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Beauty and the Baby

Where fashion, fitness, fun and life meet mommyhood

The BirchBox Blessing!

When I decided that I wanted to give subscription boxes another go I did my research and narrowed down my options. I had previously fallen into the Ipsy obsession and the 5 full size product allure of Boxy Charm. Now while I will say that I stuck with Ipsy for over a year and found that most months I did like a lot of the products they were including I did notice that I was getting many products I didn’t like of found no value in. While Boxy Charm left me totally dissatisfied and a bunch of products I didn’t like and ended up in my trash can. I swore off subscription boxes forever I said. I closed that door and never looked back… or so I told myself. Then suddenly that old itch came back, that I need something new itch, the I want some new makeup itch.

Having already tried the afore mentioned boxes I sought after something different. Something new and fun. Please enter from stage left BirchBox. Some where in the back of my mind sat her….. Ms. Rational. All prim and prop with her glasses placed just perfect on her nose and her neatly pulled back hair in her button up shirt and slacks just shaking her head. She always is my shoulder angel. My voice of reason and she always pisses me off. She smirking and saying “you know this will only end the same way your first two did.” Well what does she know!!! So I signed up and laughed at her and gave her a little push on to the ground, yea I bully her a little what of it, and sat patiently waiting for my box to arrive.

Finally it came!!! It came in my mail with all its glory and I couldn’t have been more excited!!! What was inside you may wonder? What goodies did I have in store ? Well its between me and my box so subscribe and get your own ……

HAHAHA!! Just kidding! Oh I could never do that to you my faithful and loving followers!! I was instantly in love it my box and all the goodies it had inside and now that I have had a month to trial them out I can give you honest reviews on each one.

JULY 2017 BIRCHBOX :

Oribe Après Beach Wave and Shine Spray

Expectations : So this product is a two in one spray that will give shine and texture. It says it is supposed to recreate beachy hair and works on all textures. It says it is safe for color treated hair.

Thoughts: I was probably most excited for this product. I have naturally wave hair that, to be honest, I am just not learning to embrace after spending years trying to tame it. After using it at least once a week this is what I think… I didn’t mind the smell it actually grew on me as the weeks went on. It sort of has this mix of hairspray with like salt water which sounds like it would smell weird but honestly it kinda works. This product comes out like a hair spray with I was surprised by. The other beach sprays that I have used in the past like John Frieda’s Beach Blonde (which I love by the way) spritz out and are wet. This product comes out dry. This was a good thing and a bad thing. I liked that my hair wasn’t soaking wet like with other sprays but I also think this hindered its ability to work as effectively. I think that someone who has thin or very straight hair might struggle creating wave and those that have very thick and curly hair will have a frizz problem on their hands.

Overall: I think that the product worked ok. Thin or straight haired people would probably not really find this product effective. I don’t think that I would purchase it since there are many other Beach Sprays that I like more and for $42 a can there are many other much more affordable sprays out there. It was a great addition to the box and I loved trying it out.

Beauty Protector Protect & Detangle

Expectations: Minimizes frizz by sealing the cuticles of your hair. Helps protect from UV rays and heat and also shines. Its vegan, paraben and sulfate free and works on all hair types.

Thoughts: Lets talk about my obsession with the smell. I literally just wanted to eat my hair, it smelt almost like my hair was baking me some cookies!!! I used this every day that I washed my hair as soon as I came out of the shower. My hair was smooth and easy to brush after its application. The great smell lingered all day which made for an afternoon treat. This product completely impressed me and I will definitely be repurchasing it when it runs out. I live in like 100% humidity most days and I think that my hair was less frizzy. I loved the light weight fee of the product and that it pretty much left like I had nothing in my hair at all.

Overall: I think that this is a great product. Works well and smells great. It was light weight so would work for all hair types. Everyone would not be disappointed with this product. The bottle is $23.50 but will last a while since you only need a couple of spritzes. I also loved the vegan and paraben and sulfate free aspect of it!!

Marcelle Hydra-C 24H Energizing Hydrating Gel

Expectations: This cooling gel moisturizer is supposed to use green tea and cucumber extract along with Vitamin C and E to protect skin form pollutants and environmental stressors. All while soothing the skin.

