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.

The Lipstick League: Weekly Links, Volume 108

Cargo Essential Lip Color

Yay for another post from the The Lipstick League! We are a group of beauty bloggers, bound together by the desire to save the world with beauty, one post at a time!

My Beauty Bunny – Halloween may be over, but we’ve got some treats to share! Check out what’s cooking at the Beauty Bakerie in our latest Indie Spotlight.

Nouveau Cheap – Are you a matte lip color fan? If so, you need these in your life. Period. (I would “drop the mic” if I had one!)

Pink Sith – has three BB creams to avoid the next time you shop for one at the drugstore.

Prime Beauty – is giving away a Hair Doozy so your bathroom counter will never be cluttered with hair appliances again!

Phyrra – raves about the new bareMinerals Crystalized Full Face Collection and is giving one away! Go Enter!

we heart this – Halloween may have just past, but the Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab Halloweenies will be around until Dec. Because who doesn’t want to smell spookily beautiful year round?

Clumps of Mascara – shared the awesomeness that is Chippmunk.com and now the brand is giving away a $100 gift certificate to one lucky reader. And you can use it at Sephora.com. Woo hoo!

Gouldylox Reviews – Hands down, this is my favorite palette of the season so far.

Guest Post of the Week, as chosen by My Beauty Bunny – If you love beauty and are celeb obsessed, you need to take a ”walk” with Red Carpet Roxy! Follow this Hollywood insider and you’ll get the scoop on the fashion and beauty news at the latest A-list events.

Question of the Week:

What lip colors do you have in
your purse at this very moment?

B says, “Surprise surprise…I’ve got a red lippy!”

What color lippy do you have?
See you next week!

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.

Beauty in Mommyhood: Elle is 8 months old

*Note: I am way behind on Elle’s updates. She’s actually almost 10 months. Eek! I’ll be cranking out another update in the next week.

Happy girl

Dear Elle,

You’re Muffin.
Your name is Muffin.
You’re sweet, brown and round – your name is Muffin.
You’re Muffin.
Yeah Muffin.
And everyone loves you ’cause you’re Muffin.

Daddy's girl

I make up the silliest songs for you. But singing them to you always makes you feel better when you’re fussy. I’m seriously going to put together an album of the songs that I’ve made up. Including the “Wipe your face and wipe your butt” jingle and your favorite…”Don’t You Cry, Elle Belle”. Your bring out the sillies in me.

Speaking of sillies, you are hilarious! My favorite game to play with you is getting us both under the covers and then pulling back the sheets and shouting “Weeee!” You have the cutest little laugh. One time Daddy had you giggling for like 10 minutes straight. My heart was bursting.

Elle

You are well on your way to toddlerhood because now and days, you get really upset when you don’t get what you want. You don’t understand NO yet but I’m trying to find ways to help you understand what you can and can’t do without always saying NO.

Mommy and me

Food

You still aren’t insanely in love with food but you’re definitely getting more and more interested. This month you had smoked turkey. You loved in. In fact, you really love turkey and I’m amazed at how well you feed yourself. Breast milk is about 80% of your diet. When you’re not gulping that down you’re eating peaches, scrambled eggs, gluten-free noodles, homemade spaghetti sauce, sweet potatoes and pretty much anything that we eat. You also like hummus and applesauce but only sometimes. You also drink water from a cup.

Silly baby

 

Sleeping

Mama soooooo wishes you would sleep through the night. I’m thinking one of the reasons why you don’t is because you’re still in our room. This month the plan is to move you into your own room. You never had a formal nursery because we didn’t intend on staying in this house long but things have changed and since we’re going to be here a bit longer, I think you’ll do better in your own space. We’ll see how it goes. 8 months of chronic sleep deprivation is crippling.

Your Firsts:

-You went to Disney!!! Not the parks but we explored the area.
-You stayed at your first Disney World Resort – The Grand Floridian. That makes 5 hotel rooms that you’ve crashed in. Wow!
-You said Mama!!!
-You have perfected the army crawl.
-You signed “milk”
-You went to your first makeup show.

Cool Things You Do:

-You have perfected your wave.
-You wave bye bye too!
-You know how to tap the iPad to make things change.
-You can high five on demand.

You’re getting heavier and that sometimes when I look at you I say that baby face of yours slowly start to disappear. I’m so not ready. But ready or not, huh?

 

Love,

Mama

3 Lipsticks From Cargo. Wait…3 AWESOME Lipsticks From Cargo!

Need a new brand of lipsticks to try? Duh!! Of course, you do? I mean…who doesn’t? I’m not sure what took them so long but CARGO Cosmetics recently launched their first ever lipstick collection.

Cargo Cosmetics

“Seriously B? They should have done that a long time ago.”

Cargo Essential Lip Color

Hmm mmm, girl. I said the same thing. I received 3 of the 13 lippies from the collection but whoa, I’m impressed. Aren’t I always impressed from CARGO stuffs? Yeah, I am. I got these lippies to review and I thought I’d quickly highlight the shades and talk about the awesome formula.

Cargo Las Vegas

Las Vegas is a pale beige, and let’s be honest. This shade is anything but flattering on me. But what it is, is a pleasure to use! Seriously, I love how creamy and opaque it was with only minimal application. This shade would definitely look better as a nude lippie on my ivory and olive mamas. It can also work nicely if (and only if) it is paired with a brown lip liner.

Cargo Punta Cuna

Punta Cana is a bright fuchsia that just screams “Look at my lips!” You either love it or don’t and I am definitely here for this bright richness of a lipstick.

