Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Wednesday Wishes 8/21/13

It's funny how long a week can feel as it is going but when you get to the end (or in this case another Wednesday), it seems like the week went by quick.

This week, I found myself wanting a lot more makeup items. Either that or there are too many makeup lines or collections with releases right now. 

This is what made my list:

Lancome DreamTone Customized Skin Tone Correcting Serum
So I've seen the latest commercials from Lancome for their new skin tone correcting serum and I admit I was intrigued.  I've never used any Lancome products but there are several that I have wanted to try.  What intrigued me the most about this particular product is that there are three.  There is one for fair skin, medium, and dark.  My skin has its share of dark spots but all the products I have tried or have wanted to try have been disappoints to me or friends.  Since this is new, I don't know what the verdict has been for others but I definitely want to try it.
 
Sugarpill Cold Chemistry Palette
I have heard about Sugarpill cosmetics for years but never had the desire to try any of their products.  I don't know why since they have received such rave reviews from makeup artists that I admire.  It is probably because they are known for their brighter colors and I usually try to keep it a bit toned down.  When I saw this palette on Instagram, I immediately saved it to my wish list on my phone. The colors are beautiful and I know it is pigmented.  Definitely hope to get my hands on it soon.

Benefit Rockateur Box Powder
Benefit's box powders have a love/hate relationship in my makeup filled heart.  I don't think they are targeted for women of color but I find myself still buying them.  With the exception of Sugarbomb all the ones that I have bought work for my skin tone but they are subtle (with the exception of Dallas).  Either way, this rose gold blush has caught my eye and I must have it.  That is the problem with being a makeup junkie. *shrugs*
 
 Wayne Goss' Makeup Brushes
I have watched Wayne Goss on YouTube for years and I love the honesty of his reviews.  So when he announced he was creating a line of makeup brushes I got excited.  My desire for these brushes are simply based on the fact that he seems so frank with his reviews that I assume he would make sure his product would be something of great quality.  Waiting for the reviews to come out though before I make this wish a reality.
 
 Season 2 of Orange is the New Black
There isn't much to say other than the fact that I love this show (binge watched it) and am disappointed that season 2 won't be out until some time next spring.  I wish the new season would come out with the rest of the major networks' fall line up.  If you have Netflix, I would highly suggest you check this series out.
 
So what is on your wish list? 
 

 

Friday, August 16, 2013

The Story of an Army Wife: A Stay at Home Mom's Confession

picture from thefeministwire.com

When I was in college, my mother always told me not to communicate my feelings when I was in my most emotional state.  Because when I did, it always came off wrong and the point of my words were lost behind my anger or sadness.

I have wanted to talk about being a stay at home mom for awhile.  However, when I think to create one of these posts, it is when I am always in a angry state of mind.  Not today.

If you haven't gotten the message before, I will restate it here.  I NEVER thought I would be a stay at home mom.  In fact, for a good portion of my premarital years, I didn't even like children.  Akeem was the first guy I even allowed to bring up the possibility of children, and he already came as a package deal: he has a older son, Gabriel.

 My stepson, Gabriel

So I found my desire to have children, but never did I expect to be expecting so soon. Next thing I know I am laying on a surgical table staring at this life across the room. A life that I helped create, a life that lived in me for 10 months, a life that would turn mine upside down. But it was a good upside down........well, for the most part.

My mother became a stay at home mom when I entered into the 6th grade, but for years she would do part-time/at home work for the company she left. I always loved my mother for being there for my sister and I when we had extra curricular activities, but it wasn't until I was older that I truly understood and appreciated what it meant for her to be a stay at home mother.

Me, Akeem, my mother, my sister (Kelly), and Elliott
Despite my mother being a stay at home mom, it was something both of my parents discouraged for their daughters.  Like any parents, they want the best for their children.  With two young girls, my parents emphasized being independent women and never to be dependent on a man.

They say if you want to make God laugh, tell him your plans. Over the last 7 years or so, God has been getting in quite a few belly laughs at me.

Now, I will admit, I had a negative perspective of stay at home wives/mothers.  Which may sound odd given the prior portion of this post. But I did and I will explain.

