April Favorites

Saturday, April 30, 2016

A few things I discovered and loved this month...

I caved and bought the Kylie Lip Kit. Yes, I sat at my computer for about 10 minutes before they were supposed to be restocked, then when 11:59 hit, I reloaded the page about 100 times before they became available. I then added two "Koko Ks" to my cart (one for me and one for my sister) and was lucky enough to actually get them. They sold out within a minute. Now, I don't think they're as amazing as selling out in 60 seconds, but they're pretty good! Each kit includes a liquid lipstick and matching lip liner. The liner is super soft, and the lipstick is gorgeous. I love the color I got, and it has a really nice matte-not-flat finish. I really like it, but probably not enough to buy one again if they stay this popular.

Bare Minerals Complexion Rescue. I've been searching for a good tinted moisturizer for a while, so when Bare Minerals, one of my favorite cosmetic brand, came out with this, I had to have it. I love it! It's perfect for my every day when I don't want full makeup but would like a bit of coverage with my moisturizer. Plus it's SPF 30, so it's everything I need in one!

I received this Bumble and Bumble Pret-a-Powder sample from Sephora and was really excited to try it. I love this brand and love the idea of any kind of dry shampoo. It absorbs extra oil, and adds volume and texture. This has become a must in my hair routine and I'll definitely be buying the full size when I run out.

Joe has been trying to talk me into getting an Apple Watch since they came out. He got one and loved it, but I just didn't see a need for one. They seemed pointless and overpriced to me. But a few weeks ago they were on super sale at Best Buy and I finally let Joe get me one. And I am actually enjoying it. I really like the athletic tracking part of it, and it's nice to be able to glimpse at alerts I get without having to pull out my phone. I still think they cost too much for what they are, but I've been having fun with it.

Canon 40mm Pancake Lens. I actually bought this a couple years ago and completely forgot I had it. I pulled it out recently because I really want to restore my photography knowledge. I've gotten way to comfortable using auto mode and my iPhone lately so I'm trying to practice using my camera on manual more often. I forgot how much I love this lens. I actually prefer using prime lenses, and this one is perfect for taking photos of Violet.

I'm literally 12 years late to this, but I just discovered Desperate Housewives while searching for a new show to fall into on Hulu. I remember my mom always watching this and thinking it looked so stupid, but maybe I like it since I'm a mom now! I'm kind of obsessed with it now and watch it whenever I get an extra 42 minutes.

Have you tried any of these things before? What have you discovered and loved recently?

Gifts for Mom

Monday, April 25, 2016

Mother's Day is such an important day, moms are amazing! Here are some gift ideas that your mom might love for a little "thank you for being my mom" gift.


Friday, April 22, 2016

Some of my favorite childhood photos of myself are the very natural ones; nothing special is happening, I'm just living life, doing my thing. So something I really want to do for Violet is make sure I capture more than just the holidays and special occasions. I want her to be able to also see what her life looked like on a typical Friday afternoon; playing on the floor in her room, still in pajamas with messy hair and some sweet potatoes on her face from lunch time. Some of the most cherished memories are the ones when nothing significant is happening at all.

Ten of My Current Wardrobe Staples

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Ever since becoming a mom, I've noticed that when it comes to dressing myself, I prefer simple and easy. Instead of always wearing dresses like I used to, I prefer jeans and loose tees now (which are also much easier to nurse in!) I also recently followed the trend of decluttering and only keeping a few, classic clothing items, which felt amazing. So these are the main 10 items I always reach for just on an everyday basis. 

1. I love a simple, classic black leather jacket. I always have this with me when I'm not sure how the weather is going to be, so I can throw it over just about anything if it starts to get chilly.

2. I'm obsessed with this green Topshop jacket. I wear it so often. It's light, loose, and perfect for spring. I also love the army green color.

3. I saw this top at Urban Outfitters and decided to get one in each color! It has the ease of a plain tee shirt, but the little ruffle adds something extra. Looks so cute with a minimalist necklace and jeans, and makes me feel a little better about wearing tee shirts every day!

4. But on days when I do want to wear an extremely plain white tee, this Madewell one is the best. It's so soft and flowy, and the perfect length for me.

5. I'm so in love with my Petunia Pickle Bottom diaper bag. I want to do another post just about this bag, but it's seriously amazing and I'd recommend it to anyone looking for a new diaper bag.

6. I just got this Gucci cross body bag for my birthday last week. I really wanted to find a classic, good quality small bag to add to my collection, since I only owned inexpensive smaller bags. I thought this one would be perfect. It's so simple and timeless, and the tassle makes it so cute. It's perfect for days when I don't want to carry my huge diaper bag, and has plenty of room for a couple diapers and wipes!

7. I have a hard time finding jeans that I really love. I have unfortunately short legs, and have to cuff almost all of my jeans, which I like sometimes but love that I found a pair that fits me perfectly. I discovered these Rag and Bone jeans while just shopping around one day, and made the mistake of trying them on before checking the price tag. I probably wouldn't have even tried them, since I was looking for something more in the $100 range, but I loved these so much I couldn't resist. It's been worth it so far, I wear them so often and they're amazing quality.

8. I think something that can make a simple jeans and tee shirt look a little "cooler" is by making the jeans high waisted. I love these from Urban because they're super high waisted. I feel like it instantly adds style to almost any plain top. I used to hate how huge my butt looked in jeans like these, but now I like it :)

9. I found these Free People boots on major sale while browsing one day. There was one pair left, and they were my size. I had to snatch them up! They're so versatile and could work year-round.

