Making the switch from working a full time job to being a stay-at-home mom was a little more challenging than I thought it would be. I was used to getting up every morning, doing my hair, putting on a face of makeup, and dressing professionally. For the first month or so, not having to do those things felt like an incredible vacation from the everyday - I always felt like those things ate up so much of my time.
But after a month, I started to feel like I always looked disheveled. You see, being "made up" was ingrained in me. I grew up with a mom who rarely left her bedroom without her makeup done. My mother is fabulous. Clearly, she wanted me to be the same, and before middle school, I was already learning the tricks of the trade. I vividly remember being in seventh grade, at a strict Catholic school, and applying some powder and clear mascara (yes, I totally did that). By the time high school rolled around, I was a pro at the "no makeup-makeup" look. Aside from growing up with a very pro-makeup mother, I developed cystic acne towards the end of high school. This made it even more imperative for me to apply my makeup every day. (Before you say my skin is fine, I did a round of Accutane at 20 and to this day I have to go get my face injected when a huge cyst pops up - better than some, but not good by any means.)
I don't necessarily feel like I need to rock my makeup 24/7/365, but I do like to have a little bit of something on when I will encounter humans aside from my toddler. Days when I wake up and my skin is really clear, some tinted moisturizer and mascara will usually do the trick, but for the majority of days when I am leaving the house, this is my routine. If you are all about a fresh, clean , face, then by all means, rock it! I wish my skin was pristine enough that I could do that.
Also, don't be fooled - Caleb took an extra long nap this day so I got to do my makeup in my kitchen (where the light is the greatest in my house), sitting down, and taking photos of the process for you all. But most days? I do this at stoplights and once I'm parked at my destination - a little trick I learned once I realized that he is 100% contained and safe in his car seat, instead of digging through my drawers and driving me bonkers while I try not to poke my eye out with my mascara wand.
So how do I go from bare to barely noticeable?
Easy! Nine tools and less than five minutes. In the mornings I almost always put on this tinted moisturizer, so that gives me a good base to start with. But if I don't apply it, it doesn't matter (I didn't here). I recently switched to Laura Mercier products for skin care, because I was diagnosed with mild rosacea post-baby and the aesthetician at the dermatologist recommended it.
1. Concealer! The most important part! I use two products from Laura Mercier. Their underage concealer and this palette which is great because it lets me go darker or lighter depending on how much sun I've gotten or what part of my face I'm using it on. I apply with my fingers to cut down on tools and time.
2. Eyebrows - I have found that once I have filled in my eyebrows with this Anastasia brow powder, the rest of my face instantly looks better. If you prefer a pencil, this is a great alternative.
3. Powder - Loose, pressed, whatever you prefer. It sets my concealer and evens out my skin a little more.
4. Blush - the one I'm using is an old one from MAC that was limited edition but another great option (and is universally flattering) is NARS Blush in Orgasm.
5. Mascara - if you're going to do just ONE thing, put on mascara. It will instantly open your eyes and make you look more awake (regardless of how many times your little one woke you up last night).
6. If I'm going somewhere where I want to look a little more presentable, I'll put on a pretty lip gloss. Otherwise, I slap on some Chapstick and call it a day.
There you go! Less than five minutes (or 4 stoplights, if you're anything like me).
Go get 'em, gorgeous!
In light of recent events, I've been thinking a lot, as I know we all have. I refuse to turn this into a political discussion with anyone. I feel as if that is disrespectful to those innocent men and women who lost their lives this past week. And however you may feel, whatever your opinions are, now is not the time to begin politicizing this tragedy or the reasons behind it.
The shooter was a sick man, with serious issues, and that's all we need to know. He was a monster.
