Baby Faves – 6 Month Edition

Hello and welcome to the first installment of a series I like to call BABY FAVES.

As some of you may or may not remember, before I had  a baby I did a fair amount of fretting over all the godforsaken baby stuff. Read more about that here! Blankets and bouncers and binkies and bottles and boobs and everything else one feels they must acquire before a tiny human enters their life.

Then you have the thing and realize the #1 thing they need most: YOU.

But of course, the odd doohicky can also be a lifesaver. So here are our favorite doohickies, thingamabobs and whosie-whatsits.

  1. The Halo Swaddle Sack

Clara busted out of her swaddle the very first night we spent at home from the hospital. We were swaddling her with a blanket in the hospital for a week (I was in there for awhile due to unforeseen circumstances) but somehow at home she would houdini out. We immediately bought the Halo Swaddle Sack and she literally slept in it until she was 3 months old and started rolling over. We would have kept her in this FOREVER if we could. She slept through the night in this baby for a solid 2-3 months. We are talking 7-8 hours at a time, people.

2. The SwaddleDesigns Transitional Swaddle Sack

This is the garment we’ve been in for over a month now. Once she started rolling around and needed her hands out to push herself back up – we realized we wanted something like this. We also have the Zipadee-Zip but this one from SwaddleDesigns works better for us. The ends of the sleeves can be open or closed (as shown in the picture) so we can also use this if she wants her hands out.

3. Copper Pearl Drool Bibs

Anything by this brand is amazing, but the drool bibs are my favorite. Clara drools a swimming pool’s worth by the minute and as a result had a nice drool rash to boot. I started putting these on her when I noticed she was turning on the ol’ water works and they are perfect. SUPER soft on the side that touches their skin and surprisingly absorbent. Plus the fact that they’re bandannas with really cute patterns? Come on.

4. Desitin Diaper Cream

Clara had some serious diaper rash in the beginning. We tried several different diaper creams, including the bougie organic ones that cost $17 a tube. Desitin won every time and the ingredient list was very similar. We also used this on her drool rash and it cleared it right up.

5. A Bouncy Chair

My Mom purchased Clara this exact bouncy chair from Burlington Coat Factory a few months ago and girlfriend has loved it ever since. This model actually does vibrate but we have never put batteries in it. She loves the subtle bounce of it and playing with little toys (we’ve attached more) along the bar that hangs over. Any of the good ol’ fashioned bouncy chairs would do the trick!

Also good for a little snooze

And those are just a handful of our favorites! Stay tuned for the next installment in a few months.

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Postpartum Hair Loss and Me

Hello world!

Its me, your thin-haired friend!

Today, it is my pleasure to delve into this topic. It is not going to be pretty (duh), but I think there is value in sharing the experience.

It is not an easy thing, hair loss. It does not matter who you are. It does not matter if it is due to disease, stress, age, genetics, having a baby or just a bad chemical job…losing your hair just plain sucks.

For me, a little background on the subject goes something like this:

My hair basically stayed the same throughout my entire pregnancy. Some women report glorious mermaid-esque locks while they are pregnant due to all the hormonal changes. Apparently the body holds on to all the hair it normally sheds (about 100 strands a day) which accounts for this wonderful phenomenon. Unfortunately my hair decided to stay in it’s normal, somewhat vegetative state.

I started noticing hair loss around 3 months after having Clara. For reference it was also the time my Postpartum Anxiety decided to flare up…read more about that here.  So lovely for these two fun side effects to kick in at the same time. Thanks side effects! And I noticed it right away. I was shedding absolutely EVERYWHERE. My hair would somehow wind up in the glove compartment, all over the coffee table, in the refrigerator! Not to mention it was completely covering Clara at all times. Her little hands just grabbed fistfuls of it. 4-5 passes through my hair with the brush would produce a thick coating of hair in the bristles. I could run my fingers through it at any point of the day and be left with this:

Then I started getting, like, super depressed about it.

Lots of breakdowns after washing my hair, or seeing a picture of myself, or looking at the back of my head with a mirror.

