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

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

Plan With Me – Valentine’s Day and Date Nights

dsc_0058_fotor Plan With Me - Valentine's Day and Date Nights

Happy Valentine’s Day!!

Yes, I finally have a post going up on a Tuesday (even though I prefer Mondays) instead of Thursday! Better to have my PWM posts in the beginning of the week and not the end.

Anyway, I was pretty excited about this spread for the week! No washi tape was used this time. Just craft paper and stickers. As I am sure you have noticed over the past few weeks, I am a huge fan of the floral prints. So, I was super excited to use the gorgeous rose craft paper I have in this week’s spread. It was just perfect for all of the pink I was going to use for the week. dsc_0058_fotor Plan With Me - Valentine's Day and Date Nights

As for most people who have kids and work (just assuming), we are going out this weekend. Friday to be exact. A friend of ours offered to watch the kids and it’s going to be nice. I put a bottle of wine and a wine glass on there but let’s be honest…we are going to go to the gym together without the kids! That’s the first part of our date! Hey, we take what we can get. We didn’t go on all too many dates after our son was born but now that we have two kids, it’s a little more difficult to get a sitter! Plus, little girl is still on the ta-tas.

We have another birthday party this weekend for a sweet, little one year old and on Valentine’s Day, a close friend of mine is moving to Japan. I am pretty sad about it. Her kids both are 5 weeks older than both of my kids. And we had recently gotten pretty close. This is the Navy life. And I should get used to it. I mean, it’s been almost 5 years already and I have seen friends come and go. But when I am out of the military, it will be interesting to see how I deal with friends leaving. I am wishing my friend and her family the best of luck, safe travels, and who knows…we may see each other again! The Navy isn’t THAT big! 😛

dsc_0058_fotor Plan With Me - Valentine's Day and Date Nights

Well, that’s about it for this weekly spread! I am in my second to last week of maternity leave and then I will be headed back to work. There might be more in the planner…or less. Who knows?! But I will take these next few weeks and enjoy them because I know I am going to cry when I go back to work! haha.

dsc_0058_fotor Plan With Me - Valentine's Day and Date Nightsdsc_0058_fotor Plan With Me - Valentine's Day and Date Nights

DEETS:

Stickers:
OnceMoreWithLove
The Happy Planner
BellaRosePaperCo

dsc_0058_fotor Plan With Me - Valentine's Day and Date Nights

Plan With Me: Jan 30 – Feb 4 and Monthly View

 

On Saturday morning, I was up fairly early with my kids. They both decided that it would be fun to wake up early and keep mommy from getting rest. I was sick and later on during the weekend, they got sick too. Or vice versa. I don’t know who got who sick. But we were all sick. It wasn’t fun! Anyway, my husband was home so I took advantage of some alone time by working in my planner.

img_1699 Plan With Me: Jan 30 - Feb 4 and Monthly View

I texted that exact sentence to one of my planner friends. I sent her a photo of my planner and she loved it. Well, beauty is in the eye of the beholder! haha!

I really don’t mind how my planner turned out but I guess I was just so excited about how the past two weeks turned out that I was hoping this week was going to be pretty amazing as well.

I used (of course), a bunch of the happy planner sticker packs and other easy stickers I already had. I used this little sticker kit from Sunday Palm. I got this kit in a huge pack of stickers I got from someone in Planners Gone Wild. I don’t know if the easy shop exists anymore but if you come across it, let me know!

There really isn’t much to report. Not a lot going on this week. But it’s cute. haha.

Also, those stickers on the left in the pockets of the binder are from one of my FAVORITE shops! OnceMoreWithLove <3 Little Munchkins are the best!

img_1699 Plan With Me: Jan 30 - Feb 4 and Monthly View

img_1699 Plan With Me: Jan 30 - Feb 4 and Monthly View

I even worked on my monthly view for February. The funny thing about the sticker kit I used…I was able to use it in 4 different places!

My classic happy planner (weekly)
My mini happy planner
My classic fitness planner
AND
My classic happy planner (monthly)

img_1699 Plan With Me: Jan 30 - Feb 4 and Monthly View

img_1699 Plan With Me: Jan 30 - Feb 4 and Monthly View

img_1699 Plan With Me: Jan 30 - Feb 4 and Monthly View

Quick announcement:

I am looking into starting a vlog (again) and doing my plan with me’s on there instead!! We shall see how this goes. I’d like to keep my blog going but who knows what will happen. And if you’re reading this…you’re the first to know about it! 😉

img_1699 Plan With Me: Jan 30 - Feb 4 and Monthly View

Plan With Me – Let’s Party!

img_0946 Plan With Me - Let's Party!Okay, I am not really partying this week, but it IS a week of birthdays, including my own!

I am not usually one to celebrate my birthday. I don’t usually like to and I don’t like having expectations. So, somewhere around my 16th or 17th birthday, I stopped caring so much. But somehow, people have made each and every birthday enjoyable and memorable for me. A lot happened when I was younger around my birthday (and even last year) that I kind of just, space out on it.

In the planner world though, I freaking LOVED this spread and it worked well for the birthday week!! So, I took a few photos while I was planning and then the finished product! I will link as many of the tools I used as I can at the end of the post. I realized I should give credit where credit is due!

img_0946 Plan With Me - Let's Party!

