DIY Scrubs

HEEEEEYYYYYYY guys! It’s been such a very long time! Pretty sure if you go back to my first post, you’ll realize I can disappear like Houdini. Not sure if that’s a depression/anxiety thing or an anti-social thing. I’m keeping my promise though and getting right back into the swing of things. A lot has been going on since I last posted as well. A major career change, promotion, extra work…and of course regular life. But, you didn’t come here to listen to me babble on about MY life, you want to read what I gotta say…..so without any further hang-ups:

 

Today I wanted to talk about something I’ve been enjoying immensely the past few months. SCRUBS! Body scrubs, and lip scrubs to be particular. I’m just now getting into the realm of awesomeness (Like where the hell have I been living?!) known as beauty products. I’ve had some body and lip scrubs laying around from Lush that I finally decided to crack open and use. Why I never bothered with this stuff before is beyond me. I was smitten with my Cup ‘O’ Joe body scrub and my popcorn lipscrub. I blew through those things within two weeks. No big deal I thought to myself as I log into Lush to choose some new scrub goodies…..yeah I was wrong on that one. I must’ve had an impulsive moment when I bought those things cuz golly they were expensive.

Remember I’m CHEAP, single mom.

Ok, so then my next step would be to venture into making my own. When buying ingredients for DIY stuff like this, you tend to shell out the same amount of money, but get more bang for your buck. I spent about $30 on all my DIY scrub products (about the same as Lush) but am getting four months of constant use out of mine.

Ingredients to use:

Epsom Salt

Moroccan Oil

Essential oils

Sugar(finer grit for lips)

Coconut Oil

Herbs

 

My favorite body scrub is my jasmine scrub with lemon. It’s simply epsom salt, jasmine essential oil, lemon oil (or zest) and coconut oil. The jasmine is a sexy scent that is also relaxing for the nerves, and the lemon gives you the rejuvenating effects while the coconut oil moisturizes your skin. I love using my body scrubs after a long day, but also on the days where I feel grimy. The days where you literally want to shed your skin because for some reason you just feel gross (Either you sweated like a pig, got caught in the city rain, fell in a mud hole..etc)They are just so uplifting to my mood! Try it out! Bath bombs are soon to be on my DIY To-Do List.

 

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Traveler’s Notes

Hey guys! I’ve been super busy lately trying to get ready for three trips, that got cancelled to two, plus taking care of everyday things that need done before I leave. For this I apologize for not being on here nearly enough. As I’m coming into the 24 hour stretch before I take off on my journey, I think about what it would be like to not always have to get up and go.

What you don’t know is that I’m in the reserves. No biggie, one weekend a month two weeks a year…..This has to be the biggest lie the Army has ever told me. With my military job, I have to go through a lot more training events than other military jobs. In fact in 2015, my training kept me away for about four months in addition to my weekend and annual training. While it beats being deployed for a whole year straight, it also makes it really hard to transition back from a military state of mind, to a family frame of mind, and go right back to it. 

I’m also a single mother (DUH), so I have to prepare my little one for when I leave now too. Oddly enough when she was a baby I thought it would get easier, but now as she gets older, she really understands that I’m not going to be around and now she genuinely has feelings that she can display. This time around she is really sad about me leaving, and I am too. At times I feel like the worst mother in the world….after all what kind of single mom can just harden up, pack her stuff up and leave for a month or so at a time? Me, that’s who. 

The Army is my family as much as my daughter is, and I realize the sacrifices I have to make. That’s why I still get up and go when I am needed to without any questions or hem-hawing trying to stay home. The Army is a great learning experience, I get to travel, and meet and try new things and people. I like to make a key note and say I don’t always facetime my daughter or call her everyday while I’m gone. Sometimes the training doesn’t allow me too, or sometimes I emotionally can’t handle it. We are all human, and that’s my weakness. I can’t let my daughter see how sad I am, or she will be too. Can’t make life harder for those around me. 

So I sit and think, about what it would be like to not have to go to a military event. To be able to see my daughter’s first day of school (I missed her first day of pre-school, and I might miss kindergarten too), to go to her events. I want to go to a concert, or huge event, that always coincide with my army dates (Coincidence…..the army knows how ruin a good time lol). But for now, I still have a contract to finish up, and during this time I will continue to think about being in the military or being a free civilian…and when the time is right, I will make my move. Have a great weekend and stay safe!

