It's all about family and home right here.

Monday, September 30, 2013

Sephora Haul

I've been trying to cut back on buying things as I'm starting to feel the fine strains of a tighter budget.  But I really needed to stock up on some Wen Cleansing Conditioner and Clarisonic brush heads.  I figured that I'd throw in a couple of items for friends and use some points to get my husband a new type of shaving cream.  

He liked the Jack Black Shave Lather, but he's happier with the Gillette shaving gels he gets from Sam's Club.  I suppose we can leave the Jack Black Shave Lather for when he travels or something.

I picked up a hand soap and lotion set.  It adds a cute little pop of color to our bathroom.  That's about as far as my home decorating talents go for right now.  

These brush heads were sorely needed.  I hope I remember when I put them 3 months from now!

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Nightly Skincare Routine + Tarte Pure Maracuja Oil Review


My nightly skincare routine from left to right:

1 product for the face: Kate Lorraine Placenta Serum
Read my mini review here.  

1 product for the eyes: Dr. Brandt Dark Circles Away Collagen Eye Serum

1 product for the body: reclaimed Tarte Pure Maracuja Oil
Read my husband's thoughts about it here.  Read my thoughts about it below.

When I was thinking about what moisturizer to use for my body I knew I didn't want a product with a lot of ingredients in it.  I'm not sure what the medical validity is but I was thinking if I rubbed it on my belly, it might get very easily absorbed by the baby.  And then it hit me....

... Ancient Greeks used olive oil to cleanse and moisturize their skin after sporting events.  

I could definitely do the same.  My husband let me reclaim his Tarte Pure Maracuja Oil and I have found a lot of benefits while using this product.  

Tarte Pure Maracuja Oil Review

Product Claims:
Restore skin balance to aid in skin recovery and rejuvenation
Maracuja oil gives the appearance of brighter skin thanks to a high dose of pure vitamin C

The condition of my skin prior to using Tarte Pure Maracuja Oil was dry, itchy, and rough where I scratched too much, and I'm worried about developing stretch marks.  I didn't and still don't (and hopefully won't) have any pregnancy stretch marks.  There are several weeks to go and the baby still needs to pack on 3-5 more pounds, so I'll have to do an update on if I end up getting stretch marks later.

Restore skin balance to aid in skin recovery and rejuventation
The way this product works reminds me of Chinese medicine.  It's effective but it will take time.  It delivered steady doses of moisture to my dry, itchy, rough patches of skin over time, so nothing got resolved within 1 application.  Improvements started showing about 1-2 weeks after beginning to use the oil.  I can say 100% that my skin right now is so much more improved than before I started using the oil. 

Maracuja oil gives the appearance of brighter skin thanks to a high dose of pure vitamin C
The skin on my belly does look very smooth and clear.  It's taken on this plastic look...  I'm not sure if anyone else has seen those old TLC A Baby Story promos from back in the day?  I think after a certain point, a pregnant belly starts to take on a smooth, shiny, in other words plastic, look.  I've always attributed that to good moisturization.  Could I extend that to the vitamin C?  Maybe.

So far, I really like what this oil is doing for me.  I would definitely recommend this product to any one who suffers from seasonal or pregnancy dry skin as a preventative measure.  It would probably go a long way to maintaining skin balance before the skin got dry and irritated.

I'll be happy to answer any questions about this product.  Just leave a comment below.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

The Pressure to Lose Baby Weight and what it Really Means!

It's not a secret, I'm a huge fan of the British monarchy, especially of William of Catherine.  So it's not a surprise when I click on the article whenever I see their names or their pictures.

Today's article talked about the speed of baby weight loss.  Click here for the full article.  

I'm interested in articles like these not because I'm eager to lose all the weight I've gain (it is a factor), but because it brings up a lot of concerns that need to be thought through.  Truthfully, I have NO IDEA how my husband's and my life will change after we welcome our baby into the world.  I think we currently believe we can manage a baby, our marriage, our careers, our workouts, and our hobbies all together.  But with all the parenting and "what to expect" books we're reading, it's getting pretty scary thinking about the one thing they all have in common: "YOUR LIFE WILL CHANGE!"

How these articles affect me is that they make me realize that maybe I won't be able to do everything I think I can do.  I don't care about the pressures to get back to my pre-pregnancy body as soon as possible, but maybe I will care if I can't fit in time to be active, or time to spend my with husband, or time for myself to unwind.  I'm worried about what I'm going to do for the first few months with an infant and how much I will or won't feel the pressures to get back to my work.  These articles usually focus on the rich and famous, or the royalty, but it just makes me feel really disconnected from people I do admire.  I DO have to go back to work, I probably CAN'T afford to take an extended leave of absence to be with our baby, my husband and I DO have to worry about our budget, and we probably CAN'T take time off whenever we want.  Things like that are what articles like these make me think about.  

Let me be clear, even though there is a very healthy dose of worry right here, we are super excited to be starting our family.  With every one of our baby's powerful jabs into my ribs, my bladder, or the side of my tummy we get more and more excited to be able to hold this little miracle in our arms in a few months!  It's the next chapter in our lives, after all.  And you know what?  People have babies all the time and they make it work, so I'm confident we'll find our way, too.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

August Empties + Mini Product Reviews


I always feel so accomplished whenever I finish anything related to skincare because it's so easy to get bored with whatever I'm using and buy something else.  The result is an accumulation of an excess of bottles and jars of creams and serums that take up real estate in my cabinets, which I can't afford right now.  So, for the month of August, I present to you TWO finished skincare items.  

Kate Lorraine Placenta Serum

Claim: This product uses bovine placenta to help generate younger, firmer, and newer skin to help prevent the signs of aging.

How I use it: At night only.  I used this and only this after getting out of the shower.

My results: I thought my skin gained a decent amount of luminosity.  If it weren't for my age/sun spots on my upper cheek bones, I'd say my skin looked like it was in its mid-20's.  I also really loved the fact that it absorbed so well into my skin that there was 0% tackiness left behind.  This is only the second product I've used that has done that.  If it was more accessible I'd strongly consider buying this again.

Botanics Complexion Refining Toning Lotion

Claim: This product has rosemary extract to help tone pores and Amazonian clay to help absorb oil throughout the day.

How I use it: In the mornings only with a cotton pad.

My results: This product was very affordable at Target and it was very refreshing to use.  But I didn't feel that the Amazonian clay did anything to absorb oil throughout the day.  I don't think I'd repurchase this toner again.