As a teacher in middle school, I saw my fair share of "bad apples." Like the FBI, I always tried to give those bad apples a fair chance, and unfortunately, many times they proved that their moniker of bad apple was true. (I am not comparing any former students to this shooter... I have a point, just bear with me.) Sometimes they ended up pulling stunts that got the whole group into trouble, and that always made me so upset. Because there was always good going on around the troublemakers. But the ones misbehaving were the ones getting the most attention. After some time I decided that I was not going to give the misbehaving students the attention. I praised the ones who were doing good deeds, who were completing their work, who were being the good in the room. And the misbehaving ones, I started to ignore and would pull aside after class. They would lose privileges, no doubt, but they were no longer the center of attention in my class. Eventually, the bad behaviors would decrease because they wanted the praise the other students were getting.
Now, having a son my own, this tragedy has hit me in a way that is totally different. I keep thinking, "How am I going to bring my son up in a world like this?" And the more I think about it, the more I know what the answer is: I will bring him up the same way as I would any other time.
I will raise him to do good. Like the stories of people who ran back into Pulse to save a friend. Like the man who rode in the back of a police car to help control the bleeding of a man he did not know to keep him alive. Like the hundreds upon hundreds of people who lined up in the Florida sun to donate blood. Like those who could not donate blood but handed out water and supplies instead. Like the stewardesses on the JetBlue flight who had the passengers write notes of condolence written for the grandmother of one of the victims on her flight to Orlando. For those passengers, who each stopped to offer their condolences, or a hug, or handshake to this woman, never complaining that the deplaning process was taking too long.
I will raise him to recognize that bad people should not capture our attention. Like the news anchors refusing to say his name during a broadcast. Like my friends on social media refusing to use his name on their timelines.
I will raise him to know that love is love is love is love is love. Whether it is the way you live your life or not. Whether you agree with it or not. Whether you know someone who loves differently than you do or not. I'll say it again. LOVE IS LOVE IS LOVE IS LOVE IS LOVE. That's it. And in the end, love, in all its forms and manners, will be what gives our lives meaning. Nobody's life deserves less meaning than yours because of who they love.
I will raise him to know that all humans are worthy of dignity and respect and love and life. Skin color doesn't matter. Sexual preference doesn't matter. Life choices don't matter. Your religion doesn't matter. (Side note: If your religion teaches you to hate anyone, it's probably not a good religion.) If you believe in God, then you believe that each and every single person was put on this earth by Him. The Bible tells us to "love your neighbor as yourself." (Mark 12:31) It doesn't say, "Love your fellow Christian as you love yourself," or "love only those who believe in the same things as you as you love yourself." Your neighbor. That means everyone around you.
These are the things I will teach my son. This is the message I will teach him each and every day. I will not teach him to live in fear. I will not teach him to foster evil, or egg it on. I will teach him to nurture love in everyone around him, by his words and by his actions.
That in spite of all the ugly in the world, there is so much beauty. As Anne Frank wrote, "Think of all the beauty still left around you and be happy."
Let's be the change, let's be the light.
Let's be the good.
Last week I highlighted how I always have certain things ready to go for a trip so that I am always ready for travel. Today I'm going to just get right to it and share with you a couple of packing lists. Obviously things on my lists will differ from yours based on your child's age, needs, and your personal preferences. However, I think these lists should be a good starting point! I tried to link some of the products that I have found to be especially helpful or innovative to the easiest place to find them, so it would be easy for you to find as well.
When we travel via plane, I have three lists: one for a carry-on bag (usually my purse), one for the baby's diaper bag, and one for suitcases or checked luggage. For my bag I like to use a carryall so I can fit as many things as possible in there. We use this diaper backpack - we really like it because it holds so much. It has plenty of compartments, including two insulated ones. As far as the suitcases go, it depends on the trip!
We also take our stroller to the gate and check it there. We traveled with a car seat once and were able to take it on the plane with us because there were empty seats in our row. I also take the carrier and usually wear baby onto the plane because it makes it easier to have my hands a little more free.
So here we go!
SPECIFICALLY FOR BABY!
*If a trip is longer than a weekend, I usually buy diapers when I arrive at my destination. And recently, I decided I am going to try shipping diapers and wipes from Amazon to my hotel. Diapers occupy so much valuable packing space.
I hope this helps! Happy travels!