Lipsense Review

Hey Everybody! Sorry I haven’t posted much, trying to get ready for two different trips that line up back to back! WHEW it’s exhausting! Anyways, have you guys heard of this stuff called lipsense??? A friend of mine has been selling it for the past few months, and about a month ago I decided to give in and give it a try. It’s a pricey get up, $55 for the start up kit which you HAVE TO HAVE, apparently. So far I’m loving this stuff! This really is the only long lasting lipstick I have found that doesn’t wear off. I literally had this on for 16 waking hours, and fell asleep with it on, only for my lipstick still to be intact the next morning. Pretty impressive right?! BUT, that’s not the only reason I’m loving this product so well. The other reason is, it really is making my lips better! I’ve always had chapped lips. Always. I’ve tried countless ways to exfoliate my lips, sugar scrubs, brushing your lips with lotion on a tooth brush, an exfoliating glove followed up by hundreds of different moisturizers or lip balms and chapsticks that you can imagine. I researched deeper to see if there was another issue that was causing my chapped lips, in which they say the biggest culprit is not drinking enough water. For most people the light bulb would go off, but I know I get enough water through out the day (I train for fitness competitions, water intake is #1). Still, my chapped lips persisted so I was stuck with putting on lipstick, for it to dry and flake and look like crap later on in the day. Since trying and using solely Lipsense on my lips, my chapped lips are virtually gone. I still have a little dryness, but they aren’t flakey! They look like magazine model lips! It’s so easy! You put on how ever many coats of color you want, and brush it with the gloss and you are done! Bring the gloss and touch it up as the day goes on, and the color still stays strong.

I highly recommend any budget conscience mom to look into getting it, especially if you are a lipstick wearer. MY reasoning is, while the start up is $55 and colors are $25, it’s still more economical than buying cheap lipsticks, and lip balms on top of it. A $25 tube of lipsense can last the whole year, it’s made with alcohol denat in it, so it’s antibacterial. They have a TON of colors that are easily mixable to create a custom color as well. I have three colors, a light pink, reddish/brown, and a purple….they all mix wonderfully together!

 

One tip though, you don’t NEED the oops remover, I found that Micellar water works even better on your lips than the remover.

Yes I Co-Slept with my child

One HUGE controversial topic regarding infant and child care is how your child is to sleep when they are born, up until their toddler years to prevent suffocation and sudden infant death syndrome. Many cultures co-sleep and sometimes its the whole family on one mattress. Scientists and doctors strongly advise against co-sleeping. I had no intentions of co-sleeping with my daughter. She had the bassinet that was close the the bed, and that’s what she was gonna use because this momma didn’t want to share her space. I had also decided to breastfeed when my little bean decided to make her appearance. The hospital stay for me was horrific, not because it was a bad hospital or anything, just because of the sudden change of having a baby in your belly to a crying baby on the outside, and in terrible pain from giving birth. The first few days at home, I found that my daughter and I would fall asleep after I fed her and had her resting on my chest while I sat in the chair. Her and I both were comfortable like that, but once my stitches started healing and I felt better to lay down and get out of bed, I made the move to put my daughter in the bassinet while we slept. At night I when she was hungry I would get up, and go feed her and put her back down again. Not so bad…..Until all that time not getting sleep catches up to you. It started innocent enough, I was simply just too tired to keep that up, and one night I picked my daughter up to feed, laid on my side on my bed and let her nurse and I fell right to sleep. Couldn’t say how long I had fallen asleep, but in my dreams the realization hit me that I could be smothering my daughter! I snapped awake and immediately began checking to make sure my little Moo (Her baby nickname) was ok. Sure enough she was happy and sleeping peacefully. This would continue to happen, as I was a full time single mom who decided to take maternity leave for work, but not from college…so I was always drained at night. Eventually it got to the point my daughter couldn’t sleep without me being nestled to her, and it allowed me to get the sleep that I needed to get during that time. (Reminder, breastfeeding is also VERY energy draining). That little bean will be turning 5 this summer, and she or I have never had an incident with co-sleeping. She still will come crawl in bed with me at times if she wakes up during the night. I really feel that our co-sleeping helped build the strong bond her and I have right now, because of that constant closeness a baby needs. I don’t think co-sleeping is for everyone, and I’m not going to blatantly promote something that could be dangerous. But I will say, choose what works for you. Don’t feel ashamed for letting your child sleep with you, lord knows I know quite a few children who still slept with their parents till they were 11 (Don’t ask me why) but those same people have a really great relationship with their children. In an era where we have created distance from everything, keeping this one thing close could be a big difference in the future.