I started out with picking out some stickers for the week. I haven’t used any kits lately and I had received a ton of kits awhile back from someone in Planners Gone Wild. She was selling a bunch of her easy stickers and I jumped on the opportunity to get them. Let me tell you, all of these stickers filled an entire 3″ 3-ring binder…okay not entirely because there is still room. But there is a LOT in there! This kit is from Sensibly Cute Planning and I loved the colors and floral theme that was in it. I had to use it. I would’ve never thought to use green with different shades of pink, but it worked out well! And I attempted to find washi to match, I am pretty sure I barely used any washi this week. It turned out great anyway. Sticker kits are fun. I tend to not use the entire thing though. So, I ended up using them in my mini planner!

As you can see, I was pretty excited about all the options that I had available me. I have stickers, washi tape, craft paper, and post-its to match! Anyone who is really into this img_0946 Plan With Me - Let's Party!planning biz, totally understands the beautiful mess that laid before me. And it was time to have some fun!

I cut out a few pieces of craft paper to fit in my squares. I guess that’s one thing I would change about the planner…if I would, I would change the weekends. I don’t like that they are all shaded in with a specific color. My OCD-self feels like I have to match everything to the colors that are already in the week. The blue and yellow is what I had used last week and I wasn’t about to continue that trend. So, I needed to break out a little bit. Even though I don’t like the colors being on there all the time, it IS more fun to have the colors in it as opposed to having a plain black and white planner…even if it’s easier at times.

Once the craft paper was down, I started to add the washi tape. I still haven’t figured out which way is best (tape first then paper or paper first then tape). Either way works fine but sometimes I have to move things around. ANYWAY….

I am realizing now why a lot of people do Plan With Me’s in a Vlog as opposed to blogging. They can kind of ramble and people will still listen. As of blogging, if it’s boring people will stop reading….

DO I STILL HAVE YOUR ATTENTION?

Welcome back. 😉 I really do like to ramble though, so I understand if people stop reading. But, enough about that and let’s get back to the photos and the planning.

I have these little binders from the Target Dollar Spot section and I have filled them with all of The Happy Planner sticker packs from Me and My Big Ideas. I now have 6 binders full and MAMBI just keeps coming out with more sticker packs! Is it weird that I MUST have them all? Any Happy Planner addict understands me with this! And if you’re new to it, just wait, you will be addicted too!

Anyway, I continued to pull stickers from the Mom Life, Productivity, Work It Out, Memory Planning, and I believe the Planner Basics packs. I will link all of these packs below. You can buy them from the MAMBI site if you’re shopping online or you can go to your nearest Michael’s. If you go online on Michael’s to get the sticker packs, it’s going to tell you “in-store only” so, that’s why you’d have to go into the store. It may change in the future but I am not too sure about that.

I was having a lot of fun with the stickers and the sticker kit that I got that I didn’t want to stop. BUT I had to so that I could leave room for the ACTUAL plans! I think the week turned out beautifully and I am pretty happy about it. I think I might be starting to get my creative groove back! YAY!

Here’s the rest of the photos. 🙂 Links for the stickers are below!

img_0946 Plan With Me - Let's Party!img_0946 Plan With Me - Let's Party!img_0946 Plan With Me - Let's Party!img_0946 Plan With Me - Let's Party!

See, I used some of the leftover stickers from the Sensibly Cute Planning sticker pack, in my mini planner. I still had some left over so I added them to my new binder for my classic size planner to take with me on the go. 🙂

Links:

Sensibly Cute Planning – on Etsy

Planners Gone Wild (Uncensored) Facebook Group

The Happy Planner at Michael’s or MAMBI ***All Happy Planners are currently on sale at Michael’s! (1/17)

Mom Life sticker pack
Productivity sticker pack
Planner Basics sticker pack
Memory Planning sticker pack
Work It Out sticker pack

 

 

 

img_0946 Plan With Me - Let's Party!

Toxic Relationships: A Few Reasons To Get Rid of Them

toxic Toxic Relationships: A Few Reasons To Get Rid of Them

Let’s face it. Unless you are living in a world where every single person around you is the most positive person on the planet, you have toxic people in your life.

I, for one, have dealt with one too many toxic people in my life and it’s taken me a long time to either realize it or realize it and then get them out. It’s really a harsh reality that you have to face every now and then.

That friend that you grew up with and have talked to for the past two decades could be your “best friend” but if you really think about it, they turn out to be this burden as opposed to being a light in your life. OR maybe you have a “friend” you became friends with just because you have things in common. Hey, that’s how a lot of us develop friendships but if all you ever do is talk about those couple things and your friend pretty much bashes all the things you believe in or think about…you’re probably better off without them.

Recently, over the past year or so, I have gone through some changes. No, nothing huge. But changes that involve getting rid of the toxic people from my life. And I figured, it would be a great idea to share it with people! You may find yourself reading this and a name pops into your head. Yeah…that relationship probably isn’t good for you.

  1. They’re usually full of negativity.

It’s true. They drown themselves in their own pity parties and as you try to comfort them and leave them with something to look forward to, they shoot you down with their negativity. Basically saying, “Buzz off, you have no idea what I am going through, so don’t bother trying to make me feel better.” Well, alrighty then. No arguments here, you’re on your own. Just get rid of them. The negativity does nothing good for you and your life. You should be surrounded by people that are going to be a positive outlook. Don’t get me wrong, people have bad days and that’s totally fine. And you may even feel negativity sometimes. But when each conversation is filled with the constant complaints about people or their life…it gets old.