Growing up, I never understood why a woman would WANT to be a stay at home mom, like it was a goal or dream for them.  I mean who strives to be dependent upon a man and being stuck in a house with a child for five or more years?

My black and white thought process only continued when I got married and moved to Fort Knox.  I mean the military doesn't pay as well as some people may think and to see so many stay at home moms seemed so selfish to me.

But like so many things, you never truly understand parent choices until you become a parent.  In the last few weeks of my pregnancy, I thought I would and need to return back to work.  But when my son was born, my reality changed.


Between the hours of my job at the time and the hours of daycare, my husband and I agreed on me staying home.  However, when I agreed to be a stay at home mom I didn't really know what I was getting myself into.

A month after Elliott was born, my husband left for Arizona for two months and I felt as though I had been forgotten by the world.  Well, the world that was Fort Knox.  I felt isolated and sleep deprived which was a bad combination.

What has added insult to injury are the comments I have received over the last 8 months.  While some may not have been malicious, others were like knives to my ego.  Women who work seem to talk to me differently at times.  Like I can't understand what it means to work.

This annoys and angers me. The comments like, "Well, you have so much time because you don't work," or "I couldn't be home all day, I would go crazy," make me want to gauge the eyes out of the speaker.  I'm sure they don't realize it comes off offensive to me.  Also, it is usually childless women or ones who have never been stay at home moms that seem quick with the irritating comments.

What stirs up the most emotion is what being a stay at home mom has done for my sanity and my marriage.

I've never been the type of girl to have a man help me with my bills, even as a married woman, I felt it was my responsibility to take care of the debts I created.  A man taking on my debts while I didn't work seemed unfair to me.  However, my husband felt that with everything to consider, it would be best for me to stay home with Elliott for awhile.  With that in mind, Akeem was supportive of me eventually returning back to work.  Sounds simple, right?

HAHAHA! Yea, right!

I had a job interview recently and my interviewer said something that hit close to home.  He asked what inspired me to work so hard (when he realized I worked 3 jobs in college). I told him my mother because she taught me that you shouldn't depend on a man; therefore, you should always be prepared to take care of yourself.  My interviewer went on to tell me that men prefer more independent women.  Since he could possibly be my future boss, I didn't know how to receive his inappropriate story that followed his comment.

picture from itmakessenseblog.com

I always tell my husband, we are a work in progress.  When our son was born and I became unemployed, it added that much more work to our progression.  

There is no use in pretending, I am not cut from the domestic cloth.  Cleaning is not one of those skills I ever mastered, even til this day.  Cooking is something I am getting better at but I've been told that to be a house wife/stay at home mom, you basically have to be super woman.  While I know some women like that, I never thought I'd be married with a kid by now, so I never really prepped myself for that idea. 

I was and kind of still am in a constant battle with myself over doing "more."  The thought that I have to clean the house, wash all the laundry, take care of our child, have sex with my husband whenever he wants, dress up (to go no where but the grocery store) and just be all happy and supportive all day......well, it blows my mind.

Once I get passed my failures as a stay at home mom/wife, my sanity is then knocked down a bit more when I realize I have no social life or extra money.  Two ideas that are only highlighted when my husband have a very loud disagreement.

Most days, my husband keeps his true thoughts or feelings about things I do to himself.  But it's moments when he feels the need to remind me that I don't work, like it is something I wanted, or to tell me I don't do anything but stay at home that I realize how me being a stay at home mom doesn't work for our relationship.


I feel like my husband comes home after a long day of work and has just grown used to me being home.  There is no passion, desire, or romance.  I used to blame him for that, but I realized that why would I expect that of him when I don't feel like anything but some boring house wife.  It's like I don't even have much to contribute in the way of conversation other than what our son did all day.

To wrap this up, I feel like to be a stay at home mom is hard work.  Because it is more of a balancing act than it seems.  I realize men have an expectation of superwoman, even if they don't say it and that is a hard thing to live up to in the real world.  