Routines

Hey Everyone! As we all know, humans are very routine….we pretty much do the same thing the same way day in and day out. There is no exception to your morning and nightly skincare routine. I’ve been through many different regiments for my daily facial care in my time. Some of these were not so great, 10% peroxide can cause chemical burns by the way. This past year, I’ve decided to go a little bit more natural with my routine, especially since my PCOS has been acting up the last six months. Normally I don’t get any crazy symptoms like some women, where they get horrendous cramps…..BUT I get terrible cystic acne. Not just a bump, I’m talking a new mountain appearing EVERY SINGLE DAY. It was really bothering me, especially because my SO and family would just blurt out how bad my face looked (As if I didn’t already knows guys). So a change was in order. I have been using Sheamoisture African Black soap, Curology prescription, and Dr. Jart’s water Drop moisturizer daily. The African black soap is very mild, and gives off a smell of black licorice, plus has shea butter. The curology prescription I have been on is custom formulated for my skin and I use it at night. Morning and night I apply Dr. Jart’s moisturizer (Moisturizing my face was something I’ve never been good at until I’ve noticed my wrinkles showing) After about two weeks with these three products together, my face took a turn for the better again. It’s clean, almost acne free, and not dry!! These products are very simple and very great, plus don’t have too high of a cost, and they have been effective at treating HORMONAL acne, which everyone says can’t be done. (Bite it internet article doctors) I suggest checking these products, or product lines out rather (sheamoisture actually has a ton of natural products) because of their effectiveness and that they fit the budget!!!! SCORE!!!!

Ain’t Got Time for That!!

Hey Everyone! I decided to use the color purple for font since it’s my daughters favorite color, and I’m missing her something fierce while she is at school today. 

 

One thing I don’t think single moms’ or women really get credit for is how they handle everything in their life. Not to say a man isn’t busy, but I think their busy and a woman’s busy are two different things and I believe this has to do with a woman’s list being more tedious. For example, a guy getting ready for work in the morning really only has to be shower, brush teeth and throw on clothes, especially since beards are in. For most women to get ready for work, it’s going to take them over that half hour bench mark on time. Sure, we don’t HAVE to go through the hassle of blow drying and styling hair or applying make up, but then we run the risk of not looking presentable. And if you are in the administrative department, looking disheveled could cost you your job. Of course being put together and looking really well, is one of the first things to automatically go when a Woman’s schedule gets ramped up even more.

So many people come to me while my boyfriend are out, and always applaud me for having such a busy schedule and being on top of it, while looking great (even if I chose jeans and a plain men’s t-shirt, i make it ‘work’). My BF laughs because he gets to see how a woman on the go actually operates all the time since we’ve been together. Sure he does give me crap if I’ve thrown my hair in a bun, wearing the same sweatshirt two days in a row, but he gets it now. Trying to dress to the 9’s doesn’t happen when more important things in life show up. Now, if you don’t want to be the mom in pajamas in the afternoon, make some closet moves to help you keep it together, well at least when you NEED to. *DISCLAIMER* By all means wear what you want when you want, these are tips for that super crazy day when you need to literally throw yourself together and GO.

Leggings- Was not a big fan of these until this past year. They are a great transition piece, meaning I can wear them to the gym and just change my top and I’m good to go…PLUS they are comfy as heck. All sorts of colors and patterns to choose from. You can literally through a dressy top on a pair of leggings with a jacket or sweater and you look DIVA. I’ve also found that my jeans don’t sit well with all of my tops, giving me that fat belly look and legging or yoga pants help diminish that.

Classic style shirts- Go for shirts that aren’t very trendy as in PLAIN. Let it have a cool cut, or some accent, that’s fine but stick with simple since you are in a rush. It really helps create a classic look.