2. They don’t support you.

Usually, those toxic people in your life don’t care very much about what is going on in your life. If you accomplish something or have some great news for you, they usually follow up with something better so something so negative that it makes you feel bad for sharing the news. You probably know them as “one-uppers.” Bet another name just popped into your head, didn’t it? They don’t just “one-up” you, they just downright don’t support anything you do or say. Not every friendship or relationship has to share the exact same views and opinions on things but hey, you don’t need to straight up bash somebody because of their point of view. I have kept myself at peace with a lot of the things people say and do and unless it is harming myself, my family, or others…it’s not going to bother me. Believe what you want, do what you want, if it truly makes you happy then that works for me!

3. They’re never really there for you.

This is probably one of the hardest things to come to terms with. Are you normally there for your friends? The one who comes to the rescue when they are feeling down and out and try to do whatever you can to lift them up? No one is perfect and as adults, we tend to not spend as much time on our friends as we used to. So, it’s okay to not ALWAYS be there at their doorstep with pizza and a bottle of wine when your friend has had a bad day. But if you’re going to text someone and ask them how they are doing, you better be there when you get back a response with, “I am just having a hard time right now.” I don’t know, I have a hard time remembering to text people back or I read a text and totally forget that I even read it. It happens. But when someone needs help, I do my best to be there. I guess it’s hard for some people who don’t value things the same way you do. We have families to take care of and businesses to run, it’s life. I get it. But there’s always that ONE friend that just…sucks at being there, period. And always expects you to be there for them. Ugh!

toxic Toxic Relationships: A Few Reasons To Get Rid of Them

4. They’re not as forgiving.

There have been numerous times where I have messed up in a friendship or gotten upset about something that happened or was said. If you’re a female reading this, you totally get it. Sometimes we are just a little sensitive…sometimes we’re a little mean. We can’t always control how we are feeling but we can choose how to carry on from the situation. Long story short, I had a friend who I told great news to and didn’t do #2. They didn’t support me. Mainly, they got jealous that I was going through something they weren’t…yet. Then they got mad. This whole time, I had no idea about it. Then something bad happened and they didn’t do #3. So, when that something bad happened, I was stuck without a friend to talk to because she was one of the only people to know about what was going on. Come to find out, she was jealous, didn’t want to talk to me, randomly talked to me again, found out about the bad news, felt extremely guilty, didn’t talk to me for longer, and then finally told me the truth. They apologized for not being there. And guess what? I forgave her. In an instant. Because, I understand that things happen and I wouldn’t want me friend to feel the way she was feeling. Fast forward to a few weeks later…you’re having a really rough time and that same friend tells you they are there for you if you need anything. Later on in the conversation, starts acting rude and you tell them….you’re sounding rude. Your comments are rude. I just don’t understand why you’re being rude. And then the comments from your friend turn out mean and just disrespectful (which will be #5) and well, you being the person going through the tough time, you get upset. You let your friend know you’re upset. And, you’re not going to let them walk all over you – like always (#6) and you tell them! But get this, later on you message them and apologize for your own actions. And your friend has the audacity to act like they did absolutely nothing wrong and was still being extremely rude to you.

Take the two scenarios here…your friend couldn’t forgive an ARGUMENT but you forgave them for being a plain, HORRIBLE FRIEND. End the friendship there.

5. They don’t respect you.

It kind of goes along the same lines of them not supporting you. They don’t really care what you think and don’t care all too much about what you have to say when they’re whining about their life. Clearly, if they’re not there for you when you do the same thing, that’s just not fair. And if they belittle you for the things that you do or say, that’s not respect at all. You two may have the same interests in life, but you are NOT the same person. But respect should always be there. It doesn’t matter if your friend makes more money than you or goes on vacations and buys a ton of fancy clothes…she shouldn’t rub that in your face or make you feel bad because you just don’t. Or you spend your money on other things that you see as more important to you. Not only that, if they are giving you condescending remarks about the things that you do or say, please know that they don’t have any respect for you. They may say, “I was only joking,” but there’s a good chance they were just being rude anyway.

6. They walk all over you.

Now this….I have been guilty of in the past. I had a friend that used to be the nicest person in the world and let people walk all over her ALL THE TIME. So, it wasn’t just me, but I took advantage of the fact that she never said “no.” Granted, I wasn’t the worst but if it came down to asking her for help, I knew she would be the one to do. Fast forward to a few years later and the mean friend she hung out with all the time (me) finally taught her not to let people do that and she doesn’t anymore. If she ever reads this, I am proud of you girl! haha. Anyway, I realized how much of a bad friend I was being, I stopped acting like that and I grew up! I mean, I was in high school so we all have some growing up to do in those years.

toxic Toxic Relationships: A Few Reasons To Get Rid of Them

 

With all that being said, someone is walking all over you and mistaking your kindness for weakness, drop them like a bad habit. I sure deserved it back in the day but I am thankful that my friend kept me around and we have been friends for over 10 years now. 🙂

Well, I think that’s about all I can think of at the moment. Spending time just going over these six reasons has helped me realize who I needed in my life and who I didn’t. Now, it’s your turn. Maybe a few names came up while you were reading….maybe you’re one of the lucky ones and you couldn’t think of anyone. That’s great! But for those of us with toxic people in our lives…don’t let them weigh you down. Assess the relationship and see if it’s going to make your life better or make it more stressful. I definitely like the less stress option. Good riddance!

 

toxic Toxic Relationships: A Few Reasons To Get Rid of Them

“Meternity Leave?” This is Maternity Leave

2016-05-10_12-53-47 "Meternity Leave?" This is Maternity Leave

Alright, there is a popular article that has pretty much gone viral all over Facebook and Twitter. I have seen it pop up on my feed quite a few times and I finally caved to read it.

