A Month of Thanks 2013: Day 5 – That feeling I get when I run.

Run B Run

I’m not an athlete. Far from it. I didn’t really get into an active lifestyle until college. And it was post-college where I met running. I’m not the running “type”. I’m an amazon woman with big boobage and I don’t fit the running model. But honey, I love to run. I am so thankful for it. When I run I’m not thinking of the calories that I’m burning. I have no stresses. I just run. I don’t care about speed. I have my own mini goals and try to reach them. I feel like an Olympian at the end of a run. My body feels wrecked but mentally I am on a high. I love that feeling. I love how strong I feel.

Wish me luck! I’m running (will probably be doing a great mix of walk-jog but whatever…) a 5K next week!

A Month of Thanks 2013: Day 4 – Esposo’s Cooking

Quinoa Tabbouleh

I really don’t know what I was eating before I met Esposo. Clearly I was eating somethin’ because I’m not exactly a skinny girl. I know how to cook but I don’t like cooking. I just don’t. But I am so thankful for my wonderful husband because in the almost 2 years we’ve been married and the 1 year we dated, I have never had to prepare a meal. He cooks everything at home. And he serves me.

Yeah, I got it maaaaade.

A Month of Thanks 2013: Day 3 – Dairy Alternatives

I didn’t give up dairy because I’m a vegan. I gave it up because dairy killlllls my stomach. I am of the belief that it is kind of weird that we consume something that was never intended for our bodies and even still, I will never deny the awesomeness that is cheese. Or ice cream. I don’t eat either and I’m still surviving thanks to almond, coconut, hemp and cashew milk.

Coconut milk

I am so so thankful for these suitable alternatives that give me the chance to enjoy my favorite foods without being doubled over in pain.

But er uh…for the record, I’ve tried so many brands and there really isn’t a good substitute for cheese. Like, no. Just…no.

A Month of Thanks 2013 Day 2 – Short hurr

Short natural hair

Yeeeeep. I am very very thankful for short hair. Just a month after I had Elle, I cut off my long locs. I expected to miss them and mourn over them but I haven’t yet. Because I am that in love with short natural hair. I’ve cut my hair many times but it has never been this short and I’m still trying to figure out what took me this long to jump on the short hurr bandwagon.

And I’d stay on that bandwagon if I could find someone to maintain my hair cut. That’s the part about short hair people don’t tell you. You have to find a good stylist or barber to maintain the look and the guy that gave me this fierce cut is now gone in the wind. And every other barber after him weren’t nearly as good. Including Esposo, who I asked to give me a hair cut.

And so I’m growing my hair out again because I’m not the type to be so heavily dependent on others to do my hair. But I will never forget the awesomeness that is short hair. And the confidence that it gave me.

A Month of Thanks 2013 Day 1 – Motherhood

Many moons ago I had a college friend that spent the entire month of November giving thanks. Each day she would write a personal note about people, things or experiences that she was grateful for. I thought it was a fantastic idea and have decided to give it a whirl this year. Why not? I’ve got SO much to be thankful for. So in no order of importance, I’m kicking this month of thanks by expressing how thankful I am for motherhood.

Loving Motherhood

When I was 24-ish my gynecologist told me that I would have a hard time conceiving. He said that my uterus was positioned funny and that I’d have a tough time getting a good ole’ egg fertilized. I believed him. Why wouldn’t I? I also freaked out. Because even though I wasn’t quite ready to have kids, I didn’t want to struggle with having them. No woman does. And I didn’t. The first time I tried getting pregnant, I got pregnant with my precious daughter.

I could write an entire book about why I’m grateful for her and to her, but I’ll keep it short. I am thankful for each and every moment that I spend watching my baby grow and learn. I write this with tears in my eyes because it seems as if it was only moments ago when she was a wrinkly newborn who slept the day away. I look at her and I want so much for her. But mostly, I want her to be happy. And I want her to know how much she’s changed my life. Her sheer existence has made me a better woman. A stronger woman.

Motherhood

I believe motherhood comes in many different forms and that you don’t have to give birth to a baby to be considered a mother. I am thankful for the opportunity to be Elle’s mom. I am thankful that she picked me. I am thankful for the smiles she gives me when I’m giving her bottles at 3 a.m. I am thankful for the way she pats my shoulder while I carry her on my back. I am thankful for the brief seconds of snuggles she gives me even though I know she’d rather be crawling somewhere. Being a mother is hard. So hard. It’s tiring, it’s demanding and it’s a non-stop roller coaster of many twists and turns.

But I’m thankful for it. I’m thankful for her. I am thankful for the good foster moms and the moms who have adopted babies. I am thankful for working moms who do what they have to do for their families. I am thankful for stay at home moms who hold down the fort and often put everyone’s needs before their own. I am thankful for mentoring mothers and grandmothers and teachers who mother children. I am thankful for being able to experience motherhood. And I am thankful for my sweet and precious baby.

