February Favorites

Thursday, February 18, 2016
It seems like at least once every single week I find some amazing product that I want to share with you all but then I end up feeling like it's not worth it's own entire blog post so, because of that, I have decided to do a monthly favorites post to share all of the new things that I have fallen in love with! Welcome to my February Favorites!

1. Rodan + Fields Enhancements: Micro-Dermabrasion Paste
This is a  high-glide, oil-free formula designed to promote maximum gentle exfoliation and it is seriously amazing. My friend, Erin, kept going on and on and on about this stuff and how incredible it was. We seriously talked about it so many times that I am now an expert on it but once I finally decided to just give it a try I completely understood. One use is all it took for me to fall in love. I woke up after my first time using it about 9 hours later and immediately texted Erin about my skin. My face has never been softer and my skin has never been as even and clear as it is now. I use it once every other day after taking off my makeup and I will probably use it for the rest of my life. It's very simple, the directions are on the bottle, literally anyone can figure this stuff out. You can get your own bottle here. It retails for $78 but trust me, it is more than worth it. It comes in a large container and it will last you a very long time. Save up or do whatever you have to do because EVERYONE needs this in their life!


2.Clean & Clear Night Relaxing Deep Cleaning Face Wash
This is Clean & Clear's newest product and you guys have seen me talk about my love for their Morning Burst formula so when I saw this on the selves I HAD to try it. It is a very simple face wash and does exactly what it says it will. This oil-free soap has a calming aroma, leaving you with a clean and relaxed feeling. This foaming face wash will not clog your pores or leave your skin overly dry. It is AMAZING. I love the feel of it, the way it smells and it truly does help you relax . I have been using it every night that I'm not using the Rodan + Fields product that I just talked about above. Between these two products my skin is just almost perfect! You can purchase this face wash here or purchase it locally at any Wal-Mart and/or drug store in your area. It costs about $8.50 for an 8oz bottle.


3. Lil' Scrubbies Facial Cleansing Pads
I seriously can't even begin to explain my love for these things. Last year I was using a face wash that came with one of these and, really, the scrubbie was 75% of the reason I even bought the face wash. Eventually they stopped selling the product and I never saw them again until the other day when I was purchasing my Clean & Clear Face Wash. These things are seriously so cheap and so worth the couple of dollars that they will cost you. I use them with literally any and every face wash morning and night with the exception of the Rodan + Fields product above. I just checked and if you live in my area there are no more available at our Wal-Mart but I have found them online for you! You can get them here on Amazon for literally $2.49. Seriously, buy them. You won't miss the $2 and they are incredible.




4. Sookie Sookie Arriba Pera Earrings
I know you all have been seeing me post about these but I just can't get enough of them. I have always seen Kelsey Johnson wear the larger version forever and, while I have always loved them so much, I have never purchased any because they're just a little too big for my taste. Once the Arriba Pera's were created and I saw a size comparison photo between the two style I knew they would be PERFECT for me. (If you are trying to decide between the two let me know. I will send you the photo that I was sent!) I placed my first order and decided on the Sea Breeze when they came in and were more than perfect I HAD to go back for the black, and then the pink and then the silver... Eventually I'm sure I'll own them in every color known to man. The one comment I have heard when showing them off to friends and family is that they are a little pricey. A month ago I would've completely agreed but once you have them in your hands and understand that they were literally handmade just for you the price is so reasonable. They are $32 + you can save 10% with the code LACI10 at checkout! You can purchase the pink ones here, turquoise ones here, silver ones here or the black ones here.


5. Blogilates Timer Water Bottle
Not only is this bottle so, so, so cute but it also holds 34 oz of water! It is more than perfect for those of us who are serious about hydrating. I, personally, am the worst about making sure I drink enough water during the day but this bottle spreads it out through out the day and helps me be more aware of how much I've taken in and how much more I have to go. Drinking a good amount of water is so vital to clear skin, weight loss and so many other things. It is a lot easier to stay on track when you have something like this sitting right in front of you showing you where you are at, at every moment of the day. Do we even need to talk about how cute it is!? Aside from helping me live healthier it is so adorable. If you don't like the color or wording of mine, no worries, they have them in many different colors with a handful of different quotes! These same colors and quotes also come in diffuser bottles (which are also amazing) so if this bottle isn't for you that one just may be. The color I have is currently out of stock but you can get a light blue one here, a darker blue one here, a yellow one here, a black one here, a red one here, a clear one with blue font here or a clear one with pink font here. If you are more interested in a diffuser bottle you can get those here. Just as a tip, be careful washing these. I would not stick it in a dishwasher. The writing will smear or even come off with extremely hard washing or intense scrubbing.

Well, that's it for this month! As always, if you have any questions, suggestions or comments please feel free to let me know! Thanks for reading!


Oz Naturals: Super Youth Eye Gel

Wednesday, February 17, 2016
I recently partnered with Brand Backer & Oz Naturals in order to bring you a full and honest review of their Super Youth Eye Gel!


ABOUT THE PRODUCT:

Experience The Most Effective Eye Treatment Designed To Eliminate Dark Circles, Puffiness & Wrinkles!

  • This Eye Gel Is The Most Effective & Complete Eye Treatment Available
  • Designed To Treat Every Major Concern Including Dark Circles, Puffiness & Wrinkles
  • Safe For All Skin Types, Non Comedogenic, Does Not Contain Parabens, Sulfates Or Alcohol
  • All Active Ingredients Are 100% Natural
  • Made in the USA In Our Advanced FDA-Certified Facility


INGREDENTS:

Ingredients: Organic Aloe, Matrixyl 3000, Palmitoyl Triepeptide-3, Kosher Vegetable Glycerin, Plant Stem Cells, Cucumber Hydrosol, Organic Jojoba Oil, Botanical Hyaluronic Acid, MSM, Hydroxyethyl Cellulose, Carrageenan Gum, Silk Amino Acid Blend (Sodium L-Pyrrolidone Carboxylate, Sodium Lactate, L�Arginine, L-Aspartic Acid, L-Pyrrolidonecarboxylic Acid, Glycine, L-Alanine, L-Serine, L-Valine, L-Proline, L-threonine, L-Isoleucine, L-Histidine, L-Phenylalanine), Wildcrafted Periwinkle, Organic Licorice, Wildcrafted Eye Bright, Wildcrafted Reishi, Organic Gotu Kola, Frankincense, Vitamin E, Sodium Benzoate, Potassium Sorbate, Ethyl Hexyl Glycerin.
Addresses every single eye area concern:
dark circles, wrinkles, sagging, puffiness, dryness...it's all taken care of by this Super Youth Eye Gel!


DIRECTIONS:

Wash & pat-dry face. If applying toner, do so before applying eye gel. Dab around eyes, including eyelids. You may or may not wish to follow with a moisturizer depending on your skin's needs as this eye gel can also act as a light moisturizer. Can be applied multiple times per day.


