August Birchbox

I am a beauty product junkie. I really am. If there's anything that I impulse buy, its beauty products. I am always open to tying new skincare or make-up. I've been this way for as long as I can remember. So when I heard about Birchbox, I decided to give the membership a try. I pay a small monthly fee and each month I receive a birchbox customized to to my interests based on the questionnaire that I filled out when I first signed up. The concept of Birchbox seems great, I get to try all kinds of amazing products before fully committing to purchasing anything, and its optional of course. I've been a birchbox member for 2 months going on 3 months now. At first I was a bit disappointed by my first box and wasn't too sure how I really felt about the program. I decided to stay on as a member and give it another shot. I was glad that I did! My August birchbox was incredible!



Juice Beauty
Green Apple Peel Sensitive- This product by far was my #1 favorite item that I received in this months birchbox! I am a believer in exfoliating your skin, and this baby does the trick! It does not burn, itch or tingle when applied. The peel is applied to clean skin, and it feels like a moisturizer. It only needs to set on your face and neck for about 10 minutes. It has a light, refreshing scent to it. My skin was GLOWING after I washed the product off. I cannot believe how amazing this peel is, I had to purchase the full size! *Note: I applied and used the peel at night time before bed, then I put on the Whish Correcting Gel on afterwards, went to sleep. I woke up the next morning to the most dewy, beautiful skin. Even my husband noticed!

Whish
Hair Inhibiting Deodorant Swipes- Since there is only one wipe in this box, I could not testify to the wipe being hair inhibiting, I'd be curious to see if it really does discourage hair re-growth. I liked the soft not overwhelming scent of the wipe, and it actually held through an entire hot august afternoon, keeping me smelling and feeling clean!


Whish
Coconut Milk Correcting Gel- My #2 favorite item in this months box! As mentioned above, I applied the gel to my recently "peeled" and clean skin and woke up the next day to dewy, healthy looking skin!  The gel is meant to be an anti-aging after sun gel but I've been using it twice a day, morning and night. It has a hint of coconut scent and even though it says its a "gel" it doesn't feel gel-y at all, or look shiny when applied! My skin soaks it right up, and I am left with smooth, soft skin. It has Sometimes when I have a busy day and no time to put a full face of makeup on, I just apply the gel all over my face, neck and decolletage and I feel ready for the day! 


ModelCo
Party Proof Lipstick- The color lipstick I received was a classic red. I applied it on only once, and it seemed to hold up nicely. The lipstick went on very smooth and my lips felt hydrated and quite comfortable.

Miss Jessie's Original
Rapid Recovery Treatment & Super Sweetback Treatment
I have yet to try either of these hair recovery packets. When I do, I'll update this post.


Birthday

It's time for a bit of celebration, spending time with my family and just enjoying my birthday. I'll be back with posts before the week is over. Cheers!


Tuesday Mama Thoughts // Natural Teething Methods

Teething... the never ending issue our poor babies have to deal with. My son has been teething for what seems like forever now. Really its only been on and off for the last few months. Teeth have not officially popped through yet, but I know its just a matter of time before they do. Some days my son is perfectly fine, in his normal easy mannerism, then other days without warning he is so fussy and gnawing at his hands or anything he can reach to put on his gums for comfort. Its on these days I make sure I am prepared before hand. I have always been a believer in natural/alternative methods in health, and I feel that teething is no different. I want to help my baby get through this process but I don't want to drug him up either. I've put together my teething 101 kit that always helps me when the going gets tough, and my son seems to love these methods. Have any of you tried these products? What are your methods to aid your children through teething? I'd love to hear from you!

1. Washcloths- I dampen several clean washcloths at a time with water, rinse them out, then roll them into little tubes, place into a ziplock bag and then into the freezer so they are nice and cold and a bit crunchy when its time to use them. Such a lifesaver! My son even likes sucking the water out of them afterwards, its a fun little entertainment piece too!