Thoughts: I was probably least excited about this product because I have had bad luck with products being to harsh for my sensitive skin. BirchBox hit a home run with this product for me. I have been using this both in substitution for my moisturizer and on top almost as a primer and let me tell you. I love the feeling it was on my skin. It has a very nice consistency and feels super light weight and almost non existent on the skin which I loved. What I really loved though was the way my makeup went on with it. My makeup looked more pigmented, wore great throughout the day and my skin really just looked more vibrant. The effects worked better when it was applied over my moisturizer but for those with oily skin you may want to use this in place of your moisturizer.

Overall: Ended up being my favorite product in the box!! I loved the way it felt and I love the way my makeup looked when applied over it. Defiantly a great product and worth the addition to your makeup routine and at only $27 it really is a steal !!

ARROW BOOST Color Enhancing Lip Balm

Expectations: This new age lip balm adjusts to your personal pH and provides a color enhancing tint that is all your own. It uses mango seed butter to help achieve hydration and nourishment. Also paraben free, vegan, gluten free and cruelty free.

Thoughts: This lip balm really intrigued me and hey who cant have more lip balms in their lives am I right? I liked that about of moisture it provided for my lips and I think that the personalized tint was neat. It kind of looked like a peachy color on me. I do think that this product when on a little oily and it didn’t really get rid of any dry skin cracks that I may have had over the month.

Overall: It was an ok lip product. It did provide decent moisture for my lips but I didn’t like the oily application. I loved the personal tint but at $14 dollars I don’t think you really get a lot of bang for your buck.

The Beauty Crop Blush Duo

Expectations: Receive both creamy and powder texture blushes in one compact. Fragrance and mineral oil free and nourishes with the help of kale, aronia berry, pomegranate, and papaya. Allows you to chose between a coral cream application or a peach powder.

Thoughts: I loved the idea of having the choice of a cream application verse a powder. The colors were right up my alley and really compliment my skin tone but… I found this product lacking. The sizing of the powder side made application with a brush difficult, now this may not be the case with a bigger full size version. The creamy side was bendable but only a very very small amount can be applied and be prepared to take your time blending because it is going to take time. I have not tried using both textures together because honestly I was scared to after the amount of time I took just to blend in the cream side.

Overall: The colors were great and if you have the time to blend a lot it provided vibrant pigments but the sizing made it difficult to work with. At $10 it is worth trying out and is very affordable.

I also loved that I received this free Pixie eye shadow mini palate. The colors were perfect for daily wear. They are shimmery but on when applied they are not overly glittery. They are pretty pigmented when applied to the lid. The only complaint I had was that the lightest color in the palate was slightly broken as you can see in the photo.

I hope that you enjoyed this review of Julys BirchBox. Have you tried any of theses products before ? I would love to read your comments on these products. If you liked these products please feel free to subscribe yourself at https://www.birchbox.com/discover

This was a personal review and all subscription boxes were purchased by me so not sponsored by BirchBox.

Featured post

To Pregnancy and Beyond…

Being pregnant is like living in a world full of conundrums. On one hand you want to be pregnant forever because that special bond that you have with you little one is indescribable and amazing. On the other hand you are just ready for it to be over so you can meet your special little person already!!  When you get to feel those first few kicks and you aren’t even sure if that is what they really are because it just feels like little butterflies have taken refuge inside of your belly, it is so incredible. Those precious few weeks before those little kicks get strong, and start to feel like your baby is attending kickboxing lessons, are some of the best moments. You truly develop this wonderful connection, like you two are sharing this secret that no one else knows about. It was one of my favorite times in pregnancy because it truly just felt so intimate. As time goes on and your bump becomes more prominent and the symptoms of your pregnancy change, goodbye nausea and vomiting hello heartburn, your private special moments become less private and much more visible. I still remember sitting at work charting next to a coworker and her chuckling at my little man kicking his foot out and very clearly seeing his toes popping out of my stomach.

