time and that’s usually how I get my natural glow! So, I figured I would share a few of my favorites right now. And sadly, for someone who isn’t that great at makeup and NOT a beauty guru or makeup artist….I have quite a few still sitting in my drawer!

  1. Tate Cosmetics – Pro Glow Palette: I figured I would start off with my absolute favorite these days and it’s by Tarte Cosmetics. I recently discovered Tarte and their wonderful products. I basically want anything and everything created by them. Everything smells delicious and the products are such great quality. The price point for their products is absolutely worth it for what you’re getting. But anyway, back to the highlight! You get 4 great highlight shades and 2 contour – 1 cream and 1 powder. I believe this is a great palette for any skin tone because there are different shades in this palette that will work well! I really don’t know much about skin tone and what pairs well with what, so I just use them all. If I like it, then good! That’s how I roll with all of my makeup of the day choices. The formulation feels so good. It’s blendable and definitely pigmented.
    dsc_0172_fotor1 My Favorite Highlighters - Right Now
  2. Tarte Cosmetics – Rainforest of the Sea Skin Twinkle Lighting Palette Vol. 2: Guys, I love anything by Tarte, I told you! But I also love all of the Rainforest of the Sea line! You’re putting great products on your face that are also doing work. But for this palette, I JUST got it and I totally fell in love. The ONLY reason why this palette isn’t number one on my list is because it was a TAD powdery in pan. When I went to use it, it “poofed” everywhere, and I am so weird. It makes me feel like I am wasting good product when it does that. Anyone else? Just me? Okay. But I used a fan brush with this highlight as opposed to the Pro Glow Palette, I was using a more of a denser brush to get the product onto my face. So, I guess the brushes make a difference.
  3. Makeup Revolution – Vivid Shimmer Brick in Radiant: Radiant is the perfect name for it. This is actually the first real highlight that I purchased and I figured I would give it a shot. For 7 bucks at Ulta, why not? And it turned out to be AMAZING. I seriously loved it and used it multiple times. This is what made me want to look for more highlights out there and discover what they were all about. For a drugstore highlight, it’s perfect. And I WOULD put it at number 1 but…Tarte. Tate is the best…in all makeup. That’s obviously just my opinion.
  4. Urban Decay – Afterglow 8 Hour Highlighter in Fireball: Okay, this was kind of a whim when I purchased this. On my birthday, I went kind of crazy in Ulta and I couldn’t stop! My girl who works at the Clinique area, suggested a highlight and did a swatch on her hand. Then she did one on mine and I was like, “Put it in the bag.” When your husband tells you he won’t “give you crap” for how much you spend on your birthday (that was his gift to you), you don’t hold back. Anyway, it’s beautiful and totally unique in my opinion. I haven’t really seen a highlight quite like this one that I’ve liked so far. But like I said, I am just now dabbling in the highlight world. It’s got an awesome pinky shade to it with purple flecks when the sun hits it. Oh gosh, it’s beautiful. I haven’t gotten to play around with it much but the one thing that sucked for me was that it looked better on my hand than on my face, at first. It took my a little bit to get the color to transfer onto my face and look good with a brush. Maybe next time I try it, I will pat it on with my finger and blend it with a brush!
    dsc_0172_fotor1 My Favorite Highlighters - Right Now
  5. MAC Cosmetics: Extra Dimension Skinfinish in Double Gleam: This color is GORGEOUS!!! It’s like a beautiful iridescent, gold color that makes your cheeks POP. The site says its more of a beige and I will go with that but I am assuming that because of my skin tone, it looks like more of a gold. It also is a liquid-powder highlighter that gives a luminous, well-defined finish. I would have to agree with that! I love when products are exactly how they say they are.
  6. Essence – Pure Nude in Be My Highlight 01: I actually think this might be the only highlight they have of the Pure Nude line. I am not too sure. I also got this one at Ulta  and it’s under 5 DOLLARS. I got this one because a beauty vlogger had suggested it. I WANT to say it was Tracy and Stef from EleventhGorgeous but I am not too sure. I just know they did a $5 and under makeup video and I may have watched it. I don’t know, either way, it’s a great color and actually does look pretty nice! It IS a little chalky to me. That’s probably the only downside to it for me. But for under 5 bucks, I am not going to argue. And when this mama no longer has a job (I am getting out of the military in a few months) it looks like this will be my go-to highlight when I start running low on makeup!

Well, that’s about it for my favorite highlights right now! I hope you enjoyed it. Let me know in the comments if there are any you think I should try! Especially if they are drugstore brands because like I said, mama is going to be tight on funds in the future! I do have a few others in my vanity but I figured I would wait and maybe use some of those in a future post in a year or something. Who knows. Thanks for taking time to read my post and look at the photos! Until next time!

dsc_0172_fotor1 My Favorite Highlighters - Right Nowdsc_0172_fotor1 My Favorite Highlighters - Right Now
dsc_0172_fotor1 My Favorite Highlighters - Right Now

Plan With Me – Last FULL Week in February and President’s Day

Hey guys! Welcome to another episode of Plan With Me! What is this? A vlog or a blog?! Haha. Well, I’ve thought about putting Plan With Me videos up on YouTube instead of writing about them and taking photos but this seems to actually work better for me. At least until I get my tripod for my camera.

img_1545 Plan With Me - Last FULL Week in February and President's Day

Anyway, not only is this the last full week in February, it is also my last week on maternity leave. Insert completely sobbing emoji here. Seriously, it sucks but I am incredibly grateful that I got 18 long weeks home with my baby girl instead of the 8 that I got with my son. I guess I am just not ready to go back to work. Oh well, just a few more months until this is more of a permanent situation!

There isn’t a whole lot going on for this week but I am trying to just get things done with this blog and around the house. When I go back to work, I won’t have a lot of time for planning (the decorative kind lol) and for cleaning the house! But then again, there should be less learning to do if no one is ever home, right? I am probably going to be proven very wrong. Let’s see how this unfolds.

President’s Day meant a day off for the hubs. We decided to take the kids to the ImagineU museum and let little man explore. It was actually a really great day despite the rain. As you can see by the little umbrella and rain boots, it was rainy. And yes, I am talking about Monday because it is currently Wednesday and I still have yet to post this on the blog. We also ended up going to the Outlet Mall to hit up the Nike outlet but I didn’t find anything good. Then we were off to Carter’s where they were having a 50% off the entire store sale! Since little Miss likes to grow too fast, it was the perfect opportunity to get her some clothes! Babies just grow way too fast.

img_1545 Plan With Me - Last FULL Week in February and President's Day

Anyway, let’s talk about the actual planner related things! I seriously had issues decorating my planner this week. I chose some craft paper, cut it out, and even glued it all where I wanted it. Turns out, I hated the color and I didn’t want it there anymore. So, I took it all off and I literally started over. Normally, I wouldn’t do such a thing because there would be risk of tearing the pages and that just wouldn’t work very well, now would it? Well, it did this time!

I took it all apart and just started going in with a new color scheme and this seemed to have worked out better for me. A lot of stickers worked better in The Happy Planner sticker packs and I used a few more OnceMoreWithLove stickers. I seriously love that shop.

That’s pretty much it!! I hope you enjoyed the photos!!

img_1545 Plan With Me - Last FULL Week in February and President's Dayimg_1545 Plan With Me - Last FULL Week in February and President's Dayimg_1545 Plan With Me - Last FULL Week in February and President's Dayimg_1545 Plan With Me - Last FULL Week in February and President's Day