Now that Elliott is almost 9 months old, I am really ready to return to work.  Not just for the money but to help me find balance in my life.  Because whatever brings you, as a mom and/or wife, a since of balance is important. Because if you don't have it, you won't be able to really give it all to either.  I will always look at being a stay at home mom or a working mom with the thoughts that the grass is greener because you want to love your children and spend as much time with them but sometimes you have to take care of yourself first.





Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Wednesday Wishes 8/14/13

So I have taken another thing off of my wish list, a calorie counting watch.  While it is not the one that I mentioned a couple of weeks ago, it will work until I save up the money to get one I really want.

Hopefully, next week, I will be marking another thing off my wish list:-)

But until then, this is what I've been wanting this week:

Papers & Peonies Antique Skeleton Key Bracelets
Once again, I found a company on Instagram that I love the items they post.  While I'm sure that I probably can't fit their clothes now, I think their jewelry is so cute.  I've never been a big bracelet fan but I think I would be willing to make an exception for these.  While they are only $6 a piece, I think I will have to wait to purchase them when I actually have some place to go. 
Le Blush Creme De Chanel in Fantastic
Over the years, I've seen plenty of Chanel products I would like to try.  But I can never bring myself to cough up the price.  However, I love a good plum colored blush and this one is beautiful.  What makes it a wish list item is not so much the price tag but the fact that it is limited edition.  Because even if I could come around to the $38 price tag, I'm sure it will not be available at the time that I do. *sigh*


Salon Hair Steamer
When I got my hair done back home in July, my hairdresser used a hair steamer to deep condition my hair.  I had never had a steamer used on my hair and was fascinated by the concept.  Recently, I saw someone on Instagram with a smaller version and it occurred to me that with natural hair I should look into investing in one. I found this one on the Sam's Club website and I was surprised that it wasn't as expensive as I thought it would be plus I love that it is free standing.
Youth Code™ Texture Perfector Serum Concentrate  
While this item isn't crazy expensive or limited edition, it is on my wish list because I feel like my pores have been getting out of control and want to try something new.  But I'm kind of hesitant to pay $25 for something that doesn't work and I can't return.  The commercials aren't helping because they are making me think about taking the risk. *shakes head*
picture from Couture Girl
Ikea Malm Dressing Table
I've seen this table all over the place on the internet, but every time I go to Ikea I never think to look for it.  I really want a new way to organize my makeup and also get rid of my current desk which is an OLD one my parents gave to me when I got married (so my mom didn't have to pay for someone to pick it up to get rid of it lol).  I love the simplicity of the table and the storage space.  The reason it is on my wish list is because I don't live near an Ikea anymore and shipping is more than what the table costs.  So until I can figure something out next time I am back home in Atlanta, this will remain on the wish list.

So what are you wishing for these days?

 

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Wednesday Wishes 8/7/13

Another Hump Day is here and more wishes have been added to my list.  So without further delay, this is what I have been wanting this week:

BOB Ironman Stroller-Yellow
I never understood why woman invested in a second stroller to go jogging until the other day.  I took my son for a walk/jog and immediately realized why they have strollers specifically meant for jogging.  While the pictured stroller would be amazing to have, I would be happy with any decent jogging stroller.  I am trying to be more active and as a mom, activity also involves your children.  So it would be nice to be able to go for a jog without the wheels of a stroller hindering me.

picture from mommynoire.com   
A Job
Never in a million years did I ever think I would be a stay at home mom.  While I feel very fortunate to be able to see my little man grow up so much in the last 8 months, mama is ready to go back to work.  The reason it is on my wish list is because living in a small town and having little family/friend support, my working options are limited. I can't count on my husband to always be available to pick our son up from daycare, and the job market's pay around here does not meet my needs for daycare along with my other bills.  Also, I want a job to simply to be able to get out of the house.  Being stuck in a house all day with a baby and limited adult interaction does something to a person and sometimes it is ugly.

Ben Nye Banana Luxury Powder
I have seen so many people raving about this product, that I had to put this on my list.  I loved the Ben Nye Neutral Set, that somehow made its new home in my mother's makeup up bag.  The pictures I have seen of the beat faces used with this are usually flawless (let's be honest, everyone isn't a makeup artist). 

