Monday, July 30, 2012


Explanation of absence: Truth be told, part of me really wanted this blog to be a personal diary yet be read by hundreds all at the same time. Writing was always an outlet for me since adolescence and I hold this blog, which is a disaster in progress, close to my heart. I always found it an insult when no one would read what I thought "was a great post" and very stupidly let it take a beating to my ego. Our generation is all about wanting to be seen, heard, commented on...which is why we are constantly taking pictures of all sorts of personal and posting them for everyone to see, no?

Many blogs have hundreds, some even THOUSANDS of "followers" and I was always dissapointed that what my blog clearly doesn't appeal to the masses (even though 95% of blogs are about family, crafting and food...and are almost all identical). About three months ago, I logged into this blog with every intention of deleting it. Without repeating with everything I just said, I also don't have time to nurture this blog as I intended. I have a husband and child that seem to need every ounce of my time and the spare time I do have to myself, I didn't want to be taking pictures, editing and writing posts that obviously weren't going to be read. When I finally got the courage to press the "delete blog" button, my gut sank. I just couldn't bring myself to do it...which is how I knew that maybe it really doesn't bother me if only my mom and grandmother read this...and maybe I really do enjoy sharing my thoughts.

Now that I got that off my chest, life has been ridiculously hectic:

-In May we took a bachelorette cruise. It was one of the best vacations of my life and ironically we were all "strangers" who had never been around one another {not to mention 5 women sharing one tiny cabin with only two electrical outlets}. We had a blast {pictures to come soon, I SWEAR...the girls have been on my booty!}

- The first weeks of June were dedicated to my husbands benefit supporting his Africa trip. THANK YOU SO MUCH to everyone who has prayed, donated and supported Travis during this adventure.

-My best friend Chelsea got married two weeks ago and I had been spending many nap times and late nights crafting things for her big day...Check out our website to peep her wedding!

-And last but not least, tomorrow Travis leaves for Africa. Getting ready for his trip has been so exhausting mentally. On top of that, after I drop him off at the airport, I am heading to Mississipi to stay with my mom until my entire family flies to the Azores on the 12th. Packing for a toddler for an international trip has not been an easy task...think strollers, car seats and toys.

I figured instead of giving "half-ass" blog posts, I would take a hiatus until I had time to sit down and create something I wanted to talk about.

When I get home, it is a promise to myself {and devoted readers, mom & grandma} to give this blog some new life.

See you in September, folks!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Plastic Baggy Paint Prints

If you have kiddos {or Pinterest for that matter} there is no doubt that the "no mess painting" has caught your eye.

This activity is essentially putting paint into a plastic baggy and taping it to the table. Toddlers can use their fingers to move the paint around to "paint" without a mess. at. all. Yes, it is a splendid idea and Amelia liked it quite a bit....for 2 minutes. The only downside is that although this is a really awesome idea, the colors blended very quickly and once they do all the "painting" their little fingers could handle, it's rather least to a 15 month old who has zero attention span.

No Mess Painting Prints:

 I initially threw the baggy away but almost immediately took it out of the trash and tore it open so the baggy laid flat. I took out four sheets of white computer paper and stamped the bag paint side down to create a "print". They turned out SO cool! *One baggy stamped 4 sheets of paper.*

I hung them on the fridge to dry and sent them via snail mail to grandparents today.

Once I got on Pinterest {the one and only} today to find the original link, I stumbled across a few other mommas who had the same idea, only they put the paper IN the bag...maybe we will try that next time!

This is a fun project and I know our loved ones will love saving some of her first masterpieces :)

Monday, April 23, 2012

Make-Up Monday: Foundation

As promised, I will be talking about foundations today!

[insert photo where I feel my skin looks good]

Having flawless skin is the first and most important step in looking....flawless.