Beautifully Disney – The Makeup Line of ALL Makeup Lines

I love me some Disney. I mean really love is an understatement. Big kids know what I’m talking about. There’s something special about Disney parks, characters and movies. I didn’t think I could fall in love with Disney any more until they launched a makeup line called Beautifully Disney.

Beautifully Disney makeup

Um, yes. This is indeed a real thing and a few months ago I had the pleasure of attending a press event that caught me up to speed about the brand. First of all… “WOW!!! Is this real life?” It is. And I am so happy to be in this life where Disney has an awesome and affordable makeup line. And by awesome, I mean that the quality is definitely up to par. Yes, yes, I love my Disney but I also love keepin’ it real. I was just wishing on a star that the products would be amazing, spectacular and that they would leave me in awe. And guess what? They did.

Beautifully Disney eye shadow

From the packaging, the names of the palettes, polishes and lipsticks, the brand nailed it. It is everything that a Disney and beauty lover would want. If you’re thinking that the brand doesn’t look “kiddy” that’s because it isn’t intended for kids. Beautifully Disney is a line is for the older Disney lover, the Disney admirer who may have forgotten her lipstick at home and the beauty aficionado who loves Disney and wants an memento that she can use on a regular basis.

The dark and rich jewel toned packaging looks and feels sophisticated. The color choices of the lip glosses, nail polishes and eye shadows are mature, yet trendy and can be fitting for the college-aged girl to the hip Grandma who loves Disney as much as her grandkids love Disney.

The lippies…

Beautifully Disney lips

Beautifully Disney lip gloss

I didn’t anticipate liking these as much as I did. I thought they’d be watery, contain a ton of fragrance and have wimpy colors. Wrong! These fragrance-free lip glosses are moisturizing and pigmented. They last relatively long for a gloss and I’ve spotted a purple, baby pink, shimmery plum, coral and silver gloss. I am LOVING the shade options!

The nail polishes…

Beautifully Disney nail polishes

Ohhhh, the polishes…they’re wonderful! Cremes dominate the scene but I love that there are a few glitters and shimmer polishes. You’ve got your staple colors like reds and pinks but for us adventurous nail polish lovers, there’s a baby blue, teal and mustard.

Eye shadow palettes…

Beautifully Disney eye shadow palette

The eye shadows are stunning. Housed in graphically attractive heavy duty cardboard palettes. Most of the shades have a bit of shimmer but the shimmer is very forgiving and subtle.

Priced between $9-$40, the high-end line is more than impressive. New collections are launching every 3 months and I even got an insider tip that Beautifully Disney will be launching a mascara soon. *squeals* If you don’t think you’ll be in Orlando and at Downtown Disney to pick these sweet goodies up, you can snag ’em online.

Gotta love that Disney magic!

*Disclosure: These products came in a gift basket that was gifted to me at a Disney press event.

Senses – A Disney Spa at Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort

A dream is a wish your heart makes…
When you’re at a Disney spaaaaa….

Okay, I’ve totally remixed the song but for good reason. There really isn’t anything like an experience at a Disney spa. I had the opportunity to visit one last month and I am still singing praises. I grew up going to the Walt Disney World Parks but there’s another side to Disney that I had yet to uncover; it’s the serene, relaxing, indulging side of Disney. It’s the side that says “Let them go to the parks. You stay here and get pampered. You need it. You deserve it.”

Senses Spa - Disney

Photo Source: wdwnews.com

And it’s true. Because I did need it. This spa experience will forever be etched in my mind because it was not only my first Disney spa trip but it was my first one after giving birth. There really isn’t any better reason to visit a spa, am I right?

First things first, Senses – A Disney Spa at Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort. There is also one at The Grand Floridian Resort and Spa. The one at Saratoga Springs Resort is nestled nicely near the resort’s majestic pool. Upon entering, you’re greeted with sweet spa trinkets, cosmetics from the Beautifully Disney spa line. After checking in your hostess leads you up the steps and to a tray of drink options. Senses plays well…on all of your senses. It starts with the sense of taste. After enjoying a few sweet sips of fresh fruit juice, you head over to the locker room and then the Relaxation Room.

Senses Relaxation Room

The Relaxation Room was one of my favorite experiences because it felt as if I was transported into a quiet oasis where nothing mattered. Platters of spa muffins and spa water (water infused with basil and cucumbers) greeted me. I sipped on the water, closed my eyes and propped my feet up on one of the lounge chairs. I didn’t ever want to move. My name was called and I made my way to the massage room where my EXCELLENT masseuse asked me questions about any problematic areas. After the consultation he left to allow me to get comfortable and once he came back he had me take 2 deep breaths from the lavender oil on palms of his hands. The 50-minute swedish massage was more than great. It ended far too quickly and I didn’t want to get up.

After exiting the room, my masseuse had a post-massage jelly and cup of water for me. He led me to the mani and pedi room where I had my hands and feet rubbed to perfection. My wonderful manicurist gave me Mickey Mouse ears on my nails (you know…because I’m 5-years old at heart) and I was sent out into the world a changed woman.