The article on the New York Post titled, “I want all the perks of maternity leave — without having any kids ” by Anna Davies has stirred up quite a few blog posts and Facebook posts from moms all over, giving Miss Meghann Foye a piece of their mind. And well, being a mother myself and having finally read the darn thing, I decided to write about my feelings on this subject as well.

No, Meghann. I haven’t read your book. And there’s a very good chance that I won’t, mostly because I barely have time to read books as it is. Don’t get me wrong, I am not going to sit here and say that I have never been in your shoes before. I have. I was once one of those women that focused solely on career and friendships as opposed to thoughts of having a husband or kids in my future. Well, I thought about it but after numerous breakups and heartache, my life became more about me than about having a “we.”

I joined the military with every intent to put in my 20 years, retire, and live a fabulous life of being single and never having any other responsibilities besides the ones that are needed to take care of myself. And hey, that’s totally fine. More power to anyone who takes pride in what they do with their life. Countless jobs before, I thought it was unfair that mothers got to take time off of work. I mean, what did I know? I just saw these moms getting paid to take time away from work or even what you said in the article in the NYP, people got to leave work early to pick up the kids and having a friend who just suffered a breakup wasn’t a valid excuse. Been there. I was like, ‘Why the heck can’t I get out early because I live 30 minutes away and I want to go out with my friends…but I have to drive all the way back home then all the way back HERE just to do so.” We all worked together, downtown…it just made sense.

Then being in the military, I thought the same thing, at first. People got to get out of working a 13-14 shift because the daycares on base shut down after a certain time and you HAVE to pick up your children. People got time off and got away from the job that we were all sleepily working at on a Friday evening…still here…

But that’s the thing. You never know anything about anything unless you have been through it. This whole concept of “Meternity Leave” just makes no sense to me. That’s what vacations are for. If you work in the corporate world, you get paid time off and well, many people who don’t get paid time off for vacation, still get time off to themselves to do whatever they please.

Maternity leave is not a vacation. Maternity leave is a time of bonding with your child and having those precious moments with them. Because those first few months are some of the most important times that baby needs to be with their mother. And 3 months off? Not many people get that luxury. When I first had my child, I was given 6 weeks paid and I took an additional 2 weeks of my own time that I had saved up. And that’s in the military. Granted, we have recently changed things a bit and we now get those 12 weeks – paid, but that wasn’t the case before. And think about many people outside of the military who are ALLOWED to take those 12 weeks or more off…but many moms can’t afford to take it off because that time off isn’t even paid for! So, the entire time that the mother is supposed to be spending time with their child and learning how to be a mother, they are spending time stressing about the bills that need to be paid and how they are going to make up for the time lost at work.

Ask your friend who decided to leave her corporate job and start a new business after she had her baby. What is it exactly that made you want to do that? I am willing to bet that it wasn’t…”I had an awesome vacation from work and I wanted to continue it.” It is very likely the fact that she pushed a melon sized child out of her vagina and realized what was important in her life and what her focus needs to be on. And let me tell you…I highly doubt she had a “break.” Do you really think stay-at-home-moms ever get a day off? Wait, don’t even answer that. I am willing to bet I know which side of the spectrum you’re on when it comes to THAT conversation.

But here’s the main deal with this post. THIS is what maternity leave looks like. And if you’ve never had a child, you wouldn’t know.

2016-05-10_12-53-47 "Meternity Leave?" This is Maternity Leave

This beautiful moment after I had my first son is nothing short of amazing. Everything I felt was worth it. But what you don’t see here is that, I was terrified. Nurses and doctors didn’t speak to me. They acted like I wasn’t even there and they just had to get a melon out of me. What you don’t see is them pushing on my stomach and passing my placenta out and stitching me up. What you don’t see is the pain that I endured or the fact that because doctors wouldn’t talk to me, I had no idea what was going on.

2016-05-10_12-53-47 "Meternity Leave?" This is Maternity Leave

You may see me smiling here but what you don’t see is that I am cuddling with my child in the early morning, after hours of fighting him to nurse. I had to battle with him to try and eat for the first 6 days of his life. He had jaundice and wasn’t nursing at all and I didn’t understand why. So, laying down with him in bed was one of the only ways to get him to calm down.

2016-05-10_12-53-47 "Meternity Leave?" This is Maternity Leave

What you see here is a mom who stayed up all night with their crying baby. Trying to put him back to sleep after hours of trying. Many nights I fell asleep sitting up in my bed because my baby only wanted to sleep in that position.

2016-05-10_12-53-47 "Meternity Leave?" This is Maternity Leave

No, I am not squishing my child, but this is a great example of what you DON’T see moms go through during maternity leave. Finally, a satisfied baby. Fed and ready to pass out. But mama? Covered in milk from leaky boobs, stained shirts, nipples that are sore and completely cracked from learning how to nurse her baby for the first time, and breast pads to help from a milk waterfall from streaming down your clothes. As you can see, it doesn’t always help.

2016-05-10_12-53-47 "Meternity Leave?" This is Maternity Leave

There is always poop. I bet your “Meternity” never has a bunch of poop…or pee all over you. Or vomit for that matter, unless you’re covered in your own vomit from those margaritas with your girlfriends at the bar because you’re celebrating her newfound singleness.