First and foremost, everyone's skin is different. Skins take differently to different brands, different types of mediums, different brushes...I unfortunately (or fortunately if you are looking from an oily gals stand point) have very VERY dry skin. I have chronic dandruff (totally not ashamed anymore, I rock my snow capped sleeves), eczema, horrible sun spots and literally have to bathe in vaseline to stay somewhat from looking like an alligator. Yes, that dry...On top of that, I was diagnosed with Rosacea in sixth grade. Although I haven't had it as bad in my adulthood, heat, stress and alcohol definitely trigger an outbreak and I am "that girl" at the party with a bright red face with only one glass of wine under my belt {which is also how I never got away with drinking in my teens}.

With that being said, I am one of the lucky ones that have never suffered from acne and in fact had only had two real pimples before I had my daughter (and then somehow have had another handful in the last 15 months). It's pretty often that I am stopped by a stranger and complimented on my skin and I always tell them that I use the rinky dink cheapo Walgreens make up.

Make-Up Monday:

Below is my foundation routine:

Step 1- Moisturize: 10 minutes prior to putting my make up on, I put a thin layer of refined coconut oil on my face. This not only helps my make up go on like butta (butter) but it also helps the cause I mentioned above. Even if you are more oily, I highly suggest using some type of moisturizer before applying make up.

Step 2- Prime: This step is only for "nights out" or special occasions. But if you suffer from acne or something of the sorts, it's not a bad idea to add a primer to your make up routine. This makes everything go on so margarine (I didn't want to use butter again?). A yellow or light green primer color {don't be scared!) will eliminate redness from your skin to have better coverage from your foundation. **If you are having pictures taken where a flash will be used, try to avoid a primer that has light reflecting elements. This will make your skin appear funky and shiny in photos {like wearing a shirt you swear is not see-through and then seeing your undies front&center on facebook}

Step 3- Apply: As you can see from the picture above, I have my fair share of foundations and powders. Finding the one that best fits your skin type and doesn't feel like glue sticking to your face is hard. Finding one that matches your skin perfectly...."forgetta'bout it".  It took me a few years of trying a few different brands buying what was on sale to find my match made in heaven. Now everyone has their own application techniques....all of which I have tried but currently just use my straight up fingers to apply my foundation. I find it goes on more evenly that way...however if I need good coverage, I might use a sponge or brush.

Step 4-Seal: I finish off my look with a colorless powder that I believe "sets" everything. Not an important step, but I never feel out-the-door ready without it!

How to make your own concealer:
Truth be told: I did this little experiment a few weeks back because I could not find my (almost white) concealer stick. In a pinch (it was date night!) I crushed up some broken powder and then mixed in cocoa lotion and coconut oil. It took awhile to get a nice consistency but this is the best concealer I have ever used. It appears to be clumpy in the photo but in reality it is like mouse. If you have beloved broken powder bits in your make up bag, do not discard!

For those concerned about my obscene use of coconut oil: It is true. I use this stuff for cooking, deep conditioner, and moisturizer. Read all about its benefits here. 

Please visit my last post to see my cousin Caseys hair and make up I did for her prom :)

Here is to a flawless week ;)

Saturday, April 21, 2012

BRB Goes to Prom!

Today, I realized how fast time has gotten away from us. When you would annoyingly hear your parents talk about how fast time would fly you never really understood until you are in fact an adult yourself. My little baby cousin, BRB is having her prom tonight. 
Quick explanation: My cousin Courtney and I grew up EXTREMELY close, living only streets away from each other. When I was seven years old, our little annoying shadow was born...Casey. She would interrupt our "adult" make believe games and we constantly would convince her that Barney was downstairs and "to go check on him." Low and behold, we nicknamed this little toot BRB- brat rat baby and for years she had no real reason what it meant. Now the rock in my shoe is off to prom. And I simply can't believe it. 

She is truly like my little sister and I love her so much. 

She came to me a few months ago and asked if I would do her hair and make up for prom and I have been excited ever since! She originally told me that she wanted to do a french maid braid across her head but luckily I convinced her that everyone was going to be sporting that this season (and I was right) and we could incorporate the braids somewhere else. 