Makeup- If you’re like me, you hate the thought of not wearing make up, how else am I supposed to hide my bags?! Over time I was able to create a simple look within three minutes with my make-up. SIMPLE….no frills, just foundation, setting powder, a dusting of a nude sparkly shadow with eyeliner and mascara. BOOM….now my face doesn’t look like a trash receptacle. 

Hair- This will all depend on how your hair was before, and when you last washed it. Sometimes you can throw it in a quick ponytail, which I like to have little whispies out that frame my face for a less harsh look. You can put it in a high or low bun, and there are many ways to do bun hair styles. A braid, yep I rock that side indian braid sometimes…..OR if your hair isn’t that much of a mess you can put some dry shampoo or cornstarch in your hair, give it a brush and a quick hair flip and go. 

 

I think the important part in looking presentable while in a rush, all comes down to simplicity. I try to plan out my day the night before, to determine what kind of time I have that day. If I know I’m going to have a huge time crunch when I wake up, Then I make sure I’ve got an overall plan on how I want to leave the house.

Mystery Bags

Hello everyone! Sorry for the MIA, been doing the army reserve thing this past week. A lot of fun, but so glad to be back home. So, My daughter is into these little surprise bags you can find at Wal-Mart, The dollar store, and the like. A few of her favorite brands are the My Little Pony, Shopkins, and Littlest Pet Shop. These things are pretty fun to collect! I’m getting into it with her, because it’s an inexpensive hobby, Literally $10 a week gets her a few surprise bags and shes thrilled. She loves Playing with them….but at four years old shes also categorizing them and figuring out the rarities as well. I think it’s a little bonus that keeps her involved, and FINALLY it’s something that takes her away from her drawing and making things. I love that she makes things, but there are only so many times I can vacuum the floor from paper, and wash her down from the marker she gets all over herself. She’s such a little artist. I noticed they have grab bags for little boys too! It might be a cheap little thing to invest in, especially if your little one has been well behaved and you want to give them a little. non-sugary reward.

Make-up Dupes I LOVE!!!!

Anyone that REALLY knows me, knows how much I love make-up. I don’t always get to buy everything that I want (C’mon man, I’m on a budget!) and I don’t always wear it (My boyfriend lovingly calls me grandma because I’m often found with my hair in a bun, librarian glasses, and make-up free anytime I can) Just because you’re limited, doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy it, after-all this is literally the paint to your canvas(face). You can create thousands of looks with make-up. Not that moms really have the time to do that, but make-up helps keep us looking put together and polished if and when we need it. I love shopping at Sephora, because of the brands and selection, but as I said I’m on a budget so I can’t splurge a lot. Now I have found a few ‘dupes’ (low-end products) that I choose either because I’m not shelling out the $$$ or because I have decided I liked the dupe better. Here are a few of my favorite products:

  1. Sephora ‘Teint Infusion’ foundation- $11. Yes this is sephora, BUT its sephora brand, which is their drugstore version. I got this on clearance, which is around about the price you would find nice foundation at Wal-Mart. It’s got a dropper so you control the amount of foundation that you get out of the bottle. It has a great feeling! It goes on kind of like an oil….but has a dry non-greasy finish! It doesn’t break me out, I use literally a pea sized amount, and it’s AFFORDABLE! Nice blendable colors too.
  2. Maybelline Colossal Volum’ Express Mascara-$7, I normally do TooFaced Better Than Sex mascara, but it’s $23, so I buy it about twice a year. In between then…it’s this stuff. Everyone is different with their mascara’s, because they all have different looks with the formula and the wand. This one gives me that better than sex look, and isn’t very clumpy. I like the wand as well, and it comes off really easy when washing your face. I HATE Mascara that will still leave residue on your lashes and around your eyes after scrubbing them.
  3. Revlon Photoready Kajal- $5 I like that this is a smooth liner, and I got it in a charcoal color. It lessens the drama effect of a black liner but it still solid and easily blendable. I got this after I bought Clinique’s Drama Liqui-pencil. Cliniques goes fine over the top lid, but does not work on the bottom eye line so well, when I try to blend it, it comes right off. This pencil stays and gives a subtle look
  4. Rimmel Scandaleyes Black eye Liners- $4, love this liner. Has glitter, but doesn’t look like a disco party. Blends wonderfully for me and stays on. Gives me the DRAMA in the eyeliner department. I fell with the glitter, it helps give the liner an extra bold look without having to do a thick line or go over it a thousand times. As you can see in my picture, it’s quite used.
  5. L’Oreal Brow Plumper-$7. Sad truth, I’ve only ever had my eyebrows waxed ONE time in my life. during the high arch, thin period….needless to say they never grew back. I hate their shape and used to use a brown shadow with a brush to fill them in until I gave this a try. I was too cheap to pay for the high end brow pomades, and feel they also make your brows look painted on. Yes this is a brow plumper, and it does give my brows volume, but it also fills the in really nicely! It has a little wand you can use to direct the color AND shape your brow. I’ve asked a lot of people, and they don’t realize I fill in my brows because it gives them a very natural finish. MIND YOU: I got mine in light to medium shade even though my brows are dark brown. Filling in, will make this go darker and I felt that if they went too dark, it would look funny.