The Senses really taps into…your senses. From the relaxing and melodic tunes, the various tastes that are being presented to you, the gentle touches of the professional spa staff; it was truly a thorough experience. But of course, this is what you expect of Disney. And as always, they never disappoint.

If you find yourself in the Walt Disney World area and in the need of some pampering, do yourself a favor and make a reservation at Senses. It’s the next best thing to hugging the Mouse.

 

*Disclosure: I was a part of  a press trip where I received free treatments. I wasn’t paid to write this post but would you really have to pay me to talk about the awesomeness of Disney? Yeah…no.

The Makeup Show Orlando 2013

The Makeup Show Orlando

I’m a total nutcase for just now sounding the alarm about The Makeup Show Orlando 2013. I spoke at it last year while 8 months pregnant with Baby Clumps and I had an amaziiiiiiing time. The turnout was fantastic, the vendors were exemplary and I was crossin’ my fingers that they would return. And baby, they’re back!

Check out the press release…

Join over 75 brands, including MAKE UP FOR EVER, NARS, and OBSESSIVE COMPULSIVE COSMETICS along with artists who have worked with some of today’s top celebs

ORLANDO, FL (June 2013) – The Makeup Show Orlando returns to The Sunshine State and brings together top makeup artists and beauty brands on September 28 and 29.   Over 75 beauty brands andmore than 30 keynote speakers and seminars are set to take over The PeabodyHotel Orlando with the LARGEST pro-driven beauty event in the world. Amongst the brands in attendance include Diamond Sponsor MAKE UP FOR EVER, Platinum Sponsor Crown Brush andTemptu PRO, Silver Sponsor NARS, Supporting Sponsors Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics, Cosmix School of Makeup Artistry, The Powder Group and On Makeup Magazine.   The Makeup Show Orlando will also bring some the largest makeup artists in the industry to the main stage, including:

Mama Knows Best….Making up with Sharon Gault, sponsored by MAKE UP FOR EVER – Now known simply as Mama Makeup, Sharon Gault has managed to make her mark on the industryunlike any other artist. For two decades Sharon has and continues to work with the biggest names in entertainment and fashion including Charlize Theron, Renee Zellweger, Britney Spears & Lady Gaga (to name a few) and with top photographers such as David La Chapelle and Isabel Snyder.  In her first time keynote at The Makeup Show Orlando Our Director of Artistry, James Vincent, will lead Sharon through an intimate interview highlighting her career and giving insight into being a makeup artist. Mama Makeup will also share the secrets of her famed application process as she leads the audience through a live demonstration.

Thinking Outside the Box with Sutan Amrull – Sutan Amrull is recognized by millions of fans as a favorite makeup artist and expert on America’s Next Top Model and his clients include famous faces of Tyra Banks, Paulina Porizkova, Twiggy, and Adam Lambert, not too mention wasalso Season 3 winner of RuPaul’s Drag Race.  In this keynote, Sutan will shed light on his unique style and show us some of the secrets of his innovative and imaginative makeup application.

Timeless Beauty with Eugenia Weston – As celebrity makeup artists and Founder and Creative Director of Senna Cosmetics, Eugenia Weston’s innovativeentrepreneurial spirit and achievements serve as an inspiration for the beauty industry.  She has worked with celebrity clients such as Bette Midler, Lesley Ann Warren and Alfre Woodard and has the gift for celebrating each face and understanding the needs of her clients regardless of skin tone, texture, orage.  In her first keynote for The Makeup Show, Eugenia shares here career insight and timeless and classic makeup techniques notable for any novice and seasoned makeup artist.

The Next Big Thing with Crystal Wright and Michael DeVellis – Crystal Wright and Michael DeVellis come together to take you through the importantunderstanding of living in a social media and online industry in 2013. Learn the value of bettering your business and materials and the necessity of networking and communication.  Michael and Crystal will also give you a better understanding of etiquette that will make you stand out from the crowd and address about how appropriately crafting and creating the right relationships can take you to the next level.

The Makeup Show Orlando is held on Sunday, September 28, 2013 from 9am to 6pm and on Monday, September 29, 2013 from 9am to 5pm at The Peabody Hotel Orlando, 9801 International Drive. For a complete list of participating brands, educational speakers, schedule of events and prices, please visit www.themakeupshow.com.

About The Makeup Show

The Makeup Show is owned and produced by Metropolitan Event & Production and travels internationally from LA, NYC, Chicago, Europe, and Orlando.  Bringing each destination over 60 beauty brands, and unique convergence of artists and community, where beauty professionals are sure to find an artistic energy that will inspire any beauty buff, from the passionate beginner to the seasoned professional.  Each show offers an unparalleled lineup ofeducation and appearances from top beauty professionals and focuses on career building and networking within the makeup community.  The show provides a unique experience for the makeup professional to network directly from the best in the business.