2. Green Sprouts Teether- I picked this one up at my local health food store. Love that its BPA, PVC and nitrosamine free! Its filled with sterilized water too. Also it has a perfect ergonomic design for little mouths and hands. I keep this teether handy in a ziploc baggy in my fridge when not in use.

3. Baby Orajel Naturals- I really am glad I found this teething gel. At first I was afraid to use any gel after reading reviews on incidents with babies choking on other teething gels because it numbed them so badly. But not this one. The ingredients are natural and soothing.

4. Tommee Tippee Pacifiers- My son loves this specific designed pacifier, I think its the blue part that fits securely and comfortably around the skin on his cheeks, they're soft and pliable. Whatever works, right!? Sometimes I fill the center up with water and place them in the freezer for those fussy days.

5. Hylands Baby Teething Tablets- These are probably one of my top go-to's out of this list. I definitely try these before I use the gel, thats for sure. The main ingredient is Chamomile, which is perfect for soothing irritability and painful, swollen gums.


Monday Musings // Quote of the Week

It's my birthday week! And I am feeling good! Monday has gotten off to a busy start, exercising, baby time, grocery shopping and all the little to-dos I have around my day. Plus today is quite warm here in southern California, but I can tell in the early mornings that fall is making its debut soon. The air is so crisp and the quiet stillness takes me back every year to this change in the seasons. I just love it. Happy monday everyone!




I am loving the bohemian textiles mixed into this simple and 
cozy little living room. The light filters in so beautifully


Can't help but admire this monochromatic fall ensemble


what a elegant room, its eclectic taste done well


I am really loving this whole outfit, especially those shades and bag


My Birthday Wish List from Etsy





















Yes, my birthday is coming up, its next week. And for some reason I feel extra special, extra excited. I think its because now I am a mom, and this is one day where the tables turn (well sort of) and I get to be pampered, and who knows maybe sleep in for a bit! But the little girl in me still gets dizzy just thinking about the goodies one gets on their birthday! I've decided to pull a little Etsy roundup of   some of my top favorites that I would just swoon over if I got them. 




Just Beautiful

I cannot get enough of staring at these gorgeous flower prints by the talented Gabby from The Vault Files. As a lover of contrast especially of light and dark, these prints really speak to me. The pure delicacy of the flower petals against the striking black backdrop keeps me in awe. I really can't decide which one is my favorite... They're all just so beautiful! I hope all this beauty leaves you feeling wonderful today, come on all, the week is halfway done! Have a beautiful one! xo

 
             

              


Tuesday Mama Thoughts // Getting Organized Part 1: Cleaning

Are you like me, so excited to jump out of bed, start the day and tackle the household cleaning?!? I'm joking! Most people are not that excited, and as a busy mom, my time to do even the simplest of chores is so valuable. Plus, I don't want to spend all freakin' day cleaning, which I used to do. I used to knock out all my cleaning in one day (which was exhausting) and spend the other days just tidying up around the house, or randomly doing laundry etc. Let me just tell you, this was all before baby made his way into our lives. Fast forward to today, I am definitely trying to spend my time, ahem, cleaning time much more efficiently and in an organized fashion. Some time ago, I came across a lovely blog, Dimplicity. This gal has really got her stuff together and seems so organized and makes everyday to-dos seem so much more fun and effective. She's got some great ideas! I loved her "Cleaning Schedule" so much, that I decided to create my own schedule. So I cannot take full credit for being this organized! I basically cut and pasted a lot of her chores, deleted some and added mine in. I keep 2 copies of the schedule in my house. One is kept upstairs in my office pinned to my bulletin board, and the other is downstairs on the refrigerator. So far its been extremely handy and keeps me on track daily, instead of getting wrapped up into everything and then stressing out. I've also told myself to not be such a perfectionist. If something doesn't get done that day, then forget about it, either do it the next day (if there's time) or just wait until that chore day rolls around the following week. Also I should mention that on "Wednesday" I listed that as laundry day. Laundry day is almost daily at my house, with a little one it just can't be helped. However I did designate Wednesdays as Laundry for mine and hubbys clothes and linens. To wrap this up, what I love most about this cleaning schedule is that at some point of that day, week or month these cleaning to-dos will get done. Its not rigid, it makes sense for a busy household and busy lives. Head on over to Dimplicity for more great ideas! Happy Cleaning, happy mom! xo


If you are interested, here is my Cleaning Schedule PDF version I imitated via Dimplicity.