Then I started to do what anyone would do…researched wig toppers. What the hell is a wig-topper you ask? Basically a toupee for women. Just watch this video.

But then I realized that a good one (real human hair on silk) was going to cost upwards of $800. If I knew this issue was going to be my reality for the rest of my life, I would probably make the investment. But for now, I could suck it up.

So I texted my sister-in-law Shannon who is an amazing hairdresser and super knowledgeable about allll the products. Should I try Nioxin? Rogaine? A stimulating scalp scrub? Shannon told me the best way to fix the problem is from the inside out. ENTER: Collagen!

Shannon sent me a big bottle of collagen. I take 5 every day and plan to do so for the foreseeable future. So far, I have been taking it for about a month and it seems the severe hair loss has stopped for now. I do not seem to be actively losing handfuls like I was before. I am not sure if this is due to the collagen or that my body was just done..but whatever it is I AM HAPPY. The collagen will also help regrow the hair and will likely give me some fatty baby bangs. But I am here for it, tbh. I will take any kind of growth that I can get!

The next item to address was the immediate state of my hair which was abysmal at best. Don’t believe me? The proof is in the puddin’ as they say…

Just look at this sad pony…

I MEAN:

IT IS SO BAD

Barely the circumference of a magic marker you guys. And the bald spot surrounding my horrific cowlick on the back of my head ain’t helping matters. I texted these pictures to the person who does my hair and she wrote back immediately. “We need to cut it. As much as you are comfortable with.”

So I had four inches taken off.

MAN does this make a difference, am I right!? I feel like I could have even got an inch or two shorter? It feels WAY better and doesn’t seem quite as pathetic.

In addition to my new shorter ‘do, I am also switching up my hurr curr to include a few more volumizing products, such as:

Biolage Volume Bloom Aqua Gel Conditioner (for Ultra Fine Hair)

This conditioner smells amazing (I love how ALL Biolage product smell) and is perfect for not weighing my hair down.

Bumble and Bumble Surf Spray

This is probably the best salt spray I’ve tried. It provides the perfect amount of grit to achieve the tousled look, even with super thin hair.

Pureology Instant Levitation Mist

I have been using this product as a root-booster and while it does not give as much volume as the Big Sexy Hair, it does a fine job.

And in the end, yes…it is just hair. And as India Arie reminds us, “I am not my hair”. But then again, it grows from our head and is a big part of who we are. And while I am sad about losing it, I am MORE than okay with the reasons why I lost it. Namely – this little tike ♥.

the baby bangs are FO REAL you guys

And that’s the regiment folks! Have you experience postpartum hair loss? If so, what did you do?

Grande Lash Review

G’day little rasburries!

A major change has taken place in my life as of late. And a significant one at that. But before I tell you about it, allow me to provide a bit of backstory.

When I got pregnant, I worried about lots of things. If you’ve been around for a bit, you know this.

One thing I was particularly horrified of were the pictures taken of me AFTER giving birth. I knew they were inevitable. And even something as strong as my vanity could not stop them from happening. These photos are like mammograms. Hugely important, necessary even. But like, nobody LOOKS FORWARD to it. That’s how I felt about photos taken of me after the baby was born. I knew I would want them but was sort of cringing at how they’d turn out.

And really, I feel that society is to blame for this. I mean look at the examples set…

Aunt Becky’s slicked back hair and Catherine Heigl lookin’ buckled.

But I’m not stupid. The best defense is a good offense, as they say. Some women have babies in full glam,  with perfectly tousled beach waves, full-coverage makeup and custom-made hospital gowns to compliment their complexion. NOT REALISTIC. At least for me.

One thing I also noticed so many women are doing nowadays (especially before child birth) is  getting eyelash extensions. I have seen these look absolutely stunning on some people and atrocious on others. I feel the more natural they look, the better. The thicker and curlier the extension, the more cartoony they look, providing a perfect example for the word “full-on Monet”.  Hence, they photograph beautifully but in real life they can be kindof a big mess. They are also quite costly to install and maintain.  But man, did I want some big ol’ doe eyes in my post-baby hospital pics.