2016-05-10_12-53-47 "Meternity Leave?" This is Maternity Leave

An exhausted mother. Sleeping with an ice pack in between her legs, wearing very large mesh underwear from the hospital, and feminine pads that resemble diapers. It’s the healing process. You don’t see that, do you? That’s because most women don’t post that all over their Facebook pages. You don’t see the heartache some moms go through when they look in the mirror and see their bloated stomach STILL looking like they are 6 months pregnant because not all moms lose weight while nursing. You don’t know the feeling of having a stitch stuck in your lady parts because it didn’t dissolve like it was supposed to. And you don’t know what it’s like to not be able to be intimate with your husband, 1. because you can’t and 2. because you have no energy.

There is no such thing as a “break” when it comes to maternity leave.

So, go ahead and suggest to everyone that you deserve your “ME” time. Because honestly, us moms never really get that “Meternity Leave.” Once you have a child, there is no such thing as ME time. It’s about your kids. It’s about family. And yes, that’s a choice that we, as parents made for our lives. But don’t you dare say you need paid time off to have time to yourself just because women have a baby and get their time off.

Also, I found an article that I found completely hilarious after I started writing this post. And for those of you that want “MEternity leave,” I say, go for it. As long as you abide by the rules of this post. And I absolutely love it.

So you want maternity leave without the kids? OK. Here’s how that should go.” by Elizabeth Bromstein

2016-05-10_12-53-47 "Meternity Leave?" This is Maternity Leave

Motherhood: The First Month

motherhood_the-first-month Motherhood: The First Month
P
hoto by Heather B Photography
Visit her Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/BeadedPieces

Wow! It’s been awhile since I’ve last posted! I’m sure that taking so much time away from my blog is essentially blogger suicide but hey. What can I say? I’m a new mom. You can’t really blame me, can ya?

Currently, I’m just trying to get the hang of this whole mom thing and walking around like a zombie.

did you know that babies sleep a lot and never sleep at the same time?

That is so true. And I’m sure every new parent understands it.

So, here I am at another 1am feeding ( and I’m sure it will be another 3-5 before I finish this post) and I’m typing this out with my non dominant hand. This time I have come prepared with my iPad rather than trying to use my phone. 👍 and in honor of my Little One turning one month, I thought I would write about the first month of motherhood. Maybe, all the things I wish I’d known before becoming a mom

Some of these may be like “duh…you didn’t know?” But really, some of these are not no brainers when it comes down to it.

1. Breastfeeding- it hurts. Think about it. A tiny human is sucking on your nipple and said nipple is actually hitting the roof of their mouth. Yeah, that’s how it works. It’s no wonder my nipples get so sore! A little tip…try to rough up the gals beforehand. How? I’m not too sure but I’m pretty sure that I would’ve benefited from it! Not only that, when the tatas start filling up with milk, you’re going to feel a different kind of heaviness. One where you’re in pain. Yup, that’s right. I’m talking about engorgement. You either gotta feed your baby or you gotta pump those things out. Trust me, you don’t want t to miss a feeding or a pump session. Also, during the first week, we went to see our lactation specialist and she warned me that days five-seven are engorgement days. I was so glad she told me that because it was definitely day five and I didn’t understand why my boobs felt like they may explode! I tried to feed my son as often as possible or I pumped. I felt so much better after that.

2. Most (if not all) babies know where to get food. I’m not an expert and I don’t know statistics but it seems to me that almost every newborn knows where to get milk from. Mainly because they can smell the milk but they know where to get it. I was so surprised. It’s not like I had to teach my son where my tatas were and how to get milk from them. He just knew and also knew how to work his mouth and tongue to get it. Unfortunately, he was a little lazy in the beginning and didn’t want to work to get the colostrum out. That lazy bum! So wee had problems BF in the beginning. Now, he’s learning to become a pro!

3. Be determined. I promise, this isn’t a post solely about breastfeeding. But, if you strongly believe in breastfeeding your child, then do it. Don’t let anyone else tell you otherwise….unless there’s a special reason that you can’t or shouldn’t. When I was in the hospital, every single. It’s that came into my room attempted to show me how to nurse him. They all had different theories and techniques for doing it and it was driving me insane. Seriously. Not everyone does things the same way. And since I was having some problems, things weren’t going so well. Then on the third day of being at the hospital, the lactation consultant (different from the one I talked about earlier) attempted to help me a couple times and when it. Didn’t always work the way she wanted it to, she walked back into my room with a hand pump and told me to give up trying and to start pumping. I didn’t do it. I just kept trying. After a few bumps in the road and a lot of tears (both. One and his) we are now on the right track to nursing. 😆

4. Babywearing – This isn’t a new thing out there, but it’s popularity is starting to soar. At least out here in California. I LOVE it. I wish I had learned more about it earlier! It’s all about being hands free and keeping your little one close to you. I am still learning a lot about babywearing, ring slings, woven wraps, and the million and one carries you can do. They ladies that I have met through this are awesome and they have just helped me in general with being a new mommy!

5. Babies can come early – Duh. I know, I know. Babies can come at ANY time but I didn’t think my baby was going to come 20 days early! He’s a very healthy boy and we couldn’t be happier. It was definitely scary that he came so early especially since I wasn’t fully prepared. I literally packed my hospital bag about 6 hours before I woke up with contractions. lol. It’s pretty crazy. Babies don’t follow your schedule. They will follow their own! So just be ready for anything!