Then  you get to the phase in your pregnancy where just pure excitement kicks in . You want to meet them, you don’t want to rush anything but all the curiosity just gets to you. What color eyes will they have, what color hair, will they have grandmas nose, grandpas toes? Then again as time inches its way closer to due date time your motherly neuroses kick in and all these crazy, and yes you know they are crazy thank you, thoughts just come fleeting into your mind like tidal waves hitting the shore line. What if the cord is around his neck, how many times a day is he moving, did he move just then ….. did he !!! I remember pushing so hard on my stomach one day because I swore he didn’t move for hours, in reality it was probably like 30 minutes, and him giving me this really big kick and did this whole shift like he was saying lady leave me alone I am sleeping here.

If you are some of the lucky ones you get to that glorious moment … your due date. That thing you have been waiting 10 long months for. Or some of you may be like me and hit your date and then slowly watch as the days go by and go by and go by. I recently saw a Moana parody about being past your due date and it was so spot on. A few days can feel like an eternity and as your anticipation gets higher every little thing seems like its a sign telling you ok this is it, its going to happen , uh no just gas. At 42 weeks, and going to the hospital to do scans for babies safety every other day, my doctor finally said ok time to induce. I was filled with a surge of emotions. I had been waiting for this moment for what seemed like forever and now that the moment was here I was suddenly terrified. It is always the unknown that freaks you out. Its the abyss that is uncertainty that can seem so terrifying. I thought of everything under the sun, especially since I work in healthcare, that could go wrong and that could go right. I thought of all the things I didn’t want to happen and all the things I did. Who I wanted in the room and who I didn’t. Well you know what they say about the best laid plans……

Featured post

Baby got Born

Today I am so proud because I reached a personal goal for myself. When I started this blog I set a goal for myself. That I would complete my blogs about my pregnancy experience prior to my sons first birthday. Now this to some may not seem like a big goal, but to me it was monumental. I had never blogged before so just getting started and continuing with it was a challenge in it self but I also only write on my free time at work since I don’t want to take away any time that I have at home from my son. Doing this on my work free time can be a challenge since in nursing I never know what my day is going to be like and I also precept which makes my free time even more restricted. So that makes today as I get to post my final post regarding my pregnancy important to me not only because it talks about one of the most important days of my life but because it means that I have achieved my goal. Well enough of my excitement and onto the nitty gritty.

After weeks of being past my due date and my impatience and nerves growing my the minute I finally got the glorious news that we were going to induce. Yay, finally the moment I had been waiting 10 long months for. With that news though came a lot of emotions and feelings I wasn’t really anticipating. Suddenly I was overcome with worry and nerves about delivery. Things I thought were going to bother me now were not really even in my mind. Earlier in my pregnancy I was so nervous about receiving an epidural. As a nurse I of course knew horror stories of epidurals gone wrong and my palms would sweat just thinking about it. I mean come on who would feel comfortable about someone sticking a giant needle in your spine… right!!

Now that my induction was set, and even though I had already for some time knew that there was no back out now, all these new fears crept into my mind. What if the induction was prolonged and I had to have a c section? Now my rational mind knows that if that needed to happen then well that was that and I had a great doctor who would perform it and keep me and my little peanut safe bbbuuttt I wasn’t thinking rationally I was thinking like a crazy hormonal 42 week pregnant woman and the fear of having a c section was real and very scary. What if the baby started having complications during birth? Again rationality is out the window  and all the worse fears are there in the window pane waving all their crazy in my face. Hello nuchal cord, hello baby not breathing, hello 12 toes. Now that I look back on all these crazy fears I can laugh. I can laugh at how silly it is to worry about something that you have no control over. I laugh because I know better then to stress your body out with all those fears. I laugh because I in that moment had become every other soon to be mom in the world.

Finally I was in the hospital induction initiated, food taken away and just sitting there waiting. Waiting for the unknown to start, waiting for contrations (because lets be real no one can really describe to you what its like so its a big giant mystery until you get that first one), waiting for something. For a few hours nothing happened it was just me and my husband watching a movie, nurses coming in to check on me and seeing what I was going, nurses coming and sticking to get a good IV. Which let me tell you, I am not someone who was blessed with good veins, so 5 sticks 3 blow veins and a bruise relatively the size of a soda bottle on my arm later I finally was “officially” ready to have a baby. Which lead to more waiting. Finally at midnight I felt a gush and then the real fun began.