Monday Musings // Quote(s) of the Week

Monday! It comes and goes so fast! The days really are flying, and it just seems like the rest of the year just rolls away sometimes with the rush of back to school, then the wonderful fall and winter holidays ahead! So for today, I want to bask in some inspiration and musings of my monday. I love to see beauty in everything, I mean every little thing; and I am feeling so inspired to whip up some abstract paintings in bold colors. Loving simple black and white. Sometimes less really is more.





Coveting Fall Jewelry

Yay! I know its only August but it's getting close to that time of year! I love Fall, especially the fashion that comes along with it, and its all out in the stores everywhere now... Boots, and layers of sweaters, and of course the jewels! I've noticed the trend for jewelry this year, its very dominated by smoky monochromatic schemes; specifically black, grey, cream, and a hint of sparkle in the forms of crystal, gold and mixed metals! I am kinda loving the "infinity" rings, here's some of my fall jewel favs...


These beauties are also so affordable too! Some as low as $20 bucks! 




Tuesday Mama Thoughts// Short Hair

 Being the mom of a very active, curious 7 1/2 month old boy, keeps me very active too and gives little to no room for my own personal grooming, or at least groom the way I used to! I have been blessed with very thick, very wavy hair and lots of it, despite the fact that my hair is still undergoing postpartum hair loss. I had a pretty weird receeding hairline there for a while, but thankfully baby wisps of hair are coming in around the frame of my forehead. Also continuing taking prenatal vitamins daily (because of breastfeeding) makes my hair grow like a weed. As I mentioned I have very thick hair and it has a lot of body to it, I really do like my hair but its getting the best of me. I wish I could leave my hair down, which is my favorite way to wear my hair, but with little J pulling on my long locks all day, eating and chewing my hair to pieces, not to mention tangling it into a million tiny knots... its just not practical anymore. So pretty much everyday my hair goes into a top knot on my head. I just can't stand it anymore. I am tired of looking at myself feeling frumpy in that way. And overtime I have come to put my hair as the last priority of my day.

Now I understand why moms chop their hair off. Time. Energy. Practicality. Those things matter most. So I've decided to cut mine off too. I am so low maintenance when it comes to hair, the easier the better, and I am lucky I can go days without washing. I'd rather spend that time getting ready focusing more on my makeup rather than my hair. If I have a shorter haircut the time it would take to fix my hair would be drastically different than what it takes right now. Now the question is how brave am I? How short will I go? I've posted some haircuts/lengths that I am inspired by. I go to the salon this Friday, I can't wait!


I think the lob cut is a classic, and I've had one about 4-5 years ago. 


Love the long lob layers on January Jones


I like the length of this cut for a modern bob


Can I be super brave and go Pixie like Anne Hathaway?


 I've still got until friday to think about this! 


baby J's Nursery room board

Today I want to share with you all a room board I put together for my son's nursery. Believe it or not, I actually am not completely finished putting it together... (Been a little busy ;) ) It is so close to completion; pretty much all there is left to do is choose a rug, purchase a pouf or small ottoman, sew or purchase linen curtains, hang up a few more pieces of artwork and thats it! 

When I started out deciding how to decorate and design the room, I really didn't know where to begin for a little boy, all I had ever known was a world of girly girl. However, I did know I didn't want super cutesy, all baby blue, traditional baby boy room. I knew I wanted to incorporate new transitional/modern pieces and classic vintage as well. And for some reason I knew I had to have that beautiful Griege Zabeel Chevron Pillow by Caitlin Wilson Textiles. So for inspiration and ideas, of course I turned to pinterest. Then I just started buying and choosing things that I loved, and actually it all started with one of my first purchases, the Mozart Monkey doll by Bla Bla Kids. Thats actually where I got color inspiration and more ideas. And somehow over time the room evolved into what I call an "up in the clouds" theme... But it doesn't scream "theme" to me so I am happy with that. In another post I shall post pictures of the completed nursery (its so cute!) but for now I leave you with the room board and sources. 