And I did a dang good job. For not doing this on a daily basis (and how hard updo's are) I was pretty impressed with myself and you would be too if you knew how much hair this chick has....thick as molasses and down to her hip bones. 

I did some peek a boo inside-out french braids on the side of her head

She wanted her make up to be very light and natural but noticeable as well {she clearly doesn't need much} and I think we hit the nail on the head!

"I love you Case!!! Don't do anything I WOULD do" :) 

 My brother in law also went to prom tonight and I will share some of those photos this next week!

Hope you are all having a blessed weekend!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Every Party has a Pooper...

Has everyone noticed the "party nail" trend lately??

I have noticed it EVERYWHERE. Blogs, Pinterest, Magazines....And I am not going to lie...I actually like the idea of this "one nail painted differently than the rest, look how independent and indy I am" trend.

for those who have no idea what I am talking about...

{all images pulled from Pinterest}

Now, I admire this trend on celebrities but when I tried it myself it just didn't seem right. I am an organizingclean freak so it might just be my OCD yet still, I can't see this trend ever looking good in person, and trust me, I didn't just try this once. Yesterday, after giving myself a close-to-perfect manicure I screwed it up yet again by painting one nail on each hand hot pink. "WHYYYYYY?" I am still asking myself {because the first three times were a bust}. I guess it is just the high school popular wannabe in me trying to follow a trend that is semi-ridiculous. 

Have YOU had luck with this? What colors do you use? 

Monday, April 16, 2012

Make-Up Monday: Lipstick is for everyone.

This is the first post of my new project....Make-Up Monday!!

I am so far from a make-up artist {and clearly not a hair stylist either, do not judge my bangs}, but I LOVE make up and it has always been a creative outlet for me. I have been doing my friends' hair and make up for years....for middle school dances, homecomings and special occasions and in fact, I am doing my cousins hair and make up for prom this week!

What sets me apart from the posts you find on Pinterest {other than their perfectly photoshopped white eyeballs and trimmed eye brows} is that all of my make up (well okay, 90%) is found at your local drug store and under $5.00. Having "cheap" make-up is not an excuse for not looking top notch, and I promise I can show you techniques to step up your game ;) (eye shadow for lips, liner for brows, baby powder for foundation...). I come from a long line of make-up grandmother being one of them...even at 70 years old, she still knows how to rock a blue liner.

This week:

While most gals nowadays steer clear of the lipstick section at Walgreens, DO NOT BE AFRAID. Yes, bold colors can be daunting but start by buying an inexpensive brand (wet n' wild are in deed my favorite and the most moisturizing and only $.93). Typically there are rules to what color best suits you but I say forget everything you have heard and just try them yourself. There are pros to wearing lipsticks too...they last longer on your lips than gloss, aren't nearly as sticky, and they come in a zillion different shades.

If you wear lipstick you MUST stick to one rule {for the sake of humanity, please} Downplay every other feature on your face. Wearing tons of top AND bottom liner, blush, and lipstick only makes you look like a  two dollar hooker. This goes for all make can certainly try lots of trends (neon lips, pink cheeks, bold brows) if you only make one {and ONE only) feature stand out. 

I took every lipstick I had out of my vanity and awkwardly let my husband take photos of me in every shade for the sake of this blog post...

Before you start, put a thin layer of base over your lips. This will help the color stick and STAY on your lips for longer wear. Next, apply lip liner to your lips in either a nude or color that is close to your lipstick. {I always wear nude}



Products in order:
-Wet N' Wild: Coral Crush 516C
-Wet N' Wile: Violet Shine 319B
-Maybelline: Go Currant E440
-N.Y.C: Retro Red 308B
-L'Oreal: Fairest Nude 800

Reds and corals are fun to wear every now and again, but Fairest Nude is my every day shade (where I added a tad bit of blush)...along with every day expressions.

There are lip stains too, which are "all the rage" but I personally am not a fan. They feel like melted crayon on your lips and I don't like committing to one color for such a long period...

