June: Life Lately



Early Arrival

This month has been a bit chaotic due to the early arrival of my baby. He came an entire month early. Needless to say, I was not ready. I then spent a week in the hospital recovering from a c-section. Sadly my little boy couldn't come home right away. He ended up needing to spend some time in the NICU.

The room for the boys is still a work in progress. I was hoping to do a room reveal soon, but I don't see that happening this month. I've made some changes to the textiles that I am really happy about. I found new swaddles and a new quilt. But other than that, not much progress has been made.


Blogging and Social Media

I have already doubled my page views and have grown my Instagram and Twitter following. I didn't post as often as I would have liked but have been too busy with life. I also grew my Pinterest by 100 followers.

I did have a brand reach out to me about doing a post. However, that was a lesson learned kind of thing. I put in time to review their product and promote it on social media. Then they wanted me to remove that they contacted me to review their product! Never doing that again.

Family

I am so lucky to have such a great family. Being in the hospital for a week and having to visit the NICU, I really needed someone to watch my oldest boy. My husband's mother was able to take time off from work to watch my little whirlwind. 

My mother is currently here for out of state. She is such a great help. She is helping me with stuff around the house and with taking care of my two boys. I am still a bit sore from my c-section, so I will take all of the help I can get. 

Upcoming

I'm really just taking things one day at a time right now. I am hoping to get into a schedule down so I can fit time in for blogging and other leisure activities. 










Flip Your Breakfast With Chobani Flip

If you eat the same thing for breakfast, like me, you might be a little bored with your morning meal. Trying to change things up a bit? Chobani Flip might be the thing for you.

I really like yogurt, so I was excited to try some of the new and inventive Chobani Flip flavors. I went to my local store and picked up four flavors: Key Lime Crumble, PB&J, Chocolate Haze Craze, and Peanut Butter Dream. 



Each package comes divided in two. One portion of yogurt and one smaller portion of toppings to mix in. Learn more about Chobani Flips here.

Of the flavors that I tried, Chocolate Haze Craze and Peanut Butter Dream are my favorite. I have a serious sweet tooth, so it is no surprise that I like the sweetest flavors that I purchased. The Chocolate Haze Craze has my favorite toppings: chocolate and hazelnut pieces. Peanut Butter Dream has a nice sweet vanilla yogurt base that I find appealing. 

If you like your yogurt tarter, then you might enjoy the PB&J flavor. It has a subtle strawberry flavor with a peanut butter cluster and peanut topping. Want an even crazier flavor? Chipotle Pineapple or Sriracha Mango are great picks for the adventurous eater.



I only tried four of the flavors available, but there are many more. Can't decide what flavor to try? Use the Flavor Soulmate Flowchart below to pick the Flip for you.



When it comes to my Flip Flavor Soulmate, I am Sweet N' Sweet all the way through! Which one are you?




June Beauty Review

skincare and hair product review



Miss Spa Energize

Having a toddler and a newborn, I am not getting a ton of sleep. If you, like me, wake up with dark circles and bags under your eyes than you need a product like this. I have tried a wide variety of eye treatments, but most of them tend to be on the pricey side. I found these while looking for an eye treatment that won't brake the bank.

Often cheaper eye masks are dry and don't do much. When I opened the package, I was surprised how much product this eye mask contained. While not my favorite eye mask, the price cannot be beaten.

Pros: Great price, lots of liquid
Cons: Others are more effective

fresh Black Tea Instant Perfecting Mask

This particular mask features black tea ferment (kombucha), lychee seed, and jicima root juice to soften, smooth, and hydrate the skin.

When applying this mask to my face I noticed a cooling sensation and a strong cucumber smell. I was expected a more medicinal smell because of kombucha. I left the mask on for the full ten minutes. It was really easy to wash off and didn't leave any residue. The mask left my skin feeling clean and refreshed.

Pros: Nice smell, leaves skin soft and refreshed
Cons: More expensive than most face masks

Kiehls Rare Earth Deep Pore Daily Cleanser

This cleanser utilizes Amazonian White Clay to soften skin, reduce pore size, and remove toxins.

I was worried that this deep cleanser would dry my skin out. This cleanser had a gentle lather that cleansed my face without leaving it too tight and dry.

Pros: Deep cleansing
Cons: Might be too harsh for those with dry skin

 Loreal Root Cover Up

This is a spray-on root cover up. It comes in a variety of shades from blonde to red and every color between. I purchased the light to medium brown. 

Last month, I tried a different root cover up but I wasn't crazy about it. I was nervous about trying a spray on product. I thought it would look terrible or make a really big mess. When I applied it, I was pleasantly surprised. No big mess and great coverage. 

