It's all about family and home right here.

Friday, May 29, 2015

Honeydew, Honey Do!

I thank God and the Higher Powers for this blessing. Being a woman able to give life to a baby is such a miracle and a humbling experience. I know my husband has gone through his own transformation being Jellybean's father, but sometimes I wish he could feel the things I feel. 

That said, I just want to write this post to remind myself of the joys and challenges of pregnancy the second time around. 

I think part of the challenges of being a pregnant woman is that most people will say we're so lucky to be able to be pregnant as opposed to having fertility issues. For the most part I feel lucky and blessed. But I think it creates a societal pressure to feel happy, grateful, and positive 100% of the time. Truthfully I feel great about being preggers 70% of the time.  I feel anxious 25% of the time for Jellybean and the big changes that are coming her way, how she's too young to know what exactly those changes are, and how to make this transition as seamless as possible for her.  I spend the other 5% of the time struggling with all the aches and pain of being pregnant. 

I'm in my 33rd week this week and Baby #2 is the size of a honeydew melon. I'm getting menstrual-like cramps in conjunction with Braxton-Hicks contractions, about 55%-45% relatively speaking, and this makes me worried. I always think that it's related to preterm labor because I had menstrual-like cramps prior to going into labor with Jellybean. I hope I'm just worrying over nothing and that Baby #2 can stay in until full term!

As for the typical Honey Do list, I've thrown that out for a Honey Do Prepare for Plan A and Plan B list. 

Plan A
I go into labor during daytime. We'll call our awesome nanny to watch over Jellybean so that my hubby and I can head over to the hospital. 

Plan B
I go into labor during the night or when our awesome nanny won't be available. We'll have to take Jellybean with us to the hospital and have our awesome nanny meet us at the hospital as soon as she can. 

Six more weeks to go!  Time to me feels like it's speeding up and slowing down. I can't believe that we're going to have a baby in 6 short weeks!  I can't believe it's another 6 long weeks to become a family of 4 plus 4 cats!

Friday, May 22, 2015

Researching Cruelty-Free Skincare and Makeup Brands

I'm just getting in some research right now about cruelty-free skincare and makeup brands and am actually surprised by the variety. I thought there would be only a handful but I'm really excited and pleased that so many companies/brands are committed to being cruelty-free!  I'm not going to be fanatic about it but at least it's a start to being better educated about the philosophy behind certain brands. 

PETA's website has a list of skincare and cosmetics brands that are cruelty free. Paula's Choice website also has a comprehensive list of companies that do and don't test on animals. But I think it's just easier to remember that if the company or brand is sold or available for retail in Mainland China, the company or brand does have to submit their products for animal testing. It's required by law over there.

I'm a little sad because brands that I've always wanted to try, like Laneige, Cle de Peau, Sisley Paris, or even brands that seem so natural and good for you like Aveeno all do animal testing. 

I guess it's good that I've got a few cruelty-free brands lined up, such as:

100% Pure
Avalon Organics
Burt's Bees
Yes To
Tom's of Maine

Just to name a few off the top of my head. Additionally, I could always go to Whole Foods and pick up the ingredients needed to make my own skincare. 

I'm getting really excited about this!  I'll post more on this new adventure of mine as I learn more. 

Have a great Memorial Holiday!

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Renewing interest in YouTube beauty channels

Is it cosmic irony or what?  Jellybean is 18 months and I finally feel like I'm getting a good beauty and skincare routine going.  In 2 more months this is going to change and I'll probably revert to being a frazzled new mom all over again. 

Anyways, I've been getting back into watching makeup and skincare videos on YouTube lately after maybe a 3 year hiatus. I even found my old channel and learned a trick from my old self!!  

The reason I got off the YouTube beauty wagon was that I felt compelled to keep buying all the newest palettes or limited edition stuff. The people I followed then were always ALWAYS buying makeup and I was jumping in on that. And honestly, it got to the point where I was getting fed up with it. I was spending a lot of money on makeup I would rarely or never wear, and hundreds of dollars on high-end skincare products and I still broke out. Watch the old videos of me and you'll see what condition my skin was in using expensive skincare.  My beauty habit was not supporting our (my husband's and my) goal of buying a house, getting married, and starting a family so I cut YouTubing out of my life and have only kept up with certain blogs. 