Those are my top fave, cheapo dupes of make-up that I swear by. I’m always on the look-out for great cheap products….and even high end ones too. These items make me feel and look great(Nobody has called me ugly or anything else while wearing em sooo) Give these a try, worst thing is you waste a couple bucks, versus a lot and that always helps the blow when spoiling yourself with make up. ENJOY!!!!

Gut Health

Happy Tuesday! One thing I think we all overlook these days is our gut health. What is gut health?? Well that pertains to your digestive health silly! As a woman, how do you know if your gut health is good or not? Gas is an easy indicator that your tummy is out of sorts, unless you just ate something you might have never eaten before. Do you suffer from yeast infections, UTI’s, bacterial vaginosis, acne or really bad gas??? Those are all signs that your intestines and flora are out of whack. Are you constantly getting sick? The good bacteria in our digestive system also plays a role with our immune system, so if it’s low, you might end up with more colds or illnesses. Great news is that fixing your digestive system is relatively easy. Eating a healthy and balanced diet plays a big role, but sometimes you just need to do a little bit more. All natural yogurt, Apple cider vinegar, and probiotics are great ways to give you that belly boost! you can eat a half cup of yogurt a day, take a daily probiotic, or take 1 tablespoon of ACV a day to help boost your digestive tract and immune health. Yogurt and the probiotic are the easiest to take, however ACV does more than just rev up your gut health…..it’s just AWFUL tasting, especially when it has the ‘mother’. I would love to read off the ways and uses of ACV, but the list is long. I simply mix a tablespoon in with my orange juice and chug it down. I just got back into it the last month, and have noticed a change with my face….brighter, less tired looking. While gas might be funny….it can be an indicator of something more than food not mixing well. Great gut health has also been linked to a better and happier well being. Do you know anything else that helps wth gut health? Let Me know!!!!!

Fridays are for Festivities

Something I have just recently started getting into, is community events! The events are normally listed in the local paper or on their website, if your town doesn’t hand out a special community calendar with the events already listed. I just got back from “A Trip around the world” food tasting at my local college. The culinary class put together different booths with foods from different countries. The best thing about these events, they get you mingling with strangers and are often times really cheap if not free! My ticket cost me $10, which is less than a lunch date with your friends these days. I ended up with six appetizer sized plates of food plus dessert and beverages…..and I absolutely cleaned every plate. One thing you’ll rarely see me do is turn down food!

 

The nice thing about this event was that it was hosted at the college, where I also go to the gym. Those collard greens and enchiladas will not go to waste! A little more you should know about me is that I have my B.A. in Health and Wellness. While I’m a bit of a health nut, I also know how to live. It never hurts to indulge, unless you’re indulging all the time. Today was leg workout for me today. A lot of women compliment me on my legs, so I thought I would share what my leg day consisted of at the gym.

 

Friday Legs workout:

Stairmaster lvl 6-10(depending on your fitness level) for 10 minutes

3×12 dumbell squats with 20lbs dumbbells

3×12 leg extrensions superset with:

3×12 leg abductions

4×10 leg press at 210lbs- walking lunges for 50ft between each set

4×15 sumo squats

ABS:

3×25 crunches

3×25 leg lifts

3×25 bicycle crunches