6. Things happen fast – In the hospital, things can go pretty fast. This is my first baby, so I only have that experience to go off of. I honestly didn’t have much of a birth plan to go off of and at the same time, I am pretty sure it wouldn’t have mattered. My son came so quickly they barely talked to ME about what what going on. When you are in the hospital, make sure everyone is communicating with you or your spouse (or significant other). They really didn’t communicate with Jonathan or myself and it wasn’t good. They were rushing around and freaking us out and would’t let us figure out what’s going on. Definitely be vocal and make them vocal right back.

7. You can never start preparing too early – Really. You can’t. We started stocking up on diapers every time we went to the grocery store or went shopping in general. We bought different sizes and brands to help us prepare. We were told that you are able to trade in the packs if you needed a bigger size. So, we decided to do that! Turns out, we didn’t think we were going to have a small baby so we didn’t get very many newborns. He was a small baby and barely fit into the newborn diapers so we had to buy more anyway. haha. We also decided to sign up for AmazonMom. I definitely suggest looking into that before the baby comes. Diapers delivered right to your door and are so much cheaper than in stores. We bought a lot of clothes and got a lot of cheaper onesies and also got things for the nursery on  Buy/Sell?trade sites. We didn’t see a need to buy things brand new since they probably wouldn’t be used for very long. So, I definitely recommend getting things secondhand.

8. Prepare the pup for a baby – We got our puppy Violet in the beginning of October and she was about a month old. We didn’t really look into preparing Violet for the coming of our son until about a month before he was born. We thought that we had plenty of time, but since our little one came early, we didn’t spend enough time training her! We started with playing tracks of a crying baby every once in awhile and I think she got used to it. But now we have noticed that Violet wants a lot of attention, mostly when we are holding our son. The hubby blames me for babying her too much. Hey. I couldn’t help it! She’s the first puppy I ever had and she is SO stinking’ cute!! 🙂 But yeah, there are a lot of sites online that will give you tips on how to get your puppy ready…check them out. Also don’t get a PUPPY so close to your due date. lol.

9. Read up – If there is anything you are wondering about or questioning, read up on it. Breastfed babies versus formula fed babies. Having a little boy? What about circumcision? These are just a couple of the things that I didn’t even bother looking up before I had my son. You have to look at the benefits, or the pros and cons to each situation. I am not going to sit here and tell you what you should and shouldn’t do, but I wish I had made some decisions before he was born. Knowledge is power. Did you just have a flashback to middle school when you heard that about ten times a day? Yeah, me too. But it’s true. That’s actually one thing I wish I could change…I wish I had seen more time doing my research.

I am sure there are SO many other things I could write about changing in the first month of being a mother. My life had changed, my body, hormones…oh man. The hormones. Those are STILL changing. There are probably many moms out there that can come across this and say “yup” or they can add to this list about 100 more things to share. I still could add more too, but come on. I started this post a few days before my son turned one month…and of course, here I am the day before he turns 5 weeks and I am just NOW finishing the post. Oh well. Motherhood! I’ll get more out eventually, but for now, this is what I have got!

Moms, care to share your experiences on your first month of motherhood?

It’s been one amazing and rocky month. I am excited to see what the future holds for us!

motherhood_the-first-month Motherhood: The First Month

motherhood_the-first-month Motherhood: The First Month

Beauty Haul- NYX Cosmetics

dsc_0805 Beauty Haul- NYX Cosmetics

Remember not too long ago I wrote a post on the NYX Soft Matte Lip Creams in Copenhagen and Transylvania? How I heard a lot about those colors lately? I am pretty sure I said I was going to order them, stat!

I never did. Haha.

It took awhile but I ordered them during the first week of January and I LOVE THEM! Well, “them” being the Soft Matte Lip Cream in general. They still didn’t have Transylvania so I was pretty sad that I couldn’t get it. So instead…I ordered a few other random things.

I got 3 Soft Matte Lip Creams. The colors are Amsterdam, London, and Copenhagen. I tried all of them on immediately as well. They go on SO smooth and are definitely that perfect matte finish. London is officially my new favorite and go-to nude color. Amsterdam is a little bit on the pinky-red side for me. I need more of the blue-based reds I have noticed. And Copenhagen? As beautiful as you see on all the instagram accounts out there. Haha.

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And since I couldn’t get the Transylvania color, I ended up checking out the Simply Vamp Lip Cream. I picked out She Devil. It looked close enough. Whenever I get Transylvania, I guess we will see how it goes! I am not a huge fan of the lip cream because it’s not that nice matte lip that I like but it still gets the job done. And I feel like I may have gotten a color similar to it in my Laura Geller lip chubby.

dsc_0805 Beauty Haul- NYX Cosmetics

I decided I wasn’t going to stop there and I got a Jumbo Eye Pencil in Milk. Why? Well…as per usual, I get a lot of my makeup tips and especially eyebrow tips from Raquel. One of the tricks for her eyebrows is highlighting and I am experimenting with highlighting the brow area. But let me tell you, if you’re a little too dark for it, you’re going to have to blend the CRAP out of this stuff! It works, I like it, but I spend a little extra time blending. lol.

And for the last thing I got, I decided to try some eyeshadow. Here’s the deal. When I was 18, I moved from home to California (before having to return home about 4 months later) and I got a part time job working at a Cosmetic and photography studio. It was different. This woman was from London and sold her OWN makeup and did hair and makeup at the studio, took photos, had an esthetician that worked in back…and sold some…adult things. It was weird. I’ve tried looking it up and I can’t find her anywhere anymore (8 years later). Maybe it’s for a good reason. ANYWAY.