I'm now rebuilding my subscriptions to my favorite YouTube personalities but I don't think I'll fall into the same trap of spending much needed money on superfluous stuff. I've got my children's future to save up for and I need to set an example of saving money and spending wisely.  We'll see how it evolves, I suppose. 

My old YouTube channel is KusanagiGirl1. Wow!  I was much thinner then. Got to lose this baby weight, but that's another battle to fight... Later. Haha!

32 weeks! 8 weeks left!

Last night we got out Jellybean's infant car seat and got it ready for Baby #2. I'm telling you seeing it all set up brought back memories of Jellybean as a newborn as well as making the upcoming arrival of Baby #2 seem a lot more real!

I'm carrying out 2nd daughter a lot lower than I did with Jellybean. Baby #2 is already head down and her crown is right on my bladder. So the torture of drinking liquids is that I have to go to the bathroom almost every 30 minutes. 

I've been getting contractions every day yet at my last checkup I'm still good (not dilated or effaced). So the waiting game continues!

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Middle of May Empties and Purged

I'm in nesting mode!  I went through and sorted my makeup and realized that some things have got to be purged because they just don't work for or suit me. There's a lady at work who is really into makeup so I'll let her have first pick.

First, my Empties!

The above are products I've used up. 

Swisspers Cotton Rounds
They're ok. They do the job but are far from perfect. They do leave cotton fibers behind that are caught on damp skin or my hair. 

Wen Replenishing Treatment (spray)
I like Wen!  If it weren't so darn expensive I'd be using it regularly. This leave-in spray makes my hair feel soft and shiny and hydrated for a day after using. If using this by itself with other shampoo/conditioner brands, I think this is the best you can hope for. But I think if you use this spray in conjunction with the Wen Cleansing Conditioner, your hair would look and feel so healthy probably for 2 or 3 days. 

Onto the purged items:

Lip products (above, left)
After having a baby I realized that I just don't like lip glosses anymore. They are too sticky and wearing them prohibits me from kissing my daughter whenever I want. 

Stila Lip Glazes
I'm going to have to find a way to use them up when I'm not around my daughter(s). I don't want to kiss them and leave sticky gloss residue on their faces and hair. 

Merle Norman
This was super pigmented, which was amazing!  But maybe it was the sample size or maybe it was the formula, it dried my lips out. 

I'm not tossing this one but will figure out a way to incorporate it into my life. It's very moisturizing and glossy, although the color is sheer, which is ok. 

Eye Products (above, top right and bottom right) 
I have tossed all of the eye products into the garbage. 

Physicians Formula Kohl Kajal Eyeliner
It probably works the worst on people with monolids. Even with eyelid primer on, these eyeliners (if they didn't break) would start smudging, smearing, and giving me the appearance of raccoon eyes within ONE hour. 

Neutrogena (Healthy Skin?) eyeshadow
I bought this so long ago and depotted it so long ago that I can't remember it's exact name. This was the very first eyeshadow I bought and obviously didn't know what I was doing. It's too cool for my skin tone and ends up looking frosty on me. It exacerbates my monolids and makes them look hooded or tired. 

Wet n' Wild (Lust?)
Again, bought this a long time ago, and depotted it a long time ago and don't remember the exact name. It was part of a 6-shadow palette.  Out of all the shadows, this is the chalkiest and frostiest shadow. I just didnt know where to use it so I never did. 

I'm keeping everything in the pictures above to see if I can make them work for me. 

Tarte eyeliners (above, top left)
These came as part of a special edition palette set that Tarte had in the winter of 2009 or so, if I remember correctly. Maybe it's the length of time but these eyeliners are not as easy to apply as I remember back in 2010. Additionally, I feel that they don't have good staying power.  Maybe they'll last a morning but by the afternoon I start looking like a raccoon, even with primer. I'll still give them a shot just to see if I can make them work. 

Hard Candy eyeshadow in asteroid
I think I've used this less than a handful of times. It's nice and pigmented and is royal blue... But it has glitter in it which makes it flakey, dusty, and a general pain to apply dry. I'm going to see if my coworker can use it. 