My water had broken and from there the contractions were non stop. Washing over me in waves of tightening and pressure that gradually got stronger and stronger. I had my mind set that I was going to have this baby sans c section so my focus became very intense. My husband recalled to me later that he always knew when I was having a contraction because even though I was quietly resting with my eyes closed he would see my hands get really tight and when they concluded I would let out a breath. At the time I don’t even really remember doing that or even really remember that pain really well. I simple remember it was pain and thinking of Corbin. I kept visualizing him in my mind and that this was for him and I was going to be strong and tough for him because in this moment I could not be weak. I had to start the demonstration of his mommy in this exact moment.

That was the thought that got me through the 19 hours of labor. That was what got me through the pushing. Now I was a lucky girl because I only endured 45 minutes of active pushing labor until my sweet boy was born but I still to this day truly believe it was because as I was pushing I would stare at his name that the nurse had written on the board in front of me in my room and just focus all of my energy on that name. Finally after what seemed like a lot longer then 45 minutes my little peanut entered the world. My  nurse brain immediately kicked in when I didn’t hear screaming. They put him on my chest and he was slightly blue and I held my breath. All my worst fears suddenly to the for front. Then I felt him taking in slight breaths and then when I repositioned him I got to hear that all important cry and I finally let out all the air that had been trapped in my lungs.

Seeing my husband hold our baby for the first time was the most magical moment of my life. I always have known my husband was the love of my life and my best friend but the love I felt for him in that moment and every moment since then was amplified to an unquantifiable amount. We enjoyed every moment of that first night and next day with our family, friends and finally our son. We laughed and just couldn’t wipe the smile off of our faces and then when we least expected it the floor was swept out from under our feet.

The day before our discharge, the new nurse that had been assigned to us  informed us that the baby had a cold temp. Now I am a NICU nurse so I feel very comfortable with babies, and this was news that was not welcome to me. I immediately went to the defense informing the nurse of all the information that I felt was imperative. Then later in the day again a cold temp and I again filled her in on all the changes that had occurred that I felt lead to this discovery but she wasn’t really hearing what I had to say so you simple said that the neonatologist had to be informed. In a blink of an eye my little man was swept off to the NICU and away from me. My poor husband walked back into the room to a hysterical wife. I was taken so off guard and my gut instinct was that he was perfectly fine and this was all just medical error. My husband really said it best that day, “this went from the best day of my life to the worst”.

We spent the next 48 hours running back in forth from my room, thankfully they allowed me to stay an extra night in, to the NICU across the hall. I had to watch my baby from the perspective of the NICU mommy instead of the NICU nurse and it was one of the most frustrating times in my life. My husband was so overwhelmed by the NICU he broke down when he saw our son in his isolate for the first time. He always of course knew what I did for a living but it never really sunk in because he is a visual person. Seeing all that for the first time he finally got what a challenge it can be sometimes to see helpless patients who are just so fragile. Even though I wanted to breakdown, I want to yell and be mad and rip by baby from that unit and just run home with him I knew that this was again one of those moments I have to have strength for him. I have to demonstrate to my little boy what strong looks like. So for him I was. After the two days concluded they finally released him informing us that everything was fine even though our guts already told us that. We got to take our little boy home, but him in his bassinet and just enjoy finally being a family of three. I finally got to truly enjoy finally getting to just be a mommy.

 

 

Well Hi There!!

Sorry I have been MIA since my last post all. We have been so busy and have been on a couple of vacations so I haven’t had an opportunity to write. I am back now and am bursting at the seems with stuff to chat about so I am super excited and might just need to bombard you with lots of Blogs so mentally prepare your self.

I am also thinking about doing a couple of What I brought blogs from our several trips what do you think ? Well let me get to it

A Cruise and No Booze?

 

 

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Pregnant and need some ideas for Pregnancy announcements here are a few that I think were adorable !!

After weeks and weeks of keeping our pregnancy to our selves just to be on the safe side, following the 12 week rule way to seriously lol, the time finally came for us to share our big news. Now we had some idea that my mother and some of our friends were suspicious of us and had perhaps thought that I might have something cooking, so we knew we had to throw them off the scent.