So then I decided on an eyelash serum.

That’s right, I decided to grow my own goddamn extensions. But where to start?

I’ve used Rapid Lash in the past and actually gotten decent results. It provided crazy length, but not much in the way of volume. I have also used castor oil on my lashes for years but that was really the extent of my efforts. I decided to throw a little more money in this time (Rapid Lash runs about $35). I have seen and heard about great results from Lash Boost, by Rodan and Fields but it also retails for $155. No way man. Grande Lash MD lands somewhere in the middle at $65 so I decided to give it a shot when it hit Haute Look for $50.

Here are the results!

*Disclaimer – To be fair, my eyelashes weren’t terrible to begin with. And I also did not take proper “before” shots.

Before

During 

After

sorry about the nostrils

 

I think the results are pretty amazing. And even though I did not look super cute in my after-baby pics (click here to see those) I am pretty satisfied with the results.

Have YOU ever used a lash serum? What are your thoughts?

Baby and Me – 3 Month Update

Hello chickens.

So, I am crying as I type this. If you think the hormones have left for good now that she is 3 months old WELL THINK AGAIN. David is currently packing up his makeshift workstation that has been the eyesore of our kitchen the past 3 months. A mess I begged him to tidy about 37642 times. And now that he is, I am a weepy, sullen mess. Why? Because David is going back to work full time tomorrow. He has been part time these past few months and has been able to work from home. And even though I have been the primary caregiver, shuffling around the house in my bathrobe and slippers, his presence has been a welcome one. Calming. He is my buddy. And he helps me with our precious girl.

And now he is packing it up. Our little cocoon of comfort and familiarity is being ripped apart. Tomorrow I will be alone. No longer able to shout out, “She just puked down my shirt!” and have David’s booming laughter fill the house in response. I suppose some women might rejoice in having the house to themselves when their partner goes back to work BUT NOT ME. I love my partner and rely on him so much.

So the next two weeks will be just C and me. I am pretty excited to have a little more time with her before my epic return to work mid-April. Which bring me to my first official topic. Ok, wiping away the tears now and pouring myself some wine. brb.

CHILDCARE.

This is a place I sincerely wish it did not have to go to. A place that, upon touring, breaks my heart. A place I will feel guilty about EVERY SINGLE DAY.  A little place called Day Currr.

David and I have toured everything from the creme de la creme with an infant “curriculum” at $1,700/monthly, to the fluorescent lights and poop-stained carpet place  at $1,250/monthly. And TBH, not a whole lot separates the two besides the following factors:

  1. Cleanliness, obviously.
  2. Quality of care takers.
  3. Niceness of facility.

These things of course, are all vastly important. But they ALL are forced by law to adhere to a bunch of rules making the differences things that just make you, the parent, will only worry about. Clara won’t know if she is in the Taj Mahal or in a tent under the freeway. It’s all about appeasing US, the parents. Making us feel less guilty about leaving our sweet baby for 8 hours a every day.

Anyway, the whole issue just has me reeling. Before I had a baby, I always thought I would be one of those people who could easily go back to work after 3 months. I predicted I would CRAVE going back. And in some ways, I do. I love my job, my company, and especially the friendships I have. I miss the adult interaction, exercising my brain in a different way and putting on actual pants. But in the same breath, I am absolutely gutted at the idea of not being with Clara. Like, it actually makes me feel sick. The thought of leaving my tiny baby everyday has me feeling eviscerated, anxious and guilty. So here I am. Stuck in a glass case of emotion ala Ron Burgundy. It is reassuring to know that I am not alone. That so many parents struggle with this and get through it. I’ve been told to wear waterproof mascara for the first few days back. But the way I can cry, I might need a Tyvek suit.