Murad  Absolute Bronzing Boost
Also finding it a new home. This gives your skin a beautiful summer glow but it doesn't work for me because I'm using products for brightening skin tone. 

That's it for now! 

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Lotion Purge

I have had these lotions for a long while but I've been opting for jojoba oil, almond oil, Vaseline, petroleum jelly, Egyptian Magic, and several other lotions with no fragrance. I keep telling myself that I will use my stash of lotions but I never do. 

Side note: there is a naked pursuit suspect rescue in the waters at Redondo Beach right now!  Haha!  It took 3 lifeguards to bring in this naked 300 pound man.

Anyways, back to the post. :-)

So, I think I figured out that the stronger the fragrance the less I'll use it. My nose has always been sensitive but pregnancy has made my nose more sensitive. I don't like strong fragrance as much anymore because it will give me headaches or set off feelings of scent aversion. Secondly, the more fragrance is in the lotion the less I enjoy the end texture of the lotion. I find that those lotions leave some sort of gritty residue in the grooves of my fingerprints. 

The above are lotions that are still brand new. I received these as gifts but never used them.  The lotion on the right was a gift from Linh (Blushology) and smells like peppermint candy. The other 2 on the left are from my best friend in San Francisco. They have seals on them but I can smell the rose scent through them so I'm sure the fragrance is stronger than my nose can handle. I'm going to take these to the office and give them to my colleagues. They seem to like fragrances lotions better. 

The above are lotions that I have used and have gotten to the half-way point on these but can't seem to finish. I used to enjoy baby scented things like baby lotion and baby powder but I just can't handle the fragrance anymore. During this pregnancy it seems that the perfume is just a little sharper than I like. The middle is a hand lotion that I bought from Sephora.  I don't think I ever liked it. It's a perfect example of a lotion that is more of a perfume than a moisturizer. My hands always feel just as dry after using it but the scent lasts forever and gets transferred to whoever I hug or touch. I'm not sure what to do with the baby lotions exactly but I'm taking the Thai Lily hand lotion to the office to leave in the ladies' room. 

The above are lotions I'm on the fence about. The Bodycology lotion has a very mild scent and actually feels moisturizing without leaving a gritty feeling in the grooves of my finger prints. I think maybe I'll keep it.... Maybe. I'm not sure if I'll keep the Body Shop lotion. I like the scent of peaches and apricots, but this lotion doesn't moisturize very well and leaves behind a gritty feeling. I'm really on the fence about the Burt's Bees lotion. I used to like its scent but can't seem to handle it during this pregnancy. However, it is quite moisturizing and Burt's Bees is a brand that doesn't test on animals... So it's definitely got that going for it. 

If I purge everything pictured here you can rest assured that I've found new homes for them. I think most of these products are good products, but I think pregnancy may have made my nose too sensitive. I guess it makes it all the easier to smell a poopy diaper. Haha. 

Family Updates

Jellybean is finally sprouting her canines and molars!  She's just started saying "bye" when she waves goodbye and gives us kisses when we ask for kisses. She's also very expressive when she's trying to talk, even though she's still using baby language. 

I'm in my 3rd trimester and somewhere between 31 and 32 weeks. So only a few more weeks to go before we welcome our newest addition!  I've been getting PMS-like cramps along with Braxton-Hicks contractions for a while, but not regularly enough to warrant a visit to labor and delivery. Something different from my last pregnancy is that I've been losing bits of my mucus plug for several weeks already but my doctor doesn't seem too worried. 

My husband really is the best!  I've lately been enjoying McDonald's Oreo McFlurries. My husband will buy two, one for me and one for him, but he'll purposefully eat it slower so that he can give me what's left of his when I'm done with mine. That's love!

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Empties: April

And the reason I got this post up at the beginning of May instead of the end is that I prepared for it in April!  Yay!

Aura Cacia Jojoba Oil
Love this stuff. It's perfect for moisturizing right after a shower. Jellybean loves it too!

St. Ives Blemish Control Apricot Scrub
I loved this at the beginning but then got bored with it. It's great for exfoliation. I guess the packaging just isn't that exciting even though it's a solid product. I'll probably repurchase this again. 

Boudreaux's Butt Paste
Yep, finished more of it.  It's her holy grail even if a bit expensive.

That's it for now!