10. Finally, my holy grail shoes. I'm obsessed with my Tory Burch flip flops. I throw them on with everything, so easy and comfy without looking sloppy or careless. I'm on my second pair of these and will probably need a third pair soon, they're my absolute favorites.

Chances are, I'm wearing at least one of these things on any given day, they're my go-to, favorite, want to stock up on wardrobe items. Do you have anything like this in your wardrobe?

Sweet Potato

Friday, April 15, 2016

Tonight was the second attempt at feeding Violet solids. Last Sunday was the first try, avocado, and she wasn't a fan. Not knowing if she just didn't like the avocado or if she wasn't ready, I decided to wait a few days before trying again. I was surprised she didn't love it because she's always staring at food and people eating, and even reaching for it. So tonight was sweet potatoes, and they were a hit! She kept pulling the spoon in herself and putting it in her mouth. So cute! She seemed a little weirded out by the texture, which is understandable, so we're gonna keep practicing with sweet potatoes for a while before trying something new. 

Who knew I'd be that mom that has to share 100 photos of her baby with food all over her face ;)


Wednesday, April 13, 2016

I turned 23 today, and maybe it's because I'm a mother now, but I really do feel older. In the past, my birthday was a big deal. I wanted the day to be full of celebration and cake and tons birthday-ey type things. Then inevedibly would end up disappointed if it didn't meet my crazy expectations. (I even spent my last birthday crying all day because I had horrendous morning sickness and got into a fight with my sister.) But this year, I didn't give it a second thought, it was just my birthday, no big deal. For the first time, I really didn't feel like it had to be completely perfect, and I think that's why it actually was.

I woke up like usual thinking Joe was at the gym, but I came into the kitchen to find that he made me my favorite breakfast of an egg sandwich on a bagel with mimosas. He had even gone to get me my Diet Dr Pepper. I was so happy. The rest of the day was just as wonderful. I took Violet on our regular walk around the neighborhood, we met Joe for pizza at Bill's for lunch, and spent a little while walking around downtown enjoying the beautiful weather. We finished the day with a simple dinner, a huge pizookie, and watched Girls after Violet went to bed. It was my idea of a completely perfect birthday, and the best start to my new year.

Violet at Five Months

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

This month was a busy one for Violet! It seems like she learns a new trick every day, and changes so frequently I can't keep up! Out of nowhere I'll realize she's stopped doing something she used to always do and starts doing something totally new. Makes me really try to soak up every moment and take it all in.

This month, Violet:
Weighs 14 pounds and 6 ounces. 
Is 25 inches long. 
Can pick up and hold toys with one hand.
Can also pass toys from hand to hand.
Wears clothing size 3-6 months and size 2 diapers.
Tried her first food, pureed avocado, but didn't seem quite ready yet.
Can almost sit up on her own. 
Started to make a crazy pterodactyl sounding noise that literally hurts my ears.
Sleeps from 7pm-7am, and wakes up once at about 2am to eat.
Was Baptized.
Likes to stand with us holding her up.
Reaches for anything we're eating or drinking.
Is so silly and laughs a ton.

Every month with this kid just gets better and better. It's such a bittersweet thing watching her grow and become less of a baby every day. I can't believe next month she's already half a year old! People really truly mean it when they say kids grow up too fast.


Monday, April 11, 2016

It's difficult being a woman and having a daughter. It's hard for me to think about the things she'll probably go through in life. Body image is such a huge struggle that so many women, myself included, face every day. And it breaks my heart knowing that someday this innocent little baby will deal with those same struggles.

After pregnancy, my body changed a lot. I cried when my stretch marks started to appear. I applied cocoa butter religiously, and convinced myself that I would be okay if I ended up getting any. But I wasn't. I was so upset and frustrated that my body was permanently scarred with something considered ugly to society. I wanted to be one of those women who called them my battle scars or tiger stripes, but it was too hard, I hated them. I lost all of my pregnancy weight pretty quickly, but was left with these marks on my hips and stomach, and loose skin that reminds me of where my baby used to live.

But after the hormones calmed down a bit, and experiencing the joy of seeing my sweet baby girl grow, I'm realizing that although these feelings are reasonable and valid, they're very unnecessary. I need to set an example for her. I want her to grow up feeling completely loved, not because of how absolutely beautiful she is, but because she as a person is worthy of it. Why are we so quick to fall for the beauty standards society has set for us? Why do we believe that to be loved we must be beautiful or successful? I want so badly for Violet to grow up caring only about inner beauty. I want her to love herself despite her flaws.

Being one of the people in her life she'll see most growing up, how will she be that way if she sees me obsessing over my image? If I'm continuously putting myself down, she's going to pick up on that behavior. But if she sees me being confident in my own skin, and knowing how loved I am, maybe she'll grow to feel the same about herself. I know I can't protect her fully from these struggles, as they're something that we as humans just have to deal with sometimes. But I am her role model, I'm who she looks at to define being a woman, and I want to be the best influence on her that I can be.


Sunday, April 10, 2016

I come from a big, Catholic family. So when my mom asked me if we would be getting Violet baptized, I figured we should include her in this family tradition. I was baptized as a baby, and so was everyone else in my family, so I thought, why not! It was a lot of fun preparing Violet's first little celebration. We held the actual Baptism at the church that I went to growing up, then had lunch with everyone at a favorite local restaurant afterwards. She wore a beautiful lacy romper with a matching bow, and her new gold necklace from her Godparents, which is a smaller duplicate of the necklaces all the women in my family have. 

It was such a special day and I'm so happy Violet was included in this lovely tradition.