Believe it or not, not one single use of photoshop was used for these photos. Next week, I am diving into foundations, concealers and powders...and how to make your own :)

 Now go out and buy a lipstick and wear it more than once before you throw it away, it takes some getting use to... this is what being female is all about!!

Here's to a great {and hopefully more colorful} week!

Lately: we can finally breathe again.

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That pretty much sums up life lately. 
After Amelia's hospital stay (where I now realized I said "worse" and not "worst" in the title. I blame exhaustion.) she had a relapse exactly a week later putting us back into a hospital bed for two days....we were living in the twilight zone, I couldn't believe we were there again. We got out just in time to hunt a few eggs for Easter but quite honestly she (and by she, I mean we) has been quarantined in the house ever since. I am on house arrest for the pure fact that I am scared to go out and about and potentially pick up something else to set her into another wheezing spiral....especially since we are still on the mend- and will be for a few weeks. Breathing treatments have been working great this time around and although she still has a gnarly cough, she is definitely getting breathing and feeling better. 

This obviously isn't a very interesting read but I wanted to defend my blogging absence (as if anyone noticed, HA!). With being a 24 hour care taking nebulizer, it is a photographers shooting season and we have been consumed with editing and shooting in the evenings... OH and on that note, we have an official website! Please visit {not to mention we just posted a killer wedding!} and I will be doing a photo shoot give away soon!! 

I will be posting tonight as well for my new "Make up Monday" experiment :)

Saturday, April 7, 2012

He is Risen!

After the Sabbath, at dawn on the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to look at the tomb. There was a violent earthquake, for an angel of the Lord came down from heaven and, going to the tomb, rolled back the stone and sat on it. His appearance was like lightning, and his clothes were white as snow. The guards were so afraid of him that they shook and became like dead men.
The angel said to the women, "Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay. Then go quickly and tell his disciples: 'He has risen from the dead and is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him.' Now I have told you."
So the women hurried away from the tomb, afraid yet filled with joy, and ran to tell his disciples. Suddenly Jesus met them. "Greetings," he said. They came to him, clasped his feet and worshiped him. Then Jesus said to them, "Do not be afraid. Go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee; there they will see me." Matthew 28:1-10

Happy Easter to you and your family!

Saturday, March 31, 2012

NTC: Coffee Corner

In January 2010, we bought our first home.

While this was a huge feat for two 21 year olds, our house is quite small (just under 1400 sq.ft.) and is definitely a "starter home". It had just the perfect amount of space for a newlywed couple... then we had a baby and there is absolutely not a square inch of unused space in our newly cramped home. I know A LOT of people have this problem once they have children, even in their 4000 sq.ft homes. 

We have a "galley" style kitchen (totally not ideal with a toddler) but I honestly never minded the space. The only problem was the lack of counter/cabinet space (I think the new stainless steel appliances made us blind to how little it really is). Regardless, I was forced to become very creative with organizing WAY before Pinterest existed. The first thing I did was realize there was no possible way I could dedicate an entire cabinet to all of our coffee mugs {after realizing not a day can go buy without a cup of joe} and remembered my aunt and uncle have always had their coffee mugs hanging under their cabinet.

N.T.C: Coffee Corner

-Screw hooks (I used 10 total)
- 2in x 1/2in wood (cut to the length of your liking)

First, measure the distance between the coffee cups and make sure there is going to be enough room for them to hang without any overcrowding. I hung mine around 5.5in apart. Twist in the screw hooks in the appropriate places and BAM!!! You have yourself an empty cabinet while adding personality to your kitchen!

Here's another example of my organizational skills...(ok, Ikea gets the credit for this one.) This saved SO much space in my drawers and in my spice cabinet, keeping the spices I use the most right next to the stove for easy access. I also have a little piece of mind knowing the knifes are out of my toddlers reach!

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Emergency Room: A mothers worse nightmare.

Going to try and keep this post short and sweet...{yeah, right}.