Pros: Affordable, good coverage
Cons: Flat color

Davines Oi Shampoo

Paraban and sulphate free, this shampoo uses sunflower oil and  roucou oil to hydrate and soften. 

The oils in the shampoo concerned me because I thought they would weigh my hair down or make it greasy. However, this shampoo left my hair soft and shiny.

Pros: Softens hair, paraban and sulfate free
Cons: Pricey

June Beauty Review Conclusion

This month, my favortie product is the Loreal Root Cover Up. It was easy to apply, can be bought at most stores, and is affordable. 

My least favorite product was the Miss Spa Energize Eye Mask. The product worked great for a budget eye mask, but it doesn't beat the Karuna Renewal + Eye Mask.



Coming Home Before Baby & Life In The NICU

I had a baby on Sunday, but yet, it feels like I didn't have a baby at all. 

Life In The NICU


After a long day of cleaning and grocery shopping, my water broke. Except I thought I just peed my pants, something that is common in late pregnancy. I didn't realize what happened until about 3 in the morning. I packed a bag in panic and then went back to sleep.  I didn't feel like I was in labor so I thought everything was fine. 

Sunday morning I called the advice nurse. The doctor on call, called me back and told me to come to the hospital because my water had broken. She even said I should have come in the day before, when I thought I peed my pants. She said with certainty that I was having the baby.

During my c-section I was told that my baby would need to be transferred to a different hospital. I was wheeled out to the recovery room, where I waited. I didn't get to hold my baby. I only got to see him briefly before the EMTs took him away.

It wasn't until after I was transferred and several hours later that I finally was able to see my little boy. I saw him in his little bed. His face was mostly covered and he had cords all over. I hadn't held him and I felt so disconnected. He was mine but it didn't feel like. 

I eventually was able to hold him. It was scary. I was so afraid I was going to hurt him. 

Each day I was in the hospital, I grew stronger. For my boy, some days were good and others had setbacks. 

I was released from the hospital on Wednesday, but my little boy couldn't come home with me.  

Visiting him is hard. I don't live close to the hospital. Getting down the stairs and in the car is painful as I recover from my c-section. But visiting the NICU is hard for reasons beyond the physical. 

I am lucky that my boy is strong and he should be able to come home soon. Hopefully, within the next few days. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for all the babies in the unit. 

Walking through the NICU, there are not a lot of smiles. The air is heavy.  Machines beep and mothers cry. Some babies have a lot of visitors. Some never have any. 

Leaving NICU at night brings relief but it also brings guilt.  I no longer have to avoid eye contact with grieving mothers. I no longer have to hear a social worker talk about signs of postpartum depression.  I do have to deal with the heart wrenching guilt of leaving my child so I can get some sleep.  I have to deal with the fear my baby won't feel I am his mom. 

John Frieda Brilliant Brunette Visibly Brighter

I honestly couldn't guess as to when I went to the salon last to get my hair colored. It has been that long. Sometimes life just happens and finding time to go to the salon for a couple of hours is impossible.

For me, not coloring my hair is a pretty big deal. I have been playing with my hair color since junior high. While I will never try to go completely blonde again or do Lauren Conrad inspired pastel tips, I don't like my natural hair color. When I was younger, I used to get natural highlights that gave my hair dimension. As I have aged, my color is more of a flat brown. Not my idea of pretty. 

John Frieda Visibly Brighter Review


When I was younger, I used a John Frieda product that is no longer available to make myself blonde. Do any of you remember the lightening foam?  I have on occasion used other Joh Frieda products.



When I saw that John Frieda had a new line to lighten dark hair, I knew I wanted to try it. There is a shampoo, conditioner, and shower treatment to help make the shade of your hair visibly brighter.




My experience

I will admit I was a little apprehensive about trying the products once I got them home. I really didn't want to end up with orange or red hair. Some people look good with warm colored hair, I am not one of them.

I used the shower treatment first. I made sure my hair was very wet but also free from tangles. I wanted to make sure I applied the product evenly so I wouldn't have spots.  I also set the timer on my phone. I would have rinsed it off too early if I only waited until I thought five minutes was over. I also used the entire tube even though I have thin hair.

I followed the shower treatment with using the shampoo and conditioner.

After drying my hair, I saw a very subtle difference. This product will not make you blonde. It will not cover gray hairs.

I have now been using the shampoo and conditioner for two weeks. After repeated use, my hair has continued to get a bit lighter, although the color is warmer than I would like.

My recommendation

If you get your hair professionally colored, your stylist would probably not recommend using this product. It would make it hard to get your normal results when you went back to the salon.

I also wouldn't recommend this product to people with very dark brown hair unless you want a reddish brown hue.

This product is good if you just want to lighten your hair a little bit and are not very picky about your hair color. Because it only lightens, there is not a way to control the end result like you could if you actually dyed your hair or went to a salon.