When I worked there, there was a store a few suites down and they sold NYX. I liked it because they had all of these bright colors and I was just getting interested in makeup. Also, I had JUST learned about MAC makeup and I wasn’t about to spend the money on it. So, I felt like NYX was a good comparison at the time. The eyeshadows worked well and I used them for quite awhile. After that, I never heard of NYX again until recently.

dsc_0805 Beauty Haul- NYX Cosmetics

With all that said, I figured the eyeshadow would be JUUUUST FINE! Well, I was right! Shows up well on my skin! I haven’t tried it on my eyes yet but we will have to see how it blends and how well it stays on. Maybe a primer will do the trick…I should use primer whenever I do my eyes anyway. haha. I ended up getting the LOVE IN RIO EYE SHADOW PALETTE-SIZZLING SAMBA. I like it. Reminds me a little bit of a lion. Why? I don’t know. Haha.

Anyway, that was my NYX beauty haul!! What did you think? Did I make out like a bandit?! Haha. Should I try more things? I might be buying about…10 more of these Soft Matte Lip Creams though! They’re amazing!!!

dsc_0805 Beauty Haul- NYX CosmeticsI just LOVE getting packages in the mail! It’s like Christmas. 🙂

dsc_0805 Beauty Haul- NYX Cosmetics

Beauty Post – What’s Your Favorite Eyeliner?

dsc_0570 Beauty Post - What's Your Favorite Eyeliner?

There has been A LOT of talk recently about the Benefit Cosmetics – They’re Real Push-Up Liner.

I had a nice little rendevous over to Ulta not too long ago and tried this eyeliner out. It’s pretty nice. Does the trick. Unfortunately for me, I wasn’t the one handling the little contraption. One of the ladies at Ulta was putting the eyeliner on for me. That gel liner that hugs the lash line seems so PERFECT, doesn’t it?

Well, it is perfect. But I cannot put it on myself. I feel like I waste more of that gel liner than I get on my face. That’s not good. Like, most of the gel comes out or falls off the stick when you’re putting it on. I think you’re wasting more! Standing at $24 for just the liner, I can’t justify spending that much when I can’t even use it correctly. I don’t know…maybe it’s operator error but…I’ll save the money if I can.

I do have a few other liners that are in my arsenal though! And you know what? They tend to do the trick. I mean, I have just recently learned how to do my liner and brows better from my girl over at Pretty Little Mama so it’s not like I am an expert or anything. Raquel? She’s an expert. Check her out, or even just look at her instagram once you’ve hit her page.

As for my liners. For awhile I have been using the Revlon ColorStay Liquid Eye Pen in black. It’s pretty easy. It’s a pen. goes on fairly smooth and stays on pretty well. But it doesn’t seem as dark as I need it and not as precise. Maybe, I am just running out. At Ulta it’s about $9.49.

dsc_0570 Beauty Post - What's Your Favorite Eyeliner? dsc_0570 Beauty Post - What's Your Favorite Eyeliner?

Even before discovering the Revlon eyeliner, I was using a pencil. I was using the Rimmel London SpecialEyes Eyeliner Pencil in black. You can get this at Ulta for $3.99. Pencil doesn’t quite do the trick for the liner on the top lid. I’ve noticed that it just gets smudgey or melty and we don’t like that! But when I am putting liner on my bottom lash line, I don’t like using any type of liquid because, let’s face it…I am not very good with my precision. I get the liquid in my eyeball and it burns! You’ve been there…admit it! Anyway, to prevent such smudging on the lash line, I usually add a little black shadow anyway. I use Blackout in the Urban Decay Naked2 Palette. Sometimes, I will use MAC’s Brun for a softer look.

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When I went to Ulta to look at the Benefit eyeliner, I came across the L’Oreal Linear Intense Felt Tip Liquid Liner in black ($8.99). I wasn’t exactly sure on how I would feel about the liner because I figured I would have to literally paint on my wings. Well, I do. But I love it! It’s a great liner for me. I get right to where I want it and it’s pretty forgiving as well. It’s not going to go where I don’t want it to go. The only thing is, the way I do my liner with the wings…I can’t quite get it done with this liner. So, I acutally start out with my Revlon pen and then go back to this one to go over it and finish the rest of the liner! This is now my go-to liner. Smooth, dries quickly, doesn’t smudge, and it doesn’t look like it’s paint. I love it.

dsc_0570 Beauty Post - What's Your Favorite Eyeliner? dsc_0570 Beauty Post - What's Your Favorite Eyeliner?

Another favorite of mine is MAC’s Penultimate Eye Liner in black. Can you tell I like black liner? 😉 It’s another pen liner that goes on well. As opposed to the Revlon liner that I use on most days, the accuracy is a little better and the black is a little, blacker. I use this one on the weekends because…I am cheap. Standing at $20 I would rather just buy that every few months than have to buy it more often.

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There you have it. My favorite eyeliners!! What are some of your favorites?! Let me know in the comments! 🙂

dsc_0570 Beauty Post - What's Your Favorite Eyeliner?

dsc_0570 Beauty Post - What's Your Favorite Eyeliner?

Liebster Award Nomination

img_1955-0 Liebster Award Nomination 

Woo hoo! I got nominated for something!

I was nominated for this world by the amazing and lovely Lynne over at Bobs & Rouge. Even though I was totally lost at first, I was super excited! I guess this is a good way to get to know other bloggerse and get their names out there. So, I would LOVE to nominate a few others!! 🙂

Lynne also nominated PrettyLoved but I am going to nominate her as well cause I think she’s awesome. lol.