So my wonderful husband threw me a surprise birthday party, since I am a true Christmas baby its always hard to do something on or around my birthday because you know that pesky little thing called Christmas. So everyone who thought they knew kept bribing me with wine in hopes that I would say no, well this preggo looked up, prior to any holiday festivities, if having a glass of wine here or there through in late first early second trimester and it said one or two glasses here or there was ok !!! So I secretly laughed to myself and gave silly little smirks to my hubby and happily accepted there offer of a glass. Ha !! They thought they had me and I could see the disappointment in there faces, I knew they were thinking oh man we must have been wrong.

I knew my mom really thought that Christmas morning that would be her gift. Now please don’t think, oohh she is so intuitive to her moms thoughts she knew her mom would want that. I would never flatter my self that way, no I knew this because she constantly would tell me that haha. So Christmas day came and went and no baby news. Now all the while my husband and myself had already settled on our plan. We took the sweetest picture with our first baby, our dog Saddee, had them printed out and ready to hand out. My family was going on a cruise the second week of January and who would expect that news then. We also knew that everyone would notice If I was drinking anything but water on an adults only trip.  It would really be perfect because his family would be taking us to the port so we could tell them then !!

So his family came to take us to the port and we had a candy bowl made. It was in a baby bowl , had the picture inside and was filled with Sugar Daddy’s, Three musketeers (since we would be 3 now), Baby Ruths, and a couple other fun baby themed candies. We said it was a thank you for taking us gift but to look through it for a surprise !! They were so excited and hugging us and laughing and it was the perfect was to start our vacation !!

On the cruise ship we all got on enjoyed walking around and went to our balconies to enjoy the view of leaving the port and we thought what better time. luckily my mother was telling us she wanted to show us pictures of something that happened and it gave us the perfect opening. So we smiled and said, oh my look at the cutest thing saddee did, and we sat down the picture of saddee we took. My mom screamed so loud and of course was hysterically crying, ladies you know our moms everything makes them cry haha, my dad was confused at first and then he really looked at the picture and he even got teary eyed and my brother didn’t get it at first which made us hysterical and thought we were getting another dog. Then it sank in that the best friend wasn’t of a  dog variation it was of the human kind.

It truly made the whole cruise amazing and it was so relieving that finally everyone could know. We had so many plans to make and baby stuff to get so now the real fun could begin!!!

 

Pizza’s and Pregnancy Tests

I don’t know if any of your spouses are obsessed with all things pizza like my husband or maybe you’re the pizza obsessed one but there is pretty much nothing that my hubby loves more than a good pizza. A common conversation we have regarding meal times is what do you want to eat… and don’t say pizza we had that already this week. We often make our own because A) its much tastier and healthier and B) it’s so much fun. Both my husband and myself love to cook, although I admit I probably cook more then him, so making pizzas is something fun to do together.

So when I was going to tell my hubs that we were expecting a bun in the oven might as well do it with some pizza in the oven. So I put our pizza supplies together and put them in the fridge and patiently waited for dinner time. I don’t think I was ever in such a rush to make dinner in my life. It’s hard to keep a secret from someone who you tell everything to. Especially when its something so exciting. I was bursting at the seams but I knew I had to keep my cool or my face would give it all away.

So finally the time came and dinner was finally here, I have to laugh here cause it is as if I am preparing for like war…. the time is finally upon us … AAATTTAACCKKK lol. I am not going to lie that is how I felt, like I was going to attack him with this information. But I wont.

So here we are getting all our pizza stuff together, crust… check, sauce on the crust … check, sautéed the  veggies … check, turkey pepperoni on top …check. Then my husband says alright let me start to shred the cheese and I break in with my oh to eager… Oh wait! I think that there is one more ingredient that would be perfect for us… So he looks in the Pizza ingredient area and low and behold there sits the test. Now don’t worry I was sanitary and placed it in a Ziploc, don’t need any pee germs in our fridge.

What does my amazing and wonderful husband say…. I bet your thinking something cute, something sweet or maybe speechless… well you would be so wrong. He says…. but we are going to food and wine this week! So for those of you that are not Disney fans like myself Food and Wine festival is a fun event that is in EPCOT at Disney World, they have different countries that have different food samples and each country has a few specialty alcoholic drinks. We usually go every year and this year we had been planning since last year and were going with a large group of friends.