REVIEW:

As most, if not all, of you already know I have extremely sensitive skin so my first fear when receiving this product was how my skin was going to react. The great news is that I had zero problems! Now, I'm only 23 years old so I would consider my eyes to already be "super youth" but this product did actually still work for me. I am a mom to a one year old which means, I don't always get a whole lot of sleep. I tend to need more concealer than some because of the dark circles that sometimes form under my eyes. After just two days of using this stuff all of that was completely gone! I also had been struggling with some redness right at the top of my right cheek... after a few days of this product it is completely gone! I am so excited to tell you that I haven't needed concealer since the day after I received this amazing little product. It is $19.95 and 100% worth every penny! Get yours here or go to www.amzn.to/20EGDJq!


Sponsored Post - Powered By Brand Backer

Life Without Linda: Little Do You Know

Friday, February 5, 2016

Published: January 26, 2016
You know, it's so much more than often that I hear something along the lines of "I wish I was as strong as you," or "I'm just not as good at handling things as you are." I'm not telling you these things to brag, actually I'm about to do the opposite of that, but it's true. It's seems as though you think that this is all so easy for me. You think that I'm just SO tough that I've magically adjusted to not having the only parent that I've ever known in the life that I live today. You're impressed and you think I can handle it but the truth is far from the pictures you've all painted of me.


Little do you know, I smile as you tell me how much I look like my mother and then I go home and don't look in a mirror for days. Little do you know, I straighten my hair more often than not because it's too hard to look at her curls. Little do you know, sometimes I don't laugh when I want to because I know we all hear her when I do. Little do you know, you think my eyes are beautiful and I just see a never ending reminder of the woman I have lost.


 Little do you know, those sad image texts that you like to send me of poems that's are supposed to be from or to lost loved ones make me cringe like nothing has before. Little do you know, the photos and videos you send me of her make me want to throw up. I'm just not ready for that yet but I'll never tell you.


We may have played her favorite songs at her funeral and you even watched me sit so boldly and tearless but little do you know, I'd have to leave the room if you turned them on now. Little do you know, I'm still haunted by images from the viewing that I begged them not to have. Little do you know, I went into the room before all of you and searched her body. I found every mark, every cut, every wound that I could handle. Little do you know, I drown myself in thoughts of exactly what could've happened at this "accident." Little do you know, I'm wide awake as your sound asleep wondering if she died in pain and trying to convince myself otherwise.


 Little do you know, my heart is constantly hurting for my son that will never know the most important person in my entire life. Little do you know, I stress when I need a babysitter and she's not here to help. Little do you know, I have to call someone else when I'm afraid there's something wrong with my perfect baby boy and that, that doesn't feel good at all.


 Little do you know, I have to wake several people up in the middle of the night through texts or phone calls because I get so lost in thoughts of my mother that I need to talk about something else before I fall asleep. I'm terrified of the dreams I'll have if she's the last thing on my mind. Little do you know, I'm always trying to pick myself up, piece by piece, hour by hour, day by day. You don't see me cry because little do you know, if I started I couldn't stop.


It seems that you have mistaken my leadership and loyalty to and for my sisters as strength. You've confused my lack of emotions as bravery. You've assumed that because you've never seen me fall apart that I don't. But... We all know what happens when you assume...


To my biggest critics, Sympathy is the last reason that I wrote this for you today. Actually, it's not the last one, it's not even one. Not at all. I don't want you to feel sorry for me. I want you to understand  that I may seem like a bold fearless girl but I'm just Laci. I'm just like everyone else and I am hurting. I'm not perfect and I'm not so special that I'm unaffected. I'm struggling and I'm just trying to figure out how to live without my mother.


To those of you like me, to those of you living without your mother, you are not alone. I am no different than you. It's not easier for me, it just looks like it is. My story is so public and my blog has made it even more so but that doesn't mean that I don't go home and hate myself for not being able to hang her pictures up on my walls just yet.


To the sweet faithful woman who will lay her mother to rest so very soon, I see you. I see the pain in your eyes as you're standing strong for your children, for your siblings, for everyone. I'm standing with you. I'm standing right next to you. I felt it when you hugged me, all of the emotions that you're trying not to show. I'm sure you felt mine. I know. You may think that no one does but believe me, I know. It's all so familiar. It's all so, so real. She was the backbone and now you're going to be. Keep pushing. Keep searching for the positives and embrace all of them that you can find. Above all, most importantly, just remember that you will make it. You'll figure it out and you'll be such a pro. It will never get easier but you will get stronger.


To all of you, as always, thank you for reading!


   

Hair (Questions) For Days!


Published: January 21, 2016
Okay, okay, okay. As probably all of you know by now I made a drastic change Wednesday night and shared the final product on my social media accounts Thursday morning. I have gotten so many questions about my hair since then that I decided to just do a post so I can tell everyone everything at one time!






1. My Hair Color
First things first, this is just a custom color created for me by my stylist. Because all of our hair colors start out different there's not a specific formula that will give you my exact color. Michaela has been doing my hair for about a year now and I will literally never use anyone else. Throughout the last year I've done a lot of different things with touches of blonde which has given her a lot of experience with that color and how my hair reacts to bleach. I did not take an inspiration photo or ask for anything specific. All I said was "give me long blonde hair" and she made it happen.


2. My Hair Extensions
I would say that 70% of the questions that I have been asked today were about the added length. I have had several different sets of extensions and I will tell you this set is by far my favorite. I have currently wearing the BellaMi Piccolina Clip Ins in 120 grams and 18 inches. The shade is Dirty Blonde. After doing a lot of research and talking with my stylist I decided that these were the best choice for me. BellaMi offers and incredible variety of colors, styles, length and thickness. I have really fine hair so the 120 grams set is perfect for me but if you have a thicker hair type I would definitely recommend going up to 160 grams or higher. I took these to my appointment with me and she placed them in after my real hair was colored and cut them to blend with my natural hair. They did not end up having to be dyed because the colored matched my real hair so well but that's obviously not the case every single time.


3. Clip Ins VS Tape Ins VS Glue Ins VS....
This is also a popular question that I've been getting. As I told you above, I wear clip ins. I have only ever had clip ins. I have had several sets but I always choose clip ins because they are the easiest and best fit for what I want. It gives me an option to have shorter hair one day and longer hair the next day. You also don't have to wash clip ins as often so they tend to last much longer. They are my personal favorite so, if you want what I have then you want clip ins but I know several people who choose other options. Kelsey Johnson, owner and model for The Lace Cactus, wears tape ins and her hair looks amazing. Look it up, compare prices and methods and decide what you think is best for you.


4. My Stylist
Every single conversation that I have had about my hair always comes back to the person that does it. She is seriously more than amazing and I will literally never go to anyone else ever again. Making changes always makes me nervous but I literally never have to worry because she is always honest with me and always does an incredible job. One major thing for me is to always make sure that, no matter what color or length or style that I chose, my hair stays healthy and I promise you ever since my first appointment with Michaela my hair has been healthier than it has ever been in my entire life. If you don't have a stylist that you use regularly or if you are unhappy with your stylist call the Cutting Company at (903)796-7576 and ask for Michaela Marmon or call/text her on her personal cell phone at (903)490-5834. You will not regret it!