Close friends got an alarming text message last night to pray for our ittybitty family as we headed to Dell Children's Hospital. While our phones were dead most of today and we have been trying our damnedest to recuperate, I figured I would squash any questions or concerns to eliminate repeating phone calls. 

On Monday, I noticed Amelia sneezing and had somewhat of a stuffy nose. She just cut a tooth so I honestly thought nothing of it. That night, she would wake up numerous times not to cry but to cough for a minute or two and would settle back into sleep. When she woke up, I noticed that her chest seemed congested...."oh great, we JUST got over this a few weeks ago". She wasn't acting that fussy but I could hear a rattle in her chest and her nose was beyond congested. When she woke up from a nap that afternoon, something was not right. She was gasping for breath...and not in a "stuffy nose" kind of way. Her little tummy was retracting so fast and hard I knew something was seriously wrong. I called the doctor immediately and got in right away. Amelia screamed the entire appointment, and for the first time in over a year, I was very aggravated with her pediatrician (who has always been great). They tested her for RSV and I was relieved when it came back negative but was annoyed they didn't address my concerns with her breathing and cough. They instead diagnosed her with an ear infection (which we later found out she didn't have) and sent us on our way with antibiotics. 

A few hours passed and her breathing was getting worse and in my deepest mommy-instinct-gut, I knew something was seriously wrong. I called my mother in law, who is nurse, to come take a look and get her opinion because I wanted to make sure I wasn't exaggerating. She noticed right away that Amelia was struggling....hard. We agreed to pack everything up and head to the hospital.

When we arrived, the front desk took her vitals and was immediately concerned. Her and Teresa (mother in law) were talking medical terms and I heard them saying her oxygen levels were pretty low and they got us set up in our own room immediately. After much crying, sticking, holding, rocking, clenching and x-raying  we finally got some answers....even if they weren't what we wanted to hear. 

They told us she had Bronchiolitis..."It's basically viral pneumonia" the doctor said.....Pneumonia? I associated that with old people who sat in the hospital after breaking a hip where they finally bit the dust.

 I believe I cried just as much as Amelia did. This was the hardest thing we had ever gone on earth did this happen so fast? She just had a stuffy nose 24 hours ago and now THIS!? I silently cried out to the Lord and begged for a speedy recovery. Unfortunately, at 3am they told us that we were being admitted and we moved into a room around 4am. The "crib" looked like a torture device and all three of us crammed on the mini fold out couch and slept until 8am when she received another breathing treatment. Seeing your precious baby hooked up to so many machines, oxygen in their nose, IV in their arm, probes on their chest and machine going off reminding you their levels are shaky is so so so so hard. Seeing her literally gasping for breath in her sleep was heartbreaking....I felt so helpless. By noon, she was finally responding to the breathing treatments and we were discharged this afternoon.

We were sent home with inhalers but ultimately, this has to run its course and may take a few weeks. She has been sleeping like a baby {pun intended} since 7:30 and her breathing seems much more normal even with the little rattle in her chest. Once she was no longer a hostage to tubes and machines, she has been back to her old self, smiling and singing...and misbehaving :)

Please keep her in your prayers, I have a feeling I have many more sleepless nights ahead....if she is sleeping or not. God truly tested our strength, patience, hope and faith in the last 24 hours but I feel like I have learned so much about myself and the strength and love our sweet little family has. 

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Fresh fruit: the perfect centerpiece.

Having guests over and don't have time for a market run for fresh flowers? Or are you just sick of looking at the same centerpiece on your table....?

Look no further...than your fridge that is.

My grandmother has always had a luscious fruit bowl on her table as long as I can remember and has always decorated with fresh fruit. Not only is it clever but it reminds you to eat the dang thing before it rots in the bottom of your fridge drawer. 

The possibilities are endless and since you most likely (hopefully) already have fresh fruit sitting in your kitchen, give the tasty treats more bang for their buck! 

Sorry for the lack of blogging lately, but even more sorry that it was totally intentional. I have taken a much needed break from society :) (and have lost 4 lbs. since I got off Facebook. That is scary.)