I have nominated these blogs because I really enjoy reading them and they are not only people who write well and take good photos, they are super friendly and have spent the time chatting with me which is amazing!
1. http://www.prettyloved.com
2. http://www.colorubold.blogspot.com
3. http://www.aredlipandanudeshoe.com
4. http://www.thebatsandrabbits.blogspot.com
5. http://www.lolalanelove.com

Lynne asked me 11 questions as well. So, I will gladly answer them the best I can!

1. What is the one gift you would really like?
Hmmmm. I don’t even know! The only thing that really came to mind is a nice vanity. But, I’m really looking forward to my husband making one for me. 🙂 That way I will have my own space to do my hair and makeup! Other than that, I love books and workout gear. So, if anyone has any great book suggestions, please don’t hesitate to let me know! I mean, my birthday IS coming up soon! 😉
2. What do you look for in a blog?
Honestly, I look for a lot of the person. Their personality, their life, what makes them tick. Sure, great photos make your blog look great, your beauty reviews are awesome (I’ve learned a lot this way), DIY is great, but I am all about people’s lives! I write because I want people to be able to take my mistakes, accomplishments, or other experiences and learn from them! So, I guess I look to do the same thing when I go to other blogs.
3. What is your favourite place and why?
Oh boy. This is a very hard question to answer! I mean, my favorite place to eat? Favorite place to visit? There are so many “favorite places” depending on how you ask the question. But the first thing that popped into my head was this morning. I was laying in bed, my alarm went off to remind me it was time to get back to work, my puppy trying to squeeze in the middle of my husband and I, and I rolled over to sweetly hug my snoring husband. That’s probably my favorite place. Laying in bed with my husband, puppy, and my little baby growing in my belly. What’s better? When I fall asleep in his arms. Sounds a little mushy but hey, Lynne asked. That’s my answer. 🙂
4. What is your biggest dream?
I have a lot of dreams. lol. But right now, the biggest dream I would say that I have is to be a great inspiration and motivator in all aspects of my life. I know that there are many people that have motivated me and inspired me throughout my life and I would love to be one of those people for others as well.
5. What is the one thing that you hate most?
When people try to make you look bad for no reason. I think this is on my heart and mind right now simply because this morning someone decided to attack me via Facebook about a comment I wrote on my sister’s wall. I write exactly how I speak. And since my sister has know me for her 22 years of life, I am pretty sure she knows how I speak as well. Anyway, someone decided to tell me that what I said was messed up and continued to fight with me when I rephrased my sentence (although I didn’t feel I was in the wrong) and then brought my marriage into the situation. No. You do NOT talk about my marriage. 1. You don’t know me. 2. I don’t know you. 3. You don’t know my life. And 4. My life is none of your business. I guess you could say that’s also what I hate…people butting into your life when they have no right to, and when they attack my family. Ugh. Can you tell I am still a little heated? lol. I will always stand up for what I believe is right and I will not let anyone get bullied…for anything.
6. What is your favourite make-up brand?
Let’s see. Since about 2009, I have always been a MAC Cosmetics kind of gal. But since I started talking to my friend Raquel about makeup and seeing other bloggers and their makeup tips…I have ventured out a bit. Shopping at Ulta and Sephora has broadened my knowledge in makeup. I would have to say that besides MAC, I love Urban Decay. Especially when it comes to eye makeup.
7. What can you not live without?
Besides the usual oxygen, water, and food? ;P Other than that, I really could LIVE without everything else. But life wouldn’t be so enjoyable if I didn’t have my family. So, I guess you could say that I cannot live without my family. Whether they are thousands of miles away or sleeping next to me every night…I need my family in my life.
8. What are you addicted to?
Apparently social media. lol. My husband tells me that all the time….while he’s on the phone playing Clash of Clans, Boom Beach, Sim City, and Jungle Heat. How ironic. 😛
9. What is your most important blogging goal for 2015?
To get better at it. Maybe to post a little more about things other people might be interested in. I know my life isn’t always so exciting. Maybe I could do a little more beauty stuff or fitness and health related posts. Also, I want to get better at taking photos. In general, I would like to get my voice out there.
10. What would you like to achieve in 2015?
Well, I wrote ALLLLLLL about that in my post from a few days ago!! I have many goals for 2015, like concquering my first year of being a Mommy! haha. Check it out, here.
11. What do you hope to see more of in the bloggersphere?
I’ve met so many awesome people through blogging. People who actually care about you, your posts, how you feel, etc. I hope that continues and gets even stronger!!

Here are the rules for the Liebster Award:
1. Thank the blog that nominated you and link them.
2. Post eleven facts about yourself.
3. Answer the eleven questions provided by the person who nominated you and then create an eleven question set for the next group of nominees.
4. Choose eleven people to nominate and link them on the post.
5. Let your nominees know they’ve been tagged – and no tag backs!

Now ladies, here are your questions!!

1. What are your goals entering into 2015?
2. What inspires you to write/blog?
3. What do you look for in a blog?
4. What’s your addiction?
5. You’re stranded on an island, you can bring only 5 things, what are they?
6. What’s in your purse?
7. What music really makes you move, right now?
8. Where are you from?
9. What made decide to start a blog?
10. What is your favorite app to use?
11. iPhone or Android? This is a very serious question. 😛

Now, it’s your turn nominees!! 🙂

img_1955-0 Liebster Award Nomination