If you have any more questions or suggestions on hair care products now that I am a new blonde feel free to let me know. As always, thanks for reading!


   

Made For Moms: Rodan & Fields Sunless Tanner


Published: January 10, 2016
Let me just start this by saying, I am a lot of things but a sunless tanning expert is not one of them. For at least the past year I have been sporting skin in the tone Paper White. It's not a joke. When you see this before picture, well, I warned you.


When I was younger I was a tanning bed goddess but I just can't afford those types of risks anymore. I have a family that needs me alive and healthy. Brown skin is not worth risking cancer over, especially when I'm basically already risking it with every other thing that I do during a normal day. I also have a one year old and a full time job which means I don't have 30 minutes every afternoon to go lay in a bed of lights. I don't have time to go get sprayed once every couple of weeks either. With all of these things I was sure I was just going to be pale forever or, well, at least for the next five years but thanks to my friend Erin West I have found a solution.


Maybe I am the only one in the world that is just now finding out about Rodan & Fields but whatever. If I am then you are all jerks for not filling me in sooner. I know you've seen my pasty skin. Erin told me about a sunless tanning product that they offer and I saw a couple of before and after pictures and I just HAD to try it for myself!


I ordered the Essentials Foaming Sunless Tan on Friday afternoon and to my absolute surprise I received it in the mail from FedEx the very next morning. Because I had never used anything like it I was very nervous about the application and how complicated this could turn out to be. I did a lot of "How To" Googling and direction reading just to find out that you just rub it on and call it a day.


As soon as my son decided it was nap time I grabbed my skin exfoliator, jumped in the showed, shaved my legs and got ready to try this stuff out. It's really as simple as following the directions on the bottle. Dry your skin off, apply the product, let it dry for about 5 minutes, put on your sweatpants and go about your day getting ready as usual. I'd give it at least an hour if not two or more before changing into any tighter fitting clothes but that's about the only rule.


Because my skin was so pale, as you're about to see in the before photo, it took me two applications (in the same day) before I was able to get my desired color. If you already have a bit of a tan or you aren't really looking for a darker tan then just one application will be all that you need. Now, before I show you the photo, let me explain how I did the two application thing. I applied it once and then waited more than 6 hours to do it again. You have to see these results to believe it. Trust me it is amazing.


The photo on the left is obviously the before and the right is my after photo. I am so impressed that any product could give me this color in less than 24 hours. The color does not show up instantly. It takes about an hour or two before you really see the results. As I was waiting I was texting Erin about how nervous I was. I was sure that I was going to be orange and/or streaky but it could not have turned out more perfectly.


I did not use anything special to apply it. I used my hands and then washed them immediately after I was done. They are not orange and there is zero evidence of tanner on them. It is such a simple process. Seriously, if I can do it then you definitely can!


You can get your own results by clicking here and placing an order today! If you're in Texas your order will arrive in no time and you will be a bronzed goddess before the week is over! You can thank me later ;)


If you have any questions feel free to ask. If I  don't know the answer because, again I am no sunless tanning expert, I do know a few experts that will! Thanks for reading & happy tanning!


   

Happy New Year!



Published: December 31, 2015
It has been an extremely long time since I was last truly excited about New Years but this year I really, genuinely am. Typically I always feel like it is just another day but this time I literally can not wait to celebrate and bring in a whole new year with my friends and family! As pretty much all of you know, this has been the hardest and most challenging year of my entire life. I started 2015 with a brand new baby and I am ending it without my mother. I've learned a lot, I've lost a lot and I am more than ready for all of the wonderful things 2016 is going to bring.


This year, more than ever, I have learned to be thankful for the hard times because they are best at showing you just how blessed you truly are. What's that old saying? "You can't appreciate sunshine without experiencing a little rain." It is so true. It was on my worst days that my best ones were highlighted.


It has been a huge year for my little Brantley. We started off with swaddling blankets and 4 ounce bottles. He would wake up literally every three hours and loved staying up late. While that last part is still pretty true we have come a very long way. He can walk, (more importantly to him) run, eat big boy food and say more words than I can count. I am having such a blast watching him grow and learn and I can not wait to see how much he changes in 2016.


It isn't even the first day of January yet but I already have so many trips and plans for the year! I've had a small baby this year and a lot of tragedy so I haven't been able to do much but now that I can I am so excited! I can not wait to travel and make memoires with every single one of you! Erin West, our trip to TLC is at the top of my list right now!


*By the way everyone , swing by TheLaceCactus.com and start your new year in style! Use my code LACI10 for 10% of & get free shipping on orders of $25 or more.  (Did you like how I just threw that add in there?! Lol. But really, go shop there. It is an amazing boutique ran by an even more amazing family.)


My mom will not be joining us for 2016. At first I was very sad about this and I am still a little but I am happy for my mom that she is in a better place. For those of you that loved/love her (so, basically all of you) let's just remember that for Linda Messer there will never again be any pain or suffering. 2015 was the end of any sadness or worry that she could ever have and for that I am so grateful.  My mom was an amazing woman, a perfect one, and it is our loss that she is now gone but she has left us with so many good memories and more lessons than we could learn by ourselves in three lifetimes.


While it has been a hard year for the Barnett girls we have never been closer. We have always been best friends but it's so much different now. Since the loss of our mom we are probably the tightest team of girls around. The love and loyalty that they have for me and each other amazes me more and more every day. I am so thankful that Brantley and I have them on our side!


This has definitely been a year of growth and change. I have learned more, I have experienced more and I have found more strength than ever before. 2016 is going to be a more than amazing time so either get on board or get out of the way. I promise you, you're not going to want to miss this!


However you celebrate tonight if alcohol is involved please be safe and stay off of the roads. If you don't matter enough to yourself to find a designated driver or stay put then please think about those of us driving with innocent little ones and the people that have loved ones on the road tonight.  Don't be selfish. Call a friend. Call a parent. Call a sibling. Call a taxi. Stay where you're at. I don't care what you do, just stay off the road. It's not worth the fines and jail time you will receive or the lives that you are putting at risk.


So... is it midnight yet?! Happy New Year Everyone!


   

Let's Party (Plan)!


Published: December 10, 2015
Maybe I am just a high strung perfectionist but planning Brantley's first birthday party was one of the most stressful and exhausting things that I have ever done in my entire life. I am pretty sure that my wedding didn't even require that much work! Oh, the things we do for our kids... Even though it took weeks of planning and hours of decorating and baking, I can honestly say that it was absolutely perfect! Let me tell you, if I did it then you definitely can! Here are some tips, products and even a couple of discounts to help you survive your next party!


1.  
You can't have a party without invitations! Well, I mean, technically you could but you wouldn't have anyone to party with you so... not recommended. This is surprisingly the easiest part of the entire thing for me! I ordered a custom invite from a shop on Etsy, gave them my party info & about $10 and they designed the whole thing for me. After they emailed me a proof and we got it exactly like I wanted it I saved the jpeg to my computer, went to the CVS website in the photo section, uploaded the image and ordered 50 prints. All together it cost me about $16 and 5 minutes of my time! Unfortunately the shop I used is now closed for some reason and the above is not the invitation we used but you can get your own custom one here from Denleys on Etsy.