LimeCrime Airborne Unicorn
Another Lime Crime item.  What can I say, I love a purple lip color and the swatches I have seen of this are beautiful.  Practical? No. But I still want it.
 
  NCLA Rock Solid
I discovered this brand on Instagram and have loved all of their laqcuers.  But I love the simplicity of this one and there is just something grown up and fashionable about a gray nail color.


Urban Decay Revolution Lipstick
 When UD originally posted about these lipsticks, I immediately wanted to run out and get a few.  I love the packaging and the colors look amazing. Plus, all the rave reviews don't hurt.  As of right now, the colors I want to try the most are F-Bomb (gotta love the name), Rapture, Jilted, Anarchy.

So what are you wishing for lately?

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Empties: Yes to Tomatoes Blemish Clearing Facial Towelettes

This is actually an empty I have had for about a month and just now getting around to the review.  When I originally purchased it, my skin was just going wonky on me.  So I changed my face wash and my wipes.

Now, this is not my first time using Yes To products but I never knew they had one with salicylic acid.  So when I was at Walgreens searching for a new makeup wipe, this immediately caught my eye.

The whole Yes to Tomatoes collection is formulated for combination to acne-prone skin. 

  According to the website:
Yes to Tomatoes Blemish Clearing Facial Towelettes help fight acne and blemishes when you're on the go with powerful blemish-fighting ingredients that are proven to help heal and clear skin. Salicylic Acid helps unclog pores, break down blemishes, and control oil. Tomatoes help control sebum and oil production in skin, while protecting it from environmental agents that can cause breakouts.
  • 97% Natural
  • Made with compostable, FSC certified fabric
  • Petroleum, SLS, & Paraben Free
  • Cruelty-free
 Key Ingredients:
Tomatoes contain Lycopene, a potent antioxidant found in red fruits and vegetables. Its anti-inflammatory properties help clear excess oil from your hair and scalp, leaving hair feeling soft, full, and balanced.
Salicylic Acid works by causing the cells of the epidermis to shed properly. This prevents the pores of the skin from getting clogged up and being infected with bacteria. Salicylic Acid aids in the process of exfoliation by eliminating surface skin cells and opening up pores, and is also known to break down blackheads, whiteheads, and other types of acne.

Overall, the product was good and did it's job. But the ultimate question is would I repurchase it? And I would have to say..........

YES 

I definitely saw an improvement with my skin with these because I don't wash my makeup off at night, I simply wipe it off with makeup wipes. They definitely make me want to try the rest of the Yes To Tomatoes Line of products.  Because between the wipes and a good cleanser, I can definitely see my skin gradually clearing up.  Plus, the wipes don't leave your face feeling stripped like you would expect from a acne fighting product.  Don't get me wrong, my face doesn't feel crazy hydrated afterwards either but I don't feel like I have to over compensate a stripped face with a tone of moisturizer.

Most importantly, it does a great job taking off your makeup with one wipe.

Yes to  Tomatoes Blemish Clearing Facial Towelettes retails for $5.99 at most drugstores, Walmart, and Target. Prices may vary.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Two Month Countdown: The End Result

While it has been a couple of weeks since the end of my Two Month Countdown and I wanted to finally share the outcome.

Unfortunately, I didn't make my short term goal of 190 but I was thrilled to finally break under 200 pounds.  I have recently been given a new incentive to lose weight by my father.  Though, I don't want to share what it is yet, it is a huge motivation for me to step my game up.

The ultimate goal is 150, which is a little lower than my original goal of 158. But that is the bar that was set by my dad.  There is no time limit, though the holidays are looking like the best time to set as a deadline.

So now, I will be posting about what I am trying new and what isn't doing me any good to reach my goal.  I feel really motivated, especially by all the fitness accounts I started following on Instagram.

I don't plan to post about my daily eating habits on here, but they will still be on My Fitness Pal account.
Since I didn't reach my first short term goal, I am now making 190 my goal for the end of this month. Right now I am floating around 196 to 198.   

December 15th, I will be 26 and I am ready to enter a new year of my life not being miserable about my weight:-)

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