I digress. Here is more randomness about my physical state:

I am officially out of the woods in the pain department.  And I feel back to my normal self again. I feel able to do mostly everything I was able to do before getting pregnant, with the following exceptions:

  • Running (only attempted this once)
  • The ability to easily touch my toes (flexibility = GONE. sayonara all the progress I made in yoga)
  • Easily walking uphill (SO. WINDED)

On the flip side though and looking at things GLASS HALF FULL…

  • I drink way more water now #milkmaid
  • My arms are getting stronger #babyholding
  • It only takes me one glass of wine to get a little buzzed #cheapdate

Moving onto all things baby!

And  I am not going to act like any of this is earth-shattering news. I mean, she is a human baby. They all pretty much do they same crap. I’m not about that “my 3 month-old’s favorite activities include” life. We’re just living our lives over here.

Let’s let the pictures tell a story, as they do.

Tummy Time! haaaates it

Optimal Burping Position

E set them up to watch TV together like this.

Unicorn hat and Zutano Fleece Booties from Nana

Fun with Snapchat

 

Wonder Woman bb

BB Denim

This photobombing little boy deserves a slow clap

First Blazers Game

 

Let us now move onto sleep. A topic I am leery to write about because I feel I must knock on wood each and every time I utter these words out loud, let alone on THE NET but here it is…our girl is a great sleeper. Since the day she was born. I mean, of course we had our nights of up being up every 2 hours. Of taking hours to get her to fall asleep. But those nights have been few. And nights where we all get 5,6 and sometimes even 7-9 hour chunks are the norm. Hip hop hooray. Sleep is awesome.

Other than that, everything is fairly normal. She eats. She naps. She smiles and “talks” to us. She farts like an absolute champ. She has a little bald spot on the back of her head. I am obsessed with her in every sense of the word. I am head over heels in love with my husband and stepdaughter. E absolutely adores her sister and is so gentle and sweet with her. David balances her in one hand while I scream at him.

Life is good you guys. Life is good.

Hard Candy Spring Collection Haul

Hi there gerber daisies!

And who is ready for Spring?! Of course you know I am. Unfortunately I live in Portland, where we experience a seemingly endless gray drizzle most of the year. Of course right now it is the worst and so begins my annual let’s-move-to-Scottsdale Arizona rant. Do I know anyone in Scottsdale? NO. Have I ever been to Scottsdale? NO. Would I move there in the blink of an eye after 4 months of nonstop rain and the relentless use of a Happy Light? Why, YES. Yes I would.

One of the only things that keeps me sane during these endless rain-fests is the promise of beautiful Portland summers. And recently, I was sent a lovely box of brand spanking new Hard Candy goodies from the spring collection. What a way to lighten up a dark Portland day!

Here are the goods!

Baked Powder Highlighting Trio in Make the First Mauve

This highlighting trio comes with three shades that create a beautiful, sculpted, glowy cheek! This set also comes with a brush which is really reat quality.

Overall I really like this product. I used the farthest right shade as a blush, the middle shade as a cheek-topper on the apples of my cheeks and the far left shade as a traditional highlight. The effect is gorgeous.

Stroke of Gorgeous 12-Hour Smudge Proof Felt Tip Eyeliner

I have not tried this eyeliner yet but I promise to report back!

Sheer Envy Redness Relief Face Serum

I do not have much trouble with redness but I am sure this will come in handy during the summer months! Green Tea and Cucumber would be so soothing! I plan to actually put this stuff in the fridge and use it cold.

Just Glow All Over Body Luminizer

First of all, this product smells AMAZING. Beachy, coconutty and fresh. It comes with a pump and it absorbed into the skin nicely, comparable to a light body oil/gel hybrid. It does leave behind a subtle sparkle

Swatched:

Glitteratzi Glitter and Chrome Eyeshadow Duo in Mercury Rising

This product is really stunning! The “chrome” end is super opaque and a really gorgeous rose gold shade. The glitter is SUPER beautiful and comparable to the Stila Glitter and Glow maybe just a little bit less saturated. But at $7 a pop, I might have to pick up a couple more of these colors!

I am so excited to continue to use these products into the spring. Maybe if I start now, it will happen sooner!