2.        
Of course, every birthday boy/girl needs their own outfit. These are so great not only for birthday parties but also for birthday photos! I would definitely order it at least a month before the date that you need it, if not more, just in case something goes wrong with shipping! The LAST thing you want in the craziness is a wardrobe disaster. Also, when picking a birthday outfit you may notice that there are so many cute and fuzzy ones with bows/bowties and fuzzy stuff or whatever. Make sure you choose a low maintenance that your child can be comfortable in. Trust me, you do not want to be chasing your child around all day adjusting things.  You can order one just like Brantley's or even create your own custom design here from CrestlineCreatives on Etsy.! Use code LACI10 at checkout for 10% off of your order!




3.  
I know, I know, this is not something that you HAVE to have but if you are anything like me then you still want it. A custom birthday hat?! I mean, how can you pass that up!? This was such a cute little addition to Brantley's outfit and it was so simple to order! Because it was custom I also ordered this more than a month in advance just to make sure that everything turned out perfectly. I always like to leave time to fix problems and I could not throw this party without this hat, or so I thought. This picture is not Brantley's exact hat, we did customize it a little in order to match the outfit a little better, but it is the idea we based our order off of. You can get this hat or have a custom one made here from The Tiny Closet. Again, use code LACI10 for 10% off!



4. 
Finding this was a total accident but once I saw it I could not live without it! "Mom" and "Dad" shirts to match the party theme was just the icing on the cake for me. Even though the party has passed I still wear this shirt! It is just so cute and we are even using them to match Brantley in a section of our family photos next weekend! I wish I could recommend the shop that I ordered this from but after several errors and awful customer service I would never want any of you guys to buy from there. I literally received a childs size shirt at one point. It was a mess but you can actually go to Etsy, type in "Custom (you party theme) Mom (or Dad) shirt" and see pages and pages of different ones!




5. 
Finding these custom Elmo lollipops was actually another total accident but I am so glad that I stumped across them! They were the perfect party favor and decoration! All of them together only cost about $15 and it took about 4 days for them to arrive at my house. You can find these in all themes and colors on eBay or buy these exact ones here.


I seriously could go on and on and on about all of the little details but I will stop here. I will say every single decorating and snack idea that I had came from Pinterest. You can see more photos of Brantley's party here or you can even follow me on Pinterest here where you can view all of the ideas that I saved on his birthday board! As always, thanks for reading and feel free to message me here with any comments or questions! See you next time!


   

My Favorite Beauty Oils & Face Masks

Published: November 25, 2015
Well, after a few technical difficulties with my website and an extremely busy holiday week I have not been able to get this post published for you! I am so sorry for the delay! I had Thanksgiving, Black Friday and Brantley's first birthday party, which I will tell you about later. Now that everything is finally calm and back to normal I have this here for you just in time for the cold weather!


We have talked about facial cleaners, moisturizers and now we are going to talk about beauty oils and facial masks! I have always been a facial mask lover but the word oil in beauty oils use to really freak me out. Once I started experimenting with them I tried a couple of different ones and, let me tell you, there are some that you should definitely stay away from but there are others that you shouldn't go a day more without!





1.
Josie Maran Argan Oil is one of my favorite facial products of all time. There is literally absolutely nothing in these bottles other than 100% Argan Oil. It is that simple, that natural and it truly is magic! You can use this product on your face, body and lips and it is approved for even the most sensitive of skins. Because this is nothing but a natural oil it is obviously very oily and not something you want to put all over your face during the day time. You do not want to combine this product with any foundations ever. I  use this about 2 times a week on my face, more if my face is feeling really dry, and every single night on my lips. Always apply this after you wash you face and have applied moisturizer. I put this stuff on right before bed and I never wake up disappointed. You can buy this at Sephora or direct from Jose Maran Cosmetics here. One 15 ml bottle costs around $16 or you can buy the 50 ml bottle for $48.





2.
The Blissful Body's Miracle Beauty Oil is a life saver. This oil is also completely natural and contains sunflower seed oil, rice bran oil, macadamia nut oil, argan oil and many, many others. (For a complete list of ingredients click here.) You can use this anywhere on your face or body that needs a little extra moisture. I use this at least a couple of times and I could not live without it! I apply it at least 30 minutes after I have washed and moisturized my face, usually right before bed. Even though this is an oil it can be used with foundation. Lately I have been trying out a couple of different foundations and I like to mix in a little drop of this stuff any time I feel like a product is really thick. I also mix it with foundations that I think could possibly effect my sensitive skin negatively and it acts almost as a shield. With this stuff I do not have to be afraid to try different things because it always protects me! I adore this product and brand not only because it is amazing but also because it is made by a family owned and operated business! Unfortunately I can not give you an exact cost because I don't remember the price and the shop is closed for a couple of days for Thanksgiving however I can assure you that it is nothing unreasonable. You can purchase this online here.



3.
I love, love, love Eslor's Chlorophyll Lifting Mask! This stuff is so amazing. The description says it is for skin tightening and radiant glowing skin. I don't know the first part to be true because, let's face it, I'm 23 years old and I'm not too worried about lose skin on my face but I can instantly tell a difference in the color, texture and overall look of my skin immediately after one use. This mask contains natural milk proteins, plant extracts, and several minerals that will brighten up your face instantly. I use this once every 7 days. If it has just been a really bad week I tend to add a second use in during my weekend. I apply this after I have washed my face but before I have put on moisturizer. You can buy this product online from Eslor here. It costs about $38 for a 1.7 fl oz bottle but it will seriously last you months. I have had my current one for 3 months and I'm not even half way through it yet.



4.
Because I do like to use a lot of moisturizers and beauty oils I always keep Neutrogena's Deep Clean Long-Last Shine Control Cleanser/Mask in my cabinet at all times. This product can be used as just a cleanser but I use it as only a mask. This product is oil free, will not clog your pores and will not dry out your skin. As you know by now, I tend to have pretty dry skin so when I see anything with shine or oil control on the bottle I stay far, far away but this stuff is the exception. This product keeps my skin from getting too oily without even coming close to leaving me feeling or looking dry. I only use this one night a week right after washing my face and before moisturizing. You can find this at pretty much any store with a beauty aisle or you can buy it direct from Neutrogena here. This product runs about $8.



5.
Evian Facial Spray is not a mask or an oil but I love it and I had to include it for you somewhere so here it is. This stuff is incredible and you are going to need it this winter. This is a mineral water face spray and it is made to enhance the effectiveness of any moisturizer or skin care regimen. Any time I feel really dry I use this stuff. You just spray a thin layer all over your face. let it dry and you are good to go. My favorite thing about this product is that you can literally use it OVER makeup! Sometimes during the day, especially in the colder months, my face starts feeling really dry and I just wish I could put on moisturizer but I'm wearing makeup and it just doesn't work that was so now, there is Evian! This actually can be used to brighten the colors in any makeup look. The best thing about this product is that you can use it all day and all night and not have one negative thing happen to your skin! You can purchase this product from Sephora, Ulta or directly from the Evian spray shop here. It costs around $12-$13.