Cargo Bordeaux

Bordeaux is a deep wine and if this doesn’t scream FALL, I don’t know what shade does. I don’t traditionally wear shades this deep and dark, but I don’t know…I think I’ll be making Bordeaux my signature shade this season.

These lipsticks are more than just hydrating. They apply beautifullllllyyyyy. And I know I’m all dramatic about it, but the silky smooth formula is just everything that I could ever hope for in a lipstick. And I’ve found that they last for a good little while. You know, for a lipstick.

Cargo Cosmetics lipstick

Fantastic quality, Cargo! Quiero mas. You can scoop these lippies up for $22 at CargoCosmetics.com or at ULTA.

Zoya Cashmeres Collection

It’s about to be a Zoya marathon around here for the next few weeks. After this collection, I have 2 more collections to review and I’m not even mad about it. Zoya has been doing some pretty awesome thangs in the nail polish world and I’m just honored to be able to get the chance to share it with y’all. I got this collection to review and Cashmeres is just well…

Zoya Cashmeres

…very lovely indeed.

Zoya Flynn

Flynn is a lush camel brown nude cream and well er uh…I’m just not a fan of how these kind of shades look me. They look like “too light” foundation. In fact, I think the only way I could successfully pull this off is with some glitter thrown on top. And said glitter needs to be a reallllly pretty glitter.

Zoya Sailor

Sailor is a classic dark navy cream. I can’t even begin to explain how much I loooove this polish. Yes, there are plenty of navy blues out there but Zoya does creams beautifully and Sailor is just sheer perfection.

Zoya Pepper

Pepper is a brick red cream and dang, this is a gorgeous. Yeah yeah, I know if you’ve seen one red you’ve seen them all but I love the smokiness of this one. It’s stunning!

Zoya Hunter

Hunter is a dark sea green cream and no one does luscious greens like Zoya. This is such a rich and luscious green.

Zoya Louise

Louise is a rich chocolate brown and it’s another color that I’m on the fence about. I definitely like it more than Flynn but I never know if brown polishes flatter me or make my nails look dirty.

Zoya Livingston

Livingston is a lush autumn red that is THEE perfect red for the season. I’ve got plenty of reds but this one is just perfect.

Bravo Zoya! What a stunning and season-appropriate collection. I love the uniqueness of the shades Louise and Flynn. But for my not so adventurous nail polish wearers, there’s Pepper and Livingston. You can snag the entire collection from Zoya.com for $48 or you can get each polish for $8 a pop.

Which polishes are your faves?

Oil On My Skin All Year? Yes Please!

It took a good 5 years, but my skin has finally calmed down to the point where I can actually go a few weeks or months without a pimple. Yes, y’all. This is a big deal. Pregnancy gave me a mask and a few blemishes but the postpartum life of lactating hormones doesn’t seem to affect me too much so I’m as happy as a clam, yo. So happy. It’s around the 70’s this week in Florida and a gal pal of mine was asking me if I recommended any skincare products to prep her skin for the cooler weather. And so I gave her some suggestions.

Seventh Generation Skin Boosting serum

And it wasn’t until I finished blurting them out that I realized that everything I mentioned was an oil. I love oils. I do. Can’t deny it. Mother Nature knew what she was doing by giving us so many glorious plant-based, ground-based, nut-based and fruit-based oils. I have dubbed skincare oils as the other liquid gold. You know, because breast milk is the first liquid gold.

Why do I love ‘em?

Skin Boosts

They’re versatile

I’ve been playing around with these new natural skin serums from Seventh Generation. The brand recently launched 6 serums that help target various skin issues. The serums have oil bases as their primary carrier oil and then essential oils are dumped in. They are glorious and wonderful and I love that they have so many different uses. I’ve been going through the Clearing with Tea Tree oil serum and not only does it work well all over my face but I use it on dry patches on my skin too. Can’t say the same thing about your face cream. Most face creams just work…on the face. But a good oil, honey…a good oil can be slathered from head to toe.

They work for various skin types

My skin goes through changes during the seasons. My eczema goes crazy and I am practically moisture-less in the winter and during the warmer months, I sweat like mad and always have an oily T-zone. Oils work wonders year round for me. I tend to use a less greasy oil in the summer (like maracuja oil) but this winter, I’ll be all over my Seventh Generation Boosts.

They force you to pamper your skin.

Have you ever just slathered oil in 20 seconds and gone about your business? Naw. It doesn’t work like that. Oils require thorough application. Because I’m picky about an even distribution, I find that when I use oils, I gently rub them in my skin and give myself a mini facial massage. Dude, those 60 second long massages are the perfect start and end to my crazy long days. So yeah. If I’m not going to have a full blown body massage everyday, I am so grateful that my glorious oils force me to pamper my skin a bit.

Seventh Generation Boosts Clearing

If you’re in the market for a new oil but don’t feel like doing a ton of research and trying to find out what’s what…check out these Seventh Generation Boosts. They’ve got something for problematic skin (Clearing), to dry skin (Hydrating) and even those of us working on keeping those wrinkles at bay (Revitalizing). The oils are fragrance-free and wait for it, they contain..just oils. Nothing extra. No random synthetic ingredients. Just almond, grapeseed, apricot oils and luscious essential oils. You can use them solo (that’s what I do) or you can at a squirt or two to your current moisturizer or foundation. As an extra “boost”.

Seventh Generations Boots ingredients

They’re sold exclusively at Walgreens for $14.99 so you’ll have to track ‘em down if you really feel like you need these. And I think you do.

They really are that fantastic.