Thanks again Hard Candy! Check out or purchase these products by clicking here. #hardcandylyfe

My 2018 Christmas List

Sound the alarm!

Gird your loins!

Pull up your boot straps!

My 2018 Christmas list is here!

BEHOLD!

I feel like this year is alllll about luxury. Which is funny, because I am about to yield a child who will inevitably humble, embarrass and otherwise de-glamorize me beyond recognition. Maybe that is why I am craving those items in life right now that say, “Hey – I’m comfy AND classy!” Those things that will make me feel kinda chic when life is kicking the absolute sh*t outta me. When I can wink a sparkly eyelid at the mom fresh out of barre class in her Lululemon cropped tank while I awkwardly maneuver the stroller with a crying baby and my postpartum muffin top showing and think, “You’re fine! You got this.”

Bobby Brown Face Base

To kick things off right, of course I want the same moisturizing primer that all the rich gurus like Jeffree Starr and Tati are using. I picture myself dunking a brand new beauty blender into this product and having skin JUST like theirs.

Camo Tee Shirt – Size M

Why it has taken me this long to finally procure a camo tee shirt, I do not know. I used to own THEE best one in high school and my sisters and I would fight over it. It was one from the Army surplus store and had been washed like a million times. It was so thin and SO soft. Hoping this will serve me the same way.

Lush D’Fluff Shaving Soap

I want a big ol’ tub of this stuff for two reasons. One: it smells strawberries and Two: the texture is like none other. It really is fluffy! Gotta hand it to Lush for always keeping things fun.

iRobot Roomba 690 Vacuum 

I have wanted a Roomba for a few years now but the price and the fact that I have a relatively small house has held me back. This year they are going on sale for Black Friday and I have decided that it is time. It’s time to say yes to having consistently clean floors (we have all hardwoods). It’s time I start realizing that shaving off an entire chore is worth $250. It is time to step into the light and get excited about a vacuum cleaner.

Kopari Body Care Set

I have really been enjoying the Kopari Coconut Melt in these chilly months. I use it on my belly, my face and my hair. It is kindof an amazing to have one product you really feel good about slathering everywhere. Since I discovered the Coconut Melt, the brand has expanded into all kinds of new products. I REALLY want to try the Coconut Shower Oil…and this set comes with a little bottle :).

Minnetonka Cally Slippers in Blush Suede – Size 10

Can you believe I DO NOT own a pair of slippers? It is a travesty I know. I had to special order a pair for David (he wears a size 15) and I get so jealous when he has them on for puttering around the house. In keeping with the theme for this year, I definitely need a pair!

Quay “It’s My Way” Sunglasses – Black

I feel like I have asked for a different pair of these sunglasses every year for Christmas. These ones in particular are just SO practical for me. They are GIANT, better quality than all the crappy ones I have from H&M and will be much needed to cover up the bags under my eyes in the coming months (which btw, are Prada).

Asymmetrical Snap-Up Fleece –  in pink and white (or any color) Size L

It just wouldn’t be Christmas without at least one item from good ol’ Abercrombie & Fitch amiright!? I have wanted this fleece for over a year now and right now it is ON SALE. I love the style of the neck, the quilted section and I mean, it’s fleece!                                                    (performance fleece….ooh it’s fine!) <- Anybody?!

Too Faced Twinkle Twinkle Liquid Glitter Eyeshadow – in Honey Please

I feel I owe it to you all AND to myself to compare this stuff to the Stila Magificent Metals glitters. I LOVE those ones and am curious to know how this formula compares!

Koolaburra Sylvia Boots – in Chestnut, Size 9.5

I ask for boots every damn year but I LIVE IN PORTLAND OK? Boots and coats, man. That’s all we get for so long. It’s just practical. And these ones have little fur and knit components. I MEAN. So cute.

Nostalgic Beauty Haul

Lately I’ve been feeling quite nostalgic.

Maybe it’s because I am growing a female human and am therefore having elaborate fantasies about the person she will one day become. Will she prefer Berenstain Bears or Amelia Bedelia? Will she be a lipstick or lipstain girl? Blue-razz or cherry icees? Tube tops or Carhartt bibs?