If you have any questions, requests or recommendations always feel fee to let me know! Check back next time for help planning your child's next party!


   

My Favorite Moisturizers


Published: November 20, 2015
Before I say anything else I have to give a HUGE thank you to a very sweet friend of mine that has spent so much time teaching me, helping me and talking me through this whole graphic design thing. After several hours and many long talks with her my blog has now been redesigned and glamorized. If you have not already, come out of this post and look around for yourself. I think you will be truly impressed! I am so in love with this new look. Terri, I seriously can not thank you enough! If you need any help with your graphic designs email her here or search or find her on Faebook here.


As promised earlier this week, it is time to talk about skin moisturizers! I'm pretty picky and really weird about which products I will and will not use when it comes to this stuff so, just know that the things I am going to talk about today are highly recommended! Before we start talking about the actual items let me first give you some very important tips.


I have not always used a moisturizer. Actually, before I got pregnant with Brantley I never used one. I didn't think I needed it and I never had any problems. Once I was pregnant my skin changed and started to be very dry and sensitive. With that, I think everyone needs a moisturizer. We may not all need the same kind but we definitely all need one. The products and makeups we use every day and even just the air and city waters are so harsh on your skin that you should be using something every morning and every night to protect and
nourish your face.


When using a moisturizer is it important to understand that there is no reason that you should ever stop. When your skin gets oily and seems out of control, don't you dare skip a day! The worst thing that you can do when you're having skin issues is to change your routine and confuse your body. There is a moisturizer listed below that you can use for those days or you can find one on your own that you like better. It really doesn't matter as long as you are consistent. 




1.
To say that I love Olay would be an understatement. I literally could not live without Olay Complete All Day Moisture Cream. This has been my favorite moisturizer for almost a year now and I still can not get enough of this. I usually use this morning and night every single day of the week either 30 minutes before I put my foundation on or right after I take my makeup off. As I have said before I tend to have very dry and sensitive skin, especially during this time of the year, but with this stuff I never see a dry spot on my face. I really like for my moisturizer to be thick without feeling to heavy and this is the perfect combination. It does have an SPF of 15. You can buy this at Walmart, CVS or pretty much anywhere else for about $5-$8.

2.
Not only is the bottle pretty but L'Oreal Youth Code Texture Perfector is an amazing product. I used to use this product literally every single night until I discovered Olay. The only reason I changed from this to the Olay is because for the amount that I was using Olay was much cheaper and this is not the perfect product for all over your face. I do not like to put this product on my chin, nose or forehead. My skin tends to get more oily in those areas and my cheeks tend to develop dry spots. Now that I have found my true love in Olay I use this product either when my cheeks are feeling really dry and tight or when I've been in a lot of cold weather and wind the day before. I do not typically use this before putting on makeup although you definitely could. It's not oily or watery. It has a great consistency. This is a wonderful product for colder weather or just bad skin days. You can buy this at Walmart, CVS or anywhere that sells L'Oreal for about $18-$24.

3.
I really truly love H20+ Face Oasis Hydrating Treatment! This product is oil free and almost acts like a leave on face mask. I use this product one or two times a week just to freshen up my skin and keep everything smooth and texture free. It is a very thin and gentle product. When using this product make sure to first wet your face and then massage in a thin layer of moisturizer. When I use this I will apply it right after I have washed my face, let it dry and then follow up with Olay Complete about 5 minutes later. I bought this product when I was really having problems keeping my skin from drying out last winter after a friend recommended it to me. It has really made a huge difference. It is a tiny bit pricey but you get a pretty big bottle and it will last you a while. I am still using the same stuff I bought almost a year ago! You can purchase this product from their direct website here for about $36.

4.
It is very rare that I have a day where I'm feeling almost oily but when I do Mario Badescu's Buttermilk Moisturizer is perfect! This product is not as thick as the ones I would normally use but when my skin is feeling less dry and more oily it is exactly what I need. This moisturizer is very gentle on even my extremely sensitive skin. You can buy this product at your nearest Ulta or from their direct website here for about $18. If you do choose to buy from the direct website or just want to go on and look around you can always search products by your skin type or click here to fill out a consultation questionnaire to get customized suggestions and free samples!

5.
Mary Kay TimeWise Age-Fighting Moisturizer Sunscreen Broad Spectrum SPF 30 is really a product I use more during warm months but I do love it. Because I have very sensitive skin I look for moisturizers with a higher SPF because normal sunscreens really tend to irritate my face. I use this product any time that I am going to be doing any sort of outdoor activity or even just sitting in the stands at a baseball game. It tends to feel a little oily and thin for my liking so I do not use this every day or at night time. I also would not recommend wearing this with any sort of foundation but if you're just going all natural for some outdoor fun this is what you're going to need! You can buy this from the Mary Kay website here from Jennifer Allen and Tory Strange or if you already have a rep I am sure that they would be glad you assist you. This product costs about $24.

I would like to say a special thank you to those of you that messaged me about how my last post helped you! Also, thank you to the friends that have now given me some new products to try! You guys are seriously awesome!! If you have any questions, requests or recommendations always feel fee to let me know! Check back next time for face masks and beauty oils that will change your life... or at least your skin. As always, thanks for reading!


   

Clean Slate: My Favorite Facial Cleansers

Published: November 16, 2015
Before I say anything else let me first say THANK YOU. Seriously, thank you to all of you wonderful people that have sent me so many sweet messages & comments. I have not posted in a while because things have been so crazy in my life but, as I have told many of you already, I am not done! I am currently in the middle of planning a first birthday party and recovering from mine and Brantley's second sick weekend in less than a month. With the help of some very sweet friends I have done a little redesigning on the blog to make it more user friendly and I am ready to start this thing back up!!


I am by no means a fashion or beauty blogger. I usually leave that kind of stuff for Erin West but I have promised, on more than one occasion, to post my favorite skin care products and there is no better time than the present. To me, skincare is so much more important than makeup. Not only will your makeup always look so much better with beautiful skin but I personally prefer to be able to just wash my face and go instead waking up extra early to apply a face full of makeup and hide under thick, oily foundations and concealers.


What you need to know before going out and buying any of this is that we are all different and so is our skin. I typically have more dry to combination skin but never just too oily so I love moisturizers and beauty oils, especially with the colder months right ahead of us. To add onto that, my skin is very sensitive. I also believe that consistency is key. Whatever you are doing, whatever routine you choose for your face it is so important to understand that nothing will ever get you results over night and switching from product to product will prevent you from seeing a change in your skin. I hope that this can help some of you. I truly stand behind every single one of these products.