Dresser/Changing Table: Vintage Dresser sourced at a local thrift store
Wall Paint: Classic Grey by Benjamin Moore
Side Table: Target 



Tuesday Mama Thoughts // 7 Month Essentials

Last Tuesday was my little J's 7 month birthday! How time has flown (time really flies when you have little ones, and you realize just how fast babies and children really do grow up). Anyway, I've decided to take a whirl down mama's lane for today and make Tuesdays my "Mama Thoughts" posts, and today marks the start.

Motherhood is anything short of "easy" but I believe it is all about perspective and really just changing your priorities in life. I've had my battles for sure, and I am growing and changing everyday with my little boy. One particular topic for today (which I know is such a sensitive topic, and for good reason) is breastfeeding vs. formula feeding. I've been tossing and turning over this one. Up until quite recently I exclusively breastfed my son, and then slowly started introducing solids at 6 months ie: rice cereal, then fruits & veggies. I am still breastfeeding my son, however I have started to supplement feeds with formula. Let me tell you why. I struggled everyday with pumping my own milk. I don't know if I am alone in this, but I would have a very short window of opportunity to pump and once that time was gone, I could sit there forever and hardly get anything out. I also want to mention that I am one of those ladies who has never felt the let-down of milk and never even leaked, I've never had an abundant supply of milk, ever. On top of it all, I have one super producing breast while the other breast doesn't let down as much milk (this side also causes my son to burp air quite a bit, strange, right?) So here I was most mornings trying to pump out of both breasts but only really getting milk out of one. The side effect of pumping milk out of one breast... Very very sore! Super painful and then when you go to nurse later, baby latches on and the pain just continues. I felt so discouraged and a failure. I also felt very trapped. I didn't know what to do... And as a mother a part of me felt fear and worry that because I couldn't produce pumped milk, that my baby would go hungry, and another part of me just wanted to be like the girl I was before baby, able to go out and get my hair done, go on a date with my hubby or just go get my teeth cleaned! My motto is "happy mama = happy baby" and at the end of the day I needed peace of mind. Taking that plunge truly scared me, but now I actually feel liberated. I know in my heart I did and am doing the right thing for us. Plus I value even more now the time we spend together nursing, bonding and cuddling and never having to worry or stress again, well at least about this.


the bumbo seat is definitely an essential, my son loves to sit in it and play// this blabla doll, is his favorite stuffed animal // seventh generation overnight diapers work like a charm! especially since he now sleeps soundly throughout the night // little J can't get enough jumping in the graco jumper, as parents we love it because it has a tray that acts like a bumper, also the length settings were better than another brand we tried // for supplementing we have only used earth's best organic sensitive formula //


Choosing a Rug

I have been searching high and low for an area rug for our living room floor. Its obviously part of the main living area of our house, and we spend a lot of time there as a family, especially my 7 month old son, who isn't afraid of getting things messy. So we purchased a rug online, it arrived and much to our dismay the color was not what we thought we purchased, it was WHITE! And with a growing family, thats just not gonna work (thats what we get for ordering online) but our options are really limited where we live and we are also on a super tight budget for this find. So sadly that rug was short lived at our house and off it went. Soooo now here I am back in square one. I am looking for a good quality rug, wool preferably, decent price, and something in the earth-neutral tones. Here are my options... What do ya think?

Sweater Rug in Oatmeal... This one is one of my favorites, looks so cozy!


Prescott Champagne Rug, simple and classic.


Neutral Crete Wool Rug... Seems nicely textured, but not so good image quality, plus a steep price tag.

Mini Pebble Wool & Jute Rug... This is probably my favorite but how will the jute hold up?


Safavieh Soho Taupe Rug... I like the marbled silky texture on this piece.