And it’s also got me thinking about the kind of girl I was. As an example, I was the girl who kept a steady supply of Malibu Musk, Exclamation and Love’s Baby Soft body sprays in her gym locker. I was the girl who begged my mom for a green Covergirl compact, for Lip Smackers peach shampoo and sparkly shirts from Abercrombie to pair with my low-rise L.E.I jeans. I wanted clear skin, perfectly curled lashes and a cloud of Charlie White to follow me wherever I went.

And lately, I have picked up and been sent a few things that have swept me back. Transported me to a time when my biggest worry was the possibility of my Loveable Beginnings training bra showing through my ONLY white Roxy tee shirt. When my college-ruled, 5 Star binders and pee chees organized my life, a good day was getting picked up first after basketball practice and sipping a Wild Cherry Clearly Canadian was the perfect accompaniment to any meal.

Here’s the highlights:

Honestly Margo Roll-On Lipgloss in Alexis Watermelon

OK GUYS. How cah-ute is this packaging?

For real though.

I love the 70’s vibe and the fact that this brand is women-run. All of their products are super unique (hello unicorn fizzy bath dust!)and contain wholesome, natural ingredients. I love that they came out with roll-on lipglosses because the last time I owned one of these was in 7th grade.

As a matter of fact, my pencil pouch from 6th-12th grade was STOCKED with Bonne Bell. I pretty much kept them in business. And I used to put on SO much of this specific gloss, it would literally drip off my lips:

Needless to say, as SOON as I applied the Roller Girls Roll-On Lipgloss it brought me right back!

Check out that shininess!

Cetaphil Daily Facial Cleanser

Due to the current state I am in (pregnant), my face has decided to rebel against me and break out. Annnnd again, I am right back in 9th grade! Shopping for acne products and realizing they still make Oxy Pads has been quite fun, actually. I decided to switch my face wash to this work horse of a face wash and so far I am happy to report that my skin has been A LOT better!

Neutrogena Rapid Clear Acne Eliminating Spot Gel

In addition to the Cetaphil face cleanser joining the battalion, I have also enlisted the help of a salicylic acid spot treatment. Prior to being pregnant (or B.P.), my skin had always reacted best with benzoyl peroxide but now I am alll about that salicylic baby. I basically dab dab dab a good amount of this all over my forehead (my most problematic area) and am usally substantially more clear in the morning. And if putting on a spot treatment every night doesn’t remind you of 9th grade, I don’t know what will.

Abercrombie & Fitch 8 Fragrance

I know everyone is shaking their heads at me for this one, but frankly I could care less. This was MY signature fragrance freshman year of college and sometimes you just need to go with what works. I caught a whiff of this stuff last time I was actually in an Abercrombie store and knew I had to have her again. If you have never smelled this before I would encourage you to do so. It is a very unique, feminine scent.

I also picked up a couple of samples at Abercrombie of their other women’s fragrances and so far I really like the Wakley scent.

Essence Get Big Lashes Volume Boost Mascara

I bought this one based off a recommendation from Casey Holmes but I should have stuck to the Lash Princess because this mascara is TERRIBLE. The amount of product that actually gets onto the lashes is dismal. It is a decent second mascara at best but I will never buy this one again.

Sally Hansen Miracle Gel Nail Polish

I nabbed two of these polishes for less than $3 each at Freddies which is a STEAL considering that they are $10 a pop at regular price. You do need to have the gel topcoat for these polishes and often times the stores will carry a duo-pack containing the top coat and a color for a special price. I find that while the formula takes FOREVER to dry, the polish actually lasts on my nails for up to 10 days and can withstand dish-washing, warm laundry folding and bathtub scrubbing. HIGHLY recommend these polishes.

 

Treets Traditions Nourishing Spirits Hand Lotion + Revitalizing Hair & Body Wash

I was sent these two products complimentary for testing and have very much enjoyed them both so far. As a side note, I have noticed the brand popping up in T.J Maxx so that is a WIN in my book!