1.
I have never loved a product more than I love Olay Daily Facial Cloths. I have been using these cloths since my mom introduced me to them in the 8th grade and they're seriously one of my favorite beauty products of all time. I use these literally every night regardless of if I have worn makeup that day or not. It will remove your makeup or any oils on your face very quickly and they are so gentle on the skin. You can get these at your local Walmart, CVS or really just about anywhere and they are usually between $4-$6. They're pretty inexpensive and they last a while.

2.
I LOVE Philosophy's Purity Made Simple One Step Facial Cleanser but I do not use this product every single night. It is an excellent cleanser and it not harsh on my skin at all. A lot of cleansers like this will leave my face feeling really dry and striped but this has never done that to me. I use this on days where I've worn more makeup and really just want to make sure my face gets clean. I also use this product when I am feeling really oily or it's just been one of those days with gross humid weather. When I do use this product I always use the Olay Daily Facial Cloths first and follow with this. I always buy mine from Ulta and it is about $24.


3.
I have a serious love/hate relationship with Mary Kay TimeWise 3-In-1 Cleanser. I feel like this product is very harsh on the skin and will almost leave you feeling like you have rubbed sandpaper against your face but it has seriously saved my skin many times. I have this in my cabinet as an "emergency use only" item. It is an incredible exfoliator but it is just so rough. I use this only when I am feeling really dry and my skin is starting to flake. It will get rid of any dry areas or peeling skin and have you back to feeling soft and smooth in literally one use. I don't personally have a Mary Kay rep. I bought this one time several months ago and I use it so little that I still have more than half a bottle left. When I do use this product I always use the Olay Daily Facial Cloths first and follow with this. If you do have a rep I am sure they will be more than happy to help you order this if you don't you can click here and it will take you to the Mary Kay direct website. It is about $20 and I would say that it is more than worth that. It is so incredibly effective and if you use it like I do it is likely to last you a year.

4.
I could really live with or without Mario Badescu's Cucumber Cleansing Lotion. This is a pretty gentle product but I do not use it too often. As I said earlier, I am typically dry if anything at all and this product I really only use on those days that I am feeling a little more than oily. As a cleanser it is not my favorite. I feel like it's a little watered down almost and even though it is all natural it has sort of an acidic feel which is more than perfect for the days that I do feel oily, it's just that those days are far and few. When I do use this product I always use the Olay Daily Facial Cloths first and follow with this. You can purchase this at Ulta or by clicking here to go to the direct Mario Badescu website. It is usually about $15 but it is a large bottle so it definitely worth it. On the direct website there is a skin profile where they could easily match you with a better cleaner for your skin type if you are interested.

5.
I use Clean & Clear Morning Burst Skin Brightening Facial Cleanser literally every single morning. You will have to try it for yourself to really see what I mean but it truly does wake up and brighten my skin. It always leaves me feeling really fresh and alive no matter how little sleep I have gotten. It is oil free and gentle. The commercials for this stuff are so cheesy but I seriously could not live without it. You can buy this at Walmart or really any drug store and it runs anywhere between $5-$7.


I will be doing this is a little bit of a series. Because there are so many different products that I want to share with you and talk about it will be much easier for myself and my readers if I split it up into a couple of different posts. If you have any questions, special request or even a recommendation please feel free to let me know!  Check back next time for my favorite moisturizers!


   

A Letter To My Unborn


Published: October 3, 2015
My sweet, sweet, tiny baby-


You are more than beautiful. I know that you are because you are mine and you, you are perfect. I never got to see you. I never got to hold you and I hate that more than anyone could ever know. We never officially met but you are wonderful. I have no doubt.


My mom told me that all babies go to heaven, especially the unborn, so, I know that you are there with her now. I know that you are safe. I don't worry about you like I do your brother, Brantley, because I know that you're more than okay. I don't wonder if you are happy or healthy because I know that you are. I don't worry at all but I do hurt, more than I can tell you. I hurt. I hurt because I so deeply miss you and I desperately hope that you don't miss me. I know what that's like. Wanting your Mommy, missing your Mommy, that is the hardest thing about my life today. I never want that for you. I have to think that God has some special way of making it to where you can know about me and not miss me.


You made me so very full. You may not understand this because you aren't a Mommy but when you were gone I just knew it. Not having you with me now, I feel so very alone. It has never been more obvious that I am by myself in this body. There is something about sharing it and then suddenly not that leaves you feeling so empty, so hollow.


You have to know that I am more than happy to be your Mommy. I am absolutely elated. This is a tough responsibility and I often wonder why I was chosen for this situation but it is not a burden. You are not burden. Housing you for those very few weeks is nothing that I would take back. For you, I would do this over and over and over and over again. You are everything to me. Just as Brantley is, you are everything.


I do not love Brantley more than I love you. You are different. He is here with me. He is exhausting and I just know that you would be exactly the same. He needs me and in even more ways I need him but you are equals. I love you just as much as I love him. You were not a mistake and you did not "just happen." You had a purpose and while I am still searching for what that is, I need you to know that I love you as much as I could ever love anyone. I love you differently but from the moment I knew that you existed I have loved you with all that I am.


My mom was sure that we will actually meet our unborn children in Heaven. I wonder, now that she's gone and it's too late to ask what she thinks, I just wonder exactly what that means. Am I going to meet you while you're still my tiny, perfect, little baby or are you going to be a stunning, brilliant adult? I would love to watch your first steps but if I don't get to then that will just be another sacrifice that I can be okay with. As long as I know that I have you, I can be okay with anything. I won't lie. I hope that somehow I will still get to raise you but no matter how it turns out, it will be perfectly fine with me.


In a way, I am happy that you aren't here. It's so cold and harsh. People are so mean these days, especially the kids. You, my sweet perfect, little child, will never have to have your tiny little heart broken. You will never know even the smallest bit of pain. No one will ever get to be mean to you and you will never go through that weird, trying to figure out if you like yourself, 13 year old phase. You will be happy, healthy and loved forever and that is all. You'll never hurt in any form and knowing that does something good to my heart.


I am not naïve. I know that you will never read this but if somehow you ever did I would want you to know that I love you. Just like I've said already, I love you. I love you so much and I think about you every single day. I wonder who you would be and who you are. I wonder if you would be short or giant like. I wonder if you would have my eyes or your fathers. I wonder and I think about you more than I could tell you. I am so glad to have had you for the little bit of time that I did and I can not wait to be with you again.


If I knew that you could read this, I would ask you to take care of your MiMi for me and Brantley. Love her as much as you possibly can because, like you, she has ALWAYS been perfect and, like me, she will always love you. If I'm not going to get to watch you take your first steps, let her. She would be more than delighted, I promise. She is an incredible lady and you are a wonderful little being. You are both blessed to have each other.


I could go on for days, I promise. I'm a talker. Maybe you are, too. There is just so much I would say to you if I could. Neither of us chose this life but I am thankful for it. I am thankful for you. Don't worry about me. I am fine. You have fun. Be good, be happy and I will see you soon.