So smartly I of course say Oh sorry I will just make myself un-pregnant and wait until next month to get pregnant (insert side eye).  He just laughed when he realized how that came across. Of course that thought had also run through my mind. We had plan to drink our way around the “world” and have a good time but that would have to be slightly amended now. On the bright side what could be better than being pregnant at a food festival right?!

So hey it wasn’t the big dramatic reaction that I had had the first time around where he picked me up and spun me around but we laughed and laughed over the reaction and I also think to hide a little bit of our fear that we may suffer the same fate as our first one did. So now with someone else on board to my lets keep a secret train I felt instantly better. We went to food and wine with our friends, which let me tell you is quite the challenge when you are pretending to drink but aren’t really. Lets just say my husband was feeling a lot better than just alright by the end of that night. I will also let you know that should you find yourself pregnant during food festivals I would highly recommend attending. The yummiest food around + pregnancy = one happy mommy and baby.

 

So long birth control, its been real!

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Our pregnancy announ

Before having my son I had always thought I had a great life. I was blessed with an amazing husband who adores me and I truly and wholeheartedly adore. We had just purchased our home. Sure it wasn’t by childhood vision, two-story Victoria style country home with acres of farm lands settled in those beautiful mountains that I love so much, but it was my new dream home. I had been so fortunate to get my true dream job as a NICU nurse and all the pieces of my life just seemed to fit right into place, but before you know it that was this little nagging in my heart.

Kinda like that little voice you have in your head that always annoyingly wants us to do the right thing but this one is that loud voice that screams YOU NEED TO HAVE A BABY, AND STAT. Weirdly this voice always sounds a lot like my mother, can’t image  why haha. My husband and I had been married for 4 years and for 4 years we had been dodging that question of all questions. All you ladies know what I am talking about it is that “Sssssssooooooo when you gunna haaaavvee kids…” like there is some kind of hidden subtext that is en laid in your marriage license that says you are required to procreate within 60 days of signing this paper.

Sure enough though that voice came in loud and clear one January day and it was time to have that talk with the hubby. So as sweetly as I could I proposed the question…. “what do you think about a baby?’ My husband gave me that crazy look that only a man you really loves you can give haha, but the decision was made to start the wilburn clan. Goodbye birth control and a month later hello 5 positive pregnancy tests. I was shocked that it could and did happen that quickly.

Of course we immediately broke that cardinal rule, you know that 12 week rule, and told our family and friends. Went to doctors appointments and around 2 months in  the unimaginable happened, we lost the pregnancy. I was devastated and really reached the darkest place I had ever been in my life. I blamed GOD and myself and figured, like I am sure many of you who have had to live with the devastation of losing a pregnancy, that I must have done something to deserve this. This of course isnt true but I will tell you it took me months to really accept that.

We decided that we were not going to try again for a little while. I needed to mentally accept what had happened and physically recover. So almost a year later we decided, ok we are going to not, not try. A month later we were blessed with our amazing rainbow baby. The day that I realized I was pregnant again I was in shock. I didnt realize that my period had come and gone until I looked in my drawer and realized that I needed to buy more tampons and then started thinking hhhmmm… wait a minute here!

 

This time it only took 1 test to really give me that amazing, shocking, scary and enjoyable moment … OMG I am pregnant. Those first few minutes your mind goes crazy you want to shout it from the roof top and yet its this amazing little secret that no one but you has. I truly think that this is the moment that maternal bond kicks in. Here you are with this amazing little secret that no one knows but you and that little peanut swimming around in your belly.

To tell any one or not to tell anyone that is the question ……..

Welcome !!

Hello Yall!!

I had deliberated on doing this since the day I found out I as pregnant. I figured it would be like my own personal diary and just a fun way to document this journey I was about to begin. Well life happens and before you know it you have a six month old and you still hadn’t even started, we’ve all been there before am I right?

So as I was sitting at my desk I decided that today was the day, no time like the present! Where to begin? I think I stared at that little blinky thing for an eternity so I just made the decision to start at the beginning. I mean of course not the beginning of my life or anything like that but I could say that it was the beginning of my life now.

As I share the road that led me to this wonderful yet always crazy life I have now, I hope you enjoy our topics. I will talk babies, fitness, fashion, makeup, Disney, vacations and any other crazy little thought or adventure that comes up along the way.

Warmest Wishes,

Alex

 

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