Love,
Mommy

My Maintstream Moment


Published: September 2, 2015
I'm not typically one to care about anything mainstream or MTV but can we just pretend that I am for a moment?! I didn't watch the VMAs earlier this week but at this point I might as well have. I'm sure I am not the only one that has scrolled past hundreds of videos and outtakes from the show the past few days. I am nosey by nature and all too curious so, I have clicked on a few and I have to say, I am appalled.


Before I go any farther let me just say, this is most certainly not a holier than thou post so, don't even start with me there. I am, by no means, perfect and Lord knows, I've never claimed to be. However, just because I am not perfect does not mean that I am not allowed to point out wrong doings.


I know, you're expecting me to comment on Miley and Nicki right? Lord bless them both. They're really just two huge walking disasters but if you want a comment then here it is... Ladies. Did your momma not teach you better?! I won't say that it's our generation as a whole but a whole lot of our generation lacks any form of class and it's a little more than disgusting. First off, this happened. That's an issue in itself. How is it not embarrassing to act that way? To this day my momma would've come up and yanked me off the stage for not only using those words in public but for behaving the way that they did. Secondly, we clapped. Well, some of you clapped. I did not. America clapped for this. Are you kidding me?


Hold on. Time out. I can already tell that with where this post is going that we are going to need to talk about this first. Clapping. We clap for someone when they've done something good. We clap for someone when they deserve recognition and we are happy for or proud of them. We do not clap for someone because they are stupid or embarrassing. I clap for my son when he holds his bottle by himself or when he stands by himself without holding onto anything (he's 9 months old). Let me know if you're still confused by this and I will send you a video example.


Anyway, we clapped. You clapped. They clapped for this stupid, hostile, embarrassing interaction. We said, "YAY! GOOD JOB!" Are you kidding me?! REALLY?! Okay then.


Moving on... Speaking of clapping, you clapped for Kanye?! What the heck did he even say? Do you know? If you know then you were as high as he was, I'll tell you that much! Be honest, you have no idea what he was talking about but, you clapped for him anyway. I have seen several websites that have been kind enough to type out the speech for us to try to understand it but even in print it makes no sense. Yet still, he received a huge applause which, quite frankly, terrifies me.


"Ya’ll might be thinking right now, ’Did he smoke something before he came out here?’ The answer is yes, I rolled up a little something. I knocked the edge off!" - Kanye West, 2015 VMAs.


The above got one of the loudest responses of the night. Why would you cheer for this? It's not okay. Maybe I'm not cool. Maybe I'm stuck up and preppy or whatever it is you want to call me but, the last time I checked drugs, in any form other than prescription, are illegal. How can we cheer for and condone this type of behavior? Why is this okay? Why are we clapping for this garbage?! He wants to be a role model for teenagers, heck, he wants to be president and this is the way he behaves? And we clap because we are okay with that?The crazy thing is, you were all cheering the night of this occurrence but the next day your Facebook and Twitter posts were halfway bashing him. Make up your mind. Are you with him or not?!


I guess what I have learned from all of this is that, as a whole, we don't really seem to care what anything is about or where it comes from. All we are concerned with is whose name is on it. Who said it? Where were they at when they said it? How many people heard? What was everyone else's reaction?


We care more about the messenger than we do the message and unfortunately it is the message that makes the messenger. They hung Jesus on a cross because of his name, because of who He claimed to be, not because they knew him or His word. You clapped for Miley because she's crazy Miley and you love that she's crazy. You told Nicki, it's okay to act in hate. It's okay to be idiot in front of millions of people. It's okay because you're Nicki and you're a millionaire and everything you say or do is gold. You told Kanye that yes, drugs are so illegal, but YAY! You openly admitted to being high, in public, in front on millions, on stage, being recorded on videos that will be around forever. Good job, man.


Is this who we are? Is this who we are going to be? A generation that is controlled by pretty names and shiny clothing is nothing that I want to be a part of. Are we going to just sit back and clap because Kim Kardashian said it or Taylor Swift sang it and let everyone make decisions for us? It's starting to get a little more than ridiculous. If you aren't as upset by this as I am then maybe you need to watch the videos again and really pay attention to the crowd and if you are well, at least you aren't alone with your feelings. Regardless of your opinion on the matter, just remember, "If you don't stand for something, you will fall for anything."


   

Raising Brantley

Published: August 30, 2015
In only a couple of weeks I have told you about a few of the worst parts of my life. I've talked about my moms death, I've talked about my violent father and I've talked about myself. I think though, before I can go any farther, it's time to talk about my Brantley.


Having a baby is the best, hardest, most frustrating, complicated, exhausting, and most rewarding form of character building on the planet. I didn't have a problem free pregnancy and I do not have a problem free child. I mean, really. Is that even a thing?! Whatever. Even though it is so, so little compared to some of my other mom friends, I have learned a lot in the past more than nine months about people, about moms and about being a mom.

YOU WILL LOSE FRIENDS
It's crazy to me. Some people just can't understand why my kid is more important to me than them and their Saturday night plans. Look, I know that you can still do fun adult things and have a baby. I get that. If that's how you choose to spend your time well, AWESOME for you. Unfortunately, I am different.
I work Monday-Friday from 8:00AM-5:00PM. Do you know how many hours I spend away from my kid just to be able to provide for him?! That's a lot of time that I don't get to see him. That's a lot of bottles that I don't get to make. It's a lot of laughs that I don't get to hear. So with that, you also want me to give up my Friday and Saturday nights with him? No thanks. You are more than welcome to come over and watch Elmo in your PJs with us. We can even do dinner. Brantley loves to sit in the high chairs at restaurants but, if you're asking me to leave my kid with a babysitter because your plans don't allow for a baby, you can probably count me out.
You don't get that? You think I'm wrong? You don't wanna be my friend? Okay! No problem. See how easy that was? If you don't understand that Brantley is more important to me than you could ever be then we don't have any business being friends in the first place. You don't really sound like the kind of person that needs to be friends with a mom or a dad. You actually sound pretty immature and selfish. I sure do hope your friends don't all leave you when you have a child because God knows, I'm not answering that lonely phone call!
Oh, you don't plan on having a baby anytime soon? Lol. I've seen the way some of you live your lives. You're due for one any moment now!


YOU WILL SLEEP AGAIN, EVENTUALLY
Life is exhausting. Kids are exhausting. When you put them both together you're lucky if you can remember your own name. I was blessed enough to have what you would call an "easy baby." By that I mean that he has always slept well. He never wakes up in the middle of the night more than twice, if he wakes up at all. Even with that, I am so tired. I am always so tired. Thank God for B12 and coffee!
You will lose sleep but you will sleep again, soon. Although it is exhausting you will sleep. They say you won't but that's not true. You will sleep plenty but it will be different and it will come in all forms. Bedtime (sometimes), Naps and especially when Grandma and Grandpa want to borrow your little angel for a few hours or, if you're lucky, a whole night.
There have been times where I have slept for 10 hours straight without even the smallest of noises from Brantley and there are nights where he just absolutely refused to sleep until 1AM and then woke back up at 3AM wanting to play. You have to accept that. You have to be okay with losing a little something here and there. It sucks but it's not permanent. I told you, I am always exhausted but it's rarely from lack of sleep.
Let me just give you one small bit of advice though. Coming from the mom of an almost nine month old, if you ever have to choose between sleeping and cleaning, SLEEP. Always pick sleep. Like, literally ALWAYS.


IT'S NOT AS HARD AS IT SOUNDS OR AS EASY AS IT LOOKS
Brantley and I are quite an adorable pair in Walmart these days. I know you've seen us. We have it all together. I know you've noticed how my purse and wallet match perfectly with his diaper bag. We walk in the door and I sit him in the front see of the buggy and he's so well behaved. He smiles and laughs and he is just too cute. You noticed his Sperry's, huh? Everyone always does. They're a crowd favorite. He is always well dressed and all that hair is parted to the side, like a true gentleman. Me? My hairs straight as can be and I even managed to wear mascara. I wear heels for some trips. You're impressed, I know, but you shouldn't be.
You have no idea how hard Brantley just screamed during our 2 minute car ride to actually get to Walmart. What you also don't know is that I literally had to put those cute little shoes on him 3 times in the last hour because he hates them and he finds it hilarious to take them off and throw them. My outfit looks cute but really, the leggings and over sized cardigan were just a more than a convenient option and happened to be at the front of my closet. I put that makeup on quickly in the bathroom after I arrived to work late this morning because Brantley peed all over my first outfit and then I left his diapers at the house so, I had to make an extra trip back to the babysitters to drop them off. Brantley is laughing in the buggy because I'm giving him Blueberry snacks and he loves to take them out of his mouth and try to stick them to my hands and clothes. We do not have it together, at all, but we sure do put on a good show!
Don't get me wrong, it is hard. It is much harder than we moms make it look. Taking a baby to Walmart or really anywhere is challenging and difficult but it's easier than that just sounded. You learn. You grow. You adjust and compromise. Expect the worst, hope for the best and always take snacks and an extra outfit for the both of you!


IT'S OKAY TO BE RUDE (SOMETIMES)
Oh, hey strange older lady that I've never met or seen before in my entire life NO! No, you most certainly can not hold my baby boy. Side note: get your hands off of him, too. If I don't know you, if you don't know me, of course it's not okay for you to touch my child! No, you can't pick him up. I know he has a lot of hair. LEAVE IT ALONE. If you think Bridezillas are bad then you've never seen a Momzilla.
I know, I know, we are from the south. We say "bless you heart" and we wave and hug literally everyone, y'all do anyway. I'm not usually that friendly. Regardless, I know. Our Momma's "taught us better" and we have manners but guess what ladies, (and gentlemen, too if you're really still reading this), it is okay to say no and it is okay to be a little rude when weird pushy people invade your child's personal space. It's okay. It's fine.
Are you sick and tired of people telling you that it's too cold for your child to not have clothes on, in the privacy of your own home, when you just fought with him for 20 minutes and finally gave in and took off those silly jeans that you forced on him for a 5 second trip to the Dollar Store? Are you fed up with someone telling you that maybe your baby is a little too fat or too skinny?! Are you exhausted with people commenting on the purple sippy cup that your grandma accidentally bought your little boy because she thought it was blue and you just grabbed it in a hurry walking out the door to keep him from screaming the entire hour that you were about to spend grocery shopping?! SAY SOMETHING.
It's okay. They are attacking you and they need to mind their own business. No, that does not mean go write a sassy Facebook status that, that person will probably never read. SAY SOMETHING THEN AND THERE. Tell them that you and your child are not their concern. For the love of God, shut them up so that they don't come over to my buggy with that same nonsense. I am exhausted with having to teach all of these random strangers boundaries and I could really use some help here.


WORK WHAT WORKS
I have read so many blogs and columns and I've talked to so many different moms and, you know, as people like to do, they've all given their own opinions and advice. That's great. Sometimes it's actually good stuff, mostly not but sometimes and sometimes you try it even if it's not just because you're desperate. Let me just tell you, there is no shame in my mom game. If it works then I'm doing it.
If you love cosleeping and it helps you and your baby get plenty of rest at night GO FOR IT. If your baby is like mine and just can't get full from formula but baby food right before bed fills his little tummy and helps him sleep so well, DO IT. He's only 3 months old? Still do it. Ignore what they say. If it's not making him sick and your doctor doesn't see any health hazards from it then there's no reason you shouldn't continue.
Bottle feed? Breast feed? Cloth diaper? Huggies? Luvs? Walmart brand? Whatever. Whatever works for you and your baby and your family, you do that. Stop comparing yourself to everyone else and stop comparing everyone else to yourself. Every baby is different and every mom is different. Parenthood is hard enough, stop judging yourself and stop judging everyone else. Work whatever the heck works and don't be ashamed of it!


IT IS ALWAYS WORTH IT
Brantley can throw a fit like no other. He can go from certifiably happy to an all out, fully enraged, red faced tantrum in less than a second. He is constantly either in the act of or trying to eat the dog's food. I can not tell you the last time that I wore eyeliner and he pulls strands of my hair out on a daily basis. His favorite hobbies include, but are not limited to, pulling up on the entertainment center to turn off the xbox in the middle of the my favorite show that I haven't been able to watch in months, throwing my hand painted mason jars that I spent hours on into the kitchen floor,  turning over and spilling any and all cups, bowls, and plates within his reach and drooling all over my iPhone and computer... and tablet... and like anything else I have ever owned.
I live in a madhouse and I'm probably already a little bit insane but I wouldn't trade it for the world. He is a little bit of a disaster but if you could just hear him laugh once you would understand. When it's bedtime and wraps his chubby little arms around my neck and mumbles "mama" until he's passed out it is so simple to know that nothing else will even trump this. Saturday morning Elmo and afternoon walks at the park are my life now and I've never had more fun. Brantley is MY soul mate and I will always choose him over anyone else. He's a lot of trouble... and I mean A LOT but, he's more than worth it and he always makes up for it with smiles and kisses.


Maybe this post was a little direct. No, this post was definitely direct but I won't apologize. I am real and if you can't handle that then you probably don't need to read my posts anymore. I don't write to offend but if you are offended then... Bless you heart, maybe there's a reason... I'm just saying? That was soft enough, right?!


I could go on and on and on and on about the ways that this child has changed my life. I'm a talker, I know, so we'll just leave it at this. He is exhausting and incredible. He is beautiful and he is perfect. He is everything and most importantly he is mine. Keep your opinions and advice where your hands should be ( to yourself, just in case you didn't learn that from your Momma) and I think I have made it more than clear that if you don't want to be Brantley's friend then you most certainly can't be mine. We're both okay with that.


To my mom friends, girls, Jill Churchill is a genius. Who is she?! I have no idea. Maybe we'll Google her and talk about her at on one our Chickfila meetings with our leggings and messy buns but until then just remember what she has said. "There is no way to be a perfect mother, but a million ways to be a good one."


   





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